Thursday, August 9, 2012

116. You Can't Go Home Again!

    I attended my 55-year high school reunion this past weekend in Ohio County, WV, and received a major shock. If you have ancestry in western PA, northern WV, and eastern OH, and have not been there in a while, get ready for a rude awakening.
    The area is in the midst of a natural gas boom and a fracking nightmare. Hundreds of deep wells are being drilled and miles of gas pipelines are being laid.
    My Dad's farm has a huge bulldozed scar running through the middle of it, as do the farms of many of my former classmates. New roads and new developments overshadow the land of my childhood. My past is now only in the minds of a few of us senior citizens.
    The point here is that it is more important than ever to document not only the lives of your ancestors but also the cultural landscape. What was it like then--not like it is now.
     I attended five schools; all are closed now except my high school, which is now a junior high. Has that happened to you?
    [My school was Triadelphia High School in Wheeling, WV. I did do several hours of good genealogy in the area. You can read about the drilling and pipeline by Googling "Shale News".]
This new sight is over the hill just in front of my Dad's house, now empty.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Ron, That's a great idea...documenting your own "cultural landscape." What am I waiting for? There aren't any natural gas booms, but things do change every day. I think I should get busy. Sorry you had such a shock on your visit back home, but hope it was a good time anyway.
    Nancy Hurley

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