Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Eva Hopkins, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0167. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

School and play kept Hopkins and her sister busy

Hopkins and her sister basically cared for themselves during childhood because their father was sick and their mother worked in the mill.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Eva Hopkins, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0167. 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

LU ANN JONES:
That's a round about way of getting to Charlotte. When you were growing up, did anyone come in to take care of you and your brothers and sisters while. . . .
EVA HOPKINS:
Like I said, my brother was seventeen years old. He joined the merchant marine. He was twelve years older than I am. My sister's six years older than I am, so when I was six years old, my sister was twelve. I had some aunts and things, different relatives around that would look in on us and everything, but we pretty much took care of ourselves. When I went to work out here at the Mercury Mill, I worked twelve hours a day, and then the NRA came in, and they wouldn't let me work anymore until I was sixteen. I was off work a year, then when I was sixteen, I went back to work. Then I got married when I was seventeen.
LU ANN JONES:
When you were a child, what kind of games that you all play to amuse yourselves? Did you have to help around the house too?
EVA HOPKINS:
My dad stayed in the sanitorium so many years, he was Back then they didn't have that pill that you chew it right now. All they did was put him on that screened porch and feed him milk and eggs and fresh air. I went to school, of course. Afternoons, I'd come home from school, I'd get my skates and off I'd go, skate. We did the things that children do nowadays except we didn't do the meanness that they do now. We'd play ball, we'd skate and things like that.