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Interview with Laylon Turlington

Turlington, Laylon
Turlington, Wade; Female Voice
Artman, Tammy
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with people and places; Then and now
Laylon Turlington talks about growing up and her parent's farm, making cloth, weaving with her mother, going to a one room school house.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Tammy Artman interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Total approx: FV (Female Voice): You can, uh, interview her // and so that will be on. //
LT (Laylon Turlington): // Oh honey, // no I ain't, I don't-.
LT: -What to tell you.
FV: This is a tape.
LT: I don't know what to tell you.
FV: She'll ask you some questions.
FV: Speak up.
TA (Tammy Artman): Alright. How old were you, or um, ha, OK, first of all, when you, how many people from, how'd I put that? How many sib- Don't you tape me doing this. [Laughter]
LT: No, gets so, // gets so nervous but don't know what to say. //
TA: // OK, how many brothers and sisters do you have? //
LT: [Laughs]
TA: How many siblings do you have-.
LT: What?
TA: -As far as brothers and sisters, how many do you have? How large was your family?
LT: Seven, we, of the girls, children.
TA: Uh-huh. // You had seven children? //
LT: // Besides the mother and daddy. //
TA: OK, and did you, where were you, where did you live?
LT: We was born up Johnston County, but uh, we lived out over yonder where uh, you ever been up out there to // the old home place? //
FV: To the old house? // To where you-. //
LT: // You've been out to where I was raised out there? //
TA: // Yeah, we went, we took the-. //
FV: Yeah.
LT: We went, we bought a old home place a way down in the field when we moved from Johnston County.
TA: And did your family farm?
LT: Yes, my daddy farmed and as the boys grew up, I'm the first, let's see, Herman, Johnny and Florence and Henry and then me.
TA: Mhm.
LT: And then there's two younger than me-.
TA: Mhm.
LT: -But they weren't two years difference in Minnie and myself. And then Laura was a little baby when we moved down here.
TA: Oh.
LT: Just ( ) up in your lap.
TA: Aw, // well did-. //
LT: // And I sit // in the buggy, in the foot of the buggy my back against the spatter board, me and Minnie did. Come through a roo-, it won't Black River, or uh, a river though and then water'd get up in the buggy in them days.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: [Laughs]
TA: Do, what kind of crops did he farm?
LT: Huh?
TA: What kind of-.
LT: We, uh, corn, cotton like we did and uh, // oa-, oats. //
TA: // Did you have a lot of-. //
LT: I remember my daddy having one of these swing things to cut the oats and get a handful out of it and throw it down, and we'd go along and pick up that little pile, put up enough to make a bundle, and pick it up and tie it -.
TA: Did ya'll have // slaves back then? //
LT: // -Make a big oat bundle, // wheat and oats and corn-.
TA: Really?
LT: -And cotton, sweet potatoes in the garden-.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: -Like we do now.
TA: Did you have slaves in-.
LT: Huh?
TA: -Those days? Did you have slaves in those days?
FV: Speak up.
LT: Well, no, we didn't.
TA: Did you have-.
LT: It was long back in near about slavery time my mama and daddy could tell you about it. His daddy died in the war you know.
TA: Mhm.
LT: And uh, Grandma Turlington over here, they knew right much about it. 'Cause that old house over there was one they called a Middle House from Fayetteville to Raleigh.
TA: Oh.
LT: And there's blood stains in there now. And they tell about it. I ain't been over there in a long time.
TA: Well, how would you say from-.
LT: Huh?
TA: When you farmed when you were a little girl with your mom and dad, towards the time when you got married and married Henry-.
LT: Yeah, when I got married they weren't farming much then. He saw milled and had a gin. The boys, was two boys was grown and-.
TA: Uh-huh.
LT: -Off at other work.
TA: When your g-, when your husband farmed, how, how was farming different then, I mean how-.
LT: Well, it wasn't too much different when we settled there. He had me a new house built when I got married and they had a stove and set the table and all.
TA: So they had // stoves when you were-. //
LT: // Had, had been over there. //
FV: Wood stoves.
TA: Wood stoves.
LT: Wood stoves. Yeah, and then, you saw it. You didn't see it.
TA: Did you, did your mom back in those days when you were a little girl, did she go to church still and-.
LT: Uh yeah, she went to church, just like I do, the old friendly Baptist church, over down near there.
TA: Did they have, um, clubs or any like // associations you went to? //
LT: // No, they didn't. // They didn't have no clubs at that time that I know of.
TA: So she mostly cooked and stuff?
LT: Huh?
TA: Your mother, did she mostly just cook and work around the house?
LT: Yeah, she, she, // she could uh, she could weave. //
FV: // Made all the clothes. //
LT: We had a loom up in the house and somebod-, had somebody nearby, a farmer-.
FV: Mhm.
LT: We did have a tenant that would come and help my daddy.
TA: Mhm, and when you got married to Henry and he was with, I know he raised pigs and hogs and stuff, what did you do with your free time? Did you mainly stay around the-.
LT: Nothing but sheep-, I used to pick cotton, before I had many children I pulled a little corn, pulled a little fodder, and helped him you know. [Laughs]
TA: [Laughs]
FV: And they did all the canning and freezing // all the food. //
LT: // Canning, freezing, // have a garden, // take care of the family. //
TA: // What did you do in your // free time? Like what do you // think would be the difference // between your mom and you at this time?
LT: // Huh? Oh. //
TA: What, what did you do different that your mom did different?
LT: Huh?
TA: What do you think that you did different when you got married versus what your mom did?
LT: Not much difference. I raised, well, my mother had it harder than I would, I did. Go ahead.
FV: That's for you.
LT: Go ahead. I don't want it.
FV: You're su-, we brought it for you.
TA: I brought it for you.
FV: I'll hold it for her.
LT: Huh? I don't need any.
FV: You've been interviewing your grandma, you've got, you see them on TV, they always have a glass of water-.
LT: Oh I, I don't ( ). He's done quit that.
TA: [Laughs]
FV: What Tammy wants to know too is when, you still had to make your own // bread. //
LT: // You know my free time was the children. // We didn't have no washing machines. We didn't have electricity and I built a fire and the two pots and washing, ironing, and sew, made their clothes, and tended to the babies. There was always a baby after I had the first one.
TA: About how old were you when you did get electricity?
LT: I was, when what honey? // What Mary? //
TA: // When-. //
FV: Electricity.
TA: Electricity.
LT: Oh. Let's see, the year we moved here it was in, um, 1946 when we moved here. And I didn't have electric stove before we moved here-.
TA: Really?
LT: Used a wood stove.
TA: And how, did it change your life any having electricity?
LT: Well, yes, it seemed good not to have to go tote wood then and-.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: Children did that, but for our stove and just turn a button, and you know, it was much better than putting wood in the stove.
TA: It made it // to be lots quicker to eat and-. //
LT: // Baking potatoes. // Huh?
TA: Did it make it a lot quicker to cook and stuff?
FV: Yeah.
LT: What did she say?
FV: When you had electricity it's a whole lot-.
LT: Yeah.
FV: -Makes it a whole lot easier and faster.
LT: Made it a whole lot easier, yeah, and having // lec-. //
FV: // You see, you had-.//
LT: We got electric lights before we left over there and got a Frigidaire.
TA: Mhm.
LT: But uh-.
FV: That's something else that had been-.
LT: That was in, not the Dr. Holt's time, the one that ( ) went to see, to find out, fill out papers to put her, when she went to Rex Hospital in nursing. And uh-.
FV: They made their own butter.
LT: We'd come, we had electricity before then when some of the children, Bobby, I believe it was when Bobby was born they turned on electricity. We had Aladdin lamps, two of them besides the little kerosene lamps. And uh-.
TA: Did you, did your family mainly live together on the farm, um, your family including maybe, I mean, how can I say it, the whole family, not just your immediate family, the uh // your bro-, your cousins and-. //
LT: // Well we had, // we hired a lot of help, you know, to pick cotton-.
TA: Mhm, // did you have a lot of-. //
LT: -Or like that, he'd have a lot of hands to pull fodder and then we had corn shuckings. He would get up the corn and pile it 'round the barn door-.
TA: Uh-huh.
LT: -Great round ring, you know. And he'd have a place and, and invite people to the corn shuckings // just every neighborhood and everybody all around. //
FV: // That's their entertainment. //
TA: // That was their entertainment. //
LT: And he'd have a bottle of liquor or cider every once in a while.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: That made them want to shuck more and hoot and holler and throw that corn over there. And we'd have two or three women in the house ( ).
FV: Cooking, yeah.
LT: That's when I was married.
FV: Mhm.
LT: And cooked chicken stew and beef stew and corn bread and sweet potatoes. [Laughs]
FV: [Laughs] And then everybody'd eat it.
LT: And everybody'd eat. You've got a table full around when that table full'd eat, here'd come another.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: 'Til they'd got it all eat.
TA: Did, um-.
LT: Wasn't but colored, we'd have some colored and white too in the neighborhood.
TA: Did, um, what also I'm trying to mean is did, how can I say this?
WT (Wade Turlington): Did you and your mother and father and your brothers and sisters live alone in one house or did you have any other relatives living with you?
LT: No.
TA: No.
LT: No.
TA: Did they live around you?
LT: Huh?
WT: Did they live // near or close by? //
LT: // Well, when we moved // down here now, my mama's mother was with us. I was up, uh, about eight, ten years old, and uh, she died with us over yonder at the home down yonder where Mike ( ) lives. And my brother Henry got that place and lived there when he died.
TA: Oh.
LT: And Mark's got the place now. Mack ( ) you know him.
TA: So mainly-.
WT: So your grandm-, your grandmother lived with-.
LT: Yeah, my mother's mother. My daddy's father went, was in the war and he died, didn't ever come home.
TA: Wh-.
LT: We didn't know where he was buried at and-.
TA: When your brothers and sisters-.
LT: -And-.
TA: -Growing up and getting married, did they still work on the farm with you // or did they // go to their own homes?
LT: // Uh. // Herman, I kind of forgot, he kindly got off and sold real estate, 'cause he grew up and actually went to Campbell College a little bit. They, we could walk, they walked to it then over there.
TA: Oh. [Laughs]
LT: And uh, John's health was sort of bad, but he didn't, he just liked his pretty horses and buggies.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: He'd get the wildest horse you ever saw and a pretty buggy and take his girls to ride or anybody. One you'd think you're going to run away with.
FV: [Laughs]
LT: ( )
TA: Well how is it, how did y'all date back in those days? How did you meet boys?
LT: Well-.
FV: How'd you meet Granddaddy?
TA: Yeah.
LT: Uh I met him in school mostly. We were, when he walked to school, at Coats actually, little schools give out you know 'round here. And they consolidated, um, then and uh-.
FV: How many grades? Was it, was it one school for the first on up // through the seventh grade? //
LT: // We didn't get, // we didn't get graded. No card, no uh, // what you call your cards? No report card. //
FV: // You didn't get no report card? //
WT: // Report card, report cards. //
TA: Wow. [Laughs]
FV: // But did you-. //
LT: // We used our same // books almost for, during uh, uh, history and geometry and physic and math and so on, like that, if you can name them.
FV: You just-.
LT: ( )
FV: So you had your first grade kids, your little kids in school with the big kids?
LT: Yeah.
TA: Oh wow.
LT: Well they'd have, they'd have to go out in Coats now. When we went to school over there at the weekend schoolhouse a long time out where Charles bought his land, and uh // just had uh, uh, all together then. //
TA: // [Inaudible speech] //
LT: I remember the first day my mama used to knit and knit our stockings. I wore white knit stockings out of cotton she'd spin, spin the roll. And the spinning wheel'd sit there in the back porch at Henry's way after we moved from there and I think Hazel's husband, he liked old things and he got it one day. Henry's, my brother Henry's daughter's husband.
TA: Well, um, the farming kids, what did they do for free time? Did they ever have free time or were they always working? [Laughs]
LT: [Laughs] They were always working, something to do. Henry and my husband would always get a job in. [Laughs]
FV: // They had to milk the cows. //
LT: // ( ) Shucking the corn, you got it up, you didn't get to harvest it with machines-.
TA: Mhm.
LT: -Then. You'd throw it in the barn and have to get out and shuck corn for the ( )-.
TA: So it was a lot harder // and it took a lot more time // back then.
LT: // Yeah, he- // harder than it is now.
TA: And since-.
LT: And you had to get out and pot your washboard and all that to do the washing while all my children come up about finally, I don't believe I got one in yeah, I had a washing machine over there. 'Bout told you could buy a washing machine and plug it in after we got 'lectricity. And Pat got my washing machine, the first, second one I had.
FV: Really?
LT: Yeah, so she got to wash horse blankets. She bought it after // we went on, after we ( ) over here. //
FV: // Oh, uh huh. //
TA: // Did um, boys-. //
LT: // I had two, and then // ( ) that kind.
TA: Did, um, what was the big difference between // boys and girls-. //
LT: // And then my daddy run a // saw mill and a gin and-.
TA: Did he?
LT: And after the train-.
WT: Cotton.
LT: Cotton gin. And after the train run through here and it come through here every four hours to Coats. And old Minnie and myself started Coats one day walking. We was children right, like that little girl in there.
TA: Mhm.
LT: And we had to train ( ). [Laughter] We weren't used to it. It was new coming through there.
TA: Well um, what-.
LT: And he, he'd run a gin and then they'd get a call there and he'd sell his cottonseed meal and hooves, bought shingles. That's the reason there's two or three shingles house. The one Charles done called shingle house. And, I know he'd ordered them from somewhere.
TA: Was there-.
LT: They, they where they boarded the house with shingles, like you would brick.
WT: Huh.
TA: Wow, that's neat. Was there certain jobs other than cooking for girls that dealt with farming that // men could not do? //
LT: // My daddy had a little commissary // store too just to furnish his health.
TA: Oh did he?
LT: And yeah, uh had, I remember having big barrels of brown sugar and we all loved to go there and get into that. [Laughs]
TA: Aw, that's neat.
LT: Uh, and keep mullet fish and all such as that, you'd have to soak over night. He'd bring them home. You ever heard tell of them? You have haven't you Jim ?
FV: Mullet fish?
LT: Mullet fish-.
WT: I know what they are.
LT: Pickle them and then soak them over night to get the salt out. Get out the next morning and scale them and fry some for breakfast.
TA: [Laughs]
WT: Now 'a days they use mullet for bait, and that's all they use mullet for now.
LT: Uh, you can get them at a store down here at Dunn. I had some not many years ago.
WT: Really?
LT: It's been a good while. When I lived over there we all white m-, you could get them now. Down, there's a store around Dunn, not everywhere. Buy them and soak them out.
FV: When did you get your first radio? Do you remember the radio? The first one?
LT: Yeah we had a radio while we lived over yonder, one of them old timers, about this wide and round over the top of it. // And I don't remember the name of it. //
TA: // Did it help you with farming any? [Laughs] //
LT: I don't remember the name of it now.
TA: I mean, did uh-.
WT: Well that's 'cause, it, you had to, when you were little you had uh, two or three brothers and four sisters, three sisters?
LT: I had three brothers and two-.
WT: Three brothers and-.
LT: Oh, I, I missed Florence. She was the oldest one.
TA: [Laughs]
WT: [Laughs]
LT: Herman, Johnny, and then there was Florence, the oldest one. And we used to, there was a family then that did, there were aren't nothing alike, but there's a big family, and they'd go 'round work with somebody like my daddy. 'Til, sold me a gin and he stayed there part of the time and he married my oldest sister. He won't but just a-.
WT: Huh.
LT: -Hired hand ( ) say // in them days. //
WT: // So, with your daddy // having the sawmill and the gin then, you, did he also farm when you were little?
LT: Yeah. He farmed too.
WT: Did you and your brothers help him on the farm?
LT: Well I did-.
FV: What were your jobs when you were a little girl?
TA: What was, yeah.
FV: What did you have to do all day?
LT: Oh, nothing par-, well I'd play around and uh-.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: -We had to scrub floors and every Saturday and clean up with a mo-, with a shuck mop and-.
FV: That's from corn shucking?
LT: -Things like that, you know, a board with a hose board in. You thrift shucks and put in it.
TA: So the boys mostly did the labor?
LT: Uh, yeah, they done, // they done-. //
WT: // Boys did more of the farm work? //
LT: // They did some, more or less farm work // while we worked on the-.
TA: // And you did more of the house cleaning and-. //
FV: Did you have cows then, when you were little? Did you milk cows // every morning? //
LT: // Yeah, we had // cows. We had to go milk the cows. If we had a boyfriend at night, Sunday night.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: They were in the field you know?
FV: Uh.
LT: Had to go get up the cows. Henry used to make my girls do it over yonder. The cows would be in the field out there, getting corn up you know. And he said, "Girls, it's time to go milk them cows." We had two the whole time.
TA: Aw. [Laughs]
FV: So you met Granddaddy // in school // when y'all went to school together?
TA: // At school. //
LT: Well, I knew him before that-.
FV: Well how'd you meet him?
LT: -Because I'd come over here and spend the night in that old house over yonder. It looks like a barn now, but it had a porch on it and there was a kitchen separate. That's the body of the big part of the house. The banisters and everything, they tore off their chimneys down. I come over there once and then spent the night, and I was supposed to go to school next day and it was a windiest, coldest time. I don't know how, I think someone carried me over there. Maddie, Henry's oldest sister's living in Turlington where you've seen him. Lives at Willow Spring, Fuquay.
FV: Yeah, yeah.
LT: And uh, Maddie, that's, that was his dad, his mother. She married a ( ) over at Blackman's Crossroads. And uh, I used to come spend the night with her come to, but she married herself a poor man too and lived over at Blackman's Crossroads. She had TVs and was in sang to him a long time. And, I don't know how come her thing's at my house. I, we had a house and didn't use every room while it was new and nobody when Henry and I first got married. And she had a cradle, a baby cradle, and I used it for all my children.
TA: Aw.
LT: 'Cause she died when she got back home and I had another baby. And Dick, you've heard him talk of him, last Sunday at Grandma Reins-.
LT: -Uh, I know you have. He don't // live, he went in service // and I forgot where he used to live now.
FV: // ( ) //
LT: Anyways-.
TA: Well did um, were, did your mom let, um, the boys and the girls be out late at night together farming and cleaning around, or did you have a certain time, curfew or // how did y'all date? //
FV: // Were your parents real strict? //
TA: Yeah.
LT: Well, // you, they, they were pretty strict but // we couldn't get nowhere unless we walked or went with them on a horse and buggy.
FV: // I mean, were you, your daddy let you date? //
LT: You, but, we used to go to dances, have dances-.
TA: Oh.
LT: -In the neighborhood. And we'd walk to it. Uh, liked the neighbor's house first here at the crossroads near back.
TA: So that's what // teenagers did? They went to dances-. //
LT: // And, uh huh, yeah we had square dancing // you know.
FV: // That's what teenagers did. //
TA: Oh.
LT: Like that.
TA: That's neat.
LT: Yeah and somebody'd be two or three, play the fiddle and pick the banjo in the neighborhood.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: That was when I was you-, about-.
FV: Uh-huh.
LT: -Sixteen-.
FV: Oh, sixteen. How // old were you - //
LT: // Fifteen, sixteen, I didn't // ever-.
FV: How old were you when you got married?
LT: I was twenty-one.
TA: // Twenty-one. //
WT: // Twenty-one. //
LT: Yep.
TA: That's pretty // late for a, yeah that's-. //
FV: // How old was your mom? //
WT: // That was old in those days. //
LT: Uh, we went to cemetery last Sunday to get down their ages, ( ) I didn't. I meant for her to copy mine down. 'Course it's in the Bible in there but the Bible's just about rotten up, you know. It'll be by, and she went and got, he helped, he was married three times, my daddy. And she went up there and got all of them's names and the date they died and when they were born and uh, he had three wives, you know, and two of them was buried with him. They hadn't ever, he married my mother, and he married another, Aunt Nancy that was, uh, about his age just good a woman as my mother. And uh, she hadn't never been married before. Then he married a widow woman, and then after that her husband was dead. Miss Beck Coats. And she went up there to get her name. She was buried by her first husband Beck Coats Parish 'cause my daddy was her last husband.
TA: // What would you say-. //
FV: // So all of Granddaddy's, Grandaddy Lawson, // his wives died.
LT: // And she was buried by her husband. // Yeah.
FV: And then he'd marry another one.
LT: Yeah.
FV: I think that's-.
LT: Oh yeah.
FV: -A difference in-.
LT: // my mother died, well, // by that time she was some sixty years old.
FV: // There wasn't a lot of divorce in those days. //
LT: She died before Joyce was born, about two months. And Joyce could tell you the very date, I think.
TA: What would you say like getting TVs and radios and all that and having new equipment on the farmland and stuff, how would you say it changed your life.
LT: Well, I don't know that it changed my, // much difference. //
TA: // It didn't? //
LT: I didn't have to work out of the home just to have children, I, I done craftwork after that.
TA: // Oh, so you could get a hobby. //
LT: // Like the crocheting // and embroidering-.
FV: And make quilts.
LT: -Smocks, the children's little silk coats, and tried to make them something pretty. I didn't have to get out-.
TA: Did you have more time with your children // and once all that came around? //
LT: // Yeah, I had, // I had time with the children. I didn't ever have to get out and farm after I was married.
TA: Well that's good.
LT: 'Course right after I was married nobody but Henry and I, I'd go field with him you know. [Break in recording] He'd have some help. Nearby there was a colored family living 'round.
FV: Mhm. The colored family, did they have a house down here?
LT: Yeah, they had a house different, well since we lived here that Joyce lived in we had tenants there.
FV: That's what I was thinking. // I remember there were families-. //
LT: // Mm, remember that. And then there's one // where over yonder out on the corner there at the crossroads, you know, just this side of there where H.A. lived. // Now you remember H.A.? // H.A. can tell you all about it. He brings up all the old stuff he can think of when he comes 'round. [Laughs]
FV: // I remember there used to be a ( ). // [Laughs]
LT: Why he, what we used to do, the things I forgot about.
FV: [Laughs]
TA: How were, um, would you say, were the black people, you had black people working for you-.
LT: Some. Yeah, we about always had a black family in there.
FV: They were families.
TA: They were, they were families?
LT: Back then it weren't like the colored folks now. [Laughs] They don't do more back they ought to.
TA: But um-.
LT: But back then they did, and uh, we did and there were about two families. When Saturday comes, we'd eat, we always had a lot of hogs. We'd kill hogs ever since I was married // and-.//
TA: // Were they close to the white family? //
FV: Wait a minute.
LT: Huh?
FV: Let her finish.
TA: Go ahead.
FV: Go ahead.
TA: I didn't know you weren't finished.
LT: And when the weekend come, they'd take their pay and side meat and things like that. It didn't take you as much pay as it does now when you hire somebody now.
FV: Uh-huh, and you used to cook // for them. //
LT: // I used to, H.A. said in the legend, I had, he had two legend books in there. And I, I don't know. I let H.A. have them right then he could understood it better then I could. Then he put down all the farming, everything, what he paid his hand, the wages and everything. And uh, H.A. sold cotton five cents a pound then in the bale. [Pause] All that-.
TA: Grandmother, have you always had to cook for the help.
FV: Did they come here to eat?
LT: Uh, when I was other there they did at dinner time. And I'd have two at the time. I'd cook up plenty of vegetables. That's all I had to do and do that and-.
FV: // 'Cause I remember feeding, taking them out and sit on the porch. //
LT: // Tend the children. I, out there on the porch. // Well, uh, we had one here some and uh-.
FV: Yeah.
LT: But he'd always eat out on the porch. Over yonder we had a porch and Henry had the kitchen built bigger to have a fireplace in it. They'd come over mornings, in the winter time, shuck corn and all that. And he built a little onto the kitchen and have a fireplace so they could come in warm and [pause] if it was too cold in there.
TA: [Laughs] Well um, as far as the black help you had, at that time it was segregated still wasn't it then?
FV: Yeah.
LT: It, it, it was what?
TA: Se-, well, black people didn't have equal rights as white people // back in the day? //
LT: // No, no. //
TA: How were the white people, how did they treat them? What were they, um, on the farm, di-, were they not-.
LT: Well-.
TA: -Not allowed to go to a certain place?
LT: No, you were allowed to do anything, would help with him.
TA: So they were treated // really nice? //
LT: // We just // let them eat separate and didn't come to our table // and eat with us. //
TA: // Yeah. //
LT: I just thought, faith, fix a plate out for them, and furnish them food like we had. Oh I thought they could eat.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: But that's not much help. You used to wash on the washboard a long time.
TA: But at the sam-? OK.
LT: In a tub, I had two or three tubs. Henry always built a big furnace. I had two pots over there and one to kill hogs. Dry up the lard in one and then I'd make a lot of liver pudding and // wash the chitlins. // [Laughs]
TA: // Well that's neat. // [Laughs]
LT: We had a lot of help to help do that then.
FV: Grandma used to, Grandma used to kill the chickens too.
LT: Yeah-.
FV: Ring their necks.
LT: -I had chickens.
TA: Um, what, OK y'all did a lot of tobacco back then did you?
LT: I didn't do much in the 'bacco. // I more in the house then I'd go sit with them and tie a little in the barn // but I never did // work in the 'bacco. //
FV: // It's mostly-. //
TA: // How was // smoking back then?
LT: Huh?
TA: Did the boys smoke a lot?
LT: No I don't re-, Johnny's the only one I ever knew smoked a little bit at my house.
TA: For real?
LT: My daddy chewed tobacco. My mama dipped snuff.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: Yeah [laughs] and the old ladies around there, Miss Lylan Barbara and Miss Annie Jane Williams. They were about my mama's age and wore long dresses. Let me show you a picture of them.
FV: Oh Grandma // let me get it. //
LT: // Hand me that // brown envelope there on the table. I had some made the other day when we the Parish reunion those ( ) boys all wanted one. I had one there, and uh, your mama brought a lot of them. Did you seen them?
FV: No, I hadn't seen them.
LT: Your mama // mama brought a // lot of your daddy's people.
FV: // She must have brought them last time. // Oh yeah, yeah. I gave her those and she went and got some-.
LT: Have you seen them?
FV: Yeah, they were // some that Granddaddy had given me. //
LT: // When you saw hers // you saw mine.
FV: Let's see these, yeah.
LT: There's two or three of them.
FV: That's, this is uh // Grandma, it's Mama and Daddy. //
LT: // That's my mama and daddy. //
TA: Mhm.
FV: That's the picture I have.
TA: Oh.
FV: I've got this picture Grandmother.
LT: That was made, uh-.
FV: This is excellent.
LT: Uh, I believe it that Mike Luann said Henry had more of it down and remembered more than I did 1909.
TA: How did the women dress when they were // you know, lived on the farm? //
LT: // I'd say 1909. //
WT: Yeah I've seen this picture before.
FV: We have it.
TA: Did the-.
LT: Have you got one of mine?
WT: Yeah, mhm.
FV: I've got it framed in my guest bedroom.
LT: Mhm.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: And uh, S-, Clayton had set one over there to have some made, and it was all want one, uh, Paul thought he had take it home with him. I wouldn't have take the whole thing. And uh, I never see Paul much. I don't know when I'd get it or what he wanted. And then Clayton said well I, let me have it. I'll have it made over here at Benson Medlin dollar and a half a piece. And uh, he carried, carried some over there and uh, he called after your mama carried them here in Wade. He called Wade one night and said, "I've got pictures set got a 12 on the back of it." And did he want 12 pictures? Well we didn't. I had mine in there and your mama wanted one. I said make another one. She wanted one like that, and he, Clayton had some over there and he never would even get but two. He came here and showed them to me. And I think he made them through the glass, for it pulled it out behind the mirror.
FV: Yeah.
LT: Fra-, in the frame.
FV: Oh.
LT: It looked a little dull. I didn't like the looks of them. I didn't have but two. But he said, "I'll have a dozen made like that." And he bought and put 12 and left it over there or something.
FV: Huh.
LT: And he got hold of it-.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: -And he knew it was the same person, and he made about 12 and [laughs] they were in the package with your mama's. // And I told her // to get what she wanted of them and send me back the rest 'cause I haven't seen any of the ( ) and they all wanted one.
FV: // Oh yes. //
LT: And they never come. I don't know their address. I called James over there. He lives up here at Coats, James Grinds? And he said when he'd come down and get them one day. Paul wanted one. Paul lives in Raleigh, you, I don't know where he lives uh, you, you don't either do you?
FV: I sure don't.
LT: Uh, he's just had one boy and he was in the service. Went in out of high school and learned to fly and that, his mo-, scared his mama to death. He didn't let her know what he was doing all that. And he married a foreign girl over there, but she come back here and found him later. And they got married. They didn't, weren't married at that time. And they got two, they live somewhere, I don't know just where they live. But they come by here sometime. Go see if they live way out South Carolina or somewhere-.
FV: Hm.
LT: -Or Georgia, somewhere. I don't know just where they live.
FV: Grandmother, when you got married where did you get married?
LT: // Right up there in my home. //
FV: // To Granddaddy. // And, you got married in the home?
LT: In the living room, yeah.
FV: In the living room.
LT: Mhm.
FV: Did the minister come?
LT: Uh yeah.
FV: Was it ( ) Baptist?
LT: Preacher Tom Coats lived in Coats. He, that's what Coats started from. He give the cemetery and he give a church and it's name gift Primly/Friendly? Baptist Church. And he was a ( ) Baptist preacher. And uh-.
FV: [Laughs]
LT: -And so, we set a time-.
TA: Um-.
LT: -Sort of got ready for it and married at home.
FV: // ( ) //
TA: // Hm. //
LT: And some of Henry's first cousins, Preacher Tom Coats's daughter, Hazel, was about Henry, you know the Henry and Hazel, you know Hazel?
FV: I don't, I can't // I'm not sure. //
LT: // You know of her. // She was up here. Anyway, Henry Parish, you didn't ever know him didn't you? He lived at the old place and Alda. And uh, when I got married Hazel was just big enough to sit up in my lap. And Minnie got married about the time they did. And Paul was a little boy just sitting up in my lap, 'bout, 'bout six or eight months old. Could sit up in my lap.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: When I got married. [Pause]
TA: Well Great Grandmom, did you always wear dresses // when you were young? //
LT: // Mm, yeah. //
TA: Even working in the farm y'all wore dresses?
LT: Yeah. We didn't wear pants // then. //
TA: // And // the boys wore pants.
LT: Mhm.
TA: Did they have jeans?
LT: We wore bloomers and drawers and-.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: That's what they called them then. [Laughs] Long ones, you know, if you needed them. ( )
TA: When were you able to wear jeans?
FV: Did you ever wear pants-.
TA: Or pants?
FV: What age were you when you started wearing pants?
LT: Oh I [pause] it hadn't been too long. I got a set upstairs. [Laughter] I had several sets that's good, good, new looking now. I just never started back to wearing them // after I got older. //
TA: // Yeah. //
LT: Wearing a dress.
TA: And did the boys-.
LT: But they were warmer in cold weather. Coats sold pants suits, you know, they called them. You know it had your top for them to slip over a white shirt.
TA: Did the boys-.
LT: Knit shirt.
TA: -Um, have just plain old pants-.
LT: Yeah.
TA: -Or did they have blue jeans?
LT: My mama used to make them suits-.
TA: Oh.
LT: -When they were little boys coming up. We did // make the cloth // and make // em.
TA: // What-, // what'd they wear farming?
FV: // Did they wear blue jeans in those days? //
LT: // Oh yeah they were-, // I can't remember. They just wore pants is all I know of. What they had, just they-.
TA: Yeah.
LT: And I reckon she made the most of them.
TA: Mhm.
WT: You said that Grandmother actually made the cloth too? // What was that made of? How did she do that? //
LT: // Yeah my mama did. She had the loom hanging up in the dining room // over there then.
WT: That's great.
LT: And we had a lady up nearby that could come and shuttle that thing through one way and then the other. Make cloth, she made the boys suits back when they first begin wearing them.
TA: Did you ever make cloth or did you, // other people did that then? //
LT: // No I didn't. // No I didn't, I didn't. Aunt Donyia had a, her mother had one. Jeff's wife, after their children was all grown she got it and put it up over her wash house over there. And she wove rugs. She got cul-, threads you know. And we knew how to run it, shuttle it through. You mash the peddle and that'd bring your threads down like that.
TA: Oh.
LT: One'd go through one way and mash it and it'd go through the other.
TA: Oh.
LT: Just in weaving, weaving.
TA: That's neat. And so, by the time you got married they had machinery to do that by itself, right?
LT: Uh, I don't know nothing about making that, nothing but going to the store // and buying it. //
WT: // Yeah, I was going to say-. //
LT: Buying cloth them days.
WT: Yeah.
LT: That was way back in my mama's day.
TA: Yeah. That's what I was wondering.
LT: Mhm.
TA: So then-.
LT: Back in them days it was kind of hard from the, they didn't have the convenience they do now.
TA: Yeah.
LT: And then, even when I was married. // And a rainy days // when they couldn't shuck corn and, and uh, I mean work in the field you'd have a lot of wood cut up.
FV: // Grandmother you-. //
LT: Tore down pine trees about this long, make stove wood. And he had a shelter built beside the smokehouse and he'd have a block out there at the wood pile. They'd split saw wood all day. And rainy days if it wasn't too bad, when they couldn't work. Fill the shelter full and make children through it under there.
TA: What'd they do in the wintertime?
LT: Keep it dry to burn in the house.
TA: What'd they do in the wintertime?
FV: // What kind of work? //
LT: // Well some, // something like that. And Henry had hogs and-.
TA: Oh yeah.
LT: And uh, over yonder in // over in the-. //
TA: // Did your parents work? // And I guess your father worked in his mills-.
WT: Yeah.
TA: -And stuff.
LT: // Oh yeah when I had the gin and all up there // in Coats.
TA: // In winter and he didn't-. //
LT: And uh-.
FV: When you went to the grocery store, they didn't have grocery stores did they?
LT: Uh, // yeah they-. //
FV: // They just-. //
LT: My daddy had that store and had the just the essential things, you know. We didn't go buy everything you eat then.
FV: You made it.
LT: Yeah.
FV: You really raised it // and everything-. //
LT: // Well I told them I was raised on // rice and gravy. Henry'd buy a sack of rice for my children. Rice and-.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: -Fried ham and chicken and make gravy and grits, such as that. Just like you can do now if you want to.
FV: 'Cause you made your own butter right?
LT: Oh yeah.
FV: I remember that.
LT: Butter to church everyday. Make butter, I'd made enough so I'd have enough a weekend to sell, to buy me, buy something else at the grocery store I want.
TA: Did they ever make moonshine back then?
LT: Ah, yes.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: Our neighbor did-.
TA: Uh-huh.
LT: -And I'd hear of it, you know. [Laughter] They'd try to keep it hid just like you hear a while back and you see it or on television. Somebody down near Benson had a big still and they uh got so ( ) up a while back. Somebody, and they caught the man and just cut up all the stuff they had. They had a big thing. That was a, be-, been a, ( ).
TA: I know.
LT: I saw // it there on television. //
TA: // They still make it some places. //
LT: Just like folks will plant marijuana now. If they can slip off in the woods and get hid enough-.
TA: Mhm.
LT: -And slip to it when they thought nobody knew it.
FV: Mhm.
LT: Sometime somebody will get a little inkling and let the police know and they go tear it up.
TA: Yep.
LT: My daddy never, we never did but, uh, after I got married we had a neighbor that would make liquor if he could.
TA: [Laughs]
LT: Not so bad for it. That's the way they wanted to make a little money I reckon.
TA: [Laughs]
FV: [Laughs]
LT: Sell their liquor.
TA: // [Laughs] // Oh gosh.
LT: // [Laughs] // Oh me.
TA: Well um-.
LT: You didn't write down-.
TA: I have it taped.
FV: // You're taped. //
LT: // Oh Lord, me. // I've been-.
FV: The whole thing is taped.
LT: I don't know what all I've said.
FV: [Laughs] Well, it's all on tape.
LT: I forgot that was there and I ( ).
FV: You're taped.
LT: Uh-huh.
TA: You know, I really appreciate this too.
LT: Honey you're welcome.
TA: Do you have anything else for ( ).
FV: Let me open you a can before your grandmom say you can have a piece.
LT: Oh well-.
FV: I bet-.
LT: Y'all want a good sweet potato?
WT: No thanks.
LT: [Laughs]
TA: No thank you.
LT: I, I went-. [Long Pause]
TA: Should I keep on, OK, OK.
LT: Y'all had me talking and I forgot that thing was there and I went-.
WT: You just went a talking and a talking and a talking didn't you?
TA: [Laughs]
WT: We got a lot of good information.
LT: [Laughs]
WT: Yeah you-.
LT: Oh that was a lot of ( ) and everything and when we got ( ).
TA: OK, so did you farm when you were al little boy?
WT: I sure did. I started when I was knee-high.
TA: Knee-high, OK.