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Hometown Nostalgia

Everybody has memories of their hometown, no matter how long or short their stay was. Some people’s hometowns could actually be large cities, but there are many small towns around West Virginia that are home to amazing people. Point Pleasant is one of those places. It’s exactly those small-town qualities that make me feel comfortable during the visits we’ve made.

When I first visited Point Pleasant, it was during the BrandJRNY community branding initiative kickoff event at the library. I hadn’t gotten the chance to truly see the town at that time, but was able to meet some of the warm and welcoming people who call the town home. The second visit I attended was on the first day of the Mothman Festival, in which I was able to explore the downtown and scenic waterfront of the town on my own and capture what the town was like.


It was then that I noticed that although the main street was small, it had so much going on. There were endless shops and exhibits, even an art museum. All were packed into this small area. Down at the waterfront, I saw the mural stretching the length of the wall, and I realized that it was something that only a close community could create. One of the local residents, Charles Humphreys had worked to have it painted, affirming how close the community was to one another.


On my last visit to the haunted and historic Lowe Hotel I noticed a hand-painted pumpkin which had been resting in the lobby on a table. It was painted by a local friend, the owner, Ruth Findlay, said to me.


I was raised in an extremely small town just like Point Pleasant, called Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. We had only one road all the way through the town, with the center being where the shops, library, banks and drug store was. Everybody knew one another and looked after each other and their children. The school’s motto was “Once a Mike, always a Mike,” and that rings true even to this day. I haven’t been to my hometown in nearly 6 years, but when I was able to walk around Point Pleasant, It made me feel like I was back home.


Knowing that Point Pleasant was just like my hometown, I felt comfortable and safe there. Almost everybody knew our BrandJRNY team was coming down to tell their story, and they welcomed us like they would one of their own. Even though I was only there for a short stay, I feel that the moment I return to Point Pleasant, it’ll be like I was back in Carmichaels.


Crystal Check is a BrandJRNY videographer from Uniontown, PA. She is an avid horse rider and likes to write. Connect with her on Facebook.

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Housed at the WVU Media Innovation Center, BrandJRNY is a community branding initiative that is a grant-funded collaboration between the American Electric Power Foundation and WVU Reed College of Media.

The Initiative was previously funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for our three pilot projects.

Original website designed by Mariah Elliott, under the direction of PI and Director Dr. Rita Colistra.

Photos and content may not be used without written permission by contacting brandjrny@gmail.com.

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