[Transcript of interview with Edna Jackson, recorded as part of the Springfield-Greene County Library District's 2010 Big Read. For more information contact the Library at 417-883-5366 or visit us on the web.]

Interviewer:  Recorded as part of the Springfield-Greene County Library District’s 2010 Big Read.  We’re speaking today with Edna Jackson.  Today is Friday, March 12, 2010.  Good morning, Edna.

Edna Jackson:  Good morning.

Interviewer:  Thank you for being here with me today.  We thought maybe today we’d talk a little bit about what things were like when you grew up.  Where were you born?

Edna Jackson:  Eighteen miles north of Bolivar in Polk County.

Interviewer:  In Polk, that’s kind of my neck of the woods.  I was born and raised in Weaubleau.

Edna Jackson:  Oh?

Interviewer:  Yeah.  So I know all about that area but maybe not like it was when you were little.

Edna Jackson:  Mm hmm.

Interviewer:  So, were you born in a hospital or in your house or…

Edna Jackson:  No, we were born at home.

Interviewer:  Born at home.  And did someone help your mom or was she all by herself?

Edna Jackson:  No, she had her husband.

Interviewer:  Were you an only child?

Edna Jackson:  No, there was 13 of us.

Interviewer:  Oh, my goodness!  13!  And where do you fit?

Edna Jackson:  Mom and dad had three boys, and then me.

Interviewer:  I bet they were excited to see a girl after all those boys.

Edna Jackson:  I wouldn’t know.  But I imagine.

Interviewer:  What, what, so three boys and then you, and then, then what happened?  Who came after that?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, let’s see, two more boys and then, three more boys, and then a girl.  I’d have to start all over.

Interviewer:  Well 13, that’s got to be hard to remember. What was that like growing up with so many brothers and sisters?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, we just done everything.  I mean you can do a lot of different games and play, yeah.

Interviewer:  What kinds of games did you play?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, we called it “Annie Over”, throwing the ball over the roof of the house and then throw it back, and all like that.

Interviewer:  Were you pretty good at that?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, yes.  Yeah, and then we done “bear around the corner” where you try to run around the corner and they’d try to catch you and stuff like that, and just games and jump the rope, and oh, there’s just different things we did.

Interviewer:  Were you all pretty close in age?

Edna Jackson:  Yes.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.

Edna Jackson:  Yes.  Yeah, we was about two years or so _____ between all of us.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  So, was there a time when all of you were in school at the same time?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, no.

Interviewer:  No.

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  What was school like when you were small?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, fine.

Interviewer:  Yeah.  But did you, was it a large school or small?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, it was probably 25, 30, something like that in it.

Interviewer:  In, in the school or in your class?

Edna Jackson:  In the grade school.

Interviewer:  I see.  Did you have a favorite teacher?

Edna Jackson:  No, not that I remember.

Interviewer:  Did you like school?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, yes.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Edna Jackson:  We had to walk to school about a mile and a half, something like that.

Interviewer:  What time did you have to get up in the morning?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, ______ 5:30, something like that.

Interviewer:  Did you have chores to do before you went or was it just the walking that meant you had to get up early?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, well, just help with the housework, you know, before we go to school.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.  What did your parents do for a living?

Edna Jackson:  They just lived on the farm.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.

Edna Jackson:  Put out crop and everything.  Put out a big garden.

Interviewer:  Did you help in the garden?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, yes.

Interviewer:  I remember when I was a kid I really didn’t like a lot of the things out in the garden.  I didn’t like tomatoes, which I love now, but I sure didn’t like them then.  Was there anything you especially liked or didn’t like that you grew?

Edna Jackson:  No, I’d eat about everything we grew.  We had to.

Interviewer:  Yeah.  That’s what there was, so that’s what you ate.

Edna Jackson:  Ate pretty well, made you clean your plate.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.  Was there, you didn’t mind that, there wasn’t anything like Brussels sprouts or anything that you didn’t like?

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Edna Jackson:  Never heard of them when I was at home.

Interviewer:  And what about your brothers and sisters?  Did they have any food likes or dislikes?

Edna Jackson:  Not that I know of.

Interviewer:  No. I see.  How did your, do you remember how your parents met?

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  No.  How did, how did you meet your husband?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, I was down working for somebody.  I worked out four different places when I was a teenager and he was, it was, I was working for this lady down there and he come down by, that’s when I met my husband.  He was visiting somebody down there.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  Was it love at first sight?

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  Really?

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.  Yeah, we lived 46 years together.

Interviewer:  46.

Edna Jackson:  Yeah, before he passed away in ’91.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm. 

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  That must have been really hard to say goodbye to someone you’d been with so long.

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.  Yeah.  And we have three sons.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.  So what was his name?  Tell me about him.

Edna Jackson:  William Henry Jackson.

Interviewer:  William Henry.  That sounds like some, a patriot, or a president.  That’s a good name.

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  Where was he from?

Edna Jackson:  Hermitage, Missouri.

Interviewer:  Oh, ok.   So you didn’t go to school together, …

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  or anything like that?  Ok.  What kind of, what was your wedding like?

Edna Jackson:  We just went to the preacher’s house and got married.

Interviewer:  Did you take any family with you?

Edna Jackson:  No, no.

Interviewer:  It was just the two of you? And did you have a honeymoon?

Edna Jackson:  Well, I guess.

Interviewer:  Did you go away somewhere?

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  No.

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  Down in that neck of the woods they used to do something called shivaree.  Did you have one of those?

Edna Jackson:  No, I’ve heard of shivarees, yeah, I’ve heard of them.

Interviewer:  You heard about it but you didn’t have one.

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  Well that’s probably a good thing.  So you had three children, all boys.

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  And what are they doing, what do they do now?

Edna Jackson:  The youngest one works at the sheriff’s office in Rolla, and then the second one, he’s retired, and then the oldest, and he’s still working for MFA.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.  So they, it sounds like they’re busy.

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  Do you have grandchildren?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, yes.  We have four great-granddaughters, I mean, four granddaughters and two grandsons, eleven great-granddaughters and two great-grandsons.

Interviewer:  My goodness.  That’s a big family.

Edna Jackson:  That’s a big family, right.

Interviewer:  Now did you have big family dinners when you were younger?

Edna Jackson:  Oh yes. 

Interviewer:  What kind of things did you have when you had a big dinner?  What kind of food did you have?

Edna Jackson:  Well, just stuff out of the garden, you know, mostly.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.

Edna Jackson:  Baked cakes and pies.  Fixed stuff like that.

Interviewer:  Did you enjoy cooking?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, yes.

Interviewer:  Who taught you to cook?

Edna Jackson:  My mom.

Interviewer:  Did you learn by watching her, or did she, did she show you different things?

Edna Jackson:  No, we just watched.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  And helped, probably.  So by the time you were ready to start a home of your own you knew how to do all those things.

Edna Jackson:  Oh, yes.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm

Edna Jackson:  Yes.

Interviewer:  Who was in charge of washing the dishes when you were a kid?

Edna Jackson:  Well, I usually did, the oldest one.

Interviewer:  Yeah.

Edna Jackson:  The oldest daughter.  So, yeah, yeah.

Interviewer:  Yeah.  Did you have help with the drying …

Edna Jackson:  Oh, yes,

Interviewer:  and putting away?

Edna Jackson:  Mm hmm

Interviewer:  Yeah.  My brothers and I used to do that.

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.  We all helped.

Interviewer:  We used to sing while we were doing the dishes.  Did you have any special things you did to keep you, keep yourself occupied?

Edna Jackson:  Well, we had all our chores to do, you know. Carrying in wood, and I split a lot of wood, and helped them saw, the boys, saw wood with a crosscut saw.

Interviewer:  Oh, my goodness.  You must’ve been strong.

Edna Jackson:  And then split wood with the axe and split the wood, oh yes, I’ve done a lot of stuff like that.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.  Where did you get the wood?  Did you go, did you have land?

Edna Jackson:  Oh, yes

Interviewer:  That, and you would …

Edna Jackson:  Yeah, he had a big farm and then had a lot of trees and all on it.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm

Edna Jackson:  Yeah.

Interviewer:  Did you have cows and things like that?

Edna Jackson:  Cows, horses, sheep, pigs,

Interviewer:  Oh, you had it all.

Edna Jackson:  Chickens.

Interviewer:  What was your favorite, did you have a favorite animal?

Edna Jackson:  Not necessarily.

Interviewer:  No.  Did you have any pets when you were little?

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  No pets. 

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  You don’t really have pets on farms sometimes.

Edna Jackson:  No, got a lot of animals that are to work with.

Interviewer:  Mm hmm.  Did you name any of the animals?

Edna Jackson:  No.

Interviewer:  No.  They were to be eaten.  I understand.  Is there anything else you’d like to share with me today?

Edna Jackson:  Well, I don’t know.

Interviewer:  Ok.  Well I appreciate your coming and talking with me.

Edna Jackson:  Ok.

Interviewer:  Thank you so much.

Edna Jackson:  You’re welcome.

[Transcript of interview with Edna Jackson, recorded as part of the Springfield-Greene County Library District's 2010 Big Read. For more information contact the Library at 417-883-5366 or visit us on the web.]