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Interview with Quentin Tyson

Tyson, Quentin
Chavez, Marlene
Date of Interview: 
Stories and Storytellers; Childhood Adventures; Relationships with People and Places; Then and Now
Quentin Tyson talks about a childhood fight he had with his sister.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Marlene Chavez interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
MC (Marlene Chavez): Hi. My name is Marlene and I'm here with somebody that's going to tell us a story about their childhood.
QT (Quentin Tyson): My name is Quentin Tyson and I'm going to tell you a story about how me and my sister had our last fight. It's like, we've always fought ever since we was little because me and my sister, we, we never got along too much 'cause she was kind of older than I was and she's a lot bigger than I was. So I was a little smaller than she was. So, like, so one day we was coming home from the store and it was like a store at the top of my street and they sell like cookies, candy, soda, and I had to get my money that she'd get from my mom. So we was in the store taking about how Mama liked me more than she did, liked her. And so [laugh] it's kind of funny because I think everybody knew it was true, because I was also smarter than my sister. So, we was walking back from the store [laugh] and we get to the top of the hill and it's like, I tell her, she tell me something and I told her, "Shut up!" And I don't remember exactly what she said, but she told me to shut up. Like, "You don't tell me to shut up," and so I turned around and I hit her. And she swung back but she missed, and when she missed and she fell sideways, kind of landed on her face and, like, everybody was laughing. So I kind of stood around and laughed before she got up. So when she got up, she chased me around the house and we ran a little bit. So then, we got halfway to my house so we, we was fighting. I'd say, she was winning, so like my mama always told me that someone bigger than me, pick up something and hit them, and run. Well, I guess I hadn't thought of my sister, 'cause [laugh] when I hit my sister she didn't move, she didn't fall, she just kind of looked at me. So I took off running for the house, and by the time I got to the step, my mama was standing in the window and she, she saw me hit my sister. So she was standing at the window, and Mama always said when we fight, she wouldn't break it up 'cause we was going to have to fight it out. If we were going to fight, we'd fight anyway. So, I hear Mom lock the door, and so I get to the doorknob and turn the knob, which is locked. And then I look back and see a brick in my sister's hand and she lobs the brick at the door and hits me in the back of the head with a brick. So, I fall upside the porch and I'm just like bleeding everywhere. So by that time my sister gets to me, so we fight and we fight and we fight, and like my mom will never come out the house so I was like waiting for my mom and the whole intention of running home was to get to the house, get in the house so my mom could stop the fight. So we fight and so I kind of, I bit my sister, on the arm. [Laughter] I bit her in the arm and I pulled her earring out her ear, which that didn't even matter because she kind of choked me and started beating me, but then she kind of started beating my face on the ground. Which she, she busted my chin and I was kind of bleeding everywhere. So I got up and I hit her and then, like, we always had a joke about, like, the person fall down on the ground, if they fall, they get stomped no matter who they was. So we always called him 'that guy' so it was like nobody ever be 'that guy.' So that day, I had stomped my sister down on the ground. [Laugh] So I started, I busted her lip, I split, uh, the bone under her eye, she had to get like, three stitches across there, three, four, five, six, I think about 13 stitches total from the fight. I got 12 stitches in my head, stitched across my chin, what else? I had a bruised rib, sprained wrist, and, like, the whole time it was funny because my mom never came out the house. Which every time I come to the house, she never came out the house. So after we get through fighting, she just pack us all up, take us to the hospital, took us to the hospital.
MC: How old were you guys when you got into this big fight?
QT: I was 12, she was 14.
MC: Well, how is your, well how is your relationship with her afterwards? Was it awkward or what'd you guys do?
QT: Actually on the way to the hospital, we was in the back of the car playing, seeing who had the most blood on their clothes and we was, it was weird 'cause, like, we got this relationship going, 'cause if we fussing, we getting along. But if were not fussing we don't really care too much for each other. We're just kind of passive.
MC: How, how is your relationship right now? Now that you're in college and everything?
QT: Fine, once she got kicked out the house. I mean, when, when she got kicked out, when she got, bought her own house. And I go over there now and then, we stay over there, you know. She cooks, I eat, get money.
MC: Get money! [Laugh] OK. Well, how did your mom feel about the fight? What did, you know, did you guys get in trouble? Did you guys get lectured or grounded or anything?
QT: Well, ever since we was little, my sister, like, she hit my head into the bottom of the dresser when I was younger and knocked all my teeth out. Well, not all of them, but the front top and front bottom. And so, ever since, my mom, she let us fight because she said if we that mad, we going to fight and we going to fight regardless if she broke it up or not. So she said she always fought her brothers and sisters so she was close and stuff 'cause they always fought it out instead of, than just being mad. But she never broke up the fights. Well, I used to hit my sister, right? And run to my mama before my sister would hit me. Sometimes I got away with it, sometimes I didn't. Sometime my mom like, "Y'all better go on and fight."
MC: So, did she tell you anything afterward or did you talk? She say anything while you were on the way to the hospital?
QT: She laughed and said I finally won a fight between me and my sister. So my sister probably won't mess with me no more.
MC: [Laugh] Did uh, was she angry about the, uh, hospital bill?
QT: No, not really 'cause she just gave it to my daddy's insurance. So-.
MC: [Laugh] Well, that was a very interesting story [laugh].