Interviewer: Carol Graham
Person Interviewed: Pinkie Howard (Add)
El Dorado, Ark.
"Mornin', honey! Here you is to see Aunt Pinkie again. What did you
bring me? Didn't you bring old Aunt Pinkie somethin' good to eat?
"Lawsy, honey, its been so long I can't member much bout plantation
days. But I members the children on the plantation would ring up and
play ring games. And we used to have the best things to eat back in them
days. We used to take taters and grate them and make tater pudding. Made
it in ovens. Made corn bread and light bread in ovens too and I used to
bake the best biscuits anybody ever et and I didn't put my scratchers in
them neither. Old Miss taught me how. And we had lasses pone corn bread
and them good old tater biscuits. We used to eat parched corn, and
cornmeal dumplings was all the go back there.
"I worked all my life and hard, too, but I still is a pretty good old
"He! He! He! Look at that black boy passing, will you? Them brichie legs
is half way his thighs. He needs to put sugar in his shoes to sweet talk
his brichie legs down. And did you notice he didn't speak to old Aunt
Pinkie. Young folks ain't got no manners these days. Now when I was
young back there on that plantation at Hillsboro old Miss Aiken taught
all her niggers manners. She would say to us, 'Now, you all don' clean
your noses, or years, or fingernails before folks; it's ill manners.
And don' make no 'marks bout folks. Don' eat onions and go out in
company, if you does, eat coffee to kill the taste. Don't talk with yo'
mouth full of sumpin' to eat; that ill manners too. Don' eat too fast
cause you is liable to git strangled. And don' wear yo' welcome out by
staying too long.'
"Ain't it warm and nice today missy? Jus like a spring day. An see that
bee after my flower? Wasn't it a bee? You know, bees used to swarm in
the springtime back on the plantation. The way they would catch em was
to ring a bell or beat on a old plow and keep beatin' and ringin' till
they settled on a tree limb. Then they made a bee gum and covered it and
left a hole at the bottom of the gum for them to go in and out, then
they sawed the limb off and put the bees in the gum and put some
sweetened water made from molasses so they can start to makin' honey.
Sometimes the bees would sting some of us and we would put a little
snuff on it and cure it right up."
Next: Josephine Howell
Previous: Mildred Thompson