We met Bill nine years ago, in the very early days of our work on “Beyond the Breaker,” back when we were eager to soak up knowledge about the anthracite region. Bill and his daughter Megan Hastie welcomed us into Bill’s Pittston home one Saturday afternoon — two strangers from Philly asking naive questions about coal. With patience, Bill shared his knowledge about labor wars, social justice, mine subsidence and the Knox Mine Disaster, of which Bill was the last living survivor. At the time, we didn’t realize we were in the presence of a selfless hero and historian, but even a better human being. Over the next several years, our paths crossed with Bill’s several times, especially each January at Anthracite Mining Heritage Month events in NEPA. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to meet this extraordinary man and our hearts go out to Bill’s family and friends.
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