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Interview with Jill Townsend

Townsend, Jill
Hopkins, Thomas
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming obstacles; Relationships with people and places; Stories and storytellers; Childhood adventures; Then and now
Jill Townsend talks about her family and their relationship to her grandparents' farm.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Thomas Hopkins interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
TH (Thomas Hopkins): Jill Townsend.
JT (Jill Townsend): Turn that off. Turn it off.
TH: Jill, do you have any stories about when you were growing up, when you were little?
JT: Um, yeah. Well, one time, um, my uncle has, my aunt and uncle have a farm and my sister and my cousin and I took, went and fed all the horses lots and lots and lots of food, and we wasted a lot and we got in lots, got in lots of trouble because if the horses ate a lot of food they get really sick and I just remember my uncle being real mad at me, and my cousin and my sister.
TH: What did he have to say to you?
JT: What did he say? I don't know, he just yelled at us and he never does that.
TH: You can't remember anything he said?
JT: No [laugh]. "Don't do it again." And we had to go help him put it back.
TH: Put what back?
JT: The, the feed.
TH: Uh-huh. What's all in the feed?
JT: [Laugh] Oats [laugh].
TH: How many horses did you feed?
JT: Oh, god. Probably like 10.
TH: Ten horses?
JT: Yeah.
TH: How much did you, how much, I mean how much did you give them each?
JT: I don't know. A couple of buckets. A couple of buckets [laugh]. I don't know, [laugh] I'm not sure.
TH: A couple of buckets? \\ Like-. \\
JT: \\ Yeah. \\
TH: \\ Ten-gallon \\ buckets?
JT: \\ Like, \\ big buckets, yeah.
TH: Wow. [Pause] Do you ever ride the horses?
JT: Um, every once in a while.
TH: Did anything ever happen to you when you're-?
JT: Um, [laugh] well, one time, a horse bit my shoulder, 'cause I was trying to lead it somewhere and it got mad at me and bit my shoulder.
TH: Hmm. That hurt?
JT: Uh-huh. Left a big blood blister.
TH: I can imagine. I can imagine. You ever been stepped on by a horse?
JT: No [pause].
TH: ( ).
JT: [Break in recording] One time I was riding one at my grandmother's and it, I was in her yard and I told my mom to let go and it took off running, back down to the barn and I lost the reins and I almost fell off.
TH: What did you do?
JT: Well, it was running back to it's, um, stall and, um, this lady down, my aunt's friend stopped it before, before I fell off.
TH: What were you holding on to?
JT: Um, the little knob on the saddle.
TH: Oh. What else would do out there on the farm?
JT: Um, [pause] ride the go-cart and the three-wheelers, go swimming in the pond. I don't know.
TH: Did you ever have like big dinners out there or anything?
JT: Yeah, [laugh] at my grandmother's every Sunday.
TH: What would happen there?
JT: Um, not much. We'd go to church on Sunday morning and then go over there and eat lunch and just [sigh] hang out all day.
TH: Anything ever happen at those? Anybody throw up or anything?
JT: No [laugh]. No [laugh]. No.
TH: OK. Hmm. Nobody ever got in a fight?
JT: No, we don't fight. Well, we used to play softball sometimes when I was younger and I'd always get mad and go in the house.
TH: Why?
JT: I don't know. 'Cause I, I wouldn't, I would like miss the ball or something, and I would just get mad and quit [laugh].
TH: Well, that's good. Shouldn't play if you're not going to have fun [break in recording]. How long? [Break in recording] How many people would come to dinner there?
JT: Hmm. Let's see. My family is four, we're four, [pause] around 13 people.
TH: Really?
JT: Uh-huh.
TH: Well, can you tell me about any of them?
JT: I don't know. Uh, [laugh] what do you want me to tell you about them?
TH: What are they like? \\ I mean who-, go down like-, \\ who all would be there.
JT: \\ Grandma \\ is loud and, she always tries to make us eat everything and my grandfather's quiet and sweet and, um, my uncle is fat, and-.
TH: Does he eat everything?
JT: Um, [pause] yeah. He's a redneck.
TH: Hmm.
JT: And my aunt has got red hair. She's, um, she's a nurse, and helps run the barn. And my other uncle has red hair. He's a teacher. My other aunt's a teacher. My mom and dad are teachers. Um- [break in recording].
TH: What all do you guys talk about?
JT: Um, not a lot, just whatever, you know. Usually just eat and, and watch TV or something.
TH: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Well [pause] just nothing happens. You just kind of make small talk the whole time?
JT: Pretty much. [Break in recording]. Um, [laugh] I don't know. I do my homework, sometimes, over there but usually I'm too tired and I have to take a nap.
TH: You take a nap at your grandmother's?
JT: Uh-huh. On Sundays.
TH: What, where, where do you do take a nap?
JT: On the couch in her living room.
TH: Right in the middle of everybody?
JT: Pretty much.
TH: That's good for the atmosphere.
JT: My sister and I fell asleep together on the couch last Sunday. I was tired.
TH: Hmm, are there any other kind of animals out there?
JT: Uh, [pause] they have, um, chickens and a rooster.
TH: Right.
JT: And they lay lots and lots of eggs and that's where we get all our eggs from.
TH: Well, [pause] how does everybody talk there?
JT: What do you mean how do they talk?
TH: How does everybody talk?
JT: I don't know. Like everybody [laugh] else.
TH: They don't talk any differently when they're with you guys than they do with other people?
JT: No.
JT: I don't think so.