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things had to be planned far in advance. Like “The Working American”
needed like six months or more of work to do it.
That answers the question technically, but maybe we didn't focus
on this enough. How did you come up with the various aspects of the
program? How did you decide that you wanted to, say, focus on
Lawrence, or put together -- I mean Earl Dotter you had done before.
For instance this is a good example. Why Lawrence?
First of all the fact that it was Bread and Roses was a natural.
Secondly, I was always fascinated with the story of that strike. We're
going to do Bread and Roses, we should have something on Lawrence.
I knew about Ralph's [Fasanella] pending time in Lawrence, and that
he was doing art work on it. I was familiar with it, and I asked Ralph if
we would like to do the show. He said, “Fine, great.” It would have
been a simple thing, that. This is another example of my piling things
on. Most of the times it works. Going to have a show, you have to
have a catalog, right? I remembered that the book Mill Town, by Bill
Cahn, had been published in the 1950s. I remembered that book. I
remembered that it was a very moving story of the Lawrence strike,
with photographs and documents. One page a photograph, and the left
hand page just captions. Again, one page photograph, then caption.
Telling the story. Like you can turn it fast, you know, you spin those
pages and you can see the story.
Bill Cahn and I had worked together prior to Bread and Roses. Bill was
dying when he did that history of hospital workers. At one point he
said to me, “Look, if you can help me at some time in the future, I
would like to get that book out again. That book was published by Boni
and Gaer.” The publisher no longer existed. The book was out of print.
I knew Bill's wife Rhoda. I approached her and I said, “Look Rhoda, if
it's possible I'd like to do it.” She said, “I have all the pictures. I have
everything. I have the negatives. They're for you. He left them.”
Because when Bill died, he wrote his obituary, and I helped put it in to
He wrote his own.
Yes. He knew he was dying. So I asked NEH about, “Can I re-
issue a book as a catalog?” They said, “If you can get it published,
fine.” What's the cost? I'll come to that.
Then I decided that we should have a poster. So I took one of the
posters from his works, and that was going to be the Bread and Roses
strike poster. When I was planning --
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