PV’s Fredi Records Impressions Of ‘A Trying First Experience’
October 31, 1942
(This blow-by-blow account of the sign-hanging experience comes from PV’s Fredi Washington, whose zeal for getting a job done surpasses even her personal comfort. We pass it on to you because (1) we think it’s entertaining and (2) just in case you, you and you still believe that all phases of newspaper work are glamorous, this will give you something to think about.–Ed.)
On this beautiful rainy morning I have learned more about signs and how to hang them than the man that makes them. Last night all I knew about the queer business was the fact that the letters were too far to the right or left. The color of the paint could have been a little more vivid, or the durn thing had been pasted on with too many wrinkles.
Now, I am a much wetter and wiser woman. And, incidentally, I am still looking for the center strip of my main sign. This one was my favorite because here was the art work of which I was so proud—the end of that lovely rope that the southerners use to lynch the black folks with in the Deep South.
So, here I am frantically trying to get another made. The time? Oh, yes, I had forgotten about that. It is now near five o’clock and the signs should have been on display since noon, but by golly, I’ll get ‘em out before sundown if I have to print it (the sign) myself.
But getting back to this liberal education I had this morning. The sign’s all printed and ready to be hung and then I suddenly discover that my artist has not the slightest knowledge of hanging them. So—I try to find a paperhanger, and wouldn’t you know that there is not one to be found.
My wagon and donkeys are sitting in the rain waiting. After biting my nails for ten or more minutes, I decide, “I must just as well learn to hang paper this minute.” So–I find a bucket, a brush, some flour, starch and a ladder and I say to the artist, “Let’s start hanging paper.” I used a makeshift ladder while he used the other.
Well, sir, as soon as I perched myself on my precarious ladder with paper and brush in hand, the heavens opened up. Aside from getting drenched, the durn paper would not stick and the signs started to fall apart.
But all of this did not discourage me. There was a garage down the street, so, with a sweet smile and my most pleasing voice, I asked permission to bring my wagon and donkeys inside to work. The guy said it would be okay if I would not be too long. Before we could get ahead with the work at hand the donkeys had served a feast for birds who were not at hand to partake. This did not please the garage man. It did send us to get a broom and shovel.
That being properly disposed of, we got on with the business of getting the signs on the wagon. After we got the knack of it, and were ready for the center strip of which I have spoken, it’s missing.
Well—I finally got the guy who had been doing this work and he saved my life. Now the wagon is rolling on the street and it doesn’t look so bad. But am I wet and beat? I betcha the next time I am given this assignment I’ll get it done without all the headaches–FW.