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Conversation with Richard McCord Sargent

Sargent, Richard McCord
Nelson, Amy
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Childhood Adventures; Stories and Storytellers; Tolerance and Respect
Richard Sargent recalls lashing back at the neighborhood bully and chasing the ice cream man.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Amy Nelson interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
RS (Sargent, Richard McCord): OK. My name is Rick, Richard McCord Sargent, and I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. I lived there for 20 years, moved to Morehead, Kentucky, which is in eastern Kentucky, it's a very small town, it's about an hour east of Lexington. Lived there for, um, five, five and a half years, moved back to Dayton, Ohio, lived there for about, um, two, two months, and decided I didn't want to get married. So I wanted to move south and I, let's see, I narrowed it down to three cities, Charlotte, Charleston, and Columbia. And I got on the phone, on the horn, and I started calling schools. Got to my second school, which was Butler High School, and everything worked out. So that's why I'm here. Growing up, um, there was this neighbor, her name was Toby Zinc. She was a goofy-looking, chubby cheeks, everything. She'd come out in her, I mean, it's funny because, she would come out, and this is when Wonder Roos were cool, right-?
AN (Amy Nelson): [Giggle]
RS: So, she had the like the, uh-.
AN: Wonder Woman?
RS: Yeah, Wonder Woman and she'd do this spin. She was a ditz, she was kind of crazy, a little nuts. So she'd spin until she fell down and she was like, "Wonder Woman!"
AN: [Laugh]
RS: And then like spin and then fall to the ground. Well, her brother, I guess that's the way it goes, her brother, Tad Zinc, boy, I hated that son of a bitch. Well anyway, I hated him. He was about three or four years older than, than I was. Everybody in my neighborhood was older. Everybody, they were all like four or five years older than me, and I was running with these guys, which actually made me pretty tough, which I liked, now that I think about it, looking back. But at the time, you know, it was kind of a belittling effect 'cause, you know, they all push you around and you've got to do whatever they say. Well, Tad used to kick my ass every single day. We would end up in a fight at the end of the day. We'd end up in a fight every day. Every day, physical fight and he's whip my ass and I'd go home and I'd cry to Dad, and Dad was like, "You're just a big, you know, you know, pussy! And you need to friggin' grow up and you need to whip his ass!" He'd say nice gentle things to me, obviously. And, but one day, oh, it was a glorious day! It was a glorious day! Oh, I, seriously, it was at the end of my driveway, and he s-, he s-, he always kicked, he always kicked, and that would just throw me off because he was so much taller and bigger than me. Well finally, I got him on the ground, and I, it was kind of like that scene from that Christmas Story, where, you know, he's screaming and he's saying all those bad words-.
AN: [Laugh]
RS: And he's just crying, just beating this kid's head in? That was me. I didn't cry though, I was so angry though. Oh, I was so mad. And then, I got up and I didn't really realize that I won until, uh, one of our other friends, Paul, which, he was, he was, you know, even older. He was like five or six years older. Like, he was like, he just patted me on the back, and he's like, "It's about time, it's about time." So, there was that story. And then, let's see. I can't think of anything. Um, the ice cream man. Oh, I worshipped the ice cream man. When you'd hear that bell, I mean, my parents tell me stories, like, especially when I was really young. I can't remember these. But they would tell me stories about how, about how, like, as soon as I'd hear it, like, I had, you know, like, this radar for it, I'd go and I'd try to bust my piggy bank open, like, we had, we didn't have, like, an official, like, you know, pink pig thing. We had just a, one of those water bottles, those like big water containers or whatever. So I'd be turning this thing up and I'd be yanking on it, right? Just, like, shaking, shaking it out. Trying to get the cash out. Well, you know, meanwhile, it's getting closer and closer and I'm getting more intense and more intense about trying to get this money out. Mom's yelling, saying, "You're not going to be able to get the, anything to eat!" You know, she's like, "I'm not letting you leave, you know!" And it would end up, like, every time, I'd run down, like, after the thing, after it because the guy wouldn't see me, right? So I'm like only six, you know. I'm running there with, like, change in my pockets and the change in my hands and I'm screaming, like, "Please stop," and I'm crying. Tears would be running down my face. And I'd be screaming, "Please stop, please just stop!" To continue that, my mom, one time she said, she said, "You can't have ice cream from the ice cream truck," because I didn't like the other ice cream that my parents always ate and I didn't like that stuff, I wanted the ice cream truck. So my parents said I could not have anymore until I learned to tie my shoes. Well, [laugh] within a matter of minutes-.
AN: [Laugh]
RS: A matter of minutes, I learned how to tie my shoes and my mom was like, "See, you really are really smart!" Is that it? OK.