CRACK HOUSE by JACK

 
Den034071
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Post by Den034071 » Fri. Feb. 07, 2020 10:58 am

Time early 1950"s. The mines in Summer were only working 2 days a week. Early one morning Dad said come on, we are going to pick coal.
An 8th mile near our house is a culm bank from the 1860"s. There is hundreds of thousands of dirt, rock & some coal in the bank. We climbed about 200 feet to a flat spot. I found some nice lumps of coal & Dad cracked it & filled 2 big bags of coal. We skidded down the bank & dumped the coal in our cellar. We had to make two trips.
"A funny story" East of town is a less steep bank containing much smaller sized coal. In the early 1900"s, pea, buck & rice coal were dumped on this pile. A widow & her son were loading bags of coal from this pile. Each day of the week they would go back to the pile, dig more coal & take it home.
One day when they went back to (her pile) there was an ignorant man stealing coal from her pile. She argued with him to no avail. WHAT TO DO? She went home & got a pick & climbed 20 feet higher up the Coal bank. She started digging in the ban and "DIRT & ROCK" slid down on top of the Coal thief. He immediately left.
Many did this, it was called SURVIVAL. Pictures to follow from Dave Vigil 2.

Attachments

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Picking lump

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Loading lump

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Lump load is home, now the work starts

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First candidate for cracking

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Hammer time

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Too big to carry far? Fix that here!

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Grading the pieces

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Black Gold Storrage locker.

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Don't mess with this guy!

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Shimmering Peacock

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Cracking action

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Grading action

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Peacock!

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Hambden Bob
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Post by Hambden Bob » Fri. Feb. 07, 2020 11:36 am

Christ,Jack! You Scared The Hell Out Of Me When I Read This Post's Title!
Boy,was I ever Relieved when I read the "Rest Of The Story" !

 
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BigBarney
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Post by BigBarney » Fri. Feb. 07, 2020 3:43 pm

Den034071 wrote:
Fri. Feb. 07, 2020 10:58 am
Time early 1950"s. The mines in Summer were only working 2 days a week. Early one morning Dad said come on, we are going to pick coal.
An 8th mile near our house is a culm bank from the 1860"s. There is hundreds of thousands of dirt, rock & some coal in the bank. We climbed about 200 feet to a flat spot. I found some nice lumps of coal & Dad cracked it & filled 2 big bags of coal. We skidded down the bank & dumped the coal in our cellar. We had to make two trips.
"A funny story" East of town is a less steep bank containing much smaller sized coal. In the early 1900"s, pea, buck & rice coal were dumped on this pile. A widow & her son were loading bags of coal from this pile. Each day of the week they would go back to the pile, dig more coal & take it home.
One day when they went back to (her pile) there was an ignorant man stealing coal from her pile. She argued with him to no avail. WHAT TO DO? She went home & got a pick & climbed 20 feet higher up the Coal bank. She started digging in the ban and "DIRT & ROCK" slid down on top of the Coal thief. He immediately left.
Many did this, it was called SURVIVAL. Pictures to follow from Dave Vigil 2.
Reminds me of the 1950's when my grandfather took me to the railroad tracks to

pickup coal that had fallen out of hoppers . He also used to sift all the ashes to

recover any coal that tried to get away unburned. We could get 2-3 buckets each

time a lot of work but when you had no money there was no choice.

Wish we had a coal culm pile nearby... been a lot easier...

BigBarney

 
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freetown fred
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Post by freetown fred » Fri. Feb. 07, 2020 3:50 pm

Nice Jack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
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VigIIPeaBurner
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Post by VigIIPeaBurner » Sat. Feb. 08, 2020 10:42 am

BUMP! - Pictures added and you have to see Jack in action!!

 
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CoalHeat
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Post by CoalHeat » Sat. Feb. 08, 2020 10:44 am

Thanks for the story and the photos Jack!

 
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freetown fred
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Post by freetown fred » Sat. Feb. 08, 2020 11:21 am

You're still lookin pretty rugged old timer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL Thanx for pix V. :)

 
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lsayre
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Post by lsayre » Sat. Feb. 08, 2020 11:56 am

Jack, each of your stories is a blessing in its own right!!! Perhaps a "Jack" sub-forum is needed whereby to collect all of them. I wouldn't recommend calling it the "Crack House" forum. How about "Jacks Place" or "Jack's House"?

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Hambden Bob
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Post by Hambden Bob » Sat. Feb. 08, 2020 1:18 pm

Vig,You Camera Savvy Psycho! Thanx for posting up Premier Pics of the Photogenic One!! Seems Our Very Own Charles Atlas Type,Simply known as "Jack" to Us,was "Caught In The Act" of Manipulating the Black Gold!!! NICE!!

 
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buffalo bob
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Post by buffalo bob » Sat. Feb. 08, 2020 4:20 pm

great pics jack..great story too...

 
Den034071
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Post by Den034071 » Sat. Feb. 08, 2020 8:20 pm

Part of the story is the bags dad carried were about 70 pounds .So pop slid down bank across small creek and then Carried a 70 Pound Bag Eighth Of A Mile To Our House .Twice Twice .And again Next Day .jack

 
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Post by Hoytman » Mon. Feb. 10, 2020 2:19 am

Great story Jack!

Interesting how different areas of the country use different terms for things. Never heard of a culm pile before. I imagine it’s just tailings from the mining process? I wonder if that would be similar to a slate dump. My great aunts house was built on a slate dump where an old mine was.

 
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Hambden Bob
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Post by Hambden Bob » Mon. Feb. 10, 2020 7:08 am

Hoyt,We run into the same thing in my Trade! I imagine it's that way with most. Meanwhile,the Coal Brother Version Of Jack LaLanne Is Plotting,Most Likely,To Serve Up A Real"Crusher" This Week!

 
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Post by NoSmoke » Mon. Feb. 10, 2020 3:33 pm

We do not have coal here, but we do have forests so we cut firewood. Growing up, between my parents, my grandparents, the basement stove the parlor stove, and the greenhouses; it took 25 full cords of firewood to get through a Maine winter.

We were about 5 years old when we went into the woods to do what we could, and we learned by 6 years old that firewood sucks.

At age 18 I learned to cut firewood tree length, sell it and buy coal instead.

 
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KLook
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Post by KLook » Mon. Feb. 10, 2020 7:36 pm

Yeah, we burned about 14 cords per winter NS. And I learned early on that wood sucked. But I was much older before I made the jump to coal....it was not available in my area and I had no way to be taught about burning it and why it was better. It was just chance that I stumbled onto it. And my first coal was soft coal....

Kevin

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