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Conversation with Dimitra Foster

Foster, Dimitra
Zhou, Yun
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with People and Places; Then and Now; Cultural Identification
Dimitra Foster discusses her embarrassment of growing up with goats, chickens, and horses raised in her Charlotte, NC neighborhood.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Yun Zhou interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
DF (Dimitra Foster): Uh, I'm nervous.
YZ (Yun Zhou): OK.
DF: OK, can you hear me?
YZ: Yeah.
DF: OK, OK. The story I shall talk about today [laugh] is about my father and the culture diversities he had when he moved to America. He is from Greece and he is from a small village in Greece called Tokalleka and he came to America and I believe it was 1969 or 1970 and he shortly got married. And they moved to Mallard Creek in Charlotte. [Laugh] Uh the problem he had with coming to America I guess was [laugh] was that uh, he uh, he wanted to still have the village aspects where he wanted to the farm and all those stuff living in a suburb in Mallard Creek area. And this was probably about, uh, 20 years ago or maybe 15 years ago when the area was not so, I guess, rich as it is now. It was still cultural area but suburbs was still the dominant form. So he, we lived in this area. We were houses apart from people. Um, he gathered all these animals, goats, horse, chickens, and goat, and he just had so many animals [laugh]. And the problem was that animals didn't like to stay at the house they wanted to go around to other people's houses, you know, eat their flowers and stuff and plants. We lived off, um, 85 in Mallard Creek where currently the 485 is now cause then the like last ten years we had to move because of the 485. The DOT had to buy the property and stuff. But anyway, the animals would get loose all the time, especially the goats. They didn't want to stay captive. They would go, you know, just go out of the fence. A lot of times they would get their horns and stuff caught into the, um, fences because there were square fences that my father himself put up all around the property but they would get their horns and stuff, and they would jump over the fence very easily so they would be on the side of the highway and at least 4 or 5 times that I can remember the police would have to come and say, you know, "You have to get your animals." And our father always told us not to say they are animals. So [laugh], and I thought this was really crazy because who else in the neighborhood had goats and chickens and stuff and so but he was convinced that they could not prove that those were our goats so but it was very embarrassing as a child living in Mallard Creek because people, everybody knew when you rode a school bus, um, we didn't have the yard with the flowers and stuff. We had the goats out there and often our animals would get loose and we had to go out and follow our cow home or something like that, or the, um, animal control would come out to like subdue a cow if it would get too far away so that's really the story I have today, um [laugh] it was just really a awkward experience with him and his animals. Other thing that he did with animals was in Greece in his culture a goat is really an important meat; kind of a delicacy, and he even ended up selling goats from this suburb area and the Greek people would come out, pick out their goat, which was really sad for my brother and I because we as children, you know, goats were our friends and pets stuff, and they would come out and pick out their goat and then they would proceed to kill it on property [laugh] and it was really horrible for us as children it was traumatizing. [Laugh] To see your little pet or friend, you know, have to be killed, skinned, and then they would cut it up and put out their parts there and then they would go off to their restaurant, to their dinner or wedding, or whatever, and eat the goat. So that's about it. He has a lot of pride in his animals. And unfortunately we moved again. When DOT took his property, we moved to a smaller, smaller area in Concord where you are not allowed to have animals because it's zoned and so that's the end of the animal story. That enough?
YZ: OK thank you. [Laughter]