For the past 6 months my son Jack has been enjoying everything trains, especially Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas is a steam engine that's powered by coal and the other day Jack asked me "what's coal Dada"? That question took me back to my childhood. I grew up in West Virgina and for nearly 5 decades my home state was the leading producer of the country's major energy source. The town I grew up in was the hub for coal distribution. Many of our family friends were coal miners, my grandfather was a miner and my mom grew up in a coal camp. In movies, media and music, the coal industry has been dipicted as a negative part of American history. Coal camps were compared to slums, company store to loan sharks and mine owners were painted as evil dictators who didn't care about their employee's well being or saftey. I think it's fair to say that all corporations have had evidence of dispicable behavior. It's unfair to label an entire industry as sinister. Stories I was told by my family were that the coal camps were neighborhoods with schools and playgrounds and drive-ins. A great place to grow up. The coal mine was an advocate for family and success. So that's what I know...there is good and bad in everything. Just sayin'
A Blog, to find out what's going on in the world of a recovering media professional. Enjoy
Todd Stringer• photographer