before

When the young, single men (mainly the muckers and the rakers) first started arriving from the steel gray cities to live and work in the mine,  their recreation after exiting the caves for the day was limited. In the summer they fished some, and hiked some, and they tried baseball some. Baseball, the sport played almost instincively by boys from both the cities and the small towns during that era, proved difficult to play so far above the clouds.  Though the Valley below the mine was vast and wide with no trees to obstruct a foul ball or a home run, the tundra was simply too spongy, wet, and full of bonsai-like flora to slide or run to the bases (which were made of cast-off pintuck pillows from the dorms) without a lot of frustrated effort. The mine owner saw their need for release after working in darkness for as long as twelve hours a day, and began converting the first floor of the main dormitory into pool hall, bar, and dance hall for the men. He even had a company from Seattle ship a movie screen and projector up by barge, and arranged to have second-run movies delivered weekly from Anchorage. Once the wives and children started arriving at the sleekly upgraded mine, the place gave the appearance of a familiar small town in Ohio, with the added excitement of midnight sun in summer, northern lights in winter, a painted gold and red blanket on the ground in Fall, and the occasional mother bear meandering the sidewalks in Spring.

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"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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