The Reverend Fred Saunders and Family

The Reverend Fred and Estellia Saunders and their son, Powell, and daughter, Delores. are interviewed by John and Bonnie Dodson. The interview took place in the home of the Rev. Saunders in March of 1998.


John: in 1891, and that was, so ya’ll had that school, was established that, that long ago.

Estellia: Right. It---

John: Okay ‘cause---

Estellia: It was a log school then.

John: Right.

Estellia: But they remodeled it and made it---and now it’s torn down.

The Fergusons

John: Okay. Okay. Okay. Ummm . . . I’m not sure . . . okay. So, when, alright now, Mac Ferguson, okay, are ya’ll related to the Fergusons?

Estellia: That’s my grandfather.

John: Okay. You’re a Ferguson.

Estellia: Right.

John: Okay and the Saunders came---when did the Saunders come?

Fred: Yes umm . . .

Estellia: They came later on . . .

John: Later on, okay. Now, Mac Ferguson, he was a graduate of the Christiansburg Institute?

Estellia: Right.

John: Okay. Now---

Estellia: That was my daddy.

John: That was your daddy.

Estellia: My daddy, yeah. And the, old man was my granddaddy. His name was Mac Ferguson too. [Mac H. Ferguson was the grandfather and Macdaniel Ferguson was the father of Estellia]

John: Okay, now which one went to the Christiansburg Institute?

Estellia: My daddy---

John: Your daddy went.

Estellia: MacDaniel.

John: Okay, so how did, he was living up here and he went all the way to Christiansburg?

Estellia: Well he stayed down there and, and worked on the farm, paid his wage.

John: Right.

Estellia: Goin’ to school . . .

John: Right.

Estellia: It was just like going to college, then , uh . . .

John: Exactly.

Estellia: Right.

John: Because that was the only,[ in SW Virginia for Blacks to obtain a secondary education] that’s on the national historic registry--

Estellia: Right. He milked cows, and churned, and done all that kind of work, paying his way through school.

John: Right. Yeah. Okay.

Estellia: That was my daddy.

John: And that was your daddy.

John: How many years was he down there? Do you know?

Estellia: No, I don’t know.

John: No. And he came back and he was a farmer?

Estellia: He came back, and married, married my mother, and, he worked at the freight station.

John: Okay.

Estellia: The Bluefield freight station. Two years.

John: Yeah, okay, and he farmed on the side.

Estellia: For a little bit.

John: A little bit. Okay.

Estellia: Right.

John: Okay and your mother---what was your mother’s maiden name?

Estellia: My mother was the Hogans.

John: A Hogan. And was she from up here also?

Estellia: She was from Pulaski.

John: Okay.

Estellia: From New River. That’s where she was originally living.

John: Okay. Did he meet her when he was going to school over there or---

Estellia: Uh, he met her here, in Bland County.

John: Okay.

Estellia: She was going---they moved here and lived here for a long time. My Grandmother was a Hogan, and she used to live here down, ‘bout round the church . . .

John: Okay.

Estellia: And he met her here. In Dry Fork. ‘Cause his daddy lived here too. But he went off to school. My daddy went off the school.

John: Right. Right. And he learned . . . New farming techniques and methods and all that kind of stuff.

Estellia: Yeah, just about everything.

John: Yeah.

Estellia: Right. A variety of things.

John: Right. Okay, and ya’lls, your, the the Ferguson land is, is where?

Estellia: Ferguson land is umm . . . you know where Adair, my granddaddy had two hundred acres and I think he might’ve paid one dollar an acre for it.

John: Uh-huh.

Estellia: The Adairs living there, you know Adair?

John: Right, I. . .

Estellia: Yeah. He’s living there on, my granddaddy’s. [Mac H. Ferguson]

John: That was your grandaddy’s place.

Estellia: Right.

John: Okay. Do you know, do you know who he bought the land from, who?

Estellia: No, I don’t. At that time, you could get all the land you wanted for, maybe a dollar or, I would say a dollar or two dollars, something like that.

John: Right.

Estellia: Finally it went up to ten dollars, I think.

John: And he came from, Franklin County?

Estellia: My grandaddy--

John: Your grandaddy came from Franklin County.

Estellia: . . . came from Franklin County. But he, owned a farm here, and he farmed, he raised cows, sheep, horses, whatever, he just made his living on the farm.

John: Right.

Estellia: So he sent his son, my daddy, to Christiansburg, to school.

John: Yeah, well he must’ve done pretty well to be able to send him to---

Estellia: Well, see my daddy worked his way through, it by working, going to school and working, down there at the farm, on at, well they had to wait for the children to work their way through school.

John: Right.

Estellia: At that time.

John: Yeah.

Estellia: So he churned, and, he used to tell me how he’d eat butter and eat the cream off, ha ha ha, the milk and all this stuff.

John: Oh, he got the best before everybody else got them, yeah. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Estellia: Ha ha, but that’s the way he got his education.

John: Oh, that’s great. That’s great. And umm, well let me just go through--- and your---what part of Franklin County did he come from? Do you know?

Estellia: No, I don’t.

Powell Saunders [Powell Saunders was the first Saunders to come to Dry Fork. His grandson is also named Powell and is part of this interview]

John: You don’t know. Okay. And your father, came from Floyd County?

Fred: Floyd County.

John: Okay.

Fred: Saunders. Powell Saunders in Floyd County, and my mom Lonnie Saunders, come from Floyd.

John: Yeah. Do you know what part of Floyd County they came from?

Fred: Eh?

John: Do you know what part of Floyd County?

Fred: Yeah.

John: Where?

Fred: I-- I was born right here.

Estellia: What part of Floyd County did you come from?

Fred: Oh Willis.

John: Willis.

Fred: Willis.

John: Okay.

Fred: Willis. At Willis. Mmmhmm.

Fred: It was . . . right there, in Indian Valley, wasn’t it?

Estellia: . . . Your daddy was from Indian Valley, was that right?

Fred: Yeah . . . Indian Valley . . .

John: Okay.

Powell: They didn’t name like Dry Fork or Laurel Fork . . .

Estellia: My son’s older than we are, he knows . . .

John: Ha ha ha, usually they’re like that when they’re teenagers, aren’t they?

Estellia: They hear the old folks talking and . . . . ???? . . . .

John: I know. Oh---

Bonnie: So you named him for your dad.

Fred: ???????? Virginia, yes he move here, he was a sawmill man, his saw milled all time, ?????

John: Yeah.

Fred: And then he, he was uh well, in fact he was uh, he was an all-around man, ?????

John: So he had, he powered the sawmill with a steam engine?

Fred: Yes. ????? Big steam engine, ????, and then loaded the lumber, and then usually when making patterns with them things he made them patterns ????

John: Right.

Fred: And sometimes a load of wood would get tied up, they said for him to come get, help.

John: Yeah.

Fred: Fix, over there, he was that kinda type of man . . .

John: Well, what what what . . . brought your father over here and your grandfather. I mean, you know how they ended up, what brought them to Bland County?

Estellia: I, I guess Maybe they, just lookin’ for a place maybe, it was all woodland, you know, they just . ..

John: Okay, this was all, this was all forest back here.

Estellia: Right. And they just found the place.

Powell: He was a sawmill man, and uh, he was looking for ??? worth timber, you know...

John: Right.

Powell: So he just set up in here . . . bought 100 acres here, over at uh, and brought all the fellers from Floyd that knew anything about sawing, and they sawed here for a pretty good while.

Powell: ??? sawmill. Set up a camp, had a bunch of men working for him, and umm, hauling ????? down to the Rocky Gap, rode on the train.

John: Right.

Powell: And they had some uh, some uh, hauling them out on a wagon, paying them a dollar a day.

John: Yeah.

Estellia: Ha ha ha ha.

Powell: . . .Horses . . . needed a horse and a wagon . . .

Estellia: That was big money then.

John: Yeah I’m sure it was.

Powell: Because I think of gettin 25 ???? ????.

John: MMMhhhmmmm.

Powell: In a whole, ‘bout eight . . .take them down and put them on the train.

Estellia: Ha ha ha ha.

Powell: And they had men sawing, some making liquor . . .

Estellia: HA HA HA HA!

John: There was always a little bit of that, I’m sure.

Estellia: HA HA HA HA!

Powell: Yeah . . .???? he was a bootlegger from Floyd . ..

John: Oh was he?

Powell: Yeah.

John: There was a lot of that going on over there, I knew that.

Powell: Yeah, see, Floyd County is the moonshine, And Franklin County is the moonshining county.

John: Right. I saw in the paper where they busted a big still on, in Franklin County last week!

Powell: Yeah.

John: A great big one.

Powell: Franklin and Floyd was your biggest moonshining places . ..

John: Right.

Powell: ??? grandaddy, he was a bootlegger, and a saw mill man . . . .

Estellia: HAHA HA. Ha ha ha!

Powell: And umm, had a sawmill, I mean uh,??? grain mill, and all that.. .

John: Well, now, but your grandfather came here to farm right?

Estellia: Right.

John: But you don’t know what brought him.

Estellia: No, I guess maybe they just . . .

Powell: They just looked at the land . . .

Estellia: Wandered . . .looking around just discovered this you know, and just settled . . .

Powell: And that’s where they originially from.

John: Yeah.

Powell: And they just ventured out, you know.

John: Right.

Powell: So that’s the way they done, they did . . .

John: Sure.

Powell: They’d venture out, and find a 100 acres, for a dollar an acre .

John: But ya’lls two families didn’t know each other before they moved here.

Estellia: No. No we got acquainted here, after we got here, right.

Powell: ????????????

John: Okay. Alright.

Estellia: We just settled here and those ???? got acquainted with each other.

Powell: Yeah.

Estellia: Everybody helped one another. When they were living here, the old folks was better than those young folks . . .

Powell: . . . Where‘s grandaddy’s picture? Do you have grandaddy’s picture?

Estellia: Over there on the shelf. In the front room.

John: He also asked ya’ll if you ya’ll, do you have any old pictures of uh, of uh, your parents or grandparents, or of the church?

Powell: Yeah. Yes uh, here’s our, here’s our grandaddy.

John: Okay.

Fred: That’s my daddy.

John: That was your daddy.

Fred: Yeah.

Powell: I think he drove a team of oxen in that day.

John: Yeah.

Powell: I think he drove a team of oxen from Floyd to here.

Bonnie: That takes a long time doesn’t it?

Powell: Yeah.

Bonnie: Days and weeks, wouldn’t it take that long?

Powell: Not today.

John: I’d say.

Powell: They come, of course they came through the mountains, somewhere.

John: Yeah. Well they logged with oxen.

Powell: Hmmm mmm. Yeah.

John: They could pull the, pull the logs out, of the mountains and everything.


Powell: Yeah. But uh, he had a big saw mill down on creek bank operated with steam engine.

Fred: And Grist mill, ???? and fellow came across that mountain from Wolf Creek and carried lumber to the saw mill. From Wolf Creek . . . . across to that mill . . . drive all night long.

John: The people would come all the way over from Wolf Creek to. . .

Fred: ????? Some of them would come over from Round Bottom, and some of them would come from West Virginia to that mill.

John: Yeah

Fred: And when I was a boy, they had ride all night, and I used to go to the pond, to hold the lighter knot for the men, and I’d go to sleep there, and this tar dropping on my hand! ha ha ha!

John: And it’ll burn ya, yeah. Oil lighter.

Fred: Oil light, but it’s . . .I know . . .

Powell: There’s one log down there in the river, down there in the creek, where they had the logs in the creek, down in the water, there’s one left down there.

John: Really?

Powell: Hasn’t washed away.

John: There used to be a lot more water in the creek, didn’t there?

Powell: Well, they just dammed it up.

John: They dammed it up?

Powell: Yeah. They just dammed it up, and the water backed up, maybe four,
hundred feet.

John: Uh-huh.

Powell: Back, had that whole place . . . I don’t remember but uh, I hear them talk about it.

John: Right.

Powell: And uh, they said uh, they could put a boat, small boat, on it . . .

John: Really?

Powell: It was that deep.

Uncle Ned Saunders

Powell: ???? He left with the Silas Greene Show. Wandered . . .

Estellia: Who is that Powell?

Powell: Uncle Ned.

John: He left with what now?

Powell: The Silas Greene Show.

John: Whoops. Oh he did?

Powell: And uh, winded up in ah, St. Paul Minnesota, and that ‘s where he just stayed at.
Uh, Silas Greene, you remember a show called Silas Greene?

John: I don’t remember that. (to Bonnie) You do?

Bonnie: Vaguely.

Powell: Used to be a show called Silas Greene.

John: And so, it come through here?

Powell: Yeah, it came through Bluefield. And he joined up with them and uh, and took off to a, one of these ???????, in uh Minnesota. And that’s where he lived at til he died.

Estellia: He raised kids.

Powell: He drove the old car back here once or twice.

****looking at photos****

Powell: ?????

John: Yeah, yeah I get a couple of those.

Estellia: ?????

Young Powell Saunders

Powell: Then of course I went to vocational school, umm, at Bluefield State College. ???? I’ve got a trait ??? for vocational education.

John: Right.

Powell: And uh, somebody said how do you go to college and didn’t finish high school?

Estellia: ha ha.

Powell: Ha ha.

Estellia: Ain’t easy is it?

Powell: ???? The governor pays me to go, I was going on G.I. Bill.

John: So, you, you were in the service?

Powell: Yeah.

John: What years were you in the service?

Powell: Went out in ‘53 and got out in ‘55.

John: Oh okay. So you were between any trouble, then weren’t ya?

Powell: Yeah. Oh, the war was about over when I went in.

John: Mmmhmmm. The Korean War.

Powell: Umm, yeah.

John: Yeah.

Estellia: I cried night and day. And when he come back I cried night and day!

***everyone laughs***

John: Was he, was he trouble when he was a teenager?

Estellia: He wasn’t all that much trouble, but I was---

Powell: I was wild.

Estellia: He was wild. I was thinking all the time he gonna be---

Powell: I didn’t get in, I never get in nothing, don’t mean, don’t mean ????? when I first got out of the army. Mommy, mommy told me says uh, uh you go up there and get you a job on that railroad, and uh, cut that liquor making out. So when I got out of the army, they said what you gonna do when you get out? Make liquor. I said just as quick as you can spit it.

****everyone laughs****

Estellia: ??????

Powell: and uh. . .

John: Well where did he make it? You didn’t make it up here?

Estellia: Well I mean, I didn’t know . . . I mean . . . They’d sneak in and do it.

Powell:They, it was in the hollows, a bunch of those hollows, so uh, I was planning on, well big time, general. So uh, put down a thousand pounds of sugar, and uh, momma kept telling me don’t make no more liquor. So we just run off maybe, three cases, we was down to a case. Something telling me, says, you better listen to your momma. So the next run, I didn’t do nothing. And momma says, I want you to make up your mind today to go get a job on the railroad. And I said I gotta have a diploma. They’d not hire you unless you got a diploma. Momma said you don’t need no diploma, you go up there and tell that man you want a job!

***everybody laughs****

Powell: ??? So everybody that had diplomas, a couple around here had diplomas, Ol’ Powell think he gonna get a job on the railroad, but, he mistaken, ‘cause he got to have a high school diploma. And he don’t have that. So uh, I went on up there, and had a load of liquor on the car then. And I said, uh, I want a job braking. Uh, what have you done? I said I just got out of the army back in July, this is November. So I made liquor from July up until around November. And uh, so they said---

Estellia: No jobs for ????!

****everybody laughs*****

John: I think he’s alright now.

Powell: They said uh, ummm, what, what , what have you been doing? And I said well, I’ve been uh farming with ----

Estellia: Making liquor!

***everybody laughs****

Powell: I said I been farming, and just got out of the army and then I started farming. I didn’t tell them nothing ‘bout no liquor.

John: Oh I reckon not, yeah.

Powell: And so uh, he said well, I tell you what, you bring me some chesnuts, I’ll give you a job. I go oh yeah, yeah, I can get you some chesnuts. But uh, chesnut died about sixty years ago, it’s been years ago.

John: Right yeah.

Powell: So he said well, you gotta learn 28 shifts . Can you do that? And there’s a lot of complicating, do you think you can learn? Oh yeah, yeah I can learn. So I learnt my 28 shifts and the other guys still learnt it, but I , I had this whiskey and these old guys, I said hey, umm, you drink any moonshine? He said oh boy, I used to drink that back years ago but I ain’t never found none any good. I said well, umm, I’m gonna learn this shift and then I’ll bring you a little taste. So umm , I said let me go to the car, and I go to the car and get him a pint, and uh bring it over there and he takes it down there and tastes, and he go back in the shanty, I’m gonna run in here in the shanty, to eat my sandwich, then you just be right, stay right here, and he come back, after he got to feelin’ pretty good, he said, I tell ye what, you can’t learn it all one shift no ways. I’m gonna sign your paper and let you go on down to Joe, and let Joe take it. I think you’re gonna make a very good brakeman myself.

***everybody laughs***

Powell: ???? I think you’ll make the best brakemen that we have out here, he said. First thing you you ???? that you’re not one of them smartalicks. And he said, you listen to what people tell you. But that moonshine done got his ????? you know . . .

***everybody laughs****

Powell: Then I’d go to the next one. And I said I just had Tom up there, and I’m gonna learn this shift. Yeah! Come on, come on. And uh, I’d ask him, and I’d say, hey! You ever drink any moonshine? Oh yeah, yeah, I’d drink some now if I had some. And I said, well this, that’s this right here, and I’d go over over and see if I could get some, and I’d bring him a little dab. And, he’d take a shot or two, and umm said man, this is some good stuff, where’d that come from? I bet it come over there in Bland County, that’s moon county. . . .

***everybody laughs****

Powell: And I get him feeling pretty good, and umm, next thing I know, I done learn all 28 shifts, and drew the first pay day, and bought my first brand new car. All them other guys struggling around, trying to learn the railroad, and they couldn’t learn nothing. Man that’s ahard, how many more you got? They had a sheet that long, and everytime you’d complete one they’d mark it down you know, with the name . . . I had mine filled out, drawed the first pay day, and they still I’d bet struggling around in the woods talking about me, hee hee. Got no high school diploma, they never could, they never did learn, I don’t know if they every learned . But I learned 28 shifts . . .

Estellia: I used to tell him, I said now, you can do anything, I made him think in, he never would’ve, I never babied him, I told him he was a man when he was about like this, I said now you’re not a baby, you’re a little man, you momma’s man. He’d walk in and pick up something and sell it to somebody, like little wood, I said now, he thinks, he thinks right now he took care of hisself since he been born.

Powell: I been working long enough.

Estellia: He think he been a man, I, I taught him, I said you can do anything anybody else can do. I said now, making liquor, that ain’t nothing for, that ain’t no skill, no kind of way. I said you ain’t gonna make no liquor and stay around here.

John: Yeah.

Estellia: I said now, you, get that in your head, you get out and get you job, or else!

John: Oh railroad’s pretty good, pretty good work now.

Estellia: Well, so he could, I made him think that ????? I said you can do it, I said you can do it, and I just made him think he could do it.

Bonnie: ???? that’s just what it takes.

Estellia: Uh-huh.

Powell: . . .. ??? lunch time, sitting there, fourteen hours, lunch bucket sitting on the side, and I’m just, moving legals, and I had a stomach on me about like that.

J : MMM!

Powell: And uh, so I got out of it, they, everybody went why won’t you stay in it? ???????? Why you leavin? Well my wife done got sick. I made all kinda of excuses.

John: Yeah.

Powell: And uh, but I’m running the engine there, uh about eight months, and I could’ve been a conductor, but I done experienced working guys and you gotta tell them this, and hand them notes, and tell them stuff.

John: Yeah.

Powell: And uh, I had, trained a lot of guys braking, and I tell them to do something, what! what! Why I gotta do that? And I said I ain’t got time to explain, just DO it. You know. And umm, so when I go to work on the railroad I’m sitting relaxed. You know, I ain’t gotta worry about nothing.

John: Right.

Powell: Unless something happens, on the ??? train, then I’ll take over.

John: How many years did you work?

Powell: Thirty-nine.

Estellia: How old are you boy?

Powell: Ha ha ha. . . I’ll be 65 next month.

Estellia: How’d you manage to get all that old . . .

Powell: I’ll be 65 next month.

Bonnie: Well, you don’t look it.

John: So you run some, you got some cows over here?

Powell: Yeah, my cows and horses. . .

John: Yeah. And you’re over here everyday looking after them.

Bonnie: Ya’ll have a party every summer, right? I saw your name on the sign didn’t I? Down at the . . .

Powell: Yeah, we have a festival up here, in July. And umm, ya’ll are invited next year to come up.

John: Alright, I’ll come.

Bonnie: Oh we’d love to come.

Powell: Yeah yeah.

John: You have a lot of people come back home for it?

Powell: Well, not like they should, well they’s two or three of them started a family reunion and, two or three or years they fall through, and I just got tired of it, I said well, I’m gonna have something that ain’t gonna fall through I’m gonna have it if don’t nobody be there but me and the grandbabies. And uh, they’s all, we wanna come back home, we wanna get back down there. We’ll have a reunion, so the Saunders, they started having one, then the Fergusons, they started having one, and I said well uh, all ya’ll kin, and I never did know none of ya’lll in ????, so ya’ll all about the same, I mean, you know, kin, you know what kin ???? and so I started a festival every year. SO some of them come in, some of them don’t.

John: Mmmhmmm. Yeah.

Powell: I think they resent it because I started it. But I have it every year.

Estellia: These are his grandchildren.

The Hill House

Powell: Ya’ll live in the umm, yellow house, the Hill House? The Jim Hill house?

John: I’ve never heard it called that!

Bonnie: It’s the first yellow one on the right as your coming up. . .

Powell: Yeah.

Bonnie: It’s got the garage with the green doors on the front.

Powell: Oh yeah yeah, hey.

Estellia: That’s the Hill House isn’t it?

Powell: That’s, them Hills built that house.

John: I hadn’t heard that.

Powell: He was a ummm, he’d move houses. Ummm, That was his, that’s what he done all his life. Which uh, worked for a place that moved houses.

John: MMMhmmm.

Powell: He’d move brick houses anything. They had a daughter, they named, they had a chicken and they named it after one of my sisters.

Estellia: Oh. Dolores.

Powell: Yeah. Had a little . . .

Estellia: And she had a little chicken, and she said I’m gonna name it, the little chicken Dolores, cause Dolores is so purdy.

***everybody laughs****

Powell: But he, he could uh, move brick houses, rock houses . . .

John: Huh.

Powell: Everythang. That’s all he ever done.

John: Yeah. A bunch of people have lived there . ..

Powell: Yeah.

John: Over the years.

Bonnie: Well what happened to them?

Powell: huh?

Bonnie: I said what happened to them?

Estellia: I’d say they died.

Bonnie: OOoooh.

Powell: Well, he had some daughters, and uh, I think some of the daughters married into the Brewer family. And all, I think all of them’s dead now.

John: Okay.

Powell: He was a little short fella, about five foot something.

Bonnie: Well, that explains it, our ceilings are kind of low in there. . .

Powell: Yeah.

John: Yeah.

Powell: And umm, but uh, that was his job. That’s all I known him to do.

John: Hmmm.

Powell: Moved houses.

Reverend Fred Saunders [Fred is the son of the original Powell Saunders and the father of the present Powell Saunders. Fred is over 90 years of age and is a little hard to understant at times.]

John: Yeah. Well now, is this the Saunder’s farm, is this it right here?

Fred: Both sides yeah.

John: Both sides of the road.

Fred: Mountain to mountain.

John: From mountain to mountain. Okay. But you never did do much farming yourself?

Fred: Hmmm?

John: You never did do much farming yourself?

Fred: Yeah, I did ????

Estellia: Not too much because he worked at uh . . . in the mines . ..

Fred:I was just , wasn’t gonna ??? cattle, like . . . .

Estellia: You retired what year.

Fred: I worked in the coal mines for, 25 year. Run a coal mine . . in West Virginia . . .

John: And uh . . .

Fred: ???? Never forget, ??? man coming over there and I said, you cutting the mountain ????? cutting that mountain . . . ????? gotten around it , and . . . . ????????

John: Yeah.

Fred: ????

Powell: ????

Estellia: I went to uh, I worked over at uh, ?????,?????

John: And how long did it take you to drive to ???? Is that where you’re . . .
[at this point everyone is talking at once and I have no earthly idea what is going on]

Fred: . . . but now my Daddy was a sawmill man, he, he could do anything, he was a sawmill man, ?????? ???????? ??

John: Yeah.

Fred: So he came out of Floyd County and . . .

John: Yeah.

Fred: ?????? and my momma died I kept ?????? a lot of people ???? had the farm ???? ????

Fred: See the people comin out of the city, out into the country . . .

John: Yeah

Fred: but uh, someone a lot of ????? she she . . .????

Powell: ??????? playing football, and man I done got into the hundreds then . . . .

Fred:???? . . .teaching school in West Virginia, teaching school in Bluefield . . .

John: Okay.

Fred: And working ????? . . . .

John: Right.

Fred: That pays bad that job.

John: Yeah.

Fred: ??????????????

Estellia: HA ha ha ha!

[everyone is talking at once again]

Powell Again

Powell: Yeah they, I figured I figured I was smarter than they was, they they’d make, uh this one boy would make straight A’s, A pluses. And his brother would run neck in neck with straight A’s. And when I come up, uh, I’d have D’s all the way across, and then the end of the month, I would take, take that D and make a B out of it.

John: So you were the first one that did that. Huh?

Estellia: That’s where Dwayne getsit! I hope you didn’t pass all that stuff down . .

Powell: Yeah we we, thought little ol’, wasn’t nothing to do in school and I said well, we gonna start us a little old club, and uh, two ya’ll can bring some sugar, and we gonna make ice cream ???? ???. So , ???? dang we always had, you know, plenty, a little more than that, and uh, now I ain’t got no sugar! Can you bring some milk? NO I ain’t got no milk. Well ya’ll got cows, ya you can bring the milk. Well I wound up bringing the milk, sugar, and the flavorin’ too, but I was the President and the Secretary. Now we’d sell, we’d sell uh ice cream, and uh, I was the treasurer, I was on the treasury . . .

Estellia: ????

Powell: ??? We’d take, we’d sell, dollar and something cent worth of ice cream, and I said ya’ll write that down now! But I got the money and they got the paper.

John: Right. This is over in Bluefield?

Powell: No this is--

John: At one of them stores, Okay.

Powell: And uh, when I was on recreation at the house, and we’d have alittle party, and ???? teacher just let us to have a little party. Had some ice cream.


Continued Part 2

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