By: Fred High

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All right. Now I'll tell you a little history of my life. This is Fred High talking. I live at High, Arkansas. I've lived here all my life. I'm in twelve foot of where I was born. I'm 81 years old. My Poppy and Mommy was poor folks and sickly, died when they was young--ordinarily young--60 and 66. My Poppy was 66, and my Mommy was 60 when she died.

I never went to school but 207 days in my life. Couldn't go to school 'til I was 8 years old. There's so many at the school, why, they'd run over me. Then I had to work when I was 17, and never went to school any more after that. Two years of the time, the schoolhouse blowed down, and we didn't get to go then, so I just got 207 days in school, never got through the fourth reader. But I've written three books. One of them was, "Forty-Three Years For Uncle Sam," 'cause I'd worked 43 years for Uncle Sam. I was mail carrier 8 years and then I was postmaster for 35. And I didn't get no education. I wanted to be a preacher when I was young, but I was carrying the mail at that time, and I never got to do that. I was raised here on a farm.

I sold goods 26 1/2 years and went broke at it, selling on the credit. All that hears this, think about it and not try to sell on the credit.

But I finally got out of debt. I got so far in debt, and I said I was going to make books if I ever got out of debt, and I've made three, now. One of them's a song book, sells for 75 cents, I'll send it anywhere. And the others, I sell them for $1 apiece, I'll send them anywhere for the pay, and I'll pay the postage on them, is what I was going to say.

My wife died two years and a half ago. I raised seven children; two of them's dead now. I'm a-living here at High by myself.

Now, this man's come to see me from Nashville, Tennessee, and his name is Wolf. There's Wolfenbargers lives around here, but he says his name's just Wolf. I reckon he wouldn't beat a body up.

We always, uh, funny names. The Indians always has, I've got lots of Indian kinfolks, they call theirselves Moon Stars, Young Man Afraid of His Horses, and so many different names. They're of the Cherokee tribe. I'll sing you one of them songs right now; then I'll talk some more.

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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