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Moe FonerMoe Foner
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Session:         Page of 592


The '59 strike, yes.

And then the other thing I recall was when we were starting Bread and Roses, there was one event that stands out in my mind. We were applying for grants from the endowments, the [National] Endowment for Humanities, [National] Endowment for the Arts, and we reached a point where the Endowment for the Arts were being questionable, whether they could give us enough money or their departments would release the money they had for us.

So David Searle, who's deputy chairman, came from one of the big companies, said, “Look, Moe, I'm going to arrange tomorrow a meeting in Washington. I'm going to bring in all the people from each division who have money that they could give. You speak to them and see if you can't get money from them.”

I came and I persuaded as much as I could, but these people had assigned the money they had. They sort of looked down their noses at us. One person I remember, I said that Joe Papp, we were going to do something with the Papp -- with his program in the streets, to bring it to the hospitals, and one person said -- Joe Papp at that time developed a one-man show in which he tap-danced -- and she said, I remember, “What's he going to do, tap dance?”

And when the meeting ended, I was so demoralized and so depressed that sitting outside, Mary Ann Tighe, the deputy director of the Endowment, was there. She said, “Moe, how'd it go?”

I said, “Terrible. Terrible.”

And she looked at me and she said, “Look. You've got something very good here. Don't stop. Keep pushing. You'll get it.” I remember those things very vivid.

I remember also -- and I'll stop -- the opening of Images of Labor here and in Sweden and in Italy, and going there and touring. They put out catalogs in their languages and it was seen all over the world, the most important labor exhibition ever organized here or abroad, and I'm proud of that. And meeting with people in Germany, etc. Those are good memories.


They're things that would have been hard for you to imagine doing when you were a boy in Williamsburg. What qualities do you think that you brought? You spoke about luck, being in the right place at the right time, but what qualities do you think you brought to those situations that enabled you to do what you just described? Someone

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