C. K. :To start out, what is your name?C. K.
:Was that your residence when you were a teenager?W. B. :Yes, until I was 17 years old when I served the country. C. K. :Did you live with both of your parents when you were young?W.
B. :Oh no, he didnt make it, he wasnt in that age group. W. B.
:Yes, he had a couple of brothers that were in WWI. C. K. :Did they ever tell you or him stories that you can remember?W.
B. :No, other than I remember him saying something about the trenches over in France. They fought unlike we do today. C. K. :Did you guys have electricity back then?W.
B. :Well the earliest I remember we did not have electricity. The earliest I remember, I must have been about 3 years old, I have a picture of me and my mother and father when I was 2 years old. And we lived out in Rougemont and there was no electricity there at that time. And I remember we had . .
. a well across the street. We had to walk across the street to draw water from the well. C. K. :So, you said you were in WWII, any war stories?W.
B. :Oh yes, one time I got a brain concussion, a skull fracture . . . I was sent back to Eya Heights Hospital in Pearl Harbor, there I spent about six months. When I went back to duty, I went into a destroyer.
Later I went to be a radio electrician. C. K. :What about the attack on Pearl Harbor, what do you remember about that?W. B. :I was at home in Rougemont at the time when the bombing went on.
But my older brother was in Pearl Harbor on the USS West Virginia. He was a member of the crew. C. K.
:Did he tell you specific details about Pearl Harbor?W. B. :Uh, no. Well he did say he was not on duty that morning, he was on liberty in Honolulu, and he was not on the ship when it got sunk. C. K.
:In WWII did you have any close calls?W. B. :Yes, just that one I told you about earlier. W.
B. :One daughter lives in Arizona the other lives here in Durham. It was around 1955, 1956. C. K. :How did you support the family?W.
B. :I was a hard working person, I operated a TV shop in Roxboro. I worked long hours. My wife was a nurse, she worked at the hospital in Roxboro.
Things werent so bad. Things were really touch and go back when I was 5 or 6 years old. When the depression came along. Course we were poor.
People now adays, they cant quite survive on the way that we lived. I remember my father worked ten hours a day, and got paid very little money, but supported seven children. W. B. :Well, we had a garden, a cow, and a pig.
We made out pretty good. My mother worked in the garden, and when the kids were old enough to work the garden they worked the garden. I also remember when I was going to school as a child 6 or 7 years old, I remember carrying my buttermilk to school in a little mason jar that fits underneath the windowsill. My lunch I would carry in a paper sack. I would be lucky to have a paper sack, people cant quite grasp that.
I would fold up my paper sack very neatly and bring it home, and I could carry my lunch the next day. And thats the way we did it, we survived. We didnt go hungry. But I remember when a meal would be made from thick gravy; fat back, some grease, and flour would make brown gravy. And that would be the meal. I remember meals with buttermilk and cornbread crumbled up in it.
I remember meals from molasses, molasses butter, it was a good meal. I remember Saturdays would be for special occasions. We could buy a can of salmon and it cost 10, and mix with some flour and make salmon patties, we would have a gourmet type meal. We would buy one pepsi-cola for 5, you could make a big pitcher of tea, pour that one pepsi-cola into the tea, and we would have pepsi-flavored tea.
A lot of people