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Monologue by Lauren Kalberer

Kalberer, Lauren
Adinolfi, Elizabeth
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Then and Now; Childhood Adventures; Tolerance and Respect
Lauren Kalberer remembers the holiday traditions that her family shared and the friendships that she had as she was growing up.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Elizabeth Adinolfi interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
LK (Lauren Kalberer): When I was three years old my family and I moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and when I was younger, I guess about seven, eight, nine years old, every Christmas my family and I would go to visit our relatives in Woonsocket, and we usually left on the 22nd of December, and I remember it being a really long car ride 16 hours and my sister, my younger sister, who was four years younger than me, would often fight in the back seat, and when we got there, um, we would stay in a hotel called the Suisse Chalet, and it was in Smits, Smithfield, Rhode Island, which was about 20 minutes away from Woonsocket where my relatives were from, and in Woonsocket we would visit both my sets of grandparents, who lived there, and it's tradition in my family that on Christmas Eve we would eat dinner at, um, my grandparents house on my mom's side and my grandmother would cook a huge dinner Christmas dinner and Christmas Eve dinner, and we would open one of our Christmas presents, which I thought was a great tradition, and it's a tradition that we still practice to this day, and usually on New Year's Day my mother's family had a tradition of renting a hall or a restaurant bar that was sort of a reunion, um, so that we could see all of our relatives, and I remember spending time with my cousins who, Stacy and Stephanie, who were about my age. Um, at the time, when I was a sophomore in college at Notre Dame I decided to go on Spring Break, which happened around late March, and I decided to go to Boca Raton, Flordia with my best friend from high school. Her name was Crystal. And so, um, we met in Flordia, and in Boca Raton and we stayed with my grandparents, and we would stay with my grandparents for at least one night, uh Boca Raton, and then the rest of the week we spent in Fort Lauderdale because my grandfather owned a hotel called The Sanddollar in a place called Lauderdale by the Sea, um, in Fort Lauderdale, and it was fantastic time and when we had the chance to spend time together and just go out on the beach and at night we would go out to dinner I remember going to a Benihana Japanese steakhouse, and we just felt like we had freedom, and then we weren't yet 21 so we weren't allowed to go to clubs in Fort Lauderdale, so we basically spent our time, uh, watching movies in the hotel room or just walking along the strip and I remember going out for ice cream one night and just walking along the boardwalk it was very, very peaceful time, and the worst part of the vacation was getting sunburned, um, because I'm extremely pale, and going out on the beach everyday for hours on end turned me into a lobster, and, um, my friend Crystal would always joke with me and call me, um, her lobster. One of my best friends growing up, um, was named Bonnie Martin, and I met her when I was in fourth grade at St. Andrew"s Catholic School and we became friends, um, almost immediately because we learned that we lived close to one another and it was about maybe the second or third week of school when she invited me to her house, and she lived, um, in an oceanfront house, and, uh, we went, um, we spent the day watching TV, watching General Hospital, which was both of are favorite shows, and we would walk on the beach, and we would play with her dog and then we would walk down to the pond and feed the ducks and we would ride our bicycles all around the neighborhood. And I remember, in particular, one day my grandmother had called our house. It was an afternoon in January, and there was no school that day, and my mom told me that my grandfather, who lived in Rhode Island, had died, and I guess at the time I wasn"t able to deal with my emotions or that I was in denial that it happened and I remember just running away to my best friend Bonnie's house and not even telling my mom or my dad where I was going, and I got to her house and I told my friend what had happened and she could tell that I was really upset about it, and so I just felt I"d just run away. We went on our bicycles and we told pretty much the whole way, and I guess that her mom Dottie had called my mom and told her that I was OK because I'm sure that she was worried. You know, I all of a sudden ran out of the house with no explanation, but it was very comforting to spend that time with my friend, and I didn"t want to be alone and it was a really good experience. My friend Maria Cartsokalis, um, who I went to school with at St. Andrew's, and we became friends when I was in fifth or sixth grade and she lived across the street from me and I loved to go to her house because she had a pool and my parents did not. And so I would go over there and we would watch TV on Saturday mornings, and usually I would spend the night, and, um, so we"d watch TV during the day and then we would go shopping at the mall and her mom always gave us 20 dollars to spend on anything we wanted so that was always fun and I remember we would during the day watch music videos and just hang out and have fun, and she had an older sister named Tina, and it was in high school, and we were in grade school at the time, and we would always try on her clothes and because she was really stylish and had the Guess? jeans and the jean jackets, and the cute, you know, skirts and tops and I don"t know what happened to our friendship, Maria and mine. A few years later, when I was in eighth grade, we got into a fight at school involving another girl in our class, and I don't even remember what the fight was over, and it seemed like a silly reason at the time. And what's amazing is that we didn't talk for at least three or four years, um, because of that fight, and it was sad for me because she lived across the street, and I felt like I couldn't talk to her anymore, and it was only our senior year in high school that, um, we finally were able to patch things up. She, her locker was next to mine and I remember one day we just said, "Hi," to each other for the first time after ignoring each other for the entire year, and, um, it was liberating, it was great that we could finally talk and make up, and since then, um, you know, we've kept in touch when we were both in college, and I ran into her here in Charlotte about a couple of weeks ago. It seems that we go to the same church St. Gabriel's Catholic Church here in Charlotte and it was neat to see her here because I didn't realize she had moved to Charlotte. I thought she was still living in Myrtle Beach where her parents lived so.