Evelyn Lopez, Christopher Randolph, Sr., and Alexander Randolph

Evelyn Lopez
Alexander Randolph
Christopher Randolph, Sr.

Heather White

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
East Carolina University

[This text is machine generated and may contain errors.]

Heather White (00:01)
Okay, today is Tuesday, December 27 2016. Can you state your names for me?

Christopher Randolph Senior (00:06)
My name is Christopher Randolph senior.

Heather White (00:08)
Okay. What's your name?

Evelyn Lopez (00:09)
My name is Evelyn Lopez.

Heather White (00:12)
Okay. And is it okay that I'm recording? Yes. Okay. And so we're here today talking about the sycamore Hill area. Can you tell me a little bit about your connection to the area?

Christopher Randolph Senior (00:25)
The church that I was raised in, and everybody in the community, I went to the church, my mother and my grandfather. Despite all of it all, our family went to that church. Very historical Church. The demand and the people grew together as a family.

Heather White (00:55)
That's the one thing everybody has said the exact same thing when we talked to everybody that it was like a family. And so it's just wonderful to hear that just sort of repeated throughout. And so did you grow up going to the church from the time you're, you have any memories you'd like to share about kind of being down here at that area?

Christopher Randolph Senior (01:17)
During that time? It was spooky. You know, it was a nice church, you know? Just, you know, the good place to be every Sunday, you know, they will have singing food. to children. Everybody knew everybody. Here bad watched out for every bad. Just a good church.

Heather White (01:48)
So did you go to the church as well?

Evelyn Lopez (01:50)

Heather White (01:51)
Do you have any memories that stick out to you?

Evelyn Lopez (01:55)
Well, when I give Mr. John at church when I was 12 years old, and I remember being in the choir, I remember the when I come out on Sunday mornings, and I would come get it and come up to the church and go in and then I would string I really enjoy I mind being with the church was like a family. It was like a family and everybody just very, very dedicated to each other. And I remember the church so well. I think that most of the time, I would just sit and be quiet. And listen to the preacher. It was a wonderful thing to turn this into my preacher. I think that at the time, there were my thing would just be in quiet and good singing. And I really admired the church a lot because it was a beautiful church. And I loved that church so much. I still remember it now. Today. Today. Always remember that church always

Heather White (03:35)
Said it either of you live in the area next to the church. Yes, he did. Okay. Do you remember where you lived?

Evelyn Lopez (03:41)
It was. It's kind of hard to it was it? That was the church that was to church up there and we would download it down the street? Down the street. That's where we live. That was my mother's pizza shop. Okay, that was my mother's B shop in downtown St. Louis. for that. We lived close to the Washington Street. We there. The house was there my grandmother out there. Okay. Okay.

Christopher Randolph Senior (04:19)
You know, like I said, we looked out for everybody. Back dandy, you know, your bag, look forward to going to church. And anytime you come in to share you, all you can see from from your mind is the church and how much is changed from from being down here. But you still, you know, feel like church is still there.

Heather White (04:42)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So were you in the area when the urban renewal happened in the redevelopment? Yes. Do you want to share any thoughts about that? It's okay, either way. One of the things that we realize and that was really a push for us to do this. says that we realize people just didn't realize there was even a neighborhood here. And so we really want to make people aware of the history and where we come from. So I didn't know if you had anything you'd want to say about that.

Christopher Randolph Senior (05:14)
Like, no, there's always room for changes. And a lot of times, you know, people don't realize where they come from, you know, and to just come here and see, what what is not here. What did the history that's down here, okay, you know, they may change everything down here, you know, but the steel, the, the people that live here, they know this area, they know the history here

Evelyn Lopez (05:52)
Is always home to me, always coming to me whenever I come down. I think about the people that live down here. And I remember all the things that happened down here. It was fun. It was fun.

Heather White (06:14)
Anything else you'd like to share?

Evelyn Lopez (06:19)
I remember that bridge. Always remember that bridge? When I come into the church? I would always look over there and I would see that bridge going over that way. And I remember that. Remember that bridge, but I do remember it. But now it's it's torn down. Nice. And it's a new bridge now. But it was that

Christopher Randolph Senior (06:47)
Iron planked bridge is back down there?

Heather White (06:50)
Yeah, they moved it down down there.

Evelyn Lopez (06:52)
I remember that. Yeah,

Heather White (06:55)
I know. There's one of the photos I remember is the Eppes band standing on the side when JFK was coming through campaigning. I don't know if you've ever seen you can see the church on the side, and the bridge in the background and the Eppes band standing there. And I see that's one of the most beautiful photos I've ever seen.

Christopher Randolph Senior (07:11)
Back when I would come in depth, that bridge was a symbol of freedom. Everybody loved to go across a bridge, everybody loved to play on the bridge, and everything and be ashamed to when it came out live this time. And I guess they decided to do what they could to preserve it. You know, and that's the reason why they moved in because you guessing the sister eBridge. eBridge is the oldest thing that would walk to churches to be standing that bridge and the church would have been the oldest thing. And no, no metal. And no, no matter what kind of changes that have come about. You can't change memories. And don't even even in the air. The memories are here. But for those who grew up down here, those who live here. They know what it was like when it was blue down here.

Heather White (08:34)
Well, we just appreciate y'all telling your story. I see you brought some photos with you to

Evelyn Lopez (08:43)
My grandmother house, my grandmother's sister stay right next to my grandmother. The house that my grandmother lived in, but this was the house. That was that was the house. And this was my grandmother. This was my grandmother's residence where we live. Okay. So these are the same word. And this is this with the beauty shop.

Heather White (09:18)
So we've heard about the beauty shop this morning. We've heard people talking about it.

Evelyn Lopez (09:22)
That was the beauty shop right there. And those are my two boys.

Heather White (09:28)
That's great. That's great. Yeah. Well, we just thank you all so much. And so we're going to do a community scanning day, along with the celebration. So some of the photos. If you are able to bring them back, we're going to have professional equipment that we can scan them in so it can be part of the historic record that people can look at and know where it was and everything like that. Anything else before turn off the recorder. Alright, we're gonna move on to your next part of being famous of taking photos then okay, okay. Alright.

Evelyn Lopez, Christopher Randolph, Sr., and Alexander Randolph
Photographs of Evelyn Lopez, Christopher Randolph, Sr., and Alexander Randolph taken at the Town Common, Greenville, N.C., accompanied by an oral history interview, for the Beyond Bricks and Mortar project. Mr. Randolph attended the Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church with his family. He recalls growing up in a community where "everyone watched out for everyone." Mrs. Lopez joined the church at 12 and remembers singing in the choir. She says that the church community felt like a family. She has fond memories of listening to her preacher's sermons. Interviewer: Heather White.
December 27, 2016
Original Format
oral histories
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Digital Object
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