My family roots are one or two levels up from what would be the Italian equivalent of hillbillies.
Mountain people. Peasants, as it were. Honest, good, godly people who were… at least until they left for the New World… always screwed by those above them.
A few months ago, I ran into a song entitled “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” It has stuck with me ever since.
The people of this song… the coal miners of eastern Kentucky and their families… have almost no connection to me or my family. And yet, this song gripped me.
Like a lot of people whose roots are in the hills, my family knows what it’s like to live somewhere where the sun comes up at 10 in the morning.
(“You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” – Music & Lyrics by Darrell Scott)
Poverty crosses all kinds of lines. So does a feeling of helplessness. Of being stuck and not being able to find a way out.
Knowing in the pit of your stomach that you are doomed and that your future is all laid out for you, no matter what.
Thank goodness, my family was able to get away to a new place where they could build a new life.
May the Almighty bless and protect those who have not or cannot do the same.