A Life 'Not Afraid' in a Hardscrabble Mining Town Like his coal miner father, 'October Sky' author Homer Hickam says his values – to trust in God but rely on oneself – come from deep underground.
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A Life 'Not Afraid' in a Hardscrabble Mining Town

Homer Hickam grew up in Coalwood, W. Va., a coal mining town much like the one where a dozen miners recently died in the Sago mine accident. Courtesy of Homer Hickam hide caption

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Courtesy of Homer Hickam

Hickam is the author of the Coalwood Series of books about his hometown. His Rocket Boys memoir was made into the 1999 movie October Sky. Courtesy of Homer Hickam hide caption

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Courtesy of Homer Hickam

Hickam's father, Homer, Sr., worked in a West Virginia coal mine for much of his life. He lost an eye while trying to rescue trapped miners. Courtesy of Homer Hickam hide caption

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Courtesy of Homer Hickam

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