Real winter recently and rudely reintroduced itself in our parts, this after many mild seasons.
When the world shuts down, white and beautiful, worry of fender-benders and power outages can loom. It’s easy to get down and question your place and purpose.
Then out of the icy blue comes a couple of images, ringing warmth, appreciation, and to me, nostalgia.
The Burdette home seemed to me to be the center of our little town, where Kanawha Terrace, the main interior thoroughfare, met with the path of people from “up college hill” or from “out the river,” i.e., “out Pennsylvania,” from where I hailed.
Their covered front porch – across the entire structure – could often be seen crowded with laughing, chatting friends of the Burdette boys.
At a time when our destination may have been the basketball courts at Highlawn, maybe tennis at the high school or Ordinance Park, June’s, i.e., The Ventura, the Drive-In Theatre, a baseball game on “the hill” or at Watt Powell Park, or a little later, to play guitar with Loren or Snake, hit C.J.’s, or Drummy’s, or to just cruise the streets with the radio playing. New freedoms, new horizons.
And eventually for many, new cities and states.
John “Doc” Burdette bleeds blue and gold, like most of the WVU fans in our state, and they take that Mountaineer pride with them if they leave.
For my novel “The Lost Lantern,” which has a little homespun “Fort Coal” (wink) flavor weaved in with Myrtle Beach vibes, to land on a shelf with Coach Don Nehlen’s “West Virginia Sideline” book in Doc’s study in Southport, North Carolina – where the Cape Fear River meets the Atlantic Ocean – along with some of his other Mountaineer memorabilia, is truly an honor.
And also with that pic of the Burdette boys: Johnie was before my time, but I played a lot of Red Dragons hoops with baby brother Joe, covered many football games coached by state title winner Robert “Little,” and talked a lot of sports with Doc.
I laughed with all.
It is memories like those that keep me, as we “Shelton College Review” boys say, slingin’ ink.
If you want to give one of my novels a spin, check’em out at:
As always, thanks for reading.