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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Sidney Leneer Pete Underdown, June 18, 2000. Interview I-0091. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

A supervisor at Hickory Springs Furniture company struggles with a drinking habit

Pleas Lingle went to jail regularly for his drinking habit while he was superintendent of the Hickory Springs Furniture Company. He stopped drinking for several years after liquor was legalized in North Carolina.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Sidney Leneer Pete Underdown, June 18, 2000. Interview I-0091. 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

PETE UNDERDOWN:
Pleas Lingle. He's the man who took over as superintendent when I left, not a member of the board. And he was an alcoholic, very much so, and died. I used to go get him out of jail on Monday mornings in Lenoir. He lived down here, Eighth Avenue or something Southeast. And I used to have to go up and get him out of jail on Monday, maybe about every third Monday. And I never understood it. He came from a good family, a Hudson family that was well-liked and everything. And as long as he was sober, he was one of the finest people there was, but when he was drunk, he was just what I just called Jack Tunnell. And I used to have an awful time getting him out of jail. [laughs.] The policeman didn't want to release him, and the guy who arrested him didn't want to release him. Of course, they don't put you in jail for that anymore. [unclear] different. But Pleas, when the A.B.C. stores-now, if you remember when the A.B.C. stores came in, that was during my reign down here at Hickory Springs. But when the A.B.C. stores in Hickory opened up, the man quit drinking. He never missed a day until he got to be superintendent and started. And I asked him one time. I said, "Pleas, how come you quit drinking?" "Oh, hell," he says, "it's legal now, and it's no fun." [laughs.] That was his philosophy about the thing. And he stayed sober a long time, several years. But he did finally wind up back and finally died from over-participating in his bad habit.