To someone inside the beltway West Virginia is known for its pork--and I'm not talking about bacon! For decades West Virginia was recipient of vast sums of federal money and federal jobs, courtesy of the late Senator Robert Byrd, who was the senior Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee. There is no doubt, that Senator Byrd did a lot for his home State, as evidenced by the many roads, schools, office buildings, hospitals and other institutions named after him. Senator Byrd was also known for speaking his mind. In a speech at Cambridge University, about six years before his death, Senator Byrd said:

"I have been in Congress for more than a half century. I have lived through times of fear and times of hope. Of despair and of achievement. I have seen our government at its best, but today I fear that we see our government at its worst.

Politics aside, West Virginia is a place of unheralded beauty and it's people are among the most intelligent I've ever met.