The Memoirs of Robert Winston
Stories as told to me by my Father Page 1
Table of contents:
- Papa telling me about
corn shucking in the fall of the year.
- Papa telling about the
murder of Mr. Brown and lynching of the murderer.
- Papa and Bithon Thompson
- Papa going to Raleigh and
swimming in Poullens Park.
- Papa telling me where
babies came from.
- Papa's views on
Carpetbaggers and the Reconstruction era.
Papa told me when the corn
was harvested, the neighbors would get together and have a "corn shuckin" at
neighborhood farms. They would usually have something to eat. I remember going with Papa
to Jimmy Dento's farm for a corn shuckin when I was 8 or 9 years old.
Papa told me about
the time a Mr. Brown, who either owned or ran the picture show, being shot and killed by a
black man. People took the man from jail and lynched him out towards Youngsville. The way
he described the actions of the lynch mob, it was a terrible experience for the people of
Papa told me when he and Bithon
Thompson were walking over his property cruising timber, they were going through a barbed
wire fence by pushing the middle strand of wire down and after placing one leg through and
bending over, Bithon was part way through when he was scared by a bull near by and in his
haste he raised up as he was going through the fence and cut his shoulder real deep. Papa
was telling him how much it was bleeding and Bithon told Papa he wasn't concerned about
the cut but was concerned about the damage the barb had caused to his new shirt.
Papa told me of going
to Raleigh when he was a young man to sell produce at a farmers market. It was usually a
two or three day trip by wagon, counting the time taken for selling his goods. He told me
of diving and swimming in Poullens Park. He told me he could float while pealing a peach
and then eating it. I know that he really liked peaches.
When I was very young, I remember
asking someone, maybe Mama or Papa, where babies came from and was told they came from
tree stumps. After a few years, Papa was telling me about when he was a young man (1875 to
1880) he was paid 25¢ each for grubbing a tree stump. The stumps at this time were virgin
trees and since then, when I was in the CCC, I got to see virgin trees so when Papa told
me it would take him two or three days to grub one stump, I understand why it took so much
time. After he told me about grubbing all those stumps, I asked him how many babies he had
found and I was confused when he told me he had found none. I don't remember if he told me
about the birds and the bees, but it was only a short time that I learned that babies did
not come from tree stumps.
Papa said there was not so much
bitterness in the loss of the Civil War due to freeing of the slaves. In the
reconstruction years following the war, carpetbaggers used the freed slaves to plunder and
make life miserable on the southern people. Papa seemed to think the carpetbaggers delayed
what could have been true freedom for the Negro People for generations. I am proud that my
grandfather was not a slave owner even if he did fight in the Confederate Army.
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