For someone who grew up at Opossum Creek in Fayette County, it seems fitting that Charles Reynolds’ first song is a country song: “An Old Mine Shaft Is Our New Home.”

“My dad worked in the mines at Clifftop and at Alloy,” Reynolds, who now lives in Salem, Wis., said.

“I wrote the song in June of 2008 during a two-hour round trip to the doctor,” he recalled. “The sub prime loan mess was in the news, and the words to the song came to me as I was driving. The song tells the tragic story of a young couple in Tennessee. She worked in a drug store soda fountain. He worked in a coal mine. When the bank called in the sub-prime loan on their trailer home on the mountain, they ended up moving their belongings into an abandoned mine shaft.”

Reynolds’ song is included in a CD featuring The Kenosha Ramblers from Kenosha, Wis. The Kenosha Ramblers have just released the CD titled “Ramblin’ Through Appalachia.” Virginia King, who works in the offices of Kenosha Unified School District, plays guitar and sings. She also wrote the music to Reynolds’ song. Fiddle player Bruce Sedlock works at Kenosha’s water treatment facility. Banjo player Mark Kortbein works in Racine, Wis., as a tool and die maker. Sound engineer John Costigan of Kenosha is self-employed.

Reynolds produced the CD, which includes “Darlin’ Corey,” “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes,” “An Old Mine Shaft Is Our New Home,” “Life’s Railway to Heaven,” “Wildwood Flower,” “Cannonball Blues,” “Storms Are on the Ocean,” “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “Worried Man Blues” and “Eight More Miles to Louisville.”

Six of the songs were written by A.P. Carter of The Carter Family from Virginia. Grandpa Jones wrote “Eight More Miles to Louisville.”

The Kenosha Ramblers assembled in the fall of 2008 and began work on the CD. “Virginia and I chose the songs,” Charles recalled. “I’ve been taking guitar lessons from her for several years. All the songs on the CD we played in her classes. When I got the idea for a CD, I asked her to hire a banjo player and a fiddle player. That’s how we formed the group.”

Reynolds left Opossum Creek in February of 1964 for a job with the U.S. Navy at Great Lakes, Ill. He married Fausta Krupinski in October 1966. “Our boss hired me to be her husband,” laughed Charles. “But she didn’t tell me about it until three days before the wedding.”

Charles and Fausta both worked as management analysts. The Navy closed the Electronics Supply Office in 1973 during a budget cutback.

Charles retired from HQ U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Ft. Sheridan, Ill., in December 1992. During his more than 19 years with Army Recruiting, he served as Chief of Management, Budget Officer, Deputy Comptroller, Acting Comptroller and Deputy Chief of Staff.

Fausta retired from the Recruiting Command on April 1993 after more than 16 years with the command. She retired as a Senior Operations Research Analyst, responsible for writing computer programs and analyzing millions of enlistment records to determine the impact on recruiting of proposed changes in policy. Located on the shore of Lake Michigan 25 miles north of Chicago, Ft. Sheridan was closed in 1992 and the Recruiting Command was moved to Ft. Knox, Ky. Fausta finished her last project on weekly commuting trips between Salem and Ft. Knox. “I don’t think I flew a single plane that wasn’t delayed by weather in Chicago or Louisville,” she laughed.

The younger son of Robert and Buena Reynolds, Charles was born in Boonesboro in 1937 and graduated from Ansted High School in 1954. After service as a radar technician in the USAF, he was graduated from West Virginia Tech in 1962. He holds a master’s degree in business from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Fausta has a master’s degree in French from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in Business from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside.

His wife’s cooking often reminds Charles of his West Virginia home.

“Fausta is a great cook,” he said. “She makes the best pinto beans and collard greens and corn bread. Stewed chicken with dumplings is also one of my favorites. My Aunt Eileen from Boomer gave her the recipe for that. It tastes just like the chicken and dumplings my mother used to make.”

Like down home cooking, Charles acquired his taste in country music while growing up on Opossum Creek and while serving 18 months on Guam in the USAF. “The guys in the room next door had a record player, and all they played was country music,” he said. “My favorite guitar players are Merle Travis and Maybelle Carter.”

Charles and Fausta visit West Virginia every year or two. “I still have relatives there,” said Charles. “And we like to attend the reunions of Ansted High School, Class of 1954. West Virginia is a beautiful state, and the people are so friendly.”

Last September, Charles and Fausta enjoyed a cruise of the Columbia River in Washington with some friends from Missouri. “The mountains and forests of Washington reminded us of West Virginia,” recalled Charles, “but I’m glad West Virginia doesn’t have a Mt. St. Helens.”

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