In 1975, the Chicago video collective Videopolis produced a documentary called "It's a Living." The tape was loosely based on Studs Terkel's book, "Working," which was a collection of interviews with ordinary people talking about their jobs. This hour-long program was shown on Channel 11 (WTTW) in Chicago. After the success of this tape, the videomakers were commissioned to make six half-hour shows that had the same type of mission. "Paper Roses" featured residents of the Chicago Housing Authority's Clark-Irving Apartments, which provided low-rent housing for senior citizens. This tape features footage of voting day at the apartments, plus interviews with various volunteers and residents.
00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with a blue screen.
00:38Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of the videomakers before going out into the field.
01:02Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of a volunteer at Clark-Irving Apartments helping a woman fill out a voting form. Other residents are seen scattered across the room in the process of voting. This lasts for several minutes.
05:16Copy video clip URL A volunteer tries to help a woman place her vote, but can’t due to her refusal to sign an affidavit. Another woman inside the booth assists her instead. She eventually signs an affidavit.
09:13Copy video clip URL Cohen speaks with a voter about her reasons for voting. She states that much of her voting habits lean towards helping the elderly. Her husband talks about his love for the outdoors and states that he doesn’t get to go out much more.
11:53Copy video clip URL Cohen speaks with an elderly woman about her volunteer work selling coffee and cake on Monday mornings at the complex. The two videomakers follow her as she enters the elevator. The then step on to the elevator with a group of women who had just gotten back from the grocery store. They talk about the high prices they have to deal with on their monthly trip to the supermarket. This lasts for several minutes.
15:27Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of a few volunteers who talk about their work at the complex. One of the women talks about her work as a secretary before she retired. She stopped working after going through heart surgery in 1958. She states that she misses work but that she would never go back. The woman goes on to talk about her love for the Clark-Irving Apartments, her interactions with people, and the familial aspects of the complex. She goes on to talk about the number of scheduled events that take place throughout the week. This lasts for several minutes.
22:46Copy video clip URL The two women talk about the amount of visitors they get. One woman states that her grandchildren had come to stay with her earlier in the week. The other woman talks about her active life at the complex and her upcoming marriage. She hopes that her fiance can move in to her apartment. This lasts for several minutes.
26:43Copy video clip URL The videomakers speak with a group of female residents about living at the Clark-Irving Apartments. One woman expresses her love of retirement and camaraderie between the residents. The videomakers go on to speak with a couple about how they came to marry each other. The two were married later in life. The man goes on to talk about his losing both feet to gangrene and not being able to work afterward. The man goes on to say that the worst thing someone can do to an older person is to convince them to retire. The tape ends shortly afterward.
33:17Copy video clip URL Tape ends.