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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Martha Cooley, April 25, 1995. Interview Q-0019. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Eating fruit

Cooley remembers she and her schoolmates eating fruit from what she calls Hawl trees during breaks from class, and munching on persimmons and muscadine grapes.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Martha Cooley, April 25, 1995. Interview Q-0019. 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

EDDIE McCOY:
But them was good days.
MARTHA COOLEY:
Yes, they was.
EDDIE McCOY:
And so, y’all had to, did you go back and get some more water, or that one bucket was.....
MARTHA COOLEY:
No, you’d get some more water, you’d get some more water through the day, boys would go, boys would. Annie Belle and I would always go, ‘cause we would get out there and, we would, sometime we could run through the woods, a little ways in the woods, and find some hawls, sure and used to eat those hawls.
EDDIE McCOY:
Some what?
MARTHA COOLEY:
Hawls.
EDDIE McCOY:
What is that?
MARTHA COOLEY:
Don’t you know what a Hawl is? I don’t know where you been!
EDDIE McCOY:
Somewhere, I don’t know what no Hawl is.
MARTHA COOLEY:
It’s Hawl trees.
EDDIE McCOY:
Oh.
MARTHA COOLEY:
And as a tree grow up, it don’t grow up like a big old tree now, but it’s a big high tree, and they have little flat black berries look like, not like berry but uh, something like a....
EDDIE McCOY:
Blackberry or....
MARTHA COOLEY:
No, no, it ain’t big like that, it’s a small but it’s round. And uh, in uh, after the frost bite them, they are good. And we used to just eat them, the real good. They really good.
EDDIE McCOY:
Must be something once the frost bite them?
MARTHA COOLEY:
Yeah, uh huh. And there was old ‘simmon tree, before we got there, the well was up on the hill there, up on the, you come right by the well here, well, right down from the well there, out in the woods at the school, was a ‘simmon tree, so all the children just go out and eat ‘simmons and those Hawls, we had go good time running through the bushes and getting those things.
EDDIE McCOY:
Would a hawl fill you up, or it was just?
MARTHA COOLEY:
No, it was just a little fruit thing that we liked. And so, we would get them eating muskidines and have uh, recess time, we were children then, there ain’t no children now.
EDDIE McCOY:
And you could take it, couldn’t you?
MARTHA COOLEY:
Huh?
EDDIE McCOY:
You could take the responsibility during that time?
MARTHA COOLEY:
Yeah, we could run out there in the woods and play, the teacher was glad for us to get out.