Camella Jordan was 50 years old when interviewed by Anne Picoso in 2000.


My mother had met my father, married him and she was from Maine originally. She moved to Massachusetts, an entirely different thing for her. Let’s see this year I’m going to be fifty. So, I was born in 1950, so basically she was like a fish out of water because the life style was entirely different.

I was born in Gloucester, ah but my parents lived in Rockport on Cape Ann and part of the reason it was whole different kettle of fish. It was because of my father’s mother. She was less than thrilled when my father married my mother. “To put it out and out”, my grandmother was a real bitch. She was a control freak all of his life. She was not happy. At five years old she gave him to the children’s mission in Boston. He was put in a foster home. (He) was on a farm, in an alcoholic atmosphere. Ah, there were a bunch of other kids because he was born in 1927, so in 1932, (referred to the stock market crash) you figure what was going on at that time. Ah, It was a real, and I guess it was a real sad situation.


I’ve been asked, “How did my parent meet?” Ah – they met through a friend and she wrote to him. She got married and they moved to the only family that we had. It was his mother because his real father and mother were divorced. Not when I was born. I don’t remember but I use to spend my summers down there. It was basically, at that time it was a fishing community. “Ah um” and I wouldn’t say that they had (a) lot of money because my father, I found out after all, he wasn’t one that had a real motivation to work. So I quest they were basically poor and (pause). I was three years old and then they moved back to Maine with my brother and I. He’s the oldest child. We moved to a place, it was called Pollock Alley and, and we basically, rented half a house. We stayed there until I was about five and a half. Because I started kindergarten there and then they basically, moved to where they live now. Which is off from route one thirty three. Ah – mother and father bought land of my grandmother. We lived off my mothers’ mother and while they were in the process of building the house we stayed down at the farm with my grandmother.

No one ever told me what it was like (during the first years of my life).   My mother tends to be very closed mouth. Ah, I think it’s the way she was raised.   Even to get anything out of her these days you have to drag it out of her.   I’ve been asked, “Do I know about my fathers family?” O.k. my father’s mother lived in Rockport, she married, then remarried when my father was in his teens, basically she looked at Grandfather Mayo as a meal ticket. Ah but he was a wonderful man I got along with him. Yup and I never knew my mother father because he committed suicide when my mother was fourteen. Ah, at one point, I basically had both my grandparents alive.

My mother’s mother is alive and a set of grandparents and great grandparents were living during my childhood. My father’s mother, she and I didn’t get along.   I guess because I wasn’t pliable and for my bother (he) was the oldest. He was the “apple of her eye”. In fact, when my grandmother got pissed off at me she called me “Lizzey Borden”. (Laughter) She didn’t like me, basically she didn’t like kids. When my mother would go down to visit we’d take a tent. Mum said, “ We’d put it on the lawn and she (grandmother) would have a hissey fit because she was afraid we would do something to her lawn.”


I love my mother right to death. My sister and I where discussing my relationship the other day. I think my father and I have a love-hate relationship. Ah, I dangle the carrot before the donkey. I’ve gotten into some pretty good arguments with him. Also, some pretty good discussions, like when he came out with the fact that my daughter got pregnant. That’s all it took and I was off and running.

My mother is just as calm as can be (its) her personality, she is wonderful. She sometimes lets him get away with being a real prick. Ah ¼I’ve had to speak to my mother. She needs to tell her granddaughters “no”. You know, no money, no this, no that but she would do anything for anybody.

He’s (my father) has got a psychiatric issue, laughter, (still laughter in voice). He spent some time after they were born.   I mean after they where married. He was put in a psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts. They told my mother that, “He was just difficult to get along with”.   This wasn’t news to her. I don’t think there was a nervous break down.     He was just miserable to live with. He has drunk at some points in his life. When something’s not going right he always threatens to go out and get drunk.   He is seventy-two years (old) can’t drive, you know. But ha, my fathers personality is weird, it really is. When I was growing up he wasn’t around and my mother basically raised us kids. My father is jealous of the relationships. As he gets older his mental issues are getting worst. I’ve been asked, “If any one has observed him lately?” No, but I have suggested to my mother that she could kind of slip it in to his food. My father doesn’t think that there is anything wrong. You (know) – it’s the other people, there is something wrong with them.


My father can be,(nice) he has his moments. He loves his great grandson right to death and my adopted granddaughter. He just loves her right to death – it just that you never know how he will be.   Tyke is a year and half old.   Breanne is eight. He just does not seem to deal well with children. He didn’t deal well with his own children. He did better with his grandchildren. “Aha”, I don’t know (why he has problems relating to children) there are a whole lot of things going on there.

O.K. What have I inherited from my father is some mental health issues. “Ah”, it’s not just me. Its my husband (he) lived with depression. I have spoken to my sister about that and she admits that she is crazy. Ah, my youngest daughter is bi-polar. From my mother I have inherited my caring for people but on the other hand it’s like my father. If these people want to walk on me, everyone say’s, “ I inherited my disposition from my father”. Ah, I think personally that most of it is mine that I developed over the years.

Well, I wish in away my father had been more of a father and my bother has also expressed this issue. I likely, I would of liked it to be different, but this is him what are you going to do, this is it, he is what he is. Well, let’s put it this way.   I think some of the men in my life they say, “You model your significant others mother” I can see it. I dated George a couple of times. Not only me but also both of my daughter came to me and said, “He looked just like my father.” Basically, that was a big turn off. (Laughter) Yep, George, he did (notice the similarity). It was a turn off! I went out with him twice.


Ya , after I had chronic depression they kind of got me jump-started on ante-depressants then that got me looking around. Basically the men in my life have been ineffectual, just like my father. Because anything that needed to be done around the house usually my mother did it. . Ya, as far as, well they (referring to her two daughters) both agreed that George looked like their grandfather. They, well I don’t think they are being to see a pattern. They haven’t met, or made good choices in men too. So, it’s like what the men that they know, they’re more or less retards. Oh I won’t say retards, but generally, they have made poor choices. Ya I mean the men they pick – I won’t live with them for five minutes and I’d have to do something drastic to them.

Where we lived when I was about three. Its, funny, (earliest memory with her family) We had two cats Lion and Tiger. I remember that there was a mouse running around. So, we open the cupboard and threw the cat’s in. (laughter). I know, we just wanted to see my brother and sister what would happen.

Lets see my brother and I are two years apart. My sister and I are maybe like two and half years apart. ah. My bother and I were both born in a hospital.   My sister was born at home. Ya- Kathy would had been just a baby.   Just our parents were with us. (remember a family event)


Well, I have been asked,” What was the family ancestry?”. My mother is Scottish, my father I believe is German at least his father, his real father was anyway. My grandmother Mayo, my father’s mother said, “ From her side of the family came over on the Mayflower”. No I don’t (what generation I am) aha- I would say, “Well, if they came over on the Mayflower her ancestors.” Let’s see, the funny thing is that even my father doesn’t know much about his mother’s side of the family.     She took and ripped it all¼ out of the family bible. His real father right up until the day he died never acknowledged my father. And when my grand mother Mayo remarried my grand-father adopted my father. See- I- They didn’t even tell me until I was a teenager. I was looking through some papers and I was saying, “Who are these people?” No, mother did the genealogy for the family and its, Scottish, English. I’m being asked, Which side of the family claimed to be Scottish or English?” Ok- for the Douglas and the Hammond. Her maiden name is Douglas and her mother was a Hammond and then there were Blanchard’s. I’ve been asked, “ If there were special celebrations with these family members?” Then their was¼ aha no!

No. We did Christmas and Easter. We had family Christmas with the Douglas, my mother’s sisters and bothers and their families. At my mother’s family we would spend Christmas until we got so big. Easter – we went to church, we aha celebrate Easter like, but ¼ nothing real special.

There was differently a difference between our house and the neighbor’s house or my friend’s house. Yes- we basically, what started out as being the basement of the house ended up being where we ended up living. . (Silence) My, as I say my father was never really motivated, this was supposed to be temporary. We started out building in the basement then put on the second floor. We use to have canvass for walls; we didn’t have any doors. I remember we had a chemical toilet, a slate sink. We had running cold water in the bathroom. We had to lug the hot water from the kitchen to the bathroom sink. So- yes- there was a different difference.

Ah, ahs I think in a lot of ways, we got to go more than some of my friends did. Because I can remember going to Lake Winnipesauskee (in NH). We, my parents always had a station wagon. They would through an old honk’n mattress in the back. Pack the suitcases in around us kids. Then go to a drive-in movies, ah, ha . We took fudge. We took popcorn. No we didn’t hike. We went on a lot of picnics, aha we went and did a lot of things as a family. Well, once we left in the middle of the week (it) was when my grandfather Mayo got sick and this is how we would travel. Ah that’s how we always traveled.


We still do family get together’s with them. Everybody’s birthday doesn’t make any difference how old their’ll be. Mother cooks a big meal and family comes. We have dinner you know and gifts.   On Mother Day and Father’s Day we have a cook out. Aha Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter we get together.

I honestly believe that I got them from my mother and her mother (family traditions). Hard working, well mother worked for Basses ( shoe manufacturer) for forty- two years, and that doesn’t count the time she worked there while she was in high school. Aha, my grandmother worked in the woolen mill. Its Fosters. Now in Dryden (ME). She ran the farm, and she raised four kids. When my mother was fourteen, he (my grandfather) committed suicide. So basically, the strength that I’ve gotten I’ve gotten from my mother. Aha, Basically this is the only thing that I’ve known. (Materarchly system) I recognize( that we are in a paterarchical ) system big time. Oh yar, I couldn’t gotten to were I am today if it wasn’t from what I learned from them because basically even when I was married, I was still head of the family. I kept things running. If there was wood to be thrown in, I got the crew together. I know what the working end of a chair saw is. And a wood splitter is. I’ve guttered a whole house out. Spent an Easter Sunday taking it to the dump.   They (her daughters) just watched, and they haven’t taken any cutes. I would like to; I would like to think that I pass on that they can make it, that they don’t need to have a man. From what I’ve seen they think its to hard to do it on their own. They don’t want to work that hard. They want to have a boy friend, a husband, or whatever to it, so they don’t have to.


My 1963 my great –grand father died about the same time that Kennedy did .Aha or may be it was after wards, or maybe it wasn’t and it was right around that time. Even so, to me death is like another stage in life. I mean, I was brought up on a farm, raise the chickens. The chickens got killed, you ate them, someone ate them. Aha you raise the pigs they were sent to slaughter. There was, I can remember, vividly there was a place on route one thirty-three. They use to take the pigs to be slaughtered. They’d hang them up on chains by their back legs, so you know.


My grand mother, both my grandmothers went to church. In fact, I went to church when I was a kid every Sunday, I when to vacation bible school. In fact my grandmother Mayo, the one in Massachusetts she was horrified if anyone did anything on a Sunday, did anything besides cook a meal. Sunday was the day of rest and aha, my next door neighbor’s boy friend about a month ago said something about it. I said, “I had to go back home to do something”. He said, “Sunday was a day of rest”. I said to him, “Unless the Good Lord is going over and do my dishes, and do my laundry. I need to go work.” Yea, I can remember when stores were not open on Sundays and except for the essentials everything was shut down. You’re talking about seventy’s early eighties, and I said even when my kids were little I took them to church. My mother and father still go (to Church) my father has gone to the extreme his hero is Jerry Farewell and to me that’s the extremes, I’m not a Jerry Farewell person. We went to the church in East Wilton, I can’t remember if it was Baptist – in fact it’s the Church my parents got married in.   No, No I went to the Methodist Church in Farmington for a while until, well it’s been quite a few years since I’ve been to a Church. Aha it was important to me (religion). I believed in it more back then I do now and it’s not that I don’t believe in religion, it. I don’t believe in the philosophies of the organized religions. I choke and gag every time. Obey is mentioned in a wedding ceremony, because it doesn’t say anything about the husband obeying the wife. The wife is supposed to obey the husband. Well, well basically when the religion backs women getting beat up. I mean, basically aha, I don’t want to belong.

I do, aha, (spiritual believes are important). Even though I say I don’t go to church. I know that there is a God. Of course there was a time frame that I didn’t believe that there was a God. But then yea, I got this far and I haven’t seen him or any out ward signs. Aha yea, I wish my oldest daughter would take her son and stepdaughter to church because let the children see it for themselves. Basically by the time you become an adult you know whether or not or by a teenager (one would know if they wanted to belong to a church). I was Baptized in a church. My daughter boy friend is French, the boyfriend is French I don’t know if he was catholic or not. My youngest daughter, she and I were talking the other day. She said, “ Mom when we went to church I didn’t enjoy it, we went because you made us”.   She doesn’t go.


I’ve been asked, “If we are a close family?” Like, kind of sorter a . I was by my mother and I had an extended family, my grand mother, my mother’s mother because when my mother was working and I came home from school that’s were I was. Aha and you as I, ah a, We didn’t live all together not to that extend.   We always did lots of different things. Well, my grandmother had a farm; we lived right up above it. It was like we did new things every day. It would take me a refresher course but I would go and milk the cow by hand again. I could, you know- I lived next house up from the farm.   We had lots of daily adventures. If there was a calf being born. My cousins and myself we would grab a bale of hay put it in the walkway. The cow had an audience while the calf was being born. So basically you know.   We –aha- my background is every diverse as far as science is concerned. Aha, Dr.Cooper had the come knock out my cousins horse because the leg had opened up.

My cousins and I are not as close as we use to be. My brother and my sister and I well, my sister and I were talking the other day. We were talking about my father. She said, “well if anything happens to Mum then take all the money an slapping him in nursing home”. And I said, “He’s not nursing home material, Kathy.” By the way there are twelve months in a years and three of us. We each get to take our turn caring for him. My bother and sister, I’m the middle child. They have both decided that they didn’t want to deal with my father so I get to do it. Well, guess what. I can always pack my father up and deliver him.

I’m the middle child. Well what is the definition of spending time with your parents. Aha probably as much time as they had to spend. What did I do with them? In the summer time when I was home I got to do the housework. I know (we didn’t do it together).   We did work together in the garden. I was out side at one time my father had a small wood business. I got to go and unload wood, lug wood and, you when I look back at it when I was growing up I didn’t think it was so cool but now that I look back at it wasn’t really that bad. Even dealing with my grandmother’s chickens wasn’t that bad. Well, I could always get back at them you know you walk in to the hen house. There are always a few that decided they were going after your feet. So, I got in the habit of drop kicking a few of them. (Laughter)


The saddest time in my life was between 1986 and 1994. Well, I had booted my ex-husband out. Aha had to get rid of my house. Even went to school during this time frame and then like three years after that I acquired an significant other. Basically what happen is finally it got to the point that I couldn’t deal with my depression any more. And 1994 both of my daughters and one of my adopted daughters got me ready. Then they helped me to into the car and off to St. Mary’s.   I was in there for ten days. The best move I’ve made, but my mother she cried. I said, “Mum this is the best thing that could of happen”. Ah well it’s a sad thing that it happen, but at least, at least I know¼ I know. It was eight years ago and ever since 1984 I been ¼I’ve had my moments but I’ve been on the upswing.

Oh let’s see. My father, my parents still have a log ruler its about and inch thick and they used it on our butt and the day that I told both my mother and father to go to hell. I was sitting between them, and I got thumped up the side of the head by each one of them but basically the log ruler worked well.

On God.     Silence¼ as I.. my father would sent us kids or my brother and I off to Massachutte for the entire summer. When I was a young adult I found out why. Because he couldn’t afford to feed us and my grand grandfather Mayo was the buffer zone between my grandmother and I. He and I got along good.


Kindergarten ¼Seems weir. One of my first school memories was white school paste, kids always seem to eat it. I remember my teacher telling me it I keep on eating it my insides are going to stick together. I liked the school I went to. The school (building) is now Community Action, use to be the East Wilton grammar school. It was so laid back. You knew everybody, and now that I’m working on a school on a regular basis I appreciate that memory.   Kids use to be able to go home and have lunch. Ah and everybody knew everybody, their parents and what ever. We were almost like a family. Not like these big schools now. (I liked) Miss Applebee, she was a junior high teacher. Mrs. Bucannon, she was neat, she was a nice lady. Aha, she’s like 93 now.   (Favorite teach in high school) was Mr. Miller. He’s dead; he died not to long after I graduated from high school. Aha some of the ones that were at Wilton Academy went over to Mount Blue. Aha.but Mr. Miller he was.   May be Mrs. Bucanon was the most influential because she really took an interest in the kids. I’ve been asked, “ Do I remember a happy event from school?” No ,I don’t think so. I got an A in algebra. Laughter.. Math was never my best subject; I got like a D the first time around. My father said, and I said OK. Take the course over until you pass.

I graduated from college and I’ve got 12 credit hours in graduate school.   Which time was this? the first the second time I attended school? The first time it was more partying 101, because I did.   The first time I went I really didn’t want to (go to college). My father kind of put on the pressure to go, and as I say it was more partying 101 the first time. I was at UMF. What was I going to do? I didn’t have a major at that point. Aha. the second time around it was because I wanted to be there and.. Aha I went back in 84, so I was 34, so it some how the age did make a difference. Yea, I got down to business, I really didn’t had time to get involved in anything much because I had kids. My regular day school then I worked in the school library. In high school I participated in the senior play, was in the glee club, aha I think that was just about it. Oh, ah I was manager of the softball team. I think that it.


I took one (course) when I went back the second time, took one with Dr. Marx, about relationships. I guess I got started to get some insight to the whole mess. So. What is the most important lesson I’ve have learned in my life? Actually I don’t think it was in high school and basically it is that, There is only one person I can dependent on it is myself. That’s the only lesson that I learned and I learned it out side of school.   The role of education in a person’s life is that it is very important.   Unless you have a good solid basis, for an education.   Your future is very limited. We have more opportunities then when we were growing up. It didn’t matter¼ they have more technology now need a high school diploma to work in a shoe shop. These days you need to be able to use technology to it fullest advantage. You need to read- you need to beable to write or you are not going to go any place.

I’m trying to think¼ My first date? God I didn’t date in high school because, because I didn’t. Aha I can’t remember if I had a date per say.   It was when I was in grammar school (first kiss) and the guy’s name was Standly Walker. Laughter. No I never had a steady boy friend in high school. Not when I was in high school.   To be honest when I was growing up even in high school I never though about sex.   I was married when I first though about it. He was a date, but I mean. I didn’t think of it persay as a date. I was use to going out with large groups of friend. Guys and basically I met my ex-huband through friends. I was twenty-three, twenty-two.   So I guess I am today what they call a late bloomer. How do I describe my courtship, will see I guess, I thought of it as I was hanging out with him kinda sort of.   It wasn’t like a courtship type deal. Ya,ya, Intermacy is when you can talk to a person a significant other, about your feelings, dreams, hopes aspirations and then there is a physical side of intermacy.


I have two children. My two daughters at this point in their lives are kind of screwed up.   They went way off course. My youngest daughter is twenty-three years old; she has never held a job. She worked for a summer youth program one year. She- her, she is on disability because she is BI-polar, they haven’t been able to get that under control and also I’m certain she has a drinking problem plus a drug problem. So , she just, kind’a not doing anything productive in life.   I my opinion she’s not working on anything. The other daughter, well she works hard. Hum she, I find her taking on some of the bad traits of her significant other, in that, he thinks that people owe him. She, she try’s to manipulate people to get something from them and, well as I told them that when I talked to them, last week. Basically, Faith and John went out a got a brand new car this year 2000. They haven’t had that very long. They’re thinking about buying a house because they can’t afford their apartment. And I’m saying¼ An Apartment is cheaper, then a house and, she is forever borrowing money from my mother. I’d say” Well have you and John given up any of his bad habits? Have you given up any of your bad habits like smoking? “NO”!     I said, “Why should people give you money if you’re not going to help yourself?” She is working yes, yes she is. I’ll give her that much credit. She is working. She seems to be a good mother. She has one biological child, and then her significant other, John, has a cute six-year-old daughter. So that’s their family unit.

No, in my estimation it’s not better to be married.   It is not better to be married. Somebody was trying to tell me what to do in my life. That was when basically they had problems running their own life. I had dreams and ambitions as a child. I wanted a masters (degree) but then I ran out of money. Then I found out that the program I was in wasn’t recognized by the State. So I was living in limbo. Well, I figured that I would get married, have a good family and, well I wouldn’t say I didn’t have a good family. It’s not what I did expected.


“What events in my adult life gave me responsibilities that made me feel adult?”   Getting married and having children but I had adult responsibilities before marriage. Well when I was like nine or ten, I started doing my mothers house work. Started doing her cooking and that’s what I did. Aha, working on the farm, that’s was a responsibility. And basically I didn’t have adult responsibilities was for a short time because I can’t remember one time that I didn’t kept my husband. I was the one who was the motivator behind it.

How did I end up with the type of work that I’m now doing? You meaning working at the Adult Learning Center and working as a Ed-tech. Well for one thing I, graduate classes where very expensive, I manage to pay for four of them. You know I didn’t have the money to pursue it, ha, I came to work at the adult learning center because I happen to stop in there one day and you where there and Linda said that the Boss was looking for somebody (to work). Well I couldn’t remember who had gotten done, was it Caroline? I was frantically looking for my disk, to print up my resume. Put it in the Bosses mailbox. I like what I do but the times that it has been less than satisfying. How do I want to say that when other peoples agendas, they haven’t necessarily coincided. That’s when I don’t enjoy it. Aha, I think that’s one of the things that make it more satisfying for me has been team teaching the Personnel Exploration classes with Carrie.   You know when you get to where you could just do the job (in your sleep) with the photocopier, the ITV, with whatever -you just get in to a routine and the more computer skills I developed the more satisfied I felt. Aha, I developed a relationship with the Learning Center students and the ITV students. So that led me to greater satisfaction. I enjoy working as a Ed tech in high school because I enjoy working with these kids and you know I enjoy it.


Well this job fits now I like it –I don’t know if I call it a stop gap but I don’t feel that I will be there for the rest of my life. Unless I have a challenge I become bored or the job just becomes aha, well I look at it as a stepping stone.

Important things given to me by my family, values, aha, basically, they, you know, from my parents they gave me the beginnings of me and you know my mother she helped me as mush as she can. Aha to get beyond some of these little potholes that I encounter in my life.   Aha -you know, coming from her generation, mother has surprised me with some of the things she has said and I don’t necessary talk a lot to her. She and her generation don’t talk about important personal things but every once in a while we come up with things that we can talk about.


Events that impacted my life, aha, ok I remember what, I was in the eighth grade, when President Kennedy was assinated. Aha I remember the, I remember that everyone was sent back to their homeroom. The announcement came over the intercom, that President Kennedy had been assinated, ah, I think in fact Ms. Applebee was the teacher. In, was my homeroom teacher. And I remember that whole weekend watching his funeral on TV, being in the living room and watching on TV. , His children. And watching Jackie, and he was, such a JKF was such a karmic person and to have, to be assassinated. As I say I was thirteen. It was like November twenty. He was buried on the twenty-second. So it was nineteen sixty-three.   Watching his, watching Kennedy’s funeral made me feel every sad because I really don’t- I had seen anything like that before. See I was ten or eleven before we got a TV. I hadn’t seen anything of significance aha on the TV. I mean it was on for that whole weekend and to see something that tragic. I felt that his assassination was a part of history and because I can always remember them calling his term in the presidency Camelot, and today I think of it as Camelot. JFK, Jackie and the kids.

I feel that the work that I’m doing is contributing to the community. Aha, there are the people who come into the adult learning center. They are looking for help or assistance, and I felt thought I’m there to help them.   It helps the community because the local shoe shops closing most of the workers were in that community and I mean it’s a big impact.

What tangible gifts or intangible gifts are important to me? I guess I would always go back to my mother. You, know she hasn’t always agreed on some of the things that I have done. Mum hasn’t agreed on most things that I have done but you know she loves me no matter what. Yea, my mother’s love is unconditional. My fathers love usually has conditions to it and my grandchildren, and you know my children the adopted one, the biological ones.

Crucial decision (I made in my life). To get married. To stay married, then not to stay married. I should put in to have kids in there too and my ex-husband wanted nine kids. I said nah, No, No. aha To go to school, the next one would be to, I got into another relationship then I had to terminate that relationship. I’ve made a crucial decision when I had to throw my daughters out on a couple occasions. Aha um, Let me see. You know, take another part time job in addition to the part time job that I have.

When I divorced my ex-husband. That was a first. That was a turning point, I started to go back to school. He didn’t particularity care for it, or what ever. That was, I mean it was my life- he kind of got upset.


What mistake have I made in my life? For number one, I wouldn’t have married my ex-husband. Aha, shouldn’t have gotten into a relationship with my ex-boy friend. That was for all the wrong reasons. (I learned from these relationships) that I can stand on my own two feet and that I go into relationships for all the wrong reasons. Aha, aha I’m satisfied with the life choices that I’ve made.

Hum, besides my mother and grandmother, I had an adopted sister; she’s dead now. She basically, if I had a problem, I felt that I would talk to her it I needed to. I always called her, Aunt Inna, she, she was. She had been through a hard time with my uncle he was abusive, and she was understanding. Hum, she just was, she was just a great women. She was.   The things I hope I will never forget, I hope I never ever forget why I got out of my relationships because I hope the Christ that if I ever get into another relationship the flags go up, the bells and whistles go off. That I pay attention this time. So, if I forget how miserable I was, then I’m just as likely to get into another relationship. Ah, Oh yea, for one thing I can identify if some one has a drinking problem and to stay clear and stay away. (What if a person knew that they had a drinking problem & were working on it)? I’d be long gone. Another is basically, when they promise you the moon; you don’t even get the stars. Empty promises. Unless they have some thing to back it up. I don’t believe them and it’s just a whole lot of things. Attitudes, you know these big old macho attitudes. Ah, ah, I’m going to do this, I want that. Ar, Ha, I take it that they want me to change something about me.   I don’t want to change.


What is my biggest worry right now?   I’m going to be fifty. My biggest worry now is my two daughters because I can see where they are going, I’ve been there. I want to put them in a nunnery. I’ve threatened it but it doesn’t work. There’s basically, there’s nothing I can do.

Probably not, well with my oldest daughter, her boy friend got arrested because he grabbed her. So she came home and she whined and whined about it. So she went back to him, and I told her said, “OK, If this happens again you call AWAP, you let them put you in a shelter”. I said,” Because I’m not going to go through this again and I probably would have gone through it many more times if I’d let her come home.” and da, I think not the next time.

Ah, the youngest daughter, she was hard to deal with when she moved in, she would give me some money because I told her I was not a charitable organization. I wasn’t going to work my ass off for her and, she twenty-three, its not like she’s three; she’s twenty-three. She doesn’t have to worry about anything basically she’s living at home and I basically said “That if you don’t think I’m worth the money, than I don’t think that its worth it for you to live here any more”. So. Probably ten years ago I would have let this go. Fluff it off. In lots of ways myself, (what matters most). Because if I don’t look out for me no body else is going to.   If I don’t take care of myself, no body else is going to, my kids think they are wiser than I am. This kind of thinking, you know. “Look out for me, make sure that I’m a priority, it makes me feel great”. At one point in my life I told my mother something and she told me I was being selfish. She said that, I said, “You’re right I am”.   Having people walk on me, use me and not just my kids. Yah, because as I say in 1986 to 1994, I was at my father its like basically, people can sense that ( one has self respect) and if you don’t have the energy to take it back. You know you use the easiest route no matter what it is. And ya, they would sense it. They knew it.


From the time before I got married. At twenty-three. Yeah. I’d get a new husband.   (Laughter) ¼No, No. I wouldn’t marry the same type. I would try to ¼be choosier, I would of paid attention and gone to school. I know but I didn’t pay attention. (Laughter) He’s one of the reasons that I didn’t pay attention. Oh, but no, he flunked out of college. But no in away I would but see I wouldn’t gotten my daughters even thought they drive me crazy and but it was like¼ lots of things differently.

I describe myself now. I’m more independent than I use to be. Not that I was dependent. I try to not let people take advantage of me; I have to choose my battles. Aha, but actually, aside that I have my daughters this in a lot of ways is the best time in my life. I don’t have to worry, You know, all the shit is behind me. All I’ve climbed. I got to the top, and now its down hill. In a lot of ways. I don’t have to put up with some of the issues of the past. Aha, and it just that life is easier and I’m happier. Aha I think its both because, as I say all the hard stuff, is behind me, all the problems, I won’t say all the problems are gone. But, that I went through you know, with the men in my life, with all the situations and thats behind me.   Basically I look at it this way, I came through, and to me I’m a better person for it.   My world, (to self) how do I describe my worldview? I really think that war is a waist of time. People. Aha and I in fact think that Desert Storm was really a waste of time. Ah¼mum there are a lot more things out there to do then to make war and kill people. And, oh god, Now that there are computers and the Internet I keep thinking why didn’t they have these when I was in college? It’s so much easier writing papers and everything. No more having to spend hours and hours at the library. You know, it takes a lot of time to look things up. The Internet its great.


What gives me the most hope for the future? Each year since 1984 my life has gotten better. I mean economically, socially, aha you know all way around in all aspect of my life. You know I have gone up hill, and as far as the bit about being old at fifty. I feel better inwardly about my life about me,

I went to church; I was baptized in a Baptize Church when I was six. I went to church, I’m trying to remember for a good part of my youth. I went to vacation bible school I really enjoyed it but as far as now. I don’t know I guess as I got older, the religion didn’t seem that important because I didn’t agree with some of their views.   The only dream I can remember as a reoccurring dream was “ I was sitting in the balcony of the church. Watching my funeral and I was suppose to die when I was forty-six years old. I mean I had this dream as a child and as an adult. When I got to be closer to my forty- six birthday I got real antsy, because I didn’t know if it was going to happen. I even saw how I was supposedly going to die, in a firerly car crash. Aha (just me in the car). I can remember sitting in the balcony of the church and seeing my casket being pushed down the center of the church. As I say, “That was I when I was thirty to thirty-six and still having it and I can remember waking up crying. I’d be crying real tears but it didn’t come to pass.” I was asked, “ Did this dream make sense?”   Not when I was a kid, No. I don’t know but maybe one of the things that I didn’t take into consideration is that there are many forms of death. In 1996 nothing happen, two years before that I kicked the boy friend out. No, I don’t know, but for whatever reason, you know, as I said death takes many forms. Many things are considered death.


No No light bulb came on. Let’s see with the ex-boy friend, the light came on this is a repeat of the last one an basically, maybe the lights came a dimmer switch was turned up a little bite, but it wasn’t anything like in AA what they call a spiritual awakening. If it was something it was gradual,, it wasn’t major¼. I believe in a higher power. It doesn’t mean that its God, but I believe that it somebody or thing that’s been with me for a good many years. Who has basically got me though this in my life. That I do have¼ that’s it’s mine personally and that I don’t have to tell, it’s not mandated. Its for me. Its what ever I want to make it to be or what ever it makes for me. Its, sometimes I can feel it, sometimes I can’t. Its like my next door neighbor spirit, he never going to leave me. Make sure everything is OK. For fourteen years, but we remained friends. I can’t sense it but my good friend; she walked in to the trailer not to long after he died( my husband). It was like Aug oh, he’s here. (Laughter) He gravitates between my house and Faith’s. Well, he and I got long just fine after we got divorced but I couldn’t stay married to him. Information comes in the form of books because last January my ex-husband died and after that I started reading fantasy, its like I can’t get enough of it now. I don’t know what is does. Like giving myself a break, from the stupid stuff that’s happened in my life. I had a person who, he was totally amazed because he never seen this side of me, he though I was shallow. After our discussion about books then I guess he though I wasn’t. That came as a total surprise.


Well now everything seems to be going haywire and my daughter, my oldest daughter who is twenty-six she going in for exploitory surgery this week. She got something wrong with her uterus, their not sure what it is. Yes I’m going to be there for her. I’m going to take some time off and I’m going to be with her for that day. Amum, when Faith and Charity’s dad died ah, I was their for them. Trying to keep things on a even keel. Mum, you know, quite frankly sometimes I get sick and tired of being strong. I’ve even my ex-boy friend, he always said I was about as helpless as a cobra and you know people will look at me as being the strong one, and it gets basically is down right, well I’d like to be the weak one once in a while. When you spend most of your adult life being the strong one, I’d like to have my human frailties, vulnerable, I don’t know if people always think I’m this strong or not, as I say a person can be strong for so long before they want to keel over.

Actually my values as an adult have be come stronger than I had when I was a kid. They, I have intensified them, or magnified them because basically as a kid I did some of the normal stuff.   I got caught shop lifting, taking money from my grandmother’s purse. When I look back on the last seven or eight years I’ve become stronger then I was before. Aha, I had an incident with a friend; he tried to put a common friend in the middle. I told him, “You can’t really think of her as a friend if you are willing to do that to her”. So on that aspect, my values are stronger now than as a kid or a young adult. I feel as thought I am in control of the aspects of my life that I can control myself.

The day that my grandson was born, that was the one, well various grandchildren, but I think when Tyke was the greatest joy.   He’s my first biological grand son but I have attended the births of three or four. I even cut the embiotical cord on one of them. Actually they where all a joy, but he seems to be even more of joy.


I think I’m at peace with myself. I think I’ve done all that I could as far as my kids are concerned. I tried to instill values in them but it didn’t work. I know but up to this point it like I just, you know get frustrated. I’m at peace with me but I’m frustrated with them. You know, its like, I told one of them. Charity- the youngest one, “ If you don’t want me to make comments about your life, then don’t tell me about it”. Don’t drag me in to it.

When I decide – I can become at peace with myself when I say, “ OK it their life if they want to screw it up, let them have at it”. I let go. I would like to have a full time job, aha haven’t quite decided, I don’t know what. The option is still open to teach. No, I was thinking about maybe adult ed. Ah, mum and basically, one of my visions is to stop smoking. Hey the future is tomorrow. Ok, Rome wasn’t born in a day, and it takes people significant time to do this. OK Aha, but I don’t know. I want one job. I don’t care if my vision is for long term goals short-term goals. It’s no about making booko money. That would be nice. I only want to go to one place during the day. I want insurance so I can go to the doctor and I don’t have to worry about that, yes, I want benefits.

Back to one point that the Boss was in one Saturday. In the office and I said, “Boss, what would it takefor me to get part time benefits?” I don’t know but he says, “Let me see what I can do but I feel that I have to keep after him”. July is the budget, or is he drawing it up already. OK than I will go and advocate for myself again. Hey it’s worth a try isn’t it?

You want to know what I told a couple of friends once more before I die? Have sex. It hasn’t been that simple for six years. I don’t know, people in my family tend to live for a long time. My grandmother was ninety.   Ah. My mother is seventy-two. I had a great uncle who lived to be a hundred. So I will say that I will live to be seventy. I was taking into account, how hard it is to stop the cigarettes.


Basically, I don’t know what I want said about me but I know what some people will say about me. Some people say it right now. They say I’m a bitch. Aha, the daughters significant others calls me a battle axe, and I’ve been called cunt, and its like you know basically it really doesn’t matter what they say. After I’m death I’m not going to care. I have lots (of wisdom) for the younger generation. As I told one kid Friday, just because you didn’t like something doesn’t mean you don’t have to do it. You have to do it, so fake it, pretend you like it, get though it and you might as well do it well. Aha, don’t get married young; lets see, as I keep telling Linda “Life is to short to dance with a short ugly man. Basically life is to short not to do some of the things you want to, your not necessarily sure that the husband wants to do it. If you want to do all these things do it before you have kids. Once you have kids your options are limited and as I told one of the high school students, if you’re going to have sex make sure the condom is not in the back pocket.

Yes, Nancy said not to be graphic, I am who I am because I’ve had men that have decided they wanted to beat me, they wanted to be verbally abusive, emotionally abusive, an say I say life is to short. This is you know, this is me.     I was looking forward to this; I actually enjoyed this interview we talked about education, my family, hopes.




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