A One Small Step Conversation: ‘We’re on opposite sides politically, but I think at heart we’re very much similar’

By Mia Warren and Nicolas Cadena, Story Corps

Today, we’re going to eavesdrop on a conversation between two people in Marfa.

It’s part of a new StoryCorps initiative called One Small Step (OSS). Through facilitated conversations, the OSS Initiative seeks to remind people across political and cultural divides of our shared humanity.

Allison Scott and Gloria Applegate have been friends for about 40 years. The two women have lived in Marfa, crossing paths in the grocery store or community meetings, but they’ve avoided talking politics because they know they don’t agree on much. (Courtesy of StoryCorps)

In February, Gloria Applegate and Allison Scott sat down together in Marfa for One Small Step. The two first met in the 1970s, at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. Since then, they have both lived in Marfa, crossing paths in the grocery store or community meetings.

But they’ve avoided talking politics because they know they don’t agree on much. Allison describes herself as a liberal and Gloria, as a conservative.

Their interview will be archived, along with hundreds of thousands of others, at the Library of Congress.

This segment was produced by StoryCorps’ Mia Warren, and facilitated by Nicolas Cadena.

You can read a transcript of Allison and Gloria’s conversation below:

Gloria Applegate: “I was raised with guns. It was nothing that we children were ever scared of. We had a healthy respect. My father was a trucker and he was often gone and one of my very earliest memories I was about five and a man came to our front door one day. He was a salesman of some kind and he forced his way through the door.

Applegate: “We were all terrified of course when this man began to act very ugly and pushed his way in. And because that gun was right there, my timid little mother she grabbed the gun and she protected us. So he realized he needed to leave. She probably didn’t know whether she would really shoot him or not, but that to me is very key to why I have never had a problem with having guns in our home even with our own daughters. We taught them the same way, they always know where the guns were and they knew not to touch them.”

Allison Scott: “You know, when we were growing up we would always have twenty twos or B.B. guns in the pasture and shoot rabbits. And it’s funny, I had a childhood memory too. When we lived in Pecos, we came home and our dog was shot. My mom walked next door and we were with her and our neighbors son was there and he was an alcoholic and he was trying to explain that our dog was barking so he shot the dog. He was reaching for the gun to tell what he did. So my mom just put us behind her and started backing up and we went back home.”

Scott: “And it’s interesting we both had an experience with a gun but it’s totally different.”

Applegate: “And shaped us probably in in two different ways.”

Scott: “It shaped us in different ways for sure.”

Scott: “Growing older, Rudy my husband was a harbor police officer and he would lock his gun up and it terrified me to have guns in the house. I relish the ride that I have to own whatever gun I want to have. And at the same time I would really love to see more regulations.”

Applegate: “I would be OK with looking at some controls, but I feel like we can’t stand to lose any ground on some of these issues that we have to stand tough.”

Scott: “Right, well thank you for telling me that. Because that’s the thing about the issues, just like you and me, each of us are more gray than we are black and white.”

Applegate: “I think we’re on opposite sides politically, but I think at heart we’re very much similar.”

Scott: “Thank you for sharing that with me.”

Applegate: “You’re welcome. But I couldn’t live if if you weren’t so easy to talk to and so open. And now I feel like I know you better.”

Scott: “Me too.”

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