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

Positive, community-building attributes of Cane Creek's public school

Holt describes the competition and thirst for knowledge fostered at White Cross School. She explains that the vitality of Cane Creek was its discipline and sense of community among its residents.

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

The first through the eighth. First and second in one room, third and fourth in the next, and. The great thing about it was that if you were sharp, you didn't have to go anywhere you'd just go sit in with the second graders. And sometimes you could go sit in with the third and fourth graders. And that's what Mary Jo Morrow and I did, used to do. And we were great friends. I'm surprised at our, we were such great friends with people making us competitive. But we, we had a real good friendship and, and we were allowed to - because we both liked to read and I think reading was Margaret Stanford's greatest thrust in the community. She kept telling you, if you, if you read you'll never be lonely. And she was single, and I thought that was, in later thinking about it that was, that was pretty poignant. If you read you'll never be lonely. It was, it was a good life and I think when Bruce and I married and came back here I wanted that for Mike and Brian. I wanted them to feel a sense of community, a sense of continuity. I didn't want them to ever get to the place that they valued transient types of things. The - I didn't want 'em to feel that this was an anonymous world. That if you had a sense of self and a sense of community then already you've got stability. And if you have stability, you have a, less chance of things going awry in your life. And I guess perhaps it's discipline. And if you are anonymous, there's no social controls. And I wanted to give them those same values. Now we left the community where Bruce's parents were because - you know, the Holts started the community, it was an original land grant. Bruce was still an upstart. And there was no sense of self and community up there. And we felt like this would be the place to, to raise our kids. And there was this … [END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A] [TAPE 1, SIDE B] [START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
… Brian had any problems with acceptance. It was just like you picked up your threads again, and kept on moving. And I think the greatest fear in the community is these threads will be broken. I also realized with some great horror that we're getting to be the older generation, for God's sakes. I'm still a baby. And I realized that the people that I had always felt were the elders of the community are dying and we're the next in line. And where in the hell are we going to get the wisdom, that I always felt these people had? You know, we're just struggling too. And I thought, well maybe wisdom and, and perception are two completely separate things. Maybe you don't have to be wise, just everybody think you're wise [Laughter] . So it's, it's been a good life; it's been interesting.