From The Blog

Interview with Former Plycraft Employee

Sunday morning, I cracked open my notebook, powered up my recorder, logged into Skype, and soon found myself screen to screen with my interviewee....

Sunday morning, I cracked open my notebook, powered up my recorder, logged into Skype, and soon found myself screen to screen with my interviewee. Proctor is a pretty unusual guy in his own right, an ordained minister, a martial arts enthusiast, and a tattoo artist with at least half his face and much of his visible body decorated with tribal designs and Japanese characters.

I found my interview subject, Reverend Jamey Proctor, through a post he’d left in the comments section of a design blog called Deluxeville. Proctor mentioned having worked at the Lawrence Plycraft factory in 1979 and 1980, and he was the only person I’ve been able to find on any of these design blogs who had some kind of first-hand experience with Goldman and Plycraft.

Using the name he gave in the comments section, I found Reverend Proctor on Facebook, with a link to the tattoo parlor where he works. I dug around on that site until I found an email address, and sent him a brief letter, explaining who I was, and the basic outline of my project. Surprisingly, he got back to me within a few days, and we were able to set up a Skype appointment after a few back-and-forths.

Proctor explained that he’d worked in the factory starting in his senior year of high school, and that his dad had been the head of the Mill Room until he died of a massive a heart attack on the factory floor. I aksed about documents: diaries, photographs, etc., but Proctor suggested he wouldn’t find much. “My father was a simple, down to Earth kind of guy.” He definitely didn’t keep a diary. Still, Proctor did offer a few good leads on other employees. The granddaughter of old friend from Plycraft had just come into his shop for a tattoo only a few weeks ago. I now have a list of a few names of employees from this late period of Plycraft.

By Danny Penny