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Alfred Thompson
Listening to this interview again for the time-log just made me think- what a quirky interview. I think the most interesting part is the relationship between the father-daughter (subtle exchanges). I did cut out some long pauses/deliberations/repetitions of questions, so it’s not exactly true to the original style, but some is left just to give the listener a sense of the dynamic. About half way through, Audrey leaves and Alfred says something like “well she’s got to get her piece in somehow…”, which I thought effectively summed up his views on her presence in the interview. She was very interested in recording details about their family history, and I was extremely grateful for her prompts to her dad, as well as numerous documents, maps, contacts, and of course the delicious pumpkin pie.

0:00 Logging in the family
1:30 Split his head open logging
3:00 His family has always been here- they’re farmers
5:45 We weren’t told a lot of things, as dad said, we didn’t discuss history or ancestry
7:15 Using a funnel to put gas in the truck when you were driving uphill
8:00 The logging camp used to be part of the Hannon farm
9:00 Everybody had potatoes back then
12:00 Cemetery on Crowley road
16:00 Bristol house…?
17:00 Buying the land at the logging camp – he forgot about it and his daughter ‘prompts’ him back to remembering that he actually bought it for $1500
18:35 Only remembers Herb Itty? Who built the farmhouse up off of 116. (not sure who/what he’s referring to)
19:40 Hunting- always got the biggest and the best
20:30 Audrey left home at 13 (very quiet, doesn’t want to be heard here)
21:30 Stokes place (Brown hill?) Art Clifford put a pond there.
22:30 Rerouted the creek by Big Hollow
22:45 Sawmill across from their cemetery- Walt Smith was killed here
24:00 After an age-guessing game, I find out that Alfred is 91- born in 1917
25:45 Went to school 4-5 years
27:30 Samuel Hill, ancestry story of prisoners being sent up to work in lumber mills- Audrey speaks about how lumbering has always been in the family
28:30 How logging has changed– Audrey’s brother has the philosophy that he was born in the wrong time period- lumbering has gotten much more difficult to make a living with since his dad’s (Alfred’s) time.
32:10 Alfred used to drive the Starksboro creamery truck back and forth between here and Boston every week. Lots more good stuff about the creamery, Frank Wells, ice house across the street from the creamery
34:00 Family history and connections to the Browns
37:20 Logging- mostly maple, but a bit of everything. “It worked pretty good for me, it always did. I never had no complaints. And that’s saying something, for me.”
39:00 Talking about food, cooking, canning, and how a garden held them through hard times.
40:40 “I fished a lot. Weekends. We always took a weekend off.”
“I don’t go to supermarkets much, unless I really need something. Stay in there long, and you spend more money than you got.”
41:40 Coon hunting
43:00 Arsonists set several places on fire
47:00 Why logging is difficult now. “There’s too many doing it [now, but] there’s good money in it if you can work hard enough at it. It worked pretty good for me, it always did. I never had no complaints. And that’s saying something, for me.”
51:00 Audrey’s brother- story about getting stuck in the wetlands by the logging camp. He fell through the ice…
52:00 “I liked the mountain pretty well… Used to go coon hunting; hunted it all over.
53:40 Talks about flats house site by the twin bridges- big house, horse barn below it :
58:10 Meeting his wife, a Brown girl, and more about school.
60:10 His first memory- a great story about sipping homemade alcohol when his father sent him to pick it up from up the hill (Lindy Liberty?), for “medicinal uses”
1:04:40 Important issues were kept very quiet- Audrey speaks about things that weren’t discussed
1:06:40 Questions about Hillsboro/Ireland, doesn’t remember anything else about the structures

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