Place item was collected
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
John Pope is my father. He was born in the Salt Lake area of Utah but spent most of his growing up years in Vernal, Utah where his father transferred while working for Wheeler Machinery. He lived on a small hobby farm with his parents and siblings from the time he was 6 years old until he was 16. He then moved to Las Vegas with his family for the last half of high school. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with my mother and younger siblings. He is 45 years old. He comes from a Mormon background and is still very religious, but he has a great sense of humor. He is the 3rd child out of 6 siblings and has always been known by his siblings as the tease. He likes to make people laugh especially when they are feeling down.
I interviewed my father over the phone in a series of phone calls because he still lives in New Mexico and I’m away for college. I would call and ask him to tell a story and then we would end the call so that I could check my recording. I had previously had trouble with recording so I wanted to make sure to capture everything. Every Time I picked up the phone he would answer the phone with some sort of joke before going on to tell me about a story or saying that he had. The atmosphere was really laid back because he and I talk on the phone fairly regularly and he was recounting a familiar story from his childhood that he often told me as a child. He usually just tells the story to his kids or at large family reunions because his siblings like to listen to his humorous retellings of the many times he scared or teased his younger sister Susan. Teasing is one of the ways that my father shows love.
Ok well in high school you know I went to early morning seminary and Susan usually she'd go after school to seminary and but every once in awhile she would cause she was in band she'd have to go to practice or something after school and so she'd go to early morning seminary on those days and she'd set an alarm clock you know for like 4:30 so she'd have enough time to get her hair ready and makeup on and everything and she's let ring until she woke up the whole house before she'd finally wake up and turn it off. So I thought well I'll fix this and so she had an alarm clock radio and so I found the loudest station I could and then I cranked up the volume as high as it could go and so she set her alarm for the day she had to get up and it rang it was this really loud noise and I woke up and I realized it was coming from Susan's bedroom cause I was in the adjacent bedroom and it startled me and then I remembered what I had done and I was like I kinda smiled and laughed and laid back down but that was the fastest she ever turned off her alarm clock and she still remembers that story to this day [laughs] that experience [laughs]
His voice is loud as he tells the story and he talks faster the farther into the story he gets. From his voice I could tell he was happy and knowing him he was probably grinning while telling me the story. At the end of the story he laughs a lot. It’s the infectious kind of laugh that makes me start to laugh even though I’ve heard the story hundreds of times. By this point in the interview he’s really at ease while telling me the story. He does say “you know” a couple times probably because he’s telling the story to me and I’ve heard it many times before.
Introduction to Folklore/English 2210
Dr. Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
G7: Marriage and Family
Pope, Nicole, "Aunt Susan and the Alarm Clock" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 180.