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Interview summary

Discussing grandfather, Clarence Wilson

At the end of the day working in the fields, someone would say there was going to be a dance

People would want Clarence to play and he'd leave the field with his fiddle or banjo

Clarence would play whatever they wanted him to play

Clarence worked very hard

Pauline didn't know Grandpa Cook, neither did Flossie

Discussion of Wilson grandparents’ dating

After some time, Grandpa Cook reunited with the family

Clarence called wife old lady or old woman

Grandpa Cook asked Minnie and Clarence to raise Garland, Cook's youngest son

Cook was in poor health and realized he would die soon

Garland lived with the Wilsons from age 3 to 25

Minnie and Clarence married in Hartford, (Ky.)

Mattie, Minnie's sister married Uncle Buck Wilson

Sometime later, Mattie died, leaving behind a son, Charlie

Charlie was raised by the Wilsons

Minnie and Clarence first born, George sickly, died the week Flossie was born

Clarence bought farm and paid 50 cents an acre, farm and woods, cleared the ground

Minnie was sick a lot; George died

Willie stayed, Pen Stayed, Les Ashford, worked and cooked because Minnie was too sick

Stewarts kept Flossie the first six months of her life

Clarence tied cow to wagon, took corn, then, later brings back

Flossie weighed 4 pounds at birth (but was not premature)

Clarence had a hard time

Grandparents finally lived alone when they reached their 70s

Grandma had heart issues, died at 78, Clarence died at 83

Clarence was a small man with a handle bar mustache and a great dancer

Hilary combed mustache

Had black, curly hair

Description of Clarence’s clothing, washed his clothes in the creek (unusual for a man to do this task)

Clarence had an even-keeled disposition

Wilson played music after work and entertained family and friends after dinner

Music was Clarence’s relaxation, the only entertainment available

Paid some at dances, Will Beaver sometimes passed the hat amongst the crowd

“They'd bring a $20 bill thinking nobody could cash it” My daddy said, “I'll fix that feller, he does it every time. I'll change that twenty into ones. I know I'll have it.”

Father ended up taking the money that same night

Pauline danced with dad at these events, children were included, also played with Wilson, never saw Arnold Schultz (Flossie says Pauline was too young to remember Schultz)

Pauline and Flossie discuss Schultz meeting Wilson and times they spent together

Pen and Clarence played before Arnold joined them. Flossie says “Pen and Dad knew each other all their lives. When they were growing up. They would put the mule up, get the fiddle and strike out.” Pen would say, “so and so is having a dance, you going with me?' And he'd (Dad) say, “Yes, wait until I get the mule out, let me shave and clean up and we'll go.”

Pen and Wilson played together, but spent less time together after both got married

Pen came to the sisters’ house one time and dad was hauling wood, but would be back for dinner

“And so, I was getting the cows up, mammy was milking. I let them in the gate and a man drove up on that horse, and I didn't know him. He wanted to know if Clarence Wilson lived there, and I told him yes.” “Where's he at?” I said, “he's not here right now, but he'll be here after a little bit. He's hauling wood.” So, Pen put the horse up and we, put it in the back stall and we wanted them to hurry up and eat, so if Dad came and took the team, he'd know somebody's there. Of course when he came in he knew him. They shook hands and shook hands and shook hands. I thought they never were going to stop. Pen said, 'Who am I?' Dad said, " I don't know, I've never seen you before.” Pen didn't have a hair on his, head he was as bald headed as could be. Dad had all his hair”

“He (Pen) broke his legs and Dad brought him in on the feather bed, springs on the side. He broke his hip, and we kept them there and had the doctor there and had to break his hip again. It would fall over, it wouldn't set up and he couldn't walk no more and he bought a little old place. Dad told him he should be, he should stay with us. he said, 'Ain't charging you no board." He (Pen) said, 'I can.' And so, he (Pen) got out to himself and broke his leg. Charlie Monroe came down a night or two and sat up with him, and that's as much. Bill's (Monroe) mother owed him money and wouldn't pay him, so that was his business of being there. Buck Monroe built a new house.”

“Pen didn't let his people know he had money, he gave it to dad to keep. Grandpa was his bank. He bought cows and turned them in with ours [the family’s herd] He stayed there two years and made crops. He had money, traded cows, and sold them, bought calves. Birch wanted him to buy a suit of clothes and we got so tickled. He was going with a Boise girl, and he finally married her and she died. And Birch wanted him to buy a suit and he (Pen) said, 'Why, I ain't even got a suit myself.'”

Birch played the fiddle stayed with Charlie in North and South Carolina

Bill and Charlie parted ways over a woman

Charlie sustained injuries from a stab wound to the face (attacked by Bill)

Charlie is a good singer & guitar player

Charlie’s wife, Bettys is also a musician

In old age Tommy (Flossie's brother) suffered from mental health problems and would only listen to Charlie Monroe singing

Tommy used to work with Charlie

John Monroe lived behind Pauline's house, Bill Monroe sometimes visited

Bill Monroe hard to get along with, maybe aging has softened him

Bill said that Pen took him to live in the cabin when Bill was 16

Cecil, Pen's stone, daughter may be alive

Unsure of where Pen’s wife is buried, but says that George buried at Bethel

Uncle Garland's Baby and Nimrod (great-grandfather) and Clarence Wilson are buried in the new part of the cemetery

Clarence died first from injuries he sustained from from a fall

Clarence hit his head on a rock as he fell and developed a lethal blood clot

In hospital all summer, Pauline took care of him during the day, Tommy watched him on nights

Tommy had to quit working due to the caring responsibilities he had to take on for his father

Pauline had return to teaching job in the fall, Wendell was in army training, and Flossie tried took care of their mother and the crops

Clarence regained consciousness, but died Sept. 11, 1957

Minnie died July 19, 1962

Wilson played music until went into hospital, picked banjo with fingers, get more did a lot of notes like Earl Scruggs or Ricky Skaggs

Uncle John and Clarence played Sally Goodin, and a man in the crowd danced the two-step with sweat running down his body, which amused the children at the dance

Pauline doesn't play anymore

Charlie played with Clarence mandolin and fiddle

Discussion of musical ability on both sides of family

Vernon Stogner and Uncle “Oink” played together,

Wavy could sing, not play instruments

Pauline could follow Clarence in music; she plays by ear