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Title: Oral History Interview with Ethelene McCabe Allen, May 21, 2006. Interview C-0316. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Allen, Ethelene McCabe, interviewee
Interview conducted by Allen, Barbara C.
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 220 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-11-20, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Ethelene McCabe Allen, May 21, 2006. Interview C-0316. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0316)
Author: Barbara C. Allen
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Ethelene McCabe Allen, May 21, 2006. Interview C-0316. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0316)
Author: Ethelene McCabe Allen
Description: 201 Mb
Description: 44 p.
Note: Interview conducted on May 21, 2006, by Barbara C. Allen; recorded in Unknown.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series C. Notable North Carolinians, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
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The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Ethelene McCabe Allen, May 21, 2006.
Interview C-0316. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Allen, Ethelene McCabe, interviewee


Interview Participants

    ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN, interviewee
    BARBARA C. ALLEN, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
It is Sunday afternoon. We are back with Ms. Ethelene Allen. We had to interrupt our previous session because her grandson came by with his child and two stepchildren. All right, we were talking about your father. Please tell me his name again.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
George Emmitte McCabe and he was called Emmitte. He was called "Little Emmitte" in his earlier days because he had an uncle Emmitte that he lived with after his dad died.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
His uncle Emmitte was called Big Emmitte. Is that correct?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Big Emmitte and Little Emmitte.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
When was your dad born?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
1908, March 3rd. I think it was the 3rd or 2nd, I'm not sure now, I've forgotten.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
We can verify that through Patricia, the genealogist.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh yes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Where was he born?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I guess he was born in Elevation Township. I never heard any other.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
As far as you know, but you're not sure. Patricia would probably have that information too.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How old was he when he died?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
The grandfather?
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Your father.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, my father.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
We're skipping ahead to when he died.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He was fifty.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What year did he die in?

Page 2
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
'58.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What did he die of?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
A cerebral hemorrhage, a stroke.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He was living out here in Elevation Township when he died?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
In that house. Was he living in the same house that you had moved to on that last move of yours before you got married?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How far was that from here, from where you all were living?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
A mile.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
A mile.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Can you describe his character to me? Can you tell me what he was like, generally?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
It's hard to describe, I guess. I never really thought about it that much.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did he get angry?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Sometimes he got angry! Sometimes he would—sometimes he would lose patience with Mama. He might sling a cook pot out in the yard. [Laughter] I remember one occasion when he did that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Why did he sling a cook pot out in the yard?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't recall what it was all about. But they were arguing. Mama could be critical of things, if they weren't like she thought they ought to be. Some people would even call it nagging. She could do some things like nagging somebody and that's the way he took it, maybe. Sometimes he'd get angry. But mostly he was fairly calm and relaxed.

Page 3
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did he ever get angry with you or the other children?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Occasionally. More so at Cecil than anybody else, cause Cecil would try anybody. He was something. He got whippings, he got whippings bad enough I felt sorry for him sometimes, even though I knew he deserved them.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What was used when whipping children?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He had a razor strap.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Oh my.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Where he sharpened his razor blade when he shaved, that old timey razor blade. They didn't have the safety razors and they had a razor strap—a piece of leather like thing. Or sometimes his belt, if he was out somewhere and didn't have the razor strap, he could use the belt on him. Sometimes at the house I recall him using a belt.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
On Cecil.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
But now he never beat him with a buckle. He never beat him with things like sticks and buckles and things like that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He never used a peach tree switch or something like that.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't believe he did. He would use a strap more than he did something like that. Now he did a time or two use plow lines—a rope, when that was the most convenient thing to use when he became angry or impatient with him. When he told him something to do and he didn't do it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
But he never struck you?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh yes, there were a couple of times I recall when he did, me and Maverene when we were little. We didn't move as fast as he wanted us to and he had yelled at us and we didn't respond as quickly as we should have. He put a plow line on us one time. He lost patience with us and was angry. It hurt, but we were pretty good little kids. We didn't disobey that much. We were afraid of those whippings. We saw Cecil get them. We didn't want any like that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What about James? Did he get punished?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't recall him ever whipping James, but now James was a good little boy too. He was obedient. He was a good little boy.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Let's go ahead at this point and list your siblings and say when they were born. Now the oldest was Cecil. When was he born?

Page 4
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
'31.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
1931.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
June of '31.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You remember the date?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
June 3rd.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You were next.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
September 10th, '34.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And Maverene?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
September 10th, '36.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And James?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
November 1st, '42.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What—does Cecil have a middle name?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Esco. Starts with an E. E-s-c-o.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Cecil Esco McCabe.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Aunt Nellie came up with that name. I have no idea where she got it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Aunt Nellie gave him that middle name. And your full birth name?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Beulah Ethelene McCabe. I didn't have a birth certificate. There was a midwife that delivered me. Doctors delivered the rest of them. But she had had one and I think it might have been ten dollars to deliver—for the doctor to come out and deliver and it was five dollars for a midwife, so she saved money by having the midwife come and deliver me. I grew up with dark eyes. The others had blue eyes and I had the dark—the brown eyes, like Daddy, and a little darker skin. I tanned easily; it was fair skin, but yet it was—Maverene and the others had the light enough skin that they freckled slightly and I never had a freckle on my face. I just had really smooth skin and no blemishes, except that little tiny mole above the lip. They said the reason I was dark is because the black woman delivered me.

Page 5
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
The midwife?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
The midwife. She was a black lady in the community that did that. She was known as a midwife. She didn't make out a birth certificate for me. Mama didn't realize it was that important at that time. The rest of them got birth certificates but I didn't.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So all the rest were delivered by doctors? At home? Not in a hospital?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
By doctors at home. Not in a hospital. The doctors came out to the home.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And the doctors were all males—white males?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Who would make that comment about you being darker because of—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh my brother Cecil probably started it. He loved to pick and aggravate and do anything he could to—
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Get a reaction.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah. He loved those reactions, like throwing my paper dolls in the fireplace to see how I would react to that. Of course I cried. I was upset about it. Many years later when he said he was—he was somewhat mischievous when he was growing up, but he was never mean, and I disagreed with him. [Laughter] I said I felt like there were things he did that were mean.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Let's go back to your father. Did he show affection to you?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Not really. A lot of people didn't then. Actually my mother didn't, either. They didn't pick you up and hug you. They didn't kiss you or say goodnight to you or anything like that. When Maverene was born, I was two years old that day. After that I knew I was on my own. Mama said I would put myself to bed at night. If she looked around and missed me, she might look for me and I'd be in there in the bed asleep. I'd go to bed on my own and do for myself. I learned that I had to look out for myself. I was fairly independent. I grew up to be independent and take care of my own needs. But, you know, Mama took care of us, but I remember Maverene sitting on her lap a lot, but I don't recall ever sitting on either parent's lap, ever. I do recall one time visiting neighbors. Walked to visit them, that next door neighbors down the road. This was the black family that lived close to us that we thought so much of. I played with the little girl named Dorothy. We called her Dot. We had walked down and visited them. I remember—I might have been four years old, it's one of my earliest

Page 6
memories. They stayed a long time. They would talk about the old times and we would play. Walking back home Mama carried Maverene and he carried me on his shoulder. That's the only time I ever remember being carried—picked up and carried. I did—Mama would go out in the field and work. We were on our own to entertain ourselves. I think I might have been four—that's one of my earlier memories too—just barely remember it. She went out after we had barned tobacco and she went out in the field to pick peas and I knew where she was. So I decided I would go find her. It was getting near night, late in the evening, afternoon. I walked out to the field to find her and I didn't find her where I thought—she probably went out to the other end of the row and came back to the house a different way and I didn't find her. I walked out to the old tobacco barn and I was tired, so I crawled up in one of those old tobacco trucks—had wheels on them and they had burlap up on the sides and I lay down in that wheel truck and went to sleep. So they started looking me. They missed me and didn't see me, so they wondered where I'd got to. They couldn't find me. They just knew I was lost somewhere, so they became frantic. They had all the neighbors looking for me. It was getting dark. I woke up and I walked to the house. It was a good little distance from the house. Oh, they were just overjoyed. Where have you been? I thought, what is all this commotion about? I knew where I was. I was not lost. [Laughter] You know I didn't even take it too seriously because I was not lost. I knew where I was. That was their problem if they didn't know where I was. I went home when I woke up.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You remember all the concern they showed.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I barely remember—I remember the commotion that went on. I don't remember it all. It's somewhat vague, but I do remember there was a commotion about my disappearance and when I walked to the house and they found out I was not really lost. I didn't get a spanking for it or anything, for upsetting them, cause they realized that I just was looking out for myself. I didn't—they was afraid I had wandered off. They didn't know what had happened to me—they were looking in the woods
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
These were your parents looking, both of them, and the neighbors too.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh yeah. They had contacted the neighbors and they were all out scouring the woods and everywhere. But I didn't see it as a serious thing. A four year old doesn't see it as a serious thing.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Was your father easy to talk to?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He's not one I would confide in, anything. We kind of kept things to ourselves. We didn't talk about a lot of things to our parents. We just didn't. They didn't talk about a lot of things in front of us. No we weren't what you would call close. I mean, we relied on them. They would brag on me being a good student as I went on to school and made such good grades. They would brag on how good Ethelene does in school and I felt good about it. I knew my parents

Page 7
were pleased with me and satisfied with me, but they never talked about love or any of those things. They didn't mention the word love. They were—I guess they grew up without anybody saying anything to them like that. They were shy and didn't express their feelings. And it was back there in that time when men didn't express their feelings anyway. There were some certain ones that did in certain families I'm sure but mine was not one of those.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You don't remember any men like that.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, I don't remember any men that expressed their feelings like that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Now, he was a tenant farmer while you were growing up and he died a tenant farmer.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
But he did do some other jobs along the way, didn't he?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, he tried running a little restaurant for one—a grill, just a few short months but he—that was not his thing and he soon realized it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Where was the grill?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
It was near Four Oaks.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What did he cook—hotdogs, hamburgers.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, just sandwich stuff.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And he owned it?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, he rented it. He paid rent. He bought out the inventory and paid rent on the building.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You remember what it was called?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
The Green Cat, of all things.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So that was a grill.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
The Green Cat. They had one of those jukeboxes and people came in and danced. I do believe they—I'm not sure whether they sold beer there or not. I don't recall their selling beer there.

Page 8
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
When would that have been?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
But they had all kinds of drinks. I don't recall them having beer there
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How old were you when he had that?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I was thirteen.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
It would have been after the war—'47 or so.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I guess so.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
It was just a few months.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, couple of months maybe, three months. Maybe from December until March. I think in March then we did start tending Mr. Henry Raynor's place. He was looking for a tenant cause his tenant had died and he didn't have anybody to—they usually were rented by December. People were—had their next year's plans made, so there was daddy without a place to go and so for awhile after he quit that store he put on—he worked on roofing—roofing houses and it was a very cold winter and Mama was concerned about him. Scared to death he would fall off a roof and get hurt. She didn't like him working on roofs. She was real concerned about that and didn't want him working there, so when he found the opportunity to rent that farm he did.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Where had he been a tenant before he opened up the grill?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Over at Smithfield.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Why did he leave that tenant situation?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't know. He—I guess like a lot of people they get tired of what they are doing and they want to change. He probably was about forty. He was close to forty and he might have looked back on his life and thinking he was getting nowhere and he would try something different. I didn't like that grill atmosphere and everything there. I just didn't like it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What was the atmosphere like?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't know, just not the peaceful farm—some people came in and wanted to dance and they were drunk. You had to put up with people that had been drinking and were foolish.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So they didn't drink there but they—

Page 9
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't think they did but they would come in—maybe have their own or something and come in there to get something to eat—a sandwich or something—and play the jukebox and dance. I remember a drunk woman coming in one time. She was foolish, she was talking about "my dog died," and I [unclear] —real sentimental about her dog had died.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Where did you live?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
We did live in a tenement—tenant house on the other side of Four Oaks for just that maybe three months. It was an old house that Gilbert Grady owned. He just had property and rented it out to make money. He didn't spend much money on the place. There was no insulation in it, of course, in none of the houses we lived in, or the one I moved into when we got married. It came a blowing snow one—during that time —probably in January. It snowed into one of the rooms. Came through the roof somehow, up in the attic, blew down on Cecil's bed. He woke up in the morning with his quilts covered with snow. Course it was cold in the room. We had no heat in the house, just an old wood heater that fired up in one room. Wind could blow through the weather board and there was no, not even ceilings in his room, I think, just old weatherboard on the outside. It was pretty open to the weather and it snowed in there on him. I'll never forget that. We still talk—he still talks about how it snowed on him one night [Laughter]
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
I'm sure it was surprising to wake up in the morning.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
With snow on top of your covers.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
But he was warm apparently enough.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, we had feather beds. We had those striped ticking feather beds and feather pillows. Goose down that people had saved from geese long time ago and they had made feather beds. You could drop into that thing, fluff it up and drop into it, put quilts over you. You were fully insulated. You didn't get cold. You could stay warm.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did your mother work at the grill too?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She did. But it's not work that she was suited for either.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What did she do?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, she made sandwiches, washed the dishes, and served the drinks and whatever they ordered.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What did your dad do there?

Page 10
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He operated the cash register and did whatever was needed, talked to the people, was the host, I guess you'd call it. He was a friendly person.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did he name it the Green Cat or was it already—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No it was already named that when he bought it. He didn't name it. To me, I—maybe I felt above [Laughter] that kind of occupation and way of life, cause I didn't hang out at places like that. It was not Mama's kind of thing.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did you do any work there? What did you do?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh I probably did do—I mostly would sit in there in a booth and do—I think there were little booths in there maybe but not tables and chairs. There were little booths you could sit in and drink a cola or eat your sandwich, whatever. People could play the jukebox and dance awhile, then go sit down, rest.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So you sat there and—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I would sit there and do my homework mostly, because that's what I had to do. I would be there but I would do my homework. At thirteen, some of the teenager boys would come in sometimes and flirt with me. I was indifferent toward them.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Had any of them ever been drinking—did they come in and—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, no.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So you just didn't feel comfortable being there.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, I didn't like it. I was glad when Daddy changed. I liked it on the farm.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did he hire anybody to work for him there?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, he paid the brother of the former owner. I think he had worked for his brother. He hired him. He was an Allen. They were Allens, Daniel Allen had owned it and Raymond Allen was the brother. He trusted Raymond with the cash register too. I think he was losing his profit there so he eventually had to call it quits and go out of business. People were breaking in to his storage room, too, and stealing cigarettes and drinks.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He sold cigarettes there.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah. Of course they had to sell cigarettes.

Page 11
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What kind of drinks did he sell? Cola, Pepsi?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, all the kinds they made then. But they would steal cases of them out of the storage room.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So you think the theft became so great that he just
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, I think so. Yeah. Yes. He was losing more than he was making and I always felt like Daddy was too trusting. He was very ethical and moral and he expected everybody else would be, so he trusted people to be as ethical as he was. They just weren't. Some people take advantage of somebody like that. I mean I'm not accusing anybody. I don't know what happened, but something I thought about.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So he went into roofing then.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, he hired out to a roofing man and worked with him for awhile, not long, before he got the—
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
It must have been tough to do that in his forties.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah. Daddy was a little overweight anyway. He had the little round—large waistline—and climbing up and down on top of the roof. He was not used to that kind of thing.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So was it—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
And he was—Daddy was always kind of slow deliberate mover. He was not a fast paced person. He didn't care for that. He was never a carpenter or anything like that. Now he worked for his uncle and I believe I talked about that before, didn't I.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
At the sawmill.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He was good with math.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
But—and he handled the lumber, I don't know what all he did at the sawmill. I don't know if he sawed logs or whatever. But he was young and able then. A teenager. Up to about twenty probably. He could do about anything then.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So was this something he did—the roofing—just until the opportunity to farm came up again. He had missed the season for hiring on as a tenant, was that it?

Page 12
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah. So when this opportunity came up we—he jumped on it. He and Mr. Raynor got along really well. The whole Raynor family and us—we got along really well. Mr. Raynor was a good landlord and he really appreciated Daddy being a good tenant.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
That was then the last landlord he worked for.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
The last place. And he died when James was sixteen and James stayed on. James and Mama stayed on there and worked the farm. Leonard helped them. They worked the farm.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Leonard is your husband.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Mr. Raynor let them stay he was not about to run them off and get somebody else. If they were willing to do it, he was willing to let them stay. So he stayed until he graduated. Then the year he graduated—and he turned eighteen in November. His year he was in his senior year so he was eighteen in November and he stayed on and farmed through the next year. Then along that fall when all the crops were sold they let Mr. Raynor know that they would be moving so he got another tenant. I don't think he had another tenant though. I think he rented the land to somebody and the house he rented it to somebody to live in, just the house, but not the whole farm. I think somebody in the neighborhood, somebody tended the farm, the land, and the tenants just probably some kind of day laborers or something.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Was it unusual back then to allow a widow and a teenage son to farm a place after the—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Didn't happen too much. Cause James had never taken much responsibility. He didn't even have his driver's license when Daddy died. So he had to become a man real fast and get his driver's license and work the tractor. He had never even worked the tractor before. I think Daddy did all that. It was one of those tough old tractors—old tractor that was hard to change gears and all that. But James managed it and he did it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Your husband helped out.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, Leonard helped him some. Without his help James probably couldn't have managed it. He at least told him what and when to do things. He relied on his experience to know when he had to do certain things and he would help him get the machinery right to do it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
When to plant, when to fertilize and all that.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
How to plow. He probably helped him with the cultivators and how to plow. Now when Cecil was growing up we had mules, we didn't have a tractor. Cecil had to plow a mule. In fact, I think we had two mules and daddy

Page 13
plowed one and Cecil plowed one. When he was just a thirteen, fourteen, he was barely—he was small for his size and he was barely big enough to handle a mule and plows. It was a tough job. But he did some of it. James never plowed a mule. He worked with the tractor.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
When did he get the tractor? When did your dad get the tractor?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I guess it was after we moved to that Raynor farm, cause he had to buy a mule. He had sold everything. He had to buy new things to farm with, so he got a new mule. Then later on he bought a tractor. He stayed there a number of years, I don't know how long. Well, it would have been about ten years I guess, from age forty to age fifty.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
When did that house burn down?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
There was a family living in it, but I don't remember when.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
It was before I was born, wasn't it?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Before '67.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah. I don't remember. Several people lived in that house. It was a family of blacks that had moved into it. They had lived in another house and burned it down before they went to that one. They moved in that one and then it burned. I think what it was, if they were old chimneys and they probably had a rip-roaring fire. It was too much for the chimneys and it caught fire in there and burned out. The same thing had happened at the other old farmhouse they had lived in. That was the end of that place. It was a few years after Mama moved out. I don't remember how long it was.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Then—was it then—who did your mother go to live with then?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, she and James had a—they rented an apartment in Smithfield. He worked at some store. I don't remember—some store clerk or something. He got into shipping and receiving clerk. Mostly receiving clerk, I guess, when things came in. He worked at that later, when he moved to Raleigh. He got married, he and his wife moved to Raleigh, and that's when Mama moved in with me. So she came to live with me. She didn't want to live in Raleigh. She didn't know anybody in Raleigh and she wanted to be here in the country where she could—knew people and could be with people she knew and get to visit her sister, Aunt Nellie. She visited her a

Page 14
lot in Smithfield. They spent a lot of time together when she lived over there in Smithfield.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How much education did your father have?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I think sixth grade was about as far as he got. Through sixth grade.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You sure it was through sixth grade. I was thinking it was through third grade.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Noooo! I think he got sixth grade and Mama got seventh grade, but after seventh grade then you went to high school. Eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh was high school and there was no twelfth at that time.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And where was high school then?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
In Four Oaks.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
It was in Four Oaks.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
You had to go to Four Oaks.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So what kind of school did they go to?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Some little country school that had all grades in it. A little small country school, little square school house where they put everybody in there. I guess they had outhouses then, they didn't have running water. A well and outhouses. People took their lunch to school: a biscuit, a piece of salt-cured meat that they had fried at breakfast.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You're talking about when your parents went to school.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, when parents went to school. You asked me how much education they had.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So, he worked as a tenant farmer, he managed a grill, and he was a roofer. Did he ever do anything else?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Not that I know of.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did he ever hire out as labor on other—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What did he do for leisure? Did he have leisure time?

Page 15
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Listened to the radio. Sit and listen to the radio.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Sit and listen to the radio. Do you remember if he had a favorite program on the radio?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't remember programs.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did he like music most of all?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, now, we did listen to that Grand Ole Opry thing a lot, country music, when that was on. I can't remember.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
That's okay.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I remember one that—a mystery that they played. There were some soap operas on the radio that Mama liked to listen to when we were in the pack house sorting tobacco, getting it ready for the market, she would—there was certain shows she liked to hear. Daddy would listen to them too. Young Widow Brown. [Laughter] I don't recall the names of all of them.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
That's okay.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I didn't pay them any attention.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She liked the soap operas and I recall she still liked the soap operas when they went to TV. We would sit shelling peas and she would want to watch the soap operas. But he liked the Grand Ole Opry. Were there any comic routines he liked?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well Mama liked it too. I don't remember the comic routines. There were some of course, but I don't remember.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did he sing at all around the—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, he played a harmonica. He didn't sing, I don't recall ever hearing him sing, but he played a harmonica and he could do a really good job of it. He had his little—he called it a breath harp. He'd pull it out of his pocket or in a drawer wherever he kept it. He would play it once in a while but he wasn't into it that much; we'd have to ask him to and he could do that freight train sound with it. Blow the whistle like the freight train. He could do a lot—he had some musical talent. And he could dance. He danced some out there at that place. That's one thing Mama didn't like. She didn't dance.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
The grill?

Page 16
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She didn't dance. Course I think he danced with some woman one night. She didn't like that at all. [Laughter] Which it was just a dance, but you know, Mama was serious about things like that. She didn't like that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So he was a good dancer.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, he could dance. Kevin got some of his talents from daddy, I think.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And Kevin's my younger brother, your youngest child.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He's very talented in a lot of ways. He can dance, he can draw pictures, he's good with math. He was in the math—not super bowl was it—what was it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
I don't remember.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Some kind of math competition that he was a member of.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And your dad was good at math, too.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
And both my parents read well. They didn't have any problem. They had used their time in school and learned a lot. They weren't ignorant, you know, they knew a lot for—and they continued to read.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What did your dad read?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, he read newspapers. He always subscribed to a newspaper.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Which newspaper was it? Do you remember?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I remember the Goldsboro News Argus and probably the Smithfield Herald back then. Those kinds of papers. The local paper. Whatever was delivered in that area. I don't recall if he—he might have got the News and Observer part of the time.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Patricia recalls him reading
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, I think he did. He got the News and Observer.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So, all the time you were growing up, while he was tenant farming, he subscribed to the newspaper, local papers, and read them?

Page 17
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
And we went to movies. We weren't like a lot of children. And we always got something for Christmas now. Now he was not wealthy, but he saw that his family was taken care of, where some children didn't get anything for Christmas. I learned later—I heard —had somebody tell me one time they were always envious of us because we always got something for Christmas—nice gifts for Christmas. Dolls with doll furniture and things like that, that—
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What kinds of presents did you get?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, we always got a doll when we were young enough.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You and Maverene.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
We each one would get a doll. I remember a Princess Elizabeth doll cause she was young at that time. They made a doll. It was really pretty with the pretty hair. We got a Princess Elizabeth doll. One of us, I don't even remember now which one it belonged to. And there was one called Sunshine. I remember one called Sunshine. We got nice dolls. We might have got a Shirley Temple doll at one time too. I seem to recall one of those. And we got things like globes of the world, maybe a bank, coin bank that was a globe of the world. We got gifts. We went to Goldsboro when we lived down there and of course at Smithfield when we lived in this area. We would go to town and go shopping and Daddy would always give us a little bit of money to spend. For ten cents you could buy something pretty back then. It didn't take a whole dollar, [Laughter] just change.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
There were dime stores.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
They were called dime stores and you could buy things for a dime.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Up in my area there are five dollar stores.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I remember the first time I bought a lipstick and Mama allowed it. I was too young to wear it, but she allowed it. I wore it to school in sixth grade. I paid ten cents for a tube of lipstick at one of the dime stores in Goldsboro. We went to Mount Olive and shopped sometimes. We would go to the movies at Goldsboro on Saturday night when we lived. A lot of Saturday nights we would go to the movies.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You lived in Wayne County for six years. Well, we'll get back to that. So you think maybe he showed his affection for you through making sure you had something for Christmas?

Page 18
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, yeah, he cared for us and he cared about us and he was proud of us, but you know, he didn't talk about it. I guess he figured we would assume that. He didn't have to say it. That's the way people were back then. They didn't say things.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did he curse?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
When he got really angry he would sometimes. But that was rare. It was rare. He wouldn't let us say anything like that. Cecil I think cursed Mama one time and he wore him out [Laughter] for that. Or she might—I remember her getting him one time. He flouted her and sassed her and ran off to the woods when she told him to do something. He ran off to the woods and didn't come back til dark. He came in and ate supper, figured she'd forgot all about it by then. So she said nothing. He ate supper and he went to bed and then she went in there and pulled the cover back and wore—and got him out of bed and wore him out. She told him, "Don't you ever run from me again." [Laughter]
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did your parents keep books in the house?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
We had very few books. Mama would buy a modern romance magazine once in a while. I read them because that was all I had to read. I had library books and I checked out a lot of library books. I read a lot of the library books—the classics and all those.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What about your father? Did he read books?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't recall him having books. Of course they had a Bible, but they didn't read that regularly either. I remember the magazines she would read. He read the newspapers and that was about—probably about all the time they had to put into it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did he play any instruments besides the harmonica?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No. That's the only thing I ever knew about him playing.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He danced. Did he play cards?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Not really. I don't think he was interested in cards. Never with men, anyway. I recall when I was a teenager, my brother liked to play cards. We would get together and play cards—Rook, with some of the neighborhood kids. But I've forgotten how to play it now. I wouldn't even know how to play cards. We played a few games of cards back then with neighbors—Dillard Durham and different neighbors. It was just a fun thing. There was no gambling or betting or anything like that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did your dad ever smoke or dip snuff?

Page 19
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He dipped snuff. He and Mama both dipped snuff. That was the stylish thing back then. They had their snuff boxes and they dipped snuff. My grandmother dipped snuff.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
That was Hattie Crocker.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes. Now the other grandparents—I don't know if they used any of that stuff or not. It's rather doubtful that her daddy did because he was a very clean-living man from what I heard her say. He was a clean-living man.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You mean Ransom Barbour.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, Ransom Barbour, her daddy, Mama's daddy.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So both your parents dipped snuff but they didn't smoke.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No. Daddy would get a pack of cigarettes during tobacco curing time. That's when Maverene and I tried some one time. He had part of a pack left over after the tobacco curing season, laid up somewhere in the house. He just put them up and forgot about them. Cause he didn't care for smoking. He really didn't care about smoking. But he would smoke and puff it around his head to keep the mosquitoes from biting him when he had to sit up with his tobacco barn when he was going up on the heats. You ran it at a certain heat and then when it got to a certain color of curing you had to get the heats up higher. He had the thermometer in there so he could tell. It had to be on—he knew how to cure tobacco. But with an old wood-burning furnace you had to keep throwing in the wood. You had to know how to feed it, so he had to stay up all night some nights to cure tobacco. He would puff a little smoke around to keep down the mosquitoes. Sometimes they would have old trash tobacco that they would—maybe left from a previous season that they threw out or something. They would burn it—set fire to it—and burn it around the barn to keep mosquitoes down, from biting you.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did you ever see him drinking, drink alcohol?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't recall ever seeing him drink it but I do recall maybe six or eight times in my lifetime that I saw he had been drinking some.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What did he act like when he had been drinking?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I really don't recall that. I don't recall him drinking enough to really notice the difference in him. I know he would drink enough that Mama knew he'd been drinking and she would fuss at him, because she despised alcohol. She despised the use of it and she did not want him spending money to buy it because we needed other things. She had seen where some men would buy alcohol and drink it and let their family go hungry. But he never did that, now. Mostly in the fall, when he sold

Page 20
tobacco, he would celebrate with some of the men by having alcohol or if they went to a corn shucking some of the men would pass around a jar of moonshine or whatever. They would share it and all drink some. Course she didn't want him to taste it, so she would fuss. That's what I heard, you know, remember about the drinking more than anything else—her fussing at him. If he bought some and she knew he had some, she was just—obsessed with finding it and pouring it out, not letting him drink it. She would do that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Had anybody in her family drunk too much?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't know. Now, her dad didn't. I'm sure she had seen people that did. Aunt Nellie's husband, Uncle Alton, he drank some.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
I recall that.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Let's talk about your mother now. Tell me her full name.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
They didn't give her two names at birth—it was just Beulah Barbour.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And Beulah is spelled B-e-u-l-a-h, right?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Correct.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Now she named you Beulah Ethelene.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Right.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Why was that?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, she wanted a little girl like her, I guess. She named her little girl. I don't know why she didn't name Cecil after Daddy. You know a lot of people did. They named their first boy after the daddy, but she didn't. I guess there had been two Emmitte's already and she didn't want to do that. So he was Cecil E but it was Cecil Esco instead of Cecil Emmitte.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What is Maverene's full name?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She was just Maverene.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She was just Maverene. And James—what is James' full name.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
James Edward.

Page 21
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
James Edward.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
There are a lot of James Edwards in the world.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You've always felt funny about the Beulah in your name, haven't you? Did they try calling you Beulah at all when you were a little girl or did they just go by Ethelene?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, Ethelene. I would tell them my name was Ethelene McCabe and that's all they—and I don't know that I was even aware of the Beulah until some time later. I just—they just didn't call me that and I didn't—it was not written like that, so I just didn't even pay that much attention to it. Somehow I just didn't—didn't like those old—I thought they were old-timey names and I didn't like them.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Beulah, you mean
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Beulah and Eulah—and a lot of those names like that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What other names were kind of old-fashioned sounding.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Bessie and some of those. Minnie.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
But you liked Ethelene.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I didn't have any problem with Ethelene.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And Maverene.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
It was different. It was easy for people to remember that I was Ethelene. But I've met a lot of people since then who are named Ethelene. Some of them are younger than I am. I wondered if they heard of my name and named them after me. [Laughter]
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
When was your mother born?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
1913, December 10th.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Where was she born?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, in Elevation Township, I'm sure. Somewhere around that Hickory Grove community, Lassiter settlement.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How old was she when she died?

Page 22
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Let's see, was she 78 or almost 78. She died December 1st, I believe she died December 1st, I can't even recall— [Phone ringing] [Recorder is turned off and then back on.]
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
—sparrow trap.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
That was my sister Patricia who called to talk on the phone and we had to pause. Now we're picking up again. I asked you how old Grandma was when she died and when that was. When did she die?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
And I think it was December 1st and she was buried maybe the 3rd.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What year?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Her birthday was on December 10th, so she would have been 78 on December 10th and she died just before her birthday.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
It was in '91.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, in '91, the first year I had worked at Raychem. I had gone to work there in January 28th and she died in December.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And I was in Russia then, wasn't I? With Suzanne, but I had spent some time with her in the hospital that summer, I think, after my first year at grad school or was it the previous summer before I went to grad school? Anyway. Let's not —
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I'm not sure.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What did she die of?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, she had had heart attacks and she finally—and her heart damaged. It was in too bad a shape to do anything for her, so she just lived in a nursing home a short while. She had made the statement she didn't want to be there on her birthday, so she died a few days before her birthday. No, she died—you were in Indiana at that time, at the time she died, because—
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Okay, that was after I had already returned from Russia.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
You had returned from Russia.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And I think I did spend some time with her.

Page 23
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, you stayed in the hospital. She was in the hospital that summer. They thought she would die. You stayed with her some.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Then I went back for my next year of graduate school.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, you went back to Indiana and she died in December.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
We had been up—Patricia and I went to visit you and stayed a few days with you during Thanksgiving season. I had to be back to carry the mail on Saturday because I was substitute mail carrier, in addition to working at Tyco, so I had to deliver the mail on Saturday and I had to be back and so we came home and I delivered the mail on Saturday. I went to see her on Sunday and the nurse called me over and said, "I don't know if you realize how—what condition your mother is in—that she could go at any moment. I said, "Oh yes, I fully understand that." I said, "I was uneasy about leaving, but I did go to Indiana, and just got back." She said, "She could go at any moment. We wanted to be sure that you understood that and won't be surprised." I said, "Oh, my sister and I both understand." I don't think my brothers did, but we did. She died that night while I was there. I was about to leave her and she just suddenly drew in a deep breath and was trying to breathe. Her arms and wrists, fists curled in, and she was gone. It just struck her and she was gone. So I didn't have to wonder about how it had happened or if she'd been neglected or anything. They were good to her. They were caring nurses.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Where was she? Was she at Johnston Memorial or Wake. It was Wake Memorial, wasn't it?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, she was not in the hospital. She was in the nursing home up at Clayton and right now I can't think of the name of it, but it was up there at Clayton.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She was in the nursing home.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
One close to Maverene. Maverene had made the arrangements.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Were you with your dad when he died?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No. I had—I was there when he was bad off but we didn't—my Mama and I didn't have enough experience in life to realize that he was dying. He complained of a severe headache. He said it was just so bad it was just blinding him, but he had been out in the snow tending to a curing barn—tobacco—potato—sweet potato curing barn and keeping a little heat in it. We had a big snowstorm. I was there and waiting for Leonard to come and get me and he couldn't get the car out. He had to go get me on the tractor and I rode home on the tractor. I didn't realize Daddy was

Page 24
dying, but he got worse off all night. I had told Mama to give him some aspirin and he didn't need aspirin because he was bleeding in the brain. We didn't know it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Was there a telephone?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, we didn't have telephones.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And you couldn't go get a doctor or couldn't think of it.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No. It was way the next day around noontime before—she rung a bell until a neighbor walked to her house, a nearby neighbor that was a good friend of Daddy. He walked back home, well he, I believe he walked over here and got us—told us to go over there. Leonard got the tractor and drove it back over there. We couldn't even go on the car. The snow was so deep. It was the deepest snow. I think it was about a 15-inch snow.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Wow, that's unusual.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
It was very unusual. It had started snowing that morning and we expected it to quit. I went to work and then we—work closed down and Leonard was supposed to go pick me up at work. When he tried to go, he couldn't go.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You were working at the Jerold plant.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I was working at Jerold at Smithfield, sewing. Sewing factory. I was 22 years old, no, 24. I was 24 at that time, when Daddy died. I had worked there a couple of years I think, when he died. The neighbor got us to go over there. Then he drove his tractor to Four Oaks and it was still snowing and sleeting, just awfully cold, but he drove his tractor and almost froze getting to Four Oaks, three miles away, to contact a—and get an ambulance to go out. The ambulance had to come from Smithfield. They didn't have a Rescue Squad in Four Oaks with ambulances, so it had to come from Smithfield. It could get down 301 Highway but then it couldn't get out here, so they hooked a wrecker truck to the ambulance and pulled an ambulance out there to take him to the hospital. And he was dying at the time.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Was the road along there, along here paved at the time?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't believe it was paved at that time.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
I don't think it was.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
It was paved sometime after that. It was a dirt road. A lady brought me home. A very brave lady brought me home from—. She volunteered and brought me home. A Dorothy Parker. Her son is mayor of Four Oaks now, Lynwood Parker. I will always be grateful to Dorothy Parker for bringing me home.

Page 25
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She worked at the Jerold plant?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She worked and she was a supervisor at Jerold. She brought me home and dropped me off and managed to turn around and go back to Four Oaks. When it was closing time then, Leonard was going after me and he couldn't get there. He got over there on the tractor and he said, "I am sure glad to find you here." Cause he didn't know what he was going to do, that I might be stranded somewhere and no way to get anywhere. It was a bad time.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So they brought the wrecker truck, pulling the ambulance to get your dad.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Jimmy and Maverene, I think Leon Johnson called him at Four Oaks. He called him from Four Oaks. They had phones there. He called them and they—he put chains on his car and drove from Clayton and brought Maverene to the hospital, so—. They were with him when he died.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You couldn't get to the hospital.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, Mama wouldn't go with him. She was scared to go with him unless I went. Leonard was going to go, but he—he started shoveling out to try to get fixed so he could get the car on the road and get Daddy's car. Maybe he would drive that. He couldn't never even get that on the road. So Jimmy came with his chains and took us to the hospital.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So you were there when he died.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
But—
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
At the hospital. He died at the hospital?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He died before—he died and then Jimmy came and got us, I think. They stayed until he died. They had told them they couldn't save him. He was dying.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
But Maverene was with him.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Maverene and Jimmy were with him when he died. And Mama was—
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Well, look, let's get back to her.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She couldn't take a lot of responsibilities and she just panicked.

Page 26
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Okay, go ahead, tell me then how she reacted after he died.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She had to have somebody to look after her. Daddy had looked after her. She depended on him. She married him when she was sixteen and she depended on him.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She was sixteen, not fifteen?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She was sixteen. She was sixteen in December and they married in January, so she was just barely sixteen and he was I believe twenty-two. Or maybe he was twenty-one and turned twenty-two in March. Maybe he got married just before he was twenty-two.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How did they meet?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, they were neighborhood—not far away. Probably—I don't know if they went to the same church or not. I think though Daddy went to St. Mary's Grove Church back then. They lived right close to St. Mary's Grove. But then it was not far either to Hickory Grove. And I don't know —he might. I don't know. People met one another. He went with other girls before her. She might have been in a group somewhere when he was going to see somebody else. I don't know. She never explained how they met.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What do you think might have attracted them to one another?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
For one thing, they were both orphans, what you might say. Daddy's mama was still living but he didn't ever see her. And her parents had died. They were both orphans. And he thought she was just a—such a good little girl and the kind of woman he wanted for his wife. He wanted a good little girl for his wife.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What did she look like when she was younger?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, he thought she was beautiful. But he had dark eyes and black hair and she had reddish colored hair at that time. He loved her red hair and blue eyes. But it turned brown later on. She had red eyebrows and her eyebrows stayed red right on.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She was pale too, wasn't she?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She was very, very light-skinned. He just liked her. She had a good figure too, now. He liked her figure. She was a little petite woman but well filled out.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She was about five feet tall, or four feet eleven.

Page 27
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No she was five feet one, somewhere along there.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How tall was he?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Only about five, now he might have been five eight or nine. I believe he —but now he got shorter in his later years. He probably was not more than five feet six by the time he died.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Do you know how long they dated before they got married?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh they had known each other more than a year, I don't know. They had gone together. He would go to see her.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So she was 14 when they started dating.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, maybe close to 15. She might have been 15, I don't know. He would go to see her when she was 15 and he was 20.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did she need anybody's permission to get married at 16 or could she go ahead and make her own decision?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I think it was legal to get married at 16 then. You didn't have to have anybody sign for you. You could get married at 16.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did she ever tell you about how they got married, the wedding, or who was there?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, they didn't have a wedding, they just went to a justice of the peace and he married them, probably in Four Oaks or Smithfield, I don't know which. I don't recall.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What would say were the best things about their relationship?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well now, they cooperated on the farm work and everything. I—They didn't—They got along good. They cooperated so far as raising children, discipline, things like that. They cooperated. I don't know.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did they show affection to one another in front of the children?

Page 28
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Very little. Once in a while I might see them kiss on the cheek, but that was as far as they went around the children. They didn't show anything around children.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did they have conversations about things other than farm work?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, they probably did. They probably gossiped about neighbors and whatever, I don't know, talked about ethics and how people behaved and how they misbehaved and things like that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What were the worse things about their relationship?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, when mama would nag him and he would get angry. [Laughter] When he heard enough of it and didn't want to hear it any more.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She would nag him when he drank, but that wasn't often.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, that was probably once a year, but there were other little things too. She wanted things and she wanted more money and she wanted, I don't know. She didn't like for him to borrow money. He sometimes had to borrow money and have debts. She hated debts and it worried her when they owed money. She would just go on and on about it and he didn't want to hear it. Because he—in order to farm sometimes his money ran out and he had to borrow money. By the spring he had to borrow money to buy fertilizer, get it on credit, something like that. And she didn't like it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
That was pretty typical of tenant farming.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, yeah, it was. But she didn't like him borrowing money. Debts worried her.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Why did debts worry her?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't know. She might have seen people who couldn't pay their debts and they had problems, I don't know. I don't see that they could have lost anything [Laughter] because they didn't have anything to lose.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Well, they could always lose, no, tenant farmers couldn't lose land.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No. They might could have lost their self-respect and that's what she—I mean, she and he both valued the respectability. They had pride. They valued respectability and responsibility.

Page 29
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did she—so she would have nagged him when he had to take out debts, loans and that would be at a certain time of year often. Were there any other things that she nagged him about?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, lots of little things, I don't know, I can't remember specifics, but about if the grass got too big, she was nagging because he hadn't plowed it already. He was too slow getting around to it sometimes, and we had to work too hard chopping if he didn't get it plowed in time.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Was there ever any violence between them that you witnessed?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, they were not violent people.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
I had to ask.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, if he got angry at her he might pick up her cook pot and throw it out the door but he wouldn't throw her out the door. [Laughter]
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He wouldn't throw anything against the wall or hit the wall or anything.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, he didn't damage furniture, walls, and things. No, that was somebody else's property. He wouldn't damage somebody's property. No, he was nonviolent.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And he respected the property at the places where—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh sure, sure he did. We were taught to respect property and things, not break things, not tear up things. We didn't—oh, there's no way in the world we would do any vandalism. We knew better. We grew up with the same respect for property and not doing damage, saving. Daddy wanted to use everything, though. I mean, he was not a wasteful man, now. He even saved string and I don't know what all. He saved lots of stuff like that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So that's where you get it from.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, he was thrifty. That Irish blood in him, I guess. Scotch. Scotch-Irish. Whatever.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Can you describe your mother's character to me?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Very meek and timid. She was kind. She didn't talk much. Especially she was shy around strangers and she wouldn't talk. She didn't want us to talk around strangers. She would —I remember if we spoke and said something, she might say something to us later about what we said and how we said it

Page 30
and how somebody might did misinterpret that and they would think bad of us, so it made me shy and scared to speak until I got older and realized that people think what they will. [Laughter] I say what I want to.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Yeah, you do.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Without offending or hurting anybody's feelings, unless once in a while they might want to take offense at it. But if they get offended, that's their problem. [Laughter] If it's just factual, what I'm speaking.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She seems to have worried a lot, too.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She did. I would diagnose her as somewhat neurotic. She had a neurosis. She worried about everything. I told her one time, "Mama, why do you want to worry about things that might happen and never do?" I said, "You burn up too much energy worrying about things that never happen." I determined at that time that I was not going to do that. I was not going to worry about things. I said until I know something is there to concern me I'm not going to worry about it. I might be somewhat concerned about something I didn't know was going to happen, if somebody was missing and didn't know where they were. I didn't worry about it and think, oh, they're probably killed, like she might think.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Well she probably went through a lot of uncertainty in her early years.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh she did.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Because of her mother—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
And that affected her
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
—and father dying, and then living with different relatives.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, that affected her. That's why she was neurotic about germs, I guess. She was afraid she would contract some disease and die.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Or that the children would.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did she show affection to you?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I think we've already talked about that. Not really.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
There's going to be some repetition. Sometimes people will tell things in slightly different ways when you—

Page 31
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, not really. I mean, she didn't hug us and embrace us or anything. I don't remember ever getting any hug or embrace from my mother.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did she show anger?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Sometimes she would switch our legs if we did something. She said I was —she called me stubborn and you know, I don't like that word—it's determined. I was more determined than Maverene. Not stubborn—determined. Sometimes if she spanked me one time or whipped me with a little switch it sort of made me angry. I didn't like it, because I knew I was right. She would have to get me again. [Laughter]
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Are you sure you were right? Are you now sure you were right?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I was always sure I was right. [Laughter]
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Yeah. [Laughter] She switched you then with what, something from a peach tree?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, little peach tree or something. It was never any big sticks or anything. She never put bruises on.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She never used a "winder stick."
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She didn't cut the blood out of us, like some children got. They were switched on their legs til they had streaks, bloody streaks across their legs. She did not do that to us, cause she had too much compassion for that. She probably would have broke down and cried if she had have seen us bleeding like that. She couldn't take that. She was tenderhearted. Let's put it that way. She was very tenderhearted.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Both your parents were compassionate.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
They were tenderhearted and compassionate to people. We were raised not to poke fun at anybody. Don't you ever criticize, poke fun— [Phone ringing] [Recorder is turned off and then back on.]
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
—probably have to work late tomorrow night she said.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
That was a phone call from your grandson Mitchell's first wife Heather.

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ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, my great granddaughter's mother.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Okay. We were talking about your mother. You've already said she had a seventh-grade education?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And she always worked on the farm together with your dad?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Except when she was working in the grill cooking sandwiches. What kind of—well, did she ever do any other kind of work?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
No. Did she ever go work on somebody else's farm as day labor?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, we did that some. We helped other people barn tobacco sometimes. And sometimes we swapped tobacco with other people and they would help us and we would help them, but there were times when we had the opportunity —we didn't swap every day and we helped one of her cousins one time. We got paid for that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
But she never sewed to make extra money?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She couldn't sew.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She didn't do anything else.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She couldn't sew. She was a poor seamstress. I could sew better when I was in the seventh grade than she could. When she— [Laughter] Well, eighth grade. It was eighth grade when I think I was in 4H and I won a blue ribbon for a white apron I had made with a bib on it—sewed those little curving things and hemmed it. I ran off once in a while but so did Mama, when she tried to sew. I embroidered some flowers on it at the top and on the pockets I think, so I made a pretty little apron. First thing I sewed, though, I made a little, I guess it was the first A-line dress I ever had. [Laughter] It just had—I cut it out of a – might have been a flour sack or some kind of sack that you bought something in and so it was washed and—a piece of fabric—and I got down with the scissors and I cut out a dress. It had—it pulled over the head—sewed it up cross the shoulders and down each side seam and I pulled it over my head. It was summer time, of course. I wore it to my neighbor's house—the one who took me to Sunday school and church. She bragged on what a good job I had done.

Page 33
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How old were you then?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
8, I think, 8 or 9, somewhere along there.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did you sew it with just a needle and thread?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
A needle and thread. I knew how to thread a needle and pull it through and double it. I used it double thread and tied a knot in the end. I had learned how to tie a knot in it. I sewed doll clothes. I made doll clothes when I was little. The first ones I did were paper dolls. I did paper dolls. I would buy them at the dime store, little booklets and cut them out. I started designing my own clothes. I would cut out the little things with the little tabs that folded over the shoulders to fit them and then I would draw new ones, maybe trace around the doll, so it would fit. I would design new clothes for her and color them with crayons and put little tabs on them and use them for my dolls. So I made clothes for my dolls. Paper clothes. Then I got into the cloth sewing and I made clothes for my regular dolls. Oh, they weren't fancy, but they could wear them. I might make a little jacket for one of them, coat, a skirt, and pin it with a pin. I didn't sew buttonholes and buttons. I could pin it. But that little thing was just—and I didn't hem that one. I didn't sew anything, hem up anything, it was just raw edges, but it fitted me and I wore it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And you were proud of it.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I was proud of it. I had made my own dress.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And someone you respected and admired praised it. It made you feel good.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes. She said I'd done a good job.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
It made you feel good. Okay, your mother. What did she do, well you said that she read the romance magazines, when she had some free time.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She loved those modern romances and true romances and things like that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She listened to the radio, to the soap operas on the radio.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
And they would visit neighbors. At night, after work sometime, on a Saturday night. When we weren't going to movies they'd walk up to a neighbor's house and visit them.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So you would go visiting to neighbors.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Or a Sunday afternoon.

Page 34
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And set around and talk?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Talk. They'd tell old tales about crossing Reedy Branch.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And what was that all about?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Daddy would talk about crossing Reedy Branch at night when he was out, as they called it, courting. He would go off courting, go somewhere, he would come back late at night, in the dark, through a wooded path, and have to cross Reedy Branch, and he would hear what he called "painter cats" calling. They told ghost stories, haints, they called them haints, haunted houses, haints that would come after them from the cemetery. They told all kinds of tales that just intrigued us children.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
They told these as if they had really happened.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I think they were superstitious enough to partly believe some of it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Now the painter cats.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't know if that was some kind of panther, Carolina panther that was alive back then cause they were Carolina panthers at one time. They thought they became extinct but I'm not sure about that thing. [Laughter]
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
We'll get to your cougar maybe later on when we describe environmental changes [Laughter] in the area.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did she have any interests or skills like knitting or quilting or crocheting?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Quilting. Now, they did quilting. And she would make us something to wear once in a while. But Aunt Nellie felt sorry for us having to wear the things that Mama made, so she would make them for us. She would volunteer when Mama bought cloth, she'd say, well I'll make that for them, cause Aunt Nellie was a good seamstress. She knew how to sew and it would look good when she made it. But Mama couldn't sew a straight stitch, a straight seam.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How did you get most of your clothes?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
They were mostly store-bought but now Mama did make us some of our slips that we wore. We wore dresses all the time.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You and Maverene.

Page 35
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
We girls wore dresses. I never owned a pair of blue jeans until after I was married. I don't think I ever wore—owned a pair of shorts until after I was married. We wore dresses all the time. Mama did one year—it was awfully cold and we had to walk a little ways to the school bus—and she did get us some corduroy pants of some kind, but we wore them under our dresses. We covered our legs with those pants and wore them under our dresses.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did you have wool tights or cotton tights?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No. Socks and bare legs. A pair of—one pair of brogan type shoes, not brogan, let's see, that was high tops, uh, oh, we had the saddle oxfords at one time and uh, anyway, the lace-up kind of shoes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
I guess you didn't have many dresses since you bought them at the store and your mother couldn't sew very well.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
And sometimes—I started to say she made our slips out of—they bought flour in 50 pound bags and she made biscuits, sometimes twice a day. She'd make them for breakfast, we might eat leftovers once for lunch and then she might cook some more for supper. If she didn't do cornbread, but most time we ate biscuits and we had 50 pound flour—and that was a good-sized flour sack because it was seamless on one side and you could open it up. She would cut slips out of it—out of that white flour sack material and a little thing similar to probably that little dress I made. It just pulled over your head and had the armholes. You wore it under your dress and that was our slip. She bought our underpants at town.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Shoes?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Shoes, we got one pair of shoes each fall and then a pair of sandals in the summer.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
But often I recall you saying you ran around without shoes.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, we went barefooted. We wore the sandals only to church or to town, when we went somewhere. We went barefooted around home, squished mud between our toes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did you say she was not a very good cook? How was she?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She was not—well, we didn't know the difference at that time, but I realized later she was not really a good cook, either. She cooked things that were good, but when she made a pie, she didn't know that you shouldn't stretch the pie crust into the pan, you should ease it in, so it didn't shrink. She didn't know. And her little pies were real thin.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What was she good at?

Page 36
[pause]
You can't answer that question? [Laughter]
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't know—she would go and quilt. Now she tried hard at everything she did. She worked in the fields. She picked peas. She picked cotton now! She could pick more cotton than a lot of people. She was good at moving at those hands. She and I both, when I got a little bit older, about eleven, twelve years old, she and I could hand tobacco. We could bundle it and hand it to somebody who strung it up on the stick, the way they used to do it. We could hand it just as fast as any fast stringer could string it on the stick. Some of those places where we worked, we would get a fast stringer and we would—we were determined to hand it just as fast as she could take it. She would say she was just—we had worn her out. They wouldn't complain, though, people. She thought she was supposed to string it as fast as we could hand it. We thought we were supposed to hand it as fast as she could string it. Sometimes our team would get two sticks while somebody else was doing one. We took pride in doing that. We took pride in our work like that. Mama was fast at some things like that, good at it. But she was not artistic, the things that were artful she couldn't do it. And cooking is an art, to really cook well is an art. When she fried her ham, she fried it flat and sometimes the fatty part didn't get real done. The lean part would be almost burned, cause she had heard that you could get worms from pork if you didn't cook it thoroughly, so she cooked it thoroughly. [Laughter] She cooked it til that fat was dried out and then the lean was almost burned.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
But at least her children didn't get trichinosis.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, we didn't get worms.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
From the pork.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
But I learned when I started cooking it, I learned that you could move it around and stack it in such a way that you lean the lean on top of the fat and you brown the fat and you moved it around so that you didn't overcook the lean. Mama didn't seem to sense that. She didn't have a sense for, you know, she didn't have the intuition or what it took to understand that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Apparently she had been a good student in school, though.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, she could memorize. She could learn things and memorize. She could write and spell. She was good at spelling. She could read very well. She could do what—and she did her math, she made good on math.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So she had a good memory, good memorization skills.

Page 37
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did your parents bring you up to consider certain things important in life?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, yeah, of course, we all had our goals, our ethics, and what was proper and important, and a good reputation was one of the—a major thing too. You didn't do things and say things to damage your reputation or any member of your family's reputation.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And how would you damage your reputation?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't know.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
You don't know.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
We didn't curse, we didn't smoke, we didn't drink, and even back then they didn't think going to dances was proper for people. Certain things were sinful and certain—. Still, I think there are some people today who think dancing and a lot of things are sinful.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Yet your dad danced.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He didn't see any problem with it. He didn't see any problem with that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What kind of person do you think they hoped you would grow up to be?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't know.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
They didn't talk to you—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
They—I think Mama expected me to get married and have children, just like she did. That was success—to get married and have children and a family. She always wanted nice things, like a nice bedroom suite, a nice living room suite, pretty dishes, and she didn't have all those things when she was growing up, when she, well she didn't have anything much when she was growing up. They might have had it in her home before they split up and all. I don't know. I really don't know about that. She went places where they had nice things and she wanted nice things. She wanted us to be able to have nice things. But she valued nice things probably because she felt deprived and didn't have them.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Which one of them was stricter with you?

Page 38
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't know, probably Daddy, but both of them had their certain standards that you had to adhere to. You didn't violate them.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Did they hold anybody up as a positive example to you?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Not that I recall.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How about a negative example?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, they would—you would hear them discussing what some neighbor had done sometimes and it was a no-no thing. Something people shouldn't do, so you got the idea of what you shouldn't—what kind of behavior was not acceptable.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Do you think your parents treated you and your siblings differently in any important ways?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Not that I know. Now my brother James the baby, he was Mama's baby. He was humored.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Why do you think that?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Cause she—he was her last one and she knew that.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How did she treat him differently?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She kept him with her. She didn't let him go to Sunday school with the neighbors and things. She kept him with her all the time.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So she protected him? She wanted her baby near her?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah. I guess so. She was almost tempted not to send him to school the first year because she didn't want to stay by herself. She wanted him with her. It was hard for her to turn him loose to go to school, but I think I might have talked to her a lot and told her he had to go to school, I don't remember. I sometimes did try to tell Mama what she should do. [Laughter] I guess I did, in looking back I didn't realize it, but I guess I did sometimes. What was best for James, what he should do.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Okay, let's go on to your brothers and sisters. How did you get along with Cecil, your oldest brother?

Page 39
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Oh, we played cowboys and Indians and all kinds of things and got along fairly well sometimes, most of the time really. He was a little more rowdy. Like the average boy, he loved to aggravate, pester us. He didn't have a boy to play with, so he'd pester us, Maverene and me. We'd be playing with our dolls and things. He didn't have anybody he liked to play with, so he'd aggravate us, do things to get attention, I guess, when we just wanted him to go away.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Where does Cecil live now?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Fayetteville.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He lives in Fayetteville.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How often do you see him?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Usually about once a year; the last few years but I don't—I think it's been two years now since I've seen him, best I recall.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He's been married twice, hasn't he?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Right.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He was married once to Clara and they had how many children? [pause]
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Five.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Five children.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Five children.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And then he met Ines from Ecuador and they have two children, correct?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Right.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
They're still married. What does Cecil do?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Moves mobile homes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Has he been doing that all his life?

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ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
No, not all his life, but for the last long while. He sold insurance at one time, he was selling insurance.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What kind of insurance?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I don't remember. Any kind you wanted I guess.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
So he sold insurance for awhile.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He sold insurance for years and then he bought some mobile homes I think and tried—and he bought some land and tried to set up a mobile home park and rent out places. He got into business of moving mobile homes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He owns his own business doing that now, doesn't he?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Okay, where does Maverene live now?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Near Clayton. Where she's lived ever since she got married or she's lived in that community. She lived in a different house when they first —they rented a house when they first got married. They bought some land and built a house and moved into it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How often do you talk with Cecil on the phone?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Uh, maybe three times a year. I don't talk to him very often.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What about Maverene? How often do you see her?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
It's got so it's about every couple of months or so.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
That far in between. But sometimes it's more often than that isn't it?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Sometimes more often and sometimes it might be three months that we go without seeing one another but we do talk twice a week maybe on the phone. Sometimes about an hour each time. We visit by phone.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And there are periods when you see one another once a week or two.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What about James? Where does he live?

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ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He has a Raleigh address, but it's nearer Garner and he lives up there in some mobile home park. Oh God, there is a snake! Pause? [Laughter] [Recorder is turned off and then back on.]
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
All right, we took a break because mom saw a snake crawling down a tree outside and she was concerned that the snake might eat the wild birds which are her passion and hobby. She couldn't find the snake, though, so we're back. All right, now, Maverene was married to the same man, Jimmy Poole, all her life. He died several years ago, didn't he? She has three daughters, three children.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
All her married life, yes, she was married to him.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
All her married life.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes. Not all her life, because she's still living and he's dead.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Yes, that's correct. Thank you for correcting me. [Laughter]
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
He died, hm, what year was that. Now I don't, I don't remember now.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
I don't know it was several years ago, maybe five.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Four.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Four or five. What kind of jobs has Maverene held in her life?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
She worked when her children were small and going to school, young, very young, and some of them were going to school maybe. She went to the lunchroom and worked in the lunchroom at school. She learned some good cooking methods that way. They did some things at school that—she learned a lot there. She's a really good cook. Maverene's a good cook.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She is a good cook. So she worked in the school room cafeteria. What else has she done?

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ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I think she worked at one of those—I'm not sure if she worked at Champion at Clayton for a little while or one of those, uh. It was something like a shirt factory I don't know, for just a little while, but she didn't particular like it there. She went to work then at that Jerold Corporation at Smithfield and worked there for awhile. Then she left there and went to Square D. She worked for Square D, an electronics type place in—somewhere near Raleigh. Knightdale.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She worked there a long time.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, she worked there I think longer than any other place and retired there just awhile before Jimmy died.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She was working assembling things basically, wasn't she?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes, it was more putting little parts together for electronics.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
James. Let's just go very quickly through. James has been married how many times?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Five.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Five times and he has how many actual children—just a rough estimate might be all we can hope for. [Laughter]
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, his first wife had a child.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Let's just go wife by wife. She had a child but—
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I'm not sure if it was his actual child or someone else's because she was with somebody else.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She married somebody else and he adopted that child with James' permission.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah, cause she hadn't got a divorce at the time.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Okay—second wife was Myra and she and James had two daughters.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Two daughters. And then he married Shelby and had two sons.

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BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Then he divorced Shelby and married Jeannette.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Who already had a daughter and he adopted the daughter. Then they got divorced.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
They were divorced and he married Jacquelyn who already had a two year old son at the time and he has adopted him. He's about twelve now.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
And what kinds of things has James done in his life?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Store clerk, shoe clerk one time at something like I believe it was Kmart, some big store. I think it was Kmart that he sold shoes, shoe salesman. Shoe clerk, whatever you want to call it. But then he worked for a pharmacy for a number of years, receiving clerk. He had to order the things that—he had to—I can't think of what I want to say. He had to order things to stock the drugstore, things they sold in the drugstore, perfumes and all those things.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
That's okay, you don't have to go into detail.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
And keep it stocked and receive it in when it came, keep records of it.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
What else has he done?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Well, that was the last job he had I think before he—he worked there a number of years and then he decided to retire and took out his retirement money and bought some things and started selling at the flea markets. He would sell on weekends at the flea markets and he's made a living at that ever since.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Yes.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
And a pretty good living really. He's kept good cars, and a home.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
He sold comic books, shoes
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Collector comic books.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Furniture.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yeah.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Books.

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ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Bedding. All kinds of things. And he sold—he would go around to some of the Goodwills and things and pick up stuff sometimes and resell it, make money on it. Pictures, household furnishings, he never messed with clothes. He did a little one time, but he didn't like that—clothes and pillows. He got into the shoe business. He buys shoes now that are sort of a generic brand and sells them for not such a big price, but he makes money on them—enough to—they're similar to the big name brands but he makes money out of those.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
How often do you see James?
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Don't see him very often—every two or three months, maybe, but he calls fairly often too, tells me about his fishing excursions. He fishes about all the time now. Goes fishing almost every day. Except Saturdays and Sundays and sometimes he goes on those days and lets Jacquelyn run his place.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Jacquelyn is from Honduras.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes. And she's educated. Somewhat of an entrepreneur. She knows how to make money.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
She is an entrepreneur.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
Yes.
BARBARA C. ALLEN:
Okay. Do you want to stop now? My next set of questions will be about your cousins, uncles, and aunts, but maybe we could stop now and take a good long break. Okay? Alright.
ETHELENE McCABE ALLEN:
I get tired of talking.
END OF INTERVIEW