Tuesday, September 17

Dear Jason,

I miss a lot more than the Huletts.

I miss:

The cables singing over my head, pellets raining down on my hardhat.
Crunching taconite under squealing wheels.
The men.
The haulage cable rising up as the grip locks. Walking them down the line.
Drifting into the next spot.
Watching the carp chasing the minnows as the snubs tighten.
Cigar smoke.
Having money in the bank.

Unfettered American manhood.
Albert Cincerelli seventy-two years old working with broken ribs.
Sam Grippi.
Slamming one load and five empties into three loads to get 'em going with the larry car dumping on the fly.

Hot July nights.
Cold November mornings and Steve Massi - with shirt open half way.
Red waterfalls in the January snow - flushing rivets.
Screeching spring seagulls.
Andy "Rats" Roskovitch in the morning.
Lyons and Sulin. John Palo.
Ed Burke.
Franko Perry getting the cars moving when nobody else could - one arm ballet.

Uncle Joe Barbato's hands after gripping his whole career.

War stories from the veterans.

Good days pardner - make no mistake.
Never had better work - never made better money.