27 April 2005

West Virginia

I received this email from a friend and want to share it:

This is the best email (or story for that matter) that I have ever heard
about WV!!! I'm loving it!!


Because of our mountains, we have rivers. The oldest river in the
Western Hemisphere, the New River (quite appropriately named, don't
you think) ends in West Virginia. We have the Gauley River, which
confluence's with the New River in a magnificent cascade to form the
Kanawha River, which in turn flows through the center of the state,
and directly through the capital city of Charleston, the largest city
in West Virginia.
These rivers in addition to the Cheat, Blackwater, Tygart,
Monongahela, Ohio and countless others offer tremendous recreational
opportunities.

The tallest building in Charleston is barely 25 floors tall! , which, if
you think about it, is a plus; how could you possibly build a
skyscraper more beautiful than a mountain?

The capital city stretches throughout the long river valley
encompassing both hill and dale.

The Charleston airport, the largest in the state, sits on top of a
mountain. The crime rate in Charleston, including the entire
population of the Kanawha Valley (around 200,000), reflects that of
the entire state, the lowest in America. No more than a handful of
murders are committed each year.

Charleston has no subway systems, but, truth be known, you can get
from one end of town to the other, even in rush hour traffic, in less
than ten minutes.

There are three major interstate systems going through Charleston, the
smallest city in America to make such a claim.

The entire state has six! different interstate systems, meaning, from
Charleston, you can reach Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh,
Louisville or Charlotte in four hours or less....

Ah, but once you leave the interstates, the drive becomes a thing of
wonder. Two lane roads, winding up and down the mountains, offer
amazing views and historic places, small towns, poor in wealth but
rich in history.

West Virginia is the birthplace of Mother's Day, in Grafton; and
Father's Day, in Fairmont.

We have the oldest covered bridge still in use. We have walnut
festivals. strawberry festivals, apple festivals and pumpkin festivals
and buckwheat festivals , and arts and crafts fairs and stern wheel
regattas and ramp dinners.

We have Bridge Day, on the New River Gorge bridge over 800 feet above
the New River; the only standing structure in the United States that,
one day a year, allows parachuting and ! bungee jumping.

We have college basketball, and minor league baseball and hockey, and,
just like all of America, Friday night high school football.

We have white water rafting, and skiing, and hiking, and caves, and
waterfalls, and camping in every direction. We have Sundays where a
leisurely drive in the car can take eight hours, and only cover 100
miles.

We have bed and breakfasts, and resorts, and golf courses, and
museums, and the Greenbrier Hotel. West Virginia has more natural
beauty and wonder than any person could ever imagine.

We have all of this, and yet .... our greatest asset is our people.
West Virginians are good people. We care about each other. We talk to
our neighbors over the backyard fence.

We grow tomatoes for the entire neighborhood.

We turn around in each other's drivew! ays, and yell "howdy" when we
do.

We sit o n the porch on warm summer evenings, listening to crickets,
and watching kids catch fireflies.

We loan a hammer, or a cup of sugar. We don't take two-hour lunches,
but we do spend a few minutes each day with a cup of coffee, and our
feet up on our desk, shooting the breeze.

We rarely get in a hurry. We have relatives just down the street. We
don't just loan someone a socket wrench, we help them fix their car.
We share recipes, and gardening tips, and our last cup of coffee. We
baby sit each other's kids, we house sit each other's dogs while we're
on vacation, and we loan each other our cars if we have to get to the
drugstore.

We ask each other if we need anything as we're going to the market.

We celebrate each others accomplishments, and we cry over each ! other's
disappointments.

We are a friendly folk. We are West Virginians.

Mountaineers are always free.! Free to take the time to enjoy life,
and hold each moment in our hearts, forever.

If you are proud to be a West Virginian, then pass this on. If you are
ashamed to be a native West Virginian, then shame on you..

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