Thank you for reading our first issue of Mountain Peeks. This new magazine is about the various people, places, and things that make far Southwest Virginia interesting and one of the best places to live anywhere. We will “peek” into our region’s history, issues, plans, projects, promises, and future from a different perspective than most publications. We hope you like it.
Heath Miller, member of two Super Bowl winning teams and tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is afraid of heights. “He has always been afraid of heights,” said his mother, Denise Miller, of Swords Creek, Virginia.
As travelers pass by the small town of St. Paul, Virginia, on Alternate Route 58, they may notice a fairly large blue and white sign announcing “Hiking/Biking.” I drove by this sign at least a hundred times before I bothered to stop, assuming that the wayside was a small town park with a playground and paved walking path. Imagine my surprise when I was finally introduced to eight miles of maintained trails and frequent information stations threaded through a hundred acres of woodlands and meadows.
A neighbor predicted the future of former Congressman of the Ninth District, William Creed Wampler, Sr., when he was just a wee lad in knickers. The year was 1931, and five-year-old “Billy” Wampler was visiting his grandparents in Big Stone Gap, VA, when he decided to cut the neighbor’s weeds with his little pen knife.
After World War II, some forward-thinking residents began to question the wisdom of denying talented young men and women the opportunity of going to college. Many high school graduates could not afford to “go away” to college; others who did go away frequently did not return home. In either case, the loss of talent or “brain drain” worried these community-minded residents.
If you were born and raised in far Southwest Virginia, you are very familiar with numerous people who claim that their grandmother or great-grandmother was a “full-blooded Cherokee.” I cannot speak about this rural legend in the rest of Central Appalachia, but I suspect the fable of this prolific woman is widespread.
For the past fifty years or so, the American rancher took pride in breeding the largest cattle that could stand up on their own four legs. Super breeds emerged, some so big that many times cows died giving birth, and super-sized calves had to be strapped upright until their legs could develop enough strength to provide support for extra heavy bodies.
Judge Finds That Major Tobacco Companies Lied to and Defrauded Consumers and Marketed Directly to Ch
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler issued a final opinion in the U.S. government’s landmark lawsuit against the major tobacco companies that found the companies have violated civil racketeering laws and defrauded the American people by lying for decades about the health risks of smoking and their marketing to children.
If you have ever wondered if youth, smoking, illegal drug use, and littering have anything in common, wonder no more. The following findings should cause even the most radical smokers’ rights fanatic to shiver:
Far be it from us men to kick another male when he is down for the count, but South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford needs a collective boot from his brothers. Not only did he break the code of silence about secret relationships, but he actually bragged about it and wrote sappy e-mails to his soul mate. Okay, that was a heat of passion mistake, but he has now gone too far: he has ruined hiking for every man in America.