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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Nancy Holt, October 27, 1985. Interview K-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Church provides an acceptable arena for socializing

Church served as more as conduit for social activities than as an engine for proselytization. Holt demonstrates the sharing that occurred within her local community. Embedded in her discussion of the church is the fragility and importance of pride. Holt blames the need to preserve one's pride on the limited social contact between families.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Nancy Holt, October 27, 1985. Interview K-0010. 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

NANCY HOLT:
...And I remember lots of the activities and a lot of the news, anything that went on, was exchanged at church on Sunday. And we went to Cane Creek Church over here. And it was, it was more a social experience than a religious experience. In fact the first time I got kissed it was at church, I mean, where else did I see people? And I think I was about nine, which was wonderful and it sent me in ecstasy for years, I think, just thinking about it [Laughter] .
FRANCES E. WEBB:
What kinds of other social things did they have at the church?
NANCY HOLT:
You would have an ice cream supper, occasionally. Always a Christmas pageant. And of course the other religious holidays, the Easter types of things. Bible school during the summer, maybe a fall festival. It, there was - there were something generally year around. If there was somebody in the neighborhood having a, a bad time we would give 'em a pounding.
FRANCES E. WEBB:
I don't know what that is.
NANCY HOLT:
A pounding is - I don't know where it comes from - but it's, it's like you sharing a pound of flour, a pound of cornmeal, a pound of sugar. Everybody contributing some kind of staple or, and foodstuff. So it - that was generally carried out through the church too.
FRANCES E. WEBB:
So the church sort of was an outlet for people to help other people?
NANCY HOLT:
Um-uhm, um-uhm. And it was, I think it was acceptable through the church. Whereas it may not have been totally acceptable if the neighbors got together and went to help poor old so-and-so that was having problems, because there was a lot of pride here. And I think one of the reasons that there was not a lot of social contact between families is to preserve this kind of innate dignity and privacy, that you still see in some of the families here that - now they may be the biggest brawlers in the world, but they close ranks if, if something has been, somebody has been threatened, and you know, the family as a whole feels threatened. They most definitely will close ranks. So, I think it was probably like a lot of the other very, very rural areas. And the thing that I think is unique is being so close to Chapel Hill. And Chapel Hill was always viewed with a jaundiced eye out here because it had those strange people that weren't from here, did not have generally the same values, generally did not understand.