Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Annie Bell Williams Cheatham, March 21, 1995. Interview Q-0015. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Rural life so dirty you bring an extra pair of shoes to church on Sunday

Cheatham talks about her childhood in the '10s and '20s in the rural North Carolina "flatwoods," where there were no roads, she got to church by horse and wagon, and she needed to bring an extra pair of shoes because the journey was so rough and dirty.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Annie Bell Williams Cheatham, March 21, 1995. Interview Q-0015. 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

ANNIE BELL CHEATHAM:
That's right, my daddy used to hook up the wagon, like we come to church, we get, all us get dressed and all get on that wagon, come down the street.
JAMES EDDIE McCOY:
And then sometimes the ladies come to your church would bring two pair of shoes.
ANNIE BELL CHEATHAM:
We did that many times, or bring a rag when we get to church clean my shoes off.
JAMES EDDIE McCOY:
And carry two, one to keep, one to don't be going to church muddy, and the one to go into church be clean.
ANNIE BELL CHEATHAM:
That's the truth.
JAMES EDDIE McCOY:
Two pair.
ANNIE BELL CHEATHAM:
And you come to church, and bring dinner, had to bring own wagon, go to dinner on the wagon, and going to stay over there the night, we won't go back in the flatwoods, going to stay over there in the night, like having revival, some nights we stay over there until my mom bring enough dinner for dinner, for our dinner and then have some snacks to eat and stuff.
JAMES EDDIE McCOY:
And y'all stay in the church all night?
ANNIE BELL CHEATHAM:
No, we have a lantern, had two or three lanterns hanging on that wagon.