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Interview

Mary Scarlett Jones

11/9/03

Conducted by Joe Liles

Part 3

 

We had chickens and, most of the time, we would have some eggs.  We had our side meat.  For breakfast, we would fry some side meat and have some eggs.  Seems like I remember having rice more than grits, with gravy. 

 

Anyway, we would keep several hogs, but we had very little ham.  Most of the time, the ham was to pay for things the kids needed, the shoes and things for school.  My mother did a lot of sewing and she taught the girls how to sew.  She would make the boys’ shirts.  She would cut the shirts out.  I remember helping to make my brothers’ shirts.  My mother also taught us how to make blouses and dresses for ourselves.  We had a sewing machine that would peddle.  As long as I can remember, my mother had a peddle sewing machine. 

 

We had a noon time meal.  We raised pretty much everything we ate.  My mother would do a lot of canning, and we dried beans, peas, and lima beans.  I remember it would get so hot and us children would have to go out and pick lima beans after they got dry.  I would hate that sunshine.  I do remember the worst whipping my mother gave me was for hiding my hat.  She would make us put on a hat and go out and pick those dry beans.  Those dry beans would keep in the winter time.  That was the worst whipping I ever got, was telling a story, trying to fool my mother once.  “Mama, I caint find my hat.  Mama, I caint find my hat.”  I guess she knew that I knew where it was.  When she got through with me, it was cooler in the garden than it was what she gave me!

 

My father, sometimes when he wanted us to do something, he would grab a cornstalk and act like he was going to beat us to death.  But he would never hurt us.  But when our mother would get through with us, we were well done!  She had an apple tree out there.  She would use it to get her switches.  Very seldom were there any apples on it, but that tree helped raise a bunch of kids!

 

I remember one time, my brother James and I had a hard time replanting the corn.  We had so much to replant.  We were going to be sure we were finished.  We dug a deep hole and put a good part of our corn in there.  Finally, that corn came up and showed itself!  We didn’t plant it deep enough.  We didn’t get any punishment for that because we had already planted all the corn we had space for.

 

We children were brought up working.  I didn’t mind the house work, but I did hate to go out in the sunshine in the middle of the day!

 

You know, we was always picking chickens.  Well, you would save the little fine feathers and make pillows out of them.  The big feathers, we would throw away, but those little downy feathers, you would make pillows out of that.  The longer you would sleep on those feather pillows, they would get too fine, and you would have to throw them away.  So, we were always saving feathers for my mother.

 

My dad would kill the pigs and things and make barbeques.  He would kill squirrels.  You would put them in Brunswick stew.  Squirrels would make good Brunswick stew.  People don’t do much like that anymore.  I don’t care so much for that wild meat.  I guess I am not much of a meat eater.

 

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