One of my first memories involving the mines and the union is of my father. My father started working in the mines in Silver City right out of high school. Every time we would pass the building driving out of town, he would mention how the union was one of the best times of his life. He had a great group of friends and colleagues – they would gather and enjoy each other company. Even though I don’t know about his projects or accomplishments with the union, I know how important it was to him and how significant it was to his career. This became apparent after the union ended – there was sense of loss in his life. My father worked for the mines up until I graduated from college in 2009 and even went back after some time because he missed it so much. This career choice of his was important to him – he takes much pride in it.
This story is significant to me because it is such a great way to learn more about my father. He is a very quiet person; however, when he talks about these stories – you can see him open up, light up about the stories he has. This story provides insight to my dad – the kind of person he was growing up. Also, the importance of this story has created a sense of community for me. When he would tell me these stories when I was younger, I thought to myself – “Okay, another story like this…” Now, when I think of these stories, I now know why it was so important to him. Not only does it give me a sense of pride, but makes me appreciate my dad and his career and what it has provided for me growing up.
I think the building should be revitalized for the community – create a sense of space for the Silver City and Bayard community. There really isn’t a place for this in the town – if you opened up the building again, a place for them to join – gather and memorialize and honor the unions would be fantastic. It also should become a way for those involved in the union to gather again – giving them the chance to relive those days and once again become a community. A museum would be a great choice too!