The Frowny Faces Solved!


A few days ago, I wrote about these frowny faces in Gandeeville. I invited speculation. Morgan was keen for answers. To be honest, I’d been driving by these frowny faces every day forever and never noticed them. I was intent on the road and my driving and I’ve driven through Gandeeville a zillion times. Morgan kept telling me about them–right after we passed them. Finally, she remembered to tell me about them before we passed them. Then I brought my camera with me and the next time, I slowed down then stopped and took a few photos. (119 isn’t exactly a real busy highway.)

There was a lot of interesting speculation in the comments, and reader Jersey Lady linked up this fun video:

My favorite part of that video is where the guy says, “Let’s get back to Spencer where it’s normal.” You might have to be from around here to think that’s hilarious. By the way, as the video goes through Gandeeville, that’s Peewee’s garage on the left, the junky-looking place. I’ve posted many times about my cousin Mark’s friend Peewee who fixes my car.

Anyway, so THEN. Friend and Charleston photographer and all-around insane person Jerry Waters read my post about the frowny faces and he hopped in his car, went to Gandeeville, stopped neighbors, and solved the mystery!

Go, Jerry!


  1. whaledancer says:

    That’s a wonderful story, I love it. Frowny faces as a tribute of love, friendship, and individuality! πŸ˜•

  2. leneskate says:

    So glad that is all cleared up now on to other Important things…

  3. silentgoddess says:

    Mystery solved!
    Now I am curious, what is the big metal basket with what looks to be a big plastic liner in it (shown in the first picture above)? I saw this same thing on a back porch of a cabin over at today. Weird to see the same thing on two different sites.

  4. Patty says:

    Well that’s certainly not the reason I would have ever imagined. πŸ˜•

  5. Sheila Z says:

    Tell me, why did you paint a frowny face on your chimney?

    Answer: Because I could.

  6. Glenda says:

    I love it! No real reason,just because.

    I think I could enjoy living in West Virginia.

    Thank you Jerry.

  7. twiggityNDgoats says:

    WAAAAHHHHH! I can’t see the video on dial-up. Somebody please tell me!!! I live in Roane County and MUST know!!

  8. rainn says:

    Great video job Jerry! Thanks -if only it were so easy to solve all the worlds great mysteries!! πŸ˜† Oh how I miss Gandeeville-Spencer-Roane County-and ALL of West Virginia!!
    Those country roads……………
    (Morgan-insert eyes rolling here!!)

  9. Anita says:

    Oh, for CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!! :hissyfit: To quote my brilliant mother in law, “That’s ridiculous.”

  10. WvSky says:

    silentgoddess: The basket is what many people use to keep their trash in, so the animals can’t get into it.

    There’s “a little more” to the frowny face story, but it’s pure conjecture. The guy who placed the first frowny face was known in the neighborhood as QUITE a character. The kind of guy who keeps the neighbors guessing what he might do next, but seemed to be liked by most everyone. Is the family simply keeping the legacy alive? That’s the conclusion I’ve come to.

  11. lattelady says:

    hmmmmm Okay, on to something else. Personally I was hoping it was an objection to Walmart.

  12. wsmoak says:

    silentgoddess, it looks like it’s an IBC (intermediate bulk container) with the top cut off. They are used for transporting liquids, the metal frame keeps the plastic container from bulging and shifting.

  13. thistlewoodmanor says:

    Bummer, it’s video and I don’t have speakers on my computer. Now I have a frowny face. πŸ™

  14. mammaleigh says:

    That is great! Just because I can…

  15. WendyYohe says:

    Seriously?? That’s it?! And I thought PA was weird! LOL

  16. JerseyMom says:

    I love it, especially the part about the frownies spreading just because. When we were about Morgan’s age several of us would go to Waikiki (yep…lived in Hawaii back then) and stand on a street corner and all look up and point to an imaginary item. Didn’t ever take long to draw a crowd and we’d back off and watch them all try to figure out what they were looking at. It’s that herd mentality, I guess πŸ˜‰

  17. Rechelle says:

    Ha ha! Love it!

  18. outbackfarm says:

    Well, that’s all a person has to do is ask. I love it! But also thought it might have had something to do with politics or Walmart, which both I do not like. But thanks for solving the mystery, Jerry!

    So how long have these frowny faces been up before people started wondering about them?

  19. outbackfarm says:

    I was also going to say that alot of people around here use those bulk things for their garbage pickup so dogs don’t get in their garbage.

  20. wildcat says:

    Thanks for solving the mystery! I was dying to know the ansswer! :yes:

  21. Leaves of the fall says:

    sounds like it’s become a legacy for the original frowner who passed away….

  22. marymac says:

    Hmmmm, I think I’m gona put up my own frowny face!!!!!!! I got just the place for it. Why you say? Just because I can!

  23. Hengal says:

    Hmmmm. That’s just plain weird, but, I’m sure I’ve done things that look plain weird to others too. πŸ˜€

  24. joykenn says:

    Ah,Ha. Now I know where all those weird and whacky genes come from in Texas–they migrated there in 1830s from what became West Virginia! They didn’t like that EASTERN Virginia constitution and decided to head out to the frontier in the new land of Tejas. At least that’s MY version of history!

  25. Karen H says:

    LOL Thank you for that very cute story. my life is now complete. LOL

  26. NancyL says:

    Thank heavens, now I can sleep again!!!

  27. MousE says:

    Hahaha! Love the double-time summary at the end. :sheepjump:

  28. KarenAnne says:

    I get a weird popup asking for a server password. Things seem to work if I just close it.

    Very nice painted flowers on that happy face thing.

  29. bar2a says:

    according to my mac safari, either i or you’re being phished. when i try to log in or send an email, i get a pop up message asking for a .com.80 keychain password. when close it everything works, but when i tried to email you about it, i got the warning message from mac saying that would be a phishing expedition from, for example, a bank.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Sorry about that. (Re the “mint” login popup box.) It was a little techie thing I was trying to do that went awry. All taken care of now. (It wasn’t any sinister phishing or anything from anyone outside the site, just a techie glitch.)

  30. bar2a says:

    i forgot to say it also says i have to log in to area Mint. what happens when something is flagged?

    is this widespread?

  31. Lindsay says:

    Yup, it’s happening to me too, and only from this site. I just closed the little box without typing anything.

    I like the frowny face story! It gave me a laugh. I’m sortof temped to paint a frowny face on our building but then we really would be ‘that house’ on the block!

  32. WvSky says:

    The problem with using frowny faces (as I see it) is that they never mean anything good! For instance: If a bunch of people placed smiley faces up, people would just say.. “there’s a bunch of happy (or crazy) people. Place a couple of car hubcaps on poles and in yards of 6 homes and will say “wonder what THAT’S all about.

    But a frowny face? Frowny faces usually mean something not good! It COULD mean the the property owner’s mad at the world. Or an international sign for Keep Out! Or “I’m a grump”. Or I hate Wal-Mart! See that’s the problem. You just don’t know, but you know it’s probably not good! So to have someone place a bunch of frowny faces up for LAUGHS… well… that IS weird.

  33. WVgal4ever says:

    I love West Virginia!! :happyfeet:

  34. CarrieJ says:

    That was an awesome story..what enthralled me was the road most travelled. I drove from Charleston, to Spencer, to Ripley, back to Spencer, then from Spencer to Camp Shepherd, several times, then to your house (a story in itself) then back to Charleston. That road looked very familiar to me. But, I was so intent on not getting ran off the road that I didn’t notice the frowny faces πŸ™‚

  35. holstein woman says:

    Well, that settles it for me, I am NOT moving to Gandeeville WV! I don’t follor no leader.

  36. sunhurteyes says:

    Cute story!!

  37. MsJanJ says:

    AWESOME!!!!! There is nothing wrong with being different and this only shows that we are creatures of habit. I use to plant flowers at my old house and became extremely obsessed with hanging baskets and display of beautiful summer annuals. The neighbor across the street then decided to do the same thing and from there it spread like wildfire. The whole street became very competitive to see who could plant the most beautiful display of flowers. The neighbor across the street then purchased a floral/ greenhouse business, followed by another neighbor a block down the street who decided that was a good idea. I left a few years later but it was a constant wait for spring to see who could get the first flowers out, even if there was a chance of frost (you just covered and put blankies on them. My kids thought I was crazy and my husband left for a woman that obviously disliked flowers and loved to eat. It brings back memories and today I can laugh because I live in a rural area 800 feet down a long winding cement driveway with my precious gang of canine kids with woods and 13 acres of beautifully manicured lawn acreage. And I can have all the beautiful flowers and gardens I want, but GEEZ, I got a man that LIKES TO EAT!!!! πŸ˜†

  38. zteagirl71 says:

    That’s it? Some grumpy old man wanted to protest the smiley face, and then people ran with this? I’m with Anita (post # 10 ) on this one… just ludicrous. What if someone wanted to protest the friendly waving hand with one that flips the bird? As for “individuality”, as soon as someone copies you, it’s no longer “individuality.” :pirate: (the pirate was as close to a frowny face as I could get – he he he)

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