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Blanche Knox Parker's first job was at the Sock Mill in Cornelius, North Carolina.  She started working there after she graduated from high school in 1934.  She knitted the tops for socks from 11pm until 7am.  Blanche also worked for a short time at Globes Clothing CompanyShe made $4.50/week. 

Soon afterwards, Blanche moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and lived with her cousin. There she applied for a job at the Telephone Company as a long distance telephone operator. Blanche worked at the telephone company for 3 years until she was married in 1938 to Charles Parker. Listen below to hear hear her describe her experience:

While her children were in school, her neighbor ran the Davidson College Bookstore.  Her neighbor asked her if she wanted to work there, so Blanche decided to work mornings for a short time. 

One day Blanche found that her neighbor was paying the students more than he was paying her. You can hear her reaction below:

At this time, all female employees of the college were considered Chambermaids.

Dr. Woods' wife asked Blanche if she would like to be her husband's receptionist.  Blanche accepted the job and learned how to keep the books and perform other secretarial tasks.  It was at this time that she learned about and became acquainted with the black community in Davidson.  Blanche worked for Dr. Woods beginning around 1976 for 11 years.  She recalls that Dr. Woods was a missionary doctor and was known for his diagnostic abilities.  She says that he was able to give you a diagnosis without performing any tests or touching you.  His nurse, Salinda Mayhew was also a kind woman and had the reputation of being able to give a shot or draw blood without hurting you.

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The text, video, audio, and website are the result of interviews conducted by Jennifer Frymiare,
Davidson College Class of 2002, in the Fall of 2001.

© 2009 Kristi S. Multhaup, Ph.D. | Davidson College | Davidson, NC 28035 | Phone: 704.894.2008
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