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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mildred Price Coy, April 26, 1976. Interview G-0020. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Coy remembers her grandmother

Though Coy's grandmother grew up in a moderately wealthy family, her adulthood was not affluent. Coy reflects on her grandmother's character, particularly on the way she raised her children and grandchildren.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mildred Price Coy, April 26, 1976. Interview G-0020. 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 Where had she gone to school?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
I don't know where she went to school. I never heard that. Harold wrote that family history, and he knows more about my family than I do.
HAROLD COY:
In such a large family they might have had a tutor. I don't know.
MILDRED PRICE COY:
Her father had money, and so he might have had a tutor come there. She was very pretty. She had curly hair. She was a very pretty girl. MARY FREDERICKSON Was she sort of a typical southern lady?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
She wasn't. She never put up any pretense of being a lady. We were too poor by the time I knew her; we were terribly poor. She turned over her money to one of her relatives. My grandfather on his death bed said to her, "Minnie, whatever you do, don't let Pete Price have my money." That was his half-brother. And immediately she turned over everything to him. And in one year she lost some children (she had a lot of children); she lost her horses; she had a terrible time. She never was bowed under by it all, but she really had it tough all her life. MARY FREDERICKSON So did she have to work very hard herself?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
I don't remember. She was a compulsive woman. I guess she worked. She didn't mind working, but she never got any money for it. MARY FREDERICKSON She would work in the house and clean and cook and . . .
MILDRED PRICE COY:
She didn't clean much. She lived with her children. She'd go around; she'd go to California and live with a daughter, and she lived with us, and she lived with a son in Winston-Salem and Leaksville, where he lived for a while. MARY FREDERICKSON Do you think she had a lot of influence on her children?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
I doubt it. I don't think she did. She was too tart; she wasn't kind woman. Although she wasn't mean, she wasn't kind. She lived with my uncle's children to keep house for him in Florida, and oh, she treated them so badly. No love; there didn't seem to be any love there. MARY FREDERICKSON What about your own father? Do you remember hearing stories about his life as a child?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
Harold remembers.
HAROLD COY:
MILDRED PRICE COY:
Grandma Minnie sent him to the University. And what did he do there, do you remember?
HAROLD COY:
He got sent home, anyway.
MILDRED PRICE COY:
Anyway, they sent him home. I don't know that he did. I don't think he had an ounce of meanness in him. He wasn't gentle, but he was incorruptible. Anyway, they sent him home and she beat him. She just beat the liverlights out of him when he came home. And then they took him back. But he couldn't finish; there wasn't enough money.