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Interview with Minnie Caldwell Campbell and Doris Caldwell Wallace

Interviewee: 
Wallace, Doris Caldwell
Contributor: 
Campbell, Minnie Caldwell
Interviewer: 
Bailey, Kim
Date of Interview: 
2002-08-07
Identifier: 
LGWA0265
Subjects: 
Childhood adventures; Stories and storytellers; Relationships with people and places
Abstract: 
Doris Caldwell Wallace, along with her mother, talks about her life growing up on her grandparents' farm and the accomplishments she has made since that time.
Collection: 
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Kim Bailey interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Transcript:
DW (Doris Caldwell Wallace): My name is Doris Caldwell Wallace. I was born in Harrisburg, North Carolina September 10, '41 to Minnie Caldwell Campbell. Now Mother, should I give all of your names?
MC (Minnie Caldwell Campbell): I don't have just, one and I was raised on a farm.
DW: Uh, my grandparents was Willie, uh, Farr Caldwell and Jim Caldwell, given the birth name James Caldwell, Senior. Um, you were taught to respect. That was the name of the game. If you failed to respect, we had to pay a price and that price was good whipping, not a spanking.
KB (Kim Bailey): [Laughs]
DW: And I was a mischievous child. I would do things and run and jump and hide behind something but they would always find me. So, my grandmother had the, um, the thing about cleanliness and clothing. Of course, at that time, they washed the clothes in a, a big tub with a washboard.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And she would hang on the line and she wanted everything to be hung together. You didn't hang your underwear on a front line where everybody could view it.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: You hung it on the back line. So, I asked her, uh, one day for a piece of cake, she said no. And that was one no too many for me so she had washed clothes and I went out to where she had hung her clothes and got her underwear and took them out by the barn-.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: -Which was right at this old road and I stretched them across the fence.
KB: Oh no. [Laughs]
DW: And so my Granddaddy drove up and he said, "Willie? Why your underwear on the line?" And she looked at me and that's all. I didn't hang another pair out there.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: And of course I attended Bellfonte School, elementary school, which was about a 12 miles walk from our house and we walked there day and night. And the worst experience that I had in, uh, walking to school was when the white children would drive past on the school bus.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And throw things out at you or either spit on you.
KB: Umm, Uh-huh.
DW: But in going to Bellfonte, which was a one room school house, I did also have to pay attention and be respectable to the teachers because if not, by the time you got back home, you got disciplined again.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And my granddaddy had this thing about grades. You had to keep your grades up. If you didn't keep your grades up then you didn't get any, uh, thing that you wanted.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: So, I had to work on, uh, the grades. And then, uh, we had this, uh, we didn't have at that time, you didn't have a furnace. You had a, a stove.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And he always said, "Stay away from the stove. Don't touch the stove." So one day I decided to stick my tongue on the stove.
KB: Oh. [Laughs]
DW: And of course, I didn't go back to that stove, no more. And I can remember our first television. And what it, um, excited me most about that TV, I wanted to know, why was, how could we see these people on the TV screen?
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Were they in the back of the TV? So then I decided-.
KB: [Giggles]
DW: -I was going to take the TV apart and find out. Of course, I got another one. I didn't find any people.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: And of course, too, we were, we were taught that you had to go to church. You went to church every Sunday whether you wanted to or not.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And you stayed all day. Nine times out of ten, you end going to somebody else's church.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: So, my thing about going every Sunday, we had this pastor, Reverend Greene, uh, he had all these, degrees. And he would start to pray and he would pray all the way down the Charleston, South Carolina.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: Come back up to Oregon, to New York and back down to North Carolina before he would say Amen.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: And of course you needed to have a dictionary in order to understand what he said.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: So, he was getting on my nerves.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: So Granddaddy was cleaning the church and he said, "Doris, somebody's chewing up these hymnbooks." "I don't know who it is Granddaddy."
KB: [Giggles]
DW: So what I did, one Sunday I chewed a leaf out of the hymnbook and I throwed it and it hit the Pastor right on the nose as he was praying.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: And Granddaddy was looking at me, he started taking off his belt and then he come on down and this choir stood up and started singing Sweet Hour of Prayer.
KB: Oooohhhh.
DW: And he wore me out right there in that church and of course I didn't, I didn't throw another spit ball. And you had to be in Sunday School, um, every Sunday and you learn your Catechism and you paid your money in church and you act like you were supposed to act.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And everything I, I sit down now and think about all those times and, and how children are now are not paying attention or parents are just not taking their children to church anymore.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: But in the Jim Caldwell house, you went to church. But, um, and too, and we also had to, we had two pair of shoes: one pair for church and one for school.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And if you got home from church, you changed your clothes.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Well, when the white, uh, loafers come out, that's what I wanted, a pair of white loafers.
KB: [Giggles]
DW: And Grandmama say, "No. You've got a pair of new shoes." So I went out to the barn and I got the white paint and I painted-.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: -My shoes white. [Laughter] They made me wear those shoes to school and to church and when the sole came off of them, I thought I was going to get a new pair. Huh uh. He got a piece of wire-.
KB: Oohhh.
DW: -And wired the sole back on those shoes. You wore those shoes right on.
KB: Uh-huh. [Laughs]
DW: And then I transferred to, uh, in the sixth grade, to Shankletown Elementary School, in Concord.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And that was a pretty good year, a couple of years there. And from there to Logan High School in Concord. I graduated with the class of '59.
KB: Uh-huh. OK.
DW: And this was one of my, um, report cards from 8th grade at Shankletown School.
KB: Wow. Look at the size.
DW: Uh, you did not, uh, look at that card until you got home with it and you gave it to whoever was going to sign it.
KB: Oh.
DW: And it better be right. So after, um, high school is when I met my husband, Jake.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: He came to my house looking for someone else, and of course he didn't know that when you run into a girl from Cabarrus County, you didn't mess with anybody from Mecklenburg County.
KB: No, girl.
DW: And during that time you did not date with a man by yourself, there was always somebody else. So my Aunt Cora would always have to go with me. And we got married June 18th, uh, 1960, so we've been married 42 years now.
KB: OK.
DW: That's six children and 22 grandchildren.
KB: Wow.
DW: And, uh, I had, even with all the aggravations that I caused everybody, I still had very little, low self-esteem.
KB: Really?
DW: I thought I couldn't do what everybody else was doing.
KB: Uh-huh.
KB: But that's one thing he told me, my husband told me, "If it's been done, you can do it." So I went to nursing school.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And two months after I graduated nursing school, was when I had the last child-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -Antonio. And I worked at Mercy Hospital for, uh, almost 15 years.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And I woke up one morning and I decided that I wanted to be a mortician.
KB: Huh.
DW: So, he just looked at me.
KB: [Giggles]
DW: But I made preparations to go to mortuary school and I got accepted at Gupton-Jones in Atlanta.
KB: Hmm.
DW: So I moved down there for, I didn't have to go but a year because some of my credits from nursing school transferred.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And I graduated there in 1982.
KB: Did you move down by yourself?
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: OK.
DW: Yeah. I got an apartment down there. And every, well, twice a week he would come down, and every weekend the kids would come down with him.
KB: OK.
DW: But he would come down and, when he got off from work in the evenings, and he'd be back at work at seven in the morning.
KB: Hmm.
DW: That was a whole lot of driving.
KB: Yes, it is.
DW: I graduated, uh, with honors and I also, uh, secured a national license along with my state license.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: So I have worked, uh, as a mortician now almost, about 20 years.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Almost 20 years now.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: I specialize in rebuilding, uh, accident victims.
KB: Oh.
DW: And also, um, I'm a licensed notary public, licensed insurance consultant, uh, seminar speaker.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And 1993, I was voted as professional mortician for the state of North Carolina.
KB: Oh wow.
DW: I also, uh, I'm doing a lot of volunteer work now.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: But, in my church I was, in 1979, I was ordained an elder in my church.
KB: Hmm.
DW: So I have served as a clerk of session, uh, twice.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: I'm also on the Committee on Ministry for the Charlotte Presbytery.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: I was chosen as a commissioner to the, uh, general assembly this last year.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: I'm the only Afro-American female from Charlotte that was chosen.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And that was an honor. And I also, uh, I'm on a subcommittee with the Committee on Ministry, which is peacemaking.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: So I've been on that for six years now. I'll be coming off at the end of the year.
KB: Wow.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: You've got a full life. [Laughs]
DW: It's a full day.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And I was glad when my mother moved back to Charlotte and um, she'll get you, too. You'd better say, "Yes Ma'am" and "No Ma'am," there ain't no hunching your shoulders, huh uh. [Laughs] None of that. And she'll watch you when you go out somewhere.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Come back, "Why did you do that?"
KB: [Laughs]
DW: "Now you know that wasn't right." "Yes Ma'am." You better not say what I thought it was. Huh uh. But my thing is, you respect your parents.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Respect is the name of the game. If you can respect your parents, respect yourself, and then life is not hard.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: But, uh, so many times now I see young, youngsters wanting to be grown up before they get grown up.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: If they would realize that it is a tough world out there.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: So. And I don't meet anybody, I don't care what I got, that I think I'm so much better than they are, if you're in need, lend a helping hand. That's what it's all about.
KB: Exactly.
DW: And your blessings will come back. //Double.//
KB: //Twofold.//
DW: Uh-huh. So that's me.
KB: Wow. [Laughs] [Laughter]
MC: Sure enough long, wasn't it? [Laughter]
KB: Yes. I don't even have a question. [Laughter]
KB: You told me everything.
DW: Good.
KB: Let's see, So you still, um, practice?
DW: Every now and then. Whenever the guys need me-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -I'll go and help.
KB: OK.
DW: But, uh, since my husband is retired.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: I am, too. Where you can spend their retirement money.
KB: Yeah, true. [Laughter]
MC: You married?
KB: No ma'am. Might have been close. [Laughter]
MC: Don't put stuff in her head.
DW: But this is just a few of the certificates that I've gotten here on the wall.
KB: You have a lot.
DW: Uh, because I also served as president of the, uh, Western District Funeral Directors and Morticians Association of North Carolina. I also chaired, um, education and scholarship, chairperson-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -Uh, for the state.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And I've also worked as sub-deputy registrar for Mecklenburg County.
KB: Hmm.
DW: And I've done seminars for hospice on grief.
KB: Uh-huh. That comes in handy. Did you, um, what funeral home do you work in?
DW: I was working for my uncle and aunt at Long and Son Mortuary Service.
KB: Oh OK.
DW: But now I help Johnson, at Johnson's Mortuary.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Whenever he needs me.
KB: OK. Hmm. What activities did you do when you were growing up in Harrisburg?
DW: Hmm.
KB: Or Charlotte?
DW: Besides being bad?
KB: Besides being bad. [Laughs] Normal things, 'cause, you know, young, young people aren't bad at all. [Laughs]
DW: Tried to pitch horseshoes.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And played a little softball. That was it.
KB: Oh, OK.
DW: I really wasn't an outdoor person.
KB: Yeah, yeah.
DW: I liked to read and, um.
KB: What stories did you read?
DW: What stories?
KB: Uh-huh. Do you remember?
DW: Huh uh.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: My bookcase on the front porch is full of books.
KB: Oh.
DW: And I have books in here, but, uh, I just love to read.
KB: Yeah. I see you have a lot of books in here. A lot of Bible stories.
DW: Yeah. And this is nothing compared to the ones out on the porch.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: But, uh, I'm, I just like to learn new things.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: I see, with your life. [Laughter] You learn everything.
DW: What, um, what I'd love to do now, I'd love to go to law school.
KB: Oh wow.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: I went to North Carolina Central University and that's the top, um, law school for females.
DW: Oh really?
KB: Black females.
DW: Oh OK.
KB: Or females in general. In Durham.
DW: Hmm.
KB: See? So you might want to look into that.
MC: Are you a lawyer?
KB: No. No ma'am. [Laughs] No, ma'am. I'm in grad school now. I'm getting my Master's.
MC: Oh, yeah.
KB: In English. That was my plan at one point in time, but.
MC: Well, you may still go.
KB: Uh, I don't think I'm steering towards that way any more.
MC: You're not?
KB: No ma'am. It doesn't interest me too much any more. [Laughs] I like to talk more so.
MC: Oh yes.
KB: Than to argue. [Laughs]
MC: Well, you could argue being a, a lawyer.
KB: Yes, that's what I mean. I would rather just talk than argue. [Laughter] Yes, so tell me about your life.
MC: Well, I've forgotten about all of mine. [Laughter] I don't know if I can remember any of it.
KB: Do you remember growing up?
MC: Yes.
KB: Anything growing up? Did you grow up on a farm?
MC: Oh, did I.
KB: Is that something to show?
MC: Huh?
KB: Oh wow.
DW: Wow. That's hers.
KB: Let's see, this says, "Cabarrus County Public Schools. 7th Grade Certificate. This certifies that Minnie Caldwell completed the courses of study prescribed for the Elementary Schools of Cabarrus County, North Carolina and is entitled to admission to high school. In testimony whereof this certificate is given this 26th day of August, 1936 by Aurelia Williams and S.G. Hoffield."
MC: I was trying to remember her name now-.
KB: [Laughs]
MC: -And couldn't.
KB: There you go.
MC: Miss Williams was ( ).
KB: Miss Aurelia Williams.
MC: //Oh, yeah.//
KB: //Wow.//
MC: And she was the meanest thing. Oh. She was mean.
KB: And this is a pretty good piece of paper too, it held up well. So how many years would that be? 70? 76? 76 years?
MC: 76, Uh-huh.
KB: //Yeah, 76 years.//
MC: //I just turned 81. // I just turned 81.
KB: Wow.
MC: Uh-huh.
KB: Well, happy belated.
DW: You didn't know where that was, did you?
MC: I sure didn't.
KB: I don't even think I even remember where mine is [laughs] from the seventh grade. Wow, you all kept up with it very well.
MC: Yes, indeed.
KB: Old records.
MC: Look there, this is some of Mamas stuff, wasn't it?
DW: Yes, Ma'am. This was, too.
MC: That's what I say. All of that was from her.
KB: Wow. So what did you all farm?
MC: What did we farm?
KB: Yes ma'am.
MC: Everything. Except tobacco. Now we missed tobacco. We had cotton, corn, molasses cane.
KB: Oh.
MC: And we raised our own vegetables, everything in the vegetable line.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: And we raised chickens, cows.
KB: [Laughs] Everybody seems to hate cows. [Laugh]
MC: I don't hate them. [Laugh]
MC: But we had to get up every day early in the morning to milk them before we'd go to school. And had to come back home in the evening and churn the milk, make the butter and, uh.
KB: [Giggles]
MC: And what else? I don't know. I've forgotten all my life.
KB: Let me see, let me ask you, did you go to, um, it doesn't say what city.
DW: Bellfonte School?
MC: Yeah that was my, um, my school beginning.
KB: Uh OK.
MC: At Bellfonte.
KB: And then did you go to Logan, too?
MC: Uh-huh. I went to Logan. I came out of Logan in '34, yeah, '34.
KB: OK.
MC: Then I left home.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: Went to Detroit.
KB: Oh? What did you go to Detroit for?
MC: Just, I, I had a sister up there. My older sister was there.
KB: Oh.
MC: And you know children just leave.
KB: Yeah.
MC: When you're ready to leave home.
KB: Yeah.
MC: And you want to go somewhere. So I went to Detroit, and stayed there a year.
KB: Wow.
MC: And worked. Stayed there a year.
KB: You must have enjoyed yourself up there.
MC: Yeah.
KB: [Laughs]
MC: Got married.
KB: While you were up there? Oh.
MC: He was in the service and so.
KB: Was he from Detroit?
MC: Yeah.
KB: OK.
MC: Uh-huh. And them service people is kind of crazy then.
KB: [Laughs]
MC: Or I was crazy or something. Somebody was.
KB: [Laughs] You were young and in love. [Laughs]
MC: Something ( ). So I left, came back home, had her, in '41, and I stayed here.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: I just stayed around here until, uh, when did I go to Washington? In '40, in '68?
DW: It was in the '60s.
MC: Yeah. ( ) was 16 when I went to Washington and stayed until [Long pause] '95, '96.
KB: Wow. What took you to Washington? This is DC, right?
MC: Uh-huh.
KB: What took you there?
MC: Oh, I was just ready to leave home again. But I have a sister up there, but I didn't go up there for that, I just, oh, I know why I left. I went 'cause Kale was up there. My baby brother was up there.
KB: Oh.
MC: And he told me, "You come on to Washington."
KB: That was the place to be, huh? [Laughs]
MC: Yeah, that was the place to be, so I went to Washington.
KB: Stayed there for a long time.
MC: Yes. Yeah, I stayed in with him for some years. And I've been home five, six, five years.
DW: You got married before you went up there though, didn't you? To Stan?
KB: [Laughs] She doesn't want to talk about that, though.
MC: When I married my husband, I married my husband when I got to Washington.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: Mr. Campbell.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: Campbell was a good man.
DW: He was.
MC: My pop was a good husband, honey, until he died. He died in '93.
KB: Oh, OK.
MC: Yeah. So now he was the man.
KB: Tell me about him, since, since he just does it for you. [Laugh]
MC: He was just an ordinary, you know, working man. He worked for the government. He worked for the federal government.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: Frank did all his work at night. And, uh.
KB: Was he from DC?
MC: No, he's from Cheraw, South Carolina.
KB: Oh, OK.
MC: But I met him up there.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: So, we had a good life together. I mean a good life together.
KB: [Giggles]
MC: So.
KB: Did you have any children with him?
MC: No. I hadn't had nobody but her. I adopted a son.
KB: Oh.
MC: Uh-huh.
KB: Oh, you did?
MC: Yeah.
KB: You adopted him where? Here?
MC: Here. I adopted him before I left here.
KB: OK.
MC: And, uh, we were in, um, DC together until he died-.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: -In '63.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: He died in '63 didn't he?
DW: Yes ma'am. Was it ten days after Lynn died?
MC: Yes. Ten days after Lynn, 'cause I was down here to bury Lynn one weekend and brought him back to bury him the next weekend.
KB: Hmm. Now who is Lynn?
DW: That was our daughter. Our baby girl Faith, we call her Faith.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Um, she died in 1993 with Lupus.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And they were born, like, 10 days apart.
MC: Yes, Uh-huh.
DW: And died ten days apart.
MC: Sure did.
KB: Strange.
DW: Yeah.
MC: But that's the way it was.
DW: That's what I always tell Mother, I guess they're up in heaven now.
KB: Together.
DW: Yeah, Uh-huh, telling the Lord what to do. [Laughter]
KB: Yeah?
MC: Yeah because both of them's bossy. He was and she was.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: ( ) Of children.
KB: That's good.
MC: So, I got all these grandchildren. I don't even know how many. [Laughter] I got, let me see, how many I got in Washington? I got about five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and I got eleven grandchildren here.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: And how many great-grands?
DW: You don't have any great-grands here, yet.
KB: [Giggles]
DW: Make sure those boys go by the drug store. Oh. Yes you do.
MC: I know I do.
KB: [Laughs]
MC: What you think of Dickey and Tisha and all your children, my grandchildren?
KB: [Laughs]
MC: Because I always tell, they got about 18 great-grandchildren here.
DW: Yes ma'am. So you got, you got 22 in all, 'cause I got 22 grand, so you got 22 great-grand.
KB: Whew.
DW: Here.
MC: Yeah.
DW: And then the ones in Washington.
MC: Yeah. Uh-huh. I can't count 'em all but that's roughly.
KB: It's a lot. [Laugh] I understand that. So what do you do these days?
MC: Well, I just quit work.
KB: You just quit work?
MC: Uh-huh.
KB: What did you do?
MC: A homemaker, I was a homemaker.
KB: Oh OK.
MC: I was a homemaker. Well, I took my course in, uh, Washington.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: And I worked up there all the time I was up there. And then when I came home I went to work here. I've just been home a couple of weeks.
KB: How is it? You're bored, aren't you?
MC: Yes.
KB: [Laughs] You seem like an active woman.
MC: I, I started to call her this morning and ask her, "Please. Find me //something to do." //
KB: // "Something to do." // [Giggles]
MC: But I said, no, the reunion is coming up.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: And I got all these grandchildren coming from up there, so I'll have to stay around here [banging] and get my food and stuff together, you know.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: Get my house straightened and everything.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: And then I'm going to call her and tell her I'm going to go back to work.
KB: Yeah, yeah, recuperate a little bit after they leave.
MC: Yeah, Uh-huh. But I enjoy it. I've been working ever since I was 10.
KB: Oh wow. That's good.
MC: Yeah.
KB: That's good.
MC: What's today's date?
KB: Today is the seventh.
MC: Yeah, ever since I've been here I worked.
KB: Man, that is really good. So you don't get tired or anything?
MC: No.
KB: Full of energy.
MC: No, I don't get tired.
KB: That's good, that's really good.
MC: I don't get tired. She gets up every morning and takes me.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: The only thing I miss is driving.
KB: Yeah. I think I'd miss driving. 'Cause I like to drive.
MC: Sure you will.
KB: [Laughs]
MC: 'Cause you can get up and go when you get ready to.
KB: Uh-huh. And not have to rely on anybody else.
MC: Uh-huh. And she gets up six o'clock in the morning and takes me 'cause I have to be at work at seven o'clock in the morning and work until seven in the evening.
KB: Wow. Where did you work?
MC: In the, uh, um, in the Westminster, uh, Southminster Retirement Home.
KB: That's right down the street from where I live.
DW: Yeah?
KB: On Park Road?
MC: Yeah.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: That's where I work.
KB: Wow. 12 hours?
MC: Yeah, we work 12 hours. We do.
KB: I couldn't do it. [Laughs]
MC: Oh. Yes you could.
MC: I enjoyed it because it was getting me out of the house.
KB: Yeah.
MC: And I had somebody to talk // to all day.//
KB: //Yeah.// I bet you never met a stranger, did you?
MC: Huh uh, huh uh.
KB: I bet.
MC: Uh-huh. Never met a stranger. And the people were so kind.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: Little old ladies, you'd see 'em, they'd be all prissied up-.
KB: [Giggles]
MC: -And all you got to say, "Oh. You look beautiful today."
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: And they'd just eat it up.
KB: Perk up.
MC: And it would make your day just like it did theirs.
KB: Yep.
MC: Yeah.
KB: I bet.
MC: Well.
KB: I bet.
MC: Yes, sir. I miss it. Yeah, I miss it.
KB: I bet. Two weeks and still fresh.
MC: Yeah.
DW: And she was working 12 hour shifts.
KB: Yeah. I couldn't do it.
MC: Oh.
KB: I can't do it now. [Laughs]
MC: Well, I could if I was doing it. I wouldn't mind it, I wouldn't mind it. I'd get up and go.
KB: Hmm. Uh-huh. That's why you still look so good 'cause you, you're always full of energy.
MC: Yeah, yeah.
KB: I guess I need to get some more energy, huh? [Laughs] 'Cause I want to look like you at 81. [Laugh]
MC: Well, you will.
KB: I hope so.
MC: You will.
KB: Was there anything else you wanted to talk about or.
MC: Well. [Pause] Well, I, I enjoyed my life at home with Mama and Daddy.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: When we was there 'cause, you know, they were typical old parents.
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: And they, you know what I mean by 'old parents'?
KB: Uh-huh.
MC: You got to do their way.
KB: Yep.
MC: Yeah, or no way.
KB: I had those parents. [Laughter]
MC: Not now, do you?
KB: Uh-huh. [Laughter]
MC: Yeah.
DW: And then you have to be bothered with pastor, too.
KB: Hmm. Tell me about that.
MC: [Laughs]
DW: Oh, he and I get along fine. Uh, when I first met him, um, I think he had been at the church for a while, but it was during our daughter's illness-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -That he really showed us that he wasn't just a pastor.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And the reason I don't say, "preacher," 'cause anybody can preach but everybody cannot be a pastor.
KB: Yeah.
DW: But he supported us, he was at that hospital every day.
KB: Umm.
DW: And then he and I, um, got on several committees together.
KB: That's OK.
DW: And [ ] and we would go to the committee meetings to the Presbytery. And one thing I learned about him, when he gets mad, when he to gets hitting his head. [Knocking sound].
KB: [Laughs]
DW: You know, but, um, he's, he's, he's been, he's been good to work with. I've learned a lot, under his, uh, care. In fact, he is one of the reasons why I've gotten to know so much about the Presbyterian Church.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Uh, because being on the committees, and getting to know the ins and outs of the Presbytery.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Uh, it was beneficial to me and what I've learned, I've been able to pass on our congregation.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And so.
KB: So you're kind of a liaison-.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: -For the church.
DW: Well, I'm a liaison for five churches-.
KB: Oh OK.
DW: -Here in Charlotte. Um, H.O. Graham, Woodland, Clanton and in Charlotte, I mean, in Concord, too.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Um, Flow Harris and McKinnon.
KB: OK.
DW: So during my, uh, six years, I've been able to secure pastors for, uh, the three churches here in Charlotte.
KB: Oh, OK. See, I'm not familiar with the Presbyterian Churches. I'm Baptist. So, I guess from what I'm hearing. It's similar to Methodist where you have to find, you move pastors around?
DW: Uh, yeah, you can, you don't just move them around, um, it's up to your session and your congregation if they're going to keep this pastor.
KB: Oh, yeah.
DW: But first you have a plot to form a P and C Committee.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Uh, um, which is a Pastor's Nominating Committee.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And then they form a search.
KB: OK.
DW: And once they locate somebody they think they may like, then they have to come through they have to come through the Transfer Committee at the Presbytery.
KB: Oh OK.
DW: Transfer will introduce, will interview them.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And if they find their credentials in order and everything, then they will have to go through the Presby, the big Presbytery.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And answer questions and do, um, a sermon.
KB: OK.
DW: And then it depends on, you know, all, all that depends on whether you are accepted or not.
KB: OK.
DW: But we have very few Afro-American men going to the seminary now.
KB: Oh really?
DW: Uh, yeah. We're really in need of them. We have a lot of females, but very few men. And I think the main reason is being because, uh, now, um, you have churches that just don't want to respect the pastor.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And, and that makes a big difference there.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Um, I always say that if you call somebody to come to your church preach-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -Then you expect them to be right there all the time.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: But are you going to be there for them?
KB: Uh-huh, Uh-huh.
DW: Because your Pastor get upset and he goes home and if he's married, then that's going to take an effect on his marriage.
KB: Yeah.
DW: So, if your Mama or your Daddy or somebody's in the hospital-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -And you say, "Well, he didn't come to see them." How can you truthfully say that unless you were there 24 hours?
KB: Yeah.
DW: Yeah. So, but again, it boils down to respect.
KB: Yeah, Uh-huh. A lot of people realize how the job is not like an eight hour job.
DW: Right.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: It's more like a 24 hour job.
KB: Exactly. And it's not just the Sunday job either.
DW: And that's one job I would not have.
KB: Me either. [Laughs]
DW: Because, see if I had that job, I know where I would end up.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: 'Cause I would bring whoever that was making all that trouble right down in front and lay 'em out.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: And you wouldn't, you wouldn't have to worry about going to a funeral home.
KB: Exactly, you would just do it right there. [Laughs] I understand totally 'cause I know you see a lot.
DW: Oh, yeah.
KB: I know you see a lot.
DW: I'm dealing with some stuff now that I'm just hoping we get it over with so I don't have to stay on there another year.
KB: //Yeah.//
DW: //To get it// cleared up.
KB: Yeah.
DW: But, um, it's 30 some people on that committee.
KB: Um. That's a lot of people. Um. A lot of people to work with. Um.
DW: But I think until churches realize that it's no, uh, big me and little you, in church-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -That everybody's equal.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And, I get the feeling that they're not going to church to serve God, they're going to church to see how much trouble they can make, you know?
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And that's bad.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Why would you sit to turn around to see what I wore to church?
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And the Bible says, "Come as you are."
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: But, if I go dressed any different than what they, "Oh. Did you see what she had on? Why is she wearing that?"
KB: Uh-huh, Uh-huh.
DW: As long as it's clean, and you look respectable, go.
MC: That's what they always taught us.
DW: Uh-huh. Because your church is supposed to be a place if you're feeling down and depressed-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -You walk through those doors, but when you come out, you're uplifted.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Not to feel like you've been stepped on again.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And I say if you're a person that jumps up all the time in the church-.
KB: [Giggles]
DW: -Calling, "Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. I've been saved." They're lying.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Because if you live a Christian life, you don't have to say a word.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: It'll shine through.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And all that jumping and kicking is not necessary.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: That's not what it's about.
KB: Well, we've been talking about it at our church-.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: -Lately.
DW: Now you watch, that person that's doing all that, they're not speaking to their spouse.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Or they're not, haven't even spoken to the person that's sitting next to them.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: It happens in our church all the time.
KB: Yeah, everywhere.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: Everywhere. I had, when I talk to my friends about it, I have to tell them, like a lot of people, especially young people, tend to think that, they shy away from religion because they feel that because somebody's jumping and down in church or whatever, they're, that they're supposed to be feeling that and they don't necessarily feel it.
DW: Uh-huh.
MC: Yeah.
KB: And I tell them, you know, you have to, or something else might be going on in church like money. Some church might be money hungry or whatever. And I have to tell them, you have to separate religion from man-.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: -In that particular situation. So I think a lot of, um [pause] human things have gotten into church and just corrupted a whole lot and made people feel the way they do about going to church.
DW: Oh yeah, because we have, uh, the Charlotte Presbytery in the general assembly voted to send $40,000,000 to the overseas mission.
KB: I know.
DW: My question is, what about your missions //here?//
KB: // Here. //
DW: What are you doing for your people here?
KB: That's a lot of the money.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: Um.
DW: So, hey, it's not just in your local churches.
KB: Huh uh.
DW: The executives are doing it.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And it's bad.
KB: Uh-huh. It's not showing a good example.
DW: And I think this is one of the reasons why so many small churches are popping up now.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Uh, non-denominational churches.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And anyway, denomination, you say you're a Methodist, right?
KB: Hmm? I'm Baptist.
DW: I mean Baptist. OK, I'm Presbyterian, but denomination is just a form of government.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: It's just a name, everybody's striving for the same thing. So, but it depends on your actions, your belief and the way, the way you treat other people-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -Whether or not you're going to make it in.
KB: Yeah.
DW: 'Cause this is why I tell everybody, "Look at me. What you see is what you get, seven days a week."
KB: Um, Uh-huh.
DW: I do what I can do. I don't wait 'til Sunday morning, reach up into the closet and pull down no Christian armband and slap it around my arm-.
KB: [Laughs]
DW: -And say, "OK devil. Get back."
KB: [Laughs]
DW: Because he's sitting there with you. When you move, the devil moves.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: So, you be what you want to be.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: So who you trying to fool?
KB: Nobody but yourself. [Pause] Nobody but yourself.
DW: And one thing that bothers me about our churches too, is that, uh, the thing you, the members of the churches are not being treated-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -With the respect that they should be treated with.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Uh, and I look at it, it's, it's, it's wrong because these are the members that got this church // started. //
KB: // Started. //
DW: They got us where we are.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Don't go push them over in the corner and say, "Well, you don't have a degree."
KB: Uh-huh. Um.
DW: Uh, so, you know.
KB: "You have nothing to say."
DW: Right.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Huh uh. I don't wait until Senior Day and, and give them a dinner and say this is it.
KB: Yeah, once a year. [Laughs] Yeah. Now you said earlier that one of your, um, relatives was a founding member-.
DW: Yeah, um.
KB: -Of the church?
DW: Yes. William Caldwell.
KB: Uh-huh. That was Granddaddy's.
MC: Daddy.
KB: Daddy.
KB: OK. Your great-grandfather.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: Wow. That was in what? 1867 somebody told me, I think?
MC: 1867 or 1864.
KB: Was it before the Emancipation Proclamation? The freeing of the slaves, or? I can't remember when.
DW: I can't remember.
KB: Or what year somebody said. [Pause] But it was a long time ago. [Laughs]
DW: And when our church used to have an outdoor, an outdoor toilet.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: And everything and I can remember on Homecoming-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -How they would spread the dinner outside-.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: -On the table and everybody would eat.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: You know, have a good time.
KB: I remember that even, from my Mother's home church.
MC: Uh-huh.
KB: Things like that. Country church.
MC: Oh yeah.
KB: [Laughs]
MC: I used to love Sundays.
DW: It was different.
MC: Uh-huh. Seemed like the people were closer or something.
KB: Yeah.
MC: They kind of. [Pause] In most of the churches now are distant.
KB: Uh-huh.
DW: Did you have the history of our church?
KB: No. Huh uh.
DW: Let's find one.
KB: Oh. You have one. I hadn't seen one.
MC: What is it she don't have?
KB: I know. You've got everything. [Laughs]
MC: Yeah.
KB: Looking at your music now here, you've got a lot of music. [Laughs] The old stuff. The OJ's, Ray Charles.
MC: [Sings] Who's making love to your woman baby.
KB: The Platters. And she can even sing. Wow.
DW: OK. This is on homecoming in 19, //uh, 92.//
KB: // '92. // Oh. Hmm.
DW: That's '95.
KB: I think somebody, I had seen a church, a picture of the church-.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: -Just now at the Miller's house. And they have some people in front of it. Now this is the same land.
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: 'Cause that fence looks the same.
DW: Uh-huh, yeah.
KB: And they say that they demolished the church, this church?
DW: Yeah.
KB: And built a new one?
DW: Uh-huh.
KB: This is a nice church.
MC: Yeah.
DW: Uh-huh. This is a story about this you can have.
KB: OK. Thank you. I probably won't keep it, but I'll read it.
DW: Oh, I have plenty.
KB: Oh, you do? [Laughs] OK then. [Laughs]
MC: She's got a lot of them.
KB: Thank you. Thank you.
MC: Uh-huh.
KB: OK, it says it was founded and organized in May 1967, by the Reverend Luke Dorlin, who was the first president.
DW: Supposed to be 1867?
KB: Did I say 1967? I'm sorry. All right 1867. [Laughs] "Luke Dorlin was the first president of Barber Scotia College in Concord." Hmm. I didn't know that. "Prior to the establishment of the church, the negroes of the community were members of the Rocky River Presbyterian Church. The white minister of the community refused to let the Negro ladies requested," wait a minute, "refused to let the Negro ladies requested that Reverend Dorlin in and integrated audience. So the Negro ladies requested that Reverend Dorlin come before the next, before them the next Sunday to help organize the church." OK, so we've got some more people, so I'm going to stop this track right here, and continue with an interview with them.
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