Madge Cole visited a family friend who worked in the textile industry in Greensboro, North Carolina during summer break from Cornell University where she majored in education. While there, she met and married her husband who was working in a local textile mill. She was quickly integrated into his family who lived in the company's cotton mill village. Soon she too went to work in the mill. Madge has always loved to write and after her husband passed away, she wanted to record the life they shared before the textile mills were sold and textile life disintegrated.
The Turner family’s saga of life and conflict begins in the South¬ern cotton mill village where several members of the family share one of the small rented company houses that surrounds the mam¬moth Banner Cotton Mill located in Pine Valley North Carolina. Emma Lee rules the roost holding the family together for Cindy aged seven and Punkie almost two who have been abandoned by their mother Emma Lee’s cousin. Added to the mix are her older brother Doc a younger sister Mavis and her alcoholic husband and their younger brother Johnny B. who sleeps there but is rarely home. The eldest member of the clan is Aunt Ellie still working at the mill days and tending her nine cats in the evening. The mill owners run the village like a serfdom and the Turner family struggles to hold on to their dreams despite the oppression by the owners and the low wages earned at the mill. Eventually the Turners unite and rebel. Mirroring the true plight of those who labored in Southern cot¬ton mills hard times are almost always there for the Turners. But the love and encouragement of family makes their lives bearable as they struggle on hoping for a better tomorrow.
Joseph M Knight