Posts Tagged ‘Hector’

Down in the Coal Mines at 9

Monday, July 24th, 2017

“Hey Coach,”said Hector, “how was your vacation? Do anything cool?”Coach Campbell answered, “Hey Hector, you bet I did! I got to go down in a coal mine and see what it was like to work in the coal mines a long, long time ago. Like 100 plus years ago. It was dark, and wet, and cold too. We went down almost 300 feet underground!”

boy driving mule wagon in coal mines

Hector looked puzzled. He asked, “What’s coal? What is a coal miner?”

Coach smiled and said, “Good questions. Let’s see. Coal is a black rock that burns at a very high temperature. Much higher than burning wood. So, that made coal important as it was the fuel to power the engines of the railroads and factories a long time ago. Today coal is burned in some places to make electricity. Now a coal miner, that is the person who goes way underground to get the coal out from under the mountains. It is a very dangerous job.”

Hector got all excited, saying, “Wow, you know coach, my grandfather sometimes tells me I am lucky I don’t have to go down in the coal mines like his dad did when he was a boy. Are these the coal mines my grandfather is talking about?”

coal mines

“Probably, yes, answered Coach. “Way back when young boys, as young as nine years old maybe, went to work in the coal mines. Some were messengers, others worked the air doors – nippers they called them. They would open and close doors so that air always made it into the mine. Some worked with the mules which pulled the wagons of coal out of the mines.

boys working in coal mines

The youngest were “Breaker Boys” – they had to pull pieces of slate rock out of the coal as it rushed past them down a slide. Tough work. Lots of cut fingers.”

“Oh boy, Grandpa’ is right, said Hector.“I sure am glad I don’t have to go work in the coal mines like those kids had to work. Ugh. School doesn’t sound so bad anymore. Better than the coal mines. What about the girls? Did they work the coal mines too?”

Oh no, said coach, “they did not work the coal mines, but they did work. Many of them became “Bobbin’ Girls.” I can tell you more about them next time. OK? Right now, we gotta’ get moving. It’s time for camp.”

Source:

Ned Campbell, author

Ned M Campbell is a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army Officer, who also teaches United States history at a public high school in Brooklyn, NY. He is a published writer, and a volunteer contributor to “Can Do” Street blog for kids and parents. In addition, he is the voice of Coach Campbell in the “Can Do” Street programs.

 

 

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The Lost Relay Race

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Jay runs relay raceJay got home from visiting his grandparents just in time to be part of the annual camp relay race.

Jay was the fastest runner of all the “Can Dos.” Willie, Bobby, and Hector were so glad to see him. Jay was going to be the fourth member of the “Can Do’ Street Community Center relay race team. They really needed Jay if they were going to win the relay race. They were racing against a four-boy team from Buddiville, the next town over from “Can Do”Street.

There was a lot riding on the race.”Can Do” Street teams had won for the past four years and year five meant a cash prize of $500 to support programs at the “Can Do” Street Community Center. Willie, Bobby, Hector and Jay wanted to be able to win the prize for “Can Do” Street and for the Community Center.

Willie, Bobby and Hector met every morning for weeks before the race to practice under the watchful eye of Coach Campbell. Jay ran track each day, on the Indian reservation, while he was visiting his grandparents.

The day of the race was clear and sunny. It was not too warm. It was a good day for a race.

The stands were packed with parents and grandparents and kids from “Can Do” Street and Buddiville there to cheer on their teams.

The four-boy team from Buddiville arrived on time. The two teams met, shook hands and took their places on the track.

Hector was the first to run. He made good time in the first leg of the race. He was ahead of the boy from Buddiville when he reached the spot in the track where Bobby would take over and race the second leg of the race.

Bobby ran as fast as he could, but not fast enough to reach where Willie would take over the third leg of the race. The boy from the Buddiville team running against Bobby was really fast! Wow, could he run!  He got to his team member faster than Bobby got to Willie.

When Willie started out on the third leg of the race, the boy from Buddiville was in the lead. Try as he might, he couldn’t catch up with him and then pass him.

When Willie got to Jay, the boy from Buddiville was already way ahead. Jay ran harder and faster than he ever did before, but the boy from Buddiville was also a good runner and had a large lead over Jay to begin with.

The team from Buddiville won. Willie, Bobby, Hector and Jay felt so bad, but they practiced good sportsmanship and shook the hands of the boys from Buddiville and congratulated them on their win.

Coach Campbell followed the “Can Do” team into the locker room and had them sit down on a bench so he could speak with them .

“Did you all try your best, run your hardest, run your fastest?” Coach looked at the boys after asking his questions, waiting for them to answer.The boys all nodded yes. “Than there is nothing more you could have done,” said Coach.

“But we didn’t win,” said Hector. “Sometimes our best isn’t enough,” said Coach. “Sometimes the other team is better that us, faster than us, and they win. Sometimes we are better than the other team and we win. That’s just the way it is.”

“It hurts to lose,” said Bobby. “Yes, it does,” said Coach, “But remember, you are not losers…you lost a race, to a team that could run faster than you, that’s all. You’ve won before and you will win again.”

The boys sat quietly for awhile, letting what Coach said sink in, then they got up and followed the Coach outside to joining their family and friends for a barbeque.  To their surprise, the crowd started clapping when they saw them and yelling out, “Good race, good team work, good try.”

Willie, Hector, Bobby and Jay learned something that race day; they learned that winning isn’t always possible, but trying hard, working together and being good sports is what it is all about.

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Hector Wants to Know Why Grandmas Have Wrinkles

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

 Did you ever wonder why grandmas have wrinkles?

Well, Hector asked Grandma Hattie why she and all grandmas have wrinkles.

To hear her answer, read along with Grandma Jean and find out why Grandma Hattie believes she has wrinkles. Go to

http://www.candostreet.com/grandma-jean/grandmas-have-wrinkles.html

 

 

wrinkles

 

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Riddle, Riddle, Who Has a Good Riddle?

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

riddleIt was riddle contest day at “Can Do” Street school. The “Can Do” Kids were bursting with riddles to share with each other.

Miss Pat called the class to order and announced that the riddle contest would we held right after lunch. The”Can Dos” could hardly wait!

Wendy was the first to say a riddle: I keep things safe. I have a hole in my middle. A key will open me. What am I?

Then Bobby went: I know the numbers 1 through 12. I have two hands. My hands move all day long. What am I?

It was Orrie’s turn next: My name is the same as what I do. People try to swat me. What am I?

Annie shared a riddle that went like this: I lay around all the time. People step on me, but it doesn’t hurt. Dogs like to sleep on me. What am I?

Hector had a good one too: I’m round. I’m made of metal. I have a picture of George Washington on me. Kids save me in a piggy bank. What am I?

 Nellie shared her riddle: I am made out of wood or plastic. I am straight. Kids use me to measure things. What am I?

Which riddle do you like the best? Which riddle was the hardest? Did yo get all the riddles right?

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Habits

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

HabitsMiss Pat couldn’t help noticing that some of the “Can Do” kids were picking up habits that weren’t very nice. She decided it was time to say something about nice habits and not so nice habits.

Lately, Hector was picking his nose in class. Kathy was talking with her mouth full at snack time and snack crumbs were getting all over her and anyone sitting next to her. Just last week, Jay started to wipe his hands on his shirt.

Most of the class didn’t mind so much about Kathy talking with her mouth full, except the kids near her when stuff fell out of her mouth. Some of the kids were starting to call Jay Pig Pen after the character in Charlie Brown. Most of the girls avoided being seen with him unless he had his coat on. Hector’s nose picking was another story; it grossed everyone out who saw him doing it. No one wanted to shake his hand or touch his stuff after he picked his nose.

Miss Pat decided it was time for the good habits, not so good habits talk. She began, “Class, I can’t help noticing that some of you are doing some things that are considered habits that are not attractive or nice. These habits can lead to others not wanting to be around you.”

Jay took a big bite of an apple. The juice ran down his chin and he used the tail end of his shirt to wipe his face, saying as he wiped,”Like what , Miss Pat?” Miss Pat answered, “Like what you are doing right now, wiping your face with your shirt.” Bobby yelled out, “I can tell what you ate all day by looking at your shirt. Use a napkin, or a paper towel!” Jay turned bright red and asked if anyone had a tissue.

Miss Pat continued by talking about personal hygiene habits. All of a sudden everyone was staring at Hector, who said,” Why is everyone looking at me? What do I do that’s so gross?” before Miss Pat could answer, Bobby called out, “You pick your nose in public, yuck!” Hector shouted back, “Big deal!” Miss Pat said, “It is a big deal, Hector. Some of your classmates don’t want to sit next to you.  Others don’t want to take things from your hands after you pick your nose. I don’t blame them. Cleaning out your nose needs to be done with tissues, and is best done in private. When you sneeze or blow your nose, you also need to use a tissue.”

Kathy chimed in, ready to complain about Hector, when Nellie said, “Kathy, you shouldn’t say anything about Hector until you stop spraying everyone near you with food because you are talking with your mouth full. ” Kathy looked as if she were about to cry.

That’s when Miss Pat took over the conversation, saying,”Boys and girls, we all need to be aware of those habits that are not polite or may offend others. If you are not sure if you have any of those habits, ask your parents or ask me. If you have a not so good habit, give it up now.”

Hector raised his hand and said, “From now on I will clean out my nose in private, using a tissue and wash my hands when I am done. Kathy raised he hand and asked,”If you see me talking with my mouth full, please tell me.” Her classmates nodded that they would. Then it was Jay’s turn to raise his hand.  “I promise to carry tissue or paper towels and use them instead of my shirt.”

Miss Pat smiled. She was so glad the children saw the need to fix their not so good habits.

 

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