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Published by: Henry Jacob Baker Jr on Nov 14, 2010
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THE WAY I SEE IT The way I see it is this, we were all in natlfed for what ever reason, each

of us decided to join the organization because it made sense. For me it was like trying a new food, you never know if you like it or not unless you try it. I am sure each and every other member of natlfed joined for their own reasons. As do most people in any organization. The organization may have done some underhanded things to recruit people to the ranks but each of us has a mind and knows how to use it, I hope anyways. For me personally, I guess I was too strong headed to be totally drawn into the rank and file of the organization. I joined EFWA in 1985 I think about a year or so after the �84 raids. At that time EFWA was located in Lyons, Wayne County, where I was living, my first contact was with then OPS Robin and John I came in to the office because at that time I was running my part time printing business and looking for local customers. As I sat down and listen to both Robin and John explain what EFWA was and what it was doing here in Lyons, I was very interested in learning more about the organization. I have read some what about the struggle on Water Street, the HUD fight and so on. I remember it like it was yesterday. The first impression was that it was a dirt poor organization, it had to raise its own funds by phoning people and doing mail outs or knocking on doors, To me that seems like hard work and how could someone do that for years at a time. I know how hard it was to maintain electric and heat and other things as I had to huddle around candles and kerosene heater during the winter. My first assignment in EFWA was working in their print department as their printing coordinator. This assignment also took me to their sister organizing drive in Rochester called ESWA. My first trip to Rochester, was taking the City bus from Lyons to Rochester one early morning. I was somewhat nervous about doing that since I never been to the City and didn�t know who I was going to meet at the other end. But, I did it, because when I take on a assignment I usually want to follow it though. Well, I made it ok and was met at the bus stop by a gentleman named Mark, he took me to their office and I was impress with their office at least they had lights and heat what a wonderful feeling. I was given a tour of their office, I met Jeanie, Ann and of course Mark, I explain that I was sent here to help on their print as well as getting efwa printing done also. Working with Jeanie on making phone calls to local printers which was call pro calls. For a real quite and shy guy all of this was all new to me. I wasn�t used to being around a lot of people and talking in front of people as I am usually a very nervous person. Maybe in a good way the organization help me to get over that feeling. Well my days turned into weeks into months and into years. Pg2 As my time went on, I began to spend more and more time with EFWA going to the colleges, on speaking engagements, helping with other areas of the organization. I soon was leaning towards a full time commitment with EFWA. As time goes on I help to move the office to Syracuse as we been asked to leave our current space in Lyons. I took trips to

Syracuse to help bring back EFWA to Wayne County, we tried to get other office space in Lyons without much luck, we looked around and had found this space in Sodus, I help to move the office from Syracuse to Sodus, Over the years I worked with EFWA and ESWA and FLEJA, there was of course times where I left the organization as the stress of certain situations were making it hard to continue. Being married and having a child and being a full time volunteer didn�t always work, there was times when my ex would make certain statements and I won�t repeat them here. I do not blame the organization for anything that happen within my personal life. My personal life became a burden on the organization and I knew something had to be done about it. I took matters in my own hands and took care of the personal problem my way, which turned out to be the wrong way in the end. After my legal battle with ex and the other legal problems that situation causes, I return to the organization. Yes there was times where I was being hard headed and willn�t listen to the OPS person. I do regret being that way, I should have been more supported and did what I was told. To me it isn�t the organization that was bad but some of the people who was in charge was the problem.� I do not know what went on in NYC and I did not have direct contact with people there. My direction usually was given to me though OPS. I remember all the people I worked with within the 10 years that I was in the organization. I consider each and everyone a friend. I like the people I met within the organization as I am sure they were all in it for their own reasons. When I found out that Wayne OPS had left the area, I was not totally surprise by that, as I had suspect that she was planning something. I understand why she left and how and when she left. That is how I became the �person in charge� not really a OPS person, as Rochester was overseeing things. As far as I was concern they just wanted a warm body in the office until they was able to send new organizers up from downstate. I did what had to be done to keep the doors open, the lights and heat on and so foth. I felt like they didn�t trust me as I never handle the money coming into the office.� Within the 18 months that I was in charge we never lost lights and heat and the rent was paid every month. I still did the calls the appeals for donations, I still did pickups of volunteers and donations, that was what I did. I know downstate wasn�t too happy that I got into a personal relationship and started to spend my nights else where. The office was closed at 9PM and reopen by (AM. Since I figure I was a volunteer not OPS I wasn�t tie to the office 24/7. Some downstate disagree with that. I did not allow no one to tell me what I should do. I did what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted. After the death of Gino, things from downstate got bad, at some points I just hung up the phone, and left the office. I guess that is why they finally sent the 2 organizer from downstate up to Wayne because it was clear to them I wasn�t going to be another puppet on their strings. This takes me to date, I have no love for the organization, but I do care about those people who I had worked with and I will continue to do so. Henry

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