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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
by Lew Barton/ Marilyn Taylor
18 1973- Date of Interview
LB: I am Lew Baton, interviewing for the Doris Duke, American Indian Oral
History Program. Today we are here in apartment sixteen in College Terrace
in Pembroke, North Carolina and we are favored by the presence of Mister
Walter Pfchbeck who is a Cree Ind ian, but who has spent many years here in iC.
Lumbee Indian Community and whom we consider to be one of ourselves
And one of our best friends. Mr. Pinchbeck, would you give your name
and spell it so our readers and our listeners could know because they might
not understand spelling. Besides the girl has to type this off. Would you
spell your full name for us please.
WP: Walter J. Pinchbeck. W-a-l-t-e-r J. P-i-n-c-h-b-e-c-k.
LB: How old are you sir?
WP: I'll be sixty-nine in two weeks.
LB: Sixty-nine in two weeks. You know that you told me a very colorful story
once, which I ran in the newspaper about how you came to this community
and how you. I believe you said that Old Main was the first building that
you saw. Would you mind relating that for us. I love that story.
WP: It's quite a story. I want to I'd like to go back from October '31 'til
WP: the December the 8, '31. '28 to '31 It was a hectic few months from
October. I left the Phillippine Islands on the twenty-eighth in October
Came back to the United States by way of China, Japan, and Honolulu. I
went AWOL in Cheyenne for two days. I jumped ship in Japan. I got put
in the guard house for two days in Honolul u and got discharged in
San Francisco in November. I hobbled three thousand miles and came to
LB: Was that the Army?
WP: I was the Army all the time except when I got discharged. And when I
got there, not knowing a soul, in Pembroke, but knowing of it through
somebody I had met in the service, I got off freight train in front
of Old Main. That was the first building that I had ever seen. And the
next building I'd seen was a little bg cabin right now where \
LB: This is what we call the scout cabin?
WP: Scout Cabin. American Legion Hut. That building was built by the
Legionaires of World War I. They built that
I took it over when everybody had left it and repaired it and we used
it weekly with Voy-couts.
LB: And you decided to make your home here. Did you.?
WP: I did not decide to make my home here, because at the time I came here,
we were in the height of the pression. Where a man couldn't make
anything at all. He couldn't work. He could not make money for love nor
money because there was no money. So I decided that I would leave this
hard luck country which was hard luck everywhere.
LB: It was hard all over, wasn't it.
WP: It was hard all over. It was hard all over the world, because when the
United States getshard up, the world is hard up. So I rambled back and went
slam to the Artic Circle. In '32. And I drifted back when it got cold.
and rambled all the way down the west coast, the border of Mexico, and the
Gulf of Mexico. And I wandered right back here .;: Pembroke. There's some-
thing here that kept calling meback. So I left again and came back again.
Then when I came back again, then I met my wife. That messed up the whole
deal because I married her. ha! ha! ha! ha! She loved me. She loved me.
She was born and raised right here in Pembroke. And we married and that's
exactly how I came to this country, but after I got married, and I got
settled here, I got lonesome for what we call the amy* I used to be aT#ppe.
WP: I use to be a cowboy. I use to be a logger.
LB: You were sort of a soldier of fortune.
WP: Soldier of Fortune just wherever I went I was a horse trainer
and I got lonesome for something like that. And something introduced
me into tie boy scouts. And I found out then what they wanted boy
scouts to do was to qualify for certain requirements* was all fitted into
the same kind of stuff that I had been doing.- Tieing knots, splicing
rope, cooking, camping, orge nization which I had worked in the Army,
and all that sort of thing so I jumped into the boy scouts.
LB: You loved the great outdoors.
WP: I loved the great out of dojrs. Wdd get out there and camp and those boys
make flap jacks, cook stew over a camp fire, and sleep on the out of doors,
pitch tents, use an ax, and and all that sort of
thing, you see, it it took most of feeling away from me. because had
something else to go into. And I spent thirty-five of my thirty-six years
of married life with those boys. Right there in Pembroke. We started
We just completed thirty-five years of scouting.
LB: Well, I know that you have been recognized nationally and as well as the
LUM 57 A
LB: foremost scouting boy scout advocate, and leader. and how does this
measure up with other Indian groups. Are you the only nationally known
WP: Well, I tell you. Last two years ago, I was invited to go to Utah,
greater city Utah to a scout master's work shop there fora week and I
was invited to go there. Was given a free trip out there a plane
ticket, all expenses paid. Go there and spend the week there, and my
wife, also. And I wondered why they wanted me there. Well, naturally,
the boy scouts had my record. and they compiled all the reco and found
out two years ago that I was number one Indian Scout Master in the
LB: Oh, =aVF.-
WP: I had recruited more Indian boys in the United States than any other
Indian Scout Master had.
LB: And that includes all races, doesn't it?
WP: No, that just includes the Indians. because I ranked nineteenth in
LB: Oh, I see.
LB: That's great.
WP: because you see scouting had been going on a long time before I got into it.
WP: but so, but then, I've been it now for thirty-six years. Other
people had been in it fifty years. And as a result of that, they are
ahead of me, but now I'm worrying about that. The thing is that I am
nineteen over all. Two years ago. Still probably ninteen, maybe more.
because I'm still scouting.
LB: What kind of honor was it Mrs. Taybr was talking to you about and
congratulating now that it's mentioned in the paper. Can you tell us
WP: Well, that honor is a council award that they give to men who have done
outstanding work with boys. and they call it the Silver Beaver. And
I was the first Indian in North GotEty to get that award. I got that
award in '47. There had been two other Indians besides that that got
that award N. 4krIne. Of course, other people have got it, but I was
the first Indian to get that. They call that Silver Beaver Award.
LB: That's a great honor and I certainly congratulate you. Something that
you don't work for. you work at something and then out of the blue
they invite you to a banquet of some kind and then they make the award.
They don't tell you why you are getting it, and then they tell you why
But I was the first Indian to get that. They call your name.
you are getting it. Even if you don't know anything about it. Something
that you don't.. you work for I mean you're working at You're working fcr
WP: something for a program, but you get the award without knowing anything
about it. until they call your name.
LB: Can we recap just a little bit and tell me something about your wife al
who she was before you married Your children and their names and ages.
WP: because we'd like to get everything like that. My wife was- formerly she
was Bertha Lowery. Her father's name was W. H. Lowery. Lived right on
the edge of Pembroke. In fact, most ofthe land that the college
owned ,she sold it to them. And her mother was Mrs. Clausy Lowery
She was a Maynard. Pete Maynard's girl. So we got married in '37
February we use to We had just had our anniversary in '36, I think.
And a s a result of that Union we have three boys and three girls
I have had four of my children born on the campus. on thecollege campus.
LB: buildings there. Because you worked for the University, for how many
WP: I worked for the University for twenty-eight years and three months.
In fact, I never did work for the University, The day I retired, the
next day they the university. I worked for the college all the tin .
The public state college.
LB: And I know you took care of Old Main.
LB: They might think of you as a custodian person, he one living person
who knows more about Old Main thqn anybody else.
WP: I loved it from below the ground from the ground on up, repaired that
building and took care of that building. I was superintendent of buildings
of grounds, It's something to think about. You jump off a freight
train in frontof a building and you wind up being superintendent of t.
LB: Yeah, it certainly is.
WP: ha.' ha.'
I get a kick out of that you know. I'll tell you one thing- as long as
a man wants to work, he can work.
LB: A material thing happened just today because Old Main after you worked
and the rest of us, preserved the building just today somebody arso d '
It was willful arson. /nd we watched the building burn and I know that I
felt terrible and I'm sure you did, too.
WP: I did, too.
WP: It drug on me, I'tell you. I looked at that building and I see so much
go through there. When I -.first knew the building why the high school
was there. It was lots of life, lots of history went through there.
WP: It's just hard to describe, to even visualize, just what went
through that building, but when I started working there, I had one
hundred and one students. It got to one hundred and twenty-five.
Then, during the war, the army picked up our men and it got down to
eighty-five. That's the lowest we ever got, but we worked over there.
And that was the building I tell you it's really, *
A eli y--o5 t'sra----- _
(and women ; th
Actually, we broke all over the nation men6who-had been through there
and got there early education in high school and in college.
LB: Sir, I seem to recall that Dr. E. Stanley Jones was the nationally known
Methodist leader once held a couple of
WP: Yeah, I know, I remember him well. A wonderful speaker!
tB: We've had many dignitaries to ame there. Many famous people.
WP: Yeah. Well, we actually saved these people's home there.
LB: t gone up in smoke all of the woodwork has been
burned out of the building. Do you see any chance at all for restoration
as it stands?
WP: Well, they as I see it now, if I go back, Say about twelve years, I'm not
calling any names about engineers, but two state engineers and I we checked
that building over and they told me and they checked it. Now-yaorere
WP: Weinstnments and like that checked that building over They said that
was That building had the best hull in the state, and they recommended
that we ,should take and clean out all that wood and get it out of there
and then rebuild it and then you would have the finest building in the state.
It's a foot thick. It's brick. It's not cinder block; it's brick.
And Dr. Wells held with it a little bit, but he lost. He enough nerve
to go through with it or to push it. /Yale messed with it a little bit.
LB: Now these are former presidents 2
WP: Yeah, former presidents. Jo condemned it. Now, then, but when you consider
and go back and by gone days That's the time when we were a vast minority.
So to speak. When I came here, I discovered that I as the Indian Community.
There was a vast minority. Well, I had .. The first reason I like to
stay here was the friendliness of the people, the Lumbee Indians.
Not only their friendliness but their cleanliness. I don't say other Indians
aren't clean but these were the cleanliest, friendly est and most
educationist people that I had seen. In all my Indian traveling and I hd
listed sevety- five different tribes all over North America, say in Mexico
United States and Canada. I was making it igi-r book. I lost that
WP: in Kansas. I wish I had it. I wouldn't take a thousand dollars for it.
LB: This is the book you were writing.
WP: I was writing a book all right. And I went through a little place. I was
looking for a tribe in Kansas. It was extinct. Left my book in the stat ion-'
grabbed a freight train and got out of there. In-fact, ten hours later,
I couldn't find that book. Offerrred a twenty-five dollar reward for it and
never could find it. Money was short, too. So much for that. Anyway,
Old Main They continued to tell me could be built up, made a nice building
get that wood out of there. You've got to get that wood out of there.
and make it a fire proof deal like they made other buildings. are you know.
come up with
YOu .cement to make cement floors. Now, that building over there if it
ever got on fire, it won't be hard to stop because then you had that wind.
piling into it. ,Well, it was very high very unusually high.
WP: If that wind hadn't been high, they could have stopped it, but afterwards
there was so much, but I don't think that it's going to hurt the walls.
The other half. Somebody's going to come down here and
I'm not no judge of that right now. The walls is good good heavy wa3L
LB: Well, we hope and pray that we'll see Old Main restored yet.
WP: It can be restored. Those columns. I repaired those columns.
I went there and put sills .there. There's some awful good
timber under there. I would say. I'll tell you one thing- termites
couldn't do a cigarette. That's hard stuff. Termites couldn't do
anything with it.
LB: Well, I know that you have made many, many friends in the community here.
that we consider you one of us. You taught us much that some of our
people had forgotten. You haven't forgotten. Even you rphter you
taught our people good a good many of our people you taught so much.
We all look on you as a very worthy brother.
WP: I feel proud that you think that way.
LB: We do. And I know that when I say that, I speak for most of our people.
All of the people who know you, I've never heard anybody say anything
r something good.
WP: Sometime, I'd like you to just spend an hour with me in that boy Ocout
hut. Now, that boy lout hut was built by the Legionaires of World War I.
It was used as a -- building for years by different groups and all
that sort of thing. And one time it needed a roof. And I put a roof on it
There was a meeting there and later on everybody abandoned that building.
WP: I took it over. I asked permission, the Legionaires and of the ones
I asked, there was only one who knew me. That's Martin Luther Lyon, but
I have been their history. That goes way back to '29 I was just the
old books we used when there was a public library. I looked after all
that because that belongs. That can be made. and built. You want to
build that thing up, straighten that building up a little on the
outside. d make it because that building was four years after Old Main
was. It's the oldest building in town and should not be abandoned, but
I know one. It should be used. It's used weekly by boy scouts. Sometimes
twice a week. Other groups come in there and work, but we maintain a scout
troop and this scout troup has been running continuously now for thirty-five
years. And we have books and we have pictures. Terry Sanford, when he
was governor, spent fifteen minutes in there. And we had places there.
We got awards there. There's maids. There's veterans of World War I
in '29 There's history in that building. There are so many worthwhile
things to look after. And that could be made into a beautiful little
museum, when you coie to think about it. What do you think about it?
LB: I think that is a wonderful idea. By the way, you see the Indian
Museum over at St. Andrews? It opened just this past year.
WP: No. I didn't see any.
LB: That's over in Lawern-bmrg just about thiry miles from here in case
our readers and listeners are wondering, but they do have one over there.
And it would be great if we could have one here.
WP: We could have one here if we had somewhere to put it. This building is
of course, too small for it. They talked about putting one over there
at the college. at the university, but I haven't seen so signs of it.
LB: What do you think of the Indian pageant that we have been working on
for about three years? And Andy Umberger has written a script called
strike at the Wnd, which gives the story of Henry Barry Lowry. Do you
think that this would be a plus thing for the Lumbee River Valley? Do you
WP: Yes, I believe it would. I'd say, for instance, afterall, you have your
community here. You have the Indian Community here and I don't think there's
any use going back and relating facts that showed where we were discriminated
against. I think that just something that should just be forgot. Let
by gones be by gones. And let's dwell on the future. The present will take
care of, but now let's look forward to the future. Do you see what I mean?
\vP. If I was to go and let myself worry about what happened in the past, it
would drive me nuts. 14
WP: I'll tell you one thing. I'd just as soon just work on the future.
but still we can pick up things in the past to bring out and record
some of our Indian history, our early history, you see.
WP: Don't you think so?
LB: By looking on the past we can get a better view of the present and the
WP: Right. You are right about that. Now, I think that that would be
real fine, but let's take it step by step on that thing there. I think
we should. I think we should recognize in that pageant what the church
has done because afterall, you know, it's not too much. The church has
been a backbone of our country.
LB: Have you found the Lumbee Community to be strong in churches in religion
WP: Well, I'll tell you- when you speak about that, yes, this fall
Lumbees are strong in their churches. In fact, there are more churches
around here than I'd seen any place in my in all my travels. When you
think about it. And this is the strongest church. They believe in
churches. I've been delving with churches quite a little bit, but now
WP: When you speak about how strong a church is, you have to speak
about how strongly your figure is. Because the church is as
strong as individuals. It's members so to speak. I think.overall
it's about as strong a church building as you find anywhere. Afterall,
people go to do one thing- they're going to be born into the world and
die and they're going to meet frustrations and they are going to meet
set backs. They're going to wind up leaning on something like a man
gots one leg he needs a pair of crutches so he has crutches so
therefore, a man gets into the twilight zone of his life, he gets
to think back on the days when he road like me and there was a time
when I was quite a guy and I use to ride in rodeos, ride the wildest
horses in the continent, roam the seas, but now, the old ticker won't
at the same
allow me to do that. It's not bothering me ,time.
When a man gets to seventy, he can't do the things that he use to do.
when he was twelve and thirty.
LB: Allright. You have led a very colorful and a very productive life. Do
you have any regrets at all?
WP: Not a bit.
LB: You'd do the same thing?
WP: If I had it to do over again, I'd do te same thing.over again.
I'll tell you one thing- I always enjoyed one thing When I was
young, when I was young and the East would stop North. I would follow
the East. And I fo allow East as far as I could follow it. and you should
be on the edge of the Arctic Circle. And I'd A do something. I
was always fascinated an illusion, I could always make me a dollar or two.
And I'd hang around up in that area where there was some money to be made
then whenever the gee-se started south, I knew it was time for me to start
south so I'd follow the geese sign.
LB: You'd start south, too.
WP: I never would follow the ducks because they've got no ear sense. I
followed the geese as far as I could follow them and be on the edge of
the rctic Circle. The geese would take you
all the way bwn to the Gulf of Mexico. And I'd hang on to it. When
the geese started a noise, I knew it was time to go North. Now that
was just a patterns) of life. I never had nowhere to go and I weren't in
no hurry to get there. I'd eat breakfast in one state, dinner in another
supper in another, and sleep in another. Sometimes span four states.
All within a thirty-four hour period.
LB: Do you think that you got that casual attitude toward life. You know
an Indian enjoys life. He relaxes and enjoys life. Do you think that
you inherited from Indian forebearers?
WP: Yeah, I believe I did. because we're called the Crees. Didn't knao
much Crees. They ranged from Hudson Bay to Alaska. Oh the edge of the
LB: Good if they are Nomadic people.
WP: Nomadic people. They call them Nomadic Crees. And I guess that I got
it from them., but I just traveled a little further than most Crees.
I went to the Phillippines, China, Japan,
LB: You probably outdid all the other Crees.
WP: I out done all the oher Crees. Then, I rambled off here in North Florl a.
Well, I don't regret my *,. This country here is wonderful. Wonderful
people! We have People who do this and who do that, but taking a long
average all the way through I've been here ever since. I spent fort ly years
here. And I have never heard. I've never had a man or a woman say
a hard word against me.
LB: Isn't that great.
WP: And the hardest word that I ever said about anybody was to get after Poy
WP: tut a mortgage on things as far as me getting to pull a knife on anybody,
to feel like hurting anybody, I never felt it amongst these people.
WP: And these people are the best friends tht I ever had. When I was in a
tight and had to go home, this country rose up, this community and bought
and sent me
me a ticket1 to my home so that could come back.
LB: Oh, that's great.
LB: Oh, we couldn't do without ell, you could, but it wouldn't be the same.
without me, but you are going to have to dbwithout me. Because according
to the Bible you have only one more year to live, you know.
Well, let's hope that
IP; Mr. Lewis, it has been awful nice talking to you. Is there anything else
that I can say to you. Anything else, Do you want more about my children?
LEB Yes, I'd like to have their names and ages if you lie.
WP: I'll tell you what I've got. Three girls and three boys. My oldest girl
is Mary Alice. Leth see- If I was married in '37, she was married two
years later. Let me see. '39. '38. She was married in '38. That would
put her what? Well, let's see that would put her about thirty-five.
WP: I can't tell you exactly what their ages are. Let's see. I can't remember
all tat. May Alice.
LB: She's in the public schools teaching.
WP: She teaches in the Central part of Virginia. e Jim, my oldest boy.
He .in Kentucky. Louisville, Kentucky. He'd been in the Army.
He had a year and a half of college. He spent about six months in the
University in Fairbanks. At the university when he was in the Army.
Bud, my second oldest boy, he finished high school. He finished high
school twice. He finished in the Navy. He finished here in South Carolina.
And he lives in Maryland. And Sandra, my girl Sandra she's in Frankfort,
Kentucky. Her husband works out there. He's a computer. Works in that.
Then I have a girl named Helena. She finished college. She teaches home
economics. Then I got a boy named Francis. He put four years in the ir
rce. He went back in the Air force. Made a career out of it. He's at
Milton Air Force Base. Let's see. How many is that I've got? Did I
call out Mary Alice?
LB: All Right.
WP: Lyn and Bud. Three boys. Three girls.
WP: Two of those boys got to be Eagle Scouts.
WP: One was a Life Scout, but in my family of four men we've all been in
WP: I was in the Coast Artillery in the Philli pines. And Jim was in the
Regular rmy. Bud four years in the Navy. Francis was in the Air Force.
I think that that was a pretty good record for a family.
LB: Oh, yes, indeed.
WP: All of us was in the scouts. Francis he was in California. He's
working as assistant scout master of a scout troop there.
Jim was ssis tant scout master of a scout troup in Louisville, Kentucky.
Boys like scouting, you know. I raised them in scouting.
LB: You told them to love it didn't you.
Yeah. They love it, too. And Burt, he worked %th the system with me
and said,when he settles down, he's going to be in the scout
troop,. too. work in scouting. All good craftsmen. Everyone of them good
craftsmen. Mixing, teaching, like that. Good teachers. Good instructors.
Well, now since you ame to this community, you've seen many changes.
take places haven't you. You've seen communities develop in some areas.
You've seen some things that used to be practised that isn't practised
anymore, in the way of discrimination. You've seen some of those
traditions change. New laws passed. New presidents go into office.
LB: Could you talk some about some of the changes you've seen take place
Wr1' Well, I tell you Mr. Lew. I don't like to mull over old th ings but
I've always been a free lance Indian. I never did live on the reservation.
Not to have you against them. My dad lived on the reservation. Cause
he said that the reservation was just too slow. My dad was a mechanic.
He was a blacksmith. He was a millwright. He set up farm bureaus and
things like that. Dad was a mechanic. He taught me to be a blacksmith,too.
And we didn't confine ourselves to the reservation. We stayed with the
reservation. Now the reservation is not against them except that on the
WP: reservation. The reservation my way of seeing it robbed the Indian
of the initiative that he ought to have had. And the reason these Indians
the Lumbee Indians here in this section of the country are as far
advanced as they are ahead of any other Indian group of Indians of the
state is because we've had to compete against the white man andoing so
he used his own initiative. He worked hard for it. He had it tough
without. He worked hard. That's why you have men hereare doctors
and teachers and things like that. We have more Indian School teachers
here in this shared group of Indians than anywhere in
the United States. In other words in this country where we have free
Ahterprise and we have free/nterprioe
WP: And you use your own ingenuity. You put something on a silver plate
You had to dig what you got. You took care of your land and you
dug your land and you ploughed your crops and you sowed your stuff
You were a
and at the same time you were a minority. segregated people
You didn't mind that. Your people from way back They didn't mind it.
They dug in.
LB: They advanced in spite of all tihe
WP: And they advanced yourselve educationally to the point where our
Indian town, ,people didn't like in the countyaas come to be
the center of education in R nhini' County. We have a university in
our town. Isn't that something to think about?
LB: It certainly is. I can rember and I am sure that you can remember
when only the Lumbee Indians were allowed to attend this school.and
then it was widened to include enrollment from other tribes, from
other groups of Indians. And then, finally from White students and
Black students. Now it's fully integrated.
Do you feel that this our bringing this to pass because we actually
helped some ourselves to bring this about. Do you feel that this is
a contribution that we made not only to the White community but to the
community at large? Do you think that PSU represents something like that?
WP: Yes, I certainly do. I'll tell you why. Well, for one thing. When I
came here, it is Pembroke Sate College for Indians.
LB: Sam Lowery takes the credit for taking four Indians off the sign.
I don't why he wanted to do that but.,,.
WP: Well, he can have it as far as I am concerned. Cause now. We confined
WP: ourselves. We were confined to Pembroke State College for Indians.
That meant just for Indians.
Just for Indians. Well, the Indians that we had here, believe it ornot,
Some" of them
came here, and some of them didn't A lot of them went
somewhere else. And we have a few Indians from out-of-state. very few.
In fact, you can count them on one hand. Well, if you had that
you would probably be just a little minority, but by entity even with the
Black, then with the White. mbat brought in more people and the more
people you had then the more money talk you could have. to talk with.
Then, by bringing more people in here, you had people with ideas in one
section of the country that would help you out. And in the meantime,
it was competition in there, academically, you see. Now to get badk to
the changes of the thing, from my back, well, like I say, I've been an
Indian I've been a traveling I'm still an Indan for that matter
You talk about I recognize that. I got pulled in Court in Portland, Oregon)
one time, living on a freight train there and give me a ticket and
charged me with vagrancy. The judge said it's against the constitution
of the United States to charge an Indian with vagrancy. You have to
thing of something else that they can charge him with or turn him loose.
WP: And I got arrested down in Indian California for the same thing
and they turned me loose in Keystone there. All that's beside the
point. The thing of it is I came here and I have never been turned
down here for anything in my life. I asked a woman if she would carry
me and she turned me down. That's still beside the point. The thing
that for me to vote. o.- the Unite States and to say that
I can't give you something to eat because you're Indian. That happened
here in Robinson County. I couldn't get a fountain &occola because
I was Indian a4d so therefore that has been changed and we're not
holding that against anyone right particularly now. Now, we're
more what call equitable Tie thing is getting to be on the fair side.
Nowwe are all unequal. We should have been. ll the time. You see.
bFcause I tell you one thing there's nobody that loves Indian girls
better than the Indian or a White man. And I tell you one thinIg
we all love one another. And when you come color don't nake no difference
about. it. You see, so afterall Well, I'm not holding nothing -
What happened in the past. All I want now is to take care of my present
and look forward to the future. look forward to the future. We Indians
can stick together as Indians We can swing a lot of votes in N.C.
LB: All right.
WP: Any other question?
Sell, this is SIDE TWO of the interview with Mr. Walter J. Pinchbeck.
I want to ask you just a A questions and we'll conclude this interview.
You're very kind to give us this time. And we were talking just a little
bit about the future of Indian Community and if there are any hopeful
signs in your estimation. )o you see a bright future for the Indian people
or do you see that they may erress,or.what? Well, personally speaking now .e
rP: I want to go back just a little bit and the time when this country was
when we wee segregated They segregated people.
WP: There was a church rewntMh. There was a church for the White. There
was a church for the colored. And when you went to red-schooles some
other places, there was a choice: toilet for the White and a toilet for
colored, a toilet
the for the Indians.
LB: That's all right.
WP: Well, their segregation was a three-way deal. You won't find anywhere else
in North America, except right here incihas&n County. Well, when we went
to scouting, there was a scouting program for the Whites. There was a
scouting program for the Colored. 27
WP: Some place they had a cappigiprogram for them, but there was no
program for Indians. We made our own program.
LB: Ydu opened up an entirely new thing theq,didn't you?
WP: Yep. For ten years we were a segregated people, I mean we took our
own camp spot. We went to Virginia to camp. We went to the western
part of the state and done our camping. And soon I'll have to call a
name now. His name was Ray Swayze. He's national chairman for iteraro
for the Boy Scouts of America and him and I engineered it so we broke that
segregation deal and integrated with the Whites. After we integrated, there
was problem there because then, that give us competition among us and we all
got to be real good friends. Now, scouting can break a lot of barriers.
Scouting. Scouting is part of education. If we're going to continue,
to progress, we've got to be prepared to compete against the world if the
world is going to be educated so we have to compete against that.
but there is one thing that I want us to remember. I want to tell you a
little story. Maybe, it will go along. There's a man had a farm. He
had a sixty-foot well. Dry well. Abandoned well. And this mule fell in
the well. and he was done there with his head wobbling around. You
couldn't get him out of there. The man thought so much of the mule that
WP: he didn't want to shoot him. so he decided that he just take and
pour a bunch of dirt on top of the mule and just let the mule just
smother. lo death. Die quietly. So sent a bunch of dirt in there.
on top of the mule. Well, the dirt got down in there and chicken
around and the dirt got under the mule's feet. He kept coming up
and he dug up about four or five inches so he put some more dirt there
and he keptcoming up and finally that mule came out of that well.
WP: Let out a he,haw and took off. The point that I want to ring across
is this: let's keep our feet on higher ground, which is good education.
Religious education. Anything in the way of the education line, anything
that's dirty or uncommon sweep under our feet, keep it under our
feet. Then, we can be higher and ^higher mentally, physically,
LB: The Boy Scouts of America seem to have followed a.few things from the
WP: They certainly have. There's a lot of stuff there in the Boy Scouts
of America book that was borrowed from the Indians.
LB Uh,huh. That's great and I went to speak to Little Boy Scou ts. I
don't remember just what they're called over in Fairfield.
SLB: Cub Scouts,
SWP: Cub Scouts /but they had taken the names of Indian tribes. This is
Done all over. It's done universally. I think they called themselves
and this particular group called themselves the ascaloras and I had
a very wonderful time informing them along with my son Ricky,
something about our people back home and about the Tuscaoras, proper.
Tusca oras of New York State, I am talking about. As you know, the
Tusca/or/ was originally of southeastern North Carolina, but later
migrated to Niagara Falls, New York-to that area, here they still are
today. I am certainly glad that one Indian, at least, has excelled in
the Boy Scouts of America and this was sort of a natural for you out
there. I mean you just fitted into this program
WP: Well, you see, it all happened that I was here. Well, I married
my wife. She was born and raised right here. And she decided to make
it my home. And I was lonesome for something that I Lhad been used to
like riding wild horses and trapping and digging for gold and the rain
2a1 tkal sA- of 1h11
and the cold and logging and rambling and messing around. You know,
WP: give us an outlet, you know, to come over here. By having some
odd experience, that give me organization experience and I'll never
forget when we started this scout troop. I said, "Boys, I'll tell you
one thing- I don't know a thing about it. I know that he's supposed to
be a boy. That's all. I said, "Let's get our books together. I said
lets A ,we
Boys,.follow me. Let's see what we can make out of it. And so, them
boys have been following me ever since. I get generations of boys over here.
Boys who use to be,their dadd ies use to be in he scout troop. They're
with me right now young boys.
LB: Mr. Pinchbeck, about how many? Can you remember back how many boys your
had in your charge?
WP: We figured we tried to figure out here ahile back. It was over a thousand
anyway. A thous and boys.
LB: And there wasn't a boy scout troop here at all when you came.
WP: No,there wasn't one.
LB: Well, I know it had done wonders for boys in helping them their development,
helping them to be independent and that sort of thing. and you certainly
have a lot for which to be proud.
WP: Well, I'm proud. I wouldn'tlake anything for my little old boys. In age
WP: we get aleng all right. -Gvef Laughler down here- seallP y- L.l.Ld t Paul
and myself are the three Charter members of our troop.
LB: Is that right?
LB: Willie French Laughter, you say?
WP: Willie French Paul and Kirk We all three
WP: There are others, you know, but they are tie ones living here now.
at this time.
LB: Great. 6T?^- .jQr>
I wonder if there are some other things. Uh, we wondered if there were
some other things you wanted to comment on. in the nature of what's
going on in the community today. Like double voting. Do you consider
this to be an unfair thing or is there something that we can do about it.
to rectify matters? What are your comments on thatt? Ii tell you. I
!1' haven't Somebody asked me the following year to say something about
that and I told them. I said Anytime that I get t:+l- b ..i.k
I like to know what I am talking about in fact. iIo telling what
I'd keep my mouth shut. And I haven't spent too much time on that.
for some reason or other. I read a lot but I haven't spent too much.
I get to shop I do that duty. but I haven't spent too much time
WP: dwelling on that particular subject. Then, I'd rather not make any
comment on that.
WP: I know more about it, I'd say something about it. I like to know what
I am talking about before I make any comments. Do you think that the
quality of education haj improved much
among the Ind ian Sch ools?
kP: Very much so. very much so.
WP: I'll tell you when it started to improve 1iSas' Sputnik. Do y@u
LB: Oh, ye s. Indeed.
WP: Well, it started to improve stated getting tough. As I could tell it.
On the average, I have about thirty or forty boy scouts who go through my troop
yearly. annually, you know. Say, if I wanted to have a meeting in the
middle of the week, 7 J) t C J' jHA <-C
getting tougher all the time. I'd go in debt for our meeting only on
Friday night *v *
WP: because them boys have work to do. and I can tell the brand of education
that they are getting right now. They are doing a whole lot better.
Iey got to ,better because the world is getting tougher. And you
think that this is in part into the fact of competition
-p^r 4ptd *'
LB: And you think that this is in part due to competition with other students?
LB: In business, school, or whatever.
WP: I'll tell you one thing: if a student has the ability and has the
knowledge. I'll tell you one thing: You can place them anywhere and he's
at ease, but if he doesn't know, he's out of luck.
WP: You got to be prepared. You've got to e prepared.
LB: Would you like to momentt about the population explosion or the population
increase You know, Indian people have been spoken of generally as the
people who have large families and that sort of thing. Do you have any
comments along those lines?
WP: Well, I think that I believe that I have no story on that because
I believe that every family should have two children at least, You should
justify yourself being in the world, but I believe that through varied
WP: programs that they have, healthwise that they should at the very least
to bring a child into the world. If when you bring one into the world,
you've got that responsibility takin care of it if you don't take the
responsibility somebody has to take it.
WP: Committee has to take it. Somebody had to take it because the child
is there. You can't throw it out into the woods like you do a pig or wild
a dog. You got to be taken care of so therefore you have it.
WP: I think that that through education that that can be curtailed or gotten
governored you know, I we ought not to have as many children as we have.
As many as we have, I don't think good lot of children.in our country.
WP: They had some because when I went to work at the Bridge School, they had
four hundred seventy and now they have over a thousand for their
more people been
LB: There's been an increase somewhere, hasn't there?
LB: Do you think, therefore, that we should seek to curtail our population
LB: increase through education.
WP: Yes, through education.
WP: Not too easy to db though.
The Japanese are doing it. Maybe extensively.
WP: There're cutting it down from six to eight to ten, down to two.
They got too. many over there. Nowhere to put them. There's nothing
LB: You have advocates on both ends of this question and some of them
you know, go pretty far out, advocating that women become sterile
men take that vasectomy and that sort of thing Now, you think that
perhaps, I judge from your comments that it should be done through
WP: Through education.
LB: And not require operation?
WP: No, I think education.
LB: Do you think tat the Indian community here is reducing the size of its
family? Since you've been here, have you noticed a decrease in the
number of children
LB: born in families? Do you think that they terd to get smaller?
WP: Yes, smaller.
LB: This is, perhaps, due to the fact that they are being educated.
Can you think of any subjects that we pased up that you'd like to
comment on? This has certainly been an informative interview.
A very valuable one. W4nything that you would like to discuss
in particular? Perhaps, you have a message that you would like to
leave with young people who are coming along. Perhaps -a few words
of inspiration. Perhaps, a little philosophy of life that you would
like to leave with them. with other young people as they come along.
If so, we certainly would be glad to hear it.
I hearthat you are passed retirement age or that you have retired
supposedly, but you haven't actually retired. Do you think that you
will arer retire, really?
WP: Well, I'll tell you about hat retirement now. I'm four years past.
I've been drawing the retirement now for four years. IT's a lot of
satisfaction to know that when you get up in the morning, you don't
have to go to work unless you want to.
LB: That is great, isn't it?
LB: Does it get tiresome after awhile?
WP: No, I have hobbies.
LB: I see.
WP: And now a man should go along through life before he retires, he
should develop some sort of a hobby. Now, I have boys as a hobby.
That's just one hobby now.
LB: You have other hobbies besides?
WP: I have hobbies
WP: in crafts, like Indian lore wood craft, leather craft, things like that.
Different work I do all kinds of craft work. I like craft work. I make
thing odds and ends just something that I like to make. I think
that any man that or woman that before they retire, as they go along,
before they retire, develop some sort of something that would keep them
so that when he retires you just can't sit around there and his
thumbs. He can get out here and make a little something. Do a little
something like that.
LB: I understand that you are good at Indian craft. What things do you make
or have you been able to develop over the years? And I believe your
family helps,too, in that respect] don't they?
Well, on Indian lore on Indian loe-raft, my wife and I
WP: work on that very much. I do the most of the work and she gets all the
LB: ha! ha! ha! ha!
WP: Well, anyway- nothing wrong with that.
In fact, she pays the bills. And that's Indian lor -raft. Then,
that's on Indian head dresses and things like that. Then, on wood carving
I've got to carve things, but I want to carve as the spirit moves me.
When I feel like carving, I start carving, and I haven't carved in quite
a little while, though, I started carving. I carved something out
yesterday, but you start carving things these things like this Tomahawk
It's just an ordinary thing. There's nothing much to it. I want to
take this back and give it another one.
LB: This is a Tomahawk that you made ?
WP: This is a Tomahawk, yeah, It's made out of a piece of maple and
and piece of roek.
LB: Can I feel It?
WP: Yeah. You get over there in these craft stores thee They want two or
three dollars for them. I give that to her. To this young lady right here.
LB: Meaning Mrs. Taylor?
LB: By the way, what does your wife think of wmen's lib?
WP: Woman's Lib?
WP: My wife?
WP: Let me see now. Well, I tell you one thing Woman's Lib ha! ha! ha4
LB: Well, what do you think of it? H-J, '4
WP: Well, I'll tell you what I think about it now. As far as I am concerned
it might be that I am behind times, but now it might have been on
account that I spent two years in the Phillipine Islands. On the
Phillipine Islands the woman is the queen of the house. When the man
makes money, he gives it all to his wife and she takes care of
all the bills. Now, that's a fact. Now, I'm retired. I get a state
check. I get a social security check. And when I get it, I just endorse
it and put it in the bank in my wife's name and she pays all the bills.
WP: : When I want some money, I say, "I want ten dollars." or twenty dollars...
whatever it happens to be. I don't have to worry about it. I'm retired,
you see. She's my bookkeeper, you see. Now, as far as Womn's Lit- She
did all the Lib she wants. If she wants to go somewhere, she goes. I don't
mention that. If I wanted to go somewhere, I go somewhere. I might leave
a note if I see one and tell her where I'm going. Usually, I'm just
going to town or coming back or going to scout hut and coming back. or
something like that. So I think that women ought to have the same
liberty as the men to a certain extent. I think that there ought to be a
line drawn according to circumstances and things like that. Now, I
believe that some women get too much liberty, And a lot of women don't
get enough, but I think that I'll be a happy medium between the two of
them. See if they both can think alike and be what's the name? equitable?
You do believe that women ought to get equal pay for jobs require equal?
WP: That's right. They can do just as good a job as a man can.
LB: And sometimes better.
WP: Sometimes a lot better job, yeah, but I can get along without a woman, but
I tell you one thing, I can get.a whole lot better with one. ha! ha! ha!
LB: It would be a sad world if we had no women.
WP: You may be right.
WP: Yeah. So I think that we ought to be just as fair one way or another.
Of course, you can give a woman too mych A you know. can
do like the old gray mare she'll jump over the traces. Then, again, you
know, it's up to the person. The people. The both of them.
LB: Do you think that Woman's Lib will ever have a prominent place in
the Indian Community?
WP: I think so, Yes.
LB: You know the Indian women are spoken of as being shy, and bashfull and
retiring and yet we know that we have a number of Lumbee Indlan women who
do quite well. You don't think this causes any resentment among men
WP: I'll tellpu one thing: If it weren't for the Indian women, we have
in our church today, our church would be pretty had.
LB: That's true. I certainly agree with that. Now-
This brings us back to St. Paul. Do you know who was credited with lines
It is a shame for a women to speak in church and that sort of thing.
I don't think all our churches go along with that;
Wp: I don't go along with it. I go along with Paul on a lot of things, but
err that particular -r( I just don't go along with now. I've got nothing
against Paul)now. He's quite a character. Well, you can just take
some of our women today now. You take this women here that's been -
say the women overin Israel. It took a woman to do that. She's retired.
Now you take that oman in India. Had to be a smart woman to do that.
LB: Would you like to see a woman resident of the United States?
WP: Yeah, I'd like to see one.
LB: I think I would to. Just **
WP: I tell you one thing: I'd like to se more women up there in Congress.
\believe if we,
I had more women in Congress, we'd have less wars.
I think that our country would be a better place to live in.
LB: Do :you think women are better at making decisions or men?
LB: Qr is there no difference between the two? What is your feeling on this?
WP: I believe women workmen are the best.
I'll tell you what about me Now I may be wrong. I'm not prejudiced
against men now. I'm a man my own self but men have this tendency:
of going out and making decisions nationwide. I mean it effects the nation.
or affects the state* or affects their community and a lot of times
they think that they have to have a big over dose of lobster or shrimp
and a bunch of liquor, or beer or something like that. or champagne.
Now our women would think oi that, because I have been in places where
the men drank their wine. They drank their liquor. And when there were
women in the places, they wouldn't touch it. You see what I mean?
WP: Now, I have nothing against a man drinking whiskey or any alcoholic
beverage, but it's evidently known a medical fact that alcoholic beverages
will cause you not to think totally and clearly as you ought to think.
What do you think?
LB: Yes, sir, I guess that's true. Now do you think that alcohol is a peculiar
problem to Indians You know there is a You know how the old How old
LB: cliches go and so on. Do you think there alcohol is a greater problem
for Indians than for other ethnic groups?
LB: About the same among all of them?
WP: Same amongst all of them. It's what you get use to orwhat you get in
the habit of, but now I tell you the Indian before the White man ever
came in this country, he had his own alcohol. He took his berries and
put them in some kind of a container or some 1 kind could have
been a buffaloe hide. He put berries in there and let them ferment Sk
ut then, the Whitemen came along with some little dt that came around
there with what they call firewater. That's how he defeated the Indian.
SThe White man gave him something and he gave the White man sometiLng.
WP: He taught the White man how to smoke AWhite men taught madeft A ntG4es.
WP: & LB: ha! ha! ha!
LB: That's a pretty good educa tion.
LB: That always counts for a little more togetherness, you know.
WP: That's right. Yeah. You, right about that.
LB: Well, I've heard people say that if you ant to get together on any issue,
that you ought to have a little alcohol handy. Do you think this works
out well? Well, I'll tell you about that now. Moderation is a
great secrete of life in anything that you do. whether it's work
or whether it's play or whether it's eating. A little alcohol isn't
going to bother anybody ou take it in moderation.
WP: That includes sex or anything that you want to talk about.
In anything moderation is the secret oflife.
WP: And if you use it. You use it in religion. Some people get fanatic
about religion. And if they'd use that religion in moderation, they'd
make a better religious person. fnd work A person can work too hard. I*r
/ '. strain and cause a heart condition. There's just lots
of things. Moderation is your secret. A little alcoholic beverage, a little
wine or beer does me more good thar cacola. In fact, I don't try to
WP: think about oclcola. What I do is draw a cold beer occas-iohally.
Not so much because of its alcohol there ain't enough there for that,
but I just like the taste of it.
LB: Well, uh, this has certainly been an interesting interview. And if
you have no further comments, I guess maybe we should not impose on your
good nature and hold you any longer than you'd like to talk.
WP: Well, I certainly enjoyed just being here) in this fellowship circle. uI !
LB: Well, we certainly have enjoyed it and before we close, we'd like to
ask you if you'd say a few farewell words for us in Cree.
WP. In Cree?
LB: Would you do that?
WP: In Cree. In Cree. ha! ha! ha! hal
LB: And translated because we..
WP: Would you like me to sing you a song in Cree?
LB: Yeah. That's great. That's great.
WP: Let's see if I can find something around here. Certainly
like a .. something that I can keep time with.
LB: Do you want something to keep time with ? Then he's going to sing us
a song in Cree. (knocks wooden objects together: probably sticks)
WP: Now, can you hear that?
WP: (Keeps rhythm vth sticks and begins to sing) oh lay ay chay en hi oh sadee
now scoop gonchoy en 'hiohpading. etc.
LB: Oh! That's great! Now, can you tell us what those words mean?
WP: Well, ohlalley is a berry. that grows out in the Rocky Mountain section.
of Canada and United States. It's an orange colored berry. And the Indians
out there take that berry and mash it up and make a juice out of i. -And get
it cooled down and it's called O'Riley. And chuch means water. Ohlaley chuch.
in hial hadu means very good. Oh llalley chuck is very good, see.
WP: Now, which means but. Scoobum chuck jsie'o. -. Now scoocum means strong.
Scoocum chuck ien-oh- Chuck means water. So he means that
Scoocumchuck which is whiskey is very good,fo16
LB: ha! ha! ha!
LB: That's very good.
WP: time /"
In the old days back longago a long time ago wel still days now.
Well, you take where the snow gets three feet deep two feet deep and
all you get to eat ishat you go out there and kill. Then the best
food you get, is in July when the salmon ran up the rivers. Salmon goes
up the rivers, up the west coast and the Indians gather around there and
fish for their salmon and that hw-lasts them a year. Then, you
gather around the camp fires there and sing Oh valley chuck.
LB: well, are you going to teach me that song one of these days?
How about it?
WP: Well, we'll do that. ha! ha! ha!
LB: You spell Cree C R E E, don't you?
WP: C R double E. That's right. Cree.
LB: I certainly have enjoyed this interview, and I'm sort of taking from Miss
Marilyn Taylor because you're supposed to really be her interview.
And she's bothered th Abas duff now.
iut it's going to b her interview :anyway.
WP: Be her interview?
*I- That willbe OK. That will be OK
LB: And we certainly are grateful to you because not only for this interview, but
for all you have met to the Lumbee Indian CoaMunity and for all the other
things that you have been so helpful with. He's always been a friend.
to us and we hope that we know that we'll always be a friend.
WP: Wellyince I've been here, other people say to me, "Well, you've done so
much for our boys, but I'll tell you one thing: the boys have done
a lot for me.
LB: That's great.
WP: And I appreciate that. I appreciate it. I don't figure starting is
a job or a piece of work. It's opportunity to serve boyhood.
because there's one thing about it. If you're going to have a man,
start on him when he's a boy. I guess thatwill be the wi riGp of this.
LB: Well, thank you so much for the Doris Duke) Foundati&n's A'merican Indian
oral history program.
WP: Is that what it's supposed to have been?