Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


July 12, 2007

Publication of coal mining book


The other half of the pictures were taken by me with my digital camera in the course of visiting the remains of all the mines that can still be located. These pictures are of the fragments of old shale piles or of the sunken shaft or sometimes simply the area where the mine once operated. Cost of printing did not permit me to have these pages reproduced in color in the book, so much of the beautiful scenery is lost. A few of the shale piles were still a deep orange or a delicate pink from the long smoldering fires, but these colorful tints can not be detected, much to my regret.

In the course of revisiting the few pitiful relics of our once powerful industry, I sometimes thrust myself back in time such as one can do in a time capsule. For instance, I might stand on the windblown hill that was once the bustling community of Diamond. The time is a winter day, one hundred years ago in 1907. The square four-room homes of the miners are scattered all around me. One of these is that of Joseph Kauzlarich, who first came here from Croatia in 1903. I can see the mine at the bottom of the hill with its engine room, smokestack belching smoke and the dirt pile rising high in the sky. The railroad cars stand idle, ready to be filled with coal.

I can visualize the wintry snow-covered scene at daybreak as the smoke streams from the chimneys. The mine’s 6 a.m. whistle signals that the miners should be up and getting ready for the day’s work. The husband eats the hearty breakfast that his wife has fixed for him. She also fills his lunch bucket and perhaps adds a slice of apple pie. He is dressed in his pit pants with padded knees and fills his carbide pit lamp. He says goodbye to his wife and starts out on his long walk through the snow and in the dark, joining others along the way.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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