Wanted: Hicks and Hillbillys by Roy Richard

The GM brass were in a heated debate,
Seemingly overnight the auto became a way of life
Sales are doubling, profits are through the roof.
But there isn’t enough workers to cover the line.

“Anyone know where we can get some labor?”
Someone from Missouri raised their hand,
“I know some old cotton pickers that might”
A plan was laid, a bus was hired and a doctor assigned.

The hillbilly express headed to Arkansas and Missouri.
Word spread around the square, “Work up north, paying good”.
Interview them, examine them, throw them on the bus.
The lines filled up with men seeking fortune.

Housing was short, three to a room for sleeping. One on each shift.
Some slept in the plant basements and some under the stars.
The money was good and the work not too hard.
Most had never had so much money in their pockets.

Some saved and sent for their families,
Some squandered and drank and chased skirt,
Some missed home and left when their wallets were full.
They brought a culture and created a new way of life.

Little Missouri’s popped up here and there
Communities made up of the same families from ‘home’
They still remanence about God’s Land
Someday hoping to return.

Roy Richard January 2023

Flint Michigan General Motors Plants that existed: pre 1950

Durant-Dort Factory One
General Motors traces its roots to the Durant-Dort Carriage Company of Flint named after William C. Durant and Josiah Dallas Dort, and purchased the original Durant-Dort factory (built in 1880 as a woolen mill) on Water Street in May 2013 (and the Durant-Dort office, a National Historic Landmark across the street, as well.

Buick Motor Division
On Hamilton Avenue, the oldest buildings opened in 1908. This was the largest GM complex in the world. Buick originally opened in Flint on West Kearsley Street; this plant was repurposed as the first Chevrolet factory after the Hamilton Avenue site opened.

AC Spark Plug Division/Delphi Corporation: Industrial Avenue plant
Built before 1912, it replaced the original 1908 operation inside a Buick building. It closed about 1976, and was demolished shortly thereafter.
Dort Highway plant and division HQ/Delphi Flint East
This plant manufactured spark plugs, air, oil and fuel filters, instrument clusters and other parts. It opened around the mid-1920s in the former Dort (automobile) plant.

Chevrolet Motor Division
The plant opened on Wilcox Street, later renamed Chevrolet Avenue, about 1913, comprising the Motor Division (engine-assembly and engine-parts plants) and the Pressed Metal Division (parts plants) and the pre-World War II Chevrolet Assembly (Plant Two) and Fisher Body #2 plants (later Chevrolet Plant 2A). It was located at the corner of Kearsley Street and Wilcox Street.[5][6] This was also originally known as the Flint Wagon Works[7] before it was relocated to its current location, known as Buick City.

Fisher Body Division: Flint Plant #1
This plant was located on South Saginaw Street, and manufactured Buick bodies and pressed-metal parts. GM bought the plant from Durant Motors before 1935; it had opened in the early 1920s as Durant Motors headquarters, producing the "Flint" car.

Copyright Roy Richard

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