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Interview conducted as part of the Nash County Cultural Center's Oral History Project. Rebecca Gulley Shumate is a white woman born in 1922 who lived virtually all her life in Nashville. Most of her memories concern her father, who ran a hardware store, and at various times served as County Coroner, Fire Chief, and Sheriff (and, during WWII, as head of the local draft board). Her childhood memories include getting penny candy from her father's store, roller skating in the street, and attending the town's first-through-eleventh grade school. Her parents' marriage was an arranged one (her father asked a friend who was going to Baltimore on business to bring him back a wife) but the marriage was evidently a long and happy one. She describes her father as very kind, with a live-and-let live attitude; someone who could "fix anything" and did handyman work for free for widows, since the Bible enjoins us to help widows. Her parents founded a little Baptist Church on the highway outside Nashville where her mother played the piano and her father led the singing. Widowed and blind in his old age he came to live with Rebecca and her husband Donald Shumate and went fishing on Barnacle Bill's Pier in Topsail Beach with his friends. Rebecca talks about her marriage (she met her husband during the war on a blind date; they saw each other for three weekends, corresponded for 28 months after he shipped out with the Navy, and got married when he came home). Her husband worked for the China American Tobacco Company in Rocky Mount and she worked as a teller at People's Bank in Nashville for many years. She had attended Mars Hill College for two years during the war. She talks also about pets, two road trips with friends, the difficulty of caring for her husband near the end of his life, but though prompted by the interviewer has very little to say about either Pearl Harbor or Hurricane Hazel.





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