I stumbled across this diary about Virginia's coal country in a sampler on Raising Kaine from this past weekend. I had not started this blog when it was initially released, so I thought now would be a good time to comment about it, given RK's impending demise. My dad and his family grew up in that part of the state, moving from Pennington Gap, to Grundy, and finally to Martinsville, and from what I can tell Eric's description of the Fightin' 9th's complex economic troubles is spot-on. The panhandle is dying of black lung, and there are tough questions to answer regarding the cure. Please read the link above, and talk amongst yourselves.