Hard Times? Better Times

Our forefathers were able to weather the bad times with the coal industry–and even fight back when the companies mistreated miners and retirees. Our people knew how to take care of themselves and each other. They knew how to go without and how to give. I’m not going to romanticize and say they were always happier back then, that times didn’t get a lot tougher than we could possibly imagine, but I believe they knew more what true happiness was than we do today. And they damn sure knew the difference between right and wrong.

Sadly, today, the skills and values that set Appalachian people apart as some of the best folks this nation has ever known, is nearly gone.

Today there are pro-company idiots who think the sun rises and sets with the coal companies, who don’t have half a brain except to cut other people’s throats in the superintendents office in order to get ahead. There are many young miners who’ve followed in their footsteps and taken to buying things they don’t need and “looking out for #1.”

These kinds of miners want to pride themselves in being “hard workers” and want people to admire them for their “sacrifices,” but in truth, they could never hold a light to the older generations–the TRUE APPALACHIAN coal miners. I suppose it’s always easier to suck up to the company and work their health away away than it is to do the right thing, to live the right way. In many ways, I think a lot of them are getting what they deserve, these scabs of days gone by who cursed the unions and looked down their noses at the decent people of Appalachia. It’s only to bad that their children and families are going to have to suffer as a result. Some of life’s best lessons are learned the hard way.

Perhaps cutting the company umbilical cord is the only way for people to realize what is truly important in life, to see the truth of the industry, and to build a better future for their children.

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