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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 >>

Learning self-sufficiency through childhood on the farm

Holt's self-sufficient upbringing forced her to become responsible at an early age. She discusses how she learned how cause-and-effect operated due to her childhood work on the family farm.

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

FRANCES E. WEBB:
To get your school clothes?
NANCY HOLT:
Uh-huh. No, to get your school shoes. Shoes was the only thing we didn't have. All the other clothes were made.
FRANCES E. WEBB:
Where did you buy the cloth?
NANCY HOLT:
They were feed sacks. And feed sacks used to be beautiful. Absolutely. You would have stripes, flowers, you know all sorts of stuff. You would have something to make masculine-type clothes out of and then the pretty prints and flowers and things like that for the, the girls. So the feed sacks really controlled the fashion of the day [Laughter] . Of course, we didn't make overalls or pants or anything like that. But for the girls, and there was seven girls and three boys, one child died as a baby, everything was generally taken care of at home. I can remember Mama complaining when coffee went up to thirty-nine cents a pound. She said "What's the world coming to?" And, I don't think our - as well as I can remember the most that was ever spent on groceries was like twenty-five dollars.
FRANCES E. WEBB:
So you just raised everything.
NANCY HOLT:
Yeah. We didn't eat a whole lot of meat. The only meat we had was pork, and, maybe some chicken. But you didn't eat a whole lot of your chickens unless they had already got old enough to stop laying eggs and then you had chicken pie. So it, it was very elemental. And I think we had a direct cause and effect in our life. You do this so this will happen or so, so these things will be taken care. And I think it was an excellent way to perceive life. It gave you a direct responsibility for what happened.