Oral History

David Caldwell, Jr. - On the Rogers Road neighborhood (clip)

Interviewed by Darius Scott on September 23, 2014

Darius Scott (DS): What brought you guys from Merritt Mill to Rogers Road when you were in the third grade?

David Caldwell, Jr. (DC): Oh! Like most of the people out here, we had the opportunity to buy a home.

DS: Um-hmm.

DC: There was only about thirteen houses out here when we moved out here, and now there ' gotten close to a thousand. But most of the people out here, when you ask why they moved out here, it was that opportunity to own something.

DS: Right.

DC: And we had our chance, and my parents jumped on it.

DS: And how would you describe the geography of Rogers Road, or the neighborhood here, compared to, say, the rest of Chapel Hill? How is it situated within Orange County?

DC: Yeah, it s strange now, but when we started, it s always looked [05:44 - inaudible], like it was put in a place that nobody wanted. And the people got in it, and they made it prosper. So, even today, now everything goes on with our neighborhood. It has stood. The area is growing so much. The only problem we have is it s all growing around us, and we re not really being able to be a part of it down through the years, as much a part as we should have been.

DS: You mean the development?

DC: The development, yeah.

DS: Okay. And what about the people here, the demographics?

DC: Right now, we probably have one of the most diverse communities, maybe in this state, I know in the county. We have the original families that were here. There s a few still here that didn't leave or couldn't afford to leave. Most of the kids have left, because the history of the landfill and the promises made and not fulfilled. And how do you tell your kid -- people have heard me say this a thousand times -- how do you tell your kid, Stick around. One day all of this is going to be yours? And they say, What? Polluted water. Busted septic tanks. Vultures. Vermin running around, coming from the landfill. Smells. Can't go outside. So, a lot of the kids, when they got the chance to go, whether through the military or school and education, they got out of here. But recently, we 'e had a some of the families have started to come back, which is great. I think out of all those, we already have two or three families that have moved back that the elders stayed, and the young people came back.

David Caldwell, Jr. - On the Rogers Road neighborhood (clip)

Clip_Caldwell, Jr., David (SOHP_0084)_02_QR.jpg


Oral history interview of Caldwell, Jr., David conducted by Scott, Darius on September 23, 2014 at Chapel Hill, NC.

Citation: Southern Oral History Program, “David Caldwell, Jr. - On the Rogers Road neighborhood (clip),” From the Rock Wall, accessed June 13, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/david-caldwell-jr-on-the-rogers-road-neighborhood.

Rights: Open for research. The Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) welcomes non-commercial use and access that qualifies as fair use to all unrestricted interview materials in the collection. The researcher must cite and give proper credit to the SOHP. The SOHP requests that the researcher informs the SOHP as to how and where they are using the material.

"We’re writing our own history, thank you!"

Ms. Esphur Foster

Want to add in?  Have a different view?  What do you think? Want to upload your own photos or documents?

History is not the past.  It’s the sense we make of the past now. Click below to RESPOND—and be part of making history today.