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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Gladys and Glenn Hollar, February 26, 1980. Interview H-0128. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Leisure in a Christian community

Glenn Hollar's father's devout Christianity motivated him to prevent Glenn from going to the movies, but it inspired him to make music. Glenn remembers his father and others gathering to play devotional music together, as well as square dances and other gathering. Strict Christianity meant that anyone who wanted to enhance their evening with alcohol had to do so in secret.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Gladys and Glenn Hollar, February 26, 1980. Interview H-0128. 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

JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you keep living at home when you started working?
GLENN HOLLAR:
Yes, I stayed there, and then I stayed with my grand parents, when they moved down and were living behind where we lived there. Me and my Grandmother Sigmon was always good buddies. I'd stay with them sometimes. I stayed with them about a whole year there one time.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why would you go out and live at your grandparents'?
GLENN HOLLAR:
Me and my daddy, we'd kind of get on the outs. He was too strict on you. I wanted to get out a little bit and go after I got to working and made a little money. He was pretty strict.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What did you have arguments about?
GLENN HOLLAR:
I'd want to go to the movies, and he didn't want us to go to the show or anything like that, hardly.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why didn't he want you to go to the movies?
GLENN HOLLAR:
He was just that much of a Christian, he didn't believe in it. Back then, those people were strict.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What about dancing?
GLENN HOLLAR:
He wasn't too bad against that, because he made some music hisself sometimes for the square dances. They'd have little dances.
JACQUELYN HALL:
He played …
GLENN HOLLAR:
He had a banjo he picked, and he'd play a harp. I was so little, he'd bring me up on the table on the bedding. In that corner of the room, they'd have a table setting there with bedding tacked on it. He'd set me up in there, and I'd watch them dance. I was too little. But he never did approve of going to the show and things like that.
GLADYS IRENE MOSER HOLLAR:
Oh, he loved his string music and singing and dancing. He loved to sing. Even after we were married, his friends and neighbors that belonged to the church would gang up and sing.
JACQUELYN HALL:
At somebody's house?
GLENN HOLLAR:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What kind of things would they sing?
GLENN HOLLAR:
Church hymns.
GLADYS IRENE MOSER HOLLAR:
Hymnals, yes.
GLENN HOLLAR:
I'd go with him, and I got to singing in there with them, too. Sid Killian down there and Fred Settlemyre and George Hunt and John Hunt and my daddy.
GLADYS IRENE MOSER HOLLAR:
They were all real good singers, and they'd gang up and get together and sing.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did they sing any music that wasn't religious music?
GLENN HOLLAR:
No, not hardly ever. Back then you didn't have all this kind of music and stuff. There wasn't that much back then. Some of them had phonographs, but there wasn't no songs, not anything compared to what it is now.
JACQUELYN HALL:
But they would have square dances and play music?
GLENN HOLLAR:
Oh, yes, they'd have square dances. Well, they'd have cornshuckings. They'd have square dancing. They'd have a big old pot full of dumplings( )or something. After the shucking, they'd eat the dumplings and then they'd have a square dance. But it wasn't no drinking-or-anything party. Well, there'd be some of them, some of the older ones, but you didn't see nothing. You wouldn't know it.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What about the boys, though? Would the boys start drinking?
GLENN HOLLAR:
All the parents were pretty strict on them. They couldn't just get out and do anything.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did they sneak off and drink?
GLENN HOLLAR:
Well, yes, some of them. I have a time or two. But you had to be awfully careful, though. In fact, there wasn't too much in this… I guess it was some sections, but out through here it wasn't too bad.