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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Interviewee: Missouri Brindle
Interviewer: Emma Echols
September 9, 1993
E: This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. I am working
on the oral history of the Catawba Indians. I am visiting in the home of Missouri
Brindle, and I well remember her mother and her father. I think I have already got
her name on this tape further on down, and so we will just add this part on to it.
Missouri, you were telling me about your school. You went to only two teachers;
[who] was your other teacher?
B: Elder Willard Hayes.
E: Willard Hayes. Oh, I have a tape of him.
B: Oh, do you?
E: And he was a splendid teacher, I well remember.
B: He taught my son, in Gaffney, South Carolina.
E: That is right. I went to Gaffney to visit him one time and he made one of the most
interesting tapes for me that I thoroughly enjoyed. Now that you are moving, living
in Rock Hill [South Carolina] with your brother, how will the new settlement affect
you as far as health or anything else?
B: I do not know. I do not understand it.
E: Well now, do you all go back down to the reservation for church?
B: No, I go down to Saluda.
E: Oh yes, you have another church is it?
B: We have another church there, yes ma'am.
E: Well, of the people that you remember in the past, what ones do you remember, the
older people that had an influence on your life?
B: The older ones I remember. You know Elsie does not live down there any more, she
was Chief Blue's daughter, Elsie George. Mostly the older people are the only ones
down there that I know real well, like Lula Beck, Mildred Blue, Catherine.
E: Lula Beck is still there in her wheelchair. You went to school with that same group,
did you not?
B: Well, not Lula, I think she was married at the time. I went to school with Elsie and
Evelyn and Catherine. I do not know if any of the rest of us are living or not.
E: What did you do for celebrations down there, for Christmas or times like that?
B: Well, we all met, you know, and they used to give out fruit bags to everyone.
E: Who would be in charge of the program? Would Sam Blue be in charge?
B: Sam, and he would get some of them to help him, you know.
E: Tell me about the music, I bet you remember the music you had.
B: Well, Lula played the organ, her and Sally Beck, they both could play. They are
about the only two I know that played music.
E: And everybody sang, you did not have songbooks, you just remembered the words?
B: No ma'am, we had songbooks at church when I came along.
E: You remember then the old white cement block church building.
B: They tore that [down], they made a house over there.
E: That is right.
B: Yes ma'am. Raina was married at that church, by Elder Shepherd.
E: Now tell me about your children. Name your children for me.
B: All of them, the one that passed away and all?
E: All of them.
B: Jesse Brindle was my oldest child, then Melvin Lester, and Frances, Wayne, Walter,
Carl and Helen are my children.
E: Now, how many of those are living?
E: Now, the boy that I see whose picture is on the wall with an American flag behind
me, tell me who he is.
B: That is my grandson, Jason Brindle. He is in the marines.
E: And you are proud of him, are you not?
B: Yes ma'am. And I have one in Nebraska in the Air Force, Kenny Sugar.
E: Those [were] good old times on the reservation. Do you miss them?
B: Oh, sometimes.
E: But you are happy where you are here now.
B: I enjoy going back. I go to the festivals sometimes.
E: Were you down there for the festival last year?
B: This past year I was, the year before I was not.
E: I hope you will be back again.
B: I hope so.
E: I hope that lots of people will have some of the old, old pottery. If they do not sell
it, I hope they will be down there to let people see.
E: It is most interesting. I remember your mother telling me how she learned to make
the pottery and that she was proud to be a Catawba Indian, and you are proud to be
a Catawba too, are you not?
B: Yes ma'am, I am proud of it.