13 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview (6)

I'm surprised that when you fell you didn't regain consciousness
when you got better air. 

Haldeman: Well, I knocked myself out; my head was banging all over. I had 
bruises and scratches on my head. I looked horrible; I have a 
picture somewhere. 

The hospital at Sewell
sewell hospital
Now comes 1944 and the end of my contract. Were you already married by the time this accident happened? Haldeman: No, I was single. Comes '44, and now I'm a foreman getting $528 a month. (His starting salary was $200. --RS)  Wow! And of course promotions and raises came, just to keep the boys happy, because we had to get our quota of copper out. Extending the Contract and Getting Married. 1944 Haldeman: I had had enough of it. I went in to the mine foreman, Mr. Casarotto (Mr. Casarotto is another story; he's quite a man, I'll tell you), and told him I was riot going to renew my contract. "Well," he said, "Let's talk, Bob. Now, what's your problem?" I said, "No problem, but I've just had enough. I would like to go home . " "What are you going to do, get a job?" "I'll find a job." "Do you have a girlfriend back there?" He knew. I said, "Yes. I'll go back now and marry her." "Well," he said, "look. If that's the problem, we'll bring her down for you, and we'll give you a two-week honeymoon in Vina. You can stay on, and we'll give you a houseone of those houses up there [points to photo] . How would you like that? Would you sign another contract on that basis? Furthermore, I'm sure you're going to get another promotion, for your salary to go up to $650 a month." Sewell miners and an Americano in 1926:
workers at sewell
Who am I to turn down a wonderful offer? [laughs] Here I am, still in Chile. I called up my bride-to-be, Doris, whom I had only known for three or four weeks before I left for Chile. I met her on the Russian River, and we corresponded. It took me three days to get the call through, because in those days part of the lines were physical lines--copper and steel wire on the surface; we didn't have any satellite. I finally got through to her, and I said, "Would you like to come to Chile and marry me? They've offered me another contract."

Index to Haldeman Interview

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