Claude Helton and Ernest Moore Interview 3

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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GEORGE STONEY: I’ve got to build up the volume. God damn it. I’m sorry, Jamie.

JAMIE STONEY: Now pause.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. I want to show you that Labor Day parade in Gastonia.

5:00

[playing video]

Did you recognize any of those people? Would you like to see it again? I think it’s coming up again in just a moment. This is a long shot of the same thing. It will come up again.

6:00

[playing video]

7:00

Now, you notice - that was the newsreel with that - scenes from New England as well as Gastonia.

JUDITH HELFAND: George, can you say that again?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. That was the newsreel with the scenes from Gastonia starting it and then ending in New England. Do you remember seeing any of that kind of thing when - at the time?

MOORE: No.

GEORGE STONEY: Did you go to the movies then?

MOORE: Yeah, some. Bunch of westerns.

GEORGE STONEY: But what about the newsreels that played before the westerns.

MOORE: We didn’t have that, not in Gastonia, the newsreels with the movies, not that I remember. And there wasn’t no TV.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s right.

MOORE: Just the little old radio.

GEORGE STONEY: There certainly weren’t any TVs. But tell us about your father going to that parade.

8:00

MOORE: I believe I recognized him there. I believe that he had on a straw hat, looked like that. I believe I recognized him right there in the front there, but I wasn’t sure.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, why don’t we run it again and see if you can recognize him?

MOORE: Right at the first start.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. We’ll run it back and see. I got to cut the - no, this will run back, won’t it?

HELFAND: You know what, George?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah.

HELFAND: There’s also outtakes coming up.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, no. Cut it, Jamie. I’m sorry. Turn it on. Yeah, I’m sorry to be so scattered, but let me see if I can run it. [playing video] OK. OK. OK. So it will come up again in just a moment. Uh.

MOORE: Isn’t that him right there (inaudible)?

GEORGE STONEY: Right there.

9:00

MOORE: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, good.

HELFAND: You know what? We’ve got to change this.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. I’m going back on it. See if you can recognize your father.

MOORE: He might have the flag right up at the front.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, they always seemed to have the flag. OK, here we go. [playing video]

MOORE: That’s him a carrying his [tote?] there with that white hat on. Look at it, Claude. Way over on this end. Do you see him?

GEORGE STONEY: Recognize anybody else here?

10:00

MOORE: No. I was in the parade, but I was driving, and my car was full, and I had banners on each side of my automobile, automobile. I was in a car in that parade, driving.

GEORGE STONEY: Now I’m going to cut down the sound so you can just watch it from now on, without the sound. And we can see all these now, without the 11:00sound. Look at all those women. Here’s a long shot. How far was it from your village over to Gastonia?

MOORE: Around two miles.

GEORGE STONEY: There’s the man in the white house - hat again.

MOORE: That’s him. He’s up there with the flag, real close.

GEORGE STONEY: All the women.

HELFAND: That’s him again.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, here though.

HELFAND: This is Albert Henson.

12:00

GEORGE STONEY: This is Parkdale. Is this where he starts talking? A big mass meeting. Did you go to mass meetings like that? Now I’m going back on this just a minute.

HELFAND: No, this is just an outtake.

GEORGE STONEY: All right, fine. That’s Albert Henson talking.

MOORE: The reason I didn’t go to mass meetings, we was tied down, closing the gate. The textile, Flint manufacture, they signed it, they wouldn’t open. Had to come to settlement. Groves Thread wouldn’t do it, and most of us was tied down holding the gates closed. That’s the reason we didn’t go out there, to some of these things. A lot of the mills in Gastonia, they sat down, 13:00and why they wouldn’t - they went along with the union, and they wouldn’t open up, see. But the Groves would.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know why the Groves wouldn’t?

MOORE: No, I really don’t. I guess they decided they’d maybe have enough to keep the plant running.

GEORGE STONEY: Claude, do you remember - do you have any idea why the Grove -

HELTON: No, I don’t.

GEORGE STONEY: This is all New England.

HELFAND: Could we shut this off -

HELTON: I don’t remember anything about that parade.

GEORGE STONEY: What was that, Claude?

HELTON: I said I didn’t remember anything about the parade.

14:00

MOORE: You wasn’t there, Claude? I bet you was there.

HELTON: No. No.

MOORE: You wasn’t in it?

HELTON: No.

GEORGE STONEY: I’m going to go fast forward then.

HELFAND: It’s not - it’s backwards direction, Albert Henson. Everything from here is backwards.

GEORGE STONEY: You mean the Albert?

HELFAND: Anything else left of Gastonia is backwards from here. The thing is, do you want them to speak about this? I get the hiss when they’re just talking, and there’s no audio on. Do you know what I mean?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, OK. So I’ll cut it. Just a moment.

JAMIE STONEY: Don’t, you know, try and get up too close.

15:00

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Good. So the stuff, the longer stuff with Albert Henson, is before this? OK.

JAMIE STONEY: Yeah, just let it play forward for a bit.

GEORGE STONEY: Let it play forward?

JAMIE STONEY: Yeah, I just want to see if (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK.

JAMIE STONEY: Just for about 30 seconds.

GEORGE STONEY: Now I’ll go back again.

JAMIE STONEY: One second, please.

GEORGE STONEY: The big mass meeting. That must have been in municipal park in Gastonia.

JAMIE STONEY: OK then.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, now we’re going back. We’re going back to a longer 16:00section with Albert Henson, and I want you to see if you - I’m just reversing this, and I want you to see if you remember his voice.

MOORE: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I knowed him. I forgot his name. He was a good speaker, Albert was.

HELFAND: Do you want to listen to him talk and then you can comment on him?

GEORGE STONEY: I’m just backing up now. I bet your daddy never thought he’d have his son looking at him on a video, 60 years later.

MOORE: You know, he might be a looking down on that now.

GEORGE STONEY: He might be. That’s true.

JAMIE STONEY: What would he be thinking?

17:00

GEORGE STONEY: Well, as a preacher, you know where he is.

MOORE: Oh, he was a good man.

HELFAND: This is just the outtake, George.

JAMIE STONEY: You notice he said looking down, not looking up.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughs) Yeah. See, we’re going back to where they switched lenses and all of that stuff, right. OK.

HELFAND: Uh-huh.

GEORGE STONEY: How are you doing with your arms?

HELFAND: OK.

18:00

GEORGE STONEY: Sorry, gentlemen, but this is the only way I can find this bit.

HELFAND: OK, you did it. He just got him.

GEORGE STONEY: Was that it?

HELFAND: I think.

GEORGE STONEY: No, it wasn’t - no, I’m afraid - I want to back this up a little bit.

HELFAND: You better turn the machine off right here.

GEORGE STONEY: This machine as well?

HELFAND: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: OK.

(interruption)

MOORE: Can I talk now?

GEORGE STONEY: Sure. Yes.

MOORE: I mean, I want you to hear what I say. I don’t speak recording.

HELFAND: OK. What is it?

19:00

MOORE: Well, that [green dial?] there, was that an intentional block out there?

GEORGE STONEY: Yes. The difference was - and we’re going to see this in this next little section about Albert Henson - we have both what was used in the news reels and what they actually took, and you’re going to see a big difference. You remember you were telling me about the Gaston Gazette being very anti-labor? The newsreels were, too. And so you’re going to see how conciliatory Albert Henson was, and then you’re going to see how they used the stuff that didn’t indicate that. Tell us something about Albert Henson, what you remember about him.

MOORE: I don’t know too much about him. I didn’t - I hadn’t met him until 20:00the strike, I mean, till the organization. The only thing I know about him is just hearing him speak. All about I heard about him, I mean, everybody spoke well of him.

GEORGE STONEY: Where did he come from?

MOORE: I don’t know that.

GEORGE STONEY: I think he came from the Smyers, that’s where he worked, I believe.

MOORE: I believe, I believe you’re right.

GEORGE STONEY: And he worked at the Smyers, because he lived in the Ranlo, was it? Yeah. Now what we’re going to show you now is Albert Henson as the newsreels took him, so you’re going to hear a much longer section. Before he was just up saying “Fellow workers, we’re going to have peace and prosperity in this town.” Down, fanning the flames of - strike or just fan the flames, you see. Now we’re going to turn it on, and you’ll see a very different - 21:00get a different feeling of that. All right? So I’m going to turn on the VCR or turn on this, and we’ll see what’s happened here.

HELFAND: It’s coming.

GEORGE STONEY: The sound is down, isn’t it? No. I’m sorry. I have to go back on that. Sorry, folks.

22:00

[playing video]

23:00

That’s the cameraman changing the lens.

24:00

So does that bring back any memories to you?

MOORE: Yeah, that’s Albert speaking. He fought for the union.

GEORGE STONEY: And that voice sounds very much the same? How many leaders like him did you have?

MOORE: We didn’t - not in Gaston County. We didn’t have - come out and speak in public like that. He was about the - as far as I remember, about the 25:00only one go around, I mean, and speak like that.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know how long he’d been in the union before he started doing this, before the strike?

MOORE: No, I don’t. I imagine he got in when they started organizing in Gastonia. I imagine he was about the first one on that, what I know about it. If he belonged to any other union before that, I don’t know.

GEORGE STONEY: Tell us about your father and the union.

MOORE: Well, when the - I forget the fellow that come to Gastonia and organized. I believe he was from over towards High Point. Claude, do you remember his name?

26:00

HELTON: No, not (inaudible) I don’t.

MOORE: I remembered his name. Not too long ago I thought of it, and he come to Gastonia and started the organization.

GEORGE STONEY: Could it have been Paul Christopher? Or Alton Lawrence?

MOORE: Know any more?

JAMIE STONEY: Say that again, please. I was blocking camera.

GEORGE STONEY: Could it have been Paul Christopher?

MOORE: Seems like I don’t have -

GEORGE STONEY: Or Alton Lawrence?

MOORE: No, it wasn’t him.

GEORGE STONEY: What about [Red List?]?

MOORE: That’s him. Red List, that’s him. He’s the one that come to Gastonia, started the organization. That’s him.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Tell us about Red List.

HELFAND: Excuse me.

GEORGE STONEY: Just -

HELFAND: That’s with a K, Red Lisk.

GEORGE STONEY: OK.

HELFAND: And he’s from Concord.

27:00

MOORE: He come in and talked to the workers. He’d have so many to meet, and he’d talk to them about the organization. He’d - I believe, the way I got it, he felt that was the right time to organize. Then Roosevelt come out, tell the workers they should organize. The way I felt it, he thought that was the opportunity to organize the textile workers. When he come into Gastonia, he started organizing. You know, just a small crowd, and we met with him. That started it. And we’d have a meeting, I believe about once a week. We didn’t (inaudible), but we was - of course, we talked to him, you know, when we’d meet him or in our work jobs. When we organized, why, they wanted a 28:00president and vice president and treasurer, so my daddy was elected to be the president of our local. Fred Hartman, he was the vice president. I don’t remember the secretary. I don’t remember right now who he was. When we organized Groves Thread, we had 80% union. We had a fellow, [Cahn?] belonged to 29:00our union. They sent him in to - when they decided about the strike. You know, the strike wasn’t - they didn’t ask for nothing, only just recognize the union. There wasn’t no wage or hour or nothing else, they just - we struck on account of they wanted them to come to recognize the union. That’s what the headquarters decided to do, and they closed down the strike.

GEORGE STONEY: Now this fellow Cahn, did you send him to -

MOORE: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Where did - you sent him to that meeting in New York?

MOORE: Yeah, our local. I forget his given name, but his last name was Cahn.

HELTON: L.M. Comn was his -

MOORE: Huh?

HELTON: L.M. Comn was his name.

GEORGE STONEY: Claude, how do you spell that?

HELTON: C-O-M-N, I believe is the way it’s spelled.

GEORGE STONEY: We haven’t been able to find him yet.

MOORE: Well, I imagine - I don’t believe he’s - I imagine he’s -

30:00

HELTON: He’s dead.

MOORE: - gone, yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: But maybe his family is around.

HELTON: Matter of fact, I don’t remember anything about his family.

MOORE: No, I don’t, no. But he lived right there close. You know, he lived there, right close to where we was meeting there.

HELTON: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Why did you select him, do you think?

MOORE: Well, I imagine most of us were working, and he volunteered, too. He volunteered, so they decided to send him.

GEORGE STONEY: Now that was a big expense to send people all the way to New York City. How did you - and you were work - making, you were making so little. How did you get up that money?

MOORE: Well, see, we was paying dues, and no out going. What dues come in, we didn’t have no outgo then, on just about maybe a letter or two or something, 31:00you see. Wasn’t no expenses. Wasn’t no expenses. So we had some in the treasury.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember when he came back from New York?

MOORE: Oh, yeah. He spoke just as soon as - we had a meeting just as soon as he got back, and he told us what they’d done. They said wait for the strike.

GEORGE STONEY: How did you feel about that?

MOORE: Well, I knowed I went along with it, but I didn’t think - even my daddy didn’t think if they ought to, should have called a strike that early. It was too early, for we wasn’t organized, wasn’t set up, and our treasury wasn’t built up. I thought it and some other members thought it, that we was striking too early. It shouldn’t a been called.

32:00

GEORGE STONEY: Now we’re interested also in the women. Could you talk about the women being in the union?

MOORE: Well, the women attended the meeting, but they didn’t ever take no part in things, they just - I imagine about 30 of the women, wasn’t it?

HELTON: I suppose, yeah.

MOORE: Yeah, about 30 of them was women.

HELTON: I don’t remember any time any woman ever speaking.

MOORE: No, they never did speak, they never did take part in the thing.

GEORGE STONEY: What about once you started picketing?

MOORE: You mean close it?

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh.

MOORE: Well, when every, every local in Gaston County, they asked their 33:00officials in the mill, they asked them if they would go along and close their plant. And I’d say that most of them did. I think most of them did. The two factories across the road, Flint Mill, they closed there. And they come over, helped picket. They kept the front gate closed, and our own kept the back gate closed.

GEORGE STONEY: Now did you ever think of them as a flying squadron, anything like that?

MOORE: No.

GEORGE STONEY: Now let’s talk about that parade a little bit again.

JAMIE STONEY: I just want to change the battery real quick.

GEORGE STONEY: OK.

JAMIE STONEY: And speak.

MOORE: Is it on now? Is it off?

GEORGE STONEY: Yes, it’s off now.

MOORE: I tell you, if you’ll just ask the questions, I believe that you’ll get more out of us.

34:00

GEORGE STONEY: All right. If you could just hold it, hold it just a moment, Judy, and I’ll go get my notebook.

HELFAND: He’s getting ready. That’s good.

GEORGE STONEY: Now you’re -

MOORE: Some of the delegates that was up there, they had a little bit too much to drink really, reason they was supposed to striking.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughs)

MOORE: Now that’s -

GEORGE STONEY: No, that’s all right.

MOORE: Now that’s seriously.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Sure, yeah.

MOORE: See, you’ll hear too, I guess.

HELFAND: About the delegates in New York?

GEORGE STONEY: We talked to - we’ve talked to one fellow from Patterson New Jersey who was at that.

MOORE: Said that?

GEORGE STONEY: No, no, he didn’t say that, but he was there. He’s the only fellow we’ve been able to find who was at that.

MOORE: Guess this might have been (inaudible) -

GEORGE STONEY: Sure, yeah. Now I’m going to ask you some questions that we talked about before. We listened to all of this last night and made notes on what you were saying outside, and in a few -

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible).

35:00

GEORGE STONEY: Why did your father join the union?

MOORE: Well, he -

GEORGE STONEY: Just start about and say my father and tell me all about him.

MOORE: He thought that it would -

GEORGE STONEY: I’m sorry. Start again and just say, “My father was - took president of the union because” -

MOORE: My father was the president of the union because he believed organization, people in the organization had a body to work for, with, where they could do more for the people that worked in the factories. You take out all the manufacturing owners, they got their union, but they don’t call it a union. All the doctors, they got their own, but they don’t call it union. 36:00The labor people out there was called union when they organized. So he thought it that it would help the low paying manufacturing workers have a better living, better housing, and just live better.

GEORGE STONEY: Why did they trust your father?

MOORE: Well, I reckon it was just like any other crowd get together. They figured out that maybe he’d do the job and they could trust him, that’s all that they know of.

GEORGE STONEY: What qualities did he have? What talents did he have?

37:00

MOORE: Well, he was a Sunday school teacher, and he went to church regular. And being his son, why, of course I’d say that he was a good Christian man, and he was a good father.

GEORGE STONEY: How do you feel now that you look back at what he did?

MOORE: Well, it’s - in a way, it’s kind of sad to think back at what he was trying to do failed. But, see, organized, organized labor, the people makes it. 38:00And a lot of people don’t understand organized labor. If you organize, you’re the strength, the numbers. You’re the strength. So you make that. If the members fails, the organization fails.

GEORGE STONEY: Are you proud of what your father did?

MOORE: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And he was proud of it. But he was sad when they lost, for he knowed some people would suffer over it, you see.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, you said the other night, when we were first talking, how proud you were of him. Could you just say that again with all the enthusiasm you said before?

MOORE: Oh, yeah. I’m proud of what he done.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. We’re going to have to do that again, because I want you 39:00to really build that up, because you just fill that room with your pride when you say that before. OK. Again.

MOORE: Well, what I know about him, what how he put his time, and what talent he had, into the organization, I’m really proud of what he tried to do.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. I’m going to have to go out and see if I can stop - he says, “Oh, you disappoint me.” I thought you were going to put me in the movies. (laughs) OK, when you’re ready, Jamie.

JAMIE STONEY: Ready and speak.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, sir. I want you to say that again. I’m proud of my father for what he did, because you were really enthusiastic before, and we want to get all of that spirit.

40:00

MOORE: I’m really proud of what my father done, tried to do, for the working class of Gaston County. He done his best. And I know he was willing to do it.

GEORGE STONEY: Now at the time, what were you doing?

MOORE: What?

GEORGE STONEY: What part did you play in the strike?

MOORE: Well, I was a - we’d take turn about who would be the captain at the gate, and I was put on several times being the captain of the gate.

GEORGE STONEY: And what did that consist of?

MOORE: That was telling them what could go in, what couldn’t go in, and what we should do.

GEORGE STONEY: How did you feed all these pickets?

41:00

MOORE: Oh, I felt pretty good about it.

GEORGE STONEY: How did you feed them? Did you have a soup kitchen down on the line?

MOORE: Oh, no, no. No, we never - no, we didn’t ever have that. We didn’t - we wasn’t out long enough to do that. See, it was a short strike.

GEORGE STONEY: Now tell me about what you did in the parade when you went into Gastonia, that day.

MOORE: Well, I wasn’t in them that marched. I drove. I was driving a ’28 Dodge, and it was full, and I had banners on each side.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember what the banners said?

42:00

MOORE: No, I don’t believe I can (inaudible), I mean, right now. I don’t believe I could. That’s been several years by now.

GEORGE STONEY: Several years. (laughs) Sixty or 59 years, yeah. OK. Why did you think - you’ve told us that there - you told us about the two gates, we’ve got all that. Could you tell us again about how many you organized and how many stuck with you during the strike?

MOORE: When we organized, right when the strike was called, it was 80% belonged to the union. And when the strike was called, there was 40% come out, stuck with the union. And the rest of them was wanting to go back to work. That’s 43:00the reason we had to picket the gates. I imagine that’s the reason officials decided they wouldn’t close down, they’d work. They’d work. They figured that maybe - when they started back up, they started back up about half of their plants to running. We was on short time when the strike was called, and they opened up running five days a week for about half the plant running.

GEORGE STONEY: You mentioned - tell us about two women that got in and out of the plant.

MOORE: Well, there was two women, they wanted to show us they could get in, so they dug them a hole, in another fence, and went in there. They come up to the 44:00gate wanting out. Nobody would let them out. They had to go back and crawl out another fence, like they come in.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughs) Do you remember that, Claude?

HELTON: I heard about it. That happened on the other side, on the back side.

MOORE: Right there at the old gymnasium. That’s where they come in there.

GEORGE STONEY: After the strike was over, what happened to your dad? What did they say to him?

MOORE: Well, he knowed we’d lost. We’d lost the strike. And they told him if he’d just move off the village that they’d put everybody back to work is they - when they needed them, besides the ones that caused some trouble. That they’d - they had to go get - that was just, honestly, about two or three families, were about the only ones they’d give any, they thought any trouble, 45:00you see. So they called us back to work as they got orders, and they started there.

GEORGE STONEY: Now what happened to you?

MOORE: Well, I was out six months work.

GEORGE STONEY: Claude, what happened to you?

HELTON: I was not put back to work, so I worked on the FERA for 11 months that I was out of work.

GEORGE STONEY: What was the FERA?

HELTON: The FERA.

GEORGE STONEY: What was that?

HELTON: Let’s see, that was Federal Emergency Relief Administration, I believe that’s it. Because we had some alphabets, off the alphabets back then.

GEORGE STONEY: What about you?

MOORE: I worked on it, too. Because they had the - they had the strikers 46:00disqualified, and the other plants wouldn’t hire him if they knowed you was in the, in the strike. So I had a job right after the strike. But when they found out I was in the strike, when the superintendent found out I was in there, the strike, he said, “No, we can’t use him.” He said, “He worked the Grove, and he struck.”

GEORGE STONEY: Well, now, that was supposed to be against the law.

MOORE: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: How did they get by with it?

MOORE: Well, I don’t reckon it was even brought up.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, now, there was a hearing. Could you tell about that hearing?

MOORE: Well, I attended one day of it, I believe, attended one day of it. I don’t think I went back the second day. I don’t think I was, Claude, because they got - they got - they had them a labor - you know, the labor board 47:00had them up trying them for, wasn’t it discrimination? And I don’t believe I said - I don’t believe I went. See, I done gone back to work when that come off, you see.

GEORGE STONEY: Claude, you were - tell us about what you did in that hearing.

HELTON: At the time, I was on strike.

MOORE: In the hearing.

HELTON: Oh, I was - to begin with, I was in that picket line. That’s what we - cause it was the back gates, and it was a very enthusiastic crowd there. The song that we sang was “I shall not be moved.” (laughs) That’s something I remember very well. It was “I shall not be moved.” But we were moved. 48:00So that was something that happened later. We were moved. There was never any problem there, as far as when the strikers and the nonstrikers. We got along real well with them. I don’t know of anything that happened at there, no [quarreling?], or nothing like that. But we did have one, one of our members, who was a Reverend Morris Baker that was becoming - bring us some message of some kind. So there was a - well [acted?]. It was a lot of fun, in some ways, because of things that took place, especially because there was no enmity 49:00between the groups that I could see.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, after the strike, there was this hearing. Could you tell us about the hearing?

HELTON: Oh, yeah. At the hearing, the company was accused of not putting us back to work, because that was also taking place. But the hearing, there was various ones were called to testify about different things. So I - I don’t remeber the names of persons that was our defender, but he asked them the question about why we hadn’t been put back to work, and the company said they had put back to work, and they were going to put more back to work. And the 50:00only ones that had not been put back to work was the - what was the word I used?

GEORGE STONEY: The troublemakers?

HELTON: That’s right.

GEORGE STONEY: The undesirables, was it?

HELTON: That was what they termed it, that we - the ones that had not been put back to work were the undesirables. So that I remember very well.

MOORE: Well, he spoke about we sang the song, “We’ll not be moved,” uh, we wasn’t moved. When the strike is over, when they called the strike off, that’s when we quit picketing. But we didn’t - we wasn’t moved. As long as we picketed, we held them.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you think they were wrong to call the strike off?

51:00

MOORE: No. We done lost. Everywhere they had the picket, they was bringing in the National Guard to open up the plant, so that was a busted anyway. They was wise to call it off. Thought maybe it would help to call it off. But we lost. They done - they was going to bring in the guards and open up all the plants where there was pickets.

JAMIE STONEY: So when you realized that you had lost everybody, they just said well let’s go back to work, and it ended in sort of an honorable manner?

MOORE: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, now. You were telling us something about your father and a politician. Could you talk about that again?

MOORE: Oh, yeah. He was - he always worked for the Democratic Party. He was a 52:00great Democrat. And I expect the gates had done been opened at our plant, but the sheriff told him, Gaston County, go ahead and close them, and he would not send no deputy out over no gates. So they had to bring in the National Guard, only way they could open them up.

GEORGE STONEY: Why did you think the sheriff did that?

MOORE: Well, I guess he had sympathy, some sympathy for the strikers. And being my daddy was a big politician working, I guess he wanted a - that’s the reason he - that’s the reason he wanted to hold him in Gaston County. He done had the whole family a job and a house. And my daddy didn’t have to leave Gastonia. He done that on his own.

GEORGE STONEY: What happened to him?

53:00

MOORE: He went to Caldwell County, went back to farming. He run a 200-acre farm. [Howard?] Hoover owned a farm, and he was (inaudible) of Caldwell County. He let him have that farm, run it just like it was his own, $200 a year, and furnished two big horses. And my daddy run that farm just like it was his until he retired.

GEORGE STONEY: Now I’m going to suggest we cut just a moment and give you a little rest, Judy.

[interruption]

GEORGE STONEY: Could you say that again?

JAMIE STONEY: You tell us all the good stuff when we aren’t ready.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughs)

JAMIE STONEY: Ready.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Could you say that again, sir?

54:00

HELFAND: Say that.

GEORGE STONEY: OK.

MOORE: Is it cut off?

GEORGE STONEY: No, no. It’s on.

HELFAND: You were saying some of the strikers didn’t really want to quit.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Well, we don’t have to do that. Now, we want to go back a little bit. Tell us when you were born and when you first started working in the mills and when you first got involved in all of this.

MOORE: I went to the mill when I was 14 year old. I’m what you’d call a fifth-grade dropout. So -

GEORGE STONEY: When were you born?

MOORE: Nineteen and nine, 15th of April.

55:00

GEORGE STONEY: And what did you do when you first started working in the mills?

MOORE: They was starting up a new mill, a number two mill, Groves Thread Company. My first day of work was taking out machinery out of boxes and washing the oil and grease off of it to keep it from rusting. That was my first day’s work. And I done that till they got enough fellows, off [cleans up?], and then I went to doffing.

GEORGE STONEY: What did they pay you then?

MOORE: Well, I think about - I believe it was around $15 a week.

56:00

GEORGE STONEY: OK. And when did you come to the Grove?

MOORE: Nineteen and twenty.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, OK. Cut it off.

JAMIE STONEY: Got to reload.

GEORGE STONEY: OK.