Lebronze Davis: There were nine of us at home at one time. All the boys was in one room, we had two beds. Two slept at the head, and two slept at the feet. And there was one thing about them feet, you washed them feet before you went to bed.
Arguster Davis: [laughs] We only had one cash crop, which was cotton. And we were just breaking even. You had a hole in your jeans and Mama’d put a patch on it —
LD: And you kept right on going.
AD: You kept right on going.
LD: And the kids today.
LD: They take jeans out, hang ’em on a line.
LD: And shoot ‘em.
LD: To put holes in ‘em.
AD: My first lesson in economics, Daddy taught it to me. We had worked and made a little extra money, and we wanted to go to the fair. I had made six dollars, six dollars man, I was on top of the world. I played games, I ate cotton candy… I came back home and Daddy asked me, ‘Boy, how much money did you spend at the fair?’ And I just held my head down and said, ‘Daddy, I spent it all.’ He said, ‘Boy, you spent all your money, and haircuts gone up to seventy five cents.’ [laughs] So I always keep me enough money to get me a haircut.
LD: Daddy was, um, warm. If he got it, he’d give it to you. If he didn’t have it he’d tell you how to get it.
AD: Do you remember when daddy started the syrup mill?
AD: Yes. And people in the community would bring their cane and millet for us to grind up and make syrup. And people would pay with buckets of syrup. I said, ‘Daddy, why don’t you let these people pay you, ‘cause, we got enough syrup to last us for a long time!’ And he looked at me and he said, ‘Son, these people don’t have no money to pay, that’s the only way they can pay.’
LD: Daddy taught us all how to do the right thing and wanted us to do the right thing.
AD: Mmhmm. He kept me out of school one day because he was delivering lumber. The directions that were given to him were not very clear. And, since Daddy, you know, he only went to the third grade, um…he couldn’t read the address. And I said, ‘I, I’ll help you, Daddy.’ I couldn’t have been more than eight or ten years old. It, it, it was just heartbreaking…
You know, there are things that I try to pass on to my son: There’s only two things in life a person actually owns, and that is his name and his word. And in his own way, that’s what Daddy left me with.