WEST MINERAL, KS--- A Miners Reunion Cookout was held at Big Brutus this afternoon. This is the 19th year coal miners have gathered in West Mineral to celebrate and fellowship. The retired coal miners say that mining was a way of life. According to the organizers of the reunion, it created a strong sense of community throughout southeast Kansas. They say even though working the mines was difficult, today they recognize it as a part of their heritage.
Retired Coal Miner, Teddie Parsons "Everybody was all one. It was a community in the mining areas. Or, if somebody got down, everybody pitched in to help get hime back up," says Teddie Parsons, a retired coal miner.
Retired Coal Miner, Jimmie Lovell "The people was always close. They was close together. You knew your neighbor. You go down the road and you see somebody-- everybody waved at everybody. It was just a good place to live," explains Jimmie Lovell, a retired coal miner.
Parsons spent 27 years working in the mines and Lovell spent 40 years working as a coal miner. Both plan on being at next year's Miners Reunion.