Waiting for the Unveiling of a Historical Marker at Camden Station, Howard Street Side

Waiting for the Unveiling of a Historical Marker at Camden Station, Howard Street SideToday’s bike ride started early with a run downtown to join folks for the unveiling of a historical marker to commemorate the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. It is just the third historical marker honoring labor in Maryland (there’s one for Mother Jones and another for the Lattimer Massacre, though that happened in Pennsylvania, mostly), because we don’t often tell the stories of labor or the ephemeral history left by people who were illiterate and lacked the outlets and power to put their thoughts down for posterity. This strike was a massive turning point for both organized labor and for the state’s willingness to call out the dogs to protect capital–50% of the nation’s army was brought in to put down this strike, caused by workers saying no more to pay cut after pay cut as stock dividends held steady at 10% and the guys in charge continued to get rich. While waiting I watched tons of folks walk by on their way to today’s train–the light rail–and I wondered how many of them will read it once it’s uncovered, and how many when the thousands pass it on their way to the sporting events that take place on this hallowed ground. No matter–I want the marker there, the reminder, the chance for some folks to see it and know it in spite of themselves. After the short ceremony I was back on my bike and up the hill to home for a quick bite before taking the bike out to meet P. & B. for a ride on the B&A Trail. That used to be a railroad, too, responsible for the quick growth of Annapolis and the suburbs between there and here, Baltimore. Now it’s a rail-trail, and today it was packed with bicyclists, dog walkers, strollers, and more bicyclists, and it felt so good to put in some miles after taking a much-needed rest this week. It was so much easier than last week’s long ride, and I believe I have learned my lesson about giving myself proper rest, probably. Over 40 miles today, and I wasn’t out of gas. Most, most excellent.

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