thumbnail of American adventure; Orchid
Hide -
This transcript was received from a third party and/or generated by a computer. Its accuracy has not been verified. If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+.
The best understanding of America begins or so it seems to us with the realisation that this nation needs young yet but she is still new and unfinished that even now America is man's greatest adventure in time and space. The University of North Carolina represents American Adventure a study of man in the New World. His values and his characteristics who he is what he believes what he lives by our American Adventure is produced on a grant and aid from the National Association of educational broadcasters made possible by the Educational Television and Radio Center. Written by Johnny Lee directed by John Clayton. Today's program presents John bonnets as George Washington Carver in the orchid. One of the great Americans was a young negro man once lived in a Midwestern city.
Some say the story we tell about him is true but we prefer to think of it as a legend. We hope it is not true. But the negro man he was true. True and straight and tall. This is his story and the story of a white man. And of a piece of land with a house. You know would be the first as ready had a $5 would have let's see I got $2 bills and I got some change. And if you make 60 and there's 30 for Mr. Thompson makes four dollars are you sure. Well I thought that's what it was. What'd you charge the last customer Fotis is this did a 30. She didn't have 40 cents worth of laundry. Joey's lucky you got to pay $5 a month on this house or lose it. And today is the day you pay and I don't know man comes around. Don't fret don't fret just peachy will look
at you still. No man told me when I bought this house if I couldn't meet a payment I could make it up. I've done that before. I've got some laundry here. Are you George. Yes ma'am. You were recommended to me by some very fine people when I read that man. I'm Mrs. McKinney had to do is this is this room the place you do your laundry. Yes stays in that tub. That scene a lot of dirty laundry get. GREENE Ma'am do you operate the place yourself. Yes I do. It's very strange you know for a negro to be running a place of business like this. But some very fine people said you were perfectly lovely Were you. Thank you ma'am. Now George I would like to have the laundry delivered to this address in the morning but that too soon. Tomorrow afternoon would be better but tomorrow morning I had planned to put everything away. Well I certainly try ma'am. How much will the charge be.
Let's see you got a good deal here about 45 cents. I'll pay you tomorrow. Oh that's a beautiful picture of flowers you have there. Why thank you. Where does one buy a picture like that. I painted that one myself ma'am. Why isn't it really really you painted it. Yes. Month or so ago I've got another on the easel but it's not finished yet. The tomes are perfectly beautiful. I had a geranium like one of those you painted. Where did you get your flowers that paint from memory ma'am may I give you the picture ma'am. What I'd like to give it to you. Why I should pay you for a no no. I'd much prefer to give it to you. Perhaps you have a back war somewhere I shouldn't want to disgrace your home. But some were prettier than this one here. You seem to like the picture here. But let me take it down for you.
Take it out of this frame because I'm sure you can get a better frame for there comes out easy enough. I wrote it up for you but I can't possibly needed one week between washings and I have time on my hands in the damp season while the clothes dry. So I take walks in the woods or paint pictures. You know Ma'am you were very kind to notice it. I hope your family likes it. Thank you. Thank you George. What is your full name George Carver ma'am. Thank you George Carver. I also one for the laundry myself You needn't deliver it tomorrow afternoon. Yes ma'am thank you. We had I had a clear you could at least charged them for that picture and you know it was better this way. Joe would you will to me you're the strangest creature I have laid down. He had appeared to me and I hope you like it. Didn't David but two weeks of thought and
planning and found in weeds to make Daz for pain. Just two weeks or would he have taken how she liked it. You can tell when somebody likes a picture she didn't like it in a better than you know Petri I played another one. I've already started another one. And sometimes when a man hasn't got a picture he finishes one quicker than when he hears a day to go to phone and you know now. PJ did many exchange with us have to pay you back this afternoon. No you but you the Polish businessman I always know that is so. I got this house and lot with something now. Towns move in this way. When I dealt with that were far more now than when I bought it. So Mr. Davis he's one of my customers. He says it is not going to be worth big money afore long. So more reason for you to keep him keep him up. Don't fret yourself. Help me get this bucket of water on the stove where
you show and let it heal. Well these clothes where I gotta go Joes I'm sorry to bother you so much anyway no bother you know when you get is the king of fine a job you have to depend on your bowlers. I had to have happened to have you back when you going to let me teach you how to read. Nobody could teach me nothing. I still influence other day that we she made me she made me and my good morning so I have a $5 payment right here. Let me see where did I put that Petri dish that I give it to you min to go. Oh yes here it is. That Yasser $5. Lemme see. If I want to that's what I was in this for me. So all right George would you make out a receipt.
Yeah. Oh yes of course you got a piece of paper. George Carver $5 was the date 14. Yes right there. Thank you. Your due. I got a question about this property. I got another lot about two blocks from here. Yes a lot about this maybe bigger. Yes. I don't need any more land. No but I was wondering if you would consent to my moving this house to that lot and then taken over this one myself. So it's not so complicated your age. Well I'd like to do you a favor but when I move my laundry I'm established here where you can soon get established it was extra to lock position near the town. Well it's only two blocks further. You can carry the laundry two more blocks can't you. Yes I can see a lot I always thought a man was willing to work. Yes so I wouldn't put much. Frankly I'm sorry I was told you there's a house in LA and I wouldn't have done it except I thought I could do you a
favor. Yes. You know I'm asking you to do me one that's all. Where you say well I'm just saying no peacherino know that he's a man that comes in here to talk to me. I'm talking business to you not to him. Joel says no you be quiet. Don't tell him no. I think I have to tell you no sir I really do. In our fairness to myself I get over George. Don't be hasty. Would you think about dead now move our house to another lark is if we didn't know that this lot has got valuable sense he does those things he got things we got most of the tall tree doing you a favor when he sold it he said. Well I was glad to get it out and he let me buy a couple of months without paying. I got a respect that you will listen to me but no one no business is business you don't know me either give away this do laundry or spin long
hours in the biggest for storekeepers somebody you never seen before. You know but it could come in here and YOU DOING THE THING. And look Petri I know how to read and write. Now look here. That's something a man ought to share with everybody. Because some people haven't had a chance. You didn't have a chance either. Sorry I had a buddy and went to Dia Joe and there were no where you feed and don't worry about little things like that. Tomorrow is my birthday. Why is it when I get your press no you won't. You know I mean I wonder if want to get through dinner the Manet I can bring you peace I'm a bit shaky flosses fixable. It had taken quite a spell. I just bring it around you know best. Also anyone in a good. I don't know how woman judges a key. They talk about ad
stanzas it had a green looks. I don't know that she tasted it if she said it. Good show. She's a good woman. You got all this laundry to do tonight I'm going to wash it out so I can move from no man about that. Joe adjusted it here and I'm about that life. Yes you did. Oh man came back this morning. So he wanted if I'd thought of that declare judge and I had trouble with dead man. I don't think so would be C.. He'd just talk to you want to know if I'd change my mind. Yes today was the bad adland I watch you. I didn't ask him about that would did you say. I told him I didn't want to sell particular traitor whatever he wants to do You said he might pay me something in addition. Yeah I told him no joke. I don't floss about it. Well I'll just tell. She said not to see
you she said closer to and he can moan you Joe because you got it education in the game then you know not to make no business is proud to you Joe. So they everybody you come up from slavery like most of you got knowledge and ability and you would you would you do anything. I'm doing the best I can. Now let me put those clothes in the water was you low. Yes yes you will be as hearty as you. I don't know for sure she was carried off by bushwhackers in a war to cover her own lived in Missouri. How about you Paul. I never knew who he was. You see from nothing. Joe good to own a valuable piece of land. I know how to read and write and
paint. Peaches when I don't thing from print. But Iran is naturally looking for you to show when you stop talking like that Petri people ain't got no right to expect me to show a way to anything I have noticed let's not talk about this. After all I got a right to this land I'm paid up and I'm not going to give it away or do anything foolish B-tree SMA. I wonder if you can help us. Oh man probably going to have a come back no more. Smile smile. This is the yes excuse me Petri would you put some more wood in that stove for me. Yes yes.
I don't want to bother you but I can't see any reason to move. George let me tell you something I'm not aiming to get mad. I'm going to try to make it something for you inconvenience. Now we all have to live together and help one another will help. Yes and very well say in favor of us. Time now so this lot is fairly valuable. I said it's fairly valuable I'm told by some friends. Town is moving this way. Well it's something to be seen. That's my opinion and any writer I've thought over the proposition I want to help you as much as I can but I'm not going to trade lots with you so my answer is No. Now George I'm a businessman and I'm trying to put this on a business
basis yes sir. I'm asking you one more time. Just stay out of this time. I'm sorry sir but I'm clear in my own thinking I've not said look you I reckon you know I can take this lot away from you if I want to have a written agreement. Yes you do when I need you to pay me $5 a month. Have you done it. I missed a month or two as you said I could and made it up. The papers say you could miss payments. You said I could do the papers say what you mean Tell me what do you agreement it says $5 a month have you done it. But you said have you done it. I've done what you said I could when I signed. I said that I might not be able to pay every month they had said to me no I done it and that's what the paper says you have to do.
You've broken it. Now George I'm going to be kind to you because I think you're a good nigger. I would still make my offer to trade with you and move this little house without cost you knew anything and when you say you're reckoning better they go slow. Yes I would like to think it over. Thank you no. I would go back one. Petri. Yeah you're right about that man. I had a good deal of hope you know I had a long way to come to get where I am. Like you said. Yeah. PETRI you. Would you help me move that ease up where the light is show you got a paint on that new picture Petri. I got to get my mind on something before I
get to thinking too much. This crowd down to you both hear you oh no thank you. Did not this afternoon. Would you help me move this issue back to the lamp near the stove. Show. Watch it I don't rush. You've done a lot of work on that picture today. Yes I do believe that this time I'm going to be able to paint that flower. I've been trying for years to buy an orchid and it's got a look as if it's afraid to boast of its own beauty. It's hard to get just the right shade of delicacy to it but I think I'm going to make it this time. Purdy and I did like a flower. I haven't seen it in quite a while now. But I must have a memory about it mostly You do remember faces were
pretty and I remember many an ugly thing. I remember some nice things. I remember Mrs. Carver one of the logs on my she was a person I don't know how she would make fish chowder must cover would go down the brook and catch a brim bring him back. Small fish only you know if it hadn't been for Mr. and Mrs. Carr. Yeah he put this out on the dish. Oh I'm not hungry Petri have you know you did out of the book. Oh no I don't want to eat a wooden model until flawless you set about it. Well you know well made it lad then you know. Let me have a fork and I'll eat it. He bowed. Miss Carver would make sauerkraut too sometimes and when the time is very good to will follow. This is awful good. I've got to hurry up and finish so and
get back to that picture. Joe would tell me. Yeah you go let this play is go I don't know. You go get a lawyer I know if I could fight the woman in court costs money. I got very little but I was very good. Joyce Listen what are you going to do. I'm going to finish that picture I want to do the laundry but I just can't take a chance on that when I paint I'm concentrating you see and I'm thinking about something beautiful. It isn't like doing laundry Joe. George if you would have your wishes you wanted to raid this minute what would it be to paint that picture of an orchid. Is that what you want to be a painter. Yes. More than anything that would you going to do a photo. I got that in my mind and I also got my mind that I want to go to the south and help my people who are well there are many things they don't know. But
then there's so much that I don't know that I want to. I remember so much but I don't understand all of it you see. Why don't you go back to school. I'd like to someday I will. I hope that maybe. Look let's not talk about it any more I want to paint this picture. But what do you go. I don't know I'm not going to think about it anymore. I'm just I just can't understand. I can think about it for a year and not be able to understand it we just get better and better and not be any clearer and five years in right now. I'm not going to let myself go. But when I think of all that I could do with the money this lot is worth the people who need to help people who have helped me. I get angry. You've never seen me angry have you know him. You know I hope I hope I won't get angry tomorrow.
Somehow God has to help me to keep from it. I've got to keep from Haiti if I hate him I'm lost I'm I'm through everything he's lost I can't let this ruin me. And you know that's why I'm painting this picture. And I've had it in my mind for months. It's a best picture I can do and I've got to work on it and not let this other thing bother me. What you doing I was just looking at a picture I finished early this morning. What do you think. I think that you should follow what you told me and let me keep the light even if I've broken the written Green No I can't do that. I'm asking you to look here. This means as much to me as it could ever mean to anybody anywhere any time. I've got very little
change. No I want the lot. Never would have sold it if I had known the town was moving this way. Now what do you say. I say this along to me by any study of what's right and wrong. What does the agreement justice says. I'm just interested in what you agreement say as I didn't come down here for such as you to give me when I get my sermons on Sunday then remembered. Yes remember remember I remember a thousand other times in a thousand places and this and other states there are a hundred thousand things I can remember that crowd my mind with hate. I guess I just don't understand how people can be like they are if they believe there's a God in heaven. He's watching you say he's watching you right now in this place. The god that's just beauty is watching you. What do you say about the Luddites say ice. What else can I say.
Your paper George right here. Now I don't just take the lot. George I'm going to take this lot now if you signed a paper on move your house to another lot in it you have that one. It's something I'm doing for you. I don't like to be mean in business dealings never have had patience with people like that God being my witness I want to be fair. Now you'd better sign the paper. No sir I'm not coming back. George the next time you hear from me would be a court order throwing you out in the street right. I set up my tub my wash board and iron and iron and board up in the street. When my customers come by I would tell them what's happened and I had the police move you in five minutes now stop talking big bold and you'll get a lawyer. Just stubbed toe to show you a plane and you get a lawyer oh yeah go ahead and Sheen your kind in court before. You can't love me George I got a paper that's been broken. But if you want to go to goal you tree what am I going to do. I'm all for in you another lot and I'll move your house just sign here on that line.
Here's a pencil. George Washington Carver. You know I said I had no choice. Well sometimes a man can fight and sometimes you can't. I get that has moved directly. Yes. Where you going. Excuse me I believe I'd better start painting on another picture if you don't mind. I mean move this one off the table. Give me that canvas a petri you say this is really a pretty which you've been painted here and uranium in it. You know so that's an orchid pretty as I was so you quote a plane in Georgia. My wife grew flowers for she dad I never had much truck with him. She grew all kinds. She'd gone plumb crazy over a picture like this. I'm glad you like it. So I got a place in my house in a room she used for arranging flowers. You got a fireplace in there and a picture like this could hang over the mantel be
pretty. Yes it's you know for a room with how much you want for George. I tell you what sir I'd be pleased if you would. It's not for sale. Or you can use the money how much dog. I never saw the picture. Never have. Sometimes when a person likes one I can sell it and I don't know so but I'd like to give you the picture as a press. Well I'd like to give you the picture as a present. Where would you want it. I read the page. No no it isn't for sale here. I reckon it's dry enough to carry. This is a best picture I have a painting now don't you. What are you trying to do I can accept a present from you I insist on paying. No it's not the same he Yasser. I'd like to give it to you as a present but I'd rather pay.
I'm sorry sir but it's not for sale. I'd like to give it to you if you know your own mind. I've got to get the paper signed so I disagree alone. I don't see you George. Yes. Joe would you take the pieces still wouldn't beat you not a did you oughta learn to hold your temper. Jesus the kid doesn't know pulls a fool with one hand and you do it and no tree. Don't I know why. Good because I had to try to love that man and I couldn't think of any other way. I felt myself beginning to hate him. So I just had to do it. I can't let any man make me hate him. I can't afford to do that.
Jesus would understand that wouldn't he. George Washington Carver. Became one of America's greatest teachers and scientists both at Iowa State and the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He is remembered for many important contributions to America's prosperity but he is remembered also for his spirit for his love deep and unshakable life was an excellent sermon and he stands today as a model for his race and all race as a model for all men. There are a few who are as strong as he. American Adventure is written by Johnny Lee directed by John Clayton and is produced and
recorded by the communication center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This is the end network.
American adventure
Producing Organization
University of North Carolina
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-zg6g608f).
Episode Description
This program dramatizes an episode in the life of a young George Washington Carver.
Series Description
A study of man in the New World: his values and characteristics, who he is, what he lives by. The series is written by John M. Ehle and directed by John S. Clayton.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Director: Clayton, John S.
Producing Organization: University of North Carolina
Writer: Ehle, John, 1925-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-12-23 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:02
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “American adventure; Orchid,” 1955-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
MLA: “American adventure; Orchid.” 1955-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 25, 2024. <>.
APA: American adventure; Orchid. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from