Harlan County is one of those places that is hard to describe vocally, let alone on paper. It’s one of those places a person must experience to understand at least some of it, especially the mindset of the people and the energies of the land. There really are places there where the inherent energies of the land are so inhospitable that they give people headaches, cause upset stomachs, or worse. I don’t think I’ll ever forget one of my neighbors there telling me that her brother refused to enter the county. He told her, “It’s a dead place.” And having experienced it first-hand, myself, I tend to agree with him.
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