A Coal Miner’s Granddaughter

My grandparents, circa mid to late 1960s

"When you're born in the mountains, you got three choices," 

"Coal Mine,"


"or movin' on down the line."

(Excerpt from the movie Coal Miner's Daughter)

My grandfather was a coal miner.  He died of complications from black lung in 1970.  Some of my uncles also worked in the mines.  There was a "coal house" out behind my grandparents house.  Granny cooked on a coal stove well into the late 1960s.

The coal mining tragedy currently playing out in Raleigh County, West Virginia hits especially close to home.  That is the same county my grandparents lived in, and I still have relatives living there today.  Fortunately no one I knew died in this tragedy, but people I know have lost loved ones. 

If you're from that part of West Virginia, coal mining is a part of your life either directly or indirectly.  When tragedy strikes like it has there, you can bet this community is pulling together and doing what they do best supporting one another and delivering food to those that have lost loved ones.  That's just how it is.  Good times or bad, they are all about support and food.  I have experienced this first hand.  They show their love through food.  This is where I spent a lot of my childhood.  I have so many great memories of my Granny there, where she lived and died, in Raleigh County.  It's a second home to me, and I'm so saddened by this tragedy.

My condolences to all of those that have lost loved ones.  And like I heard on the news the other day, every time you turn on a light switch, thank a coal miner.

Thanks to all of the coal miners who risk their lives each and every day to provide electricity to millions of homes, something we all take for granted.

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