Northfield: Basket Case

by kfrego

Linda and I bought a new mobile home and set it up in the Riverview Mobile Home Park in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. We were married in Nov 1968. Many of the supervisors from Northfield also lived in the park. It was pretty nice because the company sent a snowplow early every morning when there was a storm. They didn’t want anyone to have an excuse to miss work. They plowed the streets in our park and cleared the driveway of everyone employed at Northfield. There were about six of us from Lyon Mt living at Riverview. We could look down on the Connecticut River and see the construction on the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant from our lot.

We had a large dryhouse at Northfield. We went to work in our street clothes. We changed into our work clothes at the dryhouse. Every miner had a large metal wire basket suspended on a rope in the dryhouse. We kept all of our small personal tools, clothes, and shower gear in the baskets. When not in use the baskets were hoisted close to the ceiling and tied off. The fans and heaters were always on in the dryhouse to ventilate and dry the clothes.

We entered the dryhouse one afternoon for our swing shift. While lowering my basket the basket behind me fell. I never heard anything until it hit me on the head and drove me to my knees. Had a pretty good gash on my head. When I arrived at the on site nurses station it was full of people. It was shift change time. All the sick, lame, and lazy employees were checking in or out. The bleeding had all ready stopped from the cut on my head when the male RN looked at it. He cleaned it up, put butterfly bandaids on it, and covered it with a gauze bandage. Just before leaving he took me outside and sprayed it with a can of Aeroplast to keep dirt out. The smell of the aeroplast was worse than my wound. The big knot under my hard hat was uncomfortable. A nagging headache stayed with me all through the shift.

After getting into my street clothes, I reported back to the nurses station as they had requested. The nurse on duty commented about having everything ready for me as he checked the wound for dirt. He gave me a medical form to give the emergency room where my stitches would be put in. It was 15 miles in the opposite direction of my home. They knew the gash had to be stitched, but didn’t want me to miss work. Now that my shift was complete it would take the other half of the night in the emergency room.

The nurses were looking out for the company……………….and I let them know where to stick their Aeroplast.