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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 moves to Miami, Florida, to attend high school

Because there was no high school near their farm, Coy's parents sent her to live with her uncle in Miami. Though she never felt settled in that situation, Coy did have good memories of her time there. She continues remembering her high school experiences, talking especially about whether it was hard to be away from her family, for the next several minutes.

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

My brother Enoch, who is a year and a half older than I am, rode the horse to Madison; that was five miles. But I couldn't ride the horse. We didn't have a horse, anyway, for me to ride. But that was when my father and mother decided that I should go to Miami and live with my uncle. MARY FREDERICKSON How did you react to that decision?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
You never reacted; you just did what they told you to do. There wasn't any reaction on my part. [Laughter] I went. MARY FREDERICKSON Had you ever met the uncle before?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
Yes. He came up there in a Ford. He had a Model T Ford, I think. And I went back with him and his son Dick, who was about my age. And it was a very bad thing to send me down there, because he had tuberculosis then. And my mother let me go down there and live in this small house in Miami with my uncle, who had tuberculosis. He was just spitting like nobody's business. Finally it got so bad in my third year—I guess my next to last year—I wrote my mother and I told her, I said, "Uncle Ashby spits around everywhere around the house." And I knew he had TB. And so I went to live with a neighbor who was awfully nice. I lived with her for a year. And then he died, and then I went back and lived with the children and tried to help the aunt with the house. That was where I lived for the last year. MARY FREDERICKSON Your uncle's wife?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
My uncle's wife had died years before. She died before I ever went down there. MARY FREDERICKSON What was the school like that you went to in Miami?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
It was a typical high school. [Interruption] MARY FREDERICKSON I wondered what the experience of going to Miami was like for you personally as far as leaving home and going farther away than you'd ever been before, right?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
I had some friends down there. I immediately became chummy with them, because one of them knew my cousin Albert Price who lived in Winston-Salem. And her mother and she used to go to Winston-Salem and she knew him, so she immediately became my friend. And then she had a group of friends, so I always had some very good friends in Miami. And then I studied so hard, and my Latin teacher was my brother's classmate at Chapel Hill. And so when I went into the Latin class, he said, "Is Tom Price your brother?" He said it right out before, and I said, "Yes." So he was always so sweet to me, and he'd come around at examination time and he'd say, "Now, Mildred, I want you to make a hundred. Don't be in a hurry; I want you to make a hundred." [Laughter] I don't think I ever did. I didn't mind it. I tell you, we were so poor that no one ever complained about anything. You took what you had to. MARY FREDERICKSON Why had your uncle moved to Miami in the first place?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
I don't really know. He was married to a woman from Reidsville, McGee, and they were educated people. But my uncle, I think he did well to marry her, but she died and left him with these little children. He wasn't so terribly smart, Uncle Ashby. MARY FREDERICKSON Were you close to his children?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
Yes, we lived right there in this little house, but I was very good friends with the two little girls. They were younger than I; I think the next one was four years younger than I was. But the boys (I just hope they'll never read this. Maybe they're dead now; I don't know what's happened to them) weren't very prepossessing. You just didn't feel that they were like their sisters. He had three boys.