The poem is dated July 16, 1919. Its author is unknown, identified only by the initials “E. H.” It has been in and out of the public’s consciousness over all these years. Every now and then it is discovered anew, then forgotten again.
It has wit, charm, playfulness and a sentimental appeal. It could have been written by anyone, but we like to imagine the author a young woman, having a splendid time that spring of long ago painting a word picture of a Cliffside we never knew.
By E. H.
July 16, 1919
I’m still working for the company.
I have worked for many years.
When my father speaks of moving
It just fills my eyes with tears:
For I love to live at Cliffside;
Everything is nice and clean,
And the men we have to work for
Do not try to treat us mean.
Of our president – Charles H. Haynes,
I don’t know what to say,
But to know him is to love him,
For he has his father’s way:
Who was loved by all the people
Many years before he died.
He’s the man that had the vision
Of the village called Cliffside.
Mr. W. L. Packard, our superintendent,
Is a man of strong willpower,
He will listen to a fellow
Any day, at any hour.
C. C. Tate is “boss carder,”
Willard Morrow his second hand.
If in trouble go to either,
And they will help you if they can.
R. B. Bland is our “boss spinner,”
And he lives here on the hill;
William Crawley is his assistant,
But the spinners call him “Bill.”
Irvin Moore runs the dye house:
He can dye most any shade;
And the slasher men and beamers
Have a “boss” named R. L. Wade.
P. C. Hawkins runs the weave rooms,
Number one, two, three and four;
With the aid of four such helpers
He could run as many more.
Boyce Bridges, Avery Roberson,
Quinn Womick, and R. R. James
Are the men I’ve just mentioned,
If you want to know their names.
John L. Scruggs is our timekeeper,
He lives down on Railroad Street;
He will add a ten-percent bonus
If you put in all the week.
When they pay us off on Friday,
You ought to see us smile.
The old men all look as happy
As a simple little child.
Mr. Thigpen runs the cloth room.
He’s a man of push and vim;
If you want to run a folder
You will have to speak to him.
Charley Green is his assistant;
He is always on the job.
If you want him and can’t find him
Just go tell our “Uncle Bob.”
He’s the man that matches colors
Of the cloth we have in stock;
He’s a consecrated Christian,
And as solid as a rock.
M. R. Padgett makes the cases
That our cloth is shipped off in.
If you want to buy some gingham,
See our shipping clerk, Will Wynn.
We’ve a shop where C. C. Blanton
And his brother reign supreme;
They’re machinists that you read of
In the “Textile Magazine.”
They can fix up old machinery
So ’twill run just like “brand new.”
There is absolutely nothing
That the Blanton boys can’t do.
Robert James is our electrician,
And he keeps the lights all fixed.
We’ve a splendid assistant “super”
And his name is Ransom Hicks;
He has charge of our big ice plant
And I’ll tell you what’s the truth:
He’s a mill man to be proud of;
He’s had training from his youth.
We’ve three churches – Baptist, Methodist
And Presbyterian, too.
Come to Cliffside – go to either,
There’s a welcome waiting you.
When we go to church on Sunday
It just fills our hearts with pride
When we see our new “boss weaver”
Standing ready to preside.
Mr. Womick is superintendent
Of the Methodist Sunday School,
And he tries to teach the people
To observe the golden rule.
You just ought to hear Mrs. Rudasill
Make the grand piano ring.
Clarence Hughes gives out the number
Then the choir will stand and sing.
C. H. Wilson leads the singing
At the Baptist Church night and day;
B. E. Roach and Mrs. Nora Freeman
Organ and piano play.
Brother Hunt and Brother Burrus
Are our preachers full of grace.
Come and hear them preach the gospel
At the usual time and place.
We’ve a village to be proud of –
All the girls are good and sweet.
When it comes to playing baseball
Cliffside boys just can’t be beat.
Baxter Splawn and Gardie Champion,
Bumber and Scott Goode, R. R. James,
Rucker Bland and George Matheny,
Are some of the players names.
We’ve a band that any city
Would be proud to call their own.
We don’t have to hire a teacher,
Since Dee Cole came marching home.
He’s a patriotic fellow,
And he went to France to fight.
We were glad to see him come home,
For I tell you he’s all right.
We’ve a skating rink for children.
It is open twice a week.
If you want to go swimming,
Don’t go off down the creek.
We’ve a swimming pool real handy
And you ought to hear the boys.
Swimming, diving, playing, jumping,
“Gee,”but they sure make a noise.
Well, I guess I’ll close my story,
But there’s more that could be said
‘Bout our doctors and our nurses
Who come when we’re sick in bed,
Dr. Shull and Dr. Allhands
Are as proud as they can be,
If you doubt what I have told you,
All I say is “come and see.”