This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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Mrs. Henderson starts by talking about job sources in Hudson which have disappeared including places where she worked such as the Pocketbook Factory, Mount Merino Resort, NYS Training School for Girls, the Hudson School District and more recently the Hudson Public Library and the Parents in Partnership program that she helped start in the Hudson School District. She describes her her role in transferring the girls at the NYS Training School for Juvenile Delinquent Girls (now the Minimum Security Prison), and tells stories about different aspects of life there for the inmates.
She also tells about several entrepreneurial activities she undertook with her husband including BagelBurgers, a food truck in her traveling motorhome, a cafe on Front Street, and a fish fry in their barber shop on Columbia Street. She lists businesses on Warren Street in the 1950s and 60s and recalls when Harry Belafonte and Shelly Winters came to town during that time to be in the movie, Odds Against Tomorrow. She relates how residents served as extras in the film and some ways the cast interacted with the residents. A theme of communication, community activity and caring runs through her narrative as she tells about various ways she has interacted with and advocated for people.
I have worked with various nonprofits in the areas of housing and education and, most recently, adult literacy and numeracy. I am presently an instructor in GED Prep and Adult Basic Education at The Dutchess BOCES Adult Literacy Institute in Poughkeepsie, NY. In my episodic life I have lived in Puerto Rico, Brooklyn, New Orleans and in Hudson from 2005-2009. I have served three years of national service with AmeriCorps/VISTA and have worked extensively with Habitat for Humanity in various locations. I have a Masters degree in nonprofit management from NYU. I am interested in architecture, photography, writing and the history of the Hudson Valley, and, of course, storytelling.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”