Citation
Interview with Mary Carolyn Sanders, November 1971

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Mary Carolyn Sanders, November 1971
Creator:
Sanders, Mary Carolyn ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Catawba Indians -- Florida
Kataba Indians -- Florida
Catawba Oral History Collection ( local )

Notes

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

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Catawba' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Resource Identifier:
CAT 4

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Full Text
































SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


In cooperation with the Catawba Nation


INTERVIEWEE: Mary Carolyn Sanders
INTERVIEWER: Emma Reid Echols


DATE: November, 1971






















E: I'm visiting in the home of John Idle Sanders and a visitor
has just come in from Charlotte and I'd like for her to tell
her story. Will you tell me your full name?

S: My name is Mary Carolyn Sanders and I live at 1301 Dresden
Drive West, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

E: And who were your parents and your grandparents?

S: My parents are Willie A. Sanders and Verdie Sanders. My grand-
parents are Bill Sanders and Nora Gordon, and my mother's
parents were Maggie Harris and David Harris.

E: I'm glad you remember all those. Now about your brothers and
sisters, how many brothers and sisters do you have?

S: I have five sisters and two brothers.

E: And where are they working?

S: My oldest brother is an upholsterer and my youngest brother is
a carpenter. I have two sisters working--one's a hairdresser,
my youngest sister I sent to beauty school after I finished,
and my other sister works in a factory in Rock Hill.

E: Do your brothers and sisters live in Charlotte, or most of
them live here?

S: They all live here in Rock Hill.

E: Now I'm interested in your school activities. You began school
on the Indian reservation and who was your first teacher?

S: Mrs. Cornish was my first teacher.

E: And then where did you go?

S: Then next door, in the next room, I had Mrs. Robinson. Then
we had to transfer to Leslie Elementary School and I stayed
there 'til the eighth grade. Then we had to transfer on into
the city of Rock Hill to Sullivan High School.









2








E: You remember those years at Leslie? You were integrated for
the first time with other white children. How did you get
along with that and how did you like it?

S: Well, most of the Indian children are very shy and it's hard
for them to get to know people. I had kind of a complex at
first. It took quite a few years to get out of that, in fact,
until I was out of beauty school, I guess.

E: I believe Mrs. Crawford was one of your teachers. What did
she do for you there?

S: Mrs. Crawford, I enjoyed her class I guess more than any class
or grade in school. I always loved to go in her classroom be-
cause she let me do a lot of art work, paintings and drawings,
which I enjoyed doing. I became more interested in school after
that year in her room.

E: Did you like music? Did you sing with her glee club?

S: I like music very much, but I was never able to participate
in any of the activities because it was hard to get to and
from school other than riding the bus.

E: What about high school? Did you do anything with your art in-
terest in high school?

S: Nothing other than just doing posters and different things.

E: And then after high school, where did you take your beauty
training?

S: I took my beauty course at Charlotte College of Beauty on
North Tryon Street.

E: And how long have you been working in the beauty shops in
Charlotte?

S: About nine years.

E: Now I believe you have an apartment with a white girl. You
get along very well with the white girl, do you not?

S: Yes, she's from the mountains and we enjoy a lot of things
together. We have special activities and things we enjoy.
We have show dogs, GermanShephera show dogs, and we go to









3








shows and ski a little bit. Mountain people and Indian peo-
ple, they seem to love nature and they have a lot in common.

E: Tell me about your church activities in Charlotte.

S: Well, I'm Mormon and I go to church at the Mormon church on
Hilliard Drive.

E: What about the way your church teaches concerning drugs and
whiskey? They're very strict in that area. How do you think
that affects your young people?

S: It's taught very strongly in our church, and also in the homes.
You grow up and when you're taught like this, you grow up and
it just seems to work with you later on.

E: You find very few young people who use drugs or alcohol in your
church?

S: Very few.

E: What do you think the future of your Catawba Indians is? So
many of you are working in industry.

S: I think they'll have a better life, better means of living
because there, there's more to offer them now than back say
twenty years ago.

E: Do you find that white people are very friendly and interested
in you as the individual as well as you as the Catawba Indian?

S: Yes.

E: You've come a long way from the Catawba Indian School on the
old reservation to the new school, Leslie School and high school,
and now a beautician in Charlotte. Are you interested in col-
lecting old Indian pottery and artifacts, things of that kind
about your people?

S: Yes. I have a small collection now that I've been working on
for a short time. I'd like to have a lot more but it's kinda
difficult to get right much. I usually try to pick up whatever
I come across if I can get it.

E: Have you got some of the old things that belong to your people,
arrowheads or weapons of any kind, too?









4








S: I have some old arrowheads and tomahawks. I have a couple a
those.

E: Do these belong in your family or have you collected them
other places?

S: Collected them other places. I wish I had kept a lot of
things that I found when I was a child that some of the white
people would come down and collect. I guess they were collec-
tors. I used to let them have them when I was a child. I
wish I had them back now.

E: What kind of things did you let the white people have?

S: Oh, I had some of the most gorgeous arrowheads you could ever
find when I was a kid. I always tried to...especially where
they had plowed up the ground, you could go out and find
beautiful arrowheads and things. I'd always hunt for them.
And even now, every time I go out anywhere in the wild,
especially up in the mountain areas, I'm always looking for
different things. I love to go to the mineral places up in
the mountains and hunt different minerals. I'm always looking
for things.

E: Some of the older people on the reservation still have things.
Do they share with you? Maybe you can get some down here.

S: I wish they would. I haven't had the time to come down and
check, but I think if they knew that I was trying to collect
and get my little collection started, I think they would help
out.

E: Well, I'm sure you'll be adding to that from time to time.

S: I'm sure gonna try.





Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with the Catawba Nation INTERVIEWEE: Mary Carolyn Sanders INTERVIEWER: Emma Reid Echols DATE: November, 1971

PAGE 2

E: I'm visiting in the home of John Idle Sanders and a visitor has just come in from Charlotte and I'd like for her to tell her story. Will you tell me your full name? S: My name is Mary Carolyn Sanders and I live at 1301 Dresden Drive West, in Charlotte, North Carolina. E: And who were your parents and your grandparents? S: My parents are Willie A. Sanders and Verdie Sanders. My grand parents are Bill Sanders and Nora Gordon, and my mother's parents were Maggie Harris and David Harris. E: I'm glad you remember all those. Now about your brothers and sisters, how many brothers and sisters do you have? S: I have five sisters and two brothers. E: And where are they working? S: My oldest brother is an upholsterer and my youngest brother is a carpenter. I have two sisters working--one's a hairdresser, my youngest sister I sent to beauty school after I finished, and my other sister works in a factory in Rock Hill. E: Do your brothers and sisters live in Charlotte, or most of them live here? S: They all live here in Rock Hill. E: Now I'm interested in your school activities. You began school on the Indian reservation and who was your first teacher? S: Mrs. Cornish was my first teacher. E: And then where did you go? S: Then next door, in the next room, I had Mrs. Robinson. Then we had to transfer to Leslie Elementary School and I stayed there 'til the eighth grade. Then we had to transfer on into the city of Rock Hill to Sullivan High School.

PAGE 3

2 E: You remember those years at Leslie? You were integrated for the first time with other white children. How did you get along with that and how did you like it? S: Well, most of the Indian children are very shy and it's hard for them to get to know people. I had kind of a complex at first. It took quite a few years to get out of that, in fact, until I was out of beauty school, I guess. E: I believe Mrs. Crawford was one of your teachers. What did she do for you there? S: Mrs. Crawford, I enjoyed her class T guess more than any class or grade in school. I always loved to go in her classroom be cause she let me do a lot of art work, paintings and drawings, which I enjoyed doing. I became more interested in school after that year in her room. E: Did you like music? Did you sing with her glee club? S: I like music very much, but I was never able to participate in any of the activities because it was hard to get to and from school other than riding the bus. E: What about high school? Did you do anything with your art in terest in high school? S: Nothing other than just doing posters and different things. E: And then after high school, where did you take your beauty training? S: I took my beauty course at Charlotte College of Beauty on North Tryon Street. E: And how long have you been working in the beauty shops in Charlotte? S: About nine years. E: Now I believe you have an apartment with a white girl. You get along very well with the white girl, do you not? S: Yes, she's from the mountains and we enjoy a lot of things together. We have special activities and things we enjoy. We have show dogs, German Shepherii show dogs, and we go to

PAGE 4

3 shows and ski a little bit. Mountain people and Indian peo ple, they seem to love nature and they have a lot in common. E: Tell me about your church activities in Charlotte. S: Well, I'm Mormon and I go to church at the Mormon church on Hilliard Drive. E: What about the way your church teaches concerning drugs and whiskey? They're very strict in that area. How do you think that affects your young people? S: It's taught very strongly in our church, and also in the homes. You grow up and when you're taught like this, you grow up and it just seems to work with you later on. E: You find very few young people who use drugs or alcohol in your church? S: Very few. E: What do you think the future of your Catawba Indians is? So many of you are working in industry. S: I think they'll have a better life, better means of living because there, there's more to offer them now than back say twenty years ago. E: Do you find that white people are very friendly and interested in you as the individual as well as you as the Catawba Indian? S: Yes. E: You've come a long way from the Catawba Indian School on the old reservation to the new school, Leslie School and high school, and now a beautician in Charlotte. Are you interested in col lecting old Indian pottery and artifacts, things of that kind about your people? S: Yes. I have a small collection now that I've been working on for a short time. I'd like to have a lot more but it's kinda difficult to get right much. I usually try to pick up whatever I come across if I can get it. E: Have you got some of the old things that belong to your people, arrowheads or weapons of any kind, too?

PAGE 5

4 S: I have some old arrowheads and tomahawks. I have a couple a those. E: Do these belong in your family or have you collected them other places? S: Collected them other places. I wish I had kept a lot of things that I found when I was a child that some of the white people would come down and collect. I guess they were collec tors. I used to let them have them when I was a child. I wish I had them back now. E: What kind of things did you let the white people have? S: Oh, I had some of the most gorgeous arrowheads you could ever find when I was a kid. I always tried to especially where they had plowed up the ground, you could go out and find beautiful arrowheads and things. I'd always hunt for them. And even now, every time I go out anywhere in the wild, especially up in the mountain areas, I'm always looking for different things. I love to go to the mineral places up in the mountains and hunt different minerals. I'm always looking for things. E: Some of the older people on the reservation still have things. Do they share with you? Maybe you can get some down here. S: I wish they would. I haven't had the time to come down and check, but I think if they knew that I was trying to collect and get my little collection started, I think they would help out. E: Well, I'm sure you'll be adding to that from time to time. S: I'm sure gonna try.