David D. Wooldridge and Jennifer E. Cumby

Recorded June 8, 2005 Archived June 9, 2005 00:00 minutes
Audio not available

Interview ID: MBX000132


David and Jennifer recall memories of being together.


  • David D. Wooldridge
  • Jennifer E. Cumby

Recording Location

MobileBooth East


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00:00 I would hit record.

00:07 I'ma name is Jennifer cumbie and I'm 32 and its June 9th 2005 in Charlottesville, Virginia, and I'm here with my husband David.

00:20 I'm David Baldridge. I'm 35 years old today is June 9th 2005 or here in Charlottesville, and I'm Jenny's husband.

00:35 So we were coming up here. You said before it all the craziness of leaving your house that you wanted to talk about just questions about the remember this and you remember that because I asked you that all the time.

00:53 What do you want to ask me a question?

00:56 Do you remember a time when things weren't so crazy?

01:00 That things have always been crazy just crazy in different ways. It's really intense having young children.

01:13 Because they're crazy.

01:17 It's really intense laughing and then you add them on top of that and you know, they're crazy.

01:31 Do you remember a time when things weren't crazy?

01:37 I remember little snatches of time that are less crazy than others. Like what like after Big Belt to craziness like after you I was born it was less crazy thing to calm down for a while. He remember how it was so dry and it was so dry and so dry and you're in the hospital and you had him and he came out and then it just poured buckets and you were at the hospital, but you were safe and I was at home and even though you aren't there it was just so peaceful after all that activity. So wet you can hear that the rain hitting the roof, you know after all that trying this

02:22 I remember thinking being so pregnant that summer and it being so long and thinking if it would just rain I could have this baby and it never did but I had him anyway, so do you remember when you first saw me?

02:43 I do I was sitting on the bus my very first day of 9th grade and I was trying to calm myself down before going into big bad High School. You were nervous. Yes, and I was trying to remember from the orientation how to get to my homeroom. It was no help but yes, and I was trying to remember the hallways and I was looking at the doors and I don't know why they had us sitting on the bus for an hour waiting there. But there you are and you came walking up the walkway with Jeff and he had that long red curly hair and you had that black hair that stood straight up in the air and I said, oh I'm going to be friends with him.

03:35 And I wasn't nervous anymore.

03:38 And I loved you from that very moment at one time in the hallway. I was standing with Lisa Ramsey, and we had just finished putting pictures of Freddie Mercury in your locker and you are coming down the hall and you came running down the hallway, and you grabbed me and I thought for some crazy moment that you were just going to like grab me and kiss me that you'd seen me from the other end of the hallway you realized, you know at that instant know, but I knew that we were destined to be together, but you just grab me.

04:11 And I felt so silly cuz there was like preparing to be swept off my feet. You. Just want to throw me on the floor son.

04:20 For the rest of the half of New Year couple years later than I remember you and Mrs. Caskers public speaking class with your your white hair and Nick Rhodes Duran Duran hair do over that by then, but go ahead.

04:43 And so I saw your but you know how it was high school and then we were in that class and then we weren't

04:53 So are you going to ask me about know I was going to say I think maybe one of the reasons things are crazy is because that is a craziest X is Fun the best things coming back like

05:09 He moved to Richmond and I didn't see you for a long time and I never knew where you were.

05:14 And then the Philip died and he was the first

05:19 Kid that I ever knew that died. And that was so surreal and I knew him but a lot of my friends were really just destroyed and I don't get destroyed by much. So I went just to be there for them and then I saw you there and it has been years since I seen you and you're just there and your white shirt and it was just like

05:44 Oh and you were like this?

05:48 Little island and all these crazy crying people. I remember that cuz I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. So I moved to Richmond and was staying with Jennifer and you know, it was trying to get a bead on what was going to happen with the rest of my life and I hated it there cuz I looked out, you know from her place at night and I couldn't see any mountains. All you could see was the skyline so I felt you know.

06:24 Claustrophobic and I came home one weekend and somebody called and told me that Phillip it died. So I stayed home and I went to the funeral and nobody I don't know if anybody ever believes me when I tell this story, but I don't care cuz it's true, but I walked into the funeral home. My dad. Remember my dad dropped me off at witten's right over there on what Park Avenue.

06:53 And so I walked in and here you were like hugging everybody comforting everybody. So I walked up to you and hugged you and something happen and there's this little bbbbbb moment. And I had this Vision in my head that time was like you and me sitting around old and decrepit rocking away and some rocking chairs and I didn't know why you know, but I knew right then that that's how it was going to be and so that you and I were destined to to be together and grow old together.

07:29 Spend some time Rockin In some rocking chairs and their future and it was a long road and

07:36 Longer yet, we're getting there. I guess we got the rocking chairs and the port 33 Port is if we can walk by then we can switch around.

07:48 And we got the kids.

07:51 Yesterday they won't be there by then though.

07:55 Maybe they'll come back. Maybe it was hard because that wasn't what a year after that if my dad dropping me off like she always did, you know and me going into the funeral home for Phillips Funeral and then less than a year later. I was back there in the team room for his funeral and that was that was hard.

08:22 That was hard. Do you remember Philip?

08:27 Hey, he was always really funny. I thought and he was reading The Stranger by Camus, but he didn't know cuz he had just picked it up. So so I can read this awesome book by Camus. That was her big throat from there. Anything else by Camus?

08:49 I didn't know him that well, I knew his brother were what happened when I tried to go to graduation.

08:58 Yes.

09:01 You got stopped in the hallway and told not to come.

09:07 Because you hadn't crazy hair. I don't know you said it was one person and then later you said it was.

09:18 Oh now I can't remember its walls. Yes. Now it's going to be forever. Yeah. I hope it was her sticking out in with my bangs like a footlong and they made that announcement. I all those planting graduation come to the auditorium at this time. So I was walking towards the auditorium and I saw her standing there and the gatekeeper and as I got closer her face or jaw dropped further further down and she looked at me and she said you're not come to graduation. Are you

09:56 I said well, I guess not skip the rest of the class. Until assembly was over and that's the difference between us because I would have gone in a minute just to be to find it and you didn't that wasn't my way.

10:20 Do you remember?

10:22 When we went out for the 4th of July and I still lived at my mom's house and you picked me up and the Maverick and

10:34 Across the river

10:38 Yeah, I remember that.

10:42 We're lucky we live.

10:44 Yes, remember the Maverick the hood and it was probably we can gasoline onto the manifold then maybe that's why we had so much fun. But yeah, we rode out 29 and we went to New Glasgow Road out there and Nelson County and there was that fellow there selling his cantaloupes and he looks it to you looked at me and told me I was riding around in style socks. I had you with me.

11:17 I remember that there's a little boy with him, too.

11:32 What's it been like for you being the only person who's working and knowing that we're at home and so much depends on you and not saying the children as much as you'd like.

11:45 It's hard like you're working towards this goal that you never see because it takes you away from your goal.

11:52 Guess I have to work and work in the evening so late because we used to live where we do and I chose to work where I work and there's so much distance by the time I get home, you know, the people that I'm working for and help take care of I don't get to see that much and it's hard.

12:13 It's really hard. Do you think that it's worth it?

12:20 Do I think that?

12:22 Working is worth it. No all the work that you're doing. Is it worth what you see what you're saying when you are there for you all but I just wish I had more time to see you all in.

12:40 The place where we live I tell everybody I hear it's a nice place.

12:52 Hi, it's not it's not always been easy to go from having a job, even though it was a piddly paper that I worked for having a job and going there and having people know who you are and having responsibilities and being out there and a community and no matter how tiny it is to go from that to basically being anonymous other than for the children at your feet because no one ever says, oh that was really good story because you're not riding anymore. Oh what beautiful children you have and they are beautiful, but I don't really have anything to do with that.

13:33 Are you made him that way?

13:37 Anna

13:38 But they they do their own thing.

13:43 Tell me was it worth it for you staying home and giving up.

13:47 All that working that just work but being able to do something with yourself for yourself that's different from taking care.

14:00 Children and their house all day in Berks and I'll practical levels.

14:07 Just because you made more money and made more sense. And I knew from the moment that I found out that we were going to have you guys thought I was going to be at home that I couldn't.

14:23 Send them off.

14:25 But

14:27 Sometimes I would rather be doing something else.

14:32 But I'm not.

14:34 Do you see yourself doing something different?

14:38 No.

14:42 Because it's uncertain when that will come. So there's really no point in looking for it by thinking about it.

14:49 Who is that dangerous, Would you like to do?

14:57 I have no idea.

15:00 Start my own Publishing Company.

15:04 And still be really really poor.

15:09 Awesome about poverty upon marrying me. Remember I remember.

15:18 Do you want to talk about that the poverty?

15:23 No getting married or about our wedding.

15:31 That's pretty awesome story.

15:34 I think you should tell it. What about your grandfather. Remember we had wanted him to hell. Yeah. Yes, my father was going to marry us and then he had a subdural hematoma a few days before and couldn't and he was in intensive. I know he was in intensive care and I remember he was supposed to sign a bunch of texts that they were paying for part of our reception and he's in the hospital and he had brain surgery and I couldn't go up there and say what you sign is check for me so I can pay for all this cheese and I had to I had to help me my do it because she had her stroke and she could hardly hold her hand to write so I had to forge her signature, but make it look like someone with a stroke had written it because they know her at the bank.

16:33 But yeah, and and then we had the rehearsal.

16:38 And it was hot because Appomattox is the most hateful and hot places in the world.

16:46 And Pete came and married us.

16:50 And

16:52 Oh, he did that rehearsal then and then we had the rehearsal dinner. And while all that was going on. Papa was having more surgery on his brain.

17:04 And then we weren't going to have it videotaped because I didn't want to because I thought some things you just happen and you shouldn't be able to remind them and play them over and over and over again to beat them up and slow them down. They should just be there and your memory is what they were and we taped it because Papa was in hospital.

17:30 But I want anyway because we don't have any copies of that tape.

17:37 Do you remember the locusts over everywhere?

17:44 And do you remember there? Is that storm your Uncle Dave spent all that time setting up the tent because it look like there was going to be a store and there was just before we got there. I think it was raining when I first pulled in it was raining just a little bit and it stored in Lynchburg.

18:04 It didn't rain. Did we What tent was it? We didn't have the Bruce and stiff tense after all this we okay. Okay when Pete was some

18:18 Turn the valves cuz we're staying there in the yard as an appears house with the two Cannon sitting there and did the line about God's holy ordinance.

18:31 I thought that was funny.

18:33 Maybe you don't think that too funny. I remember you commenting on at the time. I don't remember much about the ceremony. Really I remember being done with that and feeling like

18:47 Very relieved that that was all over her what happened when we were well we took about a thousand pictures and then we left to get there reception and we were driving.

18:59 The Ford Explorer

19:02 And I know I was driving a little too fast, and I got pulled over.

19:09 And there are all these buckets of flowers at your feet and you had a beer in your hand.

19:15 You're sliding it down into the flower buckets as slowly as you could.

19:21 And I had to talk my way out of our ticket.

19:25 That we got out of it, but we saw everybody that you worked with passing by and honking and waving so by the time we got to the reception everyone knew that.

19:34 We had gotten stabbed by the law for Alaska in Benson. Where where y'all get married at?

19:52 However, that pretty well over and over and over.

19:57 But he did let us go without a ticket.

20:00 That was nice of them.

20:05 What what do you remember about when we lived in Radford?

20:15 I remember it being small and Ice living in the old church building.

20:23 And going to school there.

20:26 I remember the hill in front of her house when it would snow we would go outside for fun and watch people slide up or down to Hell remember?

20:37 When they were trying that make it home one afternoon. I think it was about 5 or so when it started snowing and people are sliding all up and down the hill.

20:48 And the two big mastiffs with a masters that lived across the street for the trash that you went out there and got the best things from the trash before we came here.

21:12 I wanted to tell you to you before we I forget the roses that we had at our wedding.

21:22 That you hadn't been able to find it since then and yesterday we had a graduation at our school. And so I was going to attend but you all were going to stay home until you showed up at the last moment surprise me and you had those Roses that you would found cuz you went to the Tastee-Freez Dairy aisle there and Colleen and you saw the ad roses $4 a dozen and you called and said these smell just like the roses from our wedding and it turned out that they were the roses from the same rose bushes, I guess for our wedding. And so when I walked into my classroom today after having left those in the class, it smelled so strongly of those Roses that it was like being back at her wedding almost 9 years ago.

22:14 I'm glad we brought them to you.

22:17 But you came up the stairs with them and her house and it was one of those houses. So where everything is seems effortlessly neat and dusted and arranged and two came up the stairs and she had them in one of those chopped off milk cartons, and I knew when she came around the corner.

22:40 Oh those look just like the Roses we had at our wedding.

22:44 We had how many dozen 10 Dozen Roses 12 dozen roses?

22:53 For $40

22:59 So, what about what do you remember about us first moving back to Lynchburg after I graduated and living over there in Washington Street?

23:10 I remember I really liked where we lived. We could see the river in the coming off the river and I remember.

23:22 I remember when you used to being really hard on the sink you have they played drums on the sink and then one day the people who lives in her basement talking about somebody playing their Bongos at 2:00 in the morning. Like who is that guy that plays the Bongos? When who is that? Like, I don't know. That's rude somebody doing that. I don't you think that's rude and it wasn't until we got upstairs that I realized what they were hearing and that they're rude person. We just been talking about was you.

23:56 They were two floors away from us and share the sound travel down the pipes. Do you remember during the summer? We would sit on the couch and the windows directly across from the couch facing out towards the river and we would sit there and watch the lightning storms like three or four counties away. And we always thought they must have been way off and Nelson or even further cuz you could watch them get dimmer and fainter, but we sit there and watch them like fireworks you remember that is pink.

24:33 Yeah.

24:35 I remember that.

24:37 And then we moved out to the country.

24:42 That was crazy.

24:45 And I know he's been saying that since we since I was a little boy and we had moved off of the farm when I was 10 that I'd always been trying to get back to the country and then we finally did.

25:01 And that was that was different.

25:04 What's your favorite memory of living over there on Shady mount?

25:10 I remember.

25:13 I think

25:16 We brought Eli home from the hospital. I was so much to get used to everything was so different. It was like and some foreign territory who brought Schuyler home.

25:31 Everything just seemed a lot easier. She was the very calm baby and she nurse so well, and he'll I was still too and he had those great big cheeks and he was so cute that I remember that time when Skyler was brand new and Eli was really little that summer.

25:58 That summer. I remember really well.

26:05 Do you remember bringing him home and have jaundice T wise he was so yellow. He look like a old banana peel.

26:16 And it was hard cuz we had to take him back to the hospital and they had to Dupree kids foot to get blood out and I had to hold him and he could only have been all of what a day on 2 days old.

26:34 Like when he obliterated his foot his big toe by pulling the bench over on it and it bust it open like a great and we had to take him to doctor ain't office to get it so it out and I had to hold on to him then.

26:52 That was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

26:56 Having to hold on to him and I'm screaming and crying while I got to toeside back together.

27:07 I was however I was there or no.

27:17 I remember when Skyler was born and I thought she's the second baby. This will be easy. We've done this before this is old hat for us. And then she came like three hundred hours 300 days later. It was forever that we were waiting on that girl. I always get the hard jobs.

27:41 That's funny.

27:44 Okay, so maybe you do 30 hours of Labor kind of.

27:50 Kiss me a little leeway when it comes to stitches you can hold them or things like that.

28:00 But then she was here.

28:03 Thanks for doing all that hard work.

28:06 And was it easier with her?

28:09 For me saying you thought it was going to be easy because she was the second one. I don't know sometimes I wonder if we did everything we were so trying to do everything just right. I Need Love is Here and Now Scholars here. So sometimes it's hard to he now.

28:33 Like we used to make sure to read as much as we could all the time to me why I feel like until sometimes I wonder if we're doing everything this time around that way should be doing that way worse or to do the other time around but Eli's life was one child with two parents and Skyler's life is to children with two parents and for everything that may be different for her because we are unable to do some of the things that we did. She also has a brother as much as they fight and and try to tear one another to bet they really do adore one another they would do anything for the other one. Yeah, so

29:25 When they grow up

29:27 I feel like we don't have to worry about them so much pretty awesome.

29:36 You weren't there. I was just me, but I was just thinking about you by being a baby when we were at Shady mountain and I took him out to look at the the night sky when human and we were looking up at the stars and it was really bright. And so and he can't even talk yet. I don't think and I was pointing up to the stars and I'd forgotten when I was just staring up at the stars and then I look back down at him and he was just staring at me. He's always been kind of like that, you know, like he's wiser than his age. And he had this look, you know as big and bright as the sky was it was almost couldn't match this look in this brightness in his eyes just staring at me. It was almost kind of spooky cuz

30:27 This love to you too young to be giving me this look like that.

30:33 I woke up this morning be like on downstairs and I was trying to get out of bed quietly. So I wouldn't wake up Skyler and she woke up anyway, and she rolled over and she climbed on top of me and she's just laying on top of me and I was thinking about her birthday coming up and being 3 and what it was like waiting for her to get here and how sweet she is. He just want to eat her just got to be sugar to the core, but then mean the same tires, it's just this wonderful.

31:13 The concoction and is he still much like my grandmother like Liz, I mean just so much like her personality and everything. It's like she got recycled and spit back out again that fast.

31:31 That's amazing for me to watch her.

31:34 You remember your grandmother's were that was always my favorite word that she said she has a

31:50 She was one of the best people that I've ever known.

31:54 She would have really liked Skyler.

31:57 They would have gotten along great.

32:05 So what do you think if he likes Kylie listen to this in the future? What do you think they'll be doing?

32:13 While they're listening to it. Hopefully not hitting each other.

32:20 Not fighting over there remote control.

32:23 Eli will probably be speeding up the DVD player. So we sound like we're speaking another language. Sky will be hitting him on the head.

32:36 Where is there looking through some stuff like 10 20 30 years from now and they find this recording and they pull out listen to it. What do you think they'll be doing? I hope they'll be forgiving me for how disorganized I am.

32:55 Anything else

32:59 I hope that they'll realize how much we love them.

33:03 Even if we're

33:06 Really not very nice. Sometimes I try I can be pretty grouchy.

33:16 The least gravity of anyone in our family but grouchy in my own, right?

33:23 What about you?

33:26 What do I think they'll be doing? What do you want then? Yeah thinking doing

33:32 I'm not sure I think Skyler will be.

33:40 Doing something or she's telling lots of people what to do and cracking the whip if they don't do it just the way she says but in a benevolent way, but with a little this and that too, but with just enough sugar on top so that you know, you don't begrudge her telling you what to do and Eli, I don't know I see him getting caught up in like some soup engineering thing like being a train engineer design the new fastest speed hybrid fuel

34:15 Train locomotive engines or maybe like we're talking the other day and

34:20 Be one of the first train Engineers on the moon.

34:24 The lunar Express

34:27 Or something like that, maybe.

34:31 Maybe I'll just decide he wants to fish and Mavericks around Nelson County until the hoods fly off and land up in the middle of the road picking up stray a watermelon here there.

34:46 Riding In Style with his girlfriend

34:51 How to be happy

34:59 So what else do you want to say here?

35:05 I know that things are really difficult sometimes.

35:09 I know that you're going a lot.

35:15 But if I had to sit down and plan out my life.

35:20 I would have planned it any differently.

35:24 Even though I couldn't have possibly known how wonderful and tumultuous it would be when you were starting out.

35:34 I love you. No less than I loved you the very first day when I saw you on the bus.

35:41 But I feel like even if I live forever I couldn't possibly love you anymore.

35:49 Even though I know I will as soon as tomorrow.

35:57 I'm glad I listened to that Vision that I had.

36:04 Started doing whatever I needed to do to make sure that you and I would end up on that front porch in those rocking chairs one day.

36:14 And it really happened. It's true. It's a true story. I'll be damned.

36:24 Thanks for coming with me.

36:27 How this way with broken speedometer.

36:32 I was speaking metaphorically.

36:35 Well, there's another metaphor for you.