this is an interview I held with my mom about her life.an historical account/Wanda Noe
Interview of my mom,
Wanda Lou (Stewart) Noe
By Lisa Ann Noe
1. When and where were you born? Harlan Kentucky, in a small coal-mining camp called Mary Helen. I was born on January 22, 1942. To George and Victoria Stewart.
2. How did your family come to live there? My mom was from Tennessee and she had two sisters here so she moved here. My dad was born here. My dad's dad died before he was born he drank poison water.
3. How many siblings did you have and what are their names? There are 6,
The oldest Junior. Died and the other boy, James Larry also died of consumption. Both boys died as infants. The oldest girl is Helen (Large),
And then there is Jackie (Jackson), Me, and Phyllis (Hill)(Herrell), My Parents then adopted Jackie’s oldest son Tim (Stewart) was legally adopted.
4. Where there any other family members in the area, like an extended family.
Morning Hensley, Grandmother on father’s side.
5. What was the house like? What was known as a coal camp house. How many rooms did it have? 5 rooms Did you have electricity or indoor plumbing? Yes, I had electricity but had an outdoor bathroom.
6. What were some special items you remember? A picture in which I still have, and a sewing machine stool, corner shelf, all belonging to my mother.
7. what is your earliest childhood memory? Sliding down the hillside on a pasteboard box at the church. Playing in the church basement, walking from MaryHelen to Lenaru on the railroad tracks. Very much remember going to the grill to meet my friends and play the jukebox and dancing.
8. Describe the personalities of your family members? I rather just not answer the question.
10. What was your favorite toy? I loved playing bob Jacks Why? Because it was fun.
11. What kind of games did you play growing up? Cowboys and Indians, RedRover, Simon Says
12. What was your favorite thing to do for fun? Go to Denny Ray’s which was a hang out where all the teenagers went.
13. Did you have chores? yes, What were they? Wash dishes, go to grocery store
14. Did you receive an allowance? no How Much? n/a
15. What kind of music did you like? Popular music
16. What was school like for you as a child? I hated it
17. What were your favorite subjects? Drama
18. How far in school did you go? 4 years of high school
19. Who were your childhood heroes? Elizebeth Taylor, Paul Newman
20. Did you have any pets? yes, What kind? Dogs and cats What were their names? I can’t remember
21. What were your religion growing up? Methodist
22. Who were your friends growing up? Etta Ruth Chaffen, Carolyn Howard, were my two best friends.
23. What events had the biggest effect on you growing up?
The Kennedy assassinations, Vietnam War.
24. Did those events personally affect your family?
My Husband fought in the Vietnam war.
29. How were holidays, birthdays, Christmas and such celebrated at your house growing up? Birthday cake, traditional Christmas with tree and gifts.
30. Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?
No we all look different.
31. Who was the oldest relative you can remember?
My Grandmother Morning Hensley she was over 100
32. What do you know about your family’s surname?
Daddy’s real surname is Marion He was raised by a man named Stewart.
33. Is there a tradition of naming the oldest after a father or grandfather?
34. What stories have come down about your parents? Grandparents?
Victoria worked at a boarding house when she first came to Harlan and that is where she met daddy. Daddy helped to organize the UMWA union in Harlan. He helped to unload the stone off the train to build the MaryHelen Methodist Church.
35. Are there special heirlooms, bibles, coins or photo’s, etc. ?
I have a tintype photo of my Grandpa and several old photos that belonged to my dad. A bible with a ribbon from mom’s funeral.
36. When and how did you meet your spouse
In 1961, I met him through a friend, and we started to double date Gary Laws introduced us. His girl friend was Carolyn Howard.
37. What is your spouse’s full name? Charles Arnold Noe
38. What are the names of his siblings and parents? Brenda Noe, Sue Noe, Fay Seals, Jessie Gibson, Jack Noe, Olan Noe.Parents: Harold and Sarah (Nanny} Noe Nanny is a Cherokee Indian from Pound Va.
39. Where did you go on dates?
To Denny Ray’s and Ackley’s Café, and ride around site seeing.
40. Where were you proposed to? Pops restaurant, downtown in Harlan.
41. Where and when did you get married? March 19, 1962, in a small little church in Jonesville, Virginia.
42. What memory stands out most from your wedding day?
We had to get my mom and take her with us because I wasn’t 21.
43. How would you describe your spouse?
Wonderful, loving, and always had my back.
44. What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?
Honesty and trust
45. What is one thing you want people to remember about you?
That I cared about my family and would do anything for them.
46. How did you find out you were pregnant?
Just figured it, you know the normal way.
47. How many kids did you have? 2
48. What are there names? Tammie Smith, Lisa Ann Noe. How did you choose your children’s names? Tammie was named after the movie of the same title.
Lisa named after a character on the show “Green Acres”
49. What Was your proudest moment as a parent? When I brought my Babies home from the hospital. The first time I held them.
50. What were your profession? Housewife Why? because I had children to raise and I felt they needed someone to be with them to help them with their schoolwork and to be there when they got home from school.
51. What was the most valuable thing you learned from your parents?
52. What accomplishment were you most proud of?
My Children, I raised them well.
53. What is your worst memory? The Death of my husband at age 44, due to his exposure to Agent Orange in the Vietnam war.