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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Oscar Dearmont Baker, June 1977. Interview H-0110. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Reflections on community changes

Baker reflects on changes in the Conover, North Carolina, community from the mid-1950s up to the time of the interview. According to Baker, Conover had experienced decisive growth and he perceived many of the changes as positive. In particular, Baker sites internal improvements and school integration as two signs of positive progress.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Oscar Dearmont Baker, June 1977. Interview H-0110. 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

How do you think Conover's changed over the years?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
Oh, wonderful.
PATTY DILLEY:
You think it's great?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
Yes. I do.
PATTY DILLEY:
It's gotten a lot bigger?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
I think so.
PATTY DILLEY:
What kind of good things have happened to this area?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
They've improved the roads and things down here, and it looks like they try to do everything they can afford to do. 5 * in the black community And as far as the town as a whole, I think they's doing wonderful. That's the way I feel about it. Of course, everybody don't have the same idea about it. But still you don't know it all. Maybe there's some sides of the town that they've omitted doing work. I don't know about that. But it's usually that way in all towns; you don't get them all pleased.
PATTY DILLEY:
How do you think this community around here has changed over the last twenty years or so, like the good roads? Do you see a change in any of the people?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
Some I do, and then, like we was talking a while ago, and some of them I don't. And it's the younger group that try to get something for nothing. You see more of that now everywhere.
PATTY DILLEY:
Why do you think people think that way now?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
They've just got everything handed to them mostly on a silver platter, and they just don't care is the only way I can work it out. And they don't want to work. That's just the way I feel about it.
PATTY DILLEY:
Has this community gotten bigger over the years?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
Oh, yes.
PATTY DILLEY:
Are there a lot of people that move out, or do most of them just stay around?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
It would be more coming in here if they had a place for them to come. We've got a new settlement right over there, and it's full. You can go right that road there and turn and go on down that way and go out, and they just completed here a couple of weeks ago hard-surfacing the road out there.
PATTY DILLEY:
Are those brick houses single dwellings?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
Some of them has panel stuff on, and then they are bricked up. And there are some nice homes out there.
PATTY DILLEY:
I was out there with a friend of mine that worked on construction one year, and we went out there rock-hunting one time.
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
The Hedrick boy?
PATTY DILLEY:
Yes.
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
His daddy's the one that built them.
PATTY DILLEY:
I bet so. I went with Don or Ken, one of those. They found a place where they could find these real shiny rocks, so we were out there looking around. And I knew it was out here, but it was about four or five years ago, and I hadn't been out here since then. How about the schools around here? How do you think the schools have changed?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
I guess the way it is, it's for the better. Like I said a while ago, some will like it and some won't. You mean the integration business?
PATTY DILLEY:
Yes.
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
I think as a whole it's all right. But you know, with everything you go at, everybody isn't going to be pleased.
PATTY DILLEY:
Around here, were they for the integration, or were they against it?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
I'd say there was more for it than there was against it.