'Way it Was' photo perpetuated myths
Your recent "The Way it Was" photo perpetuated myths about Thurmond, Fayette County. Thurmond was an incorporated town on the north side of the New River. The Dunglen gambling house stood on the south side in an unincorporated area known as "Southside" or "Ballyhack."
Capt. W.D. Thurmond, the founder of Thurmond, was my great-great-grandfather and he did not allow gambling in his town. I have read that he did allow alcohol and banned that also.
The famous years-long poker game was in The Dunglen, as was the general licentiousness always incorrectly associated with Thurmond.
Richard M. Boyd
We need to make W.Va. highways better
As someone who has spent his entire career in the trucking industry, I can tell you it's past time we addressed deficiencies with our highway system. West Virginia's 34,000 miles of roadways are the workplace for thousands of state truck drivers, and we experience deteriorating road conditions on a daily basis.
Safety is the No. 1 goal for the trucking industry. Our drivers are professionally trained to responsibly operate their vehicles in all types of conditions and to expect the unexpected. However, poor road conditions present a variable for which no one can be totally prepared.
Thankfully, the governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways is working to identify strategies to raise the needed funds to improve our highway system. This is an extremely large undertaking and one with no easy set of solutions. For the sake of all motorists -- whether driving a truck, car or motorcycle -- I hope West Virginians will work together innovatively to resolve these issues.
Burns Motor Freight
Board Member, West Virginia Trucking Association
Scout Jamboree a highlight of my life
Your reports on the Boy Scout Jamboree brought back fond memories from 1953 when I was a 15-year-old Explorer Scout from Post 11 at Christ Methodist Church in Charleston. Scouts from the Buckskin Council left the Charleston station for a long train trip to the Irvine Ranch (now Irvine, California). This was probably the first trip west of the Mississippi for most of us.
I was picked by our scout leader, Bill Wyatt, to be the troop's quartermaster and packed all our gear at a pre-Jamboree campout at Coonskin Park. We rode in the old Pullman double-ier sleeping cars with two scouts to a bed, a very cozy experience. Our trip out and back gave us a good exposure to many sites in the central and southern parts of the United States.