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    « Independent Film Week Call for Entries | Main | Tom Hall Gets Personal »

    April 18, 2008


    Please listen to the Picher's theme song, "The Plight of Picher" and consider complimenting the special with this theme song:

    Song captures uncertainty of Picher’s buyout

    — The old folks sure have suffered
    but kids are hurt the worst.
    The lead has done its damage,
    their future’s now been cursed.

    From “The Plight of Picher”
    Lyrics by Sara McCormic

    By Wally Kennedy
    [email protected]
    PICHER, OKLA. — The ongoing buyout and relocation of families from the Picher Mining Field has led to the creation of a mournful song that reflects the desperation of those who want to leave and the despair of those who have left.
    The lyrics of the song were written by Sara McCormic, of Bend, Ore. Her connection to the area is a former student, Timothy Kirk, now age 32, who still resides in the Picher area with his 11-year-old son, Timothy.
    “I met Sara when she was my first-grade teacher at Hugoton, Kan., which is north of the Oklahoma Panhandle. She was good to me,” said Kirk, now age 32.
    “To encourage me to keep reading and writing, we wrote back and forth to each other over several years. She came here when my son was born,” he said. “I have kept her up to date about what has been happening here. I have sent her newsletters and reports.”
    Then one day, McCormic sent Kirk a copy of her song.
    “I thought it was a pretty good song. I have had a lot of people tell me what a good song it is,” he said. “It captures what is happening here. It’s been very emotional for a lot of people. Some people have gotten good values for their homes and got out. Some have got low values for their homes, and it will be difficult for them to get out.”
    The song’s lyrics reflect the uncertainty in Picher.
    Uncertain what will happen,
    Uncertain what’s to come,
    Uncertain about our home
    The waitin’ leaves us numb.
    Kirk said he will know where he stands with regard to the buyout when he gets an offer on his home from the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust.
    McCormic said, “After researching, I became aware that for some, living in such an area was perhaps a personal disaster that might never heal. I felt that my awareness could be expressed in song lyrics that could arouse empathy for the ‘Plight of Picher,’ and other similar sites were many are suffering silently.”
    McCormic said. “It seems that tragedies, like Katrina and Greensburg, Kan., tornado, receive national attention, but the population in a Superfund site, which (provided the lead) to help win World War II, must suffer in silence.”
    The lyrics reflect that, too.
    A tragedy that’s silenced
    To hide a nation’s blight
    Will no one speak for us?
    Will no one make it right?
    Singer/composer Mark Kershner, of Sisters, Ore., read McCormic’s lyrics and watched “The Creek Runs Red,” a documentary about the Tar Creek Superfund site. He was moved to adapt the lyrics to a song.
    Said McCormic: “It is Mark’s and my hope to provide some solace for these victims by giving them words and music to express their frustrations. It was also our intention to raise awareness of this devastating situation.”

    Want the CD?
    Copies of the CD, “Mining Memories,” are available from Ed Dollison in Picher by calling (918) 673-1546. The cost is $14.95. The CD is also available by writing to Sara McCormic, 60833 Cobblestone Place, Bend, Ore. 97702. The cost is $14.95, plus $1.50 for handling and postage.

    Mark Kershner sings background "The Pain of Picher" on this website. Picture of CD & Ordering info under LEFT side menu:



    Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

    Arts of the Four States: Music: (Song captures uncertainty of Picher's buyout, relocation
    By Wally Kennedy
    [email protected] 3/17/08

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