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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Date: August 3, 1973
Subject: Mrs. Cathy Stone
Interviewer: Lew Barton
Transcriber: Josephine Suslowicz
B: This is August 3, 1973. I am Lew Barton interviewing for the University of
Florida's the Doris Duke Foundation's American Indian Oral History Program.
Today I am again in the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Godfrey and with me is a
young lady who has consented to give me an interview. Uh, would you mind
giving us your name?
S: Cathy Stone.
B: Cathy Stone are you married?
S: Yes, I am, but I'm separated.
Wwt tr'- "- OtA o
B: Ace-you separated? Uh-huh. Would you tell us something about your back-
ground? I mean, parents and things like this.
S: My mother and daddy are L and Elizabeth Williams.
S: Uh, the kids--there's six of us, two boys and four girls. I'm next to the
youngest. I have a sister that's twelve and I'm twenty.
B: Uh-huh. How long have you been married?
S: Uh, it was three years this past March.
B: Uh, does this say something for early marriages, do you think?
S: ik-W4 don't do it. (Laughs)
B: Well, perhaps that's pretty good advice. tiidr
S: Just make sure you know what you're doing.
B: Uh-huh. Tell us--you're going to tell us your husband's name?
S: Dennis Rae.
S: He's twenty also, and he's in the army.
B: He's just twenty now?
LUM 158A 2
S: Ur-hum. (Affirmative)
B: And he's in the Army now.
S: Ur-hum. (Affirmative)
B: And you're how old now?
B: You're awfully pretty. You know that, don't you?
S: No, thank you though.
B: Were you born in Mecklenburg County? Mecklenburg, by the way, is the county,
uh, in which Charlotte is.
S: Yes, I was. I was born in Charlotte Memorial Hospital.
B: Um-hum, Charlotte is quite a town.
S: It sure is. It's grown in the last few years.
B: I don't think a Charlotteans, if I'm calling it right, would like me calling
it a town. It's really a city, but this is a great distribution center
B: Where did you go to school?
S: Well, I went to elementary in Mathews. This is a small community outside
of Charlotte--Charlotte city limits.
S: And that's where I'm a really--where I really live, and then when I was in
my junior high, I was moved to Charlotte to McClintock Junior High, and then
I went to East Mecklenburg in Charlotte, and I quit there in eleventh grade.
B: You quit in the eleventh?
S: I didn't graduate.
B: Did-y4 get married?
S: Um-hum. (Affirmative)
B: Were you madly in love?
LUM 158A 3
S: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)
B: You thought you were at the time anyway, huh?
S: Yeah I was, at the time, but just a little bit too young.
B: Uh-huh, uh, maybe this is personal, but did you consider your husband to
be a bit immature? You know girls mature faster than guys, they say.
S: Yeah, I found this out, um, an average girl, uh, the same age of a boy is
about two years older in maturity, and Dennis was, uh, very immature.
B: Um, do you think he considered you to be immature, too?
S: Uh, he never did say.
B: (Laughs) Of course I'm kidding. Uh, you haven't joined the Women's Lib
movement, have you?
S: Partly. I'm all for it.
B: You are? Uh, do you endorse all of it, orppart of it.
S: Um, some things I don't go along with, but most of it I do. I think that...
B: What part of it's--what parts of it don't you likeJ dr don't you go along
with? How about the bra burning ceremonies?
S: No, I like that. I think if you want to go without a bra, that's fine. You--
if it doesn't look bad.
B: 94tejber L hiU.
S: If it doesn't look bad.
S: A woman ought to keep up herself, but if she can do it in a way, that's fine
with me. I think...
B: In other words, that's her business, isn't it?
S: That's her business.
B: Uh, how do you--how do you like, uh, substituting Ms. for Mrs.?
S: It doesn't matter.
B: You don't really care, do you?
LUM 158A 4
S: Right now I'Ad rather be called Miss.
B: (Laughs) Well, perhaps you should it's--at twenty. Uh, what are some of
the other things you like or dislike about Women's Lib? Equal pay for
S: Yeah, I think-y-a /o omen should get just as much pay as men. For instance,
um, a waitress can make ten dollars a day, but a waiter can do the same
thing and maybe less, and make thirty.
S: Which is, I mean a man waiter just gets more money than a waitress would.
B: I've picked up the telephone here in Charlotte yesterday and I was listening
for the operator to come in and help me, and somebody says, "Number please'
(hltn e_+I,) It was a guy. How do you feel about guys being telephone
S: I think it's fine. Uh, the first time I ever picked up the phone and heard
one, it surprised me. I didn't know what to say, but they've got just as
much right to do it as I would working a construction job, as I have done.
B: Uh-huh. How about, um, men who are nurses?
S: I think that's okay, too. If they qualify and if they want to--feel like
they can help the people.
B: Uh-huh. In other words, if you were in a hospital and a guy came by and
took your temperature and everything and soothed you, would that make you
feel just as well as a--as if it were a--or female nurse?
S: Yeah, I think it'ld be the same. It's just like the men feel when the wom--
the lady nurses come in.
B: I wonder if other guys don't Fea the pants off of, uh, male telephone opera-
tors and male nurses, though, don't you?
S: Well, maybe not as much as when they first started it. I think people's
getting more used to it now.
LUM 158A 5
B: Uh-huh, of course, in the big city which is metropolitan, or cosmopolitan
you expect to find variations of just about everything, don't you?
S: Yes. You find a little bit of everything in Charlotte T)hi not anything
B: You know the crime rate in the nation has been pretty high. Is it pretty
high in Charlotte?
S: Uh, yeah. It dropped some recently, I think. Uh, last year or a couple of
year--years ago it was at the top-_Charlotte was of the United States in
S: But I think it's dropped some now.
S: Aot quite as bad.
B: You told me a while ago, I believe, that you had a smidgen of Lumbee Indian?
S: Yeah, just a smidgen, that's all.
B: (Laughs) Oh well, that qualifies you. We are attempting to ascertain the
lifestyle of the Lumbee Indiana. When you go home to Robeson County, North
Carolina, you know, the home of the Lumbee, uh, Pembroke, do you notice
any differences between, uh, you know, that area and this? Of course, first
of all, that's the-rural area and this is not.
S: It's, um, more like country. -Wr, down in Mathews where I'm really fromnon
the outskirts of Charlotte, there's more country people down there, and it's
more like country, I think, yuknew
B: Are most country people alike, do you think? I mean, are there things about
them which are a lot alike?
S: Yeah, I think Lhui, I've never met one that I didn't like. They're all
friendly. They're not fast-moving like the people in the cities are. The
people in the cities are too busyrtr-se-anybody.
LUM 158A 6
B: Do you think city people are a little bit snobbish?
S: Yeah, I think so.
B: Do you think they're more sophisticated than country people?
S: Yeah, I think city people kind of--they let it go to their head.
B: Kind of feel themselves, huh? Uh, if you had your choice, uh, which part
of the country would you live in, in the city, or in the rural area?
S: Of the country?
B: Or, I mean, would you...
S: Or any state, or what?
B: Yes, of any--any rural area or any city.
S: I think where IId like to live is where I visited recently is Tennessee.
I've never been there before til couple of weeks ago, and that was up near
Gatlanburg, Tennessee. There's not much mountains--just hills, and the
people are really great there. Uh, my mother got sick and had to go to the
hospital, and everybody was just really great. Every--they take time to
help you, where people around here haven't got time to spend with people.
They're too busy.
B: Uh, how do you feel about your t b't little smidgen of Lumbee
blood in--does it--it's never created any problems for you, has it?
S: No, uh-uh. Idnt-V .
B: Are you proud of it?
S: I'm proud of it, yeah. I don't mind telling anybody that asks.
B: Um-hum. How about, uh, of course you haven't lived back, really, in Robeson
County, North Carolina, have you?
S: No, I've never lived there.
B: Just visited frequently?
S: Just visited, yes.
B: Uh-huh, and you have noticed some differences?
LUM 158A 7
S: Uh, yeah, I've noticed some difference in the land and all there is different
from here, and the people, like I said, were different.
S: I mean, everyone-- re all alike in some respects, but...
B: Of course there are a few differences, uh, supposedly between say, y eFe fv
generation and my generation, which is just a couple of years. How old are
you now? -e ) You've heard the term, uh, the generation gap which
means that young people, I suppose, aren't able to talk to, uh, their parents
as well as, uh, you know, perhaps parents would like. Do you recognize any
such thing as a generation gap, or do you think this is just a figment of
S: Yeah, I think there is a generation gap. I know myself, I couldn't talk to
my mother and daddy as well as I should have. WS' I can now better than
when I was sixteen-9seventeen_-right after I got married.
B: Do you think you might have imagined that there were some barriers there
that weren't really there?
S: Yes, I think so.
B: Uh, do young people have a tendency to, uh, mistrust older people and, you
know, consider them...
S: No, I don't think it's really mistrust. It's just they think they're trying
to be hard on 'em when they're really doing what's good for them.
B: You really mean that sincerely, don't you?
S: Yeah, I do. I found out that from my mistakes.
B: Um-hum. Uh, what advice would you give to other young people like yourself,
uh, relative to this, uh, generation gap?
S: Well there's not much advice you can really give because they're gonna take
Tit as they want to
it as they want to just like I did. W&ere just gonna have to, I guess learn
by Lt4m*e mistakes like I did, and sooner or later they'll learn that they
LUM 158A 8
were the ones that were wrong.
B: Do you think this, uh, quotation which says that life is the best teacher of
all, it gives you the examination first, and the lesson afterwards?
B: Do you think that's a pretty good quotation? Uh, do you think most of us
are a little reluctant to take anybody's advice or learn things vicariously?
Do you think, perhaps, we'Id rather learn it for ourselves?
S: I think so. That's the way I learned a lot of what I know now, I Ias
learning myself and living through my mistakes, but I made enough--made
plenty of them.
B: Do you think life is the best teacher, perhaps, though perhaps...
B: ...the hardest teacher too, right?
S: Yeah, 4-that's right.
B: Um-hum, um, how do young people in Charlotte feel about, uh, acceptance,
you know, social acceptance in high school, for example? Uh, is this very
important to them? Do you think they, uh, would do almost anything to be
accepted by their own peers and people in their own age group?
S: Some of them would. Uh, depends on if you're a social climber. There's a
lot of social climbers that go through quite a bit.
S: But, uh, for myself, I was kind of shy when I went to school and, uh, I kind
of e-tyed behind while everybody went ., Ov\,
B: Uh, you know, people tell a lot of rumors, uh, about cities and about young
people. Uh, for example, they talk about grass, pot, uh, I think it has a
lot of other names--marijuana. Uh, there have been efforts made to educate
people to a better understanding of marijuana which, uh, many people say
isn't really as bad as, uh, you know, it's assumed to be. Uh, do you think
LUM 158A 9
it's circulated pretty freely among young people in Charlotte?
S: Uh, I don't think it's as bad as it used to be, but, uh, as far as it not
being dangerous, I don't think it's dangerous, I mean to your physical or
mental self, ba other than, um, the way you change when you're on pot, uh,
you're not very aler5 and driving or something like this sort can cause
you to get killed when you're on it, because it slows down your emotions.
You don't have much control over yourself when you're on the stuff.
B: Uh-huh, do you think it's rather plentiful about--around big cities like
S: Uh, yes, I think it is.
B: Uh, do you think people are more tolerant of it than they used to be?
S: Uh, yeah. You don't hear as much about it--about kids being picked up for
it, and, you know, now as much as you used to.
S: Pretty soon I think it's going to be legalized, but I don't think it should.
They say if alcohol-4it's the same thing as alcohol, but it's not. It's far
from the same thing as alcohol.
B: What differences would you think, uh, are between it and alcohol?
S: Alcohol speeds you up and pot slows you down.
S: And, um, tr's just, uh, alcohol can--if you have enough of it, it can
give you a hang-over next morning, and with pot you can get up and not feel
a thing--not even know you've done anything, Like you go to sleep.
B: You don't have a hang-over with pot?
S: No, uh-uh.
S: It's just like you never had anything. You go to sleep and, um, when you
wake up it's all over with. There's no reactions from it.
LUM 158A 10
B: Uh-huh. I've heard people say it was too hot and too high, which means
that, uh, uh, you know, it's, uh, very illegal and very expensive--I guess
that's what that means. Uh, do you think that's true?
S: It's, uh, yeah, if they catch you with over a--I believe it's a pound, they'll
get you, you know, put you in jail for it, but, uh, less than that they
B: Is that right?
S: And it is, um, it's not too -as- ema-it's not as expensive as it was, uh,
maybe a year ago. Uh, a nickel bag is, uh, enough maybe for twenty-five or
B: And what is twenty-five or thirty lids?
S: It's, um, it's what you smoke. You know, you roll it and smoke it.
B: Well, when you say a nickel bag, of course, you don't actually mean a--a
S: No, it's five dollar bag.
S: It's five dollar bag.
B: I don't think it'll ever be that inexpensive.
S: I don't think so. You eauduLrt even get cigarettes for that.
B: Ur-hum. Uh, what are some of the things you've observed among other young
people? You know, older people have a tendency to, uh, uh, you know, say
our young people are going to the dogs and I think every, uh, generation has
done that, and I don't like it because I--I'm really for young people. I
love young people and I think I understand them, because I work with the
poetry program and other things, and, uh, I taught high school and things
like this, and I think, personally, that we have the most enlightened genera-
tion ever. Do you go along with this, or do you think our young people are
perhaps better informed than, uh, generations of the past?
LUM 158A 11
S: Well, I don't know that much about the generations in the past because of
my age, myself, but from what I've heard they were pretty up to par in the
past generations, but I think, uh, kids today are more educated a*i--and more,
I guess, a little bit wilder. Of course, I think generations back had their
S: uh, aren't looked upon as hard as kids today.
B; How about the dances today? Do you think they're really any different from
the dances of yesterday? Uh, do you know anything, for example that you
could compare with the C&arleston, or do--have you ever even seen the
S: I've seen it, um.
B: Does it look silly to you?
S: ..not much I guess if that was their thing, that was their thing. I don't
think I could do it.
B: (Laughs) What do you think the wildest dance, uh, I don't like to say the
wildest, but, uh, the most animated, perhaps, dance that young people have
today? I don't know too much about dances. I've heard of things like the
watussi, and the, uh, the dog, uh, things like this. Uh, the twist is, of
course, that's ancient history now.
S: Right. There's a dance that, uh, was popular maybe a year or two years ago
called the "funky chicken."
B: The Funky chicken.
S: The funky chicken, and I think I liked it better than any of them. It's
hard to get yourself together where you can do it right, but after you try
a while, it all gets to going.
B: Uh, what's it like? Uh, what is the funky chicken?
S: Well, it's like a chicken--it's like a chicken walking around, uh, your legs
LUM 158A 12
and your arms and your head all move at the same time.
B: It requires a lot of good coordination?
B: Um-hum, what do you think of the old fashioned, uh, waltz? Uh, you've--you've
seen these waltzes perhaps in the movies. I--I doubt if your generation
does the waltz.
S: Uh-uh. (Negative) I don't care anything about them, myself.
B: And they--in the waltz, by the way, you hug pretty tight, and, uh, you held
each other pretty tight in the old fashioned dances, uh, which seems to be
uncharacteristic of the dances today. Uh, it seems that, uh, well, somebody
said in the old days, uh, uh, the dances created a lot of, uh, frustration,
but the dances today work off a lot of frustration just through pure-excer-
cise. Does that sound exaggerated?
S: No, I don't think so. Uh, dances today are more, I guess vig--vigorous (isp
that what you call it?) um, there's more movements to 'em. Uh, the people
aren't getting together like they were. Even in slow dances now, they're
not getting to'gether--they're staying apart.
B: Um-hum, they don't actually touch each other as much, do they?
S: Not as much as they did before.
B: Um, do you think that, uh, your generation is pretty happy about the war
being over now. That's a very--it's stupid sounding question, but we have
just come out of the longest--one of the longest wars in American history,
so, uh, I'm sure young people, uh, felt pretty strong about this. Did you
have, uh, here in Charlotte, for example, did you have demonstrations
against the, uh, Asian war? ,
S: Uh, yeah. We, um, there was a big __ tree on top of our mountain
right outside of Charlotte where we had the WBT television tower. They,
uh, lit the lights and they stayed on until the last man was home, and, um,
LUM 158A 13
I believe it was 7 o'clock that night that it was supposed to start, and
everybody turned on their porch light and, uh, everybody was real excited
about, (4tnoL, blowing the horns and, uh, things of this sort.
B: Do you think your generation is less patriotic than other generations?
S: No, I don't think so. They just do it in a different sense from what other
B: Do you think, perhaps, your generation is more realistic--more pega
uh, in facing the facts about wars? You know you can romanticize a war and
make it seem like something great, whether it's great or not.
S: Um, I don't know. I don't have much comment on that one.
B: Hum, let's talk about music--let's talk about music and, uh, the latest
records and things like this. Who--who are your favorites?
S: Well they don't have many groups now. Most of them are- set singles, you
know, just one person. Um, I think about my favorite is Helen Reddy. She's
new, but I like her a lot.
S: food singer, and, uh...
B: What are some of her top songs?
S: Um, now that you asked me I can't think of it. Uh, the last one was Delta
Dawn. I liked that a lot.
S: And, uh, she's made several others, but right now I can't think of the names.
B: What do you like in a song? Do you like it to have a good beat? Do you
like it to be romantic?
B: Do you like it to be--do young people frown on romantic things today, do
S: No, I don't think so. Uh...
LUM 158A 14
B: You don't think they're...?
S: They're entirely different, I think, today than what they were several years
ago--the songs--the love songs. Uh, I like music that isn't too fast and
it's not too slow--has a good beat to it.
S: And, uh, the words of the songs depend a lot, you know, on it.
B: And some of the older people have complained that, uh, they couldn't under-
stand some of the words, uh, you know, several years ago in rock'n'roll
and things like this. Do you think this is changing? Do you think, uh, the
lyrics are perhaps better than they were a .-few years ago?
S: Uh, the lyrics a few years ago, I think, had more meaning to 'em. You could
understand what they were saying just like telling a story, but now it kind
of goes around in a circle where you can't hardly, you know, unless you listen
real well, and you can pretty well tell what they're talking about, but it's
not as easy as with the older songs.
B: If, uh, if you had to change anything about young people, if you had the power
to change anything related to young people, you know, like jadin came along
and said)okay, I'm going to give you a magic lamp. All you got to do is rub
it and you can have a wish--any wish you want. What would you change, do you
S: I don't know. I don't really know right this second ;6 anything that I
B: You like things pretty much as they are?
S: Well, some things I don't, but, uh, right now I can't think of anything that
I would change.
B: Um-hum, well, of course some things can't be changed. I guess we have to
recognize the things that can't be. Uh, and if we want to try to change
something, nka try to change something that can be changed.
LUM 158A 15
S: Yeah, but...
B: This is a very simple thing, but, uh, what do you think people ought to do
in relation to, uh, better understanding among people--different groups,
perhaps different ethnic groups?
S: Uh, I think people ought to, uh, take more time with other people, and, uh,
instead of wanting everything for theirselves, try to give something for
somebody else, or do something for somebody else.
B: Do you think people socialize, uh, less than they did a few years ago?
S: No, I don't think so. I think it's...
B: You don't think they have--are developing a tendency to stay to themselves
or stay apart from other people?
S: Uh, they socialize quite a bit, but, um, people are too worried about thes.-
B: You think people are a little bit selfish and self-centered?
S: Yeah, I think so. They worry about theirself more than anybody else.
B: Uh-huh. Do you go to church, Cathy?
S: Uh, yeah.
B: Uh, do you go to one church or do you just go all over?
S: Um, I don't get to go as often as I like, but I go to the Presbyterian
church in Mathews.
B: The young people have a national movement going which is called something
like the Jesus Movement. Uh, do you have anything like that here in Charlotte?
S: Uh, I haven't heard of it, if we do.
B: Um-hum, do you have any religious groups in which the young people, you know,
lead and take over and, you know, lead the whole movement?
S: They probably do, but I don't know that much about any of those groups in
B: Um-hum. How do you feel about inter-racial dating?
LUM 158A 16
S: I don't think much of it.
B: Uh-huh, do you think there's a lot of it which goes on in Charlotte...?
S: No, there's not too much of it in Charlotte, I don't think. Uh, you don't
see it too often.
B: Uh-huh, and do you think Charlotte is pretty southern? You know what I
mean by that? Do you think, uh, Charlotte conforms to, uh, southern patterns
of yesterday pretty much, uh, perhaps--perhaps more than other cities in
the south, or do you think Charlotte is pretty--I don't like to use labels
like liberal and, uh, conservative, and so forth, but do you think Charlotte
is a pretty liberal town?
S: I think so.
B: Do you think it's an impersonal town?
S: Yeah, definitely.
B: Uh-huh, it has the characteristics of the-big city which is, uh, a little
S: Um-hum. (Affirmative)
B: Is that what you mean?
S: It's -khave-a small New York City, I think.
B: A New York City in microcosm. Well, I certainly have enjoyed having you
talk with me and give us this interview, and, uh, do you think you'll ever
get back to Robeson County to live?
S: Uh, noI don't believe I'll ever live there. I think I--I've been here all
my life in the same house, and I think I'm kind of stuck here.
B: Eiragh k Yeah, you've got your feet in the concrete growing.
S: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)
B: And you like it, don't you?
S: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)
B: That's great. Well, thank you very much, Cathy, for giving us this, uh, very
LUM 158A 17
enjoyable interview. We appreciate it very much.
S: Thank you.
END OF TAPE