50-YEAR BACK-TO-LANDER JUNE MOORE (1938-2015) JOINED WEST FORK VALLEY SOD - "Never Did Like Those Walmart Bags...Making Do"


Back-to-lander of 50-years June "Juana" Moore
had a "make do" life, living from the sod

By Bob Weaver July, 2015

One of the areas first back-to-landers, June "Juana" Moore has died at the age of 77, living at the edge of Roane and Calhoun county for over 50 years at the Mouth of Triplett Run.

June, a native of New Jersey, came to the lower West Fork of the Little Kanawha River, Rocksdale-Richardson, to the old Blosser farm in 1970 to live a life of self-sufficiency, raising some of the finest crops of food spawned from the earth.

She raised her family and helped wayfarers, mostly without the greater world's conspicuous consumption.

While Calhoun and regional residents were baffled by the "hippies" during those years, most of them integrated well with their neighbors, in many ways their life-style symbolic of the hundreds of families that settled in Calhoun during the 19th century.

June, who came to Sunday dinner at our home at Hur, when asked about her motto for life, replied, "Make do."

"I never did like those Walmart bags," she said.

We asked her to sing for her dinner, which she did beautifully.

June dancing at Whytsell gathering

Free spirited, June would come from the crowd at the Whytsell Reunion to dance to the music in the grassy field.

The "make do" is perhaps how many citizens in Calhoun live today, among the poorest counties in the USA.

Previous Calhoun generations, when asked about their life, nearly always respond, "We were poor, but didn't know it," - making do.

She was a gracious soul, extending her warm heart in the best way she could.

June's spirit and character would be like those early settlers described in the first article published on the Hur Herald:


Attending a funeral service of a young Calhoun man who died before his time, she spontaneously stood up and sang "Amazing Grace," acapella, a moving experience.

Or at the Whytsell Reunion, near her home, she waded across the West Fork to attend, to come forward and elegantly dance in the grassy field while the musicians played.

June was quietly, simply laid to rest on a hillside of the rich earth of her farm, without traditional funeral customs.

Leonardo da Vinci said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

ALONG THE FORK - Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; 'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home ...