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Interview with Wallace and Nancy Twigg, 2014 October 24

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Title:
Interview with Wallace and Nancy Twigg, 2014 October 24
Creator:
Twigg, Wallace ( Interviewee )
Twigg, Nancy ( Interviewee )
Shipman, Raina ( Interviewer )
Publisher:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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Language:
English
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Oral history interview

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Subjects / Keywords:
Tidewater Main Street Development Project
Country stores
Spatial Coverage:
United States of America -- Virginia -- Mathews

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To access audio version of this interview, click the Downloads tab at the top of the page.

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UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Resource Identifier:
TMP 058 Wallace and Nancy Turigg 10-24-2014 ( 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 http://oral.history.ufl.edu or call the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program office at 352 392 7168. May 2015

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TMP 058 Interviewee: Wal lace and Nancy Twigg Interviewer: Raina Shipman Date: October 24, 2014 WT: My father was born here. My grandfather came to Mathews from Crisfield, shows Great Granddaddy in Crisfield, Mar yland with his three children, s ays nothing about his wife. I have no idea what happened to my Great Grandmother. and go there and do some research. S: WT: My father owned and operated a Chevrolet dealership with my grandfather. Great Granddaddy came here and had a general merchandise store on the Piankatank River and started the first ferry service across the river. The state came in and put a state ferry there, and later built a bridge a t the location, and the bridge is named after him. So I have a Twigg bridge in Mathews, John Andrew Twigg Bridge. So people come in that way and say, oh, that bridg e! And I s my great grandfather. S: [Laughter] So that was named after your great grandfather. WT: Great grandfather. S: Okay. WT: My grandfather, Enoch Pratt Twigg, had a Chevrolet dealership here in Mathews, Chevrolet and Oldsmobile. He became a Chevrolet dealer in 1921, and when he died in 1984 he was the eleventh oldest Ch evrolet dealer in the country. They joke about it. He also had Dodge, and the Dodge factory folks came in and said he told the Dodge people to take their Dodges and go away.

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 2 [La ughter] WT: Granddaddy served in World War I. My father served in World War II, and when he came back after World War II, he went into business with my granddaddy. They were in business there until 1985. The building is still there. Sunday on the m going to be talking about the building to people that are interested. There are two buildings, actually: one of them was built in 1923 and the other one before that. Granddaddy tried to borrow the money from the bank, and the enough money to build a brick building. They wanted him to build it out of wood. He finally got the money to do it and built the brick building, and the town burnt to that brick wall of that brick building twice after he built that. So Granddaddy was very forward thinking in thinking of that. During the [19]50s and [19]60s, there were six new car dealerships in Mathews questions did you have? S: What is your occupation? WT: rgency manager. I worked at the dealership until 1987 and I was the emergency management coordinator for the county, which was a volunteer my life and I had an opportunity to go to work for the state in 1987 My father had already sold controlling interest of the business, so I sold my portion of it and twenty re next year, go RV ing. S: Okay. Do you have any children?

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 3 WT: No, no children. S: Okay. Are you married? WT: S: When did you meet your wife? WT: I met my wife in the [19]70s, and we dated some in the [19]70s. Then we got together in the early [19]90s, and we got married. [Laughter] S: WT: went to Virginia Tech, I went to East Carolina, and she moved here with her first husband. They divorced and the rest is history. S: Yes. [Laughter] Okay. Do you have any stories that your parents told you? Did they tell you how they met? WT: My mother wa s four years older than my father. Apparently, she was very, very smart. She went to University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. But she graduated from high school when she was about sixteen, went to college, got her teaching certificate, and came bac k and taught here in the schools. So she actually taught my father in high school. [Laughter] Dad joined the navy after Pearl Harbor and served in World War II. He got tattooed in the Philippines. My y, and he got Pressy

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 4 story S: WT: Well, she taught school until I was born and then after I was old enough to fend for myself, she worked at the Chevrolet dealership. She was the office manager there and did that till she retired. It was v ery much a family business. S: You said the building is still here. What exactly is it now? WT: S: WT: automobiles of some description stored in it. There are a lot of rumors around S: What are the rumors? WT: collection of some older cars, and someone said he had a couple of books in S: Yeah. You said you have one sibling, correct? WT: Yes. S: What does he do? WT: works in Another funny story: he and I were born on the same day. Same day, same year.

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 5 Frances has always said s Wilson and I were n ot a thing alike. S: So does your sister stay in Richmond? WT: Mathews. S: Oh, she stays in Mathews. Okay. WT: Yes, she stays in Mathews. S: Okay. WT: We live next door, actually. S: WT: Younger. S: Younger, okay. Were there any war stories that your dad told you that you can recall? WT: Dad never went to boot camp. He joined up and they sent him to Norfolk. From Norfolk, he went to the Great Lakes Training Center in Chicago, I believe. Never went to boot camp. They sent him there, he was supposed to teach gunnery, you know, how to shoot the big guns on the ships and stuff. Well, Dad had never seen anything bigger than a shotgun, but the only way he could get out of that assignment was to volunteer for PT boats or submarines. Well, the submarine thing, going underwater claustrophobic, think. He always liked fast boats, so he got involved with the PT boats and went charge of a gun crew on a merchant ship and went around the world about two

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 6 and a half or three times. Thank goodness never got torpedoed or anything, came home all in o ne piece. S: Wow. Do you know how he got in the business of Chevrolet? WT: was a child. It was just a normal thing. I graduated from college in May of 1970, and I had the w eekend off. I graduated on Friday, and Monday morning I started anything. But it was just expected. When I was a teenager, I can remember I used to wash cars for fifty cen ts an hour or something, anything to make some groomed S: So how was it growing up in Richmond? WT: In Mathews. S: Oh, in Mathews. WT: Yeah. I grew up in Mathews. S: Oh, okay. So you were born in Richmond. WT: I was born in Richmond, but then I came home. S: WT: not suppo cocker spaniel named Hank ey. The neighbor had cats. Living out in the country

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 7 nd stay with him. [Laughter] Give your mother a day off. It was fun. S: Mm hm. How was college? What was the college that you WT: East Carolina. S: Oh, okay. WT: East Carolina was quite an experience. I went there on a football scholarship. My experien ce was you go from being king of the mountain in a small area like lay very long. School was interesting. Greenville, tobacco town, which was new to me. I di parties, a lot of ball games, a lot of . it was a lot of fun. I was far enough away I was like four hours and a half from home my second year I had a car, your parents too much dropping in on you to see how you were doing. [Laughter] S: So did you play football your whole life or was it something WT: I played football and then after I stopped playing football, I got involved in

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 8 t [Interruption in int erview] S: Okay You said your name is Nancy, s o Nancy Twigg? NT: Uh huh. S: Okay. So can we talk about how you two met? [Laughter] WT: I told her that we dated in the [19]70s and then we had a little off period, and then in the [19]90s you trapped me NT : Well, it was really in the [19]80s. [Laughter] WT: [Laughter] NT: [Inaudible 14:18] WT: Yeah, I know. We had a few year hiatus there that NT: We became friends first through our laws which was Emergency Medical Services. He was in the fire department and the volunteer rescue squad over here in Mathews, and I was working to bring in federal grants for emergency services in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. So, we got to become go od friends working together over a number of years, and then when the opportunity arose we started dating. S: Wow. And this was in the [19]80s?

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 9 NT: Uh huh. S: Okay. Where were you born? NT: I was born in a little town called Chambliss burg, Virginia, which is near the Blue Ridge outside of Roanoke. S: O h o kay, and how was it like growing up there? NT: Idyllic. [Laughter] NT: gave them an acre of land to build on. My father was t he eldest, and so for the longest time I had the whole farm practically to myself to just wander in, go play in the streams, and daydream, and play with all the animals on the farm. S: Do you have siblings? NT: One, a sister six years older. S: Oh, okay. What is your occupation right now? NT: S: Oh, okay. All right., wh at about your parents? What were their occupations? NT: My mother was a schoolteacher, and my father worked with manufacturing companies. S: Oh, okay. Where were the y born? NT: Daddy was born in Bedford County also, and Mother was born in Appomattox, but spent a lot of her childhood in Floyd. S: In Floyd? Okay. Did they ever tell you any stories growing up about their childhood or their occupations or anything?

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 10 NT: Well, my dad was a POW in World War II, so he carried those physical and him too much. But Mother talked about her upbringing. She was the oldest girl, so as her moth er had more children, she became a surrogate mother to her younger sisters. S: Wow. How many sisters did she have? NT: Oh, goodness. [Laughter] She had two sisters and four brothers. S: Oh, okay. Wow. So when you were growing up she was still being a surro gate mother, or was that before you were born? NT: Grucose family. When the weekends came, we would take off to the Blue Ridge or Peaks of Otter for picnics and just having fun together. Even as we got older and took extensive vacations like to Bar Harbor, Maine or Hilton Head, South Carolina, we would go together. S: Okay. And you said you worked bringing in federal grants? NT: Right. S: Okay. H ow was that? How did that change over the years? NT: Well, it was probably a thankless job [Laughter] looking back on it. But I know it made quite an impact on the area because believe it or not, up till the mid [19]70s, there was no training for the sheri ff departments; there was no official training for the fire departments or the rescue squads. So with the rescue squads, they had to have medical directors before you could have cardiac or with the

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 11 hospitals and get their support before you could even start those programs. A few of them had started it in the area, but mostly in the urban areas. So I was even like K ing and Queen, and bring in expensive pieces of equipment that they needed like what they call the A.L.S., ambulances, for the fire departments we of the state of the art eq uipment. WT: Can I go back a little step before that? NT: Well, let me finish one more and then also it was very important, was communications, being able to talk to everybody and the hospital. I put up several communications towers which still are there t oday and in use. WT: Back in the [19]40s and [19]50s and early [19]60s, funeral homes in rural areas commonly provided the ambulance service. The same vehicle, the hearse that they would use to take you to the graveyard was also an ambulance. I remember v plug out and set this bar you see on emergency vehicles. It was just this one big light. NT: Like you see in movies. [Laughter] WT: It rotated, and they plugged it in. La Band Aid in there. They had a stretcher and they had an oxygen tank, and that was it. It was funny: the o ne over here had two stretchers, and if they got an ambulance call from a doctor, rescue call, if it was a male patient, they would use the stretcher with blue sheets on it. And if it was a female patient, they used the

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 12 stretcher with pink sheets on it. Anyway, in 1968 the feds enacted a law that said if st ates wanted to continue [Interruption in interview] WT: That if states wanted to continue to get highway money, they would have to enact this law. What that entailed was, was that these funeral homes would have to have two people, they would have to have a basic amount of first aid were already a few around in the more urban areas, but now they ha d these federal guidelines that they had to follow. Well, what Nancy was doing, she was working for this organization called the Peninsulas Emergency Medical Services Council. The council would have an executive director, which is what Nancy was, ones that would actually write the grants to get federal money to help these rural rescue squads get the equipment and stuff they needed to meet the federal ng way, I can tell you that. I can remember my here to Richmond, which was over an hour, probably hour and a half trip riding in the back of that old Cadillac hearse sitting ther e holding her hand with the oxygen mask on her face and that thing going, phhh! My father, Wallace Twigg, Sr., was one of the organizers of the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad. It organized May of 1968. NT: So he grew up with it.

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 13 S: Okay. WT: Yeah. So I got N T: WT: Radios to talk to the hospital. Well, none of that existed. None of it. So, we have S: So if there was a probl em, you would call and they would communicate to the funeral home? WT: Yeah. NT: Yeah. WT: The funeral home there was no 911. S: Oh, okay. WT: NT: Much later, mm hm. WT: The funeral home was the only Mathews had four hour NT: Mm mm, no, he did not. WT: If you knew his home number, you could call him at home. NT: A lot of the sheriffs that I worked with, they were farmers, too. WT: Yeah, they had other jobs.

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 14 NT: So when I needed to talk to him, I had to go out in the middle of the farm. [Laughter] WT: Yeah, she had to go get him off the tractor. NT: Yeah. WT: But the funeral home was the only EMT in Mathews County that had a twenty four hour phone service. They had a very sophisticated phone switch over here couple of buttons and the phones would be transferred to their residence. S: Oh, okay. WT: And if they had a fire, they would call the fire chief who lived down the road or his wife and somebody would go to the fire station. The fire station had this huge button and the siren would go off, and that told the volunteer firemen that there was a fire. So everybody had to come to the fire station to find out where the fire was. S: Wow. So there were volunteer firemen? WT: Yeah, still are. S: Oh, okay. WT: Volunteer fire. Th e emergency medical services here in the county are partially paid. We have a lot of people who live here in the county who are paid paramedics or firefighters on the peninsula, in Newport News or York County or Williamsburg. But they live here. Most of th em work twenty four hours on and like

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 15 forty eight off or some type of shift like that. Then in their off time, they provide a service here in the county, too. NT: I would just like to add one thing: that what helped make the process smooth for the rural a reas and sped up the process of improving emergency care was that the urban areas agreed to support the rural areas and let them have the majority of the money. That kind of cooperation about it. I guess you could today because you still work with the groups. But back then that was a big wow. S: NT: understan ding th ere was a greater need, and that w e all needed to be able to work together at times. incident or whatever, then it hurt everybody, all the population. WT: So when I was in my twenties after college he re working at the car dealership, I spent a lot of time doing volunteer fire calls and EMS calls. I still got paid. like that. During the workday, a lot of people here in the county work in Newport News at the shipyard or military post on the peninsula, and there are not a whole lot of people around here. Still the case today. S: Do you remember any specific stories fro m volunteering or with the EMS or anything like that? WT: Oh, my goodness.

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 16 NT: [Laughter] We have so many. S: NT: You can tell her about the time you almost drowned at the nursing home. WT: Oh. Well, when I was fourteen years old I used to hang out at the fire house. Anytime I got the opportunity I just loved in 1952 NT: Mm mm. It was a little later. WT: so all the guys the sheriff and the state police and the fire guys and all were all gathered at the fire house. I was in there just listening trying to find out what was going on. been assigned here. Maybe [19]62. Yeah, 1962. He volunteered to take the jee p had a little jeep there and ride down to the southern part of the county to check on the nursing home. There was a seventy seven bed nursing home down at New Point in the lower portion of the county. It was so low that it had an earthen berm built around it to keep the tide out if the tide got real high, and then if the rainwater or whatever got inside, they had a gate they could open a valve and let the water drain out at low tide. Anyway, we went down there. I remember we were walking around that place and it was water over my ankles I had boots on, of course in this nursing home. And all these old people, they were people laying in bed and they were . so, we came

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 17 out and instead of coming out like we went in and turning and going back to the jeep, I decide d I was gonna cut across and head straight to the jeep. Well, I tripped over a flowerpot or something that was underwater. The trooper said one minute I was there and the next minute I was completely submerged underwater, soaking wet. This was Ash Wednesda y. I think it was in April, March, something like that. The water was cold. The night before, we had snow flurries. I was cold. Anyway, when the trooper retired he made a comment at his retirement ceremony that he was proud of me that day. He was the one t hat first got me interested emergency management. [Laughter] WT: Anyway . NT: You form such a camaraderie with these people be cause you go through the good and the bad that you see in life. WT: You save puppies. NT: Yeah. Well, you birth babies. WT: Yeah. NT: [Laughter] His daddy was so proud. He birthed two. S: Oh, wow. WT: Yeah. NT: He was so proud of him. WT: anyway. S: This was at her house?

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 18 WT: Well, we went to her hous e and got her, and it was in the middle of winter and the roads were snowy and icy. We were trying to get her to the hospital in ambulance. We get there, and we get her into this littl e examining room, and it was three of us. [Laughter] We were like falling all over each other trying to get popped right out! It was a . NT: Easy birth. [Laughter] WT: S: So that was the first time you WT: Yeah. Oh, yeah, that was the first time and only time. [Laughter] WT: I try to stay away from them. S: So you had no formal tr aining or anything? WT: Well, we had the basic emergency medical technician training. I remember they show you a movie. They showed us a movie that was produced by the navy [Laughter] NT: So far from re ality. WT: Yeah, yeah. It was like, oh! But it happens. I mean, phew! S:

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 19 WT: buildings that are on fire when everybody else is running out. In my real job, I was involved in the response to the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. I got to go to the Pentagon; I was up there for almost two weeks. Actually went to the Pentagon and went where the plane went into it. Th at was very traumatic. Yeah, it was. S: Yeah, what was that like? WT: just never get over. The like for them. I mea n, they were wading through jet fuel and water and there were human remains. It was very traumatic. Very traumatic. People ask if I want to go mean, I was just there. NT: Helping with the recovery. S: WT: Yeah, actually I was the state liaison officer that assisted Arlington County, which is where the Pentagon is located. We helped them get supplies: the Tyvek suits, the littl e white coveralls, and hazmat stuff. They were tearing them up because of suits sent to you. Everything had to come by truck. Boots were a big problem, and we found a manufacturer in the Midwest Indiana, Iowa, or somewhere

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 20 dependent you are on air freight to bring stuff in q uick. NT: What about the John Deere that was a wonderful WT: I was sitting there one day. There was a John Deere place in James City County John Deere product called a Gat wheel drive or six wheel drive little thing, looks like a mini dump truck that you can drive around your farm or around your property. John Deere Gators? I said, well yes sir. I think the Gators would be great. He said, well how many do you need? I said, ing, wow, man, this is makes you . but people were donating everything. In the Emergency Operations Center in Arlington County, we probably had anywhere from thirty to forty people there all the time, and a few less at night. Those people, you gotta that, but we had restaurants that were donating. Outback Steakhouse would send over dinner for thirty. We got one meal from the White House. They had some function planned and of course, everything had been cancelled and put on hold and postponed or whatever while all this was going on, so we had a meal come to getting a meal at the White House. Then we also had a lot of very well

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 21 that. S: Yeah, I was about to say. WT: r] NT: from. [Laughter] WT: Well, here. NT: Yeah [Laughter] [Inaudible 37:01] WT: Parties and different ones, different fast food organizations are very helpful with volunteer really renews your faith in m ankind that there really are good people out there. S: So was it really a lot of commotion the entire two weeks you were there? WT: on federal property within the county; the Pe ntagon belongs to the federal fire trucks; have a fire department, so Arlington County Fire Department was actually in the fire s in charge of the situation, fire or worse So

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 22 he was in charge for, I believe, twelve or thirteen days and then he relinquished control of it to the FBI. But you had different military groups that wanted t o take over and do this and do that. The fire chief maintained he was in control. It was just a matter of we quickly went from the response mode of the crash getting the fire put out and all its NT: Be respectful. WT: S: So how was it living in a small town? I know both of you grew up in a small town. So is it like, family, community, like y ou know everyone, or WT: Oh, yeah, everybody. You knew everybody. Being in the car business, I knew everybody by the car they drove. If a car went by and I saw it was a blue Chevrolet four and wha drinking water out of a hose and eating dirt. [Laughter] NT: WT: no matter if you had a bad head or whatever. Your mother made you get up and go to church. You had to do that until you moved away from home. [Laughter] So well, got less than ten thousand people in Mathews County. So you can know everybody, and now, you can go to the post office or the grocery store and you may know or recognize

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 23 twenty five percent of the people. A lot of folks from other areas have moved here. A lot of people have retired and moved here. We have a very, very large retirement community in Mathe organization, but we still have the volunteer fire and emergency medical services. ay them to provide that service. We and they had to put that in because of the schools and the environment. But we have a very nice ome type of crime here is we had a murder here a few years ago. A VCU student was found dead she died in Richmond or died here. But she had some family here and the guy that w ent to jail for it had been here before. I was on the grand jury, and he probably thought he could dump her remains here and get away with it. But you NT: identify who probably the suspects [Laughter] because we are a small up or people moved in. WT: Well, sometimes it seems that the sheriff [Laughter] spends ninety percent of his time policing ten percent of the population. NT: Mm hm. Typical.

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 24 WT: You know who S: Yeah. WT: Who the problems are and where they live. But som etimes it seems that way. NT: When I moved here to this area in the mid [19]70s, Mathews County was already one of my favorite counties. The men would walk down the street and they all had their hats on and they would tip their hats to the ladies. Everybod y said hello to you on the street. WT: They took their hats off when they came in the building. NT: Yeah. [Laughter] NT: But I mean, they were really just outgoing and friendly people. WT: somewhere else. S: Okay. An d how old were you when you moved to Mathews? NT: I moved right after oh, well, when we got married. But I moved to Gloucester originally, right after college. S: Oh, okay. NT: An one? WT: Twenty one.

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 25 S: over the years? [Laughter] WT: of businesses th [19]50s and [19]60s, there were dealers here for all the major automobile manufacturers. There were six new car dealers in the county. You could buy lothes, you walk in a store, there was a Ben Franklin five and dime store where you could get NT: WT: Sibley had have any clothes or anything, but they had all kinds of notions. You could buy hotdogs by the pound NT: Cheese. WT: You could buy cheese. Cheese. The old cheeses used to come in a big round, and it was covered with this wax ma terial. You could go in there, and if you wanted how much ever you wanted, they would like cut a slice out of this big have all kinds of stuff in there. S: So was it like a gro cery store? WT: service: you pull up and they come out and pump your gas. A lot of them as a

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 26 convenience to their customers would sell bread and milk. So you could get a fresh loaf of bread or a quart of milk or whatever because the grocery stores we had one or two grocery stores, but they closed at like six or seven NT: r. WT: We had two movie theaters. There was one across the street here for a while. that was open for movies into the [19]70s, I guess or something. That was about the only place the kids had to go on the weekend. I had a date one night when I where we were going and I in the spring [Laughter] WT: NT: You hope! WT: Either that or he knew and just was tes ting me. [Laughter] S: Okay. And how did you get into that career? NT: [Laughter] I came in kinda through the back door. I was hired to do public relations for the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, and at that time there was also a Coastal Management Program. They were starting to focus on any, so many people that

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 27 worked on the water and made their livelihood from it. We could see the effects of the seafood business changing. So, we went out, made slideshows, took slides working with the boat builders, the men that worked on the water, what seafood was brought into the area, and we had a two week workshop and festival surrounding that, trying to raise public awareness. During that time, people in the Planning District Commission were leaving for other positions inside usually some of the coun ties around, and it just left a void and so I would S: Okay. What did both of you go to college for? What was your majors? WT: I was a business major. I was a party major. [Laught er] WT: Partying and football. I finally decided it better be business. [Laughter] S: So you majored in business because you knew you were probably going to go into WT: NT: t have marketing or communications programs in the colleges yet. But most of my career has been marketing and public relations. S: Oh, okay. Can you remember any specific stories that stand out to you from working in that field or any out of the ordinary experiences? NT: Well from working with local government, I eventually ended up working for a wireless company which was called Contel Cellular at the time, which now has

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 28 grown to be Verizon. I worked all throughout the state, and I guess because it tied i nto the emergency response, there was a tornado that went through Petersburg and tore the roof and all right off a Wal Mart there during the daytime. WT: Killed three people. NT: Uh huh. Our people in Richmond, we had certain people that were designated fo r lending out phones to events, and they just saw the need immediately as soon as they heard about it. They got as many cell phones in the car as they could take and headed for that area to hand out to the policemen and the fire and the rescue people where they could communicate. WT: NT: Yeah, but then it was still a precious commodity. [Laughter] WT: And an expensive commodity. NT : And they were big, real big. [Laughter] S: What year was this? NT: Do you remember? WT: That was early [19]90s, I think, like [19]93 maybe [199]3. Yeah, yeah. The tornado went through the city of Peterburg and the city of Colonial Heights and tore the hell out of a Wal Mart store. I mean, it destroyed the Wal Mart store. Just looked like somebody just, whoosh! It was of course full of shoppers and it was in

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 29 walking through the p arking lot and they were all in boxes, and she had this armload of cellular phones. Do you need a phone? NT: What do you say to that? Do you want one? [Laughter] NT: WT: someone in authority a fire chief or police officer or do you need a phone? . S: Is there a lot of tornadoes that come through here? WT: Midwest where you have Tornado Alley. The main thing that we prepare for around here are hurricanes. We are a low lying area susceptible to flooding, and we got a lot of beau tiful big tall pine trees. [Laughter] WT: the power lines. NT: Leave you for seventeen days without electricity. [Laughter] WT: Isabel a few years ago or what? Thirteen or fourteen days. NT: Yeah. Some people went on and on. WT: electricity. NT: Everybody has generators here. [Laughter] That prompted it, that event.

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 30 S: Okay. An d how was it working with the Chevrolet business? WT: It was very . I was starting to say rewarding, but it was good. Yo u sold new cars, used cars, and you did a lot of repair work and you did a lot of maintenance work car every year. [Laughter] WT: NT: How many cars have we had? [Laughter] WT: the last three. NT: WT: tow our RV across the country and around. S: Oh, exciting. WT: So I need a new truck to do that. S: You deserve it. [Lau ghter] So how long ago did both of you retire? NT: WT: S: WT: NT: five. [Laughter]

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TMP 058; Twigg; Page 31 WT: when you marry a younger woman. [Laughter] S: Is there anything that you specifically wanted to talk about here? I know its Share Your Stories. NT: hing. S: Okay. It was nice talking to you guys. WT: Thank you. NT: Thank you very much. [End of interview ] Transcribed by: Jessica Taylor May 31, 2015 Audit edited by: Zubin Kapadia June 2, 2015 Final edited by: Jessica Taylor


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