Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson
Person interviewed: Liddie Boechus, (second interview)
"I was born in West Point, Mississippi. My own dear mother's owner was
Pool. His wife was Mistress Patty Pool. Old man Pool raised our set. He
was an old soldier, I think. He was old when I came to know him.
"My own papa's pa was Smith. After he came back from the Civil War he
took back his Smith name. He changed it back from Pool to Smith.
"I was a small child when my own dear mother died. My stepmother had
some children of her own, so papa hired me out by the year to nurse for
my board and clothes. My stepmother didn't care for me right. White
folks raised me.
"I married when I was fifteen years old to a man twenty years old or
more. White folks was good to me but I didn't have no sense. I lef' 'em.
I married too young. I lived wid him little over twelve years, and I had
twelve children by him. Then I married a preacher. We had two more
children. My first husband was trifling. I ploughed, hoed, split wood to
raise my babies.
"My daughter come from Louisiana to stay with me last winter when I was
sick. I got eight dollars, now I gets six dollars from the Welfare. My
daughter here now.
"I went to one white teacher a few days--Miss Perkins. I never got to go
enough to learn. I took up reading and writing from my children. I write
mighty poor I tell you.
"I used to be a midwife and got ten dollars a case. They won't pay off
now. I do a little of that work, but I don't get nothing for it. They
have a doctor or won't pay.
"My husband was a good man. He was a preacher. I'm a Baptist.
"I don't know what to think about young folks. Every feller is for his
own self. Times is hard with old folks. I had a stroke they said. This
new generation ain't got no strength. I think it is because they set
around so much. What would a heap of them do? A long day's work in the
field would kill some of them. It would! Some folks don't work 'nough to
be healthy. I don't know, but though, I really believes education and
automobiles is the whole cause."
Liddie Aiken Wheatley Arkansas Interviewed By Irene Robertson Lidia Jones