Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with J. D. Thomas and Lela Rigsby Thomas, November 14, 2000. Interview K-0507. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Development may strengthen a community

New arrivals in the Sprinkle Creek area love the community. There, they find a sense of togetherness they missed in their previous homes. Lela actually believes that new roads and other developments will foster this sense of community rather than erode it.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with J. D. Thomas and Lela Rigsby Thomas, November 14, 2000. Interview K-0507. 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:
I recognize that your ties to the land itself are different than your mothers were. Yours are different, and your children's are different, too. But the people that are moving in, do you see a difference in how they feel about the land? About Sprinkle Creek? About California Creek?
LELA RIGSBY THOMAS:
Oh, they love it!
J. D. THOMAS:
No, they're happy. They're happy to come in here.
LELA RIGSBY THOMAS:
Our neighbors absolutely love it up here.
ROB AMBERG:
They do?
LELA RIGSBY THOMAS:
The neighbors love everything up here.
J. D. THOMAS:
They love it because neighbors are neighbors up here, and where they lived there was not, Rob. They went right into church, which the pastor of the church already knew them and all like that, but they fell right in. We have another young couple up here, got a kid, eighteen months old or what have you. They moved from over Middle Fork way over here. They love it over here!
ROB AMBERG:
They can sense that there's a feeling of community over here.
LELA RIGSBY THOMAS:
Yeah. This neighbor lived in Arden. They said, "The neighbors said, 'I'll do my thing; you do your thing. You leave me alone; I'll leave you alone.'" She comes up here, so I visit her. We go to church together, we walk together, we shop together. She said she could not understand the difference of up here and out here. The way the neighbors are. She loves it.
ROB AMBERG:
Do you feel like this road and all these changes will change that sense of community?
LELA RIGSBY THOMAS:
I think it will.
ROB AMBERG:
Over a period of time.
J. D. THOMAS:
I think it will.
ROB AMBERG:
For the better or for the worse?
LELA RIGSBY THOMAS:
For the better, I think.
J. D. THOMAS:
For the better!
ROB AMBERG:
So you think it'll make it stronger?
LELA RIGSBY THOMAS:
I think it will!
ROB AMBERG:
Just because there's more people?
LELA RIGSBY THOMAS:
More people coming in. The ones who have come in, Rob, are really good neighbors. They really are.