I just started reading a new book about Charles Manson, and it’s already blowing my mind, maaaan. All my life I’ve heard people say that Manson lived in Charleston, WV when he was a kid, but I was never sure if it was true or not. I encounter an enormous amount of horseshit in my travels, and I’m always skeptical.
The Manson factoid wasn’t as dubious a claim as the oft-repeated “Charleston is number seven on the list of cities the Soviet Union plan to bomb, once it all starts going down…” I heard that one all my life, too. Except the number always changed: sometimes it was seven, other times it was four. I’d get excited when we’d move up the chart. I always wondered how people knew these statistics, though. As far as I was aware, the Kremlin rarely published their war plans.
Anyway, Charles Manson apparently DID live in Charleston when he was a kid. His mother was wild as all hell, and spent a few months in Moundsville prison. She and her brother had a scheme where she would go into a nightclub or beer joint in Charleston, start leading some poor bastard on, and lure him outside. The brother would be out there waiting for them, and hit the guy over the head with a Coke bottle full of sand. (Heh.) Then they’d take all his money, and move on to the next victim.
So, both Charlie’s mother and uncle did a stretch at Moundsville. However, before all this happened… the book says they lived on “the Dunbar line.” I assume that means the streetcar line? I’m unclear. Does it mean they lived in the city of Dunbar itself?! I don’t know, but the thought of a young Charles Manson walking the same streets as I did when I was his age… Well, it’s freaking me out a little.
Here’s a photo of a streetcar in Dunbar, years before good ol’ Charlie would’ve been there. And before the Soviet Union targeted it for nuclear destruction.
For a Question, I’d like to know about the famous (or infamous) people who lived in the town where you grew up. If it’s NYC, I guess this won’t work very well. Maybe limit it to your high school: famous people who went to the same school as you. And if you’re from a tiny place like Dunbar, feel free to expand it to a 50 mile radius, or so.
Los Angeles Lakers great — and NBA logo — Jerry West grew up very close to where I did. My parents used to watch him play as a high schooler. Also, comedy genius Soupy Sales was from Huntington. So, there. Can you top comedy genius Soupy Sales? I know you can’t, but I invite you to try in the comments section below.
Also, this might be a long-shot, but I’d like to know about the questionable legends you’ve heard about your hometown. I have a feeling every place has ’em. So, if any jump to mind, please share.
Before I go… I want to thank you guys for a great October. It was important month for me, for reasons I’ll explain soon, and it went well. We really cranked up the ridiculousness this month, and it was a lot of fun. I appreciate your continued support.
Check out all the stuff that happened this month: it was action-packed and crazy. What were your favorite Surf Report updates in October? Let me know, and I’ll try to give you more of it in the future.
Have a great day, my friends!
Now playing in the bunker
Use the Surf Report’s webhost: HostGator!
WV Bumblebee says
Charles Manson did live up towards Tyler Mountian. My great aunt & uncle lived up the road by The Apple Tree Inn, across from Woodrums Lane and he lived somewhere around there.
Don’t forget Nick Nolte is from Charleston too. I know he used to go to the Roaring 20’s and get into all kinds of trouble. he was living in South Hills in the early 80’s.
WV Bumblebee says
I went to Jr High, yes Jr High not middle school, with Charles Manson’s cousin in Sissonville.
And what is with the “junior high” versus “middle school” thing? Until recently I thought they were two names for the same thing, with different school districts picking one or the other, seemingly at random. Like spring onions -vs- scallions. Apparently “middle school” is a Modern Abomination. Why wasn’t I notified?
Junior high is grades 7, 8, and 9. Middle school is grades 6, 7, and 8. This is for school districts which start high school at grade 9, instead of grade 10.
WV Bumblebee says
yes, Jr High is “out” everybody has middle school now…
Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic gymnast is from WV, Parkersburg I think.
My hometown (1200 people) had a guy that was featured on “America’s Most Wanted”. Twice. First time was a, “Be on the look out for”, episode. Second time was a re-enactment on how they tracked him down (thanks to your tips) and blew him away. I knew him and his brother. Other than that…squat. We had a ringworm and herpes epidemic in 1961 and I’ve heard that in the 40’s the mayor, Butch Allen, showed up at a council meeting dressed as a woman.
How fucking cool is that?
Jera….where did you live? I’m not sure, but I think we lived on S. 8th St (?). I remember the house, our neighbors house and the big church on the corner like it was yesterday. But not sure of the addresss and have no clue of the name of the school I went to. In fact, I have old photo’s of the house I found in some of my mom’s albumns.
The fuck?!? My phone is going ape shit….
Betsy Mitchell Olympic swimmer is from Marietta Ohio
Admiral Nimitz was from Fredericksburg, TX
Shiny Rod says
Meh, my hometown Burlington NJ only produced a couple presidents and novelist or two.
Elias Boudinot (1740–1821), President of the Continental Congress from 1782 to 1783.
Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), Union Army general and the eighteenth President of the United States (1869–1877).
James Fenimore Cooper
Art Vandelay says
I’m from Tappahannock, VA. Chris Brown is the only notable entertainment person, but he’s a dick.
Michael Moore did his small-town bit in Fahrenheit 9/11 in Tappahannock, at the tire store and wandering around town. I recognized it when I saw it, likely by the accents.
Bill in WV says
Obviously, Randy Moss is from this area. He graduated from The University of Rand, along with many other famous people, who were all fatasses.