Tag Archives: oral history

Book Excerpt: ‘Memory of a Miner’

Dad grew from child to adolescent while living in Draper. These were the years of the Great Depression (though Dad’s running joke was “I never could figure out what was so great about it!”). The Depression years were hard for Dad. He would often say, “The Democrats blamed Hoover and the Republicans blamed Roosevelt. I don’t know who it was, but somebody liked to starved me to death!”

3D Book Cover-Virtue

Necessity brought creativity, and Dad found a way to get a little money in his pocket while a Depression-era boy in Draper. A neighbor woman would frequently give Dad money to go to the store and buy her fifty cents worth of new potatoes. Dad would pocket the fifty cents and go to a nearby potato patch a man owned and stealthily dig up roughly fifty cents worth of new potatoes.

He would clean them good, put them in a “poke” and take them to the neighbor, fifty cents the richer!

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Bringing in a live bear

We took him up and laid him down on the truck, and he was dead as a hammer. Choked him to death; that last spell there. We had a pole in there about as big as his leg. Well, the old bear weighed about a hundred and seventy-five pounds, I’d say. But he was dead.

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‘Folks Are Talking’ CD set releases

Call him the Studs Terkel of Bluefield, WV and its environs. In the 1970s Garret Mathews, a columnist for that town’s ‘Daily Telegraph’ newspaper, traveled back into the surrounding hollows with photographer Wade Sprees to interview the locals about their lives. He’s gathered 28 of his columns and narrates them on a newly released 2-CD […]

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