History Lives Again With Songs, Sights and Narration

A school bus recently unloaded 30 students and three classroom teachers from Auburn Mountainview High School at the Black Diamond Museum. These students, from their Washington State History, sociology, and civic classes, were in town for a unique approach to studying local history: a live performance featured coal mining songs written and sung by Steve Israel; a slideshow with Dee Israel gave visual clarity to the lyrics; and narration by Don Mason embellished the event with personal stories gleaned from the coal miners. Stories of the miners’ work, family life, and dedication to a difficult and dangerous career have been documented at the museum. Accompanying the students were three classroom teachers, Tori Ammons and Brad Comstock (far right), and Kea Sensei who photographed the group. After the 40-minute presentation and a walk through the museum and its artifacts, students were off to visit another nearby historical site, Black Diamond Bakery. Ammons has arranged for her students to attend the songs, sights and narration presentation for the last three years, sometimes twice a year. Schools and classroom teachers can contact Black Diamond Museum, 360-886-2142, for further information about the 40-minute program.