Who We Are


Some of you may know me through my blog  as The Thoughtful Coal Miner. I am a father, husband, ninth generation Appalachian, and  former fourth generation underground coal miner from Georges Fork, a small valley in the far Southwestern tip of Virginia near Eastern Kentucky. Growing up in the mountains with the Appalachian forests at our back door was a special experience for me and my brother, as was weathering many of the layoffs and strikes that came from being a family of union coal miners. We were raised knowing the coal companies were only around to make a profit, not to make the lives of Appalachian people better. Today, this fact is as true as ever, so I left the mines to do what I can to save Appalachia for future generations and to give my kids a fighting chance at a better life.

Rustina (Rusti)

I am the mother of two wonderful children, a wife and, now, a full time Berea College student. I grew up on a small farm in the flat lands of Indiana. When I was a teenager I fell in love with the Appalachian Mountains while on a family trip and, eventually, with the man who would grant me my wish to live in them. But the mountains aren’t as beautiful as they once were thanks to coal mining, and the water is not clean for my children to drink. I was glad to see my husband leave the coal mines. Now, I’m proud to fight for a better, cleaner future for my children.   



Hi my name is Daniel, I'm 12 years old, and I am in sixth grade. I enjoy playing with Legos, Yu-Gi Oh, and Lego robotics. I have experienced some changes in my life since my family moved to Berea, Kentucky. I am happier and I feel way better than I did in Clintwood. One of my favorite things is my family history. I am against mountain top removal because it strips away all life from the top of the mountain and poisons the water.  



I am in 3rd grade and I like birds, drawing, art, and music. I came from Virginia and I moved to Kentucky with my family. I don’t like coal mining because it poisons the water in the streams and rivers and destroys the mountains. Over 500 mountains in Appalachia have been blasted and destroyed in mining for the coal in them. Go Solar!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Rustina,
    This is Kim, My grandson, Mason, and I met You and your wonderful family today in Pittsburgh. (computers are stressful for me. this is my 2nd attempt. hope it works this time.) i just wanted to encourage your efforts and thank You for helping educate others to the reality of this atrocity. Prayerfully, these destructive practices will cease, the land will be repaired, and your homestead will be restored. Alex and Daniel are fortunate to have parents aware and able to fight the powers that be when they re wrong! Thank You from Mother Earth! Be blessed. Be strong. Be heard.