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Charley West

Charley West

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Published by Nancy Williams
This chapter is about my hometown of Charleston, WV.
This chapter is about my hometown of Charleston, WV.

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Published by: Nancy Williams on Sep 23, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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 Charley West
I¶m proud to say that Charleston, West Virginia is myhometown. Just like in the ³Goldilocks and the Three Bears´ story,it wasn¶t too small, not too big, but ³Just Right.´ Charleston isreferred to as ³Charley West,´ by pilots, air traffic controllers andnavigators. It is also the name of Pat Shell¶s long-standingnewspaper cartoon character, on the front page of the CharlestonDaily Mail. This popular caricature has been offering his wittycommentary, on local events, since 1958.We had many relatives scattered all across the state, so our home was somewhat of a boarding house. Charleston was a big
city to our relatives, since they lived in much smaller towns or rural communities. It was the hub of retail shopping, and manyrelatives came to Charleston, specifically to shop for Christmasgifts and school clothes. Others came to visit the capital city andall of its attractions. Some came to join us for the big 4
of Julyfireworks display. When necessary, many of them stayed with us,while their loved ones were in local hospitals.We always took our visitors to see the beautiful capitolgrounds and building, designed by architect Cass Gilbert.Everyone marveled at the marble rotunda with the spectacular,enormous glass chandelier. The museum in the basement of thecapital building wasn¶t very impressive, but I was always intriguedwith the Flea Circus display. Just recently, a brand new, incrediblestate museum was opened in the basement of the Cultural Center.Many times we took our visitors up to Kanawha Airport, to watchthe big planes come in and take off. We usually stood on theviewing ramp, outside of the airport, or watched from the tallwindows inside. I always loved watching the lights light up on the
runways, as planes arrived and departed.Sometimes we took a picnic to the scenic Hawk¶s Nest StatePark, which was only a forty-minute drive from Charleston. Wewalked out to the popular overlook area, made of huge slabs of flagstone and log rails. It offered a spectacular, panoramic view of the New River Gorge. Dad fed the tall, silver viewing scopes aquarter, then held us up, so we could look through them. Wewatched the long coal trains, on the other side of the river, whichseemed to stretch for miles. They crept at such a slow pace,meandering around the horseshoe-shaped track.

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This is all about growing up as a Baby Boomer in Charleston, West Virginia.

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