I guess one of the most outstanding things that I ever enjoyed was during my childhood, when we used to visit my relatives who lived in rural Virginia. Everybody a little farm, little garden, pigs, chickens and vegetables. And I lived in the city all my life, like I have for 90 years, living in Baltimore City. So when I used to go, there so many things to see. To me, that was so unusual and it was wonderful to be with relatives and friends, and participate in those things.
I remember my grandmother had chickens and they ran around the yard, and she fed them. Sometimes they would come in to roost, but they would be out a lot. I guess they would call it free roaming, I guess that’s what they would call it today. The chicken was delicious. We ate a lot of chicken while we were there. I also liked the fact that, it was just very different living because everybody in the whole area was a relative, and everybody looked after all the children. So you weren’t held down by the fact that you can only go to the corner or can’t cross the street, and you could go anywhere you wanted to because our relatives would receive us there and word spread around who was where whenever. The most exciting thing was to go to spend the night with one of my cousins who was my age. Because I like being at her house, it was a lovely house and they had a piano and my aunt made delicious meals and she had a dog, and I didn’t have one at home. And she had a cat. The cat’s name was Harry and the dog’s name Fritz, I believe. So Fritz and Harry were a good part of every story we ever wrote or talked about. We also lived within walking distance to the beach, so we could walk down to the beach and wade in the water. I wasn’t a swimmer, I would go in and wade and it was just wonderful. We would walk to church. It was down the road. We didn’t ride in vehicle most of the time. Even if anybody rode, it would be the adults, but the children would walk, and we walked in groups to wherever we had to go. Life was so easy and so free and so different from city life. Food was plentiful. They went to the store for some items but not many, they raised most of what they ate. And when we sat down to eat, it was just like of feast. There was a table and my uncle had seven children, we only had three at my house, so that was exciting. Also, we were three girls, but there were some boys there. So we had a wonderful time sitting down at the table. For breakfast you might have fried oysters, fried fish, they didn’t eat like we ate at home, cereal, eggs and milk you know. They had just any kind of food that you might want. You ate until you couldn’t eat anymore. And you got up, walked away and played some, and they’d say, “Come on in, it’s time to eat lunch now!” These people ate all the time. So that was a wonderful thing for me. When we went to church, we had a meal, we had ham there. Virginia’s noted for its Smithfield ham. Delicious hams, salads and all kinds of good music. It was just a wonderful experience. So I guess this was what I might call a spectacle because I can’t think of anything else right now. But that was a wonderful experience. Every time we ate it was a feast! We’d eat dinner, and then maybe go to church in the evening. And when we got back, they’d put out food again! When I went to bed there, my stomach so full, I could hardly sleep. That was the main thing they did, was eat.