E.O. Friday and Margaret Garrett Interviews

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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JAMIE STONEY: -- going to have a Jones now.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Uh, after the NRA came in, and they cut it -- the work down to eight hours, they speeded up the machines to get --

E.O. FRIDAY: That's right.

GEORGE STONEY: -- so they'd earn as much -- I mean, they'd do as much work in 8 as in -- in 11, 12.

FRIDAY: That's right.

GEORGE STONEY: So that the big organization for about a year and a half to try to keep that down, and finally, there was a big strike.

FRIDAY: Right, right.

GEORGE STONEY: These are some pictures that -- that were taken around Gastonia. These are two women who came down to the union to get uh, some food. And we'd -- we know this woman here, but here, this is a big Labor Day parade in downtown Gastonia. You might recognize the street.

FRIDAY: Yeah, mm-hmm.


GEORGE STONEY: Uh, do you remember anything about those big parades?

FRIDAY: Oh, I heard about them, but we -- we never did go to them, not when they was here.


FRIDAY: That was just for white folks.

GEORGE STONEY: Well I must say that we look here, and I don't see any black folks --


GEORGE STONEY: -- at that parade, yeah.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Belmont. Uh, same thing there. But this will show you how many uh, people were in-- involved in this. This was down in the municipal park, Lineberger Park.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: See all those thousands of people.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And do you remember anything about this at all?

FRIDAY: No, that was in Belmont, that was --


FRIDAY: -- that was down -- out of my territory.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, OK. That's what all this is organizing.

JUDITH HELFAND: This is Gastonia?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, this is Gastonia.

HELFAND: So that was -- Lineberger Park was Gastonia, too?


HELFAND: You must have -- you must have heard about people organizing into unions though, didn't you?


FRIDAY: Oh I heard -- I heard about them organizing, but uh, we never did (inaudible).

HELFAND: What'd you think about them doing that?

FRIDAY: Well, just to tell the truth you see, we thought that was just for white folks. That's what we thought. So we never did -- were never invited nobdy did tell us to join the union. And they didn't (inaudible). Not (inaudible).

HELFAND: Can you understand why they wanted to -- to join unions at the time?

FRIDAY: I never could figure out why they didn't want us, you know, in the unions, but well, in a way I did, because I think about, we would have been making the same amount they were, and they didn't want that. That we was making $7 or something, we could have been making 12. And that's the only thing I think, we would have been making the same thing they were. So they didn't want you in there.


GEORGE STONEY: Well, we've got a letter from nine black men in South Carolina, I think it is.

HELFAND: I have it right here.


HELFAND: It's in uh, right in that pile.

GEORGE STONEY: Right here?

HELFAND: Uh-huh.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, let's see if I can find this. Uh, let's see, which one is it here?

HELFAND: That's actually from Gastonia, that one.

GEORGE STONEY: This one, uh-huh.

HELFAND: But the one, keep on going.


FRIDAY: I learned pretty good in school, I -- I learned pretty good in school.

GEORGE STONEY: Now this letter was written to Hugh Johnson, who was heard of the NRA.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Just the day after Bruce Graham wrote his letter.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: So Johnson got -- had been on the radio, say if things aren't right in your -- in your place, you write us.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And so, this is from Greensboro, Georgia. It says Dear sir, 00:04:00on Tuesday, January the second, seven men were fired from the [Maria Leah?] cotton mill of this city. On Friday morning, January the fifth, seven more were fired, making a total of 14. These men have been working at the factory from 2 to 14 years, and were fired without any reason. The factory recently put in new machinery, which of course reduced the number of men. For this (inaudible) 14 colored were working inside, 12 operated machines and 2 cleaned. We feel that this was unfair, as whites were taken from other jobs and put on colored jobs. We'll appreciate it if you would send NRA authorities to investigate. Signed, 14 colored men. In other words, when they had to pay more --

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- then they simply substituted whites for -- for blacks.

FRIDAY: (laughter) Yeah.


HELFAND: What do you think about that?

FRIDAY: That's pretty rough.

GEORGE STONEY: Now you understand, I think you helped us to understand why they didn't sign their names.

FRIDAY: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: But, somehow Bruce Graham did.

FRIDAY: Well Bruce was working for the man that owned the mill, that's -- that's the only -- only difference. That was the only difference. He was working for the man that owned the mill. In other words, that was his nigger. (laughter) That's the way, I'm telling you just like it is, boy, what they said. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, (inaudible).

HELFAND: So what did you think, what -- when all those people started joining unions like that, did you -- did -- aside from the fact that they didn't ask you to join, did -- what'd you think of them going out and risking themselves to join unions? I could hear that.

GEORGE STONEY: You're putting words in his mouth, and I don't like it. You don't want to do that. No.



HELFAND: I don't think -- well let me just -- then let's just ask it straight then, George.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, all right. OK. All right.


HELFAND: What did you think of all the other people joining unions?

FRIDAY: You mean the blacks?

HELFAND: No, I mean the whites, at the time.

FRIDAY: Oh, the -- yeah, they -- I think they did the right thing. Because see, if they moved up, we would move up. See, eventually we would move up. That's what I see it now.

GEORGE STONEY: You say you see that way now?

FRIDAY: Yeah. Mm-hmm.


FRIDAY: Back then I didn't -- I was kind of afraid of what was the outcome. Back then, but now, I don't.

RICH GREER: Did you say that your -- was it your son who was a machinist?

FRIDAY: Yeah, he was a master machinist.

GREER: So he would have been in -- in the machinist's union, or no?

FRIDAY: At that time, he -- they didn't -- he is now.

GREER: He is now?

FRIDAY: Yeah. But back at that time, blacks could -- didn't have no kind of job like that. No more than what I was telling you about, you know, weighing up cotton, baling waste, and rolling coal. And hey, and they -- we wasn't 00:07:00worried about no union, because we was working in '66, and we was glad to have a job. And then we was farming too, so we was living, yeah.

HELFAND: Do you know what happened to the -- a lot of those people that did join the union?

FRIDAY: Some of them lost their jobs. They got around, had some kind of way of making them lose their job, you know? They always had some kind of complaint about them, you know? That they wasn't performing their job, you know? They had a way to get rid of them.

M1: How does your son see see the union? Does he see it pretty favorably, or?

FRIDAY: Yeah. Yeah, he -- they -- that company, they have a -- they lease a big fishing boat every year, and they -- everybody that want to go can go, and the 00:08:00company -- the company Westinghouse pays for the boat, all you got to do is furnish your own reel, and some -- some of them boats got reels on them. Every year, they get to go on -- on them fishing trips. Now, they uh, they've got a (inaudible) running the place, they getting up a club in the plant to play golf. My son then bought him a set of clubs, and he going to learn to play. Yeah.

FRIDAY: Still going to look for some of them old pictures of mine when I was over, I guess, (inaudible). They in the house somewhere.


FRIDAY: And I still got your number, I'll call you.


(break in audio) [00:08:41]












GEORGE STONEY: What's [her?] name?

HELFAND: (inaudible). Her name is Margaret.

GEORGE STONEY: And the last name?

HELFAND: Garrett.


HELFAND: OK. (inaudible) should get to the side of the room. I mean, like near side once we get (inaudible). She's answering. All right, someone's there. 00:14:00The air conditioner is on.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Well, let's try again.

HELFAND: OK. (inaudible).


HELFAND: Hi, Mrs. Garrett? Margaret?


HELFAND: How are you doing? My name's Judy Helfand, this is George Stoney.


HELFAND: How are you doing?



HELFAND: Do you know who we are? Well (inaudible). We are -- we called you a couple of weeks ago --


HELFAND: -- and we came by and you weren't here, so we thought we'd try again. Um, we've just come from visiting your sister, May.


HELFAND: May (inaudible). Um, and your niece, Louise.


HELFAND: And um, and her husband. And we spent some time with them, we're friends with Betty --


HELFAND: -- Henson.



HELFAND: Right. And we've been doing some more -- and this is our friend Richard Greer.



HELFAND: And um, George is from Winston-Salem, Richard's from Atlanta, and I'm from New York.


HELFAND: I'm the Yankee of the bunch. And we've been working on a project for a long time about the history of textile workers here in the South, and we actually found a picture of you, I did --


HELFAND: Yes, ma'am.

MARGARET GARRETT: Why don't y'all come in, my husband, he's (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible). Let me hang (inaudible).

HELFAND: OK. Were you on the phone?


MARGARET GARRETT: I was talking to (inaudible). (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, thank you.

HELFAND: (inaudible) join us?

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible). I uh, (inaudible).

HELFAND: Let me see.


HELFAND: I'll tell you, we've been wanting to meet you for a long time. I've been looking -- I've been looking to meet you for uh, let's see, two summers now. Yeah, would you believe I have looked at the back of that photograph and I have looked through all the [Ingles?] in the phonebook, and have called every single one of them. At least I thought I did, trying to say, 00:17:00do you know this lady? But um, no -- no one quite knew who you were. And then, we were with Betty Henson, and I showed her this picture. I -- I know this woman. (laughter) But she brought us to your sister.


GEORGE STONEY: And your sister recognized you and said no, that's --

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, uh, she -- I'm amazed she -- we looked a lot alike, you know, (inaudible) when we were young, we (inaudible) so I thought at first it was her.

HELFAND: Mm-hmm.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) at least, that when she seen it, (inaudible) it was me. (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well um, you know, it -- it's really something to see a picture that was taken so many years ago, then be able to find the person that's in it. So, thank you very much, you're making me very happy. But more importantly, we wanted to be able to talk to you to find out about that picture. Because we really haven't really been able to meet anybody that can talk about that 00:18:00period of time who was really there, and this is proof that you were really there. Maybe George can tell you a little bit about what we've been doing.

GEORGE STONEY: Yes. What we're doing is we're making a -- a film for public television about textiles in the early '30s. And so, thanks to Judy, who is a wonderful research person, she found all these photographs, including this one. And so, what we're doing is going around and talking with people who were represented in these photographs. For example, do you know Ernest Moore?

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, I'm not too sure. Because (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Well um, uh, he lives uh, he lives in uh, Belmont, doesn't he?



HELFAND: Ernest Moore lives in East Gastonia.

GEORGE STONEY: East Gastonia.

HELFAND: And he had worked at the Groves Mill. And we were able to find Ernest 00:19:00because we found a letter that his daddy had signed, along with 108 other workers from that period of time, because it was 1933, and they were saying that the mill wasn't paying them the way the mill was supposed to pay them, and they put a petition together, and signed all their names on it, and sent it to Washington, D.C., which at the time was a very common practice, a lot of workers, and I'm sure you remember, were organizing themselves into -- into unions and trying to make their jobs a lot better. So we found him through this letter, sort of, actually through an article that was written in the paper, in the Charlotte Observer, and someone called us and said hey, you know, I was there too, just like Betty Henson did, and about, I don't know, 40 people from the area called us and said, I was part of that history and I want to tell you my story. But even before this article was written in the Charlotte Observer, I happened to have some of these photographs, and I was trying to hunt you down. (laughter) What we've been doing when we are able to talk with people and sit 00:20:00with them is um, we actually sit and have a -- a conversation about that period of time, and try to put people's stories together. And um, generally we do it with a -- with a video camera, because what we're ultimately going to do is have it as a program that'll be on public television about the people like yourself who worked in the mills.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, oh I don't want my picture taken.

HELFAND: Should we show you the picture that we found?

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Here it is.

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh. (inaudible). Well that's me, all right.


MARGARET GARRETT: And (inaudible) that's my oldest son, that's [Doug?]. Yeah, and that's Lucille Cloninger now she lived right down here in the -- let me see, (inaudible) third house down. She's still Lucille Cloninger.


HELFAND: She's still living?

MARGARET GARRETT: Yes, she's in the -- she lives right down there.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, I be darned.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah. That was over at the Imperial when we worked in the Imperial. I don't know if I --

GEORGE STONEY: I wonder if you'd mind if we called her, maybe she could come down and meet with us.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I -- I could call her (inaudible).


HELFAND: Well even, you know, we could even walk over there if you'd like.


HELFAND: You don't want to leave your husband.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well I can't go. I broke -- broke my hip (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) walk with a cane.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. And she is in good health?

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, she's in fine health.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Well, see if she'd like to come over.

MARGARET GARRETT: OK, (inaudible) see, it looks like her.


HELFAND: I'll tell you, it says on the back, Mrs. J.W. Ingle, they didn't know you were -- they didn't give your married name, did they?


HELFAND: Well you were a Garrett then, right?


HELFAND: And it says Mrs. James Cloninger.


HELFAND: Was that her husband's name, James?


MARGARET GARRETT: James. Rochelle, Rochelle married a Let's see. Maybe that could be her sister. Let's see.

HELFAND: You were very pretty.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well that's me all right. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Everybody remarks how slim you are.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, I used to be slim, not no more.


HELFAND: I -- I like your dress. I've been admiring it for two years now, to tell you the truth. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah. I'll tell you what, you wouldn't realize (inaudible).

GEORE STONEY: (laughter).

HELFAND: It looks just like you.


HELFAND: He's a pretty baby.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible). Now Rochelle, she would know who that is, let me call Rochelle (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: I'm sorry y'all caught me like (inaudible).


HELFAND: I think you look just fine, Mrs. Garrett.


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

HELFAND: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: (laughter) Oh.

HELFAND: (inaudible).


HELFAND: (inaudible). The people in the car, so I can show other people (inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: (laughter) Yeah. Mm-hmm.



MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).



HELFAND: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: It's -- it's -- isn't it --

MARGARET GARRETT: Cloninger, can you see?



GARRETT: (inaudible).

HELFAND: Ask her. (laughter) Thirteen twenty Dekalb Street.

GARRETT: Yeah, what's the number?

HELFAND: At 825-5053. You know what? Why don't we do this? Since you couldn't find it, would you like me to write it down for you? Would that be helpful?

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

HELFAND: OK. Where you do you want me to write it?


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible). We do this, oh yeah, we don't (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

HELFAND: What should I -- how should I call them?


HELFAND: Lucille.

MARGARET GARRETT: Or Lucy. Five oh five three you said?

GEORGE STONEY: That's right, mm-hmm.

MARGARET GARRETT: Is Lucille there? Lucille. Uh-huh, uh-huh. Lucille, this is Margaret, will you -- could you come, come up here real quick? No, there's just somebody here that wants to talk to us. No, uh-huh. There's some people 00:28:00here, they found a picture of me and you, and I can't remember right if it's you or -- or your sister. (inaudible) come up here and see if you know who it is. OK. (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: And she -- I really don't know for sure --


MARGARET GARRETT: -- it looks like her, but --

GEORGE STONEY: Well of course, we made the first mistake in thinking this was your sister.

MARGARET GARRETT: But you see now --

GEORGE STONEY: You do look very much like your sister, though.

MARGARET GARRETT: Of course, I don't look like that now. I don't look like --

HELFAND: You know what?

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

HELFAND: You have -- your face -- your eyes are the same eyes.

GEORGE STONEY: Yes. Yes, yes.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) in 74 years, does it. But that's just the way it goes.

HELFAND: Well and it hasn't been 74 years since that picture was taken.


MARGARET GARRETT: Oh no, I was about -- let's see, Douglas. The problem was about -- Douglas was born, when I was 18, I was about 19 years old. I got married pretty young, married at 17, Doug was born about, when I was just about 18.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, when were you born?

MARGARET GARRETT: Douglas, I said Douglas was -- me, I was born in uh, 18-- I was born in 1918. (inaudible). February 7th, 1918.

HELFAND: That's my dad's birthday.



MARGARET GARRETT: But that's your -- Louise said that y'all were having (inaudible) I couldn't believe it, but I tell you, I don't know -- well that looks like that's -- that's not a mill, is it? Right there, that looks like it's just somebody's house, Don't or something. But they was a group, I was there. But I don't know why me and her was out there in front.



GEORGE STONEY: Maybe they just stopped you as you were leaving, I think that was what happened. They just stopped you as you were leaving.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible)she'll be here in a few minutes. But I really don't think (inaudible).

HELFAND: What was that?

MARGARET GARRETT: I said I don't -- I don't care about having my picture taken.

HELFAND: Why is that?

MARGARET GARRETT: Because I look a sight.

HELFAND: Is that why? Because you think you look a sight. Well, do you want an objective opinion?


GEORGE STONEY: [I see?]. See if I can guess.

MARGARET GARRETT: Come on in, Lucille. I have some people that wants to see you here.




HELFAND: How do you do?

CLONINGER: All right.

MARGARET GARRETT: They're -- they're making a, what'd you -- you tell them (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

HELFAND: Lucille Cloninger?



HELFAND: I think I've been looking for you for a long time. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: For almost -- what, almost two years?

HELFAND: Uh, almost -- at least two years.

GEORGE STONEY: Let's see if this is your name here. Mrs. James Cloninger?

CLONINGER: No. That's not my name.


CLONINGER: I'm Miss Evelyn Cloninger. Evelyn Lucille.

HELFAND: Well --

MARGARET GARRETT: Well tell me who that is, Lucille. Her.

CLONINGER: Lord, I don't know. I sure don't.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, that's me.

CLONINGER: Oh, it's a cookout.

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, but uh, (inaudible) [Imperial?].

GEORGE STONEY: It was taken here, you see, uh, it was where they were giving out food, uh, during the -- the strike in '34. Uh, the -- leaving a local strike relief station laden with bundles of food supplied by the textile union which 00:32:00called the strike.

CLONINGER: It ain't me. (laughter)


CLONINGER: No, it sure ain't me. Her face looks familiar, though. I know Margaret. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: But you know that's me. And I don't know what I was doing there.

CLONINGER: Well, I never did go get no food. Now my mother did.


CLONINGER: I was just married then.


MARGARET GARRETT: See that's the -- you were, you and (inaudible).

CLONINGER: Oh, I didn't see that.

MARGARET GARRETT: You didn't recognize --

CLONINGER: I just went and bought new glasses.

MARGARET GARRETT: -- nobody else on that picture?

CLONINGER: I sure don't.

HELFAND: Well that was during -- that was during that --

(overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yes, that was 1930 -- 1934. Just uh, the summer after Roosevelt got elected.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, do you think that's when we had that (inaudible) we 00:33:00had a strike over there at the Imperial.

CLONINGER: Yeah, my mother was working there then, I wasn't working it.

MARGARET GARRETT: I don't know. You weren't working.

CLONINGER: No, I sure wasn't, but I don't recognize none of them but you.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well I (inaudible).

CLONINGER: It's been a long, long time, 57 years.

MARGARET GARRETT: I can't even remember being there myself. (laughter) But the pictures (inaudible) the pictures don't lie.


HELFAND: (inaudible). Do you -- do you remember that strike.

CLONINGER: Well that one sure does lie, because that --

GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible).

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, May and Louise thought that as you, but I didn't really think it looked -- it couldn't be one of your sisters, could it?


GEORGE STONEY: Do you know uh, Mrs. James Cloninger?

CLONINGER: I sure don't.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

CLONINGER: Now I did date a James Cloninger back in the -- I don't know who he married.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. And of course, it could have been that the reporter had 00:34:00the name wrong, you know, that's always possible.

CLONINGER: Yeah. But I didn't go get no food.


MARGARET GARRETT: But now, you know what --

CLONINGER: Momma didn't get too much.

MARGARET GARRETT: I don't remember going and getting food, but I guess I was there.

GEORGE STONEY: Did you -- you remember, what did your mother -- did your mother tell you about getting food?

CLONINGER: No, I was 16 then.


CLONINGER: I was maybe going on 17. (inaudible).

HELFAND: Were you working in the mill at that time?

MARGARET GARRETT: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I went and worked over there at the Imperial, worked at the Imperial.

CLONINGER: Well I had been working -- I guess I was about 19. Because I then got married.

MARGARET GARRETT: You was -- you must have been about 19 (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

CLONINGER: Because I'm older, a little bit older than you, I know.

MARGARET GARRETT: Because I was -- that's just like I was telling them, I got married at 17, Douglas was born when I -- I was just about 18, so he's about -- looks like he must be about -- so I was around 19, I guess.

CLONINGER: That sure ain't me. I look bad and all that, but that sure ain't me.



GEORGE STONEY: What do you mean, look --

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, it don't really -- oh.

CLONINGER: It looks a little bit like you, I mean --

MARGARET GARRETT: But that don't look like me, either. Not now, I told them I don't know how I got so ugly, jeepers.


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) been a long time.

CLONINGER: I don't know none of them men, either.

GEORGE STONEY: You have the same brow, the -- yes, (inaudible) yes.

HELFAND: So does your son.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, Douglas, he --

CLONINGER: Now my mouth used to be like that before I had my teeth pulled. He ruined my mouth when he pulled my teeth, he didn't make them right cut my gums.

MARGARET GARRETT: You want to sit down, (inaudible) Lucille.

CLONINGER: I have to go back, (inaudible).

HELFAND: Is that your grandson?

CLONINGER: Great-grandson.

MARGARET GARRETT: Sit down (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


CLONINGER: and I got 23 grandchildren. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: They won't actually (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: What's that?

CLONINGER: Well (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) let me go, my doors is open.



CLONINGER: She asked me how many children I had, and I said eight.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughter) Oh, goodness.

HELFAND: Well I'll tell you, we -- you must (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

CLONINGER: She looks familiar to me. You don't know Nancy [Overcache?], do you?

HELFAND: No, do I look like Nancy Overcache?

CLONINGER: Yeah, like her and Dot, my mother raised uh, Nancy from a baby up. She had 11, and then she raised Nancy. They live up Raleigh now.

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, (inaudible) New York. Thank you.

GEORGE STONEY: And he's from Atlanta, and I'm from Winston-Salem.

CLONINGER: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) know all this.

GEORGE STONEY: Because we're --

CLONINGER: (inaudible) you want to lay it out, or not?

GEORGE STONEY: We're making a film about textiles in the early '20s and '30s. And uh, this is a part of the story, you see. And we found all these pictures, uh, let's show you a couple of other pictures you might like to see from -- this, these are from uh, Gastonia. Here's a big parade.


CLONINGER: Now, let's say I have a twin sister, in Gastonia.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, here's a -- a big parade in Gastonia, you see, on Labor Day.


GEORGE STONEY: The Monday, the third of September.

CLONINGER: Mm-hmm. (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: It's a long time.

CLONINGER: They (inaudible) my baby boy left (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

HELFAND: -- work was like though in the cotton mill, didn't you?

GEORGE STONEY: I took this down and showed it to a merchant over here the other day. He said, Where are all those people now? They don't come down to town now. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: No, the town's just all -- these big shopping centers is taking all the people (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: That's right. Uh-huh.

MARGARET GARRETT: I don't know, I don't know.

CLONINGER: (inaudible) you do that, (inaudible).

MARGARET GARRETT: That was a long time ago.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. We have some movie footage of this same parade, and Mr. 00:38:00Ernest Moore found his father in our footage. He recognized him by his big hat. We also have the uh, interview with the fellow who was the drummer boy just ahead of this. Yeah.



HELFAND: Where were you working (inaudible)?

CLONINGER: That -- well, they -- they tried (inaudible).

MARGARET GARRETT: We worked at the Imperial (overlapping dialogue; inaudible). Well Lucille, I thought you worked at the Imperial.

CLONINGER: I did. That's where I learned to spin, I worked there about -- I married when I was 19 years old. (inaudible). Yeah. But I did go back, in later years when my brother worked there, (inaudible). But I never did have no picture took.

GEORGE STONEY: Well that was a good place to work?


CLONINGER: Well, if you could take it, it was.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughter).


CLONINGER: I know [Jamie?] was -- he used to make me so mad, he'd get me in my spinning frame (inaudible). I'd try my best not to look at him, see him. I was (inaudible) until about 20 years ago. Now I think I'm human like everybody else.

GEORGE STONEY: What happened 20 years ago that made you change?

CLONINGER: Well, I was filled with the Holy Spirit.


MARGARET GARRETT: You know what that is.


CLONINGER: It's great. And since then, I've felt like I'm as good as anybody else. I got my faults, but they have them too.

GEORGE STONEY: That's a great release.

CLONINGER: Yeah. Greatest I've ever had.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) and we didn't -- we sure didn't make much money. Well --

CLONINGER: I made $4 a week, for 5 days, 12 hours. My momma took three and she gave me one of them to clothe myself with. I made my own clothes.



CLONINGER: It's been a hard life, but it was that way with everybody, it wasn't just me. Oh, (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Did she work in the mill as well?

CLONINGER: She was uh, a one -- a spooler. I was a spinner. Great jobs.

GEORGE STONEY: Except that you had all that dust in the air.

CLONINGER: Oh, no it was put up (inaudible). I worked down there, at the Eagle, I guess I worked down there about off and on about 30 years, at the Eagle.

HELFAND: Did you live on the Eagle?

CLONINGER: Mm-hmm. (inaudible). Most of my kids was born down there. And I had one born over on the (inaudible) and then we moved back down to the Eagle, and my (inaudible) was working down there.

HELFAND: We just went to the Eagle Mill Village reunion, were you there?


CLONINGER: No. I don't go to them anymore. I used to. I've been under a doctor's for about two years.


CLONINGER: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Well we had a great time there. They were singing and preaching and --

CLONINGER: The Eagle(inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yes, that's right. Over at the Sizzler.

CLONINGER: Yeah, yeah. My -- one of my daughters was there, and my middle boy, (inaudible). But didn't none of the rest of mine go this year.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know Yvonnie Hill?

CLONINGER: Oh yeah, I growed up with that girl. Ain't she something?

GEORGE STONEY: She is -- she gave us one of the best interviews we've been able to get.

HELFAND: We filmed her.

GEORGE STONEY: She's just -- oh yeah, she was just --

HELFAND: You know Yvonnie, yeah?


HELFAND: We filmed with Yvonnie.

GEORGE STONEY: She was terrific.


GEORGE STONEY: And let me --

CLONINGER: You know, its something, to be in the condition that she's -- she got that way when we went to school, we lived side by side, me and her used to play in the playhouse together.



CLONINGER: Out in the edge of the woods from the house, few woods, it wasn't big.


CLONINGER: Our mommas could always see us out there. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Well she told us about fighting the polio and all of that. Yeah.

CLONINGER: Oh, (inaudible). But good grief, that girl just went on, and went and got her schooling and went to college, she's got money to burn, and I got none.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Well, another thing she had, which may surprise you, right in the middle of the interview, I asked her something, she said, Well I'll have to look it up in my diary. I found out she kept a diary from 1933 to 1967. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) And she was about to throw it out, throw them out, because she doesn't have much family,you see. She didn't -- she said she'll be in the way. I said, You can't do that, this is history. I got her to read some of the sections.

CLONINGER: My kids are that way, they throw away everything that's old, they don't (inaudible) that's old.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, what we did was to immediately notify the Gaston County Museum, and they invited her down there, and we filmed with her and she was 00:43:00presenting her diaries to the museum. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) Yeah.

CLONINGER: I went on several trips with her and her sisters, Florida, New York, (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Well she is just such a --

CLONINGER: She's wonderful.

GEORGE STONEY: And she -- she's uh, she told us all about life in the Eagle, and all of that, yeah.

CLONINGER: She didn't tell you about me and her playing in the playhouse?

GEORGE STONEY: I don't think she called -- well, she called you by maybe the first name, I can't remember that.

CLONINGER: Well my name, middle name is Evelyn, and I never did go get any free food, and I know that that must not be me.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

HELFAND: Well --

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well that -- what that picture really represents -- what -- what our story, what we're doing is we're trying to understand not just that picture specifically, but that whole period of time and in a sense, what that picture represents, which it seems to mean, people taking care of themselves, or trying to.


CLONINGER: I've got one picture made before I was married.

HELFAND: Uh-huh.


CLONINGER: And I don't know (inaudible).


CLONINGER: I just got back from having my glasses changed, and (inaudible). I don't know what that great-grandson is doing out there at my house, I hope he ain't tearing up nothing.

GEORGE STONEY: Did it help you when you changed your glasses?

CLONINGER: Yeah. Well, I didn't -- I didn't have the lens changed, I just had to buy new frames.


CLONINGER: This arm on (inaudible) I went over several times to have it fixed. So I (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: I've just reached the point where I get my glasses changed about every year, and they still --

CLONINGER: I've got a pair of sunglasses out there, and I had -- they fixed for me seven years ago, and when I break these, I put my sunglasses on. And I can see better out of them than I can these.

HELFAND: It seems like the two of you have known each other since you were just little kids, is that right?


MARGARET GARRETT: We've been knowing one another, how long have we been knowing one another?

CLONINGER: I remember her when her grandma lead her around with a hand.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, and her (inaudible) couple of years, we lived at the Eagle together.

HELFAND: So were you living at the Eagle in 1934?

MARGARET GARRETT: No, uh, that was over in the Imperial.

HELFAND: The Imperial.

MARGARET GARRETT: And y'all know (inaudible) the Imperial. But we didn't stay there long, we left the Imperial (inaudible).

CLONINGER: We never did get -- get acquainted with one another much. Because back then, kids didn't do like they do now.

MARGARET GARRETT: But we -- we lived up there on the Majestic. I worked there 41 years, up here at the Majestic, right up here in front of (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Forty-one years. Ooh.

HELFAND: When did you start working in the mill then? You were just --

MARGARET GARRETT: I started to work when I was 14. That was when I was 16 (inaudible).

CLONINGER: I worked when I was 14.

MARGARET GARRETT: We stayed over on the Imperial, we didn't stay over there too long.

HELFAND: Well --


CLONINGER: And when I went up here, I -- the last five years I worked, I loved it better than any -- any year in my life.

GEORGE STONEY: Why was that?

CLONINGER: I don't know, the people were just (inaudible) down there at the Eagle, for me, they were terrible. And I don't want to go into that.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. (laughter)

HELFAND: Well it's a --

CLONINGER: I finally learned why but, you know.

HELFAND: Well we've been traveling all over the South, talking to people just like yourselves. Um, looking to talk with people that worked in the -- who grew up in the mill villages, or who came down from the country and then went into the mills, and who have really given their life over to that work. And um, made a big contribution.

MARGARET GARRETT: What we did, we weren't -- we lived in the (inaudible) mill villages houses, we paid. We lived in a three-room house, they charged us 20 cents a room, that was 60 cents a week. And then we lived in a four room house, 00:47:00and it was 80 cents. So, they charged us for the house, and they'd give us the water and -- water and power free. Yeah, until they turned -- they finally, the town took the water over, and then we had to start paying for our water, and they did -- they gave us our lives free, or they'd take it out of our time. No (overlapping dialogue; inaudible). No, I believe they --

CLONINGER: And if we burned over 25 watts down there at the Eagle, they charged us for it.

MARGARET GARRETT: I believe they'd give us so much and if we burned over it, well they would charge us for that, but it wasn't much.

CLONINGER: And the rent was (inaudible). And I don't remember (overlapping dialogue; inaudible). But I didn't (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

HELFAND: But that seems like that was a lot of --

CLONINGER: And I made my own clothes.

MARGARET GARRETT: But you know, if we'd have had to rented a house, we couldn't afford it, because we didn't make enough money. We only made uh, I think I made $14 and something for five days.

CLONINGER: When I worked there at the Imperial, when I learned, I made $4 a week.


GEORGE STONEY: So you -- the difference is, she started as a learner, you see --

HELFAND: A learner.

GEORGE STONEY: -- and then -- yeah, yeah, yeah.

HELFAND: You know, we've heard about -- in the, we've collected, I would say thousands of letters at this point, from workers just like yourselves, who around that time in '33, '34, were writing to Washington, D.C., really complaining because the mill was supposed to work them 40 hours a week, and they were on short time, or they were being stretched out, and they believed that they had a right to -- to get what was coming to them.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well I know one -- I know one time there, we wasn't getting about two days a week.

CLONINGER: Yeah, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


CLONINGER: A lot of times when I worked, we would get two days.

MARGARET GARRETT: And I wasn't working then, because that was, you know, because that was for, Jerome was born (inaudible).

CLONINGER: I have to get (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

HELFAND: You still have your Bible with your name in it?


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible)load coal and took it on (overlapping dialogue; inaudible). She had to buy us groceries, (inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: Well, yeah.

MARGARET GARRETT: And you know what, (inaudible) beans, beans and potatoes.

CLONINGER: And the taters and beans the next day.


HELFAND: You know, it's --

CLONINGER: No, we always had (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Did you have a garden?

CLONINGER: Look at me and see (inaudible).

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, we always have been (inaudible).

CLONINGER: No, my husband wasn't a gardener. We had one down here until I retired, and then he quit working. He got mad because I wouldn't go down there and help him. But he had been retired about seven years when I -- he's seven years older than me.

HELFAND: Well, do you know that what -- the things that you're telling us, both of you, are very -- they're very important. And in fact, you probably think it's just your life, but these historians from all over the South who are very interested in -- in -- in the contribution of textile workers, felt like gee, you know, we've gotten down the history of management, and we got down the history of the steel workers, and we got the history of the auto 00:50:00workers, bt we haven't heard anything from the cotton mill workers.

CLONINGER: Well after I learned, I made $12 a week. That was big money.



HELFAND: So they asked Mr. Stoney, who's from Winston-Salem, and (inaudible).

CLONINGER: That was 12 hours a day, it wasn't -- it wasn't 8 hours, it was 12 hours.

HELFAND: When did -- and then you went on eight hours?

CLONINGER: Yeah, then uh, Roosevelt brought in and said, I think he's the one that brought in.

GEORGE STONEY: That's right, mm-hmm.

CLONINGER: He was a good fella.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember -- do you remember when you first heard about Roosevelt on the radio? Do you?

CLONINGER: No, but you know, President Bush puts me in a mind of him.

GEORGE STONEY: Really? Mm-hmm.

CLONINGER: I hope he'll get it back. I think he's more right than the rest of them. I mean, he believes in the right (inaudible). He may not get all he puts in for, because the Democrat Congress is not going to let a Republican hit more than they can help.

GEORGE STONEY: I think you listened to Reagan last night, didn't you?

CLONINGER: No, I didn't get the didn't get to hear him. I go to bed early since I've been sick.


GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. But that was what he was saying last night.

CLONINGER: Well that's -- America needs to get back to God. They're so far away now, it's pitiful. They don't --

MARGARET GARRETT: That's the trouble, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

CLONINGER: Everything's right, to hear them tell it. I mean, wrong. Well it's right to them, but it's wrong. They don't believe in right and wrong no more. It's pitiful. The next generation, if they don't have somebody to teach them something, it's going to be bad. Pitiful.

HELFAND: You know it's interesting, that's exactly why they asked Mr. Stoney to make this movie. Because they felt like the younger generation wasn't learning a lot of the history from the older generation --

CLONINGER: No, they think we're -- we're foolish. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Well they just -- I don't think they think you're foolish, they just don't know anything about it.

CLONINGER: Well now, I raised mine in the church. And they had the word in the home, but you wouldn't believe it to hear them now. Now my baby girl, she's finally come back, started back to church.

GEORGE STONEY: But have --


CLONINGER: But I got good kids, they're not mean, they're just moral, but they don't go to church.

GEORGE STONEY: Have you ever talked to them about what it was like when you were young in the mills?

CLONINGER: Oh yeah, they -- I got a picture of my family out there once. Way before I ever thought of that (inaudible).

HELFAND: Really?

CLONINGER: Yeah, I tell them about all these things.

HELFAND: Well, you know, that's a -- your children are lucky, but that's only because you talked to them. Do you know that a lot of older people, they don't talk to their children about what happened in the past, because maybe it was hard, and they're afraid well, sometimes there's bad memories that are connected to all that hard work, and they don't want to tell them about it.

CLONINGER: My home was happy -- I would have wished my momma and dad had never moved (inaudible). My daddy loved to farm, (inaudible) momma, and he raised all our meat, just everything. Right from the ground, and the top of the ground. And then we moved to the mill, and just (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: You lived on the farm, too?

MARGARET GARRETT: On the farm, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: A lot of people seem to have regretted that move, and again, this is something we'd like to record, because I suspect they moved because just it was hard to make a living on a farm.

CLONINGER: Well I don't know, my daddy sure kept plenty. He raised all our meat, he had a smoke house, and he sugar cured it.


CLONINGER: We always had fat hens and fryers when the time come, and milk, fresh milk and butter. Anything, vegetables. When the berries got ripe, they'd pick berries and can them. Everything. We didn't -- we didn't have much money now, but we had plenty to eat.

MARGARET GARRETT: We had plenty to eat, but that's about all.

CLONINGER: I'll never forget --


(overlapping dialogue; inaudible)


HELFAND: So, we've been traveling around, actually looking for people like yourselves who can talk about this period of time, and specifically, the early time when you were on the farm, and then moved to the mills, and then -- you don't like that part, do you? And specifically, around the time that those 00:54:00pictures were taken.

MARGARET GARRETT: And we went to stay where all the children was in one big room, all the classes was in one room.

GEORGE STONEY: This was in the summer, in -- in the -- in the country?

MARGARET GARRETT: In the country.


GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Well now, I lived --

CLONINGER: All the girls slept in one room, and all the boys in the other.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughter) I lived for two years in Yadkin County. You know where that is?

CLONINGER: Well who are you?

GEORGE STONEY: I'm -- uh, I come from Winston-Salem.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well this (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

CLONINGER: What's your name, is it Winston-Salem?

GEORGE STONEY: George Stoney. No, George Stoney.

(overlapping dialogue; inaudible)

MARGARET GARRETT: He's a professor.

GEORGE STONEY: That's right, yeah.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

HELFAND: My name is Judy Helfand.

CLONINGER: Judy who?

HELFAND: Helfand.

(overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

MARGARET GARRETT: I'm afraid I couldn't talk to a professor.

HELFAND: Oh, is that what you were worried about?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, that's right, yeah.

(overlapping dialogue; inaudible)

CLONINGER: Well folks, I'll tell you, I've got to go, my great-grandson's out there all by myself.

HELFAND: Are you going to be babysitting for your great-grandson tomorrow?

CLONINGER: No ma'am.

HELFAND: What are you doing tomorrow?


CLONINGER: I mostly sit out there by myself. My husband sleeps until say 12:00, he gets up, fixes his breakfast, he goes off, comes back at suppertime. And I sit out there by myself.

HELFAND: Well --

CLONINGER: And I don't mind it.

HELFAND: Do you want some company?


GEORGE STONEY: Could we come and --

CLONINGER: Why don't you come for dinner tomorrow?

HELFAND: (laughter) Well you know what? I -- (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: You want the menu? (laughter)

(overlapping dialogue; inaudible)

HELFAND: -- fresh vegetables and corn on the cob I could get around here. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) But listen -- but -- but you know what would be really great? Maybe you could think about this, it would be really nice to be able to -- to talk to you a -- a little more about, we came to Gaston County specifically because Gaston County is the City of Spindles, right? They have more mills than (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Well it had more mills in the -- in this county, 104 mills in this county at one time.

HELFAND: Because back then, in the 1930s, and you people are hard to find, I have to tell you. Most of the people that are in those pictures, I'll be very frank with you, they're six feet under. They've passed away. (overlapping 00:56:00dialogue; inaudible).

MARGARET GARRETT: That's right, yeah.

HELFAND: And so, it's very hard for us to talk to anybody who was specifically there, who could really tell us what was going on.

MARGARET GARRETT: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

CLONINGER: Well I even rode in an old buggy, my momma used to take us (inaudible) during the day when she didn't have no one, see somebody, see we all -- all our kinfolks down south (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: But you know what you should do? You should -- we should take you down to the Gaston -- have you seen the new Gaston Museum?

CLONINGER: No, I (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Do you -- do you know they've got a whole department of old buggies and sheds and so forth down there?


CLONINGER: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: They're really interesting, yeah. I bet you'll find the buggies you --

CLONINGER: (inaudible) down in there, in -- the boys and most of the girls married out. I had five -- five brothers, I've got one brother left, and one -- I had six sisters, five sisters, and I -- one of them's gone. So, six of 00:57:00us left.


CLONINGER: My momma and daddy's been gone for years.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, I've been lucky, I've had three sisters and they're all with us.

CLONINGER: Well you're welcome to come out there, but let me go, because --

HELFAND: Yes ma'am.

CLONINGER: -- that little boy's out there.

HELFAND: So -- OK, so this Cloninger, we have no idea where we can find him? There's a lot of Cloninger's (inaudible).

CLONINGER: That -- yeah, they are. They're not related to us. This one boy had eight children, his father, and they're not related (inaudible). So there's a lot of Cloningers in Dallas and Gastonia, and there was some in North Belmont, now I don't know if they're still up there or not. It's been a long time ago.

HELFAND: It's interesting to me, you must have known her, huh?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well it looks like I should have, I'm standing right there beside her.


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) so many years though, (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, yeah.

CLONINGER: I'll tell you, I haven't kept up with things, it's what I -- before I married, my life since I married has been a hassle. (inaudible). And 00:58:00I love my kids, I took good care of my kids.

GEORGE STONEY: Eight -- eight children?

CLONINGER: When I wasn't working. Eight children.

GEORGE STONEY: Eight children. Yeah, well that's --

CLONINGER: I had three boys, (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well listen, the next time that we see you, what we're really going to want to talk to you about is a lot of the things that you just (inaudible).

CLONINGER: Well I (inaudible) there in 1320, next to the last house. Right down in front of the graveyard. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible). And I'll show you a picture.

CLONINGER: Of us when we were small.


CLONINGER: With our black stockings and our (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Well what we'd like to do is maybe we could plan to come down and see her, and you could come down and be with us.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well maybe I could.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Could we do that tomorrow?

CLONINGER: If it suits Margaret, it suits me.


CLONINGER: I don't have any plans. But I have got to got see about that little boy.


HELFAND: Yes ma'am.

GEORGE STONEY: Well do you (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) you've invited us to dinner?


CLONINGER: What do you want?

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, that's for -- you mean noon? Old time dinner?

CLONINGER: Uh, that wouldn't be a steak, would it?

GEORGE STONEY: No, no, but I mean, it -- you mean at -- you mean at twelve o'clock, not at six, right?

CLONINGER: Well if I cook dinner, it'd be at twelve --

GEORGE STONEY: OK. OK, that's what I think.

CLONINGER: -- because I eat my dinner --

HELFAND: Well what time do you start cooking, if you're going to cook?

CLONINGER: Oh, I might start about 10:30.

HELFAND: Ten thirty.


HELFAND: You know what would be fun? Sometimes it's nicer to talk to people while they're cooking, than while they're just sitting. So maybe --

CLONINGER: Can you eat corn on the cob?

GEORGE STONEY: I can eat corn on the cob, and one other thing I (inaudible) around here is cornbread.

CLONINGER: Oh, I love cornbread.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, could you make me some cornbread?


HELFAND: OK, so you know what -- can we come around 10:30 and help you cook a little bit?




GEORGE STONEY: Now we'll bring the --

CLONINGER: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: We're going to bring the dessert. What do you like for dessert?

CLONINGER: Margaret, you coming out? (laughter)


MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, I may come down, you know.


MARGARET GARRETT: I don't know if I can or not, but.


CLONINGER: Do you like cabbage?

GEORGE STONEY: Cabbage, yes.

CLONINGER: What about cube steak?

GEORGE STONEY: Cube steak, it's all right.



CLONINGER: Mashed potatoes?


CLONINGER: I'll see you then.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. (laughter)

CLONINGER: You want cornbread with it?

GEORGE STONEY: Yes, that's right.

CLONINGER: All of you want cornbread?

GEORGE STONEY: Right, OK. Oh, and (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) one other thing, one other thing. Buttermilk.

CLONINGER: I don't have no buttermilk.

GEORGE STONEY: I'll bring it. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) (laughter) OK.

CLONINGER: It's good to see you, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK, thank you.

HELFAND: We'll see you tomorrow.



HELFAND: And if you -- if you remember that Cloninger.

CLONINGER: I will, I'll --

HELFAND: You think about it.

CLONINGER: But I don't believe she's any kin to us.

HELFAND: All right.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. See you tomorrow.




MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

HELFAND: She's something else.

MARGARET GARRETT: She's something else, that's the reason I wanted y'all to meet her, she's real good, she's a --

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, you've got a good neighbor there.

MARGARET GARRETT: A good friend of mine.

HELFAND: I'll bet.


MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah. We've been known (inaudible) so long, practically all of our lives, (inaudible). She's (inaudible).

HELFAND: So, you were afraid to talk to someone like Mr. Stoney because you thought he was a professor?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I didn't know about (inaudible).

HELFAND: He is one --

MARGARET GARRETT: But you're real nice, you just uh, (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Oh you -- you flatter me. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: But you know me, I don't have much education, and (inaudible) to talking, I just don't really know how to talk. Not like you're supposed to talk. (laughter)

HELFAND: You know, but whoever -- who made those rules up?


HELFAND: I think you -- I mean --

MARGARET GARRETT: My sister, she really did enjoy talking to y'all.

GEORGE STONEY: She was so helpful. And she's got such a keen memory.

MARGARET GARRETT: And yeah, shell be 90 (inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: I know. We came in there, and right off the top of her head, fah-fah-fah-fah-fah, just like that.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, she -- she loves to talk.




MARGARET GARRETT: -- she can remember things way back when (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: How old is she?

MARGARET GARRETT: She's going to be 90.

GEORGE STONEY: That's what she told me, and I -- she didn't look anything like that.

MARGARET GARRETT: Ninety, she's 91.


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) she is, but she don't have a single wrinkle (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: No, but she has that -- she has that very pink kind of glow.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, she's so --

GEORGE STONEY: Isn't that interesting?

MARGARET GARRETT: She is, she (inaudible). And she's that way all the time, and she loves to go, she loves to get out and go, meet people. Of course, she can't get around all that good, but you know Louise and Phurman.

HELFAND: They're great people.

MARGARET GARRETT: They take her, and (inaudible) appreciate Louise taking -- taking care of her like she does, she (inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: Oh, I gathered they moved there specially with that in mind, yeah.

MARGARET GARRETT: Moved there because, you know, they just walked, you know, don't have to go up stairs.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah.

MARGARET GARRETT: They did live in a two-story house, but they sold it and moved into this one.

GEORGE STONEY: Have you been over there recently?

MARGARET GARRETT: I haven't been over there, like not since they moved, I haven't.


MARGARET GARRETT: See, I fell and broke my hip, and I -- I don't get around that well.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. Because their -- their garden is just beautiful. But -- you know that little garden in front? It's just full of flowers.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, (inaudible) flowers.


MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I would sure love to have one of those pictures.

HELFAND: Well, I will get you one.

GEORGE STONEY: We can't do it until we get back, but we'll -- but we'll certainly be able to get it to you.


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

HELFAND: You know, I bet if we sat and talked about this period of time a little bit, you'd start to remember a lot of things. That's what seems to happen with most of the people that we talk with.


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) this lady that don't (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well you know what I think that was? They -- they tell me that that was a store that the union used to have meetings in, and that they also, the -- the meeting hall was also a place where they brought food, and they gave it out to the striking workers.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible). We was -- we were on strike when we worked over there, you know, we -- and when it was over, they said oh, they were so happy, they said we won, we won, but I don't know what we won. We never -- it wasn't even a bit better. But it was better than it was.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. That again is important for us to hear, because that's contradictory, and we need to get somebody who experienced it just exactly as you said it there.

MARGARET GARRETT: And then my sister and her husband, they ended up here on the 01:05:00-- the -- the Chronicle. And he -- oh, he got into that (inaudible). That strike [cleaning?] for unions, oh he was in -- he was so big, and you know, after it was all over, and they said that we won, well they didn't win anything, and you know, they fired him. They laid him off.

HELFAND: What was his name?

MARGARET GARRETT: Fred Ayerwood. Of course they're, they passed away, they're not living anymore.

HELFAND: Ayerwood. A-Y-E-R-W-O-O-D?


HELFAND: And what mill did they work at?

MARGARET GARRETT: They worked up there at the Chronicle, oh that's been years ago, that's the mill up above, (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: I wonder, do we have him on the file?

HELFAND: I think so. So, you worked at -- they worked at the Chronicle, and you worked at -- at this time, you were working at the Imperial?

MARGARET GARRETT: Um, oh, I don't think I was working back then, I was not (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: See, she just -- she just had a child.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, I was working there, but when my sister, and Fred lived 01:06:00over -- worked there, I don't think I was out of work, I had went to work here. Yeah, I believe I did come to (inaudible). Anyway, I remember they -- and they didn't normally, but they fired him, and not only that, they -- I don't know what they done, and wouldn't nobody else hire him. They (inaudible) I don't know what you call it, maybe blackballed him or something, but he couldn't hardly get a job. No work. (inaudible). Because he took such a -- he just took such an interest in that, you know, but, and then they didn't do nothing after all.

GEORGE STONEY: What had -- what had he done before?

MARGARET GARRETT: He was working there in the mill, you know.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember what his job was?

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible). I don't remember him. (inaudible).



MARGARET GARRETT: And I -- I was a spinner myself. I -- I was spinning like Lucille down here, and um, my husband, he run twisters.

HELFAND: Was your husband working at that time?

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, he worked (inaudible). We didn't stay there so awful long, maybe we stayed there and lived about five or six years, and I guess it got so bad that we just quit and left, and we went, and we worked awhile up there at the Majestic, and then we left the Majestic and worked um, I worked for (inaudible). I worked at [the Climax?] for a while, my husband went into the Army, and then we moved up, went up to North Belmont, where it -- while he was in the service, and stayed -- he didn't stay long, both his nerves was bad, and he got out, and then we come back to the -- up here to the Majestic, and that's where we stayed until we retired.


GEORGE STONEY: You said 41 years?

MARGARET GARRETT: Forty-one years.

HELFAND: As a spinner?


GEORGE STONEY: Wow. Oh, does -- does she have the knot, the -- do your fingers show it?

HELFAND: No, her fingers are beautiful.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughter).

MARGARET GARRETT: And uh, we stayed up -- they sold the houses, and then we -- we moved in here, we've been living here about 15 -- about 15 years. But they sold -- while they didn't sell them, they tore them down, they just (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I guess they just got tired of keeping them up, you know, and they just tore them down. But it was -- you know, it was all right, it was good times, and it was bad times. If the work run good, we had a real good job. And if it went bad, we had a real bad job. You know, sometimes just (inaudible) job part at all. And I know I retired, I retired 65, and they called me up in the office, wanted me to -- they said, we want you to work for 01:09:00us, you know, part-time, when we need you. I told them no, I wasn't going to -- I wasn't going to work no more. I said, I'm retired, and I want to (inaudible). So I didn't go back.

GEORGE STONEY: Did they have any pension plan for you?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well we got in -- we finally started it, but we wasn't in it long enough to, you know, amount to nothing.


MARGARET GARRETT: They didn't start that until -- I think it was about 10 years left in the (inaudible). If they had started that when we first moved there, then we'd have a good pension. It just, (inaudible). But Jack's sister now, if you -- she's so -- she worked, she went to work when I think she was about -- you know, she's (inaudible) she's about 80, 81. And she went to work when she was um, 14, and she worked until she was about -- she 01:10:00retired, and I think she worked about 10 years after she retired. And she's so --

HELFAND: What --

MARGARET GARRETT: She didn't (inaudible), so, (inaudible).

HELFAND: Was she working at the same mill that you were, at the same time?

MARGARET GARRETT: Yes. Yes, she worked at the -- she worked over at the Climax you know, at the [Sterling?] a long time, and then she -- she come up here (inaudible). Up here at the Imperial, I mean at the (inaudible). And (inaudible). And I suppose she worked at it until she retired. And she's...

HELFAND: How's her memory?


HELFAND: How's her memory?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, it's pretty good. Her and her sister. I don't know if they would want to talk to y'all, or what.


HELFAND: Well I just, I can't -- I can't tell you how amazing it is to sit and talk to you after having looked at you picture for (break in audio). How can I talk to you -- I kept on thinking, I know that little boy is around, and like, he's too young to not be around. I know she's around too.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, Douglas. Douglas he's 55 now, that's my oldest (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Where is he?

MARGARET GARRETT: He lives in uh, Matthews, no.

HELFAND: [Manuel?]?

MARGARET GARRETT: He lives over (inaudible) now. He's over on the other side of Charlotte, and um, (inaudible) on over, he lives out in the country. They call it uh, it's Norwood. Call it Norwood, on down that (inaudible) Monroe, I think is what he said.

GEORGE STONEY: What's he doing now?

MARGARET GARRETT: He works um, he works over inside at [Rexam?]. They never did 01:12:00work in the cotton mill, my children, Douglas, he -- well and my daughter, she lives in Shelby, she -- she works in a fine place, she runs. But my oldest son, he makes young -- my next oldest son, he -- he passed away, he -- he had a massive heart attack, and he died. (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: This is my son coming. Careful that.


HELFAND: Hi. Come sit down.


GEORGE STONEY: Uh, my son James.


HELFAND: James, (inaudible) the one who's been running on camera while we've been interviewing people. So he's met --

JAMES STONEY: I'm taking five. (laughter)

HELFAND: So he's met the Eagle Mill Village people, and Ms. -- and Yvonnie Hill, and Betty Henson, and uh, (inaudible).

JAMES STONEY: Everybody.

HELFAND: You know Clyde Dietz, and Woodrow Wright? And --

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, the -- um --


GEORGE STONEY: No, the -- the -- the --


HELFAND: I'm thinking of people around here. Do you know Rosa May Murphy? She used to be Rosa May King, she worked at Acme.

GEORGE STONEY: Michaels. Of course, the Michaels family.

HELFAND: Harvey Michaels.

JAMIE STONEY: Yeah, I remember Harvey.

HELFAND: They -- they were -- they're from uh, Harvey Michaels was from the Eagle.

GEORGE STONEY: He took us over to the Eagle mills the other day. Over the uh, the village? And we came on a little raccoon, followed us right out. (laughter)

JAMIE STONEY: Some girl's pet, it was out for a walk. And I was just like looking through, then all of the sudden this little raccoon just walks up, and he just, he wouldn't leave. And then when it gets up, the little girl (inaudible) you guys pick it up, or let it follow you?

GEORGE STONEY: Well, he followed us.

JAMES STONEY: And this little girl comes up to us, What you doing with my coon? And she just looks like it, it runs up -- runs up her front, and it just hangs on her shoulder like this.


HELFAND: Well I'll tell you, you might think that you look a sight, but I think you look beautiful, and I found -- I -- I understand everything you're saying, and it's really nice, and simple, and clear, and -- which is all that 01:14:00-- that's the best way to talk.

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, well I thank you.

HELFAND: Which is really sometimes hard for professors, because sometimes they read so much that they forget how to just be simple and clear.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well there's no need for me to try to be nothing but what I (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

HELFAND: Well there's no --

JAMIE STONEY: See now, if we could take that attitude with the whole world, I don't think we would have any problems. I think the problem is everybody trying to be something they're not.

MARGARET GARRETT: Because I'm just like I am, that's all I can be. So (inaudible) my son, now he went to school, he went to college and everything, sometimes I'll be talking, and he'll say, mom, that's not what -- that's not the way you pronounce that.

GEORGE STONEY: (laughter).

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I'm just like -- I am, I just went to sixth grade in school, I couldn't (inaudible). You know.

HELFAND: Yeah. Our friend over here, Rich, he's -- he works for a newspaper in Atlanta, and he heard about what we're doing, you know, trying to talk to people who had -- who had worked in the mills, and had participated in, you 01:15:00know, maybe this -- this -- the big union movement at the time. So he came all the way over here from Atlanta, because he thought it was so interesting that we were able to locate people who maybe never have really been, you know, pieced together in the communities, or put this experience together, since back then, 58 years ago. So he came all the way over here from Atlanta.

GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible).

HELFAND: Just to spend the day with us.

GEORGE STONEY: Just monitor it.


HELFAND: So, and we told him that we thought that -- that we had heard that we knew where you lived, and that we were trying to get in touch with you, and so we invited him to come with us, because he said gee, if you could meet that lady, well I want to be there when you do it.

GREER: (inaudible).

HELFAND: I bet you --

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I'm -- I'm sorry y'all (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well I was afraid -- want to know the truth, I was afraid if we called 01:16:00first, then -- then maybe when we got here, you wouldn't be here. So, I just had to take my chances.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I'm glad you came by, my sister, seriously, she was very glad to meet y'all, she'll be tickled over there.


MARGARET GARRETT: I'll tell her.


MARGARET GARRETT: And when we (inaudible).


HELFAND: Yeah, we've been -- I've been talking to them on the phone a little bit once a week since we -- since we met them, yeah, we have a good conversation every single time. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, Louise, she's a talker, too. She's -- yes, (inaudible).

HELFAND: Yeah, because she's -- the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right? So's her mom.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, she's a talker, she (inaudible). I'm just -- I'm just (inaudible) myself. And that's just -- I think someone's out there. 01:17:00And I can't remember being there, so.

HELFAND: Well maybe you can't remember this day specifically, but I think you remember that period of time.

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh yes, I remember -- oh.


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) we was (inaudible) I guess, like I can't remember (inaudible) but I'm sure I have -- I'd gotten something, because I had it in my hand. (laughter) But I've bet Jack wouldn't go along with me, I guess I went along with this lady. I wish I could (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well, you know --

MARGARET GARRETT: She could not even be related to them, I don't really know.

HELFAND: Two out of three isn't bad, huh?

MARGARET GARRETT: But still, but that's (inaudible) all right, (inaudible) he'd love to see that.

GEORGE STONEY: Well we'll get you -- we'll get a copy of it. Um, we -- we tried to get a Xerox for -- for your sister, and it just didn't turn out right, so I realized we have to make a -- a real photocopy. And that takes -- 01:18:00that takes time. We have to go back and go to the lab for that, but I had a -- we --

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible) just passed.

GEORGE STONEY: -- we had a Xerox copy, you see, and it's just not good. You see, so we'll -- we can do better than that. We'll get you a copy that looks very much like this.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, it's just something to have, isn't it?


MARGARET GARRETT: Just (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well how would you feel -- can we talk with you again about this? How would you feel about that?

GEORGE STONEY: You can join us tomorrow when we come to lunch.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, maybe I -- maybe I can come down there a little bit.


HELFAND: Well, I'll tell you, or we come here. You know, and make it easier for you, then you don't have to walk all the way over there.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, maybe yeah, (inaudible).

HELFAND: OK. That'd be great.

GEORGE STONEY: Sure, great. OK.

MARGARET GARRETT: And if I can find any pictures at all.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, if you can find any pictures of that period, it'd be wonderful.

MARGARET GARRETT: Any old pictures.


GEORGE STONEY: Now what we'll do is we'll look at them, but we won't take them. Judy will come back later with a copy stand, and we can copy them right here, so you -- you know, there's no danger of getting lost in the mail or anything like that.

HELFAND: Yeah, I'm going to come back and sometime in -- in September, October, and I'll spend about four weeks, you know, in North Carolina or whatever, and I'll be going from house to house, taking people's pictures and (inaudible).


GEORGE STONEY: So what we can do then is make other copies of your photographs, too.

JAMIE STONEY: You'll have your original plus an extra.


HELFAND: Yeah, when I come back, I'll bring you -- I'll bring you a couple of these, so you can give one to Doug and maybe some of your children.

MARGARET GARRETT: OK. Well I'll see what I can do with (inaudible).



GEORGE STONEY: So, I'll put that back in the sleeve.

HELFAND: You know, wecould always sit out in the yard (inaudible).


HELFAND: We're pretty -- we're very -- we're flexible.


JAMIE STONEY: I like your window. It's the best view I've seen in town.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

JAMES STONEY: That's a long distance. I spent a lot of time in Arizona, when I looked up I went, I like that.

HELFAND: We're obviously pretty patient too, right? It took us two years to find you. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: Y'all have been working at this.

HELFAND: I've been working on it for almost three years?

GEORGE STONEY: Yes, that's right, yeah.

HELFAND: Three years, three years. No.

GEORGE STONEY: That's about -- almost around three years, yes.

HELFAND: I don't know, I spent almost three years, and George has been working on this for four or five years?


HELFAND: Four years.

GEORGE STONEY: Four, yes, yeah. Oh, no.

HELFAND: But it -- it takes a long time to piece all these stories together.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yes it does, I'm sure it does. A lot of work too.

HELFAND: The thing that Rich has been most interested in is the fact that a lot of people haven't talked about this period of time until they came down here with all these photographs and started hunting all these people up. What do you think about that?


MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) but I know you didn't -- we've seen many a time we didn't have a dime in our pocket. We had to, you know, buy what we could, and then we wouldn't have no money from one week to the next. But we, just like I said, we lived in the mill house, you know, we had a place to live. We just didn't have all that much money.

GREER: Is that something that you don't really talk much about anymore, seeing that it's that far in the past, or?

MARGARET GARRETT: Sometimes we think about it, but it don't make us feel all that good. When we think about it, I know we went to church, we (inaudible) church. Well, like that was (inaudible) we got married in the church, they would, there's one man, he -- he was praying for somebody to give the preacher, bring the preacher a sack of flour, and they said the Lord spoke to him, and he said he was no more able to bring him a sack of flour than you are, 01:22:00and he said he got up off his knees, and went and bought the flour, and took it to the preacher.


GEORGE STONEY: That's a great story.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) all that much about it. But the preacher, you know, he worked, he used to have to work too.

GEORGE STONEY: He worked in the mill?

MARGARET GARRETT: He worked too.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, that's right, yeah.

GREER: So it was what, the 1960s that you stopped working at the mill, is that what --


MARGARET GARRETT: I worked, you know, (inaudible). I've been retired -- I worked, I've been with, I worked and retired -- I retired when I was 65, and I'm 74 now. Well I'm soon to be 75. I (inaudible), 10 or 12 years, now much is that? My husband, he worked, my husband, he's (inaudible) seven or eight years, so -- and he worked, he retired, but he worked on part-time because 01:23:00he retired before I did, and he worked on to part-time until I retired. He worked four hours a day, (inaudible).

GREER: When did you leave the -- the mill village?

MARGARET GARRETT: We worked up -- we lived -- they tore the houses down, they (inaudible). We had to move, we moved down here before we retired, because they tore the houses down.

GREER: So that wasn't that long ago then?

MARGARET GARRETT: No, it was -- I reckon that's been maybe about 10 years now they tore them down. And they (inaudible) they sold our houses. Well (inaudible) they give them to the -- to the mill, to the people, you know, all they had to do was just move them. Buy up some land and have the house moved.

GREER: But now, when they tore down this mill village you lived in --

MARGARET GARRETT: We had to move.

GREER: -- the mill still owned the houses?


MARGARET GARRETT: Mm-hmm. They just -- I reckon they just got tired of taking them up, you know? And (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: You know, (inaudible) to keep them houses. Especially out in a mill village, this one and that one moving, moving in and moving out, you know, they tear 'em up, they have to fix 'em. I guess they just got tired of (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: In some places, they sold them to the -- the workers.

JAMES STONEY: Dad, I'm going to go -- (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: OK, fine. And many of the -- and for many of the people, that was their pension. They bought the house cheap, and then they could live in the house, and with Social Security, they could make it. So, for a lot of people, that was the legacy that they got. They didn't get a pension from them, obviously, but they got a cheap house.

MARGARET GARRETT: When we bought this house, (inaudible) it's not all that much, but it's -- it's good enough for us.


HELFAND: But this was never a mill house, was it?

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, this is a mill house that's been fixed up.

GEORGE STONEY: Really? I didn't realize that.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, this was a mill house. This is a mill village down here, and they sold their houses. But they -- they moved this house over here to make, I think it was a three-room house, and they -- they built more onto it, so when we had to move, we just, we bought this house down here. And um, I'm glad we did. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, with what -- what rents are today.

MARGARET GARRETT: It's terrible.



HELFAND: You keep on looking at that picture. (laughter) You look about as -- as amazed as I am. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: Well I'm amazed at it.

(phone rings)

HELFAND: There's your phone. That must be [Deborah?].


MARGARET GARRETT: Hello? (inaudible).

HELFAND: Let me take a guess, is this Douglas?

MARGARET GARRETT: No. (inaudible) that's Douglas.

HELFAND: He's still bald. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, he's -- he's bald-headed, he took after my daddy, (inaudible). These are my children. That's my oldest son.


JACK GARRETT: (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: That's my husband.

GEORGE STONEY: I'm George Stoney. How do you do? I'm sorry, did we disturb you?


HELFAND: Judy Helfand.

JACK GARRETT: Yeah, (inaudible) you did.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, I'm sorry.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, that's my oldest son, and this is my youngest son, and that's my daughter, and that's my husband there. Yeah.

HELFAND: Well, Douglas hasn't changed a bit. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: When was this taken?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, that's -- that's been tooken. Well, several years now. There's still (inaudible) down here. And (inaudible).

HELFAND: Wow, you have a beautiful family. It looks like you've been married a really long time.

MARGARET GARRETT: Now, this is our anniversary picture, when we had our 50th anniversary.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, that's a nice one. The big cake.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah. Our daughter-in-law baked that cake for us. Douglas's wife. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Isn't that fancy?

HELFAND: Oh, that's beautiful.


HELFAND: I like your suit, too.


MARGARET GARRETT: My husband, he -- he just won't (inaudible).

HELFAND: I'm sorry we woke him up.

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, here Douglas is, (inaudible). I think it's just like (inaudible). He's just (inaudible) that's Douglas.


HELFAND: He's a beautiful looking man.

MARGARET GARRETT: He took after my side of the people, my daddy, he was plum bald-headed, and (inaudible). Oh,I wanted Jack to see that picture, but I bet he's he done took off.

GEORGE STONEY: Well I know that uh, when my -- my father was bald, and he said, Son, I'll give you a bit of advice, don't ever spend any money on your head trying to get it to grow hair, because you'll waste it. All your -- all your known ancestors are bald.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible). He's more bald here. That's -- that's when we went fishing, he caught a big fish.



MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).


MARGARET GARETT: Actually, it's the way it goes, when you -- he's been bald a long time.

HELFAND: What do you think -- what do you think -- because Jack was working at the time when this was taken, huh?

MARGARET GARRETT: Mm-hmm. Yes, but he wouldn't know, or maybe, well I don't know, he could talk if he would (inaudible).

HELFAND: No, we woke him up, so.


HELFAND: Well, this was a -- this was a -- this was a very uh, intense couple of weeks, wasn't it? This was 9/20/34, the strike was on about three weeks already at the time.


MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, well we had -- they had that strike and we -- we picketed the mill, in front of the mill, we'd go out there and we'd sit in cars, and we picketed the mill. That's what we called it. And after the -- after it was over, we said we won, but what did we win? And we went right back 01:30:00to work, and didn't win a thing. What I mean, it wasn't no better.

HELFAND: So you went out there, you were -- you were -- you --

MARGARET GARRETT: And we did -- I was for no union, no, but I was young, and I just followed with the rest of them. And I know it wasn't too much for me, but I just -- I don't know.

GEORGE STONEY: Was it -- it was your brother who was strong, was it?

MARGARET GARRETT: It was my uh, brother-in-law.

GEORGE STONEY: Brother-in-law, yes.

MARGARET GARRETT: He was (inaudible). Oh, he was really into that union, and then he was really for it and then, you know, when it was over, they didn't get the union in the mill. But the head mill, you know, the head men, they just got it in for [Fred?], and then they -- they uh, they fired him.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah he's -- he's --

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, he's passed away, they moved, my sister and him, they moved to California, and they passed away while they were out there. He was so 01:31:00-- they -- her -- her two children went out there, first they were out there in college, going to Bible school, so Freddy went up there, and then -- then my sister finally took the rest of the children, that's where they were when they passed away. Both of them.

GEORGE STONEY: What happened to Fred after he got fired?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, he -- he finally did, but for a good while he couldn't get a job nowhere, they just wouldn't -- you know, there wasn't nobody that would hire him around, because they didn't -- you know, that got around. You know, and you know how things get around. So he -- but he finally did manage to get him a job after so long a time, but my sister, she worked, and kept the family out there.

GEORGE STONEY: Did he get a job in the mill?


GEORGE STONEY: The same mill?

MARGARET GARRETT: No, not the same mill. Uh-uh. They moved from (inaudible).


HELFAND: The mill that he was working at at the time was the Chronicle?


HELFAND: And you worked at the Imperial?

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, I worked at the Imperial.

HELFAND: At this time?

GEORGE STONEY: Where -- where did your brother work after that?


GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm. I mean, your brother-in-law.


HELFAND: In the area, local. Like, for like (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

MARGARET GARRETT: I see. Well he worked around at different mills.

GEORGE STONEY: At different mills. He didn't move into one village, then.

MARGARET GARRETT: No. I don't -- let's see. No, I really think they -- they moved off, I think they had to rent him a house, and he lived off in it, and uh. They -- but Freddy finally did get him a job after so long a time, but they really had him blackballed for a while. They just were not hiring him.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, that happened to a lot of them, yeah.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah. They just got just got it in for him, you know. That's what (inaudible). Of course, of course that's the way it was back, you know, way back then, we -- we (inaudible). You know, we just didn't get 01:33:00into it with nobody, because we didn't want to lose our job, because we lost our job, we probably couldn't get another one, and we just had to take whatever, you know, come along. And (inaudible) subdued.

GREER: You're talking about after this, yeah?


HELFAND: Well, it looks like there were plenty of people that were -- that were for it.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah. But they was -- we, it's just like I said, we picketed the front of the mill to keep people from going in, you know, but it didn't last long, I don't think the strike lasted long.

GEORGE STONEY: About three weeks, I think, yeah.

MARGARET GARRETT: And I don't reallyit didn't do us no good.

GEORGE STONEY: What did you do on the picket line?

MARGARET GARRETT: We just stood out there. We were standing around.

HELFAND: Did you bring the baby?

MARGARET GARRETT: No, I don't really think so. We must have had some tend to him.


GEORGE STONEY: Now, some people tell us about singing and praying in the picket line.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah. That's right.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you recall singing?

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah. Yeah, we sang. But we -- we had a time though, but just like I said, we never did go hungry though, we had plenty to eat, you know, such as it was, we had plenty to eat. (inaudible) you know, we just didn't have the money to buy what we really needed.


HELFAND: Um, what happened to the people from your mill who joined the union?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I think we all went back to work, you know, after the union was over. I don't really think they -- they laid any of them off. Or at least I can't remember, I don't think (inaudible).

HELFAND: So you got to go back?


HELFAND: And Jack?


GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember --

MARGARET GARRETT: I -- let's see. I think Jack was working over there then, 01:35:00or not. Yeah, I guess he was at that time. Anyway, I know my sister and her husband was -- May and her husband was working there. And um, you know, that could have been before we was ever married, (inaudible) since I got to thinking about it.


HELFAND: Thirty-four.

GEORGE STONEY: -- thirty-four. Yeah.

HELFAND: And -- and you had a baby who was about two years old.


HELFAND: So you must have been married.

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh yeah, I was married then, but I -- see, just since I got to thinking about it.

GEORGE STONEY: Yes, yes, yeah. Mm-hmm.

(overlapping dialogue; inaudible)


HELFAND: Yeah, you know.

(overlapping dialogue; inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: You just -- he just has a child.

GREER: (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: I can't remember where that was (inaudible) but they was (inaudible). Yeah. Yes, its Doug. And that's all the baby I had then. (inaudible).


HELFAND: Look at his shoes.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well it's been a pleasure.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, it's been a pleasure talking to y'all, and (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, it's been very pleasant.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: And don't hold it against professors.



GEORGE STONEY: Thank you. Yeah.

MARGARET GARRETT: You're nice. It's been nice talking to you. But you know, say professor, May -- May say it's a professor and his son, and as you said, you got another lady with them, and then another man, and say he's a professor, I said look, he's a professor, I don't want to talk to him.

GEORGE STONEY: I don't (laughter) --

HELFAND: You know what? You got to change your card.

GEORGE STONEY: I know, OK. No, I've got to change my face. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: But really, (inaudible).



MARGARET GARRETT: And the way you see anybody like me, with such a little education, you know, I thought well I can't talk to them, I won't know how.

HELFAND: Well listen, if -- I hope you believe me, honestly, when I tell you sincerely that you know how to talk.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well thank you. I try to do the best I can.

HELFAND: Well you don't have to try very hard, you just do what yo're doing.

MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah. Well we're happy here now, just me and my husband, our children gone there, we're happy, we go to church, we go to church, East Belmont Church of God over here in Belmont. We've been going there since we've been married, there have been a few times that we, you know, just quit going, but we've always went back.

GEORGE STONEY: Are there members of that congregation who would remember this time?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I don't really know for sure, it's just like -- just like she said though, a lot of the people that grew up when we did, they've 01:38:00already passed away. You know, my -- everybody that we worked with up here at the Majestic, my husband worked in the -- in the [push?] room, every one of the men he worked with are passed away, all of them now. Most of the ones that worked with me in the spinning room, me and Lucille, all the (inaudible). Of course, she didn't work up here, she worked at the Eagle, but she finally come to work up here. And all, she's -- oh, it's me and her, I think, and -- and later on, her sister. Now later, it was [81?] and her sister is over 87. Now, she wouldn't talk to y'all, I'll tell you, I'll find out if they were (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: I'll let you know.


HELFAND: Maybe they could even come over tomorrow. (laughter)

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, (inaudible) she's not in too good a health, she has heart trouble and she can't go around you know too well.


GEORGE STONEY: That's, can we leave her, our number.

HELFAND: OK, you know what? (inaudible). But you know, the only reason that we even can come to anybody is because you were open enough to have your picture taken back then with that photographer. So you must have liked having your picture taken at one point. Because you're there.

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: But I can't remember why I was stuck out there in the very front. I wanted to well be seen, and... Um, I should (inaudible).


MARGARET GARRETT: And I don't know for sure, but (inaudible) --


MARGARET GARRETT: -- that let you know.


HELFAND: OK. We're staying at the Days Inn, in Gastonia.

MARGARET GARRETT: How much longer are y'all going to be around here?

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, about another week.

MARGARET GARRETT: About another week.

GEORGE STONEY: This is the card that frightened you, I'm afraid. (laughter)


GEORGE STONEY: (laughter).

MARGARET GARRETT: You don't frighten me quite so much now.


MARGARET GARRETT: But I've enjoyed talking to you.

GEORGE STONEY: Oh I've enjoyed --

MARGARET GARRETT: If I -- I could remember some things, I could tell you, but I just don't remember things all that well.

GEORGE STONEY: (inaudible). It's interesting, I've -- you know, I'm -- I'm -- I'm older than you are. I'm 76.



GEORGE STONEY: And I know how it is, I get stuck on something, and then when things -- for example, I was -- just yesterday I was back in my home town, Winston-Salem, and it's interesting, just driving down the street, things started coming back to me.


GEORGE STONEY: Oh, that's the [Below?] home, then a whole series of memories came in, oh that's the Coffee Pot, a whole series of memories came in. That's what happens.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well I was born in Clover, South Carolina. And you know, that's a smaller place. But I loved to go down there, just drive through that place.


MARGARET GARRETT: That's where I worked (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Well certain things though, are sad. The place I grew up in is a parking lot.


GEORGE STONEY: Well, you know, they just tore down the house.

MARGARET GARRETT: And my husband, he was born in [Manning?], South Carolina. They lived on a farm. He was nine years old when they moved up here to -- they moved to the mountains first, they got him a job up there, they didn't like it, so they moved them -- moved down to Belmont here, moved around several different places, they found a -- finally wound up over at the at the Stowe and 01:42:00then they stayed there for years. Or his family did.

HELFAND: I just wanted to -- when you drive by the uh, the Imperial, how do you feel when you drive by the Imperial?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, we -- we lived close by the Imperial, because (inaudible) in fact my sister and them lived over there a long time and when I was just a small child, would go, you know. Now my mother and my brother later lived at Clover, and I never did like Clover, I liked Belmont. So, I stayed with my sister more than I stayed at home. And she (inaudible).

HELFAND: Here comes your husband.

MARGARET GARRETT: (inaudible) but I don't know. Jack, you want to talk to these people a little bit?

JACK GARRETT: I ain't got nothing to talk about. There's too much work to do. I ain't got nothing to buy.

MARGARET GARRETT: Nothing to buy?

HELFAND: Well we're not selling anything, sir.

JACK GARRETT: I (inaudible).



MARGARET GARRETT: Well, he's (inaudible).

JACK GARRETT: I got a lot of work to do(inaudible).



MARGARET GARRETT: He's been down on his back, he's going to have to go to a chiropractor this week, every day.


MARGARET GARRETT: Yeah, it's bad.

HELFAND: You're touching your shoulder in solidarity, huh? (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, that hurts.


GEORGE STONEY: Well, you've been very nice, thank you.

HELFAND: (inaudible).

MARGARET GARRETT: Oh, it's nice talking with you all.


MARGARET GARRETT: I always try to talk to people if I can, (inaudible).

HELFAND: Well thank you very much. And it's possible we'd like to come here again tomorrow, OK?

MARGARET GARRETT: Well if I can, I'll come down there.



HELFAND: All right, well I'll knock on your door anyway, OK?


HELFAND: All right. And um, and you think about it, you know, maybe we can -- we can -- we can -- we can record a little bit of the story, maybe you'd feel more comfortable if you -- if you knew we were coming, and you could choose what you wanted to wear, and you wouldn't feel like it was sneaking up on you.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, I guess I better not have you come here, cause he (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: No, I think it would be better to (inaudible) down there. Sure, yeah.

MARGARET GARRETT: It's just, you know.

GEORGE STONEY: Sure. No, no, yeah.

HELFAND: OK. That'll be great. That'll be great. I'm just saying that then you could feel like you chose what you wanted to wear, and we weren't 01:44:00surprising you or anything.


HELFAND: Because that's what you were concerned about, right? A little bit?

GEORGE STONEY: Sure. Of course, yeah.

HELFAND: All right.



MARGARET GARRETT: It's (inaudible).

GEORGE STONEY: Thank you very much.

MARGARET GARRETT: Well, you're welcome.

HELFAND: But um, (inaudible). Oh. You know what? Your eyes (inaudible).

GREER: Other than the -- the fact that she's in the picture, and that you know where she stood at the time, is there some other importance to her?

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, the -- the -- the whole experience, once again, of her brother. But, I mean her brother-in-law. What happened to her brother-in-law, 01:45:00and how's that -- how that has obviously impacted on what she wants to remember.

GREER: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: See, if -- how interesting what she remembered about, and -- and that way she said, we won, we won, but what did we win?

GREER: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Now that's what Gorman said, we won, and then everybody -- we haven't yet found anybody who said it quite as simply as that. I mean, that we could just cut right in after Gordon. We have Gorman saying that, we won, we won. It's a great, if just that was great.

GREER: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: See, that's a hurt. See, they thought they'd won, because Roosevelt said you can go back, and it won't be held against you. And I haven't found three -- now I don't, we found two people who are sophisticated enough to realize that they were let down by Roosevelt. Roosevelt didn't have the agreement of the text-- of the owners when he said that.

GREER: Yeah.


GEORGE STONEY: I think he thought he did, because he hobnobbed with all these magnates, you see, down at Warm Springs. And the Calloways helped to build the place, and the -- the Combers would come over, and they'd be on these big dinners with the president, you see. And they were, and he saw the mill villages, and he saw the recreation places they built for the workers. And so, I think he was hoodwinked.

GREER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: The interesting thing is, as a result of this, he supported the Wagner Act very strongly, that got passed the next year. So that was one of the results of -- almost the only victory that I can see in the strike was that we did finally get the Wagner Act passed. Which he had not pushed before. He realizes that whatever the -- the magnates might say --

GREER: Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: -- they were eventually going to not support the people's right 01:47:00to -- to a union. No, that's a very important (inaudible).


HELFAND: What was that?