Poverty, West Virginia

West Virginia, Coal Miner’s home, kitchen, 1937, still the Depression. Notice the walls have been patched with newspaper to keep out drafts. The children appear all barefoot.  Today people know “miners” through The Hunger Games only. This is a picture which still shows affection, perhaps closeness, and you wish you knew more about the people and what happened to them.800px-Scott's_Run,_West_Virginia._Employed_miner's_family_-_Sessa_Hill_-_This_picture_was_taken_at_the_natural_supper_hour...._-_NARA_-_518391.jpg

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About kinneret

Hello, and welcome. I'm writing this blog under an alias. Why an alias? I started to write what may be described as an "American Gothic" novel (sort of Henry James/ Franz Kafka with violence) with some autobiographical details. ..when I started this blog I just decided to use the alias. This blog is about art and art history, but my interests also include literature, film analysis, psychology, forensic psychology, faerie tale analysis, cognitive therapy, cognitive linguistics, classical theater, World War II, and Russian and British history. My favorite writers include Kafka, the Brontes, and Philip K Dick. Thank you for reading this blog and I will happily reply to any comments.
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14 Responses to Poverty, West Virginia

  1. Iliganonko says:

    Lovely picture..

  2. Dr.V.Sridhar says:

    Nice vintage Lovely shot. Love to know more about ‘Hunger Games’. The scene remind me of the families who live in slum areas of the big cities in our country.Thanks for the wonderful post.

    • kinneret says:

      Yes, there are indeed places like around the world. I have seen the corrugated shacks in India, outside Mumbai, etc. “The Hunger Games” (class-war, dystopian book made into movie) : the main character comes from a district based off West Virginia with coal mining. Everyone is hungry. My point is that people today do not know much about the past. They do not look at pictures of WWII or the Depression. The only poverty they see is poverty that they are confronted with, if they pass it on the street. People today are into a solipsistic, narcissistic universe with their iPhones.

  3. Ginene Nagel says:

    I, too, was drawn into this photograph and wonder about the people. Were they rich in love? Did the man live a full life or was his health affected by the mine work? Did the boys work in the mine? How many more children did the woman have? And, so many people still live in dire poverty in this area of the United States. It continues.

    • kinneret says:

      Yes…on the other hand, back then, there was not welfare or medicaid like we know it today. The mining industry is closed or mostly closed down and many have no jobs now while others have left for the cities. There is poverty, serious poverty, in the US of course.

  4. Denny Sinnoh says:

    This photo could be from my grandmother’s family album.

    • kinneret says:

      Do you have photos from it? I’m hoping to get my grandparents’ photos this summer. No one in my family had to endure this poverty but I did have an ancestor who was a homesteader who made the trek from New York to the Dakotas and farmed there. I would think it would have been awful, but the family did very well and the of that man went to college and became a professor, and that was in the early 1900s. His wife, my great grandmother, also went to college. They were extraordinarily lucky for their generation.

      • Denny Sinnoh says:

        I have family who worked on farms in WV in the 1800s and into the mid-1900s. My maternal Grandmother had a lot of old photos.

        A lot of them got jobs in the steel mills in Ohio & PA which made life a lot easier.

  5. marblenecltr says:

    That was probably the best part of the day for them. For the wife: ice box; no freezer; primitive washing machine, if any; no clothes dryer; no dishwasher; probably no vacuum cleaner; no AC; maybe no central heating; one am radio and not portable; no microwave; no tv dinners; no frozen foods; no birth control pills, no surgical birth control for woman or man; telephone (if any) without dial but managed by operator who said “Number puhleeze” followed by neighbors listening to ensuing conversation; cloth diapers; no tampons; and sometimes having to contrive one’s own toilet paper.
    For the husband: great possibility of unemployment; if employed, dangerous, difficult, and laborious tasks; no health insurance; no workers compensation; low pay; difficult transportation; and, if farming, long hours with hard work and no assurance of good harvests.
    Additionally, for everyone: possibly only outdoor plumbing; no hot water heater; no shower; and bath tub merely a large metal tub filled with water heated on the stove and used (with the same water) by all as they took turns once a week.
    We must be thankful for today and pray and strive so that we don’t fall back to the immediate or distant yesterdays.
    Oh, I almost forgot! Great photography! Note the empty plates.

    • kinneret says:

      Any particularly good books on this subject you recommend?

      • marblenecltr says:

        Well worth looking for; the above was mostly from talk observation with others now deceased and some observation and experience.

      • marblenecltr says:

        Pardon my reading your correspondence/reply to Denny Sinnoh, but, because you mentioned an ancestor who followed Horace Greeley’s advice, maybe without even reading or hearing it, I have a recommendation for you and almost everyone else. That is “Covered Wagon Women: Diaries and Letters from the Western Trail, 1840-1849,” edited and compiled by Kenneth L. Holmes.
        Denny, you are very fortunate to have those pictures, and you seem to know that and are aware of it, and acting accordingly. Maybe generations in the future will be looking at pictures of you.

  6. marblenecltr says:

    Reblogged this on necltr and commented:
    Count our blessings.

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