Click photo to enlarge
Retired Underground Coal Miner
When I first went into the army at Debert, Nova Scotia, they called us out on a parade and asked, "Who here is a qualified coal miner?" There were quite a few of us who stepped out. We all got a ticket home to go back to work in the mines.
I was born in 1917 in Wayne. When I was laid off at the railroad, I got a job in a little gopher-hole mine at Ward's Lane, loading coal in a boxcar. I was 17.
I ran a duckbill loader in the mine - and always on the graveyard shift. They kept switching me around from crew to crew on the graveyard. Still, I think coal mining is one of the best goddamn jobs a guy could get. I liked it.
When I saw the writing on the wall for mining, I looked around and started something else. In fact, I was still working in the mine when I started to run buses.
I've worked hard all my life. If I don't work, I'll kick the bucket. You know, I don't know how a guy can just live to sit. The only time I watch TV is to see hockey, baseball and football.
I'd like to have more time to collect fossils and restore antiques. In my spare time, I also collect stamps and polish stones for mounting in jewellery. But there's no time to do any of that.