John & Maria Linda Haynes


Mr. and Mrs. Haynes both grew up in the farmlands of Southern Virginia. They moved to the District of Columbia in 1936 and now live in the Nightingale Trailer Park.

Question: What made you decide to move to the Washington, D.C. area?
Mr. Haynes: I understood things looked better up here.

Question: When you'all first moved to the Washington area, was that after the depression of the early thirties?
Mr. Haynes: I first came here in 1936. My wife and I felt we could make a better living in this area. Yes, that was after the depression, and the first year for Social Security.

Question: Do you feel the depression was terrible?
Mrs. Haynes: People really had it hard then.

Question: Did you like living in Washington, D.C.?
Mr. Haynes: Yes, it was convenient to the hospital, grocery stores, nice parks.

Question: After living in Washington, D.C. for 15 years, what made you decide to leave to move to Alexandria, Virginia?
Mr. Haynes: Integration. Well, a lot of undesirables came in from over there and I didn't feel like I wanted to mingle with 'em. So I moved down here to Alexandria, Virginia, bought this trailer and here I am now.

Question: How long have you lived in Woodley Hills Park?
Mr. Haynes: Twenty-one years.

Question: When you moved to Woodley Hills Trailer Park was it different?
Mr. Haynes: Well, it didn't seem too much different. Wasn't so many stores.

Question: Have you any criticism about Woodley Hills, or Alexandria?
Mr. Haynes: Don't have any criticism about Alexandria or the Park, and I can't praise them either. Alexandria is just as good as any , place to live. Living conditions are the same anywhere you go.

Question: Have you enjoyed living in Woodley Hills Trailer Park?
Mr. Haynes: Yeah, convenient to grocery stores, hospitals, except doctors won't come to the park. You have to get someone to take you to the doctor. It's mostly all the time quiet and peaceful. Well, it has its rowdy moments too. It's like that wherever you go. Very nice neighbors, too.

Question: What was it like when you first moved in the park?
Mr. Haynes: Some greeted us, sane business people too. Sane neighbors looked like they took off and ran.

Question: What was the worst year or years while living in Woodley Hills?
Mrs. Haynes: I don't know. None of them too bad, thank the Lord.
Mr. Haynes: Well, some of them worse than others. Last few years had trouble getting heating oil, plus groceries going up and us aging. It's getting rough.
Mrs. Haynes: Always had something to eat, thank the Lord.
Mr. Haynes: Worst trouble I had was buying clothes for myself. Can't get out to buy them. Can’t walk, can't get no clothes, shoes. I’m in a hell of a fix!

Question: Mr. Haynes, do you’all go to the Woodley Hills Park Church?
Mr. Haynes: We used to go all the time -Rev. Garret is a good preacher -but just can't seem to get around anymore.
Mrs. Haynes: He has poor circulation in his knees and legs.
Mr. Haynes: Yeah, just not capable anymore, can't get around. I'm incapacitated.

Question: Would you rather live in some other area?
Mr. Haynes: I don't know about some other area, but 1 . . .1 know what this is and I would be doing much better living if I could. Just ain't capable anymore.

Question: When you first moved to the park in 1958 were there different kinds of people in the park?
Mr. Haynes: Just business people, elderly people. Some government people in the park too, but I can't tell a government person from anyone else.

Question: Mr. Haynes do you remember when the management had any kind of clean up plans?
Mr. Haynes: Yeah, they had clean up plans -two of them. Didn't amount to nothing though. It worked for a few weeks; then it slowly got worse and worse.

Question: How many trailers are in the park now?
Mr. Haynes: Oh, about 350, near that number of trailers.

Question: Do you plan to stay in the park, Mr. Haynes?
Mr. Haynes: Long as I'm able to stay here I will. If I could move out I would...a lot depends on my health. I don't have many years left and I would like to live in peace. Yeah, feeling bad like I feel. Today I feel like hell. Keep feeling like this, might always stay here.

Question: In bad weather in the park did anything happen at the trailer?
Mr. Haynes: One time the heat went out, no oil, like to froze to death. It took so long to get the heating oil. My heating blanket helped us out some. Yeah, it's rough when you can't get heating oil and come up with some heat.

Question: What do you think about Fairfax County taking over Woodley Hills Park?
Mr. Haynes: I don't think that will improve it any.

Question: Are they planning to improve the park?
Mr. Haynes: Yes, but what they are supposed to do and what they do is two different things.
Mrs. Haynes: Seeing is believing.
Mr. Haynes: I think it's just a scheme to get over on that real estate.

Question: Do you have any special hobbies?
Mr. Haynes: Just sleeping and eating. Reading all the time now, since I can't hardly walk anymore. I used to go commercial fishing a lot in Florida and make walking canes.

Question: Did you catch any fish?
Mr. Haynes: All the catfish you ever need. Yeah, a lot of catfish. That's the only fish you can sell in Florida.

Question: Why?
Mr. Haynes: It's not a game fish. If you catch a game fish you can't sell the fish, but you can eat the hell out of them though.

Question: How do you skin a catfish?
Mr. Haynes: Skinning board. Nail 'em to it, and pull the skin off of them. Yeah, I can skin a catfish before you turn around.

Question: Are they big ones?
Mr. Haynes: You catch two or three about three to five pounds; then a big one.

Question: Did you used to make walking canes?
Mr. Haynes: Yes, but just can't get up and out to find the wood.Can't do it no more.

Question: Do you sell the canes?
Mr. Haynes: Give them away..

Question: What wood would you look for?
Mr. Haynes: Sassafras wood, nature wood. Nature done that swirling look, wrapping itself around, and around, to the wood. I found the wood from the hills in the park right over there. When walking around in the forest over there, I found the wood. Lots of rabbits there too.

Question: When were you born, Mr. Haynes?
Mr. Haynes: March 3rd, 1903.

Question: As children, where did you'all grow up?
Mr. Haynes: About eight miles above Richmond, met my wife in Richmond, too.
Mrs. Haynes: On a farm near Richmond.

Question: Did you have any children?
Mr. Haynes: No, didn't have any children. You have some nice children and some bad ones, some nice neighbors and some bad ones...all our neighbors been nice though.

Question: Do you'all have any special restaurant you like to go to?
Mr. Haynes: I don't have no favorite restaurant. I eat at home all the time. Yeah, I don't need a meal on wheels.

Question: Mr. and Mrs. Haynes after living for over seventy years through life, what do you think about it?
Mr. Haynes: What?
Mrs. Haynes: Living honey, plain ole living. It's been good so far, ain't it honey?
Mr. Haynes: It's pretty rugged. The older you get the worse life gets. Can't get no assistance when you need it.
Mrs Haynes: It always could be worse. We always had something to eat, on second thought.
Mr. Haynes: If you can't help yourself, you're out of luck.
Mrs. Haynes: Yeah, I 'm going to keep on trying. Been going on so far. Good Lord seems to help us. It's so late we can't go by the coin anyway.

Volume Three, Table of Contents
Snake Hill to Spring Bank Homepage

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