Jasper Walker

Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Walker are interviewed by Amy Kitts. (rghs '97)

Amy Kitts: When and where were you born?

Mr. Jasper Robert Walker: Where I was born?

Amy: Yes.

Mr. Walker: Right here, in this house. Bastian, VA.

Amy: When?

Mr. Walker: September the fourth, third, nineteen and fourteen.

Amy: Who was your mother and father?

Mr. Walker: Debbie J. and Sidney Neal Walker.

Amy: Were they born here?

Mr. Walker: No. They was born in Tazewell.

Amy: What did they do for a living?

Mr. Walker: Farmers. Farm.

Amy: What was your father like?

Mr. Walker: What was he like?

Amy: Yes.

Mr. Walker: Well, he was just a six-foot, two hundred and eighty pound man about, like oh, me, or something like that.

Amy: What was your mother like?

Mr. Walker: She was kind of a large woman, the size of your Aunt Florence over there.

Amy: Who were your grandparents?

Mr. Walker: My grandparents on my mother's side was Thomas Jefferson Neal and his wife was a Walker before she was married, before she married him. Then, ah, J.S. Neal was my daddy's, my granddaddy on my daddy's side, and, ah, his wife was a Steele.

Amy: Where were they raised at?

Mr. Walker: They was raised on Clear Fork, too.

Amy: What did they do for a living?

Mr. Walker: Farm.

Amy: Farm?

Mr. Walker: That, that's all there was to do.

Amy: Who were your brothers and sisters?

Mr. Walker: Who?

Amy: Yes, what were their names?

Mr. Walker: Oh. Jimmy, James Walker, Thomas Jefferson Walker, David Crockett, David, ah, Johnson Walker, Jasper Robert Walker, and Woodrow.

Amy: Woodrow?

Mrs. Ocie Walker: And Nelly.

Mr. Walker: And Nelly.

Mrs. Walker: Nelly Childress. One sister.

Amy: What kind of games did you play when you were young?

Mr. Walker: Ah, hoopie hide, Annie over, block can.

Amy: What kind of toys did you have?

Mr. Walker: What kind of what?

Amy: Toys.

Mr. Walker: Oh, I had a little wagon, and I played with an automobile tire. Pushed an automobile tire up and down the road.

Amy: What were your chores?

Mr. Walker: What was my toys?

Amy: Chores. What did you have to do around the house?

Mr. Walker: Oh, what did I have to do? Carry in the wood, help work in the garden, hoe corn, something like that.

Amy: Was your, how was your house heated?

Mr. Walker: How old what?

Amy: How was your house heated?

Mr. Walker: How was it heated?

Amy: Yeah. With wood?

Mr. Walker: With wood.

Mrs. Walker: Just like now.

Mr. Walker: With wood, with a stove, with two stoves.

Amy: What did you grow in your garden?

Mr. Walker: Well, onions and beans and beets. Ah, corn and potaters, and beans.

Mrs. Walker: Anything they wanted to eat, they had to raise it.

Mr. Walker: That was just about the general routine of what we raised. Stuff like that.

Amy: What was your favorite meal?

Mr. Walker: Meal?

Amy: Yeah.

Mr. Walker: Breakfast.

Amy: Breakfast? What did you eat for breakfast?

Mr. Walker: Duck eggs, duck eggs, biscuits, gravy, and a piece of ham meat.

Amy: Where did you go to school?

Mr. Walker: I went to school at Hicksville. I started out going to school at Hicksville, and wound up going at Bastian. Four years of it at Bastian.

Amy: What was your school like? Was it one room, or

Mr. Walker: It was one room at Hicksville, -and two rooms at Bastian.

Amy:What did you study?

Mr. Walker: Well, I studied arithmetic, and geography, English, hygiene and writing and geography.

Amy: Who were your teachers?

Mr. Walker: Elizabeth, at Bastian, it was Elizabeth Honaker.

Amy: Did you ever get into trouble at school?

Mr. Walker: Plenty.

Amy: How did you get to school?

Mr. Walker: Walked.

Amy: Did you pack your lunch?

Mr. Walker: Yeah.

Amy: Yeah.

Mr. Walker: I carried my lunch in a four pound lard bucket. I kept it dented up where I hit people over the head with it when they'd jump on me.

Amy: Where did you meet your wife at?

Mr. Walker: I met her at Bastian, at the Blue Bird Inn.

Amy: Did you all go on dates?

Mr. Walker: No.

Amy: No? Did you go to town with her or to the movies?

Mr. Walker: I went to, I walked home with her.

Amy: You walked home with her.

Mr. Walker: Uh huh.

Mrs. Walker: From a dance.

Mr. Walker: No, we, we didn't go to any movies or there wasn't such a thing as that. You could go to show, but, but it took you four hours to go from here to Bluefield.

Amy: How did the teenagers court when you were young? Did you get to go to her house, or did come to your house?

Mr. Walker: No, no, I went, I went to her house and picked her up, and she'd meet me out on the porch, and say "You'd better be easy, and get away from here, fore you get something hung over your head."

Amy:You had to have her home by a certain time?

Mr. Walker: Yeah.

Amy: Yeah?

Mr. Walker: Uh huh.

Amy: Where were you married at?

Mr. Walker: Married at Bland.

Amy: What was the ceremony like? Were there a lot of people there?

Mr. Walker: What, when I got married?

Amy: Uh hu.

Mr. Walker: Nobody, but us.

Amy: Just you two?

Mr. Walker: Just us, and the preacher and his wife.

Amy: Did she have on a wedding dress?

Mr. Walker: No.

Amy: No.

Mr. Walker: No, we was on our way to the Bland Fair.

Amy: Oh! Did you go on a honeymoon?

Mr. Walker: No.

Amy: No?

Mr. Walker: Uh huh.

Amy: How many children did you have?

Mr.Walker: Four.

Amy: Four, what are their names?

Mr. Walker: Bob, was the boy, and Lois, Judy, and Emma was the girls.

Amy: Where were they born at?

Mr. Walker: Where was they what?

Amy: Where were they born at?

Mr. Walker: They was born, Bob was born in Bastian, and, and the girls was born in Bluefield.

Amy: Do you think it's easier to raise children back then?

Mr. Walker: No, it ain't easy no time to raise children.

Amy: What was Rocky Gap like when you were growing up

Mr. Walker: Rocky Gap was just about like it is now, only not near as many houses. And that, they had a big band mill there. Now I'm going to start off just like I was.

Amy: Okay.

Mr. Walker: English Lumber Company had a band mill there, and everybody from around every place worked there, and the logs would come out of Laurel, way back in yonder toward Muddlely, and, uh, that's how come Tom Andrews to be, Rocky Gap. He was a lumber grader, and took care of the flooring mill, cause they had a flooring mill, and he run that, and he was your .

Mrs. Walker: Great-granddaddy.

Mr. Walker: Great-granddaddy.

Amy: What other businesses were there? Was there anything else?

Mr. Walker: In Rocky Gap?

Amy: Yes.

Mr. Walker: Oh, there, Rocky Gap had a bank, and ah, that's about it.

Amy: What did you do for fun in Rocky Gap? Was there anything

Mr. Walker: What did I do for what?

Amy: What did they do for fun in Rocky Gap?

Mr. Walker: Fun?

Amy: Fun, yeah. Was there anything fun to do?

Mr. Walker: Run, run up and down the road and throw rocks at each other.

Amy: What was the weather like? Do you remember any real bad snowstorms or floods or anything really bad?

Mr. Walker: In Rocky Gap?

Amy: In Bastian, anywhere.

Mr. Walker: I didn't understand you, ah, Amy. I can't hear you.

Amy: Do you remember any bad snowstorms when you were growing up?

Mr. Walker: Any snowstorms?

Amy: Uh huh.

Mr. Walker: Oh, yeah, I can remember plenty of snowstorms.

Mrs. Walker: It stayed bad.

Mr. Walker: Plenty of them, and floods. Because it tickled us to, ah, it, ah, snowstorms didn't keep you out of school, but high waters did. And there'd come a high water and we had this creek to cross, and the creek to cross, what they called the Gross Bridge, and, ah the creek was so deep that horse couldn't go through it, and they wouldn't let you ride a horse through it, cause they'd afraid you'd fall off and get drowned, maybe hoping that you would. But, ah, that's the reason they didn't let you go to school when the water was too high.

Amy:What did you do on Christmas

Mr. Walker: Ah, eat and run around in the snow and get your feet wet.

Amy: What kind of presents did you get?

Mr. Walker: Not much of any. Ah, little bag of candy, and an orange, and that was about it.

Amy: What did you do on Halloween?

Mr. Walker: Turned the toilets over up and down the road, and up at the school house at Bastian. Turned the toilets over and piled rocks on the porch and throwed a rock or two through windows, and just anything that's mean.

Amy: What did you do on Easter?

Mr. Walker: Ah, take the eggs and boil them. And take a can, and take some water, and go way off in the mountains some place and build a fire, and boil them eggs and crack them and eat them. And come back to the house and swear we'd been on a big picnic.

Amy: Who's the first president you remember?

Mr. Walker: To really remember was Herbert Hoover.

Amy: Where there many cars here when you were a little boy?

Mr. Walker: Cars?

Amy: Cars. Were there many cars in Bastian?

Mr. Walker: No.

Mrs. Walker: People were poor all together.

Mr. Walker: One, one car.

Amy: Who had that car?

Mr. Walker: Ah, Doctor Walker. Doctor Walker had a car that he rode in the summer time when the road was good. When it got bad, he rode a horse, Old Bob.

Amy: Do you remember WW1?

Mr. Walker: I can remember part of it.

Amy: Did any one in your family have to go?

Mr. Walker: My oldest brother went to the Navy.

Amy: How did you feel about him going?

Mr. Walker: I didn't want him to leave.

Amy: How old was he?

Mr. Walker: He told them he was eighteen, but he was only seventeen.

Amy: How

Mr. Walker: To get to go.

Amy: How old where you then?

Mr. Walker: Oh, me?

Amy: Yeah.

Mr. Walker: I was about six years old.

Amy:Six years old?

Mr. Walker: Uh huh.

Amy: Do you remember the 1920's very much?

Mr. Walker: Twenty what?

Amy: The 1920's. Do you remember then?

Mr. Walker: Yeah, I can remember, ah, the Hoover Depression.

Amy: Yeah.

Mr. Walker: When people didn't have nothing to eat. They had to eat beans, and they was lucky to have them.

Amy: Were your parents Democrats or Republicans?

Mr. Walker: Democrats.

Amy: Do you remember when women first got to vote?

Mr. Walker: I'm afraid to say yes. I'm afraid it might be a lie, but, I believe I can. Because my mother never would vote. She said, "No, they wouldn't let me vote when I wanted to, and I won't vote now."

Amy: What was it like during the Depression?

Mr. Walker: Ah, well, ah, didn't, didn't have no money, couldn't get no credit. You couldn't, ah, find nothing to eat, because they didn't have the money to buy anything, the stores didn't bring, bring in to the country. And, you practically, if you lived, you killed your own hog, and maybe your own beef, and that was about the way you lived. Raised beans and thrashed them out with a stick, and, ah, take them and put them through a mill, and clean them, by the hundred pounds.

Amy: Do you think the CCC camps helped Bland Co.?

Mr. Walker: Yes, yeah, I think it helped Bland County. It helped a lot of boys in Bland County, and a lot of people, and a lot of girls.

Amy: How did it help the girls?

Mr. Walker: Cause, they was boys here for them to go with.

Amy: Oh. When did you get your first radio?

Mr. Walker: Nineteen and, ah, thirty-seven, I believe.

Amy: What was it like?

Mr. Walker: Well, it was an electric set, about so big, plenty of static on it. If there was a lightning storm in a thousand miles of here, you could pick up the static, and you couldn't hear nothing, and, but, you could brawl, and jump and beat, and you managed to hear some of it.

Amy: When did you first get electricity?

Mr. Walker: Ah, about nineteen and thirty seven, when I got the radio.

Amy: Was it a lot better with electricity? A lot easier?

Mr. Walker: No, it was worse.

Amy: Why was it worse?

Mr. Walker: Because you picked up more static on electricity than you did with battery.

Amy: Oh.

Mrs. Walker: But you did have lights in the house.

Amy: When did you get a telephone?

Mr. Walker: Telephone, ah, four years ago. About nineteen and ninety.

Amy: Oh. When did you first get a television?

Mr. Walker: I got my first television I think about nineteen and fifty-one.

Amy: What kind of TV shows did they have then?

Mr. Walker: What, good programs did they have?

Amy: Yeah. What TV shows?

Mr. Walker: Oh, they had better programs then then they got now. I think they're better.

Amy: Do you think TV has changed things a lot?

Mr. Walker: Yes, and no. I don't.

Amy: How has it changed it?

Mr. Walker: Huh?

Amy: How has TV changed things?

Mr. Walker: Well, it, ah, gives people too many mean ideas. They seen all these, ah,cowboy shows on TV, and they thought they ought to be a cowboy, and get out here and shoot somebody. That was on TV, fictitious, but, if you get out here and do it yourself, it's the real thing. So.

Amy: Do you remember WW2?

Mr. Walker: Yeah.

Amy: What was it like during the war here?

Mr. Walker: Well, about like it is now. went to be examined for the Army, and they turned me down, cause they said I wasn't no good, and, ah, I stayed at home, and worked.

Amy: Did anybody in your family have to go to WW2?

Mr. Walker: No.

Amy: No?

Mr. Walker: No.

Amy: What about the Korean War? Do you remember that?

Mr. Walker: Yeah, I remember it.

Amy: Did, ah, anybody in your family have to go fight in the Korean War?

Mr. Walker: No, ah, my son went to, to the Army. When did he go to the Army?

Mrs. Walker: Sixty-one.

Mr. Walker: Sixty-one.

Mrs. Walker: But he was in inactive duty. There wasn't a war going on then.

Mr. Walker: There wasn't a war going on.

Mrs. Walker: He went in as soon as he got out of school.

Amy: Do you remember President Kennedy?

Mr. Walker: Yeah.

Amy: Did you like him?

Mr. Walker: Yes, I did.

Amy: Yes. Where were you when you heard he had gotten shot?

Mr. Walker: I was at, over at Bluefield Produce in Bluefield.

Amy: Were you sad?

Mr. Walker: Sad?

Amy: Yeah.

Mr. Walker: Yeah.

Amy: Yeah? Did any of your family fight in the Vietnam War?

Mr. Walker: No, I don't think so.

Amy: Do you think things have changed for the better or for the worse since you've grown up?

Mr. Walker: Well I think it's it might have been better, I don't know.

Amy: Do you want to tell me some about the railroad now?

Mr. Walker: What?

Amy: Do you want to tell me about the railroad now?

Mr. Walker: Oh. Yeah, do I want to tell you about the railroad now?

Amy: Yeah.

Mr. Walker: Yeah, I want to tell you about it. The railroad when it first, ah, come into Bland County, went from Narrows to Rocky Gap. It come on to Rocky Gap about six years before it came onto Bastian. It was known then as the New River Holston Railroad. And it come to Rocky Gap, and picked up all that lumber, lumber is the basic, ah, progress, for Bland. Lumber is. Then they decided to build it on up to the Valley about six or eight miles, and the bridges got washed out, in the flood of eighteen, nineteen eighteen. And then they brought it on to Bastian. And they done the work by men, and mules or plows, whatever they had. They didn't have no machinery of no kind. It was just built by man power, and that's all. And, they put it into Bastian, and then they sent it on to Suiter on count of the manganese mines on the mountain. And, ah, and they mined that manganese and shipped it out of here. And they got too much in some of the cars, and they had to unload it, because it was heavy. A shovelful of it, a shovelful, you couldn't lift it. It was just like picking up that much iron. And, they, ah, I don't know how many, much of it, they got off of Round Mountain. But they got a lot of it off there. And they wanted to call Round Mountain Iron Mountain, and there was already a mountain in Virginia called Iron Mountain, so they wouldn't name it that. They, they just let it go at Round Mountain. And, ah , that's how come the Virginia Hardwood Lumber put up their mill, and go to sawing lumber from every direction, anyplace they could find it. And they had bought the track of timber, known as the Va.Hardwood Lumber Co., they bought it from Lease and McVitty for about 58 cents an acre. There was thousands and thousands of acres of it. Then in turn, ah, Hardwood Lumber Co. sold, ah, the land to Pocahontas Land Company. And Pocahontas Land Co. kept it about twenty years, and sold it to the government, known as government land now. First thing that ever did happen, the government got this land, and they don't pay no taxes on it. And that's what makes the taxes so hard on the farmers, so that everybody that owns a houses and everything, cause, ah, the federal government, they don't tax on the land.Which if me or you owned the land, we'd have to pay it .And, ah, that's when the CCC Camp come by, and, ah, they got the CCC Camps, and they built the trails, forest fire trails, through the mountains, out Hogback, Round Mountain, out the Wyrick Trail, down Kimberling, every place. They built roads, and, ah, that's when they got the deer and the turkey. And when they got the deer and the turkey, they was shipped in here by train, and they shipped them in a cattle car. They put the deer out in a wagon, hauled them to the top of the mountain, and turned them out, and closed the hunting season for 25 years. There won't be no hunting no place, because they wanted them deer and turkey to get started. And they couldn't let them get started, they knew wouldn't get started if they didn't stop hunting. And they had one tame deer in the bunch, and they hauled him to the top of Round Mountain and he come back to Bastian. He said, "I don't like that mountain, I'll stay down here in Bastian." And he stayed over there at Wallace Bruce's in the garden for years. And they said the dogs killed him. But, he was tame, ah, he wasn't afraid of nobody. He was about a six or a eight point deer.

Amy: And nobody tried to kill him?

Mr. Walker: No.

Amy: No?

Mr. Walker: No. Everybody liked him. And they didn't try to kill him. It's a wonder. And, ah, then, ah, they Bastian, Bastian then had five grocery stores. Bland Co. Supply, E.N. Shufflebarger, Tyler Kidd, J.P. Hurley, and J. Harman.

Amy: What all did they sell?

Mr. Walker: Just,

Amy: Food?

Mr. Walker: Groceries. Beans.

Mrs. Walker: Safety pins and hair pins.

Mr. Walker: Just, some people would trade with one store, and some people with another. Some would trade to this one, they wouldn't all trade at the same store. If they didn't like that store, they'd trade with somebody else. And, ah, then in later years, Blessing Bros. set up a store. And, they put everybody else out of business. The rest of them had gotten old, so they wouldn't care whether they sold anything or not anyway, cause they got their barrel full. And, ah, so they had Blessing Bros. was about the last grocery store in Bastian. And, ah, they dealed in chickens, and eggs, and hauled them to the coal fields. And, ah, got to be rich. Even their store clerks got rich, Rosie Rasnack, Rosy Pruett, was one of the clerks, Florence Buchanan, and I don't remember them working in there. I can't remember anything about that. And, then everything began to, you know, the country will go to its peak for a while, and then it will come back down. It's down now.I don't know how long it will be before it raises back up.Maybe when they get the Indian Village to going. And, ah, they got them a nursing home, and filling stations over here. And they got the Interstate 77, which goes right through the middle of the county, and, that was something they didn't have back in the old days, was a highway. They had the first highway to come through Bland Co. was the Raleigh Grayson Turnpike. There was about room for two houses to walk side by side. That's all it was. It went from Grayson Co., Virginia to Raleigh Co. West Virginia, across East River Mountain, on into Raleigh Co. where Beckley is now. And it was called Highway 21. When, when they brought the convicts in here, and built a highway. They built it by hand power, too. And named it U, U.S. 21. And it was a dirt road to start with. And they'd pave it a little every year, and built, built these bridges, these cement bridges. They was built in 19 and 29. I stood out and watched them work on them bridges. I, I watched them build them bridges. And they got the bridge, the contracts mixed up, and they put the Bastian bridge, the Bastian bridge was supposed to been across Wolf Creek right here. And the Wolf Creek bridge was supposed to been across Hunting Camp at Bastian. They got them mixed up and put the bridges in the wrong place, but it worked out Al right later. And, um, tell me something.

Amy: What

Mr. Walker: Huh?

Amy: Where did you used to work?

Mr. Walker: Where'd I used to work?

Amy: Uh huh.

Mr. Walker: Oh, I worked for Guy Bruce driving a truck, hauled first one thing and then another. Hauled cattle to the Bland Fair, and hauled brick in here to build silos with. And then I went to work with Baz Havens. I hauled lumber, and mining props, logs, and, uh, first one thing, and then another.

Mrs. Walker: Then you left here and went to Bluefield.

Mr. Walker: Till I was married. Then I got out and moved to Bluefield, and went to work at Kroger Grocery and Bagging Co., and drove a trailer. And I been in Bluefield ever since until I retired, I wound up working for Bluefield Produce in 19 and 71. And I never did get rich, but I lived just like everybody else did.

Amy: Did you live in a house in Bluefield the whole time, or did you live in an apartment?

Mr. Walker: I rented a house for a while, and then I bought a house.

Mrs. Walker: We lived in an apartment.

Mr. Walker: Apartment. And then I bought a house, the house that I live in now. Ah, Franklin St., 1413 Franklin St.

Amy: Do you like it better in Bastian or in Bluefield?

Mr. Walker: Huh?

Amy:Do you like it better in Bastian or in Bluefield?

Mr. Walker: Well, when I'm over here, I like it over here, and when I'm over there, I like it over there.

Mrs. Walker: That's about the truth.

Amy: Did you ever come over here when you lived in Bluefield?

Mr. Walker: Oh, yes. Every week, if I could.

Mrs. Walker: Cause his sister lived here.

Amy: Your sister lived here?

Mr. Walker: Uh huh.

Amy: When did you move back over here?

Mr. Walker: In about nineteen and eighty. We come back over here to stay while she was working at the .factory up here, and didn't want to drive across East River Mountain every day.

Amy: When did she start working at the factory?

Mr. Walker: I, Amy, I don't know.

Mrs. Walker: I worked two different times. I worked ten years one time, and quit for five years, and then I come back and worked another ten years.

Amy: Oh.

Mrs. Walker: I retired. What year did you retire in? Well, I pulled out in seventy, eighty seven, then.

Mr. Walker: And then she quit working up there in eighty seven, she said.

Amy: What was the Bland Co. Fair like then?

Mr. Walker: Fair?

Amy: The fair.

Mr. Walker: The fair, the Bland Co. Fair, had a lot of pretty cattle, fat cattle, and baby beefs, and prize hogs, a, um, prize horses, and it was a lot better then than what it is now, to my opinion.

Mrs. Walker: And dog shows. Amy: Where there any games? Mr. Walker: Games?

Amy: Games.

Mr. Walker: Oh, yeah. They had the ferris wheel, and, ah, and, ah,

Mrs. Walker: Bingo was a real

Mr. Walker: About all of them games that they got now. And they charged you the ten cents to ride them. If you could get hold of the ten cents, you could ride.

Amy: You married Aunt Ocie on the way to the fair?

Mr. Walker: Yeah.

Amy: Yeah. Did your parents know you were going to get married?

Mr. Walker: Really, I don't know.

Amy: You didn't tell them.

Mr. Walker: Cause I was twenty eight years old.

Amy: Oh.

Mr. Walker: So, I didn't make much difference.

Amy: How old was she?

Mr. Walker: She was 22.

Amy: Did her parents know?

Mr. Walker: Yeah.

Mrs. Walker: Yeah.

Amy: Yeah?

Mr. Walker: Uh huh.

Amy: Were you still living here then?

Mr. Walker: Uh huh.

Amy: Uh huh?

Mr. Walker: Yeah. I still lived right here then.

Amy: Did you move to Bluefield as soon as you got married, or did you live here for a while?

Mr. Walker: No, about one year after I was married.

Amy: Uh huh.

Mr. Walker: I moved to Bluefield. We stayed here one year, ah, yeah, it was better than a year. Stayed here until October of the next year. And, ah, I went away and got me a job because it wasn't paying nothing. Eighteen dollars a week was what I was making. Eighteen dollars, that's , anybody makes more than eighteen dollars a day now, but I got that a week.

Mrs. Walker: That's more than what you could clear now, because food didn't cost as much.

Mr. Walker: Ah. Highway 21 was hard topped then after that about all the way through from Bluefield to Wytheville. And cars began to get more numerous than what they was, and everybody went to buying them a car, that had money to buy them with. And they had, ah, put the Greyhound Bus on this road. And, I, ah, see, seen wreck happen. A Greyhound bus went over a mountain, up here, what they call Kimberling turn, and went straight down over the mountain, for a hundred and some feet, before it stopped against a big tree. And they cut the road on out and brought it out the holler, up here at the filling station,

Amy: Uh huh.

Mr. Walker: And hauled it away. Wasn't nobody hurt or nothing. But it went straight over that hill.

Amy: I bet they were scared.

Mr. Walker: I bet you they were scared. Yeah, I bet you they were. I guess I would have been.

Amy: When did you get your first car?

Mr. Walker: When did I what?

Amy: Get your first car.

Mr. Walker: Oh, my first car. About nineteen and uh, twenty, uh huh. It was a

Mrs. Walker: Must have been 35.

Mr. Walker: Yeah, I, uh, had a 19 and 28 model Ford. Coupe. Was the car that, ah, Gib Repass had. He bought i t new, and traded it in on another one, and Baz Havens got it, and I got it from Baz. No, but I'd had a Chrysler before that, a 27 Crystlar, and a 28 Buick, model Buick.

Amy: Was that before or after you were married that you got your first car?

Mr. Walker: Oh.

Amy: Before?

Mr. Walker: It was before.

Amy: Before.

Mr. Walker: Uh huh.

Amy: How old were you, 16?

Mr. Walker: No. Around 23 or 4. Uh huh, nobody got married young in them days.Uh huh. If you wasn't as much as 25, they wouldn't sell you a license. They said the older you was, the more sense you had about getting married. Cause if people get married too young, they don't know what they're doing. That's what they claim. But, really sometimes I think it's the truth. Ah, you've got to have some responsibility about yourself before you get married because you got another one to look out for when you're married, and then the children comes around, you got a bunch of them to look out after, and you better know what you're doing. Right?

Amy: Uh huh.

Mr. Walker: Remember that.

Amy: Okay.

Mr. Walker: Tell her she's got the machine on.

Mrs. Walker: Well, let her run.

Amy: What were your dolls like?

Mrs. Walker: They was just little rag dolls, and little china dolls. We got a doll every year for Christmas.

Amy: Did your mom buy them?

Mrs. Walker: Yeah.

Amy: Yeah.

Mrs. Walker: Ordered them, I reckon. Didn't she, Florence?

Amy: And you had to make clothes for them?

Mrs. Walker: We did, we'd take some of our old clothes and cut them up, and make doll clothes.

Amy: How many brothers and sisters did you have?

Mrs. Walker: I have 6 sisters, and had 3 brothers, but just have one living now.

Amy: So, did you have to share a room with all your sisters?

Mrs. Walker: No, they was about three of us in a room, wasn't they? We, ah, no, not all of us girls had to sleep in the same room. We had 2 bedrooms for us, and then the boys had one.

Amy: Did you share your dolls with them?

Mrs. Walker: I guess we fought over them sometimes, but I don't know. That was part of the fun.

Amy: What other kinds of toys did you have?

Mrs. Walker: Oh, we had just about anything that anybody else had, but it didn't take much. We just played with what we had, and played cards. Played outdoors most of the time, cause in the winter time, we'd go sleigh riding, skate on the creek. In the summer time, we'd play ball, went fishing, and, we didn't require much toys. We played whatever we wanted to play. We'd play games, hoopie hide, hide and go seek, and stuff like that, but, our main thing was baseball.

Amy: What were your chores around the house?

Mrs.Walker: Uh, we just, dishes, we played with our dolls, and, dishes. Uh huh, just whatever we come up with. It didn't take much.

Amy: You had to make breakfast?

Mrs. Walker: I helped mom. We'd take weekabouts. One of us get up one week and help, cause we set the table, and, stuff like that while she fixed breakfast. And we had to wash the dishes.

Amy: What did you cook your food on, a wood stove?

Mrs. Walker: Uh huh.

Amy: Was that how your house was heated, with a wood stove?

Mrs. Walker: Yeah, uh huh.

Amy: Did you

Mrs. Walker: I like it better than I do electricity. See how hot it is in here now.

Amy: What did you grow in your garden?

Mrs. Walker: Well, I like, uh, cucumbers the, the best, I guess. And then tomatoes. And we had potatoes, and beans, and I'd have a little dab of this and a little dab of that. And corn.

Amy: What was your favorite meal that your mom used to make you?

Mrs. Walker: I guess supper, cause I was always hungry when I come home from school. I always liked supper.

Amy: What was your parent's names?

Mrs. Walker: Jack Buchanan and Dora Cotherd Buchanan.

Amy: Where were you born?

Mrs. Walker: I was born in Smith County, down at Chatam Hill.

Amy: When did you move here?

Mrs. Walker: Um, July the fourth, 1936.

Amy: Do you remember that, or were you too young?

Mrs.Walker: No, I didn't come then.

Amy: So you weren't?

Mrs. Walker: No, I stayed with my grandmother.

Amy: Oh.

Mrs. Walker: She was bedfast and I stayed with her for about -three years.

Amy: How old were you then?

Mrs. Walker: Ah, I was about fifteen or sixteen years old. She was in her eighties. It was my mother's mother, down in Smith County and I didn't want to leave no ways.

Amy: Is that were you went to school?

Mrs. Walker: Uh huh.

Amy: What was your school like there?

Mrs. Walker: Well, we had some real teachers. Yeah, one room and two rooms sometimes. One school had two rooms, and one with one room. But when I started school, it was just a one room school. And, in later years, when we moved down in lower parts of the cove, we had a two room school down there. And that's where I finished the seventh grade.

Amy: Was that

Mrs.Walker: That was it. I come up here and started to Bland and riding across that mountain made me sick on the bus, so I quit. I was sick every day by the time I got to school.

Amy: In Smith County did you walk to school?

Mrs.Walker: Uh huh, cause we lived close to the school. But, it wouldn't count as close now. It was about from here to Bobby Gross's down there or something. We had fun. It was half our living, walking to school.

Amy: Did you

Mrs. Walker: There'd be eight or ten of us in a group.

Amy: Did you get into trouble?

Mrs. Walker: No. Why, I was a good young un. I'd never get a whipping in school.

Amy: What did you do on your birthday? Did you get present, or did you get a cake, or

Mrs. Walker: We always got something. We got clothes mostly. Cause, my birthday was too close to Christmas.

Amy: When, when's your birthday?

Mrs. Walker: Fifth of January.

Amy: Oh.

Mrs. Walker: Me and Lauren has the same problem. Lauren's is before

Mr. Walker: Do you got that thing on?

Amy: Yes.

Mrs. Walker: Lauren's is before Christmas, and mine's right after, so, we got cheated out of half of ours.

Amy: Did your mom make you a cake?

Mrs. Walker: Oh, yes. We always had cake. We had cakes, every, all the time. It wasn't nothing special, cause she liked to cook.

Amy: What did you do at Christmas?

Mrs. Walker: Went to parties. Had a good time. Played cards. Went skating.

Amy: Did you have

Mrs. Walker: We didn't have a skating ring, cause there wasn't no such thing as a skating ring. We skated on the frozen creek. Creeks stayed froze then all winter. We'd go skating all the time.

Amy: Did you have a tree?

Mrs. Walker: Um huh.

Amy: Did you put candles on the tree, or, you didn't have any lights

Mrs. Walker: No, we didn't have any electric lights, we'd had cranberries and popcorn. And we made our own colored balls out of sycamore balls.

Amy: Did you

Mrs. Walker: And colored them different colors.

Amy: Did you get to make the popcorn and the cranberries?

Mrs.Walker: Um huh. Cranberries were bought, but we popped the popcorn.

Amy: What did you do at Halloween?

Mrs. Walker: Went trick-or-treating. Piled stuff in the road.

Amy: Did you dress up?

Mrs. Walker: Oh yeah.

Amy: What'd you dress up as?

Mrs. Walker: We just put on anything we could find. Big sack over our head or something, paper bag or something. We had a good time. Dangerous now, I realize now it was dangerous, cause we put stuff in the road and cars would come and run into them.

Amy: What about Easter?

Mrs.Walker: We always had two or three Easter parties. Coloring eggs, and go out and have fun. Hide eggs, two or three here, and parties. And just have a good time.

Amy: Did you, uh, get a new Easter dress?

Mrs.Walker: Yeah.

Amy: Yeah, did you get new shoes?

Mrs. Walker: Yeah.

Amy: Yeah.

Mrs. Walker: We always got new shoes for Christmas and Easter. So.

Amy: So, is there anything else you want to tell me?

Mrs. Walker: I don't reckon.

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