January 3, 2011

Larry J. Durdines - Musician, historian was self-employed antique dealer

Larry J. Durdines, 58, of Jefferson, died Firday, July 23, 2010 in UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.
He was born January 3, 1952, in Clarksville, a son of Elizabeth Krencik Durdines Sevec of Washington and the late John L. Durdines.
He was a graduate of Bethlehem-Center High School and attended Penn State University in State College.
A self-employed antique dealer, Mr. Durdines formerly worked for Ohio Barge Line as a first mate.
A musician, was co-founder of the Grinders Blues Band.
Mr. Durdines was a student of local history and collector of United Mine Workers of America memorabilia and artifacts from his hometown of Clarksville and the surrounding areas.
He authored a blog, Ten Mile Creek Country at http://tenmilecreekcountry.blogspot.com/, which featured images and stories of the towns and people along and near the Ten Mile Creek in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
He was a member of the Clarksville Centennial Committee and contributed to the history book published for last year's celebration.
Surviving, in addition to his mother, are a son, Casey Durdines of California, PA; a brother John Tebalt of Dayton, OH; stepfather John Sevec, a niece; a nephew; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Deceased are his grandparents, John and Anna Durdines and Thomas and Frances Krencik.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Greene County Historical Society Museum 918 Rolling Meadows Road, Waynesburg, PA 15370.


chippertheripper said...

Im so sorry to hear this.Larry was a great musician and a great friend.I have some good videos of him playing our old jam nights.Rest in peace,my friend.

The Old Bat Cadet said...

May Angels Lead You In, The Kid. I miss you. - The Old Bat Cadet, Karen Magers.

Anonymous said...

I did know you Larry, but I think I know the passion you had for history and preserving the spirit of our heritage. May you never be forgotten and be remembered always even as you remembered.

Anonymous said...

I was born the son of a miner
In the summer of 1915
My mother she worked at the company store
In the north of the County of Greene

In the fall, our food was aplenty
In the winter we all nearly died
The hours were long and her back was not strong
And we wondered why she never cried

We spent our youth working harder
Than most could ever design
When the shaft became to narrow
The job would always be mine

Summer nights we all would swelter
And when the sound of the shoes came near
For we knew the outhouse would be cleaner
But the honey dippers we feared

In the spring of 1920
When the flu swept through our town
Two sisters and my dear mother
My father did lie in the ground

My father he took on a lady
With no children to call her own
Though she was cruel to my brother
She kept us with food in the home

The dust from the mine would blacken
The darkest pits of your hell
And each morning we would awaken
To the sound of a new day’s work bell

Then came the spring of ‘28
And the day was hotter than hell
The day that the old shaft exploded
And nearly 200 men fell.

The foreman said he was hopeful
My brother and I had doubt
And we knew our father’s fate had been written
When the canary never flew out

I was just 13, my brother was 9
When we set out on our own
Our stepmother had taken another
And our house was no longer our home

One day by the bridge we were sleeping
My brother he never awoke
It was December and the flu he had taken
And my heart had once again broke

I picked up an old guitar one day
And I told this story in song
Said I’ll be damned if I ever return to that mine
For my heart can sometimes be wrong

And now with three children and a wife of my own
I find myself desperate and blue
There’s no work I can find that’s not in a mine
I must break my promise held true

Winter’s closing in and I have heard tell
That the old mine is hiring again
And though I swore that I’d never go back to that place
We’re so hungry that we blow in the wind

So I hang my head low and I stand in the line
And I grab up my helmet and pick
I head back to the place where I know I will die
And I dig until I am sick

The very same shaft of hell
Where my father had taken his last breath
And though I can now feed my children
This mine will bring me my death