Hazel was interviewed in the Fall of 1999 by John and Bonnie Dodson. This was done as part of a Cultural Attachment Study conducted by Dr. Melinda Wagner of Radford University. She was interviewed in her home, which is located on the site of her homeplace.
Hazel Returns Home
John: Okay. When were you born?
Hazel: September 25th, 19 and 39.
John: How long have you lived here?
Hazel: Well, I’ve lived hereI was born and raised here. And, at an early age of 21 years old, I moved to Columbus, Ohio and I lived there for thirty-five years, and I decided that I would come back to my home after retiring and being on one job for twenty-eight years, there. I worked in Lazarus department store. And I returned here December 22nd, 19 and 95.
John: Okay, well, what was it like coming back from up there?
Hazel: At first, I was kindly-- I had decided to come back about 3 years before I come back and I had decided that I could get out of the city where all the sireens and police carsthe noise and helicopters over your head and when you left homewhen you came back to the house you didn’t know whether your belongings would be there or not. And you get to an age where you want to slow down, and I wanted to slow down and be sorta at ease. These people back here are all my relatives in one way or another and I could sayreally trust people in this community. So, I came back here to live and I wouldn’t have to be with all of the rat race and different things that I dislike, and as being an older personand getting olderI thought this would be the best place to come back to live and expenses wouldn’t be quite as high as in the city.
John: How did you feel when you came back?
Hazel: Well, I felt like I was coming home. Our homeplace had burnt down, and I had put in, uh, a new double wide, but it was like coming back to where I was originally from. I thought that, when I come back here, that I would see whether I could raise a garden or plant some tomato plants because I had been raised on this place right here. The fieldsplum up to the schoolmy father had it, it was clear. You could see-- plum to the school. On that side of the road, there was no trailers or anything in that land in there. That was the field that you raised the hay or put the corn there. Uhm, my father would tend some of Mr. Cunningham’s land. He was our neighbor in the summertime. He came out of Bluefield and lived over here in the summertime. He gave my father to use his cleaned up land to raise corn and stuff onon both sides of the road that’s connected to our property.
John: Howhow does it run this waydoes it go from mountain to mountain?
Hazel: Ours goits from 200 feet from the top of the mountainon this side, and it is plum to the top to the mountain on this side, so I guess Mr. Cunningham’s runs about the same way. Yeah.
John: And who did he buy his land from?
John: Do you know who owned it before him?
Hazel: I think that he, uhm, therethe people that lived on therethey borrowedhe owned Bluefield Loan company, I don’t know what it was before it was Bluefield Loan Company, but he had a loan company. And people borrowed money against their property and they were unable to pay it back. Now, the _____ were one set of property that were connected to our property. Now, the next one downthe next one I don’t know. But the _____ were one of ‘em.
A.J.Tynes and Family
John: Okay. Alright. Do you know when and how your family’s land was acquired?
Hazel: Uhm, my grandfather. Now, one of my brothers say that he was a slave. Okay
John: Now, what was his name?
Hazel: Jack Tynes.
Hazel: And they say he was originally from Tazewell County or Grayson County oneI forget which one. He was turned loose as a slave and he had a horseand a horse or a sack of flour or something that they gave him when they turned him loose, but anyway, he come to Wythe County and then I guess he cameheheerd about this property and came in here. See hehis property here is 247 acres here. He also owned a piece of property down the road that once was called Bristol Place.
John: Bristol Place?
Hazel: Yeahhe owned that. And heI guess byhe had married, and his wife died, and in the Bible, his first wife’s name was Julia. And they had so many kids, but she died. I don’t know what from. And hethen he hired my grandmother, a much younger woman, to come in and stay with his kids. He ended up marryin’ her, see.
John: What was her name?
Hazel: Emma Gordon.
John: She was a Gordon, right.
Hazel: Yeah. Her home was over in Bland, up on 52, where Verdel Gordon and themthey lived at the homeplace, but they soldthey had to let it go so the highway77. They moved from there to Wytheville, but that was originally my grandmother’s homeplace.
John: He was a mechanic, wasn’t he?
Hazel: Yes, and see, my grandfatherhe married my grandmother, which was my dad’s mother and had children by her. Altogether, he had 19 childrenbecause some died as babies and some daughters died at an early ageone was from childbirth. And my dad’swhich is now half sisters and brothers y’know, they all moved away and stuff, but my father and two brothers stayed here because my grandmothermy grandfather died when I was 14 years oldand they stayed here and looked after the homeplace.
John: Who were the other two brothers that stayed?
Hazel: Jim, his name was James and Elijah, ‘cause then the daughters had all married and moved away. And how he lost the Bristol Place, he borried [borrowed] [borrowed] money to send this girl by his first wifeshe wanted to go to school. He borried money and, in return, she was supposed to pay the money back. She got married, so he lost that. The kinda work that he did was some kinda haulin’cuttin’ somethin’ and haulin’ down atta Rocky Gap to go on a train to send it away. Somethin’ like tannin’ bark or somethin’. That’s the way he made his livin’.
John: Tannin’ bark that’s what they used tothey used to take that down to Narrowsthat’s why they built the railroad up here in the first place.
Hazel: Uhm hmm.
John: Where was the Bristol Place? Do you
Hazel: Uhm, do you know where Pete Ferguson lived?
Hazel: Okay, its connected to his property.
John: Okay, below it?
Hazel: Below it. Below it.
John: Okay, uhm, so where did she go to school? Did you know where she was going to school?
Hazel: No. Her name was Monie Adams. I guess she musta been goin’ to school in Bluefield at the time.
John: Okay, she married a man named Adams.
John: Yeah, alright. Uhm, how many members of your family live nearby?
Hazel: I have two brothers and a nephew that lives here. And, uhmmy mother still has two sisters and a brother still in this community.
John: Well, who are the sisters and the brother?
Hazel: Fred Saunders is the brother and Martha Cobbs and Freda Scrubbs is her two sisters. See, ‘cause my mom hasn’t been that long died. She just died in ’94. She was 92 years old.
John: Where else do members of your family live?
Hazel: I have a sister thats a school teacher, but she’s retired. She live in Mullins, West Virginia, her husband was a coal miner. I have 3 sisters in Columbus, Ohio. Uhm, two of ‘em is still workin’. One of ‘em is 67 years old and the other one is 76, which is my oldest sister. And I have a baby sister that lives, Bertha, she lives there, and I also have two daughters there.
John: Okay. If you were going to show me your placethis landwhere would you take me? What would you show me? Favorite places or--?
Hazel: Oh! This spot herewhere I live at. I would take you up to Grandma’s house, in the field where Marvin lived. The house is still therethe springhouse where she kept her milkthe barn still sits up on the hill, and a good bit of the property is still, uhm, cleared up. It hasn’t growed up. And, oh, one place that they calledI don’t know why, it was called the Hogan’s piece. Its back up that field thats straight across there in front of the churchthat was called the Hogan’s piece. And its got some big rocks, they might be growed up now, but its got rocks and things over there that, y’know, that you might want to see. And, uhm, of course you know about the church and the school house where we went to school, and after school here to the 7th grade, we had to be bussed to Tazewell County because they had not integrated.
Columbus,Ohio and Back Home and Back to Columbus
So, we were bussed to Tazewell County school, and as a young girl, I really thought I was grown at 14, so I decided to go and stay with my oldest sister in Columbus, Ohio and try and get a job. I put my age up to 18 years old and got a job at the Greyhound bus station washin’ dishes. I worked at that and for some reason she wanted me to stayand go to school and I attended East High School on East Broad street in Columbus for two years. Well, as teenagers do, things don’t go your wayyou say "I can do this, I can do that" and I thought that if I came back homewell, I went to school for one day in the 12th grade there, and I thought that if I came back home, I could go and get a job. But, when I returned home, my father asked mehe always waited ‘til we got to the dinner table to git on yahe asked me "what do you plan to do?" I say "get a job and go to work". He says "No. When the bus run Monday mornin’, you git on it". So, I finished up school at Tazewell County High School <laughs> in 19 and 57. And then, I had gotten back used to bein’ at home with my parents, and I had my baby brother and my baby sister was still in school. They rode the school bus, too.
Hazel: I got this job of domestic work. I worked for Mr. Brook for 5 years. Doctor Brook was his son.
John: Where was this?
Hazel: In Bluefield, West Virginia. And I stayed over there durin’ the week and I come home on Saturday evenin’ and stayed ‘til Monday mornin’ then I would go back and work all week and then back home. So then, one day, I thought maybe I should do something different, and by that time, my oldest sister and Marvin, my baby brother, and another brother named James and one named Leonard and my sister Helenthey were all in Columbus, Ohio. So, I knowed the town pretty good, so I believe I go there and try to find a job. So, when I come home on Saturday, I tell my parents I think I will go there and try to find a job, and my brother was herefor the weekend so I rode back with him. But my Mother and Daddy, they didn’t try to stop me. I rode back to Columbus with him. I had $18 in my pocket, but so happened I went there like the 23rd of May and I went to work at Lazarus Department store on the 16th of June, and I worked there for 28 years, and I retired from there. And then I decided I would get a job doin’ day work or somethin’ like that, so I did that for about a year, and then I got a job with this one familya lawyer and his wife wanted me to work full time for them, so I worked for them for 4 years and they decided to move to California, so they moved to California, but they helped me so I wouldn’t get in a real bind ‘til I got another job. So I got another job at a nursin’ home and I worked there for 14 months before I moved here. But, uhm, Iy’know I never did really get in a bind or anything, and I had two houses in Columbus. I moved to one neighborhood in a house that was sorta goin’ down the hill so I had two girls, and I said "well, nah, I don’t wanna stay here", so I ventured out and got another house, but my kids was likeone was ready to finish high school and the other was in about the 6th or 7th grade. I got outta that neighborhood and got another house, and we lived there until I sold it and come down here and bought this double wide.
John: Well, you picked a nice spot.
Hazel: See, ‘cause our house was a log house. The first one was a log housethats where we were bornabout all of us was borned in this log house. And my Dad, he said that maybe he could build another house, so he started preparin’ to, uhm, build another house. He got some lumber from an old house over in Bluefieldhe helped to tear it down to git lumber to go into this house that he was goin’ to build and then he had some sawed. Charlie Taylor had a saw mill and he had some lumber sawed, and he built another house with the help of my mother. He built it his’self.
Bonnie: Now, is that the house that Marvin was livin’ in?
Hazel: No, it was the house that was settin’ here.
Bonnie: Oh, right here.
John: Thatthat burned down.
Hazel: That was my grandmother’s house. Yeah.
John: And it burned downwhat about4 or 5 years ago?
Hazel: Uhm, right at 6 years ago.
John: I remember seein’ it. But you had cleared out a lot.
Hazel: Yeah, well I had to do ahave a bulldozer and do some grading and so forth.
John: Okay, uhm <pause> Alright, what is your favorite spot in thisI think I’ve already asked this
Bonnie: Well, not really
John: What is your favorite spot on thison your 220 acres? Uhmif you had to pick
Hazel: If I had to pick?
John: And why would it be your favorite spot?
Hazel: Well, y’know, I hateI really hate to see Grandma’s house go down. I could go to my Grandmother’s any time a’ day that I wanted to when I was a kid, and I wouldn’t be punished for not askin’ or anything. But, other than that, ask to walk down the road there. That’s the type of person my Mother and Father was. You didn’t jest git up and go when you got ready.
John: What was your Grandmother’swhat was she like and what was the house like?
Hazel: It wasits just a big house and it had a side porch, a back porch and a front porch. And, uhm, she didn’tshe wouldshe had a bedroom, but she dut’in allow you to sit on her bed, and when you went there, she would find somethin’ for you to do for her. Y’know, ‘cause that was my Dad’s mother. She always fount somethin’ for you to do and then when youif you go to her with any kind of problem, no matter what it wasyou could tell her, and she would try to do somethin’ about it, y’know. And then, her houseit was, uhm, she had one room that had an old organ it itthere was an organ in it. She had a leather couchone of these big, square leather couches in it. She said that was her room, but you didn’t go in there unless she took you. And she had this big looong dining room table.
John: Which room was that, exactly? I’ve been inbeen in the house with Marvin before, is it
Hazel: Its that room on the backit’s whar’ the fireplaceit was a fireplace in there.
John: Okay, on the upper side of the house?
Hazel: Uhm-hmm, yeah. And shewhen you go there, if you was hungry, she’d feed ya, and she would always ask you to do little jobs for her, and really, this was really teachin’ you that you had to work, y’knowand maybe at Christmas time, she might would give you one dollah’, okay? And at Christmas time, she always fixed up these shoe boxes with the apple, orange, nuts, candy, soforthfor each one of usand she give this to us and we thought that that was the greatest thang that she could have ever did. And, sheuhm, you’dyou know how some people, you might not be so welcome if you go unannounced? She always welcomed you with a hi, where you goin’? what you doin’? She never said "don’t your mother have somethin’ that you could do at home?" She never said that or "do your mother know ye’ here?". And she alwaysif we went there and it was beginnin’ to git towards nightfall, she would let you stay, but she’d say "now, y’know its just before dark, you have to go home". So, really, she was lookin’ after us.
John: Uhm-hmm. Now, how old was she when she died?
Hazel: 94. <94> She died in 19 and 55. She was 94 years old, but I won’t say that she was 94 because she had been lookin’ the same ever since I remember Grandma at all. She had been lookin’ the same. She still had the gray hair, but she always wore a bonnet and a dress with an apron over top of it all-- at all times.
Bonnie: Well what kind of jobs would you do for your grandmother?
Hazel: Uhmmaybe she might send me out to pick up some apples orgo to the spring and get her a fresh bucket of water. ‘Cause see, they had to carry water. Uhif she maybe wanted you to go upstairsshe couldn’t climb the stair steps after she was so old and uhm, change the beds for my two unclesand bring the sheets down. She could always tell you what she wanted you to do. And she was actually so crazy about my Dad’s brother, Uncle Lige.
Hazel: She was, uhm, on a picture withI don’t know what the McBrides werethey worked together or she went to their house to do some work or what. She was on this picture with the McBride children that lived down there right below Billy Frenchy’know where those two trailers with for sale on up the side of the road there?
Bonnie: Where you get to the real old wooden house.
Hazel: Yeah. That was the McBride place.
John: Tell me about the plane crash.
Hazel: As a small child, I just vaguely remember‘cause I was really smalland I remember this airplane circlin’it was lost in, it was a storm. It was rainin’ and it was a real bad storm. And thiswe didn’t have telephones or anythin’ like that, y’know, but we could hear this airplane. It was up overhead and it was just really circlin’, but then, finally it faded out. We didn’t really think anything about it, uhm, falling back there on the mountain. But, uh, my oldest brother was workin’ at a sawmill and the guy’s name was Smith that was cuttin’ timber back in there and my brother was workin’ for him at a sawmillhe had a sawmill up there. Somehow or another, the ones that went in the mountain to cut the timbers found the airplane, but they didn’t find it outright out the night that it fell. Maybe it was about a week or somethin’. The, uhm, people had gotten word around that the plane never did make it in and, uhm, people here was sayin’ "oh, there was an airplane overhead like it was lost", but, uh, I guess after they didn’t hear it anymore that they didn’t think nuthin’ about it. I guess the fire burned some, but the rain must have put it out. So, the people that was workin’ in the mountain for the man found it. And the airI guess the, uh, transportation came in here and went back there. And my oldest brother said that, when they found it, I think that they didn’t work that day. They closed the sawmill down and they all went back there. When the people come in to go back and investigate, they all went back there. And as a child, it wasI think the only thing they moved out from back there was the motors‘cause they didn’t burn up, but it tore the plane all to pieces. And, as a child, the school teacherthe teacher in school here at the timeI guess I must have been in the 5th or the 6th grade, and her name was Nellie Wilson, and she said that she would take us on a field trip, y’knowso, when it became a pretty day and it wasn’t rainin’ or anything, so the night before, she said "now tomorrow, we go on a field trip. Pack your lunch". So, we packed our lunch and she took the whole schoolall but the little first graders, she didn’t take them, and we walked back there where that plane was and walked over the mountain. At that time, there was, uhm, J.B. Belcher’s was workin’ back in there and he had made a road plum over the top of that mountain, and you could go tokeep on down that roadand go to Wolf Creek or somewhere. We went over that mountain some and then we come back up and went to that pond back there where the airplane was. ‘Cause, y’see, its a pond of water back there.
John: That’s where the plane crashedwas near that pond?
Hazel: Uh-huh. Yeah.
John: How big a pond is that? I’ve heard of it.
Hazel: Its a purty good sized pond. I don’t know how deep it isI don’t guess nobody knows how deep it is, but it’s a purty good sized pond, just like a lake. It’s back there right on top of that mountain.
John: And do you remember whatwhat was it like where the plane crashed?
Hazel: It was a lot of der’bris from the plane. Uh, trees hadbut the people had cut timber, I guess, around it, and uh, it was a lot of trees, but I guess they had cut some of them and some of them, I guess, had been broke down where they had cut, but they didn’tcouldn’t cut for them big ol’ wings and stuff on the airplane that was back there.
John: How many people were on the plane, do you remember?
Hazel: I don’t know how many people was on it.
Bonnie: But the whole plane was burned? No survivors?
Hazel: No, but, uhm, they radioed in forthat they were lost, andbut they didn’t really know that they were lost. They got somethin’ out of th’ airplane that recorded it. Uh, they was havin’ trouble findin’they couldn’t find a place to land, I don’t guess.
John: Hmm. Would your teacher take you ondid you all go on other field trips?
Hazel: Yeah, we would, uh, we went across up on this side of the mountain one year, and we went over into West Virginia. There was a field over there that had a lot of walnuts. And she got us a’crost that mountain and we picked up walnuts. We could see the train and stuff over there, on that side. Now I, I had heard my father say that wagon roads come off that mountain. He used to catch a train or somethin’ and come down and walk over or they would go over to, uh, there was a store over there, and they would go over to the store.
John: Well, was the road still there when you all went?
Hazel: Yeah, ‘cause Charlie Taylor. Y’see, hethat land thats theup above the Hector line belongs to Charlie Taylor all the way from way down the road or town there to that tunnel or somewhere. That 200 feet of that all the way back, all the way through here, that’s Charlie Taylor’s. Plus, he owns s’more land thats right up the road here, but he owned all of thathe made truck roads ‘cause he had trucks to haul timber out of here. He made truck roads around these cliffs and thangs with bull’dosers’.
Bonnie: Could you hear the train? Could you hear it--?
Hazel: We can hear the train over here now.
Bonnie: Yeah, ‘cause we hear it where we live and I thought
Hazel: Yeah, we can still hear the train.
Bonnie: That’s the trainis it Ingleside? Where is the train--?
Hazel: It’s Ingleside, yeah. It’s Ingleside.
John: Yeah, I’ve heardwell, did you all go on fieldtrips back toward Rocky Gap?
May Queen and Other School Activities
Hazel: No. We never went on a field trip down that way. And we would, for entertainment, for school to be lettin’ out, we could go up here in one of these fields and spread out and have a picnic, and the parhave the parents come. And we’d have a May Day at the school house, and, uh, and we’d plat the ribbongo one over top of the other and plat this ribbonthey May pole wrap. And we’d have games and they’d fix food and bring to the school, and this kind of stuff. Ione year, I remember, I was aboutI might not even have been 6 or 8 years old, and they had us to run for May Queenthe little girls.
Hazel: I didn’t win, but I was in second place, and my mother made me a dress out of crepe paper, and I had to crown my cousin. She had the most moneyshe either had 14 or 15 dollars and I only had 13 dollars that I had sold these tickets and so forth. And I had to crown her as the queen and I crowned her. I have a picture of that, but my sister in Columbus have the picture, and she had a stroke, and shethe daughterI keep askin’ her for all the pictures. The daughter says she don’t know, but I know my sister hadn’t throwed those pictures out. They’ve got those pictures. They may not want to give ‘em up, but they do have those pictures because they were takenour teacher, Miss Barnett, was, uhm, Miss FergusonMac Ferguson’s wife down thereshe was the teacher up there at that timeand she took these pictures and then she had pictures made off of them and she gave us, each one, a couple of pictures, y’know, and I had had them all that timefrom here to Columbus and back two times-- <laughs> and they got my picturesgot ahold of the pictures, and they, my sister’s daughter, says she don’t know where the pictures are, but it
John: What a shame.
Bonnie: They’ll probably turn up, I hope. They’ll turn up, don’t you think?
Hazel: Yeah. Yeahyup. So, I think that they’ll, eventually turn up.
John: Well, if they do, I would love to copy ‘em. Quite a few of ‘emwhat kind of games would you all play?
Hazel: Uhm, we would race, and we’d get a ribbon, y’know, for first and second place. We did racing, baseball. At Halloween time we bobbed for apples and chewed all of these dry crackers to try to winsee who could eat the most crackers, and put these water in the tub and our head down there and bite these apples. If you’d bite them apples, you won a candy bar or sucker or somethin’ like that, and uh, we played uhm, ring around the roses, and we’d get together and just go around and aroundand you’d have to squat. And we played this, uhm, game, uhm, wherefarmers in the dale. Yeah, we played that in school, and we would play jack rocks ifwhen recess time came and it would be too cold for you to go out, we would play jack rocks.
John: That could get pretty serious, couldn’t it?
Hazel: We also played this game tic-tac-toey’know, where you would draw the blocks and stuffwe would play that a whole lot. Or else, we’d go to theup to the board and write on the board at recess time for 14 or 20 minutes.
John: And, would you do anything special for Christmas?
Hazel: At Christmas time we always had our play or program. We’d have the parents come out, and uhm, the teacher usually gave you a small gift and we usually bought the teacher somethin’, and uhm, we’d have this program. Like, maybe not right at Christmas Eve, but a few days before Christmas Eve. But, y’know, I can’t remember if we ever took a week off from school at that time. I never rememberI don’t think we took those weeks off.
John: Who would come to the program?
Hazel: Yeah. Everyone in the community would come. We also would always have a program that was for Christmas at the church and at Easter time at the churchall the children. Might one or two mothers would form acommitee, and they’d have this program for Easter and like at Christmas time. And the pastor that pastored here for 35 years, Reverend Porter, see, he would, uhm, always have a service, and he would have a watch meetin’this kind of stuff. Most of the time, he’d have an early mornin’ service for Christmas and Easter and he always had a watch meetin’ on New Year’s Eve night. But, he lived in West Virginia, and y’see, he worked in the coal mines.
John: And would he have service every Sunday? Would he come over every Sunday?
Hazel: Twice a month he come over here. At that time, we had a Baptist church that sat right caddy cornered to that church up there, but the new churchits set almost right directly across from the new church, but they had a Baptist church. Y’see, my mother and them was Baptist, y’know, so we were Baptists, but my grandmother on my Dad’s side and them, y’see they were Methodists and they had helped establish that church.
John: Righthe donated the land, didn’t he?
Hazel: Yeah. Uh-huh. Methodists was here dis’ Sunday and all the Baptists go over to the Methodists-- and vice versa.
Bonnie: So that way you had church every Sunday.
Hazel: Every Sunday.
Bonnie: Do you remember any of the parts that you played in the different programs? Did you have to actor have a certain part?
Hazel: Uhm, I always had a speech to say, and havin’ a part in the play when I got a little bit oldery’know. And then they’d have this great big Christmas tree in there as tall as the ceilin’ and they’d have it all decorated up, and the Sunday school always gave a little gift to each child and a little fruit bag to each familyand this kind of stuff. And they would have a program at the Baptist church and the Methodist church which but the kids would be in both of ‘em.
Hazel: And there was a lady by the name of Miss Gladys goin’I’ll never forget hershe’s up there in Bastian nursin’ homeuh, she would take me to the side and ask me couldn’t I do this or couldn’t I do that, and I’d try sooo hard, so hard to do exactly like she wanted me to do it. ‘Cause she always gave me somethin’, y’knowa candy bar or a pop or a quartersomethin’ like that. She would have me doin’ these things that would fill her program out, and she worked with all the children, and uhm, Miss BarnettMac’s wifedid too. She worked with all the kids.
John: Yeahnow this is Nate’s sister?
Hazel: Nate’s sisteryeah.
Hazel: And my brotherwe had one uncle that hunted, and he would hunt no matter whatthat was Daddy’s baby brother, Uncle ‘Lige. He would ramble up in these mountains at 2 and 3 o’clock in the mornin’ by himself. And he always had a shotgun and an ol’ 45 pistol.
John: And what would he hunt?
Hazel: Oh, he would dohe wouldn’t really be huntin’ anythinghe’d say he’d be ‘coon huntin’, but now, I never knowed him to catch a ‘coon. <everyone laughs>
John: Did he have dogs?
Hazel: Yeah, he had a lot of dogs and he was, uhm, just that type of person. And he would go rabbit huntin’. He didn’t never hunt no deers because there was no deers here when I was a child. There wasn’t any deers in here. When we saw a deer we had did somethin’. We had REALLY seen somethin’ because there wasn’t no deers in here. And a bearI remember one time I saw a bear up here in the mountain where my dad had a cleaned up place where he growed cornand we had, uhm, my dad was raisin’ a colta small horse, and the colt had gotten lost and my brother was huntin’ him and he said the bear was eatin’ out of the fodder shock up there. And he thought it was the horse. And he said when he found out it wasn’t the horse, he come outta that mountain up there. Daddy went back up there to seetook the gun back up there, but he was gonebut he was huntin’ for the colt that my dad was raisin’.
John: Did he everdid you all ever find it?
Bonnie: But you never got the bear?
Hazel: No. And we never seen it anymore, either. <laughs>
John: Did you all have a big garden when you were growin’ up?
Hazel: Yeah, we had a gardenwe had a potato patchwe raised nothin’ but potatoes in that patch, and we had a garden and we had a bean patchnothin’ but beans in that patch. And, of course, we raised all this stuff and my mother always canned up enough for her to go through the winter. See, you didn’t have a freezer at that time. And the tomatoes and things like that, she canned ‘em. And, we had a apple orchard up heresee, we would be pickin’ our apples this time of year, and my dad would bury them. He would bury the late patch of cabbage and leave the roots stickin’ out, and he’d bury his potatoes out of the potato patch. We raised sweet potatoes, too. And he would bury them, yeah.
John: And you would dig ‘em up through the winter?
Hazel: Well, he’dwe’d call it "goin’ in the potato hole". And he would go in one end of it, but he’d always put it back because ‘cause all this straw that he put on and then he’d put dirt on top of ‘em, y’knowand kindly dig the hole down in the groundand then he’d go injust from one end, and when it would come Spring of the year and begin to get warm, he’d take ‘em up. Cause, if he didn’t, they would rot.
John: So, he’d crawl inyou’d just crawl in this hole--?
Hazel: No. He’d just take a hoe or somethin’ and pull it outand dig it out.
John: Okay, he’d just pull it out from one
Hazel: From one end of it.
Bonnie: Did you all have a root cellar, tooor did you use that instead of a root cellar?
Hazel: Well, we had awhat we called a dairy house, and we kept our canned stuff there and we put the apples in there. And we also had a cowhe had a trough in there that had waterhe had water runnin’ in there to keep the milk cool and to keep the butter cool. And we had a, uhm, icebox. He would go to Bluefield and get a 50 pound block of ice and put it in this ice box. It would about last for a week. He’d do that in the summer time. And we’d put the milk and butter in the doorsin the different departments in this icebox that he had the ice in.
Bonnie: Water ran through all the timelike a spring--?
Hazel: This was a trough where the water ran through.
Bonnie: Where did the water come from?
Hazel: Well, he wouldthere was a wet spring back in backwater still comes outta there, back there now. And it come outta there and it come down in the trough in the dairy house, and that’s where he kept it runnin’. See, if the waterif it didn’t come no real dry weather, you’d have it there all year round. Yeah.
John: Nonow, were they everhe’d always go get a block of iceno one ever delivered ice way back up here?
Hazel: Uhm, hewe didn’t have a car, and my oldest brother come out of the Second World War, my brother Lee, and he, uhm, he come out of the Army and bought awell, my dadhe owned a car before we was born, but after he had all these 10 kids, he didn’t have a car. <everyone laughs>
Hazel: My oldest brother was in the World War II. When he came back, he wanted a car. My father had let his driver’s license run out, but he could still drive. My oldest brother could drive, but he didn’t have license, so he was scared to drive the car home after they had bought it. It was a ‘37 Plymoth, and I remember my Dad drove up in this carand my oldest brotherthey bought this car. They had that car for a long time. My Dadmy oldest brother worked on a section gang on the railroadmy Dad worked there some, too. And he would take this ’37 Plymoth and go to Bluefield and get this big 50 pound block of ice and bring it in a sheettake one of them canvas sheets and wrap it up in and bring it in and put it in the ‘fridgerator.
John: That’s, uhm
Bonnie: Do you remember what color the car was?
Hazel: It was black. And then my Dadhe took this man to the storeright up there above Nate’s house, theyhe had took this man to the store and he was gittin’ some pinto beans, and I don’t know what happened-- but anyway, he turned the car over in this water there, down over the bank. And when he pulled it out and had it fixed, then they painted it blue. <laughs> Yeah, ‘cause he didn’the pulled it out the next mornin’, I think, but he didn’t get a scratch. It went over the bank and just turned over and over until it hit down to the creek and he didn’t get a scratch.
Bonnie: That was lucky.
Bonnie: They didn’t have seat belts back in those days, either.
John: OkayDo you have any favorite stories that you remember, like when you were a child, and maybe your grandmother or dad used to tell?
Hazel: No, they told so many and I used to sitI’m so sorry that I didn’t tape it-- when I was livin’ in Columbus and my mother was gettin’ older, she talked about her family, y’knowtellin’ us about her family. And my grandfather, Uncle Fred, and Momma’s and them’s fatheruh, she used to tell me that theythat he said that, as they lived on a white man’s place in Floyd, Virginia. The mother had 6 kids, but the mother got sick with typhoid fever and she died. Well, that left the grandmother to finish raisin’ them, and they stayed on this man’s place, and they heered about the coal mines in West Virginiahe had married and had 2 chil’ren
John: And this is Pal?
Hazel: Uh-huh. And they said heered about these coal mines, so him and one brother ‘ventured out up here and they was livin’ in a stable or somethin’ back up hereover from Nate’s house, over on the other side the road over there, and my mother said that the fatherthe first 50 acres of land that he had that the father came and bought it for ‘em, so they could always have a place to call home when they found out where they were. ‘Cause he had took his wife and stuff and sneaked away. And they went to work in the coal mines in West Virginia, and his brother what was younger than he was, he got killed in the coal mines. The slate fell on him. And, uh, she said that heafter the father had bought him this 50 acres of land, he started to, uhm, go in business for hisself. He had a store, he had a sawmillthe thing that grind the flour and wheat up and stuffuhm, they farmed and thangs. And then he got this other 50 acres, so that made him have a 100 acres all together. He got this other 50 acres of land that was joinin’ the other 50 acres that his father had bought him. So, uhm, I guess my mother was the oldest girl, ‘cause he died in 19 and 29. And my mother said that her mother always made her stay at home and keep the children because she was the oldest girl. And she said that she hadoh, her and my dad was courtin’ and they had planned to get married. She said that he had hired Mr.French, Billy French’s father, to come up and get my mother, and he said he slept with the license with his shirt all night to keep his parents from knowin’ it. <everyone laughs>
Hazel: He said that he hired Mr. French to come up here and git my mother and took her to Bluefield to his sister’s house because his sister was livin’ in Bluefield. And when they got up there, that his sister and them thought my mother should get married in white. She didn’t have a white dress. They thought she should get married in white. Well, his sister’s sister-in-law had a white dress, and they put that on my mother for her to get married in. Then, they come on back like they had did nothin’they come back to her mother’s house to keep the kids. Her mother was gone someplace. Durin’ the timeafter they had married and they had come back in place, then the mother was comin’ in from Inglesidecome down on a train and comin’ inso, the boys that was big enough, they walked to meet herbecause they wanted to tell itthat they had gotten married. <laughs> So, my father say that, soon as she laid eyes on himnot the same daybut soon as she laid eyes on him, she beat him with a stick. <everyone laughs>
Hazel: But it stillI think they went ahead and stayed over here for a little while and then he got a job in Bluefield on the railroad. He worked 3 days a week, and they stayed over there for a good long while, then they decided they would move back. And she said he ax’d his mother could he build a house down here- in this spotand she told him, yeah, that he could build a house down here, so he built this log house down here. And, then he still worked on the railroad some, and he worked on the section gang. He say he worked as far as Portsmouth, Ohio. He came home every two weeks.
John: Okay, so he’d be gone two weeks at a time?
Hazel: Yeah. Yeah. Then my oldest brother, they was growin’ up, and my oldest sistershe was, uhm, 17. She got her clothes-- slipped her clothes and put ‘em in the woods out here someplace, and she was to walk to Rocky Gap and git the bus. She was goin’ to Charleston, West Virginia where my uncle’s wife was. She had told her come there, she could get her a job. So, she hid her clothes in the woods, and got the clothes and was walkin’ out down this dirt road then. I think my uncle came along and seen her, and he come and got my mothermy father was away, workin’. He came and got my mother to go and bring her back, but she gave, I guess, both of them such a rough way to go that they let her go. So, my uncle said "Come on, Sis, let her go. Let’s take her on over here and put her on this bus" <laughs> They carried her to the bus and let her go on. Finally, I guess she come to her senses, she come back home once more and her next ‘venture out was to Columbus, Ohio. My Dad’ sister, Aunt Katie, was in Columbus and he had 2 or 3 brothers in Columbus, Ohio, and she came up there and she stayed and worked up there, but she had finishedshe had finished high school in Bluefield. She went to Bluefield to a general high school, and she had finished high school over there. And my sister Bessie, the next oldest girl, she finished high school in a general high school, and she went to school at Bluefield State College. She stayed in Bluefield. And she worked for, uhm, in the evenin’ time she worked Mr. and Mrs. Grahamthe wife is still livin’, but she’s not that good. He was the, uhm, president at Flat Top National Bank. And she worked for them in the evening time and on Saturday and Sunday and went to school. And they helped her someto get her education. Yeah.
John: Okay, and she’s theshe’s the
Hazel: Second oldest girl.
John: And she’s the one that’s the schoolthat was the school teacher in Mullins?
Hazel: Uh-huh. Yeah.
Bonnie: Is she stillshe’s not still teachin’ cause she’s older than
Bonnie: Did she teach, well do you know what grade--?
Hazel: Well, she was the last teacher that taught in this community. When they cut this school out here, she was the last teacher that taughtshe had taught 2 years here. She was the last teacher that taught in this community.
John: And they bussed everybody
John: -- to Bluefield? Bluefield, Virginia, or--?
Hazel: Bluefield, Virginia. They didn’t have to do that, but the people that was in this community voted the school out. They didn’t want it no more. They was sendin’ ‘em all to Tazewell, County.
John: Because they thought they’d get a better education over there?
Hazel: Yeah, uh-huh.
BD: That was a pretty long ride.
Hazel: Yeah. 22 miles each way.
BD: So, you wouldn’t get home until
Hazel: 4:30 or a quarter til 5.
BD: Did you do your homework on the bus?
Hazel: Some of it, and weafter we would eat dinner, we’d clean up the dishes. Then, we’d all gather around the table and you’d stay to yourself and do your homework. Uhm, we didn’t have electricity when I was in grader school and we had lamp light, but when I was in high school, well, we had electricity.
The Electricity Comes
John: Do you remember when the electricity came?
Hazel: It wasI guess I must have been in grader schoolbeen in the 4th or 5th grade in grader school, when the electricity came ‘cause I rememberit was in the 40’s.
John: It was after the war?
Hazel: Yeah. Yeah. ‘Cause I remember, the man come along and ya’ had to have your house wired and everythin’, and the man come along and wanted everybodywanted ya’ to go and see if the lights were on.
John: Do you remember who the man was?
Hazel: No. It was a man from Appalachian Power, I think.
John: Marvin told me who he was, I can’t remember.
Hazel: But he come along and axed everybody to see if they
John: So everybody turned their lights on?
Hazel: -- had their lights on.
John: I bet that was a
Bonnie: It changed the way everything looked after night back here.
Hazel: Uh-huh, yeah. So, we didn’t have to have anymore oil lamps. We had to wash those chimneys to those oil lamps everydayit’d get those smoke and the oil on ityou’d have to wash those chimney’s everyday. And when you wentif you was eatin’ after dark, you had to set this lamp light in the middle of th’ table to eat. And to study, you had to do the same thang.
Bonnie: I guess you had a wood cook stove?
Hazel: A wood cook stove and a wood heatin’ stove. Uh, my parents didn’t burn coal until after I was gone from home. Because we had one big stove. That’s what our heat was.
John: You cooked and heated? Or you had two stoves?
Hazel: We had two stoves.
John: Uhm, when did you all get a telephone? Do you remember the telephone?
Hazel: Yeah, but that was afterwe got a telephone after I had graduated from high school. Maybe about a year or the second year that I was out of high school.
John: Did you all have a radio before you got electricity?
Hazel: We had a battery operated radio. There was a battery about that long and about that high <I assume interviewee is making measurements with her hands> and plugged it in. Uh, I guess it wouldwould usually play formy dad used to listen to it a lotit would usually play for 3 or 4 hours at the time. Then, when the battery would get dead, see the radio wouldn’t play and he’d go an’ buy another battery.
John: What would you all listen to?
Hazel: Uh, I liked these stories that would come onlike the soap operas. I would rush home every evenin’ and listento set by this radio and listen at these soap operas <laughs>. ‘Cause we couldat that timewe could remember a whole lot and we would go to school and talk about it with the other girls--‘ Did you listen to the radio yesterday? Did you hear that?’ ‘Yeah.’ But it wasn’t no violence or nothin’in those soap operas. And my Dad always liked to listen to the news and different thangs that come on the radiowhen he’d, uhm, when the radio would play theseyou could get these stations out of Tennessee, like the Grand Old Opery and stuffhe’d listen to that. He liked that.
John: So he liked thatthe country music?
Hazel: Uh-huh. Yeah.
John: Did anybody play musical instruments up here? I mean besides the piano or the organ--
Hazel: No. My Dad played the harmonica, but he hardly ever did that.
John: Okay. Okay, do you think
Bonnie: Do you remember the names of those radio shows that you would listen to?
Hazel: No, I don’t.
Bonnie: Would he listen to sportsbaseball games?
Hazel: No. But he wasn’the didn’t know about thatand he probably wouldn’t have understood if he listened to it‘cause I can’t say how far they’d-- my mother or father either one-- went in school. And, I imagine they only went to about the 5th or 6th grade in school. The 6th grade or somethin’ like that because that was up herey’know, at the school here.
John: Well, do you rememberdo you ever hear them talk about that there was a school before the one up here at the church? Have you heard them talkin’ about the log school on the Ferguson place?
Hazel: Yeah. Yeah, and there was aI thank it was a school house up here and the Wood’ses place.
John: Wood’s place?
Hazel: Yeahup atyou know where Johnny Harris live at?
Hazel: Up above there. I think there wasbut it set way back.
John: Okaynow would that be on the right?
Hazel: On the right hand side.
John: And they used to bewhere was the Wood’s house?
Hazel: Now, I can’t say ‘cause, uh, these people that lived in the Wood’ses housetheir last names were Webb’sthat lived in the Wood’s house. An’, uh, did anybody ever say anything to you about Granny Woods? I heared my father and them say Granny Woods.
John: No. Tell me about Granny Woods.
Hazel: Uhmhe would just say that she’d go to churchshe’d get to shoutin’ and, uhm, her husband would tell her "Sit down. Sit down. Sit down!" And she wouldn’t pay no attention, she would just shout. And he said thatI don’t know whether they had any kids or the Webbs had some kids. I heard my mother and them talk about ‘em.
John: But the Woods were before the Webbs?
John: And you hear there was a school house up there?
John: I’d never heard that before. That’s, uhm-- < interviewer coughs> Excuse me. Well, anythingdo you remember your mom and dad talkin’ about any of the otherthe first people to move back here? Uh, any of
Hazel: Uhm, I think my Mother’s family was one of the first ones to move back here and the Fergusons. Mr. Mack FergusonI heered her talk about them a lotand my Mother and them, and my Father’s people. My Father’s father had been married twice.
Hazel: And, uh Nate and Nate’s father’s father, Mr. Noahy Charltonhim and my grandfather was married to two sisters. And
John: Now, this is your grandfather on--?
Hazel: On my Dad’s side, yeah. And my Mother used to tell us about this house that was a log house back hereway up in that garden, goin’ on up toward the mountainthat Mr. Noahy Charlton lived in. See, Nate and them claims kin to us, but their really not no relatives of usonly his father’s mother and my dad’s grandmotherNo. My Dad’s father’s wife was sisters. They claim kin, but really theres no kin.
John: Well, would thatyou don’t know what their maiden name was--?
Hazel: No, I don’t.
Hazel: I -- <hear interviewee rustling aroundpresumably searching for something> In this Bible <hear turning of pages and interviewee talking to herself, but I cannot understand what she is saying> _____ _____ ______ things _____ _____ _____ <hear more pages turninging> Imy Dad’s family Bible is torereally tore all apart.
Bonnie: You know, you could scan some of these.
John: Yeah, I really would like to come up here andwhen you have time, if you could look for some of these photographs and things that you have
Hazel: Yeah, I’ll git ‘em for you
John: Ohhh me! This is old.
Hazel: Yeah, it’s old.
Bonnie: Don’t touch it, John!
John: I won’t. <everybody laughs>
Hazel: And I just looked at this stuff the other day, where they had wrote downand I don’t know who wrote itmaybe its in this section right her <hear rustling of pages>.
John: What’s going to happen to the house, do you think? Is anybody gonna live
Hazel: I don’t know. I tell ya, my oldest sister said she was gonna come back here and live in it.
John: Samuel Tynes!
Hazel: Uhm-hm. This was his first set of kids.
John: Okay. He was born in 1871.
Bonnie: Julia Ann--
John: Jackson Tynes. Where? Halifax County, Virginia! And then, Julia AnnMercer County, West Virginia. It says Mercer, but its 1852. 19alright, thats a nine1917. Okay. Alright, so he came from Halifaxhe was born in Halifax County. That’s a ways from here.
Bonnie: That’s over near Richmond.
John: Yes, it’s over there near Richmond--
John: Okay. And her name wasCan you read that, Bonnie?-- Julia Ann Calin
Bonnie: That’s what it looks like. C-A-L-I-N-D-E
Hazel: Rit looks like.
John: And they were married, uhm, August the 8th, 1846 by the Reverend Brown. Oh, yeah. Okay. I’d like to scan that, too. Is there anything else written down, besides that, that you know of?
Hazel: See, this isthis is where my Dadthey started to record their deaths in here, and see, they didn’t keep it up.
John: Oh. Well, now, when didyou see how they spell their names T -I-nes and now they spell it with a TY
Hazel: I don’t know how they changed that!
John: That happens in families a lot. I know, because my namethat happens.
Bonnie: A lot of people write Dotson. D-O-T-son, but we’re D-O-D.
John: Here’s Emma Gordon.
<extended silence while looking over names and dates>
John: There’s Elijah and Ferge. Now, your dad was
John: Was Fergeokay. Alright. I wonder whose handwriting that’s in--?
Hazel: I tell you, it’s a beautiful handwritin’. I don’t know whose hand writin’ it’s in, but it’s not in any of my Father’smaybe some of them wrote this, but it’s not in any of my Father’s, sisters or brothersI don’t think. Because, my father, y’know, he didn’t have a good hand writin’. He couldyou could make out what he was writin’ and his name and stuffhim and my mother either one, ‘cause I don’t think they went that farI don’t think they even finished grader school.
John: Well, that’s interesting because I found _____ _____ Halifax County. Is there anything else? Is thatoh, here’s somethin’ else, here’s some children.
Hazel: And this was a man that taught school over here one time, and he married herwhich was Daddy’s and them oldest sister.
John: Uhm-hm. L.B. Tynes. Okay, _____ Dickenson. Monroe County, 1880I guess that’s Monroe.
Bonnie: West Virginia? Do you think?
Hazel: Uhm-hm, yeah.
Bonnie: That’s incredible.
Hazel: ‘Cause they stillthis one still have 2 or 3 kids livin’‘cause we’ve kept up with ‘em.
Hazel: ‘Cause shethis onethis one died from childbirth.
John: The Lthe L.B. Tynes, so this waswhat did the L stand for, I wonder?
John: Lizzy. Okay.
Hazel: And the other sister, My Aunt Bess, she had 6 kids and my aunt took those kids and raised ‘em.
<Interviewee is referring to Bess raising her sister Lizzy’s 6 children after her death.>
Hazel: She didn’t have any kids of her own, but Aunt Bessie took those kids and raised ‘em. That’s how my sistersoldest sisterswent to school. They went up and stayed with my Dad’s sister in Bluefield and they went to school up there.
Hazel: Plus, on top of that, she kept the house full up all the time. And she didn’t have not one child of her own. And, her husband worked for Norfolk and Western for 50 years. Yeah, and he was from up at Tazewell. And I was up there the other day, I said ‘I’m goin’ to go back up there’ because I know about where they’re buried at, ‘cause he was buriedhis mother was buried up there and my aunt, she’s buried up there-- and I said I know about where she’sbut I canI’ll probably be able to find the grave.
John: Now where are your mom and dad buried? Are they--?
Hazel: Up here on the hill.
John: Up on the hill. Okay, not at that other
Hazel: My grandmother, Grandma and Grandpa Jack and Uncle Jim and a couple of babies is buried down here-- over there from where Pete live at. Then, they stopped them from buryin’ down there.
John: I know.
Hazel: So, uhm, then we started to, uhma row up hereat this cemetery up on the hill of the Tynes’s. See, and Kate lived in Columbus, Ohio, and she had come back down here to stay and had go back to Columbus after Uncle Lige died. ‘Cause Uncle Lige lived in a house over there. And, when she died, she was down here, and I used to ask her in Columbus ‘In case somethin’ should happen to you, do you want to be brought back to Columbus or took back home or what?’ she says ‘If I’m down there, bury me down there, if I’m up here, bury me up here’. ‘Cause she didn’t have any children, and she was down here when she died, so we buried her up on the hill. Uncle Lige is buried on the hill and Mom and Dad is buried up there.
John: Right. Now, Marvin used to bring Aunt Kate back and forth all the time.
Hazel: Back and forth, yeah. He was-- wasn’t workin’ and he was down here when she passed. And I just had talked to her the night before, so
John: How old was she?
Hazel: 91. But she didn’t look it. And you couldn’tbetter not tell her she was 91! <laughs>
John: Now, all of you up here look so young!
Bonnie: I know! When you gave your birthdate, I couldn’t believe it.
John: It must be this mountain airyou get back up in this valley and its justit must do something.
Hazel: <laughs again> Yeah.
Bonnie: Yeah, that’d be great.
Bonnie: Whenwhen you would go over to your grandmother’s, y’know, and she’d have you do work, would she ever tell you stories?
Hazel: Well, sometime.
Bonnie: Do you remember any of the stories that she would tell you?
Hazel: Well, she would just be talkin’ about the family. And she, uh, I’ve heered her say so many times his, his uhm, she called him Hon. She didn’t call him by his name, she called him Hon. She would say so many times that she never ever thought of his first set of kids not bein’ hers. And they all, every one of ‘em, they came to see about her. Every one of ‘em. And she said that, uh, he would want to whoop them and she’d get up and get in between ‘emand wouldn’t let him whoop ‘em <laughs>.
Bonnie: Well now, she was younger, so she was almost the age of some of the children, wasn’t she?
Hazel: Yeah. Almost, yeah. And they all would come back to see her.
Bonnie: And how did she do all that cookin’? I guess everybody would pitch in
Hazel: Pitch in and help, I guess.
Bonnie: ‘Causedid you have a wash day? Since she didn’t have electricity
Hazel: Yeah. Yeah, she had a wash day. She said she would go down on the creek bank in the summer time and take her things down on th’ creek bank. They boiled the clothes back then. I seen my mother boil clothes. My mother, when the water would dry up around here, she would go to the creek bank, down through that field and wash on that creek bank and hang the clothes down there and go back the next day and git ‘em. And she would, her sheetsthe white onesshe would boil ‘em, and she made this starch out of flour and then she wouldsome kind of bluin’ she would put in the white clothes
Bonnie: Did you all have any iron in the water up here?
Hazel: Yeah. Uh-huh.
Bonnie: But, I guess the creekwould it have iron in it?
Hazel: I don’t think the creek had no iron in it.
Bonnie: It was probably just right to wash clothes in.
Hazel: Yeah, uh-huh.
Bonnie: Well, would you ever help with the washing or anything?
Hazel: Yeah. Everybody had to do it.
Bonnie: And you all would go to Bluefield and buy your clothes and stuff?
Hazel: Yeah. Yup
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