On July 4 I visited the Chicago History Museum. I wanted to see the Ebony Fashion Exhibit and Shalom Chicago, the story of Jews in Chicago. At the exhibit I was captured as I always am, by images of striking workers…especially if they are women, especially if they are led by a woman. I watch the grainy film, the story of low wages, unsafe working conditions and long hours. I see that other unions look down on these women…they are not skilled workers, they are button sewers! They unite, they protest, they win. I am standing in the back weeping. I wept during the documentary section of the Harvey Milk movie. It must be in my DNA. Show me injustice in a grainy film and I am a goner.
Next week is the 5th anniversary of the senior center where I exercise and am part of a wonderful writer’s group. The director and I were talking about the birthday cake. I volunteered to take that job. I am a cake expert. She feared that I would order a cake of such magnitude that their budget for everything else would be devoured. I wanted the cake to have tiers, which would represent the fountains on the grounds.
This caused the baker to become a bit skittish. She couldn’t quite imagine how to execute the fountains.
We compromised. There will be flowers, and the image of the fountains, but in two dimensions, not three. I want to have slogans on the cake. I want it to say, “Women must have bread, but roses too.” I Google the phrase. It is perhaps apocryphal, but here’s what I found.