Thomas Wolfe said you can’t go home again. This metaphor has become all too literal for two American towns. Centralia, Pennsylvania and Picher, Oklahoma have many things in common. The residents of both towns made their living off of the mining industry. Each town raised their children in a Norman Rockwell type atmosphere: Little League games, Memorial Day parades and neighbors looking out for neighbors. They also share one other trait. They no longer exist..
At one time Pennsylvania was the Saudi Arabia of coal, particularly anthracite coal, the best in the world. The mines produced jobs and (continue reading)