Lyon, Bernice 1998-10-02

From SWC Oral History Collection
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bernice Lyon discusses her life growing up on a cotton farm near Memphis, Texas, her adult life in Sundown, Texas then in Levelland, Texas

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Bernice Lyon

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: October 02, 1998

Location: Levelland, Texas

Interviewer: David Marshall

Length: 1 hour, 25 minutes


Tape 1: Bernice Cummins Lyon, Born at home on 12/3/1918 in Hall County, Memphis, Texas, Three brothers and one sister, Bernice was the oldest, Names of siblings, Father: Gilmer Lockhart, Mother: Irene, Great-great grandfather, Grandparents, both maternal and paternal, Names, physical descriptions and personalities, Father, Farmer of cotton and maze, Kids helped on the farm and helped the neighbors, Picking cotton, School, Closed for cotton harvest, Picking cotton (again), Size of bags, Plowing, Mule team, Mules’ names and descriptions, Transporting cotton bales out of the field, Livestock, Cows & horses, Extended family living near by, Grandparents, Thirteen cousins, Family Sunday gatherings, Father (again), Listened to sports on the radio, Recreation, Picture show, Weekly trips to Memphis, Texas, Church in Leslie, Texas, Leslie, Texas, Description, Church socials, Ice Cream Suppers, Dominos & cards, Movies, Gene Audrey, Order of siblings by age, Fifteen-year age span, Transportation, Model T, Farm products sold in town: butter, cream and eggs, Sold products to a store and to individuals, Memphis, Texas in 1927 – 1928, County seat, Population decline, Businesses surrounding the town square, Games, Dominoes, cards, croquet, baseball, Car trips around Memphis, Texas area, Hedley, Texas, Clarington, Texas, Wellington, Texas, Childres, Texas, Charokee, Texas, First school, Salsbury, Texas, Location, Three teachers, Description of school, Mrs. Wimberly, First teacher, Description, School Discipline, Community plays held at the school, Ticket prices, First school (again), Lighting and heating, Desks, Games played at recess, Subjects in school, Favorite subjects, Grade divisions, Mildred Baker, Teacher, Lakeview School, Graduated from high school, High school activities, Plays, Spelling Bees, Lakeview High School sports, Opposing teams, Kids did not drive cars, Music, Type of music, Edison phonograph and records, Radio, Musical performers popular then, Depression’s effects on farm living, Agricultural Adjustment Act, Planting restrictions, plowing under crops, Killing cattle, Local reactions, Girlhood Dreams, Married August, 1937 to Oran Cummins, How Bernice met her husband, Wedding, Location, Description of wedding, Wedding dress, Mother (again), Housewife, Sewed clothes for the family, Raised chickens, Picked cotton, Laundry, description of the process, Mother’s first washing machine, Father always used mules to farm, Relatives in World War II, Where they served, Children, First baby, Children’s names, Births, Home birth experiences, Modern conveniences now and the lack of appreciation by today’s kids for those conveniences, Ice Box, Ice delivery, Children’s personalities, Children’s interests and activities, Two children graduated from college, Wisdom to pass onto grandchildren, Move from Memphis, Texas to a farm near Levelland, Texas, Husband’s work, Farm north of Sundown, Texas, Rented the farm, Cotton farm, Plowed with team until first tractor, John Deer tractor, Children’s birth dates, Farm north of Sundown, Texas (again), Description of the tractor, Size of the farm, Sold milk in Sundown, Texas, Sold farm and moved into Sundown, Texas, Oran Cummins worked in the oilfields and did carpentry, Sundown, Texas, Oil boom, Dirt streets turning to mud in the rain, Tornado in Sundown, Texas, Deaths, Destruction to town, Childhood storm cellar at school and at home, Supplies, Varmints, Memories of storms, Description of a hail destroyed cotton field, Insect plagues, Grasshoppers, Memories of storms (again), Sandstorms, Oil Boom in Sundown, Texas, Housing, Boarders in their home.

Tape 2: Oil Boom in Sundown, Texas (again), Around 1948, Changes in Sundown, Everyone getting along, Sundown, Texas (again), Businesses, No changes resulting from oil boom, Schools, Farm north of Sundown, Texas (again), Bernice’s work in selling the milk in town, Move to Levelland, Texas, Reason for the move, Bernice’s work, Wacker’s Variety Store, South Plains College 1975-1985, Favorite job, Move to Levelland, Texas (again), Size of town, Environment around Levelland, Texas, Friendly people, Pace of life different than Memphis, Texas, Church activities, Membership at Second Baptist-Morningside Baptist since 1948, Sunday school teacher, Religious upbringing, How parents met, Church denominations sharing the same building in Salsbury, Texas, Mother played the church organ, Pump organ, How mother learned to play the organ, Political activity, First time voting, Hand crafts, Learned from grandmother, Sewing clothes, Kids today do not believe how things used to be done, Feed sacks used for making clothes, Fabrics, What kids today are missing, Hand crafts (again), Crocheting, Quilting, Hand crafts as a social activity, Holton, Jim and Essie, Neighbors in Memphis, Texas, Hand crafts as a social activity (again), Students at South Plains interest in handcrafts, Friendship quilt, Bernice’s 80th birthday, December 3, 1998.

Range Dates: 1918-1998

Bulk Dates: 1924–1940s

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


Thank you for your interest in this oral history interview. Our oral history collection is available to patrons in the Southwest Collection's Reading Room, located on the campus of Texas Tech University. For reading room hours, visit our website. Please contact Reference Staff at least one week prior to your visit to ensure the oral history you are interested in will be available. Due to copyright issues, duplications of our oral histories can only be made for family members. If an oral history transcript has been made available online, the link will be provided on this page. More information on accessing our oral histories is located here. Preferred citation style can be found here.