tv Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN April 29, 2018 9:15pm-10:30pm PDT
>> robie: this place was a boomin'. you couldn't get through this town down there. but it's dead now. about eight or ten coal mines shut down at one time. >> coach: let's go. it's the same halftime speech every single week. >> quentin: there is so much negativity surrounding this place that no one ever focuses on the positive. they see us as ignorant. we're hillbillies. >> daniel whitt: overdose
capital of the east coast. >> quentin: but there's more here than just poverty and illiteracy and drugs. there's a lot of good people here. >> coach: when you walk on this field, you better have tunnel vision. don't look left, don't look right. you look at that scoreboard, and that should burn in your heart. do you understand me? we got some ground to make up. and once we make that ground up, we'll take off. let's go. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world, felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world, i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha-la-la la, sha-la-la la la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la la ♪
♪ >> anthony: new york city, where i live. and it's easy to think, having lived here all my life, that this is what america looks like, thinks like, that the things that are important to me are important to everybody. that every place else is out there. unthinkable, maybe even unknowable. 600 miles away from midtown manhattan is mcdowell county, west virginia. another america. in the mind of many of my fellow new yorkers -- the heart of god, guns, and trump country. the existential enemy.
♪ ♪ there is a place on god's creation, a place of beauty beyond compare ♪ ♪ some people say it's almost heaven, look for me, you'll find me there ♪ >> alan johnson: my daddy always told me, you know those tornados and hurricanes, they can't get to us. we're down in these mountains, down in the holler, and these mountains protect us. here, if you're going to see the sky, you gotta look up. ♪ you can find me on the highest mountain, you can find me in the black coal mine ♪ >> anthony: to think about, much less empathize with somebody who comes from five generations of coal miners, in a place that looks like this, is to our enduring shame, unthinkable.
why can't these coal miners get retrained, maybe put up solar panels for a living? why would these conservative, deeply religious people vote for a thrice-married billionaire new yorker? well, i went to west virginia, and you know what? screw you. here in the heart of every belief system i've ever mocked or fought against, i was welcomed with open arms by everyone. i found a place both heartbreaking and beautiful. a place that symbolizes, contains everything wrong, and everything wonderful and hopeful about america. the town of welch, known in its glory days as "little new york." >> josh: welch is a very rural area. i mean, it's an hour away from wal-mart. i mean, if that tells you anything.
it's a real, old, historic town, built in the 1800s. >> anthony: the american dream in miniature. a place where generations of immigrants and dreamers could work and lift up their family. >> alan: the town of welch, when it was booming, the sidewalks were so crowded there would be traffic backed up like a mile. you couldn't find a ace to park. we had three hospitals, had a taxi cab stand, had, like, three jewelry stores. it was just a wonderful place. >> anthony: the rest of the country took a lot of money out of these hills over the decades. billions and billions of dollars. and when it became cheaper, or more convenient to pull the coal we needed to power our electrical grids, and to make our steel elsewhere, this is what was left behind. but this is not a poverty porn show. do not pity the people here, who despite what you may think, are
not unrealistic about a return to the glory days of coal and better times. >> linda mckinney: i drank coffee from the time i could walk. they put coffee in your bottle. coffee or wine. >> anthony: linda mckinney is a true daughter of appalachia. she raised her children here. linda's husband, bob mckinney, is a long-time mine safety inspector. now your family is originally from naples, is that right? >> linda: yes, came here in 1923 trying to strike it rich in the coalmines. my mother died when i was 5, so we went to live with my nonna, and the first day i was there she pulled me up to a cook stove. this is a dish that my nonna cooked during hunting season, with squirrels. these aren't squirrels. this is chicken. >> anthony: dinner is a not untypical expression of hard scrabble appalachian practicality -- >> linda: now i don't measure anything, so nothing has a recipe here. >> anthony: -- and neapolitan roots. >> linda: basil. >> anthony: home kitchen gardens, hunting, and gathering.
>> linda: these my dad would call pisellis, peas. making mama dance. now, this is what i'm famous for in these parts. have you ever had spaghetti pizza? no, you haven't. don't say you have. the tomato sauce was made with joel's tomatoes at the food bank. we harvested those yesterday and we made all the spaghetti sauce. >> anthony: nearby, joel runs an organic hydroponic farm that supplies the local school system. >> sarah slone: the people here are very good. they'd give you the shirt off their back. come together in times of tragedy or anything. >> anthony: christian values means something here. they are practiced on the street and in the home. >> linda: most of you've all got your potatoes, right? >> anthony: linda runs "5 loaves & 2 fishes", a food bank that holds many of the lives here together during tough times. 16,000 people walk through these doors annually, in a county of
20,000. >> bob: gracious god, we just thank you for this day that we're able to give food out again, this is not a regular give-out. watch over us and protect us, help us to keep cool heads. father, we pray over the food we're about to eat, for the nourishment our body is blessed, in the name of christ, amen. >> linda: this is our home. we love it here. we're very close to our church. everybody knows everybody. they're all dying now, but we're still hanging on, aren't we, honey? >> anthony: was there any sizable, italian-american community here? >> linda: oh, yes, a lot of immigrants from different countries came here. >> anthony: still? how large? >> linda: no. we've gone from what, 100,000 down to about 10,000. >> bob: down to about 10,000-12,000. >> joel: in the county itself, as of the last census, so. >> anthony: those are some grim statistics.
>> linda: yes. >> anthony: the coal that came out of this area built america, right? >> linda: yes. >> bob: mcdowell county alone was called the "billion-dollar coal field." and the people that were in charge at the time didn't take advantage of all that money in case something did happen to the coal mine. >> justin: the cool thing is that west virginia is developing a strong entrepreneur movement that a lot of people don't know about. like with joey, he started a hydroponic growing. i mean, not blaming others for their problems, just trying to solve their own. a lot of people, it's really doing a lot of good that we don't hear about. >> linda: this is our pumpkin pie cake. have you ever had a pumpkin pie cake? >> joel: you probably won't like it, so i'll take your spot. >> bob: we got spoiled. the last coal mines i worked at i made -- base salary was $94,000 a year. i also taught vocational school, and most of the kids i had said, "well, i don't need this. i'm going to work in the coal mines." >> jina: there's just an education piece there now that
we're trying to instill in some of the people that still have the mentality that coal is king. we don't doubt that, but we try to think outside the box to look at some other opportunities that might be there. >> thomas bell: the job that i have right now is probably one of the best jobs around here, other than the few guys that work at the coal mines -- operate the school bus. >> anthony: i mention god, and guns, and trump. but i forgot another big one -- football. >> thomas: i was born and raised here, been here all my life. played defensive end for welch high school. graduated there in 1976. >> anthony: the mount view golden knights have long carried the mantle of the town as perpetual underdogs. mostly the children of miners, many from very difficult situations at home. >> coach: why are you walking? hurry up!
>> anthony: this week it's homecoming. coach larry thompson has of late imposed some order and higher academic standards on the knights. there are high hopes. >> coach larry: lord, thank you for this food we're about to receive for the nourishment of our bodies. bless these young men and these young women as they cheer and as they play on the field. in jesus' name i pray, amen. let's go eat, y'all. >> anthony: local boosters put together a pregame meal of ribs, baked potatoes, and chicken. >> coach: these kids, you know, they got long days. they wake up, what, 4:45-5:00. they don't leave off the hill from us until about 7:00 after practice, so they go through a lot. >> anthony: how many generations of coal in your family? >> coach mike: at least five. >> anthony: wow. >> anthony: coach mike anderson is second in command. coal in anybody else's family? yeah? >> cole: like trash man, that's a real common job in my family. >> coach larry: don't feel bad. trash men make more money than teachers do, chavez. >> anthony: fred "fat back"
minco, micah "woogie" mclaughlin, and cole "chavo" anderson are in many ways typical mountain view players and students with the hopes and dreams of, well, any other high school students. homecoming. >> coach larry: it is. >> anthony: how big a deal is football in general, and this game, and what you guys do? >> coach: you know, a lot of these kids understand that there are not a lot of resources here. before you can kind of feel the dreariness that kind of lingered around the community. but now, you know, with these boys winning, the work ethic they're putting in, you could feel the support. you know, like, we did a few community outreach programs this summer. we went down to the park and they painted, and they feel it, they feel that sense of pride. >> anthony: how has this football program changed your life? >> micah: it gives me something to do to stay out of trouble. >> coach mike: some of these guys have changed 100%. they had no guidance, no discipline. they have outside forces that could be pulling them in a different direction. and they know how that life is going to go for them, and as a team in here relying on each other, their limits are out of this world.
>> anthony: now in the past, you could get into high school pretty sure that you were going to make big money working in coal. you don't have that kind of guarantee now. what do you see yourself doing in ten years? >> fred: journalism. >> anthony: journalism? >> micah: in ten years, i hope to be studying my phd and be a mechanical engineer. >> anthony: mechanical engineer? >> cole: i'm definitely going to be a neuropsychologist. >> anthony: neuropsychologist? >> cole: yup. >> anthony: what's tougher, life or football? >> group: life, definitely. >> micah: there's no halftime in life. there's no timeouts, there's no none of that. >> fred: that was a really good insight. >> anthony: "love thy brother" is one thing that's all well and good. but these guys want to win. they need to win. and everyone will be watching. ♪ i make my home in mountain people ♪ >> coach larry: why are you dancing with him? ♪ i feel it flowing through
their veins ♪ >> team: family! (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even "close claws." (driver) so, we took your shortcut, which was a bad idea. [cougar growling] (passenger) what are you doing? (driver) i can't believe that worked. i dropped the keys. (burke) and we covered it. talk to farmers, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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crystal: them boys say, west virginia girls are gold diggers. them boys should know better, cuz in west virginia, there ain't no gold. just black, black coal. and them girls, them west virginia girls don't take no handouts -- they got a living to make. stripping is hard work. >> anthony: west virginia was settled by people who were fleeing persecution, by homesteaders, people who just wanted to live their lives their own way. but the discovery of vast coal reserves and the big business that grew up around it changed everything. >> crystal: boom-boom, them
girls shake it. boom-boom, them girls dance. them boys know some of them west virginia girls can't count. so they laugh and call them names like 'crazy', like 'whore'- just after they take all their mineral rights. boom-boom. she was wrong. boom- boom, forever gone. boom-boom, them boys, them girls, them mountains, explode.
>> anthony: what is right? what is wrong? what is mine? and what gets taken away? the town of war understands this dynamic well. it's a former coal and timber camp that has more than paid its dues. >> elaine: can't go wrong with biscuits and gravy. tony works for me, biscuits, gravy, two eggs up and a coffee. i'm a happy man. >> elaine: there you go. >> anthony: the war café is one of the few family-owned businesses left in town. tony it's obvious, a new yorker arrives in town, first question: why no cell service? i've been to the farthest reaches of the arabian desert, all i gotta do is climb a dune and i'm going to get three bars. >> nick: i mean, the mountains- it's hard to get signals down into each individual valley. >> anthony: nick mullins is a former coal miner turned writer. working in public outreach trying to help people transition away from fossil fuel.
>> elaine: try calling an ambulance here and getting out of the county to the closest hospital. they don't deliver babies in the hospital in this county anymore. >> anthony: elaine mcmillion sheldon is an oscar winning documentary filmmaker born and raised in southern west virginia. if you were describing this area: church-going, religious, gun rights important. a lot of people- that's not going to resonate, at all. in fact, it sounds threatening. elaine right, but both sides are saying the same thing. both sides feel threatened by each other. and i would say a majority of people that live in this region want to be left alone. the traditions of this place, the things that we value, whether that be family, interpersonal communication, not having cell phone technology to distract us, those types of things sort of butt up against america's idea of progress. and it's why we've always been looked at as being backwards. >> being part of the media, but living here, is a really big challenge because rarely, people like myself actually are the ones that control our narrative, that control our story.
>> anthony: it was always too easy to come gawk at west virginia, to make it the poster child for whatever the agenda of the moment was. lazy depictions of stereotypical west hicks, tucked into isolated hollers to be pitied or made objects of laughter and derision. >> elaine: if you google appalachia to this day, you're going to see dirty-faced kids, bare foot on a front porch, shaking lyndon b. johnson's hand. there's a lot more to appalachia than that. >> anthony: in 1964, lyndon johnson declared his war on poverty. a good thing, yes? but the accompanying press tour portraying the people here as an incapable and bewildered helpless masse, missed the basic
essential character, the pride and the self- reliant core of the people here. that damage is lasting. elaine when you come in and keep telling us how poor, fat- how all these things are- i think we've all felt it at some point: shame. >> tony: what should people know about this area that they don't know, that they're not getting? >> nick: well, i think it's been said, but it's just not been hit home: it's just how much that people in this area have been exploited. the land agents who came in and bought up all the mineral rights. the coal and timber companies that started extracting and taking everybody's labor rights. >> archival man: i can't fight a big coal company, they got too much money. >> elaine: politicians from dc that can make a quick day trip down here and get a good sound bite. >> trump: archival who is a miner in this group? who is- stand up. you're all standing up anyway. tony the drug companies?
>> there are some political figures that come through and say they will try to get away from coal. >> the great thing about west virginia in the 1960s is economic development. >> by and large, the industry doesn't really want that why would they? if somebody could live here and make a similar living wage and not have to risk their life, then they're not going to. the other side of this is that democrats, they don't take a lot of time to understand the problems here. >> i just want to know how you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs and then come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend? >> i don't think people understand just how genuine and wonderful the people are in these mountains. people who have just worked all their lives and who sacrifice so much for their families. >> anthony: you cannot talk about west virginia without talking about coal. and coal is a complex issue here. tied into the cell tissue and family pride of the people that have worked in the mines for generations.
>> robie: that coal mine is something else, you know, you gotta take care of yourself in there. >> patrick: that fan is blowing about 200,000 cubic feet of air into the mine, fresh air. >> robie: when you go into that mine you don't know when you gonna live to see outside again. >> patrick: today, we're going about 5,000 feet. >> tony: 5,000 feet deep? >> patrick: yeah, oh yeah. it's a little bumpy ride in places. >> anthony: pat graham is the foreman at the pay car mine in kimball.
>> patrick: watch your head. this particular mine is a metallurgical place. >> so this is for steel? >> yeah. the average wage of a miner is 60% greater than the average wage of all labors in the united states. that's pretty phenomenal. it's easy to see why people in mcdowell county want mining jobs. >> tony: i'm staying in a town nearby, welch. there's no bar. >> most of us just go get the beer and head back on top of the ridge and drink it. >> wow. >> in the name of the father, we'd like to gather here to thank you for this.
>> amen. >> please watch after us. keep us safe while we're underground working. amen. >> what do you got, man? >> meat and chicken. >> oh, damn. patrick i may just put my sandwich back here if you got bear meat. tony that's delicious. do you think the country as a whole, do you think they understand the coal business at all? what coal mining is about? richard no. tony they don't understand at all. patrick when you travel from new york to here, whether you're on a boat, plane, train, or in the sky or driving on a car, it's because of a mine. >> anthony: mining causes damage to the environment. of this, there is no doubt. but what cannot be grown, must be mined. there ain't no cellphones, for instance, without mines somewhere. tony does anybody think it's going to come back, big time, like 30 years ago? >> my personal opinion? every time a republican is in there it goes up. >> this used to be a solidly democratic state. what do you think made trump attractive? a city slicker, three times married? >> that's ed for me.
hilary shows up here, and she openly said she's going to put a lot of coal miners out of work. wrong answer. >> how many kids you got? >> i got three. >> six. >> four. >> if you saw your kids had other options, would you recommend they join the family business? >> no, sir. >> you would say no? >> i'd about guarantee that everybody here, their dad worked in the coal mines, probably told their son, 'don't go into the coal mines'. right of tony that's what i was told. and that's what i told mine. >> yeah. >> you're going to tell them no, don't do it. but you know, if they do, you're going to be proud. i'm proud. from the stickers we put on our buckets, from the stickers we put on our hats, to my coffee mug there, passed down. if i don't mess that thing up, if my son goes into the mines, that's going to be his. >> when and if you retire, what would you like to do? where would you like to go? >> i don't know where i'm going,
but i'm sitting back on the couch for a while. ♪ ♪ from the mill and i'm a good walk to the river ♪ ♪ my working day is over, throw our cares away ♪ >> anthony: it's so easy from afar to say that coals time here has come and gone, that we should let the miners move, find some other work. what other work? the state's biggest employer is now wal-mart. ♪ ♪ but i'm baptized in your name ♪ >> whatever your views, respect these people, what they do, and what they've paid.
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tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including immune system problems, or if you've had an organ transplant, or lung, breathing, or liver problems. a chance to live longer. because who wouldn't want...that? ask your doctor about opdivo. thank you to all involved in opdivo clinical trials. ♪ when i first came to ocean bay, what i saw was despair. i knew something had to be done. hurricane sandy really woke people up, to showing that we need to invest in this community. i knew having the right partner we could turn this place around. it was only one bank that could finance a project this difficult and this large, and that was citi.
>> joe pierce: welp, i guess we broke it. >> anthony: this bat shit crazy, vertical mad max drag race come demolition derby is called rock bouncing. can't learn that from bouncing around too much. >> adam: yeah and what it's actually designed for is major collisions and it keeps your head from tearing off your body. >> anthony: adam ringer is a native son, jack of many trades, and a man who's all too happy to spend a day trashing some hills just to show me a good time. ♪ getting me drinking that moon shine ♪ ♪ get me out of the grows are you bill knott ♪ boy, it's a mighty hard living but it's a damn good feeling to run these roads ♪ >> mo: so that was pretty bad ass. >> eric: you got your frog legs, turtle patties. >> anthony: eric williams is a hunter and trapper who caught most of this meal wading waist deep in the swamp on his
property. >> eric: you ever ate snapping turtle? >> tony: oh, i'm not missing that. >> eric: small-mouthed bass, catfish barbecued and fried. >> tony: wow, what a spread. >> anthony: trail riding, atvs, off roading, and the supporting industries are an up and coming play for tourism in the state. there are thousands of miles of trails running through the hills in places like this. >> amber: anybody with any off-road vehicle can come: dirt bikes, four-wheelers, mega trucks. >> anthony: king knob motorsports park, owned by mike hanson and amber williams. >> tony: do you have to sign a release before they come on? >> amber: they do. >> tony: yeah, that's smart. >> adam: because we actually climb stuff that's vertical. >> tony: straight up? >> adam: yup. yeah, this race this weekend, the last 30 feet of the hill, the second hill was actually vertical. you had to hit it with enough momentum to skip up over it and land on top. >> tony: wow.
>> adam: yeah, that's why you gotta have a lot of horsepower. >> mike: but too much power can get you in a lot of trouble, also. tony oh, really? mike oh yeah. >> adam: exactly right. horsepower is not always the key to success. but it's always a lot of fun. >> mike: hopefully you can come back and try the barbie jeep thing. ♪ >> anthony: guns are a fact of life around here. whether as a means to defend your isolated home, get yourself dinner when there's no place else to get it, or just for the fun of shooting stuff. the feeling that gun ownership is an absolute right, immutable, and non-negotiable runs deep here. >> tony: everybody's backyard look like this? >> ashley: ours does. >> anthony: justin and ashley mcmillion are the nice couple next door. if unusually, heavily armed. >> justin: our muzzle break is the only kind that actually reduces recoil, muzzle rise, and flash.
>> anthony: they own jmac customs, a home business that designs and builds custom weapons and parts. >> justin: so this keeps you on target, makes sure that you're safe while you're shooting. put the mag in. >> tony: safety off. >> justin: safety off. you got it. >> tony: all right. >> justin: 3, 2, 1. >> anthony: now, to be clear, these are fully automatic firearms. they can not be purchased legally by individuals anywhere, burr as they're in the business, these guys can apply for special, highly vetted atf licenses for purposes of prordut development and testing. >> tony: that was just really- that was a lot of fun. i'm a child, what can i say? >> ashley: who wants to blow up pumpkins? >> justin: just mixed up a binary explosive. some are small, and some are big. you'll only know when you shoot it, so. >> tony: ew, a surprise, i love surprises. >> justin: 3, 2, 1.
>> anthony: whatever you feel about gun rights, or access to weapons, there is an undeniable, visceral thrill to blowing shit up. people who like guns, like them for a reason. >> justin: that's a whole lot of america right there. >> it's not mine. >> chef: two choices: venison or beef, with or without cheese. >> tony: venison and cheese. >> chef: venison and cheese. >> tony: wow, nice selection. >> chef: heavenly father, we bow in your presence. we just thank you for this day, and most of all we just thank you for the liberties and freedoms that our country provides, and you've provided, amen. >> all: amen. >> tony: so everybody born and bred here? >> ashley: lisa is from california. so when you came here, that was the first time you ever shot a gun, wasn't it? >> lisa: yeah. >> justin: show them your arm. >> ashley: yeah, show them your tat. she got an ak tat. >> justin: ak tattooed on her arm. >> chase: i've lived in canada
for a long time, i stayed in england for quite a while, sweden for quite a while. no matter how long i'm gone, i always come back. can't just load the jeep up with a bunch of guns and stay out there for 7 days and, you know, you can't really do that anywhere else. >> justin: that's probably one of the greatest things about west virginia. you know, we can enjoy whatever we want to enjoy. i'm not trying to force my opinions on anybody else. that being said, we will defend ours. ashley yeah, we will. tony: i was guessing. ashley: yeah. tony: i grew up in an environment, you see somebody at the super market carrying a hand gun, that would be cause for red alert. do you think there can be common ground between somebody who grew up absolutely thinking guns are a bad thing? >> justin: i say no. >> tony: okay, you're an honest man, i appreciate it. >> justin: i'm a responsible gun
owner. why should i be crippled in what i'm able to do as far as protecting my family? >> tony: look, i hear you. but there's a fair number of people in this world who are just, you know, too dumb to pour piss out of a boot. ninety-year-old drivers in florida, they still got their license, but should they be driving? >> ashley: right. >> greg: a few years ago, my father was involved in a shooting at his pharmacy that he works at. man came in, he had a weapon, my dad conceal carries. he has a license to conceal carry. he drew his weapon and fired. if they take guns away from law-abiding citizens, then it's just going to be the criminals that have it. >> anthony: it should be pointed out, it has to be pointed out, faced head on, that shortly after we filmed here a funman in las vegas with a perfectly legal weapon fired off 1,100 rounds in 10 minutes, wounding 422 people and killing 58. shortly after that, 17 students were murdered in parkland, florida, with a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle. and the list goes on, with victims of mass shootings since this conversation measure in the hundreds. so there is that to
think about, too. >> tony: i don't know whether the founding fathers anticipated the kind of firepower that we're playing with today. we live in a different world. >> anthony: there's the nice people next door who like guns, and then, unfortunately, there seems to be a whole lot of >> oh, my god. >> go back! >> one would hope that there is at least some middle ground. >> oh, my god.
♪ ♪ oh -- you're bad enough to me ♪ ♪ bad enough that we ♪ always have something to get over ♪ ♪ oh -- but when the night is deep ♪ ♪ you find me in the streets ♪ asking me - to come over ♪ 'saved money on motorcycle insurance with geico. goin' up the country. later, gary' i have a motorcycle! wonderful.
♪ >> pamela: they call this running brook holler. >> tony: what is a holler? i mean, it's spelled hollow, it's pronounced holler. >> lola: a holler to me is where everybody is united. everybody sticks with one another and takes up for one another. >> anthony: lola cline is a single mother of four children. and in many ways, emblematic of both the difficulties and inherent strengths of people around here. >> tony: where do you find them? trees, or on the ground?
>> lola: trees. >> tony: up in the trees. >> lola: squirrels are more like- it's a waiting game. find us a place, and see and watch for movement. >> anthony: she and her best friend, leshawna huff, hunt together, raise kids together, and do their best to get by in a changing world that can get ver. out, too. timber rattlers. >> tony: they good eating, rattlesnake? >> lola: i've never eaten one. i see a rattlesnake coming this way, and i go that way. >> tony: when did you first go hunting, how old were you? >> lola: my grandpa took me when i was about six. i just love this place. having a bad day, you can always go up in the mountains and it changes. ♪
>> drema: my mom, she used to cook squirrel gravy. >> anthony: lola's neighbors name may be drema lester, but everybody here calls her ma. >> drema: 58 years, i was born and raised here. >> producer: you ever think about leaving? >> drema: no. >> anthony: she often cooks and helps look after the kids. tony: biscuit. >> leshawna: homemade biscuits, homemade gravy. >> lola: fried taters. >> tony: fried potatoes, excellent. >> anthony: and lola does her best to look after her. that's what people do in the hollers. >> leshawna: dear lord, we come thank you for this food and bless the hands that fixed this food. and thank you for each and every
living day. amen. group: amen. drema: and thank you for letting us meet more friends. lola: yes. tony: well thank you for having me. lola: mmm-mmm. i've been waiting all day for this. tony: you're working on a farm nearby, is that right? lola yes. after strip mines are done here, the land's usually just useless. so, we're trying to make a purpose. pumpkins, watermelon, we're just trying to figure out what will grow on it. >> tony: so there is life after coal? >> lola: there's life after coal. for about 8 years i worked on strip mines. i could probably get a job now but i don't want to mess up a good thing. so what do you think about that squirrel? >> tony: oh man, it's good. >> lola: it's good, ain't it? tony: thank you. drema they call it "wild and wonderful west virginia." tony it is. and, your girls are
how old? lola my girls are 9, 8, 6, and 3. tony: taught any of them to shoot yet? lola: yeah, all of them can shoot. tony: all of them? lola: all of them. they think their mommy is a big hero, too, cuz she killed that big buck last year. >> tony: yeah. how big was this thing? lola 250, it weighed 250 lbs. tony you dragged that thing out of the woods yourself? lola mhmm. tony: dress it? lola: yes. tony: cook it? lola: yup. leshawna: we don't rely on nobody. >> what's the best thing about living in this area and what's the worst thing. >> the best thing is the people here. you always have somebody that has wore back no matter what. i couldn't move away from here. i'd be sick, home sick. >> there is probably nobody in this holler that i couldn't go see. i'm hungry, would you fix me a sandwich or -- >> and the worst thick? >> see somebody that's on pills or drunk or out here just fighting. >> what can you do? pray for them. that's all we can do. >>.
>> oh, little lizza, little lizza, little lizza jane. ♪ for years here the bass is what was called a west virginia democrat, hard line on the second amendment, religious but pro union with a record of voting reliably blue. those days are gone. ♪ >> high school dropout, military, on the veteran. there's a smell in the earth itself here in west virginia that when i was away, when i was in the army, that your soul rots
away. you can't smell it, or you look up and you see the sun all the way set. here it disappears around 4:00. >> anthony: allen is a former tanker in the u.s. army, what he calls a constitutional conservative, solidly pro-trump politics however distant from mr. trump owes gold-plated lifestyle. >> you'll see a lot of parallels here in west virginia to the inner city. >> anthony: school districts that are starved, teenage pregnancy, food deserts, where there ain't nothing but fast food. >> exactly. where is our whole foods? it's in existent, sir? >> anthony: why would west virginia overwhelmingly go for a guy, donald trump, who has never changed a tire in his life, who sits on a gold toilet? >> yeah. everybody else talks around us, whatever. this man talks just like us.
like how we talk to each other in the mines. it ain't pretty. it's straight talk. >> anthony: well, they say he tells it like it is. i don't know that that's true. he says outrageous things. >> i gave up on political saviors a long time ago. i'm not naive that there's one individual especially in government that's going to turn everything around. trump can bring change, and it's very quite simple. he's offensive, incendiary nature can send a word out to these assholes, individuals that so-called represent us in congress and whatever. if people get frustrated enough, they are going to put somebody in there that's not like you. you know, what i hope the things have come out of this is national die log. we have to start talking. we have to do it. >> anthony: at least stop tweeting from the toilet at 4:00 in the morning. i'd feel a lot more comfortable. impulse controls you.
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>> anthony: america's forgotten fruit, the pawpaw. forgotten when most americans stopped going to the forest for their food. but in west virginia, they were never forgotten. mike: so that's a pawpaw ice cream with some candied wildflowers, and then this is an old-fashioned vinegar pie. it's in a class of pies called 'desperation pies' that try to create something like a lemon pie and you don't have lemon juice. what do you do? put some vinegar and some nutmeg together and you get that same kind of tang. >> anthony: appalachia has a rich and deep culinary culture. increasingly fetishized, riffed on, appropriated for the genteel tastes of the hipster elite willing to pay big bucks for what used to be, and still is in many cases, the food of poverty. mike: we see that ramps are selling for $30 a pound in new york city that we're harvesting in west virginia, and what's west virginia seeing from that? probably a guy that got about $2 a pound.
emily hillard: it becomes just another extractive industry like coal or timber. and you sort of tony: that's the story of west virginia. emily: yeah. >> anthony: chef mike costello and partner amy dawson are looking to keep that culture alive and appreciate it, and paying off locally for the region it originated in. mike: i also have some buttermilked poached trout that we're gonna put on there with some pickled rhubarb. yeah, it'll be good. >> anthony: they run a traveling kitchen that brings local ingredients, appalachian recipes, and the stories behind them around the state. lost creek farm is their place. a working farm they're rebuilding by hand. and the nucleus of that effort is the garden. amy: we have two different varieties that we are picking today: the one are the logan giants.
lou: this seed is logan giant seed. they're an heirloom strain of beans, and i've had thesseeds for 40 years. i've saved these for 40 year mike: this guy down at the end of the table, lou, is in his 90's, he said it's important for somebody to carry on these traditions, and gave me his stock of heirloom beans this year. >> anthony: this is what heirloom looks like outside of holy foods: bloody butcher corn, fat horse beans, candy roaster squash and homer fikes yellow ox heart tomatoes. mike: nice and soft and it's like a really sweet green tomato. >> anthony: these ingredients define a near lost time and flavor. mike: this is an italian heirloom beet that was brought to west virginia by italian immigrants, so it's called like a chioggia. >> anthony: a story of hardship, and resourcefulness. mike: we've got some sweet corn chowder. we're just going to drizzle a little bit of this nettles and wild apples.
next, we've got these crackers, they're broken communion wafers. you know, the way that appalachian food has always worked is you work within your means and you create something pretty special out of what you have at your disposal. we've kind of suffered from this in a way. it created this sort of rush towards the middle class, and a rush toward the perception that we're better than the food that we used to have to eat. john jennings: yeah, i think we were taught a lot to be embarrassed of our, you know, hillbilly past, you know? i remember coming home from school and my dad having hog's head on the kitchen table making head-cheese and sauce like, i would've been mortified if somebody came over and saw that. josh bennett: a friend of mines grandmother once told me, 'you know we used to make this cuz we were poor, now me make it cuz it's effing good.' tony: oh, what's that? mike: this is some buttermilk fried rabbit, rabbit that we raise here at the farm. tony: oh, yes. mike: a little bit of chow chow, some fresh maple syrup. is it gross that we slaughter rabbits right behind us?
tony: yeah. mike: this is some venison harvested from the woods here. it's got a wild chicory root rub to it. some chanterelles and sorghum syrup and some wild pears. wow. >> anthony: mike and amy's friends are a cross-section of people invested in west virginia's potential. tony: oh, which am i drinking here? the old school cider? josh we actually came across a recipe from 1822 with elderberry and cider. and um, it's a native plant here so, we put a little bit in there to see what it would do and it came out wonderful. tony: you're using only west virginia apples? josh: i am only using west virginia apples. tony: that can't be cost-effective. josh: it's not. it can and can't be. tony: nobody is talking about money at this table.
josh: this is another thing for me: we are often talked about as being this impoverished state. we are rich, i mean, as could be, in food and the things that we make as a culture and as a community. when you are living on the land, and doing what your ancestors did, you feel a connection that you can't get anywhere else. mike: you know you look at something as simple as these pole beans, it took a community to save that seed. you know every time we put food on the plate, there's a story about the way that people have always kind of bound together to survive. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: the people around this fire are looking hopefully to the future. they are friends, they are interdependent, a community, an economy.
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coach larry: lord bless everybody that's going to the game, bless these young men and these young women as they cheer and as they play on the field. lord guide us to victory this evening, keep everybody safe, to and from the game. in jesus' name i pray, amen. team: amen. >> anthony: it's friday night:
homecoming. the summers county bobcats versus the mount view golden knights. and for the citizens of welch, and mcdowell county, this is a very big deal indeed. anthem singer: what so proudly we hailed. >> anthony: everybody knows everybody's families, their kids by names. mixed couples are common. there's an easy familiarity between people here. >> malt two high school homecoming queen is. >> one, two, three. >> get there! coach larry: get that. tony: so very much west virginia tradition: coal mining and the military. monica: yeah, for 10 and a half
years, navy. we don' been around about. tony: you've been around. and back here? monica: back here. >> anthony: monica barnes is a mount view alum. her husband sly is a coach. her sons elijah and eliki are on the team. her daughter alicyia is a cheerleader, so it's personal for her. monica: born and raised here, went to school here, wouldn't have it any other way. monica: come on. oh my. come on >> oh, my. monica: come on. oh my. come on boys get your head in the game. >> anthony: garnet edwards jr. is a former mount view player who went on to play college ball. garnet in this state of west virginia, we got two things going on for us: that's church and sports. now if we lose the game, it's like losing our best friend.
announcer: ball game. coach larry: hell of a job, young man. good job, coach. yes sir. garnet: what a win, what a win, what a win. coach larry: you're never going to forget this ball game. whenever you're in a bind, stuck in a corner, you know what i'm saying? fight through it. fight your way out of it. and anything you do in life, in
school, in football. as long as you got me and these coaches, this community, that's all you need. team: yeah! sarah slone: i grew up here, got married here. it's home. mom: oh my goodness, there he is. i'm so proud of you. quentin: there's more here than just poverty and illiteracy and drugs. there's a lot of good people here. and we all do care about each other. dad: so proud, so proud. >> anthony: what are any of our hopes and dreams: a roof over our heads, some security, maybe even some happiness for our children. the opportunity to be proud of something. we all have that in common. richard rushbrook: i wish y'all could come down here and see us, and when y'all do, i hope y'all enjoy it. >> anthony: this is america, and if you can't embrace it, no matter how bitterly and fiercely we may disagree, there is no
hope for any of us. carlton: i've been living here 65 years. i wouldn't trade it for nothing. i guess i'll be here 'til they cut the lights out. player: mount view on 3. 1, 2, 3. team: mount view. when i was a kid, there were two countries, east germany and west germany, divided by a wall. at some point they realized the wall was dumb, they tore it down and now they're one. the great wall of china was built to keep out western civilization. how is that working out? the point is, walls suck. on this episode of "united shades of america, we're talking about the u.s./mexico border. we'll talk to people living on this side of the wall and people living on that side. who wants to talk? oh, you know, we should just book people the way we normally do