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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Community among hosiery mill workers

Because she worked in a hosiery mill, Yelton primarily worked with other women. She describes the community formed among the employees and they ways they supported each other. One of the bitterest complaints she has against her former employer was the way they undermined that community.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. 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

JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you like working mostly with women?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Yes, I like working with women.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why is that?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
We could just have a better time, and we could just say what we want to. Crack jokes sometimes and all women. For instance, my best friend ... Well, I had lots of best friends, but me and her just buddied and talked and told each other our troubles and everything. She called me up Monday night, and she said, "I just had to call you up. I just had things on my mind I just had to tell you." She's still trying to do it, but she said she was going to make it out to get her bonus. But she said the floor lady come around and said, "Dee, I know what's wrong with you. You're missing Carrie yet, aren't you?" She said, "Yes, so don't you mention it. I'm never going to get attached to nobody else like I did her." [Laughter] And I really miss her, too.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you see each other mostly just at work?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Just at work. And talked on the telephone, and we exchanged gifts. She's given me lots of things, and I've given her lots of things. Another thing we used to have out at the mill we missed so much since this new bunch came, we'd have birthday parties. If one had a birthday, we'd have it at the first break, and they cut that out.
JACQUELYN HALL:
They wouldn't let you do it.
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
No.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How did it hurt them for you to do that?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
They was afraid we'd waste a little time. [Laughter] We had two ten-minute breaks, one in the morning and one in the evening, and thirty minutes for dinner.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Would you have a cake?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
Yes, bring a cake.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How would you decide who was going to bring the cake? How would the birthday parties be organized?
CARRIE SIGMON YELTON:
We'd send a paper around and let everyone put down what they were going to bring. And that broke the monotony, but now they won't let you do that. Out there now, they even want [watch?] you if you stay over your ten minutes. And it's just so nerve-wracking, and everybody's so tense. And the work is so bad, and that's the reason.