Bite Size Memoir: Interviews

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

December 1, 2014

Bite Size Memoir for Carrot RanchOver the years I’ve been involved in interviews on both sides of the table. I’ve had terrific coaching from a wonderful HR manager, yet nothing comes to mind worthy of a story when I think of interviews I’ve conducted. There were the oddballs like the resume that escaped HR scrutiny–the first page was promising and the second page revealed the applicant’s obsession with aliens. Seriously. I did not grant an interview. Only two job interviews truly stand out. One was a boon  and the other a disaster. Both left a lasting impression, but I’m not sure how to distill either one.

Then I recalled other interviews–the ones writers conduct. The latest memory prompt from Lisa Reiter at Sharing the Story is about interviews. This is based on one I got to photograph.


She was driving a University of Montana fleet vehicle to conduct interviews with local farmers about newly released GM alfalfa. It was a hot-button story for rural communities and food advocacy at large. I rode in the passenger-side seat, watching miles of snow covered fields stretch between jagged profusions of opposing mountain ranges. Not an easy place to farm. I was riding shotgun as the photographer. We pulled into a dinky motel in Lewistown, Montana. I once lived here, 22 years ago. Bittersweet emotions washed over me. Here my daughters toddled at Big Springs and watched Bugs Bunny the day their brother was born at home. It’s a tiny town with streets on steep hills that close in winter. It’s where I once dreamed of going to school one day, of being a writer. This day I returned with a journalism grad student. This day my daughter was the interviewer.


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  1. Let's CUT the Crap!

    It’s a small world after all. <3 <3 <3 Congratulations. 😉

    • Charli Mills

      It comes back around!

      • Let's CUT the Crap!

        😀 😀 😀
        NO matter. You have bigger fish to fry. <3

      • Charli Mills

        Thanks! <3

  2. Annecdotist

    Yay, proud Mum! Lovely memory, thanks for sharing

    • Charli Mills

      It was a proud Mum moment! 🙂

  3. Norah

    How proud you must have felt – that you achieved your goals, and you were able to accompany your daughter on such an amazing journey and important purpose. Awesomely satisfying! 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      It was one of those times when you get to compare where you are to where you’ve been. And seeing my daughter in the driver’s seat (figuratively, as well) was awesome.

      • Norah

        I always loved being a parent of young children. But it’s just as awesome to watch them grow up into the amazing people they become!

      • Charli Mills

        It truly is!

  4. Jeanne Lombardo

    Love this one. Every mother can relate. Very nicely done! Did not see it coming at all 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      She was so young when we lived there, she could hardly remember it! Which seemed to make it more poignant to me.

  5. Sherri

    Beautiful memoir this Charli…who would have thought, 22 years later, you would be returning to that same, small town with your amazing daughter as the interviewer? i really felt the poignancy of this moment in your life as you described the landscape and the day your son was born. Very moving this 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      We laughed, trying to find the shabby trailer park where he was born. It doesn’t get more rustic than that! And to be returning with a child who lived in such a humble place, now a successful radio journalist and writer, was moving.

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