A couple of years ago, we took my niece to the Owensboro Museum of Science and History. We took her on the tour of the coal mine. I noticed the gentleman who conducted the tour, thinking of how great it will be to do some work with him.
Now, I have my chance.
Myself, Adam Pryor, Jody Hulsey and Lauren Brown Calhoun will be joined in our Relish film by Todd Reynolds.
Todd Reynolds is a mainstay in Owensboro. He has been involved with Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, Back Alley Musicals as well as several different theater companies in Owensboro. He has been directing the Voices of Elmwood for the last year. He has been working several years as programming director for the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, by the end of November, he will take over as Executive Director of Theatre Workshop of Owensboro.
Todd is a very good human being. He brings such a glorious human side to whatever project he is involved with. He will be a joy to work with.
I also would like to take a minute or two and thank Nikole and Michael Gross of The Creme for allowing me to film my little movie at the Creme.
Looking forward from Relish, I have two short films, plus one feature in various stages of completion and I have the idea for my next documentary.
I don’t know what it is about documentaries that keeps me coming back for more, but I do. I like telling stories from the past of all of us. I suppose of mostly American history, but I would keep an open mind about
But the next documentary I want to do is about the Haymarket Riot and their aftermath, America’s first Red Scare.
Artist rendering of the Haymarket Riots.
The Haymarket Riot was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers by the police, the previous day. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb atpolice as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.
In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy. The evidence was that one of the defendants may have built the bomb, but none of those on trial had thrown it. Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. The death sentences of two of the defendants were commuted by Illinois governor Richard J. Oglesby to terms of life in prison, and another committed suicide in jail rather than face the gallows. The other four were hanged on November 11, 1887. In 1893, Illinois’ new governor John Peter Altgeld pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the trial.
The Haymarket affair is generally considered significant as the origin of international May Day observances for workers. The site of the incident was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1992, and a public sculpture was dedicated there in 2004. In addition, the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument at the defendants’ burial site in nearby Forest Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997.
“No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today. Although the rally is included in American history textbooks, very few present the event accurately or point out its significance,” according to labor studies professor William J. Adelman.
The Haymarket Memorial.
As a working class Chicagoan southsider, I have always heard that the bomb was thrown by some agent of the police. I really don’t know, but I can tell you that one of the police in charge was this slightly shady character, so…
At any rate, this documentary is somewhere in the future. At best, right now, I have started my pre-research into a dark episode of my hometown’s past.