I grew up in a small town called Sophia. Not a big town at all 1 elementary school and a middle school and high school in an adjacent community. It seems so much different today than it did growing up, seems that drugs and addiction have taken a grip on this small community, it seems a shell of what it was when I was there. Like much of West Virginia addiction has almost become the norm, prescription drugs seem to have subsided for other means. There are signs every day of just how downhill the area has gone, all you have to do is look at facebook and you see the mugshots of friends and other’s that grew up around, and way too much you seen an obituary.
Thinking back to some of the memories I do have, it is hard to believe as innocent as we all are how our path’s took a different path. When I was in the 6th grade my parent’s moved to a larger area which separated me from everything that I had known (from what I can remember). Sure, even today addiction has embraced the City of Beckley, but to the blind eye since I no longer live in that area, it doesn’t seem to be as severe as Sophia.
My memories of Sophia are vague at best, and not always good memories except for playing sports and playing in our what i thought then was a huge back yard. Funny how when you drive by something from your childhood how minuscule it seems in comparison to your memories. The memories I muster up usually involve Alcohol induced arguments/tantrums. There are many times I remember arguments where my dad would fill his cooler and go driving around of who knows where he would end up. This would leave my mother and I sitting at home, which sometimes was quite a relief, but you always had that worry in the back of your mind wondering his safety. My dad was one of the smartest people I have ever met in my life, but to be so smart and strong he let something take a grip on him that he was never able to recover from. His family all have addictive personalities, whether it is alcohol or tobacco its always one or the other. There is a picture of him as a young child with a beer bottle which he would always joke “Started Early”, which was true and it never ended….
Until next time…