Refugees in Appalachia

20248058_10155683911018746_8164370557497892129_o

People awaiting a number to enter the Remote Area Medical event at the Wise County Fairgrounds, Wise, VA. (Photo by Remote Area Medical)

Upon first glance, it looks as though you are watching the evening news and the above picture is a photo of refugees fleeing a country or region in search of a better life.

But look closely. These are the faces of Americans. Appalachians. They are refugees. Healthcare refugees searching for free medical care that they cannot afford in the what is supposed to be the greatest country and humanitarian country on the face of the planet Earth.

Continue reading

Appalachia needs an attitude adjustment

achurch001p1

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill

Appalachia has a problem and if you haven’t already thought it or said it, change is needed for the area to prosper and get back on its feet. 

Winston Churchill once said that attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Here in Appalachia, you could say that we have an attitude and that little thing called attitude makes a big difference. You can also add that some people need an attitude adjustment in Appalachia. 

The thing is, I didn’t use those words “attitude adjustment” nor have I been listening to Hank Williams, Jr.’s Greatest Hits.  The words “attitude adjustment” were words used by business owners in Martinsville and Henry County, VA recently at a community forum focusing on getting their region to thrive again.

Sadly their region is facing the same obstacles and attitudes that we are in Appalachia.

Continue reading

Letters from a Soviet Prison: An interview with Francis Gary Powers, Jr.

18738422_10208920258391649_4528256383905106327_o

Francis Gary Powers, Jr. being interviewed talking about his new book, “Letters from a Soviet Prison”

You could say that Francis Gary Powers, Jr. is very much chained indirectly to Appalachia in the opposite of some of us living here in the mountains.

Living the majority of his life outside the Appalachian Mountains, the son of famed U-2 pilot still, finds a way to get back home to his unofficial roots of Appalachia. But unfortunately this year for Powers, he has made two unexpected trips to Pound to pay respects and honor the memory of his uncle and aunt who both passed away in the month of May.

Now on this last weekend in May, he is in Pound to visit and talk to people about his new book, “Letters from a Soviet Prison”.

Continue reading