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Fall of a Giant

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Growing up, with one parent in an environment that's full of adult activity and street life runners. This is a very fast life for a child or teenager too adapt too being in the midst of, nothing but trouble, bad habits and criminal enticements. Hard too study for school, when your residence, is being invaded by, drunks and loud music, loud cussing, something no child or teenager should ever have too endure.....no child should have too be subject too such a vile form of dysfunctional reality....

Other / Drama
Age Rating:

''Cotton Tales''

This is a story of a 17 year old, eleventh grade junior, who started working full-time in the Cotton Mill, from 4pm until 12am, five days a week. This factory has a rainbow of older adults, many of the Men, were Vietnam veterans, who served tours in Cambodia, some looking rough, and had attitudes too match, many had over thirty years of service. The overall look of the Plant and Machinery was frightening as well, you could visually see, where the signs of white bathroom and colored bathrooms, and water fountains had been taken down. This was October of 1972, I’m excited as well as apprehensive, my Father works here, and many of his close friends, so, I feel as though, I’m in good hands....My Father, and I, lived in a small house, in East Winston, he worked the daytime shift, my Mother passed when, I was eight years old, from Cancer, I had a lot of anger inside me that I, tried too kept hid, from everybody, however, my dad, and I had a great relationship, I always kept a small jobs, too keep money in my pockets, paper routes, shoe shine, lawns and hedges, riding the tailgates of woods trucks, egg trucks, milk trucks, cafeterias, even worked at Nathan Sosniks Clothing, and spending this chump change fast as I made it. Had my License, hadn't saved for a car, yet, caught the bus most places. My dad, was an avid bowler, who was well known, for bowling and cooking his specialties and he was a known hustler, operating a drink house, aka, ''Liquor House'' the place where anybody and anything, can happen in the blink of an eye, I have been among and exposed too this style of life since 5 years old, nothing, I haven't seen in terms of street life and all the darkness it brings for those, crawling around in the early hours, as always known too man, ''nothing in the streets but, trouble, especially the early morning hours, I'm struggling with my school studies, if only I can just get this junior and senior year, over with, and get my diploma, I will be satisfied, I have no intentions on College, maybe Trade School, we will see, what happens, was my attitude, however, This day of October, 3rd 1972, would change my life direction for the next, 34.5 years. I should have known something was up, one day, when he came home from work one day, with a car and said ″that’s yours″...it was a ’56 Oldsmobile, sky blue freshly painted by Earl Scheib, tossed me the keys, and said, I got you a job , at the plant you need too be at personnel 9am, Wednesday, and don’t be late. He also, handed me the rent receipt book, ″here, this your bill″ $27.55 a week, this man is unbelievable , and I love him, so much can’t even argue with the things he do, he is constantly making me a Man, a responsible Man. He gave me money for some steel toed work shoes and khakis work pants, again, I'm excited ..so, I show up at personnel the next morning, didn’t go too school, I’m not dropping out, of school, that’s a fact, Dad, made that plain, I got my physical and ID card and had a short chat with the Human Resource Manager, welcomed me with a big smile, hand shake, and the words, of ''Jack's son'' your dad, is a good Man, he gave me my handbook brochure of Plant Rules and Regulations, told me my hourly pay, was $2.35 cents plus, .20 cent night bonus, and payday is every Thursday, showed me where too park, and my reporting day would be Monday evening 4pm, Supervisor office number, My Supervisor name, and welcome too the Plant, we are glad you are here, if you have any problems feel free, too come by his office, shook hands. ''Wow'' I, got a real, job. The job title, is called a ’J/Box″ operator, aka, Scray Tender, aka, Material Handler. This day, October 3rd 1972, my first Job, in Manufacturing , 2nd shift, 4pm too 12pm, ....my 11th grade year, at North Forsyth, I can pull this off. I get out of school, at 3pm. So, I report at 3;30pm. park my car in very back of the parking lot away from everybody else, don't won't no scratches. My first real, Supervisor, Ed Helpler, looks a lot like Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Menace, shook hands, and said ''You, Jack's boy'' welcome too The Finishing Department, gave me a brief lecture,in his office, an assigned me too a trainer, dude, look like a Hippie, tall long stringy hair, skinny and very soft spoken, you have too listen carefully, because he barely speaks above a whisper, although he was patient with me, showed me the do’s and don’t’s ....right off the cuff, my group leader and utility coordinator , Clarence Dillon, aka, “Catfish″, old man, with not one tooth in his head, ..talk, smack all shift,too all the line operators, he brought his lunch too work in a big brown grocery bag, always talked about his huge garden, always brought folks, vegetables, probably never went too grade school, loved his job, dearly, ″Catfish″ was never out of work, he had perfect attendance many years, he made the company newsletter every year, he was dedicated , and devoted to his assignment, ....this area, called The Cloth Room, Staging area, ....was his ″baby″, this clothroom, was his,..he know where everything is, he assembled the lots we were too Scray, through these industrial high speed, sewing machines, .. it was four operators in this area, and we were, responsible for feeding raw materials of strands of cloth, too four huge Bleach Ranges, on the other side of the wall, called ″Proctor Swartz″ from Czechoslovakia , These Ranges had four Sections, Acid Wash, Chemical , Steamer and PH washer..however, ...my work station was designed with a long wooden J’box with open plexiglass enclosure that was mounted too a 15 foot wall, and a catwalk, made for the operator too thread, the strand of cloth through two huge squeeze rubber rollers that ,were designed too pull the fabric from the cloth cradle that unwinds the roll of fabric down below, on the floor, into the J/box, my job, was too keep this box filled with fabric, by sewing ends together , for a continuous strand of fabric that would flow throughout the Bleaching process, and it is imperative that all holes be sewn, otherwise the strand could break, or pop, and cause major breakdowns and delays in the Bleaching and Finishing process, as a Scraytender, you must keep up, and you must learn the complete operation and tackle all the mechanical breakdowns of your area, such as keeping your sewing machine in top functioning condition, aint no maintenance or mechanic too call, you as a operator, you are the maintenance personnel, unless your rollers at the top of the J/Box need service other than that, these sewing machines are relatively simple and require a little, TLC, and oil, on the movable parts, most, manufacturing sewing machines are very durable, broken needles are the main issues and they can be replaced in 15 seconds, or air line, however, you got much bigger fish too fry, you have several things you need to be doing too keep your box filled, you must, pull tickets from each roll, label all your rolls with a ID number and lot number, with a cloth marker, that is Bleach resistible and that number will be identified throughout the process so, write legibly, log all your paperwork, and tickets and put them with Traveler package, sew holes, sew holes, and sew holes, many times the hole you miss might be caught on the other side of the wall, by Bleach Range Operator , and brought too you too sew, because trust me, when I tell you this, that hole , snaps, or breaks inside of the Bleach Range, you talking about some serious labor, depends on how far it makes it through the machine, before it breaks, and if it snaps in the Steamer, you talking hours of downtime, however, as a skilled, Scraytender, you can look down the side of a roll in it’s uniformity, after its been knitted and tell if a hole is embedded somewhere, its a obvious sign, just pay attention,., and if the strand pops on your side you gotta climb the catwalk, with a long hook, and fish the stand out of the J/Box enclosure, re-thread your rollers, again, climb back down and get busy, meanwhile the Bleach Range is draining your J/Box, you gotta play catch up, all night, the only time you can get ahead is when the Bleach Range goes down, you get a lil breather, but you better be doing something that is productive, and not counterproductive, start marking another lot, and pulling tickets from the next lot, and getting paperwork in order, because its on a popping, Brother.....Keep Up...keep in mind, I been at school, I do, have homework, but, I never even bother, get these last 2 years over with, by any means necessary, didn’t do no Essays no class, projects, took, the, F, ..many times, did, only what I had too do, in school, I was still determined too get my Diploma, and got it too, ......regardless of how hard I worked at the Plant...I knew, also, I gotta get off, and go straight too bed, for school the next day......″we’er all in our places with sun shinning faces″.....

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