“Recreational swim in the Greenbrier river for campers, who are children of miners…The campers come from various mines of Koppers Coal Division. Koppers Recreation Camps, Inc. Camp Thomas E. Lightfoot, Hinton, Summers County, West Virginia., 8/21/1946″

Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, Photographer. Series: Photographs of the Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry, 1946 - 1947. Record Group 245: Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War, 1937 - 1948

In 1946 the Department of Interior and the United Mine Workers agreed to a joint survey of medical, health and housing conditions in coal communities to be conducted by Navy personnel. Under the direction of Rear Admiral Joel T. Boone, survey teams went into mining areas to collect data and photographs on the conditions of these regions, later compiled into a published report. The bulk of the photographs were taken by Russell W. Lee, a professional photographer hired by the Department of Interior for this project.

There are currently 1,300 digitized photos from the project now available in the National Archives Catalog.

There is magic there, in those mountains. Inherent in the woods and hollows, tumbling down the mountain sides, rising up like mist, but also in the people: their songs and stories and ways, their yarbs and praying rocks, their burn-talking, water-dowsing, blood-stopping charms. Things get remembered there that other people forget, until one day somebody wonders where that Child ballad or old-timey cure went and comes looking to find it, kept safe in the memory of the mountain and its folk. It is not a coincidence that Faery, the most well-known “home grown American strain of religious witchcraft” as Ronald Hutton called it, has its roots in Appalachia. If you have any love of such things, know that the tributaries of your knowledge have springheads in those hills.

The magic cannot be separated from the land. You can put the knowledge in a book, perhaps, but that does not preserve it; once everything is gone but the dry pages, they only point to what is lost. Magic is alive, as the mountains are alive, as we are alive. One of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth cloaks those mountains like a mantle woven from a million colors. Richness, true wealth, in the living breathing threads, wealth we barely comprehend because it seems so ordinary, precious beyond anything else we know or could tell. Like the old ballads, we remain ignorant of its value, perhaps, until it is lost…except when a thing is finally gone from these mountains, the oldest in the world, it is gone forever.

Sports Recap - Thursday, January 5th

Lots of NBA Action last night, but first we’ll touch on College Football.

Absolute domination by West Virginia against Clemson last night. They had a bowl record 49 points at HALF TIME and finished with 70 points. Classic ACC move on Clemson’s part. First Virginia Tech loses a game they should have won against Michigan, and now Clemson gets demolished by WVU. It’s amazing how the ACC can produce solid NFL talent, but every year their teams are pathetic. Looking at you, Miami. 

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The Miami Heat are in just their own world right now. Without Dwayne Wade, the Heat cruised against a young Indiana Pacers team. The Pacers have a young dynamic team with Danny Granger, Darren Collison, and Roy Hibbert (appeared on Parks and Recreation, amazing show), but the Miami Heat are in another world this year. The playoffs and finals should be great with Miami, Chicago, Portland, Oklahoma City and maybe a few sleepers along the way.

The Knicks brought in Mike Woodson and Tyson Chandler to improve their defense. Well my friends, they still have a long way to go…Boris Diaw and the Bobcats torched the Knicks at the Garden. You can admit that they were making some ridiculous shots, but the Knicks could not stop their penetration and left wide open jumpers for the Cats. Iman Schumpert and Kemba Walker both played extremely well. 

Wasn’t the 2010 Draft supposed to be the talented one and 2011 was supposed to be weak. Well with players like Kyrie Irving, Iman Schumpert, Kemba Walker, MarShon Brooks, Ricky Rubio, and Brandon Knight. There are some really solid NBA players in this group. 

In the NFL apparently everyone hates Santonio Holmes. Not too surprised there.

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I’m waiting for Tebow-mania to hit the NFL Playoffs and I can’t wait. Although Pittsburgh will probably win by 35 points, it sure would be amazing if Tebow pulled out a ridiculous win.


“A Girl in her Element”

Taken on our recent road trip from Florida to Pennsylvannia and back.

Loving life lately and trying to get back into moving my body more.  That means more hiking, walking, running, dancing round the house, some HIIT, and of course…yoga.

I have become a little bit too stagnant and my energy levels, mood, and outward body appearances have been suffering as a result.  

Here’s to 2015 being a healthy year!  BUT, you don’t have to wait for a new year to start taking charge of your health. Get out there and get moving! ;)