Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.
When posting the prompt photo for this week, Alan suggested that we might consider miners or anglers with fishy tales or three men. It’s hard to tell that these men are miners when not dressed for work and no mine in sight, but the source of the photo, the Provincial Archive of Alberta reveals their identity by the photograph’s title: “Miners’ fishing trip.”
My grandfather, Thomas Hoskins, was a miner – as was his father, his wife’s father, some uncles and cousins and assorted in-laws. He left school after completing the 8th grade to work in the coal mines in Mystic, Iowa.
And he loved to fish.
Like the men in the prompt photo, Grandpa is reclining on a hillside and doesn’t appear to be actively engaged in fishing. Perhaps it’s all about the the fresh air, the sound of the water, the time just to relax above ground in the light of day – fresh fish for supper an added bonus or perhaps a necessary source of food for the family.
My uncle told me that Grandpa once took him down in a mine so that he could experience the total darkness and stifling confines and the ever-present sense of danger. My grandfather did not like working in the mines and when he found an opportunity to leave the coal mines in Mystic, he moved his family to another town where he worked in a meat processing plant.
I can imagine that fishing was a pastime enjoyed by many miners.
Please wade on over to Sepia Saturday to enjoy some other fine fish tales.