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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 >>

Worship and play on Sundays

Cooley remembers Sundays in her community. She attended church and Sunday school, then spent the rest of the day at play.

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:
Okay, what did y’all do on Sundays when you were off?
MARTHA COOLEY:
Go to Sunday school. And go to church.
EDDIE McCOY:
Well, who did you play, what did you do?
MARTHA COOLEY:
Go back home and sit down on the grass and play. Play, play, play at home.
EDDIE McCOY:
Play ball and other things?
MARTHA COOLEY:
No, no no. We better no throw a ball on Sunday.
EDDIE McCOY:
Okay.
MARTHA COOLEY:
I wouldn’t been sitting here down reading, I wouldn’t have had nothing to sit on.
EDDIE McCOY:
What about washing on Sunday?
MARTHA COOLEY:
No sir! Wasn’t none of that going on.
EDDIE McCOY:
Ironing?
MARTHA COOLEY:
Nothing, no sir. That wasn’t done.
EDDIE McCOY:
Cleaning?
MARTHA COOLEY:
No sir, you done that through the week. You took your bath on Saturday, and Saturday night, there wasn’t bathing on no Sunday, you do that on Saturday night. And then on Sunday morning you wash your face and hair and everything.
EDDIE McCOY:
So, you knew what Sunday was going to be by eveybody. ‘Cause all the time....
MARTHA COOLEY:
Yeah, we knew that. Everybody was doing the same thing.
EDDIE McCOY:
And didn’t nobody tell you what to do on Sunday, you knew you was going to leave that house?
MARTHA COOLEY:
Yeah, I was going to leave there. Going to Sunday school, if you didn’t have, we didn’t have service but once a month then, the churches weren’t like they are now, and we didn’t have, we didn’t go to uh, we would could get up and go to [unclear] and ironing and washing or nothing on Sunday. Nobody, and I mean nobody. When you saw a person, anything you saw somebody that uh, well, I tell you, people separated themselves, everybody weren’t mixed up like they are now. Uh, if you was a drunkared, Papa, one might come to the house. [unclear]
EDDIE McCOY:
Let me ask you this. What church did y’all go to when your church didn’t have service?
MARTHA COOLEY:
We didn’t have service but once a Sunday. We just started to have our service twice a Sunday recent, here in recent, recent years.