an occasional newsletter of the Nanty Glo Home Page
January 22 2001

The Nanty Glo Jonal gets a new start
New membership categories for Museum/Historical Society
Former Journal editor heard from
Where have Nanty Glo's trees gone?
Another bit of Rudy Basci lore

A discussion topic suggestion

For a first topic of discussion in this new life of the Jonal email forum, I've been inspired by a letter published in our Wales sister page, the Nantyglo-Blaina Home Page. It was sent by Gwenllian O'Neill of Australia, who grew up in the Welsh Nantyglo area. Her letter is entitled, "Memories of the Great Depression in Nantyglo-Blaina, and my Dad." In the course of editing her contribution, it occured to me that many of our most striking memories and times of our lives seem to be tied to economic factors and, it seems, times of hardship or struggle more than times of relative affluence or good times. This proposition is supported, I submit, by the wealth of literature starting with Charles Dickens and continuing through television series like "Heartland" and "The Waltons." (Is it cause and effect that once "Heartland" evolved into a more "middle-class-typical" storyline, it quickly lost its audience?) True, there are popular books about the super-rich and good times, too, and even just "normal folks," but it seems there's great yarn-spinning wealth, ironically, in poverty.

So the topic suggestion is: What memories do you have of having to struggle to make ends meet? How were you able to accomplish something, by creativity and/or cunning, that on the surface seemed impossible because the economics were against it? How were you able to survive when the chips were down? Your recollection, like Gwenllian's, may be more about a parent, or grandparent or other relative than yourself. Did a grandparent come to the New Country on a cargo steamer or in steerage, or have to wait for money sent from America in order to buy the most economical fare? Which Christmas was really special, because times were so tough you had to become really creative to put on a celebration or feast?

If you need some "priming," start with Gwenllian's article, found here. Even if you don't think you'll write something for the topic, read her article; it will warm the cockles of your heart and set off bells of recognition between the Old Country Nantyglo and its valley and our New Country town and valley. You can just click "reply" to send a response to the whole list. If this message is in your way, just highlight it and delete it before starting to write.

More Burning Questions
Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office?  What are we supposed to do . . . write to these men?  Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?  Never agree to plastic surgery if the doctor's office is full of portraits by Picassso. How much deeper would oceans be if sponges didn't live there?
If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?  Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.  Clones are people two.  If a man says something in the woods and there are no women... oops better not finish that one. 

As always, the Nanty Glo Home Page and all its departments are for and by the whole Blacklick Valley community. Your feedback and written or artistic contributions, also notification about access problems, are welcomed. Click here to reply.