|By Bob Weaver 2001|
Did you know half-runner beans originated in Calhoun County? Charleston
Daily Mail columnist Dave Peyton gave the inside scoop to Michael Feldman
on National Public Radio yesterday. Peyton, among our favorite West Virginia
columnists, appeared on "Whad'Ya Know," with other West Virginians, live
It was a wonderful, humorous and exciting program from the Mountain
Calhoun resident and chef, Tim Urbanic, appeared on the show with
Feldman, talking about his Sutton restaurant Cafe Cimino. SEE earlier Hur
Herald story DiningSpot.
Urbanic gave up his career as a mental health professional and raising draft
horses to open his popular gourmet establishment.
He told Feldman "I started playing with food when I was a kid. "Cafe Cimino
specializes in Italian Food, but also features West Virginia trout from Tucker
County and some fine steak. Tim brought an array of the restaurants
specialties for Feldman to sample.
Well-known WV musician Johnny Staats talked about his musical career.
"I hurt my fingers playing instruments," which hurt his football career, he
said. The accomplished mandolin player said he recently went to France to
"I had a little trouble there," he told Feldman. "I kept saying gracias when
they served me." Staats said he got some strange looks when he said, "That
tower doesn't look like its leaning to me." Staats, said one of the band
members told him, "You're in the wrong part of town."
Lisa, from out of state, called in for the Quiz portion of the show. She asked
to say, hello to friends in Calhoun County, especially, Jean and Bill of
Peyton said a Calhoun woman took the half-runner beans (that only grow
half-way up the pole) to a Summersville merchant, who later claimed the
origin of the seed. "We cook 'em to death around here and throw a lot of stuff
on them to make 'em right," he said. Peyton said northerners run 'em under
hot tap water, indicating they taste like plastic food.
The columnist revealed he sits in his underwear in his Huntington residence
and writes his well-known column. "West Virginia has a wonderful state of
mind," he said. "We know tragedy well." He said we lean on fatalism and
have the meddle to see us through. Such cultural traits will help America
survive the current crisis, he continued.
Peyton often writes about West Virginia originals, like his long-time friend
Aunt Ginny, who died at age 93. Dave said, "The chain-smoking, finally got
her." Aunt Ginny always said "If you're born to hang, you'll never drown. So
let the big cat jump." He explained her old saying means "Bring it on," we're
With massive layoffs happening and more pending, news sources just printed
the country is headed for a recession. Calhouner's and many poor West
Virginia counties will be little affected, use to hunkering down during a
booming economy. Aunt Ginny's saying, quoted by Peyton will likely apply,
"Bring it on!"
Peyton talked about celtic culture and tribalism in the state. As a resident of
Huntington he thought the people in Charleston were "uppity." It reminded
me of visiting a family about a mile downhill from the faded Village of Hur,
holler dwellers. "Those people up there at Hur try to run everything," they
said. Only eleven of us, including children, lived in the village at the time.
Peyton told Feldman he is hopeful some West Virginia originals are still living
up the hollers to help us through the tough times.
You can read Dave's editorials in the Charleston Daily Mail and by visiting PeytonPlace.
If you missed the broadcast, visit Whad'YaKnow. Saturday's
show will be added soon.