Billy Ray was the name his mother chose for him, but the doctor insisted his birth certificate read “William.” Knowing his mother, Billy Ray is sure she shared some choice words with the man, as “William” has been called “Billy Ray” ever since while growing up and living in the small mining town of Minden, West Virginia, where stories grow like trees.
Mining Town Memories is a collection of poems that tell the tall and small tales of those living and dying near the New River. This is a look into the everyday life of the miner, how he strives to work under difficult conditions, surviving in and outside the mine. Families had to survive, too, on the little money earned, making extra effort to provide for their needs.
A close insight into the mining life, this collection portrays the mental and emotional state of a hard-working band of brothers. Many shouted from the mines for God’s protection. Some souls were lost, while othes saved. The life of a miner is a life like no other—one of darkness and strain but also hope and light, revealed now for the first time in poetic verse.