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Interview with Javier S. Silva

Silva, Javier S.
Silva, Ivonne C.
Date of Interview: 
Stories and Storytellers
Javier Silva gives accounts of stories that involved his parents and grandparents in Colombia, South America.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Ivonne C. Silva interviews her husband to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
IS (Ivonne Silva): Hi, Javier how are you?
JS (Javier Silva): Doing fine.
IS: What is your last name?
JS: Silva.
IS: Uh, Javier, I'm going to ask you some questions. Um, what stories do you remember uh, that family members used to tell?
JS: When I was a kid?
IS: Yeah.
JS: My grandpa was usually the one telling stories about when he was a kid or when he was young.
IS: Do you remember one at least? Some?
JS: Ah, they, he used to tell us things about uh, the farm, when he was at the farm, and how they had to travel for example at night from one place to the other and they were walking with the horses and as they were traveling in the different uh, paths they saw things that they got really scared about it. So they used to have names for these things and I guess in the wilderness you can heard a lot of things so for example there used to be something called La Llorona which uh, translates to a person who cries and cries and cries desperate and use to come out a night. So when they were walking they might hear La Llorona and it was scary, but that was one of the thing he told us. And he usually told us those things at night. And there was another one that as he was traveling it was called the white hand. It had to do with [pause] in the distance you saw a hand waving like this, and as you were approaching it keep waving at you and it was so white that you could see it in the dark like a flashlight. And as soon as you got closer it disappears. Those were kind of like ghost stories and we used to enjoy those.
IS: Do you remember your age?
JS: How old I was? [Pause] It had to be around probably, [pause] nine years old, eight, nine, somewhere around that.
IS: Was that the only person that ever told you stories? Or was there another family member? [Pause]
JS: No, the only one that I recall [pause] that was him [pause] and probably my dad, he, [pause] yeah! My dad told us stories that when he was a kid. And my mom! Now that, I remember too.
IS: Do you remember one of those stories?
JS: Yeah. My mom for example used to tell us that my grandma used to bake at home, um, [pause] not bread but biscuits and stuff, real good and cakes and they like it so much and she prepare a lot that they try to hide and take some without being caught. And so my mom said that there was one day that she was with all, the, her brother and sisters and they all made a line against the wall all the way from the kitchen, I guess like a chain, and I guess four people. One grabbed it and passed to the other, and passed to the other until the got it to the other room. They did that, and she used to tell us that. That was from my mom. From my dad, he told us when he was punished and [pause] because he did something and he couldn't escape and I think he was uh, [pause] trying to get candy or something to eat, and in order to get where the candies were, he stuck his head in between two pieces of wood and just to look, and when he tried to come out he couldn't come out, and he got stuck, and he could get out and when his mom, my grandma came and saw him and instead of helping, first of all he was punished and then they'd help him. But he was punished.
IS: Do you remember the place, um, when you were little, usually, where they used to tell you these stories? Like your house?
JS: Yeah. It was at home. If I remember my house when I was little?
IS: Or the place, or it was a special place that they will sit and talk about this?
JS: It usually happened during dinnertime, suppertime. So it was in the living room, dining room. Not a special place, [pause] or that was our special place.
IS: That was your special time.
JS: Um-hum.
IS: Do you ever tell the stories to your own children?
JS: Yes I did! I think I did. Even my grandpa has told them the same thing, my grandpa, my dad has told them some of the stories too.
IS: OK. Hum. Have you ever made up stories for the children?
JS: I don't think so. I don't think so. [Pause] I usually tell a lot of things about my life when I was a kid growing up.
IS: Where, growing up where?
JS: When I was growing up in my country.
IS: Which is?
JS: Colombia. And I used to tell them, or I tell my kids a lot of things about when I was their age, and things that happen to me and how I grew up and that was I used to do, so I don't make up stories. I use the real examples I guess.
IS: Well, thank you very much.
JS: You're welcome.