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Interview with Whitney Sikes

Sikes, Whitney
Phelps-Sikes, Susie
Date of Interview: 
Stories and storytellers
Whitney Sikes talks about stories she has heard.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Susie Phelps-Sikes interviewed Charlotte, NC residents to collect various stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
SS (Susie Phelps-Sikes): What stories or books do you remember reading as a child that you read?
WS (Whitney Sikes): Um, I used to read a lot in kindergarten. Um, we used to make our own books.
SS: How big were the books?
WS: They were like five pages long.
SS: How many words did they have on each page?
WS: About seven words.
SS: Did they have a picture of the cat? Would you do what? Would you-?
WS: Draw it.
SS: Draw it in?
WS: Yes.
SS: Um, did you read any, any books as a, a preteen like, like fourth, fifth grade, any of those Nancy Drew books?
WS: I read Sweet Valley books.
SS: Sweet Valley Twins?
WS: Yeah.
SS: OK. What stories or books do you remember someone reading to you? Did you have a favorite one?
WS: Um, Good Night Moon.
SS: That was your favorite one? Who would read that to you?
WS: My mom.
SS: And what did you like best about it?
WS: It had big colorful pictures.
SS: Yeah? Was it a big book or a little book?
WS: The book was pretty big. It was long.
SS: What kind of shape would you say it was?
WS: Rectangular.
SS: Rectangular? Um, where, where, where'd she usually read that to you?
WS: In my room right before I would go to sleep.
SS: Did you enjoy that one a lot?
WS: Yes, because it talked about going to sleep and stuff.
SS: Um, do you remember any, um, family members telling stories? Did you have anybody in your family that was good at telling stories?
WS: My dad and my grandmother.
SS: What kind of stories did your, does your dad tell you?
WS: Stories from his childhood and how he used to get in trouble with his brothers.
SS: Can you think of one in particular that he would tell-.
WS: Yeah.
SS: -He seemed to tell a lot?
WS: How when he-, his grandparents lived on a farm down in Georgia and him and his brothers would always go down there. One day they had gone fishing and they were bringing home all the fish they had caught. He wanted to show his parents, and he had to go through the, the pigs to get to the farm house from the lake and he had all his fish on a string and they were dragging behind him because they were too long pick up, and all of a sudden the hogs started eating all of his, um, fish. He wouldn't let loose of the fish because he was so proud that he had caught a lot of them. And then his grandmother who was like four foot eleven came and she like jumped the fence and started beating the hogs. She was like, "Michael, drop the fish." And he wouldn't drop the fish.
SS: OK. And then you said your grandmother also is a good storyteller.
WS: She knows a lot of family stories but she also makes up, like when I was little she used make up ghost stories and tell them.
SS: Was there a particular story that she made up that would have a recurring theme?
WS: Toot and Scoot were two characters she always made up and she'd tell us about the adventures that they'd go on.
SS: What kind-, can you remember any adventures in particular that, uh-?
WS: Just like going to the fair or something.
SS: Um, how about, uh, your friends? Do you have any friends that are good storytellers?
WS: Um, a couple of girls on my soccer team. Sara Burbank is a pretty good storyteller.
SS: Yeah.
WS: ( )
SS: Was she very descriptive or-?
WS: Yeah.
SS: Is it about people that you know or-?
WS: People in our group and people I have heard of that don't really know the rest of the team.
SS: How about-, is there another girl that, um-?
WS: There is a girl on my team that we always make up stories about, you know and telling stories. She lives in Rutherfordton and I tell my friends in Gastonia about Liz Rudolph. She, she's kind of spastic. And, oh, she always has funny things happen to her like her little sister got a new bike for Christmas and her little sister she was like Molly was scared to go down this big hill on the bike. "Oh, Molly, there's nothing to be scared of, I will ride it down for you." She's on a very small bike and she's going down this hill and she looks down and sees the front wheel shaking side to side and she was like, "Oh, God. I'm going to fall off." So she puts her feet down and, um, the bike flips and she falls and she breaks like three of her fingers on her hand. She's in a cast and Molly is terrified to get on her bike.
SS: [Laughs] Um, what was, uh, what was the reaction of most people when your dad would tell stories?
WS: They'd think he was funny, he would make people laugh.
SS: Was there a particular place you are when he's telling these stories?
WS: Either on the way to his parents' house or when we're going down there to eat at Thanksgiving.
SS: Are you usually around the kitchen table?
WS: Sometimes.
SS: Or outside?
WS: Yeah.
SS: Um, how about when, uh, you are getting together with your soccer team at UNCC? Do you, uh, all stay up all night telling stories?
WS: Sometimes.
SS: In the dorm?
WS: Yes.
SS: What kind of stories do you like to tell?
WS: Stories that actually happen like funny things like the country bulldog.
SS: What was one of the funniest stories you've, uh, seen recently?
WS: My sister, she's funny. She tells a story about a guy named Chubby // [laugh]. //
SS: // [Laugh] Well, // tell me a little bit about Chubby. What does she do?
WS: She takes her face and squishes it all together and makes it all fat. And she goes, "Hi, my mama's name's Chubby, my dad's name's Chubby, my sister's name's Chubby, my brother's name's Chubby. My whole family's named Chubby." And this is all while her face is all squished up and it would be like, "One day we ran out of food, we went to Bi-Lo and got some food." And it goes on and on while her face is all squished up [laugh], it's really funny.
SS: Can you show me what the face looks like? [Laugh]
WS: "Hi, my name's Chubby," [laugh].
SS: [Laugh]
WS: It's not funny unless she does it.
SS: Well, maybe I'll pull her in and get her to show us Chubby.
WS: Yes.
SS: Is that a good idea?
WS: Yes.
SS: OK, thank you Whitney.