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  1. Dreams : Stargazer August 16 to 18 2017

  2. Dreams : Stargazer August 13 to 15 2017

  3. Dreams : Stargazer August 10 to 12 2017

  4. Dreams : Stargazer August 7 to 9 2017

  5. River of Earth

  6. Dreams : Stargazer August 4 to 6 2017

  7. Dreams : Stargazer August 1 to 3 2017

  8. Dreams : Stargazer July 29 to 31 2017

  9. Federal Consultant

  10. Too Hate

  11. First Person Tip

  12. Dreams : Stargazer July 26 To 28 2017

  13. Dreams : Stargazer July 23 to 25 2017

  14. Wrong Cheerleaders

  15. Dreams : Stargazer July 20 to 22 2017

  16. Dreams : Stargazer July 17 to 19 2017

  17. Dreams : Stargazer July 14 to 16 2017

  18. Riding The Metro

  19. Go Far

  20. Dreams : Stargazer July 11 to 13 2017

  21. Dreams : Stargazer July 8 to 10 2017

  22. Beauty Beneath Our Feet

  23. Dreams : Stargazer July 5 to 7 2017

  24. Dreams : Stargazer July 2 to 4 2017

  25. Robert Frost

  26. Dreams : Stargazer June 29 to July 1 2017

  27. What Abby Did

  28. Skyline Lessons

  29. Dreams : Stargazer June 26 to 28 2017

  30. Dreams : Stargazer June 20 to 22 2017

  31. Dreams : Stargazer June 23 to 25 2017

  32. For You Again

  33. Dreams : Stargazer June 17 to 19 2017

  34. Broke As Hell

  35. Dreams : Stargazer June 14 to 16 2017


  37. Poke, Poke, Poke

  38. Dreams : Stargazer June 11 to 13 2017

  39. Dreams : Stargazer June 8 to 10 2017

River of Earth

Kentucky/Appalachian coal mine poverty is a great American story of resilience, survival, devotion and pride. It is largely forgotten today and shoved on the back burner behind progress. Those hard days are remembered only by some of the families in the same hollers still living out the repeating drama of generations. That is why this book is so important. It takes place in the early days of the great depression when the barebones poverty was at its worse and things hadn’t really changed much since the civil war. No cars, no running water, no phones, no electric lights, no radios, no doctors and a real struggle to just get enough food on the table. What kept people going? Family. “River of Earth” by James Still is narrated by a small boy telling three years in the story of events in the life of his family. His mom wants the settled life of the rented farm where they can raise chickens and vegetables and have a sense of place. His dad is a coal miner who moves the family from coal camp to coal camp on the hope of some real money but the mines keep cutting back laying off miners. The characters are amazing: Uncle Jolly, Grandma, cousins Harl and Tibb and sister Euely and brother Fotch. James Still was born into this and I suspect much of this book is his own story. It is vivid and real and is one of the forgotten gems of American Literature. Still published the book in 1940, just about the same time as Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” which got all the great reviews from the critics. With its simple sentences and mountain dialect, “River of Earth” sort of got overlooked.

But taken together, the two books represent the story of demoralizing poverty in the 1930’s. If you have read “Grapes of Wrath,” you owe it to yourself to read “River of Earth.”

“River of Earth” by James Still, Viking Press, New York, 1940...still in print from University of Kentucky Press, available on Amazon.

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