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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Russ Hyden 1 LUM 183 A
B: This is March 25, 1974. I'm Lew Barton recording for the University
of Florida's Oral History Program. The following is a substance of
a lecture I have done recently on occasion on Lumbee Indian folklore.
I call such lectures Lure and Lore of the Lumbee. Here is the latest
version which concerns itself with names: "With the fearful strain that
is upon me night and day," said Abraham Lincoln during some of the most
crucial times in American history,"If I did not laugh, I should die."
So should I in these times.
I was still devastated by the traumatic effects of a divorce,
the front end of my '71 Vega had gone to pieces, our lead guitarist
was in the hospital with a broken back, my imported electric type-
writer was on the blink, I couldn't find my Sominex, the house next
door had burned to the ground before our bucket brigade fire department
arrived on the scene and I had just been compelled to pay my liability
insurance for the entire year. It was a rather bleak day for me.
But then my son, the newspaper editor, discovered Reasonab le
Locklear--and my whole day --nay; my whole month--was saved.
"Who is Reasonable Locklear?" Dr. Samuel L. Proctor, on the phone
from the University of Florida asked me recently.
"Damned if I know, Doc," (That first word is spelled "Dam'f"), I
replied. "But I sure do like him, don't you?"
"Um-hmm!" answered my favorite professor with enthusiasm.
What is in a name? as Shakespear once asked.
Nothing, really. An onion would still smell like an onion and
Limburger cheese like Limburger cheese, even if you call them roses.
And the honeysuckle blossom would still smell great, even if you called
2 LUM 183 A
it a Skunk-Bottom petunia.
Like a favorite minister friend of mine, who happens to be
tagged with a gosh-awful name, just because his father happened to
be hip on a wild -west character when he was born.
Reverend Two-gun Montana Locklear--his real name--isn't that kind
of character at all. He is one of the best, kindest and most gentle
preachers it has ever been my good fortune to meet.
That sort of thing happened to my ex-father-in-law too. Really!
His mother had taken the newly-born child to the late Reverend
W.L. Moore to he christened.
"Name?" asked the Reverend.
Mrs. Missouri Locklear thought he meant, has the child been named
"No, sir," was her response.
Reverend Moore, thinking she had just given him the child's name,
wrote down: Nocie Locklear.
The state-name-bearing lady had too much respect for Reverend
Moore ever to rectify the error. And when a son was also born Nocie
Locklear, he named him Nocie Locklear Jr.
Neither of these gentlemen could ever be described as negative
types, no matter if their names are derivations of no sir--unusual
first names are a necessity with such numerous families in the
Lumbee River Valley as Locklear and others which bear the same surname.
Postal people have a heck of a time with names such as John Locklear.
There must be a hundred such Johns. Locklear telephone subscribers
in Robeson, with the Bell Telephone System alone in Robeson, is served
by the Bell Telephone System plus Carolina Telephone Company, run into
the hundreds, and it has been said that a riot may be created just by
3 LUM 183 A
saying aa large public gathering: "Will Mr. Locklear please come
to the front of the building?" Chances are that half the congregation
would rise to its feet and come forward.
But the Indians are not the only ones in the valley with this
kind of problem. The same would probably happen if someone in the
same set of circumstances asked, "Will Mr. Mack please come forward?"
The Lumbee River Valley is not only Indian country. It is also Scotch--
so much that Maxton was named for them; in short, M-a-x-t-o-n- means
Mac's Town. Hundreds of businesses in Robeson are Scotch-titled.
One more anecdote on names and I'm through. A man who was about
with the Joneses is said to have declared,"I'm going so far away from
this place that I'll never see another Jones as long as I live!"
He went to a distant city but almost at once a sign confronted
him--JONES MANUFACTURING COMPANY.
"Good Heavens!" exclaimed the man "Here is where they make them!"
I will close here with a salute to Jo White Locklear, Queen Elizabeth
Oxendine, my half-brother Ponce de Leon Barton, Mrs. Pocahontas Locklear
and Tecumseh Brayboy. Also Pompado, Jesms Icum, Queen Esther, King
David, Colonel Aster, Manny Coon, Grown Man, Cooter Burg, Reverend
Doctor Fuller Lowry, Junie Locklear, Phene Bullard, Ritty Locklear,
Wyvonnie Locklear, Tiny Jones and all the ohher good people whose
names like my own, are not entirely to their liking. I leave them
all a wore of consolation, however. Any one of us just might have been
saddled with some such Appalachian as the personna of the song,"A Boy
Named Sue." Or like the name of a lady I pnce read about in New York
City whose name was Ima Hogg.
Note to the Oral History Program: In the forgoing I have attempted
to approach the problem of name duplication in the Lumbee River Valley
4 LUM 183 A
by referring to the names humorously. But the problem of name
duplication is very real and very unfunny at times. I focus on the
matter of names because names are very important in other ways, too,
here. Lost Colony names are very numerous. Hamilton McMillan, the
father of Pembr.oke State University, and indeed of the entire Lumbee
Indian educational system, found fifty-three percent of all Lost Colony
names among the Indians here. And of course we have found other names
Lost Colony names among the Indians in addition to his research.
END SIDE I