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Great story from AP WVA

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Cousin Jeffrey, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

  2. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    That is a helluva story. Sad, the way we as a society treat our workers.
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    It was an engrossing read. But never having lived in West Virginia, I wonder if folks from that state would see it as a stereotypical profile of simple folk and simple pleasures being betrayed by the grimy factory. Maybe the Disembodied One can speak to this.
  4. Not necessarily,
    Weirton is unlike 80 percent of W.Va. It's blue-collar factory/industry. Whereas the vast majority of W.Va is VERY rural and driven by either coal, tourism or government jobs. Martinsbrug, which is basically a suburb of DC is the rare exception. Though the Clarksburg-Morgantown area (along I-79) is beginning to thrive.
    The AP has Weirton spot on. It is a VERY depressing place. You can see that it was once thriving - not pretty, but thriving. Now most of the businesses have closed up and half the steel factory is unused. It's like something out of a Bruce Springsteen song.
    It's not just Weirton,which is just across the river from Ohio and a stone's throw from Pennsylvania. Most of the northern panhandle, on both sides of the river, is in a similar state. Its the result of the rustbelt.
    Incidentally, Weirton was the site of filming for the movie "Deerhunter."
  5. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    The Wenalway travel guide recommends exits in the Clarksburg area. Not a bad place.

    The area at the tip of northern West Virginia and across the border into Pennsylvania is pretty sorry.

    Wheeling is nice, though.
  6. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    Pretty spot on there about Weirton, though a lot of Deerhunter was filmed in Mingo Junction, Ohio, a true hellhole. I was afraid to take my citified girlfriend to either downtown Weirton or Mingo (where I desperately wanted to place bets at a local bookie joint), because I thought she'd cry.

    That area, Weirton, Steubenville, etc., is horribly depressing. But Steubenville did win the state championship this year. So they got that going for them.
  7. West Virginia is a real, real tough place to live. It's one of the most beautiful in the country as far as scenery, but there's basically not many ways to make a living, as stated before. You can add growing weed to the list of ways people make money, and it may be the biggest industry. And there are a lot of hillbillies in the hollers. I probably would have grown up there, if my parents could have found a way to make a living. Similar to this story, my dad did reporting for a book the Carter administration commissioned on the coal industry in West Virginia. Pretty dreary existence.
  8. DisembodiedOwlHead

    DisembodiedOwlHead Active Member

    Great story. Didn't really pander in stereotype as much as factual detail. I have known Vicki for a long time and she did a good job. There is a ton of desolation and resignation in W.Va. All of the news always seems to be bad and getting worse.

    I was glad she included the section about the people feeling betrayed. W.Va.'s state government has been mismanaged at a ridiculous level for decades -- regressive taxation, lack of any sort of business development, horrible education system, bungling of major decisions -- such as opting for govt-approved, garish "casinos" filled with smoke and people bleeding their savings quarter by quarter at those nickel slots, when they could have gone riverboats or table games or developed the couple of decent horse tracks. I have no optimism it will ever get better there and I'm glad almost every day I'm gone.
  9. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I grew up in WV. To say that jobs are scarce there is putting it mildly. I wouldn't be surprised if the scenario that story portrayed -- of a mill worker layed off, or nearly layed off, committing suicide -- is surprisingly common. My parents moved away when my dad's company merged with an out-of-state company, and the new company promptly offered everyone in the WV office a chance to move to the out-of-state headquarters. Those who didn't take the offer were layed off, because the WV office was closed within months. Again, surprisingly common there.
  10. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    One of the worst roadside stops I ever had was off I-64 at the Winfield exit.

    The gas station was having some sort of problem with its toilets, and the place was a floating crap game, except without the game. Hopefully the candy bars were at least nine inches off the ground, or they were gaining some unwanted chocolate layers.

    Since I had a choice of crapping in a flooded toilet or my pants, I decided on the toilet. I managed to sort of squat and plop. The discharge probably floated immediately out to the cash register, but I decided not to look.

    Then I waded out the door. Since then, I have ALWAYS (except for tonight; I'll have to fix this) kept an old, ratty pair of shoes in the trunk of my car in case this sort of thing happens again.

    I think the Japanese (no Bill Parcells jokes, please) built an auto plant near there. I can just imagine their road trips:

    "American bathrooms." Endless laughter. [/gungho]
  11. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Why didn't you crap in the woods?
  12. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I didn't expect to find the Great Mountain Swamp inside the store. And I had driven at breakneck speed just to get there. Making it to the woods, if there were even any around, was not an option.
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