This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
All rights are reserved by Oral History Summer School.
Researchers will understand that:
This interview was conducted with Jody Brooks and Kelly Mclaughan in the dining room of the Solaris building in Hudson, NY on Wednesday June 29, 2016. Jody and Kelly work together and separately at Camphill Hudson. Jody is the Program Director of Camphill Hudson's operations at Solaris and is from London, England. Kelly is from Florida and has lived for several years in the Hudson area at various group homes. She currently lives in a temporary respite home in Claverrack with Keith, Theresa and Erika. She describes her life at Camphill Hudson as rich and full with many opportunities to do things that are meaningful to her. She talks about the collaborative division of labor at Camphill Division, the various jobs she performs and classes she takes like Yoga and Eurythmics. She shares stories about her rich social life, that includes parties like a Hawaiian themed party or Taco dinner; dances; drama classes including one where she's currently acting as Nurse Rachet in a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; a radio group; and the jewelry she wears on her person especially a bracelet that her close friend in Florida gave her and a chain from her grandmother. She spends some time talking about a benefit play they put up recently. Kelly is looking forward to transitioning from the temporary respite home to living independently in an apartment. There are attendant processes, like getting a new MSC (Medicare Coordinator) and a Broker that are happening and Kelly speaks about them. She also talks about her current living situation at the temporary respite home. Kelly shares her struggle with her OCD that makes her do things that are upsetting to her and others, and emphasizes the important role that Jody plays in her life. In the middle of the tape, she also talks about her confusion over deciding whether to stay at Camphill Hudson or go back to her parents and home in Florida.
Jody describes coming to America about 5 years ago from London and her rise to Program Director of CampHill Hudson. CampHill Hudson in her view is a hive of activity with classes and work areas and social arts - she mentions crafts, yoga, the gift shop, catering and various social activities. The town of Hudson, too, according to her, is a sociable, fun place with many activities and she likes that it offers her opportunities to create theatre. On the whole, she feels good about her life here, her new boyfriend and house in the country. Jody speaks about her life in England and her love for her country but also about how she misses her friends and family and being an English person and missing her own country. She also interjects when Kelly speaks to correct her or expand upon her comments or explain aspects of Kelly's living situation.
This interview would be of interest to those curious about the daily lives of the differently abled, the role of Camphill Hudson in that life, the social life of the differently abled, how Hudson welcomes immigrants, the role arts and culture in Hudson, and the relationship dynamics between a differently abled person and their life sharing partner.
Meera Nair is a Queens based writer, educator and communications professional. She has published three books and her work has appeared in various newspapers, journals and anthologies. She teaches creative writing at NYU and Brooklyn College. She is also the Communications Manager for India Home, a community based organization serving seniors of South Asian origin in Queens. She is excited to use Oral History for community engagement and to further her own artistic interests.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”