Robert Moses, Ernest Moore, and E.W. Passmore Interviews

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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ROBERT MOSES: -- in charge. As a [inaudible] funeral home, [phone ringing] funeral services for Mr. Bryce, Mr. Albert Bryce will be held on Tuesday, 3 p.m. At Trinity AME Zion church here on Freedom Mill Road in Gastonia. Quiet hour will be observed Bright's funeral home in Clover, South Carolina Monday evening from six until six-thirty. That's the last rites for Brother Albert Bryce. "Breathe on Me", just let the breath of the lord breathe on me. [phone ringing] Good morning, Christian radio. Good morning! I'm fine. Well, I guess you can. 1:00Okay. Okay, well it's not until next week though hun. Right, I know. Okay. You doin' alright? You feelin' okay? Okay, well come on. Alright. Okay. That's my wife, she's coming back down to pick me up.


JUDITH HELFAND: How's she doin'?

[break in audio; break in video]

MOSES: -- [inaudible] is to why did you do that?


MOSES: Why do you want to mistreat anybody?


MOSES: Why do you want to do that? Just why, why? If you can give me the answers to why, then I might be able to go along with it or at least condone it.

GEORGE STONEY: Mmhm. Well let me show you what we're -- you see, this is a great big Labor Day parade in Gastonia in Sept -- early September '34, just as the strike was beginning.

MOSES: '34.

GEORGE STONEY: And that was the first time they'd celebrated Labor Day here --

MOSES: Has --


GEORGE STONEY: -- and look at all of those thousands of people out.

MOSES: [inaudible]. But I'm just wondering, does the local paper, the Gazette, know that you got this stuff?

GEORGE STONEY: Oh yes, you see, they wrote -- they did this story.

MOSES: Well, that's the Gaston Observer.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh the -- oh no, no! I haven't talked to the Gazette.

MOSES: Yeah, see, this is what I'm saying. The Gaston Observer, there's so many people who don't bother with the Observer.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah.

MOSES: And I'm just wondering -- I know Bill Williams would have a fit to get in on with this kind of stuff.

GEORGE STONEY: But, let me show you another picture here. Show you they all marched --

MOSES: Unbelievable.

GEORGE STONEY: -- you see, they all marched down. Here's another one. You see there were, with Ranlo, the Ranlo local there.

MOSES: Mmhm.

GEORGE And they all marched down to the -- to the -- this is Albert Hinson, one of the organizers making a speech in front of the Parkdale Mill. But this is the thing I wanted to show you. Uh, look at this picture. Uh, see, there are just 3:00hundreds of them here. Uh --

MOSES: So where did you get all of these pictures?

GEORGE STONEY: Judy found them in the National Archives. Look -- I mean, in the [Benton?] archives. Look at that. They're all down in Municipal Park. You see, just thousands of them.

MOSES: That's right.

GEORGE STONEY: Isn't that amazing?

MOSES: It's amazing.

GEORGE STONEY: And yet, nobody here seems to be -- that, remember all of that, you see? It's just kind of as though it didn't happen.

MOSES: Well, I'm sure that the power structure of our country, or our community, don’t want this to be known.

GEORGE STONEY: Well that's -- yeah.

MOSES: You see, it's like I was telling you, that the [forest?] now is opening up this new thing to show folk a whole lot about what has happened with the county and the textile industries. But, uh, then they're getting paid, I believe its twenty-five dollars per family to go through it. And, uh, you can imagine what family's going to get through there.


GEORGE STONEY: Of course. Yeah.

MOSES: That poor person that's on fixed income is drawing his three hundred and fifty dollars a month, they can't spend twenty-five dollars to go down there and look at that.

GEORGE STONEY: That's right. Yeah.

MOSES: And it's very unfair. It's just, the people who need to be taught these things don't get the opportunity to be exposed to it.

GEORGE STONEY: Well what we've found is that the people who run museums now are beginning to get more interested in this kind of thing. You know, they've got the -- we go over at Kannapolis for example, you see the museum over there with the cannons and --

MOSES: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: -- all of their family tree and the machinery and so forth, but almost nothing about the workmen.

MOSES: Yeah, that's right.

GEORGE STONEY: But some of those people are saying, "we should have something here." And the people who taught them that were the blacks in the Civil Rights Movement. Very few museums now are without some, at least some nod to black history --

MOSES: Right, right.


GEORGE STONEY: -- even if it isn't complete.

MOSES: Yeah, I --

GEORGE STONEY: And we're hoping that working class history can get the same kind of attention.

MOSES: Well I really enjoyed going to Charleston last year.


MOSES: And going through the slave market, and --


MOSES: -- and all of those things there that contributed to making Charleston what it was.


MOSES: Even the slave shed, they had it there, where they bought and sold them.

GEORGE STONEY: Mhmm, yeah.

MOSES: It's -- it can be depressing if you allow it to be, but it's so educational when you get above that part of it and think of the contributions that was made.


MOSES: And there's been a lot of people who's made some beautiful contributions --


MOSES: -- in making things work.

HELFAND: You know, one of the things that's difficult is when we look at these pictures, it looks like this was just a white story.

MOSES: Right, right. Yeah well, you see --

GEORGE STONEY: 'Cause we don't see the blacks who were backing us up.

MOSES: That's right, the people who were really -- the slave markets [inaudible].

GEORGE STONEY: That's right, yeah.


MOSES: The [bull pins?].

GEORGE STONEY: That's right. Yeah.

MOSES: Yeah, my dad, he was a plumber. And I remember him telling me he had dug Dallas up with a pick and a shovel, four times and covered it up. And I said, "Well, a pick and shovel don't fit in my hands." But you know --


MOSES: -- it was what he had to do.

GEORGE STONEY: Well here's something from -- here's, you see, that's what happened to the people if they struck. They got put out of the mill houses. And you see, that's an eviction in, that's in LaGrange, Georgia.

MOSES: Well, they had the upper hand on you. It's still had to have been [inaudible]. What they do now, they -- the Federal government has come in and said that it's not right for you do certain things and some people got enough of that to file complaints.

GEORGE STONEY: See now this -- that's why we're so -- we're so amazed at Mr. Graham having the guts back then. These are the troops that rounded up one 7:00hundred and twenty-six men and women in Newnan, Georgia and then put them in barbed wire pens in Fort McPherson. And you notice over here --

MOSES: Hold one minute. Okay, [inaudible] I have it -- it is fifteen -- fourteen, fourteen minutes before eleven o'clock here WGAS in South Gastonia, North Carolina. And our time is really winding down on us and we're still here getting calls and getting information with the Re -- Brother George Stoney. And if you by chance have any that you'd like to pass along to us, do it to us quick [phone ringing] because -- oh there that phone ringing, that might be one, so it's alright with me if it is and I appreciate it. So we gonna put Willie Neal Johnson back on here [inaudible]. I was trying to get the Leroy [inaudible] number, "Nobody's Child," but I haven't been able to get it as yet Leroy, but we certainly want you to know that you've been thought of. Okay? Okay. We gonna catch that phone as we let you know that this is being brought to you by none 8:00other than Mr. K, downtown Gastonia. This is where you find your clothing, at Mr. K's. Big, small fella, tall, he's got the clothes to fit you all. And the sale is o n right now, you better believe that, because summer's about gone, whether you know it or not, fall is on its way. So, Mr. K is hanging right in there, taking care of business and you gotta do is let him. So check him out, won't you? I know you'll enjoy the opportunity of doing so. And he will let you too, so why don't you do it today, or tomorrow. Good morning, Christian radio. Oh fine! How are you, ma'am? Well, I'm glad to know that. Which Currence is 9:00that? Oh, her little -- her daughter. Okay. Okay. Alright. Okay, I shall do. Okay. Thank you. You doin' alright? That's great, that's great. Okay, alright. [phone ringing] Good morning, Christian radio. Hold on one minute. Okay, there you have it and of course we have another piece of information passed along to us, that little Miss Currence will be speaking this evening six o'clock down at the old Roosevelt High School in Clover, South Carolina. And she extends an invitation to you to come and join her. Miss Currence, the daughter of the Miss Annie Currence, here of Gastonia. Okay? Okay. And we were telling you that we've 10:00got -- only got about 12 more minutes then we gonna have to get out of here and certainly we want you to give us a call in the event that you have it and let us know that you do have some information that we can come by and pick up in regards to the history on the textile industry of Gaston County in the Thirties. Okay? You might have been exposed or have a parent that was exposed. You might have some information that might be of vital importance and we do need that because the film is being made and the Brother George Stoney, his son, and his secretary is in our area picking up that information. You might call me and I'll be happy to pass along to you a contact number, or you might jot this number: 1-800-786-1767. That's a 800 number. He is with the New York University. And he's in our area and we're so proud to have him here, and certainly I'm 11:00delighted to have him do what he has done this morning with me here on our program. And we're looking forward to a close-up relationship, a close-up working relationship as we have understood, together, what has been happening for many, many years. And if we don't take care of it, who will? We've gotta pass it along to our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren Things are better, but they're not at their best yet. And the good Lord expects our best. It might not be much, but it's our best. So okay, let's do just that. Here we are, one more [inaudible]. Okay Susan. Okay. Yes, [inaudible] winding down. I don't know, it didn't matter any --

[break in audio; break in video]


MOSES: How you doin'? I'm awake. Oh -- it sound like [inaudible]. Okay. It's pretty hard for me to forget voices. It's pretty hard for me to forget voices. She's doin' pretty good.

[break in audio; break in video]

MOSES: -- want you to know, that we'd like for you to be good to somebody today, say something good to somebody, something good about somebody. And if you do those couple of things for me, I promise you one thing. I'll be me.


[sermon on radio]

MOSES: [inaudible]

[break in audio; break in video]


MOSES: You good? Alright. You got it.

[sermon on radio]

MOSES: With studios in South Gastonia, North Carolina, this is WGAS radio. The time is eleven o'clock and time for our regular Sunday morning worship service directly from Unity Baptist Church where through our facilities each Sunday morning we bring you the services in its entirety. Will you join us now in Unity for the morning worship? [music playing] 15:00Well, that's another day.

GEORGE STONEY: [laughs] You do this every Sunday?

MOSES: Every Sunday.

GEORGE STONEY: What do you do during the week?

MOSES: Work out on the farm.


MOSES: On the yard.


MOSES: Well, I like to fiddle around.


MOSES: You know I retired about six, seven years ago.

GEORGE STONEY: I didn't know that, no.

MOSES: And I just enjoy -- that's what that lady was calling. She says, "I just want to thank you for the watermelon", and says, "those potatoes were the best." I just had a watermelon waiting on the porch and left her a bag of potatoes there.

GEORGE STONEY: [laughs] That's nice.

MOSES: Yeah, I like -- I enjoy doing that stuff [inaudible].

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, it must be fun.

MOSES: Oh, it is. And these people -- old people that shut in. One of the ladies that called me this morning, and she calls every Sunday, she's been lying on her back in her house for I guess about eight or ten years. And she has the best spirit and the best outlook. [inaudible] he's got his mic off up there. There it 16:00is. He finally recognized it. You know, I read the meters here. If it don't peak up --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, sure.

MOSES: -- to a certain point --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, sure. Yeah, yeah.

MOSES: And I -- we have a little rest home, a twenty-three bed rest home. That's where my wife was staying and she liked it. And sometime I think she had this problem with her heart.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm. That's hard work.

MOSES: That's hard work, very stressful. Very stressful.

GEORGE STONEY: [overlapping] That's very hard. Yeah, sure.

MOSES: I guess about ten, fifteen years ago --

[break in audio; break in video]

F1: -- some music, and I -- I'm filling in actually today. There's another guy that's usually here, and I'm like, one of the directors for the station and I just help out.


GEORGE STONEY: But is it anything like his show?

F1: Oh, no! There's nothing like Bob's show! This is an original right here. It started with this station, and this is an original. Everybody loves this show. His sells for over twice the regular price of our advertising. If we sell anything advertising on this show, they pay double or more for this show --


F1: -- for Bob's show. Yeah, because it's the most popular and we have callers and usually Bob's -- he's usually very [inaudible].

MOSES: [inaudible]

F1: [laughs] yeah, he's on the phone constantly. We have had people had to be here just answering the phone, you know, it gets so bad at times.

MOSES: I want you to pass that to Glenn.

F1: Mmkay.

MOSES: You might see him this week. See --

[break in audio; break in video]

MOSES: Okay. This is a letter to the National Recovery Administration in Washington, D.C. complaining a violation of the code of fair competition for the textile industry to the trade industry. It was written January the fifth in 1934 18:00by one of our fine members of the area, against [inaudible] yarn mills company in Belmont North Carolina, the cotton manufacturing, and the comb yarn division. The complaint was Mr. Bruce Graham, route three, Gastonia, North Carolina. His complaint is saying that "I am an inside employee, required to work more than 40 hours a week, operating three machines: waste feeder, waste beater, and opener. And I'm paid less than thirty cents per hour for my work. My employee due me extra compensation from July seventeen, 1933 up to the present date, which is January five, 1934." This letter comes from Mr. Bruce Graham, Belmont, North 19:00Carolina. "May we use your name if necessary?" That was a question asked him. His answer, "yes." And this is where it was signed as a witness, Mr. Claude McClain -- a Charlie McClain -- of the area.

GEORGE STONEY: Now that must've taken a great deal of courage for Mr. Graham to put that complaint in.

MOSES: I'm certainly sure it did. But this is what makes us make it. The courage that one might have.

GEORGE STONEY: And that's why we're digging this stuff out of the archives and trying to get it into the hands of his grandchildren. We left the family a copy of this letter and we'll -- then they'll also get copies of the things we're recording.


MOSES: Well I'll sure be in close contact with this family since I know them. And I'll be having copies too.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, that's fine.

MOSES: So we'll pass it along.

GEORGE STONEY: Great, thank you.

MOSES: Thank you very much. Thank you for your coming in. Thank you for the time you spent with me today.

GEORGE STONEY: And thank you for access to your radio listening audience.

MOSES: Not a problem at all, anytime, you can come.

GEORGE STONEY: As Mr. Graham's niece said, "If you get on Bob's show, half of Gaston County's going to be listening."

MOSES: Well, I don't know about that, but we're happy to have you here. And those who have their ears on, they got it full.


MOSES: Thank you.

HELFAND: Great, thanks.


[break in video - beginning of Ernest Moore and E.W. Passmore Interview]

GEORGE STONEY: Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy. Joshua Judges Ruth. [inaudible].

HELFAND: OK, now listen, you can't rustle too much --


HELFAND: Once we start.

GEORGE STONEY: All right, yeah, I know. OK.


GEORGE STONEY: I'm just looking to the, the, ah --

HELFAND: Yeah, OK. Now --

ERNEST MOORE: I have a jeep, for [long distance?], we've surfed the beach down at the coast.


ERNEST MOORE: And sand, and the (inaudible) straightened out. She couldn't drive it so she wanted to get rid of it.

RUBY MOORE: I wanted this.

ERNEST MOORE: I spoke to them on this (inaudible).

JAMIE STONEY: We should go.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, Jenny [sic; is either talking to Judith Helfand or Ruby Moore].

HELFAND: I just have to do --

ERNEST MOORE: Where have you been, Laura?

HELFAND: I have to do one thing. I just need to tape these.


GEORGE STONEY: OK. How far is it from the head of the Loray Mill?

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, around three miles, I guess. Something like that.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, I just -- when you were traveling from the grove to the, to go down to the parade, how did you go?

ERNEST MOORE: We went up, ah, (inaudible). Then come back down Main Street.

GEORGE STONEY: How many of the folks had cars? How many of the folks had cars? When you went down to the, ah, the, that Labor Day parade?

ERNEST MOORE: I didn't, I didn't understand just what you --

GEORGE STONEY: Back there in '34, when you went to the big Labor Day parade --


GEORGE STONEY: Ah, how many of you had cars?

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, very few. Very few (inaudible) going off the (inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: Then they just walked from, ah -

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Most of the folks took the streetcar. They had a streetcar right on this line.


ERNEST MOORE: Right here it was, right here it was a stump, right here. Right there. We had a streetcar. Yeah, it had stops along the -- different way -- then there's a taxi. There wasn't no buses.


ERNEST MOORE: Just the taxis.


ERNEST MOORE: You'd go ride the town for seven cents on the streetcar. Trolley car.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember riding those trolley cars?

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, yeah. Yeah, (inaudible) a trolley car, right here. Right here at that grocer, right there.


ERNEST MOORE: That was a stop car. You could get on the trolley car and go plum 24:00to Firestone. And, uh, for seven cents. You'd get to town, get the transport and catch another trolley car going out there. That side of Firestone.

HELFAND: Ask him, you know, in his car, how he decorated his car to go the parade.

GEORGE STONEY: When you went to the parade, what did you do about your car?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, we -- I drove it, I drove it to the parade here. We come on right this way, then go on back home.

GEORGE STONEY: Did you have it all decorated?

ERNEST MOORE: I had banners on each side.

HELFAND: OK. I'm going to need him to say that again, um, and a full description (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: But he just doesn't remember, we asked him twice before. He doesn't remember what bus.

HELFAND: He said it was packed with people, too.



HELFAND: So you could ask him.


HELFAND: Just have him describe it.

GEORGE STONEY: When you went down that day, do you remember, ah, could you talk about the people in your car?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, it had been a few years back, I just didn't remember what I was talking about. I think I had, I think I had my mother in the car. I think she was one of them. I believe she was (inaudible).

HELFAND: Can he say that again? We had some disturbance.

GEORGE STONEY: I'm sorry, could you say that again? We didn't, ah, we were just bouncing then.

ERNEST MOORE: Ah, I didn't remember who all, but I think the -- I think my mother was with us, in the car with me. I believe she was in the car.

GEORGE STONEY: Was your mother working in the mill at that time?

ERNEST MOORE: No. No, no. No, she wasn't working in the mill.

GEORGE STONEY: How did she feel about what your father and you were doing with the union?


ERNEST MOORE: Well, I felt pretty good about it.

GEORGE STONEY: How did your mother feel?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, she was going along. She was -- she didn't have much to say.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember the music then?

ERNEST MOORE: No. I remember that there's music, but I don't remember what.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. We're going to talk more about that when we get down to Main Street after we --


GEORGE STONEY: -- go to the Loray.

HELFAND: We should get him some driving without talking as a safety. Tell Jamie.

ERNEST MOORE: See, this is an old (inaudible). Right there, this is all new (inaudible). That's what they call "The Ditch," it wasn't there.


RUBY MOORE: See the depth of it.

ERNEST MOORE: We had a pretty nice little town back in the '30s and '40s, all business, no shopping centers.

GEORGE STONEY: What was your favorite store?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, I can't hardly recall. We shopped at [Belk's?] a lot. There was an (inaudible) store back then too, just not as large as Belk's was. And most of the rest of them was private-owned.


GEORGE STONEY: Did Groves ever have a store of their own? A company store?

ERNEST MOORE: No, no. That was, that was before my days, the company store was.

GEORGE STONEY: I guess you heard tell about them?

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, yeah. Ah, they both just (inaudible) their clothes, groceries. I hear a little talking about it, sometime come payday, they didn't draw no (inaudible). They done spent already. Then take it up to the (inaudible) store.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, that was a kind of a natural connection, because the -- many of the people who find it put their money into textile manufacturing had started out as merchants.



GEORGE STONEY: So the connection between the company store and the factory was pretty, pretty direct. For example, the Stowes were merchants before they put money into cotton mills. I didn't realize that until I started reading about this history.

ERNEST MOORE: South Carolina had more company stores than I think North Carolina had back then. That's, ah, what I've read about it and, you know, been told about it.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. How did you get paid off?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, when the first payday in the -- must have -- the whole family, if there's more than one in one ticket, and (inaudible), the bookkeeper would come around and give it to you in, in tickets, you know? The whole family would be in one, ah, one envelope; 30:00all the money would be in one envelope.

GEORGE STONEY: So you didn't -- at first you didn't get your own pay?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, it was -- yeah, it was, ah, my daddy, they gave them all in one ticket. They give all -- they give it to my daddy, you see, and the whole, the whole family was working (inaudible) one envelope, with all your names on it, and what you made. But that, that's changed on the years.

HELFAND: Can you take his blinker off? Are we going to turn?

ERNEST MOORE: Yeah, I'm going to take you plum out, some down.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, but take your, ah --

ERNEST MOORE: I could turn there, but I want --

GEORGE STONEY: Is your, is your blinker on?



HELFAND: It's still, it's still on.

ERNEST MOORE: Something's on here --


GEORGE STONEY: Thank you. We're just hearing it, that's all. Boy, that's an old church.

ERNEST MOORE: Used to be a church, (inaudible) church. But they built it down the land (inaudible) and they sold it to someone (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Well, I'm interested in that trolley line. And, ah, after we go back home, Judy's going to stay down here, she's going to be getting a lot of pictures. And I went her to get pictures of that trolley line.

ERNEST MOORE: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: I'm sure that there's some around.

ERNEST MOORE: It run out (inaudible) up to [Grayson?] Curve, where it went to?

RUBY MOORE: I think so, Ernest.

ERNEST MOORE: We're heading out this street --

RUBY MOORE: This should be, it --

ERNEST MOORE: This went on up about a couple blocks there, trolley line did. Right down Main Street, I mean down the Main Street, right in the middle of the street. And this out here was the Firestone Village. I mean, ah, I mean the 32:00town part out here. They, there was a shoe store, grocery store, most anything. I could -- they didn't have to go to town most times, most times I could get -- shop right in here.

GEORGE STONEY: It wasn't called Firestone then, was it?

ERNEST MOORE: No, it was Loray, Loray. Now, what do you want to --


GEORGE STONEY: We want to go to the main gate, gate number one.

ERNEST MOORE: I wonder if this is it right here.

RUBY MOORE: No, that's gate ten. That's nine and ten.

GEORGE STONEY: That's gate --

ERNEST MOORE: I bet that's it right there. You want me to go up there and park?

RUBY MOORE: No Ernest, that's not it. That's nine and ten.


GEORGE STONEY: You said gate one.

ERNEST MOORE: Don't you think that was it?

GEORGE STONEY: No, that said nine and ten.


JAMIE STONEY: Gate nine and gate ten. This is gate one right here.

ERNEST MOORE: Right here. Right here.




ERNEST MOORE: You think go over to this --

RUBY MOORE: Park here?

ERNEST MOORE: I'll have to go back up there and park (inaudible). This is it here, ain't it?


ERNEST MOORE: We'll go back, we're going to park.


GEORGE STONEY: OK. Better hold up until -

ERNEST MOORE: I'll hold it.

GEORGE STONEY: There was a tent out here the other day. Do you know what that was? I couldn't figure out --

RUBY MOORE: Oh, they're always having some kind of fancy things up here.


RUBY MOORE: See the (inaudible) houses?

GEORGE STONEY: Those are old houses, aren't they?


GEORGE STONEY: That's pretty loud for us, Ernest.

ERNEST MOORE: That too --

GEORGE STONEY: Too loud, yeah. You'll have to cut it off. Thank you. That's a real old mill. It's one of the few we've seen that doesn't have all the windows 35:00bricked up.

RUBY MOORE: This might be all posted, I don't know. Huh-uh. Don't let them go in, that's got a -- it's got a name there. He's not supposed to go in here.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, we'll look at it and see. I think that we'll ask Mr. Passmore if we can stay here.

RUBY MOORE: Well, there is a name --

[break in video]

GEORGE STONEY: Wait a minute, let's see if Judy's going.


GEORGE STONEY: OK. All right, sir. I'm George Stoney.

E.W. PASSMORE: George, Bill Passmore.

ERNEST MOORE: Ernest Moore.

PASSMORE: Ernest, good to see you, sir. Bill Passmore.

GEORGE STONEY: What's going to happen here with the old Loray?

PASSMORE: Well, as it stands right now, it appears that the, ah, the plant will probably be demolished, unless someone comes along and decided that they want to make, um, something out of it. Then we have a local high school here that was 36:00built in the early '20s that, ah, ah, it come to -- a guy who owned a large company here came in and, ah, made an apartment -- made an apartment complex out of it. That -- I don't think that'll happen here because it's just too big. And the upkeep is, ah, just unreal, how much money it costs just to, you know, keep, keep it up.

GEORGE STONEY: How do you feel about that?

PASSMORE: Well, I have mixed emotions. I've been here all my life. I grew up two houses from the plant, and, ah, my mother and father both are retired from here. And, ah, it's sort of sad. Ah, but, you know, we've got to move on. I mean, you can't, ah, you can't stop progress.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Well, Jamie and I have a dream that we could end our film with your blowing up this old...! (laughter)

PASSMORE: Oh, I'll tell you what, the way this thing is built, it's going to be hard to blow up, ah, you know, it's just the way it's constructed. But it will 37:00be interesting.


PASSMORE: It will be interesting to see.

GEORGE STONEY: What are your first memories of this Loray plant?

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, we been to old Loray. I don't know too much about it, but I'll, I'll never (inaudible).


JAMIE STONEY: Do you remember your first day here at the Loray?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, I, when I was young, they used to have a dance up here, it's a music hall. We'd come up and just --

PASSMORE: That used to be right across the street.

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, we came up here about every weekend, they would dance somewhere, and pull off a few prize fights over there. (laughter)


ERNEST MOORE: That's about the (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: You mean legal or illegal prize fights?

PASSMORE: Ah, probably legal. But where he's talking about is this grassy knoll over here. Ah, there was, ah, dormitories over there that would board the single men and the single women who came down from the mountains, or came in here to work. Ah, and in the middle there was a cafeteria, downstairs, there 38:00was, ah, a bowling alley, ah, pool. Ah, there was a shooting range on one side, and we had a bandstand in the middle, had, ah, you know, a, ah, ah, a band that came down and played. And there was a lot of things going on back then.


PASSMORE: You know, at the end -- let me say this. Even, you know, here, ah, with a small parking lot, and, and back in Loray days, or even before, ah, right in this area here was a, ah, tennis court, ah, in the back in the old pond, mill pond, there was a, ah, a swimming, ah, place for people to go swimming around there. Up here was a bank, ah, drug store, dry cleaners, everything that you wanted we had --

ERNEST MOORE: Dry goods store?

PASSMORE: Dry goods store.

ERNEST MOORE: They had about everything.

PASSMORE: Yeah. And then down where they call "Greasy Corner," ah, there was a 39:00movie theater, barber shops, ah, everything. Everything that you wanted.

ERNEST MOORE: That's where we turn back to the left. Right across the street (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Greasy Corner?

PASSMORE: Greasy Corner. Because all the "lintheads" went up there, and they were greasy. So they called it "Greasy Corner." (laughter) And, you know, the, the band, you know, it was -- of course, we sort of feel proud of it now to be called "lintheads." Back then if you were called a "linthead," you were from the wrong side of the tracks. (laughs) But, you know, that was part of living on the, on the, ah, on the village.

GEORGE STONEY: When did you, when were you born here?

PASSMORE: I was born in 1944. April 14th, 1944. And, ah, actually, I grew up two houses from the plant, here. And, um, it was interesting. You know, everybody said, "Well, you grew up on the mill village, and wasn't that bad?" And you know, but no, it wasn't bad. Um, as I said, we had everything. I mean, I, I can't remember every going without anything.


ERNEST MOORE: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Ah, my dad was a fireman.


PASSMORE: Yes sir, he, ah, he'd tend to the boilers, and, ah --


PASSMORE: -- he also, ah, was a security man, done around the clock, and the things that you're supposed to do for that. But, ah, and my mother, she was a splicer. Matter of fact, she carried me on the job when I was a child.

ERNEST MOORE: Labor Department.

PASSMORE: Right. So --

GEORGE STONEY: She carried you on the job?

PASSMORE: Yeah, when I was a -- before I was born.

GEORGE STONEY: Ah. (laughs)

PASSMORE: And, ah, you know, like say, you know, a lot of people think that living and working in a cotton mill was bad, but, you know, there was a lot of closeness. Do you not agree?


PASSMORE: Everybody was close. And at that time, uh, all the management, 90 percent of the management in the plant came up through the ranks. Ah, very few people who, ah, were in management were from outside. And, you know, I think that's always been one of the successes of southern, ah, textile mills. Would 41:00you not agree?

ERNEST MOORE: Your daddy being a fireman, he got full time about all the time.

PASSMORE: Yes, sir. He worked, he worked seven days a week.

ERNEST MOORE: We all cut down to two days a week, your daddy --



PASSMORE: That's right.

ERNEST MOORE: You're lucky.

PASSMORE: Yeah. Oh, and it was because the boilers had to run.

ERNEST MOORE: Yeah, oh, yeah.

PASSMORE: And, ah, you got to -- had to keep steam in the plant. So, ah, that was part of it. And at that time, see, all the fire protection was steam-operated. So that boiler had to run. It had to have steam. Because if you had a fire, then, then you had steam pumps, they were running.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, now, this is --

JAMIE STONEY: Do you remember your first day here?

PASSMORE: Sure do.

JAMIE STONEY: Was it, when you came to work, since you knew the other people around, was it like working with friends?

PASSMORE: Yes, it was. Because I knew, I knew almost everybody, ah, here. See, I, I came to work here, ah, in the shop, ah, doing whatever. Ah, I was 18 years old and didn't know what else to do. And my daddy said, "Well, son, you've got 42:00to go to work." (laughter) And I came here, and it's just sort of like a home. And I, you know, I've been here -- on November the 26th of this year, I'll be here 30 years. And it just seems like yesterday that I came to work. And, ah, we -- it's been a good life. I have no complaints whatsoever.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, this is one of the few mills we've seen that look -- kind of looks like it used to be.

PASSMORE: Right. Well, there's, there's really nothing changed. Ah, the, the main office has been added to, the personnel office has been added to, and the wing of the mill was put on in 1919. And that's basically all the change out front. Now, if you go in the back, we filled in the pond, and, ah, we built a trading unit there, ah, hot stretch unit. And basically, that's, that's everything to say. Well, I have to go back and say the warehouse. The 43:00warehouse has been changed. Ah, we had a, you know, a brand new modern facility there.

ERNEST MOORE: How did you keep the windows and not brick them up and air condition the place?

PASSMORE: Well, air conditioning would have been so expensive, it was just completely impractical to do. So what we've done, we put huge fans in on the back side and pull the air across, and, ah, it works real well. It's a lot better than it used to be.

GEORGE STONEY: You grew up, you said, just, ah, two houses from this mill.


GEORGE STONEY: What does it sound when this mill shuts down?

PASSMORE: Oh gosh, quiet. (laughs) I can remember when, you know, we used to shut down on the week of the Fourth, and you couldn't go to sleep at night, because you know, it sort of hummed you to sleep. You know what I'm saying? Excuse me just a second.

GEORGE STONEY: Sure. The reason I was crowding him is because I was mic-ing him.


GEORGE STONEY: That's why I was mic-ing him.


HELFAND: I know, I was just -- we're going to need a -- at times, I could pick him up if you're -- I was picking him up fine (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK. So that's right.

JAMIE STONEY: How are you going to feel when they move it?

PASSMORE: Well, I have mixed emotions. Ah, I'm not sure whether, well we know that there's going to be a reduction in jobs. And not everybody knows that they're going to have a job. I don't know whether I'll have a job. Um, so, you know, I've been doing what I've been doing for 17 years, the particular job I have now. And I don't know whether I won't welcome that. Ah, to go do something else.

JAMIE STONEY: If they knock her down, you going to take a piece home?

PASSMORE: Oh, yeah. I've already got a piece.

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible).

PASSMORE: I've a got a piece of the rock. (laughter)

JAMIE STONEY: What is it?

PASSMORE: I've got a brick that -- we used to have a smokestack in the back, a huge stack. And, ah, when they pulled that down, I got one of the bricks out of the stack.


JAMIE STONEY: You know, almost every place we've been where they've knocked down a mill, people who worked there said, "I got me a piece."


JAMIE STONEY: A door stop, or --

PASSMORE: And the other thing that I've done over the years, ah I'm a history buff. And I like history. And I've collected up stuff. Ah, if we, like if we changed logos, or if we changed this or changed that, I've got a, a piece of stationery with the other logo on it, or, ah, so I've got stuff from here, there and about that I've accumulated over the years. Like when we changed from, ah, different spindle sizes, ah, and bobbin sizes, I've got one of the old spindles and one of the old bobbins.

JAMIE STONEY: Yeah, just --

GEORGE STONEY: Do you have pictures of the Japanese owners?

PASSMORE: Ah, no. (laughter) We don't see those folks much.


PASSMORE: Ah, some -- in the tire plants, ah, they have, ah, people there constantly. Ah, we don't have anybody here, and, ah, I think we're lucky. 46:00Undoubtedly, they feel like we know what we're doing.


PASSMORE: I think we do.

GEORGE STONEY: Let's go up to the third floor.


GEORGE STONEY: You want to be on this side of him, please. And OK. Oh, we were lucky to hit you, a history buff! (laughs) That's wonderful. What was the Passmore that you knew, who was that?

ERNEST MOORE: What's that?

GEORGE STONEY: You knew a Passmore, you said.

ERNEST MOORE: Well, I -- (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. (inaudible).


PASSMORE: I'm trying to think of all the people who walked through this gate --

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, boy, that's the truth, yeah.

PASSMORE: For years and years and years and years.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh my gosh, yeah.

PASSMORE: Because when I was growing --

[break in video; break in audio]

GEORGE STONEY: Ah, let's stay right here.


GEORGE STONEY: I, Bill, I'm sorry, I'm going to ask you to say that about the change of the gate, I didn't realize we were --

PASSMORE: (laughs) OK. Well, let me see, what we were saying? I --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Ah, you were talking about shift changes.

PASSMORE: Oh. Ah, at shift change, when I was growing up down the street, ah, at that time there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 2500 and 3000 people working here. And when they came out, they just came out, it seemed like in droves; they kept coming and coming and coming. And, ah, now, there's very few people here in just -- in five minutes, everybody's gone. About five after three, ah, and the first shift is the largest shift here, everybody's gone by that time. Ah, and it's sort of sad and sort of amazing, how we have come to so 48:00few people. But, ah, back then, the labor was cheap, ah, and it was labor-intensive. I say labor was cheap -- maybe it wasn't cheap.


HELFAND: You pointed that out, how come?

JAMIE STONEY: Why did you point that out?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, they looked like they've organized here. (inaudible).

PASSMORE: Yeah, we organized about five years ago, four or five years ago. To be honest with you, I really don't even remember the date.


PASSMORE: Since I worked in salary, and it has absolutely nothing to do with me --


PASSMORE: Then, I don't, I really don't worry about it.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Yeah. But that's just incredible compassion, remembering what happened to you before.

PASSMORE: Well, it is, ah, knowing that my father, um, fought against the unions in 1929, ah, he was very active. I know you've heard, ah, and Mr. Williams has 49:00looked, and talked about the, ah, committee of a hundred followers, one of the members of a community of a hundred. And, ah, he fought against it. I fought against it, ah, whatever I could do at that time. Ah, I don't agree with unions, but it's here. We've got to work with it. And we've made the best of it. As a matter of fact, I think that this plant, we have the best, ah, relationship with the union than any of the plants within the, ah, Firestone Bridgestone organization.


PASSMORE: Um, we have an excellent working relationship. And this, because of, ah, management and union officials seeing that it was to their mutual advantage to work together, and we have. I mean, we have really done a lot together. But that doesn't mean that I particularly agree with what the union stands for. And 50:00I don't agree with it.


PASSMORE: They know that, and I know that.


ERNEST MOORE: Well, with your job, you can afford to.


ERNEST MOORE: I understand.

PASSMORE: Even, let, let me say this. Even, even if I was a, ah, a clock card member, I worked -- if I still worked out there, ah, I'm not sure whether I would belong to the union, ah, because I, I just don't believe in the union philosophy. You know, we all drive -- if we all drove Chevrolets, it would be sort of dull. (laughter) So you know, everybody, everybody's got to do something --


PASSMORE: Different.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, let's go upstairs.

PASSMORE: OK, I've got to get all you folks signed in.


[break in video; break in audio]

HELFAND: One second, I'm just going to (inaudible).


HELFAND: We don't mind.

PASSMORE: You're in the, ah, you're in the early strikes, ah, as Mr. Williams said in his book, ah, it was a committee of a hundred who fought against the 51:00strikes, ah, or who fought against a union. And my father was one of the committee of a hundred, and, ah, participated in that. And I'm not saying everything they did was right, but they did what they thought was right at the time. Ah, and again, the majority of the people here, ah, were non-union people --


PASSMORE: They did not believe in the union.

GEORGE STONEY: Jamie, want to make sure -- we don't need any of this now. Just a moment, you ready to (inaudible)? OK, fine. OK. Slow down a little bit!


GEORGE STONEY: You've got two senior citizens with you!

PASSMORE: I'm not used to walking with anybody. I'm used to taking off and going.




PASSMORE: This is a picture of our new plant.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, this is a -- that's great.

PASSMORE: One story, spread out.


PASSMORE: It would be difficult to move equipment around in this old building.


PASSMORE: Everything's got to go up or down, sideways, or whatever.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. OK. Can you -- this is going to be too strenuous?

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, yeah, sure.


PASSMORE: There are -- there are no what I want to call great architectural features in this plant.


PASSMORE: I mean, it's just very straight-forward, ah, construction. Nothing, you know, really wild.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Look at those old lines. Isn't that interesting?


JAMIE STONEY: What's that?

GEORGE STONEY: Let's wait, just slow down just a minute, wait for --

PASSMORE: Wait until it comes up.

GEORGE STONEY: What's that? Yeah. (laughter) Well, they've got a lot of equipment. Jamie?


GEORGE STONEY: Just get us going up this way. Now --

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible)?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, I would think so. It might be -- just let them get ahead of us.

HELFAND: You OK, Ruby?


ERNEST MOORE: This would, this would make a nice mall.

PASSMORE: Yeah, but there's a lot of liability here.

ERNEST MOORE: Yeah, yeah.

PASSMORE: You remember when they used to paint the corners white?

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible) what for?

PASSMORE: Because you'd (inaudible).

ERNEST MOORE: That right here?


PASSMORE: See where it's painted red there now?


PASSMORE: And you can see the paint build-up? All the corners used to be painted white, 54:00keep you from spittin' (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: (laughter) I'll be darned.

PASSMORE: That's true.


ERNEST MOORE: (inaudible).

PASSMORE: That was vast.


PASSMORE: I mean, this is a big, vast, open building.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. OK. A little too fast! Is it what you imagined it would be like?


PASSMORE: See, the --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Look at that.

GEORGE STONEY: Spinning room?

PASSMORE: Spinning room.


PASSMORE: Ah, when I came to work here, this was the last of the cotton spinning. And, ah, in this area here on the other side of the wall was the last of the, ah, carding (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: (laughs).

ERNEST MOORE: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: I'll be darned.

PASSMORE: (inaudible) traveler's still in business. They moved with the, ah, chain.


PASSMORE: But you can, you can see the vastness of the building. That wall --



PASSMORE: There, it's huge. I can't even remember what the measurements are.


PASSMORE: But it was huge.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. We were talking to some of the people over to the museum.


GEORGE STONEY: They want to take it over.

PASSMORE: Oh, do they really?

GEORGE STONEY: But I don't think they've got a - ah, this wasn't any of the higher-ups.


GEORGE STONEY: This was just some of the people who worked there.

PASSMORE: Oh, yeah, I'd love to see them have it.


PASSMORE: Ah, you've done that through the Gaston County Museum?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, that's right.

PASSMORE: The, ah, the old whistle from here is over there.


PASSMORE: Get them to show you that. That belongs to me.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, you, you've loaned it?

PASSMORE: I've loaned it, yeah. Yeah. And, ah, we had, ah a board out front, in World War II, called The Honor Roll.


PASSMORE: And everybody's name was put on it that was in the service.


PASSMORE: And it had Firestone on it, and that's over there, too.


PASSMORE: I gave them that.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

PASSMORE: And I tried, I've tried to share with them a lot of stuff that I've come across.

GEORGE STONEY: I think you're very wise. Also, by the way, and I've learned this because I'm teaching at a university that gets a lot of stuff like that, 57:00loan it to them. On extended loan.

PASSMORE: Right. That's what I've done.

GEORGE STONEY: And then deed it to them so that the state taxes, you can save money.


HELFAND: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: No kidding.

PASSMORE: I hadn't thought about that.


PASSMORE: I had not thought about that at all.


PASSMORE: But, ah --

GEORGE STONEY: You may, you know, you may win the lottery and be a millionaire --

PASSMORE: Yeah, you'll be worth a quarter of a million. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Right now for me it doesn't matter. But --

PASSMORE: Yeah. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: You know, I -- (laughs) Claude [sic; talking to Ernest Moore], how different is this from what you remember? How different is this from what you remember?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, this is air conditioning you're hearing now.


PASSMORE: No, this is not air conditioned.

ERNEST MOORE: Well, I think -- that's what your unit is up there, you can see it.

PASSMORE: No, well, what you hear upstairs is just, it's just twisters running.

ERNEST MOORE: Twisters running, oh, well.

58:00 PASSMORE: Right. And, um, then those looms are (inaudible), but in here was all picking, I mean, the picking room was outside, the carding was out here, roving was right along this area, here. The spinning cranes were down this -- that was the last of the cotton when I came here. And I --