IF YOU COULD USE a West Virginia roadtrip, here’s a vicarious one, traversing from Elkins to Lost River. You’ll cover lots of ground. From August Heritage Center jamming at Davis & Elkins College, to the soothing solitude of Kimsey Run Lake in Lost River. We’ve also pulled some stills from the video, captured during the Augusta Heritage workshops. The immersive summertime classes attract people from across the country and world to the West Virginia hills, come to learn or deepen their chops on fiddles and guitars, upright bass and piano, blues vocals, dance, craft, foodways and more. Learn more about Augusta here: augustaartsandculture.org/about-us | ~ Douglas John Imbrogno
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VIDEO: An AmpMediaProject.com production | photos and video by Douglas John Imbrogno. SOUNDTRACK:
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STORY INDEX FOR AUGUST, 2022
1 | EDITORS/NOTE: From Legislators to Lost River, thistles to abortion bans: In the midst of all the normal chaos of American and West Virginian political life, some good news breaks out. Plus, some worthy tales from worthy lives around the state. An overview of WestVirginiaVille’s August 2022 edition.
2 | EDITOR/IAL: Score one — a big one — for Manchin: The Earth wins one (with some important caveats) as Joe Manchin finally steps up and does right by the Biden administration’s grand climate hopes. It’s not everything, but it is a serious something.
3 | FIRST/PERSON: Why I Have Four Names: “They were both the most cussed, stubborn people you’d ever meet, my Dad and Mom, when they come together over something that stood them apart. “Both would not give up their position on the proper naming of you,” said K. “So, they agreed to disagree. And gave you all four names.” | By Joseph “Billy” Corduroy, reprinted from joebillyjohnbob.com
4 | ‘KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED’: Inside the chaotic week when West Virginia Republicans’ efforts to ban abortion stalled: “I can’t hear,” Senate President Craig Blair repeated from his dais. The body had just passed a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in West Virginia. The remaining pro-abortion rights protesters had packed themselves into the hallway beside the chamber in their 10th straight hour of demonstrations. “No justice! No peace!” | By Ian Karbal, reprinted from Mountain State Spotlight
5 | FIRST/PERSON: ‘A Wild Woman Love Story’: Once upon a time, a round-faced girl with curly hair and identity issues was told by someone (that genuinely loved her) that she was not “model pretty” like her sister but that she could be “mother pretty” … | By Angelica Gilleran, reprinted from BLACK BY GOD: The West Virginian
6 | PICTURE/SHOW: A West Virginia Walkabout from Elkins to Lost River: If you could use a West Virginia roadtrip, here’s a vicarious one, traversing from Elkins to Lost River. You’ll cover lots of ground. From August Heritage Center jamming at Davis & Elkins College, to the soothing solitude of Kimsey Run Lake in Lost River. | A WestVirginiaVille.com original video
7 | ONE/PHOTO: What the thistle tells: ‘the ants quickly took to the milk thistle this year. her bloom doesn’t last long. maybe two days. they seem to be in sync with this knowing, almost as if there is a pulse they can feel when she begins her bloom.’ | By Water Light
8 | CHARACTERS | The One-Armed Bandit of No. 1 Holler, West Virginia: The story of the “The One-Armed Bandit” is the stuff of heroes and legends. You may not know Gary Mays’ tale, however, as the major league career the West Virginia native might have had may have been blocked by racism. Yet nothing ever kept Gary down for long. | By Douglas John Imbrogno, reprint of 2016 Charleston Gazette story
9 | VIDEO: “WATER/CLOUD/WIND/LEAF: A Hoeft Marsh Melody”: Hoeft Marsh in Greenbottom WV is where I go off to when I want to get off the timeline of the world’s news. Here’s a short, lyrical recent visit there. It’s a little fishy, too. | A WestVirginiaVille.com original video
10 | PASSINGS: Recalling the ironic, sardonic, compassionate writings of PJ Laska: “It would be impossible for me to do justice either to his writing or to his intellectual prowess. But I will say, as a man, he always sought to share what he knew and never once came across as anything other than a person who could learn from any and everyone …”
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PICTURE/SHOW: Traces of Faces in West Virginia Places: July 1, 2022: Here are shots of West Virginia folk who passed within range of my phone the last six months, when I wasn’t using it to order a pizza.
PICTURE/SHOW: The Hills & Dales of Al Peery’s West Virginia: November 4, 2021: When it comes to Autumn in the West Virginia outback, nothing could be finer than Al Peery framing the scene from his wanderings in the West Virginia wilderness.
PICTURE/SHOW: 36 Ways of Looking at Thomas WV: September 10, 2021: Thomas, West Virginia, is a bump in the road several thousand feet up in the mountain air. With a storied past, small-town European feel, and humming creative scene it’s a special place in the hills. A photographic encounter.
PICTURE/SHOW: Kyle Vass on taking his best shot: June 7, 2021: A little over a year into his work doing audio journalism, Kyle Vass realized every story, regardless of what medium it’s being told through, needs pictures. Here’s what happened next.
PICTURE/SHOW: A taste for solitude & forests in West Virginia hill country: May 27, 2022: ‘Have I cared enough about the water? Have I left the eagle to soar in freedom? Have I done everything I could to earn my grandchild’s fondness?’