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5 – John Transcript

[Hometown theme music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown. Created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert.

[Music fades out]

Kiera: Hello and welcome back to Hometown! If this is your first time with us- welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. I have a very special episode for you today. Today’s guest, John, is a father of two absolutely precious little girls. When I showed up for the interview, he answered the door a bit… frazzled. He explained that bedtime had run a little late that night and so he still had some things to do before he could talk to me. I asked him if it was anything I could help with, and he said he just had to tuck in his girls and tell them a story. So… naturally, I told him that stories are just what I’m looking for and asked if I could possibly sit in with my microphone. After a really long and frankly painful silence, he said he guessed it would be fine.  And I’m glad he did! I think you’re really going to enjoy it. I’m going to share the audio from my interview with him first, and then the story he told. So… here it is!

[Cut to the interview]

Kiera: Okay, I’m recording again.

John: Oh uh okay. Should I say something in particular?

Kiera: You can just introduce yourself if you’d like. Whatever you’re comfortable with.

John: My name is John and I… uh… well I uh… don’t really know what to say. I have two kids, but they would have just heard that right?

Kiera: I’ll probably put the interview first in the episode.

John: Oh okay. Well I have two little girls.

Kiera: How old are they?

John: One is six, the other is five. But they’re about a year and a half apart. T- uh, the older one is almost seven.

Kiera: How cute.

John: Yeah, and they get along pretty well. Hopefully that lasts.

Kiera: How long have you lived here?

John: A while… we moved here right after college. When I got married, we chose to live here because of a job opportunity for the uh, wife. Never had a good reason to leave. I don’t love my job, but I don’t think I could ever risk it by leaving it without having another one lined up. Plus the girls like it here, and they’re in school now. I’d hate to uproot them. And then there’s the memories of my wife.

Kiera: Do you want to talk about..?

John: Uh, not really. Not cause it’s too painful or anything like that. I just… I don’t think we need to go there.  She died four years ago. It’s been a while. We all get by.

Kiera: Alright. I understand.

John: But yeah, we uh… moved into the house when we decided to start a family. Live the American dream. Stable job, nuclear family. All that stuff. And… well, we’re still here. [He chuckles] It’s the right amount of space. Not too big, not too small. Nice backyard for the girls to run around and [He chuckles] play princess in. They get picked up by the school bus, and there’s a daycare close by for the summers. I try to be here for them as much as possible, but I also want to provide them with everything they could ever need. Which means working long hours sometimes. Well actually a lot of times. Our next door neighbor is sweet though, and she takes care of them sometimes when I have to work late. [laughing]And she brings us casseroles. I can cook, but it is hard to keep up with all of it, so I still appreciate it.  You know, all the job, the cooking, the cleaning, and just trying to be there for them. I pretty much run on coffee. [he laughs] I drink probably at least four cups, but some days it’s more. Especially on long nights when I put the girls to bed for the night, roll up my sleeves, and start cleaning the house. I barely get any sleep at all on those nights.

My whole world revolves around the girls. I don’t want them to have to miss out on anything. I get up every morning, make sure they eat breakfast and get all their books, and do their hair. I’m pretty good at braiding.  It took me a while to learn though. And I pack them lunches almost every morning. I don’t know. I just try to give them all the things that the other children have, and more, if possible.

Kiera: They seem happy.

John: I hope so. It makes me happy when they’re happy. They’re my entire world. I can already tell that uh, the older one is real smart. She’ll probably go way beyond my abilities before too long. They’re both going to do amazing things. And I’ll always be their dad, making sure their backpack is zipped up before they run out the door. I won’t be able to keep up with them forever, but I’ll make sure they never turn back and don’t see me there cheering them on. Of course, my job is rather demanding, there’s nothing I can do about that, but I make it work. Maybe someday I’ll be able to work from home. That would make things much easier.


Kiera: What was it like when you moved here?

John: Um, it was nice. I mean, it’s kind of a quiet town. But we liked it a lot. When we moved here we had just gotten married. She had the job lined up, and I started applying as soon as I got here. The first month or so though I was just kind of… fixing things up. We had a little apartment, but it was pretty much a disaster. I had a deal with the landlord that he would reduce the rent while I kept fixing things up. It was nice. I like working with my hands sometimes, and it impressed my wife, which was definitely a bonus. And then after a while, I managed to get a job. Nothing special, just your typical office job.  I was here for her anyways. She was always the one who was meant for great things. She had sparkling energy and big dreams. I was just happy to be along for the ride.

But uh, yeah we liked it here a lot. I mean, we liked it here enough to stay right? I can’t say I have a lot of friends here. We did when we first moved here, and then we had the first baby and we kind of talked to them less, and then when she died they all tried to help, but eventually, they just realized I needed to be left alone. I guess I just didn’t really have time to keep up with all of them. Anyways I knew they mostly came around for her. I’m… not the most sociable person, and it started to feel pretty awkward once we got off of the subject of her. I tend to come across a bit cold I suppose. [Pause] But I do like it here. It’s a good place for the girls to grow up. Plenty of opportunities in school. And I can take them to ballet on Saturdays just five minutes away. They really like ballet.

The older one likes it more than the younger one I think. The younger one is more into rough and tumble stuff. But it’s good for both of them I think. And they have friends in their classes. If she decides it’s not for her after a while she can try something else. Maybe I’ll turn into a soccer mom. [He laughs]

Kiera:  [also laughing] Please no.

John: I think that might be good for her though. We’ll see.

[Cut to next scene]

Kiera: Okay I’m recording now. And you’re sure this is okay?

John: Sure. Say hi girls.

The Girls: hi…

John: Okay we’re just going to go to bed like normal, and uh Miss Kiera, is just going to sit over there. Did you both brush your teeth?

Girl 1: Yes.

John: Okay then, are you ready for a story?

Girl 2: [Excited] Yes!

John: [Softly laughing] Okay okay. Let me think…

Girl 1: Tell the one about the knight and his two fairies!

Girl 2: that’s my favorite!

John: [Joking] I don’t think I remember that one… let me think…

[The girls giggle]

Girl 1: Stop Daddy! Tell the story!

John: Alright alright! Once upon a time there was a knight called Sir Fix-a-Lot.

Girl 2: Why did they call him that?

John: Because Sir Fix-a-Lot could fix anything that was broken in all of the lands. Once, there was a big competition between all of the knights of the round table to see who could fix the most things in a day, and Sir Fix-a-Lot won the competition, as well as the heart of the fairest lady in all of the land… but that’s a story for another night.

So because of this and many other honorable deeds, Sir Fix-a-Lot gained some respect in the King Arthur’s court. But Sir Fix-a-Lot was not a very good fighter. And everyone knows the number one job of a good knight was to fight for king and country, and win jousts and duels and tournaments too. But Sir Fix-a-Lot was still one of the happiest knights in the entire land. Do you know why?

Girl 2: The fairies!

John: That’s right. You see, Sir Fix-a-Lot, though his talents were somewhat limited, had been trusted with a very important and special task. The king of the fairies had visited Sir Fix-a-Lot a couple of years before and asked him to take care of two young fairies. They couldn’t stay in the land of the fairies, because they were princesses, and they would be in danger if anyone knew where they were. So they stayed with Sir Fix-a-Lot because no one would suspect that a knight who wasn’t skilled in combat would be trusted with the princesses of the fairies! But Sir Fix-a-Lot did his very best to take care of the fairies. He made a very special bed for them in the drawer where he used to keep his socks.

Girl 2: Eww did it smell like dirty feet in there?

John: [He laughs] No he cleaned it out first, silly. And anyway he had only kept clean socks in it before. But he made them a very nice bed in his drawer, and he brought them the sweetest cakes every day to eat because as you know, cake is the only food that fairy princesses eat. Except for very special occasions, on which they eat brussel sprouts, their favorite food.

Girl 1: Yuck.

John: And so Sir Fix-a-Lot had one of the most important jobs of anyone in the land. But he also had to have another job, to keep his title of knight of the round table, and so he could buy the cakes and brussel sprouts for the fairies. And so he was assigned to the task of watching over the gate into Camelot.

Unfortunately, this was not exactly a very fun job. In fact, it was an extremely boring job. All day he had to say the same thing over and over, sitting on a horse, and reading long, boring lists of everything that people brought into and out of Camelot. And so he had to leave the fairies every day and go to this long boring, boring job. But he wouldn’t get too sad about how boring it was, for one simple reason. The two little fairies were in the process of learning how to use magic. And they worked hard every day to learn how to use all of their very special skills. And one day, a while back, when he came home, they were so excited to give him a gift! They had made a picture of the three of them, a memory from a night when they all were having a lot of fun together.

Sir Fix-a-Lot counted this picture as his most prized possession. He kept it with him all day, and whenever he felt sad or didn’t have the strength to keep plowing through his boring, boring job, he would take it out and look at it and remember how lucky he was to have the two fairies under his care. And so the three of them were happy for all of their years together.

Girl 1: Did the fairy princesses have wings?

John: They sure did. The most beautiful wings you had ever seen.

Girl 2: Did they get to fly whenever they wanted?

John: They had to practice flying. Flying is very similar to dancing. It’s a skill that takes many years and lots of hard work to master, especially if you want to stick the landing.

Girl 2: I want to be able to fly…

Girl 1: What kind of cake did they eat?

John: All kinds. Sir Fix-a-Lot was great friends with the palace cook, and so she would give him cakes of all kinds for the fairies to enjoy.

Girl 1: Did they wear very pretty dresses?

John: They did, they were made of… hang on I see what you girls are trying to do here, you’re trying to ask me a bunch of questions so you can stay up later aren’t you? Well that’s not going to work on me. It’s time for bed.

Girl 1: Please daddy one more story?

John: Not until tomorrow night. Good night silly girls.

[Cut to next part]

Kiera: Thank you for listening to Hometown. And as always, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[Outro music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown is created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Today’s episode featured the voices of Aubree Seibert as Kiera,  Nick Armstrong as John, and Valorie Hall and Cate McKay as the girls. Original music was composed by Jonathan Sandy. Find more of his work on spotify under Jonathan Sandy. Graphic design by Hannah Perkins.

Special thanks this week goes to John Bonney for donating to our indiegogo campaign.

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Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you for our next episode Sarah on May 30th.

Until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story.