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Monologue by Kevin McCloskey

McCloskey, Kevin
Thorson, Dan
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with People and Places; Childhood Adventures; Stories and Storytellers; Then and Now
Kevin McCloskey tells a number of stories that his family told him and some that he made up. He also tells of some adventures he had as a child.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Dan Thorson interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
KM (Kevin McCloskey): Hello. My name is Kevin McCloskey and, um, I'm 15 years old and, um, I've lived in Charlotte since I was born, and, um, my parents are originally from Kentucky, and I have relatives up there that, that have some pretty crazy stories that, um, my grandmother used to tell me about her brother, which was, he was autistic and, um, he did some funny stuff. Like one time his sister got a doll for her birthday, or something, and she wouldn't let him play with it. He kept bugging her and bugging her and she just wouldn't let him mess with it, you know. And so, he threatened, he said, "I'm going to go sit in the fire." And she said, "Go ahead." So he goes and sits down inside the fireplace with the fire on. He got third degree burns all up his back, went to the hospital, you know, he's pretty crazy. He keeps a goat in his front yard because he doesn't like to mow the lawn. It's pretty funny. I mean, it's nothing to laugh about, but, you know. Um, he can play the harmonica like it ain't nobody's business. Uh, that's why they say he's retarded, but I really think he's autistic because he's really good with musical instruments. Um, they tell me pretty crazy stories. My mom said when she was little she had, um, she had a little puppy and every, everyday it would run around the yard. It would just run and run. And she watched it everyday, run, run, run, run, run until it couldn't run anymore. Just fall over on the steps, you know. And one day she was mowing the lawn and they used to have a little push mower instead of, um, like an electric mower, and, um the dog hit it and the dog split in half. Like straight down the middle. And my mom, she was crying and everything and she took, I forgot what the medicine was called, but it was that stingy medicine that really stung when they would put it against you, and, um she poured that all over the dog and wrapped it up in bandages and, um, she put it in a box and the next day she heard it barking. So she ran over to the box and, um, when she saw the box she, uh, she saw that she had put the dog on backwards so its legs were facing two different directions. And then, because she was trying to rush it, you know, trying to keep him alive, she said he would run on two feet, he would run around the whole yard, whole yard and as soon as he would get tired he would jump, do a flip, and go on the other two feet and just keep on running. That's pretty funny. I don't think it was true though. And, um, my grandparents, my father, my grandfather, he used to be very wealthy before the Depression and, uh, this one time his father played the world champion billiards player at that time. And they, they played about three games and he cleaned him out all three times, you know. The other guy didn't even get to touch the ball. So, but, um, my grandmother had 10 siblings and, um, she used to tell me when they were little there used to be a creek over by their house, and, um, she used to run, they used to get vines off the tree and just, they would swing on them, and like every week some kid, just being stupid, would break their arm or break their leg, break fingers or something and go crying home. And the parents are just, they would never show them, they would always have the perfect swing but they would always point to a bad one and they would just cut them down and just have it, and everybody would just keep breaking their arms and stuff and, um, I don't know. I just thought that was pretty cool. There's no real end to that story. Um, I don't have one story in particular that they told me, I mean they're kind of short but I can just tell you a bunch of short ones. Um, when I was little my mom used to tell me this story about a monkey that lived on a pirate ship. His name was Ketchup and, um, everyday the monkey would always lag behind, you know, he would always drag when the other monkeys were running real all fast. And they would always go, "Ketchup. Ketchup." And this happened everyday, every single day. And the monkey kept getting, you know, he was tired of being left behind all the time, he never got to do any of the fun monkey stuff. So, um, one day he got roller skates and, uh, one day they were like, "Ketchup. Ketchup." And he went and he put on his roller skates and he beat everybody back to the pirate ship. And then they were like, "Wait up, Ketchup." And, uh, now that I think of it, that wasn't the greatest story but I thought it was cool. Um, I my grandma always said, my mom and dad they would always, they said, uh, my grandparents said that my mom and her brother were just like the greatest children ever. And my mom would tell me as soon as they got done, as soon as their parents were out of the room they would just start going at it. They would pull each other's hair and fight and cuss and yell at each other, you know, fighting, and, uh, my grandma was always, um, she always thought they were real nice. They still fight to this day, not bad but they'll argue every so often. Um, and my other grandpa, um, he used to tell me about how he used to fly in the B-52s, and he said, uh, he had to escape about three times. One time he went and, hold on, sorry, anyways he would, he told us he had to parachute out of the plane about three or four times, I can't remember. But, um, he said he used to have a friend that could speak German and he jumped out of the plane and he landed in the French, with the French Army and, um, he um--
FV (Female voice): Who you talking to?
KM: He had this friend that could speak German and, um, his friend, you know, he fell in with the French and the he was like, he said something in German because he thought they were the Germans and he was like, "Yeah, I'm a German. I'm just s, spy for Germany, spying on America." And the French people tried to attack him because he was, um, because he was in Germany. But, um, my grandpa he jumped out of a parachute one time and he told the people that his boots were too big when he got them but they were like, "Wear them anyways." When he jumped out of the plane his boots fell off. But see that's pretty serious because when you land he could break his ankles easy. But, uh, lucky for him, he fell in like a vineyard and fell into a tree and it was in the, I want to say it was in the Mayor, or maybe it was in the equivalent of a Mayor over in France, and, uh, they hid him for about three or four weeks from the German, from the Nazi troops, um, just to save him. But he used to tell me often about his brother, which, who was a Green Beret, and he, um, he, everyday they would take him five miles out or six miles out and just drop him in a different place everyday. They had to find their way back to camp. Um, and he said one time, one time he got about seven purple hearts, but, um, I remember one time my grandfather would tell me, I thought it was pretty cool, but, um, he um, he um, he was fighting, you know, the German army and, uh, not the whole German army, but, you know, he's fighting a platoon, him and a few of his Green Beret buddies. Um, and um, he went and, I'm not sure if this was the Korean War or Vietnam War, but, um, I mean, not Vietnam but World War II. But, um, whatever happened, he was, his whole team went down and he was around quite a few dead people, and he pulled a dead person over him. And the people saw him and so they shot a bullet through the dead person and it, um, it went through his mouth and, but it didn't break any of his teeth or break his jaw, it just went through his mouth and he didn't make a sound. And that's how he escaped. So I thought that was pretty neat. Um, I don't really know. There's a lot of stories that he used to tell me, but, um, I remember hearing when I went to a carnival one time, a story that was pretty good. It was, it was about, if I can remember correctly, it was about a cat's tail. And it was something like, uh, Taily-Po or something and whatever would happen is whoever, uh, I don't even remember, I think it was like who somebody cut the cat's tail off and he ate it and every night he would hear, "Taily-Po, Taily-Po. I want my Taily-Po." And finally one morning he woke up and his belly had been cut open, but, uh, I don't think that's how it went because I was little when I heard it. Maybe I made up my own things too. I do that, I make up my own stories sometimes. You know, I'll do something like I was in a baseball field one day. Oh. I remember what I used to do when I was little. I used to, the stories I used to tell. The stories I used to tell my babysitter was stuff like, uh, well today in gym, the gym teacher made everybody do back flips and I was the only one who could do it all the way around the gym when I was five years old, I mean, and, um, and I thought she believed me, but, um, I just hadn't learned about sarcasm yet. But, um, also another story that I used to tell people, but wasn't true, was that when I was little my dog, my little dog ran me over and stepped on my nose and gave me a scar on the side of my nose because I couldn't think of any way to do it, any cool way of making my scar, of how it got there, and so I just made up stories. I did that a lot. Um, I used to, um, I used to like hearing stories from, mostly from my mom. I heard some stories from my dad about sports, but, um he used to tell me about when he played baseball. Some of the stuff, I believed it all, but I mean some of stuff, it was like, you know, you want to make yourself sound better than you really were sometimes. I do it all the time. Um, like the other day I got a hit in a baseball game. It was a hit, but I just, it could have been counted as an error or a hit, and I just made up a story about that. So, but, um, uh, I don't know too many Charlotte stuff, I heard some stuff about Charlotte. Um, oh yeah. I remember this story when I was in pre-school that I really liked. It was about this, this, uh, little guy and his name was like Tee or something, I don't remember. And he, um, one day he was walking with his, uh, walking with scissors and he snipped his finger and cut his finger and it hurt, and, uh, he would never let his, um, he would never his mom let him get his hair cut because he was scared that it would hurt too bad. And I always thought that was pretty cool. But, um, I don't know, I always liked ghost stories. I remember when I was at Camp Clear Creek when I was in Cub Scouts, there used to be a, there, there's the lake Bebe Parker, it's more like a big pond but we called it, it was a lake. It was Bebe Parker Lake. And Bebe Parker was a boy that, um, got sucked into a drainage pipe one, one day and, um, he died. And, uh, every year I'd go there, they would take the whole troop out there and I'd be so scared. And they'd be out there, they'd be like "Bebe Parker. Are you there?" And then you would always hear, "Help me. Help me." And I was really scared. I was always so scared of that. And I never knew how they did it. And I always thought it was really scary, and like the next day we would run down and try to talk to him, try to talk to Bebe Parker, but, uh, Bebe Parker wouldn't ever talk to us back. And we always thought he must be sleeping. And then when we were, I think Webelos or whatever, they're called the highest you could be in Cub Scouts, they would they gave us a, uh, they let all the Webelos be Bebe Parker and all it was, was a big storm drain behind the, there was like this big opening down the hill that they couldn't see from the hill they couldn't see it from up there and you just yelled into it, "Help me. It's Bebe Parker. Help me. Save me." You know, and stuff like that. We would scare all the little kids. And I was so amazed because I thought it was the coolest thing. And we used to go snipe hunting when we would go talk to Bebe Parker. And the Scout leaders would go, "I see a snipe." And he would jump on it and he would shake the bag, like the big trash bag, around. Everybody would be yelling and screaming, "Agh. It's a snipe." And then, um, it was pretty cool, I used to always try to catch snipes too. I wasn't very smart when I was little. I wasn't very, I don't know, I was book smart but I wasn't too clever. I believed people, silly stuff too much. But, um, eh, I don't know, I used to like to read the stories about the Berenstain Bears a lot. I liked the one about where, were at, or he, where they went to the movies and there was, they went to the ballet movie. They, they, um, went to the, I forgot what it was. It was like, I guess it was equivalent of Power Rangers pretty much, and it was like a Power Ranger movie, but it wasn't. And um the, the brother and sister bear, they both had nightmares about each other's stuff and it crossed over. It was really neat but, um, the end. My name was Kevin McCloskey, I was, I am 15 years old and I was born in Charlotte. That's all I have to say.