Author Archives: Sam's Branch

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to Amazon.com 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 (wvhighlands.org), and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation (ksff.org). 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 martinjul@aol.com or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.

An Excerpt from Damn Yankee Buttons, a book I am working on: ….my experience calls into question some of the fairly blatant generalizations you made back in 1994. Shortly into your observations about humans in the Appalachian Mountains, you grab … Continue reading

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Taming of Democracy

An excerpt from Sam’s Branch Essays, a book I am working on. A book by Terry Bouton beckoned me to take a look inside– below the title Taming Democracy in small print  it claimed that the American Revolution had a … Continue reading

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Coach LeRose

Coach LeRose The Charleston Gazette  2003   To appear in Sam’s Branch Essays, a book I am working on: Sammy LeRose was a young 37. He was our new football coach. He was quick in his step, confident, successful and … Continue reading

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Names for sale

An excerpt from Sam’s Branch Essays, a book I am working on. I despair at the commercialism that causes ball parks and bowl games to be named for whatever company puts up the money.  Poor Watt Powell.[1] It’s getting as bad … Continue reading

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Progressland

Excerpts from Sam’s Branch Essays, a book I am working on: Progressland all looks alike. It is four lane highways that have destroyed small business in small-town America. There are trashy stretches of fast food joints and filling stations on … Continue reading

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Republicans and Money

An excerpt from Sam’s Branch Essays, a book I am working on. I published in the Lincoln Independent, January 31, 1996: The Republicans do not care if they balance the budget. A balanced budget is being used as a smokescreen … Continue reading

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Back to Back

An excerpt from an essay I may include in a book of my op-eds: Ugly politicians—I used to see pictures of all those ugly, sour-looking men standing on Lenin’s tomb in Moscow and would then turn to the local paper … Continue reading

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