Thursday, January 19, 2017
Tom Perriello listens to an IUE-CWA Local 162 union member asking about automation.
Tom Perriello’s last stop in his listening tour through Roanoke was at the IUE-CWA Local 162 Roanoke headquarters where about 10 union rank and file members and union shop stewards from Verizon, ITT now the Harris Corporation, GE and Virginia Transformer peppered him with questions. Union members are not shy about asking questions.
Before Perriello arrived Jack Roland Chief Steward with Local 82162 at Harris Corporation said he wanted to know how Perriello views the future of the working class. Where does he see unions place in the future.
Jeff Moran, who works for Harris Corporation (again formerly ITT
Horseshoe winner picks out one of Becky Johnson's stuffed toys.
The Johnsons were vague when I first asked them how they accumulated all the stuffed animals and characters they donated as prizes Saturday. Becky and Eddie Johnson, members of Countryside Neighborhood Alliance came up with 100 fluffy odd stuffed characters as prizes for playing horseshoes at Juneteenth Freedom Day 2009. This was the third year our neighborhood has participated.
The kids loved it and even a few adults gave a few throws of the horseshoe. This went on until every stuffed toy was gone at about 3:00 PM.
Finally the Johnson’s secret came out. They had accumulated the stuffed toys from an admitted “addiction” they had with claw machines. Eddie confessed, “you get into a habit … it had become a driving force … an addiction we had to overcome.” They would go to Burger King and sit down to eat – they would here ring out “your a winner” and they thought someone else had grabbed a toy that “they could have gotten out of the machine.”
At one point said Eddie, “we planned our day around it spending $3 to $6 dollars.” He explained that 5 years ago they just dumped the stuffed toys into the claw machines making it easy for pros like the Johnsons to grab a bundle. Eddie complained that now they have learned to “pack” them in to make it harder.
Finally their daughter, Amy, had to have a little talk with her parents about their … ahhh … well problem. Amy conducted an intervention of sorts. Amy and their son are proud that their parents finally have come to grips with their admitted addition. They have now curtailed their habit and it is no longer a driving force but an occasional treat.
What better way to atone for their … ahhh … problem then to donate the toys as prizes for Juneteenth Freedom Day. In the past they had already given some to school children with special needs and other children at their Penn Forest Christian Church.
Nowadays the Johnsons can “walk away” from a claw machine with no lingering anxiety. BUT if you see them at next years Juneteenth with a pile of stuffed toys you’ll know the Johnsons have had a relapse. They have my phone number as support as members of CMA (Claw Machines Anonymous).
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Community, Local Events
Tags: Countryside, family, neighborhood