Documenting the American South Logo
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Josephine Turner, June 7, 1976. Interview H-0235-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Goals for herself and her community

Turner shares some of her goals, most of which include nurturing needy members of her community, revealing her ambitions for herself and those around her, as well as her sense of humor about her struggle to pay her bills.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Josephine Turner, June 7, 1976. Interview H-0235-2. 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

This will be the first real stretch in your life when you haven't worked, then, except for the time you were taking care of your mother.
Right, right. I've worked all my life, and I've never sat down. A lot of them tell me I'm not going to sit down. "No," they say, "you're not going to sit down there; you know you're going to work." But I don't know, there's so much I see needs to be done.
What types of things would you like to do?
Well, there's a lot of sick people out here, old people that's alone. I'd like to visit them, you know, and see what I can do to help them—such as go with them to help pay their bills and things. This morning I was in the bank, and they wouldn't even cash this old lady's check because she didn't have nothing but a Social Security card or something. And I know her; and I said, "Give me the check," and I signed the check and they cashed it for me. You know, there's just so much of it to be done, a lot of little children out here that need to be started on the road to Sunday school or something. It looks like they're teaching them everything but what needs to be taught. We have a lot of parents that need a lot of teaching, because you can't just tell a child what to do. You've got to show him. There's just a lot of it that I have ambition to do. I don't say whether I'll do it or not, but I mean I will be trying. Then all these things that I'm associated with here, and there's a lot of prisoners. They had a mother this morning that wants me to see what I can do; I'm the chairman of the Human Relations out there at Guess Road prison, and a lot of prisoners need… You know, there's so much that needs to be done. And the job is really holding me back. A lot of time I need to be at those night meetings. Now I got a call from a woman who wanted me to drive her to the theater tomorrow night, so I'm going to have to ask for an hour off. And there are so many meetings day and night that I need to be at. So I'm sure God will give me a piece of bread, you know. I tease them down at the church. I said, "Well, I'm going to quit work. If you feed me I think I can make it, you know." I have paid bills up this morning, so I can have lights, water, gas, telephone for one more month anyway [laughter] .