E: This is Emma Echols [of] 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. This is
October 27, and it is a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining and the trees are
casting shadows all around. I am way, way down on the Indian reservation. I
stopped in to see a Blue. I did not know which Blue, but here is Betty Blue. Her
mother is Nola Campbell, and Nola is my very good friend. I have just been down
visiting her aunt. It is an amazing thing that wherever you go among these trees and
rocks and along the riverbanks, you find friends. My friends are the Catawba
Give us your name and your address, Betty.
B: My name is Betty Harris Blue. I live at 1577 Hagler Drive in Rock Hill, South
Carolina. I live on the reservation.
E: Tell us your father and mother.
B: My father was Chief Raymond Harris and my mother is Nola Campbell.
E: You father is one of the chieftains that did so much for the tribe.
E: I have his picture. Nola, of course, I know quite well. When you grew up on the
reservation you went to school here?
B: When I grew up on the reservation I went to school here. I went through the sixth
grade, and from the sixth grade [on] I went to Ebenezer. I went in to Rock Hill
High School, and I went two years. I quit when my dad got sick. He got sick with
bone cancer, and was just ate up with it. So I went to work at Woolworth's and I
worked there because there was no other income coming in, so I went to work.
E: You are not working now, but you are still making pottery?
B: I just started making pottery back in July.
E: I am sitting on the couch here with her in her lovely house. I told you that the sun
is shining through the trees all around. He little grandson is with us here, and he is
playing with the pottery that she has made. You will not believe all of the different
kinds that she has in the little boxes. She has little ducks, little boats, little wedding
vases, little pipes, and she has been making them since July.
B: June of this year.
E: Where did you get your clay?
B: Earl Robbins gave my granddaughter [some], I guess about the size of a small ball.
She brought it home and she let it get hard laying there on the bar in the kitchen.
I was trying to soften it up. I thought, "Oh, what can I do with this?" So, I started
picking it up and playing with it because I never liked fooling with clay. I still do not
because it gets all over your hands and you have to wash them so often, or at least
I do. I just started playing with it one day, and I said, "Well, let's see what I can do
with it. Everybody in my family can make pottery." Martin makes it, Idella, and
Edwin. So I just started fooling with it and I ended up making a pitcher and a duck
and then a little vase.
E: You have probably 100, have you not?
B: I have got about seventy-five pieces.
E: Are you going to take them to the festival?
B: Yes, I am going to take them to the festival.
E: Now, Mrs. Earl Robbins is your aunt?
B: Yes, she is my mom's sister.
E: These that I am holding in my hand are absolutely perfect. The little pitcher is just
exactly like the big pitchers. The little wedding vase is just like that. The little duck
looks like he is ready to swim down the river. I believe you have some little boats,
B: One of them my son made.
E: Your initial is on the bottom of it?
B: Right, on some of them, not all of them. This is the one my son [made]; I call him
Brian, but his name is [inaudible].
E: That is beautiful. Now, your son made this one?
B: Yes. That was his first one.
E: The interesting thing to me is that you pass it on down from one to the other. From
mother to son, and on down the line. Nobody shows you how to do it.
B: I just did it myself. I have seen my mom make pottery all of my life. You know,
when I was little growing up I saw how she did it. Edwin was sick. Edwin has
cirrhosis of the liver.
E: How old was your son when he made this one?
B: He just made that one.
E: It is interesting that young people are learning. Do you hope that when the center
opens here there will be a place for basket weaving and for pottery?
B: They are doing basket weaving over there. They are doing the basket weaving.
Evelyn George is teaching pottery from time to time over there. She is also teaching
the dance. My granddaughters have been dancing, but just one of them is doing it
now. That happens to be Jenna. Heather and Chrissy are not practicing this year.
They did not want to.
E: You have such a nice home here. What does your husband do?
B: My husband works at General Tire. He is a mechanic up there.
E: So many of them work at that establishment, do they not?
B: There are about six or eight up there now.
E: How many children do you have?
B: I have two boys and one girl.
E: How many grandchildren?
E: The little ones that are playing around here are really Indian-looking; dark brown
hair and dark eyes.
B: Well, their mother has Cherokee in her. She is Cherokee and Tim is Catawba, so
they pick it up. It is a combination. They have beautiful skin.
E: Do you go to church here on the reservation?
B: Yes, I go to church on the reservation. I am the Relief Society president for the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am the president for the women's
E: I am impressed with what you do for each other. When anyone is in trouble on the
reservation, you all pitch in to help them or do for them, do you not?
B: That is right. We do what they call compassionate service work.
E: That is a good word, compassionate service work.
B: We go in and do whatever we can for those that will let us do. Some of them are
so proud, you know, they will not let you do for them.
E: Do you feel that people are working together and loving and pulling together more
now than they ever have been?
B: It seems like to me when I was growing up on the reservation people did more for
each other than they do now. I think it is the world; the things outside that just keep
them so busy, like television and shopping. Now the stores are open on Sunday,
which I wish they would not. That gives you more time to maybe to visit, you know,
with people. Just keep it outside and stay home.
E: Now, you and Bobby grew up together on the reservation, so you went to school
B: No, Bobby moved. I think they moved where they are living now back in 1940-
something. He was a young boy then. I guess maybe a little later than that. I am
not sure exactly when it was they moved where they are. But I lived on the
reservation until my dad got sick and I went to work at Woolworth's. That was my
first job. I worked there when I was about sixteen. I worked from then up until he
died and afterwards. From then on I worked in department stores all of my life.
E: After you married Bobby, you have not worked at the store?
B: Yes, I have worked. I worked for K-Mart when it first opened up out here, and I
worked over in small appliances and video appliances. I did all of the ordering. I
have worked for Sky City.
E: Sometimes it takes two to earn enough when you want to add things to your home.
Do you own your land?
B: No, this is reservation. We own our home. We worked and built it as we went, and
paid as we went.
E: But you do not own the land?
B: We do not own the land. But I am satisfied here.
E: What do you look forward to for your children with this new treaty signed?
B: Well, with the new treaty being signed, I think I can look forward to seeing good
medical benefits (I hope before long), and good education.
E: That was important?
B: That was important for me, the education part and the medical part, because a lot
of them are low income. They do not make as much as some and their insurance is
not quite as good as my husband's. I do not have to worry about mine.
E: This means an education for your children and that is important.
B: It means an education for my children, if they want to go back to school, my
grandchildren, and my great grandchildren. I hope I am around that long.
E: The amazing thing to me is the friendship that you all have had with the white
people here. We have neglected and maybe mistreated you. We did not mean to
do so, but we did not know. But you do not hold any grudges.
B: I do not hold grudges. I will tell you, though, when I went to school, I was friends
with your daughter and Jane Price. You remember her. Her father worked with the
county. I got along quite well with the outsiders. I have never had problems with
them like some of the kids did.
E: Now, your son married a Cherokee. Who did your others marry?
B: JoAnn, she is from Virginia, I believe, and my son-in-law is from Lancaster.
E: It is interesting to see the new culture and the new blood that has been brought in
by other people, such as Mrs. Erla Beck that died recently. Carson Blue married
outside the reservation. So many did and they brought a new culture and new ideas,
and that has been very good.
E: So you are looking forward to the settlement being not only to your advantage, but
to your children's advantage, too, do you not?
B: I am glad it is settled and over with. Now maybe everyone can get on with their
E: You feel that most people are working together in a very good way, do you not?
B: I think so. I think they did real good. They did what they thought was best, I think,
for the people. They worked together and they pulled together. I am sure they had
some doubts when everybody was sitting down talking to Sprat and the rest of the
men from Columbia. But I think they did the best they could.
E: I think it is going to work. We are also glad that it is ending, now.
B: I am glad it is ending.
E: And we have peace and prosperity ahead.
B: Yes. I hated the idea of the people thinking that we were going to take their homes,
and that is something I would never want. I would not want nobody coming in and
taking mine, and I tried to explain that to the outsiders] that would mention it to
me, I would tell [them], "No, they are not going to take your home. They would not
do that. I know they would not."
E: Well, it has been a joy to know you, Betty, and to be in your home.
B: It is good to see you. I have not seen you in years.
E: I did not realize who lived in this nice home back here, and that you had whole
boxes full of little miniature pottery.
B: One day you have got to come back. I do not have time to do it today, [but] come
back one day and I want to show you some of the pieces of pottery that I found here
at this old homestead.
E: You do not mean it.
B: I found half of pipe molds. I have found rubbing rocks. I have found just broken
pieces of pottery.
E: What about getting just one of them and showing me now?
Betty has brought out a box full of beautiful old things. When they moved here, she
found old arrowheads, old molds to the Indian head, and pieces of pottery that are
priceless. I want to tell you about it here. You found them where? Right here?
B: I found them out here in the yard. I have got plum trees planted out there now.
This was the first piece I found. It is, I guess you would call it, a face pipe mold.
It looks Egyptian to me.
E: It is in perfect condition.
B: It is in perfect condition. When I found it, the nose was sticking up like that. I was
just real excited. Then I found this half of pipe mold and these Indian head pieces.
This was my last piece. This is a small half of a pipe mold. I was walking one day
in the yard. It was a Sunday afternoon about like today. I just could not sit still in
the house and Bobby was in here watching the races, and I cannot stand races.
E: You may find some more things out in your yard. Now, this one of the Indian head,
look at the decorations on his head. That is quite different from what they are
making today. Those two are different.
B: Yes, they are as different as night and day. This little one was just laying down like
this, face down, with the smooth part on the back. I said to my husband, "Look what
some Indian put out here for me." I got so excited when I found this one because
I had walked and walked and walked that day round and round out there because
there was nothing to do. I was just bored. When I found that, it just made my day.
E: We are surrounded by the old and the beautiful. It gives us something to live for,
does it not?
B: Yes, it does.
E: Maybe we can add something to the beauty. But it has been a joy to be here in your
home and to meet your family and to see the things that you are making and the
things that were made years ago.
B: Well, when I took them over to show them to Doris Blue back in 1981 or 1982, I
said, "Doris, look what I found." It was before she passed away, and she said those
things at that time had to be 150 years old or older because she had some pieces
similar to these, and she said, "That is how old those things are because I have got
some like them. They are approximately 150 years old or maybe older." So, I keep
them wrapped and placed in a box.
E: You cherish that, and the pottery that you are making will sell, and somebody is
going to cherish that someday, too.
B: Well, this had been out at the museum and they were over at Winthrop last year
before we had our festival over here.
E: At the festival last year at Winthrop, Nola was there, your mother, at a table making
pottery and some little boys came around and she took clay and helped them to
make a little pot. The photographer got her picture showing the little boys making
B: I could not show anyone because I have a hard time with it.