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Title: Oral History Interview with Naomi Sizemore Trammel, March 25, 1980. Interview H-0258. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Trammel, Naomi Sizemore, interviewee
Interview conducted by Tullos, Allen
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 148 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-05-15, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Naomi Sizemore Trammel, March 25, 1980. Interview H-0258. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0258)
Author: Allen Tullos
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Naomi Sizemore Trammel, March 25, 1980. Interview H-0258. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0258)
Author: Naomi Sizemore Trammel
Description: 109 Mb
Description: 43 p.
Note: Interview conducted on March 25, 1980, by Allen Tullos; recorded in Greenville, South Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Rachel Osborn.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Naomi Sizemore Trammel, March 25, 1980.
Interview H-0258. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Trammel, Naomi Sizemore, interviewee


Interview Participants

    NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL, interviewee
    FLORENCE GRIFFITH, interviewee
    UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER, interviewee
    ALLEN TULLOS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ALLEN TULLOS:
We can begin, Mrs. Trammel, by talking about what you remember as a little girl.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
[laughter] I remember more when I was a little girl than I can remember now.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You remember living out on the farm?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yes, see, I'd ride horses, go and call the cows, and do all kind of things. Climb trees and get a whipping for it. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you parents own the farm?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yes, sir.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you know how big it was?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, I really don't. Well, I knew the farm and all like that, but I had no idea, roughly, how big it was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And was cotton your cash crop?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, raised cotton, corn, tobacco and peanut, anything, you know, they needed. Well, practically everything they had except, you know, some things that you can't raise on a farm.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And your parents died when you were ten years old.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, ten years old.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And how did that happen?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, him and my sister died. That fever went around that summer, and they took a fever and died with the fever. Well, my mother—Pa died one week before

Page 2
my mother did. And Maude was really sick, she was down with the fever, that sister of mine had died. Well, and it worried Ma so bad she just died of a heart attack the next week. So they all died in three weeks.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember much about that time?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yes, sir, I remember. I'll never forget that. They was a casket come to our house for three Sundays straight. And they all looked just alike. I can remember how, you know, how it worried me, and scared me. I was scared. 'Cause I was just a child, you know, and I'd never knownmuch about anybody dying. That was when we's all separated.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now how old was the youngest child, Ola?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Ola. Well, she was a … let's see. She was just a baby when Ma died. Well, she's dead now, Ola's dead. She was about seventy-three when she died.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And that was some kind of a fever?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Uh-huh. Some kind of bad fever went around, and people—good many of 'em died 'round, you know. It took Pa and Ma. But Ma died with a heart attack, she had a bad heart. She just couldn't take trouble.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And now, what happened to the children after that?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, Uncle Bill Smith, that was Ma's brother, and Aunt Em Marn, Ma's sister, and Aunt Georgia Ann, Ma's sister, well, they divided us children up

Page 3
among our aunts and uncles. But Alma, my oldest sister she was sixteen when they died. Well, she was old enough to come to the mill and work, and take care of me. So she come and got me, and brought me to the mill. The rest of them wasn't big enough to work in a mill. So the others had to stay in country.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, how was it that Alma could live off by herself, or did she live with somebody?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
She boarded. Yeah, I boarded practically all my life, till I got married. Well, see, we had no home. 'Course, I boarded with my sister a lot after she got married. They'd move to the country, you know, and stay a while, and I'd board. I know a lot about boarding. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did Alma come in to work in the mill right after your parents died?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yes, she stayed with Aunt Em a while, and then she come right on down, and got her a job, and got her a boarding place with Andy Ward, with her people. And then she come and got me.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did she know where to come in Greenville? How did she know where to get a job, or where to stay?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, see, they lived over there. I told you Greer, you know, out in the country. And they knew all about Greenville. Greer, I was at Greer's where I went to work in the mill. I worked in the Victor Mill.

Page 4
when I was a child, I mean. Worked on up till I got married, then we moved to Greenville.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of a job did your sister have?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
She drawed-in, all the time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember anything about how much she might have gotten paid, or how long she had to work?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, no, I really don't. I remember how I got paid. You didn't make nothing. But you didn't have to pay nothing for your board, and your clothes didn't cost anything. Used to get a yard of cloth for five cents. That's the truth. As good a cloth now as you can get for maybe a dollar or something.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You say you didn't have to pay anything for your board?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yes, sir, I had to board. I paid about nine dollars a month for board. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was room and board?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
When they went to country they got me a boarding place, the next door neighbor. And they asked them if they'd take care of me, and they said they would. It good people, and I boarded there for years, and it paid nine dollars a month for board.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, what do you remember about first going into the mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, I didn't know, hardly, but I just went in and had to learn it. Really, I had to crawl up on

Page 5
the frame, you know. You've seen a spinning frame. Well, I had to crawl up on that to put my—what do you call it?—roping in, you know, because I wasn't tall enough. 'Cause I never was much big, you know. Then I a little old spindly thing, and I couldn't reach up there to put my roping in. And I'd have to crawl up on that frame down there, and put it in. I wasn't the only one, they's a whole place like that. And they had mothers and daddies. They wasn't no better off than I was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
There were lots of other children your age.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, a lot of them. It's a lot of them. 'Specially in the spinning room, that's where they put the children. You could run a frame, you know, where you couldn't run—a child couldn't run nothing else.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was there a mill village in Greer that most of the mill workers lived in?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yes, sir, they all lived there. You know, it's a mill village, just like it is here.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you and your sister lived in the same boarding house.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, no, we didn't live in a boarding house, we just boarding with a family. Boarding with a real family. Just like one of the family.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what was their name?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Ward, Andy Ward was the first one. And then I boarded with Henry and Susie Spearman, after Alma

Page 6
and Jim married, a long time. And she lived there a while before she got married. And then when her and Jim got married, well, I went to boarding with them, you see. And then when they moved to the country—they decided they wanted to move to the country after they got married—well, they got me a boarding place with John Gwin and Mary Sue Gwin. Lived close to 'em, and we knew 'em well, you know. And they told her they'd take care of me, you know, and they did. It just like home to me.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How old was your sister when she married?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
She was about nineteen. She was sixteen when Pa and Ma died, she was the oldest one. See, Maude was between me and her.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did she meet her husband in the mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, she met him. They live right 'cross the street from where I boarded. The Wilsons, she married Jim Wilson.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And did she keep on working in the mill there after they married?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah. Yeah. And I did, too, till we got our furniture paid for. It was wonderful, I thought. [laughter] I didn't mind it a bit.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was your sister's husband's job?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, he worked in the weave oom. I think he finally got to be a loom fixer, but he was really a weaver a while. But I think he got to be a loom fixer

Page 7
'fore he went to the country.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you say they married and they moved out to the country. But they kept on working in the mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, they didn't work in the mill when they moved to the country. He couldn't hardly make it out there, because he just always wanted to go to the farm, but he didn't know too much about it. 'Cause his people really come from a farm. And so he moved back. When he moved back, I went back to boarding with them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And did they stay in the mill this time?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, they stayed. They did move back one time, again, you know, after some of the children growed up, you know, pretty big. He didn't have no help, he needed help, and he just couldn't do it all by himself. He just loved the farm, that's where he come from.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Tell me a little bit about what it was like to work back then—what time would you get up, and what would you do …
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, we worked longer then in the mill than they do now, and made less, too. But we didn't work hard. I done all my playing in the mill. That's right. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
People have told us that it was little easier back then.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, I remember, after I was grown, now, in the cloth room, we played in that cloth room. They had

Page 8
it upstairs, where they kept all the cloth, and they had a shoot come down, you know. And when the boss man go to his breakfast, we'd play all the time he's gone. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would you do when you played?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
They had samples of cloth, little remnants, you know. Little things 'bout that wide, done up in bunles. We'd set on them, slide down that thing. Us grown! I enjoyed it to death. The only worry was that my parents was gone, I grieved—I just grieved all time about that. I've heard girls, you know, talking about "Mama done this" and "Mama done that", and it'd just break my heart. Because I didn't have none. They didn't know they doing that, you know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about the people that you moved in with there, the family that you lived with—did they try to be like parents to you?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, they just—if I wanted to go anywhere, I'd go and ask them if it's all right for me to go. And if it was all right, I'd go up. If it wadn't, I wouldn't. Wouldn't be a thing said about it. I just acted like they was my parents. And they acted like they were my parents. They didn't try to rule me or anything. If I wanted to know anything, I'd just ask 'em. They was good to me. That's all I know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, what time of day would you get up to start

Page 9
work in the morning, when you were working there in the spinning room?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, we'd go early, I really don't know what time it was. But, anyway, we'd have to go early, and we worked one hour longer than people do now, in the mill. I don't know why, but they did. And it paid off in five dollar gold pieces. I told them I wished I'd had sense enough to save some of them. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
How often would you get paid?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, we'd have to work two weeks 'fore we got our pay. And 'bout my highest bill was nine dollars. For two weeks! Worked in the cloth room sixty cents a day. It big money!
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long did you work in the spinning room there, when you first started?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
I worked on up till I got grown, and then I went to the cloth room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
This was all at the Victor Mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Victor Mill, that's all at Victor Mill. That's where I went, you know, when Pa and Ma died.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, when you were on your job in the spinning room when you were just starting out, did someone teach you
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, they had to show us how, 'cause I'd never been in a mill. They had to learn us. But didn't take me long to learn.

Page 10
ALLEN TULLOS:
Who taught you?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Just some of them would be a spinner, you know, they'd put us with one of the spinners and they'd show us how. That's all they had to do.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it mostly girls or women?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, they girls, mostly. No, it mostly children. I mean, big enough to spin. It was easy to learn, all we had to do just put that bobbin in there, and put it up.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what would be your work routine, what would you have to do through the day? Would you have to do so many bobbins, and then did you rest a while, or—?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No. No, we just run the spinning frames. And of course they had to stop them and doff, you know, and take these full ones off, and put them on. All like that, but it wasn't nothing to me, really. They'd do it—the doffers would do that. All I had to do was just—no, they put up all the threads and started it again, they had to do that. Fix it just like it was. But we had to clean our rollers, but that wasn't hard.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So what was the main work that you had to do? What exactly?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, you see, some of these threads would break, and if you didn't catch it before they bundled up, why you have a mess there. And all you had to do just watch 'em. And it'd run and run sometime before they even

Page 11
break a thread.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And if the thread broke you'd have to tie it up.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
You'd have to put it back up, you know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would you have to tie a knot in it at all?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, you just had to take it in—they was rollers. Cotton, you know. And all you had to do just put it off and stick it up there, around it'd go. It's easy.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And so most of the time you were kind of watching.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, you had to watch it, you know, if you didn't it'd roll around there and make a mess. And you'd have to take your roller out and clean it. So it wasn't no … sometime I'd run six frames. And the other girls would, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How would they pay you, by the number of frames that you run, or by so much a week?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, they just paid me so much. So much a week, I reckon, so much a day, or some whatever it was. But, anyway, I didn't make much. They none of them make anything. But you could buy things for nothing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now, what about the boss of the spinning room?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, we had a boss. I remember John Stewart was the head man with the doffers. Doffers come doff—take a full bobbin, put it on others. Let's see, who was our boss? I can't think of that now. It's

Page 12
been a long time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you first came in there, how did the bosses treat you?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, they didn't bother us at all. We run on our sides, and that's all there was to it. I never had no trouble in my life with no boss.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would they ever holler at the children, or try to push them around, anything?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Why, no. No. They sure didn't. The one time a man brought a little boy up there, and I don't know, I didn't know what "retarded" meant, but I always believed that child was 'tarded. Well, you know up there where the thing that runs the machine, it's got a cap over it where you can raise that cap up and look under there. Well that little boy a standing there, and he raised that cup up, and stuck his finger in there, and cut it off. And that little boy, he didn't know what he's doing or nothing. And since I didn't know what "retarded" meant at that time, but since I've got grown, I know that child was retarded. And they put him in the mill, his daddy did. That was awful. I thought about that little boy so much—just whacked his finger off.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about going to school, did you get to go to school much?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, sir, I didn't get to go to school. That's one thing that hurt me, I always wanted to, but I

Page 13
didn't never get to.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And your sister, did she get to go to school?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yes, Alma had a pretty good education. Because she was the oldest, you know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
She had already gone to school some?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, she had already got her education. And Maude had a good education, too, but she died. all I know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So most of the time, during your work day, wh you were in the spinning room, would you be sitting down watching things, or walking around?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, be walking around. [laughter] Didn't have nowhere to sit down. But, then, if we'd a-wanted to, we could have, you know, if we'd had anywhere. If we got our sides to run they wouldn't been nothing said to us. But we mostly walked around, because, you see, if a thread was breaking, we couldn't see it, well it'd mess up, you know. So we usually walked around, I didn't see nobody sitting down.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what did you do when it came lunchtime?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, we didn't have no lunch time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You'd just work right on through?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Just worked on. We'd go to store and get things, if we wanted it. They'd let us go to store. We'd have like one spinner run my side then her side, and me and another girl'd go to store. And when we come back,

Page 14
and got us something to eat, well, we'd run theirs and let them go. So they wouldn't say nothing about it. But we didn't go home where we were boarding, where I boarded. We'd go to store, get us something to eat. And wasn't one thing said about it, they didn't care.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long could you take off for lunch like that?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, it was pretty good little piece to the store. Just we'd go up there and get what we wanted, come on back, and eat it. Just so our side was going, they wouldn't say nothing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you never go outside and play, and let somebody run your
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, we didn't while we's spinning, but after I got to working in the cloth room we did. When we used to work for Harold Moseley, he was the first boss I worked for in the cloth room, and the cloth room was down on the bottom floor. And come a big snow, we'd go out and snowball while he'd gone to breakfast. And we'd hear that door in the weave room, it makes a big noise, you know. And when we'd hear that door, we had a good little piece to go down before we got into the cloth room. Boy, we'd run back in there and go to our work just like there wasn't nothing ever happen, and he'd never know it. He wouldn't cared if he had. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you stayed in the spinning room until you went to work in the cloth room.

Page 15
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Till I got grown, yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now when was that? How old were you?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, I don't know how old I was. I was somewhere about twenty-one, or somewhere along there. How old was I when I got married? Twenty-one.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Guess twenty-two.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Twenty-two.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
'Cause I married— you're [unknown], 'cause I was twenty-two when I married, and you were twenty-two when you married.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
And then I worked after I married till we furnished our house.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you worked in the spinning room from the time you were about eleven years old until you were twenty-two.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Un-huh. I went to the weave room one time. They let me go to the weave room so I'd make a dollar a day. And I like to took galloping TB. People's dying 'round with it, you know. And that doctor told me, said "Now"—when he'd doctored me about two weeks—he said, "now, younglady" said "you can go back to the cloth room, and live, or you can go back to the weave room and die, whichever you want to do." So I went back to cloth room. [laughter] And the most people died there at Victor Mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
In the weave room.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
With what you call galloping TB. It'd come out, you know, and it be just wet all over, so hot, you

Page 16
know? And that just give 'em TB. I don't know of the people that didn't die.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But it was just happening in the weaving department?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
In the weave room. Just the people that wove. And he said that's what'd happen to me if I went back, so I didn't go back.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you knew some people who had died?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yes. M Black he's the finestlooking thing, and Hub Gaston. Young men worked in there, and they didn't live no time after they took that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And it was some kind of TB?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Some kind of TB, galloping TB they called it. Now I know that to happen. Did happen. And you know Poe Mill's almost that hot. But it didn't bother me after I'd done—been out of there so long, it didn't bother me when I went back down there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long did you work in the weave room down at Greer? A few months, or a year or two?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, I didn't work so awfully long after I married. I didn't work long, did I, in Poe Mill?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
No, he said after you married, Mama.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Yeah, down at Greer.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh. I worked after I married till we furnished our house, and then I quit. It didn't take too awful long to get everything we wanted.

Page 17
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you were working in the cloth room, or the weave room?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
I work in the cloth room. Making a dollar a day. [laughter] And I was making the highest wages they was, you know, for hand.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what was your job in the cloth room?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
I was a-grading cloth when I quit and got married.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you describe what you would do grading cloth
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah. You had to grade it, you know, and fix it so they could sell it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well what exactly would you do? If you were trying to tell somebody who didn't
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, you'd have to see if it was all right, look it over, and see if it's all right, and then have it baled, you know, and sent it off. And if you graded it well, it was all right.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
You looked for the defects in it.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, get all the defects out of it. If it wasn't worth that, you know, we wouldn't put it in there grading part.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now, in the spinning room, you said there were just women and girls, mostly girls.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Mostly young girls.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now what about the cloth room?

Page 18
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, now, mostly grown girls worked in there. It wasn't no little girls worked in there. And so I decided, such a nice clean place, I'd go working in there. I didn't want to spin, and me grown, so I got to working in the cloth room, and I worked in the cloth longer than most anywhere. I liked it, too. I just didn't make nothing, you know. But I had anything I needed.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Tell me about how you met your husband, and courting.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, let's see. I met him—they'd moved from Mills' Mill to Victor Mill. And I met him at a box supper one night. We used to have box suppers, you know. I met him that way.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did he bid on your—?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, he bought me a box, and asked me if I'd eat with him. [laughter] Know, boys, they'd buy a box, you know, they'd have box supper. And then they'd go and get the girl they wanted, you know, to eat with 'em.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you make the box? I've heard it sometimes that the women would make the boxes, and the men would bid on the …
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
The families would have the thing. They'd fix the boxes, you know, and sell 'em. And these boys would buy 'em, and then they'd go and get the girl they wanted to eat with them, you know. And that's the way I

Page 19
met him. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Had you known him, or seen him before then?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, I'd seen him one time, only one time. I'd seen him several times there at Greer, after they moved. They moved from Mills' Mill to Greer. Well, they were strangers to me then, you know. But I saw him one time when he was a boy. One time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was his name?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Percy Long.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And he worked there in the Greer Mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, he worked in the weave room. He is a ball player.
ALLEN TULLOS:
A baseball player?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, he is a professional ball player. He played professional ball one year—two years. One year with the Spinners, and one year with Anderson. He was a good ball player. But he ruined his arm bowling. He could have made a big league baseball player, but he ruined his arm a-bowling. Doctor told him that.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
He was pitcher.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And so he would pitch for the mill baseball team.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, he played the baseball team. At Garvin Seller's he was a manager. Get him and his brother, too—was a baseball player. But Percy was a pitcher, he was good.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Yeah, Daddy was pitcher for the Spinners

Page 20
when I was born.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Is tat right. Do you remember seeing him play?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
No, I never did, but I've heard [unknown] talk.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
See, she was just a tiny baby. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you-all were married, and you moved into a house by yourself, right after you married?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah. Superintendent Moody, he had give us a house right by my sister, where I boarded. And she looked out after things, you know. And we'd buy things off the road, feather beds, and anything we kept house with at that time, you know. And then we'd buy things from the store, and get what we wanted. Pay for it as we went along. And so we got it all paid for, I quit.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You quit working in the cloth room.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
I still working in the cloth room, went right back to the cloth room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let's see. So you quit working in the cloth room when you got enough to get your house And then you went back to work later.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, I never did go back to work till we moved to Poe Mill. I worked some over there. I never did work more at Victor Mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And your husband, he was a weaver?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, he was a weaver. And he was a good one, too.

Page 21
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you-all lived there until you moved to Greenville.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yes, sir. Now, Harry was about a year old when we moved to Greenville. He's born in 1912.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Is that your first child?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, that's the second. One was
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
No, I'm the first one. Born in 1911.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what's your first name?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Florence.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
But I didn't go to work at Poe Mill till—wasn't James about seven years old?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
When he started to school, when you went to work.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
When he started to school. My youngest baby, James Trammel.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And when was he born?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
He was born in 1915.
ALLEN TULLOS:
1915. Was there anybody in between Harry and James?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No. That's all.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Three children.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
That's all.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you waited until he was old enough to go to school before you went back to work. That was so you could stay at home, and look after the children, and take care of them.

Page 22
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Florence done that. [laughter]
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Yeah, after she went to work, them two mean brothers. [laughter]
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
She had to look out after Harry and Jamie. And she done a good job of it! They wasn't mean like people are now.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
We's all mean, they just didn't know it.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
It's some now you can't—parents can't do nothing with 'em. [laughter] Ain't like it used to be.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let's talk a little bit about why you-all came to Poe Mill.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Why we came to Poe Mill. Well, I really don't know why we came—oh, his sister had been sick, and they had her in the hospital. And I was keeping one of the children. And they wanted us to come to Greenville, and stay with, and take care of his children. Till Elgie could get better, you know. His wife, that's Percy's sister. And I reckon that's how come Percy's come to Greenville. Like to broke my heart, I loved Greer. I was raised up there, you know. But we come anyway.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It was pretty easy for him to get a job?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, it's easy him—he get a job anywhere because he's such a—he's a good hand, you know, that's all he'd ever done.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, when you-all were living down at Greer,

Page 23
were you able to have a garden?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yes, sir, we always had a garden, good garden. Garden over there, and he'd cut his own wood—we had a big old range, you know, and he'd even cut his own wood. That was hard, but he did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you have livestock, cattle or hogs?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No. Now, when Grandpa and Grandma moved to Greenville—Grandpa and Grandma Trammel, they moved to Greenville after we got married. And Percy bought his hogs, he couldn't carry his hogs to Greenville, you know. And we bought two of 'em. And we didn't kill 'em, though, we sold 'em, 'cause we couldn't eat 'em up. So we sold 'em. When they got big and fat, you know, we sold 'em.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you're saying your grandparents came to Greenville, too?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
—moved to Greenville, moved to Mill Mill, after we got married.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they work there?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
The boys, some of the boys did that wasn't married, you know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what about sending your children to school? Maybe you could talk a little bit about this.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, my children all—they only went to one grammar school, and that was Poe Mill. And then they went to Parker High School, and finished at Parker High

Page 24
School.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And everybody went to Parker High School, and finished?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, they all finished at Parker High.
ALLEN TULLOS:
(to Florence Griffith) And you would have finished first, I guess.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Yes, twenty-eight.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
And all the grammar school went to Poe Mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were those pretty good schools to go to, back then? What did you-all think about it?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
I thought they were. [laughter] I guess the children thought they were, I don't know.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Parker was a good school. It's a good school.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I've heard about this Mr. Hollis, Pete Hollis.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Oh, yeah, Mr. Pete Hollis. He was a good man.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, Pete Hollis. He was fine man.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you-all know him personally?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Yes. Yes. He knew everybody, and everybody knew him.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
And he is part of the Mill people.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
He'd always say—you know, they'd teach vocations there, and he'd say, "You learn by doing." And they had a place there where you could learn textiles.

Page 25
I mean, they's mostly boys that would take that. And different things, you know, teach you different voactions.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you take any of that—?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
No, I didn't take any of that. 'Course we had Home Ec. and all that, you know, in school then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What then did you do after you graduated from high school?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
I worked in the dime store during my last year. On weekends, I'd work in the dime store, Kress, downtown. And then, after I married, I worked—well, I was working in cloth room when I married down here, but that wasn't long. I didn't work long. And then I worked a little while after I married, and that was it. And then, after my husband died—I lived here, too, you see—I went to work at Belk's, downtown. And I retired there. Thirteen and a half years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember your mother telling stories about life in Greer, or working in the mill down there?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Oh, yeah, she used to have a few. Well, I've heard all that. Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Can you think of any other little anecdotes that she might have told?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
[laughter] I used to tell her what a good time we had.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Well, she was just—even today, I mean, we're sitting here. Frank and I had been working in the

Page 26
yard, and I came in and sat down. She was talking, and she's telling about them going, just sitting on the grass outside the mill. And 'bout somebody throwing out a sackful of water—she was just telling that today.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
[laughter] A peg-legged boy called Peg-legged Willis, he worked upstairs in the card room. And he's deviling us girls, you know, he's just a young boy, but he had a peg leg. We'd set down in circles, you know, and when when they got the cloth ready for us to work again, well, our boss man would whistle for us to come in, you know. He'd let us go out and sit on the grass. And he just splattered that water all over us. And we run up there, and we run that Peg leg all over that place up there. Just a-flying. We couldn't catch him to save our lives. He went in the men's bathroom to get away from us. [laughter] But, now, he outrun us, with a peg leg. We had more fun.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It sounds like you had a lot of time, more time maybe when you were working in the cloth room …
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, we could play a lot when we worked in there. And you couldn't play, you had to work when you's in weave room. But we played a lot when we worked in the cloth room—when we catch up, you see. He didn't care us going out there and sitting down. All we had to do was just run back up steps and go in, go to work.

Page 27
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, when you-all came here, and you finally did go back to work in the Poe Mill, what did you do there?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, I worked in the weave room. Percy—I didn't know too much about weaving, so he run my looms and his looms, too, till I learned. He would. He'd run the whole thing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So he was teaching you.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, he was teaching me how to weave.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of looms were those, do you remember?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, that was just a plain old loom Poe Mill, but now, at Judson, they got fancy looms up there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The Poe Mill ones were like a Draper looms running plain goods, plain cloth, or sheets—?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, Draper. They're Drapers, yeah. Just plain cloth. Was easy, wasn't but two harness. Well, now, at Judson, they got lots of harness, you know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And how many looms were you and your husband running?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
He'd have about ten, I'd have about eight. But he'd run 'em, till I learned. Wasn't hard.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How were you being paid back then, by the—?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, you'd get pretty good pay then. They'd just get you a check. We'd get 'em in a week there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they put what they called the "pick clocks" on the looms?

Page 28
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, they didn't have 'em over there. Not at Poe, but they had got 'em up here at Judson.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So at Poe they were still paying by the cuts, so many cuts.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah. Well, it was. I don't know how they paid, but anyway I got my money.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember if those looms had the automatic bobbin-changers on them, or did you have to change—
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Not at Poe.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You had to change each bobbin by hand.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah. Well, now, Judson, you just fill it up, you know, and it goes 'round, goes 'round, and you had to just keep filling it up. Filling it up.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But at the Poe Mill, when one would run out, you'd have to take one and put it in the shuttle, and take it out.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, you just fill your batteries, that's all you had to do.
ALLEN TULLOS:
At the Poe Mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Un-huh. So we filled our own battery. See, they were just two harness, and there wasn't nothing to it. But Judson was different. You had to have a battery filler, what I'm trying to say.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now, how long did you-all work there at the Poe Mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
I think we lived there about fourteen year.

Page 29
I can't believe it. But we did. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why can't you believe it?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, I don't know. I don't know why we'd want to stay at Poe Mill that long, but we did. [laughter]
ALLEN TULLOS:
And then what did you do, after Poe Mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, we moved to Judson. We've been here ever since.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your husband go to work in the weave room at Judson?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, he did. Well, you know, he's dead. You see, the boss man up here was our boss at Poe Mill, and he'd come to Judson. Well, all we had to do just come ask him, 'cause he was ready to get us, you know. 'Cause he knew Percy was a real good hand. He'd get a job anywhere.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was his name?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Marlow Hughes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was he the overseer in the weave room, or the superintendent of the mill?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
He was the overseer in the weave room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Both at Poe Mill, and then he came over here.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
And they all dead now. I mean, most of 'em. Him and her's dead. Everybody's dead that I used to know. That's the reason it ain't much point living.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you work as a weaver at Judson?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, I worked over here in weave room.

Page 30
That's the only place I worked at Judson.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When did your husband die?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
He died twentieth of September—how long's it been, Florence?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
It was in 'seventy-seven or 'seventy-eight.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:
'seventy-eight, I guess.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
'Seventy-eight. He was ninety when he died.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How old was he when he retired from the Mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, he was seventy years old. He wouldn't quit. And they put him out, looking at the gate out there. All he had to do was sit down. Well, Mr. Chumley wanted him to come back down there and work for him, and line shuttles. And he went back after he's seventy years old, and worked some more. He loved to work in the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about you, when did you stop working in the mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
I guess I stopped way before that, I don't know just how long. I don't know how old I was, but anyway I kind of got—
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Well, you were not retirement age.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, I was having bad health along with this, and I just quit. And then my baby boy was going in Service, and he begged me to quit. Said he didn't want to go out there if he was fighting for his country, and me down here working myself to death, so I quit. Said I'd

Page 31
worked long enough.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So that would have been World War II?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Un-huh, World War II. In 'forty-five.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember the Depression years very much? Were they hard on you?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yes. I remember we had a hard time. We's living right here in Judson at that time.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Right up there in the house, number ten. We lived there nineteen years.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Next street up there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were both of you working?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, we all three—Harry hadn't never got married, my oldest son—and we all three, neither one of us didn't have a job and we couldn't get a job anywhere. And we wasn't the only people, there's others having time like that. But we finally pulled out of it when it got to where we could go to work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did the Judson Mill curtail back then, or cut back on the hours or work?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
I don't know what happened that, but I just know there a Depression, and couldn't get a job.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Everybody was laid off.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, they couldn't—somehow or another couldn't make it. I don't remember. Anyway, I know we couldn't find anything. We couldn't even find a job no-where, everybody else was laid off around. That was bad

Page 32
time. We got in debt, but nobody didn't refuse us. And when we all went back to work, we soon paid it off. It just come around so good.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long do you think you were out of work?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, we was out of work pretty good while. And there was a man, Frank Howard, we's trading with him, out there at the crossing, getting groceries and things from him, before that happened. And we always paid our debts. And we's getting milk from another man. And so we got in debt with that, and they wouldn't cut us off. So when we went to work, we'd pay our bills. We can pay a little bit, you know, add on to our bills. First thing you know, we come out on top. It wasn't near hard's it seem. But we didn't know what in world we's gon' do.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember any time that there were anything like unions trying to come into the mill back then, or strikes going on, anything like that during the Depression?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, they had trouble with that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What do you remember about that?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
[laughter] I just remember Spot, that's my baby, crawling under that—right through them people, and went right on to the mill, and went to work. I can just see him crawling along. [laughter]
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Oh, yeah. I was working at that time. That's right after we had married.

Page 33
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you were working in the Judson Mill?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, they was come from Spartanburg or somewhere. They come from somewhere over here, a whole gang of the—you know. And Judson didn't believe in that, or something. And Spot come there to go to work, he just paid no attention. He just crawled through that crowd—got down, and crawled through, and went on to work. [unknown] then, didn't want us to go to work. I wasn't working at that time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did the mill shut down because of that?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, Judson never did shut down. They didn't—they'd like to have done it, but they didn't.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let's go back a little bit further. Do you remember the flu epidemic in 1918, when everybody got the influenza, so many of them?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, now, we was living at Poe Mill then. I like to died with it. I sure did. But Harry had it pretty badly, but none of the rest of the family didn't have it much. Not enough to hurt. But hit like kill me.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you know some people who died from the flu?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
I didn't know then, I didn't know anything much. I like to died with a headache. And my doctor was in service. And an old Doctor Walker came out there to see me. And they'd been giving me medicine, been giving medicine, and they wasn't nothing he could

Page 34
And he told Kate to go in there, and heat some boiling water. And she went there, and got a pan. And he was boiling water, and he said give him a towel. And he went in there, he wrung that towel out, and [unknown] on my head, and I thought I'd die! He just pushed me down, he wouldn't take it off. I thought he's gon' burn me up. And he burnt that pain out of my head. That's what flu done to me. [laughter] I'm gon' let it well. But the rest of 'em done all right, they didn't have it bad. Harry was sick a while with it, not too bad. He was just a little fellow.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Some people have told us that in the 'Twenties and 'Thirties, the work pace got faster. Things speeded up in the different parts of the mill. Did you notice that at all?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, well, they call that "stretching out." They're bad that Judson, 'bout stretching out. You just have to carry all they can put on you. But they never did do that at Poe Mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Not at Poe Mill.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, they never did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But it happened when you-all came over to Judson.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Judson. They really would stretch you out. I remember Cal Cordell, he was my second hand, he said, "Now, Mrs. Trammel," said "They want me to stretch out." And he said, "You're the best battery hand I've got." (I

Page 35
was filling batter at that time.) And he said, "I want put you on extra batteries." And said, "Now, you don't have to work a bit harder than you're working right now." Said, "Just take your time." But I took my time. The thing just spin, you know, and I just poke along. [laughter] And he wouldn't fuss on me. He'd come over there and help me, but he wouldn't fuss. He knew I couldn't run all them batteries. They'd want to stretch out, and he didn't want to. I just mean as they was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long did that go on?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
It didn't go on too long. But they did stretch out. 'Cause seed I wouldn't keep it up. They thought I couldn't, but I could have. Just a-running myself to death, no, I wouldn't do it. And Cal really didn't want me to.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about the others that were in there?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, they didn't do nothing to them. They just want to try me out, you know, see if I could run 'em. But I wasn't about to stand there and run 'em, cause I didn't have to work anyway. So just me and Percy—no, I didn't have to. All my children's all married and gone.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they try to give him more looms to run?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, I don't know about that, but they trying to stretch out their battery hands at that time. They knew he could run 'em. I doubt if he would have if they'd have tried, but they didn't try about the loom. I

Page 36
enjoyed working at Judson. Poe Mill, too, for that matter.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you-all were back at the Victor Mill in Greer, what kind of things would you do for entertainment or recreation? They had baseball—
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
They had just had ball games, you know, and box suppers, and things like that. It's about all they had.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember any musicians in the community? Any people that played guitars or fiddles, or had dances in people's houses?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I used to go to dances at Henry Greer's, he was a real dancer. Henry Greer. We'd get up a gang, you know. Garvin Sellers, he was the manager of the ball team, and he'd get up crowd of girls, and we'd go to that dance. Well, if Mr. Gwin said I could go, I'd go. And if he felt that I shouldn't go, he'd find out who was going. Well, he'd tell 'em, and that'd be the last of it. And if he said I'd go, I'd go.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would happen at a dance?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, they'd just dance, you know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
At somebody's house.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
At somebody's house. That the only place they had, you know, then. They didn't never go to the halls for dances.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And people would move the furniture out of the

Page 37
room?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah. [laughter] In living room. Just clear it up, you know, and have a dance. We wouldn't only go to Henry Greer's, we'd go to other places too. If it was all right. But we'd all go in gangs.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would there be a fiddle player, a guitar player, banjo?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah. Yeah, fiddle player. Yeah, just ordinary music, you know, like country people have.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember the names of any of those songs?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, I really don't. [laughter] I don't know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They were what they call hillbilly music, sometimes, or dance music? Hillbilly music, or string band music?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Fast music, yeah. Yeah, string band, or string music, like guitars, and fiddler, and like that. They had good music.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you ever sing, or play a musical instrument?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No. I sing. I always sang in the choir all the time, but I never did play any music or anything.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You sang in the church, church choir?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah. I used to sing in the choir at Victor, all along.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What church did you go to?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, they only had one church. Methodists

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go one Sunday, and the Baptists go the next. But we went to all of 'em. All of 'em went to all of 'em. It didn't make no difference to them, you know, where it'd be Methodist one Sunday, and Baptist the next Sunday. But we'd all go. That was the only place to have to go, and we just went to church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they have a musical instrument in the church?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, they had a organ. And the Superintendent Moody's—Florence Moody—played the organ.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Superintendent of the mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Daughter. Superintendent of the mill, old man Moody.
ALLEN TULLOS:
His daughter played the organ.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, his daughter, Florence Moody, played the organ. She had a piano in her house, and we'd go to her house and practice. And I was crazy about that piano.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about when you moved up Greenville, what church did you go to at the Poe Mill?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, I didn't go 'most nowhere after we moved. But there's a Baptist church at Poe Mill.
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Well, we always went—the children—Baptist church.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, the children.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was she pretty strict on you-all?
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Yeah. Un-huh. Yeah, they knew where we were, and what we did, and all that.

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NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
My sister had came from the country, you know, where my Aunt Kate and uncle raised her. Well, and we was a-getting dinner one day, and Florence and Harry both were just little things, you know. And Florence and Harry went to church with the other children. Now we was getting dinner. And I had a great big old white apron on, I remember. And some of 'em run in there and said, "Aunt 'Omi!" said, "the church is on fire." And like scared me to death. So I forgot I had on that big old apron, you know, I lit out after the church. Wasn't but a little piece to the church, we lived right up there at it. And that smoke was coming right out, up top you know, and my children was in there. And I never was scared so bad in all my life. Well, and then Percy, he scared bad as I was. And they had to hold him, almost, to keep him from going in. They wouldn't let nobody go in, you know. And they almost had to hold him, keep him from going in.
Well, and we kept a-waiting there, and he'd try to go in, and wouldn't let him. 'Rectly here come Harry, and they'd just turned him loose, and let him roll down steps. They's in a hurry, you know, getting 'em out. And Florence, I hadn't seen her nowhere. Hadn't seen her. She was still in there, I thought. But there was a girl by the name of Cora Ward, she knew me, and she had got Florence, and went off the ground. They had to come way 'round, you know. And it's a long time before we could

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see her, you know. And I was scared to death. I just knew she was in that burning building. They wouldn't let us go in! [laughter] Boy, was I glad to see her come around. Now, I want you to know, that was a time. That church burned. [Interruption]
I forgot who that other girl was. Pearl Wilson. And they had fellers, you know. And at dinnertime, we got a hour off for dinnertime. So they'd want their hair fixed up good, you know, because talk to their feller at dinnertime, while the mill was stopped, you know. And I wasn't big enough to go with no boys, I was just a kid. And they'd run my spinning frames, and I'd go fix their hair. And I don't know the girls, I wouldn't fix their hair. I especially remember Annie Wilson. She was going with Claude Hemphill, there at Greer. And he got to be a big boss man up there, you know, at the Greer Mill, up at Greer. And I'd always comb her hair, and comb a girl's hair, while they's running my spinning frame. Let me comb their hair, and fix their hair.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did the girls wear these long dresses back then?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, wore 'em. I wore long dresses, too, after I got grown. We wore long dresses.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was there ever any danger of them getting caught in the machinery?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, you see, the spinning room, the things that run the things is up on the spinning frame.

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Wasn't down there. Spot got caught in the mill and got hurt. [Interruption]
We enjoyed it. They wouldn't say nothing to us, just so our frame was going, and there wasn't nothing wrong. Well, they wouldn't say nothing to us. They was really good to us.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you ever get tired during the day and feel like you just didn't want to do it?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No. [laughter] I didn't get tired, I just yawning, you know. If I got tired, I wouldn't known it. [laughter] We didn't work hard.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did people ever fall asleep, sometime, on the job?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, no. You didn't fall asleep. Wasn't nowhere to fall asleep.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now, when they paid you, did you give a part of your money to your sister, or did all of your pay go to the people who were taking care of you? How did that get divided up?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
No, I always gave it to Alma when I stayed with her, and she'd give me my share, you know. She'd take some of it and give me the rest of it. She'd always give me a grand portion. But when I was a-boarding, you see, I just give 'em to Mr Ward, and I had the rest of it myself. I done what I wanted to with my money then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was a pretty good bit of money for a little

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girl to have, even though it was a small—
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, small. But then, you know, we didn't have to pay much for what you bought.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you buy your own clothes?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, yeah, I'd buy my own clothes. And have 'em made too, 'course I couldn't sew and Mary Sue couldn't sew. But I always had plenty, seem like. I never did want for anything. The only thing, I just didn't have no mama and daddy. And couldn't be with my brothers and sisters. I missed that 'bout as bad as anything.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you get to see them very much at all?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, yeah, we got to see 'em sometime, but not much. I didn't get to see Toy much, he was the youngest one. Youngest boy over with Uncle Bill. 'Cause they lived way off out in the country, and, you know, people didn't have no way of going. Just hiring a buggy and horse, you know. And we didn't have no way to go much.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did any of them ever go to work in the mills?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
My uncle
ALLEN TULLOS:
Brothers and sisters.
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Oh, just Angus. Me and Alma and Angus, we's the only one that, you know, were big enough. Now Angus wasn't but nine when he went in there. He run away, though, and come to Alma. (My older brother.) He run

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away from Uncle Bill, and come to Alma. And he went in the mill when he was nine years old. See, he is next to me.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What did he do?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Well, he doff, learned to doff. They put the boys, you know, to doffing. Them young boys could doff like everything, you wouldn't—
FLORENCE GRIFFITH:
Well, Uncle Toy ran off and joined the army, didn't he?
NAOMI SIZEMORE TRAMMEL:
Yeah, Toy run away. You know, he didn't run away, but he left when he's sixteen years old, and went right up and joined the army. Stayed in there seven year… But he's dead now… Kate's dead, too. Well, they're all dead.
END OF INTERVIEW