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[January 27, 1939?] 
Rich and Lula Gray (Negro)
[South?] Florida Turpentine Corporation
Carters, Florida (Near Lakeland )
Negro Turpentine Foreman
[Paul?] Diggs, writer (Negro)
Veronica [?]. [Russ?], revisor. {Begin handwritten} [?] {End handwritten}
A small Coca-cola sign, tacked to a shack at Carters, Florida, and bearing the name of
 Lula Gray, led me to the quarter house of the Negro camp foreman, Rich Gray.
Rich works for the South Florida Turpentine Corporation.
Lula is his wife. Their small home once served as a home and store combined.
 It is reached from the main highway by planks over a ditch.
Rich was not at home, but Lula invited me to come up on the little vine covered
porch and wait for him. [She?]
told me that he came in from the wood every day for his noon meal,
 and as it was near that time, I accepted the
invitation. I sat in the swing and shoved the one rocker on the porch with
the toe of my shoe. Lula was busy in the kitchen cooking, so I didn't have much
 time to talk with her, but I managed to ask her where she was from.
["I'se?] from [Hanna?], South Carolina," she said, and I'm 37 years old.
[But?] of course this yere age what
I jest give you haint what my [insurance?] age is!"
I asked her to explain.
"Well, the reason is that hit doon cost us so much if we's younger."
The shack housing the Gray's is one of 40 dilapidated quarter houses
furnished turpentine laborers. Situated
on old highway [17?], seven miles from Lakeland , the camp is one
of the oldest in the vicinity.
Weather-beaten and almost black, the majority of these pine-board shacks are
not even equipped with shutters and porches. They are built on the low flat lands beneath
 tall pines, and the spacious yards are flooded during
the rainy season. The sandy streets of the settlement are deeply grated
on either side, to aid in drainage during wet weather.
Lula showed me their three room house. The interior was not ceiled but
it was clean and neatly kept. Pretty curtains hung at the few windows and the cheap
furniture was well arranged. The kitchen was also
clean and I noticed a bright oil cloth on the table.
In the backyard there were a few chickens running about.
 The out-house, about thirty feet back of the house,
was crudely built of old lumber. Next to it was a chicken coop built
 of rough pine boards. There was no fence around the place.
Rich Gray, astride a light-brown, high-stepping horse, came toward the house through
the pines. A tall,
lean man in his early fifties, he was warmly dressed in heavy work clothes,
 with hickory-striped trousers tucked into high-top boots. His slouch sombrero shaded his
stern features. He spied me immediately,
as I came down off the porch, and spurred his horse on to meet me.
"Who are you?" he snapped, as he brought his mount to a standstill before the cabin door,
 and swung to the ground.
I told him my name, but before I could make further explanations, he questioned:
 "And what's your business!
We have rules and regulations in this yere camp, and bein as how I'se foremen,
 I have to know all the business what comes around here!"
After this sudden outburst I explained my presence as best I could and
 asked his cooperation. For the time
being he seemed [appeased?]. Lula had come to the door by this
time and was watching interestedly. I noticed
then that she was much younger than her husband, and had a rich
 ginger-cake color and straight black hair.
"So you're another of them government fellers?" continued Rich. "One come here
jest last week about that Social Security business.
He was a government inspector checking,and asked all kinds of questions; now you
come along and want to know about my life. I had to answer enough questions last week."
He went in the house, after tying his horse to a nearby post. But he came right out
again, dragging a chair
behind him. He told me to sit down on it, while Lula sat in the rocker and he made
himself comfortable on the steps.
In an effort to break the tension I ask Rich where he obtained the fine
looking horse he was riding. He said:
 "Joe? He belong to the company, but I'se been ridin him for the whole
five years I'se been yere. He's one good hoss."
Joe, on hearing his name, pawed the earth with one forefoot and whinnied.
"That's a good lookin saddle he's got on too!"
'Yep, it ain't bad. Hit's called a 12 inch saddle."
"About how much territory do you cover each day?"
"I [kivers?] from 20 to 30 acre a day", he said. "I watch out for fires,
 and see that the cup doan run ova.
I also checks locations for supplies of turpentine what's ready for dippin.
"We works aroun 40 peoples on this still. Some is shippers, and they work in
the woods. We only uses trees what's nine inches in diameter. The life of a
tree is from four to five year, in this business.
"Clay cups is used on the tress, and they holds anywhar from one quart to
one-half gallon. We tries to empty
them nigh-on to ever three week, when the sap is runnin. There ain't vera much
to do in winter, but work picks
up in spring and summa."
Amazed at his own sudden willingness to discuss his every-day life, he stopped
 as quickly aa he had started.
His former attitude returned, and again he questioned me on the reasons for my visit.
 But I soon reassured
him and he continued: "I see thet the men chip and dip properly in the woods.
 Some of them receives anywhar from $1.25 to $1.50 a day; it's all accordin to price
 received for the turpentine on the market. Some of my
 mens, dip by the thousand, they get 90 a thousand. The good ones averages 1500 a day.
"The turpentine is brought from the woods in barrels. After it reaches the still,
 its loaded on the platform you sees over yonder, and dumped into the still under heat.
Do ya see thet pipe runnin into the vat? Well,
this is run off into the barrels; we don't waste nothin.
 After hit run into the barrel, it gits hard. The barrels holds 5-15 and 5-20."
I asked him what he meant by 5-15 and 5-20 and he told me: "Green barrels weigh
from 40 to 50 pounds, and after this weight has been deducted from full barrels,
then they will run from 450 to 500 pounds of turpentine.
We kin go over there to the still after I eats and take a look at hit. Wanna?"
I admitted that I would be only too glad to go. Then he and Lula retired indoors for
 their noon meal. They invited me to join them, but I declined.
Later I asked Rich what foodstuffs he favored most. He told me he
preferred meat and vegetables, and added that there was plenty of wild game in the
vicinity which he obtained while riding the woods.
When he returned from his meal, we walked the few yards down the
settlement road to the turpentine still.
It was located near the main highway. [Nearby?] were numbers of galvanized
 barrels used for shipping the turpentine.
 The still was substantially built, having a large kiln and condensing vat.
 The water supply came from a tall water-tower operated by an electric pump. Near the kiln,
 on a raised platform, were many barrels used
in the transportation of the turpentine from woods to still. A long shed,
 connected with the still, was used
for the tool house and storage place for machinery. A small, open shed opposite
the barrel stand is used for the distribution of the turpentine. On another side of the
still [were?] the refining works and a large pair o
f scales for weighing the barrels.
On our way back to Rich's shack, we stopped at the little
 weather-beaten school and church combined.
It was of the same construction as the houses and appeared to be poorly equipped.
 Addie Webb, the teacher, reported an averahe average attendance of 20 pupils.
 On Sundays, the little school is converted into a church.
 The Baptists use it one Sunday and the Methodists the next.
When we arrived at the house and seated ourselves comfortably on the
 front porch, he told me his life history.
"I was borned to Mac and Betty Gray in Robertsville, South Carolina,
 March 8, 1888. My parents is now dead.
I had eight brothers and six sisters; some of them is older than I is, and
I haint seen none of them in years.
I attended school in Robertsville, but I had to stop when I reached the tenth grade.
"I useter live in Lakelan, and I still owns nearly a half block there on Quincy
Street, with houses on it too. I haint gonna tell ya nothin about thet though, my boss done
tole me I doan hafter tell nobody thet; nor how much I makes offen them neither."
With this, Rich rose and went inside again and when he came out he carried a piece
 of carbon paper in his hand.
"Here," he said, "take this yere piece of paper and put hit 'tween them papers
you'se written on. I still doan take much stock in what you're doin and I want proof
 about hit when I tells my boss-man. You gimme the other
copy fer to keep. "I shore would be up agin hit iffen I couldn't read nor
 write on this yere job, cause I have to report everthing;
 my boss man tells me not to talk. "I been workin in this camp for five year, but I been
in the turpentine biz all my life, follered hit from camp
to camp. I now keeps all the records belongin to the company and make
 out my report to the boss-man. "Mentionin turpentine camps though, makes me think a Lakelan,
 a-way back yonder. I can remember when hit warn't
 nary thing but jest a turpentine camp itself, and how they come
 out yere to this section and cut and toted away the pines fer to build thet town.
"No, we doan own our house yere, we's only allowed to stay yere as long as we
 work for this company. But we gets to stay free of charge. None of us folks pays any rent.
Some of them fellers has been workin here fer a long time, ever since hit
 first started. "I prefers livin out yere, as to bein in town. We's free out yere,
 and bein as how I haves what I want,
why not? Why worry about town? Some folks kin worry about
 the funniest things I ever heard about. Besides,
they haint nothin in town. I has regular work here and makes aroun
$2.50 a day and sometimes more. "As fer votin, thet's another thing
I haint up to neither. No man! I dont do no votin. A man has to know
what he's doin when he goes votin of dealin with pollytics. Lots of fool
folks goes votin and don't know
what they're votin fer. I aint aimin to fool with hit myself.
 Uncle Sam knowed what everybody is a-doin,
and if you stick your finger in the fire, yor shore to git burned.
"We all goes to church here. I am a Missionary Baptist, but I doan go
as often as the rest of the folks.
 I doan hold no office in the church neither. The folks here goes pretty
regular, but not me.
That's all there is to do here, is go to church and drink shine.
"But drinkin shine keeps the men well, especially when they gotta work out
in them woods in the water,
 they just gotta have somethin hot in them. Hit seems to keep them from gittin
 sick too. Of course iffen
any of us'uns gits sick, the company pays fer hit and we kin call whatever
doctor we wants. This here is checked out of a special fund we carry. But this place
is pretty healthy, in spite of the low land.
I guess hit's on account of the high pines all aroun us.
 There's few of the workers what's ever sick, includin me and Lula. I haint
 been sick in years. Of course some gits sick now and then, but not often.
"Well I reckons hit's about time fer me to be goin on, Joe and me
 gotta lot of work to do this afternoon.
How about comin back when we gits to distillin the turpentine? You'll like thet."

Federal Writers' [Propject?]
Paul Diggs
Lakeland, Florida
January, [27?], 1939
Kellum, Robert and Ruby
1134 N. Florida Avenue
Lakeland, Florida
Sitting on the back door stoop with his youngest son, Nelson in his lap,
 playing tags at his knee was his other son
Robert, Jr. Robert stated that he had just come from the United State
Employment Office. He produced a card with
his identification number on it- showing that he had to report Tuesday
if still unemployed. He said,
"I have been picking fruit regularly since [the?] beginning of the season,
 but due to prices, nearly all
of the crew have been laid off." If I am out of work three weeks, this
office will give me half of what I would earn if I were working.
Ruby, his wife, came to the door and stood near a chair
that was placed crossways in the door to keep
little Nelson from crawling out while she attended her household duties.
 She was full of smiles on knowing that her husband had received his card.
Robert is a young man, was dressed in overalls and wore heavy soled shoes,
 one slashed. Ruby's dress was clean but in lots of [places?] where it
 had been sewed together showed patching. Her shoes were run over.
 She was bare legged and had an old hat on. Her hair was not groomed.
 The little boys dressed in overalls
were not clean, from playing in the sand and crawling on the floor.
 Little Nelson had a cold and his nose
was continually running, he would wipe it with the back of his hand.
 He is teething and appeared to be very fretful.
Little Robert was full of life and jumped around with glee. Robert said,
 "there is not much to life, only hard work from a youngster up to now. You are some
time up and some time down. Here I have my
little family and out of work." Robert was somewhat downhearted
 from being layed off for a short period.He said, "I was born in Macon, Georgia. October 28, 1912.
 My parents were Emma and Allen Freeman. My father I do not know very much about him.
 I now have a step-father Sim Kellum, who lives at 637 Silver Street,
 Lakeland, Florida . We have a pretty large family-my sisters,
 Elsie Lee age 21; Nettle Lee, age 19; and Maudine,
age 16. My brothers, E.J. McCarthy, a half brother, The last
time I saw or heard of him was back in 1937. Booker, age 23; Jac, age 26;
 Melvin, age 28, and Marion, age 10. All of my brothers are working at common labor.
Ruby said, " I was born at Cocoa, Florida , June 15, 1915.
 My parents left there when I was real small and
settled in Monticello, Florida. My father Jerry and mother Rosa Glenn.
 Father is nearly sixty two years old,
I don't remember the age of my mother. I have two sisters ind two brothers.
 Rosetta White, age 40, she lives at
601 Silver Street, Lakeland, Florida . Elizabeth Bells, age 30. My brothers
 Robert, age 38, he has three children
Dorthina, Robbie Mae, and Doloris. I don't know their ages. Charlie Glenn,
 lives at Healthville, Virginia. I have been away from home nearly five years.
 Robert and I married here in Lakeland, February 16, 1935.
 Little Robert Jr. was born 5-31-36 and Nelson 3-17-38."
Robert said, "I did'nt stay in Macon, Georgia. My parents moved
 to Dublin, Georgia. We came to Lakeland in 1925.
 I think I was twelve years old and we have remained here ever since.
Ruby was fond of her children, she said," I want my boys to be good men,
 not like some of the sorry one's I see walking up and down the Street.
" Robert said, "yes I have started already to give them muscle.
I want them to be strong.I hope they will learn more than I did in school,
 I attended the sixth grade in Monticello, Florida . Said Ruby.
" Robert said, "I only went as far as the second grade in Dublin,
 Georgia. When I came to Lakeland I attended
the Washington Park Elementary School just a few days. I had to stop school
 to go to work, I always wanted to go
to school, now I see what I have missed. Well along that time
I had to obey my mother, we had to live.
Now I see how other people lives, they have property and owns cars.
 I have neither one.I started doing hard work when I was small, that is all
 I know how to do. I will never forget the first job I had.
 I carried water for the McDonald Construction Company in [1925?].
 I made $ 9,00 a week. Later I worked for the
Atlantic Coast Line railroad, on this job I made $ 15,00 a week.
 This job I held down until 1932. After that
I had to pick up odd jobs and later found work at Polk City saw-mill.
 There I was assistance fireman,
I made $ 15,00 a week on this job. When I lost out, I caddied for
 a while at the Cleveland Height Golf Course,
until I began cutting fruit for the Highland City Association.
 They are located about eight miles from Lakeland.
 I have been making good up until a few weeks ago when they cut the crew off.
 I would average from $22,00 to
 $25,00 a week when we had plenty of fruit to cut.
No, fruit cutting is not hard after you get use to it.
 The greatest thing is learning how to handle your ladder
 and cut without harming the fruit, you know they are pretty
 strict now about cutting fruit. The biggest thing
that you have to watch is the exposure. It will knock a man out
 if you follow it down. The early morning
dew affects you. We pick every day when working and Sunday also.
 I pick around 120 boxes of grapefruit a day,
 oranges 65to 70 boxes a day, and tangerines from 25 to 30 boxes a day.
 They pay us for grapefruit 4 a box,
 oranges 8 a box, and tangerine 10 a box. The prices ranges according
 to the size of fruit you pick.
 We work in crews of 14 or more. There is one foreman to each crew.
 The section where we pick mostly is the "Highland section.
"This section is near Lakeland, and is thickly planted with fruit trees.
 We pick by the size, color, and grades.
 We are experienced enough to know what to do after instructed by our foreman.
Ruby spoke up and said, "I have become Holy Sanctified.
I am saved like the preacher. I ain't got all of the understanding, but I have
 to pray for wisdom. My mind is on nothing but the Lord.
Satan is nothing but a common and evil mind. I fast when
 I received the Holy Ghost, you got to live the life.
I go to church every night so far. The first time the Holy Ghost struck me,
 It put me on the floor, and I rolled over and over. It is like electricity in the
 electric iron if you happen to touch the wire,
it will shock you. You don't know a thing until it is all over.
 I wish I had a Bible to read, that would
help to make me stronger." At this point she was promised one.
Robert said, "I am not anything now in the spiritual affairs,
 but I have a desire to be sanctified like my wife.
 I once joined the Bethel A M E Church, on North Dakota Avenue.
 I did'nt attend regular, sometimes I go now but not often.
You know if I was fixed up like some people, maybe I would do better,
 that is, have nice things like they have.
 Now look I am out of work now. Suppose I wanted things and had to
buy them on time, I would lose them now.
That causes me not to go out as much as I would like to.
I Wish I had a job like I had on the railroad, then I could do more.
 I have a nice bossman but he can only go so far.
 He is in the same fix that I am in. He has no one to boss when we are cut off,
 so that puts him out of a job.
While in his gloomy attitude about work, he was asked if he ever voted.
 He said, "I never voted, never
had the opportunity to vote. I would not know how to vote. I think that
we are better off now than we was
during Hoovers time. Times were tough then, but now we do have something to do.
 This President beleives in giving people something to do. So far I have not had to
go on relief- with this card I don't think I will ever go on.
I have never been sick a day in my life, and as long as I keep my
 good health I don't think I will go on relief.
I have had a cold, but soon got rid of it. All of our health is good.
 We never have had a doctor. When the children were born we hired a mid-wife."
Ruby had left us, and began scrubbing her floors.
She opened the front door to allow the air to enter
so the floor would dry quickly. Their little house is small,
 it once was used for a store.
It is weather-boarded, onced painted yellow, now greatly in need of
 a paint job. The roof is covered with galvanized tin.
The front porch is flushed with the street with a long wooden shed over it.
 There is nothing on the porch. In the back yard about
forty feet from the house is the delapidated out house.
 Their water has to be carried from the next door neighbor's
 house at a distance of fifty feet. They pay 25 a month for the use of the water.
The interior is simple. There are two double beds in the main room that is
partitioned off. In this room also was two dressers, one covered with dishes.
 A small table covered with trinkets.
The closet was built out from the wall and covered with cretonne.
Four chairs were in places in the room.
The furniture needed painting and was old fashion.
 The cut off kitchen contained a three hole burner.
A few boxes nailed to the wall to hold the kitchen untensils and dishes.
A small table was near the window.The curtain hanging at the windows were full
 of holes and looked soiled. The walls needed painting. The floors were bare, but kept
clean by scrubbing. "Ruby said, We have to take our bath in the tubs that I wash out of
but it is better than nothing.
 I would'nt mind it if our landlord would turn on the water.
 It is lots of trouble to carry water for
four people to wash with. My husband had to have his tub full of
 water every night when he comes in from work.
We have to pay $ 1.00 for our house every week. We rent from Mr. Emory Bryant.
 If we could afford it we would
move to some other place, but good houses are hard to find here in Lakeland."
Little Robert was still playing around the knees of his father.
 He looked up and begged for a piece of bread,
 Saying, "daddy piece of bread, daddy piece of bread." He called to his wife
to bring the children bread.
 Robert stated, I like anything except vegetables green and tomatoes."."
Ruby said, "I like greens and plenty of meat. Sometimes I cook corn bread.
We are not able to get the food we need.
In the summer we barely live. Now it is about the same. My children don't
 get the proper food, but the little rascals they keep fat."
Robert was asked why he did not plant a garden.
He stated that there was no fence around the place,
and the neighbors chickens would distroy everything that you would plant.
When I am off from work I like to play checker, I like to see them play football,
and baseball,I am not swift enough to play any of them myself.
I like to see other people play games.
I would read some if I had books to read. That would help me to learn some.
 Ruby said, "I get my pleasure in the house of the Lord. After a hard days
 work I feel better after going to church.
In leaving Robert's spirit was much better, and he asked that
 If there was any place where he could get books,
 he was referred to the Colored Library. The Little ones, said goodbye on leaving.

Willard & Cornelia Mitchell

February 8, 1939
Willard and Cornelia Mitchell (white)
Commerce Street
[Sebring?], Florida
Citrus grove laborer, chiefly a duster and pruner. [Woman?]: Citrus canner.
Barbara Berry Darsey, writer
Veronica [? Huss?], revisor.
"Come in, why do you stand there knockin?!" exclaimed a pleasant voice as I knocked
 on the first of three doors of the small apartment.
Then, as I hesitated, the door was flung open and a flustered young woman apologized.
"My goodness! Please do excuse me, I thought you were my little boy Jamie,
 and I wondered why he was a-knockin
on the door. Do come in.
This is my kitchen, but we'll go right through to the other room.
This small, stout, pleasant faced woman proved to be Mrs. Merryvale.
 She was neat and clean, though her clothes
were rather worn and faded.
[As?] we passed through the kitchen where she had been shelling peas,
I noticed that the place was sparkling clean.
Two chairs stood near a large window where a number of flowering plants grew.
 On one chair was a large pan of fresh
 english peas, a basket beside the other chair held the empty hulls.
Mrs. Merryvale was so concerned over the manner of her first greeting
that she became quite offusive.
"Take this chair right here by the window, it's cool and comfortable here.
 I declare I am sorry if you thought me rude.
 I reckon you were surprised the way I yelled at you to come in."
I hastened to assure her that it was all right and that she hadn't hurt my feelings.
 With this she became more at ease.
[As?] I had obviously interrupted the shelling of the peas I suggested that I help her.
 She accepted my offer
and hurried into the kitchen to obtain them, when she returned she placed them
on a small table near at hand.
Her friendliness had increased with my offer. As we worked she explained by a certain time,
therefore she was glad of my help.
"Frank isn't working today for he's on the grove dustin crew tonight.
 When he works at night he rests most of the day.
 He just went downtown a few minutes ago, but he'll be back soon for he
likes his supper early. He will want to rest
 a little more before he starts his work.
He doesn't mind the night work as it pays five cents an hour more that day labor.
 We are mighty glad to get it.
We are a-trying to get our farm land fixed up so we can move down there and
be real farmers like our daddies are."
[Ella?] arose and went to a map tacked to the far wall, it was the kind
distributed by the oil companies.
Here she pointed with pride to a location in the lower end of the county
near lake [Istokpega?] "Right here is
our farm and it sure is good land." When she had resumed her seat she launched
into the relation of her life story.
"I am a real Florida Cracker and all my people are Floridians," she said.
 "I was born in Lakeland 26 years ago, but
I was just a little girl when my father moved to Avon Park where I was raised on a farm.
 "My daddy was born over in
Polk County, and my mother, who was a [able?], was born in Lake County near Umatilla.
 My daddy is Ben Wilkins.
All our family has lived in Florida for a long time. My great-great-grandfather
 Wilkins is said to have come to
Virginia from England, but he soon come to Florida after that, and here we have
 been ever since. My mother's
folks is all of English stock, too, and we have heard that they come from a place
call Birmingham." She sighed
deeply and sifted the bright green peas through her fingers.
 "I sure wish we had a record of the families,
it would be so interesting. I've always wondered so much about us all,
 but don't none of us know anything definite.
 All we know is what others tells us. If we had the money and the ability,
 I would have family history made up for us,
 but I hear they cost a lot of money and take a lot of time.
"Frank's people are all Georgians. He was born up near Oakland,
 but he has been raised here in Florida.
 His family now lives near Stonewood, Georgia, where his daddy is
superintendant of a peach orchard. He also has half interest in a large farm.
Frank says that he's thinking of taking us up there for a while,
so he can help his daddy with the work, but I don't want to go.
We have plenty to do here, and we have our
own farm to work. "Frank's mother was a Dolly, they use to be real
rich and prominent folks up there in Georgia.
Several of her uncles had one of the largest stock farms in the state years ago."
As the peas were shelled by this time, she excused herself for a few minutes
 and went into the kitchen with them.
 As my eyes followed her I was again impressed with the spotless order of her home.
 The kitchen and dining room were combined. An alcove in this long narrow room hold
 the sink, some shelves, a cabinet, and a three-burner
oil stove. A large square table covered with a white cloth
stood near the back door. The bare floors were nicely
 painted and had recently been polished. There were flowers growing
in the large windows, and a bouquet placed on
the table lent a cherry aspect to the room. Mrs. Merryvale returned
and continued her conversation.
"I often get little odd jobs like shelling peas, and though they don't
pay much I'm always mighty glad to get the work.
 It sure helps a lot. Not long ago I made a lot of artificial flowers
 for the Girl Scout Minstrel.
 At Christmas I helped a florist make a lot of tiny pine wreaths.
 That's the first work of that kind that
I have ever done. But I have always been nimble with my fingers,
 so it wasn't a bit hard to learn.
The florist said I did well right from the start and that's something,
 because most folks found it mighty difficult at first."
Rising once more she went into the bedroom. This room was long and
 narrow like the kitchen and contained two beds,
 a large bed and a single bed; the latter was placed cross-wise at
the foot of the large bed. The floor
was painted and there were a number of bright rag rugs scattered about.
 A small tall table at the end of the
room had several books and magazines on it, while a set of shelves on
one wall held a large collection of
Federal and State agricultural bulletins. Drawing a box from beneath the
double bed she exclaimed[!?] "Just see this here little quilt I finished for a baby!"
She carefully unfolded and [shock?] out the small
 bundle for me to see. "A neighbor put the top together,
 than ask me to finish it for her. I been a-workin
on it for two weeks now. I have to do it off and on, for I don't have much
time to spend with these spare jobs."
The quilt proved to be a dainty piece of work with a top of figured
lawn in pastel shades and lined in blue.
It was quilted with blue and pink threads. Taking note of my interest,
she reached further under the bed and
 "Mama says is the pease ready? She has to get them to market and can't wait.
 Here's the 25 cents she promised you.
 I hoper you got them all ready, cause she's in a hurry."
This rush of words come all in one breath.
Mrs. Merryvale accepted the 25 cents the boy held out to her and in
 return handed him two large paper sacks
containing the peas. She admonished him to be careful and not spill
them and closed the door as he left.
She returned laughing and continued: "Like I said before I get a few
odd jobs this way, and I don't never
refuse nothing I'm able to do, even if it only pay a dime.
 "I use to work in the orange and grapefruit
canning factory, but lately there hasn't been much work like that.
 Beside I would have to go so far away form home and Frank don't like that, he also don't
 want me to take it up again anyway. "I quit school
in the sixth grade to take up the canning plant work.
My daddy's health failed and he lost what money
he had so my eldest brother and me started to work.
 "The canning plant work isn't so bad once you get use to it,
 but at first it took all the skin off my fingers. You know, the acid
 is so bad. Then I got to wearing finger
 [stalls?] of rubber; somehow I never could get use to rubber gloves
 like some of the workers use. For some reason
I couldn't never explain I jest felt I had to have my palms bare so
that's the reason I just used the [stalls?]."I made around a dollar a day
 when I first started, but I worked hard and did my best to learn just right,
 so it wasn't long before I was making $2 a day. It takes a right fast worker
 to make more than that, cause
 I reckon $2.50 is the limit, but I was making that much
 before I was done. "The juicers and pealers get
 paid by the hour, mostly it's about 25 per hour, but I
[sectionized?] and that's piece work."
Once more the kitchen door opened, but quietly this time and
a timid little fellow entered and hurried
toward his mother. Filled with the importance of his news he forgot
his shyness as he advanced.
"Just look here, Mother," he burst, "but I didn't get to finish it yet!"
He placed a red and white paper valentine in his Mother's lap.
"See! I got all but the legs done. Look at the arms, they is made of
 little hearts too, just like his face.
 It's for you, only teacher said we must finish it at home and bring
 them back for her to see." He looked eagerly around the room.
"You get any white paper Mother?" His inquiry was serious.
 "Teacher gived me the red paper to make the hearts
for his legs." On being assured that the white paper was available
he immediately retired to the kitchen, obtained a cold
 biscuit and went out on the back steps to eat it.
"That's my Jamie," said Mrs. Merryvale with pride.
"He's just six, but he's going to school. I try to help
 him all I can for I want him to get a good education. I want
to keep him interested too, so that he'll be
eager for learning. I realize so often what I missed by not being
 able to finish school." She sighed wistfully.
"Well I started to tell you about my work in the canning plant, didn't
I? I will try and explain about the
sectionizing, it's gonna be hard, but I'll try and make it so you can
 understand. In sectionizing you have to [cut?] out the pulp of the fruit
 without gettin any skin, membrane, or seeds in it. It sounds hard to do
but it really is easy when you get the knack of it.
"When doing piece work we get paid according to trays. There are four
different can sizes. One size is the
 number 0 can, these is the tiny cans, and come 24 on a tray. This size
only holds a whole section, and two
half ones on either side. Number 1 cans run 13 on a tray and brings 9 per tray.
Then there are the number 2
cans with 12 on a tray, and which brings us 12 1/3 per tray. The gallon cans
run to four on a tray and they
 bring us [10?].
She paused to reminisse, then resumed the detailed account of her life
 in the canning factory. "We had to be
real careful and pack the cans according to a schedule or plan,
and we never knew when the [forewoman?] would
come around and test our packing. If it wasn't done just right,
it was marked against us, and we had to do it all over.
"In all but the number 0 cans, we had to use only whole sections.
 In every can we had to mighty careful and not let
 any seeds slip by.
We were allowed one can for broken sections on every tray of perfect packs.
 These cans were rushed with a broad
black stripe. As I just mentioned we was allowed one black stripe can
 to a tray, but of course the fewer black
stripes we had, the better our standing.
In reply to my questions concerning the packing of the sections, she said:
"The sections as I told you before, must be whole and perfect. These are
 placed in the can with the grain of
the plug toward the can side, all must be evenly packed. There is always
a little syrup already in the can when
the tray comes to us. We don't put no juice in, only the plugs.
"Just let me get my sectionizer knife and show you what I mean."
 She hurried out to her kitchen and returned as
 quickly with an odd looking knife. It had a broad short handle and
a thick blade of medium length with sharp edges.
"When we get work in the canning plant we are charged [75] for these knives.
 When we leave if we want to keep them
it's all right, but if we turn them in we get our money back. I wanted to
 keep mine so I paid the [75?]."
Again she paused and sighed [pausively?], then she reached out absently
and pinched a withered leaf from one of her window plants.
"They had nighty strict orders in the cannery too.
 No one was allowed to smoke or use snuff, or any tobacco at all.
 We was made to wear clean starched uniforms every day. The uniforms
was blue with whiteheads band and cost us $1 each.
 We couldn't return them when we finished work. Usually they was worn
pretty bad anyway, from acid spattering on them.
"Sometimes the girls cut the sleeves out for coolness, and just as soon
as the foreman caught them, they had to
stop and buy a new uniform and put it on, or be discharged.
 Over the fronts of our uniforms we usually wore rubber
 aprons with a smaller cloth one over it. This was done
because the juice is so bad.
"We also wore low heel shoes, and socks or stockings.
I used white socks, and I had a clean pair everyday.
I also had uniforms which I kept neat and clean, although
I could usually wear one two days."
She leaned forward and there was a twinkle in her big blue eyes.
"I never did work in the bull pen," she half whispered.
I ask her what this was and she smiled.
"Well you see, the sectionizing room is usually divided into
 three parts. Six large tables are placed down the
room, and at the end of each two, large conveyor belts run.
This makes an enclosure where some of the women have
 to stand in order to work at the tables. They work on both sides
of the tables, but the part inside with the
 belts is called the bull pen. In order to get in there, they have to
walk up six steps and over the belts,
 then down six steps again to the floor. Of course there ain't much
difference working in there than elsewhere,
 except it gets warmer in there and in case of an accident or fire,
 it would be [harder?] to get out.
I was always glad cause I got to work on the outside of the belts."
In regard to working conditions, Mrs. Merryvale continued:
["We?] went to work at seven in the morning and worked until six;
 that is if we had a full run of fruit.
"The foremen are strict, but they were kind, so we hardly ever had any trouble.
 We always had an hour off
for lunch, and a comfortable wash room to [rest and ? in]."
"Mother," yelled Jamie, "can I go down to the corner and watch for daddy.
 Please mam, can I?"
"Will you be real careful and not get in the street if I let you go?"
 His mother asked hesitantly.
"Yes, I'll stay right on the sidewalk. Please can I go?"
"Alright, but don't you stay long if daddy doesn't come. Also, you stay
near where mother can call you." Jamie departed with a bang of the door.
His mother looked after him with reluctance.
"That child and this upstairs apartment make quite a problem. He doesn't
 like to stay up here all the time,
and I can's always be going down with him. I don't want to make
 a sissy out of him by making him stay near
 me all the time, so I let him go out, but I always worry while he's gone."
With Jamie gone his mother reverted to the discussion of living conditions.
'The rent here in this little place is only $8 month, and though it's up [steep?]
 stairs and is pretty hot in summer,
 we have made the best of it. We're trying to save all we can for our farm.
 We do have a nice big bathroom here though,
 and you can't usually get that with cheap rent.' [As?] she talked she walked
restlessly around the room, casting
 an occasional glance through the open window, to see if she could see Jamie.
I have lost three babies since he came, they all died at birth. Sometimes
I'm afraid I ain't agonna have no more.
 It's been a little over a year since the last one come. When I was
 a real young girl a [fortune?] teller at a
 carnival said I would have nine children, and I had sure hoped it
 would come true. But I'm afraid it won't.
 I love children so, and Jamie is such a comfort to me.
Of course children are a responsibility and sometimes lots of trouble,
 but life is made up of responsibilities
and troubles," she added philosophically.
[Heavy?] but firm [step?] was [loud?] [ascending?] the stairs,
 [intermingled?] wit [childish rattle?].
 [?] Frank came in with Jamie clinging to his hand.
[See Mother!?]" the little fellow shouted gleefully, "I found him."
[?] short and [?] blue eyes and fair hair, and was as thin as his wife was stout.
 His manner was pleasant
 but diffident. After extending his greeting by shacking hands,
he sat down in a chair near a table and
listened to our conversation. Jamie climbed up into his lap and the
[newness?] of his grimy little overalls
 and blue shirt made a sharp contrast against the worn and patched ones of his father's.
As our conversation continued he grew more alert and joined in to tell us of his work.
"I am off today," he said, "for I'm gonna work tonight in the dew-dustin.
 I am just a common grove laborer,
 but I been a-workin at it for most five years now.
"It ain't ever laborer that can dust like Frank can!" exclaimed Ella with pride.
 So they always send for
him when it comes to that. It does take some skill and the foreman says Frank
is a real specialist in it."
Now, now Ella, I wouldn't say that, but it is a different work from most labor.
I like it better too for it's cooler in the groves at night and [somehow?]
 the work is [easier?]. Workin on
moonlight nights specially, seems like there is kind of a [?] to it," he added softly.
The night work pays 25 and hour and the day labor only 20. So that's another
reason I like dustin better,
 for that extra five cents sure mounts up. We need it too bein we're tryin to
 get our farm ready to move to.
I guess Ella's done, told you about that, though; she's usually so proud she
has to talk." He [put?] a fond
glance toward his wife.
We have 40 acres of good farmin land down south of here in this county.
 We also have some lumber toward
 buildin our house. I'd like to have a big stock farm like one of my
uncles use to have up in Georgia one time,
 but I can't do that as [we?] start. I aim to raise vegetables and hogs,
we already got three fine hogs to get us goin.
 We sure is aimin to make some money one of these days[!]" he exclaimed.
He paused to roll a cigarette and after lighting it [resumed?].
I 'ave been with this [?] Company and the Sebring [?] from the time I stared citrus work.
I reckon they are
the best company there is to work for. When they's workin us as day labor,
 they give us 20 an hour for a ten
hour day, but only works us nine hours. That means we get one hour for
 [lunch?] on company time. Most of
the companies don't do that, neither, and the men don't like it so well.
We meet at the office every morning and company trucks carries us to the groves.
 When we get there our work
begins at seven and ends at five. We ain't paid for the time we are being
carried to the grove, but if we finish
one grove and they send us to another, they pay us for the time it takes to transport us.
"The night work is a little different and the hours ain't so regular. When we're
 pruning it's the same way; we
[get?] so interested in it that we won't take a full hour for dinner."
He stopped again for Jamie had fallen asleep. He shifted the child gently and rising,
 stepped into the adjoining
 room and deposited the lad on the smaller bed. When he returned he [admonished?] his wife.
[Ellen?] look at that pink geranium! What makes it so [?] up? It looks like you ain't
 put no water in it lately.
[Ella?] rose [?] and went the her flowers, only to discover that the [?] had slipped
from the bottom and let
the moisture drain away. She excused herself while she remedied the matter, and
[Frank?] and I continued our [discourse?].
"She sure does think a lot of her flowers," he said, "and I think they're right
pretty, too, but I never could
mess around with them like she does. "But gettin back to my work. When it
[rains?] the company always [sends?]
 for us in their big trucks covered with tarpaulins, but of course
 we're out then as out time stops.
We got a mighty good foreman too, he is [?] and doesn't drive us
all the time like some men do. But you know,
 there ain't no money in workin for the other guy, I found that out
a long time ago, so that's the reason
I'm so anxious to get out on my own place.
When I first went to work I was just a boy; I ain't but 24 now.
I useter make one dollar a day hoeing grass,
 and I usually worked three days a week. Gee, was I proud! I never was
on the relief but once and that was for one day.
 I made $1.50. Later I did go to CCC camp, but they sent me way out to western
 Louisiana and I got homesick,
so I quit and come back after six weeks. I've been married so long now that the
 homesickness don't bother me no more.
 My folks are up in Georgia now. My pa, he's a supervisor of a peach orchard.
The homesick statement brought a note of derision from Ella.
You'd think he was a real old married man, from the way he talks, now wouldn't you?"
She laughed heartily, while Frank answered.
Well, we been married seven years now, and ain't that a long time, especially
 when I was only 17 to start with.
 But really," he added earnestly, "I'm mighty glad I married so young because
 I'd already started to be a mighty
bad fellow. Even when I wasn't much bigger than my little fellow, I started
 to smokin and chewin, and it wasn't
long before I was drinkin too. I was also bad at fighting and [caronsin?].
Sometimes I tease Ella about bein a little older than me, but I sure am glad
 I got her, for it wasn't long after
 we married that I quit all my bad habits. She didn't never fuss at me, but was
just good and kind to me, and when
 I seen it went agin her I quit.
"I ain't a church member, but she's a Baptist and a good worker too. All I believe
is to live the best I know how.
 Anyway I [wanta?] be real sure I know how to behave before I goin a church.
 I see so many folks in church who
 don't seem to be livin right in most ways, and I just ain't got no hankerin
to be like them.I expect I'll join in time to come through, and of course
 I'll go with Ella. Getting up, he tiptoed toward the bedroom.
"I got somethin I wanta show you."
He returned in a few minutes his arms filled with agricultural bulletins.
"Just look at all these Gover'ment bulletins that Ella gets.
 They tell her how to raise flowers and how to
 cook right and what to cook.
She's always sending for them and she reads every one what comes too.
 She ain't had much education in school,
 and I haven't neither, but she's always improvin herself by readin.
 I don't take to readin though, seems
like I can't never get my mind to it.
"Ella has even fixed out a budget. It's a thing that lets you live on so
 much, so you can save the rest.
Of course we don't stick to it much, but it seems we can't cause there ain't
never enough money to go around.
 Then things is gettin so costly all the time. But it helps some and Ella
 has sure tried hard to make it work,
 for she's like me, she's aimin to get that farm as soon as she can."
Frank beamed with pride at his wife; she seemed pleased but a trifle embarrassed.
"In my work I average around $15 a week. Sometimes though when the citrus
is slack I haul wood and sell it.
 That don't bring much neither, cause I have to hire a feller, what has a truck,
 to help me. I have a small car I use in my work sometimes, especially when
 I'm sent out on a job alone and the company ain't got time
to take me, but it ain't no good to me in haulin wood.
"I don't know just how much it would take for us to have a good livin.
 Of course our food don't cost us much,
then our daddies sends stuff from their farms ever now and then."
At this Ella went in to the kitchen and returned with a pan of smooth
yams which her father had sent her.
Then she brought out a palatable looking section of white bacon to show me;
 this come from one of Frank's uncles in Georgia.
"I have figured out expenses a lot," Ella said, "and if we consider
 the improvements we want to make on the
farm so that we could live there, it would take around $150 a month
for sometime. After that we might be independent.
"I sure hope we can get out on that farm before long, even if we can't
build nothin but a little shack.
Farm life seems so much better than here in town. Believe me I'd sure
never want to live in no city on the
little that Frank makes, and us not havin no more education that we got.
"But I'd sure love to be in the city when they have those big political
 meetings. Gee it must be a lot of
 excitement and fun!" [her?] eyes sparkled with the idea.
"Now there you go gettin yourself in politics again," her husband laughed.
"I don't take much stock in those things," Frank continued. "But I wouldn't
 mind goin to a big meetin myself.
 We have one at Oak Grove near Venus on the 4th of July, and it's always the
 start of the Democratic campaign.
 But Ella, she really wants to attend a honest-to-goodness big meetin.
I tell her she oughta try and get herself
 elected to the state and national committees, if she wants to see that sort
of thing in a big way.
"We are both Democrats but I don't usually vote. Ella always does, she says
 it's a great privilege, but it seems like a responsibility to me. Anyway,
how do we know that the people we help elect will
do the right thing by us? Then if they go wrong,
 all we can do is blame ourselves and it just don't suit me."
"Now Frank," Ella scolded, "you know it ain't right to look at
 it in that way. We all have to vote in order to
be good American citizens.
Suppose we lived in one of them there countries where they have
 dictators, and you were made to vote a certain way.
 Wouldn't that be awful?
Here in [our?] good, free country things are so different, and we
 gotta do all we can to keep it that way.
"Of course we all make mistakes in that, just like we make them
in other things, but I still think we should try.
 It ain't always that the folks we vote for, does us wrong.
Suppose everybody hadda felt like that in the last
national election. Where would we be now? Well, there ain't no tellin.
 I think folks did a mighty wise thing
 when they elected President Roosevelt to office again. And I hope
I have the privilege of votin for him to
get a third term. Yes, I sure do!" Her eyes gleamed with the [?] of her argument.
Frank laughed heartily and arose.
"Well, it ain't exactly polite to fight before company, so I reckon
 I better get out. I've got to find Bill
anyway and see if he wants to help me go for wood tomorrow."
After bidding me good day, he turned to Ella and kissed her, then he
tiptoed in to the little one and ran his fingers through the [?] curly [head?].
When the sound of his footsteps died away as he went down the stairs,
 Ella resumed her discussion of politics
 and the country in general."Now, what other country has ever showed
so much help for its poor folks? And it's
only been since Mr. Roosevelt went in to office. I often wonder what
will happen if he doesn't go on with the work,
 but surely someone else will take it up and go on. It would be all
 right to stop it if the poor folks could help
 themselves, but they can't, and they ain't poor through no fault of their's.
"Now you take this here examination that Jamie and me took the other day
for tuberculosis, we never could have done
 it if it hadn't been for the State Board of Health and the Gover'ment,
I reckon. We went to the schoolhouse
and had the tests made. Jamie showed negative, and that surprised me
for a doctor once told me that he had
 mighty weak lungs. I have always worried about him, and I was sure glad
to get the chance to find out for sure.
"My test showed positive, but the man said that didn't mean an active case.
 I might have had it years ago and got
 over it, but the test would show the scar wouldn't it? I wasn't
 surprised when they told me I had it,
 for my grandpa, my father's daddy, lived with us when
I was a little girl and for ten years before he died
he was sick with slow consumption. So I reckon I got it from him.
"I'm [fat?] I know, in fact I'm a lot overweight for my height,
 but the nurse said that didn't mean anything,
because you can have tuberculosis just the same."
As she talked, she kept glancing in a mirrow trying to reassure herself.
"They come back this week and took X-rays of me, but said it would be
two months before I heard from them.
If I have consumption, they'll give me free treatment, that is
 if I ain't able to pay for it myself."

Federal Writers' Project
Paul Diggs
Lakeland , Florida
January 6th, 1939
Threet, Dan and Amelia
Washington Park Lakeland, Florida
(Commonly known as Doc Threet)
Located on the West side of "Washington Park" lying between 7th St, in North Lakeland , (commonly known as Teaspoon Hill) is located Dan and Amelia Threet. He is known by all as Doc Threet. They live in a four room house that was once set aside for a community house in the Park. Some years ago this plot of ground was donated to the City by Mr. Vinc Stephenson, who is known as Judge, he was once a Justice of Peace in Lakeland . This white gentleman deeded this track of land to the City of Lakeland to be used as a Park for Negroes. In 1910 the City of Lakeland accepted it. In 1926, Louise Rochelle (now Louise Diggs) organized a group called, "The Civic Improvement League" saw fit to improve it. In making their plea to the City Fathers, they were granted the necessary funds to make the necessary improvements. At that time in 1926, they erected a band stand, layed cement walks, and built tennis courtswith lights for night playing. A sun dial was placed east of the band stand, and a building to the west side for a community house. The park has numerous water oaks scattered in it, which makes it a very desirable place to relax. During the year of 1934 the F E R A remodeled the band stand. In the mean time through the popularity of this beautiful park, there was need for someone to care for it. L.B. Brown was first given the priviledge to live in this cottage. After he left in 1935. Doc, was given the job as care taker. This position he holds today along with the responsibility of taking care of other City owned property built for Negroes in Lakeland , Florida. The Colored Auditorium, and the Colored Library. Doc, was approached for an interview. He was sitting on the porch smoking. He said, "come in and have seat." "Well I am nothing but a hard working man, and there is not much that I can tell, But I have seen plenty go on here in Lakeland . This conspicuous character is seen daily around, and is known by all of the older citizens, and boys and girls who visit the Park. He is very pleasant and obliging at all times. Doc is five feet and six inches in height, weigh on hundred and thirty five pounds, dark brown in complexion, with a few gray hairs visible in his head. " I was born in Valdosta, Georgia. My parents were [Wash?] and and Hattie Winn. After the death of my father, my mothered again to Nero Threet There were share-croppers on a large farm, and I remained [on?] the farm [nd?] worked part of the time. Doc's family only consisted of his two sister, Viola and [rosa?], (deceased) " I remained on the farm until I was ten years old, during that time I attended school. I was taken to Florida by my uncle Charlie Williams. They settled in Layfette County. I married my wife Amelia Roberson, August 18, 1898 and later came to Lakeland , Florida, in December 1914." "I recall the first jail, which was a one story wooden building located in front of the Adair Atheletic Field, on North Florida Avenue, near Third Street. This spot is now the home training ground for the Detroit Tigers. And is considered one of the best training grounds in Florida." "There were only three houses located this side of Pear St. They were located in groves and woodland. One of the houses I " " While in Georgia I learned my A B C's. We studied out of the Blue Back Webster. I lived in a town called Luraville, where I was made to attend school four months out of the year. I went to school often and on for sixteen years. I went as far in the Arithmetic as the United States Money. At that time that was considered good. Prof. W.A.Rochelle, the principal of the Elementary Department at Washington Park High School taught me for a couple of years in Lauraville. He was considered a fine teacher at that time. Through my schooling, what little I had, it has made me see what I could do for my childrens Some have finished the High School, and [om?] the grades. All of them are able to know right from wrong." "Lottie Mae and Farabelle live with me, they both have finished the Washington Park High School. Lottie Mae works on the N Y A, assisting in the recreation department. Farabelle remains at home and takes care of her mother who has a stroke in December, 1937. Farabelle is not a very well girl, at times she suffers with her heart." Farabelle was sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair. She is very [pleasant?] and seems to be very dutiful around the house. Lottie Mae was sitting in her mother's bed room talking to her mother. Both girls were neatly dressed. Lottie Mae asked how the people liked the Pageant that was held at Bethel A M E Church. She was one of the participants in the play. Those away from home are Nero, ( who is married and lives in [?], a colored section of Lakeland .) Alice, ( she is married and lives on 8th St,) K. C. Hattie and Rosa are away from home and are still single. " When I was sixteen I began working in the gin mill, ginning cotton. I stayed on this job until I became boss man. At that time there was plenty of cotton growing in the northern part of the State. My first job in Lakeland was with the American Express company. I was a helper during the Christmas Holidays. Afterward they kept me because I was a good worker. Later they cut help [and?] kept the old helpers. I looked [around?] and found a job with the Lakeland Manufacturing Company, hauling lumber. On this job I received $ 1.50 per day. " " After working for several years, I began carpenter work, and taking contracts for grubbing. This I followed until I accepted a job with [the?] [Washington?] Park High School, as janitor. I began working on this job in 1930, and remained until [1935?]. They paid me $60.00 a month. I learned a great deal on this job by coming in contact with the teachers. Of course I lost out on this job due to colored folks mouth. A lie was told on me, and I could never straighten it out." " During this time I became ill, and nearly lost my health, after going [?] [relief?]. You remember whenyou put me on relief ,when you [had?] charge at the Old Colored Hospital. Well soon afterwards they sent you away, and the treatments I took put me [back?] on my feet. After I was able to work again, the City gave me more work taking [care?] of the grounds and the building for our people." " I clean up the Auditorium and the Library [and?] take care of the grounds. They pay me $44.00 a month. Of course this amount is not enough to take care of my family. What little bit Lottie Mae makes goes for her clothes. You see she is young, and needs pretty things like other girls to wear. I try hard to look after everything in connection with my work. What I am [thankful?] is that I have a good boss [man Mr. derman?] is the Director of the Recreation Department of the City of Lakeland, Florida. " Speaking of voting- thats something that a man has to know what he is doing.I use to vote regular in the City [elections?], but of late I have only registered. I workedfor the city folks and if I go messing in politic I might vote for the wrong man, and off goes my head. No Siree! I don't fool with voting. You know a half loaf of bread is better than no loaf. I [mean?] it is better for folks to be satisfied with what they have sometime than to be grabbing ,and miss out. You know what them old one's will do, but you have no guarantee on them [ne?] one when they get in office." " I need my job now, with my wife sick in there. She is helpless and we have to tote ' her from place to place. Now what would I look like fooling around now. Huh! all I can do is to attend to my own business." " All of my life I have had good jobs, and made a living for my family." Amelia, who can hardly talk, expressed herself at this remark, and [said?], "he certainly has taken care of his family and is doing a man's part now." Amelia [sits?] in a rocking chair during the day time, when the weather is good she [i?] moved to the front porch, and allowed to sit in the sun. " [You know?] I thought I was a goner when I was stricken down with [rhumatism in 1933?]." Doc said. " I worried more than I should, but thanks the good Lord I am still able to work and take care of my wife." "That's the reason why I try to keep faith with [God?]. I have always been religious. I have been a member of Bethel [A M E?] Church ,located on North Dakota Avenue[,?] for twenty seven years. My whole family belongs to this church. I have [served?] in every office in this church. I have been Sunday School Superintendent for thirteen years . I don't go to church as regular as I should. I hate to say it, but if you don't have money [now?] there is no need of going to church, you don't get that old time religion any more." " I need all the money I can rake and scrape. My medical bills is awful high. Every time you call a Doctor it takes your weekly salary; to say nothing about the cost of the prescription. I still [feel?] the effects from my rhumatism, and take some little pills now and [then?]. Farabelle,hasto [have?] medicine too. All of this expenses [fall on?] me." The little cottage contains four rooms, very badly in need of painting on the exterior, the rooms are very small and the walls are [?] with beaver board, two of the rooms are used [for?] bed rooms, kitchen [and?] a bath room that is modernly equipped. They have [the?] use of electricity furnished by the City free, and their rent is likewise. Doc has built on the north side of the house a small stand from which he sells snowballs, candy, soft drinks, and etc. This priviledge is granted by the City. In front of the [house?] there are benches scattered around under the water oak that give shade to the place. There are flowers and shrubbery growing in front of the house. In the back of his house he has wired in a large [space used?] for chickens. Penned up in a small box was a coon, that was [captured?] when he was small. Doc has tamed him, on taking him out of the box he climbed all over his head and shoulders. Doc, in talking drifted back to his childrens, stating that one [was?] drowned while swimming in a clay hole, nother was accidently shot by a boy [playing?] with a gun. The rest died natural deaths [from?] illness. Amelia said, " that she was a good women when she was well. I was a mother of thirteen childrens, only seven living now. If all of my children [had?] married I don't know what would have happened to me. Since I got [in?] this fix." Amelia is very small and her [lower?] limbs [look?] like they have wasted away since she has been unable to walk. Amelia said, " that her appetite was very good, and she like plenty of chicken." The general appearence of the interior was clean. the bed rooms were furnished with inexpensive furniture. Lottie Mae begged to be excused, and [ent?] into the kitchen to prepare dinner. She was asked what good things she was preparing. She said, "my mother has to have some special things cooked. But we like most anything. My father is a great meat eater, but we don't give him very much since he had that sick spell, We use a plenty of vegetables with corn bread and biscuits. We eat very little sweets because we can't afford them. I studied home economics while in [High?] School, and I understand what is good for people to eat. I am a pretty good cook if I must say so. Ha! Ha!. Maybe I will get a good husband some day. Doc said, "you aught to get a good husband." Lottie Mae replied, " Changing her attitude about a good husband, what for? to starve to death. Men now of days can hardly take care of them selves. Muchless trying to take care of a wife." As the conversation ran on about marrying, Doc said, " all [young?] girls should marry before it is too late." Doc is very handy around the house, most of the article built [around?] his [place?] was made by him. He showed me a chair that was built, which [was?] durable and well built. He is considered a home man. When not busy round the park attending to the lawns and shrubbery, he can be found sitting on the front porch near his little shop chatting with friends who constantly visit the place. Farabelle is considered a good tennis player, and she makes use of the tennis court that is about fifty feet form the house. Lottie mae is musical and has a nice voice, and some what interested in [dramatics?]. She recently assisted with a WPA play This seems to be the way that they find pleasure in their liesure time activities.

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Thank you Odell