Harlan and Letcher Counties, Kentucky
I became interested in Appalachia when I met my future wife Mary Lou, who was born and grew up in North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, North Carolina, the heart of Appalachia. Her grandfather was killed in a coal mine explosion, a fact that piqued my interest in coal miners' lives.
Through union contacts in Washington D.C. I decided to go down there and do a photo essay. It was the first of four trips to Appalachia. The photographs were printed in several union newspapers.