Accessibility Navigation:

Interview with Cynthia Hayward

Interviewee: 
Hayward, Cynthia
Interviewer: 
Britt, Erica
Date of Interview: 
2002-04-19
Identifier: 
LGHA0179
Subjects: 
Childhood Adventures;Relationships with People and Places
Abstract: 
Cynthia Hayward talks about church activities in which she participated in Connecticut.
Collection: 
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Erica Britt interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
Transcript:
CH (Cynthia Hayward): Have any sort of story to tell you.
EB (Erica Britt): Uh-huh.
CH: I remember when I was about 10 years old. I was in fifth grade.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: In part of ( ) Connecticut Stagecoach Road closer to the historical district.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: On Route 79 near Madison, Connecticut and Madison Road. We lived about a mile from the center of town.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And we started driving near the center of town much more often.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And we went near a congregational church that became a Methodist church.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: It's called United Church of the Durham and our pastor, our minister was Reverend Robert Bell. He had studied at Yale. And I was very impressed with that. And I, he, I got to know him quite well but I had never been to the church until I was in fifth grade. And we were driving in probably, my mother had a new Ford hardtop, white, had the white leather hardtop with the blue doors and everything.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, uh, that was her first new car. And that's probably what we were driving and we were going by and we went by United Church of the Durham there was a little sign there and it was a-.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: Had been there about two, maybe 300 years, probably about 1700's.
EB: Wow.
CH: 1720 maybe. This was in the late 70's, 1978.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: Saw this beautiful church peering out into ( ) and it was all white with columns and I just thought that was the most beautiful thing I ever seen. A few years late I took a picture and entered it into a photography contest.
EB: Wow.
CH: You know it didn't win a prize but I was so proud of it and I still have that slide in one of my junk drawers at home. I said to my mother, "I would like to go that church and whose church is that?" And she said, "Well, that's your church honey." And I said, "Well, how can that be my church? I've never been there." And she said, "Oh, you just don't remember. You went when you were small and you're go to that church and you're a member." And I said, "Well, we don't even go to church."
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And my mother started taking me and dropping me off at the Sunday school. I had a woman named Mrs. Wright. At the time I did not know the Lord’s Prayer or the Ten Commandments or anything I was quite a challenging pupil to her. And she gave me my first Bible. Everyone had received their first Bible the year before and she simply admonished me to learn certain ( ). Came back the next week and I knew the Lord’s Prayer and she kept coaching me and finally I was told after I had been going to Sunday school for about a year that I would be joining a private study with the minister and some of the children in middle school. ( )Met for membership class and we had a text that he had written and a curriculum that he devised and talked about different histories of the church and the doctrine of the Methodist and congregational church to decide which church we wanted to be a member of. And I went to my sage grandmother-.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH (Cynthia Hayward): Have any sort of story to tell you.
EB (Erica Britt): Uh-huh.
CH: I remember when I was about 10 years old. I was in fifth grade.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: In part of ( ) Connecticut Stagecoach Road closer to the historical district.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: On Route 79 near Madison, Connecticut and Madison Road. We lived about a mile from the center of town.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And we started driving near the center of town much more often.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And we went near a congregational church that became a Methodist church.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: It's called United Church of the Durham and our pastor, our minister was Reverend Robert Bell. He had studied at Yale. And I was very impressed with that. And I, he, I got to know him quite well but I had never been to the church until I was in fifth grade. And we were driving in probably, my mother had a new Ford hardtop, white, had the white leather hardtop with the blue doors and everything.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, uh, that was her first new car. And that's probably what we were driving and we were going by and we went by United Church of the Durham there was a little sign there and it was a-.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: Had been there about two, maybe 300 years, probably about 1700's.
EB: Wow.
CH: 1720 maybe. This was in the late 70's, 1978.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: Saw this beautiful church peering out into ( ) and it was all white with columns and I just thought that was the most beautiful thing I ever seen. A few years late I took a picture and entered it into a photography contest.
EB: Wow.
CH: You know it didn't win a prize but I was so proud of it and I still have that slide in one of my junk drawers at home. I said to my mother, "I would like to go that church and whose church is that?" And she said, "Well, that's your church honey." And I said, "Well, how can that be my church? I've never been there." And she said, "Oh, you just don't remember. You went when you were small and you're go to that church and you're a member." And I said, "Well, we don't even go to church."
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And my mother started taking me and dropping me off at the Sunday school. I had a woman named Mrs. Wright. At the time I did not know the Lord’s Prayer or the Ten Commandments or anything I was quite a challenging pupil to her. And she gave me my first Bible. Everyone had received their first Bible the year before and she simply admonished me to learn certain ( ). Came back the next week and I knew the Lord’s Prayer and she kept coaching me and finally I was told after I had been going to Sunday school for about a year that I would be joining a private study with the minister and some of the children in middle school. ( )Met for membership class and we had a text that he had written and a curriculum that he devised and talked about different histories of the church and the doctrine of the Methodist and congregational church to decide which church we wanted to be a member of. And I went to my sage grandmother-.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: -And asked her. And she said, "Well, Aunt Mary and Uncle Homer are Methodists. And your grandfather and I we really don't have a religion. When we were little we were Methodist and we don't really have Congregationalists in the family." So I decided since my aunt Mary and Uncle Homer were Methodists, I would join the Methodist church plus I had the influence of our Methodist minister who was ( ) the Methodist students and we had, it was a very interesting because all the students in the class were forced to go to this class by their parents to take the membership class and learn about the church they'd much rather play in the afternoon after church. They didn't want to go to Sunday school and they didn't and so he realized some of us were interested in what he was teaching us. ( ) and he invited us to come on Tuesday. He divided us up and the ones that were, "Forced to come by their parents," as he put it, they could come on Sunday and spend an hour after church with him then the parents would pick them up and go home for lunch. And we would come every, every Tuesday after school and I remember bringing my Bible and my study materials which look something like a report. You know the old reports that you had to bring all those ( ) you typed them and with a real printing press and everything. Um, anyway I'd bring my Bible and I would lock it in my locker and people would say, "Well, why are bringing your Bible to school? Why are you evangelizing at school?" And I said, "I'm not evangelizing at school. I have to bring it. I'm taking a class after school." And they didn't believe me. I went to Strong Middle School and right down the street was the little church, where the church is. So I would walk with Corey Peterson who had a learning disability and that's why he was in this class because couldn't read. And one or two other children who were interested. One girl who was just, I don't know, she just had a very close relationship with the Lord. Her family, she was a Clarke, an old family. ( ) Property in town. And one girl who later ran for House of Representatives and was a republican ticket but then I thought she ( ) so they we were in the class with Reverend Felt. So we had our private tutoring in the history of ( ). He spent a lot of time with the youth. He had something called the only theater in the United States ( ). That they starred in called the Crackerbox Theater and he would devise all the parts and juggle little one act plays according to the number of people who wanted to be in the plays.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And give everybody a part even though it was only one line or they were lying on the table pretending to be dead in a murder mystery and had no line. That's what my sister in law did one time. ( ) People were you know cheating and bringing their playbills up on the stage and where someone like me who never remember their lines and had a hearing problem so the other, the other the advisor to the group would whisper the lines but would have to shout them so I could hear them. [Laugh] She was telling me the lines and I would say them.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: I just never could remember them.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: But you know, we did Hamlet just Oscar Wilde and just different Ernest, The Importance of Being Earnest.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: We did one time we just did all these different highly cultural things to us and we had a good time and he did that for years the Crackerbox Theater. My mother would never come to the performances [laugh] she heard me practice the lines so much at home she said, "I know the play by heart I'm not coming." [Laugh] She had to drive me to so many rehearsals.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: We had like two rehearsals a week. And she wanted to iron or do something like that. So she ( ) Mrs. Weisman who had two teenage boys of her own would drive me home sometimes when my mother was working.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: On her van she would ( ) of the United Church of the Durham and where I got my start. I'm still going to church. I went I had a little falling out with the church and the where that none knew about it cause I only mentioned it to a few friends that I was upset about some politics going on. So I missed five weeks and the minister and the minister's wife came up to me.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: Today when I was at First United Methodist and, "Where have you been? We've missed you. We were going to call you. We've been concerned we haven't seen you and-." ( ) It's just a big part of my life the church and the ministry.
EB: ( )
CH: ( )
EB: Yeah.
CH: It was founded by the settlers who came from Massachusetts and came to Connecticut and just old families, the Newton's and the Clarke's and the Coe's and just people that wanted a little meeting house and they started their own little church and they were Congregationalists. They broke away from the churches in Massachusetts and they came to Connecticut and then there are other churches in other towns but that was just our town. It was a farming town and they had little ( ) and little red carpeting and white hard pews with little ( ) they've probably got red cushions. There was a woman Miss Churchill who always reported the services, services and worked out all the sermons and sometimes would mail them to me in the mail cause she thought if something was important ( ) and I needed a learn them. ( ) Ballet or the theatre or fireworks or whatever. She'd sometimes take me up to Hartford and ( ) was a librarian.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And the minister had the dubious distinction of living next door to the public library so I always found a reason to drop in on him.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: When I was at the library, my mom was like, "You can't go visit the minister whenever you want to. He's busy, busy studying or whatever." But I'd, I remember one time we went somewhere in the car. My aunt was visiting from out of state from Virginia and I had a temper tantrum in the car and my mother kicked me out of the car. She told me if I'm going to be yelling and scaring my aunt in the car I can walk home.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And it wasn't very far but three or four miles, so she left me off and went into the town and it was the fair, the Durham fair weekend was a big agricultural fair and she said, "You're going to have to go to the fair yourself. Here's your money and you'll have to find your own way home because you're scaring your aunt and we don't want you in the car."
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: So I marched to the church and complained to the minister that my mother had made me walk all that all that way. And he said, "Well you should have respect for you mother and you know, honor your mother and you shouldn't be causing problems in the car. Your mother wouldn't have done that." And he wouldn't give me any sympathy.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: "The fair is not that far away. You might as well go and enjoy yourself at the fair and I'm sure she'll give you a ride home afterwards. Be sure not to stay out, out past dark." That was his advice to me. [Laugh] ( ) I got home safely.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: My father came in about 1962 and our parents were married in '64 ( ) bought their house on Stage Coach Road ( ) and I was born in '69 and my mother was from Marshfield, Vermont and my father was from Northfield Falls, Vermont. And they came ( ). My father started out at Coca-Cola and then went to United Technologies of Am- uh, not of America, Technologies Corporation, Pratt Whitney Aircraft Engines. I'm not leaving, I mean you wouldn't believe all the things I went through to get, to get here and, and I, I really have enjoyed it here and want to continue my education and ( ) I found a good church home and I found a nice apartment and some nice friends and staying here ( ) I'm going up to Connecticut on Tuesday to visit. ( ) After a week I'll be ready to come home.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: I usually am. Charlotte is so pretty and clean and ( ) I have arthritis. I have osteoarthritis and it helps me tremendously. It's too cold in Connecticut and I don't really miss ( ) it's not going to snow when I called my, my friend Bill Bowler in New Haven last night. And he said, "Oh it's not going to snow don't worry about it."
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I was hoping to see maybe a little snow but I, I, we have enough snow in Charlotte for me. I've been trying to dig out of so many snowstorms in my lifetime. ( ) Rarely have to bail me out. I'd get a job shoveling a neighbor's driveway and not be able to do anything. [Laugh] It's too much and I'd need help. I still keep in contact with soma the people from Durham and the public library and the church is still there and they still have the agricultural fair, the oldest, largest agricultural fair. I haven't been to it I think since '94 so ( ) first weekend in September. My niece and nephew they send my father bumper stickers that says The Durham Fair. He's got several on the back of his beat up pick-up truck. ( ) Beat up pick-up truck all his life. He'll get one and put 200,000 miles on it and then get another one and run it down until it well, it he'll, and my mother will wash it.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: You know once in a while it looks like a new truck when it's washed. [Laugh] But it's got 200,000 miles on it. Most of the time it'd be a Dodge but this last time it was a Ford. Every time we go by this dealership in Fort Mill I'm like, "Dad why don't you get a new truck?" And "They're 30-40,000 dollars. You've got to be kidding! I own my truck free and clear. I'm not spending all that money! [Laugh] I don't have it. What do you think I am? [Laugh] a bank?" He always says that: "What do you think I am a bank?" [Laugh] My mother's working for another car dealership. She went back into that as a controller in, Columbia.
EB: Huh.
CH: So maybe he'll be able to ( ) able to help you with your project.
EB: Oh, I really appreciate-.
END OF INTERVIEW
CH: -And asked her. And she said, "Well, Aunt Mary and Uncle Homer are Methodists. And your grandfather and I we really don't have a religion. When we were little we were Methodist and we don't really have Congregationalists in the family." So I decided since my aunt Mary and Uncle Homer were Methodists, I would join the Methodist church plus I had the influence of our Methodist minister who was ( ) the Methodist students and we had, it was a very interesting because all the students in the class were forced to go to this class by their parents to take the membership class and learn about the church they'd much rather play in the afternoon after church. They didn't want to go to Sunday school and they didn't and so he realized some of us were interested in what he was teaching us. ( ) and he invited us to come on Tuesday. He divided us up and the ones that were, "Forced to come by their parents," as he put it, they could come on Sunday and spend an hour after church with him then the parents would pick them up and go home for lunch. And we would come every, every Tuesday after school and I remember bringing my
and my study materials which look something like a report. You know the old reports that you had to bring all those ( ) you typed them and with a real printing press and everything. Um, anyway I'd bring my
and I would lock it in my locker and people would say, "Well, why are bringing your
to school? Why are you evangelizing at school?" And I said, "I'm not evangelizing at school. I have to bring it. I'm taking a class after school." And they didn't believe me. I went to Strong Middle School and right down the street was the little church, where the church is. So I would walk with Corey Peterson who had a learning disability and that's why he was in this class because couldn't read. And one or two other children who were interested. One girl who was just, I don't know, she just had a very close relationship with the Lord. Her family, she was a Clarke, an old family. ( ) Property in town. And one girl who later ran for House of Representatives and was a republican ticket but then I thought she ( ) so they we were in the class with Reverend Felt. So we had our private tutoring in the history of ( ). He spent a lot of time with the youth. He had something called the only theater in the United States ( ). That they starred in called the Crackerbox Theater and he would devise all the parts and juggle little one act plays according to the number of people who wanted to be in the plays.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And give everybody a part even though it was only one line or they were lying on the table pretending to be dead in a murder mystery and had no line. That's what my sister in law did one time. ( ) People were you know cheating and bringing their playbills up on the stage and where someone like me who never remember their lines and had a hearing problem so the other, the other the advisor to the group would whisper the lines but would have to shout them so I could hear them. [Laugh] She was telling me the lines and I would say them.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: I just never could remember them.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: But you know, we did
just Oscar Wilde and just different Ernest,
.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: We did one time we just did all these different highly cultural things to us and we had a good time and he did that for years the Crackerbox Theater. My mother would never come to the performances [laugh] she heard me practice the lines so much at home she said, "I know the play by heart I'm not coming." [Laugh] She had to drive me to so many rehearsals.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: We had like two rehearsals a week. And she wanted to iron or do something like that. So she ( ) Mrs. Weisman who had two teenage boys of her own would drive me home sometimes when my mother was working.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: On her van she would ( ) of the United Church of the Durham and where I got my start. I'm still going to church. I went I had a little falling out with the church and the where that none knew about it cause I only mentioned it to a few friends that I was upset about some politics going on. So I missed five weeks and the minister and the minister's wife came up to me.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: Today when I was at First United Methodist and, "Where have you been? We've missed you. We were going to call you. We've been concerned we haven't seen you and-." ( ) It's just a big part of my life the church and the ministry.
EB: ( )
CH: ( )
EB: Yeah.
CH: It was founded by the settlers who came from Massachusetts and came to Connecticut and just old families, the Newton's and the Clarke's and the Coe's and just people that wanted a little meeting house and they started their own little church and they were Congregationalists. They broke away from the churches in Massachusetts and they came to Connecticut and then there are other churches in other towns but that was just our town. It was a farming town and they had little ( ) and little red carpeting and white hard pews with little ( ) they've probably got red cushions. There was a woman Miss Churchill who always reported the services, services and worked out all the sermons and sometimes would mail them to me in the mail cause she thought if something was important ( ) and I needed a learn them. ( ) Ballet or the theatre or fireworks or whatever. She'd sometimes take me up to Hartford and ( ) was a librarian.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And the minister had the dubious distinction of living next door to the public library so I always found a reason to drop in on him.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: When I was at the library, my mom was like, "You can't go visit the minister whenever you want to. He's busy, busy studying or whatever." But I'd, I remember one time we went somewhere in the car. My aunt was visiting from out of state from Virginia and I had a temper tantrum in the car and my mother kicked me out of the car. She told me if I'm going to be yelling and scaring my aunt in the car I can walk home.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And it wasn't very far but three or four miles, so she left me off and went into the town and it was the fair, the Durham fair weekend was a big agricultural fair and she said, "You're going to have to go to the fair yourself. Here's your money and you'll have to find your own way home because you're scaring your aunt and we don't want you in the car."
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: So I marched to the church and complained to the minister that my mother had made me walk all that all that way. And he said, "Well you should have respect for you mother and you know, honor your mother and you shouldn't be causing problems in the car. Your mother wouldn't have done that." And he wouldn't give me any sympathy.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: "The fair is not that far away. You might as well go and enjoy yourself at the fair and I'm sure she'll give you a ride home afterwards. Be sure not to stay out, out past dark." That was his advice to me. [Laugh] ( ) I got home safely.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: My father came in about 1962 and our parents were married in '64 ( ) bought their house on Stage Coach Road ( ) and I was born in '69 and my mother was from Marshfield, Vermont and my father was from Northfield Falls, Vermont. And they came ( ). My father started out at Coca-Cola and then went to United Technologies of Am- uh, not of America, Technologies Corporation, Pratt Whitney Aircraft Engines. I'm not leaving, I mean you wouldn't believe all the things I went through to get, to get here and, and I, I really have enjoyed it here and want to continue my education and ( ) I found a good church home and I found a nice apartment and some nice friends and staying here ( ) I'm going up to Connecticut on Tuesday to visit. ( ) After a week I'll be ready to come home.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: I usually am. Charlotte is so pretty and clean and ( ) I have arthritis. I have osteoarthritis and it helps me tremendously. It's too cold in Connecticut and I don't really miss ( ) it's not going to snow when I called my, my friend Bill Bowler in New Haven last night. And he said, "Oh it's not going to snow don't worry about it."
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I was hoping to see maybe a little snow but I, I, we have enough snow in Charlotte for me. I've been trying to dig out of so many snowstorms in my lifetime. ( ) Rarely have to bail me out. I'd get a job shoveling a neighbor's driveway and not be able to do anything. [Laugh] It's too much and I'd need help. I still keep in contact with soma the people from Durham and the public library and the church is still there and they still have the agricultural fair, the oldest, largest agricultural fair. I haven't been to it I think since '94 so ( ) first weekend in September. My niece and nephew they send my father bumper stickers that says The Durham Fair. He's got several on the back of his beat up pick-up truck. ( ) Beat up pick-up truck all his life. He'll get one and put 200,000 miles on it and then get another one and run it down until it well, it he'll, and my mother will wash it.
EB: Uh-huh.
CH: You know once in a while it looks like a new truck when it's washed. [Laugh] But it's got 200,000 miles on it. Most of the time it'd be a Dodge but this last time it was a Ford. Every time we go by this dealership in Fort Mill I'm like, "Dad why don't you get a new truck?" And "They're 30-40,000 dollars. You've got to be kidding! I own my truck free and clear. I'm not spending all that money! [Laugh] I don't have it. What do you think I am? [Laugh] a bank?" He always says that: "What do you think I am a bank?" [Laugh] My mother's working for another car dealership. She went back into that as a controller in, Columbia.
EB: Huh.
CH: So maybe he'll be able to ( ) able to help you with your project.
EB: Oh, I really appreciate-.
END OF INTERVIEW
Groups: