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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Date: November 3, 1973
Subject: Gertha Mae Collins
Interviewer: Lew Barton
Transcriber: Josephine Suslowicz
B: This is November 3, 1973. I am Lew Barton interviewing for the University
of Florida. This afternoon I am in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Redell Collins,
R-E-D-E-L-L C-O-L-L-I-N-S, RFD One, Shannon, North Carolina, zip code, 28386.
This neighborhood is known as the Rex-Rennert Communittee. Earlier this
afternoon I interviewed a lovely daughter of theirs, Miss Beverly Collins,
and now another lovely daughter, Gertha Mae Collins has also kindly consented
to give me an interview for which I am deeply grateful. Here she is then,
Miss Gertha Mae Collins--another lovely daughter, and I'm going to ask her
to give us her name.
C: My name is Gertha Mae Collins. I'm thirteen.
B: How about spelling your name so the girls will be sure to get it right, dear?
C: G-E-R-T-H-A M-A-E C-O-L-L-I-N-S
B: And what grade are you in, Sugar?
C: I'm in the eighth grade.
B: That's good. Bev was able to tell me about her brothers and sisters--their
names, their ages. I bet you couldn't do that. -
C: Yes, I can. Um, Barbara is eighteen' and her, um, -StGae- the next older,
&he's, um, seventeen; and Harold's the next and he is sixteen; and then
Beverly, /he's fifteen; and then me, I'm thirteenjand then Jimmie, he's
eight; and then Angela he's going on two.
B: Uh-huh, does everybody spoil Angela?
C: Yes, she's the baby.
B: She's very sweet and she's very pretty, too, and so are you. Uh, I want to
ask you, how do you enjoy school? Which school do you attend? Do you attend
the same school that Beverly attends?
LUM 165A 2
B: And this is Redsprings High School, is that right?
C: AnrTJunior High.
B: Uh-huh, Redsprings Junior High. Do you have any problems at all out there,
B: Like what?
B: Uh, you don't get along well with your teachers?
C: Sort of. Sometime they try to make us act like we're prisoners and make us
walk in lines and in rows all the time, and it makes me feel mad because we
have to do that.
B: Uh, do they treat, uh, everybody like this?
C: No, just the eighth grade, 'cause they say we act like animals.
B: (Laughs) Oh well, it has nothing to do with race, though, does it?
C: No, they treat us all the same.
B: Uh-huh, and, but they're kind--kind of down on the eighth grade you feel?
B: (Laughs) I guess you're going through that stage. Uh, why do they do this,
Bev, uh, Gertha?
C: They say that we can't walk in line and go to our classes 'cause we all the
time run into and getin fights all the time.
B: Uh, have you always, uh, gone here to school?
C: No, I went to, um, Rex-Rennert three years, and then I went to Georgia--Georgia--
Atlanta, Georgia, um, B. C. Henny Elementary School for one year, then I went
to Redsprings four years.
B: Uh-huh, uh, tell me about this, uh, school in Georgia. Was it any different
from the schools here?
LUM 165A 3
C: Yes, the learning was high, and you can--you can--even though you weren't
knowledge the things down here, but when you go up there, then you understand.
You know things that down here you never did know before.
B: Uh-huh. You think they're better schools, and you learn more. In other words,
what I mean by better, you learn more in the schools in--that you attended
C: Yes, it was a higher learning.
B: Uh-huh. Who did you live with when you were in Georgia?
C: Um, some people called the Millers; Joe Miller.
B: The Joe Millers; Mr. and Mrs. Joe Miller?
B: Uh-huh, M-I-L-L-E-R. Um, how did it--how did it happen that you and Bev
went to Georgia this year? I mean that particular year, and before we get
any further, what year was that?
C: It was--it was in the summer. We left in August the 21st, 1969, and we came
back, um, June 6, um, um, we got out of school June 5.
B: Uh-huh, so you were over there how many months amd all?
C: About nine.
B: Uh-huh, were you anxious to get home?
B: Uh, did you make many friends over there?
C: Yes, I did.
B: Did you have any problems at all, either of you, because of your race?
C: Yes, they thought--they' d never seen an Indian before, and they thought I
B: How did you feel about that?
C: I straightened them out.
B: (Laughs) What did you do to straighten them out?
LUM 165A 4
C: I told them if they ain't never seen a colored person inAlife, they'd
better start seeing one, 'cause I sure didn't e like one.
B: Uh-huh, well, you, uh, you have very beautiful, very straight Indian hair,
and, uh, a nice olive complexion. Would .you describe your complexion as
C: Peach. /
B: Yeah, sort of peach. It's--it's very pretty. I like that complexion, and,
uh, and, but this seems to have bothered you a little bit. Would you be
bothered, uh, by something like this now, do you think, if somebody made
that same kind of mistake, if it was a mistake?; oF )'
",J fo r)Wkt a ikdAdia-k JhoC"i4 L eck IQe.3 r,'6
C: No, I don't think they can make a mistake now. They're old enough to know,
B: dWhe old enough to know?
C: Any of them now. If I was to go back there, and meet them again, they' d--
they'Id know now, because they're grown up. They're older now.
B: I see, and, uh, did you get along well with the other kids?
C: Pretty good.
B: Uh, did you get in any trouble at all, Gertha?
B: Uh, were you a little bit quick on the comeback when somebody said anything
that offended you, or; you know, were you a little edgy) do you think?
C: I have a high temper.
B: (Laughs) Uh, well, does that temper ever get you ina any trouble?
C: Yes, a lot.
B: (Laughs) Do you want to give us an example?
B: Go ahead then. Tell us about one --one example, if you want to.
C: Well, t^ ^at--, this history teacher, he was all the time hollering at
LUM 165A 5
me, and one day I got so mad at him, I told him--I say--I told him that he
""L- h llkatf
made me sick -of olleringat me all the time. I got sick of him hollering
at me all the time. d A f e
B: What did he say to that?
C: He told me to go to the office.
B: To, uh, the principal's office?
C: Um-hum (affirmative) but they didn't do nothing.
B: (Laughs) So they didn't. Uh, I got to talk to you a little bit about double
negatives, I'm afraid te. Uh, do you know what a double negative is? You'll
come across that later on in your English class, I'm sure. Uh, what do you--
what do you think is the most important thing you learned in this school away
C: Well, L*.s science, Aat was my hardest subject. I think else I--I made A's
and B's in a r y a d q-7
B: That was what--which--that was science?
C: Uh-huh (affirmative) Science was hard. It was the hardest subject there.
B: Uh-huh, well, you know, girls don't usually take to science as well as boys
for some reason, it seems. Uh, what's your best subject?
C: Oh, I think jmlu 0Lm in school, but I'd rather learn more about science,
but I'm not good in it.
B: Uh-huh, you think you just need more help in that particular area?
C: Um-hum, yes I do.
B: What kind of sports do you go for?
C: Soccer, basketball, and baseball. L'ofe bii/ il
B: Uh-huh, anything else?
C: Sports? Oh, swimming, track, I think that's about all.
B: Um-hum, and, uh, is there one of these that you enjoy more than any other?
C: Yes, that's horseback riding, but 'm'm, uh, I mean, 'm
C: Yes, 11gfe"tainl that's horseback riding, but I'm I'm, uh, I mean, I'm
LUM 165A 6
hard for me to ride a horse, but that's what I want for Christmas.
B: Uh, you want to learn to do horseback riding better? Uh, what sort of got
you girls off on horseback riding? Uh, was this, uh, your brother's horse
and seeing him ride, did this, uh, help you to get interested in horseback
riding do you think?
C: I always thought a horse was pretty. I love horses. I just wish I could
B: Uh, do you love any other animals?
C: A dog.
B: Dogs, uh-huh. And, by the way, since we've heard this horse mentioned
several times, what is the horses name? R/ 6 DL t "fL'a.w -j /'
C: Oh, she's dead now, but it was Jane. She was tame, but he got another one.
It was a pony then-- ka pony, sort of small and large, but he's got a
horse now, and it's wild.
B: Uh, you can't ride the horse he has now?
C: Nobody can--he can't even ride it hisself.
B: Oh boy, what is he going to do about that problem?
C: He rides it inma way. He runs wild with the horse too.
B: Uh, does he ever get thrown?
C: I reckon he do. He gets skinned up.
B: (Laughs) You never did tell me the horse's name, though.
C: (Laughs) I said Jane.
B: The wild one is named Jane?
C: No. (Laughs)'
B: You told me the dead horse was named Jane, I think. Right? And what's this
one's name, or it--have you bothered to learn yet, since he's so wild?
C: Uh, I never paid it, uh, I never paid that horse no attention. I never go
around it. t'/^aAAr J ke A0 kr. A4f kh6fQ f U iv , 7
LUM 165A 7
B: (Laughs) Uh, so you think, uh, Harold and his horse A two of a kind?
B: You say he sort of runs wild with the horse.
C: (Laughs) Yes, he is.
B: And what happens when he gets thrown off and getYskinned up and stuff like
that? Does he go right back and crawl on again?
C: No, he just wipes the blood off and Ies back on the horse--(laughs)--start
B: Oh, my. I don't know. I, uh, was just about the notion that l'id like to
do some horseback riding, but, uh, since you don't have Jane around any
longer, I don't think I want to try a wild A v v I mean, it is all..
if Harold's having that kind of problems. I assume it is a girl horse, is
C: No, it's a stud.
B: Oh, well, no wonder. I think studs are a little bit wilder than the girl'
horses. I don't know quite whether that's a prejudice or not, or whether
it is true or not, but it's--I seem to have heard this somewhere. You and
this, u --no, you don't sound stupid--you and this, uh, high temper
yours--do you have any racial trouble because of this?
C: No, not racial, but, um, when you're coming down to business, now, I mean
really making me mad, that's when it comes to racial.
B: What is it that makes you mad so easily, or more easily than anything else,
I should say?
C: Someone start picking about your family. That kills me.
B: Somebody teasing you about your family? Putting your family down, or what?
C: Like they say, te Collinses ain't nothing. That makes me mad, and I goes
over there and fight them.
LUM 165A 8
B: Why do they say a thing like this?
C: Because they're jealous, because we got--we got things they sure ain't got.
B: (Laughs) Well that jealousy is a bad thing, and, uh, I imagine that accounts
for it, because, uh, uh, yeei family's wealthA financially, and, uh, uh,
oh, people have to have something to talk about, don't they?
C: They sure do.
B: They say as long as somebody's talking about you, you know they haven't
forgotten you. How about that?
B: (Laughs) You still don't like it, do you?
B: How do you get along with your teachers?
C: Terrible. Just terrible.
B: (Laughs) What seems to be wrong between you and your teachers? Uh. .
C: I got this White teacher. I can't stand her.
B: Why? Because she's White, or what?
C: Because of her mouth.
B: And the race has nothing to do with the dislike, does it?
C: No. I had a second grade teacher. She was White. I loved that teacher to
death. She didn't care if we were White, Black, or Indian, she'd yel the
same. CA&-sSAe AJ rS 1_foF5ae4h f J 2Jj S0edQiiS,1 5 ardies Sf eAdCc,, C
B: And does this other teacher not do so?
C: Well, she's not prejudiced, nothing like that, but, you know, she--she--
nobody don't like her. I mean, in that one class--that big class don't like
her, but other classes the students like her, but that--that big class don't--
that I'm in.
B: You said because of her mouth. Does this mean she talks a lot when she
LUM 165A 9
C: No, it's when--it's when we, like sa- for instance, Friday Maybe -L T st
AeDI, She, um, made all of us stay in, and half of them got left by the
buses, and half of them walked, and, um, I barely made it. If it hadn't
been for my science teacher telling me, go out the side door and make it
to my bus, I would have got left, too.
B: Well, if they keep you in after school like that, is that sort of like
B: And they keep you even though you don't get a ride home and have to walk
C: Yeah, they make you walk home.
B: How far would you have had to walk home, if you hadn't got a ride?
C: Eight miles.
B: And they don't do anything at all about this?
C: No, they just go home theirselves.
B: And forget about the kids?
B: Uh, what other things do they do as punishment?
C: Spank'you. You Ptherwise take a spanking, or eitherwise, um, um, push-ups--
about twenty push-ups.
B: Uh-huh, they make you do about twenty push-ups. Well, that's not so bad,
but how about this spanking?
C: They take--when they spank you, they act like they're going to get ready
to kill you. They give you one lick.
B: (Laughs) What do you mean they get ready to kill--act like they're getting
ready to kill you? Do they act as though they are angry when they're spank-
C: Yeah. 'Specially my homeroom teacher, though. He's a sissy man.
LUM 165A 10
B: Uh, does this frighten you?
C: He don't frighten me--I frighten him.
B: (Laughs) Do you? Uh, you don't get frightened. _Uh, do you talk backto him,
C: No, I mean--no. I sound like I'm talking back, but I don't--I try to explain
to him, but he says I'm talking back. He make--he--I think I'm too big to
be beat on. -t ain-a. S L of the teachers.
B: You think you're getting up--old enough that, uh, you're past that age now
that you should get spanked, right?
C: Um, yeah.
B: Uh, now what grade is it you're in?
B: In the eighth grade. How about the kids in the eighth grade? Uh, I talked
te kids in the eighth grade once, uh, and in the seventh, but just part-time.
How about them? Uh, those in that particular class, it seems to me that, uh,
the kids I aked were pretty well-adjusted, you know. They were pretty
happy, and carefree, and that sort of thing. I got along with them very
nicely. Um, but, uh, are they beginning to like boys and girls when they're
1- t a-4L J.. f ?,tJ )A Au -L Yu if 't4#f?
in the do-yeou thitt1k
C: Yeah ly o w*v i -P to be running around smoking.
B: Do they smoke?
C: Yeah, when they--they can--the teacher fdaiScc'at bezt cigarettes as long
as they're not showing--if you hide them, they don't care, but if you got
them in your pocket hiding, they don't care, but if you got them on your
ears and in your hands showing them, they get you in trouble for it.
B: In other words, if you do it and they don't know it, uh, they don't mind,
LUM 165A 11
B: Of course, that is pretty -4i, to be--well, smoking is probably bad, anyway,
for anybody, but, uh, what do they--what is the most serious punishment they
hand out to you?
C: Getting suspended.
B: Getting suspended?
C: Uh-huh (affirmative)
B: Getting expelled from school for so long?
B: What's the longest you ever knew anybody to be suspended?
C: Well, if you bring a gun, it's a year; and you bring a knife, it's, uh, five
C 4'FA' l r ) t1"]t )
days# or, no1 I think it's a knife--imit two weeks, and fighting 1 five
B: Good gracious, i-s thor no Indian students ever brought any guns. Have you
ever known some to bring--anybody to bring guns?
C: Um, no.
B: But they got that rule anyhow.
C: Yes, probably some did, but none that I know of.
B: They just got the rule just in case, right?
B: Well, maybe it's a good rule. Maybe that's the reason you haven't seen any
guns. (Laughs) Uh, I don't think you would have seen any, really, if they
didn't have the rule. I don't think kids that age carry guns--at least not
very many, right? Have you ever seen a student that age with a gun?
C: Not in the eighth grade.
B: And, well, I shouldn't ask you that--any of the rest of. I was asking
Bev earlier about, uh, dope on campus, you know, marijuana, pot, grass, what-
ever they call it. Have you seen anything like this, or heard anything like
LUM 165A 12
C: Yes, I have. Like, last year, um, my cousin, Lynn Collins, he--he
was asking these boys for a cigarette and he got a hold of some of it, and,
um, um, and he was--and -e called the cops out there, and he was--he--he--they
thought he was drunk, but he had, um, marijuana, and he was staggering around
there, and he had--he would--the boys always go down there in the woods and
hang around, and he had fell out there, and 4 ha* / tO take him to a hos-
pital because he had took an overdose. He didn't die, but if he had took a
little more, he would have died.
B: Um-hum. wr wonder where they get this junk.
C: Someplace they get it for a dollar.
B: Is it that cheap?
C: I reckon it's according how you're going to buy it. Some of them, if they
ain't got much, they sell it for a dollar, but, I mean, if they ain't got
much, they sell it for a whole bunch, but if, um, they don't--if they, uh,
if they got a bunch, they sell it cheap.
B: In other words, if they have a big supply of grass, that they--they price
comes down, right?
C: Um-hum (affirmative)
B: And when it's scarce, the price goes up, is that right?
C: Yes, it is.
B: And, uh, do the teachers keep a close watch on them about, uh, these drugs?
C: They're not bad for this this year, but it was last year they had trouble
with all the kids, but now they tamed them.
B: What happened fime-to tame them, as you call it?
C: They've got two Indian counselors. One's named Mrs. Pat--Pat Brayboy, and, um,
the other one is, uh, um, Morgan. Let's see, um, Robert Morgan.
B: Um-hum, and now, what did these counselors have to do with it? I mean, how
did they handle the problem?
LUM 165A 13
C: If you have a problem, you go to them and they talk it over with you. If
the teacher has a problem with you, the teacher send you there.
B: I see, and you--do you think the reason, uh, the students were smoking is
because they had so many problems/and couldn't get answers, or what?
C: Nowlast year we didn't have them--those counselors. We got them this year
on account of three girls--three, um, let's see, two Indian girls, and one
Colored girl, but all three of them got pregnant, and so they said if they
had two counselors there, maybe them girls wouldn't have got like that.
They could have had somebody to talk to.
B: Uh-huh, do you ever go to talk to the counselor?
C: No, not unless I get sent there.
B: Uh, well, uh, sometimes, in other words, if the teacher sends you, and you
don't--but can you go on your own?
C: Yes, you can, if you--you tell the teacher you have a problem, but counselors
keep telling me to come before I get in trouble. She tells me--she wants me
to come if I have a problem, before the teacher sends me, 'cause I'm the
B: (Laughs) And your problem is that high temper, right?
B: How about boys? Do you like boys?
C: Um, sort of, you know, half.
B: Uh, you're not wild about them, then, are you?
C: N-Q*at crazy about them. So they ain't crazy about me, either.
B: (Laughs) Why do you think this is? You're just not old enough yet, is that
C: I'm old enough, don't worry.
B: You are?
C: Uh-huh (affirmative)
LUM 165A 14
B: Uh, well do you have, uh, one particular guy you like better than the others?
C: No, I treat them all the same.
B: Urn-hum, and, uh, do you think you're too young f-or-tat?
C: Yes. Way too young.
B: Uh, how does mom and dad feel about that?
C: Too young.
B: And, but do you date anybody a little bit?
C: No, not unless I ask, can I go to the store or somewhere.
B: Uh, do you just ask--come right out and ask your mom if it's all right to
talk to somebody?
C: Yeah, but I won't want to ask.
B: You do it, but you don't want to, right? Cog
C: No, I ain't going to do it anyway. I don't want no boy coming to my house.
B: Uh-huh, well, that'll all come in due time, meanwhile. .
C: I'm going to live- it up.--
B: (Laughs) What do you mean you're going to live it up?
C: I'm going to stay young.
B: Oh, Sugar, you are young.
C: I'll have girlfriends.
B: Uh-huh, how about the other girls in your age group? Do they do a lot of
C: Oh, yeah. They court all the time.
B: Do they, really?
C: Around every time you see them, they got a boy--sea boy with them, and they're
B: What's your best girlfriend's name?
B: Sheila. Do you know her last name?
LUM 165A 15
C: Yeah, Pate.
B: Sheila Pate, and do you girls, uh, have a-nice time together?
B: Do a lot of laughing and talking.
C: Talking, laughing--the most. We get back there and just find anything to
laugh about, I mean--we gets a zero from that Miss Kassey,'the one I just
told you about.
B: Um-hum, and, uh, tell me something about your girlfriend. What's she like?
C: Oh, she's--she's about like me, big for her age--not fat, but slim.
B: Is she full of fun?
B: You girls are both a little bit overweight?
B: You don't. .
C: No, she's not overweight.
C: I'm losing.
C: I weigh 137 now.
C: She weighs 130.
B: How tall are you?
C: Five, two.
B: Um-hum, well, uh, it's been my experience, you know, uh, dealing with, uh,
some of the people who are a little bit overweight, that they have a--
usually have a very likeable disposition, and they are kind of fun-loving,
and, uh, they're always cracking jokes and that sort of thing, and it's fun
to be around them. Uh, do you find it this way? Do people take to you this
LUM 165A 16
way? Do you have a lot of friends?
B: And, uh, they--I know they like you from what I've observed in my, uh, on
my own. Uh, I guess there's something about your personality. You're very
outspoken for one thing. If you don't like something, you say it right away,
B: (Laughs) You're not hypocritical about it, either.
C: Uh-uh (negative)
B: Uh, how do you enjoy going to church?
C: I like the church.
B: You do like it?
C: Uh-huh (affirmative)
B: Do you ever get on the program? Uh, you know, uh, your church--your parti-
cular church--we call it the Mormon Church. It's the church that you des-
cribe as. .
C: The Latter Day Saints.
B: The Latter Day Saints. Uh, but, uh, one thing I've observed about your
church is that they have good programs, and many good programs for young
people. v,\- t .& AV.^- and so on.
C: Yes, so they could keep them from being in trouble. Like on Sunday--like
Sunday morning we come to church and have sacrement on the first of the
C: And then--then on the first of the month of the sacrement you don't have
that--that afternoon; you have the day off, but on the regular, um, church
days you have, um, Sunday--I mean church, twice. So you can keep, uh, young
kids of the church off the road.
LUM 165A 17
C: And from places they shouldn't be at. That's why we have entertainment.
B: Um-hum, do they teach sex education to, uh, kids in the eighth grade, now?
C: They don't teach us nothing.
B: They don't?
C: Not about that.
B: You can go to your counselor about something. .
B: .can't you?
B: But do you think they should?
C: We should. .
B: Do you think we should have classes?
C: Yeah, they should teach the-Ind+en girls.
C: They don't--they don't--they don't never plan their teaching; They just
out to have a good life, and a good time.
B: Uh-huh. All these things are sort of funny to you at--at that age, aren't
C: No, they're not funny.
B: Uh-huh, I misunderstood. Uh, do you think, uh, parents could help more
along these lines?
C: I do. Some of them's parents, they really don't care, they just--they just
-wA about theirselves--not about their kids.
B: Do, uh, students in the eighth grade, do they talk about this a lot?
C: No, ohthe,0olored boys. One thing, the ,Clored boys they can't keep their
hands to theirselves, some of them; and the Indian boys, they just talks.
They don't do nothing, they just talk, you know, they don't bother you, and
LUM 165A 18
they just say--just pick at you about it.
C: But the White boys--they--they don't never talk nothing like that.
C: 'Cause the boys in the eighth grade they're too young. They don't know
enough about stuff like that, and they do know about it, but they just don't
say nothing about it. They got more respect-f6r girls.
B: Um-hum. So you know, uh, as strange as this may seem, girls are more mature
than boys in teens. For example, you're--you're what? Thirteen, fourteen?
Thirteen, aren't you?
C: Going on o fourteen.
B: Uh-huh. Uh, the boys are probably, uh, some of them e- probably will run
about twelve, or something like that as far as, uh, maturity is concerned.
Uh, but girls do mature a little bit earlier than boys, but do you think
this is the troublesome period, and do you think this perhaps causes, uh,
problems with -r= The boys haven't caught up with the girls yet
in that sense.
C: No, they haven't. The problem--when they get in eleventh they catch up,
or the tenth.
B: Uh, do, uh, the girls in the eighth grade prefer to date older boys? Say
an eighth grader would--would makeher--an eighth grade girl rather date a
ninth grade boy or a tenth--or even a tenth grade boy?
C: No, the girls--the boys--I mean--I mean--my friend, Sheila, has--she likes
this boy and he's in eighth grade, and he's supposed--he's--he's going into
B: Uh, what's he doing in the eighth grade yet?
C: He--he's flunked.
B: Um-hum, but he is older. His chronological age--his actual age is older than
LUM 165A 19
the other students in the eighth grade, right?
C: Um-hum (affirmative)
B: So he is an older boy.
C: Um-hum, and she is fourteen.
B: Uh-huh, but do you think girl generally, weld-prefer boys who are older?
C: Yes, they do.
B: Uh, does it--do, uh, eighth grade boys seem to act silly to you?
C: They act dumb is the word.
B: (Laughs) Uh, well, that's like I said a minute ago, they haven't caught
up yet, but they will catch up eventually. Hope so. Uh, if you have a
problem, do you feel free to go to the counselor on your own?
C: No, I solve it myself.
B: I don't know about tha --bt .
C: I don't have too many problems.
B: Uh-huh, you don't have any boy problems yet, do you?
C: No, I ain't interested in them.
B: Uh, do you think you're less interested in boys than the other girls in
your classor 4o- most of therother girls in your class?
C: I just talk to the girl. I don't have ne--I mean, I talk to them, but..
B: There's no lovey-dovey there, is there? There's nothing. .
C: Just friends.
B: Um-hum, I know what you mean. Sometimes people talk about the generation
gap, you know, and this means that, uh,-that some kind of imaginary barrier
between older people and younger people uh, do you have any trouble talking
to me at all?
B: Are you this way about--by most people--most older people? You don't have
LUM 165A 20
C: No, you see, older--some older people, now they made mistakes in their life,
and, you know, I wouldn't talk aboutany old people, now, but I wouldn't
talk about, but--but when a young person--they kneow-jA t a young person now,
and he makes about the same mistake that person did--he did--that person
did a long time ago.
C: He feels that that--that young generation is wrong for doing that--whatever
they done, and then they feel that they shouldn't be doing that when they
done it theirselves.
B: Do you think too many of our older people have good forgetters? Do you think
they forget-that they were once young and exactly like the young people?
C: No, they don't forget--that's why theyre-m but if they wanted--they
don't want a person to do it, uh, if they don't want a person, um, the
young generation to do it--to do the same mistake they made, they should
C: And help him out.
B: You think they ought to be honest about it.
C: Yeah, but not tell him what they done, just tell him it's the wrong thing to
B: Um-hum, and, uh, you don't think the older generation knows any-better
than the rest of them do.
C: They were--well, they were, uh, well a little bit better than this gen--this
here generation's getting worse.
B: (Laughs) You think so? Uh, that's certainly an interesting observation
W? ev P'
coming from you. Well, uh, of course, you, "a as close to the older
,ell, IU< J! Vttv totA.
generation as I was and t *%weg r I don't think I can agreeth
I think they aware probably about the same. My generation was pretty terrible
LUM 165A 21
too, Sugar. Uh, but what I'm trying to say, or trying to ask you rather,
you don't feel that there's any generation gap there when it comes to
communicating with older people. You can--you can reach them without any
C: I won't say that.
C: Now) T Tcn -I can talk to you.
B: I appreciate that.
C: You understand)just like a young person.
B: I certainly appreciate that. That's a great compliment. Uh, what do you
think young people's interests are about the eighth grade? What do they
think about mostly besides boys and girls?
C: Well, P.E. and lunch.
B: (Laughs) Now that's -logical.. That's a-vey- illogical thing to be thinking
about, but they haven't reached the stage yet, perhaps, when they worry
about what am I going to become.
C: Oh, they worry about that. They think--they say,''I'm ugly -some of them
thinks they're ugly and they can't--they can't get boys to look at them
and all this, and boys think that girls ain't never going to look at them.
B: Uh-huh, they worry about this, you think?
C: Um-hum (affirmative)
B: I guess everyone of us does that when we're going through this transitional
stage where, uh, we're not quite children, and we're not quite adults. We're
sort of in Limbo, so to speak. We're sort of in between--betwixt and between LS
whe might express it, and so that it's--I guess it is kind of unsettling
to be around about your age. Uh, you don't knowquite where you belong,
do you? But, uh, do you feel grown-up one day, and, and then, maybe the
next day you feel that you're not grown-up at all?
LUM 165A 22
C: Yes, I'm like that sometimes, and then I'll be--then I'll be thinking to
myself, well, I'm acting younge-r
C: I'm acting like a minor.
B: And you have to remind yourself that, now wait a minute, you're not supposed
to act like this, you're supposed to act like an older person. Is that right?
C: Yeah, and by--by the time I'll be answering that, I'll be wind--wnd up in
the office, when I'll be thinking about it.
B: Uh-huh. When you get in trouble, you don't think about it much til(you--
til after it's happened, do you?
C: No, when he--when he tells me to go to the office, that's when I start
thinking about it.
B: Uh-huh, you didn't just plan to get in trouble, it just--it's just something
B: Um, how about, uh, the other girls in your class? Uh, do you get together
,4kUt o\ rt-c^- L
and have kind of gir -e-anrd talk?
C: Yeah, do it all the time--gossipping. I don't gossip.
B: You know, if you don't have anybody to tell you or teach you things, then
there must be, I would assume, a lot of, uh, whispered information being
passed back and forty, ad have you ever learned things this way/and found
out later that it was wrong--that you learned it wrong?
C: Um-hum (affirmative) I heqd it was wrong. The person whe do something
like that, they should, uh, like this girl, this is the Tyaoges-e girl I
know wh- got pregnant--she got pregnant and she--and she left the school.
B: Was she an eighth grader?
C: Uh-huh (affirmative) She was sixteen, though.
LUM 165A 23
C: And, but she acted happy about it. I don't see nothing was happy about it.
B: So she acted happy.
C: Yeah, I thought she should act sad, or something.
B: Uh, well maybe it's just the stuff she--something she wanted to happen.
C: I. .
B: Did she love the boy terribly, do you think?
C: I don't think she loved the boy. Probably wanted to e like all her sisters.
All her sisters--every single one of them/got pregnant and had a bunch of
children. LC:F t A eYYWi
C: I thought maybe she'd finish school and go on with school. None of them
C: They were poor, though--probably the reason.
B: You say they were very poor.
C: Uh-huh (affirmative) But she's--I think she's still going to school. She
went--she left from this school and went to another school.
B: Were they very, uh, was it a very large family that she came from?
C: Yeah, very large. The reason she probably done it is 'cause her momma is
B: Um-hum, and they do have a father?
B: Of course, he has to work away every day and. .
C: He probably don't care.
B: Do they have anybody to take care of them at all?
LUM 165A 24
C: Oh, yeah. They-4- got a uncle and he's a Christian.
C: But she don't live with him, she live with one of her sisters.
B: Um-hum, have you ever thought about what you want to do when you grow up?
B: You want to be a nurse?
C: Uh-huh (affirmative) A nurse that goes all the way around the world.
B: I think you'd make a--a great nurse.
C: I hope so.
B: You like people don't you?
C: Yeah, a&time. .
B: And people like you too, don't they?
C: Um-hum (affirmative) I can--I can go places and don't know people, and I
can set down and talk to them like I know them for years.
B: Um-hum, well, you sure don't be bothered with any generation gap, do-you?
B: What do you think, uh, parents should do about, uh, this business of dating?
Do you think parents are too strict, or too slack, or what?
C: Sort of, um, sometimes it's different. Sometimes when a girl has done some-
thing wrong and te--like she went out on a date, and she didn't ask her
mem. that makes her =mQ and daddy not trust her any more--takes away e-& Oe
of her privilege., but sometimes like--like my cousin, she's in eleventh
grade. I think she ought to date if she wanted to, but her daddy--it's not
her mother, it's her daddy. Her momma--her momma lets her date,it's her
daddy--he don't want her to date, and she's in the eleventh grade.
B: Um-hum. What do you think about inter-racial dating? Do you think, uh, a person
LUM 165A 25
from one race should date a person from another?
C: M it--it doesn't matter what the race is. If a person loves somebody--
just love him--you can't help it.
B: And if you love somebody, and you feel that if you lov0 somebody oc another
race that you would date him, right?
C: No, I wouldn't. .
B: If he were dating yaye .
C: I wouldn't--I don't think I'Zd date him, but I love him. I wouldn't tell
him that. I'd just tell him I like him for a friend, but I wouldn't tell
him I loved him. I wouldn't--I don't--I wouldn't put myself in that
position because I figure I won't--wouldn't have another:way to'get out,
and if I did, people would make fun of tm. You' d be--you'd be embarrassed.
C: But it's always the Colored people. It's always--it's always the Colored
people they pick on, but if a Indian person marries a White person, people
don't look over that. They don't mind that, but it's when a Colored person--
when a Colored person marries an Indian person, or a White person, they
think somethings wrong with that. Anything else just--a Indian person
marrying a White person is just as':bad, or a White person marrying an
Indian person is just as bad, but they don't think that. They think it's
the, uh, Colored people.
B: Um-hum, do you know any Indians and Blacks who have married?
C: No, but I know a, uh, girl. She liked this Xolored boy.
C: And people picked on her and told lies on her. She didn't like that. She
told people--when people asked her about--she wouldn't fake it. She'id
tell them she loved that boy.
LUM 165A 26
B: Um-hum, but you think, uh, the problem wouldn't be as intense if it were
between, uh, uh, a White person and, uh, an Indian person.
C: Uh-huh, right. I mean. .
B: Do you think there wouldn't be as much--many problems between--if the
dating was between a--a Indian person and a White person?
C: No. Probably problems, but it wouldn't be as bad as the Colored person.
I don't see no difference.
B: Um-hum. If, uh, if you loved a, or you don't know yet, but why--I'm just
asking you how you feel about it, uh, if you loved a White person, a
White guy, would you date him, if you were allowed to date and you wanted
to date, do you think?
C: Momma and daddy ain't, um, prejudiced, but I don't think they' d approve
of it. They'Id tell me--they'd--I mean they wouldn't--I mean, they
wouldn't say no, but they'd just tell me. They'd just say that if that's
what--who I wanted to date, or felt that way abt him--wouldn't--they
would never tell him. If they was me, I wouldn't make no mix-up.
B: Um-hum, do you think they'd frown more on him, uh, if it were a Black
C: Probably would. They'd be worrying about what the people will say. Momma
would, but daddy wouldn't. Well, since you're asking me all these ques-
tions, let me ask you a question. kay, how would you feel if you were
e same situation, and you, uh, lov a colored girl, what would you
B: I think I would, uh, I would date her if she would date me, uh, you know.
I've, uh, never been up against that kind of, uh, problem, or situation--
let's not call it problem, but I've--I know many Black people, or not as
many as I'Id like to know, but I have friends who are Black.
LUM 165A 27
B: This is side 2 of the interview with Miss Gertha Mae Collins, who had
turned the tables on me when the tape ended, and she wanted to ask me
some questions, and I thought that turn-about is fair play, so I'm going
to ask--I'm going to answer--try to answer a few, and I'll bet you they
are stickers. Come on with them, baby.
C: How would you--Mr. Barton, how would you feel if your daughter married
out of race?
B: Uh, it would depend on the individual person, sugar--who the person was,
and what kind of personality they had. Uh, race wouldn't have all that
much to do with it, you know. Uh, we know that if you marry into another
race, that you can anticipate some problems, and, uh, I would'explain that,
but if this is what they wanted to do, well, I'Jd go along with it, okay?
B: Do you have any more questions?
B: Well, if you have any more, now, we'll try to answer them if we can.
C: No, I don't have any more.
B: Well, I certainly want to thank you for this interview. It's been very
enjoyable, and you have been an outgoing girl, and, uh, it's been a
very interesting interview. I've enjoyed it, really--honest. It's been
great. I enjoyed it very much. I want to thank you very much, now. It's
getting late, so you want to go to bed? C4)o XPi i,
C: Uh-huh. (affirmative) Thank you, Mr. Barton.
B: Thank you too, sugar. You've been a great interviewee. Good night, now.
C: Good night.
B: This concludes the interview with Miss Gertha Mae Collins. On the rest
of this tape I have done some of my own personal songs, singing and playing
LUM 165A 28
guitar. I have done this because I have finished, along with this, uh,
particular batch of tapes, a poetry in the Pchools program, which I do
when I'm working with the poetry in the schools program. So I'll just
leave these songs on the rest of this tape, if that's all right. That
way we won't have any wasted tape. I've learned in trying to record
music on this kind of tape b-ta- this kind of, uh, recorder-iSony--the
kind furnished by, uh, the University of Florida's History Department in
this particular program, that, uh, your songs don't always come out as
well. So, uh, I had fel for a long time about furnishing the University
with some of the music that I do, so I'll just leave some of this on here,
and if you wanted to get it--a good copy, it would be possible to do so,
maybe this would help--be a little addition, uh, to the material which
I've already furnished. I think the song I was about to do here was