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Thread: Book about Centralia, PA

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Book about Centralia, PA

    Book Review from the Louisville Courier-Journal
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...703310369/1040

    Fire within the earth
    As a mine still burns, reasons are sought

    Nearly everybody fiddled while the coal town of Centralia burned.

    Joan Quigley's excellent study, The Day the Earth Caved In, takes up several fascinating topics among them the history of 19th Century mining and the politics of coal but her central question is: "Why did so many residents want to stay in Centralia, even as toxic fumes and cave-ins beset part of the community they loved?"

    The author tells her tale extremely well and is mostly neutral in the disputes. If she has a villain, it is Ronald Reagan's ideology-obsessed Interior secretary, James Watt, whose determination to make Centralia solely Pennsylvania's problem held up distribution of available funds.

    Ultimately, it was a legal and political mess Watt got into that led to a $42 million relocation package (and Watt's resignation) in 1983. Razing of buildings and dispersal of residents followed soon thereafter.
    Why are we still fascinated about the Centralia story ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Why are we still fascinated about the Centralia story ?
    We're still looking for Pyramid Head? Oh wait... I guess Silent Hill is not actually Centralia...

    Why didn't people want to leave? It's quite simple.. they're tied to the land... just like people in Venice, New Orleans or San Francisco... they'll stay there, even if they have to build levees or rebuild after every earthquake to stay there. In the specific case of Centralia it was impossible to stay there, since it was constantly hazardous (fumes and danger of ground collapses), but people still can't break the tie easily... some even will prefer to die than to leave...
    Last edited by SkeLeton; 31 Mar 2007 at 1:06 PM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Book Review from the Louisville Courier-Journal
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...703310369/1040



    Why are we still fascinated about the Centralia story ?

    I've been following this story since I read about it in Time in 1981. Fascinating. It's about time someone wrote and updated book about it.

    I wanted to visit there when I was driving through PA in 1993, but it was too far of the turnpike.

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