“Troubled Waters” shows at Dairy Barn in Warm Springs

Some life experiences are made of just the right combination of people, and their time and talents to produce a work reaching far beyond the original desire or plan. Last February, quite a few landowners in northern Bath County learned about Dominion’s plan for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross their home places. Now, a film and collection of fine photography, entitled “Troubled Waters” document the stories of many local people, and how they would be impacted by construction of the ACP. Lee Brauer, of Little Valley and Barb Adams of Richmond collaborated with some filmmaking students to offer this up-close look at how very personal what seems a political issue, really can be. Lee talked about how it all began,

“It was just after lunch, mid-dayish, and I was working on some paperwork, and the phone rang, and she was really, really concerned. And she had gotten her letter. And not many people had gotten the letter from Dominion at that point. As she talked to me about how horrific this was, coming through her property, and reading part of the letter. For a long time, I just didn’t know what to do. I paced around the room. I thought, “What can I do?” All of the things that happen when you hear devastating news.”

Lee e-mailed a long time family friend in Richmond, and said quite simply, “Help.”

Barb Adams had been participating for years in environmental and social justice actions, and knew that this far into the struggle, it would be important for people to see things with new eyes.

“Most recently I became part of a group called the Richmond Interfaith Climate Justice League.

I asked Barb who makes up an interfaith group who cares about land, air and water too.

“Organizations and people who believe that there is a strong voice necessary from a faith perspective, you know all faiths, not just one in particular. And for me this really kind of brought together my concerns about the environment, and climate change, and a desire for working to help make the planet a safer and better place for all to live. So, was happy to do whatever I could to be supportive when Bath County was the last county to be identified for the pipeline.”

Barb, and this whole group of churches had been working and learning about all of the conflicts surrounding the Atlantic Coast pipeline.   She was already familiar with how it could affect, Augusta, Nelson, Buckingham and all the other places along the route.

Through several more community events, and brainstorming with VCU film students, the “Troubled Waters” team became established.Lee Brauer commented on the wide range of images accompanying the stories from our neighbors in limbo.

“What I do is the still photography. And it’s interesting to me, it’s so different in the approach, because they’re dealing with live action, and when I go out and work, it capturing that second, that split second, that maybe happens.”

In the second of this pair of stories, we’ll learn a little more about the production of “Troubled Waters”, which has its Bath County Premier, 7:00, Thursday evening, January 19th at the Dairy Barn in Warm Springs.   To see a trailer of the film, visit the Voices from Bath Facebook page.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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