Patrons & Partnerships

Ep. 43: Glen Battle

June 22, 2023 Library Partnership Branch, Alachua County Library District Season 1 Episode 43
Patrons & Partnerships
Ep. 43: Glen Battle
Show Notes Transcript

Thanks for joining us for another episode of Patrons & Partnerships, presented by the Library Partnership Branch of the Alachua County Library District.

Welcome to another patron interview, where we spoke with Glen Battle, one of our frequent patrons here at the Library Partnership. Glen is a multi-talented individual who loves to garden, draw, watch movies, and participate in the Special Olympics.

Visit the Alachua County Library District website to browse our collection and to find other resources and services offered at your favorite, local library!

You can view a transcript of this podcast on ACLD's YouTube Channel.

[music]

Hunter:

Thank you for joining us. My name is Hunter. I'm one of the library assistants here at Library Partnership. And Glen is one of my favorite patrons. He always makes the day a little bit peachier. Would you like to introduce yourself?

Glen:

Yes, my name is Glen Battle. I am a person who comes to the library a lot.

Hunter:

That's true. We see you almost every day. Could you tell us a little bit about your interests?

Glen:

Well, I have a lot of interests. I love to garden. Love to sing, draw. Do Special Olympics. Basically anything what's fun to do.

Hunter:

Anything what's fun to do. And you said you always have fun, so - Glen: Yes. All right. When did you first start drawing and doing art?

Glen:

I had to figure out a different way to release my stress, because I always like to break stuff of my own. Cuz that's what I'd known as to do, break my stuff. But when people told me there's other ways, they brought me some fuzzy posters, and they had some colored pencils, markers and pens. So I said, I'll use the pens. And from there, it just went off. So I start coloring and drawing to release my anger when I get mad.

Hunter:

How long have you been doing art?

Glen:

I'll say about, I started when I was like, nine. And now I'm about to be 45.

Hunter:

So all your life. All right, and how does the library help support your art?

Glen:

Um, they put it up so everybody can see. And they say, Oh, this is nice. And so people can see and they, like - whoa, we've never seen person color with pens before. And it might, it looked different.

Hunter:

That makes sense. And what inspires your artwork? It sounds like somewhat, it's driven by anger. But I've seen a lot of your art and it doesn't all seem to be driven by anger and stress.

Glen:

Some, some of it's come by from anger, stress, but the majority of them - actually, most of them come by letting my mind wander. And just well, this tiger don't have to be this color. So just come up with a different color. So I just think about what other color would, it might look nice in or cool. So it just, whatever my - I let my mind wander, I just put on music when I'm happy. I just put on music. And don't think about what colors, I just let my mind wander and my mind just guide my fingers to pick up what color and I just go away. Just let it go.

Hunter:

Now you mentioned gardening. So what have you grown from the seeds that you've gotten here?

Glen:

The tomatoes, the squash, the corn, the flowers, basically all of them except for I'm waiting for the cantaloupes to come up.

Hunter:

So a lot of different things. Okay, did you garden before you started getting seeds here? Because I noticed you seem to have a bit of a green thumb.

Glen:

Yeah, I did it when I was in high school and plus foster foster home. That's where it really started because, all my childhood, I was in foster homes, I was moving from foster home to foster home. And I went to this last foster home and I was there for three years. And that was a living pain for me. I got treated like a slave and all that kind of stuff and called all kinds of names and got beat up. And so she went to the store and she brought a whole bunch of garden stuff, about I'd say about $3,000 worth of stuff - plants, flowers, bricks what you walk on, mulch, bird bath. And she said here, and I plant the roses, did all of that stuff. So I taught myself how to do gardening stuff. And that's when I had to - actually, I said, Well, I taught myself, so might as well keep on doing it. So I turned that negative into a positive.

Hunter:

Very good. Sounds like you did that with the art and with the gardening. Yeah, that's good. I don't know if you know, I actually grew up, my mom always had a garden so I was not self taught. I learned but that seems like something that's kind of hard to self teach, you know, trial and error. Did you kill a few plants along the way?

Glen:

Yeah, cuz you had to break some eggs to learn how to make an omelet. So yeah. But also, I brought 'em back to life because my specialty is rosebushes. And I went to the school in Fort Myers and the teacher said, well, I don't got nothing for you to do but hold on. And he came back he said, I got something for you. I said, Okay. Took me outside and said, I got four rose bushes, they is dead. He said, If you bring these back to life, I'm gonna give you an A for the rest of the semester. I said, Okay, so I seen what was wrong. They got, they had them in a small pot. That's why they was dying. Because once the roots, the roots get bigger for the pot, it'll start killing off itself and trying to send the food up to the other places was dead. And it actually is killing itself. So I took it out of the pot, put it in the ground, and I clipped off the dead stuff, and watered it every day. And then next thing you know, they started getting buds back and he's talking about, I don't want you to go because the roses started looking beautiful forever.

Hunter:

Oh, that's nice. That's nice. Roses. Do you have any roses growing now? Glen: Yeah. Alright, very nice. Have you heard of the Alachua Rose? Glen: No. It's actually I believe a Florida native and they're smaller. Little flowers, little roses. My mom has some of those in her garden. All right. Um, what other unique ways do you think the library can help people? Like, it seems to help with your art and with your gardening - are there any other things you think we could help people with?

Glen:

Well, y'all already doing it. Because when people come in, y'all don't have to talk with us, our chat with us. Y'all choose to, and that's what kindness go a long way in. And when you see that, and people realize that you don't have no problems. Because in the world, you need kindness. You can't be always be mean because of - there's... People get shot over some stupid stuff. Kid going around shooting people. These world, it's not safe now. So kindness can go a long way.

Hunter:

The world needs more kindness. So we're already doing it, being kind to people. That's nice to hear. We do try. Alright, what kind of music do you enjoy?

Glen:

I like all kinds of music except for one.

Hunter:

What's the one you don't like? Glen: Opera. Opera! Really! Glen: I don't really like opera because it's like, [yelling] I've only ever watched one opera. It was in a foreign language. And they were all singing on top of each other. So the subtitles couldn't keep up with it. And I couldn't figure out what was going on.

Glen:

But Nutcracker, ooh, I loved it. I was a little kid. They told me we finna go to the Nutcracker. I said, Nutcracker? What, people getting kicked in they private parts? They talking about no, it's not like that, so why they call it the nutcracker, then? Hunter: Well, it's like a Christmas nutcracker, y'know? Well, I didn't know that at the time. They talking about - I mean, I'm not - not finna watch this. I'm gonna go. I was in middle school, I will say, and I'm not going to watch this. And something happened, I said - the teachers said, wanna go? I said huh? I sat there watching it. I said, no, I'm good, I'm - leave me alone, I'm watching this now. So I started watching The Nutcracker. It was good.

Hunter:

You didn't think you'd like it. But you did. Has the library helped you discover any new music? New kinds of music?

Glen:

Yes. Because some people what I never heard of. I asked you a couple of times, or some other people look up some names. And I said I never heard of that person. So listen to that CD and I listened to it. And I liked some of their songs.

Hunter:

What is your favorite movie? If you can pin it down to one. If not, do like top three or something.

Glen:

I like action movies, funny movies. But one of them, the movie was what I like is with Jet Li, when he's fighting the nation and out of all that, they poison him. And he still won the match. But when they - when the guys seen that, he gave him to win because he was fighting even when they poisoned him and that kind of reminded me of when, about me. Because some some movies touch me and I feel like yeah, that's like me, because I will never give up on in the world. Hunter: Even if you're poisoned. Yeah, I would never give up on life because my last name is Battle, so...

Hunter:

You gotta battle, struggle and fight.

Glen:

And other movies, Black Mass with Jet Lee. Hunter: I don't know that one.

Hunter:

That's another Jet Lee movie? Okay. Glen: Mhmm.

Glen:

And, and Unleashed.

Hunter:

Unleashed. I do know that one. Glen: And The One. The One, yes, I know that one as well. Jet Lee. I like Jackie Chan movies growing up.

Glen:

Yeah, he's, he's funny.

Hunter:

He's funny, yeah. Less serious, Jet Lee is more serious.

Glen:

I think his best movie is when he was in Rush Hour. Hunter: Yeah. With Chris Tucker -

Hunter:

Chris Tucker. I like Chris Tucker, too, he's funny. Alright, how do you find new movies to watch?

Glen:

Well, the previews on the movies. And that's what I write it down if it look cool. I said, Oh, yeah, I want to watch this. This look cool. Like today. You said, we don't have this movie. I said, Man, I wanted to watch that. Because that look cool. The king you?

Hunter:

Yeah. Kinichi, it was? Well, maybe you can recommend to have us purchase it. And maybe we will. What do you think about the selection of materials we have available?

Glen:

I feel like y'all can have a little more - more of options, because there's other movies of people, what plays in.

Hunter:

So you think we should like, get an actor and get all of their movies?

Glen:

No, what I'm saying is, like expand the movies collection, cuz I've mostly, I've almost seen all the movies in there. In the library.

Hunter:

You might be able to get more if you order them from other libraries. The other ones in the district will have other movies.

Glen:

Well, I'll - I go do that and, and bring it over here. Cuz that's what I did with the at the other library when, when I was way down there by the Dollar Store. I went to another library brought movies back and CDs, because what's the name? I can't remember that guy's name. The older guy with the long hair? Glasses? Hunter: Nick?

Hunter:

Is it Nick? I don't know, I wasn't working here at the time.

Glen:

No, you use here when that guy was here, because he moved to another branch. He became the assistant, I think?

Hunter:

Yeah, that was Nick.

Glen:

Because I knew him down there. And he told me, wow, you back again. I said, yep. So every time when I come in, we always talk and chat, saying, What? What's your goal today? Well, my goal is to try to get over 80 CDs this time. Hunter: 80 CDs? Yeah, movies, CDs. Hunter: That's too many. Uh-uh, you can have up to 100.

Hunter:

Yeah, but how are you gonna listen to 80 CDs?

Glen:

That's easy. Hunter: You gotta keep them for a while. Well, if there's certain songs I don't like I just go to the next one. [laughs]

Hunter:

That seems like a lot to me. What would you say is the best thing about the library?

Glen:

The people, the atmosphere, people always willing to help. And the spaces of the rooms and the computer. Because too many people don't come in, use the computer. And you always have a computer. And plus, you will always have a desk or room. Because people come want a private room. But you will still always have a private room. And plus, you can observe movies, places so you can watch movies and stuff like that. So that's - come in and relax.

Hunter:

So that's everything, almost, all right. Everything's your favorite thing. Is there anything you think we could be doing better? Besides getting more movies?

Glen:

No, that's it. Hunter: No, that's it? Everything is peachy-okay. Hunter: It's peachy.

Hunter:

Yeah. Every time you come in, we asked you how you're, you say...

Glen:

Peachy. Hunter: Just peachy, yup. Always doing peachy.

Hunter:

I usually just say I'm still alive. But your answer's a bit happier. I like that, peachy. Why are you always peachy?

Glen:

Cuz when life is going bad, I don't see - actually, I don't see the bad, I still see the good in the bad. So that's why I try to always be happy. Because you got one life. So you might as well enjoy life have fun. So that's why - and peaches, they always sweet. And it can be good. And you can have fun picking 'em with other people. So that's why I say peachy.

Hunter:

I went peach picking once. Only once in my life. You been peach picking? Glen: Mhmm.

Glen:

With a whole bunch, me and a whole bunch of friends. We were just like, Oh, we got to find the juicy ones. We got to

Hunter:

find a juicy one. And we had a contest. Hunter: To see who could find the juiciest peach?

Glen:

Yeah. And nobody didn't really win because we were just having fun to try to find 'em.

Hunter:

Okay, well, you know, it sounds like you went through some stuff in your life. You said the foster homes and people being mean to you and such. Do you have any advice for anyone who's going through tough times?

Glen:

Well, yeah, you're right, I did went through a lot as I was growing up and had a lot got told to me a whole bunch of lies. But one thing is you cannot let it control your life. Don't let take control of you. Because if you do you will go down and down and down and you will never come back. So you got to keep taking control of that situation and take control of your life to not let the bad stuff take control.

Hunter:

Alright, that's words of wisdom from from Glen Battle.

Glen:

Yeah, cuz I found out, cuz I was legally blind and that affected my night vision and my [inaudible] vision and a lot of people didn't know that. When I do sports and when I miss a ball I missed something, they talking about, you didn't see that? I said no, I'm blind. They talking about, I can't tell you blind because you be shooting three, blocking, and - Yeah, cuz I told him, I don't let it control my life. I take control of it. So that's why a lot of people don't know I'm legally blind until stuff happens and I tell them.

Hunter:

Okay, I did not know you are legally blind. I just thought you wore glasses. Is there anything else you'd like to talk about while we're in here?

Glen:

Just like to have fun. And if I don't tease you, I don't like you.

Hunter:

Yeah, you do tease me sometimes. You don't call me old man, though. A lot of people come in here calling me old man.

Glen:

John call you old man. Hunter: John calls me old man. Yeah. And what's his name, Carl.

Hunter:

Carl. Yeah, they call me old man. But you never call me old man. You just call me Hunter. Glen: Uh-uh. Yeah. Alright, well. I guess that about concludes our interview, Glen.

Glen:

All righty.

Hunter:

Thank you very much for being here today.

Glen:

You are very welcome.

Hunter:

We appreciate your time.

Glen:

I appreciate y'all time, too. If y'all want me to come back, I'll come back.

Hunter:

All right. Well, we'll be in touch I see every day anyway.

Glen:

All righty then. Hunter: All right.[music]

Eleanore:

Thanks for listening to Patrons & Partnerships. If you know of an individual or organization you'd like to recommend for an interview, email us at lpsfprogram@gmail.com To listen to more episodes, find us anywhere you listen to podcasts.