Don’t miss this sweet column by Mary Wade Burnside, features editor of the Exponent-Telegram in Clarksburg, who has lived elsewhere but keeps finding herself back home. Some excerpts:
“When I first returned to North Central West Virginia, I would marvel at the changes that had taken place. I could not walk up and down High Street in Morgantown without thinking about how my dad and I would go up there on some Saturdays and visit, among other stores, the now-gone National Record Mart, and how I got my pointe shoes from a retailer in one alley and my prom dress from a shop in another.
“And when I first got to Fairmont, I would think about how my family would drive W.Va. 73 for the 45-minute, pre-Interstate 79 trip from Clarksburg to Fairmont to visit my aunt; or how when Mary Lou Retton won the all-around gymnast gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics, my friend Jana and I went to her hometown to see the celebratory parade, making sure also to give a shout-out to Ed Etzel, who won a gold medal in rifle shooting, because we wanted to even the playing field a little bit…
…maybe one day I’ll be able to drive to work without noticing the big blank spot where Central Junior High was; or the First United Methodist Church next door without thinking about the time I was 8 and attended services with my cousin Jessica when a very tall man shook my hand. When I asked her who he was, my more politically astute cousin replied, “Why, that’s Jay Rockefeller! He’s running for governor.”