Joe Love: “In the summertime, we would all go and pick berries, eat berries till we get sick, and then pick them and bring them home.”
Joe Love spoke with the Missouri on Mic team at the Downtown Poplar Bluff Farmer’s Market in July. She spoke about her memories of growing up, food and family.
Missouri on Mic is an oral history and journalism project documenting stories from around the state in its 200th year.
Joe Love: I grew up here. I went to school until the 11th grade, and then I moved and went to California and Texas for seven years, and I've been back here ever since. You always return to Poplar Bluff.
I like working with food, and I knew that I'm just kind of too sensitive for being a nurse because when I worked in the hospital, I'll have to go around and collect up the menus.
And you see the little people in there, and they want to show you what the doctor did. And some of those operations look so painful – I could just almost feel their pain.
And I knew that with food, it's different. I think it came from my mom because I used to watch her – she baked and cooked every day. So, and, I like experimenting with food and coming up with different ideas and different tastes, and I think that’s where I got it from.
My favorite thing that my mom made was blackberry cobbler. So, that was back when you could just go about anywhere in the woods or forest and there was berry vines everywhere.
"But then when your mom's gone – your dad has to be your mom and your dad. And so, that's why I'm so passionate about [my] dad."Joe Love
And in the summertime, we would all go and pick berries, eat berries till we get sick, and then pick them and bring them home. And my mom would make a blackberry cobbler and she’d made blackberry jam and blackberry jelly. So, blackberry cobblers my favorite.
I think that – when we were little – 12 – my mom died, and then I think my dad had to take care of us and, and that's why I just…
I know everybody says, “it's your mom, it's your mom,” but I think that when a dad steps up and takes care of seven kids all by himself, then we should give credit to those kinds of dads.
And I know, “Mom's gonna be with you forever,” you think, but then when your mom's gone – your dad has to be your mom and your dad. And so, that's why I'm so passionate about [my] dad.
I think the biggest challenge is growing up – growing up to be a responsible and respectable person. There's a lot more out there than when we grow up. So, I think you just should do the right thing and never fall to peer pressure. I never fell to peer pressure – I was too scared in the first place.
So, I think a person should try to be the best person they could be and not let someone else rule your mind. Always use your own brain. That's what – that's my thing, “use your brain and not somebody else's.” So, that's the biggest challenge – it’s just to be your authentic self.