Mary Lou Retton & Larry Belcher’s Childhood Near Oceana, WV, and the Marshall Plane Crash

On Episode 7 of the WV Podcast, our famous West Virginian is Mary Lou Retton, and Jeff is having a conversation with Larry Belcher about his childhood growing up near Oceana, WV. Larry also attended Marshall University and was housed in the same dorm as many of the Marshall Football Team who were lost in the horrible plane crash on November 14, 1970. Larry is the owner of the “All of Us West Virginans” group on Facebook.


This episode is sponsored by Skylight Media in Vienna, West Virginia.



Welcome to the WV Podcast, West Virginia’s Podcast. This show features the great state of West Virginia and stories of the amazing people who make it such a wonderful place to live. Your hosts are Jeff & Dee Holbrook. Let’s tear down the negative hillbilly stereotype that has been assigned to us by the national media. Let’s tell our own story.


Maker Of The Rain, our theme music, was composed and performed by Tonya Kouns Holbrook




Jeff was interviewed by Joel Hiscutt on the travel podcast, “Look Like A Local”. It is a show that interviews a local resident of a town to find out what local restaurants, attractions and hidden gems are available so a tourist who visits will look like a local resident, knowing exactly where to go and what to do. Great concept for a show!


Jeff was also part of The Podcasters Roundtable Round 56. It’s a roundtable discussion with Ray Ortega, Daniel J. Lewis and Dave Jackson, and then including 2 or 3 other podcasters for discussion of various topics of podcasting. This time Jeff was joined by Lex Starwalker who does gaming based podcasting.



Skylight Media is a team of photographers, videographers, audio engineers and editors dedicated to making high quality media products at an affordable price. Based in Vienna, WV, we provide photography and videography services for events, weddings, reunions, concerts and more. We love what we do and we want you to love it too! We will accomplish this by providing a pleasant experience and a product you will be happy with and proud to share!


Skylight Media

3201 13th ave

Vienna, wv 26105



Look for their page on Facebook!


The Website:

All of the contact info will be available on Look for Episode 7.





Mary Lou Retton (born January 24, 1968) is a retired American gymnast. At the 1984 Summer Olympics, she was the first American to win a gold medal in the individual all-around competition, as well as two silver medals and two bronze medals. Her performance made her one of the most popular athletes in the United States.


That year she was named:


-Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year

-Associated Press Female Amateur Athlete of the Year

-Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete of the Year

and received the

-American Academy of Achievement Award


Other competitive victories included being the only woman to win three American Cups (1983 -85), the only American to win Japan’s prestigious Chunichi Cup (1983), two U.S. Gymnastics Federation American Classics (1983 84), and the All Around title at both the 1984 National Championships and Olympic Trials. After Mary Lou retired from competitive gymnastics in 1986, she attended the University of Texas at Austin.


Retton was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, of Italian heritage (her family’s original surname was “Rotunda”). Her father, Ronnie, operated a coal-industry transportation equipment business. She attended Fairmont Senior High School, but graduated through correspondence courses. [3] She competed in the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles, California during her sophomore year of high school.[4] In 1997, Retton was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.[ She was the first female athlete to be featured on the front of a Wheaties cereal box, and General Mills reported an increase in sales as a result.


Her web site is



Larry Belcher Interview: Childhood near Oceana, WV, and his experience being a Marshall Student and band member at the time of the devastating plane crash.





There is a new menu item on our website titled Partner Sites. If you select it, you will find links to websites we have a close relationship with, such as the All of Us West Virginians Facebook group. The mission of this group is the same as ours, to provide information and promotion of the Great State of West Virginia, and stories of the wonderful people who are connected with it. Next time you are on Facebook, check out the All of Us West Virginians page!




Check out this episode!

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