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1978-07-21 Interview with Matt Gray, July 21, 1978 FNS001:1978OH144 FNS 04 56:27 Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Frontier Nursing Service, Inc. Rural health services Matt Gray; interviewee Dale Deaton; interviewer 1978OH144_FNS004_Grey 1:|15(3)|58(3)|91(5)|127(9)|140(10)|157(4)|169(2)|227(4)|267(13)|299(4)|332(6)|382(3)|406(9)|479(8)|511(2)|541(1)|565(12)|575(12)|611(3)|639(14)|680(9)|711(2)|734(5)|775(3)|809(7)|843(13)|880(3)|900(13)|921(10)|944(11)|972(10)|1004(12)|1023(5)|1058(5)|1087(7)|1135(7)|1191(1)|1220(3)|1250(14)|1284(2)|1324(2)|1355(8)|1370(12)|1387(7)|1436(12)|1474(2)|1497(2)|1539(13)|1569(12)|1604(3)|1637(6)|1670(1)|1698(6)|1732(6)|1766(14)|1800(14) audiotrans FNSColl interview DEATON: Well, you told me once before that your family came in here-- GRAY: Yeah. DEATON:--and your grandfather came? GRAY: Right. DEATON: Do you remember what his name was? GRAY: His name was Jim Greer. Jim Greer. DEATON: Greer? GRAY: Greer, right. DEATON: Where'd he come from? GRAY: He come from England. DEATON: Do you know about what time he came in here? GRAY: Through the Spanish-American War. DEATON: Did he ever tell you how many people--did he lived on this creek when he came? GRAY: No, he lived on Double Creek. DEATON: Over the hill? GRAY: Yeah. DEATON: How many people with him, do you know? GRAY: I don't know that. I don't know that. DEATON: And your father--was that your father's father or-- GRAY: Yeah. DEATON:--mother-- GRAY: Yeah. It was my father. DEATON: Your father's father? GRAY: My grandfather. DEATON: Uh-huh. And was your--did your mother's family come in about the same time? GRAY: No, they was raised here, my mother was. Now, see, they were- -now, she sprung up through here under the Indian nation. See, my grandmother--my great-grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee. And I turn my grandmother before my--my mother to be a three-quarter. And, see, I just keep following ----------(??). You've got a lot of Indian in you, too. Now, how I can tell? I could tell from his cheek bones. DEATON: And your mother and your father both were mountain doctors. GRAY: Yeah, right. Right. DEATON: Do you know who taught them? Did they teach themselves-- GRAY: I-- DEATON:--to doctor? GRAY:--never did find out. Never did learn. Never did try to learn. DEATON: And they taught you to doctor. GRAY: Right. Right. DEATON: To start off with delivering babies,-- GRAY: Well,-- DEATON:--you-- GRAY:--when I--I say when--why, just take a family, if they come out to me to go and take care of the wife and the baby. If the baby--if the woman is a having trouble with her pains--see, I'll go into the mountains and on the east side of a black gum tree, I can skin those bark--take the bark off the outside, skin it down to the ground, boil that. Well, that will bring--raise misery to a woman to have a baby. DEATON: Brings on the labor? GRAY: Right. Correct, it will. DEATON: You just boil the root and they drink the-- GRAY: The bark-- DEATON:--tea from that? GRAY:--off of the tree. DEATON: The bark. GRAY: The bark off of the east side of a black gum tree. Well, okay. When I get these pains come up just right, just like I want 'em, well, I keep asking 'em all you see, I say, "How hard are they?" All right, if they're four, five minutes apart. Then if begin slacken down or begin losing 'em, see, under her I'll take and raise her body, and under the spine of her back I will put her a--a weight to lay on. DEATON: A pillow? GRAY: A pillow, right. Right. Well, that leads from the head, starts going back down again. And then after I discover the baby, I can take and sterilize my little finger. DEATON: Okay, now, wait just a minute. You mean, after the baby's head begins to-- GRAY: After-- DEATON:--show? GRAY:--after the baby's head begin coming in sight, if-- DEATON: Okay. GRAY:--it's tight, place a cup in this lady here, you can sterilize your finger here, rub alcohol, peroxide, why, can you work around the back of that baby's head and get it out that way. You can trip this baby's head by that. Now, that's what they call of a operation, [never knew it to cause a stitch in one?]. That's what I'm saying, that you don't have to stitch a woman unless you want to. A woman's made to grow up. Wounds is put on a human to grow up and get well. Well, okay. After I take a hold of this baby and I get it out here till I can get to it, then if this afterbirth hangs, I catch her leg up in under my arms like this. Now, you see how I'm a doing here, ladies? Like this. I'll learn you how. Of course, that's what you want to find out. Get under her legs here, but take your elbow, get up in above the pit of her stomach. And if she ain't got no pains, tell her to heave with you and you give down. Well, the compressure from up here on the pit of her stomach put the load all down to the bottom, and her she comes. And then-- DEATON: The pressure's about at the breast bone? GRAY: Right. Right. Correct. Then after the--you take--get this afterbirth from there and you lay a hold to this baby. If you never done this, I'll tell you what to do. Count you one, two, three. There's knots on a--any kid's navel cord after birth. Well, you cl-- -close that there with a cord. Doctors use your tweezers and pinchers, but I don't. Close that there with a cord, take sharp sterilized scissors and clip that off. Lay the afterbirth back out of the way, wash this baby in baby soap or you can go get oil. This here olive oil is the best thing you ever washed a baby in your life. DEATON: Olive oil? GRAY: Right. Correct. Correct. Olive oil will take the germs off of the skin, and it's healing to the body and also to the soul, too. Then after you cut this navel cord off there and get this baby cleaned up, get you about four inch cloth, a clean sterilized cloth, good and clean, scorch this over heat, fire, cut a round hole in there and lead that baby's navel up in there. Just double it back up on its belly, put a band around there, and in nine days that navel is off and gone. Just as pretty a navel as ever you can see. Then if you cut one off and you cause a rupture, get you a sil---a half a dollar, or eitherwise a piece of lead, lay it on that baby's belly, there on its navel. Well, that will interfere with causing the rupture to stay back. DEATON: What if the--if the mother's torn during delivery, you don't stitch that? You let it go like-- GRAY: Why,-- DEATON:--this? GRAY:--it comes back itsself. DEATON: Okay. GRAY: Or you can stitch it if you want to. You can stitch it if you want to. It--but when every time you stitch--stitch one up, the next one's born, you'll have to stitch her again, so there you go. DEATON: Um-hm. What if you have a hemorrhage during delivery, what do you do for it? GRAY: A what? DEATON: Hemo---bleeding. GRAY: A blood hemorrhage? DEATON: Yeah, if they bleed during delivery, what do you do? GRAY: Well, I'll tell you what you can do with that. Go up there in the hills and get you some squaw weed. DEATON: Squaw-- GRAY: Right. Squaw weed, sarsaparilla, and rattleweed, and boil that and let her drink it. DEATON: And that stops the bleeding? GRAY: Why, to be sure it will. DEATON: Have you ever heard of anyone putting an axe under a bed, blade up, to stop bleeding? GRAY: To be sure you can do it. DEATON: Will that work? GRAY: That'll work. DEATON: What else works to stop-- GRAY: Well, that'll-- DEATON:--bleeding? GRAY:--work right there. DEATON: I mean--okay, besides the--the tea and the axe, what else will do it? GRAY: To stop bleeding? DEATON: Yeah. GRAY: Okay. Let it bleed on a hot piece of iron. Hot iron, that'll stop your nose from bleeding. DEATON: What do you do with the iron, you-- GRAY: You-- DEATON:--beat on it? GRAY:--well, no. Burn it--heat it in the fire, get it red hot, and bleed on it. DEATON: Oh, okay. All right. Let the blood drops fall on the iron. GRAY: Right, red hot. DEATON: Okay. What else stops-- GRAY: Well,-- DEATON:--bleeding? GRAY:--okay, now. You can take this. Again, if you get cut, bleeding, now you can doctor a burn easier than you can stop blood. We all realize that. You can let a bleeding be a coming here, or a gash here that's cut, why, you can h---get a hot metal and burn that there. Well, that'll take the blood back the other way from both sides. Well, see, you've just got the burn to doctor then, you ain't got the blood to fool with. Now you're talking to a smart man. DEATON: Have you done that during delivery of a baby? GRAY: No, no, no, no. Uh-uh. DEATON: Just on other wounds. GRAY: Just on other ones is all. And I'll tell you something else, being borned of a baby, too, and if you're ever there. You can go in here and you can red pepper tea. Well, that helps out in bri---raising misery to born a baby. DEATON: What do you make it out of? GRAY: Red pepper. You-- DEATON: You mean, out of-- GRAY:--boil it. DEATON:--of the hills? GRAY: No, raise--that garden pepper. DEATON: Oh, okay. GRAY: Garden pepper. Garden pepper. And I'll tell you something else I could do. Either one of you women pregnant? Don't you think I can't tell you. DEATON: Tell us how. GRAY: Well, okay. I go out right up here on the hill, I find me a yellow dogwood. Now, you learn how--you learn this. I know that's what you wanted to do. Get you a yellow dogwood, skin it down towards the ground, and get the bark of this tree. Boil that and let that woman drink that, and if that woman's pregnant it'll make her sick. And if she ain't, it won't. And she can't help from vomiting. DEATON: How far along during the pregnancy will that do that? A day or two or a month? GRAY: No, that'll do it--that'll do it till you find out exactly whether she's pregnant or not. DEATON: Hmm. Doesn't matter how long she's been pregnant? GRAY: Why, sure. That's right. DEATON: Can you think of any other things that you do to doctor pregnant women? GRAY: Well, to be sure. DEATON: Tell me what they are. GRAY: Well, I could tell you what I can do. I can take a baby out of the womb or I can leave it in there. DEATON: Describe it for me. Tell--tell me-- GRAY: Well, nine drops of turpentine, three aspirin tablets will flip one. DEATON: Now, what do you mean by flipping the baby? GRAY: That'll take it out. DEATON: Okay. If the mother drinks that. GRAY: Right. Now, there's been women that's went to the hospital that's--that's been done the same thing by, but it'll about kill you. I want to tell you something else. Now, you take the newborn fever. Three inches of a dried rattlesnake will break any case of the fever. DEATON: How do you fix it to eat it? GRAY: Steep it in a cup of water-- DEATON: You don't-- GRAY:--and drink it. DEATON:--do you boil it or just-- GRAY: Right. Boil it and drink the [subsuit?] of it, will break any kind of case of the fever. DEATON: You don't actually eat the meat? GRAY: No. No. DEATON: You--you drink the juice. GRAY: Well, you eat--if you want eat--anybody that likes rattlesnake can eat it. (laughs) DEATON: Ha---have you eaten rattlesnake-- GRAY: To-- DEATON:--meat? GRAY:--be sure I have. I dry 'em and eat 'em. DEATON: What does rattlesnake meat look like, when you-- GRAY: It-- DEATON:--look at it? GRAY:--it's just white as ever you see. There ain't nothing but the ribs and backbone, and it's just as sweet as it can be. DEATON: Does it have a taste similar to any other thing you think-- GRAY: No! (laughs) Not a meat on earth that tastes just like a snake. DEATON: But it's good. GRAY: It is good, too, yes, sir. I've skinned 'em and dried 'em right behind my cook stove, and eat 'em. I had an uncle that'd hang 'em up over the fire, cook him a mess of shuck beans, and break him off a big piece and put it in. What do you think about that, woman? (laughs) DEATON: Let's go back to the medicine for a minute. GRAY: Okay, then. DEATON: How about hookwor---or worms? Kids-- GRAY: Worms? DEATON:--with worms. Yeah. GRAY: Well, okay. I grow all kinds of "worm truck" and worm medicine right around the house that you can get. Don't have to go to a store and buy it. We've got a weed of what we call "worm truck", that we'll gather the seed of it or get the leaf of it, and dry it. Dry it in parts, you bind it and get it about real dry. Stir that up in molasses, let a kid eat it and kill every worm in 'em, or you can. DEATON: Describe the turpentine treatment that you were talking about earlier. GRAY: Well, okay. Nine drops of turpentine and three aspirin tablets will bring a baby out of a mother's womb. DEATON: And it--and it cur---cures worms, too? GRAY: No, that won't. No. No. That has nothing to do with that. DEATON: How do you cure worms? I thought you said before that you can cure worms with-- GRAY: Well, to-- DEATON:--turpentine. GRAY:--be sure. I can take me a saucer of turpentine, set it under my bed in there, lay my kid on that bed, and if there's any worm about that kid, every drop of that turpentine will leave that saucer and go to the--through the bed to the kid. DEATON: And a child doesn't actually drink it. It goes up-- GRAY: Well, no. DEATON:--through the bed. GRAY: Sure. DEATON: How long does that take? GRAY: Why, it don't take it but just a short time. DEATON: An hour? GRAY: Huh? No, it'll take it longer than an hour. DEATON: Say, overnight. GRAY: Yeah, it'd take it overnight. Yeah. DEATON: About overnight or longer than-- GRAY: Right. DEATON:--overnight? GRAY: Right. Right. DEATON: About overnight. GRAY: Overnight will get it. DEATON: Hmm. GRAY: Heck, now, you didn't think that, did you? The baby's navel will take it. DEATON: Now, is that a newborn baby or a child-- GRAY: That's any child. DEATON:--say, eight or nine-- GRAY: Any child. DEATON: Any child. GRAY: Right. Right. DEATON: What about a grown-up? Will it do the same-- GRAY: A grown-up-- DEATON:--thing or-- GRAY:--the same thing. A grown-up the same thing. Make a ring around your navel nine times with turpentine will kill worms, too. Boy, you watch her smile. That's bound to be your wife over there. DEATON: Um-um. GRAY: It ain't? DEATON: No. GRAY: Oh, man. These women get you in trouble. And now we'll talk-- come back here and talk about the babies again. Now, I grow stuff right outside on that cliff. I'd like to show you some of it but it's I've walked ----------(??), is what we call "deer's tongue". Now that's good for the hives. We've got us something that grows here we call it "hive violet", and we steep and make a tea and give it to babies. That'll cure the hives. DEATON: You were telling me one time earlier about a lady that had gone to the hospital in Hyden and had trouble, and came back and you took care of her. GRAY: That-- DEATON: Do you remember? GRAY:--was my wife. DEATON: What happened? What happened before--what was the reason that she went to the hospital? What was wrong with her? GRAY: Well, okay. She had a dead baby in her. She had picked up a load of wood and killed this baby in the inside. Well, I took her to the Hyden hospital. DEATON: Was that Frontier Nursing Service hospital? GRAY: Right. Right. Right. It's up on the hill, the old hospital. DEATON: The old one. GRAY: Yeah. DEATON: Okay. GRAY: Well, they kept her there and they kept there but I went over and back and forth to see about her, and I went in and the doctor told me, he said, "Well," says, "we went as far as we could go." And I says, "What's the matter?" And he says, "We can't do nothing with--about her." And I just spoke to the doctor, I said, "Well, I believe I can beat that." "Well, now," he says, "it's just bringing a pencil through an auger hole cross-ways." DEATON: Through an auger hole. GRAY: Yeah, that's what he said. Well, now, you know that--that looks likes impossible. You can't get a pencil that's cross- ways through an auger hole. "Well," he says, "you take her back home." Well, I did so. And he said, "Go get the nurses." Well, I went to Flat Creek and got the nurses. We ridden come across here on a tide in the river. DEATON: Do you remember who--the nurses that were at Flat Creek at the time? GRAY: Hey, Edith. DEATON: Well, that's okay. Go ahead with the story. GRAY: No, I can't har---I just about forgot which one it was up there but--yeah, it was Louise Chapman. DEATON: Louise Chapman? GRAY: Did you know her? DEATON: I know of her. GRAY: Well, that was the one. And she was sitting by the far side of the bed after she come in. My wife was punishing to death, and all I could hear--she had a doctor book reading and all I could un--- understand her to say, "No pain, no pain, no pains, no pains." She got up and walked out on the porch and my neighbor was there, a fellow by the name of John Fields. He said, "How is the woman?" "Well," she says, "there's a dead baby there and there'll be a dead mother in a short time." She just walked out on the ground and walked around the house. "Well," I says, "Edith, we're gonna have to beat that." Now this--now, listen ladies, this baby had been dead in her several days. The meat was transforming from the bones. Yeah. Well, I went into the bed where she was and I almost stood her on her head. And when I found that baby, that baby was laying cross ways. Well, I took my own easy time and I kept working. And I turned that baby smack dab around. And when I done that, I doubled a pillow and put it under my wife's back, and she was--the pains was a leav---already gone, then. And I just give her two or three hunches with my elbow in the pit of her stomach. That baby was out of--in the world and was--went and called the nurses, and she come back. They was a dressing and washing the baby up, and it was already dead, been dead for seven days. Sometimes a little ignorant work will save lives and a lot of money. DEATON: You know of any other cases of someone else going to the hospital of F.N.S--. GRAY: No. No, I don't. DEATON:--and that happening? GRAY: No, I sure don't. Just only her. I know she went. And she had trouble, too. DEATON: How many babies would you estimate that you helped deliver? GRAY: Well, I do know my own self that I have delivered four right here [in district four?]. That was here on this creek. DEATON: Were they rel---were the mother's r---relatives of yours? GRAY: Right. Right. Well, I'll tell you the first--beginning of the first one was my own. Was my own. I was the first one laid hands on my first kid. DEATON: How many children have you got? GRAY: I've been the parents--we've been the parents of eight. DEATON: Did you deliver all eight of 'em? GRAY: No, no, no. No. No. DEATON: Who delivered the ones that you didn't? GRAY: The nurses. DEATON: With F.N.S.? GRAY: All excepting one. Now, last one was took by the doctors at Red Bird, operation. DEATON: The other babies that you've delivered on the creek, who were their mothers, do you remember? GRAY: Well, Bill [Wombles ?] is--May Wombles was one of 'em. DEATON: Who? GRAY: May Wombles. She was one of 'em. [Mallie Wombles ?] was one of 'em. Edith Gray was one of 'em, and Edna Couch. DEATON: Um-hm. What other medicine have you doctored people for up and down through here? GRAY: Well, different little things. I doctored for cold, doctored for the measle. DEATON: What do you d---what do you use when you give someone medicine for a cold? GRAY: For a cold? Well, okay. I get right out here and I take my hoe, I dig me a couple, two bunches of burr vine. Now, ladies you listen to this. Dig me a couple, two bunches of burr vine, blue top stick weed, yellow top stick weed, and a little spine of sang field [ginseng?]. I boil that and make a tea out of it and let 'em drink it. DEATON: And how long does it take to get rid of-- GRAY: It just-- DEATON:--the cold? GRAY:--take in the ru---run of one night time. It'll sweat you just like a shot. DEATON: Hmm! GRAY: Yes, sir. DEATON: Is there anything else-- GRAY: And another remedy for cold, go in there to my pepper jar, shake you out some black pepper in a cup, and warm water, turn it up and drink it. Lay down. And the sweat's going to come next. It takes sweat to bring cold. You can't bring a cold sweat--cold brings itself by sweating. DEATON: What about for pneumonia, what do you do for-- GRAY: Pneumonia. Well, pneumonia fever, I use a rattlesnake. Right. DEATON: The dried rattlesnake-- GRAY: Right. DEATON:--meat? Okay. GRAY: Right. Well, it don't matter whether it's dried or not. Just go to the hill and catch you a rattlesnake, cut you a piece of it off. But be sure you get its head before it bites yourself because the poison is in its jaws, it's not in the body. DEATON: You mean before the snake bites itself. GRAY: Right. Right. Steep that and give it to one, let it drink it, and I guarantee the fever to be broke. ----------(??). DEATON: Do many people around here have the--have many of them had typhoid fever? GRAY: Well, I don't know. I don't know that now. Don't know that. Oh, just like I was telling you, I just taking care of my family, unless something I ain't--that ain't been happened yet, unless it was dressing a baby, taking care of a mother where she was having a baby. Now, I've been called for that, but other doctoring I've not. Just taking care of my own family. DEATON: How old are you now, Matt? GRAY: Well, if I live to see tomorrow come I'll be sixty-five years old. Nineteen hundred and thirteen. DEATON: Do you remember the Depression? GRAY: Huh? DEATON: The Depression in the 1930s, do you remember that? GRAY: [Herbert] Hoover? Lord have mercy, don't talk to me about Hoover, brother. DEATON: What--well, tell me what you think about it? GRAY: Well,--well, cut your tape recorder off, please. DEATON: Well, no, (laughing), that's all right. What--when you--during the Depression here, you don't have to talk about Hoover, let's just talk about the people here. GRAY: Well, I can tell you plumb ----------(??) about the Depression here. It was a time that come that I ha---I got one mess of flour bread a week. Couldn't get it. DEATON: Well, how much of the stuff did you buy out of store at that time? GRAY: Oh Lord, much about--well, not too powerful much. We raised everything. Cut your tape recorder off. You don't need to hear that. DEATON: Yeah, I do. You don't have to talk about Hoover. You don't-- you don't even have to mention any names. (chuckle-- Gray) Was the type of work that people did here during the--during those years, was it about the same as the type of work they did before the Depression? GRAY: Well, Lord have mercy, no. They farmed, they dug, they plowed, and they gathered corn, they pulled fodder and they sold it, and they'd sell this and they'd sell that, and they raise Irish taters [potatoes], they'd raise beans and everything come along, and you didn't have to go to the store and buy it. Had plenty of stock, but now I ain't got no stock. People got too sorry to fence and ----------(??) (laughing) the stock all in. DEATON: What's the first president that you remember? GRAY: The-- DEATON: It doesn't h--- GRAY:--first one? DEATON:--it doesn't have to be the one you voted for now, just-- GRAY: The first one I can remember was Woodrow Wilson. DEATON: Um-hm. When did you first get a radio? GRAY: Oh, it's been right smart ----------(??). DEATON: What about [Franklin] Roosevelt, did the W.P.A. [Works Progress Administration] programs and so forth that came about while Roosevelt was-- GRAY: Well, Roo--- DEATON:--president? GRAY:--well, Roo---Roosevelt, buddy, was the very man that gave it to us. He prepared for it, and I voted for him. Well, my b---parents did. I wasn't old enough. But if I'd had been old enough, I'd have sure voted for him. DEATON: What happened up Little Creek that changed things so much while Roosevelt was president? GRAY: Now, what did you say? DEATON: Now what happened up through here that changed things while Roo- --Roosevelt was president? Were the roads built or did the electricity come in? GRAY: Well, there wouldn't have been no road in Little Creek here at the first place if it hadn't have been for me, Matt Gray. DEATON: Well, t--- GRAY: They lawed me over my children not going to school and I went to London and lawed them--lawed the county over not having a road in--in Little Creek for the children to travel. DEATON: About what time was that? Was that in the '30s or later? GRAY: Yeah, it would've been up in the '30s but it's been here --------- -(??) while. DEATON: Um-hm. Well, let's go back to the medicine. What else do you doctor for? Just pick something out that you doctor for, tell me-- GRAY: Something-- DEATON:--how you do that? GRAY:--I doctor for myself. Well, okay. Now, don't you guys laugh at me when I get this in. I know they're getting it down. Now,-- DEATON: You can say anything you want to in front of 'em, it's-- GRAY: No, I ain't gonna say-- DEATON:--all right. GRAY:--anything I want to neither. Now, you say you take the measles. Well, now, you know the measles'll dry in on you if they can stay--if you can keep the measles as much as nine days and there ain't something done, and they'll dry in on you what about you've got a bad case of sickness. Well, you can over here, say, where I've lived for five years, to Coleman Smith. Go over here on Elk Creek to Coleman Smith's sheep pasture, and nine of them little sheep balls will break the measles out and completely cure it. After they drink the remedy, take their clothes off of 'em in nine days, even strip the bed where they lay, and they won't take it no more. DEATON: You boil the sheep dung? GRAY: Right. Right. DEATON: And they drink that. GRAY: Right. Right. DEATON: Do you mix anything else in with it? GRAY: No, no. DEATON: How many kids do you know of in--around this area that have drunk that to cure the dry-- GRAY: I've-- DEATON:------------(??)? GRAY:--drunk it myself and I've give it to my children. I want to ask you a question. Now, say, if you were to have a bad case of the shingles, now you know that's a pretty particular disease, the shingles is. Shingles will kill you if they meet on. Would you know how to stop that? DEATON: Have no idea. Tell me how you would do it? GRAY: Well, okay. I can let the mea---the shingles be in one inch of meeting. DEATON: Well, wait-- GRAY: Well, I can-- DEATON:--a minute, wait a minute. Describe the shingles for me,-- GRAY: The-- DEATON:--first. GRAY:--shingles, they break out around your waist in red welts. They begin coming in little red bumps, and then they'll welt out and you'll just scratch yourself all into pieces. Itches. Next thing gotta go to the inside. Next thing, that will go to the inside. Well, now, would you be interested in knowing what to do for that? DEATON: Um-hm. GRAY: Well, okay. DEATON: Just a minute. [End Tape #1, Side #1] [Begin Tape #1, Side #2] DEATON: Okay, tell me how you doctor the shingles. GRAY: Well, when you take 'em, the shingles, and they get pretty close to meeting, of course you can let about eight inches be here on either end. Well, you can eitherwise take and catch a black hen, a black-- coal black chicken, and out of her tail you can get one of her feathers that's growed in there, one that you can sure will know that she will get blood out of. Well, you can take the tip end of that there her tail, and make a cross mark there in between them shingles and that will stop it. They won't cross it. You can catch a black house cat--a black one I'll say, and cut the tip of his tail off and make a cross mark there in twixt the place and it will not cross it. And in nine days they're well. DEATON: Is that the only treatment you have-- GRAY: That's the only-- DEATON:--for the shingles? GRAY:--all that I know about--about that. And it's like I was a telling the women about sticking a nail your foot. They run to the doctor to get a lockjaw shot. Well you--they can take and run their hand in their pocket and stop all of that trouble by getting a copper penny out and binding over that hole there and drawing the poison out of it. Cure it. And I say--well, I'll talk about a stone bruise now. That's another pretty serious thing. It's hurting. I guess you girls have never had one before. I have laid and cried many of a night not wanting my mother to doctor my foot with it. Go out here to the cow pasture where she gets fresh manure, you know, while it's warm. Roll that up there on a rag and bind that to that. That'll bring that to a head in a short time ----------(??). DEATON: And then it comes out? The stone bruise will-- GRAY: Yeah,-- DEATON:--come out? GRAY:--when it comes out there till you can get to it, then you can lance that and she's all over with. And a rising. You take a right bad boil. You can take tub soap and make a poultice for a rising and draw it to a head. Or eitherwise you can take pine rosin and draw up--rise 'em to a head. Or eitherwise a piece of fat salt bacon. Now, you've used that, and will draw it out. Yes, sir. DEATON: You told me once before about giving wom---women medicine that were going through menopause. What would you do for that? GRAY: Well, you go to the hills. You can get what we call squaw weed, rattle weed, and get a bunch or two of sang field and put in it, and that's good for that. All right, menstruating for a woman, when the monthly period comes to her. All right, well, just a pot of red pepper for that, or turpentine, one. Take about three or four drops of turpentine, that'll start it. DEATON: Oh, that's to start. GRAY: Right. Squaw weed-- DEATON: Do you-- GRAY:--will stop that--will stop it. Women a flushing, squaw weed, sang field will stop it. DEATON: Do you have any treatment that will relieve pain during menstruation? GRAY: Well, no, not exactly. Now, I can take that out there, that walnut tree. Now, when you've got a--what we call constipated. Well, now, you know you punish and hurt with that. Well, I got out there and dig me up a root of that walnut. Boil that walnut root, boil it down into a syrup and sweeten it. Well, I'll take me some plain flour, make a dough out of that, and roll up some little pills. Well, that's just as good a treatment as you need. Clean you up just the same as a box of Epsom salts. DEATON: For constipation. GRAY: Yes, sir. Well, that'll stop that hurting, you know. And you can have the headaches. You can take the headache. Or you can be bothered with sun pains. Well, a headache and sun pains are about the same thing. Get you a--go out down here in the garden, pull you some mustard, make you a mustard poultice out of it, mix it with meal, bind it to your head. But you'll get a blister in a time of it, but the blister'll soon get well. But the headache'll quit. DEATON: What about the missed meal stomach? You told me-- GRAY: Missed-- DEATON:--before how to cure it. GRAY:--meal stomach. Well, I'd like-- DEATON: Well, first-- GRAY:--I'd like to drill you two--you two--three women on that. DEATON: First, tell me what the-- GRAY: Would you like to have it? Okay. DEATON:--tell 'em what the missed meal-- GRAY: Listen up. DEATON:--stomach is first. GRAY: Well, the missed meal stomach is the going--doing without--you get up of a morning, feel drowsy and don't feel like eating anything. Now, that's what a--if you get up now I'll show you something, then you can sit back down. [Opens trunk] I'll show you folks something right now. [Interruption in taping] GRAY:--a nail and put the head of it in your mouth. And just roll it back with your tongue. Put it up on your tongue. It's not poison. You've got a taste there? WOMAN: Um-hm. GRAY: How's it taste? WOMAN: Like metal. Like a metal taste. GRAY: There you go. Well, now, you can swallow the [subsuit?] of that, well, that'll stop that missed meal colic. Let her taste of it. Got a right sour taste to it, ain't it? You swallow the [subsuit?] of that, that will stop the missed meal colic. Give it to the next one. Now, am I right or am I wrong? You can taste it, can't you? WOMEN: Um-hm. GRAY: That'll stop the missed meal colic. Now, you all can sit down. DEATON: How do you treat a baby for colic? GRAY: Huh? DEATON: What do you do for a baby that has the colic? GRAY: Well, okay. You can let a--let a small little--small infant kid take the colic, or one--well, I'll say from--up to a two year old. You can take and let it's mother milk breast milk out in a spoon. Well, you can take strong tobacco and smoke it, and blow the smoke of it in the spoon on the milk, and give it to the baby. DEATON: And that cures the colic. GRAY: To be sure. DEATON: Now, this is the mother's breast milk? GRAY: Right. DEATON: And you have the mother milk the milk out into a spoon? GRAY: Right, into a spoon and smoke it, blow it right in it. DEATON: Um-hm. And that will cure the colic. GRAY: To be sure it will. DEATON: Have you got anything else that will cure the colic besides that. GRAY: Well, not--not for doctoring little children, I ain't, no. Now, they're gonna--take now for the colic, again for a grown person, you go out over here on the hill, you get what we call Sampson snake root. DEATON: Now, wait a minute. Say that, Sampson's-- GRAY: Sampson's snake root. DEATON: Okay. GRAY: Now, that's into your proposition. Well, you can dig that. Pack that in your pocket, and that'll bring you--your stomach begins to hurting and throbbing, just pinch off a little piece of it and eat it. Chew it up and swallow it. Or eitherwise you can pull wintergreen, pack it in your pocket and do it. My--my father done that. He said, "Son, get you some wintergreen." I'd say, "Pa, my belly's hurting." "Here--here some, you a bunch of wintergreen. Eat that." I'd chew it up and swallow. See, it's just as bitter as quinine. Yeah. DEATON: If you had a case where a mother--a woman wanted to get pregnant, if she--say she wanted a boy or a girl, either one, is there any way that--or anything that she can do, or the husband can do, to make sure they have a boy or make sure they have a girl? GRAY: Well, now, I wouldn't know that. But I'll tell you what you can do. Now, you can--you can go to the drugstore and you can buy you a--it's what I call [wine of cordial?]. DEATON: A what? GRAY: [Wine of cordial?]. DEATON: [Wine of cordial?]? GRAY: Right. DEATON: Okay. GRAY: And a woman can use that. DEATON: And what does it do? GRAY: Well, that'll just bring the confession, just make it right out plain to you, it just--being just like anything else, why, it'll--it'll put a woman to lusting and craving. DEATON: Oh, okay, an aphrodisiac. Well, all right. Okay. Anything else that will do that? Is there something that'll do that for a man that's getting old in age, say? GRAY: To be sure. DEATON: What is it? GRAY: Why would you be interested in knowing? DEATON: Well, not yet, but I (laughs) may in a few years from now. GRAY: Maybe a few years from now? Well, I'll tell you what you need to be. You--you're talking to me about some--some man's got a woman [that's just about without?]. DEATON: Uh-huh. GRAY: (laughs) You need you some Spanish fly, is what you need. (laughs) DEATON: Oh! GRAY: (laughs) Oh, did you see that? Oh, Lordy. DEATON: Can you get that around here? GRAY: Huh? DEATON: Can you get Spanish fly around here? Can you-- GRAY: Oh, I can go-- DEATON:--make it? GRAY:--I can go to London and get all that I want. DEATON: Does it work? GRAY: Well, you ain't no--you ain't no bull, I don't reckon. To be sure it'll work. I've used it amongst my hogs and things. DEATON: Um-hm. Have you ever known of any person to use it? GRAY: No, (laughing) I never did. DEATON: All right. Let's--let's quit talking about bulls and hogs [laughter--Gray], what about people? Is there anything-- GRAY: Oh, Lord. Well,-- DEATON:--you told me something that'll do it for a woman, now tell me something that'll do it for a man if he's-- GRAY: Now, I-- DEATON:--getting old? GRAY:--I don't know me nary a thing about that proposition there. DEATON: Okay. Well, let's go back to the babies again. If a woman's pregnant, is there any way you can tell whether the baby's gonna be a boy or a girl? GRAY: Well, now, not as I know of there ain't. DEATON: Um-hm. Hmm. GRAY: Not as I know of there ain't. DEATON: Yeah. Well, after the birth and you take care of the cord and everything, is there anything that you do for the eyes or the nose and mouth? GRAY: Well, to be sure. DEATON: Describe it for me. GRAY: Clean 'em good. DEATON: What do you clean 'em with. GRAY: Well, you clean with a sterilized cloth, bandages, or anything you want to. DEATON: Um-hm. Do you put anything on-- GRAY: Use-- DEATON:--the eyes . . .? GRAY:--used up grease. Now there you take now for weak eyes or maybe-- probably if you have a baby it'll be born with a--as I say what we have called "inflaming eyes". Well, the thing you want to do with one--you get a hold of a case like that, use possum grease. Um-hm. Possum grease. DEATON: Does it dry the soreness out of the-- GRAY: To be-- DEATON:--inflamed eyes? GRAY:--sure it will. It'll draw it out of a grown person's eyes, much less a baby. DEATON: Um-hm. Is it-- GRAY: You get anything in your eye and possum grease'll bring it out. DEATON: Um-hm. Is there anything else besides possum grease that'll do that? GRAY: Well, polecat's grease will. DEATON: Polecat. GRAY: Yeah, and that's something else that I described to you that I have-- DEATON: The skunk. GRAY:--just about--just about to go out was the finest thing that ever you used in a family of little children is a polecat. And for the croup now. Say, well, if I've got a fat hog up there in the pen, he's a boar, what we call a male hog, but he's changing already for meat. Well, when I clean that hog, take care of it, take care of my meat, well, this here out from under his belly, here you see I trim that out in there, leave a great big place. Well, I take the whole thing together, hang it up there, and then when I get through with my meat then, why, I'll say, "Now, Edith, you take and render this up. We'll need that." That's more of the best croup medicine there ever was. Grease the bottom of the feet and grease their chest here. Coal oil and, turpentine, and lard and stuff's good for that. A flannel rag. Now, I see plumb blank what he's wanting. He just wanting me to learn him to be a doctoring. DEATON: What else can you think of that you doctor? Just tell me whatever you know that gets wrong with people-- GRAY: Well,-- DEATON:--that you can doctor. ----------(??)-- GRAY:--what gets wrong with people. I'll-- DEATON: Any-- GRAY:--tell you-- DEATON:--anything that we haven't talked about. GRAY: Well, okay, then. Now, we'll take something like the rheumatism, that's what we call arthritis. You go out here in the hills somewheres and find you a black gum tree, or you can cut this tree down here if it's hollow and let this stump rain full of water. Well, you can go to that stump then and drink that water and that will help arthritis and rheumatism. DEATON: Is there anything else that will do it for arthritis or rheumatism? GRAY: Well, now, I never did try nothing else but that. And I'll tell you something else. Now being we're talking about--I'll just give you the whole detail of all of it. Now, you take a constipated person. That--I thought what we said, a person who can't go out, you know, easy enough. Well, I'll go on out here on the hill, I'll dig down here to the roots of the elm tree, and I'll get me a piece of slippery elm root. Take and clean it off right real good, chew a piece of that up and swallow it. It'll come, poop, poop, poop. (laugh--deaton] DEATON: What else? GRAY: Well, now, that's about all I know to fool with. DEATON: You told me that when your mom and dad first moved in here, that there were Indians that lived here. How many d---how many lived in this area, do you know. GRAY: Oh, Lord. Why, you're in a full out--outgo Indian nation, man. They was all here. You know that old Chief Red Bird in Back--at Jack's Creek was captured right down here just below the mouth of b--- below the mouth of Bear Creek a little piece. DEATON: Um-hm. GRAY: Yeah. DEATON: Do you remember any Indians living here when you-- GRAY: No,-- DEATON:--were growing up? GRAY:--uh-uh. DEATON: Hmm. How do you feel about the way the Indians were treated? GRAY: Well, now, I just think the Indians were treated pretty rough, that their nation was took away from 'em, that they was put in bondage when they should have been let alone. Should have been let alone. DEATON: Do you remember when the first school was built near here? GRAY: No. No. DEATON: Did you ever go to school, Matt? CHILD: Matt. GRAY: Hello! Yeah, I went to school a little. DEATON: Um-hm. Where did you go to? Was it close by? GRAY: No. The first school I went to was what we'd call in Mill Creek. DEATON: Mill Creek. GRAY: Um-hm. DEATON: Um-hm. How far was it from your house? GRAY: Oh, it was about hardly a mile. DEATON: Um-hm. How many people went there, do you have any-- GRAY: I don't-- DEATON:--idea? GRAY:--know. DEATON: Do you remember the books that they used in that school? GRAY: I sure can. DEATON: How long did you go to it? GRAY: Well, I went to--I didn't never went to school too much. Never had no chance, no way to get further than that. I went to school. Finally I learned how to read and write pretty good, forgot all about my education, knotted up with other stuff, and then I got back into vocational school. Then I got out of the C.C. [Civilian Conservation Corps] and learned how to print my name back again. And so here said ----------(??). Pretty sharp man to boot on top of that. DEATON: Most people along through here, did they belong to a church when you were growing up? GRAY: Oh, yeah. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. DEATON: Who did the preaching in the churches? GRAY: Well, I don't know who all. DEATON: I mean, was it local-- GRAY: Yeah. DEATON:--people? GRAY: Yeah. DEATON: Mostly local people? Do you remember what kind of churches they were? GRAY: Yeah, there's [Holiness?] Baptist. [Holiness?] was about all you could find then. I never heard one--never was acquainted too much with the Baptist people. But I'm going tell you something, being you raised the subject about the church, that regardless of how many churches you belong to or how many books that you own, or how big a church you're tangled up in, that if you ain't the right kind of a man you're not gonna make it no how. It just takes a God-fearing man to make it in. And there ain't many of 'em. You can't find many of 'em. Now, there's some of the nurses that come here, well, they'll start--they'll start a yakking about denominations in the church. Well, I have to get--I have to get right down and ear---earnest with 'em, you know. Well, they get real mad, they get up there, "I don't want argue with you." I say, "Well, you the first one that started the racket." God said this, "[Holiness without no man?] will see the face of God." That's exactly what it says. I've got a book right now, you can read it for yourself. I think its three hundred and sixty-six denominations, but there's only one clique that's going to go and that's God's people. And you've got to be a good man to be a God--God man, too. Said, "Blessed is the pure in heart, for they shall see God as he is. Blessed is a cheerful giver. What you give unto one of my little ones, you give it to me." That's exactly what I think about it. And we've got us what we call a- -a Baptist church. It's set up, whatever your name is, just say, "Well, we've got a church set up on your name, just like a church set up on Matt Gray." John the Baptist was absolutely his person and name, and where do they get the Baptist church at? Can you tell me? When Jesus plainly spoke and says, "I'm the way, the truth, and the light." He's the church. Said, "I'll--Peter, upon this rock I'll build my church and the gates of Hell won't prevail against it." "Shall not," he said. Yes, sir. Now, let's listen at your tape you've got me doing. DEATON: Well, let me ask you a few more questions first. (laugh--Gray). Do you remember when the--the Flat Creek Nursing Center was built by the F.N.S.? GRAY: Yeah, I can remember it but I was small. My Uncle Charlie Estep helped build that nurse's outfit up there. DEATON: Um-hm. Did he ever talk about it much? How did they get that started,-- GRAY: Oh, yeah. DEATON:--do you know? GRAY: Well, they--they got started right on the mercy of the people, by just giving up to 'em--you know, sold 'em a little piece of land up there to build on. Now, I lived in Goose Creek right in the head of ----------(??) John Branch when that hospital was built up there. It was small. DEATON: Now, you're talking about F.N.S--. GRAY: Yeah. DEATON:--clinic. GRAY: Yeah. DEATON: Okay. GRAY: That's up there at Flat Creek. DEATON: Um-hm. Do you know who paid for most--for building that clinic or who gave the money for it? GRAY: Well, now, I just made a concision [decision?] that the government done it. That's as far as I can go. DEATON: Um-hm. Did the nurses from that clinic come around here where you-- GRAY: They'd visit-- DEATON:--lived there? GRAY:--in this country here about every day. They sure did. But somehow or another they've kind of dropped back a little bit. DEATON: For how long now? GRAY: I don't know. Sometimes you have to go up there and get 'em and sometimes you find 'em there and sometimes you won't. (laughs) That's the way it goes. DEATON: Um-hm. Well, when they first started coming in here, do you think like--do you feel as though they pretty much covered everybody and took care of the sicknesses? GRAY: Yes, and one of 'em was the greatest thing that was done in this country. They was more benefit to people in this country than anything that ever come in it. For there was people here that wasn't able to support their self, weren't able to take care of doctor bills. Well, the nurses took care of it for 'em. And so there you go. And there wouldn't nothing have been no better. DEATON: Do you know of people that they helped besides just doing doctoring for them? I mean, helped--you know, helped them get clothing or-- GRAY: To-- DEATON:--food? GRAY:--be sure. They helped my family. DEATON: Uh-huh. What did they do? GRAY: Well, I--about forgot how they done, but anyhow they went up there to 'em and they got stuff. They even got garden seed for us a few times and everything. I've got a little ----------(??). I thank 'em for it, too. If they never do nothing else I thank 'em for they have done. DEATON: Um-hm. Well, you say that's changed now? GRAY: Well, to be sure it's changed, yeah. DEATON: Yeah. About how--about how long do you feel it's--it's been different? GRAY: Why, it's been a--it's been a getting different for two or three years. DEATON: Um-hm. Do you have any opinion about what's changed things? GRAY: Well, no, I don't. Only I can say one thing. 'Course I don't know whether it--whether it's needed or not, but the government has closed down on people and they have [sort of entered you on people that was on with us?] that shouldn't have been done. That's put people in a hard place. Now you realize that it has. DEATON: How do you think that's been done? GRAY: Huh? DEATON: What did--what did the--what happened that--that makes you feel that way? GRAY: Well, I don't know what happened. I don't know what caused it. But now it caused--it comes--it come by and it come to everybody's door, not only mine. Raising food stuff, raising higher taxes, and making big taxes, and things like that, and we could've done without that. DEATON: Um-hm. Let's-- GRAY: Now, play your tape. I want to hear that tape now. DEATON: Well, wait a minute. (laugh--Gray) With the F.N.S. people, how do you feel, really, about the way things are now? Do you wish it was more like it used to be? GRAY: Well, I sure wish it was better like it used to be. I sure do, yessiree. DEATON: Would you prefer that the nurses still come around to the homes? GRAY: Why, to be sure. Yes, sir. Yessiree. DEATON: When they came around in the early days, did they charge you anything? GRAY: No, they did not. DEATON: How about now? GRAY: Sometimes you'd pay a dollar a year, sometimes not that much, just according to--according to the real estate you had. Good to people, the nurses were, and there weren't no finer woman ever crossed the water than Mary Breckinridge was. DEATON: Did you ever meet her? GRAY: Yessiree. DEATON: Where did you meet her-- GRAY: I been-- DEATON:--at? GRAY:--to her meetings. I been to speakings up there at Flat Creek. I remember her talking to the little children, little infant babies about their joints, you know,-- DEATON: Yeah? GRAY: How they do and how to do. Well, we soon figured out then that- -that there was going to be a change made, and which there was. And there's been a change made ever since Mary Breckinridge died out, too. You--you folks have realized that. Sometimes you go to a hospital and sometimes that you're welcomed in and sometimes you ain't, so there you go. And the reason why that they was all ready, just and honest with it then, for because she was always a knocking on the doors. Said, "What's the matter with you? Can't you do your job? If you can't, somebody else can for you." DEATON: Um-hm. Did you--did you get a chance to talk with her very much? GRAY: Oh, sure I talked with her. DEATON: What--what did you all talk about with Mrs. Breckinridge? GRAY: Well, we talked about wood carving, work, stuff like that. See, I'm a wood carver. I can make anything I want to make. That's how I was able to handle it and work like I used to. Worked a year for the mission up here. DEATON: Is that the Red Bird Mission? GRAY: Yeah, Flat Creek up here. DEATON: Uh-huh. Oh, at the-- GRAY: Church of the Brethren, they call it. DEATON: Uh-huh. GRAY: Yeah. Build any kind of a chair, any kind of bedstead, cabinet, dresser, anything I want to do. DEATON: How do you remember Mary Breckinridge? That--when you talked, did you argue with her or did you just-- GRAY: No,-- DEATON:--talk with her? GRAY:--I didn't argue with her. Just walk up and hugged her neck and shook hands with her and said, "Mrs. Breckinridge, I'm glad to see you." That's all I said to her. Called her "Grandma". DEATON: You did? GRAY: Yessiree. 'Cause my parents told me to never let them hear tell of me calling any old woman who was older than me, older than my wife, call her by name. If we did, we get whupped for it. I was raised to call 'em grandpa and grandma, uncle, aunt, mister and missus. That's the way I was raised. DEATON: Did most of the other people over here greet her in the same way? GRAY: Well, now, I don't know that. Now, most of the people now you see up and down the road are nothing but a passel of heathens, I'm honest with you. DEATON: That do what? GRAY: Passel of heathens. DEATON: Uh-huh. So you feel the people--the type of people that live here now is different from when it was-- GRAY: They're ----------(??)-- DEATON:--was. GRAY:------------(??) different, yessiree. DEATON: What caused the change in 'em? GRAY: I don't know that. Yeah, I can tell--caused--what's caused the change. It's the devil got in the way of men. It takes the devil to carry mischievious. God won't do it. Won't have nothing to do with it. DEATON: Well, the people that were here when Mrs. Breckinridge came in, how did they feel about her? Give me a good description of Mrs. Breckinridge. If you wanted to tell me what she looked like and the type of person she was and everything, what would you say? GRAY: Well, I would just say she was a kind of a--kind of a heavy woman, kindly [sic kind of] tall like. She was real gray- headed when I got in touch with her. It was up here at the Flat Creek. Miss [Edith M.] Matthams, I can remember her. DEATON: Miss who? GRAY: Miss Matthams. She used to be our nurse in Sugar Creek when we lived up in there,-- DEATON: Oh, okay. GRAY:--Leslie County. "Cleo" Matthams was her name. I've went to dances with her, and me and her played together many of a night. She's the only one that was in the bunch that could handle big, fat George [Gravis?] down here. Us little fellows, she'd throw us clean over against the wall and say, "Come on, boys, back again." (laughs) DEATON: And that-- GRAY: She was-- DEATON: --was at dances and she-- GRAY:--she was a big, old woman. DEATON: She was a nurse? And what was her name again? GRAY: Miss Matthams. "Cleo" Matthams. DEATON: "Cleo" Matthams. GRAY: She's the one, you know, that they sent back across the water and she got killed over there. England, I reckon, Korea or somewhere. DEATON: During the war? GRAY: Yeah. DEATON: Um-hm. Well, finish up your description of Mrs. Breckinridge for me. GRAY: Well, the first time and the last time that I ever met Mrs. Bre-- -Mary Breckinridge was up here at the Flat Creek School, and she come up there and if I--as good as I can remember I think she set a dinner up for that day on the ground--at the voting ground at the mouth of Flat Creek up there. And called everybody in at the--that she wanted to see the young people especially, and meet the parents of the children. We all went up there and just enjoyed ourself with her, talked to her. She reported to us that she was across--from across the water. Well, my fore-parents was and so that--that just [sat?] her up a little bit better, and she just began liking us all. And so she just as fine a woman as ever come into this country, Mary Breckinridge was, as I say. She was more help to this country than any other person that ever been in. Now, I'll just be honest with you. DEATON: And you feel like the F.N.S. has changed a lot since she died? GRAY: Well, now, it's changed a lot. Yes, I'll say it has. Yes, sir. I'll say it has. DEATON: For the better or-- GRAY: Now, ain't-- DEATON:--for the worse? GRAY:--well, now, it's changed--it ain't as--it ain't as good and it ain't as free-handed as it was when she was in power, when she was living. And there's another one over there, that--I can't think of her name, lives up just above the--just up on the hill right below of the hospital. DEATON: Betty Lester? GRAY: Miss Lester, right. She's another fine woman. As good a woman as I ever met. I give her a cow bell over there. She said, "Well, if I get out and see my bell, I'll ring it," says, "I'll think about Matt." (laugh--Deaton) DEATON: Well, the--the meeting that you went to up here where they had the picnic lunch, was that a--one of the committee meetings? GRAY: Yeah. Yeah. Um-hm. DEATON: What did they do at that meeting? GRAY: Well, I don't know what all they done. She just read stories and poems, little things, talked to the children, you know. Told 'em how- -what kind of--told 'em that--what--don't be mean, what kind of meanness they'd get into, and all such stuff, and what would catch 'em, and all [this stuff around ?]. DEATON: Um-hm. During those meetings, did they say anything about needing money to run the clinic or anything at all like that? GRAY: Well, now, I just don't know whether she called for--made a speech for that or not. But we was all--everybody in this country then, we didn't have to be called on for because we was ready and willing to. See, they was a helping us and we helped them! That's the way it went. DEATON: Well, not too many people now go around those clinics and help do-- GRAY: Now, that's-- DEATON:--things. GRAY:--right, not like they used to. Not like they used to. DEATON: Do you have any idea why they--why there's a difference, why they don't go around them much? GRAY: Well, now, you just want to here the truth, don't you? DEATON: Um-hm. GRAY: It's a money problem. DEATON: What, they charge too much or you have to pay-- GRAY: Well, now,-- DEATON:--for it? GRAY:--there's some--some people--some people they charge and some people they don't. Of course, they never do charge me. Never do go to 'em, every now and then. DEATON: Where do you go to now? GRAY: Nowhere. Stay here at home and take care of myself. DEATON: Yeah? And you feel the main reason is because people are having to pay for it now and--and they used to get-- GRAY: Well, now, you realize yourself that there's lots of people that's not able to pay doctor bills. Now, I don't know how true it is, I ain't never went and find out, but they tell me that every time you go on call now that they charge you for making a home visit. Why, you know, that's not fair. We stood by 'em to get 'em in here, and they ought to have stood by--stay by us till we get out. That's the way I think about it. DEATON: Did you ever hear anything about people away from here, like say in, oh, New York or Boston or Chicago, any place like that, sending money for the F.N.S.? Did you ever know of that? GRAY: Well, now, my--I just about believe that I have. I just about believe that I have. I know my uncle, he donated to 'em and he give 'em ----------(??) of building the hospital what's down here at Flat Creek now. And that hospital at Hyden, he helped build it right up on the hill. That old rock building, he helped build it. That's been built there a long time. DEATON: Yeah. Well, now, the people that lived around here that helped out, you know about that. What did you hear about the people from the larger cities, say, Boston or--or New York-- GRAY: Well, I-- DEATON:--as far-- GRAY:--never did hear her talk about it too much. DEATON: As far as you know, did they give very much money or just-- GRAY: Well, now,-- DEATON:--a little bit? GRAY:--I wasn't a bus---I don't know what they did. I don't know. DEATON: That they gave a lot? GRAY: Well, now, they give something. I don't know how much. They're the ones built it. They're the ones--it was built on their credit, and on the power of good people. DEATON: Has anybody from the F.N.S. talked to you in the last few years about what you think needs to be done for them to help people more? GRAY: Well, no, I ain't. Not much. DEATON: Well, is there anything about F.N.S. or doctoring or the people that live around here or anything you want to tell me about? Anything else that you can think of? GRAY: No, I reckon not. DEATON: Thank you, Matt. GRAY: You welcome. Now, I want to-- [End of Interview] Matt Gray's parents taught him to deliver babies and to treat illnesses. He describes various treatments and remedies used by the mountain people and provides extensive commentary on the use of herbs. Gray contributes his recollections of Mary Breckinridge and praises the benefits provided by the FNS nurses. He also comments upon changes in the FNS over the years and tells why he thinks the FNS should not charge for home visits.