Millie Johnson

Interviewer: Pernella M. Anderson

Person interviewed: Millie Johnson (Old Bill)

El Dorado, Arkansas

Age: ?

"I was born in Caledonia, Arkansas but I don't know when. I just can't

tell you nothing hardly about when I was a child because my mind goes

and comes. I was a slave and my white folks were good to me. They let

me play and have a good time just like their children did.

"After I got grown I run around terrible. My husband quit me a long

time ago. The white folks let me have my way. They said I was mean and

if my husband fooled with me, told me to shoot him. I am going back

home to Caledonia when I get a chance. My sister's boy brought me up

here; Mack Ford is his name.

"A long time ago--I don't know how long it's been--I came out of the

back door something hung their teeth in my ankle. I hollered and

looked down and it was a big old rattlesnake. I cried to my sister to

get him off of me. She was scared, so all I knew to do was run, jump

and holler. I ran about--oh, I don't know how far--with the snake

hanging to my ankle. The snake would not let me go, and it wasn't but

one thing for me to do and that was stop and pull the snake off of me.

I stopped and began pulling. I pulled and pulled and pulled and

pulled. The snake would not let me go. I began pulling again. After

awhile I got it off. When I pulled the snake away the snake brought

his mouth full of my meat. You talk about hurting, that like to have

killed me. That place stayed sore for twenty years before it healed

up. After it had been healed a couple years I then scratched the

place on a bob wire that inflamed it. That has been about 25 or 30

years ago and it's been sore ever since. Lord, I sure have been

suffering too. As soon as it gets well I am going back to Caledonia. I

am praying for God to let me live to get back home. Mack Ford is the

cause of me being up here.

"I was born in slavery time way before the War. My name is Millie

Johnson but they call me Bill."

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