Interview with Chris Alston
Interview with Chris Alston
Interview Date: December 7, 1991

Camera Roll: 18
Sound Roll: 12
Interview gathered as part of The Great Depression .
Produced by Blackside, Inc.
Housed at the Washington University Film & Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection.
Editorial Notes:

Preferred citation:
Interview with Chris Alston , conducted by Blackside, Inc. on December 7, 1991, for The Great Depression . Washington University Libraries, Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection.

These transcripts contain material that did not appear in the final program. Only text appearing in bold italics was used in the final version of The Great Depression.

*
INTERVIEW
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[camera roll 18][slate marker visible on screen]
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QUESTION 1
JON ELSE:

Tell me about the neighborhood where you grew up in Detroit.

CHRIS ALSTON:

I grew up in what was called the Little Balkans. The Little Balkans was composed of Poles, blacks...Polish...

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QUESTION 2
JON ELSE:

Do you remember the neighbors that you had there?

CHRIS ALSTON:

Sure. They were Polish, they were blacks, they were Romanians, they were Czechoslovakians. They were a melting pot, so to speak. That's because the people who were coming in from Europe and the people who were coming in from the south all settled there. And there was a settlement of languages, a settlement of cultures, a settlement of languages, and none of them were cemented.

JON ELSE:

I understand what you mean.

CHRIS ALSTON:

So we sort of all were new, as it were, and we...everybody contributed to each other's...each other's...each other's getting along. There was no animosity because everybody was new to everybody else. For example, Polish people brought their kielbasa--

Video cuts out. No visuals for the rest of the interview. Audio only.[production discussion]
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QUESTION 3
JON ELSE:

We can pick up where we left off. You were starting to talk about the food that people had. Tell me about that.

CHRIS ALSTON:

The Polish people brought their kielbasa and pierogi, and the Hungarian people brought their goulash, and the...

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QUESTION 4
JON ELSE:

Were there Russian people there?

CHRIS ALSTON:

Yeah, and they brought their...As a matter of fact, there was a Russian restaurant, and they brought their food there.

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QUESTION 5
JON ELSE:

Were...in those early days, they, we're talking about the late 1920s. Do you want to tell me about when you went to work at Ford? Do you want to talk about that?

CHRIS ALSTON:

Yeah.

JON ELSE:

OK.

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

I'm going to roll here. Go.

JON ELSE:

OK, so tell me about when you first went to work at Ford.

CHRIS ALSTON:

Those were the early days, and we...everybody, everybody took his own--

[audio cuts out][end of interview]