Interviewed By: Jon Sarver in 2000.
Jon: My name is Jon Sarver and I am interviewing Edna Sarver at her house on East River Mountain in Rocky Gap. The date is December 14, 2000.
Jon: When and where were you born?
Edna: I was born in Smith County Virginia, Chatham Hill, Virginia, in 1922.
Jon: Where did you live?
Edna: We lived in Smith County until 1936, and then we moved to Bastian where was working at there lumber Company.
Jon: What did you do for fun when you were growing up?
Edna: We swam, we played ball, we played in the barn lofts, and played dollhouses, road horses, road cows sometime too. And then up toward church services socials we had ice cream hotdog and ice cream parties. We go out side and somewhere and down to a different place and have a little cookout.
Jon: What kind of toys did you play with?
Edna: Well, we had very little very few toys dad made us uh a when were about (lets see I was about 13 when we moved to Bastian) we was about 10 or 11 years old dad made us a set of furniture, and we took it and put it in the corn crib at the barn and that was our play house was a corn crib. And play then and we had dolls and wed play Anna Over A House you know play through a ball over a house and somebody both be people on each side of the house and then theyd catch the ball and you had to catch it and if you dropped it well then they had you won the one who through the ball won if the other person dropped it. And then I guess we used to go at Easter time wed take a skillet and some eggs and some bread and wed go out in the fields up on a big oh hill from grandmas house and wed have a Easter egg cookout thats what we did for Easter.
Jon: Who were your mother and Father?
Edna: My mother was Dora Coulthard and my Dad was Marion Clem Buchanan but they called him Jack and they born and raised down in Smith County in the Cove were we were all raised.
Jon: Who were there parents?
Edna: Mothers was Marco and Nancy Coulthard and Dads was Itura and Benjamin Flavus Buchanan.
Jon: What ethnic background were my Great Great grandparents? Were they Cherokee?
Edna: My Grandmother Buchanan was as far as we know of was half-Indian our Great Grandma Buchanan was. She was a dark copper red head (whatever follows a tribe I dont know)
Jon: When and where were they born and raised?
Edna: They were both, who my grandparents?
Edna: They were, Grandma Coulthard was born in Rural Retreat over in that area. Thats not the name she gave but thats were it is now Rural Retreat. But Grandpa Coulthard I dont know were he came from to there but they moved in down there in the cove.
Jon: What did they do for a living?
Edna: They were farmers. Grandpa Coulthard was a shoemaker. He made shoes that why I didnt know this until Peck was telling us, I believe it was the last dinner we had. Or maybe it was his birthday. That Grandpa Coulthard made shoes he remembers him I dont. He died before I was born or something then. But Peck said he made shoes, I often wondered my Mother always half soled our shoes and put new heels on them, and I wondered were in the world she ever got that but thats where she got it was from her Daddy. Grandmother Grandma Coulthard I dont think she did anything but house keep.
Jon: What were some of your favorite memories?
Edna: From where? Childhood? Ok, I think about running the creek banks and jumping the creeks from different high places just see how high we could jump how high we could find a place and jump off it and cross the creek onto the other side and then one I remember from school, well there two that I remember, one was I got the little book, little women, by Louisa May Elcot for perfect attendance in school. And I dont know where my book is, I cant find it no where and another is one day our teacher had to go somewhere visiting she went visiting at lunch time and a bunch of us well there wasnt about eight of us in a class and we all took off fishing down the creek bank, and then when we got back we didnt come back till almost time far school to be out. So we got back the teacher was setting on the porch waiting on us and she made us write and spell Nebuchadnezzar a hundred times. And I havent forgot that to this day I can still spell Nebuchadnezzar, and then, well thats just about, school well we were in different schools we went to the New Cove School first, then we moved up what we call Cussin Hollow, from down at in the lower end of the cove up to the upper end of the cove and that was called Cussin Hollow and then we changed to the Old Cove School thats were I finished the seventh grade. Was there at the Old Cove School. It was a one room school and oh I tell you something else, (I dont weather to tell this or not) we caught our teacher back then women, it was a rarity for women to smoke but our teacher I wont give her name she still alive. She went down to the toilets on the outside setting on the creek bank so she went down and smoked her cigarette and the cracks in the toilets oh about an inch-half wide I guess and we me and 2, 3, 4, others boys and girls mixed went down there and got a bucket got bucket and we like to drown her in the toilet we was putting the fire out cause we thought the toilet was on fire. And old Terri my sister she set the schoolhouse on fire one day. She crawled up under the schoolhouse and where the leaves had gathered under it and she set them on fire. We had some wild times fights, we used to fight Ada and I used to fight a lot other girls and boys coming and going from schools.
Jon: Do you have and brothers or sisters? How many?
Edna: Yeah, lets see, I had well I had altogether our whole family was 7 girls and 3 boys. I have 6, 5 sisters living and 1 brother living. The others our dead. What were their names? All of them listed or the dead ones, all of them, ok the oldest one was Marco Buchanan he had a business of Industrial Welding in Marion. My brother Estel or Peck, he drove for Mason & Dixson for about 35 or 40 years, and he lives in Marion now. He lived in Kingsport and around down there when ever he worked there. And my sister Vivian she married Melvin Webb and they lived at when they were first married they came to Bastian, and they went back down to Smith County on Chatham Hill, she was a seamstress, she sowed a lot and made quilts and worked in sowing factories and Melvin was a farmer and a sawmill man and he worked when we first married he worked with Daddy up here were the Virginia hardwood Lumber company in Bastian Melvin worked with him there then but they went back down there and they started they used to raise tobacco and wed go down and help em cut tobacco and grade tobacco when it was in. Now you could have then about as much as you wanted out but now there quoted. And then, ok Sip, Bill Wright, my brother bill hes dead and he married my husbands sister and they lived, well he worked a lot around for power companies and earlier years of his life he was a trucker he hauled logs and stuff like that with trucks. And Osie-belle she married Jap Walker and they lived in Bluefield for several years, but now there living up at the old Walker home place in Bastian and there not doing anything now, but Jap was a more like, I think he followed more truck driving cause he worked for different companies worked in the mines a little bit but not much, and then me I married, then my other sister Ada or Florence shes never been married she lives in Bastian, and she worked for years at Blessing Brothers Grocery, and then when it went out of business well she went over on the hill and worked at the factory up there. And Terri, she married Bill Hixon and they lived in Pulaski when they were first married and Bill. And what where did bill work at oh he drove a Coca Cola truck in Pulaski then they moved to Nashville Tennessee and he set up his own business down there as a mechanic it was what was it he called it AAA, but he specialized in transmissions. That's what he was. And hes worked now for the city for several years in Nashville, and hes retired now. And lets see Terri, Cecil and she married Manly Andrews. And they had 5 children and Manly worked for Betsey Ross Bakery. And Cecil worked at umpteen dozen sewing factories, she was at Narrows and down here in the Gap and over in Bluefield Virginia, and over in Marion, and then up in up in Bastian too. So she did that. And Goldie or Dora Gladys our my youngest sister she and the youngest one of the family she married Tommy Turner and they lived in (not Newport News what was the name of that place) Hampton they lived in Hampton Virginia, and Tommy worked for the Railroad for some years and he was working for Reynolds aluminum he lacked when he died he had been in Reynolds Aluminum he lacked 10 days having his 90 day work period up when he died he had a Abdominal aneurysm, and he died. And I guess thats all of us.
Jon: Tell me about your chores around the house when you were young?
Edna: First thing we did of a morning was build fires we had fireplaces and cookstoves, and then lets see we had to take turn washing dishes and like one would wash mama always washed the breakfast dishes cause we had to go to school. Then course we had to go to school. Then course we werent there most of the time if we was there at dinnertime we two of us had to wash dishes who ever mom said. But then for supper we would alternate times a washing supper dishes, cause thats when most all of em were home they was 10 of us and there was a big bunch of dishes.
Jon: Which was your least favorite chore?
Edna: Going to the mountain and dragging out wood to cut and make fires, and keep fires going. I hated that worse than anything under the sun. But we did that for (oh I cant remember lets see time we was about 7 years old I guess. Till we well even after we moved to Bastian we when we moved to Bastian 36 we had to go up in the mountains and cut wood and bring and hall it out and cut big trees and pull them down to the house and wed do that on the weekends cause we had to go to school so we knew we always had to get enough wood in and cut up and put in a wood shed to last momma a week so that what the worst thing I can remember. Course we had wash days we always had help with the washing momma had a when we lived in what they called the Bull Lot down there when Daddy was working for Adam and Thomsons Lumber Company, and we lived in a little oh lumber company house and uh mom had bought a wash machine that you had to turn you did this (pushed back and forth) and we had to take turns about washing a load of clothes that way with her. But that was your washing machine you had you didnt have no electricity everything was oil lamps and all like that. I can remember when we lived up there I had ear aches a lot when ever I was little and mommy would put me on the train that would come down out of the mountain and she would put me on the train and send me up with the engineer for Daddy to blow smoke in my ear rather than smoke her self she would send me up there and the men would bring me back.
Jon: Describe your house when you was growing up.
Florence: It was a loving home and a good Christian home.
Edna: We was brought up, as going to church that was one thing that mother always. She hardly ever when with us but she made sure we al got out and went. And then we had it was heated with wood stoves and fireplaces and most of them was two stories houses except the one I can remember in the Bull Lot and it was just a big house flat on one ground like this is but wasnt like this is but it was just that many rooms.
Jon: Did you have running water?
Edna: No, we carried we run and got the water. We had springs we kept our milk in what we call spring boxes and dad would make a box put the milk and butter and stuff in to keep cool and firm and we had it was all kept out side. Winter and summer.
Jon: What did you cook your food on?
Edna: We cooked on a wood stove, that way we cut so much cooking wood we had a the one that I remember mostly well one of em had we thought we was doing good cause it had a tank on it and we could fill it up with water and have some hot water when we had to have a fire but one cook stove I remember us having we did have it didnt have a water tank it was just an old stove it opened up in the front and had a flat top on it and cooked on it and thats what we heated the house and we moved to Bastian with an old stove like that. Thats kind of heating stove we had. We had to take the ashes out and keep it clean.
Jon: How was your clothes washed and dried?
Edna: We scrubbed them on a board and hung them on a line.
Jon: Did you have an outhouse?
Edna: Yep we had them.
Jon: Where did you get your hair cut?
Edna: Momma did.
Jon: What was some of your meals?
Edna: Sunday dinner that was our biggest ever Sunday we either we have somebody at our house or we go to Aunt Ad and Uncle Eds house thats mothers and daddys sister and then Aunt Fannies and Uncle Author family or wed go to Aunt Ednas we didnt go to Aunt Ednas very much I dont know why but we never did but daddy worked for Uncle Bill he hauled timber for him Uncle Bill was a lumber man, Bill Marry Buchanan, and he was a lumber man and we used to have to go down there to take the little red wagon and we go down there and get our grocerys and stuff. Aunt Edna kept what she called a smoke house we could get beans and meal and flour and stuff like that that we didnt grow we grew most everything.
Jon: What was your favorite food?
Edna: Well, I didnt like brown beans I guess about potatoes and eggs was my favorite food. And Mush we loved Mush you make it we made some not too many years ago, its like grits Momma would take a she had a big old iron pot and she put her some water in there about half full and then she would bring that water to a boil, and she pour her corn meal in it, it had to be sifted you couldnt put that got the unsifted meal in it and it had to be sifted and youd bring it to a boil and let it cook till it got thick and then if we wanted if we begged Mom hard enough shed give us some at night, till we could have some mush and milk before we went to bed but usually shed fry that mush for breakfast with fat back and thats what we had for breakfast. Eggs and mush and gravy.
Jon: Describe your garden. About how big was it? What did you grow in your garden?
Edna: We grew from everything well we had, lettus and onions that would be the first things wed put out potatoes and cabbage and green beans and then wed plan some and let them dry and make dry beans and we had corn, and what they call now the new kind of peas with the jackets on them not the Shelly peas meat peas I thinks what they call them now. Mommy always liked those kind of peas. So thats the kind of peas we had. And wed didnt grow any carrots and we didnt grow any cauliflower, and radishes we had radishes and cucumbers we had just a little bit of everything in that old garden. I mean it was a big one it was bigger than this house, (so about 50ft by 50) every bit of 50 by 50ft. It was a whopper.
Jon: How was it plowed?
Edna: We lived in a farming country and Mommy would always get somebody to big plow it. You know turn plow, but then when ever it grew up well be had, she had a lay off plow what we call now but it was just a regular old plow and we youngens pulled it through the garden and she held it in the ground and we youngens pulled it and wed take hoes and hoe it out.
Jon: Where did your dad or mom get supplies?
Edna: Wed always grow our own seeds, or shed order cucumber seed and stuff like that from Berpee but other wise we save our own beans, and corn and stuff like that.
Jon: What kind of candy did you like when you were growing up?
Edna: I liked the Baby Ruth the best, but we had a lot of gum drops candy Aunt Edna would buy that in a great-o-big I say it held 10 or 15 gallon she buy them big things and shed give us our candy for Christmas.
Jon: Where did you and your friend hang out?
Edna: Well, on the front porch or out in the yard we never did get to go very far.
Jon: Who were your friends growing up?
Edna: Mostly our cousins, all of them were cousins there wasnt no mostly to it.
Jon: Where did you go to school?
Edna: We walked about 3 miles one way and 4 another when we went to New Cove it was 3 and when we went to the Old Cove it was 4.
Jon: Who were your teachers?
Edna: Nora Hubble, Mary clear, and Elizabeth Bernop, and Nanny DeBoard, and Gladys Stephenson, she was one of our first cousins, (and we did go to Mrs. Kate), Hazel Oakes, and I guess thats all I can remember.
Jon: What was the school like then?
Edna: It was a two-room schoolhouse; one of them was a one-room school the Old Cove School. And all the grade was in it together, but the new cove had a petition in it thats were we had our church we didnt have a regular church building we used the school building, before the church and it had a petition in it and she could, we had two teaches in the New Cove one would be in one side and one would be in the other. The little grades like from the primary up to the 3 or 4 grade was in the first room, and then after you got in the 5 and 6th grade you went over in the bigger room.
Jon: About how many students did you have in your class?
Edna: About, 8 or 9.
Edna: What did you study?
Edna: We studied well we had Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Grammar and History and Geography and Spelling and Physiology.
Jon: What did you pack for lunch?
Edna: Wed take apple butter biscuits and then wed take some corn bread and milk and some time Mommy would have us a salmon cake every once and a while to take most of the time it was either apple butter and biscuits or sometime wed have peanut butter but not much. I can remember mother used to give us Ovaltine thats coming back now we had Olvaltine I dont know where she got it whether Aunt Edna got it for us or what but used to have Olvatine all the time when we was younger.
Jon: How did the teachers make the students behave? Did you ever get into trouble in school? Did you ever get disciplined?
Edna: Oh yeah, the day we slipped off, and then shed if in question, in the forth and fifth grade we had this teacher that everytime you missed a question you would get smacked on the hand with a paddle. And I remember telling mommy one time, I missed some questions and I bragging about how I told mommy that I told the teacher that "that didnt hurt" and mommy whipped me good then. She said your going to respect your teachers that was my mother she was strict.
Jon: How were holidays celebrated at school?
Edna: Well, we had Christmas programs we had Thanksgiving programs we had Valentine Day, Valentines Day everybody, we made our own valentines we hardly ever had any bought ones we made them and we give them out we had a box, and wed put um in it at school, and then right after lunch at Valentines time two people would get to open up a box and pass out the Valentines everybody put there valentines in that box, whoever they wanted to have em. They were hand made.
Jon: What was the school programs like?
Edna: Just like what we made would be like our Christmas program, or wed have a Christmas play and wed have a for Halloween now we had Halloween programs to where we could dress up, we didnt have costumes like they do now, wed back our faces with charcoal or something like that, then at school wed have little programs like that wed dress up. For thanksgiving, wed dress up as pilgrims and just what we could do, form what we could get at home, we didnt go out and buy anything to make it.
Jon: Did people from the community come?
Edna: No it was just mostly just school children that they had. We didnt there would not be about 5 or 6 in a program a then the other children would get to watch us. And when we practiced wed have to practice during recess while the other children was outside playing. I was nearly always in everything at school.
Jon: Do you remember and funny stories or pranks pulled on Halloween?
Edna: Oh yeah, we used to, Mother would never let us get out much on Halloween, but she just wouldnt let us do it but wed go out and soap the neighbors window or something like that, but Mother used to never let us go out on Halloween, she made us stay at home.
Jon: Did you ride sleds in the winter? And have snowball fights?
Edna: Oh, yeah we had our share of those, roll each other over in the snow and see how much snow you could roll on top of em. Make a snowball out of em.
Jon: How did teenagers court when you were young? Did you go on dates? Where did you go?
Edna: If we had a date, I dont remember ever dating. I didnt date till I was 18 or 19 years old; I was almost through high school.
Jon: Did you go to the movies?
Edna: No we didn't have any movies. We go to music, our Daddys and dad and some of his brothers and cousins and some, different men would get together and have play guitar and banjo and we sing and have fun that way.
Jon: What was the first movie you can ever remember seeing?
Edna: I guess the first I can remember I was in Norfolk I the first one I remember seeing was "How Green Was My Valley" that was during World War II.
Jon: How much did it cost for a movie ticket?
Edna: That I cant remember, I believe it was less than 75 cents.
Jon: What music did you listen to?
Edna: String music.
Jon: What was on the radio Talk shows, what kind of music did they play?
Edna: Grand O Opera and Jean Altre, Roy Rogers, Amus and Andy was the funny show wed listen to on the radio. And lets see, Little Orphan Anne thats just about it.
Jon: Who was your favorite singer or band?
Edna: I liked Roy Rogers,
Jon: Did you have a record player?
Edna: Yeah, we had a hand turning phonograph and Adas still go it.
Jon: How did you meet your husband?
Edna: At Bastian, but I dont know how, I guess, well, when we moved to Bastian we lived Mom and Dad and us lived in my Husbands fathers rented house up there at Bastian, that were the school house, Bastian Elementary School is now all that in there he own all that, Charlies daddy owned all that. Hed come over, I guess I met him while he was plowing the fields or doing farm work, cause they put out wheat crops and corn, crops and all that out in the fields and I guess thats were I met him.
Jon: Where were you married?
Edna: We were married at Bastian at preacher E.G. Smiths home in Bastian.
Jon: What was the ceremony like?
Edna: It was just a regular old, do you take this man, the same words that they use now, Aunt Blanche went with us, Charlies sister Blanche (Neal) and then Granddad, when with us, and that all there was and we just went to there house and got married, and went to Bland and got the license and we had to have,
Florence: You had to have blood tests
Edna: I cant remember whether we did or not.
Florence: Osie-belle did.
Edna: Well then she got married before I did, Osie-belle did, so Id say that wed had to have a blood test made first, but I dont remember having it done. I guess Dr. Weer did it.
Florence: No, Dr. Wagner
Edna: No I didnt never go to his for anything. He signed my, he was the one who signed our diploma from high school, this Dr. Wagner.
Jon: Did you go on a honeymoon?
Edna: Nope, didnt go anywhere.
Jon: What is your husbands name?
Edna: Charlie Harden Sarver
Jon: How many children do you have?
Edna: I have 6.
Jon: What are their names and where were they born?
Edna: Lets see, Buck, Harry Lee named Buck was born up Clear Fork up on the Mountain at the Sarver place, and Debra was born at Bastian, at the where we lived up at the old were the school property is now. And Buster or Charlie he was born at that house were my mom and dad moved to of my Granddad Sarvers house when we moved to Bastian, but granddad had given me and Charlie that house at that time. So he was born there. And then Eddie was born after we moved to Rocky Gap and he was born at Kegley Clinic, and Nancy was born at the Kegley Clinic, and Tippy was born at St. Lukes in Bluefield.
Jon: Do you think it was easier to raise children back then than it is today? Why?
Edna: Well, yeah Id say it was, because when we, back then the teachers had some say so of what the Children did and the parents could rely on the teachers if their children didnt behave, and didnt do their work and things, the parent could rely on the teachers getting hold of the parents and letting them know what the child was doing, and she had rights to correct em. Which I think is a bad thing for schools today, because children need correcting, I dont care where they are. An their teachers more than they are at home and they have so much more to distract them, they didnt have to get down and dig and hunt, and barrow, and talk over with there fellow students some of the problems they had at school they could talk to them, but know they dont seem to be doing that, their not allowed its just terrible I think.
Jon: How did your family celebrate Christmas? Tree? Presents?
Edna: We always had, as far back as I can remember we always had a Christmas tree. And wed string popcorn and go out and get holly and get it and decorate it, and Mommy would always pop the popcorn we grew our own popcorn, and Christmas wed always have our dinner at home then wed go like if Christmas was during the week, while that Sunday wed go to one of our Aunts and their family or they come to our house it took about a week to get Christmas over with, cause everybody liked to visit and tell what they got.
Jon: Do you recall any favorite memories of Christmas?
Edna: In childhood
Florence: Probably when you got your first doll.
Edna: Yeah, I guess, I know when we were growing up at Christmas, why we didnt get toys, and things like you all did, wed get a sock, Mom would hang up a sock, Mom would hang up a sock for each one of us. Then shed, Santa Clause would leave us an orange and an apple and a candy bar and a few nuts, and that was our treat for Christmas. But they were all just about alike, but, I got a vase that I got for Christmas the last Christmas I had at home in Bastian its about 6 or 7 inches tall and thats what I got for Christmas we did get but one or two things. Our brother brought us a doll that year after he was married him and his wife brought us a doll, and we tried, we wanted a colored doll so we took our dolls out after Christmas and went out, we had a play house out in the smoke house, and we took a, and some of us had got a little lamp just a little oil lamp, and we lit that oil lamp and made colored dolls. Blacked um up. That was one Christmas.
Jon: What other holidays were celebrated? Easter? Fourth of July?
Edna: Easter we always had church programs we went to, and Forth of July, was just another workday. We never did anything then. But know, I can remember when ever I was staying with, I babysitted from the time I was 9 years old, I started, and staying with one of my first cousins during the summer and before wed start school, our school didnt start till after Labor Day. And the Forth of July wed got to the park over at Hungry Mother, it was just a little old thing then, it didnt have but one area to it and just had one building, but thats what wed for that.
Jon: What was the community like when you were growing up? What business was there?
Edna: Well, my uncle had a sawmill and that was Mothers brother-in-law, and then Dads brother had a store.
Jon: What was the name of the store?
Edna: It was just Uncle Joes Store, thats all. And Uncle Bills Sawmill, and thats just about all we had wasnt it Ada?
Florence: Thats all I can remember.
Edna: And thats all there was.
Jon: What was the weather like?
Edna: Oh boy, I remember not so many snowstorms, but we didnt get out of school like they do now. I can remember Daddy, when ever I was, well lets see Ada, hed carry her in the front, and Id he wait, the bigger ones would walk in front and Daddy, always took us to school he never turned us loose and say you all go to school, in bad times he couldnt work in the mountains then, so hed take us to school, and I ride his back pockets and hed carry Florence, and then Osie-belle and them had to walk, they come along behind us and he make the roads to the school house for us.
Jon: What was it like during the Great Depression?
Edna: Well, the depression was, we just didnt have much to begin with, so the Depression didnt mean that much, I can remember Mommy saying, oh if old Hoover would just get out of there so we could have something more to do, and so maybe the work wasnt, there wasnt much building going on or anything during that time for the lumber people to make money out of, I guess thats what she meant.
Jon: How did you feel about President Roosevelt and his New Deal?
Edna: That was pretty good, if it hadnt been for old Franklin why we would have Social Security, we wouldnt have nothing, and you just think our children should appreciate him greatly because theyd have to take care of us, theyd have to furnish everything just like when say, my Mother, when my Grandmother got sick, well my Mother shed have go home and take care of her, and wed have a family, theyd have to take time and go stay with em, and take care of them. But now with Social Security where weve worked all these years and put in to it then, then our children should greatly appreciate the New Deal I think and Social Security when he started that, though we fuss about it now.
Jon: Do you feel he helped the country during hard times?
Edna: Im sure he did.
Jon: Did any of his Programs, like WPA, PWA, or CCC, help the people of Bland County?
Edna: Yeah they did, your granddaddy, Charlie was in the CC camp, have you ever seen in? (No) But its got I believe Nancy, no Paula Ann made pictures of it down at the schoolhouse there down there somewhere but your Granddaddy was in the CC camp thats where he was whenever I met him, he was in the CC camp.
Jon: Why did some people oppose or support Roosevelt?
Edna: I guess, because they could see he was doing good for the people, he really did care what happen to people, he wasnt for himself only and for the government only, he thought of the people.
Jon: Do you remember when Roosevelt died? What was your reaction?
Edna: No, I dont remember where I was when Franklin died, what year was that?
Jon: About the 70s or 80s maybe
Edna: I was working in Bluefield then, I remember when Kennedy died, but I dont remember Franklin D.
Florence: He died in Georgia didnt he Jon, cause he was in a wheelchair cause he had Polio.
Jon: When did you get your first radio?
Edna: Before we moved to Bastian, we lived down there in Cussin Hollow, we had one down their Marco was in the CC camp and he got Mommy a radio they was run by batteries we did have electricity.
Jon: What was it like?
Edna: Static, but we listened to it, Mommy let us listen to it, but we had to, I got so I could study and listen to the radio too. But she liked stories, such as Amos and Andy and Music and all.
Jon: When did you first get electricity? How did it change your life?
Edna: Oh, the first electricity, I had was, after I was married and moved to, we was living up Clear Fork, at your Great Granddaddys house. And Charlie Jarrell wired the house up there for us, and then when we moved to Bastian, well Charlie and I had that house wired, Charlie Jarrell did that one for us, but that was after Debra was born I guess it was, Buster was born.
Jon: When did you get a telephone? How did it work?
Edna: Well, the first telephone was here, and it was just like it is now, plugged in the wall, I had it back yonder in, that one bedroom.
Jon: When did you first get television? What were some of the first shows you watched?
Edna: Oh, first television, I guess the first one I ever had, no I didnt have any when your daddy was born, and I didnt have any when Eddie was born, I guess it was when Tippy was born, was our first television, we bought it from Henry Ratliff in Bastian.
Jon: How has TV changed things?
Edna: Oh, lord theres too many commercials now, you could listen to a program, and then and not have commercials all though it but now you got 10 minute commercials and 5 minute programs.
Jon: Do you remember where you were when you heard that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor?
Edna: Oh, Ill never forget that day, we were, Momma was, me and Florence and Stella Kitts, were playing out in the field and heard Momma scream, she was listening to the radio on Sunday evening, and we heard her scream, so we didnt know what had happened. So we run to the house to see what was the matter with Momma, and she says, Them old Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor, and thats the first I remember of that.
Jon: How did people feel about it?
Edna: Oh, they was terribly upset, mother, what upset Mother was she new there would be another war and she had three boys, and she knew they would probably have to go, and then her brother was in the, Uncle Bob, fought in World War I and she remembered that, and I think thats what upset her so.
Jon: Did anyone of your family have to go fight in WWII?
Edna: Yeah, Marco was in the Navy, and Peck was in the Airforce and then I was in the Cadet Nurses Core, but that was it, Bill Wright got exempted from it.
Jon: What was it like during the war at home?
Edna: Everything was rationed sugar, coffee, oil, gas I guess that was the most things rationed, whiskey was rationed, and you could buy anything that had any metals about it because it was all used for that.
Jon: Did everyone support the war?
Edna: Yes, everybody done pretty good with the war, thats when the United States started getting richer was during World War II.
Jon: Where were you when you heard the Germans had surrendered? What was your reaction when you heard the atomic bomb had been dropped and the Japanese had surrendered?
Edna: Oh, I was married and we lived up on the Mountain, and I cant remember, I believe we was listening to the radio and we heard it on there, and that was just about it, cause your uncle Harry was in service during the war too, and he, and we knew then hed be coming home, cause he was over seas during that.
Jon: How did people around here feel about President Truman? Did people support the Korean War?
Edna: Not as I remember, well just didnt think too much about it, it wasnt too much of a war. And it didnt spread out into the community, I imagine bigger citys had more of an intake on that then in did out in the county, like we are.
Jon: Did any of your family members have to fight in the Korean War?
Florence: Was that the one your daddy was in?
Jon: Yes I believe so
Edna: Yeah, my son was Buster, but thats the only one. Buck was in the service but he didnt get any war during his, Eddie was in the Saudi war, Desert Storm war.
Jon: How did you feel about President Eisenhower?
Edna: Oh, they liked old Ike, cause he was in with the boys in the military during the World War II, and everybody respected Ike.
Jon: Were the times good in Bland County during the 1950s?
Edna: 1950s, that the year your Daddy was born, well I cant say they was, there wasnt anything in Bland County at the time, lets see there was a Sewing factory and a hosiery mill in Bland.
Jon: What did you think about President Kennedy? Where were you when you heard that he had been shot? How did you feel?
Edna: I cant remember, probably sleeping cause I always worked at night, but on the reaction to that, I dont think anyone should have shot him, but I still think that t was not a thing from the United States, I think it was a foreign affair that got him.
Jon: How did people feel about President Johnson?
Edna: Oh, Lydon nobody thought much about him.
Jon: Did any of your family members fight in the Vietnam War?
Edna: Well, thats the another one your Daddy fought in, Jean Webb was in that one where was Steve Hixon
Florence: Steve was in the Marines, but I dont think he ever had to go over seas.
Edna: He was in the marines, but he never did have to go over seas. None that I know of.
Jon: Do you remember much about President Nixon and Watergate? What did you think about that?
Edna: I thought that was just a dirty mess as could be and could have been ignored.
Jon: What kind of shape is the county in today in your opinion? Have things changed for better or worse?
Edna: Oh, there gotten better, we have more convinces, we have more freedoms, than we used to have. We used to have, we used to have to spend all your time working, now you can have vacations, paid vacation and all that, and years ago you just worked, you did have a special time.
Jon: Is there anything else you would like to add about life in Bland County?
Edna: I think the school systems have changed in Bland County and I think they did better when they had more school, you know in different areas cause more children could go to school, course they have to go now, it a mandatory thing, but when we were younger you didnt have to go to school you could go if you wanted to, but now start at an early age we did start till we were 7 or 8 years old going to school, but now there starting them at 4 and 5 years of age. Which I think is bad because I think the children should have some home life, because once they get started to school thats the end of being with their parents and all.
Jon: Is there any advice you would give to young people today?
Edna: Yeah just, watch who you associate with pick out a good crowd I think church groups are nice, where they have different churches and all, and if the children would listen to there church leaders and theyd be a lot better off than what they would be with out them, I think church groups has a whole lot to do with a childs upbringing.
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