Title: Interview with Harold Dean Collins
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007147/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Harold Dean Collins
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: UF00007147
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 161

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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 161A

Harold Dean Collins (C)
Shannon, North Carolina

Interviewer: Lew Barton (I)
November-4, 1973

Typed by: P. F. Williams

I: This is Sunday, November 4, 1973. I'm Lew Barton

interviewing for the University of Florida. This

afternoon I'm in the home of Mr. and Mrs.(Ridell)

Collins on Route 1, Shannon, North Carolina, and

with me is Mr. Harold Dean Collins. How do you

spell your name, Harold?

C: H-a-r-o-l-d, d-e-a-n, c-o-l-l-i-n-s.

I: Thank you very much. How old are you?

C: Sixteen.
I: And you're the son of Mr. and Mrs.(Ridell) Collins?

C: Yeah.

I: How many of you children are there?

C: Seven.

I: Well, we got their names on the other tape so we won't

go into that on this one. How old did you say you were?

C: Sixteen.

LUM 161A 2

I: Have you got any girlfriends?

C: No.

I: You like to do horseback riding and things like this,

don't you?

C: Yeah.

I: Your sisters and I were talking about this horse of

yours, and they say she's quite wild. She is a "she"

isn't she?

C: Yeah.

I: But I've never been able to learn her name. What's

her name?

C: Daisy.

I: D-a-i-s-y?

C: Yeah.

I: And have you got her tamed now?

C: Yeah.

I: Does she throw you off?

C: No.

I: I heard she throws you off once in a while and skins

your knees. Is that true?

LUM 161A 3

C: Sometimes.

I: Are you about to get her out of that old habit of

tossing you on the ground?

C: Yeah.

I: When she tosses you off she doesn't try to step on

you, walk on you, does she?

C: No.

I: Uh-huh. Isn't it dangerous to be thrown by a horse?

C: Um ..

I: Do you ever get hurt?

C: No.

I: Well, you're lucky. I believe you had a broken arm

last year. Was it last year or year before last?

C: Three years ago.

I: You had a broken arm three years ago. This wasn't

with the horse, though, was it?

C: No.

I: What was this with?

C: Bicycle.

I: With a bicycle. What were you doing, racing?

C: Yeah.

LUM 161A 4

I: Uh-huh. Did that leg heal up nicely?

C: That was my arm.

I: Oh, it wasn't a leg, it was an arm, wasn't it? I'm

sorry. I had it mixed up for just a little bit.

What grade are you in this year?

C: Tenth, again.

I: What do you mean, again?

C: I failed last year.

I: You say you failed. Why?

C: Because I didn't try.

I: You didn't try very hard?

C: Yeah.

I: How about this year? Are you going to try this year?

C: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I'm going to try.

I: Uh-huh. Well, was it discouraging to be held over in

another class?

C: No.

I: You didn't really mind?

C: Uh-uh [negative].

I: You seem to have a gift like your father for making

LUM 161A 5

money and working. You work pretty hard. For your

age you work very hard and you're....I admire you

for that. What do you want to do when you finish

growing up?

C: Well, I want to be a contractor.

I: A building contractor like your father?

C: Yeah.

I: Do you think you and he may form a partnership or

something like this?

C: No.

I: You want to be an independent contractor. You want

your own company, right?

C: Right. I want to be by myself.

I: Why do you like the construction business?

C: Because that's about the only thing I know how to do.

I: And how about....it's very lucrative, too, isn't it?

I mean you make good money at that.

C: Yeah.

I: Do you like money?

C: Oh, yeah.

I: Doesn't everybody! Let's get back to Daisy for a

LUM 161A 6

minute. Is she very fast?

C: She's pretty fast.

I: Do you ever race her?

C: Yeah.

I: He hesitated there. When did you race her last?

C: Sunday. That's today.

I: Who were you racing or against?

C: Leslie Collins and/ ___4_( Locklear.

I: Did they have a horse each?

C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: Who won this race?

C: I did.

I: Daisy outran their horses. Is that right?

C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: Daisy must be pretty good. She's a spirited animal.

I learned that. She tosses you on the ground once

in a while. But she's nice to have in a pinch, too,

isn't she? I mean, you get in a race or something

like this.

C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: You boys didn't bet any money on the side on this

LUM 161A 7

thing, did you?

C: No, we don't bet on Sunday.

I: You don't bet on Sunday. How about Monday, Tuesday,

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday?

C: No.

I: You wouldn't kid me, would you?

C: No, I wouldn't kid you.

I: Do you like going to school, Harold?

C: No.

I:. That sounded very emphatic like you meant it. Why

don't you like school?

C: It's a pest.

I: It's a necessary evil, you think?

C: Yeah.

I: What do you do after school every afternoon?

C: Feed hogs, pick up corn for my horse, and rake yards.

That's about all.

I: How many hogs have you got?

C: Thirteen.

I: Thirteen. Are they grown hogs or what?

C: Got three big sows and about eight small pigs.

I: Do you like to work with farm animals like this,

LUM 161A 8

raising hogs and chickens and things?

C: No.

I: You say you don't. But you do like the construction


C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: And you haven't found a girl you liked yet.

C: Yeah, I found one.

I: Uh-huh, how are you getting along with her?

C: Fine.

I: You want to tell me her name?

C: Phyllis Angela Locklear.

I: Phyllis Angela Locklear. Does she live nearby?

C: She stays about fifteen miles from here.

I: Lives about fifteen miles away. How often do you

see her?

C: Every Sunday.

I: Does she go to the same church you do?

C: No.

I: Which church does she go to?

C: Ol f VA Assembly.

I: Uh-huh. Well, I was trying to fish around and find

LUM 161A 9

out where you see her at on Sunday. Do you go to

her home?

C: No, I just...I go to Hardee's and I-find her. If I

go to their home she wouldn't be there.

I: Uh-huh. You go to Hardee's and you wait around until

she comes out there, maybe. She goes to Hardee's,

too. And that's how you see her?

C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: How old is she?

C: Sixteen.

I: Doesn't her parents want her to date?

C: Yeah.

I: What do you mean? Yeah, they do, or yeah, they don't?

C: Yeah, they do.

I: Why don't you go to the house, then, Harold?

C: I do.

I: Uh-huh. Harold, how do you get along with other people?

Do you get along pretty well with other people?

C: I get along with Indians and whites. Sometimes I get

along with colored people.

LUM 161A 10

I: You mean with black people?

C: Yeah. Souls.

I: Uh-huh. What seems to be the problem, or is there

a problem?

C: They think black is beautiful.

I: Well, isn't it?

C: No.

I: Do you think red is beautiful?

C: Yeah.

I: How about white? Don't you think white's beautiful,


C: Gets too dirty.

I: Really, I think all colors are beautiful and it takes

all the colors to make up the rainbow, you know. And

so, uh....I think all colors are very-beautiful. Do

you love colors?

C: Yeah.

I: What are your favorite colors?

C: Red and white and blue.

I: Red, white, and blue. You sound a little patriotic.

Are you?

LUM 161A 11

C: Yeah.

I: Do you think you might go into service when you're

old enough?

C: When I get eighteen I will.

I: Have you already decided that, and have you already

decided which branch of service you want to go into?

C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: What?

C: Basic training.

I: Basic training, but what do you want to go into, the

Army or the Navy, the Air Force or what?

C: The Army.

I: Uh-huh. Are you mechanically inclined? Do you like

to work at...fix things, take things apart?

C: Yeah, I like to take things apart except a car.

I: Except a car. You don't like to take a car apart.

Why? Is it too hard to put back together again?

C: Yeah, it's like Humpty Dumpty.

I: Well, if you know what you're doing I guess you could

do that, but...

C: Yeah. I think if you knew what you was doing you

LUM 161A 12

could put it back together. If you didn't know what

you was doing you couldn't put it back together again.

I: You don't have your driver's license yet, do you,


C: No.

I: Do you look forward to the time when you get them?

C: Yep.

I: Do you like to drive?

C: Yep.

I: Do you think you're gonna have your own car when you

start....when you get your license?

C: Already got a car.

I: You have. What kind is it?

C: Fiat.

I: A Fiat. That's one of those little small cars. Is

that a German car or is it a French car?

C: It's a German car, I believe.

I: How old do you have to be in this state to get your

driver's license?

C: Sixteen if you took driver's ed, and eighteen if you


I: Did you take driver's ed?

LUM 161A 13

C: Yeah.

I: So you'll soon be trying to get your driver's license,

won't you?

C: Yep.

I: Do you like to go swimming in summertime, or did

we...did I ask you that already?

C: No, you haven't asked me. That's my hobby.

I: You enjoy swimming very much?

C: Yeah, for a merit badge.

I: Did you win a merit badge?

C: One time when I went on a camp-out. Camp _Ca *W*


I: Was this an award given by the church?

C: No, this is an award given by the Boy Scouts of


I: Are you a Boy Scout?

C: I was one time. Got too old for it.

I: I didn't think you ever got too old, but I guess you


C: Yeah. I think I'm too old to be in it, now.

LUM 161A 14

I: Oh, you think you're too old, anyway. Well, I guess

that's a pretty good reason for quitting.

C: Yep.

I: But those principles will go with you throughout

your life, perhaps, you know. They're good principles m

they teach,aren't they?

C: Yes.

I: What other kind of sports do you like?

C: Basketball, football, soccer, and tennis.

I: Do you play football?

C: Yeah, I was on the team for F)OI .

I: What position do you play?

C: Play fullback and a guard.

I: Are you pretty good at it?

C: Yeah.

I: Do you ever get knocked down and walked on?

C: No. O

I: You're pretty husky. How much do you weigh?

C: Hundred and thirty-five.

I: A hundred and thirty-five. How tall are you?

C: Five foot...about five foot eleven.

I: Um, you're pretty tall. I always heard that girls

LUM 161A 15

liked tall handsome boys. Do you think this is


C: No.

I: You say you don't! That's funny.

C: I don't know.

I: If you had to choose one community to live in in

Robeson County, which community would you rather live


C: Rowland.

I: In the Rowland community. That's R-o-w-l-a-n-d.

Harold, if you had your wish and you could change

anything about Robeson County, what would it be?

What would you change?

C: Schools.

I: What wouldKdo, abolish all schools or what?

C: I'd take and separate Indian, white, and colored.

I: You'd separate Indian, white and colored. Why

would you do this?

C: Because it's not but a mix-up and troubles. Colored

people likes to tear up too many things.

LUM 161A 16

I: Cantany race do that, though? I mean, don't some of

our own boys tear up some things once in a while?

C: Yeah, but like you got in the Indian school...you

ever seen a colored person's house, it'll be a brand

new house and in about a year or two it'll look like

it's thirty years old.

I: I don't know, that sounds like you're a little bit

prejudiced. You think you are?

C: No, I'm not prejudiced. 1f4W( what that means.

I: Do you think black people are prejudiced against


C: Not all of them.

I: How about white people?

C: Some of them, about one-fourth out of a trillion of


I: How about Indians? Are IndianSprejudiced against black

people? And against white people?

C: Yeah.

I: You think so?

C: Yeah. I know.

I: Well, this is sort of a three-way street, then, here

LUM 161A 17

in Robeson County, isn't it?

C: Yeah.

I: Do you think prejudice is wrong?

C: Yeah.

I: You don't know anything we could do about it, though,

do you?

C: Oh, try to love your friends.

I: Is that w1h they teach you at church, to love each


C: Yeah.

I: Do you enjoy going to church?

C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: DoyDu enjoy the programs they have?

C: Part of the time.

I: Do you dance, Harold?

C: Yeah, I dance.

I: Do you'enjoy dancing?.

C: Yeah, that's my hobby, too.

I: What dances do you like best, do you think? Any of


C: All of them.

LUM 161A 18

I: If I would get up there on the floor and show you a

little bit of the Charleston, you wouldn't know

what was happening, would you?

C: I would know what was happening.(,Ck i, ltr

I: That'was before your time, wasn't it?

C: Yeah.

I: Have you heard about the Charleston?

C: Yep,, I've heard about all them old dances.

I: How about waltzes? They were lovely things, you know.

When you young people dance, you have to dance apart,

but when you're waltzing, you dance very close to

your girl.

C: You still do.

I: Even doing the Watusi and things like that, you're

still pretty close to her, aren't you?

C: Yeah.

I: What's your favorite song?

C: "Lay a Little Loving on Me."

I: "Lay a Little Loving on Me"? Who records that?

C: I don't have the slightest idea.

I: Was that a popular song that came out this year or

LUM 161A 19

last year, when?

C: It's been about '68 or '69.

I: Who's your favorite artist, or who's your favorite

singer or band or what....oh, I believe you told me

Elvis Presley, didn't you?

C: Yeah.

I: Do you think he's gonna go on forever?

C: No.

I: You think he's gonna wear out, or people will losG

interest in him? They haven't in all these years,

you know.

C: No, they ain't gonna lose interest in him.

I: What is gonna happen?

C: He.just might die and that'd just be it.

I: But you think he's got it made pretty well until he

dies, right?

C: Right.

I: Well, he's certainly an unusual entertainer. Has a
*VA Ay S
big following / How do you feel about race

cars and racing?

C: I love my racing.

LUM 161A 20

I: Who's your favorite driver on the racetrack?

C: David (eardtr driving a Mercury 429.

I: Is that what he drives?

C: Yeah.

I: How often do you go to see races, or do you go

very often?

C: I go very often. I just hears it on the radio,

maybe on television.

I: Does you dad like to go to the races, too? Auto


C: He used to, but he started going to church and then

he ain't never wanted to go back to the races.

I: Is this supposed to be wrong to go to the races if

you go to church?

C: It's wrong to go to a race on Sunday but it ain't

wrong ---TIlm_--" l ---to go8 to a race throughg

the weekends.

I: Oh, I see. t

C: On the weekdays (' l

I: Do you like animals?

LUM 161A 21

C: Certain kinds of animals I like.

I: Which ones?

C: I like deer, rabbit, squirrel...

I: How about as a pet, though?

C: Well, I like rabbits, coons, horses.

I: Do you try to domesticate or tame these animals once

in a while?

C: Yeah.

I: You had any success at doing that?

C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: That's interesting. It's very difficult to tame a

wild animal, isn't it?

C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: How do you go about that?

C: Well, you take...start off when it's about a month

old, then you start training it. Except if it's a

horse, you start aboutWhen it's a.year061d; start'-,'

training it.

I: But how do you train these other animals? Do you

deprive them of food as punishment, or what?

C: No, you don't do that. You'd probably starve them to


LUM 161A 22

I: Uh-huh. How do you train them?

C: Well, about like a rattlesnake, you have to take the

venom out of his teeth, poison. Wouldn't take you

no time to train a rattlesnake.

I: Is that right? I hope you haven't tried that yet.

Have you?

C: No, I ain't .tried it. I ain't wanting to try it.

I: In other words, you try to get the wildness out of


C: Uh-huh [affirmative].

I: Now, I'm wondering just how you can go about doing

that. You know, I had a monkey one time and I was

never able to tame that animal. Never.

C: Well, you didn't go at it the right way to training


I: He would sit on my lap at times and he was very

gentle, and then at other times when I would feed

him, he'd grab my hand and bite me. I never did

succeed at training him.

C: Well, I would have slapped his eyes out. Then he

wouldn't have bit you no more because he'd know

what you'd have done to him.

LUM 161A 23

I: Well, you don't mean that literally, though, do you?

C: No, I don't mean to slap his eyes,.I just mean to

hurt him a little bit 1 1 he'll know the next


I: I don't know how well that works, but I guess you've

tried it so you've got more experience 1'$., 4. e t

1Ji #2-1C It seems to me that if you be kind

to animals, will they respond?

C: No, not all of them.

I: You just have to show them who's the master. Is that

your id ?

C: Yeah. You just have to show them who's the boss.

I: Uh-huh. Is that true with horses, too?

C: Yeah, especially with achorse. If a horse knows you're

scared of him \r4e#J t "A t ^ k A Aen

you get on his back.

I: You land on the ground very quickly if he knows you're

afraid of him. Is that right?

C: Uh-huh [affirmative]. You have to let him know

that you ain't afraid of him and show him who's the

boss, and then he'll know, the next time you get on

LUM 161A 24

him he'll know who you was.--He'wouldn't try all that

junk no;more. That's about the way mine was till I

broke her. All I had to do was run her to death and

she'd quit it.

I: How would you run her if you couldn't stay on her

back, then?

C: Well, all you have to do, if you go to her backwards

you'll never stay on her. If you go to her the right

way, all you have to do is get on her back and hold

on to the saddle, and tie a rope...take a halter and

put a halter on her and take a rope and lead it from

under her chest to her belly-girdle. Then strap it

down and then she couldn't chuck her head and hit

you in the face or nothing. She could jump, though,

but all you have to do is stay on her back.

I: And she doesn't know how you're accomplishing this,

of course, does she?

C: She knows what you're doing. All she's trying to do

is get you off of her back.

I: Do you think they're angry when they're trying to

throw you off like that?

C: I believe so.

LUM 161A 25

I: Does the horse ever roll over with you, though? Even

though you're holding on to the saddle or whatever

other gear, can't she just haul over and roll over

on you?

C: Yeah. She fell backwards on me one time.

I: If she falls on you you've had it, haven't you?

C: If someone don't be there to get her off of you, you've

had it.

I: Will horses fight you? I mean, will they come at you

with their hoofs?

C: If you take and mistreat one of them, whip it all the

time, it would.

I: But you have to be very moderate in these things,

don't you?

C: Yeah, you have to go to it the right way, by feeding

it every day. If you take and just let it go without

food one day and say, "I'll feed it in the morning, or

I'll feed it after a while," and you don't never go

do it, you're just mistreating it.

I: You believe in taking care of your animal?

C: Yeah. Especially when people will go to talking

LUM 161A 26

about you, saying, "Boy, he don't try to take care

of nothing of his, and he tries to tear it up, tries

to kill it."

I: You don't want people talking like this, of course,

do you?

C: Nq....I've been enjoying this interview, but I've got

to go to my girlfriend's house, so I have to end this


I: Well, I certainly appreciate you giving me the time

you have given me, and I've enjoyed it very much.

And I won't keep holding you up, because I know

how important something like this is to you. And

thank you very much for the time you've given me,


C: You're welcome.

I: Bye-bye, now.

C: Bye.


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