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My Alabama Shaw Family on My Father’s Side From 1861-2014

Granddaddy Adam pulled bark to get tar, from pine trees, to earn financial support for his family

Posted Sept 26, 2916

Annie Shaw-Barnes, Ph.D.
Author and Speaker
Cultural Anthropologist
Family Specialist
Family Education Specialist
Spousal Abuse Specialist
Christian Church Specialist
Racism Specialist

Hi everyone,

After marriage, Granddaddy did hard labor-- pulling bark to get tar from pine trees to help earn a living for grand mama, daddy, and my uncles and aunts.

I did’nt see granddaddy pulling bark, but later, as a child, I saw the process near the Goolsby sharecropping farm, where Daddy, Mama, and I lived in south central Alabama. In the 1930s and 1940s in Alabama, pulling bark required cutting indentations in pine trees and attaching cups under the indentations. Tar drained from pine tree indentations into attached cups. Each time cups filled up, tar was poured into barrels. Once Granddaddy had emptied enough cups to fill a barrel with tar, he carried the very heavy barrel to the pine tree farmer’s house, and he sold it.
Granddaddy was a strong man and pulled bark, used to make turpentine, to support his family. Indeed, he teaches that men should do even the hardest labor to earn money to support their wife and children.

It is the work ethic that everyone, including boys, girls, and the Millennials should practice because laziness causes one to have less of everything, and work gives everyone the best of everything—integrity, self-confidence, and fulfillment—and if, you do not work now, when you get older, you will recognize you wasted your time and that is not a good feeling. Be feel good boys, girls, Millennials, and even adults.

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