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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Flake and Nellie Meyers, August 11, 1979. Interview H-0133. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Connections between religion, work, and the community

Here, Flake Meyers explains that his favorite thing to make as a furniture-maker was church pews. According to Meyers, church pews was one of the most common things made in the furniture factories he worked in and he describes how both technology and hand-crafted skills were important in creating them. Meyers and his wife, Nellie, use this as a segue into a discussion of the importance of religion to their family. In this regard, the excerpt illuminates important connections between religion, work, and the community.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Flake and Nellie Meyers, August 11, 1979. Interview H-0133. 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

PATTY DILLEY:
What kinds of things did you like to make the most?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
Church pews.
PATTY DILLEY:
Were they easy to make, or fun to make?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
Well, they wasn't too hard. They wasn't as much work as some other kind of furniture. Wasn't so much different pieces. Let's see, you had your back and the seat. Then you had your ends and seat rest and base, arm rests.
PATTY DILLEY:
Did they ever do any fancy carving?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
Oh, yes. Like church pews and pulpit furniture, that was all carved by hand. They'd have nice scroll-things on it. We made lots of them. There was several churches here in Hickory got our furniture. There's a big Baptist church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Once in a while we would get big orders. We made that. That was a big church; I've forgot how many hundred people it holds.
PATTY DILLEY:
Have you gone out in churches and seen work that you've done?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
Yes, I have. That's right. When we got our pews, that Clapp fellow got me to go with him. He knew I knowed a lot about the church furniture, and so I went and helped him pick out what he wanted. When they decided on that, taken the order to Mr. Ivey, and you know, he give us a big discount on it, by me working over there.
PATTY DILLEY:
What church did you belong to, or what church did you grow up in?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
The Methodist. You know where Rhodhiss is? We go over there.
PATTY DILLEY:
Is it called Rhodhiss Methodist Church?
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
Yes. Rhodhiss United Methodist Church. [Points to photograph.] There's a picture of the Church. We made pews over there, too.
PATTY DILLEY:
Were you brought up in the Lutheran Church?
NELLIE MAE WORKMAN MEYERS:
Oh, yes, ever since I was three weeks old.
PATTY DILLEY:
Did you switch over when you were married?
NELLIE MAE WORKMAN MEYERS:
Yes, after we had the children. Their schoolmates was going to his church, and they wanted to go to his church, so I told him, "Well, I'll just go with you." So we've been going to the Methodist Church ever since.
FLAKE ORAN MEYERS:
You can't hardly [have] the wife go to one church and the man the other. It's best they all go to one church, I think.