It is amazing how memory works,after deciding to write this,I remember that time had smooth out and worn over my memories of of my grandfather.I felt not even enough for a paragraph ,Let's see ,his name was John also,he was very tall and when he walked into a room you were aware of his presence. When he was quiet ,you knew he was there. He loved the spiritual "Bringing In The Sheaves"When I was telling Builder about my grandfather,I told him
it was many years before I knew the song was not about bring in sheep.I wore that like with a smile my grandfather laugh a lot ,like I did when I was a younger man .
My grandfather was a coal miner
In the evening he and his friends would gather in the kitchen to drink and discuss the day and union business.Looking back I think that maybe all of them were secretly alcoholics maybe from the grind, boredom and the unspoken fear of being down there in the mines. It was a job they had families .
Some of my memories are of place,my first train trip to Kentucky. I was born in the lush green Alabama foothills of the Appalachians mountains , so this new place with its' heights and hollows was dizzing for me. I spent a lot of time feeling safe in the kitchen, listening to tall old men telling tales and laughing into the night.
My grand father was a coal miner he died of black lungs. ,