Interview with Mary Ann Inabnit

Mary Ann Inabnit was interviewed by Meaghan Harkins on Arpil 19, 2010

Mary Ann was born in South Carolina but moved to North Carolina to teach. She met her husband in North Carolina and after their marriage they went on to have six children. She graduated from Winthrop College with a teaching certificate and taught typing and shorthand to high school students for five years. She now works at Belk Library at Elon University with the periodicals. She loves spending time with her family, visiting friends, and helping her church. Mary Ann Inabnit was eighty years old when this interview took place.

On Family

Mary Ann idolized her brothers and loved to be with them. Here she describes playing with her brothers:

Very good. Fun. They would let me play football with them on Sunday afternoon in our pasture. A lot of their friends would come to play and they would let me center the ball. You know what that is, centering the ball? Then I would have to get out but I was used so that was good. I had fun doing that. And often they would want to go away to play and they would let me sit on the front door step and let me hold their little knife or their little buckeye.

Listen to the audio of Mary Ann describes playing with her brothers.

On Education

Mary believes that education is a very important thing in everyone’s life and talks about her own school experience:

The school I went to when I was very young was the first grade through the fourth grade in one room. This was a small country school called Smith School and the other grade was fifth through seventh. I had a wonderful teacher and she wore high heeled shoes and I just thought that was the most wonderful thing. I would come home from school and get my mother’s high heeled shoes and prance around. I had a good experience in grammar school and from that I went to high school at Anderson, the city of Anderson and had good time at that time. We only had eleven grades. So I went off to college when I was sixteen and graduated when I was 20.

Listen to the audio of Mary Ann’s response about her schooling.

On Where You Live

Mary enjoys living in North Carolina and she explains why she feels that way:

It has made my life very enjoyable. Happiness is from within. So I think you could, if you chose, live anywhere if you were going to be happy you could be happy. Do you follow me? You don’t have to be at a certain place. But North Carolina is an easy place to live and we’ve been fortunate to have good schools, churches that we’ve enjoyed and appreciated. And friends that we’ve appreciated. Elon has been very meaningful to us.

Listen to the audio excerpt about Mary Ann’s experience of living in North Carolina.

On Women Today

When asked if she had any advice for young women today, this is what she responded with

I want people, young people to be true to themselves and to aspire to make their life worthwhile. Giving up themselves to others in various ways. You can do that in numerous ways but I think that’s something that you, Meaghan would aspire to do. Find a position or job, it doesn’t have to be a great job but do the best you can with it and help others as much as you can. Does that make sense?

Listen to the audio about what should be important to young women today.

On the War

Mary had two older brothers who both fought in World War II. This is her description of what she did the day Pearl Harbor happened.

On that day of Pearl Harbor it was Sunday. My mother and I been to church and to Sunday school and had come home. My daddy’s brother, from Anderson, we lived in the country about seven miles from the city of Anderson, South Carolina. My uncle and his wife came to our house and picked my mother and me up. Both of the boys were at Clemson. Both of my brothers and we went up to Clemson to see them on that day. I had never ever seen a group of boys. None of them were smiling. It was a military school, Clemson was at that time. Of course, they knew where they were going. And my brother Davey graduated in May and he went into the army in June. Then my other brother was a sophomore at Clemson at that time and he went that summer and had to come back to Clemson after the war and graduate. But it was a sad day, difficult day. But I was glad now we got to go see them that day.

Listen to the audio of Mary Ann’s response about the day of Pearl Harbor.

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