By PSC Chair Charlotte Lane
I turned on my car radio this morning and had to smile. John Denver’s song, “Country Roads” was playing, which always makes me happy. I am not an exception in loving this song; and hearing it lifts my spirit, which is true for all West Virginians.
As I listened to the lyrics, my mind drifted to the many who use our highways every day as they travel through our mountains. We are a friendly bunch, not only offering hospitality, but caring about the safety of others. I have often watched a Mountaineer stop to change a flat or check on a stranded motorist. We care about people.
At the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, we also are diligent about safety inspections. Our transportation officers perform inspections routinely on the large trucks and buses that travel our highways to make sure they meet strict safety regulations. They also man the weigh stations throughout the state that help keep commercial motor vehicles in compliance with state and federal regulations.
As Denver traveled through our state, I am sure he found great pleasure. He clearly defined our people and our state’s majesty in his lyrics. He portrayed us well.
“Country Roads” is one of West Virginia’s four official state songs. It captures the core of our natural wonders and the spirit of our people. Denver’s tune is catchy, but his lyrics pay tribute to a remarkable place to raise families.
The well-known chorus, “…take me home, to the place I belong,” invigorates me. We are proud of our state and truly feel that sense of belonging. Our people make this land unique, but the beauty and our culture add to the magical nature of the state we call home.
When he sings, “Life is old there, older than the trees,” I am reminded of the deep-rooted history that breathes life into every corner of our great state. Our heritage and culture are woven into our very fabric through stories of resilience during troubled times, through our hard-working nature, and the strong spirit of our people.
As you journey through our rolling hills to explore our hidden treasures, let John Denver’s song guide you along those country roads, reminding you of what makes West Virginia so special. Think about the great people who made the Mountain State what it is today; and whisper a thank you to our great transportation officers. And remember, this is “Almost Heaven.”