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A Memorial Day Post

CAM00150The young woman on the right is my Great Grandmother Elliston, Shirley Moore Elliston.

This poem is by Rev. Robert E. Hall, my father.  I asked if I could post it for Memorial Day.

Life can come at us, willy nilly,
wound and defeat us,
unless revised,
re-envisioned.

I remember….
Grandma E, widowed young by WW I.
She walked to Hilley’s Dress Shop
twelve blocks round trip
six days a week.
On her feet eight hours a day
selling and sewing.
On Sundays
she walked nine blocks to First Baptist Church to worship.
For their new sanctuary,
she did without hair appointments
to fulfill her pledge.
In WW 2, she rented out rooms to make ends meet.

It was not the life she had hoped for.
And yet she was…
Tough.
Enduring.
Providential.
Faithful.
Steadfast.

Her life was God-led,
with detours.

May Day Mayday Mash-up . . .

I’m working on a little effort to encourage people in North Carolina to say the words “Labor Union” (without epithet) in a prayer, sermon, or song at a service of faith the weekend before Labor Day.  We are calling it “Labor Sabbath,” and we will have a nifty website up soon.  In correspondence with another activist about this, she asked if I meant May 1 or September 1.  I snorted my morning tea out my nose.  As IF!  It will be a long game to encourage conversations about Labor Unions on Labor Day Weekend.  May Day is a gift to many people, but not a gift I can take to congregations right now.  Working on labor justice in North Carolina requires patience and whimsy.  It also requires collaboration across meaningful divides on the left, because the anti-justice people collaborate quite well, thank you.  Inter-racial, pro-labor populism in North Carolina has been squished by the neo-liberal, pro-business dudes and the old, conservative dudes for too long.  (See here, especially “Two Men and a Bargain”: , here, and here.)  The good news is that inter-racial, worker populism must be pretty darned powerful, or else liberals and conservatives would not have been so willing to collaborate with one another to keep labor unions at bay.  So . . . with cheers for both May 1 and September 1, here is my own May Day Mayday Mash-up.  I will be dancing intermittently during the day, as I grade lots and lots of (mostly wonderful) student papers . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xmckWVPRaI&feature=kp  (Bonus quiz: Why is Twisted Sister more fun than The Who?  Answer: WHIMSY!  Plus, note that kiddies are reassured repeatedly that dad is ok, just stunned.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8_RY0x3GI0 (Don’t Frack with us!  Love it!  And more here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQSNVQStnZ4 and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kd_sWRsphE.)

And, while we are in Wisconsin, LOVE the bagpipes!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6hZA0c4cDE  love the kilts too ; )

This one doesn’t have a beat, but it has serious SOUL!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so1PYBCn_5o

Ah beloveds, let’s get down to business!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PaoLy7PHwk

And, yes, just because I need this periodically.  Love Belinda!  Jump Back!  (I ain’t apologizing for nothing.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRwR33FLmrI

 

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