Starve the Doubts Podcast Artwork Image
Starve the Doubts
An Interview with my mom
August 30, 2018 Jared Easley
My mom and I sit down and discuss some memories from her childhood. We talked about what life was like growing up in Mississippi in the 1950's. She talks about her siblings, her father, chores, fun memories, etc. —- All right. So they were talking with Helen easily. Happens to be my mother and mom. Tell me about what it was like. This is the story of of not being able to lay in the bed during the day so let's just talk about that. What was it like for you growing up. You can't go to bed during the day. Well I grew up on a farm and my dad he had these standards. Around our house. But I woke up five o'clock no later than 6:00. And you didn't get you didn't get to have a choice you had to get up yet had list things day and in the early morning. I mean when you have one of 13 children go to draw water. Jada it's breakfast you got wash dishes you got to gather eggs. Got to go out to the fields and gather Hayes and corn and butter beans and okra and big a bushel baskets of these things. And I started doing this. I was five years old five years old and you're carrying this heavy vegetables that you picked for two hours. The Siblin happened but we had to walk in steps and say Today I'm is actually kind of funny thinking back on it because we weren't strong enough but we became stronger because we were using our muscles and we were we had to do because we the weeding get it done when at the end of the day my dad would check the safe. We did what he told us today and if we didn't do it he lines up we all got a switch and you said OK let's go there was a switch and you go. It was it did not for my dad. That was not what you wanted. Dad had no mercy. It was not a matter of but this. But that Dad would just say take the switch to the boat you do today this and he would go out and out in the yard and we'd have these peach trees out there and he would cut off one of those little pastry lambs. And you talked about it's not teaching it her. And he would have red welts on your legs. You didn't want but one of those you realized if you didn't get it if you didn't get your job done you better get you better get somebody to help you anyway because you knew you didn't face Daddy. Yeah. The fear of a parent does instill good things in a child when a child fears and respects a parent. It helps a child a healthy respect because even though my dad didn't do it that way but my dad knew that keep us busy and as long as we were busy it took any and it took all of us doing what had to be done to keep family going to keep things smooth so that it didn't fall on one person that wouldn't let that happen had and go out and work all day long at a lumber Mayo. And he had hired help that they'd be at now these logs and bring them in there and he'd be overseeing these people to address this lumber for people that wanted to build some kind of commercial build in our house somewhere and he'd work all day around here and then come home and eat when I get home like six or seven o'clock at night and actually work it out. I like that Ali one day is just wash up come inside and sit down to eat and rest. Well then he had all of us around him. Not even the hand go out in the field and he would throw us play ball with us say throw the ball we throw horse we'd pitch for shoes. My dad he was one it was always playing with us kids. I never remember my mother doing that with us but daddy did. How many kids there was 13 of us. I was six boys and seven girls. Wow. Before it record you mentioned something about squash you hated picking squash would hate squash now and actually was squash that got this fuzzy hot prickly thing on the vines and and when you start to try to get into the van you know your arms are going to be touched with all that. So you learn where long slays because it rub up against this guy and they get irritated Okoro is the same way. Okkur I hated okra because wrote Okoro was staying. And you had to go
My mom and I sit down and discuss some memories from her childhood. We talked about what life was like growing up in Mississippi in the 1950's. She talks about her siblings, her father, chores, fun memories, etc. —- All right. So they were talking with Helen easily. Happens to be my mother and mom. Tell me about what it was like. This is the story of of not being able to lay in the bed during the day so let's just talk about that. What was it like for you growing up. You can't go to bed during the day. Well I grew up on a farm and my dad he had these standards. Around our house. But I woke up five o'clock no later than 6:00. And you didn't get you didn't get to have a choice you had to get up yet had list things day and in the early morning. I mean when you have one of 13 children go to draw water. Jada it's breakfast you got wash dishes you got to gather eggs. Got to go out to the fields and gather Hayes and corn and butter beans and okra and big a bushel baskets of these things. And I started doing this. I was five years old five years old and you're carrying this heavy vegetables that you picked for two hours. The Siblin happened but we had to walk in steps and say Today I'm is actually kind of funny thinking back on it because we weren't strong enough but we became stronger because we were using our muscles and we were we had to do because we the weeding get it done when at the end of the day my dad would check the safe. We did what he told us today and if we didn't do it he lines up we all got a switch and you said OK let's go there was a switch and you go. It was it did not for my dad. That was not what you wanted. Dad had no mercy. It was not a matter of but this. But that Dad would just say take the switch to the boat you do today this and he would go out and out in the yard and we'd have these peach trees out there and he would cut off one of those little pastry lambs. And you talked about it's not teaching it her. And he would have red welts on your legs. You didn't want but one of those you realized if you didn't get it if you didn't get your job done you better get you better get somebody to help you anyway because you knew you didn't face Daddy. Yeah. The fear of a parent does instill good things in a child when a child fears and respects a parent. It helps a child a healthy respect because even though my dad didn't do it that way but my dad knew that keep us busy and as long as we were busy it took any and it took all of us doing what had to be done to keep family going to keep things smooth so that it didn't fall on one person that wouldn't let that happen had and go out and work all day long at a lumber Mayo. And he had hired help that they'd be at now these logs and bring them in there and he'd be overseeing these people to address this lumber for people that wanted to build some kind of commercial build in our house somewhere and he'd work all day around here and then come home and eat when I get home like six or seven o'clock at night and actually work it out. I like that Ali one day is just wash up come inside and sit down to eat and rest. Well then he had all of us around him. Not even the hand go out in the field and he would throw us play ball with us say throw the ball we throw horse we'd pitch for shoes. My dad he was one it was always playing with us kids. I never remember my mother doing that with us but daddy did. How many kids there was 13 of us. I was six boys and seven girls. Wow. Before it record you mentioned something about squash you hated picking squash would hate squash now and actually was squash that got this fuzzy hot prickly thing on the vines and and when you start to try to get into the van you know your arms are going to be touched with all that. So you learn where long slays because it rub up against this guy and they get irritated Okoro is the same way. Okkur I hated okra because wrote Okoro was staying. And you had to go

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:07All right. So they were talking with Helen easily. Happens to be my mother and mom.

Speaker 2:0:14Tell me about what it was like.

Speaker 3:0:17This is the story of of not being able to lay in the bed during the day so let's just talk about that.

Speaker 2:0:22What was it like for you growing up. You can't go to bed during the day. Well I grew up on a farm and my dad he had these standards.

Speaker 4:0:34Around our house. But I woke up five o'clock no later than 6:00. And you didn't get you didn't get to have a choice you had to get up yet had list things day and in the early morning. I mean when you have one of 13 children go to draw water. Jada it's breakfast you got wash dishes you got to gather eggs.

Speaker 5:0:53Got to go out to the fields and gather Hayes and corn and butter beans and okra and big a bushel baskets of these things. And I started doing this.

Speaker 6:1:06I was five years old five years old and you're carrying this heavy vegetables that you picked for two hours.

Speaker 4:1:13The Siblin happened but we had to walk in steps and say Today I'm is actually kind of funny thinking back on it because we weren't strong enough but we became stronger because we were using our muscles and we were we had to do because we the weeding get it done when at the end of the day my dad would check the safe. We did what he told us today and if we didn't do it he lines up we all got a switch and you said OK let's go there was a switch and you go.

Speaker 3:1:42It was it did not for my dad.

Speaker 4:1:44That was not what you wanted. Dad had no mercy. It was not a matter of but this. But that Dad would just say take the switch to the boat you do today this and he would go out and out in the yard and we'd have these peach trees out there and he would cut off one of those little pastry lambs. And you talked about it's not teaching it her. And he would have red welts on your legs. You didn't want but one of those you realized if you didn't get it if you didn't get your job done you better get you better get somebody to help you anyway because you knew you didn't face Daddy. Yeah. The fear of a parent does instill good things in a child when a child fears and respects a parent. It helps a child a healthy respect because even though my dad didn't do it that way but my dad knew that keep us busy and as long as we were busy it took any and it took all of us doing what had to be done to keep family going to keep things smooth so that it didn't fall on one person that wouldn't let that happen had and go out and work all day long at a lumber Mayo.

Speaker 5:3:05And he had hired help that they'd be at now these logs and bring them in there and he'd be overseeing these people to address this lumber for people that wanted to build some kind of commercial build in our house somewhere and he'd work all day around here and then come home and eat when I get home like six or seven o'clock at night and actually work it out.

Speaker 4:3:26I like that Ali one day is just wash up come inside and sit down to eat and rest. Well then he had all of us around him. Not even the hand go out in the field and he would throw us play ball with us say throw the ball we throw horse we'd pitch for shoes. My dad he was one it was always playing with us kids. I never remember my mother doing that with us but daddy did.

Speaker 7:3:50How many kids there was 13 of us. I was six boys and seven girls.

Speaker 6:3:55Wow.

Speaker 5:3:56Before it record you mentioned something about squash you hated picking squash would hate squash now and actually was squash that got this fuzzy hot prickly thing on the vines and and when you start to try to get into the van you know your arms are going to be touched with all that. So you learn where long slays because it rub up against this guy and they get irritated Okoro is the same way. Okkur I hated okra because wrote Okoro was staying. And you had to go wash off your hands and arms after you cut okra because it just your Lobi. Those were the kinds of things that I never really liked. But we didn't have a choice we had to do it. Corn Corn was there for it. It wasn't quite as bad but to pull corn off a stop yet. Pretty strong actually the day that I look back at that nothing came some of the chores that was given to Maine. I don't think I was actually old enough to know but I had older siblings that were doing it so I just go along with them.

Speaker 8:4:58You mentioned picking wild plums. Where would you find those out in the woods.

Speaker 9:5:04We'd go out in the woods in the springtime. Dad had a way of he would take us on walks in the woods and he would see these plum trees at different places and he would mark them and then he he would take us back in the woods and we would when they would bloom we would know would be so many weeks before Id have fruit and then we'd go back in the woods and pick all those plums and we'd bring them home we'd wash them mother and make plum daily out of it drawing water.

Speaker 8:5:31Describe what that was like going outside bringing it and also all steps what what did it take to draw water.

Speaker 10:5:38Well in our home we didn't have an indoor bathroom so on the back porch it was called the there was we set two buckets out there and a wash pan. So that's where you'd wash up and the Whale was out about 30 40 feet from the house so you would have to take your buckets out to the whale and the Whale itself would have a rope that was on this pulley and it would wind over this bear like thing. So you'd have to let the bucket down in the water and then he would have to draw it back about how four gallons of water you think there'd be 30 40 feet.

Speaker 7:6:13I was saying he would take you know take three or four minutes draw two buckets of water but it was spraying water. So it was always so fresh and cold. And so that was also how we drew up our bath water we had these number eight tubs where instead of Mt. sunshine we about midday we go out there and draw up our water and put it in those terms and then in the summer that's where we take baths wintertime with them.

Speaker 11:6:37He did it inside a woodstove so tight the water heated up on the stove and importing them outside. No we would take it. We're bringing the Tobins out in the wintertime but we'd all like to pack a bath and Syam water yeah. Probably not the cleanest water everybody's in there.

Speaker 12:6:55We could say dirty work it got a laugh.

Speaker 11:7:00They like the Beverly Hillbillies.

Speaker 2:7:04That's pretty good.

Speaker 13:7:05OK let's talk about a typical day at the age of for five to 10 it a typical day in the school year.

Speaker 5:7:13Back then you went to school you would start school in summer in July and you would go like six six or eight weeks to school and then school would lend out because the time to pick cotton and so school and totally close and they'd be eight weeks to where you would all the families needed to go out in the fields and pick the cotton and corn so you'd have about six or eight weeks there where you were out harvesting cotton or all your dried beans and peas and things and you'd don't store seeds popcorn or popcorn. That was always a lot of fun there and that morning would start out like in the summer. Ha. Oh and we had to get dressed school bus come along. We get bus we go to school then we get home and when I get home in the afternoon when do our homework and then we had chores we had chores for us girls was where to gather eggs when bring in wood for the stove. Where do you go to. So the smokehouse and get mate and vegetables of mother was going to be used for the next day for a meal. We would normally have to cook cornbread and then we would have set the table and then we get all that down we ate and then we had to do all the dishes and then we'd had one would wash.

Speaker 10:8:31One would ring and someone would dry and we had put them all away cause you couldn't when having a place to stack them. So that put them all back in the cabinets and clean up the floor would get all that done and by the end of the door we'd go to bed.

Speaker 14:8:45Some 30 had how many people show up.

Speaker 15:8:57Get a bunch of we were talking about is the last family gathering at one time I had my twin sisters slip on one hand and myself and another says just that on those slip on the ulzzang on a full size bed.

Speaker 12:9:10So there were four of us in one bed but two would sleep at the bottom at the foot of the bed the other day was late at the head of the bed and we were there it was got a buddy but we were all little you know we are you know we did that up until we were about probably four or five years old.

Speaker 5:9:25Then as you get older man then you sleep in the baby with one other person and eventually you get to where you had your own happy and that income. Wow. I remember when I was little my dad would let us fall asleep in the bed with him and he would tell us bedtime stories and he would just make up these stories and just list Les and they're listening to the sound of his voice. It was always so sweet not to fall asleep right away but we were talking about some of the different top stories he would make up and they were always so interesting and it kind of gave me the same kind of a thing for being able to just make up stories and tail them to children and you know it's just counter words you put together with some kind of a picture of what you know somebody is doing and my dad always loved animals so he was always including stories that had something to do with birds or some that about bees or animals dogs or cats and you know I made him really sweet and you know appropriate for us as kids.

Speaker 16:10:26I Watson while hate it when the kind of scary but it wouldn't be anything about a monster it'd be about a bear or tiger or something like them.

Speaker 8:10:34I've heard you in the past talk about a name animal bring it out and laugh but I don't I don't know the whole story is over until now.

Speaker 17:10:41But who is Dukie.

Speaker 15:10:45Well my dad had a way of giving everybody a nickname. I don't know where he got that from but all the all the kids had nicknames but my sister Jeanette ended up with the nickname.

Speaker 18:10:58But it was because she had a pretend playmate and she always called the play that little play may GK because Jackie was always getting into trouble and I don't know if that stamp from something that was going on with her in that daddy would say her do something and he'd say that looks like a Dukie demais and and you know.

Speaker 4:11:22Okay Dougie you need to do this.

Speaker 15:11:24So when Jeanette created her play that was invisible. We all would just laugh until we all started calling her Jiggy and it was just really funny because some of the things when we would play outside we'd make her own little play houses and we would play for hours just we'd take a hoe and clear our place and we'd go around and look for all these cans and boards and different colours of rocks and dirt and stuff and we pretend that we had our own little kitchen so then we'd invite our friends and every time Janette would invite Jackie would come in to tear everything up and so we got we didn't like Jackie so we'd tell her we didn't want her to come because every time she came she would tear up our house and we just didn't like Dougie so Jukic got blind with a lot of stuff that she didn't actually Dave.

Speaker 4:12:14It was just a it was the way we played I guess when you are little like that growing up you do have an imagination and sometimes it can be good and positive and at times it can be negative but in their case as we grew older we learned to laugh about it because we were real creative as kids we didn't have pen and paper and crayons and stuff like that and we didn't have toys galore because we made our own toys out of the things that we had around us.

Speaker 9:12:40And I remember one time my dad took this dick and he took no tobacco can and he he kept it open and ending made it into a U shape and nailed it needed to this day and we took that and we used it to push this ring around in the yard.

Speaker 15:12:54And daddy would time us to say yet alone would you keep that ring up and we would go all over the yard just run in and play and laugh and then one day we got we had this big ole barrel and we turned it over and we decide we're going safe will you stand upon it and walk on it. We were barefooted.

Speaker 18:13:11So we learned to stand up on the Berlin Wall to fish in that barrel underneath our feet and we would go all over the yard but no but not one time did we fall out and break our arm or even get hurt.

Speaker 15:13:26Amazing. That's another thing we used to crawl up in and the tops of these pine trees that would be slender and then and we'd go alway the top and beyond over our way to the ground let go and jump out and how we kept from getting her. I don't know but we did.

Speaker 11:13:43While amazing says a lot of fun though it was one that's how we entertained her sales tell about time you get in trouble.

Speaker 10:13:53There was a lot of those times. But what I remember specifically my dad had sent me out to go get some wood for the stove. And I went out there and I decided I would just play. I mean I didn't want to get the wood and I guess I'd just actually know now maybe as a little kid I just forgot about it or didn't want to do it. I don't know. But anyway I was out there playing on that train would stand near there.

Speaker 15:14:18But instead of may go and get in that would bring me back inside out. It got out there and started playing well about this time outcomes while one of my older brothers and he's down there what are you doing here and he had a switch in his hand. He just started spanking me. He got the wood and he brought it back inside the house. I get inside the house and that's when you already had a switch in so and next time I sent you out get the wood. Just don't forget you're going out to pick out wood and bring it back into the house. Don't stop and play.

Speaker 6:14:44Sounds like he's pretty reasonable about it than he was.

Speaker 9:14:47It was never really to me Dad was never made. My older brothers say that he was very mean to them because I've I've had conversations with them when they talk about different things that Dad would say and do when they were little that Dad never did to me as a. But he had six boys and then one daughter and then another son. And then I was the second daughter while he and Beatty never really bonded. Dad and I did bond. And my nickname was sunshine. And I remember my dad taking me with him to so many places and like he had in the evening after you get home from work able to walk down to the to the fields and he would always have me if I wanted to go with me and I remember my daddy walking along talking to me and taking his hand and pat me on top of the head.

Speaker 15:15:35I was a cute little girl because I had real pretty long curly blond hair and I had a Cheatle feature as I was really a cute little girl when I was little and all of my little brat all my brothers just keep it.

Speaker 9:15:48I was I was had I had that little cuteness about me that I think daddy just kind of was his favorite.

Speaker 19:15:56And one of his favorite I think I probably was his favorite girl because I remember daddy doing things for me that hate that the other girls don't remember daddy do and it all and I kind of wonder sometimes you know if that if that was because I was a second daughter and he just had that bond with me.

Speaker 11:16:13I was a little bit older that several kids under his belt.

Speaker 18:16:18That's true didn't loosen up a little bit or that he was always so good to play with us kids though and he would play with all of us.

Speaker 9:16:25I mean we had enough that we can have our own ball team so we would go out and feel and we would play ball for hours and and it would if we were shelling pays daddy was right there sitting there with us doing the same thing we would do and then he would tell us stories about when he was a little boy and different things he would get into and his dad died when he was little he was only seven years old when his father died. And so he grew up with a stepfather and his stepfather was really main. I mean he didn't really mean to them. And so he tells stories about how he and his brothers would come up with these pranks because they get mad at him and they just say we don't get even with you and so that was some of the things they would do was like pretty clever because once they were having to put up fencing around this property and they knew that there was a hornet's nest down in this certain area. So it is actually yeah it was hornets. So they decided they would build the fence along that way so they knew when they got down there they could throw something into that hornet's nest. Once their stepfather got Nathan in the horn and saw it get all over him. And so they did things like that. I mean they they would and they would go off and laugh about it because they that you know mind is so weird.

Speaker 12:17:32That was their way of saying go get a with you. But you know it wasn't always it was it really like a vindictive thing.

Speaker 4:17:39Like really be main main but it was their way of saying you know you can get what you hand out our Nischelle knows that had a hard time he is 14 years old.

Speaker 18:17:51He had hitched a trip and he hitchhiked and caught a train and went all the way to Texas and went to the nozzles house Texas from Mississippi. Yeah that's a long yeah 14 years old.

Speaker 11:18:02He did. Wow. Oh yeah.

Speaker 9:18:05He stayed up there until he's 17. And then when he was 17 years old he came back to Mississippi down in southern Mississippi part of Texas.

Speaker 20:18:13I don't really remember exactly. Right now I don't remember. I'll have to let ask one of my older siblings because I can't remember where he went. Think and know that you were.

Speaker 9:18:34Poor Ruina no because everybody in our county was in the same situation. There were only a few kids that had an exception and even the even they didn't have very much. But there were a couple. There were I don't I can think of two or three kids right. We're both parents worked in the factories or they had better jobs in both with the parents dad and the mom worked and they'd had better health a better house and little nicer clothes.

Speaker 5:19:01But there were so many of us in the same situation that they're the ones that didn't have more they were the exception.

Speaker 18:19:10As for as they didn't fit in with the rest of us because they didn't have the lifestyle we had so most of the time it was the kids that were all in the same had the same lifestyle and background that stuck together and we were the ones that were playing all the sports because we got to go outside and we were very athletic. So I was our plight on the girls basketball team I played on a girls volleyball team. I was a cheerleader and I know that all those things was because I was just Aktiv and out you know. And I just had they I just have the skills the girls that live in the city. They didn't play basketball they didn't know how to play basketball. So you know there were differences there but I don't know. Growing up we didn't I don't ever remember having anybody say to me that I was poor. You know I remember people saying we would get on the bus because when the bus was stopped they would be like six or eight of us get on the bus at the same time. And I remember one time this guy said oh here comes our. I think he said Here comes a heel our heel load and. And then they'd make Michael cracks like well the bus is full now you know and stuff like that.

Speaker 15:20:21But at the time we were just little kids so we just laugh about it. You know I never really remember it strike me as something that was painful.

Speaker 13:20:30I think the most I think he meant it in a main way.

Speaker 15:20:33Oh I mean in a way just to laugh poke fun at us because we were the. I mean like you have six or eight kids get on at one stop he is usually close to the last stop on the route. So sometimes we didn't get to sit down because the bus would be so full of kids that way that stand up to ride. And you know they talk about laws and sales we all stand up on the school bus to ride the last few miles to get to school.

Speaker 18:20:59And you know back then we could all get in the car and five of us could be in the back seat and we'd be going around these curves in this gravel road dust flying everywhere.

Speaker 15:21:09And I think kids will pay for it know the back seat and you know back there by thought a bag about it was that they that you know anybody would say well you've got to have a seat belt you know which you know I'm thankful that we have some changes but some of the changes we have today I think are totally unnecessary. In some ways I don't necessarily think that the government should set the guidelines for how a parent oversees a child. And I think child protective services in some of these things really gotten out of hand.

Speaker 13:21:43I know there are some parents that you know they neglect or will go for their kids.

Speaker 19:21:50So it's true. I mean we grew up on the farm mother day we didn't know where we were at all times.

Speaker 21:21:54They weren't neglecting you. No they didn't. They never lived like this and I never had to be concerned about my mom and dad not being there for me.

Speaker 19:22:02I never had to be concerned that I wasn't going to have a father and a mother that raised me. My father never would have bailed on us and that's saying a lot.

Speaker 20:22:11My mother never would have either although I'm sure at times she wished she could because she never had an outlet for her own talents.

Speaker 9:22:20However I remember mother was very creative when it comes to sewing and cooking and you know just making things from she would take fabric and make quilts and this would be cutting up old dresses and pants and stuff that the kids about Romit very what we call rags and mother would take them and wash them and iron them and then she'd take them and cut them up into quilt pieces and she'd make quilts or curtains or create them a cloth or nail.

Speaker 11:22:49You know that she didn't let stuff waste. No you couldn't.

Speaker 9:22:52Nobody could. Back then I mean if we had leftover vegetables we didn't throw them away we put them in the fridge by the next day Mother put them all together made some onion and potatoes and we had so you know I was always my cornbread. We always make biscuits every day. Every morning we had homemade biscuits every evening we had cornmeal we'd have cornbread.

Speaker 15:23:13So you know it was not everybody ate just about the same way but talking about we were talking about kids that when all this organic stuff we can laugh now because everything we have was organic.

Speaker 19:23:23So I think that does contributed a lot to have in good health. Here I am 68 and I'm still not on any prescription drugs now for not having high blood pressure. I don't have high cholesterol. I don't. I'm not a diabetic I'm not even close to that. You know how that could change in another two years. But you know at 67 I'll be 68 in November and that's a lot of years to be able to say still have you know my bones. Thankful I've never had a broken bone ever in my life.

Speaker 13:23:54Well a little close so I'm guessing you didn't have a lot of outfits. Probably not a lot of pairs shoes so what was it like growing up.

Speaker 9:24:02Well it was kind of funny. Daddy would take us to this one store in town and I forget the man's name. I want to say is Mr. Crow.

Speaker 20:24:10Anyway the man owned what they call the mercantile store where he had dry goods and then he'd have shoes. And a few fabrics and what you think it would be 1955 six fifty seven because I remember first grade daddy took us all at one time and this guy would measure our fate.

Speaker 18:24:31And dad would not let us pick out our shoes he would pick our shoes but he would pick an all leather Xi with an all leather soul and it would be what back then was called Black Oxford cheese she's black and white nice looking shoes you would get one pair. Well you know kids fates grow during the year so if we didn't fit into them one that was elders older than us they they didn't outgrow their shoes. Somebody didn't give us a pair of shoes then we still have we're stuck with that one pair of shoes sometimes so would wear out sometimes we'd cut cardboard and put them in. Put it in the bottom of the shoes to try to make it last longer. Sometimes the strings would break we'd have just fine some kind of a rag and tear it up and make shoestrings out of it can sometimes we would you know we would have people give us things occasionally but not very often because nobody had anything so inspiring nobody wore shoes. You went barefooted.

Speaker 22:25:27You went to school. Yeah.

Speaker 15:25:29You were just school nobody had shoes put has nobody had the money they you know they Dad put there's shoes on credit and he pay it he would pay it off over a period of time. But you know when you buy shoes five or six kids at one time back they didn't even I don't know how much they cost ninety six dollars I don't know I don't remember how much they cost but they were always good sheets but they always wore out too but in the spring we never wore shoes because we want them out. Yeah we want them out or they had outgrown them or whatever and they were too hot aren't they even to this day I don't like to wear in clothes shoes in the spring. Because my feet get hot and I don't like I in fact I don't have a pair of shoes that I put on that's got clothes toes being closed toe shoe that I wear in the spring or summer and I know that has to do with when I was younger I've always been like this one day I was thinking about and I thought that's because you never wore shoes when it came spring and summer and so I say my little grandson now Hayes or and he can just run around barefoot everywhere and he doesn't bother his feet and my feet are so tender now that I go to walk across a gravel I can I can hardly do it but he can just walk across it like there's nothing it doesn't bother.

Speaker 15:26:44Well that's the way my feet were back and they were tough to things like that so it didn't bother me. You didn't think anything about it was normal.

Speaker 11:26:50Yeah it was just normal. Wow imagine kids going to school now.

Speaker 6:26:55No shoes like that would be unacceptable for this day and age. Yeah. Nobody would do that close.

Speaker 23:27:02We got we did have some people that would give us clothes that would get passed down to us but most of the time mother would make something.

Speaker 20:27:11And back then our flour sacks were printed they were a real pretty cotton a hundred percent cotton fabric and it would look something like what it's called Calico fabric now. So mother would take those flower sex and she would save them and she'd wash them in Ironman and she would make our dresses out of those flower snakes.

Speaker 5:27:28So your dresses are flowers and my brother's shorts and stuff were made out of. Back then you could buy a fabric that looks similar the burlap but it was a little bit softer than that and it was in the you'd buy this denim jeans stuff that was Steve. She would make them their shorts while they wouldn't they didn't wear shirts around the house they just had their shorts if they wore. But she'd just put elastic in the waist and you know that's what they wore. And I don't ever remember seeing my brothers wear shirts around the house back then they were almost always bare back t shirts.

Speaker 21:28:03Now they been really barefoot. Yeah. I mean the early I've ever seen Beverly Hillbillies it was about like that one got cheaper by the dozen and we used to laugh and laugh about.

Speaker 23:28:14But I think that movie was made back in the early 1960s or maybe late 1950s but that that movie really makes me think a lot of my childhood because of the way we're always all over the place.

Speaker 20:28:29Climbing climbing out the windows. I'm sure we did the same thing because we didn't have any air conditioning. You know we just had fanned like a four fan what they call a box fan and sometimes we didn't have that. So you know when it would get hot it was hot so we would raise the windows at night and you know we just learned to manage. Nobody else had it so we didn't really think much about it. We didn't get we didn't have a lot of ice you know back then you know your your water your well water was cold because it was spring water. But as far as actually having ice frozen ice we didn't have frozen ice. We had a refrigerator. But you know I don't ever remember not having a refrigerator that they were you know the doors things were just so different back then than it is now that it makes it easier to deal with some things for me whereas some people wouldn't be able to cope with it at all. It's a lot easier for me to you know look at life inside you know there could be worse things when you tell your mom.

Speaker 6:29:28So in those clothes they rethink. Julie Anderz and Sound of Music where she takes those curtains and makes the clothes for the kids the ploy clothes you're in.

Speaker 11:29:37Yeah. Get her out of here.

Speaker 13:29:39Yeah that's how it was created lap sex or sex and turning them into dresses now is sort of the kind of cool.

Speaker 24:29:48I have some pictures of me and my clothes and they're cute. I mean you know they just you could tell they were handmade but they weren't ugly you know and they were they were because mother was always really.

Speaker 20:29:58She taught us a lot about being clean even though we lived out and we ran and played and got dirty. She still would you know have us wash our hands before we eat. And Avery not we had to wash her hands and feet. And you know she she was real good about teaching us to be conscientious of things like that. Right. You know it wasn't like that part was left out. It wasn't. We had order in our day. You know Dad we never prayed at the table or anything like that. My mother always was when it talked about God but Dad never cratering thing but he had order because when we would go to sit down for a meal he would have us sit down and put her hands in or lie out you know and wait until we were served our food and then we got all start eating at the same time. He you know Dad did a lot for saying that putting that in places I guess the best way to say that and Mother was good about following up with it.

Speaker 9:30:56But my father taught us a lot about life and the values of keeping your word.

Speaker 20:31:02And he was real big about that. If he's if you tell someone you're going do something you union to make sure you do that are you need to let them know why you cannot do that. And Dad was always really good about making sure that he was on time and he said try to be early are try to be on time he said because when people are making an appointment with the you know it's their time their time too and he said so you need to remember that you're supposed to respect them. My father was had a really good heart. He's always wanted to share everything he had even though we were poor.

Speaker 23:31:37He had his hired help and they would come to our house to pick up their money because Daddy would go to the bank on Friday evenings and he would get money and then on Saturday they would walk or ride to our house and Dad would have us go down in the field pick a bag of tomatoes or whatever we had the most of and he'd said Now go down there and pick enough for three people because he'd know they'd be hit three people come in the next day to pick up their money and so he wouldn't just have us. He wouldn't just have the Almelo with their money. He would have a bag of tomatoes or a bag of peas or whatever we had he would always have us gather it so that he could put it in the bags and he would always share bread watermelons he'd have a pick an extra watermelon Bergen up there so they could have watermelon so you wouldn't just give them their paycheck he'd always give them something extra. And I think that was really you know it showed a mark of care my dad cared about people.

Speaker 9:32:30I mean he he had is he definitely had his downside way. He made decisions to do things but he also had a good heart about himself and he had empathy for other people.

Speaker 1:32:50Tell me if I'm talking about snacks. Tell me what was a treat when you were little.

Speaker 24:32:57That is so funny. We'd come home. We would be so hungry. A treat for us when we go inside the house and we take flour and milk if we had milk or flour and water and we'd stir up flour and water. Mike what we called ho cakes and we had by David by the Bigo quarter gallon half gallon jars of this. They called it mice's or sér sorghum there were like pancakes or be like well it just be syrup is similar to pancakes there but it's thicker. So we would fry up these little pancakes made out of that bread and we put that syrup on top of it. That was a snack are in the in the spring and summer when we had fruit and we could have Lakka sometimes we had Peaches sometimes we had strawberries some down we had apples. That was the watermelon pear watermelon Yeah. And we'd always pick berries and when we were picking them we would eat them. You know we had we never had blueberries but we had Huckleberry's and we used to be hungry is a real tiny but they really did make good jelly.

Speaker 20:34:01My mother knew how to make all kinds of jams and jellies from Scott Muskingum. And these are wild vines that grow out in the woods and you know we would find him and pick the fruit off from them and bring them home and that would make musky them Jaylee. I have actually two little pots of Mesquite daily that my brother made from vines that were growing on his property and when I was home back in June back in July he gave me two little plants that mesquite daily.

Speaker 17:34:28What about drinks like you talk respring water you just always drink Coke. Well what were some drinks you'd have that might not be water.

Speaker 24:34:38The only thing we ever had was I thought it was too late too late. Like because I was. Oh man we get the.

Speaker 18:34:46Well we never would buy it. Okay so what. Back off again. I left this out. This is really interesting. We lived out in a rural area. So back then they had what they call a peddler where it would be a man that drove his old school bus that he had turned into a little grocery store. Oh and so once a week he would come by the House. And so what. One time I guess he felt sorry for us because he knew there were so many of us he had this root beer and lime lemon lime koolaid that he just gave us and I guess he couldn't say all those flavors and it was getting old.

Speaker 24:35:19So he just gave it to us and so we would make up a big yell and juggle that root beer koolaid.

Speaker 22:35:25And we thought there's a great show to put on it. We should really just lay out her and water.

Speaker 21:35:33Now I mean it was just that's it.

Speaker 20:35:35No the rest of it with the water water and more water.

Speaker 3:35:39I can't imagine that didn't feel good.

Speaker 25:35:41It was about the worst but I guess if you've never had it you know look good or try anything. So we we just. And now in the winter time when you know we would make we would.

Speaker 20:35:53Dad would make sure we had sugar and cream with him way to make homemade ice cream from the snow. It's cool. Well it was kind of interesting. And you know we dad would always take us out in the woods to cut down our Christmas tree. He would look and he would find a Sedergreen evergreen cedar tree and we'd go out with him and he'd take us all with him.

Speaker 24:36:12He didn't go by himself he would he wanted us to go with him and we'd go out in the woods and he'd get it down and we'd all drag it back and then only thing we had to decorate it is we would we were storing popcorn and we would make these little loops out of paper and we didn't have any lights but we would do that in our Christmas for us was dad would buy these big boxes oranges and fruit and candy and nuts.

Speaker 20:36:38And that was it we never got presents.

Speaker 6:36:40So you just enjoy these fruits.

Speaker 25:36:43I mean we would be satisfied with them all what we would want to go get in the box and you know we didn't get it very much so we would want to get one or two or three extra and hide them so I'd have one for later you know kids or yeah that's funny.

Speaker 8:36:57Wow. Wow. And you know you didn't need a gift because you made your own toys. That was normal.

Speaker 20:37:04Well nobody had money to buy things back then. You were doing good to be able to have money for flour and back then they bought shortening. You know living Lourdes what they called it. And they had coffee Daddy would buy coffee brown coffee and he would buy. What else did he. We had it we grew our own corn so we would take our own corn and hit ground in a corn meal. So that was about buying popcorn. Now we've grown popcorn. Now we get regular corn Weger. We had a big corn fail and so in the fall when it was dry we would there would be certain rows Daddy would lay for it to dry. And then when it would dry heat we would we would pull it and then we'd shuck it and then he would take that horn that dropped on to the mainland they were grounded in the corn meal. Now a big stone up there need pay him FICCI says or something then ground up 80 pounds or something.

Speaker 4:37:59And that corn meal would be what we'd have for the winter and daddy. He knew how much it would take so he would save enough that he'd come back for five big old bags of that cornmeal and that would be what would last us on winter long.

Speaker 13:38:13You just might get the ration it out. Yeah. Well let's talk about the outhouse. You didn't have indoor plumbing.

Speaker 19:38:20Well that was really crazy.

Speaker 13:38:23I never personally know I've never had to use an outhouse I've used Paulette's or whatever but I can't imagine.

Speaker 18:38:29Well Sears Roebuck was really good about printing these Hege catalogs so that's what we use for toilet paper and paper would give. People would throw those catalogs away because I mean some people would look at him look at him but after they'd get anywhere they throw him away. So we would always collect them. So that's what we did.

Speaker 26:38:52Yeah the catalog net ripped sheet of paper.

Speaker 18:38:56Yeah that's right. We never had to it was up.

Speaker 20:38:59Well and I guess a lot of times I mean you just you know only time use that is if you did number two so you didn't have any use for it other than that but that was never something that I really oh I didn't say that I ever liked I don't really have stores and I don't I know we did it but it wasn't something that we thought anything about because it like like I said earlier is what happens in the middle of the night if you got to get up and go to the bathroom where you didn't because you'd go before you went to bed. And you know my grandmother who lived with us at one time she had what they called the little ones I don't your mom or dad son. My dad's mother was my grandmother. Well she had her last day. It was my grandmother here but she had remarried to Mr. Davis and so grandmother Davis she she had what they called a chamber which was a little pot that she had lived on. So if she got mental well that's what she used. But you know I don't remember doing that as a kid. I would always go to the outhouse before I went to bed and then I'd get up and go the next morning.

Speaker 6:40:04What was the first time in your life you had to endure Paul and while you like a toilet that you could flush.

Speaker 16:40:09Oh goodness. Think long and hard about that Jared.

Speaker 20:40:13Not until after I graduated high school. Interesting 68. I read two ceilings and yeah I was 17 years old when I went to live with my brother and he had and he handled our plumbing.

Speaker 26:40:28What year were they think 1968.

Speaker 8:40:30Wow that's interesting. What is the name Helen come for.

Speaker 27:40:34Know I really don't know. I never asked my mother about that. I don't know who I was named after Helen.

Speaker 28:40:41Jane hill that's your maiden name. It is now.

Speaker 6:40:47Well this has been fun and I've enjoyed hearing some of the stories you've got another one for me.

Speaker 20:40:53I love the way my dad has to pitch horseshoes. Hey I love doing that. He was good with it.

Speaker 27:40:58But he also taught me how to practice so that my last memory with my father was at a family reunion and we always play games and so he and I decided to team up with my sister and her husband we would go pitch horseshoes and dad and I won. And I remember he and I are laughing and hugging each other I knew it was in June and the next month he died. That was not Tanian 89.

Speaker 26:41:25It was the last night right because he passed away about what year were you born June 78. OK it was 1978 because he died the next year.

Speaker 11:41:33You are now though now. Yeah. Well it's unfortunate.

Speaker 29:41:37I've enjoyed meeting him now.

Speaker 2:41:39It was quite a character somewhat like world events like landing on the moon stuff like that.

Speaker 26:41:46Like when you're older. I guess that was when you're older.

Speaker 20:41:50So the main event I can remember when I was in high school was when Kennedy was assassinated. So you're in Houston Texas. Yeah I was in high school. Did you find out about that. Oh so I came running out of one of the classrooms and said they'd heard you on the radio and and there were kids walking around straight. We were out sitting on the bench and there were some teachers that gathered death to talk and said Kennedy had just gotten shot. Now I remember thinking oh it struck me as being a time of sadness. Even though you know as president we lived in a rural area. I don't ever remember seeing him on TV maybe once or twice. We did have television but I don't remember very much about him as a person but I remember how that felt here in that news now and that he was the president of the United States.

Speaker 16:42:37And it did have an impact on me.

Speaker 17:42:39What about the landing on the moon.

Speaker 20:42:42You know I can't really remember a little bit about that but not that much.

Speaker 11:42:47Jared and that was a pretty big deal.

Speaker 26:42:51You remember going forward was he the first one that did that. Oh you're tumult. Neil Armstrong male.

Speaker 10:42:57No no.

Speaker 26:42:59Was it the administration when they didn't have to go out.

Speaker 20:43:05No I don't remember Neil Armstrong was the one that was in the space ship right.

Speaker 6:43:11Well he's the first person on the moon. Yeah OK.

Speaker 2:43:15Well OK. So that's interesting about hearing about the stories.

Speaker 30:43:21One thing I was going to ask you about my mom just went blank.

Speaker 31:43:23See I remember you just let me see that moment there.

Speaker 11:43:31Well yes that's OK. OK.

Speaker 2:43:34I know that was back in the 50s and 60s historically Mississippi has in most respects is considered like a pretty racist place.

Speaker 6:43:46Would you say that was your experience growing up.

Speaker 16:43:49No. No. My father had colored heyo. My father always told us that everybody had a heart and had Seim red blood. And he never would allow us to even make a remark about that. And most of Daddy's hired hit were black people.

Speaker 20:44:08And now when we when our school was integrated I think I was I think that was 1966 because it was my sophomore year in high school. When that happened and I remember not think anything about it because most of the kids who came to our school we already knew them anyway. And one of the guys was going to play football. He was a big guy. And right now I can't recall the name but he used to always chase me and just in a fun way not you know it's a nice thing it wasn't a make you make fun of our Hatriot kind of thing. But I never thought anything about those boys. In fact when I went back home to my family reunion and saw my class reunion back back in July I saw how one of the girls it went graduate from Manchus and she came up to me and hugged me and we just chatted and you know we talked about how much fun we had together in school and.

Speaker 32:45:06And she was the only black girl that was in our class but we never there was never any biases there. We knew her family.

Speaker 23:45:14Her family knew us and if there was anything like that among other people they never verbalized it but it was never a part of our family.

Speaker 6:45:22Well I'm glad to hear that because you know unfortunately that wasn't the case and a lot of places that's true South but I'm glad to hear that your family was not like that.

Speaker 4:45:31Now my dad would never allow us to be that way. He always told us that if we were we never even thought of talking about it that way.

Speaker 32:45:41I never even remember occasion when anything was said like that because it just was not something that we made anything out of it because they lived around not in the same area where we live but they were in the same county and we need each other you know so that sounds like you worked together.

Speaker 24:46:00Yeah we we never picked cotton together.

Speaker 20:46:02Now that that part I'd never remember ever being in the cotton field would with an a racial group it was all whites and blacks whites were in their fields and blacks were in their veils but they were just as hard as white people they had to try to take care of their families they were just as respected as white people were they could come into town and nobody thought anything about it.

Speaker 18:46:26It may go to the ice cream store and they would be there with us and standing in line with us and we'd get ice cream they get ice cream you know we just never thought anything about it in that little town in the county where I grew up in northeast Mississippi.

Speaker 20:46:40I don't think it was as much of that in that area down south in the Delta. There was probably way far more but I don't remember any of my friends ever ever making remarks about stuff like that.

Speaker 29:46:53I'm glad to hear that. Well mom I'm old circa cut this short because usually I don't have episodes cortisol but I really enjoyed hearing the stories and I'm sure we'll talk some more about them. But thank you for being willing to do that. Oh you're welcome Jerry.

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