Booker T. Washington & All of us West Virginians -WVP005

On episode 5 of the WV Podcast, our famous West Virginian Segment is about  Booker T. Washington , and we are featuring the Facebook group, All of us West Virginians. We have short bios on the admins of the group and some audio from Larry Belcher the founder and owner. Our sponsor is Brickhouse Cardio Club in Parkersburg, WV.


The theme music for the WV Podcast was composed and performed by Tonya Kouns Holbrook.


The Story of Dragon, The Ballistic Cat


Our Famous West Virginian: Booker T. Washington




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The Facebook Group “All of us West Virginians” is an amazing place to learn about our great state, and meet people from all over the world who are connected by their love of  all things West Virginia. Some were born here, some moved here later in life, and some just visited and fell in love with the rugged beauty and friendly people.


As of the time we are recording this episode, the group has been in existence for 1 year, 4 months and 29 days. There are a total of 23,323 members with more joining every day.


The founder and owner, Larry Belcher was raised on Lynco holler near Oceana, WV, and has had an adventurous life here in the state and in other places in the US. He was at various times a healthcare administrator, a photographer for the Wonderful West Virgina Magazine, Governor Caperton’s photographer to document his administration, and other things. Today we are going to major on the group, but in the conversation with him I got quite a bit of audio that we will feature in future episodes of the WV Podcast.


One thing that impressed me was the fact that he kept insisting that I feature the admins for the All of us West Virginians group and emphasize how essential they are to the phenomenal success of this amazing group. We have a short bio on each one. Then you will hear audio from Larry himself talking about the formation and mission of the group.




Beverly Tompkins


Beverly is a life time resident of Grant County (God’s Country) and currently lives about 9 miles from Petersburg on Rough Run. Beverly has been with the site since the near beginning.  Bev was added to the All of us West Virginians group by a friend when it was one month old.  She is affectionately referred to as the site’s Facebook Guru. It all started when a member was trying to “share” an article to the group and she assisted them by personal messages, step by step.  As the site continued to grow she continues to assist members with what to do if they have been hacked, how to report offensive postings or comments to the admins and other Facebook type problems. Beverly enjoys teaching people.  The rapidly changing environment of Facebook keeps it challenging and interesting.  Larry says that he knew nothing about Facebook before Beverly came along.

 She also screens the requests to join the group to help keep hackers, spammers and other trouble from obtaining membership. She also monitors the group’s page for any arguments regarding political or religious posts and comments. Beverly believes, as do most of us, that those two topics are the biggest dividers of people and can often turn ugly real fast. “I will bet that you have heard, neither politics nor religion is to be discussed at the dinner table, please”.  Well, the same goes for the group”  A direct quote from Beverly .The album according to Beverly, Hillbilly Cookin’ Mountaineer Style, started as her “baby”. Larry and Bev got together to resolve this by “adopting” Granny’s Corner” as the sister site of the All of us West Virginians site, the only other group that Larry serves as an admin. Recipes, homemaker tips and garden ideas are prevalent on Granny’s. She has fourteen other sites and for the most part is the only admin. She deals with sales sites to lost animal sites.  According to Larry “Beverly and the other administrators are responsible for our unique approach to Facebook Groups” and are truly loved!



Terry Hackney


Terry was raised just outside Ravenswood, but he’s lived all over the state. He currently owns Lens Creek Studios, an interpretive design and fabrication company in Fort Ashby, Mineral County that specializes in wayside markers and museum exhibits. His primary task is to help answer questions about state history, events, and photo locations. He also works with the other admins to keep the page a peaceful and friendly place for all who visit. Terry has traveled throughout West Virginia, especially on a mountain bike, and is very knowledgeable about our history, recreation, and places that are off the beaten path.



Nancy Young Sarver


Nancy was born in South Charleston WV. After graduation she traveled through a lot of the US and returned to WV 16 years later. She came home to So Chas then, and now calls her new  home Campbell’s Creek. Nancy retired in May after working in a variety of office positions for 49 years.  She became fascinated with the historical pictures people were putting on this site and just knew they had to be kept for future generations. So she started putting posted photographs into folders that had already been set up. It was and is quite overwhelming, So for her next contribution she started changing our banner for the site every month or so to keep new people informed. She also introduced a member participatory process to ID  “Member’s Favorites” photos to highlight on the banner. Nancy helps with keeping inappropriate posts off the site as well.



Steve Davis 


Steve was raised in Mineral County, until he joined the Army in 1975 and currently lives in Tampa Bay Florida. Steve returns home to Keyser every 12 to 18 months to visit with  family and close friends that live there. Over a year ago, one of his classmates sent a join request, for this group. Steve enjoyed the community atmosphere, pictures and information. He then talked to one of the admins, about putting the folders, the Scenic and Historical Albums into alphabetic order. He found out that couldn’t happen, so he offered to help, with moving pictures into the correct albums. Turns out he couldn’t do that without being an admin, so the site “got stuck with me” as he says. He found this site to be so popular, that he found he could not move enough pictures in a day, to keep up. Steve also helps, as all of us do, checking out profiles of new members’ requests and works with Nancy on our rotating Group Banners.




Tina Brown Horan 


Tina is from Greenbrier County, currently living in Deale MD . Our newest Administrator has developed a Survey for capturing Demographic Information on our Members. This survey will assist by providing us with information such as member population per county, where the majority of our members have migrated to outside of our state and a general age range of members.  Tina also monitors the site to assist users with Facebook functionality and technical issues experienced by our members. She  helps us all to continuously monitor the site for malicious or inappropriate postings as established by the 7 rules for being a members



———Listen to The WV Podcast, episode 5 to hear the Larry Belcher audio————–


Go check out the All of us West Virginians group on Facebook.






Our featured video today comes from Dana Tucker, the owner of It is some great shots of Sandstone Falls near Hinton, WV. Access this video by looking at the show notes for Episode 5 of the WV Podcast. Links to Dana Tucker’s and his podcast, Podcasters Blog can be found with the video.





Keep listening to the WV Podcast for more stories of home.







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