Accessibility Navigation:

Conversation with Jeremy Cox

Cox, Jeremy
Janda, Julie
Date of Interview: 
Childhood adventures; Relationships with People and Places
Jeremy Cox tells about some bad choices and actions he made when he was a teenager.
Shelby, NC; Cherryville, NC 1980-2000
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Julie Janda interviewed a variety of people currently residing in North Carolina for a class project at UNCC.
Interview Audio: 
JC (Jeremy Cox): OK uh, this is a story a little while back when uh, me and uh, two friends in the ninth grade got a wild hare. It was uh, me, a guy name Jeff Teague, and Craig Barsley. And uh, it was a winter night and it had just begun to snow and uh, in Shelby it don't really snow that much so we were all pretty excited. And uh, we were all spending the night at Craig's house and uh, we decided we wanted to sneak out of the house. Well, it was about 1:00 in the morning and uh, Craig was scared we were going to wake his parents up or his mom up. And uh, you know after a little while we ended up talking him into it and uh, so we all snuck out his window in his bedroom and um, we proceeded to uh, go over to uh, [pause] a girl's house that we knew named Mary Anne. And uh, so we all snuck out of the house and uh, we walked through the snow and it was real cold and we didn't really have any warm clothes on because you know we aren't really used to the snow that much. And uh, we had proceeded over to this uh, girl's house and uh, she uh, let us in the house when we get over there and uh, we uh, stayed there and watched a movie with her. And uh, you know, I mean we were trying to be quiet not to wake her parents up so you know and uh, we ended up watching this movie and this movie ends up lasting until about um, 4:30, 5:00 in the morning. And uh, she's, her dad works uh, construction so uh, she told us we had to leave because her dad gets up real early in the morning so uh, we hurry up and get out of the house and uh, we're walking on the way home and uh, we're seeing the uh, newspaper car running around throwing newspapers out. And uh, I don't know who thought of it I don't know if it was me or [pause] Jeff Teague or Craig but uh, we uh, we had some cigarettes on us and we were smoking trying to be the big rebels you know and we had a lighter. And uh, one of us thought of the idea of sticking a newspaper in the mailbox and setting the mailbox and newspaper on fire. So uh, one of us we were walking down the road picked up uh, a newspaper wadded it up and stuck it in the mailbox and uh, this was uh, metal mailbox with uh, brick around it. And we stuck it in there and we lit it and it shot into a big old flame, you know lit up the whole sky. And I mean we were just, you know it got us real fired up you know and so uh, we were walking along a little further and we saw another newspaper and uh, we stuck it in the mailbox and it was another metal mailbox. So uh, we were like "Cool!" And we lit it up again and uh, this big old flame shot out and we all ran off. And uh, as we got closer to Craig's house that we were staying at we came by uh, it was a plastic mailbox, and uh, so we uh, stuffed the newspaper in it and lit it on fire and we, we weren't really thinking and all the sudden the newspaper caught on fire and then the whole mailbox caught on fire. It, it was plastic and it started dripping and fireballs of plastic came off. And uh, you know we were all fired up. We came up to uh, newspaper mailbox that was plastic and we lit that on fire, we actually set a couple of those on fire, and uh, I mean by this time, I mean you could, the sun, you could almost see the sun coming up so we run as fast as we can to get back to Craig's house and we sneak back into the back window and uh, we go to sleep. OK, we uh, went to sleep and uh, about an hour and a half later about 8:00 in the morning uh, Craig's mom comes in to wake us up and says there's two guys that want to see us at the front door. And uh, so we walked to the foyer area of the front house at the front door and uh, these two old men say uh, ask us uh, what we were doing last night. And we were like, "We didn't do anything last night," and Craig's mom asked us, you know, did we sneak out last night and we all said, "No, no." We denied it, and uh, the old man said, the old man asked us, you know, "Did you," I mean he said, "Did you or did you not sneak out and burn any mailboxes?" And we just denied the whole thing, you know, and uh, finally the old man says, "Well you know I wouldn't have never thought it was y'all but, uh, seeing it was snowing last night and uh, foot tracks go all the way from my mailbox to this house right here uh, I don't have any choice but to believe it was y'all." And uh, he said, "Especially the fellow that was wearing these soles that say Vivran on them," and uh, Craig has his boots sitting by the door and looked on the bottom of them and had, uh, the sole had, uh, was written, it said Vivran on the bottom of it. And he said, "These soles right here match right up to it." And uh, we were just like "Damn," uh, so, uh, we finally confessed to it and, uh, we told him yeah we did, we were out there. Found out later that the, uh, one of the old men got up every morning about 5:30 and, uh, walked the, uh, around the neighborhood and he saw us, uh, do it actually. And, uh, he just followed our footprints back to the house and waited until earlier the next morning to uh, come to say anything. So we thought we were being sneaky, but uh, found out the whole time we were being watched. And uh, so after that, uh, the, uh, old man that we burned his mailbox down, uh, told us that, uh, he was going to, he would press charges unless we replaced and fixed his mailbox. So uh, that whole day I think we put up two newspaper mailboxes, uh, one complete wood frame and plastic mailbox and that was cemented in the ground. And uh, so it was uh, not a very good night for us not a very good day. And uh, but one of the cool things that happened was uh, that morning in the paper in the write up columns with police reports and they had a little column, had what we had did that night, and it said they were looking for suspects, but uh, said, but they never followed through on that, the guy never pressed charges or anything like that so uh, we got off easy on that.
JJ (Julie Janda): Do you got another one?
JC: Uh--
JJ: Do you want me to turn it off so you can think?
JC: Uh, nah I got it [pause] uh, another story, uh, when I, uh, this happened uh, senior year over the summer after my graduating senior year. Uh [pause], I live out on Moss Lake, it is in Shelby, North Carolina, Cherryville actually, uh [pause], me and a buddy of mine from way back in elementary school, we were best friends back then, uh, I invited him over to my house and we were going to go out onto the lake. I have a jet ski and he's got one too and, uh, so we, we went out there and started drinking a couple of beers. And uh, [pause] we ended up drinking more then going out in the water and, uh, we were out in the water and, uh, we come up and we were going to get another beer off the dock and, uh, he, uh, runs his jet ski up on land, and we had to pull it back and put it in water. And we check it out and it is all right and by this time we are getting pretty, uh, inebriated, I guess you'd call it, and, uh, we were out there just acting stupid on the jet skis. And, uh, at one point in time he actually runs into me on my jet ski and, uh, bends the handle bars and runs up on my legs and I got a big bruise on my legs, but I'm not feeling it then, I'm pretty well gone by this time. And, uh, it's getting late in the afternoon and he says he has to get home, and he doesn't live on the lake so we load up his jet ski and, uh, put it on the trailer on the back of my truck and uh, we're going to go back to his house to take it back. So, uh, we get it back on the trailer and we find out that, uh, we bent the handlebar on it. So we take it back to my house and, uh, we are sitting there trying to bend it back and, uh, so his parents don't get mad at him that he messed up his jet ski or whatever. So, uh, we are at the house trying to bend it back and my parents come down and they are like, "Are y'all all right?" We're like, "Yeah, yeah we're fine," you know. And uh, they're like, "All right," but they, they didn't have any idea that we were, uh, that we were leaving and we were going to take the, uh, jet ski back to his house. They thought we were just going to stay at the house. So, uh, we get the handlebar bent back and, uh, we take off and, um, we are on the way to his house, and uh, I run off the road at one point. And, uh, the trailer, the trailer doesn't hit anything but at one point it hits a mailbox, and my friend asked if I was all right and I said, "Sure I'm fine," you know, I had no idea what I was doing so we get to his house and, uh, I found out my parent's had, uh, called over there beforehand to tell his parents to come out there and meet me and take me home when I got there. Well when I got there, uh, I just rolled in there we dropped the jet skis off, and I just jetted right out all of the sudden, you know his parents didn't even know we had got there, and, uh, my friend Eric and he asked me again, "Are you OK to drive?" and I was like, "Yeah sure," you know. I mean I thought I was fine, obviously I wasn't. But uh, I'm coming on the way home and not really paying that much attention and, uh, just got this truck about a year ago before this, and, uh, end up not looking at the road I don't know what the heck I was doing. And, uh, ran my truck into a telephone pole. And I had the window open. I didn't know it was happening, and, uh, the side view mirror glass all of the sudden I just felt this bang, and I looked up and I saw I had glass on me. And I was in the truck, I didn't know what was wrong. And I swerved and uh, luckily enough the truck hit the front fender somehow and I bounced off the telephone pole, and it was still going and, uh, I had no, I mean I was just totally in shock. I didn't know what was going on. And, uh, ( ) the truck and I'm like I am all right. The first thing I do is I got a cell phone on me so I call, uh, I call a friend of mine that, uh, lives real close to where I hit the telephone pole is at. And I drive to her house and, uh, I get her to uh, drive my truck the rest of the way home. And I call my parent's up on the way home and tell them what happened. Um, what not--. () Ended up taking about all my summer wages that I earned that summer to pay to fix it. One of the hardest lessons to learn. [Technical difficulty]