yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

My Year at Salant - 1954/55

by Justine Moore Chance

I was a student at Union University, Jackson, TN but dropped out a year in 1954/55 to help my dad, Jim Moore with the care of my arthritic mother, Verna.  I also applied for work at Salant and Salant Pants Factory( I think the factory was no longer selling shirts at that time) just that year to help earn money for future schooling.

I drove my dad's old Desota for a while then heard of a taxi service going to the factory, daily.  I joined the group of Perryville women workers and paid the driver, Jay T. Moore 25 cents for the 5 miles from Sardis Ridge to Parsons and 25 cents for the return fare home.  I remember two of the women in the car pool: Lockie Allen and Galdys Gregory.  I remember Jay T. being a lot of fun and a good country road driver.

I had been hired as a "tacker"and quickly learned my job of tacking size labels on the pant's waist bands there  amongst a row of other tackers at their machines. These women were: Edith Laster, full of fun and always looking out for a young novice like me, Elberta Miller, kind and skilled at her job, wife of June who was one of the men who stacked pants on our tables. Mary Lou Brewer, equally kind and skilled as a tacker and I think Lillian Rushing ? was another. We had a lot of laughs and never missed a beat on our machines.  We were careful not to fall "below production" the amount of pants we were expected to tack.

The stackers were men who went to the stacks brought loads of finished pants, laid them on our table beside our machine then as we finished tacking a load,  picked it up and placed it in the "ready to ship" area. Some of these men were June Miller, James Rushing, and Roger ?__ .  The name of the foreman escapes me.  He checked our production and was a nice young man. Once he  allowed me to take a day off to attend a banquet at Union but I do recall it was only because he was verbally shamed by my fellow tackers when he first said no.

We had a Christmas party of sorts and exchanged gifts. I think it was during the lunch half-hour. I still have the gift from the person who drew my name, a rhinestone broach from James.  I wonder about those nice people and ask about Mary Lou when I go into Lackey's Grocery Store and see Mary Lou's daughter, Sandra. I asked Charlotte Lackey Curtis about the others.  I know Edith passed away because I see Jerry, her son at our 1952 class reunions and I ask about his family.

Those were the "Good old Days"!

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