Ernest J. Gaines: My great aunt was probably the greatest influence in my life. She was crippled. She never walked in her life. She crawled over the floor all her life. When my mother had to go out into the fields when we were smaller children, and then later go to California, she left us with my aunt, and my aunt could do everything except walk. She cooked the food for us, would bring everything to the stove. We had an old wood-burning stove. She cooked the food for us. She washed our clothes on this old washboard. We had to bring all the stuff there, the water, the soap, the washboard itself. She also disciplined us. So we had to break our own switch to get our punishment if we did something wrong. So we’d go out and break our own switch and come back and take our punishment.