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News and Information from the Ruth Enlow Library

Author Kerry George to Speak at the Oakland Library
Author Kerry George to Speak at the Oakland Library

The Oakland Library will host Kerry George, author of Black Damp Century, on Thursday, September 19 at 6 p.m. Sponsored by the Friends of the Ruth Enlow Library, this event is free and open to the public. The evening includes light refreshments and a drawing for a free Kindle Fire. Those interested in attending are asked to contact Bonnie at 301-334-3996, ext. 117, or bonnie@relib.net.

George, a retired Federal Coal Mine Inspector and a graduate of Ohio University, will discuss his reasons for writing Black Damp Century, the research he conducted, and the history that he uncovered in the process. He also will sell and sign copies of his book, which tells the story of miners in the 20th century – a story of strife, loyalty, and fury – through the eyes of two fictional families. George conducted a portion of his research using resources from the Ruth Enlow Library. His Facebook page for Black Damp Century contains historical photos and other information related to mining.

The book description of Black Damp Century reads, “William ‘Buck’ Storm is the tyrannical patriarch of his family and a brutal coal mine owner, whose war time experiences have deeply flawed him. He respects nothing and no one. Jesse Kamin is the passionate son of a coal miner killed in an Ohio mine explosion and raised by a mother full of hate. Violence and anarchy in the United Mine Workers drive him to the government. By chance, he is pitted against Storm.

Black Damp Century is their story of strife, loyalty, and fury, as told with a backdrop of the historical events of the Twentieth Century, beginning with the bloody battle at Blair Mountain in West Virginia. These violent clashes deeply mar the coal operators, the miners, and the government for generations. The miners' world holds multiple forms of black damp, which threatens to suck the oxygen from the lives of all involved.”

Funding for the Kindle Fire is provided by the Western Maryland Regional Library, the regional resource center for the public libraries of Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties.