Proud to be a Harlan Countian for life


Kayle Duckworth

By Kayle Duckworth, Contributing Writer

There are many reasons that make me proud to be from Harlan County. While some make fun of our small community, I would rather live here than anywhere else. Everyone knows everyone here in Harlan County. Everyone is family here. You can always count on having help when you are in need, and everyone always comes together in tough times.
Despite what others think, we know what we are. No, we do not have outhouses or bathtubs in our yard. Yes, we wear shoes and have electricity. We live just as everyone else does. Sure, we may speak a little differently, but that is what makes us unique. We are just a small, little community full of love and respect.
We are “yes ma’am” and “no sirs.”
We are mashed potatoes and cornbread on Sundays after church.
We are Harlan County.
Harlan County is the coal miners who fought for their rights in the 1970s, risking their lives just to have better ones. Harlan County is Friday night football games. Harlan County is stopping and helping a stranger who has a flat tire on the side of the road. Harlan County is walking an old woman to her car and then putting her groceries up. Harlan County is big get togethers at your local church. Harlan County is being able to keep your door unlocked and open during the day. Harlan County is having your entire family right up the road from you. Harlan County is everyone coming together in prayer when one is hurting. Harlan County is home.
In this crazy world we are living in, I am glad to be in Harlan County. It’s somewhere where we take care of each other. I honestly believe I am blessed to get to wake up every morning to our beautiful mountains and fresh air. I am lucky I get to go to a school that takes such good care of us and makes sure we succeed in all we do. Sure, Harlan may have some bad apples, but most of us are good. We are raised on hard work and tough love here in Harlan, and I would not have it any other way. I am so lucky I have been raised in such an outstanding place as Harlan County. We may not be rich, and we may not have the prettiest buildings, but that is not what matters. What matters is the love, care and respect we have here in Harlan.
Even if I move away one day, Harlan County will always be my home. I am nothing short of proud of being a Harlan Countian.
(Kayle Duckworth is a senior in John Henson’s English/writing class at Harlan County High School)