Claude Helton and Ernest Moore Interview 4

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 GEORGE STONEY: OK. We wanted to record this.

JUDITH HELFAND: What’s wrong? What’s wrong? Why don’t you want to talk about this?

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Go ahead. Claude, would you like to talk about this?

CLAUDE HELTON: Well, as I remember it, after the strike, there wasn’t any effort to continue the union or -- they quit paying dues and --. There’s no point in coming to a meeting because -- so, it’s just – faded away, I’d guess you’d say, and I don’t know of any good people that wanted to 1:00participate in a union anymore after that.

GEORGE STONEY: What do you remember then?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, the way I remember it, and there was a few. Wanted to try to carry on. But when you bust -- union gets busted, so they done what they meant to do.

GEORGE STONEY: You were telling us about the industry people knowing how to bust unions. Could you talk about that?

MOORE: Oh yeah. They wanted you to strike. Wanted you to strike and starve you. They had a pretty good way of busting union. If you don’t get the people organized and get your treasure build up, it’s a hundred percent. Your 2:00union will bust if you strike.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, you’re talking about the industry people in Gastonia and Gaston Country. Talk about their attitude towards textiles and other industries moving in.

MOORE: Well, they fought for years not letting other industries come in to Gastonia. The Chamber of Commerce, they wanted this be textile. So, they wouldn’t have to -- They were afraid to bring in industrials. They’d pay our high wages and that would cause them maybe their high wages. And they keep that down to the junior commerce organization. See, the merchant of Gastonia, they didn’t like it. For the textile workers didn’t make much. And if they 3:00made more, the small businesses made more. So --

GEORGE STONEY: Did you get any support out of those small merchants?

MOORE: No, no.

GEORGE STONEY: I ask that because in some places, they did. Could you talk about the New Deal? Remember when Roosevelt came in?

MOORE: Oh yeah. Well, I think every -- all the working people liked and praised Roosevelt. What he’d done. And wanted to read the history, they still praise him. And what the people remember still praise him. I might be saying 4:00[something up?] or not say it, but what I can’t understand now -- People praise Roosevelt, bringing in waging hour law, shorter wages, more pay. But they’ll go around -- they’re going to vote for the same Congress sentenced him to Washington. It’s again everything that Roosevelt stood for. That’s what I can’t understand.


MOORE: Still doing it.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s -- that’s the dilemma. (laughter) That’s true, yeah. What do you think about that, Claude?

HELTON: Well, I happen to be in that group that Ernest is talking about. Maybe 5:00in my personal opinion, but of course, as (inaudible) knows, the NRA declared unconstitutional. And so, there’s so much involved in some of the things that took place. That goes back to what I told you the other day. That personally, I don’t think it’s the right thing to do -- to tell people what they have to do. And them not have a choice. When you go back and think about the NRA, that wasn’t a decision made that forced the companies to pay a certain amount and cut down the working hours of the people. So, that -- there’s some difference of opinion for some of the things. Of course, (inaudible) is necessary in order 6:00for the bill companies to be controlled. They had to do. It may seem like it was necessary, but when you think about the right thing, I don’t like to be told by somebody. “You have to do this. You got no choice.” I have to do it?

GEORGE STONEY: How do you feel about that?

MOORE: Well, if our government hadn’t stepped in and said you have to do it, they wouldn’t have been no -- We’d still been working 11 hours. We’d been on low wages.


MOORE: So, the government have to step -- when it becomes necessary. To step in. To help the working man of this country. That’s the way I feel.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, what were conditions like in the village where you lived in Grove?


MOORE: Well, they was close knit. Our village was. Nice people. About all of them, nice people. And you could trust them. You never did have to lock no doors, no windows. I could come in any time of night. Our door would be unlocked. Windows up. And it wasn’t much of a problem back then. Very little bit a problem.

GEORGE STONEY: Tell about your house.

MOORE: Well, when I went to housekeeping, I had three-room house. Bathroom had a commode in it. That’s all it had in it. Kitchen had a sink and a spigot. And great fireplace to burn coal in. That’s to heat your house. That’s the 8:00mill village back then.

GEORGE STONEY: What about the water? Running water?

MOORE: Oh yeah. We had running water. Well water. They had deep well pumps. That’s before the city went in and Grove Thread had several deep wells. And they furnished the water for the factory and all the village.

GEORGE STONEY: Did that come into your house?

MOORE: Oh yeah. Yeah. We had running water. Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: What about working in the mill itself? What kind of conditions was it?

MOORE: Well, way back there, it was a -- Working conditions. I can’t say nothing about the working conditions. You just didn’t make a living wage. That’s the only thing. Working conditions -- there wasn’t nothing wrong 9:00with working conditions back then. I understand now they work -- The job’s harder now than it was back then. But you didn’t make nothing.

GEORGE STONEY: Was it hot in the mills? Was it -- What about the dust?

MOORE: Yeah, it was. Back then, they didn’t have air conditioning. They finally put in air conditioning several years before I retired.

GEORGE STONEY: Well now, we’ve heard some people talk about lint heads.

MOORE: Well, before they got this lint head, very few did work all day. It may have been -- I would say that’s worse than card room. And just a handful. They never cleaned the cotton off our clothes. And never comb the hair to get 10:00the cotton out. And they’d to go to town that way. And that’s where they got their lint head. But that was just a very few people. Most of them, when they came off the work, they’d brush the cotton off their clothes, comb their hair, and went home. And they’d change clothes before they went to town or go anywhere. But where you got your lint head is this very few -- get on the street with cotton in their hair and cotton all over them.

GEORGE STONEY: Have you ever heard people refer to you as a lint head?

MOORE: No, never did. If they did, they -- I didn’t hear it. But I’d always clean the cotton off and comb my head. Of course, I didn’t work with too much lint. I never did work the cotton in the card room.


HELFAND: George?


HELFAND: It’s 12:15, so if we want to go to Honea Path, we should --

GEORGE STONEY: OK, OK. All right. I want to ask you about two other things. Tell us about the communist strike in Gastonia and what that meant in terms of whether or not it hurt you in ’34.

MOORE: Oh yeah. The strike at Loray, that really knocked back labor movement in Gaston County. It wasn’t an American union, you see. But there’s organized and pretty fast. So, they had a pretty good line. But that’s when the companies really fought it, you see. Feller Beal -- he was the organizer. Loray mill back then. Firestone now. And they had a headquarters there. 12:00(inaudible) to bust the union, so the police chief, they went over there one night to bust them. Blow them out of the headquarters. That’s when Adderhold got shot. Beal was in the headquarters then and some of his workers. And they shot them because they got out of the car.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, now, that story was well-known in ’34. Everybody knew it.

MOORE: Oh yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you think that had any -- Did that hurt you?

MOORE: Oh yeah. Yeah, that hurt some. Yeah. You take an average textile worker. They’re a little bit scared to organized. They’re scared. After Reid and I made a statement, I thought what it did organize was nice, good 13:00people. But they was interested in not only themselves, but organized and have a better living standard and sacrifice for it. While the other crowd wasn’t willing. That’s one reason I said at the -- I thought the one that organized was just nice, good people. Because they were willing to sacrifice for a better life.

GEORGE STONEY: And this story about Adderhold and so forth? That hurt?

MOORE: Oh yeah. Mm-hmm. And when they killed Miss Wiggins, going to organization, they called that 100 Black-something. What’d they call that? Do you remember?

GEORGE STONEY: One Hundred --

MOORE: Was it Black-something?



MOORE: One Hundred. I know one of the --

GEORGE STONEY: One Hundred Mean Man.

MOORE: Well, all right. I know one feller was in that. Up to Firestone. We’d always been going to dance in the young days. Going to dance. We went there at night and thought there would be a dance. And they was having their meeting there. So, his car was sitting right there in the front, you see. He was a bookkeeper. One of the manufacturers. So, I know he was one of them. And Miss Wiggins said, (inaudible) going to South Gaston to organize. And this much (inaudible) must have turned them back. And they was in a truck. Had the back end of the truck full of women, men. And they shot in the truck and killed Miss Wiggins. And I went up that day, and they had her body laying out there as 15:00a farm house laying there. They had her there and John Carpenter was making a speech among that well. How wrong it was and how she died and everything, you see.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. That’s a very good story. We haven’t heard that one before.

HELFAND: I have a question.


HELFAND: You could ask it, George.


HELFAND: I wonder how they were able to overcome the specter of ’29 --

GEORGE STONEY: Good question. OK.

HELFAND: -- in ’34.

GEORGE STONEY: Good question.

MOORE: On that same day, we was going down to South Gastonia, and if you got down there, you had to have a lap on it that you could get by. See, well, I got one, but I didn’t go down there. I didn’t -- I had to turn them back because there wouldn’t be no meeting, you see. Because we wasn’t in the 16:00organization back then. We didn’t have a thing to do with that union back then. We wasn’t in that.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, after that, when ’34 came along --

HELFAND: ’33, really.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, you started organizing in ’33?

MOORE: Oh yeah. Yeah, ’33.

GEORGE STONEY: Talk about that. And if you had to overcome that legacy, that memory of ’29.

MOORE: Well, I didn’t think too much about it back then. I think people, they already kept up the news. They understood what it’s all about and who was organizing back then and everything. See, they sent Bill to prison. You know, he got out the state, but he come back and served his time and got out, you know. But that kept organized labor down in Gastonia.

HELFAND: George, organizing in ’33 was (inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: OK. Now, you started organizing -- oh, at least a year before the strike. Didn’t you?

MOORE: Round that. I say around that.

GEORGE STONEY: Could you talk about that?

MOORE: We weren’t organized too long. No. Not too long. I don’t remember just the date, but we wouldn’t -- not too long.

GEORGE STONEY: What’s the date of this list we have of the local (inaudible)?

HELFAND: (inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Just a moment.

HELFAND: It’s in the back.

GEORGE STONEY: Got a hand bill. It’s not dated, except 1934. But here’s a hand bill from the union.

HELFAND: Show him this first.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, this is the -- that’s the list of locals in North Carolina. 18:00You see how many of them there were? Did you know that there that many locals when you were --

MOORE: Nope. There was many of them weren’t there.


MOORE: I think if they hadn’t hold a strike and kept on organizing, I thought -- I think it would have went over.

GEORGE STONEY: Let me show you a --

MOORE: I think it -- I think other industrials had been organized if they hadn’t called that gentle strike.

GEORGE STONEY: Let me show you a hand bill that was put out by the Washington office of the strike. See if you recall that.

HELFAND: Maybe you can read it out loud.


GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Would you like to read part of it to us? You want to try 20:00-- Want to read a little bit of that to us?

MOORE: Well, I’d rather not. I’m not too good of a reader.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, right. OK. So, we’ll take that back. Now, we’re going to -- The next thing we want to do is to show you that footage from Honea Path.

HELFAND: But let’s have him tell us first (inaudible; overlapping dialogue).

GEORGE STONEY: OK. All right. But let me find it. So, is it -- Is it in a separate --

HELFAND: It’s marked (inaudible). It’s in my note bag. It’s (inaudible) --

GEORGE STONEY: Then I have it. Then I have it. Yeah. OK.

HELFAND: --(inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: Could you tell us about going to Honea Path? Tell us what happened there and how you got news of it and then going there.

MOORE: Well, through the general strike, when the -- When we heard the news at 21:00Honea Path, South Carolina, they killed them strikers. Seven. We decided that we’d go down to the funeral. So, my Daddy being the president of our local, he wanted to go. So, I think about five of us went down. And we went at every home where the strike was laying in the casket. He took a round of the mill where they shot. The strike was on the outside -- outside the fence, as in the street. And they had a shot from a high window out of the textile. One fellow, he owned a nice grocery store and he worked there. And he was killed. One home 22:00-- a woman’s husband was killed and her brother was killed. And they had them together in one house (inaudible). So, we stayed for the funeral. Oh, there was a big crowd at the funeral. So, it could have happened in Gastonia. Some of them -- to bust a strike, if they could get by with it, it had done some shooting in Gastonia.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, when we went to Honea Path, two people told us -- eyewitnesses told us about it. And then, we went over to the graveyard and we found the gravestones of some of the people.

MOORE: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And on the gravestone, we saw the union insignia.

MOORE: Uh-huh. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Did you remember contributing to put up those stones?


MOORE: Yup, yup. I believe they done it at the funeral. And I might be wrong, but it seemed like it was brought up. I might be mistaken, but --

GEORGE STONEY: Well, that was a big expense for people.

MOORE: Mm-hmm.


HELFAND: I wonder if he could describe the actual trip of going there and if they talked in the car.

GEORGE STONEY: Good. Tell us how you started out. Tell about the car, who went along, and what it looked like when you got there. The funeral.

HELFAND: No, no. The feeling when he got to town.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah.

MOORE: Honea Path?


MOORE: Well, about five of us went down there and we got there earlier that 24:00morning. So, we decided we would go around and visit every home that had a death in it. So, we went to every home that was killed in (inaudible) for the funeral.

GEORGE STONEY: What was the feeling in the town?

MOORE: Well, I don’t know. You see, I didn’t talk to people in this (inaudible). You know there wasn’t nothing but (inaudible) that day (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Was everybody mad?

MOORE: Well, I think more hurt. More hurt than still mad. Just hurt. Of course, they had several speakers that spoke there at the funeral. Of course, I don’t remember the speakers now.


GEORGE STONEY: All right. Now, we’re going to show you some film we have from that funeral to see if that helps you recall.

MOORE: Yeah, it’s open. It’s open out open. The funeral was, it’s out open. There were (inaudible) more than two. That’s (inaudible). Big crowd there.

HELFAND: Were people crying?

GEORGE STONEY: Were people crying?

MOORE: I wasn’t that close in. I imagine there were, but there were a lot of hurt people.

GEORGE STONEY: How many people would you say were there?

MOORE: Well, I wouldn’t say. I don’t -- I wouldn’t say, but I know the way it was, it was pretty much level. You could hardly tell about how many were from where I stand -- about how many. But there was a great crowd there.

JAMIE STONEY: About how big of a piece of land did they have it on?

MOORE: Don’t remember. Don’t remember.



HELFAND: One question.


HELFAND: Did this build the resolve to continue to (inaudible; overlapping dialogue) --

GEORGE STONEY: I wanted to do that after.


GEORGE STONEY: OK. We’re going to be showing you the footage then of the funeral. OK. We can cut just (inaudible).

HELFAND: (inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible)

HELFAND: So, you have the ones that (inaudible)?

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. Yup. OK. Honea Path funeral. And this is sound, so I got to get it on. And this is where I got the -- Yeah, yeah. OK. Wait until it comes up.

HELFAND: Rewind.


HELTON: Rewind.

GEORGE STONEY: I’m sorry. I made a mistake here. I thought it was cued up. OK, so we go rewind.

HELFAND: Why don’t you hit stop and let it rewind it without him seeing it?

GEORGE STONEY: OK, OK. I’m sorry. This is what I was trying to avoid was this. See, I didn’t want this. OK.

JAMIE STONEY: You guys seem interested in that.


GEORGE STONEY: No, no. That just breaks about every time. This is the funeral.

MOORE: Mm-hmm. Yeah, they had a big platform there.


GEORGE STONEY: Could you tell us where you were in relation to that crowd?

MOORE: I was -- Like the platform here. We were standing way over here to kind of the left -- left of the platform. Pretty way back. But we must have been kind of slow -- late getting in there and we wasn’t up too close.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. I’m going to play some more of this then. See if you recognize any of the speakers.

MOORE: Yeah. I recognize him, but I don’t know his name. I recognize his face. Yeah.


[plays video]


GEORGE STONEY: He’s pretty much saying what you’ve been saying. That speaker. He was saying it at the time. Do you remember hearing this at the time? Yeah. OK. We’ll go ahead, yeah.

MOORE: They had -- they had several speakers. I mean, I forget how many they had, but they had several who spoke.


GEORGE STONEY: And here are the line of hearses.

MOORE: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: They tell me they had to go to three other towns to get enough hearses.


MOORE: Well, that whole thing there -- the way they shot them people has to go to show what industry will do to kill a union. Right there. That’s a picture of it. That’s what they’ll do. Industry will do. To kill the union. They murdered, to kill the union. Nobody was guilty to kill them and (inaudible). And they knew who done the shooting. They knew who dine the shooting. They didn’t care.

GEORGE STONEY: You must have come back very shaken up by that.


MOORE: Well, you felt -- you felt sorry for them. But that gave you -- seemed like that made you want to do more. Do more. Sacrifice for the working people in America, you see. But that’s a whole picture to bust a union right there.

GEORGE STONEY: Claude, you didn’t go to that funeral.


GEORGE STONEY: Did you know about Honea Path?

HELTON: I had never heard of Honea Path, I don’t believe until that time right there.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. That’s interesting, yeah. OK. Is there anything more you’d like to say about the Honea Path thing?


MOORE: Well, I think it’s sad to think about. If people sacrificed their life like you said they did, to bring the working place up to better standard. So, if they sacrificed their life to -- for all workers in America.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. There was another death in Mount Holly. Well, there was another death in Belmont.


MOORE: That’s the one that got (inaudible). I don’t know too much about that. The only thing I know about that was in the press. So, I don’t know. I know the National Guard come in there and they’re going to move them. And that fellow didn’t move when they asked him to and they just threw the bayonet in him. And there weren’t nothing about that. It’s all right. It’s all right to stick you with a bayonet because you don’t move when they say to move.


HELFAND: You are still angry, aren’t you? George?

GEORGE STONEY: I’ll ask that, yeah.

HELFAND: You are really angry still, aren’t you?

MOORE: Well, you feel hurt. You feel hurt in that it makes you -- makes you kind of angry when you think it -- about how the working class people was treated and what they could do and get by with.



HELFAND: What happened when you came back to Gast -- George, why don’t you ask this? When you came back to Gastonia, how it effected the organization and if they reported it back --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. When you came back from that funeral, you must have had a meeting the next week. You were on strike by that time. Did you talk to them about the funeral and --

MOORE: I’d guess there was something said about it, but I don’t remember, you see. For I might not have been there when they met -- I may have been out of my (inaudible) that long, but I just don’t remember.

GEORGE STONEY: And you were married at the time.

MOORE: Oh yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Did your wife take any part in this?

MOORE: No, she wasn’t working. No, she didn’t want to work. We had one child.


HELFAND: You know, it’s really something to talk to you because we’ve been under the impression -- You know, people tell us that Southern workers can’t organize and that they didn’t have guts. And look at all of this.

MOORE: I didn’t understand what she said.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, we’ve been traveling around a lot.

MOORE: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: And we hear so much about people saying, “Well, if we’ve been anywhere but the south, but Southern people don’t have the guts to organize.”

MOORE: Ah. I go along that almost a hundred percent. Almost a hundred percent. Mm-hmm. That’s it. That’s it. Very few want to sacrifice. You got to sacrifice most anything you get into with the betterment -- if it’s for the 39:00betterment of the country. Somebody’s going to sacrifice through it.


MOORE: In the south, they just -- they’re just not willing to do it. They just ain’t got the guts to do it. That’s a whole -- that’s a whole thing right there.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, we’ve heard that from some other people, as well. Yeah.

HELFAND: But you have the -- you all have the guts.

GEORGE STONEY: What made the difference between you and all these other Southern people who say -- you say who didn’t have the guts? You, your father, and your brothers?

HELFAND: Claude?

GEORGE STONEY: Claude, yeah.

MOORE: Speak that again.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. You’re saying that the Southern people didn’t have the guts to organize. Weren’t willing to sacrifice and yet we’ve seen from the news reels that there were thousands of people who were willing to get out and march and picket and so forth.


MOORE: Well, what I’m speaking of, I’m not talking about the gentle strike. I’m talking about up to today. See, they’re scared -- the union. Afraid they’ll sacrifice them if they join. That’s what I’m speaking to. I’m not talking about the strike then. We had thousands of people because our government -- our president told us. We organized, you see. And I’m not speaking back when the strike. I’m talking about on it today and still, we lose more union members in America than we ever have lost. Part of the reason who’s in Washington.

GEORGE STONEY: And we’re going to do something about that next November. And don’t put that on the camera. (laughter)

HELFAND: (inaudible)

MOORE: Now, you think I’m right about that?

GEORGE STONEY: I think you’re right, sure.


JAMIE STONEY: Yeah. It always seems to me that the politicians always come by to labor and say they want your vote.

MOORE: Now, they’ve done organized the Firestone. They were not a friend of the union and they’re trying to organize Kannapolis, but they fall short of it. Some people are still scared. And I don’t have to come out, but you take American whole (inaudible) organized way down. Oh, and our labor’s way down. But anybody keeps up with politicians, press, news, they understand what the reason. The man in Washington, he don’t want it. See, he’s (inaudible).

HELFAND: What does he think -- what has to happen in order for people not to be afraid?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. OK. One of the things -- As we’re traveling around all 42:00like this and we talk to a lot of young workers. We were over in Kannapolis and talked to them. And we’d found that some people were afraid.

MOORE: Yeah, they’re afraid.

GEORGE STONEY: What do you think could happen that could -- so that people wouldn’t be afraid?

MOORE: Well, when our federal government be more for the working class people and what does organize -- It will have a better chance. You see, organize it. 43:00It wouldn’t be discriminated again within the industrial you see.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. I think we better cut because we’ve got to make the other thing. This has been very helpful and we’ve gotten a lot of stuff we’ve got outside with the trucks going by. So, we’ve got that and then we’ve got this.

HELFAND: OK. We’re going to get some room tone.


JAMIE STONEY: Everybody just hold still and breathe.

HELFAND: Oh, one other thing. Do you want to redo (inaudible; overlapping dialogue)?

JAMIE STONEY: No, I want to get room tone, I’m rolling. His mic -- how’s his level? And look up.


GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. What did your father take the office of president of the local?

MOORE: Say that again.

GEORGE STONEY: Why did your father take the job as president of the local?

MOORE: Well, he thought he could help the working labors in Gaston County. And our working condition -- I can’t say too much about our working condition. The working condition was all right. But the wage was low.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Tell me about the Labor Day --

JAMIE STONEY: Start again. Start again, please.

GEORGE STONEY: Tell me about the Labor Day parade that you went to Gastonia.


JAMIE STONEY: Now, would you address Claude? Ask something for him to (inaudible)?

MOORE: (inaudible) one time.

GEORGE STONEY: Sure. I’m just getting my question.

JAMIE STONEY: Towards Claude.

HELTON: Yes, but you were in the car (inaudible) and that’s when (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Claude, did you go to the Labor Day parade?



HELTON: I don’t know why. This is the first I’ve heard about having a parade. (laughter)


JAMIE STONEY: Why don’t you ask the gentleman about the Honea Path and your last couple of questions?

GEORGE STONEY: I’m just going down the list.


HELFAND: You know what? And you didn’t ask before, which could be helpful.

GEORGE STONEY: You had your strike at the Grove. What was your job?

MOORE: In the strike? Well, when I put on duty to keep a gate closed.


GEORGE STONEY: Claude, what was your job?

HELTON: My job -- at the strike, you mean? My job was to be on the picket line and discourage people who wanted to come to work, I suppose.

JAMIE STONEY: Give me a serious face.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s about all I can say about --

JAMIE STONEY: Now, towards the monitor -- the TV set. Turn towards the TV set. Now, get up and leave frame. And come back and sit down.


GEORGE STONEY: See, this is the -- this is the parade that your father was in.

MOORE: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you recognize him?

MOORE: I think that’s him.

GEORGE STONEY: When you did organize, how successful was it?

MOORE: Well, I organized -- when we started organizing, it was pretty simple to start with out at the strike. Our organizations got along good. All over the country. (inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: How many of your people in your factories came out?

MOORE: Forty percent.

GEORGE STONEY: And how many were members of the union?

MOORE: Eighty percent.

GEORGE STONEY: What happened to the other forty percent?

MOORE: They already had gone back to work.

GEORGE STONEY: So, when push came to --

MOORE: Scared. Scared.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know why they were scared?


MOORE: I reckon they had to work.

GEORGE STONEY: Have there been -- have there been other strikes where people got evicted or anything like that in the Grove? Have there been any other strikes in the Grove?



HELFAND: Can you ask about courage and (inaudible)?

GEORGE STONEY: Yup. Uh, how do you feel about what your father did?

MOORE: Oh, I’m proud of what he did. He was honest. He was honest in what he was doing.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Uh, after the strike, what happened to your father?

MOORE: After the strike? Well, he moved up to Caudwell County. And he ran a 49:00farm. Worked on the farm until he retired. He was a Spanish-American War veteran. He went to Cuba when they had -- Spaniards wanted take it over, you know. He was a veteran. Spanish War veteran.

GEORGE STONEY: But before that, you said something about his knowing the sheriff.

MOORE: Well, him and the sheriff were pretty good buddies. He tried -- he tried to been -- They wanted him to take over the jailers over one time, but he wouldn’t take it. They wanted to be the jailers and move us up -- the whole family up, but he didn’t want it. So --

GEORGE STONEY: OK. When were you born?

MOORE: 1909. 15th April.

GEOPRGE:And when did you start working in the mill?


MOORE: Must have been about ‘23 or ‘24. Something along that. Forteen-years old when I went to the mills.


HELFAND: Could you do one where you describe what we’re doing a little bit? You know, just to use your self in it?

GEORGE STONEY: Well, you see. One of the things we’re trying to do here is to tell the history of the people who worked in the factories.

MOORE: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: You go over to Gastonia or you go over to Kannapolis. You go to many of the museums where they’re preserving the history of textiles. You see pictures of the owners, you see pictures of their houses, you see pictures of the factories. Maybe you got some machinery and so forth. But you almost never see anything about the working people. So, what we’re trying to do is to tell that story.

MOORE: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Because it’s been an incomplete story.



MOORE: When I read in the paper who the (inaudible) talked to -- the married bankers. I know then they weren’t getting the straight story. The working man of Gaston County.

GEORGE STONEY: You saw that article in the paper about us --

MOORE: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- and they told about us going to the mayor of Gastonia. And the head of the museum. And so you thought that was the story were going to tell?

MOORE: No. When you’uns wanted to know who was in the strike and all of it, I figured there would be two sides of it. After reading it, I kind of wanted to call you.

GEORGE STONEY: Why didn’t you call us?

MOORE: I think my wife talked me out of it. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know why?


MOORE: I reckon she just didn’t want it to be brought back up again. I reckon the only thing I know of.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you think that other people here feel the same way that this is something we shouldn’t bring up?

MOORE: Part of them. Part of them don’t. There would be different feelings on that, I think. This, I think be different feelings.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, we have found a good number of people who are uncomfortable talking about things way back then. And we’ve been trying to find out why they were feeling uncomfortable about that. And maybe you can help us.

MOORE: Maybe -- maybe because they lost. Maybe because they lost, you see. But everybody can’t be a winner. I understand that you see. Everybody can’t be 53:00a winner. Somebody’s gonna lose. Somebody’s going to suffer.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, I’m going to argue with you a little bit. I’m a Southerner. You’re a Southerner. And we all know about the Civil War. The war between the States. When we lost, but we haven’t stopped talking about it since.

MOORE: Well, my granddaddy, on my mother’s side, he was gone four year in the Civil War. He lived in [Haywood?] County. Frank [Prestley?]. He was gone -- he fought four year in the Civil War.

GEORGE STONEY: What I mean is that we haven’t been ashamed of the Civil War.

MOORE: (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Why is it that we’re ashamed of this?

MOORE: I don’t know. I don’t -- I don’t know how (inaudible) that’s really been ashamed of it. Do you? I don’t understand it.

GEORGE STONEY: I don’t know, but that’s one of the mysteries that we’re trying to solve with this film.

MOORE: Yeah. I don’t understand it.



MOORE: I reckon maybe some people suffered over it and they don’t want to say nothing about it, maybe. Or maybe, being a loser, and won’t say anything about it.

GEORGE STONEY: Jamie, I think we should be getting some of him on this.


JAMIE STONEY: The angle’s all wrong on that side of the camera.

HELFAND: Could --

GEORGE STONEY: OK. I was just wondering why people should be ashamed of this, what we’re doing -- ashamed of labor. Labor loss.

MOORE: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Labor loss. A loss of the labor unions.


HELFAND: Or belonging to the labor unions.

GEORGE STONEY: Why do you think people would be ashamed of saying that maybe back then, I or my Daddy was a member of the union?

MOORE: I really don’t think it -- they really think it out straight. What it’s all about.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. We’ve been traveling all over the south trying to solve a mystery. And that is that there was this big strike. We found all kinds of 55:00documents about it, but when we start asking people about it, it’s hard for people to remember. It’s all painful for them to remember. Do you have any idea why?

MOORE: Well, I really don’t know the answers. I think some people suffered through it. I mean, suffered over it. And uh, we lost a strike. I think that hurts. And organized labor in the South as a whole gets a dirty word. That’s partly (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know why?


MOORE: People don’t take advantage and organize. They’re scared. They’re scared.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, what we’re trying to do is to try and complete history. Textile industry, the textile workers have been forgotten in the history of textile, of the textile industry. You go over to Kannapolis to the museum. You even go into the Gaston Museum here. You go to some of the other textile museums, particularly in the South. And you see they’ve got pictures of the owners. You’ve got pictures of the factories. You’ve even got some towns with machinery. You’ve got all of that, but it’s almost as though the cloth had made itself.

MOORE: Mm-hmm, yup.

GEORGE STONEY: And what we’re trying to do is say these thousands of people who were working also deserve to be a part of this history.


MOORE: I’ve had this on my mind, ever since I’ve been old enough to (inaudible) work. The factory worker (inaudible) textile -- they’re the lowest. I say the lowest paid. I always thought about if I bought a TV, radio, bicycle, gun, car, I’d pay a high price. Then, people made that. They were making more than I was. Well, how come we couldn’t have gotten more for a pair of pants? Cotton pants, shirt. A little bit more. Raised our wages and let them people pay just a little bit on our salary. That’s all -- I’ve always thought about that.

GEORGE STONEY: Why do you think they didn’t win in Kannapolis last year?


MOORE: Same reason that we had forty since the (inaudible) entire union is uneasy. Uneasy. That’s what it was. Uneasy. Afraid to lose their job.

GEORGE STONEY: But the government says you’ve got a right to join a union.

MOORE: Well, it takes so long to get a labor case through the court. And a working man, if he ain’t got some money saved up and don’t work, he don’t last long, you see. It takes too long to get the trial to the labor boards, you see.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, you were in --

JAMIE STONEY: I have to reload.