Goldie Marie Horn

Interviewed by: Shane Viars
Date of Interview: November 16, 2006

Shane Viars reports:

"I interviewed Goldie Marie Horn on November 16, 2006. Mrs. Horn is a 72-year-old resident of Buchanan County, Virginia. She has grown crops almost all through her life. She also makes a lot of things that she owns. Mrs. Horn has been a very good interviewee because she has the knowledge of what it was like when she was young, growing crops, making things, and living all together. "

Interviewer: In your lifetime, about how long have you grown crops?

Horn: I've grown crops for about 35 years.

Interviewer: Do you, or have you ever, grown certain crops that are not very common to this area?

Horn: No, it's hard to grow food 'round here because you have to save your own seeds.

Interviewer: Is there any certain way that you grow your crops?

Horn: Well, the only thing that I have ever done different is that I hoe my taters one time, and I hoe my corn two times.

Interviewer: Is there a certain time that you grow certain things?

Horn: Yeah, I usually plant cabbage, maters, and stuff like that right after the last frost, then after I get those, I plant them again, so I can have what they call a 'late patch.' Right after June 10th, I plant my corn.

Interviewer: When you are finished shucking the corn, do you do anything special with the shucks, such as make rugs?

Horn: Well, now I don't make no rugs with the shucks, but I use to put them in pillars and in ticks [editor's note: a mattress], so that what we slept on would be comfortable.

Interviewer: Throughout your life, would you say that you eat more of what you grow or give it to other people?

Horn: Well, I guess I ate more of what we grew than I gave away.

Interviewer: Today, do you rely mainly on what you grow or what you buy in the store?

Horn: I eat most of what I buy in the store since now I don't really grow all that much.

Interviewer: When fixing the food that you grew, do you have a certain way to fix it before you eat it?

Horn: No not really, I fix my food like most other people do.

Interviewer: Do you pickle anything that is grown?

Horn: Yeah, I pickle my corn. I cook it first, put it in a jar, mix hot water with salt, pour till it's just over the corn, and let it set for about ten days before it's ready to be ate.

Interviewer: What are the crops that you pickle?

Horn: I usually pickle stuff like corn, beets, cabbage, and mixed pickles, and sometimes, I pickle beans but not often.

Interviewer: Is there any special way you fix your meat?

Horn: I don't really do anything to it now, but I used to cover it in salt and put it in the smoke house we had in the cold weather.

Interviewer: Do you grow flowers and other plants and, if so, is there any special way that you care for them?

Horn: I mainly put manure and sawdust on all my plants, so they will grow better and bigger.

Interviewer: Do you make a lot of what you own, such as furniture, bedding, etc.?

Horn: Yeah, I used to make my own pillows, quilts, some clothes, socks, gloves, and a few other thangs.

Interviewer: Do you ever make anything from things in nature?

Horn: Well, I have made bandanas that go 'round yer head outta leaves.  I have also made a bow-and-arrow from stickweed and twine, and I have made darts too using branches and nails.

Interviewer: Do you have any special home remedies that you used?

Horn: I have used lots of stuff like Yeller Root and Alum which cures the sore throat; I have put grease from a groundhog on my chest to take care of congestion; I have blown smoke in someone's ear and have also put urination in someone's ear to take care of an ear infection.  We used to mix moonshine and peppermint candy too until it became a syrup type thing, and it was used to cure the cold and flu.  We also made sassafras tea from a sassafras tree to also take care of a cold.

Interviewer: Do you think that the home remedies you use is better than medicine?

Horn: Yeah, mostly, 'cause most of the medicine doctors give you hurts you in another way, so I think that everyone should just stick to the way they used to do it. Plus, it would be a lot less money to waste.

Interviewer: Would you prefer to go to the doctor or rely on home remedies?

Horn: I would go to the doctor just so I can make sure that I don't have nothing wrong with me that I can't fix myself.

Interviewer: What do you think of the government of the United States today?

Horn: I think that it isn't good.  Bush doesn't know how to run a country, and he doesn't care about the working-class people. But I don't wanna go on in to details if that's alright with you. [Interviewer: That's fine.]

Interviewer: Speaking of work, would you rather work be done by hand or by computers?

Horn: It should be done by hand because there would be more jobs for people, the jobs would be safer, and I would say that the stuff made would be made better than it would if a computer did it.

Interviewer: Do you think electronics are good for Americans?

Horn: Yeah. [Interviewer: Why?] Because it is faster to get things done if you have electronics like a microwave, and it is faster to get information about stuff too.