13 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview (9)

Swent: I'd like to ask you a little about your wife's adjustment to 
Chile. Did she learn Spanish? 

Haldeman: Yes, she learned Spanish. Not completely, but she learned it 
and got along real well. 

Swent: She enjoyed it here? 

Haldeman: She was a very adaptable young lady here. She fit in well. 
Finally, when I got to be a general manager, I was very proud to 
have her as the general manager's wife. 

Swent: It must have been quite an adjustment for her. 

Haldeman: No, she enjoyed it. She is very adaptable. A very nice girl, 
and we got along fine. During my first contract from '44 to 
'47, we had two boys, and then one was born in '49. 

Swent: Were they all born here? 
Haldeman: In Sewell, in the mine hospital. 

During our first year of marriage, in 1945, we had the mine 


The Mine Fire. June 1945 

Swent : 
It was in June of '45, wasn't it? 

Haldeman: Yes, and you have interviewed Mr. Reed on that and got all the 

Well, it just so happened that Mr. Burney Egemo was one of 
the three American bosses who died in the fire. Because of his 
outstanding ways, he was a leader, and management had its eyes 
on him as going up to superintendent. 

Swent: He was captain of the football team in Lead High School when I 
was in high school; I was behind him, and his sister was in my 
class. We all idolized Burney. He was a leader. 

Haldeman: Yes, he was; a very nice fellow. He married a Chilean girl, 

Sadie Eichelbosch, a very charming person. Burney had trouble 
with his teeth; I think they called it pyorrhea at that time. 
The dentist decided he had to have them out; it was about the 
third time he was having some out. He didn't want to miss 
shift, and he got in and was on the level where the majority of 
the people were killed. Had he not gone in, I would have had to 
replace him. I was on the level up above, and we walked out of 
the mine with a cloud of smoke behind us about twenty meters, 
and the rats running alongside in the drainage ditch, scurrying 

The Sewell gymnasium

That was a tragedy,and 364 people died in the fire, fate again came into my life: I didn't have any apparent competition for going up in the mine organization.

Index to Haldeman Interview

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