Lillian Howell (LH) and Thomas Howell (TH)
LH: My father worked at Krogers in central downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, he got laid off. And we didn’t know what we were going to do. He came up with this idea to come back to Virginia to live with some family. We sold what household things we had, which was very few but we took the one prized possession that my mother had, an ivory dresser set. It was a three day trip in that model ’T’ ford that he had purchased with all the money he’d get together. There were no filling stations, there were no motels, many of the roads weren’t even paved. Sometimes the curves were so bad that sometimes dad was afraid he’d run-off the road, and he’d have us get out of the car and walk. Somewhere along the way, we were out of money. We found this grocery store and they had gas, it was only ten cents a gallon. So dad remembered that dresser set and said, ’there’s nothing to do but to pawn it, we’ve got to have the money. We got to have food, we got to have gas’. And my mother, she reluctantly gave up her prize. Our last night, we slept on the road and it was cold and the wildcats were just howling. And I was so frightened and dad built a fire and he said, ’as long as I keep this fire going, they’re going to stay on that side of the river and we’re going to stay on this side of the river. And the next day we started again up hose mountains and we arrived at my mother’s sister. The thing that I remember most when we arrived at ’Aunt Mammy’s’ we were so welcome. It felt so good to have someone that cared about you and seemed to want you, who loved you. But most of all that they shared what they had.They gave us a bed, after being out in that car and being out on the road that bed felt so good, that I just felt wonderfully warm and secure. And it was just the way that people gave to each other that helped us through the toughest times.