Leniavell Trivette

Leniavell Trivette, Age 71, Retired Textile Worker, Current - Yarn Spinner, Quilter and Author; Zionville, North Carolina:

“I grew up on old Beech Mountain. We lived in a small five-room house. My dad was sick a lot. Before he got sick, he worked in Akron, Ohio. He got hurt while he was up there and back then you could never get no help. He was sick most of his life. My mom was always there with us, taking care of us. We did a lot of hard work. I had three sisters and two brothers. They are all gone now except my oldest sister.”

“We had a small farm and we raised tobacco just to have a little extra money. We would all work in the garden in the summertime. We would can all the fruits and vegetables we had. We had the tobacco to buy the few things we needed. There was only so much tobacco you were allowed to have on the farm. We could only put out four or five tents. We bought our plants from folks who lived down on Beech Creek. Me and my sister would go down there, pull up the plants, put them in a big washtub and carry them back. In the fall, we would cut it and hang it in the barn. Right before Christmas we would grade it and take it to market. As kids we had a good time with that… Something to do. On the way to market, mom and I would shop at Smithies’ Store. Mom would go ahead and put back what she was gonna get us for Christmas. She would tell the clerk we were heading to market. Once we were paid, we would stop on the way back and pay for it. ”

“I graduated in 1958… Graduated on Friday night and went to work on Monday morning at Newland Knitting Mill. After working in several textile mills, we formed an artist co-op over here in Western North Carolina. I worked at the co-op for 19 years, traveled all over to arts and crafts shows from South Carolina to Cincinnati. Did a lot of shows on my own as well… make quilts, sock monkeys, bonnets and things like that. I do spinning too, on an old fashioned spinning wheel. My mom done spinning and I learned from her.“

“A few years back, can’t remember the year, Kurt Russell was doing a movie over in Avery County. He had bought Goldie Hawn a spinning wheel, and he wanted somebody to teach Goldie to spin on that spinning wheel. He called us. He came out to the house, brought the spinning wheel and wanted to see where she was gonna be taking lessons. So Goldie and Kate Hudson came out… My mom taught Goldie and I taught Kate to spin. They came about three different times. They were so nice and we really all just had a good time. Me and mom used to get letters from them all the time.”

“Now let me tell you about making apple butter with Old Crow Medicine Show. They are a fine bunch of young men…”