Uncle Glen Christainsen stopped by Roosevelt
Contributor: Dan Clark Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
While our family lived in Roosevelt, Utah, (early 1940's) Uncle Glen Christainsen stopped by our place and stayed over night. Uncle Glen had been working in a mine somewhere and was on his way back home to Payson, Utah. A friend had brought him to Roosevelt where he was to be picked up by some other people the following day. I was playing on the kitchen floor and listened while Uncle Glen was telling my mother (Afton Morrison) about his mining job. I don't recall the entire discussion but at one point, Uncle Glen talked about helping others drill holes in the rock, I assumed in a tunnel - mine shaft - for dynamite. He talked about wiring blasting caps to the dynamite and then the men moved away from where the holes were drilled. When the dynamite explosions started, they all counted each "boom". Five holes were charged but only four went off. Everyone had counted only four "booms". They waited for the dust to clear before going back to work. Everyone was reluctant to start digging the loose ore bearing rock as they were all certain that only four of the five charges had exploded. If there was still dynamite in one of the holes and the blasting cap was hit by a shovel, it would explode right in front of the miners. The crew boss ordered the guys to start digging to get a load of ore ready to move out. Soon one of the guys noticed a wire sticking out of a place where he was digging. They soon saw the blasting cap still with it's wire attached.
All the guys stopped working and walked away from that mine. They refused to keep digging knowing that live dynamite was still in there.
Of course, I didn't understand all those details then, but the memory has stuck with me all these years. Every time I saw Uncle Glen after that, in the back of my mind, I could hear telling my mother about why he quit being a miner. I always wanted to hear more but never had the courage to ask Uncle Glen any questions about that story.