By JOSEPH “Billy” CORDUROY
Welcome to this journal. My name is Joseph “Billy” Corduroy, although that is not quite my name or not completely. Read more about that here. I live somewhere in West Virginia. I am not going to say where because my neighbors (well, some of the significant ones) are crazy. And too many of them are well and truly armed. So, I would rather be able to write about what I want to write about (including some of them), and not worry they might find out what I am writing about. And, then, them not like it and barge onto my porch, upsetting my man Duke, who likes to take his naps there.
Or, bother me at Bev’s Diner when I’m trying to have a second cup of coffee and write in my actual journal (a lined-paper notebook, really, I get from the Family Dollar in town, buying them three-at-a-time.) And don’t you go web searching for ‘Bev’s Diner‘ somewhere in West Virginia, you there, Earl Barleycorn, to find out exactly when and where I might be. It is what we wannabe writers call a pseudonym. There IS a diner. And it IS named after a local woman. And I DO have two (or more) cups of coffee there, while Earl Barlyecorn and his buddies talk about burning down the government.
Or maybe they’re just shooting the sh*t about shooting someone who doesn’t look like them because then they’ll finally feel better about winding up talking about burning down their government in a diner in the middle of nowhere, years past when they qualified for Social Security from that government. Which check they cashed earlier this month and now it’s paying for Earl’s half-finished plate of scrambled eggs and Canadian bacon on the table as he yells at Bev’s TV.
PS: ‘Earl Barleycorn ‘ is a pseudonym, too. See, I even protect the idiots!
The Pluto Connection
For purposes of telling my stories, I am going to say I live near Pluto, West Virginia, which is a real unincorporated area in Raleigh County, elevation 2,589 feet, according to this page. I don’t really. But I have driven down Pluto Road before. And where I live is as far out as Pluto is in the solar system (that’s the actual Pluto in the image above).
Plus, is it not kind of real interesting a real town in West Virginia is named after the god Pluto from Greek mythology? This page says:
Pluto (from the Greek for Ploutōn) was the ruler of the Greek underworld. The earlier name for the god was Hades, which became more common as the name of the underworld itself. Pluto represents a more positive concept of the god who presides over the afterlife. Ploutōn was frequently conflated with Ploutos, the Greek god of wealth, because mineral wealth was found underground, and because as a chthonic god Pluto ruled the deep earth that contained the seeds necessary for a bountiful harvestFROM: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto
Some of that has interesting connections to West “By God” Virginia (as long-timers call the place), by god! The ‘mineral wealth’ found underground is the coal in these hills, which has been as much a curse, as one of my best college teachers once said (before she was fired) as a blessing for this state. Which, too, West Virginia at its worst can feel like an underworld. About that — ask me about my cousin Andy, someday.
No, actually, I’ll tell you, once I get around to it. Am not ready, just yet.
PS: And, being someone who loves to learn mysterious new words, I had to learn what ‘chthonic’ means. So, I clicked that link above, which I encourage you to, too. For you non-clickers, it means something related to the soil and earth and is “in, under, or beneath the earth.” Which, as I think about, I would have to say that West Virginia is one helluva chthonic kind of state.
Keep reading, please!
At your service, Joseph ‘Billy’ Corduroy
CONTACT ME: joebillyjohnbobATproton.me
One thought on “My Life in Pluto, West Virginia”
Good stuff, Joseph “Billy” Corduroy! I’d like to reprint some of your posts in my West Virginia-themed monthly magazine WestVirginiaVille.com (free subscribe for very occasional email updates about new issues at: WestVirginiaVille.substack.com). Let me know! And keep up the fine work, sir. Write on, please.