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Interview with Patsy McManus and Debbie Cross

McManus, Patsy
Cross, Debbie
Sepulveda, Charlene
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with people and places; Stories and storytellers; Childhood adventures; Tolerance and respect; Then and now
Patsy McManus, with Debbie Cross, talks about a Fourth of July Celebration at the lake, funny stories from work, and jokes she played on her friend's siblings.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Charlene Sepulveda interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
CS(Charlene Sepulveda): All right, so, you might want to go ahead and begin telling your story now.
PM (Patsy McManus): OK, Debbie, help me along a little bit. What are we going to tell about? Lake Myers, on the Fourth of July. Um, what year was it? 1993.
DC (Debbie Cross): You reckon?
PM: Maybe.
DC: It's been more than five years. I know it has.
PM: Well, 1990.
DC: Alright.
PM: Um, right after Hugo. With-. \\
DC: \\ Yeah, it was after Hugo, wasn't it? Uh-huh. \\
PM: \\ With, with um, Vicki Huffstettler's family. \\ We were at Lake Myers on the Fourth of July, that's a campground. And um, where is it? Val-, not Valdese, where is it? Mocksville.
DC: Yeah.
PM: Mocksville. And um, they had a small, um, hometown American parade around the campground, and um-.
DC: Golf carts.
PM: -Yeah, with the golf carts.
DC: \\ Decorated golf carts for the holiday. \\
PM: \\ Nice decorated with the red, white and blue flags, and everybody's all decorated for the holiday. \\
DC: It's like the major event of the weekend.
PM: Yes it is in the campground. And um, [pause] they have a dance at night. Got a little open shelter around the lake. And um, they play all different kinds of music, country and rock 'n roll. And um-.
DC: Americana Fourth of July.
PM: -Yes, it was. And we were, um, all sitting around the campground during the day after the parade was over, we'd eaten our lunch, and uh, we were talking. And Vicki's family is a little different-.
DC: \\ They're a hoot. \\
PM: \\ -But \\ there were probably, what would you say, thirty people in our party. And um, we talked about, um, the bees, the bees were bad, yellowjackets, and uh, Vicki's mother calls them "bee bites" instead of, um, stings. And um, we sat around all day and talked, and then we went to the dance that night.
DC: No, before we went to the dance, we were going to cook out.
PM: Yeah.
DC: On the grill.
PM: Mmhmm.
DC: And they were getting it ready.
PM: Mmhmm.
DC: And one of them was saying, "You got to poke hoes in the foil."
PM: In the foil, at the grill, that's right. It, it's instead of "punching holes," it was "poke hoes." And um, that was from Vicki's mother. And um, so that night we ate and then we went down to the dance, and there was this storm, you could see a storm coming from the distance. And um, we were all at the dance, and um, there was a lot of people there. And, the band was playing, and, um, we were sitting on the metal tables, the picnic tables under the shelter. And, from the distance there was a clap of thunder, and the next thing we know, there's a streak of lightning and the lights went out. Of course everybody \\ got all upset-. \\
DC: \\ Total darkness. \\
PM: Because it was total darkness. No street lights, \\ nothing. \\
DC: \\ Mr. Myers. \\
PM: And Mr. Myers, everybody called him Old Man Myers.
DC: Yeah.
PM: He was a womanizer.
DC: Even if all the lights was off.
PM: And um, so Old Man Myers, when the lights came back on, or when they got the lanterns out finally, um, the lights came back on, or we were able to see-.
DC: But before that even we were wondering if Mr. Myers had been fried.
PM: Well, he was holding a live microphone, so we sort of thought maybe \\ he might not. \\
DC: \\ We wondered in the dark \\ if he had been fried. \\
PM: \\ Yeah, \\ he might have been electrocuted. But the lights came back on, um, he was OK, but he was a little shaken because he was holding the microphone, and um, we were afraid. He had on knee socks, and shorts, and a, and a straw hat.
DC: [Giggling]
PM: And, his knee socks were still up, and he was all in one piece, so we went on with the dance. And um, the next afternoon, well, the next morning, actually, we um, got up and ate our breakfast and then we headed back to the house.
DC: Oh, and tell about, um, and Vicki had a friend there, Ronnie-.
PM: Oh, \\ Ronnie.\\
DC: \\ Who didn't \\ have a hair on his legs.
PM: \\ We. \\
DC: \\ That boy didn't have a hair on his legs. \\
PM: At our campsite, um, like I said there was about thirty people in our group so at our campsite, right beside our campsite, there was a, um, trailer uh, next to us, and Ronnie Stevens, who was a friend of Vicki's at the time, he was there. And he's been known to drink a little too much, and he had certainly had his quota that day. And there was a bluegrass band set up next door. And we didn't know the people, but you know, the band was playing, and everybody was dancing, and everybody was singing, and, and you know, just listening to the band. Well he-sometimes thinks he's Elvis and he was singing and, and um, had his sunglasses on and um, sort of looked like Ronnie Millsap. And um, but he was just about loaded, everybody was laughing at him. We had a good time. And then the next morning, we um, left and came back home. And that was our Fourth of July at Lake Myers campground. Um, what else funny can I tell you about her family?
DC: Oh, gosh, there was so much. // Hmm. //
PM: // Hmm. //
DC: But a lot of it's um, [pause] a little raunchy.
PM: Yeah, a lot of it I, I wouldn't want to tell and put it in the archives for later use. Um, she's been married twice, and has three children and she's been my very best friend for, um, gosh, forty-five years. And Debbie here, who is helping me out, she's my very best friend.
DC: Oh.
PM: Has been for almost thirty years.
DC: Twenty-five years.
PM: Mmhmm, at least, yeah.
DC: \\ Almost our twenty-fifth anniversary. \\
PM: \\ Mmhmm, pretty near twenty-five years. \\ OK. And um, we have very interesting families. Especially Vicki's. Um, she has, there are five children in her family, and um, all of them are just a, their own person. And um, her mom and daddy, they're very welcoming people, and um, just, they don't even have to know you um, to welcome you into their family. They're real sweet people, but they're real different. Um-.
DC: Down to earth.
PM: -Yes they are. [Long pause] Don't want to tell anything about my own family. Not a whole lot to tell there, either.
CS: What about something about the office? After you tell them about, you know, Vicki being your friend.
PM: Well.
CS: And then you can, when you say something about Debbie, we worked together, and-.
PM: Did at Bradford Clinic. \\ I was there for-. \\
CS: \\ Something, something about in there. \\
PM: -Five years, and um, let's think about some of the, oh, well, the only things I can think of are bad things. Um, we had some interesting people that worked at Bradford Clinic when I was working there. Um, we had one girl who, um, since I left Bradford Clinic and since she left, she has um, gone downhill, somewhat.
DC: [Giggles]
PM: Tried to commit suicide several times. Um, we had three people at the front desk.
DC: What about um, back on um, Elizabeth Avenue, when um, somebody came in there saying, what was it? [Pause] "Let in the doctor, want it cut?"
PM: Oh, yeah. She came in at lunchtime, and um, \\ was kind of quiet. \\
DC: \\ And wanted a thoat doctor. \\
PM: Yeah, uh, and this lady wanted, uh, wanted to see a doctor, and, which, she didn't have an appointment, and I asked her, I said, "Well, you know what kind of a doctor do you need to see?" And she said "One that cuts." And, course, we, we were surgeons, but I don't think we were the kind of doctor that she needed. So we sent her on her way. And uh, then there was another lady who came in who uh, what did she want, Debbie? A thoat-.
DC: -A thoat doctor.
PM: Wanted a doctor for her thoat. And we couldn't understand what she meant. And she was talking about a throat doctor instead of thoat. And [pause].
DC: And, and tell about the, one of the nurses came out calling, calling, "fetch her back," she called her name a couple of times.
PM: Oh, yeah.
DC: And she didn't get any answer.
PM: One of our nurses came out to the door and called the patient, she called her uh, "Miss Landis?" And she looked around the waiting room and nobody answered, and she looked at the chart again and she said "Miss Landis?" And nobody answered. And the lady's name was Miss Brown, and she was from Landis. And she's the same nurse who called a patient back and got her so upset she started undressing at the scales. \\ Um-. \\
DC: \\ And one \\ patient she called by her address.
PM: Yes, she did.
DC: "Anthony Circle?"
PM: Anthony Circle, she sure did, I never will forget that. Um, oh, about my grandmother. My grandmother, on my mother's side, um, me and my cousin used to give her quite a fit. He did. And I followed right in behind him. And she had uh, a house over off the Plaza, on Lydia Avenue. It was a big house, and it had a, you went through the, dining room into the kitchen and it made a complete circle, so we ran from her. Every time she would get after us for doing something wrong, we'd run from her. And um, she would chase us with the hickory switch and tell us that she was going to "beat our twatty." And I guess that meant that she was going to spank us. We never found out, 'cause we kept running from her. Um-.
CS: In circles?
PM: -Yeah, we ran in circles. And um. [long pause]
DC: Something about, um, was it, [pause] who was it, Vicki's grandmother? Who they used to fool all the time, or \\ something. \\
PM: \\ Oh, Lord. \\ Um, yeah. My friend, again, my friend Vicki, she um, had four bothers and sisters, and she was the oldest. So we were supposed, me and her were supposed to um, take care of her brothers and sisters while her Mom and Daddy went out one Saturday night. And her grandmother lived with them. Her mother's mother. And um, we were there, all of us were there one Saturday night and her grandmother was in her room, we weren't allowed in her grandmother's room or anywhere near the door. And she was in her room, watching her TV, and uh, we uh, knocked on the door and told her that she had won something on the radio. And, um she came out, opened the door, and Vicki was up, or we had put Vicki's little brother up against the door, and just as she opened the door, he fell in. And of course, he got a spanking for that. And, one night, uh, we were there again babysitting and uh, Vicki's grandmother was in her room, and everything was quiet, it was about ten o'clock, and all the little kids were in the bed, and we were the only ones up, since we were the oldest. And uh, we flipped the lights on, and told her younger brother and sister, who were at the time probably about seven or eight years old, we said, "OK, kids, it's time to get up and go to school." So they got up, and uh, got their clothes on, and then we told them, when they were heading out the front door, that it was just ten o'clock at night, they need to go back to bed. That was kind of sad, and bad of us to do that, but we couldn't help it.