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Employees of WPA Florida Writers Project ; What the W.P.A. did for me.
What the W.P.A. did for me
Employees of WPA Florida Writers Project / compiled by Stetson Kennedy -- What the W.P.A. did for me / by Euline Jordon.
The first work is a compilation of names by Stetson Kennedy, who was director of folklore, life history, and social-ethnic stuides for the Federal Writers' Project in Florida. It is 11 pages. The first page is typed, the others are handwritten. The second work is Euline Jordon's account of her employment by the WPA in Pensacola, Fla. She learned to operate a loom and taught weaving classes. it consists of 5 pages.
Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Florida
x Officials and employees.
Work Projects Administration (Fla.)
Officials and employees.
t Tampa WPA Office Papers.
I ----Compiled by Stetson Kennedy Former Director of Folklore, Life History, and Social-Ethniv studies of the WPA FLORIDA WRITERS PROJECT MIAMI DISTRICT OFFICE, Rol nd J. Lavelle, Director 1939 lAabel B. Prancls, Editor Cor Taylor, field worker, Redlands 1936 Sus n Clark wrote Hurricanes school reader, etc, T t 11 N w 11 1936 wrote Black caesar" school reader etc. TAMPA DISTRICT OFPICEt Hunt r, Dir ctor John w. R bb 193S Cor inn White Lamm (old ne spaper survey) WaynE' A. Blossom Fr nk Castro PENSACOLA, Tiodeste ltare j 93? (intervie ed blacks ) CKSONVILLE district/state offlce1 1. o C rita Do a t Cors ts director 3 Rob rt Cornwall 2: Rolan Phillips 4 t t o n nnedy 0 Bill Duncan Ev lyn W rn r M r Rose ob .!.dw rds, field worker &.'lor rs Alliance & NMU organize DuBose, office mana,er, (Core fonfidant, co-mgr) h ph r :ti ld worker (elderly did "social register" intervi ws, descendants of historic figures) II T t'TrO amul row e X Jl Cliff Johnson, Writers Unit" 1936 hrirpi in merica Stuff maaa zinE Jacksonville (fi h orner, state director, Rob rt T. Thomas, Asst Sup, Negro 6/21/37 istorical Records Survey 6/J9 riters Unit, 615 W. Ashley St. W. Palm Beach Veronica Hues
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...... PENSACO!.. I\ Pl !CI IC Ll 0 GJ,_ PEr...:s..:..coL;.., / IIJIU.! 'tHE W.P.A DID FOR ME, B7 QJHne .Tordeo, 215 .tuguata .l'\'811Ue1 Pensacola, JleaeDtly I assmbled an old 'llheel tor lliss jbercrombie at the Libra17 hera 1n PebSaao:ta. She had been given aot!la parts ,
So nn-angements rnade with D:r. llutchinaon, President of Berea in Kentucky, 8 col.loge tor undcrpriviladged ohildren of the mountain area thDre. Taenage clrlJ.dren wero sent there Tlhore t.hay did part time work and seTaral hours at school \lOrk everyday. They also had high school training end did wEGVing c ") many hc:u.rs a dq. I waa aont th, :re, transparMtion i\lrn1ahed1 as well as room and board at the Daniel Boona hotel thoro. I will say t.'w clerks, ruto:rs aM unitresaes ani porters there vrore all students at the college there ar.d you could1nt .find a better trained and mora ccurteCTun grcup of young people than they were. I think one cf the cost enj oyablo weeks I spent wnn there. Thera oora about 16 loonw in the loom rom and I was assigned a loom to UDe. The Bf:rls \'\'Elating en tha other loans trora vary kind OJX1 helpful to mo. They 3hcwed me h01r to mrn a warp, :p..tt it on tha loom and t.lzrcad up the pattern. I uas soon operating I was elso r,iven access to the supply rom were I m!!de notes or sources of supplies l7o.rps 1 yarns 1 Etc. I visited thair saloo rocn and sau nbat thfq nsde em the prices or the articles, found out what ware the best sello:re and the articles that did not move readily. I had bean asked by the teacher there to make notes on questions I nould like to ask thoot. At ten o' clock each morning I met \71th ttro ot them rut m a lovely sun porch l'll1ere one of the mitresaes served us coffee aJX1 pastry. The I!lembers of the .f'aeul ty annr.ered ell ey questions at OUl' coffee break. After a !':loot \Vonderf'Ul weWt and qUite instructive, ani invaluable stay in Berea, I arr1 at heme aaeer to get to nork. So, back em the job again the big day cepe soon, to project I \'laB adviaed tnat rur looca had arrived. They bad been constructed at a w.P.A. proj eat at Ocala, Florida. It seet!led that the loOm& had been made there in Ocala, and a weaving project planned but they decided that the men cc:W.d make futniture batter than they could weave, ao the loces vera aent to ua. I had studied the names or all the parta the loaa trail an instruction book. When word oema to rq office that the locaa bad C'1"1ftd, I did nit until the wcmen workers had gone hano because I did'nt think n would JIAke much headwaY with abcut twenty wanen loald.ng m. Beta:re closing 'Ume arrivod, 70U can never knew what a "shot 1n tbe arm I received when the 11 ttle llandy man (who helped eve:ey"ood7 eY81'1Where m the proj eat) :rushed ill al whispered to me, "Ura. Jordoc, all tbe parte are llllfta! rlght aDd left, b-out and back, aDd thfl7 are an mimbere41 I bnatbed a little pi"'ITd ot thanks. 1rbGI1 I '11'811t iD tbe roeaa to start asaembl.hg the lOCIII tbezoe .'l8ft rd. tbe wcme who 'ftll"e goillg to be wea'V'8J'B1 waiting tar me. !he baDdT llllll nt aba1h tar. tbea t:l'fer to ODi!.' aide, wb1le I told the men to rut this here am that pd cmr:r there. ftia ems 1n the back and that cae in the b-eat and so ca. Before maJJ7 all eight ot the locaa 1I8ft set up 8JK1 111 operatica.
Of orurse there tms the expense of buying material for us to wenva rlth, e.IXl thAre 'lrere bolts o! materiel in the stare rooa far the aew.lng room to dresses o for the l'tOmc and grilB. Unny of' thaso bolts were not very attractive, consoque.ntly the dresses wre not eit;ber. So that material wa tare into one quartor inch atrip3 and J:Ut colored uarp, err longthwiae threads of' the loan, and let the 17omen practi..,o wec.ving with it. I shw.ed them hew to weave double widtm ao the material was rather attractive sro wide Gncugh to use for bed spreada ar 11ght weight covers. Also they l!l.Sde dre3Ges and table covers. By now they "11ere weaving with bought yarns and wnrp, and were i18avi.ng lovller dresses, covero, batle :runners, ar:d draperies that ware issued to th.s different off'io1ala' o.f'ficos here sod in Weshington, D.c. By this time the ooavi.J:lg project was grcming in dze ao that it \iCO necesaery for us to !:lOVe into the old Annie Ucllill.an School much r.as vacant. In our new quarters ue set up a spinnin2 room with six spinning wheels and a des! little old lady, Miss Jessie Coker taught the opi%m1ng and carding of tho oottou in preparation to bo spu.n. Soon after tho spinning department WS!l aterted, fresidant Rc-osevelt initiated the N.Y.A llatioMl Youtho Assocj _atioo for the young grila r.ho could be taught to crork on joba to help oupport t!idow mothers who oore unable to uark. SOL:!)f3 ar the girls h.:1d fathers \1ho r.a:re disabled err in prisons. I would v.isit the roQil scmatimes, aa it nas to the loom room, and I could' nt help noticing hro monotonws the job of carding the cotton hO\.U" after hoar wculd got, and tho same thing day af'ter day. One day I had the happy thoueht of dyeina tha cotton different colors. I took sane of the hane uith me, died some pink, blue, yellow, and green, all light ebadeo. The next morning 1 wont in aDd gave sane c the girlo each color of the cotton. The:y were averj eyed. It \7as amazing the payoologicsl ef'i"eot the colora had on thooe girls. 'l'h.e;y picked their favorite colors and thay carded and cpun tb:ree times as much of the colorocl cotton as prsviously. Uot only tha girls spinning took on new life art the bright colws also otepped up production 1n the t"Teaving roan. Also the older mDen who wore weavi.Jl8 wm-e cccplotely rajuvin.ated. Is 1 nt it marvelous nhat a little color \7ill do far you ar4 6Ver:forJj? One of the lY'Omell nho helped in the room, Beasie Lee Hurst took it upon hersalJ to dye all the cotton. She was most eatmaiaatio OV?Jr her dyeing job. She developed IIID.DY d.i.tferent colora by going c:nt 1n tho fields and '\700de collocticg caterials to make dyes. I know she UDod 1JBlJmt hulls tar 'brwn Bli tan, poke berries for purple arrl lavendel" alXl hiokor;r bark balled made ,-eJ.l.o\r. I undEtl'St.aM -she baa developed sana d.itterent dyes that a%"$ m the marltst now end abe baa made me11q on her business. Back to the roc.. The lova1.1' colored dreDns aDd tavle covers and draperies were much more beeutifu.l thaJl tba ple1D 11lhite. 1'be veavers enj Oj"ed their work a o much more that t.b.q p!'OdnCed mare. Anatber ver;y memoravle two weeka tor 1lbeD the Dat10Dal W.P.A. E:mibition was hald at the Armor' at Orlando, Florida. Jl!:sa Jessie and bar spinning wheel and I a!ld sq loca \Jere scmt dum tha:re to dcc:astrate car wark. '1'bere were booths Bet up all arou.M tho walls trcu all tba lhd:W Statee. !bel aptnn1 wheel aD4 loca WG"e em a ..,.tea plattana D et the bn1Jd'na tOll.' 1me We wan the cm:cy Bpinner and Vea'NZ' tlw We h em tbe 3 ob freD 2 til lO at n1 te ldth a two hctU" break trail fi'N til a..,_ 1D E'fa7 mcpenae was paid, and alec We did a lot at a1aht m tbe aand.ltgs. OrlaDdo is a lovely place amit bad nat b.-tar cur w.P.A. I wwld Deftr ban bad the plaauure est seeing all the beauties in that part aar wODdwful State ot llarlda.
About a year nhsn was :ir.uainent the weaving project was d.iflplved nnd of cru.rfla f'1Y j oo was endod. All the ViOOOD in em \7eaving department were ael'lt to tna tho oOtling ro3lla to make shirts, unii'orms and for our aoldicra. Dro:Joes 'f.'Eiro oade fur the women am girlll and put in tho stO<'.k room along t11 th slips and tu:x3erwear. The stock rocn r.-as dc:rnnstalis in tho building domt on Sart.h Ptllafa:.c St:root, that had a.l:r-:ey3 hOI.lfled tho aGWinc race. Tho ticr.rko Prorroo3 Mrtiniatration not only taught !Jally i1c:Gen to Oe\7 clothes and !!lUke quil-ts coo oon -:7ore taueht to m.sko nattraesee. All thooe thint;s lllone ilith modi tioo 1 f:rui t and voeatablos t1Elro is Rued to tho n
. hu beeD rq boc4 d 1:0' 11ta now tor ncma )'ears ar care. hns dcnol"PPO r:r:1 t&.teato and f\lao has my crentive avWt; to the axtent that people ore ama9td at tho mBJ17 tMnr I do \!CaVa. olX1 1ft the line of I uoe guga, atrirlgs1 aticlts, tiSGka, gre.:Jsas, and laerves. so I oay, Thnnlc the Lard tC/l' tho Warka Plq;reSG Mmnsntrsaic:a rOJ: it did oe end the thousema or wceeD aZ men w to-r Franklin D. 'tdlo nDid not pay me to lean on a eboval" 1 wt pa1d taa to a locm. c:d happUy, I Gill IN.Ene.1.1ne Jardan Age'72 Pensa:QJ.e, Plarida ;