By Hazel Dickens
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Additional resources for Working Girl Blues: The Life and Music of Hazel Dickens
I think that it’s a common thing with babies. They have to give them something else to supplement their intake rather than milk. I was just literally wasting away. My mama would not have that. She wouldn’t sit there and see one of her children die. We lived back on a mountain where I was born. My father was out working somewhere, cutting timber and hauling it to the mines. Our family doctor had said he had done all he could do, that he didn’t know how to treat me. Mama said she was going to take me to a baby doctor in the next town who knew how to deal with my condition.
I think it was probably a source of pride for her. I never thought about it until years later, but she brought me back home and pulled me through. From that time on it seemed like she kinda paid special attention to me. I remember sometimes when we had only one glass of milk, she would walk the length and breadth of this long table, right by my brothers and sisters, and sit the glass by my plate. I always felt real special when she did that. She always paid close attention when I got sick (and I got sick a lot).
The line is heard in a song written and recorded by Earle in 1997: “Christmas in Washington,” El Corazon (Warner Brothers 946789–2). Hazel’s paternal grandparents, John Henrey Dickens and Sarah A. Gallimore Dickens. Courtesy of Hazel Dickens. Unless indicated otherwise, all illustrations are from Hazel Dickens’ collection. Hazel’s maternal grandparents, Garland Simpkins and Eliza Jane Simpkins, from Indian Valley, Floyd County, Virginia. Wedding picture of Hazel’s parents, Hillary Nathan (“H. ”) Dickens and Sarah Aldora Simpkins Dickens.
Working Girl Blues: The Life and Music of Hazel Dickens by Hazel Dickens