Roger Hare Interview

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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TRACI DRUMMOND: This is Traci Drummond, archivist for the Southern Labor Archives in Atlanta, Georgia, at Georgia State University. I’m here today with Roger Hare. We’re going to be doing an interview, on behalf of the Archives of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers. Today is the twenty-seventh day of July, 2014 and we are in South Portland, Maine. Good afternoon -- good morning, I guess it’s still morning --

ROGER HARE: Good morning!

DRUMMOND: -- here. How are you today?

HARE: I feel pretty well.

DRUMMOND: Good, good. So we’ll just start our interview and get started with some questions about your background, your history. Where were you born, and when?

HARE: I was born in Northern Maine in a little -- in Houlton, Maine. In another 1:00month, that will be 87 years ago.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK. So you were born on September 27th of 1927?

HARE: August. Nineteen --

DRUMMOND: August! August --

HARE: Twenty-seven. 1927.

DRUMMOND: OK. And, so, tell me a little about Monticello? As it wa--

HARE: That’s the town that -- the way we were -- lived in.

DRUMMOND: OK. And tell me bit about Monticello.

HARE: It was a very small town, probably 1,300 people, I’m guessing that. It’s probably about what it is today because very few people move around up there. The -- my father worked as a -- for the state -- as a highway patrol -- maintenance patrol. And my mother was a housewife. They were divorced when I was 2:0013 years old and I went eight and a half years at -- or eight years of school in the town of Monticello. After my parents were divorced, my mother moved to Houlton, which is only 16 miles south. She was employed by one of the local doctors as a housekeeper. And -- lost it for a minute -- I went three and a half years to Houlton High School. I worked two of those years at the Houlton Theatre 3:00as a rewind -- film rewind person, and cleaning of the projection room. When I left there, I worked a very short period of time driving truck on Presque Isle Air Base. Leaving there, I went to the sanatorium at the age of 17 years old, stayed two and a half years, left the --

DRUMMOND: Le-- let’s back up to your first job with the -- at the theater.

HARE: Yes.

DRUMMOND: Did you -- did you get a job so that you could have spending money, or were you trying to help out around the house? Or, was it just --

4:00

HARE: No. I -- I -- the first apartment that we li-- the only apartment that we lived in in Houlton, there was a lovely, lovely family that lived on first floor, we lived second floor. And they -- the family had three sons, and at that point, all three sons was in the military. At that point, my mother went from Houlton, Maine, to Portland, Maine, to work in the shipyards and I say that this lovely family decided to keep me on -- kind of -- I would say as a kind of a replacement for the three sons that were in the military. And they were just unbelievably good to me. I stayed there until, as I said, the truck driving, and 5:00from there is when I left for the sanatorium. I got up one morning, and had pleurisy in my chest went -- and instantly to the hospital and the hospital sent me directly to the sanatorium --

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: -- which happened to be in Southern Maine because we only had three sanatoriums in the state of Maine and that was the only open bed at that time.

DRUMMOND: Let me g-- I’m sorry, let me back up one more time. What -- you said your mom went -- left to go to work on the shipyard in Portland --

HARE: Yeah. South Portland, actually --

DRUMMOND: -- what. South Portland. What work would they have had for a woman in a shipyard?

6:00

HARE: They had, as a matter of fact, more women in shipyard as welders and --

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK, so it was during the second World War?

HARE: Yes.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK, so was your mom a welder?

HARE: No, my mother was some sort of a -- a [why get?] to move steel around and so on and so forth.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK.

HARE: Had a little cart and she drove around...

DRUMMOND: OK. Well, and you said your next job was driving a truck --

HARE: No, the driving the truck was befo -- I was driving the truck at the time it was discovered that I had tuberculosis --

DRUMMOND: Tuberculosis --

HARE: -- That was the last job that I had --

DRUMMOND: -- OK --

HARE: -- until I left the sanatorium and went to...

DRUMMOND: And you say that was in Southern Maine? The sani--

7:00

HARE: Well, it was 16 miles from Lewiston and Lewiston is about 35 miles from Portland, I guess, so if that’s (inaudible) description.

DRUMMOND: And what was it like there?

HARE: I was just about ready to tell you one of my favorite stories that probably very few people will believe. When I went into the sanatorium, they had a women’s wing on one side, men’s wing on the other. I had a room -- one wall was exposed to the outside -- in other words, it was an end room. And my mother, having Saturdays off -- or Sundays off -- she would come up to visit with me, which was probably a 50 mile drive at that time. And we had had a real 8:00bad snow storm the night before. It was high winds because we were up on the -- they called it Greenwood Mountain. And the sanatorium was on top of this mountain. And when she got there and come down to my room -- we had individual rooms -- and it was like French doors that was -- that were the full width of the room itself. She had to wait for the maintenance people to come in to shovel the snow away from -- which included under my bed -- snow, in order to get the doors closed so she could visit.

DRUMMOND: And why -- why did you keep the doors open again?

HARE: It was -- tuberculosis at that time had no form of medication. It had to 9:00be strictly bed rest. I -- out of the two and a half years there -- I spent little over 365 days by getting out of bed once a day while the nurse changed the bed. Other than that, I could not get out of the bed for any reason. I mean, that was their rule.

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: And it -- another interesting story -- there’s one that’s hard to believe -- was I used to use canning jars or sealers, you know, they’re glass containers to prepare the summer harvest so that they could have vegetables, and so on and so forth, in the winter. I have laid in bed and watched one of the jars break from the frost.

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: Really.

DRUMMOND: Wow.

10:00

HARE: And I survived that winter because my uncle bought me -- at that time, it wasn’t an insulated -- I don’t know what it was. But anyway, it was a special suit that I wore that kept me from freezing to death, I guess.

DRUMMOND: OK. Because that was my next question. How did you stand it with all the cold air coming in --

HARE: Well, they -- the only time that we could have the doors closed was when we didn’t have visitors. Or mealtime. They would close the doors sometime -- maybe an hour and a half prior to a meal. Because the corridors were so hot. I mean, they would keep the quarters probably 85 or 90 degrees -- I’m just guessing that. Because when they opened the doors, you could just feel the rush of heat coming in -- in the room. But there was -- it was quite an experience. I love to tell this story for the simple reason that when they took my mother -- 11:00well, my mother and my grandmother -- took me to the sanatorium, the doctors informed them that they would be shipping me home within three months in a casket. And the -- this was the time of the World War -- second World War, and the Americans had freed a number of Russian Jews from th -- or German Jews -- from the imprisonment. And they lov -- some of them came into the state of Maine. We had four doctors, three of them were Jewish doctors that come over on this -- whatever terms that they used to bring the Ger -- the prisoners -- the 12:00Jewish prisoners into the United States. And the elder spokesman of the group was assigned to give me pneumothorax. Pneumothorax is when they put a needle in -- and they get into -- in between your inner lung and the lung itself and they put in air to collapse the lung. And this, in my opinion, is what saved my life. The doctor made a bad mistake. Instead of 50 CCs, he gave me 500 CCs.

DRUMMOND: That’s a big difference.

HARE: And at -- it showed in the discharge that I would have through mouth -- I just raised all kind of phlegm for two days. And I had pretty good care for those three days because that was enough -- if -- if I had had, probably more 13:00serious -- or a different [splot?] the doctors had said that that would have been the end because it would have just blown the lung apart.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But it didn’t blow it apart. And it -- as I said, I’ll never forget that doctor. He was so kind and gentle, but made a mistake.

DRUMMOND: But for the better, perhaps.

HARE: Well, I hope -- (laughs) I hope to say it was better. I didn’t like the alternative at that time. (laughs)

DRUMMOND: Right. (laughs) Well, how do you -- cause how -- you couldn’t have been more than 20 at that point.

HARE: That was when I was discharged. I went in at -- I can’t remember. It seems to me that it was in August of whatever year -- I don’t remember the year -- that the uh -- I went in in August and I got out in the spring of two 14:00and a half years later anyway.

DRUMMOND: OK. Well, how did you occupy -- if you had to stay in the bed --

HARE: Yep.

DRUMMOND: -- all day. Just lying there.

HARE: Yep.

DRUMMOND: How did you occupy your time?

HARE: Well they gave credit to the extent that my body was so abused -- so deteriorated -- that I was practically a vegetable. And because of the good care, there was nothing they could do except keep me warm and feed me. So, it -- they did a great job of doing that. But I -- I -- when I was awake, my uncle had 15:00bought a short-wave radio. And at that point in time, they started the first -- lost it that quick -- Veteran’s -- like a Veteran’s network, giving different news from family, and so on and so forth, supposedly, strictly a Veteran’s station. And it were on 24 hours a day, so with the military ban, I had all copies of all of the comedians, for an example, that were -- that was on the air at that time and it was -- I survived it quite well. I mean --

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: -- I didn’t -- I wasn’t -- never shed a tear as a 17-year-old being 16:00penned up because I just accepted that I had to have it, and that was it --

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: -- and I truthfully can say that I never thought of being out of there.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: Just grew to adapt life as it was.

DRUMMOND: So, when they were getting ready to release you back into the world, were there any sort of rehabilitation steps that they took? Or --

HARE: Uh, no. But that again is, I think is an interesting story. I have already told you was that my mother was working for a doctor in Houlton. And my mother died two weeks before I was discharged from the sanatorium. And they -- they --

17:00

DRUMMOND: Had she been sick? Had she been sick?

HARE: She had ovarian cancer.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: They -- when they discharged me, two weeks after her funeral -- and I was able to go to that because father come down and pick me up and then he had to take me back, of course. But they get me a discharge, and I had to go to Portland in order to get a train to go to Northern Maine. So I went to Portland and caught the midnight train out of Portland for Aroostook County. And we had to change trains in Northern Maine Junction, and I was one of the first ones to get from one train to the other, and I took advantage of it, so I laid down with 18:00my head on the aisle seat. There was a guy with a real broad butt, and I don’t know if you’re supposed to swear here, but I’ll swear just a little.

DRUMMOND: You can do it.

HARE: He said, “These goddamn fools,” he says, “getting aboard and going to sleep and taking up the seats,” and so on so forth. And I never made a move, but all of a sudden, I opened this bright eye, and I saw this angel coming. And that angel ended up to be -- four years later ended up to be my wife.

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: But the mystery to the story is that her family -- mother -- was in the Mercy Hospital with cancer -- breast cancer. And my mother shared the room. She 19:00had ovarian cancer. And during the visitation of the two families, Mary knew every member of the family, but I was never mentioned.

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: Yep. Well, let me put it this way, if it was ever mentioned, it was kind ignored because I was in the sanatorium with tuberculosis, and at that time, it was probably 98% -- it was that high of people that returned, that when they came back there was a pretty -- 98% chance they wouldn’t leave. So anyway, when I got out of the -- or went to work -- I got out of the san, went to work for the main turnpike, and they -- some of the interesting -- I think, very 20:00interesting things that’s happened in my life is, number one, meeting Mary. Number two is the doctor’s mistake. Number three, getting a job on the turnpike because my grandmother lived next door to a second cousin of hers, which was a member of the Maine legislator at that time. And he and a gentlemen -- I lost his name and I thought I’d never forget it -- he lived down in Kennebunk, so I went down the -- the cousin suggested that I go down and talk to this particular man in Kennebunk. Because the two of them had presented the bill to vote in the Maine Turnpike Authority. And the Maine Turnpike Authority was -- about the time that I was discharged -- well, as a matter of fact, they was 21:00preparing to get it open, but this was in -- I think it was in July or August that I was discharged. But I went down to the gentleman’s house and made my plea that I would like to have a job. And he said, “Roger,” he says, “we’re only going to hire 30 people and we’ve got 313 applications.” Now this was probably four or five months before the opening. So they also had the Maine forest fire -- you know, the only forest fires that I ever remember of was back in the particular year. I got ready to leave and he left the room for a 22:00minute and his wife offered me a piece of apple pie that she was making for the firefighters (laughs) and a glass of milk and was p-- starved to death, never had a penny in my pocket. So anyway, when it come time for me to leave after I had finished my pie and milk, they both came to the door to wish me well, and I says, “I want to apologize.” And God only knows why I said this. I said, “I’m carrying the greetings or best wishes from a very good friend of yours.” “Who’s that?” “Lee [Good?].” “You know Lee [Good]?” I said, “Yes.” I said, “He is my grandmother’s second cousin and they live side-by-side.” So he said, “Well, come in and sit down,” and I get ahead 23:00of my story because the pie and the milk was during that interim period. So when I get ready to leave he said, “Do you know where the Kennebunk town office is?” “No.” Gave me instructions on how to get there and saw the individual that he told me to see. And he didn’t tell me anything about the 313, but he gave me an interview anyway, and no application, so I went away pretty sad, needless to say, that I wasn’t even going to be in the pool. So I went back to the sanatorium at this Lee [Goods]’s recommendation because I had to live with my grandmother, I didn’t have any other home. And I was very happy there, being with my grandmother, but then was -- to get back to your very first 24:00questions, “How did you survive during that interim period when your health was supposedly returning?” and so on, so forth. So I went through him to get the on -- back onto the turnpike. And about three weeks before the turnpike opened, I guess something like three weeks, I got a telephone call from my grandmother that -- is it running out?

DRUMMOND: Nope.

HARE: Uh, from my grandmother, wanting me to go to Kennebunk for training. Well, that’s how I got involved in politics. I thought if two Republicans was going to give a Democrat -- when I was really young (laughter) so I -- but I didn’t like the Republican Party. But anyway, if two Democrats can do all of this, all 25:00of a sudden -- because I still hadn’t filled out an application until the first week I went to work, I filled out an application for the Maine turnpike. But anyway, they just, so many miracles seemed to happen to me all at the right time.

DRUMMOND: You had a lot of luck.

HARE: The -- how much more do you want?

DRUMMOND: Well, I was going -- I thought that would be a good segue into the actual work at the turnpike. Like, what were your firsts jobs there, what were you making, what, you know...

HARE: I was making -- I think it was a dollar and five cents an hour --

DRUMMOND: K.

HARE: -- that was the pay of all toll collectors. They -- at that time, they didn’t have uniforms, but I understand that they -- now they give a shirt or whatever for identification as a toll collector. It was really a great job for 26:00the simple reason that there wasn’t a lot of traffic, but there was enough just to keep -- keep you awake. And the -- the staff of the turnpike -- I’m talking about the managerial staff -- could never have been any nicer than the ones that they had running the turnpike when it opened. I was appointed as senior collector and that gave me ten cents more an hour --

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: -- so I was up to (laughing) [fifteen?] cent --

DRUMMOND: OK. So you would stand in the booth and when cars past, they would pay you?

HARE: They had tickets from the different toll houses -- wherever they entered, would get a ticket and they would return that ticket with the cash for the 27:00distance that they traveled. And --

DRUMMOND: And you did that for eight hours a day?

HARE: Yes.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: Except one day. We had -- it was a 24 hour day. We had, I don’t know, about 24 or 30 inches of snow. So the -- all roads, needless to say, was shut down, the snow plows just couldn’t take care of it. And that particular day -- it was 24 hours -- it took me about three hours to walk to work, because I lived in Portland and had to go to Saco. And I’ll never forget it because there was a state highway truck, well it passed me three times and that sucker wouldn’t stop and pick me up. But anyway, I walked the whole distance. It was only -- I think it was 11 miles. But anyway, I walked 11 miles, got there and relieved the 28:00operator that had been working and my replacement couldn’t show up because he couldn’t get his car out so I was sucked in.

DRUMMOND: Did you have a lot of traffic?

HARE: There’s no traffic. The entire countryside was shut down, with the exception of the highway Route 1. But the turnpike itself, it took them -- well, I don’t know how long it took them -- but they was -- the fellow that had to shut his car down at -- because they wouldn’t let him on the turnpike so he got a ride back home -- he knew he couldn’t drive back home. And a day and a 29:00half later -- or, the day later, I called him and asked him if I could drive his car home, back to Portland -- that’s how I’d get back. The -- on my way down, as I said, the roads were totally bare -- bare meaning, as bare as they could be considering the amount of snow, but there was travel. But the -- I can’t think of anything else other than the -- some of the experiences you’d have with kids -- every car with a kid in it had to pay the toll and at least -- I’ll be polite to them -- at least 20% could hold the change to the other and 30:00he couldn’t, so (laughs) it -- that really didn’t bother me, I was so happy in life that nothing would have -- could have disturbed that.

DRUMMOND: So you enjoyed the work and saying hello to people when they’d come through, you liked --

HARE: You see, I enjoyed --

DRUMMOND: -- the interaction?

HARE: -- I enjoyed the work because there was no manual labor that I could do, and I didn’t have -- I didn’t -- I had three and a half years of high school, but that wouldn’t have carried me very far because in Aroostook County they didn’t have too many jo-- soft jobs, such as in the grocery store, there’s too many people unemployed, even back in those days. So it was just -- again, as I said it, I was just a miracle and politics that I ended up with a job. But the second week, the executive director of the turnpike, the very first night on the job was -- I was working twelve -- from four to twelve. And 31:00needless to say, I had no car or money or anything else. But this car pulled up to the toll house and it happened to be this gentlemen, and I won’t use his name -- of course, he’s since gone, years ago -- but anyway, he came in the toll house, and there was two of us there, my replacement and myself, and he wanted to know who Roger Hare was, and I spoke up, and he says, “I’m going to take you down to your rooming house.” How he knew that I had a rooming house was -- God only knows. But otherwise, I would have had to have walked from the toll house, probably three miles, in order to get to the rooming house at midnight. And he did that for probably a week, and then he made comment that it -- through his second-in-command that told me that I was instructed to get a 32:00car, or else. So I called my grandmother -- or, my grandmother actually called me, and wanted to know how I was doing, and I told her the story. An --

DRUMMOND: So someone you had never met before, who had offered you a ride home a few nights, then told you that you had --

HARE: He -- he was -- he was the top man of the main turnpike authority.

DRUMMOND: And he told you you had to buy a car?

HARE: Because he was going to transport me!

DRUMMOND: Oh, I see. OK.

HARE: Because, as I said, for a whole week -- five days, he come and pick up at mi-- at four o’clock, and drove me to the Red Shutter Inn in Saco. Uh -- I forgot where I was going it wa --

DRUMMOND: You were talking to your grandmother?

33:00

HARE: Oh, yes! And I told her the story. And the next telephone call I got was, “When can you get off to get your car?” It was probably two days later. Well, my grandfather had ordered a Chevrolet car, and that -- those days, they had just started making cars again -- they shut down during the war and went making war materials. So, he wanted a Club Coupe, which he ordered, but he didn’t want any seat in back; he wanted that space for hauling junk around (laughs) or whatever. So he told the sales person that he -- he didn’t want the car, he was going to take the next one. The guy says, “Oh, you’re not taking the next one. If you want your name put back on the waiting list, we’ll do that for you.” Well, he says, “I don’t that k-- damn car.” So ended 34:00up that my grandmother was working at an IGA store in Monticello --

DRUMMOND: And what’s an IGA store?

HARE: Independent Grocers As --

DRUMMOND: So it’s a grocery store?

HARE: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: And, anyway, they followed that I worked for -- [Sommers?], as a kid. I mean, real young. I used to drive a truck in the potato fields as they were loading potatoes and spreading the [empties?] and so on and so forth. And he was probably the wealthiest man in town at that time -- and he really wouldn’t have been today, but anyway, he asked my grandmother how I was doing and she told him about the story. He took out (laughs) -- took out his checkbook, and paid for the car. Three years later, I signed a receipt to give to him, because 35:00he requested it, I don’t know why.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But I had paid for the car. But anyway, the --

DRUMMOND: So he purchased it outright and let you pay him back for it over three years --

HARE: Yeah, yeah.

DRUMMOND: Wow, that’s incredibly generous.

HARE: It [was that?] but -- the best I can say was, I was a hell of a nice kid, I mean, people liked me (laughs) I guess! Because, as I said, there’s just so many things that I never, ever expected in life. All of I sudden, I just really and truthfully needed it, but it was there. Never failed. Even that train ride home with my beautiful b-- angel. That it -- everything that I needed -- or wanted in life, I somehow got it without begging for it or asking for it --

DRUMMOND: Wow.

36:00

HARE: -- it just seemed to fall into place.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, yeah. Well, let’s move on to -- to the next phase. Because you were at the Turnpike Authority for four years, and then all of a sudden, one day --

HARE: The second in command come down and -- very, very nice man had -- he treated all the employees excellent, I mean, there was no reason why he shouldn’t have. But he come in and didn’t even bother to say, “Hi,” he said, “I’m going to offer you two weeks’ vacation pay if you’ll quit.” And I said, “No, I’m not going to quit, I have no reason to quit.” So he just slammed the sliding door -- there was aluminum doors with glass in them -- 37:00and he left. And about a week later, this [first one] -- man that I mentioned that drive -- drove me home for the hotel for a week -- he come in, he offered me three weeks’ vacation with pay if I’d quit. So I said, “Why am I -- why are you offering me money to quit?” “Well, did you sign a union card?” And I said, “Uh, yes.” And --

DRUMMOND: And which union was trying to organize the turnpike?

HARE: Teamsters.

DRUMMOND: The Teamsters, OK.

HARE: They -- so, and I’ll use, of course, he’s dead, but the only man in my life that I think I disliked -- his name was [Aiden?] and lived in Sanford. And he -- the way that he put it when he come in -- as I’ve already said, I knew nothing about a union -- and he says, “There’s 30 of you,” he says, “29 38:00of whom have signed card,” he says, “you’re the only hold-out.” Well, I thought to myself -- quickly -- “Gee, if the other 29 guys have [sold?] for the union, what in the hell am I going to hold out for?” So I signed the card. And that’s why -- that they offered me the money, was to just get out of their sight. Because they didn’t want a union. And they have one now, by the way, but it isn’t -- it isn’t our union. So I just -- just -- as I said, I up and quit; there was no reason that I could see that -- working there under those conditions. And I didn’t accept a penny of their pay-off. I just said, “I’m resigning,” and walked off the job, without even notice, other than 39:00the last minute, I called on the boss and said that I’m done, “Get a replacement.”

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But it -- that was my first experience with unions, right there.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: When I left there --

DRUMMOND: Why do you think the turnpike was so against the union?

HARE: The what?

DRUMMOND: Why do you think the turnpike was so against the union?

HARE: Why is any company against a union?

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: They’re against the union for the simple reason that they have total control. They can fire without challenge, they don’t have to argue with anyone when they say, “Use the pot, you sit it on it.” And, you know, that -- that’s the way with life in a non-union operation.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And that’s why that -- when I did find out about the union and what the 40:00union was for, I just dove into it head over heels because the only books that I ever -- ever read in my life -- as in school books -- were something about a union.

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: Yeah. It -- and I can’t retell you any union books that I read, but they’re out there if you’re interested in reading them. Go to the public library. They -- when I went to work for Portland Copper, they -- I had to start in for the first time in my life with -- on manual labor, after having been in the sanatorium. And the first day home -- as I said, my angel took good care of me --

DRUMMOND: Well, in --

HARE: -- my h -- my hands was raw from using a shovel --

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: -- they were so tender that there was no skin left on my hands.

DRUMMOND: And this was at the Portland Copper Tank Works?

HARE: Yeah.

41:00

DRUMMOND: That was the job you took. How long was it between quitting your turnpike job and starting this job?

HARE: Uh, probably three days.

DRUMMOND: OK, so it was easy to find work.

HARE: Well, it -- I don’t -- I don’t have to say “easy to find work” with the exception of the -- the guy that did the hiring at Portland Copper was a very, very close friend of my wife. That’s the first time I ever said that (inaudible), just always my angel. So when -- just out of conversation on the street, he found out that I was unemployed.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: So he employed me.

DRUMMOND: That’s great.

HARE: It was that -- that simple. There again is what I’m telling you -- is how odd so many of these things come to fruition without [baying?] -- they came 42:00to me; I didn’t go to them. That it -- it -- anyway, let’s go on.

DRUMMOND: OK. Well, what was your first job there, at the Portland Copper Tank Works?

HARE: Manual labor.

DRUMMOND: Manual labor -- so just anything they needed done around the yard, or --

HARE: And it was -- it was -- they made septic tanks, oil tanks -- the home-type oil tanks -- and they also made the undergrounds for service station -- they made those large tanks, like that. It -- they had a number of different businesses they’d get tied into and it was a very small company that started with [15?] people and all of a sudden, because of the needs of materials that they couldn’t get during the war -- and now steel was free to -- for 43:00manufacturers -- they -- they went up to -- I don’t know, they probably one time ended up with 500 people. Now they’re out of business, but anyway...

DRUMMOND: Well, how long were you there? Well, you were about to tell a story about how your wife, you came home and you hadn’t been doing that much manual labor and your hands were all messed up. So finish that part of the story.

HARE: Well, that w-- that was pretty much any -- if anyone that I only mentioned that to the extent that I was so tender, my hands -- or the skin, or whatever -- that the only -- the any part of it that is, as far as I’m concerned, is when my wife did something really, really terrible to me. Unbeknown, she got -- got a bottle of alcohol, put int-- into the washbasin. And she called me -- I was 44:00watching television, or doing something other than paying attention to her at that point -- and she got behind me and when she grabbed me by both wrists, I says, “What are you doing this for?” Because I thought it was just nothing more than pure water and -- and she (laughs) -- softening them up, but she (laughing) (inaudible) them up really fast. Oh. I don’t think that that was the very worst pain that I ever had, but it most certainly was damn close to it.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, I imagine.

HARE: But, I went to work the next day, and I have to tell you, I went back on the shovel.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. OK.

HARE: And that was the end of the -- that was the end of my pain was with --

DRUMMOND: Now, wh -- while you were at Portland Copper Tank Works, were you always just manual labor, or did you move into other jobs --

HARE: Yes, I, yup --

DRUMMOND: -- over the years? OK.

45:00

HARE: I -- the department that I moved into was -- as I said, general labor within the yard. Then they needed a truck driver, so I ended up to be a truck driver. They -- the jet engine parts they had to move into a bos -- and have treatment done and then would haul it down and then would haul another load back. We just cycled around with --

DRUMMOND: So it was like a dedicated run? --

HARE: Yeah --

DRUMMOND: -- It was the same place back and forth?

HARE: Yeah. And then -- then, as they needed, trailer loads -- because then I get promoted up to a trailer driver. And the very, very first (laughs) -- first trip out, the owners of the factory wanted me to move the trailer -- which I’d never sit in before -- tractor trailer -- he wanted me to move the trailer outside the gate. And the -- the gates were open. And I figured, “If I can get 46:00the cab through, the rest of it’s going to come through.” Well, it just so happened that it didn’t. It took one of these gates and it was right -- right next to the gate house, of course (laughs) and it drove one of those gates -- the post on the gate -- drove it right up through the (laughs) roof of the (laughs) -- of the guard shack. (laughs) But I didn’t get fired by it -- with it anyway. But it -- but it was -- some of the experiences -- because I probably shouldn’t -- that, I told him that I had never driven before. He said -- just said, “Move it. Just move it.” So I moved it.

DRUMMOND: Right. And was there anything else after truck-driver that you did there?

HARE: Yeah, I became a licensed elect-- a licensed electrician.

DRUMMOND: OK. Was there sort of an apprenticeship or training for that?

47:00

HARE: The change?

DRUMMOND: Apprentices-- apprenticeship or training for that?

HARE: Well, the answer -- normally there would have been. But the president of the IEB-- IBEW, [Hilman?] -- happened to be our boss at the time, so he just get me in -- all of the training that I needed. He took -- put me under his wing and showed me certain things, and I was actually a lead man under him. He -- he had -- I can’t remember -- 16 or 17 licensed electricians. (laughs) And put me in as their (laughs) -- their boss. (laughs) Lead person, I mean they -- when he wasn’t around, they had to come to me for orders.

DRUMMOND: OK.

48:00

HARE: But they -- then I applied for my license and took the test and passed the first time and I let it go probably five years after I retired, I just didn’t use it, so consequently, I just gave it up.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: Didn’t bother to pay for it.

DRUMMOND: OK. So, how -- how long were you at the Portland Copper Tank Works before you were told to join a union, or you were asked to join a union -- be union?

HARE: Uh --

DRUMMOND: Well first, was it an open shop, or a closed shop?

HARE: Closed.

DRUMMOND: Closed, OK.

HARE: That’s that -- that’s why they told me that I had to belong to the union. So, consequently -- and my first meeting, as I already explained that one to you, but I --

DRUMMOND: Well, but you didn’t -- we didn’t get that one on recorder --

49:00

HARE: Oh, we didn’t?

DRUMMOND: -- so -- uh-uh -- so let’s go through that one again.

HARE: Uh -- they -- they -- this job steward came to me on the second day that I was working at the plant, and he informed me that -- that within a month I had to became -- become a union member. And he explained that because it was a closed shop, you know, I didn’t have any choice; either I was going to become a union and I -- “Hell no! I don’t know unions are all about, but I just left one because we had a little bit of a dispute, there was the turnpike.” So I signed the card that he wanted and swore me in as a member, and that was what made me eligible to attend that first union meeting, when the brother decided to 50:00give me a knock side of the head when it was time to vote. (laughs) It -- and I never regretted it, and I have -- with the international union -- it -- there was so many people -- just so many people -- I’ll say, saved their jobs because I didn’t know how in the hell to fight for them, but I fought long enough to where management went down and ended up that way. (laughs) It -- it -- you know, there’s reasons that -- strong reason why people should join unions. How -- you know, they claim how corrupt they are, and so on and so forth -- but that’s a lot of malarkey; there’s some good unions. If there’s bad ones, I 51:00haven’t seen them. And I don’t go out looking for them, either. But the point that I’m getting is that I came from, what I consider was one of the better -- IBAW, for an example -- it was a great union. But the --

DRUMMOND: Well, I think people always talk about unions being corrupt --

HARE: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: -- and they say that like the government isn’t corrupt, or like, corporations aren’t corrupt.

HARE: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: And -- and if I’m going was -- am going to be part of a corrupt organization, I always say, I want to be part of the one that’s working for the working man, and not the other ones. And I’m sorry to interrupt, but I -- but that’s an argument that I hate too because it’s -- number one, just not true. And -- and it’s just ridiculous.

HARE: Well they -- one particular case, if you’re interested in that --

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

HARE: -- it’s in there. Is pertaining to an individual that made a bad mistake in the food plant. And the plant was down, and -- I don’t know if you were 52:00ever in a food-processing plant -- this happened to be peas -- fresh peas. They keep the floor flowing water all the time. And the plant was down for cleaning, and the maintenance crew -- well, this maintenance guy decided that he had to be relieved, so he just unzipped his pants and was relieved, and he was caught by the supervisor and fired. Now justifiably, he should have been gone. I mean, if I had to -- if it hadn’t been for the fact -- I’ll put it this way -- if it hadn’t been for the fact that I wasn’t going to lose a case -- that I was going to at least go down trying. And I won this one with -- after the case was 53:00won, believe, that brother knew how I felt. And he did -- he kept apologizing, he -- you know, it was a mistake. But when we get to the arbitration table, there was -- the equivalent of a table like this, and then the -- the union committee had to sit back -- those that couldn’t get at the table. And the arbitrator, for an example, was sitting at that end of the table, and the company was sitting on this end of the table. And the union was on this side. And the company manager was sitting next to me. And the arbitrator asked who was going to represent and we went through all that rigmarole and there was time for the union to present their case. And I kept looking over at -- sneaking a peak 54:00at the company’s notes, and there was something that I had done myself at negotiations. As a matter -- or subject matter would change, I would start a new paragraph, or a new -- I’d draw down one line and continue to write on that particular issue. And as it changed, I just kept doing... And they -- the general manager of the plant -- for some reason or another -- he decided that -- he did the same thing as I did. So, I said to the arbitrator, “I’d like to 55:00see a copy of the company’s notes.” And the arbitrator gave me a real tongue-lashing over that was none of my business at that stage, but I would eventually get it. So he says, “Let’s bring this back into order again.” After he get done lecturing me. And then he said, (pause) “By the way, I’m curious, what was there about the company’s notes that you was interested in?” And I said, “I just happened to glance over and happened to notice that the company was doing what I do and probably you do. And that is, every time there’s a change of -- the next subject matter, or whatever -- it was always 56:00done by a space.” And I says, “It’s very, very odd that his notes are written that way, with the exception of just one addition.” So he says to the manager, “Let me see your notes.” He looked at the notes and he turned to the -- the plant manager. “Yeah,” he says, “that’s a good point.” He says, “This is written in even in -- in different handwriting.” The plant -- the plant manager turned around to the superintendent -- turned around to the company lawyer -- the three of them were sitting there -- “Come on, you bastard! Don’t leave me hanging out to dry.” (fist pounding on table) Union wins the case.

57:00

DRUMMOND: (laughs) Wow. And so, what was the one thing that was different that was written?

HARE: I never did see it --

DRUMMOND: Oh, you never did see it, OK --

HARE: -- I (laughs) -- I was so glad to get out of that room --

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

HARE: -- that, as I said, I had my day with the union member --

DRUMMOND: Right, right.

HARE: -- and, oddly enough, I wasn’t his boss, but he didn’t give me any flack. He had his job back.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, he must have been. Yeah.

HARE: But it -- it -- well, I’m sure he isn’t the first one. You know, there’s always some -- everyone makes stupid mistakes.

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: And I don’t know if it was his stupid mistake, or what it was. But he did it anyway and -- and it was wrong.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But he was standing -- actually, over the drain. But it could have been, you know, 50 feet from the drain, and then it could have contaminated a lot.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

58:00

HARE: But what he -- any splatter there was -- there was very little that -- I would guess -- that didn’t go down the drain instantly, but that had no bearing. The fact that he did it was --

DRUMMOND: Well the public indecency, I think, if nothing else, like --

HARE: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: -- that -- that would have been -- and so that would have been, at your time as maybe a special rep or -- or -- I mean, because that wasn’t when you had just joined the union, that would have been later, when you were president maybe? Or --

HARE: When I was what?

DRUMMOND: Well the -- the story you just told me about that arbitration case, if you were handling the arbitration, that wouldn’t have been when you had just joined the union, that would have been later, when you were --

HARE: Yes, I was the -- well, no, I -- I was -- as soon as I get -- after that six months, and I decided to sleep through it and wait for -- I was going to get up and did my normal day’s work. For probably a week and a half. And then I get the letter for the -- the -- being appointed as a permanent ground lodge rep.

59:00

DRUMMOND: No, but -- but when you first started -- when you first started your job at Portland Copper Tank Works?

HARE: Oh, I’m -- you’re back there?

DRUMMOND: Yeah, yeah. Because you moved ahead to arbitration case. So let’s go back to Portland Copper Tank Works and talk about when you first joined the unions. It was a closed shop, and they told you you had to join, and you went -- you said you went to your first meeting, um, and you’ve got -- and told us about that. So how did you -- I asked you earlier if you had been a shop steward there, and you were never shop steward. You said that you were --

HARE: No.

DRUMMOND: -- elected president after you had been there four years, and you went straight from being a [ranking?] file worker, to being an elected president. Why do you think your local -- and that was Local Lodge 1574 -- why do you think your local had so much confidence in you?

60:00

HARE: Probably because I had a big mouth.

DRUMMOND: Aha! Leadership.

HARE: And, because -- there’s one thing that, my whole life I attempted to follow, and that was the task that was before me -- if I had accepted it as a task -- I was going to defeat it, or die trying to defeat it. And that was the attitude that I took. I very, very seldom ever lost my temper -- raised my voice a couple of times, but it was just to override their running off, at the most -- and it was time for me to (inaudible) them. (laughs)

DRUMMOND: OK. Well, what were some of the issues in the -- that you saw there. What were some of the issues that you spoke out about, or what were some of the issues that bothered you enough to run for president of your local --

61:00

HARE: Uh, if -- one of the things that bothered me more was if they decided to pull in a expert, for an example -- after the less than second or third meeting --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- they considered it an expert -- or they considered was going to shake my tree and they -- they had -- the management had enough knowledge of me and my ability to negotiate -- or fail to negotiate -- so, then they would pull someone else in off of the streets -- which is an -- and their company attorney. And company attorneys -- needless to say -- they’re paid very, very well. A lot better than probably the average street-type attorney -- whoever comes in this door. And because they have the capability of getting a tremendous salary -- we 62:00had one that was a real sleaze-bag -- again, I’m not going to mention his name because he’s dead, and I thank God for taking him because he hurt more people than he helped.

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: I got a call one night from a brother -- a union member -- different union -- union representative from a different union. And he said, “Do you ever get a call -- or, do you ever send any plants where this particular attorney represents?” And I said, “Yes, I get five of them right here in town.” He says, “Do you ever a get a telephone call from him?” I says, “Son of a beep, probably every night, he will call and say goodnight or some stupid thing. But he wanted -- always wanted to talk about the case that’s going at that 63:00particular point in time. So, he said, “Do me a favor,” he says, “When he calls you tonight -- or the next time he calls you, just -- ‘Gee, we haven’t got to that stage yet,’ or, come up with an excuse where you’re not going to talk to him about the ca-- the...” And he’d almost beg to -- to give you the information. Went into negotiations that day -- or a couple days -- three days later -- and the man talked all day long about his successes at the table. Never mentioned -- because he didn’t know -- I assume he didn’t know -- how to handle the negotiations that employer was paying for. And I get -- as a matter 64:00of fact, I had him fired from three different places, so --

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: Yup. (laughs) It was very easy to do. As a Grand Lodge representative and a business representative -- which is -- represents the individual locals -- and they -- they vote -- the individual locals vote in their representative -- if that business representative needs time off, or whatever -- and I was available -- as any Grand Lodge rep, we would be ordered to -- to fill in. So, this particular day, the representative had something to do -- and it made no difference to me -- but, he didn’t show up. What it was -- was he was in a hard problem that he didn’t know how to get out of. But -- so I used the only gun that I knew how to shoot and when we started off, we had our greetings, and 65:00so on and so forth -- everything was very friendly -- and then, when he run out of things to talk about -- “Where is that so-and-so representative?” he says, “Son of -- he -- he’s supposed to be here. This is-- this issue has to be settled today. We’re not going to carry this on and...” Oh, and he just rambled on and on and on and on and act like an idiot -- well, like an idiot -- when he get done talking. I said, “Herb, you should have remembered our conversation last night, because you asked me that question and I gave you the answer.” And [each man?] sitting there, “What the hell is he call on me -- questioning me for?” That was the end of his days.

DRUMMOND: Wow.

66:00

HARE: It was too bad to have to get rid of him because they still had him in sort for other plants. But he knew that he -- he had the business rep to begin with, so he very seldom ever got me. But when he got me, he didn’t play any games.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK --

HARE: It’s amazing why companies hire people that they don’t know what they’re doing b-- you know, on their own. They talk about the union selling out to the company --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- And the company attorney is selling out to the -- their salary. It’s just -- because he is the only one that I’ve caught like that.

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: But, if I have the same gun that I had with this Herb, I’ll shoot it because (laughter) I didn’t owe the attorneys anything and they wasn’t paying any part of my salary -- the membership that I was there to represent had 67:00to be represented.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Well, let me ask you -- let’s go back again to you being president of Local Lodge 1574. Do you know how long you were president of that local?

HARE: I’m going to say that I was -- I didn’t serve very long when I got the telephone call.

DRUMMOND: And just -- you know, from some of those stories you told me, maybe -- maybe you’ve said it, but let me ask you anyway -- were the Portland Copper Tank Works a pretty easy company to be organized with or --

HARE: Well, they was organized when th-- so I have no idea.

DRUMMOND: -- so. OK, so you -- so as president of that local, you never really had to deal with them being unfriendly to the labor union, or...

68:00

HARE: They -- they was -- I’ll say, fairly easy in negotiations, because they -- any representative, at least in my opinion, knows pretty much of when they squeeze the orange, how much juice there is left in it. And the big issue, naturally, is the benefits. The insurance -- insurances, the salaries, and pensions, and things like that. And those are hard items to, you know, threaten with a strike. Because they are so costly that the company -- in some cases, probably -- and I don’t know this for a fact -- but the companies may decide they’d rather shut down than not be able to make a profit because they’ve already signed contracts of what they’re going to sell a product for. And if the union is putting in a basket where they can’t get out, then we’ve lost 69:00members because we’ve lost the company. I’ve only had that happen just once.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And I wasn’t representative; I was at the table. And I didn’t particularly care for the reason that the -- we’ll say, I didn’t particularly care for any of the way that the representative talked to the company. Because, you can’t go in -- supposedly -- on your hands and knees, and start right off that -- there’s no reason for you to use the two-letter word because the two-le-- or three-letter word is the only one we’re going to accept.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: We want only “yes” out of you, and nothing else.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And this is representatives that this hasn’t learned that little stunt yet -- how -- how that should work. You don’t find it very often, that -- that a representative doesn’t know that.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

70:00

HARE: That if he’s -- should have him come up pretty fast, if he didn-- hasn’t learned everything that there is to be known about -- especially negotiations.

DRUMMOND: OK. And, you have a piece of paper here that mentions your first arbitration? So would you have gone -- would you be a special rep at that point, when you were going to arbitration?

HARE: The -- it -- that wasn’t -- that wasn’t -- that was arbitration, yeah.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

HARE: OK, let me get on the right sheet -- page here. And what was your question, again, was --

DRUMMOND: Well, I -- just you -- you -- so you talked a minute ago about -- well, the story you told a minute ago about being at the arbitration table and the guy admitting that he was calling you at home and --

HARE: Oh, OK --

DRUMMOND: -- and the company. So -- but this seems to be a different -- this seems to be about a union sister with five years of seniority facing a layoff?

71:00

HARE: Oh yeah, OK --

DRUMMOND: Yeah, do you want to -- now -- and let me get the time -- let me try to get the timeline. So, you were president at your local, and then you, at some point, became -- you were the president of the -- is it the New England or the Northeast Conference of Machi--

HARE: Northeast Conference of --

DRUMMOND: -- of Machinists. OK --

HARE: And that only met twice a year. That was one of the reasons why -- that time-wise --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm --

HARE: -- there could be a difference of when certain things happened. Because there was a lapse of the six months.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: So that’s why that I -- that I couldn’t remember. Was -- the wagon came first, or the horse?

DRUMMOND: OK. OK, and during -- and was it during that time that you were asked to be a business rep?

HARE: No, I was local lodge president in that particular case.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK --

HARE: And the reason for it -- because I went after the business representative for putting me in the box -- and he says, “Well, you learned real well,” or 72:00something, “so why are you harassing me?” Because I really was mad that -- that he didn’t tell me beforehand that I was going to handle the case. But his argument happened to be legitimate. He says, “You know [winning?] in-- inside and out, and I don’t.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: (laughs) You know. So, go where the -- where the best chance to win! (laughs) But --

DRUMMOND: Well, so then this arbitration case with the union sister -- was that when you were still at the --

HARE: Portland Copper.

DRUMMOND: OK. So you were president at that point?

HARE: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: Do you want to tell us that story? I think --

HARE: I was -- I was a special, actually, at that particular point.

DRUMMOND: So you were still president, but you were also a special rep at the same time?

HARE: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: OK. It confuses me sometimes that -- the way -- the way you can hold two positions at once -- that it’s not necessarily like, a move up -- that sometimes they -- the coincide. So forgive me for that, but it’s hard -- unless you work for the union, it’s hard to know what all the levels are. So 73:00tell me about this arbitration. It sounds interesting.

HARE: Well this one happened to be a -- a woman -- very well-qualified in her work assignment -- which was Heliarc welding. Heliarc welding is taking the -- about the size of a pin and welding -- she was clever enough, she could take kitchen aluminum foil and weld it together.

DRUMMOND: OK, wow.

HARE: That was here type of capability. So consequently, you know, they -- she was worth protecting, because companies like to have people know -- you know, do their business -- and may not like the person, but they like the work that they do.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

HARE: Well, in this particular case, this man was a native of the state of Maine 74:00and he went down to work for the aircraft in Hartford.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: Can’t think what the name of it is. Anyway, they -- the men wanted th -- or his wife or something -- wanted to move back to Maine. So, when he applied for the app-- for employment, he put down that he had something like 16 -- I don’t remember the exact number, but it’s immaterial, the story’s the same -- weld certifications. And -- because at Pratt and Whitney -- Pratt and Whitney, that was the company -- they had multiple types of metal -- metals that I never heard tell-of before -- that they used in aircraft and so on, so forth. But he was certified to weld on the 16 different of metal. And she hadn’t been 75:00certified in that because our company require -- they didn’t even have any of the metal in stock. But she did have three weld certifications. So, it came time for -- for hiring him -- and they wouldn’t let hiring -- t-- someone to hire -- or they decided they needed him more than they did her. I don’t know what their thought was, but anyway, it was -- I’ll say that that was their thought. A man that had all of these certifications, that would allow them to at least bid on the job, whether they got it or not. So, anyway, they decided that she had -- I don’t remember, I guess several, but a hell of a lot more than he had -- and it didn’t make any difference if she only had one day more than him -- she had the seniority.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

76:00

HARE: And, so the -- we went to arbitration and the business representatives -- when the arbitrators wanted to know who was going to represent -- the business representatives said, “Roger Hare,” now he never said (laughs) a word to me and I never attended arbitration other than one case. And I had no idea what to -- you know, what to do -- I wasn’t paying attention to that -- I was paying attention to more of the arguments around the table at that time. So, anyway, I wasn’t going to expose -- or tried not to expose anything -- but that arbitrator [written?] me out a couple -- three times on a couple of issues. But anyway, I presented a -- an appropriate case, but they -- problem that they had with the case is they wanted to decide to lay her off because they knew what 77:00they -- they needed for welders, and he had a gold mine and she had a little bit of silver. So anyway, it all ended up that they put her on the lay-off list, and she went out. And then we -- the committee came to me -- the in-house committee -- union committee -- came to me and -- no, I was working th-- I keep getting confused on this particular one, because it’s the only that I handled that -- that -- where I wasn’t a representative. So anyway, I did have enough information that -- from the standpoint of the contracts -- all had to do with -- referred to that. And I had that one right down pat. So, anyway, the arbitrator ruled that they had to -- because of her seniority over him -- she 78:00had, I’ll say seven years, and he had one day at th -- at that time.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: The arbitrator ruled that she had to go to the weld lab and learn -- and receive 13 more weld certifications. (laughs) So, that was the end of the arbitrator’s decision. So she came to me one day and she says, “Roger,” she says, “you’ve got to get me out of the weld-lab.” She says, “We only get metal -- ”

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: “ -- three different types here. And I -- there’s no way that I can continue to -- to just practice on these metals on these metals when this isn’t what they want. Because, this metal that they don’t need, so they don’t buy any of it.” So, I went up to the office and said to the same guy 79:00who hired me -- he was the personnel manager -- and I said, “Roger, we’re going to have some trouble here if you don’t put her back on the job.” And he says, “Do you know I was about ready to come and ask you -- ” (laughter) Well, having the arbitrator’s decision -- and I don’t know if I interpreted it right or wrong -- but anyway, I was finding on the merits of the case versus the arbitrator’s decision was that she had to be taught. Now, we were asking it -- because the company was going to throw it to us -- they were asking us to 80:00throw the thing out, even though I was the one that made the initial approach. I didn’t know then -- and I assumed that I had to make a pretty fast decision -- that the arbitrator’s decision is final and binding. And if it isn’t adhered here, it can’t go as far the court. And I didn’t think that I had the power to negotiate beyond the arbitrator’s decision. So consequently, they agreed to -- to put her back on a real production -- a production job.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And the company guaranteed me that they wouldn’t report it -- you know, that we had requested this, or anything else. The thing died just the instant that they said, “We’ll take her back and we will give her the top pay” -- which she wasn’t getting -- “We will extend her seniority of the time that 81:00she was out.” This come out real well for all of us, I mean, I --

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: -- ended up, I -- looking good in the shop because sometimes when it -- in the shop, some of the members -- if they know about a case and if they like the person that’s the grievant -- sometimes they, you know, they’re pretty pleased when the -- can come back into the shop and say, “Hey, we won that!” (laughter) And I’d like to have (laughs) to say it too.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, yeah.

HARE: But it -- it -- it’s hard for a representative -- in my opinion -- because sometimes he has to take cases that he really shouldn’t win. To this day, I don’t think that the case that I won -- because I won on a non-mer-- I 82:00mean, a non-related. You follow what I mean? The --

DRUMMOND: Are you talking about the -- the pea factory?

HARE: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: Like --

HARE: Yeah. (laughter) They --

DRUMMOND: No pun intended.

HARE: -- I -- as I said, I told him right to his face, I said, “You son of a b, you’re not entitled this, but you got it, and you better take good care of it or, the next time, I’m not going to be here. And he can’t order me here because I have a boss.” (laughs)

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: And everything seemed to come out all right. But, it went through the plant pretty fast -- that he had won his case. But, there’s only about a couple of times that I kind of regretted that -- because it almost allows people think that the union controls the company to the extent that they can get away 83:00with anything.

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: And I don’t agree with that. There has to be discipline somewhere. And when it come to the -- the workforce -- I don’t think that the workforce should be doing things that they know is wrong, just to challenge the system -- it -- it -- I haven’t had too many of them -- I can’t think of another one such as that one, because I thought that that one was -- and I had let out venomous and the only person that should have heard it was the guy that caused the problem.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

HARE: The -- this all happened, by the way, that it was the same company that I told the story about a few minutes ago with the peas -- you know, it -- the, I 84:00don’t know. Let’s go.

DRUMMOND: OK. Well, let me ask you this -- so at this point -- because I know, when you were with the turnpike, you signed a union card and then it sort of -- you know, then the company turned against you, or the, or --

HARE: Well --

DRUMMOND: -- and then -- well let me -- let me finish my question. And so, then you went to the Portland Copper Tank Works and joined the union, and it seemed to be -- you seemed to have a -- you know, you were reluctant, but then you had to because it was a closed shop -- but then you seemed to have a change of heart and really -- really sort of take on personally that message that there is power in the union. And, what appealed to you about running for leadership -- I mean, what -- what did you -- I mean, you made the joke earlier, right, that you -- you have a big mouth and so that’s why -- but what was in it for you, personally -- because that’s a lot work?

85:00

HARE: The only thing that I can say to that is that again, I fought for something right and won.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: I don’t know if that answers your question but the -- I got no more money, I didn’t get praise from the headquarters. As a matter of fact, there’s another story there that I’m not sure that I want to put onto the tape because I get a letter -- reprimand from the union because a company -- the company where I settled a grievance --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- made a bad mistake. They wrote the company after I had settled the case --

DRUMMOND: You mean the union? The company wrote the union?

HARE: The what?

DRUMMOND: Did the company write the union after --

HARE: The company wrote the union, the headquarters.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK.

86:00

HARE: And -- wasn’t more than probably 24 hours, I got a telephone call for the -- I would be discharged if they had received another letter requesting my services, because I wasn’t working for the union, it was for my own personal grandization -- is that a proper word?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Maybe I’m pronouncing it wrong, but self-serving -- in other words, I’m promoting myself rather than the union. Well, that w-- the company wanted a man, fired him because he was drunk and took a gun into the shop and threatened to kill the shift advisor. And the case had been pending for -- or argued back and forth for probably nine months to a year -- and the 87:00representative that was servicing the plant had a heart attack, so I was assigned in -- and it was on the Canadian side -- the plant was on the American side, I guess and the office was on the Canadian side. And neither side -- the union, or the company -- offered me a copy of the contract before I got in there. So consequently, I went in blind.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: So I started up by asking the company if they had exhausted the -- the arbitration procedure. And the answer was, “No, we don’t have any -- any clause of -- for arbitration.” So, I didn’t know how to handle the case, other than the fact that I had handled a case identical to it -- not identical, 88:00because one ended up [dead?] and the other one wasn’t -- the -- it was a different plant, different state, and Canada was a different company -- but the employee -- and I’m talking about the only case that I’d handled -- the employee -- the company wanted him and needed him. He was an excellent employee -- above average when he was working, apparently.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But when he get drunk, he still felt as though that he should go and into the shop. And -- so I decided -- at the spirit of the moment, I’m just looking to space -- decided that I was there with all the knowledge in the world and how we’re going to get out of this. So I suggest to the company, “How about 89:00having the union approach AA -- Alcoholics Anonymous. And the officers of AA will give you a report of this individual’s progress, at least to the point when they feel as though that he is dry, that you will take him back?” So, the company agreed to it instantly.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And that particular case, the man went back onto the job -- dry, and he stayed dry -- it worked. I was in hopes it was going to work the second time. Everyth -- all -- the company, by the way had their attorney with me and my hesitation in that case was I was on the Canadian side and I didn’t know if we 90:00were negotiating Canadian law or American law, or how you could get around that if there’s going to be a real dispute over it. So consequently I -- if they -- gave me the story, and they would like to have had him back -- but they weren’t going to take him back as an alcoholic. And I agreed with it -- that they had no business -- that was his personal doing. So, I told them the -- the story of what I had done in Maine. So, they sent us out for a couple of hours -- and it was lunch time anyway -- but they sent me off property to write up what the -- this whole thing would have ended up with. And I had my wife and kids 91:00with me and my wife wrote up the -- the story -- whatever words that had to be taken down, she put on a piece of paper -- gave them to the company, and the company instantly accepted it.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: The lawyer rejected it. Not there, but after we left --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- the company, they called me and told me that the lawyer was very much against it. But they was going to take the man back under the terms that I set up. And the man went three months and apparently, never violated the rule. And the company took him back. The second week, first day on the j-- first day of that second --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- went into the plant, stoned out of his [gourd?], had his gun, and go on to shoot a supervisor. So, at that point, they had got the police in and got the 92:00man out.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And apparently locked him up and let him dry out. But the following day -- or following night -- they found him underneath the bridge, where he had shot himself.

DRUMMOND: Oh, no.

HARE: So that was the end of that case. But the -- in the letter, they had thanked me for resolving the case to their satisfaction -- I mean, it had to be, or they wouldn’t have written the letter, I guess. And in there, they promised the office, if I could come back and negotiate the next contract -- which would be three years later. They would give me an arbitration clause of the union’s approval without challenge -- unheard of -- but, we had a standard one that was 93:00passed every legal term or -- for justification --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- we meant met everything. And that’s when I get the telephone call -- it’s when they get that letter.

DRUMMOND: Really? What were they upset about?

HARE: Well, they called it -- and I’m almost positive I’m pronouncing it right -- was this “grandinization” that this --

DRUMMOND: The aggrandizement? Or aggrandization?

HARE: What was that?

DRUMMOND: The aggrandizement?

HARE: Yeah, aggrandizement. Sorry, I -- you know --

DRUMMOND: Yeah, no, no.

HARE: -- you got to remember you’re talking a little bit screwy here. I can’t -- I (laughs) -- I’m having a hard time remembering a lot of this. (laughter) But that’s all the truth, I’m telling you --

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

HARE: -- I’m not making this up. But that was -- and I still have the letter, by the way. No -- no I don’t have the letter. Because it was telephone call. 94:00And the reason for -- I found out later, years later -- that he didn’t want to make a record of it because it was the -- boss -- AA Administrative Assistant.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And he was subject to tipping the bottle himself, so I think he was probably half-crocked (laughter) because the guy really liked me. He gave me some great assignments. So, he wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t feel as though I had done -- but even just putting the needle to me.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: That’s what I ended up by thinking it would happen.

DRUMMOND: OK. Well let’s -- we’ve been talking for a little over an hour and a half. So, let’s take a little break and then we’ll come back and talk about you moving up to special rep. We’ve already covered a little bit of that, but we’ll -- we’ll start with that. How about it? OK? (background music) Just in time!

95:00

DRUMMOND: OK. We are back after a short break and we are going to talk about you becoming a special rep to the Grand Lodge.

HARE: Well, as I’ve already told in the earlier part that -- that when -- the first time that I was introduced to the international president -- which I thought was a little bit rude of the business rep, of not introducing us earlier -- but as I said, we had some money in the district, so we took the officers out to a clam bake --

DRUMMOND: But before that, you got a great story about two people being disrespectful to the international president.

HARE: Oh, the -- the -- he was the outgoing president.

DRUMMOND: OK.

96:00

HARE: And the -- the -- he was followed by -- I think he was the secretary treasurer at that time of the conference. And what was inter-- to me -- now, this is self-serving now -- to me, it was what was interesting was the president got a great applause, you know, when he was bad-mouthing the -- and the secretary did the same thing. So when I made the -- my presentation by closing with the “it’s kind of too bad that you don’t learn to do your job before you agree that you’re going to do your job” and, I got a standing ovation. But, again, as I said, as far as the -- when I said that, people just scattered 97:00-- including the international president and the staff. Staff meaning, he had one Grand Lodge representative with him and they had found someone -- a friend or something that -- it may have been the business representative. When the three of them left, anyway. And I met him, probably an hour, an hour and a half later over at -- in Cape Elizabeth -- and that’s a great place for all kinds of seafoods. And they had a shore dinner -- which is meat and potatoes, corn on the cob, clam chowder or haddock chowder, anything seafood, it was on the table 98:00-- that’s what we had for lunch. And then, as I’ve already said this, they got up to leave -- the officers just lined up and stood up and shook hand with him, and when he got to me, he just said, “I’ll be talking to you later.” And it was two weeks, and it wasn’t him. And why -- or what I said that impressed him is a mystery to me, because what I said in his behalf, he should be -- should have stayed in Washington. He had to take (another guesses?) of something of importance to him --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- because he was a great president, as far as I was concerned. I never 99:00called -- never called, by the way before I became a staff member. But when I called, that isn’t true -- that isn’t true. That’s how I get the representatives of the -- in the first place. They had to w -- be approved by him, but I never talked to him. I’ll leave it -- that was -- he had an assistant that always covered his office calls. And it -- I sound confused on that -- I’m really not confused, it was just the way that it come out of my head. But, anyway -- as I said -- two weeks after, my special rep expired. I got the letter that I was assigned permanently and I continued to collect the pay check. But it was more of an honor, in my opinion, because I’d never done 100:00anything (laugh) of too much importance to anyone except myself prior to that. I mean by that it -- I was vocal at meetings if I thought that something was being discussed that wasn’t for the best interest of members -- because sometimes, they would wind up -- schedule meetings to have parties at the -- you know on -- at the local expense, or have meetings more often or something of that nature. And it never, never happened, to my knowledge anyway. And even today -- if they still have them -- it’s every six months. But -- and again, the only reason for it is their exchange -- which is, to me, very interesting -- for the local 101:00areas -- in other words, New England Area -- to find out what jobs are available, because they come in with a -- if the officers does their homework before they get to the meeting, it’s pretty well set up, they’re going to talk about what’s available for jobs, what plants they’re moving, where there’s a possibility of an organizing campaign, things to that nature that they bring to the meeting with them. That’s what the meeting is for -- too exchange -- for an example, there was a company -- probably five years ago -- and I heard about it at one of the meetings that I was visiting -- that there was a very -- that it wasn’t a very popular company -- or, by name anyway -- until, all of a sudden, we found out that it was a national company, and they 102:00had plants in different states. So the international -- I don’t know how they made up, because I never followed up on it -- whether they won the election, or even had an election. But it was a large, large company. So if the New England conference mentioned that at their last meeting, there’s a pretty good chance that there’s an organizing campaign running one of our six states. And that’s what keeps a union going, is the organizing.

DRUMMOND: So what is the New England conference; which states are those?

HARE: Which states?

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

HARE: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island --

DRUMMOND: Vermont.

HARE: Vermont.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: Yeah.

103:00

DRUMMOND: OK. He followed up with a call, two weeks later?

HARE: Did I what?

DRUMMOND: We were -- we had started talking about when you got the call from the Grand Lodge to be a special rep?

HARE: N-- well they -- the call was after the six months was up.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: And I hadn’t received --

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK, OK.

HARE: -- the title.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: And my wife thought that I was going to quit.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But because in that 15 minute -- being late into the discharge --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- I just decided, “I’m going to stay on.” Because, it sounded reasonably to me that they must want me around or they wouldn’t have sent me to Washington for a week.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: For training. And so we’d -- we, through the constitution, we went through what rights we were, talked about contract -- it was, as I said -- to my 104:00knowledge, it was the very first training program that they ever had for the Grand Lodge staff.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Ordinarily, they would take people out of the shop that had been recommended, or whatever, and they might have checked into them, found out that they had the union’s interest at heart, and that’s how they hired. Just passing along what other Grand Lodge representatives may have recommended. Because I don’t think that I was recommended by anyone. May have been, but I don’t know who -- or what it would have been. Because I didn’t -- I hadn’t met that many Grand Lodge reps.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: I knew that our business rep thought that I was going to replace him.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

105:00

HARE: So he may have said the -- [smutted?] my name up to someone. But I got the job. And I loved it.

DRUMMOND: Well, how did -- and how did your responsibilities change once you went on to special rep?

HARE: Actually, nothing. Because they -- I think that the special rep is a -- they follow fairly close, because there’s always -- or, in most cases, there’s a business rep that can make up a report. He has this amount of knowledge because you don’t have to sit too long with a union representative to find out -- for an example -- how much they know about the law. Because the [initial labor relation fact?] is the controlling factor, really. It -- the 106:00unions can’t violate too many of the laws --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- they’re supposed to represent people and -- to the best of their ability. And there’s laws where they just can’t play games -- which is, controlled again with the government. The government controls everything. But --

DRUMMOND: So, how long were you special rep before you became a Grand Lodge rep?

HARE: Well, that was in my whole [appoint?].

DRUMMOND: Hmm?

HARE: I was appointed for six months.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: At the end of the six months, I hadn’t received the letter.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Two weeks after I had supposedly -- my special rep time had run out -- two weeks after that is when I got the letter --

DRUMMOND: OK. Oh, I understand now.

HARE: -- and I got the letter that I had been permanently appointed.

107:00

DRUMMOND: OK. And how -- well, then how long were you a Grand Lodge rep?

HARE: Uh, I can’t tell you that. But it was -- it must have been at least 20 years or more, anyway.

DRUMMOND: So, if you retired -- we did the math earlier --

HARE: I was going to say, we could do the math on it but (laughter) we have it somewhere here.

DRUMMOND: You retired at 65, so we decided that was in 1985. Um --

HARE: In 1961 --

DRUMMOND: No, not ’85, it might have been a little earlier than that. So then, you were Grand Lodge rep in the early ’60s through the early eigh -- and you retired out of that position. And at that time, did you have to move to Washington, DC, or did you stay here Maine?

HARE: Yeah, I -- the -- before I retired, I had to move to Washington.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Because they -- they -- I was appointed as a National Labor Relations board representative.

DRUMMOND: OK.

108:00

HARE: For that particular area. And it -- the office was there, so I ended up by going to Washington for about a -- about a year and a half, I think. During that period time is when I lost bride. She had 23 little malignant tumors in her head. And her niece -- as a matter of fact -- last week was operated on in Portland for a -- cancer in her head.

DRUMMOND: And earlier in the interview, you said that her mother had died --

HARE: I didn’t hear you.

DRUMMOND: Earlier in the interview -- well, you said that your mother and her mother were roommates --

109:00

HARE: No, no, it was her niece. My wife and her niece both had -- of course, my wife has died. And they expected her to -- just a matter of time -- she’s on chemo. But, I’ve never heard tell of brain cancer ever being cured by -- anything. Especially chemo.

DRUMMOND: Right, right. So, at that time, I guess, all of your children were grown then? And were all your -- by the time you retired, all your children were adults and --

HARE: Oh yeah. I have -- my youngest son lives with me.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK.

HARE: He works for L.L.Bean -- did you ever hear tell of them?

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh. Yeah.

HARE: He works for them.

DRUMMOND: Everybody knows about L.L.Bean.

HARE: Well, they make sure of that. (laughter). They’re non-union though, I --

110:00

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: -- I try to get him, but I -- I don’t think anyone’s ever tried. Because it’s -- it’s a fairly well-run, disciplined, company.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. So, some of these -- this is a store where you were assigned to replace --

HARE: There could be -- there could be duplicates there.

DRUMMOND: There are. Um, where you were assigned to replace a representative servicing a plane in Vermont? Do you remember --

HARE: Well, that was the one that I just told you about the -- the guy that shot himself under the bridge.

111:00

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK, OK. All right. Oh, OK, I see -- further down. But I know there’s also information in here about being involved with the Maine Senior Movement. So, I guess after retirement, you came back to Maine, you came back to South Portland, and -- are there -- are there any active retirees groups for the union here?

HARE: Is there any?

DRUMMOND: Yeah, are there a-- are there any here?

HARE: Well, they -- you should interview Maria Cordone on that one because the machinists, for some reason or other -- the staff has had, apparently, a retiree organization for years where they pay dues in. And when I got involved in it, Maria called and suggested that we see if we could set up a meeting in Maine. So 112:00this fellow -- a brother that has expired a Grand Lodge Rep -- Bill [Layman?] -- he and I had attended one meeting of the National Council of Seniors. And we -- our past international president, George Kourpias, at that time was the head of -- the president of the National Council. And, as a matter of fact he was the one that appointed Maria as his go-between, as such. And we both -- Bill and I felt as though that -- and agreed with Maria that we should try it. So, we put 113:00the -- a newspaper story out -- Bill did, he liked to write for the newspapers. And he put a newspaper story. We was expecting -- I can’t remember, but I think we made arrangements for 75. (coughs) Because there was a luncheon meeting. We ended up with 125. And --

DRUMMOND: Did you have to turn people away, or did you have room for everybody, or --

HARE: No, we just took -- let them come in, and it just so happened there was enough food to go around. I mean, it was a buffet because we couldn’t afford -- you know, to have sit down.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But it -- it just expanded tremendously. And then when they -- the main council -- not the main council, the State Employees Unions -- when they come in 114:00-- as a matter of fact, they was in with us but they -- what they did is made the arrangements for the meeting hall, which we didn’t until we were told.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And they was the ones that paid for the meal that -- for the -- they -- the main municipal union really went heavy for it. I haven’t attended a meeting for quite some period of time because I gave up driving four years ago.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: I did it on my own. I di -- wasn’t suggested.

DRUMMOND: You just felt it was time?

HARE: Well, did you ever panic -- I mean, really panic?

DRUMMOND: Not in a car, but yeah.

HARE: Well, you know what happened. I had a Chevrolet Wagon. And the first time 115:00that it happened, I went to the Teamsters hall to attend a meeting. And I was going to back in between two cars. Put my foot on the brake, and no brakes. Do you remember in the news about the problems with break failures when they changed over that -- whatever they call the new breaking system --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- where, if one wheel is on ice, for an example, and it freezes up, then they’ll all freeze. In other words, it’s supposed t-- and it has saved a lot of lives. Anyway, I went in to the meeting, come out, and drove the car for probably three months. No problems. And then all of a sudden, one day, I went over to town to get a haircut, come out of the barber shop, get into the car, made four turns. Streets -- no problems stopping, starting, or anything else. 116:00Started down the hill and -- no brake. Well, down at the end of the hill was a bridge that had a number of streets leading onto that bridge, so it was quite a lot of heavy traffic. And I was the luckiest person on earth because I had to go through two traffic lights -- they were timed perfect for me -- into the -- when I get down to the bridge itself, I would have thought sure that I was going to hit someone or I’m -- someone was going to hit me, because there was no traffic signal. And I get through that mess of cars, pulled over and stopped -- let the car stop, because it still had no brake.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And I was wondering what I was going to do, and I finally decided, well Shaw’s -- it’s a grocery store, it’s the other side of the bridge, obviously -- well, if I can get over into their parking lot and then call up a 117:00[Rucker?]. Got over to Shaw’s and I had to make a left turn, oncoming traffic -- put my foot on the brake, thought -- thinking sure that I was a dead duck -- or, in line for him. But it so happened, I had plenty of space, and the brakes did work. So I decided to drive it home. Which I did. Took it to the garage. They said, “You need -- ” something that’d cost me a thousand dollars --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- for something I didn’t need because (laughs) it was a master cylinder that they put on for the thousand dollars and that was the second time -- the third time that it happened, I took my great-granddaughter to -- and her mother 118:00-- to a restaurant in South Portland. And I was pulling in behind his car, just as he was coming out of the restaurant -- elderly gent -- and he kept walking. And the first thing that popped into my mind was I c-- to ram on the brakes, and I had no breaks to ram on. He was smart enough to apparently recognize that I was in trouble, because he took the last step backward off of the curb; he could see that I was coming. And if he had taken one more step, in my opinion, I would have taken both of his legs off. Because my car went under his car -- two bumpers, you know what I mean? Looked to me -- but I was only doing -- I was parking, so consequently, I wasn’t doing probably three or four miles an hour --

119:00

DRUMMOND: But that’s still so scary.

HARE: But -- and that didn’t bother me at all. Went home and was telling my daughter about it. OK. Let’s go to Shaw’s and do some shopping. We get about, maybe three-quarters of the way there, no problem. And all of sudden, I had my very, very first -- whatever it was --

DRUMMOND: A panic attack?

HARE: Oh, Jesus it -- I was literally out of my mind. I just -- I couldn’t think, I couldn’t see, I couldn’t even move the steering wheel. I did move it enough to stop the car right in the middle of the traffic and we-- on the inside lane of the four-lane highway. Get out of the car and says, “Maureen, you’re going to have to drive it, I can’t do it.” And never touch the wheel sin-- well, that isn’t true. I’ve done that now for -- during the 120:00winter, because I have to move the car so I can plow.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But beyond the driveway -- but, in the driveway, I’ve had three panics over the past --

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: -- over the past four years.

DRUMMOND: And it’s assumed from just having --

HARE: I’m guessing --

DRUMMOND: -- brake failure and not knowing what was going to happen?

HARE: -- I’m guessing. And -- but --

DRUMMOND: Aw.

HARE: -- but, so. The reason -- the way that I drive is one foot on the brake -- which you shouldn’t do -- and the other one on the accelerator. But I only have to move, you know, what -- maybe a hundred feet?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But, I’ve gotten out of the car twice and left it. Not bothered to plow the driveway.

DRUMMOND: Really.

HARE: Waited till my son to come home. So I just -- I figured it was my time. Because I did one hell of a lot of driving when I was -- when I was working for Portland Copper Tank Works --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

121:00

HARE: When I became a truck driver. And after I retired, the one trip -- this Bill [Layman] I just got done telling you about -- he and I was ordered to take our cars to Florida for a staff conference. We was going to supply the executive with cars, or be their chauffeurs while we were in Florida. And the cars -- the cars never moved an inch (laughs) for a week. (laughter) Was it we some add -- had all that mileage...

DRUMMOND: And well and then in the time, that’s a two -- two-and-a-half-day trip depending on -- three, if you’re going to -- all the way into Miami.

HARE: Yeah. Well, that’s where we went. I can’t remember -- was it Miami or Daytona? Makes no difference -- we had the staff conference anyways, but -- all 122:00of that miles, traveling with each other -- behind each other.

DRUMMOND: Did y’all have a CB?

HARE: No.

DRUMMOND: Radio to keep in to-- or like walkie-talkies or something?

HARE: No, no.

DRUMMOND: Aw. It would have been more fun. I imagine that was the time before cell phones, so --

HARE: Well, no, we didn’t have that either, so.

DRUMMOND: OK. Well, we -- I don’t think we’ve come quite to the end. Is there anything you’re doing though, as a retiree? Even if not actively with the union, are there any other programs, or things --

HARE: Well, n -- the -- I used to attend meetings from -- as a matter of fact, the last one that I was invited to, I think was about two years ago. A retired Grand Lodge representative that used to my boss, he called me and invited me to 123:00York, Pennsylvania to -- to his staff. And it was just about the time that I gave up driving. And he said to fly, the district -- I mean, the retirees would pay for my flight. But I didn’t think that I could contribute that much to -- for them to pay that much money. I’d like to have gone -- still like to have gone. As a matter of fact, my son and I are planning two weeks in -- the first of October I think it is -- and we’re going to be in that general area, and I’m going to call George, and if they have a meeting -- a senior meeting -- I will attend that one, because I have a chauffeur: my son.

124:00

DRUMMOND: And what are these meetings for? Are they --

HARE: They’re to let people know that there’s other people out there that may be able to use their services.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: There is a number of things. There -- if they’re close enough and if they’re in good health and have a license, they can drive people that -- such as myself -- I’ve never had anyone do that other than my family -- but, I’m sure that there’s enough people around me that if I wanted to ask -- that, if -- in -- it would prob -- in most cases, probably a house wife, being home -- there isn’t too many retirees that I know of at this point that lives close to me. Because they’ve heard about me, so they stay away.

DRUMMOND: (laughs) I’m sure that’s not true --

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HARE: But they -- they attend the national council and make contributions -- contributions meaning what new ideas that they may have come up with for fundraising, such as bean supper -- everyone knows how to do that.

DRUMMOND: What’s the bean supper? Is that a Maine thing?

HARE: No, it isn’t necessarily a Maine thing. But, you don’t eat beans at all Saturday night?

DRUMMOND: Yeah, but we -- but we never call it, I mean --

HARE: Well, it -- because it --

DRUMMOND: -- because we do like spaghetti suppers, or fish fries or --

HARE: -- it’s inexpensive -- anything that’s inexpensive.

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK. Oh, I see.

HARE: Because, you see, seniors aren’t loaded with money. And it -- it’s -- most people can raise enough money just by selling tickets in order to get people to come into the --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- so, so we know what’s going on. And it’s a chance for just relationships -- find out what else is going other than what’s going -- 126:00what’s happening in your own home. You get sick and tired of fighting with your kids all the time.

DRUMMOND: Yeah. Well, speaking of kids, you talked a little bit about your one son that lives with you who works at L.L.Bean. The other kids though, did any of them ever join the union?

HARE: Uh, no.

DRUMMOND: No?

HARE: My middle daughter -- is the one that I forgot her name.

DRUMMOND: Mary.

HARE: She works as a secretary for the general man--for the manager of -- of the city of South Portland. My oldest daughter is a homecare operator. She -- she takes care of people in nursing homes, for an example. She has worked for a 127:00multi-millionaire for probably twelve years. As a matter of fact, she just quit him and went to work for an outfit -- they call them ambulances. They do have ambulances, but they have a number of station wagons they call ambulances, because they pick up druggies on the side of the street and (inaudible) and take them to the detox.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: And that’s a 24-hour opera -- well it isn’t a 24-hour operation because they shut down at midnight, but they open up at 4:30 in the morning.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And that’s a costly operation for the -- for the state. Because some of the damned fools -- shouldn’t do -- call people that -- but they carry the 128:00drugs after they go to detox, and they’ll have a smoke on the way home. And there’s nothing that she can do about it, I mean, her orders are: pick them up, take them to detox, and return them safely. As a matter of fact, they just took over Cumberland County. They had York County, which is the most southern county we have. They’ve been doing that for some numbers of years, but now they have York County, so they’re expanding. They get about -- they get four of the big ambulances like that white -- white one there by the lamppost. They’ve got two -- that is, for -- strictly for children. And it’s Mrs. -- 129:00the presiden -- the past president.

DRUMMOND: Laura Bush? The past president’s wife? Laura Bush?

HARE: I lost -- can’t even think. Bush! Bush, Bush Bush.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, so Laura. Her name was Laura.

HARE: Yeah. She bought two, which they operate strictly for kids.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: They’re called tr -- trauma or something. But anyway, someone calls and -- on the road or -- it’s for kids. They have special ambulances to take care of them. Which is -- of course, the companies make it -- needless to say -- millions of bucks out of it. But -- but, anyw -- anything that takes care of 130:00kids, because --

DRUMMOND: So do you have -- you have two daughters, or three?

HARE: Three.

DRUMMOND: Three daughters and two boys. So, if your oldest --

HARE: Yeah, two boys. I got five. Five kids.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, OK. So, your oldest daughter um, just --

HARE: Maureen.

DRUMMOND: -- Maureen. And then who is the -- the next in line is --

HARE: Steve is the oldest, which I haven’t mentioned -- my son --

DRUMMOND: Oh, OK.

HARE: -- then Maureen. Steve has his own business, by the way, which is cleaning banks.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Which is a very lucrative business. They get 25 bucks an hour or something like that. I wish I had thought of that and gone into business --

DRUMMOND: Right. Well, and, so that’s --

HARE: Then -- then the other daughter is Mary -- the one I couldn’t remember the name of. And I told you what she does. My third daughter is -- go on to my 131:00son, he works with L.L.Bean --

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: -- and my third daughter is -- I’m going to her house tonight for dinner -- she works for Yonah!

DRUMMOND: What’s that?

HARE: Yonah is an insurance c-- is, matter of fact, it’s an international insurance company. She’s got a great job. Susie is her name.

DRUMMOND: Susie?

HARE: Susan.

DRUMMOND: Susan, OK. So were they raised with the understanding that, by you being in a union, it was helping them have a maybe better opportunities than other kids might have or, I mean was that -- because it -- because in some families, I know, like, Grandpa was in the union, Dad was in the union, the son 132:00-- you know, you know -- and so they all -- so then multiple generations sort of have this idea of the union as good, and the union as helping us have a better life and things like that, so --

HARE: Well, they -- none of them belonged to a union and the reason for it is -- one of the reasons for it is their particular companies -- L.L.Bean, for an example --

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: -- I don’t think that you could j-- get anyone there --

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: -- because they’re treated very well.

DRUMMOND: So -- so they just didn’t have the opportunity, given the careers they chose?

HARE: But -- yeah.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: And it’s the same as with -- with the -- with Maureen -- with the ambulance company. Got tremendous benefits.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Susan’s been working for Yonah, and she has the pleasure of covering practically the United States. I mean, her particular job allows her to travel 133:00to satellite offices and talk to the staff, or train the staff at that particular office if there’s a new change --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- so it --

DRUMMOND: Well, and a lot of your stories that you talk about how you were either hungry or you didn’t have a penny -- you know, until you -- until you had regular work. I mean, I guess -- did you emphasize that, because of the kind of work you did and that you were in a union, that -- that they had it better than you did --

HARE: Uh, no.

DRUMMOND: -- growing up. So that was never really a thing y’all talked about?

HARE: Well, we would talk in the house and it -- I would talk about the cases, and so on and so forth. And they very well know because, again -- God bless my angel -- she did such a -- really and truthfully tremendous job of bring up these five kids because they’re -- they drive me nuts. I mean, they literally 134:00think that I belong to them.

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

HARE: And I probably do, but they don’t have to smother me and -- I refuse to go to a doctor until at least three of them pile up on me. (laughter) But when I get the third one, I don’t -- I stop arguing. I go. And I manage to have two of them go with me just so that they can hear what the doctor has to say, because they figure that when I come home, I’m not going to tell them the truth.

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: So, but -- no, but if they were working in -- at an industry that, in my opinion, there would be a ghost of a chance of getting in any union --

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: -- I’d be the first one to lead them in.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: But, as I said, they’re very happy as they are. They’re making good money and – so --

135:00

DRUMMOND: OK. Can you think of anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to discuss, related to your work with the machinists?

HARE: I can’t think of anything because you have drained my brain of everything that’s in it and -- I thank you for your patience.

DRUMMOND: No, I’m happy to be here --

HARE: But --

DRUMMOND: Well then, let me ask you one last question. I’ll drain the last little bit of what’s left. What has been, for you, the most important thing about being in the union?

HARE: Being successful in -- in negotiations, without a strike. And winning something that the -- the membership is satisfied with.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Anything that has satisfied members had made me float.

DRUMMOND: OK.

136:00

HARE: It’s -- and I have to tell you, I’ve had some losers, and that bothers me. It bothers me for the simple reason that -- either the member fails to cooperate, or decides that they want to interfere in their own representation --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And -- the only problem with that is they get angry. And there’s one thing that I absolutely forbid anyt -- anyone to get angry, except me. Because I don’t have to get back to work for the company if we when our cause.

DRUMMOND: Right. Right.

HARE: It -- it -- and, besides, if I’m not giving him the proper representation, they should notify the organization to get rid of me, or move a 137:00different representative into that particular local. Very fortunately, that has never happened, and I’ve gone into locals where I shouldn’t have been, just to -- if I was in the city, or something, at night -- what the hell do you do, watch television, or do you go play with your union members?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And I have always been very, very well-received. As I told you -- I’m not going to name the states, I think I did once before, but I don’t know if I was on the tape -- I don’t know of any representatives that had three separate states pay their expenses to come to a -- to a retirement party.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Uh, and in one particular state -- I didn’t have a member, it was because I visited members when I was in and around that area. If there was a union meeting, I would go to it. But it was 50 miles away, and I had nothing else to do, I’d take the ride.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

138:00

HARE: And at -- I have a job, or had a job that’s well-protected, and the members, I guess they wanted to give it to me. There may have been someone that hired me, but that doesn’t mean that that person gets any more out of me than any individual member.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And the -- I’ve said this -- so many cases that needs good representation -- and we have some unions -- not the machinists -- or at least, that I know of in the machinists -- that is not representing their people properly because the machinists goes out of their way for training. They’ll go to any local meeting and set up how to run a meeting, how to negotiate with a company, or sit at the table with a company. That’s all important because -- I 139:00think -- one thinking that -- that the louder they holler, the more they’re going to be -- get attention paid to them -- and it doesn’t work that way.

DRUMMOND: Right.

HARE: Because the other side can holler just as loud, and they control the works. And put a good lock on the door, or anything damn thing they want. You looking for rain?

DRUMMOND: I know, it started raining, didn’t it?

HARE: Well, you want to give up and call it quits and --

DRUMMOND: I -- I -- well, I think we’re kind of at the end of our interview, anyway. Anything else you can think of before I wrap it up?

HARE: Nope. There was nothing in the -- I thought that you was going to look at that one sheet there that had the -- I wrote for retirees?

DRUMMOND: Oh, uh-huh, the one for retirees here?

HARE: That’s the one.

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh. This one?

HARE: Yeah.

140:00

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh. Do you want to -- do you --

HARE: Oh, you read it first and determine if -- whether it’s of any consequence to the purpose of this interview.

DRUMMOND: Oh, it’s about -- it’s about staying active in politics and making sure that we --

HARE: Well, it may not even make sense. The best question is does -- is it something that could be meaningful to someone that --

DRUMMOND: I think -- I think if this -- if this is something that you took the time to write, that it is important for us to discuss here.

HARE: To?

141:00

DRUMMOND: To discuss. So, do you want to -- the big question is, “Who are we?” -- retirees? And what are we doing with our retirement years. That’s your question.

HARE: Well, we have a lot of retirees that -- that, as I said -- that are very active in their community. We try to encourage more people because, as people retire, their lives -- needless to say -- changes tremendously. And if they find an activity that -- such as, helping their neighbors -- it’ll take them back -- at least thinking of what it’s like to forget your worries and look at the person that has something to really worry about --

142:00

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: -- health-wise, for an example, driving -- there’s just no end to the type of volunteer work that a retiree -- and if they -- some of them are very reluctant t-- you know, because they -- not a good mixer. Those are the type of people that should get out because if they want their life to be extended -- as I do, for an example -- I’m at the point where I have great-great grandchildren.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: I have three great grandchildren.

DRUMMOND: Wow, your children --

HARE: Fourth generation.

DRUMMOND: So there are five generations of heirs?

HARE: Yeah. Four, I think.

DRUMMOND: Wow, four.

HARE: It’s me, my daughter --

DRUMMOND: Your children.

HARE: -- and their children --

DRUMMOND: Their children. And then great-grandchildren. OK.

HARE: It -- it -- as I said, in the way that this country is going, unfortunately, the poor is getting poor, the people of need is getting less with 143:00some of -- and the sad part of all it is is the same as -- I made reference to my daughter’s work. I think that -- I don’t know how they can do it -- but there should be a law passed that they -- the person that’s being transported for drug treatment should be required to do something to repay the people that has to pay the bills for them. And even -- even some employers could very well -- but, these type of people, when they once get the needle -- and how they get 144:00the dope is a mystery, but that’s something that must be done. And I’m done.

DRUMMOND: And you’re done. So your concern is that, if people are not staying active -- or politically active, then we’re not leaving much for future generations?

HARE: Being -- being involved in anything, as far as seniors is concerned -- whether they know it or not, is going to keep them a little bit healthier.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Just because of activity. And believe, I know, because when I cut out activity, my body just has gone to pieces. I cannot walk a straight line.

DRUMMOND: Really?

HARE: And that makes me real sad. Whose fault is it? Mine. Why is it my fault? Because I have failed to be more active. Just because I lost my license, I 145:00can’t get around like I used to. And that’s why everyone says, “Well, you don’t look to be 87 years old,” I’m not yet -- I’ve got another 30 days. (laughter) But the point is -- is if I hadn’t have decided to give up, I probably would have hurt someone bad and -- and that would have killed me, honestly and truthfully. And it -- so I took the road, the only one that I know of is just -- give up driving. But I haven’t decided -- or don’t have the mentality -- to go on to pick up something that would keep me moving. Something that I was really interested. I’m interested in the senior movement, but you have to -- in order to be in the senior movement, you have to participate and I can’t do that because I don’t -- I don’t have mobility.

DRUMMOND: Your -- your public transportation here doesn’t offer a service for senior citizens to pick them up?

HARE: Uh, who?

146:00

DRUMMOND: Like, your local public transit system?

HARE: Oh, I never thought of that. Actually, again, I haven’t the ti -- attempted to reach out. And that’s my fault. I mean, I can’t -- can’t criticize anyone for my -- I blame doctors. But the reason I blame doctors is -- but, you didn’t know about it -- but I had a doctor call me this morning. I was on four different medicines -- four different drugs -- and had a different doctor give me the fifth drug. Went to the drug store, and a druggist is a -- probably maybe 35, 40 years old -- he looked at my screen before he gave me the 147:00drug. He said, “My God,” he says, “you can’t take this medicine” --

DRUMMOND: Because it won’t mix with the other medicine?

HARE: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: It could have -- it could have been dead -- deadly.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: And he went to the trouble of going on the computer, and apparently there is some form of a network on the computer that knows the mixtures of drugs and how -- it took him, literally -- on the phone, 20 minutes, to find out if his diagnosis of -- the interaction -- between the interaction of drugs and what would happen to me -- to wait for them to call me back. The line was -- apparently was so busy. But anyway, they did call him back and they said, 148:00“Under no circumstances” --

DRUMMOND: Wow.

HARE: -- “should that medicine be -- ” So -- so what he did -- and I took his advice -- the new drug, I stopped taking -- or, I never took. I didn’t even buy the thing because Monday, it was going to be the day for me to do my work and check it out through my own doctor. My doctor called me at 6:30 this morning at home.

DRUMMOND: That’s early.

HARE: And he made it very clear that the nurse that is going to be there at 4:30, or whatever time to change the bandages here -- that she ca-- yeah -- she call him before she talks to me.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

149:00

HARE: I don’t know what it’s all about -- I will when I get to see her. But the point is that he is pretty damned concern. But it’s a little bit late -- if it hadn’t been for that druggist. And he was emphatic because there was another one -- pharmacist -- that was working with him -- another male was working with him. And they literally disagreed. But this particular guy stuck to his guns. And because the argument with his partner is why that he called the drug center.

DRUMMOND: OK. OK, so part of it -- like I think part of what you’re trying to get out here -- get at it here -- is sort of advocacy and then being, like -- for retirees to also be smart about how they’re being taken care of and to ask the right questions and to make sure everybody’s -- every different doctor knows what every other doctor’s doing and stuff like that.

150:00

HARE: Well, you they -- they can do that simply because with computers today.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Because anyone -- any computer that has my name -- it’s my underst -- any medical computer that has my name also is on every other computer if they want to type it in.

DRUMMOND: OK, OK.

HARE: I don’t know if that’s true.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, I’m not sure, actually.

HARE: But it -- because I’ve got so damn many doctors right now. I went 60 years -- this is my closing statement --

DRUMMOND: OK.

HARE: -- I went 60 years -- and this is the gospel truth -- without taking a drug stronger than an aspirin. (pounding on table)

DRUMMOND: Now you’re making up for lost time.

HARE: Well, it’s what I’m doing that’s tearing up a lot of prescriptions too.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Because, I don’t know if you’ve had that type of luck. Did you ever go to a doctor’s office and come out without a prescription for something?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: You have?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

HARE: Stay with that doctor.

151:00

DRUMMOND: Yeah. (laughs)

HARE: I mean that seriously. Drugs isn’t a cure for everything.

DRUMMOND: No, no. You have to --

HARE: Thank you very, very much for your courtesy and understanding.

DRUMMOND: I -- I was so happy to come in here and get this interview. I’m sorry we lost the first one. (laughter) I think this is a much better interview. And it’s much longer too -- we’re just clocking in a little over two and a half hours, so I will end the interview now, thank you very much and --

HARE: But who’s going to listen to it though, when it --

DRUMMOND: Yo-- everyone (laughter) -- your family. You have five kids and you have grandkids and you have great grandkids. They will all want -- if no one else ever listens to this but me, and you, and them --

HARE: You’re probably right. (laughter) Well I -- I know of one and that would be Maria.

DRUMMOND: Maria. And I want -- I want to get her interview too. Let me turn the recorder off really quickly.

HARE: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: Okay.