Though I was unaware of it, I began to damage my hearing as early as twelve years of age. I spent summers in Northern Manitoba prospecting for gold with my thirteen-year-old brother and a seventy-year-old family friend. We canoed and dynamited our way across the province, hoping to make a strike. We did, but that’s another story. At sixteen to eighteen years I worked as an underground miner in Northern Ontario and in Yellowknife NWT, using pneumatic drills and regularly blasting as many as three or four hundred sticks of dynamite at a time. Ear protection was not considered important. From there, I spent seven more years in the field with the CNR, another notorious source of noise, particularly in the dying years of the steam era.