CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Let me begin this week's exercise in word production and management with a sincere nod of respect to the more than 200 West Virginia eighth-graders who were honored as Knights of the Golden Horseshoe during a ceremony in Charleston last week.Your enthusiasm for learning about the culture and history of our state is appreciated and honored.My son was similarly knighted as a Golden Horseshoe winner from Kanawha County back in 2001, and it was an achievement of considerable pride for both him and his parents.But for those of us who didn't study West Virginia history, or studied long, long ago in a galaxy far away, I think an easier, more contemporary test on the state's history and culture may be in order. With that in mind, allow me to introduce the first annual Golden House Shoe competition, a six-part quiz for the attention-challenged. Winners get a free trip to the Shoney's salad bar, after paying for an initial trip:
1. Which of the following ingredients is not a condiment associated with the West Virginia hot dog?
(a) onions (b) slaw (c) relish (d) chili sauce2. West Virginia's original capital was
(a) Parkersburg (b) Wheeling (c) Charleston (d) $38.123. Match the West Virginia-reared celebrities with the products they endorse:
1. John Corben (a) Nutragena
2. Mary Lou Retton (b) Applebee's3. Jennifer Garner (c) Chevrolet4. Brad Paisley (d) Depends4. Match these famous West Virginians with their quotes:
1. John Forbes Nash
2. Robert C. Byrd 3. Jack Whittaker
(a) If I had it to do all over again I'd be a little more secluded about it.(b) It's only in the equations of love that any logic or reason can be found.(c) You're looking at Sugar Daddy!5. In 1977, what West Virginia town sought help from the Soviet Union in 1977 to repair a bridge?
(a) Red Star, Fayette County(b) Shanghai, Berkeley County
(c) Red Warrior, Kanawha County(d) Vulcan, Mingo County 6. Name West Virginia's longest-serving governor. Answers:
1. (c); 2 (b); 3. 1-b, 2-d, 3-a, 4-c; 4. 1-b, 2-c, 3-a; 5. (d); 6. W.W. Barron, 4 years of a 25-year sentence