Monday, July 21, 2008

You Can Take The Hillbilly Out Of The Coal Mine

But You Can't Take The Coal Mine Out Of The Hillbilly...

It continues to amaze me how life turns back on itself.

Some call it fate.

I refuse to give it a name--positive or negative--but I do see the convolutions and permutations of the order and disorder none the less.

Take my Father's family as an example.

Everyone I know in that side of my gene pool alive before 1950 was in some way involved in the coal mining business in West Virginia and/or southeastern Ohio.

Truck drivers, mechanics, or just plain pick and chisel men (Grandpa was Electrical Superintendent of the Red Parrot Coal Mine in Prenter, West Virginia), I've seen the results of making a living under ground ingrained on the faces of distant relatives whose memories are relegated to ragged black and white photos today.

My dad, at my Grandfather's insistence, escaped the ravages and calluses of the coal mines via his matriculation at the University of Kentucky in the early 1950's in pursuit of a degree in Electrical Engineering, and later as a pilot with the US Army's Signal Corps.

That said, I still find it more than a little bit amazing that at 9:30 AM this morning I'm walking into a meeting to coordinate beginning the structural design work on a project that will ultimately handle millions of tons of...


This after spending over 25 years designing equipment which much of the time used...

COAL as the fuel for the fire.

I, personally, am quite pleased to be on the design end of the energy extraction process rather than on the MINING end of the mineral extraction process--something that historically has shortened the lives of my kin by somewhere between ten and twenty years as I understand things.

I hope I'm up to the process, having had almost three months to sweep the dust off the 'ol brain cells and come back up to speed with the latest software.

Wish me luck...If you will...

1 comment:

HEATHER said...

Small world, all of my family is from McDowell County West Virginia(sadly now called the "free-state of McDowell County"), which is two counties south of Boone County.