Title: Oral History Interview with Frank Durham, September 10 and 17, 1979. Interview H-0067.
Interviewer: DeNatale, Douglas
Interviewee: Durham, Frank
Subjects: Children--Employment--North Carolina Textile workers--North Carolina--Social conditions Bynum (N.C.)--Social life and customs
Abstract: Frank Durham discusses how his family first came to work in the mills and describes other people they got to know there. Over the course of Durham's life, he followed his father's path, working his way up through the mill's supervisory ladder to become superintendent. His broad experience enables him to describe the inner workings of the mill, the ways management negotiated labor complaints with the employees, the social structure of the mill village, and the commonalities of mill town life. He also discusses many moments in employee life, including the ways they hazed new hires. As a part of community entertainment, many of the locals put together bands. Durham and some of his friends were in the Chatham Rabbits, and he proudly recalls how popular they were across the region. He describes how his parents disciplined them. Several of his relatives struggled with alcoholism and other addictions, and he discusses why such problems were common in mill towns. He ends the interview by talking about all the changes that have taken place since he started as a mill worker early in the century.