Check out the Chicago Archive Reuse Competition Hub! Read the Story

00 / 00

Interview with Carl and Hallie Foster

BROADCAST: 1970 | DURATION: 01:04:24

Synopsis

Interviewing Carl and Hallie Foster while Studs was in Newburgh, Indiana.

Transcript

Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.

OK

Studs Terkel Yeah I'm just sitting here at this moment testing this machine talking with Mrs. Carl Foster Hallie Foster her husband, Carl. Just went out to get a beer was sitting in the patio right here. Newburgh, Indiana. We're just ol' maybe 50 yards away from that Ohio River it's always with us and seated right here, Carl and Hallie Foster. How long have you lived- we- give us an easy conversation. Between the three of us, how long you lived in Newburgh, Indiana?

Hallie Foster Six years, six

Studs Terkel Six years. where from, I suppose?

Hallie Foster Evansville.

Studs Terkel Evansville, and the- and the region of Evansville.

Hallie Foster We were born and raised in Warrick county but in the north-east corner. And we lived in Evansville until six years ago and then we moved back in the extreme northwest corner where two of our ancestors landed back in the 1850s to migrate to that area.

Studs Terkel Your family has been living there, Fosters, for about 100 years, 100 years. Why I suppose my first question to ask Mr. Foster is, ask about the work going on is, you sit here, your banana trees which you're quite proud right here in the yard.

Carl Foster Yes we are.

Studs Terkel What would you say is- since you first remember and now 1971 goin' on to 72, the changes you've seen in this area. What's the big change you'd say? Better or for worse.

Carl Foster Well it looks to me like it's better. 'Cause it used to be, you know, it was rough there during the Depression, you know that as well- [chuckles]

Studs Terkel Mm-hmm.

Carl Foster As [furs?] that I can say that everything the way the work and everything is- pretty good.

Studs Terkel How would you say, Mrs. Foster?

Hallie Foster Well. Progress is the only thing I could think for it. But sometimes when I go to our home which we still own 27 acres of up there for the stripper pit area I wonder if progress is worth it.

Studs Terkel Could we talk about that as a stripper. You talkin' about the strip mines aren't you.

Hallie Foster Yes.

Studs Terkel What do you mean- let's talk about the strip mines and what you mean by progress, or,

Hallie Foster Well, we know that coal and power, electric power, is essential for progress. But when I think back, I have a hobby of genealogy. And when I read the census back over Warrick county and I realized that in less than 150 years' time, when the land was first, in our area, was first cultivated, cleared of timber, and into cultivation and in less than 150 years' time it's turned up where there is no [cultivation?] of any type, and nothing but bleak stripper pits and hills, I wonder, is the progress in life, and the progress in wages, and the rush of our modern day living, worth all of that, or did our ancestors have more than we're having now?

Studs Terkel That's a question, isn't it Mr.

Carl Foster Then that's what I'd say.

Studs Terkel Thinking about the strip mines-

Carl Foster Yeah. If they would level it off. But they don't do it. It just piled up right here, hills hollars, hills an' hollars. And it's, it's no good!

Hallie Foster We're in- we're in a perfect locale for that subject. Because on the one hand, although Alcoa has been built right at 12 years I guess, roughly. And has rapidly increased over the period of time to as you can see Newburgh, it's really become an building area for employees for Alcoa. Alright, we see the progress here. And we know that if there wasn't all this power and these high wages by a big factory like Alcoa, would this city progress like that. Then I look back over the census and I see at one time Newburgh was more or less a port of embarkation for- during the Erie between 1860 and 70 especially after the Civil War, and, some prior to 1860, people that were migrating to an area where they thought there was less troublesome things. Well then we migrate back within 30 miles northeast of here and we see what this stripper has done to the land that they migrated onto from here. We wonder-

Studs Terkel How would you describe a strip mine? How would you describe contrast with deep mine?

Carl Foster Well the- the deep mines there- they're not- dont- they don't tear up nothing. See, they're- the just dig under go under and go under the ground. And there's nothing, they don't tear up nothing, but a strip mine tears it. Digs it all and just piles it up in and gets the dirt and the coal out. Now you got a big bunch of, strip- big pits. But you know we're not pits but big piles of dirt and pits on each side of it.

Studs Terkel It's the coal near the surfaces, is that it?

Hallie Foster Yes.

Studs Terkel Now this could be land owned by a farmer or somebody, or by a small homeowner, but the company [unintelligible] has a right to the surface, is that to the mineral rights, is that the idea?

Hallie Foster You can maintain your oil right. But very few people do. If not I'm not sure whether that is still the law or not. At one time you could maintain your oil rights. But the thing is. One farmer sells because he's getting old. And. For instance my father farmed a farm a mile away from our home and he was 75 years old well we insisted that that was too far for him to travel and farm alone. So he come along and he held out till several farmers around him had sold. And he thought that he was getting a fabulous price because he got $250 an acre which the other farmers had only got $100 because he held out and got them at a time when they were wanting it for a lake. Well in his case he still had his home. But a lot of these older farmers sold because they thought the money was important in their old age and everything. Then they missed their home so until in instances we know of two or three men that have- couldn't take it when they moved to town and things. And when they saw them dig up their homes took their life. Well, it comes down to, is your life worth the price of money? Is money that valuable to you? Now if circumstances alter all cases. If you, have someone else, someplace else to go to. Why, maybe it's a little different but not in our area. There's just this one lady that owns 40 acres and our 27 that we've kept from the farm that my great grandfather entered from the government directly and cleared. And I really have a guilty conscience wondering if I'll ever be able to spend any of the money. And was it worth it when he went through so many hardships clearing it. And that. I don't know.

Studs Terkel You've heard of some older people who actually committed suicide seeing their land torn up?

Hallie Foster Yes. You kno- I- I could name the three people if you knew them in our area.

Studs Terkel When you speak of the strippers, strip miners, you say they. Who are they? Who are they? Oh, uh.

Hallie Foster Peabody-

Carl Foster Peabody.

Hallie Foster -is the one now. When we first started out, the first, in the, late, in the thirty- prior to thirty [Erie?] a 28 29 and 30 and 32. It was Enos Enos coal company that hit in Pike County.

Studs Terkel That's eastern Kentucky.

Hallie Foster No, Pike County, Indiana.

Studs Terkel Indiana,

Hallie Foster Which is the county that borders Warrick County on the north. This is Warrick County and Dubois on the north. Well that was another thing that enticed a lot of these people, their sons, their younger, some of these older families younger sons worked for that coal company. Well they made a better living than they'd ever made because of their high wages and things. So they think, well, and we could name if knew the people, several men that sold because it meant good jobs for their sons, and things. A man that joined our farm that had promised me that he never would sell if I wouldn't sell finally sold in order to get his son a good job with the coal company [like?].

Studs Terkel And that's a question of sometimes we know the [less and less?] farmers with agribusiness and conglomerates running farms, small farmers, the sons aren't going into farming so the father sells because his son might have a job.

Hallie Foster Well a son can make- well, most of the farmers in our area were small farmers. Now by that I mean my father was a big farmer because he had with our homeplace of 160 acres and 300 acres in the [bottom part?]. He was a big farmer very few farmers had over 100 acres so they didn't farm on a big scale. The time came after we come through the Depression where if you weren't a big enough farmer to have all very modern equipment you couldn't make it, and our seasons for some reason or other has altered to what they were, and the type grain that you purchase has altered until you have to farm fast and the small farmer couldn't make it. Well I think the small, a lot of the older small farmers, and then the horror. There's nobody, unless they have lived where this dynamite goes off and where are these fumes from the ground is inhaled, has any idea what it is to live where a stripper is within four or five miles of them. Now we lived on our farm in '65. And they was not mining any closer than three miles of us. Yet when you get up a morning if the fog was a little heavy, the fumes of the sulfur, and I don't know I'm not a chemist, what is in the air you inhaled until you know you didn't like the odor in everything. Now that's what used to ask him about the underground. I have often wondered, if, course we know they went to stripping because the the owner of the strippers and things could operate cheaper than the underground coal miner. All right. If the law had been firm enough to made more safety in the underground coal mines. And had made them have more modern equipment, and things, and the unions had progressed like they have since strip mines came along in this area, no coal mines strip to my knowledge. I don't believe there was any union for coal miners of any type until this Enos Coal Company moved in this area. And then [Corset?] took in the underground coal miners also. And we have seen the underground coal mines fade out rapidly in this area. Until now. His brother hauls coal and he has to go about 25 miles to buy a load of underground coal.

Studs Terkel It's cheaper for the companies to strip, is that it?

Hallie Foster Oh yes.

Studs Terkel Because of the automation the machines they got and everything to, is that it?

Hallie Foster They don't have to- they don't have time to build all of this underground thing. Now- now that's my theory. I- Nobody's ever told me that that's just my theory.

Studs Terkel I'm thinking about something, Mr. Foster, as your wife Hallie Foster's talking about progress quote-unquote culture on it you know. I'm thinking, though, it's job. See, you say it provides, that's the irony here, isn't it? It's a question of the jobs being provided too.

Hallie Foster Yes,

Carl Foster That's right,

Studs Terkel At the price of what, guess that's the question, isn't it.

Carl Foster That's the price. Now all of us, on our job now, we're making eight dollars and- I'm a welder, belong to plumbers and fitters, eight dollars and 25 cents an hour. And. When I started out. That 30 years ago. I made a dollar and a quarter. And we worked just as long as you could work. But now that is progress on that. You see what I mean.

Studs Terkel There are unions involved there too,

Carl Foster Yeah.

Studs Terkel Where do you work as a welder?

Carl Foster I'm up at Alcoa now.

Studs Terkel Alcoa?

Carl Foster For Foster. J.M. Foster.

Hallie Foster Welders do not have a union of their own. They follow the trade of the construction that they wish. Now he is with the plumbers and steamfitters. They do not work for Alcoa or whoever the building is being built for. They work for the contractor. That is, contractor of the builder.

Studs Terkel Could you describe before I ask you about the Ohio River here the effect on that, can you describe your work as a welder. Could you describe your day Mr. Foster as a welder? Beginning how- the very beginning of the day, you get up in the morning, a work day, five days a week?

Carl Foster When I first started welding. Started at [serve ap?]. 19 and 27. I was a gas welder. In Department 42. Stayed there till 40. Worked there till 40. And left went in the union 41. Second day of November 1941.

Studs Terkel Could you describe your day right now as you work as a welder? Say, Monday morning, star-

Hallie Foster You're welding now up at Alcoa. Pipe.

Carl Foster Pipe-

Hallie Foster Well tell

Carl Foster Pipe welder.

Studs Terkel Start your day, tell your day, you get up in the morning.

Carl Foster That's right.

Studs Terkel And, where do you go?

Carl Foster Go- go to Alcoa.

Studs Terkel And what do you do. Describe your work. The exact work of a welder.

Carl Foster Pipe welder. It's on pipe-

Hallie Foster Describe how you go around the pipes. How you join-

Carl Foster [Unintelligble] you join the pipes together. Then you weld it. You put in, on average there's three passes what we put around. Three passes around that's a weld, that's what it is. Normally, you know,

Studs Terkel What- what sort of tools do you use? What tools do

Carl Foster Electric machine. Electric welding machine. And then you have a fitter. You put one pass around it. And he cleans it, with a chisel and hammer and cleans all the flag off of it. And then you put another pass on it. And he cleans that off. And then you put another one on.

Studs Terkel How many- how many of these do you do a day?

Carl Foster Well. Sometimes it averag-. It just- it depends, now just how many. Now what size pipe you're welding on. No. If it's a big pipe, 8 inch, you usually get about 3 to 4 a day. And you do- and the locations of the [unintelligible], and where you're at. And what kind of a position you're in. And all that, that all-

Studs Terkel Is that skilled work?

Carl Foster Huh?

Studs Terkel Skilled work-

Carl Foster It's skilled work, yeah.

Studs Terkel Do

Carl Foster Yes, you have to learn it. That's for sure.

Studs Terkel Tell me, does your day- how's your day go, you find it boring, or-

Carl Foster No! uh-uh, no, uh-uh,

Hallie Foster He's got his training, let him tell you. He got his training at Oak Ridge for all these different type welds, so he's a high combustion welder and he has to have license. You have to take tests.

Studs Terkel Suppose we go to Oak Ridge. Now you see we're talking, I'm doing a book on it-

Carl Foster Now, [unintelligible] something that can- and I can't say nothing about Oak Ridge. Stop saying that I can say-

Studs Terkel I don't mean classified things. I mean describe the work.

Carl Foster I was a welder just the same as I was, I am here.

Studs Terkel Oak Ridge is- is where now it's Tennessee?

Carl Foster Tennessee, that's

Hallie Foster Out of Knoxville, between Knoxville and Gatlinburg.

Carl Foster That's where this

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Carl Foster And you know and I know that I can't say-

Studs Terkel No, I'm not talking now about classified information. I want the nature of work people do at an atomic energy plant. It's a new kind of job, you

Carl Foster That's right.

Studs Terkel You see.

Carl Foster Well, there's welding, there's oh, there's, might be anything you want [nail rods?], iron workers, and laborers, and electricians. And everything and just about anything.

Studs Terkel And now you're describing, regular old-time occupation.

Carl Foster That's it.

Studs Terkel Oil rights, mill rights, welders, plumbers,

Carl Foster That's right.

Studs Terkel Carpenters-

Carl Foster Fitters. Fitters in there.

Studs Terkel Fitters, pipefitters.

Carl Foster That's right

Studs Terkel Now we're talking about, Ima ask you about something else now. Every occupation has its hazards you know.

Carl Foster Yeah.

Studs Terkel Were there are there special hazards connected with working in atomic energy plant?

Carl Foster Yes.

Studs Terkel Well what are those?

Carl Foster You've got to watch- you see this on my lip?

Studs Terkel You have a scar on your

Carl Foster Yeah. Well they put me over in a building over there, that- it blew up. And. Oakdale- well, I can't tell you what name it was.

Studs Terkel That's alright. One of the buildings blew up you

Carl Foster It had blew up, yeah. And they was supposed to washed it down, everything supposed to been washed out of it. Which it was no. Supposed to be no- no rays or nothing in it. Well me and my old fitter-

Studs Terkel That's aright.

Hallie Foster Honey he don't

Studs Terkel I don't need his name, that's

Carl Foster Well I was wanting to tell you his name but- I've got him on, yeah, I've got him on paper.

Studs Terkel So you and he- Yes

Carl Foster Yes I got up on this leave- a little-

Hallie Foster Ledge.

Carl Foster ledge up here. And so you stay down there and well I, got up and tore off this cover off of the 2 inch pipe. And somehow or other that was in that- was on that ol' cover, you know.

Studs Terkel Something was on

Carl Foster Yeah and I-

Studs Terkel The radiation

Hallie Foster of Radiation,

Carl Foster The radiation- So I've got it on my glove and got it in my mouth.

Studs Terkel Well, what- how did you first become conscious of this?

Carl Foster It just does- put out there just like a big old blood blister, just like could be a blood blister and it stuck a way out here. And well I think, you know I'll take it back after, 5- 5 or 6 months. It's one of the two 5 or 6 months that I never ate a bite of anything on, just sucks. They give me a glass straw, sucked it through this.

Studs Terkel Was it painful?

Carl Foster Huh?

Studs Terkel Was a pain-

Carl Foster What you think?! Oh my god.

Studs Terkel So it last about six months, that pain? And you still have a blister, what'd the doctors say?

Carl Foster Said it was a cancer!

Hallie Foster See, it will cause cancer, as well as cure cancer.

Carl Foster And this one damn doctor down, he wanted t- say it was a cancer and they sent this one guy cut it out. One doctor cut it out and send it into the University of Tennessee and they sent it back said there was no way no cancer whatsoever. But still, he sent it out to Oak Ridge, up there to them and the government called, you can't sue the government!

Studs Terkel You can't?

Carl Foster That's it. That's what they-

Studs Terkel Well, did you get any compensation?

Carl Foster Didn't get nothing!

Studs Terkel They didn't-

Carl Foster No!

Studs Terkel They pay the doctor bills?

Carl Foster Huh?

Studs Terkel They pay the

Carl Foster Yea, they paid doctor

Studs Terkel No compensation? Are- were you out of work as a result of that?

Carl Foster No, they let me come out there an' sit on the job.

Studs Terkel Yeah, would that- any other any other fellows get that?

Carl Foster No, I was- oh yeah, there's a bunch of them down there but I don't know about them.

Studs Terkel Yeah, but you think others did?

Carl Foster That's something- I can't say.

Studs Terkel Yeah. No I-

Carl Foster Now that's- that's- the now- now if I would say that, tell you what I know,

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Carl Foster It would be oh, well you know what I mean, but I can't do it.

Studs Terkel We're talking about yourself you now-

Hallie Foster But no commercial insurance will cover that. It's a- It's submitted any occurrence of anything from that. It's

Studs Terkel You mean no commercial insurance covers anybody that works at an atomic

Hallie Foster No, no, will not cover this place on his lip.

Studs Terkel Cover that place on the lip.

Carl Foster They- they wrote down, and they give it to- I had- it was a cancer, and they knew better.

Hallie Foster Now, but then, you see, it goes right back to- it's recorded that that had started. On the records.

Studs Terkel Yeah. But I'm thinkin' of-

Hallie Foster And- so on our commercial- his union insurance, other insurance, it says no coverage or anything from that.

Studs Terkel Yeah, yeah.

Hallie Foster So we know if that happened to him it's probably had others.

Studs Terkel How long ago was that, Mr. Foster?

Carl Foster Let me see, honey, when did I

Hallie Foster You came home in '46.

Carl Foster '46? Well there was-

Hallie Foster No I mean

Carl Foster '56, that was. Fifty-

Hallie Foster It was- it was in the late- late '40s. Late '40s when that happened.

Carl Foster '40- I believe it was '49- '49 or '50 I believe it was one of two, '49 or '50.

Studs Terkel Yeah.

Hallie Foster It was during the time of- it was making the bombs.

Studs Terkel Yeah, the time the bombs. You say that place blew up, the building blew up just like-

Carl Foster [Unintelligble]

Studs Terkel Anybody hurt?

Carl Foster Oh no, there was never nobody in it.

Studs Terkel Nobody

Carl Foster See, this is- was a building that was operated-

Hallie Foster Similar to that one in Chicago..on the outside, every-

Studs Terkel Like [Oregon?] in Chicago.

Carl Foster Yeah. Everything was operated on the outside. And-

Studs Terkel Aren't we talking about something here that's all connected? Strip mining, a new form of digging out coal, a new form of energy, atomic energy? What's happened to Ohio River? And Mrs. Foster, your wife's raising this question: is it worth it?

Carl Foster Well that's what I wondered- is it worth it?

Studs Terkel This is a big question, isn't it?

Hallie Foster I dare not let myself think about it. People could- I had made up my mind when I sold that part of the farm, that I would never let it affect me. But now they're closing- they've closed the one entrance into our farm and we only have one in, and they've made us a new road. We ride through this new rock road. We're sure it's a fine road to what we've been going in on because their trucks and their heavy equipment had dug it out with holes until- we seldom went in our car, we went in our truck. Alright. Now we've got this new road through there, well you'd ride that new road and you look on either side of ya and all you could see is this black dirt, and ditches, and things piled up. Well if I'm doing something where I'm not using my mind like, working around the house and think of, you'd think well isn't that upright. And then as I say I fool that with this genealogy, and I copy back this 1850 Census, and '40, and I think back, what they went through to make it civilized land and things.

Studs Terkel Aren't we talking about something else Mrs. Foster and Mr. Foster, aren't are we talking about. Isn't there some other way? Isn't there some other way, do without this cost, you see. No one is denying- I'm not- you're not going to deny the matter of technology, you know, that's here one way or another. But how you do it-

Carl Foster Hi ya M- [unintelligible]

Studs Terkel How ya doin'. -how it's being used, isn't that the question?

Hallie Foster Yeah.

Studs Terkel Now you're facing the Ohio River out there. You've seen that river for many years, haven't ya?

Hallie Foster Yes. And really viewed it the last six years from our dining room table.

Carl Foster You ever seen from

Hallie Foster Honey, you want those rubber bands?

[Unidentified Female] No.

Hallie Foster Okay.

Studs Terkel How has it changed?

Hallie Foster Well. The most of the changes we see from the river I would say is caused from the building of the new dam. Because they have to lower it and raise it for that. Now as far as pollution angle of it, I can't say a thing about that because I don't go out in a boat on the river, and I don't go up and down the river. And he doesn't either. So we can't comment on that angle of it.

Studs Terkel Did you once-

Hallie Foster No.

Studs Terkel go on that river?

Hallie Foster No.

Studs Terkel You fish-

Carl Foster Well, oh yeah oh yeah I did. But she didn't- she wouldn't- she wouldn't go out with me when I had my boat. She wouldn't go out with me and. We go out there and we fished out quite a bit there for about two years. But she didn't go out on the river.

Studs Terkel How is fishing now, there?

Carl Foster Well, it's pretty good they say it's pretty good. I don't know- Well

Carl Foster Well it's not been this year because they raise and lower the water to work on the dam until they can't keep their nets and their trap lines in tow enough to bait them up and everything.

Studs Terkel I'm thinking I saw the smokestacks of Alcoa down the line

Carl Foster Yeah.

Hallie Foster Yes.

Studs Terkel That plays a role, I imagine.

Hallie Foster If you really want to see it when it becomes dark this street goes into the river, Plumb St. goes into the river, walk down there and go down the bank as far as you can, or even- it's like a little park out there about the size of our yard and look up at the lights and you wonder, where is there a wide enough space for a boat to go through? And the Southern- Southern Indiana Gas and Electric power plant is in the background. Then Alcoa smokestacks. And you can see the smoke there coming in from Boonville this time of evening and later on if it's a rainy foggy evening, you could see the smoke curl back down instead of going up in the air. But now as far as smelling the fumes I can't-

Carl Foster You can go up there and see your own self what stuff is running in the river, 'cause I don't know, but what

Hallie Foster From the docks now he can see- he has seen it working it out and-

Carl Foster What's running down the river I don't know what it is, what it's pure or not couldn't tell you. It is pitiful.

Hallie Foster But now you can ride through areas of the stripper area where it has been mined, well no more than three years. And you can see the seepage out of the dirt that has been throwed up and the water in there, and you wonder how fish grow in there, or live in there I mean, and, that is one of the places where most people go to take their dump.

Studs Terkel Kind of like the pollution and big cities, you know, I'm from Chicago, we think of pollution and the big cities and yet, it comes to smaller communities as well, doesn't it. There's no escaping it, yeah.

Carl Foster That's right.

Hallie Foster They have- Vanderberg County has recently clamped down on it to the stage where they have set up, well, like the back end of a truck bed in different locales so that people can take their, well, their throwaways that they ordinarily have throwed away in the ditches and things and put in there. I'd like to know what percent do that, but they have put a fine on anyone caught dumping.

Studs Terkel In the middle of all this, Mr. and Mrs. Foster, you're looking for beauty, you know, you look for beauty in the middle of all this ugliness and I see your banana trees. How do you rate- isn't this for tropical- isn't this tropical phenomenon? How's this work out?

Carl Foster Well, we picked them [unintelligible] -would take 'em up and I would take them up by next week or week after next and put them in a garage. I got the garage heated. And all you do is you just pile a whole bunch of them in these old whiskey barrels, you know like, cut it in 2 in the half, and just pile as many of 'em as you can in there. And put them in each one, you know, and put some dirt on them. Don't water 'em but just a little bit every once in a while water 'em. And, then- 'cause that way they won't grow. But if you water them, they try to go through the top of the

Studs Terkel You know-

Carl Foster Go right

Studs Terkel I was just saying, something I noticed, something just now Mrs. Foster, with your husband Carl Foster, how his eyes lit up. A while ago he was talking about his work as a welder and was casual talk and draw him out. We talked about the banana trees suddenly eyes lit up and- as oh, wouldn't it be nice if this were your livelihood instead of being a welder.

Hallie Foster [Laughs]

Carl Foster [Laughing] I've done it for- I've done it since '27. But still, I like to get out there. I don't know nothing else but welding that's all I know, is the pipe welder, that's all I know. Oh I can get out here and you know help them with the fitters and all them but-

Studs Terkel I was thinkin' of something else, wasn't I, about the of matter that-

Hallie Foster He likes to see things grow, like that cactus there-

Studs Terkel Mm-hmm.

Hallie Foster -is having a little bloom. Well, I guess it's the country in us. We like to watch things like that grow. Winter in the house, and summer in the yard, and the row of roses across the front is his because they bloom more completely than bush roses, they're shrubbery roses. And he likes to see things grow. I guess it's the little boy

Studs Terkel Yeah a little boy in him, maybe?

Carl Foster And I've got a

Studs Terkel rabbit. Yeah?

Carl Foster But- yeah- I've got- oh no, one had three right down here, right in front of Miss [Bourkes?] down there. Three and- we got one- and I get the kids out here, little ones out here, and they just they walk right up to it almost- pet it, you know what I mean?

Hallie Foster Tell how you know the good apples.

Carl Foster [Laughing] The best red ones that's the best ones is [unintelligible] that's the ones they get.

Studs Terkel I just think it a very light evening now, very beautiful out here. Just a few yards from the Ohio River, the banana trees, leaves are blowing in this light breeze at the moment that's coming up. And this used to be rather an oasis. The Fosters have here, of beauty, and we're talking about industrialization, aren't we, taking over. So you're basically a farmer you're, you're basically someone who has to raise things-

Carl Foster That's it.

Studs Terkel -watch things grow, this is what the conflict is in a sense, isn't it.

Hallie Foster Well, for instance, this house had been for sale for better than a year by this elderly lady that had lost her husband two years before, and they had built the house 12 years before and they'd dug sprouts of everything that they grew up with in here. Well, because of his illness for two years prior to his death, for four years nothing had been pruned or growed until you could barely see the house driving on the street, and they had a rail fence around it until the son was a doctor was asking a fairly good price for it, but nobody was interested in it because of the amount of work it would take to see the house. And nobody two ol' country jigs like us would've ever tackled it, and we cleared and hauled off about five big truckloads of brush and stuff from here in order to see the house and eventually took the rail fence and things down. So I guess it goes back to being farmers and, still likin' to live in the convenience of town.

Studs Terkel Yeah-

Carl Foster And it was low, and we put 21 loads of dirt in ya oh, had 21 loads of dirt hauled in here, and- put in here.

Studs Terkel When you do this, after you come home from work?

Carl Foster No, I-

Hallie Foster No we

Carl Foster -had it hired and had it pulled hauled in. And then they come in leveled it all off first and the people told us when we put it in here that we would never have no grass, you know, that year, that summer. We had the prettiest lawn that anyone ever- 'cause we put fertilizer, we- I don't know how many bags of fertilizer I bought and put on there and, all the other stuff, you know, they could get, and we had the prettiest lawn that anyone or anyone around here.

Studs Terkel Yeah, pretty lawn right now as I look at it.

Carl Foster Mmmhm!

Hallie Foster The one week that I didn't mow on Friday. First Friday I've missed mowing since, I think the first of May. But going back to banana trees, but now by taking them in. It takes- see, ordinarily a banana tree will have a stock of bananas each year. But by taking these in our garage it stuns them to the place where it takes them to be three to four years old to have bananas, and we are convinced now they is a male and a female in banana trees. Because when we only have the one here and one in another area in Evansville we never did have them. When we put them in groups thisa way, then two years ago we had the banana.

Studs Terkel Sounds like you've been making a horticultural discovery.

Carl Foster [Laughing] That's- that's it.

Studs Terkel Mr. and Mrs. Luther Burbank.

Carl Foster That's it. But they were beautiful. But now on the banana tree, now, one of 'em had 39 on it and the other had 36. Now that's what we kept, you know what I mean? But now the bees. Bees they were- it was pitiful. It was just like a beehive around each one of them trees. And they told me that I was supposed to put a sheet- of one of th- water or something you know- net, netting around to keep them off of it. And if it had of we would have at least, 75 or a hundred on each one

Studs Terkel You know I can't

Hallie Foster Season stunned it. See, the- first, I don't know what they're called. To me it looked like a [roasting ear?]. So I say the first shuck started opening up on a Labor Day. And of course this man and woman in back of the us was home and we each watched it to see how many little fingers we could see up under those leaves as they started moving.

Carl Foster You know what [roasting ear?] is? What a shuck of corn- corn, you know,

Studs Terkel ear What's

Carl Foster Ear of corn with shucks on it. All right, just one of them shucks would raise up, maybe 6 little ones underneath of 'em. And then go over here a little further. Another one raised

Hallie Foster Down. Down a little farther.

Carl Foster -another one to raise up. And that's the way it went all the way around it, all the way around it, and then dropped down here and there'd be another one. Raised up just like a shell can now be six more of 'em just as pretty as you ever see. But they were only about that long, 'bout an inch and a half long.

Studs Terkel I can't get over the fact there, Mr. Foster, is talkin' with such vitality and such enjoyment about this work, and I had to drag out that pipefitting information.

Carl Foster Oh, tha-

Hallie Foster Well-

Studs Terkel That's what I mean! it's just what I'm talking about, you see. Why must we live a certain kind of way? Who is deciding this thing, is what I'm trying to figure out.

Hallie Foster I know, because I've known him from childhood-

Carl Foster We went to school together.

Studs Terkel Evansville?

Hallie Foster No in the- Warrick County, northeast Lynnville area. But you see because of his limited schooling. He didn't- never have to explain things as much. And I know sitting here. What was-we're in- he thinks because he's welded all his life everybody knows how to weld, and he knows how to do it, but it's difficult for him to explain to someone else what- what you really was trying to bring out.

Studs Terkel Nah, I was thinking of something else. I was thinking of the fact that he enjoys planting these trees more than he does welding.

Hallie Foster Well, I think that's true too. But then what I mean is, he thinks that everybody knows how to- he doesn't realize that in his local, there is only about three men that have the ability to weld as many different, you know, like, types of iron and stuff that he has, and has the license for high combustion that is required for nursing homes and things.

Studs Terkel What would you like to do, if you had your choice Mr. Foster? Living your life all over again or the years you have left. What is it you would most like to do?

Carl Foster Well, I'd like to having me a horse-

Hallie Foster [Laughs]

Carl Foster Like them-

Hallie Foster [Unintelligble]

Carl Foster An ol'country plow. And get out here and just enjoy it.

Studs Terkel Let's go back to farming.

Carl Foster That's it. That's it.

Studs Terkel What would you like to do, Mrs. Foster?

Hallie Foster Oh, I don't know, I think I'd just be satisfied doing anything that was contentment and good health. I can adapt myself to anything as long as I had good health, and- I enjoy the river immensely because there's something new every hour. Every halfa hour of the day, going up and down the river, on new boats. The waterway journal, which we signed for after we moved here, if I take time to read it weekly, I can see the different type boats maybe a month later or something. And I know, in other words, while I lived in Evansville where the river was, there wasn't transportation on the river then, and nothing of interest other than just to walk down and see the river. If there was one thing that I could wish for, would be if my father didn't have to suffer with his aches and pains that he had when he died at the age 89 would be if he could come back for just a short time and see how river transportation has come back, because that was the first place I had to take him in Evansville when he came. And then when I took him there, with our new modern Plaza and no boats tied up unloading or loading, then he cussed the progress

Studs Terkel Mhmm.

Hallie Foster of things and I don't think it ever once entered his mind that transportation on waterways would ever come back.

Studs Terkel It has.

Carl Foster [Unintelligible]

Hallie Foster Unless you live where you see the boats pass, and you read and know what these different type- and of course I don't always know, but some I do detect from the different type barges what commodities they carry. I would be willing to bet that 95 percent of the people in Evansville don't realize how many different types commodities, or how many boats there is goes up and down the river. And you wonder where are they going and when will they be back. And if you watch you can see them.

Studs Terkel You enjoy watching them? There's a question of barge traffic and barge commerce, that is going to be discussed some other program, I know.

Hallie Foster There's another thing about this pollution. Now sometimes some of those boast, the odors from their smokestacks, 'till I'ma wondering when they're going to start on them, to have different type engines and things.

Studs Terkel You know pollutionless engines, as the question comes up.

Hallie Foster Yes.

Studs Terkel Questions always raised, in't it, about automobiles, about these boats, why aren't there- you know, it's a good question isn't it, yeah.

Hallie Foster See with this small dam we have, sometimes the boats line up here. If there is something goes wrong with the dam here, or one of them down the river, sometimes there's as many as 10 or 12 boats will line up here. When you get that many boats and you're bound to smell a little bit of the smoke from some of them. Well, I've watched the paper every day expecting to see some organization formed against them-

Studs Terkel Well, raises the question of an organizations formed against pollution or against whatever- whenever there is that contaminates our lives. You feel you have power to do these things? Question comes up- how do you describe this community? Middle-class poor people? The community, generally in Newburgh. How would you describe it economically?

Hallie Foster Well now I would say that it was pretty well a middle-class modern-day working community, because of our new housing projects and because of the work that Alcoa has created. 6 years ago when we moved here, there was still enough of the old families here that called themself natives, that it was a reserved. In other words, you walk down the street and people didn't speak to you because they're newcomers, and that. But, as the older people have passed on, and the newer generation, it's changed from that because there was no industry in this area until Aloca came for years. At one time Newburgh was a much larger place than Booneville, our county seat, or Evansville, in fact Newburgh is older than Evansville, and in the 1850s and 60s had far more businesses in their census that either of the places. And it's amazing to me now as I go down through my census and see the different type of, industries and how many doctors and the fam- the small-town doctors and drugstores and little grocery stores that at one time was in this place but, there again we've got the progress of the shopping centers and the little places will never come back.

Studs Terkel Talking about Newburgh. Once upon being bigger than- Mr. Foster just returned to the bench here outside. Evansville [had on?] about 150,000, Newberger about 3,000, 4,000? Somethin' like that.

Hallie Foster I wouldn't- I wouldn't guess, because I don't know. Because they building houses out here so, and they I'm not sure where they got it through to extend the city limits out there to take those in but we have had school problems. However, Warrick county is fortunate enough to have foreseen that in time that although they are not the type of school building they want, and are asking for appropriations for better ones they were able to admit all schoolchildren this year.

Studs Terkel Does Newburgh have a Black population?

Hallie Foster Very small. Not as many now as they had in 1860.

Studs Terkel Really?

Hallie Foster I'll

Studs Terkel Yeah, but what I mean is that less than that in 1870- After

Hallie Foster After the Civil War, there was at least 30 families in this area. And I don't believe there's over 10 in this area. But to my knowledge and asking old timers here, there was never no problem in the school, and the colored children had gone to the white

Studs Terkel You was- never said- it was integrated, way back?

Hallie Foster It may have been way back, but not within census last startup over the country.

Studs Terkel You mean it was integrated, is that what you mean?

Hallie Foster I think it may have been at one time, I think because there is a church here that is a colored church, and there's a little building 'side it that I believe was a school building for them. But I don't know, I've never been able to find anyone that- old enough to know enough about that angle of it. But I understand there was just one time that we know of, from the police, that there's ever been any idea they could be in trouble in Newburgh. And it was supposed to been a bunch that had came to Evansville with the hopes of stirring up something, and the word came here that they was coming on the Newburgh last fall, but then the word got out. Police had closed down all the taverns and everything and we've never had any trouble-

Studs Terkel As we're talking this moment the rains are falling lightly. What about young people? What are the attitudes toward young- how young people feel in this community?

Carl Foster Well now, you asked me somethin' and, all the kids that's here, we ain't got no kids, but we got more than anyone in Newburgh. I mean the little ones you, know what I mean, we got more kids than anyone in Newburgh. And, Hallie will-

Hallie Foster What with the candy jar [laughs].

Studs Terkel Now I think about the young kids, teenagers you know.

Carl Foster Well, they're- they're-

Hallie Foster Well-

Carl Foster They're just as nice, and, to me- there's nothing in the world- that I go up there- if I go up to the corner up there to the beer joint up at Ernie's, them kids up there, I want something done, why they just piled in the truck, jump up, an' any of 'em, it don't make no difference, they just pile in there, dozen or half a dozen of and, 'course I always- if they need a quarter, half a dollar or somethin', well I'll give it to them, I don't- I don't- what them kids wouldn't do one thing in the world against us, no way, shape nor form.

Hallie Foster We don't have too much vandalism or- no fear of walking down the street at night from the teenagers or anything. The past year they've put on more police and the main trouble they've had has been, kids that have migrated from the- Evansville or other areas and tried to lead the others astray. But the local kids, I would say that percentage of them that went to high school was pretty large.

Carl Foster Yeah and they're real good kids-

Studs Terkel Well- Go ahead Mr. Foster, you were gon' to say something?

Carl Foster And they'll help ye if I- help me for anything. That I need to be done they're right to help me. Now if they got wiskers or if they got- it don't make no difference.

Studs Terkel I'm thinkin', now as you talk about a changing world within an industry, community where you are, two of you in this, what I call this oasis you got right here. What can you do to preserve it? I mean, what do you do to change things for the better or stop whatever you think is hurting humans? Can you do- do you feel you have to do these things, Mrs. Foster?

Hallie Foster No. And I wonder how in the world the president would have. It is, in my way of thinking, there's too many people that are saying what they would do if they had the power of the president, and-

Carl Foster You

Studs Terkel Well- no thank you, Mr. Foster, I've

Hallie Foster -and yet, they don't have the theory either. It's something that has to be a group working. It has to be national lives working and what to do it. I have no idea.

Studs Terkel [rain] We're listening to the rains now. And it- hitting those banana leaves.

Hallie Foster Is that thunder?

Studs Terkel And there's thunder, too. It's an autumn- autumn shower. And- man created these problems, man has created the problems you describe Mrs. Foster and Mr. Foster describes. So, it would seem that the man can solve them, too, I wonder. Or do you think, Mr. Foster, that the little man, or the ordinary person, he's a very little man [of that?], the ordinary person has a way of changing things for the better?

Carl Foster Well, the only thing that I would say, they should drop that oh, social security down to 62. Then- then everybody- there'd be more jobs for a bunch of these kids running the street.

Studs Terkel Mmhm.

Carl Foster Than what there is now, ya see. All that rain run them fly in there-

Studs Terkel Flies are comin' in.

Hallie Foster We never

Carl Foster -and that would give more kids jobs. Now I'm gonna retire in June. I'm 62. And that's what I think they should do. Drop it all down for all of them. We have it in our local now, we have about 17, an' I think it's going retire in- 62.

Studs Terkel You look forward to retirement?

Carl Foster Huh?

Studs Terkel You look forward to it?

Carl Foster Well, it is just what- this- here's the old thing of it. I've had my time you know. And just like these other old boys same I am, we can't climb no more and get up in steel all that dones work anymore, and give it to them young kid. Let them- we done it when we was- so give it to the young kids. That's the way I feel about it, and I think that's the way it should be done.

Studs Terkel Well, Mr. Foster, I'm delighted to have been here visiting with you, and your hospitality's been gracious. Any thought you have that we haven't touched on, about life here in Newburgh, changes you've seen, what you'd like to see?

Hallie Foster Well, like, I just hope and pray that our community can stay as peaceful and quiet, and that we never have to go through- I've tried to visualize, but I know in no way can I visualize what it would be to live like in where wars are. And I pray that the day will never come that we'll have that and tear up our part of the country, or any part of the United States, and that it will soon stop in other places.

Studs Terkel That's perhaps that's the last question, I hadn't thought about that, you- haven't thought about this connection. Has the war ever discussed here? The Vietnam War?

Hallie Foster I often think it's not discussed enough. I think everybody is too busy going about their own private lives, unless they have sons or husband, or someone dearer to them that they could think of. I think the war situation is treated far too lightly. I don't know what we could do about it. I have no idea. I don't know what the president can do about it. I have no idea. It's a- it's a terrible load to put on one man, and I get real frustrated when some of these news commentator after the president has given his speech, and they come on and they discuss it among themselves. And I know in my way of thinking, I don't think they know more about it than I do, and why they think that we're too stupid to understand what the president said. And if they- if we don't have faith in our president, how can we have faith in anything ever stopping in the war? If we don't back our president up, and if the news media don't back him up, who are we going to expect- and there again we go back to progress. Are we better off, to have these news commentator, that tells the story one way, the newspapers that tells the story another way, the radio that tells it another way? Or were we better off to go back to the days of my father's era, when we had to wait for the newspaper to hear it.

Studs Terkel What do you think? You're a thoughtful person, Mrs. Foster. You think a lot, you're independent. Which do you think is better- you say- do you think we shouldn't question someone who is in authority.

Hallie Foster Yes. There's no doubt, but what we have to question him- because the time for a new leader will be coming up. So we should question him. And we should weigh it from a lot of angles, no only from the war angles, but from the standardizing of the prices and wages, and something that will stop- I wonder sometimes if the average laborer, when he's been on a strike and he gets his increase, if he realizes that that also is going to cost commodities he's going to buy to go up. I've worked in the office of a factory for 20 years and I seen it from that angle. That they they thought they were accomplishing something by getting the 25 cents an hour raise. I've listened to him, my husband when he is getting a raise and that. But when you go back and add it up the next time you go to the grocery or the clothing store, commodities and things are prices raised. So do we gain? And if we don't let the president freeze the prices and the wages, how are we going to stop it?

Studs Terkel I was thinking about something you said earlier, aside from the wages and the price inflation, spoke of the war. You hope a time doesn't come when the land where you will live is torn up, and destroyed.

Hallie Foster Well, I've hoped that, for a long long time. But when you drove the roads within 4 or 5 miles of your home and you saw the stripper moving closer, you had to resolve yourself to the fact it was coming and just like I said a while ago about I had made up my mind I'd never let it bother me. Well, now when I ride this new road into our farm and I'm standing in the yard or someplace in this dynamite blast goes off and it shakes me or I go into our home and I see the few things we left there shook off on the floor, and the [truck rumbling] chimney bricks being knocked out, then I wonder should I have kept them farther away from my home.

Studs Terkel I think a couple of things you think about the bulldozers, the blasts taking place here. You think of the war and land being torn up. I'm wondering how Vietnamese family feels when their land is torn up.

Hallie Foster That's the same thing I thought of the last time we were up there and he was mowing and he didn't feel the vibration because of being on the rubber tires, but it shook the ground and I thought, well now how- and I looked up at the sky, and the dust had covered the entire sky, and I'm sure if I'd been close enough where the trees hadn't been between me I could see rocks and things flying, and I was thinking, well, how would it be to be in a battlefield and mortar, guns shooting and things like that flying through the air, and our homes being blasted down around us which we see on television and things.

Studs Terkel That's what people are asking,

Hallie Foster Yes.

Studs Terkel [Gee?] the rain's let up, and I might have one of your beers right now.

Carl Foster Well, let me go

Studs Terkel Thank you very much. Mr. Foster, thank you very much-

Carl Foster [far away] Well, why you didn't tell me when I was outta here?

Studs Terkel No, I'm kind of stupid, I got thirsty now. Thank you very much Mrs. Foster.

Hallie Foster [laughing] Well you're quite welcome.

Studs Terkel Very delightful being here with you. Just within, about to say a stone's throw of the Ohio River, that's of Walter Johnson throwing the stone, but nonetheless it's pretty good, pretty close to that Old Man River.

Hallie Foster One thing we didn't hit on, let me ask you this question, what do you think of the progress of our going to the moon? Do you think- how many years before you think that'll be progress.

Studs Terkel I don't- It's really your views I'd like- no, well what are your thoughts about space travel? Oh thank you very much. What are your thoughts on space

Hallie Foster Well, I don't know. I think it's an awful lot of money to be spent. And I wonder if the money couldn't be spent better otherwise. But again I don't think I'm intelligent enough to answer that. And I think that, they say that's the only way we go forward.

Studs Terkel One last thing I've got to ask you, Mrs. Foster, you just said something several times now use the same phrase, that you don't think you're intelligent enough to answer it, or you think that the president knows more than you do. I think you are intelligent enough to answer quite obviously, because you've made very perceptive comments about the nature of pollution and bulldozing progress or, is it progress or isn't it, so therefore, isn't it true that when people question their own intelligence too much that you are? That you do have enough savvy? You and Mr. Foster, both?

Carl Foster No, she has more than I do.

Studs Terkel No,

Carl Foster She has

Hallie Foster Well, it's a matter of lettin' our common sense- maybe it's because we have more time to think since we don't have little grandchildren to play with and interest ourself in, that's what he meant while ago about that we keep a candy jar and all the little kids ride their bicycles and come in to get candy, and that's our way of little children. But, maybe, since I worked all my lifetime and didn't have much time to think after I quit work ten years ago and took care of my mother and then after she died 62, maybe I've had more time to think than a lot of people that have children and are busy and getting them to school and things.

Studs Terkel That- you have the capacity to have opinions of your

Hallie Foster Well, more time to weigh my opinions, I'd say. But- and that's another thing, I wonder sometimes, if our president isn't too overloaded, if maybe we don't need more men of authority. Sometimes I think we burden him too much. One man, I wonder if our way of government is set up wrong, but we've always had that type of politics and I suppose we always will have- And I don't know any better way so there's just no need of thinking of it. But-

Carl Foster About to run out of

Studs Terkel Run out of yeah film, or tape, both. Well, just about running out. But we've just got just enough to capture the human voices of Carl and Hallie Foster. Thanks very much.

Hallie Foster Well you should tell him you had a little doll dish collection-

Carl Foster Well now thanks

Hallie Foster

Studs Terkel Yeah I'm just sitting here at this moment testing this machine talking with Mrs. Carl Foster Hallie Foster her husband, Carl. Just went out to get a beer was sitting in the patio right here. Newburgh, Indiana. We're just ol' maybe 50 yards away from that Ohio River it's always with us and seated right here, Carl and Hallie Foster. How long have you lived- we- give us an easy conversation. Between the three of us, how long you lived in Newburgh, Indiana? Six years, six years Six years. where from, I suppose? Evansville. Evansville, and the- and the region of Evansville. We were born and raised in Warrick county but in the north-east corner. And we lived in Evansville until six years ago and then we moved back in the extreme northwest corner where two of our ancestors landed back in the 1850s to migrate to that area. Your family has been living there, Fosters, for about 100 years, 100 years. Why I suppose my first question to ask Mr. Foster is, ask about the work going on is, you sit here, your banana trees which you're quite proud right here in the yard. Yes we are. What would you say is- since you first remember and now 1971 goin' on to 72, the changes you've seen in this area. What's the big change you'd say? Better or for worse. Well it looks to me like it's better. 'Cause it used to be, you know, it was rough there during the Depression, you know that as well- [chuckles] Mm-hmm. As [furs?] that I can say that everything the way the work and everything is- pretty good. How would you say, Mrs. Foster? Well. Progress is the only thing I could think for it. But sometimes when I go to our home which we still own 27 acres of up there for the stripper pit area I wonder if progress is worth it. Could we talk about that as a stripper. You talkin' about the strip mines aren't you. Yes. What do you mean- let's talk about the strip mines and what you mean by progress, or, Well, we know that coal and power, electric power, is essential for progress. But when I think back, I have a hobby of genealogy. And when I read the census back over Warrick county and I realized that in less than 150 years' time, when the land was first, in our area, was first cultivated, cleared of timber, and into cultivation and in less than 150 years' time it's turned up where there is no [cultivation?] of any type, and nothing but bleak stripper pits and hills, I wonder, is the progress in life, and the progress in wages, and the rush of our modern day living, worth all of that, or did our ancestors have more than we're having now? That's a question, isn't it Mr. Foster. Then that's what I'd say. Thinking about the strip mines- Yeah. If they would level it off. But they don't do it. It just piled up right here, hills hollars, hills an' hollars. And it's, it's no good! We're in- we're in a perfect locale for that subject. Because on the one hand, although Alcoa has been built right at 12 years I guess, roughly. And has rapidly increased over the period of time to as you can see Newburgh, it's really become an building area for employees for Alcoa. Alright, we see the progress here. And we know that if there wasn't all this power and these high wages by a big factory like Alcoa, would this city progress like that. Then I look back over the census and I see at one time Newburgh was more or less a port of embarkation for- during the Erie between 1860 and 70 especially after the Civil War, and, some prior to 1860, people that were migrating to an area where they thought there was less troublesome things. Well then we migrate back within 30 miles northeast of here and we see what this stripper has done to the land that they migrated onto from here. We wonder- How would you describe a strip mine? How would you describe contrast with deep mine? Well the- the deep mines there- they're not- dont- they don't tear up nothing. See, they're- the just dig under go under and go under the ground. And there's nothing, they don't tear up nothing, but a strip mine tears it. Digs it all and just piles it up in and gets the dirt and the coal out. Now you got a big bunch of, strip- big pits. But you know we're not pits but big piles of dirt and pits on each side of it. It's the coal near the surfaces, is that it? Yes. Now this could be land owned by a farmer or somebody, or by a small homeowner, but the company [unintelligible] has a right to the surface, is that to the mineral rights, is that the idea? You can maintain your oil right. But very few people do. If not I'm not sure whether that is still the law or not. At one time you could maintain your oil rights. But the thing is. One farmer sells because he's getting old. And. For instance my father farmed a farm a mile away from our home and he was 75 years old well we insisted that that was too far for him to travel and farm alone. So he come along and he held out till several farmers around him had sold. And he thought that he was getting a fabulous price because he got $250 an acre which the other farmers had only got $100 because he held out and got them at a time when they were wanting it for a lake. Well in his case he still had his home. But a lot of these older farmers sold because they thought the money was important in their old age and everything. Then they missed their home so until in instances we know of two or three men that have- couldn't take it when they moved to town and things. And when they saw them dig up their homes took their life. Well, it comes down to, is your life worth the price of money? Is money that valuable to you? Now if circumstances alter all cases. If you, have someone else, someplace else to go to. Why, maybe it's a little different but not in our area. There's just this one lady that owns 40 acres and our 27 that we've kept from the farm that my great grandfather entered from the government directly and cleared. And I really have a guilty conscience wondering if I'll ever be able to spend any of the money. And was it worth it when he went through so many hardships clearing it. And that. I don't know. You've heard of some older people who actually committed suicide seeing their land torn up? Yes. You kno- I- I could name the three people if you knew them in our area. When you speak of the strippers, strip miners, you say they. Who are they? Who are they? Oh, uh. Peabody- Peabody. -is the one now. When we first started out, the first, in the, late, in the thirty- prior to thirty [Erie?] a 28 29 and 30 and 32. It was Enos Enos coal company that hit in Pike County. That's eastern Kentucky. No, Pike County, Indiana. Indiana, Which is the county that borders Warrick County on the north. This is Warrick County and Dubois on the north. Well that was another thing that enticed a lot of these people, their sons, their younger, some of these older families younger sons worked for that coal company. Well they made a better living than they'd ever made because of their high wages and things. So they think, well, and we could name if knew the people, several men that sold because it meant good jobs for their sons, and things. A man that joined our farm that had promised me that he never would sell if I wouldn't sell finally sold in order to get his son a good job with the coal company [like?]. And that's a question of sometimes we know the [less and less?] farmers with agribusiness and conglomerates running farms, small farmers, the sons aren't going into farming so the father sells because his son might have a job. Well a son can make- well, most of the farmers in our area were small farmers. Now by that I mean my father was a big farmer because he had with our homeplace of 160 acres and 300 acres in the [bottom part?]. He was a big farmer very few farmers had over 100 acres so they didn't farm on a big scale. The time came after we come through the Depression where if you weren't a big enough farmer to have all very modern equipment you couldn't make it, and our seasons for some reason or other has altered to what they were, and the type grain that you purchase has altered until you have to farm fast and the small farmer couldn't make it. Well I think the small, a lot of the older small farmers, and then the horror. There's nobody, unless they have lived where this dynamite goes off and where are these fumes from the ground is inhaled, has any idea what it is to live where a stripper is within four or five miles of them. Now we lived on our farm in '65. And they was not mining any closer than three miles of us. Yet when you get up a morning if the fog was a little heavy, the fumes of the sulfur, and I don't know I'm not a chemist, what is in the air you inhaled until you know you didn't like the odor in everything. Now that's what used to ask him about the underground. I have often wondered, if, course we know they went to stripping because the the owner of the strippers and things could operate cheaper than the underground coal miner. All right. If the law had been firm enough to made more safety in the underground coal mines. And had made them have more modern equipment, and things, and the unions had progressed like they have since strip mines came along in this area, no coal mines strip to my knowledge. I don't believe there was any union for coal miners of any type until this Enos Coal Company moved in this area. And then [Corset?] took in the underground coal miners also. And we have seen the underground coal mines fade out rapidly in this area. Until now. His brother hauls coal and he has to go about 25 miles to buy a load of underground coal. It's cheaper for the companies to strip, is that it? Oh yes. Because of the automation the machines they got and everything to, is that it? They don't have to- they don't have time to build all of this underground thing. Now- now that's my theory. I- Nobody's ever told me that that's just my theory. I'm thinking about something, Mr. Foster, as your wife Hallie Foster's talking about progress quote-unquote culture on it you know. I'm thinking, though, it's job. See, you say it provides, that's the irony here, isn't it? It's a question of the jobs being provided too. Yes, That's right, At the price of what, guess that's the question, isn't it. That's the price. Now all of us, on our job now, we're making eight dollars and- I'm a welder, belong to plumbers and fitters, eight dollars and 25 cents an hour. And. When I started out. That 30 years ago. I made a dollar and a quarter. And we worked just as long as you could work. But now that is progress on that. You see what I mean. There are unions involved there too, now. Yeah. Where do you work as a welder? I'm up at Alcoa now. Alcoa? For Foster. J.M. Foster. Welders do not have a union of their own. They follow the trade of the construction that they wish. Now he is with the plumbers and steamfitters. They do not work for Alcoa or whoever the building is being built for. They work for the contractor. That is, contractor of the builder. Could you describe before I ask you about the Ohio River here the effect on that, can you describe your work as a welder. Could you describe your day Mr. Foster as a welder? Beginning how- the very beginning of the day, you get up in the morning, a work day, five days a week? When I first started welding. Started at [serve ap?]. 19 and 27. I was a gas welder. In Department 42. Stayed there till 40. Worked there till 40. And left went in the union 41. Second day of November 1941. Could you describe your day right now as you work as a welder? Say, Monday morning, star- You're welding now up at Alcoa. Pipe. Pipe- Well tell him- Pipe welder. Start your day, tell your day, you get up in the morning. That's right. And, where do you go? Go- go to Alcoa. And what do you do. Describe your work. The exact work of a welder. Pipe welder. It's on pipe- Describe how you go around the pipes. How you join- [Unintelligble] you join the pipes together. Then you weld it. You put in, on average there's three passes what we put around. Three passes around that's a weld, that's what it is. Normally, you know, What- what sort of tools do you use? What tools do you Electric machine. Electric welding machine. And then you have a fitter. You put one pass around it. And he cleans it, with a chisel and hammer and cleans all the flag off of it. And then you put another pass on it. And he cleans that off. And then you put another one on. How many- how many of these do you do a day? Well. Sometimes it averag-. It just- it depends, now just how many. Now what size pipe you're welding on. No. If it's a big pipe, 8 inch, you usually get about 3 to 4 a day. And you do- and the locations of the [unintelligible], and where you're at. And what kind of a position you're in. And all that, that all- Is that skilled work? Huh? Skilled work- It's skilled work, yeah. Do Yes, you have to learn it. That's for sure. Tell me, does your day- how's your day go, you find it boring, or- No! uh-uh, no, uh-uh, no- He's got his training, let him tell you. He got his training at Oak Ridge for all these different type welds, so he's a high combustion welder and he has to have license. You have to take tests. Suppose we go to Oak Ridge. Now you see we're talking, I'm doing a book on it- Now, [unintelligible] something that can- and I can't say nothing about Oak Ridge. Stop saying that I can say- I don't mean classified things. I mean describe the work. I was a welder just the same as I was, I am here. Oak Ridge is- is where now it's Tennessee? Tennessee, that's right. Out of Knoxville, between Knoxville and Gatlinburg. That's where this atomic Yeah. And you know and I know that I can't say- No, I'm not talking now about classified information. I want the nature of work people do at an atomic energy plant. It's a new kind of job, you see. That's right. You see. Well, there's welding, there's oh, there's, might be anything you want [nail rods?], iron workers, and laborers, and electricians. And everything and just about anything. And now you're describing, regular old-time occupation. That's it. Oil rights, mill rights, welders, plumbers, That's right. Carpenters- Fitters. Fitters in there. Fitters, pipefitters. That's right Now we're talking about, Ima ask you about something else now. Every occupation has its hazards you know. Yeah. Were there are there special hazards connected with working in atomic energy plant? Yes. Well what are those? You've got to watch- you see this on my lip? You have a scar on your lip. Yeah. Well they put me over in a building over there, that- it blew up. And. Oakdale- well, I can't tell you what name it was. That's alright. One of the buildings blew up you said. It had blew up, yeah. And they was supposed to washed it down, everything supposed to been washed out of it. Which it was no. Supposed to be no- no rays or nothing in it. Well me and my old fitter- That's aright. Honey he don't need I don't need his name, that's alright. Well I was wanting to tell you his name but- I've got him on, yeah, I've got him on paper. So you and he- Yes I got up on this leave- a little- Ledge. ledge up here. And so you stay down there and well I, got up and tore off this cover off of the 2 inch pipe. And somehow or other that was in that- was on that ol' cover, you know. Something was on it? Yeah and I- The radiation of Radiation, The radiation- So I've got it on my glove and got it in my mouth. Well, what- how did you first become conscious of this? It just does- put out there just like a big old blood blister, just like could be a blood blister and it stuck a way out here. And well I think, you know I'll take it back after, 5- 5 or 6 months. It's one of the two 5 or 6 months that I never ate a bite of anything on, just sucks. They give me a glass straw, sucked it through this. Was it painful? Huh? Was a pain- What you think?! Oh my god. So it last about six months, that pain? And you still have a blister, what'd the doctors say? Said it was a cancer! See, it will cause cancer, as well as cure cancer. And this one damn doctor down, he wanted t- say it was a cancer and they sent this one guy cut it out. One doctor cut it out and send it into the University of Tennessee and they sent it back said there was no way no cancer whatsoever. But still, he sent it out to Oak Ridge, up there to them and the government called, you can't sue the government! You can't? That's it. That's what they- Well, did you get any compensation? Didn't get nothing! They didn't- No! They pay the doctor bills? Huh? They pay the doctor Yea, they paid doctor bills- No compensation? Are- were you out of work as a result of that? No, they let me come out there an' sit on the job. Yeah, would that- any other any other fellows get that? No, I was- oh yeah, there's a bunch of them down there but I don't know about them. Yeah, but you think others did? That's That's something- I can't say. Yeah. No I- that's Now that's- that's- the now- now if I would say that, tell you what I know, Yeah. It would be oh, well you know what I mean, but I can't do it. We're talking about yourself you now- But no commercial insurance will cover that. It's a- It's submitted any occurrence of anything from that. It's unpayable. You mean no commercial insurance covers anybody that works at an atomic energy No, no, will not cover this place on his lip. Cover that place on the lip. They- they wrote down, and they give it to- I had- it was a cancer, and they knew better. Now, but then, you see, it goes right back to- it's recorded that that had started. On the records. Yeah. But I'm thinkin' of- And- so on our commercial- his union insurance, other insurance, it says no coverage or anything from that. Yeah, yeah. So we know if that happened to him it's probably had others. How long ago was that, Mr. Foster? Let me see, honey, when did I come You came home in '46. '46? Well there was- No I mean '56. '56, that was. Fifty- It was- it was in the late- late '40s. Late '40s when that happened. '40- I believe it was '49- '49 or '50 I believe it was one of two, '49 or '50. Yeah. It was during the time of- it was making the bombs. Yeah, the time the bombs. You say that place blew up, the building blew up just like- [Unintelligble] Anybody hurt? Oh no, there was never nobody in it. Nobody See, this is- was a building that was operated- Similar to that one in Chicago..on the outside, every- Like [Oregon?] in Chicago. Yeah. Everything was operated on the outside. And- Aren't we talking about something here that's all connected? Strip mining, a new form of digging out coal, a new form of energy, atomic energy? What's happened to Ohio River? And Mrs. Foster, your wife's raising this question: is it worth it? Well that's what I wondered- is it worth it? This is a big question, isn't it? I dare not let myself think about it. People could- I had made up my mind when I sold that part of the farm, that I would never let it affect me. But now they're closing- they've closed the one entrance into our farm and we only have one in, and they've made us a new road. We ride through this new rock road. We're sure it's a fine road to what we've been going in on because their trucks and their heavy equipment had dug it out with holes until- we seldom went in our car, we went in our truck. Alright. Now we've got this new road through there, well you'd ride that new road and you look on either side of ya and all you could see is this black dirt, and ditches, and things piled up. Well if I'm doing something where I'm not using my mind like, working around the house and think of, you'd think well isn't that upright. And then as I say I fool that with this genealogy, and I copy back this 1850 Census, and '40, and I think back, what they went through to make it civilized land and things. Aren't we talking about something else Mrs. Foster and Mr. Foster, aren't are we talking about. Isn't there some other way? Isn't there some other way, do without this cost, you see. No one is denying- I'm not- you're not going to deny the matter of technology, you know, that's here one way or another. But how you do it- Hi ya M- [unintelligible] How ya doin'. -how it's being used, isn't that the question? Yeah. Now you're facing the Ohio River out there. You've seen that river for many years, haven't ya? Yes. And really viewed it the last six years from our dining room table. You ever seen from our Honey, you want those rubber bands? No. Okay. How has it changed? Well. The most of the changes we see from the river I would say is caused from the building of the new dam. Because they have to lower it and raise it for that. Now as far as pollution angle of it, I can't say a thing about that because I don't go out in a boat on the river, and I don't go up and down the river. And he doesn't either. So we can't comment on that angle of it. Did you once- No. go on that river? No. You fish- Well, oh yeah oh yeah I did. But she didn't- she wouldn't- she wouldn't go out with me when I had my boat. She wouldn't go out with me and. We go out there and we fished out quite a bit there for about two years. But she didn't go out on the river. How is fishing now, there? Well, it's pretty good they say it's pretty good. I don't know- Well it's not been this year because they raise and lower the water to work on the dam until they can't keep their nets and their trap lines in tow enough to bait them up and everything. I'm thinking I saw the smokestacks of Alcoa down the line there. Yeah. Yes. That plays a role, I imagine. If you really want to see it when it becomes dark this street goes into the river, Plumb St. goes into the river, walk down there and go down the bank as far as you can, or even- it's like a little park out there about the size of our yard and look up at the lights and you wonder, where is there a wide enough space for a boat to go through? And the Southern- Southern Indiana Gas and Electric power plant is in the background. Then Alcoa smokestacks. And you can see the smoke there coming in from Boonville this time of evening and later on if it's a rainy foggy evening, you could see the smoke curl back down instead of going up in the air. But now as far as smelling the fumes I can't- You can go up there and see your own self what stuff is running in the river, 'cause I don't know, but what it From the docks now he can see- he has seen it working it out and- What's running down the river I don't know what it is, what it's pure or not couldn't tell you. It is pitiful. But now you can ride through areas of the stripper area where it has been mined, well no more than three years. And you can see the seepage out of the dirt that has been throwed up and the water in there, and you wonder how fish grow in there, or live in there I mean, and, that is one of the places where most people go to take their dump. Kind of like the pollution and big cities, you know, I'm from Chicago, we think of pollution and the big cities and yet, it comes to smaller communities as well, doesn't it. There's no escaping it, yeah. That's right. They have- Vanderberg County has recently clamped down on it to the stage where they have set up, well, like the back end of a truck bed in different locales so that people can take their, well, their throwaways that they ordinarily have throwed away in the ditches and things and put in there. I'd like to know what percent do that, but they have put a fine on anyone caught dumping. In the middle of all this, Mr. and Mrs. Foster, you're looking for beauty, you know, you look for beauty in the middle of all this ugliness and I see your banana trees. How do you rate- isn't this for tropical- isn't this tropical phenomenon? How's this work out? Well, we picked them [unintelligible] -would take 'em up and I would take them up by next week or week after next and put them in a garage. I got the garage heated. And all you do is you just pile a whole bunch of them in these old whiskey barrels, you know like, cut it in 2 in the half, and just pile as many of 'em as you can in there. And put them in each one, you know, and put some dirt on them. Don't water 'em but just a little bit every once in a while water 'em. And, then- 'cause that way they won't grow. But if you water them, they try to go through the top of the garage. You know- Go right ahead- I was just saying, something I noticed, something just now Mrs. Foster, with your husband Carl Foster, how his eyes lit up. A while ago he was talking about his work as a welder and was casual talk and draw him out. We talked about the banana trees suddenly eyes lit up and- as oh, wouldn't it be nice if this were your livelihood instead of being a welder. [Laughs] [Laughing] I've done it for- I've done it since '27. But still, I like to get out there. I don't know nothing else but welding that's all I know, is the pipe welder, that's all I know. Oh I can get out here and you know help them with the fitters and all them but- I was thinkin' of something else, wasn't I, about the of matter that- He likes to see things grow, like that cactus there- Mm-hmm. -is having a little bloom. Well, I guess it's the country in us. We like to watch things like that grow. Winter in the house, and summer in the yard, and the row of roses across the front is his because they bloom more completely than bush roses, they're shrubbery roses. And he likes to see things grow. I guess it's the little boy in Yeah a little boy in him, maybe? And I've got a rabbit. Yeah? But- yeah- I've got- oh no, one had three right down here, right in front of Miss [Bourkes?] down there. Three and- we got one- and I get the kids out here, little ones out here, and they just they walk right up to it almost- pet it, you know what I mean? Tell how you know the good apples. [Laughing] The best red ones that's the best ones is [unintelligible] that's the ones they get. I just think it a very light evening now, very beautiful out here. Just a few yards from the Ohio River, the banana trees, leaves are blowing in this light breeze at the moment that's coming up. And this used to be rather an oasis. The Fosters have here, of beauty, and we're talking about industrialization, aren't we, taking over. So you're basically a farmer you're, you're basically someone who has to raise things- That's it. -watch things grow, this is what the conflict is in a sense, isn't it. Well, for instance, this house had been for sale for better than a year by this elderly lady that had lost her husband two years before, and they had built the house 12 years before and they'd dug sprouts of everything that they grew up with in here. Well, because of his illness for two years prior to his death, for four years nothing had been pruned or growed until you could barely see the house driving on the street, and they had a rail fence around it until the son was a doctor was asking a fairly good price for it, but nobody was interested in it because of the amount of work it would take to see the house. And nobody two ol' country jigs like us would've ever tackled it, and we cleared and hauled off about five big truckloads of brush and stuff from here in order to see the house and eventually took the rail fence and things down. So I guess it goes back to being farmers and, still likin' to live in the convenience of town. Yeah- And it was low, and we put 21 loads of dirt in ya oh, had 21 loads of dirt hauled in here, and- put in here. When you do this, after you come home from work? No, I- No we hired -had it hired and had it pulled hauled in. And then they come in leveled it all off first and the people told us when we put it in here that we would never have no grass, you know, that year, that summer. We had the prettiest lawn that anyone ever- 'cause we put fertilizer, we- I don't know how many bags of fertilizer I bought and put on there and, all the other stuff, you know, they could get, and we had the prettiest lawn that anyone or anyone around here. Yeah, pretty lawn right now as I look at it. Mmmhm! The one week that I didn't mow on Friday. First Friday I've missed mowing since, I think the first of May. But going back to banana trees, but now by taking them in. It takes- see, ordinarily a banana tree will have a stock of bananas each year. But by taking these in our garage it stuns them to the place where it takes them to be three to four years old to have bananas, and we are convinced now they is a male and a female in banana trees. Because when we only have the one here and one in another area in Evansville we never did have them. When we put them in groups thisa way, then two years ago we had the banana. Sounds like you've been making a horticultural discovery. [Laughing] That's- that's it. Mr. and Mrs. Luther Burbank. That's it. But they were beautiful. But now on the banana tree, now, one of 'em had 39 on it and the other had 36. Now that's what we kept, you know what I mean? But now the bees. Bees they were- it was pitiful. It was just like a beehive around each one of them trees. And they told me that I was supposed to put a sheet- of one of th- water or something you know- net, netting around to keep them off of it. And if it had of we would have at least, 75 or a hundred on each one of You know I can't get Season stunned it. See, the- first, I don't know what they're called. To me it looked like a [roasting ear?]. So I say the first shuck started opening up on a Labor Day. And of course this man and woman in back of the us was home and we each watched it to see how many little fingers we could see up under those leaves as they started moving. You know what [roasting ear?] is? What a shuck of corn- corn, you know, ear What's Ear of corn with shucks on it. All right, just one of them shucks would raise up, maybe 6 little ones underneath of 'em. And then go over here a little further. Another one raised up- Down. Down a little farther. -another one to raise up. And that's the way it went all the way around it, all the way around it, and then dropped down here and there'd be another one. Raised up just like a shell can now be six more of 'em just as pretty as you ever see. But they were only about that long, 'bout an inch and a half long. I can't get over the fact there, Mr. Foster, is talkin' with such vitality and such enjoyment about this work, and I had to drag out that pipefitting information. Oh, tha- Well- That's what I mean! it's just what I'm talking about, you see. Why must we live a certain kind of way? Who is deciding this thing, is what I'm trying to figure out. I know, because I've known him from childhood- We went to school together. Evansville? No in the- Warrick County, northeast Lynnville area. But you see because of his limited schooling. He didn't- never have to explain things as much. And I know sitting here. What was-we're in- he thinks because he's welded all his life everybody knows how to weld, and he knows how to do it, but it's difficult for him to explain to someone else what- what you really was trying to bring out. Nah, I was thinking of something else. I was thinking of the fact that he enjoys planting these trees more than he does welding. Well, I think that's true too. But then what I mean is, he thinks that everybody knows how to- he doesn't realize that in his local, there is only about three men that have the ability to weld as many different, you know, like, types of iron and stuff that he has, and has the license for high combustion that is required for nursing homes and things. What would you like to do, if you had your choice Mr. Foster? Living your life all over again or the years you have left. What is it you would most like to do? Well, I'd like to having me a horse- [Laughs] Like them- [Unintelligble] An ol'country plow. And get out here and just enjoy it. Let's go back to farming. That's it. That's it. What would you like to do, Mrs. Foster? Oh, I don't know, I think I'd just be satisfied doing anything that was contentment and good health. I can adapt myself to anything as long as I had good health, and- I enjoy the river immensely because there's something new every hour. Every halfa hour of the day, going up and down the river, on new boats. The waterway journal, which we signed for after we moved here, if I take time to read it weekly, I can see the different type boats maybe a month later or something. And I know, in other words, while I lived in Evansville where the river was, there wasn't transportation on the river then, and nothing of interest other than just to walk down and see the river. If there was one thing that I could wish for, would be if my father didn't have to suffer with his aches and pains that he had when he died at the age 89 would be if he could come back for just a short time and see how river transportation has come back, because that was the first place I had to take him in Evansville when he came. And then when I took him there, with our new modern Plaza and no boats tied up unloading or loading, then he cussed the progress Mhmm. of things and I don't think it ever once entered his mind that transportation on waterways would ever come back. It has. [Unintelligible] Unless you live where you see the boats pass, and you read and know what these different type- and of course I don't always know, but some I do detect from the different type barges what commodities they carry. I would be willing to bet that 95 percent of the people in Evansville don't realize how many different types commodities, or how many boats there is goes up and down the river. And you wonder where are they going and when will they be back. And if you watch you can see them. You enjoy watching them? There's a question of barge traffic and barge commerce, that is going to be discussed some other program, I know. There's another thing about this pollution. Now sometimes some of those boast, the odors from their smokestacks, 'till I'ma wondering when they're going to start on them, to have different type engines and things. You know pollutionless engines, as the question comes up. Yes. Questions always raised, in't it, about automobiles, about these boats, why aren't there- you know, it's a good question isn't it, yeah. See with this small dam we have, sometimes the boats line up here. If there is something goes wrong with the dam here, or one of them down the river, sometimes there's as many as 10 or 12 boats will line up here. When you get that many boats and you're bound to smell a little bit of the smoke from some of them. Well, I've watched the paper every day expecting to see some organization formed against them- Well, raises the question of an organizations formed against pollution or against whatever- whenever there is that contaminates our lives. You feel you have power to do these things? Question comes up- how do you describe this community? Middle-class poor people? The community, generally in Newburgh. How would you describe it economically? Well now I would say that it was pretty well a middle-class modern-day working community, because of our new housing projects and because of the work that Alcoa has created. 6 years ago when we moved here, there was still enough of the old families here that called themself natives, that it was a reserved. In other words, you walk down the street and people didn't speak to you because they're newcomers, and that. But, as the older people have passed on, and the newer generation, it's changed from that because there was no industry in this area until Aloca came for years. At one time Newburgh was a much larger place than Booneville, our county seat, or Evansville, in fact Newburgh is older than Evansville, and in the 1850s and 60s had far more businesses in their census that either of the places. And it's amazing to me now as I go down through my census and see the different type of, industries and how many doctors and the fam- the small-town doctors and drugstores and little grocery stores that at one time was in this place but, there again we've got the progress of the shopping centers and the little places will never come back. Talking about Newburgh. Once upon being bigger than- Mr. Foster just returned to the bench here outside. Evansville [had on?] about 150,000, Newberger about 3,000, 4,000? Somethin' like that. I wouldn't- I wouldn't guess, because I don't know. Because they building houses out here so, and they I'm not sure where they got it through to extend the city limits out there to take those in but we have had school problems. However, Warrick county is fortunate enough to have foreseen that in time that although they are not the type of school building they want, and are asking for appropriations for better ones they were able to admit all schoolchildren this year. Does Newburgh have a Black population? Very small. Not as many now as they had in 1860. Really? I'll Yeah, but what I mean is that less than that in 1870- After the Civil War, there was at least 30 families in this area. And I don't believe there's over 10 in this area. But to my knowledge and asking old timers here, there was never no problem in the school, and the colored children had gone to the white school. You was- never said- it was integrated, way back? It may have been way back, but not within census last startup over the country. You mean it was integrated, is that what you mean? I think it may have been at one time, I think because there is a church here that is a colored church, and there's a little building 'side it that I believe was a school building for them. But I don't know, I've never been able to find anyone that- old enough to know enough about that angle of it. But I understand there was just one time that we know of, from the police, that there's ever been any idea they could be in trouble in Newburgh. And it was supposed to been a bunch that had came to Evansville with the hopes of stirring up something, and the word came here that they was coming on the Newburgh last fall, but then the word got out. Police had closed down all the taverns and everything and we've never had any trouble- As we're talking this moment the rains are falling lightly. What about young people? What are the attitudes toward young- how young people feel in this community? Well now, you asked me somethin' and, all the kids that's here, we ain't got no kids, but we got more than anyone in Newburgh. I mean the little ones you, know what I mean, we got more kids than anyone in Newburgh. And, Hallie will- What with the candy jar [laughs]. Now I think about the young kids, teenagers you know. Well, they're- they're- Well- They're just as nice, and, to me- there's nothing in the world- that I go up there- if I go up to the corner up there to the beer joint up at Ernie's, them kids up there, I want something done, why they just piled in the truck, jump up, an' any of 'em, it don't make no difference, they just pile in there, dozen or half a dozen of and, 'course I always- if they need a quarter, half a dollar or somethin', well I'll give it to them, I don't- I don't- what them kids wouldn't do one thing in the world against us, no way, shape nor form. We don't have too much vandalism or- no fear of walking down the street at night from the teenagers or anything. The past year they've put on more police and the main trouble they've had has been, kids that have migrated from the- Evansville or other areas and tried to lead the others astray. But the local kids, I would say that percentage of them that went to high school was pretty large. Yeah and they're real good kids- Well- Go ahead Mr. Foster, you were gon' to say something? And they'll help ye if I- help me for anything. That I need to be done they're right to help me. Now if they got wiskers or if they got- it don't make no difference. I'm thinkin', now as you talk about a changing world within an industry, community where you are, two of you in this, what I call this oasis you got right here. What can you do to preserve it? I mean, what do you do to change things for the better or stop whatever you think is hurting humans? Can you do- do you feel you have to do these things, Mrs. Foster? No. And I wonder how in the world the president would have. It is, in my way of thinking, there's too many people that are saying what they would do if they had the power of the president, and- You Well- no thank you, Mr. Foster, I've had -and yet, they don't have the theory either. It's something that has to be a group working. It has to be national lives working and what to do it. I have no idea. [rain] We're listening to the rains now. And it- hitting those banana leaves. Is that thunder? And there's thunder, too. It's an autumn- autumn shower. And- man created these problems, man has created the problems you describe Mrs. Foster and Mr. Foster describes. So, it would seem that the man can solve them, too, I wonder. Or do you think, Mr. Foster, that the little man, or the ordinary person, he's a very little man [of that?], the ordinary person has a way of changing things for the better? Well, the only thing that I would say, they should drop that oh, social security down to 62. Then- then everybody- there'd be more jobs for a bunch of these kids running the street. Mmhm. Than what there is now, ya see. All that rain run them fly in there- Flies are comin' in. We never had -and that would give more kids jobs. Now I'm gonna retire in June. I'm 62. And that's what I think they should do. Drop it all down for all of them. We have it in our local now, we have about 17, an' I think it's going retire in- 62. You look forward to retirement? Huh? You look forward to it? Well, it is just what- this- here's the old thing of it. I've had my time you know. And just like these other old boys same I am, we can't climb no more and get up in steel all that dones work anymore, and give it to them young kid. Let them- we done it when we was- so give it to the young kids. That's the way I feel about it, and I think that's the way it should be done. Well, Mr. Foster, I'm delighted to have been here visiting with you, and your hospitality's been gracious. Any thought you have that we haven't touched on, about life here in Newburgh, changes you've seen, what you'd like to see? Well, like, I just hope and pray that our community can stay as peaceful and quiet, and that we never have to go through- I've tried to visualize, but I know in no way can I visualize what it would be to live like in where wars are. And I pray that the day will never come that we'll have that and tear up our part of the country, or any part of the United States, and that it will soon stop in other places. That's perhaps that's the last question, I hadn't thought about that, you- haven't thought about this connection. Has the war ever discussed here? The Vietnam War? I often think it's not discussed enough. I think everybody is too busy going about their own private lives, unless they have sons or husband, or someone dearer to them that they could think of. I think the war situation is treated far too lightly. I don't know what we could do about it. I have no idea. I don't know what the president can do about it. I have no idea. It's a- it's a terrible load to put on one man, and I get real frustrated when some of these news commentator after the president has given his speech, and they come on and they discuss it among themselves. And I know in my way of thinking, I don't think they know more about it than I do, and why they think that we're too stupid to understand what the president said. And if they- if we don't have faith in our president, how can we have faith in anything ever stopping in the war? If we don't back our president up, and if the news media don't back him up, who are we going to expect- and there again we go back to progress. Are we better off, to have these news commentator, that tells the story one way, the newspapers that tells the story another way, the radio that tells it another way? Or were we better off to go back to the days of my father's era, when we had to wait for the newspaper to hear it. What do you think? You're a thoughtful person, Mrs. Foster. You think a lot, you're independent. Which do you think is better- you say- do you think we shouldn't question someone who is in authority. Yes. There's no doubt, but what we have to question him- because the time for a new leader will be coming up. So we should question him. And we should weigh it from a lot of angles, no only from the war angles, but from the standardizing of the prices and wages, and something that will stop- I wonder sometimes if the average laborer, when he's been on a strike and he gets his increase, if he realizes that that also is going to cost commodities he's going to buy to go up. I've worked in the office of a factory for 20 years and I seen it from that angle. That they they thought they were accomplishing something by getting the 25 cents an hour raise. I've listened to him, my husband when he is getting a raise and that. But when you go back and add it up the next time you go to the grocery or the clothing store, commodities and things are prices raised. So do we gain? And if we don't let the president freeze the prices and the wages, how are we going to stop it? I was thinking about something you said earlier, aside from the wages and the price inflation, spoke of the war. You hope a time doesn't come when the land where you will live is torn up, and destroyed. Well, I've hoped that, for a long long time. But when you drove the roads within 4 or 5 miles of your home and you saw the stripper moving closer, you had to resolve yourself to the fact it was coming and just like I said a while ago about I had made up my mind I'd never let it bother me. Well, now when I ride this new road into our farm and I'm standing in the yard or someplace in this dynamite blast goes off and it shakes me or I go into our home and I see the few things we left there shook off on the floor, and the [truck rumbling] chimney bricks being knocked out, then I wonder should I have kept them farther away from my home. I think a couple of things you think about the bulldozers, the blasts taking place here. You think of the war and land being torn up. I'm wondering how Vietnamese family feels when their land is torn up. That's the same thing I thought of the last time we were up there and he was mowing and he didn't feel the vibration because of being on the rubber tires, but it shook the ground and I thought, well now how- and I looked up at the sky, and the dust had covered the entire sky, and I'm sure if I'd been close enough where the trees hadn't been between me I could see rocks and things flying, and I was thinking, well, how would it be to be in a battlefield and mortar, guns shooting and things like that flying through the air, and our homes being blasted down around us which we see on television and things. That's what people are asking, aren't Yes. [Gee?] the rain's let up, and I might have one of your beers right now. Well, let me go get- Thank you very much. Mr. Foster, thank you very much- [far away] Well, why you didn't tell me when I was outta here? No, I'm kind of stupid, I got thirsty now. Thank you very much Mrs. Foster. [laughing] Well you're quite welcome. Very delightful being here with you. Just within, about to say a stone's throw of the Ohio River, that's of Walter Johnson throwing the stone, but nonetheless it's pretty good, pretty close to that Old Man River. One thing we didn't hit on, let me ask you this question, what do you think of the progress of our going to the moon? Do you think- how many years before you think that'll be progress. I don't- It's really your views I'd like- no, well what are your thoughts about space travel? Oh thank you very much. What are your thoughts on space travel? Well, I don't know. I think it's an awful lot of money to be spent. And I wonder if the money couldn't be spent better otherwise. But again I don't think I'm intelligent enough to answer that. And I think that, they say that's the only way we go forward. One