Documenting the American South Logo
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Icy Norman, April 6 and 30, 1979. Interview H-0036. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Norman wanted her work stool as a souvenir, but it disappeared shortly before she left

Norman grew attached to the stool she used for many years at the mill and announced her intention to take it with her when she left. Shortly before retirement, her stool went missing and she never found it.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Icy Norman, April 6 and 30, 1979. Interview H-0036. 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

They used to have wooden stools and then they got in that stool over there—that's the stool over there. I told Milton, I says, "Milton, I want to tell you, I have never took nothing out of this mill that wasn't mine. When I go out the last day, I have dragged my stool with my name on it for forty-seven years. I dragged it from one warp mill to the other. That's part of me, Milton. I'm going to take my stool with me." He says, "No. Lordy, mercy, do you want to get me fired?" I says, "No. I'll go out the back way, but I want to take my stool with me. I'm going to be a little piggish. I don't want nobody to have my stool. That's mine." Well, I went in there. There was about two weeks before I retired. My stool would always be sitting at one or another of my warp mills. I went in my warp mill, my stool wasn't there. I thought, "Well, they left it over at another mill. I'll go over there and look." They was changing the other mill. I was looking for my stool, so I could get the top, for I couldn't get the top unless I had this stool. And my stool wasn't over there. I went up there to Roy, a colored fellow that run the front of the mill. I says, "Roy, where's my stool." He says, "It's back there in the warp mill." I says, "It ain't." He says, "Oh, it's over there against the wall." I says, "It ain't over there nowhere. Have you hid my stool?" He says, "Icy, I ain't touched your stool." I said, "My stool's gone. Somebody has stole my stool." Well, he helped me hunt. We hunted all over that room. We looked in every empty of box. I thought, "Now, somebody is playing a prank on me. Roy", I says, "Let's look in that empty box." We looked in every empty box. We killed two hours hunting my stool. I says, "I can't work without my stool." He says, "Well, you'll just have to use my stool." I says, "I'm not going to use your stool. I want my stool, and I ain't going to work until I find it. You can just sit down or you can help me hunt my stool." I went out there, he come to me, and I thought, "Well, they got it over on the nylons." I went over there and looked at every stool. They said, "What are you looking at?" I says, "My stool's gone." Elena was up on the stool. I says, "Elena, let me turn your stool over." She says, "What for?" I says, "My name is on my stool and I'm a hunting it. She says, "Icy, this is an old stool that's been over here all the time." She sat down, I looked at it and it wasn't my stool. I says, "No, it ain't mine." I went on every warp mill, up and down each side, and I couldn't find my warp stool. [END OF TAPE 4, SIDE A] [TAPE 4, SIDE B] [START OF TAPE 4, SIDE B]
… my stool. I went up there in the slasher room. I went up one side and down the other. All over the front. I was so sick over my stool. About that time I was coming from the slasher room back to my warp mill. He says, "What you doing up here, Icy?" I says, "Milton, somebody stole my stool." He says, "Ain't nobody stole your stool." I says, "My stool's gone. Roy's helped me hunt it and I've been all over this plant, and I can't find my stool." He said, "Well, I'll look around. Could be that some of them in the twisting room come down here and borrowed it." I said, "Why didn't they borrow some of the rest of them?" I went on back, I had to take Roy's stool. I worried and worried and worried about my stool. Didn't nobody know that I told Milton what I was going to do. If they had I'd have laid it on any of them, hiding it. But didn't nobody know it but Milton. I told Milton. So come to find out I never did find my stool.