My name is John Dodson, and I am interviewing Mrs. Tate at the Bland County Fair. The date is September 11, 1999
.John Dodson Im going to ask you some fair questions first.
Nancy Tate: Alright.
John Dodson Maybe I should ask , no, Ill ask the fair questions first. Do you remember the first Bland County Fair that you attended?
Nancy Tate: Yes.
John Dodson: Okay, what year was it?
Nancy Tate: 1948.
John Dodson: And, what was it like? What did you do at the fair when you came?
Nancy Tate: Oh, we pressed with some of the people. It was just, it was a big thing. The whole community was here. I cant describe it, but it was horses, lots and lots of horses and lots of people and I didnt know too many people, but everybody was so friendly, and I was impressed with that. And thats about all I can say.
John Dodson: Well, do you remember some of the rides? Did they have rides there?
Nancy Tate: Yes, yes. They always had the merry-go-round and uh music, the music was a merry-go-round. That was always it. I dont ride rides. It makes me sick. But,uh, I was really impressed . That was the first year I was married, and we came here, and the fair was the thing of the year.
John Dodson: Did they have alot of games and stuff that people played and you could win prizes?
Nancy Tate: Bingo was a big thing The Cawanas Club was a big thing at that time. They met weekly and had a den meeting. And that was, they always had the Bingo, and then they also collected things for kids in the county for Christmas and Thanksgiving and things. That was a big thing here at that time. And of course the hunting, everything was hunting then. But there was no deer here at that time, not very many. You had to go out of the county to go hunting. I was impressed with that because my family has always been a family of hunters, and uh they either had to go to Bath county or Augusta county over on Iron Mountain in Grayson. I was impressed with that. Lots of birds was here and there. But uh, I was impressed with that.
John Dodson: What birds would they hunt?
Nancy Tate: Grouse and quail at that time. There was lots of quail here at that time in 48. Course we had them alot around our house. We could hear them in the evening. They would come out on a rail fence and sing, and I was impressed with that. I ?? to the most beautiful place in the world.
John Dodson: Well, it is. You know, Ive never seen a quail since Ive lived here 20 years.
Nancy Tate: Oh, it is sad, but the reason we dont is that the farmers are too good of farmers. They uh, they dont let their fence rows grow up, and they dont have the grain they used to have through here that theyd eat on, so therefore they have no cover, and uh, the domestic cats have done alot of damage too, but uh, there used to be lots of quail up here.
John Dodson: Were there any turkey back there?
Nancy Tate: No, no there was no turkeys when we came. They started stocking them I guess in the 60s or 70s. Ive forgotten exactly when they started stocking the turkeys. But, we had lots and lots of grouse here. And uh, the reason I think we did, of what I can understand from the old timers, was that uh the cutover, the timber people was in here, a long time before we ever came. That was in the 30s, the 20s and the 30s. So therefore, the grouse had alot of food, and now the timber people have gotten old, and of course the turkeys are here now, and they ate the same thing as the grouse did, so we dont have the grouse.
John Dodson: What would they have at the fair concerning hunting?Was there anything? Was there any exhibits or anything
Nancy Tate: No. It was all farm crops, and the FFA was a big thing too here, and it still is, but uh, there wasnt too much hunting there, but we still always got our first day of hunting season. The whole county turned out, still do.
John Dodson: Right, Right. What was your favorite food at the fair?
Nancy Tate: Heart bulbs
John Dodson: Yes, mine too. Back then, what kind of exhibits were there that you particularly liked?
Nancy Tate: Um, well they had a lot of quilts and hand crocheted tiding and that kind of thing, still have alot of that. The quilts here was beautiful, and um, you still see some, but you dont have the quilts like you used to. I was impressed with that, and the canned stuff, everybody brought canned stuff cause everything was home-made, home canned, had alot of that.
John Dodson: Did they um, did they have parades back then, have a parade for the fair like we did this year?
Nancy Tate: No, mmnt.
John Dodson: Well, do you remember anything that is more important back then there is today?
Nancy Tate: Yes. Because they didnt have television, and this was a get together of the county, and it was something for the kids to do. That was the big thing. The kids all come. It was who was going to date who for the fair, and all the girls used to " What are we going to have something new?" I can remember my uh husbands niece had to have something new to come to the fair to walk with the boys. That was a big thing. I was impressed with that when I first came here cause I was first married. And the kids, was , they was all, they were all so excited over the fair, everything was fair, fair, fair! It still is alot, but television has taken alot away from it because they see so much things on televisions, rides and things.
John Dodson: Have they always had musical entertainment with the fair? Do you remember any particular...
Nancy Tate: No, I dont remember of music, any prior of when I first came here, no.
John Dodson: Okay. Do you think some, alot of the people would come just to see people, I mean to meet friends?
Nancy Tate: Yes, to be with friends, uh,hu. Yes, and then at that time they had lots of venders would come like Dunn Motors here would have tractors and people from Wytheville would bring their um, their exhibits to sell their stuff. We dont have that hardly anymore.
John Dodson: Did you ever participate in any of the events?
Nancy Tate: No, just come and have fun. And eat. We had to eat everybodys cooking. Yes.
John Dodson: Would you come all three, or was it always, what, four nights, or three or four nights?
Nancy Tate: No. It used to be just what, just a, it was always just three nights. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I dont remember if it was just Friday and Saturday when I first came or not because see when I first came to the county I had just gotten married and my husband was in ticket school and we would come in for the weekends and so forth and so I really dont remember if it was more than Friday or Saturday, I dont really remember.
John Dodson: Do you remember any events at the fair? Have there ever been any fights?
Nancy Tate: Oh, there were always fights on Saturday night. There was always fights in Bland on Friday night for years. The boys came to town to fight. I mean oh dear, they did , it was entertainment. They didnt really come to hurt anybody. They came to fight. Um, I dont really know why. In, fact, it amazed me that when I first came into this county, girls fought. I wasnt sort of use to that but girls would fight at school and I wasnt use to that. And, um the boys maybe I shouldnt be tellin you some of these stories. On Saturday nights, the police would always had to break up the fights downtown here. If they had a dance at school, there was always fights at school. Um, that was sort of the standard procedure. No one seemed to end up in jail or anything, they just had a fight. Have you lived here all your life?
John Dodson: No, twenty years.
Nancy Tate: Twenty years, okay. When I first came um there was uh down at the ?? at the intersection, or the pool hall. That was standard procedure that there would be a fight there on Saturday night. There was always fights on Saturday night. Somebody would usually end up in jail on Saturday nights. They sometimes even, they would um the police would go, no Im not going to call any names, but they had a state trooper one night that they got into a fight with one of the drunks. ?They had an old pot bellied stove in there, and they knocked the chimney down, and they all ended up real black, and it was sort of fun. Nobody was really hurt. I didn't know anything about it until the next day, My oldest son was just a kid. He was like maybe thirteen or fourteen, and hed come to town, and hed heard about it, and he d come home, and he was all excited about the big fight in town, things like that.
John Dodson: Well, do you remember at the fair any particular fights?
Nancy Tate: No, just usually by ten or eleven oclock, the drunks was going to get in a fight. It was just sort of understood, and the police rounded them up usually. That was just part of it. I know people look at you strange when you say that, but thats just the way it was.
John Dodson: Well, now I understand that their used to be quite a few bars and stuff in Bland county.
Nancy Tate: Yes,there was, and uh, it was funny some of the tales that happened. They used to race down 42, and they weve had some terrible wrecks up on Bob Daviss curve, alot of boys have gotten killed there. I know that when some of em got hurt that wasnt racing, that they had a wreck, and somebody had come along and hit em. That really hurt them really bad. It used to be really bad. And too, there was no interstates through here, and of course it was a dialic route, south 21 52. Weve had an awful lot of wrecks on the mountains when we first came here. People would be coming from Ohio through the section and um they couldnt drive in the mountains They were used to flat land, and they couldnt negotiate the curves, and usually once a week a truck
would go off one of the mountains, either East River or Big Walker. There was always wrecks.
John Dodson: So, I guess traffic was pretty, that was when it was called the Great Lakes?? up there.
Nancy Tate: Yeah, it really was. and you see it wasnt the most direct route south. The traffic was really something through here because that was the main road through here.
John Dodson: Where were some of the bars located around here? I know someone told me East River Mountain to Bastain the number of bars, but I forget, it was something like fifteen.
Nancy Tate: Now, when we first came, there was lots, and uh there was lots of moonshine in the county when we first came here. It was sort of funny that revenues people would come and didnt find anything, but what so often would happen they would just move it over into West Virginia until the people left, and after they had been gone about a week, they would just move it back in. It was sort of a joke, you know, but no one ever thought anything about it. We didnt.
John Dodson: Now this place was called what, Yonces or something?
Nancy Tate: Well now um Yonces was going into Wytheville. There used to be a, the old road. There used to be a service station there, well down here the thing was Richardsons was one down there. Now right before I came, do you know where Elmo Silos shop is down there on the corner? That was a white house there, and right over next to it where the big tanks are, the oil tanks, that was a bar. And also the Bland Messenger, they had the Bland Messenger in one part of it, and there a bar over in the other
John Dodson: Was that place pretty hot over there?
Nancy Tate: Yeah, Yeah. And then you know like I say, moonshine was common through this section, and they run it through here from north? to West Virginia. And the law would get alot of trucks and cars going through loaded. That was a, you would always hear it on Monday morning, they got a load of moonshine last night. That was a big thing?
John Dodson: Well, did anybody around here make it?
Nancy Tate: Oh, Im sure they did. Um, well, there was maybe... When I first come here, the first thing I learned, that everybodys kenned to to everybody, and you keep your mouth shut. It didnt take me long to learn.
Nancy Tate: Im from Washington County. I met met my husband, I was in nursing training with his sister. It was right after the war, and but anyway, Bland, I just love it. I just, theres no place like it, and if you tell some of the tales that you know that went on, people wouldnt believe you.
John Dodson: Well, tell us. There used to be all kinds of things happen at the courthouse.
Nancy Tate: Oh, yes. When I first came here, like I said, right after my husband got out of Tech, and we actually moved back to Bland. And uh, I went to work for Mr. Roy Kidd, my first job in the county. I was his secretary, and it was the AFC office, and I went to work for him. And Mr. Kidd was hard of hearing, and I had been working but just a couple of months, and all at once I heard all this racket going on down stairs. His, in the courthouse we were up in the right-hand upstairs. That was the AFC office, right outside the court room, it was in that one. I went to the head of the steps, and I heard Miss Repass was yellin, and I said " Mr. Kidd, what is going on down stairs?". Its alright, its alright. And I said whats alright, and he said, well Mr. Hardys just drunk, and he said??? You're taking this down. Mr. Hardy was a smart man, but when he was drunk, he would chase Mrs. Repass. She didnt like him, and the reason he chased her was because she always called the law when he would get drunk. Well, she would go in the office and slam the door, and then he couldnt get in, and he would yell. And then they would call the law. Well, when the law would go in his office and lock the door, and its metal doors. So, he would just go in and sleep it off till the next morning, and then he wouldnt be drunk, and they couldnt arrest him. I didnt know any of this, you see, when I first went down there. But, that was my first job in Bland County. But I just adored Mr. Hardy. He was really, as a lawyer, a very, very smart man. And I know he had a problem, It got to be sort of funny. But, you know, I didnt know what was going on?? But just some of the things that they have happened here in the county. He was a character. And of course Mrs. Hardy taught school and taught all three of my children. She was a real nice person, too. But, it was funny, but noone would have ever believed if you would told things like that. They wouldnt believed it you know. Yes, now where are you from you know, But, thats all I can tell you I shouldnt have...
John Dodson: Do you remember anything else about working in the court house?
Nancy Tate: Oh yes, there was funny things that happened at the court house. It was always funny things going on, but it was funny with Mr. Hardy like that. They couldnt do anything to him you know. They couldn t get him to the, I guess they could have broken the windows or something, but they just leave him in there, and they couldnt get in the door. They were metal. Hed just lock em. It was funny.
John Dodson: Do you remember any interesting trials that would attract lots of people?
Nancy Tate: No. Oh, there was Pierce Kegley was the judge at that time, the juvenile judge, not the big judge. I cant remember the big judges name. Not right now, but he would try their cases. It was sort of funny with him, cause all of his cases, usually his cases was usually for boys that had been drivin fast up through the road 21 52. He had alot of bad...that was all over the county.
John Dodson: Do you remember when he was shot?
Nancy Tate: Yes. I was in the court house when that happened, and it was sad. It was so sad. It was bad.
John Dodson: It was a terrible thing.
Nancy Tate: Yes it was.
John Dodson: Did you hear it when it happened?
Nancy Tate: I heard it, but you know, you dont really know, and I heard Louis, she was yellin, and she was the one that called Dr. Kegley. .At that time Bobby Newberry had the ambulance. You know there was no rescue squad in this county at that time. You just called the ambulance to take them either to Dr. Kegley or...well really to Bluefield because the only hospital they had in Wytheville at that time was a very small clinic over ? store, and that was all really they had over there at that particular time. So you either had to go to Bluefield, or really to the hospital that you could get to quick. But it was sad, it was sad. When I went downstairs, it was all over and they already called, and he was, Mr. what was his name, I cant think of his last name now, he was sitting with his head down and the gun was laying on the step, he was sitting on the steps.
John Dodson: The man that shot him.
Nancy Tate: He didnt try to run away. He was just sitting there.
John Dodson: What was his name?
Nancy Tate: I cant think of his name.
John Dodson: He was from up Clearfork.
Nancy Tate: Oh yes, and his sister, I think his sister still lives up there. I cant think of his name. I didnt think I would ever forget it, but I have.
John Dodson: So they took him to Bluefield?
Nancy Tate: Yeah, Dr. Kegley, they called Dr. Kegley, and Dr. Kegley came and went in the ambulance. And it wasnt long after that Dr. Kegley had that?? in his head.
John Dodson: He died too?
Nancy Tate: No, not for several years, but uh, he was really sick after words.
John Dodson: Thats a real shame. Well, anything else you can remember? How many years did you work in the court house?
Nancy Tate: Oh, lets see, I guess I worked about four years, and then I went to the Draft Board, and I was a Draft Board for right at eighteen years till they phased out. I was the meaning of the county. I was the only clerk.
John Dodson: You were the Draft Board in Bland County?
Nancy Tate: For the Bland County, yes. Our first office was where the white building in behind Mig Hoges, you know the white building thats there, upstairs in that end, upstairs was an office, and then um, someone bought the building, and then we moved over, and it was Mooreheads and Wrights at that time where uh NAPA was. We were upstairs. So, I knew about every boy in this county. They all had to go. I was there until they phased out. We phased out in 73.
John Dodson: I remember that. I was 1A in 73.
Nancy Tate: You were 1A in 73. Okay. So, I had some funny tales to tell at the boys. It was a novelty being with the Draft Board here, because um, the buses, the way the buses ran at that time, you see, the bus come from Charleston going south, and they would get on that bus. And then they would go to Wytheville, and they had a layover because then they had to catch a bus going to Roanoke from Bristol. So we had, I had to be down here usually, most of the time I came about five oclock, and then Id order em to come at six because the bus come at 6:30, and so um, Id always get down early and get the papers and things ready, and you appointed one of the boys that you thought could handle the rest of the boys to take all the papers. And then youd have to give them meal tickets because they had to eat either breakfast or noon depending on how many I was sending, because sometimes they had a layover and then they had to wait and have a layover back in the afternoon. So, I would give em meal tickets for them to eat at the bus terminal. Thats when the bus terminal, do you remember was still, when the cafeteria was still in the bus terminal? Thats before you're time.
John Dodson: Yes. Thats before my time
Nancy Tate: Well anyway, the cafeteria was ???, and one of the funniest things that happened, I was sending about sixteen boys one morning and theyd all showed up but one boy, and it was gettin closer and closer, and I never had failed that all of them didnt show, and I thought, well, this is going to be one of those ones. And so I had been sitting there... This is funny. I thought it was hysterical. All at once we were all sittin, all these boys was sittin around talkin among themselves and to me, and um, once I heard somebody say, " Oh, Miss Tate, oh Miss Tate." Well, we all jumped up and ran out and theres this long stair case going up to the stairs, in fact its still the same way like it is now. He was crawling up the steps, and he was as high as a Georgia Pine. A boy went down knew him and they were helping him get up the steps, and he said, "Oh Mrs. Tate, Im so sick, oh Misses Tate." I had to laugh. It was funny. Well, one of the boys, I didnt know what to do, and the boy that I had asked to be in charge of the boys, I said, he said Miss Tate, he says, "Well get him sober over at the cafeteria. Well take him on." So, they took him on and put him on the bus and they took him. I hope he was sober by the time he got to Roanoke. I never did get any ?repercussions from it, so I reckon it is, but he was sick. It was funny. I had funny tales at the boys lots of times. Theyd come back and talk to me, and we had sort of a good relationship.
John Dodson: So, theyd go to Roanoke and take a physical.
Nancy Tate: Umhu, and that was the induction session also. You had to go for a physical, and then you come back, and the papers come back, and then if you wanted a deferment, I had a board , it wasnt my decision. I was only the clerk, and we had local men that was on the board there that decided the defirmance, At that time at the end college students could get out, but when I first went, there was very few defirmance because the war, the way the war was, wasnt any war. Vietnam hadnt started and the Korean situation, it was sad when theyd send the boys. It seemed like most of em didnt seem to mind the Korean, but the Vietnam was a bitter, bitter war, and it wasnt a happy time.
John Dodson: What kinds of things could they get a deferment for besides...Oh yeah, just a moment. We need to change tapes... Its interesting that you served on the draft board, and that you were the clerk. Im going to ask you some questions about that cause you saw alot???
Nancy Tate: Well, you still have to register...
John Dodson: You still had to register, but...
Nancy Tate: But thats it.
John Dodson: What kinds of things could they get a deferment for besides...
Nancy Tate: At the end, when they were phasing things out, you could get out if you were, one of the biggest things was a student, you were passing. That was at the end of the drafting I mean, now before you couldnt have done that, like during war time, that didnt go. But, if you were married and had a child, and then uh, when I first went on the draft board, if you were a neccesity on the farm, like if uh there was two boys, and one had gone, then he, the brother could get a deferment because you couldnt take everybody away from the farm, and you got a deferment for that. We had alot in this county that was eligible to go physically, but so many children here when I first came here had not completed high school, and we had alot of failures on the physical part. If they didnt have a high school education, so much as a test, they couldn,t pass, and I always thought that was so sad because they were so many smart boys, but they just didnt have an education. So many through this section had quit school at 6th and 7th grades and didnt go to high school. So after the war was over alot of the boys that came back went back to school and got their high school diplomas. But you see back then in these rural areas, the roads, they didnt get out of here, and it was hard to??? college, and so therefore they worked on the farm. It was a farming community, and I always thought that was sad because alot of the boys could have done really well into service and got better jobs, but it was just because lack of education. I had lots of boys that could not read and write but just signed. They could have. It was just they didnt have the opportunity to do it, and I thought they was sad, but we had that in this county. Because when we first came back here, the road down 42 was graveled, the road going to Ceres was graveled, and they didnt even put a hard top on the one to Ceres until the 70s, and then it was only one lane. If you met a car, you had to get off, one or the other. They didnt do that until way up into the 70s. It was very rural here. It,s only been, I guess since in the 80s, in the latter part of the 80s, but all the roads in the county have been hard topped, and theres still quite a few thats not. So, its hard, it was hard for them to have gotten out and have an education.
John Dodson: During the Vietnam War, did the young men in the county generally...
Nancy Tate: The majority didnt seem to mind going, and then you had a few that, they wanted to go, and their families didnt want them to, and thats sad too because you know, you wouldnt want your son to go and alot of them that didnt want their families to go had been in World War II, and they knew what it was like, and they knew what it was going to be and the boys didnt, and that made a big difference too.
John Dodson: Was there any bitterness?
Nancy Tate: No. Only a couple of times I would have problems with fathers, not with their sons. I only had one time that I was ever afraid, and it was from a father. He was determined he was going to see his sons records, and I said,"You cant see them without his written permission. Hes an adult."
He said, "Im going to see them.", and I said," No youre not." I said, " If you bring him or you bring me a written slip, you may see his records. They are confidential." He got really, he pounded my table, and I said, "If you dont shutup and get out, Ill call the police." And he left, but I was scared. I never had had that one happen before, and I wasnt very big.
John Dodson: Why was he so determined to see them?
Nancy Tate: Well, so often, lots of times, if they got deferred or they were turned down, they wanted to know why. Well if the boy didnt want to tell them, I certainly couldnt tell them what was in that record. And also the same way if sometimes they were married, and the parents didnt know, well it was confidential, whats in that record, it did not leave that office, and they well Im his father, and I said," I dont care if you are his father, you cant see the records." And you couldnt. I even had a wife one time to come in, wanted to see her husbands record. That was another one that got a little nasty, but not to bad. Like I said, it was only the one time that I was ever scared that he was, I really thought he was going to shake me. But, other than that, most of the time, the boys were nice and willing. Like I said, lots of times it was the families, not the boys.
John Dodson: How many men served on the draft board?
Nancy Tate: Four. We had one from each area, and they were volunteers. I would submit their names, and they went to Richmond, and they were appointed, and then they would serve. Theres two years usually, and then if they wanted off of course..., I had one man that stayed on six years. Henry Ratcliff was one of my board members, and he was such a nice man. He was just, I was just really fond of him. He was really good, and he was one of the longest ones we had. Most of the time, it would serve two years, I meant four years, two terms, and then theyd want off. But, most of the time people did it willingly, and most of the people that served was veterans, and so that made it good too because they knew what it was.
John Dodson: Did you ever have any families try to influence any board members?
Nancy Tate: Oh, Im sure they did. I had gotten letters. In fact it wasnt to long ago that I threw away alot of things that I forgot I even had. I was accused of taking bribes, that someone had given me a ham to keep, oh, you just dont know, and then mothers and daddies would call and say," Why did you take my son when so and so down the roads not doing anything. This type of thing youd have.
John Dodson: But, you didnt have anything to do with it?
Nancy Tate: I didnt have anything to do with it. I was only the clerk. I didnt do it; the men do it. But, I was handy. I was the one they could get a hold of. It was interesting, and I enjoyed working for the government. Id laugh, though, if theyd talk about wages when I first started with the draft board. I got seventy-five cents an hour, and that was big wages, and they increased it up to a dollar and a half, and people say," How much did you get?", and I said," A dollar and a half an hour." And that was good wages, that was good wages in the 50s. But people look at you, you know, and then uh, when I came out and they phased it out, I only had eighteen years, and I wanted to go my twenty, and there wasnt anything available. I could have gone to the arsenal, they told me I could go to the arsenal, and Id have a job. My husband refused to let me go. He says," You are not going over that Floyds Mount..., Cloyds Mountain in the winter time. You are not!" So I went to work, I went to work, I worked in,uh, Social Services until there was an opening in the post office, and then I went in and worked in the post office for eleven years, and got my twenty in, I got my service in.
John Dodson: You worked in the Bland Post Office?
Nancy Tate: Umhu, and I liked it. I liked working there. It was hard work, but it was, I loved the people.
John Dodson: It was kind of a social center.
Nancy Tate: Yeah. It was nice, and you knew everybody pretty soon, and I really enjoyed the post office, and then I retired.
John Dodson: Do you have any interesting stories from working at the post office? Who was Post Master?
Nancy Tate: Frankie Newberry, and she was so much fun to work with. Shes smart, and she was the kind of boss that would, shed never ask you to do anything. Shed say," Would you please do so and so for me?" or " I want off this afternoon. Can you work for me this afternoon?", this type of thing. She was really nice, I was fortunate everywhere I ever worked. I had good bosses. Of course when I worked for the draft board, I worked for colonials and captains. Well, I can tell you a funny tale, though. We had a black state director one time, Mr. Fields, Colonial Fields, and he was as black as the ace of spades, and he listed with all the draft boards. He came, I took him on top of the mountain, thats when they had the restaurant up on top of the mountain on Brushy. You should have seen the peoples faces when I walked in up there that day with my boss. You could have heard a pin drop when I walked in that place.
John Dodson: What year was this?
Nancy Tate: That was in the early sixties, about 61 or 62, and Im tellin you, cause we all, alot of us from here in this area ate up there then. ??, all the state troopers, Mr. Gilley... Do you remember Mr. Gilley? Oh, Mr. Gilley, he was a jewel. We would all go up there and eat lunch just about everyday, and we all ate together, all the state police and all of us, and we really had a thing going up there, and it was lots of fun. But the day I walked in with him, I didnt sit down with the rest of the group, well there really wasnt any room, but oh the looks when I walked in with Colonial Fields, and he was such a nice man, very intelligent. But uh, I dont know how he, how he faired Buchanon and some of those counties because they just dont have any black people,??, but he was nice to work for, and that didnt bother me, but it did alot of people. Well, you see I was raised with alot of black people. My daddy had two helpers that were black, and I thought it was a bunch of Ted and Ed as I did anybody. When I was a little girl, I just thought Ed was such a nice man, and his little girl and I played, in fact, thats a sad story. I never knew, I didnt know about blacks and whites when you were little, and I remember one time I was playing with Susan, and that was Eds daughter, and we, my daddy, he give me some money to go up to the drug store to get some icecream cones, and he helped us across the street, course there wasnt hardly any cars then, not like now, and he went up there, and we started in the door, and Susan sit down on the step, on the curb, and I said, " Come on. I got the money." " I cant go in there." And thats the first time I was aware that I was playing with someone that was black. That wasnt acceptable. She couldnt go in the drug store to get the icecream, and I thought that was awful. I come back and told daddy, " Why couldnt she go in the drug store with me? ", and that, that really brought home to me. I think thats sad.
John Dodson: It was terrible that it was inaccepted in the south.
Nancy Tate: And it really was, but when youre that little, I was only about about seven or eight, something like that. I was just in school about first grade, and of course she didnt go to school with us because they werent allowed. They went over to the colored school, well it was colored then, and you never called them white,it was colored. But, I can remember Suzanne, and I thought that was so awful that she couldnt go get icecream. Ive got to get out of here. Theyre just going to think I left.
John Dodson: Well I wish you would stay longer, but I certainly have enjoyed it. It was excellent, and I may want to talk to you again. Thankyou so much.
Would you care to return to the top of the page?
copyright©bland county history archives all rights reserved 2000