Pinkie Howard

Interviewer: Carol Graham

Person Interviewed: Pinkie Howard (Add)

El Dorado, Ark.

Age: ?

"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."

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