PALESTINE, WV - Charleston native Jeff Eberbaugh has developed many connections to Jackson County through the years and he still speaks fondly of the friends he made while working as a registered nurse at Eldercare of West Virginia in Ripley, which he left in 2012.
“I could definitely see myself as a Jackson County resident. I have always loved the county and the people,” said Eberbaugh, who resides on a farm in Wirt County with his wife, Leah.
Eberbaugh released his sixth book on November 8 titled, “State of the Union Healthcare: A Rednecks Doctrine on Doctorin’.”
“It is essentially my take on affordable healthcare in this country,” said the writer. The collection of poems dedicated to home remedies include the titles; “How to cure a broken heart” and “How to cure a sore place.”
The self-published author achieved a flicker of fame with his first two books “Gourmet Style Road Kill Cooking” (1991) and 1992’s “Road Kill: Redneck Style” sold nearly 300,000 copies combined.
The success of the books inspired a nationwide “road kill” craze in the early 1990’s that included t-shirts, mugs and other novelty items that didn’t necessarily line the pockets of the author.
“It was everywhere and I knew that I was onto something,” said Eberbaugh.
Go-Mart and a laundry list of others came calling to cash in on the popularity of the marketing phenomenon. This was the beginning of the “Carl’s Road Kill Cafe” campaign.
“Go-Mart approached me about the concept and I went with it. Looking back I wonder if it cheapened my product as some book stores like the Tamarack decided not to carry my products, which may have hurt me.”
The radio, print and television spots were initially very popular but soon, like many characters of mass marketing (Domino’s Pizza’s “Avoid the Noid campaign) simply ran their profitable course.
Eberbaugh, an avid outdoorsman has long saw the humor in his own way of life and his self-deprecating style of humor has brought him fans far and wide.
“I hunt and I fish. I really am a country boy and I am proud of it.”
Having over 13 years professional experience in deer processing, Eberbaugh developed an idea that never quite got off of the ground in 2011.
“I simply wanted a road kill hotline,” He said. “If you hit a deer or see a deer hit in Jackson, Roane, Calhoun, Wood and parts of Kanawha County, I will process it and distribute it to needy people,” said Eberbaugh.
“I see so much salvageable meat on the highway. Obviously, I would only process fresh kills that were hit or seen hit,” he added.
Page 2 of 2 - “It is good food, I have eaten it for many years and there are people who would feel blessed to have it. Many times the meat is better than what a hunter would bring in.”
The concept, which briefly got off of the ground in 2012 when Eberbaugh publically offered his home telephone number via various media outlets, caught the attention of New Chapter Entertainment in Chicago. The company is a collection of former Oprah Winfrey producers looking for fresh reality show content.
“They found me on the internet and said that they wanted to create a reality show about a family who processed and ate road kill.”
The show will begin filming episodes on location in West Virginia next year.
“Leaving my day job to film a reality show is a daunting task but also a rewarding one. It is a good financial move for my family,” said Eberbaugh.
The Eberbaughs have three children, Zach 22, Mary-Michael 18 (attending Marshall University), Lydia 9 and grandson Gabriel is 2.
“In the end, I just enjoy helping people and I enjoy making them laugh and smile,” said Eberbaugh.
For free shipping and an autographed copy of “State of the Union Healthcare: A Rednecks Doctrine on Doctorin’”, customers can send a check or money order for $9.95 to: Unique Publications, 825 Three Bridges Road Palestine, WV 26160. The books are also available at: createspace.com/4510257 or amazon.com. A percentage from each sale goes to the Pray West Virginia and Feed my Sheep programs.