Monday, August 29, 2011

Second Edition of "Goin Up Gandy" Now Available

It has recently been brought to my attention that one of my favorite books, "Goin' Up Gandy" by Don Teter has been reissued into a second edition. Loyal readers of Appalachian Lifestyles may recall the mention of "Goin' Up Gandy" in an old post about The Wreck of the Dry Fork #4. After reading that post, "Goin' Up Gandy" author, Don Teter, contacted me and let me know that the long out-of-print book was soon to be reissued in a second edition. That time has now come. I highly recommend the book and urge all readers of this blog to consider picking up a copy of this remarkable book while it is still available. It is perhaps the single best source of local history for the Dry Fork region and the surrounding areas of West Virginia.

Here is the Press Release:

"Don Teter of Monterville, West Virginia, and McClain Printing Company of Parsons, announce the release of a second edition of his book Goin’ Up Gandy, A History of the Dry Fork Region of Randolph and Tucker Counties, West Virginia.

The 135 page history was first published in 1977, but has been out of print for nearly 30 years. The new edition includes a 20 page index. The book details the history of the settlement of the area, the Civil War period, and the boom times of the logging and railroad industries in the Dry Fork, with extensive footnotes and numerous photos. A map of the area “In the age of steam” is included.

A 1969 graduate of Elkins High School, and a 1973 graduate of Davis and Elkins College, Mr. Teter holds a B.A. in History and Political Science. He has been a West Virginia licensed professional surveyor since 1982, serving as president of the West Virginia Society of Professional Surveyors in 2001, and editing the quarterly publication The West Virginia Surveyor for ten years. Don has done extensive land surveying and consulting work for the Rich Mountain Battlefield Association, the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance, and Historic Beverly Preservation. He is currently on the History Alive! roster of the West Virginia Humanities Council, portraying writer, artist, and Civil War topographer Porte Crayon.

Copies are available from local bookstores, McClain Printing Company in Parsons, or directly from the author at:

Don Teter
HC 86 Box 32
Monterville, WV 26282

or by e-mail at:

When buying directly from the author the retail price is $26.42, plus $1.58 sales tax (total $28.00). When the book is mailed an additional $3.00 is charged for shipping and handling for a total of $30.00."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


When I was growing up, I was considered by my family to be the pet pig. This was because I was the baby of the bunch, and for 12 years I remained that. During this time, I was doted on and given free reign of the place, and I got by with a lot more than I probably should have.

Me at age 2. Those pants prove I was at the height of fashion.

I’m pretty sure that I was my granddaddy’s favorite grandchild, and I could get anything out of him or do anything and it’d be just fine. He was so proud of me, he’d tell people, “That boy can drive hen shit to gunpowder.” That’s how good I was.

Now this isn’t to say that the other kids, including my brother who is only 18 months older than I am, were slighted in any way, I’m just saying that I got by with more than my fair share because of my pet pig status.

I remember one time when we lived on the farm, I got a BB gun for my birthday. I was out playing in the side yard and my brother was in the upstairs window, making faces at me. He apparently thought he would be safe from my vengeance, but I proved him wrong when I shot at him through the window. He dodged to the side, but I waited until he poked his head back in front of the window to see if I was still outside. When he did, I fired again, and just like that, another windowpane bit the dust. This continued until I had shot every windowlight out of that upstairs bedroom. As soon as I’d shot out the last one, Jason hollered out, “Mom…Matthew’s outside shooting out the upstairs windows with his BB gun.”

Mom then came outside and investigated the situation and took my BB gun away, and told me I was going to have to pay for those windows, and she was taking by $2 allowance to do so. It wasn’t but maybe a half hour later, and after a long talk with my granddad, that I got back my BB gun. He also gave me $2 and told me not to shoot out anymore windows...and not to tell mother about the money!

Me, my Granddad and my Uncle Tom in 1986. Notice my beaver-teeth pose!

I remember how I used to stay overnight with my granddad and we’d go riding around in his huge red International station wagon named “Belvedere”. Belvedere had a front seat, a back seat and an enormous back end that usually was filled with kids and chainsaws. I know those two don’t mix, but I remember always hating to have to find a seat bakc there so you wasn’t riding up against a chainsaw chain.

One time, when I was about 5 years old, just me and my granddad was coming back from Riverton in Belvedere (by now you’ve probably realized I never missed a trip to the store). At that time, I only knew my numbers up to 100, but the speedometer in Belvedere registered up to 120 miles per hour, so of course I wanted my granddad to sink the needle in the straight stretch going out through Germany Valley so I could see it. However, since I didn't know how to say, “a hundred and twenty”, I instead said to my granddad what I knew, “Go Twelve-O, granddaddy, go twelve-O!”

Well, Belvedere might have registered 120 mph, but it certainly couldn’t go that fast, looking back I doubt that it could have went 120 mph if it was falling straight down a well. Granddad used to have a saying about how much power Belvedere had, he would say “This ol' car couldn’t pull a sick woman off of a shitpot”. I believe that says all you ever need to know about Belvedere!!

Let’s suffice it to say that Belvedere never did go “Twelve-O”.