Audio Recording "Garbage has to be picked up, and we are the guys that do it."

More Resources

About this Item

"Garbage has to be picked up, and we are the guys that do it."
Contributor Names
Jones, Lee (Narrator)
Levitas, Susan, 1961- (Interviewer)
Created / Published
Subject Headings
-  Restaurants
-  Oral history
-  Interviews
-  Sound recordings
-  Hours of labor
-  Refuse collectors
-  E & A Soul Food Restaurant (Paterson, N.J.)
-  Ethnography
-  United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
-  Short conversations with customers at E & A Soul Food Restaurant.
-  Summary of audio segment: Connie, the other waitress, introduces George who works at BFI sanitation; then she introduces Lee, her husband; Connie says, "here's two black men that work very hard in this town"; Lee Jones says they sometimes come in here; they start at 5 a.m. and work until theyare finished, sometime it is 7 or 8 p.m.; it pays well and is a steady job and it's one of the most important jobs there is besides fireman, policemen and others. "We are making a decent living at it; we do the best we can. No matter what day it is, what time it is, we have to go. Where other people have 9 to 5, we have 5 until whatever time -- 7 or 8 at night --holidays, every holiday, we have no time off at all, we just start earlier and whatever time we get finished that's our holiday," (he laughs); they work in Paterson, but company has offices all around the country; "All that ice and snow that we had, what have you, we was out there when other people were home. Christmastime when you were home in your bed, one, two in the morning, we were out there working, you know. Garbage has to be picked up and we are the guys that do it" (he laughs).
Analog Audio Cassette
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1995/028: WIP-SL-A008
Source Collection
Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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 American Folklife Center and the professional 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

Working in Paterson Project collection, 1993-2002 (AFC 1995/028), 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:

Jones, Lee, and Susan Levitas. "Garbage has to be picked up, and we are the guys that do it.". -08-11, 1994. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jones, L. & Levitas, S. (1994) "Garbage has to be picked up, and we are the guys that do it.". -08-11. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jones, Lee, and Susan Levitas. "Garbage has to be picked up, and we are the guys that do it.". -08-11, 1994. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.