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we were going to get. Oh! We had Bread and Roses. We were selling
posters and books and everything, there. Buttons, our Bread and
Roses buttons. You had a big banner across the street that was up for
two weeks, 1199 banner. Promos, you know, public service adds on
radio. Then on the day, television like crazy. Radio like crazy. I'm
being interviewed all over the place, with shooting scenes -- because
it's great television. Oh! What's his name, the drummer? Olatunje
performed at the end of the day. There were all kinds of bands and
music and performances. The end of the day was the Bread and
Puppet Theater. Brought them down from Vermont, paid them
something like $700 dollars for coming down from Vermont to
perform. So it was an incredible kind of thing.
I was trying to convince Van Arsdale, “Take it over. Let it be the labor
movement's.” But he didn't want to, it was too close to 1199. Al Heaps
came to us and he said, “Next year this must become the property of
the entire labor movement.” That was the last I heard from him on
that. Okay. It was an incredible kind of thing. So that's the street fair.
What does it do in terms of the image of 1199? All of these things are
big image boosters. Those are people remaining in the city. They still
run the street fair now, but they run it in to the ground. They didn't
know what to do with it. Second street fair, I remember we had the
cast of “Take Care” performing. But you know we'd up it all the time.
It would get bigger and better. But then there was, we decided to do
recordings. The first record was “Ossie and Ruby and Bread and
Roses,” in which they do their things but with a commentary that
Ossie weaves right through the whole thing, on the importance of
Bread and Roses. On the back cover he wrote an essay about what
1199 means to him. We sold it to our members. At the beginning I
didn't know what to do with these things. You know, “What do you do
with these things?” Then gradually it dawned on me -- direct mail. But
that came along later. But the other thing in the first year -- the “How
To” booklet came out in the second year.
How to do cultural programming.
Yes. Our Own Show, we worked with the American Labor
The other big thing was the idea that we should do -- we had done
every year, the union before Bread and Roses had the Negro History
Celebration. It would be at Hunter College. “This time,” I said, “We're
going all out. We're going to go to Lincoln Center.” “What are you
going to put in there?” “I don't know.” We started on this for a few
months, trying to nail Harry Belafonte down.
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