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Said, there was an old lady one time said . . . She claimed to be a good Christian all of her life, and she got down, she couldn’t walk. Put her in a wheelchair. Said they had a big revival going on, said they’d take her every night in the wheelchair. That went on for about three or four nights, and the little boys in the country went and got tired of the meeting going on so long, they went and got some cloth and had their mother make some costumes like the Devil, big long tail, big ears, you know, big horns. One night they put that on, come stomp, stomp, stomp up the stage, and everyone run off and left her there by herself . . . They got up pretty close and she said, 'Go back there, go back there!' . . . Stomp, stomp . . . 'Go back there, I’ve been on your side all the time!'

In the country, said that they couldn’t bury him that evening, dug his grave, you know, and everything, but they’d wait ‘til next morning to bury him. Lots of times that happens, you know, and said that next morning a feller was going on up the road and said he come on by and saw it, and said, 'I think I’ll just get out and go over and look around.' And said he got up, got up pretty close, and he hears something say, 'Ooh, it’s cold down here.' No, I told it wrong. It's different. . . . get it wrong. They didn’t bury him ‘til next morning . . . Now, excuse me, I’ve got off of it, I’m wrong . . . Said, there’s a nigger lived across from the cemetery. Now I’m getting it right. Said he told his old lady that morning, said, 'I’m going to have me a mess o'quail for my dinner.' He picked up a shotgun and walked across the cemetery. When he got over there, there was a tree by this new-dug grave, you know, and said this quail sitting up in it, and said this quail was sitting up in it, and he shot it, and it fell down in there. Well, he got down there and couldn’t get out. In the morning light . . . before they brought the corpse . . . . . . this boy come on by and said that he thinks 'I’ll just step out and go over and see what’s going on.' Walked up and hear, 'Ooh, it’s cold down here. Said he went on a little closer: 'Ooh, it’s cold down here.' Got up pretty close and looked down there and said, 'No wonder you’re cold. You kicked all your dirt off!'

Some would put maybe ten dollars, some five, some twenty, you know, and all like that. There was another feller standing off to one side, and he said, 'Well, I don’t have no money with me. I’ll have to write a check.' He wrote a check and stretched down and got all the money . . . put it in his pocket and put that check in there. There he was, . . . you know. He had the check, you know, and the check wasn’t no good.

Jimmy Driftwood: “What kind of song . . . What would you like to sing?”

Ollie Gilbert: “I don’t know. I think I’ll sing them that “Willow Green.” They never did hear it, don’t guess; none of these folks have . . . if I can.”

Driftwood: “Miss Ollie had for . . . How long a time was it you couldn’t talk?”

Ollie Gilbert: “Near four months . . . three months.”

Driftwood: “Four months, she couldn’t even talk, and sometimes she can tell a funny tale, and sometimes she . . . If she tells it, it’s funny.”

Ollie Gilbert: “I’ll tell just one more about this cemetery . . . cleaning off the cemetery, and said that they was around taking up donations, you know, to clean it off, and said they come around to one man, and he said, ‘My, looky here to me, those inside that cemetery can’t get out and those on the outside don’t want in, and I’m not spending a dime on it.’ He was pretty smart, wasn’t he?”

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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