Allen Tullos, interviewer:
And you say you had to get a permit?

Ila Dodson
A worker's permit. And Mama wouldn't even take me to town to get it. My daddy wouldn't go with me. And I said, "Well, give me the Bible, and give me a dime, and I'll go get it." Cause a nickel streetcar fare up there and a nickel back. I went up to the City Hall, they called it - they've tore that old building down now; it's got a big, nice building up there on Main Street - and I got the Bible because I had to prove my age. And I got that worker's permit, and boy, I caught that next trolly home - a streetcar, wasn't no trolly, a streetcar - 5 cents up there and 5 cents back. But Mama did give me the dime to ride.

Allen Tullos, interviewer :
Did they not want you to start work then?

Ila Dodson:
No, they done everything they could, but I like to worried them to death. I carried my money to school for three weeks to pay for my books. And the teacher said, "Ila, I want you to bring that book money tomorrow." I said, "Yes, ma'am, I'll bring it." I had it right then in my pocket, but I didn't want to give Mama's money away, because I had a feeling I was going to win out. And I just worried her, and every time Papa'd come in from work I'd start on him again. I never will forget, he said, "Bertha, she's going to run us crazy if we don't let her go to work. If you'll give her permission, I will." And Mama said, "Well, I've got to have a little peace around here. Well, we'll just let her go to work." So I won out.

Allen Tullos, interviewer:
Why was it that you wanted to work so bad?

Ila Dodson :
I wanted to make my own money. I had done had two sisters go to work, you know, and I seen how they was having money, and so I couldn't stand it no longer. But I've never regretted it.

Allen Tullos, interviewer:
Did your mother and father want you to go on to high school?

Ila Dodson :
They wanted me to go on to school, yes, but I couldn't see that. Back then, they didn't too many children go on to high school. It was just a common thing that when they'd get old enough, let them go to work.

- Ila Dodson, Union, SC

Interview with Ida Dodson by Allen Tullos, May 23, 1980, Interview H-0241, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full text of interview.