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Interview conducted with Jimmy O’Neal Harris as part of the Nash County Oral Histories Project. Harris, born July 24, 1925, discusses growing up near Spring Hope, NC. He says his family were sharecroppers who mostly grew tobacco, corn, and cotton. Harris says he grew up with 15 siblings in a house with just 3 bedrooms. He describes wearing hand-me-down clothes, and mentions that nearly all of the family’s food came from things they grew themselves. He talks about working all week then playing baseball on the weekend; also mentions playing pranks on his brothers. Says his mother enjoyed sitting on the porch watching her children play, while his father liked fishing and hunting. He reflects on going to a 2-room school with 2 teachers where grades 1-7 were taught, He talks about his favorite teacher, and about children having to gather wood to make fires to warm the building. Harris speaks about being drafted, briefly serving in the military from April until December of 1945; says he was given a dependency discharge once WWII ended, so he could go home to help his older brother run the farm. He reflects on seeing his wife for the first time.





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