West Virginia South April - May 2019 - Page 4

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Never Stop Dreaming I suppose you could say I’ve always had an “ac- tive” imagination. I’ve made up stories about just about every- thing for as long as I can remember. But al- though I write for a living, growing up I kept most of the stories to myself or shouted out what I thought were the really good ones to family and friends as they popped into my head. And believe me, not all of them made sense. We won’t go into those here. Kids, right? So, no, not all of my random stories and one- liners made were amazing, but they all came from an important place. An imagination. And where would any of us be without our imaginations? What if renowned glass artist Alex Brand had no vision when he entered his shop every morning? If he fired up his oven but had no inspiration to create the beautiful glass pieces featured not only at his shop at The Greenbrier but also at Tamarack and around the country would not exist. And if Andrew Adkins fell short on lyrics and lost interest in music, southern West Virginia would be much quieter. Dobra Zupas’ owner Rebecca Zupanick was well established in life as a mining engineer and a stay-at-home mom when she began to imagine a career in the kitchen of her own restaurant. Although it was a leap of faith, she followed her dream — first to culinary school, and then built her own business, even adding on an award-winning brewery. And then there’s Thomas Fletcher. The Webster County photographer first began to capture “scenes” in his mind when he was a toddler. It took him almost 20 years of trying to describe to people the beauty around him before 4 ❖ SOUTH ❖ APRIL-MAY '19 he realized those scenes were similar to photos and a camera was all he needed to share his gift with the world. Forty years later, his talent and imagination still allow him to take breathtaking and award- winning nature photos. And though I wouldn’t compare myself to any of these talented artists and business own- ers, I will say that I am very grateful for my, yes, somewhat overactive imagination. It’s still just as silly as it ever was sometimes, but there are also a lot of pretty good ideas in there. And on really good days, I slow down and pay attention to them. I think we should all do that more often. No, not everyone is going to write a hit song or open a thriving business or create a work of art. But everything around us was built from someone’s imagination. Yours might build something, too. Dream on! Michelle James, West Virginia South Editor