Country Roads. John Denver sang about them. Morning hours, teardrops and miners ladies.
There are two industries in West Virginia. Religion and Coal. If you’re not a preacher you’re a miner. Or you use to be.
Pa fed his family with a number four shovel. He still goes downstairs to pray … in a basement of concrete and coal. Old habits die hard.
Miners are religious men. They don’t have the nerve to be anything else.
“How a man can crawl in there and watch the mountain move above their head and not believe it God, I just don’t know.” My brother is 24. He’s been in the mines for three years.
Grandma was a miners lady. When she turned 65 she turned fierce and asked the question she had never dared before. “Why were you always gone? Out playing music. Fishing. You came in from work and left. You should have stayed home more.”
Pa told her what he had never dared. “Because if I sat too still I had time to think. If I had time to think, I would have never went back. I was scared Christine. My buddies were dying all the time. And I was scared.”
If the dust and the rock don’t get you…the mountain will.
Yes. Coal miners are religious men. They have to be. Because sometimes miners ladies, become miners widows.