the cage came down

“I started when I was 16 and worked 28 years in coal mining. I started wheelin for my dad when I was 16 and when I was 18, I got my miners papers and a place of my own. If I hadn’t got my back broke when a cage came down on top of me, I would have kept on mining. I really enjoyed the mines. I never worked on surface, always underground.

You see, we had bad places in the mine. What I mean by a bad place is a wet place. You have water dripping out of the roof and that’s bad. Water on the floor wasn’t too bad. Water overhead got you wet all over. Down in the mines, it’s cool. If you stop to have lunch you got cold but when you had a nice dry place, it was good.

Well the mines made us a living anyway and I brought my family up. Everybody had 4, 5 or 6 children. And our family, they all went to high school. I don’t know how I done it when I look back now.”

in the backyard. New Zion, NB