Barbara W. Hayes was born in 1939 on Wye Plantation, in Queenstown, Maryland, where she lived for the majority of her childhood.
In this interview, Barbara explains how she worked as a domestic for the Houghton Family on Wye Plantation, in addition to aiding her infirm grandmother during summer. She shares the different procedures she had to take if she saw a plane, as a plane spotter. Also, she discusses how the way she received new, then, was by radio.
Procedure for Planes
Well, I knew [the war] was going on, but it wasn’t a fear factor for me, at my age, at my tender age. So, what I remember was about the lights. When a storm came, we all had to be quiet, and the lights were turned out, we were all huddled up together; that was respecting the storm. That’s how it was in my family. And as far as when the planes would come over, I do remember that the lights had to be off. And we were quiet. The next day if [my parents] talked about it, it was not something that connected to me. I was more just free, and playing, and jumping – I just had fun on the farm. I really did. I had fun on the farm.
Listening to the Radio
On Sundays, we would listen to Edward R Murrow. That was my mother’s favorite. She loved this man. On Sundays, we had to listen to him. Every Sunday. I know we had to do it. I know that that voice was heard in our home every Sunday. He – Edward R Murrow, had her – he had her ear, he had her ear, he did. Well, I’m sure he said a whole lot of political stuff that she agreed with. Apparently she believed in whatever it is he said because we listened to him every Sunday. I mean, if there is somebody that you don’t like you turn off from them. So, she listened to him. And I’m sure at work they would have discussions about it. She would probably take it to work and talk with the people that she worked with – ‘you know what he said last night,’ ‘yeah, yeah I believe in that,’ ‘yeah, I agree with that.’ But I… I still avoid a whole lot of stuff; it’s not right, but I do. So, [my sister] said, ‘you need to listen to the news.’ I said, ‘I know I do, but I just –’ I just have this funny thing that I do a lot of praying about life, and about things people do that are horrible. But, I just can’t…I just have to let stuff go, so I just pray. Because I have to protect my heart. But, yeah, we did have to listen to him. I probably – after it was over I was probably running and jumping somewhere.