- Historic Sites
What Happened In Hinton
Back in Prohibition days, the citizens of a West Virginia town decided to crack down on bootlegging and prostitution. The author remembers it well.
July/August 1988 | Volume 39, Issue 5
Cousin Joey almost swallowed his cigar in his hurry to get that old Buick turned around. It was six weeks before anyone knew where he was.
About fifteen years ago I was visiting in Hinton and I was invited to a church supper. Three or four retired railroaders came around and shook hands with me, and most, if not all, of them remembered my grandparents, my father and mother, and my aunts and uncles. Finally it got around to Cousin Joey. They all started laughing about his part in the churches’ plan to clean up Hinton. The present preacher was listening to our conversation, but I never did see him smile. The railroaders said that when the whole mess was over, the working girls were scattered from Alderson to Thurmond.
I asked those old railroaders what the consensus was about the effort to clean up Hinton. Their answer was unanimous. There should have been a lunacy warrant for all three ministers.
I believe you can understand why I have enjoyed reading William Faulkner’s The Reivers so many times. You can’t go home again, but you can go and take a look.
I want to leave one last thought with you. Has anyone ever seen a family tree that didn’t need a little pruning here and there? But even at that I wouldn’t have cut Cousin Joey off. And if you’re a West Virginian, be careful what you say about the behavior of some of the men in my family. I might know something about the behavior of the women in yours.