Alas, West Virginia

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze…


That image is from the Meet West Virginia post on The Vigilant Lens blog, on which I commented:

I was born in Charleston, and the water treatment plant they’re depending on to clean up the mess sits, in part at least, on land taken from my father via imminent domain… 😕

In case you’re unaware of the disaster unfolding in my home state, the Frustration mounts over chemical spill in West Virginia water supply post on the CBS News website can catch you up. Here’s a couple of Google images to help as well:



Take note of the larger image included in the 2nd image montage. Just about all of my first 12 years on this earth were lived within the confines of that image. Here’s a better view captured from Google Maps:

Charleston, W. Va.

Note the Freedom Industries facility in the upper right. Also note the West Virginia American Water treatment plant in the lower left. Here’s an enlarged view:

My Old Neighborhood

In hindsight, I guess I should have drawn the blue box a little larger, so as to fully encompass the “heart” of my life in Charleston. You see, the last house I lived in there was situated on Bullitt St. right in front of where the lower left of those circular treatment plant thingies are. My father’s house was at 812 Young St., just to the right of where the street in named, and his pool hall – the one place I spent more time at than any – was right near the bottom of the image, where the “St” in Court St is printed. It’s all gone now, in the name of progress, and neither the treatment plant nor the soaring overhead freeways where there when I left all those years ago.

My heart goes out to the people of my hometown, and to the entire affected region. They say you can never go home, but John Denver’s closing words still keep tugging away…

I hear her voice, in the morning hour she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And drivin’ down the road I get the feeling
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday…

I want ice water.

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23 thoughts on “Alas, West Virginia

  1. I’m a huge John Denver fan and this is one of my favorites. I forget sometimes that not all of his songs were about Colorado.

    My heart goes out to those folks who are being inconvenienced (or worse) by something that never should have happened. At least a few heads should roll over this, but I’ve learned not to expect accountability from or punishment of corporate bigwigs.


    • I hear ya PT, and I’ll bet everyone in Appalachia would agree with your thoughts on corporate accountability. 😐

      On a brighter note, that “Rocky Mountain High” thing certainly has taken on new meaning! 😀


      • That’s for sure. Although an awful lot of people claimed that was its meaning all along. I guess we’ll never know for sure, but it was named Colorado’s second state song a few years back.


        • Yet more proof of just how cool your state is PT. I know a lot of people are worried about the “slippery slope” effect, but I’m hoping this is just the first step towards ending the war on drugs once and for all.


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