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Who I Am

Evelyn Schwartz, 83, Oregon Hill resident [Interviewed last week from her hospital bed, after breaking her hip.]

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My happiest time is when I lived down on Pine Street. I couldn't do nothing much 'cause my momma wouldn't let me go nowhere. She was real strict. I don't drink or smoke or nothing. I cuss a little. But I don't use no vulgar talk. My momma would have killed me.

My husband, Curtis, and I met when I was living down on Pine Street and he was living on China Street. The attraction was just ordinary, I reckon. We started going together. It's been a right good while since he passed away.



All that dope is on my block. That's what has changed. I just stay in my house and do my work. Then I come out and wait for the mailman. I don't have any help around the house now. My boy Aubrey, he's in the adult home. He had two strokes.



I don't know when I'll get to go home. I've got cats that keep me company. One is Peter Cottontail, the other is Cross-eyed Bill and another is Gray. Then I got that little white poodle, Snowball. My daughter goes and tends to them. I reckon that's why she hasn't gotten here.



I hurt so bad I'm about to die. They've given me something to ease the pain but it ain't done much. Every time I take a couple sips of [juice] I've got to use the bathroom.



They're supposed to take me to rehab for my hip. Lord, if they don't come on I'm going to get up out of this bed and crawl out of here, jump out of the window or do something. Hell. This pain is murder.



I like having visitors. They ask me questions and I try to answer them, that is all. I wish my daughter would hurry up and come on. She knows more about what to talk about and different things. She makes me feel better..

— Interviewed by Brandon Walters, Photographed by Scott Elmquist



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