Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Lucille Kincaid Armstrong, November 16, 1999

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Early life in Etowah, Tennessee

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Partial Transcript: This interview is with Lucille Kincaid Armstrong.

Segment Synopsis: Armstrong recollects her early life in Etowah, Tennessee. She talks about her and her five siblings' childhoods. She starts with telling a story about how her siblings were almost burnt in a fire; her eldest brother did not survive. Next, she talks about how her other brother died of a disease similar to measles. Next, Armstrong talks about her teachers and how they all liked her despite being a troublemaker. Next, she talks about how during recess a lot of the kids would sing church songs and others would play baseball. Armstrong talks about the local restaurants and things to do as a kid.

Keywords: Child deaths; Entertainment; Fires; Measles; Recreation; Schools; Teachers; Tennessee

Subjects: Childhood; Church buildings; Etowah (Tenn.)

00:15:52 - Working for the newspaper

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Partial Transcript: Oh, you used to do a, um, column in the newspaper.

Segment Synopsis: Armstrong talks about working for a newspaper and how she started her column. She explains that she got her start writing about church news. She wrote for the same newspaper until 1978 (around 10 years).

Keywords: Careers; Columnists; Employment; Jobs; Newspaper columns; Newspapers; Tennessee; Work; Writing

Subjects: Communities; Etowah (Tenn.)

00:19:43 - Scary moments in Etowah / World War II

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about--

Segment Synopsis: Armstrong talks about how there were some people who did not like her. One visited the house and she didn't realize that he was supposed to be in jail. Next, she talks about her memories during World War II. She says she does not remember a lot except people leaving for the war. Next, Armstrong explains how she almost lost her job to a white woman, however they realized Armstrong was a better worker and re-hired her.

Keywords: Careers; Employment; Jobs; Segregation; Tennessee; WWII; Work; World War 2

Subjects: African Americans--Social conditions; Etowah (Tenn.); Race discrimination; Racism; World War, 1939-1945

00:25:04 - Armstrong's mindset and changes in life

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Partial Transcript: Can you think of a big disappointment that you had--

Segment Synopsis: Armstrong talks about how she likes to see the good in life. Because of this she tries to live life like she is still 21. She says she leaves it up to God and lives life based on that mindset. Armstrong says she believes that the kids today are different then they used to be and they are much more violent. Armstrong says if she could be younger she would dedicate her time to try and help straighten out these kids. Armstrong believes kids learn their violent tendencies at home.

Keywords: Children; Family; Kids; Tennessee

Subjects: Communities; Etowah (Tenn.); Families.

00:33:05 - The Todd family

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Partial Transcript: So you had two fires?

Segment Synopsis: Armstrong starts with telling a story about how she helped pay the rent for her family during the Great Depression. She washed dishes for a family named the Todds for 50 cents a night. At age 18 she rented the house and land she still lives in for $2.50 a week. She explains how the Todds owned much of the land in the area.

Keywords: Careers; Employment; Great Depression; Jobs; Small towns; Tennessee; Work

Subjects: Communities; Depressions--1929; Etowah (Tenn.)

00:36:25 - Ghost story

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember any--ever being told any ghost stories or?

Segment Synopsis: Armstrong tells a story about a paranormal encounter she had with a ghost horse and buggy while cutting a Christmas tree.

Keywords: Christmas; Ghost stories; Ghosts; Tall tales

Subjects: Etowah (Tenn.)

00:40:20 - Potato pumpkins

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Partial Transcript: Oh, Linda Caldwell told me that you had a story about picking cotton?

Segment Synopsis: Armstrong talks about picking cotton as a kid and how she couldn't ever get enough to be useful. Next, Armstrong explains how during the Great Depression her mother would cook potato pumpkin pies using a pumpkin-like vegetable that was growing in abundance Etowah. She explains how the community used this to survive during that period.

Keywords: Cooking; Great Depression; Rural America; Tennessee

Subjects: Childhood; Communities; Depressions--1929; Etowah (Tenn.)