Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Back in the Saddle Again

Hey guys!

I know it's been a while, but back in fashion the Kanestergram promises not to diappoint.. only bore you a little bit.


Work's been keeping me busy. Flooding, the Steelers, and Pearl Harbor are some of the highlights of television journalism in my further adventures.

This summer we've seen some of the worst flooding to hit West Virginia in ages. Some call it the "Flood of 500 years" and everything I've seen covering it the last six weeks proves it.

Entire towns like Mullens West Virginia wiped out by more than eight inches of rain in less than two hours on July 8th.

My friend John Klemack was in the thick of the floods, filing reports for CNN and CBS as the waters raged. I picked up where he left off later in the week, travelling to Mullens and Kimball, two of the worst hit towns. Both looked like a bomb hit it. All of the downtown area of Mullens (60 businesses) was wiped out. People shoveled most of thier belongings out into the street for the cleanup crews and the National Guard to some and throw away. Kimball is now below a flood plain, and most of the thirty businesses wiped out there are on thier own if they plan to rebuild. Most are encouraged to relocate.

Most of these towns are in coal country, where the jobs left thirty years ago and most of the people left are retired or still working in the coal mines.

I've seen some pretty amazing things, but the resiliency of the people we've meet covering this natural disaster is something I've never come across before. Most have nothing left, refuse to move, and come hell or high water (literally) they plan to stay right where they are.

Earlier in the year I was able to meet six veterans from West Virginia that were at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack. We tied into the movie and did a special report. That special report is now the centerpiece for a half-hour documentary I'm producing and reporting called "Mountaineers at War: Infamous Day". We're hoping to get the project sponsored and shoot on location the beginning of October. It will air Friday, December 7th, 2001, on the 60th anniversary of the attack.

This past weekend I was able to get to the first game at Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh Steelers new stadium. It was neat to see the park and be on the field with the players during the game. It was my first NFL game, and hopefully won't be my last. We're planning on going back to cover the first regular season game (this one was just an exhibition game) against the Cleveland Browns on September 16th.


My friend Mark Sentalia informed me he's been playing dad to his son Drake. Mark and I have been out of the loop and so I was surprised to hear that, but late congratualtions!

Also proud parents DJ William Skye and Tabea to Sapphire! Can't wait to see the little one when I'm in town this coming weekend.

My buddies Dan Millbauer and (ArmY) Dan Day and his wife Kasumi stopped here in West Virginia for a reunion of sorts. A visit to the Capital and a whitewater rafting trip down the New River in Fayette County West Virginia were the highlights of thier stay.

A trip earlier in the year brought me back to Ottawa (around June) and it seemed that everyone was home for Harry Adrian and Bill Myers retirement. It was good to hang out with Brian Steep and Rob Thiry, and I had a chance to hang out with Rich Marincic, Jeff Checkowicz, Seth Perry (who's also an expecting father) Tom Ernat, and many others I only regrettably saw in passing at Berta's. I'm hoping to make it back for the holidays, but only time will tell.

I always have a lot to say, and I often times think these e-mails drag on, so I just want to close and let you know, as always, I want to hear from you and keep up to date with you.

Please e-mail me and let me know how things in your world are turning out.

Yours in Cyberspace,


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