Lula Adams, 1993 June 22, Tape 1, Side 1

Web Video Text Tracks Format (WebVTT)


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Pearl Bowser: Identify yourself. Identify yourself. Where you were born, and when. How old you are.

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Lula Adams: I am Lula Bell Adams. The daughter of Mose Adams and Kara Hayes, my mother's maiden name.

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Lula Adams: I didn't say when I was born.

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Lula Adams: April 25th, 1908

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Pearl Bowser: You were born here in-- ?
Lula Adams: Yes, Memphis, Tennessee.

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Pearl Bowser: Were your parents also?

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Lula Adams: My mother and father both were born in Tennessee.

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Lula Adams: My mother came from Memphis,

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Lula Adams: in the rear of [[?]], what's north, what was north Main Street,

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Lula Adams: and at that time, property owned by a Memphis Bowman.

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Lula Adams: The house that she was born in, it was known as Memphis Bowman's Yard.

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Lula Adams: You told me-- And so, do I have to give the date of my mother's birth?

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Pearl Bowser: Sure, if you want to, sure.

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Lula Adams: Well, my mother was born June 5th; I'll track that back it's correct dates; 1890.

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Lula Adams: And the day of the week, it was Thursday.

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Lula Adams: My grandmother had pretty good situation, you see.

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Lula Adams: Her mother was born in safer times. In Macon, Georgia.

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Lula Adams: And whoever they belonged to let the house servants children

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Lula Adams: be taught by the teacher of the plantation owners.

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Lula Adams: She learn to read better than just about as well as I can read now.

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Lula Adams: She pointed to her and words that she didn't understand, she could separate them into syllables,

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Lula Adams: and as I got old enough, I could look it up in the dictionary,

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Lula Adams: and she would fix in her own words as to what it meant.

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Lula Adams: I have considered myself to be very fortunate

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Pearl Bowser: Right.
Lula Adams: because not only did they wait until my grandfather passed

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Lula Adams: when my mother went for three months on.

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Lula Adams: [[Dry throat sound]] And my-- And she's the youngest; the last of the Hayes [[Laughing]] family children.

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Pearl Bowser: Hayes was your maiden name?
Lula Adams: Huh?
Pearl Bowser: Hayes was your maiden name?
Louise Spence: [[Cross Talk]] His mother's name--
Lula Adams: No. My mother's maiden name was Hayes,

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Lula Adams: but she wasn't but 3 months old when her father passed.

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Lula Adams: So she didn't know anything about him and in later years.

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Lula Adams: We found out that he was born in Huntsville, Alabama, in that section.

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Lula Adams: And they were looking for the heirs of Van Hayes, which was his name.

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Lula Adams: And I was big enough to, you know, know about it because the government

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Lula Adams: was buying up the land that they were fixing to put the power plant in Huntsville.

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Lula Adams: So my grandmother didn't know anything about the family property or nothing, you know,

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Lula Adams: because for some reason he didn't want to be, didn't tell her about it.

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Pearl Bowser: Would you spell that last name for us, Hayes?
Lula Adams: HAYES.

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Pearl Bowser: So you were close to your grandmother?

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Lula Adams: Huh?
Pearl Bowser: You were close to your grandmother?

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Lula Adams: Oh yeah, I was 22 years old when she passed. [[Laughs]]
Louise Spence: Oh, that's nice.

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Louise Spence: What did your grandmother do for a living?

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Lula Adams: She did laundry work.

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Lula Adams: She was a cook at one of the biggest boardin' houses, mid-cook

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Lula Adams: at one of the biggest boardin' houses

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Lula Adams: and while my mother was growing, her brother, older than her, was growing up.

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Lula Adams: She was, a cook at this place. She babysat at night for the Clary family,

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Lula Adams: and just did what she could and kept her children together because her husband asked her.

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Lula Adams: She told not to ever let his children go into any of his family's homes to live.

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Lula Adams: Don't let them take over. Now, what his reason for it I'll [[Laughs]] never know

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Lula Adams: cause I don't guess he ever told her.

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Lula Adams: But she fought the battle and they all four lived to be grown.

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Lula Adams: Before their son, the only son, was killed by getting mixed up with the wrong class of women.

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Pearl Bowser: So tell us a little bit about Memphis during this period that you're --

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Lula Adams: Of my life?
Pearl Bowser: Growing up. Yeah.

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Lula Adams: I was born in the First Ward, as I told you,

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Lula Adams: the year that Memphis Health Department started registering births.

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Lula Adams: I'm registered in volume 1.

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Lula Adams: They don't have the date, but they have the month,

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Lula Adams: and Mrs. Annie Washington was the midwife for all that section, white and black.

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Lula Adams: Everybody was named Grandma Washington to her.

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Lula Adams: I was born next door to a Jewish family on the north side of 81st and Front Street,

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Lula Adams: and a black family on the south, I mean on the east side

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Lula Adams: because I was born at 346 North Front Street so

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Lula Adams: that's what the copy of my birth certificate shows.

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Lula Adams: I lived all of my life until I was near thirty.

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Lula Adams: Went from Main Street East Jackson in the front. Then, we moved in the rear of Concord,

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Lula Adams: which now is Parkway now but,

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Lula Adams: it was the Concord area,

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Pearl Bowser: and I became a member of the church at 2nd and Looney.

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Pearl Bowser: How old were you then?

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Lula Adams: Thirteen. I was thirteen on the 25th of April, and I was baptized on the first Sunday of May

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Lula Adams: of that same year and joined Pilgrim's Rest, at that time, Baptist Church.

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Lula Adams: And my grandmother had joined there when she came here from,

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Lula Adams: was brought here, from Georgia. Took up with her family. [[Chuckles]]

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Lula Adams: I was thinking back on how

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Lula Adams: she said that the people that visited Macon, Georgia described

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Lula Adams: coming to Tennessee as everybody up here.

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Lula Adams: Then they sold what they had down there which was-- I don't know how they came back-- but they sold it and

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Lula Adams: came to Tennessee, thinking that cotton would grow so tall that you had to,

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Lula Adams: you know, stand up and pick at it. [[Laughter]]

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Lula Adams: Oh, it was the funniest thing ever she would tell me. I said, "Momma, did they really believe that?"

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Lula Adams: She said, "Yeah!" She said yes.

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Lula Adams: and I guess it must've been what the history books called the carpetbaggers went through there telling them, you know. All of that stuff.

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Lula Adams: They hadn't been used to being around nobody 'cause, now, she often told me that

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Lula Adams: there were times when the war was going on. See, she was just 9 years old when the Civil War ended.

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Lula Adams: But she said that the lady of the house would take her to the fort at Atlanta, and she'd thread needles for them sewing,

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Lula Adams: for the Confederate soldiers.

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Lula Adams: And she always was afraid of going.

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Lula Adams: She didn't want nobody to have her going that she knew about in the house.

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Lula Adams: 'Course, after I got grown, the children people would, you know, they would, they would hid it from Momma.

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Lula Adams: My [[laughs]] Momma couldn't have any guns around, but she said that a slave would tell her, "Caroline,

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Lula Adams: we are not going to let anybody bother you.

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Lula Adams: You don't have to be worried about what's going on in there, it's safe to say".

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Lula Adams: Somebody, her family, she had uncles that

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Lula Adams: their owner hired out to folks for, to do carpentry work. He collected the money see but they did the work.

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Lula Adams: But, now nobody, wasn't supposed to bother him being the bounty hunters wasn't hunting for them as runaway slaves or nothing.

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Lula Adams: There has always been, divisions and sections and things. A lot of things that history books don't give them account.

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Lula Adams: It went on.

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Louise Spence: What, you wanna be more detailed about that?

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Lula Adams: Huh?
Louise Spence: What the history book didn't tell that division.

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Lula Adams: Yeah! Cause some of 'em, they, I have heard people, they have told me.

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Lula Adams: I mean black people have told me, that they weren't allowed to sing or to pray

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Lula Adams: or nothing like that. Well now, we were carried to the church,

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Lula Adams: but we sat in a different section from the owners of it.

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Lula Adams: My father was, he's my grandfather, [[laughs]] not my father.

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Lula Adams: My grandfather, he turned out be a Methodist preacher 'cause that was the Methodist

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Lula Adams: system. That he could read the bible the way he was taught to read it.

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Lula Adams: by the people that owned.

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Lula Adams: But I've heard other colored people say that they didn't allow them to sing.

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Lula Adams: They had to turn the part down and

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Lula Adams: oh, let well, now, there have been sections of everybody just like there are right now. All white people weren't mean and nasty.

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Lula Adams: They just had to live with the customs of the time just like you having to do right now.

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Lula Adams: There are some colored people that have sense enough to know

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Lula Adams: That color of skin doesn't make a difference in the heart of a person.

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Lula Adams: 'Cause I had somethin happen to me

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Lula Adams: not too long ago by own of my own.

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Lula Adams: that really upset me.

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Lula Adams: You see, when his family, this person's ancestor

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Lula Adams: came here to Memphis from Alabama where he was born.

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Lula Adams: He opened, he started selling fuel, coal, and wood.

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Lula Adams: My mother was small, and he would go by when my grandmother would be at [[Wickertis Lord's?]] Boardin' house.

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Lula Adams: and see that they had fuel and leave it, and at the end of the week she would pay him.

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Lula Adams: All right. In later years, he and another man opened up an undertaker shop,

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Lula Adams: and my grandmother told me, said now

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Lula Adams: as long as, we all gonna die some day,

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Lula Adams: as long as they in business and treat you- treat y'all all right

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Lula Adams: I would rather that you use him when that time came

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Lula Adams: for an undertaker which was

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Lula Adams: a decent thing to do.

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Lula Adams: All right, that man, that particular man

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Lula Adams: had 6 sons, didn't but 2 of them want to be in that business.

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Lula Adams: But I have known, we've known each other all our lives.

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Lula Adams: Some were older than me, and

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Lula Adams: y'know like that, but-- and finally, about 3 or 4 years ago the last one passed.

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Lula Adams: That was, since my mother passed,

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Lula Adams: and one of the nephews

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Lula Adams: was an army officer. I knew the boy, the young man's father. and --

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Lula Adams: I'm just rambling on you can see that. [[Laughs]]
Louise Spence: [[Laughs]] No, that's that's alright.

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Lula Adams: Uh huh. Um, I knew the young man's father and mother.

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Lula Adams: So, when he came here as retired Army officer,

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Lula Adams: after his uncle passed, I called him and asked him to come out here

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Lula Adams: so that I could tell him what I had since I don't have any close relatives, you know.

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Lula Adams: What I had, and asked him to give me an estimation

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Lula Adams: of how much more in these modern times that I would have to add to it, see?

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Lula Adams: I really knew I had to paid up insurance with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company,

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Lula Adams: and I had-- and I had received a letter from them idea how much it would be worth,

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Lula Adams: and I also knew that my mother had had a straight life insurance with Metropolitan. [[background noise]]

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Lula Adams: You know so, it done business with the family on thirty year endowment insurance, you see.

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Lula Adams: Ah, but anyway I asked this fellow to give me what--

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Lula Adams: what the modern day prices, what I would need.

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Lula Adams: Now, I let him know that I had a grave already paid for in the Calvary cemetary,

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Lula Adams: and the contract and everything for the grave.

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Lula Adams: And I told him the face value of the Metropolitan insurance and asked him

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Lula Adams: to give me an idea about how much, you know, I would need to add to it.

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Lula Adams: I don't think I did wrong.

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Louise Spence: That seems like a fair question. [[Laughter]]
Lula Adams: I think so.
Pearl Bowser: Most obvious question to ask.
Lula Adams: Right.

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Lula Adams: But here was the thing that got me most upset with him.

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Lula Adams: I told him that Nat Landau was the executor of my will.

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Lula Adams: Now what I didn't tell him was that Nat's mother had left my mother more

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Lula Adams: than enough to pay for her hospitalization and all that kind of stuff, you know.

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Lula Adams: But I didn't just didn't spend it and waste it up cause you know I knew, I didn't know who was going to leave first,

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Lula Adams: And I wasn't goin' to waste up her money,

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Lula Adams: and not have sufficient thing when Miss Landau had left enough

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Lula Adams: to do-- for her, for her to do,

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Lula Adams: and nobody else ta do that.

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Lula Adams: But her mother and father had helped my mother to bring me up the way I was grown, see.

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Pearl Bowser: Um huh.

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Lula Adams: It'd been a family situation. And when Mamma got it so she would be awake.

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Lula Adams: Miss Landau would have-- Mrs. Alfred Landau would have somebody to come and pick her up.

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Lula Adams: Every morning. She paid them to take Mamma over there to the house

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Lula Adams: and set up there with her while somebody waited on both of them. [[Laughter]]

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Lula Adams: That happened.
Louise Spence: That's nice. Yeah.

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Lula Adams: [[Speaking happily]] I didn't - Of course, I didn't explain all that to him.

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Lula Adams: I just asked him, you know, about my business.

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Lula Adams: Shit! He writes Nat a letter, Nat Landau a letter,

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Lula Adams: and Nat was so outdone, he sent me a copy. He said nothing [[Laughs]].

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Lula Adams: But he writes Nat a letter telling him how much insurance I had; like he didn't know.

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Lula Adams: [[Laughs]] And where I had a grave, and he had chipped her out, and 3 hundred dollars had--

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Lula Adams: Like I didn't sense enough to read the contract. Somebody had to pay for the opening and closing of the grave.

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Pearl Bowser: Hmm.

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Lula Adams: Ah huh. I don't know where to start. But at least they did send me to school, and I tried learning a little bit.

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Lula Adams: And I'm fortunate enough to have the lawyers on both sides of Nat's family

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Lula Adams: to explain anything that I need to know to -- Now wouldn't I be stupid to go do something,

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Lula Adams: not ask them, "Am I doing it right or wrong?"

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Lula Adams: I've done that.

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Lula Adams: When my mother and her sisters were living,
Pearl Bowser: Right.

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Lula Adams: 'Cause, see, they were working,

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Lula Adams: and I was the one who had to explain to them what was being said or done

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Lula Adams: and God listened, to be able to have folks to tell me to what to do,

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Lula Adams: and how to do it. How to do all the things. Shh!!

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Lula Adams: I told the guy that, he come writin' out a letter explain' what I had,

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Lula Adams: and uh, and uh, what he would have to be responsible for. [[Laughter by all]]. AH HA!!

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Louise Spence: He expected to make money off it.

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Lula Adams: [[In loud voice]] That's what-- That's what got-- I think, and the sad part

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Lula Adams: about it is that he thought I was dumb enough to go turn my insurance policies over to him!

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Lula Adams: I didn't owe him nothing! I have receipts for everybody that's been buried in their family.

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Lula Adams: He told Nat that his family had buried folks, and why was he telling him when Nat went to the funeral.

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Louise Spence: [[Laughs]]
Pearl Bowser: Hum. Hum.

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Lula Adams: Nat knows that Mama, Deason, Sidney Olsen, his uncle,

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Lula Adams: got this grave over there in Calvary when they opened it up to Colored folk.

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Lula Adams: too, right across the road where Nat's mother and father

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Lula Adams: are buried in the Temple of Israel. See, he didn't know that.

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Lula Adams: And he writes him a letter tellin' him about what he'd be responsible for.

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Lula Adams: Come tellin' me. You know, I can't uh-- You know, pick a color scheme like I'm givin' a party, now. [[Laughs]]
Louise Spence and Pearl Bowser: [[Laughs]]

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Lula Adams: On my funeral. I said, "Uh-uh!" I sat and asked him that I just wanted to have--

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Pearl Bowser: Estimate-
Lula Adams: an idea about how much more I would have to add at a

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Lula Adams: present day prices to have a decent funeral.

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Lula Adams: I said, "My church will arrange its own musical program, its own myriad of things."

00:21:57.000 --> 00:22:02.000
Lula Adams: Because I have been a member there and served there long enough for somebody,

00:22:02.000 --> 00:22:10.000
Lula Adams: some of them, they were children when they first remember me, now they all grown up and takin' over.

00:22:10.000 --> 00:22:18.000
Lula Adams: And they know about what I like and dislike. They'll all treat me up with decency, the majority of em.

00:22:18.000 --> 00:22:27.000
Lula Adams: I was sayin', "I wouldn't need you to arrange no program for my people, and blah, blah, blah."

00:22:27.000 --> 00:22:32.000
Lula Adams: I said, "Whoever's back here, they'll, you know, slick whatever's goin' on."

00:22:32.000 --> 00:22:40.000
Lula Adams: So he writes Nat and tells him, "I know from our conversation that you were surprised

00:22:40.000 --> 00:22:45.000
Lula Adams: to know that she had a second cousin.

00:22:45.000 --> 00:22:49.000
Lula Adams: Now what does a second cousin got to do with what I own? [[Laughter]]

00:22:49.000 --> 00:22:55.000
Lula Adams: And what owned at that time, 'cause she dead now, but

00:22:55.000 --> 00:23:01.000
Lula Adams: And what she owned at that time was left by her mother and father, sisters - sister and brothers.

00:23:01.000 --> 00:23:10.000
Pearl Bowser: Would you like to go back to when you were a girl growing up in this community?

00:23:10.000 --> 00:23:13.000
Pearl Bowser: We'd like to ask you some questions about that.

00:23:13.000 --> 00:23:20.000
Lula Adams: I didn't grow up in this community. I grew up there, in the 1st Ward.
Pearl Bowser: In the 1st Ward. Yeah.

00:23:20.000 --> 00:23:22.000
Louise Spence: Could you tell us a little about your schooling?

00:23:22.000 --> 00:23:29.000
Lula Adams: Well, I attended elementary school at Grant School.

00:23:29.000 --> 00:23:39.000
Lula Adams: It was located at that time where Hood Bins is, at Auction and Salem.

00:23:39.000 --> 00:23:49.000
Lula Adams: And I finished there at age 14.

00:23:52.000 --> 00:23:58.000
Lula Adams: 8th grade. [[Noise]] I went to Kortrech,

00:23:58.000 --> 00:24:06.000
Lula Adams: which is now Booker T. It was then located at 2nd and Webster.

00:24:06.000 --> 00:24:12.000
Pearl Bowser: Would you mind spelling the first name of the school?

00:24:12.000 --> 00:24:14.000
Louise Spence: [[Cross Talk]] Before it became Booker T.
Pearl Bowser: [[Cross Talk]] Before it became Booker T.
Lula Adams: Uh huh.

00:24:14.000 --> 00:24:23.000
Pearl Bowser: Before it became Booker T. The name.
Lula Adams: It was: K O R T R E C H.

00:24:23.000 --> 00:24:27.000
Pearl Bowser: Okay, good.
Lula Adams: High School.

00:24:27.000 --> 00:24:31.000
Lula Adams: Now why they named it that, I don't know. [[All laughing]]

00:24:31.000 --> 00:24:36.000
Pearl Bowser: That was going to be my next question. [[Laughs]] What that name meant.

00:24:36.000 --> 00:24:38.000
Lula Adams: I don't know. I-- I have read something since then, but

00:24:38.000 --> 00:24:44.000
Lula Adams: nobody ever told us why it was called Kortrech High School.

00:24:44.000 --> 00:24:49.000
Lula Adams: So, I-- I-- I-- I couldn't say.

00:24:49.000 --> 00:24:55.000
Pearl Bowser: What did you-- What did you and your friends-- [[Cross Talk]]
Lula Adams: [[Cross Talk]] I-- I-- They didn't go any further

00:24:55.000 --> 00:25:02.000
Lula Adams: the city of Memphis school didn't go any farther than the 11th grade at that time.

00:25:02.000 --> 00:25:05.000
Lula Adams: I still have my certificate.

00:25:05.000 --> 00:25:10.000
Lula Adams: In fact, I have my cards

00:25:10.000 --> 00:25:15.000
Lula Adams: from the first grade on out through 11th. I still have 'em.

00:25:15.000 --> 00:25:17.000
Louise Spence: I'm sure you were a good student, too.

00:25:17.000 --> 00:25:19.000
Lula Adams: Huh? tim
Louise Spence: You were a good student, I'm sure.

00:25:19.000 --> 00:25:26.000
Lula Adams: Well, I-- it was insisted that I learn all I could. [[chuckling]]

00:25:26.000 --> 00:25:29.000
Lula Adams: I was an Honor Student.

00:25:29.000 --> 00:25:37.000
Pearl Bowser: What did you and your friends do, for amusement?

00:25:37.000 --> 00:25:46.000
Lula Adams: Well, we had baseball games between Manassas - was in the county,

00:25:46.000 --> 00:25:49.000
Lula Adams: and in the county high school you went to the 12th grade.

00:25:49.000 --> 00:25:53.000
Lula Adams: That school, Pete Taylor was the principal,

00:25:53.000 --> 00:26:01.000
Lula Adams: and, but G. P. Hamilton, the one at Hamilton High School,

00:26:01.000 --> 00:26:04.000
Lula Adams: he was the principal of the old Kortrech high school,

00:26:04.000 --> 00:26:09.000
Lula Adams: and he is the one that organized the first band

00:26:09.000 --> 00:26:12.000
Lula Adams: in the-- in the school system.

00:26:12.000 --> 00:26:17.000
Lula Adams: And he taught the boys of his own free will.

00:26:17.000 --> 00:26:25.000
Lula Adams: And he'd buy the instruments to teach 'em to play music.

00:26:25.000 --> 00:26:35.000
Pearl Bowser: And, what else did you do for amusement besides the [[Cross Talk]] games?

00:26:35.000 --> 00:26:39.000
Lula Adams: [[Cross Talk]] Usually we went to the ballgames and,

00:26:39.000 --> 00:26:44.000
Lula Adams: just go to the neighborhood theater,

00:26:44.000 --> 00:26:50.000
Lula Adams: and things because there wasn't anything organized like it is now, for children.

00:26:50.000 --> 00:26:54.000
Pearl Bowser: You want to tell us about the neighborhood theater?

00:26:54.000 --> 00:27:00.000
Lula Adams: The neighborhood theater was located where I lived, on Main and Market.

00:27:00.000 --> 00:27:03.000
Pearl Bowser: Do you remember the name of the theater?

00:27:03.000 --> 00:27:06.000
Lula Adams: Idle Hour.

00:27:06.000 --> 00:27:08.000
Louise Spence: Idle Hour? [[Laughs]]
Lula Adams: Uh huh.

00:27:08.000 --> 00:27:14.000
Pearl Bowser: Idle Hour, really? One word, or two?
Lula Adams: Two.
Pearl Bowser: Two words. Okay.

00:27:14.000 --> 00:27:17.000
Louise Spence: Are you talking about when you were in grammar school or in high school?

00:27:17.000 --> 00:27:22.000
Lula Adams: Grammar and high school.
Louise Spence: The Idle Hour was there?
Lula Adams: Uh huh.

00:27:22.000 --> 00:27:24.000
Louise Spence: Did you go to the movies often?

00:27:24.000 --> 00:27:27.000
Lula Adams: Did I go what?
Louise Spence: Did you go to the movies often?

00:27:27.000 --> 00:27:31.000
Lula Adams: Oh, yeah! All I had to do was prove I had my lesson then.

00:27:31.000 --> 00:27:35.000
Lula Adams: You see, we lived at 79 Commerce at that time,

00:27:35.000 --> 00:27:42.000
Lula Adams: and the Parada family was on the east side of us,

00:27:42.000 --> 00:27:47.000
Lula Adams: and the Winstons were on the west side of us, and across the street,

00:27:47.000 --> 00:27:55.000
Lula Adams: the Fire Chief's mother, Mrs. Fitzmorris; James Fitzmorris

00:27:55.000 --> 00:28:01.000
Lula Adams: was our neighbor on the north side of Commerce.

00:28:01.000 --> 00:28:04.000
Pearl Bowser: These are white families?
Lula Adams: Yeah. Yeah.

00:28:04.000 --> 00:28:10.000
Lula Adams: Did the theater owner-- Was one of these families owner of the theater?

00:28:10.000 --> 00:28:17.000
Lula Adams: No. No. See, Mrs. Fitzmorris was the Fire Chief's mother.

00:28:17.000 --> 00:28:21.000
Lula Adams: Now, James Fitzmorris didn't live in the neighborhood,

00:28:21.000 --> 00:28:27.000
Lula Adams: but his mother stayed where she was when he was growing up.

00:28:27.000 --> 00:28:34.000
Lula Adams: And, on the east side of us, on the south side of the street

00:28:34.000 --> 00:28:37.000
Lula Adams: were the Parada-- members of the Parada family.

00:28:37.000 --> 00:28:44.000
Lula Adams: We didn't go to their church; they didn't go to mine.

00:28:44.000 --> 00:28:51.000
Lula Adams: See, but each respected the other's faith-- religion.

00:28:51.000 --> 00:28:54.000
Lula Adams: And they did that. Now the real bunch,

00:28:54.000 --> 00:28:59.000
Lula Adams: they were west of us down on Front Street part.

00:28:59.000 --> 00:29:06.000
Lula Adams: And, when they'd get along there, of course, they were very quiet and circumspect

00:29:06.000 --> 00:29:12.000
Lula Adams: because [[Noise]] other people who lived there,

00:29:12.000 --> 00:29:15.000
Lula Adams: they didn't do like some of these folks now think.

00:29:15.000 --> 00:29:20.000
Lula Adams: You have never heard all that rough language and all that kinda stuff.

00:29:20.000 --> 00:29:23.000
Lula Adams: They got to let you know what they know how to do.

00:29:23.000 --> 00:29:30.000
Lula Adams: I-- I-- I-- I wan't used to that until these late years. Since--

00:29:30.000 --> 00:29:35.000
Lula Adams: Even out here, after we moved out here after I was born.

00:29:35.000 --> 00:29:43.000
Lula Adams: Those people that lived right around here, most of them, now next door there,

00:29:43.000 --> 00:29:52.000
Lula Adams: that girl's father that moved there, his--,

00:29:52.000 --> 00:29:56.000
Lula Adams: her mother and him wasn't together, but he had this child there

00:29:56.000 --> 00:30:01.000
Lula Adams: with his wife that he had at that time.

00:30:01.000 --> 00:30:07.000
Lula Adams: And he worked at the [[?]] over there until he was retired.

00:30:07.000 --> 00:30:12.000
Lula Adams: Next to them, the Hardys came here from Mississippi.

00:30:12.000 --> 00:30:19.000
Lula Adams: And, I guess about 45, 44 years ago now cause

00:30:19.000 --> 00:30:25.000
Lula Adams: Vince was 2 years old; a baby child.

00:30:25.000 --> 00:30:27.000
Lula Adams: And, they bought a little "shotgun house."

00:30:27.000 --> 00:30:32.000
Lula Adams: Now they have Cissor and Nelson who had this house

00:30:32.000 --> 00:30:35.000
Lula Adams: with the men.

00:30:35.000 --> 00:30:41.000
Lula Adams: When [[?]] men tore the "Shotgun house" down, they had

00:30:41.000 --> 00:30:47.000
Lula Adams: Ah, the house they're in now [[?]].

00:30:47.000 --> 00:30:53.000
Pearl Bowser: Can we go back to the theater that you went to? Where was the theater located?

00:30:53.000 --> 00:30:57.000
Lula Adams: Main and Market Street.
Pearl Bowser: [[Cross Talk]] It-- And what--
Lula Adams: [[Cross Talk]] In the 1st Ward.

00:30:57.000 --> 00:31:03.000
Pearl Bowser: And, do you remember what kinds of movies you saw there?
Lula Adams: Yeah!

00:31:03.000 --> 00:31:09.000
Lula Adams: On Mondays and Wednesdays,

00:31:09.000 --> 00:31:12.000
Lula Adams: the serial pictures ran.

00:31:12.000 --> 00:31:18.000
Lula Adams: My mother would go see them, because you see, she was--

00:31:18.000 --> 00:31:21.000
Lula Adams: I was born before her eighteenth birthday,

00:31:21.000 --> 00:31:27.000
Lula Adams: and she wasn't, you know-- So I told--
Pearl Bowser: [[Cross Talk]] She was a young mother.

00:31:27.000 --> 00:31:29.000
Lula Adams: Yeah. A young mother.

00:31:29.000 --> 00:31:34.000
Lula Adams: And all I had to do was prove I had my lessons,

00:31:34.000 --> 00:31:40.000
Lula Adams: and we could go to the show, see, and see that picture.

00:31:40.000 --> 00:31:46.000
Lula Adams: But I -- on Saturday, when the Western shows were on,

00:31:46.000 --> 00:31:53.000
Lula Adams: my aunt's husband liked Western shows, and he would take me.

00:31:53.000 --> 00:31:58.000
Lula Adams: I never did sit with the children when I went to the movies.

00:31:58.000 --> 00:32:05.000
Lula Adams: I'd sit with the old folks because the children made too much noise for me and I wanted to-- [[Laughs]]

00:32:05.000 --> 00:32:10.000
Lula Adams: So you went to the Serials with your mother, too?
Lula Adams: Huh?
Lula Adams: You went to the Serials with your mother?

00:32:10.000 --> 00:32:13.000
Lula Adams: Oh, yeah!
Louise Spence: Oh how nice!
Lula Adams: Uh huh.

00:32:13.000 --> 00:32:17.000
Lula Adams: The only trouble I got into was going on a Sunday.

00:32:17.000 --> 00:32:20.000
Lula Adams: I wasn't allowed [[Laughter by all]] to go on Sunday.

00:32:20.000 --> 00:32:26.000
Lula Adams: And my friends, they were goin' to see-- I'll never forget the name of the picture.

00:32:26.000 --> 00:32:29.000
Lula Adams: Pearl White was the star,
Louise Spence: [[Laughs]]

00:32:29.000 --> 00:32:38.000
Lula Adams: and her show was "Pearl White and the Black Secret."

00:32:38.000 --> 00:32:42.000
Lula Adams: They had some kind of secret thing. I don't remember even what it was now.

00:32:42.000 --> 00:32:48.000
Lula Adams: But anyway, the last show was goin to be on, and we were gonna find out.

00:32:48.000 --> 00:32:51.000
Lula Adams: My friends would tell me about it.

00:32:51.000 --> 00:32:58.000
Lula Adams: My auntie, she's the oldest one, that owns this house,

00:32:58.000 --> 00:33:07.000
Lula Adams: She's be over there at Auction-- Do you know where Auction Square is at Main and Auction?

00:33:07.000 --> 00:33:09.000
Pearl Bowser: I believe so, I believe we've past it.

00:33:09.000 --> 00:33:16.000
Lula Adams: They-- That's where the slavery auction, or the slaves, at slavery time.

00:33:16.000 --> 00:33:19.000
Lula Adams: That's why they named it "Auction Square."

00:33:19.000 --> 00:33:23.000
Lula Adams: But they had it all fenced in for a while,

00:33:23.000 --> 00:33:27.000
Lula Adams: and then, when I was little they took the fence down

00:33:27.000 --> 00:33:34.000
Lula Adams: and put this big stone thing in the middle of it with the, with the --.

00:33:34.000 --> 00:33:41.000
Lula Adams: But anyway, My auntie was buried on the west side of the square.

00:33:41.000 --> 00:33:46.000
Lula Adams: And I told Momma all of my friends were going to see

00:33:46.000 --> 00:33:50.000
Lula Adams: the last "The Black Secret, Pearl White".

00:33:50.000 --> 00:33:58.000
Lula Adams: I had been to church that-- to Sunday School that Sunday morning,

00:33:58.000 --> 00:34:06.000
Lula Adams: and stayed 'til the morning worship service which was out around 1 o'clock.

00:34:06.000 --> 00:34:12.000
Lula Adams: And, so when I came home and had my dinner,

00:34:12.000 --> 00:34:19.000
Lula Adams: see, my momma was workin' and she'd go to Ms. Alvin's house in the morning

00:34:19.000 --> 00:34:23.000
Lula Adams: and stay until they served them -- here

00:34:23.000 --> 00:34:30.000
Lula Adams: and then she'd come home with my grandmother, and we'd be at home.

00:34:30.000 --> 00:34:35.000
Lula Adams: Alright, I told Momma I was goin' down to [[Sissy's?]],

00:34:35.000 --> 00:34:41.000
Lula Adams: that my oldest aunt's house, [[Nellie's?]] house, and playin' square.

00:34:41.000 --> 00:34:49.000
Lula Adams: See, but I forgot that my mother wouldn't let [[Falls?]] with mine obviously playin.

00:34:49.000 --> 00:34:59.000
Lula Adams: And I went down there and told Sissy, I say "I got to have some money cause I'm going to the show,"

00:34:59.000 --> 00:35:07.000
Lula Adams: because Betty, and Thelma, and all my friends they had gone to see the last-- "The Black Secret,"

00:35:07.000 --> 00:35:13.000
Lula Adams: and I want to see it too." She said, "You know, your mother didn't like for you to go to the show on Sunday, don't ya?"

00:35:13.000 --> 00:35:17.000
Lula Adams: I said, "But I'm goin' this time." I told her,

00:35:17.000 --> 00:35:20.000
Lula Adams: "I'm comin' down to go out to play." [[Giggles]]

00:35:20.000 --> 00:35:26.000
Lula Adams: She gave me the money, as she usually did, God bless her soul.

00:35:26.000 --> 00:35:31.000
Lula Adams: Whatever she could do that suited me, she'd do it.

00:35:31.000 --> 00:35:36.000
Lula Adams: And she gave me the money, and I thought I was sneaking Momma.

00:35:36.000 --> 00:35:40.000
Lula Adams: See, I went walked on down Auction Street to 2nd,

00:35:40.000 --> 00:35:49.000
Lula Adams: and went up 2nd Street. And when I got to 2nd and Commerce, I looked and seen nobody out on the front porch,

00:35:49.000 --> 00:35:55.000
Lula Adams: 'cause I could look up there and see 'em sittin' on the porch before I crossed the street.

00:35:55.000 --> 00:35:59.000
Lula Adams: I ran across the street, and went on walkin up 2nd to Market,

00:35:59.000 --> 00:36:05.000
Lula Adams: and then came down Market and crossed to Main Street.

00:36:05.000 --> 00:36:08.000
Lula Adams: See, and went in the theater. Well, I was such a good customer,

00:36:08.000 --> 00:36:19.000
Lula Adams: the man that took the tickets, and folks there, they knew me. [[Laughing by all]]

00:36:19.000 --> 00:36:25.000
Lula Adams: I was sittin' up there in the show back sittin' with the children, as usual,

00:36:25.000 --> 00:36:34.000
Lula Adams: and the ticket taker came said, "Your momma said, come out." [[Laughing]]

00:36:34.000 --> 00:36:40.000
Lula Adams: Hoo! Scared me so bad. [[Laughing by Lula and Louise]] I got up and came on out.

00:36:40.000 --> 00:36:46.000
Lula Adams: See, I knew my Momma wasn't the clownin' kind,

00:36:46.000 --> 00:36:50.000
Lula Adams: you know, like some folks go to actin' on the street.

00:36:50.000 --> 00:36:55.000
Lula Adams: She just looked at me and turned around and started headin' back home. [[All laughing]]

00:36:55.000 --> 00:37:01.000
Lula Adams: When we got to-- She didn't wait to get close to me.

00:37:01.000 --> 00:37:08.000
Lula Adams: She just looked up, and then just turned around and came home, back home, toward home. [[All laughing]]

00:37:08.000 --> 00:37:14.000
Lula Adams: And when we got in front of the fire station, see,

00:37:14.000 --> 00:37:18.000
Lula Adams: there sat all those folks that had grown up with her.

00:37:18.000 --> 00:37:24.000
Lula Adams: The [[?]], "Oh, Kara's gonna get you!" [[Laughing by all]]

00:37:24.000 --> 00:37:31.000
Lula Adams: See, they were Catholic. You went to mass this morning, and then you went to the show this evening.

00:37:31.000 --> 00:37:36.000
Lula Adams: "You know she and Sister Hayes there," - everybody called my grandmother Sister Hayes,

00:37:36.000 --> 00:37:41.000
Lula Adams: "You know she and Sister Hayes don't believe in that kind of stuff, and you're gonna catch it when you get home!" [[Laughing]]

00:37:41.000 --> 00:37:45.000
Louise Spence: [[Laughing]]
Lula Adams: And they were just do that, and I was so mad and scared. [[Laughing]]

00:37:45.000 --> 00:37:53.000
Lula Adams: And I went home, and when got to the place where we lived,

00:37:53.000 --> 00:37:57.000
Lula Adams: it was a real fence around the front yard.

00:37:57.000 --> 00:38:04.000
Lula Adams: I opened the gate, Momma looked at me, and I looked up on the porch and saw my gran.

00:38:04.000 --> 00:38:10.000
Lula Adams: I said, "Momma, if you don't ever kill me this time, I won't never go to the show no more!" [[Laughs]]

00:38:10.000 --> 00:38:17.000
Lula Adams: She said, "But your mother told you not to go, and I don't have anything to say."

00:38:17.000 --> 00:38:23.000
Lula Adams: And boy, my Momma fanned me good!

00:38:23.000 --> 00:38:28.000
Lula Adams: And I bet I didn't go to a show on Sunday until I was grown,

00:38:28.000 --> 00:38:36.000
Lula Adams: and my half-sister, my father's oldest daughter, went to a Nurse's Convention in Nashville,

00:38:36.000 --> 00:38:43.000
Lula Adams: because the colored and white nurses were separate then. They didn't have --

00:38:43.000 --> 00:38:49.000
Lula Adams: She was one of the first black nurses that, they uh-- City High, Metropolitan Insurance High.

00:38:49.000 --> 00:38:52.000
Lula Adams: I have a picture of that.

00:38:52.000 --> 00:38:59.000
Lula Adams: 'Course I have all that for my comfort and will. [[Laughs]] }Cause I know what happened.

00:38:59.000 --> 00:39:03.000
Pearl Bowser: Did Betty and Thelma tell you how it ended?

00:39:03.000 --> 00:39:07.000
Lula Adams: Huh?
Louise Spence: Did Betty and Thelma tell you how the movie ended?

00:39:07.000 --> 00:39:10.000
Lula Adams: I don't know.
Louise Spence: [[Laughs]]
Pearl Bowser: You lost interest?

00:39:10.000 --> 00:39:19.000
Lula Adams: I --
Pearl Bowser: Did you lose interest?
Lula Adams: I lost interest in it. I tell ya, I didn't go to a movie no more until I was grown and in Nashville.

00:39:19.000 --> 00:39:25.000
Lula Adams: Before I went on Sunday. But I'd go any other time.

00:39:25.000 --> 00:39:31.000
Pearl Bowser: So what were the movies like the other times you went - not on Sunday, but?

00:39:31.000 --> 00:39:37.000
Lula Adams: Well, the Westerns were on Saturday.

00:39:37.000 --> 00:39:43.000
Lula Adams: There were stars such as William Hart and Tom Mix.

00:39:43.000 --> 00:39:50.890
Lula Adams: And, let's see, [[inaudible]] star, Eddie--

00:39:54.000 --> 00:39:39.000
Pearl Bowser: Valentino?
Lula Adams: No! Oh, Valentino came on later.

00:39:39.000 --> 00:40:04.000
Pearl Bowser: [[Cross Talk]] [[inaudible]].
Lula Adams: [[Cross Talk]] [[inaudible]].

00:40:04.000 --> 00:40:06.000
Lula Adams: You know Valentino came on later.

00:40:06.000 --> 00:40:13.000
Louise Spence: Was it-- [[Cross Talk]] SPEAKER name="Pearl Bowser"} Who was the athletic star?
Louise Spence: [[Cross Talk]] Douglas Fairbanks.
Lula Adams: [[Cross Talk]] That's what I was tryin' to think

00:40:13.000 --> 00:40:16.000
Lula Adams: [[Cross Talk]] of his last--
Louise Spence: [[Cross Talk]] Douglas Fairbanks, Junior-- Senior.

00:40:16.000 --> 00:40:18.000
Louise Spence: Douglas Fairbanks, Senior?

00:40:18.000 --> 00:40:26.000
Lula Adams: Yeah, but in this picture he is shown with Anita somebody. [[Laughs]].

00:40:26.000 --> 00:40:34.000
Pearl Bowser: Did you ever see westerns that were called, "Bullseye," or "Bullet"

00:40:34.000 --> 00:40:40.000
Pearl Bowser: with Noble Johnson; an actor, Noble Johnson?

00:40:40.000 --> 00:40:43.000
Lula Adams: No.
Louise Spence: Was there music in the theater?

00:40:43.000 --> 00:40:50.000
Lula Adams: Yes, with a player piano. [[Laughs]]

00:40:50.000 --> 00:40:54.000
Lula Adams: Yeah. They had a lit piano back then.

00:40:54.000 --> 00:40:59.000
Lula Adams: And the music was the kinda music they had out awhile.

00:40:59.000 --> 00:41:03.000
Louise Spence: And did you go with your friends from the neighborhood?

00:41:03.000 --> 00:41:14.000
Lula Adams: Oh, yeah! But I was always sittin' with the grown-ups

00:41:14.000 --> 00:41:18.000
Lula Adams: I didn't sit with the children cause they's talking,

00:41:18.000 --> 00:41:22.000
Lula Adams: cause I wanted to look and see, cause you had to read it.

00:41:22.000 --> 00:41:31.000
Louise Spence: Was the audience really noisy at the Westerns?
Lula Adams: Hum?
Louise Spence: Was the audience really noisy at the Westerns?

00:41:31.000 --> 00:41:35.000
Lula Adams: No, not where I sat.
Pearl Bowser: [[Cross Talk]] They sat-- They sat quietly.

00:41:35.000 --> 00:41:39.000
Lula Adams: [[Laughing]] The heck with you. No, cause the grown-ups were busy

00:41:39.000 --> 00:41:43.000
Lula Adams: tryin' to get the sense of the thing, readin' on the screens,

00:41:43.000 --> 00:41:47.000
Lula Adams: See, we didn't have no talkin', silent [[inaudible]].
Pearl Bowser: Um hum.

00:41:47.000 --> 00:41:54.000
Lula Adams: You had to read it for yourself and try to fix it in your mind.
Pearl Bowser: Um huh.

00:41:54.000 --> 00:42:00.000
Pearl Bowser: Was the theater large? Was the balcony and--

00:42:00.000 --> 00:42:06.000
Lula Adams: [[inaudible]] [[Laughing]] It was just one floor,

00:42:06.000 --> 00:42:13.000
Lula Adams: and there was low; it was slanted floor.
Pearl Bowser: Um huh.

00:42:13.000 --> 00:42:17.000
Pearl Bowser: And were there Blacks only in the the theater,

00:42:17.000 --> 00:42:21.000
Pearl Bowser: or did Whites also attend that theater?

00:42:21.000 --> 00:42:25.000
Lula Adams: Oh, ah. In that theater, in that section,

00:42:25.000 --> 00:42:32.000
Lula Adams: it was mostly Black people that went in there.

00:42:32.000 --> 00:42:37.000
Lula Adams: In later years, when they opened up the Orpheum,

00:42:37.000 --> 00:42:49.000
Lula Adams: I went to the theater on Main Street, on the east side of Main Street.

00:42:49.000 --> 00:42:56.000
Lula Adams: I didn't go over that but two pictures because you had to get your ticket and

00:42:56.000 --> 00:43:05.000
Lula Adams: go round in the attic, and go upstairs from the outside, and I didn't go there.

00:43:05.000 --> 00:43:12.000
Lula Adams: But when they opened the Orpheum, well, and you could go in from Beale St.

00:43:12.000 --> 00:43:16.000
Lula Adams: [[background noise]] and go, you know,

00:43:16.000 --> 00:43:22.000
Lula Adams: around and go up in the upper part of the theater.

00:43:22.000 --> 00:43:28.000
Lula Adams: When the first opened it, they had plays and movies,

00:43:28.000 --> 00:43:35.000
Lula Adams: and that I attended regularly, but the only time I was on Beale St.,

00:43:35.000 --> 00:43:39.000
Lula Adams: to the theater in that section,

00:43:39.000 --> 00:43:44.000
Lula Adams: it was under the supervision of Lucille Rhine Wood.

00:43:44.000 --> 00:43:49.000
Pearl Bowser: I'm sorry. Would you repeat that name?
Lula Adams: Huh?
Pearl Bowser: Could you repeat that name?

00:43:49.000 --> 00:43:56.000
Lula Adams: Lucille Rhine R-H-I-N-E. Later she married Mr. Wood,

00:43:56.000 --> 00:44:02.000
Lula Adams: because at one time, teachers couldn't be married here in Memphis.

00:44:02.000 --> 00:44:10.000
Lula Adams: They weren't any better when I was in Elementary School, you couldn't be married in Houston.

00:44:10.000 --> 00:44:18.000
Lula Adams: Huh. Some wide changes have been made since I been --

00:44:18.000 --> 00:44:22.000
Louise Spence: And you were saying that Lucille Rhine was; what was her position?

00:44:22.000 --> 00:44:26.000
Lula Adams: Huh?
Louise Spence: Lucille Rhine, you said that she was supervising what?

00:44:26.000 --> 00:44:32.000
Lula Adams: She was a music teacher, and she went with that from her--

00:44:32.000 --> 00:44:38.000
Lula Adams: Miss Lucille Washington was a relative of hers.

00:44:38.000 --> 00:44:45.000
Lula Adams: She was a supervisor of Music at the [[?]] schools.

00:44:45.000 --> 00:44:55.000
Lula Adams: And Lucille wound up to be a teacher at the high school and a supervisor.

00:44:55.000 --> 00:45:03.000
Lula Adams: But when she started off, she was just out of high school,

00:45:03.000 --> 00:45:06.000
Lula Adams: and she would give little operettas,

00:45:06.000 --> 00:45:13.000
Lula Adams: from curable stories, and they would stage them at

00:45:13.000 --> 00:45:18.000
Lula Adams: the end of a term, at the Daisy Theater,

00:45:18.000 --> 00:45:24.000
Lula Adams: and we could go to the Daisy

00:45:24.000 --> 00:45:29.000
Lula Adams: under her supervision with teachers and things.

00:45:29.000 --> 00:45:33.000
Pearl Bowser: And whenever we went down there,

00:45:33.000 --> 00:45:38.000
Lula Adams: those people that were in that rough section,

00:45:38.000 --> 00:45:42.000
Lula Adams: they wouldn't give those children any trouble like folks do now.

00:45:42.000 --> 00:45:46.000
Louise Spence: But normally you wouldn't go to The Daisy because it was too rough?

00:45:46.000 --> 00:45:51.000
Lula Adams: Ordinarily, because the people

00:45:51.000 --> 00:45:55.000
Lula Adams: all around there, you know, [[?]],

00:45:55.000 --> 00:45:56.000
Pearl Bowser: Beale Street, you're talking--

00:45:56.000 --> 00:46:00.000
Lula Adams: Uh huh. It was REALLY Beale Street! [[Laughs]]

00:46:00.000 --> 00:46:05.000
Louise Spence: And this is something you decided yourself, or your mother and your uncle decided?

00:46:05.000 --> 00:46:09.000
Lula Adams: My mother and her mother decided.

00:46:09.000 --> 00:46:13.000
Lula Adams: My mother married George Greenlaw

00:46:13.000 --> 00:46:18.520
Lula Adams: on January 21, 19 and 18 [[1918]].

00:46:27.000 --> 00:46:30.000
Lula Adams: and Bud, he had known my Daddy, and not too many years older than Mamma.

00:46:30.000 --> 00:46:33.000
Lula Adams: They grew up together in the same neighborhood. [[Laughs]]

00:46:33.000 --> 00:46:38.000
Lula Adams: So I was fortunate when my mother did marry.

00:46:38.000 --> 00:46:44.000
Lula Adams: That'd be 1919, cause when my mother did marry,

00:46:44.000 --> 00:46:47.000
Lula Adams: I was-- would have been 11 years old,

00:46:47.000 --> 00:46:56.000
Lula Adams: on the 25th of that April, and she married on January 21st, 1919.

00:46:56.000 --> 00:46:59.472
[SILENCE] {00:46:59}