Lola Wimmer

Interviewed by: Katherine White
Date: April 4, 2007

Katherine White reports:

"I interviewed Lola Wimmer of Whitewood, Virginia. She was born on April 13, 1933 and she has worked in the school system off and on for 25 years. She enjoys working at school and having kids come to her with their problems. She is known as Mawmaw at school because she is just like a grandmother to every child at school for the reason that she is such a great person. She has three children all of which are sons and two that are twins. She has raised two of her grandsons and has enjoyed every minute of it very much. She has been very blessed to do so. "

Interviewer: When and where were you born?

Wimmer: I was born April 13th, 1933 in Jolo, West Virginia, in a log house in which I grew up.

Interviewer: How many siblings did you have and where were you among them?

Wimmer: I had one sister who is two years older than I am.

Interviewer: How did your family get their income?

Wimmer: My dad was a logger; my mother ran a boarding house, and my sister and I packed buckets for the guys going into the woods. We were up at four in the morning doing that.

Interviewer: Did you grow a lot of the food that you ate growing up?

Wimmer: We always had a cow for milk and butter, chickens, and a garden. We weren't rich, yet we weren't poor, but we raised our own stuff.

Interviewer: Did you sell to or buy necessities off of other families?

Wimmer: We borrowed if we didn't have it. We always helped out each other.

Interviewer: Did you do a lot of the work in raising the crops?

Wimmer: Yes going to the corn field of the evening after school until dark doing everything.

Interviewer: Did you plant your crops by the signs?

Wimmer: Oh yes. We had a little 'ol book and never planted unless it was supposed to be. Like potatoes were put out on Good Friday. We canned with signs, too.

Interviewer: Did you can most of your food for the upcoming winter?

Wimmer: Yes, and then daddy would dig a big hole in the ground and put wood around it, and we would put apples, potatoes, and cabbage in it and put wood over it. When we needed it, we would get it out. We called that holding-up.

Interviewer: Did you have a farm or farm animals that you would kill for food?

Wimmer: Yes hogs. We did butchering twice a year. We had a smoke house where daddy smoked bacons and hams and salt it down. Mommy would can sausage which was the best.

Interviewer: Did you have to walk a long way to get your water?

Wimmer: Well, we had what mommy called a springhouse where we kept milk and water to keep it cold.

Interviewer: How far did you live from your school and did you have to walk there?

Wimmer: We walked to school, and we never missed even though we had to walk about two miles. I remember we even walked in snow up to our waist.

Interviewer: How many grades were in one room in school where you went?

Wimmer: One through seven in one room maybe 12-14 student cause kids didn't go to school then if they didn't want to.

Interviewer: How did you heat your home?

Wimmer: Fire place in living room. Kitchen, Mommy had a big 'ol cook stove, no heat in the bedrooms just feather beds and good warm quilts.

Interviewer: Did you attend church every Sunday and if so how did you get there?

Wimmer: Two times every Sunday, and we had to walk, but Daddy would always carry me at night because I was the baby.

Interviewer: Did you usually eat the same foods every Sunday after church or if you had a family gathering?

Wimmer: Well we had no choice but to eat the same things like beans, potatoes, cornbread, meat from hog. For breakfast we had ham, biscuits, gravy. Mommy made the best biscuits. We had milk for every meal.

Interviewer: Did you listen to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio every Saturday night?

Wimmer: Yes that was a highlight of the whole week.

Interviewer: What kind of radio did you have?

Wimmer: We had a battery radio and we would save the battery all week for Saturday.

Interviewer: Did anyone in your family own a car?

Wimmer: No I didn't have a car until I was grown.

Interviewer: Did you ride a horse on some occasions?

Wimmer: Mommy's dad had the prettiest horse and would come and take us for a ride on the horse. Learned about trees and animals on those rides up in the holler.

Interviewer: Did you marry young and if so how did you meet your husband?

Wimmer: 19 when I married. Met Bill at a June decoration. It was the one time you would get a new dress, and I had on white shoes. Bill had a car, and we were going to Poppies to eat. Bill said, "Come ride with me," and I said, "No, I'll walk." He then said, "No, you will get those pretty white shoes dirty," so I rode with him.

Interviewer: How long did you know him before you got married?

Wimmer: We dated; he went into the service, and when he got back, we got married on October 28, 1953. He was the only boyfriend I ever had. He was in the service for three years. We met when I was 14, and when he got back, we got married. The first movie I ever saw was with him in Bradshaw.

Interviewer: Did you go to the doctor when you were sick and if you were not very sick did you have a lot of home remedies?

Wimmer: I went to the doctor 1 time. I cut my toe, and mommy took me to the doctor, and he sewed my toe up. Bad colds --caster oil, fried onions on chest; cold or measles Poppy would make a Hot Tottie, which was moonshine, sugar, and water. No matter how sick you were, there was always a remedy you never went to the doctor.