This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.
This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
INTERVIEWEE: RHODELLA NELSON
Sf W i" h-91EN
Ruth, o 3o 1
/iS Four days ago, a-ihgstrong girl anted to take a walk in the cold,
wild forest. She lived near the west side of town and-us -to go alone
into the forest, 4e~4- were found in the bushes. She stepped a
moment and asked Ralph V t~L r dr14h to go with her. Her sister
Carol helped her pack a lunch of an apple and 4tr sandwiches, which she
put in a tin box. (~'ewwhen you get back, I'll be here." In the
meantime, Ralph had put on his cap and had taken a eap-to Ruth's house.
-Raph had been swimming and his hair was dripping. A
They met a boy who told them thea-they would have to a toll to cross the
road. Tihan-q The boy was getting ready to mow the grass
VA a4- ILCcr \\ eA Qo&&
in a field of /oCV four acres. Tem-then, f4naaly- as we walked down
the street asked e- for twe minutes to hurry up. Tf you don't come now,
A story about a (rlden Goose and Boy named Ralph. Te girl named Ruth
asked to go for a walk in the woods with her because she was afraid to
go by herself u., e Y so they come alons and they
meet a boy mowing some grass and he t~d them fey'ehave to pay a
e4 B toll to cross the road and the boy i sevidentl taking his time)q- co
~12\ to hurry up. and w-; akoed -f you're- nt-ab~ot to hurry up, otherwise
One day my brother's friend told me story about av4eg-named Braee
Four days ago, Ruth, a good, strong g wanted to take a walk in
a cold, wild forest. He lived near the west side of-tew and feared to
go alone into the forest as wasps were found in the bushes.
asked y cd kl
She thought a moment and Ralph z a Donto go with her. Her
sister Carol, helped her pack a lunch of an apple and ten sandwiches/
which she put in a tin box. Carol said, "when you get back, I' be here."
In the meantime, Ralph had put on his cap and -~d taken a cab to Ruth's
house. He had been swimming and his hair was dripping. The two friends
.pulled out. They met a boy who told them they would have to pay a toll
to cross the road. The boy was getting ready to mow the grass in a field
of more than four acres. Come then, cried Ruth as they walked down the
street. I' ve asked you for ten r minutes to hurry up. If you don't
come now, you can go fly a kite. The y is very complicated. I'm
not sure I know where it's going. I must say that ten sandwiches
*SA-e- U^brJ b^-^r uWa( kov d><^~
_would be a very heavy lunch. He -Aot-forgutI
- Thr o-wa no consequence One rg my brother's friend told me a
story about a girl named Ruth. Four days ago, Ruth a good, strong girl
wanted to take a walk in the cold, ild forest. She lived near the
west side of town and feared to go alone into the forest as wasp-s
were found in the bushes. She thought a moment and asked Ralph rather
than Don to go with her. Her sister Carol helped her pack a lunch of
an apple and ten sandwiches, which she put in a tin box. Carol said,
"When .ou get back, I'll be here." In the meantime, Ralph had put on
his cap and had taken acab with to Ruth's house. He had been swimming
and his hair was dripping. The two friends set out. They met a boy
who told them tha4 they would have to pay a toll to cross ie road.
The boy was getting ready to mow the grass and a field of more than
four acres. Come on, man, cried Ruth, as they walked down the street.
"I've asked you for ten minutes to hurry up. If you don't come now,
you can go fly a kite.
S.B It looks like Ruth wanted to take a walk. I thought the
story was very interesting.
S"A chi~ of no consequence." '"A hil i u o- -GUm wa -
Ohe day, my brother's friend told me a story about a girl named Ruth.
Four days ago, Ruth, a good, ,ro ng girl wanted to take a walk in the
cold, k4ld forest. She lived near the west side of town, and feared to
go alone into the forest, as wasps were found in the bushes. She
thought a moment and asked Ralph rather than Don to go with her.
Her sister Carol, helped her pack a lunch of an apple and ten sandwiches
which she put in a tin box.
Carol said, "When you getted back I'll be
here." In the meantime, Ralph had put on his cap and had taken a cab
to Ruth's house. He had been swimming and his hair was dripping. The
two friends set out. They met a boy who told them they would have to
pay a toll to cross the road. The boy was getting ready to mow the grass
vM exi, as
in a field of more than four acres. Come on, theta" cried Ruth they
walked down the street. 'II asked you for ten minutes to hurry up. If you
don't come now, you can go fly a kit.
-This is a story about a y- named Ruth. She wanted to take a walk
q into the forest. but she didn't want to go alone because she was
scared. She wanted Don to go with her, and sister Carol helped her.
P ft- 0&- t U.,, /
_One day, my brother's iiend told me a story about a girl named Ruth.
Four days agoe. g 6tr named Ruth a good, strong girl, wanted to take
a walk in a cold, wild forest. She lived near the west side of town
into the forest ao5
and feared to go alone.^eeauza wasps were fund in the bushes. She
thought a moment, aid asked Ralph rdher than Don to go with her. Her
sister Carol helped her pack a lunch of apple and ten sandwiches,
which she put in a tin box. Carol said, "When you get back, I'll be
there." In the meantime, Ralph had put on his cap and ha- taken a
cab f-r Ruth's house. He had been swimming and his hair was dripping.
The two friends set out. They met a boy who told them they would
have to pay a toll to cross the roa4q The boy was getting ready to mow
the grass / a field of more than four acres. "Come on, men," cried
Ruth as they walked down the street. 'I've asked you for ten minutes to
hurry up. If you don't come now, you can go fly a kite.
S_ OK. Befo-e you say What word do you use if you are going to put a
"1 }A6 l0 ^ n- Would 1/
o-n- Rea it up. you say, you read it up,
< fiditup. Do you--kn- that expression?
-- You clean it up if you are going to sweep it and everything.
() 4 i r 6tl clothes
Io.ai l i cothles has --- around itS or something?
ou've never heard the expression read it up', ?
I'm going to read this up.
That's what my grandmother said, So that's a different
a V- F: *'''S ^ A
% OK. Now what word would you use for^paper? Something tht at poosn to
CIA- it's It \
Scarry things around in. Would you say "paper bag or paper sack"?
_Well, you say now that you are going to carry a paper bag and then it would
be that I'M go ing to carry groceries or something in a paper bag.
- Yeah. Well, what would be a paper sack? You wouldn't say sack?
A ,/ aper -sa. *'
L-_ That doesn't sound right.
C_ A bag. i i
SYeah, you know there is such a thing.
A paper bag.
Now, don't you call this thing that you turn on outside and the water
Oh, a faucet, ha! ha!
Now wait a minute.
I'm serious.. A faucet. All right. Some people call them .. Do you know
what they call them? Spigots.
Oh, yes. Some people do.
LD: Would you say more spigots or faucet?
No. Well, what I call a spigot is one of the things like you put on, you know,
to water plants or something.
LD: Oh, I see, the thing you hold in your hand.
LD: Hum, I see.
That's what I ..would call it.
LD: Now, what about the thing you use when you use the nosle, the metal thing.
which has the water in it.
What would be a bucket? Would that be a different thing?
but it would be a Daa4
_ Well, it would be just the thing A spicket is you
LD: It's not right or wrong. Different people have different names. We were
born here. Where were you born?
Here in Florida.
LD: In Florida. Here in Gainesville?
Yeah. In Brooklyn.
LD: In Brooker?
LD: OK. Uh, let's see. What would you call this thing that we find?
How would you say it?
Some people call them a frying pan.
LD: Yeah. Well, that's another one. Frying pan.
: Some people call that a frying pan, I'd call it a skillet.
LD: Did you ever hear the expression spider?
: Yeah. Spider.
LD: Do they use it around Brooker? Would they call it a spider.
: *he same thing. I mean it's the same thing.
LD: It's the same thing, but you would say mostly frying pans?
Uh,huh. I use a skillet.
LD: UH,huh. What about .. I'll thing of some other simple .. If you'd
have the place where the water comes out over the sink in the kitchen,
what do you call that? You know where you wash the dshes and the water
I'd call it a faucet, woulh't you?
LD: I would too.
Sometimes I don't know why they make that distinction that would be
but I h-ven't. Do you think it's a spigot that you carry in
I thought I'd call it a spigot what you watering plants and what's^in
you hand a faucet. A spigot and a faucet is different, I'd say.
Which ones right and which one's wrong? ha! ha!
for instance, we
LD: There's no right or wrong. You know, W ~us Juant .say some
things in Indianna that you wouldn't say in
LD: And sometimes you know, you tell me about things that you have in your
garden You call it a name and I'll say ,"What's that? I'll call it
LD: something else. It's not right or wrong. There's no right or wrong.
: Um, hum.
LD: What do you call those things that come around the house and let the
water out. You know. At the roof of the ., house.
LD: Well, you don't have any here. Like over
it comes down the wall and this is
: That's a called a gulley. The water goes down.
LD: Yeah. It does. Spout? sometimes? Yes. I think it's spout. Do you
have any on your house?
: NO, mam.
LD: You don't either on this house either really. It just falls off the
roof. Does it have a slant roof, too?
: Yes, ma'. It just run off the tin and
LD: Yeah, it just runs off.
LD: How would you say a baby moves on the floor? You know, What do you
say that they are doing?
: Ha! ha! I'd say he isn't walking; he's crawlin.
: OK. ha ia.!
LD: Have you heard the expression "creep"? You don't know?
: That's what I'd say.
LD: What do you call that animal? Not this animal here, but that animal
that smells like rather stinks. When you carry him, he makes a bad
LD: No. It's black and white. You may not have any in Florida.
Muskrat smells bad,too.
: We call it polecat. ha! ha!
LD: You're forgettingto guess at what I'm asking you. And sometimes, have
you ever heard the expression "woodchucking"?
: No. ha! ha! I haven't.
LD: That comes skunk, I hear from.
: that gives them the name
: but what I call a polecat he has a scent. And we call him a skunk.
LD: Same thing?
He'll phew on you and
: Yeah the same thing that has this bad odor. that you canit get it off.
LD:You're not really funny, but is here just the same thing to you? Would
you say polecats then? You're talking about. You wouldn't say that you
LD: say a skunk. You'd say saw a polecat.
: Well, most of hem call bearcat skunk, but most of them "polecat''
LD: Do they have any other
: There, let me go hunting that you can smell them from here. I don't
know Mostly the dogs ate them.
LD: I guess so.
: Some of them black and some of them black and white.
LD: I don't think you have this animal. I think that I'll ask this one to
somebody They have it in Pennsylvania. It's a little small animal
that has a stripe down it's back. It's kind of like a squirrel. Sometimes
: Fox squirrel?
LD: Foc squirrel. That might be. What kind of squirrel is that ?
What kind of squirrel do you have?
: Same kind of squirrel you have. Then, the fox squirrel is^larger.
Gray. Not a drab looking -
: Not like these here, there's none of them that looks black and white.
LD: Do you have them out in the country?
: Yes, man. They run around the field just like there is here bec<
LD: There is.
: There's nothing like these other ones.
LD: You mean these here.
: Um,hum. CAtspur. Fox squirrel.
LD: What are these called here?
: Un, hum. ha! ha!
LD: Like this one?
LD: Looks like you're trying to catch them. How are you going to catch them?
: I don't know.
That's right. A fox squirrel is larger.
: Catspur and catspurn.
LD:Tio different things?
A fox squirrel is larger?
For: squirrel and cat squirrel.
that animal that
LD: What do you call, you put on the end of a pole when you go
: There's all different kinds of animals. I mean
LD: Well, something alive that you put on it.
LD: Yeah, earthworm. That's what you use for fishing.
: Yeah. There's another name of"wiggler."
We call them wigglers.
: Uh,huh. Earthworms livin in the ground and you rubb 'em up. Scrubbin.
We call itwhen you put the stick down in the ground.
LD: Ah, they come out, huh?
LD; You make noise and they come up?waiting for you? I see.
Do you call them wiggle worms or just wigglers?
: Earthworms. You have to scrub them up, and wigglers you have to dig
LD: Um. Nowonder you are such a good fisherman. What kind of... "hat
do you call the bird or insect that you see in the summer sometime
LD: that has you see it at night and it has a light?
: A lightning bug.
LD: A lightning bug. And where 'bouts are insects attracted from
mosquitoes? You know with big wings on it?
real thin body and wings.
Do you know which one I'm talking bout? You don't see .this at night.
Oh, a few are in Florida. They'rethin worms and they've kept
mosquitoes or at least they call them mosquitoes. A mosquito house?
: Oh, mosquito I don't know that we catch mosquitoes or not.
LD: But you call that a mosquite house?
: A mosquito hole, yeah.
LD: Do you.call them dragon flies, too?
You don't know. OK. What do you call the hard part that's inside the
cherry? You know. Cherry, fruit.
What do you call that that's inside?
You call it a seed or kernel.
Does one kind..?
LD: Kernel. ^ Does it make any difference whether it's a cherry kernel or
a cherry seed?
: I'd call it seed either one.
LDL Either one. No difference. What do you call the little things that
you have in apples?
LD: You know the little things inside.
I call them
: Apple seed.
: Everything has seed.
LD: There's a difference between apple seed and seed?
: Between apple seed and kernel and seed.
LD: What do you call the last part of a meal that you have a pie or something?
: You eat all the other food first.
LD: And what do you call when you have corn' to eat? You know and it's still
not cut off? What do you call it?
: You have corn on the ear, some on the end and some cut off. Some on the
ears, but when it's still on the cobb, corn on the ear.
LD: What do you call that part of the corn? The ear and the corn?
: Corn on the ear.
LD: What do you call the top that's just continuing? You remember those
green things that
make and cook
LD: ^so good like mustard and things like that?
: I'd call them mustard greens.
LD: Greens. You'd call them greens.
: I'd call them greens. They taste good.
LD: What kind..? You have mustard greens and what other kind? Aren't
there turnip greens? There different, aren't they?
: Turnip greens, root.
LD: Turnips stem from roots?
LD: Same as turnips though, isn't it?
: It's a green.
LD: But it's not the same as mustard?
: HUH UH. It's a different thing. Collards, mustard, rutabaga,
LD: You can eat the top. : andbottom.
turnips, and other things, by another name., You can eat the bottom of
the rutabaga and you eat the bottom of the turnip and you eat the top of
mustard and you eat the top of collards. And cabbage, but we don't have
none. What I mean is
LD: Did you have what you call cheese like I can't describe it to you like
white cheese with in it?
LD: You know, well I call it cottage cheese. I have to tell you.
: We call that cottage cheese.
D: Cottage cheese. Do you know what I'm talking about? What do you
call that? The white cheese that you have with the little particles.
: That look like a plant?
D: No, I'm not talking about I'm talking about cheese.
Cheese. Cottage cheese. Clabber cheese.
: Clabber cheese is made out of clabber.
D: Do you eat that sometimes?
: Yeah. And mostly cheese that is made out of goat milk. ha! hal-
D: Do you like that?
That goat cheese is better than this here what you eat. You know, these
D: Oh, you bet. Well, any cheese made is better than that. Not really because
D: What do you call the bread that you make with corn meal?
: Lord! What you call it corn meal Corn bread.
D: I call it corn bread. Sometimes people call it corn corn.
: Corn corn??
D: And what about it do you use that? Corn brown?
: Corn muffins?
D: Yeah, you have
: In East Florida they call it corn pone.
: But you see how it is-
: They take it and roll it on just like you cutting or thinning the meat
lightly. I see. Uh, huh.
: and you got what they call corn pone.
D: So it's different really than corn bread.
But they're two did different things.
: Oh, yes.
D: I understand. If you have a lot of clothes, do you have an armfull of
clothes or an armload of clothes? What would you4 say? You have a whole
I think I'd say:
lot of things in your arms. So you have an armload? ^I have an armfull
of books You know, vhen you have a whole lot of things.
D: I think so. I'm not sure.
D: I don't know. Really. I don't think that you'd know.
:"Armfull',' a load of clothes, would mean that you have a load of something.
and that if you got something in your arm, I'd say I got an armfull
D: I think I would,too.
: And if I had I'd say I had a load and they'd be in a basket^and I've
got a load.
3: Yeah. That makes a difference. You have two different things that
really mean the same thing. It's though if you're carrying something,
and you say you tote it is there a difference? What do you mean when you
say you tote? Does that mean that you pick it up and carry it?
: No, you usually put it on your back. I on my back a load.
You know, just a load on my back.
): You're totin?
: You're toting load on your back or over your shoulder.
: You know, right there.
D: Would you say you tote a child? You could carry a child?
: I'm carrying a child.
D: You're carrying a child. Carrying a child.
D: Well, if you tote something it's like a package or something?
: Yes. That's what I'd say, and sometimes you'd use the words "I'm toting
D: Yeah, you can
: You can use it, too, but mostly they say, "I'm carrying a child."
: And on ce they "I'm totin a child. I'm totin."
D: You can use either one. What do you say when you become ill?
: I don't feel well. Lots of time you don't be real sick. You just feel
not sick. You just feel bad.
D: What if you ^sick at your stomach?
What do you call thqt?
: ha! yeah! ha!
D: You don't say that ^much,do you? I believe that's a word I don't
use very much, but what do you say?
: They say that's what a lot of people are supposed to say.
D: Yeah, you're supposed to, but I think what you do say to your family
I'm not interested
: OOH, I'm sick on my stomach.
D: That's what I say, too. Now, that's interesting. You say, you're sick
on your stomach. Now, you know what we say?
: Now, that's two different thoughts.
D: Yeah, notice it's different, but you don't say that very much. That' s
what people say in the North. What I say what we say in Indianna is
"sick to my stomach."
: "to your. stomach"?
D: and you say "sick on your stomach."
: ha!ha! ha! ha! JD:
: That's really neat.That's wonderful. Yes.
D: See. That's why I'm laughing at you. Isn't that funny?^ And if I
say if I get sick now I'll be sick at my stomach. I get sick, you
know. Do you ever say, "I take sick"?
;D: Some say
: Sometime. You know, I take sick on the job, or something like that.
D: How do you say you caught a cold? Do you catch a cold or do you have
a cold? I don't know.
: Ha! ha!
D: Some people take a cold, I catch a cold.
: I say,"I got a cold." I got a cold now.
D: You didn't catch yours. I went out and .. You say you run out and
catch it. Pretty silly. OK.
're beginning JD: Yeah, I like that.
RN: Especially the way you^say it. I say I caught a cold or bare
feet the other day and you know, I caught a cold.
D: Yeah, yo ican .. you said that, too.
What do you call window covering that you on rollers?
RN: Windows on rollers?
D: Window coverings that are on rollers. You know that part that you would.
You'll know what I mean. Curtains that go up and down. Do they have
RN: I call it a curtain.
D: Shades. Now that's what.. Yeah, that's right.
RN: You put them to your window and you pull them down and then they go and come.
D: You call them shades or window shades?
RN: I pull up the window shades.
D: Yeah. Not roller shades?
RN: Huh,uh. No, I say shades.
D: What do you call things that the window ?
RN: Curtains. What do you do with peas when you take then out of the -
RN: Out of the hull? I'm shelling peas to eat. Shelling.
RN: ha! ha!
'D: Isn't hat funny? I never thought of this. Do you like to shell peas?
RN: That's right, ha! ha! ha!
D: What do you call the things up in the corner that spiders make?
D: What do you call it? What kind of a web?
RN: Spiderling web.
D: Do you ever say cobweb?
RN: N9. we say spider web.
D: OK. What do you call the area around your house with a roof on it?
D: Connected to your house. You can step out on it. It has a roof
over it. I think that you have one at your house. It's a porch with
a roof on it. What do you call it? A porch?
RN: I say porch off from the house.
D: Would you say stoop?
RN: No, I'd say porch.
Look like that right there.
D: That's the uncover. I said the one right to it.
RN: I'd say porch.
D: What would you say if it was uncover?
RN: I don't know what I'd say.
D: OK. What would you use for a baby to run around in? to put the baby in?
RN: Baby carriage.
D: Oh, this is a funny one. What do you do with a baby there? Do you
What do you say you do?
RN: Roll the buggy or do you push it?
D: Roll it or push it?
I'm going to put you on the payroll. I vish I could.
ha! ha! ha!
D: OK. The stuff that you put under the bed. that you have to vacumn or
D: Yeah, but when it collects in a bag? a separate name for it?
RN: I just say dust.
would have ed
D: What is your family word for father? What, you^call^your father?
RN: ha!ha! ha! Daddy or Papa. ha! ha! ha!
J: Is that usual
papa, and now they've got so they callthem Daddy.
RN: Use to Mama and now they call them Mother. ha!
D: They never said Father?
RN: No. Papa.
D: Yeah, we use to my Papa.
RN: ha! ha! ha!
D: Father and Mama. OK. What would you say about the people you're
related to? What do you call then?
D: You know, just a general name.
RN: I say cousin so and so, and just cousin.
D: All right, but if you just said, "These people are my family or my folks
RN: What do you call it?
D: Hum,hum. OK. Would you say kinfolk? Kinfolk?
's a good
N: That ,answer s to me.
D: Yeah. Do you think that you are more likely to say that than kinfolk?
RN: Hum,hum. Either one.
D: You don't say folks too much,would you say?
D: We say.what kinfolks say. Martha looks like me, don't you
think so? Or we could say:
D: Where is the house when you went to school?
RN: was near a river not far about milesfrom a
river and it was a kinda on a hill there.
D: What was the name of the river?
RN: The bank ran over the Sandy Key River. It was a log house, a log cabin.
RN: And it got burned down.
RN: Now, and then, he built a board house.
D: A board house, you know.
D: Did your father build it?
RN: No. Somebody else. Mr. Rollins did and you know, and we got together
and built that.
D: Did everybody along the way come along and help you? out?
RN: Different friends come around and give us so many hours help.
D: How did the fire happen? From the fireplace or ?
RN: I don't exactly know.
'D: You were real young and don't remember.
RN: Real young when it happened. I can remember the log house.
D: You can remember. How was the heating? Did you have heat?
RN: I had a fireplace.
D: Did it have a stove in it?
RN: No, there's a fireplace and you cooked on it. a wooden stove.
You cooked with.
D: Was that in the same outside the house?
RN: All of it was combined, you know. The kitchen was kinda off like and a little
porch goes ct to the kitchen.
D: Yeah, and how many rooms ^have in it?
RN: I think it was around about one zo the fireplace and two
11 J, with
side rooms. I' say about seven rooms, including-the kitchen. It had
RN: two shade rooms with porches on each side and then like this is the
fireplace the front room and it was another bedroom that's there.
and then on It's just a big house.
D: It was a big one, wasn't it?
D: One floor?
RN: All combined together.
D: And a garden around it.
RN: A garden.
D: And a vegetable garden?
RN: No, we had that out in the field.
D: I see.
RN: And the yard looked like it was about an acre almost.
D: Did you have grass on it or was it..?
RN: No, a fine yard.
D: That's the way they are out in the country. You don't have
to keep grass on it.
RN: And you had to seep that every weekend.
RN: On Fridays.
D: What do you sweep it with? A broom?
RN: uh, yeah. The dark kind of broom. Dull-sounding broom.
D: A dark what? A dull what?
RN: sound of broom.
D: Is that
D: A special kind.
RN: Something grows up. You know, a big bush and you've heard me talk about
It's on the floor.
D: Rug. I know that. Is that a bush. Dull sound?
RN: Yeah. I'm going to bring you one and let you see it.
ha! ha! If you break them, you know, stay a day or two and wilted down
and there's a bush grows down break
and you beat the dirt aside the river and ^a mulberry bush.
RN: A Gullberry bush. That has like little, and you bring them home and
you know, the leaves off them things.
D: Do you use those in your house, too.
RN: No, we use those; We use to use the palmetto.
RN: For a broom, you know. You take them and take a fork and strip them
and then get you a piece of wire and wire them ^together You know,
you know, a cord and
RN: so many together. A string.until you get so far down and then you
tie them tight tie them. We use to sweep them to death.
D: Hum, hum.
RN: And, then, with a straw goes out in the field you don't attempt.
We use to go out there and break until pu think that you have
enough to make a broom, and then rock that with this thing.
D: HUM, hum.
RN: It's kinda like that
D: Yeah, yeah.
TAPE RECORDING DISAPPEARS HERE FOR AWHILE SEE DUPLICATE TO SEE IF SAME
AS THIS ORIGINAL OR VICE VERSA.
ALA 1 .
RN: casting shades.
D: casting. Did you have to clean them out?
RN- Nothing but the shade.
D: How were they? Were they black?
glass shades. ain't
RN: Yes, they're black, You^never seen any?
D: Yes, my grandmother has them. It's we call they coal-oil lamps.
RN: Yes. That's what I call them keresene it's coal oil.
RN: You know, you put the you know in there and buy a wick. You know, at
the top number one, number two shade.
D: What's that ? the size or?
RN: Yeah, that's the size of the shade.
D: Hum, hum.
RN: And the lamp you know, you can buy according size lamp you
want. That's the number what fitsthat lamp
and then it's got four springs up on the rim The wick goes down in
to the coal oil and come up and four springs keep the lampshade in.
fitted on top there.
D: Then, light it. Right?
D: You don't use them out there anymore. You have light in your house,
RN: Yeah, but I keep one up yonder there on account the lights might go out
D: An emergency thing. Are there people still don't have electricity, I
imagine, out there?
RN: Yeah. There's people that don't have electricity.
D: Where did you get the water? in the house.
D: Did you have water in the house?
RN: I had some running in the bath room.
D: You do in your house how?
D: When you were a little girl?
RN: Oh, we had a well.
D: A well.
RN: Huh,uh. And we had a well with a stoop on it.
D: What's a scoop?
RN: It's something. It's a post down in the ground and it's forked out.
RN: and got two holes and another scoop that's, you know, it's a bucket
on it and you can take that bucket and pull it and go down into
and bring it up.
D: Did you have trouble? Did it always have water? Or did you?
RN: Yeah, oh yeah. In the summertime. In the summertime, it would be
just as good as ice water. And in the wintertime it would be as warm.
D: Hum. A good well then.
D: Better water than you have now?
RN: Yeah. Cause it was a well. And water what I use now an electric
pump a four inch pump down in the ground.
D: But it's a well,too.
RN: Well, it's run by electric.
D: You're still using the well?
RN: We don't use the well.
D: UM,hum. You have water piped into the house?
RN: No, I go for it. made all the children's clothes.
D: Did teach any sewing? Is that how you know how to do it?
D: Did weave or do anything like that?
RN: No, nothing Just
mostly they didn't do like that. sew and cook
D: Where did they get the material?
RN: Go to the store.
D: Went to the store. Did you have a store nearby you? Did you come to
RN: Sometimes we come to Gainesville and sometimes go to IWaycross, and
sometimes to Ala.hua.
D: Did you come in cars? You came in cars then, didn't you?
RN: No, they hadn't been built yet.
D: Tell me about that. must have been a long ride, wasn't it?
Can you remember anything?
RN: Well, it would take you. Lots of time, they leave home around about
I'd say about five o'clock. And about seven o'clock, they'd be in town.
D: Two hours.
D: Well, that's not so long.
according r h
RN: sometime and there quicker that two hours. less than two
hours. According^to just how you're traveling or sometimes the horses
them pick us
let out and walk and then you trot them over along in then
it was sand roads. It wasn't no.
D: Yeah, no. Yeah. They were not the same roads that you used nowadays.
RN: No, huh,uh.
D: Was it -loser,- more direct?
RN: well, you know, just like my father said, "roads, sometimes you have
different roads that you can go narrow cut
D: Yeah, huh,uh.
RN: Now, just like I sayI'm going down here. I believe I'm going to take
this right across this^lady's yard.
D: Then, it's rally closer than it is now, wasn't it?
RN: Yeah. Ten miles, but you know it's just the same distance cause they
harrowed the road the same road.
but along in then it was dirt road.
D: I see. They used the same road until they paved it.
D: Uh,huh. And they just,you know, can go more faster.
D: Yeah. Sure. It's just about the same road. What did you use ? a
wagon? or did you have a ?
RN: Well, they had wagons, buggys, and carts.
D: What's a cart?
RN: That's a two wheeler.
D: A two wheeler?
PRN uh,huh. many people get in on it?
Oh, it's just made like a buggy. It could be.
D: No cover on the top?
RN: Just two wheels and teepersons could sit in it.
D: Sitting on the floor, I You just hang on. ha! ha!
RN; ha! ha! Well, we mostly used bugg. and wagon
and they come over to town and stay until.twelve and one o'clock.
They had a lot up town.
D: What's that?
RN: That lot?
D: Where was that?
RN: That lot?
D: Hum, hum.
RN: It was right there off.the First National Bank.
D: Oh, really.
RN: Yeah, you know, right across from the
D: HUm, hum. And that lot has changed a lot.
D: Did Gainesville have paved streets then?
RN: I believe that they just had one little paved street west of the town.
RN: It didn't look nothing like it now.
D: Had the old court house?
RN: Yeah, that old,old kind of court house.Th st, you know, I mean, built
this new one, and it's been there since I was a kid. It's that old.
D: A lot of differ ent stores?
RN: Oh, yeah, old lady,Palestine, different people use to have stores.
and well, it wasn't many. You kiow, dry goods stores.
D: Did you bring
RN: They built up a lot. You know. Long, buildings.
Like all these cars, garages.
D: No, of course, not.
D: Did you have a blacksmith's shop?
D: Is that what you call them? Did they take care of the horse, too?
RN: No. Just like if your buggy break down. You have a blacksmith that
you are going to.
D: Hum, hum.
RN: And they'd come over here and bring hay, fodder, and they'd feed the horse.
Pick them up and feed them and then, get ready to go back home.
They'd hitch the horse, give them water, had a place up there,where you
could water them, and you'd tie them to the wagon.and feed them.
D: Did you all go a differ entplace? Was there a special place that you went?
To keep your horses and things? Well, we kept them.
RN: All we had to do was when we'd ame to town we'd go to this here lot
and tie your horse. It was a big lot.
D: Was that for everybody?
RN: Yes,'m. Everybody.. and, then, he'd tie a horse to the wagon or
buggy and shoed him and they'd get ready to go and water them up and
RN: and hook them back up and
D: So you'd be gone all day when you came to town?
RN: Sometimes we would.
D: Just when you had things.
RN: When I returned, our parentswould come to town so sometime every other
week and sometimes they'd come constantly, hum,hum.
in that kind of business, you know.
D: Did they come to bring things to sell?
RN: Sometimes, they'd bring stuff to sell. Eggs, chickens, vegetables,
D: What they used. How about the cotton?
RN: No. huh,uh.
D: You grow cotton, don't you. Is it fun to grow cotton out there?
RN: We carry that to Alachua or Brooker or somewhere, and we'd sell it.
D: Where did you take it at? Was there an exchange? A place to
RN: No, they'd just take it, and buy it even just like you'd say, "I'm
gong to carry a bale of cotton off today and they'd carry to the store.
and then, they'd so much and they'd send it off to Georgia
to the gin. where they gin cotton, and
D: Was that a man then, that you sold it to.
RN. You could sell it to White or Colored. Either one.
D: Did they have Colored people that brought it to them?
D: And then, sell it, but they were in Brooker, weren't they?
In tobacco warehouse.
RN: In the store. They buy it to the store.
D: Hum, hum.
D: Hum, hum.
RN: Pay so much a pound.
D: Hum, hum.
RN: And I've carried many^pounds to the store and buy sardines and crackers.
and soda crackers, ha! ha! ha!
D: You like sardines and soda crackers? huh?
RN: And cheese. You use to get a little flour sack, a little
twelve pound or ten pound sack, ad head for the cotton room.
I knew it would be about five cents. And the crop would be about five. huh?
There was always enough to buy .. hhua!
D: If you had a twelve pound sack, you'd have enough to buy your supper?
snack and something to eat?
D: Crackers and sardines. Things that you couldn't grow yourself.
What about your bread and food? Did your mother make this or did you
buy that at the store?
RN: Oh, yes. She cooked a lot.
D: How many ^did she have?
RN: Well, while I'm here, she had about twelve.
D: Hum, and she was busy.
Rn: You see, we raised our own corn and carried it to the mill and had it
D: You had your own corn mill, then.
RN: No, you see, there was a place. over at Brooker or either at Alachaway
at the mill. You could have it ground half and half. Half meal and half
D: UM,hum. Was that all eating corn for you all? not for the animals?
RN: Just like this here what you eat now.
D: Right. Right. I bet it was good.
Yeah. And you iarry it
RN: home and you washed it and you could get the
husks off. and things off of it.
RN: And it can be just as white like you bought it at the
RN: And you sift it. Just like you sift.flour. And knead it and the grits
and them use to
And we each had our own meal. Grits and my mother^ grow rice,
D: Hum, hum, goodness.
RN: They had their own meat, bread,
D: What kind of meat?
RN: Bacon, anything.
D: Did you have cows?
RN: Yeah, we had cows.
D: What was the meat you ate? Mostly, pork?
RN: Pork and cows. Beef. ha! ha!
D: You kept cows for milk?
RN: Oh, yeah. Sometimes we'd milk about ten to eighty every morning.
in the evening.
D: Was it a hard life?
RN: Hard to milk?
D: No, hard life? I say was it hard when you get up early and work
hours in the field.
RN: Well, we didn't have no special time, but we'd get up in the summer
time, you know, on the account it would be hot. And get up and go
D: Did the kids work in the sun? Did everybody help in the fields?
RN: Oh, yeah. We'd work time and some of them would go home and
D: At noon time?
RN: No, before noon.
D: Did everybody come in then?
on your feet,
RN: In the noontime, we'd eat dinner ^, washand eat and take about an hour.
If it cometo be hot, we would go back again about two or three o'clock.
RN: We didn't have no you know what I mean, no special time to go to work.
D: Hum, hum.
Well, what happened in the winter? Did you all go to school?
RN: Well, there wasn't no- bus. Just get our lunch. Fix lunches and then,
go on to school. everytime we heard about it. Five miles.
D: Did you walk?
D: What time did you have to leave? Pretty early, huh?
RN: Well, school wasn't until around eight thirty.
D: Which school was that? In Brooklyn?
RN: We called it Garden School. And after that, we moved the school and went
D: What was the school? Did you have all the grades to seven?
RN: Well, we had a big business and they had it partitioned off, and the
higher grade would be in one section and the lower grade would be in
the other one.
And their would be two teachers.
D: Two teachers fir everybody? How.did the school go? From first grade on up?
RN: Well, ha! ha!, just rumbling on there.
D: As high as it could go. And two teachers.
RN: Hum,hum. One in each room. Could you hear each other?
RN: No, you couldn't hear.
D: It was in separate rooms.
RN: Separate rooms.
D: Kind of closed out.
RN: Like closed in there.
D: But it was just a big building with two rooms?
RN: Yeah. And the room was roarin, about a hundred in there, even or
D: Wasn't that a hard job for that teacher?
RN: Well, a lot children wouldn't make it in there.
D: Wasn't that better?
RN: yeah, yes mam, yeah, hum, urn.
D: And what they do to you?
RN: To punish them?
RN: Did I tell you about these gullberry switches? You could look up in
the corner there and you'd have one. ha! ha! ha!
You look on the outside of the wall here
and the more you, somefing you do wrong.
D: What did she punish you for? for talking or ..?
RN: Well, you could talk and you could fight and that's the biggest thing.
D: Was it? Was that one?
RN: That, too. Oh!
RN: Especially in the evening going home ha! ha!
D: You all walked, then, huh?
RN: Yeah, always walked and the littlest ones. You know, the lower grades,
there. They would stay and get on the big ones. Cause a bunch of those
little ones out there and go on the road fighting one another. And so
the big ones, you'd be along with the big ones. they won't hardly bother
D: hum,hum. What kind of books did you have?
RN: Well, old timers. Old primer. They use to call it primer. First grade,
second grade, third grade, and on and on.
D: What did you learn?
RN: Arithmetic and right along in there, Reading. Just the same thing
that is going on now.
D: Reading, writing, and arithmetic,R gt it was harder.
D: Was it?
RN: Yes, mamL Children have it easy now.
D: What did you have to do? Learn lots of things? that you had to recite?
Did you have to say it out loud?
RN: Yeah, eafi. And on the side that would lose they would be glad.
On Friday after dinner, afternoon, we'd have spelling then.
D: Every Friday afternoon.
RN: You have spelling then. And there'd be so many you know and had two
and get so many and there were so many people.
heros^and get the spelling done Oh, what do you call it
RN: Yeah. ha! ha! and nothing keeps you from spelliid you kept on spelling
and you go now and
you miss it and then, you go on down to the next one.and miss"nine"
If I, well,I said, "students, spell cat". "Now, you didn't spell it."
and I called out the next one.and if the other one spelled that, you
should have heard that. You're going in her place.
D: You know that. Were you a good speller?
RN: Well, pretty good at times.
They didn't mind calling out big words, some hard words,
D: Then, everybody loses, huh?
RN: On side, like well, there's two sides. If I miss it, they
RN: crawl over on that side.
D: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Let me see what was the name of the School.
RN: Lincoln. Yeah. That's it. And a long time ago it use to be the old
D: Hum. Was it called that when you
RN: It was called that Dandy.
Somebody's mother or brother and all of them use to go there, I guess.
Oh, the high school, you know
D: Before it was
D: It was called McKelly?
RN: Old Academy School.
D: Old Academy School. Oh, yeah.
RN: And then, it left there and went to Lincoln. Lincoln Hi ;h.
D: But when you went, what was it called?
RN: Lincoln High.
D: Oh, really?
RN: HUM, hum.
D: How about that!
D: I didn't know that it was that old.
D: I didn't know that it had
D: Been there that long by that name. I knew it had been there, but I
thought that it was a different name. I.know that much about names.
You went back to the ninth gradethat year in Dade County.
You know, let me try and think.
D: Tell me about that. My grandmother use to make soap, and I've seen it,
but I don't know how.
Do you cook grease?
RN: Uh, huh.
D: What kind of grease?
RN: You know just like
D: Bacon or anything that you put on a
Mostly we get it out of tallow. You know go and get it off the
and try it out and make tallow, you know.
And it makes good, white, hard, pretty soap just like ivory almost.
D: The tallow does?
D: How do you do that? You draw it out I know that's
RN: You take it just like you have big old iron pots you use to wash
D: Do you have any of those left?
RN: Yeah, and
D: I bet they're pretty.
you things this
RN: years ago,. got a bunch of tallow^like^ You just kill
cows you see, and tallow.
D: And you dry it out in the sun?
RN: You dry it out just like you do lard.
D: I don't know how that goes. You'll have
RN; I'll have to tell you about that,too. ha! ha!
D: I'm a city girl.
RN: But anyhow, these old great big sacks like you make syrup out of where
you put all that fat in there and you cooked it. Put just a little water
in it, and it will dry out. All the juice will come out of there out of
RN: It's just like you're cooking regular bacon.
All the grease will
D: Yeah. Right.
D: Floating around in there.
RN: Um,hum. You take all that out and and you can bale the cracklin
out. I call them cracklin. You know the.
D: The cracklins out. All right. OK.
RN: And you take the cracklins out and then that tallow wouldn't be cold
It would be hard. And you cut it out and you don't want .. you just go
right on and let the cracklin and the grease be right in there, and get
you how many cans of lye, and pour it in there, and let it cook until
it gets like candy. You know
D: You test it.
RN: You test it out and use sulpher and you put so much of water in it
and then, you can take it along here to stay together, you know.
You know if you see some water, you know, under le bottom.
SD: And then, when it's finished,
RN : Cut it out. Let it get cold. it out.
D: And it makes good soap?
RN: Yeah. Everybody use to wash with it.
D: Like it better than what you get now?
RN: Yeah. ha! ha,
D: Wasn't it pretty strong? Wasn't it?
RN: Well, you see, that fat would be together for all that lye.
D: Hum, hum.
Was it good soap, then?
UE:Yes, ur, hum, that grease ill eat up all that lye. It will be just
D: How did you do your clothes?
RN: Yeah. ha! ha! ha! Got a little rub board.
RN: Rub 'em. If they're real dirty, you got a block out there. You
get you a stick and a and beat them. ha! ha! ha
D: You beat it out, huh? Poor things.
RN: You beat that dirt out of them.
D: Beat the dirt out of them?
RN: If they're real dirty, if pants is in with the pants and overalls,
yodre working in the field and get real dirty.
D: Yeah, I bet they do. It 's not very different from what we have.
I think, although
RN: They didn't know nothing about ho washingnachine, or nothing like that.
D: NO,no, no
RN: They just put them clothes in there and rubbed them clothes
for me before you put them in them pots, and put in a lot of soap and
put a fire around and let them boil .
D: This is outside somewhere. Right out in the yard.
RN: Yeah. yeah.
D: Um, hum.
IR: Let them boil and pick them out and you take them back to your
You rub them again and get about five or six that look like clothes,
they're wadded up, when you hang them up, they are snow white.
D: I'll bet so. A lot better than the washing machine.
RN Yeah, yeah. they'd be so You know, they're use to it.
D: Yeah. Hard work, but
RN: I didn't work too long before I started washing.
D: Not very long. Do you have a washing machine, though?
RN: Um, hum. I'd get out there and rub our clothes
D: We still do it that way sometimes.
RN: If my washing machine give out. Other people's
RN: I do not like to go around to people and neighbor's wash my clothes.
I like if something would happen to my washing machine, I get out
there and get my washing pot.
D: I don't believe in such. I don't like the idea of having my laundry
out where everybody goes. Youknow, like they have in town. Tell me
about making syrup? What do you make that from? Do they do that now?
RN: Cane. Yeah,
D: Well, I don't know much about this. I'm not southern.
RN: You have a mill.
D: OK. Did you grow your own cane?
D: You still do.
D: Then what? Then, you cut off
RN: Then, you plant it. And it will grow.
RN: It will grow tall as that bush and then, when the
Sometimes you let the frost catch it before you cut it, and then
you got a mill. You put a horse to it or either a tractor, and pull it
and feed that mill and the juice comes out. Then, when it comes out,
you put it in a boiler. You boiler on a plank and
you put fire under that boiler and cook that sludge until all that
water come out. And then, they go to getting thick and dumping all the
water out of there and go to pick it up then.
D: You boil it then, in an iron pot. Same kind of thing that you used
making your soap. And you have to know just how long to cook it.
You make it now?
RN: Yes, and you
but we didn't plant any last year. Yeah, last yeqr.
D: How do you keep it? Just in jars?
RN: Put it in jars. You could have kegs, bottles,
D: Wooden kegs?
RN: Yeah. We use to put it in colored barrels.
D: How about? You've got .pines out there. Did you have turpentine?
RN: Well, we use to have turpentine, but it's till pines out there.
They don't cut that, you know.
D: You don't cut.
RN: There use to be a still out there. where 'ey made turpentine now.
D: Made something else, too?
RN: But resin.
D: Did they make whiskey out there sometimes, too? In the still?
You have stills of turpentine.
D: Did you have stills where they also make something else?
RN; We also, had stlls and they grind
RN: They take the skins of them.
D: Whiskey or something like that. What do you callthat?
RN: Some of us call it moonshine. Some of tem call it .. That's about
what they call it. Moonshine. They don't call it whishkey now like
D: Pretty strong stuff, isn't it?
RN: Oh, yeah.
D: Do they still make it?
RN: No, ever since the law
D: The law comes out and you can't do it anymore.
RN: And they call in moonshining. Then, they didn't call it no whiskey.
They.didn't know what whiskey was.
D: -,sounds so good. I guess ever since you can remember they had
that out there.
RN: Yeah, they just got it The Law got..
I mean this here whiskey came in
D: What you really bought at the storesthen, in those days were called.
RN: They say that you have to buy some of it now in the stores.
RN: Yeah, hum. in some of these bars.
D: Is that right? Well, when you were a little girl and your families
the things were Things like
went to the stores,.you boughtwhat? Flour?
RN: Flour. and you see, you had
D: You couldn't go. Not very much of^food
RN: We didn't buy too much because..
RN: We were wanting maybe something, you know. We had all like flour
coffee. Sometimes, we made our own, too, out of suds.