Rosa Mae King Murphy, Rev. Richard Lisk, Rev. Frank Miller, and Frank Miller Jr.

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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JUDITH HELFAND: She was right in the middle of saying his father was the head of it.

REV. RICHARD LISK: You had just said my father was not in the middle of it. He was at the head of it.


GEORGE STONEY: Could you repeat that?

MURPHY: Well, Red Lisk was not in the middle of it. He was at the head of it. He was instrumental in a lot of people joining the union.

GEORGE STONEY: Well, here just to show you the volume of work that that must have entailed. Here are the names of locals just in the North Carolina area. Isn't that amazing?


LISK: And my father from memory could call the names, I believe, of the president of the local, the secretary. He could tell you where the best place to get a hamburger was in town and places to stay away from. I -- I -- I don't mean this to come across as just a proud son bragging about his father but my father was a very intelligent man and he worked very hard. Uh, I've heard my mother complain that when my father was working, uh, 12-hour shift at the mill my dad had a sixth-grade education. But he would come home from mill work after working a 12-hour shift and stay up 'til 2:00 in the morning reading personnel management, textile engineering, etc., etc., etc. Uh, and with the ability that God gave him plus his work he was involved in every one of 00:02:00these as far as I know. Because as I look at the list I can remember him having taken me as a boy, uh, to visit some of these places and walking in a union hall and walking down the row of seats. Hello, Bill. Hello, Tom, Anne, Ruth, Helen, Sam. You know, wherever we went. Uh, he didn't walk in and have someone stand up and say, May I -- may I introduce Red Lisk. They'd all stand up and say, You all know Red. Red?

GEORGE STONEY: How are those - tell us something about those meetings. Uh, how did they begin? What was the atmosphere? What was the programs of them?

LISK: Well, the meetings -- depended on what was going on. Some of them were celebrations. We won a victory and there was a note of victory. There -- there was a note of celebration, of laughter, of cheers, of celebra-- there were times 00:03:00when the meetings were more somber because things were not going well. But my father was not a pep rally type. No hip, hip, hurray type. That was not Dad's style. As I remember my father it was, uh, more just a quiet positive approach. We can do it. We're going to have to work. We're going to have to struggle but that's what God put us here for. That type of approach and as I look at this list here I can remember a meeting here in Charlotte. I can remember a meeting in Concord.

HELFAND: Tell us about it. What do you remember?

LISK: Well, I remember one where it was a celebration. Uh, they had signed a 00:04:00contract. There was no strike. They had signed what my father thought was a good contract. I never will forget they had Brunswick Stew and barbeque and this was before the days of readily available, uh, plastic plates and cups and they'd asked everyone to bring their own bowl to eat Brunswick Stew with and bring their own spoon. Uh, I can remember that there was a country western band. Uh, if I remember right it's a group called Briar Hoppers. It used to be on television -- I mean on the radio here in Charlotte, North Carolina. And I can remember some of the sight gags and jokes that they pulled. Uh, and my father spoke as a part of the celebration. And I can remember I was -- oh, I don't remember exactly how old. I know I was too small to be turned loose and 00:05:00left on my own. But the -- whoever was the master of ceremonies -- I don't remember -- had me stand up and said, That's Red's boy. Look after him. And somebody handed me a bowl. You know, I was carried around on a platter all evening. Man, I thought I was in heaven. Uh, and it was a party. But I can remember another meeting where things were not going well and there was no celebration but it was a somber though not despairing -- there is a difference -- note at the meeting. I'm trying to remember where that meeting was. It was not too far from her because I remember we went over after supper. We had an early supper and drove over. And I don't -- I can remember what the hall looked like. I can remember the building but I can't remember the place 00:06:00and my father spoke, uh, and it was one of the first recordings I ever knew about. We didn't have recorders then either that were very available. There was a wire recorder and, uh, I heard my father give the same speech again and it amazed me. That they were able to record and play right back. Uh, and I can remember that meeting. And it was -- the only way I can say it was like a wake. And I don't really know what the issues were but I remember my father's approach being we've lost the battle but the war's not over.

GEORGE STONEY: That is one of the things that amazes me is that this was such a tremendous effort. It involved so many people. So many people were -- put their 00:07:00hopes in it. They got defeated and after defeat the tendency is to blame the leaders. And yet your father and your father continued in the work.

HELFAND: So did Rosa Mae.

GEORGE STONEY: What gave you the courage? What sustained you?

MURPHY: The battle hadn't been won and the needs were still there and there was a sense that, uh, we're in it now let's -- let's keep on until we get the -- get to the end of it -- get what we started out to achieve. I think that's the biggest.

LISK: I would agree with what you're saying. I would go back to what I said earlier about my father. Because of his commitment to his concept of what was 00:08:00just and what was right, it was more important, I really believe in my father's mind, or at least as important, to fight for what he believed was right than to win. I-- I really believe that one of the driving forces of my father was not to put up strong men, not -- not to fight for something that was of no significance but where a principle was involved. Whether you could win or not was not the issue and certainly he liked to win and he liked to, you know, see that. But he would much rather have a win-win situation than an I win-you lose situation. And as long as there was a principle he felt it was more 00:09:00important to fight for that principle than it was surrender. Even though he couldn't win you didn't surrender.

GEORGE STONEY: Do you have any other questions?

HELFAND: I have lots of questions but if you want to stop that's fine.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. What I think we should do then is take a short --


[long pause for break]

GEORGE STONEY: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, Second Kings, First Chronicles, Second Chronicles.

HELFAND: Um, that's not on, Jamie. For some reason --

GEORGE STONEY: New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts of Apostles, Romans, and then I get stuck.

HELFAND: Wait a second. Try again, George.

GEORGE STONEY: OK. Uh, well the reason I don't know the ones in the New Testament was that when you learned that you -- you only got a picture of the evangelist's wife.

HELFAND: You got it?

GEORGE STONEY: And I wasn't so keen about that because she was the one who disciplined us. He was the one who inspired us but the poor woman had to look after all those kids who didn't behave themselves.


GEORGE STONEY: Or at five years old didn't know quite, you know, when to go to 00:11:00the bathroom and so forth. So she was, OK?

HELFAND: Should I get up to go with him?

JAMIE STONEY: Well, no I've got a great idea. Rosa Mae why don't you (inaudible). Everybody sit back and relax like this just didn't happen. Sit back Rosa Mae, relax. Keep talking for a few seconds.

HELFAND: Why don't you talk about the house a little bit?


HELFAND: (inaudible) $18 and then you can all go in.


MURPHY: Oh. Oh. We had been married twelve years we had moved twelve times. My husband wanted to go back to school and we rented our house, where we were living, to a couple and we moved on the back porch of my -- kids' grandmother's huse. Back porch. One room. Back porch. And, uh, that's where our -- our son was born at home -- at my mother's house. But that's where we were livin' then. But, um, we have always tried to um, just do a little bit more, keep a little bit more, save a little bit here and my husband 00:12:00is a good manager. He's the smartest person I've ever known in my life. He can stretch a dollar and he -- he's not always happy with me because he doesn't think I spend enough money. I don't need -- I don't want anything else.

LISK: Come talk to my wife.

MURPHY: He doesn't like it because I'm driving a ten-year-old Mercedes. He thinks I ought to buy a new one. I don't want a new one. That one goes, um, everywhere I can go and I can drive it. Little. Let's go in the house and see if we can't find something cooler than this (inaudible).



LISK: I haven't seen these in years.

MURPHY: What's that? Oh, I know what they were laughing the other day about --

LISK: 78's. Zippity do da.

GEORGE STONEY: Zippity day. My oh my (break in audio) -- I think I was behind, yeah. OK. OK. I'm so pleased that you wore that dress though. It's got --

MURPHY: Well, this is the only one I have 'cept the one I wore the other day.

GEORGE STONEY: It's nice and bright without being that red --

LISK: Scream out.

GEORGE STONEY: -- that television can't handle very well.

MURPHY: That's right but uh.



MURPHY: I wear a lot of red. OK. Come right in. Just have a seat wherever you want to.

GEORGE STONEY: You were going to show me -- show us the uh --

MURPHY: OK. Right here.

GEORGE STONEY: No. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. We have to do that -- (break in audio)

MURPHY: OK. We'll make another entrance.


GEORGE STONEY: Make ah, take two as they say in the movies.

MURPHY: I don't know what they's gonna get me -- the trouble we're gonna get into but we're gonna get into trouble a lot of money one. I don't know --

LISK: Well, being a Baptist preacher I don't think there will be a lot of money.

MURPHY: No. Well, that's right but you could uh, do a lot -- I want to show you folks something that you'll appreciate along with me. This piece of furniture right here belonged to my mother. It was in our house on the mill house and that's where I kept all the records for the union, uh, both local and for the other group.

LISK: That and the mill house?

MURPHY: That and the mill house. We bought it on credit. It was -- It was a whole dining room suite though.

LISK: I remember what mill houses were. I remember the shotgun house, uh, and your home here is a beautiful home. Did you ever think when you lived in a 00:15:00mill type house that you'd ever own a home as lovely as this one?

MURPHY: No. No. Lot of things in my life I didn't know would happen. I didn't know that my life would be so uh, interesting on -- in simplicity. So simple. In everything. Great families on both sides and --

HELFAND: So wait -- where'd you keep that? Tell me about that -- you can't get away like this.

MURPHY: This. This. We took a bed -- we took a -- ah we had a whole set -- whole dining room set and this was the smallest piece that, um, we took with us when we got married. And, uh, we took a bedroom -- my mother loved furniture. She loved pretty things and, uh, we bought this on credit. We bought a piano at the same time and, uh, so we had no place to put it. We had no dining room but we moved two beds in one room so we'd have a bedroom to make the dining room. And that's, uh, --


HELFAND: So open the door and show us where you kept that stuff.

MURPHY: Right here. Right there.

HELFAND: Right there what?

MURPHY: This is where I kept all the records for the union.

HELFAND: The whole thing was filled with just the records of the union.

MURPHY: Just records. Of -- of -- secretary's records.

GEORGE STONEY: Whatever happened to those?

MURPHY: Do you know, I -- when we got married and then my -- my brother and his wife lived on in the house with my mother and daddy until they died -- and what happened to them I don't know. Nothing was, uh, confiscated. Not even the old furniture. And the reason -- they sold the dining room suite, uh, for practically nothing, which I would -- I would pay three times as much today for the -- the chest of -- the chest -- the china closet, but the people don't want to sell it. And I'd just love to have it. I don't have much place for it either but I'd make place. I'd do that like we did the bedroom suite. Move it out.


HELFAND: I -- one other question. How long? I mean, it all didn't end just in '34. I mean, we know, we've seen letters. It lasted for a while. How long were you filling that up?

MURPHY: Oh I suspect two or three years.


MURPHY: Well, with beginning -- I mean through it all and then three -- three years afterwards.

HELFAND: And were you seeing Red that whole time?

MURPHY: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

LISK: They were working together.


HELFAND: We know that. But we need for you to like, always, you know, like elaborate a little bit.

LISK: Well -- because the nature --

MURPHY: He doesn't remember me because he was a small child. I remember seeing him.

LISK: See, I was just a child but I can remember growing up uh, and I know how Dad worked and the secretary was indispensable to his work. It was constant communication between the secretary, which was her.

MURPHY: He got a copy of every letter that I wrote. Everything I did.

HELFAND: Really?


MURPHY: Mm-hmm. He was sorta like a boss man. 'Cause he was over us and interested in the whole process.

LISK: Carbon paper. No faxes and no photocopiers.

MURPHY: Oh no. That's right.

HELFAND: So would you -- you'd come home at night and where'd you write? Where'd you do all this work?

MURPHY: On the dining room table. In the dining room.

LISK: Which is where Dad worked.


LISK: Dad had an old Remington 5. Remington Rand 5 portable typewriter. Dad never had a typing lesson in his life and don't ask me how but Dad learned to type this way. And he would type 40 words a minute on that old Remington Rand 5 this way. Typing his letters, reports, and what have you.

GEORGE STONEY: But your letters are so neat.

MURPHY: Oh, I'm ashamed of the copies, some of 'em I see. And I say, surely I could do better than that. But I probably did it at midnight or 3:00 or any time after midnight.

LISK: See, she and my father both did not work an eight hour job and say 00:19:00that's it. Uh, it was long, long hours, uh, involved.

MURPHY: Yeah. I -- during this time I went to school at -- at Sacred Heart and I'd go to school at 8:00. I would come home and dress or undress as you would say and go to work in the mill and work from, uh, 2:00 'til 11:00. Back up the next morning. And I had to do my homework in between that plus whatever we had to do and most of this I would do on the weekends, of course, because, uh, we'd have the meetings on Friday nights or Saturday nights.

LISK: Which is the same type schedule my father had.

MURPHY: Yeah, exactly, exactly.


MURPHY: So uh, you didn't -- you really didn't realize you were working that hard because I think you had a -- a pride in what you were doing. And you had support from people. And, uh, you knew you were fighting for a cause that you hoped would help a lot of people that you loved and had worked with and lived 00:20:00with. So, it's, uh, it's an experience. A lot of this has come back to me since this started and -- but I haven't forgotten your daddy, Red Lisk.

LISK: Few people who knew him as well as you did ever would.


LISK: Uh. You know my father was not a plaster of Paris saint but there was something unusual about him.

MURPHY: Oh yeah.

LISK: People remember him.

MURPHY: That's right. I remember one time they had an office in Charlotte. It was, uh, on Trade Street. And, uh, it was sort of a temporary thing and I went over one day and, uh, my daddy would take me early in the morning. It was a day that I was off from work so maybe I'd gotten off from work. And I went over that morning and I worked all day and there was nobody in the office but me 00:21:00and, uh, time came to come home and I was not through so that meant Daddy had to come back and get me. So somehow or other I got word to my daddy that I believe that I would just stay over there that night -- stay at a hotel which I did. And, uh, it was after supper and I went -- started to my room and when I did, uh, a man passed and he said come on down to my room. That scared me to death 'cause I guess he thought that I was, uh, whatever.

LISK: For hire.

MURPHY: So I had some friends in Charlotte who had gone to school where I had and I called 'em and I told 'em I didn't much like what's goin' on. And I told 'em what happened and they said we'll be there and get you in 15 minutes. And they lived, oh within a quarter of a mile I guess and I went down to the desk to see if they were gonna charge me for a room, you know, for the night, and uh, they gave me my money back and didn't charge me. So they came 00:22:00and picked me up. You just didn't go to places and stay in Charlotte, you know, by yourself. But, uh, I didn't know anybody else over there at that time.

LISK: World has changed.

MURPHY: Yeah. I'd probably be as afraid today.

LISK: Well, my wife, because of her work, fairly frequently finds herself going to a hotel, what have you. Uh, thinks nothing of it.

MURPHY: No. That's right. Well, would you like to have a seat and I'll see what my husband is doing for us.

GEORGE STONEY: What did you say about this place?

LISK: I said it's a far cry from shotgun houses. Um, you perhaps are aware they got the name shotgun house because there were three rooms in a row and you could shoot a shotgun straight through the front door, it would go straight out the back door and hit the outhouse out back of the house. Uh, three rooms, 00:23:00straight through, out back. And there was a water faucet out front and each water faucet served about six houses. Certainly nobody had running water in the house. If they did they were on the upper part of the totem pole.

GEORGE STONEY: Now, that changed in your village, didn't it? Uh, you got running water fairly soon, didn't ya?

MURPHY: Yeah, Mm-hmm.

GEORGE STONEY: That's uh --

MURPHY: That was the main reason that we thought we were in heaven when we moved from Murphy, North Carolina out here to a place where they had running water, toilet in the house and all of that. We felt like we had moved uptown.















(Audio begins again at 00:30:28)


LISK: Hello, Uncle Frank.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Come on up, boy. Hey, how you doin'?

GEORGE STONEY: Good to see you again.


REV. FRANK MILLER: Good to see you again too. Come on up Dick. Good to see you, son.

LISK: Behaving yourself?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Trying to. Come on in.

LISK: That's pretty hard for a Miller. That's pretty hard for a Miller to behave.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Come on in. Have a seat there. This is my seat.

LISK: Well, you're like grandpa now.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Now that's right.

LISK: You remember when Grandpa had his chair. God could come but he didn't bother the radio or Grandpa's chair.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That's right. This is my chair. How ya been doin' Dick?

LISK: Well, they're working me to death but other than that everything's fine.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Who's working you to death?

LISK: Church is.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Oh Dick, come on boy. Don't you know how to do?

LISK: Well, I can't very well -- I can delegate a lot of things but I can't delegate funerals.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Ya can't? Ya preach 'em and that's it.


LISK: But seriously, I've had -- in the last two weeks I've had four deaths, three weddings, uh, family crisis more than I can mention.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Uh huh. I know I gotta list of 'em in a Sunday school class I've got just in one class where 40 some odd on -- on the board in that one class that I buried. Yeah. You know what, Dick? I think about it a lot. Brother here, got on his knees, took Christ as his personal Savior.

LISK: Good.


LISK: Tell me about Marshall.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, he's at home, Dick, but he's just holdin' his own. I talked to him the other night on the telephone. He don't even sound like hisself talkin'. He took so much of this chemotherapy and stuff, you 00:33:00know, he's not doing no good.

LISK: Well you know, except for Bud I'd have to think twice to even recognize, uh, Ann or Peggy or what have you, it's been so long since I've seen 'em.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Helen, come on in here and see my nephew, Dick. You ain't seen him in a long time. He's still the same. Got a lot -- got a lot more hair on his head I believe. Dick, you don't look like you've changed any 'cept you've got a little heavier I believe.

LISK: My weight really hasn't changed, it's just shifted.


LISK: Uh. The day I got --

REV. FRANK MILLER: Comes out in here and goes in behind.

LISK: The -- the day I got married I weighed 207 pounds in my wedding suit. That was 1955. The other day I stepped on the scales and I weighed 212.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Two twelve.

LISK: Five pound difference.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I've been losing weight instead of gainin'.

HELEN: Oh, he has gained a lot of weight.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yes, he has.

HELEN: Yeah.


REV. FRANK MILLER: He just growed up. That's what's the matter with him. I'll tell you what --

GEORGE STONEY: Come join us.

REV. FRANK MILLER: -- truth, Dick, you've growed higher, I believe.

LISK: Well, uh just getting better lookin'.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, you've growed taller.

HELEN: Growed.


HELEN: You's real skinny last time I saw you.

LISK: Oh, I told Uncle Frank I weigh the same, it's just shifted.


REV. FRANK MILLER: How old are you now?

LISK: I was born 27 December '31.

REV. FRANK MILLER: '31. That'd make you what?

LISK: Well, the army says I'm 60.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Sixty. Yeah. That don't seem like you oughta be that old.

LISK: Well, I'd agree with that.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Your old uncle Frank will be 80 now in October. Yeah, I'll be 80. Still going. I preach Sunday morning and Sunday night too. Still kicking.

LISK: I won't make 80. Joanne will hit me in the head with a frying pan.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Oh. He gonna live. You'll have to call up judgement day and shoot him. 00:35:00I tell you a lot of people say boy I'll be glad to go to heaven. I ain't in no hurry. I wanna go. I'm goin' when I die but I ain't in no hurry to get there. I wanna get the last caboose out. Me and him got to be friends, Buddy.

LISK: Well, I can remember the story you told years ago.

REV. FRANK MILLER: What's that?

LISK: About the old boy that went to sleep in church. And, uh, preacher said "everybody that want to go to heaven stand up." Everybody stood up except the old man in the back who was asleep. Everybody sat down. "Everybody that wants to go to hell, stand up." And the old fella just heard stand up and he stood up and he looked around and he said, Preacher, I don't know what we were votin' on but it looks like me and you's the only ones in favor of it.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I used to tell some humdingers. One day I had an old boy one time at the church. One Sunday morning he come in, he'd been out all night, just about. He was a young fellow. He was sittin' over there, you know, in a pew and I 00:36:00had a church full, and he was sittin' there with his arms across the pew just -- mouth open -- just sleepin', you know. I just quit preachin', told the boy sittin' beside him, I said, Hey Jimmy, I said, punch old Terry there. If you don't he's gonna fall out of that chair -- out of the pew you know. And old Jimmy punched him right hard and he jumped, you know. Yeah. One time I had an old boy down in Sunday school class and he was asleep. And, uh, settin' in the corner, you know, which he'd been settin' up that night at the hospital. We got through in the class, I just, like that, ya know, and we all went easn' out and left him settin' down there in the Sunday school class by hisself asleep. The choir done started to sing, ya know, singin' upstairs and here he come runnin' up.

LISK: I've put a few to sleep in my day. The worst dream I ever had in my life I dreamed one time I was up preachin' and I woke up and sure enough I was.


REV. FRANK MILLER: You was asleep.

HELEN: Preachin' in your sleep.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, well, I don't know.

HELEN: Well, you're kin to him because he talks all night. All day and all night.

LISK: That's the Miller in him.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. Talk all day and talk all night.

LISK: Now, if you wanted to hear a quiet conversation before Uncle Arthur died put him and Uncle Arthur together.

HELEN: You oughta hear him and Bud together.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Get us all together.

LISK: Well, if you put Bud together even the Lord gave up on it. I've heard 'im.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Aw, get him and Ann and all together now and --

HELEN: Just get him and Bud together.


LISK: We'll have to bring Bud out to see you, Uncle Frank.

REV. FRANK MILLER: We used to live over yonder close to -- used to live way over yonder -- I showed you where his father and them used to live. Well now he lived in the house with my sister-in-law and my brother, they did. When they fired him and 00:38:00blackballed him from the mill. And, uh, my dad had that big house up there with the big front porch on it. And he had a glider, I don't know how many rocking chairs and a swing. If you'd come by there on Sunday all of us be at home, ya know. That swing would be going this way and them rockers that way. And the glider'd be going, you know. We all loved to rock and we all loved to swing.

HELEN: And talk.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yep. Well, I figure the good Lord give us a mouth for two things that's to eat with and to talk with.

LISK: Well, the thing about it is though He gave us one mouth and two ears. We oughta listen twice as much as we talk.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, I don't know. He give me -- he give me a bigger mouth than he did ears. I tell some fellow, I said man you got ears like a taxi cab -- going down the road both doors open.


LISK: You said you's preaching, where you preaching? I thought you gave up at that church.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Oh, I -- I just -- you know fill in, my pastor, going on vacation so I preached for him Sunday morning and Sunday night.

LISK: Where ya going to church now?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Back up at my old church. Yeah, back up there. Right where I wanna --

LISK: What's Faith doing up there now?


LISK: What's Faith doing? Anything?

REV. FRANK MILLER: No. Right -- that -- talked to her cousin today. Somebody kin to her. He's preaching out there. He don't know what he believes and he believes one thing one time, something else the next. They're just about gone.

HELEN: I don't think they have many.

REV. FRANK MILLER: No. He don't take no salary, I don't think. I said what that fellow think gonna happen when another preacher -- if they ever do get another one out there. I don't even hardly know him. [Big?] Yeah.

LISK: Well, Ruth's girl is married to a preacher of some kind out in Wyoming. 00:40:00And the only thing I know about him is the fact that he don't like us Baptists.


LISK: And he doesn't know anything about us.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, the thing about it, that's a problem. A lot of people don't know what they believe in. There's one thing about it, Dick, I'm set in my way when it comes to my Bible. I'm kinda like your daddy, like he told a lot of people, a man can self-educate hisself. Your daddy self-educated hisself. He could draw contracts and all just like a lawyer. Well, I've educated myself in the Book.

LISK: Well, some people are stubborn and hard-headed. You have convictions.

REV. FRANK MILLER: You get all kinds of books. I mean, you know, on the Bible, just like on the law or anything else you can get all kind of books. You know that. Commentaries and everything else on the Bible. Other men's writings and all. And like on Sunday morning I let know Dr. Charles Stanley, First Baptist Church, in Georgia, he was my professor for two years up at Fruitland Bible Institute.


LISK: He taught you up Fruitland?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, two years, he was one of my teachers.

LISK: What'd he teach?


LISK: What subject?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Dick, right off hand I don't remember what subjects he taught. But he was good then. He didn't believe too much in an outline. If you notice him now he don't use one. He'll flip his Bible over to his scriptures. He taught me how to take a red pencil and a yellow one and mark scriptures you know to flip to. But I don't do much flipping. I listen -- I come home on Sunday night and I flip on channel 31 here. Well, I always did want to go to the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. The old W.A. Criswell. I come in now on Sunday night and I flip it on and there old Criswell er -- er what's his partner's name, Helen?

HELEN: Joel Gregory.


REV. FRANK MILLER: Joel Gregory. He's the pastor and ole W.A. Criswell senior pastor.

LISK: No, no, Gregory's not the pastor.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, his name --

LISK: No, no, the church call Gregory as pastor but Criswell is still the pastor. Criswell still runs things.

REV. FRANK MILLER: But they call him the senior pastor.

LISK: Yeah. Gregory preaches on occasion but Criswell's wife is the pastor. She's the one that runs things down there.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, he's 83 years old. He ain't gonna run much longer. But that old man -- I heard him Sunday night. I mean, he preaches. To be 83 years old.

HELEN: Frank said, I don't see why I don't turn on the television sometimes on that station and see Dick on there.

LISK: I don't want to be on television.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Why? You're being on a movie right now.

LISK: Well, that's about my daddy though.

REV. FRANK MILLER: You oughta get on there sometime, Dick. I figured maybe I'd flip on sometime and see you.

LISK: No. Huh uh.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I look at it every Sunday night. I like them and then the fastest growing Methodist church in America. Uh--

LISK: Methodist church?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. What's his name, Helen? What's that preacher's name? Uh --


HELEN: Mathison

REV. FRANK MILLER: Mathison. Yeah.

LISK: I don't know. That's a new one to me.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Man, he's got about 6000.

HELEN: Johnny. Johnny Mathison.

REV. FRANK MILLER: He's got about 6000 and I call him a Metho-Baptist. I've been aiming to write him. Yeah, been aiming to write him.

LISK: The word is Bapto-Methodist.


LISK: The word is Bapto-Methodist.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Metho, Metho--Baptist. That's what I call 'em.

LISK: No. When I lived in England the local Methodist churches, uh, did not have enough pastors and they put us on their circuit. The local pastor, Methodist, was pastor of six churches and they put us on their circuit and I supplied it two deacons to preach in a Methodist church every Sunday afternoon.

REV. FRANK MILLER: You know what, if you join a church down there, they got a 160-some jobs. I don't care what -- everything you think about they expect you to take something or another in the church. They want everybody to have something to do in the church.

LISK: That's the way it oughta be.

REV. FRANK MILLER: And they got church family.


HELEN: Should be that everywhere.

LISK: Well, it oughta be that way.


LISK: Now, Bud doesn't go back up to, uh, the old church?

REV. FRANK MILLER: No, Bud goes to the First Baptist over here.

LISK: He goes to First Baptist?


GEORGE STONEY: Well, what would you -- what would you say to him about his father?

REV. FRANK MILLER: His father. Well, I'd just say he was a good man. He's good a fellow. I thought a lot of him. Red. We called him Red, ya know. Haywood was his name but we always called him Red. Red Lisk. And he was a good fellow. He really was.

LSK: What was grandpa's name?


LISK: No, that's what everybody called him. What was his name?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Alexander, Alexander Ray Miller.

LISK: Alexander Ray.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. And somebody told me, Dick, now I don't know my daddy but he didn't, I don't guess he knew --

LISK: In all of my life I have never heard him called anything nor have I seen anything except either Sandy or S.R.


REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, that's what he always -- they called him Sandy. He said that that word Sandy, uh, uh, stood for Alexander. I don't know. You know, look it up. I don't know.

LISK: Well, like I said, I've never seen any document with anything that said anything beside either S.R. or Sandy.

REV. FRANK MILLER: He always signed his name Sandy Miller. But it was Alexander. Alexander Ray. Yeah.

HELFAND: Do you know --

REV. FRANK MILLER: Or Ray Alexander. Ray Alexander.

HELFAND: Do you know how your dad and your uncle worked together in terms of the union?

LISK: Well, I know that they were together some but exactly how much they were together I don't know because Dad got fired and black-balled and Uncle Frank went one way and Daddy went on with the Union. So, after --

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, I went with your daddy it was up to Greensboro or Winston-Salem. I went with him several times you know to some of the meetings that they'd have. Yeah. Because back then I didn't have no car and your daddy had one. And 00:46:00he'd want me to ride with him.

LISK: Well, when I got big enough to remember things very much, Daddy was very much involved working Union and you were working someplace else.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I was working in the textile.

LISK: Yeah.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, I was working in the mill.

LISK: Were you a loom fixer?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. Yeah I got up to the head loom fixer.

LISK: I've got Grandpa's old tool box.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. And I's supposed to got that tool box.

LISK: Well, uncle --

REV. FRANK MILLER: He said you're the only one that fixes loom and the only one that, you know, and I want you to have it.

LISK: Well, I was supposed to get the other tool box and his tools that Uncle Arthur got.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yep. I know. He got --

LISK: Uncle Arthur told Grandma, I mean uh, told uh Daddy, said, Poppa said for Dick to have this tool box but I need it worse than Dick does.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That come from his brother. That new looking one.

LISK: Yeah.

REV. FRANK MILLER: You know, that come from his brother, Jim. And, uh, the old tool box, yep, up there in the mill one day my daddy said, Frank if I ever die I want 00:47:00you to have my tool box and tools cause you're the only one that fix looms, ya know. And it didn't do any good. So, I never did get to see it though.

LISK: I remember you and Daddy and Grandpa sitting by the fireplace talking about that picker stick brake that you folks worked on with Harold McClintock.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Had a patent you know and uh --

LISK: Then they changed the looms on ya and ya didn't need it.

REV. FRANK MILLER: No, no, no we were offered $30,000 for it and the other two fellows in it. Man, I was wanting it because I was sitting on the front porch, uh, your daddy got us in with the brothers -- I mean uh -- well, he got us in with the Cone Mill. I went up there, and me and this other boy, and stayed about six weeks working with this thing with the Cone Mill. And, uh, then, a fellow from -- John Bogdon from Providence, Rhode Island got ahold of this thing and we put some on a mill over here. I forget where it was. Not Huntersville but over in that section somewhere. Put some on the looms over there. He came down here 00:48:00and he saw it. Went back and he called and said he was coming down to see us and didn't say why. So when he came, he came to my daddy's and we all met there at my daddy's on the front porch. Sitting on the front porch, he had a big front porch.

LISK: Yeah, I remember.

REV. FRANK MILLER: And he offered us first of all $25,000 for it. And back then that was a lot of money.

LISK: Oh yeah, $25,000 was a lot of money.

REV. FRANK MILLER: And then he was -- he went up to $30,000 but them two other fellows, I was ready to sell right then, I said a bird in the hand is a whole lot better than one in the bush.

LISK: Now who was the other one? I remember you, Grandpa, and Clem Rock. Who was the other one?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Clem Rock. Clem Rock. That's who it was. Me and my daddy and Clem Rock and Vic Barrier was the overseer.

LISK: Vic Barrier. I didn't remember.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, he was the overseer.

LISK: Yeah, I remember Vic Barrier but I didn't know he was part of that.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, he said we could get $50,000 out of it. I said -- that's one 00:49:00time I got mad at my overseer and golly, cussed him a little bit back then. I wasn't no Christian and I said a bird in the hand is a lot better than one in the bush. And he wanted to take one back with him and I knew if he took it up to the Draper company that'd be the last of it. 'Cause Draper company was selling these check straps, one mill, we were the first mill that -- the first mill that, uh, Jim Gannon built. They were spending $80,000 a year, that one little mill for these check straps. If we'd have got this thing perfected that would have done away with all these check straps in these mills that the Draper company was selling.

LISK: Well the biggest problems you had, if I remember right, I was just a kid, the biggest problem was the front end of the stroke, wasn't it?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, that's it. We couldn't get nothing to check it. They had it down at, uh, uh, down yonder at that college, what's the name of it, turns out 00:50:00engineers and all. They had them working on it. Cannon Mill was working on it. And, uh, Cone Mill was working on it. Burlington Mill was working on it.

LISK: You know what I can still remember about that stuff? And I remember the smell of that old glue Grandpa used to bring home in a snuff can.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Oh yeah, that was --

LISK: And the smell of it. I -- I can smell it to this day.


LISK: I don't know what it was made out of but it worked.

REV. FRANK MILLER: He gave us $1000. I told 'em I said, boys we let him get away from here we'll never see him no more. He give us $1000 on it, you know, to hold it, 'til he went back. He said I can't go no higher than this. He had the contract and all we'd a had to done is signed it and he offered. Gonna give me and that ole boy a job, ole Clem Rock, a job and I forget how much it was. Travel, you know with 'em. Man, I was ready to go. And, aww, they'll give us $50,000, they'll give us $50,000. I said we better take the bird in the 00:51:00hand. We got him now and all we'd a had to done was sign that contract, went uptown, got a lawyer to notarize it and all, and got our money. Nope. He -- he'll give us more. Give us $1000, let him leave, never did come back.

HELFAND: Reverend, have you ever talked to your Uncle or even thought about how they were even able to organize so many workers back then in what was obviously a town that had a lot of anti-union feelings?

LISK: Do you understand the question?

HELFAND: Well, why don't you rephrase it?

LISK: Uh, the question has been raised several times. As I have looked at a list of local unions that Daddy helped organize, how in the world, given the limited communications, few people had telephones, few people had automobiles, and you either had to go and write a letter -- how did Daddy and the others 00:52:00manage to organize in as brief a period of time as many mills scattered in as many places as they were?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, one thing, Dick, according to the law, some way about the law, that Roosevelt had passed, your Daddy had authority to go into a uh -- uh -- mill, go into the office and look at the books -- what they were paying the people. He said -- he told me one time he went into this one mill and they wouldn't let him look at the books. And he said "I don't blame you, I'd be ashamed too to let anybody see o more than you're paying your people." And your Daddy was a persuasive fellow. God actually was gonna call that fellow to preach. See, I heard him preach at the Methodist church one time. He went to the Harmony Methodist Church and he could get up and deliver a sermon. And he knowed how to get up and talk to people. And he was persuasive with his speaking, you know. When they'd announce he's gonna have a meeting 00:53:00somewhere, you know, and get a group. Now if I'm not mistaking he's the one that organized the Cone Mill. Most of them, there was a couple of them that wasn't organized.

LISK: Yeah, he was. He was.

REV. FRANK MILLER: But uh, White Oaks and [Betree?]

LISK: I'm trying -- I'm trying to think of a name of the bill, uh -- in the '30's. Congress passed a bill and I'm trying to think of the name of it -- that guaranteed unions the right to organize.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That's right.

LISK: Uh, which overrode some local laws and it guaranteed the unions had certain rights in terms of gathering information.

GEORGE STONEY: That was the Wagner Act.


LISK: Wagner Act.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Your Dad had the right to go into the mill office and ask to see their books, ya see, as an organizer.

GEORGE STONEY: You see, the Wagner Act came after that '34 strike and the fact that the mill owners wouldn't hire a lot of these people back so they realized 00:54:00they had to have something quite independent of the textile codes. So the next year the Wagner Act was passed.

LISK: See, my dad was one of the ones that they would not hire back. Uh, the way my father wound up working for the union was that he was blacklisted.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, he went right out, went right on with the union. He wasn't out no time 'til he went right on with the union as an organizer but I don't know what he was when he, uh -- when he retired. He had done worked hisself up above an organizer.

LISK: Well, he carried several titles. Uh, he was Regional Director. He was Vice President. Uh, he turned down, because Mother wouldn't move, he turned down an opportunity to move to international headquarters in New York, because Mama said, I ain't going to New York. And if you go, you can go by yourself. Uh, but Dad turned down two promotions and he told Mother, he 00:55:00said, When I turn this one down, he said, That's it, he said, there's no more. And she said, Do what you please, but if you move I ain't going with you. Uh, no way Mother was gonna move to New York. Uh, and that's the way we wound up staying here and the way Dad wound up running the Charlotte office.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. I know he was -- he'd been promoted up to uh - uh a whole lot higher than --

LISK: Well, he served on the executive council for -- I don't remember, I've got a plaque out in the car. That he served on the executive council of TWA, what have you, for years.


LISK: Uh --

REV. FRANK MILLER: See, he had a heart attack, Dick, before he retired. You remember that well.

LISK: Yeah, I remember I was pastor (inaudible) at First Baptist Church.

REV. FRANK MILLER: They just let him stay on there until he got something built up, something or another about his retirement.


LISK: Well, Daddy, after he had his heart attack, he went back to work and had another heart attack, went back to work and had another heart attack. Daddy had about seven separate heart attacks before he died. And he kept trying to work and -- he'd work part time, have another heart attack so forth and so on, and he was valuable enough they tried to keep him on as long as they could, uh --

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. Yeah. But uh, I know he liked so much time getting something and that's one reason they told him just come over here and set around, you know. You don't have to do nothing. Just come on over here.

GEORGE STONEY: I wonder if we shouldn't start showing your Uncle some of those, uh, documents and pictures that you brought up here.

LISK: I can show him what few I have, uh, in terms of documents. I have pictures.

GEORGE STONEY: Mm-hmm, pictures, yes.

LISK: As I told you, most of the documents were destroyed. They're out here in the car.


GEORGE STONEY: OK. Make a phone call first. Judy ain't happy. You OK, Judy?

HELFAND: Uh huh.

GEORGE STONEY: OK, come please.

JAMIE STONEY: Up and back a bit, Judy.

LISK: Got something I wanna show you, Uncle Frank.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. I'll be glad to see them pictures. You got one with him when he was with LBJ?

LISK: No, that's one Mama burned.

REV. FRANK MILLER: No, somebody in the family got that. Somebody. 'Cause I saw it.

LISK: Well, Mama burned one that almost caused a divorce.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, I saw one that somebody had with him with uh, President Johnson -- LBJ.

LISK: Remember that? Daddy was Vice President and served on the executive 00:58:00council for years. There's a picture of Mama and Daddy I took in Bristol when Lynn was a baby. But here's something you'll remember.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That brings back old memories right there. Where'd you take that at?

LISK: Bristol, Oklahoma. That's a picture of Daddy when he was a baby.


LISK: There's a picture of Daddy about the time him and Mama got married.

REV. FRANK MILLER: My sister (inaudible). You never did know her.

LISK: That's about the time Mama and Daddy got married.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, yeah. That looks like him. Red used to wear a cap. Well, all the boys used to wear a cap.


LISK: Oh, yeah. Here was Mama's favorite picture of Daddy. Still had a little bit of hair left.

HELEN: I don't believe I've seen him before.

LISK: And there's one where he still lived over behind Brown Mill's shotgun house.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, yeah. That's it. See, I -- when I showed ya'll that picture where he lived -- big ole high banks. See in that house down below.

LISK: Remember that?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, that's your mama.

LISK: Yeah.


REV. FRANK MILLER: Did you know back along then they didn't know about putting braces on teeth. Your mama's been a lot -- she's a pretty woman anyway but her teeth protruded, you know, right (inaudible). They didn't know nothing about all that back then when she was young.

LISK: You know, as high as Daddy rose in the union after having spent all of his life and what have you, here's a list of his total assets when he died. That went with his will. That's the list of his total assets. Wasn't a whole lot, was it?


REV. FRANK MILLER: More than I'm making, Dick, now. Look how much cheaper stuff was.

HELFAND: What's that, George?

GEORGE STONEY: Marriage license.

LISK: My father's marriage license. My father's marriage license. My father's draft card. Columbia, South Carolina. There's the last good picture of mama.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, Pearl was nice lookin' when she was dressed up.


LISK: Wilbur Mills knew my father quite well. Here's daddy with [Roy Larks?] who was Daddy's boss and governor of the state and what have you. This was typical -- a microphone on a Coca-Cola crate because they didn't have the equipment that they had. That picture there is a picture of the governor of the state of North Carolina, my father --

GEORGE STONEY: This is your father here?

LISK: Mm-hmm. That's my father.

HELFAND: You're not that little boy watching, right?

LISK: I -- I was a senior in high school when that picture was taken there.

JAMIE STONEY: Hold it up here? A little bit more?


REV. FRANK MILLER: He had assets of $47,931. Back then that would have been equal to over $100,000.

LISK: There's my dad about the time I was born. Fortieth wedding anniversary surprise party for mother. Here's my father speaking at one of those typical meetings we talked about a while ago. That's a banquet. That was a celebration.

GEORGE STONEY: This is your father?

LISK: That was my father -- that's my father speaking.

GEORGE STONEY: Back here this is -- (inaudible) go on to call him Red.

LISK: Yeah.

HELFAND: How old was he? When was he born?

LISK: He's got a death certificate in his hand there.


REV FRANK ILLER: Dick, let me look at that when you get done. I'd be glad to see that.

LISK: I was looking for something. It's got nothing to do with my daddy but I like that picture even if I did take it. My kids.

GEORGE STONEY: Here's his birthdate right there.

LISK: Twelfth day of January 1908 was my father's birthday. And died eleventh month twenty-seventh day 1974. And as an aside I brought my daddy's body back here to bury right across the street up here.


REV. FRANK MILLER: (inaudible) down there in front of that --

LISK: And when I returned home my daughter had been to the doctor and we went straight from the airport to my daughter's doctor and he said, Reverend Lisk, I hate to tell you your daughter has leukemia and she will not live.

REV. FRANK MILLER: She a pretty little girl wasn't she Richard? I mean Dick.

LISK: Say again. That's all the pictures.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Ain't that his sister there?

LISK: Yeah, that's Helen.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That's who I thought it was.

LISK: That's baby sister. That's baby sister.

REV. FRANK MILLER: It was a banquet.

LISK: That's what I saw -- union meeting of some kind. Not far from here. I remember going to it. I don't remember where it was but I remember it was not far from here because we went over, had supper and then came home and spent the 01:06:00night at home. If I remember right that's Terry Sanford. I saw on the back of it.

GEORGE STONEY: Yes it is, yes. Governor Sanford. To my friend Red Lisk with best wishes, Terry Sanford.

HELFAND: What about that one?

LISK: Bob Reynolds, wasn't it?

GEORGE STONEY: Yes, uh, Senator -- Senator Reynolds.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That hat -- he put that hat on the first thing in the morning and the last thing he'd take off at night. That was my mama. Yeah, my dad -- he'd put his hat on the first thing in the morning and that's the last thing he'd take off at night.

JAMIE STONEY: What's the plaque you had in your hand there?

LISK: Say again?

GEORGE STONEY: The plaque.

LISK: Oh, my father was vice president of the union and a member of the 01:07:00executive council of the AFL-CIO. He was on the executive council twice. He served one year, came off and then he went on and he served about ten years as a member of the -- for lack of a better term -- the governing body between national meetings. Uh, AFL-CIO. And he was proud of that. He had some more and I don't really know what -- well, I do know what happened to them too. Uh, my father's sister, Ruth, who now is suffering from Alzheimer's disease had a number of pictures, papers, some of these and they have disappeared and I tried to find them. In fact Dad's other sister -- the one you saw a picture of a minute ago -- went over to the house and went through the house and she called me back and she said, Dick, I can't find a thing. She said whether they're hid in the attic, burned, destroyed. Who knows? We know Ruth had 01:08:00'em. We can't find 'em. And Ruth because of Alzheimer's is in no shape to answer any questions.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Now, Dick, what family reunion is this or family meeting?

LISK: Let me see it and I'll tell you.

REV. FRANK MILLER: See it right there.

LISK: That's -- that's Millers.


LISK: Yeah. There's Pat, and Ray and Grandma and Aunt Lillian and you're in the back row and I'm in the back row and Aunt Mary's in the back row.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I was thinking we had a picture took over there one time.

LISK: Yeah. That's your side of the family.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That's a doggone good lookin' bunch.

LISK: Especially that bald headed rascal in the back row.

HELFAND: So how old is your dad in 1933?


GEORGE STONEY: Figure it out -- 1908 --

LISK: Born 1908, uh, so --

REV. FRANK MILLER: Your dad born 1908.

LISK: Mm-hmm.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, I was born 1912 and I'll be 80 in October. So you can figure.

GEORGE STONEY: Now that's the thing that amazes me is that all of this organizing was done by men who were so young. Your father was 25 -- 24, 25, 26 during this time. Uh, Paul Christopher was about the same age. Howard Payne was, uh, just a little bit older. Fellow named Gay in Georgia who led the campaign down there was also, uh, 24, 25.

HELFAND: George, could you repeat that? I could you hear you rustling a little bit.

GEORGE STONEY: The thing that amazes me is that all these -- most of these fellas who led this big organizing campaign and finally the strike were such 01:10:00young people.

LISK: Well, that -- that's true and an awful lot of it was just sweat. Uh, traditionally mill shift changed at seven, three, and eleven. And the organizers would be at the gates of the mill at seven, three, and eleven passing out literature to the people going in and come out. Week after week they'd -- when they weren't working their shift they'd be there. They'd go knocking on doors at home. Uh, they'd go to the coffee shop where the men gathered to have a cup of coffee or something stronger. Uh, they would hand address letters, uh, and it was just a one by one by one day by day by day grind and it 01:11:00wasn't always easy. There were threats, intimidation.

REV. FRANK MILLER: No, like I told him. I said people lived in the mill houses you know and you couldn't get a job back then.


REV. FRANK MILLER: And if they found out you were talking union. Brother, they just about put you -- if I hadn't been on -- been without a patent with my overseer, you know, that patent. He's the one that told me he said, They talking about you out in the big office, he said.

LISK: Well, I remember one of the maddest I ever saw my father was a man and his wife got thrown out of a company-owned house because their daughter joined the union and they were told "If you can't control your daughter you're not the kind of employee we need and we're going to make an example out of you." So they threw the man out of the house and while cotton textile management will never on record admit the existence of a black list or a blackballing they would never publicly admit to it. But the fact of the matter is it existed. Uh, and 01:12:00I remember how angry my father was at the fact that because a grown woman joined the union her father and mother lost their job and were thrown on the street. Uh, this is some of the types of intimidation that went on and the control mills had. If you lived in a company-owned house, traded at a company store, uh, they had you. And it was -- it took courage to buck the system.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Dick, ain't this the picture here -- I mean the thing that I wrote This Is Your Life?

LISK: Probably so.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That took the movie. I had the movie camera and I took --

LISK: (inaudible) and that's my son who's a baby.

REV. FRANK MILLER: This is your life and I took --

LISK: He told everything he knew and some things he ought not to.


REV. FRANK MILLER: I took the picture and I believe I told you about it that it is the home where he was born and then the church he first went to and then the city of Concord. And then I took my tape recorder and put it on it, you see. I talked it all.

LISK: Local newspaper --

HELFAND: Wait a second. Frank, can I ask you a favor?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yes, ma'am.

HELFAND: I'm going to ask you to do something. I don't mean to be a meanie. Could you put the book down and listen? Because I keep -- and then you can look -- finish looking at the book afterwards because I know you have something to say.

REV. FRANK MILLER: There's one thing that amazes me. I'll let her look at it. About --

HELFAND: Actually, you know what -- what amazes you?

GEORGE STONEY: One thing that amazes you -- ?


REV. FRANK MILLER: Like, uh, Terry Sanford is my friend but yet them fellas would fight against -- against the union, see. But I never understood a lot of them fellows, you know. But a man like his daddy they'd write him a nice letter. But then they'd get out here with a --

LISK: Well, they were playing both sides of the street.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

LISK: Uh, they were politicians playing both sides of the street and, uh, several of the politcians who held various public offices would tell the union people you've got a right to better living standards. You can expect better treatment. You can expect fair treatment. And then they'd turn right around and meet in a smoke filled room as the saying goes and say, Hey, fellas, we've got to control this thing. You know if we don't it might get out of hand.


REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. Well it was wanting a -- these politicians was wanting the southern votes, you see -- the mill people's votes. And if the mill people found out that they were not trying to help 'em in any way in order to get their votes. But I want to tell you something about the people and I've never understood it. We've got your diehard Democrats and diehard Republican. We've got some on the Republican side, some on the Democrat side. If they'd run a baboon for President they'd vote for him just because I'm a Republican or I'm a Democrat. That's right. You couldn't change them --

LISK: Well (inaudible) I thought a baboon was running.


LISK: I said I've seen a few times I wasn't sure the baboon wasn't running.

REV. FRANK MILLER: But I'm like this about it. I always try to vote for the man. I preach Sunday and I asked them in church Sunday I said, I ain't gonna ask you to lift your hand 'cause, well, I don't want to embarrass you. But I 01:16:00wonder how many of you listen to the Democratic convention and then listened to the Republican convention. Do you understand what they were -- what they stood for -- are standing for? I said, Now if you don't know what the men are standing for you don't know who to vote for. And I just put it like that and I left that off then, you see. I didn't get on no Democrat or Republican either one.

GEORGE STONEY: But, now, back in the early '30s the -- Governor Ehringhaus for example, he was supposed to be a friend of labor, and then he called out the National Guard. Governor Johnson in South Carolina had worked -- he -- he pictured himself as a -- he presented himself as a -- as a mill worker. Actually he worked a couple of summers in a mill I think. Uh, Talmadge, red 01:17:00galluses, bragged that he was a friend of labor and yet when the chips around every single one of them called out the National Guard. What about that?

LISK: Well, the truth of the matter is the mill owners were a part of not a royal family but a small group of financiers, wealthy people -- oligarchy I guess is the best way to describe it -- who actually owned the soul of the state. Uh, Charles Cannon is reported to have said one time that North Carolina had the best legislature he could buy. Uh, and the truth of the matter is that while these men talked labor support they were controlled body and soul by such 01:18:00organizations as National Association of Manufacturers, the Cotton Textile organization, etc., etc., etc. Uh, and while they may give lip service to the labor movement, the truth of the matter is they owed their political life not to the unions but to, uh, other forces. And my father recognized this. Uh, and dealt with it in many ways. And Uncle Frank ran across the same thing. It -- it happened on a local level as well. Local government here in Concord was owned body and soul by the local mill owners and what have you. The average working man had very little influence on local government and what have you in 01:19:00terms of actual decision making process.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I believe I told you this before. Now Charlie Cannon -- old man Charlie Cannon done some good things for the people, you know -- the textile. In fact he's one helped to get our hospital up here and still out of his foundation going to it. But like Dick said a while ago he dominated Concord and Kannapolis. He didn't come out -- have to come out. He had other men doing it for him. See now I was told -- I don't know how true this is. I'm not telling it for a fact that our city here in Concord --- Cabarrus city and all -- it was totally Democratic. But when the national election come Cannon would vote Republican. I was told that, see, by different ones. And I know he did -- 01:20:00that granddaughter of his married that fellow. He was a strong Republican. You know, one of his -- the boy that married his granddaughter. Now, uh, they dominated. See they run, practically run, uh, fact is, uh, Mr. Charlie had a man up there in Kannapolis he came to my home one night and stayed 'til 12:00. My son run against him as a House of Representatives. Now he worked for Cannon in the House of Representatives. So he'd get off, go in and have a meeting, come back and he was being paid by the state and by the Cannon too, you see. (inaudible) and whenever he retired from the mill and he retired he'd spend thirty some years, I think, in legislature there in Raleigh. I imagine that old boy made more money, uh, lobbying than he ever made, you know, in the mill 01:21:00because he stayed in Raleigh doing lobbying, you see.

GEORGE STONEY: Why -- why was it that the unions -- the working people in the mills who were much more numerous -- they had many more votes -- it seemed to me that they should have had some political power.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, the thing about it though is, see, you didn't run for office in Cabarrus County here until you saw the head of the political party. And he was told by the higher ups who to run and who not to run. And they used to -- in the Cannon Mill -- they'd come around and tell you who they wanted you to vote for. And if they found out you didn't vote for their man you was a goner, see. They'd find some reason to let you go. And so they had the people afraid.

LISK: It was not just a matter of numbers. It was a number of leadership. Who 01:22:00would stick his neck out to get it chopped off? And if anybody from the mill workers -- mill hand -- if he started talking too freely about opposition to the established powers, he woke up and realized he didn't have a job, he had to move out of the company house, he couldn't get a loan to buy a house, he couldn't get any credit at the bank, he couldn't what have you.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Now the thing about it now, you see, the farmers and people from other places that moved in here. Now they own their own home. They don't have to depend on the cotton mill home for their home. And now it's a lot easier. That's why they're getting as far along with the Cannon Mill Fieldcrest in Cannon as they are now because there's so many people that own their own home 01:23:00and they don't have to depend on, you know, really depend on the Cannon Mill for a living.

LISK: Well, as a part of what you're saying back in 1933-34 if you lived here in Concord or around Concord unless you had an independent source of income you were either a tenant farmer or you worked in somebody's mill. And under either circumstance whether you were a tenant farmer or working in somebody's mill you were at the mercy of, uh, your landlord who was tied to the mill or the mill. And there was an interlocking network. I can remember my father talking on one occasion and I won't call names because I'm not plumb sure of some of the names but in one community where by family ties and business associates you could take six men and account for the newspaper, uh, the water works. There 01:24:00was no public water works. The water works were privately owned. The only trucking company, the only radio station, uh, chairman of the board of control to the local hospital, president of the bank and president of the savings and loan association. Now if a man wants a loan if he wants to buy a house, if he wants -- any kind of financial agreement, uh, if he wants to build a house and simply get water to his house, uh, he had to deal with the same basic power structure. And this was the type of thing that the union dealt with for years.

REV. FRANK MILLER: And the thing about it -- I remember it well. They never let you get ahead where you could hardly buy a house. You could never get -- save no money. 01:25:00About the time that you think that you was gonna -- things were going to work out all right. They kept you in debt about all he time. You know what I mean? The mill would shut down for a week, go on two days a week. Well, you having a family and if it hadn't have been for the whole grocery stores on the mill hill then those men would let people buy groceries on credit -- we'd have starved to death back when I was a boy coming up. I mean, you know, now my dad never did do that but fellows like me -- young man with a family, I had to buy my groceries on credit and pay from payday to payday, you know -- pay for it. Now today -- and I still traded with my grocery man 'til he went out of business though he might have charged a little more. But I said, Bless the Lord he took care of me when I couldn't take care of myself and I'm not about to leave him now. And I stayed with him. Well, he went out of business --

LISK: The local grocery store not only -- who was it?


REV. FRANK MILLER: [Coffing?]. Chris Coffing. Chris is dead now.

LISK: Well, the grocery store not only served as a place to buy groceries he served as an informal banker. Uh, one of the local grocery stores that I worked in a few days just as a child -- stock boy -- would loan money. You paid back, uh, $5.00 for $4.00. And you paid the next payday but it went down not as a loan but it went on the bill as groceries. And the total payback amount was written on it and if you didn't pay it back the next payday you owed another 20% of what -- what it was. But to show you -- he spoke of grandpa -- to show you the kind of system that we had -- I never will forget how hurt my 01:27:00grandfather was. My grandfather worked in one mill for 37 years. And grandpa had a heart attack long about Thanksgiving. And the mill at that time every Christmas sent a bag of candy, fruits, nuts to all the employees. But the year that grandpa had a heart attack -- I'll never forget. The only time in my life I ever saw my grandfather cry. He not only did not get a bag of nuts and candy and stuff from the mill but the man who was delivering the stuff told him to come get his toolbox -- that the man who now had his job needed his space. And after 37 years that was the way he was dismissed with absolutely no bonus, no pension, no terminal pay. The last day he worked was the last day he got paid.

GEORGE STONEY: What mill was that?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Brown Mill. He had a heart attack.

LISK: Brown Mill, still sitting over yonder on the corner.


REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, he had a heart attack and he went to the hospital up here and some little new doctor come in up there and he charged him $1000 and he said if you got any more I'm going to get the rest out of you. He didn't stay here too long though. But my dad had $1000 life insurance with the Brown Mill. Now my daddy always tried to keep a little money. I never knew my daddy to go in debt for nothing in his life. But he had $1000 with the Brown Mill. I believe it was Traveler's Protect -- or Traveler's insurance company. And he kept his insurance going. But they come around one day and told him -- said, We're gonna give you $90 and cash that insurance in, you see. Gonna drop it. So there's nothing to do after him carrying it all them many years to take the $90 or not have no insurance.

LISK: And he couldn't find more after he has his heart attack.


REV. FRANK MILLER: No, no. They give him $90 for his insurance policy. So I'll tell ya they had the people across the barrel back then. You kinda had to go their way or no way.

LISK: And it was the resentment that made people so angry that they were willing to stick their neck on the line with this kind of thing. You can bet your bottom dollar if the union had come around organizing when my grandfather was done that way. There'd have been a lot of people say, If they're going to do him that way you know -- the anger would overcome the fear.

GEORGE STONEY: You know about what year that was?

LISK: Let's see. I was at br-- about 1957. About 1957.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That's what they give us at Christmas time, you see. They'd give us 01:30:00a big -- give us a bag of oranges, apples, nuts and candy and stuff like that, you see.

LISK: And I always wondered why they never gave seedless raisins. They always gave raisins with seed in them. I never will forget that.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Never did get a bonus at the mill where I worked in. I worked 22 years at the Brown Mill. Never got a bonus in my life for working.

HELFAND: Did you get a pension?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Pension? They didn't know what pension was back then. The only one that got pensions I guess were the overseers then got a little something.

LISK: My grandfather worked for 37 years at the same mill and, like I said, he didn't even get a Christmas card when he had his heart attack -- after 37 years. The only -- the only thing he got was a message, Come get your toolbox. It's in the way.

HELFAND: Wasn't the Brown Mill a little different than the Cannon type of mill?

REV. FRANK MILLER: No, the Johnsons in Charlotte owned the Brown Mill.

LISK: Cannon Mill's right across the street.


REV. FRANK MILLER: Several -- Johnson had a couple mills I think in Charlotte and this one over here. But later on the Cannons bought the old Brown Mill. Now we don't have a mill (inaudible) in Concord. You know that? We don't have a running mill in Concord. All of it's in Kannapolis. Now the old Gibson Mill down here got a little folding like sheets and that. But far as looms and spinners and all like that.

LISK: Brown and (inaudible) Cotton and what have you are all gone?

REV. FRANK MILLER: All gone. There ain't none of 'em running. Well, they got something in there but they ain't -- other people's bought it or something. But there ain't no mill with looms and spinning frames or anything like that in it.

GEORGE STONEY: Well now all of this doesn't sound very much like the mill atmosphere that had been described to us by some of the people we talked with. Not only the owners who said "We looked after the people very well. We gave them houses. We fixed up the houses. We kept them clean. We gave them pasturage for the cows" and so forth. But also some of the people who work in 01:32:00the mills, uh, who say that it was wonderful -- that we could go to the boss and he knew us and he would lend us money and he sent me to school and so forth. Could you help us sort this out?

LISK: Well, it was like -- for lack of a better term it was a kind of paternalism. It is true the mill provided a house. But if you crossed the mill you lost your house. It is true that, uh, the mill owners did a number of things. For example, uh, they sponsored -- baseball was very popular when my father was active in working. We had semi-pro baseball right here and the mills would sponsor baseball teams and what have you. And the mill did sponsor various activities. Was it not the Fourth of July we used to go out to 01:33:00Harrison's Lake ever --

REV. FRANK MILLER: I don't remember.

LISK: -- year for --

REV. FRANK MILLER: I managed the ball club there at the Brown Mill and one of the old boys lived up close to the church up there. He went to the big leagues. I was managing.

LISK: But the mill provided, uh, some of these -- for lack of a better term -- fringe benefits. And the boss man would loan money. Uh, and the boss man did provide housing and a whole series of things. But back of that was always if you question -- if you cross, uh, and you knew where the line was. Uh, you lost it all. Uh, if -- well, like my father for example. My father was a good employee except he was a union man. And for that reason he was thrown out of a 01:34:00mill house, uh, blacklisted. So there was always this two sided.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Did they folks tell you that they had to pay rent on them houses? Yes, sir. You had to pay rent. I wasn't too much but you had to pay rent.

LISK: The mill owners worked under what one cynic described as the golden rule. The man that had the gold made the rule. Uh, and that's the way the system worked.

HELFAND: When did that happen to your dad? Could you describe what happened to your family?

LISK: Well, my dad was livig in shotgun house. Uncle Frank showed you.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I showed it to 'em. They got a picture of it.

LISK: And because of Dad's activity in joining the union and helping -- trying to get others he lost his job. He had to move out of a mill house. He was 01:35:00blacklisted. No other mill would hire him.

HELFAND: Did he try? Did he try to get other jobs?

LISK: Yeah. Told it was a waste of time. Uh, he moved into two rooms. In fact I'll show you the two rooms where he lived in the front two rooms and, uh, mother's brother who is now deceased, Arthur, lived in the back two.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I showed 'em that house over there and they got a picture.

LISK: That's where I was born with mom and dad living in two rooms.

GEORGE STONEY: So this happened in the late '20s then?

LISK: No, I was born in '31.

GEORGE STONEY: Yeah, but -- but when -- when did your father lose his job?

LISK: Thirty --

REV. FRANK MILLER: When the strike come along.

LISK: Thirty-three was it?

REV. FRANK MILLER: I don't know. When was the strike?

GEORGE STONEY: He lost it during the strike or before the strike?

REV. FRANK MILLER: During the strike or right after.

LISK: As part of the whole process. I'm not sure whether it was just before or just during but as a part of the process.


REV. FRANK MILLER: I think, Dick, he was helping to organize 'em, you see. He was working and organizing in the mill.

LISK: He was. He was helping organize them. And he was elected -- the straw that broke the camel's back was when he was elected, uh, secretary of the local group that was trying to organize. That was the straw that broke the camel's back and as the English friends would say -- he got the sack.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I want to tell you something else, Brother Stoney. Somebody told you the overseer loaned money. Well, they might have done it but I worked for 22 years and I never seen my overseer ever loaning anybody any money. I really didn't. Never see him loan any money. It might have been a good friend. A lot of things went on in these mills back yonder, you know, because there's a lot of hanky-panky goin' on, you see. But like I told you they had the people across the barrel. And I never -- I never knowed my boss man to loan nobody 01:37:00money. He might have done it but if he did he never loaned me none, I never asked him for none. I never seen it there where I worked at.

LISK: Well, that may have been but that was the exception not the rule. That was not the way things were.

REV. FRANK MILLER: They got a group over there at the Norcott Mill padding the payroll. They had some women over there and when it was out they'd mark 'em in, you know. And they were padding -- what they call padding the payroll. Marking them in and then the women drawing their salary as though they was out. So I guess the overseer was getting' part of that.

LISK: Well, I remember one instance. I don't know whether it's the same instance or not. The overseers was getting other fringe benefits from some of the women besides the money.

REV FRANK MILLER: Yeah, oh well.

HELFAND: You heard about that?


LISK: Huh?

HELFAND: You heard about that?

LISK: I can't put any documentation and prove it but I heard it.

JAMIE STONEY: But local groups that would charge you what they would call usury interest rates on a personal loan and write it down as --

LISK: Groceries. Oh, yeah. In fact, I saw a man -- I've seen the man more times than one take money out of the till and hand it to an individual and write a ticket up for groceries. See everybody bought groceries on credit. And, uh, when you'd get, as we said, a bill of groceries there was a carbon made. You'd be given one carbon and there was -- you had a slot -- spring loaded clip and, uh, every time you'd get some it would be put on that spring loaded clip and then on payday the slips would be added up and that's what you owed. 01:39:00And if on your clip you had a bill that said groceries $30 or whatever that was a part of your bill and you were expected to pay it all.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I went to the bank one time and I borrowed $200. And I started loaning money. I loaned a fella $5. Payday every two weeks get $6.25 back. I had $1.25 interest. Man get $10 I had $12.50 back. I didn't care whether they paid me back or not just as long as they paid me the interest on it. See. Some fellow paid me high $30 for $10 and I got ashamed of myself one time about that thing. It was right at Christmastime. I went around and told 'em all to knock it off. They don't owe me nothing.

GEORGE STONEY: One other thing. Uh, I've been reading a lot in the old newspapers. And every time the union started with something then they'd be 01:40:00communists. Anybody that came out from the other side it was communists. It was people from the north or it was communists. Now, you know, I grew up in Winston-Salem where I never knew -- I never met a communist, I just thought --. Where did all this come from and what did it mean to you people?

LISK: Communism to me never meant anything when I was a young man growing up. Uh, I knew what the word was. The only thing I remember about communism is Eleanor Roosevelt saying some of my best friends are communist. But communism was a non-issue. When I was a kid growing up the biggest issue is do we have something for supper?

GEORGE STONEY: But why that constant business in the newspapers about it?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, you see, if people gonna talk about a union to try to slow it down some they'd get word out you'd better watch yourself 'cause that's 01:41:00headed up by the communist party, see.

LISK: And the old IWW was held up as a model of what unions were all about. The, uh, Wobblies were held up by the powers that be. This is what unionism is. This is what unionism is. And the truth of the matter is the, uh, IWW was on the fringe as far as, uh, textile workers union concerned.

HELFAND: The other thing that we keep on hearing is that all the organizers were outsiders. They were from the north.

LISK: Oh, yeah. Yankees were not trusted even when I was growing up.

HELFAND: But was your daddy a Yankee?

LISK: No. My daddy was a southerner. But I'm very serious. We tell it as laughter. But there was a residue of mistrust of the North that was a hangover from the Civil War. I'll give you an illustration that came out just two 01:42:00years ago. A classmate of my son who is in law school -- his mother decided to buy a new car and demanded a car that was manufactured totally in America -- no Japanese radio, not French tires, uh, what have you. And she finally got one that they guaranteed that was made totally in America and it was a Chrysler product and Lee Iacocca found out about it and called the woman. But anyhow the son who was in law school with my son said, Mama, don't you know World War Two has been over for a long time? And her response, I ain't forgive the damn Yankees yet.

HELFAND: Now I'm talking about anti-union mythology and the old story that the 01:43:00unions came from the north and the organizers were foreigners from out of town. Could you all comment on that?

LISK: Well, there was some truth in that because a lot of the organization of unions started in the sweatshops in New York City and it started among immigrants. And if you read your history of the worker's union, uh, and the sweatshop conditions and the so-called loft factories of New York there were an awful lot of first-generation Americans here and -- it's not really race. It's more culture. But cultural discrimination was very strong. For example, uh, such terms as spics, wops, micks, [waps?], etc., etc., uh, were very commonly used. And the discrimination and the attitude was, uh, toward national 01:44:00origin. Even though you stand a man up you couldn't tell where he came from. If he opened his mouth and he had an accent not like yours he was automatically an enemy. He was different. He was foreign.

REV. FRANK MILLER: When you take up in Massachusetts, you know, my brother used to drive a truck up there -- up through there. And that's where your manufacturers used to be in textile. You kow that -- up in Massachusetts? And he'd tell me. He said, You know, Frank, you go through the certain town now it's like a ghost town up there. Empty houses. You see, they moved down here -- a lot of 'em. Came from up there to the textile too. And the companies came down south to get away from the union. See they were unionized up there so they came down south to get away from the union. Some businesses right now's coming south to get away from the union.


LISK: Well, railroad rates were used in battle between the north and the south. For example on the same railroad a bale of raw cotton going up north was not charged at the same rate as that same weight of cotton and same volume coming back south. And railroad rates were used as a weapon between various economic forces.

GEORGE STONEY: But this business of the outsider was thrown against the unions -- you know, we read in the papers --

LISK: Oh, yes.

GEORGE STONEY: And yet your father, Red Lisk, Paul Christopher, Alton Lawrence, Roy Lawrence -- sorry let me start -- the communism which outsiders were -- could accuse of leading this thing and yet we know that practically all the 01:46:00leaders down here were native. Your father, Red Lisk, Payne, Albert Hinson, Gaye, Roy Lawrence. I don't think there were two outsiders in all of the group. Why did it stick? Why did they keep talking about outsiders?

LISK: The charge of outside agitators is always a helpful ploy.

HELFAND: Excuse me. Would you mind starting that again? I had a bit of disturbance. Could you start your sentence again?

LISK: The charge of outsiders is always a helpful ploy when you're fighting something. Uh, in recent years how many times did you hear the charge -- outsiders are agitating down here? The Civil Rights Movement, uh, the infamous murders that took place over in Mississippi. They were written down as the result of outside agitators. Uh, and the charge of outside agitators was 01:47:00something that was -- it was just propaganda tool.

REV FRANK MILLER: See the union national headquarters -- they tried to get me in like his daddy and others that would stand up 'cause they knew that these southern boys down here could influence the people more than they could. So the more of these organizers and all they got it was from down here in the south the better off they were.

LISK: Let me tell you something. A man named Lisk who grew up -- or who was born in Stanley County which is just over the road -- who worked in Brown Cotton Mill was a far more effective organizer but a fellow named O'Brien who came from New York or Stein who came from who knows where, uh, he had two strikes against him as soon as he opened his mouth and said, My name is. But 01:48:00somebody -- yeah, his daddy lived on the old man Yates' farm over yonder. Yeah, I knew his brother. He used to be a loom fixer over yonder at Cannon Six. He was acceptable. But there was a clannishness in society. And it was played upon by very astute men who realized that, uh, they could play upon the clannishness and the xenophobia I guess you'd say.

GEORGE STONEY: And yet they were groveling practically to get northern money and northern management down here.

LISK: People are inconsistent on a lot of things.

GEORGE STONEY: That's the thing that I -- as a southerner I've always been amazed by. If it's management or if it's money, oh, then we'll do 01:49:00anything for them. But if it's ideas that come from somewhere else foreign.

LISK: Who was it that said, Oh, consistency thou art a jewel? And we are totally inconsistent at times. And our philosophies and our attitude toward the world, uh, we're not consistent people.

JAMIE STONEY: Do you think that in any way people considered the northern investment -- northern money to be payback for the damage from the Civil War?

LISK: I'm not sure I understand the question. Run that by again.

JAMIE STONEY: They said they always wanted northern money and, you know, to invest in the mills -- to start up mills. Do you think they sort of in a way considered it reparations?

LISK: Well, the typical mill worker did not. Now I can't speak for the people, uh, this is Uncle Frank's boy, Bud.

FRANK "BUD" MILLER JR: Oh my goodness.


LISK: Peace is (inaudible)! Come in, Bud.


BUD: Seven o'clock meeting. I'm running late but I thought that was you, Dick.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That's my son and Bud is -- Mr. Stoney and his son.

BUD: I met her one time. I met him one time.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That's the girl that works with 'em. I forget her first name.


MILLER: Judy, yeah, Judy. And that's Dick.

GEORGE STONEY: Dick, we're almost through.

HELFAND: Are you going to church with your son?

BUD: No, I've got a meeting I've got to go to.

LISK: What time is your meeting, Uncle Frank? What time do you need to leave?

REV. FRANK MILLER: When you leave.

GEORGE STONEY: We'd better leave.

REV. FRANK MILLER: No, that's alright.

LISK: Let me -- let me ask a question.


LISK: The typical worker in the mill was -- and I'm talking about my own people. I'm not putting them down but they were semi-literate. And they were 01:51:00so concerned with having something to eat tonight that ideas of reparation, who caused the Civil War, who owes who for what were not part of the dinner table conversation. They were more concerned with the day to day affairs of just, uh, do we have enough money to buy shoes for kids for school? Do we have enough money to pay the doctor bill? Do we have enough money to do this or that or the other and questions of reparations for the average working man which is where the union was headed, uh, was not in the agenda.

JAMIE STONEY: Has it changed -- BMW, Hitachi Deere?

LISK: Well, it's -- we're in a different ballgame now because the America now who is losing a job to Hitachi, BMW and what have you -- he's concerned about a job being taken away by some foreigner. Uh, but the union man in 1934 01:52:00in a cotton mill was not facing a visible sign of foreign influence taking his job as he --

JAMIE STONEY: I'm talking Hitachi Deere of North Carolina off I40. I'm talking (inaudible) of Henderson. I'm talking BMW of Greenville.

LISK: Yeah, but what I'm saying is that in 1933 you didn't have that problem. There was no visible symbol of foreign influence. There was no sign made in Japan, made in Germany or what have you. And while in the background there may have been the English sweatshops and there were the American Civil War and the reconstruction after the war played havoc with the English economy. But 01:53:00that was over yonder and the American worker was never really cognizant of what was going on over there and he never saw cars coming down the road or televisions or radios or what have you that said Sony, Hitachi, BMW, IG Faben, what have you. He never thought about it.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Now if you want the Civil War he's the Civil War fellow right here.

BUD: The other thing too, Dick, in that period of time you only had two classes of people in the South. Even in my day you were either black or white. There was no other foreigners. And it was a strong German, Scot-Irish representation in this area.

GEORGE STONEY: You've got a union book. You haven't seen it, have you?

LISK: Say again.

GEORGE STONEY: You've got a union book.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah, but I don't remember what I done with it now.


LISK: Uncle Frank, that's as bad as a preacher losing his Bible.

GEORGE STONEY: Could you bring the box here --

LISK: That's as bad as a preacher losing his Bible.

GEORGE STONEY: -- for him to show?

MURPHY: Is it in your trunk?

HELFAND: He's gonna get it.

REV. FRANK MILLER: No, I believe --

HELEN: It's in that cigar box.


(break in tape)

REV. FRANK MILLER: [Jury Coin?] who was -- who was hanging out on the [shore?] with -- grandson. He gave me some pictures of the old [Watiff?] brother and things.


HELEN: Shh, shh, shh.


HELEN: Shh, shh, shh.

LISK: When you going to come see us?

REV. FRANK MILLER: Oh, yeah. Hre it is. Now my -- the one where Dick gonna go spend the night with -- she got a picture of the weave room at old Brown Mill with I don't know how many people setting around.

LISK: The old Draper looms.


REV. FRANK MILLER: Yeah. They sitting outside having their pictures made. You've got to watch that fellow here because he's a Civil War man. They're Yankees, Bud. (inaudible) at the University of North Carolina.

LISK: Here's your stamps for attendance and dues paid, 1934.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Never paid a nickel as far as I know.

LISK: Well somebody stamped and said you did.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I know they did. We're trying to get a union, see. They give it to you free -- let you in free.

LISK: One dollar dues.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That was a lot of money back then.

LISK: Oh, yeah. I've heard Daddy talk when I was born. Uh, he was working 01:56:00five days a week 12 to 12.

REV. FRANK MILLER: When we started working he working five and a half days a week. Worked a half a day on Saturday.

LISK: And played baseball on Saturday afternoon.

REV. FRANK MILLER: That's right.

LISK: And made more money playing a baseball game pitching baseball on Saturday afternoon than he made the rest of the week.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I've got a picture in yonder of me and the ball team. The mill company furnished our baseballs and our suits and our bats, you know. They done that. And I loved baseball when I was a young fella.

LISK: If the team won they didn't get paid but then somebody would go through the stands taking up a collection for the guy that hit the home run that won the game or the pitcher that pitched a no hitter or something of the sort.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Finally over there at the Brown Mill they built a fence around the ball field and started charging you to get in. (inaudible)

LISK: I remember that.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Ole Mooney -- he pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies and all.

LISK: What was Frank's brother's name?



LISK: There were two Mooney brothers -- Frank and what was the other one?

REV. FRANK MILLER: I don't remember.

LISK: And the reason I ask --

REV. FRANK MILLER: We called one Cowboy.

LISK: Yeah.

REV. FRANK MILLER: But he wasn't the one that played ball -- the young one.

LISK: Well, there were three Mooney boys at least but two of 'em played ball on the same team and I remember one time that each of 'em hit a home run that at the time put the team ahead and they went through the stands taking up a collection twice.


LISK: And I remember the awfulest fight I ever saw at a ballgame was Frank Mooney. He stepped up to the plate with an illegal bat. It was flat. And the umpire told him it was an illegal bat -- to put it down. He walked over to the bat rack, rattled the bats, came back, they pitched the ball to him -- Parnell was pitching. And on the next pitch Mooney hit the thing over the fence and when he dropped his bat the umpire looked at it and it was the same bat he had just put him over with and he called him out. And when he did the fight was on.


REV. FRANK MILLER: We used to go and play like (inaudible) and these other mills. And if -- if we beat 'em then we'd have to fight 'em.

LISK: Well, whoever won the ballgame generally lost the fight.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well that was generally the place where the people would come and gather on Saturday evenings, you know. Oh, you'd have a big crowd at a ball game. 'Cause people'd come down on Saturday evening and watch the ball team play.

HEFLAND: What do you think about that book?

LISK: It brings back memories. I don't know what happened to it but my dad used to have one.

REV. FRANK MILLER: See that shows that I was a union man.

LISK: Yeah.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I believed in it.

LISK: But my father had one. Uh, that I can remember him having it in his papers and I don't know whatever happened to it.

REV. FRANK MILLER: I tell them here, Dick, about when I was coming up -- well, back when 01:59:00the union -- we didn't know what a restaurant was to go out and eat. There was cafes. Hamburgers and hot dogs. I tell them about the first time I ever went out when we was out in old [Patent?] you know. Went up to Greensboro and this fellow, [Freeman?] he owned this here machine shop. He was a millionaire. Took me and old [McClemrock?] up there and he took us out to the country club. I believe it was Odell Supply Company -- the biggest mill supply company was in North Carolina around. Took us out to the country club. Well I'd never been in a restaurant before. See, us boys never -- and they had the Jackson room and the Blue room and the different names you know. Went in and sat down and they brought the menu. I didn't know a bit more what to order than nothing. Everything had (inaudible) or something on the end of it. I wanted some fried chicken but I was afraid if I ordered it they might bring me a whole chicken out there.

LISK: Well, now, Uncle Frank, you knew what haute cuisine was because you knew 02:00:00what a hamburger or a hot dog was from (inaudible) with chili on it. And you know what barbeque was from the Red Pig.

REV. FRANK MILLER: Well, I told 'em I said, [Freeman?] -- he ordered. He was Jewish too. And I said, Well, just bring me the same thing. I didn't know. They brought me out a little old bowl. It must've been clam chowder. It looked like some grease or a bowl of water and they held a catfish up with the tail in it and made it greasy looking. And I thought, Lord, is that all I'm going to get for my dinner? I was --