Interview of Brian Dewey (Duck) and Bessie Lee Craven Teague
Transcript of Interview of Brian Dewey (Duck) and Bessie Lee Craven Teague
Interviewee: Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague
Interviewee: Bessie Lee Craven Teague
Interviewer: Michelle A. Francis
Date of Interview: June 9, 1983
(Begin Side 1)

Michelle A. Francis:

[Today is June] 9th?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah. reckon so. I reckon it's about the 9th.

Michelle A. Francis:

June 9th, I think, 1983.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

[unintelligible] calendar (Laughter), I can't remember it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mrs. Teague, what is your full name.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Bessie Lee Teague, uh, Craven Teague.

Michelle A. Francis:

Bessie Lee, Bessie Lee Craven Teague. Is that right?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

That's right.

Michelle A. Francis:

And your daddy was a potter

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

My daddy was a potter and my granddaddy and my great-grandaddy. Potters's first in this country makin' pottery, and that's from the Civil War, Civil War.

Michelle A. Francis:

In the Civil War?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

What was your daddy's name?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Daniel.

Michelle A. Francis:

Daniel?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Daniel Craven.

Michelle A. Francis:

And what was your mom's name?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Alice.

Michelle A. Francis:

Alice?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

She was a Schofield before she married a Craven.




Michelle A. Francis:

A Schofield. And what about your granddaddy? Who was he?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I can't remember much about my grandaddy 'cause he was dead. Never did see him.

Michelle A. Francis:

You never did know him.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

No.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well then, was you dad alive when you were growin' up?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Oh yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you have lots of brothers and sisters?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Had five, four sisters and four brothers.

Michelle A. Francis:

My goodness. That was a big family, wasn't it?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Nine, there's nine of us.

Michelle A. Francis:

Who was the oldest?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Leila.

Michelle A. Francis:

Leonard?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Leila.

Michelle A. Francis:

Lee-ler?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

That's the oldest girl.

Michelle A. Francis:

Uh-huh.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Then Bessie and Iris and Vera and Clady then Brack and Charlie and Ferrell and Grady. Five girls and four boys.

Michelle A. Francis:

Big family. Was everybody working in the pottery?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Everybody worked that was big enough.

Michelle A. Francis:

Really? How old were you when you started?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Oh, I couldn't remember, cain't remember how old I was. I been working since I can remember. I would go and wash dishes when I had to stand up in a chair.

Michelle A. Francis:

You'd go wash dishes when you had to stand up in a chair?




Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

What did you do around the pottery?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Oh, we had to get wood, cut wood and split wood and put the pots in and take 'em out, and grind 'em off.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

There's somethin' to do all the time.

Michelle A. Francis:

What did you use to grind 'em?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We had a old grind stone. I don't think they use that no more. You got somethin' better.

Michelle A. Francis:

Use a lot of electric. . .

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

. . .electric grinder.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Lot of times they'd take a file, I remember seein', we had to take a file and file off the bottom of some of 'em.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. When was your birthday?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Fourth of February.

Michelle A. Francis:

Fourth of February?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

1895.

Michelle A. Francis:

1895? So that makes you how old?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I'm, 18 and, 86, wouldn't that be right?

Michelle A. Francis:

86.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I'm 85 years old.

Michelle A. Francis:

85 years old.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

My husband's 84. He'll be 85 the 15th of September.

Michelle A. Francis:

Wow, that's nice. My grandmother's in her eighties.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We would have been married 61 years.

Michelle A. Francis:

61 years. And you had one daughter?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Two.

Michelle A. Francis:

Two daughters.




Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

One that lives in Greensboro and the other un's dead.

Michelle A. Francis:

Backin' up a little bit, you used to help with the grindin'?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah. The grindin'. Grind clay. Keep the old mule a'goin' and take it out of the mill and put it in the shop. Rolled it up and put it in. There's all kind of jobs around the pottery shop, you know? You wouldn't imagine unless you worked there.

Michelle A. Francis:

I been stayin' around the Aumans a lot and I've picked up a lot of information just watching them. It's a lot to do.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

You're busy all the time. If you've a mind to, you can be busy all the time.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you ever do any hand work? Hand building?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

No, I used to make little old toy things.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Little bull--, little frogs, and turtles and all that junk. I quit that though, long time ago.

Michelle A. Francis:

Do you have any yet? (Tape stops, then starts)

Michelle A. Francis:

Mr. Teague, this is a jug that Dorothy Auman bought. And on the bottom of it it's stamped "Teague". You see?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah, I see it now.

Michelle A. Francis:

Can't make out the initials.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

It's hard to make it out, but I'll get it, just in a minute. Uh, it's right there.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah, Teague.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, you see, we used to stamp it a'way back yonder. And they still, they still stamp it over here.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, is that one of yours?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, that ain't mine.

Michelle A. Francis:

Do you know who did it?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Wait a minute. Now let's see.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

It kind a'looks like somethin' Jim a'd do, shaped that




way. When he made 'em shaped like that.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

We used to make some lamp bases and put this same handle on 'em, you know. But, whether I done that or not, I didn't know. Now that's been made a good long while, 'cause that's got a, more or less what we call, a lead glaze on it. You see, they don't use, the potters don't use that no more.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. You can tell by the color?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

That it's a lead glaze?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah, sure I can tell it's a lead glaze.

Michelle A. Francis:

How did they make the, uh, stripes, the variations?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, what they done there, you see they, they put it up here, you see, where it's all around the top?

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And it's a very fluid glaze and when it got hot it melted and run down, you see.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

You can see where it run off here at the bottom.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah, I sure do.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That's the way that was done. I don't know, it looks like that ought a'been a lamp base. I don't see who'd want a jug they'd have to break their arm to turn it up. (Laughter)

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

It's too skinny-lookin' to be a jug, ain't it?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah, it's a little skinny.

Michelle A. Francis:

I'm tryin' to see, on the bottom it says. . .

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I don't know.

Michelle A. Francis:

No, I guess it just, there's a, it looks like an "M".

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

See the "Teague"? This is the "Teague" right there. And then it says "Pottery". And this looks like it's either an "M" or a "W" upside down.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, you see, now, my daughter, when she took it over, she made a lot of that same glaze there, you see.




Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And I'm just a'goin' with the glaze. Course, we've run that glaze. That's a combination lead and cobalt glaze.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I think it's a pretty color.

Michelle A. Francis:

It's real pretty pot.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

It is. It's why I called it, a "ground squirrel" color.

Michelle A. Francis:

"Ground squirrel"?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. Mm-hum. Well, how's Dorothy gettin' along?

Michelle A. Francis:

She's doin' just fine.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, good.

Michelle A. Francis:

She's doin' just fine.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Her husband told me that she had malignancy.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah. She did. And she's been takin' treatments.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, she may live a long time with it.

Michelle A. Francis:

She's, she's feelin' real good right now. She's feelin' real good. She's turnin'. She's still turnin'.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Boy, them Coles. They're just like that, they'll work every day if they can stand up.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, Dorothy's a worker!

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh, I know she is.

Michelle A. Francis:

Tell me somethin' about yourself. Mr. Teague, your nickname is Duck?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Nope. My name is Bryan Dewey.

Michelle A. Francis:

Bryan Dewey.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That's just a nickname people got to callin' me.

Michelle A. Francis:

How'd that come about?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I don't know. I must a'looked like a duck.

Michelle A. Francis:

Don't look like one to me! (Laughter)

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I can remember people callin' him that and I let on like he didn't hear 'em.




Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well now, I don't care one bit. Just as it's, long as I hear 'em and I know they mean me, well, that's all right, I think.

Michelle A. Francis:

You'll answer to anything, huh?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I think I'd be gettin' another nickname, then.

Michelle A. Francis:

That's right.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

[unintelligible]

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, no, now you see I's born in eighteen-and-ninety- eight.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And that was durin' the Spanish/American War. And there's two great men--one was named Admiral Dewey, where he blocked the fleet up down there at, uh, Manilla I believe it was. I forgot all about my history, but anyway, he was a very famous general. He blocked up the fleet, oh I forget, the Spanish fleet I believe it was. So, now, that name was very popular in that day, that I was born, you see?

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, they named me for him and then, you never did know I know you didn't, you wasn't here. William Jennings Bryan, the great orator?

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. I've read lots about him.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, I took part of his name.

Michelle A. Francis:

I see.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That's where I get the Bryan at. Bryan Dewey.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, those are two nice names.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, they're two prominent men but, see, I ain't never amounted to nothin' like they had.

Michelle A. Francis:

Aw, now don't say that!

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Ah! (Laughter)

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, when did you start makin' pots?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, I must a'begin back there, probably when, I'd say I was eight or nine year old, or somethin' like that.

Michelle A. Francis:

Were you just playin'?




Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No. Now, there's seven of us boys, and course in the days that we made pottery then, we didn't have nothing but a kick wheel, you know. We had to kick it. So, the wheel's too big for us boys, you know, 'cause it was made for men, and, one would have to kick and the other turn, you see. The other'd get up where he could, and they took two to turn there, you see. And that's the way I got started in the pot business.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, would you have to be, were you the kicker or the turner?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, we'd take it turn-about. Yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

Uh-huh.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah, there's seven of us boys and I guess everyone of 'em can make pots. Well as I remember.

Michelle A. Francis:

Who was your daddy?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

John Teague. John Teague. J.W.'s his initials. John Wesley is his name.

Michelle A. Francis:

How long, was he always in pottery? Was he a potter?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

He began at nine years old.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did he?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. You see, he was, he took his apprentice under the old man, J.D. Craven.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Under my grandpa.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That was her grandpa.

Michelle A. Francis:

Ah!

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

All of 'em the people around there that learned it, studied, learned something from him.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

All them Coles and the Owenses and all learned under the old man Craven. You see, back in them days, there wasn't tin cans and paper cans and plastic cans to put stuff in. We made what we called canning jars, it's sealing jars we called 'em. And we'd make 'em and hold, oh from a gallon maybe to two or three gallons. Well you see, then we'd get to cook that food, whatever it was, and put it in that jar hot, and put that lid on and we left a little groove around the lid to seal it. We used what we called "sealing wax". It was bee's wax is what it was. And they'd seal it and they ate it for a good long while. And of course, you know, we didn't have no refrigeration, so we had to save as much food as we could for our own use. And it was that way with everybody else.




Michelle A. Francis:

And is that what your dad, started as an apprentice. Is that when started making?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, he started as apprentice, that's right. He started nine years old, he was very young then. So, he was a very good potter.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did he have brothers and sisters that were potters, too?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yes, he had one brother that, he was, Alec Teague. He was from, well, he was a little older than my daddy was. And he was a very big man, Alec was, a strong man. And he could turn them big 10-gallon jars, you know.

Michelle A. Francis:

Those are big! I've seen some.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

You know a jar that'll hold ten gallons is a great big jar. And the Coles learned under the Cravens. Old man, you see Nell Cole and Waymon and all, course that's J.B. Cole family, you know. And J.B., he learned under Old Man Craven 'cause he is just about my daddy's age, you know, 'bout the same age. And I guess they both always, I know they always worked in the old Craven shop. Course, I, know that they did because they's all about the same age, you know.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, how, do you have any idea when your dad was born?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, he was--well now, when did he die? He died in 1916 and he's 49 years old.

Michelle A. Francis:

Okay.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

He died of pneumonia.

Michelle A. Francis:

1916.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That's right. In January.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, he died a pretty young man.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah, he did.

Michelle A. Francis:

How old, let's see, 1916, you were about 18 years old then?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I'd a been, yeah, somewhere about that. You see, he loved to hunt. And he went out, he used to do a lot of huntin' in wet lands, you know. Lot of times there'd be water standin' and he'd get out and get his feet wet, you know. And he thought that was what started him with the pneumonia. He'd taken a cold and it went in to pneumonia. Course you didn't have nothin' then to fight it, like you got now, you know.




Michelle A. Francis:

Oh no. Didn't have the drugs to fight it. What do you remember about your dad?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, 'bout like anybody else. We's all just one family, you know. All, there's nine of us all. All the children and two of them, that made eleven. Made big, great big ring around the table, you know.

Michelle A. Francis:

I bet it did. Was your dad a turner when you were growin' up?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yes. He's around the pot shop when I was born.

Michelle A. Francis:

Do you have any pieces that he did?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I don't think so. I don't believe I do. I think it all got away.

Michelle A. Francis:

What about your mom? Was she from a pottery family?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, she wasn't. She was, my mother was a Spinks. She was one of Ledbetter Spinks' daughters, right from, not too far from old Mt. Olive Church. You know where Mt. Olive Church is in Randolph County?

Michelle A. Francis:

No.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, it's still there. Was the last time I's up that road. That's where she was, that's where she went to church at.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well then, y'all, your dad just did salt glazin', didn't he?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, he made flower pots and he made what we call pie dishes for bakin' pies in, and he made what we call stew pots you know, for stewin' fruit and stuff in, you know:

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

So, he made a variety of stuff. He made crocks and churns and jugs. Well you see, back in them days you had to have somethin' to put molasses in. You had to have a jug, you know. And they put wine in 'em and corn squeezin's, too you know. So, it's just a general, what the, might say, average person had to have to live, you know. To put away what fruit they could and stuff.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did he just sell to local people or did. . .?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh well now, people hauled it away in wagons. People'd come in there, sometimes there'd be three or four wagons on the yard a'loadin' there at the same time. And, he hauled it at first--well I know he went as far as Darlington, South Carolina with it.




Michelle A. Francis:

That's a good piece to go in a wagon.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yes it is a good bit. And I'll tell you what he done. He got down there one time, it's along in February, and then they didn't have modern bridges like they got now, you know. And he got in some uh, in between two swamps and there's water on each side of him. And he stayed there 23 days before he could get out.

Michelle A. Francis:

Oh no!

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. He liked to starved out down there.

Michelle A. Francis:

I guess he did. Well how did he, was he waitin' for the water to go down?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well that's it. He couldn't, I reckon he had to ford it. I don't know whether he had a bridge to get out on. He's in Darlington, South Carolina.

Michelle A. Francis:

I guess you all were worried about him.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Worried? We didn't know what become of him. And while he was down there we all had whoopin' cough. We're all sick with that. And to aggravate the whole situation, there's a fellow that lived up there just above us, up there above Jim's, and he set the woods afire in February. And the wind was a'blowin' so hard you just, well, it'd blow them old big dead pines there, you know. The sap'd get afire and they'd blow a quarter of a mile and they'd set the woods afire again. And that was a rough time. You know I can remember it. Now there's several in bed with the whoopin' cough durin' the time of it, and the men climbed up on the house and put the, when the fired blow up on top of the house they'd put it out, you see. And that's the only way that they kept it from burnin' down the house.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. It was really close to you then?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

You had to go wherever you could sell it and then, back then, money was very scarce, you know.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And, lot of times you had to swap it for meat or flour or stuff that you could use.

Michelle A. Francis:

Take it out in trade.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

There's more in what we call a barter system.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.




Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Now, nineteen-and-seven, course you don't know nothin' about that. That was in Teddy Roosevelt's reign. There now, that was a tight time. You couldn't sell nothin'. Couldn't a'sold a gold brick to the bank.

Michelle A. Francis:

Oh my!

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

(Laughter) That was really a rough time.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I heard Daddy to tell about s'posed to take pottery off, J.D. Craven's, his name was on his, you know? And they were supposed to take it off and sell it and say, "This is J.D. Craven's pottery."

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

He was a very famous potter.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

And then when my grandfather couldn't do [unintelligible]. "No, it isn't", he done bought it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Really?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Do all he could to get one done.

Michelle A. Francis:

Times were that bad?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh, I tell you now, my daddy had 200 acres of land up there.

Michelle A. Francis:

He had a hundred?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

200.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. Is this up where your brother lives?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. Jim's livin' right there on the place. So, just to show you how tight times was, he saved all the money he could get a'hold of, and his taxes was $6.00 and he didn't have money to pay his taxes in the whole year.

Michelle A. Francis:

That's bad.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Now, you know, that's almost as bad as some of these countries you hear about that's on starvation. Me and my wife was sittin' here this morning lookin' at the television, and showin' Art Linkletter, you know. I don't know whether you know him or not, he was on television one time. And, he was a'tellin' the conditions of certain areas that he'd been in. And, uh, he called the country, but I forgot. But anyways, foreign countries, people there now he says are just starvin' to death. Nothin' to eat. The children, the little young un's just lays and dies for the sake of the food. And we got plenty of it right here in the United States.




Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

[unintelligible] It's awful that people are goin' through with down there.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

People has lived tough right through this area, now. It ain't all been boomin' here all of our lives. Course now they say we got a depression, but you go down here to the store, it's not so much so you know. But it still takes money to buy somethin'.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah. And people don't grow their own food like they used to. There's not as much to barter.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well now we, around here, we, I garden a whole lot. Last year, we just about now cleaned up our food from last year, what we raised in the gardens. But, I've got two gardens a'comin' on now over here. One over yonder across the road and one out here, a little garden out here. I love to garden and I love good food. And I'm a terrible big eater. I hate to admit that. You ask my wife. Keeps her busy cookin'. But she's a good cook, now. I've never eatin' nobody's cookin' that ever taste like hers.

Michelle A. Francis:

Really?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Now she is a good cooker. Anything she cooks, it's cooked!

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, she's got somethin' good-smellin' over there on the stove.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh, she loves to cook good stuff. She knows how to fix it. And I guess that's the reason I'm here. But what's happened to me, I have arthritis.

Michelle A. Francis:

Do you?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. I have it bad in my legs. This leg, I cain't hardly use it. And see, I've lost the use of that hand about it.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Look at my hands.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Look at her hands. She's got it, she's got it worse than I have.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I cain't even straighten it. . .

Michelle A. Francis:

Straighten it out.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And she also has hypertensions.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Ain't nothin' the matter with me, only arthritis, when




I was in the hospital the last time. The doctor examined me and he says, "I cain't find nothin' wrong with you but arthritis." I said, "Doc, I tell you what I'll do, I'll give you a thousand dollars if you'll cure me." He says, "There's plenty of people that'd do that."

Michelle A. Francis:

(Laughter) When did you stop turnin'?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Turnin' where?

Michelle A. Francis:

Say what?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Did you start doin' what?

Michelle A. Francis:

When did you stop turning?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh, it's been 15 years since I cut completely out. Or sometimes I'll get over there in the shop. I'm gonna turn some now in a few days again. As soon as they get, they run out of clay and it's pretty hard for 'em to ever get back on any clay that I call fittin' to turn. If I turn, I want to make pots.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh, I can still. . .

Michelle A. Francis:

You can still turn then, some?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well now, when I turned over there, I turned up jars up to 30 pounds. You know, them great big sand jars.

Michelle A. Francis:

Uh-huh.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And there ain't many people can turn them. But I can turn 'em. I told my grandson and his daddy I'd show 'em how to turn another 30-pound jar when my hand got a little better. I've turned a lot of big stuff. That used to be our main sale, you know. We sold a lot, well, we sold at first Gatlinburg, Tennessee. And we shipped a lot by freight you know.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well when did you start this pottery here?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

'29.

Michelle A. Francis:

1929? You've been here that long?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. The old shop is up the road here. You know where Westmore is?

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

It's just up there where Jim lives. Our old shop used to be right out there.




Michelle A. Francis:

Across from his house, wasn't it? Somebody told me.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. Right out there in the field. Course now that was a big grove of trees there one time. There's trees there that you couldn't reach around. But did you know, the lightning killed every one of them trees.

Michelle A. Francis:

Really?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. Just ripped them to pieces. There's some of 'em, over there in what we called the kiln bank where we dug our dirt, diggin' it. See, we called 'em ground hog kilns. They's built in the ground.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And there's some red oaks over there on that bank that growed up there and got big trees about, oh, I'd say 8 or 10 inches through. And you know the lightnin' struck them trees and killed every one of 'em. I don't know how many times the lightnin' struck them trees on that bank there. We thought there was some kind of an attraction for the lightnin', a ground or somethin'.

Michelle A. Francis:

It might a'been.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And then we had some big post oaks, and also some white oaks. And the lightnin' just ripped 'em all up. There's somethin' right there that's magnetic, caused the lightnin'. I know one night me and the boy that run around together, we'd been out and come in and a storm caught us. And we crawled in an old barn there, that's when we had a barn. Just had, nothin' there but the feed, we crawled in there to get out of the rain, and you know that lightnin' just seemed to me like it'd goin' tear that barn up, it got so close around it.

Michelle A. Francis:

I bet it was scary.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I don't know how many trees right around there that tore up that night.

Michelle A. Francis:

Really?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Now that's a bad place there for lightnin' where Jim is. It's a bad place. It's killed all his trees.

Michelle A. Francis:

There must be somethin', as you say, magnetic, in the ground.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

There's somethin' magnetic draws it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you ever go with your dad, down to sell pottery?




Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, I never did go.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did any of your brothers ever go?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well now, I don't know whether my oldest brother did or not, but you see, most of the time we's in school you know. Especially in the wintertime. And in the summertime, we's workin' out in the field or doin' somethin' or other around there. We, we didn't have no time to go.

Michelle A. Francis:

So he did that mostly himself?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That's right.

Michelle A. Francis:

How did. . .?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well now, he hired help, he had hired help. You know, that's the colored section you know, on down the road, just, there ain't many of 'em right on the road as you go up and down 705. But, he worked a lot of those colored people you know. Such as cuttin' wood and diggin' clay and haulin' and just, just anything he had to do.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did Rance Steed ever turn for your dad?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Rance Steed, yeah. Wait a minute now.

Michelle A. Francis:

He was a, a colored man.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

He was a colored man. Yeah, I know Rance Steed. Yeah, he was a pretty good turner. So was Tom McNeil. You remember him?

Michelle A. Francis:

I don't know Tom McNeil.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Tom McNeil. He's dead now. He 1ived until he's in his 80s. He was a pretty good turner. He could turn.

Michelle A. Francis:

Was he a colored man, too?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, he was a white man. And Rufus Owens.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. I've heard of Rufus.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Rufus's a good turner. He was turnin' at the old shop when my daddy died.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. So you dad had other turners besides his boys?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yeah. He had his dad--his brother turn there. He was a big man and he could pull them old big jars up.

Michelle A. Francis:

Big churns?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

He could just turn anything he wanted. We called him




Alec. And he went away somewhere. I think he went down to South Carolina. He become a preacher I think after all. And he died in Charleston, South Carolina. That's where we thought he died, anyway.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, I tell you, the pot game is like this. It's hard work. Now don't you tell me that anybody's gonna make pots without doin' some hard work.

Michelle A. Francis:

You don't need to tell me. I've seen too many people workin' hard at it.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

When we first come down here we took up to High Point. We been here 50 years.

Michelle A. Francis:

Right here in this house?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah. And we got it built. And so one day I'd go back there and work in the shop, I'd done a big wash and laid it down, and went to the shop, see how 'e get along turnin'. Says, "I cain't do it." And he'd didn't have a thing they could use.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I hadn't made a pot in several years.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Says, "I cain't do it." I says, "We have to do it." So I went back there later on and he had all the planks full. (Laughter)

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah, I got off a'turnin' for a good while. I worked cabinet work seven years.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did ya?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

You still had to learn again.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I built cabinets and street cars.

Michelle A. Francis:

When was this?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That was about, uh, it was from uh, '20, we's married in '21, wasn't it?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We lived up there in High Point. In June.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Was '21, we's there seven years, just about. I built a hundred street cars for Detroit.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you really?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. I'm a cabinet man.

Michelle A. Francis:

I didn't know that.




Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

You can look at that exposition building in High Point. I've put a many a piece of furniture in there. Samples, you know.

Michelle A. Francis:

So, when you first got married, that's what you did?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

You did cabinet work.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, I'd just come back from the sea then when I first got married. I was in World War I you know. I went to sea.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yeah. I'm a sailor. I made the [unintelligible].

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, let's back up a little bit here and tell me. Let's see now. Your dad died in 1916.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

'16. That's right.

Michelle A. Francis:

And you were still here?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, I's up there at the old shop.

Michelle A. Francis:

I mean, in the old shop. And then when did you go into the Navy?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Went in the Merchant Marines, I was in.

Michelle A. Francis:

Merchant Marines.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Mm-hum. Well, I wasn't old enough to get in the Army. And that's when I went into the Merchant Marines.

Michelle A. Francis:

Was this after your dad died?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yeah, after he died. So, I stayed in there until the war's over and stayed in there a while afterwards. And after we got back on the, off our American ships--now American ships, they fed you good. You got good treatments on them. But after the war was over with, these here foreign countries taken over the, all the haulin' stuff. You know, they'd haul it cheaper than the United States would. So, they didn't feed you very good. So, that's the reason I quit.

Michelle A. Francis:

(Laughter) You do like to eat good, don't you?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yes, I like good food.

Michelle A. Francis:

What are some of the places that you saw?




Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, mostly coast-wise. I'd say from Boston, New York and Norfolk and places like that.

Michelle A. Francis:

So you stayed in the United States coast.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, it was mostly coastal work that I was in. I's on coal boats. . . (Begin Side 2)

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I wanted to build a place down on the coast, and have me a boat and me and her be, get seafaring down there. But you know, she wouldn't go.

Michelle A. Francis:

You wouldn't go with him to the coast?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We were just gonna stay a week. We went down there several weeks and stayed a week at a time. I was ready to go home.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

She don't like ocean.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Do you like it?

Michelle A. Francis:

I like the coast.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

No, I don't like that roaring.

Michelle A. Francis:

You don't? Oh, that's, I like to go to sleep by the ocean. That sound puts me to sleep.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We had a camper. We'd just sleep and cook and eat and everything down there. I just had to get back home.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

She don't like the ocean. That's the reason I's havin' to make a go of it. Now, I can handle a boat. When it, comes to handlin' a boat, I can handle one.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, you might have been a fisherman, then, instead of a potter.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That's what I was goin' to do. Well, I like the sea, as far as handlin' a boat and fishin' and stuff like that. I fished all up and down the coast.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, when you got back--what year did you get out of the Merchant Marines?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, I got a whole lot of experience. I got to be a painter while I was at sea, a'paintin' boats. I painted them three years for a livin'. Oh, yeah.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We're gonna stay here and paint this house.




Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

We're gonna start on this house now. It's, it's all smoked up this here, this kitchen here. And we're gonna start on it. We're s'posed to start on it this week. We ain't gonna get to it. So, I learned several different trades.

Michelle A. Francis:

What year was it you got out of the Merchant Marines?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

'21. Wasn't it? No, wait a minute. Wait a minute. nineteen-and-nineteen, I believe was when the war was over. 1918 or '19. I stayed around New York for a year or so.

Michelle A. Francis:

What'd you do up there?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, I built ship docks. And just anything there was to build, I built it. Ha! Drove piles, worked on pile drivers.

Michelle A. Francis:

That's hard work, too.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Hard work? You bet ya. But I can get out there and take a pile driver and drive a row of piles.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you find some good places to eat up there?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

Somebody feed you good?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Had plenty to eat. Good restaurants there in New York.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah. So then you came back here.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I come back up here to, uh, me and her got married and then we went High Point right after I got married.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Lived up there seven years.

Michelle A. Francis:

Seven years.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And then I, I had a little touch of furniture before I ever went to High Point. Way back in 1916 I believe, or '17. I worked one winter at it. And then I went over to High Point and took up a job of cabinet work over there. And the last three years there I worked on cabinet work. I just built samples for the exposition building. I put a lot of pretty furniture in that place.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you build any of the furniture in this house?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, I ain't built none down here. I ain't got time to even build a cat box down here.

Michelle A. Francis:

Oh my. (Laughter) So you stayed seven years in High




Point. Then you came back, I guess that would have been around 1927, '28?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

'29.

Michelle A. Francis:

'29?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

We stayed seven years over there and we come back. Yeah, we come down here in '29.

Michelle A. Francis:

Back to the homeplace?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, we built this place here.

Michelle A. Francis:

Right here?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I bought this land here and built the place. I rented an old house over yonder 'bout a half a mile from here and went over, I put this house up. I built it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Well, of course, it wasn't too long, he [unintelligible].

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

We first built, you notice on that front there. . .

Michelle A. Francis:

I did.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That's logs. Me and her, first we built a log. And that's too slow and so we went ahead and built this other.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, me and hers has had a headache-kind of makin' a livin' but we're here. And we, if I got an enemy in the world I don't know it.

Michelle A. Francis:

I don't know of any.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

So, I like everybody. And you know what the Good Book tells us, "Love our neighbor as thyself."

Michelle A. Francis:

Yes it does.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That's what the Bible tells us. And I don't have no enemies. And me, we cain't go to church on account of I cain't leave her. She gets out and she'd fall down and fall down on the floor sure she cain't get up. And me and her went to church out here for 28 years and never missed a Sunday. We're Methodists. Methodists and Baptists are all just about the same.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

[unintelligible].




Michelle A. Francis:

Oh my.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Now that's, that's the first section of. . .

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Two of my three young 'uns sittin' there, sittin' down there with me and Daddy sittin' out there [unintelligible].

Michelle A. Francis:

That's you, that's you all?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah. And that's my cabbage patch in front. (Laughter)

Michelle A. Francis:

It looks good doesn't it? This is a really good photograph.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Them was made in, they copied some here from, remember, was them the one was made up at Smithsonian? Or was they the ones that were made here?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

No.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

They copied them there first ones we had made.

Michelle A. Francis:

These are the first ones?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I believe there, let me see.

Michelle A. Francis:

This looks like an original.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. See, these are the first ones.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We kept workin' on the old house 'til we got it lookin' a little better.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Now we got eight rooms here and just two of us livin' in it. Huh!

Michelle A. Francis:

That's a really nice house.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Looks old-timey, don't it?

Michelle A. Francis:

I like it.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

That's what I like about it, old-timey.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Now when it comes to buildin' houses, I can put 'em up. I put that up.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

[note] and Zedith was just little bitty things, just 2 or 3 years old, they come down here.

Michelle A. Francis:

Would you let me copy these?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

If you can do it here, I would. But, . . .




Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Cain't let you take 'em home.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, I wouldn't let--see, I want to keep them. Them's already done.

Michelle A. Francis:

I didn't bring the right kind of film with me, but I might come back.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, come back and photograph 'em if you want to.

Michelle A. Francis:

Oh, I might have. I might have black and white with me. I think, though, I'd like to come back.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, come on back.

Michelle A. Francis:

And I'll bring a tri-pod with me.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Did you get up with the boys over at the shop?

Michelle A. Francis:

Hm-um. I haven't talked with them.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, I know you'd be glad to see them. They're, they're potters, too.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Daniel, the biggest boy over there, he, we raised him. We taken him up when he was four years old.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. What are these. What color were these pots here?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, they're various colors.

Michelle A. Francis:

Were they various colors?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yeah. You see, they show up in the photograph. See that one over there, you see that 'un shows up different than these. Now these are unglazed pots right here. They're just clay pots. And all this here is finished goods, you see.

Michelle A. Francis:

And this was the shop up the road here?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah, it was right over there, the same place.

Michelle A. Francis:

Do you have any other photographs?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I don't believe she has.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

No I don't. I figure I had as much trouble to have them. He said he wasn't gonna let 'em go. They look too old-timey, don't they?

Michelle A. Francis:

No, you hold on to those.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, me and her is goin' to be gone from here some day. We're gettin' old.




Michelle A. Francis:

Well, we all get old. I get older, too.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, you ain't but about what, 21?

Michelle A. Francis:

I'm 31.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

You are! I declare you don't look it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well thank you. What made you come back to start your own pottery?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, you get in your blood you know.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And then you want to see pots again. Just like houses. Now when I was livin' in High Point, I built some houses up there, over there in that Emerwood section. Some of the best section of High Point.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Now I can go out here and put up a house of any kind anywhere. When it come to carpentry,. . .

Michelle A. Francis:

You know a little bit of everything, don't you?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Little bit of everything, yeah. Well, I've got a taste of a lot of things. There's one thing that I ain't got a taste of yet and that's electricity. And every time I touch it, it shocks me and so I don't fool with it.

Michelle A. Francis:

(Laughter) Well, when you opened up this shop, who was workin' for you?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, I had a boy lives up the road here, a fella name of Gerney Williams. He worked for me here for years. And of course I'd pick up one here and there, you know, just to do the outside work, you know, carryin' stuff around and drivin' the truck and stuff like that.

Michelle A. Francis:

But you did all the turnin'?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I done all the turnin'.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you do the glazin', too?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yes.

Michelle A. Francis:

And the firin'?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

All the dippin' and the firin', too.




Michelle A. Francis:

That's a lot of work for one person.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

It is. I had three kilns over there. I fired three kilns a'many a day.

Michelle A. Francis:

Really?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm! You were turnin' out a lot of pots!

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

You see, we was a'supplyin' quite a bit to Massachusetts and Wisconsin and we shipped several big truck loads to Miami, Florida you see.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. Well how did you get customers that far away?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, I don't know. They just come in and says, "I want to buy this." And that's all. We had it for sale.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. So you were doin' a lot of wholesale business?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yeah. Wholesale that was. We didn't depend on the retail. There wasn't too much of that.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. How did you, like when you were, your dad had his pottery. Didn't they sell things by the gallon?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

That's right, went by the gallon.

Michelle A. Francis:

Like ten cents a gallon or somethin'?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah, went down as low as 5 cents a gallon.

Michelle A. Francis:

Really? That's hardly nothin' isn't it?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

It would be today!

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Well when my daddy sold it, it was 4 cents.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. Well you see, it was way on down there to practically nothin'. Well, that's. . .

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

He took and sold a big load of pottery for 12 dollars. Only got 12 dollars out of the whole [unintelligible] thing.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. What kind of, you did glazes here, didn't ya?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, I run 11 different glazes and colors while I operated the shop.

Michelle A. Francis:

That's a lot.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I run 11. I run anything from white to black. Anything in between.




Michelle A. Francis:

What was your favorite?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

They made 200-and-some different designs.

Michelle A. Francis:

Really?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well now, it just gonna depend on the buyers. Some'll want black, some want red. Some want white, some want green. So, it's just a matter of taste. Just like it is you go down here to buy a dress. You got a certain color on your mind you're gonna hunt up. That's the way that was. What time is it gettin' to be now, Grandma?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Got a watch on, don't ya?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh yeah, I got a watch on. 10:36.

Michelle A. Francis:

Am I keepin' you from somethin'?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Not particularly, but I got a lot of things I got to do. (Laughter) You can get out here and help me if you want to. But I got to clean off the yard, I got to mow the yard.

Michelle A. Francis:

Oh my.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

. . .and then I got garden work to do. And I got, uh, two truck loads of slabs down there to saw up. And it'll take me a week to do that. (Laughter)

Michelle A. Francis:

Sure will. Are you. . . (Tape stops, then starts)

Michelle A. Francis:

When did Jack Kiser work for you?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Was he a'workin' here when, no, Stanley, he worked here after Jack did. I declare, I don't know.

Michelle A. Francis:

He hasn't been turnin' in a long time, has he?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Who?

Michelle A. Francis:

Jack Kiser.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, I reckon he done his last turnin' here, as far as I know.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did he get arthritis?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I don't know. I just don't believe he liked it. Jack was a good turner. He could turn big stuff.




Michelle A. Francis:

I heard that he just took him some clay one day when he was about 17 and just walked up to a wheel and turned a big piece. That he didn't have any instruction at all.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well now, he might a'done that. Jack, he was pretty, in fact, the business is, "he's pretty knowin"' as the sayin' is. He can, he understood everything. But of course that's your pot business. I, that looks unreasonable. Very unreasonable.

Michelle A. Francis:

No, it seems to me he'd have to have a little practice, at least.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah, you got to have, oh I'd say, a good turner'll--it taken Zedith probably ten or twelve years to learn it.

Michelle A. Francis:

When did she start?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I just don't remember. Do you Grandma?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We moved down here when she's three years old. And she stayed around the shop all, all. . .

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

She stayed in the shop all the time, 'bout. She was good. Course she didn't turn them big jars, but anything up to, oh, I'd say up to ten or twelve pounds. She was a good shaper, you know.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. She turned thin?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yes she could now. She could bring it up the thinnest I've ever seen. She could turn it down thin. Looked like she could just wrap it around her arm. She turned stuff, great big tall stuff, and it'd just look like it just run around her arm. (Laughter) She was mighty good.

Michelle A. Francis:

Well, I know you must miss her.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. I tell you, she had a big trade here. She was aimin' to build a school here, you know. She's aimin' to build one like they got at Penland.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And the very week that she was, they's gonna start workin' on it over here, layin' it off and all--she was gonna build a big thing over there. The very same week on Monday mornin' I believe it was when she died. That was when she's--didn't die right then, but I mean that's when she was stricken. She was a'workin' at the wheel and just fell over. I wasn't in the shop when it happened. I was out here somewhere, I don't know whether I was at the kiln or what when it happened. See, I had to look after the kilns and to look after preparin' the clay. When I had somebody else to turnin' I got to see that they had somethin' to turn with.




Michelle A. Francis:

That's right.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And then when I got the pots made I had to see that it got on out, got through the kilns. We made a lot of big stuff.

Michelle A. Francis:

How many kilns were you burnin' a week then?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well we, I used to burn, I had three kilns over there. I burned two of 'em maybe, or maybe three in a day you know. And then I'd burn 'em twice a week. That be about six kilns a week, that is, when I had enough of production.

Michelle A. Francis:

Gas kilns? Were they gas?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Wood. Firin' wood.

Michelle A. Francis:

Wood. Oh, you were doin' wood back then?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I tell you wood makes a pretty pot. Makes pretty pottery. You do not get, with oil, you won't get as pretty a pottery. You might with gas now.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I never used gas. But I've used a lot of oil, now.

Michelle A. Francis:

Those two baskets up there. What kind of kiln were they burned in?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh, they're wood-fired.

Michelle A. Francis:

They were wood-fired, too?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh, yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

What kind, how high a temperature did you get?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I just don't know what we fired it. Each glaze you know, had to have a different temperature.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did it?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah.

Michelle A. Francis:

So you'd do, each kiln would be one color?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

No, you could burn, there's hot spots in the kiln as well as cold, uh, wasn't quite so hot you know.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

In other words, we had certain places we put certain things you know.




Michelle A. Francis:

I didn't realize that you did glaze firings in wood kilns. I thought that was just salt glaze.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Yeah. It was salt glaze and then you could burn, uh, light glazes in there, or any kind. You could burn even down to Cone 11.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Mostly about Cone 5, something like that.

Michelle A. Francis:

When did you start usin' oil?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Did you to to that shop there in front of my brother's? Did you ever go to the school house? Westmore?

Michelle A. Francis:

Yes.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Well, my brother lived right across the road from it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did he?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Right across the road.

Michelle A. Francis:

Which brother was this?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Brack. Braxton.

Michelle A. Francis:

Braxton Craven?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

He's a potter, too. He could turn pots, too.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Every one of 'em could, every one of them boys turned pots. Grady, you know, he turned a whole lot.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Charlie, Ferrell and Grady.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Charlie was the best. No, I don't know, I believe Ferrell got to be the best. I tell you one thing, that Ferrell Craven. . .

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

And I done got to where I just couldn't go over there. He wouldn't take the time to talk to you.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

He wouldn't talk to you!

Michelle A. Francis:

Really?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

He just, when he went to that wheel, you better stay away from him.




Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

And I just quit goin' over there, afraid I'd be botherin' him.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah. You got somethin' boilin' over there.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Coffee pot.

Michelle A. Francis:

The coffee?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I don't drink coffee.

Michelle A. Francis:

I don't either.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

She drinks coffee. I don't drink beer either.

Michelle A. Francis:

Be careful.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

And I don't drink liquor.

Michelle A. Francis:

I drink tea.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I drink a little tea once in a while.

Michelle A. Francis:

Lot of water.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Now there's, I have to keep me some water in the refrigerator all the time, keep it cold.

Michelle A. Francis:

That's good for you. It's, maybe it's one of the reasons you kept your health.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, I drink a lot of water. In the summertime, I keep me a jug of water in there all the time. It just really ain't cold enough from the spigot. And we've got a good well out there, but.

Michelle A. Francis:

Are they usin' the same glazes that you and Zedith used?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

I don't even know what they use. I wouldn't ask 'em and they wouldn't tell me no how.

Michelle A. Francis:

But they're not the same colors?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Oh, they're different colors. They make some pretty stuff, though.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

It's very pretty.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mrs. Teague, did you ever try turnin'?




Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

No, I never tried it. Too busy on somethin' else. Clays to dig and mill up out there and make balls and just set it up there. Never did have a chance to turn.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Me and her run it over here a while by ourselves, right when we first got everything set up here.

Michelle A. Francis:

That's a big job.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

She done the sellin', I done the makin'. (Laughter) Now she can sell pots, that woman there. She was a good salesman. She really could sell it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you enjoy that part of it?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Oh yeah. Better than nothin'. (Laughter)

Michelle A. Francis:

You got your clay locally, didn't you?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Most all of it come locally. We got some of it up there above Seagrove. Back over there, known as the Auman pond. We got quite a bit of it up there.

Michelle A. Francis:

When you go lookin' for clay--a new pond, a new vein-- what do you look for?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Clay's just like gold. It's where you find it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

It could be one place and it could be at another place.

Michelle A. Francis:

You can't always tell then?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

You might walk on it all your life and then never know it's clay. Out there where I's born at, my daddy, he hauled clay from over on Fork Creek and all around over the country. And so, down there there's a branch down there, known as the Spring Branch, and there was a piece of lighter or somethin' that stuck in the ground in his way a'goin', crossin' there with the wagon. And he pulled that up and he got to lookin' on it and he said he believed it's clay. And he dug up some of it and took it up to the shop and he worked that clay for years.

Michelle A. Francis:

Really?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

We worked out a great big territory around there. I guess there's some clay there, yet. That was good clay, too.

Michelle A. Francis:

How do you, how can you tell good clay from bad clay?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, you can tell whether it will work or not, whether you can handle it, you know.




Michelle A. Francis:

How?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well, by workin' with it you see. First you bring it to the right state, you know, to throw on the wheel. Then the next test is the firin', and you can tell whether it'll fire, whether it'll break all to pieces or what. That's what you look at.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum.

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

You can tell by firin' it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Do you have to mix any of your clays?

Brian Dewey (Duck) Teague:

Well now, we had to do that. We had two ponds of clay up there. One pond where we got the most of it; and then we got some in another pond that's white clay and you put that in there to bring that, to run the temperature up, to keep any of the glaze from jumpin' off. I better go over to the shop to see if Daniel's over there. (Tape stops, then starts)

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

How 'bout Vernon Owens, you know him don't you?

Michelle A. Francis:

Vernon?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Mm-hum.

Michelle A. Francis:

Owens? Yeah.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Well, I knowed his mama and his daddy I knew. We was raised up together.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did ya?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

He had one sister, Vera.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. That was your girlfriend?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

No. I just knowed her. She wasn't goin' to school together.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah, I'm goin' to go see Mr. Owens, Melvin, this afternoon, and talk with him some.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I passed up there and seen his mother with a hickory, whoopin' him with makin' the [unintelligible].

Michelle A. Francis:

Uh-huh.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

She had a job with them boys, you know.




Michelle A. Francis:

Did she?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

She sure did.

Michelle A. Francis:

They had a lot of children.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

A gang of 'em.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Harrison and Jonie and Ray. I don't know how many more. Walter.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah. There was a lot of 'em.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Walter's same age as my brother, Ferrell. I don't know whether Walter's livin' or not.

Michelle A. Francis:

I don't know. Don't know.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

And I don't know what become of [unintelligible]. And their mama, poor thing, [unintelligible] she had the hard time.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did she?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah. Daddy worked as a, see, he'd make pots in part of the time and [unintelligible] the rest of the time. Had a [unintelligible]. I reckon he done pretty good at that, I reckon he's all right.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. Well, all of your brothers, did they have their own potteries?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Who, my brothers?

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah, your brothers.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

No, they all stayed on. And that's before we all got on. We're all right here.

Michelle A. Francis:

You all working together?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah, workin' together, livin' together and workin' together, just one family.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you ever play any games?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Hm?

Michelle A. Francis:

In the evening time, did you ever play any games around the pottery?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Time evenin' time come, we's ready to rest.




Michelle A. Francis:

Were ya?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We had our days gettin' jobs done.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah. Did the boys ever make marbles out of clay?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

I don't think so.

Michelle A. Francis:

Did you work on Saturdays, too?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Worked all the time. All I ever knowed was work. We had somethin' to do regardless.

Michelle A. Francis:

Yeah.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

My older sister, she'd rather stay at the house and do things at the house.

Michelle A. Francis:

But you worked down at the pottery?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Worked there all the time. Always asked my daddy what else did he need to do, I had to be out there with him.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. Mr. Teague was sayin' that your dad was J.D. Craven and that he was pretty famous for his pottery.

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Oh, he was. Everybody knowed his pottery. People come a long way to get some of it.

Michelle A. Francis:

Would they? Did you ever go with him on any trips?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

No. He'd leave things at home for me to do. He knew. If he didn't know quite what to do, he always could depend on me. Call on me to do it. Course the rest of 'em was big as I was, and some of 'em older, but he always depended on me. When he had to take his tax money up, I'd be the one to meet the mail and send it on. I don't know, I [unintelligible].

Michelle A. Francis:

So you were doin' business work as a little girl, weren't you?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Well, I had to learn.

Michelle A. Francis:

Mm-hum. How did you meet Mr. Teague?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Well, we's at school together. We've been together all our lives. That just, let's see, we lived abut a mile and a half apart. Might be two miles, I don't know. It's been a long time. It seems like it's been a long time.

Michelle A. Francis:

It probably has. Tell me again your brothers' names. There was Charlie. . .




Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Charlie, Ferrell, Braxton, he's the oldest boy.

Michelle A. Francis:

Braxton was the oldest?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

The oldest boy. Charlie, Ferrell, Grady. Grady's the baby. He named hisself.

Michelle A. Francis:

He did?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

We names him Grady and when he got big enough to talk and all like, he said, "I know what my name is." I says, "What?" He says, "Grady Franklin." (Laughter) Grady Franklin. And he'd always depend on me for things, you know. I had to go to the hospital for appendicitis. And I got back home, I wasn't able to get from one room to another hardly. Said, "Pa, make Bessie go with me fishin'."

Michelle A. Francis:

Aw. He loved you, didn't he?

Bessie Lee Craven Teague:

Yeah. He didn't realize how bad off I was. "Make Bessie go with me fishin'.''

(End Side 2)