Teens @ Duluth

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Funny how things change – Melissa Wyatt

Posted by Laura on October 6, 2009

Dwyer, West Virginia is a dying town in the Appalachian Mountains that offers little opportunity now that most of the easy coal has been mined out of the mountains.  The most cost effective way of getting the coal out now is mountaintop removal mining where they blast the mountain to get to the coal.  Remy Walker’s family has lived there for generations and one of the mountains, the one he and his dad live on,  is named Walker Mountain after the first people to live there.

Remy recently graduated from high school and has agreed to follow his girlfriend when she moves from Dwyer to go to college in Pennsylvania.  Remy is an auto-mechanic and should be able to find work near the college so that they can afford to have an apartment off campus.  He won’t be moving to go to college, he just doesn’t want to be away from Lisa because he loves her.

Remy only needs to tell his dad that he is going to move away and then he and Lisa can start their life together like they have been talking about for a long time.  But when Remy meets an artist and she reminds him how fascinating the mountains are, Remy needs to decide if his love for Lisa is greater than his love for his home and his heritage.  Does he have to “get up, get out” (p.5), like they say in school, or can he have a happy life on Walker Mountain?

Funny how things change by Melissa Wyatt reminded me of what it felt like to be Remy’s age and to have such an important decision in front of me.

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