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Within The Chaos Special Guest Fred (Powerhouse) Powers

  • Broadcast in Education
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Fred (Powerhouse) Powers COAL-miner Appalachian STORYTELLER Author & Storyteller

was born in McDowell County, West Virginia. The stories of his youth are of growing up in the fifties and sixties in a coal-mining community as a son of a coalminer and Appalachia.

The stories of his underground mining career span from age twenty until age forty as a third-generation coal miner. He was laid off in 1983 during the economic downturn of the 1980's in the coalfields at age 31. He worked full and part-time for B&H Mine Retrieving in Mercer County for the next nine years recovering underground mine equipment, mostly continuous miners, buried underneath massive roof falls within a five-state area until a co-worker friend was killed by poisonous gas.

Powers was hired in 1984 as a Special Education Teacher in McDowell County. He also coached Special Olympics while teaching there for 20 years. He achieved his Master's Degree in Special Education in 1988. Continuing to teach for many years, Fred officially retired in 2010.

Officially retiring in 2010, Fred began his storytelling career as a volunteer for Jean Battlo's outdoor coalfield drama, "Terror of the Tug".

Powers has been performing his one-man drama for various audiences since 2005, including twice as a keynote speaker for West Virginia University Miner's Day Celebration, Tamarack, various colleges, public schools, RESA I In-Service for Teachers, libraries, churches, festivals, and civic organizations.

He and his oldest two grandchildren participated in the filming of the coal mining segment of Hillbilly: The Real Story for The History Channel in 2006.