Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Gardenia Banta]
You could get all that stuff from old story books for little children. That would be easier. Once I had to give a speech to the Eastern Star (a fraternal organization for women). I had to tell about Prince Hall — It was the Prince Hall Chapter. I chopped up pieces of somebody's speech here and a speech there and then I put it all together. It was a good speech. Anyway, they said it was.
I was born in Savannah, Georgia. My mother was born in Georgia and my father was born in South Carolina; and my child is yet to be born. I've had two husbands.
A man went to the crazy-house and they told him after a while that if he kept on improving he could go home. He sat down and wrote to his people that he'd be coming home soon. He licked the stamp and put it down on a roach (unknown to him). The roach carried the stamp up to the ceiling. He watched the roach running up there, and saw that it didn't leave the room. Still watching he said, “Damn, if I'm going home as fast as you're carrying that stamp home, I'll never get home.”...I didn't stay 'till the roach come down.
When I first came to New York I stopped at 122 W. 25th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. I came here in 1888. I joined St. Philip's Church when it was down in 25th Street. Up here (111th St.) you could count the people that passed in a day. I could do that when I moved up here. I used to sew for some people who lived at 315 W. 113th Street when I lived downtown and that was coming way up town.
I've never lived as well up here as I did in Savannah. We lived well. I've never lived so well up North. My father had a good job and he was a good-looking man. He used to buy 1/2 barrel of flour,