The loadout at Leatherwood. Leatherwood has a deep history in coal. The James River Coal company, etc. Check out more pictures here. While there I shared a few hours with a man named Ronnie. Ronnie was a real card to say the least. I asked him how long he had been mining. He said 23 years. "My father was a miner, and his father before him. He was at "Bloody Harlan" "I remember as a young man the fight at Brookside and the women who stood up for their men." Ronnie went on to say " It is strange to me that people call us hillbillies-hicks. We are way ahead of most folk. There are no race or religion issues in the mines. We are all coal miners."
This last statement rang out clear to me. When you see a miner, the lines on his face, the coal dust embedded in his skin, you are seeing a true American! Most came from other countries in search of freedom and work. "I will work my life away in coal, and when I die they will lay me down with coal. You know being a hillbilly is not that bad."