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Fentriss Family

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  • Interview with Paralee Reid Fentriss

    Interview done as part of an oral history project for Surry Historical Society. Prentiss, who is a white woman, recalls growing up in Pilot Mountain. Her father delivered coal for a living but often was not paid for it. Attended UNC-Chapel Hill for a semester but caught the flu and didn't go back. Husband was a civil engineer and they were married November 1930 right as the Depression was hitting North Carolina. Her husband's work took them up and down the east coast before they returned to Pilot Mountain when he joined the Civil Conservation Corps and then the Army. Her husband served in World War II and was gone for almost 5 years serving in Europe. The whole family moved to Japan in 1950 before returning to Pilot Mountain. Remembers the KKK threatening to come to Pilot Mountain at one point and her brother, a judge, putting a stop to that happening after a black woman alerted him to it. She remembers race relations in Pilot Mountain being good. After her husband died in 1961, she became a house counselor at Salem Academy. Interview is in two parts.