Jan 31, 2013

MY DREAM FESTIVAL CONTINUES: Last night my dream took me to the bottom of the Minnie Moore Mine (Bellevue, Idaho)

NOTE:  This photo is not my Uncle Dick, but it easily could have been
Down and down into the ground we went.  It was a weekend morning and my friend Tommy Erhmantraut and I were being treated to a very special childhood adventure. My Uncle, Richard Beardsley, was taking us down to the very bottom of the Minnie Moore silver mine where he worked.  I remember the day clearly even though I must have been around seven or eight years old.

Uncle Dick was a WWII decorated hero and a silver miner.  After he returned from the (sometimes hands on)  defeat of the Nazis in Germany, he resumed his everyday life amongst the rugged hunters, fisherman and all-around-out-doorsmen of Saw Tooth Mountain graced Southern Idaho. His grandparents, the Turners (legally changed from Jackson), my great-grandparents, had been amongst the early pioneers to the Wood River Valley, Blaine County and his father, my grandfather, Arch Beardsley, was a engineer in the mining industry (Gold in Utah and Silver in southern Idaho).  My Uncle Dick was a single man, a strong man, a carpenter, a horseman, a serious, yet friendly, silent type of fellow who promised himself he would never again leave Idaho after returning from the war in Europe.  He kept that promise.

Tommy and I dressed for the trip down into the depths of the Minnie Moore Mine by wearing helmets with lamps on them (see photo above).  No doubt our hats were a little large, but, I don't remember that part.  What I do remember most was that we were lowered down in a bucket, just like in the movies, miners descending into the ground with cables clanging...down, down, down, we went.  We were mostly looking up and seeing the sun lit hole in the Earth become smaller and smaller until we arrived at the first station underground...thud.  We three climbed out of the bucket and took a small railroad like train with cars with bins.  Bins that would later haul out the ore from the other end of the line...the far end of the transport line where the miners were currently digging the vein.  I remember being nervous and I whistled.  Uncle Dick quickly told me that ¨miners don´t whistle or sing¨ underground, it´s dangerous.  Dead quiet resumed as our tractor driven train moved along.  We traveled to end of the line where a bright focused light appeared and so did a handful of miners digging the ground.  Picks flailing, shovels digging, some water gushing and generator purring too -- we had arrived at the end of the line of the Minnie Moore Mine,  Bellevue, Idaho, United States of America.

Last night I dreamt it was time for me to become a miner.  It seemed, in my dream, to be a perfect time for exploration again (in the highlands of Guatemala)...vamos a ver.

Will the wonders of being a human being never cease?

Not until I reach the end of the line where, no doubt, there will be a new vein to explore.

Thanks be to God and to Uncle Dick Beardsley for giving/sharing life and for the many kindnesses freely gifted me.

Happy Thursday.

Leonardo Ricardo/Len
Sacatepequez, Guatemala

 

2 comments:

susan s. said...

I like your dreams! And your Uncle Dick sounds like a fine man! I would never be able to go into a mine! I am claustrophobic. I sometimes dream about small spaces becoming even smaller. Then I remember I am dreaming and realize I can wake up if I need to. It's very comforting when I do!

Leonard Clark said...

Hi Susan, I was too young to realize I was claustrophobic...actually, I think claustrophobia and hang-overs started together for me (throw in the odd panic attack and hot flashes and feeling that I may die while trying to hold a normal business conversation)...but, alas, I have survived myself...my Uncle Dick was especially neat guy/man. I look like him and I noticed that even as a kid (I look like my mother, his sister, too). He was a groundbreaking photographer in his wildlife adventures and many of his photos and slides, hundreds/thousands, are in the Blaine County historical collection. My finer fishing escapades were led by him. I love him still and he died quite a long time ago...in the hospital in Twins Falls, Idaho, not far from where he lived his whole life...my Mom was holding his hand when he went away.