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Thursday, January 17, 2008

On Stowie, Our Official Landfill Mascot...

I just read in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (which sometimes even winds up on our doorstep Not Wet) that Stowie, McDowell County's Official Landfill Mascot, went to Charleston yesterday for McDowell County Day. (If anyone out there has good pix of Stowie, please email me & I'll post it). This filled me with such civic pride that I had to write a special post about it. I mean, like, whodathunkit? We have a Landfiull Mascot! How many other places can say that? Charles Owens wrote extensively on Stowie back in October, 2007, as S began to make his rounds thru the county's classrooms, teaching kids to teach their parents not to litter ("Don't Throw It, Stow It" I believe is our new motto), but I somehow missed that article, and only learned of Stowie's existence today after his presence in Charleston made front page news. Actually, as sarcastic as I may sound, I think Stowie is a great concept. He's certainly an um, Unique civic mascot, and he definitely puts McD Co. on the map for Creative Marketing, if nothing else. I can almost see the green Tourist Attraction signs on I77 now: "Exit now for McDowell County, Home of Stowie, the Landfill Mascot!"
I have been begging and pleading with everyone in WV Tourism for 5+ years now to help get Attraction signs on I77 to let tourists know about all the great stuff our county has to offer that's worth taking that Route 52 Exit for: our fabulous ATV trails, the biggest trout in the USA, our wonderful Pocahontas RR, the Kimball Memorial to WWI's Black soldiers and other historic sites, our cool, little golf course, lakes, State Park & Forest, etc.- & have gotten absolutely nowhere. (McDowell County remains without representation on the Board of the SWVCVB, that's supposed to be representing us, because the county still lacks 15 advertisers...) But Stowie, I'll bet, will warrant a road sign PDQ.
As you drive Route 52 from Bluefield towards Welch, at the entrance to the County you will find a small sign proudly proclaiming "McDowell County, Home of the Rocket Boys". This refers to (for the 6 people out there who haven't yet read or seen October Sky), Homer Hickam and his friends, who, back in the 1950s, took one look at Sputnik and were sufficiently inspired and motivated to go from Coalwood to NASA, & other points equally high. Somehow representation by Stowie doesn't have quite the same ring to it...

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