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Interview with Clarissa Hampton

Hampton, Clarissa
Bailey, Kim
Date of Interview: 
relationships with people and places; childhood adventures; stories and storytellers; tolerance and respect; then and now; cultural identification
Clarissa Hampton talks about her life from childhood to the present in Harrisburg, NC.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Kim Bailey interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
KB (Kim Bailey): Testing, testing, ok, we're, yes ma'am [laughs] We're here with Miss Clarissa Hampton and, if you don't mind me asking, how old are you Miss Hampton?
CH (Clarissa Hampton): If I live to see August 25th, I will be 85 years old.
KB: Wow, very good. As I told Mr. George yesterday, you all look good for your age.
CH: Well, thank you.
KB: And I heard you all were in the fourth grade together?
CH: Uh-huh, Uh-huh.
KB: At Bellefonte?
CH: At Bellefonte, and that was the first school I went to, and, and, it was a Rosenwald school.
KB: And what does the mean?
CH: That was some of the oldest schools, that was the first school that was built // in the county//.
KB: // Oh //.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: OK, and you all had the privilege of going-.
CH: Oh, yeah, when I was six years old that was the first school I went to.
KB: Ah, and how was that, do you remember, can you describe how the school was then?
CH: Yeah, it was [laughter], we had only two teachers, and it went to the seventh grade-.
KB: Uh-huh
CH: -And one teacher had from one to three, and the other one had from four to seven.
KB: OK, all together in one classroom-.
CH: All together in one classroom, we had a little space off, they would make soup, and we had a soup bowl, everyone had a food bowl-.
KB: Ah, who cooked the soup, //did the teachers//?
CH: Somebody, somebody // would come in // and cook the soup.
CH: So we had a hot meal.
KB: That's good.
CH: Uh-huh, uh-huh, and my first teacher was Miss Colfar, and I will never forget her, and my next teacher got me into learning was Miss Lilly Henson.
KB: Miss Lilly Henson.
CH: Now, now, if you did something in school, she'd whip you, you didn't get away with nothing.
KB: Did you ever get spanked?
CH: Oh, yeah [laughter] But I didn't get spanked but one time -.
KB: That's all it took, huh? [Laugh].
CH: That's all it took, that's all it took, and it, back then if an older person told you anything to do, and you didn't do it, uh, they just whip you-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -And then they'd tell your parents and // you'd get another one. //
KB: // You got another one // [laughs]!
CH: That's right, exactly, it's not like it is today -.
KB: Oh no-.
CH: Because children are, if they can't carry the gun, they ( ) the gun.
KB: Yeah.
CH: They do, don't they?
KB: Yeah, they do. I taught school last year-.
CH: // Did you? //
KB: // -And had some bad ones // [laughter]. Very bad ones. Too bad I couldn't spank them, but they were a little too old to be spanked, // but- // [laughs].
CH: // OK, OK //
KB: If they had been spanked earlier-.
CH: Yeah, yeah // been better //.
KB: -It might have //been better//.
CH: But you, but you can tell, you can tell when they took prayer out of school and this 9-1-1 come in -.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: See, it wasn't in when I was coming up.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Because somebody would have been in jail, or someone would have been somewhere, because, uh, you know, you didn't have that 9-1-1 to call if they were spanking you or something.
KB: Oh yeah [laughs].
CH: And, ah, see you got away with a whole lot but some people whip you with switches.
KB: Yep.
CH: And them things would hurt too.
KB: Yeah.
CH: And we had to walk to school a long ways, it's a wonder we got two feet now, it's true, I look at mine and I think, Lord, I thank you for these feet and legs, say cause, sometimes when I get to school, um, my feet would be so cold, I didn't know I had feet.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And we had this big potbelly stove in the middle of the floor and that's all they had too.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And uh, um, and we went we had that, with the boys would go down in the woods and get wood to put in the stove to keep us warm, and all that's in here, that's what I remembered. We didn't have no running water had to carry water from the well.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And didn't have no inside toilet.
KB: Um.
CH: And all of that and Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward furnished us paper.
KB: Uh-huh. [Laugh] That's good.
CH: All that's in here and um but we were happy though.
KB: That's good.
CH: And we didn't know we were poor.
KB: Of course not \\everybody was the same level. \\
CH: \\ Was, was the same level \\ that's right. And uh so it went along good the, the we didn't know we were poor but we were. But we were happy poor happy.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Happy poor [laugh]. And um so and we didn't we'd make a fire in the yard.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And we had the black iron do you know I know you don't remember.
KB: My grandmother had one.
CH: OK and set them irons up to that fire.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And iron all day long.
KB: All day?
CH: All day long [laugh] 'cause it was 10 girls.
KB: Uh, yeah.
CH: Had to, you know, we had to do something.
KB: Yeah it does mean a lot of clothes to iron.
CH: And everybody had a chore to do and they did it.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: It's not like children now. Children come in now they don't have anything to do.
KB: ( ).
CH: They sit down.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And you ask them to do something they push their mouth out.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I said child you'd better not had to come along a long time ago [laugh]. 'Cause you'd a probably been getting up from under the table.
KB: Yep [laugh].
CH: And I was saying you go to church, sometime my daddy would take the wagon we'd go to church and had straw in the bottom of the plank.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Had on our pretty dresses had on our shoes and we'd get out and brush off each other you know.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: But everybody had a mule and buggy horse and wagon and see it wasn't nothing different.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Of course everybody was in the same boat.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Now did you go to Bellefonte Church then too?
CH: Been going there all my life I was born right there down there below the church.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I've been here all my life so I bought here and uh I guess I'll live here.
KB: Might as well so you've never moved anywhere else.
CH: No.
KB: Always lived here.
CH: But I've visited a lot of states you know.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, uh, but the year the year that my husband died.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: It's 17 years be 17 years this year.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I think it is be 18 one I hadn't count that but anyway my daughter stay in VA.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And she had tickets to go to Bahamas.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: So after my husband died in, in '84.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: He was buried in '85 she had these tickets and her husband died in June-.
KB: Um.
CH: - Of that same year. And she had the tickets for her and husband.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: So he didn't get to go so I got to go on the ticket [laugh].
KB: Now how was that?
CH: She just she just ask me to with her.
KB: I mean how, how was the trip?
CH: The trip was wonderful. I told a-.
KB: I bet.
CH: I told a lot of people, "You know what? Them was some good-looking men over there." [Laugh] "If I could have folded up and put them in my pocketbook and then I got down here and got tired of them and got ready to ship them back," I say, "I'd have done that" [laugh]. They just laugh at me [laugh].
KB: Did you go on a cruise or was it-?
CH: Yeah.
KB: Oh, OK.
CH: Uh-huh, Uh-huh.
KB: Um.
CH: And that, and that was the first year started going, so my daughter and her husband-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -Has been getting up a trip this, this is the eighteenth year.
KB: Oh wow.
CH: So we went to Boston, Massachusetts.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Last week.
KB: Oh, how was that?
CH: It was good.
KB: I was supposed to be going there this weekend.
CH: Were you? Are you?
KB: Yes, no money though.
CH: Uh-huh. [Laugh] And, um, and, um, but every year we've been going I went with them if this is the eighteenth year I went with them 17.
KB: Um.
CH: 'Cause my sister died.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I couldn't go that year so and I've been going to a different state every year.
KB: How many, what other states have you been to?
CH: Pennsylvania and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
KB: Um.
CH: That was the first one we went to.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And New York and Washington and, um, New Orleans and Georgia. And, um, well the Amish country-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -Is in Pennsylvania.
KB: Pennsylvania.
CH: So we just come through there.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And they ate at the Good and Plenty. I didn't eat. I can't eat that much no more.
KB: Really?
CH: Ugh-uh.
KB: Oh I hope I never ever get to that stage. \\ I love to eat. \\
CH: \\ I, I \\ can't eat like I used to. It don't set with me somehow or another.
KB: Oh yeah certain foods.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I couldn't eat that 16 dollar worth of nothing [laugh].
KB: Now do you have relatives in these different states that you go to or-?
CH: Some of them I did, Washington and Virginia and Atlanta.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, um, different, different places in New York, 'cause a lot of them come and met us at where we were-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -That day. Uh-huh.
CH: So I've been going I wouldn't have got to go, go if it hadn't been for my daughter and here husband.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Because the trip was started for us senior citizens.
KB: Oh.
CH: And so now we got everybody on there from 10 to 12.
KB: Yeah.
CH: You know.
KB: That's good.
CH: Uh-huh and then he said they just want to do something for senior citizens to get them out of the house.
KB: Yeah.
CH: Yeah so we've been going ever since, everybody looks forward to that.
KB: That's good.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: I wish my grandmother would do that. She wants to stay in the house.
CH: Does she?
KB: Doesn't like to travel.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh well I, I love to go.
KB: That's good.
CH: And I, I don't get lonesome here, as long as I got more books to read.
KB: Hmm.
CH: And I look at television.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: When want to I can go in the room get a bag of clothes out and look in them and if I don't want to throw them out, put them back where they was.
KB: Yeah. What books have you read lately?
CH: Oh I, I read the, um, the, what is that yonder? This right here is the Millenium Journal.
KB: The Millenium Journal?
CH: Uh-huh.
CH: The Millenium Journal that one and this one right here was is, uh, Journey to the Well.
KB: Oh, you know what? That book is written, I'm in a sorority.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Delta Sigma Theta, and it's written by one of our founder's granddaughters.
CH: Is that right?
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Well that's what I'm reading in now.
KB: How is it?
CH: Oh it's good, oh.
KB: She's a minister.
CH: Yeah.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh, yeah that, um, I'm reading that.
KB: I'm going to have to pick that up.
CH: I've got several more just all different kinds-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: That I read. And I, I enjoy it too, and I can just stay here sit here and look out the door [laugh] or do anything get out there and mess with my flowers.
KB: You have a lot of flowers.
CH: I talk to them.
KB: Do you?
CH: And I tell people, "I get out there and when I take my clothes off at night."
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I say, "I dance out there on the porch," [laugh], "and sing to them."
KB: And that's probably why they are so beautiful now. They are.
CH: But that's the first time those begonias they have had that many blossoms on there.
KB: Oh really?
CH: Uh-huh. Well the blossoms stay on all winter long.
KB: Really?
CH: Yeah.
KB: I didn't know.
CH: Uh-huh. And when I took it out there on the porch and it's just light pick, just light pink. You couldn't hardly tell it that it was-.
KB: Pink.
CH: You'd think it was white.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: It had more white than it was pink. But I put it out there on the porch and, and this blossom right here is the first blossom that was on there when I brought it out.
KB: \\ And how long? \\
CH: \\ And all those others \\ just came on there.
KB: Um, how \\ long have you had it? \\
CH: \\ When I brought it out \\ huh?
KB: How long have you had it?
CH: Oh let's see, I've had it about eight years or more.
KB: Oh.
CH: And I have broke the top out it. It has frozen down to the, to the thing.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And it \\ came back out \\ Uh-huh.
KB: \\ Came back.\\ Because you sing to it, that's why [laugh].
CH: And I and I just love my flowers. If I don't get no flowers when I die-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I don't care. I done had-.
KB: Uh-huh you've enjoyed them while you're living.
CH: My portion.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I've done had my portion of them.
KB: They are so beautiful.
CH: Uh-huh. Well I've enjoyed them.
KB: ( ).
CH: And, and these people that's my granddaughter and her husband.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: They had to move in here, but they're supposed to be here two months [laugh]. They done been here two months.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And they're, they're going to get out soon.
KB: [Laugh] You like being by yourself.
CH: I love being by myself.
KB: I do too.
CH: Because when my husband was in the hospital he said he never did want me to stay by myself, but he told me, he said, "Clarissa I'm not going back home with you." I said, "Oh don't talk like that."
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I said, "You're going back home with me." He said, "No I ain't." Said, but you, I tell you what you do." He said, "You go home and do the best you can."
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: If he had wanted me to keep somebody, and he was in his good mind then.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: He would have told me to get some of them children.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: But he said, he went on to say, he said, "Now you could have got some of the grandchildren to stay with you but their lifestyle is not like yours."
KB: Yeah.
CH: And, and, uh, you know, and that, that made a whole lot of sense.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, uh, so, well I'll just go home and do the best I can and that's what I've tried to do.
KB: And you've done quite well.
CH: And I, that's what I've tried to do. I've been in my disciple class and got the red the first book.
KB: Oh.
CH: The green for the next book and the lambda is supposed to be up there and we haven't gotten them.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: So I think the next one is purple.
KB: OK, well congratulations [laugh].
CH: [Laugh] Thank you.
KB: Now what do you do in your discipleship class?
CH: Well we have to study the Bible [laugh]. Oh it's so much reading every day you've got a whole lot to read.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Next day you got, you got to read five days and then you study your, um, into the word.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: That's in, in the book. And, uh, and then the seventh day you rest.
KB: Oh, OK.
CH: And that's about the day you that you going to have your class.
KB: Uh-huh [laugh]. I can imagine.
CH: But anyway, you're going through it and you go through it again and every, every time you read in that Bible there, you're reading something else different.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And it's telling you something else different.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: But a lot of that I can't grasp at all.
KB: Yeah.
CH: But I try hard.
KB: That's all you can do.
CH: I try hard. And a lot of it, then I my daddy was good scholar.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And he taught us the Bible.
KB: Um.
CH: Those big words in there.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Now I can say them. Because he, he, he taught them to us.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, and, uh, at breakfast time when we were little children.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: We'd all get around the table, had a long bench on each side of the table.
KB: You had to [laugh].
CH: ( ) Mama, Papa said we'd be jammed.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: We would have to, we would sit, that's all in here we'd say our memory verses.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I think then he'd pray.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I'd think, "He's going to pray too long," 'cause you know [laugh].
KB: Twelve children.
CH: You know.
KB: That's a lot of memory verses [laugh].
CH: The beans were going to get cold [laugh].
KB: [Laugh] Yep, that's a lot of talking.
CH: Uh-huh, Uh-huh. And, uh, we'd had to say the memory verses and tell where they were found.
KB: Oh so how did, what did, how did you learn, how did you get the memory verses? Did your father give you one to-.
CH: No.
KB: -Learn or did you find it?
CH: Out of the Bible we did.
KB: So you had to find it.
CH: We found one and, and a lot of them I still know. I just say them all by heart ( ).
KB: That's good.
CH: And, uh, so we, uh, we did that and, uh, and, uh, we'd take our bath at night.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: In a tin tub.
KB: In a tin tub.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: So all 12 of \\ you, all. \\
CH: \\ ( )\\ Foot tub we ain't have no running water [laugh].
KB: Now I know by the time it got to the twelfth child that water was cold [laugh].
CH: [Laugh] Yeah.
KB: Had to be [laugh].
CH: Yeah, well they'd change it every so often.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Still [laugh].
CH: Yeah, uh-huh. That was bad.
KB: Um.
CH: But it, it was bad and it was good.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: It taught us to be conservative.
KB: Oh yeah.
CH: It taught us to be, well we couldn't be independent 'cause everybody else had the same [laugh], gone the same way, you know.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: But it just taught us, uh, good values.
KB: Uh-huh. Of course.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: So did, are any of them still living? Any of your brothers and sisters?
CH: I got three sisters living. I'm the, I'm the oldest of them.
KB: Oh, OK.
CH: Uh-huh. I'm the oldest one living. All the rest of them are dead.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, uh, but anyway, we still enjoyed each other.
KB: Now did they go on the trips too with you?
CH: No, they didn't go on this trip, but they have been on trips with us.
KB: Uh-huh. I bet you all-.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: -Were just four peas in a pod [laugh].
CH: We was [laugh].
KB: Or three.
CH: I'll tell you we've had some good times.
KB: Um.
CH: Just together all of us.
KB: Yeah.
CH: You know. And my mama taught us all to cook at an early age.
KB: Oh that's good.
CH: Now she did, she taught us all to cook. And everybody says y'all cook alike [laugh]. And they say my children cook just like me.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I give them my recipe and I can't even make the pie the cake now.
KB: Yeah.
CH: Um.
KB: But does it, do you think that your children's tastes as good as yours?
CH: No [laugh]. I eat, uh, but, uh, uh, I [laugh] don't think it though. And I'd say, "What did you do to this?" [Laugh] "Mama I tried to make it like yours." "What do, what did you put in it?" [Laugh]
KB: [Laugh] Well you know, sometimes you put some extra stuff in there-.
CH: Oh yeah. Uh-huh.
KB: -That they don't know about.
CH: They say, "How much did you, of this you put in it?" I say, "I don't know."
KB: You don't pay attention [laugh].
CH: I say, "I don't know just go on and make it."
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I have sat here by this phone and taught people how to make an egg custard.
KB: Over the phone.
CH: And they would be making it and they said it turned out good.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
KB: That's good. I love egg custard.
CH: You do?
KB: Uh-huh. My mother makes it sometimes.
CH: Huh?
KB: I said my mother makes it \\ sometimes.\\
CH: \\ ( )\\
KB: She doesn't make a lot of sweets anymore though.
CH: Oh yeah. Are you live at home?
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Or you do?
KB: Yes. \\ ( )\\
CH: \\ You are not married.\\
KB: No ma'am, no ma'am [laugh] no.
CH: All right.
KB: Still too young. Yeah.
CH: How old are you?
KB: I'll be 25 in November [laugh].
CH: ( ).
KB: Yeah. So how old were you when you got married?
CH: I was turning 19.
KB: Oh wow.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Um [laugh].
CH: Sure was and I had seven children.
KB: Ooh.
CH: Five girls and, and two boys in the two, five girls are living now.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Wow that's a full life.
CH: Yeah. Sure was.
KB: A full life.
CH: But you know I study a lot of times what did I feed those children [laugh]. You know, I do, and just go sometimes it just comes back to me, "What, did I have a big pot of potatoes or a big pot of cabbage or big pot of peas, I, what did I have?"
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I had a ( ) I know they must have been fed pretty good 'cause [laugh] they wasn't, I didn't take them to the doctor a whole lot of times.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, and when, you know, back then, we, we had gardens.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: We ate from the ground.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: We had no that I was in here telling him about the arthritis. He didn't hear tell of arthritis and bursitis and-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -Things like that.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Didn't hear tell of that then.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: But, uh, but the all this here stuff you get now there's something in it either-.
KB: Yeah.
CH: -Make you fat-.
KB: Yep.
CH: -Or kill you.
KB: Yep, or give you some kind of cancer.
CH: [Laugh] Yeah that sure will.
KB: Something.
CH: Now it will.
KB: Yeah, you are right.
CH: Uh-huh. And see and you didn't, you didn't hear tell of that then.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: No sir.
KB: So what kinds of vegetables did you grow in the garden?
CH: Oh, uh, we growed, grew, um, bud potatoes, we, we grew, um, corn, cotton. Now that cotton was, the corn wheat was to make the flour out of potatoes.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Pumpkins, onion, peas, cabbage, okra, beets, greens, and all of the other things you can mention.
KB: Y'all had a lot [laugh].
CH: Uh-huh, Uh-huh yeah.
KB: Did you have any kind of animals that you, um-.
CH: Yeah \\ we had a cow \\.
KB: \\ -Raised too.\\ Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh we had cows and hogs.
KB: Yeah, I saw the Mr. George's hogs yesterday.
CH: Yeah now [laugh]. Uh-huh yeah. We had that and, and, you know, and back then you didn't have the high blood pressure.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And you could eat ham \\ and everything.\\
KB: \\ All of it.\\ [Laugh] All of that fat.
CH: You sure could, yes sir.
KB: Well, of course, you know, all the animals weren't given the steroids.
CH: Right.
KB: \\ And all that stuff.\\
CH: \\ And that's \\ what's happening now that these children are getting so big, big \\ and ( ).\\
KB: \\ Oh they're so fat\\ [laugh].
CH: I say Lord [laugh]. Uh ( ).
KB: Very fat children.
CH: Yes sir they are.
KB: Um.
CH: And, uh, let's see. Oh yeah and we used to say our houses weren't all that good.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And you could look up through the ceiling and see when the sun come up [laugh] in certain places in your house.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And then and down under the house is the, the chicken would lay the egg.
KB: Uh.
CH: And if you need the egg for breakfast, you could just reach down under there and get that egg [laugh].
KB: Hey, that's convenient.
CH: It was a plank would take that up [laugh].
KB: A delivery.
CH: Yeah [laugh]. Uh-huh yeah, and, um, and it was real, you know.
KB: Sounds like you had an enjoyable \\childhood and life.\\
CH: Uh-huh. \\I did uh-huh.\\ When I went to school I made my, the first dress I made it cost five cent a yard.
KB: Wow.
CH: And I had three yards. I made an A plus on it.
KB: Very good.
CH: But I had to take out a whole lot to get to that 'cause-.
KB: Yeah.
CH: -I had a strict home economics teacher.
KB: Did you?
CH: Yes I did and she and you know she was teaching when my children started to high school.
KB: Really?
CH: Yes sir [laugh]. She taught them. Uh-huh. Taught them sewing too [laugh].
KB: Goodness.
CH: Katie Jones that was her name.
KB: Katie Jones.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: She loved home ec., I guess.
CH: Uh-huh and she could, had the picture of every child.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Ever, every child that she ever taught. And when, and the last time that we went to the Logan reunion-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -She gave out those little pictures \\ back to us.\\
KB: \\ Wow I bet \\ she had a whole lot of pictures.
CH: She knew every one of them.
KB: Goodness.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Now how old is she?
CH: Uh, now she, she passed away and I think she was 89 or something like that.
KB: Um.
CH: But that was a strict little old lady.
KB: I bet it's always the feisty ones who have it all [laugh].
CH: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, um, let's see that's about all I can tell.
KB: Now you said you had a Logan reunion. That's the high school that you went to.
CH: Uh-huh, uh-huh. Logan High School.
KB: Do you have a reunion every year?
CH: Yeah they had one this year.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: No they have it every two years.
KB: Every two years.
CH: Every two years. They had one this year. Well, let's see, what did we do that we couldn't go? Uh and it was during the fourth of July.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: We went to the parade at Harrisburg.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And that was the first year hadn't been to any parade.
KB: Uh.
CH: They wanted a, there's somebody that told me that they wanted, um, the officials, you know people that was running for something-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -In the parade. I said, "Well, I ain't no official I can set out." [Laugh] And so I didn't try to get on not a one.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: This is the first year we didn't have a float from Bellefonte.
KB: Oh.
CH: Uh-huh sure was. And, and, um, went to Logan High School.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Made my first dress and it was five cent a yard and so it took three yards.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I got an A plus ( ) the teacher was Katie Jones.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: After that, I married Archer Hampton, James Archer Hampton.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: We had seven children, six are living, married and have children of their own.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: All six had different attitudes.
KB: Ooh.
CH: Some take the long way around and some cut short straight through and they laughed at me about that now. They say, "Mama now you know ought not put that on ( )." [Laugh] I say, "Well that's the way I felt about it." [Laugh]
KB: It's the truth [laugh].
CH: And when, and then I had, I had, uh, when we, when we were raising a kid we didn't have the little car seats like they have now.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Or carriage or strollers or any of that. Nurse came by my house and told me to get a clothesbasket. That was my bassinet.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: A dresser drawer, and that was my baby bed. And a little red wagon was my stroller.
KB: [Laugh] And that's all you needed.
CH: And that's all I needed.
KB: It was safe [laugh].
CH: That's right [laugh] that's right. ( ) I say then, "Praise the Lord I made it through."
KB: Umm.
CH: [Laugh].
KB: Well thank you so much for talking to me.
CH: Oh and \\ is something that you want to ask me.\\
KB: \\ It's been very interesting.\\ Um let's see. Do I want to ask you. Tell me about church.
CH: Church?
KB: Do you sing in the choir or-?
CH: Yeah I sing in the choir at church.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I've been, uh, I, I joined the choir in 1965.
KB: Ooh.
CH: And I'm the oldest one in the choir.
KB: Uh-huh. I bet you sing the best too.
CH: I don't know [laugh]. I don't know, I don't know, but I, I can tell them when they're wrong.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: But I, I, I, I can, I meant I know when they're wrong but, you know it's a lot of people you can't tell nothing too.
KB: Yeah, yeah.
CH: But I'm willing to listen at anything anybody tells me.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I'm like Reverend Davis, I may not do it-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -But \\ I will listen.\\
KB: \\ You will listen.\\ Uh-huh.
CH: And if I hear a strange voice, I won't say nothing I'll turn my head [laugh] and, and the pianist will look at me [laugh] and then after we get done singing she said, "Clarissa now what did you hear?" [Laugh] I, I didn't hear a thing. Sometimes I say I didn't hear a thing, but she knows.
KB: She can tell.
CH: Oh yeah.
KB: When you turn that head [laugh].
CH: Yeah and she can tell, I say, "No I ain't saying nothing." I say, "'Cause that somebody may not even think that I know what I'm talking about." But see, when I come along, my daddy taught us the notes.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: We sung like a choir, you know.
KB: Uh-huh. Without \\ a piano or anything.\\
CH: \\ Without the music \\ and without, you didn't have all of that.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And going to church and we, we would, um, everybody had a fan. Don't know what the pastor saying.
KB: When they're fanning.
CH: The fan the windows were up and you could hear that music, the people singing.
KB: I bet.
CH: Now, you know, they really, they really had the rhythm or the stamina or-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -They're just real religious.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And we could go to the church and stay all day.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And thought nothing about it.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Had them horses parked down next the woods. I say I don't see how they did it.
KB: I don't either [laugh].
CH: I tell you the truth \\ I was along there with them.\\
KB: \\ I can't sit still that long \\ [laugh].
CH: And on Children's Day we had, uh, when I was little.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: It was about 35 or 40 little children.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: We would march from the schoolhouse to the church.
KB: Wow. How far is that?
CH: That was just right up on the hill.
KB: Oh, OK.
CH: Uh-huh. And, uh, we would say our recitations. We didn't have to read them, you know.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And a lot of them I know now cause see when I taught my children theirs I learned them.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And if they made a blunder up there I could tell them the word that they missed.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: But oh, I just pray, I just draw up when that mama sitting back there doesn't know that child's-.
KB: Yep, yep.
CH: -Speech. Right now, and I'll be, oh I'll be trying to tell them, I'll be, I don't know it but one day this, this child was saying a speech.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, uh, and he got to a line. I didn't know what the line was but I just made up something that rhymed with that. He said, ( ), he said, "That's right." [Laugh] And, and I said, "Well I didn't know that line," I said, "but that's the \\ only\\ thing that just sounded right." [Laugh]
KB: \\ Just sounded right \\ [laugh].
CH: And he said, he looked back at me and said, "Yeah that's right." [Laugh] I said, "Lord, have mercy." But I just be I, I, really do 'cause I really notice people.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I love people.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I like to talk to people.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: 'Cause when my husband was living I didn't do much talking.
KB: Really?
CH: He did the talking.
KB: So you \\ stayed quiet and ( ) background. \\
CH: \\ I just listened.\\ But after he passed [laugh] that was the hardest thing for me, to start talking to people.
KB: Was it?
CH: And people would be talking to me and I wouldn't be saying nothing.
KB: I can't tell [laugh].
CH: Oh I knew what to say, but just seemed like he would do the talking I just be sitting back there listen. Listening and he-.
KB: ( ) just saved it all through those years.
CH: Yeah.
KB: And then it just came back out [laugh].
CH: And then I would tell, uh, a big old story and then he'd look at me, "Now you know that's right Clarissa," I look way off somewhere. So [laugh] we'd be in the dark he would say to me, "How come you didn't agree to what I said?" I said, "You know you telling a story that's the reason I don't witness to it." [Laugh]
KB: You didn't want to be a part of the lie.
CH: I said I don't want to be part of that and he knows he knew, he would tell the stories [laugh]. But if you met him you sure, you'd enjoyed him.
KB: I bet.
CH: 'Cause he'd keep up something all the time that's the reason I didn't have to say nothing. [Laugh] He kept it going. \\ ( )\\
KB: \\ And I guess\\ you just \\ laughed and laughed and laughed \\ on the inside.
CH: \\ ( ) \\ Sometime, sometime I just said, "Um, um, um" [laugh].
KB: [Laugh] But that's probably what attracted you to him to begin with.
CH: Yeah, yeah, yeah [laugh]. And he would get up and go to the post office and we, we have had, I don't know what George told you or not, but anyway, um, the post office has moved. Let's see 'cause it used to be on this side of the railroad-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Moved on other side of the railroad, that's two times. Moved up near the church there, three times. Moved across the street, that's four times. And it moved, um, another place, that was five times. Then they, and the way it is today, that's the sixth time it's moved here in Harrisburg and they tell me they've got, uh, 18 carriers. \\Well with all this \\ development that's built up-.
KB: \\ That's a lot.\\ It's gotten a whole lot bigger.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: A whole lot.
CH: And I used to know when it wasn't but three houses between George Govan and Harrisburg [laugh].
KB: [Laugh] Goodness.
CH: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
KB: Now it's I don't know how many [laugh].
CH: Oh don't say nothing else. And all this development-.
KB: Yeah.
CH: It ain't going to be no where for the rabbits and the-.
KB: Nope.
CH: -Squirrels and the possums and the deers and-.
KB: They're just going to get killed.
CH: That's right. Ain't going to be nowhere for them to go.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, and, and that, they, there, when I moved here-.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: -Wasn't nothing but just plain woods.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And that I bet you \\ it's ( ) houses.\\
KB: \\ That's 300\\ 300,000 dollar homes over there.
CH: Uh-huh, uh-huh, I bet it's 800 houses over there.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And it goes to the other road.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Over to Robinson Church Road.
KB: Oh, OK.
CH: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Goodness.
CH: But it's so built up, yeah. But I went to church and I recited the shorter catechism.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: In Harrisburg Church.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: When I was a little girl.
KB: You still know it?
CH: Most of it.
KB: Can you recite it?
CH: [Laugh] Uh, some of it. Well if it's first said, "Who made you? God made you. What else did God make? He made all things. Why did he make you and all things? Because, for his own glory. How do you glorify God? By loving him and doing what he commands." I may be, I may be to the end of what I know ( ) [laugh].
KB: Yeah that's, ah, pretty good. That was pretty good.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: I know there's a lot of things I don't remember [laugh] from. \\ Sunday school.\\
CH: \\ From\\ back yonder.
KB: From Recitations.
CH: We used to have to say a verse at Sunday school too.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And, and one time we had nine classes in our Sunday school and had just the, just the church.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: You know just the fellow-, the sanctuary, \\no fellowship hall\\ or nothing.
KB: \\ And all nine going on \\.
CH: And all the nine was going on at the same time and you didn't disturb anybody.
KB: Uh.
CH: Now that's the truth and, and now you can't get one.
KB: Nope [laugh].
CH: Yes that's bad though.
KB: Well people don't go to Sunday school like they used to.
CH: Oh, I love Sunday school \\ better than I do church.\\
KB: \\ I do too.\\ Me too [laugh].
CH: Because, because I can ask you a question in Sunday school.
KB: Yep.
CH: But you standing up there \\ preaching to me-.\\
KB: \\ ( )\\.
CH: -I can't stop you and ask you a question.
KB: Yeah.
CH: What do you think about that?
KB: Yeah.
CH: Yeah and I love my Sunday school.
KB: Me too.
CH: And I love my, my Bible things too. I love all that.
KB: Uh-huh. Your Bible study.
CH: Uh-huh. Bible study.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: So that's the, that's, uh, on Wednesday night we have the, they sing a couple of songs and then Reverend Davis will preach about that long, and it's good and I can almost tell you word for word what he said.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And I'll go to him and tell him, "Now you can preach that same thing Sunday." [Laugh] And he and he'll say, uh, "I got another one for Sunday." I'll say, "Well, any time you can preach that again."
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I said, "I enjoyed it."
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: So and I tell him when he does good on Sunday morning. And I tell him when he is long [laugh]. But he's, he's a nice person though.
KB: Yes he is.
CH: I meant he's funny.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Ain't it?
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Talking about, "Now y'all don't want me to drive you nowhere."
KB: [Laugh] No, I don't think you want that [laugh].
CH: [Laugh] Oh but he's funny though, he is really funny.
KB: Yeah. \\ A character.\\
CH: \\ Well \\ I enjoy every minute of it.
KB: That's good.
CH: Now ask me something else.
KB: OK, let me ask you about the sewing with in your home-ec class.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Did you sew anything else after the class?
CH: Yes. I would think of something that I want to make, make a child.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Um, I think of it in bed.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I get up with whatever that was in my mind to do.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I'd just do that and I can't go by a pattern now.
KB: Oh, you sew from hand huh.
CH: Uh-huh. And right now if I wanted to make me something I'd just get up and cut it out.
KB: Humph. So do you do it on the machine?
CH: Uh-huh, yeah.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I just get up and cut out and it comes out good.
KB: Um.
CH: But I cannot, uh, a pattern takes a more material-.
KB: Yeah, yeah.
CH: -Than what I'm thinking. And I may not have that much but-.
KB: Yeah.
CH: I used to get up get up and cut my little children's dresses.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Take the dishpan and cut it round, you know.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: ( ) and he would get so pretty.
KB: I bet.
CH: I don't know whether I can do that now or not.
KB: \\You might\\ be able to.
CH: \\I don't have to\\ do that so I don't know.
KB: \\Yeah\\ that's true, that's true. There is a difference.
CH: I don't have to do that so I don't do that anymore.
KB: Yeah \\my-\\.
CH: \\But\\ what did you say? I, but I see these little girls at church.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: I say, "Now I could make them a little pinafore."
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: You know. But I, I ain't going to start that 'cause it's too many of them.
KB: I know, I know [laugh]. Then everybody will want you to be making ( ).
CH: [Laugh] Be wanting me, yes sir, yes sir, sure will. I said, "Now if I don't start that I won't have to finish that."
KB: Yep that's true.
CH: Said your mother used to do what?
KB: I was ( ) my grandmother. She used to make pillows and different things.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Because she liked to sew a lot.
CH: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
KB: And so she had a lot of pillows on her-.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: -Couch.
CH: Oh she did.
KB: Those little, I don't know what you call them. Um, they're round and have the little button in the middle.
CH: Oh yeah, yeah uh-huh.
KB: ( ) kind of pleats-.
CH: Right, right.
KB: -Around it.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: She loved to sew.
CH: Did she?
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Uh-huh. And her chickens. Loved to raise chickens.
CH: Did she?
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh. Yeah we used to have all of them old things. Them old guineas \\ oh\\.
KB: \\ Oh.\\
CH: And the little old speckled things.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Oh we ( ) the guinea meat's dark.
KB: Oh, you ate them.
CH: Uh-huh. The guinea meat's dark.
KB: I never had guinea meat.
CH: It's dark but it's good.
KB: Uh-huh. Is it tender?
CH: Yes, Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.
KB: I can imagine, is there's anything like a pig's meat regular pig's meat?
CH: Yeah and, and that's where you get your ham from.
KB: From a guinea?
CH: From a ham, from a-.
KB: Yeah from \\ a pig.\\ Uh-huh.
CH: \\ A pig.\\ Ain't nothing like that, tastes like a chicken.
KB: \\ ( )\\ Oh, OK.
CH: Tastes like chicken but it's a, it's a dark meat.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Huh. Have you ever had ostrich meat?
CH: No, I don't believe I have.
KB: I was wondering if it's like that. It's more like beef than chicken.
CH: Yeah. That's one of them old \\ tall things\\ with long necks.
KB: \\ Uh-huh.\\ Yeah [laugh].
CH: I've seen them but I ain't, uh-uh.
KB: They sell it at the farmer's market.
CH: Yeah what about deer?
KB: I've had some deer meet. \\Uh-huh.\\
CH: \\Uh-huh\\ I have-.
KB: Is there a lot of deer in this area?
CH: Yeah, uh-huh they say they used to see a deer come crossing the road down there.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: This girl be going to work and the deer would be coming up through here.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: And she, and I'm so scared. One day see I had this light on at night and I'm scared you know they'll jump through the window.
KB: Oh, huh [laugh].
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: I didn't know they would do that.
CH: Yeah well they, they jump where they see a light.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: That's the reason they run into cars so much.
KB: Oh yeah.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Um.
CH: In that light. Uh-huh. But I sure hope, now I've heard them walk around here.
KB: Oh you have?
CH: Yeah and I know that it was a deer [laugh]. But they don't, they don't bother you, they'll run.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: But they say the deers eat up the garden this year.
KB: Yeah.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: I bet.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: Um, they have a lot of wildlife around here.
CH: Yeah.
KB: Rabbits.
CH: Yeah, yeah and squirrels. I've, I've set here and counted 17-.
KB: Ooh.
CH: Squirrels out there in fall ( ).
KB: Uh.
CH: \\ Be little ones\\ yeah.
KB: \\ ( )\\
CH: But, you know, they never did eat up my flowers.
KB: That's good.
CH: Now my sister that stays in town.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: She said they eat up her's.
KB: Yeah.
CH: 'Cause I, I've given her those hen and biddies right there.
KB: Uh-huh.
CH: Uh, and, and she said the squirrels just eat them up.
KB: They do.
CH: And I said, uh, "They don't bother mine." And I see them out there on the tree. But they don't bother.
KB: See you have mannered squirrels out here.
CH: [Laugh] I guess so.
KB: The ones in the city are not mannered they don't care [laugh], that's what it is[laugh].
CH: OK, well I done about talked out now.
KB: OK. I appreciate you talking to me.
CH: [Laugh] Uh-huh. \\ I've, I've enjoyed\\ you.
KB: \\ I've heard some interesting stories.\\ I'm glad.
CH: Uh-huh.
KB: I am so glad.
CH: I'll have to tell Reverend Davis, "Reverend Davis I enjoyed her. And she didn't talk me to death but I think I talked her to death."
KB: Oh no, no, no, no, no, no. You know I'll be at the church for a couple of Sundays doing more.
KB: So I'll probably be talking to you \\ again ( )\\ [laugh].
CH: \\ OK all right I'm sure\\ and if you know the Sunday you're coming I'll might make a you a pie.
KB: Oh OK. I will gladly [laugh] accept a pie. [Laugh] I thank you.
CH: Uh-huh.