Ashley Okay, um first just go ahead and tell me your name and when you were born.

Sibyl Okay, I'm Sibyl Parker. I was Sibyl Narmoore before I married, and I, I'll be 75 years in (pause) May. And I was born in this house up here (as she points) grew up in that house down there (points again) and I've raised my family.

Ashley Wow, okay um and where did you go to school at?

Sibyl Well, I uh went to grade school at... there's a little country school at George's Creek. I went to grade school there, and I went to Yellville-Summit, graduated from Yellville-Summit.

Ashley How big was your graduating class?

Sibyl I think uh (pause) I think 25. Something like that. It wasn't that big.

Ashley And um, (as she clears her throat) what uh, what sort of things did you do in school? Like, what were you involved in?

Sibyl Uh, well I wasn't very athletic. So I, I didn't uh, do anything like that, just went to all the things that we had. I didn't, I didn't participate in games or anything went, tried to go to everything.

Ashley What did you do after high school?

Sibyl Uh, well, it was during the war and uh....

Ashley Which war?

Sibyl World War Two, and uh, the school teachers were scared, so I went to a summer school and I taught school at George's Creek the year I graduated. And then, I taught at Alpena the next year, and that was enough for me ha, ha, (she laughs).

Ashley How many years were you a teacher?

Sibyl Just two

Ashley Just two, what did you do after that?

Sibyl Uh, (long pause as she sighs) well, uh, I worked at uh, Layton's Café and then I worked at Model Market, it was a grocery store up where Bob Baker is now, and that's were I met Vernon.

Ashley That's you husband? When did you guys get married?

SibylUh, April 2, 1947.

Ashley And it was at here? You got married around here too?

Sibyl Yeah, at Yellville Parsonage

Ashley Okay, um, um okay we'll talk about your husband a little bit, um.....On dates and stuff, did you guys go on dates? Like, were you guys high school sweethearts?

Sibyl No. No. He was, he was a traveling salesman. (She laughs, and Ashley laughs along with her.) And we met uh, either in a Tuesday or a Wednesday, and we married the next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Ashley You did! (surprised)

Sibyl We did.

Ashley Wow!

Sibyl Love at first sight.

Ashley Did he just propose to you on the first date?

Sibyl He proposed on the first date.

Ashley What did you guys do on your first date?

Sibyl We went to Harrison and ate a sandwich, and uh, I guess that's all. I can't even remember going anywhere else but....interesting (we all laugh).

Ashlee That's really, that's nice.

Ashley So, so, how many kids do you have?

Sibyl three

Ashley three

Sibyl two boys and a girl

Ashley Um (as she clears her throat), what did like, um, after school and stuff, what did you guys do for fun around here?

Sibyl Uh, well, there was a café in Yellville. It had a place to dance in the back, and usually we met there, you know on Saturday nights. Then there was a, a movie theater in the legion, but it had a movie, I think..once a week, and we went to that, and of course ball games and...there really wasn't a lot to do. You kinda made your own fun.

Ashley Yeah

Sibyl But, uh...

Ashley So you went to movies a lot?

Sibyluh, once a week, huh (she laughs).

Ashley What was one of your favorite movies back then?

Sibyl Oooh, let's see (long pause) I, I can't think right off, maybe I didn't have any favorites. I just liked to go to any of em, ha (she laughs).

Ashley Um, what about in the summer time around here? Was it a lot different than, like when school was going on? Was there more to do, or.....

Sibyl No, no, when I was young there really wasn't much to do. You just had to kinda, we went swimming a lot, the creek sometimes (quietly), and still went to the movies and...

Ashley What was your house like growing up? Did you have a lot of brothers and sisters?

Sibyl I had three brothers.

Ashley And um, what was your like, duties or jobs around your house?

Sibyl Well, uh, I cleaned the house and my mother said I would get as far as the kitchen door and I would stop (she laughs)., I didn't like to clean the kitchen part, (Ashley laughs) so I would usually sweep the dirt to the kitchen floor and then ha, I would stop. And we had to carry water from a well, uh out here all the way down there, and so I had a job of carrying water. (long pause) It's been a long time since I was a girl, so (she laughs) I , so I don't remember too much.

Ashley Uh, do you remember any like tornadoes or natural disasters around here?

Sibyl Uh, I remember hear'in about one that went through Pyatt. That I, I didn't , I never was close to one.

Ashley What did you hear about it? Was it a real bad one?

Sibyl Yeah, it was. It blew people off in the creek and tore houses down, but I don't remember what year it was.

Ashley Um, do you have any superstitions or home remedies? Like, do you believe in any superstitions?

Sibyl Not really, no.

Ashley What about any home remedies? Like for the common cold or anything like that?

Sibyl Mentholatam (she laughs, as Ashley laughs with her.)

Ashlee (Ashlee laughs.) Mentholatam


Sibyl Yeah, Mentholatam's my standby. Of course that's not a home remedy, but it's over-the-counter remedy.

Ashlee Um hmm (Ashley laughs.)

Ashley Um, uh, what was the depression like? Did it affect your family a lot?

Sibyl Yes, um hmm. It affected everybody. Uh, of course I didn't know any better because I, you know, we were poor for so long, but uh, we didn't have any clothes. We just ate kinda whatcha grew. My daddy got a job on the WPA, and of course that helped us out, so, program that President Roosevelt initiated. They worked on roads, and so that helped. Oh, I can remember take'in uh, for my lunch, uh, four little biscuits rolled up in uh, usually a newspaper and sometimes I'd have, uh, for a sandwich sometimes it would be uh, sugar and uh, oh, bacon grease. So that was, that was depression (she laughs, Ashley laughs along with her).


Ashley Now, what about like the prices back then? Like, what do you remember what the prices of a new car was compared to today?

Sibyl I, uh (she thinks.)

Ashley or like, milk?

Sibyl Well, uh, some of em sold, I guess for no more than 300 dollars.

Ashley Kind of a big difference huh?

Sibyl Yeah.

Ashley Um, (pause) alright, was your husband in the war?

Sibyl Yes, for 5, no almost 5, 4 years. I don't remember how many months.

Ashley Was this before or after you guys were married?

Sibyl No, it was before. I hadn't met him. No, he was in the Navy.

(Long Pause)

Ashley Well, I think that's about all the questions. I think your done (Sibyl chuckles).

As we turned off the recorder, Sibyl began to show us a book that her grandfather had written. We immediately turned the recorder back on as she began to tell us more about the book.

Sibyl Maybe you wanna look at it first.

Ashley Okay, what did you say now, your grandfather....

Sibyl My grandfather, this is uh........

Ashley What was his name?

SibylCharles W. Pierce

Ashley And he wrote, um the book about what?

Sibyl They left Georgia and uh, 1860's when he was a little boy. (As she points to pictures on the cover) and This is my grandfather and my grandmother, and this is my mother and their two sisters and brothers.

Ashley You've got some famous people in your family.

Sibyl Yeah

Ashley What was this book about?

Sibyl It's just a story about his life. I wanted to get something in the school library, but I never did do it, and I don't believe there's anymore of em now or not.

Ashley Did anyone else in your family write or anything like this?

Sibyl No, I don't think so, uh (pause) my brother says he's written a book, but I never have seen it (she laughs).

Ashley (Ashley laughs) It's still in the making.

Sibyl (she laughs) Yeah.

Ashley That's neat.

Sibyl It's really interesting, he was a school teacher, all, about all his life just about.

Ashley What did your mother do?

Sibyl She didn't work, she was just a......

(Ashley and Sibyl at the same time) housewife

Sibyl Uh huh

Ashley So you taught for a couple of years and then that was enough for you?

Sibyl That was enough.

Ashley Did you like teaching?

Sibyl (pause) Not really, of course, I, I really wasn't prepared for it cause all I had was just the high school and, and the summer school we went to.

Ashlee Where was the summer school at?

SibylIt was at Yellville school. Just taught the lower grades, so it wasn't anything that I didn't know, I just, you know, just wasn't a professional teacher.

Ashley Um huh

Sibyl While I was teaching down here the school burned.

Ashlee Oh, oh, so where'd ya'll teach? Where'd ya'll go to school?

Ashley Yeah?

Sibyl Well, at the Cedar Grove Church.

Ashlee Oh

SibylUh, we, we had an old stove that had the pipe that come up the front, and the pipe had fallen off, and uh, it hit uh, a box that had sand down under it. The never was locked, so young people would come in at night and play cards or shoot dice or something, you know. I guess that's what happened that night, and they let some fire roll out.

Ashlee What do you mean, shoot dice?

Ashley Yeah (Sibyl Laughs.)

Sibyl Uh, ha, well, that might not be the right term, just uh, throw....

Ashlee Throw the dice.

Ashley Like, play dice.

Sibyl Play dice, yeah, yeah.

Ashlee Is there any other games that were played?

Sibyl Uh, well at school we played, uh Red Rover, Red Rover, send so ans so over, uh Skip to My Lou, um, we had a basketball court outside.

Ashley Is there any songs or rhymes that you know, or that you used to sing back then?

Sibyl Not right off, uh (pause) I remember a song I learned uh, or heard a girl sing that uh, I still hear today, it's "Walk'in My Baby Back Home." I don't guess you ever heard that.

(Ashley laughs.)


(Long pause)

Sibyl I still hear it once in a while. But I was uh, I was really in love with big bands.


Ashley Um like, and uh, singers. What all sorts of music did you listen to, like what were some of the bands?

SibylUh, Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, uh, Harry James (she laughs) all those good ones. And then Frank Sinatra.

Ashlee Um huh

Sibyl Uh, it was a good time even though it was hard.

Ashlee Did you have a farm and stuff?

Sibyl At one time my daddy had a farm, but most of the time he worked out.

Ashlee Did, did he work on the railroad?

Sibyl Yeah, on the highway. Later years he was a bridge foreman, over, well, uh, several counties, you know.

Ashlee Did he work on Norfork?

Sibyl Uh, no, but there's something I could tell you bout our class trip (Ashley laughs).

SibylIt was...

Ashlee Yall had a class trip?

Sibyl We had a class trip.

(Ashley and Sibyl interrupt each other.)

Sibyl It was in the war.

Ashley Was this your senior year?

Sibyl (Pause) Uh, senior year, It was during the war and gas was rationed, and we went to Norfork Dam, he, ha, ha, ha (she laughs).

(Ashlee and Sibyl both laugh.)


Sibyl Well, that was really a big deal.

Ashley What all did you guys do there?

Sibyl They took us through it.

Ashlee On, on a tour?

Sibyl Uh, huh. And, I know I was scared to death. It had water, leakin in it, in through the cracks.

(Ashley laughs.)

Ashlee Man.

Sibyl Gosh.

Ashlee Fraid it was gonna bust or somethin?

Sibyl ha (she laughs.)

(long pause)

SibylI had uh, couple of friends that kept me laughin all the time. I just followed them around laughin at em and it was uh, Rosemary Fritch was her name, and uh, Margery Pangle. They just killed me, ha.

Ashlee Ha, I betcha got in trouble didn't ya?

Sibyl Not really, we, we were discrete, ha, ha, ha, oh (she laughs). Uh, no we just used it as recess.

Ashlee You weren't a trouble maker?

SibylNo, huh uh.

Ashley Did ya have, just kinda like one group of friends ya always did stuff with or.....

Sibyl Yeah, kinda, of course there was several of em, but we didn't discriminate, but you know we had our special friends.

Ashley Do you still keep in touch with any of em today?

Ashlee Yeah?

Sibyl We had a class, we had our 55th class reunion, last uh.....

Ashlee Oh, oh

Sibyl November.

Ashlee That was, I bet it was nice see'in how everybody changed.

Sibyl Yeah, it was. Well, our 50th one was better. We hadn't had any til then, and we had more there that time, and two of em died since we had the 50th one so....Had it at the Turkey Trot time, so...

Ashlee Um, hum

Sibyl People com'in to the Turkey Trot could come to that too. (pause) Uh, I wish I had uh really prepared for this, I could..

Ashlee No

Ashley You did good, ha.

Sibyl Ha, ha I hope nobody but ya'll hear that, ha.

Ashlee ha, ha, well, now.

Sibyl Oh, dear.

The recorder is turned off, and is turned back on again when Sibyl starts talking about the homes in which she has lived.

Ashlee No, don't worry about it. I was just gonna ask which one we should get a picture of.

Sibyl Uh, this is the one I was wanting. This is the Pierce House, it's my grandfather's.

Ashley The one over here on the left?

Sibyl Uh huh, and then this one down here's the one I grew up in. Over here, that was my parent's house. And then, when, well, just before Nancy was born we, we moved this house here from the dam.

Ashlee Uh huh

Sibyl Which had 4 rooms and we've added all the way around it. So I haven't been very far.

Ashlee ha, ha (she laughs)

Sibyl I've got roots, ha, ha.

Interview and writings by Ashley Davis
Webpage Created by Ken Cowan