BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia holds claims to fame in several different way but nothing quite like the Rocket Boys of Coalwood, West Virginia. A truly inspirational story of good ol’ boys in West Virginia making a name for themselves in ways even they are still blown away by.
On Monday, October 25, 2021, Homer Hickam and Roy Lee Cooke returned to their roots with the help of Rhayne Thomas to put on a 90 minute mini musical, “Homer, Elsie, and Sonny” at Tamarack.
“We created this wonderful musical and we started first in Theatre of West Virginia and we went off to Atlanta and we did some venues in New York and we’re really really happy that we’re coming back here to Theatre of West Virginia to do it again,” said Hickam.
Hickam and Cooke both have a love for Theatre West Virginia and for years have been using their fame and story to secure funding to make sure the theatre will be around for years to come. The mini musical featuring Rhayne Thomas, playing Hickam’s mother, is sure to delight audiences while giving tidbits of facts and insights to historical events not previously known. Something Thomas was excited to bring to the stage.
“Here I am playing his mom and reading all the books and seeing the movie and everyday I’m still blown away by the information I found out about them I didn’t see or didn’t hear or didn’t know. This is a huge honor for me I feel so blessed to be here and doing this, I can’t wait,” said Actress Rhayne Thomas.
The trio of friends, between laughs and stories, are excited to bring this next chapter home for a great cause. A story Cooke says he never gets tired of telling as the Rocket Boys have, and continue to inspire generations after generations.
“That rocketry theme stayed with me all my life. I can’t tell you how many countries I told people, who could hardly understand my southern West Virginia talk, about what we did as boys building rockets. Then all of a sudden it comes to light in an article, a book, and movie and yes, my heart leaps up,” said Cooke.
Theatre West Virginia hopes the fundraiser will help them continue to bring enjoyment and entertainment to the folks of our region. For more on future events for Theatre West Virginia, visit their Facebook Page here.