John Gillespie

“He has been so good to us for many, many years!” says Phyllis Cantrell, Executive Director of Gateway Industries, who nominated John Gillespie to be the Real West Virginian of the Week. “He helps with so many community events!” John, his brother Charley, and his sister Martha run Gillespie’s Flowers & Productions together in White […]

Step inside a ‘Christmas Wonderland’ in West Virginia

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV For fifty years, Lee & Mark Gillespie have transformed their home into a “Christmas Wonderland” each holiday season.  Their wonderland includes: four large trees, two villages, eight garland doorways, and more than 3,000 ornaments throughout their one-story home.  “We can tell you where every ornament came from,” Mark shares with a […]

White Sulphur woman opens her home to international students

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV Cindi Clarke has moved 39 times in her life. She grew up in a military family that was constantly relocating. As a result, she learned to appreciate the value in learning new cultures from new people. Clarke now makes her home in downtown White Sulphur Springs, where she works remotely.  Knowing […]

The Lunch Box, where delicious is in the details

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV Erin Lovell revels in details. Every aspect of her newest project, The Lunch Box in White Sulphur Springs, tells a story. And it all begins with the “handle” atop the 10×16 foot pistachio-green building.  “Everywhere we go people would say, ‘I wish you were still serving food,’” she recalls.  One day […]

‘For the Love of Golf’ opens in White Sulphur Springs 

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV Before Brandon Watkins received his Professional Golf Management Degree and taught the game in places like Myrtle Beach and Knoxville, he was a student at Greenbrier East High School who played on the golf team.  “I started giving lessons when I was probably about 15,” he says. “I just love the […]

John “Some Kind of Wonderful” Ellison at Big Draft, free show Saturday

Born August 11, 1941, into an impoverished family in a small coal mining town in West Virginia, a young John Ellison started on a difficult career path as a musician experiencing tremendous hardship and violent racism. In the mid-1960s, Ellison traveled to Rochester, New York, where he founded Soul Brothers Six. in 1967, John Ellison wrote what […]

STRIDE Gala honors Mary Thompson for disability empowerment work 

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV On the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, residents of the Greenbrier Valley gathered at the world’s first fully accessible hotel, The Schoolhouse, to launch a new non-profit dedicated to disability empowerment.  The new non-profit is called STRIDE (Supporting, Transforming Rights, Inclusion, and Disability Empowerment). A vision of the […]

Summer reading program needs volunteers

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV With reading scores at 20-year lows for West Virginia students, a summer literacy program offers kids the chance to improve their reading skills before heading back to the classroom this fall. Operated by the West Virginia University Extension Office, Energy Express is a six-week program at schools throughout the state. In […]

Schoolhouse Hotel hosts community celebration

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV Charlie Hammerman, owner of The Schoolhouse Hotel, invited the community to a dinner Wednesday evening celebrating the one-year anniversary of the property’s opening. “It’s hard to believe it has been a year,” Hammerman said with a smile. “We’re making an economic impact and engaged with the community, so it’s been a […]

Barnwood Builders construct Airbnb rentals in White Sulphur

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV If you were awakened by a loud sound in White Sulphur Springs last week, it wasn’t a pack of wild dogs on the loose. It was Mark Bowe, rapping a country song over the purr of a crane while personally manning the controls and dropping logs onto a frame.  Bowe & […]