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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Alice P. Evitt, July 18, 1979. Interview H-0162. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Difficult daily routine as woman in mill town

Evitt describes something of her daily routine: preparing her children for school, going to work at the mill, and returning home in the evening for housework.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Alice P. Evitt, July 18, 1979. Interview H-0162. 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

JIM LELOUDIS:
It must have really been something to work in the mill and do your housework and raise six children the same time. How did you do it? How did you manage it?
ALICE P. EVITT:
I did though. I had to get up every mornin' at 4:30. My husband was good to help me. Them kids was good. They'd mop for me. 'Fore my daddy had a stroke, he stayed with me. He'd boil beans or bake cornbread-we loved cornbread a lot-he'd do a lot of help me with my cookin'. We just got along. Always say where they was a will, they're a way, and it seemed like it did.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Did your husband ever cook or clean house and things like that?
ALICE P. EVITT:
My first one didn't, my second one did. He was awful good to me.
JIM LELOUDIS:
What was a typical day like for you when you had the children to take care of and had to work? You said you got up at 4:30.
ALICE P. EVITT:
I had to go to work at 6:00. They had to go to school. They went down here to the school. I'd keep their things ready for 'em. They were big enough. They knowed what to wear and how to clean up and go nice. Miss Medley lived up there in front of me. When I'd come home, she'd tell me how nice they'd been and how they acted and all. She was a good Christian woman. I knowed what she told me was true. I'd tell 'em not to go in nobody else's yard and not bother nobody. They wouldn't. They was good to mindin'. They-but these last ones. I was talking about their daddy bein' a drunk. I fed 'em so much. They don't even come about you after you been so good to them.
JIM LELOUDIS:
You said the woman across the street helped look after them while you weren't home.
ALICE P. EVITT:
When they'd come home from school, she. . . .
JIM LELOUDIS:
When you got home in the afternoon or in the early evening, what did you do when you got home through the night? I guess you had to cook dinner as soon as you got home, didn't you?
ALICE P. EVITT:
Yeah. They'd generally have somethin'-my daddy'd cook ‘em somethin’. I'd sometimes bake bread and all. I'd clean house, and I worked all the time. We had a big garden up there, and we had to plant with an old push plough then. My daddy-he hadn't had the stroke then-he'd push it part'd the time. We'd get after him about it `cause he was too old to get out there and do that. But he would. My husband'd get out there and push it. We had awful gardens. But had to can everything, and I'd can a-heap when I'd go home. You didn't have freezer then like you do now, and I canned a lot.