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Showing posts from May, 2018

A Year in Rupert, West Virginia

In October of 2012, I found myself driving back to Rupert, West Virginia where I had lived for a year as a VISTA volunteer in the AmeriCorps program. I was passing through, on my way to a friend’s wedding in Lexington, Virginia. I arrived in Rupert in the late afternoon, just before the community center was closing for the day. The smell of powdered apple cider lingered in the air as I greeted the elderly couple who ran the center, and whom I worked with during my placement. Charlotte and Frank were both from West Virginia and opened Wellspring of Greenbrier in 2007 to assist the poor, homeless, transient or otherwise disadvantaged people of Greenbrier County.

A few minutes after my arrival, a man dressed head-to-toe in brown camouflage walked through the door and had an unusual request. He wanted to know if they had vinyl records for sale. A strange tension mixed in the air with the cider as Charlotte seemed put off by such a radical request. During my tenure at the community center, …