Ludlow Massacre Memorial

Today was the UMW memorial service held at Ludlow, the site of the 1914 Ludlow Massacre. The actual event occurred in April 20th, 1914 in Ludlow, Colorado. The coal miners were on strike for decent treatment in the mines. If you want to read about it, visit this site   or Google the event.

However, this has a family connection for me. The Sudars were coal miners. In 1914, Paul Sudar Sr, his wife Rose and their four sons, were living in the tent colonies. One of those sons was my grandpa John Sudar. He was four. Grandpa said that his father got nervous about the machine guns being set up on the hills around the camps. During the run up to the Ludlow Massacre, My Great-grandpa Sudar sent his wife and children out on a flatcar with lots of other women and children. The flatcar sat out on the plains for four days as they waited to hear what happened to their husbands and friends. It was cold, as that April had been very snowy. They had only what they could carry. When they came back, Ludlow was burned. People died. Mainly women and children who suffocated in a basement under a tent.

I realize that if my Great-grandpa hadn’t been nervous about what he was seeing, we might not be here. The Ludlow Massacre was part of a war that most people don’t even know about. They don’t know how one small place in Colorado became so important to the unions and the history of the labor movement.

Today we had local union reps,politicians, clergy, a Mother Jones impersonator, national union reps, an author and most importantly, two Great Granddaughters who’s families worked in the mines and were at Ludlow. We had welders who presented the site with a memorial sign that they had welded. One of the welders had started out as a miner and changed jobs to become a welder. We had awesome barbecue to eat. Most importantly, this was a family event. Families of miners, union members and community.

I’ll be there again next year.

Agggghhh!!! Life Interrupts!

Or, how I went crazy trying to get ready for Battlemoor.

It’s been quiet. Not a lot of business, (boo!) not a lot of stuff because of school, or weather, etc. I figured I’d have lots of time to sew. Battlemoor is at the end of the month. Then it got busy. Business has picked up. (Yeah!!!)  We had a BUNCH of meetings. South East Workforce Board, South Central Workforce Board, State Youth Council, school boards, etc… Then the classes… SCA classes and computer classes.

I finally found time to sew and started on Dan’s stuff. The tunics went together beautifully. The trews were a bit of a hassle, but I figured out a combo of modern pattern and old fashioned pattern. It took a little to get the gusset right, but then everything just worked. So, I started on my clothes. The under tunic went together fairly easily. Then I started the Apron dress. To say that I fought with that pattern is an understatement. I finally discovered that my printer had not printed everything. However, the whole experience has been so frustrating that it took me nearly 5 hours to work one dress. Now, I’ve sewn for 40 years. I started when I was ten. I’ve drafted patterns and done things that have gone from a 14 inch drawing to a 1860’s ball gown. Never half the issues I had with this dress. Why? I don’t know. However, I have decided that it was a mix of non-seamstresses and academics trying to engineer a garment. I thought about all the issues, redid the pattern on some basic levels.  The next one I did I had the drafting, cutting and basic sewing done in 40 minutes. So, when the dust of Battlemoor settles, I will be sharing my new way to draft and sew a Viking Apron Dress.

Below are pics of my new sewing companion, and Dan in his tunic and trews.

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Preparations for Battlemoor II

Or how I will spend most of the next two weeks sewing!

Last year, the SCA kingdom of the Outlands held a new event called Battlemoor. It was on the Stroh Ranch up near Greenhorn Mt., about 10 miles from Walsenburg. We went up and took lots of pictures and had a great time. However, we only did the one day thing.

This year, we have a new Shire in town… So to speak. Next thing we knew, a bunch of SCA people poured out of the woodwork, got together and *poof*, we had the Shire of Villaleon!  You can check it out here  And you can check out Battlemoor II here

As with last year, I am covering the event. This time though, from the INSIDE. yes, we are actually attending the whole event. 🙂 So, I’m making clothing like a mad woman. I’m a 900-100o AD era Viking who hooked up with a Lombard Mercenary from approximately the same era if not a little earlier. So, Jaye and Dan will morph into Unna Farulfsdottir and Lothar de Savage at the end of the month.

Last night, we attended the shoe making class held by two other SCA members in the Shire. We got to cover a sock in duct tape and then make a pattern for our shoes. The big test though will be getting them sewn, by hand, before June 29th. Oh, and all the tunics, underdresses, apron dresses, and trews. Wheeee!

If you’re in the area at the end of June, Stop by. Dress up and come play for a day!