Otto Weisner, East Coulee, AB

We all have to be good for something. I never found out what I was any good for. I followed things because I had to get a dollar on the table for grub for the family. That's all. I didn't particularly care for coal mining, but it was a job that paid fairly good money. With five kids, I needed a good-paying job.

I was born in Manitoba in 1906. Originally, I moved out west to start ranching, but in 1944, I came to the Drumheller Valley to go into the mines. Still, I also managed to maintain a ranch near Fish Lake.

I started in the Empire Mine, where they made me barn boss because I was very experienced with horses. Then I started digging coal at the Arcadia Mine at Willow Creek. My last underground mining job was at the Atlas Mine in East Coulee – then they made me a security guard. In 1981, we moved from Willow Creek to Drumheller.

I am over-age now and can't work like I used to. I got crippled up a time or two, and that catches up with you after a while.