Documenting Appalachian Culture, The Meaning of Wheeling, A Special Soldier and More

Jul 5, 2014

Two regular guys take on the job of documenting Appalachia’s culture and history.

A new book explores the meaning behind the name Wheeling.

Looking at Appalachia is still looking for photographs of the region.

And a West Virginia soldier is honored to be a member of the Old Guard.

Documenting Appalachian Culture. The Appalachian region has been reported on, documented and studied quite a bit in the past 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson came to the region to declare a "war on poverty." But two friends, one lives in Johnson City, Tennessee, and the other in Dickinson County, Virginia, are hoping to make a documentary showing what’s good about the area. The Appalachian Project, or TAP, was started earlier this year by Shane Simmons  and Jason Barton and they are collecting stories from people who live in a specific part of Appalachia.

Are Parts of Kentucky Worth Saving? Last month a New York Times analysis found that Eastern Kentucky’s Clay County ranked dead last in a study of the nation’s toughest places to live. Another five counties in Kentucky’s eastern coalfields also ranked in the bottom ten. Times’ reporter Annie Lowery says it’s just not possible to improve the economies there and the best solution may be for people to move. Tim Marema, editor of the rural news website Daily Yonder, has a different opinion.

Defining the Word Wheeling. The name Wheeling is an old word. While there’s some dispute, its most commonly translated from the indigenous Delaware language as “Place of the Skull.”  That’s the name and subject of a new book recently published. West Virginia Public Radio’s Glynis Board spoke with Ohio Valley resident and author of the book, Alan Fitzpatrick, and brings us this report.

Looking at Appalachia: An Update. Roger May documents life in Appalachia using still photography. This year May is hoping to update the portrait of Appalachia by replacing those old, black and white, photographs from the "War on Poverty" that still stand today as representative of the region, with new, modern and more colorful images. Cecelia Mason recently caught up with May to see how the project “Looking at Appalachia” is going.

Serving in The Old Guard. This Fourth of July marks the 239th anniversary of the United States of America. A few years after the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, in 1784, Congress created the oldest active duty infantry unit in the Army- known as the Old Guard. West Virginia Public radio’s Jessica Lilly tells us about a soldier from Princeton who was recently chosen to help carry on the traditions of this historic unit.