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  1. Dreams : Stargazer October 12 to 14 2017

  2. Today's Amazing Teens

  3. Your Rainbow Vibes

  4. Dreams Stargazer October 9 to 11 2017

  5. Dreams : Stargazer

  6. Dreams : Stargazer October 3 to 5 2017

  7. Glimmer of Hope

  8. Dreams : Stargazer September 30 to October 2 2017


  10. Dreams : Stargazer September 27 to 29 2017

  11. Lighting Sparks

  12. Dreams : Stargazer September 24 to 26 2017

  13. Dreams : Stargazer September 21 to 23 2017

  14. Dreams : Stargazer September 18 to 20 2017

  15. Me And Garcetti

  16. Dreams : Stargazer September 15 to 17 2017

  17. You Are Important Too

  18. Human Error

  19. Dreams : Stargazer September 12 to 14 2017

  20. Dreams : Stargazer September 9 to 11 2017

  21. Dreams : Stargazer September 6 to 8 2017

  22. "Original Sin"

  23. Dreams : Stargazer September 3 to 5 2017

  24. Dreams : Stargazer August 31 to September 2 2017

  25. Your Life

  26. Dreams : Stargazer August 28 to 30 2017

  27. Dreams : Stargazer August 25 to 27 2017

  28. The Here And Now

  29. Reflections: Sunday Afternoons

  30. Dreams : Stargazer August 22 to 24 2017

  31. Dreams : Stargazer August 19 to 21 2017

  32. Always Putting Something Back

  33. Dreams : Stargazer August 16 to 18 2017

  34. Dreams : Stargazer August 13 to 15 2017

  35. Dreams : Stargazer August 10 to 12 2017

  36. Dreams : Stargazer August 7 to 9 2017

  37. River of Earth

  38. Dreams : Stargazer August 4 to 6 2017

  39. Dreams : Stargazer August 1 to 3 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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