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Interview with Pecolia Johnson and Annie Pharr

Interviewee: 
Johnson, Pecolia
Contributor: 
Pharr, Annie Mae
Interviewer: 
Bailey, Kim
Date of Interview: 
2002-08-05
Identifier: 
LGJO0502
Subjects: 
Relationshipe with people and places; Then and now
Abstract: 
Pecolia Johnson talks about growing up in West Charlotte and going to Bellefonte church.
Collection: 
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Kim Bailey interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Transcript:
KB (Kim Bailey): OK, I'm here with Miss Johnson and Miss Pharr. Miss Pharr is the sister of, um, Miss Ford and Miss Ethel Weathers. And Miss Johnson is the sister-in-law of them. Now ladies, tell me about growing up as children. I guess I will start with you Miss Johnson since you are-, you grew up in Charlotte.
PJ (Pecolia Johnson): That's right [laugh] I grew up right on this same street.
KB: On, um, Booker Avenue // or Beatties Ford area? //
PJ: // Um-hmm. // Booker Avenue, um-hmm.
KB: OK.
PJ: And there were only two children. My brother died when he was 32.
KB: Hmmm.
PJ: And I lived here all of my life on this street.
KB: Really?
PJ: Um-hmm.
KB: Now what did you do as a child? Did you-, I, of course I don't think there were any farms in this area, were there?
PJ: No. Uh, well my father had a garden, and uh, behind the house, and we would always have to work that garden.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: And, uh, gather what was in the garden.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: And, uh, after I got-, I think about 15, I started working after school at Memorial Hospital.
KB: OK.
PJ: And I worked there until I finished high school. And then I went to, uh, the law building and worked in the soda shop there-.
KB: Hmm.
PJ: -For years.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: And, I left there, I don't even remember where I went back here-.
KB: [Laugh]
PJ: -But I have worked at a lot of mills-.
KB: // Um-hmm. //
PJ: // -Where // they make children's clothes, they made mops, they made adult clothes and things that, I used to sew a lot.
KB: Oh, OK, a talented woman. And you also play the piano // at Bellefonte. //
PJ: // Ah, yeah I // started playing the piano when I was about eight years old.
KB: You took lessons // under-? //
PJ: // Um-hmm. //
KB: Um, who was the person that taught you?
PJ: Miss, uh, Alice Jewel.
KB: OK. And, did she go to church with you // or lived in the neighborhood? //
PJ: // No, she was just a neighbor // she lived in the back of us.
KB: Oh // OK. //
PJ: // And, // uh, she taught me.
KB: N-, did you have a piano in your house // or did you-. //
PJ: // Um-hmm. //
KB: -Go to her house?
PJ: We had-, well I would go to her house, but // we-. //
KB: // Uh-huh. //
PJ: -Had a piano at home too.
KB: Oh OK. And how did you like lessons? Did you want to take piano lessons or // did you mother make you? //
PJ: // I did until she // made me play-.
KB: [Laughs]
PJ: -The Preacher's March.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: Which was seven pages.
KB: Wow. [Laughs]
PJ: And every time I would miss a note I would have to // go all the way-. //
KB: // Start over. //
PJ: -Back and start over again. And she did that that day I was a nervous wreck when I left there.
KB: Now how old were you when you did that? [Laugh]
PJ: About 10.
KB: Hmm.
PJ: And then she realized, you know, she had made me nervous // and she-. //
KB: // Um-hmm. //
PJ: -Called my mother. She said she didn't intend to, you know, push me that much-.
KB: Ah-hah.
PJ: And I told my mother I said, "I'm not going back down there." She said, "Oh yeah, you going." // [Laughs] //
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: So I went to her 12 years.
KB: Wow.
PJ: And, uh, then she passed and I didn't pursue music anymore.
KB: Well, shoot, 12 years that's a lot of // learning anyway. [Laughs] //
PJ: // I know that's right. [Laughs] //
KB: You were a professional right then. [Laughs]
PJ: But, um, I mean, I just enjoyed, it was relaxing-.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: -To play the piano.
KB: Hmm, I think it takes a lot of patience. I took // lessons. //
PJ: // It does. // Well since I've been playing for the church, I have been out there since '47-.
KB: Oh wow.
PJ: -And I guess the older I get the more it works on my nerves.
KB: Oh // really. //
PJ: // It's // not as relaxing as it used to be. [Laughs]
KB: Now what is it that's not relaxing? Is it dealing with, // um-. //
PJ: // Dealing with-. //
KB: -The choir // or-. //
PJ: // -The choir. //
KB: Uh-huh.
PJ: Because everybody's got their own ideas-.
KB: // Um-hmm. //
PJ: // -And // you put something before them. Well, this one don't want to do that and you would be surprised, one person can trigger the whole choir.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: So, I mean they pretty much know me, they know what I'm going to put up with-.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: -And I know how far to push them.
KB: Now Miss, uh, Clarissa told me that she can't sing, but she knows when a note is not // right. [Laughs] //
PJ: // Well, uh, her // father used to lead a choir when I first came out there and she sang on that choir.
KB: Uh-huh.
PJ: And, uh, see they didn't have any music that owl they just sung, you know, uh, a capella-.
KB: Oh OK.
PJ: -And, uh, she sang with them so I'm sure, you know, he taught them-.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: -The notes and everything. But she'll tell you in a minute when somebody misses a note up on that choir. // And she, she-. //
KB: // She told me-. //
PJ: -Tells me she said, "I can tell when we not done what // we are going to do so-. //
KB: // Uh-huh. //
PJ: -Your glasses will fall down on your face." // [Laughs] //
KB: // [Laughs] //
PJ: // I know it. //
KB: // Is it that obvious? //
PJ: That's right. // [Laughs] //
KB: // [Laughs] //
PJ: But, uh, I mean I've enjoyed it, you know, since I've been out there but I'm trying, working on retiring.
KB: I see.
PJ: And I hadn't got to that point yet.
KB: Now I saw a keyboard up there too, a // keyboard player. //
PJ: // Yeah well we have // a, a gospel musician, // he was on vacation-. //
KB: // Oh. //
PJ: -Yesterday.
KB: OK.
PJ: And, uh, Christian was playing.
KB: OK. So do you all sing, um, contemporary, more contemporary music when he // plays the keyboard? //
PJ: // Uh we sing, // no, uh, see he plays-, he doesn't play for my choir. // I have-. //
KB: // Oh there's // more choirs?
PJ: Uh-huh, the choir that sang yesterday is the one that I play for.
KB: Oh OK.
PJ: And he plays for the men's choir, the, uh, Spiritual Singers, the mass choir, and the Angels of Joy. He plays for four choirs.
KB: Now how many choirs are there?
PJ: Five.
KB: Oh. [Laughs] My // goodness. //
PJ: // But, uh, // the music, the type of music that we sing is, um, is shape note music.
KB: // Um-hmm. //
PJ: // And // that's what they were used to and-.
KB: And what's shape note music?
PJ: Honey, them little notes-.
KB: // [Laughs] //
PJ: // -You // can't hardly see them things.
KB: Oh. // [Laughs] //
PJ: // [Laughs] // But, uh, I mean everybody can't play them.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: And, uh, he just plainly told me, you know, that he couldn't play it.
KB: Uh-huh.
PJ: So, I don't expect him to do anything.
KB: Yeah.
PJ: So I play for them and when I tell him that I am going to retire, "Oh no, oh no."
KB: // [Laugh] //
PJ: // "Oh, no," I got to go. [Laugh]
PJ: I understand that.
PJ: I'm telling you.
KB: I understand that.
PJ: Yes sir.
KB: Now OK, Miss sister-in-law, you're not off the hook over there. [Laughs]
AP (Annie Pharr): // Oh, oh I-. //
KB: // You tell me, // or are you trying to collect your thoughts?
AP: No, I was trying to remember, 'cause now I'm 76 years old and I forget [laughs] // a lot. //
KB: // I // understand, I understand. I'm gonna go back and forth between the two so. And if you have anything to say jump right on in.
AP: Yeah, alright.
KB: But, um, how about you growing up. You, you grew up // in Harrisburg. //
AP: // I grew up in-, // yes indeed. And I went to Bellefonte School and, uh, when I left there and went to high school Twin Creek High School.
KB: Um-hmm.
AP: And I went to-, well I went to college for two years.
KB: Um-hmm. What college did you go to?
AP: In Concord?
KB: At, uh, Barber // Scotia? //
AP: // Barber // Scotia.
KB: OK.
AP: Um, then, um, well I worked in the cotton fields. You want to hear all that? [Laughs]
KB: Uh-huh, I do. [Laughs]
AP: Well, I want to be reminded of it. [Laughter] Yeah, and, uh, well I got married. My husband's deceased now.
KB: Um-hmm.
AP: But I had four children, two da-, two girls and two boys.
KB: Um-hmm.
AP: You don't have to, do you want to know their names or-?
KB: If you want to tell me that's fine // if you don't that's fine. [Laughs] //
AP: // I whe-, I, // I know them, I know them, but I didn't know whether you want to know the ages or you-.
KB: That's fine. // Whatever-. //
AP: // Well-. //
KB: -You want to tell me.
AP: -One daughter, um, Mary , Marianne ( ) and she was born January thir-, uh, yeah, yeah, January 30th.
KB: Um-hmm.
AP: 1949.
KB: Mmm.
AP: And a son, uh, Rodney Pharr, uh July the 24th in '50. And Diane March 27th, '52. And Clifford is deceased now, but he, he would have been 53 years old. He was born February the 24th.
KB: Um-hmm.
AP: Now let's see what else do you want to know? // [Laughs] //
KB: // Now // you said you couldn't remember much but I'll tell you now my grandmother is 77 and she would not be able to recite when the children were born, the dates and years // and all. You're pretty good. //
AP: // Well, I mean it will // come back to me-.
KB: Uh-huh.
AP: -Sometime. But, uh, I forget a lot.
KB: Yeah I do too.
AP: Yeah.
KB: [Laughs]
AP: And I think the younger people forget just as well as we do.
KB: You're right. You are absolutely right.
AP: Yes, Lord, let's see what else we can-.
KB: Now they told me about cooking, Miss, um-.
AP: Ethel.
KB: -Miss Weathers, yes.
AP: // Yeah. //
KB: // -Miss // Ethel, she said that she doesn't cook as well as Miss Elaine. Now how do you cook compared to Miss Elaine?
AP: Well I used to cook pretty good. // ( ) //
KB: // Now what number are you? // What number child are you?
AP: I'm oh, what am I? [Laughs]
KB: [Laughs]
AP: Let's see [pause], four, five, six. I'd be number six.
KB: Number six?
AP: Oh, em, I forgot about him. Yeah, I'm number six.
KB: You're number six, OK. So you were kind of in the middle to-.
AP: Kind of in the middle.
KB: -Figure out the cooking and all that. So you didn't, you probably didn't have to really cook by yourself much.
AP: Well we had to learn // 'cause we lived in the country. //
KB: // Yeah, you had to learn. // Yeah.
AP: We started, uh, the cooking and worked in the cotton field ( ) a long time. ( )
KB: I'm sure. My mother would tell me about the cotton field.
AP: Oh my //. ( ) //
KB: // Tobacco. // [Laughs]
AP: It wasn't tobacco this was // cotton. //
KB: // Well // she's from Johnston County up-.
AP: Oh.
KB: -In the east, so there's a lot of tobacco // up there. //
AP: // There sure is. //
KB: [Laughs]
AP: Mhm. Oh me, I can't think of, just ordinary talking, I can be talking in my head all, but I wouldn't know-.
KB: Oh I know. It's the microphone probably. [Laughs] [Laughter] Now in high school, you said you went to what high school again?
AP: I went to Clear Creek.
KB: Clear Creek.
AP: // Clear Creek High School. //
KB: // Now did that go to 11th grade? //
AP: // It went-. //
KB: // -Or did that // go to 12th.
AP: -It went to 11th grade.
KB: Um-hmm.
AP: Um-hmm.
KB: Oh OK.
AP: It went to 11th grade but everybody tells us, you know, "You didn't go on the full time," cause, well, uh, it was the 11th // grade-. //
KB: // Uh-huh. //
AP: -Then.
KB: You graduated.
AP: Yeah we graduated Clear Creek High School.
KB: And what did you study at, um, Barber Scotia?
AP: Well, uh, uh, secretary. I was-.
KB: Oh OK.
AP: -I was a secretary.
KB: OK.
AP: Yeah, // yeah. //
KB: // A // stenographer. And is that what you did for, when your, was that your profession?
AP: Well, that's what I, well I wanted, I didn't do too much of it.
KB: With it, uh-huh. What did you do as a profession?
AP: Well, [pause]. What did I do more or less?
KB: [Laugh]
AP: Maybe cooking, um, Pecolia help me out // 'cause I can't-. //
KB: // [Laughs] //
AP: -Think of it. Now you know all about us too. [Laughter]
PJ: She worked in Duke Power for how many years?
AP: Oh yeah, I worked in Duke Power for, uh, how many years did I work? 35 years.
KB: 35 years at Duke Power.
AP: Yeah.
KB: And what did you do // there? //
AP: // Then retired. // I was a over the var-, um, uh, supervisor over the, the maids.
KB: Oh OK.
AP: Mm-hmm.
KB: Hmm [pause]. Let's see.
AP: I'll think about everything when you leave.
KB: Oh, I know. That's how the, um, your sisters were.
AP: Yes indeed.
KB: Exactly how they were.
AP: Um-hmm.
KB: Now if you could just, can you scoot the chair a little bit closer so I can kind of put it in the middle? And hear both of you. Because I know both of you are going to want to say something about the same time. [Laughs] You want me to help you? Here, I'll get it. [Long pause] There, we'll put it right, right here. And that way I can get both of you. If you want to say something. OK, tell me about when you met Miss Johnson and she became a part of your family.
AP: I don't // know-. //
KB: // [Laughs] //
AP: -What year it was but-.
PJ: It was '47.
KB: 1947?
AP: Uh-hmm.
KB: Uh-hmm.
AP: Married my brother Bruce. And, we've been enjoying her every step and glances 'cause he was able to get her. [Laughter] And, oh there's so much I can't even think of it. // Let her talk some-. //
KB: // How did you-? //
AP: -And then I'll, I'll but in.
KB: OK. // [Laughs] //
PJ: //[Laughs] //
KB: // Coming from a small family-. //
PJ: //[Laughs] //
KB: -How did you feel going into this large family?
PJ: Uh, I had always wanted a sister-.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: -But I never had one.
KB: Me either.
PJ: And I was close to my brother, but after he graduated from school-.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: -He went to Washington to live so-.
KB: Hmmm.
PJ: -I was at home.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: And I still didn't have anybody // and then-. //
KB: // Yeah. //
PJ: -When I met them and got to know them, when I first went out there I thought they was the strangest people.
KB: [Laughs] Why did you say that?
PJ: Because nobody would talk to you.
KB: // Ohh. //
PJ: // And // I said well I guess because I was new to them-.
KB: // Uh-huh. //
PJ: // -And // they were new to me. But her fast brother-.
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // -Was // the only one that would talk.
KB: Now how did you meet the family?
PJ: Ah // through the church. //
AP: // Through the church. //
PJ: Uh, I was taken out to the church, uh, this guy used to lead the choir.
KB: Uh-huh.
PJ: And, uh, I had known him for years-.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: -And he said that, uh, after he found out that I could play he wanted to take me out there.
KB: Oh OK.
PJ: So, my mother and I went out there, and I played for them that Sunday and everybody was happy. They sung just like I'd been playing // forever. //
KB: // All along. //
PJ: Mm-hmm. And I told him that Sunday, I said, "I'm not coming back out here anymore."
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // He // said, "Why?" I said, "These people are strange."
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // He said, // "What do you mean?" I said, "They don't talk to you." He said, "Oh, they'll get to know you," said, "They'll be alright."
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: So I waited, I don't know, I guess a month before I went back. He kept begging to go back, and I went back and I played, they called themselves the Junior Choir. All of us practically grew up together-.
KB: // Um-hmm. //
PJ: // -Over // that choir. And, uh, I got to know them.
KB: Um-hmm.
PJ: And, I mean, I felt comfortable.
KB: OK.
PJ: And, uh, then I got married in 1950.
KB: After you met, uh, the strange-.
PJ: // Uh-hmm. //
KB: // -One // that wanted to talk to you. // [Laughs] //
AP: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // The strange one. [Laughs] //
KB: // Now // why do you say he was the strange one?
PJ: [Laughs] And, uh, I had five children.
KB: Mm-hmm.
PJ: And four of them are living, one's deceased.
KB: Mm-hmm.
PJ: But, uh, I mean, I just enjoy it out there because, I mean, to me the ones that are my age, see all of us grew up together-.
KB: Mm-hmm.
PJ: -Because all of us were teenagers when, you know, we were singing.
KB: Mm-hmm.
PJ: And uh, I mean, they just took me in just like // you know I was one of their sisters. //
KB: // You'd been there all along. //
PJ: Mm-hmm, and I've just been hanging right in there. [Laugh]
KB: Now how did you, um, become smitten with your husband?
PJ: Well he's a // talker. //
KB: // [Laugh] // By your husband.
PJ: He was a talker.
KB: // Oh really, aren't they all? //
PJ: // A real talker. // [Laughter] He was a talker. [Laughter] But I went out there on Sunday-.
KB: Uh-huh.
PJ: -And Tuesday he came to my door-.
KB: Oh, he is fast. // [Laughs] //
PJ: // I know. //
AP: He's the mayor's son.
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // And he, // he came down for a while and I kept telling my mama, I said, "I wish he'd go home."
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // she said, // "Well he seems like he's a nice person." I said, "Oh well," and you know, dealing with them I got to know him, you know, and I mean he was a person, he knew what he wanted, he knew, you know, how to go about getting it. He was a smart person. He worked all the time, he was trying to go to school, so.
KB: Mm-hmm.
PJ: I mean, I, I guess it just, the bug come through. // [Laughs] //
KB: // Ah-ha. [Laughs] // That love bug. // [Laughs] //
AP: // Yep, // indeed.
KB: I got you turning red. // [Laughs] //
PJ: // Yep, // indeed. Ah, gee.
KB: Yeah, you know you liked him. // [Laughs] //
PJ: I know too.
AP: You, uh, at one point I got jealous of, uh, when he was with her. I wanted to learn to drive and he wouldn't teach us. // He taught her. //
KB: // Uh, oh. // Oh, I'd be mad // too. //
AP: // I // wasn't mad at her, but I was // mad at him. //
KB: // Yeah. //
AP: And I don't drive to this day. // [Laughs] //
KB: // Oh no. //
AP: But she, she, uh, takes me around // and everything //
KB: // Oh that's nice. //
AP: I ask her to do, she, she'd be glad to take me.
KB: Now Bruce, he was younger or older than you?
AP: // He's older than I am. //
PJ: // He was older than she was. //
KB: Uh-huh, so he would have taught you how to drive.
AP: He wouldn't do it.
PJ: He didn't have // time. //
AP: // He didn't // have time, he was // being out- //
KB: // Oh 'cause // he was all under you all the time. [Laughs] So // it was him-. //
AP: // He knew // what he was going to-.
PJ: He worked, he worked, you know, all day-.
KB: Uh-huh.
PJ: -And, uh-.
AP: //[Laughs] //
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: -When he would get off he would call before he would go home // if-. //
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
PJ: // -He was coming back. //
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: // Uh-hmm. //
PJ: And, uh, he didn't spend any time with them. He stayed over here // all the time. //
KB: // Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. //
AP: // Yeah, you couldn't tell him // nothing. He-, I don't have time to do this. I don't know what you put on him but it's something // good. //
KB: // Ah. // [Laughter] Can I learn? // No I'm just playing. [Laughs] //
AP: // And, indeed // I sure appreciate my sister-in-law.
KB: That's good. That's really nice-.
AP: // Yeah. //
KB: // -Really nice. //
PJ: Well, I tell you when he passed, if it hadn't of been for my sister-in-laws-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -I couldn't have survived.
KB: Hmm. It does take family. Family being close and even-.
PJ: Yeah because they just come // right in-. //
AP: // That's true. //
PJ: -They just took over.
KB: That's good.
PJ: And done whatever needed to be done.
AP: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And I didn't have to worry. If I had to leave, I left them here if they didn't want to // go-. //
AP: // Mhm. //
PJ: I didn't have to worry about anything.
KB: Hm-hmm. That's good. That's what it's about-.
AP: // Hm-hmm. //
KB: // -Family. //
AP: Hm-hmm, isn't it though.
KB: Yes ma'am.
AP: Hm-hmm.
KB: Now how about your // husband? //
AP: // It wasn't, // wasn't fake either 'cause-.
KB: Oh no.
AP: -You know, 'cause uh, a lot of people pretend to be-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: -Friendly and all that, but she didn't have to go through that.
KB: That's good.
AP: Yeah.
KB: That's, that's how it's supposed to be.
AP: // Hm-hmm. //
KB: // And // it's getting away from that now because, you know, families are moving // away-. //
AP: // Yeah. //
KB: -From each other and not really becoming close like they used to be. But, tell me about your husband. How did you meet yours?
AP: Hm-hmm, let me see. How did I meet him? Well all of us were out there in Harrisburg.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: Uh, I don't know exactly how I met him [pause].
KB: Did you meet him at the church or // just in Harrisburg? //
AP: // Yeah, he, he went to church. // And, uh, one reason I guess he-, the reason I married him 'cause he [pause], well I, I went to church monthly and he wasn't going that much, but he tried to follow me.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: You know, he // had-. //
KB: // Uh-hmm. //
AP: -To go to church, and he told everybody if I don't follow her to church I'm not going to get to marry her.
KB: Yeah. // [Laughs] //
AP: // Well that's why // he, he uh, he went to church. And uh, his people wasn't too fond about going too much.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: But, uh, all of them just riding around the neighborhood, and that's the reason we, you know, you meet people and, um, [pause] I don't know, I guess the thing though, I can think on a whole lot-.
KB: // Yeah. //
AP: // -If you // weren't here. // [Laughs] //
KB: // I know // you could, I know you could.
AP: Yeah, 'cause sometime I'll be on the phone and talk about a little bit of // everything. //
KB: // Everything. // Yep. I was told about the, um, movie theater that was down the street. I can't remember the name.
PJ: Grand.
KB: Grand.
PJ: Hm-hmm.
KB: Miss, um, Zenovia talked about that and-.
PJ: Hm-hmm.
KB: -Now you were in walking distance-.
PJ: Yeah.
KB: -Of it. Did you go to it a lot // when it first opened? //
PJ: // Yeah, I, I would go to it a lot // when my aunt sold tickets down there.
KB: Oh OK.
PJ: And, uh, we would go there. And then my uncle, um, I don't know what he was considered, but he would, you know, he had that flashlight // and that kind of thing-. //
KB: // Mhm. //
PJ: -And he worked down there. And we would go down there sometime and not have any money to go in and, uh, the man that ran it, he was real nice-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -And, uh, he'd say, "You children go on back home now-.
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // -I'm not // going to let you in the damn-." We wouldn't move. We'd just stand right there. [Laughter] // And we'd // kind of look at each other while he said, "Well go on in there."
KB: [Laughs] // That's the smart way to get in. [Laughs] //
PJ: // "Go on in there and get you a seat." // That's right. And, uh, // I mean we wouldn't get to go a lot. Huh? //
AP: // It wasn't but a quarter? // How much was it, about a quarter?
PJ: I don't know what it // was but we were young and didn't have any money. //
AP: // It wasn't much. We were young and free. //
KB: Oh no.
PJ: //[Laughs] //
AP: //[Laughs] // Who had some.
KB: I mean if you could get in free anyway // why pay the quarter? //
PJ: // That's right, we didn't have any money. //
AP: //[Laughs] //
PJ: But we would go down there and just stand around-.
KB: Uh-hmm.
PJ: -And he'd get tired of looking at you, go on in.
KB: [Laughs] Do you remember what movies y'all used to see?
PJ: No, uh, I don't remember, just whatever was on // you know // we would go in there and see it. //
KB: // Uh-hmm. //
AP: // Yeah. //
PJ: They, uh, back then they were not like they were now-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -They, uh, they didn't have X-rated movies-.
KB: Uh-huh.
PJ: -So you never had to worry about what you were looking at.
KB: Yeah.
PJ: But, um-.
KB: Not a lot of cursing and // violence. //
PJ: // No, uh uh. These were just clean movies. //
AP: // No, none of that, nothing like that. //
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And, uh, he'd just let us go on in there. And sometime he'd come through, "Here's a bag of popcorn." That popcorn'd be smelling so good.
KB: I bet. // [Laugh] //
AP: // Popcorn // seemed like it tasted better then-.
PJ: // Oh. //
AP: // -Than // it does now.
PJ: Uh-huh.
KB: I'm sure // it did. //
AP: // It was probably 'cause we couldn't get it // 'cause we didn't have no money to buy it. [Laughs]
PJ: Yeah, we didn't have any money. Mama never would say anything, you know, because, uh, she had two sisters. Her mother lived up the street, // and she-. //
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
PJ: -Had two sisters and we were just two years difference in our ages.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And we would always down there and mama never would say anything.
KB: Hmm. That's good, you were free to, well it was a different time then too. You were free. It was safe-.
PJ: It was safe yeah.
KB: -To do anything.
AP: It was safe.
PJ: Yeah, it was safe. // Because I was talking to-. //
KB: // And then your-. //
PJ: -Somebody the other day about going to the football games-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -We would start down here to catch the bus-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -And if the bus would roll by we would holler and that man would wait on us.
AP: // Yes they did. Yes they did. //
KB: // Mhm. //
PJ: So we could get on the bus. // And then-. //
KB: // Now which // football games were these?
PJ: At, uh, Memorial Stadium.
KB: Uh-huh, OK.
PJ: And, uh, see when we would get to the square we'd walk to the stadium-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -Rather than wait on a bus.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And, uh, he would always wait on us and I was telling the guy down the street the other day, all of us went to school together, and I said, uh, this girl that stayed next door, her brother played football and basketball-.
KB: Hmm.
PJ: I said-, and we would go to the games they would always tell us don't leave until we get dressed.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And they would always walk us home, make sure // that we got home. //
KB: // That was nice. //
PJ: And, uh, I was telling him, you know, he was more like a brother-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -To me than anything else. I said because he always made sure that we were safe at home-.
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
PJ: // -Before // they went home.
AP: Hm-hmm.
PJ: I said, and you know, mama felt comfortable with that.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And I said, but back then, you know, you weren't scared to go nowhere.
KB: Mm-mm.
PJ: 'Cause we walked to the movies some nights and walked back and not think a thing about it.
KB: I'm sure. Now today. [Laughs]
PJ: You'd be scared to open your door.
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: // Yeah, // yeah.
KB: [Laughs]
AP: Tell you most of the boyfriends would walk miles and miles at night-.
KB: Oh wow.
AP: -And, and they wasn't afraid-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: -Nobody didn't bother them.
KB: Yeah. The city was, it was large for then but it, not as large as it is now and, so there weren't a lot of-.
AP: There wasn't a lot of-.
KB: -Crazy people. // [Laugh] //
AP: // -And, // that's right. Exactly. And most of everything's happening now.
KB: Oh yeah. How do you feel about, um, some things that have been going on in the city now? Um, n-, do you live in Harrisburg now or you live in Charlotte?
AP: Uh uh, I live in Charlotte.
KB: OK. How about-, I know you didn't see a lot going on in Harrisburg, um-.
AP: Well there wasn't //. ( ) //
KB: // -When you were younger, // yeah.
AP: Didn't, nothing going nowhere.
KB: [Laughs] But, compared to Charlotte how-, what are some, some remarkable differences that you've seen between Harrisburg and Charlotte?
AP: Well, there-, people are more friendly out, you know, when their houses were, uh, it was spaced off-.
KB: // In Harrisburg. //
AP: // -And that's // not to say I wasn't going to live, I wouldn't want to live in, uh-.
KB: Charlotte.
AP: -Charlotte.
KB: // [Laugh] //
AP: // I mean in, //in town period.
KB: Uh-huh.
AP: I said 'cause the houses are too close-.
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
AP: // -And everything. // And I said-, and even-, I remember now, that, uh, I said, "If I had a boyfriend that whenever, could probably take my boyfriend-."
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: // -'Cause I wouldn't talk to him that much and // ( ) I would talk to me and just, any little thing. The main thing was the houses.
KB: // Uh-huh. //
AP: // They was-, // I didn't want a, well I thought I didn't want to live close-.
KB: // Yeah. //
AP: // -You know, // 'cause the houses were, you know-.
KB: On top of each other. // [Laughs] //
AP: // Well // out in the country, you know, it's a long way from one house to the other.
KB: Hm-hmm. And they're getting closer and closer. // [Laughs] //
AP: // Oh honey // you can shake hands-.
KB: [Laughs] Yeah. Out the window.
AP: Yes indeed.
KB: Yep. So when you were-, um, you all were married probably by the time you were my age. I'm almost 25.
PJ: Hm-hmm.
KB: So between graduating from high school and, um, getting married how did you meet people. Was it through, um, did you socialize just with the people at church or in your neighborhood, at the movies, did you shop, or anything? I know there probably weren't any shopping malls, per se, but like go downtown to shop or something like that?
AP: Well when I was coming along, the only shopping that I could do, 'cause we didn't have no money, I'd be with my mother-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: -And I would help her-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: -By not having no money and, you know, we couldn't go by ourselves-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: -So the ( ) would take us. She didn't drive because her, I don't really know.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: You know, we would go then with her some. And another thing about the shoes and things, when we'd go, uh, we had a pair of shoes for Sunday-.
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
AP: // -Because // Sunday, uh, anyways, can't get the-, can't-, we would, uh, wear the shoes to church and then you'd have to come home and take them off.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: And I remember good everybody could go around barefoot, and that's one thing I couldn't go barefoot. I'd have to have some // something on the bottom of-. //
KB: // Shoes. //
AP: -My feet. Uh-huh. And if they're raggedy. // [Laughs] Whatever but-. // [Laughter] // -I still can't, I just couldn't go barefoot. [Laughs]
KB: My, my little niece, she doesn't like shoes. [Laughs] // So she walks around barefooted. //
AP: // Oh my goodness. // Hm-hmm.
KB: She is just the opposite.
AP: Yeah I have a sister doesn't like shoes. She'd kick them off. Sometime she'd take them off in church.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: But, knowing a grown person then, they could tell you what to do-.
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
AP: // -And if they // see you doing something wrong you'd get a whipping from anybody. Anybody could help-.
KB: // Yeah. //
AP: // -You // raise your children. And then when you go home you get // another one. //
KB: // Get another one. [Laughs] //
AP: Yes indeed.
KB: We talked about that before.
AP: Yes indeed.
KB: And there was nothing wrong with that. There was no // 911-. [Laughs] //
PJ: // Maybe then. //
AP: That's right.
KB: -To call, um, social services or anything // because-. //
AP: // That's right. //
KB: -It wasn't anything too extreme-.
AP: Hm-hmm.
KB: -For the children to be abused or anything, but it was enough to put fear in them to know not to do it again.
AP: Well, that's true. And that was a different thing wh-, after I moved to town, you couldn't chastise children-.
KB: // Hmmm. //
AP: // -You know, // 'cause the parents they didn't want you to.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: And you couldn't do it anyway, you really didn't have a shotgun or whatever [laughs]-.
KB: // [Laugh] //
AP: // -To mess // with the kids even if the kids was wrong.
KB: Hm-hmm. Hmm [pause]. So what are your thoughts on that? [Laughs] I know you see a lot of bad kids from // our view at church. [Laughs] //
PJ: // Yes, now see when // I was coming up this used to be the best street that was in this neighborhood-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -But now, since they've torn down, uh, the project over here-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -I imagine all those people that moved here, these people walk the street 24 hours // a day. //
KB: // Hmm. //
AP: Hmm.
PJ: And the kids, I look at them, you know we used to, if you didn't go to school the teachers would call-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -And let your parents know. But these children walk the streets. And, uh, I was talking to my neighbor the other day and I said I'm glad school's starting back // so they can get out of the street. //
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: She said, "Well half of them don't go to school, // mine included." //
AP: // That's true. //
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: I said, "Well that's your fault."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: She said, "Well they're my daughter's children. She don't make them go to school and I don't say nothing either." I said, "They're in your house."
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
AP: // I would // say something. That's what she should do, is say something.
PJ: I tell you, but, uh, I mean, you just could not stay out of school.
KB: Mm-mm.
PJ: They would call your parents and tell and you would get a whipping at home and they'd send you back to school and tell the principal.
KB: Mm-mm.
PJ: You got two whippings if you stayed out of school.
KB: See, I, I taught school, um, last year 2000-2001 school year and I could see a difference between those students and the ones when I went to school // even. //
PJ: // Hm-hmm. //
AP: I know that's right.
PJ: These, the children coming up now days don't have any manners.
KB: Mm-mm. And their // parents don't either. [Laughs] //
PJ: // They don't have-, no they don't. //
AP: // Amen, no they don't. //
PJ: // They don't // have any respect for themselves and nobody else.
KB: Mm-mm.
PJ: So I just look at them. I don't say anything to them.
KB: Mm-mm.
PJ: Just look at them.
KB: It's sad.
PJ: It is, it really is. // Yeah. //
KB: // And you // think about what in the world the world is going to be like when // they're running things. [Laughs] //
PJ: // Well, I, tell a lot of people I said ( ) 15, 16 with our age group you know now. //
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
AP: // You know. //
PJ: I don't know what's going to happen to the world.
KB: I'm scared. [Laughs]
PJ: [Laughs]
KB: I really am. [Laughs]
AP: Hm-hmm.
PJ: I really don't know what's going to happen.
KB: Mm.
PJ: You know, I was telling somebody the other day, I said, "You know, I said God's going to come back here pretty soon and // destroy this whole world." //
KB: // Mhm. //
PJ: I said, because the people are too evil.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: Yes, indeed.
KB: You're right.
AP: You seem signs of it. It seems like it's not going to be long.
KB: Mm-mm.
AP: No Sir, back when we, when my children were going to school they went to Harding-.
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
AP: // Have // you heard of that?
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: Well they were, if, uh, a child was out they would call me.
KB: Hm-hhm.
PJ: Hm-hmm.
AP: They would really call to see if they were sick or whatever.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: My children didn't get by. They was afraid to stay out of school. And I knew what I would do for them.
KB: [Laughs] See now, they have that recording that calls home and a recording can't tell if they're talking to the parent, or a student-.
AP: That's // true. //
KB: // -Or // an answering machine. So kids can come home and either answer the phone or hang up, or erase the message on the answering machine // if they're skipping school. //
AP: // That's what I would do I bet. [Laughs] //
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: Well I was // blessed-. //
AP: // I don't // have one.
PJ: -I didn't have a problem with any of my children // going to school. //
KB: // That's good. //
AP: // Yes indeed. //
PJ: // They knew // this was what they had to do.
KB: Hmmm.
AP: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And they knew to do that.
KB: Did your children go to West Charlotte too?
PJ: Uh, I had [pause] two went to West Charlotte.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And, uh, then when they, uh, integrated-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -'Cause my son ended up going, we weren't here when you came in?
KB: No.
PJ: Went out, uh, he was the last all black class-.
KB: // Hmm. //
PJ: -Up there and, uh, my other daughter, the oldest one she was assigned to West Charlotte but she didn't want to go so // she went to Myers Park. //
KB: // [Laugh] // Mm, that's odd.
PJ: And, uh, there were five black kids out there.
KB: Hm-mhm.
PJ: And, uh, she played-, she was a musician.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And she's a child-, if she walked by a piano or an organ or something she's going to touch it.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And she says she went in the-, I think it was in the auditorium that day, and said she just sat down and just started playing. And some white kids in there, they went and got the, uh, music teacher-.
KB: Uh-huh.
PJ: -And brought him back in there. And showed you how strange things are, she had asked to, uh, she wanted to be in the glee club-.
KB: // Uh-huh. //
PJ: // -And // they told her they couldn't rearrange her schedule.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And when the teacher heard her play in two days she was in-.
AP: [Laugh]
KB: ( ) Glee club miraculously, huh.
PJ: Hm-hmm, she was in that and she played for the glee club the whole time that she was out there.
KB: // That's good. //
AP: // Hm-hmm, // that's wonderful.
KB: That's good.
PJ: But I said, "Now, you know, it's not what you know, it's who you know."
KB: // Exactly. //
AP: // Mm-hmm. //
KB: You are absolutely right.
PJ: But I had, Whitie went to West Charlotte, Joyce went up there until they moved her to West Mecklenburg-.
KB: Oh OK.
PJ: -One went to Myers Park, and I had two at Garringer.
KB: Oh OK. Went to many schools.
PJ: And I was working eight hours and come home and I would cook-.
KB: // Mm. //
PJ: -And this one would have to go this place and this one would have to go that place. I stayed in the street.
KB: I bet. // [Laughs] //
PJ: // Taking them // all the time. And when my oldest daughter got old enough to get her driver's license I said, "Take the car."
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: [Laughs]
KB: I bet. That's how my parents were. We were // just having a discussion. //
PJ: // She, yeah, and she // fusses now. She said, "Mama," said, "I often think about you." Said, "I don't know how you did what you did." I said, "What are you talking about?" She said, "You worked eight hours, come home," said, "You cooked straight out every day."
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
AP: // Yes indeed. //
PJ: -"And then got in the car and took us // where we had to go." //
KB: // To activities. //
PJ: I said, "You're getting a taste of it now aren't you?"
KB: Exactly. // [Laughs] //
AP: // Yeah, yes. //[Laughs]
PJ: She said she don't know how I did it.
KB: Yeah, I // don't know. //
PJ: // You have // to do, I mean, you do what you have to do // now. //
KB: // Mhm. // That's what my parents were saying. You have to keep your children in activities and everything to keep them from being on, in the streets and if that means you have to be off work to go to school and-.
PJ: That's // true. //
KB: // -Support // them then that's what you have to do.
AP: Hm-hmm.
PJ: Well I've tried to go to everything that they were involved in.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: I had two that played in the band at West Charlotte.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: They even played in West Charlotte's band when they were going to Northwest.
AP: Yeah. [Laughs]
KB: Oh. // [Laughs] //
PJ: // And, // uh, Mr. Payes was the band director back then-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -And he couldn't get those children to play.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And he said, "Well I'll go get the Johnson children."
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // And // he would come to Northwest and take my children up there, my son started out playing a trumpet.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: When he graduated he was playing anything // that needed to be played up there. //
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // Wherever they needed him, that's where he put him. //
KB: // Teaching everybody else. //
AP: Yeah well that's good, // I tell you. //
PJ: // And when Mr. Payes, // uh, before he died he requested that my two kids, and it was about six other children-.
KB: Mhm.
PJ: -He wanted them to play at his funeral.
KB: Well that was nice.
PJ: // And they went. //
AP: // He was, // uh, say what, he wanted them to just play-.
PJ: Yeah, he told his wife, what, you know // what he wanted them to play. //
AP: // What he wanted them to play. //
PJ: And she called and she asked, you know, if they could come. Said that this is what he requested.
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
AP: // Hm-hmm. //
PJ: So they got ready and went on.
KB: That was nice // that he had such a relationship. //
AP: // That was nice. //
PJ: // I mean he was a nice man. //
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: He was really nice. But, I mean, he didn't take no junk. They'd march in the parade and if you wasn't doing what you were supposed to // he'd stop you and make you get out. //
AP: // Uh-huh, Lord. //
KB: I bet, I bet.
PJ: He // would. //
KB: // That's // the way it's supposed to be and it's good-.
AP: // Yeah, that's good. //
KB: // -That he had such // a personal relationship-.
AP: Hm-hmm.
PJ: Hm-hmm.
KB: -Too.
AP: Hm-hmm.
KB: And could call here, I mean, 'cause how many principals. I, I can't even say that I knew of a principal that I worked with as a teacher who would call me at home. [Laughs]
AP: Hm-hmm. Are you, you stopped teaching?
KB: Yes ma'am.
AP: Oh you couldn't-.
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // She didn't like it. // She couldn't take it.
AP: // I don't blame you. I don't see how in the world nobody can teach. ( ) //
KB: // I enjoyed teaching, I did enjoy teaching. //
PJ: What grade did you teach?
KB: I had 9th grade English-.
AP: My goodness.
PJ: You had the roughest.
KB: -But uh, yeah 'cause they still had that middle school mentality, but it's their parents that caused me to leave to be honest. // [Laughs] //
AP: // Really? //
KB: I could deal with the students. It's-, // I couldn't deal with their parents. //
AP: // Now the parents, that's bad. //
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: 'Cause the children are bad enough.
KB: Uh-huh. That's where they got their badness from, their parents. [Laughs]
PJ: That's so true.
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: // Yeah // they probably would give you a heart attack if that was the parents that-.
KB: Oh yeah.
AP: Oh my goodness.
KB: Yeah, it was quite difficult.
AP: Was it that the children, wasn't doing what, what you say they were doing or what?
KB: They, um, for, you know, a lot of students sometimes don't-, they're knuckleheads. They don't do their homework and-.
AP: // Oh. //
KB: // -If // they don't do their homework then of course they're not going to pass a test which comes from homework // and-. //
AP: // Like // the dog ate the homework.
KB: Exactly. [Laughs] Or I did the homework, you just don't get it or something // crazy like that. //
AP: // Oh my goodness. //
KB: And their parents would support that and-.
AP: Well I declare.
PJ: When my children would come home they knew that was the first thing // they had to do-. //
KB: // To do. //
PJ: -Before they could do anything else.
AP: Right.
KB: Me // too. //
PJ: // Do // your homework.
KB: Yep, that's what I had to do.
PJ: You had to do that.
AP: What I had to do with the boys, with the girls I didn't have no trouble. They, they're clever. What I wouldn't ask, or say anything to them. But the boys going to be // different, you know, most of them. //
KB: // The boys. // They have to run and play first, and // then-. //
AP: // Mhm. //
KB: -Do the homework.
AP: My children didn't get to enjoy playing unless they done their homework.
KB: Hm-hmm, that's the way it's supposed to be. We couldn't watch TV or anything. When we got home we had to do our homework, and, of course we snuck sometimes, [laughs] and watched // TV. //
PJ: // We didn't even have a // TV.
KB: Oh // yeah. //
AP: // I // was thinking the same.
PJ: No we didn't have a TV, and uh, I told my mother I wore her dining room table out // 'cause that's where I did-. //
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: -My homework. I had books and papers thrown all over the table.
AP: Yeah.
KB: I bet.
PJ: And anybody come in, want to sit down, she said, "Oh no move to the kitchen."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: That's where they ate at. They couldn't eat in there because that's where my homework was.
KB: That was your office. // [Laughs] //
PJ: // Hm-hmm. //
KB: Man, it would be, it would be so funny to take away a television, computers, video games, // all that from kids today-. //
AP: // I know. //
KB: -And see how they would, [laughs] see what they would do, they would probably kill themselves or something.
PJ: I'm telling you. 'Cause I have a grand that's seven.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And she'll come in here and first thing, "Where's the remote?"
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: Uh-huh.
PJ: Flip the station. I say, "I was looking at that." "I'm sorry," but she didn't flip it back.
KB: // Nope. [Laughs] //
AP: //[Laughs] //
PJ: I said "Listen, you are not at home." "Well my mama." I said, "I'm not your mama."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: I said, "You're at my house."
KB: Exactly.
PJ: And she'd get mad and she'd flip it back and go in the other room and turn the TV on. So she can look at what she want. I said, "Good."
KB: [Laughs]
PJ: You can go off.
AP: [Laughs] That's right.
PJ: Not going to hurt your feelings. [Laughs]
KB: That's right, I know.
AP: That's right.
PJ: Hm-hmm.
AP: Yes sir.
KB: Younger and younger they're getting more and more rebellious.
AP: Hm-hmm.
PJ: She's OK // as long as-. //
AP: // If they get by. //
PJ: -She's going to school. You know she loves to go to school.
KB: That's good.
PJ: And uh, this summer, um, she's been out to the Y.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: All summer, and she just enjoys that. That child loves the water.
KB: Mm-mm.
PJ: And she gets in that water. And the days she can't get in the water you can't live with her.
KB: I bet. [Laugh]
PJ: I said, "Well go get in the bath tub."
KB: [Laughs] // It's not the same. //
PJ: // It's not the same. // But she-, I-, she's really enjoyed that. But before she got to start she would work, well she was out of school two weeks before the regular school was out-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -And she would come over here and stay with me. And she said, "I'd be glad when the 9th of June comes by."
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // What // happens on the 9th of, "I'm going to camp."
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: //[Laughs] //
PJ: I said, "Lord, I'll be glad when it comes too."
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: //[Laughs] //
PJ: And the day that she went to camp, oh, her mama had to take her and had to stay there with her that whole day. Then she come back and she told me that, uh, the director was mean.
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // I said, // "She didn't let you do what you wanted to do."
AP: That's exactly what it was.
PJ: -And she never would answer.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And I said, "Well you're, you'll be OK." I said, "She's new to you and you're new to her." I said, "Once you learn her and she learns you," I said, "You'll ( )."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: So she was telling me yesterday, she said, "You know I'd be out of camp pretty soon."
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: // And said, // "You know," said, "All the instructors already gone."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And she said, "I went in there and asked that man if she was going to have the same instructors next year when I come back."
AP: My // goodness. //
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: He said he didn't know. Said, "He hoped he did," but he didn't know. She said, you know, she said, "I don't want to get used to some new // people again." //
AP: // Somebody else. //
KB: // Adjusting. // [Laughs]
PJ: But, I mean, she's a person, she loves to talk.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And she doesn't meet strangers. If you'll talk that's all she wants to know.
AP: Hm-hmm.
KB: That's good. // That is really good. //
PJ: // Oh my goodness. //
KB: I know. This is crazy with the birds.
PJ: I guess you don't want to record this.
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: //[Laughs] //
KB: It's no problem. // Well is there anything else you want-? //
AP: // I guess you'll be over with us. //
KB: Oh no, I, I enjoy-, I could sit here forever, believe me, but, um, is there anything else you all wanted to talk about or-?
PJ: Mm, no. Not that I know of.
AP: I can't think of nothing right now.
PJ: I'm going to get on him Sunday.
KB: Oh you know I'll be back to, um, interview at the church. So if you do think of anything else, just flag me down and // I'll be there. //
PJ: // OK. //
KB: [Laughs] Thank you ladies, I enjoyed it. // I've heard lots about life. //
AP: // I enjoyed you too. //
KB: Well, thank you.
AP: I know my sister said well you'll enjoy her. // [Laughs] //
KB: //[Laughs] // I try, I try. Well.
PJ: When Reverend David first came out to the church-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -He come through the hall and he was just fussing.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And, uh, I said, "What in the world is wrong with you?"
KB: [Laughs]
PJ: And he said, uh, said, "Something," he said. I said, "Well stop fussing so much." He said, "Well if you stay here long enough," said, "You'll find out that I speak my mind."
KB: Mm.
PJ: I said, "OK. You stay long enough you'll find out that I speak mine too."
KB: Uh oh. Feisty and feisty // go head-to-head. //
PJ: // And, um, // about three weeks later, I don't remember what it was, we were in there talking about. He said, "Well, Lord, like you said you do speak your mind". [Laughs]
KB: [Laughs] He underestimated you, huh?
PJ: //[Laughs] //
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: Yes // sir. //
PJ: // But // I mean we talk, we just like that-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -And, um, he doesn't get mad at what I say to him and I don't get mad at what he says to me. We just get along.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And he'll stir it up in the pulpit sometime and he'll say, um, he'll make a crack up there and then he'll look over there // and he know I'm going to say something. //
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: //[Laughs] //
PJ: But me and Miss Pecolia, we get along don't we? We've got an understanding haven't we?
KB: [Laughs]
PJ: I said, "Uh-huh."
KB: [Laughs]
PJ: // And one Sunday I-. //
AP: // She'd take me to church // sometime and, and we'd come up the little home by his office-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: -And uh, Miss Johnson, and Pecolia know there's something he going to say. [Laughs]
PJ: // I done ( ). //
AP: // Keep going // uh, going to the bathroom 'cause she-.
KB: You know they're going to be there when you come back. [Laughs]
AP: Yeah he calls her // and sometimes she says, "What is it now?" [Laughs] //
PJ: // I asked him sometime, I said, // "How do you know when I come in?" He said, // "I know when you open that door." //
KB: // I know. //
AP: // He come in he hears you talk, hear you talk. //
KB: // He feels your vibe. [Laughs] //
PJ: He said, "I know when you open that door." And one Sunday I had to go to the Emergency Room-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -And my daughter called him from the Emergency Room. He wanted to know what was wrong. And she told him.
KB: Mhm.
PJ: He got up in the pulpit and // he told ( ). //
AP: // She told him. //
KB: // Announced it. // Oh no.
PJ: I blessed him out.
KB: I bet.
PJ: I told him, I said, "Listen," I said, "I didn't tell her to call you for you to get up and broadcast what I // was in the Emergency Room-." //
KB: // Exactly. //
PJ: -"Or." I said, "Don't you ever do that again."
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: // And he done doing this ordinarily. //
PJ: // He will. //
AP: He'll do anything.
KB: Probably doesn't give it a second thought. [Laughs]
AP: He doesn't think about // so we'll tell him what's wrong. //
PJ: // He don't think about it. //
KB: [Laughs]
PJ: And he said, "She said she had a kidney stone," and Doris got in and Doris said, "Well I talked to her before I come to church and she did have a kidney stone-."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -"But she's at home."
AP: [Laughs]
PJ: And she said, "You know he got up there and // told it." //
AP: // [Coughs]. //
PJ: I said, "I // know it-." //
AP: // Oh yeah. //
PJ: -"But you know I'm going to get him."
KB: [Laughs] Y'all have to whip // him sometimes, huh? //
AP: // I guess // it'd probably didn't want him to think it was something else or whatever. It isn't nobody's business, but I don't think he think about it.
KB: Yeah, // yeah. //
AP: // ( ) //
PJ: He got so much on his mind. // He's always trying to do so much. //
AP: // Yeah, too much [coughs]. //
KB: Yeah.
PJ: And I stay on him, I slow him down.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And taking care of his self.
KB: Exactly.
PJ: And I'm, I'm slowing down. And Teal tickles me, she'll shake her head. He said, "Tell her I wasn't talking to you and she'll just die laughing." [Laughter]
KB: I bet.
PJ: Yes.
AP: Yes sir.
KB: Man.
AP: Got a tickle in my throat.
KB: // Uh oh. //
PJ: // Then I was // telling him about this going from church to church-.
AP: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -I was glad he said what he did-.
KB: Yesterday.
PJ: -Yesterday.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: Because he's been sick // 'cause he wouldn't slow down. //
KB: // Hm-hmm. // Hm-hmm.
AP: He's still sick.
PJ: Yeah he's sick.
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
PJ: // And // I kept telling him-.
AP: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -I said, "Reverend Davis, you've got to look after yourself."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: I said, "You're just running from church to church. Every Sunday you've got somewhere to go-."
AP: He'll preach hard. They // say he-. //
PJ: // I-. //
AP: -Sold out-.
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: // -Last night, yesterday. //
PJ: // Yeah, I said, I said, // "You don't have to do this. You're working two jobs."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: He said, "Well, // you know as said you can turn them down." //
AP: // I don't even want to hear it. //
KB: //[Laughs] //
PJ: I said, "But I'm telling you now." I said, "You better slow down."
AP: Yes indeed.
PJ: And then he told-.
AP: He's not able // to do all that-. //
PJ: // No he's not. //
AP: -Stuff he's doing.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: And I kept listen to him yesterday. Say he was going to try and hold off until after Thanksgiving-.
KB: // Hm-hmm. //
PJ: // I said, // hell, he's going to fill up Thanksgiving and then he's going to the hospital.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: But uh, like I told him, uh, he had told me before he told anybody else that, uh, he was going to have to have an operation-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: -And he said, uh-.
AP: He didn't want to have it.
PJ: -He said, "I don't want to but-."
AP: I know // it. //
PJ: -"I'm // going to have to."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: He said, "But I'm going to try to hold off until November."
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: I said, "November?" And this was in May.
AP: May or in. ( )
PJ: I said, "November?" He said, "Yeah." He said, "You know," say, "They lay him off up there at the school." Said, "I go to the hospital I might not have no job." I said, "Well if you know you ain't going to have no job-."
KB: //[Laughs] //
AP: //[Laughs] //
PJ: ( ) I said, "So what's the difference?"
AP: // But he didn't. ( ) //
PJ: // I said, but he had told me, // you know he's stand up there and he'd talk about his // ( )-. //
AP: // [Coughs]. //
PJ: -And he'd have no feeling in them-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: [Coughs].
PJ: If you stayed for communion yesterday you noticed he had to sit down-.
KB: Hm-hmm.
PJ: His legs get numb.
KB: Oh.
PJ: And I told him, I said, "You need to go see about this."
KB: Yeah.
PJ: And not wait 'til November.
KB: Mm-Mm.
PJ: But I don't try a whole lot to // motivate him. I said, "OK." //
AP: // And he sure hard-headed. //
KB: // Hard-headed. [Laughs] //
PJ: // Hard-headed. //
AP: // I hope he doesn't // have a stroke but he seems, he need to take care of himself // he doing-.
PJ: // He does. // He runs too much.
KB: Hm-hmm.
AP: He's going to different churches. He won't turn them down. Goes to different churches and preach and preach hard.
PJ: And then for a while at the church he was out there every night.
KB: Mm.
PJ: They were having something // out there every night. //
AP: // Mhm. // Wouldn't go home. He would come from school and go-.
PJ: That son was out there every night.
AP: He sure was.
PJ: And he talked about how tired he was. I said, "Well it's your fault."
KB: Yeah. Shoot, school wears me down. The few hours I'm there compared to the many hours // he's there. [Laughs] //
PJ: // I know that's right. //
KB: Alone and church is a full-time // job in itself. //
PJ: // You still got that thing on? //
KB: Yes ma'am. // [Laughs] //
PJ: // ( ) // He's going to have a fit.
KB: Not, this is important. He needs to know.
PJ: //[Laughs] //
KB: // He // needs to know. But I can turn it off if you want me to. You ready for it to go off?
PJ: Yeah you can turn it off 'cause I was sit there and I was thinking. // I tell you, but he's going to have a fit when he. ( ) //
AP: // Yes indeed. ( ) //
KB: He'll be alright. He'll, he will be alright.
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