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Interview with Alice Gaston, Gee’s Bend, Alabama, 1941

Alice Gaston: We was talking about in the old war time, the old slavery time. I can remember when, uh, I can remember when the Yankees come through and, uh, they carried my father away and carried away, my si, two sisters and one brother. And, uh, they left me. And I can remember when my missus used to run in the garden, from the Yankees and tell us if they come, don’t tell them where they at. Told, don’t tell nobody where they at when they come and they all come and they told me, don’t get scared now and tell them, where they is, where they is. I told them no, we told them no. And uh, when they come and ask for them I told them I didn’t know there they was, and they was in the woods. And this was at the house. And my father, when my father left, he carried with the, he went away with the Yankees, and carried two, carried two, two girls and one son, the oldest one. Carried them with him. And he with the Yankees. And I can remember that. And uh, my old missus was named Mrs. M., and the master was name Mr. F. I. [pause]? Mr. F. I

Robert Sonkin: They treat you pretty good?

Alice Gaston: Yes sir, they treat me nice. They treat me nice as they could treat me. And then after they left, after they died, then I heard, still here and am here until yet. And the white folks all been treating me mighty nice ever since they? knowed me. They treating me all now, that knows me, they treating me nice. I’s came up here over here from Mr. Y., from over to [unintelligible] and come to Mr. Y.’s place up here. And he kept me there until he, he died, him and his wife. And then I come on then from that, on down here, and I’m here yet. An’ they all treating me mighty nice, all the white folks that know me, they treats me nice. And if I want anything, I’ll ask for it. I was taught in that a way by my old master. Don’t steal, don’t lie, and if you want anything, ask for it. Be honest in what you get. That was what I was raised up with. And I’m that a way today.

Robert Sonkin: What’s the government been doing for you here?

Alice Gaston: They been treating me fine. Ever since I been, ever since I been here with the government they treat me nice. I was in a old house down there, took me out the old house and put me up there in a good house where they could take care of me. And I’m in there yet. I don’t find no fault. Give me enough food to eat, give me clothes to wear. They been treating me just as nice as they can. I can’t find no fault.

Robert Sonkin: Pretty, pretty happy then.

Alice Gaston: Yes sir, yeh.

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Do you remember the Simon game? I remember having one as a kid and it was a lot of fun. It was basically a memory game using colors and sounds. The key objective was to remember all the sounds that corresponded to the color (or vise versa). The more sounds/colors, the harder it becomes. Try the new hand Simon Hand Held

I absolutely love this group. Shalamar  consisted of 3 people; Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel (later on Miki Free), and Howard Hewett. Some of their biggest hits were, “Second Time Around”, “dancing in the streets”, “A night to remember”, “full of fire”, and more. They have taken on the pop/rock era by storm in the 80’s. Check out their stuff on itunes.

Too my understanding, they all went solo. Jody Watly has done more dance music, and Howard Hewett has gone on to do gospel. Although I’m not sure what has happend to Miki Free & Jeffrey Danial. I am assume they is/was working in the background, song writing etc.,

Duke Hair products has been around for years. I remember using it as a child. Duke really became popular when guys start putting waves in their hair. Once you’ve seen a guy with a Doo Rag on his head, chances are, he was using a Duke product. I loved their fragrances. The only thing about this product was that, if your hair was too long, you could not use the wax like cream.

© 2009

albinia_jones.jpgAlbinia Jones, was a wonderful and, talented female blues singer, of the 1940’s era. I had a very difficult time trying to find research material on this artist. Very little is written about her; she is almost forgotten about. This woman had a voice like no other. When she sings, she means what she sings. It’s almost as the she is talking to you directly, when you hear her music. She has performed a few songs with the great Dizzy Gillespie. She was a featured performer on an album called “Evil Gal Blues”. Which I can’t seem to find either. I guess it is out of print most likely. You can download her song called, “Give it up daddy”, FREE Click here – Albinia Jones – mp3