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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 http://oral.history.ufl.edu or call the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program office at 352 392 7168. May 2015
TMP 035 Interviewee: A.J Hurst Interviewer: Jessica Taylor Date: July 13, 2014 JT: This is Jessica Taylor interviewing A.J. Hurst on July 13, 2014 in Mathews, Virginia at 4:00 PM. Mr. Hurst, can you please state your full name? AH: Arthur James Hurst, Jr. JT: Okay, and when were you born? AH: 1935, February 28. JT: Where were you born? AH: born, through the woods there. JT: Through the woods? AH: Well, I was born in Mathews, but there was a store through there, where we lived. It was New Point Post Office. JT: So can you talk a little bit about living in the store? AH: JT: Oh, okay. AH: Yeah. JT: So can you describe that AH: I l ived through there, in New Point. That was New Point, where I lived there. JT: Okay. Can you describe the house that you lived in?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 2 AH: Yeah, it was an old house, old house. It was a two story house and it had a kitchen, and I think a couple bedrooms. But an old house. JT: How old do you think it was? AH: JT: Okay. AH: And the name of the house where I was born at was Bob Belvins The name of the place was Bob Belvins JT: So it had a name. AH: JT: Oh, okay. AH: We were renting it. JT: Who were you renting it from? AH: I do know it was house. Somebody Belvin owned it. JT: -? TH: No. JT: Okay. TH: No.
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 3 JT: AH: Well, back then, when I was living there, my daddy used to work on a he fished pounds. He was working pound, and he used to work on a [inaudible] boat down Hampton. JT: Okay. Okay. AH: Me and my mother I have two sisters Margie. JT: Okay, and what did they do? AH: was going to school. JT: What did they grow up to do? AH: Well, Hallie, my sister, she just done housework. That was all. She never did work nowhere. And Margie, she worked down at the nursing home a whole lot, helped old people and stuff like. She worked here now and just about everywhere. Helped clean up houses and stuff. JT: Okay, great. So what are your earliest memories of living in Mathews? Not in this house. AH: What do I remember of living here? JT: Yes.
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 4 TH: Earliest. JT: Earliest. AH: tha e Mama to go down there and play in the creek. He used to build little boats and stuff. His name was Robert Lee Owen. He wound up building big boats, in his older days. TH: He just passed away. AH: And we used to play together all the time JT: Wow. So why did you decide you didn AH: Well, school. I liked the water, and the little fellow down there named Jim Belvin, and he had some old rusty crab pots. And he give me ten. And I sat down, a nd I was too young to go by myself. My mama used to go with me when I fished my crab [INTERRUPTION IN INTERVIEW] JT: So, we were talking about your childhood. So which elementary school did you go t o? AH: New Point School, up here where the firehouse is at. JT: What did it look like at that time?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 5 AH: The school? It was a big school. It was right up here where the firehouse was at. none. But it was a big school. They had their first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, and from here, then you went to the high school. Went to the high school. But I nev er did make it. I never did get farther than the sixth grade, but I went long enough. I JT: Why did you decide sixth grade was the time that you were going to leave? AH: Why did I try to do what? JT: W hy did you leave in sixth grade? AH: thought I was working around here already. So I just give it up. JT: Did you start working then? AH: I started work when I was eleven years old. Eleven years old. JT: Was that with your mom? AH: No. Like I say, I was too small to go by myself, and she used to go with me. I used to crab and I used to sell t hem That fellow who used to buy crabs around here Sand Bank down here in Horn Harbor Chase Morgan, I used to sell him five cents. If I catch seventy five cents worth
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 6 as rich. Back then, you could buy Pepsi Colas for five cents. A lot of fives in a dollar. JT: Mm hm. So, after you left working with your mom AH: [INTERRUPTION IN INTERVIEW] AH: Talking about crabbing? JT: Crabbing. AH: TH: She went with you more or less because she was afraid. She was afraid something would happen. AH: But I remember another time I stayed home, and Hubert, up in Hudgins, I think he turned me in for hanging around the store. I must have been worrying him too people that work at the school board or something and they come down here one day, and I was in the store. Sitting back in the store, you know, drinking drink. I happened to peeped up and I looked who she was. It was snowing, real bad, snowing. And he done like that; I figured he turned me in. But anyhow, she come on back there and she said, what you doing at home today? And I said, I was sick first thing this morning, but I feel better now. She said, well, I got to carry you
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 7 She just told her JT: AH: She just told her that JT: So the educational aspec t was not really important to your mom. AH: Well, Mama I mean, they were brought up tough, hard, then. It was hard times ump outdoors. Every water. The way it is now, people got a sense now. You used to hang clothes on The y can put the clothes in a washing machine now and let her go. But they get home, they all dried and everything. But these people used to have a washboard. TH: Yeah. AH: And a tub, and a tub. You used JT: Mm. AH: Yeah. JT: Wow. So at what age did you decide to go out on your own? AH: Well, like I told you, I started when I was eleven, but as I went on, t hen I used to a place around there called Dob bs Creek
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 8 there; I used to work for him. I used to go around there and si t in the garage, and d help him do odds and ends. Then a little later on, as I got up, then I crabbed some for him. I took a JT: Have you had your own boat at any point? AH: I got my own boat back in crabbed for myself, but I used to work for other people until I got crabbing. I used to crab for R.G. Hudson and a bunch of them, I used to c rab for. They furnished the pots and the boat and everything, and give me half. JT: AH: Well, I could do better working for myself. I could do better. I made more money for yo urself. The way I look at it and I nobody I told you I was young then he said, but try and look for something gonna have him then, see? Yeah. TH: JT: Wow. So, how has the technology for crabbing change d over time?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 9 AH: What now? How much has it changed? JT: Mm hm. AH: Cha I mean, when they get TH: [Inaudible] AH: TH: [Inaudible] AH: I always said like to get old enough so I can retire. Get my Social Security and set back. But I go harder no gasoline, here it is gone in the ai r yep. JT: instances in which the regulations got you in trouble, or have been a problem for you?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 10 AH: What you mean now? What you talking about now? JT: The regulations on crabbing and fishing. AH: JT: How specifically has it affected you? AH: used to have a three hundred pot licens e. I used to have three hundred pots or JT: How involved is your wife in the business? AH: Well, she do my paperwork. She fill out TH: They have to send in a report. Like for June, you have to s end in put the date, your commercial I.D. number, how many pots, where you set the pots, was anyone with you. ve got to specify each day: what you crabbed, what you have, put it on this form. They send him the form in February, and you have to put each day you crabbed on that form. Send it to the [inaudible.] JT: So you know a lot about what your husband does day by da y? TH: Oh, yeah. AH: Oh, yeah. She knows what I do. She helps make my crab pots. We make crab pots; she help me.
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 11 JT: ou t. AH: TH: AH: two. TH: ll the grass. AH: She cuts all the grass. JT: So, how did you two meet? TH: [Laughter] AH: u probably they was going to the drugstore or something. We just stopped, talked em, and they got in there with us. They got in the car, we rode around. Then the next thing you kno w, we had got together. [Laughter] JT: What was your wedding like? AH: My wedding? JT: Yeah. TH: Simple and plain.
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 12 AH: My wedding was simple because I got married in South Carolina. After I got married, we went down there and we met up with a boy and girl. We signed for them; they signed for us. When they left there they was going to Florida, and they asked us, do we want five dollars left in my pocket after I got married. Back then, we come on back to Norfolk, and I spent the night with my aunt. I remember that night. I absolutely remember everything. And then, the next d ay we left there to come home. And back then there was some kind of old coats going around Newton after I bought the coat. [Laughter] TH: [Laughter] JT: How did you envision your life turning out? AH: How did my life turn out now? JT: How did you envision, as a young man, your life turning out? Did you plan to crab your entire life? AH: Well, I knew t have nobody to give me. What I had to get, I had to get my own. Then after we got married, I went on my own. I used to cut grass at the nursing home down here at Horn Harbor Nursing Home. I used to crab. Days that tide was low so I could go clamming, I used to go clamming.
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 13 JT: Did you ever do any trawling? AH: Well, I went scalloping one time on a scallop boat, and she caught afire That we were seventy miles offshore, she caught afire and burned all the wires off the engine. JT: Can you help me explain what that means? AH: What do you mean? JT: You caught afire? AH: JT: Oh, okay. AH: They rigged the boat up to where there were a bunch of colored men on it before, and they rigged it. They fixed a place over top the engine in the pile house of the boat in the house for us to sleep. When they done that, they asbestos or something keep the heat from. The floor got hot and caught afire, caught the boat afire. JT: Wow. You mentioned that there were black folks on the boat before. AH: ght. JT: Does that make a difference? AH: Well, I mean, I think they used to sleep down forward, up forward like, and he fixed that place up back for us, the fellow down there. I know the man that owned the boat, was Danny Lou old man Danny Lou. And we went down there before
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 14 we left down there one week, and that morning the boss of the boat said, you all want to go get your breakfast? Take my car and you all can use it. So, we said all right. So it was me, Arnold Hayward, Eddy Diggs one left of them now; the rest of them is dead. But anyhow, we went up, got our breakfast. On our way back we stopped; got some gas or something. All of us put a cigar in o ur mouth, trying to be big shots. TH: [Laughter] AH: By that time, Arnold was driving. He run through a stoplight, and a fellow come along with a load of concrete, run down the side of him, and dest royed the car. Destroyed it. A nd now, the sheriff, deput ies, cops come there and took Arnold. They were searching him and everything and they said they were carrying him to l tell the boss man. So I went over there and I told the boss man. So I went over there and I told the boss man. I told him, I said, we totaled your car up. He said, anybody hurt? I said, nope. He y about the car. S aid, I can get another car, but s and got him. And we come on back, and that Sunday night we went out. We was on our way out of Hampton, coming out of Hampton, down at Hampton Road s, and had a thunder squall. Li ghtning hit the boat, and knocked all the current w en t on me
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 15 then. Th en after we went off there, we stayed fourteen days. We was on our way home when she caught afire. JT: AH: stayed. Before that, before I left on the boat, I was working with Captain Henry better off if I stay we went ship around three hundred dollars. We was gone a long time: fourteen days, fourteen nights. JT: Wow. I mean, what defines a bad year for crabbing for you? AH: that I conchs. Well, they got meat in a shell, a shell that looks something like a horn. JT: territory? AH: No, no, no, no. JT: No?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 16 AH: You can work but far as crabbing, we set pots side by side. Sometimes get so close, you catch one another; then you whee JT: So where do you crab most often? AH: now Mobjack Bay. But we used to go all Tommy all over here at Kiptopeke, across on the other side. Yo u know where Kiptopeke is? By the ferryboat, from Little Creek, crabbing. All up Windmill Windjammer JT: Wow. So I was talking to someone yesterday who says that all of the watermen AH: come in here TH: [Inaudible] JT: AH: That it is strange; that it is strange. JT: ster, like the Guineamen?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 17 AH: Best people I ever dealt with. I used to go over there and haul my boat out. You would think I was some king or something. They come around me, help me. overboard hey some friends in Gloucester, better than I had on earth. Now, I got some friends in Mathews, too, but most all my friends is gone. They done died off. They gone. They gon e. JT: How are Mathews watermen different from other watermen elsewhere? AH: as for people coming here Tangier better. You always try to help them. I had two or three boys come from Tangier, come over take my truck, go up the road. JT: AH: Yeah, I mean, all the watermens kind of work together. And you take the the other one or something. You might get mad. You act like say JT: Did y ou have a C.B. tag?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 18 AH: Yeah. Oh, yeah. JT: Who were you on your C.B.? AH: JT: You gotta tell me. AH: Slapjaw. JT: Slapjaw? [Laughter] AH: One time, I had a fellow from around here H.B. Stewart that was my good friend, too. God knows he was my good friend. He dead. [Crying] But, Milton Powers from Tangier he was a Tangierman, you know. They talk different. Have you heard Tangiermens talk? Well, they talk different than we do. TH: AH: I mean, Guineamans talk different than we do. They call everybody darling TH: They have a different accent. AH: handle? H.B. told him and said, Slapjaw. He said, well, he got a pretty handle. [Laughter] Yeah, well I tell you now, back then we used to get on the radio sang. A whole different ball game what it is now. JT: Wow.
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 19 AH: All different. People would help one another, go on side one another; they would help JT: Did you used to sing over the radio? AH: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Many a time. JT: AH: [Laughter] I sang just about anything that come pop in my mind. [Laughter] JT: What was your favorite? AH: Well, I like the hillbilly music. I like that hillbilly music. JT: What is your favorite hillbilly song? AH: I like old Hank Williams. Yeah, I used to like him. JT: And you used to sing that on the radio? AH: Yeah. Used to sing some songs, yeah. JT: Did y ou have a C.B. at home, where you could listen? TH: Mm hm, mm hm. AH: I remember one song I used to sing was about Santa Claus coming to town. [Laughter] And little roll together, go bum bid dee bum. This boy he dead now, too Edward Grennell nickname, too: he used to call me Doc, Doc.
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 20 JT: Why? AH: time and everybody called him Doc. And my father told this other man, sai d, he remind me of old Doc. And that was me JT: So, I understand that Mathews has a lot of different little places on the water that are special to certain pe ople. Do you have places on the water that are special to you? AH: No, I have my own place on the water now. Back now, right around here in Da nobody. But they was really good to me. They w as really good to me. JT: Okay. AH: trouble that way. Everybody was just the same as kin to one another. JT: What does it mean to you that the youngest waterman in Mathews is forty? AH: Well, we got some youn tell you the truth, sometimes almost make me sick to see what they can do what I JT: What do you mean?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 21 AH: I mean, I say, oh, I wished I could do that one more time. Them young boys but I tell them get that phone, Thelma come to you, too. I had a boy tell me the other day, said, you too old; you ought to retire. I said, yeah, I agree with you there, but I like to do it. someth make crab pots. JT: AH: Whole lot of things. JT: AH: Well, far as crabbing, you take crab pots and job now putting my oilskins on; putting my boots on at my age. Most time, I use d oilskin boots neither; I used to go barefoot a whole lot. When I was coming on you that. JT: Yo u said you had a bad life. AH: No, no. JT: No? AH:
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 22 four times. I fell overboard one time I used to fish all the time, too, on a fish boat. I fell overboard one time, into enough fish to load two steamers. I went down to the bottom of the net, and when I got back, the men was they never t pump pssh them old sharks and stuff pull the JT: Wow. When you were drowning the other times, did people intervene? AH: Well, another time I was fishing down here, I got hung up in the net, a nd had a colored fellow motor across the river down there in Reedville, and he got me, them no more hold the fish: it used to be a little boat about twelve feet long you had to row, and you tied that on top of that net to keep the fish from tearing the net down Anyhow, Captain, he tol d me, well, drive hard. Get on them fish. I u sed to row to get on the fish. And before the airplanes called them they got planes up there that spot the fish they had found a place better. So he told them, said so he runs offshore. When he did, he come ahea d on the steamer. It happened I held on to the line, the boa t bumped into the other one; overboard I went. That was another time. JT: Oh, wow.
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 23 AH: Yep. JT: see any black wa termen now. AH: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. A whole lot of black watermen s Yeah. That it is. A whole lot of black watermen. Good black watermens, too. I fished with twenty two one time; I was the only white one aboard the boat. Yeah, they was good to me. They was find and pack a boat than a whole lot of white ones. No, sir. JT: AH: Good, good. JT: Okay. Has it changed over time at al l? AH: No, nah Forrest, Big Will Thomas, do you know them? JT: AH: Yeah, he used to fish in Louisiana Fine man, fine man. JT: Wow. AH: Yeah, I went mate with Harry Armistead, went mate with Arnold Ripley, I went mate with Cal Ripley mate with, the first boat. I went with Paul Everett and Mark Dammer
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 24 too, actually good. Actually good. I fished out of Crab Island fished out of North Carolina Delaware. JT: Who would you say your closest friends are? AH: Now? JT: Yeah. AH: Well, that boy, I got a good friend up here: Grey Hudgins worked with him every now and then R obert Roland Hudgins. You know Robert Roland Hudgins? JT: AH: Yeah, yeah. He can tell you something, too. He can JT: Okay. Let me ask you about this might seem kind of strange, but do you know any ghost stories or folktales? Or things like that a bout Mathews? AH: JT: No ghosts? AH: this boat with my daddy me and Grover Lee, that boy I was telling you about a while ago a nd we used to wash the oysters. And he had this used to be a Navy boat or something and we was down below, and me and him was in the bunk. I happened to looked over on the wall, and I did see something. I seen myself, was in the mirror. I thought it was so
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 25 the only thing I can come to a ghost. I do remember that. Yeah. But we was young back then. We was about twelve, thirteen, something like that. JT: AH: They never di d tell me too much. My mother and father, they never knew. They had it tight, too, coming up hard. They never did tell me too much. JT: Okay. Did you ever find out anything from other people about Mathews? Maybe how things got their names AH: No, Mathews County want. They can go to Las Vegas, g o anywhere t hey want. B ut that ever was known. But we got a whole lot of people moved in here. And we got some good people, and we got some bad people, just like is here now. I think they everywhere, as far as that goes. I got some people down here Craig and Joanne met no nicer friends than them. They good something to me. JT: So you have a go od relationship with come heres? AH: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Well, some of them, some of them I do. Some of them I them like it i JT: Absolutely. What defines a good come here?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 26 AH: Well, I think the come heres, they should keep things like it is here now. Most of be changed. I think if they like it so good here, leave it like it is. They claim where JT: AH: Oh, yeah. JT: But what other places have you been to in Amer ica? AH: Atlantic City. I went down there to see my friend Robert Roland in Louisiana. I went down there a week; spent a week down there with him. Yeah. Nice fella. One of the finest. JT: So how do places like Boston and Richmond compare to Mathews? AH: Richmond. I go t to say that. I had a fellow down here, had a yacht tied up down I think he got a plac e up there. He makes stuff like I needed two horizo ns for my boat, and darned if he made them and brought them back and never charged me nothing. I mean, I call that a good friend. JT: Yeah, absolutely. How has Mathews changed over time since you were growing up?
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 27 AH: all my friends, all the older ones, they gone, and the new bunch gonna try to find ou t who it is. [Laughter] I like n e w friends. I like to talk to people. good, but I want them to be good to me, too. JT: Absolutely. How about economically? How has Mathews changed over time? AH: ight up here at the old courthouse. They built a new courthouse up there. And now, they got a marketplace up there, where they sell market. And I tell you the truth, you go up there on a Saturday, et in the drugstore if JT: Wow. How about the area around here, around Bah right? AH: von. through New JT: Right. AH: And a whole lot of times, we was young, we used to get a fighting with these ; we from New Point. mean? And used to be a time around here that people used to raise hogs, used to have gardens. People would some of them whack up with you now, you
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 28 know what All them old people is go ne. All them is gone. JT: What would you want to say to future generations of Mathews folks? AH: e. the time a man now get out here and buy a boat and crab pots and everything eighty four do better get you a job on a tugboat somewhere, something you can depend on. Far catching no fish. They got s maller and everything. And some of these people off with them, you know what I mean? That makes it [inaudible.] JT: ? AH: VIMS and all of this and all of kind o
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 29 they m ade a mistake. But at my age thing. You take a peeler pot against it because people make a living at it. But I think people catch all the little crabs, where are the bigger ones c and get no children. All the old people in the nursing home. If you gonna kill all at my age, people make a living at it and they do it themself. JT: Yeah. AH: want about putting another limit on crab s ist thing that ever heard of. What good is a limit gonna do? What good is that gonna do? JT: AH: but I know right from wrong. JT: Wow. How do you think Mathews will change af ter all the watermen are gone? AH: For one reason y
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 30 get up and down this bay for one time for pound nets. Ther around here nowhere. They got one, too, up in Reedville. They might set one, But I remember you had a job getting up and down this bay for pound nets. For to make a crab pot. Very few know anything about setting pounds, how to mend learn. But I tell them all the time, I say Robert Roland, that boy you say in for some boy up there in Del But he can see some, but his eyesight is getting bad. And now if gonna get then? I even told the boys from Delaw are never seen them. JT: How did you learn? AH: E.G. Hudson learned me. Boy, he dead now, too. That was another one of my friends. Good friend. I worked with him on a dredge boat when I first started dredging. I mean, I was young, but I made good money. Back then, he was that was big money back then. But I remember sometimes around here, when some people
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 31 he was paying me fifty dollars a week, and my daddy, he was working for five. JT: Did you learn anything in parti cular from your father? AH: No. My father, he always worked for somebody else. He never did work for hisself. He never did work for hisself. No. JT: Why is that? AH: Well, I tell you. Mama my mother all the time, every time he tried to do something, she wo nothing ab out it. Poor fella, he was easy going. He never did do it. But he used to help me. He worked with me, he worked with me. My daddy used to paint. Yeah. Oh, he was a good man. He was a go od man. I got to say that for him. He was a good man. JT: AH: Yeah. JT: AH: Well, I can tell you a who JT: What about storms? AH: one time, we was down the bay. We was crabbing, and I started up here and I got down it drove so hard I h ad to turn around and go back. A boy called me I
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 32 went in a little creek; I had thirty barrels of crabs on my boat and he called me up and say, come on in here, take my truck, and go home tonight. Put the crabs on my truck and you can go home. Well, I had t o leave from down there in Lynnha Lynnh aven. Have you ever been in ock at night, maybe later than that. He lent me that old truck, and she was tall. But I was gas then, and I put them on him. He carried them away next day. Next morning, I went on back. And from that day till this, I never did see the boy that I borrowed the truck from. He lent me his truck, and I never did see him. But I knew him, talked to him, but I never did see him JT: Wow. AH: We used to conch all the time, and go over to Cape Charles. Tied up in Cape morning at t leave out of there, that other Tangierman his name was Laurie Pritt he used
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 33 to drive his car all the time. H ne nig ht, me and him and another boy. Well, dark was coming on, and he runned out of gas. So he said, A.J., gotta were shoving. I was sitting there laughing. I looked at them I said, darned if the Oh, we had many a times, many a good times. Many a good times. I enjoyed that, I mean, back then. Many a good times. JT: I heard from the last lady I talked to that sometimes you all play pranks on each other. Is that true? AH: Oh, yeah. Yeah. We would do that, yeah Y eah, that boy E.G., all the time. He was something else for that. Back when we first started working, you could fish on a Saturday, and runs on up the bay, he would take them old sinkers and stuff, and put them in my bed, and put them underneath the pillowcase and everything. So I told him na get in the bunk. When I did, I run into them sinkers But he was something. He done so much to me. Another time, I was dredging crabs with him. After we finished crabbing during the day, I told him I would in the bunk and lay down. So I laid down, and he went and got a pair of pliers, crawled over to my toe, and
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 34 I get up. And he heard me, and he said, now, you promise you he let me go. Do stuff like that, you know? So he was something. TH: How long have you been over here interviewing? JT: About two weeks. TH: Oh, you have? Oh, okay. So you have AH: Do what? [INTERRUPTION IN INTERVIEW] AH: Marlin. And this is the truth. We was up that day fishing. We had cut out that nobody on there but me and him and two engineers. That was all. He was the pilot, and we was with Paul Everett at that time. We got cau ght in that wind back out by the beach. I mean, she blew. I thought we were gone that time. And back the first boat or not. They got two life boats you take up on each si de of the foolish trick for me to do, but I done it. I went back. Boy, when I come by the engine room door, that wind that went by me come just near knocking me overboard as anything in the world. And then we got in the bay; wind was to the North. We went up that bay; we got on this side of the bay. We thought it would
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 35 leaking and everything. But he was a nice man. He was from Carolina, from Carolina. JT: AH: No, not right now. [Laughter] JT: [INTERRUPTION IN INTERVIEW] AH: I had a goat hooked up to a cart. That was all I had. I never had a new bicycle. I had an old bicycle. And that goat, I used to ride him from down at where we live what they call a c artboard had n o pony. I did keep one one time for a fella, but as far as having myself, I always wanted one. [INTERRUPTION IN INTERVIEW] AH: ellow one time up Delaware, and everything we done that day went wrong: tore the net up, never caught no fish. So, every night, he used to take him one or two drinks. He come down the full pit
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 36 know where any one is at. So he went looking. And he found a black suitcase. Somebody had drawn a white skeleton on it. He said, oh, hell! He bought the suitcase from the man for thirty five dollars. Willy West right out here Morgan is the one that had the suitcase. He brought the suitcase, took his clothes out it, throw the suitcase overboard. That he did. That is true. That is true. TH: AH: clothes out on the line. Always want a man to come to t he house first no woman. TH: AH: Me and Hubert I.P. Hudgins run a store through here. Oh, he was good to me, too. I used to go through there and carry, haul feed around. Back then, people would have hogs and chickens and everything. He carried feed. Anyhow, I went something? Get a little laugh? I said, what you want to do, Hubert? He said, go that was his aunt living in back of his house put that hat on. So me and my sister, I done it. I got going across that field, had that bonnet on and she hollering, my God, get back
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 37 TH: AH: TH: JT: to say something about chicken? TH: Yeah, they always said taking chicken on a boat was bad luck. JT: Taking a live chicken? TH: Fried chicken, fried chicken. AH: Blow. It would blow. Yeah. And I knew a man down here one time, he was ays go to the TH: AH: house, make sugar stew. Anyhow, she made it some night, she made sugar stew, and she put it outdoors to cool off. She had a lit tle dog named Blacky, and he went out there and got in the sugar stew, eat the sugar stew mouth open. Had to take cold water to open his mouth. [Laughter] But old people back then, I mean, everybody enjoyed theyself. Cal used to be an old man Albert
TMP 035; Hurst; Page 38 he was more happy worked on a farm one time. The road was so long, when you got to the end you had to shoot flares at night. [Laught er] To let everybody know you got there all right. He said one night he went somewhere, and the fog got so thick on him, he said he figured out whereabout he was at. He said he cut off, he went and walked up far and he looked down. A snake right there, put the line on him. [La ughter] But do you like Mathews? [End of interview ] Transcribed by: Jessica Taylor, October 1, 2014 Audit edited by: Patrick Daglaris, October 10, 2014 Final edited by: Jessica Taylor