Citation
Interview with Vanessa Brown Troublefield, Deceber 8, 1993

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Vanessa Brown Troublefield, Deceber 8, 1993
Creator:
Troublefield, Vanessa Brown ( 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/.

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SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA







Interviewee: Vanessa Brown Troublefield

Interviewer: Emma Echols

December 8, 1993









E: This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. This is
December 8. I am recording the oral history of the Catawba Indians. I am visiting
the Rock Hill Public Library. I have seen this girl before, and I remember that I
brought her a picture of Edith Brown and gave it to her many years ago. Now here
I am back to get her story. Tell me your name and your address.

T: My name is Vanessa Troublefield. I live at 4462 Summerland Place in Rock Hill.

E: Tell me your mother's and father's name.

T: My mother's name is Ruby Ayers Vincent and my father's name is William Brown.

E: And your grandparents?

T: My grandmother's name is Edith Harris Brown, and my grandfather is Early Brown.

E: I have pictures of your mother, your grandmother, and Early Brown, of course. I am
delighted. Tell me where you went to school. Did you live on the reservation?

T: I grew up on the reservation. I went to the Catawba Indian school that was located
on the reservation from the first grade until the fourth grade. Then I went to public
school after that.

E: Who were your teachers when you were on the reservation?

T: There was a Sarah Robinson and a Mrs. Cornish that were the teachers at the
Catawba Indian school.

E: Did you have a lunch program at that time?

T: Arzada Sanders used to cook the meals for us when we went to school there.

E: I understand that after she served you your hot soup she would sometimes show you
how to make pottery.

T: Yes, she did, and she always took good care of us and always had something good
to eat.

E: It was Sarah Robinson who started that lunch program. It was the first time you had
ever had any of those. She and Mrs. Cornish did a lot of extra things with you all
like having a Thanksgiving dinner and making different things, and that was a
wonderful experience. Was it difficult for you to get books and notebooks and paper
and things like that?


-1-










T: Well, I really do not remember too much about that aspect of it. I just remember
going to school and walking to school and that we always had a real good school
program, it seemed like, with those two teachers.

E: One year all the children at school got paints and painted plaques. Did you ever do
that?

T: No, ma'am. I do not remember doing that.

E: Some of them did that, I am sure. She did a lot of extra things. When you left the
Catawba school, where did you go?

T: I went to a public school, Leslie Elementary School.

E: Who was your teacher?

T: I do not remember who my teacher was when I went there.

E: Do you remember anything about the Leslie school?

T: Not really.

E: Then you went to high school?

T: Then I went to high school at Rock Hill High School.

E: Tell me about the high school experiences.

T: It was quite different. We had a hard time. Nobody wanted us riding the buses with
them because we were Indians, you know. So it was hard fitting in. We were always
different, and teased because we were Indians. [We were] just really given a hard
time.

E: That is not true today, is it?

T: No, it is not. It is very different today.

E: Then when you finished high school, what did you do?

T: When I graduated from high school, I got married two years later. I started to work
at the library the year I got married, and I have been working there ever since.

E: Where are your children in school?


-2-










T: I have a seven year old; he goes to elementary school at Finley Road. Then I have
an eighteen year old son. He will graduate this year from Northwestern High School.

E: That is splendid. Things have changed so much on the reservation. Are you proud
to be [an Indian]?

T: Yes, I am very proud to be an Indian.

E: You were down there for the festival, I am sure.

T: Yes, I was. I took my family and we had a real good time.

E: What do you see for the future of education and health and so forth?

T: Well, I see us being able to get a lot more education and a lot of us being able to
afford a college education if we want it. Health-wise, I hope the medical [care] will
be much better. [I hope] that people that really need to go to the doctor and cannot
afford it now will be able to do that.

E: Your grandmother made beautiful pottery; what about you? Do you make any
pottery?

T: No, I do not, but my mother and brother are very involved in making the pottery.

E: Who is your brother?

T: My brother is Keith Brown.

E: And he is making pottery?

T: Yes, he makes pottery and does a lot of leather work and bead work.

E: Does he have a regular job besides that?

T: Yes. He just retired from the army last month. He is working at a printing company
in Charlotte.

E: He was there to display his things at the festival?

T: Yes, he was there. He did some drumming for the dancing and my mother danced.

E: Your mother and your grandmother, too?

T: No, just my mother.

-3-










E: Your mother would be?

T: Ruby Ayers Vincent.

E: Yes, I thought I saw your grandmother dancing, too. She had on a costume.

T: No, Edith passed away.

E: I was thinking about Evelyn Brown.

T: Evelyn Brown is my aunt.

E: She is the one that I saw dancing. She was eighty-seven. The children and the adults
all dancing and having a wonderful time.

T: Yes.

E: Do you go to church at the reservation?

T: Yes ma'am, I do.

E: What do you see about the leadership of the people? Are they uniting? Are they
cooperating all together?

T: Well, I see them now to a point where they realize that they have really got to come
together more than they have been. I see them forming a bond to each other and
trying to get along better.

E: You told me about your children. How old are you now?

T: I am thirty-eight now.

E: If you had to tell the youngsters coming along today, what would you tell them about
the Catawbas? Are you proud of the heritage? What do you think about it?

T: I am proud of it and I say if you are a young person and you have not gotten
involved, now is the time to really start learning about the culture.









-4-





Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Interviewee: Vanessa Brown Troublefield Interviewer: Emma Echols December 8, 1993

PAGE 2

E: This is Emma Echols, 5150 Sharon Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. This is December 8. I am recording the oral history of the Catawba Indians. I am visiting the Rock Hill Public Library. I have seen this girl before, and I remember that I brought her a picture of Edith Brown and gave it to her many years ago. Now here I am back to get her story. Tell me your name and your address. T: My name is Vanessa Troublefield. I live at 4462 Summerland Place in Rock Hill. E: Tell me your mother's and father's name. T: My mother's name is Ruby Ayers Vincent and my father's name is William Brown. E: And your grandparents? T: My grandmother's name is Edith Harris Brown, and my grandfather is Early Brown. E: I have pictures of your mother, your grandmother, and Early Brown, of course. I am delighted. Tell me where you went to school. Did you live on the reservation? T: I grew up on the reservation. I went to the Catawba Indian school that was located on the reservation from the first grade until the fourth grade. Then I went to public school after that. E: Who were your teachers when you were on the reservation? T: There was a Sarah Robinson and a Mrs. Cornish that were the teachers at the Catawba Indian school. E: Did you have a lunch program at that time? T: Arzada Sanders used to cook the meals for us when we went to school there. E: I understand that after she served you your hot soup she would sometimes show you how to make pottery. T: Yes, she did, and she always took good care of us and always had something good to eat. E: It was Sarah Robinson who started that lunch program. It was the first time you had ever had any of those. She and Mrs. Cornish did a lot of extra things with you all like having a Thanksgiving dinner and making different things, and that was a wonderful experience. Was it difficult for you to get books and notebooks and paper and things like that? 1

PAGE 3

---------~--------~ T: Well, I really do not remember too much about that aspect of it. I just remember going to school and walking to school and that we always had a real good school program, it seemed like, with those two teachers. E: One year all the children at school got paints and painted plaques. Did you ever do that'? T: No, ma'am. I do not remember doing that. E: Some of them did that, I am sure. She did a lot of extra things. When you left the Catawba school, where did you go'? T: I went to a public school, Leslie Elementary School. E: Who was your teacher'? T: I do not remember who my teacher was when I went there. E: Do you remember anything about the Leslie school'? T: Not really. E: Then you went to high school'? T: Then I went to high school at Rock Hill High School. E: Tell me about the high school experiences. T: It was quite different. We had a hard time. Nobody wanted us riding the buses with them because we were Indians, you know. So it was hard fitting in. We were always different, and teased because we were Indians. [We were] just really given a hard time. E: That is not true today, is it'? T: No, it is not. It is very different today. E: Then when you finished high school, what did you do? T: When I graduated from high school, I got married two years later. I started to work at the library the year I got married, and I have been working there ever since. E: Where are your children in school? 2

PAGE 4

-----------------------------------T: I have a seven year old; he goes to elementary school at Finley Road. Then I have an eighteen year old son. He will graduate this year from Northwestern High School. E: That is splendid. Things have changed so much on the reservation. Are you proud to be [an Indian]? T: Yes, I am very proud to be an Indian. E: You were down there for the festival, I am sure. T: Yes, I was. I took my family and we had a real good time. E: What do you see for the future of education and health and so forth? T: Well, I see us being able to get a lot more education and a lot of us being able to afford a college education if we want it. Health-wise, I hope the medical [care] will be much better. [I hope] that people that really need to go to the doctor and cannot afford it now will be able to do that. E: Your grandmother made beautiful pottery; what about you? Do you make any pottery? T: No, I do not, but my mother and brother are very involved in making the pottery. E: Who is your brother? T: My brother is Keith Brown. E: And he is making pottery? T: Yes, he makes pottery and does a lot of leather work and bead work. E: Does he have a regular job besides that? T: Yes. He just retired from the army last month. He is working at a printing company in Charlotte. E: He was there to display his things at the festival? T: Yes, he was there. He did some drumming for the dancing and my mother danced. E: Your mother and your grandmother, too? T: No, just my mother. 3

PAGE 5

E: Your mother would be? T: Ruby Ayers Vincent. E: Yes, I thought I saw your grandmother dancing, too. She had on a costume. T: No, Edith passed away. E: I was thinking about Evelyn Brown. T: Evelyn Brown is my aunt. E: She is the one that I saw dancing. She was eighty-seven. The children and the adults all dancing and having a wonderful time. T: Yes. E: Do you go to church at the reservation? T: Yes ma'am, I do. E: What do you see about the leadership of the people? Are they uniting? Are they cooperating all together? T: Well, I see them now to a point where they realize that they have really got to come together more than they have been. I see them forming a bond to each other and trying to get along better. E: You told me about your children. How old are you now? T: I am thirty-eight now. E: If you had to tell the youngsters coming along today, what would you tell them about the Catawbas? Are you proud of the heritage? What do you think about it? T: I am proud of it and I say if you are a young person and you have not gotten involved, now is the time to really start learning about the culture. 4