The Coal Miner

by Patricia West
Many years ago in a little backwoods country town in eastern Kentucky, were a number of underground coal mines. This was how the men of that era made a living for them and their families. This work was considered to be most hazardous back then, due to no safety rules or safe equipment.
This mine in particular had small mules that pulled the loaded coal buggies out the mines. One day all the men went to work as usual things were no different until the shift was almost over, suddenly there was a large rock slide and  10 miners were trapped inside. All the people in town rushed to help get them out.  Many hours went by and there seemed to be no hope for these men, when all of a sudden the rocks were pushed aside and there stood 9 of the trapped men. The men were confused and shocked, however, none  of hem were injured very badly and none of them remembered anything that had happened to them. All the families were overjoyed that their men were safe, except for one who did not come out. This man was never found and there were many search parties trying to get to him. They asked the men who came out what the lost miner's name was and no one knew. The men said he never talked to them much, he was always there and did his job, but they didn't know anything about him.  When the families came for their men, this man had no family waiting for him.

Many years passed, and the mine was run smoothly; and all the men who had been in the accident had since died or had retired from mining.  One sad day about 50 years after that mining accident there was another one, this time there were over 100 men trapped in the mine. It seemed hopeless, but 32 hours later, the wall of coal and rock was pushed aside and there were all the men rushing out, none of them were injured badly, but they all said they wanted to thank the miner who helped them find their way out.  Reporters wanted to interview him, but he never came out, but when the men described him, it WAS THE SAME exact description as the miner who saved the nine trapped men over 50 years ago.
Rumor has it that this man was indeed killed in a mining accident back in 1911, however, he was there in 1937 and in 1987 saving the men in the same mine.  How do you explain this?
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