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 061 Interviewee: David Teagle Interviewer: Austy n Szempruch Date: October 24, 2014 S: n Szempruch at Mathews County Library and I am with? T: David H. Teagle. S: And it is October 24, 2014. Now we were tal king earlier about . C an you go into detail about we were just talking about it, I . T: [Laughter] Well Hudgins from this county. My dad m et her and married her sometime in the late 20s. I was born November 1, 1934, s which y years old. My dad came down here from Gloucester County w here the Teagles, where we came from and lived. Got this nice young lady and I was fortunate enough that she was my mother and ended up being m y mother for many years. Being a Hudgins which in this county encompasses a lot of area and a lot of people because probably the predominate family last name in this county from the beginning and even up now, tremendous number of Hudgins that are here. So to be a Hudgins hrow a little thing in there on m y Teagle family. My ancestor, the first that came to Virginia, is buried at Abingdon Episcopal Church in Gloucester County which is an old colonial c hurc h. He was buried there in 1728. S longevity to some of the Teagle s cause w e being still around. My time in Mathews was so great down here, and this was be during a period during World War II just before and after. My grandfather W. Frank Hudg ins was born in the county, had business in the county, and lived down at Digg s Post Office which is roughly four miles from
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 2 this library talking. He was a w ater man to a degree in those days; he also had some cattle, he was a b utcher. He did butcher work. I n those days ometimes people prepared stuff at home and not being much refrigeration in those days were it would get well [Inaudible 2:37] Captain Frank captain bu Said, Captain Frank butcher a steer tomorrow. Word would get around and everybody when they actually got it slaughtered, had to skin it of course and then put it in a place and cut it up. Then sold the me at I guess too much time until you had to put it in a stove or eat it and everything. One trick that my mother used to do over in Gloucester when we had some things and there again efrigeration at that point in time and I can remember her doing it. We had a big dug well that went down in the ground. Prior to that the home where I gre w up the well w as probably twenty five, twenty eight fee t deep. She had a bucket of course, she had a bucket to get water out of the we ll, but she had another bucket. S of milk in there in the summertime and lower it down in t hat well. It was, what? Fifty four, fifty six degrees see down in that well. Th at was refrigeration. S: Ok ay oh al l r ight. T: You see to chill it and keep it, because in the summer time you got it from a cow one day t was cooler. In the summe r time it was warm so it was not pasteurized milk.
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 3 S: Right. T: So in the same way here in Mathews p eople did whatever they could. T hey used that trick. Then later, even before World War II, they had an ice plant in the county that manufactured ice. igh school. They delivered ice to the homes, delivered it by truck two men on a truck. Big truck, it had big canvas that covered the back. You could get twenty fiv e pounds, fifty pounds, seventy five pounds, or a hundred s four things. The way you let the ice m an know whether you wanted ice see like my grandfath place, the state road was out here and it was p robably four, five hundred yards down to the farm rive in that road to deliv er ice unless you needed it. You had what they called an ice box. I but taller and had two doors and it re frigeratio n you had. If you had that you could put meat and milk in there and they had a little I wish I had one of them no. T hey had a little sign, the ice company would put it there. It was almost square but it was like this piece of paper here and it had lik e a hundred at the top, seventy five h ere, and fifty here, and twenty five here. Now see whichever way you oriented it so the man could read it when he came up in the i ce truck you put i a hundred pounds that day. S: Right ok ay
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 4 T: They drive down the road and give you the hundred pounds. Then next time if you could turn it the othe r way, being square on and four sided you had the perfect definition of what you needed. S: Yeah. T: S: T hat is a good idea. T: I would give something to have my hands on one of those, but anyway So my grandfath er would slaughter this animal. A nd in the wintertime, they slaughtered their own hogs and then they made sausage, they cured hams. They cured h em. Like I said my grandfather had a little building up here in the Courthouse right down the street here, I think anything remains of it. But he smo em, peop ne of the things that he was so proud of in his life five or six years old when he first told me about that. He was a Spanish American War veteran and he spent time in Cuba I guess he saw some battling; he never talked about it an awful lot. But he and some other Spanish American War veterans from around the nation th round in Washington D.C. until his health w ut he was proud of that. He had boats, he oystered, you could get oysters off the y ou can em off the shore here but in those days you c ould go in any creek and you could get oysters worth I mean
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 5 em out, open them. He had oysters, he caught fish in the summer down around that area, around Diggs, around the water, around New Point. There we re beaucoups of pound fishermen They put nets out on sticks not the way it is today, a e some one in your family was a fisher man. So me of them worked on the fishing boats, helped out with the man that owned the fish rigs. Of course they c ould bring fish home to eat. So probably, fish and oysters were a staple of food in this county and in Gl a lot of water surrounds the c ounty I live in. I remember m y g randfather when I got old enough to kind of come down here and stay on my own a few days and my mother would go back up to Gloucester take of things, my grandfather had a sail boat. If I remember, find a picture of that boat but I think she was about twenty feet long built here in the county One thing I remember about it the doggone sails they Mylar and all the stu They were c anvas, heavy canvas. I can remember o ne day helping my grandfather. H e had taken the sail off to repair it, I think, and had gotten it back to whoever repair ed it for him. A nd I helped him to take it off the dock and put it on the boat. Once you got it on the boat it had to kind of fold so it woul d come out like an accordion, you know put a line on there. But that thing was so darn h eavy for that boat that it was I mean I had all I wanted to lift on the end I had and I was probably eight or nine years old . But that was a great sailing boat. He used to take me fishing hook and line W em. In those days there were some rod and reel, but not many
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 6 the home where he kept the boat. He was right shrewd. He always timed it so that the day he wanted to fish Chesapeake Bay which from the landing to where we went was probably five or six miles under sail. S: Right. T: And the b ig oar paddle but you cou foot boat [ Laughter] A little bit harder than a canoe. S: [Laughter] Yeah. T: this particular day that he wanted to fish in the week if I remember, was usually about Thursday because the tide was still going out. W hat they call ebb tide, still going out of the bay. We wanted to go h ad a little wind what wind we had B the tide would help move the boat. S: Right. T: ear used house the of in this library. D own near that is where he wanted to fish. or not, but
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 7 d spot It depended on the time of year but I mean sometimes you catch something that big Nice eating S: T: His refrigeration was . he had a croker bag. Y ou ever heard of a grass bag called a croker sack? S: No T: stilled used some places. Som em because they kind of breath e. You know, the mesh is not too tight. em grass sack s, burlap sack some people t hey made out of burlap. So Granddaddy had one. He had a rop e in the top so he could close it up like you tighten up a draw string on a little cloth es bag or something. Put his fish in there and put them in the water and they stay alive see. S: Oh right. T: He tied it to the gunnel of the boat. H c roaker home all he did was pick th em up out of the water and lay them in the s hade up in the boat somewhere. Well, b y the time you got to the la nding they had all passed away S: Right. T: forward to coming back because he let me
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 8 of the fish coming back right th ere in the boat, and g et water out the boat in the bucket and clean them, scale them, cut the heads off, just throw them overboard for the crab. e me the helm on the boat. H ere on the other seat. And before we turned around or whichever way t he win d was some d coming up in the afternoon like that to t he afternoon was a southeast wind. I te in the summer down here coming in off the water every day unless the sail up and get have you ever sailed ? A re you a sailor? S: unfortunately. T: Oh ok ay. Well, you got a term called close haul. T sail in and get it tight and get all the wind so you leave the b oom out and tiller. I can see him right now: bi g seat across the whole stern was wide tiller went down to a thing like a rudder and you know you move the tiller and the boat change s l righ t you see that? was a tree on the shore or where, but a mile or two up the bay where we were going or something but th ere was something in the water. M aybe it was an old pound net standing in the wate r that had a l right Y ou keep that [inaudible 13:36] clean fish. That was my job
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 9 back on the tiller every once in a while cleaning fish y nd I sailed for a number of years, had my own boat. because it takes more work than an old man wa nts to do. But I still love sail bo with some friends, brought sail boats from as far north as Boothbay Main e all the u come down the coast in a sail boat. S: Yeah. T: Sometimes w to . now was it Narragansett were they have ? T hey used th ere. I Portuguese, and they got some fine beer and nice places to stop. We layover some time there, some time we layover farther down the coast. B ut kin d of got my love for sailing from the water. Also my father, h e was on boats. H e sailed on boats in the Chesapeake Bay; they used to run merchandise to Baltimore up the coast. Maritime moving back in the early 20s and on up into World War II, tremendous maritime shipping it locally. They had boats that depending on the size some of them could go up in the small rivers, so of them had to stay in the deeper water, and they ran my daddy ran on those boats for oh, probably six or seven years, over on the Gloucester side T hey ran the York River, they went down Hampton R oads make a trip to go to Baltimore at night, they carried passengers, the y carried everything. So my dad, be ing a seaman, he alway s had a small boat. So I spent a lot of time with him
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 10 now, not anything to o big. But Granddaddy Frank, who I was talking about, he went out and he was probably as old as I am now. I can remember when it happened. e but somebody called my mother. H e was like me : he was a little hard headed and somebody said, Captain Frank it hard today. D oat out the creek. An not going to tell me where to take my boat [Laughter] That kind of attitude. S: Yeah. T: He went out in the bay, out of went on out down the bay towards ger than what the wind had blowing c ame up, and he got knocked down. T he whole boat went over. S: Ok ay what happened after that? T: Once it went over like that of course the sail was up ; he was under sail once he got knocked down and that sail being out, laying out on top of the water and it caught water in it w h ere you couldn way. Some of these small sail one man little things, if you ge t knocked down, you can get over board and you can get on the keel and stand on i t and make it come back up. He [Laugh ter ] So they find him, anyway L ong story but someb ody saw him and realized that, L ord Mr. Hudgins is out there and I see the boat wn, or whatever. A nd somebody got in a p addle boat and went out there. He was just hanging on to the boat, you know like well N o big deal [ Laughter]
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 11 A nd they got him back to shore. R ight now remem be r the year he passed away but, gosh, he was way . right at ninety I would say eight nine or ninety I think when he passed away. This probably happened a number of years before that. But, he used to come over sometimes. T rees down in this pa rt of Mathews around the water. I telling yo u about over here in the smoke property where I grow up because we had some hic kory trees. I can o help t o big when they used wood to smoke the meat because I think most of the time they preferred it to dry out som e. So year w hen he getting ready to smoke and old hickory trees t hey were about as big a gallon jar or something i n my dad dy cut them up and bring them home and split it. T hat w ood was used to put on the fire. T hey wanted smoke see because you w ant to you wanted some dry w h ere it would burn some and smolder but in other words, you di smoke over in Smithfield Virginia. T hey smoke old ham there and th the old country hams in the world come out of Virginia. I mean g business over in Smithfield Virginia. Some l ocal people still will kill a ho g or two
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 12 now and then but most of us have gotten so lazy, instead of feeding a ho ra ther buy a ham around Christmas time [Laughter] S: Yeah. T: A lot less work and mess S: Yeah a little bit. T: A little bit. Well sk me some questions? Anything I can allude be glad to attempt. S: Well I usually be gin an interview by asking what your childhood was like or what your parents that already. But yeah, is there anyt hing else from your childhood into you r adolescence? T: O ne thing that I mentioned: my father and his working on the bay boats and stuff. Then I thi . 1938 I w ould have been four years old. I t w as around must have been about 36 or 37, he started running I think the shipping company was out of Baltimore Maryland. I think it was United States Mail Lines. I mean this wa s a big ship : carried stuff all across Atlantic to Germany, England, I mean ports over there. He did that for several years I can vaguely reme mber that he was gone for a long He came home, this particular trip had to be about probably 38. The German U boats I menti oned submarine warfare earlier think in those days any American shipping but they were getting active in the
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 13 Atlantic and everywhere What was it the Lusitania or something I believ e was the first one they torpedoed? S: Yeah. T: S: I think it was the Lusitania that started it. T: Yeah sinking any but my dad went into Bremen, Germany t he ship he was on and they were unloading carg o and stuff and getting stuff. O things back to o, talking about the U boats and of course they know what t he U boats were for and Ge rmany, shipping in those days. So Daddy came back home and . my mother he and I would O bviously I am four, five yea glad he was home, I was cause I was an only child and my dad had been gone for probably the best part of a month. S: Right. T: On a r ound trip over there i n those days. He told my mother. W ell my dad was used his midd le name. A nd she said, well Henry when he was a home
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 14 keeper and helped run his small farm when he was gone and stuff like that took not going back to sea. A nd she said, what do you mean ? What are we going to do? W hat are we going to eat? That was the only income, monetary incom e, the family had. He e said, hell fore long out there gonna be on a boat out there. H e was making reference to the war that was forthcoming evidently. A nd he a. He worked, he could do a lot. H e had good sk ills. He did a lot of things. We had a small farm and he did work during World War II away from hom e. The government was building down here in Newport News shipyard over in Norfolk Navy Yard, the government was puttin g up, having contractors put up houses as fast as they could s o they could take care of the influx of workers coming in these yards to build all these ships. You know we got right down here in Newport News Virginia we got one of the finest shipyards in the world. I mean they build all the carriers and everything down there. He worked on those projects to earn income. S: W h ere in Virginia? T: Right in Newport News, right sixty miles from here. S: Ok ay T: Less than that probably fift five miles from here. Newport News Ship building, well they build that cap I got on there, the Reagan up there. I was at the
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 15 six. But kind of getting aw ay from what my daddy said. Well, he did nd I can remember this it must probably 43. I can remember somebody knocking on our d in the whole community where I lived. That was at the county store; have many phones in those days. P oor country people. I went to the door and this nice dressed man he sai d, is this Henry nd I told, yeah. My mother was back in the house somewhere. And I guess I asked him to come in because in those days in the country, you were hospitable Y ding on the step. He came in and my mother came up and s he said, well can I help you? He said, y eah looking for Henry Teagle. A nd she said, well a wonderful offer for him merchant seaman and got seaman skills and he worked on boats for some more. W e need some more Merchant Marines, and remember I wish remem five dollars a week or something like that. But in 1943 twenty five dollars was a big handful of money. S: Yeah. T: They tried to recruit because they knew where he lived and they found out, like I s aid, him by phone cau ut he unless they draft me, and he was too old to be drafted you know
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 16 S: Right. T: In the m ilitary in World War II. Lot of people in my com munity that I grew up with did, like my unc l e over here that we were looking at his pictures. In t his county they supp lied a lot of people, if you were health and able it was pretty hard to get a deferment. I f you had a critical job, now if you worked in the shipyard a lot of my neighbors for Gloucester where I lived worked at the shipyard, they worked at the Naval Weap ons S tation which is on York River. Did y ou come across the York River, cross the York River Bridge coming this way? S: Yes I believe so, yeah. T: When you back across there, if you look up river to your right probably might be a big ship up there. They provide all kinds stuff : guided missile frigates, stuff for submarines. I governm ent placement over there in York County. But . i t was a good life in this c ounty even during the war I remember this, but one of my he would have been my first cousin Edwin He worked in the shipyard that I spoke of in Newport News and that was damaged m whatever T hey did a lot of repair a long with building ships during the war. They did all kinds of repair and when the y built a new ship they had to outfit the life rafts and some of the safety equipment that they had on board. They had to outfit it with food rations stuff nonperishable c anned, you know in cans kind of like some of the same stuff like G.I.s carried in the field, t hose K rations they call them. I f the ship had been damaged in a collision some of that might have been
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 17 damage a raft on there off and put all new stuff on it, and the ship was finished w h ere it was ready to go back to sea the yard might have been twenty five or thirty, forty men working in that position on the ship w he re they cleaned the rafts out and put new stuff in there. Anyway, to the people. Of course man you were glad It m ight be a little thing of coffee. I if there was coffee on life rafts. But one of the things that I remem ber were Hershey's chocolate bars and it was some other things that my m other got like what they would h bring those home in the community and word would get around. Right where I grew up over in Gloucester County there was a tremendous number of my f amily, our cousins and all around the whole neighborhood. Every body would get to together, man, and Edwin would come I can see him with this box. A was in warm weather see. M d doing most of that. But out in the yard and you d I mean some of the old er people went first. If you were a child like I was p there and get you something, if it was a candy bar left. T hat was priceless in those days S: Right. T: My mother wanted to get sugar, cof fee, gasoline, many other products were rati oned. They had a coupon book. If she went to the store to get I think for coffee you allotted so much a month that you could get. Becaus e those things, like the coffee came from what South America and down
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 18 o much on ships; they were worried about getting the oi l up here to fo r the war effort. T hat was a big time then. But Edwin bring that stuff home and everybody celebration. [Laughter] So World War II was rough, like my uncle got woun ded. When he was wounded, the War Department after the invasion of Normandy, but the family here in Mathews revived notice that Hu d son had been wounded. But t hey got the notice and as soon they heard, my mother came from Gloucester and drove down here to stay with her mother and just spend a little time with her and I came up. It was in the summer because if I remember correct Normandy invasion was June the sixth 1944 I believe. So word had Department to notify you that a relative was wounded or had been killed or whatever, but they got the notice. I can remember now, some of the neighbors came over and I remember my grandmother, the house is still down at H aven down there but on the porch screen and in summer spend as much time on that big porch as you spent anywhere else other than worki ng and doing stuff in the yard. So everybody was sitting there on rocking chairs on the porch. T here again of any of that, but they were talking about Hu d son being wound e m ve been a week two weeks maybe. Anyway my grandmother got a letter from Hu d son F inally were wounded they stated w h ere the wound was but they just stated he was wounded. He was in the hospital and that was about all the info you got. B ut
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 19 somehow my mother in law said, well, great. T his is grea t to get this letter. She said I know I remember her saying this ; he was le ft handed ok ay ? S: Mm h m. T: This writing was of a left handed person. She said, oh praise the Lord wherever he was wounded [Laughter] I remember her saying that. You know that was pretty good c omprehension from a lady that G od Mama Annie then had to be in her sixties. And he was. A machine gun or rifle bullet d offloaded his troops from the barge. T his is my memory and I could be wrong but I t hink he was unloading on Omaha B each. Anyway troops out; he go t in there far enough that they could get out without getting drowned. Of course bullets were flying everywhere. T hat was a hell of a landing there. W e lost what four thousand something troops the Allies did, rig ht there on, I think, Normandy B each. But he turned around backed off. H e was a coxswain He ran the he and anoth er guy had a mate on the barge with him. He turned around and had backed off, he was going back to his ship to get another load of troops or whatever and th bullet. B standing up there at the helm heading back H you got in the front on a bar ge to protect you going in and it hit him. I remember later he was telling everybody about it when he got home after the war an d stuff and he said, that damn thing hit me. He said, knocked me and I went right down over the wheel in the boat and my mate grabbed the wheel. Of course thank goodness where it hit him, it went through his shoulder but it kind of went in the join t. It it was so spent,
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 20 this side far enough that he said when the doctors operated and got it out even hey got back to the ship and got him in sick bay. But that took care of his time until that he aled. But after that healed, then, he went and I know he was in Iwo and Okinawa invasion both be cause we took after the Japs over there. The European Theater was slowing down a little bit right in those days. Hudson came home from the war and he was always a lively guy I mean he enjoyed life. So he wanted an automobile. Its type it was hard I he got it probably six or eight m The vehicle he got was a Hudson. Hudson got a Hudson. T here was a dealer here in Mathews down the co so fun ny, what I can remember so vividly, when he finally got the car that thing was pretty. M an she was. T hey tooled up, stopped making tanks and stuff and started building automobiles. But the only thing piece of oak, about two by eight oak, the width of the bumper was bolted on w here the frame work for the bumper came out. T he war effort had taken so much chrome that they used to cover steel for a good looking bumpe produce w probably a year after the war. He got his ne w bumpers for his Hudson. He took the planks off. Then again something for a picture of that car now family. But they put that chrome e slowest driver in the county. [Laughter] Good L ord Those guys when they
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 21 came back i f you come back from a situation Afghanistan for a year or so or eight or nine mouths and dodging missiles and bullets and H .E. D .s the explosives th ey mount in the ground . S: Right T: A nyways, anything in war is hell, I mean. But you get back from that and get back home I mean running around with your buddies and drinking some beers and driv all that stuff. A the way Hudson was. H e came home. They had a dance hall up on 198 from here called Postals. made in to a nice residence now, but I can remember that T and they danced. The boys that came home from the war a lot of his friends were around the county and they lived a happy wild life there for a while. Most of them late r got married and settled do wn. B ut he was I guess . I own my were good I loved them all. But kid that age and he got home probably from the war he got home early 46 so I was what 34, ten I was ju st old enough dare give me that. [L augh ter] M y mother would have beat his head in i I probably wanted one. But a ny the life here in Mathews and somewhat in Gloucester when the war was over, when I was growing up. I t was an interesting time. In fact o was in here a few minutes ago. His older brother did he tell you what my oldest son Peter does, did Robert tell you?
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 22 S: T: Ok ay, over in Newport News and also couches athletics. from me and my love of not loving war but heari ng about World War II when he was growing up, telling him a lot of student s interview t know how many could be up as high as forty or fifty World War II v e terans that are still living. S ome of them have passed away since he had the interview The student would be like you would be the student and Peter he would lin e everything up and sometimes they would go to the person s home, sometimes the person would come to school and sit down and do an int erview Peter to ask the question s and they put it all on tape. H great stuff from World War II. Robert loves history too even though Robert is an Education Director and C urator over King Carter Churc h over in Northumberland County, Lancaster County e doe oriented, historically oriented very well t oo, interest and all. If you want to ask me some questions that S: Oh yeah sure. T: Go ahead. [Laughter]
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 23 S: Yeah. I was curious : did you or your family have any sayings that you ever had? Like . your own personal s ayings to describe something that happens? U ou know what I mean? T: Like an article maybe or something? S: Li l ike a phrase that you might say to describe something that happens. T: y ve noticed some dialect in my talking. The people in Mathews here, especially down the county they call them New P ointers and they say well New Pointers down there a lot of them, not many now, but a lot o f the old folks when I grew up, they sa y, New Point down there in New Point. I t ld English see. Everybody settled down here in the beginning and around here : Tangier Island up the bay G uinea in Gloucester the water fa ring people in the low er part of Gloucester County. That area down there is called Guinea I mean an Italian coin I think, too why it got that name. B ut e, water faring people, hardworking, still a lot of them. And their dialect is rea lly a lot heavier and different, a little different from mine. I give you a little bit of it though: he y sir young fellow what are you doing today ? W ? W ? Y ou been at oystering today ? T you know that. T dialect that they spoke and they spoke it in the ir homes. One time with my company, the power company, whe n we were working down there, we had a new man come down. I was in the line construction crew then, had a new man come
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 24 down from Richmond was in that crew, fella. And we w ere working down there at lunchtime. I n those days, that w as back in the mid y 7 Elevens or anything else. If you want something to eat, you went to the country store. I mean, you had packed your lunch, had your own lunch box. I car ried a lunch W e were working down on near the marsh wind blowing across there. Doggone, i t was cold and I was up a pol e he was up a poll next to him I think. Anyway, the for eman hollered. We had crews then with five or six of us and had a fore go up the road let s go up to Elmer Green L They had an old wood heater in there that was heating the space, bi g as the front of this library. W e all got in there sitting around I knew a lot of the guys and I was talking with them while we were eating a sandwich. W e all bought a soft drink I guess. I notice Louis, my friend Louis Me l ton, h e was the guy who came down with the crew had been down here, I do ut lot. Louis loved to he was a great conversationalist. Finally we fi nished eating and the foreman said, al l right e looked at his watch and rolled it up like this. C ome on as only supposed the have thirty minute s for lunch, h e said, we already almost been an hour e got to get back out to work. We were in a small truck going back down to the job site, and I said, Louis are you ok ay ? that they were saying!
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 25 S: [Laughter] T: I remember that. L ord he said, what kind of language you all speaking? I said, when I got with those people the way they talk some too cause I grew up with a lot of them. We had two schools in Gloucester Co unty, two upper level schools in Gloucester in those days. All these boys went to the one down on the county and my wife, she dated some of them. She graduated from school in Gloucester County befo re she went away to college. S he could talk right along wi th them w e called her a Guinea g al because she could talk just like the kids she went to school with. They were proud of it and other people I work ed in the service station part time in Gloucester County S ometi mes some people out of town or maybe even out of state would stop in. Be some boys from down the county what in the world is this? [L e but it was so heavy dialect that it sounded different. I mean a lot of those guys then, they still speak that way. S: Yeah we actually went down to Guinea yesterday. Guineamen, but we were in the area. T: See they tell you if you go down there now they may not do it. But the real dyed in the wool ones when I was growing up, if you drove down in the car and you were say from Richmond or somewhere and you were looking for some particular place so you go dow n there. You stopp ed at one of those stores or saw
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 26 somebody walki ng down the road and you say, he y are we in Guinea yet? C an down the road a little bit, send you done the road till you got over board [Laughter] They neve r would say they were in Guinea. But people there say, down the road go on down doll. T hey lov ed to say doll, like oh darling go o it. G o down there to Elmer Green store, darling. S: Yeah [Laughter] T: I loved them; I got some got some good friend s down there. We hunted together and those boys out at school down there at Achilles the school I went to was school in those days. Tho se boys out of Guinea gonna t ell you. they were hard knockers. T hey football players, I mean they were tough. They were brought up hard, t and did ha rd work. One of them hit you, or do something you know [Laughter] T hey were rough. Good athletes every one of them that played were great athletes. Some of them went to colleges and played Division O ne in those days. Al l right give me ng al l the talking and not giving you any chance. S: O h yeah. Well with the interview I usually like to try and give what your say a much respect as possible, so I want to give you as much time as we can to talk. Unfortunately it seems like we ar e out of
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 27 that you were able to do the interview and I had never heard the Guinea speech and I thought that was really interesting. T: all get a chance to will you go back down there anywhere? If you go around some o f those s changed so much down there but if you go to a local s its one when you get down in there that was called Market I een made it kind of a shrine store. how much stuff they sel It would be nice if you could really meet some of the guys that really still speak all the time with right much accent on the English language. But uch difference you S: No not yet. T: Seaside Islands they say Those people still carry heavy dialect, a lot of them Most of them are still watermen and still work t he water they live in. From colonial days on man this area and these rivers John Smith wrote this J ohn Smith and some of his work . voyages, when he was checking t hese rivers out from Jamestown after settlement. There were reefs, the oysters were so plentiful d be ten feet of water there and the oyster reef would be up on tide maybe down low, partial t ide, would be out of the water, t here were so many oysters. S: Wow. T: Now of course h I read in the paper I might not quote the right figure but seems to me I saw in the paper
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 28 from last year that we were up about I think three hundred thousand b ushels or so out of the T pr oducer, w h ere Jamestown Island was whe re th e settlers settled and all that over there. If you ever come back on Colonial Williamsburg in there and Jamestown and R evolutionary W ar. I fabulous amount of his to bound; you could stay over there a couple weeks being the work you do and just reading and look ing at r was settled extremely early, too. It Jamestown. S: Yorktown yesterday. I thought originall y we were maybe planning on going to Jamestow been so p acked that we migh t not get a chance. T: Well, you might come back as a visitor. The Revolutionary War Center is great; they got a maritime museum right there in Yorktown. Did you get a chance to go in that? I n on the waterfront there. S: but we did like a tour of the town a nd then we went to one of like the local eateries there. T: Got the old monument up there on the hill. S: Oh yeah, yeah, we saw that.
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 29 T: T he battlefield m y oldest son Peter is a cannoneer in a R evolutionary War reproduction. What do they call when people? They fire the canon and they dress in Revolutionary clothing and everything and they hav e things like that in Yorktown. S: Oh reenactments? T: Reenactme nts. T been a pleasure talking with you. S: Yeah, I really have been enjoying talking with you. T: Come back to Virginia. but you have my name and all and i f you ever get back down here, m y son Robert his museum will over in Lancaster County. S: Yeah, hopefully T: Yeah, if you can go over there. H gonna a millionaire with what I do but I love it. And his goal is probably to get his kids out of school and give himself a l Ph. D and do some with students. He was an undergrad at William and Mary and got his master s from Virginia Tech, who got slaughtered last night in football. S: [Laughter] Oh! W ho were they playing l ast night?
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 30 T: Miami. Tech is weak this year they beat Ohio State? S: Yeah T: i ther but anyway. Robert s got some great friends up there; he goes up there every year My oldest son Thom as, is a stockbroker in Richmond, Virginia, but he and his wife went to the East Carolina game last night. Which they beat what Connecticut I think they played. S: Yeah I think so. T: They were tied up at half time twenty one twent y one I believe. S: But East Carolina w on, right? T: Yeah East Carolina came back and won it. Oh he loves East Carolina. H e buys season tickets and he and his wife and his mother, my wife Richmond with the grandchildren up there [inaudibl e 50:41] e later n talking with you. They call you Austy n or? S: Oh yes they do. T: t somebody not long ago because used much here but it makes you think of Austin , somet hing else. Keyed something in my mind, first time I heard s omebody say their name was Austyn. B name.
TMP 061; David Teagle; Page 31 S: Well thank you. T: Your family born, you born and b red in Florida? S: Yes I was. T: Oh great. S: Yes I was born in Orlando and then raised in a couple different towns in Florida and no w I live in Gainesville at the u niversity. T: my oldest son Peter his first teaching was at a private of the town it was near i too far from Orlando but [End of i nterview] Transcribed by : James Wal es April 2015 Audit edited by: Jessica Taylor April 26, 2015 Final edited by: Jessica Taylor
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