Bill Stewart's just a-drivin' along in his truck, listening to Beyonce, watching the first daffodils of spring pop up around the ol' West Virginny hills, and no, we're not making this up, this is seriously what Bill Stewart did this morning, and every morning. This article in the Wheeling News-Register only confirms Stewart's status as the Blanka of Folksy. Fight him for the crown, and he will rip your arms off and console your loss in the challenge by giving you a mason jar of sweet tea. (Which you will be unable to hold, because you have just had your arms torn off of your body.)
He's like a truck commercial in audio form.
"You have no idea what it's like to be from the Ohio Valley unless you're from here," Stewart said. "We're family. We're a very resilient bunch, I believe. I don't know if you'll find any harder workers. Nowhere is anyone more loyal. And everyone is accountable.
That place you're from? It's not like anywhere else. Grit is grittier there, blue jeans more blue jean-y. Dirt is dirtier. Ham? Ham-mier, dangit. We're not like THOSE people. You know, the bastards who got Nash Bridges cancelled.
Stewart's no hayseed, though. He's down with the streets, yo.
"There's a bonding going on now more so than ever in collegiate athletics," Stewart said. "And it's needed now more so than ever because of what is going out there in those streets.
We're not going to make fun of him here and suggest that Stewart got this impression from repeated viewings of The Wire. (And don't think he's not on that. If a self-proclaimed West Virginia holler boy can bump Beyonce in his truck, he could have The Wire cued up in the DVR. After all, if Terry Gross is on that, anyone can be a fan.)
Rather, we'll suggest that Bill Stewart is actually the guy who parks his truck on the worst street on the worst side of the worst high school in town on a recruiting trip, walks up to a bunch of scary-ass guys hanging on a corner, and says "Hey, how you doin'? I'm looking for the football field. Y'all know where it is? I'm not from around here." When he gets directions and a "have a nice day" from these guys, they kind of understand his genius. He's simply too nice to rob.
He knows what's going on in the streets, most likely because he'd walk smiling down the worst ones imaginable without thinking about it twice. Possibly while covered in a suit made of hundred-dollar bills.
"We live in a fast-paced world. Internet. High tech. We're fast, we're on Facebook. Pictures get up and this and that. It's going too fast. America needs to slow down, we need to sit on the front porch. We need to do a little bit of Ohio Valley living."
Stewart is obviously referring to the Kevin Pittsnogle scandal, and after seeing those pictures, we understand the backlash against digital living. That kind of fashion mistake will make a man want to bomb himself and his neighbors back to the stone age. Front porch living for you, Bill, means ADD people like us are unoccupied and shooting dice on the back porch. As long as you're fine with this, we're totally on board your Ohio Valley Living movement. (The magazine would be just like Southern Living, but with more buck hunting tips, Union advertisements, and blacklung-themed articles*.)
*Blacklung joke mandatory by rule 34.18 of blogging about West Virginia, which totally rules.