By Frank Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in the Greensboro Patriot, November 29, 1945
Last Saturday, I was invited by Miss Hannah Ruth Spruill, assistant home agent in Bertie County to attend a 4-H achievement day held in the agricultural building in Windsor, honoring the work done by the young people of that county during the past year. It was a great occasion. The boys and girls with many of their parents were on hand.
Then Miss Spruill awarded gold medals and citations to the county champions. As she did so, she requested each one to tell briefly about the work done in winning his particular championship. Their recital left one almost breathless and, to explain what I mean, let me comment on the story told by Sophia Perry, president of the county organization and a member of the Colerain Club.
This slight slip of a girl told in a matter of fact way how she had taken over the house, because her mother was not so well during the summer. She also carried on six different club projects during the year. “I made 15 garments,” she said. She sewed some for her married sister and a nephew. Many of the clothes which she made for herself were from her sister’s old clothes or from feed bags.
The sister is married, has a young baby, and her husband is now overseas. She has been back at the old home for the past year. Sophia took some of the clothes which she had made and entered them in the county dress contest where she won first prize. She also fixed up a bedroom for her sister and the baby. There was no closet in the room so Sophia made one. She also reworked the old furniture in the room, made curtains, a dresser strip, and a bedspread to match in a color scheme of rose and aqua.
Worked in the Field
“Then, as she told it, “I helped put in tobacco for six days a week all through the curing season. My sister, father and I dug all of our peanuts, and I have an acre of cotton. We had an acre of land that no one needed so I planted it to cotton and we have already picked it, doing the work each afternoon when I came home from school. I used the money I made working in tobacco to pay my expenses to the Camp Millstone 4-H leaders’ school.
“I canned all the excess food we had in our garden, during the work most of the time at lunch and at night. I also helped a neighbor to do her canning. I canned 295 quarts myself and 105 quarts with help.
“My sister was at home and so did most of the cooking since she had to be there with the baby, but I fixed the desserts, and cooked on Sundays and on days that I was not working in the field.
“My parents are building a new house, and I have helped them to make the plans so that we shall have more closets and the rooms will be more convenient for them when they get older.”
Aside from all this, Miss Perry did such good work in home management, clothing, food preparation, room improvement, food preservation and family relationships that she was awarded a gold medal and citations by Miss Spruill. She is president of the Bertie County 4-H. Federation and a leader among the young people of her community.
Jewel and June Jernigan, the Early girls, Jacqueline Pierce, Ernestine Pritchard and others also won acclaim for their fine work. Health champions were crowned as a feature of the day’s program and Miss Spruill said the day was just the beginning of an annual occasion which is going to mean much to Bertie County in the future.
Miss Virginia Patrick, home agent, gave a few introductory words and then led the group singing. Dewey Phelps, Aulander Club, led a pledge to the flag; Joyce Ann Miller, Riverside Club, led in reciting the 4-H pledge; Jerry Phelps, vice president of Merry Hill Club, made an address of welcome, and Jacqueline Pierce of Colerain Club called the roll of 4-H Clubs in the county.
Certificates were awarded by Ernest Morgan, principal of the Aulander School, who has assisted the farm agent, ‘General’ B.E. Grant, in handling 4-H Club work with the young people in the county this summer.