(02/20/2021)

Novelist Davis Grubb

By Bob Weaver 2017

WV novelist Davis Grubb said his 1969 novel that was made into the film "Fools' Parade" staring Jimmy Stewart, was partly based on the life of murderer William Holly Griffith, a resident of Creston, Wirt County.

We have written extensively about the life and times of Griffith.

See BESTIAL MURDERER OR FRAMED MAN? - Creston Resident William Holly Griffith, Truth And Lore Saga

Grubb also wrote "Night of the Hunter," made into one of America's classic film thrillers starring Robert Mitchum and Shelly Winters, set along the Ohio River near Moundsville.

I met Grubb in Charleston about 1979, during the early days of recovering from alcoholism 39 years ago. We discussed the challenges of trying to lift ourselves out of the condition.

Grubb died a year later, after a long bout with the bottle.

Our discussion turned to "Night of the Hunter," a dark story about an evil preacher who terrorized the children of a widow woman, that sent chills up the spine. The story was also loosely based on murderer Harry Powers, the "Bluebeard of Quiet Dell."

See LATE NIGHT TALES - The Bluebeard Of Quiet Dell

I asked Grubb about Robert Mitchum.

He responded, "He was a drunk SOB asshole, hard to work with."

And then said, "But so was I," drunk and a asshole.

Grubb returned to Moundsville for a ''Glory Days Dinner'' accompanied by his Lhasa Apso dog Rowdy Charlie, making the $750 round trip from New York City in a Yellow Cab. In June 1971, the film premiered at the Court Theater in Wheeling.

Grubb, not unlike many creative people, often believed if they sobered-up they would become less creative. I believe it is one of many rationalizations to keep on nursing the bottle.

There are numerous stories about William Hollie Griffith on the Hur Herald.


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