The Memoirs of Robert Winston
Stories as told to me by my Mother
Table of contents:
- Mama telling about Papa
getting scared from the noise made by two files in his coat pocket.
- Mama talking about working
in the cotton mill.
- Mama and Aunt Pat's first
experience with an inside toilet.
- Mama and Papa taking a
train to Lynchburg Virginia.
- Mama telling about when
she and Aunt Molly were saved.
Mama told me about
one time Papa had been to town for something and it was dark when he got home. He was
calling to Mama from the yard to open the door quick. When he got in the house, he told
Prissy that someone was following him from the stables where he had put up and fed the
stock. Papa told her when he would take a few steps, someone behind him would jingle
something like a chain. Papa was a little out of breath so Mama helped him take off his
coat. In doing so, Mama heard something in his coat jingle. Papa had purchased two or
three steel files and when the coat moved, the steel files made a jingling noise. When
Papa would stop walking or running, the noise would stop and when started, the jingling
followed him to the house. Papa never was much to drink alcohol but I would not be
surprised if he had a few with his friends in town earlier that day.
Mama told me about she, her
brothers and sisters working in the cotton mill for 13¢ per day. There was no child labor
law and the children started to work when they were about 12 years old. She told me that
Uncle Robert had a job doffing. As I remember, doffing was the job of changing the empty
spools for full spools of yarn in the weaving process. She said that Uncle Robert was one
of the best workers at his job.
Mama told me that
when she and her sister Pat started to work in the mill, they had always had outside
toilets, never having the experience of using an inside water closet. They thought they
would try to figured out how to use it. While Aunt Pat was using it, Mama pulled the chain
from the water tank above the closet and when the water flushed the closet, it it made a
lot of noise and water splashed up on Aunt Pat scaring her. She jumped up saying
"Prissy you broke it. Lets get out of here and don't tell anyone". Someone saw
them when they exited the toilet and knew what had happened and showed them how to flush
it assuring them that they had not broken it.
Mama told me of a trip she and
Papa made to Lynchburg, Virginia. to visit Aunt Pat and Uncle Jim May. They traveled on
the train. Mama, having never been more than a few miles from Franklinton, thought it was
some trip riding the train and visiting the city of Lynchburg.
Sometime in the 1970's, when
visiting Mama, I asked her about the time she was converted or saved. She told me that it
happened when she and Aunt Molly were attending a revival. When the invitation to be saved
was given, she and Aunt Molly responded and the experience was as clear as if it had just
happened.Mama had tears of happiness in her eyes when she told me.