Monday, April 28, 2014

William Atlas Belk - Knocker Up

I recently found out from my great aunt, age 95, that my great grandfather William Atlas "Buck" Belk was a Knocker Up for the Alcoa Mill in Badin, NC. Great Grandpa was a painter by trade, but in the early 1920s when times were hard he took the job with Alcoa. A "Knocker Up" was in charge of making sure everyone got up in the morning to go to work. He would go knock on doors and windows, getting people out of bed and on their way to the mill. My great grandfather died four years before I was born but I've always heard he was an early riser and always happy, not to mention a big flirt. I can just imagine him getting a sneak peak of a lady in her shift and going on about it. I guess present day Southerners would describe him as a "mess".

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