Summer Roadtrip Listening: Our Favorite Stories from June Inside Appalachia


Summer is often a time for road trips, so we put together a few stories that made us think of summer break. And our Struggle to Stay series continues as we catch up with Mark Combs on his journey to find a home outside of West Virginia.

“It’s been kind of tough to be honest. I didn’t think I would miss people back home this much,” said veteran Mark Combs, who left Appalachia last year to pursue a career as an actor.

But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Last week, we heard his move to L.A. wasn’t a success. This week, we’ll hear why Mark and his friend Cameron instead went to Denver, Colorado, to find a home.

30 Days of #WVmusic

Moving away isn’t easy. We hear from Adam Meisterhans, a musician who moved to Nashville, but admits it has been difficult to settle into a bigger city.

“You know it’s the first time I lived in a city, I didn’t have any money, I didn’t know many people,” said Meisterhans, who now splits his time producing records in Nashville and touring the world with the Martinsburg, West Virginia band Rozwell Kid. His interview is part of a series by A Change of Tune’s Joni Deutsch that highlights the music of West Virginia.

Summer Camp Promoted Racial Integration

The history of the civil rights movement is generally told in terms of big, dramatic events like the Montgomery bus boycott or the Freedom Rides. Less well known is a history of quiet grassroots activism that worked toward the same goals. One such effort was an integrated day camp that began in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1950. WMMT contributor Beth Bingman shares the story of the first successful racially integrated summer camp in Appalachia, the Fellowship House Day Camp in Knoxville, TN.


Credit Courtesy WMMT
Fellowship House Summer-Day Camp, Knoxville, TN

Tell Your Summer Story

This summer, wherever the road takes you…maybe to the beach for a breather or to the Monongahela National Forest for a hike, a summer job, or maybe just to your front porch with a glass of ice tea, listening to the crickets, or catching up on some podcasts. We hope you’ll send us an email or find us on Twitter or Facebook and let us know how you’re spending the summer. 


Credit Jesse Wright
Bee visits an apple blossom

Music in this episode was provided by Rozwell Kid, Marisa Anderson, Dinosaur Burps, Andy Agnew Jr., and Ben Townsend.