Mildred Patrick

Interviewed by: Carry Mounts
Date: April 16, 2007

Carry Mounts reports:

"I interview Mildred Patrick. She is seventy-eight years old, and she was born on February 21, 1928. Mildred Patrick is my great-great grandmother. Her occupation throughout her lifetime consisted of a housewife and helping her husband run their garage that they had. She might have been a woman, but she knew what she had to do and when she had to do it."

Interviewer: What school did you attend?

Patrick: Just Whitewood school I attended that school down here at Cole's Chapel until they built this high school in 1940.

Interviewer: Was it a one room or multiple room school?

Patrick: It was a one room school. I carried water in a bucket from down at my grandma's to drink, and everybody drank out of the dipper. You got a whipping with a switch.

Interviewer: How many grades did one class cover?

Patrick: Through seventh. Didn't have no kindergarten back then just first grade primer is what they called it.

Interviewer: What type of transportation did they have?

Patrick: Two feet. Walked 'bout two or two and a half miles.

Interviewer: How far was it to the nearest grocery store?

Patrick: My grandma had a grocery store, so we went to it since it was just down the road at Don Lowe's house.

Interviewer: When did your family get their first vehicle?

Patrick: Daddy got a car when I was guess five or six years old. I didn't get one back then; I had to wait until I got married. You walked, rode a horse, or wagon.

Interviewer: While growing up did your family have power?

Patrick: No not till 19 and 47. We had oil lamps. We didn't know nothing bout candles back then. I was done married . . . I was bout 18 years old. March in '47.

Interviewer: How did the girls dress then in school to they way they do now?

Patrick: You wore broomstick skirts, plain dresses; some were made out of feed bags.

Interviewer: What kind of daily chores did you have to do?

Patrick: I had to fix supper while mommy and then milked cows, got eggs from chicken house, drew water from the well with bucket, and got in coal and wood for cook stove the next morning.

Interviewer: What kind of food did you have to raise on your own?

Patrick: We raised chicken, pork, all kinds of vegetables, milk, churned our butter, milk from cows, hogs for bacon. Bees for honey.

Interviewer: Were there any food that had to be specially raised and/or prepared?

Patrick: The corn had to be grinded for meal. It had to be taken to a water or griss mill. Griss mill is where they grinded the corn I think. You had apple trees, pears, grapes, and peaches if frost didn't kill them. You made lye soap. She washed clothes with that.

Interviewer: What did kids do for fun back then?

Patrick: Swing on a grapevine swing, hide-and-seek, tag or softball.

Interviewer: Were you given an allowance and if not when you were given money what was it for?

Patrick: It wouldn't till after I went to the high school that I was given money to buy an ice cream, pop, chips from the little snack bar. You could get pop for ten cents back then.

Interviewer: How many new shoes or clothes did you get in a year?

Patrick: bout 2 pair. One to wear to school and one to wear to church. Sunday dress one or two or three to wear to church on Sunday.

Interviewer: Was it a regular thing to attend church services?

Patrick: Yeah, that was the only place to go. There wasn't no place to go, no movies or nothing. After church we'd go to my grandma's or sometimes we'd go to Uncle Butches house or Uncle J's. You worked all the time expect on Sundays.

Interviewer: At what age were you allowed to start dating?

Patrick: I guess about 15 or 16; I guess 15, I guess. That is when I started going with your Papaw, but I had boyfriends earlier that mommy and daddy didn't know about. You didn't go out, so they came to your house. The only place you went out was to church.

Interviewer: How did you meet your husband?

Patrick: Well I had went to my sister's to stay the weekend, and he came over, and I caught his eye. I would ride the bus to the foot of the mountain and then walk up to my sisters.

Interviewer: When did you get married and was it a traditional wedding?

Patrick: I eloped. He came up here and picked me up one morning, and he waited till mommy and daddy were gone. One of my friends got my dress for me, and we were married in Bristol, VA.

Interviewer: How long were you married?

Patrick: We were married fifty years. He has been dead for eleven years, so we've married for sixty-one years.

Interviewer: In the years that you have lived and from what you have seen, would you go back to then or live now?

Patrick: Well some things were better back then, but today you have more convenient things. You got more things now than you did then.