Grapevine: Thank you for supporting Ben Queen and passing the torch to a new generation

By Rosalyn Queen Alonso | November 15, 2016
After a long summer and a beautiful fall we can finally say that the election season is over. 
I know that there are some of us who did not get our way with the vote and then there were some of us who did.  The best thing for us to do now is unite behind those individuals who were elected and give them a chance to get things done for us.  We would certainly be foolish to think that one individual can work miracles but together they can make progress.
First I congratulate all those who won. Next I'd like to congratulate all those who did take the time to get out and vote. I feel bad for those, for whatever reason, did not exercise their right to vote.
I also want to congratulate all those candidates who ran for office, but did not make it this time. Your's was a hard job also, and although you did not make it, remember there will be another time. Our family has won and lost campaigns and not winning is hard.  But there are always future elections.
During the campaign I was asked several times why I did not comment on my grandson Ben Queen who was a candidate for the WV House of Delegates.  It would not have been fair for me to use this column to do that and so I did refrain.  But you can bet that David and I did all we could to help him in many other ways.
I congratulate Ben.  Our entire family is very proud of him and we are so appreciative that the voters of Harrison County have given him this opportunity to serve. 
And as my friend, Larry Jett says "the mango did not fall far from the tree." I want to share a little background about my grandson with you.  Ben is only 21 years old.  He the son of Paula Thompson Carter and Michael Queen of Bridgeport.  He was born and raised in Harrison County, attended public schools and graduated from Bridgeport High School in 2013.  He will receive his business degree from WVU in December.
He owns his own successful photography business. While attending school in Bridgeport, Ben played baseball, cross country and basketball.  He started taking photographs early in school and could be seen on the sidelines taking sports pictures at the age of 13.  In 2008 Ben won a national photography contest and part of his prize was to attend Super Bowl 43 which featured the Pittsburgh Steelers (my team!) and the Arizona Cardinals. He continues to photograph BHS sports for Connect-Bridgeport and WVU football and men's basketball for USA Today Sports.
You all know a lot about my family but I wanted to take a minute to tell you about Paula's family. The Thompson and Montgomery families hail from Tupelo, Mississippi.   Ben is the grandson of the late Joyce Montgomery Thompson who did reside in Bridgeport for several years.  Ben is also the grandson of Paul and Susann Thompson of Holden Beach, NC.  He has one aunt, Christy Thompson, who resides in Bridgeport and worked vigorously to help get Ben elected.  In the early 1980's, the Thompson family moved to Cross Lanes, WV.  Paula attended Marshall University, met my son Mike there and now you know the rest of the story.
Ben is the fourth generation of the Queen family elected to serve the voters in Harrison County. There aren't too many, if any other, families who can stake that claim. His great-great Aunt Ruby Queen Keister was elected to serve as the first woman ever on the Harrison County Commission. Ruby's husband and Ben's great-great Uncle Ralph Keister was elected to serve as a member of the WV House of Delegates. 
Ben's grandfather, Fray Queen was first elected to serve as a constable in 1968.  In 1976, Fray was elected Magistrate until he retired in 1996.  At 24 years old in 1988, Mike was elected to serve in the WV House of Delegates.  In 2006, Mike was elected to serve as a member and president of the Harrison County School Board.
So I guess Mr. Jett has a good assessment of Ben. And as it is with any candidate for public office, the entire family gets involved.  Over the years, we've made friends with many families who may had been opponents at one time.
This is just a thumbnail sketch of Ben Queen, but I did want to share with you the personal side of him. I  am so proud of him and I know he will represent us well in Charleston.  No matter what, taking the politics out of the equation, the great thing is that Ben still comes to visit Grammy and is just one of my five grandchildren.
I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the voters for the confidence and trust you've placed in Ben Queen, my grandson.
If you are interested in the stories from other candidates or elected official's, contact them, I am sure they will share the information with you.
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and until next week "Now You Have Heard It Through The Grapevine".
Top Photo:  At the 2001 WV Italian Heritage Festival Queen's Gala when Ben served on the court of Regina Maria as the Septer Bearer.  Rosalyn, Ben and Dave.
Bottom Photo:  Ben's grandfather Fray Queen, Ben, Rosalyn and Dave

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