Friday, March 27, 2015

Port Gibson Oil Works 4

Port Gibson, Mississippi 

Percy McGloster, 52, worked in the ancient seed-crushing building. . . ”I started working there when I was 19,” Mr. McGloster said. ”My daddy worked there. He worked there for 50 years. He loved that oil mill. He used to love to hear that old whistle blow.”

At work one day in late May, Mr. McGloster said, ”They said, ‘You all get yourselves together’ in the clapboard office. We’re going to close it down', they said. They said the mill wasn’t putting out enough production. It didn’t make sense. We were putting out good production. We were booming.

"It was a hurting thing to walk in there and tell my wife I didn’t have a job any more. You know a husband, he always got to be strong. Even when you’re hurting, you got to act like things aren’t hurting.”

 excerpted from  A Vestige of King Cotton Fades Out in Mississippi by Peter T. Kilborn. Published in the New York Times, October 18, 2002


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