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Title: Interview with Enaris Harris (April 27, 1974)
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007165/00001
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Title: Interview with Enaris Harris (April 27, 1974)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: April 27, 1974
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
 Notes
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00007165
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: LUM 186

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Interview
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LUM 186A
INTERVIEWER: Lew Barton
INTERVIEWEE: Enaris Harris
April 27, 1974
B: This is April 27, 1974. I'm Lew Barton recording for the University
of Florida's Oral History Program. With me this afternoon in my home
at 214-C Dial Terrace here in Pembroke, North Carolina, is the young
gentlemen. I'm going to ask him to tell you what his name is.
H: Enaris Harris.
B: How do you spell that, Enaris?
H: E-n-a-r-i-s.
B: E-n-a-r-i-s, and that last name is H-a-r-r-i-s, is that right?
H: That's right.
B: What part of the county do you live in?
H: Robeson County.
B: And you're the son of?
H: A {) Harris and Etta Jane. Oh, she married my step-father,
/? .Hunt.
B: O.K., that's fine. Are you a married man?
H: No, I'm a happy, free bachelor I guess.
B: Right at the present.
H: Right at the present.
B: Have you been married?
H: I have been married. -Onk lA7fil,/ h-, accident I had W, back in 1954
she wrote me that I had to Ak-Aa separation, and then later came by, and
then WJa divorce, divorce.
B: What part of the county were you born in?


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H: Robeson.
B: You were born in Robeson. But what part of Robeson? In the Prospect
area?
H: Prospect, yes.
B: In the good old, Prospect.
H: Yes, that's right.
B: That's P-r-o-s-p-e-c-t. You mentioned an accident just now. What
kind of accident was this?
H: It was an auto. I was standing behind a car that I had been operating,
and another one ran into the back of it.
B: What, how long has this been?
H: Since 1954.
B: 1954. What happened in that accident, do you know?
H: Well, I had a tire that I had got out to check and I had, evidently
probably I had checked it and stood back up, I was to the back of the car,
and some soldiers was going the same way I was headed and they just run
into the back of it.
B: And they caught you between their bumper and your back...?
H: Their front bumber and my back bumper.
B: And your rear bumper.
H: That's right, and that knocked off one of the legs there, and the
other one fell off at the hospital.
B: Did he cut your legs completely, one of the legs completely off?
H: Knocked it completely off. It was kind of like crushed.
B: Ride one it, did he ride on it?


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H: Well, my father step-father said he found it in the road ditch
by Nt
B: Found one of your legs in the road ditch.
H: That's right.
B: Another one hung on till you got to the hospital.
H: Yes.
B: And so there was no chance at all of saving your legs f4T l .
H: No, evidently there wasn't.
B: Yes, we'll get back to that in just a moment. You've adjusted so
wonderfully well that we want to talk about that in a little bit. You
want to tell us something about your children and your first wife?
H: Well, the first wife, which is the last one, too, I hadn't been
married any more...
B: Yes.
H: ...although I met another girl that had three other children. But
we'll tell about the first one.
B: O.K. Little legs haven't hindered you from getting around, have they?
H: Well, no, not lately. In the marriage that I did have we had five
children, three girls and two boys, which is all now grown and out on
their own mostly.
B: You couldn't tell us their names and ages could you.
H: I could tell you their names. I'm not familiar with their ages
exactly because I didn't get an opportunity to help and raise them,
and I just didn't keep up with nothing like that.
B: I see.
H: Brenda Carol is the oldest one.


LUM L86A
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B: Brenda Carol.
H: Yes.
B: B-r-e-n-d-a C-a-r-r-o-l-l?
H: I SS and...
B: O.K. Let's skoot to the names.
H: ...Marilyn Faye.
B: Marilyn Faye.
H: And Otis Lee.
B: Otis Lee, that's O-t-i-s L-e-e. O.K.
H: And Barbara.
B: Barbara, B-a-r-b-a-r-a.
H: And Ronnie.
B: R-o-n-n-i-e.
H: And that, that's the five, the littlest.
B: And now you, and the ast one mentioned was the youngest one.
H: Is the younger ones, yes.
B: And the first one you mentioned was the oldest.
H: That,that's right. Now with this girlfriend we had three, and the oldest
one bf :those her name's Chistian Lynn, Marcia Faye II, and then those two
girls, and then the boy, his name is Harold.
B: And what was this, sort of an extended trial marriage?
H: Yes, I guess you could call it that. It lasted thirteen years, though.
B: Oh Boy.
H: It lasted thirteen years, and it's, it's been quite an experience of
having to leave those kids, because that makes twice I've been through


LUM 186A
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the same, the same problem.
B: Well, as far as you're concerned that was your wife, right?
H: Yes, I treated her in that respect. ~
B: Right, and the only difference is a little piece of paper right?
H: That, that would only have been the difference.
B: And how many children do you have in all?
H: That makes eight.
B: That's eight in all.
H: That's eight in all.
B: And where are you living right now?
H: I'm living with my mother at the present time.
B: This is the lady we interviewed yesterday.
H: Yes, Etta Jane Hunt. It's the Hunt family. They're Hunts by her
marrying my step-father.
B: Well, you've made all sorts of adjustments to this life I see.
H: Yes, I really have been througlh,%l',l'c : through the mill. I've
had nothing but hardships most o0 i .J But unlike most of
the family that I've come from, I guess 4 C dJ be for me
wes on my daddy's side they usually have nerve problems and some of them
even go as far as having to have to take treatments for them, you know,
like go...
B: Well, you've been blessed in that respect because you're certainly
sound in mind, and in body except you don't navigate so well with out your...
H: That, that's right
B: ...your artificial limbs. How far up, and you don't use them much


LUM 186A
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because they, they never have been very too successful.
H: Well, yes, I had, well, I've had great success with them due to the
fact in switching jobs and messing with boys that I thought was a need
more or as much as I was, and went into the Jee[(O business, and
that only lasted for a period of about two years. Well, during that
time I learned how to do what they call the bottom board, you know, nail
it off, cut the light, fix the holes and all that. And in order for me
to do that, why then I couldn't use the legs, you see. I'd have to be
sitting down.
B: You had to take your legs off.
H: I had to take the legs off, and I just stayed out of them too long.
But, of course, I think I'd be ablt to adjust back to them by working
with you, and getting i -' k
B: I want to talk about that, too, in a minute because somebody was
kidding us yesterday, Earl, my half-brother,Earl Barton...
H: Yes, about the kicking -L ,
B: Yes, he said, he said this guy with no legs said, "I'm going to kick
you," and the guy that couldn't see said, "Well, I'll see you when you do
that."
H: Yes, I believed him. Earl would have to pull that on me anyway.
B: That doesn't make you feel bad when you kid around about it?
H: Not really, no, not really. I'm, I'm used to most everything.I guess.
B: Yes, you certainly take everything in good stride. What was the first
job you learned to work at? Now how, how many years ago / ?
H: You mean since this accident?
B: Yes, since the accident. Let's see if we can start with the accident,


LUM 186A
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and w )_, and see if it's the kind of thing .
H: Well, in '55 the state sent me off to a training school to learn how
to use the limb, and during that time, which was a full month period,
they learnt me, of course, what we call 'weaving and alterations', by mak-
ing short sleeve shirts for men, you know. You know, the shirt was al
ready made. I cut the sleeves out to make the short sleeve. Putting in
pockets, and mending, say like if you'd have burnt a nice pair of pants
like you have on there, I could have weaved it back, and you couldn't have
told it had been burnt.
B: Is that right?
H: And of course then they never could find me a job because it was an
expensive job. This is a small city, a burnt hole was five dollars, and
the heck, these farmers around here would go buy a pair of pants just
about for that.
B: Yes.
H: And nobody would ever give me a job around here. And then they, after
a lapse of time, say three to four years, they sent me then back, in
other words my budget had to build back up, off to a watch making school,
which that was a nine month course.
B: And how did that come out?
H: Well, it did well for a while. I just tried to overdo the thing
and run my nerves in the ground. I was trying to run two jobs at one
time. Started having...
B: S4 'make hay while the sun was shining.
H: There you are, and I started having abscesses, and it got where I
couldn't wear my legs, and it got on my nerves, and I just had to get


LUM L86A
Page 8, dib
away from the watches. So I decided to go inte something that...
B: But you are a qualified watch maker.
H: That's right. With a little bit larger work I wouldn't have
such small work to be doing and try to adjust my nerves and everything
on top of the other trouble I had been having, and I just finally got
el
away from it altogether. And really I haven't been interest in it any-
more.
B: Did you do well at it when you were, how did you, now did you start
your own shop, or did you...?
H: I did for a while, just a repair shop where they'd bring in their watches
and I'd repair them, and and they'd pick them -df 1 You'd be
nL^O4rL the people that'll tell you to have them ready by Saturday
and it'd be a month and then before they'd pick them up. And then some-
times they want them on credit. That, that really hurts, you know, a
small man like myself, I wasn't able to go it. then had to go to
work for somebody else, and I worked for this v t*1atch Factory It
,(,<l4t_ r &I here for two years, and the only, the reason I had to quit
there I started having abscesses putting on my legs, and after a lapse
of about six months I finally got adjusted back to the legs then, and
they had branched in with anotheCcompany and their insurance just wouldn't
cover it, cover me at that time. So I lost out on everything. And then
I went into theft ____ _business.
. buiess roO
B: Now what part of the n_ now this is a rugged job. This is
a construction job.
H: That's true. Well, I would go around and contract- te


LUM 186A
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B: You would, you would get the jobs for the company, right?
H: Uh huh, for these boys I'd get it from the company for these boys.
B: You were sub-contract.
H: That's right, and then they'd do the work. And so that's how long a
time, when it got where I couldn't be in there with them, you know, they,
they b AO drinks that night and d('mtd feel like work the next day.
One thing le up to another and so I finally wasn't making any money, and
I quit that.
B: What, did you do anything else after that?
H: Well, the Mi job I had when I met you. I was fooling around
with some bottles, picking up i ('bottles, stuff like that.
B: You get about a nickel each for those?
H: That's right. Actually I...
B: Roaming around it's, that's really rough on you, though, isn't it? I mean...
H: Well, now see that's the reason, one reason I didn't use the legs. I
would be uncomfortable, you know, sitting all day.
B: Had you ever tried those wheels, like I've seen people use wheels,
a board with wheels on them? Would that, that would slow you up in some
places, like when you want to come in the house, for instance, you can come
in at this door, you can come in with, at my door without your legs, with-
out me helping you or anybody else helping you.
H: That's true, or I can come in there with them without anybody helping,
you know, after I lean my weight on them and the doors and everything. As
long as there're not a whole lot of steps.
B: Do you have to use your crutches with you.


LUM 186A
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H: Well, yes. That's the only way I can make it, with the crutches.
B: Now how far down did they have to amputate t P7 ,'' ?
H: I've got the three inches above the knee, leaves me nine inch from
the cheek j99_Y. I've, I've got three inches above each knee.
B: Of course the more that you have left the better you...
H: The better off you, you are on balancing, control the legs.
B: Yes.
H: If you have, if I had one knee, why I probably wouldn't even have to
use a crutch.
B: How about the psychological part of it, Enaris? I know it's a terrible
blow to your mind and to your nerves and everything else.
H: Well, not really the loss of the legs. What bothers me mostly is
things that I want to do, that I'm able to do, and then I get,say,maybe
denied of it.
B: You can't do it.
H: tf *'m
B: You could do it if you could get there.
H: Well, I could do it if I was given the opportunity. I mean, you know,
things that I could do, say with my hands, and there are quite different
jobs that I could do with my hands. But then on the other hand there's
lite vyi^hea r
not very maTyplaces I-es"gfft for the handicap.
B: Right. We're always hearing that slogan, 'Hire the Handicap', but how,
what attitude do people have when you try to get a job?
H: Well, they, they would go, they'd get your whole history all the way
back, and then after you'd gone through all that red tape and come up, then
they're bound to come up with something that you can't handle. They, they


LUM 186A
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figure, they check out everything, and if you do pretty good in one
place they're going to check on something else, and then that's,
and that's where it usually gets you. My...
B: ?)
H: My education is not a high school education, and usually that's
where it gets me at.
B: Where di you go to school, at Prospect?
H: Over at Prospect.
B: You said 'old Prospect', didn't you?
H: I said over at Prospect.
B: Oh, yes. 4
H: Well, they called old Prospect.
A
eWe had to interrupt briefly because we had a visitor. But we're back
in the running now. We were talking Prospect, and there is an old
Prospect and a new Prospect. But the old Prospect is where the school
is located, isn't it?
H: That's right.
B: And there's a church there.
H: That's true.
B: And several businesses?
H: Yes, there's a number of businesses there, including the Forest Station
now. They've added the Forest Station now.
B: They even have a forest station now.
H: That's true.
B: That's good. You know, just a few miles there is new Prospect.


LUM 186A
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Is it a Methodist church or what?
H: Yes, I believe that is. I think that's what it is, a methodist church.
B: Enaris, do you ever feel sorry for yourself?
H: No, not really. I tried to, I did at one time after my first separa-
tion. Usually when that happens I try to, to replace it with something
like maybe singing or talking about something, or go to somebody where
I can talk or something, because that'll get you down in the dumps right
quick.
B: You worry more about women than you do your legs, don't you? L -i's1 J
H: Well, really I do in a sense because...
B: I'm kidding, of course.
H: ...and I really don't worry abeitreither one to be fair, because
well, if they come by I'm free and if they don't...women are so bad to
lying now, some of them.
B: They are? I didn't know that.
H: Yes. JUs last night! And maybe there's a reason why cause
some girls will tell you one thing and...
B: Do something else?
H: Do something else, unless you're really present whenever you promise
to be there or something. And they're not, the girls just don't wait
around now like they used to. So many free-born bachelors I guess.
B: I guess so. The complication's pretty high isn't it?
H: Well, to a certain extent, yes. Of course I like to go out and have
a good time and party around, or I just like to go off and listen to a
good music.
B: And relax.


LUM 186A
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H: That's true.
B: How do you travel around, Enaris?
H: In my car. AZ/A1Y .
B: You can drive yourself.
H: That's true. Yes, it's all hand controled, and everything's very
convenient thanks to the Plymouth people.
B: Yes, and they prepared a special device, a special device.
H: Hand device, that's true.
B: And the thing's done by hand.
H: That's right, and I have to have that before...
B: You don't use that nub for anything.
H: No, I play around with it sometimes. That's about all.
B: Yes, does it itch or irritate?
H: Yes, yes, well it doesn't irritate, but it do itch, and then I can
feel the feelings in-my feet, and the doctor says that's nature, you know.
B: And you can feel your feet as though they were still there.
H: Like they were still there. I can feel every part on, on my own foot,
which I don't have 5/lk 4' ,) 4 ; probably better than you
can feel yours because mine stays hot all the time.
B: It stays just the temperature of your body in your feelings.
H: Yes, or maybe like you were standing in hot sand or something. You
remember the old sandy roadSwe used to have back years ago, which there're
not too many of them now? But just like you were walking in hot sand or
warm ashes where they had been .r w there a little while. And then
sometimes something like run like a nerve or something, you know, and that's
that blood can only go but so far and it has to turn, and I guess that's


LUM 186A
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what keeps it hot all the time.
B: How much, what was your, what's the difference in your weight? I
know this is not all that important. Just curious. Does it make a
weight when you lose your legs, about how much t ~i ,igih- in your legs?
H: Well, I've never really weighed the legs and I really don't know.
They don't feel heavy at all when I use them quite a bit, which I
haven't been doing? But...
B: Then they are very light in material, aren't they?
H: Yes, this is a cherry wood I think it is, some kind of cherry wood.
And of course since I haven't been using them they feel like they weigh;
a ton I imagine.
B: If you put them on now.
H: Yes, well, like I've got them on now. They're very inconvenient
right now. But then I'm going to break myself back into them because
I've got a feeling that we're going to need them.
B: Yes, we'd like to talk about that. I don't see well enough to drive,
and...
H: I do.
B: ...but do have good legs, and I think we could be a great blessing
to each other, and make some money,too, doing our interviewing.
H: Well, I really hope so,because my whole heart's set on that.
B: Yes, and I, I'm sure it's going to work out. Already, we've, we've
done several interviews and the response has been tremendous, hasn't it?
H: That's true. Usually if I really set my mind to a thing, something
that I can do, I go all out to get it done. /
B: I know you do. How do you feel about other people feeling sorry


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for you?
H: Well, that, that don't do me any good either.
B: Does it bother you, or does it...
H: Well, I try not to think of it of other people feeling sorry. Of
course sometimes somebody will walk up by and hand me a dollar, or I've
even had five dollars handed to me. And I take it under the impression
that they're trying to help me further what I'm trying to do. I don't
have an attitude toward that maybe they felt sorry for me. Though, but, I
don't ____ steal it. But...
B: Never asked anybody for a hand out in your life, did you?
H: No, I hadn't.
B: I never have.
H: Other than maybe the family, you know. Some of the family I may.;
ask for some money or something sometimes. But other than that, why, I
don't.
B: You're pretty self-sufficient.
H: I'd rather y own way. Of course sometimes we run into these
ups and downs, and we don't always do just what we want.
B: Yes, I'm sure that's true of all of us.
H: Well, that was even true before I ever became a handicap.
B: Right. Yes, everybody has problems.
H: That's true.
B: And I find that people who aren't handicapped very often feel sorrier
for themselves than...
H: Well, I've met quite a few people like that, and I've rot, a lot


LUM 186A
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of people who are in worse shape than you .v I are in.
B: And they didn't complain.
H: Not at all.
:I met a guy over in Roanoke, Virginia, I was going to school over
there for this n__ training over in the Shenandoah Valley, and he
had no hands what so ever. He just had two elbows, and one leg, and
the other was off at his knees. And he shaved and he fed himself.
They fixed-him a wheelchair where he could push it himself, you know,
with his, the rest of his hand that was left, and hit some kind of
nob up there on the arm, and it could turn that wheel. And he could
go just as fast as I could, and I had two hands. So I said if this
guy can wear one leg with no hands I ought to could wear two legs with
both hands. And I really go into it then. And I had good therapists.
They had that five year college on, on bones, especially bones, you
know, know what a muscle could take and what it couldn't.
B: How many operations did it take to get you back, to get you back
in ~2- ?
H: Well, let's see now. I had the loss of two legs, this was the first
time, a busted bladder,and a fractured pelvis, and a blood clot. So in
that operation there were two, one to patch the bladder, and the other
to fix up the legs. A doctor wasn't a bone specialist at that time
over in Lumberton. We, I don't even think we had one over there, and
he put the knee back to tight against the, well, they put a cup over
your knee to hold them on in the bone. And he put the knee back too
tight to that way, sewed it back, and then .^ ~ checked out to


LUM 186A
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fit legs, to be fitted for legs, and that this German doctor on what
they called the Welfare Department down here, and he said there was
no way I could wear a leg on this stump, that's what they called it.
And I wanted to know the reason why. Of course I knew I was having
trouble at the end of the plate. So he up and told me, and I says,
"I've got to go through this operation again?" He said, "Yes, but
I've done thousands, and they're nothing to worry about." He says,
in the service I did thousands of amputations. You'll go though
it with the breeze." But what had happened, I had had so much peni-
cillin over in Lumberton, when I got to Charlotte where they did it
over, I couldn't take any penicillin. I had to suffer it out.
B: You just had to suffer the pain.
H: And I'm telling you, and they kept me 4"dke nice; too. But I
couldn't tell that ice was there. That pain was much stronger than
that ice was cold. And I guess it was approximately four days before
I've had any f4inb~W00 on again. And that's the only time I've ever
even been in the hospital for anything, since then.
B: u/dlt, ~1t h LC .
H: That's true.
B: I try to think that I'm very lucky.
H: Yes, yes, both of us are.
B: Do you, how did your family react?
H: You mean my mother and father, or...?
B: Yes, and your father .
H: Well....
B: Did they accept it A i


LUM 186A
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H: Well, I thought the wife had, but due to some things that happened
in the time before this accident, I found out then that she hadn't adjusted
to it when the money was all gone insurance I received. And
my mother, well, my step-father, he really stood by me. But my mother
just couldn't stand it. She...
B: She did a lot of crying?
H: Oh, she really had a time.
B: And that help you any, did it?
H: Not at all. She couldn't even come to the hospital for I'd say two
weeks or more. She just really couldn't stand it. She's kind of a
nervous type person anyway, and she worries about everything. And
I'm glad I'm not that way. I guess I do too much worrying as it is.
Myabe things I can't do nothing about. It's certainly not the condition
I'm in, but other things. But she seems to worry about everything.
B: Do you often see people you feel that are worse off than you are?
H: Well, you mean physical?
B: I mean, yes, do you see people that you think you're luckier than them?
Handicapped...
H: I've, I've seen...
B: Handicapped people I mean.
H: I've seen a lot of other handicapped people. Well, yes, I, I would
imagine so. But I've seen a lot of people that, that if I, that I, that
I thought that if I'd have had their opportunities, I could have done
better with it maybe than they did. But then, I, I really don't know
about that. It could have went the other way,


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B: Do you travel around quite a bit?
H: Quite a bit day and night.
B: Just about everybody knows you, don't they?
H: Yes, around home here.
B: How about when you're traveling, do you have any trouble when you're
traveling?
H: I have, I've been lucky with flat tires. You mean...
B: I mean, say you get on a bus or a plane...
H: Oh, no. I came all the way from the school that I mentioned back
earlier, on the train in a wheelchair, and I didn't have no trouble.
Didn't even have no legs on.
B: Did somebody, do people forget to come back when they tell you they're
H: Well, I sit, I sit right up in the front. The same way on the bus.
The drivers are always nice. Y t C twh~ ich ever you want to
call it,+ hi is d train, and e 01ft the planes, two dif-
ferent planes since I've been hurt. And I, I've had, I'll have to say
I've enjoyed, enjoyed all of the trips that I've ever made. I've al-
ways been treated nice. I've really been treated nice.
B: When I first lost my vision completely, I find it pretty rough
adjusting.
H: Is that right?
B: You know, I'd think of some things, I'd just about rather not be
living.
H: Well, I...


LUM 186A
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B:If*^er5iI won't let that thought take up with.
H: I went through that same stage at first.
B: At first.
H: At first. Say maybe a period of three to six months, because I was
as helpless as a baby. I don't know about you, but anytime, anytime I
needed anything or anything was done, why somebody else had to do it.
I couldn't do nothing for myself. But that pelvis is what helped me
back I really think, and that bladder I guess. I couldn't even sit
up for six months.
B: When I went over to the school for the blind at +_tl_ 4 North
Carolina, in 1954, I lost my vision on September 10, 1950, and I went
over there, I stewed about it I guess those years before I just couldn't
stand to face up to it or something.
H: I see.
B: And I was hopeful, too, that my vision would return because nothing
happened to my eyes themselves, the physical eyes was alright, and so
I thought I would, if I got around other blind people that I would feel
worse somehow. I couldn't face up to all those other blind people there.
I couldn't hardly accept my own blindness, and...
H: And did you find this not to be true?
B: Oh, it was the opposite of that, and those people were so cheerful
and you just weren't allowed to feel sorry for yourself. People would
make fun of you, and there were other people worse than me, because people,
some of those people were born blind, and when you're born blind there are
certain things you never know, that you never experience. But I had my
memory.
H: Oh, I see, yes.


LUM 186A
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B: And I had all those years that I've spent reading books,, and every-
opportunity I got.
H: And all this now is gone.
B: Well, but still...
H: You feel, you feel that this time you were sorry for yourself. All
this is gone now.
B: But a guy born blind you see, he wouldn't have that. He couldn't
remember how a sun set looked, and he couldn't...
H: Know about pretty girls, and...
B: Right, and all those things are important, really.
H: Sure. Well, you take, although a person is born blind or due to
an accident or something they go blind, now I think they can learn
Braille.
B: Yes, I studied Braille.
H: And that helps out quite a bit. I remember when I was doing watch
repair I fixed a watch for a guy, and it was in Braille.
B: Df course years later I regained a very small field,which I still
have. It's, I guess what I had is like what they call gun barrel vision.
It's like peeping like the barrel of a shot, double-barrel shotgun. You
can see a little bit in the center, but I don't have any peripheral vision
at all.
H: I see.
B: If I, if I focus on one of your eyes at this distance, and we're, we're
sitting here on my bed in my bedroom, if I focus on one of your eyes, now
I can, I can tell, you know, that you've got an eye there. But you might
as well just have one for all I'm concerned unless I shift my gears. That's


LUM 186A
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how tiny that field is. The average person has a visual field of one
hundred and eighty degrees, and my field is less than one degree. That's
how tiny it is.
H: It's, that almost cut it slam to nothing.
B; Yes, but I didn't even have that to begin with. So I'm awfully lucky.
But in some ways, that's more confusing than helpful,because you can't
see the form of something, have something shaped. You can, you can trace
around it. But you, if it's something you've never seen before, it's
like looking at part of a crossword, not a crossword puzzle, but a picture
puzzle, where you put the pieces together?
H: I see now.
B: And you know when you look at one of those pieces, it doesn't make
much sense to you.
H: That's ture.
B: I think that's the best way to illustrate the kind of vision that I've
got now, and yet being able to not walk into a wall is a great blessing.
H: Sure.
B: Of course, if there's something under, you know down low, and it isn't
in the line of my vision, I'll certainly run into it. But if it happens
to come across that field and cut that field, I can detect it. But some
people, you know, my, my vision, my eyes weren't hurt fortunately. So the
doctor told me,,he said, "Lew," he says, "I can operate on those eyes, be-
cause they had gotten badly out of focus / XA and I can cut
those nerves and splice them." He says, "they won't help you fish_ __
But it'll give you a good cosmetic affect." I said, "tn other words, doc-


LUM 186A
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tor, it'll make me look better." He said, "Yes." I said, "Well, anything
that's going to make me look better, I'd like to have." But you know,
that's sort of been a, it's been a sort of a handicap in itself, because
people look at me, and they, I look perfectly normal.
1) oi~ 'Ap to d fi^ -
H: Yes, well,| they do me, too. I've, I've drove 4=- service station
tJA A call for...
B: And they don't look in. They, they expect you to get out and...
H: ...call for a Coca-Cola or something, and you look back. They say,"it's
on the inside." And I say, "Well, I have to use crutches." "Oh, I'm sorry.
I'll be right there with you."
B: People are pretty nice, aren't they?
H: Which, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not very fond of doing that if I have
my crutches with me. But a lot of times in the Dast I hadn't worn the
legs, and I had just said, Now ^H ." They knew this, and
there was no trouble at all. They don't know it, and yqu just can't
look at a man and tell what he is below 4 see it.It's terrible.
B: Well, I guess we've, we've both got a lot to be thankful for, haven't
we? f
H: That's true. We should be real thankful, maybe more than
either one of us is.
B: I guess my, well, my, my damage was to the nerves. But I've always
been hopeful that those nerves would make a new path and go through
the severed nerves, and, you know, eventually make new paths. And so
gradually, I did get that field, that very limited fieldbhcX-
H: Which done it, that was nice.
-----~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~'--~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~- ~ ~ ~ ~


LUM 186A
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B: Yes, it certainly was. But even now when I arrive with somebody, and
that people, people ask me things and they ask me to do things that are
absolutely impossible, and seem surprised that I'm not able to do it.
For example, if I'm going somewhere and I've been there many times,"don't
you know where that is?" And I'm the world's worst traveler, you know.
So if I've been there that many times I could go there. If I couldn't
see one inch I could still go back.
H: And that's just talking. Everybody can do that. It don't cost any-
thing.
B: Yes, talk's easily done.
H: That's true.
B: But some people are actually better at traveling than others.
H: Well, that's true, too.
B: I've got out on the street and walked around the street, and come
back, and I've passed my own home. I wouldn't go in my house when I
got there by looking at it, and some of the kids would come up to the
door and stop me. And when I moved over here people probably looked
at me and thought I was pretty stupid asking where I lived, and may-
be I'd been living there for a month or longer.
H: I see.
B: Now I, but I learned that you have to ask.
H: True.
B: And I've been lost so many times. I used to panic when I got lost.
A little bit, I would panic just a little bit. But now it doesn't
bother me because I can...


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H: I'm glad, I'm glad now it doesn't bother you. And of course, you...
B: Then ^ o people don't actually believe me when I stop and say,
"Could you tell me where those apartments are?" "You live there, don't
you?"
H: And just to look at you...
B: Looks like that explains it.
H; ...you look like you can see.
B: Yes, so maybe, maybe that wasn't a good idea, and I don't, I don't
carry my cane. Somehow I would like to be independent, as independent
as possible, and so I don't carry my cane unless I'm going somewhere,
flying somewhere, and going on the bus or something.
H: In other words you like to do everything you can for yourself.
B: That's right.
H: Well, I'm that same way. Of course, now sometimes I'll get a little
lazy. Other than that I like, I like to do things for myself, the things
that I can do.
B: But I'm, I'm just about in the same boat you are about, as far as
family is concerned. I'm living absolutely alone, and I was married,
and we had a family, and my wife is divorced and I'm divorced. I don't
know, she divorced me I guess.
H: Well, I was sorry to hear about that. Just across the street over
there one day at A fisA3T t aT night I met her, and she was tel-
ling me about it, and...
B: U ) k --
H: ...well, I guess, I guess your oldest son was the first to tell me
about it, though. I mt ijn work.


LUM 186A
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B; Bruce, whose an editor of the Pembroke paper.
H: Well, at that time I believe he was working at a service station.
It could have been part-time, I imagine, over with Bruce. I think
it was Bruce / .
B: Bruce ( ,~ But, and then there's sometimes people might even
think you're faking. The difference between your handicap and mine
is because my eyes look so real, and I look...
H: So healthy.
B: ...so discustingly healthy, and you know.
H: That's true.
B: And of course, I'm proud of that.
H: And I am too.
B: tt *
H: I'd like to lose some of the weight, of course, but I'd like to keep
looking healthy.
B: But people might even think you're faking at times. Now I've never
quit going to school. I never stopped studying. I get things on tapes.
I use two tape recorders usually.
H: I noticed that.
B: And I've got, you see, if I can compose on one tape recorder and play
it back, and stop, I can catch the sounds, and when I come up that time,
it'll be a perfect sentence, and that's the way I revise my work. Or
I can get somebody to read it on a tape for me. Say it was poetry, and
I write poems of my own, and then I want to recite my own poetry, you
see and this is the way I can do it. And if you're not, if you can tell


LUM 186A
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their breaks and mistakes, you know, but I've managed. It's just slow
and painstaking, and when you get tired you can make a lot of errors.
H: How true.
B: And I never stopped working for/ the newspaper. Any of those things
I think, don't you think work is the best therapy of all?
H: Yes, it keeps your mind clear, where when you S Uqjbseem to
ramble a lot. Or maybe if you were alone and all, and
\_ t ramble a lot.
B: The girl who worked with me a couple of years ago, last year,
Marilyn Taylor, would often say, "I never think about you being handi-
capped. I don't...
H: Well, we really...
B: ...and I'm not sorry for you. I don't even think about it, because
you do most things well, and you don't, you don't need any pity anyway."
H: That's true.
B: And that's true. That's a blessing, you know.
H: That's true.
B: That was a compliment to me.
H: Pity has never been any good for anything.
B: No. But it's easy to feel sorry for ourselves.
H: If you fall in that category, I mean, it can be miserable. I try to
stay out of it.
B: Yes, stay away from it.
H: I try to stay away from it.
B: Sometimes when newspaper reporters interview me, as they often have,
I want to be sure that what they're interviewing me about is not my
handicap.


LUM 186A
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H: That's true.
B: If you want to call it that. I want, I want to accomplish something.
For example, when I was on the Spirit and Substance program at P.S.U.
weeks ago, and Jack Shaw, editor of the Lumberton Robesonian there, and
they were discussing on the program, and Jack said, "One thing about Lew
is that I've carried just about as many stories about him as I have by
him." "And, he said, "I've got a huge stack of materials that he probably
doesn't even know this, but I've got a stack of material that I rejected
over the years." Because, you see, I've been writing with him since
my teenage years.
TAPE I; SIDE II
B: But how does this affect you now? For example, if I've accomplished
something or if I've done something, say I've wrriten books, and people,
when they think that my success was due to the fact that I, well, I am
legally blind, or commercially blind, you can call it that, but if
people think I've, I've succeeded because of my vision or my lack of
vision, then that makes me feel bad that they seem to feel that some-
body was sorry for you somewhere along the line, and this is why I don't
talk about my vision very much.
H: But certainly.
B: But you can't hide yours. Yours is, yours, you know.
H: Mine shows more than yours does.
B: Yes, that's right.
H: But certainly with, I believe you said three thousand and maybe seven
hundred books, or seventy-five books?


LUM 186A
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B: Uh huh.
H: I don't think all that was bought out of pity or feeling for the
blind. I think that was bought maybe to help you the book or
something.
B: Well, the book was sold all over the United States. So the people
just didn't know. They were interested in the subject matter...
H: I see.
B: ...for one thing, and...
H: The history part of it.
B: Right, and they were interested in the book. And I've done a lot
of person promotion. I've been on television and things like this.
They'd always get around to my vision,because you see I, I' 4 had one
year of college when I lost my vision. So I got my other three years
of college. Then I taught school for three years.
H: Well, now I'd like...
B: Then I had to go back and get my masters degree, and none of this
was easy. And I got along fine when I was teaching with the kids. But
the parents were a little suspicious. They said, "Well, now my kids
might be in the back of the room smooching, and he wouldn't even know
it. He couldn't even see it." But of course that wasn't possible, be-
cause I had my own methods worked out.
H: And besides, there were other kids to let you know. I mean, you know.
B: Right. You always have allies. Let me ask you this, have you ever
felt, I know went through a period probably when you felt helpless, have
you ever...


LUM 186A
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H: Certainly I have.
B: ...actually felt, how, how about feeling actually fearful that some-
body would take advantage of you because you couldn't defend yourself
very well. You know, if some ruffian came along, and he was just
mean enough to do it.
/
H: Well, I, I've never really thought about that a whole lot until
here recently, and I hadn't run into anything yet. As far as being
scared, I'm not scared. I haven't seen anything that would scare me.
Maybe I hadn't looked in the right places, but I thought I had...
B: Well, you don't go into the rough, I have to go into rougher places
than you, because I write and sometimes places I have to go in to
get a story, for example. It might not be the kind of place you would
go in. I wouldn't go except for that.
H: Well, I've been in a lot of, a lot of places since I've gotten
f;L ew*v.
hurt that, that could have been rough. I worked over in ir__
and that's pretty rough place, especially soldiers was pay day.
Everybody's in town, and you've got all kinds of people there, and there's
always something happening. But fortunate. I went through and never,
nothing ever even happened to me over there.
B: But I've had some experience of knowing what it would be to be with-
out arms or eyes, because after my accident, for a period of weeks, a
number of weeks, I couldn't use my arms because those arms were broken.
H: Is that right?
B: And they, I'd lie there flat on my back with my arms suspended over-
head, and people had to feed me. They had to do every, absolutely every


LUM 186A
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single thing that I got done. They had to do it for me, and it all de-
pended on the goodness of their hearts. If they'd have forgotten me,
I was just out of luck.
H: And I don't imagine you were forgot very much.
B: No. No.
H: I went similar to, through something similar to that. I was flat
on my back. But you know, I'd have somebody to turn me, and like you
said, help feed me, and wash me, shave me, take care of me. But just
as soon as I got going, she went the other way, you know. I
B: Well, that's too bad. Maybe it's good you found that she was that
kind of person.
H: Yes, wel, that's, that's the way I accepted that, because I guess
you remember C Bullard over in Lumberton here.
B: Uh huh. SC A / ?)
H: You know he got in a car wreck with Jack I would imagine
before either you or myself, and left him/paralyzed from the waist down.
His wife's still with him.
B: And she's still there.
H: She's still with him. They raisedup the children that they had when
he got hurt. They're all married, and got families of their own now.
B: Yes. t
H: I was by b about a month ago, and he had been in the hospital,
and taken another operation. And he was looking good, and was back at
his work, and he said he felt good, and the wife, I believe she's got
her a job, andlsaid they got along good. Both of them in the church, and


LUM 186A
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that, that's really to me showing love by two, and which I don't think
he had, really had the love at the time of the accident, but after the
accident the love come, because he done everything in the book before
the, before the wreck.
b Well, I imagine it would work out that way, because he had to know
that this person was real. Certainly there had to be a lot of appreciation
in his heart. tWhen he went off to the watch making school she wouldn't
even stay home. She left her children with his mother and went and stayed
with him. Pushed him back and forth to school in a wheelchair.
-+? mse I/VuS
B: And yet a person who findshal.elf married to a handicapped person,
;5
and this AeS an added burden. We have to admit it. In your case and
mine.
H: Sure.
B: And I just don't feel resentful toward my wife about divorcing me. I,
I can understand it. I mean, she stayed with me a good many years. I had
good years with her, and I appreciate the time that-we had-.
H: It could have happened much earlier, couldn't it?
B: Right.
H: I guess mine could have,too.
B: So I try to think about the good days, and I don't want to be bitter
about anything. It's always a traumatic experience of, such as you, and
such as I had...
H: Well...
B: ...but we adjust to those things in time.
H: Now, just like you say you feel about your divorce in this matter, with


LUM 186A
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the girl I was married to, I guess I felt the same way. But now this
o0& hadbeen a slight difference. This girl led me to think that
she was in love with me, you see, and I thought really she was for
ten years of it, and like I said, I was with her for thirteen.
B: But the last three weren't so good.
H: The last three I, well I just decided I better really check her
out. I had a talk with Mr. Venus.
B: VA .. .- Before he died.
H: Yes, before he passed. And we were over at, I'm not sure now whether
or not it was Hendricks Supermarket or at the drug store, but the both
of us were seated at a table, and I believe it was at the drug store.
And things will bother you sometimes, especially when you've been married,
and then you're starting a new life someplace else, of course.
B: Right.
H: I had no control over the first separation.
B: Right.
H: And I didn't feel guilty at the time. I waited to try to make things
right. And of course sometimes it don't things right once they've been
wrong. People, some peoplejdon't forgive you for anything. And we were
sitting down talking and Like, you know, we always would do. He'd ask
you about your 4 things, and after we got through with that I told
him, you know, how I felt about this girl, and she...
B: He was the kind of person you could talk to about it.
H: Yes. She didn't feel that me and her maybe would ever get married,
say as long as the girl that divorced me was living, because she didn't


LUM 186A
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feel that it was right. Of course, I didn't feel condemned about it
either way. So now Whe gave me, you know I told him about how
I cared for her and how I thought she did me, he said, "Just be sure
that you know the difference between kindness and love." And that
kept on and on me, you know, from time to time. And so with some
,#'70t of-
things that I heather say to other people, made me -Mfi=SB prick
up, you know, kind of watch out for some things, and that's what I
started doing. Well, my children was rather small. In fact the baby
was only about two. He wasn't quite two. And I guess that was the
most hurtfulness thing that I have ever happened to meet.
B: That was worse than the first time.
H: Or the loss of the legs. I mean, that really, that really got to
me.
B: Do you think we get more sensitive to hurt as we get older?
H: Sure, I think I had toughened somewhat till that, and on top of
this I was accepting two, a lover and a friend, you see, a pretender,
and for a period of time there I'd maybe a week from home or two
weeks. And I wouldn't know so much about its a going on, I t .
I had it pitched it strong in my mind that it was going on, because
it happened while I was there, and I knew while I was gone that it surely
must have been going on So...
B: es. fi n )
H: Huh?
B ( ? l i)
H: Yes. I kept trying to figure the best way to handle the situation


LUM 186A
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without losing out, or even having to lose the kids, cause I had been
through with this one time. And to keep either one, either party from
knowing about it, why, I had to put on a good front.
B: That was a rather painful...
H: I'm telling you that was so more painful. And of course, we did quite
a bit of drinking, and in that way I could, you know, drink it off for a
period of maybe three or four hours or something. But when I woke up the
same thing was there.
B: The problem was back, maybe more intense than before.
H: And so I knew that three years was quite a while to know about a thing
of this nature, and I made up in my mind just not to make it four, regard-
less to the cost. If I had to leave the kids, why, perhaps I could come
by and see them from time to time, even if I had to take the law to do this.
I felt that if it went into court and I didn't have the money, I had some
brothers with money that for a good reason would back me to a certain ex-
tent, although now the state will give you a lawyer if you're not able
to afford one.
et Voreae
B: Does this hold true in the case of 4A_ do you think? Or some-
thing like that.
H: I would imagine so if you're not able, because the state's going to,
and I don't they'd make many exceptions. If they have I haven't heard it.
B: I've never asked anybody.
H: The thing got on me so bad till I decided, well, I'm going to kill them
two people. ?
B: / ou actually thought about that.
H: Yes, because I felt that I wouldn't be able to talk to either one. So


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I did, I went and got me a pistol, a little pistol. It was no trouble
to get at all. I bought it. And it happened so easily. I bought it
from a cousin of mine. It happened so easy till I believe my conscience got
me From where I got the gun, and do you know Cordell Quincy's wife?
B: Oh, yes.
H: Well, this guy was dating her.
B: Oh, his ex-wife.
H: Yes, his ex-wife. And that's, that's who I borrowed the gun from.
And where she lives now, back to where I was living, my conscience latched
wt rA_ .
B: Of course, we won't use any last names, so it /Ib 1 Ari6-l
H: And I couldn't even take the gun out of the car, and that was on a
Saturday night.
B: And that's because basically you're a good person even though.
in
H: Well, I felt, too, that the Lord would deal with me theresaaP a great
many ways, because the devil really had pushed me into it. And I, I felt
like they would have killed their selves. That's just the mind I had
about it. Although I'd have pulled the trigger, I felt like they'd been
killing their selves for doing me such an.underhanded deal. And I knew
she had four children, and me and her had three. Nobody knew this, but
we ree 4.1tf t^ Lord. Well, her, her children, three of them were teen-
age children, and I thought, well, at the kindness she's shown me in the
presence of other people and in our community,nobody would believe me.if
I killed both of them. And the children would never believe it.


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B: Right. So all these things were under the surface.
thaw Ca kly
H: That's true. And when I'd carry the gun for her the
same thing happened. I'd either pretend I was drunk or asleep. I could
drink more than they thought I could, or more than they knew, you know.
I wouldn't drink too much Pr rrn they thought I had. So I, I got
up that Sunday, and it was in the afternoon, and I take the gun back.
B: So you changed your mind about it.
H: Already changed my mind. I'm going to do different now. I'm going
to, I'm going to talk to her,because I, I didn't feel that I could get
anywhere by talking to him. But this Sunday night, oh no, I'm wrong,
it was a Sunday night or two after that, I, the same thing happened the
first part of the night. In other words they thought I was drunk, and I
pretended that I was. So, now I didn't put no light on them. I knew
where he were at, and I knew when she went to him.
B: Well, I imagine something like that's hard to bear. It's unbearable
really.
H: Well, not at that time. I mean, you know, I guess I had to put up
with it so long till it really had quit bothering me so bad. You know,
it was just one of these things, and I couldn't imagine why.
fif^
B: wa4- it was something beyond your control.
H: ,Yes, because if I made a move they knew about it, you see. I was
crippled. Why, I couldn't get off of the bed or anything unless they knew
it. And I did everything that I could to keep them from knowing that I
knew it, you see. So shortly after that time I'd say, the youngest boy
of hers come in and said Uncle Taylor needed some stuff from the store.


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So he, this guy come sit down on my bed, and I told him, "McCarthy, I
said, "That's your uncle, you go get it." So he did. __ walked on by
over till I guess maybe twelve, one o'clock I heard them move.
He was laying on the couch and she was on the little bed, I heard
them make a break, you know, to get off of the couch the bed. So I
got up and went in the fron room, and I said, "Well, I'm having night-
mares. I just can't sleep," or something of that sort, nature, you know,
nd so, I sat there and smoked a cigarette, talked to myself about JO
I^' |m pretend they were asleep, snoring like five hundred. So I
went on back to my bed and I turned over on my stomach. Well, I could
see clearly in the front room. He got up and he coughed all over the
place, you know, to see if I had moved. And I didn't, and so she come
in and she w ~l into the bathroom, and she went and he right in
behind her. And just as soon as they got in I heard the zipper go
down. He had on coveralls. The zipper went down. And I was going to
slip, try to slip off of the bed without them hearing me, you know, and
as I moved off the bed, he heard-me. He run in. He always called me
velS
Enkins. "What's the matter, Enkins?" "Oh, wet4,"I says, "There aint
nothing the matter." He had pulled the door behind him. I says, "Open
that door back," I says, "I want to see what's going on in that Gj
bathroom. He says,"You want a co er?" "Yes, well," I said, "I r
want a cold beer." He says, w want to get it because you'll have
to drink it right down." "No," I says, "I won't have to drink it right
down." So he come back in and pulled the door behind him, and I said,
"Didn't I tell you to open that damn door? I says, "And don't close it


LUM 186A
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no more." ;' He sat down and talks. He says, "I believe
I'll got back to bed." I says," J /U go on back to bed." So they
went on, he went on back, laid down on the couch. Well, she hadn't
moved a bit. After she got back out of the bathroom and went back to
her little bed, you know, she...
B: She come out of the bathroom while you were looking?
H: Yes. So that morning he was still there. He was oWr first cOt46an
stay with us. I guess that's the reason why I went along with it as
much as I did.
B: You couldn't hardly believe it.
H: That's true. And he wanted to know what in the world happened to
SL last, this morning. I said, "Not, not a thing. Well, ^ V% r /iV~
a4xter. i, /LSt S wit his uncle, and he said he had done
went with them other two. They brought her up. So I looked at the
girl. I says, "Don't talk about her." I says, "You're just as goddamn
dirty as she is, if not worse." So she wanted this and she wanted that.
But I still didn't want them to know you know, I thought... So I-told
her, I says, "You are going to the children v kG e %
^4.w4# e Vr? Jnni, ... that day, I, I
told her off about it. But I was alone ever since. I went back to the
first, you know, -ad I remembered it happened. She didn't know nothing
about it. I talked about it and made he the thing, you know, and
I pointed out some things JG 4 n g the pump one night
after ___- got off from work; and -..ang on into the house :to the
couch, and she didn't know nothing about "Well,' I says,


LUM 186A
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"Can you remember anything about last night?" I says, "You wasn't drunk
when you sent my kids to bed, and you went in the front, back into the
front room." I said, "Do you remember anything about what happened then?"
She dropped her head. "Well,"I says, "Just what I've told you about that,"
I says, "The rest of ht's just as true. I know all about it." She said,
f1~ J Y 404 n ; i said, "Well, what I want you to do is you tell him
to stay away, and maybe I can pull you out of this thing." W/((, A if
didn't want to be pulled out of it. So he walked on by a couple of nights,
and ______ _. He got his beer. We'd always keep them, a couple
of beers, you know, cold, when he got off from work. Well, he got his
beer, and he said he'd see us in the morning. He went back to the couch.
Well, she had a little cough she'd do, you know, if she thought I was
asleep. So I pretended I was asleep. And into the bathroom he went,
you know. By the time he was in there I pretended I woke up. Back out
and back to the couch he went. But I didn't go to sleep all that night.
,n l ct*, U
I stayed awake. %hey knew that I stayed awake, and he got mad. Stomped
across the floor back in the bathroom just before X~ afterwards
home they went. So I was supposed to carry them off that day, and I told
my daughter to go over there to the house, and call them and tell them
to get somebody else to carry them. So I had made it up in my mind that
if she didn't tell him when he come back in, I was going to tell him.
So that's what I did. He didn't know nothing about nothing about nothing
I was a talking about. It was all a lie. So I says, "Regardless to
what it is, you, that ___ 0_ leaves _two ways, and I couldn't care
less if you went straight up. ) 2 Et""1." t,,,@ I'l !
407


LUM 186A
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B: You didn't happen to think about straight down, did you?
H: No.
B: Well, that's bad. That's, that's something....
H: Well, it's been. But now, I mean, I found, met another two girls.
I mean that kind of helps out, you know. That, that lightens the
burden. But it don't cure it. But it lightens it. And then I don't
have no trouble about going to see my children or if I get ready
for them to do anything, and they're home, I usually get them.
B: Well, I certainly am sorry that all this happened to you.
H: Well, it could have been a lot worse.
B: Yes, could have.
H: I guess I could have got killed.
B: Yes, well, you could have killed somebody...
H: Well, I really...Yes.
B: ...and that would have been terrible.
H: I really do know I could to make them do something to me, cause I had
no protection whatsoever. And when she'd tell me a lie, I'd cuss her
'A arC
for everything in the book wbe, you know, she's tell me a lie. And I
knew she were lying. In order to, you i the stuff you
, that's why she'll do something. But I never could
drive her far enough to do anything, other than tell a lie. She was
really pitiful '_, of course I can under-, now, I couldn't at that
time. But I can understand why. I guess if it had been me I would have
lied about the thing,too, being my cousin and everything. Or else, no,
I think, I think maybe if it had been me and I'd have did that, I'd have


LUM 186A
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made it unknown, you see, that I was in love with them or we were having
an affair. I wouldn't have held it over somebody that was trying to help
me make it, you know. I, I'd have left the community at least to think
about it. Because there have been other cousins married, and one might
W -3 --
have been a first cousin) fr. And think maybe I would
have made it known.
B: I certainly am sorry to hear that. They say there's, that things
usually happen for the best although we can't see it.
H: Yes, well, I had seen this. I mean, I, I, I couldn't wait here and
+ he-'-
tell you or you and tell you that I knew how long this had been going
on, cause I don't. It had to be going on before I ever new anything
about it.
B: Yes, s -S_4
H: I have been sorry that it happened to me. But I think I'll, I'll
get by.
B: You're going to make it, Enaris.
H: Yes, I think so.
B: A l,
H: I'm planning on it.
B: When you thought about doing them in, when you made up your mind
that this wasn't what you were going to do, you never were tempted to
do that again.
H: Yes, I was tempted to do that once again, but I had nothing to do
it with. See, I kept her off three nights after we separated. And I
was almost to think everything was O.K. until he showed up the third


LUM 186A
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night where I was keeping EA S .out front. And I'd say that's
a good fifteen mile or maybe twenty from home. So she had to either
tell him or send him word or else he was out looking and wound up on
the car.
B: Well, one thing that many people don't realize, and some people
think that the handicapped people have no need of love, you know.
H: That's true.
B: And older people. There was a story, an article rather, in Reader's
Digest, last month. It's called, Sex and the Senior Citizen, and it
tells about all the prejudice that people have against older people.
They have these same kind of, kinds of prejudices against handicapped
people. Some people think it's terrible if, saylyou want to go out on
a date, or I want to go out on a date, that's something terrible that
we shouldn't do. I don't know where this kind of reasoning, though
it's not reasoning, but prejudice, jMA $P rejudice...
H: In other words, they thought that whenever our accidents happened,
that we had laid by.
B: That was the end of it. We should just lie down and die.
H: Not to live anymore.
B: But...
H: Well, I'm glad those girls don't feel like that.
B: I'm glad of that, too, boy. Girls are pretty understanding people.
Women are more understanding, in a sense, than men, I guess.
H: That's true.
B: And the good Lord has made it, at least as many as one as of the


LUM 186A
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other. As a matter of fact there are surpluses then. So I guess that's
in our favor, huh?
H: Yes.
B: There are more women than men.
H: More women than men.
B: Yes, this is all brought out in that article in Reader's Digest
last month.
H: I never, I never knew.
B: Somebody mentioned seeing something about me in Reader's Digest. I
don't know whether they were joshing or not.
H: I don't know.
B: I haven't checked on that. But Reader'd Digest is quite a magazine.
It has several million in circulation. People misunderstand so many
things that often people regard,racial misunderstanding as the worst
kind, racial prejudice. But there are many other kinds of prejudice
in the world, aren't there?
H: That's true. But after I've, after I had to leave this girl, like
I said I hadn't planned on taking it for a year, I rather sometimes
think that maybe this, something good maybe come from this, instead of,
and I guess that's what helps me make it, because...
B: It's good to think that. That's probably true, too.
H: At least I'm hoping so.
B: You can't see it now. But you...
H: No. I'm looking for it now.
B: Right. I'm doing the same thing. And I'll tell you the truth, I'm
doing a lot of praying.


LUM 186A
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H: That's
B: Because there comes a time when you're at the end of yourself, and
if we put our affairs in the good Lord's hands he's always able to come
in and do something about it, and usually will bring good out of something
bad.
H: That's true.
B: So I'm not going to let anything floor me for long. You know, as
long as I've got the strength and the ability to get up and start again
and rise again out of the shambles, I'm going to do that.
H: Yes, there's no use to fall and lay there, is there?
B: No, it's no disgrace to fall. But it is a disgrace just to lie there,
without trying to help yourself.
H: And I've known...
B: Do like the song that says, TPick yourself up-off the ground and get
back into-the race.'
H: I've known two people that I feel I could 3 LkC~l 'i
B: You say you've known two tht you felt like you could.
H: Yes. Did you know Willie v__ I guess he might have been ._- .
He got his arm broke, and due to the sugar diet, he was a diabetic, he
lost, first he lost one leg, and became helpless. He lost a leg on the
left side and I think his arm then broke, and they wouldn't let him ampu-
tate him. It was broke, turned all around. It was on the opposite, on the
right side, and so we just started, you know, we're trying to help ourselves
j1 51 ^llli~fe. And later they had to amputate his other leg, and that
did it for him. He just withered right away; just died right out. Then
I got h4 nof it. It's been the same thing. He just completely give


LUM 186A
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up. Quit working, and of course now I don't even think he's able to.
X $4! !>4e's been in the wheelchair now for about, he couldn't even
go to his mother's funeral.
B: A hog bit him?
H: Yes, on the leg. He's a diabetic, too.
B: Oh, I see. I understand now.
H: And it just ruined him. You know, his nerves was already messed up
before that, and he had already given up anyway. He had quit trying to
hejp. himself anyway. Just stayed home and lay in bed all day.
H: John Harris, you know...
B: Yes.
H: John just completely give it up. Life haven't got no more meaning for
him.
B: But it has for you, though, hasn't it?
H: I'm telling you.
B: We're, we're starting out on this new venture.
H: I'm kind of like the song, I'm looking here and there and looking every-
where.
B: That's the spirit.
H: I'm telling you.
B: That's the spirit my boy. These things do happen for the best. But
at least one thing in my case as far as the divorce is concerned, I'm
glad that my kids were big enough, and the marriage held together until
the boy was four-, the baby boy was fourteen.


LUM 186A
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H: Well, mine, my baby boy by her was five. Well, not at the time I made
mention of it, but before we separated he was five. And I guess, Lew, a
thing that helps me a whole lot, I, I, I've never experience it, my mother
is still living, and my step-father, and all my brothers and sisters, and...
B: Well, that, that does help.
H: It helps out. I mean a lot of times when I couldn't go financially
they'll pitch in and they'll help me. That, that keeps my spirit up
where maybe that if I had to call it quits because I had nobody to help
me, I might go down in the dumps. I,'don't know. I've never experienced
it. I try to think that I wouldn't, because I've always been taught
that where there's a will there's a way.
B: Right.
H: And that's my motto on life.
B: Somebody will help you if you help yourself.
H: That's true, and I'm really trying to help myself, and since I met
you both I'm trying to help as much as I can with both of us.
B: Right. We're helping each other.
H: That's true.
B: I'm being your legs, and you're being my eyes, how about that?
H: And that's not a bad combination when you stop and think about it.
B: Right. Right.
H: Because there is people in this same category that are strictly
dependent on the welfare tIe s- ^ ^^W
B: Yes. Well, I don't want anybody to do anything for me...
H: Well, their help is nice.


LUM 186A
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B: ...anymore than I, they, than has to be done.
H: Well, I like to feel that I'm capable of doing something for myself.
B: Right.
H: I like to know that I'm that well in health.
B: Right. And when you give up then you might as well just er P
H: Might as well be dead.
B: Right.
H: That's true, cause life holds no meaning, I mean, to me, if I was
to have to, at this feeling I've got now, just be confined to a house or
a bed, and I wasn't sick. I mean, you know, feel just like I do now, I'd,
well, maybe life wouldn't hold no meaning for me then. I'd just as soon
be dead, if I felt as good as I feel now.
B: At least we're not bed-ridden. We're not...
H: We're not to a wheelchair.
B: Right.
H: We've got so much to be thankful of, and it, sometimes life is got
its little problems. But thank the Lord I've been able to cope with
mine, and then able to kind of work it out.
B: How do ou feel about these people who stop on the street corners and
just plain *i in the streets?
H: Well, if that person's got a family and a need, and he can't get a
job, then I'm all for that.
B: But that's a last resort.
H: That's the last resorts.
B: You've never done that, have you?


LUM 186A
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H: I remember doing that one time over in Paramount. Well, really, I
Arc keX ;s k
didn't do it. Some of my friends seek me in a wheelchair and sI*
me out on the street. And done right well. Picked up about twenty-five
or thirty dollars. But at that time I didn't have no job. I was on
my mother's hands, and I didn't feel bad about it at that time. But
now I guess I would. In fact I know I would.
B: If I ever do that I'll certainly have to do it.
H: That's true.
B: I'm so glad I have never have asked anybody.
H: I knew a fellow that he said he got him a dog, and he could play a
guitar, and a pair of these dark shades, and went on down to the corner,
Ca, I h torf.
I believe it was over in y And he said he picked up on some
more money there, that if he could play and sing, you know, and people
thought he was blind. But I would have been afraid of doing that on
account of losing my sight.
B: Yes, you might actually lose it.
H: That's true. But he, he didn't seem to pay it any attention. He
just laughed it off. It was something like a joke to him.
B: Yes. I imagine that has been done.
H: We've got all kinds of people they say.
B: Well, that's a terrible thing.
H: Now I'm telling you that's taking advantage of the people...
B: Right.
H: ...from my point of view.
B: I figure if somebody wants to help you they'll let you know it.
H: And they will do it.


LUM 186A
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B: And I don't want to be a burden on my friends and relatives, because
I want to be able to feel that their friendship for me or their love
for me...
H: vs .
B: Oh, yes. I don't want the burden. It's too precious to me. I
don't impose on them. I don't ask my sisters, for example, or my, even
my daughters, they don't ever come over here to clean up this apartment.
But my sister, I have a sister who does it religiously.
H: I see.
B: And I don't ask her. But I appreciate that she...
H: She cleans all up.
B: ...she voluntarily did that did that, you know. And she comes once a
week and she sees that this apartment is ship-shape. But people do have
their own lives to live. They have their own problems, and their problems
might not be as acute as ours, but they've got them.
H: True.
B: And we don't know all the problems that people have, because they
have problems that we don't ever see or know about or even suspect.
H: And I imagine, I imagine that this day and time there are more pro-
blems in Washington than there is any where else, don't you reckon?
B: Yes, I imagine so.
H: Everybody has problems one way or other.
B: Well, it's certainly been, this has been a very enjoyable and en-
lightening interview, and as I see it you and I are going to work to-
gether on the program, and you're going to help me out.
H: That's true.


LUM 186A
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B: We're going to see what we can do, and the response has been tremen-
dous so far.
H: Yes, with the amount of time we've put in, I think it's...
B: And it's going to continue.
H: ...pretty good.
B: And when there isn't something like this there'll be something else.
I'm fortunate in that I'm well known, and I'm not altk ta lk...
H: I'm certainly looking...
B: ...because of my vision, I'm well known because of my writing, and
I'm proud of this.
H: Well, there, too, you have your music ability. I'm certainly looking
forward to it we ever run up and slackness in this interviewing that we
can go maybe to, into one of the others, the music experience you have or
something that could keep us a going into.
B: Right. Something will always turn up. I believe that just about takes
care of our tape.
H: Well, I've really enjoyed this interview.
B: Well, I've enjoyed it, too, and I want to wish you Godspeed in every-
thing, not only with the things we do together, but in anything else you
attempt to do.
H: Well, thank you, Lew.
B: You've had a lot of bad luck like myself, if you want to call it that.
But it hasn't gotten us down, has it?
H: That's true. That's the important part, isn't it?
B: I can laugh and relax and enjoy life SO /khC ,,t


LUM 186A
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H: And have fun as good as any...
B: Right. Right.
H: ...able bodied person, can't you?
B: Right. Might be able to appreciate it even more because of this.
H: That's true.
B: I think this is one thing that is a by-product of being handicap is
that you have appreciation and understanding that other people don't
have not having experienced the same thing.
H: Well, that's it then, aint it?
B: Well, it's not quite out yet.
H: I guess that you could remember and think back, and I know God doesn't
do any spite work.
B: No.
H: But there have been people that you know and I know that it did a lot
more than me and you did, and I've always acceptedlmy accident, and maybe
you should yours, too, as to maybe something God wanted you to do that he
didn't want the other people. It's done more than you and I done, and it
was, we were cut down early for some reason another.
B: How old were you when you had your accident.
H: I was in my teens or just turning into the twenties, cause that's
been approximate twenty years ago and I'm forty-nine.
B: Well, I want to thank you for this interview. It's, it's been most
enjoyable, and I want to wish you Godspeed in whatever you attempt to do.
H: Well, thank you, Lew, I've enjoyed this interview myself, and I want
to wish you the same thing.
B: Well, thank you very much, and we'll be seeing you now.
/


LUM 186A
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H: Bye now.
B: Bye bye.


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