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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Alice Grogan Hardin, May 2, 1980. Interview H-0248. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Declining sociability in a modern world

Hardin laments the decline in sociability among modern people. She remembers plenty of socializing in the mill town, where people worshipped at a mill-supported church and played on a mill-sponsored baseball team.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Alice Grogan Hardin, May 2, 1980. Interview H-0248. 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

ALLEN TULLOS:
Wheat-threshings. You told about that. What about when you came to Greenville? Did you ever go to any quilting bees?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
No, after I moved to Greenville I didn't. At Greenville about the only recreation that young people had then was fruit suppers, they called it. Each one that come would bring a little bag of fruit. We'd put it all together on the table, and we'd play games and things like that. [Interruption]
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
When we first come to the mill, everybody was alike. Everybody you would meet was friendly, and they wasn't too good to speak to you or too good to stop with you. And they always was eager to help in any way that they could help. We went to church after we moved here, just like we did when we lived in the country. We didn't stop going to church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Which one did you go to?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Woodside Baptist.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Who was the minister there?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Preacher Harbin and Preacher Sparks and Preacher Fisk. There have been a lot of preachers there since then. Preacher Harbin stayed about fifteen years at that church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you think things changed since then, that people later became more .
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
People nowadays is not as sociable as they used to be. They may be still, deep down, as good a people as they ever were, but they're just not sociable. They don't visit like they used to. Some of them don't have time, I guess. And some of them's like me; they just don't visit much.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did this Preacher Harbin have kind of a strong influence on the community there?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, he visited a lot from house to house on the Woodside village.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you know if the mill company itself helped to support the church then?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Helped to pay for the salaries?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
I don't know about the salary, but they helped build the church and give them the land it's built on.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The mill had baseball teams, I think you said.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, we've been to the baseball teams.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Different mills had their teams.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they ever sponsor a brass band?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes, they used to, and we used to have barbecue dinners down in the ballpark, and everybody'd get together.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When would that be?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
That would be mostly in the summer.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The Fourth of July?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you do remember that the mill sponsored what they would call a brass band, horn instruments?
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
There was some kind. Now I don't know whether the mill paid for it or not. I never did know of the mill paying for the band or anything.
ALICE GROGAN HARDIN:
sponsor , you know, . If I got a band together and I wanted to play at something or other, why, they'd usually give you a little something , but as far as sponsoring, they didn't. But they did sponsor the ball team. Western Carolina used to have some good ball teams. Used to(?) mills some of the best.