West Virginia’s an interesting place

Fun familial arrangements among the coal minerscoal miners:

“In the area we live in, there aren’t many jobs, especially not many jobs that pay as well as the mines,” said Zach Thornberry, another miner at Redhawk Mining who lost their job due to the closure. “There are plenty of us that have young kids. I have a two-month-old son, and my partner has twins that just turned a year old, so the thought of not having health insurance is a scary thing.”

The way that’s said the twins aren’t his, but his partners, and the two month old isn’t his partner’s, but his. Still, guess it’s an advance for Appalachia, none are with his sister.

20 thoughts on “West Virginia’s an interesting place”

  1. From the West Virginians I have met it is very unlikely that the words here are transcribed directly. This is paraphrased by the journalist, WV people don’t speak like that. And any errors or misunderstandings are due to the journalist too. As usual.

  2. “another miner … who lost their job” was probably not written because a West Virginia miner insisted on a gender-neutral description. This may be the smallest “there’s no need to read this” marker I’ve encountered so far.

  3. Why are you assuming Zach is male? Wouldn’t having a two month old son suggest a female?

  4. Note also – his son is 2 months old & the twins are 1 year, there’s some frenetic coupling & moving on going on here if this is true. Could “partner” have been a reference to a business relationship? Coal miners in WV usually say girlfriend.

    Funny, it’s not a significant story but now I’m really curious to figure out what’s going on here.

  5. The way that’s said the twins aren’t his, but his partners, and the two month old isn’t his partner’s, but his. Still, guess it’s an advance for Appalachia, none are with his sister.

    You’re assuming that his partner ain’t also his sister though…

  6. RlJ, having a two-month old son suggests having a two-month old son. Zach is a male name (in places where sanity about sex difference still exists.) Could be that Zach and his partner are both gay, I suppose, the Elton and David of the West Virginia mines. Doubting it, though.

  7. Chris
    The baby is not “his” partners because she has year old twins. Two births in a twelvemonth is unlikely. Under what circumstances does a man and woman split up and the guy get the two month old baby? Was the mother killed shortly after birth in a tragic meth lab accident? Even if so “he” moved quickly to line up another woman.

    If “Zach” is female, however, it all makes sense. The use of “their” instead of his/her, the PC term “partner” and Zach has the baby because it’s hers.

    She may work at a mine, that doesn’t imply she’s on her knees with a pick at the coal face.

  8. RLJ: “She may work at a mine, that doesn’t imply she’s on her knees with a pick at the coal face.” Maybe, but”said Zach Thornberry, another miner” seems just possibly to imply being a miner.

  9. I wasn’t saying she wasn’t a miner, I was saying modern mining is done with machines, not hard physical labour, so a woman could do it.

  10. “The way that’s said the twins aren’t his, but his partners, and the two month old isn’t his partner’s, but his. Still, guess it’s an advance for Appalachia, none are with his sister.”

    Not enough information to tell (at least in this quote).

    The two month old could have been with his sister.

    Alternatively his ‘partner’ could be his sister, although that seems less likely – he probably wouldn’t talk about that to someone from out of the area.

    Just to add to the possible happy families, the father of his new partner’s twins might be his brother (or indeed his father).

  11. Dennis, Offender of Krauts, Frogs and other Wogs

    In the past three hundred years there’s probably been less inbreeding among West Virginians than there’s been among members of Europe’s royal families. And remember, coal miners are useful… Royalty isn’t.

  12. Well he’s on facebook and the guardian couldn’t even get his name right as it’s Thornsberry.

    The guardian hates coal because of the climate catastrophe that’s about to kill us all (LOL) The slightly sympathetic tone of the article must mean that Cummings derangement syndrome has let them take their eye off the ball. I’d expect much more sneering from the guardian.

  13. “I have a two-month-old son, and my partner has twins that just turned a year old” – he has a two month old son, who lives with its mother, who was his previous partner – seems the most ‘normal’ interpretation.

  14. Pffft. As Pratchett’s Rob Anybody might say, my version was much more ineresting, it had a dragon and zombies in it later.

  15. @RdJ
    “Two births in a twelvemonth is unlikely.” Not really and possibly quite common. When I was young, in an English mining village, we had a next-door neighbour who had four children under the age of five (without twins). Nor was she an exception.
    Also you are assuming a one-year old is exactly one – could be almost two-years old.

  16. asiaseen
    “le” Jour, the de Jours, Belle etc. are cousins 😉

    See also:
    You’ll rue the day you were born, you blackhearted scoundrel.
    Elderly men with badly dyed hair who hang around stage doors.
    If you say it out loud, “le” is the more euphonious.

    The story does say the twins had just turned one. My understanding was that breastfeeding suppressed ovulation, but yes, of course, certainly possible.

    Are you currently somewhere in Asia, or have I misunderstood your moniker?

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