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Interview with Ellen Anderson

Anderson, Ellen
Raymond, Lynn
Childhood adventures
Ellen Anderson talks about her family and her AG classes and trips she took for school and with her family.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Lynn Raymond interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
LR (Lynn Raymond): ( ) Lives in Concord with her family. She's 13 years old. So Ellen, were you born in Concord?
EA (Ellen Anderson): Yes I was. Um, I was born in ( ), um, hospital but it's now called North East Medical Center.
LR: What do you know about that hospital Ellen? Why did they change the name?
EA: Well, it grew really big since I've been there, since I was born there and, um, they added like a bunch of centers and that's why.
LR: Now it's really big.
EA: It's really big.
LR: So do you have any brothers and sisters?
EA: Yeah, I have two brothers and one sister [pause] and their names are, um, my sister's name is Laura and my youngest brother is Tom and my oldest brother is Doug, and Doug is 17, Tom is 9, and Laura is 15.
LR: Oh, so does Doug have his driver's license?
EA: Yeah, he has his driver's license and he has his own car too. Um, my sister has her permit. Um, he has to pay for his own car. It's a red Saturn.
LR: Do Laura and Doug ever fight over the car?
EA: Um, well actually my sister doesn't like to drive that much, um, so, so, but she kind of, she, he drives her to school in the morning and so, like, he wants to bring his friends, but my mom's making him bring her, and he can only bring, like, two friends to school. [Pause]
LR: OK, are your mom and dad from Concord as well?
EA: No, um, my dad was born up north ( ) and when he was my age he lived in, like, seven different houses in, like, five different states and my mom born in Virginia, um, near Washington, DC. And, um, they both went to Virginia Tech and that's where they met. [Pause] Um, and um, Dad, they, well the reason, um, the reason we live in Concord now is because we're, they were looking for a spot that had no rental store in it, and Concord was a store that had no rental store, and it was a good town so they chose Concord to live.
LR: So is that what your dad does for a living? He owns a rental store?
EA: Yeah, um, he, it's like lawn mowers, tractors, trailers and, um, he did own another one in Kannapolis, but um, it wasn't in a very good location so it didn't do much business so he just decided to close that one down. [Pause]
LR: OK, and what does your mom do?
EA: My mom is the book keep-, book keeper of the business, and um, she does all the work, uh, numbers, like how much you have to charge somebody, and she has a separate computer from the kids because she doesn't want us messing up the computer. Um, and, um, so we can't play any games on her computer, and she has a, we have a special room in, uh, in our house and it's the office and she, that's where all the work is, computers, and printer, and fax machine.
LR: So does she have a better computer than the kids do?
EA: No, we actually have a better computer than her, um, ours is a little, is newer so, but, it's, you could use the same thing on each computer just all she needs is to answer numbers and save them. She doesn't have to do, um, much complicated stuff.
LR: So, where do you go to school?
EA: I go to North West Cabarrus Middle.
LR: And what grade are you in?
EA: I'm in eighth grade.
LR: Do you like it there?
EA: Yeah, it's really good, 'cause like there's not much fights, and stuff, and I feel safe in that school. [Pause] And, um, there, I, my home base teacher is Miss Walker, and, um, right now I have a student teacher, and she'll be teaching me 'til December, and she teaches me Science and Algebra, and, um, I also have Social Studies and my teacher's Mr. Dellinger , and he's really funny, and he's like my favorite teacher. [Pause] And I take drama class, and right now I'm in health. And we just got our report cards, and I got one B and all A's other than that B.
LR: Well that's great Ellen. So, you're in AG English?
EA: Yeah, and-.
LR: What does that mean?
EA: Um, acade-, academically gifted, and, um, I guess you just move at a faster pace. And, we do have vocabulary books, and it's at a higher level than the l-, um, other kids, um, and the words are harder, and, um, we also do a lot more projects, and, um, I think that our teacher, um, right now, wants us to, uh, be, like, creative and, 'cause she really stresses it, and like, she, like, we do a couple worksheets like a week on, um, like, stretching our creative minds, and like, how many ways, different ways we can write an S, something like that.
LR: Do you ever go on any field trip?
EA: Yeah, um, this year, um, AG's had two field trips, but I've only gone on one, because the other one was to Cherokee, North Carolina, and I have already been there, and, they were going to see a show, I've seen the show. And, um, the second trip was just last week and it was to a play called Mountain, and I went to it, and we had, um, lunch too, and it was really nice. I liked it.
LR: What's a funny story you can tell us about one of your field trips?
EA: Um, well, the, when we went to the play, Mountain, we, actually it was brunch, and so we stopped at McDonald's and they were still serving breakfast, and so, um, I had gotten pancakes and the syrup was really liquidy, and I was pouring it on the pancakes and it spilled all over my pants and onto the seat, and I went up to get some napkins and I sat back down in the syrup-.
LR: Oh no.
EA: -[Laughs] And so it was all over my pants. [Pause]
LR: So then what'd you do?
EA: Um, well, we went to the, um, bathroom, and somehow the teachers found out and they were like are your pants OK? But, luckily I was wearing black pants so it didn't stand out too well.
LR: When you go on vacation does your whole family go?
EA: Yeah, but I think next summer, um, my oldest brother might stay home because he's got a job, and so, he probably will stay home. But, um, if we go on vacation it's for like two weeks, and um, we go to different places, but usually we go to the beach, and um, like five summers ago we went to, um, Maine, the coast of Maine. Um, about three summers ago we went to Montana and saw, saw Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone Park, and um, we stayed at a ranch, and then, this summer we went to New York City and saw, like, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building and that was um, I think that was the funnest trip we took. [Pause]
LR: Did anything funny happen in New York City?
EA: Um, well, um, every morning our hotel was right next to the
, and there was a bagel shop like right next to it, and so every morning that's what we had for breakfast, and then like, if we wanted a snack, we'd just go down there and get a snack, and so, the, uh, owners of the shop knew us pretty well. [Pause]
LR: Do you and your brother, Tom, get along pretty good?
EA: Yeah, out of our family I guess me and Tom get well, along well, the best 'cause we're the two youngest and, um, so we're um, we, like, if we go on a vacation we're always like, we always, we always pick the back and, um, we don't fight much. When we do fight it's just about stupid things.
LR: Does everybody else get along with Tom?
EA: Yeah. He gets along easily with other people, but sometimes he, um, is just [laughs] annoying, like little brothers always are.
LR: Any funny stories for us about Tom?
EA: Um, [pause] well, um, he, he always gets lost like at the fair or somewhere and, um, one time we got, um, caricatures done, and the guy wouldn't tell us what, he just drew our face and then he would add like something special, like my brother, my oldest brother plays the trumpet, so he was playing trumpet, and so my little brother um, he got a map and said, "I'm not lost" and he was holding the map upside down.
LR: [Laughs]
EA: So that's funny.
LR: Did he ever get lost when you were on vacation?
EA: Um, probably a couple times, well not a couple times, but probably at Yellowstone Park and he ran ahead at Mount Rushmore, but he never got lost in New York because my mom held on to him. [Pause] Um, but, um, I, um, [laughs] I never, I don't get lost that much 'cause, like, if I'm like in a big crowd of people I hold on to, like, my sister's shirt or something. I'd get scared if I got lost. I think Tom, once he gets lost, he forgets about getting lost and goes off somewhere else and has fun by himself. So, I guess, um, I'd be, he's good for getting lost, but I'd be bad because I'd be, like, so nervous and scared.
LR: Did, did you know your grandparents at all?
EA: Yeah, um, my mom's grandma, my mom's parents um, her father died, and so I, I didn't know my grandpa, but I know my grandma, and she lives in Washington, DC, um, right now, all, um, alone and she lives, but she lives right next, like right near my aunt and uncle and my cousins, so, um she usually goes over to their house a lot. Like, on Thanksgiving she always comes over and she stays at their house a lot. And, um, I never knew my grandpa 'cause he died, um, right after my, um, sister was born, and so, um, but my, when my mom talks about him she was like I, he sounded really nice, and she's always like, I wish you could meet him 'cause she said he was like really funny and stuff. And my dad's parents, um, my grandma just died this January. And my grandpa, he's really tall, and he, um, has, and um, their, my grandpa's house is really messy 'cause he travels a lot and it's got like dic-, Russian dictionaries like, and just magazines everywhere, so it's really cool to go to his house and, like, he'll give you anything if you see it. You're just like, "Can I have this?" And he'll give it to you. Um, but he just moved out of his, um, house 'cause, um, it was too big for just himself so he moved into an, um, smaller home in a development, so, and he like, whatever night he wants to he can, like, have dinner at a dining hall so he doesn't have to eat by himself.
LR: Does he ever come down and visit?
EA: Yeah, um, we us- well, actually we usually go and visit him 'cause, um, we always go up there every year, like twice a year up to Washington, DC 'cause all our relatives are up there and he lives in Mara, Maryland. And, so, we just drive up there and see him. [Long pause]
LR: Any funny stories about any of your grandparents?
EA: Um, when I was really little my, my grandpa, um, he has, um, what's uh, white hair, like right here and they stick out really far, and so, when I was little I, I told him I thought he looked, I was like, "Grandpa are you scared?" ( ) [Long pause]
LR: So have you seen a lot of changes since you've been growing up in Concord?
EA: Um, yeah. It's um, like, the, um, the mall got, like, um, a lot of new stores and it got re-finished and stuff, and um, [pause] it got more traffic lights, and um, a lot more stores built, and like, um, like, little mall, little stores built. [Pause] And, um, also the hospital, as I said before, it got really big, and.
LR: So a lot of people are moving here?
EA: Yeah, like the apartments, and um, they got a lot, got a lot of apartments, um a lot, most of them are built by David Drye. There's a lot of people living there.
LR: So do you live in a neighborhood?
EA: Yeah, I live in ( ) Acres. And, um, it's got, uh, I like my house 'cause it's got a big lot, like a big backyard and we have a pond and a creek-. [RECORDING PAUSED THEN RESUMED] -Back there. And, um, right, when I was first, first, when I was first here, um, I remember when a neighborhood beside us was built called Oak Park, and it's really big now. And like, our bus is really crowded, and sometimes there's not seats for, enough seats for everybody, so some people have to go call their moms to bring them home. And um, they're um, so that neighborhood, um, like the traffic on the highway in front of our neighborhood got a lot more ( ) when the neighborhood was built. [Pause]
LR: So do you go swimming in that pond behind your house?
EA: Yeah, um, we usually do, but this summer there hasn't been much rain, so we haven't been able to swim in there a lot. And, it's, um, so, next summer if it's like that my dad and my mom, we're all going to build a pump, so it won't get like that again. But, um, just a little bit ago we got a lot of rain and so it really got high, um, but it was too cold to go swimming, um, but I know the fish in the pond really liked it. But, um, we, there's, my dad put fish in there and there's, I know he put bass in there. And the fish aren't more than like [10 inches shown with hands] this big, but they're, they're healthy. And, um, there's snakes in there. And last summer we had the problem of frogs, but the snakes found them, and so now we can't even find a frog anymore. And one time when I was swimming in the pond, um, my, the rest of my family was on the dock and all of a sudden they started yelling me to come in. So I just started swimming toward the dock, and I looked over to my left and I noticed there was something in the water, um off to the shore. And I was like, so I swam as hard as I could, when I got on, um, realized there was snake with a frog, and so, um, I haven't been swimming in the pond since then. So, I'm kind of scared of snakes, but I think they're more scared of me. [Long pause]
LR: Um, does, do your mom and dad ever go back to Virginia Tech for like games and stuff?
EA: Um, la-, last weekend they went to, um, a game, and it was in Syracuse and Virginia Tech beat them 52-0. And so, they're, um, they were really happy. And my mom meets up with all her college friends, and they have um, like, big, everybody brings food and they have a party and stuff. And it's really fun because they have kids they have my age, um, so we usually play with them. They have a really cool backyard. But this year I didn't go, um, my brother went and my sister went, and I didn't go 'cause, um, I didn't really want to go to the game, but I didn't want to stay at my mom's friend's house by myself, so I just stayed home.
LR: So what do you do with your free time?
EA: Um, a lot of times I go over to my friend's house. I'm, um, spend the night and that's really fun. Sometimes we go to the movies. And we do all sorts of stuff. And, um, like over the summer I go swimming. And during this time, me, my brother, and my dad play football a lot. And um, I like, I like to be outside a lot and, like, make stuff. And just recently, I cut myself and had to get stitches with a saw.
LR: Ew, where did you cut yourself?
EA: On my finger, right here. I just got them out. And, well no, my dad was at work and my mom was out shopping with my sister down in Charlotte and, um, just my older brother was home. And I was making a, a wooden box 'cause we had scrap wood. And, uh, I was cutting a little piece in half, and I cut myself, and at first I didn't think it was that bad and I was just holding it. And I went inside and told my older brother, and first he didn't believe me because earlier that day, um, I was playing with some, me and my brother were playing with fake blood. And he was like, "I'm not going to fall for that again." Um, but then I started crying, he finally believed me. So he was, so he started to get his keys 'cause he was going to drive me to the hospital. But instead I said we better call dad first. My dad came home, and he looked at it. And he said well probably we'll have to go to Quick Care which is a part of the hospital. And, um, it's for minor emergencies, and so my dad drove, uh, drove me there. And, um, I got there we, um, had to fill out, some, a lot of forms and stuff, so we had to wait there. And then when I got in there the nurse checked me out and said they might need stitches, but they will probably use this new type of glue. And, um, but it turns out they had to do stitches, but I only got three, and it didn't hurt that bad. But it hurt when they were putting the pain killer in.
LR: And you've, have you had them taken out already?
EA: Yeah, and I got them tooken out, and um, [laughs] um, um, and it didn't hurt at all. Uh, but I was really nervous when I we-, when, before it happened. But, it didn't hurt, but it looked really gross so, but, it's really healing up now, so, any day now I'll be able to take the Band-Aids off. Well, I can take the Band-Aid off, but I don't want it to get infected. But, I usually take it off at night.
LR: Is that the only time you've gotten hurt?
EA: No, um, I've got, I've broken my wrist twice, and I've, um, hurt my collarbone. Um, and, the first time I was in preschool and I broke my wrist, and my neighbor was over and she was talking to my mom. And I was on the monkey, um, swings, m-, monkey bars [Laughs] And I was on it and the bars are wooden, so they would slide back and forth. And I was on it and, um, I told my mom to look, and right as she looked I fell off it and landed on my hand. The bar twisted, and I fell off and landed on my hand. And that hurt. And I, I was in preschool and I have a preschool picture with me with a cast on it. And when I broke my collarbone, I don't remember how I broke my collarbone. I just remember I had to have a splint, on my arm so I wouldn't move it. But I didn't hurt my collarbone that bad.
LR: Well have you been to the new mall, Ellen?
EA: Yeah, I've been to the new mall, um, it's really big, and um, actually when I went there, um, I went through a lot of the stores and only found one shirt I liked. Um, but I like, the candy stores in there are really good. And, um, they have a lot of good stores I like. And like, the CD store's really big. And they have, uh, a movie theater in there and it's, um, really cool. I went to that, um, this weekend with my sister and her friend. Um, they have a place in there where my older brother works, and it's Jeepers, it's called Jeepers. And it's like a little amusement park for kids. And it actually has a roller coaster, and swings, and it's inside. And he, he likes, he really likes how, where he works 'cause he, like, gets to operate the rides and stuff. And, um, he gets, like, to pick his hours and stuff. So, um, he used to work at Food Lion. So, and he, uh, he had worked really long hours, and, but now, he gets to work, like, hours he really likes. And he gets to, like, work with kids and stuff, so he likes that a lot. He was really happy when he got the job.
LR: Well, Ellen, thank you very much for being part of this, um, study and the English project that I'm working on.
EA: Thank you.
LR: You did a great job. Thanks a lot.
EA: Thank you. [Laughs] Bye.