Naunie Batchelder Interview

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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00:00:00

NAUNIE BATCHELDER: [I'm mad?]

MORNA GERRARD: Okay, it's on now.

FRANKLIN ABBOTT: Okay, so today is the 4th of December, 2015 and Im Franklin Abbott and Im sitting with Naunie Batchelder.

NAUNIE BATCHELDER: Thats me.

ABBOTT: In her home. In Stone Mountain. And were going to do an oral history. Maybe we could start with, could you tell me a little bit about your father and his people, where they came from?

BATCHELDER: My father was Robert Franklin Wright and they came from Virginia original, well, they came from England first and then Virginia. They were of old aristocracy; I guess youd say. My father was, he considered himself a country 00:01:00gentleman and I think he was, till he found the alcohol bottle. [laughs] Then he might not be quite the gentleman that he was, but that only happened occasionally. My mother was from South Georgia, from Camilla and her fathers people were farmers and that type of gentry for years. Im not sure about how all of them came about. Im more cognizant with my fathers hereditary than I am with my mothers.

ABBOTT: What was your mothers maiden name?

BATCHELDER: Faircroft.

ABBOTT: Faircroft. Okay. Okay.

BATCHELDER: She was -- my grandfather was a Elias Faircroft and my grandmother was [Allie?] Faircroft. But she was a Williams before she married. Now thats about all I can tell you. [laughter]

ABBOTT: How did your parents meet?

00:02:00

BATCHELDER: They both worked in Florida and Mother worked for a dry goods place and I dont know what Father came, actually it was my mother came to Florida and my father met the train and he was sent by whoever she was going to work for -- thats about all I know about that, except that he had on a white linen suit and my mother thought, oh my God, what a dandy, [laughter] she said, And he never fell far from it. [laughter] And he also was one of the waltz kings in Florida. He was, oh hell, cant think of the name of the company. It wasnt a company, they -- there was a contest for the best waltzers and he 00:03:00came in second. And he was made because his hell touched the floor once. And that meant he wasnt waltzing properly. And Ive watched the -- Dancing with the Stars, but their heels touch. [laughter] So anyway, thats, thats a bit about him. They met in Florida. I guess they married in Florida and then Daddy started working for J.C. Penney Company and they sent him to Louisville, Kentucky, to a store that wasnt doing very well. Well, Daddy was manager for the store and he got it going very well and then he sent him to another store 00:04:00that wasnt doing very well and Dad was upset because two things happened. One thing was that he kept sending him to a company that was paying less and he was paying him a commission. So his commission would be less and [clears throat] the other thing that bothered him about J.C. Penney was -- my brother was playing football and had a concussion and Daddy asked -- it was during the Depression and Daddy asked him for a hundred dollars so he could take him to the hospital and he wouldnt give him the hundred dollars, so he didnt get, he got so mad at him so he quit him. [laughs] But there was another tale that I have to tell you about J.C. Penney, came to dinner when they were on good terms and 00:05:00Mother had cooked a roast and she had gravy and she was very tickled with her dinner and so they asked him to say the prayer and he started praying and he prayed and he prayed and he prayed and my mothers thinking, gravys going to go to sleep. [laughs] Its going to be skimmy on the top. And finally he said, Amen, and my brother looked at, now my brother was about seven or eight and he looked up and he says, Amen, brother Ben, caught the rooster, killed a hen, [laughter] Now, damn it, pass the meat, [laughter] thats what he said. [laughs] Now damn it, pass the meat. My mother was so chagrinned. She didnt know what to do. [laughs] He was this big man and this 00:06:00is her son acting out. [laughs] But he was hungry. And he liked meat. He did until he died. Were carnivores, I guess. [laughs]

ABBOTT: So when did your family move to Elberton?

BATCHELDER: They moved to Elberton after he got through with J.C. Penney and then Daddy went on the road as a granite salesman. But then -- well, before he got to Elberton they were in Camilla, because thats where I was born. Then they went to Elberton and I was still a bitty baby when they moved to Elberton. Because the lady down the street used to look after me, she told me and I was 00:07:00newborned, when we moved to Elberton. And I stayed in Elberton until I was 18. Oh no I wasnt, I was 17. Barely 17. And I went to college in Valdosta. Now thats a state college. First year they had boys. And my father was not approving of that. But it was all right because there werent many and it was the first year and it was going to be all right because they merged with Emory, boys there, that year and he forgot about the Air Force base that was -- [laughter] nine miles away. And of course, first thing that happened is I started dating an Air Force man. Well, I lived in the dorm and they wouldnt let you date an Air Force man, you were, without permission from home. So I 00:08:00dated this man called Josh Hedges, which was not his name. [laughs] His name was Joshua, but it was Joshua Batchelder. But I dated Josh Hedges because there wasnt a Josh Hedges at the base and when they called up to find out if he was at the base [laughs] they didnt [inaudible] -- for about a month, until I got my parents permission. [clears throat] And they were a little unhappy with that, but then we went home for Thanksgiving holidays, I think it was, or maybe it was Christmas. No, it was some holiday, I dont know what it was, I dont remember. I just know we went home and he was most impressed because I rode my horse a lot, because I loved horseback riding. And thats when I married, two months later I married Joshua Henry Batchelder. [inaudible] for two months. 00:09:00Shows you how impetuous you can be. [laughs]

ABBOTT: In your youth. Well, talk a little bit about your girlhood, because I know that there were, you know, there were some accidents, there were a variety of strange things that [overlapping dialogue; inaudible] -- and you were a dancer and a --

BATCHELDER: Oh yes, well, first of all -- First of all I was raised in a haunted house. And [clears throat] my mother kept claiming that it was this moon shadow on the wall. Only problem was there wasnt a moon out. [laughs] What that was well never know. [laughs] It was my ghost man and I was scared of him. So that was the first thing there and then they had to move me out of that room because I kept seeing him and she kept saying, No, its just a ghost, I said, No, thats the old man that used to live in this room, and the maid that worked for us said that it was the overseer for the plantation 00:10:00lived in that, that section of the house, because the house was added onto and added onto and added onto. But anyway, they moved me out of there. When I was about five years old I got run over by a car. We had been down to visit my aunt and [inaudible] well, I guess its Wilkes County now, but anyway, its down in the sticks. And we were coming home and my mother said, Ooh, look at all the cars at the, at the airport, and I pulled up on the handle of the car. The door opened and I fell out. And my coat caught and it jerked my head under the car and I can still close my eyes and see that underside [laughs] of that car and that big old round thing in the middle, the axel and where the mud was. [laughs] But anyway, thats, that was the first thing. They said I couldnt 00:11:00walk. I wouldnt be able to walk. They didnt have plaster casts back then for hips. Both my hips were broken. And they taped me up with that big, wide, old, yucky tape and ever so often, I dont know how often it was, theyd rip it off and put some more on. But I was not happy with that. [laughs] And then they finally took it off and I was laying there, was in the bed for at least three or four months, because I was still in the bed when Pearl Harbor happened. My uncle that lived next door, [oozer Payne?], came running in and he was a little man and he, he was soft and gentle and sweet and he came in and he was 00:12:00yelling, Bob, my God, theyve bombed Pearl Harbor, and they had been reading me a fairytale. Well, that was the end of that fairytale. And my uncle was saying, Look after the girls, because Daddys two sisters lived with him. So that was said and he took off to go, he was, my uncle was sent to California, anti-aircraft mission. He was a colonel and he went to there. My father was mostly disgusted because he couldnt -- he was too old, well, not too old but he had been gassed in France, so they wouldnt take him. So he stayed home about two months and he couldnt stand it. The war was on, he had to do something. And he went to Savannah and worked in the shipyards, because 00:13:00that was war work. My mother was principal of school at that time. She ran a little school out in the county and while she was running that little school she decided they needed a high school in the county because they didnt have one and she took her teachers and divided them up and created a high school for that little section of Elbert County and that was a whole nother story. [laughs] But anyway, she did that one. Then she went to work during the summer, because teachers didnt work in the summer -- worked in the Rationing Board. Well, by the end of the summer they constricted her and most people dont know that you could be constricted as a civilian, but she was constricted to be head of the 00:14:00Ration Board and she hated it. She despised being, have to telling people they couldnt have, they couldnt have, they couldnt have. So anyway, she became head of the Rationing Board and finally she got out of it by saying that she was going to go visit my father in Savannah. She was going to go live with him. And they didnt separate husbands and wives back then. And what I remember about that trip is I had my first little bonnet that I remember that I picked out that I just loved. It was a little velvet blue bonnet and had little, little ribbons and I just thought it was, it was just so precious, it was my bonnet. And then we got down there and the water was too cold to run in, but I could build sand castles. [laughs] And we didnt stay, I dont think we stayed down there two weeks before we were back home and she was, she bought a 00:15:00[tire and recap?] shop. Because again, it was war work. Well, in the meantime, I became sickly after the -- we got to go back up a minute. Because while Daddy was in Savannah and Mother was working I had a nurse. I was in the bed with the run over bit that -- theyd taken the tape off and I was just laying in bed and my nurse, who had to look after me because Mother was working and Daddy was gone and she was wonderful. She was, she was colored, black, whatever the, 00:16:00Negro, whatever the proper term [laughs] is these days. But she was absolutely wonderful. She was supposed to just be a maid and look after me, but she went in the woods and got herbs and shed mixed it up with lard and shed rub my hips and my legs and she taught me something. She taught me that when I have a certain pain, not to yell, not to cry, but sing. And to this day, if you hit that nerve right, Ill start singing. I dont yell, I just start singing. [laughs] The doctors find it very amusing. I dont find it so amusing. [laughs] But anyway, thats something that happens. I sing. Its a certain kind of pain. Its not, its not all pain, but theres a certain kind of pain that if you hit Ill start singing. Anyway, that, thats a residual 00:17:00from her. But I walked because of her. And the first time Daddy was home from Savannah, my sister carried me in the living room, sat me in the middle of the floor and I walked to my daddy and he cried and I thought something was wrong. I thought something was wrong. They had to convince me that walking was all right. [laughs] But she had lined up kitchen chairs and dining room chairs in rows and had me reaching onto the chairs, having my sister behind me and my cousin in front of me, to teach me to walk and everybody was sworn to secrecy, because I wasnt supposed to walk and she didnt want my parents to tell her she couldnt do it. Thats what she did, [laughs] but thats why I walk today. 00:18:00And then they decided since I walked with a limp that I needed dance classes, so I started taking dance classes and I became quite good at it. So that was one of the things I traded on. I got to be a majorette in high school and all this time, every wintertime [laughs] almost Im having pneumonia at least once, once a year. But -- I dont know how I could wear that majorette uniform in the coldest weather and not get a cold. By the time the season was over Id get a cold. [laughs] I have often wondered [clears throat] whether that was a subconscious me [laughs] or a conscious me, I dont know, but I was always having pneumonia and winding up in the hospital. And one time I was in the 00:19:00hospital and I got -- you have to understand, they had this -- they didnt have penicillin. And they had this God awful stuff that looked like tar that burned in a kettle and the steam came out and they made cones out of newspaper and you had to stick it over your face and breath in it and that was the nastiest smelling stuff Id [laughs] smelled in my life. But I would smell it. But this one time -- I kept holding my breath while [laughs] they put that thing on my face and the next thing I know Im floating up on the ceiling and Im looking down at my body laying in the bed and they pull a sheet up over my face and -- I dont know how long a time, doesnt seem to matter, that I laid 00:20:00there with that sheet over my face and my mother came in and shes crying. And shes walking towards me and shes crying. And I cough and Im back in my body. And Im trying to get the sheet off my face. [laughs] [clears throat] So thats one of my little experiences. But -- I behaved okay, I guess. Like I said, I became a majorette. I was doing stuff all the time. I got a medal from -- for doing debates and I was real proud of my medal. And there was that kind of thing going on, you know. And then, like I said, I went to Valdosta and 00:21:00when I got to Valdosta, again I was excelling in dance and [clears throat] getting through French, [laughs] when I met my husband and then I left at the end of the second quarter and got married. Then I went to Goose Bay. Because thats where he was stationed. Goose Bay, Labrador. It is the weirdest place you ever saw in your life. Its sand and its got trees that I can reach around, branches and all and the wind blows something fierce. So at every corner of the building they have these ropes, so you catch onto the rope so you dont get [laughs] blown away. It was, it was weird. I was there in, for a visit. They 00:22:00wouldnt let you -- as a dependent you couldnt stay there, but you could come visit. So I went to visit for the four weeks that I could visit and [clears throat] I got this letter from the base commander before I left and it said, Against your say, you have a reservation at the [Dageenk?] Hotel. [laughs] But then the name Dageenk got me. Because it means goose, but I didnt know that. [laughs] And the Dageenk Hotel turned out to be quite something. It was an Army barracks that had been converted supposed into rooms and I had a hot plate and sitting on a crate and that was, that was my kitchen. I had a bathtub to 00:23:00wash the dishes in. [laughs] And we had two single beds tied together for our bedroom. [laughs] That was, welcome to the Dageenk. [laughs] But I had fun in Labrador, I have to say that. I could watch the planes taking off and watching, they were fighter pilots. He was -- Josh was a radar observer, but staying there, there was a -- actually it was a -- I guess it would be like a [putsch?] coming out from the second floor and I could walk out on it and I could see the planes flying and watch them take off and when they take off they shoot this blue flame out the back end of it and at night it was just gorgeous to watch 00:24:00them. And -- Goose Bay was something else. The camaraderie in Goose Bay was realy high because there was nothing else to do. [laughs] They played ping pong. And [clears throat] you went to officers club, you played ping pong, but you got to be with different ones because everybody would have a drink and theyd set the empty drink on the table when youre playing ping pong. Well, pretty soon youre going to lose a ball in one of the cups. Well, youre out, next player comes in. [laughs] Thats how they changed people. But that play -- it would get to be where there wouldnt be anyplace to bounce the ball [laughs] except to go in a cup. [laughs] Not that they were drinkers or anything. [laughs] They were officers. What do you expect? And on a base like 00:25:00that, there were, I suppose there was an NCO club, but of course, I was married to an officer so I didnt see any of that. He was a lieutenant and after Goose Bay he came back -- well, I came home pregnant with my oldest daughter [Thierry?] and so I went to Elberton, because I knew Elberton and I didnt want to stay in Boston anymore. I stayed in Boston from the time I married till it was time for me to go to Goose. But -- Boston was Boston and I wasnt used to Boston [laughs] and Boston definitely wasnt used to me. Id go in and ask for bell peppers and theyd say, We dont have any bell peppers, I said, Sure you do, he said, Well, what are they? and I said, Well, theyre big and theyre green and theyre shaped like a bell, 00:26:00and he said, Oh, you mean grin peppers, and I said, Well, they can grin at you, but [laughs] they look like bells to me, [laughter] and then we visited New York on my honeymoon and we were at -- oh help, the place everybody goes -- Radio City Music Hall and were having lunch. And the waitress asked me what I wanted to drink and I said, Sweet milk, and she looked at me and she says, What you want, honey? You want me to put sugar in it? [laughs] and I said, No, no, I said, she wanted to know why I said sweet milk and I said, Because I didnt want buttermilk or sour milk or clabber and she said, What are those? [laughs] so little old country girl was getting 00:27:00an education and maybe the waitress was, too. [laughs] I dont know. But after that it was just milk. Not sweet milk. And we lived in Boston for three years while he finished up Harvard. I was a Harvard mother and Josh graduated from Harvard and as soon as we graduated from Harvard we moved to New York for him to work with his brother on 42nd Street. And I used to have -- I drove his brother crazy. One time we were walking down the street and I was looking at everything because I wasnt used to being downtown New York. And my brother-in-law said, Naunie, dont gawk, well you know, thats like pushing the biggest button you could push with me. So I grabbed my sister-in-laws arm and I said, Oh, Becky, look at that! and I pointed up at this [laughs] [inaudible] -- 00:28:00I started walking pigeon-toed and started -- [laughs] I carried on for a whole block and he was so embarrassed. He wouldnt even walk with us. And all I was doing was laughing and my sister-in-law was laughing so hard she could barely walk. But I had fun. [laughs] I tend to do that. Life is fun, if you let it be. Of course, you get some hard places, too. And New York turned out to be a hard place for us. We lived out on Long Island and we were poor and New York is not a town to be poor in and Im saying it with, with emphasis on the poor, because we were more than poor, we were poor. [laughs] Anyway, [clears throat] then we 00:29:00decided that we werent making it there and he, we decided wed move to Georgia, back to Georgia, to Atlanta. And he went and checked it out with the National Guard in Marietta and it seemed that that was -- he could be hired with that, so he would get, because he did National Guard the whole time he was going to Harvard -- in another state, but they would let him be here and they honored his commission of being a captain. So we came to Georgia. And we were here not 00:30:00long enough to get a house before the Cuban Crisis and he was shipped to Texas. So off we go to Texas. So weve now lived in Seattle, right after my first baby was born. I mean, we lived in Seattle for a year and a half. Then we lived in Boston, actually it was South Sudbury. And then we lived in New York and then we lived in Texas. And finally we got to come home to Georgia. [laughs] After the things were up and we finally got back and it took a while to get everything settled because then I had another child and well, I had another child when we were in New York and then I was a mess. [laughs] I remember, I cant remember 00:31:00chronologically real well, I skip around because Ive forgotten. [clears throat] The birth of my son was in New York at my, I stayed with my brother-in-law till I had it. Josh was supposedly trying to find us a place in Massachusetts because he was going to Harvard that fall and that was -- I had Bruce before I went to Harvard, so I had two children, Thierry and Bruce, both a year apart and thats one of the reasons Massachusetts doesnt sound very glowing to me. [laughs] Because I was stuck in a little house in Massachusetts, a little Cape Cod house, it was a cute house but with two babies and he kept going, he was going to school and then he was going to fly with the Guard, so I was home by myself a lot and met a couple of nice friends, but it was not a 00:32:00really good situation. But it was one of those things. I learned a lot. A whole lot.

ABBOTT: So were your next two kids born in Georgia?

BATCHELDER: Yep. Yep. Thierry was born in Georgia, before I went to Seattle. Bruce was born in New York. T.J. was born in Elberton and Rebecca was born here in Atlanta. So you can see we kind of moved around between [laughs] everything.

ABBOTT: So what was that like for you? I mean, you were an Air Force wife, basically.

BATCHELDER: Yeah, I was an Air Force wife. I loved being an Air Force wife. [clears throat] I told him since then, if hed stayed in the Air Force Id have probably stayed married to him. But -- [laughs] because I loved being in 00:33:00the Air Force. That was fun. I learned how to golf. I could play golf with the Wives Club. I could take the -- I always had a babysitter because the Officers Club provides a babysitter. They have a nursery and you always had a babysitter anytime you wanted one. We didnt have to hunt a babysitter. There was always something going on and I played bridge. I played bridge from -- my father and mother taught me bridge. They didnt really teach me. I observed it, [clears throat] then I learned it. [laughs] But they played bridge once or twice a week, all the time I was growing up. And I used to -- and then I got to play. Id sit in with it and in fact, Daddy would look at me and Id be trying to figure 00:34:00out how to finesse and Id be looking at my hand and looking at this board and looking at my hand and looking at -- and my daddy would say, Do, do something, even if its wrong! [laughs] So thats where I learned [laughs] how to play bridge. And when I went to [clears throat] Seattle I played with the Officers Wives Club and I loved that. I loved the Officers Wives Club. That was cool. But it was Officers Club but the wives had their own thing going and it was fun. And like I said, Id have stayed with him if hed have stayed in the Air Force. [laughs]

ABBOTT: Well, but he got out of the Air Force, right?

BATCHELDER: Yeah, he got out of the Air Force. But something strange happened to me when I went off to college. And that was the first time [clears throat] 00:35:00that I found out that I could look at people and know things about that person that other people didnt know. I thought everybody knew about everybody else. So what was the sense in lying? Because everybody knew. Then I found out everybody didnt know and I became a good little liar sometimes, [laughs] because they didnt know. But I found out that Id know things -- some of the things I shouldnt have known. And -- but I had thought everybody knew it. And it wasnt until I was at college that I discovered that it was psychic, or so-called psychic. I dont know to this day what it is. Butall my life Ive been able to look at people and know things that I wasnt supposed to know about them, if they wanted me to know it, in particular. So I found out when I wanted to do a reading, all I had to do was ask them, you know, if they came for 00:36:00a reading it was because they wanted to know something, so I could feel free to say whatever I knew. But I used to think I had incredible hearing when I lived at the Officers Wives Club, I thought I really had hearing, because I could tell what everybody was saying over here at this table or over there at that table, all I had to do was look over there and I could tell what they were discussing. [laughs] It was kind of fun, it was kind of fun. I did that in New York at restaurants, too, that was fun. But I guess that college and New York really were the two places that I honed it in the most. I was too busy with children in Massachusetts to pay any difference to it. [laughs] And then -- in 00:37:00Georgia I got to where, I met Calhoun and he was a psychic and he was a priest and -- or he believed in psychism, I guess youd say, Peter Calhoun. And he was my first experience with what was called psychic phenomena and he couldnt believe I would know what I knew but I did and we went around and round and then he, he had formed this New Age group and they would have people come in for readings and so I started doing readings there. And then I went from there to the Foundation of Truth. I was being honest with them and did readings 00:38:00there. And -- found out the long and hard way that even when somebody asks you to read for them, theres some things they dont want you to know. And you better not tell them because youll get in trouble, particularly with organizations. You can get in more trouble with an organization, knowing something about somebody that they dont want you to know or to be able to see what theyre doing, that you shouldnt be able to tell what theyre doing or -- you just get in trouble. I stay away from [laughs] organizations as best I can. I learned the hard way. I learned the hard way. I dont like petty jealousies and it seems like to me organizations are full of them. Dont know 00:39:00why, but that tends to be so. And when I see it, I run. Because I know -- [laughs] for years they came after me because I was a psychic. And then they came after me because they thought I was a psychic and that was lovely. But then it became kind of a dirty work and it still is in some places, not acceptable. And youd go out and live -- in fact, I could live right now if I didnt, didnt see people and do readings. Thats how I live. Its how Ive worked now for 30-some-odd, well actually, closer to 40 years, that Ive worked as a psychic. And earned my living and Ive traveled all over this country with it. Ive been to North Dakota and to -- Los Angeles, to Denver, 00:40:00to all kinds of places that they had me traveling and doing lectures [laughs] and Foundation of Truth got me to teaching and that made me study more about why all of this is concurrent. Its like none of us are real. Colors are real. And its interesting to see what colors do what and there are ways to know how colors affect you. Theres some broad, heavy generations, ah, generalizations on color. But pink generally, wherever you see pink it brings forth the love, it opens up love. If youve had a terrible experience with love, it may not bring 00:41:00up love so much as fear. Because fear is the opposite of love. Actually fear is the opposite of excess love and people say, You cant have excess love, well, yes you can. Look at the smother mother, you can have excess love. But excess love is opposite of love and fear is opposite of love, theyre two ends to a triangle. This balance point is love and its like in the Christian belief there are Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Well, theyre the three triangles. God is the top, the Son is the one side of the bottom and the Holy Ghost is the other side of the bottom and this is how it then twists and come down to us as love, fear, on the emotional level, it comes down as love, fear 00:42:00and excess and the excess and the fear will swing back and forth and its when you get on tune with excess of anything, itll turn into fear.

ABBOTT: So lets go back a little bit.

BATCHELDER: All right. We can back up. [laughs]

ABBOTT: You were married and then you got a divorce.

BATCHELDER: Oh yeah, I forgot to talk about my divorces. [laughs]

ABBOTT: And what Im curious about is, did youre starting to become more of a psychic and do readings and stuff like that, did that begin to change things in your marriage? Or how were those two things related?

BATCHELDER: Well, they happened about the same time. I dont think -- because Josh was the one who really wanted me to get started with the psychism. Hes 00:43:00the one that had his friend from Chicago test me out as far as being a psychic and he was right proud of it. So I dont think that had -- he did not dislike me being a psychic. I think he liked me being an artists better, but he didnt dislike me being a psychic. Still dont think he dislikes it. No, our differences had to do with some other differences. It had to do with him traveling too much and it had to do with things like when my son had appendicitis and my son was born mentally retarded and so to put him to sleep 00:44:00was a dangerous thing and I was at the hospital, it was an emergency thing and I was at the hospital and he didnt come. And it was hard for me to accept that he wouldnt be there. He wouldnt come, because he was notified and he didnt come. And that did something, that was, that did something. And then -- the school -- we had difficulty with Bruce in school and because they were an academic program and he was not academic child. And we let him go to Elberton, 00:45:00which had a program that he could take and he would live with my mother. And Josh had promised to give my mother something and it never turned up and then I had to sign away my rights to Bruce so my mother could keep him and so they could go to that school. And he went to that school with his cousins and they helped him and it worked out fine for him. And he worked for a grocery store in Elberton and he did fine. And then -- Josh and I got a divorce, while he was 00:46:00still in Elberton actually and -- I dont even remember, I have to stop and think how many years it was before I got married again, but it was several, four or five years. And then I met Lee Harris and he swept me off my feet. I will admit that [laughs] -- I really fell hard for him. Because Id been by myself and then here he was and he was very gallant and he was very gentlemanly and he was -- oh, I just thought he was the berries. Of course, I forgot berries have a bitter taste sometimes after you swallow them. [laughs]

ABBOTT: Now he was a psychic too, right, Lee?

BATCHELDER: Yeah. Well, he wanted to be psychic. I have to say that. He wanted to be psychic. Im not ever sure how psychic he was, but he wanted to be 00:47:00psychic. And he wanted -- one of the difficulties we had as my counselor and several people told me, he really wanted to be me, he wanted to do what I could do and he couldnt. And he, he did work his way into doing things his way, which was not at all my way, but he could get what he wanted and he was, he also wanted everything his way and I have enough in me, Im not going to do that for anybody. Because I want things my way. [laughs] Come on, lets face it. [laughs] And so after three years we parted. I said it took me 27 years the first time to learn to let go, 25 years to learn to let go and it didnt take me but three years the second time before I was gone. [laughs] So I was a slow 00:48:00learner, but I did learn. I did learn.

ABBOTT: So when you first started being, doing readings and that sort of thing, that was an unusual thing to do, wasnt it?

BATCHELDER: Oh yes, yes it was. It was very unusual.

ABBOTT: So there werent that many people who describe themselves as psychic or did psychic readings and you talked about some of the push back you got on that. Can you talk a little bit more about what it was like at that timeto be sort of like a pioneer?

BATCHELDER: Well, it was, it was very challenging to me, because I have enough pride, I couldnt stand being looked down at and we were. If you were a 00:49:00psychic you were looked down on. In society, in quotes. But eventually it lessened up. One of the things that happened is people of like minds started getting together, ergo the Center for Spiritual Healing that Peter Kaplan ran and the other groups. Groups started forming. Now -- then one group forever, oh help. Well, they used to have conventions every summer before any of the other groups really were formed that much. Im trying to think of what she called it. But my old head doesnt work that way so good anymore. [laughter] It was --

ABBOTT: It may come in a minute.

BATCHELDER: It was a spiritualist group. Im trying to think of the name of it, but I cant think of it, but it was here. Spiritualism was, was the first 00:50:00form of psychism. And then it became psychism and there were lots of people that promoted it. They did tests and found out it had existed and that was one of the things that Josh wanted me to do, was go take one of the tests and I wouldnt do it because Id be away from the kids for a long time so we never got that done. [clears throat] But anyway, when I first started being psychic it was -- peoples reaction was one of two ways. Oh wow, or Ooh, who is that? Thats trash, if they didnt meet you they assume it was trash and it why 00:51:00forever I wore suits and heels and dressed like a proper lady. I wouldnt have worn slacks or [Keds?] or anything like that because they had to know you were a lady. It was very important. You didnt wear lots of beads or lots of things that you might want to wear -- you didnt. Not when you were working. And there were things like that, that were imposed, so to speak.

ABBOTT: So that was a time when you know, like you said, people would be dismissive or suspicious or judgmental and --

00:52:00

BATCHELDER: And you got fed by going to the different groups. There was a group in St. Petersburg, run by Roy Zemke, LeRoy Zemke and that was also a very learning and growing experience for me.

ABBOTT: Just to meet kindred spirits.

BATCHELDER: Yes, kindred spirits. And then the things that developed here.

ABBOTT: So youve been doing psychic readings for how long now?

BATCHELDER: [laughs] I dont even want to say. Ive been supporting myself for, oh Lord, since my first divorce. Because my second one, one of the reasons 00:53:00my second marriage didnt work is because I supported both of us. [laughs] Lets see. I supposed Ive been a practicing psychic since -- about 1960. I believe thats about right. So its been a while. Its been a while. I was doing psychic, I was playing with it. I wasnt using it as a tool from the time I was about, lets see, about 1953. It took a while playing with it to 00:54:00get it to go.

ABBOTT: Do you feel like when youre in that situation that you shift into a different space in your head or your energy? Or are you there pretty much all the time?

BATCHELDER: No, I shift. It shifts. I have to be very still. Now in particular. I dont think I used to have to be so still. But now I have to be still and wait and see what it says. [laughs] Or what comes in my head or the picture I see. But I have to be still first. Still and come quiet. And getting my mouth to shut up is the first problem. [laughter] But -- the nice part about it is if I 00:55:00be still and quiet Ill get something to say, so thats okay, too. [laughs]

ABBOTT: Mm-hmm. Now let me divert you just a little bit because one of the things in the archive is, you know, the Gay Spirit Visions sort of papers and our friend Raven, who studied with you was one of the founders of Gay Spirit Visions, so I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about him, because you knew him as well as anybody.

BATCHELDER: Raven was a very interesting man. He really felt in him -- now whether he really was or not, nobody really knows, that I know of. But Raven Wolfdancer was definitely of Indian, American Indian descent, I think. He 00:56:00certainly went that way and he was as psychic as anybody Ive ever known. But he blurred it because he picked up negative things and he blurred it because he didnt want to know. So what I was teaching him, I thought, was how you could pick up good things, not just bad things. And [clears throat] then he got into really very high in the -- rituals and that, I think, magnified what he was and that was good until, until he was killed and he was killed. He was murdered and they never caught anybody that murdered him. But a whole lot of us thought we 00:57:00knew. [laughs] But it seemed like in that era there were a number of psychics that were murdered and Ive never figured out exactly why because there was, there was Raven, there was -- oh help. I can see him, but I cant pronounce his name. Though there were about four or five of them that all were murdered. Or had questionable deaths, lets put it that way. Because even -- it just seemed to happen and they were all people studying at one way or another, trying to open themselves up and you wonder if they had known something about somebody or what happened, because they were all male. The females seemed to get along 00:58:00okay with that, [laughs] with that time. But the males seemed to keep dying on us. And it was just weird. Thats all a process while I was working with the Foundation of Truth and then -- I stopped working at the Foundation of Truth. Again, it was, most times it had to do with jealousy and -- headiness, that learned both of the groups. Thats why after the Foundation of Truth I said I 00:59:00wont belong to another group and I didnt. Thats when I became very independent. Up until then I was pretty dependent. Im getting feedback from people like me. Or that at least have the belief like me. The belief that were all of one god and regardless of what we call that god or what, how we worship that god, were all of one god. That was the primary belief. After that, being that were all products of one god, then we can be different, but still be one god. Because as Ive said, God would get very bored if we were all alike. If we were cookie cutter [laughs] hed get very bored. So we have 01:00:00to be different. And that was my excuse for being different. [laughs] [inaudible] a little hard to argue with. [laughs]

ABBOTT: Mm-hmm. Thats true, thats true. Its hard to argue with that at all. So you were, you were active in the community and then because of organizational dysfunction you kind of withdrew and you have been doing your own practice.

BATCHELDER: Yes. I taught classes off and on since then.

ABBOTT: Thats right. But more independently.

BATCHELDER: Yeah, but its independently, yeah. I taught classes in color and in numbers, because theyre -- and psychics are in particular -- because its important to help you translate what you get, both in dreams, because dream symbology is very, very wonderful but it doesnt do you any good if 01:01:00you dont know what the colors mean and you dont know what the numbers mean and you dont know -- the best thing you can do with dream symbology, if you dont have any insights into it, is get a Websters big dictionary and look it up and see whats going on. Like if you meet a wall, what is the wall saying? Is it keeping you out of something? Or is it a wall because wall means love. But you dont know that unless you look up a big dictionary. [laughs] So a big dictionary, unabridged dictionary. Its a very big help. For it.

ABBOTT: Mm-hmm. The kind that has its own stand.

BATCHELDER: Yeah. [laughs] Well -- libraries have them. [laughs]

ABBOTT: Mm-hmm. They do. They do. Some people have them.

BATCHELDER: [cough] My daddy had them. And my brother had it there, I guess. We 01:02:00had a great big one. I grew up with one like this. [laughs]

ABBOTT: So one of the things thats been true for you in the past 20 years or 25 years is that youve had a lot of health challenges.

BATCHELDER: Ive had a lot of health challenges all my life. From car wrecks. I got a crazy foot. They dont know whats wrong with it or whenit actually happened, but they think it might have happened in that wreck, but then it didnt start going crooked till I guess the last 10 years. But -- when I start doing a chronological of my ills, it gets sickening. [laughs] Because there were so many of them and so much crazy stuff. You know, Ive been in wrecks, 01:03:00car wrecks, even a Greyhound bus wreck. Went through, almost through a windshield of a Greyhound bus wreck. Fortunately, the windshield popped out, more than I didnt break it so much as pushed it out. But I was hanging over a -- [laughs] a big gully when I did. But that was, when I was little. I used to ride from Camilla, which is where my grandmother lived to Athens and my parents would meet me in Athens because youd have to change buses in Athens. So they didnt let us change the buses, but wed ride, get on the bus in Camilla and ride all the way to Athens. And this was, the wreck was just outside of Athens. On the hilly part. So it was, that was one. As I said, I was run over by a 01:04:00car when I was five. I had pneumonia off and on almost every year after that for, until I got to high school. The house -- our house burned when I was in the seventh grade. We lost everything we had, the house burned to the ground. And [laughs] we lived in a, a warehouse [laughs] until the warehouse from my mothers, you know, I told you she went to work for a tire company. Well, there was a -- warehouse right behind us that was half, half-house and half grain storage for the -- the mills that was behind us. And we lived in that house of half, half a house for -- I guess it was six to eight months -- long 01:05:00enough to build a house. It seemed like forever. But my sister and my brother were both in college when my house burned. And so they could then commuted -- they commuted between Athens and Elberton to finish up college. And -- that was an interesting times and by the time we got into the house, neither one was there very long before what they were gone. My sister was married, my brother finished, they both finished college and -- my brother got married. He went to work for Southeastern Power. And became one of the executives of Southeastern 01:06:00Power. He was a statistician. And my mother told him to help me with my algebra or whatever and he tried to help me and then hed get so frustrated, hed throw the book up side the wall and say, Nobody could be so damn dumb, [laughs] I did not take to numbers until I learned what numbers meant. Since then I havent had trouble with my numbers.

ABBOTT: Talk a little bit about that. What numbers mean.

BATCHELDER: Each number has four distinct vibrations. It has a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual vibration to it. And depending on what level you are, or what youre trying to do as to what that number means. For 01:07:00instance, one. On a physical level one is the beginning. Its just the beginning. Two, actually, it is the first number out of the void, so its the first beginning. The second part of it, which is the mental part of it, is thought. Your brain starts with number one. You start with one. As a spiritual concept its one God, its one everything, everything is one, as a spiritual concept, theres no differentiation. Because if you say we are all one, 01:08:00what youre talking about is shrinking everybody into the same thing. But one, having one egg is different from everybody shrinking into one. [laughs] Two would be a balance. The first two numbers are not concrete. It takes the third number to become concrete. The fourth number is the first real concrete number, but one is a little more concrete than zero. Two is a little more concrete than one. Three is a little more concrete, because three is -- I like to say its the -- Its the creative part of us. Its the, its where we get our 01:09:00inspiration from. Its the -- its the artistic part of you and then it becomes concrete in the fourth. Four is the concrete number of manifestation, so it means it really manifests, its there, its done. On a physical level, its realism. What would you think a four would be on an emotional level?

ABBOTT: Hmm. Well, I see a square. So balance? Or because there are equal sides to the square?

BATCHELDER: Well, it is square, but on an emotional level its running around those four sides. [laughs] Its learning how to see other sides of things. On 01:10:00an emotional level.

ABBOTT: So how do you use this? How do you use your esoteric knowledge of numbers in looking at everybodys life or --

BATCHELDER: On a dream. Or I have fun and everybody laughs that rides with me. I have this habit of adding up the tag numbers in front of me. Because I know what the alphabetical meaning of numbers are and the regular numbers and I add them up and then I said, Okay, this is whats going on with me right now, it may be Im being creative. Three. Or it may be that Im stuck in quagmire. Maybe its four. Maybe its not quagmire, maybe its building 01:11:00something. Seven, maybe Im on a spiritual level today. Maybe I want to be spiritual today. [phone rings] Or maybe its trying to tell me to be spiritual today. What do we do about that? [phone rings] [laughs]

ABBOTT: Nothing. It just rings and then well pause for a minute. [phone rings]

BATCHELDER: There. That does that. [laughter] Of course, theyll call right back, I expect. But thats beside the point. [laughs] [phone rings]

ABBOTT: Do you want to answer it? We can pause this.

BATCHELDER: Lets pause it. [phone rings] Okay. Were back from the [inaudible] [laughs].

ABBOTT: Were back, were back. So weve talked about --

BATCHELDER: Most everything.

ABBOTT: Most everything. What havent we talked about?

BATCHELDER: Huh?

01:12:00

ABBOTT: What havent we talked about?

BATCHELDER: I dont know.

ABBOTT: That you, I mean the things in your life or in your experience that are important that you know, because we must --

BATCHELDER: Everythings important.

ABBOTT: Well, yes, yeah --

BATCHELDER: You know, each day is really where it is. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. That you dont need to worry about the future because its going to be here. But you got now and you can enjoy right now and you can be happy right now. But if you try to be happy in the past, that doesnt work either, because youre here. So you -- being happy here and now is really, really, really important for people. I wish they could learn it so they quit worrying so much. Because when you worry you bring those vibrations towards you and you make things happen that might not otherwise. Or when you have something happen, you look and you see, okay, what do I want to do with this? I have 01:13:00cancer. I could sit here and moan and groan and say, okay, Im dying. Well, everybodys going to die sometime and Im going to die sometime, too. Im not going to worry about when thats going to be. Its going to be when it is. You get to where, maybe its old age, I dont know but I think as you get older you get kinder. [laughs] If you dont I think youd probably die. But you think about the old people you know, theyre usually kinder and more gentle. And I know Ive become kinder. I still got my sarcasm but [laughs] Im kinder with it, I hope. [laughs] Because I used to not be so kind sometimes. Because I get, Id get very disappointed with people putting other 01:14:00people down because Ive been there. Ive been there, I dont like it. I dont like to be put down. I dont know of anybody that does. I just certainly have a stubborn streak that speaks out if I get put down. Its like, okay, I had an Aunt Loni. She was post mistress for Elberton, Georgia. Was a sweet woman and she came to Atlanta to have cataracts removed and she did it very silently until after she was well and was back home, because she didnt want to lose her position as postmaster. And she got back home earlier than she really probably should have because they had to wear, at that time and age she had to wear these glasses that were so thick. Bottle glasses [laughs] was what theyre called, I think, but they were awful. And her friend, Lottie, stopped 01:15:00her in the drug store and said, Oh, Miss Loni, Im so sorr about all your trouble with your eyes, and Loni said, Oh, its no trouble. I got them fixed, and Lottie says, Yes, but Loni, when they put those ugly old glasses on your face, they just ruined your looks, Loni took a breath for a minute and then she looked at her and she says, Well you know, Miss Lottie, with these ugly old glasses that ruin my looks, I can see so good, I can see every wrinkle in your face, [laughter] so you see, I dont fall too far from the tree. [laughter] But thats the kind of word I live by. I can see every wrinkle in your face. [laughs]

ABBOTT: Well, I was telling Morna on the way over that how I met you is I met you through Raven and I met you at a difficult time in my life where I was 01:16:00willing to sort of you know, come see you because I didnt think it could hurt. You know, I just, you know, I was a ball of confusion and I came to see you and then I kept coming to see you for many years and still, you know, value your judgment. When I tell people about you, I will sometimes call you the repetition therapist [laughter] because you would repeat things, you know, and I said, She will tell me something over and over again until I get it, [laughter] you know and so a couple of those things that come to my mind -- one is the allow, accept and appreciate, could you talk about allow, accept and appreciate?

BATCHELDER: Those are my three A's and Ive worked with those for any number 01:17:00of years now because if you allow what is, appreciate as is, and do accept what is, youre ahead. Youve got nothing to be bad about. Allow what is, accept as it and appreciate all that is. At least all that you can. I kind of add a kind of to that because sometimes people just cant appreciate some things. I cant appreciate everything. I can try, but I dont make it, either. You know. But I do believe that if you, in your personal life, will allow other people to be who they are, accept them as they are and appreciate for who they 01:18:00are. Youre going to have lots of good friends. Because most of our difficulty with other people is not allowing them to be who they are. We want them to be like we think they ought to be. Well, we dont know what they ought to be. We dont know whats framed them. We dont know the illnesses theyve been through. We dont know all of these things. So to allow, accept and appreciate has been my repetition for quite sometime and then I also started with it a little differently. Before I said the three, I started the first one, allow.

ABBOTT: Mm-hmm. Allow, allow, allow, allow. [laughs]

BATCHELDER: Except that I did it this way. I said, theres an old Indian 01:19:00chant and it goes like this. Oh allow-allow-allow-allow-allow. [laughter]

ABBOTT: That was perfect. [laughter] Allow-allow-allow-allow-allow.

BATCHELDER: Oh allow-allow-allow-allow-allow. Thats when I want to beat you over the head with it.

ABBOTT: [laughter] Another thing that you would say is, Do it with love or dont do it.

BATCHELDER: What?

ABBOTT: Do it with love or dont do it.

BATCHELDER: Why would you do it with anything less than love?

ABBOTT: Guilt, shame. There are many motivations.

BATCHELDER: But do you want to do that? Do you want the result of that? Because I found out that what you do with whatever emotion you have comes back to you in 01:20:00that same emotion. I know that if you cook with loving what you cook, its good tasting. You get in the kitchen and dont want to cook, what you cook aint going to taste worth dirt. Thats just one.

ABBOTT: Eggs particularly respond to that. [laughs]

BATCHELDER: Yes indeed, they do. [laughter] Indeed they do.

ABBOTT: Dont try to scramble eggs if you -- my mother did that when she, when I was growing up. She did not want to cook breakfast and her eggs were terrible. [laughter] They were terrible.

BATCHELDER: Well, thats not surprising. This is what I mean. And if you think about friendships that way, if you dont want the friendship, what are you trying to do? If you cant do it with love, dont do it. You dont have to condemn somebody because you think they bad. If you think they bad, just dont say anything and go home. Leave them alone. Dont try to reform them. 01:21:00Unless they want to be reformed. Unless they ask you for help. If they ask you for help, give all you can, with love. Do it with love or dont do it. [laughter] It dont pay. [laughter]

ABBOTT: Well, those are two that I can remember. Are there any things that you, that come to your mind of things that you tend to tell people who come to see you that are, you know, like that things that you use a lot?

BATCHELDER: I guess the one thing I want people to do is to look before they leap. Look at a situation from both sides. Not just one side. Look from both sides. Then youre allow. But youve got to look from both sides. What is it 01:22:00about this person that I like? What is it that I dont like? Well, if I dont like it, is that important? Is that a part of me? Because usually when I see something I dont like in somebody, I have to look at myself to see where it is. Where is it? I dont like a liar. Well, where is that? Well, because I can prevaricate and that may be part of it. It also may be that I dont like being lied to because then I dont know whats what. But theres a reason behind that. Then Id say, Okay, they gonna lie, I dont have to trust it, and then well get along fine. Its looking and accepting. So look before you leap. Look before you call him a liar and start fussing at him. If 01:23:00theyre a liar forever, then let them be a liar forever and you just dont pay attention to what theyre saying.

ABBOTT: Thats a good one, too.

BATCHELDER: Yeah, Ive got lots of good ones. [laughs] I, I have fun. I have fun with what they tell me. Because if I cant laugh, Im lost. And I tell people that if you cant laugh youre lost. Laughter clears the mind, it clears the soul, it clears the emotions, it clears all of it when you laugh. And thats why its important to be here now as the, as all the psychics and literature and so forth says, be here now, well, now is the only time you 01:24:00can feel that. [laughs] Its the only time you can feel the joy. Its now. And if youre not in the now you wont feel it. Now there are times you dont feel like joy. Okay, but youve got to feel that to get through to see where you can get the joy. When I was in the hospital I did not feel the joy. [laughs] I dont know. I wanted to feel good. So I let my other emotions get in the way. But I, I talked enough to the nurses [laughs] that they got the message. But we had fun. We laughed. And when I left the hospital [inaudible] I wound up and said goodbye. So Im not a horrible patient. But Im not very patient. [laughter] Im learning. See, I figure we learn till we die, so 01:25:00Ive got to have something to learn. And Im not so wise that I dont have [laughs] something to learn. [laughs] And patience is one of them. Patience and trusting what I know. About me. Its interesting that I can trust what I know about other people, but its hard for me to trust what I know about me, because it doesnt jibe with somebody, what somebody else says. So I had to learn to trust myself. I think we all do. I think we all do. Learn to trust yourself. Question yourself is fine, but learn to trust what you know. Theres another one. Trust what you know.

ABBOTT: Thats important.

BATCHELDER: If you dont know it, youre in trouble. [laughter] Arent we 01:26:00about through with tape?

ABBOTT: Well, theres no tape in there. I mean, we -- this is new.

BATCHELDER: Oh, thats one of them new gadgets, huh?

ABBOTT: Its a computer thing; its a chip thats in there.

BATCHELDER: Well, Im not touching it. [laughter] Im not touching it.

ABBOTT: Well, one more question. One more question.

BATCHELDER: Okay.

ABBOTT: You know, as a psychic, you know, part of what you deal with in people a lot is their fear and one of the biggest fears that most of us have is the fear of death. Can you talk a little bit about death and the fear of death and?

BATCHELDER: Well, you know, thats like saying -- a fear of livin. I dont 01:27:00know all the changes that take place after death. The only ones I know of were not unpleasant. I floated around. Did that twice. But as far as -- being afraid of death, thats like being afraid of life. If youre busy living it, youre not thinking about death. Its only when youre not living it that you start getting afraid of death. Its only when you conjure up the fear that it becomes a fear. If you leave it alone, its not a fear. Its just going to be what its going to be when its going to be and thats all it is. But as long as you think about it and worry about it and say you have to know 01:28:00about it -- we dont have to know about it. Its coming. Its going to come. And thats just what is. But it isnt right here today. That I know of. So Im not worried about it. Im not going to get scared of it. Im going to trust that Ive been, whatever Ive been is all right. If its not, then Im in trouble and thats all right, too. Ive been in trouble before. [laughs] And I expect Ill be in trouble again. But I do believe in a loving God, because I believe God created all of us, all of us. And we all have 01:29:00things to learn. Some great things, some small things, but always, always, always learning. Look to what you can learn from anything. Thats my advice. To getting over the fear of death, start learning. Learning what you feel and why you feel it. What are you scared of death for? You fixing to face it? Do you know? What? You dont know. I dont know. Nobody knows. Fear of pain would make more sense to me than fear of death. Because you know you can have pain, but you dont know whats going to happen after death. Not sure, anyway. So people who are afraid of death are not living. To a large degree, if youre thinking about your fear of death, youre not busy living. And thats a 01:30:00shame. To me, thats a shame. So keep on living, as long as you can and dont worry about anything else. Take today. And be happy today, be joyous today. Be learning today. Every negative thing that falls in front of our feet is something for us to learn by. All these [students?] are something for us to learn by. Its god awful. But its something for us to learn by. Every human being has to search their hearts when these things happen. On either side of that gun thats shooting. We have to think; we have to feel. It makes a change 01:31:00in us. Its already changing this country, as a whole. We havent been afraid to go somewhere in years. And now we get afraid to go somewhere because were afraid of death and we forget, were going to get there anyhow. And we dont know how many days we got. Or hours. Live your life until you die. You want to go somewhere, go somewhere. You dont, dont. But live your life. Tah-dah! [laughter]

ABBOTT: [laughs] Thats a great place to stop.