Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Orlin P. Shuping, June 15, 1975. Interview H-0290. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

A mill draws customers because it is convenient

The main appeal of Shuping's mill was its convenience, he believes. He remembers that when he wanted a job done, he went to South Carolina for the lumber, and that when Rowan residents wanted something special, they went to a mill with more modern machinery.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Orlin P. Shuping, June 15, 1975. Interview H-0290. 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:
Did any of the farmers ever complain about the way that any of the work came out of here?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Oh yeah, they always complain. You always have complaints whatever you do.
BRENT GLASS:
They didn't like how smooth it was.
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
Didn't have much trouble about that. It was convenient here. People wasn't as particular then; if they were, they'd go to a big plant that had more modern machinery. In other words, most of this stuff was kind of old. We had an old church down here that I went to. We overhauled it in 1937 or '38, something like that. I went to and bought the lumber from him wholesale for that because I wanted exactly what I wanted to go in the church. I would never attempt to fix it myself because I couldn't fix it as good as I wanted it to go in there. They had better machinery. Went to South Carolina and bought the lumber down there. Here's another thing. This is a homemade door here. It's things like that. You always use a little bit of lumber all along. We spent a whole lot of time here and . Didn't make a good living but still survived. It's been an interesting life. It's not quite as dull as you think. We had people com in and some of them would complain. I'll tell you another thing. A whole lot of them never did pay their bills. Plenty of them.
BRENT GLASS:
You kept some of them on for a while and they just never showed up again?
ORLIN P. SHUPING:
They might die, you know. A man my age might die and there's estates to settle. They come by and give you fifteen percent of it or something. They didn't have enough to pay his bills.