Interview with Kerry and William from For Cory’s Sake by Carolyn Wada
Jeffrey: Hi everybody, this interview comes courtesy of Kerry’s memory. When we found out about the assignment, we all thought the interviewee should be Dad, but Dad felt awkward about deliberately talking ’bout himself. But then Kerry remembered a heart-to-heart he’d had, in the kitchen with Dad one day, and of course he also remembered the actual talk. Dad agreed to let us use it; and so here it is, edited for flow but all correct in content.
Kerry: Why did you care so much about Cory?
William: My father used to tell me stories about Coryan children, and the harsh realities of their enslaved lives. I had a vivid imagination, and it was easy for me to put myself in their place, as a child. And once there, I could not forget about them or ignore them.
I could never not care after I’d once “imagined Roci.”
Kerry: After Captain Prackerd came into power, did you ever think about quitting being a lightning rod?
Kerry: Were you ever, afraid?
William: I would feel an incredibly strong physical fear directly before an event. Otherwise, I tried not to think about it. I worried more about my children, and what my lifestyle might be doing to their lives.
Kerry: Would be nice if all fathers could think like that . . . So were you ever, embarrassed?
William: All the time. I have a bad tendency towards self-consciousness, and I did feel like “a freak.” I’d always thought of myself as a very normal and uninteresting person, and then suddenly, I was a criminal, and people stared at me in grocery stores!
I never did get used to that aspect.
Kerry: I know what you mean . . .
William: And then I was worried about my children, that they might feel like freaks too. But they handled it so well, and I’m so proud of them, for that.
Kerry: I wish . . .
William: I worried about you too. I was ambivalent about how we were using you. It made me uncomfortable that we were asking so much risk and sacrifice of you, who was under no obligation to help us or even care . . .
Kerry: But you made me care! Because of what you did. I had to know why; and once I did I couldn’t, as you said, ever not care.
William: Terrence said something like that. I don’t know . . . I can’t take credit, it was just a coincidence. It could have been anyone . . .
Kerry: I don’t know . . . I don’t think so.