Early Life in WV Coal Camp-Leaving For Greener Pasture


I finished up 2nd and 3rd grade in the Mammoth, WV grade school and my mom and dad decided we would permanently move back to Yawkey, WV. Yawykey was 50 miles away, but all my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles lived there.  Maybe this won’t be so bad after all. 

My dad was going to continue working in the mines and make this 100 mile round trip each day.  I didn’t understand until years later that he personally paid a great sacrifice to move his family to a rural area.  Somedays he would leave home at 4:00am and not get home until that evening. 

My grandpa McClure had a huge farm, rental property and several lots for his kids.  Mother and daddy moved us into a little four room house on grandpa’s farm.  Daddy later added a nice bathroom, a little back porch and of course mother made everything look so nice.  From my bedroom window, I could see the plowed fields, the huge barn and our own garden.  There was so much space you just wanted to take a big deep breath.

I could walk through the field and I was at Granny and Grandpa McClure’s house.  My mom and I stayed with them while daddy was in World War II so they like having us near again.   Granny and Grandpa Woodrum lived about a mile away and the was really good.  I smile, even today, as I think of these wonderful people.

No more coal dust, no trains, no coal trucks, no beer joints, no cussing, no black people, no coal mines, no sirens, no tipples, no movie theaters and no coal camp friends.  I would have to replace these things with new experiences and new friends. 


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