ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹɟ ʎlnɹʇ ɐ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ

Monday, May 14, 2012

The burning mountain stands as a reminder

Six decades ago, coal mining in the Wyoming Valley came to an abrupt halt thanks to what is now called the Knox Mine disaster.

I've written before about how foreign and fascinating this culm-dotted landscape was to a kid visiting from Connecticut. And I've relayed how my grandfather scared the wits out of me with talk of how the ground would just suddenly open and swallow cars, poles, pets, houses, kids and what have you.

He told me about how the men (miners) were out of work en masse and spent many an hour at the corner beer gardens while their wives toiled away in garment factories. We'd sit on his front porch high on Guthrie Hill and he'd repeat his stories about the town that used to sit up there on the-then burning mountain spread out before me. But despite his many descriptive recountings of Laurel Run, the hows and whys of it's untimely bulldozing, the burning mountain was inconceievable to me no matter how many times it was explained to me.

To a sprat of seven or so, it resonated as such: A burning mountain? Only in Wilkes-Barre.

I took the above picture this afternoon on the road to Laurel Garden Estates.

Six decades later, the burning mountain still smolders.

But I'm supposed to believe that with the injecting of billions of gallons of proprietory chemicals, tainted water and sand into the ground, folks won't be bemoaning it's devastating effects six decades from now.

Fool me once...


1 comment:

Don Williams said...


That pic is worth a bugazillion words. Thanks for posting.