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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Charles D. Thompson, October 15, 1990. Interview K-0810. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Decline of farm business renders the farm community inactive

Thompson recalls the loneliness of his farm life. He tried to recreate the farm life of his youth, but found himself a member of an "inactive farming community."

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Charles D. Thompson, October 15, 1990. Interview K-0810. 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

Hopefully there is a community of people to have discussions going on, have friendships going on. So I think of communities and I didn't experience it along the farm. I said to other people and myself in 1993 when I was planning to sell my farm. I said no matter how hard I worked on my farm, no matter how much I made my farm looks like my grandparents' farm, I started to realize that even though I was making my farm like theirs, in terms of fences, the colors of the farm and other stuffs I chose, that I can never bring my grandparents back to work with me. There is nothing, there is no way to replace human connection. I think perhaps the peak of my Farming experience, although I began to make so much money later by myself, it has to go back to the time when I worked with my grandfather together in the mountains. There is something about the two of us working together that was right. I most love that one."
JUN WANG:
how about other farmers near you? Do they also work alone?
CHARLES D. THOMPSON:
"Most other farms mostly stopped, retired in the community when I was farming. It's just inactive farming community. Most people had day jobs."
JUN WANG:
So you didn't have a community life?
CHARLES D. THOMPSON:
"No. We did have a group get together in the hay season. We got paid as a group. I mostly participated. That was something. I involved fully."