...Or you'll step in the glue!
That line was uttered by Alan Hale Jr, or the "Skipper" on one of my favorite TV shows growing up, "Gilligan's Island" and of course he was talking to Gilligan, AKA Bob Denver, who I didn't know lived a few miles from me in Princeton, WV until I literally bumped into him at Wal Mart right before Christmas.
I was carrying a few things and rounded an aisle and bumped into a guy about my height, about sixty or so, with snow-white hair. I apologized and went on my way and I thought "hey, that guy looked like Gilligan!" But I thought it was just my overactive imagination, because I'm always comparing people I see to celebrities or people in the news.
"Hey, that kid looks like Pugsley!"
Until the next day at work I was talking to a guy I work with and said I had run into a guy that looked like Gilligan and he told me it probably was Gilligan.
Well, no shit. I then learned he and his wife owned a local radio station right here in Princeton, WGAG 93.1 FM
It's a pretty cool station as I've already said in an early post. Go here:
After this I started doing some research to find out what other famous people are from West Virginia because I'm always fascinated to find I'm walking in the same places famous folk have traveled. Sylvester Stallone went to my highschool, for instance.
I had already knew one of my boyhood heroes was from West Virginia, Gen. Chuck Yeager, the first person to break the sound barrier in flight. (Yes, I came from a time when my heroes were pilots, astronauts and the only movie star I looked up to was John Wayne... Unlike today when kids look up to Thug Gangsta' Rappers and freaks like Manson and Michael Jackson. Sad, really.)
So I did some digging and found these famous people were from West Virginia also.
Don Knotts Not only was he the lovable goof Barney Fife on the "Andy Griffith show", he was in several Disney movies like the "Apple Dumpling Gang", and my all time favorite, "The Incredible Mr. Limpet". He also hailed from Morgantown.
Kathy Mattea This country music diva hails from Cross Lanes
Mary Lou Retton The gymnast and hero of the 1980 summer Olympics comes from Fairmont.
Pearl S. Buck Who won the The Nobel Prize in Literature 1938 was from Hillsboro.
George Brett A legend in baseball who played for years with the Kansas City Royals comes from Glendale.
Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson Was a Confederate General who hailed from Clarksburg.
Daniel Boone, John Henry and many more are also included in this list, so it seems I'm walking in some pretty cool footsteps here in my adopted home of West Virginia and it makes me even more proud to say "I live in West Virginia!"
Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden