(EDITOR'S NOTE: Twenty years ago on April 2, former News Tribune sports editor and photographer Scott Allen passed away suddenly. Scott was well respected among the Keyser and Frankfort high school sports fans for his fair coverage and interesting and fun-loving take on sports and life in general. Unfortunately, he fell ill during his almost ten years at the News Tribune and was diagnosed with cardiac myopathy, which later led to a long-awaited heart transplant. Scott returned to work after that, but soon went home to Romney where he covered sports for the weekly Hampshire Review. He passed away on April 2, 2000. In 1996, while still at the News Tribune and following the heavy flooding experienced in the area due to Hurricane Fran, he wrote the following column which we rerun today in his memory.)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Twenty years ago  on April 2, former News Tribune sports editor and photographer Scott Allen passed away suddenly. Scott was well respected among the Keyser and Frankfort high school sports fans for his fair coverage and interesting and fun-loving take on sports and life in general. Unfortunately, he fell ill during his almost ten years at the News Tribune and was diagnosed with cardiac myopathy, which later led to a long-awaited heart transplant. Scott returned to work after that, but soon went home to Romney where he covered sports for the weekly Hampshire Review. He passed away on April 2, 2000. In 1996, while still at the News Tribune and following the heavy flooding experienced in the area due to Hurricane Fran, he wrote the following column which we rerun today in his memory.)

MORGANTOWN - They said there was no way to get there from here.
Unless you’re having an emergency.
So I dragged myself out of bed Saturday morning and headed east to Morgantown. That’s right, east.
From my humble abode in Romney, I sojourned a couple miles to the outskirts of the metropolis and veered south on Grassy Lick Road to the Hampshire hamlet of Kirby. From there it was on to Baker and across South Branch Mountain to Moorefield. I ain’t seen so many dead chickens since me and my Daddy tried out the new 12 gauge in Aunt Hilda’s henhouse.
While it may have been a paltry day for poultry, I was beginning to see the light shining from across Patterson Creek Mountain. And it glowed with a heavenly hue of blue … and gold, of course. Through some timely act of God, The Branch had crested about five hours prior, and after bobbing for roosters three times, I finally found a patch of dry terrain which served as a perfect path to Route 28 and Mountaineer Football.
That’s where I ran into something that made the flood of ’96 look like a Hardy County schoolgirl.
Why do West Virginia state troopers always look 10 feet tall on approach to your vehicle?
“Travel is being restricted to life-or-death situations between here and Petersburg, sir,” came the grim declaration from a white Wilt Chamberlain in forrest green threads. “But it’s opening day in Morgantown,” I whimpered.
“By all means. Travel with care,” came the sweet deliverance.
And I was off to Morgantown.
Or, uh … Petersburg, Scherr, Davis, Thomas Eglon, Rowlesburg, Kingwood, Reedsville, Masontown, Rock Forge and Dellslow.
As the trip spilled from its typical 100  miles to a scenic 160, the high noon kickoff time loomed perilously close, making any publishing deadline seem meaningless as a sixth grade book report. 11:50 a.m. Location: Somewhere between Rowlesburg and Kingwood on the banks of a raging Cheat River.
But then God spoke to me. He sounded just like Jack Fleming and Woody O’Hara, and I could have sworn I was picking it up on WCLG and heard it with my own two ears. Just a couple miles east of Kingwood, the mighty Cheat looked like she wanted me to drown instead of spending the afternoon at a football game.
While the remnants of Hurricane Fran were beginning to give me a hell of a time in Almost Heaven, I was blessed with a second helping of divine intervention. I came across a chubby  little snaggle-toothed mountain woman from Masontown, who had drenched her distributer cap where the Cheat had spilled over her banks into Route 7.
As I chugged closer, her heavenly presence began to loom like a dream. A WVU sweatshirt and a tattered bumper sticker on her ’79 Chevy pickup gave me the feeling this was no complex career woman who wanted me to “get in touch with my feelings” and “become a better communicator.”
“I’ll give up my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers” kind of gave her persona away. I stopped to give her a hand and pondered the possibility of her becoming my future ex-wife. She looked longingly into my eyes, took off her headset, and blurted those three blissful words for which I live to hear.
“Touchdown West Virginia!”