I sat in our driveway after going to the grocery store to listen to an NPR story about black lung disease and coal mining.
A driveway moment.
Then, tonight I watched as much as I could of a PBS story on the same subject.
But I had to stop watching. It was too much to take.
My father was a coal miner. He left the farm at 18 and when to the coal fields. He dug coal until he volunteered for the army for WW II. After four years in France and Germany, he came home with lung problems that wouldn't let him back in the mines.
Lung problems caused by almost 20 years in the mines, not four years in Europe.
In his retirement he got 'black lung benefits'--$100 a month until he died.
The stories on NPR and PBS were more than I could stand.
The accents of the men were the accents I grew up with. Appalachian accents--I can still do them if you ask me too. Mine is muted by 40 years in New England, but it still leaks out around the edges.
What a horrible fate miners suffered.
The new Black Lung is worse than any before. It's about a new method of mining coal that should be regulated but the coal companies don't pay any attention to the regulations and the government let's them get away with that.
Men in their 40's and 50's that can't run with their grand kids and have to have oxygen all the time piped into their noses.
Astonishing. Awful. Astounding.
I couldn't watch the TV show until the end.
It reminded me too much of my past and the pain of people I knew and loved.
The President Who Will Not Be Named is a big supporter of Coal.
What a jerk. It kills people, if not in a mine disaster, by black lung disease.
Wind, Solar, Water.
No more coal. But do something to retrain those brave coal miners for other work.
Appalachia--my home, my roots--is a disaster, morally and physically.
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