After my post from the weekend, novelist Homer Hickam on Sunday wrote for the Los Angeles Times about many miners’ fulfillment from the work, contrary to a portrayal the formerly mainstream media wants to present:
When an accident in an American coal mine occurs that results in killed or trapped coal miners, the major networks and radio stations start calling me for commentary. My grandfather and father were coal miners, but I’m called on mostly because I wrote a memoir set in West Virginia coal country that was made into the film “October Sky.” I usually agree to go on the programs and give background and context to the mining and rescue operations, but my real purpose is to take the opportunity to tell the public what kind of men and women still mine coal in our country and what life in their little towns is like.
It doesn’t take long into the interview before the host asks me something along the lines of, “Considering how dangerous the work is, why would anybody want to work in a coal mine?” In other words, how could anyone in this day and age be so stupid?
That’s when I get to educate the interviewer, pointing out that far from being a pick-and-shovel guy, most miners today work in a high-tech environment of electronic monitors, computers and complex machinery. They also possess a pride in their chosen occupation, not to mention a puckish humor and gentle nature. And they are certainly aware of the dangers of their workplace but love what they do….
After I’m finished with my description of people and place as they actually are, the disappointment is almost palpable. That’s because most of the interviewers already have an idea of what life is like in a coal company town, or at least, they think they do. This is because of another company town, namely Hollywood.
Not surprising, given the Left’s obsessive opposition to coal.