What's Love Got To Do With It? First Date Flops, Skiing And Animals In Love


Valentine’s Day gets a lot of flack for being sappy, cliche or just a marketing ploy by card and chocolate companies. But we tend to think there is more to it than that.

So, for this episode of Inside Appalachia, we asked our listeners for their best Appalachian love stories.

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Courtesy photo
Steven Allen Adams and Jessica Wentz. This photo was taken at the Red Carpet Lounge in Charleston, West Virginia right after their wedding. It is Steven’s favorite photo of the two of them.

We received more stories than we could include in a single show, but we included some of our favorites, including one couple who met on the Yahoo personals page, a grandmother’s surprising first love, a couple separated by international borders during a pandemic and the story of a couple who met through a Freedom of Information Act request.

We’ll also talk with a biologist, and a philosopher, on whether animals can feel love.

Do Animals Feel Love?

If you’ve ever watched animals interact, it seems like they feel love. Penguins mate for life. Elephants form a bond through wrapping their trunks together before they mate. Some types of wolves mate for life and help raise the wolf pups. So, do animals actually feel love?

A few years back, our producer, Roxy Todd, saw an otter that got her thinking about this question.

Unconditional Love For Animals

Dogs seem to accept us unconditionally, but we’ll hear from a young woman who feels the same about her dog. Ida Miller is the proud owner of Sephora, a black and brown german shepherd mix.

Ida has had Sephora for three years — she adopted her in college. Ida says she almost gave Sephora up because owning her first puppy was so overwhelming. But now she can’t imagine her life without her.

Tweet Us!

Do you have a dog or a cat, an iguana or even a fish? We’d love to see all the animals out there who listen to Inside Appalachia with their human companions. Tweet us a photo, we’re @InAppalachia


Love And Loss

Every relationship goes through different stages. Life-long partners eventually face a difficult chapter. Danny McNeeley and Tim Albee talked about what it was like for each of them to lose their previous life partners. They recorded their conversation back in 2018 when the Storycorps mobile recording bus visited Charleston, West Virginia.

Love Of Nature

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Eric Douglas
Skiers heading out and back on the trails at White Grass Ski Touring Center in Tucker County, West Virginia.

Cross country skiing can get you into the backcountry where you can see views that you’d normally hike to in the summer. Chip Chase is the owner of the White Grass Ski Touring Center, in Tucker County, West Virginia. He has a love for nature and the environment that surrounds him.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Jake Xerxes Fussell, Dinosaur Burps, Podington Bear and Blue Dot Sessions.

Roxy Todd is our producer. Eric Douglas is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Andrea Billups. Kelley Libby edited our show this week. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode. You can find us on Twitter @InAppalachia.

You can also send us an email to

Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.