The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

September 26, 2010

Actress Kim Webster a Mountaineer at heart

MORGANTOWN — Sometimes we forget what this college spirit stuff is really about, especially those who have come and gone, building careers and families away from old alma mater.

There comes a time when you find yourself in need of something special, a time to put on the school football jersey, gather with other graduates and hoist a few beers, watch a game, reliving yesterday and forgetting about the troubles of today.

Meet Kim Webster.

“Webby, to other Mounties,” she would say.

 She’s an actress, far off in Los Angeles, and has lived through some tough times and some wonderful times. You may have heard of her. She had a recurring role on the television series “The West Wing”, appearing in 57 episodes.

But that is getting ahead of ourselves.

Right now, at this moment, just make note that on Saturday night she and number of other WVU fans gathered in an L.A. bistro called “The Beanery” for WVU’s battle with LSU.

“It’s nothing like the Boston Beanery in Morgantown,” she said. “Still, it does feel good to say.”

Life in L.A. is not what it was in Morgantown, rest assured.

“L.A. is a totally different place than Morgantown,” she said. “I don’t want to totally trash L.A. but the people are … well, it’s very plastic. You don’t have a feeling like you do in Morgantown.”

It is too big, too focused on things that don’t really matter in the overall scheme of things, too much a Hollywood set.

“Country Roads has never been more poignant than when you are out here, so far away,” she said. “It’s really hard to meet genuine people out here. I’d rather be alone for 365 days in a row than hang out with some of these people.”

The journey to Los Angeles was a roundabout one for Kim Webster.

She is originally for New Jersey, the central part of the state, “farm country” she calls it in an accent that can’t be mistaken for anything but “Joisey.”

“I didn’t plan on going to West Virginia. My guidance counselor made me apply there because she knew I was big into football and it was a big party school at the time and she didn’t think I’d get into the schools I was applying to with my grades,” she said.

“At the time it wasn’t all that hard to get into West Virginia. It’s harder now.”

If first impressions were lasting, her life would have been totally different. She recalls her first visit.

“I was, like, I wasn’t really feeling it. It was so spread out. I wanted to go to a smaller school. The PRT, two campuses ... it was too much. But then I got in school and, well, I bleed blue and gold.”

Her first semester was a disaster. She was an aimless teenager caught up in the party whirl, not knowing where she was headed except into trouble. That first semester, her grade point average was 0.8.

“My parents, they knew I had a little bit of a party history, they said that they would pull me out of school if I got bad grades. So I hid my report card and only told them a few years ago what really happened my first semester,” she said.

After that first semester, she knew she had to do something.

“I came back and said I need to find some classes to boost my GPA. I took an acting class and the rest was history. I fell in love. I felt I had to make it my major. By my last year, I ended up with a full scholarship, got some 4.0s and ended up graduating with a 3.66.”

That is not to say that she didn’t party and when she did there often was a football game involved.

“I tailgated at every game. I’d be up at 7 a.m. in the Blue Lot or in the Pit. I even made it into plenty of games. A lot of times I’d come out at halftime and start drinking and not make it back in. If we were playing Miami or one of the good games, I’d be there the whole time,” she said.

And when West Virginia won, which they did often during her time there, she was down there on the field.

“I tore down the goal posts, all that fun stuff,” she said.

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