The Real West Virginia

Just last week, a chemical spill occurred in the southern part of West Virginia. The spill leaked into the Elk river, which in turn polluted the drinking water for 300,000 residents. This disaster has led to a great deal of media exposure for a state that usually flies under the radar. With that newfound media exposure came many jokes focused on West Virginia’s way of life.

Here’s an example:

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This was a tweet from a journalist at the Detroit Free Press (she’s from Detroit, so she really doesn’t have any room to talk. Also, shout out to B Rabbit.) She received many hateful and degrading responses to her tweet by many, and eventually took it down, but the issue resounds- people from around the country think West Virginia is a place where the only things happening are cousins having sex and cashing their welfare checks. I’m here to tell you this is not true.

Before I begin, I’d like to present a disclaimer: I am not a fan of the individuals who constantly beat the drum of “Our state is the best state, you’re just jealous!” Being completely honest here, West Virginia isn’t exactly the most ideal place to live. You can’t walk more than ten feet without having to scale a hill. In the winter, the snow can be relentless. The only professional sports teams are those on TV’s. There’s no beach. If you want to go to a decent shopping mall, you’ve probably got an hour-plus drive ahead of you. There is, indeed, an abnormal amount of large people. But these aren’t deal-breakers. Every state has its problems.  Last year, MTV began airing a show titled “Buckwild,” dubbed the “redneck version of the Jersey Shore,” and many people from around the country laughed at the state, believing this was an accurate depiction of what goes on. It was not. Many wrote in to MTV, the governor, and congress asking for the show to be discontinued because it seemed to shine a very poor light on our state. I personally have never witnessed anyone jump into a dump truck swimming pool. The show was a contributing factor to the many stereotypes of West Virginia.

West Virginia is a beautiful place. All four seasons make distinct appearances. The leaves in autumn are absolutely stunning, and the flowers in spring will make you do a double take. In the summer, the sun glimmers off of the lakes and rivers.

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Many celebrities have come from West Virginia. If you’re a football fan, you surely know that Florida State just won the national championship. The coach, Jimbo Fisher? He’s from Clarksburg. Nick Saban, at Alabama, who has won four national championships in his time? He’s from Monongah. The “Logo,” Jerry West, comes straight out tha’ Holler’ too. Stonewall Jackson, the bad ass general from the Civil War. Author Pearl S. Buck. Nick Null- a member of Seal Team 6, the team the performed the raid of Osama Bin Laden’s home. Mary Lou Retton, the olympic gymnast who in 1984 became the first American to win the All-Around Gold? All from West Virginia.

West Virginia provides over 12% of all coal production in the United States. Without us, oil and gas prices would be driven higher due to the lack of resources and the need for more imports. If it wasn’t for the West Virginia men going underground, the country would certainly be strained.

My father and mother both have good jobs. My sister and I both attend college. I’ve never thought about fornicating with a family member. I’ve never chewed tobacco or made moonshine. I have all my teeth. I’m friends with a black kid. I’ve never seen Crystal Meth.  Welfare checks don’t feed me. I wear the brands other states wear, listen to the Billboard Top 100, and I even have internet access. Take a step back and look at us, America- West Virginia isn’t just one big mud hole…it’s where I call home.

 

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307 thoughts on “The Real West Virginia

  1. keishamarks5931 January 16, 2014 / 12:29 am

    Don’t forget Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother’s Day from Grafton.

    • Sandy Dale January 16, 2014 / 8:36 am

      I am English and always lived in England but 20 years ago I had the pleasure and great fortune of meeting a family from Mont Coal West Virginia , yes there were all the silly saying about hillbillys and we have often laughed at eachother over the years . I can honestly say if I could live in West Virginia I would in a second only thing stopping me is I would want to take my whole family with me . I am still friends with the Shea’s , they treat me like family and I class them as my second family . They are the most honest , caring , friendliest , hard working people I know . They have over the past 20 years included me in graduations , wedding , thanksgivings , birthdays you name it ….they have come over to England to my daughters wedding and I am going over this year to go on their yearly beach holiday with them . We in England have people that are classed as west Virginians , they live on welfare , they sleep with family members etc .. etc .. so please all the ignorant people just take time and go to the most beautiful state in America and meet some truly lovely people ….Sandy Dale Deal , Kent , England .

  2. Steve Carpenter January 16, 2014 / 12:38 am

    I grew up in “Buck Wild” Sissonville, and I disagree with the assertion that the show portrayed West Virginians in an unrealistic manner. My friends and I did crazier, stupider, often more dangerous things growing up in the “hollers”, and still grew up to go to college, have families, and be productive, non-obese, color-blind members of society. I, as well as most of my friends, felt that those who denounced the show were either city kids or ashamed of their heritage. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world and am proud to have grown up with such freedom.

    • Joan Faber Gray January 16, 2014 / 3:08 pm

      I agree with you, Steve! I too grew up in Sissonville – and I would certainly rather hang out with “Buckwild” than with “Jersey Shore”! I had no problem telling people here in DE Sissonville was my home.

  3. jesica January 16, 2014 / 12:43 am

    Hey quit encouraging people. I like the open space. Let them think it’s not worth moving here!

  4. Mike January 16, 2014 / 12:47 am

    Hah..

    Gayyyy

  5. jason January 16, 2014 / 12:54 am

    Steve Harvey is from McDowell Co. Wv.

    • wvshak43 January 16, 2014 / 6:30 am

      Henry Louis Gates Jr., Booker T. Washington grew up in WV and was instrumental in founding WV State. Devil Anse Hatfield, Jessica Lynch, Bill Withers, Blaze Starr, Alex Schoenbaum (Shoney’s Founder), George Brett.

  6. Matt January 16, 2014 / 12:58 am

    People typically make fun of things they don’t understand and/or are jealous of. I’m from WV and live in Austin TX, I have been around the country and have heard plenty of “wise cracks” at The Motherland. At the end of the day, it is what it is, you keep spewing your negativity about something so beautiful I dream about it…and I’ll keep going back to WV where I still know everyone…remember Mountaineers…WV needs to keep under the radar…we don’t want everyone knowing how awesome and beautiful it is…trust me…I live in Austin TX…it will be flooded and forever changed by the crushing wheels of progress and government…all together now… “Country Roads….Take me home…to the place…I belong….WEST VIRGINIA!!!!”

    • Chrissy January 16, 2014 / 2:30 am

      Agreed!

    • Carol S. Faries January 16, 2014 / 5:29 am

      I would say that about half, or more, of the people that leave WV come back home. That is exactly what it is home. I lived and worked in D.C. and Maryland for almost 30 years. I was never so glad for the day I got to come back home. This is where I will stay until the Lord calls me to my final resting place. Plus there are always friendly faces, love, respect and help for someone else in need. Try WV you will like it!!!!

      • carol mcdaniel January 16, 2014 / 1:32 pm

        good example is the recent water emergency

    • Terry January 16, 2014 / 11:07 am

      You really summed it up perfectly! Couldn’t agree with your post more!!! Hopefully someday you’ll get to come back to your mountain home;) We’ll leave a light on;) Lol….

    • Jennie January 16, 2014 / 1:10 pm

      Hey Matt,
      Nice comment, I agree…hope all is well with you guys!!! Jennifer had her baby last week-huge & healthy 10 lb. boy!!!

  7. D R Cullen January 16, 2014 / 1:03 am

    David Cullen was born in Letart, West Virginia. United States Marine Corps Veteran that resides now in El Paso Texas. Curious as to why he did not make your list?

    • Doug Taylor January 16, 2014 / 4:48 am

      I was also thinking the same thing about chuck yeager

      • Just me January 16, 2014 / 1:22 pm

        The article would have been too long if they mentioned every famous person that came from WV. Like Brad Paisley, Don Notts, Pearl S. Buck, just to name a few more.

  8. Roxie Hume January 16, 2014 / 1:05 am

    You forget that these People that leaked this chemical was from another . West Virginia is a beautiful and the people did not cause this. The ones that helped from other States “GOD Bless you and .THANK YOU ..

    • Adriann January 16, 2014 / 1:41 am

      uh…no…it was caused by people in WV. hahahahaha wow you’re dumb. the plant hadn’t been inspected since ’91! 23 years without checking for faults in the plant? uh…no surprise something went wrong. but you’re old and senile… so you probably just believe whatever your silly little mind dreams up out of the blue. IT WAS TERRORISTS!! hahahahaha thanks for the laugh!

      • MLP January 16, 2014 / 2:00 am

        You’re a fucktard!!!! Dumb ass!!!! Get educated!

      • JoAnn January 16, 2014 / 2:09 am

        Are you talking about the Freedom Industries spill? They don’t produce the chemical; they just store it and use it. Is that what you’re calling “the plant”? Underground storage tanks (UST’s) by WV law (and hopefully this will change) aren’t required to be inspected unless they contain petroleum products or chemicals that are on a hazardous chemicals list. This chemical is not. The inspectors were following the law, albeit maybe not a sound law. So, do some fact-checking before you do the name-calling.

      • Mindi January 16, 2014 / 2:15 am

        um, what she said was correct. you misinterpreted it. yes, the spill was in WV and was causes by a WV resident, but what she was saying was that the CEO of the chemical company is not a native of WV. so there. thanks for the laugh, asshole

      • Chad January 16, 2014 / 2:25 am

        Sentences begin with capital letters. Also, if you begin a sentence with a number, you should spell it.

      • Sarah January 16, 2014 / 2:52 am

        ur an idiot

      • Judith Wigal January 16, 2014 / 3:22 am

        The company that caused the chemical leak was from another country, probably yours. If you have ever been to WV, you know how beautiful it is, all four seasons. If you have not been here, DON’T COME!!!! We don’t deal well with the “likes of you”!!!!!

      • Jessica Craft January 16, 2014 / 3:24 am

        Umm excuse you.. The douche bag that owns the plant started his business in Pennsylvania. So honey maybe you should get educated.

      • brandon January 16, 2014 / 4:18 am

        seriously Adrian its people like you that are proving the social demoralization is becoming more prevalent and that idiocracy is only fueling this craze

      • Kimberly January 16, 2014 / 5:10 am

        Really? You’re going to verbally insult someone? Real good way of showing your intelligence and maturity.

      • Linda January 16, 2014 / 6:13 am

        Adriann, excuse me, but, you sound like the dumb one. How dare you say anything nasty about an older person. Whoever raised you did a poor job of it. You are a snot nosed, arrogant little twerp. Crawl back under the rock you came from.

      • Jeromy McCarty January 16, 2014 / 6:27 am

        It was caused by those that owned and operated the facility. The lack of inspection did not cause the accident. It may have prevented it but did not directly cause it. The owners acknowledged they knew of the faulty tank and had not repaired it and continued to use it leading to the spill. Knowing of a problem and not taking steps to resolve it sounds like willful negligence.

      • Geoff January 16, 2014 / 2:03 pm

        Adriann. It’s people, or should I say, children like you that give everyone a bad name. Hide behind the “security” of the internet and belittle and degrade people for you own amusement. What ever happened to “be respectful to your elders”? or Hell or to just be respectful in general. You are a prime example of what’s wrong with this country. That being said, I wish you luck getting that big raise you’re wanting at Burger King…

  9. Missi-Tracy Pauley January 16, 2014 / 1:07 am

    I am a wv girl.. I hunt, fish, camp, trap. But i do not do drugs, dont drink often, i raise my kids and i didnt sleep with my cousin to get them..lol..We are put in a bad light by the media and movie industry. Look at wrong turn. While entertaining, we are not inbred,horrifically deformed killers. Wild wonderful whites of wv..I know Mamie White. While they are a bit wild,they too are good people who would help anyone if possible. We as mountaineers are proud of our state. It may have problems, but can you name one state that dosent? I did not go to college. I am a self educated lady who tries very hard to raise my kids with respect for everyone. I am not racist.My friends come from many cultures and backgrounds. No one should judge. Until you have been here to meet the good people of our state and see just how breathtaking it is. You will never see such beauty anywhere else. To sit and watch the sun set over the mountains in the fall. Or be in the woods during a full moon. Or to sit on the river and look at the star lit night. Wv is home. Even if you are not from here. The people here make you feel at home. So for those who degrade our state..Come here for yourself and see if you want to leave after you spend a little time with the people and the mountains.

    • Tammie Moyer January 16, 2014 / 1:45 am

      Thank you Missi-Tracy Pauley! I too am a WV Coal Miners Daughter and I am proud to be a resident of this great State. I only wish more folks could know what we know … to smell the honeysuckle or see the mountain laurel bloom. Your thoughts are well said and I second … WV is home …

    • russell bailey January 16, 2014 / 3:20 am

      I was a sittin in my tree this fall with the sun comin up, an a big ol frost layin on the ground and i couldn’t hear the slightest sound an i wuz a thinkin bout how over the years i hadda hear all them educated folks up in detroit tell everbody how dumb we is. then one o those flocks of gooses flew over makin a lot of honking noise so i looked up and God smiled at me sose i grins right back an wuz a thinkin how great it would be if all them thar revenuers and carpet baggers had never known bout my tree and all the diamonds layin on the ground at my feet.

      • Regina January 16, 2014 / 4:36 am

        Beautiful! Love what you said. I didn’t grow up in West Virginia, but I was raised West Virginia style to the best of my mama’s and daddy’s ability. My whole family is from there. I’m proud of that. I’m not ashamed to tell people about my heritage. She is a beautiful state and she’s always felt like home to me. God Bless

  10. Krista January 16, 2014 / 1:32 am

    One of the smartest men John Nash Jr was from Bluefield WV and graduated from Princeton and won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

    • Terry January 16, 2014 / 11:16 am

      Lets not forget Homer Hickam, one of the original “Rocket Boys”, which went on the become a NASA engineer. His work was very influential in our rocket program that took many to the moon.

  11. DaNoob January 16, 2014 / 1:33 am

    Lets not be too sensitive though. A lot of times people are just trying to be funny, I don’t get offended if people make fun of my state or anything else about me.

  12. wes January 16, 2014 / 1:39 am

    You forgot two of the most famous West Virginians that there are: Don Knotts and Chuck Yeager.

    • J. Kimble January 16, 2014 / 3:41 am

      And also Kathy Mathea, Jennifer Garner and Brad Paisley!!!!!!

      • Adri January 16, 2014 / 5:48 am

        And Lady Gaga

  13. Carrie bragg January 16, 2014 / 1:46 am

    Also West Virginia does not suffer hurricanes great earth quakes or other major weather related incidents as much as other areas across the nation. We have kept our beauty and natural woodsy areas while still prospering. Welfare? Well let me say this: look into each state take the population and come up with percentages of each and you will find we are not any different than most states. We also have some of the best white water rafting in the whole United States. I am proud to be from West Virginia and my family are coal miners as far back as I can remember. I myself work in the school system. We are a proud people.

  14. Mary Fugate January 16, 2014 / 1:56 am

    I too am proud to say that WV is my home. For the most part I agree with the other comments about our state, I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else. I, however, will say that in some very rural an undeveloped areas of WV, the jokes about cousins marrying cousins, are sadly true. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to, and hopefully it will someday be unheard of. In spite of that, WV is a wonderful state. Yes, it has problems, and I’d bet there isn’t another state in the nation that doesn’t have most of the same problems, including incest, which is against the law here as well as everywhere else, so don’t look down your noses at us until you clean up your own houses. Our hills and hollows, rivers and streams are unmatched for beauty. The people are wonderful, and you won’t find more willing workers. Our young men and women are sought after for military training and have been for many years because of their prowess with firearms and their desire to do the right thing for God and country. Listen to the news, tomorrow there will be another disaster, somewhere else in the world, and WV will be forgotten again. We don’t mind, but we do mind the negative attitudes from people who don’t know a hill of beans from a hole in the ground about the REAL WV.

    • Tara January 18, 2014 / 6:13 pm

      Most incest anywhere on this planet is criminal, as in rape, battery or abuse. Sorry, but I am from WV and have never known anyone married to their cousin. I’m from Beckley. While traveling through others areas less fortunate I saw lots of poverty but who can tell if they are married to their cousins unless you know them? Were you just assuming this? How do you know the jokes are true? Just wondering…

      • mary fugate January 19, 2014 / 1:56 am

        No Tara, I am not assuming any of the remarks about cousins marrying cousins in this state. And I will add, it most likely occurs elsewhere. Yes, I personally know the cousins I speak of and most of their families. I also have seen the problems that some of their children have had, leukemia, heart disease, kidney disease, severe speech impediments , mental retardation, brain tumors (hereditary), and the problems the parents have in dealing with all of this. Most of them don’t realize that by marrying their close relatives they are risking the health of any child they may have. It just never occurred to them. These are people I love and care about, that’s why I’ll never give names, whether anyone believes this or not, but it is true. While in college, studying family law, a professor who used to be the law judge for my area, addressed this issue. Like everyone else, he found it hard to believe this takes place in these times, but he knew several of the families almost as well as I did, and after a few minutes of going over who was married to whom and who the parents were, he had to concede that in my county, it happens.

  15. Tabitha January 16, 2014 / 2:02 am

    I live in SC but I’m from WV. It is a very beautiful state. When people say things about WV it’s because they are ignorant. A lot of people think WV is still a part of VA or has no idea where it is. My family is still there and it’s nice to go home. I like for my kids to experience all the things WV has to offer. You can’t sleigh ride to well in SC. “Country roads take me home”

  16. rick January 16, 2014 / 2:06 am

    Not to mention all the damn great football players thats left two main campuses…

  17. gladys January 16, 2014 / 2:07 am

    I will be visiting this great place this year. Can barley wait. I love WVa.

  18. Terry Barker January 16, 2014 / 2:14 am

    I am a coal miner from WV and proud of it .Just think about it I am one of the man that keeping your lights on ‘win the last coal miner leaves we will turn your lights off.

    • Beverly January 16, 2014 / 4:14 am

      Thank you sir.

  19. Becky January 16, 2014 / 2:14 am

    Born in WV in 1970 and been here my whole life, except for short stints when I thought I wanted to get out. (I found out I am literally drawn to these hills that the author mentioned.) I agree with just about everything here, EXCEPT…I do, in fact, love the hills. I think they’ve provided a fantastic natural protective barrier against disasters (already mentioned), and I love hiking the terrain to find new springs and flora and fauna after each winter. I sometimes worry that commerce will come and take that away. I LOVE the winters, perhaps not so much when they begin in October and end in April. But I couldn’t live without a season to “hibernate” and slow down a bit. I hate sand, so I’d rather have a river over a beach any day, and I shop online, not in malls. I visit Pittsburgh for my professional sports, and that’s good enough for me. I do recognize, however, that not everyone can love this state; it takes a special kind of person. To try to move here after you’ve grown up somewhere else is probably very hard, almost impossible. It’s really tough to be a true mountaineer for some people; but some of us wouldn’t have it any other way…stereotypes and all.

    • Greg January 16, 2014 / 2:57 am

      Amen to that!

    • GiGi January 16, 2014 / 2:54 pm

      Could not have said it better.

  20. Gina Green January 16, 2014 / 2:27 am

    Okay I have to say that newscaster knows nothing about West Virginia! We moved there in 2006 from Colorado yes it was a big change but it definately is not the way she and others make it out to be! It can bea hard living especially the winters and working the coal mines! It is a beautiful place to live and country through and through! A little over a year ago we moved to the Texas panhandle and people make comments about Texas also, it is beautiful in its own way and jas its quirks also! Personally I truly miss the Colorado an Appalachian mountains but I also love the harvest moons and wide open space in Texas! So before anyone wants to knock WV or any other state for that matter maybe they should live there for awhile before they pass idiotic descriminating judgements! Blessings to all of Wv!

  21. Tommy Hood January 16, 2014 / 2:32 am

    I’m a West Virginian, and fiercely proud of it. Whenever I meet someone and they say ” I love Virginia” I quickly and definitively correct them. It’s one of the most beautiful places ever, and the people couldn’t be more generous and full of life.

    HOWEVER, I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with the depiction of WV in media. Who cares. The West Virginia I grew up in taught me to have a tough enough skin to not care what others think of you. When I hear WV jokes… I Laugh if they’re funny and don’t laugh if they’re not. I don’t whine that it’s offensive and that my feelings are now hurt. Get over yourselves, and grow up.
    Never seen a Dump Truck jumped into a pool either, BUT I’ve seen plenty of dumb redneck stuff done by others and sometimes by myself. To propose that the stories we hear and the the way WV has been portrayed is completely fictional is well… COMPLETELY FICTIONAL.

    Stop complaining and take it all with a grain of salt, heck maybe even laugh. If you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at.

    • Carole January 16, 2014 / 3:32 am

      Love yer comment even though I’m a Pennsylvanian!!!!!

  22. misfit120 January 16, 2014 / 2:41 am

    My other half is from WVA (Beckley) & gets furious everytime someone refers to it as “Virginia”. She always comes back with “West by God Virginia”. I had the opportunity to go there with her a few years back & really did find it a beautiful State. I’m from Rhode Island (both living in CT. now) & found it so different. We were there in summer & the greenery was beautiful. She’s proud to be a coalminers grandaughter. Still has the “twang” even after all these years.

  23. Barbara Behen Colella January 16, 2014 / 2:47 am

    My family is from Cambridge, Ohio, not far from WVa. The Ohio Valley Athlete Conference takes in areas in both states. I was born in Cleveland and have suffered 71 years of horrible jokes about my birthplace and my state. South Eastern Ohio, where Cambridge is located is a very depressed area and has been for years. Nevertheless, Ohio is my home, and I am a Buckeye forever. I sympathize with you Mountaineers! Chin up. The people who make fun of us will never know the feelings we have for our states!

    • Alberta Enoch January 16, 2014 / 3:38 am

      I was born and raised in Beautiful West Virginia,Im sure Ill be here till i die,Love the seasons,every state has the good and the bad,most people here are kind,honest and generous.We know what we are,let them talk,when you come here Welcome to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia,God Bless West Virginia!

  24. Juanita January 16, 2014 / 3:07 am

    Oh, those West Virginia Hills, how majestic and how grand, with their summits bathed in Glory, like our Prince Emanual’s Land. Is it any wonder, then, that my heart with rapture fills, as I stand upon those West Virginia Hills. Oh, those hills, those beautiful hills, how I love those West Virginia Hills. If o’er land or sea I roam, stillI think of happy home, and my friends upon those West Virginia Hills. I don’t know who wrote that song, but I was taught it in elementary school, many, many years ago. I have “roamed o’er land and sea”, traveled in three countries and most of these beautiful 50 states. I was born and raised in WV, but moved away in the 60’s. The rest of my family continue to live there. I still go back for visits, but unfortunately, not as often as I prefer. In all my journeys, never have I seen a place more beautiful nor people more friendly, more intelligent, nor happier than most of West Virginia. Yes, each state has it’s own unique beauty and has something special to offer that other states do not have. Our Creator blessed Earth greatly, by giving us such a variety, in fauna, flora, different races, different personalities, and different everything under the sun. Seldom have I heard anyone make derogatory remarks about West Virginia or Her people, other than TV shows. As somene commented earlier, just be grateful that there are those in other states who are too ignorant to realize that TV shows are intended for commedy and intertainment. Those who believe otherwise, probably think the moon is made of cheese and that there is a planet called Mars, where little green men live. Never, never let those people know that WV is so much like a Garden of Eden or as John Denver sang, “Almost Heaven”. Every state, county, city, town and village in the country produces a “share” of their own people that are totally missing common sense and that haven’t enough gumption to read history and geography books and educate themselves about this marvelous land we live in. “Sheeples”…following those who are terribly misinformed. Continue to keep the really beautiful truth about what West Virginia and Her people are truly like, the best kept secret in the state. Otherwise, you may find all sorts of low life crawling out from under their stones to take up residence there. Heaven forbid!!

  25. Greg Maynard January 16, 2014 / 3:27 am

    Forgot about john denver and jerry west im from wayne county and live n columbia sc now and i miss the mountains everyday wv will always b my home

    • Michelle Worley January 16, 2014 / 1:09 pm

      John Denver wrote “Country Roads” but was not from WV. He was born in Roswell, New Mexico. He only wrote the song after some visits to the state.

  26. Ken Dice January 16, 2014 / 3:28 am

    I’ve been to the big cities and have lived in the Nations Capitol,I have also traveled many miles during my career as a semi-driver and i have seen many very nice places but none that compare with WV my home.I’ve heard all the crazy comments of marrying the cousins and chewing tobacco and drinking shine.I’ve been over every inch of WV and I have yet see any of these things.I strongly suggest that anyone making these comments stop and look at their sorroundings.People like this who make such remarks usually live in cities riddled by crime and unsafe conditions,fight traffic every day,associate every day with people that are so stressed that they don’t have a good word for anyone including their Mom.Why not report on the things that happen like when something major happens like the water situation.That’s when every one lay aside their jobs and do what needs be done,help solve the problem and help those affected.This is just one example of what citizens of WV does when duty calls.You get stranded along side the road someone stops to lend a hand,in the big city it never happens,you shift for yourself.Am I WV proud,you bet I am,I was born here,live here and will probably die here.I’ve personally heard Employers say they;d not hesitate to hire anyone from WV because they know they are good hard working people.So let these crazy remarks pass,it’s the truth that really matters and some have never been here yet they slam and make nasty remarks about the State and it;s people unwisely.

  27. amyfulmer@yahoo.com January 16, 2014 / 3:35 am

    You can’t forget WV’s sweetheart, Jennifer Garner! I miss my WV hills! WV will always have my heart-I’m a very proud West Virginian!

  28. Sam January 16, 2014 / 3:37 am

    Don’t forget about Brad Paisley is from Glen Dale, WV.

  29. Russetta Wright January 16, 2014 / 3:38 am

    I am from WV and I moved to VA. I miss home so much. All states have good and bad people . WV people have such big hearts full of love. Love you WV

  30. Mrs. Dee January 16, 2014 / 3:39 am

    Don’t forget TD Jakes is from Charleston wv! One of the biggest mega churches in America. Also Randy Moss who is a big nfl football player!

  31. Lisa January 16, 2014 / 4:03 am

    I live in wv,have tons of family in wv, grew up here partially as a child/teen and I do know numerous people that have inbred. Brother/sister(not mine) first cousins etc. not really that uncommon. Especially in the really small towns. It certainly isn’t most people though.

    • Jennifer January 16, 2014 / 1:40 pm

      For real? I grew up in a super small town and lived in other and I don’t know a single inbred person. You are just adding to the ignorance.

  32. Mack January 16, 2014 / 5:03 am

    I left West Virginia when I was 18(1966) not by choice but because Uncle Sam said it was time for me to serve my country. Well I served 20 years (USAF) when I retired it took another 20 years before I could get back home to West Virginia. Been all over the world, no place like the hills of West Virginia.
    Those who have something negative to say about WV stay away we don’t want you here in our state.

  33. Kat January 16, 2014 / 5:05 am

    WV is the first state to have internet access in every classroom.

  34. Christina January 16, 2014 / 5:23 am

    Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride and Jennifer Garner are all from West Virginia

    • Fred January 16, 2014 / 12:27 pm

      And Charles Manson! And your point?

  35. Kimberly January 16, 2014 / 5:29 am

    Okay, I see a lot of debate whether we should be sensitive to verbal insults about our beautiful state. West Virginia is a beautiful, peaceful, and loving place and anyone who has had the pleasure of being born here, or being raised here, or even moving here later in life should consider themselves blessed. Viewing the wonderful beauty that lies within our valleys and mountains is an amazing experience and it strengthens one’s faith in God. Because only God could create something so miraculous. If citizens from other states choose to ridicule us for being born here an judge us for being “country”, then let them! They can say what they want about West Virginians and we can sit back and laugh at them because unlike them, we have beauty and love in our hearts that was planted and grown in the West Virginia mountains! Because they think West Virginia is this horrible place where you could get eaten by your own kind for breaking down on a country back-road or where you will see people with missing teeth making out with their own ‘kin’, they will never come here. Which means they will never see true beauty and they will never experience the wonders that God has given us in these lush beautiful mountains! So, let them think what they want. As long as they stay out of West Virginia, we’re better off! If they do decide to come here, I guarantee they will be singing a different tune when they leave. I’m guessing it will resemble a lil tune we all know and love to sing, John Denver’s very own Country Roads. So smile and laugh at their ignorance all the while knowing you get to see God’s work first hand and they will forever miss out on that kind of beauty. May God Bless all of you!

    • Wilda January 16, 2014 / 4:29 pm

      Very well said Kimberly. I was born, raised by a coal miner, preacher. Left to make my fortune as most did during my working years. Today that is not the case. Many more young people choose to stay in West Virginia now.

      I spend 6 weeks in a camp there twice a year and I am very very stingy with my West Virginia time. All my plans are arranged around those times I can bask in the beauty of those hills I love so much.

  36. Adriana S January 16, 2014 / 5:46 am

    Brad Paisley was born and raised in Glen Dale, WV. Actually his parents still live there. My Aunt was his kindergarten teacher 😁. This is a great place to live. It really is beautiful all year around although very cold in the wonder 😊

  37. Angie January 16, 2014 / 6:23 am

    I have been saying the same thing for years. It’s really sickening to hear some of the comments people make when they find out your from West Virginia. Everything that was said I agree. It’s ridiculous. The stereotype of West Virginia is plain ignorance. So what’s that day about where you grew up? The incest thing makes me so mad. I live in the city of Toledo now and I have seen and heard more incest and molestations here then I ever did back home. The things people say to you when they hear your from West Virginia shows how ignorant they really are and speaks for itself about where they were raised.

  38. Frank Pratt January 16, 2014 / 7:48 am

    I’m from Kingwood,mom was from Grafton,dad from Newburg. I’ve been living in SW Florida since 1983,yet WV is home. I wouldn’t live there again because of the cold & my arthritis & sinus problems,but I do visit there.Beautiful hills,valleys,mountains,laid back all around good people that treat you like family. It is,as they say, Almost Heaven.

  39. skootr January 16, 2014 / 8:12 am

    What u mean snow is relentless?? Lol im from southern WV near hatfield mccoy trails not to awful far from Charleston n iv seen it snow really bad one time I remeber school closing over an inch or 2 of snow

  40. Lauren Garretson January 16, 2014 / 8:27 am

    Uhm, this was a terrible way to try and defend and critique West Virginia. I wanted to read this and feel good that people were speaking out against all of the resurgence of negative stereotyping, etc. since the chemical spill that’s really screwed things up for the state, but alas, that didn’t happen. There are so many things wrong with this post. First off, everyone knows that West Virginia is like the bullied state of the United States. Everyone has something to say about WV, and it’s super annoying. But to try and retaliate against that by insinuating Detroit has an incest problem is stupid and immature, especially when Detroit has so many complicated issues that you clearly know nothing about (the same thing, however, can be said for people from outside Appalachia putting their two cents into Appalachia’s complicated stuff–no thanks, go away). Secondly, uh, jerk much? So the way to defend West Virginia is by being elitist and fat phobic by drawing a clear line between you and “those poor people who give everyone a bad rep”? You had a platform to really talk about what’s complicated and less than ideal living in West Virginia, and you simplified things down to “the weather sucks” and “the people are fat.” That’s not what’s complicated about West Virginia. What about the ways in which poverty correlates with health issues, which correlates directly with coal-mining areas, hydraulic fracturing and other areas of exploitation that no one seems to care about? What about the state’s history with exploitation and poverty? What about tradition, religion and the complications of racism, homophobia and transphobia in rural areas? About class and race and intersectionality? If you’re really going to address the complications of WV, you might as well be thorough, and not elitist doing it. Great, your parents have jobs, you’ve never been on welfare, you went to college and have all your teeth. So does that make you more acceptable, more entitled to better treatment than someone who doesn’t have access to the same resources that you’re privileged middle class ass was clearly bestowed with? No, it doesn’t. The thing about defending West Virginia with saying things like “Well i’m not that way” is that you’re making people invisible in this article and choosing to do the same thing that people from out of state and region are doing–relying on stereotypes of people they know nothing about in order to simplify and categorize complicated issues without putting any thought into it. That’s pretty shameful. Also the fact that you qualified yourself as different because you have a black friend? In case you didn’t know, that’s like the oldest, biggest example in the book that pretty much qualifies you as a racist in other ways. You probably quote the Boondocks to your white friends and dress in blackface for Halloween too, don’t you? As far as I’m concerned, you don’t represent my West Virginia, either. You represent something racist, elitist and lacking in understanding. Educate yourself on your state before publicly defending it in ALL THE WRONG WAYS. P.S…Nick Null who was on the SEAL team that killed Osama Bin Laden is not a celebrity. I don’t know why that made your list…you could have just went with Jennifer Garner. This sure as hell isn’t my West Virginia.

  41. Annette January 16, 2014 / 9:17 am

    I was born and raised in WV and so was my Husband, no we’re not related. We were forced to leave during the recession in the 80’s. I’ve been gone from there half of my life and will never consider any place else home. I can’t bare it if I don’t go home at least twice a year. I grew up in a fairly big town as far WV standards go but if someone in your family passes a huge amount of folks show up out of respect and for support. When your sick half the town is praying for you. All our family is still there and i am sad about the things I’ve missed over the years, seasons, snow and the growing of our families. I do have to admit that iv’e seen plenty of snuff rubbing, shine drinkin, and tobacco chewing. All in all though its a beautiful place to be. The folks there are proud,fun loving, hard working and loyal to there families, friends and state. The state is a nature lovers paradise, hunt, fish, ski, hike, white water rafting, and don’t forget bridge day. People come from all over the country to share the thrill and belonging to something greater than themselves. The culture is rich and diverse in beliefs, music, language dialects and traditions. I’m a hillbilly, the wife, sister, and daughter of coal miners and proud to say so no matter where I go.

  42. Karalee Browning-Bryant January 16, 2014 / 11:06 am

    I love West Virginia. Words can’t describe her beauty. I have lived all my life in this little town…It’s not famous, it’s a little community where people stop by for coffee or in time of need we check on each other. Generations of men in our family are coalminers. I am proud of each of them. I do, get sick of hearing people, movies, and articles putting our great state down.I find it so odd… people not knowing West Virginia is a state of it’s own. Bad reflection on their schooling and knowledge of history and geography.I thought everyone was taught the Capitals of each state.I have a suggestion you the people who laugh, make nasty jokes and put West Virginians down… stay where you are, please don’t come and visit these beautiful mountains created by God. Let us enjoy the blessings of this beautiful state…and the family and friends we cherish so dearly. God bless West Virginia and shall we never forget to thank Him for our state.

  43. Rhonda Swartz January 16, 2014 / 11:19 am

    If anyone who has never seen, visited or experienced WV …adds their own beliefs of what they portray WV to be….’THEY TRULY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT-SO-EVER! If they would actually visit WV….just as our logo states ‘ALMOST HEAVEN’ …they’d defile their own homes of other states…We are a ‘STRONG’ people…mess with one..mess with all. Truth is; if WV came to war with any other state…we’d be the LAST ONE STANDING..because it is WHO we are and I guarantee the opponents who thrive on what THEY THINK THEY KNOW…would definitely end up moving here..if they just had a small glimpse of what WV really is…some of the ‘MOST’ beautiful people are from here.One thing is for sure; NOTHING could ever, ever ‘COMPARE’ to the ‘HEART’ of WV or the ‘HEARTS’ of our people!! Put that in your ball and bounce it!! 🙂

  44. Fred January 16, 2014 / 12:12 pm

    I’ve lived in Beckley for over 30 years and have a less sugar coated view of this paradise. To start off, it really used to be a nice place to live. I enjoyed living here and always felt safe and looked forward to getting back from my travels. That was then, towards the end of the 90’s the cracks in the foundation began to show. I blew it off as a slump or bump in the road. A lot of folks did and we have lived to see a truly vicious and ugly face to this state. But there is an upside, we are number one at a few things. Pill Zombies! Home invasions! Armed robberies everyday! Suicides! Obese Narcotic users! And yes we beat Detroit in arson! We just were declared number one in overdose from prescription drugs! Beating out Florida and California! Yay! Our people are starving and without hope and the few decent jobs that are left get handed to friends of your daddies uncle and the rest collect checks from ssi and lawsuits when possible. And anyone that tells you otherwise is a liar, crazy or both. Those good times simply don’t exist anymore and I’m sick of the lying by these delusional hicks about their little utopia. I’m ashamed to even mention I was even born here. But this is the truth and nothing is going to change it. We are now just south of hell.Did I mention we have trees and rivers that can’t be enjoyed because the risks are too great of being robbed or killed. Robbery, murder, and corruption are our ways now. And to the youth, get out of this sinking ship and run like hell! Get a trade or other education and run! It’s too late for many of us so I am pleading with you to run. And to the innocent rabble of victims left to die here I am truly sorry.And to the privileged and predacious bastards that have contributed to this wholesale destruction of these good people. I can only hope there is an actual hell awaiting you and your kind. For the liars, enjoy your prescription flavored Cool Aid.

  45. Renee Weber January 16, 2014 / 12:18 pm

    As we all appreciate your kind words, you forgot to mention a movie called “We Are Marshall” and many of us can drive just a few minutes to go to The Huntington Mall. Also, Jennifer Garner and Steve Harvey are both from WV too. Once again, thank you for your support. 🙂

  46. greg January 16, 2014 / 12:23 pm

    It’s kind of funny, some out-of-staters don’t even know were a state and they call us uneducated.

  47. Bob January 16, 2014 / 1:02 pm

    Mindi,
    Where did you go to school or did you??

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