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Interview with Jacqueline Tally, October 13, 2004 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Jacqueline Tally, October 13, 2004
October 13, 2004
This video taped oral history with Mrs. Jacqueline Tally took place at the Randall Library Special Collections on October 13, 2004. It was conducted by LuAnn Mims and Jerry Parnell for the SENC Health Services Series. Mrs. Tally, a Wilmington native, worked for the Community Hospital from 1952-1960. She began as a Medical Records Librarian and went on to work as the Administrative Secretary the hospital's Director. Through her memories she recalls various physicians, staff members, and nurses as well as the physcial layout of the building and local commercial development.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee:  Tally, Jacqueline Interviewer:  Mims, LuAnn / Parnell, Jerry Date of Interview:  10/13/2004 Series:  Southeast North Carolina (SENC) Length:  55


Mims: Today is October 13, 2004. I am LuAnn Mims with Jerry Parnell from the Special Collections, Randall Library, UNCW. We’re continuing our series on Health Services of Southeastern North Carolina and today we’re talking with Mrs. Jacqueline Tally who was employed at the Community Hospital. I don’t remember how many years you were there.

Tally: I don’t either…I was trying to…drop that down…I think I went there in ‘52 because my son was born in ‘58 and I was working…I think I went there in ‘52 and was there until about ‘60.


Tally: Uh huh.

Mims: Okay.

Tally: That might be a little off but as far as I can remember…

Mims: If you would start by telling us a little bit about your family background, where you were born, what your family was doing, that kind of stuff.

Tally: Well, my family was all from Wilmington. I was born here in Wilmington at the old Community Hospital on North Seventh Street. I won’t say when…in 1928.

Mims: Oh my goodness.

Tally: And, I’ve lived here all my life except for the time that I went away to college and I’ve been here…my husband was from Pennsylvania, but he came here to work in the school system in forty nine and that’s how I met him. We’ve been here ever since.

Mims: And what was your father doing? What kind of employment?

Tally: Ah, I don’t remember too much about my dad. He and mom were divorced…were split up when I was about three years old. We were reconciled to a degree after that, when I went away to college, I think. I would visit him. My aunt and mom took me to visit him because they moved away, they were in Ohio. And, I didn’t really remember that much about him. My mother and my aunts and uncles raised me.

Mims: What kind of work was your mother doing?

Tally: She was a sec…in secretarial work. She worked with the employment office for a while and then she…when she retired she was working with the Housing Authority. She was manager at Taylor Homes for years and years.

Mims: Hum. Well, that’s interesting. And you say you went away to…

Tally: I went away to college.

Mims: Uh huh, but before that you attended Williston?

Tally: Williston High School. Yea, I graduated in 1943. I have my class ring right there.

Mims: How beautiful! Where did you attend college?

Tally: I went to Bennett College in Greensboro for two years, and then I transferred to West Virginia State…Institute in West Virginia.

Mims: Hum.

Tally: I graduated for West Virginia State College.

Mims: With what degree?

Tally: BS in business administration.

Mims: How did you make your way back to Wilmington?

Tally: Coming back home. I came back home and I worked at the school. I graduated in January of '48 and in September that year, I began working at Williston as a clerk under S. J. Rogers…at that time was the principal. And I worked there a few years and then I went to work at…I think I went to…let me see here, I wrote that down…it’s been so long ago. I went to work at the hospital in ‘52.

Mims: Okay.

Tally: And then I worked…I worked there until ‘60, and I worked at the Employment Security Commission, after that I went to the Corp of Engineers, and that was in sixty two and then I worked with the US Customs, which was government, and I retired from US Customs. I went there in ‘63 and worked there for twenty-five years and retired.

Mims: My goodness!

Tally: The US Custom Service.

Mims: So you worked all the time then?

Tally: Yea. Yea.

Mims: Hum. Well our focus today is on the Community Hospital. With the structure being torn down, we’re trying to find out more about what went on inside the hospital. And one of the things that you might be able to help us with was the organizational system within the hospital management. Can you remember anything about, like, when you were there, who was in charge of the hospital?

Tally: I think…Paul Reese was the administrator…I believe his name was Paul Reese. And, his wife was a nurse and she also…she had charge of the nurses, or she worked in that area. And I don’t remember how long he was there, but I remember he was an administrator and I can’t remember…there were several after him. My mind has gone blank. I should remember that…but I believe he was there when I went to work. I worked in the medical records library under Ruth Hall Brown. She was the medical records librarian at that time…Ruth Hall Brown.

Mims: Ruth Hall Brown?

Tally: Um hum. She’s dead now, of course. But I worked…and when she left, then I became medical records librarian.

Mims: And then, did you ever have another role there…or you stayed in medical records?

Tally: I was in medical records the whole time.

Mims: Cause I’ve seen your name on several other things as secretary.

Tally: I did, you’re right, I was…Paul Reese…after he left, there was a Henry White who came…

Mims: That’s what I thought.

Tally: Henry White, and that’s…I was his secretary. I worked under him. Ruth Hall Brown was the medical records librarian and after she left then I plugged over into the medical records library.

Mims: So Henry White came before Paul Reese?

Tally: He came after Paul Reese.

Mims: After…I’d seen your signature everywhere.

Tally: Oh my goodness!

Mims: Well, like I say, we have the benefit of the Eaton papers and he kept a lot of the…I guess they were doctor’s meetings, or board of trustees meetings…

Tally: Oh yes, I used to have to go to the meetings and take the minutes. Cause we have to go…that’s probably where you saw it. Because I remember one…I think I remember one time receiving a compliment about Dr. Warshauer…told me, “These are some damn good minutes!” he said.

Mims: They are…

Tally: Samuel Warshauer.

Mims: …and we appreciate them because they are such…you know, they’re very good records of what was going on. Were these meetings held over in the nurses residence or…

Tally: Yes…I think they were. I can’t remember…they were either there or somewhere in the hospital.

Mims: Um hum.

Tally: Um hum. I used to have to take the minutes…it’s staff meetings.

Mims: Staff meetings.

Tally: Doctors staff meetings.

Mims: Right.

Tally: Um hum.

Mims: Which, from reading some of these, there were some hot arguments they…

Tally: Oh yea, they did that, oh they did have some hot arguments, um hum.

Mims: Well, and, and in your capacity, you were there just to record, not to…

Tally: And no voice.

Mims: No voice.

Tally: Just presence.

Mims: Yea. That must have been a hard position to be in though…to be privy to some of this inner workings and yet you have to hold your mouth…

Tally: Yea, well looking back on it I guess it was…then, it was just work…and that’s what I did.

Mims: So you worked for Henry Whyte.

Tally: And I was trying to think who all was there while I was there…

Mims: Well you had mentioned earlier that you had some, I guess…you would’ve had to seen other people in the hospital…and you mentioned Ms. Taylor’s name. How did you know…

Tally: Oh she was…she…I guess she did die, but well everybody knew Salome Taylor because she was a prominent figure when the hospital was on Seventh Street. I think she was in charge of the hospital and the nurses and I guess she was where it all started with the nurses.

Mims: Did you have a chance to meet her, or…?

Tally: I guess I did. I can’t remember…I must have…it seems like I can remember how she looked, but I…I don’t remember any conversations with her or anything like that, I just knew she was there and knew who she was. And Dr. Burnett lived right across from the hospital…Foster Burnett.

Mims: And he was…

Tally: Their home…their home is still there.

Mims: …he was a big…big motivator for getting the hospital along with Dr. Avant, I think?

Tally: Dr. Avant, yes.

Mims: Did you…did you ever meet him?

Tally: …he lived…Dr. Avant? Yes. He lived around on Red Cross Street between Ninth and Tenth or between Eighth and Ninth…that home is still there too. Seems like he lived in the same block with Mr. Rogers who was principal of the high school at that time…J. Rogers was principal. But, he had a daughter, and I guess she’s still living…Sarah Avant…and there was one, I believe, in Washington. She’s Sarah Moultrie cause she later married a Carl Moultrie who was the director of Wil…the housing projects. Carl Moultrie…so she’s still living, I believe, in Washington.

Mims: What other doctors to you remember?

Tally: Oh, Dr. Eaton…Hubert Eaton Sr., Dr. Gray…that’s James Gray, Dr. Roane…Daniel C. Roane. He has a daughter here…Joanne Roane, she’s Joanne Bing now.

Mims: Bing?

Tally: Bing. B-I-N-G.

Mims: Huh.

Tally: Dr. Roane…his office was…office building…was right on the corner of Sixth and Walnut and he lived on Walnut between Sixth and Seventh. And Dr. Gray, of course, I remember him…

Mims: Who was the eye doctor?

Tally: Wheeler.

Mims: Dr. Wheeler.

Tally: Wheeler. Wheeler used to teach school…he was a schoolteacher. I…did he teach me? I don’t know if he taught me, but I remember he taught school. I believe he did teach me. I think he taught math…I…I’m not sure. But his office was on Fourth Street…on Fourth Street between…was it Red Cross and Campbell?…over in that area somewhere…I remember him…um hum. He was a teacher first and then he went into medicine.

Mims: Well I know he is listed as teaching the student nurses.

Tally: Um hum, um hum…he probably did.

Mims: …so I…I guess he continued with that.

Tally: Um hum. And there was another lady that worked with the nurses…her name was Mack…Emeline…Emeline Mack…she was head of the nurses department at one time. Emeline, I believe it was.

Mims: Um hum. Well, reading through those staff minutes, you know, it seems like they had some problems at one time and went through several directors at the school of nursing in a rapid period of time.

Tally: Well I remember her and I remember Mr. Reese’s wife but I don’t know what her name was now. I think Ms. Salome Taylor was the very first one.

Mims: She was.

Tally: Yea.


Tally: Oh my!

Mims: Well, actually…yea…she was the first one…

GP: I think that’s when she came as a nurse…in ‘22.

Mims: 1922…and helped develop that program and stayed for a long time.

Tally: Long time…I don’t remember…I remember the house mother…Galloway…what was her name?…her name was Mrs. Galloway…can’t think of her first name. She was a house mother…the nurses over there…when they were…they had a building, I believe, near the hospital…

Mims: The residence?

Tally: Um hum…over at the…they moved over on the south side…at Community Hospital.

Mims: How about Hatcher?

Tally: Oh she was a good friend of mine! We were very close! Yes. She was head of the nurses…I remember when she was in training.

Mims: You do?

Tally: I certainly do…I remember when she was in training…I remember when Mildred Floyd, I think was in tra…I believe they were together.

Mims: They may have been.

Tally: And Johnnie Fields, I remember. I…somehow I don’t remember Helen Lofton that much, but I remember those…

Mims: She was ‘66.

Tally: Oh.

Mims: …’65…she was later on.

Tally: Hatcher, yea, she was the…she was director or assistant director of nurses…oh yea, she was a good nurse too. I remember her. She died. She died on year and her husband died the next year. She got sick…she was sick and he nursed her…he took very, very good care of her and I think that played a big role in his passing so quickly.

Mims: Um. So, some of these names are…we’re becoming more familiar with and I get the idea that it was a smaller hospital.

Tally: It was. It was.

Mims: But because of that, it seems like everybody kind of knew each other, not only the workers, but that…um…you sort of knew the families too?

Tally: Um hum, um hum, um hum…yea, the…I was thinking about the business office…Vergie Rhodes and…I think she ran the business office with Margaret Green. She…now, Annette…you talk with Annette Freeman?…she would know Margaret Green because they were from that same area…that Sea Breeze area.

Mims: Really?

Tally: Margaret Green was the bookkeeper, I believe. And business…Vergie Rhodes was head of the business office. And there was a Matilda Spicer…she is Matilda Torrence now. She worked in the business office.

Mims: That name sounds familiar for some reason.

Tally: Matilda Torrence?

Mims: Um hum.

Tally: She worked in the business office a long time. Um…I’m trying to think who…

Mims: But it’s not like how it is now where the business office really doesn’t have any connection with the staff…it seems like…if you went over the New Hanover Hospital, they probably couldn’t tell you who the nurses or the doctors were?

Tally: It’s all together different now.

Mims: Right. Um…I think it was Ms. Best who said that when her children were in school at Gregory that they could come over to the hospital after school and be there where she worked.

Tally: Where she was…uh huh…uh huh.

Mims: Was that common or was that accepted?

Tally: I don’t know, but it probably was. Well, I guess I had left…’cause she came after me.

Mims: She came after you?

Tally: Um hum. Um hum.

Mims: Well you…you were there during a, you know, a nice period of time.

Tally: It was. It was sort of like a family I guess…people were closer.

Mims: Do you remember any hospital social events…like a picnic or…Christmas party…?

Tally: No.

Mims: Nothing was sponsored by the hospital?

Tally: I don’t remember. I don’t remember anything like that. They have more of that now.

Mims: Um hum. The fostering a public, you know, community relations with members…or…I guess it wasn’t like that back then. What do you recall of the student nurses…do you ever remember any contact with them, or…seeing them, or…?

Tally: No, other than seeing them in the halls maybe, you know,…I didn’t have any contact with them.

Mims: Um hum. A number of them…after they completed their program, would then come to work for Community Hospital…so, some, like Willa Hatcher, you would’ve gotten to know through that way.

Tally: Yes. Um…I’m trying to think of…well Annette…now Annette Freeman, I think, ended up being in O.R. She might have been an…an…anesthetist. She worked in the operating room…I believe I remember…

Mims: She did. She became one of the two at Community Hospital.

Tally: Um hum, um hum…I remember that.

Mims: Do you ever remember any time that, you know, you questioned, you know, working out there, and as far as that maybe the hospital wasn’t up to par…or…did you ever have any questions like that?

Tally: No. I remember when we had to have inspections. We had to have inspections by the…what was it…the American College of Physicians and Surgeons?…we had to be accredited…that was the accrediting agency.

Mims: Right.

Tally: …and of course, all the records had to be up to snuff and doctors orders written up… sometimes…sometimes maybe the doctors would…would treat patients and then be…and they’d right the orders later. We had to get all the records up to snuff…was expected…I remember that. And there were times then when I would work…I would come out and work from three till eleven because it was quieter…didn’t have interruptions…people coming in to get charts and all of that…I remember that! But um…we were always accredited.

Mims: I think it was after you left there was some problems, but I know that some of the charting wasn’t completed and whatever…and for medical records librarian, that would’ve been a real nightmare.

Tally: Yea, you had to keep behind the doctors to write up charts and procedures and things.

Mims: Um hum. Also, with there being no physical structure left, can you give us a little bit of what you remember…what the hospital looked like?

Tally: Hum.

Mims: Like you went to work in the morning, would you go up the front stairs…or was there another door you used?

Tally: They don’t have any pictures?

Mims: They do have a picture…a front view only…is all we’ve ever seen.

GP: …is all we’ve ever seen…or an aerial.

Tally: They had steps…double steps.

Mims: They had two steps going up the front.

Tally: Uh huh. I could go in…oh I remember another person…she’s not living now…Margaret Williams. She worked in the…and I think she…the whole time that she worked…she didn’t do her student nursing here…she did her student nursing at Lincoln in Durham, but she came here to work because she…her folks were here and she married. She was from here…and she was the ER…emergency room nurse…she worked in the emergency room a long time. Could go in, maybe, through that entrance and go on upstairs.

Mims: And that was in the back…the ER was in the back, or over on the side?

Tally: It was on the side, I believe. I think it was on the side. It seems like the nursing quarters were around on the other side…of the building. That was…did I say Madeline Galloway?…she was head of the nurses.

Mims: Right…Mad…you didn’t tell me the first name.

Tally: Not head of the nurses…she was the housemother.

Mims: …the housemother, Madeline.

Tally: …Madeline Galloway.

Mims: Some of the nursing students talked about having to get past the housemothers…

GP: Sneaking out…

Tally: Well, that was Ms. Galloway…that was Ms. Galloway…yea. Um…I’m trying to think who…

Mims: So you would sometimes go up the front stairs or sometimes go around through the emergency room? Now that was…not on the same…

Tally: Uh huh…go in that entrance…not in the emergency room, but in that side entrance.

Mims: But then you would have to go up a flight of stairs?

Tally: Yea, um hum. Um hum.

Mims: And the business office was on the…in the front?

Tally: On the fir…yea…you go up the front…you go to the business office.

Mims: And the administration offices were…

Tally: Um hum…all in there.

Mims: How about the employment office, where was that?

Tally: I don’t remember…I don’t remember. I guess when they wanted…if anybody came in about employment, they would come into the business office and talk with Ms. Rhodes…Vergie Rhodes. I don’t remember that there was a separate department.

Mims: Of course not, because there probably wasn’t all the benefits and insurance and all the stuff that goes on, you know, in that situation today. Where were the patients? Were they on the first floor as well?

Tally: Um hum. Back…there was…what floor was that…I remember there was male hall that was on that first floor and on the second floor there was female hall and I believe the delivery room was up on that floor and the OB…OB and delivery, I think, were on the second floor. And the rooms were…they had rooms on the second floor and up on the third floor.

Mims: And the surgery was on the third floor, right?

Tally: Um hum. And down in the basement…I guess…was there a cafeteria down there?…I guess so. I guess there must have been a…something down there…must have been.

Mims: Well…talking…

Tally: I know we had one, because I remember the food was good.

Mims: I was going to ask you, like where would you eat lunch at?

Tally: Yea, we had…they had a cafeteria.

Mims: Down under…

Tally: I think it was on the first floor…I believe down on the basement floor…I think it was. Oh I wish there was somebody else I could talk to…

Mims: Well, we appreciate you talking to us about this, it’s just hard to visualize without too many, you know, pictures of what’s going on. Is…one…

Tally: And they had residents…the residents stayed somewhere because I remember when they had some residents there…they had some residents from the Virgin Islands that came over and there was a young man…Shelton…who lived here…who went away to medical school and he came back here and did his residency I think for a while. So they had residents…interns and residents.

Mims: The old Community Hospital became like, the supervisor’s home. I mean, Ms…we know Ms. Taylor lived there. So I wonder if the residents…maybe after…that’s something for us to look up.

Tally: I think they lived out in that area over on…over on south side…you talking about…

Mims: The Seventh Street.

Tally: Seventh Street? I don’t think so. I think they were out at the…in that area…somewhere.

Mims: Over near the hospital? Near the Castle Street area?

Tally: Um hum.

Mims: Well that…that Castle Street area was a commercial development as with the hospital setting today, you have, you know, banks, and…and you know, stores, and service type places. What was the…what was surrounding the hospital at that time?

Tally: I’m thinking…maybe…well school?

Mims: Williston was…

Tally: Williston was there.

Mims: …was right there…and Gregory was…

Tally: I think there might have been some…some cafes or stores on the Castle Street…in the Castle Street area. I’m sure there were. I know down…there was a…a Greek who had a market down at Tenth and Dock, I believe, there…there was a place down there cause the…the students could…used to go up there and get sodas, sandwiches, or something some time. So they had some commercial places around.

Mims: When you needed office supplies, where would those come from? Like your…your typewriter ribbon, or your paper…do you remember where you…?

Tally: I guess I just requested it through the business office.

Mims: And they…

Tally: I never…and Margaret Green probably, because she was head of accounting and purchasing, and all that stuff, and she would…we would give it to her.

Mims: We’re just trying to figure out if any of the local resources were tapped into to supply the hospital?

Tally: I don’t know.

Mims: We had a question this morning…where did, you know, the…the food come from that was served to the patients or in the cafeteria?

Tally: The cafeteria.

Mims: Yea, but was that locally from grocery stores here or…?

Tally: I imagine they did get it from…from the suppliers here.

Mims: Yea, we didn’t know. We know that…

Tally: I remember the cooks down there.

Mims: You do know…who were some of the cooks?

Tally: Well, I…I can’t…

Mims: You can’t remember their names?

Tally: I remember one whose name was Mary Grumley…she worked in there. And there was another one…I think her name was Ethel Jones, I believe…I think…

Mims: Huh…you’ve got a good memory!

Tally: I know Mary Grumley and…oh my goodness! I remember something better than what happened yesterday.

Mims: And they also had a hospital laundry.

Tally: Um hum.

Mims: ‘Cause the student nurses talked that their stuff was done…

Tally: Yea, that’s right…that’s right…sort of in the back there…

Mims: …through the hospital laundry.

Tally: Uh huh…it was down there.

Mims: Were…were the administrators African American or where they white?

Tally: Um hum.

Mims: They were African American? Cause I know there’s a mention that a couple of the board members were white, but I think that the majority were African American.

Tally: Yes.

Mims: Cause the…we’ve talked to Dr. Williams.

Tally: Um hum…Bertram Williams?

Mims: Yes.

Tally: Um hum.

Mims: And we know Dr. Warshauer was there and Dr. Sinclair was there.

Tally: Oh yes! Yea…he was on Radio…in Radiology…who else…Dr…now who was it…there were two of ‘em working in there…Dr. Sinclair…

Mims: Was Dr. Perritt there at the time?

Tally: No. Dr. Mebane and Dr. Sinclair were in practice together I believe. Dr. Sinclair was the Radiology there.

Mims: Right.

Tally: Dr. Mebane was a surgeon. And a laboratory…Annette’s…that was Annette’s…she was some kin to Annette Freeman…Lonice Freeman was…

Mims: Lonice?

Tally: Lonice Freeman was in the laboratory. Lonice Freeman was in the laboratory and Angela…I think her name was Angela Robinson…worked in X-ray with Dr. Sinclair. I don’t know where she is now…of course she moved away. But Lonice was down at Sea Breeze with Annette for a long, long time.

Mims: Hum. She might know where she is…I might be able to call her back.

Tally: I don’t know if she’s still living or not. I’m one of the few old buzzards still…(laughing). I’ve not thought about these people…

Mims: Well, I hope it’s not too…too bad for you.

Tally: No, it’s just…it’s…I wish I could remember more…it just comes in bits and pieces. That was a long time ago.

Mims: When talking to people that…that worked there…that were nurses there especially…they hold fond memories.

Tally: I’m sure they do.

Mims: Right. Was it the same for you, I mean…can you look back and think that that was a good place, or…?

Tally: Yes. Yes. Yes. I never had any problems working there. It was just, you know, wanting to move on, maybe if you could find something different or something better that you could get more money, but it was…it was really interesting work. I li…I guess I still love the shows on TV…ER…I never miss ER (laughing)!

Mims: I’m with you!

Tally: My husband says… “Oh my goodness…ER.” And I look at the reruns just like I’m seeing ‘em for the first time! I like medical shows and I guess maybe that comes from having worked…worked there, you know, and I’m always diagnosing my husband’s illnesses…diagnosing ‘em and treating ‘em! So…I…I liked that setting and I was saying…well, I went back and did volunteer work. I enjoyed that…I did volunteer work…I had ninety some hours. I said, “I oughta go back and at least make that a hundred,” but…

Mims: Was that at Community you did the volunteer work?

Tally: No. This was recently…not too long ago, at the other hospital.

Mims: New Hanover?

Tally: New Hanover, uh huh…I was a volunteer. And I had said that I would like to go back and volunteer work with the babies in the nursery…cause I don’t have any grandchildren.

Mims: Yea they have…they’ve got the ones that go in and all they do is rock the babies.

Tally: Yea, that’s what I was going to do. I would love to…I would love to do that! But I haven’t…I haven’t volunteered now, it’s been quite a few years since I was out there. But I enjoyed it and I was…what they call a gopher…I would…errands, you know, take patients in…bring patients…take the patients out…deliver flowers and all that…I didn’t want to just sit at the desk and answer the phone…I did that when I was working because I used to work in the evening and I would just answer the phone and you know, give them cards to go up…but I like the…moving around. So I might go back.

Mims: Well what…what do you remember about your job at Community Hospital? Like you said, you were in medical records…what did that involve?

Tally: You had to classify diseases and operations…you had certain codes. And of course all these records were kept for the…for accreditation with the, you know, that group that would come around and inspect…American College of Physicians and Surgeons. And coding the procedures on the charts and seeing that the records…the doctors did their histories and physicals and that sort of thing.

Mims: Would you have to create new records if somebody hadn’t been there? Like, medical records…I know that if somebody has been there for a while, you would keep putting their…

Tally: Oh yea, you have whatever comes down from the nurses notes…they have charts for patients.

Mims: Right. So you’d have to add them?

Tally: Um hum.

Mims: And we might add that this was all done without benefit of computers.

Tally: Oh my goodness yes! I ne…when I used the compu…computer at Customs…when I went to Customs…that hadn’t been that long ago…but I don’t have a computer at home…I said, “no, when I left there I want nothing to do with another computer!”

Mims: Well, medical records, you have to be very accurate…so…you know, you had to be very meticulous and detailed in what you were doing…and then you worked as a secretary…what…what did you do over there?

Tally: Oh, just typed the letters, answered the phone, take messages when the administrator wasn’t there…type his letters…that was…there wasn’t very much to that. Not as much as medical records…that was a busy place.

Mims: Um hum. Plus the responsibility there to make sure all the charting was done.

Tally: Um hum…very interesting.

Mims: Um hum. Hum. And then, whenever they closed the hospital…when they closed Community Hospital…you weren’t there at that time. Do you remember anything about it as they were closing…like reading about it in the paper or…hearing about…

Tally: Don’t remember…don’t remember a thing about it.

Mims: Um hum…cause that…that had to have been a nightmare for whoever was doing the secretarial work there…

Tally: Oh my goodness…um!…had to be. Yea…when the were transferring…merging with the other hospital. Um hum. I’m sure it was…I’m glad I wasn’t there! I know that was a headache…yea.

Mims: Yea, we could only imagine. It seemed to have gone without too much of a hitch though.

Tally: Yes it did, it did! It’s almost as if there’s always…it’s always been like it is now.

Mims: Um hum. But you didn’t have any personal feelings about them closing the hospital?

Tally: No. That was a closed chapter in my life. I had moved on.

Mims: And you were not looking back! But it seems like, you know, you…you said you were born at the old Community Hospital…

Tally: Yes, I was…I was. Dr. Burnett…Foster Burnett…um hum. And after that, I remember my mother saying that I had my tonsils removed there…cause…she said, I told that Dr. Burnett did that and she said I told him, “now Dr. Burnett you can take my tonsils out but don’t you bother my adenoids!”…and mama was behind me, she said she was trying…and he said, “All right, I won’t…I won’t bother your adenoids.” She was trying to signal to him… “Don’t pay her any mind”…cause I think I was about seven years old.

Mims: But you had a definite idea about what you wanted.

Tally: Yes, I didn’t know a thing about adenoids, but I didn’t want him to take my adenoids out. That was at the old Community Hospital, um hum.

Mims: Well, we’ve read all kinds of news accounts of when they opened the new Community Hospital in 1939…was it?

Tally: Is that when it was?

Mims: Yea. And then they put the nurses residence home there and all that…so, you know, it really added to the community. Do you remember any of that when you were little?

Tally: Um um.

Mims: Like, you know, they opened the new jail here, and let residents go…I didn’t know whether they opened the hospital and let residents come and take a look at it…

Tally: No, I don’t think so.

Mims: No. Hum.

Tally: Um, have you talked with any of the other nurses?

Mims: We’ve talked to sev…

Tally: Mildred Floyd…did you…?

Mims: Yes…we talked to…

GP: Um hum…and Johnnie Fields.

Tally: Johnnie Fields? Um hum.

Mims: Thelma Briggs…

Tally: Um hum. Sea Breeze.

Mims: Yea…Ms…Ms. Fields…just a list of…

Tally: I wish Hatcher was living…she could really tell you a lot of information.

Mims: I know she worked a lot with Dr. Eaton too, she could fill us in on…on him. Trying to think of who else we were going to ask about…

Tally: Dr. Eaton…she didn’t work…but Dr. Eaton Jr.,…he’s…did you talk with him?

GP: Not yet.

Mims: We’re trying to. We’ve talked to his sister a little bit, but not to him.

Tally: Faustine?

GP: No, Carolyn.

Tally: Carolyn. Oh, okay.

Mims: She lives away, so it’s been telephone calls.

Tally: Uh huh…Faustine lives away too.

GP: Uh huh.

Tally: They lived on Orange Street, I believe.

Mims: Can you remember ever visiting the hospital as a kid…going there…?

Tally: No.

Mims: No? Just you went there and it was work only.

Tally: Um hum.

GP: Well…you said you remember maybe meeting Ms. Taylor…Salome Taylor.

Tally: Salome Taylor.

GP: Did she have family in this area?

Tally: I don’t know cause she was…I was just younger, you know…

GP: You don’t remember when she died do you?

Tally: No, I sure don’t. You don’t have any information about that?

GP: Um um.

Tally: Um.

Mims: We…we’ve…we have found articles about her life, but after she leaves here it’s kind of…

GP: Sketchy…after she retired…

Tally: She lived here?

GP: I don’t know.

Mims: We…we don’t know.

GP: We know little after she retired. Also, you…now you went…you graduated from Williston in ‘43…and you came back in ‘48? Around that time, Wilmington College started, and there was also…they had a branch at Williston College…at Williston High School called Williston College…do you remember…

Tally: They sure did!

GP: Do you remember anything about that? ‘Cause I know the Community nurses went to school there also, but also…

Tally: They did. I didn’t remember that…they did…they did…and I don’t know if they had afternoon classes or…

GP: Um hum, they were after…after high school got out, the college went in.

Tally: Uh huh…they sure did.

GP: Did you know anybody who went there or do you remember anything about that?

Tally: I sure…no I don’t.

Mims: How about a program set up for practical nursing or nursing assistants? Do you remember any of those programs that wouldn’t have been the…the nurses that lived in the residence home. These would have been another set of nurses.

Tally: Practical nurses…I…I don’t remember…there must have been some, but I don’t…people who worked there…I don’t know of a separate program for that. I don’t remember…

Mims: I don’t think it was as organized, because…

Tally: Um hum…well…T. Briggs or Floyd might…might know that.

Mims: Um hum…we might have to go back and re…re-ask that to them. ‘Cause we’ve been so targeting that specific group, that we’re just coming to find out that there were other…

GP: There were others out there.

Mims: …there were others out there too…so…so we…we’re…you know, it was a busy place…lots of people…lots of things going on and…

Tally: It was…that’s true.

Mims: You know, all the little subsets…you know, the Radiology, the Lab, etcetera…you know, just busy and very detailed…all the areas…so, just having to find out an overview…and that’s why we appreciate talking to you because, like I said, anything you can say will add to what we need. Can you think of anything else Jerry, or…?

GP: Um um.

Mims: Do you remember anything about when they tore the building down…did you…?

Tally: No.

Mims: The county took it over and used it…it was like a home for indigent.

Tally: Yea, that’s right they did.

Mims: And then soon after that, they…they demolished the structure. So…and there is a…a current tone to try and make some commemorative marker at the spot for recognition, cause it was a big part of the community.

Tally: It was…it was…it really was.

Mims: Um hum, yea, and since you worked there, you were part of that spirit, um, you know, did that give you any sense of pride…to be part of that…that hospital at that time and…?

Tally: I…at that time, I don’t guess I thought about it in that way…just so involved…it was just a day to day thing and it was what I was doing then, and I just moved out of that and moved into other things…and I just haven’t thought about it.

GP: You don’t remember any other pe…you’ve given us…us…a bunch of names…any other names of people that may still be around who were there at the time when you were there?

Tally: No…other than the ones I’ve given you…I don’t…I said Matilda, and Annette, and…who else was down there…?

Mims: Vergie Rhodes…you don’t know whether she…

Tally: Oh she’s dead.

Mims: She’s dead…okay.

Tally: Vergie’s dead, um hum.

Mims: And Margaret Green…

Tally: Margaret Green is dead.

Mims: Okay.

Tally: But she…she came from down there where Annette was…

Mims: Okay.

Tally: Or Annette is…Annette’s still there…and I think…

Mims: Yes, I just talked to her.

Tally: …you talked to her.

Mims: Uh…Matilda Spicer…

Tally: Um hum…Torrence.

Mims: Torrence.

Tally: Uh huh.

Mims: You don’t know whether she’s…

Tally: I don’t think she’s well.

Mims: Okay.

Tally: She’s not well right now…but she was in that…she worked in the business office.

Mims: Um hum.

Tally: …and switchboard.

Mims: Switchboard?

Tally: Oh yes! I remember learning on that too…I just wanted to see how it operated…

Mims: Well…did they have a PA system…they had to call names out over, or…?

Tally: I don’t remember a PA system. I think when the doctors would come in, they would come to the business office and let them know that they were in the hospital and if they needed to get them, you know, “I’ll be up on male hall, or female hall, or I’ll be up at OB or Pediatrics”…they could call and get them. But I don’t…they didn’t have a PA system.

Mims: …to where they paged them to…

Tally: No…no…I don’t remember one.

Mims: Well, it seems like if you worked the switchboard, you probably would’ve been the one to…to know about that. So that must have come at a later date?

Tally: Yes. I can’t think of anybody else that might be…you’ve talked to Briggs and Fields and Annette Freeman…

Mims: Um hum.

Tally: And as I said, Helen Lofton was later…

Mims: Yea, she was one of the last classes that graduated.

Tally: I probably wasn’t there then, when she was there.

Mims: Um um. Well, you certainly have given us a lot to think about here and to, um…to add…

Tally: Well I’m glad I could help. I couldn’t…I said and “I don’t remember…” I don’t know what that good it would be for her to talk to me, I don’t have that much to say…

Mims: Well, like I said, we’re trying to reconstruct a place that’s disappeared, so anybody that we talk to adds…adds to this. So, I want to thank you for doing this with us.

Tally: Well, you’re welcome! And if I think of anybody else that I can’t think of now…if I remember anything I’ll call you.

Mims: That sounds very nice, then.

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