Interview with My Mother

Home | Video | Remembering a Friend | Interview with My Mother | The 23rd Pslam

Mom and I spent some time last year talking about a few of her favorite things, memories, and family.
The following are some of the things that she told me.


[John]: "What do you remember about your home growing up?"


[Carol]: "I do remember one place where we lived.  There was a little girl who lived across the street.

Her name was Mona.  She had short brown hair.

Her name was Mona Lisa.

One day Mona Lisa and I went downtown with another boy in the neighborhood… I think his name was Tommy.

We had a wagon so we took that too.  We went downtown to go look in the windows of all the stores... we didn’t tell anyone that we were going to go downtown.

And so, as you can imagine, we all got in trouble for going downtown and not telling anyone.  We came back and got in trouble because no one knew where we were."


[Grandma Brown notes]: "Mona Lisa had a black tooth right in front."



[Grandma Brown]:  “Her dad made beer… they had all these beer bottles in the back yard.  Carol and Mona Lisa threw them all over the fence and they all ended up in the street."



That house when we bought it had a model of Globe in the back yard.   It had concrete streets laid out.  With little toy cars and toy trucks.  The houses had lights in them.  At least half the back yard was this thing.  The buildings were about a foot tall.  The sidewalk that ran across the back of the house was one of the original streets.


[John Erstad]:  “That guy missed his calling.”


[Grandma Brown]:  “That guy was an idiot.”




Mom remembers when they were living in Yuma.  Her mother took her to the shoe store one time in San Diego.

Naomi lived in San Diego and they went to the pediatrician there – Phoenix was too far away.


When Carol was 5 years old, she saw red patton leather shoes at the store (in San Diego).  But they couldn’t afford them.  They had to get John (Erstad) a pair of shoes – but couldn’t afford to get them for Carol.


She carried the shoe box home so happy thinking that it was her pair of shoes.

When she got home she opened the box.


[Carol]:  “I was sooo disappointed, I wanted to cry…. It was just aweful”.

"Then I wore black patton leather shoes.  Had white gloves."




[John]: "What personality did you inherit from Grandma Brown?"


[Carol]: "Compassion."

"Grandma Brown is sweet, calm, and honest".


[John]: "What is your happiest memory with your mother?"

[Carol]:  “Having her sit there and rock me to sleep at night and rock me to sleep when I was sick...

She’s just an awesome person, I wish I could be more like her.”


[John]:  "What is your most painful memory?"


[Carol]:  “My father dying."




[Carol]:  about her father  He ALWAYS used to insist on watching the news."

"He would let mom have a sip of his beer – then he would tell her to go breathe in Grandma’s face."


[Carol]: "It was a pain in the neck trying to get ready to go to the bus.  Most of the time my mother would take me and drop me off on the way.  This one day I missed the bus and so I was down there walking to school, and I had no other way to school.  So here I was walking to school down by Crestline steakhouse and somebody found me and reported me to my mother."


Carol remembers after school --

"Toto was there to greet me."  "It depended on

Dad -- he was there after he had his stroke…. After 8th grade.

He died my sophomore year of high school."


"First grade, I had dancing after school and I just hated it."




[John]:  "What was your biggest fear?"



More of this interview coming soon.  Please check back.