Audio Recordings "Either shining shoes, or stockboy, or washing cars, washing windows; I did anything in order to make a buck."

Format Audio Recordings
Contributors Carroll, Thomas D.
Garcia, Felix
Dates 1994
Location New Jersey
United States
Language English
Subjects 21st Avenue (Paterson, N. J.)
Child Labor
Law Enforcement
New Jersey
Oral History
Sound Recordings
Work Ethic
"Either shining shoes, or stockboy, or washing cars, washing windows; I did anything in order to make a buck."
Contributor Names
Garcia, Felix (Narrator)
Carroll, Thomas D. (Interviewer)
Created / Published
Subject Headings
-  Child labor--New Jersey
-  Oral history
-  Interviews
-  Sound recordings
-  Work ethic
-  Law enforcement
-  21st Avenue (Paterson, N. J.)
-  Ethnography
-  United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
-  Interview with Felix Garcia.
-  Summary of audio segment: FG and his brother washed cars. FG remembers there were a lot of markets on Washington Street, fruit markets. FG would hang out and help, get a few dollars. Used to shine shoes at City Hall, and went to the old bus terminal on Market Street, and FG used to shine shoes there for 15 cents. He went home with 2 dollars and gave it to his mother. He's help at stores, take the garbage out, sweep the floors, stock shelves. If his mother needed a loaf of bread, milk, some rice, FG would go out and work for it. He was never one to sit around, he was always out hustling. And never took anything from anyone. FG says he even picked strawberries on a farm when he was 15 years old, 75 cents a day, at afarm in Fair Lawn. So he's worked all his life, as far back as he can recall, shining shoes, as a stockboy, washing cars, washing windows, did everything to make a buck. Did parents encourage that? FG says no, but they were happy he did it, that he wasn't willing to wait for them to do things for him. When he was 16 worked for a factory where they madepocketbooks, shower caps, toothbrushes, etc. And FG told the guy there he was 18 years old inorder to get the job. He used the money he made there to buy himself and his brother some clothes,to give his parents relief from buying them things. And at that age he didn't want to wear $2.98sneakers, etc. wanted to look a little decent. Because you had to go to church on Sunday, and that'swhere you saw the girls, and Friday nights to the CYO.
Digital Audio Tape
Call Number
AFC 1995/028: WIP-TDC-A018
Source Collection
Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id

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Working in Paterson Project collection, 1993-2002 (AFC 1995/028), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

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