Richwood, W.Va. - The A World of Difference production team was granted honorary keys to a small Appalachian town on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
Mayor Bob Henry Baber generously honored the team after they interviewed him for a story about the class issues Richwood experienced after being hit by a devastating flood in June of 2016.
The MediaLab students initially thought the mayor was joking when he asked one of his employees to “grab some keys to the city.” However soon they were each being handed small wooden keys inscribed with the town’s seal and slogan, “The city merry of the banks of the Cherry.”
Mayor Baber accompanied the keys with a short speech, which he had given to many a recipient since the massive flood.
"This is the key to the city. Unfortunately, because of the flood, all of the locks have rusted out, so it won't open anything. But it'll always open our hearts," said Baber.
Mayor Baber also gave the team prints of a poem he wrote about the town, and copies of his novel, Pure Orange Sunshine.
The team had only arrived in Richwood that morning, but the entire town was soon aware of their presence. Nearly everyone they encountered in the town of just 2,000 seemed quite happy to have another opportunity to tell Richwood’s story.