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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Johnnie Jones, August 27, 1976. Interview H-0273. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Mill workers raise food with help from their employer

Pomona Terracotta Company maintained a garden space for its employees, ready to be tended. Jones remembers his family's share of that garden, as well as the chickens, cows, and hogs his family raised for food.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Johnnie Jones, August 27, 1976. Interview H-0273. 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

BRENT GLASS:
Did your family have a garden?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Yes, they'd always have a garden: corn, beans, cabbage, beets; I don't know, just whatever you'd want out there they'd put it out there. In other words, they'd see that you had a garden; they'd break it up for you . And when you got ready to till it all you had to do was go up there and get you a mule and go ahead on and tend it.
BRENT GLASS:
Oh, the company did that?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Yes, planted you the field and all.
BRENT GLASS:
Did you keep any animals around the house? Any chickens?
JOHNNIE JONES:
No, nothing but some chickens and my cow.
BRENT GLASS:
You had a milk cow?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Yes. Hogs: raised some big hogs, four and five hundred pound hogs.
BRENT GLASS:
Your father did? Your parents?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Yes. That's the reason I don't like ham today.
BRENT GLASS:
Why?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Eat too much ham and chicken. I just got tired of ham and chicken. Collards: I despise to see them.
BRENT GLASS:
You do?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Yes. I don't care nothing for ham right now.
BRENT GLASS:
But your father would come home at night and milk the cow?
JOHNNIE JONES:
No, Momma would milk her, or either I would milk her. In fact, to tell you the truth, couldn't nobody milk her but my mother and myself; wouldn't let you milk her. My mother and myself were the only ones that could milk that cow.
BRENT GLASS:
Why? You were the ones that knew how to do it?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Yes.