Magazines, movie screens and TV sets are not the only homes of marvelous mugs. They can be found on back roads too. Take the beauties of Lovely (pop. some 1,365) and the lovelies of nearby Beauty (pop. 790) in Kentucky coal country, where we mined a mother lode of hearty handsomeness and crystal-clear country charm.
Jimmy & Joey Hammonds
"When I tell people I'm from Lovely," says miner Jimmy Hammonds, 30 (left, with twin Joey), "they say, 'Where's that?' I say, 'Go to the West Virginia border and look back over your shoulder.' "
Bridgette Harmon, 21, a newspaper ad saleswoman, thinks living in Lovely is, well, lovely. "It's got lots of mountains and trees," says the ardent softball player and Vince Gill fan. And she's even thought up a snappy slogan to promote the place: "I'm just a beauty for Lovely."
Kevin Skyles & son Kristian Paul
"Between Beauty and Lovely is Warfield," says coal company owner Kevin Skyles, 28, cuddling son Kristian. "They must have had a feud once." Asked what beauty means to him, Kevin says, "Home."
Nancy Jo Kilgore
Grade school teacher's aide Nancy Jo Kilgore, 23, braces herself when she tells people she's from Lovely: "They'll ask, Is Beauty close by?' I'll say, 'Yeah.' And they'll start laughing. People don't believe me."
Recently crowned a Miss Southern Charm, junior-high hoopster Shauna McCoy, 14, is now shooting for Miss Teen Kentucky and someday Miss America. That would put Beauty on the map.
"This is good country living," says Darrell Perkins, 38, a mine electrician and aspiring country star who has lived in Lovely most of his life. "I'm biased, but we've got really good people."
On Newsstands Now
- Amy Robach: 'I'm Lucky to Be Alive'
- Paul Walker: Inside His Tragic Death
- Julia Roberts: Choosing Family Over Hollywood
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine