Untours Cafe

Bill Kover's Blog – August 2007 Archive (8)

Weather Trip Planning

In the Travel section of today's Sunday Star Ledger, I read about a handy online site that can be a valuable tool in planning your next trip:


I've heard of this site before on IdyllChat. However, the option I really like on this site is the weather history for a particular location. I entered Paris for our Untour trip scheduled for next Spring. Not only did I get the…


Added by Bill Kover on August 26, 2007 at 9:20am — 1 Comment

In My Grandfather's Footsteps - Epilogue

Here are some final excerpts from my documentary "In My Grandfather's Footsteps".

This excerpt has to do with the tragic death of a young coal miner at the Pageton Coal mine in 1938. The coal miner was Mike Valach, the brother of our friend Johnny Valach.


I end this blog with an excerpt from the beginning of my documentary. It is my interpretation of what it may have been…


Added by Bill Kover on August 22, 2007 at 8:31am — 5 Comments

In My Grandfather's Footsteps - Episode (5) The Handwriting on the Wall

The anticipation of our next visit to Pageton, West Virginia increased over the next year as more information flowed in from Johnny and Anna Valach. I couldn't wait to see the Birt Satmary "Handwriting on the Wall" souvenir that was waiting for me. The fate of the "T" brick was still in doubt. Since we left, Johnny had walked back down the two mile road and confirmed that the motor barn was still standing. I had described to him the location of the brick. On his last visit, he did notice a…


Added by Bill Kover on August 14, 2007 at 1:22pm — No Comments

In My Grandfather's Footsteps - Episode (6) The Sound of Silence

On the way to the motor barn I stopped to pick some wild raspberries, something I used to do as a child back home before a housing development replaced the farm field across the street from our house. I had forgotten how good freshly picked berries tasted. Johnny told me about the the coal mines he worked at over the years: Page Coal & Coke, Jenkinjones and Black Wolf. For his 50 years of coal mining he received a gold pin on his wristwatch to go along with his black lung disease. I…


Added by Bill Kover on August 14, 2007 at 1:00pm — 5 Comments

In My Grandfather's Footsteps - Episode (4) The Gates of Time

As I stood there in the rain staring at the wall, it felt like the gates of time had opened up. The present became the past, and the past became the present. Eventually I came to my senses, took some photos and returned to the car. It was time to go home. As we made our way back out, we came across a worker in a bulldozer. We introduced ourselves and told him of the brick and my grandfather. The bulldozer operator's name was Cecil Colombo. He said that the motor barn was scheduled to be torn…


Added by Bill Kover on August 8, 2007 at 6:07am — No Comments

In My Grandfather's Footsteps - Episode (3) There it is!

It was Monday, April 20, 1992. Yesterday was Easter Sunday. At 10:00am we pulled away from Anna and Johnny's house, waving a tearful goodbye. At the end of the driveway I could turn left or right. If I turned right we would head home, never knowing what could have been. But I didn't turn right. I turned left, back towards the entrance to the two mile road. I wanted to show Eleanor where Johnny and I had started our walk. There wasn't much to see. Why did I turn left? Maybe down deep I didn't…


Added by Bill Kover on August 7, 2007 at 8:49pm — No Comments

In My Grandfather's Footsteps - Episode (2) The Walk Begins.

Arrangements were made with Anna and Johnny Valach (childhood friends of my father) to visit with them in July, 1977 in Pageton, West Virgina. They took us on a tour of the area including the coal mine where my grandfather worked. It poured rain almost the entire day that we were with them. I attempted to take photos, and movies with my super 8mm movie camera as well as do some audio recording. It was a running battle trying to take photos and movies in the drenching…


Added by Bill Kover on August 3, 2007 at 8:54pm — 1 Comment

Mark Twain, the Untourist

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness"

Mark Twain

Added by Bill Kover on August 2, 2007 at 7:13am — 1 Comment

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