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Monologue by Glenn Byrum

Byrum, Glenn
Cochran, Ruth
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with people and places; Childhood adventures
Glenn Byrum talks about being home schooled and games played at home and in the neighborhood.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Ruth Cochran interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
GB (Glenn Burym): Probably the biggest thing that I can think of from my childhood would be well, I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and the biggest things would have to be going to the grocery store with my mom and my sisters on rainy days and coming home and making tents. We were home schooled so we didn't have to go to normal school although we went to class and everything at the house but we when we would have a day where we didn't have much to do or we had gotten ahead a little bit or something she would let us go to the grocery store with her and when we got older we would get to a like take our own little lists and go get stuff. The younger girls and I would stay with mom and she would tell us to pick this or pick that and we would always want to get sweet cereals or something like that she'd let us get one occasionally but not often. So that was a lot of fun and then we'd come home and it would be around eleven o' clock or so and we would watch Price is Right. A show that we all watched Bob Barker the host and the three of us would watch that. Sometimes we would watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. We called it Beaver Cheese because we always ate American cheese, the flat cheese, and called it Beaver cheese and we always ate that when we watched him. So that was kind of funny. So we watched that when we got back. And then we would plead, "Mom, can we please make a tent?" and a lot of the time she would let us. We would get bed sheets out and blankets and plenty of clothes pins, could never get enough clothes pins so we could make it as big as we wanted but we'd normally go into my bedroom or mine and my younger sister's bedroom at that time. I was probably six, seven and eight and she was probably four or five and we would spread them over the top part of the top bunk for the high point and we pulled kitchen chairs in there and we would spread it over that we'd normally pull or books off the shelves and put then in the tent so that we'd have our library area and we'd get our sleeping bags on the floor and many times we would ask mom if we could sleep in the tent and a lot of time most of times she would say no just because she knew that we wouldn't sleep, we'd talk or color or something when we would take our naps and she knew we needed to. But um, that was fun. Something else that we would do on rainy days was play video games. This was in the mid to late '80s so obviously they didn't have that much out but my mom owned an original Atari system that my uncle had when he was younger and my dad was the only one who knew how to hook it up because the wires were so old and I would ask him, "Dad, can we hook up the Atari?" He would say no because he just didn't want to have to fiddle with it because it was hard to make it work just because all the wires were exposed and out where you could see them but sometimes he would and there was a game called River Rave and that was a real fun different game and I just remember playing that with him and old fashioned joystick and an old TV. So it wasn't any state of the art system like they have now but it was a big deal to me. Something we would do as a family when it wasn't rainy was we would ride bikes. It was on one of these bike rides where I fell and broke my leg, um, this one time. That was fun. I thought I saw a pot hole and I just sverved a little bit to try to miss them and I ended up just falling. I don't even know if there really were pot holes. It could have just been just imagining them but, uh, but the rest of our bike rides were fun generally. We would go on adventure walks or something. There was a big dirt mound half a block away in an undeveloped lot and we would call that the dusty mountain. My two older sisters and myself and dad, we would go and we would climb on that and slide down and I would just do all over the place. It was great to an eight year old. If I were to go back now I would probably be able to reach to the top but in my memory it was the equivalent of a 30 foot high mound of dirt. Mom would get all worked up when we would come back covered in dust muddy and dirty but it was fun. That was a very fun memory out of my childhood, dusty mountain. Well, I would play Lego's a lot, building blocks. I always liked to make buildings and houses out of that. I liked to go to work at the florist. When I was real young, my family lived near downtown. I remember riding with dad to work in his old Monte Carlo which he drove because it was a classic, not because he had to. It is a nice antique. And we'd go into work and I'd water plants and he'd do his manager's stuff all day and mom would come and get me around midday and bring me back to the house. It wasn't, it's not in the best area of Charlotte, but um, we haven't really had too much problem besides small theft here and there. We have been broken into about four or five times probably but a nothing too big for God to take care of us through and everything has worked out fine. I don't remember very much about too many things outside of Charlotte because I spent most of my time here. We had woods in the back of our house. We owned a couple acres and that's where I would go play a lot. I would build a fort every now and then and my grandfather built me a tree house or, not me, just my family, a tree house. I was the one who asked for it but that was that was nice to be able to go up there and take some bricks up there and make a make-shift oven and to quote cook things. That was pretty much my childhood in Charlotte. That, that's about all.