FLORA LEE BECKNER
Flora Lee Beckner of the Grapefield Community is interviewed by JD Wall with Misty Balas sitting in, on May 7, 1998. The main topics of this interview are farming and religion.
JD: Describe the farm you were raised on.
Flora Lee: I wasn't raised exactly on this farm, but the last few years of my life I was. I have lived on two farms. This farm is three-hundred and twelve acres and it belonged to my dad, John C. Kidd, and then after his death it was divided between me and one of my brothers. I have fifty-five acres here on , well we call it Wolfe Creek waters but it's road 614, route 1 Bastian, Va, and I lived at this here location since 1941.
JD: Okay , describe how the ground was? Was it tillable, I mean , was this good soil, I mean ,what kind of dirt was it?
Flora Lee: Well we call it free soil, this country around us is called limestone, but we call it free soil. Mostly, dark , black earth, some sandy loam, and it's good for all crops.
JD: Okay, um, describe the kind of water. Where did you get your drinking water? How did you water your animals and where did you water them? Where-
Flora Lee: Well speaking of water, for the cattle and for the animals, horses, whatever we had, we have water we call branch water. It isn't a river and it isn't creek area. It is a small stream of water for the cattle and whatever animals we have, and then we have a drill well with the drinking water for our families.
JD: Did the dry weather ever effect the water? Was it really ever--
Flora Lee:Well, when we hit real dry spells sometimes what we called water for the cattle in the branch dries up, and then we have to make what we call water racks down into the creek area. Which is something we have never known to go completely dry.
JD: Did the extreme cold weather of winter ever cause problems?
Flora Lee: Well we had to be very careful when extreme weather came 'cause we would have to cut water holes in the ice would get so thick in a day or two that the cattle couldn't drink there and we would have to cut water holes.
JD: What did you plant in your garden? When did you typically plow your garden, and what kinds of things did you plant? Where would you find your seeds?
Flora Lee: Speaking about a garden . In our garden we had what we called two gardens. We had one where raised our tomatoes and our beans and turnips and certain kinds of greens and sweet potatoes and things like that. In our other garden we called it our big truck patch. Where we planted maybe fifty or sixty bushels of potatoes and what we called our sugar corn that we canned or we raised to take to the market to sell it .
JD: I heard you speak of potatoes. When did you know when to plant your potatoes? Did you go by the moon or another kind of sign?
Flora Lee: No I didn't we just when we found the weather, you know, suitable to plant we would plant, and I remember the older people talking about the good time of year to plant a garden, you know, on Good Friday sometimes we planted potatoes and things before that. You plant potatoes earlier where as the ground could be tended we called it.
JD: Us, can you remember any kinds of variety of corn you would plant or was there just one type?
Flora Lee: Well when it came to the field corn, we always planted good and earlier what we called a white variety. We hardly ever planted the yellow corn because it was later in the fall and you know and frost came early so most of the time we planted the hybrid white corn.
JD: Can you think of any other significant vegetables you planted, or was it just mostly sweet potatoes and corn the -
Flora Lee: I can't think of any thing other than the wheat and the, you know, unless some other kind of grain that, the wheat was mostly to make flour for the family and the oats were for either to thrash around for the thrash machine in the fall of the year to feed the stock or bale it like we did the hay. We baled it.
JD: Did you have a root cellar and can you describe it for me if you did?
Flora Lee: Have what?
JD: A root cellar?
Flora Lee: No we didn't have.
JD: You didn't have one. Did you dry anything like leather britches or green beans?
Flora Lee: Yes, we dried corn and if you picked the sugar corn you had to cook while it was on the ear or the cob we called it and after it cooled we cut off the cob and spread it out to dry and if it was a real sunshiney day we dried on the tin roof ,you know, but if came rainy weather we had a wood stove we cooked on and we had to bring that dried corn in . We also dried peaches and apples and different foods we dried .
J .D.- Did you do any canning? Who did it and what was it like?
Flora Lee: Speaking about canning .
Flora Lee: Well it was a lot of fun to raise tomatoes and corn and greens and beans and things in the garden, you know, and it was a lot of fun to take the mixed vegetables and make your own soup and you had you glass jars, years ago they were old zinc lid that had the rubber band around it and tickled to death when the two piece lid came put out by the power company, because that was so simple, you know, to hand seal, but with the old fashioned lid we had to have a little thing to hold to the they had the rubber and metal band around it and it took lot of screwing and hand pressure to seal them and it was wonderful to have those canned goods in the winter time in the mountains, that we didn't have to go buy anything.
JD: Describe a typical day on the farm when you a child, from the time you got up in the morning until the time you went to bed at night. Did the farm leave you much time to devote to school? What did you for fun? What kinds of toys did you have and what kinds of games did you play?
Flora Lee: Well speaking of toys , we didn't have any only the ones we made. We would take heavy lumber, a board they called it, and an old handsaw and we take a pencil or a piece of chalk and take us something like a , maybe a dinner plate, and draw the shape of a wooden wheel, you know, and we made our own wagon. We made our own sleds, there wasn't any metal to the sleds it was all wooden and we thought it was fun to take that old wooden sled and go out and sleigh ride and that little old wagon and it wasn't so funny to pull that old heavy wooden wagon uphill, you know, and we get to ride down if someone else had to pull us we didn't have toys. We had rag dolls we had to make them.
JD: Did the farm leave you much time to devote to school?
Flora Lee: Speaking about what now?
Flora Lee: School?
Flora Lee: Well we had to walk to school. We would walk two and half miles one way and the only heat we had either a big metal hog heater or tin heater the children or the young boys had to get out and cut the wood that was the funny part.
JD: Did you family go to church ever Sunday and where? What was church like and what would you wear and all that?
Flora Lee: Well we went to church through the summer months, starting in April, we went every Sunday. In the winter time the minister, the pastor of the church, only came horseback one Sunday of the month. So church through the winter months was not common.
JD: What did you wear and what was the service like?
Flora Lee: Well what did we wear? You know it was kind of odd to think about what we would wear, a lot of it were home sewn, homemade we called it, clothing but they were beautiful, but a we had real nice clothes. I know that the first long , real long, dress , you know, that my sister and I had, you know, down to the ankles. We had been used to wearing them when the were about knee length , and they came down to the ankles and they were solid black with big red roses on it. The green leaves , you know, we got over in the meadow a little bit and we were walking to church and my sister said Lets go back and get this beautiful dress off because there ain't nobody at our church that wears them. The cute part of it all I'll have to tell you. When we to Bluefield a shopping, over in Bluefield, West Virginia, we took those beautiful long dresses that had been factory made and you ought a heard the boys a whistling and a hollering at us on the stools. They thought we were twins.
JD: Did you visit much back then? Did people visit?
Flora Lee: Oh yes honey, people visited each Sunday the would go and, I don't want you to think I'm telling you an untruth, but maybe they would be twenty or twenty-five people gather in one home. The children would get out and they have these homemade balls they had made for out of some old man's sock, you know, they filled it with something. They found some rubber bands to tie inside of the old rag ball and they get out and gather at mister Looneys and different places and play baseball with that old rag ball and you know we thought it was fun.
JD: Why do you think people don't visit much today?
Flora Lee: From a lack of love, and selfishness.
JD: Okay, um, what kind of buildings were on your farm? I mean barns, sheds, corn cribs , etc.. Where were they located and how did you go about building them?
Flora Lee: They had lumber. We had sawmills in the valley and a everyone owned timber land and they would cut them down. We didn't have any power saws. We had what they called crosscut, it took two men, you know, to pull it or an axe and we cut the timber down and took it to mill and had to a- lumber made and they had it real nice a looking sheds and barns made and everything made form timber off their farms.
Chickens and Cows and Hogs
JD: Did you have chickens , and what kind of chickens did you raise? Who feed them and who gathered the eggs? Who killed them ? Did any varmints get in them and if they did how did you stop them.
Flora Lee: We didn't have problems with the varmints because everyone keep a good old hound dog or two. So the chickens they grew healthy and that was our meat , you know, a- we didn't have meat in the stores like they have today. When I was growing up there wasn't any electricity but we had our own meat and those chickens, why maybe they were a mixed breed like some of us said they were Rhode Island Red and some of us said they were Plymouth Rocks, that was kind of a gray and white chicken and some people had what they called a white rock it was similar to a white layer that they keep anywhere from fifty to over seventy-five hens a piece each family. So we had all kinds of eggs and good meat.
JD: Did you have a milk cow and what kind was it? Did you ever milk her and where did you milk her? Did you ever kicked ?
Flora Lee: Yes, we got kicked and a- sometime we had a cow that was kind of wild natured and we spoke about it training to milk, breaking the cow we called it, a lot of times we had to have a halter put on her and tie her up with a rope and she didn't care to kick you and sometimes with the leg next to you and even if you backed up she might kick you with both feet, you know, and there wasn't any electricity so we had to milk them by hand and a- set a bucket down under the town and wash her off real clean and brush her down and milk her by hand and it was wonderful - that milk had cream on it .
JD: What did you do with the milk, I mean, did you a-make butter with it did you make cream, cheese, etc.
Flora Lee: Yes, we made cottage cheese. We also a- took the cream off the milk and set in a warm like place after we had saved about a gallon or two gallon of creakily cream and we had our own country butter.
JD: Did you have spring house to keep dairy house to keep dairy products.
Flora Lee: Yeah, we did. We had spring house with the regular water spring that ran through, you had to have what you called a milk croffey was made in there, either with wood or rock and cement , you know, and water run through it . You didn't run to a refrigerator real quick and get it, you had to go out beside the hill somewhere to carry you milk and you couldn't leave it in the kitchen or it would sour and what you had in there and the trouble you had to take it back to the milk house, you know.
JD: Did you raise any beef cattle and what breeds did you have? How did you go about raising them? Did you keep them over winter?
Flora Lee: The beef cattle, they had to be taken special care of because we had extreme weather. Sometimes in our valley here we would have twelve or thirteen below zero and it was a problem to look after the beef cattle because they were ranging in great big pasture fields or were the meadow had been cut and they had to be feed and we have what was called a little cow sheds to keep the cows in that was finding calf and protect the baby calf and the problem was if the momma cow
happened to die, that was raising us a pet . A newborn calf had to be raised with a bottle and it was kind of a job to have to take care of twenty or thirty head of beef cattle.
JD: Where did you take them to market?
Flora Lee: We had a market in Tazewell, Va. and one in Wytheville, Va. and we had to load them up on trucks and haul them to market mostly in the fall year.
JD: Did you raise hogs? What kind and how did you go about feeding them? What was hog killing day like?
Flora Lee: Hog killing day was a very, very filthy, cold chore. It was something you had to hand do. You built up a fire and you had a pit where you heated water in a big metal container of some kind or a brass kettle and you had to scold the hog and take him out there and scrape all the hair of of him and hang him up and hanged there and bleed and take the intestines out and let hang until the thoroughly cooled out and then cut up and take it to the, what they called a smokehouse , and salt it down and leave it there until the spring of the year and take the meat out again and wash it real clean and we put , what we called a borax and red pepper on, to keep the bugs off.
JD: How did you make sausage or country ham or----
Flora Lee: Well the country ham was stored away in the meat house and salted down. You just keep it was ham. The sausage when the hog was first slaughtered you had to have your hand turned meat grinder and you ground the certain parts of the hog but trimmed the parts of the hog into the sausage and you grounded it up and then you took your pepper and your salt and whatever you wanted to put in it and we had to roll it out in little sausage cakes and can it . We didn't have any freezer.
JD: Did you have horses? Were they work horses and how did you use them and how did you take care of them?
Flora Lee: That is the way we had to farm. We had to take the horses and keep good care of them and put them in the barn and feed them corn, feed them oats, and keep them calmed down and keep nice and clean and warm. It was job to go feed them and a job to put the harness on them. Take them out to the old turning plow, the type that turns the sod , then we had to have a thing called a disk, to cut the sod up, and then had to have a thing called a harrow to smooth it up or a drag to drag to drag to it down, and then we didn't have tractors we had to have a plow that was hooked behind the horse to plow the corn row out, and it was labor from early spring to late fall.
JD: You said you didn't have no tractors right?
Flora Lee: We didn't have any tractors, right. The horse did it all.
JD: Did you grow tobacco?
Flora Lee: We had one uncle in the valley, a Bill Kidd, that raised tobacco and then upon the head of the valley here we had a family whose name was Wes Kidd and he raised tobacco. That is the only two I can remember.
JD: Do you know how that was done and how it was planted and harvested and cured?
Flora Lee: Well they had to take the seed and make seed beds in the early spring in which they they dug up a place in the corner of the garden and anywhere would work and they covered the seeds the way I remember with some kind of a glass to protect it from a lot of the weather. Then they had to take those little plants, little tobacco plants, and set them out kind of like we did tomato plants.
JD: Did you have an orchid or any fruit trees? Why varieties of apples, pears, or etc., did you grow?
Flora Lee: Well in the day that we had the apples they grew more or less from the seed that had been dropped by apples. Such as , they call them Johnpin now, but we called them Johnpin fine winter. It was actually a winter apple and then we had what we called the Yellow Delicious and Red Delicious. We also had what was called a Stamens Winesap and then another type of winesap apple. We had, hold your breath it was wonderful to eat , it was called a Crow Egg. It was fall apple and it was shaped like an egg and it was called a Crow Egg apple and they had what they called a Black Ben and another type Ben Dais and they were strifty. They were wonderful, wonderful, keepers. Canned and good to keep through the winter.
JD: Were frosts a bad problem for fruit and did you sell a whole lot or was it just mostly stored for the use of your family.
Flora Lee: No, people loaded them up on horse and wagon and took them over into Bluefield, WV., and sold them to the stores and places over there.
JD: How did you cut firewood before chain saws come along and where did you get lumber for building and you already stated earlier that you had a sawmill nearby.
Flora Lee: Yes, we had to cut the wood with a two man saw , we called it a crosscut, it took two people to pull it or an axe. They weren't any power saws.
JD: So the lumber that you got for building, you got from saw mills.
Flora Lee: We took them to saw mills and I think they was only two sawmills and then where she (Misty) lives, across the creek, they was one over next to the mountain. And there was a- Mr. Kidd that ran that quite a while and then some of her (Misty) people, the Blessings, they took care of it for a while. One up on the head of the creek too.
JD:What was your favorite job on the farm and why? What was your least favorite job on the farm and why?
Flora Lee: Well, I always enjoyed taking care of the baby calves and taking care of the turkeys and the chickens, I enjoyed it. I realized it was life there and we were feeding something, loving it, and caring for it and it was wonderful thing, you know, to take care of it and you go out and and find an old momma hen that was still on the nest and she would fluff the old feathers up and she try and scare you away and momma said your going have to take about fifteen eggs out , the old momma hen wants to raise you some baby chickens. So we take fifteen chicken eggs and we would mark them, take some ink and mark them so that if another hen laid with her, we know the difference in the eggs to leave with momma hen and the ones to take in to cook. It was something windfall to go out there and after she had sat on them for maybe twenty days, you mark the calendar, you go out there and old momma hen she's going to flop you and she'll fluff her little old feathers all up and here comes these little red or yellow chickens. Little tiny, fuzzy, things peeping out from underneath old momma hen, you know, and it's something people today get cheated out of.
JD: What was your least favorite?
Flora Lee: What did I like the least ? Carrying heavy corn and mixing chop for the hogs cause we had to carry it uphill grade and had old momma hog that had maybe eighteen or twenty pigs and then ones we were keeping, you know the fat to kill to make our pork, and I didn't like that job. It was a hard job and kind of messy . I didn't grumble about it but I really didn't like it.
JD: Why do you think small farmer's had to quit the farm and how has farming changed over the years?
Flora Lee: Wondefull of what they had to sale, to put on the market we say, and they didn't get that much out of it, and then to buy back their seed and they had tractors, and things, you know, that costed more money and I think they did that because they just couldn't make a living at it is what I think.
JD: What was the name of the church you attended and how did it come about getting it's name? When was it built?
Flora Lee: The first church I can't begin to tell you when it was built, it would have been built before 1900. It was a log building. They just called it the Methodist church, that was the name of it. Then when they moved it from the log building, where the existing church is now, was around 1903. They call it the United Methodist church. A few years later they changed it to the Green Valley United Methodist church, so we still have it up there and they dedicated the church we have now in 1912.
JD: Where this church located?
Flora Lee: It's located here on route 614 between Bastian,Va. and Tazewell,Va. Heading from Bastian towards Tazewell, it's on the left side of the road.
JD: Can you think or provide a list of all the preachers that have ever been at this church and when they were there? If it all possible, later on, do you have any documents or pictures of the church.
Flora Lee: I haven't any pictures of the church that I could think of. I don't have any. When it comes to naming the ministers, I doubt that I could name all of them or not and we had a habit of calling them just Reverend so and so with the last name, you know, like a- Brother Grimm as far back as I can remember , he was our circuit rider on horseback , you know, and he had a church in Tazewell, and then he had one in Bluefield, Va. and Rocky Gap, Va. and he came on what we called Pine Grove and then from there on up here and he had to ride horseback. We just called him Reverend Grimm. We had Paul, I mean, we had a Looney and then we had Tom Conley and then we had a Reverend J.D. Clark and you had a- then we had Reverend Allen Ashbrook and so forth and my mind kind of blanks out. We've had one about every third year something like it a different minister, you know, and so I think that's about as close I can get without thinking a long time so that's about as far as I can go with the ministers.
JD: You had stated earlier that the domination of the church was United Methodist, right?
Flora Lee: Uh-uh.
JD: Has it ever been associated with any other domination?
Flora Lee: Several year ago, when they first built it , the people wanted it to be a Union Church because the, you know, we had what they call Holiness and then we had the Methodist, and we had the Baptist and people had decided to call it a Union church and this farm that were living on and Blessings farm across the creek, Wayne Belcher up here, belonged to three Stower's brothers. They were Methodist, and so when they had taken the papers we were in what they called Tazewell county then and when they take the papers to have them fixed up they had them fixed with Methodist. So it was never fixed up as Union church on the count of all the dominations.
JD: What families have attended the church over the years and what was and is the membership and if you can remember, what is the largest and smallest memberships that you can ever remember the church having.
Flora Lee: Well I think the answer would be right here (points to piece of paper) forty a-, I don't have my glasses on, but for the church it's what forty a- what a-three, it somewhere down through here you'll find ,on down, Green Valley, you know, Methodist church out through there. It's forty-what , forty two.
JD: At this moment right? The membership at this time it's forty-three.
Flora Lee: Did you find Green Valley?
Flora Lee: But there's just such a few of them I think they ought a cut it down, don't you? (referring to Misty)
Flora Lee: We think we got a good crowd for twenty-one. Most of the time it runs thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen of us.
JD: Okay, um, can you ever remember a time when the church was really, I mean when the membership was , I mean , you know, it was large at a particular time when it was really, really, really--
Flora Lee: I was trying to remember. Before they built the Church of God on about two and a half miles up the road, I remember when the church was pretty well full.
JD: Can you give me an estimate?
Flora Lee: I couldn't hardly tell you, there's been twenty-five or thirty families and they came, you know, from the lower end of the valley to the church and from the upper end of the, if you ever been on the mountain and if you haven't, but the walk the come to church and if they didn't have that old wagon and have a load of stuff.
JD: When did you first begin attending this church?
Flora Lee: Up here?
Flora Lee: Well my momma took me up there when I was about three weeks old to have me dedicated and I'm eighty-two.
JD: Were you baptized in this church and where did they take place and what were the ceremonies like?
Flora Lee: I was baptized and they would gather just, what we call a creek area, you may call it a river or something, but they would gather in the summer months, you know, while it was real warm and the water was low and then they baptize. They believed in water baptism and emerging. They believed in that and you converts we called them, or church members, they were taught they had to be baptized.
JD: Can you describe a baptism that you remember?
Flora Lee: I been baptized twice because when I was in the Methodist church I was baptized and there were a quite of few of us. We gathered on the creek bank and we were baptized I expected that there was eighteen or twenty of us and of course when I moved away for about a year went to Pulaski and went to the Holiness church over there I was baptized.
JD: Does your church have a graveyard and how are the funerals conducted? Do they have wakes? Describe some funeral services of the past , if you can.
Flora Lee: Yes, we have a cemetery up here at the United Methodist church and there not too many that are buried there in it. We have thirteen or fourteen cemeteries in the valley. Some, many of them, have their own family cemeteries and they're not too many buried here lately.
JD: Before funeral homes, how were the bodies of the deceased prepared for burial.
Flora Lee: Before the funeral home?
Flora Lee: When someone died here in the valley they called the doctor and the doctor had to come, of course on horseback, and somebody went horseback after him and he came pronounced that they were dead and they left the corpse in the home where he died, or she died, or the baby died, and they a- the neighbors all went in and helped dress and helped prepare themh and then we had a man in the valley that made, they called it a coffin, and they graded it all up and fixed it and padded it up with some kind of white silk and cotton and they just a- they would take them out and dug the grave for them and helped bury them. Before we started having any contact with any funeral home, or anything, like in Bluefield, Tazewell, or Bobby Newberry over in Bland.
JD:Do you remember any particular preachers and describe them if you can.
Flora Lee: Any what?
JD: Any particular preachers.
Flora Lee: Well they were all so nice that it would be kind of hard for me to describe them. I had them in my home just about every weekend cause they always took Sunday dinner, we called it, with me and then we had a minister that was holding a revival for two weeks this was the only parsonage that we had at that time. They stayed in my home. I can't hardly describe any particular preacher, they were always so nice , always so nice, J. D. Clark was excellent, and so was brother Carr Looney and Tom Conley and they were all so nice when they left we cried after them. Then we got Allen Ashby now, he just as fine as they come and he so precious. So it would be hard for me to describe any one.
JD: Has your church had revivals and were there any tent revivals and where were they held? Describe what they were like.
Flora Lee: Well we haven't had a tent revival, that I know of in the valley here, several year but they were a lot of people saved, or converted we would call it, in the tent revival and it was a man and his wife and his niece came from Pulaski, Va., and held a tent revival and then that was the beginning and the last tent revival we had of the Church of God. Came out of the tent revival were so many was saved, or converted, they were holiness and they left the Methodist church and built the Church of God.
JD: Did many people come from far away for these revivals or was it just this general, people from this general area, or ---
Flora Lee: Some people would come from Bland, Va., a few of them from Bastian, Va. ,which were on route 1 Bastian,but we have a town Bastian, and few of them came to help with the singing and the piano and the guitar playing, so forth and so on, from different churches.
JD: What kind of music and hymns has you church played in the past and who would play the piano or the organ? Did your church have any gospel singing groups and what was their name?
Flora Lee - Oh, yes, we had some wonderful singing groups. My husband was the leader of the one group that went from different churches and he taught music and he was in a group with Jimmy Looney and his wife Lenny and had Kell Kidd and her aunt Olla was Olla Blessing she's Olla Hallman she and Ms. Looney sing the alto part and they had a wonderful group. Then we had other young people came from different places , the Neals , and different people and at one time we had an old fashioned organ in our church and different people played it especially Ruby Looney and then we let the organ go and got us a piano and then we've had Otho Looney and Ruby Looney and Shelby Gwen and Sandra Looney Brizendine plays it now. We gather sometimes and have a group of singers.
JD: You stated earlier that you have Homecomings at your church. Describe what they are like and how far would people come from and what kind of food would you have.
Flora Lee: Well that is quite a sweet experience, it is just about once a year , and I think it 's in August . It is in August isn't it?(Referring to Misty). Quite a church full of them and a beautiful singing and the best food you ever eat and it looked good and you would have to be there.
JD: What you would your church do for Christmas, I mean, would you have plays or manger scenes be constructed and what was done for the children and describe any special services.
Flora Lee: Well at Christmas it is real nice time for all of them. Most of all us had to draw names and then in drawing names that gives each one a gift , right. Then they give other gifts,too, you know. They had a beautiful tree and we used to always a live tree cut out on the farm somewhere and bring in. I think they have a artificial tree now, but they trim and decorate it up and all the alter railing and all of the whole church and everybody praised the birth of Jesus Christ that's what Christmas is all about . It was wonderful to be there.
JD: How about Easter? What kind of special services were held for Easter, etc.?
Flora Lee: Well most all of us at Easter, they have real good time and they gather up there and have a Easter egg hunt , that's for the young children, you know, to enjoy, and people bring a lot of colored eggs and things and the children get out there and enjoy it . I think she (Misty) can tell you more about that than me.
JD: Do you remember any stories concerning weather in church? Any blizzards or storms or do you remember any disasters such as fire or floods where the church helped someone. I know that my church helped one in 1993, during the blizzard, we helped that were stranded on the interstate.
Flora Lee: That, I can't remember if they did help anyone during the blizzard. I know this year we had a fifteen inch snow the weather snow year seemed to knock a lot of buildings and trees and things down but I don't know if they had to help anyone or not. Do you know whether they did or not?
Misty- I have no idea.
JD: Have there ever been any disagreements amongst the congregation? What did they deal with and how were they settled?
Flora Lee: Well it seemed like the Methodist , the church up there, they have a people that over the business part of it and takes care of that and so there never any interference. They plan and they talk together and they seem like they work pleasantly together, I mean, they don't seem to be upset or any arguments or anything that I've ever noticed. Seems like they work real peaceful with one another .
JD: Here's another tough one, describe typical Sunday morning when you were a child from the time you got up in the morning till you went to bed. Describe, you know, what you wore to church and how Sunday school was and were there any services? What would Sunday dinner be like?
Flora Lee: What would Sunday dinner be like?
Flora Lee: Well I couldn't hardly describe the tables we used to have when Sunday dinner came. A lot of people would go visiting' one another and they would just have everything from chicken to good old ham and gravy, some kind of beans, and all kinds of slaw. And when it come down to dessert and jellies and jams and things of that kind. It's just wonderful to think about it. A whole table full of goodies. That was every Sunday. You'd think it was a Christmas dinner, but it was just Sunday dinner you know. Children would gather out here at our place in the field out here -maybe twenty-five or thirty and you didn't find them fightin' or arguing, but they was out there playin' ball and runnin' races and hopscotch and hide-n-seek and they were just happy. Each Sunday was a happy long day when we gathered together. It was just happy.
JD: Describe the happiest moment you ever had at your church and the saddest moment you ever had at your church.
Flora Lee: Well it's hard to describe the happiest moment that I ever had at church, but I guess it's when I went to the alter when I was nine years old and I was always what the quiet, good, child but when I went to the alter and I prayed through and I was very happy. Now the next question was what?
JD: What the saddest moment?
Flora Lee: I guess the saddest moment that I ever had was when I went to church and my older son died of cirrhosis of the liver and then my husband died two years later. I guess that was the two saddest that I've ever had, including my dad and mom and all my family part of them died.
JD: What was the greatest religious experience you ever had?
Flora Lee: That would be hard to describe because it's all sweet all in one.
JD: I certainly can understand that, my father is a minister .
Flora Lee: Son, going to church and seeing people become Christians and when we take the sacrement up there and I think about how Jesus seem to think In remembrance all should do this. That's the thought the we all should have, Jesus standing there with the cup , he didn't have all those little cups , he had one cup and they drank out of it, didn't they.
JD: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Flora Lee: I think I've said enough only that it is wonderful to serve the Lord. So you have a minister for a dad.
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