Title: Interview with Nathan L. Stricklin
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007138/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Nathan L. Stricklin
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: Lumbee County (Fla.)
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007138
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Lumbee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: LUM 151

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Full Text


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

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LUM 151 A

INTERVIEWER: Marilyn Taylor (T)

INTERVIEWEE: Nathan L. Stricklin (S)

DATE OF TAPING: KWi August 1, 1973

T: .'73. My name is Marilyn Taylor, I'm recording for the
Doris Deek Foundation for the American/Oral Studies Program.

Today I am at Wood's Department Store which is a relatively

new store here, and the manager of the store has graciously

consented to give an interview for which we are grateful.

I'll let him tell his full name and where he's from and so

on, so will you give us your full name and spell that. I

think there is a little bit of difference from what we've

known it.

S: My name is Nathan L. Stricklin. I spell it S-t-r-i-c-k-l-i-n.
T: And while Wt have the mike would you tell us why you changed

it. Most people use it--I believe it's, S-t-r-i-c-k-l-a-n-d.

You changed it for a reason, I think, didn't you.

S: I changed mine for the reason of keep people from writing

checks on me about 35; 23, 24 years ago.

T: In other words this is a very common name and you found that

there, uh, the whole name is it common, I mean, uh. .

S: Oh yes.

T: The Nathan Stricklin.

S: Nathan Stricklin right.

T: How many would you say would be in this area or general area?

Or is there many listed in the phone directory?

S: Oh, there are 4,000--5,000 Strickland's in this area.

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

T: In this area.

S: Right.

T: Would you say this is identified as an Indian name? Or do you

find this name among all races Is it predominantly Indian and

European, I mean. ..

S: In this area, yes. In Donarey, Smithfield, Salmillium, Strickland's

are white up there. There more, well actually there are more

Strickland's in that area than there are here.

T: O-kay, for clarification since I spelled it the other:way, you

tell us again how you spell it 'cause, uh, not that we don't

want any more bad checks written on you any way.

S: Uh, S-t-r-i-c=k-l-i-n. I just don't put the a-n-d on it.

T: Um-hum (affirmative), I see. Tell us how long you've been

living in Pembroke.

S: I've been living in Pembroke since 1966, 64-66, but I've

lived within ten miles of Pembroke all my life.

T: So you say, uh, Pembroke would be your home.

S: Uh, yes, right.

T: You've been here all the time. Have you lived away from home

any part of your life?

S: None.

T: None whatsoever. In the service or anything?

S: No ma'am. I was fortunate to miss the service, maybe it could

be misunfortunate, I don't know.

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

T: All right, what--how did you come about to be-we'll start

here and go back a little bit in some of your background--

How did you come to be the manager of Wood's store here.

This is a shopping center more or less and I noticed its

being built onto all the time. Maybe you more know about

this than I do and can tell us some of the future plans but

what the original question was, I think, how you came about

to be the manager of the store.

S: Well, uh, I was manager of the Pembroke F-C-X which is a

co-op for ten years, and I guess with my experience there

I'm sure is a reason that I got the job here. I just--I

really wanted to get out of the type work I was in. It was

predominantly credit, uh, business with the F-C-X, and I

got fed up with credit people. It was just hard to collect

from them and I--the experiences I had there I'd just--my--

it was easy to get the job here, real easy.

T: And how long did you work with the F-C-X?

S: Uh, 13 years, I was manager for ten and I was assistant manager

for three years before I become manager.

T: For the benefit of those of our listeners in--to understand

this--will be in other parts of the country and uh, perhaps

F-C-X is a national thing, I'm not sure of that, is it?

S: It's only a. ..

T: Would you explain to us a little something about what F-C-X

is about.

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

S: Well, F-C-X is a farmer, uh, owned organization. It more

or less serves farmers-and two Carolina's. They have some-

where in the neighborhood of 80 stores, that's including their

wholesales--wholesale outlets--and it's predominantly owned

by the farmers iia the two Carolina's and, uh, they deal

primarily in feed, farm supplies, fertilize,,,stuff that the

farmers uses.

T: So what you're saying, is that the farmer lives sort of a

year ahead of himself. He comes in to buy for production

items and then pays for them when the harvest .

S: Right. Once a year Most, I'd say we did somewhere in the

neighborhood, the last year that I was there, $750,000 and

I'd say $525,000 of it was credit.

T: You're dealing now, predominantly if I understand it correctly,

and maybe I don't, but it's completely retail. Uh, I'd like

for you to tell us something about how Wood's operates. I

know it's uh, to just say Wood's Department Store in some

areas, the people wouldn't understand just what lines and

products is carried and so on First of all tell us the

difference your--perhaps maybe some adjustments you had to

make coming from credit business to retail and the difference

in people. You have all kinds of people to deal with, do you


S: Well, this isn't--was not near as, uh, hard for me to get

4 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

adjusted to as it was in the credit business. The biggest

problem I had--I've had here since I've been here is learning

the different procedures of buying merchandise and here, say

at the F-C-X where we had 500 items, here we've got 5,000

items. This is, uh, Wood's is identified as a five and ten

cent store.

T: But we don't have much five and ten cent items anymore, so

tell us some of the items that you do deal with, uh, almost

you could furnish the house, I guess, and perhaps you could

go on with the clothing and so on. I'll let you cover those


S: Well, the, uh, our biggest, uh, well in other words where

our money items are at is in ladies wear. In other words

your dresses--almost anything that the ladies got to have

and children. We got some men's clothes in the men's depart-

ment then we got your hardware department which consisted

of all your plastics, your plates (?) uh, cookware, um

we've got your a fish department, uh, your notion department.

T: This fish. This is like gold fish and tropical fish.

S: Right. Your tropical fish and fish supplies. Um, but this is

entirely something new with me. I've only been here since--

well I've been with these people since January and we opened

this store April the 5th, but uh. .

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

T: Well did you find that you had to--was it required to any

training, or did the uh, say your supervisor or the people

ahead of you have you--did they help you in adjusting to

these problems that you were confronted with.

S: Oh, I worked at another store for six weeks. If you've

managed one store, I'd say it would be a lot easier coming

from the F-C-X to this store than a man going from this

store to the F-C-X store.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). Explain that statement.

S: Well, here, you don't have as much, uh, bookkeeping system

to go through, your biggest problem you've got here is keeping

merchandise on your shelves. You don't have to worry about

delivering it, you don't have to worry about keeping up trucks

and whatnot, you don't have to worry about your accounts, you

don't have to worry about charging it and keeping up with. that,

here your biggest problem is keeping it on the shelves and you

just don't have a near the bookkeeping system, the learning

your credit policies and what-not that a man would have to

learn going in with the F-C-X. In other words you can come in-

see I come in here at six weeks and I started off managing

this store, where if a man left out of this store he'd have

to have at least a year's experience to run a store at F-C-X.

T: I see, so you're perhaps in a better position than some of

them, the managers. Tell us how the localities of Wood's--

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

is it national, or just in the southern part or so on. I

should know, but I don't.
S: Wood's is/located in the two Carolina's also.

T: In the two Carolina's. But it seems that they're really growing

or is it just my observation almost every town they have two

or three stores in different shopping areas. Can you tell us

approximately how many stores they do have?

S: Wood's -- they only have 28 stores. They've put in, of course

they only started expanding in the last two or three years.

They've put in two stores this year and I believe their plans

are to go in with two in '74. They always try to open the

new stores the first of the year, after Christmas when the

business is a little bit slow.

T: How did it come about that we would get a Wood's store here

in Pembroke. I know this is a part of a shopping area, and

tell us the other stores and plans perhaps, um, the plans

that this is a shopping area and I think we have a bank and

Wood's and any other stores.

S: Well, Piggly-Wiggly's which is a grocery store, is now

Piggly-Wiggly's nationally. I believe they are in all states.

They're supposed to open the 7th of this month, next week.

They're supposed to open next week, uh, the 7th. It may be

the latter part of the week, but their plans are to open next

week and how Wood's, uh, it came about that they got this store,

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

I don't, uh, the man, see this place is built and owned by

the bank, this store and. .

T: We're talking about the bank now that's the Lumbee Bank that

I think they advertised as the first Indian bank in a, in the

United States.

S: Right, the first Indian bank.

T: By that we don't mean it's just, ah, every race- w -bank.

S: Oh yes, well I--I'm not positive, but I think there are some

stockholders that would be the uh, they wouldn't be the

principal stockholders in the bank. I think they held it to

a certain amount that white people could invest in the bank

but it is predominantly owned by Lumbee Indians of this area,

of course there are probably some that calls themselves

I(u-Ca- r no or what-not's, got. .

T: Well, while we're on that subject let me ask you what do you

identify--what group are you are Lumbee, (_ ErC l O r ., l

or what?

T: Well I'd have to say a Lumbee because this is the name that
was voted on back in '52, / by our House of Representatives,

Senate, our Govenor,,,,Riley went on to Washington and done

likewise in Washington

T: Was this not passed, though, by the Lumbee--by the Indians in

Pembroke here--they requested that name and on petition. So

it's not really a white man's name in a sense--well a white

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

had to pass on it, of course, but it was a request and

petition by the Indians here.

S: Oh yes, we had a, in '52 I could be wrong now, but I believe

it's '52-it could be a year or so before '52, uh, they were
A, tesCk\
"a petition got up and all the Indians in Reobinon County had

"a the privilege to vote for it or against it. Now, if I recall

right, it went about a thousand to one for it and one against,

and so, if it would have been / C t6rORfc\ or whatever it

might be the named it would have been voted on at that time

I would have accepted it. Um, but they, it went on, President

Eisenhower signed it, some-,axh-'he didn't, but he did.

T But the Indians themselves chose this name. It was not, uh,

inflicted on him as some maybe would say.

S: No, it was--we had never had a name to my knowledge that had

went--that had--we had had names given to us;before, Cherokee

Indians of North Carolina, Cherokee Indians of Robinson County,
Cro a:A* oxL.
rmta4a, but this was given to us, say in the State. To my

recollection, this is--it had never been passed on in the

House of Representatives, Senate, and the President of the

United States has signed it. This is the thing that disturbs

me a little bit about some of the rest of them around here

still trying to claim another name, but it's their privilege

if they want that its. .

T: Well I was going to ask you, and I think you answered that

9 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

how if you could--how you felt personally about these people

that have pulled out so -- originally were Lumbee's -- I think

the -identified and pulled out and identified themselves as

IL Sl.aLrO 1 Well how do you see this group, if you

can comment on them personally, or care to.

S: Well, I could be wrong, but I don't think I'm wrong, it's still

a group of people that's trying to get something for nothing.

If I had my way and every Indian in the United States would

quit receiving a check within five years, 'cause they don't

deserve it, uh, they would be, uh, a lot more profitable

citizen, they would be contributing something to the place

that they still live in and affords them a place to live in,

if they got out and made a living like I make a living and

the rest of the--most of the Lumbee's here makes their own

living. .

T: I understand we have some --many affluent people among the

Lumbee's. We might not see it as you ride down Main Street,

but ah, do you, by affluent I don't mean just rolling in

wealth, but they certainly don't have to worry about where

their next meal's coming from, this kind of thing.
S: Oh, and if / would have been on a reservation they would

have never accomplished be

T: Right. But these people, the O-", uh, this is

what they're wanting more or less, tribal lands and this kind

10 -

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

thing but do they want you--now do they think about they'll

still be on the restrictions that the reservation Indian is


S: Well I don't think they have ever really thought that much
about it. I think/they know that the government was going to

put them on a reservation that they would be a requirement--

that they would be put on a reservation I think they would

drop it but somebody keeps it alive--the government is going

to give them a check just being their Indians and that's uh,

that's just not fair to nobody. The Indians that's--the full

blooded Indians in this country is on a reservation, it's just

not fair to them to be receiving a check once a month. Sure,

I might--they might deserve a little piece of land with a home

on it, but after that they ought to have to work for a living

just like the rest of Americans--just being they were here

first, um, don't give them any right that the rest of the people

should feed them the rest of their lives, 'cause their not

happy and they lay around, a bigger proportion of them, um, no

I'll take that back, a bigger proportion of them, but a great

percentage of them, they don't ever accomplish nothing they

drink theirself away--anybody that's not got a goal that he's

or an obligation that he's got to try to meet, he's just not

happy, he's just not going to be any good for himself or for

anybody else. And to have something handed to you on a

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

silver platter is just not good for anybody.

T: Well, not only race, I see this with my children--the things

that I just hand out to them even if it's a dollar, they

don't appreciate that dollar like when they have to work for

it since I have teenagers I begin to see that and you're

probably right. Do you see this--these people as leaders in

a sense of educationally speaking, they sort of scream they

want their schools back and give the impression that they're

educated-minded, but in your opinion do you feel that they

truly are? Education, is that what really.. .

S: Um, no, that's a, you've got a few people in that movement

that I'd say is got that really on their mind--if you went

out and checked the people that is wanting a reservation or

wanting to go--wanting so much out of the government, that

the truant officer is after a lot of them trying to keep them

in school. It's just this thing that's been going on ever

since I can remember and I'm sure that my mother can remember,

that somebody's been keeping it alive that we can get some-

thing for nothing and, of course if the government would come

out and say this is it, uh, you ain't gonna get nothing unless

you're willing to pull up and go some place else to a reserva-

tion, it would all stop, but you got lawyers coming down that

keep telling them that you can get this, you can get that, uh,

if they'd keep theirselves where they ought to be, this stuff

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

would soon quit, 'cause I've heard them talk, I went to. .

T: Well, there's always the legal system that tries to make it

on a person's ignorance. I don't even know the names of any

of the lawyers or anything like that but we do know that this

exist's even .

S: Oh, yes, I went to one of their meetings, 'cause a lot of these

people that's, um, call themself jUSC Or S they're

real good friends of mine. A lot of them, I think, are just

misinformed on things and, too, you--some of our leaders)say

in the Lumbee's--they alienate the people by criticizing

them too much. You don't criticize a person too much for his

way of thinking. You try to let him know that he's--that he's

got a right to feel that way and try to convert him t your

way of thinking, not try to make him that he's a 4,m Ir or

something or another, which you hear it around, said that all

these people are dummies, they don't know--well they're all

not dummies.

T: I think that's a point that in my contacts it hasn't been
They either,
made./ like you say, criticize harshly, or praise all the way

and, uh, I like to hear you say here that there are some good

people among the group even if--however they feel misinformed

or whatever

S: Well, there, uh, instead of kicking the people, you should go--

there should be a movement on among the our government plus the

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

Lumbee's here to try to convert the people, their thinking,

show them that the--if we're gonna ever accomplish what we

can accomplish, we've got to accomplish it together and not

have factions pulling one way or the other and you're never

gonna do it as long as you try to make them feel like they're

SIL(S or they're crazy. Just. .

T: There's been, I was thinking, in other fields perhaps in the

entertainment field, uh, many a persons got to the top on

criticism because of attention and this is, uh, it's opposite

or paradox, seemingly paradox but it does happen and uh, you

know what I'm talking about, I guess, by this and so you

maintain we can help them more and helping ourselves by be-

friending them rather than. .

S: Oh, you don't alienate anybody until he's become to the point

that uh, there's no return to him and their return still with

those people and, uh, you don't never make up your mind that

anybody is 100 percent wrong 'til you know that and I can't

say that those people are 100 percent wrong--they've been

brought up to feel that way and, of course, I keep going back

to the federal government--they're so oriented to the people,

that they owe them something, and I've always been of the

philosophy that this world don't owe me nothing but an

opportunity to make a living. In other words if they were

to make Robbkar County a reservation, I'd leave. I wouldn't

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

stay here. They couldn't give me a thousand dollars a month

to stay hereP

T: In other words, your freedom, you're a free agent to come and

go and do as you please and you wouldn't give, you just wouldn't

give that up Is that what you're saying.

S: Right. I wouldn't give it up for no amount of money, uh, if

I wouldn't ever have to work again, my life wouldn't be any

good if I didn't have to work today for what I get. Now, if

I were--could make a million dollars at what I'm a doing, um,

and have to uh, I could quit work, I'm not against that, but

I wouldn't have a million dollars to rl' the govern-

ment--gave it. .
efforts of
T: Um-hum (affirmative). You would have made it on/your own

Si Right. I. .

T: Let me ask you this -- sort of deviating from the subject

we're on now, and you'll find we do this and this is one thing

about interviews that's uh, (laughs) kind of nice, and some-

times you can do that and switch back and forth, 'cause it is

p01-1A1COUC and if you don't say it while it's on

your mind, sometimes you miss it. I didn't get too much back-

ground on you other than you--the time that this was your home,

uh, what was your mother and father's name?

S: Uh, my mother is living, my father is dead. He's been dead

about three years. My mother 's Phileddar Stricklin and my

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

father's name was McKinley Stricklin. They had seven girls

and six children, which is, uh, I don't imagine they could

afford it today.

T: You mean six boys, you say?

S: Six boys and seven girls.

T: That's let's see, 13, is that right.

S: Uh (affirmative). They're all living. Still living, all of


T: Could you, uh, now where do you fall in line among them.

S: I'm the fourth child.

T: It's interesting, I think, names, uh, I won't ask you to give

the names of the girls right down the line, maybe starting at

the oldest and come down, would you give us, uh, the names say

if it's the a brother that's oldest, their first names, because

uh, this has always been an interesting study, and even people

when they're expecting children they go to a book of names

maybe to or, uh. .

S: Um-hum (affirmative). My oldest sister is Edith, she's a,

Edith Steen, she's married to a Steen, my uh. .

T: Are they in the area? If you'd like to comment on any of them

and what they do, that'd be welcome.

S: Ah, my second oldest is Annie Ruth Rayboy, they're living here

too, my oldest brother is Mollin Stricklin, he lives in Norfolk,

Virginia, and they have I believe nine or ten children, well,

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

I believe my oldest sister has ten or eleven children and I

come fourth, I have three boys and three girls. Then the

one next to me is Berline Clark. She lives here, too, and

next to her would be Kenny Ray Stricklin, boy, he's in--

he's just retired out of the Air Force, uh, of course, my

older brother, Mollin, he retired 23, uh, 24 years out of

the Navy about three years ago. I guess that's why he's still

in Norfolk. That's a Navy town. The next child is Richard

Stricklin, he works at the college. He's assistant in the

bookstore up there. The next is Alma Rose Stricklin, uh Alma

Rose Bell. She lives here in Pembroke and I believe she's

the only one that don't have any children that is married.

Then the next one is Paul, uh, Crannon Stricklin, he's at

home with my mother. Then there's I'm trying to get them

right, now, the next one is uh, Balilly Jane, she's been away,

she married a boy in Philadelphia. They are living here now,

he's some place else in school. And there's Helen, that's my

baby sister. She's in California. She married a boy from

California. Then I've got a another sister in, which is,

Dottie Lockalair, she is in ah, Norford. You know, I don't

believe I give Helen's last name, and I can't--they just got

married and I don't even believe I remember Joe's last name,

uh, right now I can't recall that. Then there's Homer Stricklin,

he lives out at my mother's. He lives right there close to her.

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

T: And I believe you said, uh, what, you lived what, your parents

or your mother lives how far from Pembroke.

S: She lives ten miles from Pembroke.

T: What area, general area is that at.

S: That's uh,

T: I mean I'm familiar with some of those.

S: Uh, midway area, she lives around ___Baptist Church.

That's between uh, Rollin and Maxtin.

T: Was this where you were mostly brought up, or you said uh. .

S:. Since '41. Since '41, I was 14 years old then.

T: O-kay, and uh, let's see and who did you marry now is she a

home town. .

S: Yes, Willadeen, she was an '-Sie before we married.

T: And you mentioned you had six?

S: Six children, right.

T: Three boys?

S: And three girls.

T: Could you give us their names and ages (laughs)uh that's when

I go back and try and think of mine, you see.
S: Uh, let's see. The oldest boy isXKDKX He is 24. Gralin.

T Spell that. I think that's uh, unusual name. You don't hear

it all the time.

S: George Gralin, G-E-0-R-G-E G-R-A-L-I-N.

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INTERVIEWEE: Stricklin (S)

T: And then the one before that Moddie.

S: M-O-D-D-I-E, Moddie.

T: Is that named after someone or is that just a name that you ''l

S: Umm, that's a name I came up with.

T: It's an interesting name. I like unusual names you know you

don't hear every day of the week, sometimes it's sP_'llii'.
tried '
S: Well, actually I txy to name all my children names that I, uh,

they were nobody here. Then, uh, the third child is girl, her

name is Marion, M-A-R-I-O=N. The fourth child is Adlai. You

ought to know who I named him after.

T: It must be a boy.

S: Yeah, it was--I named him after Adlai Stevenson, which I

wouldn't have named him after him if he hadn't lost the

presidency in 1956.

T: You, uh...if he hadn't lost?

S: If he hadn't a lost, I wouldn't of uh. .

T: Why? What's your reasoning on this? If he'd had won?

S: Oh, I just never did like the idea of naming children after

presidents or somebody like that.

T: Famous people or uh. ij L

S: Right. In fact my mother and daddy--my middle name is b+irerg,

and I was just--that tells you what year I was born in.

T: That was a famous name.

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S: Nineteen twenty-eight. Charles Linberg flew the Atlantic


T: Now, let's see, Adlai--we got--are you an admirer or were you

admirer of Adlai Stevenson?

S: Right.

T: So, let's see, he was Democratic, wasn't he now?

S: He was Democratic.

T: Are you--is this still your politics or -ase you like many

people, change daily.

S: Oh, I'm still a Democrat, but I've voted Republican, I, uh,

actually I did the last time, um. I don't whether I've done

the right now or not.

T: Well before we get too far in politics, and we certainly want

to discuss it if you, uh, feel free to do so, let, did we get

through all the children?

S: I have two more. The two babies is Theresa Diane and Gwendolyn.

T: Gwendolyn.

S: Gwendolyn is the baby.

T: Uh, what ages are they. When you say the babies sometimes.

S: The baby's 16. The other one is 18.

T: So the youngest one that your children range from age, uh,

what ages?

S: Sixteen to 24.

T: To 24 and the boy is he married? Or at that age where he is

in pursuit of. .

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S: No. He's at school. He's going to college.

T: What's he interested in studying?

S: Uh, forestry. Forestry--he's working for the State of South

Carolina down at the State Park at Mertle Beach this year.

T: Does your wife work, I mean outside the home--she have a

full-time job there. .

S: Never.
T:/ probably would need some extra help.once in a while.

S: Yeap, she never has worked.
T: You mentioned you were Democrat, predominantly /you did

change over this time. Why did you do that? Is there a

reason? Many people do this. .

S: Well, umm, the, I guess, the one, if I'd single out one big

reason that I would have not voted for the Democrat man is

his thinking about. .

T: Now we're talking about national races !?' for president?

S: Right, right.

T: Let's see, the Democratic man was, a, let me get my names

here, a, I can see them clearly but I can't think of his

name right off. .

S: No, I can't even think of his name right now.

T: Oh, dear--well, we'll go by over that, I've got a mental block

over that, but it. McGovern.

S: Senator McGovern.

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T: Right.

S: McGovern was a little bit too--he talked a little bit too

radical like Goldwater did with uh, what he'd do with our

armed forces and what-not and you don't go doing radical

things now with the armed forces and uh, against other

countries that we are up against today and I just don't

think he is the man to handle the armed forces--other than

that and of course, there is one more thing, he's one of

these fellas that believes--advocated that you, umm, if a

man was making $75.00 a week--in essence this is what is

he was saying--give him enough to make out a certain amount

and when we go to that we, uh, our labor situation is

doomed. If a man, if you. .

T: It encourages you to sit down, doesn't it?

S: Right. If a man or person is -- their mental ability or they're

handicapped in some other way where they can't make over $75.00--

if it takes more for them to live, sure, I'm willing to give

him part of mine or raise taxes to help him 'cause he deserves

just what I do, if he's trying like I'm trying, but for him to --

if he's not at his potential, I ain't willing' to have what he's

getting. And those are two biggest things that I couldn't have

uh. .

T: Well you seem to be a very compasponate man, but at the same

time you remind me of what I think my grandmother used to say)

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the Lord helps those that helps themselves and you seem

to sort a have that philosophy.

S: If you can't--if you don't help yourself I'm not caring about

helping him.

T: Um-hum (affirmative
S: After a we done what we can, ah, this world/ this country's just,

our government has run this country given people something for

nothing or letting them think they can get something for nothing.

It encourages. .

T: Well that's an interesting attitude, of course, being on the

Indian studies, I've heard all sorts of you know, opinions,

and most of them are the other way. I see you're a person
that/ ambitions are enough that you won't--you feel that

people, um, in other words to raise their self concept and

feel that they are something they have to feel that have

achieved something on their own. Do you see that this is true?

S: Well, that's a thing. .

T: To pat 'ya on the head and say well you're an American Indian

you sit there and smoke your peace pipe, here's a check. I

mean that doesn't do a whole lot for you does it?

S: This is the thing that disturbs me about uh, my people, some

here. They've got a chance -- I'll give an example of one.

We've got an Indian boy in Lumberton that has a chance

to manage this store next to me here, Piggly-Wiggly and he

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won't accept it.

T: Now why is that?

S: Uh, I can be wrong, but my way. I think it's just because that

he don't. .uh, he would love to have it, but I just don't think

he is, uh, he's self-conscious that he can do the job or he just

don't want the responsibility of. .

T: Maybe he doesn't believe in himself if he's been held down Has

he had opportunity all through life?

S: Well, he's now in a place in Lumberton, I think he's assistant over

there. He's worked there for eight years and. .there are too

many of them, they want what, say what I've got here, but they're

not willing to, uh, give it what it takes. They want the high

salaries but they don't want to put in what it takes to get that

salary. They'd rather, still some of them sitting around blaming

the white man for this and blaming the white man for that, uh, it

goes back to my philosophy, -- all that I need is an opportunity

to do it--- and a lot of them got opportunities and they just don't

accept it. They still sitting around blaming the white man and it's

just. .:

T: And even though this may be true, it still doesn't get us anywhere

toward bettering ourselves in the future, does it?

S: Ummm, you bet your boots it don't, and, uh, the white man, they's

still some of them, uh, well, maybe I can there's a lot of them --

they just holding progress back among all races, but um, there's a

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lot of the Indian people not taking the chance--the chances they've

got to go forward and get any higher paying jobs that there is


T: Let me ask you this and we ask this perhaps of maybe every interview,

maybe not all interviews, but as an Indian, do you--in your growing

up any time, or even your family, felt any discrimination against

you because you were an Indian, and if so, tell us about it. I
know what/you say--earlier day's---and I don't know what earlier

day's were. It may be before segregation and the federal govern-

ment came and I've heard all kind of tales of discrimination. Can

you recall any of these in your growing up?

S: Oh yes, I've been refused to let me eat in places in the county.

T: Now, if I might, in just talking with you here, you're not that

outstanding, I mean, there is, I'm talking about complexion --

you're ah, it's not real dark and uh, maybe you got a good suntan
and if you/a mind to, you could pass for white, uh, you have

hazel eyes you'd say, and sort of dark brown hair, say. They'd

had to know that you were Indian by some other way than by looking

at you--who you were with, or they just knew?

S: If they -- if you would have been raised in the county all your life

you'd come up with the Indian people here you can--you could tell,

just like they did, but at that time I had a lot of animosity or

hate against them, but I didn't let it grow up in me like some of

the rest of them. Sure, I still hate the white man for doing me

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like that and I sat down today and I tell a lot of them what our

problems was back then. But you don't ever get any place by

still bringing up stuff that happened yesterday, 'cause it's not gonna.

T: Well, other than--like we study history, for example, somebody

said well, why study history--it's to help us to understand the

present but then we want to get an insight into the future, I think,

and it's good to talk about it. In other words, if you don't dwell

on it as of, you know, let it become a whole frame or a way of life,

you know, self-pity, you don't. .

S: I, ah, the only thing that I have ever discussed with the white man

about what happened years ago or the way they did Indian people or

the way there's some things that has been done in the county in the

last few years is to try to better the situation and they know

that's what I'm ah, I'm not no radical, but now I can set down and

tell a man how to, ah, we've been treated, and in so doing I have

always got their sympathy in' trying to help change things here

other than maybe our Superintendent for Public Schools. I've

never been able to change him. But he'll be changed one day.

T: And you're speaking, let's give his name.

S: Mr. Allen, uh,

T: Young Allen?

S: Young Allen in Lumberton.

T: Just a minute, I want you to give us a little more on that, but I'm

going to have to change this tape. (SIDE #1 ENDS HERE)

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T: This is side two of the interview with Mr. Nathan Stricklin,

S-t-r-i-c-k-l-i-n. This is August the 1st, 1973. Mr. Stricklin,

we were talking something about Mr. Young Allen. State his

position again and your feelings. Talking about education and so


S: Mr. Allen is our County Superintendent of Public Schools and, yet

today I think Mr. Allen is discriminating to to an extent among

the different races in the county. If we could go down with 80

percent of the parents at a particular school, I call no school

in particular, uh that we thought we needed to get rid of that

principal, he's just not doing a job, Mr. Allen wouldn't listen

to us a bit more than Kosygin would in Russia. .

T: You're speaking to us--you're talking about the Lumbee Indians?

S: The Lumbee Indiansi. A particular school, 'cause I've been through

that with him and tried to get him to change and he just won't

listen to you. And another thing--you can go--if you had to --

you may be done it--if you don't, fx-cH1 haven't done it, if you

do it, you can go in the schools today and see, uh, the differences

and the curriculum that we've got at uh, say, now we still got

predominantly Indian schools. Over at the white schools, their

curriculum is a lot different. You can go to the libraries.

The libraries are a lot different.

T: You're saying in difference, now, you meaning deficiencies, uhm,

not up to the regular standards?

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S: Oh right. Oh, no, they have nothing to compare with what Lumberton

High School is, and they may say that Lumberton High School is a

city school, uh, I don't buy that, of course they have went around--

we don't have a thing, recall right, we don't have but one or two

high schools in the--senior high schools in the that is predominantly

white people the ,'TA of the City districts and, of

course, they've got that set up for that way for a particular reason

but um, I can cite you one instance that uh, where that we are still

discriminated against uh, they're not much good at having a big

fine building with fine walls, with nothing inside of the walls.

They built a senior high school here for us some maybe five, six

years ago and at the same time. .

T: Let's see, the name of that school?

S: Pembroke Senior High. at the same time they had uh, both schools

on drawing boards--the senior high down at Lumberton and the senior

high here at Pembroke--they built an auditorium, they built a gym-

nasium at the school at Lumberton, but when they got to Pembroke,

of course, they built Pembroke first, now, but both of them were at

the drawing stage at the same time, they built Pembroke Senior High

uh, a gymtorium. And the grammar school should have what we've got

at the senior high. They central air-conditioned and central heated

the school at Lumberton, but they only central heated the school

out at --sure, and that's just not fair, and this is. .

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T: Do they have the air-conditioning that you were supposed to have.

For what reason, I don't know, I just got the. .

S: They never were supposed to have any.

T: Is that right. But they don't have any. .

S: No, they don't have any air-conditioning. If they have, they've not

been put it in long and I still hold and if they have put it in, I've

not heard anybody say anything about it This is the kind of stuff

that we have been--throwed at us over the years. I can recall back

in the early '50's, it could be the late '50's., you know, the

federal government, each ah, soldier that has a child that is going in

the public schools or your city schools--the government sends so

much money to that ah, school for that county and for that school.

Up until hat time, we had never had a dime of that money. We

didn't know where it went. They couldn't tell us where it went.

Such things as this is still exist, well, this don't exist, but

like the school out here, this is still going on another, I guess

this hurt me worser than ah, what they out here at this school

back in about eight to ten years ago they built Rex Renard (??)

School for predominantly Indian people at that time, and they were

supposed to go a cafeteria out there. Well, the County Board of

Education loaned the $40,000.00 uh, that was supposed to go in to

building a cafeteria at the city schools of Red Springs and the

contractor was fixing to leave without building it, and somebody

up there told, uh, got word they wanted an Indian man. It was ah,

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I believe he was Commissioner at that time and he called a meeting or

they had a meeting, I'm not sure whether he called it asked

had they built it and they said no and then they found out where

the money was. This kind of stuff has been going on and there's

still some of it going on today. Why? I don't understand Mr.

Allen and the Board of Education and they will still do things like

that. Of course, this kind of stuff, they complain about the

federal government coming in and doing this, the federal govern-

ment coming in and doing that, --this kind of stuff is why they're

doing it.

T: How do you feel about this. .maybe this has been overtalked or

overworked, but uh, on the other hand, maybe it hasn't, because
it doesn't seemed to have improved ah, the double / thing uh,

this seems to me discrimination, but how do you look at it?

I'm talking about discrimination against the Indians in different


S: Well, it wouldn't --it would not affect me or I wouldn't care as

long as they didn't do the thing like the things that they do out

here at the senior high school. If we had a Superintendent or a

County Board of Education that was bent on doing the same thing

hking in one district that they did for someone in another district,
regardless of what, uh, color, the double voting wouldn'tI I wouldn't

care. This, uh, the thing that I can't understand is why the people

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that is in office or the people that is in power ought to do

things that they can't uh, do it like they would like for some-

body to do it for them. If Mr. Allen and the County Board of

Education or commissioners, if they were uh, were on that, they

wouldn't want no gymtorium built for their children to have to

participate in and why they can't see that, I don't --I just

don't understand. You wouldn't have to complain over their

double voting if stuff like this was not going on. This is why

you got--if you didn't have that going on you wouldn't have as
about \ (cjror-t ,
much/your --V' {a people, they say, now

go back to this saying that those are just foolish people, uh,

some of the things that those people fought for here recently has

done some good.

T: Got recognition.

S: Um-hum, right. Uh, and it start some of ah,.

T: Well you certainly couldn't--I believe this is on the, uh, the loan

of the County building over there, what is it, the County Board of

Education building--some of the aC. CO Pt- went over there

and demanded an audience, which they all got, did they not?

S: Yes.

T: You-'re aware of that and -- did he ever come out talk to them?

HXgFiXKX To your knowledge?

S: I don't think he did. If he did he only talked to a few of them,

and of course, that's the way it should have been in the first place,

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but, uh, if Mr. Allen would do what he ought to, that would

have never taken place. I'm not a believer in having to-go

to violence to get anything done and why they sit around and

wait 'til you have to go to violence to get anything done I

don't understand.

T: How long has Mr. Allen been in this position, and can you..

S: Mr. Allen has been a Superintendent, I'd say oh, around seven to

eight years, I'm sure it's been that long.

T: Um, many students and many listeners and many people that will

hear us later, uh, don't understand, now, as students and so on,

uh, is he voted in or appointed in or what?

S: He's appointed. He's appointed in, and another thing I'd like to

T: In other words the people don't have anything to say in it.

S: .uh, the people. .

T: Once he gets in there he's pretty much his own boss, in other words.

S: Right.

T: But he does have another man other than him as this, or someone.

S: I'd say your commissioners would be the one to point. ..

T: Uh, Stales*under him .

S: Right, Stale is the Assistant Superintendent over there, I believe

that's right.
T: Now the commission/go into that, I believe you. .

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S: The commissioners, if I make no mistake, appoints the Super-

intendent. He is not voted in.

T: Now, are we represented, I won't say equal, but are we represented

at all as Indian people of Lumbee or whatever, R-irL-ba 7)

County Indians among the commissioners? Do we have any

commissioners on that?

S: We have one commissioner. There's a HermanjE.E r

T: Right.

S: But another thing, getting back to Mr. Allen, there's something

that's taken--I don't guess anybody's--somebody's maybe already

told you this--back in the '60's, I'd say somewhere around '64,

'66, somewhere along in there, uh, I was on the committee with

the Pembroke, which was Pembroke Senior High at that time, and

Junior High, uh, we had an opportunity to recommend Dr. QOindine-

as principal..

T: Are you speaking of--is that Herbert?
S: /Herbert xa4e, which is deceased now,..

T: He's a very well known and very liked and respected man in this


S: Right.

T: I believe this university, the Pembroke University named a

building after him.

S: Oh yea, yes, --we were looking for a principal, and you know and

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an advisor board is more or less what a committee is, to

recommend to the Superintendent ah, people for the positions

that are to be filled in a particular year, and we recommended

unanimously, the first vote, Dr. Oxindine and did you know those

people would never -- the only Indian person that we had among

us that had a doctorate in education--they would never honor it,

they would never take him and, you know, from our president right

on down to the parents in the home, most of them, they is always

advocating to your children that you go as far as you can in the

educational field. Here we had a man--the only one among us that

was a, at that time, a doctor in the field of education, uh,

sacrificing what two to three thousand dollars a year to take a

job as principal from head of a department at the college, and

Mr. Allen and the Board of Education will never accept that man
until this day. He's/given me a reason why they wouldn't

accept him.

T: He certainly had all the trite excuse has always been "not

qualified" but he had all the qualifications, did he not?

S: Right.

T: So, here you're saying in your mind you feel like this was

discrimination because he was an Indian, mainly, right?

S: Right, and Mr. Allen is not, uh, of course I never did tell Mr.

Allen this, I guess I ought to, that he might have give in if I

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had told him that, that I made this up in my mind that the reason

that he wouldn't hire him as principal, is that he was not a

doctor himself.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). Well, sometimes this does happen. He

feels a threat to his job perhaps and maybe he would have felt, you

know, a little bit intimidated or threatened--we can't never tell

how people think.

S: But if it would have been better for the uh, county, that's

what ought to have been done. I'd love to have an assistant out

there that was able to take my job. I'd love to have one, 'cause. .

T: I think you have the right attitude because if he's on the go,

you don't have to blow out somebody else's light in order for

yours to shine.

S: No.

T: You'll go on, perhaps he'll get a store somewhere else, but you'll

keep on too.

S: Right.

T: So to speak, and uh,

S: Well, it's just. .

T: Sort of a narrow opinion of ah, I agree with you on that. ..

S: If you've got somebody's -- if somebody's below you always is good

as you are, or just about as good, it helps you be a better person.

T: Right. There's an old saying, you know, and you think that sometimes

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we fall back on these old sayingsa lot, but I think if we

took them more to heart, and really believed them, I think

sometimes we are all insecure in some area-or another, you know,

we feel like maybe somebody's a threat to us from this angle

or that angle, but you're only as good as the help that you have.

S: Right.
T: Uh, which brings me to your help, your immediate/here in Wood's

since you've been employed as a manager, I'm sure you've had to

consider many applications for cashiers and you do have a luncheon

counter, and uh, specialize in lunches I've seen adverti&d in

the local paper, The Carolina Indian Voice, do you, I think it's in. .

S: Oh yes, I ad. .

T: Subscribe or advertize in tif "'-3 .

S: Each week.

T: Yes. And, um, what do you think about The Carolina Indian Voice, f'4ci(

'At's a relatively new paper and uh, its .B -' Ji? C a tC dU-

man on the street, so to speak, uh. .

S: Well, the paper's. .

T: Criticize or favorably or otherwise, 'cause it's lasted about as

long as any paper has been who has made efforts before.

S: The boy is doing a lot better job than he was, of course he is. ..

T: When you say--let's identify him, you're speaking of Bruce Barton.

S: Mr. Barton, right. He's doing ah, I don't know where he got his

idea, ah, or what made him come up with going with more pictures in

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his paper, for a while he was not using pictures in his paper and

you can put, with the average person, you can put something in the

paper, uh, and you don't put say a picture about it, the average

person is not going to read it, where I'd read it. I've been

reading the newspaper every day for 25 years.

T: Well you strike me as a man who would be informed on what's

happening and what has happened and what is happening.

S: Uh-huh, I don't have to see a picture about something to read it,

but I'd say 80 percent of the people would have to see a picture

and they'd, uh. .

T: Well, this follows back to a saying again, a picture is worth a

thousand words It will draw your attention, won't it?

S: Right, and of course, ah. .

T: And that's why you put it in the advertising, though, there. .

S: Right.

T: and you show the pictures of the articles that's on sale and

what you're trying to feature that week.

S: Um-hum (affirmative). Bruce, he has -- if he continues the road

that he's following, and I, uh, well told him that the other day,

if he prints the news, whether it hurts me or whether it hurts

some of my people, or whether it hurts some of my friends, if he

prints the news, the truth, uh, he's gonna stand, but if he goes

like our other papers that we had here. ..

T: A little-bit scarry, huh. ..

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S: .uh, that say something, but won't say what he ought to say

about the mayor or the town council, he's not going to last.

He's just--and you don't want, uh, if I was on the town council,

if I was the mayor and I was letting something get by that I, uh,

shouldn't get by, I don't need no preference treatment being I'm

mayor or being I'm Nathan Stricklin, or being I'm so-and-so, uh,

you just won't survive. When our paper, the paper that we had before

this paper, when, quick as they went to giving in to um, some

factions in town, they folded up and, I don't believe Bruce is gonna

do that.

T: In other words they sort of buy it off. .

S: Right.
T: Well, someone/said this is why, you might say it's our competitor

now, at one time it was the county paper, and I think, uh, I'm

referring to- -- a unm, I believe Jack Sharpe is the

editor, following his father um, some years. I think one of the
story came out about the mayor, beating up his wife Em some-

thing, when she ah, I don't know, under some kind of influence

I'm not sure what, they didn't determine, but any way, he had to

carry that story that uh, in the paper, and I remember that he

said to one of or citizens um, not in my presence, but it was

told to me, but he said that he wished that that was one story

that he could get out of, but he still had to carry it and sort
of like, ah, somebody else said/the government set up which Sunday

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School or vice versa, they'd have to report it. Uh, just from a

a general and I'm not a newspaper person except as a reader and I

think in this sense we all are newspaper people--we rely a great

deal upon it--and, you know, to inform us what's happening, and

what's going on, uh, how would you change it if you had, you know,

could see, uh, for the betterment, I'm saying. .

S: As of right now, I wouldn't change anything about what Bruce is

doing. .

T: What's going on..

S: No, I wouldn't. .

T: I mean, I'm not saying attack Bruce, 'cause we're thinking in the

sense that The Carolina Indian Voice is the voice of this area,

of the Indian people, and the friends everywhere, is as he puts it,

I think, but, um, I think with each continuing issue I believe the

people are feeling a little more proud and a little more confident

in the paper. First it was, "well, it'll probably fold", you know,

sort of ah. .

S: Well I had ah -- I stayed away from advertising in it because I

couldn't get off of my mind what happened before when I gave the

other paper 100 percent support. And of course, Bruce got me, I

think he was a little bit wronging me about it, uh, of course, I

finally told him why and of course, I'm not a person that don't

make myself known, I guess, uh, freely without somebody comes by

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and wants to find out and of course, I guess Bruce understands

ah, why he had never come by and found out why, and of course,

we, um when he did, I guess uh, I don't guess he's alienated

against me (laughs), not all that..
In other words,
T: /you just don't go on out screaming' it, but if you're asked, you

don't mind to give. .

S: Right, uh, right, I don't, I'm not ah, if I've got anything to

say, uh, about anything, I'm not going to say it to somebody. .

T: In a gossipy* way,

S: No, that can't do anything about it

T: I understand what you mean.

S: But I, uh, the paper, I hope they don't--some of them as some of

the people is affiliated with the paper, I think, maybe, is

stretched a little bit too much or impressed on it a little bit

too much about an Indian paper. This is the thing that uh, sure,

well, I'd say there are more Indians here than there are anything

else, but we're incorporated with uh, two more races of people

and as less as we can uh, identify ourselves by ourselves, we

ought to do it.

T: In other words you're saying not segregate the Indians but

encompass the other .

S: Right, uh, try to uh, get them, let them know that ever what we're

for, or ever what we're trying to do, that they're part of it also,

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because if we're all going to live here we all got to live


T: That's right. Someone said, I think in history, we either hang

together or hang separate. It's got to that point, almost.

S: Right.
T: Uh, and I/ from the paper and uh, talking about your help,

how many applications would you say you considered and looked at

since Wood's has opened 'cause you had to hire right from the

bottom, I mean you didn't have anybody, or did you. .

S: Well, I was.. .

T: come down or was transferred to you or this kind of thing?

S: I was--I had my own say so about hiring my help. Nobody uh, of

course if I hadn't of already had the experience in hiring help,

or working help, they would've tried to help me some, but they

have left me. .

T: Um-hum (affirmative). Well, in applying for work at Wood's do

you have to go through a written application?

S: Oh yes, we've got a written application. Everybody has to fill

out an application, but I hired the most of my people or help by

knowing them personally. I have not had to use ah, application

over once or twice because I'd say every girl out there but one
I know/them personally and this one I know'd her mother and father

and grandfather and uh, I'm just fortunate in knowing the people


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T: Well would you say that if this was known that you would get

criticism for it? In other words they'd say "well, if he doesn't

know my daddy or my momma, so he won't give me a chance"?

S: Uh, no, I don't uh. .

T: It's just a question that came to mind. I wanted to see if you

were thrown this how would you answer.

S: There are 75 more applications that I have got uh, that I could
hire...that I would hire in/place of these girls out here. I

just had to make my choice of uh, which one. .

T: How many do you employ? Or you have to have ah. .

S: Around 15 now, and uh, oh around Christmas I'll employ 25 or 30,

but um..
T: This will/be on a part-time basis is that right?

S: Right. But hiring people by knowing somebody. .

T: I'll have to put my application in now so that you can get to

know my mother and father for Christmas (laughs).

S: Well of course, you, most every place you auh, here, I'm called

constantly, I'ma sent letters constantly, uh, do you so-and-so

or would you recommend so-and-so to work-in essence, this man

is hiring this person on my recommendation. He's not hiring it

on that application.

T: Well, that's usually the way it is. As I tell my children and

I've got the oldest one is going into college this fall, hopefully.

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It's sometimes not what you got, it's who you know and I don't

mean to say that in a snobbish sort of way it's just, uh, it's

nice to say "good morning" to a person because that impression

that you get, if it's favorable it certainly could help you and

uh, .

S: Now I'd have to, uh maybe I'd have to take that uh, I might of

went over a little bit. I've got two girls, three girls out, two

girls that I did not even know. The two white girls that I have

got working now.

T: Um-hum. What's the ratio--let's just go down the line, you say

you got uh, about 15 now did you say. (um, just a minute, let's

see if there's any excuse for that interruption, but uh, do you

have time to change shifts so the manager has to come in a little

bit and see if everything's changing all right) but uh, Mr.

Stricklin, we were talking about your help and I was going to

ask you, you said about 15. What number of these would be

Indian? Let's mention first.
S: Well, I did have four white girls and the/ were about I'd say 80

percent Indian, 20 percent white. I have tried, when I first

opened, I tried to hire, uh, one or two colored girls and I never

could get any that was uh, I had a couple, only a couple that

come in and filled out an application but they were not able to

handle money, uh, figure money--they couldn't run the machines

and so, but I--I have got one girl now that is qualified to work

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quick as I have an opening I'll hire her.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). You have a Black girl that's qualified.

S: Right, right. I have one that's qualified now.

T: In other words you're trying to get a representation of all races.

S: Right. Now, I'm working two white girls right now which is uh,

is good a help as I got and the girls I have--one thing I've never

had any problem here is uh, race relations, of course, I'm not

gonna uh. .

T: I was going to ask you do--was there any pressure perhaps put on

you or anybody in a hiring position -- and they say well, my

daughter, or my nephew or my sister or my brother Jay--he's about

the best, you know, if you get this kind of thing going on much

anymore, the pressure to hire a particular person.

S: Uh, I don't ever take that. I've got to work with them, I'm gonna. .

T: In other words, you're pretty much your own man.

S: Right, I'm never gonna take something that may not work out, 'cause

I don't hire a person just to work with Nathan. I hire a person

to work with the organization, the rest of the people here. If

you can't get along with the rest of the people that I got here,

they can't get along with me.

T: I was going to ask you, as a person in a position to hire people, uh,

you certainly at the--what's written on the paper, but that's not

all the story, is it? What is the one thing, if there is a one

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thing, or maybe you haven't really thought about this, what

is the one thing you look for in a person. If you can narrow it

down to one thing, I know there's many things, but if you could

narrow it down to one, what's the first one thing that you look

for maybe. Maybe you do this unconsciously.

S: Well, maybe you'd have--I believe I'd have to put it two things, um--

whether they are willing to work and the next would be whether

they are willing--whether they are going to be able to work with

who they've got to work with.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). Now, how can you tell this when they first

come in without giving them some opportunity to uh, in other words

you've got to hire 'ei before you can find this out, but how--

you get a feeling I guess, maybe, but how do you go about this?

S: Well, part of them, you see, this is why I say that I'm fortunate

to be, this is my home, I know them, uh, and I know their parents,

in other words I'd say 95 percent of the applications that I've

got in my office I know the people personally or I know their

mother and father personally, um, of course I've hired some since

I've been here didn't work out.

T: Um-hum (affirmative) Do you find it easy to fire a person?

S: I've never fired but two people in my life.

T: How did you feel about it afterwards?

S: Uh, well it was pretty rough to fire. .

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T: Some people can do it they say without a bat of an eyelash and others

say it's just all part of the job.

S: It's not that way with me. I hate to have to let anybody go, and

of course, I've always, the people, most of them, as far as, I

hire a person where they fire themselves. Uh, I never use the

word "fire", "You're fired." I've never used that. I don't like

the word. I just say that you know what I said I expected of you,

ah. .

T: Sometimes its been just minor things, and not being able to keep

up with the. .

S: They just didn't. .

T: Or get along with other people.

S: Right. They didn't work in to the, ah, the organization or the

group. Um, they were not willing to take their part and go along

and always explain this to everybody that I hire, um, what I
expect and then when it's over withl/they can't do that, you've

really not fired them, they fired themself. All you've got to

say is well you didn't or you don't seem that you can adjust

to what is expected of you, what the rest is doing, and ah. .

T: If you let a person go, in other words, you give him you reasons.

S Oh, right, I never let anybody .

T: Well I think this is good because often a person just says well

this--I'm going to have to let you go and then the person keeps

repeating the mistake over and over and often they don't really

know what they are doing wrong. But I, like you say, nine times

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out of ten they probably do.

S: Well the two people that I fired they become the best friends

that I ever had.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). And this happens sometimes.

S: Right, 'cause they can't ah, they know,--they finally found out

they were in the wrong and not me, but this just--being I'm

manager and being .

T: It makes it--way up there and everything. .

S: uh, I'm not gonna use it I'm not gonna use it that way.

These girls out here, ah, I'm not saying this to pat myself on

the back, but I treat these girls out here, if I was--and I

think they'd tell you this if you talked to them that I'd. .

T: .Well I was going to ask you if you would consent to, ah, of

course I wouldn't want to interview you whole, uh, you know, work-

ing crew, but at least maybe one or two, ah, because this I think

speaks well for the community to see that there is good working

relationships and we are not all uh, I tell you what I get up in

arms about, really, and I do a lot of stewing to myself at home

with just my family, but ah, other than this --out of

the things we see in the paper, and it goes up as far as'\IL'1 71 "

and as I mentioned to you earlier, maybe my mother sees it and

she thinks we are in war down here, you know, and it's just nice

to know that as Indians we're no--so savage that we don't have

problems like anybody else is working in getting along, but we

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still can get along and have harmony without ah,..

S: Oh, I suspect if I tell these girls that I was going to quit, sure ,

that there'd be some of them that would cry.

T: Well, maybe I'd say that that was. .

S: .'cause I. .

T: .a good mark, 'cause I felt that way many a time.

S: I treat them. .

T: In fact my mother teaches school. I have heard--I've known her

to leave the school when the principal left, I mean that's the

way the teachers felt about the. .

S: 'Cause I treat them exactly like I'd like to be treated.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). And you think about your own children

coming in.

S: Right.
T: Sure. Do you ever identify -- well/this is my child, now how

would I want to, you know, you say you have a daughter 16 and

she's not working, she thinks that she'd. .

S: Well I've got two daughters working. Two working here, two of them

working here.

T: So they let the family, uh, what do they call it, uh.

S: Oh yes, they let them work here. .

T: I can't think of the name right now but if they don't hire,

you know, somebody else from the family, but they don't have that

ruling here.

S: Oh no, no.

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T: Let me see. Let's establish your hours here -- that's a little

different and also real convenient for a lot of our people here

in Pembroke uh, what hours do you work?

S: We work from 9 to 9. We are open from 9 to 9 six days a week.

T: You don't work all--you mentioned changing shifts--now what's

the regular .

S: My first shift girl works from 9 to 5:30, which gives them eight

hours for five days and my second shift girls works from from

5:30 to 9:00 and all day Saturday, and of course you might say

that that's a long time to work a girl on Saturday -- well these

girls that I'm working is--they're college girls most of them,

high school girls, and they've got to work and they want the

hours and I figured that I would be able and I have been able

to get better help the first shift if I only work them five days.

Of course, I have never asked one to come in on Saturday and

take off another day they didn't--they hesitated, they was always

ready to come, in fact I helped some asking me that they want me

to -- uh, that I want them to work Saturday. But, uh, I found

this shift--there's nobody--no other store in the chain works

a shift like I work it.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). Was this your own idea or was this suggested?

S: This was my own idea because I got. .

T: It utilizes, I'd say the college people in the town.

S Right.

T: How many people um, that are going to college that you employ.

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S: I believe I'm working four that is going to college.

T: And now they're putting in 40 hours a week?

S: No, they only put in 26. They work three and one-half days a

week and all day Saturday. See if I didn't give them 11 hours

on Saturday they wouldn't be getting, say, but 15 or 20 hours

a week, and of course they would work for that.

T: Now do you have any men or boys employed?

S I've got one colored boy.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). And, uh, what is his position?

S: He's stock boy and maintenance. He works the same shift the

girls does, the second shift girls does. He goes to school


T: Um, well it sounds like a good opportunities for the community

in every, uh, in that you're helping. What would you say the

oldest person would be. .

S: Well, my sister right now, she's a lady -- she is, let's see

Mary Ellen's in her 30's.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). Has she had experience with working with

Wood's before?

S No Wood's. She has worked in this type work for about 12 years.

T: Um-hum (affirmative). When you start a person off, you know,

just beginning until they learn, are they put on minimum wage

or do you have a certain -- what is the minimum wage?

S: Minimum wage is $1.60, yes. They start. ..

T: That's what they start at?

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S: Right. They start off at that.

T: What's the potential? Is it pretty good for a person, um, you

know, wanting to stay with you and maybe grow up with it to

become assistant manager, going into management?

S: Oh yes.

T: Do they give them a good program here and opportunity to learn?

S: Oh yes, they're trying to hire, in fact I think they hired one

last week or week before last, at least he brought him by to

meet me, I don't know where they've got him at. Uh, a young

boy, uh, to go into managerial trainee. Uh, but there's always

a good opportunity with ahh, your chain stores and uh.

T: The lady that works with you as assistant manager, this is a

woman you say, and um, well how do you feel about the Women's

Lib? Do you feel women are just as competent as men in a given

job, say, well, the jobs here I don't guess you would uh, a

girl could do it about as well as a boy maybe with the exception

of stock or lifting or something like this.

S: Well I would say that Mary Ellen would be able uh, with a little

more time, that she'd be able to handle this job, uh, I don't uh,

women--given the opportunity and the time, I'd say, when it don't

uh, -- you don't have to go to manual labor (laughs). Some of

them could do that too. You'd have to say that they could do the

same thing.

T: O.K. We had to interrupt for one of the girls to get her bicycle,

uh, for her transportation to get home, um, let's see--What we

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were talking about-women--do you, in other words,you see them

as competent as men in most jobs, uh, with the given ability

and so on, of course we have to realize the strength of men
if you're gonna be lifting/this kind of thing, but uh, equal

jobs, equal pay--we see this kind of, I mean ah. .

S: If a lady does the same job a man does she should have the-same


T: And uh, do you think women are as competent on most jobs, though,

uh, I mean, -- women can hold the same jobs.

S: Oh, sure, Mary Ellen out there--she's been here. .

T: Does she throw a temper tantrum or go into emotionalism .

S: She's just as calm as I am.

T: And she handles the customers, I guess, which is why. .

S: Right. She's never been late a minute any morning she's been


T: Does she have to take off any during uh, any certain time of

the month or anything like that? Or do you find this with any

of your girls?

S: Oh, this is. .

T: I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this, but this is

one of accusations, you know, of course, all of us get sick

now and again .

S: I'd have to say that my girls is--is just as prompt to be here

as any men that I've ever worked. I don't find an excessive--

them wanting to say out an excessive amount of time over men.

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T: I want to ask this question of you and you probably haven't been

asked this before and you may sort of throw you off, but if you

could have your wish, in other words, if it was in your power to

have anything in the world, uh, to make a change for the better-

ment of the American Indian, what would you say that, in other
you C*)
words, maybe/ could be like Samanta, you know, twist your nose,

or wave a wand it would be so--you could have this power and I'm

talking about you could do something for the good or the better-

ment it might be for the American Indian or for the whole country.

Well what would you say we need most of all for better human

relations in your--I guess this is one of the things that you
have to deal with every day probably,/human relations in every--

especially with the public.

S: I think the best thing that could ever happen to the Indian people

is to put 'em all in the position just like the rest of the American

people is in self-paying jobs and that includes every Indian there

is in this country that can work, uh, that would be the besthing

that could happen to uh,. .

T: So you're saying equality for all and equal pay for whatever um,

as we were talking about for women, we're talking about for the

all of everybody.

S: Right.

T: Mr. Stricklin I hate to cut you here, but I'm running out of tape

and I want to thank you very much for your time, you've been

most patient and a good interview and ah, one of these days I'd

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certainly have to recommend you as a good boss man with people

that I come in contact with 'cause I have observed you before

you were knowin'--knew you were being observed, and during and

after, and I want to say I thank you for the human being that

you are and um, say congratulations and keep up the good work,

'cause I think you're a real asset to this community and we

appreciate you.

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