Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tina Moore, 77, Looks Back Over Life as Farmwife, Mother, 1980s

From Elderly Black Farm Women…As Keepers of the Community and the Culture by Iris Carlton-LaNey, assistant professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte when the book was published in 1989. The booklet, with photographs of the author and the North Carolina women interviewed, was published by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The interviews are of women in Warsaw and Magnolia, North Carolina. You can see the entire booklet online at https://library.digitalnc.org/cdm/pageflip/collection/booklets/id/25901/type/compoundobject/filename/print/page/download/start/9/pftype/pdf

Tina Moore (widowed). Recorded when she was 77. Born August 30, 1911. Her husband was named Ivory. Mrs. Moore lives in her farm house with her youngest son (age 41). Her youngest daughter lives next door and is in constant contact. Mrs. Moore seldom travels away from her home. Regular visits from her grandchildren and children help to insure against isolation and loneliness.

When I got married, I just moved from my daddy’s farm over here. We grew corn, tobacco, and cotton and soybeans. That’s about all we had. The hardest part is going in the field every day.

Grading tobacco and stuff like that course I’d do all of that myself. Course Ivory, he’d help me. I’d take it off and pile it up. That was pretty good. That’s the easiest thing about tobacco. Lord, don’t say nothing. Trying to put it in every week and some nights we’d have to be out in the barn or somewhere putting it in, 9 and 10 and sometimes 12 o’clock before we got to the house.

I was born August 30, 1911. That’s the truth. I’m getting so old I forgets. Yes, I’m 77 years old today. I was about 18 when I got married.

We got through the best we could. We pulled together and made it. I wasn’t even 20 years old when I had my first baby. I had 11 children. One passed, so I got 10 living as far as I know. We had good credit, my husband did, and we would go and get it on time and whenever we got the money we paid for it that way.

…. Talking about preserving food and stuff, Lord, I have canned butter beans, peas, apples, peaches, strawberries, plum jelly, some of everything I could. I’d put it in a jar and save it. What I hadn’t learned from my mama, Ivory’s mama was living then, and I learned from her. My mama and Ivory’s mama taught me to do all of these things.

I’m a Knights of Gideon. I used to go to meetings but I don’t go now. I don’t go nowhere now ‘cause I can’t hardly walk, and so I just stay home. They have annual turn-outs and when one dies, I have to pay an extra dollar. But they don’t give you nothing. Maggie Southerland, she collects my money and gets it in. I was in the Mothers and Daughters one while, but it went out. Well, it come to a close and I ain’t been in nothing since then.

I got about 30 grandchildren. About 30. The children make me feel the proudest. Now that’s the truth. I’ve been pretty proud of them a lot of time, but I just can’t think of one specific time. Guess I’m just glad I’m here right on, ‘cause I could have been gone.

I need a whole lot of things. This house, it’s tearing up. It needs fixing and everything. But I just put it out of mind. I needs a whole lot of things. That’s the truth.

I can say I’ve had a good life ‘cause my daughters tries to help take care of me. If it won’t for my daughters, I don’t know what I would do.

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