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Moe FonerMoe Foner
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Session:         Page of 592

Q:

How did you feel during that period? I mean, what were your thoughts?

Foner:

Well, obviously it was a very, very difficult kind of thing to see your whole life's work end in this way. Not the way I planned to end my -- I didn't feel that I was ready to retire! When I retired I did not really retire, but my wings had been cut off. It was a very very difficult time. Even when I announced my retirement Doris said -- somebody must have said, “You've got to do something. Moe's been there thirty- odd years.” So Telbert King came to me and said, “We'd like to give you a party.” I said, “Look, I don't really want a party.” He said, “No no no, we want to do this. Doris wants a party for you, and we want you to have whatever you want in terms of who should we invite, and who should speak at it, and that kind of thing.” So I said, “Alright,” and I deliberately did not invite my friends from the outside. I did not invite Ossie to it. I called Ossie and I said, “There's a party but I'm not going to invite you to it because I don't regard it as a party. It's not a celebration.” Henry came, my brother Henry came. Nobody else came. Since I would arrange the speakers I invited Davis to speak, Jesse to speak, Nick to speak. Doris had a speech. Judy spoke. Then I spoke. I made a sort of tactical speech. I spoke about the past and about what this union meant, and what it means. I didn't engage in attacks on anybody, but it was quite clear what I was talking about. The national was still in the building, so for the first two months of my retirement I moved out of my office down to the second floor, an office was created for me with Louise Jonsson, Tony Gillotte was there. By the end of the year the national decided to move here, and I came here.

Q:

Here being 330 West 42nd Street.

Foner:

330 West 42nd Street. I've been here ever since, and I've been doing things with the national. Obviously, I have been involved with other things as well.

Q:

When, exactly, did you retire.

Foner:

November 1st of 1982.

Q:

Do you remember any other particular incidents from that period leading up to the retirement that kind of suggests what the situation was like?

Foner:

I remember the meetings of the executive council. I remember the meeting on the Koch endorsement, because I was there. We had decided that we wanted to endorse -- it was almost a natural thing that we would have an endorsement of Cuomo in that primary. So it



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