• Prostitute Pasta & Way-Out Family Restaurants

    photograph of Italian pasta
    From a cookbook site.

    By Joseph “Billy” Corduroy

    So, you have not heard much from me as I have had the Plague. I mean COVID, of course. But I don’t want to talk about it. It just made me feel bad for awhile, not dead, like a lot of people. So, what do I have to complain about?

    I have been happy to feel better because it means I can do what I most like to do when I’m not working at the Five’n’Dime. (More about that later. Maybe). Which is to get in my Cab King and hit the road. Generally, that means the West Virginia backroads. I don’t travel all that much outside the state, what with gas costing an arm, a leg and one of one’s gonads, if you’ll please excuse my French.

    (But don’t you go blaming President Joe, as too many people with knuckleads for heads do, since it is more like President Vladimir’s fault. And are you really gonna vote in all these crazy folks in the midterm elections who want to put a pillow on democracy’s face because you’re paying a quarter more for gas? And that is the end of my TED talk …)

    But the other day I took off for the heart of the country because I just had to get out of Dodge. Of course, living in West Virginia, you are already sort of not living in Dodge, anyway. But I’d been feeling way too COVID cooped up.

    And so the first day I felt good enough to shift off my couch and start shifting my truck again (it’s a manual transmission, by the way, the absolute best way to drive snaky roads), I turned up my couch cushions for spare quarters dropped from my pants.

    That’s a metaphor, as they say. I didn’t really search my couch for quarters because what’s a couple quarters going to buy you these days except, maybe, some NECCO wafers at the Go-Mart?

    But I DID find the $20 bill I had hid from myself sometime last year. Placing it — it turns out — in a side zipper pocket of the emergency supplies backpack I keep behind the seat in my truck cabin, after rooting about and turning everything in that truck inside out.

    I do that. Hide money from myself, so I forget I have hidden it. And where, exactly. Then, when I REALLY need money — like to pay for a fill-up that costs as much as a fancy wedding haircut — I suddenly remember.

    Oh, YEAH!

    Now, WHERE is that $20 bill hid?!

    Found it.


    So, it was off to Greenbrier County. And, then, so far our into Nicholas County, I felt like I was coming back in. Actually, sometimes I just pick a direction. East. West. North. Etc. This time I picked South-East.

    My breakfast turned out to be a bottle of spring water and NECCO wafers — they’re my traveling candy — as I drove off into the hills. But that’s because it was a Sunday. And there are absolutely not many places to stop and eat out that way, once you get to driving off US 79 and US 19, and then head off onto US-where-the-heck-am-I-now?

    One of your few options, eating-wise, is the Go-Mart. Which, I tell you should be renamed Indigestion City, if you’re talking about the greasy, fried, warmed-over things they have on display for the got-the-munchies traveler at lunchtime.

    Getting really hungry at one point — I dreamed of a plate of two eggs and buttered toast and do you have any Tabasco sauce, por favor? — I pulled off at the Frametown exit. Because prominently displayed, as far as these things go in West Virginia sign-wise, was a small sign promoting ‘Minney’s Family Restaurant.’

    Well, you know there’s a rule of thumb about family restaurants. It’s this. If the name of the owner appears in the name of the restaurant and it’s a curious, old-fashioned one — Minney, for instance — it has got to be good.

    Or at least, not bad.

    This was my Grandpa Aurelio’s theory. His theorizing being that it is someone’s grandma or grandpa or uncle. Or an immigrant family name. Like, say, my Grandpa Aurelio, a Sicilian, who never opened a restaurant, but did make a legendary linguine alla putanesca.

    ”AAH! YOU NO SAY!’

    And did you know alla puttanesca literally means “in the style of a prostitute,” because the sauces in that style are spicy and strong, served with capers and anchovies?

    I read somewhere — trying to find a recipe to recreate Grandpa Aurelio’s sauce, may he rest in eternal peace — one theory is that the sauce was invented by prostitutes to lure their, well, their clients, in with its powerful aroma.

    Now, I have never tasted a caper — what is a caper, anyway? But I do like the kick of anchovies, especially in a plate of spaghetti as good as Grandpa A used to make us grandkids. (He didn’t use capers on his putannesca, whatever they are. He did use anchovies, which he got in tins imported from Italy from an Italian grocery store up Clarksburg way, where you’ll find a lot of Italians.)

    I should say that Grandpa, when he got really, really mad at someone who was rude to him, or would call him a wop or dago, as they used to back in the day, or when he saw Ronald Reagan on the TV (he was a lifelong union Democract), he would mutter:

    “Figlio di puttana!”

    Well, since us grandkids loved his linguine alla putannesca and would ask for it it by name when they invited us to Sunday dinners, it raised the question.

    Were these two like-sounding words related?

    Which led cousin Andy, who never could hold his tongue to die for, to ask him.

    Because our little puppy clutch of cousins wasn’t dumb. We knew Grandpa Aurelio was using bad words in the Old Country tongue. I suspect Andy just wanted to get a rise out of the old guy. Or just see what he might say.

    “What’s the deal with figlio di puttana and linguine alla putanesca, Grandpa?” Andy up and blurts out in their living room one Sunday.

    Well, Grandpa’s eyes got big and wide. He puts his hands up in front of him and pats down the air in front of him like he’s trying to quiet down the air molecules.

    “Aaaah! You no say, Andrew!” he says.

    Then, his eyes crinkle up. And now he’s chuckling. He leans over and whispers in a low voice to Andy and me. (I am going to likely mess up how he really talked with his Sicilian accent):

    “It means-a ‘son of a bitch.‘ There is lotsa those in-a the world, yeah? Many, many in this government,” he says, pointing a long finger at the TV in the corner.

    “Don’t-a be one! You promise me. Eh?”

    We both nod our heads.

    “Then, I make-a you linguine for the whores. But!”

    He raises one finger into the air.

    “You no go to the puttanas. It’s not safe. Plus ….”

    He lowers his voice another notch.

    “Not all a’the puttanas are bad ladies. Some just have breaks in life the wrong-a way, you know? But they have-a to deal with all the figli di puttana. It’s a not very easy life.”

    And from that day forward, we never heard Grandpa A say that phrase again.

    Or, at least, in our presence.

    Grandpa A was a wise old guy. I think of him and the puttanas whenever anything goes upside down and sideways in my life.

    “It’s a not very easy life.”


    But I was saying about Minney’s. I am dreaming of — speaking of spicy — a plate full of fluffy, cheesy scrambled eggs, streaked with a couple red skid marks of Tabasco and a side plate of triangles of buttered toast. Preferably, wheat. But I will take white, if it is all Minney has got.

    After I dash a mile and some change off the interstate, there is Minney’s. The little roadside building shows up after the usual tunnel of green trees, which is what you drive through about 65 to 75 percent of the time on West Virginia country roads in the hill country (which is most of the state, if you’ve never been).

    I am dashing, also, in my truck, and probably just a white streak if you saw me go by, because I have to, excuse my French again, pee to beat the door down.

    Minney’s is this little brick building not much bigger than a couple of house trailers glued together.

    And, unfortunately and darn it, Minney’s is closed.

    So, I will not find out this trip whether Minney is some nice grandma who can whip up a plate of eggs faster than you can say ‘West ‘By God’ Virginia.’ Or if she is some Greek immigrant and her menu has some flavors imported from the Old World on it like feta-cheese omelettes, which would be to die for way out in West Virginia.

    But I did get some considerable pleasure from peeing in Minney’s empty gravel parking lot, behind the cover of my open truck door, of course.

    Which was not nearly as fine a thing as a fresh plate of eggs and toast might have been.

    But it was, up to that point in my day, its highlight, so far.

  • Turtle Stop, No. 1

    Turtle Stop, No. 1
    Now, this was not THE turtle. But it is A turtle and it is crossing a road, it looks like. (image from pxhere.com)


    The first time I tried to save a turtle on the move it peed — or pooped, I’m not sure which — in my truck. I had stopped when I saw a box turtle in the middle of Pluto Road one afternoon maybe ten years ago. I hit my brakes right there in traffic.

    Fortunately, for me — and the turtle — there was no traffic. Pluto Road on a weekday is not a busy place, being way the far out in Raleigh County, West Virginia, near the town of Pluto. And yes, there is a Pluto, West Virginia, and like the planet it is way out there! Or it was back then.

    Because I drive all over the place and wish to know things about where I drive, I keep a book in my glove compartment, called “WEST VIRGINIA PLACE NAMES: Their Origin and Meaning, Including the Nomenclature of the Streams and Mountains.” That book has this to say about Pluto, West Virginia:

    “PLUTO: Mr. G.H. Garten of New, Raleigh Co., states that this n. is from Pluto, god of the Lower World. He explains that it was the notion of Mr. Wood, the man who established the p.o., that only Pluto could remain p.m. and be acceptable to the public.”

    “WEST VIRGINIA PLACE NAMES: Their Origin and Meaning, Including the Nomenclature of the Streams and Mountains”

    Now, I have figured that ’n.’ means ‘name’ and ‘p.o.’ means ‘post office’ in this book that a Mr. Hamill Kenny published back in 1945, and which you can hardly find a real copy anymore. (Though Google searching has pictures of all the book’s pages when you search the title of it. But I got a book of it I found once in a cardboard box in this Mabscott thrift place, with a hand-written sign reading: “Books for Cheap: 50 cents to 2 dollars.” I got mine for a dollar.)

    I still haven’t thought completely on what ‘p.m.’ might means. (If you think you know, write a comment and do tell.) But I do like Pluto being a ‘Lower World’ god. Raised up, as I was, on all the high and mighty, la-di-da godly stuff that never lived up to its talk, I think I might prefer the Lower World. I might like to maybe try its gods for a change-up.


    But I was talking about turtles. So, there’s my white truck (I keep it washed and clean, so it was really white), stopped alongside the center line. And this little box turtle, which had been making a mad dash for the other side of the road, notices this skinny fellow in blue jeans and a red snap-button cowboy shirt stalking his way.

    So, he closes up shop, as a turtle will do, when one of us big people comes at them. I picked him up by his shell sides and trotted him (or maybe it was a her since I don’t know turtles all that well) back to my truck and put him/her on the carpet floor in front of my passenger side seat.

    Now, you may think I was getting fit to take that turtle home and give it to my kids for a pet, but you’d be wrong. In the first place, I don’t have kids. I am what in polite society they call a lifelong bachelor (so far), but which I like to refer to myself as going ‘stag’ everywhere. That’s a word I looked up to learn more about its background, since I like words, even not having much high-end schooling to speak of. I am, what they say, mostly self-educated.

    And so I wrote down in my notebook what the big, heavy, hardcover 1965 Webster’s Dictionary in my living room, complete with pine-wood stand, had to say. (You might be surprised what you can get for $5 in a thrift shop!):

    STAG: Definition 3: A person who attends a social gathering unaccompanied by a partner, especially a man who is unaccompanied by a woman.

    More on that later. Maybe.

    Stag also means, says that dictionary: “1. The adult male of various deer, especially the red deer. 2. An animal, especially a pig, castrated after reaching sexual maturity.”

    So, you can see why I prefer definition No. 3!

    But I was talking about turtles, so let’s get back to that.


    So, I am not, as you might think, transporting Mr. (or Miss or Mrs.) Turtle to the other side of the road like the proverbial chicken. Because, you see, there’s a big drop-off on that side, like the kind my cousin Andy once plunged down in his Volkswagen and they didn’t find him for two days.

    He didn’t die, thanks be to the Lower Gods. (Andrew was definitely not big on the Higher Gods.) It was a high-test combo of being drunk on cheap beer — his favorite was those tall, silver cans of Bud and more than a few of them — and that cheap ditch weed they/we used to smoke back in the day (before all this medical marijuana and gummy bear stuff come along). All of which helped plunge him over that cliff, I am sure. Fortunately, he had some beef jerky and a water jug in the car to keep him fed until he was discovered, being out of action in a holler and all.

    The sheriff was definitely not happy with Andy, being as they had a long, loooong acquaintance from even his junior high days — he was a hellraiser, my crazy cousin. The county did make his dad, my uncle, pay half the cost of the wrecker to pull Andy’s Bug back up the hill with Bobby Jean’s Famous Wrecker Service. That’s not actually what it was called, but it’s what we called it after Bobby was the first of all of us out of high school to have a successful, independent business, instead of just talking a big game about how you were going to be your own man. Or woman.

    Rest in peace, my friend! Both of you.


    But the turtle. So, I meant to just drive it a ways down to where Pluto passes over this creek called Six Pole, as a green road sign so called it. (Or ‘crick,’ as Andrew would pronounce it when sober and not drunk/stoned/ messed up, so what came out his mouth was mush.) So, I stop my truck on the other side of the bridge, put it in park and reach down to grab that turtle.

    And what has he done? He has spewed or pooped or ejected a half-foot line of what looks like green snot on my clean passenger side carpet. (I told you how spic-and-span I keep my truck — it is a 2012 Ford F150 SuperCrew Cab King Ranch Pickup, by the by, as they say in England, although I could be wrong about that. I mean, the stuff they say in England.)

    “Aw, damn!” I cry.

    But then I feel bad for the turtle. Maybe he is traumatized. After all, he probably likely has never ridden in a moving vehicle before. Maybe he’s scared. I remember what the psychologist lady said at the Crab Orchard county health about being “In your head and scared and nothing making sense…”

    She was talking about me and my ‘issues.’ More about that later. Maybe. Now, I don’t think a turtle has ‘issues,’ but maybe he/she/it had issues with being in a truck and then getting car-sick.


    “Aw, buddy,” I says to him, picking him up by his shell sides. He ditches back inside his little house. I look in on him. He has a beak like a red-tail hawk. He looks back at me with his shiny beady eyes like he’s thinking: “What’re you gonna do with me? You going to eat me? Crack me open? Tear me out of this cave I’m hiding in?”

    None of those things, little buddy. Although I seem to remember my Grandmaw on my Dad’s side saying they used to make turtle stew when my Dad was little and they didn’t have much to eat but what they might scrounge up, shoot, trap or grow. ‘But I ain’t eatin’ no turtle,’ if I might revert to the way I used to jabber when I was a boy, before this particular Woman of the World got my vocabulary and grammar cleaned up. A bit, at least.

    So, I grab that turtle and proceed to appreciate the markings on its back. They look like some kind of sign language or like the Egyptian hieroglyphics we once studied at Mt. Olive high school, which I liked a lot because they seemed like designs that mean something. Like those — what do they call them, petroglyphs? — someone drew on rocks back up the hills. Our teacher said they were either someone goofing or evidence of very wise Indians or even people who got here to America before Christopher Columbus.


    I walk that turtle over to the nice, sloping bank of the creek and put him in some comfortable grass. Not too high, not too thick. He’ll have a nice walk down to the creek, which is a curving letter S of bubbly water as wide as my truck is long. Don’t turtles like water? This seems like a good place for a turtle to call home, at least for as along as a turtle calls any place home. What do they eat anyway?

    Anyway, I put the turtle down. I kind of hate to let him go, he feels good and solid in my hand. A real thing, a little life who just walked out of the woods and into my way.

    (Well, maybe if you think about it, it’s us who are in his/her/its way, right? Since turtles have been here for one very long time. What is that Indian story? That the Earth rests upon the back of a great big turtle. And that that turtle rests upon the back of another one. And another one below that and that it’s turtles all the way down.)

    I pat that turtle on its back, stroking his hard shell, which is also kind of soft and feels good to touch as I place him down in that grass. As I draw my hand away and step back, he pokes his head out and looks around, turning his neck my way. I can’t tell if he is looking at me or not. But he/she/it is certainly looking in my general direction, however briefly.

    Then, he moves one turtle paw out of that shell. And then the other, then all four, and off that turtle is headed down to the creek. Probably could use a drink of water.

    “Have a good life!” I say after him.

    And I leave him — her or it — to their turtle existence.


    I took my truck to the car wash in Pliny and had it a good wash, outside and in.

  • Why I Have 4 Names

    Why I Have 4 Names
    This is what way-out West Virginia looks like. Squint your eyes and it’s like an ocean.


    So, about the name. It’s a ‘pen’ name, although it’s kind of close to my real one. I am writing with a pen name because my neighbors (well, a good part of some of them) are crazy. We don’t see eye-to-eye, which leads us sometimes to go nose-to-nose. I mean that physically, too. Yes, it can get political, but what doesn’t get political these days? But it’s other stuff, too. Real personal stuff. More on that later. Maybe.

    So, ‘Corduroy’ is NOT my last name. That’s the ‘pen’ name part. If I were to use my real name, I might not be able to talk about all the things I feel a need to be talking about. If not right now, later. But the thing is this. West Virginia is not really a state. It’s a bunch of villages strung all together. And it’s amazing how something that happens in one of these villages or towns or cities gets known in another one over on the other side of your mountain — or many mountains away — very quickly.

    I doubt the neighbors I have tangled with or the ones I have no urge to tangle with might find my journal on the Internet, if I was to use my real name. But you never know. (Plus, a few of them are armed to the teeth and very grumpy people.) I just don’t wish the hassle if I get a little brave and talk about everything and not just the easier things. And maybe them, too.

    I have wanted to be able to be a ‘writer’ for forever, free to write my mind for a long time. I tried first publishing some op-eds in the local newspapers and community rags. (I learned from one newspaper editor that ‘op-ed’ means ‘opposite editorial,’ meaning the comments of us average nobodies went on the page that faced the high-and-mighty editorial writings of the newspaper).

    But my early tries to publish op-eds in some local papers where I’ve lived (and even one shopper’s rag) did not go well, especially if I said something the town fathers did not like, which I did. Actually, the town mothers were just as bad, if not even more so. I might call them the town ‘mother … dot-dot-dots‘ (if you know what I mean). But my Grandma Katy, god rest her beautiful soul, might whack me upside my forehead, coming down from heaven or wherever she is now or sending a spirit or haint to haunt me if ever I used language like that in public.

    But the ‘Joseph Billy’ part is true enough. But it’s not the whole story of my given Christian names. So, this is how it went down growing up.

    The Way Back When

    I was the first son of a couple of people who probably should never have had sons, much less chickens or goats. They fought all of my growing up like cats and dogs or scorpions in a bowl (to be honest, I never witnessed an actual scorpion, though might like to). They must once have been a happy couple. He was a two-sports star in high school (football and track) and she was “the prettiest cheerleader in the county,” as Grandma Katy liked to say, when she told stories about the way back when, which was a lot.

    By the time I came along — the first boy of three boys — they “couldn’t agree on the exact hour of the day or whether it was rainy or sunshiney outside,” said Grandma K, who I suspect often told me things she told no one else.

    As for me, their fighting began right out of the box, so to speak. Over what to name me. The following is what Grandma K informed me happened. 

    Daddy wanted to call me ‘Joseph William,’ plus my last name, which I am not going to tell you because see my crazy neighbors. My Mom, on the other hand, wished for ‘John Robert.’

    “They each had their reasons,” I remember Grandma K saying. 

    ‘John’ and ‘Robert’ were two names with important connections to my Mom. The first referenced my Mom’s own father and Grandma K’s late and lamented husband — John Jacob. And the other name was from my mother’s younger brother — Robert or ‘Bob. He, unfortunately, died in a terrible car accident while my Mom was still “the prettiest cheerleader in the county.” No one ever talked about that crash much growing up.

    So, who knows why my Dad — who, as cousin Andy once put it, was “the King of Swinging Dicks” — would not honor my Mom’s choices. 

    “He just insisted you be named ‘Joseph William,’” said Grandma K. 

    His reasons were that ‘Joe’ represented his great-grandfather, who came to America from Sicily in the way back when. And that ‘William’ was his own middle name and he wished to pass that down the line.

    The Scandal & The Box

    “The fighting over the name got into a little scandal,” Grandma K told me. (I got all these quotes down in my Family Dollar notebook when she said stuff worth noting because it’s my personal history and family history, too, even if my brothers won’t give it the time of day).

    “Your mother found love letters in a basement box from a woman named ‘Jo,” said Grandma K.

    This Jo apparently had been a big love of Dad’s before he met my Mom. The fight that broke out after the discovery of ‘The Box’ was “a doozy,” said K (which is how I’d had taken to calling my Grandma Kay once she began confiding in me and I listened back. She didn’t seem to mind.)

    “I remember that first big fight night over The Box because it was at Sunday dinner at our house,” said K. “Your mother cried at your father ‘You’re not wanting to just name your first-born son after your Dago granddad, but after your old girlfriend!’”

    And she apparently flung that shoe box full of saved letters onto the dinner table, where some of the letters spilled over and out and into a plate of country chicken in gravy and green beans, soaking the paper.

    “Well, your father, he grabbed for the letters and then raised his hand into a fist at the word ‘dago.’ And your mother grabbed a butter knife from the kitchen table and backed him up a foot or two. 

    “That ain’t true at all!’ he cried. “She was just a best friend …”

    But he looked “suspicious like,” said Grandma K, who I don’t think ever quite took to Dad. There was a lot not to like. For his part, he never did hit Mom. Then or ever, I don’t think. But it was scary more than a few times growing up and I have no desires to be that child I was.

    Agree to Disagree

    The thing was they were both the most cussed, stubborn people you’d ever meet, my Dad and Mom, when they come together over something that stood them apart. And when their cussedness hit and collided it was like cars crashing head on out on the interstate. Which created an even bigger, fierier mess than if they were on fire apart.

    “Both would not give up their position on the proper naming of you,” said K. “So, they agreed to disagree. And gave you all four names.”

    So, that is why growing up my daddy called me ‘Joe Billy.’ Or ‘Joseph William,’ when I was in trouble about something bad. And my Mom called me ‘John Bob.’ Or ‘John Robert’ when she chased me with a spatula, raging about something I did. Or, more commonly, did not do.

    Which, now you know, is why I call this journal ‘JoeBillyJohnBob’s Place.” 

    Call Me What You Call Me

    You can tell different periods and ages in my life, plus my different stages of friends, by times when I was Joe, Joey and Joseph. Or ‘Joe Billy.’ And — lesser than those — ‘Johnny’ and ‘John Robert.’  Plus, there was a ‘JohnBob’ period my mom tried to lock in for several years. Which failed.

    I kind of prefer just ‘Billy’ these days for casual use.

    A couple of my very closest friends — one of them was the Woman of the World who helped clean up the way I talk and enlarged my thinking — called me ‘JoeBillyJohnBob,’ as a sorta joke that took. It was kind of like an ‘Open Sesame’ secret that no one else but the folks I loved most knew to call me. They used it when they wanted to talk to me down or love on me where maybe pillows were involved. Or we were trying to shut the rest of the damn crazy world out. And she’d/he’d lean in and say ‘Joebillyjohnbob, let’s get outa here ….”

    More on that later. Maybe.

    But the thing is, you just can’t be a writer with four names like ‘Joe Billy John Bob,’ unless you are, like, genius-level J.R.R. Tolkien or George R. R. Martin.

    So, I got creative.

    And that is how Joseph ‘Billy’ Corduroy came to be. It’s a little bit of style, and a little bit of country. Which, if you were to ask me, is what I hope my writing gets across.

    And now you know how I got my name(s).

  • My Life in Pluto, West Virginia

    This is not where I live, but it sorta is.


    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 harvest

    FROM: 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