Jeff Hynes, Resident Charles Town, WV

So folks ask “why do you fight when it is looks like Rockwool will win anyways…”

I moved to West Virginia in 2011 to start a family and buy my first home. Like many, when asked why i chose this state i pointed out the quick access to Winchester, Leesburg, Frederick, Martinsburg, and even Washington. I mentioned the low home prices and taxes. I mentioned the number of grocery stores and ease of running a household….All things mentioned were about the low cost and ease of living…..Those things have not changed in my mind but i have started adding more depth when i explain why i chose to move here.

The song goes “Almost Heaven, West Virginia..” and that is exactly what it is when driving over the Shenandoah River bridge on my way to work. The sun hits the water and a gold color pulls your eyes down towards the confluence with the Potomac where you see the Maryland Heights and the spires of Harpers Ferry….i am seriously tearing up thinking about these moments in my morning…. On the flip side i love the view coming over the Potomac River bridge in the afternoon. I look out over White Horse Rapid and up to the town of Harpers Ferry and i am excited i chose this place to live my life….the only thing that challenges these views are the views from the water looking up at it all whenever i am in my kayak….man…this place is Heaven. I love the water falls that form on the mountain side when driving between the rivers and the cannons staring me down out in a field when i head down the hill near the old flea market…..i miss that place…I love this place….i would never not fight…

My love for WV started young. My grandfather lived in a little place “up on the mountain” with a lake at the bottom of a stone road. I would visit him and run the woods, fish in the lake (i once found a huge fresh water mussel and spent hours imagining how the heck a huge clam got here) and taking trips to friends and the store in his old pick-up….man…you can’t replace the smell of an old pick-up…We would shop at the new Food Lion, Eggo waffles in the AM!, and head over to the video store that would become a mattress store in our times. No matter what we rented i found myself later that night watching “Pale Rider” on the Betamax while a crockpot of Great Northern beans cooked and my PaPa played solitaire with a deck of cards so worn the wax was sticky…He would be wearing his typical blue mechanics shirt with a name tag that read Bob….I would never not fight…

For so long i have been on the receiving end of jokes from friends in MD and VA about being West Virginian…..you all know the jokes. On the other hand friends from Morgantown and points west would laugh and claim we were from the Eastern Panhandle and therefore not “real” West Virginians. Well i am a West Virginian and this is our home. My babies are West Virginians and this is where i want them to grow-up. We are all West Virginians and we will not be beholden to a bunch of outdated politicians 5 hours away in Charleston pushing their heavy industry and unhealthy visions. We will fight. We will win and for those that vote against our interests (Here’s looking at you JCC, JCDA, Ranson City Council and any other local governing body) we are coming for you and your seats. Watch out outdated politicians in Charleston…we are taking the fight to you next….we won’t sit by as you ruin this state and turn away from a real, economically and environmentally sustainable future for our home….All in favor of lining your pockets…We are coming and we are teaching our babies to fight…your time is limited.

How could i not fight…