MADISON — West Virginia Coal Festival Vice President Delores Cook says that people come from all over the country and the world to Madison to enjoy the events of the festival, but she was very surprised when one of those out of town visitors was her great-niece from England.
“We had a family reunion planned her in West Virginia, so I decided to surprise my great aunt Delores here in Madison,” said Simone Woodrum.
Simone’s father, Bruce Woodrum, grew up in Boone County and is a Scott High School graduate.
The last time she visited Boone County, she was a young child.
“I remember the visit very well,” Cook recalled. “She came to visit my brother and his wife, the late Corbet and Alice Woodrum. They lived in Foster at the time.”
Her father met her mother in England while he was in the military and have lived there ever since, she said.
“It’s nice to be able to come back and visit,” she said. “West Virginia is such a beautiful place.”
Cook said this past Thursday she was working at the Coal Museum in Madison and decided to take a stroll down Main Street to listen to some of the musical entertainment at the festival’s main stage.
“I met Mary Brown, a friend of Simone’s father and she had two ladies with her,” Cook said. “Then Mary asked if I knew one of the ladies and I immediately recognized Simone. The joy just filled my heart and I had the most wonderful evening with her and didn’t want her out of my sight.”
Simone said she really enjoyed the festival and the music, especially the Bellamy Brothers.
“I have had a wonderful time and a very good visit,” she said.
Fittingly, Simone spoke before the Coal Festival crowd Friday night just prior to “Beatlemania Magic,” a Beatles tribute band, took the stage.