John Scarlett

Interview

October 26, 2003

Conducted by Joe Liles

Part 7

 

 

My grandfather Levi was dead before I was born.  I was told about how he acquired the property and told where he was buried at.  Thatís about as much as I know.  Levi was a slave to the Scarletts.  I reckon thatís how he got his name.  There was two of these women that he had taken care of until they died.  These women willed him a certain amount of property in this area right here.

 

My father told me that his daddy Levi raised his garden with a mattock and an ox.  Thatís all I heard about my grandfather.

 

We had three oxes, carried up to the farm on Linden Road until just about a year before my dad died.  He died in 1938.  He had just sold those ox a few months before he died.

 

My father had learned the trade of blacksmith.  He had a blacksmith shop right up the road from here.  He had a bellows that you would pump it like this to get air.  Later on, he got a hold of a forge that you could turn to blow.  Now later on, he got to the place that he didnít do much work.  We boys had to do it.  He learned us boys how to turn horseshoes, how to weld, how to hammer weld two pieces of iron together, how to shoe horses.  James did all the shoeing.  I would turn the shoes.  My father just kept us busy.

 

There was a cabin right across here that was owned by Mr. Taylor.  He was the proprietor of the Gulf Oil Company.  My father would see that that cabin was taken care of.  He would cook maybe three hogs, and a sheep and a goat, barbeque Ďem, for the service stations of the Gulf Oil Company.  His barbeque pit was just behind the blacksmith shop.

 

My daddy built a store for Oscar Couch.  We owned it!  Couchís granddaddy was with Couchís Oil Company in West Durham.  Oscar ran the store. 

It was right on Highway 70.  Snuff, tobacco, candy, oil and gas.  When business got good, we put a side room on to it.  Later on, that store was moved back from the highway and became a dwelling house.  Couch rented that store from my father.  That was house rent coming in!  That was a little extra money.

 

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