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Interview with Maria Polk

Polk, Maria
Thomas, Jo
Date of Interview: 
Then and Now; Relationships with People and Places; Stories and Storytellers
Maria Polk talks about how she enjoyed reading encyclopedias as a child, and how she now reads to her niece.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Jo Thomas interviewed Charlotte residents to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
JT (Jo Thomas): Welcome back to our show! OK. This is Maria, and I don't know your last name.
MP (Maria Polk): Polk.
JT: Oh that's good. From Polkton, Maria Polk. OK. And where did you grow up? Were you
born in this area here? MP: I was born in Cottonville. Right outside of Norwood in Stanley County.
JT: Oh, OK. When you were little, did your mom read you books, or did somebody read you books in your house?
MP: My mama read to me and my sister.
JT: Uh-huh. What kind of books were your favorites? Do you remember any that were maybe a real favorite of yours?
MP: Mm, I kind of liked them all. Um, I didn't really have a favorite.
JT: No? Any particular types, like ones with pictures or [pause]. Can you think of a story that they told you that you liked for them to read over and over?
MP: Um, I think my favorite was like, Little Red Riding Hood. I loved that book.
JT: Little Red Riding Hood? So when you read to yourself did you read different stories than the ones they would read to you?
MP: Mmm, basically, something different.
JT: Did you get to go to the library when you were little?
MP: Uh-huh, all the time.
JT: Yeah. So, you would check books out?
MP: Uh-huh. Mostly, I liked to spend time reading encyclopedias--
JT: Oh, really?
MP: When I was little.
JT: You like to read encyclopedias. In your family, do you remember if there was any storyteller?
MP: Well, my uncle was always telling stories and, uh, we had this house across the street from where I grew up that was old and he ever finished it. He started it and he told stories that, um, um, men being in it that house at night and stuff and for us not to go outside at night.
JT: Would he scare you?
MP: Yeah. So we, at a certain time, we were scared to go over there because we'd always go outside and look at the house across the street.
JT: Um, did he tell stories to big groups of people, or just one-on-one?
MP: Just to our cousins and all of us that hung around each other all the time.
JT: Uh-huh. Now, do you have kids at your house?
MP: No. Only, only on Sunday, my niece and nephew and my cousins.
JT: Uh-huh. Do you like to read to them? Do they bring their books over?
MP: I read to my niece. She likes the pop-out books.
JT: Uh-huh. How old is she?
MP: She's, ah [pause] six. She likes the pictures that pop out at you. She likes for me to read them to her.
JT: Can she read to herself yet?
MP: Not yet, but she tries to. Mostly, she just looks at the pictures.
JT: Is she, what grade is she in? Do you know?
MP: She's in kindergarten.
JT: She's in kindergarten? OK. That's pretty much all I need to know, about how you liked reading and things when you were little. Is there anything else you'd like to say about this, that comes to your mind?
MP: No, not so much.