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Interview with Margie Potter (w/ Eleanor Smith),  April 7, 1995 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Margie Potter (w/ Eleanor Smith),  April 7, 1995
April 7, 1995
Eleanor Smith, an antique-store owner, and Margie Potter, a former longtime Post Office employee, discuss their lives in Southport both before and after World War II, including Hurricane Hazel's impact on the area.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Smith, Eleanor / Potter, Margie Interviewer: Date of Interview: 4/17/1995 Series: Southeast North Carolina (SENC) Length 38:26

Potter: I was born in South Port. My father was John Frances Potter, brother was ______________ Potter. My father was born in Kalabash, on Little River in South Carolina and my mother was born in the Bahama Islands.

Interviewer: Oh, okay. I guess we have to ________ it's probably impolite to ask a lady to do that to ask when.

Potter: I was born on June the 3rd in 1923.

Interviewer: Okay. Okay. Eleanor?

Smith: So that does make me the senior. I'm Eleanor Pancoast Potter Smith and I came down here to Southport. I was born in Philadelphia, excuse me, Pennsylvania in 1922, May 24, 1922. And I came down here during the war and eventually went back to Philadelphia. In the meantime, I had met Margie's brother Brian Potter, married him and we came back here to live, so we've been here since 1946 I think it was.

Interviewer: Okay.

Smith: And I lived out on the old yacht basin right down the street from my in-laws who I adored.

Interviewer: Where did you meet her brother?

Smith: Here at Southport.

Interviewer: Oh, here in Southport.

Smith: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Okay, so you were here in Southport before 1946 but left and came back?

Smith: Right, right.

Interviewer: Oh, okay. And, Margie, you just stayed here right through? Good.

Potter: I've been here.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Potter: Seventy-one years.

Interviewer: Good. Well good that's all we want to have-- Eleanor has a long history at Southport but yours is a little longer because you were here longer.

Potter: I had five brothers and one sister.

Interviewer: Went to school here?

Potter: Went to school here, started school in what's now the art- art gallery.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Potter: They had wings, two wings were built on it.

Interviewer: Right.

Potter: I went to first, second and third grade there and then came over to the old high school that burned.

Interviewer: Yeah, where the post office is.

Potter: Where the post office is now.

Smith: You know I had forgotten that was a high school first.

Interviewer: What class were you in high school?

Potter: I graduated in 1940.

Interviewer: 1940, okay. So you were here all during World War II?

Potter: Yes.

Interviewer: Yeah, but you were not, you came after the war?

Smith: Well, I was here during part of it.

Interviewer: Okay.

Smith: And then I came back.

Interviewer: What were you doing here during the war?

Smith: I had been married before and my husband was stationed over, down at Ft. Caswell.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Smith: And we got divorced later.

Interviewer: You followed him here.

Smith: Uh huh.

Interviewer: And lived in Southport?

Smith: Yes.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Smith: Went up from the USO.

Interviewer: Great, well that's interesting because that's a new category. That's something we haven't talked to anyone who came here following a spouse. That's a new category. We talked to people who were born here. We talked to people who were sent here by the military again, so that's interesting. Was that a-- was it difficult to find housing? It must have been.

Smith: Oh, yes, yes. I stayed, when I first came down I stayed with, oh I can't think of their names and they were renting the house that I stayed with them one night I think and then I heard of somebody that had some rooms, had rooms to let up at the other side of town.

Interviewer: Yeah. Good grief because, you know.

Smith: They were a high premium.

Interviewer: I guess so. That's right. Where did you-- Eleanor mentioned where your family lived. Just what street?

Potter: On Brunswick Street.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Potter: We called it tin pan alley back then.

Interviewer: Are you still there?

Potter: No, I'm not still there. I have a younger brother that lives there.

Interviewer: Okay, the house is still in the family.

Potter: The house is still there, yes.

Smith: When was that house built?

Potter: I don't know.

Smith: I don't either.

Potter: The last century I know.

Interviewer: That's interesting they've revived Tin Pan Alley.

Potter: Yeah.

Interviewer: The ________ shopping center is called Tin Pan Alley.

Potter: Yeah, yeah.

Smith: It was built with tin pans that was why.

Potter: Yeah, that's right.

Smith: Trash.

Potter: Trash.

Interviewer: Oh, is that right.

Potter: Right.

Smith: There was nothing there. It was before the _______basin was built. So there was nothing there was marsh and a little path I guess.

Potter: Yes.

Interviewer: Oh, okay, so it was just fill.

Smith: Yeah.

Interviewer: They filled it in. I'll be darned.

Potter: I think it was the intercoastal waterway in '32.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Potter: Up until then there was the bull rushes right up to the, almost to the house there that they filled in. We used to take little boards and cardboard boxes and go out in those tall bull rushes and build play houses.

Interviewer: They're probably still doing that. This river walk is just a modern version of that.

Potter: Right.

Smith: Right.

Interviewer: That's right. But when you finished high school in 1940, Margie, what did you do then, did you work in Southport or did you get married or what?

Potter: Well, I worked in Southport. I worked for _________.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Potter: For awhile.

Smith: It was a newspaper.

Interviewer: Yes.

Potter: The newspaper and then I worked for Jimmy ________ filing until I was 19 and then I started the postal- postal service September 1, 1942, stayed there for 36 years.

Interviewer: Good for you.

Potter: Until I retired the postal service.

Interviewer: And where was the post office in those days? It was over on Moore [ph?] Street.

Potter: It was on Moore Street next to the corner there. They've got a little store in there now. They had a pizza place in there.

Interviewer: Oh, was that the building that's the-- it's a tin shop or something like that now.

Potter: Yes, that's right, uh huh.

Interviewer: That was the post office?

Potter: That was the post office.

Interviewer: Okay, okay.

Potter: That's where ________ worked.

Interviewer: I heard one story about how the kids took a boat and jammed the doors in the post office one time but that may have been before your time.

Potter: Yes.

Interviewer: Have you heard that? You've probably heard that story. The told an old skiff and the got it in between the inner door and the outer door so you couldn't open it.

Potter: Uh huh.

Interviewer: But that goes back to Joe Sam, and his people (inaudible).

Potter: Sounds like Joe Sam, yeah. Joe Sam and my brother were about the same age I think then.

Interviewer: So, when did you get married then?

Potter: In 1946.

Interviewer: Oh, after the war also, okay. How much family do you have?

Potter: None.

Interviewer: Okay.

Smith: I would say that she's raising her great nephew.

Interviewer: That's right. You mentioned that, yeah.

Smith: And she's doing a good job with him.

Interviewer: Is your husband still alive?

Potter: No, he died in 1972.

Interviewer: Well, back to Eleanor. What was it like to come to Southport as a carpet bagger in 1946?

Smith: About right. Well, I wasn't sure where I was coming to tell you the truth. And the only paved road was our street about maybe four blocks from the waterfront, something like that and maybe a block on either side on Moore Street and very quiet and I had never lived in a town this small but boy I fell right in and enjoyed it until today.

Interviewer: Yeah that's-- because your perspective would be entirely different from someone who was born here.

Smith: Right.

Interviewer: The ones that were born here don't even know the names of the streets. They just know where people live.

Smith: Right.

Interviewer: And that kind of thing.

Smith: Yeah, that's so and so's house.

Interviewer: Yeah, that's right, because you had to think for a minute where was the post office. I always knew where it was because I went there to work for 30 years.

Potter: Yeah.

Interviewer: But to come as an adult because there are lots of us people nowadays who moved here as grownups but it probably wasn't that common in those days was it?

Smith: It wasn't I'm sure but because of the war and Ft. Caswell--

Interviewer: Well, yeah.

Smith: That was-- that was what brought people here. That was the Navy during the Second World War. It had been Army in the First World War.

Interviewer: Yeah. But when you were a little girl, Margie, everybody knew everybody because they'd all be born here just about.

Potter: Yes, that's right. I worked at the post office. I knew everyone. Now, I don't know anybody.

Interviewer: Well, was it really World War II then that caused so much coming and going?

Potter: I'm sure that was-- that the beginning of it, yes.

Smith: Yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Potter: With the nuclear plant that's when so many started coming.

Interviewer: Before that people left but nobody came.

Potter: That's right.

Interviewer: Because we had a group that was from the-- what was Suzie's class '34?

Interviewer 2: Thirty-seven.

Interviewer: Thirty-seven, we had a group of the high school class of '37 that all sat down and talked. The girls all sort of stayed here and stayed around and the boys are all gone in all directions.

Smith: They almost had to for work.

Interviewer: Yeah, it could have been jobs.

Smith: There wasn't much here, shrimping ad fishing and that was just bout it.

Potter: I had a sister in that class.

Interviewer: Did you, oh okay. Well you'll _________ I think. Susan Carson [ph?] has a little group that has reunions in the sense that they all go to lunch together. We got that whole group in here in talked to four or five of them _______ in there.

Potter: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Well, what else can we talk about? What would you-- we got to 1946. What was your husband's business in 1946? What was he doing when you first came?

Smith: He was already in the service then but before that he shrimped or fished, shrimping mostly in those days I think.

Interviewer: Yeah, but I mean when you moved here where was he working after the war?

Smith: He was in the service.

Interviewer: Oh, he stayed in after the war?

Smith: Until '40-- no, he came. Let me see that was '44 when I first came. Oh, four, he was still in there but he got out when his term was up. (phone ringing) That was '46 when the war was over, yes.

Interviewer: Stop and answer that I guess. Mr. Potter I guess is what I was asking about what his business was when you married him in '46 and came here in '46 what was he doing? Was he still--

Smith: He was still in the service then.

Interviewer: Still in the service, okay.

Smith: Yes.

Interviewer: Okay, we got--

Smith: He was home on leave.

Interviewer: We got interrupted by the telephone.

Smith: Yeah, it makes you lose your train of thought.

Interviewer: Yeah. So, okay, but what did he do after the military?

Smith: When we came home he shrimped a long time. I'm-- I'm trying to think how many years until I guess until they built Sunny Point.

Potter: He went on the Pogy boats.

Smith: Yeah, that's right, I forgot about the pogy boats, yeah that's right.

Interviewer: You stayed here and were you in the house you're in now?

Smith: Yes. Well, we stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Potter for a year.

Interviewer: Okay.

Smith: And then we had an apartment across the street for a year where Nonie [ph?] lives and then we had a chance to buy the house we were in.

Interviewer: So you had that house--

Smith: Since '48.

Interviewer: Wow. That's nice.

Smith: Would you like to know what I paid for it in 1948, $4,000.

Interviewer: I was going to guess it was single-- it would be single thousands, yeah.

Smith: Waterfront and all.

Interviewer: That was probably a big price in Southport in those days wasn't it?

Smith: A big price for us anyway.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Smith: We were just getting started. You don't have much.

Interviewer: Yeah, that's right.

Smith: I wouldn't pass that up if I had to beg, borrow or steal to buy it.

Interviewer: Well, you did well.

Smith: Uh huh.

Interviewer: That's as good a location as you can find I guess.

Smith: Yeah.

Interviewer: __________.

Smith: I love it. I can't imagine living anyplace else.

Interviewer: Where do you live now Margie?

Potter: I live on Herring Drive now.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Potter: Up until ten years ago, I lived at 222 E. Moore Street.

Interviewer: Okay.

Potter: My husband and I built that house in 1950 next to the tennis court there.

Interviewer: Yeah, okay.

Potter: Before that we owned a house next door, so we built a brick home there. It was like Eleanor. We stayed with my mother probably for a year or two.

Smith: That was par for the course in those days.

Interviewer: That's coming back.

Smith: Yeah, can't afford anything else.

Interviewer: The kids are all coming home again so they call it, there's a term for it now. It's called boomerang kids that go out and come back.

Smith: I hope mine don't boomerang now.

Interviewer: Well, let's see 30-some years in the post office. What have you been doing since you left the post office? That was still-- that was a good while ago that you retired from the post office.

Potter: Sixty-eight.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Potter: Not too much. I worked at Rose's for a little while but other than that it's been at home.

Interviewer: Oh, okay _____________.

Smith: Margie works a lot in our church too.

Interviewer: Okay, let's go from 1948 Eleanor what happened to you after that?

Smith: Went home, stayed in Philadelphia, oh not that far back. In that period, '44, '45 I guess and my husband-to-be I should say got out of the service. I was divorced by then and we were married in Philadelphia and came right straight down here.

Interviewer: Had children?

Smith: Got three girls, Sandy Spencer, a middle daughter Ann Potter, and my youngest daughter Madeline Spencer.

Interviewer: And when were they born?

Smith: Oh, Lord. Sandy was born in '48. I have to stop and think about that. Ann was born in-- that's terrible.

Interviewer: They'll be watching this.

Smith: Uh huh. Let's see, she's five years older so she was born in '60-- uh huh 60--

Interviewer: Fifty-three.

Smith: Fifty-three, yes, that's right and then Madeline was born in-- Madeline or Punk that she is called was born in '58.

Interviewer: Okay, five years.

Smith: If I don't have those dates right they're going to kill me.

Interviewer: Yeah, well. Any grandchildren?

Smith: Yes, uh.. I have let's see four, five grandsons and one granddaughter.

Interviewer: Wow.

Potter: And some great.

Smith: That's great, two great granddaughters.

Interviewer: Okay. And I won't ask you to give all those names because--

Smith: No, don't please, except that the two great granddaughters, my Sandy's husband Freddie calls them the children from hell. The youngest one is two. The oldest one is three and they got into my grandson and his wife have just built this new house. Now it's sort of on a bit of a hill and they got into the father's old car, which was parked first. Behind that was the brand new beautiful van that they have. Behind that was the TV repairman's truck and Katie climbed in the window of the first car and somehow got it out of gear. They cannot figure to save their lives, no key, no nothing. She got it out of gear and the other two, the vehicles were absolutely inoperable.

Interviewer: Smashed them, bang, bang, bang.

Smith: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Didn't hurt the child though?

Smith: No, her daddy ran, of course, to get her out. He got her out and looked at her all over real well and then he rammed her good, really spanked her.

Interviewer: Yeah, well all these things that are supposed to be foolproof aren't kidproof.

Smith: Well it wasn't for her.

Interviewer: Yeah. Well, Margie, tell us what the post office was like in the 1940s. How many people did you have working there? Everybody had to come in and get their mail didn't they?

Potter: Yes, everyone had to come in, yes. Well, there were only Mr. Yaskel [ph?], L.T. Yaskel was the postmaster when I went to work and Edna Bail [ph?] was a clerk and myself and that was all they had. We had an old colored man that-- who would go and clean and he would deliver--

Smith: What was his name?

Potter: Uncle Jim Lewis.

Smith: Uncle Jim Lewis that's right.

Interviewer: Oh, yeah, okay.

Potter: He was the-- we had an old coal stove that we heated with. We had to hug that all day long with our overcoats on to try to keep warm, you know. But, we had a lot of the big part of the people got their mail in general delivery back then.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Potter: And we had an old cancel machine and it was by hand we had to grind all the letters through. Back then when the war was going on, the Navy base was over there, you know. We had quite a bit of mail then. Then we'd bring it over here.

Interviewer: They probably sent somebody to pick theirs up.

Potter: They would send someone to pick theirs up but usually the boys from the Coast Guard station they would come every afternoon because they only pick up the mail in the morning. We had two mails a day and they would come in the afternoon to see if they didn't have a letter from their girlfriends back home, you know.

Interviewer: Well we heard a lot--

Potter: Them and--

Interviewer: Well we heard a lot of the Coast Guard guys tell us the reason they came every afternoon was to see the girls in Southport.

Smith: Well I was going to bring that up because the afternoon mail was the social occasion.

Potter: Yes.

Interviewer: Sure.

Smith: Everybody got together.

Potter: And met at the post office.

Interviewer: That's right, yeah.

Potter: Or they'd go to Leggett's [ph?] Drug Store or Watson's Drug Store and get a Coke and sit around the tables and talk.

Interviewer: Well you were a star then because you were the center of attention right there.

Potter: Yeah, that's right.

Interviewer: _______ the social right there.

Potter: Right in the middle of it.

Interviewer: Yeah. Did you hand out the mail? You stood there and handed it out?

Potter: Yes, uh huh, yeah.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Potter: Yeah.

Interviewer: Okay.

Potter: Except for the boxes.

Interviewer: Yeah. Well that was probably fun.

Potter: (Inaudible) boxes.

Interviewer: They'd pay you, they'd actually pay you to do that.

Potter: Yeah.

Interviewer: So that's nice.

Potter: Twenty-five dollars a month I believe it was when I started to work.

Potter: Can you imagine?

Interviewer: Well that was a good job in those days.

Potter: Yes. It was a good job.

Interviewer: Still is I guess.

Potter: Still is.

Interviewer: Yeah. What else? Do you have something to ask? I didn't want to have you talk too much.

Interviewer 2: I had some questions ___________.

Interviewer: Oh, tell us some stories then. Tell us after you married again and you got to the business that you're in now when did all that come about?

Smith: My dad, after my mother died my dad moved out here.

Interviewer: Okay.

Smith: And we had started a little house for him up behind ours because we thought they would both be here then. And he finished up the inside and everything and then he--

Interviewer: Oh, that's the little house right up behind your house, yeah.

Smith: Right, uh huh.

Interviewer: Okay.

Smith: And he was fine while he was doing that but that got done in six or seven months, something like that and he was about to go crazy. He said, "I've got to do something." He said, "I think I'll start an antique shop." So he fiddled around until he found this piece of property across the street and bought that. He lived to be 85 years old and had a ball. He just loved the town, loved the people in it. Of course, he always loved antiques. We had been in the antique business sort of all through the depression.

Interviewer: When did he die?

Smith: He died in 1977.

Interviewer: He was in Southport for how long?

Interviewer: Okay. He was in Southport for how long?

Smith: I'm sure it must have been somewhere around 12 to 15 years.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Smith: Yeah, he was here for quite a bit.

Interviewer: Your mother died in the '60s, 1960s.

Smith: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Yeah. Okay.

Smith: And, of course, my husband died in 1967 so it was kind of good to have dad here to help me along.

Interviewer: You took over after he died?

Smith: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Okay, still at it.

Smith: Still at it and I love the business. I've added on to it a little.

Interviewer: Yeah. Yeah, you got that new side place there where the shop is at. Jeb had a little shop in there.

Smith: Yeah he sure did. It's still in there. It was neat, I wish we still had a book store there.

Interviewer: How much did-- this is kind of changing the subject but how much did Hurricane Hazel, you all were here during Hazel--

Smith: Uh huh.

Interviewer: How much did she alter the way Southport is now, especially along the waterfront? I know it just wiped it out but what was the big different between then and now?

Smith: Man, it was some storm. I know I walked out of my front porch, I remember, during the very height of the hurricane and we were sort of, we were on a little bit of a hill and I couldn't stand up against the wind. I had never felt anything like that before. We were ready to go out through the back if we had to. I think we had a car parked back there or something.

Potter: Yeah.

Interviewer: Where were you living? Were you all--

Smith: Where I am now, uh huh, yes.

Interviewer: Did the storm surge come right into the old yacht basin there?

Smith: It came right up to my front, the top of my steps of my porch.

Interviewer: Good grief.

Smith: And I've forgotten how many feet that was above mean high water, something like 19 feet I think, something like that.

Interviewer: It sure raised up.

Smith: Yes.

Interviewer: Pretty good over--

Smith: Yes, we were well on that hill.

Interviewer: Where were you living?

Potter: It came up to the stoplight.

Smith: Yes, it did that's right.

Potter: To the stoplight downtown.

Interviewer: (Inaudible) okay.

Potter: I was living at 222 E. Moore then.

Interviewer: Okay but the water didn't get up there?

Potter: No, the water didn't get up to us.

Interviewer: So, you were kind of sheltered from it.

Potter: Yeah.

Interviewer: A little more so than you were.

Smith: Well, the USO building probably sheltered in there because it was southwest.

Interviewer: Yeah, that's right.

Potter: But roofs were flying everywhere.

Smith: Oh, it was very--

Potter: My husband worked with the city at that time and he was out on the street and roofs started to fly and he decided to stop that he had to come home- come home and that was it.

Smith: It was really something. I remember seeing, it used to be where what was down there then (inaudible).

Interviewer: The Ship Chandler.

Smith: The Ship Chandler is now there was a restaurant there a man had built and the first thing I remember seeing going by was the gas tank down and the next thing was the roof and then most of the building, just would pick things up.

Potter: Van Harrelson [ph?] had a grocery store there.

Smith: Yeah sure did.

Interviewer: Cleared all the docks out of there didn't it?

Potter: Uh huh.

Interviewer: Sure did.

Potter: Five or six big docks, shrimp houses there.

Smith: And you'd see these things just going by on the water.

Interviewer: Yeah, Margaret Harper [ph?] told us that the park down there really was a result of Hazel that they bought the park and set it up with the city after Hazel so that people wouldn't rebuild. And she told us that all of that land along the waterfront where all those docks were laying were owned by one family and they rented all those docks to the people.

Smith: You mean on the river waterfront?

Interviewer: Uh huh the waterfront on the river.

Smith: Doesn't sound right to me.

Potter: No, because Louis Hardy [ph?] had a dock there.

Smith: Yeah.

Potter: Bill Wells [ph?] had a dock there uh huh.

Interviewer: Well I guess what she's talking about is all that that's park today.

Potter: Well probably that too yeah.

Interviewer: The waterfront park is.

Potter: Where Louis Hardy dock is.

Interviewer: (inaudible).

Potter: Louis Hardy's docks were there I think. Bill Wells' were on the other side of the government, where the--

Interviewer: Right, yeah, yeah and of course what the pilot said and all that stuff going on that way was different.

Potter: Yes.

Interviewer: But she was talking about the piece that is the park today that fortunately they were able to get that for the city after Hazel so they didn't build the docks back.

Potter: Yes.

Smith: Uh huh.

Interviewer: So, I guess we have Hazel really to thank for the nice park.

Smith: Sure took the docks out of that and they never built back of course on the riverside.

Interviewer: Yeah. Yeah.

Potter: (inaudible).

Smith: Yes.

Interviewer: Yes.

Potter: My father worked with the Florida East Coast Railroad in his earlier years until he came back to Southport after his mother died but that's where he met my mother. He helped to build the railroad from Miami to Key West.

Interviewer: Oh, yeah.

Potter: He and his brother worked on the railroad. That's where he met my mother and all of my brothers and sister were born there except me and a younger brother was born here in Southport. And when he came back to Southport he worked on the dredge boats for a while and then he started fishing, shrimping. And every summer over on Bald Head, he would take the whole family there was a little cabin built there at the end of Bald Head Island where Corn Cake inlet comes in. And he would take the family over and we'd camp out in that little cabin there for sometimes a week or maybe two weeks at a time sometimes. And they would do their fishing in the day time, of course bring their fish back to Southport. We stayed up there. And, one day we were out there was a shoal there where we did clamming right across from the camp and we were all over there my daddy and my oldest brother and his wife and young baby and my sister and my younger brother and I were all over there on the clam shells clamming and the tide was rising. And my sister and my brother and I, my brother is five years younger, I have a sister who is three years older, the three of us got back in our rowboat and we go clamming. They just stick an oar down in the sand, you know, tie the boat to it. Well, we got in the boat and somehow the boat broke loose from where it was tied up and we started drifting. Of course none of us were old enough to know what to do and we only had one oar.

Interviewer: Oh, dear.

Potter: So none of us, of course, knew how to row or do anything, and the tide was pretty strong on that Corn Cake Inlet and--

Interviewer: Still is, yeah.

Potter: We were very close to the Corn Cake Inlet and there was no one over on the shoals that could swim. My father couldn't swim. My oldest brother couldn't swim.

Smith: _____ couldn't swim isn't that funny.

Potter: So, we kept drifting and drifting. We didn't know what to do or, of course, we were scared to death and they were scared to death. The tide was rising over there and it was coming up to here and I had the baby sitting up on the shoulders, you know, to keep it out of the water. So, finally, my oldest brother waded on the shoal to the closest point to the beach and he was going to try to swim it somehow, get across the channel there, so he started and a porpoise came along and he got onto that porpoise and that porpoise took him to the beach.

Interviewer: Wow.

Potter: And about that time just before that we finally ended up we were right at the mouth of Corn Cake inlet and we finally went ashore there in a bed of oyster rocks and I still have the scars on my legs where I jumped out of the boat.

Interviewer: Good grief.

Potter: But, anyway, I thought it was pretty miraculous that the porpoise came along at just the right time and helped my brother to get ashore so he could go back and get the other ones over that were over on the shoal.

Interviewer: Somebody was looking out for you for sure that's right.

Potter: Yeah, that's right.

Interviewer: That's great.

Smith: Kind of like the fish named Wanda.

Potter: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah. Well there's a famous Greek statue of a boy on a dolphin.

Smith: Yes.

Interviewer: He was recovered. Eleanor, now tell us a story that good.

Smith: Oh, my goodness, except I have a ghost in my house.

Interviewer: Okay, well tell us that. That's great.

Smith: Well I don't know we used to hear these, you know how an old house has creaks and grunts and groans in it. And we used to joke about it and think it was funny. I can't remember who I was telling it to one day and they said they thought it was Ms. _______ what was her name that used to live there Ms. Graybers [ph?]. She was- I think she had a stroke or something, partially crippled anyway and evidently she used to sit in front of the window all the time and look for her boys or Mr. Fred and them to come in from fishing and shrimping and everything. So, we decided it had to be her ghost that we were listening to.

Interviewer: Good. What does she do?

Smith: Just walk around seems to be but Ms. Graybers, but she would walk around couldn't she? That's funny, a lot of funny noises. And one time my daughter was quite ill and eventually became much iller [ph?]. She had meningitis and I was trying to keep her quiet at night and lay across the bed with her kind of patting her and I fell asleep and I woke up thinking somebody was standing there looking down at me and I add that to the story when I tell it after that, you know. That was Ms. Graybers.

Interviewer: Looking out for the child, yeah.

Smith: Uh huh, yeah.

Interviewer: What's the age of your house? When was it built?

Smith: It was moved there in 1879 I believe.

Interviewer: Oh, okay.

Smith: But it was part of the original Methodist Church when there was-- I don't know what part, whether it was the place where the preacher, they had for a preacher to live or what but it was part of the Methodist Church.

Interviewer: Okay.

Smith: And I assume the Burris'[ph?] must have moved it there.

Interviewer: So it's, yeah, so there was a fair number of people who lived there before you got it.

Smith: No, just the Burris'.

Interviewer: Just the Burris', okay.

Smith: That's all. We were only as far as I know the second family to ever live there.

Interviewer: So, she's in there still looking for the boys to come home.

Smith: Yeah, I guess so. The floors go up and down, you know.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Potter: The house that's up next to you, the Williamson house that sits up on the hill next to Eleanor, when we were little we would not dare go near that house. They told us there were skeletons in the closets up there. No one lived there except in the summertime though the Williamsons would come down and stay there in the summertime but we would not dare go near that house. There's skeletons in those closets up there.

Potter: That would have been Dr. Williamson I think and--

Interviewer: Oh, well he might have had skeletons over there.

Potter: Yeah.

Smith: Yes, but he used to every time he came down he'd come over. We still had a pump in the back yard and he always got all his drinking water over there.

Interviewer: Oh.

Smith: And when he'd-- evidently they would leave to go someplace and he always took gallons and gallons of that water. He said it was the most beneficial water that there was around.

Interviewer: Yeah. Well that's-- the pump at the park was (inaudible).

Smith: Yeah, that's right.

Interviewer: So, I don't know where we are now ladies. We're not supposed to drink that anymore.

Smith: Not even at the park?

Interviewer: Huh uh. That's been they said tainted with saltwater I think. Too salty, yeah, they closed it.

Smith: I bet that was from Hazel. No, just from underneath.

Interviewer: Recently, just recently because we had bottles of it that we were selling at the museum.

Smith: That's right.

Interviewer: And if you drank the water you were supposed to always, you always cut back.

Smith: Yeah, uh huh.

Interviewer: Sold a lot of that water. I don't know whether it was the right water or not but somebody thought so.

Potter: They're still coming back.

Interviewer: Yeah, the house over, talking about haunted houses though, the one over by the park is supposed to be haunted.

Smith: Yeah, I've always heard that too.

Interviewer: Yeah, there's an old man in a rocking chair on the porch and things like that. We don't know whether since they renovated it so extensively, you know, they got in there and changed it all around we don't know whether those people are seeing ghosts or not. I don't know who's living there.

Smith: The only other thing I can think of in my house was originally it was just a four room house with the breezeway and cooking rooms in the back and when Mr. Fred Burris' father had four daughters and one son and he built what is now my bedroom that comes out on the left hand side of the house and it had its own, when we bought it, it still had its own door out on the porch and he was supposed to have built that as a courting room.

Interviewer: Oh.

Smith: Because he had four daughters to get rid of.

Interviewer: Good grief.

Smith: What's her name, (inaudible).

Potter: Miss Minnie Butler.

Smith: Ms. Minnie Butler, yeah, was one of the daughters (inaudible).

Interviewer: Oh, you mentioned Potters, Smith, Mr. Smith who was--

Smith: I remarried. I had been a widow for a while.

Interviewer: Okay.

Smith: It didn't take.

Interviewer: Okay. He was in Southport?

Smith: Yeah, lived right down the street.

Interviewer: I guess unless we've got some more questions we'll thank you ladies for coming, enjoyed talking to you. If you have any more good stories though, don't hesitate to tell us. We've got plenty of tape.

Smith: I don't know how it is you remember the old stories and can't remember your name. That's bad isn't it?

Interviewer: Well, that's all right. That's all right. Well we thank you.

Smith: You're welcome.

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