I photographed this inside a shack in Coaldale, PA. I was drawn to the blue tarp and when I returned this summer, the shed was gone.
Indelible in the Hippocampus
I have memories of a jingle playing on the radio. “You’ll enjoy the best in heating... when you heat your home with only Moffat Premium Anthracite.” I heard it repeatedly as kids would sing it in jest.
Moffat Coal has Ephemerals
I felt like a ghost passing through the ruins.
Scale of Power The metal piece in the center seemed like a giant ruler and I feel a sense of power while photographing. Thus, the measurement.
Gold to a Scrapper
A scrapper is a person who illegally scavenges for metals. The only person I was wary of was a scrapper at the ruins of the Ashley Huber Breaker.
LL Bean Looks Enviously at Scranton Shoes Found in the Salvation Army in Scranton, I fell in love with these shoes.
Tattoos Tell the Tale
With a mouth full of chewing tobacco, his tattoos are complicated and diverse.
The Only Woman
On my last day, I decided to take side roads rather than jump on the superhighway. I saw a facility with a sign that said “Trump Digs Coal,” and pulled off the road to make a plan. Along came a truck driven by a woman. I was drawn to her Chevrolet tattoo on one arm and a large oval-shaped burn scar on the other.
Culm Dumps No Longer Burning He knew about culm, but said almost nothing.
Humane Humans Sweet teens hanging at the firehouse. None had any interest in coal. I was drawn to the words on the firetruck.
Smoked Beef Bones for Dogs One femur weighed ten pounds.
Over the Mountain is a Trail Leading to a Hidden Ruin It was a magical place with a train car that had been hidden by plant life. Trees grew through the floor of the car. When I asked others if they knew about the train ruins, nobody did.
In 94 Years, Phil Has Worked in Seven Mines Phil had a large blue scar on his forehead from being thrown against the wall in the mine. He said that they didn’t clean wounds as well as today. It looked like a blue tree.
Tom Dudash We mostly spoke about gnocchis. There’s a large Polish population in that area; the initial draw was coal.
Haircut After Forty Years, Two Years Ago I commented on his hair and he hadn’t cut it for forty years up until two years ago. I wondered if his hair grows extremely fast.
I Was Fascinated by His Hands
He kept talking about the neighboring city of Hazelton, where he was headed with the coal, as being dangerous due to the immigrants.
Two Teens and One Rapper
Teens hanging on a hot evening. John introduced himself as a rapper and proceeded to sing his sad rap. His friends covered their ears.
Dripping Coal After this, coal went to a breaker, which broke the coal into different sizes. There are no more breaker boys; it’s now done by machines.
Melting at the Auction
People love talking about their dogs.
I Make Rat Bikes that Run on Gas He is an engineer who reconstructs bikes and is clever about how he converts bicycles into motorbikes.
Anthracite, 300 Million Years There’s history in this rock.