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"Girls had to work like men," the 95 year old Tidmore Bend woman said. "We picked cotton, hoed cotton, hauled hay ."

Like most young families during those years, the Johnsons struggled.

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"I got there and I cleaned all day," she said. "It smelled so bad. I just kept cleaning and cleaning."

Converse All Star For Girls High Top

´╗┐Gadsden woman had 'man's job' as Mobile welder during World War II

"I found out you could make more money at the shipyard," she said. "Just a little bit more money Converse All Star For Girls High Top meant a lot to people."

Converse All Star For Girls High Top

Converse All Star For Girls High Top

That work ethic served her well during World War II, when she was part of an all female welding crew at the shipyard in Mobile.

Mobile so Ted could get a job on the docks. He was a welder and there was plenty of work because so many men had gone into the armed services.

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Soon after World War II began, the Johnsons moved to Converse Womens White Shoes

starve, but we had very little to exist on."

Zaddie was born in 1918 in East Gadsden, on the Paden Farm. There were eight children in her family, and she said her father didn't want them to get married.

Zaddie married Roosevelt Johnson, whom everybody called Ted. "By the time I was 20, I had two babies," she said. Barbara was born in 1936 and Ted in 1937.

"We started with nothing, so you were glad for anything you had ," Zaddie said. "Both my babies were in diapers, and I was washing on a rub board and drawing water out of a well. I look back and wonder how people did all that. We didn't Converse For Girls All Stars

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"We got down there and there was two rooms," Zaddie recalled. They shared a bathroom in the middle with another Converse All Star Modern Black

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That night when her husband got home from work, she told him she couldn't seem to get the smell out. He started laughing.

"So at 17, I ran away and got married," she said.

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Zaddie Johnson, one of the female welders in Mobile in 1945, holds an old company newspaper with a photo of her with a welding crew on July 9, 2013, in Gadsden. During World War II she was part of an all female welding crew at the shipyard in Mobile. (AP Photo/Gadsden Times, Marc Golden)

family.

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"He says 'That's the paper mill you smell,'" Zaddie said.

She soon got a job at the paper mill, but worked there for only a short time.

She and her family were sharecroppers in the '20s and '30s, and she worked alongside her brothers and sisters on the farms.

Ted went down first and rented a place in Prichard for the family to live.

Converse All Star For Girls High Top

Converse All Star For Girls High Top

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