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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Date: December 27, 1973
Subject: Vardell Miller
Interviewer: Lew Barton
Typist: Josephine Ann Suslowicz
B: This is December 27, 1973. I am Lew Barton interviewing for the University of
Florida's American Indian Oral History Program. This afternoon I am in my apart-
ment at 214C Dial, D-I-A-L, Terrace, T-E-R-R-A-C-E, in Pembroke, North Carolina,
and with me, consenting to an interview is Mr. Vardell Miller. That's V-A-R-D-
E-L-L M-I-L-L-E-R. Mr. Miller I appreciate you giving me this interview, and, uh,
we would just like to talk in a very relaxed atmosphere. Uh, how old are you
M: Uh, 53. Will be 54 April the 12th, 1974. V -
B: Um-hum. Uh, who were your parents?
M: Miss Lizzie Anna Miller and her husband, McKinley Miller.
B: McKinley Miller? How do you spell that?
M: McKinley, uh. .
M: Yeah, McKinley, yeah.
B: Uh-huh. Miller, M-I-L-L-E-R. I think I've spelled that already. Uh, uh, are you
M: I'm married, but me and my wife is apart at present.
B: I see. Do you have any children?
B: You have three children?
M: Daughters. All daughters.
B: Uh-huh, uh, could you give us their names and ages?
M: I can give you their names, but I can't give their exact ages.
B: Well, don't feel, uh, embarrassed about that, because guys usually can't remember 48 -
LUM 154A 2
children's ages as well as the mothers.
B: Uh, by some strange coincidence mothers are able to remember the ages better
than fathers, for some reason. Uh. .
M: The oldest girl is Blanquitta, B-L-A-N-Q-U-I-T-T-A, Blanquitta Miller. The next
one is Judith Ann, Judith Ann, and the baby girl is named Angela.
B: Uh, let's see now, did you give us their ages?
M: Uh, I can't give you a-specific age, really. The baby girl is 27 years old, but
I don't know what dates of birth.
M: And the others. .
B: She's about. .
M: She's the baby. The baby girl's 27 and the others is about two years division
of them, you see what I mean?
B: The other girls are younger?
B: I see.
M: And g______ grandchildren.
B: "ataat--what is your occupation? What do you do?
M: I'm a D.A.V.
B: And, of course, a D.A.V. means Disabled American Vet.
B: So we're both in the same category, aren't we? (Laughs) Good buddies.
LUM 154A 3
M: Yeah, a little bit.
B: Well, uh, how long have you lived in Pembroke here?
M: I came here in 1939. When I finished high school, eleventh grade was the finish-
ing mark. You know, for high school.
B: Uh-huh. At the time you were going.
M: Yeah, so I came here in the fall of '39. I finished high school in the spring,
came here in the fall and I entered college. We had three semesters, and the Old
nwdIw was the only building here.
M: And I went to college two semesters--two, not semesters, quarters, they had at
that time--quarters, and then for financial reasons I had to pull out.
B: I see. Well, that's what happened to me too. I, uh, that's understandable. You
were born here in Robeson County?
B: And you're a Lumbee Indian?
M: Um-hum. (Affirmative)
B: Uh, I have to ask you this because, uh, sometimes somebody might identify. .
M: I'm a Lumbee. (Laughs)
SkAS 4 r c o or a /
B: As a T1S ee....Youra good old Lumbee. / cg J
M: But, uh, in 1940 my step-daddy, well, which was my father, but I--I classified
him father, but he come--he come and pick me up on Sunday afternoon and carried
me home. He said, Son there's no more funds, and my fees were due for the last
quarter--they were due, definitely due, and, uh, I went back, and I went to
Running Rose, if you know what Running Rose was.
B: Like, we call them or Rose//
B: Like, we call them saying off Rose or rnning Rose.
LUM 154A 4
M; Running Rose or Laying Off Rose are two mules, you know.
B: Right. 'Jf1 I 1t
M: And so, that morning I got up, I went Running Off Rose, and .en-t
He said, Son, I'm so sorry. They had to take me out of school for financial
2 .S... reasons.
M: And so, I says, don't feel bad. I knew what the situation was.
B: Yes, what--what year was that Mr. Miller?
M: We had hospital bills. That was in 1940.
M: Spring of '40.
B: Oh gosh, I remember those days.
B: Days of the Great Depression, right?
M: We was--we was in depression, I'm telling you. Well, Momma was sick and what
little spare money we made the hospital get it, and we very seldom get out of
debt each year. You know what I mean? We--we come close, but not quite. Momma
had to have medical care, and, of course, Dr. Baldman and the hospital's got to
go'along with it, because she had kidney colic. You know that was something, and
when you have something that make you fall on the floor and roll like a hot, you
know. I've seen Momma lay for three days after it was eased off on account of the
B: It was excruciating pain, wasn't it?
M: Oh, and she'd take three days--couldn't even get out of bed because soreness from
M: And I've rode a mule four and five miles to a telephone to call Dr. Baldman, and
LUM 154A 5
he'd be come to the house and give my mother a couple of shots, and wait just
for a moment until she went to sleep, before I get back home with the--on the
red mule. (Laughs) I forget--Rodey--Rodey, yeah.
B: Now, how about your wife? Who was she before you married her?
M: Mr. Edmund Lowry's daughter from Hopewell.
B: You said her name was what?
M: Hellen Neil.
B: Um, and, of course I know you went to P.S.U. or what is now P.S.U.
B: Before that did you go to Pembroke High School?
M: No I didn't. I went to Greengrove.
B: Uh-huh, can you tell us which part of the county Greengrove is in? This is an
Indian community y, isn't it?
M: Greengrove is located--you know where i /lc e B C)Urch is?
B: Uh-huh (Affirmative) I know about where it is.
M: Well it's--it's located in approximately, I'ld say, a southern part of the county;
not too much lower than the middle county. It's--that's where it's located at.
It's about nine or ten miles from Pembroke, south.
B: Uh-huh. Well, the Indian community YO is quite large, isn't it? It extends in
many directions from Pembroke, doesn't it?
M: Yes, definitely.
B: Uh, what-do you know what year it was you got married?
B: Then, uh, I'm assuming, from what you've told me, that after you got married
and you withdrew from college, then you went into service. Which part of service
were you in?
LUM 154A 6
M: Well, I was transferred _e t C' [ artermaster at first.
B: And that's the U.S. Army, right?
M: Yeah. I mean I was in the original army, not the--I wasn't a draftee.
M: Wall, the reason I went--because I was, um, a little disgusted. Not at my parents
because I knew; I understood, but July 6 I went into the army. I enlisted in
Charlotte--me and George Sabus, and I was transferred to-I mean I--I selected
Fort Mocher (?), South Carolina, only a hundred and seven miles away from home,
and so, I was very conservative with what little money I get, and I believe I
was making a whole twenty-one dollars a month. (Laughs)
B: lgv^ ^ iY ^ Arrx' iJl f' ([ PZ cQcis)
M: Yeah, twenty-one dollars a month, and, of course, you'd get your wooden nickels
if you wanted to IojlTOon book they called it, you know, and, of course, that
was taken out of your pay. Your laundry was a dollar and a half, and of course,
you got the remains, but, uh, the original--in other words, the 4p was
M: Uh, I was very conservative, and I'ld loan some of the boys some money, and some
of the boys were very extravagant and so they would, uh, pay Miller. V A-
five dollars, give seven dollars back payday. So, I'ld do it, and they was good
M: Country boys like myself, so. .
B: That's good interest, isn't it?
M: I was--oh, that was extremely good at that time. (Both laugh) It would be
nothing today, and so, uh, payday they paid me like clockwork. All right, so I
never had- except one watch in my life, and it was a Mickey Mouse, if you know
LUM 154A 7
what a Mickey Mouse watch looks like. (Laughs)
B: Yes, M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E, Mickey Mouse.
M: Mickey Mouse.
M: It's the last night. I wanted me a nice watch, so there's an 0 i from
Pembroke. His name was Leroy. He didn't have no legs.
M: You might remember him, or hear tell of him.
B: Yeah, is this the boy whose legs were cut off when a car hit him? Uh, he was
standing back in front of the car, or Earl, I'm thinking of.
M: No, no. This happened previous to that. Several years previous.
B: It was the train. He /\ a train*.,.
M: Yeah. r e
B: UI6M& /P' ,."eels. \
M: Yeah, and I went to Leroy's Jewelery's in Charleston, which I ,i'. f
an old boat. Didn't cost nothing.
B: Um-hum. (,V r'
M: About seven--eight miles, but we had to cross a couple of bridge, and
at that time there was a--a fee--a travel fee. It cost you twenty cents, I think,
extra fees above bus fees to travel across the bridge.
M: One way. So, all you would buy yourself a booklet of tickets, see? At the PX,
but I'ld travel 4T bi lt C4r/ because I was, like I said, I was
kinda conservative. Never had nothing, and a little piece--a little piece of
money kinda made me feel good, so, I was trying to hold on.
B: Well, well you--you did do war service then, didn't you?
LUM 154A 8
B: Well, what theater were you in, North Atlantic, or Southwest Pacific, or whatever?
B: European, yeah, uh-huh.
M: So, we would come--I'ld come over there. So I came to Leroy's Jeweleries, and I
said, Leroy, Ji liJ want that watch, and I believe it sold for
twenty some dollars, and today that watch would cost you probably close to a
M: But, I bought it, and I paid $5 month on that watch. That's what I paid for
it. I mean $5 a month. I believe he got paid in four or five installments,
and so, I got thinking I was superman and went to this airborne outfit. Went to
Fort and I went through class 85--jump school.
M: And now I was--went to a new outfit. It was just activating in Camp !t /('
North Carolina when I finished school. Uh, Henry Ford Carter, Mr. --he was with
me here. What was Mr. Carter's name down here? Uh, a Miss _/__6 Carter's
M: He was the first Indian to ever went through there. He got a big write-up in the
Columbia paper and Fort Benning paper, and stuff like that, you know? He's the
first Indian, and, uh, that's "ii I met him down there, too.
B: Um-hum. /
"M: So when we finished school down there, they assigned us to
airborne outfits--divisions. I went to 17th airborne division in Camp 94/
It was just being activated then.
M: And, uh, I stayed with it. That's when he gave up and signed to some battalian.
LUM 154A 9
He wasn't in the division but some battalion, and he went overseas and he dropped
in, uh, Italy, and the American Navy shot him all to pieces down there. There
was a mix-up in, you know, communications.
M: And he got shot up--I mean they got shot up, but he was one of the very few in
the division. I missed him for about two or three weeks so, maybe a months t
works out that I\c AI I1 t'(come together to Pembroke, you know, so we
can visit, because I was married you see.
B: Um-hum. /
M: And jf. ) Cso -J 05 showed up one day, I said, oy where in the
world you been? IWe was down at PX's rC / C. c ) ( ?C'td \Ca! '
M: He says, well Boy, I've been a long way from here. He said, then,
when they flew him over into Italy, and then, what was left they brought them
back for reorganization because practically all of them got killed.
B: Were you ever injured in service, or wounded?
M: Well, I only have had an ankle busted one time, well fractured--I'll say fractured.
It was the right ankle.
M: In a jump, and I was temporarily paralyzed from, uh, C-smeain
backwards, and, you know, because the rump is where I hit.
M: And I was temporarily paralyzed which they hospitalized me for two weeks in
L;(Sc- )'because they said that can--snap the finger like that--you know
what I mean?
M: It can be something else. You never might know.
LUM 154A 10
M: Which I was never in no serious combat--no.
B: Um, did you--were you treated any differently in service do you think because
you were an Indian, anything like this? ,
M: Deffinitely not. Um-um. I went in and howe- d-as Indian. I was sworn in mra"-
Bhwered, and when I came out of the army, uh, they listed me as hair is black--
which is white now--and ruby--complexion ruby, on my discharge, which my dis-
charge got burned up when I got burned out, because everything I got burned up
except me and my underwear, and a pair of pants I grabbed when I ran out. But
anyway, they discharged me--they didn't ask no questions, and they put down there
White. My discharge says White.
M: Now I wasn't dis--I wasn't discriminated in any--no way. Uh-uh, yes sir, and
back to business, uh, I was in there with--we had Italians, we had some real
Indians, and full-blooded : 02 --I reckon, full-blooded Indians, and White
of all nationalities--we had them in our outfit, you know.
M: And my company, too, but, ,h-uh, and there was some--some fellows in the outfit
like, well, we'll call 'em-DeigdS', which is Italian. 4-De is not a clean word,
I never use it as a clean word-- called them -eigus. I--I looked like a
White man beside them, see.
M: But good old Joes ,- V would always try to get along, of course
you know, there's always a little friction occasionally occurred.
B: Yes, that's natural. That had nothing to do with race.
M: No, there wasn't no race prejudice whatsoever. I rated sergeant. I was a squad
leader, and my boss man, well, next to boss we had staff sergeant, next to him
was I1 ; '_6 sergeant. We didn't--and they had a master sergeant too. We didn't
LUM 154A 11
we had a first sergeant--master sergeant b( L-'T f' l / Your first sergeant
was the boy that took care of the company. What I mean is, the inside.
M: And, uh, I never had no friction from them, and they would appoint me sometimes to
take the company out, not just the squad, but I was just in charge of my squad.
At times I'ld take that whole company out and drill them because they thought
I was pretty good drillf sergeant, see.
B: Sounds like you made out find in the army. Uh, what did you do when you came back
M: When I cam1 back I w nt back to work at the Maxton Air Base.
B: That's the axton Air Base?
M: Yeah, I got a--a discharge for dis--I mean I was, uh, getting a--they discharged
me with a pension due to my disability.
B: I see.
M: And, uh, so I got me a job, a soft job, at the Maxton Air Base, and then my wife
moved out..-She's living with her father@ And, uh, I worked there until they
closed, and, of course, then I moved from Hopewell to Pembroke, and I moved in the
old --what's it called--the two-story building where the, uh, Texaco sits--not the
Texaco, but, uh, Anaot sits.
M: And, uh, I lived there for four or five years, and I proceeded to move in the edge
of town. Finally moved cross the river an lived f a a year on the( L. .'
--on the P\ (" '- /excuse me, [\ place.
B: Uh-huh. /? /C 1
M: I lived there for a while. Then I moved back, uh, and just below A I
lived there for--in Mr. John Brooks' house for approximately a year, and I left
there and I lived in Mr. )Cr f "Thomas' house for approximately two years, and
LUM 154A 12
I left from there and I moved to :Dl North Carolina. I worked in the
Ford place up there for a year. In the meanwhile I was doing mechanic work which
I collected from the service along with my other activities.
B: Um-hum, were you--are you living here ifrDial Terrace?
M: Deffinitely, yes.
B: What's your address here, Mr. Miller?
M: 202B Dial Terrace.
B: Well, what do you think of this project--this low cost--it's low rent housing, uh,
it's under federal authority, isn't it? What do you think of this project?
M: Well, I like it, really.
B: Do you think it's a break for people like us who are, you know, more or less
M: Well, I think it's a break for us and underprivileged people, because I pay my
rent when I get my little (?)check, and I pay my light bill, and the other is
furnished, such as heat, water, and I understand, the grass--cutting and all that
stuff, the other activities, uh, maintenance as long as it's not willfully damaged
they take care of that, too.
M: And I think it's a wonderful thing for us.
B: That's a good deal. Of course, I don't make much money, and, uh, I won't ask you--
it would be a personal question to ask you if you made, uh, how much you made, or
anything, but do you think we should tell how much rent we pay, or would you not
like to? I'll tell how much I pay, if you'll tell how much you pay. How's that?
M: We pay according to our income. I got a neighbor that lives in the same room as
I did, the same type of apartment, and he's a friend of mine and we get along so
fine, and he pays $33 a month, plus his light bill. I pay $41 a month plus my
lightbill, which your light bill you adjust at according to your, uh, what you use.
LUM 154A 13
B: Is that right?
M: The utilities, see?
M: Though I--I think it's a wonderful thing, myself. I enjoyed it so far ever since
September the tenth, I've enjoyed it, really. I go to bed at night, I set my
thermostat. I try to be conservative, and stuff like that, but I set my thermo-
stat to where it is comfortable, and I use a certain amount of covers, which--I
am a heart patient, naturally. I was in the hospital for thirty days, uh, and
three weeks I couldn't get out of bed, but a whole lot of cover I can't turn over
under it, because I turn quite a bit. I sleep on my right side practically all
the time. That and on my back, because on my left side it puts a certain amount
of pressure on my heart.
B: Does it.
M: So I don't use too much cover, and I have to put my thermostat a little higher. My
light bill yet hasn't run over four dollars and fifty cents, and. .
B: Hey, that's great. Of course you know, I just moved in. Uh, I've been here just
this month. I moved in on--about the first, didn't I?
M: I remember, yes.
B: And, uh, I--I promised I'ld tell howimuch I pay. You pay $41 a month, I pay $44
M: 41 plus. ..
B: Uh-huh, and, yeah, mine has the pluses, too.
M: I had to pay a deposit, you know, you got $20 deposit, see.
M: So I paid that.
B: Now we're talking about just the rent.
LUM 154A 14
B: And the utilities.
M: Mine's 41.
B: Uh-huh, and mine is--I paid the same thing as you did, uh, and, but my rent's
just a little bit more, although I--I probably __ just a little bit more.
M: I--well, I/i '" like this, I'll come and I'm not too personal, but I'll say
it like this, the V.A. is automatically giving me, through a disability which I--
is not service connected--they pay me $130 a month on the first day of the month.
M: And on the third day of the month social security goes along with them, and they
pay me $127.10.
M: And, of course, I might pick up a nickel once in a while, here and there, but I
don't report it, but I have to fill out a report once a--every--well I had to--my
last check from the V.A. I had to fill out a form saying what my income was, and
V.A. or social security, or my other things, but these little teeny things I can't
remember, so I don't--I don't report them because it's--I don't remember them, see?
B: Um-hum, yeah.
M: And, uh, I think it's a wonderful thing, and our ground now is beginning to look
good because it's getting green now. We're fixing to have one of those--look
like the most beautiful terraces in town, and so many people ride through viewing
it, and they think that it's really looking good, and another thing that I'll have
to comment on; me and Mr. Clint ,' I mean Clint Thomas is good friends.
B: Mr. Clint Thomas, of course, is the manager here, but that's. .
M: He's the boss.
B: C-L-I-N-T T-H-0-M-A-S.
M: Yeah, and we have coffee together in the morning up at the restaurant. I mean, uh,
excuse me, up at the, uh, drug store. We walk back sometimes together, and we talk
and we look the grounds over, and they're beginning to turn green, and I think
LUM 154A 15
it's very beautiful, and this inspection deal--we got some people in this commu-
nittee, I mean in this, uh, Terrace that has criticized that (lc ',
B: What is--what is it now they criticize?
M: The inspection.
M: They are about, well. .
B: This is once a month inspection?
M: Well, when I first came here, I wasn't inspected for about a month and a half
but S 1)OW -6 7 did, which that was in the contract.
M: That you would be inspected atoroximately once a month--aonroximately.
B: Is that to say, uh, if cleanliness is ur to nar, or what?
M: Deffinitely yes, and I appreciate it because you have, and I havewalked--I
mean drove through the areas in the big cities and the slums, and when you
enter it you can smell it, and they're trying to avoid that.
M: And he told me, and which I've never been home when there was an inspection
coming off, but they always send you a letter previous to the inspection.
M: Two or three days.
B! They let you know ahead of time.
M' And if you don't--if you--if you're working, or you don't be at home, they got
a master key. They come in and they'll insect. They don't bother nothing, and
on your couch, or somewhere where they know you--aooropriate where you'll find
it, they leave a sheet giving you fdir, good) or bad, or whatever the ratings
LUM 154A 16
M. And--and if there's any comment on your floor, they don't insoect nothing
exceot something that oertains to the building. -,saJu7i yum bed and stuff
like that, and there's MeT they don't.,,Anything they don't bother
your closet, which we have, however, closets, you know.
M. Clothing closets, uh- utili--uh, linen closets and stuff like--they don't--
they don't bother with that. Tf there's no odor they don't bother nothing,
and, uh, they leave that sheet laying, and if it's good f '. J they check it
down the line good--under the G.
M: And under the Fair--F, and if there's any comment, whatever it is, floors, or
anything that's not up to par, they will, uh, put a comment over on the right
hand side which is a drawn line, they'll put a comment, see.
M: As to what you need. They do that.
M: And. ..
B: Is your apartment about the same size as mine?
M: It's about the same size. It's maybe a little different--maybe a little different.
B: Uh, you're good at describing things, and of course, uh, our listeners and our
readers perhaps never saw, uh, one of these apartments. Now this. ..
SIDE II Uh, Mr. Thomas--I'm sorry. Mr. Miller, when we ran out of tape, you were about
ready to describe one of these apartments, and of course I said that the name
of this project here is the Pembroke Housing Authority, uh, the Pembroke Housing
Authority. I pronounce it Pembr6ke when I'm sometimes, uh, for the sake of
helping people spell it when I'm doing tapes, but the people here in Pembroke
uh, pronounce it Pembroke, don't they? Uh, Pembroke is Pembroke, just like it
LUM 154A 17
is in, uh, England. Uh, there's a Pembroke, England, and there's a Pembroke
college in England by the way. Anyway, this is the Pembroke Housing Authority,
and you were going to describe one of these apartments so that our readers and
listeners would know what they're like, you know.
M: Uh, you want to start with the apartments then.
M: But, uh, we have our guest closet in our living room--that's where you put your,
you know--your guest closet.
M: And we have __i closet;7
M: In our bedroom, and we have our linen closet right next to our bathrooms, and
our bathrooms I think is very Ctj '." We have a cabinets--medical cabinets
B: Hot water heater.
M:J Hot--well the hot water heater is in the--mine, mine is in my kitchen, and, uh,
all you have to do to cook a meal is just turn. You don't have to. .
B: We use natural gas.
M: We use natural gas and your water--your heating system is with gas.
M: And the only expenses you got on your light bill is the blower that blows that
hot air from that water after the gas heats it, and your heat is blown through
vents which each. room has a vent, and your living room--my living room has
got three vents in it. Two in the roof, one on the wall.
M: And my room is longer than yours, naturally, and every room has that, and, uh,
I have facilities for a telephone and facilities for a radio. They have--on the
outside they have facilities for your television __ Inside they have
one for, uh, television. All you do is take a screw out. .
LUM 154A 18
B: Plug. .
M: Plug your television in, take two screws out, and there you are. The wires is
ran through the walls. They're already installed, see. Your television set
right there; if you want it to, it can sit right there. You just e-
that little wall right there, and, uh, and that's it, and on the outside your
aerial, if you have one ,f;i1 r -A t is got a bracket--
installed bracket out there. All you do--they got wing nuts on them.
M: You take them off and stand them up. They furnish trash cans and the bags that
goes in them.
M: They set them immediately at your back door.
B: I think the town furnishes those bags, though.
M: I think the trash men do.
M: I think that's it. It sounds right.
M: But you can just go into the office and get them.
M: Or, if you see Mr. Pierson, he'll bring them down to you. See, if you don't feel
like going up and you see him walking by, you can say what about bringing some
of those bags, Mr. Pierson--the service man.
B: We're--we're here in my living room. About how large is this living room?
M: Oh. .
B: It's a pretty big size, but that's not saying much. I'ld like to be a little
M: About eight--that's about--that fifteen feet ___
B: I believe it is.
M: And about. ..
LUM 154A 19
B: I'ld have to measure it ''
M: And about--about fourteen. Touching fourteen that way. Mine is approximately,
I'ld say, twenty feet.
B: Twenty feet by what?
M: Well, it's about the same width of yours.
B: Well, that's, uh, they want to know what that is. There's about how much. .
M: I'l say approximately. .
B: About 20 by--20 by 15, would you say?
M: Yeah, approximately, approximately.
B: Oh, and, uh, let's see now, let me see if I can bring this up to date on this.
In these apartments it's--I think it's important that we describe it, in these
apartments, uh, like mine, for example, uh, we have a living room, we have a
kitchen, we have a--I have one bedroom because I'm just one person living here
in bachelor quarters.
M: That's all I have--one bedroom.
B: We're good old bachelors, aren't we?
B: (Laughs) And, let's see now, what else did I l'7 T-,/ ( i
M: You got a pantry.
B: And a pantry, yeah. What else? Bathroom.
B: What else?
M: Well, we got a living room, bedroom, pantry in our kitchen, a bathroom--nice
bathroom. We got our closets. We got three closets.
B: Three large closets.
B: Two are for clothing.
LUM 154A 20
M: Right, we got that, and we have--in my apartment I have, in my bathroom, alarm
system--American alarm system. It's a--it's a red button.
B: Yeah, I have some, too.
M: You have those, and in my bedroom I have the same thing.
M: If I can get to them in case something happens to me, which I'm a heart patient,
naturally, and if something happens to me in the bathroom, I just--if I can get
that button, and the police has been alerted, the neighbors have'been-alerted.
You can hear that, and it continues to ring--investigate, and. .
B: Sometimes trouble.
M: Try to get help--yeah. Try to get help, and, uh, then we have--over our front
door, I mean over our--your front door and our back doors which we have--I have
two doors. You do have two doors, don't you?
M: When it was raining, the rain don't come down on the front steps. They got a
shield up there, uh, plate.
M: But if it hit the last of the steps and the water run off on each side, and it
don't come down on us. We got about a, I'ld say about three foot hang-over to
where the wind has got to be blowing the rain, or snow, or anything to blow it
into your window if you got them up.
M: We have sliding windows, and they are sealed. Uh, you just--they slide, you know.
M: And, uh,
B: Of course, these are brick buildings, aren't they?
LUM 154A 21
M: Yeah, well, some of them is brick. There is that different features, otherwise
they build them in a variety, but. .
B: Depending on if. .
M: But most of them--mostly brick--mostly brick, but some of them is--is got aged
wood in the front. The one I live in is all brick.
M: Is all brick. Some of them like this next building up here, I think, it's got
a frontraging, uh, woodon it.
M: Which--which is--and between mine and I. (C 5 Qartment, we have
what's supposed to be insulated, sound--almost soundproof. .
B: I noticed that the. .
B: The soundproofing is very good in here because I never hear a neighbor--I've
never heard a neighbor since I've been here, and I've got neighbors on both
B: And I play music, and they--with an electric guitar--and I haven't had any
complaints, so it's got to be pretty darn good.
M: Yeah, yeah, uh, the only thing--the only--the only thing that I've seen in my
apartment is--didn't look up to par was the painters--the painters. Well, what
happened--our painters, when they put this plywood up, they had to come back--
they didn't put the soundproof up, so they had to come back again and put up
different plywood--the inspectors wouldn't approve. So, the painters had already
painted it, and so, that frets a painter because he figures he's doing two jobs--
double jobs for nothing--one to get paid for one job.
LUM 154A 22
M: So they was kind of careless in some respects, but other than that, I told Mr.
Glenn, I showed him, I says, you see it? And he says, yeah, I understand, so
other than that, if he accepts it, okay with me. I'm doing all right.
B: Of course, these buildings are not the size--are not air conditioned, but they
have, uh, an attachment for air condition--air conditioners, and they have, uh,
220 plugs for an air conditioner--air conditioner, and, uh, I haven't installed
mine yet, but I'm gonna install it very shortly. Uh, my friends, by the way,
bought me a new air conditioner this summer.
M: Well. .
B: I got good friends.
M: Well, your air conditioner--I see your red mark there, right there.
M: Right beside that curtain.
B: That shows you where. .
M: Well, when you fixing to install, uh, television, or air condition, or your, well,
air condition, I mean television, if he--you ain't gonna install it into their
way, you can set yours on a table and plug it in. Okay, if you want to use
rapidity, but if you want air condition, or television, you supposed to just
notify them and they'll come down, and they have their plans of insulation,
M: And when a thief--and when you get ready to install, you know where they're going
to put that? Right there in that window--the lower part where--right where
that funny. ..
B: The living room.
M: That's right.
B: Or the parlor, as. .
LUM 154A 23
M: That's right.
B: We call it.
M: That's where they install--that's where / be insulated at--right there.
M: They'll move that out and put some other--they put your television--I mean your
air condition there, then they might extract that bottom glass, and, but they'll
put a substitute on the side to make up for, you know, finished C-CI.fl f /
M: And then if you--if you move out, they'll probably put that right back in there,
you see what I mean?
M: But they like for you to consult them when you get ready to make your. .
B: Uh, the maintenance man is supposed to do that ll ,
M: He's supposed to consult them, and they, uh, they'll show you how to do it. I
mean, they'll--they'll--they'll show the man how to do it and the man is going
to install it, see.
B: Well, now, how many of these apartments are there, Mr. Miller? Do you know how
many we have?
B: We have 43 so far.
M: 43--one of them is used as the office. I don't know whether that includes 43 or
not, but in this new project over here, which is getting on the way pretty good,
if this weather permits.
B: [ .:C we're still building?
M: Well. ..
B: We're gonna build more--still more than the 43?
M: Oh, you haven't been over to see the. ?
LUM 154A 24
M: I see. Got about--I don't know--30 or 40 going over there.
B: Where is this other location?
M: Uh, back of the oil company. You know where the ^ '.T supplies company
B: Uh, that's up in the main part of town.
M: On the--yeah.
B: About. .
M: Well, across the _UA _i in there. .
M: They're well on the way with them.
B: I didn't know that. I--that's interesting.
M: Is that right? And another thing is we got another project going on that it's
supposed to be about 70 or 75 units going. That's, um, to the left of the
hospital--I mean the senior high school.
M: They done bought the land and everything. About 70 units is going up down there,
when they get through with these over here.
B: Um-hum. Now could you tell us where Dial Terrace is? Tell us where the highway
is and where the, uh, which highway do we cross?
B: It's next to 710, and, of course, we're right back of city hall, aren't we?
M: We turn at the stop light at city hall. If you're approaching from the east,
you do a left. If you took--approaching from the west, you do a right, and you
:' ''- in one block, and I live--when you get to that first block, you don't
turn, you just cross that street and right in my drive-way--on the left.
B: fvfee 'A
M: And to come to Mr. Barton's house, you do a left when you hit that next street--
one block I j --srLet--do a left, go just a few feet p --in other
LUM 154A 25
words, first street to the right r I _t i'b' and
you do a right, and what's your number?
B: This is 214C.
M: 214C and that's about the third apartment, isn't it?
B: Uh, yeah.
M: Third apartment--second driveway, we'll say.
B: And we're--we're real near the end, and I'm glad of that because, uh, we know
there aren't going to be any other buildings near this one.
M: Um-hum. There ain't gonna be any more where I'm at, because--well, I think the
reason I got that--on account of my--when I..
B: And of course the yard, uh, is, uh, is planted in beautiful grass and so forth.
M: Yes, imwn--naturally.
B: Uh, let me get the phone. Uh, Mr. Miller, you said something a moment ago about,
um, the convenience of, uh, the stores, uh, which had to' do with where we're
located in town. Of course, all these housing projects are not that lucky, but
we are lucky, and would you like to say something about the conveniences we
have here in Pembroke because of the location? We're right near what, now?
M: We're located--me, I can make 50--40 or 50 steps and I can be to the Lumbee Bank.
Mr. Barton might have to make about 75.
M: And adjoining the bank we got 5 store which--dry goods, nice snack
bar in the back, and just next door--just next door in the same building, almost--
where the buildings join, we have Piggly Wiggly and they have a supply of--
great supply of groceries and anything you want, and we can bank, we can buy
dry goods, and we can buy groceries with just in a few yards from our building.
Out front we have a drug store with a--it's just a short block--a drug store
which has a snack bar, too, partstore for automobiles)if you need them, and
LUM 154A 26
we got several others. We have a hardwares--we have a hardware, too--two hard-
wares right--just a few steps, and we've service stations. It is very convenient.
We got two--three of them.
B: Post office is..
M: Post office is not far away, and, of course, we have. .
B: Barber shop.
M: The, uh, barber shop is very convenient, it's just--it's just on the street.
In other words, it's such convenience, and we got a--a Western Auto store, in
case you want to buy your kid a bicycle for Christmas i.'f'J .r..tj .
B: They're too big for that now, brother.
M: But, uh, we got all the convenience. We got a music store, too.
B: Is that right?
M: You want to buy yourself a record, Clint--go to Clint. The U' Ji;,Cr"
they call 't, you know. (Laughs) You heard that on the tele--I mean radio,
haven't you? "
B: /V0 ..... ,. ?
M: He's up there--right there, too, and we got--we got all the conveniences, and dry,
uh, if you need the cleaners, we got that right down in the Piggly Wiggly, or we
got one just around the corner there. We one just above it up there.
M: In other words, we're not hurting for many things.
B: Uh, and how--how about you're, uh, a veteran, of course, uh, servicemen have a
reputation for liking to, uh, uh, imjit--imbibe occasionally, so how far is
it from here to the ABC Store? That's what I was getting at.
M: Oh well, we got less than--it's not over a block.
B: Well, then. .
M: To(s I ar r "
B: Those are pretty, uh, modern conveniences for a couple of disabled war veterans. .
LUM 154A 27
M: And we also, if you--if we have problems which--me and Mr. Barton--don't worry
too much about, uh, filling out income tax. I don't think we have too much
worry about it because mine is all tax free.
B: Okay. Well, I want to thank you very much for giving me this interview. I've
enjoyed it very much. You're very kind to give it to me.
M: That's good, I'll talk to you later.