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Three Tales of Coal: A Miner, a Mine Owner and an Environmentalist Walk Onto a Podcast

Coal mine owner Andrew Jordon and environmental attorney Joe Lovett grew up together in Charleston, but have taken two completely different, even adversarial, paths in life. On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear “Two Tales of Coal” from the Us & Them Podcast

The Struggle to Stay

This week, we’ll hear the conclusion to Dave Hathaway’s Struggle to Stay story. Dave is a third-generation coal miner from Greene County, Pennsylvania, who was laid off in 2015.

When we left off with Dave's story last week, he'd been offered a job in Maryland, which meant he would have to leave his wife, Ashley, at home by herself to take care of their newborn son, Deacon. 

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“We agreed I pretty much had to do it because I didn't have any funds coming in,” Dave said.

But just as he was about to leave, Dave got a call from the Cumberland mine, in Greene County, Pennsylvania.

He didn’t want to have to go back underground, but taking this job meant he could stay with his family and make good money. No other job came close to the pay. 

Music in this episode was provided by Marisa Anderson, Dinosaur Burps, Michael Howard, Blue Dot Sessions,  Marteka and William, and Ben Townsend.

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Two miners at the Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company Mine #3 near Richlands, Virginia, 1974.
Jack Corn/ U.S. National Archives /
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Two miners at the Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company Mine #3 near Richlands, Virginia, 1974.
Miners L-R Mike Bearre (unknown) and Ted Bearre (unknown) at Twin Branch, McDowell County, circa 1918.
Margaret Hall Collection, West Virginia State Archives /
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Miners L-R Mike Bearre (unknown) and Ted Bearre (unknown) at Twin Branch, McDowell County, circa 1918.
Miner with family in Beury, Fayette County, undated.
Lawton Beury Collection, West Virginia State Archives /
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Miner with family in Beury, Fayette County, undated.
Closeup of a picket sign made by miners on strike against the Brookside Mine Company in Brookside, Kentucky, near Middlesboro in the Southeast part of the state,1974.
Jack Corn/ U.S. National Archives /
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Closeup of a picket sign made by miners on strike against the Brookside Mine Company in Brookside, Kentucky, near Middlesboro in the Southeast part of the state,1974.
Alvin Elledge (left) on the coal loader in a Tennessee consolidated coal company mine near Jasper and Chattanooga Tennessee, 1974.
Jack Corn/ U.S. National Archives /
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Alvin Elledge (left) on the coal loader in a Tennessee consolidated coal company mine near Jasper and Chattanooga Tennessee, 1974.
Closeup of a member of the Peabody Coal Company Team that is competing in the Kentucky State Mine Safety Contest at Benham near Cumberland, 1974.
Jack Corn/ U.S. National Archives /
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Closeup of a member of the Peabody Coal Company Team that is competing in the Kentucky State Mine Safety Contest at Benham near Cumberland, 1974.

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