By Bob Weaver 2023

In my younger days I was fascinated but not driven to meet "famous people," some of them not so famous, but people who somehow made a mark on the human culture. Most I met by happenstance.

Beyond doubt the most interesting and stalwart people I have meet are right here in the hills and hollers of Calhoun County, who have never risen to be noticed by the greater world, but men and woman who have served their families, their community and their country. Most were good story tellers.

When I think about name-dropping famous people, I remember "Virgie," an elderly Weston woman, now long gone, that befriended me when I first got sober in the late 1970s.

Virgie was a recovering alcoholic who had trouble staying recovered. She was a strong supporter helping me stay sober. A most fascinating woman. She belonged to the Weston women's bridge and garden clubs, and was a longtime writer for the county newspaper.

Virgie was prim and proper, taking great efforts to "put on her face" each day with a thick liquid and rouges. One time taking her to be detoxed, we had to return to her home to get her make-up kit.

I feared she had alcohol dementia because she often name-dropped famous people, saying "Eleanor (Roosevelt) and I had tea," or "Albert (Einstein) could tell some pretty good jokes." Her famous name list was long, saying "I had drinks with Winston" (Churchill).

Frankly, I discounted the validity of her name-dropping.

At least one time, we moved Virgie into our abode to detox her.

Virgie's sister, with whom she lived, called for assistance and Dianne and I went to her house. Going up the stairway to her room, hanging on the wall were photos, lots of photos, including Virgie with Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill, and numerous other movie stars and famous people from earlier times.

Virgie had worked for the US Government Information Office around the world, during the Great Depression and World War II, and she was not suffering from dementia.

Over the years, as a recovering alcoholic, I hauled her around, and appreciated her company and her stories.

Years later, I returned to the funeral home which I had owned to attend her funeral, feeling her presence.