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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 >>

Finding community and friendship as a widow

Throughout the interview, Sigmon talks about how much she relies on the people living around her, particularly the other widows. She returns to this topic frequently.

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

JACQUELYN HALL:
After your husband died, how did you make the adjustment then to being on your own? What was that period like?
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
If it hadn't been for my widow friends and my neighbors… I've got neighbors … [END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A] [TAPE 1, SIDE B] [START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
JACQUELYN HALL:
They're as close to you as relatives?
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
Yes. Call me every day and lives up here. I'm not a bit more afraid to stay here than nothing. But at first I was. This widow lady over here and this widow over there, she has a son with her. But I would go over at night and spend the night with her a lot. And then I decided… My son sort of talked me into selling this place and coming on down and living with him, get me a trailer. They're as nice as a home, . He has all this land and everything. He said, "Mother, if you're not satisfied, why don't you just sell out and get you a trailer or something and come on down and live beside us?" And I said, "Well, Steve, my friends are all uptown, and my neighbors, and the people I go to church with. They've done so much for me, and it's home to me. I think I'll just be better satisfied to stay here and try to work some, too, and get out and go some, too." So I sort of got adjusted, and just one week I absolutely decided that if I was going to keep this place, I had to make up my mind to stay here and make the best of it, although I was scared at night. I'd get up, you know. But yes, I got over it. Because I have some widow friends that are very close. We just sort of buddy together. That's helped me, I reckon.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You'd get up and …
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
At night and look out to see if it was anything.
JACQUELYN HALL:
You'd hear noises.
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
Yes. And I'd go back to bed, go back to sleep.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Had you ever had any kind of frightening things happen to you?
NELL PUTNAM SIGMON:
No, not after I lost him. Nobody never bothers me or anything. And everybody now knows I live here alone. Of course, the Highway Patrol station's up here, and we have a good friend that works up there. And I told him if I ever needed anybody right quick, he'd be one of the first ones I'd call.