Accessibility Navigation:

Interview with Ida M. Barrier

Interviewee: 
Barrier, Ida M.
Interviewer: 
McCachren, Michael
Date of Interview: 
1998-10-29
Identifier: 
LGBA0563
Subjects: 
Relationships with people and places; Then and now
Abstract: 
Ida Barrier talks about memories of Concord and Charlotte in the 1930s and 40s
Collection: 
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Michael McCachren interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
Transcript:
IB (Ida M. Barrier): You see, Parks and I, he was four years older than I-.
MM (Michael McCachren): Uh-huh.
IB: -But we went to all parties together-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -And, uh, Ira Lee Taylor, Carl Junior, all those boys, and Mary Elizabeth and Evelyn-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -And Francis Alexander // and, uh-. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: -You know, see back then, this in the thir-, in the '30s // and-. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: -'40s.
MM: Yeah.
IB: Uh, we didn't have television. In fact, we didn't have a radio until '35, the year before I graduated.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And we would meet at different homes, mostly over here at the house, and, uh, because, you know mama wasn't that particular, she let us have a good time. She said, "My children come before the house."
MM: Yeah.
IB: And // so-. //
MM: // [Clears throat] //
IB: -We could do most anything we wanted, you know, roughhouse, and, and all that, especially the boys.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And, uh, I know Ted and Parks, one, one Christmas Parks got a boxing set, // you know-. //
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: -And, uh, so he and Ted were boxing one Saturday night, we heard all this // racket-. //
MM: // Rackets. //
IB: -In that room you've ever heard, and went in there and they had knocked the clock off the, the mantle-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -And it just set down on the hearth. // [Laughs] //
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: -So, but they were playing, you know, boxing-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -And uh, you know how, how tall Parks was-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -And how little Ted was. // [laughs] //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: So, uh, I think it was about an even match.
MM: Yeah, I can imagine // Ted. He's, he's a boxer. //
IB: // [Laughs] //
IB: Yeah, yeah, Ted's a good boxer // I think-. //
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: -In fact, [pause] as best I can remember, he, he went to the YMCA, or whatever it was back in those days, you know, and, and did box some boxing, // that-. //
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: -Was before he married, you know.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And, uh, but anyhow we would, uh, have Christian Endeavor up here on Sunday nights.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And now then, you know, our programs weren't just for certain age groups. My daddy, Miss Lou and Terry Morrison, Mr. Jim Taylor, they went to that Christian Endeavor-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And, uh, but we had to walk. See, nobody had a car.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And // we'd walk-. //
MM: // [Clears throat] //
IB: -Up there and walk home, and, uh, we made our own entertainment, and, uh, say this time of year we didn't do too much on Halloween. There was one time [pause], uh, Mary Virginia Haggler, you don't know her, but she visited Uncle Clade, that used to live over here, you know where Bill Haggler's home is // now-. //
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: -But Clade, my daddy's brother [sniff] had a house there and, Mary Virginia was Bill Haggler's sister. So she'd come out and spend the summers with uncle Clade.
MM: Yeah.
IB: So one Halloween, I had my little baby carriage, just about this long, you know, and Mary came over here and she said, "Ida," she said, "Let's trick-or-treat." So I'd never done that before.
MM: Yeah.
IB: So, uh, we, I, I, of course, got two of mama's sheets and cut the eyes out, and we'd go down the road, it's, it's before dark-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -But I took my baby carriage.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: We got down to the Stafford house, and they had a dog.
MM: // [Laugh] //
IB: // [Laughs] // And that dog took-.
MM: [Laugh]
IB: -Out after us, and there I am dragging my baby carriage-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -Up the road here and tripping on my sheet and, uh, so, uh, that was my last trick-or-treat thing.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And, uh, so, uh, we wou-, we would just meet and play, we would play drop the handkerchief or play, uh, different games, you know, running games.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And then, uh, we would have parties, socials, with the Christian Endeavor group. They would have a social about every six to eight weeks, // you know-. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: -Maybe ice cream, little old something and, Parks always had to have, his birthday was in June, and Toots always gave him a birthday party.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: If it wasn't anything but ice cream and cake, if nobody came, Parks had to have that birthday party.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And, uh, so, uh, we uh, as we got older, of course, we had chores to do now, you know, Michael, it's not like it is now. See, Papa was a farmer-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And we had, uh, had milk cows, two or three milk cows, and we kept them over here at this old house, up Joe Sims's.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And I would, uh, in the evening, I'd have to, to go bring them here, bring them over to the barn, and, uh, I'd milk two cows at night, well, in the mornings, I'd milk them and take them back over to that pasture.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: See, we didn't have a pasture here, uh, 'cause Papa kept this in cotton and corn around the house-.
MM: Um.
IB: -And uh, I learned, of course then we didn't have as many cars, but just as soon as I got my cows out on the road, here starting, uh, uh, the cars would start.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And // uh-. //
MM: // [Cough] //
IB: -That was, that was so hateful, so aggravating, you know, // and-. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: -Uh, so, uh, I had to carry in stove wood and firewood, you know, coal-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And see, we had chores to do, and we didn't, we didn't do anything for pleasure until our chores were done. And, uh, so uh, we'd, we'd meet at night and just play games, and, uh, uh, my mama and daddy would, you know, during the summer months we'd sit out on the front porch, on the lower side over there.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And uh, we'd just, just, uh, just talk, you know, and see, I married when I was 20. I married in 1940, and uh, so in '42, see Toots married in March of '40, I married in the, in September, and, uh, in '42, Parks went in service.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: So uh, Ben and I lived in Concord when we married. We, uh, moved, I moved over there and uh, but when Parks left that left Mama and Papa with nobody. And, and Mama told me, she said, Ida," said, "You and Ben just got to come home," you know, "At least on the weekends." See, both of us worked.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And so we started in 19-, about 1942, about the middle of '42, we started coming out here every weekend. [Laughs] I had to move every week.
MM: Hmm.
IB: And uh, uh, Parks was in Fort Bragg, and uh, then he moved out to Oklahoma, and then finally went to a place in Texas, and so, uh, he was in service for, I guess from about '42 to '46 I think is when he came home. Well he had met Lucy out // there-. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: -And so uh, right after he got home, within a day or two, he went out to New Mexico. And uh, Pop told him, he said, "Now, Parks don't, don't get married now," he said, uh, "Give yourself a little time," but he went right straight out there and he got married. And then, uh, of course, they came out here and lived for a couple of years, you know, and, uh, but Ben and I still continued to come out here on Saturday nights. And we did that until 1966 when Mama died.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: Every weekend, we were, were out here.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And then of course, uh, when Jimmy was born and, and Toots couldn't get around too much, you know, with he-, with him being small, so we started going up to their house on Saturday night.
MM: Yeah.
IB: See that, that was our entertainment.
MM: Yeah.
IB: There was, // uh-. //
MM: // So. //
IB: -Not much to do.
MM: Yeah, I know.
IB: And, uh.
MM: // Did Parks-? //
IB: // [Clears throat] //
MM: -Parks stay out in New Mexico?
IB: Well-.
MM: // Or did they come back? //
IB: // -They came back // here, stayed for about two or three years, and Lucy's sister, see Mik-, Rita and Michael and Jody were born here.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And I believe that it was in '57 that he moved back, they moved back out there. Lucy got homesick. // One- //
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: -Of her sisters died-.
MM: // Wow. //
IB: // -And // so she got homesick, and, uh, so then, the other three children were born out there-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -You know, and uh, so we just, uh, uh, were, we were a close family, of course, Ted and Mildred lived in Concord you know, after they married. I don't remember when they moved back out here. But uh, uh, we would, uh, we, of course, still didn't have, Papa didn't have a car. // And uh- //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: -Ted got one when he was, went to work, and uh, you see, there's 13 years difference in John, the oldest and me.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And uh, uh, we'd just uh, u-, you know the whole, the whole family seemed like we were awfully close and, uh, and when, uh, the children, you know, the nieces and nephews started coming along-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -We, uh, uh, enjoyed having them around. About every Saturday night somebody would come home. [cough] And, uh, so, of course, when Jimmy came along why, Toots wanted us up there, you know, because we had always been so close-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And I still miss her so much now. See she's been gone six years. And last, the last, uh, month was 10 years since Ben passed away. And uh, so now, you see, I'm the only, only one left.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And uh, I don't know whether you read, uh, the little bit of, uh, history that I've tried to, to get up for, uh.
MM: No. I didn't even know about it.
IB: Yeah. And, uh, Linda made copies for me, and uh, so Becky called. She called about, I guess, about four or five weeks ago, and said she wanted some information on the Clanton's, Mama's family.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: I said, well oh, "Becky," I said, you know, "I was just seven years old when Grandpa died-."
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And just eight when Grandma died. See, we had no car. And uh, Mama would take Parks and I down to Grandpa Clanton's on the train-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And we, uh, they would laugh at me on, on the train. I had a year-size doll.
MM: Yeah.
IB: Well, the doll was, you know, I'd carry it like this under my arm.
MM: // [Laugh] //
IB: // I // wore its feet off, wore its toes off to the foot, // you know-. //
MM: // Really? //
IB: -Dragging it.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And uh, course, the conductors on the train, they soon, they, you know, they remembered us. And uh, but that's the only time that I got to see Grandpa and Grandma Clanton. And uh, and her family died out fairly quick-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And uh, so I remember Uncle Bax when he died, and I been, incidentally I got a picture here, of, uh, of, uh, the Clanton's that, uh, Evelyn's keeping. Well, uh, when Becky called me, she told me, she said, Ida," she said, "I want you to," uh, "Get some information for the Clanton's." [Tape interruption]
MM: Yeah.
IB: Well, he, he rode old Esau, he went all out west. You know, he just raked all the time.
MM: Yeah.
IB: //And uh-. //
MM: // [Clears throat] //
IB: -Uh, he would come out here, he'd spend maybe a week out here with mama, and the tales he would tell, oh we'd all gather around him, you know, and, and just listen to all these places that he had been-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And uh, uh, he died, I was, I was married when he died, seems like.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: I remember him on up until I had some age on. And uh, then Uncle Bax, Mama's brother, he, uh, he used to come out here. And Grandpa Clanton, he had a fruit farm and had a regular farm-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And so he was, uh, a detective.
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: // And, // and one night his barn was burned and, uh, they figured that it was somebody that he had, you know, he had pin-pointed-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -For something, and uh, but, uh, grand, uh, Uncle Bax would come out here, he dated a girl from here, Evelyn Barbee-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -Mildred's cousin. Uncle Bax dated Evelyn Barbee and he'd come out on Saturday nights. Well, on Sunday morning when we'd get up, there'd be a basket of fruit, basket of, uh, vegetables and things, sitting on the side porch.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: He'd bring those by the house, you know, when he went home.
MM: Yeah.
IB: // And uh-. //
MM: [Clears throat] //
IB: -So uh, uh, we'd, we'd just, uh, uh, had, just, I, I just love to reminisce and think about things that, uh, happened, you know, and, of course, after Parks, after the war, see we lost Carl Junior, Carl Higgins, and uh, so, uh, they would, they would come by, they'd start down there at, uh, Taylor's, and then come on up, pick up the Stafford girls down there, and come on by here and uh, pick up me and Parks, and pick up the Sloop girls. We'd all walk, walk to Christian Endeavor.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And, uh, then when we'd come back home, the boys would all stop in the house over there with Parks. They'd stay till nine or 10 o'clock and just talk.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And, uh, but the funniest thing that really happened [pause] was, uh, you know, if, have you been in Jimmy's house since he's done any remodeling?
MM: Yeah.
IB: Well, uh, you know, you go in this back door over here, and you go in the den, and then you go into her kitchen, and then, of course, her dining room and living room.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: Well now, when we were little, we did not have that big back porch.
MM: Yeah.
IB: Our hall just ran on out through a small, a narrow back porch-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And uh, so uh, uh, those boys would come up there on Saturday nights, and the boy's room, that we called it, was Jean's kitchen, no, Jean's, uh, yeah, her kitchen and her dining room. You know, it was a big room.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And uh, uh, so we, uh, were sitting in there one Saturday night and, [laughs] we heard the awfulest going on in there, you know, and, uh, so Papa went to the door, and, uh, I heard him ask if anybody was smoking. Nope, no, no, they weren't smoking.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And after a while, [laughs] after a while we heard another commotion, and Carl Junior was smoking a cigar, // and-. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: -He had it under the table, and he must've hit it against his pants, but some ashes fell in his, the cuff of his pants. // [Laughs] //
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: And they started smoking. [laughs] And so, uh, we all got a charge out of that, you know. But they would sit there in the middle of that room, Michael, and they would be chewing tobacco, you know-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -Like, like boys will do, and, uh, this is when, uh, we were still in school-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And, uh, they would chew tobacco, and then they would spit to the fireplace. Well, half of them hit the mantle, // uh, hit-. //
MM: // [Laughs] //
IB: -Hit something, you know, Ted and old Bidden. Toots and I would have to go in there the next morning and clean up-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -And uh, but mama still said, "I'd rather have those boys right here in this house than have them sitting up there on the, uh, a, a service sta-, at the service station," // or-. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: -Something like that, you know.
MM: Yeah.
IB: She said, "I want them to feel welcome."
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: And, uh, so we just, uh, we, we just had a good time, I said, uh, so many people would say, "Well, I'm glad it's not like it used to be," but I, I don't know, now, it used to be we could go to bed with our doors unlocked.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: You see, John worked second shift at the post office.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: Mama left the door unlocked, until he came in, but you can't do that now.
MM: No, no.
IB: And so, there were a lot of good things, we didn't have running water and all, but still, we didn't have pipes to freeze.
MM: Yeah.
IB: You didn't have commodes to hang up, // and-. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: -Stuff like that. Uh, you, you pay for your progress.
MM: Yeah.
IB: And, uh, uh, back then, of course, you, you felt like, I didn't have, I didn't have money. But I didn't need it, // you know. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: You, you just, you just didn't need it then.
MM: It's totally different // now. //
IB: // That's // right. That's right. And, uh, you weren't judged, I don't think or especially with, children, you were not judged by what you had-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -You were judged by what you were.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: You know, if you was, uh, uh, an old fussy cat or something like that that we couldn't get along with, but see all of us were, were, uh, good friends, played together-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And uh, we would, now the Sloops and I, when we would come from school in the summertime, we'd go down to the creek. Now just above the bridge there was a pretty good swimming, the water was about up to your neck-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And uh, and we, we had a, a good little swimming hole there, and that's what we would do every evening, mama and Hattie Sloop would visit, and, uh, and we'd go to the creek and play. And, uh, so, see, it was good clean living.
MM: Yeah.
IB: We, we didn't have to worry about, about that stuff like kids do now-.
MM: Yeah,
IB: -And uh, we, we had good black people that weren't forced. I would go over to that old house over there, there was, uh, uncle George Cochran that lived over there, and he had a, had a, a girl Maggie, she was about my age. I'd go there and play with Maggie-.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -And, uh, then one night, uh, I stayed over a little later, and Buck and some of them were hauling hay-.
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: // -And // I just stayed over there with Maggie. Well, when, uh, when her mama got ready to serve supper, she a-, made me sit down too, and // so-. //
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: // -I // was eating supper as big as Adam. // [Laughs] //
MM: // [Laugh] //
IB: My day, it was after dark-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -And, uh, and Papa came over there and got me.
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: So you see, there was, was no, no ra-, racial problems then, because my daddy always told me, he said, "It's Uncle George and Aunt Francis-."
MM: Uh-huh.
IB: -He said, "I don't ever want you to mistreat anybody." And, you see, look at the difference then and now-.
MM: Yeah.
IB: -You know.
MM: Yeah.
IB: Yeah. And uh, and uh, we, we got along all right, and as I say, we didn't have money, we didn't have anything to fight over. // [Laughs] //
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: Yeah, we, and, and, uh, uh, we always, always had a dog, you know, // and-. //
MM: // Yeah. //
IB: -Uh, Mama always kept me a cat, and I always had my pets-.
MM: // Uh-huh. //
IB: // -Because // Parks is four years older than I, and see, I had nobody my age to play with other than the Sloop girls.
MM: Uh-huh.
Groups: