From deep mining to strip mining to gas drilling, workers have made a living

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During the last eight decades my generation has experienced changes in coal and gas exploration.

My Grandfather Boustead was a deep coal miner in the same area that is now involved with Marcellus Shale mining. I still have the memory of him coming home covered with coal dust and the lantern on his forehead. The family lived in a company house and bought groceries from the company store. He loved the outdoors, and recreation was caring for gladiolus and sweet peas. They were so beautiful that folks would come by to buy a bouquet.

Several years later, the same area was big into strip mining. The area was unsightly from the huge mounds of earth and deep holes filled with orange sulfur water. Large 10-wheel trucks were on the narrow roads hauling the loads of coal to power plants.

Now the same area is into Marcellus shale mining. There are many pros and cons concerning this new method. Each of these methods is needed for families’ livelihoods. Many property owners and farmers are excited because now they can purchase much-needed new farm equipment and keep the farms productive once again.

CATHERINE BEAMAN
Aleppo


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