Interview with Curtis Jones


Curtis Jones:

Mmmm. Uh, that happened that Sunday. Wednesday I was over at some relative house, we was out there, uh, picking cotton. So one of my uncles named Maurice drove up there in the car, in that 1941 Ford, and was telling me, he say, uh, he said, "Curtis, they found Bo, they found Bo." He say look, I say "Is he d-, is he alive?" He said, "No, he's dead," he said, "Poppa want to know do you have a suit?" I said, "No, I don't have no suit." He said, "Come on back cause they gonna have his funeral," you know. So I got in the car with him, and we rode back to the house. So my grandfather, he wasn't thinkin', you know. So I asked him, I say, uh, "Poppa," uh, I say, "you think it'd be wise to bury him down here?" I said, "I'm sure Mamie would like to have the funeral in Chicago." He said, "I don't know what to do." I said, "Why don't you let me call first?" you know. So I called Chicago again to my mother, and my mother got in touch with Mamie, and they got in touch with the [ double NACP, ] and they had, uh, an undertaker, this was a white undertaker to pick the body up and take it round bout fifty miles away, and uh, put it in a air-sealed casket, and then they shipped it back to Chicago. But at first they had a black undertaker out there, and he was scared to death. He told my grandfather, they were trying to get him to take the body back to town, and he told me, told them, say, "Listen," he said, "they gave me strict orders not to bring this body back to town, and I'm not going to take it back to town," you know. So, anyway, when this white undertaker came and took over that body he was glad to get rid of him, you know.