During his storied career as a feature writer and photographer, award-winning journalist John Blankenship met with the famous and infamous, the proud and the humble, the glamorous and the plain. With every interview, the writer learned something new about human nature and about himself-about pride and independence, loyalty and steadfastness, honesty and integrity. These snapshots from a reporter's notebook offer a compelling look at the resilient folk of Appalachia from the 1980s to the present. The author's detailed feature stories and personal reflections bring into focus the larger than life characters who helped mold our times for the better, even when facing seemingly insurmountable odds in one of our nation's most challenging economic regions. These meetings will hold you spellbound and keep you turning pages as you explore the writer's fascinating experiences.