INTERVIEW — TAPE #306, SIDE #2
Q: Mark Russell Bell
N: Nancy Ferringer, cousin
C: Clara Bell Mitchum, aunt/Nancy’s mother
Q: That makes me nervous when there’s a lot of hunting in the area. (“THE AA”) Well, (“NO”) if it’s not for food, is it? (“ON”)
N: Mostly around here yes. Deer. Because deer (“NO”) can be — (“UH”)
Q: Well, I know they — (“LIKE”) crow — (“SHOOT”)
N: Crow hunting is something that — this area is overrun with crows and what happens is crows come down and eat the crops. And ruin fields. Like this cornfield right here — that would be ruined by crows.
Q: That’s too bad.
N: It is. It’s awful. I know that sounds really bad but see —
Q: Well, it sounds worse —
N: It does.
Q: — not having heard about it before. (“BUT LIKE”) Like when he said, “Let’s take little Alex out —”
N: “Crow hunting.” Yeah. (“WE”) My husband isn’t a crow hunter or anything like that. (“NO”) He deer hunts but he really has gotten out of that too because this is the big —
Q: Well, I guess if there’s no other way to get rid of them.
N: And the deer are so overrun around here. You know — there are so many accidents caused by deer.
Q: Well, what are the predators that usually keep them in check?
Q: Are they still around?
N: Very few.
Q: What happened to them?
N: They’re just extinct.
Q: Do people hunt them down?
N: I think farmers shoot them because they kill, like, baby cows and (“YEAH”) small animals like your dogs.
Q: So now this is what they have to pay.
N: Now we’re just finally getting bears back. Black bears. (“FINE” “YES”)
Q: Oh gosh. (“BUT THEY’RE)
N: I’ve never seen one at my — around — (“SO THIS IS”)
Q: Little town square?
N: This is it. This is the big town.
Q: The big town?! (“LITTLE TOWN”)
N: I mean this is nothing. (“PROMISE”)
Q: ‘Hollywood Videos.’ Even here. Hollywood has its reach.
N: Sure. My kids rent videos there. (“OLLY”) We’re going to get the red light.
Q: That’s another thing I’ve (“RE RE[C]”) recognized is that whenever there are children, the family will always rent videos — (“TO WHAT”) whatever the children want. It’s not what the adults want, it’s what the children want to see.
N: Yes. But, you know what, I’ll rent videos. Like they can rent three videos for three dollars for three days. (“YEAH”) And they rent mostly Disney — my children are on that bus right there.
Q: Oh my gosh.
N: Where are they? There’s Candice up front. She’s the blonde one and my oldest daughter’s in the back. (“THEY WO[N’T]”) They’re going to the high school to pick the high school kids up and then they’ll take them home.
Q: You’ve got to be home in time for them to get home.
N: Yeah. They won’t be home for another half an hour/forty-five minutes.
Q: They’re going to be on the bus all for that time or —
N: Yeah. The bus will go over and it just —
Q: I see.
N: Their bus route’s —
Q: Normal children things. There’s the police department. How many policemen do you have on —
Q: Only three?
N: And state police but very seldom.
Q: Fire Department. A Methodist church — (upcoming sermon entitled) “A New Beginning.” (“DO YOU GO”) Are you going Sunday?
N: I go to Deckard’s United Presbyterian.
Q: Oh I’ll have to go with you. That’ll be fun.
N: Would you like to go?
N: Would you really? (“UM-HUH”) Wow. (“THEY”)
Q: I always like to see what —
N: We’re not ‘every week, every week, every week.’ We are not — (“THAT KI[ND]” “NO”)
Q: I don’t think anyone is who has — (“A LOT OF CHIL[DREN]”)
N: My husband works a lot of long hours. (“A LOT”) He works a lot. He’s constantly working. And on Sundays he races. He’s a race person so he races and there’s just a constant — something. (“HE”)
Q: Look at these old houses. (“WHAT ARE THE” “HOU[SE]”) What’s the word for these houses?
N: What’s the worth?
Q: I mean — no. Word. Like ‘Victorian’ or what design? (“SOUND” “LIKE”)
N: This would be a Victorian. (“I” “YEAH”)
Q: It looks Victorian. (“V”)
N: It’s a little more ornate. (“SEE THE OWNER” “WHERE” NO”)
Q: Yeah. Could use a paint job but —
N: I don’t know — early American. Like these are mostly early American. (“NOW THE”)
Q: Know those little kids? You know everyone, right?
M: Oh yeah. We know everyone.
Q: Ooh that’s a neat one — stones.
N: You’ll really like this one up here. This is where Lee lives.
Q: That swamp was sort of spooky though.
N: Was it really? This is Lee and they’ll get a big spider web out front on their pillar — a big, huge spider and he lights up.
Q: There are Halloween decorations over there.
N: This is the Cochranton Cemetery. I guess we have relatives in there. I’m not sure. It’s one of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve ever seen. (“I L[OVE]”) But I don’t get out much.
Q: I guess with my book and everything I should ask you if you’ve ever seen any (“LIKE”) strange things like bigfoots or UFOs or —
Q: I think you told me that last time — on the phone you told me that.
N: How I was eight years old and something happened to my brother and I. And my mother. I do remember. But the thing I most remember is the light and being scared. (“RIGH[T]”) I was so scared.
Q: Oh that’s right. You told me over the phone about that.
N: My mother could tell you. I mean she was an adult.
Q: I think she did. I think I spoke to — who’d I speak to? I can’t remember now.
N: And, you know, my brother and Clara — (“YEAH MY MOTHER”)
N: It’s embarrassing to my brother to recount that.
Q: Embarrassing? What a word.
N: Because he knows that it happened but you know how people are ridiculed — (“OF”) things like that.
Q: You can’t remember though. (“OH”) People can’t remember — you have ‘missing time’ periods.
N: Oh I remember when it happened. I remember I was in the back seat because my brother and I used to fight over who was going to sit up front. (“CALL IN”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I WAS TRANSCRIBING THIS PORTION THE EVENING OF NOVEMBER 2, 1997 WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY LISTENING—NOT VERY CLOSELY—TO ART BELL’S “DREAMLAND” RADIO SHOW WHEN DR. ELDON TAYLOR, AN EXPERT ON SUBLIMINAL MESSAGING, WAS THE GUEST. I CALLED VIA THE ‘FIRST-TIME CALLER LINE’ AND WAS THE FIRST LISTENER HEARD ON THE SHOW THAT EVENING. I SAID, “HI, ART AND DR. TAYLOR. THIS IS MARK IN SANTA MONICA. BY THE WAY, ART, I WANTED TO THANK YOU ON BEHALF OF ALL YOUR LISTENERS ABOUT THOSE 130 VIETNAMESE ORPHANS YOU ONCE RESCUED. I DON’T THINK PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THAT GENERALLY.” “WELL THANK YOU,” ART REPLIED. I THEN STATED, “OKAY — BUT I’VE NOTICED IN MY OWN WORK BECAUSE I DO A LOT OF INTERVIEWING MYSELF, DR. TAYLOR, THAT SOMETIMES WHEN I LISTEN TO VOICES AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS, WORDS THAT I ACTUALLY HEAR AS ‘YES’ WILL SOUND LIKE ‘NO’ WHEN THE PERSON IS REALLY JUST SAYING YES IN AGREEMENT WITH YOU.” THE SPIRIT MESSAGE “AND I” WAS HEARD ON MY MICROCASSETTE RECORDING AS I SAID, “HAVE YOU HAD ANY CONTACTS LIKE THAT — ANY EXPERIENCE LIKE THAT?” THE LINE WAS THEN DISCONNECTED. EARLIER THAT DAY, I ATTENDED A LECTURE ON COSMOLOGY PRESENTED BY DR. DEAN BROWN AT THE PHILOSOPHICAL RESEARCH SOCIETY THAT WAS BEING VIDEOTAPED FOR THE EDUCATIONAL CORRESPONDENCE COURSE-STYLE PRS “CONSCIOUSNESS STUDIES PROGRAM.” DR. BROWN COMMENTED THAT SUCH A SERIES OF TAPED LECTURES HAD ONLY RECENTLY BEEN MADE POSSIBLE BY TECHNOLOGICAL MIRACLES AND RATIONALIZED IN HIS LECTURE WHY THE PRS IS GOOD. I COULDN’T HELP THINKING ABOUT HOW PEOPLE USUALLY RATIONALIZE THEIR ACTIVITIES AFTER ENGAGING IN THEM RATHER THAN CONSIDERING THE VALUE OF THE PARTICIPATION FIRST AND, FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCES, THIS SEEMS AN ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT LESSON TO LEARN. I ASKED DR. BROWN IF FROM A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OR OTHERWISE, TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES WERE SIMPLIFYING AND DEPERSONALIZING EDUCATION AND RELATIONSHIPS; AND IF THIS WAS A GOOD THING OR A BAD THING. I RESUMED TRANSCRIBING THIS TAPE AT 11 P.M. ON NOVEMBER 15TH AFTER AN ESPECIALLY BUSY TWO WEEKS OF WORK THAT INCLUDED WORKING ON THE ARTICLE FOR THE 1998 PUBLICISTS GUILD DIRECTORY.)
N: And we were going to the store. It’s about 9:30 — 10 o’clock at night it ha(ppened) — (“IT WAS”) it was the strangest thing. (“NEVER HAPPEN”) I was so scared. I came from the back seat to the front seat and I held on to my mother. And she was trying to calm me down. And you know what? It happened — I’ll show you the where place it happened. It’s only, like, five minutes from here too. Before you leave, I’ll show you where it happened. (“HAP”)
Q: Oh good. Okay, good. I’ll take a picture.
N: Because it has a lot of other things that — (“GO ALONG”)
Q: What about crop circles? Anything like crop formations?
N: Strange things? (“YEAH”) There are a couple places I can take you — that’s a bed and breakfast right there.
Q: Oh, that’d be fun to go on a little — when you have time — (“I” “NO”) the kids and everything.
N: The kids are . . .
Q: A little excursion around the area showing me . . .
N: I have made arrangements for my kids to be — so that I can — whatever . . . or take you anywhere you want to go.
N: Whatever you want to do. (“I”)
Q: Meanwhile, I have a wonderful scrapbook to show you.
N: I can’t wait.
Q: You’re a chocolate lover too, aren’t you? I can tell. (“ME”)
N: I’m what?
Q: You’re a chocolate lover. (“NO”)
N: What I am is I’m a pig. I think honest to God was . . . my mom and dad didn’t have a lot of money. And I know we always had food to eat and I keep telling my mother, “I still think that I am an overeater today” — this is no lie. I am an overeater.
Q: You don’t look like you’re overweight at all.
N: I am . (“HONEST”) Honestly.
Q: How much do you weigh? You weigh like 120.
Q: How tall? (“YOU’RE”)
N: I’m 5’6″.
Q: Well, what’s normal weight for that?
N: Probably like 130 or . . .
Q: You’re fine.
N: I don’t have a problem with — (“OUR”) I like to look nice . . .
Q: You don’t have a gym in this area, obviously.
N: In Meadville — yes, we do. It’s about twenty minutes away.
Q: That’s a long way for someone to go.
N: Not really. Considering we go to Meadville. (“YOU COULD GO”)
Q: Maybe you should start going to the gym.
N: I would like to. I really would. Dave’s friends — my husband’s a little bit overweight. He’s got the belly. He’s thirty-eight and he works —
Q: Oh look at these trees.
N: This is fantastic. Michelle, my friend, lives there. . . .
Q: Michelle? (“YEAH”) What’s her last name?
N: Gilbert. She’s one of my closest, dearest, sweetest friends I’ve ever had in my life.
Q: So at least there’s been no bigfoot sightings.
N: Not that I’ve ever known anybody.
Q: What about aliens? Has anyone seen aliens? You can’t remember anything like that.
N: Now that you’ll have to talk to my mother about.
Q: I think I already did. I just can’t remember what she told me.
N: Well, but I’m sure she probably didn’t touch . . .
Q: I can’t remember.
N: Now notice I’m a slow driver.
Q: Oh no, I appreciate that.
N: I’m old and cautious, damn it, and that’s too bad.
Q: When Michael and I were growing up with our mom, it was hard. We didn’t have a lot of money either but we never wanted for anything . . . (“LEAS[T] WE” “WE KNEW”) We didn’t really . . . . It makes you appreciate what you have more.
N: I do. I appreciate — I’ll tell you what I appreciate . . . my husband. And you’ll meet my husband and we’re, like, opposites. He’s a farmer man and he works in his garage twenty-four hours a day and he gets dirty from head to toe . . . (“YEAH”) and I like to dress up. I like to put my hair up and my make-up on. He’s a totally different person.
Q: It sounds like “Green Acres.”
N: Yeah. A little bit. Except for I’m a little more better than — you know, I like to cook and I do like to feed my animals. . . .
Q: I love animals. I miss animals.
N: The Tracys live here. They’ve had a lot of tragedy in their lives.
Q: Any relation to Spencer?
N: I don’t know. I doubt it but you never know. (“I”) This is a very old place. I know you won’t believe me but they do not have running water.
Q: Oh my goodness.
N: At all. They carry their water. The girl that lives here is very sweet. She’s a school bus driver.
Q: Everyone has big houses here.
N: You think so?
Q: Well, that was a big house and she’s just a school bus driver.
N: Mary Ann Deeter.
Q: Everyone waves to everyone.
N: Oh yeah. Mary Ann and Kay. And then their mom and dad — and their daughter lived over here. . . .
Q: I’m moving here.
N: And then their other sister lives here . . . She has a real secluded trailer.
Q: By the way, I brought you copies of my book but I think I’m going to wait to give them to you at the very end because I would just feel too —
Q: Because I don’t want you reading it while I’m here.
N: I’m sure it’s fantastic.
Q: Yeah, I know but — (“NO” “AT THE”) I think at the end — (“SO WE WON’T”) we have enough on our minds. How many — (“I”) I brought as many as I could into the one carry-on so I’ll just leave them all with you and you can decide who’re (“I’LL TELL YOU”) the best ones to read —
N: I’ll tell you what —
Q: — who are the readers of the bunch.
N: The one person that would not appreciate anything that you read — she doesn’t believe in anything. She’s extreme — I don’t know what you call the straight Christian that believes in —
N: That’s it.
Q: Christian Fundamentalist.
N: That’s my aunt Marilyn. You’ll meet her. She doesn’t believe in anything — everything’s awful and it’s the Devil’s work.
Q: Oh my God.
N: You know. She doesn’t believe — she had, actually, a fight . . .
N: I don’t think we hit it.
Q: I don’t think we did either.
N: My home’s straight ahead. It’s pretty big. This, mind you, used to be a camp and my husband bought it and we’ve been cleaning it up and this is our home. My husband built our house.
Q: It bothers me when you have those people who are always talking about the Devil. (“IT’S LIKE” “BB”) By them even harping on that all the time it suggests that they think that the Devil is stronger than God. (“WELL AND I”)
N: But, see, I don’t think . . .
Q: It’s a metaphor.
N: Now we live further back than Roselyn and Keith do.
Q: Oh look at this beautiful view here with the clouds and the light streaking through.
N: My husband just bought out —
N: . . . and we weren’t even together then. Now we’ve had to — this was a camp at one time. A camp. That’s it. A trailer was up there and a couple of the — like that barn there is an out building.
Q: Do you know what the Indians — (“WHO USED TO”) be here at one time?
Q: What were they?
N: I have the book in the house that’ll tell you what they were.
Q: Oh good. Okay.
N: But we have to clean, like, the building. See — he’s been splitting all the wood. And we have — this is going to be a turn-around driveway. He’s already started. And then we got the pool. This barn will be torn down and we want to build one to match.
Q: Oh you got a pool. I see. Yeah.
N: We want to build one to match our house.
N: Yeah — my kids always have to have a swimming pool.
Q: So any haunting stories in the area?
Q: Ghost haunting. Where?
N: Here. I don’t know what it is. (“HERE”)
N: (turns off motor) Don’t think I’m crazy but I’m telling you — here — I’ve had more experiences here —
Q: Right here where we are right now?
N: — in this house. And my husband built this house, himself. It’s still not completely finished but my husband built this himself. But there was a trailer and a campsite here. You can see over there — he still has to clear a little spot of the woods and we have to tear that barn down but for now it houses my horse over there, Dakota.
Q: I see
N: And then we have thirty-eight cows and they’re down further. I’ll take you down where my in-laws live and my husband owns the —
Q: And these are, like, healthy cows. You don’t —
N: Oh we raised them from bottles.
Q: And you don’t put any steroids or anything —
N: Absolutely not.
Q: I know. See —
N: No, we don’t. They get a shot of — what is it that they have to have when they’re born so that they don’t get worms and things like that — which is like an antibiotic when they’re first born. And we raise them to be — (leaves car)
( . . . )
Q: What kind of dog (“HE WAN”) is this?
N: He’s a Border Collie.
Q: Oh my God, he’s beautiful.
N: Now you stay down and you behave. He doesn’t jump.
Q: What’s the name?
N: My girls brought him home . . .
Q: ‘Mutt.’ Ahhhhhh.
N: And he will do whatever you tell him.
Q: How sweet. (“OH”) Mutt.
N: Stay down now . . .
Q: Is he an indoor dog?
N: He is in . . .
( . . . )
N: So I got the sheets out and I washed them and I hung them out so they have that fresh smell. (“OHH”)
Q: That’s so nice of you.
N: And here’s the closet.
Q: I love these rose designs on the lamp.
N: Oh do you?
Q: What is this called when it’s —
N: They’re just etched.
Q: Etched. (“OKAY”)
N: Yeah. (“JUST ETCH”)
Q: Was it flickering a little bit or —
N: It does that because it’s a touch lamp. See — touch it and it’ll go.
Q: There it goes again. (“YEAH”)
N: That’s my youngest daughter, Cammille, and her aunt.
N: It just does that.
Q: No, it’s fine.
N: But here’s — this is a big . . .
N: As you can see, it’s (the room) not finished yet.
Q: I think it is haunted after all. I like these up here.
N: Do you like that? This is — my husband did this. He said when he gets old this is where he’s going to sleep. So he wants deer in —
Q: This is almost like arts and crafts period style. I’m a docent at a . . . local museum.
N: Oh really?
Q: And they have the same — it’s a different set of images. They have something along the ceiling like that. A nice touch.
N: He picked it out. And, of course, there’s an angel in every room.
Q: Of course.
N: That’s my favorite picture and it’s everywhere.
Q: Which — (“I”) oh.
N: My kids — (“THEY” “GUARDIAN”) and my kids — I just — (“THEY”) they have it above their beds. They all do. Just walk around.
Q: And the leaves are very symbolic.
N: Yeah. And the deer. My husband went to Colorado at one time. By the way, that’s not a real gun.
N: That’s just a kit that he put together. That one is but —
Q: Oh I love these horses.
N: That is an antique.
Q: Oh yeah.
N: I got that at an auction.
Q: The white horse and the black horse.
N: Yeah. It’s called “The Black Stallion and the White Mare in the Storm.” (“ONE”) It’s storming and they’re huddling together.
Q: Yes, that is something like I would see at our museum. (“AND IT’S A”)
N: It’s a pine — this is pine.
Q: Oh that’s a beautiful frame.
N: It’s wood.
N: But I tried to clean it up the best I could. I don’t know what this — if somebody had painted it or it had gotten something on it but for $20 at an auction.
Q: Yeah, it has a lot of personality.
N: My kids —
Q: Let’s see what the view is like.
N: The view of the —
Q: How do we open this? Oh yes.
N: I mean it’s a little rough but we’re working on it.
Q: Oh a little spider. I had some of those where I used to live in Echo Park.
N: Spiders are everywhere.
Q: Do they crawl — they don’t crawl on you, do they?
Q: Once a spider crawled on me and it went down my shirt.
N: I’m scared to death of spiders and we don’t have any —
Q: It runs in our family.
N: We don’t have poisonous. I’m telling you — you could chase me ten blocks with a tiny spider. I am scared of spiders.
Q: That’s what — I’ve inherited that same thing.
N: And this is Candice’s room—my youngest daughter—but she never sleeps in here. And, of course, she has her favorite angel picture on the wall.
Q: Oh — which is lovely.
N: That’s her favorite picture and isn’t that something? She’s six years old.
Q: I could do without the “Space Jam” poster.
N: Yeah, r(eally) —
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: AT THE SLOWER TAPE SPEED THIS RESPONSE SOUNDS LIKE “YEAH NO.” THIS MAY BE A SPIRIT MESSAGE.)
Q: My own personal taste.
N: She just loves that picture
Q: I like the beautiful, lovely angel picture.
N: Isn’t it?
Q: One, two, three — let me count how many angels — three angels over here. Any more?
N: I think she does but I don’t know where they’re at.
Q: Are these Barbies along the wall?
N: Yes. Barbie.
Q: She gets around.
N: See, we just moved in here not very long ago so we’re trying to get everything — notice the Christmas tree in the corner that goes in the window. (“SO”)
Q: You were talking about how they were disallowing T-shirt designs — I bet if that was on a shirt they might have problems with that — the ‘Fearless’ —
N: Yeah. (“UM-HUH”) Things like that.
Q: Because people are so sensitive.
N: Um-huh. And this is the master bathroom. (“SO” “N LEE”)
Q: Oh —
N: I will clean it.
Q: Oh it’s clean.
N: No, it isn’t. It needs wiped off.
Q: You should see mine.
N: Here’s the kitchen. (“OH YEAH”) And this is the living room.
Q: Oh it’s nice —
N: And that’s —
Q: I like this lace.
N: Oh do you? (whispering) It’s so hot in here.
Q: Is it direct sunlight during the day?
N: What do you mean?
Q: You know — (“IT MEANS” “DUR”) like during the day do you have direct sunlight coming in —
N: Oh yeah. And there’s a skylight. Always there’s sun — (“OH WOW”)
Q: (Look how) high the ceiling is here.
N: It’s 18′.
Q: Oh my gosh.
N: At Christmastime my husband always gets at least a 15′-tree. (“LOOK OUT”)
N: But I’m not as great on the dusting as Rose is.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: PERSONALLY, SINCE THE AGE OF 20 OR SO, I’VE NEVER FELT COMFORTABLE PURCHASING DYING TREES FOR ADORNMENT. A COUPLE SMALL POTTED TREES THAT I’VE PURCHASED DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON OVER THE YEARS DIDN’T LAST LONG. I REMEMBER USING A FAKE ONE FOR SEVERAL YEARS.)
Q: Try — (“HANDEL” “I”) I can’t wait to see your expression as you try this delicious See’s candy. I like it even more than — what’s that the very fancy golden one — Lady Godiva.
N: Lady — oh Godiva chocolate.
Q: I like this more than Lady Godiva. The taste is very, very — (“OH I LIKE”)
N: I like things like this.
Q: Yeah, the old-fashioned.
N: Ahhhhhh. And I love nuts. I like the darkest.
Q: (small laugh) They’re all good. From experience.
N: Mmmmm. Delicious. Very delicious. Noggle-goggles — you wear them and the certain cartoon that comes on is in 3-D vision. And my kids have to have those for —
Q: What are your kids’ favorite shows?
N: Well, believe it or not, things like “The Brady Bunch.”
Q: “The Brady Bunch”?
N: “I Love Lucy.”
Q: On Nickelodeon?
Q: Uh-oh. I see something that I don’t like. This wicked witch scares me.
N: Oh God.
Q: She is horrible. My God, whatever possessed you to have something this horrible — (“YOUR”)
N: I know. Her hat needs glued back on.
Q: She’s horrible. (“OM THAT’S MY UH”) Where did you find her?
N: My mother brought her for me for Halloween last year. (hanging witch doll begins emitting a high-pitched noise)
Q: My God, she’s horrifying. With big black fingernails. And why are her hands out? You know what that is — ‘Give me your baby.’ The witches would take the babies —
Q: — and put them in a kettle and bake them.
N: My kids just think she’s the greatest thing.
N: Isn’t she awful? See her black —
Q: I wonder what she’s the icon of? I wonder what she’s the symbol of?
N: I have no clue but whoever made her did a good job with the wrinkles and — (phone rings) mm excuse me.
Q: And the bell?
N: (on way to phone) Here is a book you must read.
Q: Oh here it is. My God.
N: Yes. Yes, we are. Are you coming over? Okay. Um-huh. Come on over. Good. Well, come on over. Right.
Q: Who was that?
N: My mother. She’s coming over.
Q: Oh okay. Great. (“COMING OVER”)
N: She’ll fly right over.
Q: Well, I can’t wait to see — I’m going to try to get as much information as I can (“OF”) of my ancestry for McElhattan. I have my notes somewhere in my — I should put my (“MY” “PP”) unpack my suitcase real quick.
N: This is totally fantastic.
Q: I know. More — another reason for you to go the gym.
N: Mmmmm. (“NO”)
Q: Actually, it’s not so bad if you eat them occasionally. Like once a year I’ll have chocolates like this.
N: Ohhh. This is absolutely excellent. (“BUT IT’S A”)
Q: But see — well that’s another reason you can tell we’re related because I’ve tried all the different candies over the years and these are my favorite ones.
N: Deep dark chocolate is my favorite. (“W[ELL] TH[AN] Y[OU] SH[OULD] T[RY]”)
Q: The caramels are really good.
N: Mmmm. And this looks really good.
Q: Yeah, all the chews — ‘nuts and chews.’
N: Now here’s always fruit here and you get whatever you want. If you want anything to drink you get into the refrigerator. You get whatever you want.
Q: Oh okay.
N: There are always fresh apples. Naia just put the Indian corn in there.
Q: Our Line: A Celtic Scots-Irish Lineage/Narrative — McElhattan. (reading quote from inside front cover page) “If a man is fortunate he will, before he dies, gather up as much as he can of his civilized heritage and transmit it to his children. And to his final breath he will be grateful for this inexhaustible legacy, knowing that it is our nourishing mother and our lasting life.” Will Durant, The Lessons of History. (phone rings)
N: Hello? Hello? The — what? Yeah. Um-huh. Oh no — not me. Uh-huh. Yeah, you can’t. Oo it’s going. Well, I was eating chocolate too and that got up in there but it was worth it. Okay. I’ll get — I’ll make sure that’s out for you so he can get to it. She just has some boxes and stuff up on it. She’ll be home at eleven tonight. (“YES”) Seven in the morning. Oh yeah. (“YEAH”)
( . . . )
N: My mother-in-law.
Q: You lost part of your filling this morning?
N: Yes. I just went to the dentist the other day.
Q: How far do you have to drive to go to the dentist?
N: Just to Meadville. Twenty minutes. (“OKAY”) But I mean I cannot believe that — I was chewing gum, you know? And I always chew good gum that’s like — because I have a lot of dental work — and that doesn’t stick. And this piece of hard filling came right out with the gum.
Q: Ouch. And that’s when — you just bit down on the candy and ‘Owwwwww.’
N: Yeah. Just for like thirty seconds.
Q: So Laura Belle McElhattan — was she like (“THE”) one of the (“THE”) the earliest McElhattans?
N: And then the Indian thing is in there too.
Q: Oh — about the Indians. Okay, well I’m going to study this.
N: This is —
Q: What’s this — a cookbook.
N: This is Grandma’s cookbook. (“NONE” or “NUN”) This is Margaret’s cookbook. Now she started this cookbook when she married Ellen’s dad, Bill King. (“NO”) This has been over the years and she wrote this — “Margie” — Margaret is her oldest daughter. I found this letter in here. I had to tape it because it was starting to — and, mind you, she’s never seen —
Q: (reading) “Dear Margie, I love you. Your dad broke the family up. I will talk to you someday and tell you the truth.” Has she ever?
Q: “How are all your little children? This is the cookbook I cooked up when I lived with your dad. So I’m giving it to you. It’s old but good. I love you. God bless you and all. Love, Mom. See you sometime. I am going to Utah. My address —”
N: It never got to her — Margaret. I’d give it to her gladly someday if she would want it but I bet she wouldn’t.
Q: She’s the one who sort of hides.
N: Yeah. The one that your mom’s supposed to —
Q: Just like my mom. (“YEAH”)
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: AT THE SLOWER TAPE SPEED THIS SPIRIT MESSAGE SOUNDS LIKE “NO.”)
N: — your mom was really close to her.
Q: I wonder what secrets they share.
N: I don’t know. (“THEY”) This cookbook is so old. It was started in 1930.
Q: It’s nice to have some kind of family —
N: Grubby. Isn’t it?
Q: — things that you hand down from generation to generation.
N: And these are — but I would love to give this — (“TO MAR”) here’s my mail I was looking for the other day.
Q: Well, I think you were meant to have this.
N: You think so? (“YEAH” “BUT WHE[N]”) But it is to —
Q: The person who appreciates something —
N: I know but, see, this is to Margie. She wanted her — you can definitely see that she wanted her to have this. Do you see what I’m saying? So I feel funny about it. Now if I was to tell Margie someday, “This is for you unless you don’t want it”; and she gave it to me, I’d feel better. You know? (“WAS”)
Q: But you don’t even know where Margie is.
N: Yeah, I know where she’s at. She’s in Chapel Hill, North Carolina but she has her phone unlisted. And my aunt Marilyn does have the address and I’d like to give it to you for your mother.
Q: Okay. That’d be wonderful.
N: Because your mom said that — (“SHE”)
Q: She’d love to write her. (“YEAH”)
N: — she was very close to her and I think Margie comforted her.
Q: I guess. (“AND WAS” “FRIEND”) I’ve got her pictures.
N: Really? (“ANY”) Like I said, if you want anything to drink — (“OKAY”) mind you, I have all these kids.
Q: Let’s see —
N: There is fresh carrots, cantaloupe — (“I HAD”) there’s a cantaloupe down under here. (“THIS”) This juice is a must — crangrape.
Q: Crangrape — oh yeah.
N: Is that okay? (“OH”)
N: Okay. And I have apple juice. It’s in the back. . . .
Q: Look — you did the baking. Did you do this?
N: Yeah. Would you like a piece?
Q: Not right now — oh they’re fake. (“OH”)
N: (laughs) I always set these here. Everyone that comes here says, “Where did you find time to make two pies?”
Q: Exactly. That’s what I was thinking.
N: But everything’s — this is a family —
Q: You keep it very well organized and orderly.
N: Well, so far. Like I said I need —
Q: Aren’t you dying to look at the photos in the scrapbook?
N: I’m dying. (“WE”)
Q: Maybe we should wait. (“I DON’T KNOW”)
N: No. I’m ready for —
( . . . )
Q: You smoke?
N: I smoke.
Q: Someone as health conscious as you?
N: Oh yeah.
Q: Setting a good example for your children?
N: Someone who could eat this whole box of candy. (“IT’S”)
Q: You know what? Cigarettes are totally addictive. (“IT’S ALL”) It’s an addiction. (“IT I[S]”)
N: I agree.
Q: There’s nothing else to it. (“IT’S JUST”)
N: So what do I do to get — you know what? If I quit smoking — I quit smoking one time for four months.
Q: What you do is you read different life stories of different cancer victims.
N: I know.
Q: And then you stop.
N: Really? But I’ve been in a cancer ward before and seen people that have been dying.
Q: You still can’t stop — (“WHAT DOES THAT”) that tells you how addictive it is.
N: I know. And, you know, I know — (“IT’S”) my husband will smoke a cigar. A little Swisher Sweets Tip every now and then.
Q: Well, when you (“SINCE YOU”) worked in a cancer ward, do you think ‘It just won’t happen to me.’
N: I don’t know what I think. I don’t think — (“NO”)
N: I don’t know what it is with me. It’s a habit. I have smoked since I was thirteen years old.
Q: Well, that’s when they get you. That’s when those cigarette companies get you.
N: My mother is a smoker. And she always smoked. My father never touched a cigarette in his life and he never drank very much at all.
Q: That’s like me.
N: My father never drank — like ‘get drunk.’ (“NO”) Even as a teenager he was never like that ever. And my mother never drinks either but she smokes.
Q: And you have the chocolate —
N: And I’m just the overeating —
Q: — ‘aholic.’ (“TOO” “NO BUT YOU’RE”) You’re very svelte.
N: I suppose but I could be a little thinner. My ultimate thing is to weigh —
Q: How old are you again?
N: Thirty-one. I’ll be thirty-two —
Q: You’re young. (“ACTUALLY”) It starts getting to be difficult around the age of thirty-five. That’s when you got to — (“I WOULD START GOING”) I didn’t start going to the gym until I was thirty-nine.
Q: So I’d start before me. And I look pretty good.
N: Yes, you do. You’re —
N: — perfectly — like your picture. I love this picture. And I’m going to have this — I saved it for to go to the airport with. But I’m going to cut this out.
Q: Well, it’s on the back of the book too.
N: And I’m going to frame it — oh there is?
N: Oh great. (“IT’S THE”)
Q: It’s the back cover of the book.
N: This is a really great picture.
Q: Well —
N: I love this.
Q: Yeah. It’s alright.
N: Oh that’s a great picture.
Q: There’s a story behind it. (“SO”)
N: Is there?
Q: There’s a million stories in my book. (“NOW”)
N: I’m sure. (“A LOT OF PEOPLE” “I’M SURE” “PEOPLE”)
Q: What I like is when people read my book and it reminds them of things in their own lives. Like when I interview someone and they talked about — like an angel story (“A”) or a spirit story (“THEN YOU”) reminds you of something that happened to you once.
N: Now this is true. I can’t wait.
Q: I know what.
N: I’m so glad —
Q: I’m very self-conscious. (“IT”)
N: I will respect your wishes and I will —
Q: All the family secrets. It has my meetings with the genealogists.
Q: Unfortunately, I talked to my — you can see just how terrible my mom’s life has become through negativity and through dishonesty.
Q: She was drunk one time when I interviewed her.
N: Really? (“I DIDN’T REALI[ZE]”)
Q: I don’t think I realized she was — well — drunk when I started. (“NO”)
N: I have a grandmother on my father’s side who is an alcoholic. (“UM-HUH”) And she’s seventy-seven. And this is no lie. I never realized she was an alcoholic until she was fifty or sixty. And do you know — she could be smashing down drunk and you don’t know it.
Q: I know. I was listening to this — (“I WAS LISTENING” “DOCTOR”) Dr. Laura Schlessinger on the radio and there was this woman who was complaining and all of a sudden when Dr. Laura asked her about her husband’s drinking all of a sudden the caller couldn’t hear her. (“YOU KNOW IT’S LIKE”) People are in such denial —
Q: — they don’t want to face a certain problem — that they just can’t even hear it. (“A”) They won’t even face it. (O)kay well let’s go look at the scrapbook.
( . . . )
Q: Children are so wonderfully open when they’re that young. It doesn’t bother me because I’m around it so seldom that I enjoy the novelty of young children.
N: Put your seatbelt on because these two — especially my oldest has a real — (“OH”)
Q: Oh I think it’s dear.
N: And they fight like cats and dogs.
Q: I think that’s cute. I think it’s cute to observe. As long as I don’t have to be the one (“YOU KNOW”) who’s the disciplinarian.
N: I’m going to call my husband real quick and let him know I’m home and safe.
( . . . )
Q: Is it okay if I just wear a T-shirt around the house?
N: You wear — you do anything —
Q: I mean is it — weather-wise I mean what is it like?
N: Yeah, it’s going to be seventy-eight the next two days.
Q: And, of course, notice I always try to fold them so they aren’t wrinkled and notice what always happens.
N: Oh but that looks fine.
N: It’ll (“FF”) fall too.
Q: It’ll fall out.
N: Yeah. (“SO”) Cammille.
Q: So Candice and Cammille — (“TWO”) two names that begin with the letter C.
N: Um-huh. My husband picked out the name Candice.
( . . . )
N: . . . this Smith but I believe there is a King —
C: Oh look how cute she looked.
Q: She looked a lot like (“MY”) my twin brother. (“MY”) My brother has more of an angular face — why is it doing that? (cues) Oh.
C: Look at this picture.
Q: It’s running. (“RUNNI”)
C: She’s gorgeous.
N: Now where was this picture taken here?