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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Adamson moves to NYC to find work

To find a job, Adamson's sister Branson and her husband moved to New York City. When they had established themselves, Adamson moved north to live with them until she found a job and a new roommate so that she could live independently.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Then Branson and her husband, Bob Daniel, were trying desperately to make a living as all of us were in the Depression years. Bob went to New York and worked as a salesman of office furniture, and Branson got a job working in Macy's executive offices. So they were not very good jobs, but they and Teeny had an apartment in the Village. They let me sleep on the couch in their living room. Bob told them, when he sold the International Paper Company a filing system, he said he had an expert installator. So he got hold of me and said, "Come quick. You're an expert installator."
MARY FREDERICKSON:
He called you or wrote to you in Greensboro?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
Yes. So I picked up and went to New York, and as I say, they put me up.That's another example, you see, of the family relationship. We accepted responsibility for each other. We were a unit.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
How did your mother react to your going to New York?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
She was worried about my not having a job because by that time, the situation with Jimmy in South America was not good; he had been involved in the war between Paraguay and Bolivia. He waa a doctor, but it got very difficult for him to continue sending money. And there weren't members of the family to finance me or her. So, what to do? She came out west to stay with my brother Tom and his family, and I just had to find a job somehow or another. So it wasn't any romantic trip or anything else, but looking for work. It was a simple economic necessity. I had to have a job, and how was I going to get it?
MARY FREDERICKSON:
And New York happened to be the place.
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
And Bob pulled this little business.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Well, once you got to New York, what was your life like?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
A friend of Teeny's, I guess, had a friend who was coming up from Alabama to study at the New York School of Social Work. So they said maybe she and we could look for a place to live together. I was making twenty dollars a week at the International Paper Company. Her name was Margaret Shook,called Tommy. Tommy and I looked for an apartment. We found one for forty dollars a month that we thought we could live in. That was twenty dollars apiece, which was about what we could pay: one week's pay. I lived there for about a year. Oh, that's where I first really learned something about cooking and living separately, and so forth. It was a very, very pleasant place. Then I started getting salary cuts of ten percent. Then when the third ten percent cut came I looked for another job.