|Object Name||Tape, Cassette|
|Scope & Content||
Family: Grandfather emigrated from Cyech - worked in mines there in 1912 - had 1 girl there
mothers side come from Wales
Welsh were splitters, etc.
Slavs became pitmen -
had 5 boys after arrival - here in the alley -
father went to Bridgeport, CT - worked for Sikorski
cantor in local church here and in CT
all boys went in service.
father and mother had 7 children, worked at school and at Comstock.
-1955 - bought a quarry - still being used.
I started when I was 12, been around quarrying, married 1971 - 4 children
went to work for Agway 5 years later
came back to work in quarry 12 years ago.
-most immigrants worked in quarry because jobs were available - learned slate work after they arrived.
Grandmother attended church, always work silver Star of David - had been taken in by Jewish family and taught to be a domestic - could read, write and speak 5 languages.
When she arrived here, met former care-taker Morris Rote-Rosen - he helped many Slavs to understand how our system worked.
Grandparents insisted children speak English
Slavic long dying out.
Spoke Slovak growing up - has forgotten much how
father after interpreted for others (letters, etc)
Slovak Mass still held at Church Annually?
When you left to work elsewhere "not far away" Rutland, Greenwich
-Mother told story about Sheldon family slate - her father Flower was chauffeur for Mr. Sheldon - when Depression came Sheldon sold a share of stock to him- gave him 300 to pay his man
Jone in Wekks was a "rigger" poet up sticks and Cables - took 3 months to do it - owed $5000 - gave him deed to quarry because couldn't pay otherwise.
"Smuggers" were allowed to work in quarries during Depression even though the company was not running.
late 1930's industry stopped - after war Evergreen bought the slate 3 per sq. got $1500 - $500 they bought houses for their mother and $ 1000 for equipment.
Byzantine Church, my father was Cantor, age 17, for 52 years. Father died on Easter Saturday (day they were to give him a plaque) I became cantor that day - 35 years ago - Church is okay - paying its way - clergy is scarce - no seminarism since 1979
In the alley - how many people? rawhouses had 4-5 units each - grandmother had 6 children and 9 boarders - they ate first, kids got what was left (3 raw houses?) where museum now is - father was born here.
tools still used (plug, feather)
diamond saw made it easier - eliminated "Cold Cut"
can still cut it the old way just a fist.
Somich had first rope, operated shovel 1929
electricity - excavators
difficulty in selling slate- many used what was quicker and cheaper.
-can quarries go deeper?
Over quarry in 10 acres long and 4 acres wide
has to be usable by a truck.
Jack made a stone saw for my uncle
used to peddle on long island - several quarries did this.
May father was in the business for a long time. Tatko's, Somich, Taran, etc. - not a steady business, unpredictable.
|Title||Mike Labas, Oral History|