I said "Love's a two-way street." I said, "Maybe you don't like them," but I said "you need to get yourself together and when they put things on the bulletin board, that they're looking for people to play, put your name up there, and look for somebody to sing. They didn't have- they don't have no more than about two or three black children that would take part in plays and things; and so I [degraded audio] 'cause you know, I just told him "and we ought to do everything we can to save our home [degraded audio] our home country. So we can make it a great country, we must work together as one nation, under God and we mustn't fight our master, our neighbor, because that's where we'll be [degraded audio]. We need to come together as good Christian people, treat each other right, and [degraded audio] wrong out of our country. We can't keep all letting people do things to us that are destroying us. Drugs are destroying the young people. What good is a drug [degraded audio]? We don't need drugs. Only time you need medicine, better be something the doctor gave you. But not drugs, not these kinds, that a younger person can destroy themselves with. And that's probably the most that I can tell them. And obey your parents; listen to good advice, that older people know something, not everybody is [degraded audio] and not everybody is... is... a way that they don't understand things. And that would be my broad remarks. Learn all that you can, doing what you can to make this a great country.
Well thank you Miss Fairfax, I've enjoyed meeting you today...
Well, I guess there are some things I left out, but I told you about most of the highlights and... [pauses]
Well if you think of anything you left out I'll come back [Mary says "huh?"]. I said if you think of something you left out--
If you think that you might have some years in there that I missed. But... we go to things now. But we don't go to as many things as we can. I used to go to all those things at James Madison when you buy a season ticket. Did you go to those way back?
At the Wilson hall?
Oh yes. Oh, my goodness. You--sometimes they would have [degraded audio] or they would have choruses or choirs; they'd have opera, and plays of all kinds; and Miss Barbara Blakey, she was a business teacher at the high school. Her husband has a barber shop on that little street around, off of Rock Street, [degraded audio] short Street, has a few houses on it; his barbershop's there. What's the name of that little street? Very short street.
No... [pauses] what's that little street?
I know the one you're talking about
I think it starts with a C, something or other. They have a few houses down there, and his barbershop was there, her husband's barbershop but... but Black people didn't go back [degraded audio] anymore much. No they didn't, they just went of [degraded audio] stores and things. Lena Ste--Lena Stuart, you know her little store down there on Kelley Street? [Cheryl makes a sound indicating "no"] Well, she's dead now. [degraded audio] ...soda pop and ice cream cones and the canned goods; she didn't sell, you know, regular products, but they come and get their goods that they need, you know. Staples you might call it. They wouldn't sell meat and stuff like that and eggs. Unrefridgerated stuff they sold. [degraded audio] ...the son that they had, they just had one son, he died not too long ago. So that's [degraded audio] and all the people in that area miss that store so much because the only near thing now is [degraded audio] [Cheryl says "Mmm hmm. Food Lion"]. [degraded audio] didn't come our way they could have a good Food Lion up in this area. They could, but no. [degraded audio] ...that way.
I call this Old Harrisonburg over here, and the New Harrisonburg is out the other way.
Out 33? [Mary says "yes"] Or out 11?
[degraded audio] ...that's the New Harrisonburg. Have you ever seen anything like it? The doctor's office and things? But now [degraded audio] my feet again are in pain and I can't get in the car. She always does my driving for me, together, but now we use that new system though. Harrisonburg... service you pay two dollars to go and they take my chair [degraded audio] and then when you're ready to leave, you call them again, and you pay another two dollars, and that's four dollars for a trip. [Cheryl says "that's pretty good"] But I'm gonna tell you something, those H&... excuse me, those H&Ws [degraded], they charge you, I think it was $50 to go to Dr. Yoder(?) I took [degraded audio] over there. So I didn't mind that four dollars. [Cheryl says "no."] [degraded audio] ...doctor's office. And then I had a ramp built, [degraded audio] ...is take my time getting on the ramp, into the van, and [degraded audio]. [degraded audio] has to ride with me. But my life has been busy, and I know I don't have a whole lot more years, but I can't say I was lazy.
I never had time to be lazy.
And uh... you saw my wedding picture didn't you?
Right over there [overlapping speech] ...a good man. So good to me. Sometimes, I have--did you see the big picture of him? I keep it on my desk I have a big picture. Some days I sit there and cry.
You were married 32 years?
And what did he do?
[degraded audio]. He retired from there. He was 80 when he died.
Oh he had a good life.
We went to church. He was chairman of the deacon board, and I was church organist. They haven't had an organist since. Nobody plays organ. They put a $3,000 piano, in there sound like I don't know what. When I think about all of those days, I think about him. But I don't have a whole lot more to be with him(?). When I do get to church, [degraded audio] J.P. Pringle. And he is, I guess he is about 60 years old, maybe, I don't know. Nice man. And he will take me, get me in the car and wheel me to church up at [degraded audio]. He belongs to that church. [degraded audio] out of trouble. I haven't been to church, but I send dues to church. And people call me [degraded audio] and I'm a deaconess in the church and they call my name, and when I come the minister says, "It's so great to see a deaconess, Mary Fairfax, today. But they know I can't come every Sunday, 'cause it's too hard for me to get dressed and get in my car to go. And so, and I don't think [degraded audio] on Sunday [calls out] Heather! Heather! [overlapping speech]
She's on the phone.
Oh excuse me. I was going to tell her--ask her to [degraded audio] on Sunday, but I don't think it does.
I don't know. I think your- the church has to do that on Sunday.
Well they'd take me, and somebody would have to go with me anyway, and then when church would be out they'd come back to get me, but I don't think they run on Sunday. I don't think they do. But that's where that goes. But, I love my sister and my brothers. We loved each other. We didn't go around not speaking to your sister and all that stuff. [degraded audio] very kind, very gentle, very gentle brothers. Yes I remember we went to see Fred before he died. Joe called, told us--called from Tallahassee, he was in good shape then, 'cause Fred died in 1998, and he said, "You know Mary, we'd best go down to Washington DC in the government hospital, and see Fred, because Fred is sick, and his daughter's come from California, to take him to be with her in California, and we may never see him in life again, which we wouldn't have. And he came by Richmond, he came by plane from Tallahassee to Richmond, and Anne and a friend of hers took--came down here from Richmond, and picked me up. Joe was in the nursing home called Camelot, and I told them [degraded audio] but I would be back for evening. We went down there and stayed with Fred. We went early, we went in the morning, and we spent the day with Fred. That was the last time we saw him alive.
Well at least you got to see him.
But he was brought back here for burial, because he wanted to be buried in the same spot as our parents.
Where are your parents buried at?
Newtown. And mine I'm buried at--I'll be buried down... what's it called, where my husband is. [Cheryl inquires "Where's that?"] East Lawn. [Cheryl says, "East Lawn."] [degraded audio] We paid for our funerals. [degraded audio] I used to I would be able to make even more for, but it was back in 1998 when he died.
And my brother Fred died about six weeks after he did. So then Fred--the government shipped his body to Dulles. And then we had to go to Dulles to get his body.
That's awful nice they do that.
Well things were nice then, but lots of people are complaining now, because Bucky's. He was really wanting [degraded audio] and Bill is sick and Bill--didn't Bill's wife die not long ago? [pause] No, it might've been Bucky's wife, one of them died. So now I've got [degraded audio] on South Main Street. [degraded audio] ...because I didn't quite like what they did because [degraded audio] under their name. They're not the same. So I said, "well..." so we went out one day, Jim and I, and that's when we bought our, we paid for our funeral... East Lawn folks came out [degraded audio] came out. They were going around house-to-house trying to get somebody to buy their lots. And we bought our lot there [degraded audio] 'cause they're hard to get. And then we had the lot, and they said "Well what about the opening and closing? We did that. [degraded audio] And did you want to [degraded audio]?" and we said yeah. And then they told us about those metal plates they put on with the [degraded audio]. And Jim's name and everything's on there, and my name's on the other side. So we got that all fixed [degraded audio] my sister's daughter. Well, my sister died in 1995. Now she's been dead [Cheryl says "ten years"] ten years. She and I were the oldest, and our brothers were the youngest. But the oldest brother is living yet, but he's very sick. And I'm--was the oldest sister, and the other two were the teachers, 'cause my brother was a professor. When he got his doctorate he got a doctorate in psychology. He went to North Carolina and taught in North Carolina at the college there [degraded audio] what [degraded audio] was it?
It was college, yes.
North Carolina? Chapel Hill? [Mary says "huh?] Chapel Hill?
No, this is North Carolina... Wilmington.
Wilmington, North Carolina. Forget the name of the college there, and that's where he retired from. And then he went back home. He lives in Tallahassee and he taught--after he retired he taught one year they wanted him to teach again, and then he taught one year of it again, down in Tallahassee. That's the one right there I'm talking about [Cheryl says "the one..."] [tape ends]