C. K.:To start out, what is your name?
C. K.:Was that your residence when you were a teenager?
W. B.:Yes, until I was 17 years old when I served the country.
C. K.:Did you live with both of your parents when you were young?
W. B.:Oh no, he didnt make it, he wasnt in that age group.
W. B.:Yes, he had a couple of brothers that were in WWI.
C. K.:Did they ever tell you or him stories that you can remember?
W. B.:No, other than I remember him saying something about the trenches over in France. They fought unlike we do today.
C. K.:Did you guys have electricity back then?
W. B.:Well the earliest I remember we did not have electricity. The earliest I remember, I must have been about 3 years old, I have a picture of me and my mother and father when I was 2 years old. And we lived out in Rougemont and there was no electricity there at that time. And I remember we had … a well across the street. We had to walk across the street to draw water from the well.
C. K.:So, you said you were in WWII, any war stories?
W. B.:Oh yes, one time I got a brain concussion, a skull fracture … I was sent back to Eya Heights Hospital in Pearl Harbor, there I spent about six months. When I went back to duty, I went into a destroyer. Later I went to be a radio electrician.
C. K.:What about the attack on Pearl Harbor, what do you remember about that?
W. B.:I was at home in Rougemont at the time when the bombing went on. But my older brother was in Pearl Harbor on the USS West Virginia. He was a member of the crew.
C. K.:Did he tell you specific details about Pearl Harbor?
W. B.:Uh, no. Well he did say he was not on duty that morning, he was on liberty in Honolulu, and he was not on the ship when it got sunk.
C. K.:In WWII did you have any close calls?
W. B.:Yes, just that one I told you about earlier.
W. B.:One daughter lives in Arizona the other lives here in Durham. It was around 1955, 1956.
C. K.:How did you support the family?
W. B.:I was a hard working person, I operated a TV shop in Roxboro. I worked long hours. My wife was a nurse, she worked at the hospital in Roxboro. Things werent so bad. Things were really touch and go back when I was 5 or 6 years old. When the depression came along. Course we were poor. People now adays, they cant quite survive on the way that we lived. I remember my father worked ten hours a day, and got paid very little money, but supported seven children.
W. B.:Well, we had a garden, a cow, and a pig. We made out pretty good. My mother worked in the garden, and when the kids were old enough to work the garden they worked the garden. I also remember when I was going to school as a child 6 or 7 years old, I remember carrying my buttermilk to school in a little mason jar that fits underneath the windowsill. My lunch I would carry in a paper sack. I would be lucky to have a paper sack, people cant quite grasp that. I would fold up my paper sack very neatly and bring it home, and I could carry my lunch the next day. And thats the way we did it, we survived. We didnt go hungry. But I remember when a meal would be made from thick gravy; fat back, some grease, and flour would make brown gravy. And that would be the meal. I remember meals with buttermilk and cornbread crumbled up in it. I remember meals from molasses, molasses butter, it was a good meal. I remember Saturdays would be for special occasions. We could buy a can of salmon and it cost 10, and mix with some flour and make salmon patties, we would have a gourmet type meal. We would buy one pepsi-cola for 5, you could make a big pitcher of tea, pour that one pepsi-cola into the tea, and we would have pepsi-flavored tea. A lot of people