Interview with Mitchie Hall

Mitchie, born Mildred Hall, was born on November 9, 1927, which at the time of the interview made her 83 years old at the time of the interview. She was born in Liberty, North Carolina to a dairy farmer and a schoolteacher. She was the eighth of nine children born, and has a fraternal twin sister. Her mother was 47 years old when she had her. Her father raised Mitchie on the farm where she worked quite hard throughout her childhood, but her father did not let that interfere with her studies, where he put quite an emphasis for his daughters to get an education. After High School where she was Class President for four years she attended University of North Carolina Greensboro where she received a degree in Housing. Following college she married and after a short stint as an assistant dietitian, focused mainly on raising her three children, two girls and one boy. She is quite religious and that has played a major role in her development as a person.

On Her Name

She reflected on her name and being a twin:

As I said mother was 47 we were the eighth and ninth children that she had had. She had already used the name Mary in a previous child’s name, Mary Catherine, and so she was left to give another name to me thought she had chosen, Martha, Martha Sue and then Mildred Lue, so we would have rhyming name. We had a nice big farmhouse and her bedroom was large, so we had a crib in the bedroom where she and my father slept and it was a nice crib with iron rails. Both of us could sleep in that crib and then I understand that at times she would find us with my thumb in my sister’s mouth and my sister’s thumb in my mouth.

Listen to the audio of Mitchie’s response about her name.

On Her Father Growing Tobacco

Reflecting on her father refusing to grow tobacco:

All of them were separate farms. Ours was probably the largest. It was at the time people were growing tobacco. My father did not believe that tobacco would be good for you. Though tobacco was the money crop in the neighborhood, he refused, we did not ever grow tobacco. He did not like for people to be smoking, he would not allow people the smoke at our house, he always talked against people that were smoking that would cause them to die. If anybody died, it was because they smoked. That was a big embarrassment to us, that he was so vocal against that. However no one in our family smoked, you know, as long they lived.

Listen to the audio of Mitchie’s response.

On Education

Mitchie speaks on her educational experience:

Education was a very big part in our family. That was something we just grew up knowing that we would go to college. Even though we were poor. My sisters had gone to college with father selling produce; at it was then Women’s Colleges UNCG. He would furnish produce to the college for them to go to school. The pecans and at Thanksgiving and Christmas we always sold turkeys. That was how we all went to college, by his determination.

Listen to the audio excerpt about Mitchie’s about her education.

Life During WWII

Mitchie talks about her life during the Second World War:

I mean v-mails and I do remember the sugar rationing. I remember making a speech about raising money for war bond, but I don’t remember raising any money, [NF: Laughs] but maybe we did. We were concerned about the seriousness of the war in Germany and Japan, but we were busy raising the crops because that was just necessary of course most people called it “victory gardens” but ours was more than a victory garden because we were really producing a la sweet potatoes, and we were just selling corn, big things.

Listen to the audio about life during World War Two.

On College Experiences

Mitchie reflects about her experiences on meeting new people and experiences in college:

She was a Christian Scientist it just slipped me. She didn’t try to convert me but her parents did come down to visit two of three times to North Carolina, we would have them. I was so appreciative of everything they did.  I was just a friend to their daughter and so they were really enjoyed having me around, a little country girl that had never seen anything. So they had me to come up for Spring Break to see them and that was my first experience on a train and first experience to NY and it was just such a treat.

Listen to the audio of Mitchie’s response about her college life.