TRANSCRIPTS

First-hand testimony from sandminers was collected during an Oral History Project conducted by the Port Washington Public Library in 1983 under a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities and the New York State Council on the Arts (Folk Arts Program). Additional interviews with Al and Lucy Salerno in 2001 bring the story up to date, thanks to Jim Metzner Productions, Inc. ('Pulse of the Planet' radio program) and Allan Zullo, director of research for the Pope family saga. The following interview transcripts provide detailed information on every aspect of the Port Washington's sandmining story---including memories of immigration, working conditions, education, social and cultural life and current controversies about land use and the environment.

 

Carta, Antonio (1901-1987). Sandminer. With Pinna, John.
Traveling back and forth between Italy and America; work experiences: "caving", working on dredge, quarrying "big stone" for war memorial in Glen Cove; living in company house, "camps", construction of washer, changes in sandbanks; hopes for future of sandbanks area.
14 pages. Interviewer-Elly Shodell. 1982.

Chester, Catherine Giagu (1939- ). Sandminer's daughter.
Car tour of sandbanks along West Shore Road from Beacon Hill road to the Roslyn Viaduct; families who lived there; barges; day-to-day life; shopping at Marino's and Langone's stores, butcher shop, fresh produce, penny candy; peddlers; socializing; housing: wooden houses, living in scows, barracks' residents, houses on stilts; feelings of isolation; happy times, playing games; homemade wine; hopes for future of sandbanks area.
24 pages. Interviewer-Elly Shodell. 1982.

Christiansen, Christian (1917- ). Sandminer's son.
Childhood and family background: arrival from Norway. 1890; grandparents' life and work on sand barges; living conditions; socializing among scow residents; description of work; hazards: accidents, capsizing, fires; father's work in sandbanks; company housing, canteens; Christmas parties; work crews; sounds of the sandbanks; changes in technology, equipment of sandbanks; hopes for future of sandbanks area. Reminiscences of: Mr. Gallagher, Jim Salerno, Al Marino.
33 pages. Interviewer-Elly Shodell. 1982.

D'Amico, Saby (1919- ). Sandminer.
Car tour of the sandbanks: structures and equipment; maintenance of machinery; "truck cemetery", transit mix; reunion of Colonial employees. Reminiscences of: Generoso Pope.
13 pages. Interviewer-Elly Shodell. 1982.

Degoski, Wanda (1906- ). Sandbanks resident.
Changes in the sandbanks area; living conditions, lack of water, qualifications of workers; dangers; feelings of isolation; description of family life, schooling; ethnic background of workers. Reminiscences of: Bert Thompson.
19 pages. Interviewer-Elly Shodell. 1982.

Henderson, Charles (1902-1982). Sandminer.
Local history: Henderson Avenue area, Mill Pond; sandmining in Manorhaven, Soundview; work experience: job description, typical workday, equipment, techniques; company housing; wages and prices; accidents; camaraderie among workers; importance of sandbanks to Port Washington.
38 pages. Interviewer-Elly Shodell. 1982.

Marino, Albert (1914- ). Sandminer.
Father's emigration from Italy, 1894; childhood in Port: Goodwin and Gallagher school, housing, family life; employment in sandbanks, 1936-64; impact of Depression on sand industry; working and safety conditions; early machines; effect of automation on mining process; social life; unionization of the sandbanks, 1937. Reminiscences of: James Marino, Generoso Pope.
56 pages. Interviewer-Lucy Salerno. 1981.

Marino, Albert (1914- ). Sandminer.
Telephone interview with Al Marino by Allan Zullo (director of research for the Pope family saga), April 3, 2001. Computer transcription by Marni Chris Tice, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 16, 2001.

Markland, Kenneth B. (1909- ). Truck driver, messenger.
Life in the sandbanks, 1920s-40s: scenery, movies (Perils of Pauline, The Great Flood),
Recreational activities, worker housing, machinery, memories of the Gallagher House, ethnic relations; brother Alfred's work in the sandbanks as a truck driver.
15 pages. Interviewer-Elly Shodell. 1981.

Mills, Herb ( - ). Geologist, Nassau County Museum.
Detailed review of geology of sandbanks; effects of glaciations: cretaceous deposits, glacial outwash, glacial till, terminal moraine; sandstone; sandmining; natural history of the sandbanks: trees, shrubs, berries; small mammals, birds; forestation; fossils; plan to develop area.
10 pages. Interviewer-George Williams. 1982.

Mullon, Bill (1902- ). Sandminer.
Career in sandmining, 1920s-50s: digger, operating engineer, detailed recollections of work process; workers' housing in sandbanks; cave-ins, other dangers; social activities among workers; working conditions; ethnic mix.
9 pages. Interviewer----Mitch Carucci. 1981.

Palen, Nancy (1939- ). Sandminer's daughter.
Road tour of sandbanks area along Shore Road: houses, occupants, company-owned housing, school, grocery stores; recreation:bocce, swimming, fishing, boating, clamming; ethnic background of residents; holidays; class distinctions; family history; union, strike; camaraderie among residents; accidents in sandbanks; ice in Hempstead Harbor.
20 pages. Interviewer---Dr. George Williams. 1982

Pinna, John (c.1940- ). Sandminer's nephew. See also Carta, Antonio.
Traveling back and forth between Italy and America; work experiences: "caving", working on dredge, quarrying "big stone" for war memorial in Glen Cove: living in company house, "camps". Construction of washer; changes in sandbanks; hopes for future of sandbanks area.
14 pages. Interviewer-Elly Shodell. 1982.

Salerno, Albert Michael(1928- ) with Lucy Salerno, wife. Retired sandminer.
Early work in sand and gravel industry, 1950s; detailed description of processes involved; risks and dangers; history of the sand banks; relationship of Port Washington sand to New York City's skyscrapers; family history; labor struggles; social life; role of women; Italian culture.
34 pages. Interviewer- Amy Standen. 1999.
Copyright Jim Metzner Productions, Inc.

Salerno, Albert Michael (1928- ). Retired sandminer.
Telephone interview (#1) with Mr. Salerno by Allan Zullo (director of research for the Pope family saga), on March 26, 2001. Computer transcription by Marni Chris Tice, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 13, 2001.

Salerno, Albert Michael (1928- ). Retired sandminer.
Personal interview (#2) with Mr. Salerno by Allan Zullo (director of research for the Pope family saga) and Paul Pope (President of Pope Entertainment Group, grandson of Generoso Pope Sr. and son of Generoso 'Gene' Pope Junior. At Albert Salerno's home in Port Washington on April 21, 2001. Computer transcripts by Marni Chris Tice, July 16, 2001.

Santoli, Elizabeth (1922- ). Sandminer's daughter.
Sandbanks: neighbors along West Shore Road, memories of childhood, Hempstead harbor School; living in the old schoolhouse, 1941-75; Gallagher house; social life; farms; ethnic groups; father's occupational skills. Reminiscences of: Markland family.
13 pages. Interviewers-George Williams and Adelia Williams. 1982.