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Interview with Annette Hines

Hines, Annette
Effren, Jodie
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with people and places; Then and now; Stories and storytellers; Childhood adventures; Cultural identification
Annette Hines tells a ghost story and stories about her family.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Jodie Effren interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
JE (Jodie Effren): Do you remember any stories?
AH (Annette Hines): Let me have one second to think.
JE: That's fine. She's hoping that we can ( ).
AH: Stories that I heard when I was little. I guess the stories that I probably remember, first of all would be ghost stories, because, um, you know when you're little and it's just like slumber parties and everything ( ). You sit around and tell ghost stories. Well there was a story of the Macko Light. And this was, um, it's actually a place and it was on the way to the beach so that made it even more real, you know, because, you know, I could kind of picture this place and it was, um, where the railroad tracks crossed the road. And the story is one of those ghost stories about, um, ( ). I can't remember the story but how, how, um, somebody gets run over on the train tracks and so they come back to haunt the train, and, uh, you can see this thing called the Macko Light ( ). This person wasn't hit by the train but their head was cut off by the train while they were sleeping on the tracks. But their head was cut off by the train, so now, of course, they're a headless ghost. And they're going to come back looking for their head on the railroad track. Well what they're going to do is, um, they have a lantern, ( ) it's all coming back to me, Jo, and it is rambling, this is wonderful. The fellow, he was the one who worked on the back of the train, and he was sticking his head out to check for any trains on the other track to see if, you know, if another train was coming, and sure enough a train was and that is how he got his head cut off. So, that's how we got the headless man. But anyway as this story goes, this fellow haunts the track and comes back. Not every night 'cause you can't see it every night but, you know, every once in a while, to look for his head. And he still has that lantern, that he would have been holding in his hand if he didn't die on the track. So ( ), you can go down to the track and see this light and this is, you really-. I can remember going with my parents and my brother. I must have been about four or five [phone rings]. Yeah, when we were down at the beach on our summer vacation and we would pick one night that we would go to look at the Macko Light and, um, not knowing if we get to s-, see it or not is what made it fun ( ). You never know what night you would be able to see it. But we went, and, like I said, I must have been like four or five because [break in recording] brother ( ) to carry ( ). And you had to walk down the tracks, park the car and then walk down the tracks because you couldn't see it from the road, and, um, because you couldn't see it from the road. And sure enough we saw it that night, and I'm not sure you know what it really ( ) another highway that you can see or something like that or maybe it was the ghost. I mean you never can, but, um, that was so neat to me because I heard the story and then, um, you know that [break in recording] I was able to put a place to it which was neat to me. Then I remember hearing some other things about you know Blue Beard and Black Beard because they were, um, you know, supposedly off of the North Carolina coast ( ). Um, family stories [break in recording] ( ) and my dad grew up in North Carolina also. Um, in the same town where I was born and ( ) when he was little and how the town has changed so much since he was little. Um-.
JE: He grew up in Lumberton also.
AH: Uh-huh.
JE: Oh.
AH: So, um, and then he would have, and he had a pony ride in town and they had goats in their yard and they had sheep and chickens and all this kind of thing, so obviously it was quite rural. Um, and the stories he would tell about. His dad was a doctor also and even when he was like four years old his dad had a little suit made for him so he could go into the operating room, so that he could go in with his dad and watch him. I guess he didn't have any choice but to end up being a surgeon too. But when I think about all of the restrictions that they have on people now, you know, so far as what ( ) they would never let a four year old into the hospital probably, period, much less to watch an operation. Um, my dad also would tell me stories about when he was at Chapel Hill, and that was one of the schools that I looked at. I didn't go to school there, but, um, but I applied to and thought about going to, and this is 40 years later and, um, yeah, yeah. Of course the same dorms were still there and it is amazing how much things can kind of still stay the same thing, ( ) you know ( ) but I ( ) in the building ( ) now what goes on ( ). He joined a fraternity but that was just mostly because it was good place to eat. Um, \\ and there was-. \\
JE: \\ [Laugh] \\
AH: And I think, from what I hear about Chapel Hill, people still do that, um, rather than having to eat cafeteria food. But, um, that was about the extent of that for him. He said that the guys would maybe play a round of cards or something like that, a hand of cards before dinner and then they had dinner and, you know, that was it, so, you know, obviously [pause] things have changed that much.
JE: Could you imagine people today joining a fraternity today and all \\ that they did was play with a deck of cards? \\
AH: \\ Right, right. \\ Have your dinner and be on your way. Um, my mom is not from the region. She told me a lot of stories about her growing up but hers are about ( ) [pause]. Does it matter if it's made up or real?
JE: Um-mm. I don't-, she just told us to get people to give-. \\ ( ) \\
AH: \\ Oh, OK. \\ Um, I guess what was, um, important to my family was, my grandmother, um, was a widow at a relatively young age. Um, she was in her fifties. And then after being a mourner and wearing black for years and years, she ( ) she still wore black, but anyway she decided to start traveling. So it was a big deal. They would go to Hamlet, which is about, um, 30 miles from Lumberton to send my grandmother off on the train. And the whole family would do this, my parents and my brother and sister, and, um, my aunt and uncle and however many kids they had at the time, two or three, whatever. I don't remember this, I think I was too young, but I was told about it. But they said what a big deal it used to be and how they would have like a little band and they'd all play their instruments. And they'd all get all dressed up, you know, to see my grandmother ( ) off on the train, and the same thing when she'd come in from her trip. They'd all be there ( ) a big deal. And now not too many people do train travel anymore.
JE: I wouldn't do train travel after hearing of the headless trainsman.
AH: I know [laugh], I guess in the region where I'm from ( ), you know, there's three main cultures there. And there is the Native American and they have, um, a lot of the stories related to Henry Berry Lowery. He was a fellow who, um, depending on whose stories you listen to, would either, um, play a outlaw and that kind of thing. He would come by ( ) do a whole lot about these things for people ( ) Native Americans ( ). Um, another thing that I guess my dad told me about working on the farm and working with tobacco and, um ( ) in the tobacco barns was something that they real did and [break in recording] ( ). Now it's so automated, that there is not a whole lot of that interaction when people are actually working in the fields, you know, you have people come in and ( ) and ( ) they work the fields and then they were gone.
JE: I never knew that they worked in tobacco mills.
AH: ( ) Um, ( ) me growing up has been ( ) story my mom's side, but my mom was a nurse and my dad a doctor. And then, um, and so I ( ) stories that my mom told me about being a nurse. Um, and her experiences are of ( ) and some of the experience that she had being a nurse.
JE: Uh-huh.
AH: \\ And, uh-.\\
JE: \\ You have \\ a medical family don't you?
AH: ( )
JE: Where ( ) did they meet?
AH: ( ) They met, um, in the Pacific, on a hospital ship.
JE: Oh. That's nice.
AH: And, um, my mom on the Wisteria, my mom had, she had been on the ship, she had been on the ship for a while, and my dad was new at that time. He and another doctor were coming on and I guess all of the, you know, ( ). My mom and her friend, I guess they were kidding and she said, her, mom said, "I'll take the one on the right, you take the one on the left." Well and it turns out my dad was the one on the right.
JE: [Laugh]
AH: And she ended up, you know, ( ). They, uh, meet and were married in six months. So engaged for three and married in another three. And they have been married for 52 years so-, [break in recording]. ( ) Real quick when you're confined on a ship, working together and playing together. They had their first date, um, in Japan. ( ) And um-.
JE: Not too many people can say that. ( ). \\ [Laugh]. \\
AH: \\ [Laugh] \\ And I think they took the chaplain along on their first date, because he didn't have anything to do \\ [laugh]. \\
JE: \\ [Laugh] \\
AH: He made for a good chaperone. \\ You can't get any better then that. \\
JE: \\ Uh. \\
AH: But in my family, yeah my dad is from the same town I where grew up in and I think my mom was able to tell me some of those stories and she can tell them just as well as my dad-.
JE: Uh-huh.
AH: -If not better and probably because my dad was always off working, I heard a lot of these stories from my mom. Even though, you know, they were her in-laws' side and, um, ( ) she was ( ). Do we have our 15 minutes?