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TV host remembered by his boyhood hometown

GLASGOW, W.Va. — Mark Bowe spent a little time in the Kanawha County town of Glasgow Thursday morning. He knew the little hamlet well, it’s where he was raised.

“My whole life all my childhood memories are here. I think every town you grow up in is what shapes you. What I remember the most is everybody would look out for one another. The houses are real close together, so you knew everybody, and there was always a sense of connection,” Bowe said.

Bowe is now the host of the highly successful TV show Barnwood Builders which airs on the Magnolia Network. The show is a world wide hit and is based on Bowe’s now home in Greenbrier County. His business is to carefully deconstruct old log cabins and barns from 1700’s and 1800’s and preserve them in new locations.

He was back in Glasgow Thursday to be recognized by the Mayor Don Fannin and the Kanawha County Commission with the dedication of  a sign marking it as his boyhood home.

“He said, ‘Hey this is Don Fannin do you remember me?’ I said who could forget the all time whiffle ball home run champion of Glasgow? Of course I remember you. I guess I’ve been gone a long time and been in half a billion households over the years, but I still remember everybody,” Bowe explained.

Bowe recalled as a boy having a lot of relatives in the town who all got their mail sent General Delivery to the Glasgow Post Office. It was his job to pick it up and deliver it to everybody. He admitted, he wasn’t very good at the task.

“My mom would get a call saying I dropped Aunt Karen’s mail in the street. Then Mamaw would get a call that somebody found her power bill in the street and I needed to run it back over there to her. I’d drop the mail to about ten houses after picking it up,” he laughed.

Bowe recalled when he was growing up in Glasgow there was a community swimming pool, a municipal gym, a park, and a library to pass the time. They also played on the nearby mountainside building cabins from sticks and riding bikes and motorcycles.

He lamented the town had changed a lot from what he remembered.

“Now I’m sitting in an empty parking lot where the last grocery store just closed down. The Appalachian Power smokestack is idle and I don’t see the mountains of coal I used to see. Years have taken a toll on the town,” he said.

But the memories for Bowe will never fade, and he’ll always be remembered as a native son with a sign in his honor in the center of town. Something he jokes he always knew would happen.

“It was always part of my business plan that I wrote when I was a kid growing up,” he laughed.