"I think if I feel you so intensely you must have a sense of me also."
Centralia was a huge mining town in Columbia County. Most of the residents who lived there were miners until the early 1960’s when most of the mining companies went out of business. When the town’s landfill was being cleaned out in 1962 (it was newly located in an abandoned strip-mine pit), an unsealed opening in the pit allowed the fire to enter the abandoned coal mines beneath Centrailia. Attempts to extinguish the fire throughout the 1960’s-70’s were unsuccessful. In 1979, residents became aware of the degree of the matter when a gas station in the town reported a fuel temperature of 172 degrees Fahrenheit (77.8 C). In 1981, a 12 year old almost fell to his death when a 4 foot wide, 150 foot deep sinkhole suddenly opened underneath him.
$42 million dollars was spent on relocation for the citizens in 1984. The population dropped from 1,000 residents in 1981 to 10 in 2010. Pennsylvania condemned all the town’s houses in 1992. In 2002, Centralia’s zip code was revoked by the U.S. Post Office. Very few homes remain standing in the town due to demolition and nature. The only indication of the underground fire, which underlies about 400 acres, are metal steam vents throughout the town, sinkholes, and signs warning of underground fire, unstable ground, and carbon monoxide. The fire still rages on, and according to experts it could do so for another 250 years.
My uncle gets shipped of in two weeks.
I’m not sure how I feel about this considering that many brave soldiers lose their lives on a daily basis and I’m scared to lose someone so dear to me. But my uncle sets an example for the type of person I hope to be. With his intelligent, mature, insightful, blunt, and realistic perspective on life I have faith that this is just another door in his life that is now open and waiting for him to step through it and relish himself in the many opportunities and variety of interesting people that now awaits him once he continues on with his path of life.