Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Stars of West Plains

by Pa Rock
Country Gent

A friend added a comment to yesterday's post in which I was tussling back and forth over whether West Plains is a small town or not.  One thing he mentioned in his reply was that there is a major thoroughfare in West Plains that is named for country music legend, Porter Wagoner.  Wagoner was, in fact, a native of West Plains - something of which the community is very proud.

But he's not the only star to rise from West Plains.

Jan Howard, another country singer and native of West Plains has an "expressway" here named in her honor, and professional baseball players Preacher Roe and Bill Virdon also have their names on a pair of local boulevards.  Someday there will undoubtedly be an area traffic artery named after prominent author and West Plains resident, Daniel Woodrell.

There is one other celebrity of note from here.  Actor Dick Van Dyke was born in West Plains to a single mother who had been shipped off to relatives to hide the family shame during her pregnancy and delivery.  So far no local lanes have been named in his honor, and that is an oversight that begs correcting.

One thing that I neglected to mention in yesterday's posting is that West Plains is also home to a major branch of Missouri State University.   With that strong educational advantage, this community should continue to produce highly successful individuals for generations - as well as the occasional star.

It's a good place to live.

No comments: