Leaving the World Behind
This weekend we met up with my son, Timothy and daughter-in-law, Ashley for the 12th Annual October Sky Festival in Coalwood, West Virginia...home of the Rocket Boys!
This photo shows off the United Methodist Church on the main street in Coalwood...mind you there is only ONE street that runs through the entire town ;) Homer Hickam, the towns' beloved author, rocket scientist, and Coalwood rocket boy...stood all day long on the steps of this church autographing books and visiting with all the people who came to the festival.
Of course that is why we came to this small...but not forgotten...coal camp town to meet one of my son's inspirations for becoming (and believing that he could become) a "rocket scientist". You see Tim and Homer have a lot in common when it comes to working hard for what they really want...because nothing came easy for Tim or for Homer...but both were determined to do what every it took to accomplish their dreams! I think that is why his teacher, Miss Freida Riley told him early on that...
"You can't just wish yourself out of Coalwood Homer...it takes a lot more than that!"
The following historic photo shows you what this coal camp looked like when Homer was a boy and the mine was fully operational.
Photo ID: nw1463 Title: Carter Coal Company, Coalwood, West Virginia Date: 1930s Norfolk & Western Historical Photos section copyrighted images available in the Virginia Tech Digital Library and Archives. Their web site is: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu.
This is a view of Coalwood Main. The Big Store and the Community Center (both gone now) are on the right. The Clubhouse is on the left. (boarded up and in ruins now)
Notice that the church was not even part of the town then...I guess because the Olga Coal Company did have the need for it?
Really sad to see...but I guess all across the country camps...aka...towns like these there were established by the mining companies and then were simply abandoned when the mines were all closed.
Photo ID: nw1462 Title: Consolidation Coal Company, Mine Number 25, Coalwood, West Virginia Date: November 6, 1932
Norfolk & Western Historical Photos section copyrighted images available in the Virginia Tech Digital Library and Archives. Their web site is: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu.
This would later be purchased by Olga Coal Company and would become Olga Tipple #1.
That was then...this is now...
While we were waiting for our books to be signed, we checked out the local artisan crafts and foods. They also had a small auto show and some local talent for entertainment. Here's a photo mosaic:
So...we bought the t-shirt, the October Sky movie DVD, the cookbook and a few of Homer's books...
The t-shirt had "October Sky" on the front and on the back...was what Homer's mother said to Homer in response to his announcement at the supper table that he was going to build a rocket...
"Well...just don't blow yourself up."
Tim loved this because it reminded him of me telling him the entire time he was growing up...
"It's Not Rocket Science"...well guess what...NOW IT IS ;)
What a wonderful weekend we had spending time with the kids doing the unexpected!
I'm linking up this post with Mary of Little Red House blogspot for her Mosaic Monday.
Wishing you all a great week ahead!