I have said that this month I would do a kind of review of this blog, now that I am starting a fifth year of weekly posts. I began this blog thinking I would do just a few photos every week, with some commentary, focusing on Appalachia and photography. However, I have found that by now I usually incorporate a dozen or more photos, and I have covered quite a few topics.
For the first year (October 2010 - October 2011), here are the posts that garned the most attention:
- the most viewed was "Tobacco as art, part 1," followed by "Tobacco as art, part 2," in September 2011. I think they must come up when someone researches tobacco. I explain in them -- and again now -- that I am totally appalled at the terrible health damage tobacco does, yet it has long been an honorable way of earning a living where I live. Need I add that it is also very compelling as art.
- I mostly do Appalachian moments, but I also have reasons to travel. For example, in July 2011 I went to visit my British stepmother. The resulting two posts from England were the second most viewed posts of my first year: here is the first one and the second one. Not everyone has the chance to travel, so it's a pleasure for me to provide a mini-look at other countries and other places in the USA.
- On 4/28/11 I did an extra, mid-week post which generated a lot of interest, about an effort and exhibit encouraging photos that are re-imaging Appalachia.
- Then there are the two posts showing some neighbors making sorghum molasses. How cool is that! Here are both links: here and here.
Currently, this is what shows up here this past week. I have often photographed this field, but this time I was struck by the fact it looks to me as if the colors from the trees have spilled over to the field and washed down the hillside. I made photos from several vantage points, and I am sharing three of them today.
SO, now, one last extra that might not be of interest to everyone, but it is something I care about:
For the true democracy obsessed readers of this blog, I am including my humble effort to speak out during this election season -- a letter to the editor. It will be appearing in two local newspapers this Tuesday, a week before our national midterm elections. Kentucky has a US Senate contest. As usual, a lot rests on elections, and I continue to believe we all need to vote. Also, I have many readers/viewers in other countries besides my own, and I thought this particular effort of a concerned citizen might be of interest.
To the editor:
I’m a Kentucky voter Senator Mitch McConnell claims to speak for, but he doesn’t listen to a word I have to say. Instead he acts like his mind is made up and he just wants us – all of us in Kentucky – to be happy if he can replace Harry Reid [US Senate Majority Leader.] Harry Reid may or may not need replacing, but the real issue is why hasn’t there been some actual legislation, say, to help coal miners who face an increasing rise in black lung disease? (Folks, this is 2014. Why aren’t we moving forward on this situation instead of backwards?)
In fact, why is the loss of coal jobs being blamed on Obama since it started over 30 years ago? And Mitch has been in the US Senate all that time!
When we’ve needed action on these and many other important issues, we only got gridlock. Then, if you remember, there was the incredibly wasteful and inexcusable shutting down of the US government. For weeks. I hold the Republicans responsible for that. In ignoring or forgetting about such facts by the next election, we put our nation’s health in jeopardy.
As a woman and a citizen who always votes, I am proud that this year Alison Grimes is running such a strong campaign for the US Senate seat. She is working hard, speaking powerfully, and raising lots of money. Yes, she is young (35), but that is the idea – it‘s called new blood, new energy! There’s no question about her passion for Kentucky and her future capacity for leadership. Alison has earned my vote.
Democracy is the gift we live with, but it requires an informed and participating citizenry. This means thinking for ourselves – and voting. Please join me in ignoring all the big money efforts to make us act on our fears instead of on our hopes. Ann