Old Wobbly Rag

I was home after a incredibly trying week back to work after first vacation in a long time.   I was thinking about what I was going to wear to pride, I was going to wear a Fire jersey or the t-shirt I had on.  The shirt I had on was a relic from my days as a marxist activist, even pre that period.  I was new to activism I was drawn to the wobblies.  I had know all about Joe Hill and his ilk prior to ever meeting a mondern Wobbly, which I call Mobblies.  Not only for the mob referance, but kind of as Modern Wobblie.  I bought it my t-shirt at the time that I was going to get involved.  I remember intially contacting them on the web, which is ironic, but also at a time pre social media.  The t shirt has the classic wobbly globe with the phrase ” An injury to one is An injury to all.”  Than it was black with red writing, now its so grey it is starting to look brown.  The print has faded. Its transports me back to my days as being a married activist.  It was not a joy trying to negoitiate time away from home.  The basic theme of an injury to one is an injury to all, has to be my theme.  It has guided me in all my professional life.  But the Wobblies who I wound up dismissing as the spoiled Black Block of the left.  I have to thank the founders who may not recognize the Mobblies.  The leader who I have loved across the century is Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.   Sje was the original Rebel Girl, she was named that after her youth spent speaking to workers about thier rights.  She presented a galvanizing image.  She was later the subject of a song called Rebel Girl I believe by a Joe Hill, song just that it was in the original Wobbly song book, I think it was called to Fan the Flames of discontent.  When I started reading about her fighting as she got older for workers in many places.  She fought for her space at the table as an equal largely.  I have always had a deep and passionate lover for her.  Is it wierd? Problably, but she was perfect in my mind.  A woman of passion and fire.  I used to dream that she would come and visit me, numerous times.  When I went to see her grave at the Red Cemetary in River Forest my eyes welled up when as I Iaid a rose on her grave.  Is it possible to Love somebody you have never met and will never ever meet, or at least when we meet in the big labor Meeting in the sky.   She was not classically beautiful, but her spirit the one which erradiates through the century to where it hits me.  What would she have been like? Would she sound of the plush green Island home of her family?  What would she have been like? What would Joe HIll, Big Bill, and Gurley would have been like?   Her spirit had connected with me,  I have always loved the Rebel Girl.


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