Category: West Virginia

Clarksburg Project

200718-113515-JEH20Marcia and I were in Clarksburg, WVa in Oct 2009 when I used a cheap film camera to make some images of the buildings, streets, etc.

Both Marcia and I were born and raised in Clarksburg and while we were visiting we drove and walked around to see the houses where we were raised along with the schools.

I might scan them, tweak them in Lightroom, and then use them to make a small book of pictures with notes, etc.  Well, maybe one of these days.  They are on my list of things I never seem to get around to.

I had used some of the images in a post years ago, but WordPress changed something along the way, or I changed to a theme that doesn’t support them, and some of the pictures are no longer in the post.

More WV Memories

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Looking southeast from Corridor H in West Virginia on Oct 8, 2015 a little past 10am.  You can see why they call them the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We were on our way back to Homewood at Plum Creek when I stopped at an overlook and made this image.

Clarksburg Casket

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While touring the casket factory in York the other day I noticed a casket with this label, and I was curious why it was there.  It is a short story but covers a long time period.  It took some digging to get close to the reason.

I was born and raised in Clarksburg, WV.  The Clarksburg Casket Co. opened in the early 1900s nearby.  Around 2000 it was bought by Aurora Acquisition Corp. and in 2003 they moved the Clarksburg Casket operations to Bristol, Tenn. and consolidated it with Cortrim Hardwood Parts Co.  Sometime around 2008 there was a fire that destroyed the Aurora casket facilities in Tenn.  I’m not sure when, but recently, Matthews International acquired Aurora so I guess some of the elements of the Clarksburg operations have now made it to York, PA where I saw the casket inside the Matthews facility.  I asked if that was a model name and was told, no, it is where it was made (?).  That is all I have learned so far, but I’m guessing that the wood casket operations have moved to York, PA.  I’ll amend this post if I ever learn anymore.

2017, A Challenging New Year

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Above Douglas Falls on North Fork of Blackwater River in West Virginia

I use to look upon each bend in the road filled with anticipation for what was coming, but it is scary now.  This is supposed to be the time of the year to make plans for the coming year, but not this year.  The coming year will be the year of challenges and uncertainties.

I was relieved after all the election pandering was behind us.  I thought that I could resume listening to the issues of the day along with the facts.  I was wrong.  I am still hungry to learn about the facts of what is happening around the world, but all I hear about are tweets and sound bites that are ignorant, not thought-out, and ill-informed.

The U.S. along with the rest of the world seems to be changing in a challenging direction.  Resources are getting harder to extract and thus costlier.  The climate is changing and that will be affecting future food production while water tables are declining around the world.  These factors will then affect migrations and the pressure on resources on future economies.

At the same time, the spread in income levels is growing and is worse in the U.S. than in many other countries, and the proposed remedies or changes in the economy all increase the spread.  What is mostly causing me to be concerned is that our new administration seems ill-equipped to deal with the future.  I see no signs that the new administration or Congress or the public will rise to the needs and make any progress in preparing the U.S. to deal with the future in a positive and hopeful manner.

Am I being pessimistic?  Yes, but it is based on facts and knowledge.  Life is complex.  Economies, climates, resources, politics, and the way people react to changes are complex.  To understand them it takes intelligence, research, time, study, and diligence.  In general, most people don’t seem to understand that.  We have been taught to be impatient. We tend to not understand that everything affects everything else and that we need to look at the overall long-term system dynamics.  Systems are complex and they rarely change in a linear manner.  Most often they move too far in one direction and then swing back too far in the other direction as they make corrections.

We now seem to be in a political environment that plans to make a wild swing in the opposite direction from the previous administration.  It scares me that we never seem to learn.  There is nothing ahead but increasing challenges.  For me personally, this also includes my photography.  I would like to do something new and different with my photography but I don’t yet know what that might be.  In the coming year, I am going to live in the present and make the most of what I can on a day by day basis.  This probably won’t be any different than dealing with the coming administration’s changes.  I like to plan and at least have some hopes for the coming year, but not in 2017.  Personally, I am getting too old to make plans for the future.  The best we can hope for now is to be flexible and roll with the punches, but still prepare for the unknown by being prepared for wild changes in direction.