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Miner Goes Viral For Rushing To Take His 3-Year-Old Son To His First Basketball Game While Covered In Coal Dust
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Good News, Parenting3 months ago

Miner Goes Viral For Rushing To Take His 3-Year-Old Son To His First Basketball Game While Covered In Coal Dust Interview

Growing up, we often don’t realize how much our parents sacrifice just to make us happy. Only when we look back at our childhoods with the eyes of an adult can we recognize the continuous efforts of those closest to us.

We’re sure this little boy will forever remember the moment his dad showed up for his first basketball game. Although covered in coal dust after a long shift at the mines, the dad wasn’t gonna let anything stop him from showing up for his little boy. This is the wonderful story of Micheal Joe Mcguire!

His wife, Mollie McGuire, was very kind to answer some of Bored Panda’s questions, bringing us closer to the values that made their family bond so strong.

Before we get into it, let me ask you this, dear Pandas: what’s your fondest memory of your dad, grandad, or guardian from when you were a kid yourself? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to upvote for more!

More info: Twitter

A picture taken by basketball coach John Calipari during the Kentucky Wildcats’ annual “blue-white scrimmage” game has melted hearts, going viral on Twitter

Image credits: UKCoachCalipari

Heroes don’t always wear capes; sometimes they come looking like Santa after a long day of jumping down chimneys. The Kentucky Wildcats’ annual “blue-white scrimmage” game was on and Head Basketball Coach John Calipari noticed something a little out of the ordinary in the audience.

It seemed a coal miner was enjoying the game with his little boy beside him. The moment triggered a memory, and thus John decided to take a picture of the power duo, sharing it on Twitter. He wrote: “My family’s American dream started in a Clarksburg, WV coal mine, so this picture hits home.”

“From what I’ve been told, after his shift, he raced to be with his son & watch our team,” he continued. “Don’t know who this is, but I have tickets for him & his family at Rupp to be treated as VIPs!!” The tweet has since garnered over 160k likes and hundreds of comments, one of them being from the wife of the man.

The photo showed a miner enjoying the game alongside his 3-year-old son, while still in uniform and covered in coal dust

Image credits: Micheal Joe Mcguire

“This is my Husband Micheal McGuire with our son Easton!” wrote Mollie Gail McGuire. It seemed like Micheal had been awake since 4:45 a.m. before hurrying home from a long day of work to attend the basketball game with his family. “We are truly blessed with such an amazing man, and beyond thankful! We love our coal miner,” she wrote.

Mollie told Bored Panda that they met in 2012, during a softball game she was playing in. “He was a fan supporting the opposing team,” she said. “We later connected on social media and started to message back and forth. Started dating in 2012, got engaged in January of 2014, and married in October 2014. At that point we realized we were each other’s best friend and couldn’t imagine being without one another.”

The man was Micheal McGuire, from Pikeville. He didn’t want to miss a moment of his son Easton’s first basketball game, so he came straight from work

Image credits: Mollie McGuire

Micheal told WKYT that he had around 45 minutes to travel from work to the game and did not want to miss any of his 3-year-old son’s first basketball game. He added, “It was either go straight there, or miss half the game to go home and take a shower and everything.”

He didn’t realize that he had gone viral on social media until a day after the game. It seems the family went straight home, and Micheal got ready for another early morning and had his phone off until the end of work, when he resurfaced to colleagues giving him rounds of applause.

Image credits: Mollie McGuire

The 29-year-old, who’s been working in the mines for about a year, told The Athletic he thought he was getting pranked. “Shew, it caught me off guard big-time,” he said. “Everybody was saying, ‘There comes the celebrity! There comes the famous guy!’ I had no clue what was going on.”

Then he turned on his phone, which was lighting up with messages, calls, and interview requests. “I couldn’t believe that it was real,” Micheal said. “It’s mind-blowing that everybody came together like that.”

His wife Mollie McGuire tweeted: “We are truly blessed with such an amazing man, and beyond thankful! We love our coal miner”

Image credits: TheEthanLamar

His wife was speaking to Coach Calipari in the meantime, confirming the VIP experience he wished to gift them. “He said, ‘Hey, it’s Coach Cal.’ I just kind of sat there like, is this real?” Mollie told The Athletic. Calipari shared how his own grandfather was a coal miner. “He said he passed before Cal was old enough to experience any of that but said, ‘I wanted to know what I came from,’ so he actually went into a mine with a crew.”

“They told him going down, ‘We go in together, we come out together. No one left behind, because we’re one crew.’ He said, ‘That’s what I teach my team—that we’re one team and we can only do it together.’ Just to know somebody that popular took the time and wanted to do something like that is amazing.” She couldn’t wait to tell her husband all about it!

Coach Cal shared his own family’s connection to the coal industry, promising to provide VIP tickets to the man and his family at a home game at Rupp Arena

Image credits: Mollie McGuire

“He was driving down the road and it was just constant—ding! ding! ding!—so he finally called and said, ‘What in the world is going on?’” Mollie said. “It brought me to tears, just knowing so many people reached out. […] It was so heartwarming to see strangers thanking my husband, appreciating him for what he does for our family, and then to have Coach Cal do that, it was just amazing altogether. I never thought when we got up [that] morning it would be a day like this.”

Calipari told them to pick a home game and they’d be his guests for a dinner, pregame shootaround, and a meet-and-greet with his players and receive courtside seats at Rupp Arena. They haven’t yet decided which game they will attend, but they are looking forward to seeing the Cats play.

Image credits: Mollie McGuire

Although it was a rarely-seen moment for many, it’s become a common occurrence to invite coal dust to family outings. “It’s nothing for us to go out to eat or him to come to our son’s tee-ball games or family events covered in coal dust,” Mollie explained.

“He works daylight to dark so that I can be home taking care of our kids (Easton and his 1-year-old sister named Lynlee). So we’ve just gotten used to it, coal dust everywhere. We’re kind of proud of it. It’s just what you’ve got to do around here to make a living,” she continued.

The family was shocked yet grateful for the notoriety they’d gotten, all thanks to one post gaining over 160k likes on Twitter

Image credits: Mollie McGuire

Mollie told Bored Panda that the core values of their family are based in faith, hard work, respect, and the reality that “we aren’t promised tomorrow or even today.”

“My grandmother lost her mom when she was 9 and, starting there, experienced a rough upbringing,” she explained. “She married at 16, had my mother at 17 and they grew up together. My mom has always been extremely close to her parents. Those values fortunately trickled down to me with my relationship with my parents and grandparents. Thankfully, when I met Micheal and, as we got to know each other, we discovered that we shared the desire to raise a family where everyone could rely on, confide in, feel supported and loved by each other, no matter the circumstances.” 

She hopes that their kids grow up “knowing they are always enough, always worthy, always loved, and that they never have to change themselves to please others.” 

Image credits: Mollie McGuire

People flooded the tweet with comments, some sharing their own experiences and stories, and others just applauding the dedicated father. “My dad almost lost his life around a coal mine when I was only 3 months old. I’m from Wheelwright, just over the mountain from where this game was played. Thanks for sharing this picture,” one person wrote.

Another added, “Son of a Coal Trucker, my dad missed many high school and college games but he made sure I never missed anything. This is a true Eastern KY dad and it’s very cool Cal recognized it… well deserved.” A third user shared, “My dad used to come to my games like this, but covered in dirt and dust instead of coal dust and mud from running a strip mine. Thanks for doing this.”

The addition of coal dust has become the norm in their family, yet they wouldn’t have it any other way. We wish them all the best for the future!

Image credits: Mollie McGuire

Mollie thanked everyone for their support, love, and appreciation for her husband in a Facebook post. “There are many times [Micheal] misses out on these events due to work. So any chance he can be there he is, no matter how tired or dirty,” she wrote. “We would like to say thank you to everyone who shared this and made it go viral, and simply taking time to recognize his hard work and dedication to being a father!”

We wish the family all the best and hope that they enjoy the VIP experience! They definitely deserve it! Let us know your thoughts on the story, and don’t forget to share your own memories of your parents or guardians going the extra mile to make a bit of your childhood better. Bye-bye til the next one!

People have shared their own childhood memories and have sent the family lots of love. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Christos Arvanitis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love this story. Great dad. But I'm reminded when I see his face covered in coal dust that this is a horribly exploitive industry and that miners suffer lots of health problems due to the inhalation of dust.

Wood Carver
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This! Hes a wonderful dad and it is amazing to see. That being said The health problems that com3 from coal and the dust inhalation. You see that concentration of dust along the sides of his nose in most photos. Clear demonstrated proof of a guy whose respirator is not properly fitted, which should be caught by bi monthly fit tests in extreme environments like that. My crew would get pulled aside and all of us would review daily fit checks and signs that they don't fit.... this is because the company clearly doesn't care enough to keep on top of it. That issue would be observable every single day ad he exitted the mine and the health and safety guys should have long ago caught it. Poor man. Great dad though.

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Terran
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not all heroes wear capes! Some wear a thin layer of coal dust.

Donna Minder
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You also asked for a favorite memory. 1968 My Grampa was a quiet, hard working, but very ill man my whole life. He had taken me fishing, I was 4 or so and a girl. We spent hours, had a picnic. Im one of 4 kids but it was just him and I. When arriving home I dashed out of his old pickup, nearly being hit by a car. He picked me up and swatted me one swat. Then set me on the seat of the pickup. Of course I cried, but he did too. It was the one and only time he ever gave me a swat. It was not the only time we fished. He was special and passed when I was 16.

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Christos Arvanitis
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love this story. Great dad. But I'm reminded when I see his face covered in coal dust that this is a horribly exploitive industry and that miners suffer lots of health problems due to the inhalation of dust.

Wood Carver
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This! Hes a wonderful dad and it is amazing to see. That being said The health problems that com3 from coal and the dust inhalation. You see that concentration of dust along the sides of his nose in most photos. Clear demonstrated proof of a guy whose respirator is not properly fitted, which should be caught by bi monthly fit tests in extreme environments like that. My crew would get pulled aside and all of us would review daily fit checks and signs that they don't fit.... this is because the company clearly doesn't care enough to keep on top of it. That issue would be observable every single day ad he exitted the mine and the health and safety guys should have long ago caught it. Poor man. Great dad though.

Load More Replies...
Terran
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not all heroes wear capes! Some wear a thin layer of coal dust.

Donna Minder
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You also asked for a favorite memory. 1968 My Grampa was a quiet, hard working, but very ill man my whole life. He had taken me fishing, I was 4 or so and a girl. We spent hours, had a picnic. Im one of 4 kids but it was just him and I. When arriving home I dashed out of his old pickup, nearly being hit by a car. He picked me up and swatted me one swat. Then set me on the seat of the pickup. Of course I cried, but he did too. It was the one and only time he ever gave me a swat. It was not the only time we fished. He was special and passed when I was 16.

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