Harriet Hall Pullom Interview

Dublin Core


Harriet Hall Pullom Interview


Rosedale History Harvest, Memories of Rosedale


Harriet Hall Pullom narrates her experience living in Rosedale "90%" of her life. She recalls childhood memories of the area and speaks of her current living situation in the neighborhood. She speaks about her intense love for her community, the safety she feels within Rosedale and her hopes for the neighborhood's future.


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March 24, 2019

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Jonathan Lawson


Harriet Hall Pullom


Lee Community Center, Rosedale AL


JONATHAN LAWSON: Alright, so this is Jonathan Lawson, uh would you mind telling me your name?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: My name is Harriet Hall Pullom, I was Hall when I grew up in Rosedale so that's my maiden name, Hall.



JONATHAN LAWSON: And how long have you lived in Rosedale?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: I just turned sixty in November and I've been in Rosedale ninety percent of my life.


HARRIET HALL PULLOM: And I wouldn't live anywhere else.

JONATHAN LAWSON: Why is that? Tell me what you love about Rosedale.

HARRIET HALL PULLOM : Uh, the thing that I love about Rosedale is the community aspect is that I always felt like we were always family, that you were never by yourself, that no matter what street you went on there was somebody who knew you and related to you and who would help you if you got in trouble, I just liked the community aspect of it.

JONATHAN LAWSON: Mhm, so tell me about some of the things that you remember growing up… maybe church or school or something along those lines?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: So, I went to Rosedale High School until that closed down, so it was always, we walked to school, we walked up the hill to school. And you knew all the people in your classroom and the teachers they were more than they--your teachers, they were your family. You could tell that they cared about you getting an education and wanting you to have an education and so they didn't put up with foolishness. That you had to do what you were supposed to do while you were there. Best cooks in the world, the lunchroom you know they were just they were on point, they always had good food, cinnamon rolls, peanut butter cookies, everything they all had their specialty.

JONATHAN LAWSON: You're speaking my language, now!

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: (Laughter) And the thing about it is, not only were they the people in the lunchroom, they were the people at your church. So, if you did something wrong at school, your parents would be in the know because they were going to tell on you. And that was the thing is that it takes a village, people say that now but actually when we grew up, it was a village. I mean, if you did something on one street, by the time you got home, somebody else already told your mom and you were going to be in trouble. And you better not say you didn't do it because you could not talk or tell adults were telling a story on you. If they said you did it, you did it.

JONATHAN LAWSON: So, I know you've been here, a long time--


JONATHAN LAWSON: What were some of the challenges you remember about this area growing up that you think really shaped your views of this area?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: I think--I don't think we understood the challenge until we got older. I think because if I had sugar, you had sugar. If I had something you didn't have, then you could ask me for it and they would provide it. We used to call it like a cup, if you didn't have sugar then you sent next door and said, “Tell Mrs. so and so to send me a cup of sugar.” And if you needed something—and everybody on our street didn't have a telephone so if one person had a phone, it was the community's phone, you know they would say, “Go down the street and tell so and so they have a call,” so I don't think we really understood just how poor we were, because we never felt that. Because our parents never, never let us feel that way. Because if we needed something, there was going to be a way for us to get it. I can remember that, when we had to go to Edgewood and the Homewood High School and the middle school our parents got together, and they got a bus. You know they put their money, their resources together--we had a bus to take us to school because the school system did not provide that for us, so our parents always made sure that we had what we needed.

JONATHAN LAWSON: Is there a location or a building that is no longer here that you really miss?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: I mean even this building is not the same way when we grew up, you know and the thing I miss is the High School from Rosedale being there, the school being there. We had stores, we had corner stores, you know, laundry mats, I can honestly say everything we needed was in our community. We had everything we needed in our community and so we didn't have to go out looking for things. And we were saying this in a meeting not too long ago is, I lived on the other side of the highway and we weren’t allowed to come on this side of the highway without adult supervision because it was always a highway, you know it was always dangerous and stuff so you kind of stayed on your side and they stayed and the only time you came together was either church or school.

JONATHAN LAWSON: So, my history of the area is not as, as good as it probably should be, uhm, was the highway built during the time that you were here, was it there already, how, how did that come about?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: Yeah because even when you came up here today, all that that's highway now used to be houses. We can remember when people lived there you know that it's, that it’s not there anymore and even going down there where there’s buildings are, where businesses are there were families that lived there so a part of Rosedale is missing because it's gone, it’s business now so a lot of what we knew as Rosedale isn't there anymore.

JONATHAN LAWSON: How do you think that shaped the community as it is today?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: I, it's like when you grew up you really didn't really know what you had until it's gone, so I think people moved away, looking for better but didn’t realize they had it all the time. And so, when they grew up, they went to another community they didn't want to come back and now they wish they had that, because we had everything right here but as you grow up you think, you know, “I'm going to do better for myself” and instead of investing in this community, they invested somewhere else.

JONATHAN LAWSON: So why did you choose to stay?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: I, I don't even know if I would know how to function anywhere else. You know, because, I still have that love for my community, even though it's not the same, I still have a next-door neighbor that if I need sugar, Miss Barbara gives me sugar, if she needs something you know. And so, uh I went to visit my daughter in D.C. and they were like do you have a security system, yeah, it's called Barbara Pope! (Laughter) And so, I know that if something happens, she's going to let me know, you know what’s going on and so we always had that. If somebody died in the community we went around we took up money for flowers or if somebody died and they didn’t have insurance, we would take up money to help the family out. So that’s why I say we always had the support we needed right here in our community.

JONATHAN LAWSON: What do you want the people of Birmingham as a whole to know about this area?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: It's that we love our community. We love our community. I would not move away. I just turned sixty in November, my kids say, “Ma you need to!” I want to be here. This is where I want to grow up and spend my life because it’s community, it’s love, it’s networking. And even though a lot of people have moved away, it’s nothing like coming back home and seeing those people.

JONATHAN LAWSON: That's wonderful, that's wonderful.


JONATHAN LAWSON: Are there any areas that I haven't asked you about that you'd like to talk about or?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: I think you've done a good job!
JONATHAN LAWSON: Pretty good, okay.

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: Yes yes, you've done a good job and I'll just say that when we grew up there was always something for us to do. Like in the summer time we have Spring Park we used to have a swimming pool, we could go, and swim and they had programs in the summertime for us to have, we had programs we went on fieldtrips, they, like I said, they always provided us with what we need to grow so we never felt left out. We went to different trips, they would take us to Six Flags and you know we've always every summer we did a trip.

JONATHAN LAWSON: So, I'll ask you one last question, what are your dreams for this area in the next few years?

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: Ah! I wish, it is my prayer that people would reinvest in the community that people would see the value of growing up in a community, the thing that I am proud of is that my kids got to experience Rosedale, so they know what it is to grow up in a community. My daughter lives in D.C. She doesn’t even know the person that lives next door to her. You understand? But we knew everybody knew everybody, so if I was in trouble, they would see about me. if they didn't see me, they would call and say hey are you alright over there? People miss that now, you know you walk in your house and you, you just an island. It's nothing like being in a community.

JONATHAN LAWSON: That's wonderful, thank you so much for your time.

HARRIET HALL PULLOM: Thank you, for your time, Jonathan!




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“Harriet Hall Pullom Interview,” The Rosedale Memory Project, accessed June 25, 2024, https://rosedalememoryproject.omeka.net/items/show/47.


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