Talking With Lary Ann

"Don't be. He's better off this way."


"Well if he hadn't had that accident he'd probably end up bein' dead by now. We have our own house. We rent it for about $35 a month and we got about 8 rooms. It's not expensive. It's nice down here. We used to make our own ice cream you know. You can't get ice cream up here like that.

"I wanted to come to New York and I had a chance to so I jumped at the chance. I was 17. I didn't know anyone when I came up here. I came up here through some people by the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. People put us up.

"First job I got was workin' in W. 4th St. I was on my 18th year when I went to Lincoln Center. I lived with a girl friend so I didn't have to pay no rent. Then I was livin' alone. I had John Paul in 1969, and Mandy in 1970.


"I'm not gonna have any more kids. No thanks I don't need any more."

"Do you want to get married?"

"Probably. But I don't know about that yet."

"Do you want to go back home? Do you have any plans for the future?"

I THINK I might go back down there to visit but I wouldn't go back down there to live. For one thing I've grown out of it. I'm trying to get into nursing right now. Well, I have put in at the hospital and you train and at the same time you get paid. I wouldn't usher then, 'cause I wouldn't know if they'd want me day or night. A practical nurse, that's what I want to be."

"How do you live on $54 a week?"

"Well, rent that's $31.50. How much do I spend on groceries? That question's a little bit hard to answer. I'd say about $5.00 a week. That's now. I used to spend more than that. Lately, the last couple of months, I just been havin' one meal a day. I walk by places and find bargains. It takes me about 3 or 4 hours and I like to do that. I find the cheapest place that's a good place and mostly I buy meat. I buy livers and fish. They're the cheapest things you can buy right now. Clothes? I hardly ever buy those. I have about 3 dresses now. I just bought one to wear to work; one of them with long sleeves for the wintertime. I gave one away to the Salvation Army, when I moved into this place. It seemed like what I should do.

I used to go out with my girlfriend to nightclubs. But I don't do that no more. Drinking makes me gain more weight. I found that out. At least I don't go that often. I used to work at a nightclub. I was a door lady. I done a lot of things here.

"You sure you don't want nuthin' to drink? I'm going to get another coffee. I used to drink a lot of coffee but I was told it didn't help any. Now I'm trying to cut it down."

SHE COMES back with another cup. I ask her if she spends much money on movies.