Beam Me Up, Scottie


Friday, January 26, 2007

What the Rest of the World Thinks

The name may bring images of povery on lined, hopeless faces. Bib overalls and Jed Clampett.
For those of us who call this stretch of the Southwest Virginia mountains home, we carry the spirit of the people -- love and a will that cannot be crushed -- with us.
The goal of this week's posting is to share the sterotypes and the reality.
By the way. It's pronounced "Ap- pul-la-cha." Not " Ap-pul- LAY-chu."


Mountain Star -- Thomas Jones

In Big Stone Gap, Virginia, they'll shoot you over a contested call in a high school football game.

Everyone claims ownership of the best players. So it will be no surprise that everyone will be parked in front of a TV set to watch the Super Bowl.

Heck, they may even open Town Hall to watch the Super Bowl. .. and they will be pulling for the hometown hero.

A Good Day's Work

Between 1993 and 1997, not a underground coal miner died from a fire or explosion. But during that time, the number of unionized mining operations dropped significantly.
The escalating number of underground fires, tragic accidents and deaths have been in non-union mining operations, where safety standards and training are at minimum federal levels.
However, with fewer and fewer unionized coal operators in business, there is less and less training for the miners and less oversight for underground safety.
Miners who work for union companies enjoy great pay - between $30 and $60 an hour -- plus benefits, company safety standards and continual training.
They also participate in programs to make the mine operations safe, including the landmark Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969.
This brought standards for safety and compensation for miners affected by Black Lung Disease.

The current federal safety efforts are supported by both the National Mining Association and the United Mine Workers Union.

Dark as a Dungeon

Imagine never seeing the light of day and loving it.

My grandmother said that "Miners go to work with the dark."

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Lights! Camera! Action!

Nothing more exciting than being the center of attention. As you can see in this photo, it tells the story of a reluctant "star." The look on the gentleman's face says it all.

"Are we done, yet?"
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The Actor

What do you see in thhis photo? Kids acting on stage? That's where Chelsea -- the kid in the orange shirt and blue hat -- lives. And she's front and center. That's why I think this photo tells a story that represents her life.

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Virginia Born.. Tarheel bred

They say that you can leave Carolina, but Carolina never leaves you. I never wanted to be a Tarheel. The Cavaliers of Old Dominion were my dream. But the family moved. Out of state tuition unattainable. So, a 'heel I became.

Now, I've raised another future generation of Heels, despite the fact that I moved home to Virginia.

Welcome to my site. As we say back in the hills of Virginia, where I'm from, "Sit a spell."

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The Littlest Tarheel

This is Chelsea, my daughter and a working actress. She wants to go to Carolina to follow in the footsteps of
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The Third Generation of Tarheels Begins

This is my son, Travis. He's in Uncle Sam's Navy right now. When he was a child, the first poem he learned was from a cross-stitch that hung in his grandparents' house. The verse went like this:
"When I'm an old alumnus with
a grandchild on my knee,
I'll teach him that the
alphabet begins with U-N-C."
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Computer Interface