About

Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living!
-Mother Jones

Fire

If you don’t tell your story, someone else is gunna tell it for you. Or worse yet, no one at all.

I’m from Central PA, where Coal Crackers mix with the Pennsylvania Dutch. I noticed a lot of contradictions growing up. Why was it hard to pay the rent when my mom worked so hard? Why did the lights flicker at school when the quarry used dynamite? And why were kids from coal country so different from us down in farm country, even though we grew up together? See, I was always frustrated and felt things weren’t quite right.

When I was 17, I met a guy who was really smart about this stuff. He told me I had to leave to get answers. So when that last high school bell wrang, I went to Philly. I didn’t know anyone there. I joined groups of activists and organizers, and I hustled work however I could get paid. I learned a lot from all those people. I lived in rundown ghettos in Philly, and learned just as much from the people I met there. For everything different between Philly and Central PA, there’s just as much in common. You don’t learn that from anecdotes or TV.

There’s a lot of powerful work going on to make cities better places. I’m sad that there’s not that kinda work going on in most rural areas. Especially my home, where we don’t talk about our problems as much.

I couldn’t stay away from home, though, and didn’t want to. I’ve been back here a couple years, still hustling work and doing what I can. A lot of that is personal, with my friends and family (see Monoxide). But I can’t pass up the chance to put local things into perspective.

That’s why I started this blog. If you don’t tell your story, someone else is gunna tell it for you. Or worse yet, no one at all.

This is a great area, with plenty of problems and a lot of good people. This blog is about the bigger picture of Central PA life.