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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Annie Mack Barbee, May 28, 1979. Interview H-0190. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Learning to value money and hard work

Barbee describes her father's disciplinary tactics and how he taught his daughters to value money and hard work.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Annie Mack Barbee, May 28, 1979. Interview H-0190. 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

Now your granddaddy told me that he was a tobacco worker. What is the impression of your father when you were growing up?
He was a good provider and he was very, very strict.
What do you mean by strict?
Well, had to go to church three times a day. If you didn't go and wanted to go somewhere in the afternoon and you was sick that morning, you couldn't go out that evening. You just had to stay sick all day long regardless of how you felt about it. And the church was a must. You had the family prayer on Sunday morning, read the bible. Everybody say bible for instance, before you could eat. That was a must. And when you had company at night, nine o'clock was the limit. They had to go home regardless. And when you went out you had a certain hour to come in. Eleven o'clock. Well it was all right providing where you were going, to a dance or something like that, he would extend the limit a little farther. And he was particular about your associates. You couldn't mingle with any and everybody. He had to know the family and the children themselves. And when you went somewhere to visit a child, you better bet he knew the people—the family, you know. And, well, we went to work real early—me and Mae, that's your mother. And when we became women, working, got grown working—'course I guess we should a been in school, I don't know—but he still was the ruler to a certain extent, you know. Then when we got eighteen the limit was off. He'd let you do, you know, do your own shopping or whatever you wanted to do with your own money. You were grown then, you was eighteen, then you could buy what you want, just give him something for staying there, you know. In other words, you paid board. But the other money, you could take it and do what you want with it—buy clothes or whatever, whatever. And then when you get short of money—'cause I've gotten a plenty money from them. I used to love the baseball games and when my money would run out, he'd loan you money, of course. He'd let you have money, but you had to pay it back, you know. But I think that was a nice way of teaching you to pay your debts. I didn't approve of it at that time. It really hurt me because he was my daddy. [laughter] But when I began to realize later on in life, that made me want to pay my debts. If I borrowed money from somebody, it was instilled in me to pay it back, regardless of who it was. But I resented it in the beginning. I didn't like it one bit. But by him doing that, it instilled, you know, if we borrowed some money from some money from somebody, regardless of what it was for, we was supposed to pay it back. I liked that part of it after I got grown. I didn't realize it until I got grown. And we worked at the factory. That's all we knew about, working at the factory. Well, factory work was all right.