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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Louise Pointer Morton, December 12, 1994. Interview Q-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Community corn shuckings

Morton describes the community corn shuckings her family participated in during her childhood. Describing the corn shuckings as joyous social gatherings in which neighbors all shared in the work, Morton alludes to the communal spirit of rural Granville County, North Carolina. Additionally, she is quick to emphasize that alcohol seldom played a significant role in these events, arguing that her family was "no rough bunch."

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Louise Pointer Morton, December 12, 1994. Interview Q-0067. 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:
Did y'all ever have corn shuckings?
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
Oh, Lord, what you talking about? Yeah!
EDDIE McCOY:
Tell me about that.
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
Lord, my daddy raised more corn. On the low ground. If he didn't have enough land on his place, he'd go and rent on the farm. Some of the biggest corn fields. Lord have mercy, we would go there and—. You know what they'd do? First they'd pull that fodder, pull that fodder.
EDDIE McCOY:
Pull what?
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
Pull the fodder off the corn stalk.
EDDIE McCOY:
What's fodder? The husks?
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
Them blades what is on it is the fodder. Them blades. Pull that fodder. After we'd pull that fodder, and then when the corn—. [In the fall of the year] the corn get hard and all. See, go back and they would pull that fodder in there and tie it up in little bundles. Tie that fodder up, grab it—rack it up, you know. Rack it all around and around. And then, when it get dry and all, they'll haul it and put it in the stables. That's what the horses and things eat. When that corn get dry, we'd go back and pull the corn. Well, pull the corn and throw it in a pile. After we pulled the corn and all, then when the top—. We had to go back and cut the tops. That was for the horses and things to eat. Lord, they would tie them tops up and stack them and all. And the corn, haul it to the—. You talking about a big corn pile! Have a corn shucking and Mama and them and womenfolk cooking.
EDDIE McCOY:
People come from everywhere, didn't they?
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
I'm telling you.
EDDIE McCOY:
Y'all party?
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
All the neighbors, all the neighbors. Had a good time back there. It was— twon't like no time now. These youngsters now, they don't know nothing. Just fast rooting and running and killing folks [in Durham]. We had a happy life. I'm telling you.
EDDIE McCOY:
Y'all went from one corn shucking to the other?
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
Right!
EDDIE McCOY:
Party, drinking and having a good time.
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
Uh-uh, didn't drink nothing. No, uh-uh. No, they ain't drunk nothing. Oh, no.
EDDIE McCOY:
You sure they ain't slipped a little of that old blackberry wine or—?
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
Oh, no. No, didn't have nothing like that.
EDDIE McCOY:
Apple wine?
LOUISE POINTER MORTON:
Just had—just food. Cakes and pies, chicken and all. We would have the best time at them corn shuckings. [That way] we growed up. Uh-uh, we won't no rough bunch. Uh-uh. Won't nobody in our family no rough bunch.