Accessibility Navigation:

Interview with Patti Turner

Turner, Patti
Brady, Donna
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming obstacles; relationships with people and places
Patti Turner talks about her family and an incident she had with a new pair of shoes.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Donna Brady interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
DB (Donna Brady): My name is Donna Brady. Today is Thursday, April 24. And we will be talking, hearing from Patti Turner. Patti, would you please tell us a little about yourself? Ah, where you grew up.
PT (Patti Turner): I was born here in Charlotte and have lived here my whole life.
DB: Start that whenever you're ready. Start that. Patti, where did your parents grow up?
PT: Both of my parents are from the Charlotte area.
DB: Patti, would you please, uh, tell us what you're going to talk about?
PT: I'm going to talk about my near-perfect niece.
DB: [Laugh]
PT: I have on niece. She is near perfect, to me. Um, I'm in the process of buying a condominium and pa-, I'm doing a lot of packing. And my sister-in-law, Kim, and my niece Lauren came over Sunday to help me pack. Um, we get, we told my niece to pack some books and gave her a stack of books to box up for us and my sister-in-law Kim and I went into the kitchen and we were packing up the kitchen. We were in there, oh an hour or more, and we walked into the living room, and there was my niece on the sofa with the afghan pulled over her, eating candy and watching a movie.
DB: [Laugh]
PT: Typical, just, just being the, the little princess that she thinks she is. [Laughter]
DB: OK, Patti, you've lived and worked in Charlotte all your life. Tell us a little, some little tidbits about your life and things that have happened to you. Uh, you've told me some things, ah, just, ah, tell the audience please.
PT: Uh, I worked for many years for a company, ah, for about 24 years, for a company that, um, closed here in Charlotte, so I was forced to find other employment. So I thought it would be good if I went downtown to work. Uh, I worked for a company downtown and, one day I was going over to, um, to get a snack across the street, across College Street. And coming back, I had on a, a new pair of black patent heels. And I looked to my right and tra-, there was a light and traffic was stopped, and so I thought I could just jaywalk right across here and get back to my office. And as I was, um, hurrying across the street, the heel of my new shoes got stuck in the manhole cover and I couldn't get my foot out.
DB: [Laugh]
PT: And then I looked and the traffic was coming toward me and I just held up both of my hands and stopped all the traffic. I took my foot out of my shoe, got down on my knees and wedged the, [laugh] the heel out of the manhole cover. Across the street there was a man, um, doing some landscaping work and he just stopped and watched.
DB: [Laugh]
PT: And so I put my shoe back on when I got it out and I went on across the street and thanked, you know, waved to the people, um, that had stopped their cars so that they wouldn't hit me. And the gentleman that was doing the landscaping work said, "Why didn't you run? Why didn't you leave your shoe?" And I said, "These were new shoes. And I love them." [Laughter]
DB: [Phone ringing] Patti what was it like, uh, growing up in Charlotte for you? What were some of the things you did, and, as a child? Tell us a little bit, uh, more about that.
PT: When I was in, um, fifth and sixth grade, there, uh, you could go downtown on Saturday. Kids could go downtown on Saturday and get into a movie at the Carolina Theater for six Coke bottle tops. And my life long friend, Nancy, and I, we, on Saturdays, would get our, our coke bottle tops and we would catch the bus. And we would go downtown and stand in line with all the other kids. Ah, I loved it. I, and then, you know, you would always go and have, go to Tanners and have some, have lunch and walk through all the stores, maybe do a little shopping at Belk's and Ivey's. And then get on the bus and go back home. It was just a wonderful Saturday. Kids now, now don't, aren't able to do that. There's just, too, too much trouble out there. But, uh, and looking back, you know, I think, you know, we certainly lived in the best of times because we had that freedom and we would, you know, stay out until it got dark. You know, just playing with neighborhood kids or riding your bike or whatever and that's, kids nowadays they just don't know what they're missing because they have just not had the opportunities-.
DB: Or the freedom.
PT: -Or the freedom that we had growing, growing up like that. Charlotte was a wonderful place to grow up. Um, it's grown so much that I hardly recognize it now. But, uh, I loved growing up here, because it, it was a large city but it had a small town feel at that time.
DB: Thanks Patti.