Manuscript/Mixed Material Image 1 of [Turpentine Man]
History of R. W. Wishart
[1206 14th Avenue?]
[August 22, 1939?]
Lindsay M. [Bryan?]
LIFE HISTORY OF
C. W. WIMSTER, TURPENTINE MAN
“Yeah, man. I was bawn in a turpentine camp, spent near about forty years in the business, and woulda been in it yet if the bottom hadn't-a dropped out of it. I've soaked up so much turpentine in my life that if you run me through a still right now, I reckon you'd git about ten gallon outa me.”
The speaker, a 40-year old veteran of the turpentine woods, chuckled at this jest as he sat on the front porch of his weathered one-story home in an old residential part of Tampa. He stretched his long wiry frame in the porch rocker, ran long fingers through a shock of wavy brown hair, and his level gray eyes took on a [reminescent?] look as though gasing back through the endless vistas of [gum-exuding?] pines that had been the scene of his life. He went on!
“When I say I was bawn in a turpentine camp I mean jist that. My father was manager of a 20-crop naval stores place, an we lived in the camp near Eastman, Georgia, an I was bawn right in the camp in 1899. There was six children of us, an as soon as us boys was old enough we shore had to work, helpin around the still or the commissary, or work as water boys. When I was about two years old my folks moved to another camp at Bay Lake, Florida.
“I started to school there when I was six, in a little one-room log schoolhouse in the woods. I started in the turpentine business as a water boy when I was eight, an finally worked myself up to manager of eight camps at [$230?] a month.