Huerfano County, Colorado
Oral Interviews
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Pete Grgich

Scanned by Dick Chenault
Edited by Zale Nagler
Proofed by Dick Chenault
Interviewed by Rosalyn McCain
Date of interview 12-12-79

Pete Grgich
Date of birth - 8-3-1892
Parents- John Grgich and Mary Zorich Grgich
Paternal grandparents - John and Mary Grgich
Ethnic group - Yogoslavian
Family origin - Yugoslavia and Pennsylvania
Date of family arrival in county - 1912
Location of first family settlement - Ravenwood Camp - Walsenburg
Kinship ties - Ernest Grgich at Pueblo Steel Mill

This is Rosalyn McCain, and I am talking with Pete Grgich in his home in Walsenburg.

PG: First thing, I come from Yugoslavia.

RM: When did you come?

PG: When I was 17.

RM: How did you happen to decide to come here from there? Did you have friends here?

PG: Well, I had some friends here, but my uncle was a County Assessor over there, and we was a bunch of us, you know, 16 or 17 years old. He come over there. He says, “Any of you boys got a chance to go some place, you better go. Big war coming.” That was the First World War. So right away we started work. But no money. So there was an agent there that sent us.

RM: So did you have work lined up at a particular mine then, when you came over?

PG: My father signed up that he is going to pay for the ticket, and I come to Pennsylvania. I come to Pennsylvania, and I work there for almost a year. I work enough so I get money to pay (my father back). And I remember I had $7.00 left, and I sent that $7.00 too, to him.

RM: So, it took a whole year to pay that off.

PG: That's right. I pay my debts right away because I don't like to owe any:body anything. So, I worked there a little while. I had a friend here in Walsenburg. He sends me letter, “Pete, you could come here and work in the mine. You work for $1.57 over there.” That's what we were going to get. He says, “You get $3.00 in the mine.” So, I come here. He sends me ticket. I come here. I work here, I don't know how long, maybe two months or three months. The strike come but, 1913.

RM: Where did you first work here? What mine?

PG: Ravenwood.

RM: Was that a CF&I mine?

PG: No, that was Victor American Fuel. So, when the strike come out, every: body come out on strike. No stay. You go on the strike, they give you $3.00 a week. That is all you was allowed, $3.00 a week. Well, I didn't have enough for cigarettes. I didn't have enough for a room to pay.

RM: So where could you stay?

PG: Well, we hang around. We had some friends that had a little money because they was here longer. So I didn't stay here. I went back to Pennsylvania, and I stay over there almost until the strike was over. Then I come here. But then it wasn't quiet. They was still a'fighting, still was a'fighting. Because I remember I used to carry water up there on the hill to the Union men. That was the strike. Well, they give us job right away because the other men didn't know how to work on the mine. So they give us job right away. I work there for awhile. Then I work for CF&I. Then I work during the Depression, 1933. We can't get no job no place. Everybody got laid off. So four of us got together. We had a few hundred dollars, you know, each one. So we opened up our own mine.

RM: Where was that?

PG: Up above Rouse, up there. They call the Leader Mine. Yes, we opened that up. We worked there. You know, a little coal about two foot and a half, three feet. We had to crawl on our hands and knees. But we made enough to get by during the Depression.

RM: That's right. It was better than not working at all, wasn't it?

PG: Oh, yeah. We can't get no money for our coal, but we could get from farm. We could get pig. We could get chickens. We could get a piece of meat. We could get cabbage, potatoes, everything. Yeah, we swapped for anything. So we get by that way. And then after Roosevelt got elected, why business picking up, and then we started working more, and we had 10 or 15 men working for us.

RM: Who were the men you were in partnership with?

PG: Mike Judiscak, Mad Boggan, and Steve Judiscak, four of us. So we sold that mine. We sold it, and we took Maitland over. That was a better chance. We thought we were going to make more money. So we stick there until we retire.

RM: So you stayed at Maitland Mine? How long did you have that? When did that shut down?

PG: Oh, we had that until I quit in 1964. I retired in 1964.

RM: So it shut down about 15 years ago.

PG: So, some of the other guys say they quit. They retired sooner, you know. But I could have retired, too, but I had the kids in school. I can't let them down. So I keep working until I was 75 years old. I was working. I am 87 years old.

RM: You are? You don't seem like you are 87 at all. My goodness.

PG: Yes, I am 87 years old.

RM: You are really in very good health. Even if you don't feel very good right now.

PG: Yeah, and we had between that time lots of things, you know. You go out on a strike. 1927 we been in a strike.

RM: What was that strike about?

PG: You know what it was about. It is my idea that the company wanted to bring in the gas, natural gas to the state. The state fight them. They won't let it come in. See, and that was all about it. So after the miners went on the strike, they can't get no coal to mine. They had to let them.

RM: That was a tricky business, wasn't it?

PG: I was two years without a job. Can't get a job no place, can't get a job no place, walking all the time from one place to the other to try to get a job. One time my friend told me, “They going to hire at Turner two men tomorrow. You better go up there. Maybe you get the job.” So I went up there with a partner, you know. There was about 40 men waiting for a job for two jobs. The Super came out, and he says, “Any two men who do everything in the mine that is possible. You have to cut this coal. You have to pull this coal. You have to send this coal out. You have to have a license to shoot this coal, and everything.” I get up. I says, “I could.” And you know, he says, “All, right. Come in.” He give me job. He give me a job, and I worked there for a long time. I worked there until the Depression. When the Depression started, we went in our mine. We had lots of hard times. Yes, we had lots of hard times.

RM: Did a lot of people leave after the strikes? Did people go elsewhere to work after the strike of 1913? Were there men who couldn't get jobs here then?

PG: Well, what they going to do? On the summer time they go and work in the ranch a little bit, make a few dollars. In the winter time they lay around. Some of them got jobs, and some not.

RM: Did people go to other places in Colorado or back to Pennsylvania?

PG: Yeah, they go to stay for one or two years. Oh, yes. I went down to New Mexico. I got a job working down there a little while. You don't make nothing. What is the use to work? So I come back to Colorado here.

RM: Were there a lot of Yugoslavian miners here?

PG: There was all Yugoslavians and Greeks and Italians. And I think it is my idea that we build this country. We build this country.

RM: That's very true.

PG: We had a hard time. You know you go in the mine. You do something, some dead work. You know, you can't get no coal. You ask the boss to pay you. He say ”This way to out.” He shows you which way to go out. And today it is the other way. Today the Union has too much power. It is no good.

RM: It has swung too far the other way?

PG: It is no good. It is no good. They got too much power. They are paying them back now, and more. They sure take advantage. They sure take advantage.

RM: Did the Yugoslavian people in this community stick together? Did they have things that held the Yugoslavian community together here?

PG: No. No, we was all mixed up, Italians and Greeks and Germans and every:body was mixed. There was no...

RM: They didn't stick together so much here?

PG: No, no. Like some places like back east, they got that colony that's all Slavs. Or they are all Germans. Or they are all Polish. Or they are all Greeks or Italians or something like that. But not here. Here it was... Everybody was a friend here.

RM: How about The Greeks? You hear people talk about there were a lot of Greeks here, but I really haven't met many Greeks that are in Walsenburg today? What happened to them? Did they leave? Are there many Greeks here still?

PG: Well, old men die off, and new people don't got no jobs, so they go. I got five kids. And not one here.

RM: Is that right? Where all do they live?

PG: I got the closest one in Pueblo. I got one in Saudi Arabia. Yeah, that is far. He is working for the telephone company. He is already there for four years. I got three daughters and two sons. I got one daughter in Washington, D.C. I got one in Redwood City, California. And I got one in Old Mexico, Monterrey, Old Mexico. And, boy that is a nice place in the winter time. I was down there for Christmas once. That is beautiful, big roses around the house, like that (big around Christmas. And the New Year, you know there are peddlers goes around selling tomatoes, selling cucumbers, selling corn, you know. And I asked my son—in—law, “Where do they get corn this time of year?” He said, “They bring it up from the field.” I say, “You don't mean they raise it now?” “yeah.” He said, “three times a year.” They raise corn, potatoes, cabbage and all vegetables. And you ought to see people hungry. People hungry. There's two classes. There's the rich one and the poor one. So rich one got everything, and the poor one ain't got nothing. So, that's no justice. But that's the way the government runs them there. Course, it might be better now. That was four years ago. Since they got that oil now, maybe they do a little better.

RM: When did you get married?

PG: I got married in 1922.

RM: What was your wife's name?

PG: Medball. She was a Check.

RM: Had her family come here to mine also?

PG: She come from Europe, but she was only four years when she comes with her mother.

RM: Was her father a miner then?

PG: Her father was a miner. We had five children. I got about twelve grandchildren. I got lots of grandkids. I got a grandson down in Arizona now. I figure to go for Christmas down there in Phoenix, Arizona. So if I feel good, I'll go down there.

RM: Did you belong to one of the Lodges?

PG: Yeah, I belong to SNJP.

RN: What does that stand for?

PG: That's Slovenian National Benefit Society.

RM: Do you still belong to that?

PG: I still belong. I belonged over 60 years.

RM: What kind of activities did they used to have or do they still have? Is it different now than it used to be?

PG: They used to have a hall, and they used to have a dance every once in a while and a celebration, but the hall burned down, so they got nothing. They got nothing now. But anyhow, every meeting they get together. You know, they get together. We have a little pray once in a while, you know.

RM: Do people still speak Slovenian when they get together at the Lodge meetings.

PG: Oh, yeah. They stick.

RM: That's wonderful.

PG: Yeah, they still stick together.

RM: How many people would you say are members today?

PG: Here I. would say big one and little one about 500. I think there used to be a smaller number. Now I think they got most of them because there are the little ones that belong. They would take Life (insurance policy) and they could take everything, you know. So everybody join in. It is a good outfit, very dependable. Yes, it is very dependable.

RM: Do they get together for holidays and celebrations?

PG: Oh, yeah, every once in a while.

RM: Do you celebrate any of the old holidays from the old country?

PG: No, No. No, they don't. Not here, but back east they do. And in California, too, there are a few places that celebrate it, you know. I celebrate the Fourth of July in Yugoslavia. I went seven times since the last war back to Yugoslavia. I got two brothers who still write. They are younger than me.

RM: How many brothers and sisters did you have altogether?

PG: I had four sisters and three brothers. One brother died when he was five years old. It was a big family. But I still got two brothers. They are both younger than me. One is 17 years younger. He was one year when I come to this country, and the other one is seven years. They live in Durna, they call it. It is a small village, you know, farming. That is all they get, out of what they raise, what they sell, cattle or sheep or horse or whatever. But now these young fellows they go back, to Germany. They make lots of money, you know. Then they come home and they build a big home. Oh, you ought to see, they build the big homes, you know. You see, when they go over there, everything they make, they save because when they come home, they got everything. They got chicken. They got milk. They got meat. They got everything. They don't have to spend nothing. Course, they have to buy clothes and coffee and sugar and things, but otherwise. When I left, there was no school for 50 miles. I never go to school. I never go to school. Today when I come back, every little village got a school. And the kids, it is compulsory. They have to go to school. I know they got to go to school.

RM: What are some of the other things that have changed when you go back, that you can see, the big changes?

PG: Everything has changed. It ain't like it used to be. Heck, they used to get corn and the other things. They ground it by hand, flour. But not today. They got the big mills, you know, that they take wheat over there and make flour, but before they do it by hand.

RM: With big grinding stones?

PG: That is a big improvement. And everybody got their own water. Before they got to go to the river and bring water. Today everybody got their own water now at home. RM: So there are a lot of improvements.

PG: Yeah, a lot of improvements. I don't know what they going to be if Tito die. I'm afraid there going to be a revolution because there is two friction there, two different parties.

RM: What are the two fractions?

PG: Religion. Catholics, and other Catholics Orthodox. That is what makes it difference. And that's what I am afraid they are going to start trouble. You know all this through the Middle East and everything. That is religion.

RM: That's right. Religious wars are every where you look.

PG: Religion is everything, yes. But they might find a good man that could hold them together like Tito. Yeah, Tito is a good man. Tito is two months older than me, just a little bit. We born in the same year.

RM: Same generation. What are some of the stories that you remember from your mining days here?

PG: I remember lots of mining. I remember when we had 6 or 7,000 men working around this district. Lot of people in the camps. There were camps all over. There was lots of mining camps around here. But no more.

RM: Do you think the mines will open up again?

PG: Well, I'll tell you. They'll have to. There is so much coal here. But it is hard to get it. They are never going to get it when they got like in Wyoming and down there where they load it with a steam shovel. They got a 50 feet coal line. They are not going to go for that six feet coal here, and they have to pump the water, and they got to go down there.

RM: Some of it is far underground.

PG: It is hard to get it. It is hard to get it. There is lots of coal that they could get easy to supply this district, supply all of this around here, but everything belongs to CF&I. CF&I won't sell to nobody. They won't lease to nobody. So that is your trouble. Even when we was in the business, before, we try to buy some land from CF&I. We try to lease some land from CF&I. No, no. They wouldn't do it. They won't give it to little fellows.

RM: They sound like they can be pretty stubborn people, don't they.

PG: Yeah, they won't give it to the little guys. And a small coal business, we had lots of little mines around here, but they push us out. They push us out. Just like the small stores. Do you notice? How many small stores is there today? One or two here. There was 15 or 20 small stores around here. Now there is one. Because the big guys push them out, push them out. They don't want them. The small businessmen don't got no chance in anything anymore in this country. The big company got everything. The Jew got everything. Those small operators don't got a chance because when I was in the mine, they try to push us out. There's one Federal man coming. He say, “You have to do this.” All right. I do that, whatever he told me, you know. So in a couple more days he come. He say, “Who told you to do that?” I say, “That other fellow that was here last time.” He say, “No. You supposed to do this.” They just confuse you so you could get out of business. They drive you out. And they did drive us out. We had about ten or twelve little mines around here and good income bringing in to this little city. Maybe working 600 or 700 men. That was good, but they just push us out.

RM: What were the names of the different little mines that were around?

PG: Well, lots of them are finished, you know. They are full of water. They won't pay to go back.

RM: What were the ones that operated that were small mines, independently operated?

PG: Well, Maitland was one. Gordon was one. Sunnyside was one. Sam Taylor had Radison out there. There was 10 or 15 of the small ones. There was lots of little mines. But even Union come and throw us out. We don't belong no more. We pay all our life, Union. They throw us out.

RM: Why did they throw you out?

PG: Because we are operators. You ain't supposed to have a mine. They throw us out of Union. We were paying 40 cents a ton royalty. We was paying our dues just like the big guys. But they didn't do nothing to big guys. But they throw all the little fellow out.

RM: That doesn't make any sense, does it?

PG: We don't belong to Union. I was eligible for my pension, and I can't get it. I went all over and tried to get it, you know, because I earn it. I work all my life for that. I can't get it so I went to Washington, D. C. I went to see John L. Lewis. He told me, “You go see Mrs. Roach.” Mrs. Roach was the manager of that. She used to operate a big coal mine in Nordener (?). When I come in, she says, “What do you want?” I told her. She say, “Get Out of here. You operators making big money. You come here, and you want a pension.” I told my statements. I never make even wages, decent wages. Boy, she threw me out. So I had a son—in—law over there. He had a good job. He was working in the Capita1. He says, “I know a good lawyer here. He might help you.” So we went over there to see him, and I show him everything. I had everything, all my statements how much I made and what I paid to Union, you know, and everything else. He says, “I don't see how they can keep you from getting your pension.” I say, “They did'.' And he says, “Well, I'll take your case.” So I says, “All right, you take my case. How much you want? I want to know, you know what it is going to be the percent.” He says, “I charge $25.00 for every hour I spen on your case.” I say, “Forget it, Buddy. I get only $30.00 pension and Social security. That's all I got, and I got 5 kids home. Yes. I can't make it.” Oh, he think a little while, you know, and he goes back and looks at books and one thing and another. He come back, and he says, “I'll tell you what I'll do. If I collect it, you going to pay $25.00 for every hour. If I don't collect it, you don't pay nothing.” So I figured I ain't got nothing to lose. Yeah, I ain't got nothing to lose. I'm going to take. So I told him, “Go ahead. Go ahead.” You know there was $75.00 miners pension. It take him one year so he be sure, see, when they pay it back. They got to pay that back from the time that I start, taking one year. He called me up one night. He says, “We win the case.” Yeah, it is hard to figure out. So in a few days, I got a check $75.00 regular my monthly pension, you know. The next day I got a check for $180.00. I say, “Oh, boy, that's good.” But his bill is $1,000.00. Yes, and that wasn't bad. If it wasn't claimed, I wouldn't get nothing. So I cash the check and send the $1,000.00 back and keep the rest of it. I had hospitalization then, and I had medicine. I had everything, you know, just like the rest of them. But I had a heck of a time.

RM: You really had to fight for it, didn't you?

PG: I had to fight for it. And lots of guys, they are still fighting, some of them. They can't get. They won't give it to them. Yes, they are still fighting. That was tough. But we lived through it. Yes, we live through. . I lost my wife five years ago. I'm here by myself now.

RM: How long have you lived in this house?

PG: I buy this house in 1928. I paid $3100.00 for it when I buy it. Of course, I remodeled most of it, you know, fixed it up different. Yes, in 1928 I'm over here. I live here ever since.

RM: This is a very nice house.

PG: Oh, what are you going to do? A person has to live as long as he can. Of course, I'm all right now. I get sick the other day, I go to hospital, it don't cost me anything. They have to pay everything.

RM: Would you advise a young person today to go into mining?

PG: I would. I had two sons. I tried to take them in the mine, in my own mine. I could take them in there and try. But they said, “No.” One is in Saudi Arabia. He said, “Daddy, I'd rather climb telephone poles than go down in a hole.” So he went out to get a job for the Telephone Company, and he work ever since. He work all the time for telephone company, and that is a good outfit. And the other one working in a steel mill. They make good.

RM: Is that in Pueblo?

PG: In Pueblo. Yes, he is working in Pueblo. Well, that is the closest one I got. Every month one Saturday and Sunday I go down there. I take my clothes, and you know she washes them, and I spend with them a couple of days and then come back and stay here. Well, a good thing this Senior Citizens is. Oh, if it weren't for that, I don't know what I would do.

RM: So, you go down to the Senior Citizens lunches?

PG: I go down there. Now since I was in hospital, they bring it right here. Yes, she bring me dinner today and yesterday. Yeah, they bring it right here.

RM: That's wonderful. I think everybody has a real good time down at the Center, don't they?

PG: Yeah, the people are lucky that they got that project. That's lots of them. Well, the people that got a family, it is nothing to him, you know. But like me, I don't know how to cook. I don't know nothing. I don't mind fixing breakfast, you know, something. Or something for supper. But dinner, that is hard.

RM: That is a good service, isn't it?

PG: Yeah, it's a problem. But what you going to do? You got to do the best you can. Yeah, today Lilly brought it at 12: 00. She was right there with the dinner.

RM: That's nice. What was it like when you very first came here to work in the mines? What was it like to go down in the mines for the first time?

PG: Well, for me, it was the same thing because I never was no place else. The first job I ever had, I went in the mine. That was in Pennsylvania. So it don't make no difference to me. I work 53 years in the coal. I broke this thumb here. I have taken many men from under the rock dead and broken. Leg broken, and I was fortunate. I never got hurt.

RM: You never got hurt but your thumb? That's very lucky.

PG: I never got hurt, never got hurt. RM: So there were a lot of accidents in the old days?

PG: Oh, my goodness. In the olden days, well, they don't care. If they kill a miner, they don't lose nothing. But if they kill a mule, you know, oh, boy, that was terrible because company have to buy mule.

RM: Isn't that something that a mule would be worth more to them than a man?

PG: Yeah, but they don't have to buy a man. They don't cost them anything. They don't pay kind of compensation or nothing. Them days when a man would get killed, the widow left and the kids, why she got to get somebody. She got to marry or she can't live.

RM: They didn't give her anything?

PG: She didn't have no chance. But today widows don't have to get married. They got more money than the man. Especially those that their husband die, you know they get Black Lungs. They get Union pension. They get everything, you know.

RM: Did you ever get Black Lung or anything?

PG: Yeah, I got the Black Lung. I didn't have no trouble. Even my doctor told me, “They can't refuse you.” So I didn't have no trouble. They give me. Lots of guys are still fighting.

RM: I know. Some people had a terrible time.

PG: Yeah, they can't get it. But I never had no trouble. They give it to me right away. No, I never had no trouble.

RM: How about when you were mining? Was there a solid sense of community among the miners? Did they help each other out when they needed help and different things? Was there a lot of cooperation between the miners that lived here?

PG: There was a good cooperation between miners. If one miner needed, you know, or get hurt, why everybody get together, you know, and pitch so much and help out. Yeah, oh, yes. That was a good thing.

RM: Would neighbors help each other out?

PG: Neighbors, why they would help one another, oh yeah.

RM: Do you think that has changed much over the years? Is it still pretty much the same?

PG: You mean now? Yeah, it is pretty same. I got a neighbor here. She is a widow, you know, but she is a young widow, about 60. If it ain't for her, I don't know what I would do. I can't read. I can't write, you know. Anything I get from any place, I have to take it to her, and she reads for me. And if she don't see me for a couple of days, you know, when it is bad weather, why she calls up, and she wants to see if I am all right.

RM: That's wonderful. You have to have neighbors like that, don't you?

PG: Oh, yeah. There are some people. I know some people. My neighbor there, I don't know for a couple of years. I never see him. I don't know him. He don't associate with the people. But there are some people that, in general around here are good people. You know, they help one another out if you need it. Like yesterday, I have to go to doctor, and I ain't supposed to drive. So I got a fellow down there, he live on Cedar Street. I call him, and he says, “Oh yes. I come.” And he come and take me down there and bring me up and take me to the store and buy what I need. And she (my neighbor) do. She take me to doctor. When I got the first nose bleed, you know, hemorrhage, about 10: 00 in the night, she take me to Emergency Room In the hospital. And they stop it for a little while. The next morning when I get up, it started again. So I had to go to doctor again. They had to clean out twice and repack it. Three days it take them to stop it completely. I'm still dizzy now. I guess I lose so much blood. When I walk around, I'm kind of dizzy, and I don't walk straight. I walk wobbly. Yeah, like a drunk man. Yeah, but I'm getting better now.

RM: That's good. You're feeling better today?

PG: Oh, yeah. I'm supposed to go the day after tomorrow to the doctor again. Oh, yeah, I have to take it easy. Well, I'll tell you. Miners had a hard time. No job in them days. Like now you got automobile. You take it. You could go to other states. It don't take you very long. But before, nothing. Horse and buggy. You, that's all you got. You can't go no place. Of course, you could go on the train. There used to be a train go through here. But now we even ain't got no train.

RM: No. I wish there was one. That would be good, wouldn't it?

PG: They ain't got no even train to go.

RM: How do you get to Pueblo when you visit your Son?

PG: Well, I still driving. I still driving. About a year ago I went to get my license, and everything is all right. Only he told me, “If I was you, I won't drive in the night because your eyes are no good like before. Don't drive at night. But you can drive in the day.” I could drive any place yet. Lots of guys here they just get in with me to go down to the store and buy groceries. But I can go anyplace yet. So I don't know how long. Maybe next time they stop it. Yeah, I still driving. Go around.

RM: Did conditions in the mines get better after the strike of 1913? Was it better after the strike than it had been before?

PG: Oh, it was better. That was better after the 1913 strike.

RM: What were the things that changed then?

PG: Well, they changed. They could see things coming. You know, more people want the union, and so they give in, the big company. The big company before, the man ain't worth nothing. You know, they told me. I never see, but down in New Mexico some place two buddy comes in the mine, you know. And there was a pretty thin roof, and pretty soon the roof cave in and kill one of them, you know. And they said that they give so much cars to each man, you know. So this guy take that guy, and pull him on a cross cut, you know, and leave him there so he get the double turn because he needed, the poor fellow. He needed. He needed. So when it was close to 4: 00, a guy come around, and he said, “My buddy got killed a while ago.” “Where's he at?” “Right there.” Yeah, they give you so much, you know, and that's all. I'd sometime when they got an order, they give you so much they kill you. Yes, that's the way it was. But right after the strike of 1913 things got a little bit better. Wages got a little better.

RM: How about the safety conditions? Did they improve at that time?

PG: Well, they was a little better. They was a little better. But 1927, that Wobbly strike, we didn't have no business to go on that strike. That was made by the company so they could bring natural gas in. We didn't have no business. I'm sorry I went out. I was two years without a job. But I was lucky. My father—in—law had a homestead down there just five miles from here so we moved down there to there and stayed with them, see. I was lucky. I was lucky. I didn't have to have a job. Help old man in the field, and the family stayed there. We had a roof over our heads. We were lucky. I was working in Walsen when the strike came out. They came out, and a guy come. He says, “You move out right now or go to works.” So what are you going to do? I says, “I don't want to go to work. I'm going to go out.” But that was foolish. That was foolish. But 1913 strike and in 1922 we had a strike too. That helps. That was good. That bring better conditions. That bring better conditions. Yeah, miners have suffered plenty.

RM: That's right. They've had hard, hard times, haven't they?

PG: What you going to do? We got to go as well as we can. Yeah, I got five kids. There's only one girl that will call every week and write letters. But the others, oh, my goodness. I got a daughter down in Old Mexico. I got one letter in almost two years now, and when you call on the telephone, you can't understand. You can't talk because the telephone is not good like here. I could talk to my daughter in Washington, D.C. It is farther than it is from here to down there in Monterray, and I could hear her just as clear as though she is here. But from Old Mexico, I don't understand. When she calls, I always call my neighbor so she could hear better and she could understand. Oh, I'll tell you I am lucky I got a good neighbor. There is nothing like a good neighbor.

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