The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

May 1, 2009

Book chronicles colorful life of Love

“Long before Johnny Cash tickled his country-and-western faithful with the woeful tale of a lad growing up saddled with a feminine name in ‘A Boy Named Sue,’ a coal miner’s wife decided in southern West Virginia to name her second son Shirley.”

And that begins the life of well-known Fayette County television personality and politician Shirley Love — and the first pages of a new book penned by Register-Herald reporter Mannix Porterfield.

“A Man Called Shirley” chronicles the colorful life of Love, who is known by thousands in West Virginia and around the country, as he grows up in southern West Virginia, marries the lovely Audrey Painter, lands on a local television program, then catapults into state politics.

Porterfield, a veteran newspaper writer who currently covers the Legislature for The Register-Herald, said he wrote the book after Sen. Love, D-Fayette, asked him in 2006 to put together a small booklet on Love’s life.

“After thinking it over, I advised him if I wrote a book, I wanted one that was novel length, about 200 or 300 pages, covering his life from the point of arrival to his final time in the Senate,” Porterfield said. “He agreed, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Clearly, Porterfield had no trouble filling the pages, collecting stories from the young Love’s nights as the live host of “Saturday Nite Wrestlin’” on WOAY-TV in Oak Hill to his later days in the Legislature.

Love’s contemporaries may experience a revival of their own life memories when reading “A Man Called Shirley” as he recalls days of early local television.

“Without question, the most enjoyable part of composing this book came with his reminiscing about the old days of ‘Saturday Nite Wrestlin’,’” Porterfield said. “One reason is that I remember watching the youthful Shirley Love emcee that raucous event.

Text Only
Local News
  • 080414 FT science plume.jpg Rousing conclusion to summer reading program

    The Lively Family Amphitheater turned into one big science laboratory Tuesday.


    August 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • ee 1.jpg Energy Express makes impact on students’ lives

    Energy Express to him, Matt White says, is all about a “different experience.”

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • maurices Fostering Self-Esteem

    The local Maurices is involved in a project aimed at making the school transition a little easier this fall for foster children in the area.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Health and Safety Fair scheduled for August 1

    Montgomery General Hospital and Dr. Traci Acklin have announced that the 2014 Children’s Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Theater to hold auditions

    Open auditions are set for Tuesday and Thursday at the Historic Fayette Theater for the comedy/drama “Belongings”. Auditions will be held at the theater in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. each evening.

    July 21, 2014

  • asb carver 25 years and counting

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor Made Free concert series

    The next free public concert in the Lively Family Amphitheater Summer Concert Series is a performance Saturday at 6 p.m. by popular band Taylor Made.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Energy Express open house set

    Energy Express, an award-winning summer reading program serving 35+ children in Fayette County, will host a free open house for members of the Beards Fork SALS community. The event takes place on Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • rhody1.jpg Stages of life

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • thurmond depot.jpg Explore town’s rail heritage

    Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns as you join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo