TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: The Hazards of Instant Communication

Re: The Hazards of Instant Communication

Michael Quinn (
Thu, 5 Jan 2006 07:25:14 -0500

My comments are below PAT's.

TELECOM Digest Editor noted:

> That report from West Virginia was one of the saddest things I have
> ever read. WV, one of the poorest states in the union earns much of
> its living in the coal mines, a dirty job and dangerous by anyone's
> standards. Wasn't there a popular song several years ago which went
> (something like this} "Work (some amount) of hours, and what do you
> get, another day older and deeper in debt; Saint Peter don't you
> call me cause I can't go; I owe my soul to the company store.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the community and families of Sago
WV; an undeniable tragedy.

The song to which PAT alludes above is "Sixteen Tons" and was written
by Merle Travis, and subsequently popularized by Tennessee Ernie Ford
in the 50s. The words are worth reading and reflecting on to this

"Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul"

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store"

The balance of the lyrics and an interesting history of the song is at: Tons.htm

The poignancy of unofficial word reaching familiy members by news,
cell phone, email, text messages, etc before official notification is
played out every day in our military, be it peacetime or wartime
casualties, and our cities and highways. There's no going back that I
can see though. No one with a relative in potential harm's way answers
a phone these days without at least slight trepidation.

Hope the rest of the New Year gets better.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Its really hard to say about the rest
of this new year, when you consider how rough the last two years have
been right at the very start at least: 2004/05 at New Year's brought us
the tsuami in Asia and all kinds of violence in Iraq which continued
throughout the year. In the new year now going on, we started with
(a) California mudslides and flooding [although apparently 'typical' for
parts of California, still a bit extreme, IMO] and (b) lots of fires
raging in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico and (c)the coal mine disaster
in West Virginia; additionally (d) continued violence in Iraq with
over a hundred American troops killed; all that between the first
and the fourth of January. On a more local note (you would not have
seen it in your newspapers, although it was in the Independence Reporter)
a young, 23 year old man committed suicide here in our town on
December 31. Apparently his 'farewell note' said simply that "things
in the world are just to screwed up for me." I did not know him --
never met him but how I wish that _someone_ had been able to reach him
in time. Just anyone, someone who could have made an emergency interven-
tion. The newspaper said Independence EMS had found him at his home
southwest side of town, a young man named Christopher Bates,
originally from Bartlesville, OK. PAT]

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