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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Nancy Holt, October 27, 1985. Interview K-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Socialization and communal nature of rural residents

Holt diverges from the traditional story of rural community togetherness. Instead, she discusses how the spatial isolation of the rural community prevented frequent gathering, except during times of duress. She also explains the importance of the church and the school for socialization.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Nancy Holt, October 27, 1985. Interview K-0010. 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

I think I'd like to start out talking about maybe your childhood and growing up in this area and things like how many, how much of your family lived here and what kind of relationship you had with other people in the neighborhood and that sort of thing.
There was twelve children in our family and, we, because there were no other children in this area and because of the isolation that most people maintained then except on Saturdays and Sundays and in times of need. The unique thing about this community I think is that you - there's not alot of exchange and visiting on a regular basis, but if there is a definite need, you can be sure that the neighbors will come in to help whether it is raising a barn or helping at the time of death or illness. But as children, our first real social contact other than church was at school. And we had, of course living on a, a small farm having that many children, your summers were pretty well taken up with preserving food and doing all sorts of things that were necessary to get back to the point that you were ready for another winter. And it truly was a seasonal kind of life. Our closest neighbors, of course, was the Armstrongs and I can remember as a child going down there and hearing the guinea hens way before you could get there. And Miss Dinah, Coy Armstrong's mother, was an elegant lady with of lots of white hair all piled up on her head and if she would let down her hair it would come to the back of her heels - beautiful, beautiful woman. And then the Bradshaws and the Apples around here. We all knew each other. It was certainly a cordial relationship, but primarily all visiting was family oriented. The families got together every Sunday for Sunday dinner. Everybody came back home. And I think that was true for other families too.