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Arts & Culture
Peabody Award-winner Trey Kay brings us stories exploring all sides of the cultural issues that too often divide us.

Hillers & Creekers

Hillers & Creekers
Joni Deutsch
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Randy Blake Thomas (a Creeker) and Trey Kay (a Hiller).

Our cultural divides start early in America - some even in childhood.

As kids, we learn where we come from and where we belong. Those divisions can really run deep. When Us & Them host Trey Kay was a kid at George Washington High School in Charleston, West Virginia, you were either a ‘hiller’ or a ‘creeker.’ The sorting followed class lines and separated kids based on their family’s income.

Trey goes back to his old neighborhood to see if others remember it the way he does. Some of their differences were subtle while others were as basic as the clothes they could afford. But what he learned from these adult conversations is that they had a lot in common. They were all self-conscious and knew that even their shoes could define them.

Another thing they all share? The pain of those 40-year-old wounds can sometimes still sting.

This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the CRC Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Subscribe to Us & Them on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, RadioPublic, Spotify, Stitcher and beyond. You also can listen to Us & Them on WVPB Radio — tune in every fourth Thursday at 8 p.m., or listen to the encore presentation on the following Saturday at 3 p.m.

Randy Thomas-GWHS-Sophmore Yearbook.crop.jpeg
George Washington High School Yearbook
Randy Blake Thomas in 1977 as a sophomore at George Washington High School in Charleston, W.Va.
Joey Minardi-GWHS-Sophmore Yearbook.crop.jpeg
George Washington High School Yearbook
Joey Minardi in 1977 as a sophomore at George Washington High School in Charleston, W.Va.
Trey Kay-GWHS-Sophmore Yearbook.crop.jpeg
George Washington High School Yearbook.
Trey Kay in 1977 as a sophomore at George Washington High School in Charleston, W.Va.
Randy Thomas - Nike
Joni Deutsch
Randy Thomas sporting a pair of his coveted Nike Cortez sneakers.


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