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Interview with Rob Mae Phillips

Phillips, Rob Mae
Perry, Morgan; Echols, Emma
Date of Interview: 
Graham Dairy; Family life; Farm work; Child labor-farming; Pineville School; Sharon School; automobile travel-c. 1930s; Billy Graham Ministries; Billy Graham crusades.
A cousin of the Reverend Billy Graham, Ms. Phillips discusses her early days on their family dairy farm, including the work she performed each morning prior to the start of the school day. Ms. Phillips also speaks of Rev. Billy Graham and his then-upcoming crusade in Charlotte.
Charlotte, 1930s-1990s
Interview Setting: 
Interviewed at Sharon Towers, Charlotte, NC
Levine Museum of the New South, Billy Graham Series
Collection Description: 
One of a series of interviews carried out in preparation for an exhibit on Billy Graham at the Museum of the New South.
Interview Audio: 
MP (Morgan Perry): [This is] Morgan Perry, and it is April 19, 1996. And I am at Sharon Towers talking with Ms. Rob Mae Phillips about her stories about Billy Graham. Ms. Phillips is Mr., Mr. Graham`s cousin.
EE (Emma Echols): You were--. You--. See, Mr. Frank Graham was your uncle, wasn`t he?
RP (Rob Mae Phillips): Uh-huh.
EE: So you and Billy Graham are first cousins.
MP: First cousins.
RP: Yes. My mother, see, was a Graham.
EE: Yes. And the Blacks and the Grahams had a big farm, dairy farm, so you well remember. Now you tell her about those early days.
RP: Well, yes, we had a big dairy. And I used to get up at five o`clock in the morning and milk cows before I ever went to school. But I didn`t mind, those was the good old days to me. [Laughter] And we had, let`s see--. I had one brother [Pause] and three sisters, and they`re all gone now except one sister that lives in Pineville. And she`s ninety-one, and then me. And I`m eighty-eight. And that`s all that`s left of us.
MP: And you taught ninth grade at Shar--? Or--?
RP: Oh, no. No. I never did do any teaching.
MP: Oh.
EE: You went to Pineville School--.
RP: I went to Pineville--.
MP: Pineville.
RP: Because Sharon didn`t go far enough for me to graduate, and I went to Pineville two years. I went with this guy. There was three of us that went, and he had this old-timey Ford that you had to crank up. And it did not have anything at the windows, and when it rained, we`d just had to get up under the lap robe in the back seat. [Laughter] But that, that was all right. As I say, that was good days. And there was Elizabeth Donaldson and myself that went to Pineville. I went two years, and she went three years. Finished high school.
EE: You hope to see, attend the crusade and see him and hear him on TV, don`t you?
RP: Yes, ma`am, this year if he could do that.
EE: And I`m sure that some of the family will be coming to see you.
RP: Well, I`m sure they will, and, and. But I won`t, course, be able to go see him. I hope my granddaughter will, and she says if he comes, she`s going to hear him. And I hope she does because I think she needs to.
EE: Now, now (Pebbles), he`s your cousin, of course, but he`s also a preacher. What do you think of him as a preacher?
RP: Oh, I think he`s marvelous, and he`s just been all over the world. I don`t know how many times. And I just think he is a wonderful minister. And Franklin first said that they wanted Franklin to take over when he got so he couldn`t do anything. And he first said "No," but then he said "Yes, I will take over when he can`t do it anymore."
MP: Do--?
RP: I believe that Franklin`s going to do it when he comes here this spring. I believe it will be Franklin in place of Billy. I would love for it to be Billy, and he may say a few words. I just don`t know how his health is.