I grew up in Bayard, occasionally attending gatherings at the Union Hall during the summer. I’ve spent time in the neighborhood admiring the mural while playing on the street at friends’ houses. I have it on good authority that the mural is some of the best art in Grant County. Not only does the union hall represent local Chicano History but it brings color and illustration to Bayard.
The Mural on the hall is some of the only art in public places in Bayard. As a whole it’s a representation of our people and history. It is a part of our background, childhoods, and history both in a figurative sense and a literal sense.
The hall and mural signifies identity in Bayard. Bayard could use a better, more visible documentation of the people’s history. Everyone in Bayard comes from a mining background, it is ingrained in people. You can join the mine or you can not join the mine, there is a clear distinction; using your mind or using your body. My great great grandfather and great grandfather both worked at Kennecott. People here were raised on the principles of really hard work as is derivative of mining culture. It is important to not let let go of that as a principle. Hard work, cultural identity, and respect keeps people going and together here, juntos.
The union hall should be preserved. Made available to the community to use for gatherings and historical education. The mural should be preserved.