grandparents Posts

About Hillbilly Elegy & Those Who Champion Us

 

Photo by Sue Counts

Photo by Sue Counts

I’ve been reading the book that everyone was talking about six months ago – Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. It has been touted as an insightful book about Appalachia and more specifically about the people who voted Donald Trump into office.

It’s not really either of those things. When Vance says he’s from Appalachia what he means is that his people are from Kentucky, which is unquestionably Appalachia. But he grew up in Ohio, which to people who are Appalachian, not Appalachia.

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That God and Gay Thingy

Orlando

 

Maybe it’s the Orlando shooting.

Maybe it’s the access to military-style weapons.

Maybe it’s 13 months of temperatures rising.

Maybe it’s Donald Trump.

I’ve been torn from pillar to post over one thing over another lately. I find myself discombobulated much of the time. You feeling that way, too? Maybe we need a collective day at the spa, or a night around the campfire roasting marshmallows?

Years ago, when I wrote that memoir about my father, I encountered many Gold Star families. Sometimes, albeit infrequently, I would hear stories of estrangement. Death does that to families, causes sore feelings over one thing or another. Sometimes these are major offenses. Sometimes these are offenses that seem major because of the rawness that comes with death. Whatever the cause, it usually resulted in one thing – children being used as a bartering chip.

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The Reckless Death of Children

People all across the nation cried out after learning that Josh Powell blew himself and his two young sons to smithereens in Washington State on Sunday.  Powell has long been the primary suspect in the disappearance and suspected murder of his wife Susan.

Last week a judge denied Powell custody of his two boys, ages 5 and 7. The boys have been in the care of their maternal grandparents since last fall when Steven Powell, Josh’s father, was arrested on child porn charges. Josh and the boys had been living with the senior Powell at the time.

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