Saturday, January 18, 2014
An Inspiring Book About an Exhausting Battle
One of the near neighbors to that proposed mine was the Appalachian Trail, less than two miles away on Hump Mountain in the Roan Mountain Highlands.
Minding his own business at the time was another near neighbor, Jay Erskine Leutze, a drop-out from corporate culture who was living a quiet and simple life in a cabin his family had built when he was a child. Leutze got a phone call from a teenaged girl and her aunt, a tough mountain woman named Ollie, who lived directly below Mr. Brown's mine site and whose very lives were on the line. "Can you help us?" Turned out, Leutze could.
So began a citizens' fight against big money that went on for years and which Jay Leutze and "his Dog Town bunch" of regular mountain people won. It's an incredible story told by a natural-born story teller, which is what Jay Leutze is, in a book published by Scribner's in 2012: "Stand Up That Mountain: The Battle To Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail." Leutze writes with humor and insight, and he's especially good at drawing the portraits of the mountain people he teamed up with to win a monumental citizens' rights case.