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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mattie Shoemaker and Mildred Shoemaker Edmonds, March 23, 1979. Interview H-0046. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Different approaches to politics

The sisters discuss politics. Edmonds recalls working for John F. Kennedy's campaign and wearing buttons to her job, where her Republican boss tolerated her views. It seems like Shoemaker swore off voting altogether after casting a ballot for Jimmy Carter.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mattie Shoemaker and Mildred Shoemaker Edmonds, March 23, 1979. Interview H-0046. 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

MATTIE SHOEMAKER:
I voted for Carter but I won't do it no more.
MILDRED SHOEMAKER EDMONDS:
Well, I'll just tell you. We're Southerners, but they ought to had more sense than to pick a man from way down. He's from the deep South, getting down the deep South. Ought to had more sense, we all ought to. than ever voted for him. We know how they feel down there about things. The older ones is wanting to fight the war again, the old Civil War.
MATTIE SHOEMAKER:
I had to get out here with a walker. I couldn't walk. I crawled out there and a man from over at Western Electric picked me up. I couldn't get out to go in and vote. They brought a paper out there and I voted on it. They have machines to vote on now. I won't do it any more, like I said. Not for him. I'll vote for Kennedy.
MILDRED SHOEMAKER EDMONDS:
Well, I voted for Kennedy and I worked for Kennedy. At that time I was working up there on the third shift at the mill. I got this man to go to Democratic headquarters down at Hillsborough and get me a cap. Said "Democrat." I was working for a Republican boss man, but it didn't make no difference. Anyway, some of them told me, "You won't wear that up here." The man brought it to me next morning before we came out. They said, "You won't wear that up here tonight." I said, "You want to bet." Next night I put my cap on. I went in the mill. I had my buttons all on me. I worked the whole eight hours with them on. Some of them said something to him, said, "Look at her over there." He said, "Well, that's her privilege."
MARY MURPHY:
Did you ever do wild things like your sister here?
MILDRED SHOEMAKER EDMONDS:
That wasn't wild, honey. That was just doing good common sense.
MATTIE SHOEMAKER:
She's something, ain't she?
MILDRED SHOEMAKER EDMONDS:
But I can't get around much now. But I ain't gonna let nobody tell me how to vote, and don't you never let them. If you want to vote a Republican ticket, you vote it and stick with it.
MARY MURPHY:
I don't think I'd ever want to vote a Republican ticket, but I'll keep that in mind.
MILDRED SHOEMAKER EDMONDS:
Well, stick with what you are. I believe in that, don't you?
MARY MURPHY:
Yeah, I do. I do.
MILDRED SHOEMAKER EDMONDS:
We got a sister, she votes Republican and our brother votes Republican. They don't say nothing to me.
MARY MURPHY:
Do you think some people down here would like to fight the Civil War over again?
MILDRED SHOEMAKER EDMONDS:
Some of these old ones. You know, honey, I'm not around southerners too much if I live here. I'm around northerners. I go to church with them.