Yates Heafner, Roy "Whitey" Grant, Arval Hogan, Pauline Grant, and Evelyn Hogan Interviews

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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(off-mic conversation)

GEORGE STONEY: Huh? All right.

(off-mic conversation; inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: Why don’t I sit right on the floor right under the camera?

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: Let’s try that and see. Would I be out of the way?

(off-mic conversation; inaudible)

(break in audio)

HEAFNER: [00:00:34] I believe once or twice -- and in fact our -- uh, I’ve got, oh, it’s a bunch of egotistic stuff --


HEAFNER: -- or stuff that shows your egoism --


HEAFNER: -- but I guess I had [a more?] newspaper published in Winston-Salem most anything else. And I got, um, oh, I think, um, some kind of citations, I don't know whether it’s congressional or whatnot. (inaudible) bunch of 1:00[tobacco leaf?], he was secretary...

GEORGE STONEY: As you know, the paper is now non-union.

HEAFNER: The -- the what is -- the paper.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s right.


GEORGE STONEY: Just [gone?].

HEAFNER: Didn’t [Roland?] (inaudible) once -- he once worked for [Bowman Grey?], I think.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s right. He did.

HEAFNER: Uh -- yup. I’m not sure.


HEAFNER: [I don’t know if that’s the case?].

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Now, sir, I wonder if you could tell me what role you and other government investigators played in the settlement of disputes in the middle-thirties. What was your role?

HEAFNER: Well, our role was as a mediator, when, um, the strike occurred, uh, we got sent in on the situation, whether there was a strike or not. Why, we, um, 2:00got the parties together and attempted to, um, um, settle the case. Uh, um, I was right smart of a separate conference man to begin with. I’d go in -- if you’re asking for technique, all mediators are different. You got to -- uh, trying to get one mediator a tip-off to use your own technique is, uh, like --


HEAFNER: -- getting someone...

HELFAND: I’m sorry...

(break in audio)

HELFAND: ...on top of your shirt.

HEAFNER: OK. [I’ll keep ’em off that?].


GEORGE STONEY: OK. We’ll start again with the, uh -- the role of investigator. OK?

HEAFNER: Uh, well, we would naturally go in, as the result of a request, whether it be from -- a joint request, from company union, or from the union -- most of ’em came from the union, I would presume. Without checking, uh, it’d be difficult to say. But, um, my technique, if that’s what you’re interested 3:00in, was to go in, and I’d al-- I’d generally start with a joint conference. Ask the parties to declare themselves and what their positions were. After I’d gotten a complete, uh, coverage of, uh, what their relative positions, uh, were, uh, then I was right smart of a separate conference man till I could get ’em down to where I could kinda steer ’em (laughter) one direction or another. And my, um -- the technique that I always used, generally speaking, was to, uh, get the parties, uh, in separate conferences worked up to the point where, uh, nearly, uh, um, well, uh, dependent [on a?] defendant, where you could sort of control their positions, you know which way they’re gonna move. 4:00And use your joint conferences for progress. Because if you stayed in joint conference too long, and let people make too many declarations about what they would and wouldn’t do, you had that much more work ahead of you.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, this was a whole new concept, it seemed to me, because -- and we talkin’ about textiles now --


GEORGE STONEY: -- the employee seemed to be so beat down, most of them, and that’s what we get from all these letters they wrote to Roosevelt and everybody else. They...

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: And the employers seemed to be so used to working from the office and then down through the foreman [to?] controlling everything. It must’ve been quite something when you came into town and said, “Look, I’m gonna help you talk to the boss.”

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm. (sighs) Well, about the, uh -- what do you want from me on 5:00that now? Just tell me. I --


HEAFNER: -- and [I’ll answer you?] best I can.

GEORGE STONEY: Could you describe what happened when you came into town? You, uh...

HEAFNER: We’d come into town. We would answer the -- uh, we would first communicate with the party that had filed the complaint. We did get some complaints from companies as well as from unions. Uh, we’d first communicate with them. Uh, well, we might’ve communicated with both parties before then, but we’d go in and first confer with the one that filed the complaint. Uh, [then?] after a [while?], um, if it worked out, uh, uh, you’d get both parties together to declare their positions in each others’ presence. Uh, then, as I stated a bit ago, my, uh, technique was, uh, once you got the declarations of positions made, uh, you better get ’em apart and begin to ’stablish some 6:00degree of confidence, uh, so you could learn what’s surplus and what is, uh, basic.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, now, what made them come to the conferences? Because you came in after this big ’34 strike in which they had fought each other bitterly.


GEORGE STONEY: And then, here you come into town and -- and the workers are looking up to you, and the employers are -- are wondering what you’re gonna be doing.

HEAFNER: Well, I’ll say this. I never had too much difficulty in getting, uh, conferences set up between the parties. I really didn’t. Um, I kept close contact with unions, their organizations, their people. They generally knew about what my approach was. I kept in touch with trade associations, uh, textile associations, hosiery associations. Uh, those, uh, organizations, for 7:00which -- uh, in which I worked, most of the time. And, um...I don't know. It might be -- it’s hard to recall every detail, but very seldom, I don’t -- I don’t recall, um, any instances in which I didn’t get conferences set up. Even sometimes have to work with [it?] a while in order to do it, but...

GEORGE STONEY: How old were you?

HEAFNER: How old?

GEORGE STONEY: At that -- that, uh -- in, say, ’35, when you first came south.

HEAFNER: [All right?], ’35, I was --

F1: You were born in 1900.

HEAFNER: -- I was born in 19, uh, 4. July 19-4. So I was, uh, about 31 years old. (laughter)


GEORGE STONEY: What gave you the confidence to come into town? I mean, these southern towns weren’t, uh...

HEAFNER: Well, uh, that’s where the, uh -- I did not know too much about the textile industry. Uh, I was sent in here on a lot of -- on the textile cases, lots of ’em, because I was from the area. But, um, my contacts, I feel like with -- with union organizations, trade associations, company organizations and associations, I kept in touch with all of ’em. And, uh, they knew that -- what my technique was, pretty well, because I didn’t hesitate to tell the, uh, controlling parties what I thought of a situation, if it -- behind the scenes -- or if it’s necessary, get a little help to, uh, set up a conference.



HEAFNER: And I did get help in setting up conferences. Uh, from, uh -- be the union one, trade association on another. Every mediator had his own techniques. You know. (inaudible) you can’t -- as I said a bit ago, trying to use another mediator’s techniques like handing him a bowl of soup and giving him a fork with which to eat it. (laughter) Uh, no two people work alike.

HELFAND: Can I make a suggestion?


HEAFNER: But my...

GEORGE STONEY: Just a -- hold it, hold it just a...

(break in audio)

HEAFNER: [Not to say?], uh, fairly, and I think unions as well as companies would back me up in this. And, uh, except for, uh, being too egotistic, I would offer you all kind of, uh, letters to say so. But I got cooperation, uh, 10:00generally speaking, uh, from both sides. I really did. [I’m not kidding?].

GEORGE STONEY: Now, one of the reasons we’re so anxious to talk with you is that you came -- you were assigned to the South -- Southeast --


GEORGE STONEY: -- in, uh -- the first communication we have here is in March the thirtieth, 1935.

HEAFNER: Now, where was that?

GEORGE STONEY: That was, uh, when you went to, uh -- you were in Charlotte, and you were being assigned to a number of things here. Uh, you went on within that month to go to Lancaster, South Carolina --

HEAFNER: Oh, yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: -- Lando, South Carolina; Chester, South Carolina; Union, (laughs) South Carolina; Aiken, South Carolina; Langley, South Carolina; Clinton, South Carolina; Laurens, South Carolina; Anderson; Greenville; Gaffney; Lincoln-- I mean...


HEAFNER: That was all under the auspices of the TLRB, wasn’t it?


HEAFNER: That was making investigation of complaints that had been filed. That’s, uh -- yes, I recall having been to, um, practically all those places. I, uh...

GEORGE STONEY: Now, these places -- these complaints -- are -- mostly stem back to the result after the -- the ’34 strike and the appeals -- some people said they -- they were getting fired because of union activity.

HEAFNER: Yeah. Yes, we’d run into that, there’s no doubt about that, time and again. Uh, but the majority, as I recall -- now, I don't know, without going more into detail or checking in my files, which, God, they’re so voluminous -- um, a big part of ’em had to do with wages or workloads. That’s where I worked with Paul Christopher so much, because you’d go in 12:00and, uh, they’d claim that -- in the, uh, spending department, for instance, they’d claim, “Well, we have twice as many ends down per hour as they do in the other mills, and we get paid less for the work we do.” Um, uh, well, we’d make an investigation, then, if it was necessary. Paul’d come in and, uh -- I’d -- I’d request Paul to come in and make a check. And if, uh, he asked me, I’d join him in making a check. I’d check after him, or with him.

GEORGE STONEY: How did you get Paul into a mill? Because he represented the union that had just been defeated.

HEAFNER: Uh, well, if they were certified, ’course, you had no difficulty. If they weren’t certified -- again, it might sound like, uh, a little bragging, 13:00but, um, I don’t recall too many instances in which we had complaints after we investigated, if we found it was necessary. And I’d generally consult Paul on things like that that had to do with workload or low wages. Uh, generally speaking, I could get a conference set up.

GEORGE STONEY: Tell us about Paul --

HEAFNER: And get it -- and get an inspection.

GEORGE STONEY: -- what kind of person he was.

HEAFNER: Person? Uh, Paul was a very personable guy. Pleasant. Optimistic. Knowledgeable. Um -- to me, he was a pleasure to work with. In fact, I probably called on Paul about as much as he called on me, just to be honest with you. Because when Paul got the facts laid out before him, he knew how far to 14:00push a case and how far to not. He had a lot of intellect. Uh, he was smart. And, um, Paul knew when to compromise and when to not. Um, I enjoyed my work with Paul Christopher. I really did. And, uh, as I say, I called on him lots; he called on me a great number of times.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember a fellow named Lisk?

HEAFNER: Red Lisk? Yes, I do. I surely do.

GEORGE STONEY: Tell us about him.

HEAFNER: Well, he was, um -- he was a vivacious, uh, uh, freely-spoken, uh, person. Um...it’s just hard for me to say. I want to say about the same thing about most of ’em. I got along with those guys. Uh, on both sides of the fence. I’m not kidding you. I, uh -- I have letters that will attest to 15:00that [in?] a great number of the cases that I handled during my career, I guess hundreds of letters. And, um -- I think that the right approach, if a -- if a mediator had the proper approach, and, uh, went in, and, uh, considered all the facts before he attempted to do any work, and, uh, knew which way the wind was blowin’, uh, there was generally a way to -- to, um -- if there was any justification in it at all. If there was no justification in pursuing it, uh, to be utterly frank with you, I said so. And I think the sensible people with the union, as well as with the companies, knew that. And they learned, uh -- they knew about what to expect of me.


GEORGE STONEY: Now, you speak about the union, and you’re talking about 1935 --


GEORGE STONEY: -- and yet most people we talk with, including a lot of the management people, said that before the big strike there was not much organization, and then the strike came along, and then it just faded -- the union faded away.

HEAFNER: Uh-huh.

GEORGE STONEY: Your working with these fellows says something else to us.

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Could you explain that?

HEAFNER: Says -- make yourself a little bit plainer on that.


HEAFNER: What (inaudible) --


HEAFNER: -- (inaudible) --


HEAFNER: -- so I can answer directly.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, we’re talking about present days, looking back.


GEORGE STONEY: Most people we talk with say that, “Well, there -- there was no real organization in textiles --”

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: “-- until the NRA. And then a lot of lintheads took, uh -- took that -- you know, got kind of drunk on the idea that they could organize, and finally they had this big [bust-out of?] three weeks. And then they had to 17:00go back, and then it all died down.”

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, you see, the thing that expr-- impresses us about all this correspondence --


GEORGE STONEY: -- is that that wasn’t so.

HEAFNER: (pause) What, that they all had to go back?

GEORGE STONEY: That -- that, uh, the unions just disappeared after the ’34 strike.

HEAFNER: No, they didn’t disappear. They, um -- a lot of ’em faded away. And we had, uh -- we didn’t have any repetition of, uh, work with them, a lot of places. But there’s some that, uh -- there were a number -- I -- again, I couldn’t, uh, elaborate on the numbers, but, uh, were enough to keep us pretty well busy. Uh, enough complaints to keep us pretty well busy. And we had three men in the Charlotte office -- after I came back here, I opened an office here 18:00in...gosh, I don't know what year it was I opened it. I moved back to Charlotte, and I, um -- uh, but we had a staff of three men in the Charlotte office that I headed. Um -- of course, during the war period now, I, or the other mediators, uh, in the same circumstances, that had handled census stuff or had handled, uh, stuff like, uh, General Electric and, uh, uh, other industries that might be engaged in industries necessary to the war effort or considered more important. Why, I -- I spent -- during the war period, I spent an awful lot of time out of Charlotte. I just might as well’ve lived in Washington during the war period.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, during this ’35 period, after you came south, until the 19:00end of ’35, you worked in a whole bunch of mills. I’m gonna call them out.


GEORGE STONEY: Because I gather -- and you correct me if I’m not --


GEORGE STONEY: -- that practically all of the complaints you investigate --

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- were entered by unions.

HEAFNER: Biggest part of ’em, yes.



GEORGE STONEY: Uh, Cleveland Cloth of Shelby. Pelzer Mills of Pelzer, South Carolina. St. Paul’s Mills, of St. Paul’s, North Carolina. Springs, Fort Mill, South Carolina. Uh, Gambrill, uh, Melville Mills, Bessemer City, North Carolina. Monarch Mills, Union, South Carolina. Robert [Hartsell?] Mills -- and it goes on for about 20 others.


GEORGE STONEY: Uh, no, about 40 others.


GEORGE STONEY: Were there that many locals still in existence?

HEAFNER: No, there were -- as I recall -- now, this is purely guesswork --



HEAFNER: -- from my viewpoint, because without a review of my records, and I don't know whether they would be sufficient to satisfy, uh, an answer to that or not -- but, um, if we went into a situation and there was no certification of the union as a bargaining unit, you could [readily?] realize that a meter-- mediator -- uh, with a level head on him, knew about what his limitations were, how far he could go in attempting to ameliorate the -- the differences. Uh, generally speaking, I’d say this, with all due credit to the union representatives, why -- where they were not certified, were -- the complaints were filed by individuals or a group of individuals, in the minority, uh, the majority of people that I worked with and knew me, uh, uh, they knew when to, 21:00um, call a hold or what to expect of me. They didn’t expect any miracles of me, because, uh, you can’t perform miracles, uh, as a mediator.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, in -- in these letters that we get -- sent to Roosevelt and to Madam Perkins and to [Johnston?] and so forth, people are pleading. “I don’t want to sign my name, but please send somebody down, send him on Saturday, don’t let him [know?], (laughter) because if he walks in here they’ll get everything cleaned up there.” And you must be like a sh-- a knight in shining armor, riding on a white horse, when you come to town.

HEAFNER: Oh yes. And we would answer those complaints, under TLRB, and we did -- I know we did work for, um, the, uh, US Conciliation Service, which stayed intact for a while, after the Blue Eagle was declared unconstitutional. And we 22:00would answer those individual complaints, um, if they identified themselves with a particular union. Um, if it were someone that I knew well or an or-- union, which I knew most all the representative pretty well, of course -- why, I’d probably advise them that I had a complaint at, uh, this place. I’d ask them if they knew anything about it. Uh, or I may not. I may go in and make my investigation first. And, um, uh -- I was never bothered, to be frank with you, by union representatives. I was never pushed to proceed, uh, beyond what I felt was a reasonable response to the, uh, complainant.


GEORGE STONEY: Now, did you have any trouble getting into the factories yourself?

HEAFNER: No. I did not. I say this... I might have on an occasion. I can recall... I’m trying to think. Generally speaking, my answer would be no. I could get in and talk with them. Whether I could set up joint conferences or not, uh, uh, would be another step, of course. Depending on whether or not the union was certified or not. And not always was that the case. But, uh, no. My answer would be no. And I’d attribute that to two things. One is what little reputation I might have developed, uh, in, um, uh, keeping in close touch, uh, with the trade associations as well as the union, uh, organization.

GEORGE STONEY: I’m asking you that because earlier on, you know, before the, 24:00uh -- when the NRA first came in --


GEORGE STONEY: -- and 7a went in --


GEORGE STONEY: -- the -- there were so many, uh, complaints --


GEORGE STONEY: -- and the boards seemed to operate so -- so clumsily. They would take so long that the people who joined the union got fired. They’d try to form another local. They’d get fired. (laughs) They’d appeal to the -- the boards, and they’d go through a state office and then a federal office. And the manufacturer simply ignored that.

HEAFNER: On the whole, the unions -- again, I would say this -- the ones that I worked with --

HELFAND: [Watch your hands?].

HEAFNER: -- um...I can’t recall, uh...but I would say this, that, uh, except where they were certified, or except where they, uh, were willing to meet with 25:00-- the companies were willing to meet with them without certification -- and there were some cases like that, all right, during those days -- uh, the unions were never too pushy with me about trying to establish -- uh, set up conferences or to, uh, uh, work out plans, uh, for conferences, uh, where they weren’t certified. In other words, by far the majority of my mediation work, where I really mediated rather than just investigated -- there’s a heck of a lot of difference, as you know. For instance, uh, you -- you mentioned Lancaster, South Carolina. I had a complaint, um -- it was under TLRB, I believe, if I’m not mistaken.

HELFAND: This is all under TLRB. Everything that we’re interested in is 26:00Textile Labor Relations Board.

HEAFNER: Oh, I -- all those -- uh, a lot of those mills --

HELFAND: [Gotta be specific?].

HEAFNER: -- that you mentioned a minute ago were complaints that were filed either by an individual or an individual alleging to represent a group. And, um, I would go in, in cases like that, where a union wasn’t involved, and I would -- for instance, you take your Springs Mill, you mentioned that -- you mentioned, uh, other places in South Carolina. You’d go in and, um, confer and, um, uh, generally speaking, the management would permit me, uh, to go talk with the filing party. And when they did, uh -- and if the party I consulted with that filed a complaint, um, uh, claimed affiliation or said he was 27:00affiliated -- then I’d probably talk with some representative of that organization about having gone in there. But, uh, we had a lot of ’em were just individuals who would file as you can readily imagine.

GEORGE STONEY: How did you handle individual complaints if people were afraid to use their names?

HEAFNER: (pause) Well, (coughs) I’d simply say this. That’s a difficult thing to answer. I’m just tryin’ to recall some experiences I’ve had. But, um...whether we asked, I’m trying to decide whether or not I ever asked to go in and make a check on, for instance, ends down or, uh...no. I don't think I ever made, uh, a check, a workload check, or -- I made wage checks, all 28:00right, on individual complaints. If they were not being paid overtime or whatnot, and if they were worked over hours, uh, we checked that out. And we’d pursue that pretty well with management and, uh -- and, um... I would say this. In a lot of instances, I wouldn’t -- it’s hard to recall lord have mercy, but I would say we straightened a lot of those out. Got ’em straightened out, from an individual viewpoint. But, uh, there weren’t too many, uh, mills that you’d go into where a complaint was filed. But what he would -- the individual would identify himself with -- or with one group or another.

GEORGE STONEY: That took a lot of guts.

HEAFNER: Yes, it did. Uh, no doubt about that. And except for having, uh, uh, 29:00half-- um, some rapport with, uh, both sides, you couldn’t, uh, pursue it, beyond, uh, much you could do.

GEORGE STONEY: Talk about some of the employers you worked with.

HEAFNER: Now -- yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: Talk about some of the employers you worked with.

HELFAND: At that time, George.

GEORGE STONEY: At that time --


HELFAND: Specific.

GEORGE STONEY: -- in -- in, uh, ’35.

HEAFNER: Thirty-five.

HELFAND: This is in regards to people who had filed suits after the 1934 strike, and they were still having trouble with their employers, and then you would come in.

HEAFNER: Now this is where they -- they had an organization certified union or not? If they were certified, as I told you the other day, um, uh, it was not our business to organize. Or it was not our business to, uh, uh, uh -- to disagree. But, once they were certified, then it became a human relations 30:00matter. By George, that’s the way I looked at it, at least. It was a matter of, “OK, let’s see what’s right and what’s wrong about this situation.”

GEORGE STONEY: But in most cases, there wa-- there weren’t certified unions in the cotton mills.

HEAFNER: No. In most -- in a lot of cases -- under TLRB, an awful lot of ’em were not.

HELFAND: That’s the period of time that we’re talking about, is --


HELFAND: -- only the Textile Labor Relations Board.

HEAFNER: That’s right. And these mills that you mentioned here, I would hardly have any occasion to recall the personalities involved, outside of the top men. One thing I always did, I went straight to the top. I didn’t, uh -- I didn’t mess with intermediaries. I didn’t go out the mill. If I -- if Springs Cotton Mill, (inaudible) Springs. If -- if it was, um, uh, another mill in another town, I’d go to the head knocker. If he’s in New York, I’d go 31:00to New York. And, uh, always the case where there were certifications. But where there were a lack of certifications, [then?] there were an awful lot of complaints where there were no certifications, in ’33 and, uh -- when the strike occurred, and in ’34. And complaints arose as a result of tha-- uh, probably arose as a result of that. But, um...

GEORGE STONEY: Just a moment. We...


HELFAND: Do you know what I have...

(break in audio)


GEORGE STONEY: All right, Mr. Heafner. On March the thirtieth, you wrote a letter to your boss, Mr. W.C. Taylor --

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- accepting your assignment in Charlotte. And you were gonna be getting a whole bunch of assignments to investigate things in -- in, uh, the textile mills.


GEORGE STONEY: What was your perception then of what had happened at the -- in the ’30 -- this big general strike that happened in September ’34?


HEAFNER: (sighs) Well, it may sound dumb to say so, but, um, not having been associated with companies or unions, being a local insurance peddler, uh -- and a schoolteacher, preceding that -- uh, the strike made very little impression on me, just to be honest with you. In other words, I’m just a layman completely, uh, uh, in another world, at that time. And...

GEORGE STONEY: But you learned pretty fast. Because you got all of these complaints that stemmed from that time.

HEAFNER: Oh, yes. You -- you had to learn in a hurry. If you didn’t, uh -- as I say, a mediator, you know, has four bosses. You got labor, management, uh, 33:00uh, his boss, and the general public. And quite often you find yourself in the position of a dog surrounded by four trees -- they didn’t have a leg left to stand on. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Well, you -- you would come into one of these towns, and you’d have to check into a hotel, and then you’d have to eat in the corner, uh, beanery, or whatever you call it.


GEORGE STONEY: How were you treated?

HEAFNER: (sighs) Well, if there were much question in my mind about what I was gonna run into -- if I knew the background -- and I generally tried to learn as much before I went in as I could -- I didn’t hesitate to go to the trade association, uh, representative and tell him I was goin’ in there and I expected him to back me up in it. And, uh -- I found this. If you treat people 34:00fair and are honest with them, I don’t give a darn which side the fence you’re on. Now, you’ll find some, uh, defectors. But most people, if they, uh, know what your limits are; if they, uh, know that you’re honest with them, in what you tell 'em; if they trust you, um, most people have some reason about 'em. [There’s?] no doubt about that, in my mind. That -- that’s all I could say. I don’t -- there’s no doubt about it. I didn’t -- I just didn’t have a lot of trouble in setting up conferences. I really didn’t. I’ve had... I was trying to think whether I’d ever had conferences, actual conferences, with an individual who filed a complaint. I don’t believe so. I think we’d generally get those straightened out in the management if they had 35:00made an error or if they’re -- you know, you’d be surprised how, in order to make a good showing with the boss, how many overseers in, uh, some of these, um, marginal mills, uh, might try to show up (inaudible) production. And, um, I’ve run into complaints where they’ve said, “They’re workin’ me overtime, not paying me.” Uh, well, you go in, you find that true in one case and false in another. Um, if it’s false, we’d discard it and forgot it. If it was true, we went back to top management, started workin’ back down till we -- we tried to straighten it out.

GEORGE STONEY: But if somebody made a complaint and did not have union representation or did not have somebody like Paul Christopher or Red Lisk, was -- was he or she in a worse position to get his situation worked out?


HEAFNER: (sighs) That’s a...two-headed que-- uh, answer -- that comes with that. It depends on your mill management. If the mill management wanted to avoid, uh, any follow-up of that, uh, with organization, if they wanted to avoid it, why, you’d generally settle them right -- right on the spot. If they didn’t, if they were adamant about it -- and I don’t recall many cases where they were, um... (pause) I don’t say we got ’em all settled, but there weren’t many -- yes, there were a lot of complaints that we had that we’d report and we’d never hear any more about, after we’d go and investigate 37:00’em. Uh, but I know in a lot of ’em, they straightened them out. Might’ve been to avoid organization. Uh, might’ve been because they didn’t intend that their foreman do so-and-so. I know I’ve seen situations where I knew by getting the foreman in a department of a mill together with the top man of the mill, that the management didn’t know anything at the top. Or it would never occurred, for one reason or another. But, um...you know, it’s been so doggone long, when you ask -- if you ask me, “How’d you settle? What was the results? And were you successful in the majority of cases?” I’d say this. Any investigations where there were just an individual, or maybe an individual who claimed he represented the people in one department or 38:00whatnot, and had no union affiliation, uh, there were not a lot of follow-up. No, there was not a lot of follow-up.

HELFAND: Can I try?


HELFAND: OK. (clears throat) I want you to try to paint us a little picture, OK? What we’d like -- like George said, we’ve gotten hu-- we’ve found hundreds of letters that workers wrote, after the strike in 1934, when either they were still trying to get their jobs back, or they might be being evicted from their houses, or once the -- you know, once it seemed to the bosses that they didn’t have to worry anymore about the union, they started stretching them out again. And so there was a lot -- mostly these people -- it was after this strike, in ’34, and we’re trying to understand what happened afterwards, and the legacy of that. Most of the people who seemed to write these letters had been part of a local union that had come out on strike and 39:00then organized. And so then, all these investigators were sent out into the field --


HELFAND: -- you know, over 20 of ’em --

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm.

HELFAND: -- to investigate these desperate workers. And we’re tryin’ to see what it must have been like to come into town and have all these workers come to you with these real grievances and these real needs. And it was specifically, you know, post-strike, early 1935 for you. It was late ’34 for a lot of these investigators.

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm.

HELFAND: And, um, Walter Taylor was your boss.

HEAFNER: Right. Right. All right. Now, what -- what are you asking me? Ask it specifically, and I’ll try to answer.

HELFAND: Well, I guess the -- the specific thing, what we’re trying to get today -- so the best way that you -- you need a question asked, you need to know the date and the day and the place you were at? Or do -- or if we paint a scenario for you, can you fill it in?


GEORGE STONEY: OK, here’s your -- you had a -- the discipline to write to Mr. Taylor every once in a while about the general situation --


GEORGE STONEY: -- which you headed under the word “Gossip.”


GEORGE STONEY: I want you to read this and stop at each of these three items and see if you can remember what happened. And when you read, sir, just lower the paper a little bit so we can see your face. (papers shuffling) Just start at the top and read it right down, and stop at each one. (pause)

HELFAND: (whispers) Do you want him to read it out loud?


HELFAND: Could you read it out loud, Mr. Heafner?

HEAFNER: “In Gaffney, South Carolina, there is considerable dissension in 41:00connection with stretch-out at Gaffney Manufacturing Company. Union members comprised between 95 and 98% of all employees in this mill. They held strike votes some two weeks ago, and were supposed to have walked out last Monday and did not, [in view of delay?]. To a great extent in putting on stretch-out. A local met yesterday, and although I was not in town after meeting, it is my impression that they will possibly withhold walking out temporarily, only in view of possibility of securing work assignment men at early date.” “Securing work assignment men.” Don’t know exactly what I mean by that. “Only in view of possibility of securing work assignment men at early date.” Yes, I remember that, and, uh, I remember Walter Taylor jumped on me because I 42:00wrote, uh -- good gracious. He said I was writing a newspaper to him, and all he wanted was a synopsis. (laughter) That’s right! I remember that very distinctly. Stayed at a little hotel out in Gaffney, and, uh -- now, later on, when they were or-- of, uh -- when they -- I was in there on negotiations, and we wrote a contract with the TWA, [Roy Large?]. And the man that ran that mill was, um, Walter Montgomery. And I held, uh, negotiations, and, um...what’s that little town down there? [Billy?]?

F1: (inaudible)

HEAFNER: (inaudible) Gaffney? Oh. Uh -- Spartanburg. Cleveland Hotel. Roy 43:00Large was the negotiator for the union, Walter Montgomery for the company. (laughs) I believe Walter at that time was president of the -- of the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association. And, um...I negotiated that contract -- golly, I don't know what it take -- took a day or two, I guess. But we settled it up. No. Yes, we did. We settled that thing. We signed a contract. Seemed to me like we had a strike at one time too. I don’t -- I don’t recall, but I believe we did.

GEORGE STONEY: Before that, yeah.



HEAFNER: Before that.


HEAFNER: Yeah. But we signed the contract. But I know, I recall the negotiations. That was one that was al-- settled almost entirely by separate -- separate conference technique.


GEORGE STONEY: Now, go on to the second example there.

HEAFNER: “In Lyman, South Carolina, where I remained only a few hours, and talked only with management, the various mill officials seemed more optimistic than usual, and expressed their admiration for the board members, their work and existence. Mr. [Chaffin?] is apparently acquainted personally with all members, and holds them in high esteem.” “In Lyman, South Carolina...” Lyman, Lyman. Let me see where Lyman is. “...only a few hours, and talked only with management, and various mill officials...(inaudible) expressed their admiration for the board members...” “Board members.” Was I talking about members of the Textile Labor Relations Board, I presume? I -- I guess I...



HEAFNER: “...their work and existence. Mr Chaffin...” Chaffin, Chaffin, Chaffin. “...is apparently acquainted personally with all members, and holds them in high esteem.” And apparently -- yeah. Ih, Lyman. That’s down there, close to Spartanburg, somewhere. I don't know exactly. I don’t recall that instance at all.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Now go on to the third.

HEAFNER: “In Tuxedo, North Carolina, no unac-- union activity exists. Labor is of extremely domiciled type.” Now, this is where I par-- apparently had a complaint. And I go in, and they’re almost scared to talk to me, when I get in, apparently. “Although there is considerable dissatisfaction, appare-- because of alleged wrongful marking of hours, they would in-- hours -- they would indefinitely, in my opinion, bear alleged conditions without outwardly 46:00expressing their dissatisfaction by means of strike or public protest.”

GEORGE STONEY: Now, I want you to go back and read that again, if you would.

HEAFNER: Yeah. OK. “In Tuxedo, North Carolina...” I’m just trying to think. That’s up [near?] the mountains there somewhere. “...no union activity exists. Labor is of extremely domiciled type. Although there is considerable dissatisfaction apparent, because of alleged wrongful marking of hours, they would indefinitely, in my opinion, bear alleged conditions without outward-- outwardly expressing their dissatisfaction by means of strike or public protest.” Yup. I’m trying to think where that mill -- Tuxedo. I know where Tuxedo is, between Spartanburg and Asheville, somewhere there in the 47:00mountains. Apparently that was just a drop-in check with an individual complaint. And it may seem peculiar to you, but I have no scruples at all when it comes to telling the truth. I lay the fact right on the line as I see it. I don’t even recall, except from the standpoint -- it seems to me that a great, big, tall man in overalls had written a complaint into the board. I answered it, talked with him. And almost, with mutual consent, I think I left town without even -- I don’t even know that I even talked with management. I think I reported it back to Walter Taylor, uh, if I’m not mistaken now. I couldn’t say for sure. It’s very seldom, if ever, though, that I ever went into a situation locally and talked with one party without talking with both. I 48:00-- I let the mill management know, uh, ordinarily. In some cases that might’ve been good, from an organizational -- uh, bad -- from an organizational viewpoint. A follow-up. But it wasn’t often that I went into cases that the unions didn’t know where you were going or what you were doing. They kept in close touch. They were -- they were wide awake. They knew darn near every move I made. Uh, uh, the unions did. Even including when I’d leave here to go maybe to New York to talk with the textile executive. Uh, I wouldn’t tell them, necessarily, that I was going up there to get help with the local management, if I [need be?], same way I’d do with the union. If I’d get in trouble with Jim Carey on electrical case, why, I’d go to Philip Murray.

GEORGE STONEY: Was the -- were the manufacturers also tracking you?


HEAFNER: If there were, I was too -- I lacked the knowledge to give that much consideration at that time. Or... (sighs) they -- they had a pretty good organization of their own. They knew what was going on. I daresay I didn’t go into many mills that most of ’em didn’t know it. I’d say that. Uh, both sides knew, uh -- that’s the reason I made the remark I did a bit ago, about having four bosses. By George, general public and your own boss and, uh, management, and labor, you didn’t do much that wasn’t known. And if, uh, you didn’t stand by what you said in one case, it’d flare up to knock you down in the next, I tell you that.


GEORGE STONEY: Well, now...

HEAFNER: There’s only one way to mediate. That is, you go in, get the facts, let ’em meet jointly, state their positions, let ’em know right at the beginning [what you want to know?], factual, their factual status, then separate ’em and start workin’ on ’em. Where you thought the work was more appropriately done. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: Well, now, we’ve read a lot of your correspondence, including your almost-weekly --


GEORGE STONEY: -- “gossips.”


GEORGE STONEY: And if -- pardon me for saying this so bluntly, but you seem to be a dyed-in-the-wool New Dealer.

HEAFNER: Well, I guess I was, up to a point, yes. Uh, I don't think there’s much doubt about that. Um, I knew so much. You see, when I got outta school, I taught school for a couple years. And then I had a brother here that was president -- vice-president -- of the US (inaudible), the [opening?] office in 51:00Charlotte. And I quit, went to work with the -- in the insurance business. And, um, right about the time the Depression set in, and, uh, I damn near starved to death, just to be honest with you. And, uh, so, um, when I was offered this job up there I took it right quick. And, uh, I made up my mind when I took it that, um, I was gonna try to succeed. And, um, I found -- my experience taught me one thing. I don’t care how radical a man may be on either side the fence. If he knew you were honest and trustworthy in what you said to him and he said to you, you could get better results than you could by playing footsy with either one of ’em. And I -- that’s the way I feel about it.


GEORGE STONEY: Now, here’s a list of the complaints that, uh, were put in your lap on April the twenty-seventh, 1935. And there must be at least 60 of them. Look at that! (laughs) What an assignment sheet. (laughter) Lower your -- that -- yeah. Down a little bit more.

HELFAND: Could you -- could you put it on your clipboard?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. OK. (laughs) I mean... (laughs)

HEAFNER: Boy, got ’em in there, hadn't he? Good gracious alive.

HELFAND: (whispers) Good idea, George.

HEAFNER: Hamrick. Now, some of ’em I remember very distinctly. Hamrick 53:00Mills. Limestone... Some of these mills, either where there was a union, or where there was a goodly group and management was aware of the fact that they had a complaint, you could work something out. I can look and glance and spot two or three on there, where when the NRA was declared unconstitutional, I had negotiations underway. And, uh, when the Blue Eagle died, uh, a lot of conferences you just as well sign off of. Some of them carried through. There’re good and there’re bad any way you look. Uh, but I happened to just spot a couple there (laughs) rather readily, that, uh -- but most of those were complaints from individuals where there were no certifications. Because 54:00generally the complaints came through the unions, if they were organized or certified.

GEORGE STONEY: Let me ask you about the time -- and this may be the last question, I think, for this afternoon --


GEORGE STONEY: -- because you -- I don't want to get you tired.

HEAFNER: All right.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh, we were with, uh, Dr. Elliot White the other day. His father -- he’s a local physician here, whose father was a mill owner.

HEAFNER: Elliot -- Elliot White.

GEORGE STONEY: And we went up to, uh, Graham, where his father had a mill.

HEAFNER: Graham, North Carolina. Yeah.

GEORGE STONEY: And he was telling us about the strike. And then he was telling us how excited his father was when the NRA was ended --

HEAFNER: Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: -- as his father was just like, “Ah, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!” What experience did you have when the NRA was ended?


HEAFNER: (sighs) Well...you naturally had -- I’m thinkin’ ’bout both sides of the fence now. I’m looking at unions and the companies, and giving you the best I can from just a brief synopsis. Naturally, your unions were disappointed. Uh, your companies -- you had some that said, “Good riddance. Uh, uh, you just well forget me.” Uh, I didn’t have many of those, but I had some. Uh, others? I recall one very definite, between (inaudible), I can’t think of the town, where the management called me and told me, “I know 56:00the NRA is dead.” Oh, excuse me. “I know the NRA is dead.”

HELFAND: Could you start that again? [Get?] that “One of them called me, the management...”?

HEAFNER: Yes. I -- I can think of one instance, at least, where management called me from a mill up here between here and (inaudible). I’ve forgotten the town -- small town -- and said, “Mr. Heafner? The NRA’s dead. You have a conference set up here for tomorrow.” Or next day, whenever it was. Um -- “You come on up. I think you made a fair check in my mill. We’ll straighten it out.” In that case, I’m not sure that I called Paul Christopher. I’m not sure whether they were certified or not. But anyhow, I went in; they settled it up just like you were sitting around the table 57:00negotiating a contract. Uh, but, um, there was a lot of dismay, and there was a lot of, um -- of, uh, no doubt, uh, people that were proud that it was declared unconstitutional. No doubt about that.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. We better hold it.


GEORGE STONEY: I think you’ve done extremely well.

JAMIE STONEY: Let’s -- I just want to (inaudible) while you’re (inaudible).

HEAFNER: Well, [that was?] the best --


HEAFNER: -- [to?] know, uh -- and I want to make one remark --


HEAFNER: -- and that’s this, uh --


HEAFNER: -- um, to me, is it’s difficult to understand. Either the Lord, uh, worked on the people that I work with, uh, and, uh, uh, blessed me in that way, because I needed my job when I got it. Uh, but I didn’t kiss any feet to hold it. Um, I was fair. I tried to be honest. And once you work with people more 58:00than once, and they learn that -- and this sounds like bragging, no doubt, but, uh, I’m not ashamed of it -- uh, you can get along with both sides.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, we know of -- we know -- we’ve gotten a lot of talk about good bosses and all of this, you know, the -- the Linebergers and the Stowes and what they’ve done with the community and so forth.


GEORGE STONEY: We constantly hear, from workers as well as a lot of the management types, that only the kind of trashy people joined the union. Where did that idea come from?

HEAFNER: Pshaw. Well, it’s just like the racial issue. You got people who, um -- I was raised a Southerner. And naturally, the racial issue, it’s not confined to the South, it exists in the East and the North as well as it does in 59:00the South. Uh, still does, up to a point. You know it as well as I. Um, you have to learn to control your viewpoints, uh, on issues like that. The same thing applies to the unions. Naturally, a company feels, uh, uh, freer without having a union to negotiate with, I would think. Uh, that’s just my vision of it. Um, um...another question, follow up?

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. It’s just that, uh, you met Christoph-- you’ve told us about Christopher and -- and Red Lisk, and, uh, Alton Lawrence, and these people who seem to be men of character, and yet the kind of memory that so many people 60:00has is of, uh, irresponsible people. And that’s what we’re trying to get at, why that is.

HEAFNER: (sighs) Well, this -- you’ve got prejudice that exists. There is little doubt like that, just like the racial issue. You got prejudices. Uh -- sure, I’ve seen people that I thought belonged to the union that I thought weren’t wholly responsible as individuals. But taken in the group, as long as you had a responsible person at the head of them, to control ’em, uh, it was a -- it became a -- an education to that man. Um, but you had some of all sorts, on both sides. Now, there’s no doubt about that. You -- you can’t confine the, um, uh, any adjective you want to use and apply it entirely to one side 61:00(laughs) or the other. No sir, you sho’ can’t.


HEAFNER: That I know.

GEORGE STONEY: That’s great. OK. [When we?]...

JAMIE STONEY: I just want to --


JAMIE STONEY: -- we just need to get some tone here.


JAMIE STONEY: Could you [drop?] your head?


HELFAND: Yeah. You know what, [Janey?]? When we get the -- when we get room tone, [can?] you just hold on (inaudible) just like that. Thank you.

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible)

HELFAND: (whispers) Yeah. Let’s do it like this and then we’ll do it like that. (inaudible) (pause)



HELFAND: All right. Can we just get a still shot of Mr. Heafner --


HELFAND: -- looking at this, um...

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible)

HELFAND: You don’t have to say a word. Just, um...

JAMIE STONEY: I just need you looking at the clipboard.


HELFAND: Could you just look at the clipboard? Yeah.

HEAFNER: Just look at the clipboard?

HELFAND: Yeah, yeah --

HEAFNER: All right.

HELFAND: -- yeah. (pause)

GEORGE STONEY: That’s quite a menu (laughs) for a -- for a... (laughs)

JAMIE STONEY: Shh, shh, shh.


GEORGE STONEY: Yup. OK. OK. You want...

HEAFNER: No, I’ll tell you. Just being utterly frank with you --

GEORGE STONEY: My -- my still camera.

HEAFNER: -- I look back now, at that career of 4-- nearly 40 years. Well, I think I can best explain it to you by giving you a copy of my dissertation on --



HEAFNER: -- mediation experiences. And I about got it completed. I’ve got a girl working up for me, uh, to be used in talk and --


HEAFNER: -- I use -- I’ve used all or part of it, in talks myself in the past. And, uh, do a little of that off and on when I feel like it, for some of them. But, uh, I look back over that 40 years, and I wonder how, in the name of goodness, a man with my pa-- my experience prior to that time -- uh, well, I’ll put it in just plain, common language -- got by with what I did, with both sides. But I can say sincerely that when the chips were down, and there were -- was -- was substance -- in what I was gonna handle -- and if there was 64:00no substance to it, I was frank with the side filing the complaint. Tell ’em, “I don't think there’s substance there. I don't want you to be misled by what I’m gonna say to the other side when I meet with ’em separately. Not a bit. I’m willing to go so far, no further.” As long as the parties learned that you work with ’em that way and lay the facts of life on the -- before them -- I don’t give a damn how poor they are, how rich they are, generally there’s enough human decency in people that they’ll respond. And, uh, I got...good response, if I do say it. I don’t give a darn. I, um -- I -- I don’t know of a person that I worked with, on either side of the fence, that I 65:00couldn’t go back today and face and -- look in the face -- and at least he’d say, “Well, you told me the truth.” And that’s worth a hell of a lot. And I’m gonna tell you this, it’s worth a hell of a lot to you. And I get a lot of satisfaction in my old age in feeling that way, and I don’t mean to sit here and brag, but, uh, that’s right. Now, I was in on -- I’ll say this much, and then I’m gonna shut up, sho’ nuff. But one of the mills I was in was the Cone Mills. In ’35, I believe it was. I don't know the date; it’s not on there. I was gonna tell you the date, but I didn’t -- I don’t remember. I was in there on two situations. I think it wa-- when they reduced wages, anywhere from 10 to 15%, or, you know, 5 to 20, or whatnot, depending on 66:00the mill, um, Cone Mills cut down to three days a week at Proximity and a couple other of their major mills. Uh, the workers struck. Uh, they had a pretty good union in there. Julius Frye was the union representative, I think, at that time. And, um, he and Fullerton, uh, were the parties, I believe, at that time. Went in on that strike and met at that hotel, whatever the name of it, Carolina hotel, Greensboro. And I found Herman Cone -- I’m talking off the record now -- I found Herman Cone to be a -- a man -- a pr-- a high-principled man. He was -- Herman was, uh -- he stood out to me, among any that I knew in that group, when you got him down in private and talked with him and God, just to be honest 67:00with you. And I’m not too big a Christian to use that name (laughter) loosely. But, um, we settled it. And when we settled it, Herman turned around and, uh, he reduced the wage all right. Because he was -- he had a pretty high level of, uh, wage scale at that time, compared to the others. And from all the information we had gathered, the sheeting mills and the denim mills throughout the industry, we kept a bank of that stuff. And a lot of the stuff we -- we were gathering [in?] information all the time. But, um, we settled it. Then Herman turned around and, as I remember, the next week or so, he talked with me and he says, “I tell ya, I’m gonna go back on four days a week, so that people can, uh, draw a little more money. Because I -- [more nearly in?] competition,” or something like that. But, um -- I found decency all the way around, as long as you shot square and straight to the point with people. 68:00That’s -- that’s all I can say. I -- I’m -- I’m thankful that I got through the 40 years like I did. That’s all. Now I’m done my bragging.

GEORGE STONEY: Great! (laughs) OK. That’s wonderful.

(break in audio)

HELFAND: [01:08:14] ...just sitting by the fireplace. You just picked it up --

ARVAL HOGAN: (inaudible) it up --

HELFAND: -- and started pickin’...

ARVAL HOGAN: -- started pickin’. (inaudible)

HELFAND: Yeah, you just (inaudible).

ARVAL HOGAN: I’ll say -- I’ll go over here and get this old mandolin out of the case.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Good. All right?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: He wants you to tell him how -- how -- uh, how old it is --

ARVAL HOGAN: (inaudible)

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: -- and where you bought it and so forth, like that.


JAMIE STONEY: [You ready?]?

GEORGE STONEY: -- let’s go. Roll it.

JAMIE STONEY: When you’re ready.

ARVAL HOGAN: Well, I’ll go over here and get this old mandolin out of the case. This, uh -- this old mandolin was born in 1940, so that makes it about 58 year ol’. Almost as old as I am. So, uh -- I bought it when I was working in Firestone Mill, in Gastonia. And I got it at, uh, Jones Furniture Company. And I paid, uh -- traded an old National mandolin dow-- for the down payment. And 69:00then I paid the mandolin off, a dollar and a quarter a week. It and the case together there was -- cost $140. And it took me quite a while workin’ in the mill and paying a dollar and a quarter a week to pay it off.

GEORGE STONEY: What about you, Whitey?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: OK. Let me get out this old guitar here. (strumming)_ This guitar, I bought it new in 1944, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, at a furniture store. And, uh, I paid $100 -- $104 -- for the guitar. And the only thing that has ever been done to it -- I had this tailpiece put on it, uh, and this tailpiece cost me exactly $104. (laughter) So -- so the guitar is worth $208. ’Course, I been offered a lot (laughter) more money than that for the 70:00guitar. (strumming) 1944 D-18 Martin guitar. And I love it. And, uh, once in a whole Hogan and I (laughs) would get together -- after 57 years together, we’d get together and run over a tune or two. [Hogan was?]...

ARVAL HOGAN: You feel like playing one, Whitey?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: (laughter) Yeah, let’s do this, uh, little tune here. (strumming)

ARVAL HOGAN: “Meet Me Somewhere In Your Dreams”?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: “Meet Me Somewhere In Your Dreams.”


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: That’s right.

ARVAL HOGAN: Well, we’ll dedicate it to our wives.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Yeah, we always dedicate this number to our wives. (laughter) “Meet Me Somewhere In Your Dreams.” (music)

HOGAN AND WHITEY: Softly tonight when the world is at rest, Meet me somewhere in 71:00your dreams, Where lovers find only true happiness, Meet me somewhere in your dreams.

We’ll take a trip in memories ship, Drifting down life’s golden stream, I still have you and our old rendezvous, Meet me somewhere in your dreams.


Softly tonight when the world is at rest, Meet me somewhere in your dreams, Where lovers find only true happiness, Meet me somewhere in your dreams.

We’ll take a trip in memory’s ship Drifting down life’s golden stream, I still have you and our old rendezvous, Meet me somewhere in your dreams.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: All right! A little tune there called “Meet Me Somewhere In Your Dreams.” A sung for you [by?] Whitey and Hogan.

GEORGE STONEY: How did you two -- how did you two guys meet?

ARVAL HOGAN: Well, uh, I got a job in, uh, Firestone Mill about ’35. And, uh, I’s workin’ up there one day, and this guy got to talking to me. And he 73:00said he played music. So I didn’t think nothin’ about it then. So, uh, later on, my brother and I was walking down the street one, uh, Sunday afternoon, and heard two guys out in the backyard (laughter) playing guitars and singin’. So I told my brother, I said, “Let’s -- let’s stop and hear ’em play a little bit.” (strumming) So we went back there, and lo and behold, it was Whitey and his brother-in-law. (strumming) So he and I got to talking about it, and I told him I played the mandolin, and he said, “Well, why don’t you come over in the morning, and, uh, let’s see what we can do together?” Because our brothers work on different shift. So, uh, I went over the next morning, and, uh, that’s how we got started playing together. And that was 1935. And -- and here we are here today, (laughter) 57 years later.


GEORGE STONEY: What was the first song you played together?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Uh, “No Place to Pillow My Head,” and don’t ask us to do it now -- we can’t. (laughter) We’ve forgotten.

ARVAL HOGAN: We’ve forgotten.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: But I think that was the first song that we ever sung together, “No Place to Pillow My Head.”

ARVAL HOGAN: It was. First tune.

GEORGE STONEY: Did you ever play anything that had anything to do with working in the cotton mill?

ARVAL HOGAN: I don’t remember us havin’ a -- a cotton mill number. As much as we worked in the mill and played music at the same time, we just didn’t have a cotton mill number. I know there were several guys that did have ’em.


ARVAL HOGAN: It just so happened that we didn’t.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: -- we did, uh, a lot of performances for the, uh, uh, cotton mill people there, which we was a member of. Uh, they would have amateur contests and, uh, uh, womanless weddings and, uh, [amatation?] impersonation contests, and we would always enter that. And, uh, sometime we would win, um, 75:00second or third place. (laughter) But we had our fun in -- in those days with the folks. Because they were just down to earth, like us. And, uh, we loved ’em, they loved us, and we were glad to -- every chance we get, we go back over to the -- over to the Firestone Mill and -- and chat with ’em now.

GEORGE STONEY: (clears throat) What other songs does -- do you remember from those days?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: (strumming) Oh, (laughs) I’ve [eaten slip?] since then, but, uh, we used to do, uh, several numbers, about, uh, uh, uh, “My Mom’s Sick,” and we would do -- we did mostly, uh, the old gospel tunes.

ARVAL HOGAN: One of our first tunes to perform before people was, uh, “The Old Country Church.” Singin’ in a church, for a long time there, that’s what we did. We sang in a church every weekend somewhere. [’Cause?] we were working on second shift, see, and we couldn’t go during the week. But every weekend, we’d be somewhere in churches singing the old gospel songs. And 76:00that’s how -- that’s how we got started, out meetin’ the public.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: We were, uh -- we were, uh, on our job one day, there at Firestone Cotton Mill, (clears throat) and, uh, we, uh, we -- we were called to come to the telephone. And I went to the telephone. It was, uh, Mr. Crutchfield, who was the program director and general manager of, uh, WBT in Charlotte, a 50,000-watt station. We’d been working on a 250-watt station. And it was our highest ambition to work on WBT. And, uh, when the phone rang, my bossman came to me and says, “Whitey,” he says, “You ain’t gonna believe this,” he said, “Charlie Crutchfield’s on the telephone, wantin’ to talk to you.” So I went to the phone, and he wanted us to come over and, uh, sing somethin’ for him. And we came over and sang a couple of numbers. And we didn’t sing over two or three numbers till he said to close up your 77:00books, and I figured that was a nice way of tellin’ us that they didn’t want us. But, uh, he had heard all he wanted. He wanted to hire us. And so he hired us to work on WBT. Hired us for three months, and we stayed there about -- almost 12 years.

GEORGE STONEY: Could [we?]...

ARVAL HOGAN: And we still do programs [up there?] occasion, where we’re on Hello, Henry, just recently.

GEORGE STONEY: Could you play “The Old Country Church”?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Yes. Oh yes. That’s one of our first numbers. And I think we can still do it. “The Old Country Church.” (music)

WHITEY AND HOGAN: There’s a place dear to me, Where I’m longing to be, With my friends at the old country church There with mother we went, And our 78:00Sunday’s were spent, With the friends at the old country church.

Precious church of memory, Oh what joy they bring to me, How I long once more to be, With the friends at the old country church.

As a small country boy, How my heart beat with joy When we (inauble) in the old country church. And the Savior above, By his wonderful love, Saved my soul in 79:00the old country church

Precious church of memory, Oh what joy they bring to me, How I long once more to be, With the friends at the old country church.

Oft my thoughts make me weep, For so many in sleep, In their graves near the old 80:00country church And some time I my rest with the friends I love best, In a grave near the old country church.

Precious church of memory, Oh what joy they bring to me, How I long once more to be, With my friends at the old country church.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: One of the old hymns, “The Old Country Church.” That’s -- we cut our eyeteeth on that number. And, uh, we still love it.

GEORGE STONEY: How did you get in the cotton mill, Whitey?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Uh, I got into the cotton mill in about, uh, 1934 or ’35. I had been working with my father up in Rutherfordton, in Rutherford County. He was a paint contractor. And, uh, he taught me to paint, and I, uh, worked with him for quite a while there. And he had to have an operation, which 81:00slowed him down considerably. And about that time I was, uh, getting ready to marry a little girl by the name of Polly Chapman. And, uh, after we married, uh, we both told my dad, said, “Look, you have, uh, looked after Roy, Whitey, you have looked after him for quite a while now, for about 19 years.” Said, “We’re gonna go to Gastonia and see if we can find us a job, and you can come and live with us the rest of your life.” So, uh, we came to Gastonia, to Firestone Cotton Mill. And, uh, we got a job at the Firestone Cotton Mill. I started there as an undercleaner. Now, that was cleanin’ all the grease and dirt from out from under the frames there. (laughter) But finally I wound up running speeders. That was the frame that, uh, twisted the fabric to go into the Firestone, uh, tires, on the cars. And, uh, I made the grand total of about, uh, 9 or 10 dollars a week there -- which was good money. I mean, good 82:00money then. We were proud of it. We paid 25 cent a room for our house. We had a four-room house. Cost us a dollar -- a dollar a week. Uh, which was a -- which was a good deal. But, uh, we worked in the -- in the mill there for quite a while. And, uh, uh, we -- I was struggling by myself tryin’ to make ends meet. And the wife says, “Why don’t I get me a job and go to work too?” And I said, “Well, you think you can do it?” She says, “If you can, I can!” So we got her a job in the, uh -- the card room. She was a -- she ran speeders there, that twisted the cotton that I twisted to make the (laughter) fabri-- the -- the cord. So, uh, we spent -- uh, let’s see -- from ’35 to about -- we spent about seven or eight years there, in Firestone Cotton Mill, and enjoyed it. We really did. And, uh, we’re happy to say that, uh, we can still go back there and find a bunch of friends at the Firestone Cotton Mill.


GEORGE STONEY: Was there a lot of music around there?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Not -- not a whole lot, Stoney, but, uh, what -- what there was around, people -- people enjoyed it. Uh, back in those days, in the -- in the -- from ’30 to ’35, if you could play a musical instrument, you, uh -- you had it made pretty good. So, uh -- that’s one reason I -- I learned to play the guitar, because, uh, we were -- back when I was courting Polly, uh, we would go to these parties. And there was one old boy there that could play the guitar and sing. And he won all the girls, uh -- with the exception of Polly. I kept her. But, uh, I said, “Heck, if he can, uh, be that popular playing the guitar and singing, I’m gonna try to learn to play.” And I got -- that very same fellow, Walter Hollyfield, taught me to play the guitar as well as I play it and as good as I play it -- or as sorry as I play it. But anyway, uh, I got to singing and having a good time too at the parties.


GEORGE STONEY: Polly, what’s your version of that story?

POLLY GRANT: Well, it sounds like that’s the way it happened. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Did you travel with him, uh...

POLLY GRANT: Well, in those days, uh, while we were in Gastonia, when they’d play a church or, um, a gatherin’ for one of the textile plants -- they had a lot of, uh -- like Fourth of July, when they’d give the parties for the -- all the company employees -- uh, we would attend those, uh, sessions. But, uh, when they’d travel out of town, we had -- I had one daughter by then, and I believe, uh, the Hogans had one daughter. So we were busy then, uh, keepin’ house and taking care of the children.

GEORGE STONEY: And you were working in the mills at the same time?


GEORGE STONEY: How did you manage that?

POLLY GRANT: Well, um, his father made his home with us, and his elderly aunt. 85:00She was [practical?] nurse. So in the evenings, when we worked, uh, they would put the children to bed. And, uh, then, uh -- they were good children. They seemed to mind well. And then, through the mornings, naturally, we were there with the children. So it worked out real well.

GEORGE STONEY: How’d it work with you...

POLLY GRANT: And they felt like they were helping too.

GEORGE STONEY: How’d you -- how did you work it out, Mrs. Hogan?

EVELYN HOGAN: Well, uh, I had a lady that, uh, worked for us, that came from out where Arval lived, an elderly lady. And she took care of, uh, our oldest daughter. And, um, Arval and I both worked on a second shift for a long time. And then he finally went to third shift, and I went to first shift. (laughs) And that way we could manage there for a while, with just leavin’ our daughter with somebody between shifts, you know? But it -- it was hard work, but as she said, we made lots of friends, and have lots of friends, over in Gastonia.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, I keep -- you know, I have a -- a married daughter who has 86:00a child, and there’s all this concern about babysitters and all home childcare. What -- how did you solve it then?

EVELYN HOGAN: Well, part of the time you had someone, you know, you knew. But I did have one lady one time that, uh, I hired. And I really didn’t know much about her. And, uh, our oldest daughter was real small. And I went to work that day, and I came home, and she had everything real nice and, uh, the baby clean and everything. But I got to thinkin’ all day, “You know, I don’t know anything about that lady. Uh, she might have walk off with my baby.” And I let her go. I don’t remember her name, but she was real nice, (laughter) and had all my work done and everything. But, you know, you get that in your mind. But after that we had somebody with -- you know, that we were, uh -- that we were acquainted with. Arval -- that lady I was tellin’ you about, she stayed with us all the time. And that worked out good. I’d go hear ‘em sing every time I got a chance, ’cause I love music.


GEORGE STONEY: Did you come from the same town up in the mou-- in the hills?

EVELYN HOGAN: No, I’m from Tennessee. I’m from East Tennessee.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, that’s mountains, isn’t it?

EVELYN HOGAN: Yeah, that’s mountains. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: This -- what does this kind of music mean to you?

EVELYN HOGAN: Oh, I love any kind of music, but especially I like country, bluegrass, and all kinds of music. I play piano some, and used to play in church.

POLLY GRANT: She played piano with them, one time, when they had a program in Spartanburg.

EVELYN HOGAN: Yeah, I -- I tell the --


EVELYN HOGAN: -- story that I played with ’em and got ’em started, and then they ditched me. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Before we start a family fight, we better go... (laughter) Uh, look, I’m gonna ask you first -- Jamie, you want to take a rest just a moment?

HELFAND: Whoops. Sorry.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah? Are you -- can...?


(break in audio)

JAMIE STONEY: You just want to get -- I’m just gonna want to get shots of you folks too. (strumming; overlapping dialogue) [Getting?] shots of you guys too. (strumming; overlapping dialogue)

GEORGE STONEY: I know you’ve heard this -- I know you’ve heard this many 88:00times before... (overlapping dialogue)

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: OK, you want us to do this number now?

JAMIE STONEY: Um, let me get my father out of the background. (laughter)


JAMIE STONEY: They’ll wonder, “How’d that old man get back here? How did...” You know what he’s trying, he’s trying to move on the ladies while y’all are pickin’, that’s what he’s doing.



WHITEY and HOGAN:(music) Softly tonight when the world is at rest, Meet me somewhere in your dreams, Where lovers find only true happiness, Meet me somewhere in your dreams.

We’ll take a trip in memories ship, Drifting down life’s golden stream, I still have you and our old rendezvous, Meet me somewhere in your dreams.


Softly tonight when the world is at rest, Meet me somewhere in your dreams, Where lovers find only true happiness, Meet me somewhere in your dreams.

We’ll take a trip in memory’s ship Drifting down life’s golden stream, I still have you and our old rendezvous, Meet me somewhere in your dreams.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Meet me somewhere in your dreams. Hey, you want to do the other one?


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: The old gospel tune.

ARVAL HOGAN: “The Old Country Church.”

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: “The Old Country Church.”


WHITEY and HOGAN (music) There’s a place dear to me, Where I’m longing to be, With my friends at the old country church There with mother we went, And our Sunday’s were spent, With the friends at the old country church.

Precious church of memory, Oh what joy they bring to me, How I long once more to be, With the friends at the old country church.


As a small country boy, How my heart beat with joy When we knelt in the old country church. And the Savior above, By his wonderful love, Saved my soul in the old country church

Precious church of memory, Oh what joy they bring to me, How I long once more to be, With the friends at the old country church.


Oft my thoughts make me weep, For so many in sleep, In their graves near the old country church And some time I my rest with the friends I love best, In a grave near the old country church.

Precious church of memory, Oh what joy they bring to me, How I long once more to be, With my friends at the old country church.


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: “The Old Country Church.” Good ol’ gospel tune.

GEORGE STONEY: Now -- (coughs) now, radio was just beginning to get, uh, important when you were coming into the mills, right?

ARVAL HOGAN: Oh yes. Uh, radio, uh, at that time was huntin’ for country music, such as we’re doin’. And, uh, when they built the station in Gastonia, WGNC, why, we went up and auditioned the first day that they gave auditions, and they hired us that day. And we went to work, sponsored by Rustin’s Furniture Company. And we did our show from the show winder of the store. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember when you got your first radio?


GEORGE STONEY: When you got your first radio?


ARVAL HOGAN: Oh, Lord, that was so far back, (laughter) it’s -- it’s -- I remember when, uh -- the wife and I got our first one. We were workin’ in the mill, and, uh, we got laid off -- the mill shut down. Somethin’ happened. They were off a week or two. We didn’t have anything to do, so -- we had a furniture man that came by every week and collected for the indu-- for the furniture, see -- and, uh, his name was Sam [Elliot?]. And, uh, he came by to collect, and we asked him if we could, uh, add a radio to our bill. He said, “Oh yeah, I’ll bring you one.” So he brought us out one of these little table Philco radios. And we really enjoyed that more ’n’ any radio we ever owned. (laughter)

GEORGE STONEY: What about you, Whitey?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: You -- my first radio?


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Oh, gee whiz. It was a long, long time ago. But, uh, we finagled around and, uh, uh, got enough money to get a little cabinet radio. 96:00And, uh, I would get down on my hands and knees like I was a while ago lookin’ for a picture -- get down on my hands and knees and look -- listen for stations that had country music on it. And, uh -- you know, back then, in the ’30s, uh, there wasn’t a radio station on every corner like [there’re filling?] stations are now. Uh, you could only get three or four stations. And you had to have a pretty good, uh, radio set to -- to get those three or four stations. But, uh, I would find ’em and listen to Carl and Hardy, and the Delmore Brothers, uh, country music people like that. I loved it, and I’d spend a lot of time lookin’ for it. But that was our first radio, and we really enjoyed that radio.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember hearing, uh, Fr-- uh, President Roosevelt on the radio?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Oh sure, sure.

ARVAL HOGAN: Many, many times.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Uh, his “Fireside Chat.”

ARVAL HOGAN: Yeah. We didn’t miss one of them.


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: We was workin’ in the mill one day, there in Gastonia, in the Firestone Cotton Mill, and, uh, I saw people lookin’ out the window, 97:00and, uh, I said, “What -- what’s happenin’ down there?” And they said, “President Roosevelt’s passing by!” So I ran to the window, of course, and he was on his way into -- into Charlotte. He was coming from Warm Springs, Georgia. And, uh, we, uh, went to the window, and all the windows in Firestone Mill was full of people. And he was waving at us, and we was waving at him. But, uh, he was about an hour late gettin’ to Charlotte, and our announcer, uh -- who later became our announcer -- had to adlib for about an hour while they were waiting on President Roosevelt. But he did a fine job.

GEORGE STONEY: You know, the wonderful thing is that he was in an open car that...




GEORGE STONEY: And do you know that in 1932, the early part of ’33, just after he’d been elected but before he got inaugurated, he got shot at, when he was riding in a public car, in an open car, in Miami, Florida. And the man sitting 98:00right next to him finally died.


GEORGE STONEY: And -- and yet, he continued to ride in that open car.

ARVAL HOGAN: (inaudible)

GEORGE STONEY: I mean, it was amazing, wasn’t it?


ARVAL HOGAN: It sure was.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: And with -- with the top down --

GEORGE STONEY: With -- I know!

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: -- when he came to the Firestone Mill, the top was down too.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. I mean, it just meant so much to people to see that man.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: That -- that’s right.

ARVAL HOGAN: Wonderful. Uh, just tremendous crowds gathered on the streets to see him go by.


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: (throat clearing) Fantastic man.

GEORGE STONEY: Did you have any -- did you ever sing any-- anything that had to do with -- with politics, or -- or mill, uh, conditions or -- anything like “Cotton Mill Blues” or anything like that?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Oh, uh, the -- the -- the mill tunes, we did a couple of them once -- once upon a time. But there was -- at -- at the time that Hogan and I were, uh, in our peak at WBT, there was two boys down in South Carolina -- I forget their names now, right offhand -- that did a lot of the cotton mill 99:00songs. And, uh, we didn’t want to plunge into what they were doing, so we just...

ARVAL HOGAN: Radio Twins.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Yeah, Radio Twins. So we --

ARVAL HOGAN: That’s who they were.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: -- we stayed out of it.

ARVAL HOGAN: Radio Twins.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: And, uh, from -- from the very beginning until even today, uh, we -- we don’t take too much active -- we -- we have our own ideas about politics and politicians. But, uh, we -- we have always kept our beliefs and our -- our political statutes to -- to ourselves. Back home, I know Hogan’s, and he knows mine.

ARVAL HOGAN: Uh, one of the most popular songs we ever sang during the war was, uh, “We Didn’t Invite ’Em Over (But We’re Gonna Repay the Call).” (laughter) And that really went big. It was a big number.


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: We had another number, uh, during the -- during the war. Back when you couldn’t -- (throat clearing) you couldn’t buy, beg, or steal, uh, a tire for your car, and gas -- it was rationed too. So we had a little tune that we used to do, called “The Old Gray Mare Is Back Where She 100:00Used To Be.” And we had a lot of fun with that song, too. But, uh -- but, uh, none of the rest, uh, that, uh, pertained to politics. We -- we sorta shunned away from those.

GEORGE STONEY: Uh-huh. And was that the mood in the mills, that, uh -- did people want to hear -- what did the kind of thing that people really wanted to hear?

ARVAL HOGAN: Just stuff like we done here tonight.


ARVAL HOGAN: That was the most popular songs back then, and -- and still is. People still...

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Something that had a lift to it.


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Something that would give ’em a few moments to forget their problems and -- and think of the brighter side of life. And that’s what we always strive to do, ha-- to use the songs that, uh, would cause people to forget their problems. And, uh, think about the sunny side of life.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you know the song “The Sunny Side of Life”?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Yes. Uh-huh. We recorded it in 1939, for Decca. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: Could we hear it?


ARVAL HOGAN: There’s -- (clears throat) there’s two “Sunny Side of Life.” Carter Family had one, and then there’s another. And the one we do is different to the Carter --


ARVAL HOGAN: -- Family version. (clears throat)

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Uh, let’s do a version of the one we do -- we know -- and the one we recorded in 1939. [I’ll be able to?] do it in the key of F. (laughs)


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: All right.

WHITEY and HOGAN(music) There’s a sunny side with no empty [tide?], On the road that we must go, There are pleasant vales, verdant hills and dales, Where sweet flowers ever grow.


Oh the happy, happy, sunny, sunny, verdant glowing hills, Where the sweet joy of gladness ever there prevails, Where the sunshine ever lingers on the grand majestic hills, On the happy sunny side of life

GEORGE STONEY: Oh, that’s a great...

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Yeah, there’s a couple more verses, but my voice was gettin’ tired. That was one of the songs that, uh, the folks used to love to hear, back in the old days, in the 1930s and ’40s.

GEORGE STONEY: Did other people kind of pick up with you? I -- you were -- you were professionals [by?] that time. But were there a lot of amateurs up and down the -- the -- the line, who --

ARVAL HOGAN: Oh yeah. There was --

GEORGE STONEY: -- brought their own instruments in?

ARVAL HOGAN: -- a lot of amateurs. And, uh, I have met a number of, uh, boys that learned to play the mandolin by listenin’ to me play on WBT, on the radio. (laughter) I tell -- I tell some of ’em, I said, “If you’d’a 103:00listened to somebody else and learned to play from them, you could’a played better.” (laughter)

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: We’re tryin’ to find some of those guys now to come back and teach us to play. (laughter)

ARVAL HOGAN: Yeah. They got too good --


ARVAL HOGAN: -- some of ’em did.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Yeah. The first guest Hogan and -- and my -- uh, me -- ever had on our, uh, program, uh, was Uncle Dave Macon and his son Dorris. We were delighted to have them --


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: -- one time to appear on the program.

ARVAL HOGAN: That was a great day in our life --


ARVAL HOGAN: -- to get to meet them --


ARVAL HOGAN: -- and have ’em on our program.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Minnie Pearl was a good friend of ours. Roy Acuff -- he and I have the same name, Roy. (clears throat) He makes a lot more money than I do. (laughter)

HELFAND: Didn’t you guys work in the same -- you used to work the same shift, same part of the factory, didn’t you?



ARVAL HOGAN: Firestone Mill, second shift. Go to work at 3:00 and get off at 11:00. That was tough.


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: When we -- when we first went to WBT, we were on the -- we were on the second shift, working from 3:00 in the afternoon until 11:00 at night.

GEORGE STONEY: I’m sorry. That’s -- repeat that.

JAMIE STONEY: (inaudible) pick it up again. I just need to get a [two?] shot.

GEORGE STONEY: “On the second shift.”

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Uh, uh, when we, uh, uh, started working at WBT, we were on the second shift. We went to work at 3:00 in the afternoon and got off at 11:00 at night. Well, the Briarhopper program, uh, was on from 4:30 to 5:00 in the afternoon. So we put in a request to be moved to the third shift, which was unheard of. Nobody had ever heard of wanting to, uh -- anybody -- (laughter) to move from the second shift to the third shift. Because the third shift, you work from 11:00 at night until 7:00 a.m. Well, we had a reason, because we wanted to move to the third shift so we could do the Briarhopper program in the afternoons. Uh, and we played personal appearances with the Briarhoppers. If they were close to Gastonia, and we could play the personal appearance, and then get to Firestone Cotton Mill by 11:00 that night. And it was very, very 105:00stressful. But, uh, we -- we contended with doing that for -- for a couple of years, believe it or not. And, uh, during the war, when you couldn’t get gas, we would see how far we could coast with the motor turned off. This is the -- this is the gospel truth. We would see how far we could coast from Charlotte to Gastonia, and from Gastonia back to Charlotte, to save gas so we could come to Charlotte to do the radio program. We had a lot of our ups and downs, but, uh, we -- we ironed ’em out, and...

GEORGE STONEY: I’m surprised that you weren’t considered an essential service and got special gas coupons.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: At one time we did. We -- we -- we received, uh, cou-- coupons. If we were gonna drive to entertain the troops durin’ the war, uh, they would give us gas. I know, uh, Polly’s brother came in from the service 106:00one time, and he’d had an operation. And they let me get enough gas to take him home. Uh, on special occasions, uh, they were -- they were very lenient with us. They flew us from, uh, Charlotte to different bases during the war to entertain the troops, which we were grateful. Hogan and I (throat clearing) received a citation from Henry Morgenthau, uh, during the war for selling war bonds, which we were very proud of. And we’ve got a -- quite a few little goodies that, uh, nobody knows about except us. (laughs)

GEORGE STONEY: What -- what’s your favorite song?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: What’s our favorite song? I guess the little number that we did a while ago, uh, (clears throat) is our favorite. But, uh, (throat clearing) another little true story. The wife and I were visiting down in Florida this past February. And we were listening to a Andy Griffith program, which is called Matlock. Uh, and on this particular show, he had a -- a -- a little fellow with him, Randy Travis. Uh, and Randy and Andy sang a little 107:00song, uh, “Nobody’s Darlin’ But Mine” that night. And my wife looked at me, said, “Honey,” said, “you and Hogan oughta learn that.” I said, “Honey, we were singin’ that 40 years ago.”

ARVAL HOGAN: Yeah, before Randy was born. (laughter)

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Before Randy was born.

ARVAL HOGAN: (laughs) Yeah.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: And she said, “Well, you oughta do it some more. It’s a -- it’s a good number.” So we -- we’re including that on our -- our stage production shows now --


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: -- that we do.

GEORGE STONEY: Could we hear it?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: “Nobody --” Let’s see. Yeah, we’ll do a version of it.


WHITEY and HOGAN: (music) Come sit by side little darling, And lay your cool 108:00hand on my brow, Promise that you will never be nobody’s darling but mine.

Nobody’s darling but mine love, Be honest, be faithful, be kind, Promise me that will never be nobody’s darling but mine.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Now, that is one of the oldies. That goes way back.

ARVAL HOGAN: You know, Jimmie Davis wrote that.



ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Jimmie Davis.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, one more thing.


GEORGE STONEY: Could you possibly sing that verse over again, so he can get good cutaways for that? ’Cause I think that’s a beautiful (inaudible). (strumming)

ARVAL HOGAN: Are you -- are you ready?

JAMIE STONEY: Give me one second here. And -- go.


WHITEY and HOGAN: (music) Come sit by side little darling, And lay your cool hand on my brow, Promise that you will never, be nobody’s darling but mine.

Nobody’s darling but mine, love, Be honest, be faithful, be kind, Promise me that will never, be nobody’s darling but mine.




Nobody’s darling but mine, love, Be honest, be faithful, be kind, Promise me that will never, be nobody’s darling but mine.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: All right.

(break in audio)

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: That has a - a - a [dubi--?]...

JAMIE STONEY: Those are 45s, Judy.

ARVAL HOGAN: I think -- Mine don’t have a 78 speed on it.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: I bought a record at a -- at an attic sale up in the mountains over the weekend. Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers. (laughter) Down Yonder and Back Up and Push. And took it out for Hogan, because Gid Tanner was always been one Hogan’s one fav-- uh, one of Hogan’s favorites -- and he didn’t have a way to play it on 75! Didn’t have a way to play it.

ARVAL HOGAN: They were the first professional group I seen when I was a young boy.

POLLY GRANT: So he’s gonna have to come over here.


ARVAL HOGAN: And that was a thrill to me, to see Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers with Riley Puckett. That’s, uh..

JAMIE STONEY: So that’s how you keep the friendship together -- you have the records and he has the player?


JAMIE STONEY: Or you have the player (inaudible)...

ARVAL HOGAN: He has the record and the player.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: I have the record and the player. But he -- (clears throat) but now, I can tape -- I can make him a tape offa this one, and he can play the tape on his machine. (throat clearing)


GEORGE STONEY: Well, we were -- we’ve been working over in -- in Gastonia. And we’re talking with a lot of people over there, who got involved in -- in union organizations.


GEORGE STONEY: And, you know, there was the big strike in ’29, and then there was an even bigger one in ’34, just before you came into the mills, I guess. Or you came into the mills in ’33.

ARVAL HOGAN: Yeah, yeah, that one ruined the, uh -- Manville-Jenckes.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you remember what happened then?

ARVAL HOGAN: Yeah, there was, uh -- somebody got killed, you know? Uh, and a boy that married one of my cousins was involved in that strike there. And, uh, after this fellow got killed, why, they were arrestin’ a bunch of ’em, and 113:00he got out somehow, and went to Russia, and stayed over there several years, and -- before he ever came back to the States.

GEORGE STONEY: And he was, uh -- that was Beal, a guy named Beal, wasn’t it?


ARVAL HOGAN: Yeah, uh -- he -- he was one of the organizers. Uh, and, uh, I don’t -- I don’t know what ever become of him after he --


ARVAL HOGAN: -- ever came back to the States.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: But I -- I believe he was -- that was his name, Beal.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah. That’s right.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: I believe --


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: -- I’m not -- I’m not sure about that.

GEORGE STONEY: But do you remember the -- you remember, after ’30-- about ’35, when -- after they -- the, uh, mill closed down, and then it opened up again (throat clearing) as Firestone --

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

GEORGE STONEY: -- do you remember any talk about all of this happening?

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: I remember hearin’ my sister talk about it.


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: There was a policeman -- a police chief or a policeman 114:00-- I believe that was killed there, during...

GEORGE STONEY: He was killed in ’29.




ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Yeah. My sister, who is deceased now, uh, she told me about it. She said there were -- it was terrible. Said there were -- a lot of the folks were so -- so scared they wouldn’t even go out of the house. And...

GEORGE STONEY: Well, you -- you weren’t there in ’34, were you?


GEORGE STONEY: When it -- when it had a lot of, uh, National Guardsmen in.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: That’s ri-- I -- I wasn’t there then.


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: I didn’t come to -- Firestone until --

POLLY GRANT: November of ’35.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: -- 1935. The latter part of 1935.


ARVAL HOGAN: Now, the union came there after we went to work in Firestone, and tried to organize again. But, uh, it was turned away. We all voted against it. Uh, the mill sent people around. Uh, they called it the Golden Rule. They wanted us to join the Golden Rule instead of joining the union. And they would do things for us, see? That was their way out.

HELFAND: Did you join?

ARVAL HOGAN: I joined the Golden Rule. (laughs)


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: I didn’t. I didn’t. I didn’t, uh -- I didn’t join. I think that was a little before my time, uh, to come. Because Hogan was already situated at Firestone when I, uh, came there and started to work. And, uh, I met him. And lucky for me I did. (laughter)

ARVAL HOGAN: Yeah, I went to work there just as soon as Firestone opened up. When they hiring their first, uh, employees, (strumming) I was one of the first to get back in, because I had worked for Manville-Jenckes three months, on the third shift. And, uh, I’d gotten laid off. They cut off a third shift. And, uh, I had to loaf for several months, until Firestone bought it. And just as soon as I heard that Firestone had bought it, and was gonna start hiring, why, I went right back there, and, uh, (clears throat) so happened my former bossman that I had at, uh, Manville-Jenckes, recognized me and hired me right back. And 116:00I -- so I went right back to work.

GEORGE STONEY: And you were both living in the mill village.



ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Close to each other. (throat clearing) About half a block from each other. He lived on one side of the street, and I lived on the other side.

GEORGE STONEY: How was it living in the mill village?


ARVAL HOGAN: It was good.

ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: -- no problems.

ARVAL HOGAN: It was a good life. Uh, you could walk to the work. You could walk to the store and get your groceries, or whatever. And, uh, just no problem at all. We enjoyed it.

GEORGE STONEY: Was there a company store?


ROY “WHITEY” GRANT: Yes, there was a company store. Uh, but -- but what we liked best, every payday -- I think payday was on Friday -- uh, (clears throat) we’d go -- we could go up to -- up to Gastonia, into the town there, and there was a little -- a little hamburger place that, believe it or not, sold hamburgers for a nickel. Five cents, you could buy a hamburger. (laughter) And, uh, they were the best -- ’course, there was only two bites to them. But, uh -- but, believe it or not, every Friday we would go uptown, uh, Polly 117:00and me, and buy a -- a bag, a whole bag of those little hamburgers, and bring ’em home, and we would eat them. That was -- that was the treat for the week, that bag of five-cent hamburgers. And they were delicious. I wish they made ’em now, I would go right (laughter) now and buy a bag of ’em. (laughter)

JAMIE STONEY: We gotta reload.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, just a moment. Reload. OK.