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Moe FonerMoe Foner
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theaters on Theater Row. “Let's do something in the theaters -- they're closed that time.” Labor film festival, free films. You know, “Rosie the Riveter,” you know, “Salt of the Earth.” In two theaters, admission free, with a schedule. Then, “What can the hospital workers do?” Well hospital workers could do something through our health care committees. Free blood pressure, work with Blue Cross -- Blue Cross was bringing down people on health, different booths on health and distribute material.

Then, “What can unions do? Let's get booths of hands-on things.” My first idea, I couldn't ever carry it out. I tried to convince Van Arsdale to do it. “Let's bring in machines. Let's in the street show them making things, building things!” Couldn't get it done. I had to settle for -- my brother Henry got in furriers, and brought in models to model fur. [laughter] John Hudson sold hats there, you know, the hatmakers. The transport workers working -- “Bring in a bus.” [laughs] “People can sit in a bus and give a talk about the bus.” Okay, crazy.

Through someone I knew I got to somebody. This is a group of minority women who are being trained for the construction trades, who were having all kinds of problems with the unions. So I said, “Okay,” because I knew the woman in charge, her mother, from Camp Woodland. So she brought them in, and what did they do? They built a house in the street. They built a house in the street! You know, they built the frame of a house. So workers could come up and talk to them while they were building it.

Then the stages, what kind of performances? Folk music. You know, you get everybody in their shows. I remember the guy who played Daddy Warbucks in the musical “Annie” came. All kinds of performances. I got somebody who could run a street fair, you know. Ira Weitzman. Ira had run street fairs, so I hired him to run a street fair. That means for three months he would be in charge of putting together a street fair. We got somebody -- he had to get sound. He got Scott Lehrer. Scott Lehrer now runs Tapestry Sound Studios. Ira Weitzman is now one of the directors of Playwrights Horizon. I needed a singer for this thing, and a pianist. No, the singer Howard got, he came with a pianist.

That street fair ended, it went to six o'clock. We used to pray it wouldn't rain. We wouldn't have known what to do. We had large committees of members who were manning booths. You know, “You work the early shift, you work the late shift.” That kind of thing, with rank and filers. We must have had about two hundred members involved in the thing -- it was a huge kind of thing! I didn't know what

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