The PopCulteer
September 16, 2022

Saturday, if you’re not doing any of the many things I told you about yesterday, you could take a leisurely day trip to Moundsville, West Virginia for Fossil Day!

Fossil Day, a family-oriented program held twice a year, will return to the Grave Creek Mound Archelogical Complex on Saturday, Sept. 17, from noon to 4 PM. The Mound is directly across the street from the famous West Virginia Penitentiary, which will also be open if you want to visit it Saturday, too.

Participants are invited to bring fossils for expert identification by Dr. Ronald McDowell, senior research geologist at the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES) in Morgantown.

Dr. McDowell will identify fossils from noon to 2 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. At 2 p.m., Ray Garton, curator of Prehistoric Planet, will present a program titled “Fossils of West Virginia: What You Didn’t Know.” Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) and Mr. Taylor McCoy, a vertebrate paleontology volunteer at the museum, are joining Fossil Day this year.

The Carnegie is world renowned for its fossil collections and will set up a “mini museum” with fossils and fossil replicas. McCoy has field experience prospecting for and excavating fossils in Montana and recently presented two lectures as part of the Ohio County Library’s People’s University lecture series on dinosaurs. He will exhibit and share fascinating facts about his personal “Tooth and Nail” collection of fossil replicas.

Other family-oriented activities include a fossil exhibit scavenger hunt, making fossil casts to take home, excavating a recreated fossil bed and viewing very small fossils through a microscope in the shadow of an enormous cast of a stegodon skeleton.

Visitors can also make a trilobite slap bracelet at the museum’s Discovery Table. Trilobites are sea creatures that lived during the Devonian Period (approximately 419.2 to 358.8 million years ago) and their fossils have been found in West Virginia. Some fossilized trilobites have been found rolled up like a pill bug, armadillo – or a slap bracelet.

This craft will be available during Fossil Day and throughout September during regular museum hours.

While you’re in Moundsville, in addition to the Penitentiary, you could check out a car show at Grand Vue Park, or the epic Jeffeson Avenue Sidewalk Sale. It’s a friendly place to visit, and they have lots of cool things to see, plus it gives me an excuse to post photos from our recent trip to the museum at the Achelogical complex…

It’s really cool to have a nice little museum filled with top-notch fossils tucked away in the Northern part of the state.

These are really quite remarkable, and may be just the treat for your budding paleontologist.

It’s that Dimetradon again. I sorta want one as a pet, but I don’t think there are any breeders around here.

The star of the fossil portion of the Grave Creek Archeological Complex is the Stegadon skeleton.

This big fella (or lady) is the centerpiece of the museum.

Thirty feet from tail to tusk, and thirteen feet high.

How can you nor take photos of this?

We take one last look at the Adena Mound…

…and one last look at the museum. This really is a fun and educational trip, and you’re going to see more photos from here next week.


You either love ’em or you hate ’em, but Friday at 2 PM you’re going to get a full hour of Stars On 45 on MIRRORBALL. Mel Larch uncorks a new MIRRORBALL!  The AIR is PopCult’s sister radio station. You can hear this show on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player found somewhere on this very page.

Friday afternoon The AIR’s showcase of classic Disco music presents ventures into the 1980s when the folks holding down the Disco fort were a Dutch novelty band that never gave up on the Disco sound, even when they were putting together medleys of Beatles songs, or bizarre collections of songs that blend the theme from Star Wars with Ennio Morricone, The Who’s Tommy, Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds and Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting.”

Disco might have ducked in the alley and out of the mainstream, but one group of artists kept the radio hopping with slick production, chorus vocals like the Bee Gees and the requisite 120 beats per minute.  Stars on 45 was led by a former member of Golden Earring and featured vocalists who could mimic everyone from The Beatles to Donna Summer. The “Stars On” group took hit songs by The Beatles and other pop groups, and strung them all together with a strong Disco beat. And they managed to top the charts all over the world at a time when the anti-Disco backlash was stronger than ever.

For one hour you can go back and hear this Disco-fied artifact of 1980s excess. Just check this odd playlist…

“Beatles Medley”
“Long Play Part Two”
“Sixties Medley”
“Bad Girls Medley (12″)”
“Get Ready”
“ABBA Medley”
“Star Wars Medley”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays Saturday at  9 PM (kicking off a mini-marathon), Sunday at 11 PM, Monday at 9 AM, and Tuesday at 1 PM  exclusively on The AIR.

That is this week’s PopCulteer. Check PopCult for all our regular features, with fresh content every day.