Skip to main content

Transcript of interview with Carlton Elonzo Garrett, 1984 March 9-10

Garrett, Carlton Elonzo, 1900?-

Overview

Item Information

Title: Transcript of interview with Carlton Elonzo Garrett

Date: 1984 March 9-10

Physical Details: 1 transcript

Description: Transcript of Volkersz, accompanied by Allan Winkler, touring the artist's home/studio, examining, discussing, and photographing works.

During part of the interview, Garrett works on some figures while Volkersz and Winkler watch and ask questions about his work methods.

Creator: Garrett, Carlton Elonzo, 1900?-

Forms part of: Willem Volkersz interviews, 1975-1985

Rights Statement: Current copyright status is undetermined

Citation Information: Carlton Elonzo Garrett and Willem Volkersz. Transcript of interview with Carlton Elonzo Garrett, 1984 March 9-10. Willem Volkersz interviews, 1975-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Digital ID: 22677

Transcript

Preface

Tape-recorded Interview with Carlton Garrett

at the Artist's Home in Flowery Branch, Georgia

March 9 & 10, 1984

Willem Volkersz, Interviewer

 

Editor's Note:

This transcript is from a series of recordings made by Willem Volkersz over a number of years. They are not formal interviews, but rather records of conversations, often taped during photo-taking tours of the artist's studios or home collections.

The naive/visionary artists in these interviews have unique verbal mannerisms, many of which are difficult or impossible to transcribe accurately into written form. Thus, for grasping certain nuances of speech, researchers will find it advantageous to listen to the original tapes.

Our intent in transcribing these interviews was nonetheless to translate as accurately as possible the spoken word into a comprehensible written form, making changes to clarify but not to interpret. Thus the speaker's grammar is unedited. For example, "them" for "those," "theirselves," and "gotta" were all transcribed as heard. On the other hand, certain changes were made for clarity: " 'cause," was transcribed as "because," " 'fore" as "before," " 'yo" as "your," etc.

Other editorial notations are as follows: Bracketed words are of two types. Those with "[—Ed.]" or "[—WV]" are inserted by the transcriber, editor, or Volkersz. Other bracketed words indicate uncertainty: Two or more words or phrases indicate possible alternatives; "[unintelligible]" and "_____" indicate words that are garbled or incomprehensible on the tape, the former being a much longer phrase than the latter; "[noise]" is self-explanatory.

The original format for this document is Microsoft Word 365 version 1908. Some formatting has been lost in web presentation.

 

Interview

CG:     Carlton Garrett

WV:    Willem Volkersz

 

[Tape 1, side A; Volkersz' No. G3-A]

CG:     [unintelligible]

WV:    Oh. Ohhh, my goodness.

CG:     [Demonstrates a large carved merry-go-round (stored in his garage), which he plugs in and turns on, and which continues working through part of the conversation—Ed.] I worked on this first, while it was in Atlanta [where he had a show at the High Museum].

WV:    Ohhh, that's beautiful. What do you call this piece?

CG:     That's a merry-go-round.

WV:    How long did it take you to make that?

CG:     Well, I don't know. I didn't keep in no time. It took me a pretty good long while. Then the swing-around, I wished for you all to see it; it's over at my daughter's, and her husband and mother. . .

WV:    There are a lot of figures in there.

CG:     Well, they go along flying on their motorcycles. See, the motorcycle races down there. And the swing-around, it got six men and women—three women, three men. They in a round thing like this—you come out and see this—that swing around like that.

WV:    Uh huh.

CG:     Then I had a man, when he come by, waving at 'em. The one that turned his head like this _____ _____.

WV:    That's neat.

CG:     And it's going to Florida in about two weeks.

WV:    How long ago did you start this piece here?

CG:     Oh, I don't know how long ago it's been. It's been a good while ago.

WV:    Couple of years?

CG:     Oh, no. Oh, no, it's about. . .ah, about six months, maybe.

WV:    Oh really?

CG:     Between six months and a year, something like that. I didn't keep no regular time.

WV:    How did you learn about mechanical devices like this? I mean, you. . .

CG:     Ahh, it's just growed up in me, just from a kid, just all such as this.

WV:    From growing up on the farm?

CG:     Yeah. I was raised on a farm, and when I got up '24, in '24 I come to Flowery Branch, and have been here ever since. My wife and two daughters has just been moved one time.

WV:    Uh huh. Well, there must be 30 or 40 figures in here, I would say.

CG:     (chuckles) Yeah. In that swing-around, I had them all in there right in the center. I had two men and two women a-sitting in chairs at the table, and I had stuff made, you know, coffee pots and tea glasses and them. I had a tray of stuff, doughnuts and something and another.

WV:    How do you get some of these ideas? Where do they come from?

CG:     Ohhh. I just get them in my head. I tell you what, what I want, love to do. I love to do things that nobody else don't do. If you make stuff nobody else don't make, it'll sell.

WV:    That's true! Did you say you've been carving pretty much all your life?

CG:     Ah, yeah.

WV:    Did you start out sort of whittling on the farm, as a kid?

CG:     Oh, I had to whittle, and make windmills, flutter mills, truck wagons, and wooden bicycles, and all such as that.

WV:    And you always kept it up as a hobby when you were working in the factory here too?

CG:     Yeah.

WV:    Huh. Do it at nights and on the weekends, or what?

CG:     Yeah, why I'd work a little every night and on Saturdays, and. . .

WV:    When did you first start making the ones that were mechanically operated?

CG:     Well, I went to making that. . . [moves away from microphone] Did Judy [Alexander, Atlanta folk art dealer—Ed.] show you one of these books down there? [American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century, by Jay Johnson and William Ketchum—WV].

WV:    Oh, I've seen it, yeah. I've seen it in the bookstore. Show him. He hasn't seen it.

AW:    I haven't seen it.

CG:     He hasn't.

WV:    He hasn't seen it.

CG:     Now right here I've got. . .

WV:    [Reading book title:] "American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century."

CG:     See, I've got this in right here.

AW:    Oh yeah.

CG:     See right there? [pointing at a sculpture by Edgar Tolson, in book—WV]

AW:    Yeah.

CG:     See that baby's head?

WV:    Oh, yes. That's a birth?

CG:     Um hmm.

WV:    That's an Edgar Tolson, isn't it?

AW:    No, that's his, isn't it?

WV:    The one on the left is an Edgar Tolson.

CG:     See here.

WV:    Um hmm.

AW:    Do you like that one?

WV:    There you are.

CG:     There's my [honey]. Now, here's [the] church house right there.

WV:    Yep.

CG:     And that's it there. Now that right there [the text—WV], they got that wrong. They put that just like they wanted to, I reckon.

WV:    Oh, really?

CG:     Oh, they got me working in a flour mill. I ain't never worked in no flour mill. I worked in two furniture [mills].

WV:    Right. Did somebody come and interview you for this book?

CG:     No. Right there.

WV:    Did somebody interview you for that book?

CG:     Oh, yeah. They didn't come. My daughter told Judy about everything, and. . .

WV:    Oh. Nice carvings, huh. [leafing through book—WV]

CG:     See, that's Adam and Eve there.

WV:    I don't know his work.

CG:     See, there's the apple tree and the. . .

WV:    Were you a reverend before you started working in the furniture shop?

CG:     No. And I'm going to tell you this, you all. You all may think it's strange and all, but it's fact. I was working down there in the furniture [factory], and I was running the shaper. [This, His] office is off way to itself; there wasn't nobody was around at all. And my name was called, just as plain as you could call it or anybody else, just, "Carlton." Looked around, there wasn't nobodys, couldn't see nobodys, and I asked them, "Did they call?" And I opened the door and went out and looked—there's an old street up and down through there, and just furniture was. . . Had a old street there, way back there, and it has an old well. You know, old well you draw water out. And I couldn't see nobodys what. And it just hit me all at once, and it made me feel the different and so vast, all at one, made me want to go out telling people.

WV:    That's great.

CG:     And if it wasn't Him calling me, who was he? And another thing, I was, it was in summertime. I was a-living down there where I pump water out of the spring, and living in a house down there fourteen year. And just pretty near to the road out there, [we] lived right below a church. Well, there was a revival meeting down there, and me and my wife went up there that night, and we come back just hot—it's August. And it's so hot I couldn't sleep and I opens [the] door—and I have a screen door, just throwed an old quilt down and lay on that where it get cool. And when I was laying there, I saw one of the purtiest crosses. It was nothing, just appeared and appeared and got brighter and brighter, just as purty a color, a golden color, till it got to its fullness. When it got to its fullness, it just went back just like it come.

WV:    That's beautiful.

CG:     And that put me [gestures—Ed.] right there.

WV:    I see.

CG:     Now a lot of folks may not. . . I don' know how y'all's believe, I don't know what y'all believes, nothing about it. That's what I believe, and that's what I try to live.

WV:    I see.

CG:     Like they was interviewing me, and they asked me about everything and all. And I said, "Well, I'll tell you what," I says, "I'm Carlton Garrett today, and I'll be Carlton Garrett tomorrow, and I'll be Carlton Garrett from then on. I try to make my life the same every day.

WV:    I see. You've lived by those principles and they've kept you going a long time.

CG:     Yeah, that's it. I don't think there's nothing in. . .

WV:    Oh yeah, Judy gave us that.

CG:     Yeah.

WV:    You had a show at the High Museum?

CG:     Yes. See, that's the church out here, and that's the church. That's the hospital right there. Now when I had my stomach operation, the doctor told me when I come home, says, "When you go home, just don't you set around and do nothing," he says, "You be doing something with your hands." So I made that right after I had my stomach operation. [A sculpture of the artist in a hospital bed, surrounded by doctors and nurses—WV]

WV:    That's a beauty.

CG:     And that, that's down at Judy's, and I imagine you all seen it.

WV:    Yeah, that's the one we saw.

CG:     And that was the old watermill there, and there's a crucifixion right there.

WV:    We saw that one, yeah.

CG:     And that's in the museum, and that cars go around and around. [moves away, apparently to get photos and clippings—Ed.]

WV:    How do you like being in museums?

CG:     Oh, we had a show down there and [unintelligible]. That is a. . .

WV:    Esquire magazine.

CG:     Yeah, that. . . Mine's in there.

WV:    Oh, that's not Esquire. It's Popular. . . It's not Esquire.

CG:     Yeah, mine's in there.

WV:    It's not Esquire.

AW:    It's Popular Mechanics.

WV:    Popular Mechanics magazine.

CG:     Yeah. Right there.

WV:    Ohhh.

CG:     See, there's my little tractor, and that's the waterworks. It says, "I run. Down the _____ spring. It was _____ _____. . .

WV:    "May 1983."

CG:     . . .pull it with an old gasoline engine, before we got Georgia Power here. And see, and it was a three-stroke pump.

WV:    That's beautiful.

CG:     That's me a-setting up at Knoxville whittling.

WV:    Um hmm. At the World's Fair? [1982—Ed.]

CG:     Um hmm. And right there, that's a courthouse. You can't see it too big. That's the judge and all the twelve jurymens and all of them there. It's down at Lawrenceville now. Judy had, she got me $3500 for that.

WV:    That's wonderful. Who bought it?

CG:     A lawyer down here at Lawrenceville.

WV:    Huh.

CG:     Now there's that. . . I'm going to come back, you know, after having the stomach operation, and there was all the letters I got after I was on television. That one there's from Canada.

WV:    What show were you on, on television?

CG:     Oh, on Channel 11. Well, the first one was on Channel 5, but on Channel 11, it showed it everywhere. They saw it out in California and all around.

WV:    Oh, really.

CG:     Yeah. Most everywhere.

WV:    That's that same article, isn't it?

CG:     That one there went on that colored picture. You can't see me on that. And there's church house, there. See, Judy give you a paper of this?

WV:    Yeah, she gave us one of those, uh huh.

CG:     Anyway. And there's two ladies over at Athens; they come here and picked me and my windmill out there. I worked a day for them over at Athens.

WV:    I might come by tomorrow and photograph that in the daytime, in the daylight.

CG:     Um hmm. And right here, see, my wire men, there?

WV:    (chuckles) That's great.

CG:     [It's in here.] Did you see any of them at Judy's, did she have any of 'em?

WV:    Yep, she had a few of those. They're wonderful. Yep, she sure did.

CG:     _____ _____.

WV:    That's great.

CG:     That's my Crucifixion.

WV:    Oh, that's a nice picture, yeah. Why do you have an audience in the Crucifixion? You know, these people are sitting there on a seat, and somebody's explaining what's going on?

CG:     Oh, he's got excited. You know, and he's back there telling everything and. . .

WV:    He's kind of explaining what's going on?

CG:     Yeah, he's telling 'em all about everything. See, I've got some setting down here on the _____. You can see here, just there (coughs), sticking a spear in the side, and him sticking vinegar, you know, he stuck it up to his face, and. . .

WV:    Yeah. That's a powerful piece.

CG:     Yeah, I've had a lot of folks here. I've had. . . This one man, he was a computer man. He flew in from Atlanta. Fellow was out from Pennsylvania. He come down. . . We got a passenger train that goes down there every morning that goes out in Shreveport, Louisiana, I believe, and back to Washington [D.C.—Ed.] He come down on that train to Atlanta, and he rented him a car and come back up here and he stayed most all day one, have lunch with us.

WV:    That's great. That's great.

CG:     And I've had a lot of folks. Oh, I had a fellow here from Shreveport, Louisiana!

WV:    What is your mailing address here?

CG:     Ah. . .

WV:    If I wanted to mail something to you?

CG:     [unintelligible] [shuffles through papers]

[Interruption in taping]

WV:    [Reads:] "Mr. Carlton Garrett, Box 244, Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542." Oh, here's the street address: "244 Church Street." Great.

[Interruption in taping]

AW:    Whatever he _____ in my pocket. (laughs)

CG:     [unintelligible]

AW:    Oh.

CG:     [unintelligible] that I overcharge.

WV:    I'm not going to sell these [some works WV purchased—WV]. I think that I will keep these. Because I would love to have these around my house. You know, I would love to look at them, show my wife.

CG:     Sure. Whatever you want to do with them.

WV:    Oh, that's real nice of you. You're being very kind to us.

AW:    You are being very kind to us.

WV:    You don't hardly have enough money to eat. . . [speaking to AW—WV]

AW:    I won't have money to. . . I don't know, I'm going to have to call my mother, but _____.

WV:    That's wonderful. We're both very, very pleased to have some of your work.

CG:     [unintelligible]

WV:    Very pleased. Because this is terrific.

CG:     Well, I'm real pleased to give it all to you.

WV:    Okay. Well, just remember. . .

CG:     I have a lot of folks come in here to see me.

AW:    Yeah. Thank you very much. We do appreciate it.

WV:    I think maybe tomorrow I will come by and take the whirligig in the daylight. We have a camper; we're going to [unintelligible, noise] and. . .

[Interruption in taping]

WV:    So tell me one more time what date you were born. It was May. . .

CG:     Twenty-second day of May, in 1900.

WV:    And where were you born?

CG:     Gwinnett County.

WV:    Which is nearby here?

CG:     Yeah, it's just, well, you know, about five miles till you Hall [County—WV], Gwinnett County line.

WV:    So you've been in this area your whole life?

CG:     Yeah, in Gwinnett County. . . Gwinnett County, raised up to within a, to Fall of '14. In '14 we went to Schley County, where. . . See the Chattahoochee River's over here. It's a Lake Lanier now. Have you been over there to it? Lake Lanier?

WV:    I saw signs to it. I haven't been there.

CG:     Well, anyway, I don't know which way you come; anyhow, it ain't over, oh, not much over a quarter mile down here, too—where it backs up here and under the railroad?

WV:    Oh, I see.

CG:     Purty good lake of it down here. I forgot how many counties it covers. It's a big thing. And so, and so if ever you come, I'm going to call my daughter since she's over there. We'll go over there—it ain't but a little piece over there to the lake—and see that stuff _____ _____.

WV:    Oh, that'd be fun. Great. Okay. Would you give us directions how to get there?

CG:     Yes sir. You come right from my house. You go. . . You see right out there at that post?

WV:    Right.

CG:     You turn to the left and go right up there to the next street.

WV:    Right.

CG:     And you turn to the left.

WV:    Okay.

CG:     You come just a little piece right around here till you come to a curve or turn right around, or. . .

WV:    Um hmm.

CG:     You turn right around there, and there's a barn over there, a house barn, you know, all of that. There's where my daughter lives, just right above it, on the right in a brick house.

WV:    Okay. Great.

CG:     It's just a little piece over there.

WV:    Well, that'd be fun.

AW:    Maybe we should come over here first. Are you going to be over here?

CG:     Oh, yeah, I'll be here.

AW:    So we should just come here.

WV:    Tomorrow?

AW:    Yeah.

WV:    Oh, we'll do it tomorrow?

CG:     Yeah, I'll be here tomorrow, all day.

WV:    Yeah.

 

[Tape 1, side A (cont.); Volkersz' No. G3-A]

[WV and AW watched while CG worked—Ed.]

WV:    About how many different kinds of knives do you use? Just those ones you have out there?

CG:     Yeah, there. . . I [forgot to show you my blades]. This one right here is my blade. I broke the blade and I. . .

WV:    Yeah.

CG:     It broke like that, and I just sharpened it, you know, where it _____ to this.

WV:    Uh huh.

CG:     That's about the only thing you can cut around it now, to make the nose, _____ _____.

AW:    Does it have to be a short little blade, like that?

CG:     Um hmm, and it's gotta be sharp. You wanta hand me that pencil?

WV:    Do you have pretty much a picture in your mind as to what you're going to be doing?

CG:     Hmm. Yep.

AW:    So that's cottonwood?

CG:     Um hmm.

AW:    Now is that the softest wood that you use? That there is?

CG:     No, some of it's hard. It's not soft, you see, it's just. . . Of course I can make the bodies out of other kind of wood, but. . . I just make that a _____. You can't make the figures out of the wood with this thing.

AW:    Why can't you?

CG:     Because it'll just split off pieces in your fingers.

WV:    Do you use the cottonwood primarily because it's available free from the factory?

CG:     Um hmm. And it's just scrap blocks, you know.

WV:    Yeah.

CG:     They burn it for boiler wood, you know, to keep steam.

WV:    Uh huh.

CG:     They have to have steam, you know, in the, to heat with in winter and to dry the lumber with.

WV:    Oh, I see. Do you go pick it up, or do they deliver some to you?

CG:     No, I go down there and pick it up.

WV:    Put it in your trunk?

CG:     Just, I just tote a few blocks in my hand.

WV:    Oh, I see.

CG:     'Tain't but a little piece out there. It's just a little ol' block about that. . . All sizes old blocks about that wide, you know, about that long, and all.

WV:    Do the women always have hats on? Or bonnets?

CG:     (chuckles)

WV:    Do the women always have bonnets on?

CG:     Oh, yeah. I make them with bonnets on, and sock caps and things like that.

AW:    I guess there's a woman over there that doesn't have a hat on. It's over here.

WV:    That's right. [long pause follows] I suppose you cut yourself once in a while.

CG:     Yeah, once in a while. I skinned that finger on something else. I didn't cut that.

WV:    Yeah, I noticed that. How long did you work on the big carousel piece?

CG:     Ah, I don't know. [sounds of wood carving]

AW:    Looks like it's hard.

CG:     My knife needs sharpening.

WV:    At what point do you decide whether it's going to be a man or a woman? Early on?

CG:     Well, the heads' all pretty much alike. Just whichever you want to make, a man or a woman.

WV:    But you've already drilled the holes for the breasts in this one.

CG:     Um hmm, yeah.

WV:    You do that pretty early on?

CG:     Then another thing, you see. . . Where, when you all leaves here, you all heading back home, or. . .

WV:    Well, we've got to go to Athens and then back to Atlanta.

CG:     Yeah, well. . .

WV:    We're leaving back home. . . Next Wednesday we're going to go back up north again.

CG:     That's right about a hundred miles from here over to Athens.

WV:    Oh, that far?

CG:     Right about a hundred.

WV:    Better call.

CG:     Now you see, what you got to be doing here, you have to just keep on till you. . . Pull it down. [Till you get. . .] Till you get the face down like that. That'll be a man.

WV:    Um hmm. Sitting down, um hmm.

CG:     And that'll be a whole woman.

WV:    What have you got. . . What have you got in the eyes there?

CG:     Little old round-headed. . .

WV:    Little beads? Or nails. Little nails.

CG:     Nails.

AW:    Do you cut the ends off so they're not so long, or. . .

CG:     Yeah, I cut 'em off. Put it in vise, take an old hack and hack and cut it off.

AW:    You haven't done that before, have you? Put nails in the eyes.

WV:    Yeah, I've done that a long time.

AW:    It's good that way.

CG:     See, I carved her ol' hat on her, like that.

AW:    Uh huh.

CG:     And them other women, see like that, I made her that kind of hat there.

AW:    You gonna glue that hat on?

CG:     Yeah. You can glue it on, or put a little pin in it, either one.

WV:    So after you've got all the features carved, then you sand it down a little bit with sandpaper.

CG:     Um hmm. Oh, here's _____ _____ _____. I got a. . . [searching through photos—WV] Ought to be in that.

WV:    Oh, here's one.

CG:     _____ _____ paper. Yeah, right here. Right here now. Now there's two ladies coming from Athens over here. . . And made this picture there.

WV:    It's a nice picture.

CG:     Now which way, when you all leave here, which way you all going to Athens?

WV:    Well, I have to look at the map.

CG:     Look at the map.

WV:    Would you recommend a way?

CG:     Yeah, I tell you, I'll tell you a way. _____ _____ _____, been that way a pretty good while. See, this street right down here?

WV:    Yeah.

CG:     You just foller it just about four miles. You'll come to Blackshear Place. There's a red light there.

WV:    Um hmm.

CG:     You turn to the right.

WV:    Um hmm.

CG:     And it'll go to a little old place called Chestnut Mountain, and Braselton, a little old place called Braselton, and Hooshton, and you pass Hooshton, and it'll carry you right on in to Winder. You go right in to Winder, and you cross a railroad—that's the Seaboard Railroad. You cross the railroad, and the street'll carry you right straight in to Athens.

WV:    Oh, great! Good! Sounds like a good way.

CG:     Yeah.

WV:    Great. Great.

CG:     You just. . . Just foller this road, just about, about four mile you'll come to the Blackshear Place, they call it. It's a pretty good little town there, and College Square's on down _____ on the left. But you turn to the right, right there.

WV:    Is that right about in Gainesville where you turn?

CG:     Oh, that's way this side of Gainesville.

WV:    Oh, right on this side of Gainesville? Okay.

CG:     I think that's best way, and about as near a way as you can go. You can go, well, on over younder up this here four-lane, you get up there and turn to the right, and it'll carry you down through Jefferson, and from Jefferson on in to Athens.

WV:    How do I recognize where I turn off here, at that light? Is that the first light?

CG:     First red light.

WV:    The first light.

CG:     That's the only red light there'll be.

WV:    Okay.

CG:     Between here and [Milkberry]. You'll be about four mile, I guess up there, or something like that.

WV:    Um hmm, okay.

CG:     And when you get there, you turn to the right. . . And don't turn off that road. It'll just go straight. And just carry you right in to Winder, and when you get into Winder you cross Seaboard Railroad there, and street turns to the left. It'll carry you right on up into Athens.

WV:    Great.

 

[Tape 1, side B; Volkersz' No. G3-B]

[The very beginning of the second side is a repeat of the end of the first side. The original tape continues without interruption—WV]

AW:    So if Judy asks you if we came by, are you going to say no?

CG:     Sure, tell her, "Yeah, you all come by."

WV:    But we won't tell her we bought anything, huh?

CG:     No. She mentioned that rocking chair, you know.

WV:    So.

CG:     Tell her you got that rocking chair.

WV:    Okay. Okay. I appreciate it.

CG:     [You will.]

WV:    That's great. We sure enjoyed your work.

CG:     Well, I tell you what. I'm kind of gonna quit on this. I'm getting old, and my eyes is getting bad. . .

[Interruption in taping]

CG:     [Describing a sculpture he's working on—WV:] Now that little table. . . I'm going to have that little table, you know, and I got the stove over there, and I'm going to make a little pan with some of those cookies or something in.

WV:    Um hmm.

CG:     Like these, coming up there. And I'm going to stand over there, _____ over here, and have her coming over there with a rolling pin after him.

WV:    Um hmm.

CG:     Now she sposed to be there rolling dough.

AW:    [unintelligible]

CG:     Um hmm. I got to work a little more on that.

WV:    It's going to be a fun piece. Yeah.

CG:     Yeah. That'll be the stove, and then on the wall I'm gonna make a sink and a little man standing there washing his hands at the sink, you know.

WV:    Uh huh.

CG:     Yeah, right in here, I'm gonna show you.

AW:    Yeah, these little scenes are wonderful. She buys your little scenes, doesn't she? Judy? She likes these little scenes?

CG:     Um hmm. [Looking through albums—WV] Now here's Bailey Brothers, and I was telling you about Gloria Bell.

WV:    Uh huh.

CG:     That's Gloria Bell.

WV:    [Reads:] "A good-hearted woman, Gloria Bell," um hmm.

CG:     [unintelligible] . . .Bailey Brothers.

WV:    "Have you forgotten the Bailey Brothers?"

CG:     The Bailey Brothers right there. . .

WV:    "The Early Days of Blue Grass, volume six."

CG:     . . .William and Charles and Gloria Bell, and. . .

WV:    They sound pretty good, huh.

CG:     Let's see, there's some more, here. See, right there's the Bailey Brothers.

WV:    Right. "Just as the sun went down."

CG:     "Just as the sun went down." _____ _____ see the shadows there.

WV:    Yeah, that's real nice.

CG:     Now, when I made 'em [the musicians, for a sculpture—WV], I made 'em with the shoes, made the pants for it, and made that just like the shirts, and made that with the guitar.

WV:    And Judy has that piece?

CG:     Yeah, she got it.

WV:    She kept it, huh?

CG:     I don't know where she's. . . It seemed like she sold it.

WV:    Oh.

CG:     But anyhow, anyhow, she gave me $800 for it.

AW:    Did you hammer this out with the hammer and a chisel?

CG:     No. I sawed that with my band saw. I'm supposed to have another picture. . . [looking through albums—WV]

AW:    Sort of looks like Dick Notkin's [a contemporary sculptor—WV] work a little bit, this miniature.

WV:    There was one. There's one right there.

CG:     Yeah, that [unintelligible] . . .yet.

WV:    Carter Family. Loretta Lynn.

CG:     Oh, Loretta Lynn. And right there's, and I'll tell you that's a sight right there.

WV:    "Jerry Jordan, phone call from God." Um hmm.

CG:     Yeah, I don't know whether you all ever hear it or not. It's the Bailey Brothers sings it to—"The Knoxville Girl"?

WV:    I've never heard that.

CG:     Never heard it. Well anyhow, that happened about in '40 or '51, the Knoxville girl, her boyfriend killed her and throwed her in at Knoxville River. That's the prettiest river you ever saw; comes right down through the middle of Knoxville. Then they had that part all that _____ up and down through there. It was really purty. I don't know if. . .

AW:    The Knoxville _____.

CG:     I'm going to [unintelligible]. [continues searching—Ed.]

[brief sotto voce conversation between AW and WV—Ed.]

CG:     It'll be on the first one. It's a little bit. . . It ain't too long, the first one ain't, then the second one is "The Knoxville Girl." It got a warp in it, so I put it in the window down in the shop and [unintelligible] ain't no warp. [plays record, while continuing to talk—Ed.] See, you got that. . . [second song, "The Knoxville Girl"—Ed.]

WV:    That's beautiful.

CG:     Yeah, that'll have to. . . It won't stop; it's automatic.

AW:    Makes you want to dance, huh?

CG:     Yeah, [they] do it good.

WV:    So those are the people you carved? The Bailey Brothers.

CG:     Yep. I made them. I had the. . . I had him and her and that you saw right here, Gloria Bell, she sangs with 'em.

WV:    Um hmm. Pretty lady.

CG:     Real purty woman. Now here's her in the middle. That's Charles, his brother there, and then Gloria Bell, right there. She has a big guitar. And I made it. Made his'n a big 'un. He's got a little 'un; I made it. And have 'em painted, just like they is right there.

WV:    Well. . .

CG:     And then I had two, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten seats in a little double seats like I got, you know, out there. . .

WV:    Right, in the carousel?

CG:     . . .with the woman, _____ _____, the man and woman.

WV:    Listening to them?

CG:     Yeah. On them seats, you know.

WV:    That's great.

CG:     They're listening.

WV:    So when I come back to buy the hospital scene, how much money should I bring?

CG:     Well, like I tell you now, the Bailey Brothers. . . Of course there's more men and women in this on that, and she give me $800 for it.

WV:    Whew! I guess it's out of my price range. It's worth it. Well, I think we best be going.

CG:     Well, I sure am glad you all come by.

WV:    Well. . .

CG:     If you're all ever down here and want to come by to see me, if I'm still a'living. . .

WV:    You bet we will. Oh, you'll be around for a while.

CG:     Well. . .

WV:    You'll be around for a while.

CG:     Well, I hope I will.

WV:    You keep on carving. You do beautiful work. We enjoy having those pieces that you sold us. Thank you very, very much. I really appreciate it.

CG:     I'm sorry my daughter wasn't over there for to see [you] this morning.

WV:    Well, we'll catch you the next time.

AW:    We'll come back.

CG:     Yeah, okay.

 

[End of interview]