readers' letters

Feedback from HQ's 2012 Spring Edition

Keeping Up with Katie Lee in HQ

"We have been keeping up with Katie Lee over the years through other publicity here in Huntington, and we loved reading about her in the Winter issue of the Huntington Quarterly magazine. We are thrilled to have her representing our area, and we thank her for being a good representative of Huntington."

Ervin & Susie Jones
Huntington, W.Va.

Paul Ambrose Truly Was Ours

Like the Valinsky family, whose letter was published in your Winter issue, I too treasure the article about Paul Ambrose. Although I did not know her well, I encountered Sharon Ambrose when I worked as a volunteer at St. Mary's Medical Center.

I was from Logan County but spent 52 years in Huntington. My sons went to Huntington East High School, and my daughter went to Marshall and WVU Law School. For all those years, I called Cabell County and Huntington my home. My three sons still live in West Virginia. The article about Paul is so appropriately named, for he was truly ours. Thank you.

Judith Walls Harmon
Brandon, Fla.

Magazine of Choice

My magazine of choice has always been the Huntington Quarterly, and I look forward to it each quarter. The HQ staff does a wonderful job of publishing a great book. It brings me back to when we lived in Huntington many years ago.

Eleanor D'Antoni
Naples, Fla.

Sister Celeste

I enjoyed reading HQ's recent interview with Sister Celeste. My father, A.M. Foose, was a practicing attorney in Huntington; he was one of eight children of German immigrants. My mother, Ruby C. Foose, took four German courses in college. Both of my parents spent many hours teaching Sister Carola and the other founding sisters how to speak English. My dad also did all their legal work free of charge. He handled all the adoptions quietly for unwanted pregnancies. Someday I hope to meet Sister Celeste. You have a great magazine, and I enjoy the articles.

Karl J. Foose, DDS
West Palm Beach, Fla.

A Mailbox Treat

I love the Huntington Quarterly and have found it to be a wonderful gift to friends who have also moved away from our hometown. Even my postman knows how special it is to me. When the most recent issue arrived, he had it in his hand, calling out, "It's here!"

Ann Egnor
Fort Mill, S.C.

Feedback from HQ's 2011 Autumn Edition

"I believe that the article on Paul Ambrose's life was the most moving story ever. I knew Paul and his family from Barboursville Little League. He graduated with my son, Stephen. Paul was "all that and more," as shown in the article, and his parents were wonderful role models for him. A super family, through and through. His brother, Scott, even taught my mom how to play the guitar! A bright light extinguished too soon!"

Jeanette Brannock
Palm Bay, Fla.

"I am a former secretary for Dr. Kenneth Paul Ambrose in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Marshall, and I happened to pick up the Autumn issue of the Huntington Quarterly this morning in a doctor's office. The article about his son Paul was amazing, very well written and all so true. I can still see Paul roller-blading down the seventh floor of Smith Hall where we worked with Ken, when Paul was a student here. That was just Paul. What a tremendous loss, not only to Paul's parents and Bianca, but to the community, state and the U.S. as a whole."

Gina Kates
Huntington, W.Va.

"I love getting my "little piece of Huntington" every quarter. The Paul Ambrose story in your last issue was wonderful. I, too, am a Marshall Medical School graduate, and to lose Paul when he was so young was just so devastating for our community. I cannot even imagine the pain Ken and Sharon Ambrose must still feel. He would have been something great for sure."

Anthony M. Grieco, M.D.
Madisonville, La.

"Thank you for the compelling and powerful story of Dr. Paul Ambrose. I have shared it with many who may not have heard of Paul and his extraordinary young life. The article also revealed a glimpse into the greatness of his mom and dad, two very special people. My wife, 24-year-old daughter and I will always treasure this article and his memory."

David Valinsky
Columbus, Ohio

"I still remember the day Jack Houvouras came to Rotary Club to introduce his new magazine, the Huntington Quarterly, to us. Jack, I salute you for all you have accomplished in such a short time, especially for the public relations achieved for the good of Huntington. Thank you!"

Frank Hanshaw
Huntington, W.Va.

Feedback from HQ's Summer Edition

LeAnn Hewitt
Huntington, W.Va.

"I just finished reading the latest HQ, and I wanted to tell you congratulations. It's my favorite issue so far! I loved the interview with Sister Celeste by Jack Houvouras. Thanks for sharing your talent with Huntington; HQ is awesome!"

Denise Gibson Hill
Uniontown, Ohio

I enjoyed Jim Casto's article in the Summer issue on Huntington's "Favorite Former Eateries." It's my understanding that there was a Wiggins in the West End before the Fifth Avenue one opened. My dad, Dennis Gibson, worked there as a teenager in the early 1930s. One of his jobs was helping make the spaghetti sauce. He told us that after he stirred the slowly cooking ground beef and onions for hours, the cook would hand him a small bag containing spices to mix in. This was to protect the secret recipe. Later on, Dad began making the spaghetti at home after experimenting with the types and amounts of spices that he concluded were the seasonings. He loved making his famous Wiggins spaghetti for the family and prepared great quantities of it over the years for the Hurricane Volunteer Fire Department spaghetti dinner fundraisers. I have his recipe, but it never tastes the same as when he made it. Huntingtonians are fortunate they can still get their Wiggins spaghetti fix at Tascali's.

Andrew Thomas
Scottsdale, Arizona

Jim Casto's article on Huntington's "Favorite Former Eateries" brought back many old memories. One that wasn't on the list is the White Pantry, a restaurant I visited often as a child. My father, Maynard Thomas, owned the Highlawn Pharmacy at 26th Street and Third Avenue. He would close the pharmacy at 11 p.m. and would often be hungry, so he would go to the White Pantry after work. If there were any of the neighborhood boys hanging around the outside of the pharmacy he would gather them up and we would all go to the White Pantry in his DeSoto. We could order whatever we wanted, and it was always at his expense. I usually had one of their delicious hamburgers with all the toppings and French fries. When we left we were always happy with our bellies full. It's a shame that many of these restaurants have had to close due to one reason or another. I will never forget them. When I think about them my stomach starts to growl! Those certainly were "the good old days."

Richard Bobbitt
Sarasota, Fla.

I began getting HQ several years ago and this magazine is one of the best I've ever seen. I can't imagine not receiving my issue every three months. It truly highlights my hometown, and I beam with pride at the stories and photos.

Spring Issue Invokes Fond Memories

Thank you so very much for my Spring issue. I have really enjoyed each article. I loved the articles about Simon Perry and the restaurants that are just a memory now. I wish good luck and good health to the HQ staff and all the blessings for a good and happy life. I am a Huntington girl but lived in England for 30 years, and I now live with my daughter and her husband in Deltona, Fla. My brother would send me the magazine when I lived in England. No matter how long you are away from Huntington, it is still home. I cannot wait until the next issue.

Mary Yeomans
Deltona, Fla.

Your article on Mings (previously the Elephant Walk) surely led me down memory lane. As a student at Marshall (1964-67), I worked at the Elephant Walk first as a waiter then bartender. My boss was Bill Ritter's brother. I think he was called "Chick," but he was always "Mr. Ritter" to me. The personal liquor cabinets were in use when I started working there, but when I began tending the bar we provided everything "by the drink." How well I remember the stage, with its piano from which entertainers — and often one of the regulars — sang popular tunes. Women came in with a group of friends; seldom did they come in alone. And only once do I remember a woman sitting at the bar. As a matter of fact, her sitting at the bar almost got me fired. I lied about my age to work there and was quite a naive young man. At the night this woman sat at the bar, I was new at mixing drinks. She ordered a drink called "Between the Sheets." I thought she was coming on to me and made a comment which she later passed on to Chick, who called me into his office and read me the proverbial "riot act." We closed at midnight, and afterward members of the staff would cross the river into Ohio where hours were more lenient. While our patrons had their "night out," we had our "mornings out." Those early morning classes at Marshall came early!

Dan Baisden
Winston Salem, N.C.

I read every issue of HQ with great interest and anticipation, as your magazine's consistently excellent quality continues to make me proud of my Huntington heritage.

Ty Tippett
Atlanta, Ga.

Feedback from HQ's Winter Edition

Thank you for the inclusion of Hospice of Huntington as one of the "50 things We Love About Huntington." I can't tell you how proud that made us all at Hospice of Huntington. We are also proud of the publication that you started so many years ago. My husband and I were one of the original subscribers and still enjoy the magazine.

Charlene Farrell
Huntington, W.Va.

The article entitled "100 Years of Patriotism" by Carter Taylor Seaton and the beautifully photographed pictures by Rick Lee are so special to all of us who are DAR members. Thank you so much for honoring our organization with such a terrific article. It means so much to all of us, especially to those of us who are 50-year members of the DAR.

Jessie McClain
Huntington, W.Va.

We are devoted to Huntington and to Marshall. Even though our daughter and her family are in South Carolina, their hearts are "home in Huntington!" We look forward to the Huntington Quarterly and enjoy everything about it – the quality, the beautiful pictures and the support for our hometown.

Kay and Harry Sowards
Huntington, W.Va.

Summer 2010: "Wow! What an issue."

I hope you will pardon a healthy dose of unjustifiable pride when looking at the current issue of Huntington Quarterly. Can you possibly imagine how it feels for an old codger to read a really first-class magazine while basking in the reflected glory from not one but three former students — and an ex-summer-intern? Your article on Bill Campbell does a wonderful job of accurately reflecting the innate class of that gentleman. It sometimes felt like I was talking with him. Jim Casto's "Buffalo Bill" is his usual entertaining/informative look at yesteryear. (Can you imagine a summer in a broadcast newsroom with two interns — Casto and David Peyton — side by side?) Susan Nicholas did a really nice job on the Willow Glen house. I'm glad she's writing as well as anchoring! And then there's Clint McElroy. 'Nuff said. Wow! What an issue.

Bos Johnson
Huntington, W.Va.

What a pleasant surprise to read the compelling article about Help for Animals in the Summer 2010 edition. Our "alpha" dog Shep is a product of Help for Animals. The owner of Shep's mother brought her into the clinic pregnant and about to deliver. Help for Animals agreed to find homes for the puppies if the owner agreed to have the mom spayed. My husband and I recently had decided we needed a dog to harass our two cats, and, after a tip from our babysitter, who also worked at Help for Animals, I made the trip to view mom and her pups. When the assistant opened the kennel door and soon-to-be Shep playfully emerged, he proceeded to relieve himself and started dancing at my feet. I knew Shep was meant for us and have yet to regret the adoption. Once Shep was old enough, I returned to the clinic to have him neutered. Help for Animals truly fills a needed niche in our region and I encourage all pet owners and lovers to support and use its services. Our family now enjoys the company of Shep plus two pure breeds, but there's something about a "mutt" that is irreplaceable!

Nancy F. Williams
Huntington, W.Va.

I would like to commend Jack Houvouras on his "Last Great Amateur" article about Mr. Campbell. The article was very well written. It captured the great love and obvious skill of the game that Mr. Campbell possesses, and it captured his great leadership and statesmanship for golf that his life has exhibited. I first saw Mr. Campbell years ago as a visitor to Pinehurst. The video about the resort that plays on the "Pinehurst" channel reviews the history of Pinehurst and of course, its flagship golf tournament for many years, the North South Amateur Championship. Mr. Campbell's eloquent, first-hand recounting of those tournaments many years ago goes a long way toward putting guests in a "Pinehurst" state of mind where the natural challenges of fairways, greens and bunkers replace the worldly challenges of business and politics. Thanks so much for this great look at a great champion.

Mike Love
Charlotte, N.C.

Readers reflect on the Spring 2010 edition

We wanted to thank you and your staff for the fine article on Creative Kitchens in our 50th year. Writer Molly McClennen did a great job expressing what both Nancy and myself believe is the essence of our success and longevity. Seeing in print what we have known in our hearts validates the importance of family, teamwork and perseverance in today's small business. We are very proud of this article and of our association with the Huntington Quarterly.

Rob & Jeanne Stepp
Nancy & Mike Rigney
Huntington, W.Va.

I loved the article about Vanity Fair by James Casto. I was one of the lucky musicians that performed with the big bands there. Back in the days, the dance floor would be filled. The Piano was there for years. Fats Walker and many other musicians performed at The Piano. Most or maybe all of the musicians who performed there are gone, but I was one of the lucky ones to meet Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Rosemary Clooney. I also backed up on sax for the Ink Spots. The article took me back in time — it made my day.

Bill Spurlock
Huntington, W.Va.

I've been meaning to write to tell you how much I enjoyed Keith Morehouse's story on Coach Marshall Reynolds. It was extremely well-written - I especially liked the lead and the ending - and showed a different side to this well-known business leader. It sends out a great message, too - no one is too busy to take time to help out their community. Nice article!

Lori Wilt
Flatwoods, Ky.

I love the Huntington Quarterly! It is my "new" coffee table book! It has so many articles in it that keep me up-to-date on things, and I love that it lets me visit some of my old hangouts. Every issue is special. I look at every page and read about half of it the day it arrives. I can barely put it down.

Jeanette Brannock
Palm Bay, Fla.

It was interesting that this edition carried a lead article on Jamie Oliver's project to improve our present-day eating habits and resultant health and at the same time in the article about Vanity Fair showed how trim men looked during the World War II years. I looked closely at that picture and could not see one overweight man, much less an obese one. This clearly shows one area in which the nation needs to go backwards.

Don DeBord
Huntington, W.Va.

Reflections on magazine's 20th anniversary edition

I'm a Huntington native, as I was born and lived there most of my life, although I've not lived there for the past 17 years. However, I have been a subscriber for several years now and have always enjoyed reading your magazine. Every so often, I have a connection to the topic of an article, but never so much as in your 20th Anniversary issue. As I was thumbing through the article "Our City's Beauty," I was floored with what I saw. No, it wasn't the dogwoods in the park, the Memorial Fountain, Old Main in the snow or any of the other beautiful pictures of Huntington landmarks. What floored me was that of the house in Huntington, the house my mother and uncle grew up in, which happens to be the house my brother, sister and I grew up in. It was the only house chosen for this photo essay depicting Huntington's beauty. I realize that I am biased when I say that I couldn't agree more with your choice to include our family's Huntington house for over 40 years in your pictorial. It is truly one of the finest homes in all of Huntington. Thank you for making my day. My 85-year old grandfather, who bought the house in the 1950s, is also overjoyed with your selection. Everyone in the family misses Huntington, but specifically, we all miss that home on the Boulevard, and all the more now. Keep up the good work.

Todd Bergin
Irvine, CA

Many thanks for the recent edition of the Huntington Quarterly. I always enjoy it. Your company surely deserves accolades for the 20th Anniversary issue! It is a remarkable publication and obviously reflects the passion and love of the editors.

I truly believe the Huntington Quarterly does for Huntington what Arizona Highways did for my beloved Arizona! And that is no small praise!

Dr. Robert Estes
Tucson AZ

Thank you so much for publishing Jim Casto's story on former Marshall President Stewart H. Smith. It triggered a beautiful memory for my wife and me which goes back to our wedding in Huntington on Feb. 7, 1948, at the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church. Around this time a two-page handwritten letter arrived from the Office of the President of Marshall College. Stewart H. Smith had attended the wedding, responding to my verbal invitation as I departed Marshall and the editorship of The Parthenon. He gave beautiful advice in several paragraphs outlining the secrets of a successful married life, but one passage captured our interest and attention. It read: "You are beginning this journey with the blessings of God and the sincere good wishes of all your friends. The nearer you keep to Him the nearer you will be to one another. Let Him always be an unseen guest in your house." So it came to pass that we've followed his advice for 61 years. Again, thank you for a fine story on our old friend and counselor.

Charles Connor
Treasure Island, FL


Recently, we received our regular copy of the Huntington Quarterly and once again were impressed with the work of the HQ Publishing Co. staff.

While all of the issues we have received over the years have been very well done and present Huntington very positively, this particular issue was special.

In fact, it put us in a little tug-of-war over who could read it first. My wife jumped in first and told me all about our friend Estelle Pennington's father, Azel Meadows. Almost paragraph by paragraph she read me the story of Mr. Meadows and his many contributions to the growth and development of Huntington.

Of course, I managed to get the Quarterly next and read the continuing story of Chad Pennington and his comeback in the NFL.

There were so many stories that it took us a week, passing the magazine back and forth, to read this Huntington Quarterly. We enjoyed and appreciated all of the stories from Hospice to a look at new Huntington mayor Kim Wolfe and his many opportunities to the story of the beautiful mansion on North Boulevard. I knew the story of Huntington and CSX but found it interesting to read how important the railroad still is to Huntington.

For some time now we have questioned the designation of Huntington as an unhealthy place. I tend to think of health care in Huntington in a very positive way, and we know how important the Marshall Medical School and the various hospitals are to the health of area citizens and the long-term future of the Tri-State area.

In summary, we have been reading HQ's magazine for more than 18 years now and it seems to get better and better. The Huntington Quarterly is a very well-done magazine with quality photographs and interesting stories. The magazine is certainly a positive for Huntington that few cities that we know can compete with.

It just shows that there is no limit in America when one combines vision and hard work.

J. Wade Gilley
Reston, VA

Your magazine is terrific and I'll probably enjoy it even more now that we have moved from West Virginia, our beloved city and state.

Thank you for always making Huntington look good. I am feeling very good about our town, and I believe great things are going to happen there.

With jolly good wishes for your continued success.

Jo Moore Adkins
Ft. Mill, SC


Congratulations on your 20th Year Anniversary issue! As always it is an outstanding publication. I have had the privilege of reading your magazine now for 19 of your 20 years. Although I miss Huntington, your magazine allows me to keep up in so many positive aspects of the Huntington community. Over the years a number of other magazines similar to yours have started up in our state, however, none of them can duplicate the Huntington Quarterly. Your unique stories, excellent writing and superb photography set you apart. Perhaps even more importantly the magazine is more than just a job or a business for you. It is a love of life to positively tell the story of Huntington, West Virginia. Congratulations and continued good luck for the next 20 years.

J. Thomas Jones
Fairmont, WV

After reading the 20th Anniversary edition of Huntington Quarterly I just had to write and let you know how much I appreciate the magazine. I have lived away from Huntington since 1984 and have missed it terribly. My sister gave me my first subscription to Huntington Quarterly when it was first published, and I have kept that subscription ever since. I would never want to miss an issue and risk missing something spectacular that was happening in Huntington. Your magazine helps me keep up to date on my hometown, and I absolutely look forward to every issue. You really do have a first class magazine. Here's hoping for at least another 20 years of Huntington Quarterly!

Cathy Owens Peter
Hattiesburg, MS

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your 20th anniversary edition last night. Great job – particularly the Paul Newman article. What a captivating read. I get to listen to Paul on a daily basis as the voice of Doc Hudson in the "Cars" movie my son is obsessed with.

Mike Bowen
Huntington, WV

Your latest creation arrived in the mail yesterday and it's marvelous! Each issue has always impressed me and this one is no exception. Jim Casto's collection of postcards was beautifully laid out. I'm honored to be part of the HQ family. Thanks for the continuing opportunity!

Carter T. Seaton
Huntington, WV


I just received my copy of the Autumn 2007 edition of Huntington Quarterly with Matt Lauer on the cover, and I have to say I view it as one of the best, if not the best, issues ever from a standpoint of writing and content. We should all be proud to have such a publication promote our community!

Mark Bugher, President
Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce
Huntington, WV

I finally had time after Christmas to catch up on all the periodicals that I wanted to look through. I'm stretched out on the couch, there's a fire crackling away in the fireplace and snow is softly falling outside the windows. I have just finished reading your entertaining article about Matt Lauer and as I leaf through the pages, I come across the article, "Most Intriguing Architectural Structures in Huntington." I nearly fell off the couch when I turned the page to see the Greyhound Bus Depot among those honored! The Greyhound Bus Depot was truly a labor of love without disparate voices. Recognition by the Huntington Quarterly of its consequence in out community bolsters the value of our endeavor.

Vickie Shaffer, C.E.O.
The Transit Authority
Huntington, WV


I am writing to express my appreciation and delight in your magazine. I always find the quality of photos and articles on my hometown (including places of interest and people of influence) to be very captivating and worthwhile reading. I especially like the wine tips from Matthew Debord. I find his articles well written and informative, and he gives me ideas for new wines to try, which is always a good thing. I think the city of Huntington should be very proud of the work you do.

Mary Noel
Nicholasville, KY

First off, I love your magazine! I love how you and your staff present Huntington's positive side. I wish you guys would do a story about Rick Huckaby and Marshall Basketball of the 1980s. All the excitement that used to buzz through the Cam was memorable and would be a great tribute to a good man.

Ben Frazier
Daniel Island, SC

Send letters to: HQ Letters, P.O. Box 384, Huntington, WV 25708, or email to [email protected]