Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Pictures Don't Do It Justice - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

My Pictures Don't Do It Justice - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster


Upper Big Branch was the
last Major Mining Disaster in West Virginia. This is also a monument to
all fallen coal miners and it also gives the history of coal mining in
the state.

Names of the twenty nine who
died. Two men survived. One was able to return to work a couple of
years later. The other will never work again because of his injuries.

Even though the memorial is
wedged between the road and the creek (as everything is in southern West
Virginia), there is a beautiful view.

Me - paying my respects. Eddie and I took the trip to see it today. I was surprised by the reverence that the site inspired.

Pudgy's Favorite Position - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Pudgy's Favorite Position - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

He looks like a bearskin rug

Making me wait to pet him

Pudgy lives in the kitchen
cabinet. He lets himself in and out. Yesterday when the bug man came
he caught Pudgy off guard in the bedroom. As soon as the bug man walked
through Pudgy came streaking out of the bedroom running so fast he
couldn't get traction as he cut the corner to the kitchen. When the bug
man asked what was wrong I told him I had a "chicken cat". The bug man
didn't believe me when I told him Pudgy let himself into the cabinet
that fast but he went to look and sure enough. That's where he was.
Pudgy was so traumatized I had to give him some can cat food with his
favorite gravy.

Income Guedelines for Expanded Medicaid in West Virginia - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Income Guedelines for Expanded Medicaid in West Virginia - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

guidelines vary in each state.

They Said, "You are the only people in the history of the state..." - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

They Said, "You are the only people in the history of the state..." - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

"...to send back food stamps."  They seemed none too happy about it.

in 1984 I went to Beauty School.  We moved from Logan, WV, to
Huntington, WV, so I could do this.  My husband was having trouble
finding a job.  He applied for food stamps.  He was eligible.  I was not
because I was going to school.  Then he found a job at a little leather
shop in the mall.  He was still eligible and I wasn't.  Then he added a
job cleaning floors at the mall after they closed.

After they
reviewed our case they said not only was he eligible but I had been
eligible for the past 9 months.  They back paid us 9 months of food
stamps.  One day the mailman knocked on our door and asked me if there
was some kind of mistake.  He showed me the envelope with the food
stamps and in the upper right hand corner was a number actually showing
how much food stamps were in the envelope.

We received 689 dollars
worth of food stamps.  Talk about a Christmas present.  That was sure a
boon to us!  My brother found out about it and promptly offered me 50
cents on the dollar for them.  I told him he was crazy.  The grocery
store would give us dollar for dollar for them!

What we did do
though was because we coudn't afford Christmas presents we bought the
stuff for Bobby to make his world famous cheesecakes for Christmas.  He
used to make the most deletable cheesecake.  He put the fruit in the
cheesecake instead of on top of it and people loved it. (It was quite
innovative for 1984)  So everybody got cheesecake for Christmas that

Then I graduated from Beauty School and we both got jobs in
Galllipolis, Ohio.  They sent us more food stamps.  We were both working
decent jobs so I sent the food stamps back to the state via registered
mail.  A few days later we got a call from a social worker.  She wanted
to know why we sent them back.  I explained that we got good jobs and we
didn't need them any longer.  That was when she told me that we could
have kept them because they knew we were just getting started and
probably needed the money.

She offered to send them back.  I
politely refused, telling her we didn't need them any longer.  That was
when she told me she didn't know what she was going to do with the food
stamps, that they really didn't have a procedure for turning them back

Being young and naive I told her I was sure she would figure
it out and I hung up.  So I don't know what happened to the food
stamps.  I hope she gave them back but who knows{#confused.gif}   She may have kept them or given them to someone else in need.

The Last Bit of Beauty Left in WV until Spring - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

The Last Bit of Beauty Left in WV until Spring - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

My First Married Thanksgiving - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

My First Married Thanksgiving - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

We went to my parent's house and my new in-law's house. The part I
really remember was at my in-laws home.  I had a most excellent
mother-in-law.  We grew to be great friends over time but when I was
first married, she had major issues with the fact that I refused to wait
on my husband hand and foot.  Don't get me wrong I didn't mind doing
things for him, but what I did mind was someone thinking that I should
cater to his every whim just because he was a man and I was a woman. 

wanted no help in the kitchen.  She had her own way of doing things.  I
respected that. So the whole family was gathered throughout the house
doing whatever until dinner was ready.  It was really very nice not to
have to worry about helping to prepare the meal - I was used to helping
my mom and it wouldn't have been a problem to help my mother-in-law if
she had wanted the help.

It came time to eat and she called
everyone to the kitchen.  It was buffet style.  I jumped right in and
fixed myself a plate of food and as I was walking away she yelled,
"Bobby, come and eat, Pam has your plate ready!"

I just looked at her and smiled and said, "this is my plate, I have no idea what he wants to eat!" {#evil_laught.gif}
  I took my plate and when Bobby had his plate ready he joined me. 
Thankfully she didn't make an issue of it and neither did I so it was a
great Thanksgiving.  Bobby and I laughed together many times about it
over the years and she was eventually able to have a little giggle about
it herself once she started to come to my home to eat Thanksgiving

I remember how pleased she was that I was able to even
cook such a meal.  "I didn't know you had it in you, girl." she smiled
at me.  I did however let her fix whatever she wanted in my kitchen. 
The more the merrier was my philosophy and it still is.

Let THEM Sort it Out - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Let THEM Sort it Out - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

I was working the fuel desk at a TA Truckstop.  (I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this job) {#dancing6.gif} ANYWAY...

was working the fuel desk when I noticed the new girl looking kind of
funny.  I asked her what the problem was and she said she had just got
off the phone with a trucker and he had asked her to call 911 for him. 
She said he told her he was parked in our parking lot (with about a 100
other truckers) and he was too sick to call them himself.

"Well, why are you just standing there?  Why aren't you calling 911?"

She said, "I don't know if it is a prank call or not."

cussed to myself and told her to get on the phone and call 911.  I told
her it wasn't our job to decide if something like that was a prank call
- let the police and ambulance sort it out - that was their job.

still just stood there looking at me.  So I left my long line of
customers (we were in the middle of a rush) and called 911 myself.  I
explained the phone call to them and they asked me how THEY were
supposed to find this trucker in the middle of all the other truckers.  I
told them to just send the ambulance to our front door.  By the time
they got there I would have someone locate the truck driver.  (the clerk
did remember the company name of the trucker)

When I got off the
phone I called the maintenance guys and explained the problem to them. 
They hustled on to the parking lot to locate the truck.  I also got on
the phone to the trucking company and spoke to their dispatcher.  They
knew exactly what truck I was talking about and although they didn't
know the location of the truck on the parking lot they did know the
license number of the truck.

That was all I needed.  I relayed the
information to the maintenance men as well as getting on the intercom
that broadcasted across the entire property.  So then I had all the
truckers looking for their fellow trucker.

He was located in
minutes.  He was indeed too sick to call an ambulance but as promised I
directed the ambulance to the guys truck and they rushed him to the
hospital where he was operated on for a appendicitis or something along
that nature.  We also secured the truck while the trucking company sent a
substitute driver to pick up the cargo and sent it on it's way.

trucker was in the hospital for over a week.  But when he came out he
stopped by the fuel desk to thank us for saving his life and getting him
some help.{#thumbs_up.gif} {#thumbs_up.gif} {#thumbs_up.gif}

I wish I still didn't understand - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

I wish I still didn't understand - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

I used to make a joke when I was younger.

"Where was I when Kennedy was killed?"

my crib,"  I would answer and I would laugh, partly because I was too
young to remember Kennedy but mostly because I couldn't understand how
so many people could be so upset by the death of one human being.

I got older I started to understand but not truely completely.  I was
kind of embarrassed by the fact that I could remember where I was when
certain people died.

1.  Elvis - I was watching my soap when a
special news bulletin came on and announced that Elvis was dead.  His
death didn't really affect me but I had never seen a special news report
announcing such a thing.  (this was back in the days when they actually
had to have news to use a breaking news report for those of you too
young to remember those days)  The only breaking news report I ever saw
was when there was a chemical leak in Charleston WV.  They activated the
emergency broadcast system for that one. (we lived about 60 miles away)

 Elvis death affected me because I knew my parents would be devastated - especially my mom.  She adored him.{#broken_heart.gif}

Princess Diana - I had just come home from work. I was walking from the
living room to the bedroom when they came on the tv and said he had
been killed.  I kind of hoped it wasn't true when they said it but I
knew it was when they said that Prince Charles was flying to Paris to
bring her body home.

I hoped it wasn't true because I, like so
many others, recognized the good she was trying to do in the world. 
Still I was kind of embarrassed that "I know where I was when..."

Then 911 happened.  I like all Americans spent the day weeping and in
disbelief that such an attack could happen in our country.  Although I
had always wondered why they didn't.

But now my innocence was
lost.  I felt the pain like everyone else did and I finally understood
what it was like for people who could remember when Kennedy died.

Michael Jackson - I was at work and Makayla was runnning around telling
everyone he was dead.  I thought it was another hoax. (I have heard he
was dead several times in my life)  But within the hour I knew it was
true and I was sad.  I grew up with Michael Jackson.  We were the same

Also, I thought it was hilarious in his "Thriller" days
becaue one of my stepdaughters was so in love with him that she was sure
she was going to marry him. {#guitarplay3.gif}

now I understand what all the hoopla is about when people talk about
the day Kennedy died.  But I wish in a way, I still didn't.

Saturday Thanksgiving Cartoons - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Saturday Thanksgiving Cartoons - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster



This story is funny, NOW, in a very perverted kind of way, but when it happened I went through the roof!

was always my tradition when I was training dogs to invite anyone who
was without family to my home for Thanksgiving (and any holiday for that
matter). In the dog business there is a lot of traveling from track to
track and many people who just can't get home for the holidays. I was
always glad to do this - except for this one time!

It was the
night before Thanksgiving and I had invited everyone to my house as
usual. I was working at the track picking up dogs. I had picked up one
of my dogs and I went to the water hose to hose him down when I was
greeted by one of the most disgusting sights that I have ever seen in my

in front of me, hosing his dog down was "Bear" (nickname). Bear was
drunk. Not only was he drunk, he was sloppy, staggering drunk! He turned
to hand me the water hose and I was greeted with the sight of his
penis!  Not only was it hanging out of his pants but he was
actually relieving himself at same time he was turning around! I of course let out a scream of rage and fury
so loud that I believe that entire compound heard me! Bear, in his
drunken stupor started to apologize profusely and I guess in his mind
he tried to turn away from me which only gave me alovely profile view of
him relieving himself.

I lost it!
I threw one screaming, ranting fit that sent everybody scurrying in
every direction once they saw what the problem was. Thankfully Bear was
escorted away and someone else started to pick up his dogs for him. I
could not believe that someone who was supposed to be at my home for
Thanksgiving the next day was treating me with such disrespect!
Thankfully he did not show the next day. Not only did he not show, but
no one ever saw him at the track again.

running joke for a week was that Bobby, my husband, had killed him and
left him in a ditch somewhere. Bobby just laughed at the whole situation
because he knew that I was quite capable of fighting my own battles. A
couple of weeks later we found out that Bear had gone home to a track in
Massachusetts. No one ever saw his face at West Palm ever again. {#evil_laught.gif} {#evil_laught.gif} {#evil_laught.gif}

I Bake My Turkey Upside Down - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

I Bake My Turkey Upside Down - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

One year I had sprained my
ankle and my husband had to cook Thanksgiving Dinner. He went to put
the turkey in the oven and it was upside down. I tried to stop him but
he told me he was cooking dinner and for me to leave him alone. So I

The turkey was perfect.

You cook it upside down until about the last 45 minutes or so, then you
flip it. That way the breast meat is as moist as the dark meat usually
is! Also the skin on the bottom is crisp and brown just like the skin
on top.

A perfect Turkey every time.

For those of you following the Patriot Coal debacle - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

For those of you following the Patriot Coal debacle - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Some of you know I was posting updates about the Patriot Coal
situation.  I stopped when they reached a settlement (which I posted),
but something about the whole situation bothered me.

Why did the
UMWA allow the other coal companies to transfer all their retirees to a
coal company that that they never worked for?  It made no sense to me.

turns out that as part of the deal to transfer all the retirees to
Patriot Coal that the Peabody and Magnum Coal Companies made a deal with
the UMWA that it would be 1/3 owner of Patriot Coal.

essentially the Union sold out all those retirees to gain ownership of a
coal company.  Seems like a huge conflict of interest to me.  Of
course, the union had no idea that once all the retirees were
transferred that Patriot Coal would be deliberately bankrupted to
absolve not only Patriot but Peabody and Magnum Coal Companies of all

There has been a settlement though and all those
retirees have had to take substantial cuts in benefits even though the
original companies they worked for posted record profits in the billions
of dollars.

I don't know who is lower.... the coal companies or the Union that sold them out.

You Have to Make Your Own Holidays - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

You Have to Make Your Own Holidays - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

That was my advice to both my niece and my nephew at separate
times in their lives.  They grew up having everything done for them
which is how it should be.  Now they live far away and have their own

 When I have asked each of them, at separate times, how
their holiday's were, they both replied, "it sucked." They are young
adults now and I told them at some point they had to start making their
own holidays or they would always suck.

I hate it that they feel
they have no family to spend the holidays with but their mom is dead and
they are still feeling their way along.  I wish I could help them but I
can't.  They both know they are welcome at my house anytime but I am
too far out of the way for them to visit  although thankfully that seems
to have changed this year as far as my nephew is concerned.

hope they soon find the holidays that I know they crave and have enjoyed
in the past.  I'm sure they will start their own traditions and maybe
my niece already has since she is a little older than he is.

My ex
husband also tried to tell me his holiday sucked after I left him.  I
asked him why he didn't plan one out?  I knew the answer.  With the
exception of a couple of years when I was hurt or sick, I had done all
the work for our holidays.  He also thought I would feel sorry for him
and invite him over.  I told him to go to a local church and eat one of
their dinners or go help in a homeless shelter - then he would remember
how blessed he was to have a job and work at something he loved.

year I will not be cooking.  I want to have a Thanksgiving where I am
rested and feeling good.  I don't want to be worn out from cooking food
that I am not supposed to have.  The kind of food we eat for our
holidays makes me feel bad for weeks after the holiday is over as well.

have already enjoyed some of the blessings of the season.  Lee Terrace
hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner last Satuday.  I did not attend because I
was tired and I was trying to avoid the salt and carbo loaded,
wonderful, delectable foods that I knew would be there.  But there was a
knock at my door and when I opened it I found that they had put a
dinner together and delivered it to me.  I was most appreciative because
I had been too tired to cook anyway.

I also received a food
basket from the Union Mission this year.  It is my 3rd. year to receive
one.  You go to pick it up at a church that reminds me of a mountain
lodge and they hold a religious service complete with music.  It is good
music of praise of the Lord without being that nasally stuff that I
grew up with.  It is a very nice service.

They also gave me a
basket from "Feed the Children".  I pointed out that I didn't have
children but they told me that didn't matter.  It is a case of them just
counting families served, I guess.  I figured I could just give the
stuff to some children I knew who could use it but I was surprised to
find that there was nothing in the basket that was for children other
than a cut out book and some cans of canned food.  Everything else is
stuff that it looks like was donated to "Feed the Children" from
corporate sponsors.  I honestly don't see anything in there for
children.  I plan to post a picture of the stuff in the box.  I am
grateful for it because I can use it but "Feed the Children" is supposed
to be feeding the most poverty stricken people in our state and I don't
see any evidence of that.  They also made the state of WV pay them a
million dollars before they would agree to even distribute anything here
in the first place.

Then Sunday a friend from Fruth gave me the
turkey that they gave to her for her Christmas bonus.  She said she
didn't want it.  I was surprised by that one to say the least.  It came
out of no where.  I spent a lot of years helping to feed people in this
building so I guess Karma is paying me back now that I am having

I will have 4 dinners delivered to me on Thanksgiving
Day from the Frankie Veltry Charity Dinner.  Frankie Veltry was a local
resident who fed homeless people out of his pocket every year and after
his death he made provisions for the dinner to continue.  They deliver
to the senior highrises.  I have been getting dinners for the past 3
years but I have been giving them to others that I knew didn't get
anything.  This year I will share if I need to but I plan on eating
those dinners myself.

I also have invitations to Eddie's mom's
house and my Great Aunt and Uncle's house.  But going out is hard on
me.  Socializing is hard.  Sitting and having an intelligent
conversation for an extended time is hard.  I'm giving myself the gift
of peace and relaxation and I am blessed to be able to do so.

is the "Feed the Children" food basket that I got.  I am pleased with
it but it is full of stuff for adults.  Of course the kids can eat the
food but they have no use for men's hair gel and assorted moisturizers
from Avon.  I guess it would be appropriate for a teenage girl.  But
"Feed the Children" is supposed to be feeding the poorest children in
the state.  I think they missed the mark.  There was also a relaxer for
black children.  I have already given it to someone I know that can use
it....as I will do with much of the stuff here.

YE HAW! Thanksgiving! - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

YE HAW! Thanksgiving! - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Woman getting a Thanksgiving Turkey
in Helvetia, West Virginia

Turkey Drive down the Seneca Trail

If the Cure Don't Kill Ya - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

If the Cure Don't Kill Ya - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

Yesterday I had to go and have breathing
tests to see why I'm having so much problems breathing.  The tests are
torturous but I passed them with flying colors a year and a half ago. 
Yesterday I could not complete them.  I did my best and  the technician
was very friendly and helpful and gave me more tries to do them than I
even wanted.

They put you in a phone booth looking thing (It's
been so long since I saw a phone booth I was thinking it looked like an
eco-friendly car -my how times have changed.)  Then you have to do
different exercises involving blowing all the air out of your body
and/or holding it in and/or sucking more in so they can measure your
lung function.  I only almost passed out once.  That's pretty good for
me.  Of course I wasn't doing the tests to measurable standards so that
wasn't good.  But I'll find out from the doctor what it all means in 2

Then they made me do a 6 minute walking test.  I already
knew I couldn't walk for 6 minutes.  They put a monitor on you and
measure your pulse and oxygen levels.  At one point the oxygen dropped
to 69 which is not good. (any thing below 90 means brain cells are
dying)  My pulse was up in the 130's too.  He made me stop and rest at
one point.  I will say I guess I'm going to have to use my inhaler more
because the only reason I was able to walk that far was I had puffed the
inhaler for the phone booth test.

Then when we got back to the
lab he put oxygen on me.  I was just starting to recover when he told me
that I had to walk another 6 minutes with the oxygen on so they could
see if there was an improvement.  There was.  Eddie laughed when I told
him how far I walked for my 6 minute walk.  Both times I traversed from
one end of the hallway to the other (in my defense it is a very long
hallway) but it only takes a normal person about 30 seconds to a minute
to walk it.

I was so worn out by the time I got back home that I
took a nap and rested the rest of the day.  At about 10 last night I was
having chest pain and I felt so bad that I was ready to call an
ambulance.  Then I remembered it was time for my meds anyway so I took
my nightly handful of pills (12) and kicked back on my Bi-pap machine
and fell asleep.  I woke up in the middle of the night feeling better.

am tired today but not exhausted.  I'm going to take it easy though. 
The only thing I really have to do is go back to the drug store because
THEY SCREWED UP MY MEDICINE ONCE AGAIN.  I am getting really tired of
going to the pharmacy 2 and 3 trips for every prescription and I am
ready to change pharmacies.  I don't know what is wrong but things have
been really bad there for about 6 months.  This time I called the
prescription in on Friday.  I have to give them a day to order it
because the brand they normally use causes me to cramp.  They don't get
shipments on the weekend so I knew they wouldn't have the medicine until
Monday. I stopped on my way home from the hospital and I was too tired
to check it and I didn't think it was necessary since they special
ordered it.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW? I opened the pills this morning and
they were the wrong pills.  I just called and they said they didn't
know why the wrong pills were in the bottle because my pills were on the
shelf.  So I have to waste more gas that I don't have to go get the
pills changed out.  There is a pharmacy across the street.  I hate to
change but I think it is time.

The History of the Frankie Veltri Thanksgving Dinner - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

The History of the Frankie Veltri Thanksgving Dinner - damnpamn's Blog - Blogster

I found this at the WCHS News site.  The family also had a link to it from their facebook page.

Jan. 18, 1993 - Charleston's Holley Hotel Demolished
By Heath Harrison
November 10, 2013


Jan 18, 1993, the nearly 80-year history of Charleston’s Holley Hotel
came to an end, as 73 pounds of explosives reduced the seven-story
building to a pile of rubble in the city’s first controlled implosion.

Early years
hotel, located at 1008 Quarrier Street, was built by brothers Pat and
John Crowley in 1914 and named for Charleston Mayor James A. Holley. It
was once part of a string of downtown hotels hosting travelers to
Charleston. While not as luxurious as the Ruffner, Daniel Boone, or other city establishments, the Holley was still considered a first-class hotel in its early years.

Frankie Veltri
The Holley’s best-known owner came in 1970, when Frankie Veltri purchased the building from the Crowley family.

was a fixture in downtown Charleston in the latter half the 20th
century. Having had to drop out of school in the third grade due to a
learning impairment that made him unable to read or write, he was a
self-made millionaire, who, upon returning from World War II, built his
fortune by opening a series of poolrooms and clubs around town.

Veltri, who also owned the adjacent, smaller Worthy Hotel, converted the Holley to a residential hotel after his purchase.

was famous for his generosity and humanitarian efforts around town,
offering free Thanksgiving dinners every year to the city’s poor. The
dinners were started in in the 1960s at his home and served to a few
families, then moved to the Holley as the crowds grew. By the time of
the hotel’s closing, the annual event drew hundreds of needy to the
hotel, where they would be served meals created from the truckload of
food Veltri ordered each year.

A social hub
Holley’s downtown location made it a popular place of residence for
many in the 1970s, including West Virginia Secretary of State A. James
Manchin, future U.S. Rep. Bob Wise and future Charleston Mayor Danny

"He had a diverse crowd there. It was a catch point for a
lot of different people," the Rev. Jim Lewis, who was a minister at St.
John's Episcopal Church near the Holley, said.

The biggest source
of income for the hotel was from miners suffering from black lung
disease, who came to Charleston from across the state to get exams for
workers compensation. None of the other hotels would take the miners,
but Veltri made arrangements with the state to put the men, numbering
about 50 a week, up for their two-night visits.

Refuge for the poor
the state ended the black lung arrangement, the Holley’s income dried
up, but Veltri kept the building running into the 1980s, offering the
hotel’s 200 rooms to the city’s poor. He charged only $5 a week, but, if
the residents could not afford it, he let them stay for free.

who created the Manna Meal soup kitchen and helped to found the
Covenant House shelter behind St. John's, came to know many of those who
stayed at the hotel.

He said Veltri had a genuine concern for the Holley's residents.

"He really cared about people who were on the street and down and out," Lewis said.

withheld judgment for the circumstances that led residents to the
hotel. Some of the hotel's tenants worked at the Outhouse Inn, a strip
club that shared the Holley's basement. Others battled addictions, while
some simply had no place else to go.

Lewis remembers the story
of one who had a profound impact on his ministry, a man who ate meals at
the church and had a sister who was a member of the congregation.

Lewis said he learned of the man's history and what led him to the Holley.

discovered he had been put away in Spencer because he was gay," Lewis
said. "This was in the early craziness that they did with people."

said learning the man's story led to his ministering to Charleston's
gay community, including performing blessing for gays, something which
generated a great deal of controversy for him at the time.

"It was powerful," he said of the experience.

Final years
hotel was not without controversy. The Holley gained an unsavory
reputation for the numerous incidents that made the headlines in its
final decades, including a body found in the basement, two residents
falling from the building’s top floor, suicides, stabbings and attempted

On concerns of safety at the Holley, Lewis said Veltri did all he could to protect residents at the building.

it safe? It was as safe as it could be for them," Lewis said, citing
the staff Veltri kept at the building and efforts to care for the

City officials sought to close the dilapidated hotel
and the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority bought the building from
Veltri in 1990, after a long series of negotiations on price and a
guarantee that the hotel’s residents would not be turned out onto the

The last residents of the hotel moved out in 1992 and the
building was gutted and prepared for its demolition the following year.

Lewis said he was disappointed to see the Holley close, since it was an example of the kind of help to the poor the city needed.

was sad when the hotel went down," he said, noting that the Holley's
former location remains undeveloped and is currently used as a parking

After closing
Following the Holley’s
closing, Veltri continued holding his annual Thanksgiving dinners for
the needy, paying $25,000 to install a kitchen in a Dickinson Street
building to meet the event’s needs. A 2000 dinner honoring his
charitable work brought him messages of praise from President Bill
Clinton and Pope John Paul II.

Veltri died on Aug. 27, 2001 at
the age of 78, following a long battle with prostate cancer. He left
behind a portion of his fortune to establish a fund so that the dinners
would continue.

The annual dinners are hosted to this day. More information can be found about this year’s event, set for Nov. 28, on the dinner's Facebook page .

Charleston Gazette, WV Culture Center, WV Humanities Council. Special
thanks to Rev. Lewis for sharing his memories of the Holley for this

What are your memories of Veltri and the Holley? Stop by our Facebook page and join in on the conversation.

week's video, courtesy of the West Virginia State Archives at the
Culture Center, features vintage WCHS reports from the late 1980s/early
'90s by Alan Cohen and Stephanie Holland on the hotel's final days,
followed by a report from Bob Aaron, featuring a crowd of spectators,
including A. James Manchin and a young Danny Jones, watching the
building's demolition.

Remember When: Jan. 18, 1993 - Charleston's Holley Hotel Demolished