Madolyn Jones Wyatt Interview

Dublin Core

Title

Madolyn Jones Wyatt Interview

Subject

Rosedale History Harvest, Rosedale Memories

Description

Madolyn Jones Wyatt discusses her attendance at Rosedale High School and her experience with integration in the tenth grade. She also recounts her childhood in Rosedale, the atmosphere of the community and changes in Rosedale culture.

Source

[no text]

Date

March 24, 2019

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Shae Corey

Interviewee

Madolyn Jones Wyatt

Location

Lee Community Center, Rosedale Alabama

Transcription

SHAE COREY: Alright, so if you wouldn't mind telling us your name?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: It's Madolyn, it was, during the time I was at school it was Jones, Madolyn Jones.

SHAE COREY: Okay. Uhm, so you grew up in Rosedale?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Right.

SHAE COREY: How long did you live here?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: All my life.

SHAE COREY: Wow!

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Yes.

SHAE COREY: So you said you were, you went to the Rosedale High School?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Mhm, well it was like elementary and...You know...

SHAE COREY: And high school?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Yeah.

SHAE COREY: All, all the grades?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Yeah. It was uh, K through...

SHAE COREY: Twelfth.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Twelfth, yeah.

SHAE COREY: And, did you go, you said K through tenth grade?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Uh, I stopped, well they closed it, and you know, desegregation?

SHAE COREY: Mhm.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: When I was in the tenth grade.

SHAE COREY: Okay.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: So, when I was promoted to the eleventh grade we had to go to Shades Valley.

SHAE COREY: Okay, how was that experience for you?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Not good. (Laughter). Not good. I didn't like school anyway, but I hated it because you know they kind of divided us all up--so like you didn't have any of your friends in the class you were just like the only black person in one class, you know...

SHAE COREY: Really?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: So it was kind of difficult to start out.

SHAE COREY: Yeah, so were black students the minority then at, Shades...

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Valley.

SHAE COREY: Valley.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Yes, yes, yes very much so. Very much so. But I, started, well most of the, most of the kids that grew up in Rosedale, some of them still live here. Some of them still live in Rosedale.

SHAE COREY: Mhm, yeah.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: But we went from the first grade to the tenth grade all in the same class, you know, we got graduate, we move from one class to the next. You know, and all of us stayed in the same class so we knew each other from you know age 6 until you know we were teenagers.

SHAE COREY: Mhm, mhm. Are you still friends with a lot of these people?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: A lot of them, yes. A lot of them. In fact, one of your volunteers here is, was in my class. I mean one of them doing the food and stuff.

SHAE COREY: Really?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Here today, yeah, was in my class then.

SHAE COREY: Wow, that's so cool. So what do you remember about the Rosedale School, like what was your favorite part about going there?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: I think, it was the, it was exciting, like I said you know we knew each other so it was like every year you got to be with the same people you got to be with the year before and it was like growing up, we were like a family because you knew everybody. And it was kind of, we had a May Day thing, every year where you dressed up in the little costumes, every class had their own little costume, and you'd be doing your own little dance or whatever.

SHAE COREY: That's so fun! (Laughter)

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: And in sixth grade, you got to plait the May Pole. But they stopped doing it by the time we got to the sixth grade. (Laughter) So we didn't get to do it!

SHAE COREY: Oh man, you didn't get to do it!

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: No, no! And then when we were in Elementary School, we had to stay on the first floor, so you kind of looked forward to getting older and moving to the second floor and the third floor, whatever you know. So, we were looking forward to that you know.

SHAE COREY: Yeah!

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: And that, that was a fun thing, to, to look forward to that.

SHAE COREY: Yeah, so what was your favorite part about growing up in Rosedale like outside of the school, talking about a family, did you feel super connected to everyone in the neighborhood or?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Yeah everybody knew everybody, everybody knew, you knew, and everybody's house, I mean, you could tell where everybody' lived, I mean you know, okay this person lived in this house, this person lives here, and if you did anything wrong by the time you got home, my mother would be standing in the yard, waiting. Because somebody had already called her. So you got into trouble because the neighbor would get you in trouble. I mean, we, we, you know the neighbor would holler at you or whatever and then when you got home...

SHAE COREY: Yeah! (Laughter) You got yelled at twice, yeah you got in trouble twice.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: (Laughter) Yeah, yeah!

SHAE COREY: That's so funny, do you remember any like specific stories about that or just like anything you did, you feel like you couldn't get away with anything.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Well, I was a good child, so...

SHAE COREY: Mhm. "I was perfect!"

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: (Laughter) I didn't really get in trouble like that.

SHAE COREY: That's funny. What did you do after you graduated?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: I was married right after high school, so you know, just not really anything spectacular (laughter).

SHAE COREY: Mhm, yeah. So do you still live in, you still live in Rosedale?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Mhm, after I got married and well divorced, I moved back to Rosedale.

SHAE COREY: Wow. So you moved back--well how do--

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: So I've been here maybe about twenty years.

SHAE COREY: Wow, how do you feel like it's changed like since from when you grew up?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: I don't know anybody anymore.

SHAE COREY: Yeah.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: I mean, there's a few people that are still here. There's a few houses that are still the same. But a lot of houses are torn down or they're abandoned. And because the people that was older, that, that, the older parents uh that built the houses and stuff their kids have moved on to different places and either sold their houses or their houses are just standing and being abandoned so it's changed. I don't really know anybody anymore, that much in the neighborhood. There are still some people, some families there but there are a lot of people I don't know. Like say there used to be a time I knew everybody in the neighborhood but it's not like that anymore.

SHAE COREY: Mhm, I know the Rosedale Reunion summer is this summer, right?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Yes.

SHAE COREY: Are you excited about it? Are you going to go?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Uh, yeah. Well, I, my brother is the president so.

SHAE COREY: Really!

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: So it's kind of like, I have to.

SHAE COREY: You got to go. (Laughter)

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Yeah. (Laughter). My mother was president for a long time so.

SHAE COREY: Have you been before?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Oh yeah. I go every year.

SHAE COREY: What are they like?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Uh, they have the banquet. Where you get to see people you haven't seen for a while and picnic so it's fun.

SHAE COREY: It's fun. So I know that one other thing I want to ask you about is we talk a lot about the different businesses that have popped up and the loss of like houses and different things like that, how do you feel about that going on in Rosedale, like does that make you sad or do you kind of, how do you feel about..?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Well, I think it's kind of, it's kind of taken over the neighborhood. You know and it's not as, as, like I said it used to be like family oriented and it's not like that anymore.

SHAE COREY: Mhm, mhm. Yeah.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: You know, it's like more uh commercial you know and it seem like it shrinking every year. You know, it's just eating up a little bit at a time, little bit at a time.

SHAE COREY: Yeah we were walking around giving out flyers the other day, me and Robbie. And, I think--yeah, okay you looked familiar!

(Laughter)

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Right!

SHAE COREY: And I was like--I feel like I saw you, but we were just shocked by like we were, one step and you're in like a business district.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Right, right.

SHAE COREY: And so that was even upsetting to us we were like, "What!" So. Yeah.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: So you saw the empty lots?

SHAE COREY: Mhm.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: And the houses? Yeah, it used to be houses all up and down that street.

SHAE COREY: Really?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Mhm, I was on the top of the hill where you came up.

SHAE COREY: Yeah!

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Yeah, because I met you at the mailbox.

SHAE COREY: Yes ma'am. Perfect.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Is he here?

SHAE COREY: Yes! He is, right there.

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: Okay, oh okay. Yeah, okay, okay. Yeah, I remember you now.

SHAE COREY: Yeah!

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: But you had your hair up.

SHAE COREY: Yes! I was probably a little sweatier too, it was hot. But...

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: That's my sister.

SHAE COREY: Hi! Well, that was perfect. Is there anything else that you want to share about Rosedale or...?

MADOLYN JONES WYATT: No. Did you want, to talk? She, she, she ask you questions. I mean, she make it easy for you. She makes it easy.

(Laughter)

(Background noise, speaking)

SHAE COREY: We have plenty of time. Yeah.

Duration

8:12

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Citation

“Madolyn Jones Wyatt Interview,” The Rosedale Memory Project, accessed July 16, 2024, https://rosedalememoryproject.omeka.net/items/show/51.

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