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Interview with Marinda Irvin

Irvin, Marinda
MacMonagle, Peter
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Stories and Storytellers
Marinda Irvin recalls memories of her grandmother in West Virginia.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Peter MacMonagle interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
PM (Peter MacMonagle): [Long pause] I'm here with my neighbor, uh, Miranda Irvin and, uh, she's going to tell us about, uh, her life in growing up in West Virginia.
MI (Marinda Irvin): I think, uh, the thing that really sticks in my memory about growing up was my grandmother and the, uh, influences she had on my life. Um, we always had a garden and I, in the afternoon my grandmother and I she would put on her bonnet and, uh, we would go out in the garden and we would hoe or pull weeds and while we were working she would tell me stories of, uh, her life when she was in her early twenties. Um, one of the things she told me about was having to deliver babies. Um, and, um, how they really did boil water because, uh, I always thought it was unusual when I was, uh, reading novels, you know, they always boil water. And she told me the reason that you boil the water was a sterile procedure. You know, they wanted to make, uh, the mother as sterile as they could before the delivery. And she also told me when she was growing up, uh, right after they expired, that in the country they did not have a, um, mortician. And the community, it was really a social gathering ( ) and, um, she told me also when ( ). I knew where they always lived, um, it was up a hollow it was Black Oak Hollow. And ( ). Uh, she just went, uh, to each neighbor and explained to them why she thought they should have a route and, um, and the neighbors did not live like side by side like we do, like across the street. Now she might have to would, uh, walk a quarter of mile to see here next neighbor, so they were in hollering distance but you couldn't actually see their farms. And, uh, she did that and they did get the mail route in, um, also they had no ( ). The milk in the bucket. The bucket had a nipple on it. And she would hand me the bucket and I would feed the calf out of the bucket while she also, uh, when you're milking, you know, the cow tail is always flying, trying to keep the flies away from it and one of my jobs, when I was probably about six or seven, was to hold the tail still so it wouldn't hit her in the face or whatever. And there'd always be cats sitting on the fence. And I asked my grandma about that ( ). All the neighborhood ( ), when it was time to go to school, they all came ( ). At a, um, county fair she always ( ) canned goods that she, uh, put in fairs her quilts ( ). Always went to church every Sunday. ( ) We always, always went to her house for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
PM: ( )
MI: We always had a big turkey also a ham, homemade, uh, everything was homemade. All homemade, uh, biscuits that would just melt in your mouth. Um, mashed potatoes ( ) was when, uh, Grandma ( ) and ( ) portion at supper and, you know, if we had ice cream. My ( ) filling more than you gave me ( ) stuff like that.
PM: Well there's five kids in your family what about other family ( )?
MI: Neighborhood kids ( ) off the main road and, um, it was like when you went off this, when you turned off to go into my neighborhood it was like you were going up into the mountains so to speak. And I guess maybe that's the reason we called it Black Hollow the farther you went up this road the curvier it got and the high around the mountains.
PM: It seemed more like a ( ) hollow ( ) like a ravine.
MI: You had to go to town. When you went to town they usually went to town for like sugar, flour, coffee, you know, stuff that they could not grow on the farm. And they-.