Interview with Clay East
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QUESTION 6
INTERVIEWER:

Now, when the government, the triple A, asked the planters, or the owners, to plow their crops under, and they paid them?

CLAY EAST:

Yeah.

INTERVIEWER:

Now, yesterday you told me a story about how some of the tenants and sharecroppers came to you and complained. Can you tell me that story again, from the very beginning?

CLAY EAST:

Yeah. I was the law. In fact, well, I was a marshal, constable, and deputy sheriff in this little town, and the folks all trusted me, and when they couldn't get any help, they'd come to me to see if I could help them out.

INTERVIEWER:

OK, but you have to tell me why they were coming to you. Again, remember, we have to assume that people don't know anything, so you have to tell me that, the planters didn't share the money like they were supposed to, and then they came to me for help.

CLAY EAST:

That's right.

INTERVIEWER:

OK, but can you tell that back to me so I have it on film?

CLAY EAST:

Well, that's—they come to me because they figured I could help them get their money, that the guy that owned the land had the check for. He was the one who got the check, they didn't get it. They made the crop, but he got the check, so they didn't have anything to go on, and it was never stipulated in the government contract says it has to be settled between the sharecropper and the owner [sic]. He was sitting there with the check in his hand, and had all the advantages. Some of them would claim that the cropper didn't finish his deal because he didn't have to pick the cotton, didn't have to get his crops, so he hadn't actually finished it. Yet the cropper, then, claimed that he had finished his part of it, which he had.

[camera cuts, audio continues]
INTERVIEWER:

—stop, because we're out of film, but this is good—

[audio cuts]