Saturday, October 6, 2012


So did this guy on the M/V AEP Legacy know his pose would make it on the Ohio River Blog?

I hope so.

O Appalachia, Where Art Thou?

At the rate they're going, it won't be long before Detroit and Omaha are officially listed as part of Appalachia.

The official boundaries of the region served by the Appalachian Regional Commission have always amused me. At one place, there must be close to a hundred miles of the Ohio River where the Ohio side is in Appalachia but the Kentucky side is not. Back in the 1980s, I saw a Corps of Engineers map that showed the boundaries of the "Appalachian geophysical province," and it ended just west of Portsmouth, Ohio. It didn't come anywhere near Elizabethtown, Ky., or Cincinnati.

In one class I had at Ohio University (the Harvard on the Hocking, they call it) back in the 1970s, the professor had us give arguments for whether Appalachia ended at the Ohio River. That is, is Parkersburg in Appalachia but Marietta not? The more I think about it after all these years, especially after marrying someone who grew up near a real southern West Virginia coal camp, I don't know that the core of Appalachia even touches the Ohio River. In some ways, yes. In a lot of ways, no.

The ARC has always been a political tool for funneling federal money to communities whose politicians can get it. Adding Elizabethtown, Ky., and Erie, Pa., to "Appalachia" proves that.

No sunrise today

So I set the alarm to get up early on a Saturday morning to go to one of my favorite spots along the Ohio River to watch the sun rise. Sunrise is my favorite time of the day, when the dark of night gives way to the light of day. It's almost like the world hits the reset button at that time.

But as the morning light came, all I saw in the sky was a thick layer of low gray clouds. No sunrise this morning. That leaves laundry and housecleaning as the fun items on my to-do list.

Maybe I can console myself by pulling up this photo from time to time today.

Anyway, that's why Thomas Edison invented tomorrow. Maybe the clouds will be gone by then.