Union County author Mike Guillerman spent 17 years as a coal miner and wants to educate the public on what this often dangerous line of work involves. Upon beginning to write his life story, he realized that relatively few of the coal mining references available were written by actual miners, so his memoir, Face Boss (University of Tennessee Press, $25.95), provides this in-depth look that few people get. His hope is that his recording of conventional mining practices, now mostly obsolete, will provide a useful tool for future historians researching the mining process.
Guillerman eventually worked his way to a section foreman, or face boss, position, and also shares many stories and anecdotes of his journey to the title. A glossary of mining terms is included to help the reader understand the mining lingo.
Now retired, Guillerman has no regrets about his career choice, and appreciates the adventure that the mines offered. He co-authored his fatherï¿½s autobiography in 1993, has since written two church parish histories before writing Face Boss, and avidly journaled more than 3,000 pages until he was ï¿½able to stopï¿½ last year. He also enjoys working with wood, traveling, and gardening.
ï¿½I am hopeful readers will enjoy reading what it was like working in a western Kentucky coal mine operated by the largest coal producer in the nation in the 1970s and ï¿½80s,ï¿½ Guillerman says. ï¿½At that time, coal mines were springing up everywhere in and around Union County, and it was easy to get a job because of the demand for labor. Many of the miners, mostly young men, had no previous mining experience and were thrown together in this strange and dangerous underground world, which in turn created some unusual experiences.ï¿½
By replacing your five most-used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR-qualified bulbs, you could save $50 a year.
Where the sun shines and the wind blows, we ought to grab that renewable energy, and put it on wires, and move it to the load centers where it is needed. To do that we need (high-voltage) transmission (lines). We donï¿½t have a modern interstate transmission capability. Itï¿½s hard to build. There are a dozen jurisdictions that can say ï¿½noï¿½ and they routinely do. We need planning, pricing, and siting.
ï¿½U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, North Dakota
50 years ago in Kentucky Living
Mr. Rural Electric Goes to Washington
More than 175 rural electric cooperative managers, directors, and key employees met with Kentuckyï¿½s representation in Congress recently at the fifth annual Congressional Breakfast sponsored by the cooperatives.
If youï¿½re ready to dust off those garden tools and get out in the yard, this may be the year to join Wild Ones and go native.
Wild Ones, a national organization with chapters in Lexington and Louisville, promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices by preserving, restoring, and establishing native plant communities. The group believes it is better to use plants adapted to their own soils and climate rather than struggle to maintain unnatural plantings. It is a not-for-profit environmental, educational, and advocacy organization.
Whether you live in the country or city, have a speck of land or acres, establishing native plant areas will provide beauty as well as benefits. Native wildflowers, trees, grasses, and shrubs require less water, help prevent erosion, reduce air pollution, provide food and shelter for wildlife, and require fewer fertilizers and pesticides. Most native wildflowers are perennial plants that donï¿½t require replanting and will thrive with minimal care.
Both avid nature lovers, Harry and Betty Hall began replacing sod with native plants six years ago. Their back yard is a Kentucky-certified wildlife habitat in Lexington. Betty, a photographer and Wild Ones member, says, ï¿½Our back yard has become an outdoor studio.ï¿½
In addition to monthly meetings, Wild Ones hosts speakers, workshops, tours, and seed and plant exchanges.
Women in Rural Electrification (Kentucky W.I.R.E.) is taking applications for $1,000 scholarships. The scholarships are open to any eligible student whose family is served by a Kentucky electric cooperative and has at least 60 hours of credits at a Kentucky college or university by the start of the fall term. W.I.R.E. will award at least three scholarships. The deadline for application is June 17. For an application form, go to www.kaec.org and click on the link at the bottom of the New Info box, or call your local electric cooperative or the Kentucky Living office at (502) 451-2430.
Film star and Kentucky native Ashley Judd narrates the story of our Commonwealthï¿½s triumphs and struggles in a one-hour documentary, Kentuckyï¿½An American Story.
You can watch the often untold life of our storied state being broadcast for the first time on KET on Tuesday, May 24, 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Other broadcast times will vary with local public TV stations, so check the schedule for your area.
The show explores how Kentuckyï¿½s past mirrors the nationï¿½s journey through time. The filmmakers hope that Kentuckyï¿½An American Story offers a provocative and entertaining visual essay that reveals how previous generations of Kentuckians have forged profound connections to the land and how the land has in turn influenced Kentuckians.
Writer and executive producer Daniel Blake Smith, who recently retired from the University of Kentucky history department, says, ï¿½Youï¿½ll learn about the migration of Daniel Boone through the Cumberland Gap; the origins of Bluegrass horse farms in the 19th century; struggles of tobacco growers during the Black Patch War in western Kentucky in the early 1900s; the enduring conflicts over coalï¿½its pain and its profitsï¿½in eastern Kentucky; and the remarkable, but initially controversial, emergence of rural electric power amid the New Deal under President Roosevelt. Through these rich stories, told with cinematic power along with insights of both scholars and participants themselves, we hope to forcefully remind viewers that Kentucky has a proud and valuable history that is deeply intertwined with the American experience.ï¿½
The filmï¿½s creative team also includes Academy Award-winning director Paul Wagner and story consultants from the UK history faculty, Ron Eller, Tracy Campbell, and Kathi Kern.
The project contains an educational outreach initiative that includes statewide professional development seminars for teachers, an instructorï¿½s guide to the film, an interactive CD containing sources and footage from the film, an interactive Web site for students and teachers, and a virtual course for teachersï¿½ continuing education and professional development.
One hobby often leads to another. Such is the case for Joe F. Loy, a resident of Columbia. When Loy retired, he traveled extensively in the Southwest where he enjoyed rock collecting. When a friend in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, asked for help transporting dead limbs from cacti, he reluctantly agreed.
ï¿½I hated those darn things. They dropped dry pieces all over in my car. Then, one day while searching for stones, I came upon a huge dead cactus branch. The next thing I knew I heard a voice in my head saying, ï¿½Make crosses, make crosses.ï¿½ I took the limb home, bought tools to sand and buff the bark, added two to three coats of shellac, and fit pieces into crosses. Iï¿½ve made nearly 240 since then.ï¿½
Loyï¿½s crosses hang in 14 states, several out of the country, one with the Pope, another with the prime minister of Israel.
WIN $250 in value of Renu products from LEVITON.
Check out our 21st Century Homes. An easy way to update your home is to change out wall plates and electrical devices. Enter today for a chance to win your choice of Renu products from Leviton valued at $250.
Renu brings color, style, and adaptability to switches, outlets, dimmers, and wall plates that go beyond simple function to become an easily updated design element in a room.
Available in 20 popular colors, Renu allows you to match the electrical devices of a room to the wall color or the trim, contrast them, or find their own mix-and-match style with other colors in the room.
Changing colors is as simple as snapping off the face and snapping on a new color in seconds, without touching the electrical parts behind the wall or hiring an electrician to replace the device. Color change kits are available for less than $4 at www.leviton.com and Amazon.com.
To enter, go to the RENU contest entry form. You can also get there from the link on our
KentuckyLiving.com Homepage under ï¿½Renu Your Home.ï¿½ Or mail a card to ï¿½Kentucky Living Renu Contestï¿½ with your name, address, phone number, e-mail, and the name of your electric co-op (if applicable) to the address shown on page 6.
Deadline: postmark or enter online by May 31, 2011.
Employees or immediate family members of Kentuckyï¿½s 26 electric cooperatives, Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, or Kentucky Living cannot enter.