08 Apr 2007

Almost Heaven, West Virginia


Rightwing Prof guest-authoring at Maggie’s Farm has a tribute to West Virginia including discussion of the structure of Appalachian clans, ancestors (he had a really sound great grandmother),

I remember my grandfather saying that the one time she had to be hospitalized, he had to arrange the insurance behind her back because she believed insurance was government aid and she didn’t believe in it. She threw away every Social Security check she got in the mail, which even my very conservative, very Republican grandfather though was crazy.

his youth, and snake-handling preachers.


I grew up in the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and for more than a decade my wife and I have had a second home in Central Pennsylvania, another hot bed of Scots Irish culture. The locals hurry out to restaurants on September 29th to eat goose. The Michaelmas goose tradition survives there. Just about any statement is commonly appended with a secondary affirmative phrase, “so it is.”

These days, we’re living atop the Blue Ridge, which is so narrow that the combined county and state line meanders in a serpentine line along the ridge top, defined simply by the vagaries of the watershed line. Our house is in Loudoun County, Virginia, but our back yard (and pool) is in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

So exploring West Virginia, which I’ve otherwise only seen briefly in the vicinity of Wheeling on Interstate 70, is definitely on our personal agenda. There must be brook trout in those mountains somewhere. Rightwing Prof’s native soil seems to be just about as far west in West Virginia as you can get.

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Yes, just south of Huntington and right across the state line from Kentucky, where I also have plenty of kin.

bird dog

Brookies in WVA? I kinda doubt it, unless hatchery fish. But I’ve never fished trout south of CT and NY.

RW Prof was very kind to send that piece to us.


Why, there are native brook trout in the mountains all the way down to the North end of Georgia. They’ve got them in some of the streams running into the Shenandoah right here in Virginia.


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