Before You Make that Next West Virginia Joke, Consider These Facts

    Coal miner and his wife. Courtesy: New York Public Library
    Coal miner and his wife.
    Courtesy: New York Public Library

    In modern-day America, there are few things that are as socially unacceptable and career-ending as making fun of someone based on their race or place of origin… that is unless of course your target happens to be from West Virginia, in which case, the very ones who seem most offended by similar jokes directed at other peoples are often the ringleaders in asking if someone has all their teeth or has sexual relations with their sister. Funny thing, that hypocrisy stuff.

    I know this to be a fact because I am from West Virginia and I experience this reality on a near-daily basis.

    “Okay, I just need you to write your place of birth right here,” said the woman hiring me for a job. Five seconds later: “Ha, you’re from West Virginia… you got all your teeth?”

    Stopping for gas in a destitute southern city: Guy climbs out of a car that is literally bungee corded together and says to me, “I’m surprised they let you backwards hicks out…” as he points to the West Virginia license plate on my vehicle worth ten-times the amount of his (I say this not being prideful, but simply to point out the absurdity of the situation).

    Or my personal favorite: a Georgia shopkeeper asked to see my drivers license and then proceeded to rehearse the same old worn out West Virginia jokes I’ve heard my entire life — and so has every other West Virginian — “What do you call a full set of teeth… why are one of your legs longer than the other… why do birds fly upside down over West Virginia…” and of course a few cousin comments.  After his limited intellect finally reached the point where he was able to realize I was growing irritated, he attempted to rebound by saying something to the effect of, “Oh buddy, I’m just kidding with you.  I’ve got family who live in Richmond, so I love West Virginia.”

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the most fun-loving individuals you will ever meet and I’m always up for a good laugh; however, I just don’t think that making jokes about someone raping their sister is all that funny, or for that matter reflects well upon the intelligence level of the individual making said “joke.”

    With all of this said, the next time you may be inclined to tell a West Virginia joke to some new fella you just met, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself first:

    1. Is there a chance they’ve already heard this worn out joke a thousand times already?

    Keep in mind that though this may be the first West Virginian you’ve seen in a while (since you probably don’t get out much) the West Virginian you have encountered obviously does get out, seeing that they’ve traveled to wherever you are, and whatever joke it is that you are about to tell, chances are they’ve heard it a dozen times before you and you’re probably not nearly as talented at telling it as the last person!

    With this said, never forget, first impressions last a lifetime and you’re about to absolutely ruin your first impression.

    2. Am I being a hypocrite?

    If you’d never in a million years be willing to crack a Mexican joke or a Chinese joke or an African joke to someone you just met from one of those places, mocking their accent or how poor their homeplace is, why in the world is it suddenly okay for you to do so to someone who happens to hail from West Virginia?

    3. Am I even familiar with West Virginia?

    Born in the midst of the American Civil War, partly out of a desire to oppose the commonly accepted notion that it was perfectly alright for one human to own another, the State of West Virginia boasts a proud history that embodies so much of what is great about America.

    Is it your policy to make fun of people who happen to be from the state that had more deaths per capita than any other state in the Union during the Vietnam War?

    Is it your policy to make fun of people who happen to be from the same place as legendary folks such as Don Knotts, Homer Hickam, Chuck Yeager, Brad Paisley, Jessica Lynch, Jerry West,  T.D. Jakes, John F. Nash, and John Henry?

    Is it your policy to make fun of people who happen to be from the state that literally offered up the timber and energy that built much of the nation during the late 1800s and early 1900s?

    Each time our nation’s citizens have been summoned to give testimony of their national loyalty, West Virginia parents have offered their children as a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom for a country of which half the population seems to have trouble even remembering the state exists and the other half begins a litany of worn out jokes at the very mention of this place.

    The people of West Virginia have watched as Washington politicians destroyed everything they had worked to create for over a century and a half, yet still have the decency and love for country to line their bumpy streets with coal dust saturated American flags and teach their children to sing ‘God Bless America.’

    I hope, for your sake, you heed my unsolicited advice the next time you meet someone from West Virginia and rather than telling some offensive joke about a full set of teeth, instead compliment them for being from such a wild and wonderful place.  If you do this, you will leave them stunned (because they’re already bracing themselves for the typical blah blah blah).

    After they get over being stunned that you actually had something nice to say about their home state, you will have found a loyal friend for life – and that my friend, is priceless.

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    1. Personally I don’t care what others opinions of us are too much. I kinda like the fact they think we are backwoods and they want to stay away from us so we can keep our backwoods and not turn them into housing developments. Terrorists won’t think we are worth messing with. I DO NOT care for the inbreed jokes though. We know we are just as good as everyone else and that’s all that matters. Actually most from here are more friendlier, hospitable and loving than a lot of other places. I’ve been shocked when I first traveled out of WV to discover how rude a lot of people were. Have a great day, YALL! 🙂

      • l read your piece and l understand what you are saying. when l run into these kind of people l tell them what my daddy told me, there are two kinds of people in this world hillbillies and sob`s which are you, lol by the way which are you.My mothers family is from in and around McDowell county WV,my fathers side around Buchannan co. VA. l was born in Richlands, partly raised in that part of the mountains Va. and Wv.l have done a little geneology study and you might be surprised on what you might find. lol

      • Very well said Angie., thank u. I’m proud to be from West Virginia and a Mountaineer! I’m even proud to be a Hilljimbilly ? if Ya will.

      • Are you kidding me? Went to college in Athens, OH. There’s no way terrorists could ever climb the beautiful hills of WV to get you guys. They’d get lost a start crying. 🙂

      • Terrorists? I have heard quite a few people from WV talking about people who are from other areas – like Muslims and the violence the WV citizens want to impose on them – even African Americans and other races, different religions and cultures that might move to or live in the state. This is what the article is about. How it is socially unacceptable to make comments and jokes about others as a group. There are many good, decent educated folks here too that may take offense to that and do. Diversity brings businesses, jobs, new concepts, education, etc. WV does not have to stay a poor state. Get educated, grow and get out into the world. This is 2017.

    2. I love West Virginia!! I live in Virginia and travel through WV often. I consider it one of the most beautiful areas in the United States!!! Proud to say I have a brother that lives in your beautiful state!!

    3. I proudly tell anyone, anywhere that I grew up in WV. It is a good solid heritage. I have 36 cousins, none of whom married each other, but we all loved one another. The family reunion is a full time industry in WV. So many of us left for lack of opportunity, but we long for our mountain home. I do understand the premise of this article, but at the same time I never want to be like the perpetually offended people without a grain of humor in their tired little souls. So I will just offer to go cemetery visiting with my glib mouthed friends so they can see there are more than five family names. Yes I have done that.

    4. I proudly tell anyone, anywhere that I grew up in WV. It is a good solid heritage. I have 36 cousins, none of whom married each other, but we all loved one another. The family reunion is a full time industry in WV. So many of us left for lack of opportunity, but we long for our mountain home. I do understand the premise of this article, but at the same time I never want to be like the perpetually offended people without a grain of humor in their tired little souls. So I will just offer to go cemetery visiting with my glib mouthed friends so they can see there are more than five family names. Yes,I have done that.

    5. Thank you for this insightful piece. While I don’t care much about others opinions of WV, I do get very tired of the DISCRIMINATORY ways that we native WV’ians are mis-treated. Yes.. I HAVE a flush bathroom, real floors, ALL of my teeth and a college education!

    6. My Goodness! I could have done without the stereotypical pity-party, victim speech, before you got to yer facts!! Whew! They must be paying you by the word. Get over it, and please don’t embarrass fellow West Virginians again with a mournful diatribe. Just get to the facts and the contributions of West Virginians. Don’t pull the rest of us into your weepy, self-pitty.

    7. I love it when people that talk about West Virginia say, oh I loved going to that beach when I was there!!!! Tells me a lot. I laugh really loud and walk away. What was their degree in. Or when New Yorkers say why don’t southerners go to school so they won’t have that accent??? Their words that’s suppose to end in a they pronounce like it ends in er or it ends in er and pronounced like it ends in an a. So amusing.

    8. I get those jokes occasionally, but I remember being in a high end mall in Boston and the clerk in the Coach store asked where I lived. I told her and she went on and on about how she wants to visit and how she’s seen beautiful pictures, etc. I was at an upscale restaurant in DC with some co-workers who lived there. A musician there performed Country Roads and asked if anyone was from there and my co-workers had to let him know about me. A lot of the patrons clapped and smiled and warmly acknowledged me.

      So, I have had a lot of conflicting experiences. I do know that as soon as I cross the border, regardless of where I am in the state, I feel like I am home and am completely at ease.

    9. I probably should be offended but I realize they are just ignorant and whatever place they live doesnt give them the joy and satisfaction West Virginia does. I’ve been stuck in Philly for a few years and I always see billboards telling you that you need to get away and visit some place better. Dont ever recall seeing those billboards in WV.

    10. Yeah, those old worn out jokes are really thread bare. My family moved to Richmond as a young 15 yr. old from Logan Co., which was at that time in 1959, a very nice town & sure we had our haves & have nots, but so did Richmond, the esteemed former capital of the Confederacy. I was teased unmercifully about my home state by teenagers who had probably never been to WV & whose families were less prosperous than mine (like the person in your article with the “rattle trap”car who made fun of your state) – not meant by me, either, to be prideful or snobby. This would be considered bullying today, but then, no teachers or those in authority helped me. Many times it was witnessed by teachers. When I graduated into the working world, I still found myself victim to those same old worn out jokes, but I realized that most of the time those jokes were made by people who might have been considered “have nots” in my home state- again, not to be prideful or snobby.

    11. If you are from WV, as I am, you better have a sense of humor. I love WV jokes and am not offended by them in the least. I am a proud Redneck West Virginian. There are way more critical things to get offended by.

    12. I too am a proud West Virginian who could really care less what the rest of the world thinks about us.. I know God created W.Va.specially because of the wonderful creations you see in our wonderful state, and because from my way of looking at it, the greatest people in the world either live in our state or are from W.Va.. That’s why John Denver sang. ” Almost heaven West Virginia.”

    13. Well, I have lived in SC, GA and FL, I have some terribly bad news for them….They are a lot more backwards than we ever thought about being.

    14. I was born and raised in West Virginia. When a person starts telling a WVa joke I stop them and tell my own. Realizing that I am neither offended or upset they stop. At that point I ask where they are from and start telling inappropriate jokes about their place of origin.

    15. I am a native West Virginian but have lived outside the state since 1972. First in Florida, then in Illinois and now in North Carolina. I have never experienced what the writer is writing about except tongue in cheek. It have lived among big city folks and small town people. NEVER have I been insulted about being from West Virginia. Usually people say “that’s a pretty place.” I once had a person confuse Virginia and West Virginia

    16. I Was Not Born Or Raised In West Virginia, I Live In Eastern Ohio, But To Me West Virginia People Are The Best People On Earth!! Love The State And Love Her People !!!!

    17. I spent four wonderful tears going to a great Jesuit college in Wheeling. Travelled the whole state to watch our school play some of the best small college basketball in the country. Enjoyed playing my guitar and singing to and with pre-schoolers involved with Operation Head Start. Then, had the opportunity to again travel that beautiful state while working as a power and process high temp insulation specialist for a large insulation manufacturer. I could not be more proud of my association with West Virginia. Nor could I be more proud of the wonderful lifetime friendships I formed there.

    18. I have traveled this Country through out and I still am proud to call West Virginia home.I too can’t stand all their corny jokes trying to belittle us and our beautiful State,but we have to consider the source and let it go.. Why do most these people be so eager to hire WV people,simple, they will work and are a total breed of the human race.The People of our State come closer to trying treat their fellow man than many others.I will take WV anytime. WV Home

    19. West Virginia…. Most beautiful place I have ever called home. Most wonderful and friendliest co-workers I have ever had. Born and raised in Ohio, moved to Hurricane, WV immediately after college. Moved onto Texas and now Michigan. Yes, I miss West Virginia very much. Perhaps I will move back thete someday.

    20. Coming from someone with an official IQ of 135 and an origin in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, I can attest that people are quick to insult you out-of-state without any knowledge of who you are beyond your license plate. Yet, at the same time, I’ve met many people who also praise West Virginians for their dedication to their state and the ability to look past the typical stereotypes. For god’s sake “Country Roads” is a song so popular people in Europe sing and whistle the tune from time to time. It honestly depends on where you go. For example, there are so many West Virginian tourists in South Carolina during the summer that I’ve only EVER heard good things about us from them, but you won’t find that same sentiment in the Western states. It’s a draw of luck.

    21. I was born in Nicholas Co but grew up in Ohio. Several of my relatives also moved there. As a child I felt most adults who left had discriminating attitudes about their new neighbors. I didn’t see the friendliness or welcoming people “back home” but rather clanish and bigoted and it took years for me to make friends with my own relatives. All jokes aside maybe the small tight-knit family structure has been preserved there but racism and small mindedness has always been more evident. Religion instead of true Christianity is also prevelant. I love my roots and know the strengths of that hetitage but treating outsiders with suspicion and hidden contempt might very well be the spirit behind the jokes.

    22. We are a durable, no nonsense breed. In the event of an attack on American soil I guarantee states like California will fall before West Virginia & Apalachia!

    23. When I moved to Northern California from Huntington, WV, and I would tell people that I was from West Virginia, they would usually say, “Oh, I love that part of Virginia”, or, “Anywhere near Richmond?”.

      • I was born in Indiana, but raised from age 6 months in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, after my father was discharged from the US Army in late 1957. I didn’t leave the area myself until I accompanied my brand new husband (of one year) to his home area in northwestern Indiana and northeastern Illinois, after he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force, following his four years of service to our country. He was almost 22 and I was 20. We were married in 1976, the year after I graduated from High School.
        Moving to this area of the Midwest, following the beginning of a lifetime on the East Coast, on the Chesapeake Bay, in Hampton and Newport News, was an amazing bit of culture shock. To be honest, moving away from where existing in, on, under, around, and beside the sandy beaches and saltwater of the Bay, where fishing and crabbing in almost all forms is king, to a landlocked, dry, flat farmland region was close to moving to the moon.
        I was likewise amazed, sometimes troubled, and frequently insulted, by people who had no clue that Virginia and West Virginia are two totally separate states, with their own history of existence, development, culture and reasons for being, and NO, they are not one and the same. I am not “from those hillbillies of West Virginia” any more than they are from the fishermen-populated areas of Virginia, and NO I don’t have a heavy Southern accent, because everyone in my state does not talk the same, since there are several different cultural areas that join up to create one very versatile State.
        The area I come from is highly urbanized, with a heavy concentration of ALL the branches of the military! One of my favorite descriptions of the degree of military saturation that exists in the area is “you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone in some kind of uniform!” Civilians to me for the longest time were people I thought had been waiting for their uniforms to come back from the cleaners! It took a while for me to process the information that not everyone was in the military, or wore a uniform! I even saw (and later became) teenagers in uniforms, which turned out to be those who were participating in the different Jr. ROTC programs, which every single high school had! They all wear regulation military uniforms from whichever branch of the service sponsors them, with different insignia. And they still do.
        This means, in case it’s not blatantly obvious, that the population of the area in which I was raised is a highly mobile, transient group, who come and go at the whims of the service to which they are attached. They come FROM all areas of the country, bringing their own cultures, accents, lifestyles, habits, wants, needs and desires with them. It contributes to the flavor of the entire area, with all their children attending the schools, and bringing all those things with them that contribute to the cultural exposure of all the other students, who learn it as they go to school each day.
        I have now been in the Midwest for 40 years, and some things never change. I still come across people who don’t know there’s a difference between the two states, or that two separate states exist. I don’t take any offense at being mistaken for a West Virginian, but what bothers me is that they haven’t paid enough attention to the history and structure of their own country enough to know that there ARE two separate states! And that frequently I don’t get credited for being from the state which helped raise me, with the education of its own wonderful, second-to-none history and territorial layout.

    24. I went to World Youth Day in in Denver to see Pope John Paul II back in the 90s. We had to walk 8 miles into the state park. We were walking next to a large group of non-English speaking Italian youth, who were playing guitar and singing. One of them came over and said, “Take Me Home Country Roads?” They played it and we sang together, they knew every word. A favorite memory of mine.I am from Ashland, Ky, best wishes to my WV neighbors.

    25. I’m proud to say I grew up in west-by-God virginia, and that I got a great education in WV public schools, which are so often maligned as being the worst in the nation…not!! I love nicely setting people straight when they speak and demonstrate their ignorance of one of the most beautiful places on earth and some of the finest people I’ve ever known. Go Herd!

    26. I’m from Huntington, but I live in Florida. Not too long ago, I met a couple FROM VIRGINIA that didn’t know West Virginia is a different state.

      • I have also had people ask me if WV was a state or during a conversation say Va after I’ve said I’m from WV then they correct themselves by saying “the western part of Va” DUH I’ve had a person comment “oh you wear shoes” when I said I’m from WV. They weren’t being funny but dead serious.

    27. I’m proud to be from West “by God” Virginia, NOT WESTERN VIRGINIA. It’s amazing that people don’t know West Virginia is it’s own state since 1863!!!

    28. When I’m told a WV joke –
      I ask them – what is black & blue and floats down the river?

      The next one who tells a WV joke!

    29. After the tooth joke, I always say” Its not that we have fewer teeth, but the fact that we’re from West Virginia its just more obvious because we have so much more to smile about

    30. I lived in New Jersey until I was 12. I was sad and afraid to move away from the country that I was so comforted by( I grew up on a farm). My dads family(aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents) played us John Denver’s ” country roads” and had a big going away feast. Before we left, I think back with great nostalgia, a banner was dropped across the front of their garage which read ” country roads take them home”. I’ve spent the rest of my informative years here in West Virginia. I was married here,and had both of my children here. Although I have moved away several times, these beautiful mountains and valleys keep beckoning me home. The vegetation, wildlife and family atmosphere that West Virginia offers is truly ‘almost heaven’.

    31. Im from WV and I hope the rest of the natives that have $100,000 vehicles, self reported IQ’s at genius level and have such thin skin that mention of a WV stereotype turns you into a resentful angry child.

      Here are some tips,

      1. Dont have such a high opinion of yourself

      2. Learn some coping skills

      3. Wit neuters malice. So learn some and give what you get.

    32. I am also from West Virginia. A small community in Mingo County, (Delorme), I went to High School in Matewan. I grew up very poor, and yes my dad was a coal miner. I have heard every BS joke possible about our state and how I talked, walked, ate and anything else they could think of.
      Though I no longer live there, West Virginia was, is and always will be home to me. I am very proud of my heritage, and where I came from. People making all of these jokes, I feel pity for because they are obviously ignorant of a lot of facts, like history and geography. I have learned over
      my 74 years that most people say these things because they themselves have a set of issues that they are in hope of taking the attention off of them and put on someone else. I have two degrees in Criminal Justice, a BS & MS. When someone calls me hillbilly, I just say thank you so much and move on. God Bless all of the good folks that are from the great state of West Virginia.

    33. I usually just tell people that the best thing about WV is that there is literally a thousand places to hide a body.

    34. Yes I hear you W- Virginia, I am from Penna. and we lived with same remarks, WE were called under-ground farmers, ( Coal Miner) I believe the coal implanted into the faces of my family and relatives, never did come out till death. Yes I used a out house , Sears catalog for toilet paper, Yes I got a bath on Sat. night in a round galvanized tub. Girl went first, then by age. The water was so soap and dirty, but we always felt we were clean. We ate what we raised and what we could hunt for. No Refrigeration, WE canned everything, we were taught respect, got whipped by our parents, Our whole community was poor , we were a proud people, we would take no hand outs. I am proud of my up-bringing, and love my country Only thing I know for sure we cannot turn back the clock. Praying for our young folks and our country.

    35. I was born and lived in WV for 27 years. I went on to work for a company where domestic travel was pretty constant and it took me to almost every corner of this country. My background was subject of conversation almost every time I met with other people. I can honestly say that in the past 25 years of traveling the U.S. I’ve never had anyone make a joke about West Virginia or West Virginians.

      Want to know who have made the most offensive WV jokes I’ve ever heard? You guessed it: Other West Virginians.

      Also, I’m not sure if it’s a fair analogy to suggest that West Virginians are a race, comparing it to China or Mexico.

      But ultimately, having grown up and called WV home for those 27 years, I feel more sorry for WV than anything else. They seem like one of the 5 states consistently making things much harder for themselves, clinging to the past, voting against their own best interests. The statistics of WV say more about the state than anyone ever could, sadly.

      At some point, you realize that if people are targeting WV as the butt of jokes (and again, that’s never been my experience…having had countless conversations about the state in the past 25 years, nobody has ever asked me if I have ‘all of my teeth.’) maybe it’s because the state is and has been sinking pretty steadily over the past 30 years.

      It’s like everything else: Blind allegiance doesn’t mean you love your home state. It’s perfectly fine to be critical of a state you love and to point out the obvious flaws in how the state is progressing (or *not* progressing, whichever the case may be.)

      Time for people to realize that maybe there is some truth to some of the jokes and that may be the reason that these jokes don’t seem funny.

      Myself, I have given up on the state and although I still have family living there, I feel the utmost sympathy for them every time I see a news story about the state. I gave WV the best years of my life and ultimately I had to leave to get a job where I had a future and potential for advancement doing something I love. When I drive through her now, she looks like a wasteland of sorts…I feel for the people but I also realize that at some point, you realize that people are actively playing a part in its dismal present.

    36. We traveled every year through West Virginia from Ohio on I-77, enroute to South Carolina. One year we got a flat tire at a McDonalds in a relatively rural area of West Virginia, but there was a small tire shop nearby. The owner stopped working on an RV, found he had a used but nearly new repaired tire. Removed the flat, mounted and balanced the new tire and put it back on the car, putting the spare back in place. He charged us only $20.00! I thanked him profusely and gave him $40.00, knowing a new tire for that vehicle would have been over a hundred bucks, especially for the quality brand (albeit repaired) he sold us. Always loved that state!

    37. Funny how when your a large man you dont hear those jokes .But my wife wearing a wv shirt had a few guys cracking wv jokes till i walked over funny how they all was sorry and then all had family in wv i wont stand for it.

    38. West Virginia is one of America’s best-kept secrets. I grew up in Western Pa., Washington County, adjacent to the northern panhandle. My love affair with West Virginia started when I was a teenager and continues to this day. I could write a book covering about forty ongoing years of annual adventures in the mountain state.

      I cannot recall ever hearing much of this type of ill humor while living in western Pa but since moving to and living in North Carolina for nearly thirty years, I have heard it all. I have been compelled to stand up for West Virginia when confronted with this noise at times. It is as if they are talking junk about my family. I could choose to be as biased about North Carolina, being a damn Yankee and all, but why feed on negativity. After all, we are what we eat. My hat is off to you West Virginia for your backbone, heart, and grit. It ain’t “Almost Heaven” for nothing.

    39. I am a native of New Mexico and i can relate to West Virginia being the western part of Virginia. For me when I travel back east and am asked where I am from I say New Mexico. Response is “O the northern part of Mexico, how much is a dollar worth there?” It amazes me as to how ignorant some people are when it comes to the layout of this great country of ours. I do not only personally know someone from West Virginia…”I MARRIED HER”………………Go Mountaineers!

    40. We use a so called ” mountain man” in buck skin attire with a raccoon fur hat, complete with tail and a long rifle as our largest universities mascot. We are either number one or two in obesity in the nation, which also leads to being tops as one of the most unhealthy states in the union. One of the top two in tobacco use in the nation. Our drop out rate for teens is also one of the highest in the nation. We have a good reliable work force, but undereducated. Our overdose rate for opioids is second to none. We vote in the same old tired congressmen and senators election after election because they got uncle Joe his black lung or they got the road to the church house designated a county road so it gets snow plowed now in the winter. And now we read a article in defense of the poor hillbillies, about the jokes and pokes that we just about had enough of. Well, look in the mirror wild wonderful West Virginia. How are we really doing? Let’s Go Mountaineers!

    41. If someone says something stupid to me about marrying a cousin, I enjoy pointing out that it’s legal in all 50 states to marry a cousin once removed (2nd cousin to those not aware of genealogy) and in several states its actually legal to marry a cousin (first). BTW, WV isn’t in the latter group.

    42. First I want to say to Angie very well said.I am from the good ole hills of WV. ❤️ This state this is the most friendliest state.My neighbors visited this state several years ago from out West they love this State and so does their family and friends from many other States.Its good to call this place my home. ❤️

    43. Born in West Virginia, I love my state. Most of my family is here too. We have so many things to be proud of. The fact that others outside of the state do not realize the beauty here is sad. We are very independent overall, and have a different perspective on life than most. There is no other place I would rather be. Yes, we have problems just like every other place on earth, but we dig our heels in and work like nowhere else on earth to overcome them. The old WV jokes are from ignorant people who know absolutely nothing about us. We do have a wild and wonderful state. We have big hearts, and brave hearts. We know how to work and we know how to survive and defend what we have. We are West Virginia strong. So if you come looking for a good place to live, you are welcome. Amen. If you are up to no good and just looking for trouble. Beware.

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