LONG TOWN WITH
THE TALL SPIRES
I have to declare : I travel light, I wear no
heavy clothing, and I arrive most places
on a dime. If I ever do see again another
town with so many boarded up storefronts,
I think I'll just have to leave. The dedication
of all these shopkeepers fails. It all becomes
so sad after a while. People make mistakes.
Mauch Chunk and Pottsville. Two different
Pennsylvania locations, mind you. In 1877
it was the largest mass execution hanging in
the USA. Coal miners, organizing. That's who
went to their deaths. It was the 'Workingman's
Benevolent Assocation.' Men fighting to
organize against the conditions of the nines :
danger, cave-ins, bad air, asphyxiation, having
to buy and supply their own tools, no medical
care when needed, poor wages, desperate
families. A life of men, stuck. Wiped out.
So, they burned and they rioted, and they
fought. And some killed, I guess, too, but I
can understand that. They all got hanged, and
there are pictures of the gallows all around in
those two towns. Mauch Chunk, they even
changed the name of to erase the writing
out. It's now called Jim Thorpe, PA. After
some sad-sack AmerIndian football player.
Another rotten story, that, too.
So, what's left anywhere now? Row after
row of trinket and doily shops, yes, and little
swanky local crap-art stores. Mostly, out-of-
business and papered up storefronts. All too
bad. The local library has two pimple-faced
girls eating Cheetos or something, and too
enamored of their face-time to talk any sense.
"We don't know about none, coal miner riots?
The liberian, she'll be in back Monday."