This post is part of a series focusing on Bisbee, Arizona. The HOLLOW team traveled to Bisbee where we were able to see how an old copper-mining community has used art and history to revive the town and create a new economy. PHOTOS by ELAINE MCMILLION…
McDowell County is a very patriotic community and tomorrow they will continue their tradition of holding one of the country’s longest ongoing Veterans Day parades in the country.
And in honor of Veterans Day, we are releasing three short stories from residents in McDowell County. We interviewed over 50 individuals this summer, many of which shared stories of war and returning home after. Today we would like to share three of those from Ellis Ray Williams, Ed Shepard and Bill Bolt.
I have been transcribing alot of footage today and am currently working on Marsha Timpson’s amazing interview. I figured this quote about “pride in West Virginia” would resonate with many…it did me.
"I don’t think it (pride) is lost. I think it ricochets. I wasn’t proud, I wanted out of here. I couldn’t wait to get out of here. I hated this place. I got married when I was 17 and hit the road. And I was gone a lot of years. When I came back, I fell in love with my place then. They’re kind of confined here and they always dream of greener pastures. But then you go and live in other places and when you come back you see all those things you took for granted.
These roots hold these trees in these mountains. Somehow those roots get embedded in our souls and we’re very connected, very connected to these mountains. And it doesn’t matter if they never come back…this will always be home and they will always have those roots in them.”
The photo above was taken in Coalwood, WV in December 2011. At one point in time, Coalwood was a booming coal mining town and home to many families and a thriving community. Coalwood reached its peak in the 1960s and finally shut down production on October 1, 1982…today it is left with the scars and skeletons of industry.
Please help make a difference in Southern West Virginia and rural America. “Hollow” aims to become a place where communities can work together to improve their future! Help us raise 3k in less than 30 hours on KICKSTARTER!
Taking advantage of the fact that hundreds of people sit and wait for hours each day in Highland Hospital alone, we will transform the waiting room into a storytelling space and provide the human and technological resources for patients to tell and listen to stories on-site. At the heart of this effort is an interactive story booth to be built – in partnership with the Alameda County Medical Center – as a permanent feature into Highland Hospital’s waiting room. The booth will allow patients and staff the opportunity both to record their own story as well as view other stories from the community. The booth will ask the user to either respond to either a theme or issue-based question. Booth users – depending on the level of privacy they desire – will have four ways to communicate: video, audio, text and physical journal.