Anthracite black blankets and rustling leaves

Harley by the riverIt was a dark and stormy night.

The day had started the way a nice motorcycling day should start, sunny but not too much heat. My then 13-year-old son and I had spent two nights at Locust Lake State Park, near Mahanoy City, Pa. The stop had given us a tour of a coal breaker plant. LJ came away with a small bag of samples, one piece for every size the plant broke and sorted: stove, nut, pea, barley, and buckwheat, in order of size. I think.[pullquote]“I don’t see anything,” he said.

“That’s it,” I said.[/pullquote]

We ate at a diner on Main Street, populated mostly by old men who enthralled my eldest offspring with stories of the glory days of anthracite coal. It was they who told us of the Blaschak coal breaker at west end of town.

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