A Fierce Kind of Love, a project of Visionary Voices
Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Stories from
Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services


recorded at Selinsgrove Center April 2015
PHOTO of Jennifer
photo by JJ Tiziou

Image Gallery - click a thumbnail to start

Lives Lived Apart Interview with Jennifer Recorded April 11, 2015

PHOTO of Jennifer with her interviewer Liz

Liz: Oh you prepared? Thank you for that. That's great. Some people were here yesterday talking about today? I'm so happy to be here because I grew up really close to here like 15 minutes away from Selinsgrove. So what do you have there, Jenn?

Jennifer: Do you want to see it?

Liz: Yeah! Oh wow! Can I hold it? You hold it? Great. So can you tell me about these dogs? What else do you have?

Staff: Oh the writing?

Liz: Those are their names? Gabriel...

Jennifer: The name is on the back.

Liz: Uh-huh.

Staff: Sure.

Liz: What's that?

Staff: Want me to put those back on your clipboard?

Jennifer: (inaudible) What the names, this is the names.

Liz: Mm-hm. Those are some beautiful dogs. These are my favorite things, favorite tree: pineapple tree or apple tree. You like apples, Jenn?

Jennifer: Mm-hm.

Liz: Yeah? Do you like red apples or green apples?

Jennifer: Applesauce.

Liz: Applesauce. Then you don't know what color it is anymore. Have you ever picked apples at an apple orchard?

Jennifer: What time will we be done?

Liz: It will probably be like ten minutes, 15 minutes.

Jennifer: I don't know. What time am I going to get my picture taken?

Liz: Well maybe a little before two o'clock.

Jennifer: And that's it?

Liz: Yeah. Do you like having your picture taken?

Jennifer: Mm-hm.

Liz: Yeah? You have a big smile. I was noticing your pink nails like my red nails. Do you always paint your nails?

Jennifer: I always paint my nails when I'm appropriate.

Liz: When appropriate?

Jennifer: When appropriate and not... sometimes...

Liz: Mm-hm.

Jennifer: (inaudible).

Staff: What do we always say? Squat right?

Liz: Squat.

Jennifer: Squat means nothing. I get nothing because ... this is my best year yet.

Liz: This is your best behavior year yet? Well congratulations!

Jennifer: Best year yet, this is my best year yet.

Staff: You're right.

Liz: So you have your nails painted a lot because it's a good year.

Jennifer: Uh-huh.

Staff: Tell her what matches your fingernails right now.

Jennifer: Toenails.

Liz: Your toenails too?

Jennifer: I got this done and that done.

Liz: Yeah. Jenn, do you always do pink nails?


Jennifer: No.

Liz: What else?

Jennifer: Purple.

Staff: What did you do for Saint Patrick's Day?

Jennifer: What?

Staff: What did you do for Saint Patrick's Day?

Jennifer: Green.

Liz: You had green for Saint Patrick's Day. So did I!

Jennifer: I had Easter and I had...

Liz: For Spring?

Jennifer: For Spring...

Liz: Is it yellow?

Jennifer: I had...

Liz: Purple?

Jennifer: I had Easter, an Easter colors.

Liz: That's nice. I love Easter colors. Did you paint eggs for Easter or have baskets?

Jennifer: No.

Liz: No?

Jennifer: I got fingernail polish. I got fingernail polish.

 Liz: You got gifts?

Jennifer:  I got fingernail polish.

Staff: Is that your Coldstone creamer, the flavor you have now or did you get a different one? Flavored creamers for her coffee.

Liz: Oh yeah.

Jennifer: Creamer for my coffee, yeah.

Liz: I see you have lightning bugs and ladybugs and daddy long legs?

Jennifer: Mm-hm.

Liz: What do you like about bugs?

Jennifer: I do.

Staff: I don't know. You care about your bugs.

Liz: You care about bugs?

Jennifer: Yeah.

Staff: Well... maybe some but not all of them.

Jennifer: I don't like...

Staff: Me? This is about you, honey.

Liz: I love when lightning bugs light up outside and you can catch them. What do you like to do outside, Jenn?

Jennifer: Walk.

Staff: Walks.

Liz: Walks? Yeah, that's nice. When the sun is out? What else do you like to do?

Jennifer: Well...Skip-no.

Liz: Zippo?

Staff: Skip-bo.

Liz: Skip-bo? What's skip-bo, Jenn?

Jennifer: Cards.

Liz: It's cards? Oh.

Jennifer: (Inaudible) in the hot seat..

Liz: In the hot seat?

Jennifer: She kicked my butt.

Staff: Kicked her butt.

Liz: She's good at skip-bo.

Jennifer: Yeah, she's the best at it.

Staff: What about you? You're pretty good at skip-bo yourself.

Jennifer: I am in the hot seat too.

Staff: You teach lots of people how to play skip-bo. You taught me how to play skip-bo.

Jennifer: Nikki!

Liz: You're teaching everyone how to play skip-bo. Where do you play? In the game room?

Jennifer: No.

Liz: No?

Jennifer: At my place.

Liz: Oh, what's your place like?

Jennifer: Room five.

Liz: Yeah? What do you have? A bed? A dresser?

Staff: You have a new what?

Liz: New dresser?

Staff: A new what you've been using that you painted? What color did you pick out? Do you know what I'm talking about? You have your own what now? You cleaned it this morning. Your bedroom? What color is it?

Jennifer: Pink.

Liz: Pink?

Staff: And what do you have in your bedroom?

Jennifer: Bed.

Staff: And what else? We used it this morning to write our schedule.

Jennifer: Chalkboard.

Staff: And what else? We finally got it where you can see it.

Jennifer: A TV.

Staff: Yeah.

Liz: A TV? What do you like to watch on the TV?

Jennifer: I don't know.

Staff: I don't know what you like to watch.

Liz: Like movies or TV shows?

Jennifer: Movies sometimes and...

Liz: Mm-hm.

Jennifer: Movies.

Liz: What was on your schedule today on your chalkboard?

Staff: You can tell her.

Jennifer: What is it?

Staff: Well, what did we start with? Do you remember?

Liz: We should let her... I think that's Lisa. Sorry. It was locked.

Staff: What was the first thing on your board today, Jenn?

Jennifer: What did you come in for?

Liz: Hm?

Jennifer: When is Lisa going to come in?

Liz: When is Lisa coming in? I think at 1:45.

Jennifer: 1:45?

Liz: Yeah and then we'll go do a picture too. Let me see what else is on your card. Oh ponies! I saw some ponies on the drive up here. So ponies are your favorite animal?

Jennifer: Yeah. Horses.

Liz: You like horses?

Staff: I think she asked do you like horses?

Liz: Oh, yes, I love horses. I love to ride horses.

Jennifer; You have any?

Liz: No. I have a friend who has some horses and lets me ride some sometimes.

Jennifer: Do you have any pets?

Liz: Yes. I have a dog named Luna who is this tall and black.

Jennifer: How big is he?

Liz: Medium.

Jennifer: How wide?

Liz: How wide? This big with big muscles.

Jennifer: What color is it?

Liz: Black with black eyes and a pink nose.

Jennifer: How many pets do you have?

Liz: Just one.

Jennifer: Do you have any kids?

Liz: Nope, no kids. Just the dog.

Jennifer: You have a husband?

Liz: Nope, no husband. Just the dog.

Jennifer: You have no husband at all?

Liz: Nope.

Jennifer: Never married?

Liz: No, I never got married. Not yet.

Jennifer: You have any boyfriends?

Liz: Yes. Sometimes.

Jennifer: You have a boyfriend now?

Liz: No, not really. You're such a good interviewer. You are!

Staff: Say that's OK because what are men? We just talked about this at lunch.

Liz: Oh, tell me!

Jennifer: Men are nothing but trouble.

Liz: Yes!

Staff: That's right.

Jennifer: Men are nothing but trouble.

Liz: Thanks.

Staff: Do you want that? It fell.

Liz: How about you Jenn? Do you have any boyfriends?

Jennifer: No.

Liz: No? Well love can be very tricky, right? And trouble. Love can be a lot of trouble. I did hear you had a dance recently. Was there a dance here?

Staff: Friday nights.

Liz: Friday?

Staff: Yeah we didn't get to go to the dinner dance. It's too noisy. We're working on it.

Liz: Oh, yeah. Yeah?

Staff: We're working on it.

Liz: It can get so noisy. Do you have more questions, Jenn?

Jennifer: You like cats?

Liz: I love cats. Do you have any cats?

Jennifer: No, dog.

Liz: You have a dog?

Jennifer: No.

Liz: If you could have any pet, what kind of pet would you have?

Jennifer: Dogs are a lot of work.

Liz: Dogs are a lot of work, you're right.

Jennifer: I like dogs but I like cats better. Take them outside, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out. I don't like dogs.

Liz: You're right Jenn. They're a lot of work.

Jennifer: If I want a cat I choose cats.

Liz: Yes? What would you call your cat? What would you call your cat? Your pet cat?

Jennifer: They're in here.

Liz: Yeah, just dropping off their stuff. I love black cats.

(background talking)

Liz: It might be on that green paper.

Staff: Oh, here's your paper.

Jennifer: You're helping them out?

Liz: Yep.

Jennifer: Why were you helping them out for?

Staff: I don't know. I guess I'm compelled to be helpful.

Liz: She's a helpful person.

Jennifer: She was helping too. She's doing her stuff, I'm doing my stuff right now.

Liz: Yeah.

Jennifer: I'm doing my stuff right now.

Liz: You are. You're doing a good job.

Jennifer: That thing she's doing. What's that?

Liz: Me? Liz?  I'm doing my job. Just asking questions. How many cats would you have if you could choose a number? Is three cats too many? Or four cats? What are other animals that you like, Jenn?

Jennifer: Rabbits.

Liz: Uh-huh. What else?

Staff: Rabbits? You take care of the rabbits in the yard, don't you? Do you take care of the rabbits here? What do you do for them?

Jennifer: Feed them.

Staff: She does. Not always but she's saves a little bit of her food from her meals and we put it out in the yard for the rabbit.

Liz: What kind of food do they like? What?

Staff: Tell her. You told me. What were you feeding them?

Jennifer: French fries.

Liz: French fries? Did they like them?

Jennifer: Mm-hm.

Liz: Do you like French fries?

Jennifer: I do.

Liz: You fed the rabbit French fries?

Jennifer: and salad.

Liz: Salad? That sounds like what they eat too.

Jennifer: I gave them that too.

Liz: I heard that you have ice cream in the café. Is that true?

Jennifer: Hmm. He told you.

Liz: Jimmy?

Jennifer: Jimmy.

Liz: Yep, said that there is ice cream in the café.

Jennifer: Which Jimmy?

Liz: Tall Jimmy?

Staff: Oh Jimmy, big Jim?

Liz: Yeah.

Staff: Jimmy Corsen. He always says "Hey, how's it going?" And he always wears his hat.

Liz: He had a green hat on.

Staff: You'd know him if you saw him.

Liz: He was making a lot of jokes.

Staff: He usually sits out here at the end of the hall.

Liz: Well he said there was ice cream. Can I look at your pictures again, Jenn? Your pictures?

Staff: Can I give them to her to look at?

Liz: Don't let them touch your body.

Staff: Don't let them touch your body.

Liz: OK. What's that in the corner? That's one of your favorite birds it seems. A dove?

Jennifer: No.

Liz: No? What is it?

Jennifer: Dove.

Liz: Dove. This looks like it was around Christmas time?

Jennifer: Mm.

Liz: Yeah? Do you like Christmas?

Jennifer: Yes. Do you?

Liz: Yeah I love Christmas.

Jennifer: Why?

Liz: I love a Christmas tree that smells really good. Did you have a tree here?

Jennifer: No.

Staff: I don't think we had a tree this year.

Liz: No tree?

Staff: No.

Liz: Did you have Christmas gifts?

Jennifer: Mm-hm.

Liz: Yeah? What kind of gifts were there? Do you remember?

Staff: I know what happened around Christmas time. You had a special birthday around Christmas.

Jennifer: My birthday.

Liz: Really? How old did you turn on your birthday?

Jennifer: 30.

Liz: 30? I had a big party on my 30th birthday.

Jenn: When?

Liz: Two years ago. 2013.

Jennifer: So did I.

Liz: Yeah?

Staff: So did she.

Liz: You had a party? What happened at your party?

Jennifer: When is your birthday?

Liz: January 22nd. Hi. What's up?

Staff: We're just coming to get something...

Liz: No, that's OK.

Staff: They want to come in and get something. She apologized for interrupting. She said "Sorry to interrupt, can we come get something?" and we said "Sure!"

Liz: When is your birthday, Jenn? What date?

Staff: Stay focused. Did you hear her?

Liz: What date is your birthday? Mine is January 22nd.

Jennifer: Mine is December 29th.

Liz: Oh! December 29th? That's almost New Year's Eve.

Jennifer: I'm 30 right now.

Liz: I know!

Jennifer: How old are you now?

Liz: 32. Two years older.

Jennifer: What's your name?

Liz: Liz.

Jennifer: What's your middle name?

Liz: Danielle.

Jennifer: What's your last name?

Liz: Green.

Jennifer: How old are you?

Liz: 32.

Jennifer: You are two years older than me.

Liz: Yep.

Jennifer: Amy Heckmon. Jennifer Amy Heckmon.

Staff: Her name is Jennifer Amy Heckmon.

Liz: Jennifer Amy...

Jennifer: Heckmon.

Liz: Heckmon. But you're called Jenn sometimes?

Jennifer: Yes Jennifer.

Liz: My name is Elizabeth and I'm called Liz sometimes.

Jennifer: What is it?

Liz: Elizabeth. E-L-I-Z-A-B-E-T-H.

Jennifer: Liz?

Liz: Yeah, it's easier. Thanks for sharing those pictures. Those dogs have big ears. Do you feel like getting your picture taken?

Jennifer: Yes.

Liz: Yes? Did you see the photographer before? A very tall man.

Jennifer: No.

Staff: The one that was taking pictures.

Liz: Yep, his name is JJ.

Jennifer: Is he coming?

Staff: I think we're going to the auditorium.

Liz: We're going to the auditorium.

Jennifer: You going?

Liz: Yeah, we'll go together.

Jennifer: So come on. How many is that?

Liz: What's that?

Jennifer: How many is that?

Staff: How long will we be getting our picture taken?

Liz: It won't be long. Not that long.

Jennifer: How many in there?

Liz: Yeah there's people in there.

Jennifer: How many are they?

Staff: How many minutes? I don't know. Maybe like 10.

Liz: Yeah ten minutes?

Staff: I don't know what they're going to do but I don't think it'll take too long. I can't imagine...

Liz: Yeah. Jenn, when you were preparing this was there anything else you wanted to say?

Staff: IS there anything you want to tell her about yourself?

Liz: Anything about yourself or your life?

Jennifer: No.

Liz: It's a good life?

Staff: I don't know. Are you happy with your life or is there something you would want to change if you could?

Jennifer: I'm happy.

Staff: You're happy with your life?

Liz: What makes you happy?

Jennifer: I don't know.

Liz: Yeah? It's hard to know that.

Jennifer: Are you ready?

Liz: I think so. You want me to run ahead and make sure they're ready for the picture?

Staff: I'm just following your lead.

Staff: I was going to say.

Liz: We'll just go ahead and check it out. That sounds good.

Staff: I don't think it'll be too bad.


Photos by JJ Tiziou

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