Cambria Publishing
mining songs, music, photographs Lawrence Chrismas Photography
Cape Breon Miners Gallery
Page 284
Mickey Ellsworth
Retired Coal Miner

I was born right next door in 1909. My father was a coal miner, a policeman and a blacksmith. He came from Low Point. I think I was 17 when I started with the Dominion Coal Company in Glace Bay. There was a fellow who worked with us who finally got hanged in the Sydney jail. He killed a taxi driver in Glace Bay. There was another fellow who worked with us at the same time - he should have got hanged but he was cleared.

I listen to the scanner to get police reports. I find out what's going on even before it happens. I got about 25 years of mining. I was running engine and then I went on the motor road. I was a dispatcher of the mine cars underground for about 15 years.

I had to quit mining in 1955 because I got smashed up. I got between a full box and a motor. The box tipped over and I was in between. It Was my own stupidity - I blame myself more than anybody else.

But I'd sooner work in a mine than a grocery store because in a mine, you've got more freedom and everybody's buddy - buddy. You couldn't do nothing on Sunday but Monday morning everybody would know about it. And you were a fool if you said you didn't. There's an old bunch of them that used to get in one box going in the mine on the rake. Andrew H. and Bill M. and the rest, and they'd start singing hymns, oh my. Oh hell yes, it was nice! I play the linoleum, that's all.

Every morning at 10:00, as long as I'm able to move, I go up and have a beer. I'm usually home by 1:00. 1 never go out at night anymore because the way it is now, you don't trust who you meet on the street.

I like to have budgie birds. They make a little bit more noise than myself growling.