Title: Bernita Whilden Calvin
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007809/00001
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Title: Bernita Whilden Calvin
Series Title: Bernita Whilden Calvin
Physical Description: Book
Publication Date: 1986
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Bibliographic ID: UF00007809
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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May 1986
Interviewer is denoted by (I)
Interviewee is Bernita Whilden Calvin

I: I am talking this morning with Bernita Whilden Calvin, who now lives in

Sebastian, Florida, and whose father was the first station agent in Vero Beach.

You are on.

C: We moved from Oak Alley to Vero Beach when my father became station agent.

I do not remember whether it was the end of 1913 or in 1914. Our house was a

small house directly from the which we called it then. My mother had

to help my father with the Express because, at that time, Vero Beach was

beginning to have a great deal of food and vegetables. [Tape interrupted.] The

house, like all new Florida houses at that time had a fireplace. Of course, on

Saturday, we had our washtub and took our baths in front of the fireplace. We

had oil lamps and a kerosene stove, water and, originally, no

bathroom (it was put in later). The dirt road in front of the house-most of the

roads were dirt and shell at that time [tape interrupted.] The mosquitos were

terrible in You could put your hand on the screen, and the print would

be there by the time the first mosquito bit you through the screen. My

grandmother on my father's side, Grandmother Whilden, used to make palmetto

switches, and we always switched ourselves before we came in the house. We

burned mosquito powders, B brand I think, and even rags at times. We

kerosened the screens for sand flies.

I: Did that work?

C: It helped. They did not come in, as badly at least. I was speaking of my

grandmother making palmetto switches. She also wove, or plaited as she called

it, palmetto hats. Here is a picture in one of those terrible hats, I thought. It was

really a beauty, though. Her work was beautiful.

I: Oh yes, it was.

C: It never bumped up or anything. She knew just how to hold it.

I: You started with those green, didn't you?

C: No. She dried them first, and sometimes she died them. I had a beautiful brown

and white mixed one that she made one time. After I was big enough for school,

we walked to school and that was fun. We would all go by the packing houses.

Packing House was one on the way to school there. The old school

was on U. S. 1 just before you got to 60. We passed the East Coast Lumber

Company, a big building which eventually burned. Mr. B. T. Redstone had that.

He was a relative on my mother's side. We always had a box of fruit out there,

and you could pick up an orange or a grapefruit. They were free, just because.

We sometimes walked the rails. Daddy was very particular that he knew no train

was coming when we could walk the rails. The Harris children and

Reeves children and the Knight children all walked from their place, which was

quite a distance away, and on the way to school, we would all have a good

chatting time. At school, we played silly games like alley over throwing [with]

one group on one side and one group on the other side of our building, which

was similar to the present-day portico, with two rooms because the main

building was full. Vero But we would throw the ball over, alley over. We

played silly games like children always did. After school, we would come home

and play in the neighborhood. Wanita Bailey lived in the house next door, and

there was a Baker family, not Helen Baker's family but another Baker family.

Then, on a little farther, after the road turned was Lydia Knight. Then, later on,

Daddy finally got some help, and Mr. Schnee came. Margaret Schnee lived just

across the track. Here is a picture of Lydia. She came over to play one afternoon

with me. This is me looking mad.

I: And who is the little one?

C: That is my sister. [Looking at pictures.] At home, we played games, jump roped,

played hide and seek and all the things that children do. I can remember one

time, I came in and was very proud of myself because I had jumped 100 times

without missing; being the clumsiest child in the world, it was quite an

achievement. Everyone in town, practically, met every train, two of them a day,

one at noon and one about six at night. Then, they walked over to the

post office and gathered there while the mail was put up from each train.

I: Oh, the mail came on the train?

C: The mail came on the train, in truckfuls. Now, I do not mean automotive trucks.

Maybe, it was one bag carried out. There was a grocery store on the same line of

things as the post office. I am not sure whether it was the next thing to our house

or if it was right after that area. There was the one grocery story which eventually

became Cox's. I do not know whether it was Cox's to begin with or not. Then,

there was the movie house, and it was made with corrugated iron or tin.

I: Tin, probably.

C: We would go on salary day for a dime and sit on just flat benches, no backs, and

see the movie.

I: Was that right there on the same street that you lived on?

C: On the same street. Everything was that side of the track, originally. Gradually,

they began to build on the other side. The first grocery store chain, I think, was

A&P. During wartime, everyone met the troop trains. We knew when they were

coming through because, ordinarily, there would be someone getting on. We

would all go down and tell everyone

I: Would these trains be going towards Miami?

C: They would be coming from South Florida and Miami. I remember our principal,

Mr. White, going to war to save the world for democracy. I was very involved

with the war. I practically I knitted a washcloth under Mrs.

Woodward's tutelage, and I hemmed a handkerchief. So, I did my little bit and

thought I was doing wonders. My mother had a picture of an ox cart which was

carrying tremendous logs. There was a great deal of lumbering going on at that

time, but she thought the ox cart was something worth preserving. She knew

they would not go on forever. After the war was over, I was so excited that I ran

home to tell my father the war was over. He got a kick out of telling me he knew

it; he took the message on the telegraph.

I: Did your father run the telegraph?

C: Yes. He was very proud of being a railroad telegrapher. I had his ring. When my

house was entered at one time, it was stolen, but I had his railroad telegrapher's

ring. [Tape interrupted.] We moved to Winter Beach, after my father left the

railroad and bought the drug store, and lived there two years.

I: And that was called the Vero Drug Company?

C: Yes. It has been in the paper a couple of times.

I: Was your father a pharmacist?

C: No. He was the one who got Dr. Harold to come here because there was no

doctor. Dr. Harold was from the same place as Daddy was and lived as a boy.

During the time we were building our house, our second home in Vero Beach

near the Vero Beach Elementary School at that time, there was a time when I

stayed with the Gifford family. Uncle Charlie and Mrs. Gifford were just

delightful, so everybody loved them. I remember going home. John became Dr.

John Gifford, and Dorothy of course, but John was younger than me and we

used to play together. Mrs. Gifford would bake a delicious chocolate cake. Even

if we came home for lunch, which we often did, she let us have a piece of cake.

Now, my mother, since I was pretty skinny in those and would not eat too much,

would not let me have anything like that before a mealtime, because I supposed

to eat my meal, but Mrs. Gifford would. I was very proud of knowing the Giffords.

I stayed there for, I guess, the first three months of school, and then we moved in

our house on the other side of the tracks.

I: That is nice. Was that after you lived in Winter Beach?

C: Yes. We lived in Winter Beach for two years, and Daddy had the drug store.

About that time, the land boom came on, and Daddy sold out to Mr. McClure and

went into real estate where he lost his shirt. In the meantime, they had built these


I: Your parents had built them?

C: Daddy came home one day and he said, I have an idea; I think I will offer a prize

for the best name apartment. Mama said, well, I have already thought of a name,

Ronita. So, the apartment was named for my sister, and it is still there with

Ronita on it. The women's club library was the place where I went to read Little

Colonel and all the tear-jerking children's books there were. I loved that. We had

a vegetable man who came by everyday, I think. At the women's club, they had

bell ringers, William Jennings Bryan, and all sorts of lyceum things. The

lyceum was went with all of it, but we had all those.

I: Did you hear William Jennings Bryan?

C: Yes, I did, and all those cultural things. I was too little to appreciate it. Mama

raved about what a wonderful speaker he was.

I: Was the women's club right where it is now?

C: Yes, the old women's club, and my mother belonged. I think she is in a picture

where they said there were a few unidentified people in it, at a 1923 May

breakfast. I have some old Vero papers, you know, family sakes, and there is a

picture. There is a picture of our high school graduating class in one of these

This is the 25th Anniversary. Where it is, is another question. This is

not our graduation, but it is a picture of the class, and we made those dresses in

our sewing class. Some of them look as though we had not made it. [Tape

interrupted.] I can remember, it must have been 10th or 11th grade, when Mrs.

Schumann taught me. That was right after they came to Vero Beach. She did

not teach many years, but I did have her as a teacher. I was eternally

embarrassed because history was not my best subject. Here is that picture of our

graduating class, and here I am. This is Lillian Gollnick This is

Louise Van. I think she is Eliot now. This is Eva Harris, who is now Nia, I

believe. This is and Rebecca Rodenberg. Her mother was a

teacher, and she and I roomed together in college. This is J. D. Parrot, I guess.

I: Yes. The names are down here.

C: Dr. Carl D he is still a dentist in Vero Beach. Jimmy

Reams died recently. I read an interesting story about Eva Harris and the old

times a while back in a journal. Those are the beautiful dresses we made.

I: They were not all alike, were they?

C: Oh no. We chose our own pattern and material.

I: Your own color?

C: Color and everything. This was not for graduation. I think we wore them for our

class night. [Tape interrupted.]

I: Did everybody take the same course in high school?

C: Yes. We had no choices, whatsoever. Everybody took Latin [and] everybody took

algebra, or whatever it was, since there were only fifteen in our class.

I: Yes. Do you know how many of you went to college?

C: Not too many. That was a hard time. Rebecca went. I do not know what became

of John. Arthur Hill went. He is still living. Lillian and I went and, of course, Carl

D went.

I: That was a pretty respectable number from a place like that.

C: Yes, I think it was for that time because I, frankly, knew of few college graduates.

Not many people at that time went to college, and I was very embarrassed even

talking to a person I knew who had graduated from college. I remember, if I was

going to make a grammatical error, I made it in front of them because I was very

intimidated of the college graduates.

I: Where did you go to college?

C: Florida State. It was all girls at that time. Well, it was Florida State College for

Women at that time.

I: Was it a teachers' college?

C: No, it was a straight college. We had girls who went on and became doctors. Of

course, the School of Education was much larger than the other schools. [Tape

interrupted.] I think he had 125 acres; 60 of it was in groves.

I: All in Winter Beach?

C: In Winter Beach, and the house was a half-mile off the road toward the river. We

could not see the river from the house because of the grove, and it was all

marshy at that time I never went down.... [inaudible because of

plane flying overhead.] I remember once, Daddy did have one cleared area of it

that we farmed on. We grew beans. We were practically the bean capital at that


I: String beans?

C: String beans. They finally let me go one Saturday and pick beans. The other

children knew more about picking beans, and I had not picked a bean in my life,

so all day long I worked and I got $0.50. When I ran home, I lost my $0.50 on the

way home, but I was as happy as I could be. I had earned some money. I did not

even grieve over losing it. I had done it. Then, the beans were all hand picked.

After they were all picked for production, Mama and I went one day and picked a

whole hamper of those that had developed later and sent it off. I remember it

because beans at that time were getting in short supply. We got $6.50 for that

hamper of beans.

I: How big was a hamper?

C: Those tall, tapered type things. A bushel, I guess. I was very proud of that check.

We had all sorts of fruit trees. Guavas, the most guavas I ever saw, I mean

variety-wise. We had the most delicious small green one, about an inch and a

half, around, two inches maybe. They were always green, but the inside was

white and the meat was white. They were the sweetest guava. We had cumquats

and, of course, all kinds of oranges and grapefruits.

I: Did you ship most of those?

C: Yes. Daddy had them picked and shipped

I: How long did you live in Winter Beach?

C: Just two years, and I have been trying to think when it was. I have been saying

for years it was fourth and fifth grades. Now, I wonder if it was fifth and sixth.

I: Did you get bussed into school?

C: No. We lived a mile and a half away, and Daddy would take us in the car on his

way to the drug store. I say us because my mother was talked into teaching

because there was no teacher for the school. There may have been a teacher,

but there were not enough teachers, and they just were not even going to open

school if they could not get teachers. So, the Cox girl taught and my mother, and

then Mama got a cousin of hers from the north to come down. She stayed with us

a year and taught.

I: Do you remember her name?

C: She was Lillian Rice.

I: Then, you went to school in Vero Beach?

C: No, I went to school there with my mother. [Tape interrupted.]

I: The school was in Winter Beach?

C: That I went to for two years.

I: I see. Was that the one that is now on U. S. 1 that they use for Head Start?

C: I think so. I see it as I drive by.

I: It is between Old Dixie and U. S. 1.

C: It was on Old Dixie. Then, Mama and I would walk the mile and a half back to our

house after school. Daddy had a big Oldsmobile that he bought from Mr. Roach,

who had the garage there and, according to my memory, he had been a racing

driver. So, Daddy had this big Oldsmobile, and we used to ride along the tracks

since the road went along there. Daddy would give his signal, all is well, to the

train engineers. Sometimes, we would race it for a little while. Daddy always

counted the freight cars, as I still do. It was fun. That was when I was going back

and forth to school and staying with the Giffords during the week, while our

house was being built. They wanted me to start school in Vero Beach, and Mama

was not teaching. So, I started what would be my ninth grade year... [Tape

interrupted.] One entertainment that people used to have would be a minstrel

show. The local people would get up a minstrel show. Dr. Huntley, who was a

dentist, was there for years, and apparently he either had a lot of experience in

plays and producing things of dancing or he really liked it because he was always

the end man in the minstrel show. He did different dances. One of them sounded

exactly like a train. Of course, maybe now I would not be so impressed, but at

that time it was wonderful. He would make the train disappear in the distance. It

would come in and then go back.

I: Where were they held?

C: It must have been after the downtown theater was built. I can remember it being

so it must have been there. There must have been some before that.

It seems I do not remember. I remember one time, I was very

embarrassed because they told a ribbing joke about my Daddy. Of course, he

got a very big kick out of being mentioned. But me, I was horrified. On

Wednesday, all the stores closed. Of course, they were always closed on

Sunday at that time, so everybody went to the beach.

I: Was that just Wednesday afternoon?

C: Just Wednesday afternoon and Sunday. Everybody went to the beach, after we

finally got the bridge. Now, the bridge was there when I was staying at the

Giffords, because Uncle Charlie used to take us to the beach. He was

everybody's friend, a big joker. Everybody liked Uncle Charlie. I can remember

one time, I had a friend visiting me, oh, about the time I finished college or was

first teaching there. Uncle Charlie came by and said, do you want to go catch

some pineapples? So, we went with Uncle Charlie to get pineapples. We had

quite a pineapple production going in Vero Beach then, about the last of it. Then,

the came in, I think. But, they had packing houses and shipped

pineapples. They were all along the row between Vero Beach and Fort Pierce,

the pineapple fields. [Tape interrupted.]

I: Was your father also the station agent in Marathon?

C: Yes. He was the first one there when it was the end of the line. I have an old

picture of him standing outside the station, and that is the picture that he sent my

mother to convince her he was so lonesome that they should get married. The

railroad gave daddy permission to build a little room on, which they lived in.

People had no place to live. None of the workmen did. They would leave a few

freight cars on the side ends for people to live in. There was a boarding house

there, and mama said they had a piano there and they would listen to somebody

play the piano. My mother, having trained to be a teacher and having taught a

year or two before she was married in Oak Alley, taught some of the section

hands' children in one little boxcar.

I: This was in Marathon?

C: That was in Marathon. On Sunday, when there were no trains coming, daddy and

she would walk down the track. She lost her tiny little high school pin, about that

big, a little diamond-shaped pin, one Sunday. The next Sunday, they took that

walk on the rail road track. There had been rock thrown in, you know. There had

been a great deal of work on that section of the track in between, but she saw

her pin and found it. Daddy would just go out fishing anywhere in Marathon. I

think he could almost throw a cast from the station. But, they had fish. Of course,

they had a terrible time as far as food was concerned because there was nothing

there. Mama tells about the time daddy got an engineer to bring them a roast

from Jacksonville. No fresh meat. It was very difficult in Florida to get fresh meat,

but down there particularly. So, they did not live there too long. I guess they

came home because of me.

I: Then, they went to Oak Alley. Was he the station agent there, too?

C: No. He was a telegrapher.

I: Oh. But he did work on the railroad, then, when you were in Oak Alley?

C: Yes.

I: They used to bid for the jobs, did they not? Is that how your father got the one in


C: I really do not know. I know how excited he was when he got to

because mama was telling about it. I do not remember. But, he had saved that.

He carried it for a long time and

I: Why did he leave the railroad?

C: Just got enough of it, I guess, and decided to get rich on a drugstore and an

orange grove. Of course, he never did. They sold the grove, and they finally lost

the house and the apartments, just before I got married. Then, I moved them into

the old Nisle house, which has been done away with now, which is

catty-cornered across from the women's club building. The Nisles lived there,

then a Vero Beach lawyer. The daughter's name was Marcy. They were old Vero

Beach people. He was a lawyer. For some reason, they moved. I do not even

know where they went. We rented it for awhile, and then daddy and mama

bought it. [Tape interrupted.] One time, daddy had a line of bathing suits, and I

remember I had the prettiest bathing suit. He would try anything. Eventually, he

would go working in packing houses, as they traveled up. He would go as time

keeper or something for some of the people who had packing businesses farther

north. Eventually, he decided to go back and see if he get back in the railroad,

and he did. So, he ended up retiring from the railroad.

I: And where was he?

C: At Vero Beach, working under the Mr. Snake, who had worked under him.

I: So, then, he was not the agent.

C: No.

I: He was the telegrapher.

C: Well, assistant to the agent, I think. He sold tickets and did everything.

I: You mentioned in the beginning that your mother had to help out with the freight.

Did the station agent have to put the stuff on the train, or did he just have a lot of

paperwork to do?

C: They did everything. They pulled carts and did everything. Because it grew so

fast, he did not have enough help, so mama did the book work for the express.

Now, maybe this would be funny but it is out of place, but when mama was

helping him one end of the month on the book work for the express, she left me

lunch. When I came home from school at lunch, we always had that out. I ate my

lunch, and I was supposed to wash my dishes. I loved to wash dishes because I

could play in the water. I was in the first grade, I think, and I had this pink apron

with brown bunnies on it. After a while, my mother said, why didn't you come

over to the station to go to school? Well, I had been blowing soap bubbles with

my hand, having a wonderful time, and it was about time for school to be out for

the afternoon. My mother decided the best thing to do as a punishment was to

send me to school that late to explain to the teacher why I had not come back.

Well, in my embarrassment and hesitation to go back, I had forgotten to take the

apron off. I can remember one of the teachers put my apron on, real

silly apron, and it was very embarrassing. I did not blow bubbles when I should

be in school. [Tape interrupted.] Some of the Harris and Knight children would

bring beautiful jasmine to take to school. I loved flowers even then. You know

enough to know that I was different from anyone else, really crazy about them.

Once in a while, they would give me one. One day, my mother had a rose that

had big pink blossoms, like a cabbage rose. She let me take one of those, and

some child begged me for it. I gave her the rose because I thought she was as

crazy about flowers as I was and wanted it herself, and she goes to school and

gives it to the teacher. I missed my chance. About all the flowers that we could

grow at that time were gaillardias. Mama did have a marsh holy-rose bush.

There was a variety of carnation that I never see anymore that grew in Florida

just to spread all over the place and was in constant bloom. I wish I could find

some. We had a ice plant that we called baby fingers. It was full of pink bloom,

and it would grow and spread and make a bed. So beautiful. I never see them

anymore. I think of the wild blue lupin we used to see. I have not seen one in

years, except I saw one on the west coast, and they were everywhere in the

So, I miss the flowers.

I: After you graduated from college, you came home then?

C: Yes, and it was still in the Depression times-it was in 1930-and I could not get a

job. They were even firing merit teachers if their husbands had jobs so that

people could work. I had taken my training in high school for it, and, finally, there

was opening in first grade. The county superintendent at that time got...[End of

Side 1.] ...he got a great kick out of my having taken high school training and

then teaching in first grade, so he would come over and get a big laugh over me

mother henning all those children.

I: Did you have to take extra courses to get certified?

C: No, because if you had a Florida certificate, it was good for all elementary school

subjects, as well as your particular high school subjects. So, after the first year, I

moved onto the fourth grade, which was delightful, and into the fifth. I can

remember some of my children who were from old Vero Beach families, and

some are still there. Mary Treece. She taught in Vero Beach later. She was

valedictorian. I taught her in the first grade. I taught some of the Baker children.

Practically all the old families somewhere along the way, I taught. I taught

George Harrell, who is Dr. Harrell's son. I taught the Sexton girl. I think her

name was Margaret, but it is amazing how I forget.

I: Yes, you do forget. It was so long ago.

C: I used to have one little girl in fourth grade who was very bright. She would run

out of things to do, so I would say, write a poem about fairy, and she produced

the loveliest things.

I: You do not remember her name?

C: I think I can dig it up, but I am not sure. But she was

I: You really enjoyed teaching school?

C: Yes, I did, up until I tried high school. I was a monumental failure at that.

I: Did you teach after you moved to Miami?

C: Yes, I taught there, until retirement. I retired from teaching. I did not go there as a

teacher. My husband had already gone, and I was still teaching in Melbourne. Of

course, I could not get a job as a teacher in Miami in the middle of the year

because I would be breaking a contract, see. told me if I quit and then

if they had an opening, they would take me, but they would not take me if I had

broken a contract. They would not take me So, I took an examination

to do social work. I had some sociology in college. I put down my any

place I would go. About the middle of the year, I got a call, so I quit and went to

Miami and did social work until the war came and I could not get help to take

care of my daughter properly. Then, I quit for a while, planning to go to Puerto

Rico for He was with PanAmerican Airlines. He was to be there at

least a year. Well, he could not find housing. The Navy had finally said that they

would let civilians go in, so I went down for a couple of weeks and spent the

whole time getting ready to move in, thinking I would see Puerto Rico later on.

When I got home, I got an urgent message from Ross, hold everything; they

have a new admiral, and he does not want any civilians. We had picked out

refrigerators and furniture and which Navy barracks we wanted to be in. So, I did

not ever live in Puerto Rico.

I: Did you just have one child?

C: Yes, just one. Then, we went back to Miami. I still did not work. We went to South

America and stayed there six months and then came back because our daughter

Sam would have been in the middle of the school year, which beats coming back

at the end of the year, so we came back at the end of six months and started her

in school again in Miami. Well, in the middle of the year, they were desperate for

teachers in Miami. Overflow, a new classroom a day. My sister was teaching in

Miami at that time, and the principal was saying, does anybody know anyone

who could possibly teach? And my sister said, well, I have a sister who can

teach, but I do not know whether she wants to. She said, she has done her

teaching. So, the principal said, have her come see me, at least. My sister said,

look, you can stand anything for half a year, and it is going to be a small group;

they are dividing up a second grade class. So, I went and saw the principal. My

goodness, she threw a tea for me and had me meet all these nice teachers of

hers. Everybody was so nice. I said, I do not know anything about second grade.

I really did not want to do it, but I got talked into it. She let me watch another

teacher for a week, and then I got my own. I never did quit after that. I taught at

that school for fifteen years and then went to another school in the south part of

the county and taught there fifteen years.

I: Did you keep on teaching second grade?

C: No, I went to first, which is my love.

I: You really like first best of all.

C: Love the first. Oh, they are delightful. They are more fun. I had some of the

cutest. Some of the things they say take too long to make them funny because

you have to give so much background, but I had one little girl one day and

somebody was saying, well, my mama had a baby and she had an old girl. And

another child said, well, my mama had one and it was an old boy. I said, if

you get any you do not want, you can give them to me. And this very handsome

little girl, a beautiful girl, bright, she said, Ms. Calvin, I think if you want anymore

children, you will have to grow your own.

I: I guess that is true, too. [Tape interrupted.] Is there anything you want to say

about growing up in Vero Beach as we end this tape?

C: Well, I have never found another place I like as well. It has always been my

favorite place. [Tape interrupted.] Some of the teachers I had in high school were

well-known to everyone, of course. Mr. Powers, Ms. Whidden and Walters,

whom everyone loved. Our first principal when I went to high school was Mr.

Carter. He and the math teacher and some other teachers lived across the road

from us. At night, we would have a card table set up, and occasionally they would

come over and play cards. My mother loved cards. Once in a great while, for a

little while, I would get to substitute and play with them, which made me feel very


I: What kind of games did they play?

C: We played Bridge 500 and things like that. I remember Ms. Whidden particularly

because she was the one who persuaded my father that I should have my haircut

if I wanted it. That was when everyone was having their hair bobbed, so one day

daddy-he liked surprises-met me downtown when I was downtown and said,

come on, do you want your hair cut? So, I got a haircut. Well, mama wanted hers

cut, so he finally let her have her hair cut. Her hair was beautiful. She could sit on

it. She had to wrap it around her neck to comb to the end of it. It was very dark

and pretty hair, and heavy. A few days later, we made a trip up to Oak Alley.

Both sets of grandparents lived in Oak Alley. So, we went to see the

grandparents. We went to my aunt's and she wanted her hair cut, so I said, I can

do it. I gave her a haircut. Then, we went to visit some other friends and the

woman there wanted her hair cut, so I gave her a haircut. All told, I bobbed about

five heads of hair. They were not too bad, really. They looked about as good as

the rest of us did, because nobody had ever cut any but men's hair at that time.

I: Did you save your hair?

C: I think mama did for a while. My hair was always the funniest conglomeration of

colors because the sun streaked it. It would practically turn red where the sun hit

it, and it was darker otherwise.

I: Was it brown?

C: It was dark brown. So, it was not very pretty stuff, but I had worn it long all those


I: How old were you when you had your hair cut? In high school?

C: I was in high school. I do not remember what year. Probably eleventh or twelfth.

Eleventh, I think.

I: Yes, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen.

C: Different times, we had teachers staying at our house. It was like everything else,

mama would get talked into taking them in because they had no place to go. So,

we would have, sometimes, four or five teachers boarding there.

I: Were they mostly women?

C: Yes, at our house. We never had any but women. You know, if you have a

five-bedroom house and one bathroom, you have to learn to take turns. [Tape

interrupted.] Back when daddy had the drugstore, once in a while, the freezer

would go off and the ice cream would begin to get soft. I would come home and

go downtown on my way to the Gifford's, I can remember particularly, and daddy

would say, gather up the kids and we will have ice cream. So, we all had soft ice

cream, which was delightful.

I: You had electricity in Vero Beach by that time?

C: Yes, by that time, we did. [End of Interview?]

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