Williams Sisters


Adriana Faulkner: My name is Adriana Faulkner, and I am interviewing Reba Bradshaw, Doris Bradshaw, and Judy Elmore at Doris’s house, and the date is February 24, 2001. Where and when were you born?

Judy Elmore: Reba you’re the oldest.

Reba Bradshaw: Well I was born in Bland County, March the 27th 1932.

Judy: I am Judy Elmore. I was born October the 19th, 1946 in Bland County, VA.

Adriana: Aunt Doris?

Doris Bradshaw: I am Doris Bradshaw and I was born in Bluefield, WV, July 14th, 1949.

Adriana: Who were your mother and father?

Doris: James Harvey Williams and Myrtle Clara Wright Williams.

Judy: And I have the same. Reba, do you have the same?

Reba: Yes, Ma’am.

Adriana: Where were they born and raised?

Reba: Hollybrook, Bland County, Virginia.

Adriana: What did they do for a living?

Judy: Dad was a farmer and he worked at Hardwood Products in Bluefield, VA for many years.

Adriana: What did your mom do?
Judy: She was a housewife and a mother.

Adriana: What was your father like?

Doris: Very strict.

Reba: He was just strict with Doris. We had a good dad.

Doris: He wasn’t strict with me. (chuckles)

Judy: Very hard worker, a Christian man, a lot of energy.

Adriana: What was your mother like?

Judy: Also a very hard worker and a good mother. Also very strict.

Adriana: How did they punish you guys when you were misbehaving?

Judy: We got a whippin’.

Reba: I can’t ever remember getting a whippin’. I was the good one in the family.

Judy: I got a whippin’.

Adriana: Did you get a whippin’ Doris?

Doris: Yeah. (chuckles)

Reba: She probably got a few. (chuckles)

Doris: I probably got a few.

Judy: We didn’t have time-out. I don’t remember having time out.

Doris: No corner.

Adriana: Who were your grandparents?

Judy: Dad’s side was Eugene Williams, Eugene Preston. What was grandma’s?

Reba: Pet.

Doris: Pet.

Judy: Pet Williams.

Wilma Faulkner (Reba’s daughter): What was her maiden name?

Reba: Well, I don’t know.

Judy: And mom’s parents was John Bowman Wright.

Reba: And Lila.

Judy: And Lila Wright.

Doris: Chandler (Lila’s maiden name)

Adriana: Do you know where they were born and raised?

Judy: Where some of them born in West Virginia?

Reba: I don’t think so.

Doris: I don’t think so. I’d say Bland County probably.

Judy: Probably Bland County, all of them. You should go up and interview Aunt Minnie (Their great aunt).

Reba: Yes, you should Adrian because she would be a good person to interview. And she’s got a good mind. She’s 90 years old, but her mind’s better than ours.

Judy: Yeah you should.

Reba: I’ll go with you sometime.

Adriana: Ok. Do you guys know what they did for a living?

Judy: Probably in the timber business and farming.

Reba: No Grandpa Wright used to work at the sawmill.

Judy: Well sawmilling.

Reba: Sawmilling. And Grandpa Williams I didn’t know. If he ever worked anywhere, I didn’t know. I guess he was a farmer.

Doris: Well where’d he lose his arm at?

Reba: I don’t know.

Judy: Probably at a sawmill. Aunt Minnie would know all that.

Reba: Uh huh.

Adriana: Do you guys remember anything about them? What they were like?

Doris: I just know Grandpa Williams had his arm cut off. (chuckles) I remember that. And Grandpa Wright and his white hair. And Grandma Wright..

Judy: And really tall and a really good man. Lots of fun wasn’t he? He was always picking on ya.

Reba: Uh huh.

Adriana: How’d he pick on you guys? What did he do?

Judy: Teasing ya. He was a great baseball fan. He liked Mickey Mantle was his favorite baseball guy.

Doris: And a Yankee fan.

Judy: A Yankee fan and Mickey Mantle. Grandma Williams was in Marion most of her life so there’s not a lot I remember about her. I hardly remember Grandma Wright at all.

Doris: I don’t remember her.

Judy: Do you remember Grandma Wright, Reba?

Reba: Yeah I remember. Grandma Wright was a good woman. I remember her.

Judy: I don’t remember. I remember the funeral, but I don’t remember her.

Reba: She was a good woman. What year did she die?

Judy: I don’t know.

Doris: I don’t remember her. I’d have to go back and look at their (her children’s) baby book.

Adriana: Besides you guys, who were your other brothers and sisters?

Doris: Well I am the baby. I do know that, out of ten.

Judy: And I am next to the baby. There was Pearl, the oldest, Elizabeth was the next one, and then Paul, and Reba.

Reba: I’m Reba.

Judy: And David. Where was Wilma? In between David and Jimmy?

Reba: That’d be David and myself.

Judy: We had a Wilma that was. Only lived six months right? She had pneumonia and died.

Reba: She had pneumonia.

Judy: And then there’s Jimmy and Preston and Judy and Doris. There are 7 of us left. We had two sisters…

Doris: Three.

Judy: Three sisters that have died.

Adriana: Where you guys raised up Kimberlin?

Judy: Up Pinch Creek.

Adriana: Oh ok.

Doris: But you wasn’t. Where were you born and raised?

Reba: Yeah I was. I was born up there.

Doris: Up on Pinch Creek?

Reba: They called it the barn. That’s where I was born.

Doris: Oh ok.

Adriana: Do you remember any of your neighbors?

Doris: Didn’t have any.

Judy: Yeah.

Reba: Yes, we did.

Judy: Rufus.

Reba: Ronnie Nunn was…

Doris: Yeah, that’s right.

Reba: a neighbor. And umm Rufus Havens.

Judy: And Uncle Led and Aunt Minnie lived down the road.

Reba: And Uncle Blake lived right over the hill.

Judy: And Uncle Blake lived over the hill.

Doris: Over the hill, about ten miles or 45 minutes.

Judy: Not any, not anybody next door.

Doris: That’s what I’m saying.

Reba: We used to, we used to walk miles and miles and miles.

Adriana: What did y’all do for fun when you were small?

Doris: Played hopscotch.

Judy: Play hopscotch, jack rocks, marbles, slide down the hill on pasteboard boxes, walk through the woods, swim in the creek.

Adriana: What kind of toys did you play with, and what kind of games did you play?

Judy: We just mentioned that.

Reba: We didn’t have any toys, Adrian.

Judy: We had a doll. One doll and they used to play in the coal bin as a dollhouse, as a playhouse.

Reba: We used to make mud pies. I told you about that Adrian. Those good old mud pies. (chuckles)

Doris: Well I had a cooking outfit. (chuckles) I got a cooking outfit when I was little.

Judy: Did you?

Doris: Yeah and a stove…

Judy: I don’t remember it.

Doris: and a refrigerator.

Reba: Doris was spoiled. She got a stove.

Doris: A little one. Don’t you remember that?

Reba: Hmm-Mmm. I don’t remember that.

Judy: I don’t remember that.

Doris: I had a babydoll and a cooking stove.

Judy: I remember…

Doris: I admit it. I am spoiled.

Adriana: What were your chores around the house?

Doris: Gathering the eggs.

Judy: Feeding the pigs.

Doris: Feeding the pigs, we’d each have to milk.

Judy: Cooking.

Doris: Making buttermilk.

Judy: Making buttermilk, butter.

Doris: And the cottage cheese.

Judy: Cottage cheese.

Doris: Canning.

Judy: Hoeing in the garden. The cornfield.

Reba: (chuckles) You all are talking like you was slaves.

Judy: Picking berries to earn spending money. Huckleberries, blueberries rather.

Adriana: Is that where you saw the snake?

Reba: Yeah it is.

Adriana: Where you all there to see it?

Reba: We was all there to see it.

Doris: Over on Walkers Mountain?

Reba: No it was up here on Hogback Mountain.

Doris: Oh I wasn’t there then.

Reba: Oh yeah, that’s the last time I went picking berries, but I told Adrian about this when she interviewed me last time.

Doris: I thought we was over there on…

Reba: Grandpa whipped the rattlesnakes…

Judy: Climbing trees to pick cherries.

Doris: I thought we were over at, on Mechanicsburg Mountain picking huckleberries.

Judy: Yeah, I remember going over there.

Reba: I didn’t go there.

Doris: Oh you didn’t?

Reba: It was up here on this mountain.

Judy: And taking a can of beanie weenies and crackers for your lunch.

Reba: We used to pick tubs full of cherries. Tubs! How much does a tub hold?

Adriana: I don’t know.

Judy: A bunch.

Reba: A lot of gallons.

Doris: I don’t remember picking any cherries.

Reba: You don’t?
Doris: No.

Judy: Oh I do.

Reba: You probably didn’t pick any Doris. (chuckles)

Judy: You were too little to climb the trees.

Adriana: Did you guys have a favorite chore?

Doris: I can’t think of anything.

Reba: Hmm?

Doris: A favorite chore.

Adriana: Do you guys have a least favorite chore?

Judy: Picking the chickens after mom killed them. So we could have some Sunday dinner. And catching them while they were flopping around. (chuckles) I’m telling the truth!

Adriana: Well that’s good. Do you remember any home remedies that your parents of grandparents used when someone was ill?

Judy: When we had a sore throat and a cold mom would fry onions and put lamp oil in it and spread it on our throats while it was warm and tie a handkerchief around our neck and put us to bed. So we’d get up smelling like kerosene.

Doris: Don’t you guys go out that door!

Judy: And Vicks salve.

Doris: And what was it we had? Castor oil in the spring?

Judy: We always had mineral oil or castor oil.

Reba: It was castor oil.

Adriana: For what?

Doris: They said to deworm ya. Remember us taking that?

Judy: Yeah.

Reba: They said that was worm medicine.

Judy: Worm medicine.

Reba: It was the worst stuff in the world!

Doris: Oh god, you had to take it EVERY spring. That was awful.

Adriana: Tell me what they did for an earache.

Doris: I never had an earache so don’t blame that on me.

Reba: They used to put warm, they used to warm pee and put it in your ear.

Doris: (whispers) Pee’s already warm. (chuckles)

Adriana: Do you remember your family using any herbs from the mountains?

Judy: No, not really. I can’t. Can you?

Doris: What about the three leaves that they, they would rub together?

Judy: Three leaves?

Doris: Yeah.

Judy: That they would what?

Doris: Rub together to put on ya when you got bee stung. Three different kind of leaves, but I don’t know what they were.

Judy: Plenton.

Reba: Yeah.

Judy: Plenton was one of them.

Adriana: What was your house like?

Doris: Two-story.

Judy: Two story, no bathroom until late when I was a teenager, cook stove heated by wood and coal.

Reba: Of course, back then I thought we had a nice house.

Judy: It was a nice house.

Doris: I thought she said she was a teenager until she got a bathroom. I thought I had a bathroom. She ain’t that much older than me.

Judy: No we didn’t have a bathroom until we were way up in grade school or running water.

Reba: I can remember the outhouse.

Doris: Well I remember the outhouse, but it was far away. (chuckles)

Judy: We didn’t have running water in the house for a long time either.

Adriana: How was your house heated?

Doris: A wood stove.

Judy: Warm, burning coal and wood stove.

Reba: And a cook stove.

Judy: And a cook stove was in the kitchen. We even heated our water with the cook stove.

Adriana: How were your clothes washed and dried?

Judy: In an old-timey washing machine.

Reba: Well now I can remember mother scrubbing them on a…

Judy: Washboard.

Reba: Washboard.

Judy: I don’t remember that.

Doris: We’d have to wring them through the wash machine, and then we hung them on the clothesline. Rain, snow, sleet, hail, sunshine. They would freeze and your hand would freeze to them when you’d be trying to hang the britches on the line.

Adriana: Where did you get your hair cut?

Doris: Well I remember my sister-in-law doing it. Jenny.

Judy: Yeah, I don’t ever remember going to a beauty shop.

Doris: And Andrew Ferguson.

Judy: Yeah, the local barber.

Doris: Yeah, the local barber out at. I remember him cutting my hair.

Reba: I think I just wore my hair long.

Doris: You probably did. The best that I remember, Andrew cut mine.

Reba: I can’t remember anybody cutting my hair.

Doris: I know Andrew did.

Adriana: You guys remember anything about your outhouse?

Judy: It was just an outhouse with two seats with a Sears Roebuck catalog. Didn’t have toilet paper. Did we?

Reba: No, I don’t remember us having toilet paper. We used those, everybody used their catalogs.

Judy: Or corncobs. (chuckles)

Doris: I had toilet paper!

Reba: Oh lord.

Adriana: What did you grow in your garden?

Doris: Everything.

Judy: Beans, corn, tomatoes, cabbage, turnips…

Reba: Cucumbers.

Judy: Cucumbers.

Reba: Rutabagas, peppers.

Judy: Carrots.

Reba: Every kind of a vegetable.

Judy: Onions.

Reba: Potatoes.

Judy: We didn’t grow okra or broccoli or cauliflower.

Reba: No, we didn’t know what they were back then.

Judy: We didn’t know what that was. Rhubarb.

Doris: I’d like to have some good rhubarb..

Adriana: Was that your favorite?

Doris: Nobody even knows that it is now

Judy: You can but it in the store.
Wilma: Did yall keep any bees to make honey?

Doris: Huh-uh.

Judy: What?

Doris: The bees for honey. We didn’t have no bees did we?

Judy: No, we didn’t have bees.

Doris: That was Uncle Blake that had bees wasn’t it?

Judy: I think Uncle Blake did, didn’t he?

Reba: I think Curtis Blankenship always had…

Judy: Yeah, he did.

Reba: bees cause he always had honey. We had good neighbors that shared what they had with us.

Doris: Yeah, we never went hungry.

Reba: No, I’ve never been hungry in my life. I need to be.

Adriana: No, you don’t. What was your favorite food?

Reba: I guess potatoes is mine.

Judy: Potatoes and pinto beans and cornbread.

Adriana: What was yours?

Doris: Everything. (chuckles) The only thing I don’t like is raisins. My momma always fixed rice pudding, and she would always fix me some without raisins.

Reba: So I didn’t know your mom spoiled ya. I wondered who spoiled you.

Doris: Well I didn’t like raisins so every time she made rice pudding she would make some with raisins and some without.
Adriana: Where did yall go to school?

Judy: Hollybrook elementary and then to Rocky Gap for high school.

Doris: And it was first through the seventh.

Reba: We went to Bland.

Doris: Huh?

Judy: You went to Bland.

Reba: Bland High School.

Judy: We went…

Adriana: What was school like?

Judy: School had grades one through seven, and I think they had 1st,2nd, and 3rd grade in the one room.

Doris: 4th and 5th …

Judy: And then the 4th and the 5th in another room. And then the 6th and the 7th in another room. We didn’t have pre-K or Kindergarten. We went right to the first grade when we started to school.

Adriana: So high school was 8 though 12?

Judy: So high school was 8 through 11 and then they added another year later on.

Adriana: What did you guys study?

Judy: Reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Doris: The three R’s.

Judy: And some history and geography, maybe a little Algebra, Science, no computers or anything like that.

Adriana: What did you guys pack for lunch?

Reba: I ate in the lunchroom.

Judy: We ate in the cafeteria. We had a very good cook at the schoolhouse so I didn’t pack lunch. We got to eat.

Doris: I worked in the lunchroom. That’s how I got mine. The meal was free.

Adriana: You worked in the lunchroom?

Doris: Helped the lady cook and wash the dishes and the pots and pans during my lunch break.

Adriana: How long was your lunch break then? Thirty minutes?

Doris: Well I think I would always leave the classroom. I remember doing this in the 7th grade cause I would always leave the class, and then go in and help her get everything done, and then I wouldn’t go back to class until we finished everything in the kitchen, the pots and pans, depending on what we had.

Judy: Probably got about thirty minutes for lunch and then we would have playtime, recess.

Adriana: What did you guys play during recess?

Judy: Hopscotch, skip rope, ball, ring around the roses. What was that game? They call you and you come.

Doris: Red Rover.

Judy: Red rover. Red rover, red rovers, send Judy on over, and then you would go and try to break through the line. You ever played that?

Adriana: Yeah, I’ve played that before.

Judy: Ok.

Doris: But we didn’t play kick the can.

Judy: No.

Adriana: Did you guys ever play this game called umm Snap the Whip?

Judy: Nope.

Doris: I don’t think we ever played that.

Reba: I don’t remember.

Doris: What was that?

Adriana: It was where all the kids got in a line and held hands and they’d swing around, and they’d eventually just snap and they’d all fall down.

Judy: Oh.

Doris: That sounds like Ring Around the Rosies.

Judy: No. Tug-of-War sorta?

Adriana: Sorta.

Judy: We played Tug-of-War and hopping in a sack, a potato sack.

Adriana: How did you guys get to school?

Doris: Well when we were going to school we rode to our Aunt’s house with our brother on his way to work.

Judy: So we wouldn’t have to walk two miles to catch the bus, but then in the evening we would have to get off the bus and walk up about a mile and a half probably to home. How’d you get to school Reba?

Reba: Oh I had to, we had to walk all the way down out of that hollow because the school bus didn’t used to come up that far. It used to come down to..

Judy: "Porch" Helvey’s.

Reba: Uh huh and we would have to get up and walk and then it came on up further to Grandpa Wright’s house, but we still had to walk there.

Judy: Yep.

Adriana: Who were your teachers?

Doris: Our first grade teacher was Ms. Irene Faulkner who is still living.

Judy: She had a stroke.

Doris: Yeah, she had a stroke. And then umm Ms. Ramsey.

Judy: Ms. Ramsey.

Doris: And Alice Mustard.

Judy: That’s the only three elementary teachers I remember.

Adriana: Who did you have grandma?

Reba: That’s all. That’s all I remember. Ms. Mustard and umm Nora Billips.

Doris: Yeah, but I never did have her.

Reba: You didn’t?

Doris: Huh-uh.

Judy: It was Hazel Ramsey.

Doris: Yeah, I couldn’t think, I was trying to think of her first name. I guess she’s dead, but Alice Mustard and Irene Faulkner are still living.

Judy: Is Ms. Mustard still living?

Doris: Uh huh.

Judy: I thought she died.

Adriana: Did you guys ever get into trouble at school?

Judy: Nope, I never did get into trouble at school.

Doris: Did you ever get into trouble at school?

Reba: I guess we’s good little girls.

Adriana: How..

Judy: Our brothers always did. They’d skip school, play hooky.

Adriana: How did the teachers make the students behave?

Doris: They got a whippin…

Judy: They had wooden paddles.

Doris: with paddles, and you were allowed to correct them.

Adriana: How were holidays celebrated at school?

Judy: Well you’d have Easter egg hunts.

Doris: Santa Clause at Christmas.

Judy: Santa Clause at Christmas. I don’t remember. And decorate the windows with colored paper and stuff at holidays.

Adriana: Do you remember any funny stories or pranks that were pulled?

Doris: No. (chuckles) Probably the funny stories and the pranks were pulled on me though.

Judy: I don’t know. Do you Reba?

Reba: I remember we used to have Halloween parties at Rony Nunn’s. Everybody’d dress up, and they would have a tub and put apples in it, and they would bob for apples. Remember that?

Judy: Huh-uh. I remember David dressing up like a devil one time. Dyed his long handle underwear red.

Adriana: Do you guys remember what you guys dressed up as for Halloween?

Judy: We never did have trick or treating til I… I never went trick or treating til I could drive and take Reba’s kids trick or treating out Rocky Gap.

Reba: I don’t guess we had trick or treating. We just, people would go to parties and come home. We probably didn’t have a lot of candy at Halloween Adrian.

Judy: You remember going trick or treating?

Doris: No.

Judy: We never did have Thanksgiving at our house either because we were always killing hogs on Thanksgiving. That was hog killing day. So we would have, instead of having turkey we would have tenderloin or liver from the hogs. I don’t ever remember having a Thanksgiving dinner at the house.

Adriana: Did you guys play in the creeks during the summer?

Judy: Yeah.

Adriana: Did any of you fish?

Doris: Nope.

Judy: No, we didn’t fish. We’d catch tadpoles.

Reba: We just went swimming in the creek.

Doris: Skinny-dipping. That wasn’t til I was older and away from home. (chuckles)

Judy: Yeah, I don’t remember that Doris.

Adriana: Did you ride sleds in the winter?

Doris: Yes.
Judy: Yeah, pasteboard.

Doris: Pasteboard boxes I reckon.

Adriana: Did you build bonfires and have snowball fights?

Doris: Yes.

Judy: Yeah, we had plenty of snowball fights and build snowmans.

Adriana: How did teenagers court when you were young?

Judy: We didn’t.

Adriana: None of you did?

Doris: If you went on a date, the younger sister always got to go with them. (chuckles)

Judy: Yeah, and I’d hook Doris up with somebody so she would have a boyfriend. You didn’t have to take anybody with you when you’s courted Woody?

Doris: No, I was a big girl then.

Judy: I did.

Doris: No, I was a big girl then.

Reba: Who’d you take with you?

Judy: Doris.

Reba: Oh you all had each other.

Doris: She always took me. She couldn’t go unless she took me.

Reba: Really?

Judy: Til I was older.

Doris: No, I think I still went with ya. (chuckles)

Adriana: Did you go to the movies?

Judy: Yeah to the drive-in movie.

Adriana: How much did it cost?

Judy: I don’t know. Probably about a dollar.

Reba: Well that wasn’t until later. Now we had a movie down Hollybrook, a movie house down Hollybrook.

Judy: Oh yeah, we did. I remember going down there to that old movie theater.

Reba: I don’t know what year it was. He showed movies every Friday and Saturday nights. They were talking about that in church the other day.

Doris: I remember going down there, but I don’t remember the movie that we seen or anything.

Reba: Aunt Minnie was talking about it.

Judy: It was an old, old building. Didn’t Mr. Farlow have it?

Reba: Yes.

Judy: Yeah.

Reba: Gerald Farlow.

Judy: But when we were dating we went with Reba and Fred to the Skyway and down at Narrows to the outdoor movie theater.

Adriana: How did y’all meet your husbands?

Judy: Ms. Reba, how’d you meet Fred?

Reba: Ms. Reba, well I don’t told Adrian that I guess he was just, we were really neighbors and probably met at church.
Doris: Well my two older sisters married brothers so I had to go in and get the baby.

Judy: And I was a late bloomer. I didn’t marry the first time until I was 27 years old, and it was a blind date. Real blind. (chuckles)

Doris: We won’t get into that.

Judy: We won’t go into that.

Doris: I’ve been married 32 years.

Judy: To the same man.

Doris: To the same man and still love him dearly.

Adriana: Where were each of you married?

Doris: Sparta, NC, December 7, 1969. I think.

Judy: Where were you married Reba?

Reba: I was married in Mechanicsburg, VA.

Judy: I was married in Bland County the first time and then Pulaski County the second time.

Adriana: Did each of you go on a honeymoon?

Doris: No.

Reba: No, I didn’t have a honeymoon.

Judy: Yeah, I had a honeymoon.

Doris: Where’d you go?

Judy: To Virginia Beach. Where’d you go?

Doris: I didn’t have a honeymoon. I married Woody on one day and the next day he left on an airplane and went back to Texas.

Judy: Texas.

Adriana: Why’d he go to Texas?

Doris: He was in the army.

Judy: He was in the army.

Adriana: Do you remember anything about the ceremony?

Doris: Well in our ceremony we didn’t have no witnesses with us, and there was three juveniles or they were going before the judge and they were our witnesses. We have their name on our marriage certificate.

Judy: Well you’re marriage certificate isn’t legal. (chuckles)

Reba: Oh really. I didn’t know that.

Doris: Three guys that were, they were going before the judge to see the judge on that day.

Reba: Oh really.

Doris: We got their signatures and where they were from.

Reba: Yeah, when Fred and I got married Richard and Ellen Hagard got married at the same time. And umm Reverend Kegley married us at Mechanicsburg Parsonage.

Adriana: Did somebody drop the ring?

Reba: And Richard dropped the ring and it rolled around on the floor. It was very funny.

Judy: I got married at a church wedding the first time, and then by my nephew who was a preacher at the second time.

Reba: Who married you?

Judy: Timmy.

Reba: Timmy married you and Bud?

Judy: Yep.

Adriana: How many children did you have?

Doris: Well I have two children, Rebecca and Dallas.

Adriana: Where were they born?

Doris: Umm Becky was born in umm..

Judy: Pulaski.

Doris: Pulaski and Dallas was born in Bluefield, WV.

Judy: Ms. Reba?

Reba: Ms. Reba has five children. Sharon is the oldest and then Mike and then Wilma and Terry and Rick.

Adriana: They were all born..

Reba: They were umm, Mike and Sharon were born at Bland in Dr. Kegley’s office. Well he had a delivery. He used to deliver babies in Bland.

Judy: At his clinic.

Reba: Yeah, they were born there and the other three were born at Bluefield in a hospital.

Judy: And I don’t have any children.

Adriana: Do you think it is easier to raise children back then that it is today?

Reba: Definitely.

Judy: Absolutely.

Adriana: Why?

Judy: There’s too many things today for them to get into and too much influence from peers today than there were back then.

Adriana: What was Hollybrook and Pinch Creek like when you were growing up?

Judy: Just a rural community.

Doris: Everybody knew everybody.

Judy: Everybody knew everybody and watched everybody. Our special treat was going to the store on Saturday to trade eggs and butter for the groceries that we needed, like the flower and the sugar, and we would get a Coca Cola and hershey bar as our treat. We went to the store once a week and that was the only time that we had candy or pop.

Reba: I didn’t, did you?

Doris: No

Adriana: What businesses were there?

Judy: Just the local grocery store where you took your stuff to trade in, there was no Kroger or Food Lion or places like that.

Adrian: Where there any other kind of shops?

Judy: The only shops were in like Bluefield or Wytheville.

Reba: And we didn’t have any money to do any shopping, Adrian.

Adriana: What was there to do for fun around there?

Judy: Go to church, going to each other house on Sunday and playing games with your nieces and nephews. Going to town occasionally, maybe.
Reba: It was occasionally, maybe once a year you went to town.

Adriana: What was the weather like?

Reba: Very bad, lots of big snow storms, very cold.

Judy: I remember riding a bulldozer out up Pinch Creek one time to go back to college.

Adriana: Do you remember any floods?

Judy: Yeah, when the dam broke in Bland

Reba: Yeah, but don’t you remember we had floods at home.

Judy: We had lived on the hill at home. I don’t remember…

Reba: We did, but I can remember the pigs almost washing away. Don’t you remember that?

Doris: No.

Judy: No.

Reba: They call ‘em flash floods. We did live on a hill, it didn’t effect us, but our animals were down in the pen.

Judy: I remember the dam broke in Bland and Neg and Wimpy’s house got flooded.

Adriana: How did your family celebrate Christmas:

Judy: We went to church on Christmas Eve

Reba: We always had a Christmas tree.

Judy: We always had a tree, a cedar or a white pine, that we would go out and cut ourselves in the woods or the field and everybody was always together at mom and dad’s house on Christmas day.

Adriana: How did y’all decorate the tree?

Reba: Probably with popcorn.

Judy: With the big ol’ lights.

Doris: We had lights.

Judy: Lights.

Reba: Y’all were born late in years.

Doris: Yeah

Adriana: Did you have presents?

Judy: Very few.

Doris: We always got a baby doll.

Judy: A baby doll usually or a paint brush for the paint sets. Coloring book and crayons.

Adriana: Did you have a big family meal?

Judy: Yes.

Reba: There was always a lot of people at our house.

Adriana: On Halloween, do you remember any pranks that were played or heard about?

Doris: I heard about people cutting down trees blocking the roads.

Reba: They used to turn outhouses over, too. Do you know what an outhouse is? OK

Judy: Put toilet paper on trees, around trees. I never did any of that. Because we didn’t get out Halloween. The older brother and the older people. I remember putting firecrackers off outside the church on Christmas Eve.
Doris: Getting ready for Santa Claus to come.

Judy: Getting ready for Santa Claus.

Reba: And they still do that even today.

Judy: They do?

Reba: They put firecrackers off about every Christmas.

Adriana: How was Easter and Valentine’s day celebrated?

Doris: We always got a new outfit.

Judy: A new outfit and patent leather shoes and a bonnet.

Doris: Valentine’s Day, I don’t remember

Judy: I never did…

Adriana: How was the Fourth of July celebrated?

Reba: We always had ice cream and water melon.

Doris: When we was growing up, we would go to the Narrow park for fireworks.

Judy: Sometimes.

Doris: Yeah sometimes.

Judy: Or over Bluefield, sometimes. I think maybe we had cook outs with watermelon.

Adriana: Who was the first president that you remember?

Doris: Roosevelt I guess.

Judy: You don’t remember Roosevelt!

Doris: Well, alright then.
Judy: I remember Kennedy and Johnson. I don’t remember…

Doris: Well, who was the president before him?

Judy: Who was before him?

Doris: That’s what I’m saying.

Judy: I don’t remember.

Doris: Franklin D. Roosevelt…what year was he president?

Judy: Adrian?

Adriana: I don’t know.

Judy: You don’t know?

Doris: You’re a history buff.

Judy: What’s the first President you remember Reba?

Reba: I guess umm Johnson, but I remember Kennedy, I remember when he got killed.

Judy: Johnson and Kennedy were the first ones I ever remember or paid any attention to when I was growing up.

Adriana: Who was your favorite movie star?

Doris: John Wayne.

Judy: Marylyn Monroe and Lana Turner.

Reba: Well, I thought Elvis was your favorite.

Judy: The old ones, Elvis didn’t come along til’ I was older. I remember going to the movies and seeing a movie of Lana Turner and we balled our eyes out.

Adriana: Was that…What was the first movie that you guys went to see?
Judy: I don’t remember the name of it.

Reba: I guess that umm Gone with the Wind was probably the first one I saw. (Chuckles) That’s the only one I can remember, Gone with the Wind.

Judy: I’m sure they were westerns.

Reba: Yeah, I’d say…

Judy: Down at Farlow’s was westerns, and I don’t remember the name of it, or who played in them.

Adriana: Do you remember where you were when you heard that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor?

Judy: I wasn’t born yet, or if I was, I was just a baby.

Reba: I was at home, but I can’t remember.

Adriana: How did people feel about it?

Reba: They felt really bad about it.

Adriana: Did anyone in your family ever have to fight in World War II?

Doris: Not that I can remember.

Reba: Wasn’t Fred in World War II…my husband?

Judy: Yeah.

Reba: But I don’t know, I don’t know what year he was in the army cause he went when he was 16 when he was in the army. He was in Trinidad, but he didn’t fight. He was a military policeman.

Doris: But Paul was in the army when he was…

Judy: But he wasn’t in no war.

Reba: Yeah, he was in Alaska.
Judy: My first husband was in WWII. A radio operator on a ship. He still knew his Morse code when he died.

Adriana: What was the war like at home?

Reba: What was the what?

Adriana: What was it like during the war at home?

Reba: Well everything was rationed, the gasoline, sugar, and umm…You had to have coupons to buy gasoline.

Adriana: Did mostly everyone support the war?

Reba: Yes, I think they did.

Adriana: Where were you when you heard the Germans had surrendered?

Reba: Honey, I don’t remember.

Adriana: How did people around here feel about President Truman?

Judy: Was he a democrat?

Reba: Oh I think Truman was a good president.

Doris: Well maybe that’s who I remember instead of Roosevelt.

Judy: If he was a Democrat, they liked him. If he was a Republican, they didn’t.

Adriana: Did people support the Korean War?

Reba: Yeah, I think people supported the Korean War. You had to go along with everything, Adrian. You have to support things.

Adriana: Did any of your family have to fight in it?

Judy: I don’t think so.

Reba: Yeah there was, Jimmy. Uncle Carl fought.

Adriana: How did you feel about President Eisenhower?

Reba: Well,

Doris: I just remember that he was bald. (chuckles) That was Eisenhower wasn’t it?

Reba: Yeah.

Doris: That was Eisenhower instead of …

Reba: They called him "Ike"

Doris: Yeah.

Adriana: Were the times good in Bland County in the 1950s?

Judy: Probably. As good as..

Reba: Yes, because we’ve always food. We never did go hungry. Everybody had a garden and you had your own meat. You had hogs and cows and…

Doris: Chickens.

Reba: I forgot about the chickens.

Judy: Always had your milk and butter.

Reba: Yeah we always had plenty to eat. We never did go hungry. We had a nice place to live. We had always had a roof over our heads.

Adriana: What did you guys think about President Kennedy?

Doris: He was a good president.

Judy: I liked him. I thought he was handsome.

Reba: So handsome makes a good president? Yeah, I thought he would have been a good president if he wouldn’t have been shot.

Adriana: Where were you guys when you heard that he had been shot?

Judy: I was at school.

Reba: I think I was at home.

Judy: I remember mother was at the doctor’s office. Mother really liked Kennedy. And I remember the Sunday that we were at your house.

Reba: Who killed him?

Judy: Ruby? We were watching it on TV when it happened. They were leading somebody.

Reba: Lee Harvey Oswald?

Judy: He was the one that shot Kennedy.

Adriana: How did you feel about President Johnson?

Doris: He seemed like he was a good president. He was just put in office after Kennedy died.

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

Doris: My brother-in-law.

Reba: Amus.

Judy: That’s all I remember.

Adriana: Do you remember much about President Nixon and Watergate?

Judy: Well, just what we heard on the news.

Adriana: What did you think about that?

Judy: That it was pretty crooked.

Adriana: What kind of shape is the country in today in your opinion?

Doris: Well I personally think it’s in good shape.

Judy: I think the country could be better if people had better morals, people tried to raise their kids in a Christian home.

Adriana: Overall, do you think things have changed for the better or the worse?

Judy: For the better. There’s much more opportunities for everybody. You take a lot of stuff for granted. But we have it good compared to the other countries in the world. There’s still a lot of poverty in the United States, but not as much as in Africa and all the other third world countries.

Adriana: Is there anything else you would like to add about life in Bland County?

Judy: It’ll always be home to me, even though I don’t live here anymore. But I call it home.

Reba: Bland County is a nice place to live. I like to go away sometimes, but it’ll always be my home.

Adriana: Is there any advice you would give young people today?

Reba: Go to school so you can get a good education and a good job.

Adriana: Thank you guys very much.

Judy: Thank you, Ms. Adrian.