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Interview with Kevin Greene

Greene, Kevin
Janda, Janet
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Then and Now; Childhood Adventures; Tolerance and Respect
Kevin Greene tells the story of the time he went for a bike ride with his father that resulted in him breaking his jaw.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Janet Janda interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
JJ (Julie Janda): OK tell me about whenever you broke your jaw.
KG (Kevin Greene): I'm about to have to rig it. [Pause] I was in high school, and one day I was helping my father outside put a window in, replacing a window, on the garage door. I had previously broke the window by throwing a baseball through it on, by accident. Well, we was replacing this window, and we got it fixed, and my dad was like, "Let's go for a little bike ride." It was probably about five-thirty in the evening, you know, right before Mom had supper ready, so we went for a quick bike ride. We got on the bikes and went down the road a little piece, and finally my dad said, "OK, I'll race you back, back to the uh, house, you wuss." I said, "All right!" So uh [pause], I passed my dad, I passed him, and about that time my brakes, I don't know what happened, my front brakes got, went in the spokes somehow and it, it made me uh, it flipped me in the air about one and a half times, and I got, we had toe clips on our bikes and finally, finally my feet came out of my toe clips and my chin hit the pavement and-.
JJ: Were you near your house?
KG: Yeah kind of.
JJ: Sort of.
KG: We was close by. It was probably, it was over, we was half mile from my house. But uh, my chin hit the pavement, and as soon as it hit I felt, I felt something crack right here, and I just laid there on the road kind of shocked and my dad was like, "Kevin! Kevin!" You know, came up to me and was like uh, "Oh crap," you know [laugh]. And he said a few words, and he didn't want to move me because he, he saw the way I fell and thought maybe I'd broke some ribs or something and he didn't want to move me. So I am laying here in the middle of the road, and he kept asking if I am all right and I was like, "Yeah I'm all right," because I knew something was wrong with me, and I hate hospitals and, and I don't want to go to a hospital if something happens to me. But uh, I was like, "I'm all right." Well he picked me up, and put me on the side of the road, and he raced back to the house.
JJ: [Laugh] He left you on the side of the road?
KG: He had to.
JJ: I know.
KG: So he raced back to the house to get my mom and get the car. Well, they came and got me and took me back to the house, and my mom, I, I was shaking and stuff, my mom was afraid I was going in shock, so she put a blanket around me, and she was like, "Kevinare you OK?" And I was like, "Yeah I'm OK Mom. I don't need to go to the hospital or anything like that, I am fine." And she goes, "OK open your mouth for me." So I opened my mouth, and I couldn't get it, I couldn't shut it back.
JJ: You had to go to the hospital like that [laugh]?
KG: Yeah. She was like, she was like, "OK you got to go to the hospital." So I started going nuts [pause]. Well, I get to the hospital, and they had to put me in this wheelchair, and they rolled me in because I couldn't walk. I was just so weak from I don't know, I guess what was just happening.
JJ: From the flipping?
KG: Yeah, and, um, I rolled in there and they was like, "Oh man was you in a bad car accident?" [Laugh] And because I looked horrible, I mean my chin was bleeding because I busted my chin, and I just looked bad and they, my dad was like, "Nah he was in a bicycle accident."
JJ: [Laugh] Just flipped his bike.
KG: So they took me to the hospital room, and I'm going nuts people are having to hold me down while they pull as, asphalt out of my chin--
JJ: Oh gross.
KG: Because my chin hurt so bad, sewed me up. And [pause] I don't know I never knew what was coming I, I, I never knew what they did when you broke a jaw.
JJ: Did they put you to sleep?
KG: Nah, well like that night they told me they'd let me go home and stuff from the hospital, and my, I mean my, before I went to bed my dad was like, "Well you got to go see a specialist tomorrow," and I was like, "Wh, what's he going to do?" And he was like, "Well he'll just tell you you're going to have to, you know, eat mashed potatoes and stuff the whole time, soup and that's it," and I was like, "OK." Well, that night I couldn't sleep at all because it felt like a brick wall, a brick, I mean a brick wall was on my head, so much pressure was on my chin and stuff, my jaw. So the next morning we go and it was Doctor Trevez I believe.
JJ: That's who did my um, [pause] wisdom teeth.
KG: Yeah.
JJ: I liked him.
KG: Yeah I did too, actually. Well Doctor Trevez was like, "Well, we are going to have to wire your mouth shut," and I had never heard of this. This freaked me out [laugh] I'm a freshman in high school, I'm like, "What?" And I, I couldn't talk with it, I was like, "Oh crap." So they had to put me to sleep, they had to put a I.V. in my, my arm and stuff. And [pause] what scared me the most was when he said before he put the I.V. in my arm, before he did, say before he did surgery, before he was going to do the surgery, he said, "OK uh, let's have a word of prayer."
JJ: Yeah I was like OK, please.
KG: I was like, "Wooh."
JJ: You thought you were going under.
KG: So I, so I did, I never heard him finish the prayer though. I was, I was out--
JJ: Um-huh.
KG: Before he got done. And I woke up and my mouth was wired shut. I ra, I ran around talking like this all the time. It was like--
JJ: Carla probably tortured you.
KG: It was like wired shut for two months. That was probably the most awkward two months of my whole life because I, because I had to drink all this stuff at school. I had to take Ensure and milkshakes with me to school. I couldn't eat regular food, I had to slurp it up with a straw, and I, I had uh, was having to drink all these liquids and stuff at least every thirty minutes to an hour so I wouldn't lose weight. They were afraid of me losing too much weight.
JJ: Uh-huh.
KG: So uh, I had to go through that in high school. And you know, people started doing the, "Kevin Talk."
JJ: What, what was that?
KG: It was like this, you know, everybody started when they would walk by me in the hall they would [with teeth gritted], "What's up Kevin?"
JJ: [Laugh] Oh my God!
KG: And it was called the, "Kevin Talk."
JJ: That's you Burns folks. That's what y'all do out there.
KG: And ever since then, every time I eat now my uh, my left cheek starts to sweat.
JJ: It sweats [laugh]?
KG: It's got a little circle where it sweats when I eat because I, it did nerve damage--
JJ: Oh.
KG: To my jaw and stuff, there was nerve damage so I sweat every time I eat there, just a little circle of sweat.
JJ: So you sweat about six or seven times a day [laugh]?
KG: Yeah.