It's when you get out of the community, you start to look around. "Hey. This is different. I don't have to go in the back door. Why, when I go back home, I'm gonna have to go in the back door? Why can't I sit down at the restaurant and have a cup of coffee? I mean, Mr. Charlie's sitting here having a cup. Why can't I have a cup, too? And you know, you don't start to think until you get out of the community, get out of the situation. You're introduced to somethin' different, and that's what happened with the colleges. You know, you see another aspect. You see another side. This is what-"This is not what we do back at home. Well, if I can do it here, I go home I want to do it, too. Not only do I want to do it, I want my kids to be able to do it. I want my parents to be able to do it." And so, that's where the change come. . . .
. . . the idea was you know, you get out of the situation. You get away from home, what you've been-what you were born with, born and raised all your life, that's all you know. Then, you get away and you're introduced to these foreign ideas. This is acceptable. This is what the normal people do. Then, you start to think, and that's bad when you start to think because then you want change. And, we saw the change. . . .
And, that is something else. We talk about the segregation. You know, before we said [when you] went to college; you get your eyes open. You get your eyes open or whatever. Now suppose you stay in the community. How do you fight it then? I mean, I'm in the community. I've got to depend on Mr. Charlie for the job. I want to go to the store to get something to eat. Where do I go? Do we have any black stores? No. I mean, you know, they - The resource just wasn't there. You fight it and it's kind of like cutting your nose of spite of your face. What do you gain? So, you've got to realize, you know, get your priorities in order. Which is more important?
And then, we went back out and we were on that crosscut saw until dark. Then, I had all of my regular chores to do after that. And the next morning, I was there half-hour before the bus came. I wanted to make sure I didn't miss the bus because that saw was still waiting. But, this is the way they got their point across. They didn't argue. They didn't do a lot of talking, but you knew they knew.
One other chore I had was pulling baskets of grass for the hogs -- honey grass in the field. But you wanted to get by. So, you'd go out and you'd pull grass and fluff it up in the basket so it would look like it was full and you'd look and [Grandfather] was nowhere in sight. But one of the corners you went around, he was there. He pushed that grass down in the basket and it'd go way down. Well, you didn't get to go back to fill it. You went and dumped that in the pen, then you went and got a full basket. So, it was a lot simpler to fill it the first time, then you wouldn't have to make two trips. And I mean this is the way they got their point across.
You were supposed to get in buckets of water at night. If it was 11 o'clock at night, frost on the ground or whatever, when the water went [down] in the buckets, you went and got more water. Even if it was 11 o'clock at night, they got you out of bed, but you still went and got that water because you should have got it [earlier] that evening. You knew you were supposed to do it.
And it's better to get all these darn things done while you can still see and get around than going out in the middle of the night to do these things. So, you learned to do what you were told. . . .