I didn’t notice what the date was when I got up this morning, and just wore the same thing I wore yesterday, which happened to be an “It’s easy being green” t-shirt with a frog on it, so I didn’t get pinched. The little Irish that I am, on my father’s side, is the orange kind, not the green, but I like a lot of traditions that aren’t my own. For me, March 17 is more than St. Pat’s day, however. It’s the anniversary of my mother’s death, in 1978, from pancreatitis. Which they haven’t found a cure for yet.
Watched Harlan County USA last night on DVD checked out from the library. There’s a wonderful old Irishman in it reminiscing about going into the mines at the age of ten and going on strike with the other breaker boys (who sorted the slate out of the stream of coal going by) and winning a few pennies more per hour. It’s an incredible documentary of persistence, violence and solidarity as miners struck in the early nineteen-seventies for the right to unionize and get safer working conditions. Full of really determined women—the miner’s wives and widows. Now I hear there are as many women as men in the mines, but there were none at all then. The film made me nostalgic for the good old days when there were stronger unions, however bitter the struggle was.
Last Friday I went to one of the many demonstrations in support of the teachers being pink-slipped for lack of state and federal support for education. Their union was there, and parents with kids, and a brass band.
And here’s Mavina, being green, thanks to the poster-making process at www.greenforall.org:
             Photo by Alejandro Stewart.
© 2009 by Nancy Schimmel          
It’s easy being green: the mug. From Syracuse Cultural Workershttp://syracuseculturalworkers.com/catalog/79/green
Tuesday, March 17, 2009