Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 19, 1974, Page 8

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette July 19, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 19, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa g The Cedar Rapids Gazette: KH.. July IS. 1374 Women Picketers . I Hit Him With My Walking Stick’ By Judy Klemesrud New York Times News Service HARLAN, Ky. — Although its name rings of gentility, the Brookside Women’s club is not your usual bridge-playing, cocktail partying, gardening variety of women’s club. Instead, at the regular monthly meetings of the Brookside Women’s club, you might hear raucous laughter, a few cuss words, and songs that go something like this: You take a scab and you kill it And you put it in a skillet And you fry it up a golden brown. That’s union cooking, and it’s mighty fine. Then you might hear Mrs. Lois Scott, 44, of nearby Cumberland stand up and say something like, “When I get hold of a scab and whop him, that really does me good. I even whopped a gun thug once, right as he was pulling his gun out.” And that might prompt 70-yiar-old Mrs. Minnie Lunsford to tell about the non-union miner who told her on a picket line recently, “You go to hell.” I told him, That’s where you’ll go if you cross that picket line’,’’ she said. “Then I hit him with my walking stick. You bet your pretty that he went away.” Bitter Strike The club’s KH) or so members, you see, are the wives, daughters, mothers or sisters of the more than HH) coal miners who have been on strike for the last nine and a half months against the Brookside Coal Co. and its giant parent corporation, Duke Power Co., the nation’s sixth largest utility. The miners voted, 113-55, last June to form a United Mine Workers of America local at Brookside, which the company refused to recognize. The bitter strike, in which several gunshots have been exchanged, began last July 27. Soon after, the company tried to bring in nonunion workers, who at first crossed picket lines freely, mainly because the strikers remembered vividly the tales of violent union wars in the 1930s that gave the area the name “Bloody Harlan.” Finally, the Brookside Women's club took over. Knowing that chivalry still reigned in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and feeling that even non-union workers would be reluctant to “Whop” a woman, the women began “whopping" the non-union workers. They even beat up a state trooper, and several times threw themselves in front of the workers’ cars so they couldn’t cross the picket lines. On Tuesday, May 14, four women — Lois Scott, Betty Eldridge, Bessie Cornett and Melba Strong — were released from jail here after receiving a 60-day sentence in connection with an arrest on the picket line last February. An appearance bond of $1,500 was set for each of them Twice before, groups of women were arrested for violating a judge’s order that no more than six persons could picket at one time, and when they went to jail they took their children along with them so welfare officials couldn’t place them in foster homes. Actively Involved Although women on a labor picket line are nothing new, this is believed to be the first time in a coal union history that women are so actively involved in a strike. Norman Yarborough, president of the Eastover Coal Co., which includes the Brookside mine, refused to comment on the effect the women had had on the strike. The strikers, however, generally believe that the women — along with the SKH) a week in strike benefits each worker gets from the UMW — have been the main reasons that the strikers have been able to hold out so long. “I think the women’s presence has kept a lot of trouble down,” said Mickey Messer, the stocky, 32-year-old president of the Brookside local, who has been a coal miner for 13 years. “After they beat up a few scabs, it kind of made them (the strikebreakers) ashamed to come back.” Although there have been no confrontations between women and non-union workers since February, the women still meet regularly (they gave out Christmas presents and Easter baskets to the poorest families) and take their turns on the picket line outside the coal company, which is about eight miles east of Harlan What gave them the courage to get involved in the first place? “Well, we seen all those women libbers picketing on television. and we didn’t see why we couldn’t, too,” said Mrs Nannie Rainey, a thin-faced, 34-year-old woman who, along with three of her seven children, went to jail for two days and one night after being arrested on the picket line Her husband, Jerry, has been a miner for six years. Mrs. Rainey was sitting in the living room of their four-bedroom home in the Brookside coal camp, a wretched collection of company-owned shacks housing miners and their farming Ashamed of Homes Many coal miners’ wives are ashamed of their homes, and perhaps that is why six of them preferred to meet with a reporter at the modernistic new community center in Evarts, a few miles east of the coal company and the scene of one of the bloodiest of the union gun battles in the Thirties. “We’ve sure had some good times,” said Mrs. Betty Eldridge, 39. of Evarts who, like most of the women, is the wife and daughter of a coal miner “We holler and yell a lot and just live it up, whereas the men are too serious. The only thing I regret is that we beat up that state trooper — I wish we hadn’t done it.” The women were unanimous in why they were in favor of the United Mine Workers contract: Benefits. A I MW contract provides, among other things, free hospitalization; a $5,000 death benefit to widows of working members; a $2,IHM! death benefit to widows of pensioners, two weeks’ paid vacation; nine paid holidays and a $120 Christmas bonus. iSIMMNMNNMMNNNNMMNMHMMMMMMHMNMWMMfileet Although the miners had some benefits under their old contract with th** Southern labor union, which they considered company-oriented, those benefits were just “drops in the bucket” compared with what the UMW offers, the women agreed. When the women were asked if they were believers in the women’s liberation movement, Mrs. Barbara Callahan. 23. said “Right on' She paused for a second, then added. “Except that I’m all for families and motherhood And I sometimes wonder if women who can't do the job use their sex as an excuse.” Today, members of the Brookside Women’s club can and do get out of the house. And they are ready, willing — and waiting AP WtreDhoto Forty and Unashamed Actress Sophia Loren, who turned 40 recently, poses with her husband, Carlo Ponti, and their two sons in this photo released Wednesday by McCall's magazine. Evidently the sometimes sensitive age isn t bothering the actress any, who says in an article in August McCall s, I rn glad to be forty. I have no regrets. Regret is waste — and it makes wrinkles.” Society for Women Features Iii SM ‘Bloomer Girl’ Rogers, Lobbyist, Dead at 87 Ap Wireohot() Nell Foster Rogers is shown in this photo taken during the 1973 legislative session in Florida next to Ralph Turlington, Florida s education commissioner, when she was honored by the Florida house of representatives. The famed people s lobbyist and ‘ Bloomer Girl” was found dead at her home in Gainesville at the age of 87. Housework Ruled As Valuable TOKYO (AP) - The SU-preme court ruled Friday fur the first time that married women's housework has monetary value and awarded the parents of a dead schoolgirl $9.SUO The supreme court reversed the opinion of the Tokyo high court that women after marriage were "considered in-fumeless The case began in 1965 when a 7-year-old schoolgirl was killed by a truck Her parents filed a suit against the trucking company for $13,500 compensation for the “benefit and profit she would have received after marriage.” The Tokyo district court ordered the trucking company to pay $9,800 to the parents, but the high court reversed the decision The supreme court commented, “It is reasonable to assume that housewives can earn pecuniary rewards equal to average wages of female employes. ” GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Nell Foster “Bloomer Girl” Rogers, the self-styled people’s lobbyist who for years stalked the Florida legislature with an in-depth knowledge of pending bills, is dead at 87. Mrs. Rogers was found dead on Thursday in her home here. Sheriff’s deputies said she apparently died of natural causes. Studied Bills The stooped but sturdy woman had ambled through the corridors of the state capitol at Tallahassee for 37 years, always alert for bills that might impinge the rights of ordinary folks. “She studied the bills and when she spoke, legislators listened.” said Gov. Reuben Askew, who was counseled a time or two by Mrs. Rogers during his 12-year legislative career. “She was truly a lobbyist for the people, and she will be missed in Tallahassee.” No one could miss Mrs. Rogers when she was on duty in the capitol. Baggy Knickers Her sharp brown eyes peered from under the bountiful brim of a huge straw hat that settled on her shoulders. She wore dark glasses to protect her sensitive eyes and added an elaborate system of green blinders as a cataract dimmed her vision. Mrs. Rogers almost always wore sneakers, a man s corduroy shirt and baggy knickers. The knickers led to the nickname, “Bloomer Girl”. She pedaled a bicycle around Gainesville and Tallahassee at an age when most senior citizens confine their exercise to rocking chairs. She carried her own bottled water in Gainesville because she was suspicious of the city’s fluoridated water. Ice ( ream Dessert Scoop vanilla ice cream balls and place on a waxed paper lined sheet. Let harden in freezer. Press salted peanuts into them or roll in plain or delicately tinted coconut. Return to freezer until serving time. Serve with chocolate sauce. U. of I.’s ‘La Fills Cultural Gap By Los Zachcis A welcome break in the summer cultural gap was inc opening Thursday night in Rancher auditorium of I uccinl s ever popular opera, “La Boheme”. The production was a Feature of the 36th Fine Arts festival at the University of Iowa An audience that filled the vast auditorium to over half its capacity greeted with enthusiasm the colorful saga of ii • m the I Ait in Quarter of Paris early in the 19th Century. The music under the direction of Herald Stark was of remarkably high quality, ranking right up there with some of the better-known summer opera companies. Indeed, the entire production was a realization of the dramatic possibilities ii forded by the environs of the auditorium and its caput dies. Carnival Atmosphere The sets designed by Kate Keleher were immense, and, also impressively authentic. The stage direction in the Act 2 cafe scene with its vast hordes of people on Christmas eve was superb. The detail, the carnival atmosphere, the childrens chorus, and most of all, the marching band made this the best “cafe moinus carnival that I have ever seen The only thing lacking was the stonv-faced waiter handing the hapless Alcindoro the check Fine V oices A fine cast of voices, at least six deep, was led by the sensational tenor of James McDonald as “Rudolfo , the poet. It was McDonald who stirred so much favorable comment with his role of the Evangelist in the university presentation of the “St. Matthew Passon” last April. With Wayne Mitchell the cast had an excellent baritone as “Marcello”, the painter. The ringing quality of his voice gave it a pleasant temper. “Schaunard”, the musician, was probably the most convincingly cast of the foursome from an appearance standpoint David Judisch looked like some pictures of Franz Schubert come to life. His stage presence and baritone voice were steadying factors to the action. The final voice of the male foursome — that of “Colline , a philosopher, was sung by Richard Johnson. A bass of substance, his delivery of the aria “Vechia zimarra spoke for itself (harm Department Now to the charm department. A very demurely attired “Miini”, the little seamstress, was sung by Katherine Hammond. Hers was a voice of unusually large dimensions for someone so young. As with every “Mimi” since 1896. her greatest number was “Mi chiamano Mini . This Miss Hammond sang with an admirable degree of shyness and reticence, rather than turning it into a bom basto number as divas have been wont to do. The secondary feminine role, that of “Musetta”, was sung by Cheryl Hinman. She was a delightfully coquettish little flirt who could explode like a firecracker at the slightest provocation. Her best number is also the best known aria of the entire opera, “Quando m’en vo”, known as “Musetta’s waltz”. It was sung with conviction showing the fatality of her delightful charms while her ancient temporary paramour. “Alcindoro”. a wealthy suitor fumed helplessly. The ensuing shoe-removing routine was a masterpiece of stage direction that panicked the audience. “La Boheme” is a magnificent opera combining humor and pathos that repeats Saturday night in Rancher at 8. Zippy Sauce When you are making a cream sauce to serve over a cooked vegetable, you might like to add a little Worcestershire sauce to the cream sauce to give zip. Advertisement The Best Carpet Buys Are At Carpetland U.S.A. She's Special GIVE FLOWERS There s Good News In The Want Ads! REPLACE YOUR OLD DISHWASHER GET AN AUTOMATIC KitehenAid DISHWASHER BARNETT’S APPLIANCE 11 5 3rc Ave. S.E.    362-9247 Open Mon. A Thor,. ’Til 9:00 p.m._ KREBS F LOWER SHOP 2124 18th St. SW 363-2081 HOUR SALE 9:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. SATURDAY At 9:00 A.M. Saturday morning our entire summer stock will be on sale for one-half price. For three hours only! Our Entire Summer stock at Half-Price OUR ENTIRE SUMMER STOCK! EXCLUDES ONLY OUR NEW FALL MERCHANDISE! BE HERE EARLY PRICE DOWNTOWN & LINDALE 9:30 A.M. 3 HOURS ONLY! SATURDAY! DOWNTOWN & LINDALE At 12:30 P.M. Everything Goes Bock to the Original Sale Prices of 20% to 50% Off. ;

  • Barbara Callahan
  • Bessie Cornett
  • Betty Eldridge
  • Carlo Ponti
  • Cheryl Hinman
  • David Judisch
  • Franz Schubert
  • James Mcdonald
  • Kate Keleher
  • Katherine Hammond
  • Lois Scott
  • Los Zachcis
  • Matthew Passon
  • Mickey Messer
  • Minnie Lunsford
  • Mrs Nannie Rainey
  • Nell Foster
  • Norman Yarborough
  • Ralph Turlington
  • Reuben Askew
  • Richard Johnson
  • Sophia Loren
  • Wayne Mitchell

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: July 19, 1974

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