That her union card and transfer document were found among Katherine Shreves' possessions is not surprising, since without a union card she would not have been allowed to work in New York and many other places across the nation. Recording and "canned music" were replacing live musicians at an alarming pace, and the American Federation of Musicians was busy defending employment opportunities for its members. Katherine's Republican political views made her uncomfortable with her union membership and was a source of tension between her and her sister Frances and brother-in-law Robert Gross.
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Union "locals" were very territorial in the years the Gross and Shreves moved to Los Angeles. Katherine was required to be in residence for a year before she could play AFM events. Her friend Della found a job working as a music teacher in the Los Angeles City Schools and never returned to performance for a living. When her brother-in-law used "connections" to get around the year of waiting, it created a long lasting rift within the family.