Several dozen people gathered together at Stanley Heirs Park on Kayford to celebrate friendships, honor those mountain heroes who have died, appreciate hard-won achievements, and honor the Stanley Family that preserved the mountain.

Much thanks to the many who helped out so much. Particular mention to Stanley family members, Gary Steinbrenner, Maria Gunnoe, Owen Owens, John Murdock, Mike Whitten and granddaughter Emily, Junior Walk, Elijah and Ben, Allen Johnson, and Marybeth Lorbiecki. Our appreciative thanks to wonderful music by Bill & Becky Kimmons, and Jen Osha-Buysse.

Kayford JULY 2, 2022

These videos were shown at the Kayford Gathering July 2, 2022. Click pictures to view on YouTube. Gregg Steinbrenner compiled the Stanley Heir video. Allen Johnson, Marybeth Lorbiecki did the others. The Memorials are in parts 1, 2, 3. Most of the footage relates to West Virginia.

Stanley Heirs film

A Tribute & Thank You to the Stanley Heirs

Movement Achievements Commemoration

Memorial tributes to Larry Gibson, Judy Bonds, Chuck Nelson, Ken Hechler.

Tribute to OVEC & CRMW Leaders & Elaine Purkey (who sings “Keeper of the Mountains”

Tribute to  Many Other Activists who Leave Lasting Legacies

Photos of Kayford Reunion Gathering

Carol Hechler
Elise, Becky, Bill
Bill, Elise, Ben, Elijah

Carol Hechler (widow of Ken Hechler)

Elise Keaton Wade with Becky and Bill Kimmons of the Bare Bones music group.

Ben, Bill, Elijah, Elise

Maria Gunnoe
Becky Gibson Steinbrenner
Becky and Jen sing

Maria Gunnoe as one of the speakers as well as providing fantastic help.

Becky Gibson Steinbrenner, sister of Larry Gibson. She and her husband came out from Texas. She gave a powerful impromptu speech on her brother Larry.

Becky Kimmons and Jen Osha-Buysse singing together. Outstanding music during the event included sing-alongs.

Larry's sister
Kenneth Stanley
Julian Martin

Becky Gibson Steinbrenner, sister of Larry Gibson, with her faithful dog.

Kenneth Stanley was one of several of the Stanley family at the gathering.

Julian Martin at his assisted living home in Charleston. He wished us well.

Junior, Lee, Allen
Planning Meeting

Junior, Lee, Allen. Junior Walk helped enormously in repairing the picnic shelter prior to the event such as replacing missing boards on the tables and seats, and extinguishing a hornet’s nest.

Becky and Gregg Steinbrenner. Gregg put together a video on the Stanley family that was shown at the event.

Day after Kayford Reunion event discussion. Pictured is Tina Tobes (daughter of the Steinbrenners), Marybeth Lorbiecki, Susan Thompson, Becky Steinbrenner, Owen Owens, John Murdock, Gregg Steinbrenner. Allen Johnson took the photo.

Maria Gunnoe took extensive photos and videos during the Kayford gathering. Some of these are below. In weeks prior to the gathering, Maria put together a team to pick up broken glass and other grounds maintenance. During the gathering, her warmth and hospitality were greatly appreciated. Maria’s own opposition to mouuntaintop removal has similarities with her late friend, Larry Gibson.
Maria Gunnoe
Maria and Larry
Welcome to Kayford Reunion
VIDEO: Marybeth Lorbiecki and Allen Johnson welcome guests to Kayford Reunion.
Glad Reunion Day sung by Bill and Becky Kimmons
VIDEO: Bill and Becky Kimmons sing “Glad Reunion Day” on stage at Stanley Heirs Park.
VIDEO: “How Can I Stop From Singing?” on stage sung by Bill and Becky Kimmons.
Now is the Cool of the Day
VIDEO: “Now is the Cool of the Day,” a favorite Jean Ritchie song beautifully performed by Bill and Becky Kimmons.
becky Steinbrenner
VIDEO: Becky Gibson Steinbrenner gives a moving impromptu testimony of her beloved brother, Larry Gibson.
Maria Gunnoe
VIDEO: Maria Gunnoe speaks passionately of love of people, mountains, justice.
Janet Keating
VIDEO: Janet Keating emotionally pays tribute to departed heroes for justice in Appalachia.
Carol Hechler
VIDEO: Carol Hechler shares stories about her late husband, Ken Hechler, who was such a friend to the people.
Susan Thompson
VIDEO: Susan Thompson, an attorney and student of ecological restoration, shared insights to the gathering.
Bill Price
VIDEO: Bill Price, regional director of the Sierra Club, born near Kayford, in a clip of his talk.
Sing-along with Kimmons
VIDEO: “Oh When the Saints Come Marching In” as one of the sing-alongs led by Bill and Becky Kimmons.
Memorial Tribute to Larry, Judy, Chuck, Ken
VIDEO: Guests emotionally watch memorial tribute to Larry Gibson, Judy Bonds, Chuck Nelson, Ken Hechler.  The full video itself is near the top of this webpage to be better seen.
Memorial Tribute
VIDEO: Audience watches another video of  departed advocates of justice. Film by itself is on a link near front of this site.
Marybeth narrates Achievements of the Living.
VIDEO: Audience watches a video of living heroes and advocates. Marybeth narrates.  Video is better seen on a link near front of this site.
Tamarack meeting
The Kayford Reunion would not have been possible but for these five people: John Murdock, Owen Owens, Marz Attar, Marybeth Lorbieck, Allen Johnson. The photo was taken at Tamarack near Beckley, WV, the day before the event.
Importantly, this gathering would not have been conceivable without the inspiration, courage, and steadfastness of Larry Gibson.  Larry had died ten years earlier, yet his legacy will ripple through generations to come.
Many of us at the gathering said that Larry would have been pleased. Protecting and restoring mountains and rebuilding communities to vitality is a goal for us to engage.