Interview with Katherine Hendrick, 2014 June 28

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Interview with Katherine Hendrick, 2014 June 28
Hendrick, Katherine ( Interviewee )
Taylor, Jessica ( Interviewer )
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Publication Date:
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Oral history interview


Subjects / Keywords:
Tidewater Main Street Development Project
Historic preservation
Rural life
Family history
Country stores
Spatial Coverage:
United States of America -- Virginia -- Mathews


Katherine Hendrick talks about her family history in Mathews County, Virginia dating back to the 18th century and the long tradition of boatbuliding in her family. She also discusses what it was like growing up in the county and how it has changed over time. She talks about her memories of general stores in the area and the importance of genealogical work for her and the county.
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UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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TMP 027 Katherine Hendrick 6-28-2014 ( SPOHP )


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The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution Samuel Proctor Oral History Program College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program Director : Dr. Paul Ortiz Office Manager : Tamarra Jenkins 241 Pugh Hall Digital Humanities Coordinator : Deborah Hendrix PO Box 115215 Gainesville, FL 32611 352 392 7168 35 2 846 1983 Fax The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) was founded by Dr. Samuel Proctor at the University of Florida in 1967. Its original projects were collections centered around Florida history with the purpose of preserving eyewitness acc ounts of economic, social, political, religious and intellectual life in Florida and the South. In the 45 years since its inception, SPOHP has collected over 5,000 interviews in its archives. Transcribed interviews are available through SPOHP for use by research scholars, students, journalists, and other interested groups. Material is frequently used for theses, dissertations, articles, books, documentaries, museum displays, and a variety of other public uses. As standard oral history practice dictates, S POHP recommends that researchers refer to both the transcript and audio of an interview when conducting their work. A selection of interviews are available online here through the UF Digital Collections and the UF Smathers Library system. Suggested corrections to transcripts will be reviewed and processed on a case by case basis. Oral history int erview t ranscripts available on the UF Digital Collections may be in draft or final format. SPOHP transcribers create interview transcripts by listen ing to the ori ginal oral history interview recording and typing a verbatim d ocument of it. The transcript i s written with careful attention to reflect original grammar and word choice of each interviewee; s ubjective or editorial changes are not made to their speech. The draft trans cript can also later undergo a final edit to ensure accuracy in spelling and form at I nterviewees can also provide their own spelli ng corrections SPOHP transcribers refer to the Merriam program specific transcribing style guide, accessible For more information abo ut SPOHP, visit or call the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program office at 352 392 7168. May 2015


TMP 027 Interviewee: Katherine Hendrick Interviewer: Jessica Taylor Date: June 28, 2014 T: This is Jessica Taylor interviewing Katherine Hendrick on June 28, 2014 at 11:30 A.M. in Mathews County, Virginia. Miss Katherine, can you please state your full name? H: Katherine Miller Hendrick. T: Okay, and when were you born? H: My birth name was Mary Katherine Miller. I was born August 26, 1933, two days after the big storm and flood in Mathews County. T: Is there a story associated with that? H: I remember my mother saying that her mother, my grandmother, was so afraid the baby would decide to co me before the doctor got there. [Laughter] But, he made it. T: H: At Mathews Court House. The house where I was born since other owners o T: Where is that house exactly? H:


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 2 T: Okay. And what else do you remember about that house or were you just born in it? Did you grow up in it? H: We lived there till I was eight years old. My dad was asked to take a job in Hampton at the bank there. And that was when we moved. But I remember all sort of pleasan t memories there: little boy next door lived in what was then the parsonage of the church and I were playmates. One summer, we were rolling around the fields in the back of the house. We found the front axle and shafts of an old buggy. So we brought it in the yard, and for a while we played horse and driver and pulled each other around. And then the rim came off one of the wheels, so we turned it up on end. My mother gave us strips from an old sheet or something, and we decorated the top and called it a me rry go round. [Laughter] But there were lots of fun things like that. T: H: schoolteacher. My dad was Thomas Bruce Mi ller, Jr., and he hated his middle name. And his profession was in banking, and he retired as vice president of oh, they changed the name so many times. I think it was . well, when he went gotten what name they changed it to by the time he retired. T: H: But he was a vice president and branch manager. T: Okay. Did you grow up with your grandparents around?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 3 H: Well, my maternal grandfather died when my mother was only about eight years old. Her mother died when I was, oh, a little over a year old, I think. So I never her. But I did know my grandfather, and he lived at Belmont on Blackwater Cr eek off North River. And I have lots of fond memories of when we would go there on T: Was his house an older house? H: Yes, it was built somewhere in 1850. The original home there burned, a nd my great grandfather, Captain Gabriel Francis Miller, lived there at that time and had a new one built. And my dad said Belmont, the name of the place, was named after a Mr. Bell, who had designed the replacement home. T: Hm. What do you remember about that house? H: Oh, gee! You mean the interior, description of the rooms and so forth? T: Yeah, and the exterior, if you can remember. H: Well, I remember one thing: was up on the roof, there was a railing. And in one of the upstairs rooms there was a fram ework and panel that could be pushed up origin of that was that when the man of the hous e was at sea, the wife could go up there maybe with a telescope, look and see if the ship was headed home. T:


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 4 H: I remember going to the place next door that was called the landing. And it had been sold out of the family by then you know how estates were divided on the death of the ancestor. But that was where Great was. A couple of years ago, Forrest Morgan and another man contacted me and rs to look around. I remember as a child seeing a couple of timbers in the water, and with a probe rod he fo ways for when a ship was Grandfather built sailing schooners. T: What were you H: Oh, goodness! Well as I told you, the first, oldest ancestor I found 1735 know his occupation, but I think he was probably a shipbuilder because usually a trade was passed from generation to gener ation. His son, the second Gabriel, was a shipbuilder, and the third one, Booker, was, and my great grandfather, 1804, I believe, by that second Gabriel. I also have over her e a photocopy of the The Rattlesnake that that same Gabriel built. So, like I say, a noted historian here in the county who is a history professor did research at the National Archives and Annapolis and someplace el se. But the names of a number of ships that were built by my ancestors. T: So, what about shipbuilding do you remember hearing about when you were a child?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 5 H: ember hearing much about it when I was a child, but when I told my dad about my interest in it, he said that when Great Grandpa Gabe was given an order to build a ship, he would find a tract of land with suitable timber, get permission he bought it or just got permission to harvest the timber but he would set up a logging camp, and they would harvest the timber and take it back to his shipyard there at the landing on Blackwater Creek. by water back to the shipyard. T: Wow. Do you know how he chose that land or what kind of species of trees he was looking for? H: T: [Laughter] Okay. H: Unfortunately. T: So, I guess I want to go back to your childhood. H: Okay. T: And ask you about school. Which schools did you attend? H: Well, the first two years, I went to Lee Jackson Elementary here. In Hampton, I went to Armstrong Grammar School, went to Virginia High and then Hampton High School and graduated there in 1951. T: When d id your family move to Hampton? H: 1941.


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 6 T: H: Right. T: Okay, so what do you remember about the first two years in elementary school here? H: Oh, here? T: Yeah. H: One th ing I remember was a big ditch between the school and, I thin k it wa s t Lee Mile s home next door. The ditch froze over, and some of us children would had rubber boots or galoshes. And we could run and slide on the ice. Then, that school had burned a couple of t imes before. And behind the school, there was a big slab of concrete where we could play with roller skates. It was funny: when I first came back to Mathews well, I came back December of [19]81 and I guess it was the following year, I registered to vote. A nd when I went to the polls to vote, it was in the old courthouse. And one of the ladies who was checking in first grade. And I guess you could have heard me all over the room; I said, oh, Miss Anne! It was Miss Anne Hudgins, and her married name was Davis. She died a few years ago. T: What do you remember about the people you went to school with? What was it like going to school in Mathews? Did you know everybody?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 7 H: the library. I remembered her Also, at the library one day well, when I met Bette Dillehay told her that I remembered her husband. John Robert was one of my classmates, and also which one was the older John Waverly Dixon. The Dixon, their mother, Nell Dixon, assisted Dr. Hoskins when I was born, my mother told those three. T: What were the classes like in elementary school? What were the teachers like? H: Oh, they were all very sweet. T: [Laughter] H: r too much about actually being in class. T: just besides roller skating in the back? H: T: Okay. All right. So, besides the school and your home in Mathews, what other buildings were important to you? H: Mm. T: Did you go to church at all?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 8 H: Yeah, we went to Central Methodist Church. I remember I used to visit my great aunt, Sue Lily. Her house was where the n ursing home is now. It was kind of a curiosity, you know. As a child, you know, an old house sometimes I would spend a couple of weeks with her in the summer after we moved to Hampton. So, one day she said she Sterling Branson who wound up being the doctor here in Mathews. And we dated for several years and . then, you know, after I went to college we kind of drifted apart. T: You said the house was a curiosity in that it was old? H: Yep, it was old. It had no indoor plumbing, no electricity as long as she lived there. T: Wow. And she continued to l ive there until the [19]40s or [19]50s? H: I was trying to think. I probably got it written down somewhere exactly when she died. I know I was not here. I guess it must have been in the [19]50s. T: Do you remember her telling you how old the house was or H: No. Mm mm. T: Just that it was old? Okay. Do you remember anything about the interior or the exterior of the house that you can share?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 9 H: Well, the fro nt: there was a small room I guess it was considered a parlor and off from that was a room she used a s a guest bedroom, and that was where I stayed when I was there. Behind that was a larger room, which she used as a it had much in there but a bed and a dresser and night ta ble. Then behind that was the kitchen, which was fairly sizable and it had a wood cook stove in it, and an old fashioned icebox. company to come and put a great big block of ice in there. T: Was it bric k or wood on the outside? H: Oh, wood side. T: H: [Laughter] T: to you in Mathews, how has Mathews changed over time since b efore you came back? H: House wise, beside the Baptist church that I told you was next door, the parsonage has been taken away, and there were two homes behind that that were taken away. In one lived the Birches, and he had the theater at Mathews Courthous e and also a bowling alley. And next was D. D. Forrest who was superintendent of the schools. And he had a daughter, Elizabeth, and we played together some before we went to Hampton. And then lo and behold, when I went to college she was in the same class


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 10 1942, I believe it was, there was a fire at Mathews Courthouse that burned everything from beside Hudgins Drugstore down to the car dealership, including T: Oh, wow. H: some sort of a garage on the corner or what. Then there was a building that housed a dry cleaning establishment. Going up the road from Hyco Corner beyond the garage or whatever it was, I remember there was a lane that went back to a home within sight of the road but remember my mother sending me there to g et butter. T: H: [Laughter] T: how do you feel about the changes in larger Mathews County when you came back and t hings were different? H: was fun to drive around the count y in some of the back roads and just explore, to really


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 11 learn my way around again. One thing I remember passing was the old Methodist Tabernacle. I remember going there with my mother, too, when they had the Methodist I guess they were revival meetings aro und about two weeks every night. And I remember going there with her. T: Wow. What was church like? Was it a social gathering, or . how involved were your parents? H: Now that sure my mother was part of the W remember too much. When I first came back to Mathews, I started going to services there, and wound up singing in the choir for a year or two. Then at my job, I was required to star t working on Sundays and, of course, that took care of that. It was kind of funny, actually: I joined the Episcopal Church when I was a teenager, college aged. And when I came back to Mathews, my mother said, he Methodist Church. Which one understand the Episcopalians had a big argument about Trinity Cemetery. So if Church. T: [Laughter] So wait. Trinity Cemetery? H: Mm hm. Up at Foster. T: What is that about? H: do was about.


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 12 T: It was in the [19]80s when you came back? H: Yeah. T: Okay. H: I came back in December of [19]81. T: H: Loads of my relatives and ancestors are buried at Trinity. T: Oh, really? H: One time my dad and I were driving around on a Sunday afternoon. We stopped there. He said, you know, I think at least seventy five perce nt of the people buried here are related to us. T: Hm. Interesting. Did you grow up knowing that, or was that something that your father discovered later? H: these others wer e related. T: How far back does your family go in Mathews? H: register. I also have a photocopy of the Bible record listing his birth as 1735 in Mathews. T: Mm hm. So it wou ld have been the generation before that. H:


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 13 T: Okay. H: Bible records, Kingston Parish register, and it went down to Booker Miller. My dad had a Bible that began with him, s But prior to 1850, the census records did not list people by name other than the head of e, females in a certain range, but not by name. T: So your father had a family Bible? H: Yeah. T: And it went back to when was Booker Miller? H: He was my great great grandfather. T: Okay, so maybe 1800s? H: date. T: getting back to how Mathews has changed over time, between [19]81 and 2014, how have you seen it change? H: pharmacist there was an old lodge hall. That has been moved back kind of beh ind where we used to live and turned into apartments, I think, or


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 14 condominiums. Anyway. So that was different. Everything that was in the shopping center where Food Lion is now, there was a post office, a furniture store. At one time it was A&P Store, then it was something else. But all that was T: Okay. Were any of those structures I know obviously the A&P is not going to be old or your [Interruption in interview] H: Farmers Bank of Mathews . be fore the Depression, there was the Bank of see. What else has changed? Of co urse, the bowling alley no long er exists. The movie which was called the Bejo Theater, B e j Appliance Company is. It may have been that building where the bowling alley was. And the T: Did you ever go to the movie theater and bowling alley, those kinds of things for recreation?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 15 H: Yeah, I was allowed remember remember for sure. T: Do you remember what the environment was like? Was it rowdy? Was it sort of adults only or things like that? H : type things back then. It was remember that on Saturday nights, the thing to do for many people was to go to the Courthouse. There was a soda fountain in Hudgins Drugstore, and of course people frequented that. And people were just standing around on the sidewalk visiting with friends and people they h T: As a child, you would have been involved in that? H: T: And would that have been maybe in the evening? H: Yeah, late Saturday and Saturday night. T: Okay. So the Courthouse area was used for recreation purposes, too, then. What else went on there? H: T: Okay. Do you remember everyday things like weekly or maybe after church, things like that?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 16 H: Usually after ch urch, we would have dinner or lunch brother was only eight years older than I, and I used to follow him around like a little shadow. He tried to teach me to play the harmonica. I would go with him to the barn where would whichever Papa orn to take it over to Sometimes in the summer, I could talk him into going swimming. Unfortunately, when he was about twelve years old, he was hit by a freight truck after he got off a school bus, and his leg had to be amputated just below the knee. So he had a wooden leg, an artificial leg. An interesting story about that, too track, stop me. It was a wooden leg, and it had oval holes in the side, I guess just to reduce the weight. In school, I was told that he asked permission to go to the pencil sharpener. And he put a bunch of marbles down in there. So you can imagine the racket when he got up to go to the pencil sharpener. Another one was that a neigh bor man asked him to go with him and his son to Florida to pick up some furniture that belonged to his wife. And after they got the truck loaded, station or bus station overnight t o wait for the next passage to come back to Virginia. Bobby went in the restroom and put his cash down in that wooden leg.


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 17 T: [Laughter] Wow. Wow. You mentioned that he tried to teach you to play harmonica. Was music important in your life as a child here? H: the line of music here. T: What kind of music were you exposed to? H: Well, of course, hymns in church. And then, when I was in school it was the big genealogical research, wound up moving from Norfolk to California because his dad played in Tommy D T: Wow. Did you have any favorites? H: Yeah, I like syncopated rhythm. I like New Orleans jazz, and of course, big band era, ragtime. T: Was there anything traditional that you listened to that was specific to Mathews or Virginia? H: Oh, what do you mean? Genealogy or music? T: Music. [Laughter] H: Not that I can remember. T: H: T: Do you remember what your parents listened to?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 18 H: ey had an old, what they called, Victrola. It was a big old thing, about so wide and so tall, and you had to wind it up, crank it up. And one of the ones on the ir records they had they said was their song. [Laughter] . In sixth grade, we did a little skit for the P.T.A., and one of the girls had took ballet and Tales stuff and I got the record and T: I love that. I forgot to ask you: where did you go to college? H: Longwood. T: Longwood, okay. Okay, and you spent thirty years in Hampton. Or you ? H: Well, I went to Longwood for two and a half years. When I got home at Christmas my junior year, my mother was not well. And I said, Pop well, I called him go to work every day and then come home and March, Mother was much better, so I went to Langley and took the Civil Service Exam and wound up going to work there. I think it was ab out maybe July, there were a group of recently graduated Air Force pilots that were sent there to man


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 19 the midair refueling planes, but they got the men there before the planes arrived. So they just sort of farmed out the men at various offices around the b ase, and Jim was sent to my office. A couple of months later, he proposed. In October, we were married. We were first sent to Sewart Air Force Base in Tennessee. And to Oklahoma in less than a month. So we ended up going to Ard was sent to France, I came out, came back to Hampton and stayed with Mom and Pop for the duration. Then he came back; he want ed to finish his degree at got a research assistantship at Michigan State, we were up there for almost three ll around, [Laughter] H: cold! And he wound up choosing Auburn. He interviewed several other T: Mm hm. What was his occupation? A research assistantship in what? H: Agricultural engineering. T: Oh, wow. Wow. So did you decide to move back in [19]81 on your own, or when he retired?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 20 H: Well, we had divorced before that. T: Okay. Okay. H: Then my son, Tom, was killed in an accident in October of [19]81. T: H: And daughter Kay I was trying to think if she moved to decided to come back to Mathews. And a lot of people said, w ell, your parents are still living in Hampton; why did you choose Mathews? I said, well, if they need mu ch. They had become a metropolis like Norfolk or Atlanta or care for city life. And I am so glad I came back to Mathews. T: How do you feel about the changes between 1981 and 2014? H: the, in quotes, come heres want to make changes. And I think, you know, they need to stop and realize that be the lovely, tranquil place that appealed to them in the first place. T: How do you feel about come heres? H:


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 21 T: Do you have any specific ones in mind not people, but changes they want to make? H: More regulations. T: H: Not exactly, but the atmosphere, yes. T: What makes up the atmosphere to you? H: That things are laid neighbors, f riends pour in to help. Just general caring. T: Okay. H: And sometimes in the city, you could live next door to somebody for years and never even know what their names are. Mathews is not like that. Well, there are disadvantages to that, too. But everybod y knows everything about everybody else. [Laughter] T: I know the feeling. So how much of that the physical atmosphere, the physical landscape to you, is historic? H: A lot of it. There are many homes here that go way back. All the big, beautiful plantat ion homes are usually on the river and not visible from the public roads. But there are a lot of places here that have a history. Alham was just directly what year, but way b


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 22 owned by a member of the Lily family. I think the last of it was sold, oh, within the last ten years or so. O Great Grandpa George Armistead Lily told my Aunt Sue that I used to visit his daughter; she was my great aunt that when he died, he wanted his likeness carved on his headstone so his descendants would know what he looked like. So when he died, she took a photograph he had given her to Baltimore and had his stone made up there, stayed up there till it was done to her satisfaction, then it was brought back to Mathews. My dad said someone who knew G reat Grandpa George said it looked as much like him as if he was standing there. And then his wife, Mary, and one of his daughters, Ora, their stones beside him have two lilies carved at the top. T: H: Yeah. T: Are there other historic buildings or I notice that you focus a lot on lands that you value personally because of your family heritage. H: what is it? Toddsbury Elmington T: Okay. I just wanted to know why you personally valued them, if it was because of a family connection or just because it belongs to Mathews. H: through Mathews


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 23 Sue taking me down there, and at the time it was owned by a Captain Clarence Good on the Miller family and on the Lilys. Milton Murray II, who died a few years ago, he was an avid genealo but I learned, in rove, what difference? But anyway, he had done a Lily genealogy and I had helped him. He was interested in Miller because one of his ancestors was connected. He was also connected with the Lilys, and he allowed me to copy a tree that he had done. I had a r oll of paper that was twenty four inches and when I copied it, it took me two days to do it. I started here I was doing my writing here on the bar the paper draped over on the floor, went across the dining room table on the other side. It wound up being a little more than twenty feet long. And as I did it, I was looking at it: good grief! [Laughter] H: And then, of course, the Miller Grandpa Vernon, his parents, and his grandparents. Fathe r: Joseph and names as James and Elizabeth. But in neither case was there a r ecord of their


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 24 middle name or initial. And Davis seemed to have been a very popular name in T: Why is genealogy important to who you are? H: . I guess maybe a matter of pride in the type of people my ancest ors were. T: Okay. H: That first Gabriel I told you about was in the Revolutionary War. Great Grandpa when he was off in the war, Grandma Willie her given name was Williamtina, which is kinda unusual anyway, she was there at Belmont and somebody came and told her that the Yankees were in the neighborhood raiding farm s for livestock and provisions. A nd that she told the slaves to get all the livestock, bring it up and tie it to t he porch rail, and for them to get up on the porch with her. And had a gun laying across her lap. And that when the Yankees, they stopped when they saw her. And she said, now, before one of you Yankees touches a hair on any of these people or this stock, I turned and left, and left them alone. T: Wow. H: T: [Laughter]


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 25 H: Pop told me she was blind before she died. I would imagine way back then it c have a cane that belonged to her. T: Did he ever tell you about the slaves that worked on the plantation at all? H: Bob Bradley historical soc iety meeting a number of years ago. And in the course of conversation, he found out Alaham many times. I said, no, I went the next day and he showed me through the house and that much of it had not been changed, and that he had compiled a book on the history of the place. He managed to get a copy for me; he said they only had fifty printed, and they so he got it from her and gave it to me. In there is the memoirs of Thomas married into the McCrady family and wound up later buying the place. But in tion of the building of th e schooner, Clara Tinsley It was so interesting to see in there the process of building that schooner and his description of a little bit about Grandpa Gabe. He said he would look at something and after shifting of his quid meani ng chewing tobacco he would bark out an order: Mister So and so, take a whisker off that! And said, Mr. Hearn would do it and the ribbon would lie flat and sweet. I think ribbon meant rib band.


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 26 But anyway, it went on about when it got to the point of what they call stepping the mast, which meant there was a spot down inside the boat for the base, bottom of the mast to go. Of course, it went up through the deck. And said that Jesse, former slave, did that. There was another model boat similar to this but a l ittle bit bigger, and it was painted and it had the sails as well as all the rigging. And Pop my dad told me that Jesse, the slave in the logging camp, had carved that, made it. T: nce are important to you. What does it mean to be a landowner in Mathews County? H: Now, or back then? T: Maybe when you were growing up? H: at, really. T: [Laughter] T: I know that you are really comfortable in a rural environment. How does living in this rural environment in Mathews change how you see things outside of Mathews? Is there a contrast inherent in that? H: I think a definite contrast. Like I said, I think of the cities of Hampton, Newport the cities. I mean, you paper but what ut


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 27 a number of shootings, robberies and all that. Mathews has a very low crime Tom, had a brother named John Emerson. And he was at one time sheriff of Mathews County, and Pop said he never carried a gun the whole time he was sheriff. And that if he needed a deputy to carry a person into the district court in Norfolk, he would deputize my grandfather. Of course, they had to go by steamboat. T: Wow. H: Among t he earlier generations of families in Mathews, you would find a lot of of their neighborhood. They had their transportation: it was by horse and wagon or horse and buggy, or by boat. One of the reasons that Mathews was divided off from Gloucester was the fact that with the courts and everything in Gloucester, transportation up there between Mathews and Gloucester was terrible because of all the marshes and creeks and everyt hing that had to be crossed. T: Did your grandfather or father ever tell you anything like the story you told me about the Civil War ancestor with the gun? Were there any other family stories like that? H: T: Okay. Did your m other ever tell you anything about her side of the family? H: Vernon, as I told you, died when Mother was only around eight years old, but he


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 28 had two sisters who survived. One wa s Mariann, who married a Dixon. And they lived at Hookemfair, where the American Legion building is now. I remember the But I do remember walking through there with her hus band. And their living a pitchfork, and his wife standing beside him. T: American Gothic ? H: Yes. Yes. I remember that picture hanging over the sofa. And I do remember visiting there with my mother once or twice. Then the other sister was shoot, Sis. And she married a Wh ite who I believe was a pharmacist. And, they had a son, Hartley, and he married a woman named Ritchie, and they had three daughters. T: Okay. So can you tell me a little bit about the importance of general stores in Mathews? Were there a lot of them or di d you go to one in particular? H: The general stores were more in the outlying portions of the county, and often had a post office with them in the building. That was the case in North. T: Okay. Do you remember anything about any one of them in particula r, maybe the one at North? H: [Laughter]


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 29 T: Why are you laughing? H: Well, the postmaster at North was Sands Jones. He had two sons: Gordon and Gerald. Gerald still works for the post office. But Gordon was a good friend of my Uncle Bobby, and I remember summer, she and Papa my grandfather would be sitting in the living room and Bobby and Gordon would be out on the back porch. And they would be talking about some of the people who frequented the general stor e. Then one would back there as if they were these two characters at the store. And that it was so amusing. I remember one of the things they said was there was an old man who roughed up snaps a nd a bottle of Er range Crush, and tha Can you imagine baloney and ginger snaps? Blegh! And then another one would say, well, my brother Randolph, he goes to town on two wheels; me? I goes on two biscuits meaning a car versus a bicycle. They must have laughed their sides off to listen to that. T: [Laughter] That is strange. Wonderful. I really love these anecdotes that you have about this early community, the pre war community. If you can think of any, H: T: Let me ask, were there any tall tales or ghost stories or anything like that that you heard as a kid about Mathews?


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 30 H: No. T: No? None about plantations or anything like that. H: No, but I think there is a story abou t some book that has something about that. It was one of the plantations up on North River. The woman who was supposed to was getting married or what, but anyway she was coming dow n the steps and caught her toe and fell and they say that her ghost still roams the house. T: Oh, wow. Were there any places when you were a kid that were off limits, or that you were scared to go to, things like that? H: specifics. T: Your parents never gave you a reason for that, just not to go too far? H: Yeah and traffic to worry about to speak of. Like I say, e verybody knew everybody else and would look out for everybody else. I could walk, like I say, from where we lived home is now. One time I was coming back from there or going, and one of the men at the car dealership now spoke to me and said, well, now where have you been thought everybody kn ew her. [Laughter] And I remember in the post office seeing Senator Marvin Minter, and he always called me Little Polly. Why? I think he


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 31 called my mother Polly. And as far as I know, he was the only one who did. But I remember he had such thick, bushy eyeb rows. But he was a nice gentleman. I think my mom knew his wife, maybe through the church society or something. T: Hm! Do you have anything else you want to share today before I turn off the H: Well, like what? T: Well, if you have any other stories and I know you wanted to talk about share. Anything about your life. H: Well, I think I had wonderful parents. They were very devoted. They were reasonable. They taught me good morals. I had things that I was supposed to do, because I do remember tha t I guess, till after we moved to Hampton there was always a head switch on top of the refrigerator. And if I misbehaved, I got a dose of that head switch on the back of my legs. T: Oh, wow. H: Now, they would be accused of child cruelty. Now, I remember a few years ago in a mall I think it was in Hampton that the child misbehaved and the mother gave him a good swat on the rear. And she was arrested for child cruelty. And of p arents are supposed to give a child a timeout if they misbehave.


TMP 027; Hendrick; Page 32 T: H: Okay. [End of interview] Transcribed by: Jessica Taylor December 16, 2014 Audit e dited by: Kyle Bridge January 26, 2015 Fina l e dited by: Kyle Bridge January 26, 2015

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