Friday, March 23, 2007

Coal Mining With Dad – about age 5

(an excerpt from Raymond E. Bennight’s personal history. 1912-2000)

We next moved to Missouri where dad bought a coal mine at Macon, Missouri near Unionville, Missouri. This mine was worked out during World War I. Dad didn’t go into Military Service because the coal mine was necessary to the war effort. They told him to keep the mine running and produce a needed commodity. Unlike the war profits of today, the mine was worked out with no big profit for anyone. In this area I remember quite a bit, like hiding in the storm cellar during a bad storm, and going with dad down into the mine after the miners had “cleaned up” (removed the coal shot loose by powder blasts the day before). They had then drilled a new set of holes for another round of shots. After the miners had left the mine, dad would “set the shots” and then one by one, light the fuses. When he lit the first one I wanted to run, but he was so calm and unhurried I knew it must be all right. It was a long way out of the mine and the blasts would start going off one by one before we were all the way out, but we were safe around some corners.

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