The Mining Begins... Again

No doubt you have learned as I have, if you are old enough, that life is a series of re-births, begin agains, as Kipling put it in his poem “If” that if you had to you’d just start over again rather than to rest on your duff and count the days to your mortal end. I don’t want that so I am beginning again with this internet column or blog which the force at WVOW has agreed to help sponsor on its website.

Jay Nunley is giving this old editor, teacher and public servant a chance to continue my pursuit of happiness by making contributions to this page from time to time on subjects ranging the length of the alphabet….but you can bet I will be writing when I do about education and its impact on our economy, citizens and at large society. I hope they will be informative, entertaining, enlightening and serve a purpose as I gaze at our culture here in southwestern West Virginia to talk about the tidbits that go into making up a great West Virginian….after all the terms greatness and West Virginian are synonymous.

In addition to appearances on the iconic “Whats Your Opinion” I will couple that with offerings about growing up on the Guyandotte, politics and public issues. A public classroom if you will. It will also resurrect an old column monicker I used at The Banner entitled “Mining the Barker Seam” my tribute to coal and coal mining and the society it supported for over 150 years. The section will consist of commentary as well as coverage of event requiring a watchdog for government. There is a vital need for our citizens to know what is going on in government and about the activities in which they are engaged----a need for transparency and analysis.

At the age of 71 I have less vigor and energy for the task, but even more the desire to work in this venue at this age demands I take a crack at it. One final last opportunity to get it done without bias, with truth and just plain ol’ done right; to stay busy, to stay active, not to quit or give up in this age of Trump and political change.

I thought about boring you with my resume, but what the heck. If you want to know about that you can send me an email at or look for Raamie Barker on facebook. But my most recent full time job was as Driver Education instructor at Chapmanville Regional High School. I came to that job after working nearly 20 years for Governor and Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin. I wanted to finish my working days where I started, in the classroom and got to do that thanks to the driving teaching job. Glad I did, too, it gave me some new perspectives I needed to help enable me to do this one.

So this is the baptismal offering. Look for an offering very soon on the PEIA crisis in West Virginia.

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