For a lot of folks this week is college move-in time. We're on our way back from dropping stepdaughter at the University of Cincinnati. We'd thought it would be a sad time, but we had a nice ride down and while separation is always tough, she's so happy to be there - and we're happy for her to be where she feels welcome - that I think it'll probably hit us in a few days when we realize she's not around.
We stopped last night at Somerset in Pennsylvania, not far from the West Virginia border and in the heart of coal country. The town isn't far from the site of the Quecreek mine, where in 2002 nine miners were rescued after being buried underground for three days while the nation held its collective breath and feared the worst.
A couple of months later, I moved from New York back to London and the following summer I went to see one of my favorite guitar players, Buddy Miller in a solo show at the Borderline and he played a remarkable song that his wife Julie had written, called Quecreek.
In the year after September 11 - and Somerset is also quite close to Shanksville, where United 93 went down - when we were all looking for any clue that events in our world weren't always destined to end badly, the mine rescue gave us all some hope.
Quecreek was also referenced in another beautiful song last year by another of my favorite musicians, Mark Erelli. 'Hope Dies Last' from his album 'Delivered' takes you from a feeling of powerlessness to affect world events, to a place where we can appreciate the things we can change in our own lives. Take a listen.