Susan Andrade and Manuel Andrade

Recorded September 11, 2008 Archived September 11, 2008 01:10:15 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBX004326


Manual and Susan talk about their 32 year marriage.

Subject Log / Time Code

The two remember when they first met. There was a spark when they first kissed.
Advice for their children, learn to communicate with their partner.
Susan went back to school for voice performance.
Manual remembers her first recital, he realized then that it was her path.
Susan wanted her kids not to be affected by gender roles, but Emily loved pink, and James made guns out of his toast and shot at people around the breakfast table.
They remember funny times, a tire blew on their way to Graceland.
Susan sings “All Through the Night”


  • Susan Andrade
  • Manuel Andrade

Recording Location

MobileBooth East


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00:05 My name is Manuel Andrade. I'm 58 years old. Today's date is September 11th 2008. We're here in Springfield, Massachusetts, and I'm here with Susan my wife.

00:21 And my name is Susan Andrade or ondrade or Andrade and my age is 58. Today is September 11th, 2008 in Springfield, Mass. And I am here with my husband.

00:38 Okay, so we've just celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary

00:45 I'm in one of the reasons I wanted to do this was a celebration of that, but I'd like to know.

00:53 When did you know that I was the one for you?

00:58 Well, it was a little bit of a slow process, but I can remember the the week that I was in Washington DC visiting and Peter and you when I just met you that was a fun week and then that same week your grandfather died and you I drove you've rode with me back in the car to Massachusetts and I remember just thinking that you are a really nice warm.

01:26 Person and I really like that about it. We talked the whole way.

01:31 You didn't drive it all cuz you couldn't drive a standard. So I drove the whole way. But you later drive me I did and I remember when I dropped you off at that. I think it's a Providence Airport. Yeah, you gave me a kiss. Goodbye. Just kind of a nice, you know friendly and I remember thinking I think I want to do that again.

01:54 So that was kind of the beginning of my interest.

01:59 And then later that summer when we met again for when you are going to study for when you're studying for the bar exam.

02:09 Then it was like the first time I saw you I already knew.

02:13 And when that was what for 5 months later, it was like and that was it. Just kind of took my breath away. I was not expecting that reaction that quickly cuz it had nothing. We hadn't said any more talked for 4 months.

02:29 So that was mine. When was yours?

02:33 Well interesting ly enough, I have a very similar story I think for me the moment was that second meeting or that follow-up meeting over the summer and Anton Peters actually was at Peter's house. We got together that one afternoon and I was I was with Peter and you I think it come with an or maybe by yourself, but we met in there living room Peters folks living room and

03:05 You got up when I came in cuz I came in later than you and we kissed at that point a nice casual Hello Kitty, but at that point speaking of that electric spark, that's when it happened for me and then you know, as you know, we didn't spend whole lot of time not a part after that but for me, it was that exact moment. And so then it was after that that you would that you actually we went on a quote a date right when we went to the movie right and then danced being laughing at the fact that I had a date cuz it was like not any but nobody had dates anyway, so that led to the marriage 32 years. So in that 32 years any favorite stories that you have

04:05 About us or about you just us the family, whatever.

04:14 I'ma have to think about that a minute. Do you have any well, I've got a couple I think one of my favorite and it's not so much a one specific incident. But what I will always remember about Ross is these parties that we've ended up throwing over the years and two in particular come to mind to me. The first was that series of parties we had in the summer with all of our friends all of our neighbors and then all of our kids and their neighbors and I mean their friends and how we would organize the entire thing with no hundreds and hundreds of pounds of food and you know all the the drink but the part that that I will always remember is and we always had music and you were pretty much in charge of most of the music but we always like to dance in the house and we clear away places to dance but that one time when the music started and the older folks that's

05:14 Started just in the house had what hundred people in it. We just started dancing in the kitchen and it took over the entire house the upstairs the downstairs where everybody wasn't all the younger folks who are outside barbecuing and stuff all came in and joined us in that big dance to me. That's one of the things that I will remember about what we did and it went in our marriage if you will the other one was the party where you kind of organized costume party the we did the Academy Award kind of costume party and I think the thing that always impressed me about how you could do all of that was the fact that you you planned everything so well so that people always talked about

06:03 How great a Hostess you were and then there for how great a host I was so it was just great for me to kind of follow in the path of the things that that you did. So well what you did though, you just picked up and became the big MC for that. You are always the host for all the show the game stuff and willing to go anywhere with depending on what the question was in the work. Yeah. Yeah, I would agree with you on the parties. In fact that warms me just because it was I remember one of Emily's friends coming out in and saying she'd ever been in a party where parents and the kids were all playing games together and dancing and doing all that stuff. That was cool.

06:56 Speaking of family. We just learned that she's getting married.

07:01 And so what kind of advice do you have for her and the other kids that we have James and Caroline in the future?

07:13 I think for each one of them I would wish I would hope that they can know themselves well enough.

07:23 To be able to know what they want Express how they feel about things be really honest with themselves and honest with the people they live with and and share and feel safe enough if that's the right word. I don't mean it in a dangerous kind of way, but emotionally safe to just live their lives as fully and it's open and joyously as possible without being too worried about

07:53 The concern that people might have about them just enjoy it cuz there's enough times that worries take over and that's to me it's like you got to live it and enjoy it.

08:06 And that's what I would

08:09 The other thing I would think about is.

08:14 With each of them and their Partners is to figure out how to really communicate with each other.

08:21 And I think for us that was a it is but it always was an ongoing process that that we had to.

08:31 Even learn how to argue kind of you know how to explain what we meant to say and how we meant to say it in and come to resolutions at the end of whatever the discriminant would be and that that's that's kind of the same open emotional vulnerable place. I think it's good that helps you grow as a couple not just as a person.

08:55 And you oh, I totally agree with that and into me it's you know, the focus is always

09:03 To learn how to communicate and to communicate and to communicate because because what I've discovered over the years is that maybe it's just everybody but everybody has a different way of communicating and some people more comfortable being open and communicating feelings and others as we've learned and I think that it's really important that each of them find their space and figure out how to do that in a way that still maintains their integrity but also maintains the relationship building that a marriage is all about and it's hard it is. I mean we continue to figure out ways to do that and have to learn that, you know, after 32 years. We don't have it figured out but it's a process to keep growing with that living. Yeah.

10:03 I totally agree. I think that the other thing I think you may have said it is I think it's important that they learn to to cherish.

10:13 Each other's individuality and I think that once you can do that and celebrate the fact that not only are you a couple, but you're also independent beings.

10:26 You learn more you grow more and I think it ends up deepening the relationship. So I wish that for for all of them as well.

10:38 Sounds good and speaking of growing, you know, it seems like you're one of the things that I did I'd like to ask you about you know that I've been so impressed with again sort of a marriage question is, you know, you you went back to school kind of in the later part of your 30s 40s. Send got back and got a ended up getting a doctorate in vocal performance. Tell me about how that work for you why you made that decision and

11:13 What it's done for you?

11:16 Well, I think for me not recognizing early in my life.

11:22 A tent that that's first of all music was I Knew music was important but I didn't know how much and and I knew I liked singing but I didn't like seeing in front of people and I didn't want to do anything. I was too shy to even take voice lessons. So when I finally got to the point of deciding if I I

11:47 I was worth the money that would cost cuz I was always bouncing out things out with money to that. It was worth it for me to study and then to get such really quick immediate feedback on how how I I I had a lot of ability was exciting to me. But then after awhile, it was like I wanted to do more and I think it was because I finally hit kind of the the the right place the right. I don't want to say well of baby what I was supposed to be doing if not earlier definitely then you know, it was like I hit it and it was like at that point. I couldn't I couldn't stop it was like, well you can stop but why would you cuz I loved every class I took I liked being surrounded by college students that was to kill for me. I thought it was really fun to be with these young young people.

12:44 And I love the challenge that scared the bejesus out of me half the time but I knew about I had it because I was older I had a lot of confidence about maybe it wasn't conference for performing but it was kind of like, you know, I've waited this long at what the heck just enjoy it because if I'd stop here, it's okay. I've done I've done what I've done, you know, and so I just kept going along and it just feels like we'll all try the next thing and do it do that a little in it always got encouragement. So when I was finally done it was like, oh my gosh.

13:18 I really did it. I did everything I could to academically and that was that was a real cool feeling for me. But also the example that you sat for I think not just our family, you know, our our kids were able to see that, you know, it's about finding your passion and and going for it and it doesn't matter if you don't have it at 12 or 22 or 32, but as long as you're living and breathing when you find your passion, you should continue to go for it and they've talked about that since really think that that is something that's that's a terrific lesson that I think you've helped in part to them and I don't even know if you've

14:03 Fully Embrace that yet, but I digress cuz there's another story. I want to talk. I want to throw out to you and I don't know that I've ever told you this either but you know when you went through all of this and in the process you have to do all these recitals and I think that the moment that I realized how great you were was your very first recital when you walked on stage and first of all, it was as big room in a lots of people all your friends and we had the entire neighborhood, you know, it was just a must have been what 200 people there are my college friend all your college friend and you walked out and there was this Spotlight on you and you had this beautiful dress.

14:55 And first of all before you even started there was this audible gasp amongst the people about wow, who is this person? And then you started seeing and it was like it was it was like people were just taken to another plane almost, you know, they just everybody just sort of sat back in awe but not only is this friend mother acquaintance colleague this talented but she's sharing this with everybody. It was just that it was a magical absolutely magical night in at that point of time. It was sort of like, oh my God, you cannot stop to it. So that's why I feel like I was encouraging along the way but once I saw that part of you that Talent demonstrated in front of everybody it was like wow you got to keep going

15:55 You just have to so I just wanted to share that was thank you. Thank you.

16:02 We mentioned or I mentioned, you know in the course of this discussion already are our kids and obviously, you know, they're they mean a lot to both of us. I would like to get your feeling in terms of maybe a little bit of how you felt when they were first born.

16:23 Oh gosh, I think with Emily. I was just overwhelmed in the first child. What are you do look at this beautiful baby the responsibility of it all and the joy of it all the Wonder all of that and she was she was absolutely gorgeous there. Although she was jaundiced. We thought she was kind of Asian looking later. We learned the poor child had to suffer with her early incompetent, right?

17:02 And I think with James I remember being worried excited that we had a son. I thought oh my God how I don't know. What do you do with boys, you know, that's how I felt and that yet. I was just thrilled and I couldn't wait to help him become actually the wonderful man that he is now. I just wanted to see that processing it and it was fascinating to see the how completely different the personalities of James and Emily were just and I I hesitate to say it's boy and girl male-female, but they were definitely thinks that were very much mail and hurts and Emily is female. That was I refuse to see as a possibility even through my teaching years when I was in Early Education because I just saw it. It can't be you know, but I'm James Wood to chew a piece of toast into the shape of a gun when we didn't allow guns and

18:02 House, I thought there's something to order off eating people with his toast, you know, and you were so so cognizant of not forcing stereotypes that you wouldn't show you wouldn't have dolls and things but Emily finally needed. But not Barbie not Excuse me. Yes, but right but then remember what her favorite color and what is in that hole. Everything from socks to underwear to the fullest and her hair is child that you're trying to bake. This become a Earth goddess child is not happening. And then with Caroline, of course, she was as the third it was just a whole different you're much more comfortable with the whole rearing process and it was it was just wonderful just to have her

19:01 What kind of like just I focused on her rather than the first child the boy, you know, I will never forget a night when I was I think I was probably nursing and just she was resting on my shoulder and I just remember hearing the puff of her breath on my neck. I could feel it and hear it and it was the quietest sweetest sound and I at the time I thought I never want to forget that that was just and you know, they've all been.

19:35 I think it's for us as parents. I'm kind of going away. But my I think are we talked about this a little bit our goal was to be sure that they each felt.

19:46 Strong in their own way, whatever it was and that they could be whoever they were and they didn't need to be first child second child third child. Although that kind of does fall into play sometimes but that they could be sure of themselves as as the person they are and that you don't and I feel like they just started going that way. I like that.

20:13 And they are very different all of them. Right and I'll I think that's that's a good thing in your my Mantra has always been.

20:24 You are very special and very important because there's nobody in the world just like you.

20:34 And when times are tough when things happen, you know, you just don't have control over. I always come back to that very simple kind of philosophy if you will and I think that's something that you've done just by kind of the way you you are. You know, I sometimes have to put it in a little more quieter over the head kind of strategy but it is saying it's important. I think letting them know those words. So what kind of

21:10 Dreams do you have for them?

21:13 Fugees

21:15 I guess you could just be kind of it. So it sounds trite. I just want them to be happy. I really do. I just want them to find their own happiness. Sometimes, you know cliches are there for a reason, you know, they're kind of universal truth in and I don't mean that buy monetarily. I mean in the sense of who they are and how they look at the world.

21:47 That's

21:49 Cuz I think you can and maybe I've come to this a little later than when I was helping them grow up, but you can choose to look at things a tenant from a positive or negative point of view and it is the choice you make that makes it be what it is.

22:08 If it's enough things aren't going well if they can be options for opportunity and growth and all that stuff, which I think is a good thing, but you'll have to decide that you want to make it that way and I hope they can

22:22 Rather than Get Down On It All

22:25 And then just enjoy life.

22:29 How about you?

22:31 Well, I

22:34 I hope that they become the kind of people that impact people positively and so that the world becomes a better place because they were in it and I don't mean they have to win a Nobel Prize or you know do something so extraordinary that it's obvious that the world is a better place. But you know if they live lives that are

23:08 That are filled with grace filled with contribution to the to the community.

23:17 That are filled with their ability to grow and learn and hopefully be happy doing that. Then I think that they will be successful and people that I know that I would be proud knowing.

23:38 And I think that's my dream for them each of them to you know, individually.

23:52 What are kinds of?

23:56 Philosophy in a life philosophy is important to you in terms of how you feel like you would like to be remembered.

24:11 Well

24:13 I'd like to be remembered remembered on stage now that really so you like to be remembered.

24:31 I think as soon as somebody who lived with joy.

24:37 You know this summer when we are at the cape and and that played all those games and I remember being so overflowing Lee happy.

24:47 And having a blast playing the games and I don't remember if it was James or Caroline or somebody just said, I just don't think I've ever seen you this way before, you know, it was just I'd like that to be one of the one of the memories that would people would have.

25:04 The other thing that I know I do now is I I think I have a pretty good sense of humor and in in my in my one way, I'll bring it out as in fairy Bleak moments. I find really ironic or you know worst-case scenarios that make it funny and and I got the good balance to the craziness that that either I live in or I create myself cuz I do a lot of laughing a lot is important.

25:45 And then I think I hopefully it seemed like someone with convictions that

25:50 That I'm know. I'm a good person. I hope that's how I'm viewed not Justa.

25:58 Sarcastic person. No, but good with a good soul.

26:04 Well, your sense of humor is always been one of the things that I've been attracted to Forever.

26:13 Can you think of any stories that require required that sense of humor?

26:24 I've gotten into so many jams. Can you are you thinking of one because it's because you guys made your closet store. I like that long. That's where reversing the role here, but I'll come if we have time I said, I was actually thinking more about the time we took a family vacation and driving vacation and we are going to go to actually we are going to go to Disneyland or Disneyworld and by way of Highway of Memphis and this was during Emily's early phase where she was.

27:18 I know how old is she 11 12 13 in love with Elvis for quite a while. We're driving along from this is where we live in Kansas City and we're driving along a kind of not the major highways of Missouri, but we are two lane Highway and car is jam-packed is always the van was jam-packed and you know, you're the one who knows how to pack you had it all hermetically sealed and of course, we're driving along and hear this big boom if it happens, we have a flat tire now,

27:59 I'm not going to say that this is the kind of thing that you looked at before we left and said should we look at getting some new tires? Before we go cuz you know cuz I knew it we should but I thought I could say that I wasn't being honest. I was in that face. So why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? That was just following suit. I didn't even bring it up. We didn't we we at the Splat we come in or actually a blowout. So it's not much of a tire left in and we get out our spare after having taken out, you know, every piece of luggage to get to the spare and find that it's flat. So we kind of scratching our heads. We have three little kids and then these people

28:48 Can you turn away and come back will and what happened? Well, I'm not sure what part you're going to Publix with your story house. Now, it's my story. Will the only thing that I think that they helped us change the tire now, I don't know if this is the part you're alluding to but the reason I stopped was because I had red hair and also I saved your life and you kept entertained throughout that whole process. Yes. Yes, that's true. Luckily for luckily for us. You were there. It was just incredible and you and you made them laugh because you know, they couldn't believe that somebody has put together as you would have a husband as inept as me remember.

29:44 Thought I was alone because you are crouched down by the tire and didn't see you were kind of scary in a in a they seemed slightly friendly and slightly threatening at the same time, but they helped us get on and got that are tired that are four new tires and at the next town and and I will never live down the fact that I was sharing some stories about the

30:22 Where we were going to Memphis except that's not how you said it quietly the kids think that I was to this day. They still think I was just screaming.

30:43 Okay. Anyway, it's it's a it's a it's a Memory. Well the other funny part about that which was a kid thing was that I remember we opened the door and the kids. Are you empty the trunk out and I open the sliding part of the van and it we looked at him. These are three crazy kids and all of a sudden they're all reading books White and I said, you have to get out of the card because it's going up in a Jack and they're like, no we're reading and they were so afraid that everybody would get in trouble. So they pulled out books to read. That was just one more goofy thing.

31:23 You know, it's so much of this is as revolved around the kids and one of the things that I know that you've always done with them is saying and one of the songs that you've always song was a little Nursery kind of our nursery rhyme kind of song.

31:43 Tell me about that. Well, this was even before I took any singing lessons, but I always knew that I needed to sing to my children always and it was one of my favorite times of the day is to set them up on my lap and in the rocking chair and sing a couple songs and teach them the words and and it was seen as somewhat more silly songs, but this was the last song Always and it was all through the night. And the thing that was made me feel really special. Was it even when they were older worried about whatever was going on in their life. Sometimes they would ask me to sing it so

32:25 I would like to sing that I would be great. Okay.

32:32 Sleep my child and peace attend thee all through the night night. Guardian angels chord will send thee all through the night.

32:56 Aptoide Rosie

33:00 Creeping handling sloth

33:11 Hi, my love Wings schedule keeping.

33:24 Thank you.

33:27 My pleasure, you know there is a

33:32 Something that you wrote to me once that I've kept with me and it's meant so so much that I wanted to share it with share it because to me what you said about me was really the embodiment of how I feel about you and I think that it's so beautiful that I couldn't even be close to recreating it in my own words. So I just wanted you to know that while you said this about me, it's truly how I feel about you.

34:12 And it is

34:15 As I first wake every morning I thank God for you.

34:21 Your joyful living brings me joy, you're caring for others makes me want to be more caring. I am so grateful that we have this life to spend together that we have each day to live together.

34:36 And as I end my day cuddled next to you.

34:41 I send another prayer of thanks that you are my life. I love you morning evening and all through the night.

34:52 And that's exactly how I feel about you.