Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George and Tessie Dyer, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0161. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

George and Tessie Dyer introduced by boarding house owner

George and Tessie Dyer met through the lady who ran a boarding house for family members and mill workers. They courted on the weekends while George lived at the boarding house.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George and Tessie Dyer, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0161. 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

TESSIE DYER:
My pastor asked me one time, said, "Tess, why don't you get married?" I said, "Well, the right one ain't never come along yet." Said, "Well, now just what kind of one do you want?" I said, "Well, I don't care about him being so good-looking, just so he's a good man, and he don't drink, and he goes to church, and he works." He said, "Well, you couldn't ask for no better one." I figure that's what I got!
GEORGE DYER:
Well, I try to be.
LU ANN JONES:
Did you have to ask your parents' permission to get married?
TESSIE DYER:
We did. We told them we was going to get married.
LU ANN JONES:
How did you all go about courting? What kinds of things did you do for dates?
GEORGE DYER:
Saturday and Sunday, and maybe on Wednesday night.
TESSIE DYER:
He stayed over here at this rooming house.
GEORGE DYER:
I was close by. I was going to see another girl in Gastonia when I met her. She'd come and meet me over there in the car. I drove her home. She's staying with her brother. She told me, said, "You can't come to see me on Saturday night, you can't come see me on Sunday." I'd go to see that one in Gastonia on Saturday, then go to see her on Sunday.
LU ANN JONES:
What kind of people lived at the boarding house? Were there young women over there as well as young men?
GEORGE DYER:
Old lady, not too old. She was a Mrs. Shue. She run the boarding house-real fine lady.
TESSIE DYER:
She kept boarders, mostly men. She had some ladies.
GEORGE DYER:
Some of her family stayed there. People worked at the mill come there, and she asked about them to come over there-what kind of person they was. The mill boss would send them over there to see if they get a place, see a place was open. When I came here, I went up there and knocked on the door and talked to her. She said, "Well, I got a room open." She asked me where I was from, and I told her Virginia. She asked me how I come to come down here. I told her I was looking for a job. She said, "Where you going to work at over here?" I told her in the weaving department. She said, "All right." She told me how much I'd have to pay a week; I forget now.
LU ANN JONES:
How long did you all court before you got married? How long did you know each other?
TESSIE DYER:
We started going together in September, wasn't it?
GEORGE DYER:
No, it was earlier than that wasn't it? When was it I went over yonder? She had a picnic and they had horses. I thought she was going to be over there. I was riding them horses a lot over there that Sunday. You know, picnic had all kind of recreation, horses you could ride, boat ride and different things. You'd went to Florida or somewhere. No, you was going to a funeral when I first met you. You come over there to go with the ladies to a funeral-Concord-I seen you, but I didn't know who you was. I never had met you; I'd see you going and coming.
TESSIE DYER:
This lady that run the boarding house over here, she told me she had a boy that wanted to meet me.