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Conversation with William Eugene Weathers and Ernestine Weathers Crisco Davis

Interviewee: 
Weathers, William Eugene
Contributor: 
Weathers, Ernestine Crisco Davis
Interviewer: 
Bailey, Kim
Date of Interview: 
2002-08-28
Identifier: 
LGWE0504
Subjects: 
Relationships with people and places; Childhood adventures
Abstract: 
William Eugene Weathers talks about growing up and going to Vietnam and getting married along with his sister and wife.
Collection: 
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Kim Bailey interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a project at UNC Charlotte.
Transcript:
KB (Kim Bailey): OK. Testing, testing. Today is August 28th, Wednesday, and I'm here with Miss Ethel Weathers' son and daughter, and would you all like to do the narrative together or would you like to just do it separately?
EW (Ernestine Weathers Crisco-Davis): Together.
KB: OK. [Laugh] Just state each your names and the date of birth.
EW: Uh, I'm Ernestine Weathers Crisco-Davis, born on January 13th, 1947.
WW (William Eugene Weathers): And I am, uh, William Eugene Weathers, I was born on March the 16th, 1948.
KB: OK. So you are a year apart.
WW: Yeah.
KB: How was life growing up so close in age?
EW: For me it was great, uh, I am the oldest of the three-.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
EW: \\ -And \\ we do have a brother, Larry, uh, Ray Bond Weathers with us, who lives in another state.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: Uh, being the only girl, I had to learn, uh, to adapt to, uh, playing cowboys and Indians, uh, driving cars, th-, wooden cars, driving the school bus and, uh, basically playing boy, uh, little boy's games-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -Growing up. But it was interesting and I feel that I learned-, uh, I have, uh, a well-rounded, uh, lifestyle because of that-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -Because I got to see my brother's side of what life was about per se-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -And for a little girl, uh-.
KB: Now you said you drove the school bus?
EW: I also drove the school bus when I, uh, when I got my license. I drove the school bus for the high school and the elementary school for two years.
KB: Uh-huh. Was this while you were still in school, or-?
EW: Yes.
KB: \\ Wow. \\
EW: \\ While \\ I was still at school, but these, uh, the school buses we used to drive where the, uh, drawer of, drawers out of the sewing machine-.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: -We made our own school buses and. \\ ( ) \\
KB: \\ Ohh. [Laughs] \\ [Laughter] I thought you meant a real school bus. [Laugh]
EW: I did drive a real school bus, but this was when I \\ was-. \\
KB: \\ Playing. \\
EW: -Yeah-.
KB: Oh, \\ OK. [Laughs] \\
EW: \\ -When we were little. \\
KB: How creative.
EW: Yeah.
KB: [Laugh] Now whose idea was that to make it, uh, a \\ school bus? \\
EW: \\ Oh, well, \\ I had to follow, follow the \\ boys. \\
WW: \\ Copying \\ off of us.
KB: Ohh. \\ OK. \\
EW: \\ [Laugh] \\ We all had our little drawers.
KB: OK.
EW: Because they were about this long, you could stack two on each end and push them on the floor.
KB: Now did you have little people in the school bus?
EW: Uh, imaginary.
KB: Oh, OK. \\ [Laughs] \\
EW: \\ [Laughs] \\
KB: Imaginary conversations on there-.
EW: \\ Yeah. \\
KB: \\ -And \\ everything like that?
EW: Yeah.
KB: Uum. Now how was that for entertainment for you \\ two? \\
WW: \\ Oh, \\ well, basically, we, we did the same things, you know. Uh, my, growing up, my, my grandmother lived right next door and she had a big house that was sit up on pillars-.
KB: Uh.
WW: -So you could go up underneath the house.
KB: Uh-huh. \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: That was our playground. We would play up under the house because it was nice and cool in the dirt, so, uh, uh, it was a interesting, uh, childhood that, we always did things together, you know, and as, as we got older, uh, my sister Ernestine got to learn, started to learn how to cook, so she did all the cooking. I have \\ to admit-. \\
KB: \\ [Laughs] \\
WW: -That she did a very good job \\ cooking, too. \\
KB: \\ I had heard \\ that you all could cook.
EW: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: \\ Yeah. \\ She could cook. And my brother, he would, uh, he was a cook, he tried, he was a try-to-be-a-wannabe-cook-.
KB: \\ [Laughs] \\
WW: \\ -And he \\ would make a, a big mess, and uh, we'd get a whooping about that though.
KB: Uuh.
WW: Yeah, because I was older, and I ash-, I was the one that was supposed to-.
KB: \\ Watch them. \\
WW: \\ -Be responsible to tell \\ him, but he was a year younger than us. So all of us were \\ basically-. \\
KB: \\ The same age, \\ yeah.
WW: -Were the same age.
KB: Hmm.
EW: And I learned how to cook. I started at age 11.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: And for me today it's scary because I look at 10 and 11 year olds and they're, they can barely see on top of the stove. And we had a gas stove.
KB: \\ Uh. \\
EW: \\ And we \\ had to strike the match and put it in that little hole-.
KB: Yeah.
EW: -And it made that noise, terrified of, of, but I made the biscuits and, and I learned how to cook at age 11-.
KB: \\ Wow. \\
EW: \\ -For the \\ family. We had, we had different chores, uh, that we were responsible for, uh, I mean, major chores compared to the children of today. Uh, washing, I had to wash, back then I had to carry water and put it in the big, uh, tin tubs-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -Fill up the washing machine and carry all that water out when you're finished.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: Uh, I mean I, I feel like that has made, it made me what I am today.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
EW: \\ I \\ I, I don't mind working, uh, I don't have a problem getting up in the morning.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: Uh, it, it made a big difference in, in my life. Uh, I tell people now, and we had great parents and I feel that we were more blessed than a lot of the black kids back then because, uh, my mom and dad, uh, they worked maybe two jobs so we could have the nicer things. We had, we always had a new car-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -We always had new clothes when school started-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -Uh, my dad always made sure we, uh, had a couple of trips during the year to the beach and to the mountains.
KB: \\ That's nice. \\
EW: \\ A lot of \\ uh, you know, black kids back then, they didn't have an opportunity to, to get out and go and see. And we got to go to the circus when we were little-.
KB: \\ Wow. \\
EW: \\ -And \\ you know, it was unusual.
KB: Uh-huh. You were cultured, as children.
EW: Yeah.
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
EW: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: And the wrestling matches on Monday night.
EW: \\ Yeah. \\
KB: \\ Hmm. \\
WW: They'd take us to, well ( ) didn't care that much about wrestling \\ but I did. \\
EW: \\ Still don't. [Laughs] \\
KB: \\ I bet. \\ [Laughter] Now, where were the wrestling matches?
WW: Uh, they was held in Charlotte at the, uh, Park Center, \\ uh-. \\
KB: \\ At the Park Center? \\ Where is that?
WW: Uh, the \\ Grady Cole Center. \\
EW: \\ Grady Cole Center. \\
KB: Ohh. \\ OK. \\
EW: \\ Yeah, \\ they changed the name.
KB: \\ Ohh. \\
WW: \\ Grady Cole Center. \\
EW: Uh-huh.
KB: Hmm.
WW: Yeah. And, uh, they used to have one, Jim Crockett promoted on there and they would be there every Monday night. And my daddy and his brothers see, we all lived, uh, right there together.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: \\ I had \\ two uncles that lived on either side-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -And, uh, their, their kids, and, and uh, they'd all, we'd all get in the car. All the men, we'd go there on our own.
KB: So it was mostly a male thing.
EW: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: \\ Yeah. \\ Monday night, that wrestling thing. Uh, my aunt, now, she was a, a, a big fan of a wrestler but, uh-.
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: \\ -She \\ did not want to be bothered with me going \\ around-. \\
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: \\ -Whooping and a hollering in the house. \\
KB: \\ Did she \\ listen to it or something? Or watch it or something?
WW: She watched it on TV.
KB: Yeah.
WW: And sometimes she would go, she and her husband, my uncle. Yeah, he's the one, he taught us all how to drive. He taught us how to drive straight drive.
KB: Now, which uncle is this?
WW: That's, uh, June.
KB: The one that uh, let's see-.
EW: You probably haven't heard of him because he was my daddy's brother.
KB: Oh. OK, OK. [Laugh]
WW: Yeah, yeah. All, everybody that lived right there was my daddy's people-.
KB: \\ OK. \\
WW: \\ -His mother-.\\
EW: \\ -And sisters. \\
WW: \\ -And all, \\ but he, he, uh, back when-, I, I remember when I was 12, 13 years old, I was driving a car on the road didn't get a license at first.
KB: Now, you didn't go to Charlotte driving, \\ did you? \\
WW: \\ No, \\ we just drove around here.
KB: \\ [Laughs] \\
WW: \\ But we would take our grandmother to the store \\ and, uh, he, he, he didn't care. My dad used to get on him all the time and he let us drive because he taught us all how to drive straight drive. Tina could drive straight drive, everybody could drive straight drive.
KB: I can't.
WW: You can't drive a \\ straight drive? \\
KB: \\ [Laughs] No, \\ I don't want to, either. [Laughs] [Laughter]
WW: \\ You can't drive straight drive? \\
KB: \\ [Laughs] \\ No. Don't want to, either. [Laugh]
WW: But, uh, the school buses were straight drive-.
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: \\ -You \\ had, you had to, uh, be able to drive straight drive in order to, uh, uh, drive a school bus.
KB: So you drove, too?
WW: Yeah. Both of us were driving at the same time.
KB: Oh, wow. You had to get up pretty early to take high school and elementary school?
EW: Well, it wasn't as early as it is now.
KB: Oh, OK.
EW: \\ But, uh-. \\
WW: \\ We had to, \\ we used to have to get up early. Well, I did. She would always get up at the same time, but I, I, I, after I started driving-.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: \\ -I had \\ to give myself a little time, you know.
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: \\ Since \\ I was the driver, I'd leave whenever I wanted to, \\ you know-. \\
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: -As long as I had the kids at, uh, uh, school before the first bell \\ rang. \\
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: Sometimes they'd be unloading the bus when the bell rung but they would never say anything about that. \\ [Laughs] \\
KB: \\ Now were they riding \\ all crazy because you were driving fast [laughs], \\ too? \\
WW: \\ Oh, well, \\ the buses wouldn't go but 35 miles per hour.
KB: \\ Oh, OK, that's good. \\ [Laugh]
WW: And we had them \\ going down-. \\
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: -And we had to drive them all the way to Concord-.
KB: Oh, \\ wow. \\
WW: \\ -To go to school. \\ Yeah, yeah, we picked up everybody in Asheboro and we'd drive to Concord.
KB: Now what school was this in Concord?
WW: Uh, Logan High School and Jacob Town Elementary.
KB: Hmm.
WW: You know where that is?
KB: I do not.
WW: Well, Jacob Town is the Board of Education building, right on 29.
KB: Hmm, I \\ don't-. \\
WW: \\ You \\ go up 29, toward, uh, once you get on 29, go up to 29-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -It, it, it, uh, well, actually, if, if you go up on 85 and get off on Poplar Tent Road-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -Pop-, Poplar Tent Road over to Concord-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -Highway 29 and make a left turn, the school sits right there.
KB: Oh, OK. I'll have to see that.
WW: That's a fairly new school so that, that's the reason they still use it.
KB: Oh, OK.
WW: Yeah.
EW: I also wanted to say, uh, among the things that really sticks out of my mind about my parents, uh, my mom, and dad, they were really involved in NAACP.
KB: Um.
WW: \\ Yeah. \\
EW: \\ And \\ we had an opportunity to see Martin Luther King.
KB: Oh, \\ wow. \\
EW: \\ He came \\ to Charlotte, uh, for uh, a rally-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -And, uh, we were small, but I remember that.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: Uh-.
KB: Now what about it do you remember most?
EW: That there were so many people in one place because they had it at the Grady Cole Center.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: And, uh, he wasn't as famous, uh, then, uh, as, as he was when he died-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -But I remember going and, uh, for a long time I kept this booklet that had his picture on it-.
KB: Uh.
EW: -That they gave out that looked sort of, uh, like a program-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -But, uh, they were really involved in, in the Masons, and in the Eastern Star-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -Uh, although my dad died at age 44.
KB: Hmm.
EW: Uh, but they were, you know, really involved in the church and, uh, in the community and what was going on in it with the blacks in, in this area.
KB: And how did that affect you all? What are, are you involved in, like NAACP, for instance or anything?
WW: Uh, yeah, I, I am, plus I am a Mason.
KB: Oh, \\ OK. \\
WW: \\ I'm in the Masons, too. \\ Uh, yeah I, I need to renew because that's one of the requirements of becoming, uh, uh, getting in a higher degree-.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: \\ -You have \\ to be a, a, a member of NAACP.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: But, uh, yeah, I am working that pretty good.
KB: So you got that from your parents?
WW: Yeah, I did.
KB: And you?
EW: No, uh, I, I haven't, uh, gotten involved in anything, really. Haven't had time.
KB: Yeah, exactly. Being a preacher's wife-.
EW: \\ Yeah. \\
KB: \\ -That's \\ kind of difficult.
EW: Yeah. But I also went back to school in '95-.
KB: Oh, OK.
EW: -To get, uh, my degree. So, I am still trying to recuperate from that.
KB: I understand. [Laughs] [Laughter] Totally. I understand. What did you get your degree in?
EW: Business.
KB: Oh, OK.
EW: But, uh, we had grandparents who, were, I feel they were a lot like my mom and dad-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -Uh, we always had a lot of good food to eat.
KB: I bet.
EW: My, uh, grandparents, on my dad's side, they raised everything except, uh, he would buy cheese and molasses.
KB: \\ And that's it? \\
EW: \\ Everything \\ else. Then my grandparents on my mom's side-, uh, I even remember them-.
WW: Making sugar and flour.
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
EW: \\ Yeah, \\ he even raised sugar cane \\ one year. \\
KB: \\ Wow. \\
WW: \\ Yeah, he did. \\
EW: So, but-.
WW: \\ [Clears throat] \\
EW: \\ -Potatoes \\ and peanuts, and fresh corn. I mean, there was always plenty of good food.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: My mom's grandmother and, uh, no my mom's mom and dad, they sold, uh, butter and, and, uh, milk for customers she made loaf bread, \\ eggs-. \\
WW: \\ Eggs. \\ Eggs, too.
EW: -For customers in Concord, so we would go with my grandfather, uh, some Saturdays to help deliver the milk and eggs to customers over \\ there-. \\
KB: \\ Um. \\
EW: -Uh, but I looked forward to that homemade bread because you could smell it for miles. \\ [Laugh] \\
KB: \\ I bet. \\ Anything homemade. \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: \\ And \\ also some of the chores that we had. My, my grandparents on my, my daddy's side, they would have a garden that-, two or three acres of garden, so we had to get out there and help him pick all the green beans-.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: \\ -And tomatoes \\ and the corn, and we got them up, we had to shuck the corn-.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: \\ -Shuck the corn and stuff.
KB: And the beans? \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: \\ Yeah. \\ And they'd be right up under the, uh, the big old pea-, uh, uh, walnut tree, and we would do all of that. And see, my grandmother was a, a, a, an exotic canner. She just canned all the-.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: -To have in the pantry. What's the name of them jars? Mason's?
KB: Mason jars. \\ [Laughs] \\
WW: \\ Mason jars. \\ [Laughs] You know about the \\ Mason jars? \\
KB: \\ My \\ grandmother has a-. [Laughs] [Laughter]
WW: She'd buy those things by the cases \\ everyday. \\
KB: \\ Yeah. \\ [Laughs]
WW: She'd buy a case of them. She used to have everything in the pantry, you know, you never really wanted for anything because it was right there. Hogs, had hogs up there.
KB: I heard about some hogs. [Laugh]
WW: Had a little cotton, have you ever heard of picking cotton here? We had to pick a little bit of cotton every now and then, too, you know because my grandfather he, he was a sharecropper.
KB: Oh, OK.
WW: And he, he raised cotton, and back in the early '50s, when I was young, he would buy him a new car, you know.
KB: \\ Wow. \\
WW: \\ Here and then, \\ people wouldn't talk to, to black people about cars and things.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: He would buy her a new car every-.
KB: \\ Hmm. \\
WW: \\ -I want to be able \\ to say all the time, and he had 20, 20 bales of cotton up there in the barn.
KB: Man.
WW: Yeah. It, it was an interesting childhood and \\ uh-. \\
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: \\ -An enjoyable \\ childhood.
KB: It sounds like it.
WW: Then I grew up and went to the, uh, military, and, uh, went to Vietnam and so, went to Vietnam-.
KB: Oh, \\ wow. \\
WW: \\ -For \\ a while and then I came back.
KB: How was Vietnam?
WW: Well \\ [laughs]-. \\
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: -It, it wasn't as, as bad as, as, uh, you may hear \\ some people-. \\
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: -Say, but you have to use your own judgment, you know, \\ here, you know. \\
KB: \\ So, it \\ it depends on how you-, your background was going in, I \\ guess-. \\
WW: \\ Yeah. \\
KB: -How it affected \\ you? \\
WW: \\ See? \\ my grandfather was one-, on my mamma's side, my grandfather was one of the remaining WWI Veterans-.
KB: Uh.
WW: -When I went in-.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: \\ -And \\ he, he sit me down on the porch and he told me, after he found out that I was going down into the war, he sit me down and told me all the do's and all the don'ts-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -The type of people that you were going to come in contact with-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -And you just have to use your head and use your own judgment on some things regardless if a brother got you in trouble-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -With superiors, you know, because the main thing is to save your life.
KB: \\ Exactly. \\
WW: \\ And that's \\ exactly what he did and some of the things he told me I came in contact with-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -But, because I did what he said-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -And I didn't get in trouble, because you're already out on the front lines, you can't-.
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: -Because it can't be no more \\ trouble than that. \\
KB: \\ Worse, I know. [Laughs] \\
WW: Yep. So, it, it, it was, it was good and you know I thank, I thank God my parents and my, my grandparents because they, they really, we had family values \\ back at that time-. \\
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: -You know and, and uh, they, they did things with their children, like she said, my dad always made sure we'd go to the beach every summer-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -And we'd go to the mountains every fall.
KB: I bet that was nice.
WW: Yeah. You ever heard of, uh, Atlanta beach?
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
WW: \\ -Atlanta \\ beach?
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: We used to go. That was one of the places that we could go, and we-.
KB: \\ Oh, really? \\
WW: \\ -Used to go \\ to Atlanta all the time.
KB: I bet you were excited and \\ looking forward to it every year. [Laugh] \\
WW: \\ Ohh, yes. Down at the beach. \\
KB: \\ [Laughs] Going to the beach. \\
WW: \\ We had a good time at the beach. \\
KB: \\ [Laughs] \\
WW: \\ [Laughs] \\
KB: Man. So when you went to the beach, that's, you, when, you mean, that's the only place blacks could go or-?
WW: Yes, right there across, because Myrtle Beach was, was not, uh-.
KB: Integrated?
WW: -Integrated, yeah.
KB: Yeah.
WW: But Atlanta beach is where we would go.
KB: Um.
WW: -And we had a good time, too, you know? We had a good time.
KB: Now, when you all went to the beach, did you see like other people that came every year-.
WW: Uh-huh.
KB: -And, like, had your friends, your summer friends?
WW: Yes, a lot of time, uh-.
EW: A lot of friends.
WW: -Somebody from church, our church people would be down there, too.
KB: Oh, OK.
WW: And, you know, you'd see somebody that you knew.
KB: Oh, OK. Now, Mrs. Davis, you are Reverend Davis's wife. Tell me about when you met Reverend Davis.
EW: Uh-.
KB: [Laughs]
EW: Well, I, I really felt, felt in-, intimidated by him.
KB: Why is that?
EW: Because he's, he's the type of person that, he was always, takes control-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -And, uh, he's always running things and, and uh-.
WW: [Laugh]
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
EW: \\ -I have, \\ I've never really been around a person who was blind-, who always, uh, the ones that I've seen, they're always sitting somewhere \\ quiet-. \\
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
EW: -Instead of up \\ and quieting the waters. \\
KB: \\ [Laughs] \\
EW: [Laugh] But I tell people all the time, I'll say, it'll be a group at church on Sunday and there'll be standing in the group talking, he'd go through there and they, they'll quit and get out of there, just part-.
KB: \\ Part. [Laugh] \\
EW: \\ -To the side \\ and let him go through and won't say a word he won't even know that they were there. But, it's, uh, uh, it's, it's-, I was just really intimidated by him.
KB: Uh-huh. He does have a dominant personality.\\ [Laughs] \\
EW: \\ Yeah, yeah, \\ yeah, but that, all of that has passed.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: So-.
KB: You've gotten used to him. You know how to handle him \\ and all of that. \\
EW: \\ Yeah, \\ yeah, yeah.
KB: I think you complement each other well.
EW: Yeah, because two [laugh]-.
KB: \\ [Laughs] \\
EW: \\ -Two \\ people like me, we wouldn't, we wouldn't make it in two like him. We wouldn't make it even. \\ [Laughs] \\
KB: Yeah, yeah. [Laugh] I think you'd probably butt heads a lot.
EW: [Laugh] And we do. Especially, uh, concerning his clothes.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: I tell him, "No. You need to go back in there and find something else or we're not going." I felt like, you know, um, being leaders, when we go out, everybody, just about everybody knows us, and that we're representing God and the church.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: And I told him, I said, well, you wouldn't want someone to, to I don't, don't want someone to tell one of our members that they saw us and how bad we looked.
KB: Yeah.
EW: So, but it's not that we, we try to be better than anybody else.
KB: No.
EW: But when you're out front and you're representing more than yourself, uh, you have, you have to be on your best behavior and, and be presentable most of the, most of the time.
KB: So he chooses his own clothes?
EW: No.
KB: [Laugh] Oh, OK. [Laugh]
EW: Not going to have that.
KB: You're not going to have that. [Laugh]
EW: Something that really got to me, uh, we had a wedding rehearsal at church-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -And, uh, and people who are not, you know, in wedding party, a lot of people come in, so I was sitting back there and these people-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -Well, he had gotten dressed before I got home and I didn't have time to get something else so when he comes out of the hallway and these two ladies, uh, one of them said, "Who is that?"
KB: [Laugh]
EW: And the other lady said, "That's the pastor." [Laugh]
KB: [Laugh]
EW: And she said, "No it's not."
KB: [Laugh]
EW: [Laugh] And, uh, they didn't even know I was his wife.
KB: [Laugh] Um-hmm.
EW: But you know that, that, that sort of hurt.
KB: Aaw.
EW: Of course, uh, I never told him that.
KB: Oh.
EW: But you know, people who, who don't know and you uh, most, mostly when we go places, especially the pastor-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -They have a suit and a tie-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -And they'll just be fairly dressed and he, uh, he's in a wrinkled shirt-.
KB: Ooh. [Laugh]
EW: -And sloppy pants and-. [Laugh]
KB: [Laugh]
EW: -And so the way the lady said that day he looked bad, she couldn't believe that was the pastor.
KB: Yeah. So you, you took it personal because you know, that's your other half, too. So-.
EW: Yeah. Yeah and then, uh, uh, the people, you know everybody that knows us, they know I, I do his clothes.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: I do his clothes all the time. But it just, it made me feel bad-.
KB: Yeah.
EW: -Just the way she said it. She said, "No it's not." She said, "Yes it is."
KB: [Laugh]
EW: [Laugh]
KB: In hind sight, it is kind of funny. [Laugh]
EW: Yeah, yeah. But I didn't tell him that but I just, you know that does stick out in my mind.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: Because you know, you go somewhere and we have not been anywhere that somebody didn't know one of us.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: So-.
KB: I believe that.
WW: It doesn't make any difference where in the United States they go to, somebody always knows everything.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: [Laugh] ( )
EW: We went to Chicago for UNCC-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -And one of his former students was there for a job interview-.
KB: Huh-uh.
EW: -And came through the lobby of the convention center and, and saw him and he didn't know she even was in that area.
KB: Wow.
EW: So-.
KB: That is amazing. I mean she just happened to be there for an interview?
EW: Yeah, there for Ford Motor Company. But we just, everywhere we go, somebody knows one of us.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: So-.
KB: Now how does that feel-.
EW: Well-.
KB: -Always seeing somebody you know?
EW: Well, it makes me feel good because I want to- I want to think that we've done something good-.
KB: Um.
EW: -To make people remember us.
KB: Um.
EW: And, uh, you know, just remember us because of something good we've done.
KB: Yeah. OK. [Laugh] So how did you meet your wife, Mr. Williams?
WW: Oh, OK.
KB: [Laugh] She's over in the corner-. [Laugh]
WW: Yeah.
KB: -Being quiet but I'm going to get you. [Laugh]
WW: Yeah, well I, I met her back in high school.
KB: Oh.
WW: We, we were high school sweethearts. We just continued on as you, as well and when I came back from Vietnam-.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: -I, um, we got married. I didn't want to marry anybody because I didn't know what would happen over there.
KB: Oh, OK.
WW: And I already told her and I tell you, I tell you, I told her that I didn't, I wouldn't want her to be a widow at a young age-.
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: \\ -You know.\\ So, uh, the Lord took me over there and brought me back and so we came and, uh, we got married in, uh, 1973.
KB: Did he get it right? [Laugh]
MW (Mrs. William Weathers): [Laugh]
WW: Yeah, we got married in, in 1933. I mean 1973. [Laugh]
KB: [Laugh]
WW: I, I've actually, I've known her for over 45 years.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: And, uh, the Lord willing and the creek don't rise, come April the seventh of, uh, 2003 we've been married 30 years.
KB: Wow.
WW: So uh, and I don't regret any-.
KB: One day.
WW: -Anything, \\ any day of it at all. \\
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\ He wins some points, huh? [Laugh]
WW: She may, she may have a different version of that, but then-.
KB: [Laugh]
MW: [Laugh]
WW: -I, I, I do appreciate her and, um, she made a big difference in my life, too.
KB: OK.
WW: I wouldn't take nothing for her.
KB: Good, good job. [Laugh] Now, do either of you have children?
WW: Yeah. I have a boy and a girl.
EW: We all do.
WW: Yeah. Each one of us have a boy and a girl apiece.
KB: Hmm.
EW: And I've been married before.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: My first husband passed away at the age of 37, so we had a boy and a girl. Dr. Ayers and myself, we've only been married, it'll be eight years \\ February. \\
KB: \\ Oh. \\
EW: But, um, my, my kids are grown and between the two of us, we have six grandchildren.
KB: Oh wow. Hmm. So how was parenthood [laugh] compared to how you grew up?
WW: Uh, well now, that's a good question-.
KB: [Laugh]
WW: -A very good question. You know, uh, uh, you know, you try to teach your children that, that you did-.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: -That you came in contact with when you were small.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: Now, I, I, I hope to think that I've been a good parent.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: Because my kids, when I was small, when they were small rather, I'd always during the summer, I'd always take them to the beach. I'd take them to wherever they said they wanted to go, you know. And my daughter always wanted to go to Virginia Beach.
KB: [Laugh]
WW: To Virginia Beach, yeah. And we, we would always go to Virginia Beach every summer and every summer I'd load them up in my van and we'd go to Virginia Beach. My cousin, my son, he never would say \\ either way. \\
KB: \\ Either way. \\
WW: He'd just jump in there and he was more to his self.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: He don't hardly act like family. I told him, I said, "You, you just don't, uh, act like you want to be around us sometimes."
KB: [Laugh]
WW: But he's a loner, you know.
KB: Yeah.
WW: I don't know where he got that from.
MW: From Jimmy.
WW: But I tried to get him and do things with him and both of them, they graduated from high school and they never went to college you know. I never went to college myself you know because dad always said that, uh, "If you want to go to college, I'm going to do everything within my power-."
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: -"To help you." But said that, "Once you start, you will not waste my money."
KB: Exactly.
WW: "And you will continue on. ()" Well when I got out of school I always wanted a car.
KB: Um-hmm. [Laugh] A car was more important.
WW: I was walking in the dark, walking everywhere you went, so I got a car. But I, I was fortunate enough to find me a good job.
KB: Uh-hmm.
WW: And uh, you know back during that time, back in the early '70s and stuff, jobs were more plentiful then- \\ then they are now. \\
KB: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: And I, I went to work with UPS.
KB: Hmm.
WW: And Lord willing, at the first of the year, I will be retired from UPS.
KB: I bet you're excited. You've got that big grin on your face. [Laugh] [Laughter]
WW: Yeah, after 33 years there. So it's, it's, it's been a, it's been an experience, you know.
KB: [Laugh]
WW: But, uh, you know we, we, we, we've had a good childhood, we had good teachers. The Lord blessed us.
KB: And you passed it on.
WW: Tried to. Tried to pass it on.
KB: Now how was, how was parenthood for you in comparison?
EW: Um, I would say the, say the same because we, we grew up in the church and I tried to take my kids. Um, my first husband, he grew up in the church but then he had stopped going and so I just kept going and taking the kids.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: And so when he passed away, he was real involved in the church and, uh, I continued to take my children to church and tried to teach them because it was just me and, and them for 11 years.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: And, um, I, I think they, they've turned out really well, really. Never had trouble out of either one of them.
KB: That's good.
EW: Both graduated from school because my son was 12 when his dad died-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -And at that age, he could have gone either way.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: But after the day, after the funeral I, I, we just sat down and had a family meeting and I asked them if I was going to have any trouble out of them because my husband, he was, he, he took care of all the disciplinary \\ actions \\ and anything and, uh-.
KB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
EW: They both said no and I haven't had any trouble.
KB: That's good.
EW: They, they take good care of their mom.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: If I need anything, they don't ask why, what or nothing. If they have it, I can get it. And you know, I do the same for them but they, they don't bother me that much.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: I'm most of the time running them down to see what's, what they're doing.
KB: [Laugh] Um-hmm. So do you watch your grandkids a lot or-?
EW: Uh, not a lot. When they come I'm glad to see, see them because I don't see them that much.
KB: Oh.
EW: Yeah, so-.
KB: Do they live here in Charlotte or-?
EW: Um-hmm. All of them live here and um, Dr. Davis and myself, we have three boys and three girls.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: And the oldest is 10 and the youngest is three months.
KB: Oh, wow. I think that's the baby I saw a couple of weeks ago.
EW: Yeah.
KB: [Laughs] Aaw.
WW: That's Camilla.
EW: Yeah, Camilla.
KB: Aaw.
EW: But um, I wanted to bring out about my grandmother.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: All summer, on my dad's side, we made quilts.
KB: Oh.
EW: And that was interesting because um, when we went, we went to Boston-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -On vacation this summer and they were selling quilts for three and four hundred dollars.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: And I said ( ) into that now. But they had back then large screened porches.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: And they, they set up the frame, hang it on the inside of the porch-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -And uh, six or eight of us would work around the quilt.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: And we would make all the quilts for winter.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: Because the houses were so big they only had heat in like two, two rooms.
KB: Yeah.
EW: And uh, then they would pile those quilts on and-.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: -They would be so heavy well, but when I was little I couldn't even turn over at night.
KB: I bet.
EW: I just had to sleep in one posit-, position but it would be cold but you kept warm. But that was interesting though, that if people who make quilts now-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -They can make a killing selling those quilts for-.
KB: Oh, yeah.
EW: -Two, three or four hundred dollars apiece.
KB: Now what did you make the quilts out of? Were they out of um, \\ scraps? \\
EW: \\ Scraps. \\ And my grandmother, she would collect those scraps all year-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -And have a sack full and then just before, you know, school was out because during the summer months that was between the planting of the cotton and growing.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: And uh, we'd do that a lot of uh, the days-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -Make quilts, sewing those quilts.
KB: And you stuffed them with the cotton or-.
EW: Uh-huh, and you had to lay that cotton just right-.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: -And be able to roll it off and have the layers and then hand-stitch it -.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -With needles, but hand-stitch it. And thimbles-.
KB: Did you do it?
WW: Uh, [Pause] well-.
KB: You just watched. [Laugh]
WW: You know, when she'd get to where she'd run, run out, then she had these little old uh, uh, uh, pins she stuck in, you know?
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: Just take them out and just roll it up. She never moved. She just kept right on sewing.
KB: Hmm. So you just had to catch her. Wow.
WW: She'd do that until it rained, you know.
KB: Oh, yeah.
WW: And once it rained, she'd quit sewing and get her ( ), fishing pole-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -Go down to the creek. Had a creek right down there.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: And catch catfish. You remember catching those catfish? Boy, we'd love to eat them.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: No, but she would, she would do that and then she would cut out the patch work-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: So, in the winter, when it was too bad to get out-.
KB: Yeah.
EW: -So even if we had snow and then, uh, they would be in one, in 12-inch squares-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -And that's, and during the summer sew those squares together and make the cover-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -And then the bottoms, you have the bottom and it would be sewn to the frame-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -Around the outside.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: But it was, it was interesting. And so you know probably a lot of people have never seen that done.
KB: Huh-uh.
EW: But uh, yeah, but we had growing up making those quilts.
WW: And you, and you would be amazed at some of the designs-.
KB: Hmm.
WW: -That she could, she would put into those quilts.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: And she would do it all by hand-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -And this little old needle.
KB: Yeah.
WW: She would sit up there at night and she'd be trying to thread that needle. Had candlelight sometimes on the porch.
EW: We had a lamp, lamps.
WW: Lanterns. It, it was amazing to, to see her do that.
EW: Yeah. We still have a few quilts that my grandmothers made and everything and it's, it's good that they had the time to do it. Now that's why they charge so much [laugh] because people don't have time to do that.
WW: Unfortunately the house burnt down and-.
KB: Oh, no.
WW: -Most of them-.
EW: Yeah, all of them.
KB: Oh, no.
WW: -Burned up in the house-.
KB: Oh, no.
WW: -Before we could get them out.
EW: Yeah.
KB: Hmm. Now when did the fire occur?
WW: That was in when uh, I was in the service what, '69?
KB: Oh.
EW: My Aunt Liv, she was living at my grandma's.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: Grandmother had already passed away.
KB: Oh.
EW: But, um, I know it was after I, I got out of school because I had been working and then came home and I believe the house was gone.
KB: Yeah.
EW: I t was lucky that they saved our house because it, the houses were only separated by a driveway.
KB: Oh, wow.
WW: And that house was bigger. And didn't want no fire in it, you know?
KB: Yeah. Hmm. Well, was there anything else that you wanted to discuss or thought of?
EW: Well, I hate that, that my other brother wasn't able to be here-.
KB: I know.
EW: -And he, uh, would love to be back in Charlotte. He lives in Orangeburg.
KB: Oh, OK.
EW: And he, he talks about coming home because we, we were really close.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: Uh, brother and my brothers and wives and my first husband we, we used to all, well, all except this brother, we sung in the same choir-.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: -And we would travel to sing on the weekend. Many Sundays we'd come back and have this big cookout-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -And hang out at one of our, one of the two, three houses.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: And I know he misses that because we don't have any \\ family \\ in Orangeburg.
KB: \\ Yeah. \\ Yeah.
EW: Besides, I told my husband yesterday that we ought to go down there Saturday. [Laugh]
KB: Yeah, surprise him. [Laugh]
EW: Yeah, he might surprise us because he, he owns his own big truck-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -And he's out and gone.
KB: Oh, yeah. I know.
EW: I hate to drive that far and him not be there.
KB: Yeah.
WW: She said that they, they sung on the same choir.
EW: [Laugh]
KB: You can't sing? [Laugh]
WW: No. Yeah, well they was choir singers. I was the choir ( ) singer.
KB: Oh. You wanted your voice to come out more. [Laugh]
WW: I was playing the guitar for the choir. ( )
KB: Oh, OK.
WW: I, I did, we all would go to the same place, \\ you know to sing-. \\
KB: [Laugh]
WW: -On Sundays and stuff you know but uh, they were representing the church and most of the choir members, it was a community-type-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -And we had some members that went to our church, too but members just sung in the same group with them so \\ I'd be there playing \\ with them so-.
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: It, it was a good. We used to have a good time doing that and like she said, once we all were married, I, I uh, our relationship was just like, you would never think that they were sisters-in-law.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: They acted like sisters.
KB: Um-hmm, um-hmm.
WW: And, uh, her husband was like a brother.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: And he, uh, I remember when he started coming down to the house. He had a car.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: So he'd come down there we'd get in his car. [Laugh] We'd drive his car, you know.
KB: [Laugh]
WW: We didn't have a license for it, but we'd go. [Laugh] Yeah. [Laugh]
KB: [Laugh] As long as you didn't wreck it. [Laugh]
WW: As we got older she had access to a lot of cars, you know.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: We, uh, we, we was into that high performance-type car-. [Laugh]
KB: [Laugh] Yeah.
WW: -You know and she, uh, I remember many times that she and Momma would be going to town. She'd come out, check to see how many gas was in each one of those cars and she'd take the one that got most gas.
KB: [Laugh]
WW: Her and momma would go up the road. They'd be gone.
EW: Used to-.
WW: And it, it, it would just be a good, good time, you know.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: People don't have time like that no more-.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: -You know.
KB: There's a lot of people, like I know from me for instance, I don't. My family is from Raleigh, so when we moved down here, you know, we're not, I mean we go up there occasionally.
WW: Right.
KB: But it's not the same, going visiting-.
EW: Yeah.
KB: -As it was living there. When we lived there, we were always around my grandparents and aunts and uncles and everything but now it's like [pause] lives, jobs, school, \\ stuff \\ like that just keeps you busy.
EW: \\ Yeah. \\
WW: Well, you know they, I, I, I've always heard that uh, family can't live together, you know, side by side. I've heard that.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: But now, I'm a living witness that we all-.
EW: Um-hmm.
WW: -Lived together and we looked after each other-.
EW: Um-hmm.
WW: -And uh, we made it. And uh, but you know, in this day in time, \\ you don't know what's going on, you know. \\
KB: \\ You have a lot of dysfunctional families \\ [laugh] these days. [Laugh]
WW: Number one, number one thing was, we had grandmammas back then-.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: -That would take a stick and whup your you-know-what.
KB: Um-hmm, and made you choose [laugh] a switch. [Laugh]
WW: Yeah, so, because I remember the time I, I came home from school and our teachers used to put a little note on your ( )?
KB: Yeah. [Laugh]
WW: I got three whuppings for that little note [laugh] that I had and I never did know what it said on the note.
KB: Hmm.
WW: But, uh, I got a whupping but I never got no more notes.
KB: I'll bet.
WW: Yeah.
KB: You learned your lesson.
WW: Yeah, because my grandma would be sitting on the front porch. She had a great big old porch that extended the whole length of the house and she'd sit there and watch us get on the school bus in the morning and she'd be right there watching us when we got off the school bus at night.
EW: Um-hmm.
WW: And in the afternoons and she'd see everything that went on.
EW: Um-hmm. That's what I miss, one of the things that I miss most is every day we, after dinner, we'd sit on my grandma's porch.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: Everybody would sit on the porch until time to go to bed. And now we don't have time to do that.
KB: Um-hmm. It's not even safe to do that. [Laugh]
EW: Yeah, I know. But I miss that a lot. And I'd water her flowers she had. She loved flowers, my grandma did.
WW: She did.
EW: And uh, my grandmother lived next door and we'd water the flowers and sit on the step and talk and just chill out-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -Until time to go to bed.
WW: Yeah, and dip that Tuberose snuff. She was a snuff dipper.
EW: Oh, yeah. [Laughter]
WW: [Laugh] She loved dipping. And saved the coupons-. [Laugh]
KB: Oh, no. [Laugh]
WW: -That came on the can. And uh, she would get a whole ( ) of it and the mail would come along and she would, she would get stuff with those coupons.
KB: Hmm.
WW: And Uncle George, Uncle George would smoke them Tampa Nugget cigarettes.
KB: Uh-huh.
WW: I mean cigars, because he smoked cigars then.
EW: Uh-huh, yeah, he did. [Laughter]
KB: ( ) Too.
WW: Yeah, he'd save those coupons and he'd, he'd, oh they'd have a thousand of them sometimes and they'd take them and cash them in, yeah.
KB: Wow.
WW: Oh, yeah. Take them and cash them in.
KB: I guess they were the number one customers. [Laugh]
EW: Yeah.
KB: [Laugh] They had to get something back from it. [Laugh]
EW: Yeah, yeah.
WW: Oh, yeah. The flavor, was it the flavor man? Because she used to buy flavor from him and a lot, lot of stuff, you know. And, uh, we used to have an ice box. I remember when we didn't, we didn't even have electric lights in the house-.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: -You know. That old ice box man used to come on a Wednesday and, and a Saturday-.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: -And put a big block of ice in that thing.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: And, oh, you kept the door closed and \\ it kept the food. \\
KB: \\ It lasted? \\
WW: Oh, yeah. It kept the food fresh.
KB: Hmm. \\ As hot as it is, \\ I'm shocked.
WW: For days.
EW: Yeah. It kept food for a long time.
WW: Sure did.
KB: Hmm.
EW: Long time.
WW: In fact that thing, when they quit using that thing, and we got lights and water and a refrigerator, we had a hard time getting it out of the house because it was so heavy.
KB: I bet. What was it made of?
WW: Uh, was it iron? \\ It had to be something-. \\
EW: \\ I don't-. \\
KB: \\ It had to be something \\ to keep that cold. I mean-. [Laugh]
WW: I don't know how they got it in there but, uh, \\ they got it in there. \\
KB: [Laugh] \\ They probably built it in \\ there. [Laugh] Man. Well, I appreciate you all talking to me.
WW: Well-.
KB: I learned a lot. \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: \\ [Laugh] \\
EW: I hope it was something good.
KB: Oh, yes. Definitely.
WW: Like, like she said, I wish my brother was here because he, he could probably give you a little input on, on some things that he did because he was the one that stayed in trouble all the time.
KB: [Laugh] The youngest always does.
EW: [Laugh]
WW: Yeah. He was the one that stayed in trouble \\ all the time. \\
KB: \\ It's the youngest. \\ If it's not the youngest, it's the oldest.
EW: Yeah.
WW: He was the youngest. [Laugh] Stayed in trouble all the time. I think that's one of the reasons my mamma would steer you around is because she got a lot of exercise. ( )
KB: [Laugh]
EW: And sugar was his downfall.
KB: Oh.
EW: Anything sweet. Cookies, he would get a spoon and eat sugar out of the can-.
KB: [Gasp]
EW: -Just eat it.
KB: I know you all hated that.
EW: Oh, he, he, my momma got him many times for doing that.
KB: Oh my goodness.
EW: But he just, it was just like, it was, he just craved something sweet.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: And he, if he didn't have cookies and candy, he'd just get a spoon and eat sugar. [Laugh]
KB: Oh.
WW: Don't try to make a cake because you can't make a cake.
KB: Hmm.
WW: And they would make it, too but it wouldn't rise. \\ You could put it in the oven and it would not rise. \\
KB: \\ Of course not. It probably didn't have any flour in it, just sugar in it. \\ [Laugh]
WW: And it wouldn't rise, but, uh, we would, sometimes momma would make us eat it, you know.
KB: Oh, no. [Laugh]
WW: She went through all the trouble to cook it and you're going to eat it. And so we'd eat it. So, you know-.
KB: Oh, no.
WW: He finally got out of that.
KB: Hmm.
EW: But he learned how to cook, though. He's a pretty good cook.
KB: That's good.
WW: Yeah.
KB: So he would be the barbequer.
WW: Yeah.
KB: [Laugh]
WW: ( ) That's what he does. He, he gets his grill out and he'll, he'll cook.
EW: I only see him maybe once a year-.
KB: Hmm.
EW: -At Christmastime, but I talk to them. In fact, his wife called last night-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -And I'll call her back tonight. But I know he misses, he, he's family oriented-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -And he always likes to hang out with the family and he misses that.
KB: Yeah. How long has he been in Orangeburg?
WW: For what? Five years isn't it?
EW: No, no.
WW: Longer than that? Well, then-.
EW: About six or seven.
WW: Oh, OK.
KB: Still, not that long.
EW: They've been staying there six, going on seven years.
KB: Oh.
EW: So he's been, he's been gone over there. I don't think he's gotten used to it yet.
KB: Yeah.
EW: Not being gone because he calls my mom like every two or three days.
KB: Oh, wow.
EW: Even when he's out on the, on the road traveling-.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: -He calls and checks on her.
KB: That's good.
EW: Yeah. Hmm.
WW: Well, he wasn't doing it enough to talk to her, so he started doing it.
KB: Oh.
WW: So I told him, like I told him, I said you don't ever know when Momma-.
KB: That's true.
WW: So, uh, he's been pretty good. Momma calls me and, "Yeah, I talked to your brother the other day."
KB: [Laugh]
WW: "Yeah. It's about time he called up here."
EW: Um-hmm.
KB: That's good.
EW: When we got married, we were the last people to get, last couple to get married in the old church.
KB: Um-hmm. I think I saw that picture.
EW: Did you?
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: And, I, I, I guess I'll always remember that, um, since the church, that church was the only one I had ever known.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: It had been there for what? Over a hundred years.
KB: Yeah.
EW: They had of course, remodeled the church probably four or five times, but-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -But it, it was still nice. It was nice in there. Um-.
KB: Yeah.
EW: But um, um, my dad, he did electrical work and he had done a lot of work in, on, on the picture I could see-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -Uh, this light my dad hung back in the choir stand.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: Um, he did um, a lot of the wiring at, at church.
WW: He and I and my brother.
EW: Yeah.
WW: That's it, but the only thing about that is, we didn't have no choice. We had to go because he said \\ we had to go. \\
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\ As long as you knew what you were doing. [Laugh]
WW: Can you imagine being out there in our church drilling holes in rafters with an old, see they didn't have no electric drill, and at midnight at night-.
KB: \\ Oh no. \\
WW: \\ -You think of all the ghosts \\ that might be \\ hanging around \\ and stuff.
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: And we'd be right up under that church.
KB: I'd just be afraid that, uh, I'd might fall asleep and be electrocuted [laugh] or something.
WW: No, no. All that wiring had to be done and the snakes, \\ in the old church, the old church \\ you know.
KB: \\ The snakes-. \\
WW: And he didn't care that we had to do it because, "That's what I told you you had to do." And, uh, we did with no argument whatsoever because he was a serious man. Now, he was the quietest person-.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: \\ -That you ever wanted to meet. \\
EW: \\ The quietest? The scariest. [Laugh] \\
KB: \\ [Laugh] \\
WW: But he would voice his opinion and I can say to this day that I never seen him raise his hand to strike my mother. Now they had some knock down and drag out arguments-. [Laugh]
KB: Yeah. [Laugh]
EW: Yeah.
WW: -While they were talking. But he'd never raise his hand up to her \\ you know-. \\
EW: \\ ( ) \\ [Laugh]
WW: -And he always treated us right.
KB: That's good.
EW: He sure did. ( )
WW: He always treated us right and we never wanted to say anything.
KB: You shouldn't.
WW: But he all, he only had a seventh grade education.
KB: Hmm.
WW: And he learned all the electrical work, worked on washing machines, \\ he could do ovens, \\ he could, he could do just about anything.
EW: Because \\ he loved it. \\ Because there was 14 of them-.
KB: Oh wow.
EW: -And so he had to quit school to help with the crops-.
KB: Yeah.
EW: -Uh, back then.
WW: He was 87.
KB: Man.
WW: But when he died, he was in the process of getting a high school diploma.
KB: Wow.
WW: ( ) Just do it because I was in what, my senior year? Uh, I was either in my junior year or my senior year.
KB: \\ So you were going at the same time. \\
EW: \\ Now, he was going your senior year. \\
WW: Yeah. He was going to school at night. And if I was a bad student in the day time, he would find out about it at night.
KB: Yep.
WW: [Laugh] And so I had to quit doing some of the stuff I was doing, you know. [Laugh] But uh, no he, did he ever get it? \\ I don't think he, \\ because he passed away before he could get it.
EW: \\ Uh-. \\
WW: But he tried.
KB: Aaw. Because a lot of people say, no, I'm too old for that.
EW: Yeah, just give up.
WW: Uh, I'm real proud of my sister for doing what she did because she's, uh, always wanted to go to college and, and get a degree.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: And, uh, she did it. \\ You did it. \\
EW: \\ I wanted to do it \\ while my mom was still living.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: But she, they were, they were really on us about education-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -You know, make sure we finish school and, and made good grades and that was, that was one of my goals-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -To go and finish while she was alive-.
KB: And not quit.
EW: -And able to come.
KB: To see you walk across the stage.
EW: Yeah, yeah.
WW: It meant a drive up in the mountains [laugh] but she done it.
KB: For school? Where [laugh] did you graduate from?
EW: Mon-, Montreat.
KB: Oh, OK. Oh wow.
EW: It was rough and there was times I wanted to quit.
KB: [Laugh] Uh-huh. [Laugh]
EW: But after you go so far-.
KB: You can't turn back.
EW: -And you have friends, we vowed, there was four of us, we wouldn't let, we weren't going to let anybody quit.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: And every time, and everybody that got to the down point and wanted to quit and so everybody wouldn't let, they wouldn't let us quit and they would not, they wouldn't let us quit.
KB: Yeah. It gets hard. [Sigh] But there's that goal at the end.
EW: Yeah.
KB: That's worth it, so-.
EW: Yeah. But I think I'm, I'm through. [Laugh]
KB: [Laugh] Me, too. [Laugh]
EW: I'm thinking retirement now.
KB: Me, too. [Laugh] No.
EW: It is, I feel that it has paid off because I like my job now.
KB: Uh-huh.
EW: I've been with the company now for 15 years and my supervisor, she was jealous because I went back to school-.
KB: Hmm.
EW: -And she only had a \\ high school education-. \\
KB: \\ Oh. \\
EW: -Snd they had a policy where-.
KB: So you got scared. [Laugh]
EW: Yeah, because I was her backup.
KB: Yeah.
WW: \\ ( ) \\
EW: But their policy, you couldn't move to another area and take another job unless the supervisor signed for it.
KB: Ooh.
EW: So she said she was not signing. So I quit.
KB: Yeah.
EW: And been blessed since I left.
KB: That's good.
EW: I've been blessed since I left there. I haven't regretted it one day.
KB: That's the most important thing [laugh] right there.
EW: Yeah.
KB: Um-hmm.
WW: Well, that's all I have, but we enjoyed talking to you.
KB: I enjoyed talking to you all, too.
WW: I hope you got something-.
KB: Oh, yes.
WW: You got something that might benefit somebody else or-.
KB: The stories that you all told were quite interesting. Quite different actually-.
EW: [Laugh] Really?
KB: -From things that I've heard.
EW: Yeah, well you probably will hear that from my age group.
KB: Yeah, yeah.
EW: Which, it will probably be similar to what, because everybody around in this area who had, um, not the same type of parents, but grandparents-.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: -Um, everybody had farms and cotton. I, I'm glad I was too little to pick cotton-.
KB: Yeah.
EW: -Because I, I never mastered that.
KB: Yeah.
EW: Because one day I went and picked from sun up to sundown and I only picked six pounds. [Laugh]
KB: [Laugh] Oh, no. [Laugh] You must have fallen asleep in the field. [Laugh]
EW: ( ) [Laugh]
WW: [Laugh] ( )
EW: It was cold and ( ) everybody else picked two or three hundred pounds. [Laugh]
KB: Yeah.
EW: I did six all day. [Laugh]
KB: Have you ever read John Grisham's book A Painted House? [Laugh]
EW: No. [Laugh]
KB: You need to read that book. [Laugh] And you'll say, hmm, this is me. [Laugh]
EW: I never mastered picking cotton because I was too afraid of, they had, um, uh, there was, there was big worms on top-.
KB: Oh, yeah.
EW: -And spiders and there would be snakes sometimes-.
KB: I don't know-.
EW: -Snd I wouldn't pick cotton for what was going to bite my hand.
KB: Um-hmm.
EW: So, I think that's the last time I went and \\ only picked six pounds.\\
KB: \\ And then they had those\\ prickly things on them too, didn't they?
EW: Yeah. It would tear your hands up.
KB: [Laugh]
WW: Boll weevil, boll weevil wouldn't hurt you but he'd get in your clothes \\ and crawl all over. \\
EW: \\ And there were sharp, sharp points on the buds. \\
KB: Yeah.
EW: And I never mastered that myself and I'm so thankful I didn't have to make a living because I wouldn't have made it.
KB: [Laugh]
EW: I would not have made it.
KB: I bet, I bet.
EW: Yeah.
KB: Well, I'm going to turn this off now. Thank you very much.
EW: It was wonderful.
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