John Broyhill of Arlington, Virginia was
borned in May nineteen hundred and twenty one. He lives with his
parents and is very devoted to his mother and sisters. His father is a
carpenter, but while John likes to make fancy wood work in his class
while at school, he doesn't want to become a carpenter.
John is eighteen years of age and will graduate
in the spring of nineteen and forty. He is of medium height, dark
hair, blue eyes and has dimples in his cheeks when [he] smiles. Gives
him along with his good manners gives him a very pleasing personality,
but John knows what it is to have to sacrifice and make a little go a
long way for since he was a small boy, the depression has been on and
he has four brothers and sisters to divide the family budget with and
often his father has been out of employment and sometimes go on relief
until could find another job, but through it all John has had
politeness and learned to wait and keep up good courage and with a
smile and pleasant countenance as he has pressed his way through the
grammar grades though often his clothes were patched and worn. He knew
he had parents and grandparents of which to be proud and his mother
often told him clothes didn't make the man and John held his head and
courage up and won a warm place among his class mates and teacher.
When he entered high school, it look at times
though he would be forced to quit school. The books cost so much and
everything cost so much and he might earn something out of school, but
his parents encouraged him to keep on in school and finish and this
John is determined to do. And now he is nearing the year of his
graduation. "Yes we had some tight pulls, but I've made the grade,
that is almost for next June is the month of graduation and then I
want to go to college. I want to become a teacher and on to principal
or superintendent of schools.
John is more in disposition like a girl. His sister
call him our "old maid." He likes to help his mother in the house,
cleaning and cooking. One day his mother had gone to the city with her
friends, getting home late, all worn out and tired . On he way home in
the car, she stretched herself out and yawningly remarked, "I'm so
tired and I dread getting home and cooking the family supper," only to
have John meet her on the steps with his big smile and dimples in
view. "Mother I've got your supper all cooked and just this minute put
the last dish on the table. I came home from school and you were not
here. The lady next door said you'd gone to the city, so I went to the
store, got some groceries I thought you'd like, so you all come on in
When mother has company, John Becomes chief cook and
serves the table first class. "He makes all my cakes and desserts,"
says mother, "and washes most all my dishes. He's more help to me than
either of the girls. I don't know how I will get along without him
when goes away to college. I don't see how he is going to be able to
go but we want to send him if there any chance in the world." With his
big smile, John answers, "Yes, I've sure pulled through some tight
places in all my school and I reckon I'll get through college some
way. Maybe I can get some work to help out on some of the expenses and
that wouldn't be so bad. I know fellows who worked their way all
through the four years who have won degrees. I might not come out with
a degree, but I could get an education and Dad could help me
sometimes. When I finish and get my position, I could pay you back and
help get Babe through."
John doesn't spent much of his time with girls.
"Plenty of time for that after I finish school." He takes his sister
to the movies sometimes and when they want to go on a trip, John is
always ready to be accommodating to them and they look to him for
recreation such as going places in their father's car and movie night.
See, John is an ideal brother to them. "We all count on John. He is an
outstanding brother." John is devoted to his parents and sister and
He enjoys singing in the young men choir. They have their
uniforms with caps and are often asked to sing on special occasions in
various churches and lodges and this is his chief pleasure. He likes
his Sunday School and church. The choir takes him to many churches and
places. His teacher of music says he has an "excellent tenor voice."
This he hopes to develop.
"After college is over and I get a good
position, I may become to like a girl, but my education comes first."
His mother thoroughly agrees with this view point. "There are few
girls good enough for John. Girls are becoming so frivolous. I hope he
keeps his head level, where he does associate with the girls. There is
so much of divorce and separation these days and I don't want no
divorce in the family. There has not been any yet and I don't want
John's grandmother on his mother's side is the
only grandparent he has and she lives in sicestion [?] with Caroline.
His grandfather has been dead for many years and John enjoys his
summer vacations when he came go with his mother to visit her. She
lives in the mountains about twenty miles west of Statesville and when
they go down there grandmother is overjoyed to have them and the good
home-cured meats, preserves and pickles, which she sets before them
would make the city boys look on with envy to say nothing of the other
goodies she cooks up in the old home style. And the way she serves the
poor old chicken, though they are fat as butter, is a shame. "And when
it's time to come home we have gained and gotten a good suntan being
going to the sea shore. And the way those folks treat you, well when
you get home a fellow longs for summer to come again and is mother
proud of her family. You would think we were all angels, the way she
tells folks about her family, but all mothers are like that, so will
have to excuse her.
"Young girls are supposed to be proud and
careful of their appearance, but the older mother gets the worse she
primps. Everything must be just right." Daddy tells mother, "Mother
I'm going to outlive you and needn't be so primply. Keeping spry for
your next husband?" Mother smiles, "you can never tell, Daddy, and its
worth the while to keep young."
John lives in an eight room house, painted and
plastered and papered within; and has a furnace, electric lights,
washing machine and radio and frigidare, and being used to modern
conveniences up there, John images it hard to live in the old rural
districts where one cannot secure those conveniences, especially the
washing machines as he watches the woman at his grandmother's rub out
her family wash on the old wash board after having drawn her water
from a deep well with the windless with a rope and bucket, "and the
country is a fine place to spend ones vacation, but give me the city
and its conveniences to live."