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"A Tradition in Storytelling"

Author and Book Information

JUDY GLANTON MCKINLEY
Judy Glanton  McKinley, a former cotton mill worker, was  employed in the mills for twenty-nine years.  Having been diagnosed with byssinosis (brown-lung  disease),  she is no longer able to work in the  dust-laden environment of the few remaining  mills. She grew up and still lives on the same  mill village where four generations of her family  lived and worked.  Some years ago, she watched  hopelessly as the mill, where most members of her  family had worked for so long, closed its doors  forever.
A SOUTHERN LEGACY - Life  on a Mill Village
When the textile industry began moving  south in the1920's, mill villages quickly grew up near  the plants, their primary design and purpose to provide  housing and services for mill workers. The  close  relationship between the mill employees and their  company, as well as to each other, provided a positive  social atmosphere wherein the mill furnished nearly all  the workers' needs in the form of  schools, churches, a  community store and barber shop, and a variety of social  activities. Workers, spending as much as two-thirds of  their daily lives together, formed unusually close ties  that became  treasured throughout their lives. Everyone  knew their neighbors, who were of course also their  fellow employees, and shared in nearly all aspects of  their lives. Indeed, life on a mill village was quite   unlike life anywhere else in the world, especially during  the years the mills flourished. Many of these mills began  closing in the late 1970's and early 1980's, primarily  because of new technologies and cheaper  imports from  other countries, thereby erasing a lifestyle cherished by  most of these mill workers. Many of them, having known no  other way of life, felt their world crumbling around  them.This is the story of  one of those mill villages and  the people whose lives were molded by their experiences  of living and working on a mill village. Share in their  agony and devastation upon the closing of the mill, which  more  than anything else bound their lives together and  provided a reason for their existence. Read of one  woman's family and how the closing of the mill affected  every fiber of their being.

A Tradition in Story Telling
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