Charles Clark


D: Where were you born?
C: Pinch Creek, Bland, Virginia on May 27, 1942.

D: Who were your parents?
C: Beatrice Sarver Clark and Bernard Meek Clark

D: Where were they born and raised?
C: In Bland, Virginia.

D: How did your dad earn a living?
C: He was a sawmill operator and a coal miner.

D: What was he like?
C: He was a conservative and very religious man. He cared alot about
other people and their families. He was a real hard worker and
always made sure his family was provided for.

D: What was your mother like?
C: She was a homemaker. She took care of her children and three of her
brothers and one sister. She always made sure we had clean fresh-
pressed clothes and three full meals a day. She always put our
needs above her own.

D: Who were your grandparents?
C: Meek Clark and Della Clark.

D: Where were they born and raised?
C: Bland, Virginia

D: How did he earn a living?
C: He worked for Carl DeHart in the sawmill business for most of his life as a wood foreman in the woods.

D: What were they like?
C: Well, as much as I can remember about them they were good hard-
working people. They always cared for and worried about other
people because back then that was what you did. Everybody helped
each other out. They were also very conservative and religious.

D: Who were your brothers and sisters?
C: I have thirteen brothers and sisters, do you want me to name them

D: Yes.
C: O.K., Ralph, Peggy, Linda, Patsy, Ray, Wayne, Nancy, Charlene, Sheila,
Steve and Larry and Jack, and me.

D: Where were you raised?
C: On Pinch Creek.

D: What did you do for fun growing up?
C: Playing cowboys and indians with the neighbors and fishing.

D: What kind of toys did you have? What kind of games did you play?
C: Well, we mostly had hand-made toys and we liked to shoot marbles.

D: What kind of chores did you have to do around the house?
C: Feeding hogs, putting in the wood, working in the fields in the
summertime. We did the kind of things you had to do to keep the
farm running while Dad was gone.

D: What was your house like?
C: It was a big house. It had to be, to house all of us. A large old
farmhouse that we were always adding on to it.

D: How did you heat it?
C: Wood and coal.

D: What did you cook your food on?
C: A type of woodstove.

D: What did you grow in your gardens?
C: All types of vegetables: corn, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, peppers
and lettuce.

D: What was your favorite meal?
C: Cornbread, beans and onions.

D: Where did you go to school?
C: Hollybrook.

D: What was school like?
C: Well, back then it was alot of fun. We did alot of fun things. It’s not like it is now. They didn’t have drugs. Everybody cared about everybody else and we got along. It was almost always fun.

D: What did you study?
C: The normal things, English, math, writing, history, science... the normal things.

D: What did you pack for lunch?
C: Most of the time it was sandwiches with different type of meats.

D: How did you get to school?
C: Bus.

D: Who were some of your teachers?
C: Ms. Mustard, Ms. Ramsey, Ms. Faulkner, Ms. Updyke.

D: How did the teachers make their students behave?
C: You were always very attentive or you got paddled.

D: Did you get into trouble at school?
C: Yes, a few times, once when playing hooky, but most of the time I got into trouble because of fighting.

D: How were your holidays celebrated?
C: Most of the time there wasn’t too much to celebrate. We just had to have common things. Christmas trees were always cut out of the mountains, and for Thanksgiving, it was quite a few years before we had turkey for Thanksgiving.
D: Do you remember any fun stories or pranks that were pulled?
C: I guess most of the time we did things at Halloween. We cut trees in the road, took wagons apart, some people would soap windows and tie strings across the road. These things you couldn’t do today because traffic goes so fast and it would be harmful for people to just do common things as we did when I was growing up.

D: How did teenagers court when you was growing up?
C: Well, we mostly had automobiles and a lot of the times we would use our Dad’s car. Hardly any teenagers had cars of their own so we had to use our parent’s car. We would go to a drive in movie, or sometimes we would go to the girls house.

D: How did you meet your wife?
C: I met her at her brother-in-law’s house.

D: Where were you married?
C: In Bland County, in Mechanicsburg.

D: What was the ceremony like?
C: Just five people; me and my wife, my mother, my mother-in-law and the preacher.

D: Did you go on a honeymoon?
C: Yes, to Richmond, Virginia.

D: What is your wife’s name?
C: Judith Wilma.

D: How many children did you have?
C: Three.

D: What were their names and where were they born?
C: Kemberly Denise was born in Richmond, Charles Anthony was born in
Richmond, and Damon Marshall was born in Bland County.

D: Do you think it was easier to raise kids back then than it is today?
C: Yes. A lot more easier because most people didn’t have a lot and people wasn’t expected to keep up with the Joneses. People just lived their lives happy and the morals and ethics were taucht, people were religious, and there wasn’t as much meanness in the world as there is today.

D: What was Rocky Gap like when you were growing up?
C: Well, we had a barber shop, there wasn’t a bank or a brick school house. We had a restaurant that we went to a lot of times. I don’t remember the name of it, but we use to hang out there a lot, and there is still a restaurant there today.

D: What was the weather like?
C: It seems to me we had a lot of severe winters with a lot of snow. I
remember snow where you could walk on fences and it would be so deep that we would be snowed in at our homes for weeks before we could get out.

D: Do you remember any bad snow storms or floods?
C: Not floods, but the snow I remember and it got so cold that my Dad had a bulldozer and we couldn’t get it started, and the State trucks tried to push their way to work and shovel as much snow as we could, and finally got the dozer started and pushed fences down and made a way out to the store.

D: How did your family celebrate Christmas, with trees, presents, meals and things like that?
C: We use to go out and cut a tree out of the mountains, we made a lot of the ornament a decorations were hand made. A lot of the times we would pop popcorn and make decorations. Most of the time there was snow and we made snow cream and generally you would ge a present like a capbuster gun and girls would get a doll and that was the extent of presents.
C: Well all we did at Easter was celebrate like church and have a egg hunt for Easter, Thanksgiving we would just go out and hunt half a day and come back in eat Thanksgiving dinner.

D: What was grown on your farms, I mean raised?
C: Well back starting to remember was we growed our own wheat and made our own flour and growed corn and have it ground and made your cornbread and corn meal. Most all things except sugar, and salt you would grow on the farm. Cows for milk, hogs for meat, grow all our vegetables. Things we eat we canned, things like that put in cellars we lived mostly off the land.

D: What kinds of tools did you use for farming?
C: First we used horse to plow and mowing machine to cut hay horse drawn mowning machine horse drawn rack to rack the hay. Cut the corn with hand corn cutter most of the time you cut wheat we would hire a corn thrash would come in harvest the wheat and people would help because everbody would grow it and the man that did the thrashing he would take so much wheat for his work.

D: What about hog killing did you have any hog killings?
C: Yes sir we’d get together with neighbors and there would be a day for hog killing and just like a day making molasses a bunch would get together and make molasses.

D: How was the road change from when you were young?
C: Yes, mostly was dirt roads when we first started out was just so much state maintain because just enough men working for the state and there equipment has got better. Was hardly hardtop roads. They were narrow. Just alot of things improved. Major highways put in and back then there were just roads back then.

D: Was there any changes in the route around here?
C: The only change was 77 goin through. The rest of the roads, there’s been a few changes. Bring them up from the creek and think that is the extent.

D: What was your first car like?
C: First car was a 1951 Chevy Coupe my dad bought it for me and I paid him for it. He brought it. It had been hit in the side. Dented in the side so I had to learn body work. So I had to beat out the dent, fiber glass and paint it myself with a vacuum cleaner paint gun. Painted and fix my own car first.
D: What about telephones? Do you remember?
C: Telephones, it was a long time I can’t remember when we first got phones in. I can’t remember how we got them in.

D: What about electricity?
C: Electricity I remember it I remember the people come in and set up the poles I guess I was 14, 13 somewhere in the neighborhood when they brought electricity in. We used oil lamps and things to read by and it was a great day to see electricity.

D: What about radio, and television?
C: Radios, we always had a radio, a battery operated one. T.V., the first T.V that come in was Vance Ramsey, their family bought the first T.V and every Wednesday night we would all go down. All the boys and girls in the hollow were invited down Wednesday night. We would go down and watch movies on T.V Main thing I remember was Drag Net, T.V program that we watch. We would all come back up at night. That was Wednesday tradition. We would go down. I always appreciated them for doing it.

D: In church what was your baptizing ways?
C: Immersion in water and the name of Jesus Christ that was the tradition. When you repented, they would baptize them.

D: What about marrying ways?
C: Marrying was most done, was no ceremony. Just the preacher and the couple.

D: What about death ways and cemeteries?
C: In death it was different then it was today. The whole neighborhood would come and everything would come to a halt. Stores would close everyody there was reverent to the dead. There was no laughing or telling jokes or talking around when they went to the house of the dead. They took them to a funeral home. They had no funeral homes they brought them home or to a church and in general the same ceremony and sometimes they preached funerals. I really liked the preaching and they just were taken to a grave yard. Just general like it is today and buried.

D: What about doctors? Who was your doctors when you were young?
C: Doctor Kegly was our family doctor and he was a physician that cared about you and back then people cared more. I think the main thing that might have been they were as good but they took time to listen and try to find our your problems and not run you through like a bunch of calf or something and they took time to find out your problems.

D: What about the earliest families?
C: John Wright was the earliest family I remember. They lived here on mom's place. The owned it The families lived in the hollow was Jim Williams, Ed Williams, Gina Williams, and Blake Williams. They were all of family and then Vance Ramsey and us the Clarks the families and there was another family Janet Havens family lived in the hollow too.

D: Do you remember your family occupations were of your family members?
C: Are you talking about my brothers and sisters?
D: Yes.
C: That lived in the hollow here?
D: Yes.
C: Well Ray he is a electrical, Larry was a truck driver, Ralph he was a
manager of Sears, and I started out a manager of a vended company in Richmond moved back here and became a sales manager for a company out of England, Steve he is a maintance manager for a apartment complex.