In this interview, Celestine Beasley describes her experiences growing up in a sharecropper family in rural Mississippi, migrating to Cleveland's Cedar-Central neighborhood, and her career as a nurse at Mount Sinai. The interview also relates information about race, farming, food culture, and cuisine.
Beasley, Celestine (interviewee)
Lee, Lauren (interviewer)
"Celestine Beasley interview, 27 April 2006" (2006). Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. Interview 304013.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [00:00:01] Say a couple of words into the microphone. Where did you come in from today? What part of Cleveland do you live in?
Celestine Beasley [00:00:07] Richmond Heights.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [00:00:12] Did you hit any traffic, or was it easy to get in here?
Celestine Beasley [00:00:14] It was very easy. It wasn’t much traffic.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [00:00:21] Oh, that’s good. I think I—you could probably start.
Lauren Lee [00:00:24] Okay. This is Lauren Lee interviewing Celestine Beasley on April 27, 2006, at Cleveland State University as a part of the Euclid Corridor Project. Can you state your name and when and where you were born?
Celestine Beasley [00:00:41] Celestine Beasley. I was born in Yazoo, Mississippi. That’s about fifty miles from Jackson, Mississippi. I was born November 16, 1920.
Lauren Lee [00:00:59] Tell me about growing up in the South.
Celestine Beasley [00:01:03] Well, it was twelve of us. My mom had twelve children: six girls and six boys. I was the fourth in the bunch, fourth child. We was farmers.
Lauren Lee [00:01:32] What did you do on your farm?
Celestine Beasley [00:01:34] Well, we had gardens. We had crops. Crops is—well, we raised cotton, corn, vegetables.
Lauren Lee [00:01:45] You raised cotton?
Celestine Beasley [00:01:47] Yes.
Lauren Lee [00:01:48] Did you sell it? Did you guys sell it or no?
Celestine Beasley [00:01:50] Well, yes. They would have to take it to the gin, and they would divide the seeds away from the cotton.
Lauren Lee [00:01:59] So your family owned their own cotton gin?
Celestine Beasley [00:02:04] No, no, no. Everybody took they cotton there to be processed.
Lauren Lee [00:02:12] So it was at a store?
Celestine Beasley [00:02:14] Oh, no. It was a big building where they divided the cotton from the seeds. They would take the seeds and keep them to plant for another year.
Lauren Lee [00:02:26] Did you guys have chickens and cows?
Celestine Beasley [00:02:32] Oh, yes, we have chickens, cows, hogs.
Lauren Lee [00:02:34] Is that how you guys ate?
Celestine Beasley [00:02:37] We raised our own food. Everything we ate, we raised, even cornmeal. They’d take the corn and take it to a mill to be ground. They would process part of it into grits. We had to buy our flour, sugar, stuff like that. But even our lard, we made that. When we kill hogs, we taking the fat of it and cook it down to make your lard.
Lauren Lee [00:03:14] Like what we use now, the fry grease?
Celestine Beasley [00:03:21] Yes.
Lauren Lee [00:03:22] Oh, I didn’t know that. Do you remember being out on the farm? Like, did you help your family? Was it a family effort?
Celestine Beasley [00:03:32] Yes. We—as I said, it was twelve of us. We—I think there was planting—doing the start to planting around this time of year. The cotton would be planted sometime in May. Corn, they would plant that in May, after the cold spell. We—you know, just like it is now, sometime it’s—be cold. Sometimes it would be too cold for you to do anything. You would have to wait till the weather warmed up, even to get the ground ready for planting.
Lauren Lee [00:04:14] So did you do that instead of going to school?
Celestine Beasley [00:04:16] We went to school.
Lauren Lee [00:04:18] So did you wake up in the morning and then worked on the farm or—?
Celestine Beasley [00:04:23] No, it’s a certain time of year that you’d be farming. Our school started in October, and it was in—around the last April, middle of April, so it wasn’t no farming at that particular time. You would plant everything later.
Lauren Lee [00:04:44] So it was only October to April?
Celestine Beasley [00:04:47] Yes.
Lauren Lee [00:04:47] And what do you remember about going to school?
Celestine Beasley [00:04:51] Well, I remember we had to walk to school. It was—we lived a mile from school. We would walk every morning. We’d have to be at school at eight thirty, and we were there until three thirty.
Lauren Lee [00:05:11] Was that—was it an integrated school?
Celestine Beasley [00:05:18] No, we—it wasn’t a mingling of white and Black. The—they had a school, and we had a school.
Lauren Lee [00:05:26] How far was your school from you?
Celestine Beasley [00:05:29] A mile.
Lauren Lee [00:05:30] Oh, a mile? And where was your school? Was it a—?
Celestine Beasley [00:05:34] It was in a little place they called Lake City.
Lauren Lee [00:05:39] Was it off of a lake?
Celestine Beasley [00:05:40] No, but that was just the name of it. If we walked a shortcut, it would be a mile. But if we would stay on the road, it was two miles.
Lauren Lee [00:05:57] What was the typical day like in school?
Celestine Beasley [00:06:01] Oh, we would start school when we get there. It was—when I was young, it was one big building. From one through the ninth grade was there. When you get so you don’t be in that particular school, you’d go off to a high school or some other place. This was when I was at Yazoo City.
Lauren Lee [00:06:37] You said Yazoo?
Celestine Beasley [00:06:40] Y-a-z-double o, Yazoo.
Lauren Lee [00:06:43] Have you been back to Yazoo since you left?
Celestine Beasley [00:06:47] No, I went back to Mississippi but never to Yazoo.
Lauren Lee [00:06:54] Describe some of the differences from living in the South or just any fond memories that you have, you know, that went on in a typical day or just anything that’s going on.
Celestine Beasley [00:07:12] One typical day? Well, if you get—at the time we was going to school, we’d get up. My mom would fix breakfast. We would get dressed and walk to school. When we get to school, we had to—we had devotion in school. Some of the scripture I learned when I was going to school, I never forgot. We had to learn the 23rd Psalm. We learned the 1st Psalm and the—there was another one. I done forgot the name and forgot just what it was. It was something like the 84th Psalm. And the only thing I remember of that is, “Be still and hold your peace, and I will fight your battles for you.” That’s the tenth chapter—tenth verse in the 84th Psalms. Psalms is not a chapter. They are books. So it was the 84th Book of Psalms.
Lauren Lee [00:08:43] And so did that—did learning about God in school help to, you know, shape how religion played into your life?
Celestine Beasley [00:08:55] Not really. That was just something come naturally. That’s all I knew was being a Christian. I was raised up as one. My mom taking us to Sunday school every Sunday. We went to prayer meeting on a Wednesday night. Wasn’t none of us ever in the choir that we had to go to choir rehearsal.
Lauren Lee [00:09:26] So religion always played a big part?
Celestine Beasley [00:09:28] Yes. Yes, it did and still do.
Lauren Lee [00:09:33] And how did religion help you to deal with a lot of the issues that, you know, went on in the South during that time period, like, you know, with segregation and a lot of racism going on?
Celestine Beasley [00:09:43] Well, with segregation, I facing more of that after I left the South and come here than I did in the South. We knew what to do and what not to do. And we just never mingled in that. We never did go to the white people’s houses, but they come to our house. And my mom was the type that she always would tell anybody, If you can’t sit and eat with my children, you don’t come to my house. You—I don’t put nobody before my children. And that’s the way I was raised up, and that’s the way I remembered it. And I never did—I never was faced with segregation in the South because we didn’t never go around the places where we knew we weren’t supposed to.
Lauren Lee [00:10:44] Well, around your area, were there a lot of white people in your area?
Celestine Beasley [00:10:47] No, it wasn’t a lot. They used to come to our house. We lived right on the lake. They would come and go fishing. My mom would cook the fish for them. They used to love to have fried—something we call perch now. There, it was white perch. It’s not—it wasn’t a bass like they call them now. And they sit and ate it.
Lauren Lee [00:11:20] So you guys lived on the lake?
Celestine Beasley [00:11:23] Yes.
Lauren Lee [00:11:27] So they would just come a lot of times—
Celestine Beasley [00:11:29] Just like, now, we live—I’d say it’s not near a lake now, but then, our house sit right on the lake. We could go right down the hill and go fishing. We had boats.
Lauren Lee [00:11:46] Oh, really?
Celestine Beasley [00:11:47] Yeah.
Lauren Lee [00:11:47] So you guys were in a like—you were out, like, in farmland, then?
Celestine Beasley [00:11:50] Yes, I told you we was a farmer.
Lauren Lee [00:11:53] Well, yeah, but I didn’t know that you lived out on the lake. So did they pay your mom? I mean, like, was it something where people, you know, knew that they could come and—?
Celestine Beasley [00:12:01] Well, yes, they knew. My mom used to love to cook, so she never hesitated when they would come and go fishing. They would clean them by the time they get back to the house and ask her to fry the fish for them, and she did. And they used to love French fries. We raised our own white potatoes.
Lauren Lee [00:12:29] Do you still remember, like, what goes into farming and making vegetables?
Celestine Beasley [00:12:35] Not making vegetables. You don’t make vegetables. You raise vegetables. Well, I just said we raised our white potatoes. When I was a girl, we used to say Irish potatoes. Irish. And we would take a potato, and they would cut the—cut them in—cut the skin off of them so deep. And we’d take the part with that on it and put it in the ground, just put a little dirt over it, and they would take root. And potatoes—and the bush would grow; potatoes would be in the ground.
Lauren Lee [00:13:27] From just off of a little pieces of potato?
Celestine Beasley [00:13:30] Yes, you would take a potato. You would cut this way, that way. You know? And just get the top like, and they sprouted when you put them in the ground. It would come up, and when they would get so big, the potato would be in the ground under the vine.
Celestine Beasley [00:13:57] Tell me a little bit about your parents.
Celestine Beasley [00:14:05] Well, my mother was named Bessie. She was—nine sisters and brothers of them. I never did know too much about my father’s family because his mom died when he was a baby. His oldest sister raised him. His name was Alfred. And they got married in 1914. At the time, they was living what we used to call the hills in Anding, Mississippi. That’s where they met and married at. We moved to—up on the lake, 1923. I remember when we (laughs) went from one place to the other one because we was on a big wagon, and all of the furnishings and stuff was in the wagon. And we—it took us, I guess, about three hours to come from one destination to another. And all of my young life, we lived in the same vicinity. We didn’t never—
Lauren Lee [00:15:53] Move?
Celestine Beasley [00:15:54] Unh-uh (negative).
Lauren Lee [00:15:56] Did you guys have a horse to pull the wagon, or did you pull the wagon?
Celestine Beasley [00:16:03] (laughs) Oh, excuse me. We had mules. Horses was for riding. Peoples had horses. We only had two horses. We had eight or ten mules, and during the farming, you used the mule to pull the plow. After we had got established, I remember my daddy bought a tractor that he would use for farming. He would break the land, plant, plow it after it began to come up.
Lauren Lee [00:16:46] What were your fondest memories of your parents?
Celestine Beasley [00:16:57] My mom died in 1938 at the age of forty-three. She was very firm with us, but we got—well, we didn’t call them spanking. We got whoopings. It wasn’t then like it is now. They didn’t allow you to whoop children, but my mom used to whoop us when we would do things that we was told not to do. And she was a loving mother. I especially talk about my mom because my dad was always out in the fields when we—after we plant the crop, and he stayed busy outside. And my mom always was, I guess you could say, the overseer of us.
Lauren Lee [00:18:11] What was the nationality of both your parents?
Celestine Beasley [00:18:20] Well, my—I’ll start with my dad. His parents was of a dark generation.
Lauren Lee [00:18:27] What does that mean?
Celestine Beasley [00:18:29] Well, what they call now Black. I always used the word colored. And I never got out of it. I still don’t use the word Black. My mom—her father was white. Her mother was a half-Indian. So that’s the kind of background that we had, that we come from.
Lauren Lee [00:19:06] Like, you said you didn’t really know your father’s—
Celestine Beasley [00:19:09] Parents; uh-uh (negative).
Lauren Lee [00:19:10] —family. Did you know your mom’s mother and father?
Celestine Beasley [00:19:13] I knew her mom, and I knew my great-grandmother, but I never did know my dad’s mom nor dad. Because, I told you, his mother died when he was a little child.
Lauren Lee [00:19:30] Right. But your mom’s father, you didn’t—?
Celestine Beasley [00:19:35] My mom died before her mother did.
Lauren Lee [00:19:37] Oh, really?
Celestine Beasley [00:19:38] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:19:40] Do you know what she died of?
Celestine Beasley [00:19:45] Who?
Lauren Lee [00:19:45] Your mom.
Celestine Beasley [00:19:47] Using the doctor’s word, they said she ate something she wasn’t supposed to eat, and it didn’t agree with her. And it poisoned her system.
Lauren Lee [00:20:03] And that’s what they said?
Celestine Beasley [00:20:08] Yeah.
Lauren Lee [00:20:09] Do you remember her being sick for a long time?
Celestine Beasley [00:20:12] She wasn’t. She wasn’t. She’d take—she’d taken sick a-suddenly, all at once. And within a couple of hours, she had passed.
Lauren Lee [00:20:24] So it was quick.
Celestine Beasley [00:20:26] Quick, yes. And it was so quick and easy that I didn’t think she was gone. When my daddy went to call the doctor, I was there with her, me and another brother. A part of the family had—the older kids had left the South and come up here: my oldest sister and two oldest brothers. And on the way to call the doctor, my daddy stopped by a lady’s house and told her to come and stay with us until he could get back. So when she walk in the house, she says—they all—my nickname (laughs) was Tine. She said, Tine, said, lay your mom down, because she was sitting up. She said, Because she done pass. I said, Can’t be. I said, My momma isn’t dead. And she just come and pushed me back and laid her down until the doctor got there, and he pronounced her dead. And he said her system was so weak that—no, her heart was so weak that she wasn’t able to survive.
Lauren Lee [00:22:01] How did life change for you after that?
Celestine Beasley [00:22:05] Well, you know, you ask me about the South, had I been back. That’s one reason I never went back. I always thought that if we hadn’t been out in the country like we were, they would have been able to get the doctor for my mom more quicker, and she might would’ve survived. So I just taken a dislike (laughs) to the South after that.
Lauren Lee [00:22:40] So is that what made you leave the South and come to Cleveland?
Celestine Beasley [00:22:43] No, I went to New Orleans first. I had got married, and I lived in New Orleans for a couple of years, and I left to come here for a visit. And when we—the night we come in, I—my dad was—had come, too, on a visit, and everybody else was up here, so me and my husband—and I had one child—we went back to New Orleans and straighten things out. And I come back to Cleveland, and I’ve been here ever since.
Lauren Lee [00:23:29] How did you guys communicate? Like, how did you keep in touch with your brothers and sisters that were in Cleveland and then your father? He was still in the South, right? After you moved to New Orleans, how did you guys keep in contact? Was it through the telephone?
Celestine Beasley [00:23:41] Through letters.
Lauren Lee [00:23:42] Through letters?
Celestine Beasley [00:23:43] I didn’t have a telephone, but peoples—a lot of peoples did. But—
Lauren Lee [00:23:47] How hard was it to communicate?
Celestine Beasley [00:23:49] It wasn’t hard. You know, when you get used to something, you just used to it, and you don’t think no more of it. When—whenever I wanted to hear from them, I’d write a letter. We just correspond through the letters.
Lauren Lee [00:24:12] So I mean, it didn’t get—when you moved to New Orleans, you moved—well, you moved with your husband, but was it just you and your husband? There was no other family that you knew?
Celestine Beasley [00:24:21] Not on my side. He had a—his mother was there. He had an uncle and aunt there. But after I come up here and everybody else was here, including my dad, we just decided to move, and we did.
Lauren Lee [00:24:38] So your dad eventually moved to Cleveland, too?
Celestine Beasley [00:24:41] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:24:42] And where—what part of Cleveland did—do you remember, like, when they first came here, what part of Cleveland they stayed in?
Celestine Beasley [00:24:50] On the east side.
Lauren Lee [00:24:51] Was it around the Euclid-Central area?
Celestine Beasley [00:24:56] Central area.
Lauren Lee [00:24:59] What—do I know the two brothers and sisters that moved here first?
Celestine Beasley [00:25:04] Main and Butch.
Lauren Lee [00:25:06] Oh, so your two brothers moved here first?
Celestine Beasley [00:25:09] Yeah. Then, Plessie came third. She come after they did.
Lauren Lee [00:25:13] So everybody basically came here eventually?
Celestine Beasley [00:25:17] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:25:17] Was there any specific reason for coming to Cleveland? Was there other family here before?
Celestine Beasley [00:25:25] Well, my brothers and my sister, they came to Cleveland before my mom died. She had sent—you know, sent them up here.
Lauren Lee [00:25:42] Was it for school or better living or—? I mean—
Celestine Beasley [00:25:47] Well, it was for school. After—the schools that was near us, they didn’t go no higher than the ninth grade. She sent them up here to start—you know, go to high school.
Lauren Lee [00:26:02] By themselves?
Celestine Beasley [00:26:05] Uncle Opie was here. They lived with Uncle Opie.
Lauren Lee [00:26:09] Did he ever live in Mississippi?
Celestine Beasley [00:26:13] I didn’t know him in Mississippi.
Lauren Lee [00:26:15] Oh, you didn’t know him until you came to Cleveland?
Celestine Beasley [00:26:18] I knew him, but he was in Chicago.
Lauren Lee [00:26:21] See, I guess it’s just so weird for me how, you know, you guys all kept in touch with so much moving around without telephones.
Celestine Beasley [00:26:29] Well, eventually, there was telephone.
Lauren Lee [00:26:32] But before that, it was just—
Celestine Beasley [00:26:38] Other—you know, you could always go to somebody’s house and use their phone. When I was in New Orleans, it was—peoples had a phone, but I didn’t have one.
Lauren Lee [00:26:48] Do you remember New Orleans? Was it kind of how—you know, how it’s perceived to be now?
Celestine Beasley [00:26:56] No.
Lauren Lee [00:26:59] No?
Celestine Beasley [00:27:01] A lot that happened after—now, they was having a Mardi Gras when I was living there. You hear them talking about that?
Lauren Lee [00:27:09] What is it?
Celestine Beasley [00:27:10] Mardi Gras.
Lauren Lee [00:27:11] Oh, yeah, Mardi Gras.
Celestine Beasley [00:27:16] And, now, I didn’t live in New Orleans but about two years because after we come for a visit, we moved up here, and I never went back to New Orleans either.
Lauren Lee [00:27:27] You just had no desire to?
Celestine Beasley [00:27:30] Well, I didn’t have no family there.
Lauren Lee [00:27:36] Describe moving here, you know, from—how—well, when and how did you make the move from—?
Celestine Beasley [00:27:42] Well, when we moved from New Orleans here, we just brought clothes.
Lauren Lee [00:27:47] Train?
Celestine Beasley [00:27:50] Yeah, we came on a train, and for to ship clothes, any—I mean, furniture—it would have been cheaper to buy it here then to pay for it to be sent here.
Lauren Lee [00:28:05] Really?
Celestine Beasley [00:28:06] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:28:08] And you had your first kid when you were in New Orleans?
Celestine Beasley [00:28:11] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:28:13] A boy or a girl?
Celestine Beasley [00:28:15] Herman was a boy.
Lauren Lee [00:28:17] I know that, but I—
Celestine Beasley [00:28:18] Oh, you wanted me to say it.
Lauren Lee [00:28:20] Because the people listening won’t.
Celestine Beasley [00:28:21] Well, my first child was a boy. He was born in 1940, July 9, quite natural.
Lauren Lee [00:28:29] In July. Him and Aunt Tina was born on the same day?
Celestine Beasley [00:28:36] Yes.
Lauren Lee [00:28:37] What year was she born?
Celestine Beasley [00:28:41] Forty-nine.
Lauren Lee [00:28:47] Where else did you stop in making the move? And why did you leave those places? Or were you straight from New Orleans to Cleveland?
Celestine Beasley [00:28:53] Straight from New Orleans to Cleveland.
Lauren Lee [00:28:57] What was Cleveland like when you first got to Cleveland?
Celestine Beasley [00:29:00] Cold.
Lauren Lee [00:29:01] You weren’t used to that, were you?
Celestine Beasley [00:29:05] No. We moved up here in January.
Lauren Lee [00:29:09] So it was wintertime here.
Celestine Beasley [00:29:12] We come to visit and—just before Thanksgiving, and we stayed for Thanksgiving and went back to New Orleans.
Lauren Lee [00:29:19] And what was Cleveland—I mean, how was Cleveland different to you?
Celestine Beasley [00:29:25] As I said, it was cold.
Lauren Lee [00:29:27] That’s it.
Celestine Beasley [00:29:31] Yes.
Lauren Lee [00:29:32] There was no, you know, major difference between white and Black in what’s, you know, Cleveland in the north and from the South.
Celestine Beasley [00:29:42] Well, it wasn’t to me. New Orleans, I imagine it was segregation there. But I never did come in contact with it because I never did go much. I always was around the house. And I didn’t—I wasn’t working there. I worked in Mississippi. When I come here, I worked a little while. I didn’t have but one child. And then I got married again because me and my husband separated. And I had three girls and two boys. That mean I had six kids then, and I come to have seven.
Lauren Lee [00:30:46] Was that when my mom was born?
Celestine Beasley [00:30:49] Yes.
Lauren Lee [00:30:49] Six kids in Cleveland?
Celestine Beasley [00:30:52] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:30:52] And did you hold the job when you had—after you had all six?
Celestine Beasley [00:30:54] Not until I start to working at Mount Sinai.
Lauren Lee [00:30:58] And did you have to go to school to work at the hospital?
Celestine Beasley [00:31:00] Yes, I did. I went to nursing school.
Lauren Lee [00:31:02] Prior to that, what level of school did you go to?
Celestine Beasley [00:31:06] Eleventh grade.
Lauren Lee [00:31:08] So in the South, when you stopped at ninth grade, was that considered your graduation?
Celestine Beasley [00:31:12] I stopped in ninth grade, but I was supposed to come to Cleveland, and I didn’t want to come. I wanted to go to Chicago. And my mom told me I wasn’t coming to Cleveland—I wasn’t going to Chicago, I had to come to Cleveland where the others was. And I made a statement to her: If I can’t go—if I can’t stay at home with you, I want to stay by with the same aunt. And that’s who was in Chicago. And she made the statement: The only reason you don’t go to Cleveland is you get married. So I got married.
Lauren Lee [00:31:52] (laughs) Just so you wouldn’t have to go to Cleveland? What was it about Cleveland that you didn’t like?
Celestine Beasley [00:31:59] I didn’t know Uncle Opie like I knowed my aunt. I had two aunts in Chicago. And I always said if I had to leave home than be with my mom, I wanted to be with one of those aunts or both of them.
Lauren Lee [00:32:17] Do you still have clear memories of those two aunts?
Celestine Beasley [00:32:21] Not now, because I never lived around them. They was in Chicago as long as I can remember. That’s where they both passed at, in Chicago.
Lauren Lee [00:32:35] Do you still have a lot of family in Chicago?
Celestine Beasley [00:32:38] No, they don’t now. But a lot of them just passed on.
Lauren Lee [00:32:43] And what do you—was there any, you know, special thing about Chicago? Was there any—
Celestine Beasley [00:32:49] Not really. I didn’t know nothing about Chicago. Still don’t. I never lived in Chicago.
Lauren Lee [00:32:59] So your first job, you said, was at Mount Sinai, right?
Celestine Beasley [00:33:01] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:33:02] And that was being a nurse?
Celestine Beasley [00:33:05] Yes.
Lauren Lee [00:33:05] And what were your responsibilities?
Celestine Beasley [00:33:11] Technician.
Lauren Lee [00:33:12] Grandma, tell them—
Celestine Beasley [00:33:13] Well, I started out taking care of patients, and then I was a technician for a group that they call—that’s how I got to be the technician. I was their secretary. And before I got to be a technician, I did nurse’s responsibility, taking care of patients.
Lauren Lee [00:33:44] Was that—were you allowed to work with white people when you were at Mount Sinai?
Celestine Beasley [00:33:51] Uh-huh (affirmative), yes.
Lauren Lee [00:33:57] Was it segregated?
Celestine Beasley [00:33:59] Not that I know of. No more than it is now. But I work with them. I always said I could get along with the devil, so—
Lauren Lee [00:34:08] What year was that that you worked in Mount Sinai?
Celestine Beasley [00:34:14] Let’s—I started in ‘68, until ‘83.
Lauren Lee [00:34:22] What made you stop by ’83?
Celestine Beasley [00:34:28] I had arthritis real bad, and it was bothering me for to stand or walk. And as soon as I got sixty-two years old, I retired.
Lauren Lee [00:34:37] Did you enjoy what you did?
Celestine Beasley [00:34:40] Yes, I did.
Lauren Lee [00:34:42] Did you work at any of the hospitals when your grandchildren were born?
Celestine Beasley [00:34:54] No. I might have been working, but they weren’t born at that hospital because my oldest would be Devin. Oh, yes, I did. He was born at Mount Sinai while I was working.
Lauren Lee [00:35:10] Were you there?
Celestine Beasley [00:35:12] Yeah. I wasn’t in the room. I wasn’t in delivery. Tina was admitted in the morning time, and I was in work. And you didn’t go into the delivery like they do now, but that’s the only child that were born there. Tommy was born at another hospital, and I was working at Mount Sinai. Jessica was born at a hospital; I was working at Mount Sinai. They wasn’t born there.
Lauren Lee [00:35:52] Oh, okay. She was born at Hillcrest, right?
Celestine Beasley [00:35:55] I think so.
Lauren Lee [00:35:58] When you first came to Cleveland, where did you live?
Celestine Beasley [00:36:02] My address was 2250 Ashland Court.
Lauren Lee [00:36:07] Where is that now? The same place?
Celestine Beasley [00:36:10] It’s off of Central, between Central and Cedar.
Lauren Lee [00:36:15] And you were already married with kids?
Celestine Beasley [00:36:18] I didn’t have but one.
Lauren Lee [00:36:20] Oh, you still only had one?
Celestine Beasley [00:36:24] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:36:25] How long did you stay there?
Celestine Beasley [00:36:28] I didn’t stay any more than about a year. I only had a room, and I moved on 79th, off of Woodland. They had some war houses. That’s what I always call them. They was the projects, and I was living there. I lived there. That was in ‘43, and I lived there until in the fifties. And I moved to 7910 Central. That was my father’s house. He had bought it from Uncle Opie. When Plessie and them come to Cleveland, they come to 7910 Central. Uncle Opie was living there then, and he eventually—he had quite a few kids, and he eventually moved to—across the street, 7915.
Lauren Lee [00:37:38] That’s the address? When your dad moved here, he couldn’t farm here. So what did he do?
Celestine Beasley [00:37:44] He worked at Republican Steel [SIC, Republic Steel].
Lauren Lee [00:37:45] Republican Steel?
Celestine Beasley [00:37:48] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:37:51] Was Uncle Opie well off?
Celestine Beasley [00:37:55] Uh-uh (negative). Uncle Opie used to work at National Screw. That was off of 79th, in Quebec.
Lauren Lee [00:38:05] What was the name of it?
Celestine Beasley [00:38:07] National Screw.
Lauren Lee [00:38:09] He was a teacher?
Celestine Beasley [00:38:11] Uh-uh (negative). National Screw was a factory.
Lauren Lee [00:38:17] Oh, so they both worked—
Celestine Beasley [00:38:18] And he was a minister, and he was assistant pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church.
Lauren Lee [00:38:28] So when he came to Shiloh, that’s basically why he came there, to preach? I’m kind of—
Celestine Beasley [00:38:33] I don’t know if he was preaching then or not. Ever since I knowed him, he was a minister. But whether he had been ordained, as you would say—he was a preacher—I really don’t know.
Lauren Lee [00:38:47] Is that what brought you to Shiloh?
Celestine Beasley [00:38:50] No, I joined a church before I went to Shiloh.
Lauren Lee [00:38:55] You joined another church?
Celestine Beasley [00:38:58] Evening Star.
Lauren Lee [00:39:00] Oh, I know where that’s at.
Celestine Beasley [00:39:02] At that time, it was 83rd and Central.
Lauren Lee [00:39:07] What do you remember about the, you know, Cedar-Central area, like, in the 1950s?
Celestine Beasley [00:39:21] There was a lot of churches around. Evening Star was—what—about a block from where we were living. And that minister passed, and they had somebody else there, so that’s when we left and went to another church. It was a little farther. It was on Cedar, 103rd and Cedar—Calvary Hill. You know, we used to be coming home from church, and we would come down Cedar.
Lauren Lee [00:40:12] Walking?
Celestine Beasley [00:40:14] No.
Lauren Lee [00:40:14] Oh, in a car?
Celestine Beasley [00:40:16] Yeah, and we would be coming from Shiloh. Well, see, I joined Shiloh in ‘73. My dad was there, and he said once that, before he passed, he would like to have all of his kids in the church with him. Lisa was already going to Shiloh, and me and Plessie joined. The others had visited Shiloh, but then none of them go at the time to Shiloh.
Lauren Lee [00:41:00] Did they—did all your brothers and sisters, at one point. end up joining Shiloh?
Celestine Beasley [00:41:04] Uh-uh (negative). They all went to Shiloh to—well, you know, for different occasions. But they never did join. My brother that died in ‘63, he joined. But none of the rest of them did. They always would say they was going, but they never did.
Lauren Lee [00:41:32] How old was your father when he passed?
Celestine Beasley [00:41:35] Eighty-three.
Lauren Lee [00:41:39] When he passed, was it just old age?
Celestine Beasley [00:41:49] He had—he didn’t die from a heart attack. He had pneumonia, and he just never did get well.
Lauren Lee [00:42:00] Was he sick for a long time?
Celestine Beasley [00:42:02] Not really. I think he had had different ailments from different times, but at the time he passed, he had pneumonia, and he died at University Hospital.
Lauren Lee [00:42:23] Do you remember when you first saw a car? Was when—was that in Cleveland? The first time you—
Celestine Beasley [00:42:28] Car? No, my daddy had cars when we was in the South, as long as I can remember. But I—see, what my dad had, that wasn’t me. I was still a child, but he always had a car.
Lauren Lee [00:42:45] So you guys weren’t poor?
Celestine Beasley [00:42:47] Not poor, no. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we never went hungry. As I said earlier, we raised just about everything we ate. After I come to Cleveland, I heard people talking about 1932, the Depression. We was in the South, but we never went hungry. We never was in need of stuff like that. So it’s just like talking Greek to me when I hear peoples talking about how things was ‘32 and ‘33, during the Depression.
Lauren Lee [00:43:34] Also, you don’t really remember—well, not remember, but you didn’t really have any hardships during that time.
Celestine Beasley [00:43:40] No, I didn’t. I had it harder after I come up here than I did in the South because—
Lauren Lee [00:43:44] What made it harder here?
Celestine Beasley [00:43:46] Well, everything you ate, you had to buy.
Lauren Lee [00:43:51] And you didn’t like that?
Celestine Beasley [00:43:52] I love that, but you just didn’t have the money to buy certain things at certain times.
Lauren Lee [00:44:00] So you adapted better to—so you didn’t really like living on the farm?
Celestine Beasley [00:44:07] Yeah, I liked it when I was living on it, but after I seen that wasn’t all you had to do, you could do better, well, I didn’t like it no more.
Lauren Lee [00:44:22] So you didn’t have a problem with buying meats out the stores?
Celestine Beasley [00:44:28] After I left the South? No, I didn’t.
Lauren Lee [00:44:31] You didn’t feel it was unsanitary?
Celestine Beasley [00:44:40] No. Well, anything can be unsanitary, but it’s the way you handle it after you get it. Always say water will clean anything, (laughs) so—
Lauren Lee [00:44:57] Well, what was it like for you when—I don’t know how to put this, but I guess maybe when things started changing, when, you know, television became big and, you know, all the different gadgets that we have now, like how, you know, how has it changed from you from when you were little to now, seeing how things have evolved?
Celestine Beasley [00:45:22] Well, I learned to cook in the South. I was able to—well, my momma taught us how to cook. Just watching her, you would learn, but I usually would cook for the whole family sometime. And I didn’t know what it was to do like I do now, that having shortcuts. We cooked—if you gonna have a cake, we cooked it from scratch. After I come up here and after I—the first time I did it was in ‘55. I cooked a cake, and I had a box cake, and I had never did that before. And the reason I did it: I had had rheumatic fever, and I had it just leading up to Christmas, and my joints were stiff, hurt, and I couldn’t beat like I had been. I didn’t know what it was to have a mixer. I used a spoon to beat. Well, they would say, whoop up something. But after that, I started using boxes. And you know, now, everything I can shortcut with, I’ll do it. Just take rice. I didn’t know what it was to have instant rice. Not quick rice. I mean, I cooked quick rice, not instant rice. I never cooked instant rice. I don’t like it. But if I’m in a hurry, I don’t feel good, I’ll use instant—quick rice, and I have a tendency to—when we shopping, I get the rice that’s in the bag in a box. Be bags in that; you can boil it in the bag. So I do that now.
Lauren Lee [00:48:03] Think that tastes better?
Celestine Beasley [00:48:04] Can you tell the difference?
Lauren Lee [00:48:07] Uh-uh (negative).
Celestine Beasley [00:48:10] I cooked some quick rice the other day when we had rice.
Lauren Lee [00:48:15] With the gravy?
Celestine Beasley [00:48:20] Yes. Well, that was quick rice. That wasn’t the rice you—I boil it in the bag.
Lauren Lee [00:48:26] It’s fluffier.
Celestine Beasley [00:48:29] Easier, less work.
Lauren Lee [00:48:34] Well, I’m—
Celestine Beasley [00:48:36] If you—I tells Ruth, Margaret—I don’t ever say it to Tina because she never said nothing like that. I’m tired. I didn’t know what it was to be tired. I would go to work, work eight hours, come home, cook, wash, and I never did feel tired.
Lauren Lee [00:49:11] You think that’s (laughs) because that’s what you were used to, though, right?
Celestine Beasley [00:49:18] Well, when I was growing up, the—even the vegetables we had—now you hear them talking about what all they do to grow anything, tomatoes, greens. We didn’t have nothing like that to put on our vegetables. Everything was—had the nutrient in it that was supposed to be, and we—I says we ate food that was better then than it is now because it didn’t have all of those ingredients around it to make it grow fast. It was just the sun, the water, pure water.
Lauren Lee [00:50:16] So does—do you think the stuff now doesn’t taste as fresh as it did?
Celestine Beasley [00:50:20] It’s not. As you know, every once in a while, I cook greens. But they—when you put them on to cook them, they—so much water come out, you—everything be too much water in it. I don’t know how it gets so it can be a lot of water in something when you cook it that it produces water. But it wasn’t like that.
Lauren Lee [00:50:52] Everything was a lot fresher. So well, since, you know, you didn’t have the things that they have now to kill off insects and things like that, you don’t remember—I know you said your mother ate something, and she—from that.
Celestine Beasley [00:51:04] But it was something she wasn’t supposed to eat. She wasn’t supposed to eat pork. She was—doctor had taken her off of pork, and she ate some pork, and it didn’t digest. It got right in her throat. She couldn’t swallow it, and it wouldn’t come back up.
Lauren Lee [00:51:29] Oh, okay. So I was just wondering if, you know, you don’t have—you didn’t have the medicines that you had back then, or you didn’t have, you know, to kill off the animals from, you know, eating on it or—
Celestine Beasley [00:51:41] That’s true.
Lauren Lee [00:51:44] —messing something.
Celestine Beasley [00:51:45] It’s—some things you couldn’t let—we always had a fence around the garden where things couldn’t get to it, to mess with it or eat it or destroy it. We grew our own green. Any kind of green you could grow, we did it. We used to raise our own peanuts. Like when you buy them now in the shell, we used to would bust them open and get the meat out, plant it in the ground.
Lauren Lee [00:52:31] A seed? The seed from a—
Celestine Beasley [00:52:34] Well, a peanut. You know the peanut?
Lauren Lee [00:52:36] Wasn’t it salty, though?
Celestine Beasley [00:52:37] No.
Lauren Lee [00:52:37] So when they come out the bag like that, they put—they’re putting salt on them.
Celestine Beasley [00:52:42] They put salt in it when they—at the factory.
Lauren Lee [00:52:48] Okay. I don’t know why I thought they came like that.
Celestine Beasley [00:52:50] They can have them in the hull, and they have salt on them. Now, I don’t know just how they process that, but we put them in the ground, and they would grow out of bush again. When it comes time to get them out of the ground, you could pull the whole bush up, and they would still be on the bush. You pick them off, wash them. We used to put them on the housetop to dry and put them in a bag, in the hull. We raised our own popcorn.
Lauren Lee [00:53:32] How do you raise popcorn? Is it a plant with a seed?
Celestine Beasley [00:53:37] Yeah, you plant a popcorn grain. And when it grow and come up, it grow like an ear of corn you buy in store now. That’s not popcorn, but that’s the way you would raise popcorn. And the corn—we raised corn ourselves. That’s part of what you make grits out of. You can take them to the meal.
Lauren Lee [00:54:11] Oh, and ground them.
Celestine Beasley [00:54:12] They usually would grind them and make grits. They would grind them finer for you, make your meal. We used to grow cane that you could process into syrup. As I said, name it, and we raised it.
Lauren Lee [00:54:36] Just kind of jumping ahead, but I know, like, when you look at now and, you know, you look at your grandchildren and how, you know, with your kids of—I guess you guys just had whole milk? Babies just drank—there was no formula or anything special for kids or, you know, baby food.
Celestine Beasley [00:54:54] You could—now, we never did use cane milk, but peoples did. They would take it and boil it and process it into regular, you know, milk for a formula. But we would take—we had cows. We milked our cows and got milk.
Lauren Lee [00:55:24] And gave it straight to a baby?
Celestine Beasley [00:55:25] Only thing we did was to heat it.
Lauren Lee [00:55:30] And do you think, you know, that came—
Celestine Beasley [00:55:32] Then we’d put Karo syrup in it.
Lauren Lee [00:55:35] Every time the kid drank?
Celestine Beasley [00:55:37] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Lauren Lee [00:55:38] And did that help from—you know, for the constipation?
Celestine Beasley [00:55:43] They never—I never know the child to—that was on it to ever get constipated.
Lauren Lee [00:55:50] You think it was because their bodies were used to it?
Celestine Beasley [00:55:53] Their body was used to it, plus the environment was different than it is now. It—I know you hear your mom say sometimes how fast stuff grow. Well, just take, for instance, last year, when we had the garden. She used to spray them with—
Lauren Lee [00:56:24] SuperGro or something?
Celestine Beasley [00:56:26] Yeah, we didn’t do nothing like that.
Lauren Lee [00:56:29] So you literally had to wait for however long it was gonna take for—
Celestine Beasley [00:56:33] It didn’t take long. It’s a season. Vegetable is a season thing, even turnips and mustards. They had a variety you would plant in summer, and you had some you could plant for winter. The cold weather didn’t kill them. And there wouldn’t nothing—that cold wouldn’t do nothing but purify them if they was out in the cold. Collard greens—you hear me say now I don’t eat collard greens until the frost fall on them? That’s the way I was raised. I never ate collard greens in the summertime. Now they eat them whole year-round here.
Lauren Lee [00:57:23] But you didn’t eat them because they weren’t available, right?
Celestine Beasley [00:57:27] They was available, but it’s just something I never would eat. They—when I was in the South, that was a winter vegetable. Now, well, I ate some up here once, and they made me sick. And I said, Maybe it wasn’t the greens. I finally ate some more, and they made me sick. And you hear me say now I don’t care for collard greens, but I can wash them in soda, and they won’t bother me. They get the sap out of them. Yeah, sap is something that the frost kills. I don’t know if you got up early enough this morning, yesterday morning, and it looked like it was snow on the ground? That’s what you call a frost. And if it falls on greens—
Lauren Lee [00:58:28] It gives it a different taste?
Celestine Beasley [00:58:31] Yes, give them a different taste, and it’ll kill the sap in them.
Lauren Lee [00:58:34] So when you eat produce now, you can tell when, you know—
Celestine Beasley [00:58:40] It’s don’t taste the same.
Lauren Lee [00:58:43] Yeah.
Celestine Beasley [00:58:47] Food that you raise yourself, even up here, tastes better than that that you buy in store. We don’t put nothing on it but—would be Miracle-Gro, and that would be for the vegetables. But peoples put fertilizer on them and everything else when they raises them. I’ll take an egg, for instance. We had our own chicken. They laid our eggs. We never bought an egg until we left the South. They taste much better than they do here. I didn’t know what it was. It’s just something that would spoil in the South in the wintertime. For Christmas, my mom would cook quite a few cakes, and she never put them in icebox like you would do now. And they would last from Christmas to New Year’s.
Lauren Lee [01:00:00] Oh, no.
Celestine Beasley [01:00:01] Yes, they would. She had a safe that she kept them, but it wasn’t no icebox.
Lauren Lee [01:00:09] So how did you keep meat from spoiling?
Celestine Beasley [01:00:16] They cured the meat. If you kill a hog, they would—they had—you call—we call it a meat box. They put them in there and put salt on it, leave it in there so long, and they’d take it out, have a big, big pot to get water, and put in it and dowsed the meat in there to get that salt off. They’ll hang it up in the smokehouse and let it drain and then put—let it smoke, and it’d be smoked, and it would be good, and it would keep.
Lauren Lee [01:00:56] Was that in the summertime?
Celestine Beasley [01:01:00] Well, we could keep some for summertime. We always would kill a hog in the winter.
Lauren Lee [01:01:04] When you say a smokehouse, how did you smoke the meat? It was like a—
Celestine Beasley [01:01:08] You made it. You had something—no, you had some type of wood. You’d make a fire, and, you know, you smother it down so it would smoke instead of burning. We used to make our own sausage. Just like you like hot sausage, when they grind the sausage up, we’d season them, always with pepper, red pepper. And we didn’t use the red pepper like you buy at the store. My mom had gotten—no, no, we had peppers that we grew last year. Well, when it would get red, she would pull it off and put thread through and hang them up and let them dry. When they dried, you could just take it and crumble it up, and it would be red pepper, hot red pepper. You could just do it with your hand. When they get dry, you could just crumble them up like you would—
Lauren Lee [01:02:23] I know it was hot, wasn’t it?
Celestine Beasley [01:02:25] Yeah, you could put it what the amount that you want in it. You didn’t have to put a lot.
Lauren Lee [01:02:30] But when you made the sausage, I mean, like—I don’t even know what it’s called. It’s kind of like that clear film that you—you know, to pack into?
Celestine Beasley [01:02:37] Well, now, you grind the meat, and you season it, and you would take the hog intestine, not the chitlins. They had a little intestine. We would get a stick, cut it kind of sharp, stick it on there, and turn it inside out. And we would take a knife and scrape it, and it would be just as thin as like you get—those you buy now, and we would link them up. When you put them in that—we had something you call a stuffer. You could put the sausage in the stuffer, put the intestine on the pipe of it, and push it, and it’d go in there. And then you would take it and do like this, link it up. Then, when they get them linked up, she would hang them up and smoke them. The same smoked sausage you buy now, we used to make them.
Lauren Lee [01:03:54] Okay. I just want to talk about your kids for a minute. Altogether, how many kids did you have?
Celestine Beasley [01:04:00] Seven. I was the mother of eight, but one died, stillbirth, so I just say I had seven. Eight or seven, it doesn’t matter.
Lauren Lee [01:04:10] And how were—how many were boys? How many were girls?
Celestine Beasley [01:04:14] Three boys and four girls.
Lauren Lee [01:04:17] And what were the biggest things that you wanted for your kids or tried to instill in your kids?
Celestine Beasley [01:04:25] To be a loving child, to love each other, and most of all, to love yourself. And try to make a life for yourself. Go to school. Get a good education so you can make your way. You don’t have to depend on nobody to take care of you.
Lauren Lee [01:04:54] As your kids have gotten older, you know, are you proud of your—all your kids?
Celestine Beasley [01:04:58] Of course I am.
Lauren Lee [01:05:00] Are you proud of yourself for the way—?
Celestine Beasley [01:05:02] Yes, I am.
Lauren Lee [01:05:03] Are you?
Celestine Beasley [01:05:04] Yeah. Wouldn’t you be?
Lauren Lee [01:05:07] Uh-huh (affirmative).
Celestine Beasley [01:05:08] Okay. Yes, I’m very proud of my kids.
Lauren Lee [01:05:13] That’s great.
Celestine Beasley [01:05:15] Not what they can do for me, but what they’ll do for themselves. I figured I didn’t live these—all of these years, and if I can look back and says, Well, I did a good job in raising them, that’s something I’m very thankful for.
Lauren Lee [01:05:37] And my last thing is from when you were a child to now, what, you know, are the biggest things that you see that have changed and a lot of, you know, different things that you might have changed about yourself and, you know, the changing of the time?
Celestine Beasley [01:05:56] Well, you said myself; now, I can look back and wish I had’ve did some things different. For instance, I got married at an early age. I wish I had went on and went to college. After I got grown, I made a pretty good life for myself, but it was hard work. If I had’ve went to college and got—even if I hadn’t went the whole four years, I would’ve been prepared. I wouldn’t have had to go back to school and having children to raise just so I can make a living. So if I had’ve did that different—
Lauren Lee [01:06:44] So education.
Celestine Beasley [01:06:48] —I wouldn’t have had to work so hard.
Lauren Lee [01:06:51] But you raised kids, you know, by yourself, working, you know, as a nurse, so—
Celestine Beasley [01:06:55] Yeah.
Lauren Lee [01:06:57] —I think you a pretty good living for yourself.
Celestine Beasley [01:07:01] Yeah, that’s true.
Lauren Lee [01:07:04] Well, I want to thank you for coming down to let me interview you today. And I guess that’s it.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [01:07:12] Can I actually just ask a couple of questions?
Celestine Beasley [01:07:17] Uh-huh (affirmative), yeah.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [01:07:18] Just—in Mississippi, did your parents own the land that you farmed?
Celestine Beasley [01:07:24] No, they leased it.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [01:07:26] You can continue—actually, if you could—
Celestine Beasley [01:07:28] Oh, I’m sorry. No, they didn’t own it. They leased it. Just like people lease things now, they leased the land. They had to pay so much rent on it each year. Some of the peoples down there, they would work your land on half—you know, you get a certain percentage of what they raise. But my mom didn’t believe in that. If this one didn’t act right and would let her lease it and pay them so much, she’d go to somebody else. But we never owned the land where we were living at when I was a child. She had property down there where she was born at, but you couldn’t raise stuff. It was too hilly. It was sandy. The dirt was—you couldn’t raise stuff as well as you did in the part of the South where I was born and raised at.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [01:08:50] You mentioned taking the cotton that you grew to the cotton gin to be cleaned. After you did that, did you get it back and then sell it to a store?
Celestine Beasley [01:08:59] No, you would sell it. You would sell the cotton. We kept some to take, and we’d get a bush, beat it to thin it out to make quilts. Line—you line cloth and put it up and quilt it. But that’s how you made your money is selling the cotton and the seeds.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [01:09:33] What were some of the things that you did for fun when you were growing up in Mississippi?
Celestine Beasley [01:09:47] Nothing. Play with the other kids. I didn’t know what it was to—unless we go to the little town—well, it was a city. The little town, there wasn’t nothing to do because that’s where we went to school at. That’s where we went to church at. It was a couple of stores that we would go to, but it wasn’t nowhere to have no fun.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [01:10:21] And just the last question. You mentioned getting married as opposed to going to Cleveland, but where did you finish up your tenth and eleventh grade?
Celestine Beasley [01:10:29] Here.
Emma Yanoshik Wing [01:10:30] Here?
Celestine Beasley [01:10:30] In Cleveland, yes.
Lauren Lee [01:10:33] Do you remember the school?
Celestine Beasley [01:10:36] Washington Irving is the only one I can remember because when I went to take up my training for nursing, I went—it was a place they called Manpower. That’s where I went. And I was a single mom at the time when I went to school for nursing. I did get married later. But having the children, I couldn’t go to school like a lot of peoples went because I would have to go backwards and forward. I couldn’t go off to no college. But Manpower would take you and school you and then find you—help you find a job. But I—where they wanted—where they would put you, I wouldn’t take it. They wanted me to go to Huron Road Hospital to work. I refused to do it. I told them I would find a job on my own, and I did. I went to Mount Sinai and showed them my papers. And the only thing they told me: I don’t have nothing right now. Then, I went to university the same day, and the next day, I went downtown here in Cleveland. And when I got back home, Mount Sinai had called me and told me they had a job for me if I was interested. So I went, and I taken it, and I stayed there from ‘68 to ‘83. And the very lady that told me they wouldn’t take me said, They don’t hire peoples go through this school. I said, Well, they gonna have to tell me their self once I’m going. So I went.
Lauren Lee [01:12:54] And you got hired.
Celestine Beasley [01:12:58] I got hired. And the very lady that told me that—I was working, and I was walking down the hall on the eighth floor, and I laughed. Somebody said something, and I laughed. And she was in one of the rooms talking to someone that was sick. And she heard my laugh, and she recognized it. And she come out, and she says, You working? I said, Yes, I am. She said, I wouldn’t have believed it. She said, That shows you what’s your determination. You had your faith, and you went out on it, and you succeeded. And I did. Something else?
Emma Yanoshik Wing [01:13:45] Thank you.
Celestine Beasley [01:13:47] All right. You’re welcome. I just hope it’ll be something that is interesting to somebody.
Lauren Lee [01:13:51] It is.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.