JOINING THE WPA
WHEN the first Emergency Relief Appropriation Act was passed in 1933 Joe Jackson was manipulating the projector in a small but popular moving picture theater. And he was darn glad to have such a steady job. That was a funny thing, too, because he hadn't wanted to take it at all when it was first offered to him, would have refused it if his wife hadn't kept after him about it. But now, after three years at the Cremona, he hated to think what would have happened if he hadn't given in to Gertrude.
Back in the 1920's Joe had been an electrician and getting good wages too -- $17 and sometimes $20 a day. He could hardly believe that bad times had come to stay when jobs began to get scarce in 1930. That's why he wouldn't listen to Gertrude at first when she told him that she knew Mr. Halprin would give him a forty-a-week job at the Cremona. That sounded like chicken feed to him then and besides, in a way, it was sort of scabbing because he knew Mr. Halprin was offering it to him because he didn't want to pay the rates that the moving picture opera-