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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Paying in credit at the company store

Charles Murray recalls an old timers' joke about the company paying workers in fish from the company store.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. 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

BRENT GLASS:
Was this store down here open then? Was it a company store?
CHARLES MURRAY:
No. It was further on back before we ever moved back here, you know. Oh, this store has been here for . . . I reckon it's been here longer than the mill started.
BRENT GLASS:
Was it a store then, or was it just an office?
CHARLES MURRAY:
It was a store, a company store. I've told different ones when the mill first started that they paid off in terkels.
BRENT GLASS:
Terkels?
CHARLES MURRAY:
Yes [laughter] . I told it for a joke.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, what is that?
CHARLES MURRAY:
That's some fish in the river. And they'd send a wagon off and get terkel, and they'd come back and pay you off. And you'd go to the store. They'd give you a big terkel; you'd go to the store and buy anything, and you'd give them the big terkel and they'd give you little terkels back.
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
That's just one of his jokes.
CHARLES MURRAY:
That's a joke. [laughter]
BRENT GLASS:
That's OK; I like that.
CHARLES MURRAY:
It was so far back when I told that, but I did it [laughter] as a joke. I'd hear the old people tell it.