Joe Coal became a miner when he was 18. His father and mother were in poor health and neither could work. So, Joe skipped college and helped his parents along. He got up at 5 AM to work at the mine until 8 PM. He bought groceries and other supplies to help his parents bear the cost of living. However, his father when Joe was 21 and his mother when he was 23. He continued working at the mine to support himself.
One day, ten years later he went into town in Decatur, AL to buy supplies for himself. As he was getting out of his truck, he saw a young woman who had dropped her groceries on the sidewalk. Joe walked toward her and helped her pick up her groceries. After all the bags were in her car, he introduced himself, although his face retained black spots from digging in the mines. She told him her name was “Kim” who had a 5-year old baby girl sitting in the back.
“Her name is ‘Annie’.” Kim told Joe. Joe thought the little girl was adorable and well-mannered. Joe and Kim talked about going out for coffee the following day with Annie in tow.
A week later, Joe and Kim were still going out. It wasn’t until a year later that they talked about getting married, but they decided to wait. Although Joe and Kim felt attracted to one another, their backgrounds were noticeably different. While Joe had endured a rough life, working in the mines, Kim’s parents were wealthy, but she didn’t like their stuck-up attitude. Kim didn’t seem or act like she was a diva or live like a snob. She worked as an independent professional jeweler, who enjoyed working with precious metals and rare gems. She and Joe talked about metals and gems since Joe mined for a living to find coal and occasionally found gems and metals.
The dating couple decided not to rush into marriage like many people do. They worked on their relationship and didn’t feel in a hurry to tie the knot.
On the year of their first-year “friendship” anniversary celebrating the day they met, Kim, Annie, and Joe celebrated at Joe’s home. Kim wanted to give something special to Joe for being a good friend that year. Beforehand, Kim told Annie to go to eBay to buy a coin made of silver for Joe. But, Kim meant to buy it at their home but forgot to go through the plan with Annie.
She was embarrassed and sadly told Joe she had forgotten. Joe didn’t mind, but Annie did. So, after dinner, Annie went into Joe’s computer room and got on eBay. She clicked the mouse on “U.S. Coins and Currency” and selected “Gold (before 1933)”. When she started looking at the beautiful, shiny coins, she pressed “Buy It Now”. The next coin was pretty so he pressed the “Buy it Now” button. She did this for over 100 coins. She dismissed the fact that she had charged Joe’s account with over $280,000 of gold coins.
She then returned to Joe’s living room where the grown ups were talking. She interrupted saying “gold coins”, but was ignored. After a few hours, Kim and Annie drove home.
Annie kept saying, “Fun,,,,fun,,,,fun… gold coins for ‘da-da’,” during the trip back to their house. Kim didn’t understand at first, but when they got home, she asked her daughter what did she do on Joe’s computer? Suddenly, her cellphone rang. It was Joe who sounded a little worried.
“Kim, did you know Annie bought 100 gold coins on my eBay account?”
“What??!!” she replied.
“She bought $280,000 in gold coins.” He said in a panic. “Most of them can’t be returned.”
“Oh, my… Annie!!… Come here!”
“I can’t afford these!”
“I’m so sorry this happened! We should not have come over. I’m going to have a serious talk with Annie,” she said in an angry voice, still stunned. “I’ll discipline her and I will help pay you back. I promise you that! But the truth is, she likes to watch me when I get online and go to eBay to look at, not buy jewelry. So, this is partially my fault.”
“I should have turned off my computer. So, all Annie had to do was get on eBay. Damn!” “I will explain to her she can’t get on other peoples’ computers… I can’t believe this! If she were older, I would make her get a job and all her income would go to you.”
“Well, let’s not go there. I’ll have to put in more hours working. I’ve been working on saving my money.”
As much as Kim apologized to Joe, he knew he would have to work out getting more money. Joe told his co workers at the mine, and they really felt for him. They thought it was ironic he was a miner and that he “got mined” by a little girl.
Joe opted to take his coworkers’ places if they got sick. Also, he told them he would put in more hours. His friends were great and told him they would pitch in when they could.
From time to time, this coal mine has produced small nuggets of gold. This coal mine had a wonderful policy that if a huge amount of gold is found, each miner would obtain 5% of the total amount of the gold.
As much as Joe wished he found a lot of gold, that dream would continue forever.
Two months later, one of Joe’s friends was hitting a wall of dirt, until he found what looked like a gold vein. As he kept hitting it, it led him to a yellow rock, when he examined it, he yelled “Goooooolllldddd!” which reverberated all around the tunnels.
Thirty miners scrambled into each other and ran to the place where the gold was discovered. All of them put their pickaxes to use and dug lightly around the rock. The surface of the gold rock continued for two more feet. That afternoon they miners spent their time getting the several rocks that were big and small out of the side of the dirt wall.
When they finished, they weighed the total amount, which came to 125 pounds. The current price of an once of gold was $1,400 per ounce. If there were 16 ounces in a pound would be $22,400 per pound. The total for the entire gold calculated to $2,800,000! Each of the 30 miners would obtain $140,000. Joe became so happy, he could only pay off half of his gold coin collection, but thanks to his friends, all 30 would give Joe $2500 from what they earned from the discovery. So, Joe got $75,000 extra dollars. So, in total he had $215,000! What good friends!
Joe paid for most of the gold coin collection and was able to make ends meet.
One year later, he and Kim got married. However, Annie’s computer account was changed so she would not go on the sites that sold their goods.
By Harrington A. Lackey