The birds are starting to awaken and chirp as the dew hangs heavy on the grass, this foggy morning in Kanawha county, as the sun starts to peek up over the hills. The smell of different scents stands out in the hollow where the small town of Hitop sits, including the smell of diesel exhaust, coal dust, chemical smog, and the smells of breakfast coming from the nearby company houses. And, last but not least, the smell of Ernie’s pot bellied stove in the Hitop general store, where old timers are already stopping by to chat, drink coffee, and perhaps play some checkers.
For morning starts early in this blue collar region, as miners, their wives and families are all up and stirring this early foggy morning, as they do every morning. The kids are about ready to head out to flag down the RDC that’s used as their school bus on it’s twisting route up and the down the valley of Blue Creek. Ernie, the proprietor of the general store is already open for the old timers who come in early to discuss the local news. Finally, the railroad crew working the mine run is busy at work…..