“Let me ask you this: What do you hold so close to your own circle of life that you would not put a price on it? What would it be for you? For me, it is the mountains and the people of Appalachia.”
"To me, Appalachia has a haunting beauty. Its mountains and forests are alive with ghosts of the past and future. When I visit there it’s almost like I can feel their presence. From the Trail of Tears to the Battle of Blair Mountain to recent fights over mountaintop removal, the land and its ghosts call for justice. For over a hundred and fifty years, King Coal has waged war on her land and people. Before that the colonizers waged their own war against Appalachia. “The True Cost of Coal” captures this spirit."
"I was climbing up some gradual slopes, into an area of outstanding beauty. It reminded me of an idealized version of Scotland-warmer, drier, quieter. A place where even the deer seemed tame. A gorgeous blend of untamed forests and lush meadows, Virginia was looking after me very well."
"The (Appalachian) name was not commonly used for the whole mountain range until the late
19th century. A competing and often more popular name was the "Allegheny Mountains", "Alleghenies", and even
"Alleghania." In the early 19th century, Washington Irving proposed renaming the United
States either Appalachia or Alleghania.
In northern U.S. dialects, the mountains are pronounced /æpəˈleɪtʃənz/ or /æpəˈleɪʃənz/. The cultural region of
Appalachia is pronounced /æpəˈleɪʃ(i)ə/, also /æpəˈleɪtʃ(i)ə/, all with a third syllable like "lay". In southern U.S. dialects, the mountains are called the /æpəˈlætʃənz/, and the cultural region of Appalachia is pronounced /ˈæpəˈlætʃ(i)ə/, both with a third syllable like the "la" in "latch". This pronunciation is favored in the "core" region in central and southern parts of the Appalachian range. The occasional use of the "sh" sound for the "ch" in the last syllable in northern dialects was popularized by Appalachian Trail organizations in New England in the early 20th century."
"The Allegheny Mountain Range /ælɨˈɡeɪni/ — also spelled Alleghany, Allegany and, informally, the Alleghenies — is part of the vast Appalachian Mountain Range of the eastern United States and Canada where it posed a significant barrier to land travel in less technologically advanced historical eras. It is a barrier range that has a northeast-southwest orientation and runs for about 400 miles (640 km) from north-central Pennsylvania, through western Maryland and eastern West Virginia, to southwestern Virginia. Much of the Monongahela (West Virginia), George Washington (West Virginia, Virginia) and Jefferson (Virginia) National Forests lie within the Allegheny Mountains."
From a letter to his mother, Helen Pancake, that Pancake wrote in Charlottesville, where he was studying writing:
"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this
is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to
think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really
be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it,
because I might find it and have to leave."
-Breece D'J Pancake
"There aint no blue, like
blue Virginia blue."
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