Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Margaret Skinner Parker, March 7, 1976. Interview H-0278. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

A variety of recreations in Coolemee, North Carolina

Parker and Mrs. Isaac Hall Huske describe some more of the recreational activities she enjoyed in Coolemee, North Carolina. They included moviegoing, playing bridge, and participating in a variety of clubs. Most activities were directed by town residents, rather than mill owners.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Margaret Skinner Parker, March 7, 1976. Interview H-0278. 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

W. WELDON HUSKE:
OK. So for social life you'd go down to the river and sit around the dam, or go up to the park.
MRS. ISAAC HALL HUSKE:
Or go to the movie. But the movie closed after a while; I was so disappointed when it did. I was thrilled when I came to Cooleemee and found that it had a movie.
MARGARET SKINNER PARKER:
Well, you know, Eaton's had it there for a while, and then somebody else—I've forgotten. But he was the owner, wasn't he?
MRS. ISAAC HALL HUSKE:
Fred Owen. And he was also an expert craftsman with wood. He liked to build beautiful things. And he saved us when the secretary door was broken; he fixed it for us. But you were asking about the prices of the movies. As I recall it, when I came here it was ten cents for children and twenty-five for adults.
W. WELDON HUSKE:
Yes. And that was independent of the mill? Somebody was running that like a company?
MARGARET SKINNER PARKER:
Yes. But, you know, really Cooleemee to me, I mean it was a nice place to live. There were nice people here. And, like I say, you made your own entertainment and all, but we had bridge clubs.
MRS. ISAAC HALL HUSKE:
The Cotton Club.
MARGARET SKINNER PARKER:
The Cotton Club for the young
W. WELDON HUSKE:
Now what was the Cotton Club?
MARGARET SKINNER PARKER:
Well, Mr. and Mrs. C.E.B. started that. And my understanding is it was started for these teenage girls (when they came out of high school, wasn't it, rather than when they were in high school), really to help them.
MRS. ISAAC HALL HUSKE:
Many of those girls never went off to school, and so they were trying to give them something in the way of recreation: just a way to get together and have some good wholesome recreation.
MARGARET SKINNER PARKER:
Well, and not only that, etiquette and all that kind of thing was brought in too.
MRS. ISAAC HALL HUSKE:
Yes, that's true.
MARGARET SKINNER PARKER:
See, with that kind of a life, probably a lot of them wouldn't have gotten it otherwise. And then, like I say, he formed that choral group.
MRS. ISAAC HALL HUSKE:
And then we had a Federated Music Club in the town for some years.
MARGARET SKINNER PARKER:
Yes. And the Home Extension Club, homemakers—what did they call it?
W. WELDON HUSKE:
OK. The Federated Music Club: what did that do?
MRS. ISAAC HALL HUSKE:
The North Carolina Federated Music Club, we met regularly and went to the annual meetings in other places, and had guest speakers and guest musicians in here. And the members practiced and performed [laughter] . It was quite active.
MARGARET SKINNER PARKER:
It really was.
MRS. ISAAC HALL HUSKE:
And we had studies of different things, or different people in the club would give programs.
MARGARET SKINNER PARKER:
Oh, we always had a study course.
W. WELDON HUSKE:
And was that independent of the mill, or did the mill concern itself with it?
MRS. ISAAC HALL HUSKE:
No, this was just a group of people who were interested. And the Robinsons really were leaders in all of these cultural things; they contributed greatly to this town.