Monday, August 06, 2007

"Oh, God, for one more breath"*

Another repost. This should be the last week of overtime and long, strange hours at the plant. Until then, new posts on the Bus will be as I get time.

I wrote this on 15 January 2006, for the families of the Sago Mine in West Virginia. Unfortunately, it is appropriate once again. Only the location has changed.

The recent tragedy at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Huntington, Utah remindes us of what it takes to keep our electronic society going. In these days of telecommuting, Powerpoint presentations, and cell phones, none of it would be possible without the fuel to satisfy our electronic appetite.

A few of the worst mine disasters in North America:
1900 - Explosion - Scofield, Utah - 200 dead
1902 - Explosion - Coal Creek, Alberta - 128 dead
1902 - Explosion - Coal Creek, Tennessee - 184 dead
1907 - Explosion - Monongah, West Virginia - 362 dead
1909 - Fire - Cherry Mine, Illinois - 259 dead
1913 - Explosion - Stag Canon, New Mexico - 263 dead
1914 - Explosion - Hillcrest, Alberta - 189 dead

Phyllis Boyens - Blue Diamond Mines.mp3

Reel World String Band - What She Aims To Be
These two songs from the "Coal Miming Women" cd.

James Keelaghan - Hillcrest Mine
from the "Small Rebellions" cd.

*The title of this post is from a note found on the body of Henry Beach, Fraterville Mine, Coal Creek, Tennessee, 1902.
This post is dedicated to mining families everywhere.
Our hopes are that the miners trapped in Utah will be found alive to rejoin their families.


Blogger Monster Library Student said...

This was a really great post...thanks for reposting it, as you said it is fiting again now. Our prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy.

August 07, 2007 12:39 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Amen to all the sentiments here! Thanks Ed.

August 07, 2007 1:32 PM  
Blogger Chisum Trail Mercantile said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 07, 2007 1:39 PM  
Blogger Chisum Trail Mercantile said...

Thank you Ed for this post - very saddening that we go from the bridge collapse in "The Twin Cities" to another mine cave in.

I, also, appreciate the history you've included in this blog - Dawn

August 07, 2007 1:42 PM  
Blogger Clip Artist said...

It's also ironic that the coal that these brave souls harvest from deep beneath the Earth is generating power to keep a sweltering nation cool and comfortable this week. Thank you for the update - hopeful in PA.

August 07, 2007 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

My prayers go out to anyone immediately touched by this. What frustrates me is the fact that we need to wait three days to determine the precise fate of the miners. It's pathetic that governments can marshall the resources to fight wars on foreign soil within hours when needed, yet they WON'T respond as quickly on home soil when things like this happen. And that's not a criticism of the US government. Our Canadian leaders are no better.

August 07, 2007 5:21 PM  
Blogger StoreX™ said...

Best Blog

By StoreX

August 07, 2007 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Ed, for this statement of solidarity with the miners. So sad that working people, who keep the world running, are only noticed when their work is interrupted. For those of you who know of Hazel Dickens, especially her singing in the wonderful film Harlan County about UMWA organizing, and who live in the NYC area, she will be performing on Oct 27. See

August 07, 2007 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Jean said...

Being very taken with “Hillcrest Mine,” I was inspired to look up James Keelaghan’s web site and found that on August 3 he will be appearing in Hillcrest Alberta at a Dedication of Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery. Curious, I explored further and found that there was actually a Hillcrest Mine Disaster and thus to Google, which lists a number of relevant sites. Here are two impressive ones that tell the tragic tale: and . Sadly the latest news from Utah is not good. 08.10. 07.

August 10, 2007 5:06 PM  

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