Interview with Gibson Chapman

Go back to the beginning and what you remember during your early years.

Born in my grandparents (Chapman home) in Dec 1927.  Mom and Dad living over the Dailey’s store across from the Chapman store.  The shell of the store is the same as is there now.

Had a brother who died at 1 day old.  Ellen was born when he was 7.  Wayne showed up some 17 years after Gibson.  Gibson finished high school and went to VPI for a summer session.  Mr Russell Kirk told Gibson when he was to be drafted and it would be best for him to go to school in 1946.  On the proper date they drafted him but he was only in 1 day.  He volunteered for the Army of the US and stayed in 18 months.

Went through basic training and ultimately shipped to Japan.  He served in the occupation of Japan in 1947.  William Ballard was a classmate at VPI.  They wanted to volunteer for the Navy, went to Richmond, checked their records and saw that their induction notice had already been mailed thus it was off to the Army.  While in Japan was in the base HQ squadron doing administrative work.

After 18 months came back home to help run the store.  Originally Mr. Chapman operated the Dailey Store .  Mr. Pitt suggested he go down and try the store to see if there was enough business.  House was built in 1928 and store in 1929.  John Bradshaw went into business with Sam Chapman for a short period between 1946 and 47.  They put in a new line of goods such as boat motors and waterman gear.  They did lots of business with the Crittenden and Eclipse community.  Listen around 13.00 for some good data.

Gibson’s Grandfather had slaves on his farm from Isle of Wight County.

Talked about the use of kerosene for cuts etc (16.00)

Bridges being built around 1928 but all roads were dirt then.  Seems that people trying to outrun the sheriff would run toward Eclipse into a dead end.

Talked about the ticket register (18.30)  Farmers would pay up, after their crops came in.  Like an annual bill.

Mr. Willard Woolford lived in the home that Mr. Rippey would occupy. (19.30).

Talked about Willey Dailey (21.30) and Stanley Pruden.  Chapman, Dailey, Prudens were familiar names in the area.

Gibson went to Chuckatuck and his principal was Mr. Christopher.  Mr. Christopher made the comment one day that he was going to stay at Chuckatuck until Sonny graduated. (23.30)

(24.00) talked about fixing lunch ie sweet potato with molasses.  (24.30)  talked about ice delivery to the store and how it was stored and cracked.  One of his primary jobs was sweeping and getting ready for Friday night and Saturday.  Would stay open to midnight.  Would bag sugar, and stock shelves.  Lots of bootleggers came in to buy stocks.  Moonshine was not sold but possibly kept at the store. (29.00)    Stayed with Sonny a lot and granddaddy would bring home rock fish.  Sonny, Gibson and Scott Saunders would go up to the third floor and pillow fight.  He would come up with his long strap and Scott got on his bicycle and went home.  (31.00)  Talked about playing sports and who was playing (32.00)  Talked about the tent show that was by the store.  Clair Willoughby and Jenny Woodard plus Chief would put on shows.  Singing Dippsy Doodle.  Another high light in growing up in Chuckatuck was (35.40)  the boy scouts.  Stokes Kirk was one of the first scout masters and went into the Army Corps of Engineers.  Arthur Kirk and then Josh Pretlow took turns.  Meeting were in the gym at school.  Another highlight was to go over to the Byrd’s store to hear Mr Byrd and all the boys pick and play.  Pop was the singer.

Ellen was born in 1932.

Gibson met Peggy when she was in the techerage at Mrs. Gilliam’s.  Sonny dated Peggy once and kept telling her about his cousin.  (42.00) Talks about running off Harry Glasscock.  Peggy started teaching after graduation from Mary Washington in 1950.  Mr Christopher told her about a job in Chuckatuck.  Married August 5th 1952.  Had three children,  Gib, (1956)  Andy (1961)  Kim (1966).  Now has 8 grandkids.  (48.00) talking about the grandkids.  Talks about kids going to Europe regarding music.  Tried to talk Andy into going to Tech vice UVA.  Peggy passed away in 2007.

(52.00)  If you had one recollection of your childhood what would stand out the most.   Gibson was quite an outdoors person, sliding on the ice, scratching potatoes.  Evelyn was somewhat frail but they bought a cow and left it with Mr. Pruden.  Gibson started bottling the milk and started a savings account.

Sonny liked to Tussle with Totsy Moxley.  (56.00) talked about Frank Spady Senior driving the bus and Emmit Copeland (called him Snake eye)  Emmit would beat up on them the next day.  Charlie Byrd said Chuckatuck was Paradise.   May 1972 Sam passed away.  Evelyn passed away in 2000.  (60.30)  Talks about Johnny.  He was hit by a school bus.  Worked for Mr. Chapman and Gib has carried on keeping Johnny employed.  Johnny also sings in the choir.   Tommy Howell finished high school with Gibson.  Went into practice with Guy Weddel.  Dr Weddel was impressed with the size of Emmit and went over and ask him why he was so big.  Said he ate muskrats and collard greens.  Dr. Eley liked dogfish.  Built home in Hobson in 1964.  Before that was in the meadow lot apartments.

Not much after (69.00)  mostly discussing extra room on back of house.

(72.0)      First year that Sonny and Gibson have not been to the UVA games together.  Sonny and Gibson just like Huck Fin and talks about the hand ferry across a river in western Virginia.

(77.00)  The most prominent colored person in Sandy Bottom was Capt Hicks.  He  would take them out on a fishing trip every summer. Diggs family also prominent in Sandy Bottom.  He was a minister in the local church and one of them ran a store in Sandy Bottom.  Mary Diggs is married to Councilman Brown.