2024: WHYTSELL REUNION WILL WELCOME FOLKS TO THEIR WEST FORK VALLEY HOME AUG. 4, ONE MORE TIME

(07/15/2024)
FAMILY REUNIONS ARE FAST FADING

By Bob Weaver

For many years I have written about People of Place, fast fading in rural Calhoun County, fading into a "brave new world," mostly driven by computers, artificial intelligence and robotics, with a few clinging to the joy of being connected, one to another in the slow moving backwoods where our families pioneered in this wilderness.

Today I was reminded of the families that held forth in the West Fork Valley on the Little Kanawha River, a river whose tributaries leached into the hills and my homeplace in the Villages of Hur and the generations who made their lives here, not adorned with diamonds and pearls, but connected with hard work and survival, a love of the land and scattered neighbors.

PHOTOS FROM 2023

(Left) Charlie McKown sings "My West Fork Valley Home" acapella, written by Randall Whytsell in the 1940s, saying "I come and sing it as long as I can stand" (Right) the Weaver-Frum clan of Hur

The Whytsell Reunion near Rocksdale has continued to bring family, friends and neighbors together at the Whytsell Park one more time after 50+ years, first started by Randall and Blanche Whytsell and carried on by Marvin and Peggy Whytsell Stemple.

Looking through albums it was enlightening to recall those who came by the hundreds to the event, mostly deceased, including the mountain music makers.