Alex is a 42 year old Geologist and has lived in a number of US states, including: Massachusetts (Danvers, Boston, and Williamstown), Vermont (Westminster and Burlington); Alaska (Kodiak and Anchorage); Louisiana (New Orleans), Arizona (Tucson) and Texas (Houston).
"Modern life makes it way too easy to go through the day, never hot, never cold, never really tired, never really hungry, just in a kind of little buoyant existence. And outdoor endurance sports and races on the extreme end, leave me completely shattered, hungry, cold, wet, all of those things and never feeling more alive. I learn a hell of a lot from doing these events."
Alex is 26 years old and works at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. She was born and raised in Mount Juliet, Wilson County, Tennessee (part of the greater metropolitan area of Nashville). She now lives in Downtown Nashville.
"Her plane actually crashed in my grandmother’s backyard and there’s a monument for Patsy Cline and her entire band in my grandmother’s backyard, which is pretty cool. Um, especially cause I’m a huge Patsy Cline fan, huge."
Amy is 32 years of age and was born and raised in Homer Glen (formerly Homer Township) about 25 miles southwest of Chicago but still part of the Chicago metropolitan area. She now lives in Lakeview, located on Chicago’s north side. Amy works as an interior designer in the hospitality industry.
"...you go and look underneath every single bed. You open every single drawer and every single cabinet to see who made the-the-the furniture. You’re in the bathroom looking underneath the accessory board that’s holding your soap to see who made that. And then (laughs) and then once you’re done with that then you can, you know, kind of relax yourself and enjoy your hotel room."
Bill is a 60 year old cargo handler. He was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, but now lives in Fort Worth. Bill was stationed in Korea between 1977 and 1978.
"...the Major said, ‘No Lieutenant, you didn’t hear me. You get a fire mission, shoot.’ And he left. So my Lieutenant Exo friend sat down and looked across the way at the Fire Direction Officer wondering, ‘OK, we get a fire mission, which one of us is gonna start World War Three.’ So, yeah, it can get pretty tense over there."
Christine is a 57 year old housewife. Descended from Italian immigrants she was born, raised and still lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
"Six-fifteen at night, the surgeon comes out, calls us all together and he’s like, ‘We g- see how he makes it through the night, if he makes it through the night.’ And he fought and he fought and he fought. And he made it out of it, he made it out of it."
Deanna is a 41 year old Payroll Auditor in a packaging company. She was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, but now lives in Fort Worth. She coaches cheerleading squads in her spare time.
"I’ve coached ever since I was a senior in high school, so many years. I have had anywhere from four on a squad, talking cheerleading, four on a squad to twenty-four on a squad, at a time. Um, so it’s different, when you have smaller squads… sometimes you can stunt, meaning building pyramids and stuff like that. Depends on your make-up of the kids, size, attention span, um, responsibility, um, because it’s a big deal when you’re holding them, you know."
Doñel is 37 years of age, lives in the Seventh Ward district of New Orleans (Louisiana) and works as a hotel housekeeper.
"If you like New Orleans then, you be very nice, you shouldn’t have any problems at all. It’s wonderful to me. I haven’t had any problems, um, well I did have a problem. I blocked it out. I was – somebody tried to kill me in ’96, um, I had got shot up seven times. It was not my fault. The police never found out who it was."
Elisa is 20 years of age and was born and raised in an Italian immigrant family in South Brooklyn. She currently lives in Bay Parkway and is the manager of her father’s restaurant/pizzeria in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn.
"The kid runs in, my father goes, ‘Whoa, where you going? Where’s-where’s the fire?’ He goes, ‘Help me, these people are coming after me.’ My father goes, ‘what people are coming after you, whadda are you talking about?’ My father told the kid, ‘Get behind the counter’. He sees like me about eight-eight, nine people, like they gotta be like in their twenties, nineteen, twenty years old. They were coming after this little boy, he’s gotta be sixteen."
Gary is 35 years of age and was born, raised and still lives in South Philadelphia. He works as an insurance salesman.
"...baseball in South Philadelphia is huge…I coach toughness and perfection. I want these kids to be perfected at what they do and uh I do want them to be tough on themselves cause they know they could do better and uh I want them to want more from themselves too."
Jaime is 35 years of age and works as a pharmaceutical technician. She was born and raised in an Italian immigrant family in South Philadelphia, where she still lives.
"The whole like Jersey Shore thing, like we’re-we’re not like that, like they’re so like just like meatheads. They’re-we’re so far from the way the Jersey Shore like d- like depicts Italians. Cause we’re not that, like they have, th-th- they’re so like, I don’t know, they’re just barbaric. "
Janelle is 53 years of age, lives in Vancleave (Mississippi) and works as a waitress.
"Oh we go, like, hunting squirrels and rabbits and deer and-. I used to kill ‘em but now I-I can’t, I mean I’ve never killed a deer but I’ve been on a lot of hunting trips. My Daddy didn’t have, uh, boys so I was the boy, you know. (laughs). Had to go with Daddy and my sister stayed home with my Mom."
JD is 34 years of age and was born and, initially, raised in Meridian (Mississippi) but now lives in Biloxi (Mississippi). He used to work in security at a local casino.
"...a fish…I guess went through the dam and knocked itself out. It was a big catfish, a big Appaloosa catfish and it came up beside the boat and it was spinning on top of the water and my, uh, step-grandfather, um, just dipped him up with a net and threw him in the cooler."
Jessica is a 19 year old cowgirl who ‘barrel races’ competitively. She was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma but was raised and still lives in Choctaw, Oklahoma. Midwest City and Choctaw are both part of the greater metropolitan area of Oklahoma City. Jessica also works as a sales assistant in a stockyards store called National Saddlery www.nationalsaddlery.com and www.crossbargallery.com
"Um, the horse I have now is Cookie. I got her a couple, mmm, it was about April so it was a few months ago. Um, I got her as kinda like a project. She like had some problems, she got hurt and so she wouldn’t-wouldn’t turn her barrels she would kinda run up the fence and so I just kinda let her be a horse and just ride her and kinda cleared her mind and that seemed to really help."
Jessy is a 19 year old cowboy who does ‘roping’ competitively. He lives north of Oklahoma City in a town called Crescent and has roots in the Kiowa, Crow, Comanche and Mandan Hidatsa tribes. Jessy also works as a sales assistant in a stockyards store called National Saddlery www.nationalsaddlery.com and www.crossbargallery.com
"I practice four to five times a week. I mean o- off a horse what I do but, uh, it’s a every night deal, I rope, uh, we have a roping dummy and I rope it anywhere from five hundred times to a hundred times a night. So it’s like always you have to be practising, you always have to make- you wanna be the best, you gotta train like the best."
Jon is 31 years of age and grew up south of Boston. He currently lives on Cape Cod (Massachusetts) and works as a Graphic Designer.
"So we’re getting married in December, um, we’re really looking forward to it. It should be pretty interesting. We’re, uh, we’re trying to nail down all the – we have a-a room booked and now it’s just a matter of, uh, we have to book a caterer and, uh, we’re gonna, um, uh, you know, get start- get cracking on all the decorations."
Keith is 58 years of age, lives in the Seventh Ward district of New Orleans (Louisiana) and works as a waiter.
"Right after Katrina, bout 2007 or 2008, I started just being a bartender, I mean a-a waiter and I do wait – I work two jobs – I work in the morning in a hotel and I work here at night. And I have my own lil private bartending business. Yeah, I do private parties. Yeah, whenever you need a - somebody need somebody for a party wanna pour drinks, I go pour the drinks."
Kent is 58 years of age and was born and raised in the suburbs of South Boston. He works as a carpenter at City Hall with a second job as a theatre security guard.
"I do house security. Basically make sure that we get the houses in on time, that the pick-up lanes move, medical emergencies and any trouble we may have once in a great while with inebriates, you know, which sadly is a part of it. But, it’s fun, like I say, I get to meet lots of people from all over."
Kristyn is a 19 year old cowgirl musician, specialising in western swing music. She was born in Plano, Texas, and currently lives in McKinney (part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex). www.kristynharris.com Kristyn’s friend and fellow singer, Devon (who can be heard at the end of Kristyn’s recording) was the singing voice of Jessie, the cowgirl doll on the Toy Story 2 CD, ‘Woody’s Roundup’. www.missdevonandtheoutlaw.com
"I like playing so many songs. Last weekend we were in New Mexico and got to play on stage with the Texas Playboys and they were doing all the classic western swing, which is like San Antonio Rose and Faded Love and, um some of the fiddle breakdowns and stuff. And I also like doing some of the real old cowboy, uh, ballads and, uh, Twilight on the Trail is one of my favourites. And I’ve written a few of my own songs and I sing about my horses and stuff like that."
Lloyd is 63 years of age, lives in Biloxi (Mississippi) and used to be a High School Principal.
"I thought I’d kind of diffused it – and I looked back and the dangest fight you’ve ever seen break out a-amongst the groups. And I mean it was horrible, uh, uh, they-they’ve had to have been two or three hundred kids fighting in the hallway there."
Nancy is 48 years of age and was born and raised in South Philadelphia. She currently lives a short distance away in Somerdale (New Jersey) and has her own dog training business.
"I work one-to-one with each dog and I can somehow figure out what their specific needs are. What their neglect – what their – what-what’s been neglected, what’s missing, what they’re trying to communicate. And voice that t-to their companion people, as I call them (laughs) to kind of help them rehabilitate."
Rachel is a 41 year old Research Scientist and has lived in a number of US states, including: Ohio (Cleveland); Massachusetts (Boston and Williamstown); Vermont (Burlington); Virginia (Arlington); Arizona (Tucson) and Texas (Houston).
"...we had our dessert first and then we ate the turkey afterwards because the oven was just not co-operating. So that was my first not-very-successful Thanksgiving dinner. Um (laughs) I think my parents were a little bit horrified but they managed to get through it okay and come out the other side."
Rick is 50 years of age and was born and raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn. He currently lives in Dyker Heights and runs walking tours of Brooklyn.
"...we have a little social club downtown, it’s one of like two social clubs remaining in Brooklyn cause you can’t open one of these things now, you have to be Grandfathered in. …according to the police and, uh, the authorities these are like mob headquarters and hangouts, which ours is not…"
Susie is 27 years of age and grew up in Milton just south of Boston. She currently lives in Weymouth, a little further south. Susie trained as a hairdresser but now works in a Boston hotel as a Guest Service Agent.
"...since starting here, I have to s- I just like the people. It’s different people every day, I like that, different personalities and it’s nice, you know. I mean, occasionally you get the crazy people but it keeps it entertaining basically, so it’s pretty good."
Teresa is 54 years of age and was born in Hurst, Texas (a suburb of Fort Worth). She now lives in Parker County (part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex) and is Director of the Stockyards Museum in Fort Worth as well as a cowgirl poet. www.teresaburlesoncowgirlpoet.com
"...a lot of people think you’re a cowgirl or cowboy because you have a hat or wear boots but it’s more of, um, something that’s within your spirit, the love of the land, the love of animals and livestock. Those two things, um, you honour and you respect and you take care of."
Walter is 72 years of age and was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. Now retired, Walter used to work as a Registered X-Ray Technologist.
"I placed the x-ray film behind the baby, set up the head of the unit over the baby, grabbed, uh, my, uh, my ,uh, remote to make an exposure, went back maybe about ten feet or so and the head of the unit dropped. It c- it came down onto the baby and as it came down tears flushed from my eyes. Um, I started crying. I felt my heart go down to my toes and as the tube came down it moved to the side."
Zack is a 27 year old Legislative Liaison for the State of Tennessee, lobbying for the Department of Children’s Services. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Rutherford County (part of the greater metropolitan area of Nashville) but now lives in Downtown Nashville.
"Our main responsibility is to investigate, uh, allegations of abuse or neglect, uh, towards children. Uh, we also are the, um, provider of Juvenile Justice Services in Tennessee. So if a child, um, becomes unruly or, uh, commits a, uh, criminal offence that would normally be tried in adult court, uh, they can be, uh, ruled delinquent in juvenile court and they’re taken into custody and, um, we provide rehabilitation services in-in various facilities around the State."