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Interview with Mary Ellen Collier

Collier, Mary Ellen
Englishman, Robyn
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Then and Now; Childhood Adventures
Mary Ellen Collier talks about an accident she had and the changes in the South Park area of Charlotte.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Robyn Englishman interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
RE (Robyn Englishman): This is Robyn, and Mary Ellen is going to tell me a story.
MC (Mary Ellen Collier): Um, one time, when I was about five years old, um, my mom and my brother and I had gone over to my grandmother's house. We did this every Friday night for dinner. Um, and my dad always worked late. Um, he was in the restaurant business, so he was at the restaurant and my brother was just learning to play tee ball and, so we had set up the tee ball stand in my grandmother's backyard and he'd been practicing. Mom and Grandmother went in, um, to fix dinner and so I ventured out into the yard to play and, um, he had set up the ball on, on the tee stand and was getting ready to hit the ball and said that I was too close and told me to back up. So, being stubborn, I took maybe a teeny tiny step backwards and he said, "Back up." Of course, I refused. So, he continued to go forward with his swinging and swung the bat, hit me above the eye. Of course, cut my head open and, um, my grandmother claims that she heard it hit my head and she was on the toilet, and couldn't get her girdle up to go see what had happened. But, um, anyway, uh, I had to go to the hospital and have a lot of stitches, I can't remember, um, and I still have the scar right over my eye, eyelid, and, uh, my brother was scared to death. He thought my dad was going to kill him. And that's my story.
RE: That's great, thank you very much.
MC: All right this is Mary Ellen again. Um, I have grown up in Charlotte all my life. I was born at Presbyterian Hospital. My mom and dad also grew up in, Charlotte. And, um, I grew up over, um, near South Park in south Charlotte and my mom had grown up on Queens Road near, uh, where the old A and P and Myers Park Hardware, uh, was, the old townhouse. And when my parents built their house over near South Park, my granddad was furious. He couldn't believe that they were going to move out into the country. There was nothing there, and he just thought they were crazy for going that far away, which was four miles. And now it's South Park, and, and Morrocroft, and, uh, just everything is over there. Uh, I remember when I was little we used to play in the backyard. We had a creek and then just miles of woods, and now that is all office buildings. It's the, uh, Piedmont Natural Gas, uh, Coca-Cola, and some other buildings and then there is South Park, um, right across the street from that. So, um, I have really seen Charlotte change over the past 30 years. It just, keeps growing and, um, I love Charlotte. So, I haven't ever wanted to live anywhere else. And I can't think of anything else to say.