I remember my Pepaw Brennan coming home from the mines and being black as night from head to toe except for the whites of his eyes and his teeth. I was terrified! He would flash those pearly whites at me and I would run screaming in the other direction. I was so scared that if he knew I was there he would stop and rinse off in the creek before he came home so he wouldn't scare me. I do seem to recall the devilish glint in his eye though, so MAYBE he kind of enjoyed it too.
He would make sure that he left something in his dinner bucket for the kids too. (my aunts and uncles are just barely older than I am) Nothing tasted so good as a pack of nabs or a moonpie from that lunch box. Occasionally there would be some "vi-een-nies in there (vienna sausages - that's how we say it around here). We would open that can and share the little sausages. They were great! However you can't pay me to eat one now.
That's my Pepaw and Granny Brennan. The kids are my dad and Aunt Wanda
As I reread this blog I wonder if my pepaw used to actually wash in the creek. They spent my childhood telling me to stay out of that creek because it was full of sewer and mine runoff. I know now that most coal mines had showers for the miners. I am thinking that maybe that is just one of those stories that pepaws tell their grandkids.