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Joe Wilson’s Oct. 1 guest editorial about the Crooked Road probably won’t convert the people he’s talking to, but it does shed some light on the class war we have in Southwest Virginia.
Many people who have been on this land for a couple of hundred years were impoverished immigrants at the start. Many of us stayed poor.
I appreciate Joe’s kind words about gentle Christianity, but I don’t see much of it here.
I don’t enjoy that closed mindset, but I understand wanting to hold tight to whatever you have left.
I understand memories of a time when neighbors helped each other, when you could hear music all up and down this hollow after the men came home from work.
And I’m still smarting from an interview with a couple of nice ladies from a regional arts venture. They approached us and were interested in securing our membership (meaning money).
When they asked if they could come inspect my husband’s work, I said OK, but I neglected to tell them we were painting the living room in our tiny cabin; and one of the chickens had pooped on the porch.
They sat on the edge of their chairs and looked nervous. Toured the workshop, which generally looks like a grenade hit it.
Finally decided there was “a parking problem” for their yearly tour. One of them suggested that we could exhibit with somebody else: “Of course, you’d have to be invited.”
Here, in a nutshell, is the problem: Many of these people talk to each other and nobody else. Their general wonderfulness does not translate well.
I can understand why local people don’t appreciate being lectured about local crafts and music by arrogant outsiders.
Hard times have not really hit these new people. If they ever do suffer misfortune, they could take a cue from my 84-year-old neighbor.
We slept our first night on the floor by the fireplace. He showed up the next day on his four-wheeler, in the snow, with the spare house key and a jar of home-canned sausage and a slice of country ham.