The Flint Sit-Down Strike Audio Presentation

We'd go to a store, you know, and even the store keepers was against the union, and man, they look at you kick you... they'd want to kick you right out of the store, you know, whether they believed in the union or just didn't want to help the union, you know?

They didn't realize what was, what was... the movement that was going on, you know? They wouldn't even talk to you about giving you anything, you know, of course what they had, probably wasn't making a big margin on it anyway, you know?

Another place, where we'd go in and we'd ask for this food, we'd say, "well what would you want?" And we would say... we wouldn't ask them for anything, whatever, you wanted to donate, we wasn't going to buy nothing, whatever you wanted to donate. And uh... so the guy'd say, sometimes they'd say "well, what do you need?" Well, then we'd open up and say, "we'd like to have some meat for some soup or some soup bones or this and that and anything else."

And, you talk about something like that, we went out this here one farm on the other side of Schwartz Crick and uh... we asked one guy if he wanted to donate something for the union kitchen, you know, so we could feed the workers that's on strike, and he said, "by golly, I used to work in them plants, and I know what you're talking about." He says, "I don't have much to give you but," he says, "I have a pig out here." He says, "I'll tell you what I'll do," he says, "I'll have that pig slaughtered and I'll drop it off when it's ready in a couple three days," he says, "I'll drop it off to your kitchen." And uh... so we says alright and by god, about four days later he brought that hog in there, it wasn't very... it wasn't a big one but, it was something, so they utilized that [inaudible] part of it too, you know, for the meat.

Sometimes the farmers they'd uh... go down into their coal cellars and they'd get us uh... some beef, a hunk of beef or something like this here. We never suggested anything, you know, but if they wanted to offer something, why that's one way to get it. Then sometimes they'd say "what do you need?" And if we thought maybe the guy might have something, why then we'd ask for that product, you know?

Show Transcript Speaker: Joe Fry. Interviewed by U-M Flint Labor History Project. Date of interview: 7-27-1979. Edited by Michael Van Dyke.

Copyright: ©2002 Michigan State University.