‘Ma, I’m goin’ no’th to git me a job….’

“Since nothing travels in the direction of hungry men like news of  work, they started to roll in on foot and in old Model Ts as soon as the contract… to build the world’s biggest smokeless powder plant in Charlestown, Indiana… was announced in the newspaper….

“A man from a small town in North Carolina said, ‘I seen this paper lyin’ there on top of bag o’ potatoes. Well, since the cotton mill shet down, I ain’t seen no kind of decent job. My wife was always takin’ sick, an’  then we had a cyclone come into town. Blowed some families all to pieces, geese, bedstead, fences, ev’thing. We was just skeered near ’bout to death. That was in ’36 or ’37, understan’. So when I seen this thing in the paper, I said, Ma, I’m takin’ th’ automobile ‘n goin’ no’th  to git me a job in that dee-fense factory. Next day I was on my way.’ ”

— From “The American Homefront: 1941-42” by Alistair Cooke (2006). If Cooke’s interview notes ever turn up, surely they belong in the North Carolina Collection.