The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

March 17, 2013

Sesqui-Wha?

Beckley native writes and self-publishes book of facts unique to Mountain State

— No, it’s not the year of the sasquatch. 2013 is the sesquicentennial year for the Mountain State — meaning grand old West Virginia is celebrating her 150th. Who better to write about her finer and more interesting points than one of her biggest fans?

Meet Beckley native Danny Pettry II, a man well-acquainted with the negative stereotypes of West Virginia and one equally determined to do his part in educating against them.

Pettry has written and self-published “150 Wonderful Things You Should Know About West Virginia: A Celebration of West Virginia’s 150th Anniversary.” He constructed the book to be read by any age or generation needing an at-the-ready primer on the 35th State’s appeal, from historical to fun or even mythical.

The worst problem he encountered in writing it? Narrowing down the many attributes and facts to just 150.

“I had a West Virginia history class in eighth grade, and I really enjoyed it,” Pettry admits. “That was the first time I learned anything about West Virginia history and since then I’ve always been interested in it.”

Designed to be a keepsake or used for the classroom, the book includes an online quiz teachers can employ with their interactive smart board technology. Or just in case there’s ever a West Virginia category on “Jeopardy,” 150 Wonderful Things offers compact pearls of knowledge for anyone, student or not, like why West Virginia broke away from Virginia, which U.S. president’s mother was born in what would become Mineral County, W.Va., where and what the Pumpkin House is and what films have been shot in West Virginia, among many more.

“I work with kids and have used this with our children and teenagers,” explains the recreational therapist/author, proud to point a new generation, and the older ones as well, toward the many tales the state has to tell.

Pettry’s book is currently available on Amazon.com for $22 and has its own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestVirginiaFunFacts.

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About the author: Danny Pettry II earned his degree in park resources and leisure services with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation from Marshall University in 2002. He works as a recreational therapist at River Park Hospital in Huntington.

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