Celebrating Labor Day – Acknowledging my Father

Looking back – Reflecting on Past Memories

Today is Labor Day in the United States, as those of you in the United States know. Likely most, if not all of you reading this, are also aware of this.  The holiday was established to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States. – See Wikipedia for description and more details.

Indirectly, for me, it’s also a celebration of my life and my parents.  Without the mission of union organizers, I would never have been born. My father, Sam Bakely, was a union organizer and one of the organizers of a Ladies Garment Workers strike.  My mother was one of the workers on the picket line. I do not know the exact story of how they directly connected and fell in love. 

Not only did I know any details about that strike or anything of my father’s early years with labor unions.  It wasn’t until a high school friend on mine told me she had just read about my father in Edmund Wilson’s book AMERICAN EARTHQUAKE book. It as through getting that book that I learned about his role and other experiences he had in assisting in another major strike, plus his schooling before that. 

Lastly, regarding my father and memories – An out-of-the blue story surfaced recently when I was Googling something. It saddens me that I don’t recall ever hearing about it. In 1962  my father, testified before a Senate Sub-committee on a Postal Rate revision. He was Secretary-Treasurer of a Teamsters Local of Truck Drivers who delivered magazines. Their jobs would be impacted by reducing postage rates for magazines.

Why, you may be wondering, have I been sharing these stories? In part, as I said, it’s to acknowledge and celebrate Labor Day and to honor my father.

In addition, it’s a reminder of lost memories, some of which we may never have been aware. 

Last Saturday was the 62nd wedding anniversary that my beloved husband, Sam and I would have been celebrating together were he still alive. I am blessed and fortunate that I was able to celebrate him and us through the love letters and notes I have starting from a few days after we me…a story I’ll share another time.

The Past and Future
As you know, our lives are full of memories. It’s great when we can celebrate the good and beautiful ones. Are there special memories you have wanting to be shared also with people important to you in this generation and beyond?

September for many marks the start of a  New Year… back-to-school and more. I am excited. With the guidance and support of a coach and a mastermind group, I expect to be launching, in a group program, being conscious of, living and celebrating the present moments, and sharing them.

I’d appreciate your sharing what has come up for you as you’ve read through some of my history here.

Are there stories from your past that you wish you had known about?…

Might there be:
stories of your own that you want to make certain are available for you at special times in the future for you to read or watch on video?

stories that you want to ensure family members and friends will have should they want to celebrate you?

I’d very much appreciate your leaving a comment in the Leave Reply space below.


Celebrating Labor Day – Acknowledging my Father — 4 Comments

  1. Dear Sheila, you have my respect and esteem. You are a wonderful human being, pure spirit that meaning always the Light. Thank you for sharing your father’s stories related to Labor Day! Amazing and inspiring to write about our memories, find out about our ancestors and honor them for their contribution to our lives and the world. I am missing our chats, let’s reconnect again. You had brought to my vitality, energy and so much love. Many blessings

    • Dear Luz.

      Thank you so much for your response to this post and for all of your special acknowledgment of me. I am moved by it.

      Interestingly I, too, have been thinking about you, wondering how you are doing. I will connect soon. Looking forward to it.

  2. Dear Inspirational Sheila,
    Such a glorious story about how your parents met. You have so much to admire in them, just as your sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandsons regard you so highly. What a magnificent legacy from them, and from you to the world!

    It can be empowering to know stories of parents and grandparents. The challenges they faced, and overcame, give us strength. Thank you for championing this valuable field.

    • Thanks so much, Marifran, for acknowledging the post as well as my family history, my parents, me and then the next generation, my “descendants.” 🙂 It feels strange to be using that word.

      Thanks also for seeing me as “championing this valuable field.”

      Most appreciatively,

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