Chuck Chronister: interviewed by Jamie Herrick
After reading the interview I had many criticisms for Jamie. While his interview did seem to run smoothly, Jamie’s broad questions allowed Chuck to ramble too much rather than focus on a specific subject. I believe that Jamie’s two and three part questions were the source of this problem. Rather than being specific and consistent Jaime would ask three broad questions at once confusing his interviewee, and in response getting a very disorganized answer. This interview has shown me certain tactics for which I should strive for in performing successful interviews.
I used what I had learned from the Rogers interviews to make my first interview as perfect as possible. Firstly, I found that rather than jumping into the interview it was more comfortable to start off with a casual conversation, then progressively ease my way into the actual questioning. In addition, I also found that if I asked specific questions I received specific answers, which was very helpful after the interview when I thought about the importance of the interview as a whole.
Today I interviewed Jeff Woods. He had great information regarding modern Carlisle as well as Carlisle’s history and business in downtown Carlisle. I found his understanding of the disappearance of Carlisle’s train station particularly interesting.
According to Jeff Woods, owner of the Whistlestop Bookshop, the train station “was moved out because of the pressure of the car. It was 1936 and once the cars got at a critical mass in quantity, the train became a hazard to the cars….And the cars were never a hazard to the train [laughs]. But as soon as you had the train, the wonderful mass transit mover, endangering the cars, people felt that they were being personally threatened. And so people said, ‘The train’s gotta go’ and they moved it two blocks over and it became a non-passenger entity. I hope at some point people are going to see the trucks as a hazard to the people and therefore the trucks have to go.”
On April 9, 1999, Kyle Beeton interviewed Joe Thomas, a livestock buyer. Reading the interview, I noticed that Mr. Beeton seemed to have an ides of the types of questions he was going to ask Mr. Thomas, just by the way he worded them. But what I did notice was that if there was a topic or question that Mr. Thomas touched on that could give more information, Mr. Beeton deviated from him list of questions and asked more follow-up ones. This tactic is something that could make an average or lackluster interview better.
As part of an oral history project, Stephen Lyons interviewed John Peters in 1999. Right off the bat they realized that they were brothers of the same fraternity, Kappa Sigma, which may have created a more significant bond, ultimately leading to a better interview. Peters talks about his life at Dickinson, a graduate of the class of 1952, and much of the U.S. history in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Lyons was able to facilitate a strong interview because Peters was able to make a strong connection to Lyons, at one point comparing him to one of his sons. It is a bit difficult to see where Lyons attempted to steer the interview, however his subject was able to offer some positive insight into the history of Dickinson and growing up in the mid-twentieth century.
– E. M.
The current owner of George’s Sub Shop, Pete Mesitoris, located on High Street, is the son of the orginal owner, George. During the Interview, much to my suprise, Pete noted that Wal-Mart was a welcomed addition to the Carlisle community. He explained that the big box giant contributes a substantial amount to the community via taxes. He also made note of the fact that most of the stores located in downtown Carlisle all have their own niche, different from most products offered at Wal-Mart. Finally, he explained that if anything, Wal-Mart has brought more business to the downtown area. Pete is a rather worldly fellow and he was a pleasure to interview, in fact after the interview he gave me a pizza “on the house.” As a result, I will be dining at George’s more frequently.
The 2007 Chip Miller Charitable Foundation 1st Annual 5k Run/Walk was was held on October 20, at the Carlisle Fairgrounds. The event was held to raise awareness for amyloidosis. The event was a success and looks to attract the attention of more members of the local community next year. Several running events take place every year in Carlisle and the Chip Miller Charitable run has just joined the list. On October, 27, 2007 the Carlisle Barracks will host the Jim Thorpe 5k Run/Walk.
In a downtown suffering due to the oncoming pressures of “big box” stores, Carlisle relies heavily on successful businesses. As one enters Matty’s Kitchen, a comfortable atmosphere for eating lunch is immediately felt. Light music, a personal welcoming from the owners/chefs, and a detailed menu of lunch choices all add to the personality of the restaurant. A closer look into the unique style of Matty’s gives one the idea of the type of business capable of surviving in downtown Carlisle, but more importantly, succeeding in and supporting the suffering economy of the town. Owned and run by Matthew Pisano and Cindi Pasi, Matty’s Kitchen has been in business for a little over two years and continues to gain popularity within the Dickinson College student body and local community.
When I was researching potential topic ideas, I ventured into Carlisle with another classmate. For the most part, we were well received by the community. However, we encountered a facetious Carlisle inhabitant. Upon arrival, we were mocked for being Dickinson students and our mission to study the town was trivialized. Although this only happened once that day, it has been the experience of others as well.
Why is there such a tension between the community and the college? What can be done to pacify the situation?
The aim of the interview is to procure information from the interviewee, that best suits the project’s aim. The comfort level of both parties has a strong influence upon the comfort and ethical “line.”
At what point has the interviewer crossed that line? How can one prepare a safe and honest interview?