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I interviewed "Mary", 50+ African-American female, on the inbound bus (heading downtown).

Mary boards the bus at the transit station after our talkNovember 15, 11:40am,
RH: Is it ok if I ask you a few questions?

M: Sure, are you at UK?

RH: Yes, ma’am

M: My daughter that just returned from Little Rock last year, teaches a class or two a semester at UK. She lives with me now.

RH:  You must be very proud of her.

M: Yes, I am. I have another daughter, too, that lives with me. You have any children?

RH: A daughter, age 8. She was hoping it would be cold enough to snow instead of rain today (laugh).

M: Oh, I remember those days with my girls. We’d find something to do and it would last 30 minutes or so and then they’d say they were bored and I’d make up some craft for them to do.

RH: At our house, it takes us longer to get ready to go out into the snow than the actual amount of time we spend out there. Hopefully, there’s enough snow for a snowman and then back inside for hot chocolate.

M: I didn’t get much of that when I was a kid. My parents died in ’89. My mama is only 15 years older than me, my daddy’s only 16. They were so young and died so young. My daddy was in the concrete business. He did the work on all these buildings here. (she points out the window as we drive onto campus).

Mary's grandpa's concrete history

RH: Do you think of that as you pass by these buildings when you ride the bus?

M: Oh, yes (she nods). All the time. When my grandpa was older, he did stairs. Daddy would give him little jobs like that and I would help. There are still some stairs out there we did. They came to live with me at the end. I wouldn’t let them pay for anything. I paid rent, bills, food. After daddy died we found a jar where he had put all that money, checks, loose change, all of it. We used the money for his funeral.

RH: Wow. Where are you going today?

M: Downtown to the transit center.

RH: Do you work downtown?

M: I work for the city. I inspect nursing home facilities. I spent three years in the pharmacy school at UK, but this seems to suit me. I’ll report people. Some of these folks are so trusting with their money and they’ll get taken. It’s sad. But my job is to report problems with the facility. I’ll report people being taken advantage of to the state though.

We pull up to the transit center.

RH: I had a lovely time talking to you today.

M: You, too, dear. And I hope it snows for your little girl soon.

RH: (laughs) Not too soon!

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