I still hear your pleasing sounds as they drift with your currents to ever changing beginnings. I still feel your calmness as it reminds me of the constant serenity you brilliantly instilled within the fabrics of my mind. You showed me love as I sat on your comforting banks and blissfully skipped my pebbled thoughts through your sunlit streams of perpetual beauty. Your trickling waters calm the storms of my mind with the flowing grace of your humble existence. When I recall the gentle sounds of your daily works… my mind has truly rested. The thoughts of your clear waters continue to cool my soul, while your memory faithfully gives my chaotic mind a peaceful companion. How effortlessly you mothered me with lessons from your daily company. How effortlessly you fathered me with a freedom to nurture my playful youth. You know who you are. You are the creek in which I played. You are the memory that calms me. You are the constant reminder that peace will always happily exist within me. My memories of you are my mind’s greatest joy.
Just before 8 a.m. on Feb. 26, 1972, coal slurry dams constructed by Pittston Coal collapsed, unleashing a deadly flood of coal waste on Buffalo Creek in Logan County, W.Va. About 132 million gallons of water and coal waste thundered down the hollow from Saunders to Man. 125 people died, 1100 were injured, 16 communities were obliterated and 4,000 people were left homeless.
Kerry Albright was only 9-months-old that day. Just moments before the tidal wave of coal waste took her life, Albright’s mother had thrown him as far as she could up an embankment. Albright’s brother perished at his mother’s side.
As soon as the dark floodwaters receded, townspeople began to search the devastated valley for survivors. The local preacher and his son saw what they at first thought was the leg of a doll protruding from the muck. They pulled baby Kerry from the mire, and cleared the muck from his mouth. It had been 20 – 30 minutes since the wall of coal waste passed through, but baby Kerry gasped for breath.
Albright was dubbed the “Miracle Baby of Buffalo Creek.”