Documenting the American South Logo
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Kathrine Robinson Everett, January 21, 1986. Interview C-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

An idyllic childhood of creative play and good food

Everett remembers some of her favorite leisure activities as a child in this excerpt. She and others played croquet until it grew too dark to see the wickets; they climbed trees and played baseball; and drank strawberry acid.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Kathrine Robinson Everett, January 21, 1986. Interview C-0006. 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

I don't even know if they offer it; they still did when I was in high school, but I wonder if they still do at all. [laughter] I wanted to ask you a little bit more about your earlier childhood. Your leisure time activities outside the school, what was your favorite?
We loved to play outdoor games. We had croquet. We had a yard, a side yard with grass and we had croquet hoops and everything. We would play there til it got so dark at night that we couldn't see the hoops even. There was a streetlight-we were on a corner and there you could see. So I remember all of us straining, having somebody stand by a hoop to see if you could get the ball through. We also had magnolia trees in our yard. They had good strong branches, you could climb the magnolia. And we delighted in climbing the magnolia, getting up in the branches, and as people passed by on the sidewalk we'd call to them and they couldn't see anybody. We would like to see them looking around in vain trying to find us. Then we played baseball-town ball-a lot. Of course, we didn't have TV. We had to get our own pleasures. But we played a lot. Now in the summer, my aunt believed, also, that you should learn something in the summer as well as in winter. So an hour was set aside in the morning before we went out to play croquet or baseball or whatnot for reading. She would read to us. We'd gather in a room. If we had guests they'd come in, too, and we'd all sit down. And she would read us maybe from Dickens or from some classic, some well known writer. We'd discuss it as we read. Then we would have strawberry acid, which I don't reckon you ever heard of strawberry acid, but then we did not have Coca-cola and all the cold drinks. So in strawberry season you would buy fresh strawberries and crush them with sugar and make this delicious strawberry drink which is very much like the bought strawberry drinks of today except it was a little better because it was made fresh. And so we would have strawberry acid and some cookies and then the rest of the day we could play.