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Interview with Robin T. Dunham

Dunham, Robin T.
Hilton, Brandy
Date of Interview: 
Childhood Adventures; Relationships with People and Places; Stories and Storytellers; Then and Now
Robin Dunham talks about some childhood adventures and reading to her children.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Brandy Hilton interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
BH (Brandy Hilton): Um, what's your age?
RD (Robin T. Dunham): Thirty-seven.
BH: Um, place of origin?
RD: Mint Hill, North Carolina.
BH: And your occupation?
RD: Ah, a teacher by profession.
BH: OK. What are some stories that you remember reading or hearing as a child?
RD: Ah, not many stories were read. Um, I can remember some Dr. Seuss. I can remember Dick and Jane that I brought home from school and read. Ah, I was not really a reading person per se and didn't like it.
BH: Um, what are some stories you heard from your family or in your neighborhood?
RD: Ah, stories that I remember being talked about, um, my two sisters and I were on our way to church one morning. And it was not a very pleasant sight. We had fought to get to church and we were ordered in the back of this big car and to sit and be very quiet. When we rounded a curve and Theresa, my older sister, started hollering, or not hollering, she started, "Daddy, Daddy," and my dad was telling her to shut up, shut up and she made the comment, "That's fine! Marilyn's sitting in the back of the road." She had fallen out when the door had opened.
BH: [Laugh] Oh, my God.
RD: My mother picked her, ran, stopped the car, Dad stopped the car, Mom picked her up ran back to the car. And there was a good thing she had many diapers on as we were going to church. She landed on the pad of her diaper.
BH: Oh.
RD: Um, other stories of growing up would be, um, we were all out watching fireflies one night and my mom, who smoked, I ran into her cigarette with my, around my eye area. I don't want to say it was in my eye-.
BH: Uh-huh.
RD: But I remember having a patch on my eye. Um, other stories, growing up I can remember the neighborhood kids and I would sit out on cold winter nights and tell ghost stories to see who would get the scaredest when we went home, all alone.
BH: Oh, really? Do you remember any of them?
RD: Um-.
BH: Or just like the plot, \\ the main plot. \\
RD: \\ Just the plot, \\ you know, who stole my bones and, you know, give me back my bones. And stuff like that.
BH: Yeah. OK. Um, are there some stories that you have read to your own children or even your students that you can remember?
RD: I have made a 120, 180-degree, 360-degree turnaround since not liking stories as a child. I love children's literature now. I don't read adult books but I read lots of children's books. Ah, my kids love Curious George. Ah, Jack will read anything by Tonka or anything having anything to do with trucks or anything like that. Brook loves baby books. Ah, we love Dr. Seuss books. Um, I love the author Jan Brett. She likes, writes a lot of cool books that I like to read.
BH: Uh-huh.
RD: Um, there are many books that I read to my children these days. Goodnight Moon is a favorite of theirs. Still, I'm still waiting for them to read it to me because I've read it to them since they were born.
BH: Umm.
RD: Um, we incorporate also, um, singing as in with the song Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a story as well as we sing it. Um, and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly is a pretty cool story now, even though it was a song to begin with.
BH: Uh-huh.
RD: Um, so the kids like those as well.
BH: Is there anything you want to add or talk about that we didn't discuss?
RD: Ah, no. I wish I was more of an adult reader than a child reader as an adult. [Laugh] No, I'm into children's literature more or less for kid's sake now.
BH: Uh-huh and how old are your kids?
RD: I have five year old twins.
BH: OK, thank you.
RD: You're welcome.