A North Central engineer is sharing frightening and humorous stories about his family’s history working in coal mines while revealing details about his Italian heritage in a new book.
Louis Ronald Scatena, who retired from SRP in 2003, recently published his non-fiction book, “ANTHRACITE BOOT CAMP.” Now the associate vice president of Carollo Engineers, Inc. in Phoenix, Scatena wrote this book about his childhood working with his father in and around coal mines in northeastern Pennsylvania from 1951 to 1959. From the ages of 9 to 17 he worked at small, dangerous dungeons that anthracite miners of that time called “dog-holes.” One of the stories that Scatena shares in the book is about how he saw a large power shovel his father operated about to topple into a mine pit at what is near the present day town of Pittston, Pa. In another anecdote, he reveals how he had to travel underground at age 11 to help miners, where they barely fit in a dog-hole near Suscon. One of the humorous episodes Scatena wrote about in the book was when miners frightened him at age 9 into believing a hungry bear was pursuing him outside a dog-hole.
The book also includes amusing references to the cultural standards that Scatena’s Italian ancestors held, including angry linguistic outbursts when mining equipment failed to work and their joyful dialogue in bocce league matches at the miners’ Italian Citizen’s Club.
Find the book at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Anthracite-Boot-Camp-print. It also is available through www.amazon.com and other bookstores online.