1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Where the Rhododendrons Grows
A Book by Alex McLaughlin

The stories of West Virginians share some common elements: a love of the place they call home and a strong bond with friends and family set against a backdrop of green hills and blue skies. The story of Alex McLaughlin is no different as long as you add a mother who was warden of a famous women’s prison; a father who was a much-beloved coach and mentor; a stint in the Peace Corps, and working for the smartest governor West Virginia ever had: all six of them during his career in state government that spanned nearly 30 years. McLaughlin grew up in Alderson, West Virginia, a town straddling two counties bisected by the beautiful Greenbrier River. He spent his working life matching West Virginia’s labor and land with companies looking for a better place to do business. In retirement, he continues his abiding interest in sports as a participant and as an observer. In Where the Rhododendrons Grows, McLaughlin pays tribute to the varied cast of characters that shaped him as well as kept him working for less money: without their entertainment value, he’d have needed a bigger salary. Where the Rhododendrons Grows recalls the events and people of a life with fondness and hilarity. McLaughlin provides additional social commentary at no extra cost. - Reprinted from the back of book.


 ALDERSON'S STORE - Alderson, WV 24910 (304) 445-2851

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Reading through this book, one thing became clear, Alex McLaughlin has had a extraordinary life.  With tours in Viet Nam, the Peace Core and graduate schools,  he always returned to his favorite state, West Virginia, and his love for this land is stated many times.

Alex's parents, Virginia & Coach Abe McLaughlin were  remarkable people, who not only were leaders but also displayed that quality of serving. A trait that Alex has inherited and is obvious throughout the book.

This book is also sprinkled with bits of humor and short bios of people, some we will know and recognize. I realize this is not a long review, but the book isn't that long either. - Barry Worrell  

I thought it would be a dull, "I was here and then there book", but I was wrong! Alex's quick writing style and sometimes pointed wit keep you interested as he describes people and events that touched his life. Thanks Alex! - Ward Parker