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Memorable Mustached Men of the Mountains

By Staff | Apr 22, 2008

The mustache is indeed an enigmatic symbol of masculinity. Some men are even defined by their mustache, Charlie Chapin, Tom Selleck and Adolf Hitler. Two of these were international tragedies; the other was in the movie business. Mustached men have been the focal point of many discussions, but has anyone considered the famous warm-lipped men of West Virginia?

Here, we wish to propose the West Virginia Mustache Hall of Fame. Now, some men warrant entry for their mustaches alone, but the inaugural set of 10 is limited to those that achieved stardom in other categories of life as well.

The first is perhaps one the most lime lighted West Virginians at present, Brad Paisley. Unfortunately his mustache is rather weak, but I see potential in that 5’o clock goatee he occasionally shows up in. He wasn’t the first entertainer to sport a ‘stache, the next inductee is none other than former Marshall University student, Billy Crystal. A simple close cut goatee man; Crystal ended up acting, but began college on a baseball scholarship, just like our third inductee.

John Kruk was often attributed as a man of surprising speed for his bulky demeanor, but I can not help but wonder if a lot of his success was his rugged, hirsute upper lip. The intimidation factor of a well-groomed mustache cannot be denied, just ask West Virginia Mustache hall of famer, Stonewall Jackson. It was traditional in his day to wear facial hair as a matter of rank, and when you’re at the top, only the bushiest of nose buddies may complement that beard.

If our nation ever decides to end this Iraq War, we no longer have old Stonewall to send overseas, but we have found an even bushier and thus more intimidating mustache. That particular cookie duster belongs to former West Virginia governor, Bob Wise.

When West Virginians fight against their neighbors the mustache once again shows up in the ragged styling of none other than Anderson Hatfield of the Hatfield-McCoy family feud. Though both Randolph McCoy and Hatfield had thick facial hair, Hatfield indeed had the most ragged, though the battle itself was never really won by either party, I think it’s safe to say Hatfield came out on the winning end of the facial hair front.

West Virginians are far from enraged feud addicts, so we also nominated an arbiter of peace. Though his film screen equivalent Robin Williams had more hair below the neck than anyone has ever grown on their face, Patch Adams himself sports some impressive whiskers.

The final round of three nominees goes to actors who have spent a good portion of their life in the state and have been spotted with some impressive mustaches. They have played a variety of roles from the rugged Westerner characters of Walter Barnes, to the popular Mary Tyler Moore star John Amos, and even the standby gravelly voiced anger characters played by Nick Nolte.

We salute you West Virginia Mustache Hall of Famers, may your lips never be chilly, your food never unbrushed and your significant other’s nose untickled.


Contact Taylor at tkuykendall@graffitiwv.com