Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Johnny Castille Was A Union Member And A Liberal Democrat

I am sad to report the passing of my friend Johnny Castille.

Johnny was proud of his longtime membership in the United Auto Workers as a General Motors employee in Indiana.

He often referred to himself as a “liberal Democrat.”  

Johnny had also fought in Vietnam.

He was a member of St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Houston.

Johnny was one of the first friends I made after I moved to Houston in 1998.

Waiting for his full retirement benefits to kick in after leaving GM, Johnny took a job as a bagger at a local supermarket.

He and I struck up a friendship in the once or twice a week I would see him at the store.   

I’m sorry to say that after Johnny’s health no longer allowed him to work at the store, I did not do a good job in keeping in touch.

He left the store within the last six months or so. I made one effort to call him at home.

Johnny did not have a cellphone or a computer or an answering machine. 

I just should have kept calling until I reached him.

If you have someone you value in your life, try keep in touch with them as best you can 

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Good People, Houston, Relationships | , , , , | 2 Comments

Poem By A “Factory Girl” Working In 19th-Century Textile Mill

Below is a poem written by a “factory girl” of Lowell, Massachusetts. The anonymous author of this poem was an Irish immigrant of the 19th century working in a textile mill in Lowell.

Above is a picture of abandoned mills in Lowell. 

Here is a link to the American Textile History Museum in Lowell. 

Here is the Lowell National Historical Park which features Lowell’s mill history. 

Here is a history of Irish immigration to the United States. 

Here is the poem—

When I set out for Lowell,

Some factory for to find,

I left my native country

And all my friends behind.

But now I am in Lowell,

And summon’d by the bell,

I think less of the factory

Than of my native dell.

The factory bell begins to ring

And we must obey

And to our old employment go,

Or else be turned away.

Come all ye weary factory girls,

I’ll have you understand,

I’m going to leave the factory

And return to my native land.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | History, Poetry | , , , , , | 11 Comments