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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Mary Price meets and marries Charles Adamson

Following a serious head injury, Adamson went to recuperate with friends in Europe. While there, she met and married Charles Adamson.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. 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

MARY FREDERICKSON:
Well, you outlined the rest of the time that you spent in Washington and then you had this accident which just really . . . .
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
A triple basal skull fracture, I had. I was picked up off the street on the sixth of December and I don't remember anything, I had amnesia, until New Year's Eve in 1949 . . .or 1950. I remember that people came by on their way to a New Year's party to see me at the hospital. That was my first memory for a month. It was a very serious accident. The Czechs were simply wonderful to me and they kept my job for me and when it was deemed that it would be good for me to try to work again, they made work that wouldn't be too much for me to try to do and so forth.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
But your recovery from that was sort of long lasting, I mean it took quite a while to recover.
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
It was very serious. I had so many EEG's. I hope that you know what an EEG is, it is a way of measuring one's brain functioning and I had scar tissue on my brain, so there was no wonder about it that I was not at what they would call prime efficiency. It was the kind of accident that my doctor brother told me people just didn't recover from before penecillin was found. So, I owe my life to penecillin.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Then, for part of that recovery you went to Europe?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
Yes, that's right. I went to Europe because I had some good friends in Washington, the Hydes, who had been very active in the Progressive party. They had gone to Georgia to work with my sister Branson on the campaign. Eugenia had shown the good sense to have been born comparitively rich and so, they went to Europe to Switzerland. After they had been there for awhile, they wrote me and said, why didn't I take a really long vacation and come to visit them in Switzerland. This was a serious proposition and they would be glad to have me visit them. In other words, I wouldn't have anything other than my personal expenses. I paid my fare over and so forth. So, that seemed to my sisters and my other friends and me a good idea, because I was still not really capable of working. By that time, I was doing research for the Czechs, getting information that they needed. They would say, "Prague wants to know about this or that," and I knew enough about Washington to know who to call up and go about finding things. So, I went to Switzerland and by the time I got there, they decided that they would go down to the Riviera, to Antibes, where their friend Charlie Adamson had a villa. So, they went down to stay there and visit him and I went along with him and they got a villa not very far away and in the course of time, why Charlie and I got married.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
What was he like, what did he do for a living? Was he American?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
He was from Georgia, which meant that we had the same southern background and talked the same language. He appealed to me because he had a trade union interest. He had gone to work in Ohio in one of the . . .I believe that it was Goodyear, where they were taking in the young men to learn the business, these training squads, you know, that these big companies were apt to have. So, he went to work in Akron at a Goodyear plant. Instead of being trained to be on the executive staff, it was the time when the CIO was being organized and the rubber workers were forming a union and he sided with the workers and that sort of ended his career to be on the executive staff of Goodyear. (Laughter) He went home to Georgia and just about that time . . .I've forgotten the chronology, but his father, who had gone to Georgia to start a textile factory, he was a World War I profiteer, then the stock market crash of '29 came along. So, then he went to Georgia to try to work with his father but there again, when he got there in the cotton mill industry, he found that he liked the workers better than he did his father's employees and so he sided with them and that didn't make a very good impression. The Depression was underway and so forth and so . . . .
MARY FREDERICKSON:
How did he end up in Europe?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
He ended up in Europe by the fact that his father had died and even though he had gone bust in the Depression, there was still a certain amount of the estate that was left to be settled. Charlie had two sisters and he turned in and settled the estate and after he got that settled, he decided to take the money and . . .when he was in college at the University of Pennsylvania, he had spent summer vacations abroad. They had been rich enough so that he could go to France and spend the summer and so he had lived in France and spoke Frenchfairly well. When he got over this stint of settling the estate and had a little bit of money, he decided to go to live in France for a while. Since he had known the Hydes in Washington, it was natural that they should plan to go down to Antibes and stay down there for awhile. This just all happened to work out.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
How long were you married?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
We were married from 1951 to 1964.