Chuck Paine

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My story is mostly the story of holes or lacunae. I’ve been to Silver City twice, once as a tenth grader for the NM State Senior League Baseball Tournament (we won and went to Arizona, where got killed by Colorado and Utah), the other time a few years ago at a retreat owned Friends of the Earth (or some ecology-oriented national organization) with my wife’s cousins. I don’t remember anyone talking about the 1953(?) strike.

The first time we stayed with a family, and the father worked at the copper mine driving the huge ore trucks. Or at least I thought it was copper. He obviously was proud of his work, but I don’t remember anyone talking about unions or history.

I’ve never set foot in Bayard, but have driven past.

I was first made aware of the Empire mine strike watching PBS (I think after I’d come back to NM, so post-1994); I think they were airing the documentary, which I could see (for some forgotten reason) only maybe fifteen minutes of.

The truth is, I’ve been curious about this for a while, but I’m a little chagrined to say that I never really investigated. Not even a look-up on Wikipedia.

I wonder if the history or English faculty at Western NM has investigated this.

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