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Minning Experience??

Deep in the mines of eastern Kentucky was a way of life that few people outside those mining coal will ever know, or for that matter, want to know.  These folk were a hearty bunch taken to the underground much like a mole.  They worked many hours per day in a deep dark dungeon of a place known as the mines.  Their families stayed home and prayed for their safety and hoped they would never hear the shrill whistle denoting an underground accident or cave-in.

We will followed this one man through a day to more better understand just how a person could live back then with such a demanding job.  We will not identify this man, but we will call him Dave.

Dave’s day began with the alarm clock at 3:30 A.M. and continued through 7:30 P.M.  In case you’re counting, that’s sixteen hours.  He had little time for anything except work, a hurried meal, and some few hours of sleep.  This went on six days per week.  Now I know that some of you will say, “that doesn’t happen anymore”, and you are right; however, the time we are speaking of is some seventy years ago.
Up at 3:30 A.M., a quick breakfast, a goodbye to the family, then it’s off to the mines.  His shift began at 4:00 A.M., and he had better be there in place if he wanted to keep his job.  The first three hours were devoted to digging coal with a coal pick followed by four hours of shoveling coal.  Then a thirty-minute lunch break and then back to the pick again for four more hours.  The day ends with three and a half hours of shoveling coal.  By this time he is so tired he can barely walk home to his mining shack.  This goes on and on, day in and day out until he is beaten down and can no longer stand it.

If you want to experience Dave’s way of life, try walking in his shoes for one day and you will see just how difficult ones life can be.  

Posted: May 20, 2005 

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