The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 30

The Steele family shares
entrepreneurial efforts.

"Our parents support our ideas," says Chance. When
the idea of selling T-shirts came up, "Our grandfather
took us downtown to show how it was done. He
advocated for us and taught us a lot about business."
The family eats dinner together every chance they
get-with an often-intense schedule. And the dinners
aren't quiet. "There's not a topic we won't approach,"
says Taisha. Often the topics are philosophical, bringing
brisk debate, but "there's a ceiling" on the arguing, says
Chance. "They're straightforward and strong in their
opinions," says Taisha of her boys.
Basically, says Taisha, the results hinge on "taking
care of the family and commitments and
giving back to the community."

is at Virginia Western Community College. Ian, 42,
runs Four Corners Farm, a sustainable effort featuring
"poultry, eggs, pork, wholesome foods, local goods and
more." He is former military.
Carolyn and Ian poured a lot of time, effort and
resources into creating the kind of farm and home they
envisioned when they married over 16 years ago. The
children have always helped work the 58 acres in what
Ian calls "a living education."
The pipeline, says Carolyn, "has in some ways
taken over our lives for the last three years." Ian says
the intrusion was especially acute in the fall when
"we needed to start planning for next year." Land
management is vital and chemicals the pipeline owners
would spray in this carefully cultivated area could be
devastating. The pipeline, says Carolyn, is "a daily
burden." But it's not everything.
"The process provides many teaching moments,"
says Carolyn. "What is civic responsibility? What
processes have been skewed by this industrial, private
corporation? It's tough for all of us, but we have each
other, our community, our neighbors."
The kids are still kids. Elliot wants to be a Supreme
Court justice, Evelyn has aspirations of being a writer
or journalist. Jonas is putting his effort into science.
Even Joy "asks a lot of questions when she sees me
out talking, asking people if they're for or against the
pipeline. She judges."
Carolyn and Ian lay it out for the kids, as well.
"We've been pretty big on being honest and not keeping
things back," says Carolyn. "We don't do Santa. We'd
rather the kids experience what's sacred to us and it's
well beyond money and stuff.
"We started the farm because we care about the land,
water and the community and that people have healthy
food. I think our kids will be better equipped to handle
whatever faces us in the future."

Carolyn & Ian
Reilly Family

Circumstances have pushed the Reillys
slightly away from their idyllic small
farm-family life in Franklin County
and toward a powerful, active role in
opposing a giant gas pipeline that would
run smack through their grazing land.
Carolyn has even helped organize the
Bold Appalachia Landowner Alliance,
a nonprofit whose raison d 'etre is
opposition to the pipeline.
The children were home schooled for
10 years until recent pipeline resistance
activities took more and more time and
now Evelyn, 14, Elliot, 12, and Joy, 8, are
in public school and 17-year-old Jonas
30

JULY/AUGUST 2018

The Reillys are fighting a battle for survival of their home.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - July/August 2018

The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Intro
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover1
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover2
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 3
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 4
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - 5
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The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover3
The Roanoker - July/August 2018 - Cover4
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