Accessibility Navigation:

Waitsell Ensley oral history interview

Ensley, Waitsell E., 1936-
McCann, Jessica
Date of Interview: 
Ensley, Waitsell, 1936-; Country life; Manners and customs; Education, Rural; Parents--Death; Drinking of alcoholic beverages; Social values; World War (1939-1945); North Carolina--Cramerton; North Carolina--Smyre; North Carolina--Gaston County; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
Textiles industry manager Waitsell Ensley discusses his life and his family. He describes his unexpected birth and his childhood growing up in small mill towns in Gaston County, North Carolina. In particular, Mr. Ensley talks about rationing during World War II and his experiences attending Ranlo Grammar School and Lowell High School, including corporal punishment. He discusses his parents and their early deaths, which led to him living with his older sister when he was in the eighth grade. Mr. Ensley recalls dating Dot in high school, then marrying her in 1955. He discusses his life after marriage, including drinking early on and how he gave it up entirely to become a better husband and father. He also talks about his children and grandchildren, and being an active member of his church and participating in the choir after his children had grown up. Mr. Ensley concludes by sharing his thoughts on societal change, saying that culture has changed for the worse because people no longer look out for their neighbors.
David Goldfield student project on change in the Charlotte region
Interview Audio: