Today my very first guest post comes from Kymani, my 7-year-old. He is currently working on a project for school titled “The Story of Me”. One of his tasks was to interview his oldest living relative. It was amazing to watch and she had such interesting information, so we have decided to share it with you! He’ll be dictating from this point on. Enjoy!
Hi! My name is Ky and this is my interview. This was my first interview ever and it was with my Great Great Grandma Artelia. She is 95 and she’s really cool. The coolest thing I learned was that her dad was her hero and that they didn’t have video games back then so they had to play some game called jacks. Also, we will be hearing some amazing stuff from back in the day so sit back, relax and enjoy the interview.
Q: What is our family’s heritage? Which countries did our ancestors come from and how did they get to where we live today?
A: Our family comes from Nigerian and Scottish descent. We come from the Ebo Tribe in Nigeria and we came over to America on boats (the 7-year-old, clean version of the story). I was born in North Carolina and we have been here for as long as I can remember way back to my grandmother.
Q: As you were growing up, who was your hero inside and outside of the family and why did you admire them?
A: Inside the family, it was my father. He had a lot of compassion and even though he didn’t have any formal training he had a love for learning. Outside of the family, it was Charlotte Hawkins Brown, the president of the school I was going to. She was my mentor because I thought she was extremely brilliant and a great orator.
Q: What chores did you have to do around the house when you were younger?
A: Oooohhh, I had to clean up, make beds, wash dishes, cook, wash clothes and iron. And we didn’t have an electric iron we had to warm it up on the stove and the clothes weren’t like they are now, they were much harder to iron. And it was called a smoothing iron, so we didn’t press the clothes, we smoothed them.
*Kymani’s eyes were wide and intrigued at this point, surprised by all the chores she had to do and that she had to heat the iron up on the stove*
Q: What were family mealtimes like? What foods were typically eaten, and what was your favorite food/meal? Were there any special foods or recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation?
A: My family always ate meals together. It wasn’t like now where everyone had their own schedules, everyone worked from 8 to 4. So you would eat lunch wherever you were but breakfast and supper were always together. And we didn’t call it dinner, we called it supper. We ate lots of vegetables and we always had meat for breakfast. We didn’t always have meat for our evening meal but on Sundays, we would have meat for breakfast and supper. My favorite meal was our Sunday morning meal where we would have smothered chicken and rice. And we never really had rice, only on Sundays. Our potato salad recipe was passed from my grandmother to my father to me and I passed it down to my children.
Q: What did the family do for entertainment? Were there any favorite games or toys that you had or played as a youngster? Did you play any sports growing up?
A: The children had a lot of games. We played hopscotch, kickball, baseball, jack rocks, which was like jacks but we used rocks instead of the metal jacks because we didn’t always have those and we played this one game called dummy school. In this game, everybody started at the bottom step, and you answered questions. Every time you got one right you would take a step up. So the people who didn’t know the answer would be left behind on the bottom steps.
Ky: And I guess they were the dummies, so you called it dummy school. lol
Grandma: exactly (they laughed in unison here) And I was very athletic. I played tennis, field hockey, volleyball, archery, track, and basketball.
Q: What was your first job? How old were you when you started and what were your tasks? How much did you earn for your wage?
A: My first job was working in a home and I worked there my second year of college so I was about 18. My tasks were to cook, wash, take care of the baby, pretty much anything that needed to be done around the house. I have no earthly remembrance of how much I earned. It was about 1940 so not very much, maybe $15 a week.
Q: What important inventions were made during your lifetime and how did they affect the world around you?
A: The electric stove was a great invention because it eliminated having to go out and purchase wood and then having to cut the wood to make a fire. Another great invention was the refrigerator. People used to have to buy ice and keep it in a compartment and put your food in that. The refrigerator was wonderful and made it easier. It was less labor and you didn’t have to wait for the ice man to come. And the last one would be the computer. The computer has changed the world. I had an opportunity to learn how to work a computer for a little bit when my eyesight was still good.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to tell me about your life experiences?
A: Hmmm let me see what I can tell you. Well, I had very good parents and a very good grandmother. I had very good siblings. My sisters were 12 and 18 years older than me but they were good sisters. I’m thankful that I got to go to college and get an education. I loved my last job, which was as a daycare provider at a company where I later became the director. And I’m thankful that I got to meet and marry my husband and that we had 16 wonderful children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and now even great-great-grandchildren.
Thanks for reading my first blog!