Tuesday, June 05, 2018
I talked about our trip to Shamokin last week on this blog; this week, my dad wrote about it on his own blog. Here is part of what he said:
Today 7200 still fill the single family homes tucked into a valley that is now surrounded by forests. The coal fields have almost completely given way to nature. The town’s white houses are mostly grey and and show the signs of low cost repair. The front porches are often used as storage space for neglected couches and tattered red, grey and blue American flags. The average selling price for the good housing stock in this high unemployment town is $38,000. If you just pass through this community, only viewing the town from inside your car, you will be left with a sense of hopelessness. A brief glance will leave you with a sense that there couldn’t possibly be much of a future hanging Shamokin. Yet the place continues to be occupied by folks pretty happy to be there and some genuinely nice people.
It would be easy to zip past a lot of good stories if you didn’t take the time to stop and spend some time talking to the good people of Shamokin. We had a recommendation to visit a small neighborhood restaurant for breakfast. We spent some time talking and grinning with customers and our waitress, non of whom reflected the grayness of the weather nor the grimness of the town. There was a lot of good nature banter and heaps of comfort food. I sensed that these were people who knew how to handle hardship and I left with an image that they were going to be all right. That is what I observed, and maybe that is the reason so many residents are still around.
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