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never seen an idea come out of that place.” That began a very close
relationship with Ed Garvey.
He was a good guy.
I met with him every time he'd come to New York. I had
planned--I never brought it off, but he was going to help me on it --
he said, “We've got to work on something together.”
I said, “Look, I have an idea. Do you do have any players who are
He said, “Yes, I have a number of players who are artists.” I
remember there was a tight end who at that time was playing for
Boston, then he was traded to a championship team, who has shows.
There was this fullback on the Jets who was an artist.
“Why don't we do a show? We do a show of football players sponsored
by a union.”
He said, “Terrific. Great.”
This is all a long digression on the obstacles to using culture in the
rest of the labor movement.
I have one last question on this general area for now. I guess we'll
talk more about it later. I guess it's something I've asked you before. I
keep trying to get a--
A straight answer.
A clear answer. Maybe there isn't a simple, clear answer. I keep
wondering, did you have what I can only call a theory of labor and
culture? Did you have a worked-out idea of why it was so important
and what it would accomplish in the union?
I didn't have a worked-out theory; I had a feel of why it was
valuable and I could see how it worked. Later in Bread and Roses, I
tried to develop a theory around it to a degree -- not a theory, but it
was even more developed.
My theory was that it wasn't an accident that a good union doesn't
have to be dull, that it was important that a union had to be a living
thing. I had seen that happen in 65. In the old days when they did the
“Wholesale Mikado,” and they had dramatic groups, it was an alive
kind of thing, vibrant kind of thing. It was jumping in every direction.
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