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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Naomi Sizemore Trammel, March 25, 1980. Interview H-0258. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

A child loses his finger in a textile mill machine

In this macabre passage, Trammel remembers a child losing his finger in a textile mill machine.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Naomi Sizemore Trammel, March 25, 1980. Interview H-0258. 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:
When you first came in there, how did the bosses treat you?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, they didn't bother us at all. We run on our sides, and that's all there was to it. I never had no trouble in my life with no boss.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would they ever holler at the children, or try to push them around, anything?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Why, no. No. They sure didn't. The one time a man brought a little boy up there, and I don't know, I didn't know what "retarded" meant, but I always believed that child was 'tarded. Well, you know up there where the thing that runs the machine, it's got a cap over it where you can raise that cap up and look under there. Well that little boy a standing there, and he raised that cup up, and stuck his finger in there, and cut it off. And that little boy, he didn't know what he's doing or nothing. And since I didn't know what "retarded" meant at that time, but since I've got grown, I know that child was retarded. And they put him in the mill, his daddy did. That was awful. I thought about that little boy so much—just whacked his finger off.