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What’s up? The ceiling.

May 22, 2005, 4:22 PM

Sometimes the “usual” greeting becomes part of the relationship. Other times, it just gets annoying. So goes it sometimes. I have officially had it with people responding to my “what’s up” with “the sky” or “the ceiling”. It’s gotten old, and it’s time to move on to something new.

However, one thing that a coworker and I do is really clever. We each say “hi”, then I say “What’s up?” and she says, “Ain’t nothin’.” That had been going on for months. Recently, we switched it up. I said “hi”, then she said “What’s up?” and I replied, “Ain’t nothin’.” It was clever since we switched our normal responses and it just came off so naturally that we both got a kick out of it. Life is interesting sometimes.

Speaking of interesting days, I went to Lake Moomaw on Thursday as planned. I got there via Lexington and Covington. It’s not the most direct way to get there, but it’s the only way I know (but if you do know of a shorter way to get to the Coles Mountain recreational area, let me know).

Plus I love going through Covington. It’s an interesting little town. Very working-class. It’s kind of dumpy looking, and you can tell that it’s not an important market to various retailers, as various big-name retailers, like Food Lion, Kroger, and CVS, among others, haven’t bothered to update their stores in years. Walking into the Kroger there was like taking a glimpse into retail history, since the store appeared to have not been touched in probably fifteen years.

Otherwise, though, it reminds me a bit of a dumpy little industrial town. Actually, it is a dumpy little industrial town. The biggest thing in Covington is a large factory on the north end of town – Westvaco. According to a history of Westvaco I found, that plant’s been there in various forms since 1900. And that’s the focal point of the town. Just about anywhere you look in the town, you can see Westvaco. It’s such a thing in the town that the exit signs on the Interstate even direct you on how to get to Westvaco.

Now speaking of Westvaco, the thing that I’m interested in hearing the story about relates to two signs I’ve seen in prominent locations. One is white and located on a house on the north side of I-64, and the other is red, and located along US 220 going towards Lake Moomaw. They say “WESTVACO DISCRIMINATES AGAINST OLDER RETIREES” and something about pension plans in large, bold letters. Does anyone know the back-story to these signs?

On the way to Lake Moomaw, I encountered a considerable delay. Turns out that US 220 was being repaved, and the operation was going full swing while I was trying to get through. As US 220 is a two-lane road, that meant that all traffic had to share one lane. Thus the delays, since 220 is a busy road, and they let large amounts of traffic go in each direction before reversing. But once we got through that, it was smooth sailing.

Then when I got to Lake Moomaw, it was very quiet. Few people were out on the lake on Thursday. After changing into my suit, I found out why. The lake was pretty bloody cold! I did go all the way in and got completely wet, but let me tell you… I didn’t do much aside from just stand there in the water, for as I said, it was pretty bloody cold. But it was fun nonetheless, though.

And from there I headed back home for the most part. All in all, not a bad day.

Web site: History of Covington, Virginia

Song: "Santa Baby" - and it's not even July yet!

Quote: "Interesting town. Even Wal-Mart's in more of an industrial-looking area than a commercial area."

Categories: Lake Moomaw