Title: Interview with Tom Locklear (January 25, 1975)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00006807/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Tom Locklear (January 25, 1975)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: January 25, 1975
Subject: Urban Lumbee
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00006807
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Urban Lumbee' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: UL 1

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Full Text


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behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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February 27, 1975 dib

B: This is January 27, 1975. I am Lew Barton interviewing for the

University of Florida's American Indian Oral History Program. This

afternoon I am in the auditorium of the American Indian Study Center

here at 211 South Broadway in .. -. in Baltimore/

1gBt and with me is a gentleman who has kindly consented to talk

with me and give me an interview. Would you mind telling us what

your name is?

L: Tom Locklear.

B: Tom Locklear. Where do you live, Tom?

L: nd.'t.

B: How do you spell that?

L: D--n-d-a-1- .

B: How far is that from here?

L: Ten miles in the county suburbs of Baltimore.

B: -UahliS in Baltimore City. Who are your parents?

L: Zebra Locklear and Clarence Locklear.

B: How do you spell Zebrae,.e !z?

L: Z-e-b-r-a.

B: Z-e-b-r-a, I4f16. O.k., where did you go to school?

L: Prospect, North Carolina.

B: 49M.t, that's in Robeson County, North Carolina.

L: btmraf, right.


Page 2. dib

B: How old are you, Tom?

L: Thirty-eight.

B: Thirty-eight. You work here in Baltimore?

L: Yes, I work for General Motors.

B: aM95f, a*b=62 X what are your duties and what kind of...

L: Assembly worker.

B: DEEM, I've never been in an auto plant. What do you do, different

people put on a different part, right? Is that the way it works?

L: Right, every man has a different job to do.

B: UIFma are you married?
L: Yes, sir.

B: Who did you marry?

L: Dorothy J. Fo

L: A girl from West Virginia.

B: I see. How much family do you have?

L: One child, one daughter.

B: "WpEM, what's her name and age?

L: Debra Ann Locklear. She's eleven year old, but at the present time me

and my wife are separated. We've been separated off and on over three


B: Sorry to hear that. I'm an unhappy bachelor myself.

B: You've heard of happy bachelor?


Page 3. dib

L: Yes.

B: I don't know if it's such a happy state of mind.

L: Right, that's the way it is with me, you know. I'm a Christian andc u

mhItM with the Lord all things works for the best, the Bible says

for those that love the Lord. And sometimes it gets to be a problems.

yocame, with a bachelor especially if you're trying to live right,

yor. because you don't want to go out here and do things that rYd -

ffltW God.

B: You shouldn't. Right.

L: So by the help of the Lord I can make it.

B: Right, that's great. You haven't been laid off yet, have you?

L: I'm off now for two weeks.

-Bt--- I ,a CC .t~wa ip'

B: ...which plant is it you work at, Chevrolet?

L: Ye^> tArak.

B: 4z2=Bah, are many of them getting laid off now?

L: Well, we had eight hundred was laid off around the first of January,

but by the seventeenth of March we all will be called back to work.

8: That's great. It seems that the depression is hitting all over. Do

you go back home very often? Do you call North Carolina home?

L: Yes.

B: And you've been here how many years?

L: I came here in '65. Buying my home, it feels like home to me, but still,

mr'npes I have an urge every once in a while to go back to North

Carolina. I guess, agsoeab maybe it's my home and if I live to retire


Page 4. dib

and I would probably move back to North Carolina.

B: I found that it's the ambition of a good many of our peoplepr-,Juu-'aM

to work for a while and buy a home and retire in North Carolina.

L: Right, right.

B: ; b sg Ao you have any problems adjusting to city life? There's a

lot of difference between living in a rural area and living in the


L: Yes, well, when I came here I was young. I was twenty yearSold and

it seemed ,ster? it was just something new to me. I had never

been in the city beforehand I was wild and young, -ygm and I

enjoyed it. That was my kind of livings yar=sa The wild life

ysMrsaa, and this is what I enjoyed at that time. Y M!n, I

thought there was nothing like it. But as time goes on, y)pr*1*w,

I get a little older, yanks r, I'm beginning to notice things better

in life.

B: Yes, there are better things than that, aren't there?

L: Right.

B: Do you think Prospect people speak with an accent?

L: Yes, I...

B: A little bit different from the other, from the rest of the Indian

communities back home.

L: Well, not really. -g g, I can't say they do. Of course/like I

say it's ten, twenty years since I lived down therg Qin1===1. It's

been a long time since I was around too many people. When I'd go


Page 5. dib

home I'd visit my people, that's it. I don't get to...

B: You don't gets midamong the other people much.

L: Right, right.

B: You don't still call people YJack' a ,

L: No.

B: That's a Prospect-term, isn't it?

L: Yes, right. Yes.

B: -.jOpfti iack. '''Hey Jack,/IJ JdOW&'e d 1

L: Yes. But I, I feel like glg s Itf if I didn't have a good job, I

got a good job and pm Ti I love the church/and it's the most im-

portant thing in life to ) I guess if I didn't have all this/

I would go back home.

B: Yes, that's great. Where do you go to church?

L: West Cross Baptist Church.

B: West Cross Baptist Church. I knew that, but I wanted to get it on the


L: Right, right.

B: This seems to be a lovely place to go. The people are so warm-hearted

and Christian-hearte J; t's one of the few places where you can go and

still find loveI guesqmayoe. It's very, very heart-warming to go

to Cross -C5{rt Baptist Church really.

L: That's right.

B: It's like the churches used to be...

L: That's the truth.

B: ...back home.

L: That's the truth. You know, there's an old saying, I've heard it since


Page 6. dib

I become a Christian, I've heard quite a few people make the statement

that you can't live a Christian life in Baltimore. But you know,

I tell people this, "IGod is everywhere(!)

B: Right.

L: AnkRd namw, 31.I yemeevte I, I've never really, I'm not saying it

because I'm a member with Cross Baptist Church, but I've never been

in another church where it seemed that the spirit is so strong yue

Isame d it's just a blessing to everybody yeu-yrkaew

B: 3UbtS everybody loves the pastor, too, don't they?

L: That's right. Iasirew ..e...-

B.;--- Y dy--ejt- brought -Bs-ae-cup of-,eoffee'-.e--might-easewl-ip )

&ai w Y e. it.a li .. .- --5--- .-*-- - -.-- -

L: Right)T; to me, I mean I just live and -*--n y s ezz, ; -wit-.y

St ) yIi ei, even though we're about the same ageg kaaus

to me there's nobody like him.

B: Yes...

L: I guess if he was to ever leave the church I just don't know what would

happen, yZguMa1M between the members because everybody depends on

hjji lak. He's just like a father to all of us, not only...

B: Yes.

L: ...a pastor, but a father.

B: Yes, he's the first...the church of the Indian community in many, many


L: That's the truto that's the truth, because when we got a problemwe


Page 7. dib

can always go to him and he's willing and ready to help us 1myaM W

and pray with us and help us to understand ypiwnmw. Many times

that I have went to him,aga ssar; with problems and decisions not

knowing which way to turn. *an 4phW right away he would, we'd

get together and prayj and it'd seem like the Lord would come on

S/IC' C(l1 agaa and guide us and direct us.

B: Yes, the Cross Street Baptist Church, people from over there work

pretty closely with the Center here, don't they?

L: Right, right, just about all the sisters in the churchy..osaa,

1w4rAZlX rga 90t workY here) yanknovw

B: Mt==B I know that some of the sisters in the church are preparing

some food today. What, what are we going to do tomorrow? I think

we're going to...

L: Well, we're having a dinner for, from the church to yssssLew F

-NA upbuild 6S the church. We had our homecoming back in February1

JBe the ninth of February) and it reallyg-BBEkema cost us a lot

of money.- ame because we had seni4os that came up from North

Caroli*S-Md we was grateful and we thank the Lord for them coming

q1f-yuaderB We're grateful that they could be with us/and we

feel thatag we sho have help them out on their responsibility,

yQia like coming upia:gas and.-"t, rb /

B: It's kind of expensive. r

L: And we decided to get togetheG A-yTM1Ew. This is what effd

raise money to send thee yof-kfnw.

B: TUhakm that's great. An ia y- re do you remember how many groups


Page 8. dib

there were?

L: Four different groups.

B: Four different groups.

L: Right.

B: You want us to mention their names on the tape?

L: The Gonamlc-mily, the Glorybound Singers, the White Hill Baptist

CCrJ JI think was their name, and the East Baltimore Church of God.

Well, they wee- ef t in Baltimore. We had them with us. Then we

had the Hammond;amily and then we had the Oxendine family.

B: So that was beautiful music, right?

L: Yes, it sure was.

B: That's another characteristic of this Cross Street Baptist Church,

music is always and the singing is always so wonderful.

L: That's right, and then we also, we have our own groups of singers-q

B: ikytal. Who is the gentleman that plays the guitar?

L: Rosco Tyler.

B: He's good, isn't he?

L: Yes.

B: He's very good, and who is it that plays the piano?

L: Well, Sister Elizabeth she usually does most of our playing, but

then Sister Minnie's daughter, she plays also a little along, you know.

Like if Sister Elizabeth's not at the church, then Sister Minnie's

daughter will take over and play. So we always have somebody to play.

B: That's great. Just about anybody likes to shake a tamborine when the

music gets good...


Page 9. dib

L: Right...usually...

B: ...and -5 I)-nr me, I like it.

L: Usually that's Brother Junior Chavis's job to take care of that.

B: Did, did you find it very difficult after you and your wife parted

.Sayma was it more difficult to stay in Baltimore then than ever?

Or would it have made any difference really?

L: Well, I often think f myself this, if I wasn't a Christian I don't

know whether I would stay or not) yQaosmr. But being a Christian

it gives me something to look forward to. It gives me,-_1panaew,

everything that I need every day to carry on. The Lord's with me,

I know, in many ways. Without him I don't know whether I could have

made it or not. I just don't know where I would be today. I wouldn't

even start to say.

B: There are many temptations in Baltimore, though, aren't there?

L: Yes, but I thank the Lord for one thing, VAEtowws I often make

this statement, when he saves me, saves me good. You know, I've

made this statement many times to people, that I know when my wife

left me it hurt me worse than anything in the world. I'd never been

hurt that bad in my life beforehand I knew that I couldn't have pulled

through it only by the help of God. I just don't know what would have

happened to meybecause E ,19aR before I become a Christian she left

me a few times and it seemed like it would hurt my hearS yea lkn w. I'd

be afraid to lay down at night and go to sleegary-a-owne .'1as but when

I become a Christian, and this is when she left me the last time,

and it seemed like the Lord let me suffer a few hours and then he

come on the scene. He moved the burden/and it's never been a burden


Page 10. dib

to me really after that one day. It's never been a burden to me

sincebecause the Lord has blessed mevseatAknwa and kept me through

my trials and temptations.

B: Well, that was a real miracle then, wasn't it?

L: I'm telling you it was. I'll tell anybody. The Lord just showed me

without him I couldn't make it. I thought I would go crazy that

first day. It seemed that my heart would burstland I didn't know

which way to turn. I knew without help that I couldn't make it(

", I'll never forget. She left me on a Thursday night, I was working.

I worked all night. I came in that Friday morningand she was gone

and had left me a note. When I read the notelI just don't know

how I felt) yawdama and then I called my pastor, Reverend James

j I called higomust have called him two or three times

that day. I had to go back to work that Friday. The last day of

work JA/J5 going out for March, and this was the(9729. Was
start building the '"-E when I went back to work. I was off for

nine weeks. And when I went back, went in that night to work at

11:30, it was-F g J that Friday night. I called my

pastor to ask him to pray for me, yowe-aknas and I'll never forget--

at 11:30, that's when the Lord come on the sceyf;sm.ue l He

just moved the burden, _h moved everything/and it's never, I've

never lost no sleep over it since.

B: Well, that is great. The Lord is still performing miracles then,

isn't We?

L: That's right. That's the truth.


Page 11. dib

B: It's certainly a warm, encouraging ot, 4 t CI "nd

I like to go myself. Always enjoyed, I never (U visit

a church that I didn't feel better.

L: I'll tell you, I'll tell anybody, I don't care what kind of problem

that you face in life, God is able to follow.

B: Right.

L: If you'll just only surrender and trust him, big or small...

B: Let him speak..

L: Let him, let Dim, because man's got a way of trying to take care

of his own problems and this is where he fail? because jgM, the

minute you think you've got one problem solved and took care of,

then another one occurs. So when you're serving the Lord, he

said, ut ell-.e- cares wa, ,V r

B: Right. Now do you have any children?

L: One.

B: Is it a boy or girl?

L: Girl.

B: What's her name?

L: Debra Ann Locklear.

B: Now how old is she?

L: She's eleven year old.

B: You told me about her a while ago. Is she about...

L: My wife...

B: Where does she go to school?

L: California.

B.- Uah Bh.


Page 12. dib

L: There in San Francisco, California. Asia matter of fact I haven't,

saw my daughter this past October a year ago.

B: You miss her, don't you?

L: Yes. I haven't heard from her but twice since July.

B: Do you think the Indian community here will continue to grow or do

you think it's about ME- level or what?

L: I think it'll grow.

B: Somebody estimated that there might be as many as four or five Lumbee

Indians here. Do you think, do you...

L: I would say at the present time now there's at least three thousand.

or more.

B: And there are other groups, too, or individuals from other groups,

about eight different groups. But you know some people are surprised

to know that there are !az any Indians in the whole state.

L: That's right. People don't even, fVWfl^a w most everybody in this

city knows,L*aknmF, about the Indians. But then/when you get out

like in the county, the suburbs, jPtea"knm you never heard too much

about Indian In dina- .-kaow, d sie-why-y-new lot

of people don't know anything them, because you got people who cc-

L b'O' fifteen, twenty miles out of town. They never come in the

city, you know.

B: SBhk., are many of our people out of the town proper, out of the...

L: Yes, yes, there's quite a few that lives in "ia where I live and

in Essex, Glenbourne, Brooklyn, all around we got Indians spread



Page 13. dib

B: That's amazing because when U I came here in the days immediately

preceding World War II, ytroaq., during what they call National

Defense Days. I came over here with Andrew Locklear and ( 0f)

!V\ > I remember the three of us, and so far as I knew we

were the only Indians in Baltimore. We lived on Baltimore Street

with Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Worth. He was of German descent and I

remember he worked at some, some of the beer breweries up town

or something like that. But we were all, we were the only Indians

here. I was working over at Ship Building Corporation.

doing welding there, taking training as a welder. I never made

a very great welder, but I did work at that for a while.

L: I think when they really started coming here was in;'55. When

IY first came here there was not too many Indians. But seemed like

in '55 through to '65 that's when they really started coming to

Baltimore/ ad-esg y rwI- ,;y, v OCo
once you could ride down the streets of Baltimore and that's about

all you would see is Indians. j-awaabi % But a lot of our people

have moved back to North Carolina.

B: TPt-th, do you think people resented our people coming over here

or anything like that?

L: I think they did, some of them.

B: t=ht;.L Did you have any problems with people-p.A=aaw, when you

moved in, anad-l?

L: Yes, a few times. When I first came to Baltimore they didn't want,

certain places tsy didn't want to rent to IndianG-yp a be.,

UL 1A.

Page 14. dib

They just didn't want, some places they didn't want to have nothing

to do with youp y*rr \-

B: I guess you came through a time before you got in the church,-g/-

rmus when p=% you knew all the places around other than churches.

Our people have a habit of when they go to sit, I know some of

our people go to bars and so on.

L: Right.

B: Places of entertainment. Do they have a tendency to go to the same


L: Right.

B: A lot of them go to the...

L: Right, usually when, mostly when all the Indians get together,

^ irmn;'im B like if we have one of the Indians that plays music

and S if he's got a band then all the Indians-fbw follow him")

yw e iw. And usually once two or three starts gathering together

in one placethen you find that all of them will start going there,

B: wUMIN, the Chavis Brothers are still playing in Baltimore, aren't they?

L: Yes, they play way out on Route #40. I guess it's about eight or

nine miles out of town. It's a real place, a place a B really

expensive rSaf i MB E, there's a few Indians that goes there.

I can remember back about five or six years ago.I used to go out there,

and it's called the Stardust Inn on Route 440.

B: The Stardust Inn.

L: And it's really expensive. A coke would cost you a bucl y4ouaew. So


Page 15. dib

usually you don't have too many hanging around places like that

because they don't have the money, can't afford it.

B: People with the money.

L: Right, right.

B: Well, it's an amazing thing. h.-tmac-3B I dropped in

to see them one time since I've been in Baltimore,and the place

was jam packed.full and this was during the week, too.

L: They always keep a full house.

B: And the things are terribly expens-, too expensive for me.

L: That's right, that's right.

B: But I was just thinking, they must cater to a higher income group

or something like that.

L: Right. One thing like where the Chavis Brothers play music at, it's

more or less a sociable people, people that's going out to have a

few drinks w to dancaf--. It's not a place that a

man would go and get drunk, because he can't afford it.

B: I imagine you're right there because I imagine say, a beer might

cost you something like a dollar and a half or two dollars.

L: Right, right, right, and I don't know now, but it used to be where they

had a cover charge. 2T"llw you had to pay so much to go in. I

don't know whether they still have that or not. This was to keep

the guys out who didn't have moneGi.p^ kTmw. They knew if you

got a few bucks to pay to get in/then you got a little money in your


B: Right, that's true. I guess they're ,agad, good business managers


Page 16. dib

or something of that nature.

L: Right, right.

B: Well, I enjoy seeing our people accomplish something and they are

really classy....

L: Right.

B: ...players. Good musicians.

L: A guy was telling me, he goes out there a lot. He works where I

work at General Motors. He takes his wife out there a lot on the

weekends/and he was telling me they were supposed to go to Las

Xjjgas for a week to play music. FMgMy, they've been around a

lot. They've been in New York and New Jersey, different places.

B: I remember some years ago they had an engagement over at the Copa

Cabana in New York City and they were supposed to play two weeks)

and they were held over for six months.

L: Right, they was there for a good while.

B: Well, maybe it was more than that. I know it was at least six months.

The oldest one of them, Jimmy, the first playing he ever did was with


L: Yes.

B: And we had a country band, you know.

L: Right

B: on local radio...

B: ...stations, WEWO -, We'd go over thereland I'd call
and James Chavis, Ihe llb
and James Chavis, the Hillbilly Romeo. He was always handsome...

I --- Tght Ys. es


Page 17. dib

B: ...as you know.

L: Yes.

B: He plays bass now doesn't he?

L: Right, right.

B: Well, those boys are real pros.

L: Yes, they are. They're good.

B: How do they treat,no, maybe I shouldn't ask that, but I don't think

they would treat our people bad. They're always glad to see our

people come in, aren't they?

L: Yes, they...

B: Don't kind of high-hat us.

L: They, if they knew you iPeshow. They don't, they're not too friendly

they'lll run up to yoiujcZsa, NIf they don't know you. But they

know you, they'll come over and talk with you. But they don't know/

you they don't have much to do with you.

B: I guess they don't really have time.

L: Righ ^^BenB they have a break in, I think they have about a half

hour. So they come off of the stage usually after them womeepmw

B: They play every night in the week, don't they?

L: Yes.

B: A musician's life isn't a very easy thing I know-that.

L: Seemed to me, I was telling this guy that I work with that it seems to

me it's a quick life.


Page 18 dib

L: Night life is hard/because them guys has really aged. You wouldn't

believe it how they're, they're agep.yfnea .ew. They left their

hair S getS*t gre)y i,-ss.-M-d Frankie, he's not as old as

I am, but he's really showing his agen)a=a"w. And Danny, his

head is practically whitCj)y=raknow. So it's just...

B: And I'm older than Danny.

L: Bai a t...it's got to be a hard li sacn

B: Jimmy and I are about the same age.

B: '* -1.~. Jimmy's not quite as old as I am. They are

quite something.

L: Yes, I always enjoyed thel yr s as When I, when I drinked and

runned around I always..otmag. would find where they was at because

I enjoyed to gobecause they always drew a well crowd, as, and

all the women that knew them they always-3a aB would go to hear

them playland that's the way you could always find plenty of women")

yeu"-er. Aid when I was out there, ypia fts a young boy running

around that's what I went fo SF-aan

B: Yes.

L: So I always enjoyed them.

B: You don't, you don't go home very often now, do you?

L: Well, last year I went homejI guess/about four times. I was home 0O

Christmas for seven days. I'm planning on going for Easter.

B: After you stay away from home for a while do you have a tendency to

forget people or and places, things back home?


Page 19. dib

L: No, I always remember ySts S, KSSSEt regardless of how long I've

been away there's still friends that I don't forgetF ou=knEwa d

S I always have a yearning to go see them when I got home, -aiM-w,

go around them.

B: Some of your relatives still live back in Carolina?

L: Right. Right. All my relatives.

B: We had a lawyer graduate from law school last, was it last year

from out Prospect way?

L: This is what I heard.

B: He was a Locklear, too. I interviewed him over in Washington, D. C.

I think there were four Lumbees who graduated from law school in

the same year/and this is great.

L: I'm telling you, that's a blessing. That's something we need.

B: Oh yes.

L: We need this.

B: Be sure that we get better justice.

L: That's right, that's right.

B: And lthL-t emakL, we've got seven lawyers in all now, and out of that

number one of them is a girl.

L: Yes?

B: Betty Jo Hunt, and she is a brain, too.

L: Yes.

B: She didn't, they didn't leave her around home long. There's somebody
in Washington wanted a lot of work, so she's working in some government

office in Washington.


Page 20. dib

L: Well, that sure is a blessing. It would be nice-sqB if when

they graduate from law school if they could_ ,JUZm&B work right

there at homeggIC.sBt a in Robeson County.

B: But Horace Locklear, he's in Lumberton, and Mr. Locklear was in

Maxton to get his...


B: Well, you know, one of the lawyers, a Locklear, is from Prospect/

out in your old etamping-ground and mine.

L: Right, right.

B: Do you feel special about Prospect? Do you feel that it's a special

kind of place?

L: No, not really. To me Pembroke is special to me. It is something

special to me.

B: You get together with more Indian people out in Pembroke that T-

L: Right, now my mother, my mother, she lives at Raeford, North Carolina,

and a-rSimts hty fvtnm h a t's about I guess about twenty

miles from there to Pembroke when I go home,1 EBsi., if I don't

go to Pembroke I don't feel like I've been to North Carolina.

B: Yes, I like to get aroundand vme=keds I've gone back home a couple

of times since I've been over hereand ags, already it seems to

surprise me a littlejand I keep forgetting how far apart people

are-=g-:BiAit, in the county. And I get out and I travel because

I know people all over the county and I used to do it and never paid


Page 21. dib

the distances any attention. But now I'm more aware of it. Do

you think this is because I've been here just this little while?

L: Well, I wouldn't say.

B: YoQkna3c=Ean=pc I can fill that little old Vega of mine(I've

got 'Ir.'71 Vega stationwag I can fill that thing up with

gas and I don't visit too many homes on a tank of gas. But I

never noticed that till I came over here. So you can certainly

reach more people more easily here. Right? Even our own people.

L: Right, right, right. Yes. I'll tell you when you get to rid4, ofij

.str you don't realize, especially in the city, _MHSESi, when

you get to ridr a* you don't realize how much territory you're

cover ypY8ainMw.

,B:--^:Ulr-ffh .

L: In other words you don't realize how much riding you're doing until

you take a notice to your milea e, JiS "tsSW yr e

you get to circling around and around, y tnjw, and

put a hundred mile on your car^ES=nM and not realize it.

B: Right here in the city.

L: Right here in the city.

B: Thr It's a little more difficult getting, you travel slower, but

Syou actually cover more territory.

L: Yes, that's right.

B: Find more places and more people. You're always passing these people/

and they're living stacked up on each other.

L: That's right. And I'll tell you something else, too. Like here in the

city/ gsn, you get out, you get out to ridingland you don't


Page 22. dib

realize,-ZygVMX that you rode as much as you had/and all at once

you've burned a tank of gas, but you've not been no place.

B: Haven't been in high gear very much of the time.

L: That's right, that's right. But when you live in a county like

I do, yssakenms it seems like_-apwwm, you know where you're

going, yet all the time you know how far it isy uwiw. And

it seems like your gasoline goes farth i yeWale .

B: Well, I'm pretty sure it does because when you're running in,

when you're not running in high gears the motor's running fast,

the wheels are not turning as fast.

L: Right.

B: And you're consuming more gasoline but you're still covering more

ground because people are more...

B: ... 'ct-, a"- settled.

L: I covered six ay a few minutes of e T rc- U -e

it's bad that our people have to leave their own home to find jobs.

B: Yes.

L: You know, like when I, when I left North Carolina and come to Baltimore

-eA you couldn't buy a job. There just wasn't no work at all. And

this is why I left home to come up here.

B: Lord, you can't even get farm labor anymore back home, can you?

L: Right, that's right. So it would have been nice if all the Indian

people could have stayed close together ?-aruerw. --but the way

it is right now, grM=SMSS they're all scattered away from each


Page 23. dib

other o) ye*-hnowj. Some of your friends, you might, tol6d:ike I

have a friend, I have employment I guess ten years Me and

him was raised up together. He's in Ohio.

B: fQ teh. Yes, that's one of those things that comes about with

changing times, I guess. You have to go where the opportunities

are best.

L: That's right. Like we were just talking ; pfassm Like we got

about seven that has finished law school. Now chances are they'll

have to leave from down there to get a job, and you-kneow that's

bad when you've got of, you're forced away from your home to make

a living.

B: Yes.

L: You know, this is something you work, your work hard for, y=;kuuw,

and hoping that when it's over with, a'-pp4aM you can settle down

and be at home, but chances are they'll have- to go leave the state

yeaw vwar, to make a living.

B: Yes.

L: And it shouldn't be that wt jyou-ianae

B: You suppose about maybe a half of our people may be away from home

now? You reckon there are that many away?

L: Yes, I would say so, especially the younger generation.

B: ihtJS. Well, do you think the younger people are adjusting better

to city life than the older people?


Page 24. dib

L: Yes, I would think so, yes.

B: I've talked to quite a few young people who were born her =ack=w,

-..=fted, they were born in Baltimore and never got away, and they

seem to be very well adjusted to the city and they might even be

unhappy if they were back home.

L: That's right, you find quite a few that enjoys the city.

B: There's a song that says time changes everything.

L: That's right.

B: And I suppose it can even change in a Lumbee.

L: Thatts right, that's right.

B: Time and distance.

L: Like I said, when I first, when I first come to Baltimore to me,

to me it was heaven to me. That's the truth. -W I had never been

in a city befopm yvn-tknw.

B: blh, and wonderful things to see and do.

L: That's right. You see, there's so many places to go and so much

to do, yecuamms, and at that time when I come up here I had a job.

I think I was making like a dollar and a quarter an hour. To me

that was big money.

B: Oh, yes. A few years ago...

L: Twenty years ago that was big money. So then began to put in over-

time too, maybe working Saturdays too, and y)txktrt, I felt like

msc.ka w, this is it for mV, youa e. There's nothing like it

because I was my own boss, y&u ,..and f when I'd come in from


Page 25. dib

work, ftsSS n, if I wanted 'to p, w, take a sherry and get ready

and go out there was nobody to hinder g.

L: I had money in my pocket and ra*mr, to me-it was just wonderful.

I couldn't see being no other place but here. But like I says I

get olden yamkWawp I...

B: Start yearning for home.

L: That's right, that's right. I have a longing;to go back home.

B: Well, maybe things are going to get better. If they keep getting

worse a lot of our people may go back home earlier than they would

have otherwise, mighten they?

L: That's right. That's right, now I was talking to a friend of mine.

Me and him worked together for fifteen years. This is when I, where

I worked, that's why I went to General Motors. I had been out there

like two months, been there fifteen years when I quit with General

Motors three years ago. And I was talking to him last nighq he was

telling me that$yses; R --he's been there almost twenty years that

he's laid off. He's leaving tomorrow to go to North Carolinta-

he was telling me that.Veg. e if he got down there, -yvitF w, -

could find a job, pretty decent job he might not come back.

B: .fm ,_ afew industries,,.g-yStL.r6*, have moved into the county.

Quite a few of them since you left _V C ,._ .

L: Right. It's a lot better than it was when I left from down there.

At least a man can get a job down there now. There was no jobs to


Page 26. dib

be found when I left. They're not paying all that much down there now/

but there's jobs down there.

B: What's the least you ever worked for a day?

L: I think it was $-1 an hour.

B: Sixty-five cents. SBSt when I was a very young

boyl ewed-dlyc e a I plowed for fifty cents a day and I

was lucky if I collected thatbecause I came through that great

Depression T -. Fifty cents was something then.

L: Right. I guess back then fifty cents would-. value fe about five

dollars now, wouldn't it?

B: Well, it was a lot more than it is today, that's for sure. Several

times over.

L: Yes, I tell you people, people don't realize today how they're blessed.

B: That's true.

L: Young people that's coming up today because like I saidjlIknow it

was rough with me/ and I know it was still rougher with yor yS4a

B: You know food prices, though, back home right now and food prices

here, I'd rather buy groceries here than in Oarolina right now.

L: I've talked to a lot of people that have told me the same thing.

B: They're a lot more reasonable. They're high everywhere, but they're

out of sight in Carolina.

L: Well, to me in the times that I have left here and went down home,

like when was visiting, I found to be, gkSX= is-like I

thought maybe I'd buy something 1tma, / Lt maybe like a shirt


Page 27. dib

or eA=kaw, something like that, and I found it to be more expensive

down there than it is up here.

B: Yes, the big difference here I guess would be the rent.

L: Right, right.

B: The rent would be high.

L: Yes,-thma that makes a difference.

B: Of course I'm very lucky myself. i; I'm renting my apartment

from a friend. -aa 5 twenty bucks a week. Can't beat that,

can you?

L: No, no sir. Most places are thirty-five and forty a week here in

the city. When you get on out there where I'm at,if you rent a

house you pay two hundred or better a monththat's got three


B: That's rough.

L: Now houses like mine right on down from me a piece, they rent them.

And they rent for over two hundred a month. Pay your own utilities.

That's the truth. In other-words if I was a mind to I could rent

my house for two hundred dollars a month easily.

B: ri-4h., good many of our people have bought homes Ij. c'fi j

L: Especially in the city -,y-o4w Most of them, it's a:lot
V .u: t 1 r bPo r -z
cheaper to buy a home in the city than it is in the..vchemes are...

B: What makes the difference there?

L: Well, you have more privacy.

B: And it's higher, actually higher in the country than it is in the city.

L: Yes, my Lord, it costs. But now taxes are cheaper in the county.


Page 28. dib

K r^ j I Yf-t Ltil ' c. 3 .^-ange
B: itg=ah, but abnu yeu-tuo-ll rti change?

L: No, that doesn't change. Even your car insurance when you move in

the county, that's cheaper.

B: I didn't know that.

L: Yes, if you live in the county your car insurance is ,/(2 C( t-re

But like I said if you buy a home you'll pay, in other words like

if you was to buy apartment house hereyyou would pay double in

the county than what you would pay here. NowEMS when I bought

my house, I bought my houselsix years ago., I went on it six

years ago,this coming July/will be six years. Right then I paid

ten-thousand)five-hundred for it. It's worth about twenty-five

thousand today

L: In other words...

L: h-atk, it's doubled. The value has doubled.

B: How about your qEM your taxes? Don't they eat you up on a house

L: My taxes run $325.00 a year.

B: Well, 4!e that's pretty reasonable, isn't it?

L: Right, now in the city on a home say would cost you twelve thousand,

you would pay probably, five thousand tax, I mean five hundred tax.

See, that's how much more taxes in the city.

B: WiSBh, because you have to pay county and city taxes perhaps.


Page 29. dib

L: I don't know what jt{is at work. I know the taxes are higher in

the city than they are in the county.

B: Well, that's sort of surprising. Tom, I sure have enjoyed talking

with you and thank you for giving us this interview so we can visit

with the folks. And I certainly wish you good luck in all that

you attempt to d-a-te you've been an inspiration to me since I

came over here and I appreciate that.

L: Glad that I could be here.

B: Well, I certainly do appreciate it.

L: I doA so we'll be looking for you at church then, O.K.?

B: O.K., good deal.

L: Take care of yourself now.

B: You the same. Thanks a lot now.

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