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Try to survive

What quote am I vibing? "There is beauty in what we are. Shouldn't we, too, try to survive?" Dolores, from Westworld

What am I reading? The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough

Road Day: 17

The history of coal mining is embedded in this area that I'm from, and in my blood and bones - inextricable. It is not a happy history, but the people that were part of it had just as many happy moments as anyone else. The men in my family were coal miners, and suffered all that the industry offered. The area finds it difficult to move on from that legacy.

In 1902, right here in this region, there was a huge coal strike that Theodore Roosevelt found himself smack dab in the middle of. It was not normal for Presidents to involve themselves in free industry, but without a coal supply, the entire nation faced a dangerous winter. TR called the union leaders and the coal barons to Washington DC, and attempted to mediate these very contemptuous waters. The mediation was not perfect, but successful overall, and considered an achievement of his. (Most of my knowledge about this came from Theodore Rex by Murrow - mine is a very incomplete account of what actually happened.)

In 1962, a couple fellows accidentally set fire to the largest vein of Anthracite coal in the world, which happens to sit right below the next town over from where I was raised. The town of Centralia was almost entirely purchased and demolished by the government over time (barring a few holdouts who remain) - now Nature has taken over. Streets with no homes - remnants of foundations and driveways amongst the trees. I visit every couple years to take stock of things, and this year, I couldn't even observe steam coming from the ground, but there were many tourists. I didn't realize how popular it had become to visit this site that was such a normal part of my childhood and teen years.

As scared as I am for the people affected by the fires in California, I am ashamed to say that I was disappointed not to see this underground fire blazing and creating some dramatic steam and smoke for my photos! And so, smokeless, I present to you some of the most popular sites in Centralia today.

(Also, I finished that project that I've been working on and had ice cream for dinner!!)

My Dad was my photographer today. ❤️

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church - the most successful survivor of the fire.

Betwixt two Locusts.

Graffiti Highway - this was originally the main thruway in Centralia, but was closed due to concerns about it crumbling. Now it's covered in street art.

Nurses do rock. And I like those painted leaves.

Wherever I go - there are the Miami Dolphins! #finsup

Seven Layer Coconut Bar ice cream in a waffle cone from Pepe's in Mt. Carmel.

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