Manuscripts/Mixed Material [A Small Merchant]
Date of first writing: July 5, 1939
Name of person interviewed: Cola P. White (white)
Address: Wilson, N. C.
Writer: Stanley Combs
Reviser: Edwin Hassengill
Number of words: About 2,700
A SMALL MERCHANT
Jacob Stilley was busy dusting the shelves in his store. He operates a small retail store near the outer edge of the business section of town. His stock consists of a line of candies, cigars, cigarettes, cold drinks, a few pies, cakes, and canned goods. He also has a few punchboards, a slot machine, and a small pool table. In this he has worked and lived for the past several years.
“There ain't much ever happened to me” he said. “I was born on a farm twenty-eight years ago last October. My mother died while I was quite young. Let's see, I think I was a little less than three years old — somewhere between two and three years of age. The Old Man sent me to live with my grandparents, and I lived with them until he got him another wife. Then I went to live with him and his new wife. I was only about nine years old, and I attended school in the country off and on according to the weather. If the weather was bad I stayed at home.