The morning started like this: Views from the NC Bunker.
Then I slid my car down the back hill to Barre to get it undercoated at a place called Yipes. Went to Espresso Bueno to write then slipped down Granite Street, over the railway tracks, to visit the Socialist Labor Party Hall (aka the Old Labor Hall). Hallowed ground. Emma Goldman used to live on Granite Street.
Big Bill Haywood who led the IWW spoke at the hall. He’s the big guy below, leading a strike parade in Lowell, MA, in 1912.
Also the legendary Red Flame, Annie Burlak (National Textile Workers Union).
The great Anarchist Luigi Galleani lived a block or two away on Blackwell Street and published his internationally influential newspaper Cronaca Sovversiva (The Chronicle of Subversion). How I love that name, Chronicle of Subversion.
And the young brilliant stone carver Elia Corti was famously shot to death (by another Anarchist) on the front doorstep in 1903.
It did me good walking there. I felt the hairs go up the back of my neck a bit. I was more moved than I care to talk about. I think I fell in love a little with the Red Flame. I could feel the big hall packed with voices.
And yet it’s a functioning community hall and social centre. I went back to Yipes to get my car and the woman at the counter told me how she has a small foster child who had never had a birthday party in his life. So she rented the Socialist Party Labor Hall and threw him the biggest party ever just a few weeks ago.
It did my heart good, as I say, — in the midst of this tawdry election cycle — to find myself suddenly in the presence of such kind, dedicated, hearty people (the current ones and the ghosts).
Loved hearing about this history, especially now. (Numero Cinq is surely a Chronicle of Subversion too.)
Sharon, I wondered if you’d notice a new Out & Back post. 🙂 Thanks.