Bronx Senior Storytellers - Ann DeVaughn - part 1 of 3
Sha'nya: So um, if you mind me asking what is your name?
Ann: How to pronounce my name?
Sha'nya: Yeah what is it?
Ann: My name is Ann Devaughn.
Sha'nya: I’m Sha'nya. Oh so, what year were you born?
Ann: December the fifth, 1927.
Sha'nya: Where were you born?
Ann: Riverton, North Carolina
Sha'nya: When did you move to The Bronx?
Ann: I came to The Bronx December the 31st, 1950.
Sha'nya: And, what was your childhood like?
Ann: What was that?
Sha'nya: What was your childhood like?
Ann: Oh I had a nice childhood I was born and raised in Riverton, North Carolina, t-two brothers, yeah two brothers and two sister and I'm the last one that’s living, everybody else is gone to heaven.
Sha'nya: And what was your happiest childhood memory?
Ann: My hobby was entertaining people and dancing and knowing people, I love people and they gave me a name because every time everybody used to see me coming home before five o'clock before my daddy got home from work they called me “here come boots and her buddies”
Sha'nya: So um, growing up did you enjoy school?
Ann: Yes I was a cheerleader in high school. I danced, I played softball, and I always was working with the teachers after school and I was interested in the biology class, but then they sent me to the, what class did they sent me to? That one class because I was singing all the time so they figured I needed to be in the choir. You know, but I have a good life.
Sha'nya: Right so you always had a passion for the arts, singing and dancing.
Ann: Always. I’m going to be on amateur night amateur night contest here December the no, get it together, they having an amateur August the 10th. And I usually sing but, I told them I wasn’t going to be on it this time but they said “you got to sing,” I can’t sing but I try.
Sha'nya: And so comparing things to before when you were younger how are things different now?
Ann: My younger life was good but Lord I feel sorry for you young people now. I really do because coming up down south you know we didn’t have much but what we had our parents loved us and we did a lot of things but now the drugs and before you can get 10 years old and these kids in drugs and it’s terrible. I just went to a funeral on Tuesday at my church the young man was 22 years old but let me say one thing, it wasn't from drugs, he had a rare disease and they couldn’t catch it in time, not in time because when he went away to college that’s when his mother told him he couldn’t stay in college but they brought him home it was dec…. 1970 he finished high school, but he never really finished high school, sometimes you can’t remember but in the meantime it was this 2017 then he came into the hospital and he became a fine young man and you tell by the crowd that he kept, the people our church is small but we accommodated everybody we almost had over 300 people in the church! The young lady said to me this morning she saying I pacify you a church what was going on I said we lost a young, young nice young man and so it really broke all of our hearts. And the young people today, you got to listen to your parents! You might think your parents don’t know what they talking about but Lord honey cause I've seen many days. Thank you mama for telling me all these things that you extended me and I used to say she didn’t know what she was talking about, but I found out later after being a grown woman and living here in New York, I live alone now with the senior, I live here in this building so it’s a lot of things, things that you people can learn, these young people and listen to your parents! Listen to your parents, that's what I'm preaching today, yes.
Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council, Grand Concourse