| We Aren’t What We Seem
By Lisa Ann Noe
Word Count: 746
Line count: 73
The mountains are beautiful with their lush green trees, which tower above the dense forest below. There are the purple trees, we so mistakenly call red buds, and white dog woods whose trunks are as a winding knotted log. Wild ferns are growing over the sides of the streams, a beautiful site indeed. The rabbit grass, wild orange lilies are a few of the beautiful things you’ll see on your great journey into the great Appalachians.
Wildlife are sneaking about the forest hiding from passers-by the wild cat, the black bear, elk, dear, rabbits, raccoons, opossums and many more birds and creatures including the dreaded rattle snake and the copper head snakes.
What’s that you’ve heard different things? Well let me shed some light on the situation. The typical picture portayed in the media is one in which:
A child is in it’s underwear, out side all a lone,and running around hungry ,without supervision.
The parents are usually portrayed as in-bread idiots who haven’t had a bath in a week or so. The parents are usually slicked over with dirt, their clothes a mess. All around the place there is garbage and no one seems to care or try to pick it up. This of course occurs in the mountains but it also occurs in places all over the country.
including New York and Boston. i've seen it first hand. The news media would have you believe that every one in Ky, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and so on are like this. When the truth is that most people are not.
The news people from around the country and even their own state in the western direction try to portray Eastern KY. And Southwestern VA. in a negative light.
For example of how the media always portrays the Appalachians and it’s people in a poor light.
In the year in which George Bush SR. was elected as president his people ask our community’s high school, Harlan High School
To sing at his inauguration In Washington DC. Thus the Harlan Boys Choir had the world’s full attention for the 2-minute song. But instead of coming to Harlan and showing the accomplishments of these lads, and show all they did to get this far. They (The Media) showed every thing bad about this place. Don’t get me wrong I know we have tremendous hurdles to jump, but give us a break, don’t you think we have enough problems with out having to worry about what the general public thinks of us on a whole.
We are faced with the following Problems I can tell you from a first hand witnessing of them.
1. Poverty, many try to work but there are no jobs here other than the coal Mines. Many are disabled due to retardation, mental health, diabetes, heart disease, severe Arthritis, Lung disease and much more. There are a high number of elderly populations in the Appalachian, Most young people do not stay here and those who do are usually troubled in some way.
2. Lack of Proper Education in the schools, in many communities the children are forced to go to schools, which are not equal to schools around the country in their financing and teaching. Though there are many highly talented teachers in our communities we sometimes lack the funds or school politics are part of the problem. Therefore the children don’t receive the education they so richly deserve. Things have improved from the ‘80’s when I went to school, but I still see some problems with this subject.
3. A new problem facing people of the mountains is the drug epidemic, so many young people and older adults the same are getting addicted to prescription painkillers or nerve pills. Others are finding more sinister drugs like Meth or cocaine. Police are starting to take a stand on these issues.
4. Another new problem facing the mountains of Appalachia is the termination of the coal mines being brought about by President Obahma Who swears to close down the coal mines, he along with the EPA are creating a show down in the hills and level lands of the coal fields. He taxes and fines them to death. Many mines have already shut their doors laying thousands of poor coal miners off. USE COAL IT KEEPS THE LIGHTS ON! That is the motto in The Mountains.
That is all I’ll say about those subjects I just want you to know, don’t always believe every thing you see on television, Yes there are people like the ones I described that’s who the media radiate to. But there are more of us regular intelligent people like my family and so many other families. Please don’t judge one of us by what another does. We are not all that bad or un-intelligent yes we make mistakes but we are not dumb ass red-neck hicks!
If you wish to see and experience the old world charm of a quaint little village and you like excitement, such as riding ATV’s or going on a zip line, visiting the coal mining museum which feature’s an exhibit for Country Music Legend Lorreta Lynn. Or try portal 31 which is a look inside a real a coal mines. Try the luxurious food at The School House Inn, visit our breath taking parks or our Waterfall in neighboring Corbin you can watch cumberland falls. Visit us here in Harlan Kentucky and grab some hand made crafts, or some good home cooking. We have a couple of real nice hotels like Holiday inn express, and others. Don’t judge us, join us.