Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mathews County Native Devil

I don't want this blog to just be about my illness. God has blessed me with a second chance, and while the story of my medical struggle is important, I don't want it to completely define me.
A few years back, a seller on E-bay was surprised to learn that, being a pastor, I used the nickname "nativeDevil". Well, it's not too complicated.
I was born and raised in a little county in Virginia called Mathews. It is surrounded on three sides by water, and you don't pass through it and keep going, unless your vehicle is equipped for the water. The town has NO red-lights (except at the bridge to Gwynn's Island. I would really suggest you NOT run that one!!) It is a tight-knit community, and even today, most people there know, or at least know of, just about everybody in it.
One of the great prides of Mathews is it's excellent school system. When I got to college and had to compete against students from far bigger areas and bigger schools, I was relieved to find that I had been very well prepared. The names McDaniel, Trusch, and Deputy (him and her) stand out. Our sports teams were the Mathews Blue DEVILS. And boy do we love our sports, even if they have bad seasons. I was the only one of my family actually born in Mathews (well, we were living in Mathews; I was technically born at the old Dixie Hospital (now Hampton General) about an hour away). So, needing a code name for the internet, and something that nobody else had already chosen, I went with NativeDevil (also, since I went to Duke, the devil thing just seemed natural, too) So, no Satanic connections, just a good ole boy giving a nod to his hometown.
Thanks for reading, and please DO comment. I love to hear what you have to say, and if you have something you want me to talk about, let me know that, too.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. I always liked the name Native Devil, but that's because I knew what it referenced. I didn't know, though, that you were the first one in your family born in Mathews.

    McDaniel, Trusch and Deputy did indeed prepare us well. It was a good school and hopefully still son starts 9th grade there next year.

    Over the Hill

    p.s. Some more questions for you...

    Where did your family originally come from and how did they end up in Mathews?

    What is one of your fondest high school memories? The worst?

    What do your children think of Mathews when they come to visit?

    That's enough for now. I could go on all day.

  2. The Fighting Mermaid would never question another's name :-). Nice blog!!

  3. CBW, my family came from Amelia County, not far from Richmond. I believe that my uncle had come to Mathews, and my father liked it here when my parents visited. It was in the mid 1950's; we stayed, my uncle moved back.

    Fondest high school memories: dances in the cafeteria on Friday nights after ball games; going to state with the Forensics team; my tight knit group of friends, but really getting along well with everybody.
    Worst memories: ALGEBRA, typing class, and being turned down by a really pretty, tall blond girl when I asked her out for a date. (The last one is a joke, CBW, you can laugh now. You actually said no very politely HAHA)
    My kids love to visit Mathews and my family, but they don't want to move there. Too small and isolated for them. I would love to move back some day, but I remember that, at their age, I could not wait to get out, either

  4. ND-I had no idea your family wasn't from Mathews, for some reason I just assumed they were. You didn't ask me out, did you? (as she laughs nervously)

    You know, my favorite memories were those high school dances too, plus the sports, we had so much fun. Miss those days.