Saturday, December 15, 2007


TO PARKERSBURG. I drove over to West Virginia on Friday to conduct a wedding for two of my best childhood friends on Saturday. It took nearly five hours to get to Parkersburg, but I arrived early enough in the day to take a long bike ride around the city. I bundled up well and stayed relatively warm, even though the temperature was about 34 degrees.

RIVER TOWN LEGEND. This is where I lived from age six through seventeen. A city of about 45,000 residents, Parkersburg is right on the Ohio River where the Little Kanawha River adjoins. The town has rich history in the region, with 1780's-era legends surrounding the Herman Blennerhassett and Aaron Burr.

A RIDE THROUGH MY PAST. We moved from Parkersburg in 1976, so it took me a little while to get reoriented to the lay of the land, but most of it readily came back to me. I rode to the houses we used to live in, to the City Park, to our church, to the 19th Street Meat Market (where I used to pick up my bundle of newspapers to deliver on my bike each day, shown here...still doing great business), to Parkersburg High School, and around the south side of town (across the Little Kanawha). I have lots of good memories of this time and place.

BEST WISHES, BILLY & RUTH ANN. I was privileged to officiate the wedding of my friends Billy and Ruth Ann at the restored historic Blennerhassett Hotel. What a quaint place! I pray that this mid-life beginning for Billy and Ruth Ann brings them happiness throughout the rest of their lives. I offer them blessing and all my prayers.