Ezra Adams was 83 when he told a Works Progress Administration interviewer about his time on the plantation of Lawrence Adams. He was clearly a writer who missed his time. Here's an excerpt:
"I ain't going to say a word of evil against their dust lying over yonder in their graves.... When marster died, that was the time of my first real sorrow. Three years later, missus passed away, that was the time of my second sorrow. Then, I reminded myself of a little tree out there in the woods in November. With every sharp and cold wind of trouble that blowed, more leaves of that tree turned loose and went to the ground, just like they was trying to follow her. It seemed like, when she was gone, I was just like that tree with all the leaves gone, naked and friendless. It took me a long time to get over all that; same way with the little tree, it had to pass through winter and wait on spring to see life again."
With every sharp and cold wind of trouble that blowed, more leaves of that tree turned loose and went to the ground, just like they was trying to follow her.
If you've never read any of these accounts, it's worth your time. They are horrifying, funny, offensive, sad, and enlightening. I read these on Ancestry.com.