Top of page

Audio Recording Michael LaTrace interview conducted by Jaime Lopez, 2017-06-06.

Audio recording of interview with Michael LaTrace.
Audio recording of interview with Michael LaTrace.

About this Item

Title

  • Michael LaTrace interview conducted by Jaime Lopez, 2017-06-06.

Summary

  • Initiated into Local Union #3 in 1975, Michael LaTrace is currently the General Foreman at 2 Penn and 1 Penn Plaza in Midtown Manhattan. Born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Michael recalls his neighborhood and his early school days at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He talks about his vegetable garden; his earlier jobs as a lifeguard, a milkman, mozzarella cheese maker, and sorting construction material at his family contracting business. His Uncle John LaTrace, a Bell Telephone worker, convinced Michael to join the apprenticeship program. He expresses gratitude for Harry Van Arsdale Jr. and Local 3 and is amazed that, after 42 years in the business, he still learns something new everyday. Michael talks about a longtime partner and good friend, Tommy Pellattere, how much he learned from him, and how Tommy is "pound for pound, the greatest journeyman in Local 3." He tells stories about the installation work they did and their adventures. He discusses how improvements in safety on the job site are a welcome change; the harsh deadlines General Contractors impose on workers today; improvements in tools--the battery-powered mini-bandsaw is his favorite. Drawing on his long career, he recounts some fabulous tales, including working at John Lenon's apartment; being the first Local 3 apprentice ever to go on furlough; almost winning the life saving award; and working at Studio 54 at the height of disco. Nearing retirement (on 09/01/2017), his self-proclaimed humorous titles include "Biggest calves in Local #3," "King of Electricity," first to use the whistle in the disco, and first to wear his baseball cap backwards.

Names

  • LaTrace, Michael, interviewee.
  • Lopez, Jaime, 1986- interviewer.
  • Occupational Folklife Project, sponsor.

Created / Published

  • 2017-06-06

Headings

  • -  LaTrace, Michael--Interviews
  • -  Accidents
  • -  Apprenticeship programs
  • -  Blue collar workers
  • -  Courtesy in the workplace
  • -  Education
  • -  Employee morale
  • -  Employee ownership
  • -  Employees
  • -  Employees--Training of
  • -  Families
  • -  Handicraft
  • -  Hazardous occupations
  • -  Hobbies
  • -  Humor in the workplace
  • -  Income
  • -  Jargon (Terminology)
  • -  Job satisfaction
  • -  Job security
  • -  Job stress
  • -  Joking
  • -  Labor unions
  • -  Manners and customs
  • -  Mentoring
  • -  Music
  • -  Non-formal education
  • -  Occupational therapy
  • -  Occupational training
  • -  Oral tradition
  • -  Part-time employment
  • -  Performance standards
  • -  Practical jokes
  • -  Promotions
  • -  Quality of products
  • -  Quality of work life
  • -  Retirement
  • -  Social life and customs
  • -  Storytelling
  • -  Supervisors
  • -  Technical education
  • -  Technology
  • -  Training needs
  • -  Unfair labor practices
  • -  Vocational education
  • -  Vocational interests
  • -  Wages
  • -  Work and family
  • -  Work environment
  • -  Work ethic
  • -  Work-life balance
  • -  Workmanship
  • -  Youth
  • -  Electricians--New York (State)--New York--Interviews
  • -  Electric industry workers--New York (State)--New York--Interviews
  • -  Manhattan (New York, N.Y.),--event place

Genre

  • Sound recordings
  • Digital photographs--Color--2010-2020
  • Interviews
  • Oral histories
  • Personal narratives

Notes

  • -  Interviewers notes- Mike LaTrace and I have worked together for over a decade in the Madison Square Garden area, and because of that special bond that we have built, it was particularly difficult NOT to ask him to retell the stories I have heard dozens of times before, and love hearing again. I have watched Mike accomplish some amazing things during our time together. He has taught me worlds about this electrical industry and more importantly the power of humor, always making space to smile in our demanding jobs. Thank you Mike for being a great role model and teacher throughout the years, I'm going to miss you buddy! -Jaime Lopez
  • -  Recorded at the Union's office at Penn Plaza, Manhattan, New York, June 6, 2017.
  • -  Illuminating history: union electricians in New York City, Archie Green Fellows Project, 2016-2017 (AFC 2016/035: 03627) Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  • -  To honor the memory of Archie Green (1917-2009), a fellowship program was established at the American Folklife Center in 2010. Archie Green Fellowships support new research in the contemporary culture and traditions of American workers.
  • -  In English.

Medium

  • 1 sound file (wav) (00:54:42) : digital, sound.
  • 7 photographs : digital, jpg, color.
  • 1 manuscript : pdf, text file.

Source Collection

  • Illuminating history: union electricians in New York City, Archie Green Fellows Project, 2016-2017 AFC 2016/035: 03627

Repository

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2020655322

Rights Advisory

  • Duplication of collection materials may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

Access Advisory

Online Format

  • image
  • audio
  • pdf

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.

The individuals documented by the Occupational Folklife Project retain copyright and related rights to the use of their recorded and written testimonies and memories.  They have granted the Library of Congress permission to provide access to their interviews and related materials for purposes that are consistent with the agency’s educational mission, such as publication and transmission, in whole or in part, on the Web. Project participants’ written permission is required for any commercial, profit-making distribution, reproduction, or other use beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

The American Folklife Center and the Occupational Folklife Project fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance. 

Credit line

Agricultural Aviation: Crop Dusters in Rural America: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2020-2021 (AFC 2020/007), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Baton Rouge Small Businesses and Trades: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2014-2015 (AFC 2014/023), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Beyond the Breakwater: Gulf of Alaska Small-Boat Fishermen: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2021-2022 (AFC 2021/007), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

The "Big Top" Show Goes On: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2011-2012 (AFC 2012/003), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Boeing Aircraft Factory Workers: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2012-2013 (AFC 2012/036), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cement Workers in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2020-2021 (AFC 2020/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Commercial Bookbinders: Occupational Folklife Project, 2017-2018 (AFC 2017/021), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Community Health Workers in Downstate New York: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2021-2022 (AFC 2021/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cultural Traditions of Ironworkers in America's Upper Midwest: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2011-2012 (AFC 2011/062), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Custodians and Janitors in Colorado: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2021-2022 (AFC 2021/012), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Dairy Farm Workers in New York's North Country: Archie Green Fellows project, 2012-2013 (AFC 2012/033), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Doctoring: The Occupational Folklore of Physicians: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2019-2020 (AFC 2019/030), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Domestic Workers United: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2015-2016 (AFC 2015/027), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Ethnic Grocers in the Urban Midwest: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2014-2015 (AFC 2013/016), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Finding Roots: Asian American Farmers in Contemporary America: Occupational Folklife Project, 2020-2021 (AFC 2020/014), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Fixing, Mending, Making New: North Carolina's Repair Professionals: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2020-2021 (AFC 2020/009), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Fresh Produce Workers in Arizona: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2015-2016 (AFC 2015/028), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Funeral Services Workers in the Carolinas: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2016-2017 (AFC 2016/037), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Grass-Roots Agriculture in Vermont: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2014-2015 (AFC 2014/022), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

The Green Book--Documenting African American entrepreneurs: Archie Green Fellows project, 2018-2019 (AFC 2018/029), Archie Green Fellows Project American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Hairdresser and Beauty Shop Culture in America: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2011-2012 (AFC 2012/035), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Homeless Shelter Workers in the Upper Midwest: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2016-2017 (AFC 2016/034), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Hope for Recovery: Peer Support Workers in Kentucky: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2020-2021 (AFC 2020/010), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Illuminating History: Union Electricians in New York City: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2016-2017 (AFC 2016/035), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Immigrant Women Artists in Oklahoma: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2020-2021 (AFC 2020/011), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Independent Professional Wrestlers in Central Appalachia: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2019-2020 (AFC 2019/029), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Kitchen Workers in Central Ohio: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2017-2018 (AFC 2017/020), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Midwives, doulas, and birth workers in North Carolina: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2019-2020 (AFC 2019/027), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Multigenerational African-Descended Farmers of the Midwest: Surviving Erasure: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2019-2021 (AFC 2019/028), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Nursing America's Veterans: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2020-2021 (AFC 2020/012), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Personal Home Health Care Aides in Michigan: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2017-2018 (AFC 2017/018), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Production Potters of the Midwest: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2018-2019 (AFC 2018/030), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Psychiatric nurses in Wisconsin: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2018-2019 (AFC 2018/032), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Ranger Lore: The Occupational Folklore of Park Rangers: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2013-2015 (AFC 2013/014), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

The Ransomville Speedway: Dirt Track Racing in Western New York: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2020-2021 (AFC 2020/013), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Recent Immigrant Workers in Iowa's Meatpacking Industry: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2015-2016 (AFC 2015/026), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Rural Free Delivery: Mail Carriers in Central Appalachia: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2021-2022 (AFC 2021/010), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Stable Views: Voices and Stories from the Thoroughbred Racetrack: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2011-2012 (AFC 2012/034), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Taking Care--Documenting the Occupational Culture of Home Care Workers: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2014-2015 (AFC 2014/021), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress)

Teaching in Wisconsin Classrooms: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2013-2015 (AFC 2013/017), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Tobacco Workers of the Connecticut River Valley: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2014-2015 (AFC 2014/020), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Training the Troops: Military Role-Players of Fort Polk, Louisiana: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2017-2018 (AFC 2017/019), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Trash Talk: Workers in Vermont's Waste Management Industry: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2018-2019 (AFC 2018/031), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Washington State Workers: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2012-2013 (AFC 2012/032), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Western Folklife Center Occupational Folklore Project: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2011-2012 (AFC 2011/064), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Winery Workers in Virginia: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2017-2018 (AFC 2017/017), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Women Architects: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2019-2020 (AFC 2019/031), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Working the Port of Houston: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2011-2012 (AFC 2012/006), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Working the Waterfront, New Bedford, Massachusetts: Archie Green Fellows Project, 2016-2017 (AFC 2016/036), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Latrace, Michael, Interviewee, Jaime Lopez, and Sponsor Occupational Folklife Project. Michael LaTrace interview conducted by Jaime Lopez, -06-06. -06-06, 2017. Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/2020655322/.

APA citation style:

Latrace, M., Lopez, J. & Occupational Folklife Project, S. (2017) Michael LaTrace interview conducted by Jaime Lopez, -06-06. -06-06. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2020655322/.

MLA citation style:

Latrace, Michael, Interviewee, Jaime Lopez, and Sponsor Occupational Folklife Project. Michael LaTrace interview conducted by Jaime Lopez, -06-06. -06-06, 2017. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2020655322/>.