Item no. 30120
Collection: Wagner Labor Archives

Jimmy Gavin, a founding member of the NMU, in New York City, 1986.

Listen to and read "Booty the Cat: A Sea Story" told by Dominic James "Jimmy" Gavin to folklorist Tom Walker in 1989. Gavin tells about life on the Lena Luckenback as a merchant seaman, and about the mayhem that ensues when a cat named Booty is brought on board.  

The story can be found in the Sailor Stories, Sailor Songs exhibit, the last of a series of exhibits celebrating the founding of the National Maritime Union and its extraordinary battle to break the color line on US ships in the 1930s.

Other exhibits in the series include, Why Unions? Art from the National Maritime Union, on graphic art from the period, Paul Robeson and the NMU, with songs from Paul Robeson, and Fighting Jim Crow on the High Seas, on the long haunting story of the Fall Strike that built the NMU.

Photo from Archives of Irish America, Tamiment Library, New York University.

Item image not found

View other items in the thematic set 1980s