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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Zeno Ponder, March 22, 1974. Interview A-0326. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Family and community come together at the Ponder family farm

Zeno and Nina Ponder own a six hundred acre farm, rent out two lakes, and raise four children. They also host community square dances on their property.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Zeno Ponder, March 22, 1974. Interview A-0326. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Well, what were some other key election years? 1950 was one; 1954 was one. You took control. 1964 was one when you ran for the state senate. It . . . maybe during those ten years some other parts of the mountain culture, you know, were operating in your life. You were building a farm, you were raising a family.
ZENO PONDER:
Well, I . . . yes, during those ten years we were, my wife and me, we were heavily indebted really. We were . . . had the blessing of the four children—three sons and a daughter—and I had this huge farm here. Some 600 acres. It was bought originally. I had added to it and bought some more land and leased quite a bit more. I had, at this point in 64, I had formed three owned, three family operated corporations. Ze-Nina Farms Incorporated which consists of some 400 or 500 head of beef cattle and dairy cattle. Some 5-600 acres of farm land. 18-20 acres of burley tobacco. Growing 2-300 acres of corn a year on this operation. And then Ze-Nina Lakes—and that's Zeno and Nina. My wife's name's Nina. Mine's Zeno, of course. And going from there, you put the two together and you've come up with Ze-Nina. So Ze-Nina Lakes Incorporated consists of two lakes for recreational purposes back down on the west side of the farm. 13 acres of land and big recreation house. We do a little square dancing there every Saturday night during the summer time.
BILL FINGER:
You've been busy.
ZENO PONDER:
Have a 72 foot long front porch 12 feet wide. Two log cabins and a self-supporting roof . . . I promised everybody that if they ever saw another one like it I'd burn mine down and build it again. It's just different.