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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida.
Date: November 3, 1973
Interviewer: Lew Barton
Subject: Beverly Collins
Transcriber: Josephine Suslowicz
B: This is November 3, 1973. I'm Lew Barton interviewing for the University
of Florida. Tonight I am on Shannon--S-H-A-N-N-O-N--Route One, North
Carolina in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Redell Collins--R-E-D-E-L-L, C-O-L-L-I-N-S,
and with me, who has kindly consented to give me an interview, is their
lovely daughter, Beverly Collins. Bev, you were very kind to give me this
interview. By the way, how do you spell your first name?
B: How many of you children are there?
C: There's seven.
B: Could you give me all their names and their ages?
C: Well, there's Barbara Ann who--she's married to Gerald A. Locklear. She's
eighteen. There's Sue Collins, she's seventeen; Herold Dean Collins, he's
sixteen; and Gertha Mae, she's thirteen; and Jimmy, he's eight; and Angela,
B: And, uh, did you give me your age?
C: Oh, yeah. I'm fourteen.
B: You're fourteen. Uh, are you dating already?
C: Well, yes.
B: Well, most young people are dating at fourteen, so, uh, I think that's
just fine. How does your momma and dad feel about your dating?
C: They don't like it.
B: Say, they don't. I don't think parents ever really like for you to start
dating until you get, uh, maybe sixteen, seventeen, or eighteen, uh, but
most kids do anyway, don't they?
LUM 176A 2
B: What grade are you in in school?
C: I'm a freshman. I'm in the ninth.
B: Which school do you attend?
C: I go to Redsprings Junior High.
B: Do you enjoy going out there?
B: Uh, I seem to recall that prior to integration, Redsprings Junior High
was a traditionally White school--only White students attended. Is that
the case? Is that right? I mean, am I correct in assuming that?
C: Well, it was, but now it's all lra.graed.
B: You don't have any problems, do you?
C: No, not really.
B: Uh-huh, where did you go before you went to Redsprings High?
C: Well, I went to Rex-Rennert.
B: Was this a traditionally Indian school?
C: Well in--yeah, in a way, but some Colored people are in it.
B: Uh, before integration?
B: Uh, but it's integrated now, isn't it?
B: Do you in--do you know about how many people, uh, of course you don't
have any way of knowing, uh, enrollment figures and so on, but do you have
any idea what, uh, the integration is like at Redsprings High? About
how many--what percentage would you say is White, what percentage Indian,
and what percentage Black? You don't know?
C: No, I don't.
B: Uh, does one group seem to be larger than the other two groups?
LUM 176A 3
C: Yeah, like Negroes, you know, more popular out there than any other
B: Uh, there seem to be more Black people than anybody else?
B: Uh-huh, what do you do with your time in the summer, during vacation?
C: Mostly I stay home, and then I have a part-time job.
B: Doing what?
C: Well, this summer I worked in a restaurant, and it--in the end of the
summer it closed down.
B: Uh, which restaurant was this, dear?
C: It was The Country Wagon.
B: The Country Wagon, uh-huh, and is this located near you, here?
B: Bev, uh, Bev, excuse me, what are your favorite hobbies, or, or what do
you do for pasttime?
C: Well, in the summer I like swim, horseback ride, and go skate.
B: You do all those things?
B: Do you do them well?
C: Well, well, in a way.
B: Are you good at horseback riding?
C: I think so, but you know I'm not a real horseback rider.
B: Have you ever fallen off?
B: Do you do a lot of dancing?
B: Do you love to dance?
LUM 176A 4
B: Uh, what are your favorite dances?
C: Um, rock'n'roll.
B: Anything you can dance, uh, dance to is, uh, if they're playing rock'n'roll,
B: Uh, you like to do the watussi?
C: I don't believe I know how to do that?
B: How about, uh, the funky chicken?
C: (Laughs) Yeah, I can do that.
B: Tell me some of the other dances you can do.
4^(%Mg r Cori) W
C: Um, Hot Pants, oh, the Hot Pants.
B: Any other?
C: Well, I can do 'em, but I don't know the names of them, but--Russian
B: The Russian Breakdown.
B: Uh, I'm hearing some new dances. You'll have to show me some of these
because I haven't seen them before. I thought I was pretty well up to
date on young people's dances, uh, by the way, you used to have, uh, a
dance club out here, uh, somewhere near by, didn't you at one time?
C: Yes, it's called the Rex-Rennert Communittee Center. They still have
the dances now.
B: By the way, that name Rex-Rennert is hyphenated. It's spelled R-E-X,
hyphen, R-E-N-N-E-R-T. I have to say that for the benefit of the girls
who are typing this all. Uh, when we were talking about your sports,
and the things you did, did you say you enjoy swimming?
C: Yes, very much.
B: Do you go every summer?
LUM 176A 5
C: Well, mostly that's what I do-is go swimming.
B: Uh, where do you go?
C: (Laughs) Well, many places. I, you know, I can't keep up with names
like White Lake, and. .
B: Do you ever go swimming in the Lumbee River?
C: Yes, I went once this summer.
B: Uh-huh. What are your four--your favorite subjects in school, dear?
C: History, English, and Health.
B: History, English and Health. Bev, of course you're just fourteen, and I
shouldn't say just because, uh, that's a pretty good age, but, uh, have
you ever stopped to think about inter-racial dating?
C: Yes, I haven't. I don't like it.
B: You don't like inter-racial dating?
C: No, not really. I think racial--race should go with race.
B: Uh-huh, have you got any reason for believing this, or have you ever
thought about it deep--very deeply?
C: Well, for example, there's a boy in my room that his mother married a
White, and he's--his mother's Indian. Well, he goes to school--he don't
know which one he is, White or Indian, so he--he tells one teacher he's
White, and another one he's Indian. So, I think that you just, you know,
Indian should marry Indian, and the--the children know what they are
when they grow up.
B: Um-hum. Did you--have you been listening to, uh, this record which is
out by Sheir? Is it Shier that recorded that?
B: Cher. This record is called Half Breed, uh, and it tells the story of,
uh, somebody like this very well, I think. Are you familiar with this
LUM 176A 6
C: Yes, I am.
B: What do you think of it?
C: Well, I think it's a good example for children, you know, to listen to
what they are--half breed.
B: Would you resent being called a half breed?
C: I think I would.
B: Have you gone to school here all your life, Bev?
C: Well, no. One year I went to Georgia, and, uh, it was in Austell. I,
went to a school and it was called Russell.
B: Uh, would you spell the name of that--the city where this was, please?
B: Austell, Georgia, and the name of the school was?
C: It was Russell.
B: Russell School. Uh, was it different from your school here?
C: Uh, not really. I mean, I liked it better and all, but there was no
B: How old were you when you went to this--to Russell School, Bev?
C: I was eleven and a half.
B: Uh-huh. Why did you decide to come back?
C: Um, I just wanted to come back, you know. I just wanted to go up there
and see if they were different, you know. People talk about schools being
different and all, but I learned that they're not. You--you may learn a
little bit more, but there are really no difference in it at all.
B: Did you make many friends, uh, at Russell School, and in the--in the
C: Yes, I did. I think the people up there were very nice.
B: And when you came back home, of course you had to leave all those friends
though, didn't you?
LUM 176A 7
B: Did you feel badly about this?
C: Well, you know something? I didn't get their addresses or nothing. I
never write them.
B: You haven't been back since you went--since you came home?
C: Well, yes. I went up and stayed six days--summer vacation.
B: When was this?
C: Uh, this was--I believe it was last year.
B: Last year, uh-huh. Uh, did you go alone, or did some of the other children
go with you?
C: No, I went alone.
B: What kind of work does your father do, Bev?
C: He's a con--constructor. Uh, he's a carpenter.
B: He does construction work, and he does carpenter work, right? Um-hum.
Uh, do you have many activities out here in the Rex-Rennert area?
C: Uh, yes.
B: Uh, I seem to remember that the Rex-Rennert, uh, Communittee Center was in
full swing a couple of years ago, but how about it now? Is it still going?
C: It's going pretty well, but they used to have more activities and--I don't
know what's happening--going now, but see, when they get a note--november,
and other things like that, they have turkey shoots and stuff like that.
B: Uh, what do they do this for? To raise money for communittee projects?
C: Yes, and, you know, getting stuff for the old people around this time.
B: Uh-huh. Those are the senior citizens, uh, the group that you have out
B: Bev, when we were talking earlier tonight, you mentioned the word pollu-
tion as thought uh, this is a very important thing to you. You want to let's
LUM 176A 8
talk about it a minute?
C: Yes, I would like to.
B: Well, you just go right ahead and say whatever you feel like saying.
C: Uh, well, I think pollution is caused by peo--caused by people, and I think
people could prevent it if they really tried.
B: It does seem a shame that, uh, a beautiful things are being destroyed--
the natural things--the natural rivers are being polluted by, uh, uh,
sewage in some cases, and, uh, a lot of other things are happening, and,
of course, uh, there is something being done about that now, or by the
federal government, but I think this is something relatively new which
happened within recent years. Uh, have you heard that song, uh, I some-
times sing about They Wouldn't Listen?
times sing about They Wouldn't Listen?
C: Yes, I think I have heard you sing it.
B: Uh, I think it's good that, uh, people are realizing now that, uh, pollution
is bad and that, uh, eventually everything will be destroyed unless we
do something about it. Don't you?
C: Yes, I do. If people really worked to try, I think America would be a
better place for people to live.
B: And a more beautiful place, too, right?
B: Bev, young people, within the past ten years, have been very concerned
about war. I've talked to many young people in many different places
and, uh, they seem to be caught up in the idea of war, and they're very
much opposed to war. Uh, do you have any ideas about war?
C: Yes, I do. I think if people, you know, nations could get along with
nations, the--we probably would be living here for more than a long time
than we, um, are here.
B: Well, there's one problem there, uh, Bev, uh, nations getting along with
LUM 176A 9
nations. Uh, where do you think this ought to begin?
C: It should begin in your own nation.
B: And anywhere else there. How about not only in your own nation, but
with the individual, right? Because if we all had peace in our hearts
toward our neighbors, don't you think eventually this would work it out?
C: Well, yes I do because a war begins by in--individual.
B: Right. Um, because war is conflict. Uh, do--do you think of anything
that we could do to help along these lines? Anybody?
C: What do you mean by that?
B: To prevent war is there anything we could do as a nation and as an indi-
vidual, do you think, to help prevent war--to keep people from going to
war with each other?
C: Well, to just get along with each other. Most, uh, most American people--
they're just asitmuch, you know, fault as anybody else, because today more
crime is--right now is beginning the law enforcement hardly ever catches
up with the person who ever does it.
B: That's very true, but is there something positive we could do, like, uh,
for example, your religion. What's the name of the church you attend?
C: I go to the Church of Jesus Christ--The Latter Day Saints.
B: Where is this church located?
C: It's located in Pembroke, North Carolina.
B: Uh-huh. Well, I'm sure they teach, uh, what Jesus taught about love. Love
your neighbor and love God. If we did that, if we loved other people
more perfectly, and loved God more perfectly, do you think that would
solve the whole problem?
C: Yes, I think it would.
B: But how are we going to get people to realize this?
C: It's hard--it's very hard to get people to listen. People think what they
LUM 176A 10
think is right.
B: Uh-huh. Bev, you've got a beautiful home here. Uh, I think it's very
beautiful. It's a brick home, isn't it? And, uh, how many rooms are
in your home?
C: Um, let me just stop to think for a minute. Well, there's the kitchen,
the den, the livingroom, three baths, and six bedrooms.
B: Golly gee, do you have a bedroom of your own?
C: Well, I'll have one pretty soon.
B: Uh-huh, I understand you're adding to the house--to the house, now, some
new rooms are being built, is that right?
C: Yes, that's right.
B: Bev, have you ever thought about what you wanted to do when you grow up?
C: Well, yes. I want to be an actress.
B: You want to be an actress.
C: Yes, I do.
B: Well now, you're pretty enough, but, uh, that requires a lot of hard work.
Are you willing to work hard?
C; Yes, I am.
B: How do you--how do you plan to go about becoming an actress?
C: Well, I think I'm going to work pretty hard to go to college and get my
education and then try, very hard.
B: You're going to put your education first. Of course this helps whether
you become an actress, or whether you go into some other field, doesn't
B: Right, so you're being a little bit practical right there, aren't you?
C: Yes, I think so.
B: Bev, if you handled an Aladin's Lamp and you could rub it and suddenly, uh,
LUM 176A 11
the genie appeared and he said, uh, Beverly, I'm going to give you one
wish, and you can change anything in this world you want to change about
Robeson County, or about your immediate communittee in Robeson County,
which is the Rex-Rennert Communittee, uh, have you any idea what you
would want to change? Now you've just got one wish. What do you think
you would have changed?
B: (Laughs) People? How would you change them?
C: Well, I think I would change them to--to love one another.
B: I think that's great. That's a great idea. And so you would help bring
about, uh, this idea of peace through love, then, wouldn't you?
C: Yes, sir.
B: Bev, how about your girlfriends at school? Um, in this communittee I'm
thinking about right now, uh, how old are girls usually get to be before
they get married? Do they get married very young in this communittee?
C: Well really, I don't know of any, but they probably would if they had a
B: Well, do some of them actually get married young?
B: Uh-huh, do you think they should get married young, or that they should
wait until they're older?
C: Well, I think they should wait until they're young--older.
B: You were talking about horseback riding a while ago and, and this is
fascinating to me. Uh, which horse--what's the name of the horse you
ride? Do you have a horse here? Uh, does the family own a horse, or
does somebody in the family own a horse?
C: Yes, my--my brother.
B: And what's his name?
LUM 176A 12
C: Herold Dean Collins.
B: H-E-R-O-L-D, Herold Dean? D-E-A-N C-O-L-L-I-N-S. Uh, is this a full-
sized horse, or is it a pony, or what?
C: He's a full-size horse.
B: Uh, are you as good a rider as your brother?
B: How old is Harold?
C: He's sixteen.
B: He enjoys horseback riding, doesn't he?
B: Uh, now the oldest daughter, I believe you told me, your oldest sister,
Barbara Ann, is married. Does she have any children?
C: Yes, she has one.
B: What's his name?
C: Bobby Ray Locklear.
B: How old is he?
C: He's almost one.
B: I'll bet you he's cute.
C: He is very cute.
B: Bev, do they teach sex education in your school?
C: Yes, they do.
B: What do you think about this? Do you think this is a good thing?
C: Well, my attitude towards it--no.
C: Because that's why most young people get married.
B: Uh, do you think they get stimulated simply studying about sex, and so
they get married?
C: No, but they have it. They Co h i 6 A IST
LUM 176A 13
B: You haven't indulged yet, have you?
C: (Laughs) No.
B: Excuse me for asking you a personal question, but, uh, these things are
important and, uh, your attitude is important--the attitude of young
people--the AI^ _^ v4 lfe Uh, how do you think people feel
about sex in general in school, do you think--and in the communittee?
Do you think they're not as strict in that respect as they used to be,
C: Well, no.
B: Do you think it's just about the way it always was?
C: Um, well, people still strict on it, you know.
B: Uh-huh. In other words, the parents keep a--a pretty watchful eye, don't
C: (Laughs) Yes.
B: Well, maybe that's a good thing. Do you think that's a blessing?
C: Well, some people--some young people, they don't--they don't respect their
mother and daddy for caring so much, but they know what they're talking
about when they're trying to teach and show them what's right and what's
B: Right. I'm glad you said that. And so you think young people should
listen to what their parents say because, uh, these are important things,
C: Yes, they are.
B: Uh, it's very easy to, uh, wreck one's life, isn't it?
B: Well, so much for that. Maybe we better go to some other, uh, subject.
Do you have anything to add to that?
C: Well, no.
LUM 176A 14
B: Okay. You're not embarrassed, are you?
B: Well, I think that's a good thing because people used to be embarrassed
about sex. They couldn't talk about it openly, but they talk about it
pretty openly now in school, and with your counselor. Do you have a
C: Yes, now we do.
B: Uh, do they answer your questions freely? Any question you ask?
C: Yes, they do.
B: And do the students take advantage of this? I mean, their opportunity to
learn by going to these counselors do you think?
C: Yes, they do.
B: Well, that's good. How about the drug problem, Bev? Now I can remember
a time when nobody in Robeson County knew what marijuana was, or scarcely
anybody knew what it was, but how about today? Do you think people know
about marijuana, or pot today more than they used to?
C: Oh, yes. For some people, young people especially, it's their thing
B: Uh, you think there's a lot of it floating around?
C: Well, in Robeson County it's getting where you know about it now.
B: Has anybody ever approached you and asked you to try it?
C: (Laughs) Yes, they have.
B: What did you tell them?
C: I said, no thank you.
B: Uh, what was your reason for refusing?
C: Oh, well, I just--I just don't want to get in the habit. It's a very bad
habit, and it could wreck your mind and your knowledge to be what you want
LUM 176A 15
B: That's good. It probably would. Uh, are the teachers very strict around
school to keep a watchout for pot and stuff like this?
C: They're very strict.
B: What happens to somebody whose caught, say with--with, uh, marijuana in
C: If they have it at school, they're eitherwise took to court and then sent
off to a training school.
B: So they are very strict about it now, aren't they?
C: Yes, they are.
B: How about your parents Bev, or parents in general, let's say? Do you
think they're too strict on the children? That, uh..
C: Yes, I think they are.
B: Do you have any special reason for feeling this way?
C: Well, you know, like one--like one child out of the family makes a big
mistake. They're going to be strict on the rest of the family because of
they think that they'll make the same mistake.
B: And you sort of feel that maybe this is unjust to the others. Is that
C: Yes, that's right.
B: Uh-huh. Bev, you don't have a farm do you--your parents? Do you have a
C: Well, daddy has, you know, sort of what--a half of a farm, as you could
C: He has--he do rent a little bit of business on the farm.
B: About how many acres does he have?
C: Uh, generally I don't know.
B: Do you think he has, uh, ten acres or more?
LUM 176A 16
C: He has more.
B: Uh-huh, does he plant a lot of garden produce and stuff like this for the
deep freeze, because, you know, with, uh, all you kids running around it
takes a lot of love, doesn't it?
C: (Laughs) Yes, it--it does.
B: Growing children, uh, uh, that's good, though. Uh, do you have a deep
C: Yes, we have a pretty good size one.
B: Uh-huh, and you pack away a lot of stuff from the garden, right?
C: Yes, sir.
B: Do you--have you ever worked on the farm?
C: Well yes. I help my grandma.
B: You helped your grandma. Does she--she has a farm. Who is your grandma?
Which one of your grandmas?
C: Well, it's my daddy's mother.
B: Uh-huh, what's her name? Let's put her name on tape, because, uh, other
people don't know.
C: Her name is Gertha Mae Collins.
B: Uh-huh. That's G-E-R-T-H-A. Gertha Mae Collins. Do you have a colored
C: Yes, we do.
B: Do you like to watch television?
C: Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
B: Uh, I assume that you mean when there are good programs, you enjoy watch-
ing, but not when there aren't. What do you consider to be good programs?
Um, which are the ones you enjoy particularly?
C: Um, I like movies when they show about drugs, and the-Munsters.
LUM 176A 17
B: The Munsters. Uh-huh, they are a scream, aren't they? Uh, do you have
any other shows that you especially like?
C: Yes, I like Mod Squad.
B: Mod Squad. When I was asking you about your favorite, uh, programs on
television, uh, your little brother, Jimmie Dean, was over here whispering
pretty loudly to me. Uh, I--I'm just going to let him come in and tell
you who is favorite is too. Do you mind him to? Who is it you like so
well, Jim, that you just have to tell us about it?
J: The Wizard of Oz.
B: The Wizard of Oz. That apparently is Jimmie's favorite.
B: This is side 2 of the interview with Miss Beverly Collins. At the end of
that tape on the other side her little brother, Jimmie Dean Collins, eight,
just had to come in and tell us, uh, who his favorite TV character was,
and who was that now, Jimi?,
J: The Wizard of Oz.
B: The Wizard of Oz. That's his character and now we've got that settled I
better get back to you, Bev. What was it we were talking about?
C: It was divorce.
B: Uh, yes. You expressed interest in divorce and apparently you have strong
feelings along those lines. Uh, how do you feel about divorce, Bev?
C: Well, I think when people get married, they should stick to their vow.
They--when they went to get married they should stick to the vow they
used--till death do us part, because if some of the problems they have--I
think they could be easily solved if they could just work them out.
B: Uh-huh, you think that if--if they worked at it hard enough, they could
work out those problems.
LUM 176A 18
C: Yes, instead of going into court, and, you know.
B: Uh, it sounds like you've been watching, uh, Divorce Court, or some program
like that on TV. Do you watch that often?
C: Yes. When I get home from school, it would be on TV.
B: Is that very interesting to you?
C: Yes, it is.
B: Uh, do you ever find yourself watching and, and maybe shedding a tear or
two for the poor people on there?
C: Well, I feel sorry for them and just think of--just sbme of the problems
they'd be on TV having, but really at home they could be easily settled.
B: Uh-huh, so the problems--I believe I know what you're saying. The problems
that people have and get divorces about are problems that are not really
serious enough to get divorces for, is that right?
C: That's very true.
B: And you think that they could all be worked out, perhaps, or more of them
B: Uh, Bev, I appreciate very much your giving me this interview, and, of
course, you keep indicating that you want to terminate it at this point,
and, of course, I don't blame you. (Laughs) I don't blame you at all,
because your boyfriend is in the other room waiting for you, and, uh, you
did teat yourself away from him to give me this interview, and so I want
to tell you again how very much we appreciate having you on this program
today and talking to us, and opening up so freely.
C: Well, I've enjoyed it, and I just feel good about, you know, giving what
I really think about.
B: Well, that's good and, uh, thank you so much, Bev, and bye-bye now.
LUM 176A 19
B: Well, this finishes this interview. This is Lew Barton signing off.
END OF TAPE