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Clocia Scurlock Boysaw
Clocia Scurlock Boysaw has always been a sweet grandmother figure for me. She is married to my Uncle James and everybody calls her Cloe. They live in Stanton, Texas, near Odessa, a thirteen hour drive from where I live. Along with most of my maternal family, I don’t see her often, but I remember her warm hugs and tasty pies. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know about her until I conducted this interview.
Where were you born?
I was born in Crockett, Texas, Houston County.
What was life like when you were very young and growing up?
I lived down in East Texas in a little, small settlement. My dad would go to work and we’d sit under a tree and play mud cake all the time. My mother’s sister would come over and help us. She was older than us, but she’s play with us and help us. I can remember our cousins coming by the house. I think I was about four years old when we settled from East Texas. We changed locations and came out to West Texas. We rode the bus all the way from East Texas to Stanton.
What do you remember about the World War II?
Yes, I was born in 1940, just after the war, World War I, probably.
What do you remember about those wars?
I don’t remember too much because I was young. In World War II, I can remember when I was a little girl and things were rationed.
How much schooling you have and what was your favorite subject?
My favorite subject was mathematics. I loved math. I finished high school and about a year of college.
What subject did you hate?
I can’t think of any of them because I really liked them all, but the least one I guess I could say was English. I enjoyed it. It was fun. I could teach a little bit. My teacher would let us. We went to a small school and elementary school and when we got into high school, we had to transfer to Midland because to schools weren’t integrated. I was in Midland and coming from a small school, I learned a little more than the kids in Midland. In the Midland school district, I learned how to diagram sentences. Yhey didn’t and the teacher would let me help her out in the classroom. Midland was fun. I liked all my subjects, but that would be the least one.
I’m just learning how to diagram sentences and I’m in the tenth grade!
Are you? We learned that in elementary school. We had some smart teachers in that little small town and we learned that and fraction and everything. I got to help that teacher a lot in my classes. I loved it. We used to have all black teachers and they showed a lot of interest when there were smaller class rooms. When I got to Midland that teacher was surprised that I knew how to do all this. Just teaching her kids, she let me help her out in class. We had a smart English teacher too. She had been in the Service. Everybody called her mean, but she was nice. I liked her.
Did you have a favorite teacher? What were they like? How did they influence you?
Yes! My English teacher was really influential to me. She was such a smart lady. And she thought I was smart too. That helped me a lot.
What did you like doing most as a child?
I was in sports. I liked to play basketball.
Did you work as a child?
We just had work to do around the house, but after I got in high school, I did a little work for different people like baby sitting.
What was your happiest childhood memory?
My happiest memories were just enjoying life, playing softball with my uncles, aunts, and the entire neighborhood, and just having a good time.
What beliefs or ideals did your parents try to teach you?
They taught us to be respectful and treat people the way they wanted to be treated.
What were your teenage years like?
I’d say they were fun and most entertaining. We had a lot of stuff going on and a lot of school activities. They were fun.
When did you first meet Uncles James?
I met James when we were in elementary school. He always liked to tease me and mess around with me. Then, we really started meeting again in high school. He started back talking to me, bothering me. I was telling him about that the other day. I said “You always liked to tease me.”
How did you all make your living after your marriage? Was it hard to get by?
It wasn’t easy. He wasn’t working at the school as a janitor and I did a little maid work on the side until the kids were born. After having Carl, I quit. What do you remember about the Civil Rights Movement?
I remember that very well because people were so prejudiced in our little town, especially. It didn’t show as long as you had a real good job. I remember how prejudiced they were and I had to go all the way to Midland to go to school because they didn’t believe in the schools mixing white and black people back then.
When did you have children?
I think we had been married about a year before Carl was born because we had been married in 1960 and Carl was born in 1961, so I started having children early, a year after we had been married.
What do you remember about the Vietnam War?
I remember when they thought they had a lot of missiles and that poisonous gas. I remember this news reporter, it made me so nervous and everybody was scared, put on his jacket and things so he wouldn’t be exposed to so much radiation. That was scary and nerve racking at that time. You could tell they were all scared too. It was a scary time because you didn’t know if they had let off those missiles with that gas in it.
What values did you try to instill into your children?
I always try to tell them, since they integrated schools, to get the best education they could and listen to everybody and not be prejudiced, always open up. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and put him first in your life.
What have been the major accomplishments in your life?
Just hanging in there and believing that we could have anything we want as long as we work hard at it and set our minds to what we want. We can accomplish what we dream and so far, it worked out.
If you had to do your life all over again, what would you do differently?
I would take it a little bit slower and not try to get things so fast. I don’t have too many regrets.