Saturday, July 24, 2010

It is now 1925 and John Lewis is stirring up trouble among coal miners, encouraging them to strike against their employers. He had son pitted against father, brother against brother, and neighbor against neighbor. He eventually persuaded enough men to strike that they spent more time on strike than they did in the mines and as a result, Clinton died. These strikes affected dad's business in two ways. One, the people either did not have the money for decorating or at least were afraid to spend it. Two, as soon as the miners would "go out" many of them would pick up a paint brush and work for less than dad did. If dad would go to the mine and offer to work for the going wage, these same minors who were undercutting him called him "scab". Anyone who tried to work in the mines were subject to beatings, arson, and sometimes murder. The attitude of union men has not changed in seventy-five years. If a plant is struck today, many of the workers will pick up a paint brush or saw and hammer and work for less than a tradesman and call the man whose job he takes a "scab" if he tries to work in the plant being struck.

It is now November 1925. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a boom town. One of the church members and dad decide to move their families to Florida. Dad was driving the lead car, a Model T touring car, with mom and Dorothy riding with him. I, with the other two children, were with the friend following dad. The only thing I remember of this trip was at an intersection in Rushville, Indiana. I saw dad's car laying in its top with the wheels spinning. Now some quick decisions had to be made. Mom and us four kids were put on a train or maybe a bus to mom's sister in Bedford, Indiana. Dad went ahead with the friend to Florida where he worked for some time.

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