Photo Essay: Screening Moundsville at Wheeling Jesuit U + 1hr Q&A abt poverty, prosperity, trade, race, fracking, economics, real estate prices, community, diversity, ageism, Appalachia, manufacturing, gentrification, economic development, brain drain + Mounds chocolates

with people making good points & no yelling

Free Screening of Moundsville at Wheeling Jesuit University on Monday, March 25 at 630 p.m.

Wheeling, WV– The Moundsville documentary film will screen in the CET Recital Hall at the Wheeling Jesuit University at 630 p.m. on Monday, March 25. After the movie, the filmmakers will answer questions and lead a discussion. You can find details about screening location and other information here. The screening of the 74-minute film isContinue reading “Free Screening of Moundsville at Wheeling Jesuit University on Monday, March 25 at 630 p.m.”

Why the United Steelworkers Screened ‘Moundsville’ 

  Pittsburgh, PA– Like most families and communities in 2019 America, the United Steelworkers doesn’t relish talking politics. Many of the union’s 1.2 million members and retirees are enthusiastic about President Trump’s agenda, especially tariff protection for U.S. industries. And an equal number, it seems, oppose the president, despairing over the President’s rightwing policies and angryContinue reading “Why the United Steelworkers Screened ‘Moundsville’ “

What Appalachians Want: ‘Honorable Work at a Living Wage’ — ‘Who will enable our joy? Who will release the energy hiding in our hearts?’

In a new essay, Kentucky-based writer Robert Gipe argues for a hardheaded humanist approach to tackling Appalachia’s issues. Applying the lens of national politics — an easy, entertaining method for big newspapers, website, and TV stations — usually hurts discourse. “The national political rhetoric plays on our worst selves and drives us apart,” writes GipeContinue reading “What Appalachians Want: ‘Honorable Work at a Living Wage’ — ‘Who will enable our joy? Who will release the energy hiding in our hearts?’”

Screening Moundsville at the Mount

Last night, we showed the movie (which you can rent for $3.99 here), at Mount Saint Mary’s in Emmitsburg, in Western Maryland, just south of Gettysburg. It’s where I attended college 1995-1999.  It was lovely to see former fellow students and professors who still teach there, and a thrill to present work almost exactly 20Continue reading “Screening Moundsville at the Mount”

Seeing Your Own Ohio/Michigan/Pennsylvania/Indiana/Illinois/New York/Wisconsin/Iowa Town in Moundsville, WV

The first time we screened a rough cut of Moundsville, for friends, my favorite reaction was from my pal (and neighbor) Matt, who grew up in a small town called Cresson, in central Pennsylvania. “I see Cresson in Moundsville,” he said. His reaction confirmed my sense that in West Virginia, we had found a wider story,Continue reading “Seeing Your Own Ohio/Michigan/Pennsylvania/Indiana/Illinois/New York/Wisconsin/Iowa Town in Moundsville, WV”

“Pick Yourself Up” – Lady Gaga’s West Virginia Roots and Her Grandma’s Inspiring Words That Helped Make a Star

Lady Gaga at premiere of “A Star is Born” in London, September 27, 2018. Courtesy of Wikimedia. License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en One of the people who left the Moundsville, West Virginia, area in the 1970s, part of the wave of exiles portrayed in our film Moundsville (which you can rent for $3.99 here), was Cynthia Bissett, motherContinue reading ““Pick Yourself Up” – Lady Gaga’s West Virginia Roots and Her Grandma’s Inspiring Words That Helped Make a Star”

The Inspiring Story of the Stubborn West Virginia Glassmaker Who Lost His Job at Fostoria and Kept On Making Glass

One of the characters in our movie Moundsville (which you can watch here) is glassmaker Fred Wilkerson, Jr. (pictured above, on the right) who talks about his deep roots in the area and the closure of Fostoria, once one of the town’s main employers. The amazing backstory of how his small glass manufacturing firm got started didn’tContinue reading “The Inspiring Story of the Stubborn West Virginia Glassmaker Who Lost His Job at Fostoria and Kept On Making Glass”

What Would Barbara Tuchman Say?

Our panicky short-attention span era could use Barbara Tuchman. For younger readers, Tuchman (1912-1989) was, arguably, the 20thcentury’s greatest popular historian. Her books about World War One, the Middle Ages, Israel, China, and the American revolution were paperback staples on the bookshelves of people like my baby boomer parents. Tuchman won two Pulitzers. When IContinue reading “What Would Barbara Tuchman Say?”

Refuting the Stereotypes of Hillbilly Elegy With Poetry: A Review of Ryan Walsh’s Reckonings

  American’s national crisis hinges in part on how hard it is to accept this time of change. We want progress without pain, transformation without torpedoes, and turnover without stuff we like getting turned over. The resistance brakes support for turning the page, blinds us to what’s ahead, and makes us vulnerable to fantastic promises,Continue reading “Refuting the Stereotypes of Hillbilly Elegy With Poetry: A Review of Ryan Walsh’s Reckonings”