Dec. 22, 1938
Cotton pickings at night was a great event for the young people in the community. Along the latter part of the fall season the farmers would pull off the cracked bolls of cotton and pile it up in the house and invite the young people to come at night and help pick out the cotton. They would pick until nine or ten o’clock and then clean up the cotton and burrs which were usually scattered a1l over the house. They would then move the chairs and take down the beds, if there were any in the room and move them out and then play blindfold and other games.
Thimble was a very popular game The crowd would all sit down and one person would take the thimble and go around to every one and pretend he was giving the thimble to each. Then each one was asked the question, "Who has the thimble?" and they would guess. If they missed, the one accused could require punishment of the guesser. Frequently the "punishment" was requiring him or her to kiss another, but very often the "punishment" was on the one being kissed, and sometimes it would require a very good race to catch and hold the girl till the "punishment" was administered.
Many of the young men would not call on his "best girl" without taking a box of snuff and a bunch of black gum tooth brushes with him…A large number of the girls in the community dipped snuff and many of the boys used tobacco. It was a very common thing for a crowd of boys and girls to get together at night or can Sunday evenings and sit around the fire and dip snuff. Some of the boys would always have a box of snuff in his pocket and they would
pass the snuff box around and most all of them would dip their brush into the box. If they did not have tooth brushes someone would go out and hunt a black gum or birch tree and bring back a supply of brushes, but in most instances some of the boys would have a pocket full of brushes ready for such an occasion. Many of the young men would not call on his "best girl" without taking a box of snuff and a bunch of black gum tooth brushes with him, and quite often he would have a bottle of "corn juice" in his pocket for his own consumption, but one seldom heard of a girl taking any of the latter. That was one of the things they are clear of, and very often they would avoid going with the boys who drank.
Carson’s Mill was located on Roberson’s Creek and is now known as Andrews’ Mill. There were two dams across the creek above this mill, one about three hundred yards above the mill and the other one about two hundred feet from the mill house. The mill race ran around the foot of the hill from the upper dam to the mill house. There was a flood gate at the lower end of the race that could be raised to turn the water on the wheel to run the mill. The water wheel was an overshot wheel, about twenty feet in diameter and about four feet in width. They ground both wheat and corn at this mill. I remember some of the men who operated this mill. The first miller I recall was Thomas Carson, then Sam Callahan, Joe Wallace, and Jim Watson. There were others who I cannot recall just now.
The lower dam furnished water to run a saw mill. The saw was known as a sash saw, about six feet long and ran up and down, and would saw from five hundred to one thousand feet of lumber per day. The saw would saw within about four inches of the end of the log and there was a block on the side of the carriage that would automatically knock off the lever to the flood gate and cut cut off the water and stop the saw. The carriage was pushed back by hand power, the log was moved over the thickness of a plank and the mill started again.
"Uncle" Joe Weast was the sawyer, and when the people would haul logs to the mill he would always stop sawing and help them unload the logs. When they had an unusually good log he would usually make the remark, "I jingo, that’s a good log." This mill was a great place for boys to go in swimming and for fishing while awaiting their "turn" to be ground.
One time two colored men, Cab Martin and Jake Elliott, went to this mill and while the miller was grinding their corn they went off somewhere and got some whiskey and took almost too much of it. On the way home Jake let his sack of meal fall off his mule so he got down and put the bag of meal on his shoulder, led his mule up to a stump, mounted the mule and went on home riding the mule and carrying the bag of meal on his shoulder.