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Welcome to stuff you missed in History Class A production of I Heart Radio. Hello and welcome to the podcast. I'm Tracy Wilson. And I'm Holly Fry. We're coming up on the fifth anniversary of the start of the Delano grape strike.
And that strike led to an international boycott of table grapes as grape workers in California were trying to get better pay and working conditions and union contracts that covered their work.
This all happened just after the end of the program, which was an agreement between the United States and Mexico to allow Mexican workers to enter the United States to do agricultural work. We actually covered that program on a previous episode of the show, and we rereleased that as a Saturday classic a couple of weeks ago. The Birthright program episode isn't necessarily required to understand this one, but it does cover some of the background that we're not going to be going over again in detail today.
But we do have some other context to cover, and that is the evolution of agricultural labor in California. The United States annexed California from Mexico in 1846. At that point, California had about 150000 indigenous residents and about 14000 non-Indigenous residents, most of whom were Spanish or were Mexicans of European descent. California formally became part of the US after the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848.
Then during the gold rush, which started shortly after that, California's demographics changed really dramatically. By 1870, which was just 20 years after California became a U.S. state, it had a population of more than 560000. Although many people trace their ancestry back to Spain or Mexico, only about four percent of the population spoke Spanish. The state also had made a really coordinated and systemic effort to eradicate its indigenous population. So by 1870, California only had about 30000 indigenous people.
At this point, California also had about 50000 Chinese residents. Many had originally come to the U.S. to help build the transcontinental railroad. When the railroad was finished, many went on to work in agriculture and for a while Chinese immigrants were a major part of the agricultural workforce of California.
But as we have discussed on several previous episodes in the United States in general and in California specifically, Chinese people faced increasing prejudice and persecution in the late 19th century, people were blaming Chinese workers for job shortages and low pay. In 1882, the US passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned all immigration from China for 10 years. Chinese people who remain in the U.S. after this were barred from becoming citizens.
And if they left the country, they had to have certification to re-enter the agriculture industry still needed workers, though, and as the number of Chinese workers dropped, growers looked to Japanese workers instead. Many were highly skilled and experienced farmers who work together in tight knit crews that introduced new cultivation techniques to the industry. One of those was the short handled hoe, which was used for precise, delicate tasks. Japanese workers alternated the use of a short handled hoe with other tasks to prevent injury, strain and fatigue.
Japanese agricultural workers were also really savvy about how they were compensated for their work. They really understood that their knowledge and their skills were making California farms a lot more productive with better quality produce. And they also understood that if they left, growers would not be able to find anyone to replace them on really short notice. So, for example, Japanese work crews often agreed to a lower rate of pay at the start of the season, knowing that the harvest would give them a lot of leverage to negotiate for more.
This meant that by 1997, Japanese immigrants had become the highest paid workers in California agriculture.
By that point, Japanese workers were facing similar discrimination to what Chinese workers had before, and the U.S. took multiple steps to restrict immigration from Japan.
This ultimately led to the Immigration Act of 1924, also known as the Johnson Reid Act. This act set quotas on how many people could immigrate to the U.S. from different countries, and it banned immigration from most of Asia entirely.
As the number of Japanese farm workers in California dropped, the number of workers from Mexico increased basically the same cycle. They had lost one immigrant community. Another one was coming in. And the short handled hoe, which had been one of several tools that Japanese workers had used in the fields, that became almost the exclusive tool for weeding and cultivating in California. This work using the Short-Handed who came to be known as stoop labor. If you've ever seen pictures of people doing this.
You're literally bent over like you're touching your toes in the field for hours at a time, although growers claimed that this was really because long handled hose could harm the plants.
In reality, it was also about making sure people were working and working quickly. Supervisors could just look into the fields from a distance and judge whether people were working by whether they were stooped over. And since getting to the end of a row meant workers got to stand up as they move to the next one, the short handled hoe provided extra incentive to keep moving as efficiently as possible.
Mexican workers also faced a similar pattern of discrimination to what Japanese and Chinese workers had before them, and there were similar efforts to restrict immigration from Mexico. That is something that is covered in that earlier episode on the Pesaro program. But during these same years, the United States was also seeing a different wave of immigration that central to this story, and that is immigration from the Philippines. Spain started colonizing the Philippine archipelago in the 16th century. Then after the Spanish American war ended in 1898, Spain ceded Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States and it sold the Philippine Islands to the United States for 20 million dollars.
Filipino nationalists had already been engaged in an uprising against Spanish colonial rule, and that uprising continued as the U.S. tried to take control. This led to the Philippine American war, in which four thousand three hundred American and 20000 Filipino combatants were killed. More than 200000 Filipino civilians also died from violence, hunger and disease.
Yes, this war was absolutely devastating for the Philippines in terms of the loss of human life and economy, all of that. But once the Philippines were officially a U.S. territory, that meant Filipinos were allowed to enter the United States even when all of the other immigration from Asia was banned. Between 1946 and 1935, the U.S. saw a wave of migration from the Philippines. Some of the new arrivals were students, but a lot of them became agricultural workers or they worked in other manual labor industries.
During these years, more than one hundred and 25000 Filipinos moved to the U.S. territory of Hawaii to work in the sugar industry. Most who arrived on the North American continent, which was about forty five thousand people. They continued to work in agriculture along the West Coast or in the fishing and canning industry in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska territory. Obviously, not 100 percent of people were doing these roles, but it was a major source of employment for Filipino workers.
Many Filipinos who arrived in the U.S. before the start of the Great Depression planned for this to be a temporary relocation. They would earn some money and then return home to the Philippines. But that quickly proved to be impossible. The rate of pay for agricultural workers seemed generous when compared to what people could make in the Philippines. But in the United States, it was barely enough to live off of. There was just no way to save enough money for the return trip.
And at various points, including during World War Two, other circumstances made it impossible.
And like all of the other agricultural workers that we have already mentioned, Filipino workers faced extensive discrimination and hardship. They were considered to be American nationals, but not citizens. So they didn't have full citizenship rights. Several states, starting with California, passed antimiscegenation laws that prohibited Filipinos from marrying people of other races or nationalities, since most Filipinos in the United States were met by an enormous percentage. This meant that most of them could not marry at all.
And there was also widespread racism, including racist violence in all of this in 1930 for the U.S. past, the Tydings McDuffee Act, which set the stage for the Philippines to become independent. It also set a quota of just fifty five zero immigrants from the Philippines to the United States per year. Although Filipinos already in the U.S. were allowed to become citizens, that also involved a quota of only 100 people per year. That quota was in place until 1965. So this put many of the Filipino men already in the United States in a uniquely difficult position and women also.
But the focus of this episode is really on men. They had been nationals, but with this act, they were aliens. Most of them had planned for a temporary relocation, but instead they were stuck in the United States, prohibited from marrying and barred from becoming full citizens. With this quota, most couldn't buy homes because of both money and real estate discrimination and this change in their status to being aliens instead of now. Although since the work that they were doing was migratory and seasonal and the agricultural industry, buying a home would also mean paying for property that you weren't living in for a lot of the year also meant having to pay for housing somewhere else.
While you were working, there was a repatriation act that was passed during all this that that would have allowed people to return to the Philippines without having to pay for it. But there were just a lot of obstacles to it and only about two thousand people were able to do it or chose to do it before it was declared unconstitutional in 1940. Many businesses and public accommodations in the midst of all of this refused service to Filipinos. So a lot of them spent most of their free time at the few businesses that catered specifically to them.
They played cards at gambling houses or they went to taxi dance halls where they paid partners by the dance. This led to a perception within the Anglo community that all Filipinos cared about was cards and women. It's if you read stories from the people who were part of this community, it's clear that they loved to put on a nice suit and go out and have a good time. And the perception became like, that's all you care about without really taking into consideration all of the social factors that had sort of created a box, that this was the only recreation that was available.
Right. So this generation of Filipino men became known as Manon's. That's a term of respect and the Ilocano language. And it roughly means elder or elder brother, like it's both a term of endearment and a term of respect. By the time of the strike that we're talking about today, most of them had been in the United States for decades. They were in their 50s and 60s. And then we'll talk about how this community in California organized to strike after we take a quick sponsor break.
California's agricultural workers have been advocating for better pay and working conditions for decades before the Delano grape strike, previous strikes had secured some pay increases, usually of a few cents an hour. But they hadn't led to things like union recognition or contracts or improvements to the working and the housing conditions that workers were facing. Because this work was migratory, workers often lived in camps that were provided by the growers. Often conditions in these camps just were not sanitary without enough showers or bathrooms to accommodate all the workers.
Electricity was limited to nonexistent workers often did not have access to bathrooms or places to wash their hands or drinking water in the fields either. Or if there were facilities, they were often filthy and very poorly maintained. There had also been some efforts to unionize farm workers and for decades they hadn't really been successful. But in 1960, the AFL-CIO chartered the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, or RWC, which started trying to organize farm workers in this case in California, a quasi opposition to the Bracero program was part of what led the United States government to let that program lapse.
At the end of 1964, Larry Itliong was tapped to head up the quasi local in Delano, California. Itliong had arrived in the United States from the Philippines in 1929. At the age of 15. He had hoped to go to law school, but instead became a migrant worker. Before long, he was also organizing workers all along the West Coast, including in the salmon industry in Alaska. He was nicknamed Seven Fingers because he had lost three fingers in a work accident.
This is like an almost legendary story in terms of that nickname. It's not 100 percent clear. You'll see different accounts of when the accident happened and what was involved.
Unlike most of the Filipino immigrants of his generation, Itliong was married. He actually married several times. He was living with his family in the Stockton, California, neighborhood known as Little Manila before moving to Delanoe. And that was about four hours away as the AWU ossy in the Delanoe area grew. Most of its members were Filipino. In 1965, Filipino grape workers demanded a pay increase while working in the Coachella Valley, southeast of Delanoe. They were being paid an average of a dollar, 20 cents an hour, and they asked for a dollar 40 cents, which had been the rate for the bracero programs workers.
What they got was an increase of 15 cents an hour. But this work was migratory. So soon those fields were picked. The workers were moving on. They had to negotiate their pay again with the next grower. And as the harvest moved north toward Delanoe, the workers tried to get that same rate of pay that they had gotten at their last job. The growers refused. Filipino workers went to Itliong and the Awassa and Delanoe for help, and the union ultimately voted to go on strike.
On September 7th, 1965, they demanded a dollar 40 cents per hour, plus 25 cents per box of harvested grapes and recognition of their union. More than 1000 workers walked off the job on September 8th. California's agricultural workers at this point did include people of multiple races and ethnicities. And that also applies to the unions that we're talking about today. This included black and Puerto Rican workers, as well as workers for multiple Central and South American nations. But the two biggest groups were Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry.
And Filipinos and growers had a long history of pitting the Mexican and Filipino workers against each other. If the Mexican workers tried to go on strike, growers would hire Filipino replacement workers and vice versa. And Itliong knew that this would undermine the AWACS strike if it happened. So he turned to the National Farmworkers Association, which had a predominantly Mexican and Mexican-American membership to see if they would join the Filipino workers strike.
The NSW A. had been established by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. In 1962, Chavez had been born near Yuma, Arizona, in 1927 and his family had moved to California after losing their farm during the Great Depression after returning from service in the Navy. He became involved in the Latino civil rights organization called the Community Service Organization. Curto was born in Dorson, New Mexico, and grew up in Stockton, California, where she helped found the local chapter of the CSO in 1965.
This organization that Chavez and where it had found it was still very young, it was still stabilizing and getting its. Financial footing, and they were working toward doing a strike, but Chavez really thought they were two or three years away from that point. So when Itliong asked Chavez if the Northway would join the strike, at first Chavez said no, the Ngwa was just not ready. However, Chavez was also basically backed into a corner. He knew that if the Northway worked through the strike, the U.S. could do the same thing to them later on.
Some NWA members also suspected that if Chavez didn't agree to join this strike, that he would never agree to a strike at all.
So on September 16th, Mexican Independence Day, the night we met at Filipino Hall in Delanoe to vote on whether to join the strike, the vote was unanimous in favor of striking. And the NFIB members walked off the job the following Monday, September 20th. Less than a month later, the FBI started an investigation into purported communist infiltration of the National Farmworkers Association and Cesar Chavez with the first memo on the subject, citing the supposedly subversive backgrounds of several other people, including Larry Itliong.
This was prompted by the National Farmworkers Association being awarded a grant to teach citizenship and money management classes to farmworkers in three California counties.
The text of this memo annoyed me a lot.
Yeah, because it really sounds like, yeah, we don't actually have files on any of these people. And the House un-American Activities Committee doesn't have files on any of these people. None of these people have hit our radar before, but probably they're communists. So we should open investigation. There are many, many pages of FBI files on Cesar Chavez at their site where all the FOI documents are posted. Anyway, moving on, although the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee had been chartered by the AFL-CIO and the National Farmworkers Association didn't have those kinds of ties, the way its membership was a lot bigger than the abuses.
They were also just a lot more Mexican than Filipino farm workers in this part of California. So Chavez and FWA became a lot more prominent and visible at the strike as the strike progressed. It was almost like it just sort of tacitly moved over to being more associated with him. And there are accounts of the strike today that barely mentioned Itliong or the Filipino workers or the other Filipino organizers who were central to this strike, including Phillip Veracruz, who had helped establish the embassy.
Neither the NFL nor the Awasthi had the funding to support a prolonged strike, but support came in from other organizations. Members of the clergy encourage their congregations to participate in the strike and to donate to striking workers. Pete Seeger held a benefit concert. Religious and community organizations held fundraisers and organized food drives to help provide the hundreds and hundreds of pounds of food that the striking workers needed every week.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Congress of Racial Equality donated two way radios so the unions could organize their picketing. They wanted to picket where the replacement workers were working. This meant somebody that had to drive out in the morning and scout the fields really early looking for things like stacks of boxes or a foreman's truck, which were clues that somebody was going to be there picking that day and then they would have to radio in for a team of picketers to come out.
The AFL-CIO contributed five thousand dollars per month. Other unions, including the Teamsters and the Longshoreman's and warehouseman union, agreed to support the strike as well, refusing to pack and ship the produce that strike breaking workers were picking.
Growers resisted this strike aggressively. They brought in replacement workers from other parts of California and Texas, and they also illegally brought in workers from Juarez, Mexico. However, a lot of the growers also docked. These workers pay significantly to cover transportation from where they had been living, as well as housing and food. So a lot of them felt like they were being treated and wound up joining the strike. Growers also threatened the striking workers. They sprayed them with fertilizer and pesticides.
Growers also turned off the utilities at the work camps, and they raised the rent there by almost half, which led Chavez to call for a rent strike.
Many growers were using labor contractors to make work arrangements. These were basically go betweens who were focused on filling the growers labor needs as cheaply as possible. And in a technique that has been part of several strikes we've covered on the show before, some of the contractors tried to form their own competing union, which was a.
Approved by the growers, an organization called Citizens for Facts from Delanoe was formed to publish all kinds of articles, pamphlets and other materials, all aimed at trying to discredit Chavez and the strike.
The California law made it pretty clear that you could not be an employer and arrange a union like that did not count as a labor organization. So that competing union approved by the growers did not last very long. On March 17th, 1966, about six months into the strike, about 75 farm workers started on a two hundred fifty mile march from Delano to the California capitol of Sacramento. This was compared to both the Selma to Montgomery march and to a religious pilgrimage.
Cesar Chavez's approach to all of this, to all of his work, was really heavily influenced by his Catholic faith. So during this march, a banner was carried at the head of the march that had a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe, as well as the NFL logo. And when the march arrived in Sacramento after twenty five days, there were about 10000 people gathered there in support of the strike. Later that summer, the Western Conference of Teamsters, which had previously refused to cross the farmworkers picket line, instead started working against them, colluding with growers to put together sweetheart contracts.
The farm workers unions had to scramble to keep their membership intact and to hold union elections to try to keep the Teamsters from undermining what they were doing. This was one reason why the National Farmworkers Association and the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee merged in August of 1966, forming the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, which later became the United Farm Workers. If you're not familiar with the term sweetheart contract, that's basically when the employer colludes with the union to put together contract terms that are really favorable to the employer rather than to the workers, which is sort of the opposite of what it's supposed to do as all of this was happening.
Organizers were also arranging boycotts of California table grapes. We'll talk about that after a sponsor break. One component of the Delano grape strike was a secondary or sympathetic boycott, instead of targeting the actual employers of striking workers, secondary boycotts target other businesses. So in this case, these were businesses that were processing or selling California grapes.
These kinds of secondary actions were outlawed under the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947. That's also known as the Taft Hartley Act. However, the Taft Hartley Act amended the 1935 National Labor Relations Act and farm workers were exempt from that act. So while farm workers were not guaranteed the rights and protections that were outlined in the National Labor Relations Act, their unions also were not prohibited from calling for secondary boycotts. The farm workers started by calling for a boycott of DiGiorgio Corporation, which was a major grape grower, and Shenley Industries, which made wine and spirits.
And then from there, the farm workers at first tried to encourage a boycott of only the table grapes from growers who were refusing to negotiate with the union. That turned out to be just impossible for consumers to keep up with. Like people would go to the grocery store and have note like who even grew these grapes? I don't know. So by 1968, the boycott had expanded to include all table grapes grown in California.
As was the case with the strike, the union had support from other organizations in arranging and maintaining this boycott. For example, in 1965, the NAACP distributed a flyer that read, quote, California table grapes were picked by people working 10 hours a day in the fields with no breaks and no toilets. Even if everyone in the family works, the family can only earn sixteen hundred to eighteen hundred dollars a year. The family is forced to go on welfare while the growers earn millions, helped farmworkers get off welfare and get a living wage and decent working conditions through a recognition of their union.
Don't buy a California table grapes. The Black Panther Party also supported this boycott in 1969. The secondary boycott targeted Safeway stores, which were the biggest purchaser of California table grapes. After the US Department of Defense, the Black Panthers supported the Safeway boycott, both out of solidarity with the farmworkers, which they had been in solidarity with the farmworkers from the beginning, and also because Safeway had refused to donate to their school breakfast programs. A Safeway store in Oakland, California, closed during the boycott as Black Panthers picketed outside and also offered to drive customers to another store that wasn't selling boycotted grapes and then drive them home again afterward.
This was all part of ongoing mutual support between the Black Panthers and the United Farm Workers. So bad ass.
I know. I love it so much. Also, this is like kind of these are two organizations that like to an outside observer you wouldn't necessarily think would be working together because the United Farm Workers were all talking about nonviolent direct action.
And the the Black Panther Party's philosophy included self-defense with violence if necessary. And like Cesar Chavez was like, yes, sometimes nonviolence can include standing up for somebody else, which I thought was a great thing to say. And also, like you had rural farm workers and a much more urban organization. They were not necessarily people you would immediately think of as working together without knowing more about it.
Meanwhile, the union was organizing on a national level. For example, Dolores Huerta traveled to New York and convinced the Central Labor Council, the Meat Cutters Union and the Seafarers Union to essentially blockade California's grape shipment in the spring of 1968. She also organized a secondary boycott of the ANP grocery store chain in Boston. Activists staged a Boston grape party.
And we just love throw in some stuff into the harbor.
Women had been a huge part of the grape strike from the beginning. In addition to the leadership of people like Delores, where to a lot of the Mexican grape workers were married, and especially during the harvest, the entire family would be working in the fields, including wives and children. So women marched and organized during the boycott. They were also really instrumental in rallying the support of middle class women who were doing their family's grocery shopping all over the country.
On February 15th, 1968, Cesar Chavez started a PENITENTE fast, also described as a hunger strike. It went on for 25 days with a Catholic mass held nearby every day. Robert F. Kennedy, who was at the time a senator from New York and part of the Senate Labor Committee. Made multiple trips to Delanoe during the strike and was present with Chavez when he ended his fast the following June. Kennedy was assassinated during a celebration at the Ambassador Hotel after winning the California and South Dakota presidential primaries.
Both Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta had attended the celebration.
In October of 1968, Safeway stores successfully sued to limit the number of picketers who could be outside of their businesses. So the union changed tactics. Instead of picketing the stores in groups, they would send individual people nicely dressed to talk to the shoppers one at a time. By that point, the boycott was successful enough that growers were trying to sell their grapes in Europe instead, and that led the boycott to go international Delano Grape Workers designated May 10th, 1969 as International Boycott Day, a proclamation on the day read in part, If this road we chart leads to the rights and reforms we demand, if it leads to just wages, humane working conditions, protection from the misuse of pesticides, and to the fundamental right of collective bargaining.
If it changes the social order that regulates us to the bottom reaches of society, then in our wake will follow thousands of American farm workers. Our example will make them free.
In 1970, after five years of strikes and boycotts, 85 percent of table grape ranchers and California signed contracts with the United Farm Workers. Most of the signings took place that the United Farm Workers headquarters in Delano, which is a compound known as the 40 acres built in land that was acquired in 1966. It's no longer there their actual headquarters, but it's on the National Register of Historic Places. These contracts raised workers pay, protected them from pesticide exposure and established union run hiring halls.
Rather than having workers come in through those contractors, growers also had to fund health care plans and provide fresh water and toilets in the fields. These contracts also set up funding for the Palo Agbayani retirement village for migrant farm workers that was named for a worker who died of a heart attack during the strike. The retirement village opened in 1975, although there was some disagreement about how it was run. Among other things, rent was higher than for an apartment in town.
Rent was also lower for people who had been in the union for the whole strike, which some people regarded as unfair that people were like.
There were all kinds of reasons that somebody might not be in the union for some point during that time. Many Filipino workers also saw the Union Hall hiring system as a step backward for them. Previously, Filipino workers had formed crews that often worked together for years with one of their own, essentially acting as a foreman and helping negotiate with growers and contractors. The hiring hall system, which was meant to be more equitable, broke up those crews than it relegated men who had acted as foreman to serve in a more junior status.
In some cases, Filipino workers weren't considered to have enough seniority in the union to be prioritised for work assignments, even though they had been working in the grape industry for decades. At that point, there was an overall perception among Filipinos that this new hiring system was unfair. Other people regarded it more as like now everyone was on the same playing field.
Many Filipino workers also regarded the United Farm Workers as more focused on the needs of Mexican workers than on Filipinos when the two unions first merged. There were Filipinos among the leadership, including Larry Itliong and Phillip Veracruz. But over time, the Filipino leadership left the organization, and many Filipino members didn't feel as though they had a voice anymore. This perception was worsened when Cesar Chavez visited Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1977 and said that he thought Marcos martial law was, quote, really helping people.
Chavez's overall legacy, including his later years, is complicated and of course, outside the scope of what we're talking about here. If we did a whole episode that was just on him is, of course, stuff that we would dive into. The legacy of the Delano grape strike is also a little complicated. After the strike was over, the United Farm Workers moved on to trying to organize lettuce workers. The lettuce growers were afraid of a replay of the Delano strike and boycott, and a lot of them quickly signed labor contracts with the Teamsters instead.
This led to a huge and sometimes violent conflict between the United Farm Workers and the Teamsters. With a United Farm Workers prominence and prestige declining over time as the Teamsters secured more and more of these contracts. By 1974, Jerry Brown was running for governor of California with a platform that included bringing peace to the fields because of all this.
At the same time, this strike also contributed to the passage of the 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, which was the first time agricultural workers in the United States were given collective bargaining rights.
However, only a few states have similar legislation. Farm workers are still not covered by the National Labor Relations Act, and they were excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act until 1966. The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act of 1983 offers some very basic protections, including that employers have to register with the Department of Labor, disclose information about pay and hours up front and in writing, and meet basic standards for both transportation and housing.
Those basic standards are things like like you have to your vehicle has to be in a safe enough condition to like, pass whatever is the state inspection. The protections that are offered in that act are obviously important. They they are not of the same scope as the protections that people who are working in other industries get under federal law. So, yeah, that's the Delano grape strike. It was part of a huge farm worker movement that was, you know, all connected to the rights of farm workers and people who, as the pandemic that is ongoing right now has just highlighted for people are absolutely essential workers and are frankly not valued enough for that work.
Do you have listener mail for us, Miss Tracy?
I do. This is from Fahma I hope I've said your name right, says Holly and Tracy. I was just listening. I don't know why I said that in such a tone.
I'm like, What did I do wrong? I just put on a little voice with it. So OK, but emails. So I was just finishing listening to the tear gas episode when I realized I had meant to take a few minutes to drop you a note way back when I heard the Bee episode and then never did. It's pretty rare that I have any connection to episodes other than enjoyment. But you had two episodes in a row that hit close to home for me.
First, the Bee episode. My niece has become an avid bee enthusiast. Specifically, she's created a for H project involving creating Mason Bee houses. She distributes them to people who make a pledge to create pollinator friendly yards and gardens in her home county in Minnesota. The B and Bee project have been a lot of fun for her and has opened several doors as well as several for. Er Ribbon's she was recently named for Pollinator, and Ambassador Secombe was the the practice baby episode we mentioned to my alma mater of the University of Wisconsin statute, previously State University.
It was named for a lumber baron. It is now the Premier Polytechnic University of the US with growing degrees and things like packaging. One of the most popular degrees it offers is in golf course management. Yes, really. Interestingly, Stout still features some metal railings from Carnegie Steel in Bowman Hall. Thanks for making mundane tasks from the drive into work less mundane. I greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much for this email. I, having been a kid, I love to hear about people's for each project.
They're great. That's awesome. Awesome. It sounds so good when I like when I was a child getting a ribbon at the fair and something I had done for four, which was just like the highlight of my entire autumn. Now I want to know what you got ribbons in.
I got ribbons for a few different outfits that I made nice for for projects I would have been still in like late elementary school. I feel like at that point they were very simple outfits. I don't think I escalated in sewing skill nearly as quickly as you did because I don't like I had not even put in a zipper until I was a grown adult person.
I'm making surprized face. I'm like, well, yeah. How did your Barbies get dressed? So and I I think I like I most remember the outfits because I had to put them all together for four H projects with like a little a little description of everything. And like little swatches of the material, I'm just articulating as the listeners can see what I'm doing with my hands. But then also there were times that my dad would give my brother and me a row in our garden that was our row.
And I think there might have been some times that I entered produce that I had grown nice and got like children's. I know for sure there were times that my dad entered produce. He had grown and got awards for us less.
So, yeah, that's our for each family.
I guess that's super appropriate for this episode, since a lot of four H kids are in rural areas and are living more in farming oriented communities a lot of the time.
C We had a little farm but I didn't do for H. Yeah, like I entered stuff in the fair, but I did it as like an independent. Right. Am I remembering rightly that you were a campfire girl? I was a campfire girl, yeah. I got to a point where my mom was like, you need to choose between four and Girl Scouts because it's like to was too much. I think it might have just been too much for for her to manage for me.
Not like too much load on me as a person.
I'm not driving you to everything. Oh, well. And because we were in a more rural area, everything that needed to be driven to the kind of far. Yeah.
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