I’ve waited a long time to write my third and final installment to my Appalachian series. The hesitation in writing it was because I wanted to see where a city, my home, would go. I’m still not exactly sure the answer to that question.
There is no definitive answer.
A town, like many other communities, is struggling with heroin. But I can’t let it define or override the many great joys my home has to offer. Yes, there are drugs and an overwhelming epidemic here. But there is Ritter Park. When I walk along the main walking path, the oak trees lining the street remind me of “Twelve Oaks” in Gone with the Wind.
The good people struggling to find solutions. Their dedication, their commitment, their desire to bring forth a change allows me to see hope. When there is nothing else to hold onto, there is always hope.
And Marshall University. I am a daughter of Marshall. My husband is a son of Marshall. Walking on this small college campus with my son is a great honor and privilege. We are proud to teach our son about the legacy of Marshall University. My son’s middle name was chosen after my husband’s favorite English professor, and we are proud he carries a name of a wonderful, kind, intelligent, and compassionate man.
No matter whether you once lived in Huntington, or grew up here, or still live here… a piece of Huntington is a part of your spirit. Much like the rolling hills surrounding it. May we never forget why we love our home, and why we fight so fiercely to make it better.