1965 Fall Review

From Fighting to Protect the Highlands, The First Forty Years of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy by Dave Elkinton

As recalled by Maxwell Smith  “It was a cold, wet, miserable day; however the attendance of 350 to 400 persons far exceeded our hopes.  After the day’s activities there was an evening meeting at Gatewood Management Area on Spruce Mountain.  Bob Harrigan had arranged for the meal, and the generator for lights.  The meal was an excellent barbecued chicken dinner, which was cooked and eaten in the rain, but enjoyed by all.  The meeting later in the Revivalist’s Tent was well attended, with Secretary of Interior, Stewart Udall, and U.S. Senator Robert Byrd as the main speakers.”

Rupe Cutler recalled; I found myself in the role of the “anchor man” of that team of speakers addressing their concerns regarding threats to the Highlands.  In the “call and response” speaking style of the late U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey I did my best to rouse the audience roughly as follows: Do you want a Royal Glen Dam? (Noooooo!) Do you want an Appalachian Corridor Highway? (Nooooo!) Do you want a Highlands Scenic Highway? (Nooooo!) and so forth.  We were rocking and rolling , and fervently hoping that our guests from Washington and Elkins got the message.  Following that emotional evening, the organizers concluded they had gotten their new group off to a good start.

Senator Byrd once wrote: “West Virginia is one of the most beautiful and unique of all places. It is the most southern of the northern and the most northern of the southern; the most eastern of the western and the most western of the eastern. It is where the East says good morning to the West, and where Yankee Doodle and Dixie kiss each other good night!”