St. Charles VA

Jack Beckford on the Student Health Coalition Legacy Fund

Jack Beckford offers insight into the role the Student Health Coalition Legacy Fund has played in uncovering and supporting ongoing work on issues in Appalachia related to the SHC’s activism in the 1960s and 70s. He lists Appalshop, the Highlander Center, the St. Charles Clinic, and John Gaventa’s research into land ownership as just a …

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The role of themes and tendrils in packaging the Coalition narrative

John Davis reflects on the process of being involved in the archive project, noting the joy of collectively rediscovering the Coalition narrative and the challenge of packaging it according to over-arching themes and other common threads. Biff Hollingsworth adds that, in addition to themes, the concept of tendrils (or ripples of the SHC work, such …

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The Elliot’s cement picnic table, a neighborhood fixture

Howard Elliot III, grandson of Howard and Elsie Elliot from St. Charles, Va., discusses the region’s declining population and its effect on housing. He shares the story of his efforts to salvage his grandparents’ front yard cement picnic table, which heralded from a local program for retired miners known as “The Happy Pappys”. Follow this …

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Population decline and water runoff in southwest Virginia: Bonnie Blue

Howard Elliot III, grandson of Howard and Elsie Elliot from St. Charles, Va., elaborates on how steady population decline in southwest Virginia has created barriers to his work relocating rail lines. He names Bonnie Blue as a good example of why justification for the expense of construction projects like these is increasingly difficult to secure. …

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Recollections of local hospitality in St. Charles, Va.

Grandson Howard Elliot III and daughter Fay, of Howard and Elsie Elliot from St. Charles, Va., reminisce their family’s hospitality toward Vanderbilt students during SHC summer health fairs. This recollection of local generosity is but one piece of a larger conversation about the St. Charles community with Polly McClanahan-McArthur and Biff Hollingsworth. Art Van Zee …

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On the evolution of treatment and maintenance for opioid addiction in St. Charles, Va.

Art Van Zee discusses the evolution of treatment for opioid addiction, including monumental shifts particularly valuable to rural communities such as St. Charles, Va. He explains that access to methadone maintenance treatment is extremely restricted for many people in isolated regions, as it would incur unsustainable expenses (both financial and time-related) just to get to …

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Reflections on the legacy of coal camp healthcare and success of the St. Charles Clinic

Several closely tied to the St. Charles Clinic gather to discuss what contributed to its success and reminisce about past generations of healthcare in the area, namely during the time large coal companies were active. They emphasize the determination of local residents and role of widespread community collaboration in establishing and maintaining the clinic. Those …

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Reflections on culture: camaraderie, family, and the destructive fallout of addiction in St. Charles

Art Van Zee reflects on the rich coal mining culture of St. Charles, Va. and surrounding communities. He describes its positive impact on the connectedness of extended family units and overall sense of camaraderie among neighbors. In doing so, Art highlights the ongoing cultural shift away from this reality–citing the destruction of families as one …

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