Collected by Jo Ann Rife
Transcribed by James Lee
Conversation between Jo Ann
Rife and Mrs Lillian B . Sears
Elm Springs, Arkansas
December 29, 1955
Reel 238 Item 4
JAR: I guess keeping house was a little bit more fun when
you had some sisters to help you; you said your kitchen
was about 26 feet long; how did you keep it clean?
LBS: Well, we took turn about— weekly turns— we would go
out to the barn and get fresh shucks, and every woman
then had a shuck mop— it was a board with large holes
bored in it and you put the shucks through ; the butt
end of the shuck held, and it made a dandy mop. And then
you went down to the spring and got about a gallon of
water and clean gravels out of the water and sprinkled
them over the floor, and then you got lye soap out of
the . . . and put it with your hot water and that floor
really got a scrubbing and a rinsing. And then our kitchen
was so big and so high that we had to — in order to
sweep the cobwebs off— we had to get on top of the dining
table with a broom and sweep them down with that. Then
every week we scrubbed the pewter knives and forks with
the . . . ashes.
JAR: You had a parlor too that you didn't go into much didn't
LBS: Well, we had a parlor, but the parlor was my grandmothers.
She had a parlor that was never opened except for some special
occasion, like a wedding or some special company or big
party. And when you opened it, it smelled like leaves had
been dried in a book, because they had so many dried
flowers and tinkling music boxes and albums and feather
dusters and bricka brac that I just loved to
slip in there and sit down and stare at them.
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