The Long Journey Home

From a fifteen-year-old child who had spent four years as a slate picker in the mines of southern West Virginia, to a marine who earned a combat promotion to captain after distinguishing himself at the battle of the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean war, Rex Luther Buford leads an eventful life. Being determined to not live and die as his father had done struggling to get air into lungs ravaged by black lung caused by years of exposure to coal dust and with the reluctant blessing of his mother, Rex heads out into the world. With ten years traveling the world doing covert operations for various government agencies, he leaves the marine corps to become a troubleshooter for a New York investment firm.

Rex Luther, having proven himself as the best, is able to pick his assignments; and when trouble in the coalfields catches the attention of corporate heads, Rex is asked to look into it. The “Long Journey Home” becomes a reality when he chooses to take the assignment and becomes embroiled in family and a struggle to suppress the emotional impact of being reunited with those he has loved from afar. As he slowly adjusts to becoming a member of the family he left years before, the actions of folks desperately trying to sweep the evidence of stealing coal shipments under the rug bring violence and turmoil to a once-peaceful valley. With the support of Sis, Frank, the experienced coal miner who he chose to cover his back, and Sandy, a schoolteacher transplanted from the city, he plows ahead with his investigation. As the facts emerge, some folks scramble for cover while others attempt to remove the evidence of their crimes and Rex Luther.

--Tom Gilco



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