Ruby Bradford and Amy Tardif

Recorded March 5, 2020 Archived March 5, 2020 38:26 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: chi003301


Ruby Bradford (35) is interviewed by StoryCorps interviewer Amy Tardif (54) about Chicago artist Lee Godie, C2E2, her favorite people, and the story of her name.

Subject Log / Time Code

R talks about the art of Chicagoan Lee Godie.
R talks about a disco party, and donating her artwork.
R says she wanted to become a singer as a child.
R talks about the story behind her name.
R talks about her participation in the Special Olympics.


  • Ruby Bradford
  • Amy Tardif

Recording Locations

Chicago Cultural Center

Venue / Recording Kit



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00:02 Hi, my name is Ruby Bradford. I'm 35 years old today is March 5th 2020 the location Chicago, Illinois to storycorps with here with Amy.

00:21 And my name is Amy tardiff. I'm 54 years old. Today's date is March 5th 2020. Where in Chicago Illinois the name of my interview Partners Ruby Bradford and our relationship is that I'm a facilitator and she is here being interviewed.

00:37 Here you didn't answer me the last time 4 months cuz I didn't feel by myself. So why did you want to be interview today? Because before we could see to eat too, and I never heard by Lee Gotti.

00:54 Is this artwork that you like I never heard of her. She was born Chicago it look familiar. She is disabled and she speaking.

01:06 Foreknowledge. There are Center artist who in Fisher speaking know the Chicago Cultural Center will

01:20 For the last decade as an artist, she was married before with three children and she lost her daughter. She did her artwork on the streets and art institute in 1968.

01:34 What attracts you to her artwork?

01:36 This is a book.

01:41 Is it something about her that's her artwork that you like or about her life? I never heard of him about her and my former friend Mark Jackson or her work before he didn't tell me about her.

01:55 Mom are you strong me a Superman with a girl?

02:00 This is

02:02 Call the pasado.

02:05 The Prince Charming

02:08 And you like her work?

02:10 The first time I saw it that you seemed like you were really liking it.

02:19 Are you sure she do little bit different on mine? Cuz I never knew our she died in 1994 in a nursing home the lady in the book. The lady whose artwork is in the book.

02:31 Is her work on display in the Chicago Cultural Center?

02:36 No one is coming at okay. I wish you could look at the book for 2nd. Okay, so I will look at the book and you you want to tell me about this year's t282?

02:50 I miss him masturbation twice 2017 and 2019. I'm going to miss it again cuz do the financial issues until we put back on track. I will try go to the next one 222-5221 before split of a part on what later cuz I was too much for me cuz I know it was a bad experience. Just beginning at the my mom Been Gone Too Soon.

03:14 Who did you see this year?

03:17 The guy that Arrow by Damien bajitas to do selfie.

03:23 The guy who plays the arrow

03:27 Anyone else

03:30 I hang out with Mike Norman. I have a pictures or show you.

03:38 Did you listen to any talks or lectures presentations? I went to DC panels DC Comics and we'll get a second and I'll be fixing my Southside my former home and Brownsville next when the Philippine used to be a few house project on 3820 South Prairie at that for my mom's house twice after that. It was to demolish.

04:10 It was a parking lot full of wild and they build more room for church more Scituate RI Episode V Church.

04:19 Do you want to finish talking about CTE to before you talk about that will gets it and 2nd?

04:28 Are becoming the for church for almost thirteen years. I had to start March 21st 2007 before Adam later. I met your face first before Shanghai in later.

04:43 I just got my apartment back you did for after 23 years the same residential and used to be given their match becoming they took over WPD for over a year now.

04:56 What do you mean by you got it back to us to move and they made a mistake didn't know about my disability.

05:06 So you didn't have to move no.

05:10 And everything's okay. Just worried. They had to put a new light on the kitchen because it was worn out is not the same.

05:19 With the farm Asheville company and this is my former home where I live there before Mariah highlight.

05:30 Yep, that's my first home second home because at the my mom had to mess of heart attacks cuz we had to move on South Shore before WPD took over that scruffy little bit tricky part.

05:48 Yeah.

05:56 Sorry about that.

06:01 This is this is the first three house once Emporium Bronzeville II home in Cottage Grove and serve home on South Credit between South Shore at the lakefront. Which one did you get to visit recently have a set of Faith Church?

06:30 Last year with the Rolling Stones concert band Soldier Field for over 3 years ago.

06:39 This is have a safe Faith Church.

06:42 For the African-American I was raised in Brownsville.

06:48 How did you get there? Did you take the bus or the train slippers like that in and when is Dark you have to ride the Pace cab? You can get the pace cat. Yeah, I will pay scale before and the last time the Georgia the hit me on my head. Oh dear almost two years ago on the red line the drug dealers.

07:14 Did you get hurt?

07:16 The doctor check up my head is okay now.

07:20 They already checked it. That's good.

07:24 Was that scary?

07:27 They do that everywhere. That's how I'm waiting for the approval from the mayor first. I've been waiting for weeks and months and this is for fun coming for 61st Street for Marcus for next Saturday, March 14th.

07:43 And this Friday going to be a disco party to take or have a hope Gala at the Fort church. Are we donate my cup of my peace? The cat was submitting emblem and Superman for children tuition.

07:58 Oh nice, I did that last year. I will do it again.

08:03 New pieces or some of the older pieces that I was before

08:09 We'll talk about kawash. Let me show you the father of City to from last weekend. And I'm sorry I meet the guy from The Arrow member last year met Superman actor Tyler hitch. Yes, I do and I got to meet the guy from Doctor Who?

08:30 And we talked about that a lot.

08:33 Are we giving my Superman pains last year?

08:41 This is Coronavirus once I did it so you're showing me a picture now of you at C2 E2 in the big Hall in McCormick Place, right? Yeah, just got here late to eat to for almost 10 years. And why is it so special for you?

08:57 I'm a Superman fan Imagine Dragons, but he's no longer DC Universe anymore. He left.

09:06 Instead of going to the South. I've been the South Street before I'm glad to take a picture by myself in the South and free comic book day cuz it was too late for me. I was too tired and I had to pay for the back you have to put the coat a Brand New Bag cost $4 for the bag and Coach her $3.

09:27 That's Mike Norman, he's a friend of mine I was going to say is he famous. Yeah, he like the doll

09:38 Nice

09:41 Does paper collage I need to see my friend Megan since she left because she had supposed to tie with her daughter for a little while.

09:51 Any other movie stars in the pictures?

09:54 I'm a friend of Ralph's before Dean Canaan went to see to eat you at all just with the world.

10:01 And who's Brenda Ralph? He plays Superman Returns, and he played a DC tomorrow. He played Superman Kingdom Come to Christ. That's me and my Norman again.

10:19 I got a new Superman ring on my finger. I didn't bring it today Hopewell.

10:34 Does me and Michael John text? Who is he a friend of mine. He was famous for a second. He likes superheroes as well. I see that yeah.

10:49 I deal with the eye doctor Des Peres January they put eye dilated. Yeah, I went to the eye doctor to not long ago.

10:58 And I won't get another prescription glasses till next year only lasted 2 years.

11:07 11 people are remove out the VP because at the former management gone for a little while phase change.

11:16 Cuz if you don't get approved by the doctor.

11:19 You have to leave.

11:22 Yeah, well, I'm glad you got to stay.

11:26 Do you like it there? I didn't say is going to be easy and I have to walk over till I she meant and I don't have an iPhone that used to take quarters. They discontinued so you need an app to do the laundry to pay for it. I will tell on now. She mad cost $3 for the heavy-duty 375 but oo. Ah, yes.

11:49 Does Drew not too bad it was the last day who is that? It's also dressed up like Superman just a fan.

11:59 You found each other.

12:02 It's still going with so I had to go outside of a car to the last day. I was too tired to go shop and get some groceries.

12:13 And I told my new Superman ring with the red crate.

12:20 Can I ask you a question from our little box?

12:25 Why you're showing me, this is USA at the worst. Let me put my camera away after you put your camera. What yeah, what were you like as a little kid?

12:35 That's one of the questions from the box.

12:38 My dad used to take me to the playground. We used to live on the Prairie buffets change cuz I don't go there all the time. We will use to live there.

12:48 I don't like it used to be no, but when you were little kid, you liked it just the playground my dad pussy with swings. Yeah, kids love swing. So of course she loved them.

13:02 My dad's hand when the Philadelphia drop off a high school, he would tell you was Army. He was honorable discharge. And before we get to that this is kawash the ones I did a little while. So you're showing me collages of the Superman emblem. Is that what they're calling the ass from his chest as big as the dark one is now you see why we went on a field trip to print maker on the West Loop that score be little bit tricky because you won't be able to get his duplicity. What color blue is this compared to this is very hard to find is it a different is a name of a blue royal or a darker darker blue?

13:49 So are you still making your art if I add to 23 years cuz they didn't tear my video at the production and this is messed up cuz I I want to something else besides pressure homework.

14:06 Cuz I'm a little bit uncomfortable and I glad I didn't kill myself. I still think about trouble husky. I still talk about my mom.

14:14 Say I was embarrassed. So when he did I know but but you can still make art without them.

14:22 Just sometimes but he doesn't write back.

14:30 This is Dan George. He's no longer work at ECU Varsity more. He left. He's the best Christopher Reeve.

14:42 That must have been hard for you when Christopher Reeve got hurt on the horse. I never met him. I met Michael killarmet McCool.

14:50 Superboy is not popping Superman.

14:58 You did that, right? Yeah last year you made that artwork of Superman or is that Superboy?

15:05 That picture

15:08 That's Superboy the Superman Superman. He just has a young face like he'll be a young man forever.

15:16 I'm not going to make those eyes anymore. I'm keeping it for reference.

15:22 How about another question from the box? Just make a quick? Okay. Well, I'll make the question quick depends on your answer. What did you think you were going to be when you grow up a singer? I've been trying to be a singer for a little while and feel like punching when too much at all.

15:41 That's not my style, you know, and I don't do a lot of details that's not my job, you know.

15:47 Cincinnati replace Henry Cavill

15:53 Yeah, I know something bad happened with him, right? Yes is he's full of Warner Brothers. I never got a chance to meet him. So how are we doing it my paints to him? I never met him.

16:05 This Society brought another one. He won't stand up. So it's cuz it's bent now you're showing me action figures Superman action figures Hoops. Are these guys worth a lot of money?

16:20 This is not touch. I guess they're not mint in boxes. They say on Big Bang Theory cuz you play with them, right?

16:32 It's okay. You don't have to make him stand up. He's just going to fall over. I know this is hard.

16:41 How often do you play with these things on my bed?

16:51 How often do you get your hair done and colored to be like the red the Superman room? Will you give perm you had to use a different one? It's like movie rent and then like the burgundy. Hello. Remember that old show on to living is not as big like The Golden Girls under music licensing.

17:13 So do you have to get it colored as often as I do like, I know you.

17:19 For 3 weeks every 3 weeks. That's a lot I have for 19 years. Wow.

17:27 Cuz my roots show every six weeks and I have to get it fixed. Yeah, I'm a former friend Megan. Dye her hair before

17:36 Since she first time her daughter.

17:43 How's another question for you? Okay, can you tell me about one important person in your life?

17:50 Cuz like I said, Arie talk about my former therapist with mr. Husky instead. Tell my mom a shirt or my mom's dead baby. It's you.

18:07 So, is it the former therapist who you would say or is it your mom both both?

18:15 And did you hear what happened to Prince Harry and Meghan day split up with the royal family how you feel about that? I think they have some.

18:26 Courage to do that and it's their right was send me that good for them.

18:33 After his father made those mistakes when he did and last Thursday, I went to Hyde Park Art Center for Discovery station. They have a healthy meal. That's why I had to grab as much as possible. I can't eat pork. I ate one chicken chicken wings was good. Yeah, I drink a little bit one. Not too much. Too much. No.

19:01 That be careful cuz wine has a lot of sugar in it already drink a little bit, but they don't have a little sewing why neither.

19:12 Do you cook for yourself? Just sometimes what's a while and they had cheaper local market on 71st and Jeffery where I live. They have cheap boneless chicken.

19:28 I just passed a diet cherry Pepsi this week.

19:34 Pepsi-Cola Sugar by Trick is sometimes but not too much sugar. That's why I drink a little bit to be careful. I did this is going to be easy. I don't want to hurt your face Amy. I know.

19:51 Do you have lessons in how to cook for diabetes?

19:56 Look, I don't cut diaper too often. See that was the problem.

20:04 I don't take insulin and we have another friend.

20:08 For parts only Richard Willis have warned about a month ago. He ticket is Slim fingers.

20:17 Cuz I'm trying to control as much as I can. I don't take excellence.

20:23 Can you control it with diet?

20:28 We have to wait to see what happens by next March 12th by the updates for the blood test and Special Olympics, since I'm going to miss it miss her version three times until we get my finances straightened out.

20:45 Before I split up with patch on what later?

20:49 That's why I had to cut down the regular soap up sometimes but now the time is sometimes what's a while?

20:57 Okay.

21:00 Ready for another question. Do you have a nickname? And can you tell me how you got it was my grandmother's name and not only Ruby ruse or roo roo.

21:16 My mom shorts for Ruby

21:19 She was messed up at my mom named me before I have a hard time change my name for almost Seventeen years we had spent about $200.

21:33 So if Ruby is a nickname, what is actually your name?

21:38 You know what?

21:41 That's Corby Looper tricky. That is a very long name. Okay, cuz I don't discuss it are okay thus far I could go back and be upset me. Okay, but I didn't know Ruby was a nickname. That's that's my grandma was interesting to know. That's my grandpa's name.

22:04 We learned something today then I know that's before I change. My name to Ruby is legal now cool cuz it was my mom's fault.

22:15 It's not a fault. Yes. It was it was my mom's fault.

22:21 What about one of your happiest memories?

22:26 Just me and my phone with service. I my favorite my mom and I play Frisbee player in the back porch.

22:37 For almost 22 years.

22:40 What's frisbee player like throwing up?

22:46 My mom support me at Special Olympics I used to do for after 15 year run. Maybe I should be the old gold medal yet. I don't do short put I did walkways first three times.

23:03 We'll get him a we'll get him soon.

23:07 Sorry about that. I had to pick it up Superman fell one of the Supermen.

23:15 He's having a hard time sitting on the chair stuff Superman.

23:21 Let me show you my car emblems by quick.

23:27 These are very good Ruby.

23:32 Know when was the last time you made one of these about a week ago now, so you're still doing these?

23:40 Is very hard to find Maurice cuss about the Chicago wise and I did all the rescue cats. I'm going to Paws Rescue cats actual cats near us.

23:55 Tell me about them.

23:57 Again

23:59 Tell me more about cats cuz I have cats. I want to know about the cats you're talking about.

24:05 Let me show you where water place.

24:10 Prosecco

24:12 I see you're getting your camera out to show pictures near of the cats.

24:21 Where do you find them?

24:42 This is the white art piece LK that looks like Legos know. This is the water tower for 150 Chicago water tower piece. What happened to the cats the characters on there?

24:58 I'm not doing it again next time.

25:10 Instead use a Superman emblem.

25:14 We had to put did you make that or you just went to see it just for commercial that's for commission is wow.

25:26 Is very good. Tell me about tell me more about the car work.

25:34 I have for him with Mickey Mouse for after 17 years.

25:42 Let's not forget about the cats. I'm still waiting for the story. I used to call my mom a cat. Mom a toy kitty go kitty. That's before she died from was 8 years ago.

25:59 Mariscos about legality area, that's why I don't like to do my portrait myself to Buster's. What's a while? Yes. I see more Ruby pictures.

26:12 Is cortical or hard work if I can get it right but I won't do it again next time. That's not my job. Cuz that was too much since after my former marriage with left.

26:28 You don't have to show pictures of the cats. You can just talk about them. I know since little Bob been gone for after 2 months already.

26:38 I met her but almost 6 years ago. I met her twice. Where'd you go?

26:45 The Internet Cat show

26:53 We talkin about a real cat. Yeah, that's somebody almost a little above the lake cat.

27:01 Stray cat

27:03 Lake cat I'm trying to disable cat I could disabled cat. What's what's disabled about this cat born with Disabilities Act Like I am and I don't talk about parschauer to Boch.

27:21 That's crappy little bit tricky cuz they don't take one or Papas every place a place at Daybreak osher Center for way too long, and I'm not very happy with them cuz nap is enough for me.

27:36 I understand.

27:39 Did you join a CDR?

27:46 Ics's yeah.

27:51 Which one is in our?

27:53 This one. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Okay. So you made yeah Ruby emblem instead of the S for Superman. I never met such a friendly yet.

28:05 Let me put this back.

28:11 You put these back note just these the Sandpaper ones and I have you have another question. Okay, tell me about someone you will always remember.

28:23 My mom and I will not forget If I Were Trouble Husky and I don't keep with the upper friends, like I don't

28:32 Or dislike. I won't miss pressure too much at all in I don't want to be there friends. I refuse.

28:41 That was a bad experience face change cuz nervous enough. I don't need them.

28:52 Well, we won't ask that one cuz you really kind of answered. It want me to find another one. Just one more one more.

29:00 All right.

29:02 What are the most important lessons you've learned in life?

29:06 Not the don't eat too much. Don't set the house on fire. Make sure someone go with you.

29:15 Go where with you everywhere?

29:18 Since my parents are here no more and I don't trust nobody.

29:23 Sue Army, yeah, so you you want to find someone you trust to go places with you?

29:34 Just said my former management company John at the he left for over a year ago. He got too sick. He could work your bill anymore. They had to sell M&M WPD CC effort.

29:48 What's the effort?

29:51 Trying really hard.

29:53 That's an effort. Yeah, they almost did a good job, but it's going to be a little bit tricky day. We found out afterwards. Hi be greedy just beware discussed earlier.

30:10 I also have a question. What do you like about storycorps? I've been almost seven years after my mom be gone too soon. And guess what? I meant Bugs Bunny at AT&T with Daffy Duck at All-Star games last month ago in February.

30:32 That's really fun.

30:34 This is a Noah camera just a follow-up. I have a doctors appointment on March 12th.

30:43 3 days with you over seat cover Center cuz you can't do back-to-back. It's a time. That was a problem. That's not fair. If you're going there you should be able to stay there and keep seeing dr. Trate Napa for CJ's before you had your daughter visit. That's why that was a problem.

31:08 Do you like do you like coming to storycorps and telling your stories about Special Olympics? Cuz I'm going to miss you for masturbation cuz I don't trust Pasha armor at all.

31:19 When is Special Olympics May? Okay, so maybe but I don't do short put I just say you are the winners.

31:32 Cool, I will go Smith fam, but I won't be at the IRS like I wore before Oh, what do you think about the presidential election situation?

31:46 I did Cisco bet at the former President Barack Obama. They almost finished the library. I always have been built. If you seen if you've been down there know they're still talking about it. I don't need a building and I'm not going to talk about the other guy in New York.

32:05 What about the people running against the other guy? Do you like any of them?

32:11 They want Joe Biden.

32:15 You know who's coming Saturday know Bernie Sanders is coming to the park Saturday to campaign.

32:23 Cross the street. I won't get in me am either.

32:27 Who did you like?

32:29 Barack Obama never met him but he's not running right now. He retired for 8 years as a president.

32:38 Are you being careful with the new virus? That's out there a bit tongue of a fat two months now. Yeah, are you washing your hands in the air?

32:51 Hanson ties hand sanitizer. That's right.

32:57 Just before we wrap it up.

33:00 Goofy abramo Superman toys. I'm going to have to say a few songs top Joseph. Covered by Chicago eats. Hi soon. He's getting old. Yeah, he will return a t diss year was Charles meter 72 in November 14th. I don't do Prince Charles anymore. Like I used to and he divorce with Diana. They miss Princess Diana Prince Charles and get along with her because of Camilla.

33:26 I know I'm getting ready to split apart home or two cuz nethys enough.

33:33 Is cookie batter movie for Harry footsteps a woman's pressure to wash it all nope. No.

33:43 Just a little bit just said Trevor house key got his own personal problems. I'm his forward my mom been gone for almost 2 years now.

33:54 Let's say I'm on your side by Angela both happy High having is high. I'm on your side.

34:15 Will you need somebody on your side to be for you Tom Jones where I love is not usual is not usual be the only one.

34:36 You know, I usually seen anyone want to see you about anyone and I usual was happy happy day. No matter what you say go happens all the time. Go to love you to what you want to do your crazy mind.

35:01 It's Not Unusual go out to eat I wear I see you right now.

35:09 E11 ICU Valley one is now I usually wear them is over. You will never give you up when we know the rules for Commandments were thinking of you would get to some I'm a guy. I just want to tell you how I feel and you say I'm going to give you up Never Gonna Let You Down never gonna run around and around this area. Have you never going to make you cry never going to say goodbye. I never got it hurt you. I'm going to sing to, no salt. Can you hard and cuts about world?

36:05 Put your hand on your heart to tell me.

36:16 Put your hand on your heart.

36:22 A customer will come, to my world. Would you let me help on how high are Pony? No, no, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no no, no, no.

36:44 Do you have it?

36:46 We're going to have more update for Special Olympics worth now. I could go to my celebration to 25221 before I spoke a part of your world.

36:59 Is a fee

37:01 Maurice custis cuz I never heard probably Gotti. Are you going to read the book? I just look at but I don't keep up with their people. I don't y'all give people.

37:16 I did Michael care where they carry Grand but that's not my job. No.

37:21 You can look at the pictures and study them.

37:26 Oh, you can give it back to your friend now tomorrow. Yeah.

37:31 Well, it's always nice to find a new artist, but I don't like to do my tortious myself to bus I did it before but that's not my job.

37:43 That was too much. I got to adopt that saying.

37:48 That's not my job. Can I can I use that phrase know? Why don't do much. Okay, but I like it I understand.

38:00 I like your style when you say that.

38:06 We're going to wear for the fake you Amy put in for me today will have more and may after special effects. I look forward to it. Take care of you. Take a ruby.