Andrew Blevins

Interviewed by: Cassidy Hayden
Date of Interview: Spring 2011
Interview Location: Saltville, Virginia

Cassidy Hayden reports:

"The reason I interviewed my grandfather, Andrew Blevins, is because I knew he did not always have the easiest life. He grew up during one of Americas hardest economic trials. As he grew he had to work from the day he was old enough, until the day he was no longer physically able to. My grandfather has many factual and folk tales he shares with me daily. He grew up in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, and was transformed into a man in the coal fields."

Question:Where were you born ?

Blevins: Grundy, Virginia

Question: What day were you born?

Blevins: September 21, 1941

Question: Did you have any brothers or sisters?

Blevins: I have 3 sisters.

Question: What were your sibling’s names?

Blevins: Wanda, Margaret, and Mary.

Question: Were you the youngest or oldest of your siblings?

Blevins: I am the next to oldest child.

Question: Did you have any “step” parents/brothers/sisters?

Blevins: no

Question: Did you attend elementary school?

Blevins: yes

Question: Where and what was the name of your elementary school?

Blevins: We never really called it by any other name than the school house

Question: How big was your school?

Blevins: There was about 20 other youngin’s in it

Question: Who was your best friend in elementary school?

Blevins: A boy named Homer; we were like two peas in a pod.

Question: Do you still keep in touch with one another?

Blevins: No, Homer passed away.

Question: What were your hobbies when you were a younger child?

Blevins: I used to love to hunt and fish, I still do. I used to love building things too.

Question: Were you responsible for any chores?

Blevins: I was the man of the household after dad left, I was responsible for almost every chore around the house.

Question: Did you have any pets?

Blevins: We had so many pets, we loved animals.

Question: What animal was it, and what was its name?

Blevins: Too many pets to name, but my favorite was a horse named Jack.

Question: Did you attend any middle/high school?

Blevins: I went to school ‘til about eighth grade, then I had to go off and work.

Question: What age did you get your first job?

Blevins: I worked small jobs from the time I was old enough, but then I started workin’ in the mines once I got old enough.

Question: What was your first job?

Blevins: I reckon the coal mines.

Question: As a teenager did you have a lot of responsibilities?

Blevins: Yes I had a lot of responsibilities; I had to take care of my family.

Question: If so, what were some of them?

Blevins: : I had to help momma clean, cook, and take care of my sisters; I had to do everything that they wanted.

Question: What is one of the most important things that happened while you were a teen?

Blevins: I guess makin’ a livin’ for my family.

Question: How old were you when you got your first girlfriend?

Blevins: I didn’t have time to have a girlfriend until I had done grown up.

Question: What was her name?

Blevins: I don’t really remember

Question: Did you find school easy?

Blevins: I got by school just fine, I don’t know if it was real easy or not though.

Question: What were some of your hobbies you had while you were a teen?

Blevins: Huntin’, fishin’, just bein’ a boy.

Question: What was your job while you were a young adult?

Blevins: Working in the coal mines.

Question: At what age did you become engaged and married to your wife ?

Blevins: I was about 22 when I got married.

Question: How long were you two an item?

Blevins: Just a couple years.

Question: Were you in any branch of the military?

Blevins: Yes I was in the Army, but not by my choice.

Question: What were some of your hobbies?

Blevins: Just makin’ a livin’

Question: Who was your best friend?

Blevins: My wife of course

Question: What every day responsibilities did you have?

Blevins: Cooking, cleaning, workin’ on my own family.

Question: Were you close to your family?

Blevins: I was very close to my sisters and mother. I did not know my father.

Question: What age did you have your first child?

Blevins: : I was about 30 or so.

Question: What is your job?

Blevins: I am retired.

Question: Who are you married to?

Blevins: Your nana, Reba Louise Blevins; but everyone calls her Cossey.

Question: How long have you been married?

Blevins: I think about 48 years.

Question: How many children do you have?

Blevins: We have 3 wonderful children; they mean the world to me.

Question: What are their names?

Blevins: Reba Lahoma Hayden, Virginia Dawn Bowman, and Andrea Willie Blevins

Question: Do you have any grand/ great grandchildren?

Blevins: I have 3 grandchildren, you guys are the greatest children ever made.

Question: What are their names and ages?

Blevins: Kelsey LeAnn Medley, 20 [years old], Cassidy Drew Hayden, 15 [years old], and Caroline Eve Hayden, 7 [years old]. Ya’ll are my babies.

Question: Do you have any pets?

Blevins: I have a buncha’ coon dogs, and a cat.

Question: What are your hobbies?

Blevins: Fishin’, coon huntin’, going to church, and watchin’ my grand-babies.

Question: Do you attend church anywhere?

Blevins: Yes, I go to church every chance I get. I go to Midway Memorial Chapel.