DRAGO KARL SEME - rudar / coal miner

Uploaded by 2011LEGENDE on 06.05.2012

Drago Karl Seme, coal miner Born in 1947, Brezno nad Laškem.
Performed numerous functions in the Velenje mine.
Retired as head of the guides in the coal mining museum.
A social activist, cultural creator and Father Frost for 45 consecutive years.
My father said: “You won’t be a coal miner. I know what that is like.”
He took me through the tunnel and showed me what the mine looks like.
His intention was probably for me to never be a miner.
He was a miner, we were three children and my mother was a housewife.
We lived in a mining colony.
There was a special store for miners.
Then there was the bill at the end of the month. My mother got this and that.
You had this much left. You get this much pay, the rest goes to the store.
I remember my father saying: "There were nine children, some younger."
and then he said: "he would get a cross over his paycheck sometimes."
That meant everything was spent in that shop.
I got a scholarship, not in money, but free dorm, free food.
There were experienced miners, instructors, teachers who taught us the process of extracting coal.
It is interesting that we used to work with our hands. That’s how it was, one meter at a time.
We started using technology like the Russian PK 3 machines "Zefka stroji" and different machines for cutting coal.
They reached about 12 meters a day. Back then, competitiveness and spirit were encouraged.
The record was 58 meters a day in three shifts.
By now I’m a Velenje native, because I’ve been here since 1963.
I know many people who used to be here.
We don’t stress enough what the situation was like before World War II.
The people in Zasavje didn’t have any work but the miners from Velenje
were working three, four shifts, because we couldn’t move the coal, there was a crisis.
Miners from Zasavje and the other cities would look for work also on farms. They would knock on the door and say:
“Hello. Do you need any work to be done?”
But she knew that he wasn’t looking a long term job, but he wanted to work so that he could eat.
After 1950 we had shock working in Velenje.
At that time even women went down to the mine, pushed carts and performed simpler tasks.
I was shift leader of a group, working every day of the year, even on 31st December.
A bad experience was when water barged in after we arrived.
Another bad one was when I got carbon oxide poisoning and they thought I was gone.
I woke up in the hospital in Slovenj Gradec, on a wheelchair, naked.
They were bathing me and there were pretty nurses all around me. Now that’s nice, isn’t it?
The precious moments are initiations into the miner’s brotherhood, 3rd July.
That’s the miner’s day. Why that day?
Because on 3rd July 1934, the coal miners in Zasavje went on a five-day hunger strike
and got an eight-hour workday, before it was 10 hours.
There was a man sitting behind the conveyer belt. A guy comes and says:
“Hey! Tell me something!” “What?”
“What will the weather be like?”
Talking about the weather in the pit.
He said: “It will probably rain.” “What do you mean, rain?”
“The head engineer passed by and he had an umbrella.”
They come out: sunshine.
He said: “Man, Dolf got me again.”
That Dolf was a joker.
Oh, all the places I have mineded you. I started in Trbovlje, a snot-nosed kid among kids.
In the mine in Kisovec an arch collapsed right in front of me
and I heard words for the first time I could never forget.
I had to escape to Germany with those words.
I maimed my leg there in Sachaln. In Schpitl gas burned my whole mouth.
In Holland my own brothers betrayed me. Damnit! Damnit.
Once at a celebration I thought to myself that I can walk down a mine proudly.
Mile Klobčič (author of the song) was on the podium with me, pulled my ear and said:
“It’s not that time yet.”
Remembering his words now, I’d say to him: “You know what, that was the time. It’s not anymore.”