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.

Random Quotes

Theodore Roosevelt—“the Tom Sawyer of the political world of the twentieth century,” Clemens called him—had impetuously decided to abolish the motto “In God We Trust,” because coins “carried the name of God into improper places.” …It was a beautiful motto, … Continue reading

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Byrd and Mountain Top Removal

An excerpt from Damn Yankee Buttons, a book of essays and short stories I am working on. Near the end of his life, after a political career of supporting the coal industry, Byrd expressed misgivings about mountain top removal strip mining. … Continue reading

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Four Letter Words

An excerpt from Damn Yankee Buttons, a book of essays and short stories that I am working on: Montaigne wrote that “The genital activities of mankind are so natural . . . what have they done to make us never dare … Continue reading

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Home Place Under Siege

An excerpt from my work in progress, Damned Yankee Buttons: Essays and Short Stories Our home place is now under siege by a blight on the land. Bull Creek is empty of people, hardwood trees, ginseng, yellow root, and most … Continue reading

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Homeplace under siege

An excerpt from Damn Yankee Buttons: Essays and Short Stories, a book I am writing Our home place is now under siege by a blight on the land. Bull Creek is empty of people, hardwood trees, ginseng, yellow root, and most … Continue reading

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Robert Byrd

An excerpt from Damn Yankee Buttons, A book of essays and short stories I am working on: Near the end of his life, after a political career of supporting the coal industry, Senator Robert Byrd expressed misgivings about mountain top … Continue reading

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Some Favorite Quotes

A Few of My Favorite Quotes  “They put their hand to the flinty rock, and overturn mountains by the roots. They cut out channels in the rocks, and their eyes see every precious thing. The sources of the rivers they … Continue reading

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