CLARKSBURG -- Bob Hope, master of funny one-liners and USO tours, passed away late Sunday evening at the age of 100. He leaves behind a legacy to fans throughout the world, including locals who remember and appreciate Hope's contributions to the entertainment industry and the U.S. military.
"He made a lot of soldier boys happy, I'm sure," said Paul Green of Philippi, a World War II veteran. "He was a good comedian."
Although Green never saw Hope in person, he said he watched and enjoyed many of his shows and movies on television.
Paul Mattson of Lewis County, a Vietnam and Korean War veteran, never witnessed a Bob Hope USO show, but truly admired him for his ability to boost the morale of U.S. troops.
"A lot of entertainers helped the USO, but it seemed like he stood out," said Mattson. "It was too bad that he passed away, but he was 100 and he lived a good life."
Mattson appreciated the entertainment of Hope for another reason.
"There wasn't profanity to it," said Mattson. "You could always read something into it if you wanted to, but it was good, clean, wholesome humor."
Hope's road shows with Bing Crosby were among Mattson's favorites.
"Young kids today don't remember those, but they were always funny and always good," Mattson said.
For Theresa Mancuso of Clarksburg, Hope's movies with Dorothy Lamour left the biggest impression.
"I watched several of his programs and the movies from way back -- about 50 years ago," said Mancuso. "And I used to watch him all the time at Christmas and the holidays. He always went overseas and put on a show for the boys."
Brenda J. Anselene, Harrison County magistrate, and former Exponent Telegram reporter, recalls Hope's mid-1970s appearance at Salem College, now Salem International University.
"He was here to honor U.S. Sen. Jennings Randolph, an alumnus of Salem College," said Anselene. "He poked lighthearted fun at the senator and the area and was his normal comedic self."
Anselene said the gathering was informal and fun as Hope greeted people individually and seemed "really at home."
Other area residents' remembrances of Hope:
-- "He never spent Christmas at home; he was always away from his family," said Sue Stephenson of Fairmont. "And he did a great job when he entertained our troops."
-- "I always admired him; he was a good man it seemed like," said Charles Kessler of Webster Springs. "His comedy wasn't vulgar and wasn't a lot of nasty words, it was straight out and it was comical."
Kessler said that type of entertainment is, for the most part, gone.
"I haven't seen it for years," added Kessler. "He was one of the last. I'm sure he'll be missed by his family and everybody else."
-- Misty Renee' Bowles, manager at FYE at Meadowbrook Mall, said the store carries "Bob Hope: The Ultimate Collection." She said the DVD was released just weeks ago, shortly after Hope's 100th birthday celebration.
"He's like Red Skelton; he'll never be forgotten," added Green. "There will never be another one like him."