Jean people Archives

10 interesting facts about denim jeans.

There are 10 interesting facts I have included in this post.  Some of these facts will be remembered, but some people may not remember these 10 facts.  They are interesting because Levi Strauss, the man himself was a creative genius.  We are thankful for both Strauss and Davis: otherwise, we may be wearing silk jeans®–  blue silk jeans®.

Blue silk material that could have been made for jeans

Levi Strauss used innovation to build his product to what it is today: a worldwide business enterprise.  We must not forget Jacob Davis, the man who invented the blue jeans.

smiles on a bench

Ten Interesting facts about denim jeans®.

“Happiness is love and blue jeans.”

Many people believe jeans were an American Invention and I thought so too but they were first found or got their start in Genoa, Italy.  It was a harbor town that made a certain type of material called a gene or jean.

When French visitors were in the little port town, they called the material cloth, “blue de genes”.  The “g” in French is a soft sound.  Now in English, the “g” is a hard sound.

Later after the Italians exported the material throughout Europe, the weavers tried to develop the jeans and were known as “serge de Nemes” meaning from the city of Nemes which was later referred to as denim.  Levi Strauss story for Johnnie.   In Nemes, Genoa, Italy the weavers developed a twill fabric that came to be known as ‘denim’.  Get you T’shirt that says, “Happiness is love and blue jeans.”  from Amazon.

 

“The best thing to hold onto life is each other.”   Aubrey Hepburn

Levi Strauss was a German American who first started a company to manufacture blue jeans.  His name was originally known as Loeb in Bavaria Germany.  Levi was born in 1820.

The Strauss family experienced religious discriminations because they were Jewish.   There were restrictions on where they could live.  They also had to pay special taxes because of their faith.

Levi’s father died when Levi was 16.  This led to his two brothers to leave for America.  They established a dry goods store in Manhattan.  The young man, Levi was left to pick up the business where his father left off.  It was difficult.

Two years later in 1847, Levi Strauss came to America.  He sailed with his mother and two sisters to New Your.  They went to Manhattan to join the two older brothers.  They operated a successful dry goods business and Levi worked for them.  He learned a lot from the trade.

Now, we see another 501 Jean commercial named, Pick Up.  1989   Music, “Be My Baby” by the Ronnetts.

 

 

“Denim is a love that never fades.”   Elio Fiorucci

I heard Brat Pitt also wore 501® Levi® Jeans, but I do not have the facts about that.  Is there anyone who can inform me?  I was searching and got a short from a scene with Brad Pitt.  Maybe he was to emulate the great James Dean.  This video clip is a Levi® Jeans commercial made before Brad Pitt became famous.  Brad had the great looks and talent and wealth.  Now sadly his mind is on his divorce.  However, this commercial makes him a woman’s dream.

 

” Born with good jeans”

Here is an interesting partial list of well know people who have or still wear 501® Levi® jeans.  To see their pictures and short takes, see Fashion Telegraph.  (The older Version)  

Did this film about Brad Pitt remind you of James Dean who always wore his 501® Levi® jeans?  It is a good thing Brad’s girlfriend brought him his Levi® jeans.  

How did she know he was getting out of prison?  Well, we don’s ask such questions if it is a Brad Pitt movie. 

Marlon Brando; Ronan Keating wore 501®s for the Capital FM”S party in the Park in 2001.  Bruce Springsteen wore them on tour in 1985.  Mitt Romney, presidential hopeful wore the classic fit in March 2012;  

Barack Obama who threw the first pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals wore them there.  Geoge Clooney wears the classic fit with a leather jacket!    

Steve Jobs wears his iconic uniform with his 501 ®s and a black turtleneck sweater for his Apple Products.  Alexa Chung wears cut-offs from 501® Levis®;   Chloe  Sevigny usually wears vintage stone-washed 501® cut-offs.        

Edward Furlong,  Clay Aiken,  Sheryl Crow and Drew Barrymore wear Levi® jeans®.

 

 

“I’ll never throw away my blue jeans.” –Susan Ford–

After leaving New York at the age of 23, Levi set sail for San Francisco with his brother-in-law and opened a wholesale business dealing in dry goods and selling such items as clothes, boots, cloth, needles, and thread,

But during the gold rush era, there were prospectors and miners that were the tools needed for them to work with; such as shovels, pickaxes, pans, clothing,  and tents.

Levi was 24 years old when he sailed from Manhattan around the Cape Horn to San Francisco in 1853.  His purpose was to open a dry goods store for the minors.  He established a branch for his brothers. 

Over the next 20 years, he built a name for himself.   He was a well-respected businessman.  He was a philanthropist.

Strauss also gave money to several charities, including special funds for orphans.

Using a series of different locations in the city over the years, he sold clothing, fabric, and other items to small shops in the region.

A special event occurred that would change everyone and everything.      Now for the video “Parting”! 1987.  Music, “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge.

 

 

“You can never own too many jeans.”

I liked this commercial advertising  Coca-Cola Coke.   I remembered seeing this and here’s my chance to show it now.  It is not really about denim jeans entirely, but you can use your imagination in this type of commercial.  My dad’s mule who drank coca-cola drinks from a coke bottle reminds me of this commercial.  Our coke machine was on the porch of the curio shop and every time a tourist was near the coke machine, he would bray loudly.  This was in the late 1950’s. The mule entertained many tourists, but he mostly entertained the family with his antics.  I hope this commercial put a smile on you too.

 

Food, water, denim.   Let’s get back to essentials.”

Jeans were later inspired by a customer whose pants kept ripping.   Jacob Davis was the man who helped the customer by adding rivets to his pants.  Jacob Davis was a tailor in Nevada.  He ordered the denim material from Levi Strauss in San Francisco.

The customer asked Davis to make a pair of pants for her husband that would not fall apart.  Davis came up with the idea of using metal rivets on the points of strain.  So he put the rivets on the pocket corners and at the base of the button-fly.

It was a new idea, so to get the rivets patented he called on Levi Strauss to help the patient and to become business partners, and since Davis was wanting to protect his idea of the rivets (who by the way solved the customer’s problem) convinced Levi Strauss, a merchant owner of a dry goods store to become the business partner.  

                                          

“No matter how hard it gets, let’s just be happy that today is Friday, payday, and we are allowed to wear jeans at the office.”

Levi Strauss went on to San Francisco and manufactured the sturdy work pants of miners and hard-working factory workers.  The first to benefit was the minors.  They needed sturdy pants in the mines.  Later, when Levi Strauss used the rivets in the pants, the miners were happy that the pockets were reinforced for things they had to put the different things in them.

He went on to make jeans for the woodcutters, farmers, and cowboys.  Levi had the reputation of making a sturdy pair of pants.  Today, Levi Strauss and Company still have the sturdy pair of 501 Levi original and tall & big original fit jeans for men.  Women wear them too.

    

“An expert knows all the right answers if the right questions are given to him.”

After World War II, jeans became very popular with the people in Europe.  American GI’s would wear then off duty in Paris.   (later other countries were informed about the jeans)

It became a fashion item at that time.  A kiss was okay, but jeans were great and many women and women wanted a pair.

This video commercial is by Nick Kidman.  Music, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye.

 “When in doubt, wear jeans.”

Jeans were once banned in certain settings.  It used to be that coveralls, before 1950, were used by workers.

But after 1950, teens called them jeans and they became popular among the younger generation.   But they were banned at certain places such as schools, movie theaters, and restaurants because they were seen as a form of rebellion against conformity.

Now, everyone wears jeans from the rich men to the salesperson to the movie director to Presidents.  You go anywhere and see all kinds of people wear 501 Levi original fit jeans.  (tall and big sizes too.)

This 501 commercial is based on a movie in the 1960’s (I think) called, “Swimmer”.  This Levi® commercial is called, “swimmer”, in 1991.  Directed by Tarsem at Spots Films.  Music, “Mad About The Boy” by Dinah Washington.

Denim has always been an everyday symbol for the style.”    Ritu Kuman

 “I want to die with my blue jeans on.”-Andy Warhol–

Since the teenager went to the movies with their dates, friends, and family, of course, Hollywood got into it and used that symbol of rebellion in several movies.

The most noted was James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause.”

Marlon Brando also was seen in a movie as a rebellious motorcycle gang member who wore the symbolic rebel jeans and the real leather jacket.

That made the jeans even more popular.  Many actors have played roles while wearing their Levi® jeans.  James Dean was an icon for fashion cool.  His role in Giant was a short part, but one that was remembered by all.

              

This video was from a television commercial advertising (I had thought) the 1984 Olympic Games.  It is a catchy tune remembered by many people.   Listen to the times of TV advertising; to name a few.  It is too bad I do not remember this commercial and was pleased to hear it now.

 

“I want to die with my blue jeans on.”-Andy Warhol–

Levi Strauss & Co. has used clever entertaining and creative advertisements since the early beginning.

The first one was by word of mouth probably, since his jeans were very sturdy for the minors and Levi was an honest man.  In fact, many times you would see Levi Strauss walking around the various people who needed sturdy jeans,   It is probably a good guess they knew him and asked him questions.   He was an up-close advertiser and at his small company knew the names of all his employees and he talked with them.  He was not able to do this when his company became large, however.

Having no wife, Levi was able to devote all his time working at his company.  He expected his employees to work hard too and they did.

This was during the years when a handshake between two businessmen, sealed an unwritten contract.  He may not have wanted to wear his own product, but I have an idea that he would have loved to drink a 10 cent coke.    He worked hard to bring a sturdy Levi® jean for those minors and the farmers.

 

refreshing to drink a coke

So I guess this is a note to end on for one of Levi Strauss images of an old coca cola posters.    I will now sing this to you.  (music plays and Judy sings)

 “I hope you all enjoyed these advertisements and will hum this tune whenever you may feel down because remember, the song’s words say,  Everyone has a story and that makes your story and your day important.”

Please, just write a short comment or you can ask a question.   Let me know if perhaps you may have a favorite “old” TV commercial you remember.                                             Very good reading

If you have the time, please comment about this story.  Thanks again.  Your views are important to me.  I had fun and I hope you did too,  My best!  Judy

If you would like to purchase anything from Amazon, check my Accessories page or the “501® jeans® orders with links.”  Some of my stories will have surprises that you may be interested in purchasing.  Many are not expensive.

Thanks for reading my Website Stories.

 

Levi Strauss story for Johnnie

The Levi Strauss History The making of the 501® Levi jeans–includes the inventer of the original jeans. Jacob Davis

A Long Story in History To Remember for Johnny!
I was sitting on the sofa next to my grandson, who asked my if he would be able to wear the 501® Levi jeans just for tall and big men like his dad wore.  I told him I could tell he was going to be big and tall, but he would have to decide he if he wanted 501® Levi jeans.
He pointed it out to me how much his dad loved his 501® jeans so much that he kept them in the freezer sometimes.  Now, my grandson, age 10, did not know that most men did not clean their jeans when they owned a pair of 501® Levi jeans.
“I will tell you the drama about how once the Levi 501® jeans were made by a man by the name of Jacob Davis as well as Levi Strauss.”
        Johnny:  Not just by Levi alone grandma?
Now Johnnie was a precocious child and was always interested in my stories about real people and about the 501® Levi jeans his dad wore.
I have a book here on maps.   So, you are right.   The other person, Jacob Youphes, was born in 1831 of a Jewish family

Riga in 1830's

and in a town named Riga which was a part of the Russian Empire.   This map shows Riga is now in Latina.
During the time in Riga, he trained and worked as a taler.   In 1854, when Jacob Youphes, was 23  he immigrated to America and settled in New York City.  There he changed his name from Youphes to Davis.  He was a tailor and so he operated his tailor shop for a while before he left for Maine.   Later, in 1856, he left Maine and traveled to San Francisco.  However, he did not stay long, so in 1858, he once again moved to Weatherville.
Yes and it was at this time, it was believed,  he worked as a journeyman tailor.”
        Johnny: What is a journeyman?
He is a person who has served as an apprenticeship at a trade and is certified to work at it assisting another person.  Now the show must go on.
In 1858, he was on the move again.  But this time he moved to Western Canada.  While there he met and married a German immigrant named Annie Parksher and had 6 children by her.  During the time he was in Canada, he tried his luck panning for gold and also sold tobacco and wholesale pork in nearby Virgina.
In 1867, he returned to San Francisco with his wife and family.   Then when that did not work out well for them, they eventually moved to Reno Nevada to start his Tailor store.  In his tailor shop in Reno, he also sold tents, horse blankets, and wagon covers to the railroad workers on the Central Pacific Railroad.   He worked with heavy duty denim cloth to make these products which he bought from Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco.   And he used rivets to make them stronger.
         Oh wow, now we can talk about the Levi Strauss 501® original jeans?”
Not quite yet,   We still have more story to tell first.  Levi Strauss sold dry good and heavy duty material.   Davis was a creative person and later experimented using  copper rivets to reinforce the stitches in the pockets and seams of the pants to make them stronger at the stress points.  Here is a picture of rivets which is found in a jean image from Levi Strauss & Co.    a rivet
Here is the story of how Mr. Davis used rivets to make the pockets and seams stronger in a pair of pants.   In 1870 a customer walked in the door.  She told Mr. Davis how her husband was upset by his pockets coming loose and the pants lasting just a short time before falling off,  so she begged Mr. Davis to make suitable working pants that he could wear for a long time.   He knew her husband, who was a woodcutter, was angry so much that even his own wife was concerned about the pants too.
        Can you imagine his pants coming off when he got ready to chop a tree?    That is funny, but it wasn’t for the woodcutter!

 

And what did Mr. Davis do?  He wanted to do his best.  By accident, he saw some rivets nearby where he was working and decided to use them in the pants.  He discovered they held the pockets and the seams so much better.  The customer was very pleased that the pants Davis made for him did not easily rip apart.
So it was Jacob W, Davis who first made these reinforced pants  And Levi Strauss was the supplier of the pants.  Yes, Johnnie, these pants with the rivets later became known as denim jeans.  But remember, the pants were not called jeans at the time.
Before long, Davis had so much work he did not know what to do with all the demand for his jeans
        He had a lot of business selling his jeans.  So what happened next?
Well, he knew the importance of his reinforced jeans, so he wrote Levi Strauss and asked him for his financial banking and help in the filling out the forms of the patent.  Mr. Strauss said yes and together on May 23, they received the patient number— wait till I open this book that has the maps, pictures, and the U. S.  patient number from the old United States Patent Office.   (She opens a book.)  It says the number was 139,121 and that was to be  “used for improvements in fastening pocket openings”.  It was issued in the name of Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss & Co.

Davis and Strauss Patent

 

That same year, Jacob Davis started the double orange stitch on the back pocket for a special design.   It was believed that the thread and the design be the same color as the rivets, but because the information was lost in the earthquake in 1906, the purpose for the color is just a guess.  This feature became a Trademark and was registered with the Patent Office too.
By then Levi Strauss had a large tailor shop in San Francisco for producing Davis’ working pants,   Consequently, the Davis family moved back to San Francisco for Davis to run the shop.  Eventually, Mr. Davis became the manager of the manufacturing plants for Levi Strauss which included the work shirts and the overalls.  He did so, until his death in 1906 in San Francisco.
Now, Johnnie, It’s time for you to go to bed.  We’ll finish this story tomorrow evening.
SCENE 2,  THE NEXT EVENING WITH JOHNNIE
The next evening when her grandson was again sitting next to her, she began telling the boy about the drama again.  Now I will tell you the drama about Levi Strauss, she told him.
Well! Levi Strauss was born on February 26, 1829, in Bavaria, Germany–a long time ago Johnny.  He had 6 brothers and sisters. And they were very poor because Jewish people were forced to live in certain areas where there were poor housing and few job opportunities.   They were discriminated against; in other words, they were separated and singled out with disfavor.
His father was a peddler who traveled around the country trying to make enough money for his family.  When the father died,  the two oldest bothers left for America where they later opened a dry good’s store.
        What is a dry good’s store mean?
A dry good store sells cloth, clothes, sewing needles and thread, flour, oats and things like that.  But let’s continue with this drama. You remember Jacob Davis?  Well! Levi Strauss was the one who helped Mr. Davis get his patient on his rivets.
Now Levi finally was able to go to New York where he worked for his brothers who already had their dry goods store.  He learned how to peddle from his brothers in in New York.  On his way to San Francisco, he sold all the material his older brother had given him to sell on his trip, except for the canvas like one makes for tents.
        I remember my tent is made of canvas!   Sorry grandma, what happened next?
When he got to San Francisco,  Levi eventually opened up his own dry goods’ store.
One day, a local miner came in the store and asked Levi if he sold pants.  Now, Levi was a smart businessman.  There were a lot of miners working in the mines looking for gold.  So he decided to make pants out of canvass that he had when he left New York.  That is when Levis® were born!!  Johnnie opened his mouth wide and nodded in agreement!!
When he ran out of canvas, his brothers in New York sent him a new fabric, or material–a cloth called denim.   It was the same material he sent to Mr. Davis.   Denim was a soft, durable material which was stronger,  more comfortable, and easier to wear than the canvas material.
In 1872 Levi got a letter from Jacob W, Davis.  Remember that Davis had his own business as a tailor in Nevada and was a regular customer of Levi Strauss because he needed material for his small business in Reno.  In this letter, he told Levi how he made pants for his customers using metal rivets which Levi found interesting and different.
Well! Davis did not have any money for a patient process, so he suggested that Levi pay for the paperwork—it took a lot of money for a patient process and there was a lot of paperwork too.  Levi was enthusiastic about the idea and on May 20, 1870, what happened Johnny?
        That’s when both Davis and Levi got the patient.  I don’t remember the number.
Yes, it was granted to both men.  And the number was 139, 121.
Levi Strauss knew there would be a great demand for his new waist overalls, which was the old name for jeans.  So the factory on Fremont and Market Street was opened with Jacob Davis, after moving from Reno to San Francisco, as manager.
At the end of the 19th century, he left his business to his nephews to run.  Levi had his other business and philanthropic interest to keep him occupied.  He was active in many things.  He was also on the board of several companies.

On September 26, 1902, Levi Strauss died peacefully in his bed.

END OF DRAMA

Now it’s time for bed Johnny.  We will talk more tomorrow about    501® Levi original and tall & big original fit jeans                                               

CURTAIN DOWN

Please write a comment.  I really do love the feedback and even to have my visitors talk with each other.  You do not have to comment every time you read something of mine.   And, you certainly not asked to write lengthy comments.  If I have made any mistakes, I want to correct them.   See how you can help me?

I will not write you an email until I have news about a new post or a new Website.

Do everything by full measure.

Judy, Owner of the Website, https://findmejeans.com

My title is again, 501 Levi original and tall & big original fit jeans.

Everyone has a story-teachers cut cotton

everyone has a story title

 

My friends,  this is a long entertaining play that I wrote.  You may need to divide your time in reading it or you may want to read to the end.    I have an intermission.  If you would like to stop there or at any time and go to my other posts or pages, please do so.
The purpose of this play that I wrote is to entertain and to bring you “close” to a company I have loved since the 1960’s because Levi Strauss & Co. fitted my dad’s 47- foot cowboy with their 501 original jeans.   ENJOY THE PLAY.

INTRODUCTION of the theater program.

Play’s Long Title– How Judy and Maggie  Relate the work of slaves chopping cotton to how Levi Strauss integrated factories with Black Americans long before the Civil Right’s Act of the 1960’s.

Play’s short Title-Levi plays a part in Black American History Concerning Slaves.

Act 1

Judy and Maggie learn about the role and work of the slave in the U. S.

slave-cabin-440349_640

A Restored slave cabin.  Laura Plantation near Vacherie, Louisiana.

Ray

This is a story about how Judy learned a little surprise about chopping cotton.   Her history class would benefit by researching how Levi Strauss, maker of 501 jeans for men and other styles of fashion did his part to symbolically free the black American by giving him his civil rights.

Relating her experience in the small town in Oklahoma, her students would realize the importance of their research.

slaves-in-the-field

Abby, Ella. “Slavery.” Emaze. Contributor public page.  www.emaze.com/slavery

Author of Play

According to what I have been told throughout the years in my life, the Wikipedia well expresses slavery, especially those in the field, is this manner.

Field slaves usually worked in the fields from sunrise to sundown, while being monitored by an overseer. The Overseer

was there to make sure that slaves did not slow down or cease their field work until the day was over.

Wikipedia contributors, “Field slaves in the United States.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.  4 Aug. 2016. Web. Nov. 23, 2016

The first part of this play takes place in a little town and a cotton field in Oklahoma.   The dialogue begins with two high school history teachers; friends who live in Dallas.

Open little theater

Ray— 

This is the stage in the late 1950’s that was used in this play. I may include it in other places to remind you that it is a play. It starts with two friends talking about their teaching jobs at the middle school nearby.  They are in Judy’s home relaxing after a long day of teaching.   Maggie lives nearby, and it is their habit to drink coffee and talk about their students and their history lessons.

But this ‘day’ would prove to be distinctive for both Maggie and Judy.  It was their lesson in history that would not be forgotten.

MaggieI am still elated that the kids are excited to learn about the cotton manufacturing plants.”

Judy” I am on the same lesson plan.”

Maggie I concentrate more on the cotton manufacturing process.”

Judy  “They just learned today in my class about all the products that can be made with cotton.   There are a lot of products and information the Story of cotton shows  When we came to the part about jeans, they all laughed.”

Maggie— “They said The Jingle, did they not?”

                  Pat,  Pat                                                                                                                                          clap,                                                                                                                                 snap  to  the, snap to the rhythm,  pat– pat 

         Judy “Here we go now–“                                                                                                                                                                                         RHYTHMtalk the talk

         Judy–“Find me jeans.”         

 

Maggie—“Jeans for me too?”

          Judy—“For you jeans?”

 Maggie—“501 Levi jeans?”

          Judy “Find me Levi jeans too, please”

 Maggie “501 Levi jeans for you too?”

 

Row, David, “Lesson, Songs, Ideas.”    Make Moments Matter.  Educational Teacher’s Guide,  Web. 24 Sept. 2016  “clicking fingers to the beat of the RHYTHM”                    

      Judy“Find me jeans too, please.”snapping finger

Maggie“501 Levi jeans for men?”

       Judy“Find me 501 Levi original jeans and tall & big original fit jeans

Maggie“Find me jeans too, please?

 

Row, David, “Lesson, Songs, Ideas.”    Make Moments Matter.  Educational Teacher’s Guide,  Web. 24 Sept. 2016  “clicking fingers to the beat of the RHYTHM”            

Weagley, Vance. “How to Snap Your Fingers.” The 11 Most Unnecessary ‘How To’ Guides on the Web.”   Feb.2009. www.cracked.com/article_17018_the 11-most-unnecessary-how-to guides.

Ray

Judy and Maggie discuss their trip to Oklahoma to visit Maggie’s family.  They both looked forward to visiting relatives and having fun at the Jute joint owned by Maggie’s aunt.  Maggie went often and Judy was happy to visit there.

Maggie went often and Judy was pleased to be invited

fun at the juke joint

Biafra, Jello. “Feature: History of the Juke Joint.”   WordPress Blog post.  Rock and Roll Junkie.  June 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2016

MaggieMy grandma’s stories will make you cry and laugh too.   Do you know why the slave was called a lazy coon in my family when they were slaves?”
wpba5d3557_05_06-hookworm

Picture of hookworms>>Walsh, Michael. “Hookworm.” Infection Landscapes. Other Infectious Diseases and Microbe sites. web. 13 Feb. 2012. Accessed Nov. 23, 2016. http://www.infectionlandscapes.org/2012/02/hookworm.html#uds-search-results

Maggie—“ According to the article about “Hookworms” caused the slave to be protein and iron deficient; not to mention the hard work involved working in the field all day.

The slave did not wear shoes and this is where the slave most likely got the infectious disease.  The slaves were not lazy since they worked in the field.    And then had to take care of responsibilities upon return home from the field.”

Judy “I agree.  I did not know about hookworms being responsible for the slave’s image of laziness that prevailed in the Civil War times. That is another research item for my students.”

Ray

While staying with Maggie’s aunt Dot, Judy learned how to cook tripe.

Judy—  “What is it you are cooking?   Can I help?”                                               

Dot  “Mmm?  No there isn’t anything to do here?  Do you like tripe?”

Judy “Ugh?   Not sure.  What is tripe?  How do you cook tripe?”

                                                                             Dot—

“Tripe is just the lining of a cow’s stomach.  I am cleaning it; prepare tripegetting rid of the fat.  After that, I will put it in the pot on the stove and simmer it for about 2 1/2 hours.  I am cooking it for my ‘no good husband’.  You can have some tripe too or you can eat the chicken saved from last night.

Image from Spain  Lastras, Javier.  “Tripe.”  Blogspot.  Flickr.  8 Jan. 2010. Accessed Nov. 23, 2016.  www.flickr.com/photos/jlastras/4259276417  

Judy– Well, this time, I will eat the chicken.”  

 

After eating we all took a short nap and then walked to the Jute joint.  It became quite lively later on in the evening but I loved listening and dancing to the soul music.  Everyone had fun!!

The next few days, we talked with Maggie’s family.   Grandma talked about the days she was a slave.

Ray

Friday morning, everyone got up early to go to the farm to chop cotton.  Judy and Maggie were asked to help with the work.

JudyOf course I would love to go, but I do not know how to pick cotton.”

Maggie  “Don’t worry about that.  I will give you a garden hoe and show you how to chop cotton.  We will start at 5:00 in the morning.  And  I’ll have a hat for you to wear, but make sure you put on your jeans.”

Judy  

Soon we stopped beside the little track of a road, and I noticed there was no cotton that I could see.   Where is the cotton I asked in surprise.

Maggie—“Oh I am sorry,  We are going to chop cotton.  It makes it so that there will be more room for all the cotton, I guess.   Now here we have your garden hoe that you can use.”

 

(I do not know where this picture came from but it was a free image.)

Ray

Judy was surprised.    After meeting the other friends of Maggie and finished loading the extra supplies to the farmhouse, it was time to chop cotton.

INTERMISSION

{Go and relax for a while if you are tired of reading.  I hope you have enjoyed the play so far.  You may even want to check out my blogs or the pages to my website.  Comment too.}

Visitors, please continue at your own pace and email me at  judy@findmejeans.com.  I only use the email to let my visitors learn about a new post or Website that I have written.   If you are ready, please go to the second act.

Act 2

Judy’s time in the cotton field with Maggie in Oklahoma.   Levi Strauss & Co. integrate their factories and hire  Black Americans long before the Civil Rights Act on the 1960s.

MaggieWe are going to start on this side and go on down this row to the end. Let me show you how.”  

JudyThe rows seemed long to me but I was ready to start.

2178266091_a47da3cf35_zchopping-cotton

Wolcott, Marion Post, Photographer. “Bayou Bourbeau Plantation.”  Gallery by Christie. Library of Commerce.  circa 1940. accessed Nov. 24, 2016. https://www.flickr.com/photos/christie4679/galleries/72157623356053553/                

Judy

The plants and the weeds looked all the same.   Maggie demonstrated the chopping of cotton for me once again.  I started on my row and looked down to the end.  

It did not seem that far.  I was going pretty fast, but the others were doing it fairly fast too.  A little later, I started to slow down to an unsteady pace.  It was getting unbelievably wretched.

I was getting a more sweaty.  By the time we had reached the end of the row to go back, we all drank a lot of water first.

I thought it was a little too hot to continue, but everyone had started back down the row, and so did I.

About halfway down, or so I thought, my face was starting to be copious with tears of sweat.  My vision was blurred and  I was dizzy and did not complain, but I did slow down a lot.

I had heard a person commenting that the day was a scorcher.  Today there was a new meaning of the word, scorcher.

I looked up and glanced down at the end of my row.   Hot snot!!   It was just too far!  Sweat was pouring down my face like heavy, angry rain.  I heard some people singing.  Can’t remember a note they sang now.

 

Maggie notice me stumbling and talking to myself.  She gave me a rag to wipe my face.   I looked around for a water jug, but apparently, no one had one.

Water, water, water was in my thoughts.  It was at the end of the line, or was it?   Was I in a green desert?

You can see in this picture how hard I was working!

woman sweating and drinking water

Averkamp, Stephanie. “What is Sweat Made Of?” Fitness for Weight Loss, copyright 2015.  Accessed Dec. 17, 2016

To make a long story short, I did not think I could have finished.  My back hurt because you had to chop hard to get the weeds dug out and the garden hoe I used was too short.

Besides that, it was just too hot to work.  Water, water. Water—I was slowing down and was way behind the others who were joking and zipping on down.  Someone noticed me and told Maggie. 

The man said that  ‘I was in low cotton’ today and then she helped me into the truck that was parked in the shade.  I was glad.  When I got back, I took a long swig of water (and poured some on my face).  My T-Shirt was soaked.  When Maggie got back, we just took the truck on back to the farmhouse.

Then we took her car home.   But first, she went to the house to thank the woman who had cooked some beans and rice.  She smiled so kindly.

Judy“I am sorry I did not finish my row.”

Maggie“That is okay.  You are not experienced in working in the sweltering heat. They will work for a few more hours and will be stopping before it gets too hot.  Probably around noon.  {You got to be kidding, I thought!!!}    “Everyone will take a nap, and leave early evening to work the fields again. They will stop when it gets too dark to see.”  

Judy What does it mean, ‘she’s living in low cotton’?”

Maggie“It means that you are just having a bad day.”   

“in low cotton.” McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. 2002. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 8 Nov. 2016 http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/in+low+cotton


Judy
I have thought about that morning several times in my life.   Yes!  I was living in low cotton.  But I wanted to go back someday to try picking cotton once again.  I felt a little sad knowing how the slaves must have felt like having to do the arduous work in the field all day without letup. How could anyone call a slave—lazy?
Yes!  I would have a lot to say to my students in my history class and to teach it in the direction where my students would get a better understanding on how the slave really must have felt by chopping and picking cotton.  

I had also learned how Levi Strauss, the maker of Levi 501 jeans, had his sewing factories integrated before the Civil Rights Act was in place.   The following is an account that happened in The Civil Rights Movement on the 1960’s.   It shows how Levi Strauss was one of the first to integrate his factories.

          Levi Strauss and Co.’s innovations in workplace, practices and social responsibility led the way to corporate

          America throughout much of the 20th century.  For example, the company’s commitment to equal employment

          opportunities diversity predated the U.S. Civil Rights movement of federally mandated desegregation by two 

          decades.   Levi  Strauss and Co. opened integrated factories in California in the 1940’s.     In 1960, to supply a

          growing need for jeans,  the company expanded production to towns in the Southern United States.  As a pre-

          condition to opening manufacturing plants, the company insisted that the workforce was to be integrated from

          day one, which flew in the face of established regional norms.   The company encountered fierce community

          resistance, but eventually provided and set an example for other employers to follow.

  
                     Strauss, Levi & Co.  “Original for 150 years: Story of Levi Strauss.”  PRNews Release.  01 May 2003.  Accessed Dec. 1, 2016.

Judy–continues.  In researching Levi Strauss & Company, I learned their issues of desegregation, equal rights, sustainability, and other important social events were topics my student would find relevant and engrossing.  

Their example being first in many social awareness issues gives evidence that the icon, Levi Strauss, maker of the first 501 Levi jeans for men, is still, in spirit, with the same example of his business acuity, honesty, and hard work

He was generous with his charity and in fact. he was known for his philanthropy.   The Levi Strauss & Co has also donated lots of money to various charities with the real idea of helping.  

And when the history lesson comes to the turbulent times of the 1950’s and the 1960’s there will be a variety of research findings.  

Individuals and companies did their share of the issues of those nervous times and sometimes violent times.  But I know that my experience with chopping cotton and relating it to the slaves will perk up and magnify their interest.

My students loved the 47-foot cowboy who Levi Strauss fitted with Levi jeans in 1960.  The next project will involve the production of the jeans from cotton fields to the distribution of the final product-Levi denim jeans.

The picture is owned by Angelica Paez.  Visit her on facebook and Ipernity.  You can see her works on Y Scrapatorium.   I am grateful for her generosity and loving concern for me.  Her artwork probably began as a young child, but she has been doing a particular style of art for twenty years.  I met her on a website called Ipernity. 

This story play is dedicated to Levi Strauss, Angelica Paez, and Tracey Panek of Levi Strauss & Co. from me, the writer, Judy Kingsberry and my dad’s cowboy seen here on this page, the 47-foot cowboy.
49 foot cowboy statue

THE END OF STORY Of the Drama written by Judy.

Please leave any comments or questions here.  Judy feels everyone is important.  That is the reason my motto is, “Everyone has a Story.” What is your story?   Are any of you familiar with chopping or picking cotton my hand?

If you had a company, what would your values be in the making of your product?  Please, I would like for you to give me feedback and critique about this story.   I would like to hear from all of you.

Maybe you can share a few Southern expressions or idioms of your own.  Perhaps, you may have a story to tell too.  You are my readers and hopefully, by reading this play and the page, 501 jeans, you will understand my love for 501 Levi original fit jeans.

Thank you!!   email comments, questions, and/or request to judy@findmejeans.com   Just leaving a comment is fine too.   Judy, owner of the Website, https://findmejeans.com   The title of my Website is 501 Levi original and tall & big original fit jeans.

If you leave this site, please remember that the big cowboy says, “Y’all come back when ya feel like it!  Here?”