'Furriners' in Appalachia
Thrust from a university campus into the coal mining country of Eastern Kentucky in the 1950s, the young author faced many challenges. She and her mining engineer husband found themselves foreigners when they arrived; the mountain people, who had been isolated from the rest of the country for several hundred years, were suspicious of strangers. It wasn’t until World War II, only ten years earlier, that the U.S. needed Kentucky coal for the war effort and built roads into the area, bringing electricity and other modern ideas. During their four year stay, the couple experienced shootings, a coal mining tragedy, floods and unfamiliar language, but they also discovered the joys of new friends, caring people, delicious Southern cooking and gorgeous scenery. The author and her husband learned to appreciate the unique qualities of Appalachia and its residents as they grew in understanding of the mountain ways.