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Interview with Jon Louis Bledsoe

Interviewee: 
Bledsoe, Jon Louis
Interviewer: 
Fine, Theresa
Date of Interview: 
1999-05-05
Identifier: 
LGBL0206
Abstract: 
Louis Bledsoe talks about sports and tells ghost stories.
Collection: 
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Theresa Fine interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Transcript:
LB (Jon Louis Bledsoe): I am eight years old and I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina .
TF (Theresa Fine): Thank you Louis.
LB: You're welcome.
TF: [Laugh] OK Louis, why don't you tell me one of your favorite stories that you like to read or your mom likes to read to you.
LB: Um, it's about basketball.
TF: About basketball. OK. Tell me the story what happens in the story?
LB: Well, she's not done with it but in the beginning it's kind of a mystery story ( ) and you see um, there are two teams-.
TF: Can you talk a little bit louder for me, OK?
LB: There are two teams-
TF: OK.
LB: -Playing against each other and the Sonics and the ( ) is the other team, um, [pause] they play each other a lot. There is one boy named Charles. He always cheats.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And he's the best player in the league and he cheats.
TF: Uh.
LB: The referee, he never sees him cheat. So, you see, the other kids see him cheat 'cause he always tapes all the games.
TF: Uh, why is that a mystery? What's the, what's the mystery part of it?
LB: Well, you see, he likes tripping people and all that stuff and the referee doesn't see.
TF: So the mystery is to, to figure out so, for the referee to see that he cheats?
LB: Kind of. I don't really know.
TF: Oh. Why do you like this story? What makes it special?
LB: It's about basketball.
TF: It's about basketball [laugh]. Are there any other stories about basketball that you've read?
LB: Yep.
TF: What?
LB: Matt Christopher.
TF: Matt Christopher. Tell me about Matt Christopher.
LB: He's a good writer.
TF: He's a writer, huh?
LB: He's a sports writer.
TF: What, what books have you read, read that Matt Christopher wrote?
LB: Um, Touchdown for Tommy,
TF: OK.
LB: The Basket Counts and Undercover Tailback.
TF: Can you tell me about some of those stories?
LB: Yep. I'll tell you about my favorite one.
TF: OK.
LB: The Basket Counts.
TF: Oh, I could have guessed that.
LB: Um, it's about a boy named Mel ( ) and a boy named ( ) and some other people I don't remember. I don't know. And you see, um, they were on a basketball team called the Titans.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And they play the ( ) a lot the ( ) and the whatchamacallits( ). The Titans are a good team.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: They're one and O.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And you know Mel? He never gets the ball passed to him 'cause he's, there's only two black families where they live and he's an African American.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And, you see, um, well, you see, at the end he makes this big shot for the win. I can't remember ( ).
TF: Uh-huh. And then what? ( ).
LB: Yep.
TF: Right? Right. What makes that story so special?
LB: It's about basketball.
TF: What else? What else, what made you, what makes you like it besides it being about basketball?
LB: Um.
TF: What makes it a good story?
LB: He makes the long shot.
TF: Yeah? It's exciting?
LB: Uh-huh.
TF: Do you, do you like the characters?
LB: Um, yeah.
TF: Do you like the people that it's about?
LB: Kind of.
TF: Why don't you tell me about another Matt Christopher book.
LB: Touchdown for Tommy.
TF: OK.
LB: It's about a kid who got adopted to an orphanage place. Not the orphanage to his family.
TF: Yeah.
LB: And he was going to have to go into an orphanage.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And he never scored any touchdowns. Then when the season started he started to score a lot of touchdowns. Um let's see um, um [pause] uh he, [pause] he does not get adopted into the orphanage place and he stays, he stays with the um family, family and I don't know, um, um, oh. Um, the Towers.
TF: Towers? So his name is Tommy Towers. [Pause] The camera was making noises. So do, are there any stories you remember your mom reading to you when you were little or you could read or like when you were in kindergarten when your mom had to read to you every night?
LB: ( ).
TF: Did you read in kindergarten?
LB: Yep.
TF: Well I know your mom reads to you sometimes at night sometimes still, right? What does she read to you?
LB: Sports.
TF: Sports books?
LB: Yeah.
TF: Are they fiction or non-fiction?
LB: Non-fiction.
TF: Non-fiction. So the only fiction books you read are about sports?
LB: Yep.
TF: But I know that when you were younger you didn't read all about basketball. What did you read about when you were younger?
LB: Um, when I was in pre-school I read my first book.
TF: What was the first book you read?
LB: I forgot the name.
TF: You don't? Do you remember what it was about?
LB: Yeah.
TF: Tell me about it.
LB: Two little chipmunk kids.
TF: Two little chipmunk kids? What did they do?
LB: And their brother.
TF: And their brother.
LB: Well, you see one of them had, one of the chipmunks took people over and he would play a lot and he played with these race cars and then the race cars took off and that's all I remember.
TF: That's all you remember? [Laugh] What a good book. Are, do you have a favorite book from when you were little?
LB: Nope.
TF: No? No favorite books?
LB: Huh-uh.
TF: Did, did you have a book that you wanted your mom to read every night at bedtime or that your mom knew you liked.
LB: Oh yeah one.
TF: What?
LB: Except I forgot it.
TF: Oh.
LB: Earthlets.
TF: What?
LB: Earthlets.
TF: What?
LB: Earthlets.
TF: Earthlinks?
LB: Earthlets.
TF: Earthlets.
LB: It's about baby people and the aliens are telling the story.
TF: Oh really? Well, tell me can you tell me some of the story?
LB: There's only one story.
TF: Oh there's just one story?
LB: Yeah.
TF: OK.
LB: ( ) And you see they come out in black and yellow and white and brown.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: Those are the colors.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And they began to ( ) you see the alien people come check out the people.
TF: Go check out what people? The babies?
LB: Yep.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And he, on their heads are feelers and their toes are feelers and they say that they burp the babies so they won't blow up.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And they say, um, I can't remember.
TF: Why do you like that story? What makes that story special?
LB: It's funny.
TF: It's funny? Does that remind you of anything?
LB: Yep.
TF: What?
LB: My baby sister.
TF: Your baby sister? [Laugh] I thought so. So are those all the stories you can think of?
LB: Uh, yep.
TF: What about Peter Rabbit? You told me earlier your mom read you Peter Rabbit.
LB: We didn't read it.
TF: She didn't read you it? Who read it to you?
LB: She told me without reading it.
TF: She did?
LB: Yeah.
TF: What did she, tell me what she told you. Tell me the story.
LB: ( ).
TF: And your what?
LB: ( ).
TF: Oh, OK.
LB: And you see, you see, um, um, he, um, he was a bad kid.
TF: Yeah.
LB: The rabbit he went to into Mr. McGregor's, Mr. McGregor took all his stuff.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: He said, ( ) don't bite the lettuce.
TF: Uh-huh. That's it? That's all that happens in Peter Rabbit?
LB: Yep.
TF: [Laugh] That's a very short story. When you read that in your anthology this year did it make you think of your mom?
LB: Nope.
TF: It didn't?
LB: Nope.
TF: Aww.
LB: Made me think of nothing.
TF: [Laugh] It made you think of nothing [laugh].
LB: I didn't want to read it.
TF: Really?
LB: Yep, because it kind of was a long story.
TF: Does your grandma ever read you books when you go to her house?
LB: Nope.
TF: Does she ever tell you stories?
LB: Nope.
TF: Nothing?
LB: Nope.
TF: Oh. What are some other places, do you hear stories besides your family?
LB: At the beach.
TF: At the beach?
LB: I hear ghost stories.
TF: Ghost stories? From who?
LB: My uncle once.
TF: Your uncle? Tell me a ghost story that your uncle told you.
LB: It was about Midge. He was an adult, a pirate and he was about my size and he got locked in a barrel ( ) and then the kid opened the barrel.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And he tried to kill the kid but then the father put him back in the barrel. That's all that I remember.
TF: That's it? There's a ghost story that I remember your sister telling me.
LB: Tell me.
TF: No. I'm not going to tell you. I know you know it. It's about a ghost your sister said your mom had seen before.
LB: Oh, oh. The gray man.
TF: The gray man. Tell me the story of the gray man.
LB: My Mom and my Dad were, wait. All my Mommy and her family-.
TF: No tell me the story, story.
LB: Oh, oh.
TF: What's the story of the gray man? Why is he a ghost? That's what I want to know.
LB: It happens when a storm is coming or something like that.
TF: Oh goodness.
LB: And then he said, "Move out move out ( )".
TF: And he's a ghost?
LB: Yep.
TF: Yeah. So your mom and your daddy saw him?
LB: Uh-huh.
TF: When did they see him?
LB: Only my mom.
TF: Only your mom.
LB: Um, a long time ago.
TF: Yeah.
LB: They were on a boat ride and the big storm was about to happen and he told them to go home.
TF: Scary. Wouldn't you be scared?
LB: Yep.
TF: Does you grandfather ever tell you stories? Your grandfather at the beach?
LB: Um, no.
TF: No?
LB: Once I was on a camping trip with, with my Indian Guide people and then you see, we went, um, on the spend-the-night trip somewhere far away.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And we told these ghost stories.
TF: Yeah.
LB: I got scared ( ).
TF: What?
LB: ( )
TF: Can you tell me one of them?
LB: The gray man.
TF: Oh. You told the gray man?
LB: Yep.
TF: What other ghost stories did you tell?
LB: We read it out of a book.
TF: Oh you did?
LB: Tales from the Carolinas.
TF: Oh. Do you remember other ones?
LB: Yeah it was about this pirate who, who got somebody killed cause he wanted all his gold.
TF: Uh-huh.
LB: And then he always whenever somebody came over to where he was with the gold and then there would be a big storm and he would come out and kill them.
TF: Oh, scary.
LB: I know.
TF: Where was this? Was this in the Carolinas?
LB: Yep. It was in Pawley's Island.
TF: Pawley's Island? Oh, I go to Pawley's Island.
LB: I know.
TF: All right. Well thank you very much Louis.
LB: You're welcome.
TF: We're done and I appreciate it.
LB: [Sings] You're welcome and we're done.
END OF INTERVIEW
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