Memory of a Miner
Our house in Black Mountain. See the Picture on “You did WHAT with them beans?!!!” for perspective.
From Our Readers
Omigoodness… I LOVED IT! What a great story! The chapter about Ed’s death made me cry, probably because I have heard the story from my grandma, but never in such detail. Same with Chalk, now that I think about it… Reading the book was seriously like going back home and hearing the old stories from the locals. And now I kind of understand all the times my grandma has told me how much I am like her dad and his brothers.
I was thinking of letting my grandma have the book when I was done with it, but now I’m considering just ordering her another copy. Because I may want to read it again.
Theresa C., Alabama
“I’m a wife and a mom, and I couldn’t believe what the women in this book went through. To be frank, I couldn’t have done it. Not knowing if your husband would come home from work that day? Or in what state he would arrive? Sending off your sons – some not even men, others barely so – into those dark mines. More than a few spending the rest of their days as widows, left to be both mom and dad for a slew of children? In my opinion, these women were the real heroes of this book.”
Meredith D., South Carolina
“I just wanted to let you know, I just finished your book. I didn’t want to put it down – I loved it! I laughed, smiled a lot, and even cried some. Pushing 67, I knew all the places you mentioned and about 99 % of the people. I relived most of these events as they were told! Thank you again. This book is very dear to me.”
Bill S., Tennessee (older son of Sine and Dolly S., who are often featured in the book)
“I love books that pull me in emotionally and this one sure did! It is at times hilariously funny and at others so very sad. As the majority of the story is told in the miner’s own words and way of talking, by the time I finished the book I felt like he was someone I had known all my life. I highly recommend Memory of a Miner. It was amazing.” Katie B., South Carolina
“Honey, it’s him! You captured him. It’s cut right out of Dad – it’s dug right out of him!”
Pat (Ruth) A., Tennessee (the miner’s eldest daughter)
“I couldn’t have felt more at home with this book. I thought I was reading my own family story because I’ve heard these same kinds of stories my whole life! I just want to say a big thanks to Mr. Ruth for writing this book. It sure feels like a gift to all of us who’ve lived with kin that have been in mining.”
Arlo P., Kentucky
“Memory of a Miner weaves first-hand accounts with historical facts to tell a story of bygone days, the way a grandfather does on the back porch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. If you come from mining roots, or you simply want to enjoy a truly compelling account about life in a southern Appalachian mining town, then you should read this book.”
Thomas K., Tennessee
“I just finished the book. It is amazing. Now, even more than the last few years, I cannot wait to return home to those mountains. No, I have never physically lived there but I have lived there through the memories of my relatives who did. When I go there I feel the warmth of family and belonging. I cannot thank you enough for Memory of a Miner.”
Kim F., Tennessee
“Any individual with an ounce of Appalachia in their veins owes a great deal of gratitude to Dr. Ruth and his preservation of oral history in Memory of a Miner. The author has breathed fresh life back into these hollers, into these historic communities, into these complex and lively relationships of long ago to give the reader a glimpse into their attraction. I can’t recommend Memory of a Miner enough. For those of us who know truth is stranger than fiction, for those of us longing to remember or relive the simpler, close-knit communities of America’s past, put your feet up and take some time to enjoy this book.”
Amanda B., Kentucky