There seems to be possibly more solitude in Martin now than in early fifties. I was there for only 10 minutes, but could see that poverty had been there for a very long time. It felt like a mining ghost town. Next to the boarded up school was a banner proclaiming "unlimited opportunities." I wanted to see the hills crowding down, the slant of the sun, the aging houses and store-fronts, and the people. I saw only two ladies, a hair dresser and patron through a dusty window inside of a shop I had presumed was abandoned. We shared surprised looks, and then went about our business.
I noticed how the smoke from chimneys seemed trapped in these valleys at dusk as though unsure of how to get away. Some people don't get away either. They still inhabit these small and perhaps shrinking towns, a few in each. Something to think about when I next read that great book that speaks from this place.