T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
Her father’s herbal remedies and whiskey making
Lillian Washington by Chelsea Arsenault.
LILLIAN WASHINGTON: Well he would treat people, you know. I don't know with something. Later on . . . I remember it real well because I would go bring her medicine. He would go in the woods, and he . . . I should know how to do it because I boiled the tea for him. He had a big black pot. He would go in the woods, I'd go with him, and he would get different things. Some plants, they are flowers in the yard . . . some by the yard, and they make like a fan, the leaf. I remember him putting that in that water. And he sure would heal people, and they would get well. But I don't remember the rest.

CHELSEA ARSENEAULT: So he was a healer?

WASHINGTON: [Agrees] And he would let some whiskey, too. And he would sell it.

ARSENEAULT: He made whiskey?

WASHINGTON: Yeah, with some corn. I'd help him. Anything he had to do, he'd always make me help him because I was the tallest one . . . the oldest one. And I never taste the whiskey. I work with my daddy and I never taste the whiskey. My sister next to me, she would drink [beeping noise] when my daddy didn't see her. One day she got drunk. Real little. When she got better my daddy whipped her. But to taste that whiskey. And you would sell the liquor. He made beer, too. Make tea for the one that was sick.
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