I never met Ray Hicks personally, but I could relate. I had just begun my graduate degree at WVU in 2000, and was taking an Appalachian Literature course with Prof. JoAnn Dadisman. In addition to other great works, she played an audio recording of Ray for us one day. It is because of those like Hicks that I pursued a major in Appalachian Studies, even though there is none at WVU. I’m now finishing my MA in Sociology w/ an Appalachian focus. We have such a rich and vibrant culture, and I am glad to be able to say I can relate to those like Hicks who kept the memories alive for young’uns like me.

R. Jason Burns
Morgantown, West Virginia