20

TUESDAY

Although I’ve been to West Virginia several times, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a Hatfield run down a McCoy. Come to think of it, I’ve never heard a two-toothed, weatherbeaten old redneck whistle racist epithets, either. And I swear I haven’t seen any marriages between 12-year-old cousins. Yet common big-city yammer still places our neighbors to the west at the evolutionary level of protoplankton. Look, folks, things aren’t like that: The Hatfields and McCoys now settle feuds on the softball diamond, schooling indeed continues past the third grade, and the State of West Virginia has a well-maintained Web site. Today, in honor of the state’s 137th birthday, forget all those stereotypes and head to Bethesda, where the West Virginia Society of Washington, D.C., will learn you that West Virginia wine is not moonshine, West Virginia food is not characterized by tire treads, and West Virginia glassware does not mean Mason jars. West Virginia’s 137th birthday celebration takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Bethesda Hotel’s exhibit hall, 8120 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. Free. (703) 549-6543. (Mike Kanin)