Palmour Street (Georgia Department of Public Health, 1950)


[Music] [Child runs down the street and onto the porch, where he is greeted by his mother.] [Narrator:] Can parents help their children grow up? Let’s see how one couple is trying. Here live Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Rogers and their four children. Next door lives widowed Aunt Esther, with three older children. [Music] [Narrator:] Little comes to disturb their life on Palmour Street until one Saturday morning… [Knock on the door] [Messenger:] Miz Rogers, I have bad news for you. [Narrator:] Suppose these were your children. What would you do? How can parents help their children grow strong for life’s troubles? [Boy:] We can’t hear you. [Shouting] [Music] [Narrator:] Like father, like son. Like mother, like daughter. But children take after their parents in more ways than looks. Let’s watch what happens at the clinic. [A mother and child walk calmly into a medical clinic.] [Another mother yanks her child into the clinic as he resists.] [Baby crying in background] [One mother looks frustrated and handles her child roughly.] [Narrator:] What makes this difference in children? Could it be this difference in their parents? [The other mother smiles down at her child, her arm around his shoulder.] [Children playing and shouting] [Boy:] Justin. Justin. [Child:] Did it hurt? [Justin:] No. [Child:] Mine didn’t hurt when I had mine. [Talking in background] [Mother washes her baby in a washtub in the kitchen.] [Narrator:] Vernon’s only nine months old. But he knows that he is safe, he is warm, and his mother loves him. And that’s the best kind of a beginning any baby can have. [Dog barking] [Narrator:] Kenny’s scared and that’s natural. But it isn’t good for him to stay scared. For right now, when he’s six years old, Kenny’s beginning to decide if he’s going to stay scared of things all his life. [Mr. Rogers:] Rex, come here, boy. The dog ain’t going to bite you. Come here, Kenny. He won’t bite. See that? Good dog. Good dog. See there. Ain’t you a good dog, Rex? That’s right. That’s right. You go play with him now. See there? [Child laughing, rolling and jumping on a couch.] [Mrs. Rogers:] Randall! Randall, get off of that couch. It won’t be fit for any party. [Randall is helping his mother shell peas.] [Narrator:] Children of three are not too young to begin learning things like this. One [?], it helps them to get the feeling that they can do them. Mother, too, is building self-confidence in her child. But there are times when it’s hard to be patient. [Kenny says something as his mother puts the baby in its crib.] [Mrs. Rogers:] Be quiet. [Dorothy:] Momma, look what the teacher showed. [Mrs. Rogers:] Can’t you see I’m busy? [Narrator:] She’s busy, but when Mother doesn’t want to hear about school, will Dorothy care about it? [Mrs. Rogers:] What’d you want to show me, honey? [Music, and children laughing and dancing on the porch] [Dorothy:] Whoo! Whoo! [Laughter] [Children shriek with delight.] [Aunt Esther:] Get off this porch. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Dancing for the devil like that. You’d better get off this porch. [Girl:] Let’s go to your house. [Dorothy:] Yes. My momma don’t care if we dance. [Mrs. Rogers sings while stirring a pot on the stove.] [She hears the girls outside and goes to the porch to join them.] [Girls:] Whoo. Whoo. [Music and laughter as all dance.] [Aunt Esther walks over with a fresh pie.] [Dancing on the porch continues.] [Aunt Esther steps onto the porch with her pie and looks on disapprovingly.] [Mrs. Rogers:] That pie looks good. [Aunt Esther and Mrs. Rogers are doing the laundry together.] You may be right about the dancing, Aunt Esther. But I think it’s best if you know about what they’re doing. Coming to our party Saturday? [Aunt Esther:] That boy of mine has got himself into trouble again. Had me down to the jailhouse yesterday. Me! I’m begging the police to let him go. I was ashamed to death. [Officer:] Mrs. Neal, you were notified to appear here today in answer to a complaint of delinquency filed against your son, James. Are you ready? [Aunt Esther:] I didn’t hear a word about it ’til the police came by my house. [Mrs. Rogers:] I declare to goodness! [Narrator:] But Aunt Esther, you didn’t tell ’em what happened two weeks ago. [Aunt Esther:] Don’t tell me you couldn’t help losing your job, because I know better. It’s you and that sassy tongue of yours. Oh, yes it is. You young’uns think you can do any old way now, and people will take it from you. Getting so smart. Think you’re as good as anybody. [Music] [Aunt Esther:] You’re lucky. [Mrs. Rogers:] Yes. I got a good man, and children just as good as anybody’s. [Mrs. Rogers works in the kitchen.] [Narrator:] A good man. Still, things like this will happen. [Mr. Rogers:] Lord, am I tired. Ain’t you got my dinner done yet? Don’t you come here bopping at me. I have enough worry all day. Who do you think you’re talking to that a way? I lean over that stuff all day. Sweating my guts out. And all I get is blah-blah-blah. [Mr. Rogers:] [?] in this kitchen. Clothes need washing. Baby crying every two minutes. And all you want to do is eat, eat, eat. [Mr. Rogers:] Shut up or I’ll bust you in the mouth. Shut up. [Narrator:] Wonder what she’s thinking about. What does this mean to Dorothy? Even Vernon isn’t too young to know that something has gone wrong. No one’s coming to any great deal of harm, though, if most of the time it’s like this. [Kids, playing on the floor:] Momma. Momma. Brrmm. Brrrmm. [Mr. Rogers:] Got my dinner ready yet, honey? [Mrs. Rogers:] Be ready in about 15 minutes. [Little boy:] Brrrm. [Mr. Rogers:] What are you doing there, boy? Speeding? [Little boy:] Brrrm. [Mr. Rogers:] Huh? [Mrs. Rogers:] Why don’t you go out on the porch and rest a while? [Mr. Rogers:] Okay. Come on boy. Let’s go. Come on. Come on. Here. Let me get the baby out of the way for you. [Mr. Rogers and the children go out on the porch.] [Music] [The children play with their dad’s feet and shoes.] [Mrs. Rogers brushes her hair and tidies for dinner.] [Mrs. Rogers:] Supper’s ready. Come on. Let’s eat. [Music] [The family gathers around the table for dinner.] [Narrator:] The children are all right now. Here they are safe and comfortable and happy. But what happens when you can’t be with them? [Dorothy:] Bye, Mom. [Narrator:] Has Dorothy been prepared for the world beyond Palmour Street? [Male:] Hey, little girl. Come here. [Narrator:] Can she meet this kind of temptation? Has she been prepared for this? [Dorothy, as school bell clangs:] That ain’t nothing. My mother told me about that a long time ago. [Narrator:] When both father and mother have to work, it’s mighty hard to give children the kind of care they need. But Dorothy knows her mother never goes to work without leaving a lunch ready. It’s a good way to get her to come straight home after school. But what about the children who have to spend the day with Aunt Esther? [Music] [The toddler resists being left with Aunt Esther and reaches for his mother.] [Aunt Esther holds and cuddles the baby while pushing the toddler away.] [Narrator:] Spoiling one child; being hard on the rest. That’s something no child can understand. And this goes on week after week. Mother has problems with them all. [Kenny is throwing rocks at the side of the house.] [Aunt Esther:] Kenny? Boy, if you don’t stop that I’ll have your daddy after you with a stick of stove wood. [Kenny runs away and tosses one last rock.] [Children, clapping and singing:] …jumped so high, high, high. To touch the sky, sky, sky. And he never come back, back, back till the 4th of July, lie, lie, Went upstairs, stairs, stairs… [Children run to greet Mrs. Rogers coming home.] [She’s handing out treats from her bag.] [Mrs. Rogers:] That’s all now. The rest is for the party. [Child, singing a rhyme:] My momma told me to pick this one. [Mr. Rogers:] Ed. [Ed:] Yeah. [Mr. Rogers:] How you doing? [Ed:] Fine. [Mr. Rogers:] Coming to our party Saturday? [Ed:] Yeah, you better save me something. [Mr. Rogers:] You better come. [Child, singing:] My momma told me to… [Adults are talking on the porch.] [Randall:] Might be too rough on her. [Aunt Esther:] Too rough for who? [Randall:] I didn’t see you. [Aunt Esther:] You’d better run, boy. [Kenny runs to hide under the bed.] [Music] [Mr. Rogers:] Kenny. Kenny. What you doing under that bed, boy? Come here. [Kenny:] [crying]. [Mr. Rogers:] Come on. Come on. What’s wrong with you? [Kenny:] [crying]. [Mr. Rogers:] Now, now. Now, now. Now, now. Now, now. Daddy ain’t going to hurt you. Daddy ain’t going to hurt you. Be quiet now. Dad ain’t going to hurt you. Daddy won’t hurt you. Now, now, Kenny. That’s it. That’s it. That’s a good boy. [Music] [Mr. Rogers:] What was the matter with Kenny today? Boy sound like he was scared to death. [Mrs. Rogers:] Don’t know what it was. Aunt Esther’s mighty hard on the children sometimes. [Mr. Rogers:] Yeah. [Mrs. Rogers:] Soon as we get the furnace paid for, I’m going to see if I stay at home more days. [Mr. Rogers:] Yeah. We’d better think on that. If we can. [Mrs. Rogers, singing while she cleans:] Have you seen my… [Children:] Yes, ma’am. [Mrs. Rogers:] [singing] Did you [?] [Children:] Yes, ma’am. [Mrs. Rogers:] [singing] Will you help me catch him? [Children:] Yes, ma’am. [Mrs. Rogers:] [singing] Will you help me kill him? [Children:] Yes, ma’am. [Mrs. Rogers:] Yes, ma’am. Oh, Aunt Esther. What a beautiful cake. [Aunt Esther:] I thought it would be nice for the party. [Dorothy:] Momma! There’s a man coming up the stair. [Messenger:] Miz Rogers. I have bad news. Your husband’s been hurt. They want you to come with me as quick as you can. [Mrs. Rogers:] You all be good now and mind Aunt Esther. [Mrs. Rogers and the man who delivered the message drive off in a car.] [They walk down a hospital corridor.] [Mrs. Rogers:] Nurse, what can you tell me about my husband? [Nurse:] Your husband’s been hurt real bad. [Messenger:] When that cable broke, he never knew what hit him. [Nurse:] He’s putting up a mighty good fight. Why don’t you wait down here? [Narrator:] Trouble strikes. Something comes along and all our plans and dreams go smash. They had a good start, these children. Dozens of little things. Months and years of care and patience and love given them by their parents have made them strong enough for all the problems they’ve met so far. And they can stand up to this new one, if they get the right kind of lead from grownups who are near enough to help them. [Mrs. Rogers waits for news about her husband.] [Nurse:] I’ve just seen your husband. He’s going to be all right. It may take a long time, but he’s going to pull through. [Aunt Esther:] That you, baby? [Mrs. Rogers:] Uh-huh. [Aunt Esther:] How is he? [Mrs. Rogers:] They say he’s going to pull through. [Aunt Esther:] Thank God. [Music] [Narrator:] Years of care and patience and love. Now what can the mother do until the family is together again? How can she guide Kenneth and Randall through their troubles with Aunt Esther? No chance now for her to stay home all day long. A father and mother’s encouragement has helped Dorothy do well at school. But mother will have less time for her now. [Mrs. Rogers checks on the sleeping children.] What can this mother do? What would you do if you were in her place? [Music] [?]

14 thoughts on “Palmour Street (Georgia Department of Public Health, 1950)

  1. 10:44 She takes her son to task for his sassy tongue and "getting so smart, think you're good as anybody."

  2. This video reminds me of being a poor child raised in Bham. Al. We were dirt poor but we had so much fun. We played from sun up till sun down.
    It was great times !!!

  3. There is something about this that is almost refreshing, though sadly reading some responses from similar parts, think this is a kinda of series, though yes, I could be wrong about that series part but they do seem along the same lines with some of the same people, though know because of the year(s) these were done in, so many are down right hateful. WHY ??? Yes I know the so called reasons for hate groups and what so on though the reasons are so redundantly stupid that true intelligence has just well many words but to use 1 disappeared.
    Have been working on a couple things the last couple yrs, though my editing skills are null and void as anyone who reads this can tell. This little planet we call earth, home, us, the HUMAN RACE, so many have lost or been raised to, will use this to cover as basic as can, lost their humanity. No, it is not a new "condition" hate has been around as long as humans have, yet love has too. Tolerance, well to some would argue this point but it to has been around "forever". Will make the rest of these thoughts I am sharing as brief as I can and share just a couple 3.
    1, hating just because of looks (skin, hair, eyes, handicap(s) scars, weight, etc) makes little sense as take an x ray, we look the same "color" different shades of grey, so that hate really is skin deep; all humans bleed red, why else can donating blood save lives; we never know reasons why 1 can be over weight, few it can be for a medical reason, others are struggling with life issues and or whatever other reasons that goes for both over and under; scars and other handicaps, can end up happening to anyone; we all need to breathe clean air, drink clean water, eat healthy food to live and we all pee and poop.
    2, one of the biggest things people, humans fight about is their belief, some say they dont have any, though with a lot that say that, when really talking and yes can have a "healthy" argument with knowing they can agree to disagree without "bombing the world".
    3, this one for some, might find it "funny" but Over the yrs, though if really thought about, can be seen though out time, but entertainment, yes going "Hollywood" including movies and tv (not reality crap, as no true imagination with it, and in a way sad an not surprising as the so called "they" do not want the rest of humans to have an imagination or real thoughts of our own, could go on) though will just go with mainly a couple movie series, one did have a tv spin, that would be The Terminator movies and show, showing that humans could "unite" despite all and fight to live, and Independence Day, both movies, though the 2nd actually shows and talks about how they, the humans chose to stop fighting with each other and to work together even if some ideas and things were not done the same and even disagree with at times yet CHOOSING to live with differences for the sake of all humans, yes, we, all of us, the HUMAN RACE, do we not have brains enough to use them, (though i believe there will be a time when it will "appear" that there is peace, but that will be before the "storm" and there will be no peace at the time for awhile).
    Sorry did not meaning to be preachy, just wonder if there are others out there that when watching us, the humans, see a person. When introduced, see their eyes, as I can see a lot about a person just by looking into eyes and then really listening to the way the speak to you, most people are good people, though I have looked into eyes that are well evil, my bio father, no one messed with him, only time anyone felt anything for him was when he had a migraine, he was a dangerous person and was because of him I lost my innocence and really did not have a childhood, Do know was blessed about 1 thing re him, was not sold, but i do have memories of meeting 2 that were sold and traded, and do know he or someone had something on the principal maybe another one or 2 in that elementary school….after eyes, I see another person, yes do notice the way light reflexes on them, but to me, the outside or what is seen never has and never will determine who is or is not a friend.
    Well if you read this a get what was trying to say/ask, as it is about 2 in the morning, my constant companion called pain is keeping me up for now, just very tired, thanks for reading and have a great day/night where ever you are.

  4. There’s nothing like the love of family. Unfortunately there’s the one aunt,. Still, family is important. Nice film.

  5. That man said he’d pop that woman in the mouth if she didn’t hurry up and get that dinner ready. If he said that these days he’d be on death row.

  6. This reminds me of growing up in Mississippi. I miss this so much and sadly my children will never know the importance of growing up poor. I have taught our children other ways of being humble.

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