Religion, salvation, and death in a textile mill village
In earlier anecdotes, Dodson had depicted his father as a strong, and at times violent, example of Southern masculinity. In this instance, however, he recounts his father's death, showing an alternative aspect of Southern culture in his beliefs about religion, redemption and eternity.
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
And the last time my daddy went to church over there at Brandon Baptist
Church, old John Wrenn was the pastor, and old man Young was the boss
carter; he was my Sunday school teacher. And
so we went to church that Sunday, and my daddy brought old man
Wrenn, the pastor John, home with us, and old man Young, the boss
carter, and they had dinner with us. And my daddy said to the preacher,
"John, I felt like shouting in church today."
He said, "Well, you ought to have
went ahead and shouted." Then when he died about two or three
weeks later, why, I was standing over him when he drawed his last
breath, and the doctor said he was blind and couldn't see. And they had
to keep a diaper on him just like a baby. And I was standing over him
when he died, and just before he took his last breath he seen the Lord
or somebody and he waved his hand just like that, and then it just fell
right across his face. And I took a-hold of it and laid it down. That
was the last. But I'm satisfied he seen. . . . He was ready to go.