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Interview with Pasco Fedo - Part 1





World Region



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J.R. MORAN: The following is an interview with Pasco Fedo, an Italian-born Duluthian. The interview took place in Mr. Fedo’s home at 2729 West Third Street on March 27th 1980. The interviewer is Jaqueline Rothview Moran a local student of history.
J.R. MORAN: Mr. Fedo, where were you born?
PASCO FEDO: I was born in Italy, in Rossano, Italy.
J.R. MORAN: In Rossano. So, you were down in Calabria?
PASCO FEDO: Calabria.
J.R. MORAN: And may I ask what year that was?
PASCO FEDO: That was 1902.
J.R. MORAN: 1902. Now, at what time did you come to America?
PASCO FEDO: We come to America -- we arrived in the city of Duluth December the 3rd 1912.
J.R. MORAN: And you were with your parents?
PASCO FEDO: I was with my mother and three other children; two sisters and a brother.
J.R. MORAN: And your father had come to America?
PASCO FEDO: My father was here once before. He come back to Italy and then a year later he left for America, and a year after that is when he sent for us.
J.R. MORAN: Do you remember when you first came to America?
PASCO FEDO: Oh yes. I remember very clearly when I come to America.
J.R. MORAN: No, when your father first came to America, can you…?
PASCO FEDO: Not the first time.
J.R. MORAN: Not the first time.
PASCO FEDO: But the second time yes.
J.R. MORAN: When you came in 1912?
PASCO FEDO: I still remember him that night that he -- with a pack on his back, him and another friend of his left for the United States. I do remember from then. That was about two, three years before I come here.
J.R. MORAN: Now, what had your father’s occupation been in Italy?
PASCO FEDO: Well, in Italy he was like a supervisor over -- he was an overseer of lands that you might as well say land owners had. He was the overseer. He’d go from one -- call them -- you want to call it a plantation or vineyards, or olive groves, or orange groves or what have you. He was an overseer; he’d go from one to another to see how things are going.
J.R. MORAN: So, he had a very good job?
PASCO FEDO: Yes he did. He had a very good job.
J.R. MORAN: What then was his reason for wanting to come to America?
PASCO FEDO: Well, he was a young man and he heard that in America, just like everybody else believed, that all the streets were lined with gold, and I don’t know. I don’t think he made a mistake because when he come here the first time he went to work in the iron ore mines up in the iron range.
J.R. MORAN: He did?
PASCO FEDO: Yes. And he worked there, he earned enough to send for us, and then after we come here then he was still working up the iron range, and the same day that we come from Italy, arrived in the city of Duluth, he was here to greet us.
J.R. MORAN: I see. Now, then your father would have been on the range in let’s say, 1907?
PASCO FEDO: He was -- no, not that early I don’t think.
J.R. MORAN: Not that early.
PASCO FEDO: No. I would say about, 1909 would be the first time he come here -- or wait a minute -- 1908. When he come to Italy that was about 1910. Then he come here it was only a year later so there was 1912 when he sent for us.
J.R. MORAN: Now, you say that he was here to meet you, but does that mean that he was no longer working in the mines in 19…?
PASCO FEDO: Yes, he was working at the mines, but he had come to Duluth to meet us the day we come. Then he already had a house for us. That was on 17th Avenue West and First Street, little Italy out there, but a very small Italy. There was about six or seven Italian families here. He rented a home for us, he settle us there, then he went back to work up the iron range because he hadn’t quit. Then he worked up there for probably about another three months. Then he come back to Duluth to us, and he stayed here and he [unintelligible - 00:04:24]. And then when he come here he went to work with the Northern Pacific Railway as a section man. He worked on there for -- I don’t remember how many years -- probably until about -- maybe a couple years, and then he went to work in a garment factory by the name of F.A. Patrick’s of which it was one of the finest garment factories in the United States. So, he did that and he went to work there. Then after I come here, I peddle papers, I shine shoes just like any immigrant would do. [00:05:00] Then I went on the Great Lakes as a sailor when I -- that was during World War I. I went to work on the Great Lakes. I was only 16 years old but I had to lie my age. I was told by the officer on the ships not to say I was only 16 because they wouldn’t allow under 18. So, I worked there for two years, 1918 and 1919. Then when I came to Duluth I went to work in the same garment factory that my father was working. And I worked there until 1919. [Unintelligible - 00:05:36] yeah.
J.R. MORAN: Okay, now wait a minute, before we get back to your occupation, what was your father doing at Patrick’s?
PASCO FEDO: He was a garment presser.
J.R. MORAN: A garment presser. Okay. So, he went from a railroad section job to pressing garments at F. A. Patrick?
J.R. MORAN: Could you estimate -- now I know there were a number of Italians who worked for that company. Could you estimate how many were working there at the time?
PASCO FEDO: The Italians?
J.R. MORAN: At the time that you began working [unintelligible - 00:05:57]?
PASCO FEDO: Yes, at the time I started I’ll say, roughly, I’ll say about 30.
J.R. MORAN: Would you say that Jewish people comprised the other greatest majority?
J.R. MORAN: And Italians worked in supervisory positions, they worked as tailors?
PASCO FEDO: Some did, yes, and some actual tailors, you know, needle work, you know, hand sewing, and others worked as [unintelligible - 00:06:23] just like me. Like you have the press machines, and sewing, and that’s about it.
J.R. MORAN: Okay. A little bit more now about where you settled in Duluth before we get back to your occupations. Was your father renting this home up in 17th?
PASCO FEDO: Yes. He was not renting it. He did rent it for us for when we come.
J.R. MORAN: He rented it just for you?
PASCO FEDO: Just for us, yes. He was living in…
J.R. MORAN: And he continued to stay on the range.
PASCO FEDO: That’s right.
J.R. MORAN: Now, I wonder why. Now, that particular group I believe they came from Potenza.
PASCO FEDO: Not that group.
J.R. MORAN: Like the [Junio’s].
PASCO FEDO: The [Junio’s] I knew them all, but you know, you got me on that. I don’t know just where they come from. I do know, but I can’t remember that years.
J.R. MORAN: They all came from the same spot. They did not come, for the most part, from the province of Campobasso where most of those [unintelligible - 00:07:21].
PASCO FEDO: Yeah, most of -- yeah, Campobasso and also up in…
J.R. MORAN: They were either in Calabria or Campobasso, but there was that one small group of families around 17th and 3rd that came from this one province. You don’t know of any particular reason why he rented a home in that particular area?
PASCO FEDO: Well, he had to rent a home because maybe he had intentions that he wanted to settle in Duluth here.
J.R. MORAN: But you don’t know why he didn’t go to the 11th Avenue West settlement?
PASCO FEDO: That part, no, I do not know. Well, yes, yes, just a moment please. He had a brother that lived there on 17th Avenue West, and he had a family. He had about -- all together they had about eight children. His brother [Sam]. And he also had another brother that was living with his brother [Sam]. And it’s possible the reason he settled in that certain part of the city was because to be close to his brother.
J.R. MORAN: I’m sure it’s true. So, then your father followed his brothers to this part…?
PASCO FEDO: That’s what -- yes, yes.
J.R. MORAN: Do you know of any reason of why his brothers came to this part of the country?
PASCO FEDO: For the same simple reason maybe to better themselves.
J.R. MORAN: And they [unintelligible - 00:08:32] about the mine [unintelligible - 00:08:33]?
PASCO FEDO: Yes, they did because there was friends of ours, of which I cannot remember -- it’s too many years now and I was a little bit too young to remember -- but there was friends of my dad, that’s where he got the idea why he should come here. You know that money was made, maybe a couple of dollars a day. In those days it was only a dollar and a half or two dollars a day for a labor to make. That was good money. If they made $30, if they made $50 a month that was good money. So, even though my father had a good job in the old country, it was a good job, because those [unintelligible - 00:09:12] when my dad come back to Italy they almost was not going to allow him to come over here. They take my mother too, because they loved my father. He was a good man; honest, sincere. And they almost did not, but my father had, in his mind he thought he would better himself moneywise. And I think he did and also for his family, for the good of the family; his children and wife.
J.R. MORAN: Can you recall your father ever talking about working conditions in the mines, did he ever talk about…?
PASCO FEDO: Yes, we did talk. Yes we -- because sometimes we often wondered why he left Italy to come to work under mine because he worked under the mine as long as -- he worked there I don’t know how many years. [00:10:01] A few years [unintelligible - 00:10:02] three, four years maybe he work. He says it was hard work, very hard work. That’s the iron ore mines, but, like I say, he was with a group of Italians that worked in the same mine, because there was many Italians that settle up on the range, and 95% of them worked in the mines to begin with. And, well, it went on pretty fair for the simple reason is because he was amongst his own people, but the work was hard.
J.R. MORAN: Did he complain at all about the system whereby individual miners were paid per the amount of ore they had loaded in a day?
PASCO FEDO: No, he never complained, he never complained.
J.R. MORAN: Did he ever talk about any efforts to unionize the miners?
PASCO FEDO: No. At that time there was hardly anything was spoken out as unionism. There was no talk about it.
J.R. MORAN: There were two rather famous strikes on the range. There was one in 1907 and there was one in 1916. Did you ever hear anything about that?
PASCO FEDO: No. I might have heard about the one in 1916 because I got [unintelligible - 00:11:15] in the mine field for over 45 years, you know what I mean. But I do not remember what the strike was about, and I really believe -- I don’t know if that had anything to do with -- I think it was mostly agitators that actually [unintelligible - 00:11:30] back.
J.R. MORAN: Okay, so then you did you hear that the IWW was involved?
PASCO FEDO: Oh, yes.
J.R. MORAN: The Wobbly?
PASCO FEDO: Oh, yes. They, I believe, are the instigators of troubles, you know, labor troubles, because like years later it took quite a few years before they actually were organized of the unions.
J.R. MORAN: So, you feel then that this was agitation from the outside, you feel it was unnecessary?
PASCO FEDO: Unnecessary. Well, I don’t know if it was unnecessary. No, I’ll take that back. Because at that time we were not known to know so much about organized labor like I know now, which I’ll tell you later on. But, at that time it seems like things were peaceful amongst the people that were working up in the range. They were happy, because I was at the range way back to visit there after my father settled back in Duluth. I had a little [unintelligible - 00:12:37] and there nothing for us -- for me to take to my parents up in the iron range up there to visit with their old friends. We went to Everett, we went to Hibbing, we went to Aurora. We went wherever, you know, because people then, after my dad left the iron mines up there, those very same people he was working with, they also got out of the mines and did either other work or maybe they did the same work only in a different town. Maybe they figured it was better by changing localities or what have you, but I did take him up there to visit with his old friends many times.
J.R. MORAN: Would you remember at all in 1916 when some of the leaders of the IWW were arrested in Duluth? For instance, you may have heard of Carlo Tresca. Do you recall anything about that?
PASCO FEDO: I’ll tell you no. I’ll have to tell you the truth. I knew about the movements even though I was a young man, because I stood even on the corner of 21st Avenue West and Superior Street. I stood right down that corner there. I was just a young lad, see, in 1916. And here they would -- they’d have a -- you ever hear of [unintelligible - 00:13:50] so they can seal actually. You ever hear about the [unintelligible - 00:13:55]?
J.R. MORAN: [Unintelligible - 00:13:58].
PASCO FEDO: Yes, there was a lot of grocery stores then. These IWWs they were either Finnish people, mostly Finnish people, yes, mostly Finnish. Where they were the instigators. There was nothing for them, no permit. There was no permit necessary in those days. It was nothing for them to go in a grocery store in the West End there they were. It was they’d get a box, bring it on the corner, and start speaking. Well, people would be walking by, they’d look like this, if they want to listen all right. If they didn’t, they would just keep on working. But, I listened. I don’t why. I was just a young man. I don’t know why, but maybe I'm going to learn something for years to come. So, yes, the IWW they were like the communists they are today.
J.R. MORAN: Would you say that the IWW was just a little bit too radical for most Italians that you knew, most working class Italians?
PASCO FEDO: [00:15:02] Yes, yes, because I’ll tell you for the simple reason is because Italian people as a rule, the majority of them were very mindful people. They never cared for troubles. They were always like they get together in the weekends. It was nothing -- like my own home that we lived on 17th up there, there was nothing for Italian -- our home was filled with Italian friends of ours, of my dad and mother, with guitars, mandolins. My dad would make -- it was nothing for him to make 300 gallons of Italian, what they call wine, and it was nothing for that wine to be all gone, and wine, my father never drank at all, it was through the friends. So, the Italian people then, I think they were a happy bunch of people. They were glad to be here, they never looked for trouble, and they never asked for trouble, they never gave trouble. So, the IWWs I imagine -- actually they -- I imagine they would try to penetrate into the Italian colonies, but I don’t think they fared very well for the way I knew the Italian people then.
J.R. MORAN: Now, when your father was in the section game -- was it -- no, it wasn’t the section game, it wasn’t section.
PASCO FEDO: Yes, on the section, on the tracks.
J.R. MORAN: Was the railroad organized at that time?
J.R. MORAN: It was not.
PASCO FEDO: No, it was not organized.
J.R. MORAN: And your father no longer worked with the railroad at the time that it did get unionized?
PASCO FEDO: No, no he did not work for the railroad then. It was organized later on. I don’t remember exactly. I should know. I do know, but I don’t remember when the railroads were organized.
J.R. MORAN: Now, there was never a union at F. A. Patrick?
PASCO FEDO: Yes, there was.
J.R. MORAN: There was.
PASCO FEDO: Yes, we had -- well, I was working there myself then and the first time I was just a bundle boy. Then I worked in the cutting room learning the cutting trade, and then I didn’t like that so I went downstairs and asked for a job, and finally in a long run I became one of the best pressers, I could say as good as anybody in the United States. I was very fast, very accurate with my work, and then everything was going just fine. There wasn’t many unions in the garment business then. In fact it was the United Garment Workers to begin with, then the Amalgamated Garment Workers was formed, but that -- they were also -- it was part of the United Ladies Garment Workers. So, something went between them and a bunch of them got away from them and they organized what they called the Amalgamated Garment Workers of America. And my chapter…
J.R. MORAN: Can you recall what year or approximately what year the union first came to the Patrick’s?
PASCO FEDO: I’ll say the union come into Patrick’s about 1926. I’ll say that. It was between 1925 and 1926, somewhere around -- it could have been also 1924.
J.R. MORAN: Did the -- did Patrick fight that?
PASCO FEDO: Yes, Patrick fought it and I can see, and I've always said, he was one of the finest persons to ever work for. He was one of the most honest people to work for. And I myself at that time, I was a young man too, I was myself at the time thinking about joining a union because, gee, we had practically everything under the sun. There’s no other man, no other owner, gave their employees what F. A. Patrick gave us.
J.R. MORAN: Now, they were [unintelligible - 00:18:52] here, weren't they?
PASCO FEDO: There was a -- we used to get that there was something that was never -- nothing done like that all over the country. We received a week’s vacation with pay, plus Mr. Patrick bought an estate that belonged to some well-to-do money people down in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin. You know about that, I can see that. It was one of the prettiest places down there. So, he -- what wasn’t there he built. He built for us, and that was for the employees and also the supervisors. Whenever we wished to go down there, any weekend, all we had to pay was maybe a dollar, just enough to help to pay for the food. We ate there, we had -- we could go boating. We even had boats. We could swim. One of finest beaches in Lake Nebagamon. And we had all of that there for such a small amount like say a dollar the whole weekend.
J.R. MORAN: [00:20:06] Is it possible that some of the Italian employees could have been unaware of the implications? A couple of people told me that they have never heard of them even though their parents had worked for F. A.
PASCO FEDO: Well, that was -- that didn’t come as far as the vacations and stuff like that. In fact I really believe that -- I started working in 1919, I really believe that was the very same year or the next year where actually we got a week’s vacation. And not only that, where did you ever here of an owner of a big business like that, of which it was big, it was known throughout the country, in fact worldwide I might as well say. Where would you -- did you ever hear where there used to be down here at 28 -- 9th Avenue West and [unintelligible - 00:20:57] right in front of the garment factory; that’s where the factory was built. That was a new factory; it was only built around 1915 or 1916. He also had the old factory on 5th Avenue West. He owned that gas block. He owned that woolen mills where he made his own material, what they called the Patrick material, one of the finest materials in the country. He also made -- he also was part owner of a garment -- of a knitting mill that knitted what they called seconds. Like the scraps from our original wool, went to [unintelligible - 00:21:38] I think it was. [Unintelligible - 00:21:39] or no it was in North Dakota, I think. There was a factory there that -- a wool mill that re-knitted this and we got it -- received it back. So, we had a number one material and number two. But where did you ever hear. He used to pay for a [unintelligible - 00:22:06] train with about 12 coaches. Every year he would take all of us, all of his employees, down there for a weekend to Lake Nebagamon at that place that was beautiful, just beautiful, like a resort. He would take -- he would pay for everything. The whole trailer, 12 coaches, the trailer was right there until night, then he’d take us back. I think it was either one day or -- it was just a one day deal. So, that was it.
J.R. MORAN: Did he seek out Italian employees or did Italians seek him out because they knew that he was sympathetic to Italians or he hired them.
PASCO FEDO: I’ll say the Italians seeked him out. They applied for work out there. There was mostly Jewish supervisors then, but as time went along, as Italians, as young Italians come to work there, it all depended on their ability, their smartness. In fact I had a cousin or rather he was my cousin through marriage because he married my first cousin, he was a second foreman. And I myself in 1927 was being groomed to be a supervisor, but I never cared for that. I just didn’t want to be a supervisor. So, I stayed on my job and I did very well moneywise. In fact at times I was so good, not that I want to brag, this is facts. There was nothing for me just [unintelligible - 00:23:52]. After I learnt that pressing trade, I was on the best in the whole work site of 35 pressers. I got the biggest -- we worked piece work.
J.R. MORAN: Even after the union came you worked piece work?
PASCO FEDO: Yes. I was one of the highest paid because -- you know, there is jealousy amongst employees even though they are your friends. It was nothing for me to get a $90 check -- can you imagine that -- in 1926, 1927. It was nothing for me to get a $90 check and the checks were made in two parts. There was never a check made more towards the workers more than a $50 check. And when the head foreman that discount, Bob Sway was his name. I can still remember him. He passed away many years ago. It was not [unintelligible - 00:24:39] him to come up and when he got to me he would give me -- he had two checks and he would say to me, “Here you’re so and so I can’t say,” you know. He would say, “Here, keep your mouth shut.” Because he didn’t want me to say how much I made because the other guys, me being the youngest man, I was packing the highest pay because I produced more, you understand?
J.R. MORAN: [00:25:03] You obviously have great energy.
PASCO FEDO: I have. Well, I will be 78 years old pretty soon.
J.R. MORAN: Yes.
PASCO FEDO: Do you believe it?
J.R. MORAN: Very young for your age.
J.R. MORAN: Now, we were talking about the time that the union came in, in the middle 20s. You said that Mr. Patrick did resist it. Was there any attempts to force Italians into staying out of the union or?
PASCO FEDO: No, there was -- no.
J.R. MORAN: No pressure?
PASCO FEDO: No pressure to stay out of the union. It’s just that Mr. Patrick fought it because he believed that he was doing the right thing towards his employees. Which what I told you as of now I think you should believe it yourself, because those things didn’t just happen. It was through the kindness, the good heart of the man that we worked for. And we actually at the time didn’t -- we were better off without a union.
J.R. MORAN: So, benefits did not actually increase after unionization?
J.R. MORAN: But surely wages must have gone up.
PASCO FEDO: No. Not, not right away. The wages started going up as the years went along.
J.R. MORAN: Were the vacations discontinued after the unionization?
PASCO FEDO: No, no. We still got our vacation, but it changed a little bit. There wasn’t -- everybody got a vacation, it was only those that worked so many years, because that’s the way it organized -- the unions work. You work seven years you’re entitled to a vacation, one week. The longer you work you’re entitled to two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, like the steel plant for instance. But no, our vacations still kept on going, but maybe there was an improvement, and also, as the years went on, also our wages, our piece work was improved also. So, in the long run we -- in the long run we did well by having a union, and -- but then it only lasted about five years on account of that Mr. Patrick was in debt to begin with. And he was in debt to the banks, and then the union came in, which forced him like -- you what I mean, to -- for health insurance, and this and that, and he really couldn’t just -- he didn’t have the finances to keep it going. And then, like I say, he was broke and short of money. So, he had a choice. There was two meetings at that. The stockholders had two meetings with Mr. Patrick personally, either to shut the plant down or to keep it going. And in order for the plant to keep going, the stockholders thought, the money people too thought that he had very many of his old friends that worked for him years and years back, when he just got started, they’re still working for him, but they were not earning their keep. So, they gave him a choice, “You either get rid of so many of those,” because the office was filled -- of which I remember -- the office was filled with men and women walking around the shop with a piece of paper in their hands. They’ll go to the washroom with a piece of paper in their hands making believe that they were on a mission. There actually was no work for them. But Mr. Patrick told them, he says, “I cannot do it. They work for me for so many years, they help me build the place up.” “Now,” he says, “I just haven’t got the heart.” So, he said, “If I go down, we all go down.” And the stock shareholders decided that you couldn’t chase Mr. Patrick’s ideas. He thought, “I’ll go down with them.” And like I said the Depression came along so he had no choice, the place closed down.
J.R. MORAN: Excuse me, I have to turn the tape here.

J.R. MORAN: Okay. Now, what year was it actually that F. A. Patrick went out of business?
PASCO FEDO: F. A. Patrick’s went out of business I believe it was 1929.
J.R. MORAN: 1929. Now, let’s go back just a bit. At the time that the union was agitating to get in, now you figure there is somebody inside of the company who has to cooperate with the international unions in order for them to get approval. Would you say that there was one ethnic group for instance that supported the union?
PASCO FEDO: There was, yes. There was these Jewish people, you know. Like I could tell you that the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America to begin with was mostly Jewish people [unintelligible - 00:00:57], and in fact today is still the dominating force. And they are good. They are very, very good. We have a good union, but it was, I believe, through the Jewish workers, some of them, those smart ones that were approached by the officers of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and I believe that that’s how it got started.
J.R. MORAN: Would you say then that some of the Italians resisted, most of the Italians resisted?
PASCO FEDO: Yes, I’ll say that some of the Italians, in fact should I say a majority of Italians that were working there at the time resisted joining the union, because we did not understand unionism at that time. We did not understand the promises that they gave us. They sounded very, very good. Maybe it was too good, maybe that’s the reason that some of us hesitated to join the union. I never stopped. When we had the first strike after the union they come in, we had a -- or was it -- I don’t quite remember whether we were fighting for the union or there was a union. I cannot quite remember. I did not go out. I forget why. I was [unintelligible - 00:02:23]. I don’t know who had told me not to go.
J.R. MORAN: Someone [unintelligible - 00:02:29].
PASCO FEDO: The employer.
J.R. MORAN: One of your [unintelligible - 00:02:31].
PASCO FEDO: Employer, yeah. [Unintelligible - 00:02:32] of my people. They says, “Don’t go out.” They says, “Let them do what they want [unintelligible - 00:02:40].
J.R. MORAN: This is before [unintelligible - 00:02:43].
PASCO FEDO: It was a beautiful place where we worked. We were treated [unintelligible - 00:02:46]. Why [unintelligible - 00:02:47] union.
J.R. MORAN: Now, [unintelligible - 00:02:50] for [unintelligible - 00:02:52] feelings between the Italians and some of the Jewish co-workers?
PASCO FEDO: Well, I wouldn’t [unintelligible - 00:02:56]. I do not know that there was bad feelings, but I won’t be a bit surprised that the Jewish people that actually went out on strike and seeing the other peoples, that the other people like the Italian people, had not come out with them at the same time at that time, you know, there must have been a little hard feelings. But there never was any trouble, you know what I mean, arguments or fights or nothing like that.
Then finally later on I think we all joined with them, and I did go out. I myself did out on the picket line and I was a pretty young man. I still didn’t understand unions, organized labor, like I do today, but I still I went out with them there. But, like I says, yes, a union as I see it today is wonderful, and at the time we were being -- we did gain some later on. Well, anyway, in the long run it was -- I can say that the union had something to do with, plus the Depression that closed up one of the finest garment factories in the United States.
J.R. MORAN: Now, I believe in 1924 -- I was going through a city directory -- I think I counted about 50 Italians who worked for F. A. Patrick. Where did these people go when the company was closed down?
PASCO FEDO: Well, the younger people they found other jobs because there was a small garment factory, like [unintelligible - 00:04:43] we’ll say. There was a small garment factory that moved from St. Paul. They come to Duluth, and some of the people applied for a job there and they were they were seamstress. [00:05:00] I myself was approached. I never applied for the job, they come to me. I didn’t even know that that place existed until one Sunday morning there was a -- on a Sunday morning when -- actually the owner had heard about me through a friend of mine that worked at [Hapik’s], of which he was a [unintelligible - 00:05:20] there. So, he heard about me what a good presser I was and he needed a presser. And he come into my home on a Sunday morning and he says to me, he says, “My name is Sam [Kegan]. He says, “I own…” a certain small garment factory, I forget the name now. He says, “I need a presser. You’re out of work, I heard you are out of work and a friend of yours told me to come and see you. Would you like to [unintelligible - 00:05:49]?” I says, “Well,” I says, “I guess so.” I says -- this was 1930. A lot of [unintelligible - 00:05:57] in 1930, and I says all right. So, the rest -- some of the people that worked at Patrick’s, the younger people, [unintelligible - 00:06:05] had a chance to go to work with him like I had. Like in fact I stayed with this garment factory through three different wars until [unintelligible - 00:06:15] when I retired at the age of 66.
J.R. MORAN: [Unintelligible - 00:06:18] economy of these people, [unintelligible - 00:06:21] at that time?
PASCO FEDO: [Unintelligible - 00:06:26] just a minute, just a minute. I cannot imagine that place had many [unintelligible - 00:06:31]. The second day [unintelligible - 00:06:34] two owners. One of them [unintelligible - 00:06:40] that was in partnership with [unintelligible - 00:06:41] then [unintelligible - 00:06:46] 1930 was it 1932 until around 1945 and he [unintelligible - 00:07:13] the name was changed to the Northshore Manufacturing Company, and that’s the way it was closed.
J.R. MORAN: That was what year?
PASCO FEDO: That was in 1979, early 1979.
J.R. MORAN: [Unintelligible - 00:07:35]
PASCO FEDO: I had retired in 1968, yeah.
J.R. MORAN: Now, most firms were continuously unionized?
PASCO FEDO: Yes. Yes we were -- in fact [unintelligible - 00:07:46] the Amalgamated Clothing Workers [unintelligible - 00:07:49]. That was in 1932 [unintelligible - 00:07:56] organizers what they call the [unintelligible - 00:07:57], it was in back there [unintelligible - 00:08:01] and I was asking why [unintelligible - 00:08:05] on the shop even though [unintelligible - 00:08:10] was there [unintelligible - 00:08:11].
J.R. MORAN: Now, where is your father?
PASCO FEDO: My father died in 1945.
J.R. MORAN: [Unintelligible - 00:08:23] so how did you [unintelligible - 00:08:24].
PASCO FEDO: [Unintelligible - 00:08:27] up on [unintelligible - 00:08:28] so after I got [unintelligible - 00:08:33] in 1927 I got married.
[Unintelligible - 00:08:37] the Italian Church, but even the Italian from the day that I moved [unintelligible - 00:08:43] 70 [unintelligible - 00:08:44] we still had the same [unintelligible - 00:08:46] and anything they do to me that was at that time [unintelligible - 00:08:52] or anything to help the church, My wife [unintelligible - 00:08:57] was a [unintelligible - 00:08:58]. My father knew [unintelligible - 00:09:03] and he [unintelligible - 00:09:10] as far as [unintelligible - 00:09:09] will do, so I was -- my father [unintelligible - 00:09:13] that it was our job to raise funds for the [unintelligible - 00:09:19]. So, that is how I myself [unintelligible - 00:09:27] but I still know many, many other surviving Italians [unintelligible - 00:09:31].
J.R. MORAN: [Unintelligible - 00:09:44] 10 when you married in this church [unintelligible - 00:09:45].
PASCO FEDO: I was nine and a half.
J.R. MORAN: Okay, I don’t know, would you mind another [unintelligible - 00:09:51]?
J.R. MORAN: [Unintelligible - 00:09:52] if you tell us [unintelligible - 00:09:54] security, I don’t know but [unintelligible - 00:09:57]
PASCO FEDO: [00:10:00] No to be honest with you [unintelligible - 00:10:06] my brother [unintelligible - 00:10:06] for school and [unintelligible - 00:10:09] I needed help [unintelligible - 00:10:11] the head [unintelligible - 00:10:11] says to me says there are [unintelligible - 00:10:14] surely would you mind if the second [unintelligible - 00:10:19] would help you [unintelligible - 00:10:21] would you mind [unintelligible - 00:10:23] that, there is no [unintelligible - 00:10:25], so actually [unintelligible - 00:10:25] 75 dollars [unintelligible - 00:10:28] two because I [unintelligible - 00:10:32] stuff like that, so I did give him the 30 dollars [unintelligible - 00:10:37] I think this [unintelligible - 00:10:39]. So I was actually [unintelligible - 00:10:41] 60 dollars [unintelligible - 00:10:42], but I’m not 60 dollars on [unintelligible - 00:10:44] I said no [unintelligible - 00:10:45] a month to my case I [unintelligible - 00:10:48] five dollars because of [unintelligible - 00:10:49] any more than that was 300 [unintelligible - 00:10:52] was [unintelligible - 00:10:57] they are very rare and it was mother [unintelligible - 00:11:02] I wish I [unintelligible - 00:11:03] to know them [unintelligible - 00:11:04]. Then, then the father you know [unintelligible - 00:11:19] in the meantime [unintelligible - 00:11:21] that was November [unintelligible - 00:11:24], we had a [unintelligible - 00:11:28], so everyone [unintelligible - 00:11:34] that’s when they knew about it [unintelligible - 00:11:45].