Audio Recording "Those were beautiful, wonderful days."

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About this Item

"Those were beautiful, wonderful days."
Contributor Names
Jones, Howard (Narrator)
Levitas, Susan, 1961- (Interviewer)
Created / Published
Subject Headings
-  African Americans
-  Child labor--New Jersey
-  Oral history
-  Interviews
-  Sound recordings
-  Work processes
-  Wages
-  Economic aspects of war
-  Shoe shiners
-  World War, 1939-1945
-  Ethnography
-  United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
-  Interview with Howard Jones, worm farmer.
-  Summary of audio segment: "I used to shine shoes until twelve or one at night. No shoe shine boys now; kids don't do things like that nowadays. They're getting $2.00 for shoe shines now -- I was getting a nickel! I helped raise the price to 10 cents during the war. We had shoe shine parlors then. I travelled all over town. You don't go on someone else's corner; police harassed us in the uptown area because they were protecting the older shoe shiners. We'd do politicians and lawyers up there, but cops would take our shoe shine boxes. I went to certain bars; I had a team with me and I'd make music with a rag and the other boy would tap dance. But I didn't look black, so I got by and wouldn't get kicked out of places. I used to make more than my mother made all week just in a weekend. My mother made $12.00 a week, and I made that on the weekend. People would tip.
Digital Audio Tape
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1995/028: WIP-SL-A018
Source Collection
Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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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, Howard, and Susan Levitas. "Those were beautiful, wonderful days.". -08-28, 1994. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jones, H. & Levitas, S. (1994) "Those were beautiful, wonderful days.". -08-28. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jones, Howard, and Susan Levitas. "Those were beautiful, wonderful days.". -08-28, 1994. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.