This essay focuses on the qualities and textures of the present in a place long conditioned by decline. In the Little Cities of Black Diamonds, a microregion of Appalachian Ohio, a legacy of coal mining and its aftermath continues to reverberate into the present, shaping towns, lives, and imaginaries. The present figures as a moment of sensory attunement, orienting people toward one another and to the region's past even as they work toward another future. Care for the well-being of people and place takes shape across sensory and affective registers that include the experience of heat at an annual festival, renovation of buildings driven by love of place, and the embodied circulation of a miner's stance.

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