CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Snippets collected during my week working out of town.
Howard, from Charleston, telling about taking his wife to her very first horse race.
"The first race of the night happened to be won by horse number two. And then the second race, the same thing. Won by horse number two. After the third race ended up being won by horse number two, my wife leaned over and said -- in all seriousness -- 'I know that horse keeps winning, but I sure hope they let it rest. It has to be exhausted.'"
Vendors at the event were handing out all sorts of freebies, everything from Frisbees, pens and ball caps to coupons for discounted prescriptions for erectile dysfunction products.
Said one man upon refusing the coupon: "I'm from West Virginia. We don't need that kind of prescription. We're tough. We make do with a couple Popsicle sticks and some string."
Sometimes, when you eavesdrop, you're going to get caught if you can't help laughing. I couldn't.
"Excuse me," the older man at the table next to mine said to his dining companions when his cell phone rang. "I have to take this."
Phone pressed to his ear, brow furrowed, he listened for a moment, then covered the speaker part of his phone and whispered to his tablemates, "It's my brother. He's at the beach."
"Uh-huh. Uh-huh," he said. "A Speedo, huh?"
A long pause, followed by a look of alarm.