Oral Histories

Rolly Thompson


Rolly Thompson

Q: You like being outdoors and you like the country?

A: Oh, yes. We go down to Alabama through the winter.

Q: Oh, a snowbird. Did the recent hurricane affect you?

A: It came this side of us. We live right near the corner of Georgia and Florida in Alabama. She has a home down there. She’s crazy, if you want to sell a house, just put a house up for sale and she’ll buy it.

Bobbie: Anyway it was for sale and I ran over to my sister, Ruth’s, and I said, “Ruth, what’s the man’s name?” Her husband said Jones. So we looked up Jones in the phone book and got the right street he lived on. So I called him and he said, “No, I just sold it a couple of days ago.” I was heartbroken, but that’s all right. The next year I went back. At that time, we weren’t together, and I would go back East for two or three months every winter, because I have family there. We went past that house and I said, “Ruth, that house is for sale again.” She said, “Darned if it isn’t,” so we went home called Mr. Jones and I said, “I’d like to see it.” We went over and it was horrible. Dirty, dirty, roaches and mice had been living in there since that man had moved out – two months, I guess. I said, “Pretty bad shape, but how much do you want for it?” He looked at me he said, “I’ll take $25,000 for it.” It was a sound house; it was just dirty, the yard grown up because nobody had dug the mimosas out of around the house. I said, “I think I can do that” and I had already called the bank and had them okay me for a house, but the banker was just shocked when he found out the house that I was going to buy. And then shocked again when he found out the price, because he thought it would be more. But I went and bought it, did the paperwork, sick as a buzzard, and he charged me 10% interest. I’ll never forget that. When I came to, I was so angry that I sold my little house down here and went and paid it off. I said, “I won’t get that kind of rent out of that,” so I sold one of my houses here and paid that off. It is a beautiful little well-built house.

Rusty: What town in Alabama?

Bobbie: Hillburg is almost no town. I always called it Hillville. My sister said it’s not big enough to be a “ville,” it’s Hillburg. I think I have a picture of the house. It has French doors between the dining room and the living room that is darling.

Rollie: It’s just like living in the country. There was an old store on this end so I made a carpenter shop out of it.

Bobbie: And there is a breezeway in between and that end of it is a Florida room.

Rollie: The Florida Room is all windows.

Bobbie: And we just enjoy it. My family worships him.

Rusty: It’s a lot warmer there in the winter than it is here?

Rollie: It kind of gets to you in part of the day or in the mornings because it’s damp

You usually have to walk around with a jacket on for he’s a desert boy.

Bobbie: I have a lot of potted plants in the breezeway. My sister brings all her plants over to my house.

Bobbie: You were talking about Thompson. Are you looking at the people who have lived there?

Rusty: What we are trying to do is get historical information about the areas and the small towns. Sego is one of interest and Thompson is one of interest because so many of the people who lived in those towns have moved away. Then there was no record of how it came together historically.

Bobbie: Just a few years ago Marva Ryan was alive and she was the last person to move out. Her son was Tommy Ryan,

Rollie: Tommy called me the other day and wanted to know if I had anything to do with it, but I had nothing to do with Thompson or Sego either one.

Rusty: So your grandfather just named the spring and just got out there to get his cattle out.

Rollie: The train stopped and they jumped the cows out, I guess because there was water there. They knew the spring was there. Why they didn’t jump them out here and take them to the river, I don’t know. They probably figured they would lose more in the quicksand than they could save.

Bobbie: I remember that Bobbie Adams and Rose LaMew lived there. Bobbie Adams came from West Virginia. Her family came there and broke down and they stayed there for years. Rose is still alive. Rose LaMew had that restaurant out there. She and her husband had that restaurant out there for years and years. They raised part of their kids out there. Rose LaMew lives right over here. Bobbie could really tell you some tales and I’m sure Rose can because they moved there and raised their children. They were teenagers by the time they got to Green River. They were getting on in age when they went up and got my son off the mountain. Two of their boys took ropes and went up Thompson. My son and his friend had gone up and they were going to take a short cut off. They jumped off and they couldn’t come all the way down but they couldn’t go back

Rollie: They jumped off a place they couldn’t get back up. There was a ledge.

Bobbie: I had to run and get the LaMew boys and they went up with some ropes and let them down and helped them up. Actually that’s the way they came down because they didn’t come over the side but Jim said he was going to throw his rifle down but he thought if I throw it down I may never find it, but on top of that it ain’t going to be any good anyway.

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