December 17, 1977

On December 17, 1977, Russian journalist Iona Anfronov visited Vulcan, West Virginia. He was invited by Mayor John Robinette, because the town asked the Soviet Union to help them build a bridge. The small coal mining community had only one way into town, a dangerous, ramshackled bridge that was falling apart. It could not be driven over and the citizens of Vulcan were in danger of falling through the bridge every time they used it to get to the one road that led out of town. The citizens had begged the West Virginian government to build them a bridge so they could enter and exit their homes, but their elected leaders refused to help. So they did what any reasonable group of people would have done, they asked the Russians for help. The Soviet Union sent Iona Anfronov to the town to investigate. Within one hour of his visit, reporters and the town were told that the State of West Virginia had provided $1.3 million in funding to build the needed bridge. Just goes to show that a little embarrassment can get things done.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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