PAGE 1

Interviewer: Catherine Puckett (KrtCe' l At1l-orns \/O\C C. Acy b, Subject: Uncle Earl & Aunt Ruby C FUd Al-fh Y CS Ca0-hV SR3A no+ -n o c' page 1 n o f dl en d nt pce 22 .) mjb P: It's almost as bad as, as R: He would be _____. His daddy would be real good if he could be, you know, at himself. He's, he's not. P: Do you think Mr. Humphries is starting to be willing to talk, or R: I imagine he is. P: Okay. Okay. So, I'll start this thing, okay? This is Cathy Puckett, and... E: (laughter) P: ... I'm interviewing... E: Didn't you use that before? Really? P: Not officially. E: You practicing now, ain't you? P: No. R: Earl and Ruby Smith. P: Earl and Ruby Smith of Branford, Florida. So, let's see. Can you tell me about fishing on the Suwannee River? R: P: Oh. Okay. Can you tell me about fishing on the Suwannee River? You grew up here? E: Yeah. I don't know too much about it. You can catch a small fish. (laughter) About the biggest thing, you having a lot of fun, that's the way I like it. P: What'd you say people call the Suwannee? E: Huh? P: What'd you say people call, what did you call the Suwannee a minute ago? E: That's the Gulf. P: Now, you were saying people just call it a little old waterway or something., You didn't think it was worth much. E: People what? R: (laughter) ____________ *---------------------



PAGE 1

SR3A page 2/mjb P: What did you say the Suwannee was a few minutes ago when you were putting it down 'cause there wasn't any fish in it? E: Oh, just a stream of water. P: Okay. That's what I thought you said. E: Yeah. P: Just a stream. E: But, the, lot of people, it's just like a, when you leave your home and go somewhere else, you're in another place -ooh, that's a beautiful place. Just like the mountains. Now the people here want to go up in the mountains, go up in the mountains. Well, when they come back from the mountains, they come back home, the people in the mountains -ooh! I love it down here in Florida! I like Florida. Those people up there, you see, come down here and in other words, they don't know the river like we do. We live on the river and it's just common to you. P: Uh huh. E: It just don't mean anything. But people that comes in, that don't know anything about it, it means a lot to them. They build houses down their way. They got houses all up and down the river. They get flooded out. High water. R: You knew it flooded some. P: Uh huh. E: With the, got where the, got it drained pretty well. But the state is coming in and making regulations how they can build these homes on account of the sewage system... P: Uh huh. E: ... running into the river. P: Uh huh. Do you think that's a good idea? E: Huh? P: Do you think that's a good idea? E: Yeah, yeah. R: I, I think it is. E: It sure is. You see, they really want to get it into wild life, but a lot of them was fighting it, see. P: Uh huh.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 3/mjb E: If it's in the wild life group, they can't build within so many feet of the river. They got to be 500 yards, I think it is, off of the river. They used to build right on the river bank there. P: People are like that. E: And lot of them of Santa Fe, is worker than the Suwannee, they said, 'cause people just have the cesspool right up on top of, in the house, with a pipe just running right down / in the river. P: People change it and build canals and do all sorts of things to try to get away with it. E: Yeah. And it's just the cesspool here.. R: That's not sanitary. E: ... and I think it's good that the government can control it, keep that cesspool out of the water. P: Have you seen thefiriver change? E: Change? P: In your lifetime? E: Go up and down? P: Uh huh. E: Oh, I've seen it six foot deep and on the streets of Branford. P: Uh huh. In the flood? E: In the flood. P: Both floods; you were here for both floods. E: It, yeah, the, it came up there, it was... R: We were here for both floods. E: ... that, they fastened the boats to the Fletcher's garage down there, Gulf filling station. You fastened boats. It was about four foot deep right there. Right on the corner where the -just where it crosses Raville, right on the corner of the intersection -the, it was about six foot deep right there, low, where that station. Course it wasn't there then and.... P: This was is the '34 flood? R: Forty-eight.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 4/mjb E: No... P: Forty-eight? E: ... it was further back. It was back:when.... R: Forty-eight. E: Huh? R: Forty-eight. E: Forty-eight? Back in '48. Yeah. We had to transport food across the river in boats for people in Lafayette county. P: Uh huh. E: They couldn't get in town with a car. That highway, going to Mayo, it was lower then. They built it up. It was flooded clear out to the Cross City road. P: What? E: Where you turn to go to Cross City. P: Yeah. E: Well, it was flooded out to there and they put a big boat down on the river and run the fish out there, met the people in Lafayette county there and come on in and got their groceries, put them in, carried them back. P: How high, how long did the high water last? E: For transportation purposes, I'd say, about three weeks. Wasn't it? Three or four weeks, 'cause it was coming up, then it had to start back, and it didn't run back too fast, you know, and it didn't come so fast. I'd say it was around four weeks of it, every bit of it. Long time. Lot of water. R: Now,iI can tell you somebody that has a lots of pictures;of that. We don't have any. But it's that Buck Maynard that you mentioned a while ago. P: Okay. He has pictures? R: He has a good many pictures. E: Who has? R: Buck Maynard. P: He was bearing people across, wasn't he? I heard that somewhere. R: Yes, uh huh. Well, he helped.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 5/mjb P: Right. He helped. R: Well, the merchants, you know, pretty, are, were the ones, yeah, they were the ones that was bearing expenses. P: Right. So, that's, the river, do people who live on the river find that its a real good fishing place? E: Do they find it what? P: A real good fishing place? E: I don't know what they call good. (laughter) P: Do you find it a good fishing place? E: (laughter) It's a good fishing place, yeah. But the catching is bad. P: You can fish all day on it. E: (laughter) The catching is bad. P: 'What... E: On the river, when the river gets high, and those fish come out of those caves... P: Uh huh. E: ... up there in the river, then when it starts back, before they take a notion to high dive back down in that river, go back in them caves, you'll catch a right smart fish. P: Catfish or bass? E: Brim, bass. Brim, mostly. Mostly what they call... P: Stumpknockers? E: Well, they catch some stumpknocker, and red brim. P: Uh huh. Red brim. E: and they catch that, of course. P: How about catfish? E: Same thing. Now, here a while back they was up, and they hadn't caught no catfish in that river in three years___ Then, they got to be plenty of them. They stayed up pretty high this past year for a good while and the fellow that runs Sandy Point down yonder, Cathy... P: Uh huh. E; ... he had over 200 fish ficc!.;, tied on bushes, trees, along the river, besides three



PAGE 1

SR3A page 6/mjb E: trotlines and he'd catch a boatload every time he'd go up there and go around. He'd have a boatload of fish, Collins. P: When was this? E: Huh? P: Was this recently? E: Yeah, that was back in the spring, I reckon, it was. P: Okay. So it was this year. E: The river was up and stayed up pretty well, went down, and come back, and they caught a lot of catfish down there. Real recent. It was right back in the spring. It was up. P: Well, when you were little, you went down the Suwannee fishing. When you were a boy, you fished on the Suwannee. Pretty much? E: Well, I don't say I fished on the Suwannee when I was a boy. I fished on Santa Fe. P: Uh huh. Is that a lot better? E: It flows into Suwannee. P: Uh huh. E: Course, see, when I was a boy, I lived down that away, and me and my daddy fished there. After I got married, I moved up this way, moved up on the river, to the Suwannee and fished more of the Suwanne than I did Santa Fe. Most people fishes Santa Fe than they do Suwannee. P: Why? E: More fish. P: That's a good reason. E: They're small. Just like her daddy. That's where he fished wasn't it? P: Yeah. E: Santa Fe, instead of Suwannee. P: Yeah, I don't know too many of the people up there who went fishing out on the Suwannee. E: Oh, they ski and ride... P: How come they.... E: ... they come up here from Lake City and they ride and ski and have a big time. It's a good, biggest river for that. P: Yeah.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 7/mjb E: If you don't go too far up. Now, you can get too far up and get on some shoals and you can't get no further. P: Uh huh. E: And, you can go from here to the Gulf, really. P: Well, isn't nicer going fishing on the smaller rivers? I mean, isn't it more pleasant to go fishing on smaller rivers where you ca off, like you said, get over in the little nooks and crannies and sloughs and get up under logs or.... E: Which place are.... Fish on Suwannee? P: No, I mean on a smaller river, like the Santa Fe, where it's narrow and all those little crannies and stuff like that. The JSuconnrta big. E: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, it's definitely better. It'd be better. P: E: Wide for fishing. Now, people use the river. They got to where they're using it now pretty well, a lot of it, but irrigation-farming purposes is... P: Uh huh. E: ... got on the farm and got their irrigation, you know, and all. It's wonderful for that. And it's good for pleasure. P: Yeah, lot of students.... E: If you've ever lived on--it's like I say, if you've lived on it all your life, you don't even half enjoy it. P: Uh huh. E: And, cause that's just he way it is with everything else, I reckon. P: Uh huh. You get used to what's familiar. You.... E: You get used to it. P: It doesn't look so charming. E: You could go up there to the mountain -ooh! I'd love to live up here. And you get back and -I'd rather live around here. (laughter) P: Did you ever move away? Did you ever want to leave or did you leave or youneverwanted to go? E: I never have left.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 8/mjb P: You always were.... E: I just stay right here. Suits me all right. R: He had his own store if for years here. E: I run a store for 32 years and.... P: Here? E: It*m : in Branford. P: -iffiih. This one? E: The water came up in front of my store. R: No, no. P: The flood? E: The flood and the one in '48. P: Ruined your store? E: Just come up that main street right up in front of my store and then it commenced to going back, you know, about two days. She taught school for.... P: Thirty years. I want to get somne-questions here, too. E: But I run the store. She made the money, and I fed the people. P: You fed the kids. E: I fed the people in about three counties around here. It wound up all being free. P: i-t l4? When did you open your store? E: When did I open? Initially right after the war, World War II. R: But you really was in the store business before that. E: I was in there before that, but after/ I came from the army, though, in about '43, wasn't it? P: So you were in the war? E: Yeah. I had the store and I jclj Iu P I was renting to a man. Mr. Hatch. And I I just left all my equipment in there and the most all the goods, lot of them, and come back from the army and opened it back up. Then he wanted to sell it, then I bought evcrithin.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 9/mjb E: Same store. I bought one. Mr. Hatch had two stores joining one another there. P: Uh huh. E: I bought one of them and Hatch's brother bought the other one. Ten years before that -I think it was ten years, four, five years, until fairly recent -I went to the Branford State Bank. I could have bought both buildings for $1500 dollars. I didn't have very much money at that time. I was, tried to get the bank to borrow the $1500 to buy the two buildings. They like to had a heart attack. That's too much money. No! Can't put that much money in them old buildings. I rented it a year or two, then we closed it three years in the service, and come back and had to buy it and we give $9000 for the two buildings and I (laughter) could have bought them for $1500 four years earlier. Things went up that much. We payed $9000 for the two buildings and we could have got them for $1500. P: That's fishy. E: (laughter) That was moving, wasn't it? P: What kind of bait to you use to catch catfish? E: Huh? P: What kind of bait do you use to catch catfish? E: Well, they use from Genesis to Revelation.' (laughter) They use, they use cut bait, which is other fish cut up. P: Uh huh. E: Or you can use shrimp or you can use these wigglers. P: The store-bought ones. E: The old big wiggler, red wigglers, use them on there. You can use these old tobacco worms. P: Tobacco worms? E: Yeah, them old things that gets on tobacco. R: About this big.... P: Like tomato worms? E: (laughter) She's knows about it. P: No, I don't. E: You can use them. P: Not like the



PAGE 1

SR3A page 10/mjb them E: You can use\ a lot of bait can be used, Cathy, a lot of them used to use chicken livers. P: Is that good? E: Now recently, with a reel and rod, that's what most of them use, P: Chicken livers? E: Chicken livers, 'cause it washes off pretty easy and you cannot bait bush hooks and trotlines, for the most of it, 'cause that, because it'll wash off too easy. P: Uh huh. E: But, and too expensive to bait that because it washes off... P: Yeah. E: ... but you can buy you a pound or so of beef, or chicken livers, and get in your boat with a reel and rod and fish and catch a lot of them. There's a Mr. -damn -Pouchton, lives down in the mouth of the river down there. He's lives on, he lives on the Suwannee... P: Uh huh. E: And he fishes for a living. 'Course he -I imagine drawing social security he's kind of old -but that's all he does now is fish, and he caught lot of fish. He'd buy four and five pounds of livers at a time at the store and fish catfish with just livers. He'd catchfourand five-pound, six-pound cats. P: What is his name? E: Pouchton. P: P E X T 0 N? E: How you spell that? R: P UC H TN. E: Pouchton. P: And he lives in Suwannee? E: He lives, he lives in Gilchrist county in the -what's that old man's.... R: Butler. E: Butler, Butler's subdivision. P: Butler's? E:' He may be easy to find if you want to do it. P: And, is he a native of this area?



PAGE 1

SR3A page ll/mjb E: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He's born and raised and never done nothing in his life. P: But fish? E: (laughter) P: I've heard people say they use salt pork too. E: (laughter) Huh? P: Salt pork. E: Salt pork? Oh, no. Not for catfish. P: Okay. be E: Ard the way you use salt pork wouldAbend it, put it on a hook, and pull it like that with a jig, make a jig out of it for brim, not catfish. P: Okay. E: But salt pork, stuff like that they won't eat. Now they'll eat, the catfish'll eat beef hearts good. P: Uh huh. E: Or anything, pork liver, catfish. P: Do you always.... E: But beef liver's no good. Chicken gizzards is no good for fishing. They turn white, they won't bite the gizzard. But they'll b.;' them livers. P: Do you catch them at night? Do you catch them at night? E: At night? Yeah, you can fish at night and; he fishes daytime mostly. P: For catfish. Huh. Did he use traps? E: No, rod and reel. He fishes rod and reel. You can use traps, but you've got to have catfish traps, legally, or unlegally you can find some other kind in there. P: What kind? E: Wire traps, they call them. P: Uh huh. E: Catfish traps is slats. In other words, you can't use a wire basket in the river... P: Uh huh. E: Of no kind. P: But that's what they used to use.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 12/mjb E: That would be a slat trap in the stays got to be so far apart, that certain small cats get out. They go in there and they get out and you just catch pretty good-size cats, so the small would all get.... I don't where the inch, two-inch got the holes inlbetween the slats. P: That's the kind they used to use, the illegal kind is wire? R: Yeah, they still use it. There are people that set traps in the river. You can leave a day and get eight, a hundred catfish when they leave them E: Then people go by, they dectect the wire, up and down there on the boat, detect, you know, wire in river and they get them, pull them up, mash them, tear them up, haul them off, and throw them away. They catch you with it, it's about a $100 fine. R: So you've got to be real careful when you put them out and when you take them in. P: But otherwise, you don't have to worry. E: (laughter) P: So that's a way that you can get a whole lot of catfish at one time. E: Yeah, if you get the right kind of bait. Now, you can bait them slat traps with cheese. P: Uh huh. E: Cheese is a good thing but it's not no good for putting on your hook and fishing. You put that cheese and it gets fermented and gives a, in other words, you want to lay it out and let it get near about rotten to start with, then you put it in a bag and put it in that trap P: Uh huh. A plastic bag? A plastic bag or a brown bag. E: No;ia little croker sack, either-that or a mash bag, you see. P: Okay. E: A mash bag's best, 'cause it'll feed out to it. R: Orange bag. P: Okay. With grapefruit, like that? E: A mash bag and you put it in that bag, and it's good catfish bait. Old stale cheese. P: Yellow cheese or white? E: Doesn't make no difference. P: Okay. We used to, I used to know a man -he's dead now -he went up here in Thomasville E: We used to, I used to know a man A -he's dead now -he went up here in Thomasville



PAGE 1

SR3A page 13 E: to -I think it's Thomasville.... P: Georgia? E: Georgia. P: That's where my parents go. E: Where the, the, in other words, it was Sunnyland Packing plant. P: Uh huh. E: And they made the cheese, where'they make cheese, where they have a lot of this cheese crumbs and cracklin stuff left, you know. Backwhen they making that stuff. And he'd buy it by two or three hundred pounds in a drum and he'd take that and put in his traps. P: Okay. E: Any kind of cheese is good. P: What about turtles? Do people eat river turtles much? E: Turtle? P: River turtle. E: No, they, they catch them once in a while down there. I don't know much about that. Now they get up on a log... P: Uh huh. E: ... one day I was down there and I saw a lot of things nailed on the side the log. You ever seen it? So, I wondered what that was. So I asked a man that was down there. He said there was some boys that come up there, and they, and they was turtle hunting, fishing. And you take those things, it's a kind of a wire basket and -you see, this is the log. This is a wire basket and it's pretty deep and they'd nail it right here and this thing here is pretty deep like this, over here like, see, like that. Well, those turtles, they crawl up on this log. When they're getting ready to get off, they won't go back down here and get off, they just fall off ever where they're at. P: Right into the trap. E: They right in this trap, this basket, and they catch them like that. P: Uh huh. E: And they had them, every log down there's just about in line, but I haven't seen any lately. P: I've seen a few out in the town of Suwannee.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 14 E: You've seen them like that? P: Uh huh. A couple of times. E: Yeah.... P: Not very much, but a couple of times. They get a lot of turtles, too, sometimes. E: Yeah, get a lot of them in there. When they, when they fall, they don't care which-a-way they fall. They just fall off. Boats they get up on them logs, and people's coming along, boats and things, naturally, that's when they fall off. They just roll over... P: Uh huh. E: ... and off they go. P: Have you ever run into any alligators? fhere E: WellAa few gators. Not many in there. P: Uh huh. E: You'll run in more alligators in Newmans Lake. (laughter) P: Yeah. E: Now there's plenty of them .You ever been out in that lake? R: I don't think so. P: I have with my dad, fishing for brim a lot. E: There's a lot of alligators in there too, ain't they? Wow! R: I have friend in Gainesville that... P: Your daddy fishing.... R: ... her husband fishes out at Newman a lot and.... E: P: Yeah. E: It's too hot,now. They ain't inviting me. R: They invited him, through me, to go over and go fishing with this gentleman. But he hadn't gotten over there yet. Ithoughtit would be nice for him to...a fishing. P: Yeah. E: (Hey? Yeah.) P: Did he come down to get out there? E: Who?



PAGE 1

SR3A page 15 P: You know, my dad would still like to come up to go, we used to go fishing with .' ____ up_ from Apopka. E: ___ What was some, some preacher talking about what he did. A pre-, a preacher. P: Uh huh. E: He was talking about this deal, they say that, the elder of the church where he was holding his meetings was the beatingest man to forget. He couldn't think of anything. You'd tell him one thing, he'd be done forgot 'fore he'd go to tell it. Well, this fellow


PAGE 1

SR3A page 16 P: Yeah. E: Is that all? P: Well, fifty-five. E: God, he's young. P: Oh? R: Yeah, I started teaching here in '55; I mean '27. P: Yeah, and he'was born in... R: In '27. P: ... in '27. E:____________ R: No. P: My dad was from Clearwater. He and my mother met at Florida Christian College. E: Yeah, yeah. In Clearwater? R: And that's he was going to be going to school? P: Yeah. And mom was down there in school. But he taught.... E: Was he in Tampa or Cleawater? P: He was from Clearwater, but he was going to school in the Tampa Area. E: Oh, his home was Clearwater; he went to school in Tampa, there. P: Yeah. E: P: Well, I want to go back at this time about teaching here, too, and your growing up here. Your family came from this area. R: Right. P: Right? R: Right. Yeah, we were, we lived about four miles out in the country. P: How long have they been in this part of Florida, your family? R: Oh! My father was born in 1868, I believe, not, not exactly but he was borned in south Georgia, but he, they immediately moved, you know. P: When he was a baby. R: When he was a baby -to Florida. And he was raised here. Right around in this area.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 17 P: So your family's been here for a few generations. R: Oh, yes. P: Okay. R: He was right. P: (laughter) Well, did you ever hear your parents talking about any of this, this area when it was being settled, or do you know anything about the history of Branford? R: Oh, yes. They, they split their own rails and made their own fences and built their own houses out of logs and raised everything they ate. (laughter) P: What was Branford area like then? R: Oh, much smaller, of course. E: Talking about -she said raise everything they ate -when her, her and I were first married... P: When was that? E: ... she worked around.... I was raised'on a farm. R: 1929 E: So, her grandfather owned a lot of property, lot of farms, and he passed away. Well, where I was born was justthis/ideof Live Oak, up therethe section they call h1Qtp(Y <;---Well, my daddy had about a 400-acre farm there. Well, my daddy, he was one of these kind that never was satisfied. He wanted to come down' here. P: Branford. E: Hildreth. P: Oh. E: So he traded my grandaddy that time for a little old farm down here at Hildreth that wasn't worth two cents, very much. Too much of it in the swamp, woods, so, well, grandfather, years on, passed away. So my daddy, then, he'd taken the, when they were dividing all the property up he'd taken his old home place back. P: Uh huh. E: He moved back up there and he give me that farm down there. And he give.... P: So you got the farm.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 18 E: He give me that farm. So my sister, one of them, he gave her a farm up here from O'brien that he got.. P: Uh huh. E: ... 'cause grandaddy had a lot of them and so we was down there farming. Ruby was teaching school, $65 a month, eight months during the year. (laughter) P: So you were teaching school right here. E: Drawing about four hundred and something dollars a year. R: Yes. E: Anyway, I was farming down there. We had chickens. I had meat in the smokehouse, what they call the house, the smoke house. P: What was that like? E: I had meat, I had syrup, I had potatoes, I had greens, I had anything in the world you wanted to eat, plenty to eat. Well, she was taking a course, she was going to school... R: Correspondance. E: ... teaching here and taking.... R: Correspondance course. E: A course of the University of Florida. She worked on the, and one morning she asked me before she started to school says, Earl, she said, How about mailing this letter for me today? I said, You got three cents? She said, No. I think it was three cents then, a letter was. She said, No, haven't you got three cents? I said, No. So we didn't have three pennies to our name and we didn't have no money in the bank to right a check to either. We just didn't have three-cents. Now, we was that broke. Didn't have no money. After I mailed the letter, she says, Okay. And so she went on to school. I went on to the field and plowed. Eleven o'clock I came here and went around to the hen nest, got eggs. While the mules was eating their food, I ate a snack, grabbed a dozen eggs, walked a mileand-a-half down to Hildreth, sold the eggs for ten cents... R: E: ... bought a stamp, and the rest of it in candy, I reckon. I don't know what I done with all the rest of that money. But I sold that dozen eggs. I reckon it was twelve cents) I imagine, 'cause they was about a penny apiece, and mailed that letter. That's how broke we were.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 19 P: Did you make your money then by raising crops? E: I managed to eat was about all. P: Uh huh. E: Just to live was about all. Sell hogs, was two cents-a-pound. P: Gee. E: Yeah. Two hundred-pound hogs, you'd get four hundred, four dollars for a hog. Nowaday you can't buy a pack of pork chops for four dollars. P: That's right. E: (laughter) I sold a whole hog, two hundred-pound, I sold eleven heads -fourty-four dollars, averaged 4400 pounds. I got two cents-a-pound for them. P: Uh huh. E: Forty-four dollars, 22 lb§.,, 2200 lbs; P: So how long did you farm? R: Not long. (laughter) R: Not long. P: Didn't like it, huh? R: Well, I was raised on a farm, and of course, my father was a real good farmer. He had a real good place. And he made a lot of money, but that was earlier than when what Earl was talking about. E: Oh! He was making a lot of money because back then they planted cotton... P: It was cotton? E: ... and you'd sell that cotton. Well, if a farm--, if a person back, I'd say, sixty years ago, had $300 in the bank, he was a rich man. P: Yeah. E: If he had $300 in the bank, he was a wealthy man. And if he had $500, he was a billionaire just about it. P: (laughter) E: Back in them days, they didn't have no money. I imagine old man Lindsay, you know, Aunt Minnie.



PAGE 1

SR3A page 20 P: You have Minnie E: Yeah. P: Yeah. E: Your grandmother's. P: Right. E: Yeah. When they built up that house, they didn't have no money either. They just didn't have none. P: Uh huh. E: If you had $200 or $300 you was a rich man. P: My daddy said they traded a lot. I mean, you know, if you take the corn in to get it... E: Yeah. P: ... ground up... E: Yeah. P: ... you'd leave a certain amount of your meal and the mill for payment and you did a lot of trading. You just didn't keep a whole lot of cash money on you. E: Yeah. P: I mean, you bought some things in cash. E: I'd take, a lot of time, though.... R: Well, you carried eggs to town and bought things with those eggs. Of course, you bartered._. P: Yeah, you were trading everything. R:___ E: P: Was eggs what you used mostly for trading? R: Yes, uh huh, yes. P: For things like material to make clothes out of? R: And food. P: And food. R: Food. P: Food and coffee? R: What, what food you had to buy 'cause we share....



PAGE 1

SR3A page 21 P: E: Everybody had plenty to eat... P: Yeah. E: ... but nobody had no money. R: You know, little things like that. P: That's what he said, there's just not much money around, there wasn't that you were starving, but it was just that E: R: Making your ownt things to eat. E: When I sold those hogs for two cents-a-pound, the high, I think it was a Model-T car, it was a old Model-A One, and it needed a tire for it. I come right back down to Joneses garage and bought a tire for two dollars-and-a-half, automobile tire. It didn't take much money if you had a little money. (laughter) Now Ruby and I have traded a many a Saturday night in the grocery store down there, Linehall's store. Our week's groceries'd be about a dollar-and-a-half a week. P: When was this? What time period approximately? R: Oh, we were married in '29, 1929 and that was in the thirties. P: How old were you when you got married? R: Well, I'll have to figure it out, have to figure back. (laughter) We were married fifty-three years and it's what now? P: 1982. R: 1982. Fifty-three from eighty-two, do that right quick. I can't, I can't subtract. P: Okay. E: What's that? What is yO '. C' t iDng -b nd out? P: What year, you were married in '29. R: Yeah, yeah. P: Uh huh. E: Well, I think I was twenty-four when I got married. Wh P:AWhat age were you?



PAGE 1

SR3A page 22 E: I was twenty-four. P: Well, was she hard to catch? Was she a hard one to catch? How'd you talk her into marrying you? E: She, I had to marry her to get rid of her. P: Oh! R: (laughter) Well! It's for me, didn't you? E: (laughter) P: How did ya'll meet? How did you two meet? R: Well.... E: I think we went together four or five years before we even married. P: Did you? R: Uh.... E: It got to where it seemed like we was just brothers and sisters was what we, it wasn't no fun to be with one another 'cause it'd done got old. We had, we decided we'd better marry, if we was going to marry. P: (laughter) E: I think it was about five, four or five years we went together. R: The first little term of school I taught was up at McAlpin, where was raised. P: Uh huh. R: And that's where we met, really. P: How old were you when you started teaching? R: Sixteen. P: Young. K: Like my grandmother started when she only E: Where you met, Ruby? R: You and me, up at McAlpin school. E: Oh, yeah, yes, met, but I'd done forgot her and she'd forgot me. So we lived on up there for a couple of years and about where we really met, so I commenced to knowing her real good. It was after I got grown that we moved down here. See, when I moved, we moved to Hildreth, her and her daddy would come to church in a wagon and they'd come right by the house and we lived right at the church when we moved down there, Burlington Church of Christ,



PAGE 1

SR3A page 23 E: and... P: You didn't .... E: ... her daddy'd come to church in the wagon and I got to know her, you get to know how you, just associating around. First thing we know we're married. P: Uh huh. Did most people use wagons to get around then? R: That's all you had. Wagons and buggies. P: Uh huh. R: With the animals. E: You know.... K: that's how you get around. E: You know, Brother Moore used to come out here and preach and it was, Moore done the preaching andMi-llard leC the singing and praying and such. P: Yeah. He.... E: They stayed at our house. Millard had stayed with us. _, Brother Moore, they stayed there all the time. Millard, you see, used to run singing schools. They, he stayed with us. K: He and Neva used to do that some together, travel around and teach singing. E: Yeah, yeah, yeah. P: Uh huh. E: In summer, I think it was for ten days. K: Uh huh. E: Yeah, carried on ten days. In fact, well, we used to have about three right down there and I'd go to every one. (laughter) I used to. K: And teach you how to sing? Did you already know how to sing or did he teach you things? E: Yeah, yeah. He was good. R: He was good. P: He likes to sing at home. Really good, he talks about K: So P: A lot of people that Thursday nights, that went to his singing school, still the best singers out there, see.



PAGE 1

SR3 page 24 K: We'll we'd like to come visit. E: Yeah. K: Hear ya'll sing. P: Yeah. R: Well, young folks .... E: A lot of them out there got... K: We've got to midways, today. E: ... got where they wouldn't, thought they knew a whole lot and didn't know this and that, but anyway... R: I don't know why they didn't Jake... E: ... several years ago.... R: ... come over and eat lunch with us, go to church. K: I thought about it after we hung up 'cause we talked about going to church. P: Uh huh. K: I'd like you to know, really getting a feeling for the area E: Several years ago, we asked Millard to come over. I did. I asked Millard would he do it. He said, Yeah, he'd do it. And we was dragging along pretty much, not doing. He teaches how to sing on a Wednesday night. You know, just have a little minute in the night. So some of them I asked says, Oh, I'm too old to learn how to sing, so maybe I'll sing like I sing now all the rest of my life. They didn't care nothing about it. So I told him. Millarc was going on a vacation, I believe... R: E: ... he was going up somewhere another, and I told him, I says, Well, now Millard, when you come back I'll let you know whether to come back or not. 'Cause I done heard him griping, They didn't care nothing about it; they wanted to just pick up a book and tear off -they didn't.;care nothing about learning how to sing. K: Uh huh. E: So I told him that they wasn't interested in it. So he went somewhere Lake City, or somewhere another. He was just coming over mostly to help us, you know. K: Yeah. He taught he taught it, taught the people at the beach, you know, his way of singing and taught them out there. He said it was really getting on



PAGE 1

SR3 page 2 K: his nerves. He didn't like to hear those bass singing the melody, you know, an octave lower. So he decided he was going to teach them how to sing, so he taught them how to sing over there so they could sing the harmony instead of just.... But he couldn't stand to hear those men singing the melody so low. E: (laughter) Where was that at? K: Over at the beach where he and grandmother used to go to church. E: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. They didn't know nothing much, eh? K: No, they sure didn't. E: (laughter) K: He, he E: Miller did. He was P: The school you taught at? What was it like? Was it one in McAlpin, first school. R: That was the first, my first experience as a teacher, 'cause I always wanted to teach school. When I was a little girl I wanted to teach school, and of course, I went to a three-room school building in the country, one-room to start with. And then we got up to three rooms and.... P: Were there three teachers. R: Three teachers, uh huh. And when I finished the eigth grade, I took teachers examination. Now, that was the name of a flying squadron. That was what they called it. And, they went around to the different county seats and gave the examination and that was where I made my first certificate, and I taught on that thing for as long as it was good and then I went on back to school and finally finished high school. I finished high school in '27. P: Uh huh. R: Over at Fort White. P: Oh, really? R: Yes. And at that time there was two or three years' period in there where when you finished high school they gave you a, just a, they were just experimenting with it and Fort White happened to get it some way, so when I finished, I got a first-grade certificate and, of course, that was good then for five years and then I made that into a life and I began going to Gainesville in the summertime, teaching in the winter and going to school in summer and



PAGE 1

SR3 page ~g R: I got my first degree, which was an L.I. degree and that was two years, that was two years. Well, I kept on going to school in Gainesville. I never went any other place to college but Gainesville. P: She's persevering. R: And I got my four-year. Took me a long time. P: That's great. R: But, but I still stayed with it until I got it and I got my four-year degree in 1945. P: What was the first class you taught like? What did it feel like, walking in there and teaching the children? How many children were there? Was it a one-room school house or.... R: No. Up at my, now the first one, up at McAlpin, I had from the third grade down and I just finished that term out for another lady. She got sick or something. Anyway, she resigned and they gave me the job to finish out the term. K: Were you staying with your friends R: No, no. E: ________She spent the whole summer in Gainesville, payed board, bought her books for $50. P: So you lived lin Gainesville in the summer. R: In the summertime. E: The whole thing, now you can't buy one book. K: No, you can.... P: You can't take a class. K: You can't take one course E: (laughter) She'd, before she'd come back home she wanted to get, she'd worked the whole eight months to pay that fifty dollars back. P: E: It was, no money. R: K: P: How did you get to Gainesville? E: Well, she'd go the whole time to school down there, the whole summer for $50.



PAGE 1

SR3 page d2 R: We, a bunch of us would get together and somebody would carry us or we'd ride with somebody else... P: Uh huh. R: That would be going. E: Entrance fee, fee, everything. K: Now it would be more like $1500... E: Yeah? K: .. ).to live. You'd need about that much... E: This is K: ... if you're going to move over there and get an apartment and stay and pay for all your books. P: It'd be pretty difficult now. I pay.... E: Like buying a car. P: Buy a car? E: Buy that Model-T for $350, $250....i P: It works.... Now! E: Did it work? ,r f P: Yeah, it worked? It's working. \F 'P E: What you want b>o0t a trot line? I X : Yes. Y E: Fishing line? Trot line? K: Uh huh. E: For catfish. K: Uh huh. ?: (Do you know anything about what it would be like to £: You got it? K: Yeah. ?:C .) E: You take a cord... K: Uh huh.



PAGE 1

SR3 page E: Heavy cord. K: Uh huh. ?: ( etc.) E: Tie it to a tree... P: Uh huh. E: ... on the banks of the river. K: Uh huh. K: a E: And you run it, take your boat, and carry it across the river, tie it to another treeAhave a slag in it, about a fifteen-,twenty-foot slag, you know. Then you come back and you can put the little lines on it. K: Hanging down this way. E: It's, that line's floating on top of the water. K: Uh huh, right on... E: Huh? K: ... right on top of the water? E: Yeah, it is,right. When you come back, and put the little eighteen-inch... K: Uh huh, hook? E: ... line tight on. You tie them on with your hooks on a eighteen-inch line. That's nearly two-foot of stuff and you put just a hook to a line, just a little bit more than fifty hooks... P: Okay. E: ... to the line. P: Okay. E: Then you put those fifty hooks on, then you bait them, put your bait on the hooks 'cause you tie them on., Wel.l,you get all of them baited, you come back and get you some weights that's heavy enough, put about for or five weights on it. It's heavy enough to take that line to the bottom of the river and you've got your trot line out. P: Okay. How do you pick the places where you put your trot line? E: What?



PAGE 1

SR3 page 29 P: How do you pick the places where you put your trot line? E: Deep holes in the area. Deepest places. Deep shoals, place like that. P: That's where the catfish hide? E: Yeah, in the deeper holes. P: Okay, you only get catfish on the trotlines. E: Yeah, trotline. I catch more with that anyway, and.... P: Then you just leave it there overnight? E: Overnight. Day and night. Just leave there. You bait it every evening. P: Uh huh. E: Begin to bait it in the morning and at night if your going to fish for the daytime, Most people just fishes at night. P: Uh huh. E: They bait it up and you go back about for or five hours... P: Uh huh. E: ... then you take the fish off, what you've got on there. You bait it up, then go back early the next morning. P: Okay. Will a boat break the line if it comes through? E: A, a boat, line's on the bottom of the river. R: You put weights on it to make it go down to the bottom. ?: /__________ ,______etc.) E: Yeah, yeah. Otherwise, you leave it, you leave it up there on top of the water, you wouldn't catch nothing. P: So where do the catfish hide? E: Yeah, you have to change down to the bottom. Yeah, you wouldn't, you don't catch any fish when you bait up on top. It's got to get down there in the water. Now that bug that we fish with, he's fishing with, you know, it's a artificial bug, he throws it in they strikes the if they and he pulls it like that and that, A you know A can get the worm on the water.' P: Catfish do that, too? E: No, brim. P: Okay. I think



PAGE 1

SR3A page 30 E: Oh, once in a while you might catfish, but not, and a trout, seldom, but not very often. Catfish is used to, you fish on the bottom mostly for your trot line. Lot of fun and then you just pull it up as you go along and take your fish off and let it go back down the river P: Yeah. E: Go back through it again. (laughter) P: (laughter) ?: It's a great town. I loved it. ?: P: I wish I had taped it. ?: ___________ etc. E: I was fishing in Okeechobee. P: You were fishing, or is that.... E: Okeechobee, in Okechobee. And I had a fish basket hanging on the side of the boat, putting my fish in and it had a mouth, muzzle up at the top, you know, the whole of like that, and you get, put put your fish down it. I was fishing in a creek, the rim around Okeechobee. And I had it about half-full of good, nice, shell crackers. So I caught one, brought him up, take him off, like that and the muzzle was full of moccasins, a big moccasin snake. I got the snake as I went down like that. P: Ooh. E: And I hollered, down and here with me. I towed the fish clear off and out of the canal, up on the bank... P: Ooh. E: ... and the moccasin, he crawled out. So next day, we was going to go fishing, me and my son and well, he was, I was going to go wading, down in Okeechobee Lake. P: Uh huh. E: On the west side. Way out there... .?: E: ... we'll fish on beds, wading waist-deep. Well, I had a string _____and I had the fish in the basket, a string around my neck holding the basket down in the water. He was had a fish string, he had histon and we was wading fishes and I felt somethingAwrapping



PAGE 1

SR3 page31 E: around my legs. P: It probably was that same one. E: And I thought, I didn't know what, I thought it was a weed or something. I tried to get it off and I couldn't. It just kept twisting right around and around my leg. I pulled the bag:to get up and the fish had his head in the basket trying to get the fish out and his tail wrapped around my leg. He was about four-foot long. P: The snake? A snake had it? E: Well, yeah. A snake right out there in the water and so hollered and why, he said, Take your pole, knock him in the head, he ain't going to bother you none. I knocked him off with the pole. He went on down. In about five minutes, I got, there was another one right around my leg again. Another big one. And I couldn't get the basket up., He was tighter around my leg than I could pull the basket up. So I told, I take the basket loose and told Wayne to come pull that basket and he come pulled the basket and got the snake from around my leg. He was about, oh, he was about six-foot long. P: Was it a moccasin? E: Moccasin. I told him right then, I says, you can have this damn fishing -I'm going to the boats. (laughter) P: (laughter) E: I went back. The boat was about half a. I waded back to the boat and crawled up in the boat and I ain't wading fish no more down there. ? That's hazards of E: Huh? ?: ( ) R: E: It won't bite you, long as you're in the water. R: ... they have their heads down getting the fish there and they were, they were holding on on his leg. P: Moccasins don'tbfite'you when you're in the water? E: No, he won't bite you as long as he's in the water.



PAGE 1

SR3 page 32 E: You get up on the bank ground, then he'll bite. 'Cause you they won't, they say they won't bite, P: Oh. Are there E: He was wrapped around my leg. R: Well, I'm telling you, if he'd been wrapped around my leg I'd been a dead P: When did this happen? Years ago? E: Last summer. Last summer, about year ago. E: I haven't been wading fishing no more that, well, Okeechobee got so low... P: Right. E: ... this past summer... P: Right. E: ... until you couldn't fish much... P: They were real worried. E: ... you couldn't wade out there because there was too much moss and grass and got too low for the fish out there. You couldn't get out with your boat. You couldn't get your boat out there. It got too low. Back then, they was up in, wading out there fishing. P: Do you run into many rattlers out here? E: Huh? P: You run into many rattlers out here? E: Rattlers? Not in the water. ?: No, that's a P: No. On land? E: No. R: We have a good many. E: Where at, ? R: Rattlesnakes? E: Oh, around here. R: Around. E: Oh, around here there is, yeah, yeah.



PAGE 1

SR3 page 33 R: Water comes up around a lot of them, E: Some, some, riverfront's full of them. P: Uh huh. I've seen a few myself out near Fort White, once.. E: They're plenty of them. P: ... a month ago. E: Boy, I reached over to put my fish in that basket and that moccasin. I give him a story. K: _____________ E: I didn't know what that was around my legs until I got him pulled up and his head was in the basket at my fish, see. He stuck his head through the little wire. E: You would've been gone, too, wouldn't you, ladies? K: I would have been gone real fast -as fast as I could run. E: I said that, but they'd come up. ?: E: They got to coming up, moreso, right out in front of us, about every ten foot from you, you'd see one stick his head up. Well, the first thing you know, he'd do like that, but he was coming to basket and then he'd get the fish. P: The basket floating down in the water? E: Yeah, you have it, you know, like a wire basket, you had to put your fish in. P: Yeah. E: Good. And you just tie it on your shoulder or either a string and tie it around your belt, put your fish on it good and them moccasins comes up to get them fish. E: You can hit him with your pole and he can go down, but the next thing you knew, he'd be wrapped around your leg. He wouldn't wrap around your leg until he got ahold of that fish and he was trying to pull the fish out. ?: I don't know what they P: What do they say you're supposed to do about rattlesnake bites here? E: What? E: What?



PAGE 1

SR3 page 34 P: If you get bit by a rattlesnake, what do you ? E: The best thing is to hunt a doctor right quick. P: Uh huh. What would you do when there wasn't a doctor? E: I think, I think before they get the doctor -I never knowed much about that, about getting bit -but a lot of people take a knife or something and split itright where you get bit and let it bleed good and then towards your leg or your hand, above ever where it bit, cord it real tight to keep the blood from getting up there. They have a serum or something or another that you can, hunters always carry it with them. P: Okay, a kit like. E: Yeah, where if they, first aide through kit, you know, for rattlesnake bite, any kind of snake bite. P: When you were young.... E: They, regular hunters carry it with them a lot, you know, like that. P: When you were young, what did they do for snake bites? E: Huh? P: When you were little? When you were young, what did they do for snake bites, rattlesnake bites? The same thing? Cut it open? E: Same thing, yeah, yeah, ever since I can remember. R: ?: Do you remember the preacher over at Bell, at Bell that he and his boys was out in the woods and one of the boys got bit by a rattlesnake? Do you remember that? R: E: Huh? What did she say? ?: One of, one of the preachers over in Melbay -I mean over in... ?: ?7 P: Bell.! ?: ... Bell, over here. One of his boys got bit by the snake. They was out getting wood and he just cut that place right away and he sucked it. Do you remember? ?: Yeah.



PAGE 1

SR3 page 35 ?: Do you remember? ?: I don't remember. ?: What was his name? ?: But that's what they do in ?: Uh huh. He cut that child's leg and he sucked that blood out and spit it out till he could get him to the doctor. P: Is it.... E: Trying to get the poison out aways. ?: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he just cut it, ?: That's very dangerous, though, if you you've got bad teeth. ?: Well, he had bad teeth and they sad it was terrible dangerous for him. It was, but he just sucked him and spit it right quick, out. P: I guess when it's your boy, you're going to do whatever you can. ?: Yeah, I guess so. ?: Yeah. But that's how they did it. E: It's.... R: But it's ?: E: It's P: ... when you can get raw meat :or like _____ I've heard of chewing up tobacco and putting that on it to dry. just R: That'sAfor a wasp sting. ?: That's for wasp sting. P: What do you do? ? I think you chew it, then put it on there, wet it, something or other. .?: P: For insect stings. E: You don't happen to have no idea. Ruby's daddy, isn't that something. R: No, he was E: I,I got a life-long, I waited for him to tell him where, he married another woman, see, and



PAGE 1

SR3 page 36 E: she had three children, and during the war, one of these boys was raising corn over in Lafayette and a rattlesnake bit him and it killed him. He died before they could get him to the. R: He was hot, see? E: He was hot. R: And the snake bit him and, of course.... P: E: Yeah. That wasBonnie Stevenson that was the step-mother of this boy. She's been married for the fellow Stevenson, and he was his name. He got rattlesnake bit. Killed him. But I think if you're hot very much and they hit you just right, and they tell me if the snake, if he's more mad, you know, something, and he hits you, you know, come near striking you if he's mad, but if he's quiet, they tell me, now she said that rattle snake was laying by that thing, see. They tell me if you don't see him, you would step right over him and keep walking... P: Yeah. E: ... and he'll never move. But the minute your eyes hit him, he's wrapped up in a coil ready to strike. ?: E: But they say if you don't see him, you'll never know he's there. He won't move. You can just walk right on over him. ?: I sure wouldn't want to get K: He doesn't want any trouble either, he just wants to.... E: They try to get away. P: They like to get out of the way. E: You've never seen a rattlesnake yet but what tried to get away. They always, and they'll get away, too, pretty fast. They don't try to fight you. P: Yeah. E: They just try to get away. But if you crowd him, that's when he's in the coil and he can jump his length and he hits you just like that, jump, out of a coil. : R: so back door,'cause her back door, all coiled up like



PAGE 1

SR3 page 37 R: and that rattle just a shaking, now. K: I've seen them lay out, E: I know one thing, I didn't want one of them moccasins around my leg, P: Well, we better go and leave you. R:


Uncle Earl and Aunt Ruby
CITATION THUMBNAILS DOWNLOADS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00008243/00001
 Material Information
Title: Uncle Earl and Aunt Ruby
Physical Description: Book
Publication Date: 1982
Copyright Date: 1982
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00008243:00001

Downloads
Full Text
Interviewer: Catherine Puckett (KrtCe' l At1l-orns \/O\C C. Acy b,
Subject: Uncle Earl & Aunt Ruby C FUd Al-fh Y CS Ca0-hV
SR3A no+ -n o c'
page 1 nof dl en d nt pce 22 .)
mjb
P: It's almost as bad as, as _
R: He would be _____. His daddy would be real good if he could be, you know,
at himself. He's, he's not.
P: Do you think Mr. Humphries is starting to be willing to talk, or
R: I imagine he is.
P: Okay. Okay. So, I'll start this thing, okay? This is Cathy Puckett,
and...
E: (laughter)
P: ...I'm interviewing...
E: Didn't you use that before? Really?
P: Not officially.
E: You practicing now, ain't you?
P: No.
R: Earl and Ruby Smith.
P: Earl and Ruby Smith of Branford, Florida. So, let's see. Can you tell me about fishing on
the Suwannee River?
R:
P: Oh. Okay. Can you tell me about fishing on the Suwannee River? You grew up here?
E: Yeah. I don't know too much about it. You can catch a small fish. (laughter) About the
biggest thing, you having a lot of fun, that's the way I like it.
P: What'd you say people call the Suwannee?
E: Huh?
P: What'd you say people call, what did you call the Suwannee a minute ago?
E: That's the Gulf.
P: Now, you were saying people just call it a little old waterway or something., You didn't
think it was worth much.
E: People what?
R: (laughter)
____________ *---------------------





SR3A
page 2/mjb
P: What did you say the Suwannee was a few minutes ago when you were putting it down 'cause
there wasn't any fish in it?
E: Oh, just a stream of water.
P: Okay. That's what I thought you said.
E: Yeah.
P: Just a stream.
E: But, the, lot of people, it's just like a, when you leave your home and go somewhere else,
you're in another place -- ooh, that's a beautiful place. Just like the mountains. Now the
people here want to go up in the mountains, go up in the mountains. Well, when they come
back from the mountains, they come back home, the people in the mountains -- ooh! I love it
down here in Florida! I like Florida. Those people up there, you see, come down here and
in other words, they don't know the river like we do. We live on the river and it's just
common to you.
P: Uh huh.
E: It just don't mean anything. But people that comes in, that don't know anything about it,
it means a lot to them. They build houses down their way. They got houses all up and down
the river. They get flooded out. High water.
R: You knew it flooded some.
P: Uh huh.
E: With the, got where the, got it drained pretty well. But the state is coming in and making
regulations how they can build these homes on account of the sewage system...
P: Uh huh.
E: ...running into the river.
P: Uh huh. Do you think that's a good idea?
E: Huh?
P: Do you think that's a good idea?
E: Yeah, yeah.
R: I, I think it is.
E: It sure is. You see, they really want to get it into wild life, but a lot of them was
fighting it, see.
P: Uh huh.





SR3A
page 3/mjb
E: If it's in the wild life group, they can't build within so many feet of the river. They
got to be 500 yards, I think it is, off of the river. They used to build right on the river
bank there.
P: People are like that.
E: And lot of them of Santa Fe, is worker than the Suwannee, they said, 'cause people just
have the cesspool right up on top of, in the house, with a pipe just running right down
/
in the river.
P: People change it and build canals and do all sorts of things to try to get away with it.
E: Yeah. And it's just the cesspool here..
R: That's not sanitary.
E: ...and I think it's good that the government can control it, keep that cesspool out of the
water.
P: Have you seen thefiriver change?
E: Change?
P: In your lifetime?
E: Go up and down?
P: Uh huh.
E: Oh, I've seen it six foot deep and on the streets of Branford.
P: Uh huh. In the flood?
E: In the flood.
P: Both floods; you were here for both floods.
E: It, yeah, the, it came up there, it was...
R: We were here for both floods.
E: ...that, they fastened the boats to the Fletcher's garage down there, Gulf filling station.
You fastened boats. It was about four foot deep right there. Right on the corner where
the -- just where it crosses Raville, right on the corner of the intersection -- the, it
was about six foot deep right there, low, where that station. Course it wasn't there then
and....
P: This was is the '34 flood?
R: Forty-eight.





SR3A
page 4/mjb
E: No...
P: Forty-eight?
E: ...it was further back. It was back:when....
R: Forty-eight.
E: Huh?
R: Forty-eight.
E: Forty-eight? Back in '48. Yeah. We had to transport food across the river in boats for
people in Lafayette county.
P: Uh huh.
E: They couldn't get in town with a car. That highway, going to Mayo, it was lower then. They
built it up. It was flooded clear out to the Cross City road.
P: What?
E: Where you turn to go to Cross City.
P: Yeah.
E: Well, it was flooded out to there and they put a big boat down on the river and run the
fish out there, met the people in Lafayette county there and come on in and got their
groceries, put them in, carried them back.
P: How high, how long did the high water last?
E: For transportation purposes, I'd say, about three weeks. Wasn't it? Three or four weeks,
'cause it was coming up, then it had to start back, and it didn't run back too fast, you
know, and it didn't come so fast. I'd say it was around four weeks of it, every bit of it.
Long time. Lot of water.
R: Now,iI can tell you somebody that has a lots of pictures;of that. We don't have any. But
it's that Buck Maynard that you mentioned a while ago.
P: Okay. He has pictures?
R: He has a good many pictures.
E: Who has?
R: Buck Maynard.
P: He was bearing people across, wasn't he? I heard that somewhere.
R: Yes, uh huh. Well, he helped.





SR3A
page 5/mjb
P: Right. He helped.
R: Well, the merchants, you know, pretty, are, were the ones, yeah, they were the ones that
was bearing expenses.
P: Right.
So, that's, the river, do people who live on the river find that its a real good fishing
place?
E: Do they find it what?
P: A real good fishing place?
E: I don't know what they call good. (laughter)
P: Do you find it a good fishing place?
E: (laughter) It's a good fishing place, yeah. But the catching is bad.
P: You can fish all day on it.
E: (laughter) The catching is bad.
P: 'What...
E: On the river, when the river gets high, and those fish come out of those caves...
P: Uh huh.
E: ...up there in the river, then when it starts back, before they take a notion to high dive
back down in that river, go back in them caves, you'll catch a right smart fish.
P: Catfish or bass?
E: Brim, bass. Brim, mostly. Mostly what they call...
P: Stumpknockers?
E: Well, they catch some stumpknocker, and red brim.
P: Uh huh. Red brim.
E: and they catch that, of course.
P: How about catfish?
E: Same thing. Now, here a while back they was up, and they hadn't caught no catfish in that
river in three years___ Then, they got to be plenty of them. They stayed
up pretty high this past year for a good while and the fellow that runs Sandy Point down
yonder, Cathy...
P: Uh huh.
E; ...he had over 200 fish ficc!.;, tied on bushes, trees, along the river, besides three





SR3A
page 6/mjb
E: trotlines and he'd catch a boatload every time he'd go up there and go around. He'd have
a boatload of fish, Collins.
P: When was this?
E: Huh?
P: Was this recently?
E: Yeah, that was back in the spring, I reckon, it was.
P: Okay. So it was this year.
E: The river was up and stayed up pretty well, went down, and come back, and they caught a
lot of catfish down there. Real recent. It was right back in the spring. It was up.
P: Well, when you were little, you went down the Suwannee fishing. When you were a boy, you
fished on the Suwannee. Pretty much?
E: Well, I don't say I fished on the Suwannee when I was a boy. I fished on Santa Fe.
P: Uh huh. Is that a lot better?
E: It flows into Suwannee.
P: Uh huh.
E: Course, see, when I was a boy, I lived down that away, and me and my daddy fished there.
After I got married, I moved up this way, moved up on the river, to the Suwannee and fished
more of the Suwanne than I did Santa Fe. Most people fishes Santa Fe than they do Suwannee.
P: Why?
E: More fish.
P: That's a good reason.
E: They're small. Just like her daddy. That's where he fished wasn't it?
P: Yeah.
E: Santa Fe, instead of Suwannee.
P: Yeah, I don't know too many of the people up there who went fishing out on the Suwannee.
E: Oh, they ski and ride...
P: How come they....
E: ...they come up here from Lake City and they ride and ski and have a big time. It's a
good, biggest river for that.
P: Yeah.





SR3A
page 7/mjb
E: If you don't go too far up. Now, you can get too far up and get on some shoals and you
can't get no further.
P: Uh huh.
E: And, you can go from here to the Gulf, really.
P: Well, isn't nicer going fishing on the smaller rivers? I mean, isn't it more pleasant
to go fishing on smaller rivers where you ca off, like you said, get over in the little
nooks and crannies and sloughs and get up under logs or....
E: Which place are.... Fish on Suwannee?
P: No, I mean on a smaller river, like the Santa Fe, where it's narrow and all those little
crannies and stuff like that. The JSuconnrta big.
E: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, it's definitely better. It'd be better.
P:
E: Wide for fishing. Now, people use the river. They got to where they're using it now pretty
well, a lot of it, but irrigation-farming purposes is...
P: Uh huh.
E: ...got on the farm and got their irrigation, you know, and all. It's wonderful for that.
And it's good for pleasure.
P: Yeah, lot of students....
E: If you've ever lived on--it's like I say, if you've lived on it all your life, you don't
even half enjoy it.
P: Uh huh.
E: And, cause that's just he way it is with everything else, I reckon.
P: Uh huh. You get used to what's familiar. You....
E: You get used to it.
P: It doesn't look so charming.
E: You could go up there to the mountain -- ooh! I'd love to live up here. And you get back
and -- I'd rather live around here. (laughter)
P: Did you ever move away? Did you ever want to leave or did you leave or youneverwanted
to go?
E: I never have left.





SR3A
page 8/mjb
P: You always were....
E: I just stay right here. Suits me all right.
R: He had his own store if for years here.
E: I run a store for 32 years and....
P: Here?
E: It*m : in Branford.
P: -iffiih. This one?
E: The water came up in front of my store.
R: No, no.
P: The flood?
E: The flood and the one in '48.
P: Ruined your store?
E: Just come up that main street right up in front of my store and then it commenced to going
back, you know, about two days. She taught school for....
P: Thirty years. I want to get somne-questions here, too.
E: But I run the store. She made the money, and I fed the people.
P: You fed the kids.
E: I fed the people in about three counties around here. It wound up all being free.
P: i-t l4? When did you open your store?
E: When did I open? Initially right after the war, World War II.
R: But you really was in the store business before that.
E: I was in there before that, but after/ I came from the army, though, in about '43, wasn't
it?
P: So you were in the war?
E: Yeah. I had the store and I jclj Iu P I was renting to a man. Mr. Hatch. And I
I just left all my equipment in there and the most all the goods, lot of them, and come
back from the army and opened it back up. Then he wanted to sell it, then I bought
evcrithin.





SR3A
page 9/mjb
E: Same store. I bought one. Mr. Hatch had two stores joining one another there.
P: Uh huh.
E: I bought one of them and Hatch's brother bought the other one. Ten years before that -- I
think it was ten years, four, five years, until fairly recent -- I went to the Branford
State Bank. I could have bought both buildings for $1500 dollars. I didn't have very much
money at that time. I was, tried to get the bank to borrow the $1500 to buy the two build-
ings. They like to had a heart attack. That's too much money. No! Can't put that much
money in them old buildings. I rented it a year or two, then we closed it three years in
the service, and come back and had to buy it and we give $9000 for the two buildings and I
(laughter)
could have bought them for $1500 four years earlier. Things went up that much. We payed
$9000 for the two buildings and we could have got them for $1500.
P: That's fishy.
E: (laughter) That was moving, wasn't it?
P: What kind of bait to you use to catch catfish?
E: Huh?
P: What kind of bait do you use to catch catfish?
E: Well, they use from Genesis to Revelation.' (laughter) They use, they use cut bait, which
is other fish cut up.
P: Uh huh.
E: Or you can use shrimp or you can use these wigglers.
P: The store-bought ones.
E: The old big wiggler, red wigglers, use them on there. You can use these old tobacco worms.
P: Tobacco worms?
E: Yeah, them old things that gets on tobacco.
R: About this big....
P: Like tomato worms?
E: (laughter) She's knows about it.
P: No, I don't.
E: You can use them.
P: Not like the





SR3A
page 10/mjb
them
E: You can use\ a lot of bait can be used, Cathy, a lot of them used to use chicken livers.
P: Is that good?
E: Now recently, with a reel and rod, that's what most of them use,
P: Chicken livers?
E: Chicken livers, 'cause it washes off pretty easy and you cannot bait bush hooks and trot-
lines, for the most of it, 'cause that, because it'll wash off too easy.
P: Uh huh.
E: But, and too expensive to bait that because it washes off...
P: Yeah.
E: ...but you can buy you a pound or so of beef, or chicken livers, and get in your boat with
a reel and rod and fish and catch a lot of them. There's a Mr. -- damn -- Pouchton, lives
down in the mouth of the river down there. He's lives on, he lives on the Suwannee...
P: Uh huh.
E: And he fishes for a living. 'Course he -- I imagine drawing social security he's kind of
old -- but that's all he does now is fish, and he caught lot of fish. He'd buy four and
five pounds of livers at a time at the store and fish catfish with just livers. He'd
catchfour- and five-pound, six-pound cats.
P: What is his name?
E: Pouchton.
P: P E X T 0 N?
E: How you spell that?
R: P U- C H T- N.
E: Pouchton.
P: And he lives in Suwannee?
E: He lives, he lives in Gilchrist county in the -- what's that old man's....
R: Butler.
E: Butler, Butler's subdivision.
P: Butler's?
E:' He may be easy to find if you want to do it.
P: And, is he a native of this area?





SR3A
page ll/mjb
E: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He's born and raised and never done nothing in his life.
P: But fish?
E: (laughter)
P: I've heard people say they use salt pork too.
E: (laughter) Huh?
P: Salt pork.
E: Salt pork? Oh, no. Not for catfish.
P: Okay.
be
E: Ard the way you use salt pork wouldAbend it, put it on a hook, and pull it like that with
a jig, make a jig out of it for brim, not catfish.
P: Okay.
E: But salt pork, stuff like that they won't eat. Now they'll eat, the catfish'll eat beef
hearts good.
P: Uh huh.
E: Or anything, pork liver, catfish.
P: Do you always....
E: But beef liver's no good. Chicken gizzards is no good for fishing. They turn white, they
won't bite the gizzard. But they'll b.;' them livers.
P: Do you catch them at night? Do you catch them at night?
E: At night? Yeah, you can fish at night and; he fishes daytime mostly.
P: For catfish. Huh. Did he use traps?
E: No, rod and reel. He fishes rod and reel. You can use traps, but you've got to have
catfish traps, legally, or unlegally you can find some other kind in there.
P: What kind?
E: Wire traps, they call them.
P: Uh huh.
E: Catfish traps is slats. In other words, you can't use a wire basket in the river...
P: Uh huh.
E: Of no kind.
P: But that's what they used to use.





SR3A
page 12/mjb
E: That would be a slat trap in the stays got to be so far apart, that certain small cats
get out. They go in there and they get out and you just catch pretty good-size cats, so
the small would all get.... I don't where the inch, two-inch got the holes inlbetween the
slats.
P: That's the kind they used to use, the illegal kind is wire?
R: Yeah, they still use it. There are people that set traps in the river. You can leave a day
and get eight, a hundred catfish when they leave them
E: Then people go by, they dectect the wire, up and down there on the boat, detect, you know,
wire in river and they get them, pull them up, mash them, tear them up, haul them off, and
throw them away. They catch you with it, it's about a $100 fine.
R: So you've got to be real careful when you put them out and when you take them in.
P: But otherwise, you don't have to worry.
E: (laughter)
P: So that's a way that you can get a whole lot of catfish at one time.
E: Yeah, if you get the right kind of bait. Now, you can bait them slat traps with cheese.
P: Uh huh.
E: Cheese is a good thing but it's not no good for putting on your hook and fishing. You put
that cheese and it gets fermented and gives a, in other words, you want to lay it out and
let it get near about rotten to start with, then you put it in a bag and put it in that trap
P: Uh huh. A plastic bag? A plastic bag or a brown bag.
E: No;ia little croker sack, either-that or a mash bag, you see.
P: Okay.
E: A mash bag's best, 'cause it'll feed out to it.
R: Orange bag.
P: Okay. With grapefruit, like that?
E: A mash bag and you put it in that bag, and it's good catfish bait. Old stale cheese.
P: Yellow cheese or white?
E: Doesn't make no difference.
P: Okay.
We used to, I used to know a man -- he's dead now -- he went up here in Thomasville
E: We used to, I used to know a man A -- he's dead now -- he went up here in Thomasville





SR3A
page 13
E: to -- I think it's Thomasville....
P: Georgia?
E: Georgia.
P: That's where my parents go.
E: Where the, the, in other words, it was Sunnyland Packing plant.
P: Uh huh.
E: And they made the cheese, where'they make cheese, where they have a lot of this cheese
crumbs and cracklin stuff left, you know. Back- when they making that stuff. And he'd
buy it by two or three hundred pounds in a drum and he'd take that and put in his traps.
P: Okay.
E: Any kind of cheese is good.
P: What about turtles? Do people eat river turtles much?
E: Turtle?
P: River turtle.
E: No, they, they catch them once in a while down there. I don't know much about that. Now
they get up on a log...
P: Uh huh.
E: ...one day I was down there and I saw a lot of things nailed on the side the log. You
ever seen it? So, I wondered what that was. So I asked a man that was down there. He
said there was some boys that come up there, and they, and they was turtle hunting, fishing.
And you take those things, it's a kind of a wire basket and -- you see, this is the log.
This is a wire basket and it's pretty deep and they'd nail it right here and this thing
here is pretty deep like this, over here like, see, like that. Well, those turtles, they
crawl up on this log. When they're getting ready to get off, they won't go back down here
and get off, they just fall off ever where they're at.
P: Right into the trap.
E: They right in this trap, this basket, and they catch them like that.
P: Uh huh.
E: And they had them, every log down there's just about in line, but I haven't seen any lately.
P: I've seen a few out in the town of Suwannee.





SR3A
page 14
E: You've seen them like that?
P: Uh huh. A couple of times.
E: Yeah....
P: Not very much, but a couple of times. They get a lot of turtles, too, sometimes.
E: Yeah, get a lot of them in there. When they, when they fall, they don't care which-a-way
they fall. They just fall off. Boats they get up on them logs, and people's coming along,
boats and things, naturally, that's when they fall off. They just roll over...
P: Uh huh.
E: ...and off they go.
P: Have you ever run into any alligators?
fhere
E: WellAa few gators. Not many in there.
P: Uh huh.
E: You'll run in more alligators in Newmans Lake. (laughter)
P: Yeah.
E: Now there's plenty of them .You ever been out in that lake?
R: I don't think so.
P: I have with my dad, fishing for brim a lot.
E: There's a lot of alligators in there too, ain't they? Wow!
R: I have friend in Gainesville that...
P: Your daddy fishing....
R: ...her husband fishes out at Newman a lot and....
E:
P: Yeah.
E: It's too hot,now. They ain't inviting me.
R: They invited him, through me, to go over and go fishing with this gentleman. But he hadn't
gotten over there yet. Ithoughtit would be nice for him to...a fishing.
P: Yeah.
E: (Hey? Yeah.)
P: Did he come down to get out there?
E: Who?





SR3A
page 15
P: You know, my dad would still like to come up to go, we used to go
fishing with .' ____ up_ from Apopka.
E: ___ What was some, some preacher talking
about what he did. A pre-, a preacher.
P: Uh huh.
E: He was talking about this deal, they say that, the elder of the church where he was holding
his meetings was the beatingest man to forget. He couldn't think of anything. You'd tell
him one thing, he'd be done forgot 'fore he'd go to tell it. Well, this fellow went there to preach and he told him he was, now, he was Kilgore. The big, says, you can't
forget it. Says,:now, you can remember that one, 'cause it's a big seed company, Kilgore
Seed Company. That man got up, made his big palaver and said, We're glad to have Brother
Hasting here with us.
(laughter)
E: Seed.
P: That's great.
E: Glad to have Brother Hastings.
P: Huh?
E: They're a big seed company. Instead of Kilgore's they had Hastings.
P:
E: Do your daddy still preach
P: No, he doesn't, not anymore. He teaches, but he doesn't preach anymore.
R: I thought you daddy's been....
E: He's, he's like myself. He's getting a little IQazY He's about, up in his sixties, ain't
he?
P: My father?
E: Yeah.
P: No, my....
R-
P: He's in his middle-fifties.
E: Fifties.





SR3A
page 16
P: Yeah.
E: Is that all?
P: Well, fifty-five.
E: God, he's young.
P: Oh?
R: Yeah, I started teaching here in '55; I mean '27.
P: Yeah, and he'was born in...
R: In '27.
P: ...in '27.
E:____________
R: No.
P: My dad was from Clearwater. He and my mother met at Florida Christian College.
E: Yeah, yeah. In Clearwater?
R: And that's he was going to be going to school?
P: Yeah. And mom was down there in school. But he taught....
E: Was he in Tampa or Cleawater?
P: He was from Clearwater, but he was going to school in the Tampa Area.
E: Oh, his home was Clearwater; he went to school in Tampa, there.
P: Yeah.
E:
P: Well, I want to go back at this time about teaching here, too, and your growing up here.
Your family came from this area.
R: Right.
P: Right?
R: Right. Yeah, we were, we lived about four miles out in the country.
P: How long have they been in this part of Florida, your family?
R: Oh! My father was born in 1868, I believe, not, not exactly but he was
borned in south Georgia, but he, they immediately moved, you know.
P: When he was a baby.
R: When he was a baby -- to Florida. And he was raised here. Right around in this area.





SR3A
page 17
P: So your family's been here for a few generations.
R: Oh, yes.
P: Okay.
R: He was right.
P: (laughter) Well, did you ever hear your parents talking about any
of this, this area when it was being settled, or do you know anything about the history
of Branford?
R: Oh, yes. They, they split their own rails and made their own fences and built their own
houses out of logs and raised everything they ate. (laughter)
P: What was Branford area like then?
R: Oh, much smaller, of course.
E: Talking about -- she said raise everything they ate -- when her, her and I were first
married... '
P: When was that?
E: ...she worked around.... I was raised'on a farm.
R: 1929
E: So, her grandfather owned a lot of property, lot of farms, and he passed away. Well, where
I was born was justthis/ideof Live Oak, up there- the section they call h1Qtp(Y ,
<;---- Well, my daddy had about a 400-acre farm there. Well, my daddy, he was one of
these kind that never was satisfied. He wanted to come down' here.
P: Branford.
E: Hildreth.
P: Oh.
E: So he traded my grandaddy that time for a little old farm down here at Hildreth that
wasn't worth two cents, very much. Too much of it in the swamp, woods, so, well, grand-
father, years on, passed away. So my daddy, then, he'd taken the, when they were dividing
all the property up he'd taken his old home place back.
P: Uh huh.
E: He moved back up there and he give me that farm down there. And he give....
P: So you got the farm.





SR3A
page 18
E: He give me that farm. So my sister, one of them, he gave her a farm up here from O'brien
that he got..
P: Uh huh.
E: ...'cause grandaddy had a lot of them and so we was down there farming. Ruby was teaching
school, $65 a month, eight months during the year. (laughter)
P: So you were teaching school right here.
E: Drawing about four hundred and something dollars a year.
R: Yes.
E: Anyway, I was farming down there. We had chickens. I had meat in the smokehouse, what
they call the house, the smoke house.
P: What was that like?
E: I had meat, I had syrup, I had potatoes, I had greens, I had anything in the world you
wanted to eat, plenty to eat. Well, she was taking a course, she was going to school...
R: Correspondance.
E: ...teaching here and taking....
R: Correspondance course.
E: A course of the University of Florida. She worked on the, and one morning she asked me
before she started to school says, Earl, she said, How about mailing this letter for me
today? I said, You got three cents? She said, No. I think it was three cents then,
a letter was. She said, No, haven't you got three cents? I said, No. So we didn't have
three pennies to our name and we didn't have no money in the bank to right a check to
either. We just didn't have three-cents. Now, we was that broke. Didn't have no money.
After I mailed the letter, she says, Okay. And so she went on to school. I went on to the
field and plowed. Eleven o'clock I came here and went around to the hen nest, got eggs.
While the mules was eating their food, I ate a snack, grabbed a dozen eggs, walked a mile-
and-a-half down to Hildreth, sold the eggs for ten cents...
R:
E: ...bought a stamp, and the rest of it in candy, I reckon. I don't know what I done with
all the rest of that money. But I sold that dozen eggs. I reckon it was twelve cents)
I imagine, 'cause they was about a penny apiece, and mailed that letter. That's how
broke we were.





SR3A
page 19
P: Did you make your money then by raising crops?
E: I managed to eat was about all.
P: Uh huh.
E: Just to live was about all. Sell hogs, was two cents-a-pound.
P: Gee.
E: Yeah. Two hundred-pound hogs, you'd get four hundred, four dollars for a hog. Nowaday
you can't buy a pack of pork chops for four dollars.
P: That's right.
E: (laughter) I sold a whole hog, two hundred-pound, I sold eleven heads -- fourty-four
dollars, averaged 4400 pounds. I got two cents-a-pound for them.
P: Uh huh.
E: Forty-four dollars, 22 lb.,, 2200 lbs;
P: So how long did you farm?
R: Not long.
(laughter)
R: Not long.
P: Didn't like it, huh?
R: Well, I was raised on a farm, and of course, my father was a real good farmer. He had a
real good place. And he made a lot of money, but that was earlier than when what Earl was
talking about.
E: Oh! He was making a lot of money because back then they planted cotton...
P: It was cotton?
E: ...and you'd sell that cotton. Well, if a farm--, if a person back, I'd say, sixty years
ago, had $300 in the bank, he was a rich man.
P: Yeah.
E: If he had $300 in the bank, he was a wealthy man. And if he had $500, he was a billionaire
just about it.
P: (laughter)
E: Back in them days, they didn't have no money. I imagine old man Lindsay, you know,
Aunt Minnie.





SR3A
page 20
P: You have Minnie
E: Yeah.
P: Yeah.
E: Your grandmother's.
P: Right.
E: Yeah. When they built up that house, they didn't have no money either. They just didn't
have none.
P: Uh huh.
E: If you had $200 or $300 you was a rich man.
P: My daddy said they traded a lot. I mean, you know, if you take the corn in to get it...
E: Yeah.
P: ...ground up...
E: Yeah.
P: ...you'd leave a certain amount of your meal and the mill for payment and you did a lot of
trading. You just didn't keep a whole lot of cash money on you.
E: Yeah.
P: I mean, you bought some things in cash.
E: I'd take, a lot of time, though....
R: Well, you carried eggs to town and bought things with those eggs. Of course, you bartered._.
P: Yeah, you were trading everything.
R:___
E:
P: Was eggs what you used mostly for trading?
R: Yes, uh huh, yes.
P: For things like material to make clothes out of?
R: And food.
P: And food.
R: Food.
P: Food and coffee?
R: What, what food you had to buy 'cause we share....





SR3A
page 21
P:
E: Everybody had plenty to eat...
P: Yeah.
E: ...but nobody had no money.
R: You know, little things like that.
P: That's what he said, there's just not much money around, there wasn't that you were
starving, but it was just that
E:
R: Making your ownt things to eat.
E: When I sold those hogs for two cents-a-pound, the high, I think it was a Model-T car,
it was a old Model-A One, and it needed a tire for it. I come right back down to Joneses
garage and bought a tire for two dollars-and-a-half, automobile tire. It didn't take
much money if you had a little money. (laughter) Now Ruby and I have traded a many a
Saturday night in the grocery store down there, Linehall's store. Our week's groceries'd
be about a dollar-and-a-half a week.
P: When was this? What time period approximately?
R: Oh, we were married in '29, 1929 and that was in the thirties.
P: How old were you when you got married?
R: Well, I'll have to figure it out, have to figure back. (laughter)
We were married fifty-three years and it's what now?
P: 1982.
R: 1982. Fifty-three from eighty-two, do that right quick. I can't, I can't subtract.
P: Okay.
E: What's that? What is yO '. C' t iDng -b nd out?
P: What year, you were married in '29.
R: Yeah, yeah.
P: Uh huh.
E: Well, I think I was twenty-four when I got married.
Wh .
P:AWhat age were you?





SR3A
page 22
E: I was twenty-four.
P: Well, was she hard to catch? Was she a hard one to catch? How'd you talk her into
marrying you?
E: She, I had to marry her to get rid of her.
P: Oh!
R: (laughter) Well! It's for me, didn't you?
E: (laughter)
P: How did ya'll meet? How did you two meet?
R: Well....
E: I think we went together four or five years before we even married.
P: Did you?
R: Uh....
E: It got to where it seemed like we was just brothers and sisters was what we, it wasn't
no fun to be with one another 'cause it'd done got old. We had, we decided we'd better
marry, if we was going to marry.
P: (laughter)
E: I think it was about five, four or five years we went together.
R: The first little term of school I taught was up at McAlpin, where was raised.
P: Uh huh.
R: And that's where we met, really.
P: How old were you when you started teaching?
R: Sixteen.
P: Young.
K: Like my grandmother started when she only
E: Where you met, Ruby?
R: You and me, up at McAlpin school.
E: Oh, yeah, yes, met, but I'd done forgot her and she'd forgot me. So we lived on up there
for a couple of years and about where we really met, so I commenced to knowing her real
good. It was after I got grown that we moved down here. See, when I moved, we moved to
Hildreth, her and her daddy would come to church in a wagon and they'd come right by the
house and we lived right at the church when we moved down there, Burlington Church of Christ,





SR3A
page 23
E: and...
P: You didn't ....
E: ...her daddy'd come to church in the wagon and I got to know her, you get to know how you,
just associating around. First thing we know we're married.
P: Uh huh. Did most people use wagons to get around then?
R: That's all you had. Wagons and buggies.
P: Uh huh.
R: With the animals.
E: You know....
K: that's how you get around.
E: You know, Brother Moore used to come out here and preach and it was, Moore done the preaching
andMi-llard leC the singing and praying and such.
P: Yeah. He....
E: They stayed at our house. Millard had stayed with us. _, Brother Moore, they
stayed there all the time. Millard, you see, used to run singing schools. They, he stayed
with us.
K: He and Neva used to do that some together, travel around and teach singing.
E: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
P: Uh huh.
E: In summer, I think it was for ten days.
K: Uh huh.
E: Yeah, carried on ten days. In fact, well, we used to have about three right down there
and I'd go to every one. (laughter) I used to.
K: And teach you how to sing? Did you already know how to sing or did he teach you things?
E: Yeah, yeah. He was good.
R: He was good.
P: He likes to sing at home. Really good, he talks about
K: So
P: A lot of people that Thursday nights, that went to his singing school, still the best singers
out there, see.





SR3
page 24
K: We'll we'd like to come visit.
E: Yeah.
K: Hear ya'll sing.
P: Yeah.
R: Well, young folks ....
E: A lot of them out there got...
K: We've got to midways, today.
E: ...got where they wouldn't, thought they knew a whole lot and didn't know this and that, but
anyway...
R: I don't know why they didn't Jake...
E: ...several years ago....
R: ...come over and eat lunch with us, go to church.
K: I thought about it after we hung up 'cause we talked about going to church.
P: Uh huh.
K: I'd like you to know, really getting a feeling for the area
E: Several years ago, we asked Millard to come over. I did. I asked Millard would he do it.
He said, Yeah, he'd do it. And we was dragging along pretty much, not doing. He teaches
how to sing on a Wednesday night. You know, just have a little minute in the night. So
some of them I asked says, Oh, I'm too old to learn how to sing, so maybe I'll sing like I
sing now all the rest of my life. They didn't care nothing about it. So I told him. Millarc
was going on a vacation, I believe...
R:
E: ...he was going up somewhere another, and I told him, I says, Well, now Millard, when you
come back I'll let you know whether to come back or not. 'Cause I done heard him griping,
They didn't care nothing about it; they wanted to just pick up a book and tear off -- they
didn't.;care nothing about learning how to sing.
K: Uh huh.
E: So I told him that they wasn't interested in it. So he went somewhere
Lake City, or somewhere another. He was just coming over mostly to help us, you know.
K: Yeah. He taught he taught it, taught the people at the beach, you
know, his way of singing and taught them out there. He said it was really getting on





SR3
page 2
K: his nerves. He didn't like to hear those bass singing the melody, you know, an octave
lower. So he decided he was going to teach them how to sing, so he taught them how to
sing over there so they could sing the harmony instead of just.... But he couldn't stand
to hear those men singing the melody so low.
E: (laughter) Where was that at?
K: Over at the beach where he and grandmother used to go to church.
E: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. They didn't know nothing much, eh?
K: No, they sure didn't.
E: (laughter)
K: He, he
E: Miller did. He was
P: The school you taught at? What was it like? Was it one in McAlpin, first school.
R: That was the first, my first experience as a teacher, 'cause I always wanted to teach
school. When I was a little girl I wanted to teach school, and of course, I went to a
three-room school building in the country, one-room to start with. And then we got up
to three rooms and....
P: Were there three teachers.
R: Three teachers, uh huh. And when I finished the eigth grade, I took teachers examination.
Now, that was the name of a flying squadron. That was what they called it. And, they
went around to the different county seats and gave the examination and that was where I
made my first certificate, and I taught on that thing for as long as it was good and then I
went on back to school and finally finished high school. I finished high school in '27.
P: Uh huh.
R: Over at Fort White.
P: Oh, really?
R: Yes. And at that time there was two or three years' period in there where when you finished
high school they gave you a, just a, they were just experimenting with it and Fort White
happened to get it some way, so when I finished, I got a first-grade certificate and, of
course, that was good then for five years and then I made that into a life and I began going
to Gainesville in the summertime, teaching in the winter and going to school in summer and





SR3
page ~g
R: I got my first degree, which was an L.I. degree and that was two years, that was two years.
Well, I kept on going to school in Gainesville. I never went any other place to college
but Gainesville.
P: She's persevering.
R: And I got my four-year. Took me a long time.
P: That's great.
R: But, but I still stayed with it until I got it and I got my four-year degree in 1945.
P: What was the first class you taught like? What did it feel like, walking in there and
teaching the children? How many children were there? Was it a one-room school house or....
R: No. Up at my, now the first one, up at McAlpin, I had from the third grade down and I just
finished that term out for another lady. She got sick or something. Anyway, she resigned
and they gave me the job to finish out the term.
K: Were you staying with your friends
R: No, no.
E: ________She spent the whole summer in Gainesville, payed board, bought
her books for $50.
P: So you lived lin Gainesville in the summer.
R: In the summertime.
E: The whole thing, now you can't buy one book.
K: No, you can....
P: You can't take a class.
K: You can't take one course
E: (laughter) She'd, before she'd come back home she wanted to get, she'd worked the whole
eight months to pay that fifty dollars back.
P:
E: It was, no money.
R:
K:
P: How did you get to Gainesville?
E: Well, she'd go the whole time to school down there, the whole summer for $50.





SR3
page d2
R: We, a bunch of us would get together and somebody would carry us or we'd ride with somebody
else...
P: Uh huh.
R: That would be going.
E: Entrance fee, fee, everything.
K: Now it would be more like $1500...
E: Yeah?
K: ..).to live. You'd need about that much...
E: This is
K: ...if you're going to move over there and get an apartment and stay and pay for all your
books.
P: It'd be pretty difficult now. I pay....
E: Like buying a car.
P: Buy a car? ,
E: Buy that Model-T for $350, $250....i
P: It works.... Now!
E: Did it work? ,r f
P: Yeah, it worked? It's working. \F 'P
E: What you want b>o0t a trot line? I X
: Yes. Y '
E: Fishing line? Trot line?
K: Uh huh.
E: For catfish.
K: Uh huh.
?: (Do you know anything about what it would be like to
: You got it?
K: Yeah.
?:C .)
E: You take a cord...
K: Uh huh.





SR3
page .
E: Heavy cord.
K: Uh huh.
?: ( etc.)
E: Tie it to a tree...
P: Uh huh.
E: ...on the banks of the river.
K: Uh huh. K: a
E: And you run it, take your boat, and carry it across the river, tie it to another treeAhave
a slag in it, about a fifteen-,twenty-foot slag, you know. Then you come back and you can
put the little lines on it.
K: Hanging down this way.
E: It's, that line's floating on top of the water.
K: Uh huh, right on...
E: Huh?
K: ...right on top of the water?
E: Yeah, it is,right. When you come back, and put the little eighteen-inch...
K: Uh huh, hook?
E: ...line tight on. You tie them on with your hooks on a eighteen-inch line. That's nearly
two-foot of stuff and you put just a hook to a line, just a little bit more than fifty
hooks...
P: Okay.
E: ...to the line.
P: Okay.
E: Then you put those fifty hooks on, then you bait them, put your bait on the hooks 'cause
you tie them on., Wel.l,you get all of them baited, you come back and get you some weights
that's heavy enough, put about for or five weights on it. It's heavy enough to take that
line to the bottom of the river and you've got your trot line out.
P: Okay. How do you pick the places where you put your trot line?
E: What?





SR3
page 29
P: How do you pick the places where you put your trot line?
E: Deep holes in the area. Deepest places. Deep shoals, place like that.
P: That's where the catfish hide?
E: Yeah, in the deeper holes.
P: Okay, you only get catfish on the trotlines.
E: Yeah, trotline. I catch more with that anyway, and....
P: Then you just leave it there overnight?
E: Overnight. Day and night. Just leave there. You bait it every evening.
P: Uh huh.
E: Begin to bait it in the morning and at night if your going to fish for the daytime, Most
people just fishes at night.
P: Uh huh.
E: They bait it up and you go back about for or five hours...
P: Uh huh.
E: ...then you take the fish off, what you've got on there. You bait it up, then go back
early the next morning.
P: Okay. Will a boat break the line if it comes through?
E: A, a boat, line's on the bottom of the river.
R: You put weights on it to make it go down to the bottom.
?: /__________ ,______etc.)
E: Yeah, yeah. Otherwise, you leave it, you leave it up there on top of the water, you
wouldn't catch nothing.
P: So where do the catfish hide?
E: Yeah, you have to change down to the bottom. Yeah, you wouldn't, you don't catch any
fish when you bait up on top. It's got to get down there in the water. Now that bug
that we fish with, he's fishing with, you know, it's a artificial bug, he throws it in
they strikes the if they
and he pulls it like that and that, A you know A can get the worm on the
water.'
P: Catfish do that, too?
E: No, brim.
P: Okay. I think





SR3A
page 30
E: Oh, once in a while you might catfish, but not, and a trout, seldom, but not very often.
Catfish is used to, you fish on the bottom mostly for your trot line. Lot of fun and then
you just pull it up as you go along and take your fish off and let it go back down the river
P: Yeah.
E: Go back through it again. (laughter)
P: (laughter)
?: It's a great town. I loved it.
?:
P: I wish I had taped it.
?: ___________ etc.
E: I was fishing in Okeechobee.
P: You were fishing, or is that....
E: Okeechobee, in Okechobee. And I had a fish basket hanging on the side of the boat, putting
my fish in and it had a mouth, muzzle up at the top, you know, the whole of like that, and
you get, put put your fish down it. I was fishing in a creek, the rim around Okeechobee.
And I had it about half-full of good, nice, shell crackers. So I caught one, brought him
up, take him off, like that and the muzzle was full of moccasins, a big moccasin snake.
I got the snake as I went down like that.
P: Ooh.
E: And I hollered, down and here with me. I towed the fish clear off
and out of the canal, up on the bank...
P: Ooh.
E: ...and the moccasin, he crawled out. So next day, we was going to go fishing, me and my
son and well, he was, I was going to go wading, down in Okeechobee Lake.
P: Uh huh.
E: On the west side. Way out there...
.?:
E: ...we'll fish on beds, wading waist-deep. Well, I had a string _____and I had
the fish in the basket, a string around my neck holding the basket down in the water. He
was had a fish string, he had histon and we was wading fishes and I felt somethingAwrapping





SR3
page31
E: around my legs.
P: It probably was that same one.
E: And I thought, I didn't know what, I thought it was a weed or something. I tried to get it
off and I couldn't. It just kept twisting right around and around my leg. I pulled the
bag:to get up and the fish had his head in the basket trying to get the fish out and his
tail wrapped around my leg. He was about four-foot long.
P: The snake? A snake had it?
E: Well, yeah. A snake right out there in the water and so hollered and why, he said, Take
your pole, knock him in the head, he ain't going to bother you none. I knocked him off
with the pole. He went on down. In about five minutes, I got, there was another one
right around my leg again. Another big one. And I couldn't get the basket up., He was
tighter around my leg than I could pull the basket up. So I told, I take the basket loose
and told Wayne to come pull that basket and he come pulled the basket and got the snake
from around my leg. He was about, oh, he was about six-foot long.
P: Was it a moccasin?
E: Moccasin. I told him right then, I says, you can have this damn fishing -- I'm going to
the boats. (laughter)
P: (laughter)
E: I went back. The boat was about half a. I waded back to the boat
and crawled up in the boat and I ain't wading fish no more down there.
? That's hazards of
E: Huh?
?: ( )
R:
E: It won't bite you, long as you're in the water.
R: ...they have their heads down getting the fish there and they were, they were holding on
on his leg.
P: Moccasins don'tbfite'you when you're in the water?
E: No, he won't bite you as long as he's in the water.





SR3
page 32
E: You get up on the bank ground, then he'll bite. 'Cause you they won't, they say they won't
bite,
P: Oh. Are there
E: He was wrapped around my leg.
R: Well, I'm telling you, if he'd been wrapped around my leg I'd been a dead
P: When did this happen? Years ago?
E: Last summer. Last summer, about year ago.
E: I haven't been wading fishing no more that, well, Okeechobee got so low...
P: Right.
E: ...this past summer...
P: Right.
E: ...until you couldn't fish much...
P: They were real worried.
E: ...you couldn't wade out there because there was too much moss and grass and got too low
for the fish out there. You couldn't get out with your boat. You couldn't get your boat
out there. It got too low. Back then, they was up in, wading out there fishing.
P: Do you run into many rattlers out here?
E: Huh?
P: You run into many rattlers out here?
E: Rattlers? Not in the water.
?: No, that's a
P: No. On land?
E: No.
R: We have a good many.
E: Where at, ?
R: Rattlesnakes?
E: Oh, around here.
R: Around.
E: Oh, around here there is, yeah, yeah.





SR3
page 33
R: Water comes up around a lot of them,
E: Some, some, riverfront's full of them.
P: Uh huh. I've seen a few myself out near Fort White, once..
E: They're plenty of them.
P: ...a month ago.
E: Boy, I reached over to put my fish in that basket and that moccasin. I give him a story.
K: _____________
E: I didn't know what that was around my legs until I got him pulled up and his head was in
the basket at my fish, see. He stuck his head through the little wire.
E: You would've been gone, too, wouldn't you, ladies?
K: I would have been gone real fast -- as fast as I could run.
E: I said that, but they'd come up.
?:
E: They got to coming up, moreso, right out in front of us, about every ten foot from you,
you'd see one stick his head up. Well, the first thing you know, he'd do like that, but
he was coming to basket and then he'd get the fish.
P: The basket floating down in the water?
E: Yeah, you have it, you know, like a wire basket, you had to put your fish in.
P: Yeah.
E: Good. And you just tie it on your shoulder or either a string and tie it around your
belt, put your fish on it good and them moccasins comes up to get them fish.
E: You can hit him with your pole and he can go down, but the next thing you knew, he'd be
wrapped around your leg. He wouldn't wrap around your leg until he got ahold of that fish
and he was trying to pull the fish out.
?: I don't know what they
P: What do they say you're supposed to do about rattlesnake bites here?
E: What?
E: What?





SR3
page 34
P: If you get bit by a rattlesnake, what do you ?
E: The best thing is to hunt a doctor right quick.
P: Uh huh. What would you do when there wasn't a doctor?
E: I think, I think before they get the doctor -- I never knowed much about that, about getting
bit -- but a lot of people take a knife or something and split itright where you get bit
and let it bleed good and then towards your leg or your hand, above ever where it bit,
cord it real tight to keep the blood from getting up there. They have a serum or something
or another that you can, hunters always carry it with them.
P: Okay, a kit like.
E: Yeah, where if they, first aide through kit, you know, for rattlesnake bite, any kind of
snake bite.
P: When you were young....
E: They, regular hunters carry it with them a lot, you know, like that.
P: When you were young, what did they do for snake bites?
E: Huh?
P: When you were little? When you were young, what did they do for snake bites, rattlesnake
bites? The same thing? Cut it open?
E: Same thing, yeah, yeah, ever since I can remember.
R:
?: Do you remember the preacher over at Bell, at Bell that he and his boys was out in the
woods and one of the boys got bit by a rattlesnake? Do you remember that?
R:
E: Huh? What did she say?
?: One of, one of the preachers over in Melbay -- I mean over in...
?:
?7
P: Bell.!
?: ...Bell, over here. One of his boys got bit by the snake. They was out getting wood and he
just cut that place right away and he sucked it. Do you remember?
?: Yeah.





SR3
page 35
?: Do you remember?
?: I don't remember.
?: What was his name?
?: But that's what they do in
?: Uh huh. He cut that child's leg and he sucked that blood out and spit it out till he could
get him to the doctor.
P: Is it....
E: Trying to get the poison out aways.
?: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he just cut it,
?: That's very dangerous, though, if you you've got bad teeth.
?: Well, he had bad teeth and they sad it was terrible dangerous for him. It was, but he just
sucked him and spit it right quick, out.
P: I guess when it's your boy, you're going to do whatever you can.
?: Yeah, I guess so.
?: Yeah. But that's how they did it.
E: It's....
R: But it's
?:
E: It's
P: ...when you can get raw meat :or like _____ I've heard of chewing up
tobacco and putting that on it to dry.
just
R: That'sAfor a wasp sting.
?: That's for wasp sting.
P: What do you do?
? I think you chew it, then put it on there, wet it, something or other.
.?:
P: For insect stings.
E: You don't happen to have no idea. Ruby's daddy, isn't that something.
R: No, he was
E: I,I got a life-long, I waited for him to tell him where, he married another woman, see, and





SR3
page 36
E: she had three children, and during the war, one of these boys was raising corn over in
Lafayette and a rattlesnake bit him and it killed him. He died before they could get him
to the.
R: He was hot, see?
E: He was hot.
R: And the snake bit him and, of course....
P:
E: Yeah. That wasBonnie Stevenson that was the step-mother of this boy. She's been married
for the fellow Stevenson, and he was his name. He got rattlesnake
bit. Killed him. But I think if you're hot very much and they hit you just right, and they
tell me if the snake, if he's more mad, you know, something, and he hits you, you know,
come near striking you if he's mad, but if he's quiet, they tell me, now she said that
rattle snake was laying by that thing, see. They tell me if you don't see him, you would
step right over him and keep walking...
P: Yeah.
E: ...and he'll never move. But the minute your eyes hit him, he's wrapped up in a coil
ready to strike.
?:
E: But they say if you don't see him, you'll never know he's there. He won't move. You can
just walk right on over him.
?: I sure wouldn't want to get
K: He doesn't want any trouble either, he just wants to....
E: They try to get away.
P: They like to get out of the way.
E: You've never seen a rattlesnake yet but what tried to get away. They always, and they'll
get away, too, pretty fast. They don't try to fight you.
P: Yeah.
E: They just try to get away. But if you crowd him, that's when he's in the coil and he can
jump his length and he hits you just like that, jump, out of a coil.
:
R: so back door,'cause her back door, all coiled up like





SR3
page 37
R: and that rattle just a shaking, now.
K: I've seen them lay out, _
E: I know one thing, I didn't want one of them moccasins around my leg,
P: Well, we better go and leave you.
R:





University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2011 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated May 24, 2011 - Version 3.0.0 - mvs