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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George and Tessie Dyer, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0161. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

George Dyer and his siblings worked hard to help run the family farm

George Dyer and his ten siblings helped run their parents' farm once they were old enough to do the work. He recalls the labor being very difficult with only one afternoon off per week. Still, it did not provide as much financial security as living in the city.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George and Tessie Dyer, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0161. 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

GEORGE DYER:
I was eleven years old too. We moved from out to Henry County, Virginia-that's Martinsville, Virginia. People talk about the good old days back then; them's was the hard old days. People really has it good now. Kids spend more money now. Just young teenagers now spend more money now than I made when I was fifteen, sixteen years old. I's work after school.
LU ANN JONES:
Why did your parents decide to move from the farm?
GEORGE DYER:
It was hard and people could make more in town. They could make a better living, unless you's a big rich farmer. Unless he had good equipment and everything, he couldn't make a good living. But we had a plenty of food to eat, but our clothes wasn't too much. We got by, but it wasn't like people ought to have.
LU ANN JONES:
Did your mother help your father on the farm?
GEORGE DYER:
She done just about everything, milk cows and look after all of us.
TESSIE DYER:
There was about eleven in your family wasn't it?
GEORGE DYER:
I was eleven in the family. We all had to work when we got big enough to work. We couldn't lay around and play off like something was wrong with us. He made us work. That's the way people was brought up years ago. They had no idle time to get into anything. You had off from Saturday afternoon on to Sunday. On Sunday you had to go to church. Get us all in a wagon and take us! Drive three miles there and three miles back.