Are any of those I loved so dearly, alive now?

An excerpt from Imagonna: Peace  Corps Memories, which should be available in a month or so.
          I don’t know if the war killed or wounded any of my students and friends among the teaching staff at Abbot. And school carpenter Augustine Okemadu and our cook Emanuel Obiako Anyaduigwu and Margaret who lovingly cared for our baby daughter, did they live through the war?  I wonder if the brilliant Edwin Igbozurike and exceptional athlete Johnny Ikegwounu made it. And Henry Martyns and Anthony Ejekwu and Peter Okeke who named this book and all the others on my track team and the children next door? And what happened to my good friends and fellow teachers at Abbot– John Okorie Nwosu, Amaraegbu Assic Olumba, Adolphus Amakamara, and their families I was privileged to visit? Are any of those I loved so dearly, alive now?

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (, and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation ( I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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