= Audio Available Online
Early life in Alabama at Tuskegee High School and Miles Memorial College. Family moved to Kentucky. Contact with the L&N began through older brother Fred. Hired by EO Stocker for dining car position at 10th and Broadway location. Sent to Cincinnati to learn how to conduct Pullman service. Stewart provided all clothes except for black bow tie. Soldier specials, inspectors and meal tickets from officer in charge. Drafted in 1943. Returned to L&N after World War II. Proud of reputation for best dining car service in the United States. Friendship with important people. Businessmen's train from Birmingham to Nashville then Pullman from Louisville to New York. Stewart knew their likes and dislikes. Attendant on political specials for Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and former presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey. Procedure for preparing special trains. Special security measures for the safety of the passengers. Lady Bird Johnson special. Mr Long: head of transportation for the White House. Makeup of passengers on the trains. Insights on Alabama race relations. Race relations at the L&N and methods of adapting. Before and after unions: sleeping on floor or cots in dining car. Black coach for most black passengers; some runs, blacks not allowed on dining cars at all. Conditions of black coach and exceptions of certain blacks riding Pullman (on standby). L&N policy after the Civil Rights Law of 1964. Positive example of President Hill's actions during the segregated years in regard to Dr. Boyd of the Baptist Publishing House in Nashville. People taking advantage of the L&N's excellent dining car service. How Mr. Stewart was able not to become bitter over racial slurs, etc. Early experiences on Atlanta streetcar gave Mr. Stewart guide for handling racial slurs, etc. Personal settlements of disagreements with management. Reasons for passing up opportunity to become first black steward for the L&N. An important consideration was the loss in seniority in changing from waiter-in-charge to steward. Job security: national union salary negotiations - men drawing full salary then no work when passenger service declined. Murphy House was opened up to compensate for lack of service opportunities. Discord caused by of non-dining car duties assigned at the Murphy House. Stewart's steps to see that the national union aware of his grievances. Unsatisfactory working conditions on Amtrak plus other considerations led to Stewart's resignation from L&N. Discussion of events leading to decision to resign Jan 2, 1973. Felt there was policy of trying to turn one black against another. Deals with Louie Stewart's father HP Stewart (born 1876), who was the son of slaves. HP Stewart was one of two blacks in Alabama to hold a lifetime teaching certificate at the time Governor Patterson invited all certificate holders to a reception in Montgomery (approximately 1939). An interesting account of this man's contribution to black education in Alabama.
Early years in Louisville and his marriage. Circumstances surrounding his employment at L&N. Different cooks that he worked with on the L&N diners. Method of cooking and stocking diners, types of equipment, coal burning stoves, and resupply procedures. Menu and effects of World War II on the regular menu. Differences in hours before and after the union took over workers. Description of away quarters and monetary considerations on layovers. Changes by unionization - gains offset cutbacks. Public relations very minimal therefore no negative racial aspects of his job. Special runs such as trips to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Chamber of Commerce trips to eastern and western Kentucky. Differences in manning special runs. Attachment to executive office and worked as porter by night to be free for private cars in the daytime. White's experiences at the Murphy House: guests, description of the house and methods of entertaining. Living arrangements for the White family while assigned to the Murphy House; furnishings and day-to-day considerations for care of the house. Pleasures of working with various individuals connected with the L&N railroad. Reasons behind family feeling of L&N employees. Diner allotment and term "dead-end" explained. Swing shift explained; crews per diner, variety of diners, types of fuel used to fire stoves and the duration of meals.