Elaine Pruitt, Howard R. Made, Ernest Moore, Ruby Moore, and E.O. Friday Interviews

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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JAMIE STONEY: So where are we right now?

ELAINE PRUITT: This is Hanes Town, the old, uh -- the Hanes Knitting Mill is over that direction, and these were all houses that were operated, I assume, at one time, by the Hanes Knitting Company -- Hanes Spinning and Knitting Companies.

GEORGE STONEY: And this must have been a -- was this a park here?

PRUITT: It may well have been. I don’t -- I’m afraid that I don’t know enough.


PRUITT: I can’t -- there’s something -- I haven’t really felt motivated to --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah.

PRUITT: -- uh, investigate. But I certainly --


PRUITT: -- certainly will now. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: And, significantly, they’re having -- a, a golf store is being built right across the way. (laughter)

PRUITT: (inaudible), yeah, it’s already (inaudible).


PRUITT: There are a number of places around here that have become, uh, boutiques and antiques stores and so forth.


JAMIE STONEY: Is this sort of the Melrose Avenue of Winston?

PRUITT: Probably, probably. I, I, I -- yeah, I’m, I’m reluctant to make very many (laughs) --

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm, yeah. (laughs)

JAMIE STONEY: Generalizations?

PRUITT: -- generalizations or statements --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, sure.

PRUITT: -- since I don’t really know very much of the history of this (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK, I think we’ve got --

PRUITT: And, uh, I don’t really know exactly when, but I would assume it’s very similar history to other mills, when the company actually began selling --


PRUITT: -- these homes to the -- to workers. So it’s been a long time, of course --


PRUITT: -- since these houses were owned by the mill.


PRUITT: Still called Hanes Town, though.


PRUITT: Probably always will be. (laughs)

JAMIE STONEY: And, Dad, what do you remember about this?

GEORGE STONEY: I don’t remember it at all, except as just one place where I never went. (laughter) You see, it was outside of town.


GEORGE STONEY: I had no business here. I -- and, uh, I think they even went to a different high school.

PRUITT: Probably had -- yes, or maybe (inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: I just don’t remember that. So, Hanes Town wasn’t a place that, that, uh, has any connection for me. But, it’s interesting, the workers’ houses and then you see the foreman’s house over there.

PRUITT: Right, uh-huh. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Very clear there -- the, the foreman’s house. So, let’s get out of the wet.

PRUITT: Well, I (inaudible) say, on the one hand I’m embarrassed that I don’t know any more about it. On the other hand, my curiosity is piqued. (laughter) So...


PRUITT: But, yeah, it’s -- people still -- I don’t want to say this on camera, but people still talk about Hanes Town, uh, “Oh, they live over in Hanes Town.”


PRUITT: Like that’s...


PRUITT: It still has the connotation --


PRUITT: -- of, you know, you wouldn’t choose to live in Hanes Town. (inaudible) --

(break in audio)

PRUITT: (inaudible) I imagine it’s good because you have -- oh, I’m going to wait until the next... You probably have pretty -- you know, cheap overhead.

GEORGE STONEY: Cheap. And easy parking.




PRUITT: You can see some --


PRUITT: -- signs of (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: But it’s not -- it’s pretty -- over there, just individual houses. It’s -- maybe a high shot would show it, but I doubt it. I think this is pretty well disguised. These are... Now, what you might s-- find, by the way, is that the mills -- that the mills have old brochures. The Hanes probably has a brochure --

PRUITT: Uh-huh.

GEORGE STONEY: -- and there may be a Hanes Town museum, or a historical society, something like that. But very often, the mill --

PRUITT: Actually, here’s the shot (inaudible). This identifies it.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh, yeah.

PRUITT: (inaudible) park.


PRUITT: I don’t know if that was park back then or not.


PRUITT: I’d bet it was.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. They (inaudible) picked by the WPA probably. Um...


PRUITT: I know there’s a Hanes Baptist Church.


PRUITT: [I don’t know?] exactly where it’s located.

GEORGE STONEY: But you will probably find that they put out a brochure that has pictures of the village at that time. Yeah. This is a -- yeah, this is -- we might just park up here if you don’t mind, Elaine.

PRUITT: Oh, to the right?

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, yeah, just to -- so we can get a shot down the --


GEORGE STONEY: -- street here.

PRUITT: I’ll just stay here.

JAMIE STONEY: [Put this over there?].

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, is that row of, uh -- does that do anything?

(break in audio)

JAMIE STONEY: What are we looking at here?

GEORGE STONEY: This is Hanes Town, the remnants of the mill village. It was here for quite a long time. The mill has become a factory outlet. I don’t 5:00know how much manufacturing is going up there. We’ve got to be -- pass it and see. We’re also looking for the old station that was occupied by a flying squadron from Shelby, and other places, uh, from, uh -- for a couple of nights during the early part of the ’34 strike.

F1: Hi.

GEORGE STONEY: Good afternoon. Maybe you could help me. Uh, we are looking for, uh, the old -- site of the old railroad station.

F1: Why don’t you come in and talk to the man who lives here. He’s been here a long time.


GEORGE STONEY: Oh, good, thank you.

F1: He’s an invalid, though.


(break in audio)

GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible) film inside.

JAMIE STONEY: I’ll be out here, Dad, OK?


F1: (inaudible).


F1: (inaudible).


JAMIE STONEY: I’m gonna stay out here.

PRUITT: (inaudible).

F2: Hello.

F1: (inaudible). Thank you. Howard, there’s a man here that wants to know where the site of the old railroad was.

HOWARD R. MADE: (inaudible).


MADE: (inaudible).

PRUITT: You have been here how long?

(break in audio)

MADE: Hey, there, young ’un.

PRUITT: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: What do you mean, “young ’un”? I’m a -- I’m as old as you are.

MADE: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: That’s right. (laughs)

MADE: (inaudible).

F2: Hey, [Hon’?].

PRUITT: Hello. How are you?

F2: Did you get the (inaudible)? I have to get a (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: What we’re interested in is the old railroad station. Remember when there was a station here?

MADE: Yeah, well, you mean in (inaudible)?

GEORGE STONEY: No, this is in Hanes Town.

MADE: Well, uh, go straight up, uh, (inaudible).



MADE: Go right straight across the street, (inaudible).


MADE: Just before you get to the railroad, there’s about -- 20 foot to your right, there’s the, the station.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, it’s still there?

MADE: It’s still there.

GEORGE STONEY: I’ll be darned.

ELAINE PRUITT: I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s there [still?].

MADE: I don’t think it is, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


PRUITT: It’s (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Did you ever use that station?

PRUITT: Before you get to the (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

MADE: We used to [head over there?] and play cards (inaudible). (laughter) That’s about all.

F1: (inaudible) [steel plant -- Carolina Steel?]?


F2: Right there on the corner?

F1: (inaudible) [electric place?].

MADE: Oh, you (inaudible) --

F2: Is it on the right side?

MADE: -- [Carolina Electric?].

PRUITT: Yeah, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

F3: I bet that’s it.

F2: That’s where the site (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

MADE: No, that’s (inaudible). It is across it --

F2: Yeah.

MADE: -- on your right.

F2: Uh-huh.

F1: Yeah.

MADE: The first building on your right as you cross (inaudible).

PRUITT: That’s that electric (inaudible).

F2: Uh-huh.

MADE: Yeah.

PRUITT: And that’s where it was?


F2: No.


PRUITT: Where was it then?

MADE: (inaudible) on this side of the [railroad?].

PRUITT: Oh, on this side.

F2: On this side of the [railroad?]. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm, yeah. Yeah.

MADE: Between the highway and the railroad, (inaudible).


MADE: [And just had seats all the way around?].

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. Now, did you -- were you working in the mill at the time?

MADE: Oh, yeah.


MADE: I went to work here in 1928. I (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: (laughs) You’ve been around a long time. Well, I tell you, we’re working on a history project.

MADE: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: I’m George Stoney. And this lady who’s working with me would like to come back sometime and talk with you about what happened here. Would that be OK?

MADE: That would be fine with me.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, you want to -- you want to --

PRUITT: OK, just let me -- I (inaudible) did not bring (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, (inaudible) back of that.

F1: (inaudible), OK.

PRUITT: (inaudible) [down here?].

F1: Yeah.

MADE: [Bet there’s?] a lot of people here who could tell you more than I can, (inaudible).


PRUITT: No, but you could tell me your -- you can tell me names of people, and so forth. Give me (inaudible).

MADE: If I can remember, (inaudible), you know? (laughter) I had a (inaudible), you know?

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, I see. When did you --

MADE: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) in the hospital.

GEORGE STONEY: Why did you pick out the pretty girl to sit -- to, to look after you?

MADE: Well, this (inaudible). (laughter)

PRUITT: He just -- he (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Plays no favorites.

PRUITT: [He done?] drop in to visit (overlapping dialogue; inaudible). (laughter)

MADE: Well, that (inaudible).


MADE: [Tore it up?].


MADE: Now it’s (inaudible), [two more?]. We’ve got three right now. [But her old man?] told her to tell me (inaudible), and I wouldn’t break (inaudible).

PRUITT: (inaudible). (laughter)

MADE: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible). So, yeah, I’m glad to meet you.



PRUITT: Well, yeah, my name is Elaine Pruitt. I’d like to get your name, and...

MADE: Howard Made -- Howard R. Made. Put that R in there.

PRUITT: All right, Howard R. And is it May or Made?



MADE: Made.

PRUITT: OK, that’s (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

MADE: That’ll be -- that’ll be Maybe. (laughter)

PRUITT: Howard Maybe?

MADE: Yeah, a lot of (inaudible). I used to play golf, and (inaudible) on the tee, you know? Howard Maybe up next. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, what’s your telephone number here?

MADE: Seven-six-five, seven-two-three-three.

PRUITT: Seven-six-five, seven-two-three-three.

MADE: Seven-two-three-three.


MADE: I don’t know why I remember that. I don’t know. (laughter) (inaudible).

PRUITT: That’s right. Sometimes I have to remember what mine is when somebody asks me. (laughter) Mine starts with 765 (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

MADE: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible). Convalescent Center.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh. Uh-uh.

MADE: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh, that’s too bad.

MADE: I haven’t seen her in two years.


MADE: (inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

MADE: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah. So, thank you for talking with us.

MADE: Yeah, this...

GEORGE STONEY: And this, this nice lady will be back.

PRUITT: Yes. Yeah, if you’ll let me come back, I’d love to.

MADE: Oh, OK. Anytime, anytime.


MADE: I like talking. (laughter)



MADE: OK. Bye-bye.

GEORGE STONEY: Bye-bye. Uh, now, uh, sh-- is, is this, uh, his, uh --

PRUITT: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Uh, who would be here when we call?

PRUITT: Probably me.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, well, you’d better get the (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

MADE: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) and my son will be here.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, OK. Mm-hmm.

PRUITT: And your son, OK.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. But you’d better get your... (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

PRUITT: So if I called in the afternoon, he would be the one (inaudible).


PRUITT: OK, (inaudible).


PRUITT: (inaudible).

PRUITT: [Louise?].

GEORGE STONEY: Well, you were very nice to suggest this.

PRUITT: Thank you. I just knew he would (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, of course he would. Yeah, so... Yeah.


PRUITT: I had never really spent much time here before, so George wanted to know where the railroad station was. (laughter)

MADE: And there wasn’t much [to it there?] --


MADE: -- (inaudible) station (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


MADE: There used to be a (inaudible) up there, at the (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: That’s what we’re gonna be looking for.

MADE: And they hung it up on the post (inaudible).

PRUITT: Yeah? Huh.

GEORGE STONEY: What did you do in the mill?

MADE: Uh, everything (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).



MADE: I was [a overhauler?] in the [spinning?] room most of the time.


MADE: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh, yeah.

MADE: (inaudible).

PRUITT: Uh-huh.


MADE: (inaudible).


MADE: [Longer now?]. Hell, I’ve been retired (inaudible) 16 years.



GEORGE STONEY: When did you s-- uh, I’m sorry.

PRUITT: [You?] started in 1928?

GEORGE STONEY: When were you born?

MADE: Nineteen fourteen. (laughter)


MADE: But, uh, I retired when I was 60 years old.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh, I see, yeah.

MADE: I got to be a rich man. I had $20,000. I got to be a rich man and I retired. (laughter) But I was (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, sure, yeah.

MADE: (inaudible).



MADE: I made more money [after I retired?] than when --


PRUITT: Then when you were working? (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: That’s the way to do it.

PRUITT: That’s what -- yeah. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: That’s the way to do it.

MADE: Well, I did.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. OK, we’ll see you then. Thank you very much.

MADE: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

ELAINE PRUITT: Thank you, yes.

MADE: Thank you all for [talking?].

F2: Watch the stairs.


F2: There’s no handrail, (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK, thank you.


F1: (inaudible) 2006. (laughter) (inaudible) I can retire (inaudible).

PRUITT: Oh, really?

F1: She’s a Yankee.



F1: I am, too. (inaudible).

JAMIE STONEY: Come on, get out of here.

PRUITT: Well, so am I, actually, I guess. Although I was --


PRUITT: -- my parents brought me here when I was young, so... (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: Well, I was born on South Main Street.

F1: (inaudible) you’ve been here.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s right.

F1: You’ve been here.

GEORGE STONEY: But I’ve been away, yeah.

F1: (inaudible) I’m on [Colonial?] Drive, the last section.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, yes, uh-huh.

PRUITT: Oh, uh-huh.

F1: Before you get to Main Street (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Well, thank you very much for having us in.

F1: I’m glad you (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

PRUITT: And I, I will be calling.

F1: He’ll enjoy that.

F2: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Good, thank you.

F1: (inaudible).

PRUITT: OK. And if -- actually, (inaudible).

(break in audio)

JAMIE STONEY: Did (inaudible)?




JAMIE STONEY: See, this is how it’s been for us the whole time.


JAMIE STONEY: Because, you know, we’ll run into somebody --

GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible).

JAMIE STONEY: -- who says...

PRUITT: Lots of books about Hanes Town and Hanes Mill in his basement. (laughter) (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yes. Isn’t it?

PRUITT: Yes, yes.

GEORGE STONEY: Is that [true?]? But that’s the way -- that’s the way it happens.


GEORGE STONEY: You know, you think it’s not there and then suddenly (snaps fingers) it’s...

PRUITT: Yeah, first person you talk to. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, what’s that?

PRUITT: I said the first person you talk to.


JAMIE STONEY: Where to now?

GEORGE STONEY: We’re going up to see the -- where the station was.


PRUITT: This is (inaudible). Well, lesson number one: always have your (inaudible) with you.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah.

PRUITT: Oh, well.

GEORGE STONEY: But I didn’t.

PRUITT: This is how you learn, right?

GEORGE STONEY: But isn’t that fascinating? He’s obviously got all his buttons and --

PRUITT: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- is spirited and...

PRUITT: I wonder what he -- well, he’s had a bypass, he said.


PRUITT: (inaudible).


JAMIE STONEY: Damn, where are my keys?


GEORGE STONEY: -- bypasses are so routine now.

PRUITT: Yeah. I don’t want to queer the project either, by asking. So I hope (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, oh, that’s, uh -- y-- a long time ahead.

PRUITT: Yeah, yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Not (inaudible). He’s gonna obviously give you all -- the names of all these old people around here.

PRUITT: I’ll just -- I’ll just get -- I’ll just ask him a little bit about --

GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible) sure, I’d... And --

PRUITT: -- working here, and (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: And eventually you’re asking about ’34 here, or he may even tell you about that.

PRUITT: Yeah, mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s -- [they ought?] (inaudible).

PRUITT: OK, now, he said before you get to the Hardee’s. Uh, see the railroad track is --


PRUITT: [But this is?] right here, (inaudible).


JAMIE STONEY: Judy, if you can hear this --

PRUITT: I imagine it would have been right in here, because he said (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


JAMIE STONEY: -- uh, what I’m doing is, I’m rolling -- you’re seeing bars.

PRUITT: There’s the Carolina Electric Company across [the street from Salem Electric?].

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh, yeah.

JAMIE STONEY: But I’m basically doing my best to pick up all this voiceover from the car.

PRUITT: And he said it was across the street?


PRUITT: So it must have been right in here.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, that’s right.

JAMIE STONEY: So, uh, even though you’re seeing bars, you’re picking up --

GEORGE STONEY: No longer here.

JAMIE STONEY: -- the voiceover track --

PRUITT: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: Just let’s turn down (inaudible).

JAMIE STONEY: -- on the radio mic.

GEORGE STONEY: And as I keep telling Judy, who says, “Get it anyway,” uh, one of my favorite, uh, remembrances from a novel called Kitty Foyle -- uh, Booth Tarkington’s novel of the ’30s --

PRUITT: Uh-huh.

GEORGE STONEY: His advice to Kitty when she was going to Europe is avoid plowed fields where the (laughs) story of human history has passed.

PRUITT: Yeah, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: You’ll be bored to death.

PRUITT: Now do you want to stop here?

GEORGE STONEY: No, no, I think we just drive by it, we can... But that’s the railroad (inaudible).

PRUITT: Yeah, here’s the (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, mm-hmm.

PRUITT: So it would have -- the stop would have been right in here.


PRUITT: He said it was ac-- on this side of the -- they call it the highway, but they mean Stratford Road.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh, yeah.

PRUITT: And before you get to Hardee’s, that’s the (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm, yeah. But the -- so it’ll be, uh...

PRUITT: So it’ll probably be on this side. I think it’s over here. I think this is where we -- because you’re (inaudible) -- there’s the Salem Electric Company, right there.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, uh-huh.

PRUITT: Carolina (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Well, that’s the -- uh, it, it would have been right next to 18:00the tracks.

PRUITT: Right. Well -- but with -- I don’t know whether Stratford Road was here at the time or not.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, it probably wasn’t. Uh, the -- I wonder if those are -- even are the same tracks?

PRUITT: Well, he said across the street, so --


PRUITT: -- across the street could either mean there or... I suppose it could be where the Steak and Ale is.

GEORGE STONEY: I think that’s it. Let’s just go by the s-- uh, up to the railroad tracks.

PRUITT: Want me to (inaudible) across (inaudible)?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, uh-huh, sure.

PRUITT: Is Jamie wondering what I’m doing here? (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: What’s that?

PRUITT: Jamie’s probably wondering what I’m doing here --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah.

PRUITT: -- changing my mind so much.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. That’s all right. (pause) Oh, yeah --

PRUITT: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: -- it would have been right over there, then. Yeah.

PRUITT: (inaudible) probably over there, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: That’s -- yeah, mm-hmm.


GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. And it’s (inaudible). Pete’s stuff is probably right there where it is. OK, well, I -- 19:00that’s about -- we’ve seen Hanes Town, I guess.

PRUITT: OK. Now let’s see (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: And you say there’s a church out here?

PRUITT: Um, I th-- there’s -- I know that there’s a Hanes Baptist Church. Now, I don’t know where it is. This is no longer Hanes Town.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh, well, that’s the [meridian?], yeah.

PRUITT: But I would imagine that it’s... And I can dr-- I’ll just drive around.


PRUITT: (inaudible) tomorrow’s (inaudible). (laughs)


PRUITT: (inaudible). What if I just -- I’m so close to my house, what if I just drive home?

GEORGE STONEY: Well, sure, and, and --

PRUITT: And then you can just --

GEORGE STONEY: Of course, you can easily do that, sure.

PRUITT: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, well, I think a mixture of library work and seeing people like that, because you’ll find they drive you back and -- I, I, I tend -- I notice that I tend to read the stuff with a -- more in-- intensity when --

PRUITT: After you’ve met people?

GEORGE STONEY: That’s right. Yeah.

PRUITT: Yeah, I do, too, yeah. It’s like a place you read about, like Prague, for example.


PRUITT: You can read about it, even tell about it.


PRUITT: But...


GEORGE STONEY: That’s why I was -- that [Hempel?] -- the book is so fa--

PRUITT: Uh-huh.

GEORGE STONEY: -- would be so fascinating for you.

PRUITT: I was telling somebody that growing up in the -- I grew up in the Cold War era -- that I had this mental image of those countries as being gray.


PRUITT: I [don’t know?] how else to describe it --


PRUITT: -- except it was just gray. And now they have color. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. But, uh, well, I found Prague -- when I went back there about five years ago -- very gray and dismal.

PRUITT: But I didn’t.


PRUITT: See, I’d show you -- (laughs) show you our home movies of Prague.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, uh-huh.

PRUITT: I had exactly the opposite experience.


PRUITT: I don’t know how much of it has to do with, uh --

GEORGE STONEY: This was when the Communists were still (inaudible).

PRUITT: Right, I don’t know much of it has to do with what’s happened in the last couple of years.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh, yeah.

PRUITT: But -- and I do know that the government before the Communist government failed, uh --


PRUITT: -- they had begun to renovate Downtown Prague --


PRUITT: -- that old city.


PRUITT: Now, one thing that I -- that was striking to me was the difference between what I could only call ch-- the charming Prague along the river, and the Old Town (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm, oh, yes, the -- they -- yes, all of that, yes.

PRUITT: And then, the --

GEORGE STONEY: The [Charles?] Bridge.

PRUITT: -- the outskirts -- yeah, oh, yes.

GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible) yeah, yeah.

PRUITT: And the outskirts.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, which --

PRUITT: Which are just those gray cement --

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, yes, yes, uh-huh.

PRUITT: -- um, [block?] buildings.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, I was there -- I -- it was -- I’ve been there th-- I was there in 1947, when, um, Masaryk had been pushed out of the window, or jumped. And Gottwald --

PRUITT: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: -- had just come in. And the Communists were backing everything in the arts.


GEORGE STONEY: And so, the -- all the film people were happy, and the poets were happy, and all this kind of thing. And then, I went back again about five years ago. And, boy, the difference... Oh, painful, painful.

PRUITT: Well, we, uh, got to meet -- the fellow that I did this trip with teaches German at UNCG. And he has, um, lived in Prague on a number of different occasions, speaks Czech and so forth, and had a number of Czech 22:00friends. And we spent a good bit of time with, um, various [doctors?] in Prague, including the guy that’s the head of the equivalent, I suppose, of the AMA. And, and it was very interesting to hear their stories of the last couple of years.


PRUITT: There was one young man who had just recently become a doctor, and he was telling about how the Westerners would come and visit, and how, um, one time he just very innocently took a Western journalist around, showed him the hospital. This guy was doing a report on hospitals in Czechoslovakia.


PRUITT: And, um, he, he picked a time when there was nobody at -- the administrators were not at the hospital. He thought it would just be this very quiet thing. And when he got to work -- well, I guess he was a young intern. And when he got to work on the Monday morning, you know, there were all kinds of questions about who was this, and how did you meet him, and why did you bring him here? What did you tell him? Where did you go? (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, yes, mm-hmm, I bet.


PRUITT: And I didn’t find this so much in Prague. Of course, in Prague, right now, what they really love are the, um -- are Americans.


PRUITT: And, you know, it’s great to be an American. And they’re always talking about how much they hate the Germans.


PRUITT: And they just love the Americans. (laughs)


PRUITT: But in Hungary, one of the things that surprised me were the number of people who you could s-- they didn’t want to come to the hotel where we were staying because it was a spa hotel -- a resort. And only Westerners had been allowed there up until a couple of years ago. And, um, they would like to meet us other places besides the Gellert.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh. Oh, that’s interesting.

PRUITT: (laughs) And these are even younger people.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh, yeah.

PRUITT: Yeah, they’ve grown up with there are certain places --

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, uh-huh.

PRUITT: -- that you just don’t go.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, I found that in Brazil when they (inaudible) to talk to the American (inaudible) -- embassy because, uh, the Americans had backed the regime --

PRUITT: Uh-huh.

GEORGE STONEY: -- that had put their parents in jail.

PRUITT: Uh-huh.

GEORGE STONEY: And, uh, they wouldn’t come there.

PRUITT: As a matter of fact, one of our dance instructors, [Yula Punning?], has a very dramatic story about his defection --



PRUITT: -- from Hungary.

GEORGE STONEY: We are -- she lives here.


STONEY: So she’s dropping -- we’re dropping --

ELAINE PRUITT: (inaudible) [your father?]. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: -- dropping me off, and we’ll go ahead.



(break in audio)

RUBY MOORE: Yes, I -- I think they should, uh, because, uh, anything like that -- because it’s, uh, like you said -- it’s, it’s lost if you don’t discuss it.

RICHARD GREER: Do you think that some people would rather it be lost, or...?

RUBY MOORE: Probably.


RUBY MOORE: You know, really, some might.


RUBY MOORE: You can’t make a -- you can’t, uh, make a, a decision on that, on what other people might think, I don’t think.

GREER: Yeah.

ERNEST MOORE: Yeah, just, just like I told him. If you have -- when you’re lost -- when they lost it, that’s one reason they (inaudible). [If they’d 25:00have?] won, they’d have something to brag about, and (inaudible). See, there [would have been?] more to talk about. But when you lose, why, you don’t care too much to say too much about it. That’s, that’s human nature. I better not say, for I don’t know what, uh -- it slipped my mind. But that one Broyhill, he’s a -- he -- he was a big politician. He got to lose now, and he just dropped out then.

GREER: Mm-hmm.

ERNEST MOORE: Uh, yeah, I know -- yeah, I know. He was a -- he was a congressman, mm-hmm. He was a congressman. Uh, a fellow -- Basil Whitener -- he was a lawyer in Gastonia. And he run a Democrat ticket -- Congress in Washington, and he was elected. And of course, he getting all of his, uh, campaign funds from the mill owners, industrialists. And, uh, he’s kind of 26:00modern. He wasn’t -- I mean, he’s stayed about on the line, you know -- middle of the road fellow, Basil was. Well, Broyhill decided he would be a congressman, and they were millionaires. And when he run on the Republican ticket, why, the (inaudible) of Gastonia went for Broyhill, and Basil didn’t have no support, so he lost. Now, I’m, I’m getting it together now. That’s the way it was. He was -- he was a congressman [at the time?].

GREER: Mm-hmm.

ERNEST MOORE: Broyhill was.

JUDITH HELFAND: Yeah, that would be great.


RUBY MOORE: Can I get out from there?

ERNEST MOORE: What (overlapping dialogue; inaudible)?

GEORGE STONEY: No, no, no.

RUBY MOORE: I don’t need to s-- I don’t (inaudible).

HELFAND: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: I know, but you’re fine, [Mae?].

GREER: [Yeah?], but you look gorgeous in the background. (laughter)

HELFAND: And we were -- you, you -- we had a lot to sa-- you had a lot to say before, when we were talking, and [Rich?] might -- had, had to ask you some of those questions.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, we’re gonna get to that -- we’re gonna get to that in just a moment, OK?

GREER: What was your, your, your average day like during the strike. I mean, what... Do you remember?


ERNEST MOORE: No, no, I don’t --


ERNEST MOORE: I don’t remember too much about that. I was (inaudible) young, and --

GREER: Yeah.

ERNEST MOORE: You don’t -- you don’t worry about the things -- what goes on when you’re younger, (inaudible) when you get older. You get more settled and you, you don’t take chances when you get older you did when you were back younger.

GEORGE STONEY: But you had how many children during that time?


RUBY MOORE: Three -- three sons.

GEORGE STONEY: So you were taking chances with your family?

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, yeah, but you were -- you was young, and you didn’t think too much about it, you see?


GREER: Hm. But you -- when you saw your father in, in the parade on the, um -- the film that Mr. Stoney had brought over, did that -- what was -- what was that like, sort of...?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, I just -- I know (inaudible), so I mean, that didn’t... It didn’t mean nothing to me. I mean, I was -- I probably was (inaudible), but they --


GREER: Mm-hmm. You didn’t --

GEORGE STONEY: You might -- sorry.

GREER: Go ahead.

GEORGE STONEY: You might tell him about the -- uh, your role of your father in politics there. (laughter) And the relationship with the sheriff, huh?

ERNEST MOORE: You got it on Judy?

HELFAND: Excuse me?

ERNEST MOORE: You got it on?

HELFAND: Yes, sir.

ERNEST MOORE: Turn it off.


ERNEST MOORE: Turn it off.

HELFAND: Turn it off?



ERNEST MOORE: I don’t -- now I know you’re [a reporter?} and all like that --


ERNEST MOORE: -- but I’d rather -- I think I’ll -- just about said enough on that. I mean --

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, the -- you mean about the, the sheriff?

ERNEST MOORE: Yeah, I mean, uh, [ain’t new stuff?]. I told -- I told my --

RUBY MOORE: Yeah, that was a long time ago.

ERNEST MOORE: I told my wife this morning, if they’re gonna come down here and I will have to go [on back through it?] I would rather not do it.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, all right. OK, I --

ERNEST MOORE: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: No, it’s OK. I understand what you mean.



ERNEST MOORE: I think I’ve, I’ve said...


ERNEST MOORE: I know that you want to get it. You’ll be able to work with the press, but --


ERNEST MOORE: But I’d rather not (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GREER: I don’t even know what you’re --


ERNEST MOORE: I’d rather not go over all that --


ERNEST MOORE: -- stuff or...


GEORGE STONEY: No, uh, they’re just in relationship with the sheriffs and the, uh -- and, uh, his father in politics. That was all.

GREER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: So, OK. I understand. Uh, Ruby, could you t-- uh, tell us about, uh, the -- how, how you managed when you were working in the mills?

RUBY MOORE: Uh, well, uh, we went to work at six o’clock every morning, and, uh, we worked eight hours. But, uh, this, uh, lady -- a colored lady that stayed with us, she’d, uh, come in on Sunday -- late Sunday afternoon, and, um -- and she stayed the whole week, as long as I worked. And then she, uh, l-- she slept there part of the time. For a while, she went home at night. But, then, uh, she was an elderly lay-- lady, and so, um, she stayed there. She was just a part of our family. She then would go buy our groceries, so it was really not a hardship for me to work, by having her there with us. She helped 30:00with, uh -- with the baby.

GEORGE STONEY: Was that fairly common in your village?

RUBY MOORE: Uh, yes, yes. Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember her n-- like, name and so forth -- who she was?

ERNEST MOORE: [Janie?] Friday was the lady that stayed with us. A elderly lady, but very, very nice, uh, lady, and the children liked her too. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: How long did that go on for?

ERNEST MOORE: One winter.

GEORGE STONEY: One winter.

ERNEST MOORE: One. Uh, and h-- her husband’s brother lived, you know, back over here a while, too, you know? That was a nice family too. And, uh, some of his daughters took her place and stayed with us a while. Of course, they’d come in the morning and leave in the evening.


HELFAND: You know, the question that Rich has -- sort of came with was, you -- we got a very interesting response before about --


HELFAND: -- kind off c-- things coming up that you never expected before, and whether it’s OK to talk about it or not. Maybe we could talk about that a little bit -- about the article coming out, and the family feeling a little uncomfortable?

GEORGE STONEY: The relationship with history that, uh, yeah...

GREER: Mm-hmm, but you were telling me that your s-- you read the article first, in the Charlotte paper, right?


GREER: And, what, you mentioned it to your son, or how did your son end up convincing you to, to talk about it?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, I know you want to get there, but I think I’ll -- I’ve said enough about that. I mean --

RUBY MOORE: Yeah, [I think?] so too.


HELFAND: So the mill came around the paper? Do you, you, you just (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

RUBY MOORE: And I just -- I’d rather you not mention that either --



RUBY MOORE: -- because I really don’t remember exactly what it was about. And, uh, I, I, I just know that, um, uh, that I wasn’t able to go to work then. But, uh, it seems to me that I signed a paper, but I don’t -- I, I don’t remember. I don’t know. I’m not accurate on that. I’d rather not say.

GEORGE STONEY: No, no, I j-- sure.

RUBY MOORE: It’s been a long time. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, it has been a long time.

GREER: Where did you retire from, when, when you last worked? Were you..?

RUBY MOORE: Me? I, uh -- I went back to business college when I was 42 years old.

GREER: Oh, really?

RUBY MOORE: That’s after I, I quit at the [groves?], after 17 years. And I just quit working there. And, uh, then I went to, uh, work. Uh, then my first job, I, I, didn’t graduate from the college, but I just worked long enough to get me a better job. And I worked two and a half years for Standard Business Forms, uh, in the -- in the office. And then, I f-- I decided that j-- that 33:00just wasn’t what I wanted. And, uh, then I went to work for Marsh Jewelers in Gastonia, on Ninth Street.


RUBY MOORE: And I worked, uh, 15 years there. There’s where I retired, so that was the extent of my working.

GREER: You were, what, in retail, selling jewelry?



RUBY MOORE: Uh, I worked -- no, I worked in the office.

GREER: Mm-hmm. What about yourself? Where did you retire from, when you --

ERNEST MOORE: Grove Thread, mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And they were still working, uh, full, three shifts when you retired?

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, yeah, mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, what happened to the -- the -- what’s happened to the Grove since?

ERNEST MOORE: They sold out.


ERNEST MOORE: -- American & Efird’s. They had a big plant in Mt. Holly, big company. So they sold to American & Efird’s -- Grove did.

GREER: Are they still -- they’re still operating now? (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


ERNEST MOORE: Oh, yeah. Efird’s is. They’re still -- they’ve got --


RUBY MOORE: They have a large mill.

ERNEST MOORE: They’ve got four mills over there.

GREER: And they’re running three shifts?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, far as I know they are. I don’t know (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


GREER: Yeah.

ERNEST MOORE: Far as I know they’re running.


GREER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, one thing that you were telling me this morning that we didn’t get, maybe you could consider, was about the stretch out after the strike.

ERNEST MOORE: Well, that’s what I thought you was gonna get.


ERNEST MOORE: And I mean, I’m not gonna say too much more on what was said--


ERNEST MOORE: -- (overlapping dialogue) And I’ll, I’ll make that statement, so...

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. Good. OK.

ERNEST MOORE: (inaudible) to get ready.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Do you want to tell us about that then?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, after -- a few years after that, after everything was settled, everybody went back to work. They, uh -- they started to have, uh, fellows come through time study. He stayed with yous, everything you done, he’d put down. Studied the job. And, uh, he studied [the face?], and they 35:00kept on putting on work -- more work, more work, to -- you didn’t -- you got about 15 minutes -- about nine o’clock, half hour for lunch, And the rest of the time, most of the women, they’ll (inaudible). And, uh, I had some of the workers [have to?] come back (inaudible). Come to (inaudible), told me, said we ought to join the union when it’s organized. Said we see our mistakes. I (inaudible) wanted one that wasn’t in the strike.

GREER: It was too late then, wasn’t it?



GREER: (long pause) Was it -- did -- was there ever another attempt to, uh -- to unionize the mill, after that?

ERNEST MOORE: I don’t understand your --

GREER: Was there -- was there ever another attempt to unionize the mill?

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, no. Oh, no. No.

GREER: Was it -- (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

ERNEST MOORE: No, they -- way I -- way I see it now, after Roosevelt went in, and he, he said people ought to organize. Like if you get the history, he said they ought to organize. Well, that’s when they, they had people tour around 37:00-- organizers going to different manufacturers, organizing back then, you see? He wanted to get the -- build their union up -- textile, you see? So I think they was pretty well organized up North -- the textiles. (inaudible) so many of them left up North and come South (inaudible), get out of the union.

GEORGE STONEY: So they, uh -- they organized then, because, uh, Roosevelt s-- uh, said they should.

ERNEST MOORE: Mm-hmm, yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember hearing Roosevelt --

ERNEST MOORE: Well, that’s when the organizers come -- coming around, you know?


ERNEST MOORE: You know, and, in an organization, you never think (inaudible), you know? So you ne-- you mentioned some of the -- going around in the South, organizing.


GREER: So you felt like you had the, um -- the, the power of the government in Washington behind you, or the encouragement, or...?


ERNEST MOORE: Well, no, not the -- not the power in Washington. Most of them -- most of our representatives, uh, I don’t imagine they (inaudible) -- they wasn’t too (inaudible) about the te-- about the union.

GREER: Mm-hmm.

ERNEST MOORE: For -- of course, there was some of them that was all right, but some of them wasn’t.

GREER: But the, the influence of Roosevelt -- I mean, did that -- was that encouraging, or how did...?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, I guess it helped some.

GREER: Mm-hmm.

ERNEST MOORE: But, uh, the -- most of the textile workers, I think it, uh -- they really thought they needed the organization. Well, they did need it. But they wasn’t willing to sacrifice for it. That’s the way I look to see it, see?

GREER: When you say “sacrifice,” you mean --

ERNEST MOORE: Oh, yeah, yeah. A lot of people not willing to sacrifice to 39:00help, help their own self.

GREER: What, what kind of sacrifice?

ERNEST MOORE: Well, they know if they join the union, uh, companies will put pressure on them.


ERNEST MOORE: It -- maybe they’d suffer (inaudible). That’s what -- that’s the reason the textiles ain’t organized down in the South.

GREER: Do you think that that will ever change, or do you think that --

ERNEST MOORE: Uh, not in my time, not in my time, no.

GREER: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

ERNEST MOORE: No, uh-uh. You can’t tell what -- years to come, we don’t -- never know what’s, what’s... Just like the Firestone up here. They organized, but I don’t think it would if, if they -- if General Tires hadn’t have bought them out, and other plants is organized. I think that’s what helped them -- the other plants... And they -- I imagine they (inaudible). They got the organization. And through the, the other plants, it was organized, 40:00you see? I don’t think it’d been organized just on their own.

GREER: Their other plants had -- were already organized, and so they could -- they pretty much expected to be organized.

ERNEST MOORE: Well, yeah, they wanted to -- they wanted to -- they wanted to grow their wages just like the other ones were getting, so --

GREER: Mm-hmm.

ERNEST MOORE: -- I imagine they was -- they sent up a representative here to talk to them. I imagine that’s the way it worked out. Of course, I don’t know, but I figured that’s the way it was.

HELFAND: Hm. It’s such a pleasure, Ernest, to hear someone talk about this history and their experience in it. Still the pride and a little -- and guts. (laughter)

GREER: And most of the time when I read about, it’s in a dusty old book.



GREER: And you sit here, and when you talk about, you -- the twinkle in your eye and your smile, it’s like (laughter), it’s like, you know -- it’s real. It’s not -- you know, it’s the difference between this --


GREER: -- and this.


GREER: Big difference.

HELFAND: But most of the people that we’ve been trying to talk to, who were part of this and who were leaders in it, or whose parents were leaders in it, they d-- haven’t really wanted to talk to us.

ERNEST MOORE: Uh, I’m gonna - I’m gonna give you another example.


ERNEST MOORE: Union -- Gaston County. Well, you know the [gentleman here’s wife?] that I told you was (inaudible), eating lunch with Sunday? He used to be a union man -- belong to the union. But when he come to work with Gaston College, they told him to never mention union. He told me Sunday that. I didn’t know that till -- I got to tell what was I doing, this what (inaudible) 42:00doing? He said, “I used -- I used to belong to the union.” He told me what kind of work he’d done. But when they gave him a job at -- over here at the American College, they told him not mention union.

RUBY MOORE: (inaudible) shouldn’t mention (inaudible).

ERNEST MOORE: Well, they don’t care. They -- he’s retired. He don’t care now, not now.


GREER: You were just talking to him, what, the other day?



RUBY MOORE: Had lunch with him Sunday.

GREER: And it came up because of, uh, the filming, yeah?

ERNEST MOORE: Now if he was a w-- if he had been working, I wouldn’t mention that he told me that, you see?

GEORGE STONEY: That’s rough.

ERNEST MOORE: Yeah. That’s the system.


HELFAND: If you were working in the mill, would you be willing to talk about this right now?

ERNEST MOORE: If I had a supervisor job I wouldn’t, no. No, I wouldn’t -- I wouldn’t -- they’ve always -- I don’t care wh-- what -- how good a hand 43:00you are, how -- they’ve always got some way to let you go. They do it in a -- (inaudible) legal way, and there ain’t nothing you can do about it. So if I was a supervisor, no, I wouldn’t -- I wouldn’t talk union. If I wanted to keep my job, no. For -- they would find out s-- find some way you’d be laid off.

GREER: Even today?



GREER: Yeah?

ERNEST MOORE: Sure, that’s a -- that’s their -- that’s their way of getting rid of --

RUBY MOORE: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

ERNEST MOORE: -- people who talk about union.

GEORGE STONEY: Now we had an -- you introduced us to Mr. [Fetzer?] over at your square dance group.

ERNEST MOORE: Who’s that?


HELFAND: That’s [Charlie Netzel?].

RUBY MOORE: [Wetzel?].


HELFAND: Wetzel.


GEORGE STONEY: You introduced us to Mr. Wetzel.


GEORGE STONEY: Uh, were you aware that -- uh, you knew that, uh, he -- he had been a, a manager and an owner, didn’t you?


ERNEST MOORE: Oh, yeah, mm-hmm,



GEORGE STONEY: Uh, and when we went over to -- he invited us to go over to the museum, and he was showing us all his things. And we were showing all these things. I think you’re gonna be amazed to hear his take, because he’s looking back and he can see both sides now.


GEORGE STONEY: It’s quite fascinating.

ERNEST MOORE: Well, he’s a -- he -- uh, because he, he couldn’t say too much about the union, could he?


ERNEST MOORE: No, wasn’t supposed to. Uh-uh, no, uh-uh. It’s like my brother-in-law. He -- if you were -- if you were -- if you’re a supervisor, if you want to hold your job, you’d better not -- you’d better not bring the union up and be for it, you see? It’s -- uh-huh, no.

GEORGE STONEY: But in retirement, he can look back and, and, and take a different view. That’s the thing that interested me. He was able to talk about, uh, well, maybe if they’d had a union, that could have helped. But 45:00after, after he’s retired, you see? (laughs)

ERNEST MOORE: Yeah. You got that off?


GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Jamie, cut it off then, yeah.

(break in audio)

(lawnmower sounds, 00:45:09 - 00:48:55; most dialogue inaudible)







GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible), you don’t appreciate his face now because of that shadow. But we (inaudible) -- we’ve got him sitting on the -- on the -- on (inaudible) inside. (inaudible)

(break in audio)


E.O. FRIDAY: That church (inaudible) --

(break in audio)

FRIDAY: -- and they built, built the (inaudible). It’s the front, how it -- how it looked. At the front, (inaudible)on to it. And, uh, people stuck together and built it (inaudible). Never did know how, how come it (inaudible), but it burned down. (laughs) Back in 1939.


FRIDAY: And we, we, uh, we got about a hundred and twenty-five, thirty regular paying members, you know, with this increase in... Well, I guess we’ve got about 200 now, something like that -- (inaudible) about 200. We got a good Sunday school class. We’ve got about 30 in our Sunday -- I mean, bible class -- about 30. But we, we are still talking about building a new church. I tell them what we need to do is build another wing over there, where the education 50:00building is. Build another wing on this side, and that would balance the church. But they don’t see it my way. They want to build a new one. (laughter) I tell them, it’s the wrong time to build a new church now. It’s, it’s -- things don’t look too good. (laughs) But if they want to, I’ll, I’ll help them. But it’s gonna be a -- kind of a struggle, I believe, right now, to build a new church --


FRIDAY: -- ’cause we’ve got about, about a hundred -- about $100,000 in savings. But that’s -- uh, that won’t go nowhere when you build a new church. (laughs) Yeah, it’s everything. We’ve got a basement in that church there. I told them what we need to do is fill that church basement up with dirt, because it’s leaking. We had to put two pumps in there. And then build another wing on this side, like go down this way. And we own from on down 51:00here down to that brick house [there?]. We bought that lot right there, going on down to that brick house. All that down in there -- we bought that. I think we paid $5,000 for that lot there. But it’s -- we finally got it paid for, (inaudible) and paid for it. Now that mill down there, all those people that worked down there, they are dead. There used to be a (inaudible) steam engine, you know, just like Modena Mill. But all them people is dead. And the ones -- the young ones, they don’t know nothing about it. I know about it, though. (laughter) I’ll be -- I’ll be 80 my next birthday. March the 5th, 1913, is when I was born. So I’ve been around. (laughter)

RICHARD GREER: What did you do at the mill, when you first started working?

FRIDAY: Well, you know, we -- all the blacks know they’d get you going in the mill, being in the (inaudible) machine, we’d [bale waste?] and open cotton, 52:00and weigh cotton, and roll in coal. (laughs)


FRIDAY: That’s what we did. We learned that all -- the whole time. And, uh, the only people that worked -- black people who worked in the mill then was two women, and they done the scrubbing the floors. Everybody chewed tobacco, and they’d just spit on the floor. (laughter) And they -- that was their job, of scrubbing the mill floors. And, uh, all them people are dead and gone that used to do that. Those two black women, they’d come in every morning and get their scrub bucket and a mop, and go up and down the -- those aisles, with the cleaning (inaudible) and mop. That was their job. These ladies (inaudible) 25, 30 years till they died. Uh, they never did. Now, they got blacks working in the spinning room around now. In fact, my son’s an overseer up at the Thread, Thread Mill.



FRIDAY: He’s over the winding department. He’s the overseer up there. He’s 40 years (inaudible) -- 40, somewhere around there.

GREER: When did you start? What was your first year at the mill?

FRIDAY: I started -- let’s see, it was, uh, 1929, somewhere along in there. I can’t remember. I’d have to look it up, but I know it was way back there, I know. (laughter) Where I lived, uh, we’d walk from there up to the mill. I used to walk from my house over here to church every Sunday. That’s right. Didn’t have no cars, and, and few people had that old T-Model or A-Model Fords, and the mailman used to come down through their driving a horse and buggy, down from uptown, from the post office down through (inaudible). That was a dirt road. Yeah, (inaudible) I remember all those old days. I don’t want to see them no more. (laughter) I think about them but I don’t want to see them.


GEORGE STONEY: Why did you think there weren’t any black people in the mills except in those jobs?

FRIDAY: Well, everything was segregated then, you know? Yeah, then, then you, you couldn’t -- there you couldn’t go in the mill and drink water out of those coolers. W-- they had a well, and we’d go -- had to go out there to the well and take a cup and get us some water out of the well. (laughs) They had (inaudible). And they had inside toilets in the mill, and we had outhouses. (laughs) Yeah, and they -- what they did is, they had a, a mule. And those fellows would have to turn those houses over and take big old buckets and [dip?] that out and go in the (inaudible) and then set the house back up. (laughs) I helped to do that, too. When we got caught up in the mill, uh, baling waste and opening up cotton, that’s what we had to do. We had to go and do that, yeah. 55:00Yeah, then -- and actually I went in the Navy. I could have got out of it, but I told my wife I, I could make mon-- a little bit of money, and then she would get a check. My wife was, uh, six-months pregnant, pregnant with my son who’s working in the mill now. And I told her I was gonna go ahead on in there, and she said, “OK, we, we might get a start if you go in the service.” You know, she’s getting a check and I was getting paid twice a month. And, um, I stayed in there till, till the war was over. I was stationed out at Mare Island, California. And I was out there when that Port Chicago blew up. They said it was 300-and-some people that died, but it was 400, ’cause, uh, the lieutenant that was over, over our company -- he was a white guy from New York, 56:00(inaudible) from Los Angeles. He told us [that they done told?] a story. And (inaudible) of those guys (inaudible) were black, that, that handled that ammunition. Uh, they had, uh, two lieutenants -- they were white -- was over all of them. There was 400 people worked there. And all of them got killed. And I was 18 miles away, and the glass fell out of our barracks. A little town they called (inaudible), the showcases -- all the windows fell out, and them sailors would go up at night. They just went in there and (inaudible) pockets full of watches, three- and four-hundred-dollar watches, and anything they wanted. Next day, you could get anything you want for 10, 15, or 20 dollars. And them boys -- see, California, at that time, was an open city. They had gambling places everywhere. They’d go up there and play blackjack, you know, and gambling. And they’d buy liquor. Man, they had the (inaudible). 57:00(laughs) But I never did -- was wild when I was in the service. I’d go to church, yeah. You know, they had a mass, you know, on the base. I’d go to that church every Sunday. I never did. I’d (inaudible) a lot, and they had a recreation hall over there where you could shoot pool. (inaudible) reel and rod (inaudible) have to walk about 50 feet and fish in the bay. I love to fish. I’m wanting to play golf tomorrow, but get caught up with a -- uh, I don’t know whether I’ll get caught up or not. I think I’ll just go ahead and play some golf tomorrow, but I haven’t played none. I want to -- I want to get out there. I can hit that golf ball.

GREER: I’d appreciate it if you’d tell us again about, uh, how you got your trucks -- what you did.

FRIDAY: Well, when I got out of the service, they had servicemen that was in the service -- they had a b-- up there at Greensboro, they had 500 trucks up there. Some of them were brand new, dump trucks and flatbed trucks, four-by-fours, 58:00four-wheel-drive. So you, you go to a VA and they give you a, a paper to go up there and, and buy what you want. And them trucks (inaudible) for $400 apiece. So that’s how I got started in the construction business. And I sent two, two of my oldest daughters -- went to college while I was in that business. And, uh, then I bought a new truck -- a regular truck. Wasn’t no Army truck. And, uh, I went to the bank and a friend of ours -- we used to farm for him. He was the president. I said I wanted to buy a new truck. I told him I didn’t have no money. He said, “Oh, you don’t have to have no money.” He said, “You’re a good darkie.” We used to farm for him. And he -- you know, he went and let me have that -- that truck cost $2,300. It was a Chevrolet dump truck. And I paid that money back. The -- all I did was just sign, uh, for 59:00it, and I paid the money back for the (inaudible). And I owe -- I put in septic, changed the landscape, laid brick, laid [block]. I’ve done a little bit of everything, tried to make it un-- until I retired. And then after I retired, I’d do odd jobs like cutting grass and all. There are two churches I keep up, and, uh, that was out there when I got my back messed up. I got a -- I took my brace off before I come over here because it’s too hot. You sweat a lot with that brace on, but, but (inaudible) with them (inaudible) 16-inch (inaudible). Them, them, uh, big old battleships couldn’t come up in that bay.


FRIDAY: They’d load them things on a barge and float them down there, and load them big battleships. And then they’d head back out to the Pacific Ocean. Well, that’s when I got hurt. The [end gate?] fell out of one of those what’s called (inaudible). And me and them things down that mountain. And 60:00[if?] one of them things had rolled over me, I wouldn’t be here. (laughter) But that’s when I got my back hurt. Uh, you know the, uh -- the lieutenant told them to put that on my record and they didn’t do it?


FRIDAY: And I fought with it, and I kept running back and forth to the VA hospital in Salisbury, and [Durham?], and Winston-Salem. I [wore them to death?]. They said, “Well, we -- it’s not on your record, but we gonna fix it so it’ll be a non-service (inaudible).” So that’s why I said -- I said, “Well, give me something.” So they give me $124 a month, as long as I live. Well, that’s better than nothing.


FRIDAY: That goes a long way with my Social Security.


FRIDAY: Goes a long way. But (inaudible). I laid up in the hospital after --


FRIDAY: -- (inaudible) to call me out. I didn’t know nothing. I didn’t -- it, it knocked me out when I hit (inaudible).



FRIDAY: And then it was another boy -- black boy... They had a, a barge. Well, we, we -- it wasn’t a barge, it was a boat. They’d float a [GSOL?] on that island every morning. And this black guy, he was the one that would tie the boat up, you know? He would -- that was his job. He’s (inaudible). And so, he come in one night (inaudible), he fell off the boat and he got drowneded.


FRIDAY: But when they found him, the crabs had -- somebody had hit him in the head, and the crabs had finished it -- made the hole bigger, ate his brains out.


FRIDAY: But he was -- somebody killed that boy. He was the only black working on that boat. (shouting in the distance) That’s a drug den down there.


FRIDAY: I’m [gonna?] tell you the truth. We’re gonna have the [fanciest play yard?] (inaudible). They come up through there and throw liquor bottles all over --


FRIDAY: -- over there.

JUDITH HELFAND: How long have you been taking care of the, the gravestones?


FRIDAY: Oh, I’ve been cutting this graveyard, uh, 15 to 20 years, mm-hmm. Um, my grandson helps me a lot, but he’s playing football. And he said he couldn’t help me today. I got two riding mowers and one push mower, but the other riding mower is in the shop. But that there one is -- the throttle on it is not working right. It wants to choke out. But I -- that guy is (inaudible) down there. They’re [liable to?] start shooting down there. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, you were telling us something about your father?

FRIDAY: My dad worked on the railroad, oh, I don’t know how many years. I showed you that picture.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, mm-hmm.

FRIDAY: And, um, this train had a wreck. (laughs) And they -- and they had a, a boxcar plum full of Brown’s Mules tobacco tags. You know, you could sell them.



FRIDAY: So he took his lunch pail and got his lunch pail full of them tobacco tags, and went to the grocery store and got a week’s supply of groceries with them tobacco tags. (laughter) That’s right. And that was how (inaudible). You see, every time you -- they -- people chewed a lot of Brown’s Mule, you know? And, and I know you’ve seen those tags.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm, yeah.

FRIDAY: And, uh, they -- we used to [puff?] them -- blow them over and (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, that’s right. (laughter)

FRIDAY: Yeah, that... Yeah, and then he -- they wanted him to, uh, go to Salisbury, up to the main place where the trains turn around.


FRIDAY: My mother (inaudible) didn’t want him to go because he’d be there by himself. And we could have road the train anywhere we wanted to free, but --


FRIDAY: -- he, he, he wouldn’t take it.


FRIDAY: He said he’d rather stay at home.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, what [did?] your mother do?

FRIDAY: Oh, she just, uh, took in laundry, you know? Go up to the mill village and get laundry and all, and bring it back up there to Modena Mill. And we’d draw water and pour it in the tub, and she’d wash them clothes and (inaudible) in an old wash pot, take them back, (inaudible). (shouting in the distance) He’d make (inaudible) [for the house?]. Yeah, that’s all -- that’s all 64:00she ever done, done work like that.

GEORGE STONEY: That -- uh --

HELFAND: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible). We were over talking with Ernest Moore and his wife, and he was remembering, uh, how she used to help them with their children.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: You remember that?

FRIDAY: Moore? Moore?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Ernest and Ruby Moore. They, they lived in the mill village.


GEORGE STONEY: Uh, G-- Grove, that’s right.

HELFAND: They lived in the Grove village.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm. Well, I probably know them, but I, I can’t remember. (shouting in the distance)

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

HELFAND: Yeah, and they said that, um, Sunday night, somebody would drive your mama over to their house, and they’d drop her there for a week, and then she’d stay for the whole week. And she’d cook and take --

FRIDAY: Oh, yeah, yeah. I, I remember. Those were white people.


FRIDAY: Yeah, yeah, I remember that. I was thinking about some black people.


FRIDAY: Yeah, that’s what my mother did. She used to, uh, take care of some kids for people. She’d go to their house and, uh, do a lot of cooking for 65:00them. And that was a -- some -- most times she’d walk over there. Yeah, most of the time. Yeah, them Moores. I remember them. But I -- uh, since you started talking about it, it come back to me. Yeah.

HELFAND: Yeah, it seems like that was in the 1930s, that she was working for them.

FRIDAY: Yeah, mm-hmm.

HELFAND: So you were already grown up?

FRIDAY: Yeah, I was -- I was a grownup then, because I married in 1937. And, uh, that was -- well, that was before then, somewhat, sometime be-- before then.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, mm-hmm, yeah.

FRIDAY: (shouting in the distance) And, uh --

GEORGE STONEY: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

FRIDAY: -- I guess it --

GEORGE STONEY: Let’s just stop, just a moment.

(break in audio)

FRIDAY: (inaudible).


FRIDAY: If you buy two, you’ll get one extra.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. (laughter)

FRIDAY: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: How much would it help if we turned around, so, get the mic (inaudible) and we’re pointing away.

(break in audio)


GEORGE STONEY: Uh, Mr. Friday, we have here a letter that was written by a fellow you may remember from your mill -- 66:00[M.C Suttle?]. He’s a white fellow.


GEORGE STONEY: He wrote it in, uh -- July the 28th, 1933. And he’s protesting against the kind of pay he’s getting at the Modena Mill, he said.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, because he encloses his pay envelope for 11.73, uh, for 40 hours work. This is after the, uh -- the -- Roosevelt got in and the NRA. And he said just, uh, according to the rules he should have gotten 12.42.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And then he goes on to say that now we’re cut down to $9.52.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And the thing that surprises me is that he’s writing this and signing his name.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, that took a lot of courage.

FRIDAY: Oh, yeah. (laughs) Back then it did.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, what would have happened if a black man had written like that?


FRIDAY: Lord knows. They -- he lost his job. That’s one thing. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Well now, it was things like this that kept frustrating --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- people working in your mill. And finally they organized a union and went on strike.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember the union coming in?

FRIDAY: I don’t remember the Modena wh-- about -- I don’t know -- remember that one. But I remember when they one at, uh, Firestone. They called it Loray back then.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

FRIDAY: I remember that, because that’s when the policeman got killed.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. That was ’29.


GEORGE STONEY: So that was a number of years before this --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- thing. This was in ’34.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: They made a v-- had another big strike.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm. I don’t remember whether Modena had a strike or not.


FRIDAY: I can’t remember that.

GEORGE STONEY: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

FRIDAY: So we, we was on a -- you know, down, down in the warehouse. We didn’t know what was going on. They might have had a strike and we didn’t 68:00know it.

GEORGE STONEY: Did they ever talk to you about being in a union?

FRIDAY: No. (laughs) They wouldn’t -- (inaudible) we couldn’t get in it. No, not then, uh-uh. No, (inaudible), we couldn’t join nothing back in them, them days. (laughs) Uh, no, sir. We was good to have a -- done good to have a job. (inaudible) [farming on the side?], too, you know, down (inaudible). And that was rough, but we made it, yeah.

HELFAND: Maybe he could tell us a little bit about when they went on -- his experience when they went on --


HELFAND: -- 8 hours, and we could compare it to [Bruce?]’s.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember when you were working with 12 -- 11, 12 hours, and then you s-- then, when the -- Roosevelt came in, you went on 8 hours. Do you remember that?

FRIDAY: I remember the [meal?], but I think we worked from 6:00 to 6:00, right on. Because it was a -- let’s see, it was one -- there [was?] four of us and 69:00we, we, we had to work 12 hours a day. We was getting $7 and something a week. I remember that. But, see, my daddy run that engine, on the third shift. He’d go to work at, uh, let’s see -- one would go to work at 6:00 in the morning and worked to 2:00, and one would go on at 2:00 and work to 10:00, and my dad would go on at 10:00 and work till the next morning. (inaudible) putting in 8 hours. But I don’t (inaudible) outside they -- we just worked from can’t to can’t -- when you can’t see the sun rise and can’t see it set. (laughter) That’s right. Yeah, (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: But your dad was running a -- the, uh --

FRIDAY: Engine.

GEORGE STONEY: Tell me about that. What was that like?

FRIDAY: Well, it was an engine just like a train. Uh, had a big old wheel like that on --



FRIDAY: -- what you call a Johnson bar. And we’d get each boiler [kit?] 140 pounds of steam on each boiler. And it just -- 44 wheelbarrows of coal in the evening and 44 wheelbarrows of coal in, uh -- at morning. You keep that thing going. And that wheel never did stop, till on Sunday, you stop, cleaned it up, oiled it up. Yeah. That thing -- it was a long time before they (inaudible) on electricity. They -- uh, they sold that engine to somebody. Somebody -- some big company bought it. I don’t know who bought that thing, to use it on a sawmill somewhere.


FRIDAY: But that was the -- then the locomotives started to coming in then, you know? Diesel and things, for that -- afterwards, so you don’t see no more trains running like this no more, (laughter) with that big old -- what did they call it? Johnson bar on there.



FRIDAY: You don’t see that no more. Yeah. Them was some good old days. Well, I mean, you, you, you -- people didn’t fight and shoot and kill each other back in those days. But they, they l-- had plenty to eat, you know? Only thing we would con-- would -- uh, had trouble with was the Klansmen. The Klansmen were pretty bad back in them days. They’d catch you out at night -- at a certain time in the night, they’d beat you, yeah. (inaudible) I never did go nowhere at night, though. My mother never (inaudible) -- told us not to go nowhere. We’d never go nowhere. We’d just go to church and back, (laughter) and go to work and back. That’s right. Yes, sir.

GEORGE STONEY: I didn’t know there was bad Klan around here.

FRIDAY: Yeah, um, you know what? I suppose (inaudible) -- did you come that way? (inaudible). That -- all that was farmers down in there. It was -- it 72:00was a white girl was going with a black man. And they would meet down in the bottoms, you know, and they... And somebody caught them, and she hollered rape to clear herself. And they got some corn silk, you know, and carried it up to the courthouse and told them, yeah, there -- he has her hair, and all that. It was corn silk. At least, we done heard it was -- or some of the [goodwives?] (inaudible) we were -- told us about it. Well, you know the Klansmen went up there to that jailhouse and took that man out and tied his feet behind the two fast horses, and drug him right past our house down there, and hung him down at that creek. And that tree stayed there. It was a big old tree, that big around. And, uh, it stayed there for years till it fell. The Klansmen were bad.


FRIDAY: But I was -- I was little (inaudible). But that’s (inaudible) -- the Klan was bad.


GEORGE STONEY: How did your father protect himself?

FRIDAY: Well, see, he worked on a farm, wi-- and the man that we -- he worked for was the president of the bank. And didn’t nobody bother his niggers. That’s what they said, back then they said, “You don’t bother my nigger.” That’s the way -- that’s the way they treated you. Say, “He’s -- that’s a good nigger there. You don’t be bothering him.” That -- so, my dad, he (laughs) didn’t have nothing to worry about, as long as he was a -- you know, working for, for, for the man. Yeah, he, he was doing all right.

GREER: Would it -- so, would it have been dangerous for you to associate with union people, not only because...?

FRIDAY: Oh, yeah, yeah. You, you couldn’t -- you didn’t be talking to them (inaudible). Because, see, we were working cheaper than they were, and they, they know if we talked to them, they’d talk us into joining the union, they’d have to pay us the same thing. (inaudible) that’s what was 74:00happening, what was going on.

GREER: And if your -- if your daddy would have talked to them, he would have lost the protection?


GREER: Yeah?

FRIDAY: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, you -- they had it all cut and dried there. You didn’t, uh, mess around with them people. Yeah.

GREER: How has it changed?

FRIDAY: Oh, it’s changed as much as night and day. It’s changed, but it’s still, uh... Now you can -- you can go to college, right now, and go and apply for a (inaudible), and they’ll interview you. And they’ll tell you, you are -- you’re overqualified. Now, that don’t make sense. (laughter) Now that’s what’s going on right now. And, uh -- and then they give it to somebody that don’t have a college education, (inaudible) or something like that.


FRIDAY: And they say, “Oh, you’re overqualified. You can’t get it.” Now, that’s the way they do blacks now. Now, in the schools now, they don’t 75:00do that. But just like you want to go and get a job at a machine shop, you know, then went to school -- master mechanic, you know, or something (inaudible). And now they say you’re overqualified.


FRIDAY: That’s the way they did it then, but now my oldest son, he’s a master mechanic, works for Westinghouse over there at Charlotte where they make [your?] parts for nuclear plants. And, um, he makes $55,000 a year. Drives a Cadillac. (laughter) And, uh, he -- and then, uh, my, my, my nephew, he’s a production manager. He majored in business, and he can figure... He can walk down through that big plant and tell them guys how long it will take them to make a part. And they don’t like him because he knows what he’s doing. (laughter) Now he, he [was?] about, about 40 years old, is my wife’s brother. 76:00Yeah. Well, now, he knows what he’s doing there.

GEORGE STONEY: And your daughter?

FRIDAY: Oh, she works in Brooklyn. She can retire next year. She’s over the Social Service department in Brooklyn. Now, she makes $55,000 a year, works for the government. Now, she’s gonna retire next year, I think. She come down and stayed two weeks. Said she’s gonna retire because she don’t like New York. But that’s -- you know, she likes the money, but not New York. (laughter) She bought a, a, a -- what do you call them? A condo, whatever it is, but you just buy (inaudible), you know?


FRIDAY: And she says she’s gonna sell it and move back south. She lives up there in Brooklyn. And she don’t have but one child, and he’s married. He finished, uh, Winston-Salem College, and, uh, he couldn’t get no job, so he 77:00got a job -- he’s a fireman now. He done built them a new house and got one little girl, two years old. She had a birthday the 14th of -- last week.


FRIDAY: She’s a sweet little thing. (laughter) They got her [spoiled?]. And his wife, she, uh, works in an office. And then she goes to nursing school at night. She’s gonna go to take up nursing. She’ll make more money than in that office.


FRIDAY: They’re smart. Their girl, she is -- she (inaudible). You (inaudible) selling dr-- drugs and all that kind of (inaudible). That don’t make -- I don’t see it myself. What they’re doing, they kill my (inaudible) -- over in Charlotte. I wouldn’t live in Charlotte two minutes.


FRIDAY: (inaudible).


FRIDAY: You know?

HELFAND: You know, it -- it’s --

(break in audio)

FRIDAY: (laughs) That -- that’s my brother-in-law.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughs) [Bruce Graham?].

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.


FRIDAY: He and I married sisters.



FRIDAY: Now I started his house, and now I built me one. (laughter) I mean, he [hired?] -- his brother laid this stone, but I laid my own. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Well now, uh, we got to him because he wrote this letter to Washington, January the 5th, 1934.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: It says the Eagle Yarn Mill, Bruce Graham, Route 3, Gastonia. “I’m an inside employee. I’m required to work more than 40 hours a week, operate, uh, three machines, a waste feeder.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: “Waste beater, an opener, and I’m paid less than 30 cents an hour for work.

FRIDAY: That’s right.

GEORGE STONEY: “My employer owes me extra compensation from July the 17th 1933, up to the present date,” which was January the 5th, 1934.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.


HELFAND: One second, George. (loud engine sounds)

JAMIE STONEY: Mr. [Graham?], I’m gonna ask you to slide your hat back just a bit --

FRIDAY: Yeah, um --

JAMIE STONEY: -- so I can see your face a little more.

GEORGE STONEY: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


HELFAND: (inaudible), go away. Go away.

GREER: It’s lunch hour.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, the thing that’s -- we showed this at -- and we saw he signed his name, you see?

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: It says, um, uh, “May we use your name --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: “-- if necessary?” And he says yes.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: That took a l-- (laughs) a lot of guts at that time.

FRIDAY: Yeah, yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: And we showed this to some people from the [Eagle?], and they recognized him.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And then we called him up on the phone.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Found him in the phone book.


GEORGE STONEY: And went out there and did an interview with him. And that just shows you that, uh --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- way, uh, there, uh, one fellow had, uh -- had the courage to 80:00do that.

FRIDAY: Oh, yeah.

HELFAND: What do you think about him writing a letter?

FRIDAY: Well now, he, he, he never would hold his, his tongue. He -- he’d tell it like it was. He didn’t care, ’cause he [didn’t?] -- they owned 90 acres of land down there, and they (inaudible) make -- the made their living on that farm. They made molasses and raised hogs and everything. So they was mostly independent. And they’d sell their produce and get money. They was independent. But he still worked at the mill, yeah.

HELFAND: How did he get a job with machines if most blacks were working on the outside?

FRIDAY: Well, at that time, he was connected to the man that owned the mill. The Stowes --


FRIDAY: -- they owned the mill. And he was -- he was a -- that was their nigger. That’s what they called them back then.


FRIDAY: If you was a good nigger, they’d, they’d give you a good job. Now, I -- I’m telling you like it is.



FRIDAY: But now, if you wasn’t no good, (laughs) they wouldn’t fool with you.


FRIDAY: So if you wouldn’t (inaudible) work, or (inaudible) shovel sometimes, and they had to go and get you out of jail for being drunk, (inaudible) let you go. But Bruce, he never did get nobody in trouble. He [stayed a?] churchgoing man just like I am. He’s an old-time (inaudible). He’s in his eighties, and his wife’s in [his?] eighties. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, he just -- he just had to sell his mule. (laughs)

FRIDAY: He -- I told you about [them mules?]. I --

GEORGE STONEY: No you didn’t. No...

FRIDAY: You know, he bought that mule, and the mule was too fast for him.


FRIDAY: And his wife told him. She said, “Now, you don’t need that mule.” Said, uh, (inaudible) just had farming in his blood.


FRIDAY: He was born with (inaudible). I said, “Now what you need to do is, uh, kill that mule and have a barbecue, (laughter) and invite all the people (inaudible).” (laughter) I said, you know, we eat horsemeat in -- and -- 82:00well, well, it wasn’t no mule. We’d eat horsemeat in the Navy. And we had horsemeat every Thursday.


FRIDAY: Every Th-- that’s the [prettiest?] meat you ever saw. It’s red and it’s stringy. It’s -- (inaudible). It’s kind of tough. I never could get used to eating that stuff.

GEORGE STONEY: How did you know you didn’t get mule meat?

FRIDAY: Well, well, I didn’t know, (laughter) but they said it was horsemeat.


FRIDAY: So, uh, they would bring, uh, uh -- up there, out West, there wasn’t nothing but horsemeat. You didn’t see no mules. (laughter)

HELFAND: So there were some black workers who, at the time that this union was organizing, they themselves decided to write to Washington or --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm, yeah.

HELFAND: Did you know that, at the time?

FRIDAY: No, I didn’t know that at the time. Bruce is the only one that I know of.

JAMIE STONEY: You knew he had written a letter?

FRIDAY: No, I didn’t know it until he, he told me -- showed me what...

JAMIE STONEY: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


FRIDAY: I didn’t know it. But, see, he got by, ’cause he, he was working for the man that owned the mill.


FRIDAY: And he -- so he done a lot of work up at his house -- cut grass, cleaned up around the house. Yeah.

HELFAND: Do you think Mr. Stowe knew that he wrote this letter?

FRIDAY: I don’t know. He wouldn’t have said nothing. No way. He wouldn’t say nothing. His boss man might have said something. You know, the guy that’s over him. But, see, uh, Mr. Stowe, he never would come down to the mill. He didn’t -- he didn’t know what was going on. But if he had have, he would have -- he would have approved it [though?]. That was his nigger. (laughs)


FRIDAY: That’s right. That’s, that’s, that’s the way they (inaudible) people then. If you were good, they’d go uptown and, and, uh (inaudible), “My nigger -- I got the best nigger around here,” all that kind of stuff. 84:00Yeah. Some of them would call you a darkie. All that kind of stuff. But I got used to it. People are -- you know, when we come up there, we, we -- it just went in one ear and out the other. We didn’t pay no attention. We thought that was the [way of life?]. (laughs) That’s right.


FRIDAY: Because, see, uh, our foreparents, you know, went through it, and we went through it too.

GREER: Even though you weren’t, um -- you, you, you couldn’t even get close to the union, do you f-- did you have a feeling, one way or another, towards it at the time? Did it...?

FRIDAY: No, I’ll tell you. Uh, I know that -- I mean, I didn’t know what was going on. In fact, I didn’t know what was going on. But, uh, wouldn’t none of the blacks -- they wouldn’t have joined it. No way. They wouldn’t have joined it, ’cause they was outnumbered, you know? And the Klansmen was in that union too. So you’d better not mess with that. We understood that. We knowed what was going on. We knowed -- we knew what we could do and what we couldn’t do. And that’s the way it was. And, uh, there was a guy who stole 85:00a chicken. A white guy stole a chicken, and, uh, a man had him arrested. Called the police. Police beat him up so, they knocked one of his eyes out, (inaudible) for stealing a chicken. And, uh, that guy didn’t (inaudible) -- a, a [cancer formed in?] (inaudible) of his eye, and he died. Wasn’t nothing done about that. Now, I know about that. But (inaudible) said -- well, we couldn’t say nothing. We couldn’t say nothing about it, or (laughs) they’d be hitting us upside the head.


HELFAND: So, if you weren’t being treated right on your job, what did you do?

FRIDAY: You’d just take it. Now, Bruce was the only one that stuck his neck out. The reason he stuck his neck out -- he was working for the man that owned the mill. And you didn’t bother his nigger. (laughs) I’m gonna tell you the way -- that --



FRIDAY: -- that’s, that’s what they would call you. Yeah, “You don’t bother my nigger.”

GREER: Has anybody ever come and talked to you about this before -- before Mr. Stoney and...?

FRIDAY: Uh-uh, no.

GREER: Had you -- over the years, had you ever thought about working in the mill and...?

FRIDAY: I thought about how, how far I, I come. [You know?], I just, I just made, made my own [self?], you know?

GREER: Just --

FRIDAY: Uh, come up and made my own [self?], ’cause, see, I said I could -- I can make my way.

GEORGE STONEY: (whispering) He just -- his eye direction is better over here.

FRIDAY: You know, by doing what’s right and working hard, and saving my money. I, I figured, heck, I could make my own -- make me some, [because?] there ain’t nobody gonna give you nothing. Uh, they didn’t know nothing about no food stamps back then. And, uh, (inaudible) somebody get sick, well, the church would [carry?] them food or go and cut their wood for them.


GEORGE STONEY: (whispering) Ask him about opening up the cotton bales (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

FRIDAY: Things like that. There wasn’t no welfare back then. Then, when, uh -- during the Depression there. Who was that? Hoover?

HELFAND: Roosevelt?

FRIDAY: No, it was Hoover, back during the --

GEORGE STONEY: Hoover, Hoover.


GEORGE STONEY: It was Coolidge and then Hoover.

FRIDAY: Yeah, yeah. Well, that, uh -- it’s time -- things got so bad they put up CC camps. And all -- everybody that didn’t have a job, you could go to that CC camp and work, and you’d sleep and work there, and they’d feed you. But [they’d work?] -- you’d set out trees or work on the highway.


FRIDAY: And then, uh, that’s where, uh, food stamps come in, after that.

GREER: Did, uh -- did you vote for Roosevelt?

FRIDAY: Oh, yeah, I’m a Democrat. (laughter) I’m a (inaudible) tell you like it is. I’m a Democrat. They say -- they say y’all -- say the blacks all are voting Republicans, because they’re the ones that freed you. I say they might have fr-- they might have freed us, but I say the Democrats got a 88:00better program than the Republicans. They -- that’s all they did. They just freed us. I say they didn’t free us. The lord saw fit for us to be free, ’cause they didn’t do nothing. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: When did you first vote?

FRIDAY: Let me see. The first time I went to vote was right up there at that stoplight. There was a school there, uh, which, which -- we got a big plant right across. We tore the school down. And they got a, a filling station right there. But they said we could vote, so I went up there to vote. And they had a big string of [hard?] people out there, and they asked me where was I going. I said (inaudible), “They said we can vote.” They said, “Well, we didn’t say you could vote.” So I turned around and went on back home. And that was back there during the hard times. Now, they -- you couldn’t -- they 89:00wouldn’t let you vote.

GEORGE STONEY: Was that before you went into the Ar-- uh, the Navy, or after?

FRIDAY: That was before. That was -- I wasn’t even married then.

GEORGE STONEY: When you went up to vote the first time?

FRIDAY: Yeah, yeah, I wasn’t even married. That was in the ’20s, somewhere around ’28 or somewhere [along in there?]. Yeah, it was way back there.

GEORGE STONEY: So when did, uh, the -- uh, the, the -- was your first time when you could actually go in and drop your ballot?

FRIDAY: I believe Roosevelt was in, I believe. I’m, I’m not for sure. I believe Roosevelt was the president. Yeah. I think that was... So, that’s when the blacks really got a break, when he got in there.

GEORGE STONEY: W-- during the ’60s, when there was a lot of movement to change things, and a lot of people were coming through this country and the churches got involved, were you -- you remember all about that?


FRIDAY: Mm-hmm. Yeah. But we never did get involved in it. We s-- we stayed home, ’cause we -- you know, we -- well, where we lived, weren’t but two black people there. And that was [old home?] place, (inaudible) hadn’t built then. Uh, it was just one house down there then. And the way we -- my mother got that land, my, my grandmother -- she was, uh, half Indian. And she had a cow that would give five gallons of milk a day: (laughter) two and a half gallons in the morning, and two and a half gallons in the evening. And, um, they told my mother -- my grandmother that they’d give her a acre of land for that cow. And that’s how we got that land. And then my dad bought, uh, some more, that was in the back, back there. The whites didn’t want it, so the man 91:00(inaudible) -- owner of Modena Mill, where my dad worked -- he bought the land and then put it in my dad’s name. [And now?] that’s how he got that land. My dad paid him $7 a week.


FRIDAY: They paid him back. He’d take it out of his paycheck. So it -- it’s three and three quarter acres in there. Used to be just one, one acre. And that’s how he -- how he got it.

HELFAND: Can you tell Richard -- tell all of us about how you first started in the mills? How old you were, what it was like, your (inaudible)?

FRIDAY: I was 13 years old, and, um, my, my brother and I, and my cousins -- there was four of us. Our job was to weigh cotton. The foreman would put the scale -- and he’d write down the weight -- the weights of the cotton. And that cotton -- the Egyptian cotton weighed 1,300 pounds to a bale. And I was 13 92:00years old. And I took -- (inaudible). But it was, uh -- I had to learn to balance the -- you know, (inaudible). But when I first started, I was [carrying?] it, you know, with, with the hand way down here. And I was carrying the cotton instead of rolling it. And then, uh, (inaudible) the average cotton -- just regular cotton, it didn’t weight but four and five hundred pounds to a bale. That was easy. But that Egyptian cotton that come in there -- they ship it from overseas. Um, that stuff was heavy. I mean, it was heavy. [It’s a wonder if?] my back ain’t in worser shape than it is now. (laughter) But I, uh, toughed it out. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Did you ever get a chance to, to go work inside the mill?


FRIDAY: No. Uh-uh, no, out of all them years. We worked down there in the -- in the boiler room and the warehouse, baling waste and opening cotton and weighing cotton. That was the closest that we ever got. Now the reason my dad and my uncle and my cousin run that engine -- I don’t know why. They never would have h-- never would have seen a white man running them engines. They had that -- them engines shining like a gold dollar.

GEORGE STONEY: (plane overhead) Yeah, hold it just a moment. We want to get the plane.

(break in audio)

GEORGE STONEY: -- [then?] again, talked about, uh, when you were starting working in the mills, and what did you do?

FRIDAY: Well, we just rolled 40 wheelbarrows of coal in the mill in the evening and 40 wheelbarrows of coal in the morning. Then we’d go to the warehouse and weigh cotton. And then the waste would come out. We’d bale the waste out, and then the day was through. We’d come back the next morning, six o'clock, 94:00and do the same thing over and over. That was our job.

GEORGE STONEY: How many hours, and how much did you get paid?

FRIDAY: We worked from 6:00 to 6:00, and, uh, we was getting $7 and something a week. And, uh, you notice they would, uh -- that one fellow was getting 12 or 14 dollars. But he was white, I think. He was a white guy. But we weren’t ma-- we weren’t getting but $7 and something a week.

HELFAND: Did you get to take your pay home yourself, or did they give it to your daddy? How did they pay you?

FRIDAY: They would give me my pay all up. And, uh, when I’d get home I’d give it to my dad. And my dad would give me a dollar. And then he would take -- he would take, uh -- take that money and put it up. I’d take that dollar 95:00and, and buy my clothes, shoes, and everything. Now, he bought the groceries. But when I become twe-- become 21 years old, I paid board. He come and told me -- he said, “You’re 20, 21 years old now. You’re a man.” And I paid board then. I got all of my money, but he told me how much I had to pay for board -- room and board. (laughter) That’s right. That’s right.

F: How much did he charge you?

FRIDAY: Uh, see, I was making 7, $7 a week at that time -- 7, uh, $7 and some cents. I think he would, uh -- he was charging me half of what I made ’cause, see, he was paying for that land -- that other land that he bought from the man that owned the mill. He was paying for that. So, uh, he was the only one bringing a paycheck -- me and my brother. So, um, (inaudible) buying groceries (inaudible). That, that money was gone, so if we hadn’t have paid him board, 96:00it would -- he’d have been in -- having a hard (inaudible). Yeah.

HELFAND: You know --

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, wait, there’s gonna be a plane again (inaudible).

HELFAND: OK. (plane overhead)

(break in audio)

GREER: [They’re?] equal opportunity [insects?]. (laughter)



GREER: So if the mosquitoes don’t bite you, tell me a way I can figure out where they won’t bite me.

HELFAND: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah. OK. You, you told us -- you told us what you made and what your daddy made. So, uh, uh, what did your mother make for looking after the white people?

HELFAND: Um, one second. I can s--

FRIDAY: Three dollars a w--


HELFAND: It’s still loud.

GREER: It’s another jet.


FRIDAY: She’d make $3 a week. And then, she did her laundry, you know? She’d get 50 cents a family for... We’d walk up there and bring her (inaudible) clothes back and she’d wash them and iron them, and then she’d get 50 cents. And there would be five or six in the family, and that’s a lot of clothes for 50 cents. She had a --



FRIDAY: -- (inaudible). You know, you set [them all?] by the fire and heat them, you know? Irons. We didn’t -- we didn’t have no electricity. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Did you deliver those clothes and pick them up?

FRIDAY: Yeah, yeah, that was my job. See, when we’d leave the mill, we’d go through the village and bring -- get your -- pick up the clothes. (car passing) And then we’d --

GEORGE STONEY: I’m sorry. We, [we could use a?]...

FRIDAY: When --

HELFAND: Could you say that again? There was a car going by. I’ll tell you when. Uh... (laughs)

FRIDAY: Yeah, whenever, uh, we’d pick, uh, the laundry up in, uh -- on, on the way from, from work. And then, um, maybe take her two days to get them ready, and then we’d -- on w-- on the way back to work, we’d deliver, get that 50 cents, and bring it back, and give it to Mama. Yeah, yeah, but she would use that money and make it go a long way, [that’s for sure?]. (laughter)

GREER: She used to boil the clothes?


GREER: Big iron pot?

FRIDAY: Yeah, old -- a big old iron pot. Yeah.


HELFAND: Could you t-- could you tell us about the mill village? You know, as you were walking through, what your perception of, of the -- of the mill village was.

FRIDAY: Well, when we was going to school, that was the only time we had trouble, see? We walked from my house over there, at that school right above where y’all are staying. And, um, the, the white kids rode a bus right by our house. And they’d spit on us -- spit, spit out the window at us, you know? And, uh, we never did pay them no (inaudible). We’d keep walking. We never did get to ride a bus.


FRIDAY: It was -- I don’t know. It was a long time before we got to ride a bus.


FRIDAY: We had to walk [I’d say?] about four miles from my house --


FRIDAY: -- over there to the s-- at [Highland?] High School, about four miles, (inaudible) four miles.

GEORGE STONEY: Now you went, uh, a good bit -- OK.

HELFAND: What’s --

GEORGE STONEY: (laughs) Oh, sorry. You went a good bit further in school than most black people at the time.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: How did that happen?


FRIDAY: Well, I went to work in the mill when I was 13 years old. And then the Depression come. I had to, uh, quit and go back to work. And that was the only way I got as far as I did. (inaudible) hadn’t have been the Depression, I would probably have been a lawyer. (laughter) Because I had in my mind to make something out of myself, but I couldn’t. The Depression wouldn’t let us. Uh, I had one sister. She teaches school. She, she was my younger sister, (inaudible). She got to go to school, and finish. And now she went to, uh -- a school up at Salisbury, and finished. And she teaches school up in Maryland. But she’s retired, though, now.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know how much education your father had?


FRIDAY: He didn’t have any. He didn’t -- he could count money. And, uh, he could read just a little, wee bit. No, he couldn’t -- you couldn’t trust (inaudible) [what he was?] saying. But he could count money. (laughter) Yeah, that’s one thing. Yeah, he could count money.

GEORGE STONEY: What about your mother?

FRIDAY: Now, my mother -- she could read. And she could play one of these old-timey organs. I can see her now playing that old organ. And she learned that for -- you know, what they call by ear. You know, just learned how to play it with sound. And she -- uh, you’d think she went to school for music, to hear her play. But she, she could play.

GREER: You know what they call that, Mr. Friday? Natural talent.

FRIDAY: Yeah, yeah. (laughter) That’s right. Yeah.

HELFAND: How, how did you think the, the, the rest of the workers were treated in the mills? I mean, could you describe the hierarchy in the way that your mill run?


FRIDAY: You mean the whites or the blacks?

HELFAND: Well, blacks on up.


HELFAND: All of them.

FRIDAY: Well, some of the whites had it hard too. If they didn’t have a connection with the boss man they had it about as hard as we did. And if they didn’t like them, they’d fire them. But (inaudible) on our side, that, you know, we would, uh, had a better chance than some of those whites, because (inaudible) we done -- we worked for the man that owned the mill. And then, working in the mill too. Not in the mill, (inaudible) down at the back of the mill. Yeah.

HELFAND: (plane overhead) I’m gonna let that airplane pass, and then --



HELFAND: -- we could continue along that line, just for a bit.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s -- thank you. That’s a very good line of going.

HELFAND: (laughs) You’ve done -- chewed most of that tobacco, didn’t you? (laughter) Do you know, a couple -- last -- two years ago, we were in Phoenix 102:00City, Alabama?


HELFAND: And I got stung -- we were -- we were interviewing two men. They were both black workers --

GEORGE STONEY: (laughs) This is such a great story.

HELFAND: -- who had worked in a mill in Phoenix City --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

HELFAND: -- Alabama. But actually they worked in Columbus, Georgia. So we were interviewing them, and they were telling some very similar stories to you, actually.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

HELFAND: And I got stung by a bee. And my arm blew up. So, Mr. [Walton?} said, “Oh, one second. No problem. I know just what to do.” And he sent his son in to go get his chewing tobacco.

FRIDAY: That’s right.

HELFAND: And his son comes running out with -- what was it? Some -- Red Apple? Johnnie Walker?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, that’s a --

HELFAND: What was it?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, no, Red Apple (inaudible).

GREER: No, Red Apple.

HELFAND: Red Apple. So he comes out with this Red Apple, and he says, “This is all you need.” Oh, actually, no, I’m wrong. (inaudible) he was chewing -- sorry. He said, “Here, I’ll give you some.” (inaudible) (laughter) He says, “Here, put this on that.” I said, “You know, I think I’d rather chew my own.” (laughter) So he ran inside and he got some of his, and he got some fresh stuff, and he gave it to me. And he showed me how to chew it, and I chewed it. And I put it on my arm. And do you know that it was -- it worked?



HELFAND: Like, within, within 10, 20 minutes, my arm wasn’t swollen anymore.

FRIDAY: That’s right. You put tobacco juice on it, it’ll, it’ll do it every time.

GEORGE STONEY: But she hasn’t chewed since then. (laughter)

HELFAND: You have any left?

GREER: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

FRIDAY: Yeah, I got some.

HELFAND: [You’ve got to] give me some.

GREER: You missed (inaudible).

FRIDAY: Yeah, you --

GREER: You should have seen the --

HELFAND: Just [a chaw?].

GREER: -- look on her face when she, she got the first taste of that stuff.

FRIDAY: It ain’t gonna make you drunk, is it?

GREER: That’s all right. I’ll drive. (laughter)

HELFAND: You know, it’s good? This is better than his. (laughter)

FRIDAY: Well, I’m working at -- (inaudible) settles my nerves. I just -- I can work out here all day, take a big chew of tobacco. And just keep getting (inaudible).

HELFAND: So what do I do? I just stick it in my t-- in my -- in my -- in my lip?

FRIDAY: Yeah, I puts mine in my jaw.

HELFAND: Bet you have a hole in your jaw.

FRIDAY: Nah, I been chewing this daily ever since I was 13 years old. And it --


FRIDAY: They said it’s gonna give you a cancer. I said, well, it’s -- I’ve been chewing it for almost -- well, ever since I was 13 years old.

HELFAND: You started chewing tobacco when you went into the mill?


FRIDAY: That’s right. See, there’s a lot of dust, you know? And the -- well, I know a lot of my friends, uh, had bad lungs, you know? (inaudible), but I never was bothered with it, because I chewed tobacco all the time, (inaudible) [spit out?]. Tobacco -- that, that -- I never have found out where, uh, (inaudible). But they said it’d give you a cancer. But I’ve been chewing ever since I was 13 years old. My daddy chewed it, from [on up?] till he died. And he -- it didn’t bother him. He died of heart trouble. He was, uh, 88. Uh, about 89, somewhere along in there. Yeah, and my mother was 84 when she died. So I was at -- my next birthday, I’ll be, uh -- I’m 89 now. I’ll be -- I mean, uh, (inaudible) I’m 79, and I’ll be 80 my next birthday. I’ll be 80. So that --


GEORGE STONEY: Now we were talking to a black, uh, woman the other day. She was the first person to move into a mill village.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: She’s -- the factory -- uh, that -- she’s over at Spencer Mountain.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And she’s living in a mill village.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And, at first, she wasn’t sure, but she says she’s happy she did that. Uh, did you ever think that that would happen back yonder?

FRIDAY: Well now, over behind where I live at the Grove Mill, uh, they had four houses built down on the [banks?] for blacks. And, uh -- but they wasn’t up in the white section. They were down under the hill. And they paid, I think, a dollar a week rent to the mill. Then, uh, I think your lights was free, I think. That was included in your dollar. But that was -- they were living on 106:00the village, but not in the village. They, they were living in the mill’s property house.

HELFAND: What did they do for jobs in the mill?

FRIDAY: Well, uh, their husbands worked in the mill. Those, those women never did work in the mill.


FRIDAY: They just -- a few of them (inaudible) scrub. But the men, they (audio garbled). The black (inaudible) bale waste and roll coal and open up cotton and all of that stuff -- weigh cotton. That’s all they did.

HELFAND: And you were telling us about -- you were telling me how you felt the white -- the -- how everybody was treated in the mills. The white workers...

FRIDAY: Well, uh, the white workers -- some of them was treated about like we were. You know, what they call -- they call (inaudible) -- you know, I’ll tell you what. They had two classes of whites in the mill. They had one class, they called them white trash, they’d give a lot of trouble. They’d [lay 107:00out?], get drunk, and they had to go and get them. Well, that -- they called that white trash. OK, and then there was another group working in there, and they would give no trouble. They’d move up, become foremen. But now, we never did get to move up. We, we were moving backwards (laughter) instead of moving up. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: (children’s voices) Better wait just a moment.

HELFAND: Yeah, we’ll just wait a second.

GEORGE STONEY: And then I was -- to use a -- I’ll get into the pictures, if you’re ready for that. Do you think?


GEORGE STONEY: Or you’d rather keep going with this (inaudible)?

HELFAND: Just a drop -- just a bit.


HELFAND: Those your kids? They work with you?

FRIDAY: No, they’d be (inaudible).

GREER: They’ve got a mower. They’re your competition.

HELFAND: They’ve got to start school in Thursday, don’t they?

FRIDAY: Yeah, that’s right.


FRIDAY: Yeah, they’re going to cut grass for somebody. Now, there’s a few kids with lawnmowers around cutting private homes. But, um, this is too much 108:00for them. They said this is too much for a push mower. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm, yeah.

HELFAND: See, we’ve been talking to a, a lot of, um, white mill workers --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

HELFAND: -- who lived in the mill village. And they’ve been telling us about the kind of control that they lived under --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

HELFAND: -- in the mill village.

FRIDAY: Oh, yeah.

HELFAND: And we haven’t heard it from the other side, about how they were treated.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm. Well, they won’t probably tell too much about it, but, uh, I never had any experience there. But two class of them. One class was trying to make a, a foreman. And he’d put pressure on the other ones. And then, they’d have a, a -- what you call it? Um, [aftermath?] on that, you know? And then they’d create a problem, you know? Well, one was put-- putting the pressure on the other one, and making him do more work, and then, then, uh, they [were always falling out?]. (inaudible) to fight in the mill, and then they’d 109:00lose their job. Yeah, yeah, you take, uh -- the whites, some of them had it hard in the mill. They had it -- they were making good money. It wasn’t good money either. They were making more than we were, but they, uh, never could get their self together, you know? They’d always -- like a barrel of crabs in a -- and one would get up near the top, and the other ones would reach up there and pull him back down. (laughter) Yeah, so... Well, the blacks would do that, too. T hey was (inaudible) worse than the whites. It was like I was telling you, where my daddy was -- always had a break, because he was working for the man that owned the mill. And the other blacks was jealous, you know? They were -- they [hardly?] would associate with you. They’d call us white folks’ niggers. That’s what they called us.


FRIDAY: Yeah. Well, as long as I was making a good living, I don’t care what you call me. 110:00(laughter)

HELFAND: The -- you know, this -- the issue of being called names --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

HELFAND: -- and respect -- that seems to be a lot of what a lot of the white workers have told us -- was one of the biggest problems in the mills was that their foremans and their bosses treated them like a dog.

FRIDAY: That’s right. (inaudible) just mentioned, uh, the way, uh, there was two classes. The, the boss man would put pressure on the lower man -- the low-class white man, see? And that would cause a conflict. See, he was trying to get him a supervisor job. See, the more, more work you turn out for him, that would be helping him out. But he was putting the, the pressure on his, uh, employee.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember when the efficiency men came around and started clocking people and --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- all of that?

FRIDAY: Well, they didn’t do us that way, ’cause, uh, we was out there in the warehouse.



FRIDAY: But those ones -- the ones that run the machines, they were wanting that [spinning to go?]. Yeah, they -- you had to keep moving, yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: When you first started work in the mills way back in, in ’28, ’29, uh, I believe there were a l-- the -- they -- there were a lot of children still working in the mills, weren’t they? Or were they?

FRIDAY: Yeah, you -- uh, you had to be over 12, I believe. Yeah, they -- and then, later on, they stopped them, ’cause, see, wasn’t nothing for them to do. And, uh, the black -- now, most of them worked on the farm. Each -- they, they had to go to school, and (inaudible) pick cotton. They’d give you time out to pick cotton. Then you start back after the cotton crop was gathered. Now that’s where they’d get the blacks. That’s the reason they’re so 112:00far behind. (laughter) They didn’t get to go to school the whole nine months.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah. Did the -- uh, the people around the mills -- the Stowes and so forth -- did they take any interest in your church?

FRIDAY: Well, no, not like you get now. Now you take -- they have a, a minister -- ministers (inaudible). They transferred one, uh -- (inaudible) my minister, they let him go to a white church so he could -- whites (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) preach to that church. They do that now. But that’s the only thing they do now.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, the Stowes didn’t contribute to your church?

FRIDAY: They did, probably in Belmont, see?


FRIDAY: Because, see, all the -- Bruce’s church is in Belmont. They probably contribute to their church, but, uh, I don’t remember them contributing to our church. Uh, of course, this town -- the little town of Dallas wasn’t -- you know, wasn’t big enough. But Belmont was. There’s a lot of millionaires live over there.


FRIDAY: (inaudible) millionaires live in Belmont.


GEORGE STONEY: Now how do you feel, uh, when you drive by these big houses that you know has been built by those bosses out of the sweat of your brow? How do you feel about that?

FRIDAY: Well, I never did worry about that, because, uh, I thought that was the way of life. And, uh, I think about it now -- how, uh, (truck passes) (inaudible) if you got an education, they say you’re overqua-- overqualified. I don’t see that. And that -- that’s in order to keep you down. That ain’t right. But they do that right here in --


FRIDAY: -- Gastonia. They’ll tell you in a minute you’re overqualified.


FRIDAY: They interview you, and you show them your credentials and all of that, they -- “Well, you’re over-- you’re overqualified.”



FRIDAY: Say, uh, “We [wanted?] -- looking for somebody that, uh, really wants -- needs the job.”


FRIDAY: And I say, “Well, well, you’re telling us -- well, I need a job. (laughter) I done spent 8 or 10 years in college. I need a job.” “Well, you’re overqualified,” and all that kind of thing.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. (whispers) I think you’d better (inaudible).

HELFAND: OK. [One or two more things?].


HELFAND: Yeah, and you, you really need to (inaudible).


HELFAND: You know, you were talking about the stretch out. You were saying that they would put more work on people.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

HELFAND: So they were stretching out the people that worked inside.

FRIDAY: Yeah, and them on the inside. But out in the warehouse, my daddy was over -- there was a man -- a white man over my daddy, and my daddy was over a, a, a -- um, me and my brother and my two cousins. He was over us. They never would come to us and tell us. They’d go through my daddy, and my daddy would tell us what to do. See, my daddy was the foreman.


FRIDAY: See, and then, uh, of course, now, that was before they put in (inaudible) running that engine. That was before they put him in 115:00the engine.

HELFAND: Well, when all these workers in the inside were getting stretched out, that was around the same time that they said you could go on -- they went on 8 hours instead of 12. Do you remember that?

FRIDAY: Yeah, I remember that. Yeah. We were -- we were still working 12, but in the mill they was -- they was working 8 hours. ’Cause we would see the -- we couldn’t aff-- they wouldn’t -- in other words, we couldn’t afford to, because they didn’t have enough of men to, uh, run two shifts.


FRIDAY: See, we’d just put in from 6:00 to 6:00. And, uh, that’s the way it -- we thought that was the way it was supposed to be.


FRIDAY: We didn’t know no better.

HELFAND: They were breaking the law. (laughter)

FRIDAY: I know it. Yeah.

HELFAND: What do you think about that now?

FRIDAY: Well, they couldn’t get by with that now.


FRIDAY: They couldn’t get by with that now. Never.

HELFAND: (whispering) [Now just?] --


GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. OK. Um, these are some pictures that we’ve got, that -- taken in Gastonia.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, this is, uh --

HELFAND: Why don’t you in-- could you introduce it, since it --


JAMIE STONEY: And let me reload it.

HELFAND: -- since it -- based on --