So, back in the early 90’s there was a documentary filmed in Boone County West Virginia about Jesco White called The Dancing Outlaw. And since I am completely left in the dark about certain things, I am just now (18 years after it was filmed) learning about it.
Boone County is about 3 hours away from where I live. It’s down towards southern West Virginia, past our state capital Charleston. And it is home to Jesco (or Jesse as he prefers to be called) White. He is the dancing outlaw. The last of the Mountain Dancers, his style is unique to the mountain culture and resembles tap dancing. It’s a tradition passed down (along with his dancing shoes) from his father who was shot dead years ago. Jesco loves Elvis, dancing and huffing gas. He has done things in his life that most people only hear about on the 6 o’clock news.
I was able to acquire a copy of it and watched it the other night. While watching it, thoughts were running through my head. Thoughts like “Jesco is messed up” “Did he just threaten to cut his wife’s head off if she didn’t start making better eggs” “Jesco is awesome”.
One thing that I did notice was just how much those people in the documentary not only reminded me of people around here but also of my family. Alot of the actions, the mudpitting, they way they talk, even the decor in their homes seemed like it was pulled right out of my life and plastered on our television screen. And it made me love them and the movie even more.
Of course, I know that anyone outside of WV and those that were not born and raised in my great state would watch that and think we are all crazy, dumbass hillbillies. And that’s fine with me cause I know the truth, we may be crazy, we may be hillbillies but we sure are not dumb (now let me hear you squeal like a pig).
Along with The Dancing Outlaw documentary, Jesco also stared in the sequel Jesco Goes To Hollywood were it chronicled his trip to Hollywood to make a small appearance on The Roseanna Show. And now Jesco (along with his family) is staring in the another documentary brought to you by the creators of the MTV show Jackass called The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. Head on over to their site and watch the trailer. It is hilarious!