An Interview By:
Shane Babineax

(Written for a school writing project some years ago)

Lockie says that during his youth they ate sorgum molasses (they raised their own sorgum); homemade butter; churned milk; and they raised, shelled, and ground corn. They had corn sent to a mill and had corn meal made. They raised and cured their own meat.

Lockie says they did not have anything like they have now. He says that they raised everything except coffee, sugar, and flour. They bought that with what very little money they had.

He went on to say that he was 15 years old before he ate his first piece of light bread and cornflakes or anything similar to that. He added very strongly, "Yes, we had chores. We carried in the firewood, milked the cows, and gathered eggs from the chicken house."

The first few years in school we (he was 6 at the time he started) walked three miles to a one room school house. The teacher had five or six different class years in the same room. The teacher was only 17 or 18 and she had just finished the 9th grade herself. In the classroom we had one drinking bucket and everyone drank out of it. If we needed to go to the bathroom, we went to the woods. We stayed in school longer than folks do now. We had to get up and be at school by 8 a.m. and didn't leave until 4 p.m. in the afternoon. We did chores the rest of the day. He added that he and his brothers carried their lunch in a lard bucket.

Our mother made our clothes and thay had to buy shoes because they didn't know how to make them. One pair of pants lasted from age 12 to 14 or 15. For entertainment, it was too late after chores were finished to have any. Lockie said he was 20 or so before they had any sort of entertainment and that came from a battery operated radio because they didn't have electricity.

For transportation we rode on wagons or buggies and a horse until we were old enough to walk and if we wanted to go to town, we walked. For medical care there was some available, but with seven people in the family, we didn't have enough money to pay a doctor. For holidays, we just knew when it was Christmas and that was about it.

We got our water by carrying it from springs and heated water to wash clothes on a washboard. We kept warm by the fireplace that was made out of mud and grass. We kept cool by the breeze that was blowing that day. The ladies made quilts. To preserve food we canned the food or dryed it. We cured our own meat and had big gardens.

Lockie said he's glad he's 72 years old and glad he had to work so hard when he was young or he wouldn't have what he's got now.

(Lockie currently lives in Arkadelphia. He was married to Lorene Wells.)

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