Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Sam Parker, December 5, 2000. Interview K-0252. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Efforts to settle into rural life, and the efforts of most of his neighbors to move to the suburbs

In this excerpt, Parker recalls his efforts to settle into rural life, and the efforts of most of his neighbors to move to the suburbs.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Sam Parker, December 5, 2000. Interview K-0252. 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

ROB AMBERG:The local people that you found yourself hanging with. You mentioned that a few of them were placing bets on whether you would make it or not. But also was there almost a sense of amazement in terms of "what are you doing here"? SAM PARKER:Exactly, exactly. They had worked themselves to the point of getting away from what we were trying to get into. They were trying to work themselves into the house on a paved road. They were working themselves into a television set. They were working themselves into grocery stores that you have your own meat cut up and you go buy it. And essentially, they were trading back into the money end of the existence rather than trading back into the personal, hands-on, "labor for food" idea. We found it as strange that they were doing that as they found it strange for us going back to what they were essentially trying to get out of. ROB AMBERG:Their children were, I suppose, even farther along. SAM PARKER:Even farther along the path, no question. In fact, the path of no return at that point in time. At least of returning anywhere in the near future. ROB AMBERG:I remember wondering, "Why would you give all this up?" SAM PARKER:Exactly. Here is this beauty. Here is this pleasant existence. Now, it's hard work, no question about that, but the mental salve that it soothed us with was just-it overcame any sort of work situation. The pleasant living was essentially what we were after. And I suspect we got that.