More from the March | Charles Bella, 1921 marcher’s grandson and former strip miner

PHOTO/AUDIO BY M.L. RAMSBURG

Charles Bella’s story is one that revolves around a change of heart. He’s a resident of Blair, the grandson of a 1921 Blair Mountain marcher. For years, he was a surface miner. Then, after seeing what he describes as “the most destructive kind of mining that there is,” he became an outspoken opponent of the practice of strip mining.

This past Saturday, Charles and fellow Blair resident Joyce Mullins were found sitting under one of the many trees positioned at the base of Blair Mountain. As he watched the attendees and speakers at the rally, he described stories he heard about his grandfather, told about locals’ experience with the coal mining companies who operate surface mining sites around the town, and explained the changes he has seen in Blair since the coal companies came in. [Running time: 03:06]

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