BUCKHANNON — Terry Cutright, born on October 5, 1950, grew up on Little Sand Run Road with three sisters and a brother. Cutright described growing up as “a whole different experience...a different time.” Across from his childhood home, Hinkle Drive was Mr. Brake’s pasture field.
“You grew up in a neighborhood, you didn’t just have a mother and father. Every adult in the neighborhood was your mother and father. They were watching you and making sure you were staying out of trouble,” Cutright said.
One memory Cutright remembers well was Brake’s dinner bell. Whenever Brake’s wife would ring the dinner bell, Cutright would go and get food, even if he had already eaten. “She wouldn’t dare let me stand outside and not call me in to offer me something to eat,” Cutright said.
During downtime, the kids in the neighborhood would play in the vacant lot on Camden Avenue. According to Cutright, the grass was worn down from all the kids playing football, baseball, etc. “It’s just the difference of times. I notice now, when I drive through neighborhoods, you don’t see kids outside. When I was a kid, you never saw kids in the house.” Cutright remembered riding his bicycle to Audra with his friends. He also remembers when the sidewalks were made of brick and the traffic wasn’t nearly as busy. “I really wish my grandkids could have grown up at the same time when I was growing up,” Cutright said.
Cutright compared growing up in Buckhannon like the popular coming-of-age movies Sandlot and Stand by Me. “That was what a neighborhood was like when I grew up.” Cutright reminisced on a summer he spent with his friends, describing how they would take a blanket and snacks, go on top of the hill on Fred Wilt’s farm, start a fire and sleep. “We called it sleepin’ out…we would have slept out like that all summer long if our parents would let us.”
Cutright remembered a specific memory of stealing watermelon from Burt Phillip’s corn field. However, Cutright later realized that the Philips planted the watermelons for the kids to take. “That’s how kind people were,” Cutright said. He also said he caught two baby skunks in the field when he was 11 years old. He put them in the box in the garage, only for the skunks to spray. “The baby skunks and I were both thrown out of the house for about a week,” Cutright laughed.
Through school, Cutright played football and ran track. Cutright talked about a big role model he had when he was younger. Dick Young, a junior high football coach, was a positive influence on most of the kids Cutright grew up with, he reported.
Cutright thought back to more of the popular hangout spots when he was a kid, from Stardust to the drive-ins like Dixie’s, Pat’s, and West’s, and the Colonial and Kanawha Theaters. Cutright remembered riding his bike to West’s Swimming Pool, where everyone learned how to swim.
For about 10 years, Cutright raced late model cars professionally around the state on the dirt track race circuit. He spent one semester at Wesleyan. Cutright worked a lot of jobs throughout his life, from strip jobs to coal mines, to driving trucks and operating heavy equipment on I-79. However, ever since he was 12 years old, Cutright knew he wanted to take over his father’s furniture store. Cutright retired in 2005 and Terry Jr. took over the business, being the third generation to run the store. Cutright then ran for County Commission in 2014 and has served proudly for the past six years. He will be running again this coming term.
In 1971, Cutright was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. Cutright married his high school sweetheart, Brenda Stump, in April of 1971. They had two kids, Terry Jr. and Amy.