Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2 sides to my old home

I am a West Virginian, an Appalachian, a Mountaineer.

Two things today about my home state, where I got the accent people still comment on though I think I sound like a New England native.

A survey I read on line found that West Virginia is the 'unhappiest' state. It was based on a whole list of things like income, volunteerism, obesity, drug use, suicide--on and on the list went. Although West Virginia was one of the top 5 states in environment (and it is drop dead beautiful) it came in so poorly on health and well being issues that it was dead last. Lower than Mississippi, which is hard to do!

Sad place. And my last couple of visits would bear that out. A dozen years or so ago, four other adults and I took a dozen kids from St. John's in Waterbury to do a work camp in McDowell County, where I grew up. Get this, of all the counties in the country McDowell (which is MAC-dal to natives) has BOTH the earliest death date AND the oldest average age. Ponder that. No young people. Not many people at all. 70,000 when I was growing up; 28,000 now. Imagine the number of boarded up homes. I wept to be there back in 2003.

Then there's this: WVU's men's basketball team (currently ranked #18) beat #2 Kansas tonight by 16 points! Just a week or so after beating #1 Baylor! The first team since Indiana in 2011 to beat a #1 and #2 team in the same season.

WVU has lost four games this year by a total of 10 points--mostly because they suck at shooting foul shots. 3 of their loses have been on the last possession. Go figure.

West Virginia will fill your heart to brimming and break it too.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.