Labor Day

Here’s my pick for a good book for the weekend. Denise Giardina’s fictionalized account is pretty good, too.

One Reply to “Labor Day”

  1. Thanks for the link to the coal mine wars. When we see the continued need for labor unions, let’s not think that the West Virginia wars were exceptional. Oklahoma coal mines were even more dangerous. Our multiyear battle with coal company thugs was called “the Long Strike.” But the dangers and the violence against Oklahoma zinc miners was even worse. It was just normal to have machine gun nests set up on Main Street. Life expectancy was below 40, which was why Mickey Mantle, the most famous person to escape the community, said his goal was to survive to forty.

    The closest I got to experiencing the tender mercies of management was roughnecking in the oil fields. My other blue collar jobs had plenty of dangers, but my first day I heard my tool pusher shouting into the radio. “Frack after dark! Frack after dark! Call Eddie Chiles. He loves to Frack after dark.” He then explained the science of how any CB radio hundreds of miles away, when fracking after after, could wipe out a whole crew. The last time we’d fracked after dark, he said, had the explosion occured a few seconds earlier, the whole crew would have been killed, but one hand was pronounced dead at the site. He said that he’d have to follow orders, but concluded, “John, you have a future. Hitchhike home.”

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