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C.D. "Charlie" Orrock Oral History Interview, 1995-07-24

@ Georgia State University

Orrock, Charlie


Orrock talks about his family background, his life on a dairy farm, and his schoolteacher mother, who also worked the farm. He served in the Army for six months and then spent a year having ‘adventures’ in Asia. He talks about working with Tibetan refugees, construction work in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, Chu Lai and the Viet Cong, and being a foreman blasting in rock quarry in Vietnam. Prior to this, Orrock explains, he was on Army Special Forces A-teams in Europe. He says his anti-war activism began while working as a civilian in Vietnam. He decided that he “wasn’t contributing anything to anything that was important to me anymore, and [he would] go home.” Orrock became active in the United Mine Workers, but he rejected their pro-war ideology, especially that of Tony Boyle. He says he approved of Arnold Miller becoming president of the United Mine Workers (UMW). After seeing the corruption within Mine Workers, Orrock explains that he decided it was time to join the Steel Workers, but experienced corruption there too. The biggest ideological and social problem he faced in the Steel Workers was racism and segregation. He concedes, “There was basically no corruption at the top of the Steel Workers in any degree like there was, say, Teamsters or Mine Workers.” Orrock also goes into detail about his views on national and Georgia politics as well as politicians Newt Gingrich, Lester Maddox, and George Busbee. When discussing race relations with the union, Orrock says, “I’ve always...
Lutz, Christine
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