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Garland Strickland, a white man, was born in the Nash County community of Pig Basket. He had two brothers and one step-sister, and he describes he and his siblings growing up happily on their small farm and working on his uncle's next-door farm too. He describes their childhood as having been spent outdoors, mostly in the nearby Turkey Creek, making up adventure games (most of them rough and dangerous) inspired by Tarzan and Tom Mix westerns and other movies they saw (their uncle gave them movie money in exchange for farm work). Strickland enjoyed playing practical jokes on adults and was often punished for them. He talks about running away to a nearby woods with his brother Joseph and building themselves a little cabin to live in, but returning home when it got dark. He and his siblings walked three and a half miles to and from school every day, behaving all right on the way there and fighting all the way home. He talks about his younger brother Joseph and his step-sister Ada Mae who grew up to be a nurse. Ada Mae once stitched Fats Domino up after a barroom accident the entertainer had. Strickland also describes hog killings with his parents and uncles, with plenty of "medicine" (corn liquor) consumed. He describes how to make corn liquor in a home still, and how to make apple brandy. He describes making apple brandy as a child. Strickland has anecdotes about tricking his uncles and a local shopkeeper. He describes his and his wife's courtship, and says that when he proposed over the phone she accepted without being sure who it was she was talking to. Strickland grew up to take on positions with the Veterans Program, and then with the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. He was a supervisor, and then became State Treasurer for many years. He talks about his meetings all over the state with other supervisors, his attempts to get Federal support for local conservation programs, a program he initiated of teaching conservation in all the County's public schools, his work as a fundraiser for conservation projects, and his nonstop efforts as an advocate for Nash County agriculture and farmers. Through his years as a state official, he says, he never received any salary, but did get funds to cover some of his office expenses. His wife, Jean, has been instrumental in keeping their own farm going. Some of his associates he talks about regarding the state conservation work are: C. R. Patton, Nat White, Phillip Murray, Don Glissen, Mr. Massey, State Senator White, Allen Barber, Bryce Younts, Jack Smith, Jim Graham, and Sam Chen. He describes Hurricane Hazel and the impact it had on Eastern North Carolina, and talks about another more recent and likewise devastating hurricane. He believes that women should not work, but stay home and raise their children. He also thinks current (at the time of the interview) Nash County Commissioners are "the poorest set we have ever had."





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