Growing Up on Pig Basket Creek and in Turkey Swamp

Told by Garland Strickland of Philadelphia Community, Nash County, NC

Garland Edward Strickland, Jr. [8 November 1915 - 1 June 2003]

Submitted by:  Margaret Stickland

Posted: 5 July 2010

Joseph, Ada Mae and myself grew up on Pig Basket Creek and in Turkey Swamp.  Most of the things we did were in that swamp.  In today’s world, they would be considered dangerous I suppose.

I remember once my Uncle Charlie lived next door to us.  One year, Uncle Charlie told us that if we would keep the suckers out of his tobacco that he would take us to the picture show every Saturday night.  He gave us a quarter apiece every weekend to go to the show.  We had ten cents for the show and five cents for popcorn, and there was a whole dime that we could splurge on.  We would see things that happened in the picture show, and when we came home, we would try them.

I remember once we saw Tarzan swinging through the trees from one tree to another.  When we came home, we decided we would try that.  So we climbed up a pine tree with the intention of swinging to another pine tree.  Well, for some reason – probably because they were younger and smaller – Joseph and Ada Mae went across fine, but when I swung across, the top broke out of the receiving pine tree and I fell to the ground.  They carried me to the house and put me to bed and told Mama that I didn’t want no supper, that I wasn’t feeling too good.  I don’t know how long I stayed unconscious, but I am told that is the reason that I’m not real bright.

Once we saw Tom Mix ride a buckin’ bronco.  We came home and decided we would ride our old goat.  Loving our little sister so much, we let her try it first.  Well, the goat threw her off.  We tied her feet under his belly so he coundn’t throw her off.  Ada Mae rode that goat!

Then we saw them racing horses around a track with a cart, so we built us a cart and hitched the goat to it.  We loved our little sister, Ada Mae, so much that we let her drive the cart first.  We put her in the cart and gave her the reins.  That goat took off for the woods, flying.

About an hour later our little sister came walking back.  The goat came back, but we never did find that cart.

That’s how we got our fun.

From: stories taken and recorded by the Nash County Arts Council Oral History Project.  Published in THE CONNECTOR in the Winter 2000 issue.