RIPLEY, W.Va. (WOWK) – Friday mornings in Ripley, West Virginia feel like they come straight out of a small town magazine. With a Mayberry feel, you can’t help but feel at home as soon as you get there.
One of the things that makes this town of just a few thousand feel so special is the personal touches the current mayor, Carolyn Rader, puts on everything she does. From hand-painting curb-sides to sweeping off the front porch of a business, she makes sure everyone and everything is treated with respect and the town shines for it.
Friday mornings are extra special in Ripley. For the last decade or so, Mayor Rader stands outside of her office along the town’s main road and waves the American Flag to the tune of a patriotic playlist streaming from her boombox. She also makes sure the kids get on the bus safely while she is out there, because what Mayor doesn’t double as a crossing guard?
The tradition started when she waived the High School’s flag every Friday morning during football season and it just evolved from there. The mayor worked in education for years and said she preaches to all her students the importance of patriotism and this is one way she can practice what she preaches.
“I think teaching school with children and trying to teach the children all about the love of their country and respecting the American Flag and I just felt like I had to walk my talk,” says Rader.
Ed Moore owns the shop just across the street from the mayors office and says that this has been a tradition his kids grew up with. He jokingly adds that they didn’t get to sleep in much on Friday mornings due to the Mayor blasting her patriotic music right outside their window, but it gave them laughable memories.
“Whether it’s her responsibility or not, she’ll try and help anybody that she can. That’s just part of being in Ripley and I think we kind of take for granted her over here on Friday mornings in the pouring rain or blowing snow waving the flag, that’s how she is,” says Moore.