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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Nell Putnam Sigmon, December 13, 1979. Interview H-0143. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Pride in children's accomplishments

Sigmon feels very proud of her daughter Susan who was an accomplished nurse. She explains that Susan remains unmarried at twenty-six because of her commitment to her career and then talks about how she and her husband encouraged that commitment in their daughter.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Nell Putnam Sigmon, December 13, 1979. Interview H-0143. 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

Susan's not married. She dates a doctor some, but he's still an intern, and he has a lot of duty to pull, and he has to study a lot, too.
JACQUELYN HALL:
How old is she?
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
She's twenty-six. Then, too, she's met this manager at Kroger's store, and she thinks a lot of him, too. Oh, she said he was a giant. He's six-four. That's her picture when she was in nurses' training. I've got several, though, of her. She's a little bit taller than I am. But she wears her hair different now.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why has she waited so long to get married?
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
I don't know. She's just been in school so much, and she's just tied up with her job. She bought her a new car, a new Thunderbird, last January. And I don't know, her and her friends—they're nurses—have a good time. So really, she's… [laughter] She said that it seemed like she just hadn't met the one yet. I said, "I think the manager of Kroger's is going to be the man." Because he is crazy over her. She's been dating him about three months, and he already wants to take her to meet his family in Atlanta. And he's had four year in college. She said he is really a nice fellow. But she said she told him, "You'll never meet another girl as independent as I am." He said, "Well, I like independent girls." She said, "I'm above the average, though." [laughter]
JACQUELYN HALL:
Where did she get that independence?
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
Oh, I guess from her daddy. Because he was sort of smart. I tell you. Well, she is, too. She's always made good grades. But that nursing program is so hard. They have to know as much as doctors, you know.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did you want her to have a career?
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
Oh, when she was a little girl, that's all she talked about, was nurses' training. So we didn't let her date much when she was in high school. And we knew that's what she wanted. And my husband got a veteran's pension, and they signed him up to draw his Social Security, too. So the money problem wasn't no problem, because she was drawing a check from the Veterans, and, too, she won two scholarships. And we knew if she started dating, she'd get careless in her books. And we just sort of were strict. Well, not too much, though, I don't reckon.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Did she resent that at all?
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
No, she didn't. But then after she got in her twenties, then she said, "In a way, I'm glad you and Daddy was as strict on me as you were, because I might have got sort of careless. I am really proud of my career, though, now." And Steve wanted to take a mechanical course. He's really good, too, and he can paint cars. He has a shop, and he paints cars and works on cars, besides his regular job. So he has a little extra income, too.