Looking back on the people and places featured in the very first issue back in winter 2008.


Katie Lee
When author and television personality Katie Lee appeared in the first issue of WV Living, she had just celebrated her fourth wedding anniversary with rock legend Billy Joel and released her first cookbook, The Comfort Table.

Since then, her star has only continued to rise. The Huntington native has published three more books: a novel called Ground Swell in 2001, along with two more books of recipes—2009’s The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions and 2015’s Endless Summer Cookbook. She also stars on The Cooking Channel’s Beach Bites and The Food Network’s The Kitchen.

The relationship with Joel didn’t work out. About six months after the magazine hit newsstands, the couple announced their separation. But Lee found love again. In September 2008, she married television producer Ryan Biegel in a small ceremony on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

Ron Hinkle
In the first issue, writer Dee Braley took readers up a gravel road in Buckhannon to the home of Ron Hinkle Glass. He’s still there and recently celebrated his 45th year in the business. In 2015, Hinkle became vice president of operations at the renowned Blenko Glass in Milton, while still working at his own shop part-time. He stayed at Blenko for two years but is now back in Buckhannon full-time, blowing glass five days a week. Hinkle isn’t done with Blenko, though. He is planning a collaboration with the storied glass factory. It’s too soon to divulge details, but look for more information in the near future.

Montwell
This historic, beautifully restored residence that overlooks downtown Lewisburg is still owned by Mary and Paul Lindquist, who are still as dedicated as ever to preserving the oldest brick home in town. Mary grew up in the home, which was built in 1818, while her father was president of Greenbrier College. One of the most famous visitors to the home was General Robert E. Lee, who was served tea in the front parlor. Montwell marked its 200th birthday in 2018 and, to celebrate, the Lindquists hosted the annual meeting of the Greenbrier Historical Society as well as a family reunion for Mary’s family.

Things are changing around Montwell, though. The property was originally seven acres but, in 2013, the Lindquists donated four acres to create Montwell Commons. The area will eventually include charging stations for electric vehicles and public restrooms with showers. It isn’t finished yet, but Boy Scouts recently completed hiking trails on the property.

Kim Parrish
This Parkersburg native, former Miss West Virginia, and WVU grad first got the nation’s attention as a QVC host and clothing designer. After appearing in the magazine, she received multiple Stevie Awards for Women in Business for her work as president of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, a pageant she transformed into a thriving organization during her 10-year tenure with the organization.

Parrish has since left her positions with QVC and the pageant to work as an infomercial host and media trainer. She’s a spokesperson for Jane Seymour’s Crepe Erase skin care product and HairMax hair growth product.

Kathy Mattea
Nitro native Kathy Mattea rounded out the first issue, appearing in a back page story about her 2008 album, Coal. Inspired by the Sago mine disaster, the bluegrass-infused project was a collection of coal mining songs, including three from Boone County native Billy Edd Wheeler.

She released another bluegrass project in 2012, Calling Me Home. This September, Mattea returned with Pretty Bird, her first new album in six years, produced by fellow West Virginian Tim O’Brien.

The Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay
Back in the first issue, this wintertime Wheeling favorite was ranked No. 1 in our list of “7 things you must do this winter in West Virginia.” And you know what? It’s still on top. Celebrating 33 years in 2018, Oglebay Resort’s Festival of Lights now features nearly 200 light displays. All together, that adds up to more than a million individual bulbs.
And, new this year, Oglebay is giving visitors a new 3-D experience thanks to special pairs of “Sleigh-ban” glasses. “It makes the lights really pop and stand out even more,” says Herb Faulkenberry, Oglebay’s marketing director.

The resort recommends a $25 donation per carload. With that, you’ll get a four pack of Sleigh-bans. The Festival of Lights began on November 9 this year and runs through January 1. oglebay.com/events/festival-of-lights

Zack Harold
Written by Zack Harold
Zack Harold is a southern West Virginia native. He covered education, health, and government at the Charleston Daily Mail before becoming the newspaper’s features editor. He joined New South Media in 2015, became managing editor of WV Living in January 2016, and took over as managing editor of Wonderful West Virginia in July 2016.