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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Johnnie Jones, August 27, 1976. Interview H-0273. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Remembering a more lighthearted past

Jones remembers what he calls a "frolic," a dance in which participants follow instructions. Jones believes that contemporary gatherings are more dangerous than they used to be. "People now, you got out and have a little fun, people want to kill you now," he says.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Johnnie Jones, August 27, 1976. Interview H-0273. 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

BRENT GLASS:
Now what would be some of the times when your family would… ? Would you go visiting other families, or people come visit you, or get together with other neighbors or soforth? Did you have any kind of parties or things like that?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Yes, once in a while; yes.
BRENT GLASS:
What would be the occasion for that?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Well, they'd just get together to eat and mess around and have a little dancing or something.
BRENT GLASS:
You would have some dancing?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Yes, had what you might call … way back there they called it a frolic then: "grab your partner and promenade" and all that stuff, going around, and banjos and stuff picking.
BRENT GLASS:
Would you have a band there?
JOHNNIE JONES:
No, just guitars and banjos.
BRENT GLASS:
Guitars and banjos?
JOHNNIE JONES:
That's right.
BRENT GLASS:
Did anybody in your family play?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Well, my daddy could play a little bit, and my uncle, he could call the set. They had a good time. They had a better time than they do now.
BRENT GLASS:
Really?
JOHNNIE JONES:
Yes sir, they had a whole lot better time than people have now.
BRENT GLASS:
Why?
JOHNNIE JONES:
I don't know. There just wasn't no fussing and fighting and cussing and arguing going on; that's the biggest thing. People now, you go out and have a little fun, people want to kill you now. See, people didn't do that back then.
BRENT GLASS:
You don't remember many fights over at Pomona or in the neighborhood?
JOHNNIE JONES:
No, no. Everybody got along lovely. On the fourth of July, that's when they had a big time then.
BRENT GLASS:
Over at the plant?
JOHNNIE JONES:
No, over on the job, up there on the edge of the woods somewhere, with a big band and big eating and everything, all day long.
BRENT GLASS:
Would the company put that on?
JOHNNIE JONES:
No, the people put that on. Go off home and get some children and bring them out there, feed them, and play the band and things. People used to have a better time than they do now.
BRENT GLASS:
I see. Nobody would get liquored up over there on fourth of July, and get a little too much liquor in them?
JOHNNIE JONES:
No.
BRENT GLASS:
Not too much?
JOHNNIE JONES:
If they did it wouldn't be but one or two, and somebody'd take him home right then and put him to bed. It wasn't nothing like it is now.