Fossil Fuels made the steel that built this country. The coal fields of South Western Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia were rich in bituminous coal. Miners labored long hours in dark mines to extract the coal from the land. Steam trains carried it to the Steel Mills of Pittsburgh, where some of the best steel in the world was manufactured. But, as with everything else, times have changed. Climate change is bringing an end to the coal mining era, leaving many people of rural Appalachia wondering how they are going to feed their families. With the winds of change comes the push for solar and wind to replace coal. So what do we tell the people of rural Appalachia??
Tears flowed like a downpour on a hot summer day. All around, Jennifer could see the wives of the miners in Swift Creek Mine. Earlier that morning, an explosion trapped eight men in the far end of the shaft. Three of Jennifer’s friends were among the women anxiously awaiting their fate.
The siren on top of the tipple sent shrill chills through the little coal patch. At times like this, the whole neighborhood rushed to the mine for word of who the trapped miners might be. Those whose husbands were safe, stayed to give comfort and support.
A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills of the Monongahela.Jennifer could only wonder when it would be her time to weep; having a husband and son who worked there.
Everyone went silent… as the men were carried out… one by one!
Painting of Coke Ovens and Mine: Dwight L. Roth
Prosery today at d’Verse: Lillian gave us the challenge to write a flash fiction of exactly 144 words that includes a given line from Carl Sandburg’s poem, Jazzy Fantasia . The line I included was A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills… This story comes from memories of my childhood in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Many lives were lost in the coal mining industry that supported our steel mills in Pittsburgh at the time.