"'Last Man Standing' at Wake for a Toxic Town"
"PICHER, Oklahoma -- Wearing powder blue pants and a plaid fedora, 84-year-old Orval 'Hoppy' Ray arrived fashionably late to a celebration in Picher, Oklahoma, a vacated mining town at the center of one of the nation's largest and most polluted toxic-waste sites.
Former residents, bought out by the government because their town was deemed so dangerous, gathered in Picher's elementary school to say farewell to a place where kids suffered lead poisoning, where homes built atop underground mines plunged into the Earth and where the local creek coughs up orange water, laced with heavy metals.
A toothpick dangling out of the corner of his chapped mouth, Ray greeted several old friends as if he were in any other small town in America."Source: CNN, 07/01/2009