Families in a mill village try to maintain a connection to the farm
Like many first-generation mill employees, Dodson's father had wanted to retain his connection to the agricultural life. Unlike many others, however, his position as a mill supervisor provided him with enough salary to make that desire possible. Here Dodson describes returning to the farm to harvest the crop produced there, and anecdotes related to this trip continue for several minutes.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Geddes Elam Dodson, May 26, 1980. Interview H-0240. 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
My daddy had had a
stroke, and he wasn't able to fix any more looms. He had a stroke
shaving one Sunday night, getting ready to go to work the next morning.
He sold his house on Vance Street over there before he had this stroke
and bought him a little farm up in Pickens County. Thirty-eight acres
with three branches running through it, and the Saluda River was the
line on it. It was an ideal little farm. He had the money to pay for it
when he sold our house on Vance Street, but he just paid half of it down
and took the other half and bought his plows and wagon and the big old
mule. It was in World I, had a "U.S." stamped on one
of his hips on the back. And that bugger could pull a load, and I don't
mean maybe. And my daddy rented that farm out in Pickens and let a
fellow make a crop on it one year. And he decided he wanted to come back
to the mill before he'd gathered the crop. And so my daddy let him come
back, and he took me out of the mill, and he and I went up there and
gathered the crop and stayed up there in that old log cabin.