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Monologue by Frank Funderburk

Funderburk, Frank
Funderburk, Sarah
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with people and places; Then and now
Frank Funderburk talks about growing up in the Great Depression.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Sarah Funderburk interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
FF (Frank Funderburk): Now? Start now? Well, uh, I was born in 1920, soon after World War I and times were pretty good. I was in a family of four. I had a sister and two brothers. We lived in Union County, North Carolina on the cotton farm. Times were pretty good until the Great Depression started in 1928 and then, uh, the bottom fell out of Wall Street, cotton prices came down to nearly nothing. ( ) Didn't get much more. My daddy finally caught the money he expected to get file out of town for it. And he sold it for ten cents a pound. They didn't care whether ( ) or not. We'd seen some hard times then for several years. And my mother died in 1932 and times got worse, my two older brothers was ( ), my sister was, she was a little one when my momma died. Later on I got a stepmother and my sister moved out. And, uh, I went through some pretty embarrassing times, some hard times. I experimented. After my sister moved away, before my daddy married again, we had an old black woman who used to help my momma. And uh, I expect ( ) or I'd have been punished. She had children and I played with them. She would me ( ) sometimes while I was. ( ) And, uh, in the, in the mid 30s things began to pick up a little bit. The prices of cotton got better and the business increased a little bit. And I entered high school in, oh, the mid '30s. And, uh, the last two years, my junior and senior year, I boarded the school bus and I ( ) a little bit. And I, I graduated in 1939. Mom graduated the next year and we got married not long after that. And, uh, we lived on the farm for four years. We farmed for ourselves for four years. We had cotton and corn, ( ) milked cows. Then in 1944 I left the farm and came to Charlotte and worked the railway express for four years. Then the war died down, the war ended, and uh, my seniority began to come down faster than it went up, and I changed jobs. I go to the trust here in the city ( ) um, I went to, I went to the trust company in 1956 and, uh, for Eastern Airlines, for an airport in Charlotte. And I worked there 27 years 'til I retired in 1983. ( ) And, uh, that was, that was the best job I ever had and the most interesting job I ever had. I'd seen so much changes in the relationships. I went to work, all they had was a little ( ) and it stayed there until 1983 and retired. When I retired had interest in the yard, garden, flea markets, auction sales, ( ) house for sale in flea marts, buying, you know, things like that. It wasn't long after that I went into the realty market myself, buying and selling. Gives me something to do and, uh, got an interest in it. An interesting hobby, and I still do it and enjoy it ( ) as long as I'm able to. I'm, uh, 79 years old now, coming up on 80 and I still do it. And I've seen a lot of changes in my lifetime. I've seen things, uh, trains, steam engines go out and things that's come in. And I've seen, uh, a lot of changes in the trucking industry. I did a lot of part time work for a trucking company here, here in my thirties for about 10 or 12, 15 years now ( ) in 1969 I went to ( ) I didn't have the opportunity to work ( ) that much anyway. But it's been an interesting, uh, lifestyle. Some of it's been hard. The first year was hard. It wasn't just my ( ) but it was everybody's. We were poor but we didn't realize we was poor because we had something to eat. We grew our food. We had, we grew our food, we had cows, hogs, chickens. Just about the only thing that we bought was ( ) if we needed extra. If something happened, we didn't have it or our neighbor was. ( ) But that was ( ) since I was an employee at the Eastern ( ) and, uh, I first stepped on an airplane and took the family and children to Charleston, South Carolina for the weekend. We, we went to Washington to the Smithsonian Institute, toured it, ( ) and, uh, we went to Hawaii in 1972. We went to Mexico City in '73. And we visited some of the pyramids. And, uh, we met our son in, in Alaska. He's still there and we ( ) can come up there ( ) and they've all been real interesting.