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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Interviewee: Michael Gannon
Interviewer: David Colburn
C: 'Mike, the last time we talked, I asked you the question about charac-
terizing race relations in St. Augustine prior to 1963.
G: And I remember saying that I thought on the whole, they were very good.
Exceptionally good, except for what was the obvious prejudice of many
whites toward blacks as being a minority race, and the fact that blacks
for that reason, could not eat in the same restaurants, could not sleep
in the same motels, could not use many of the other public facilities that
whites used. But in that, St. Augustine, as part of the South, was par-
ticipating in the general culture of the South. But if you take that
general culture as a whole, I think that to the degree that it was possible,
the white people of St. Augustine had acheived a modus vivendi with black
people that was exceptionally free of, of what, trouble, of abrasion and
conflict. And as a matter of fact, there was even a certain demonstrated
affability as, if you looked at the demography of the town, you could see
that prior to 1963,blacks lived interspersed, intermingled among the white
neighborhoods. While their were certain obviously black quarters of the
city, there were also many other quarters where black housing existed side
by side with white housing, with neither group averting to it in any public
way, and without any downgrading of property values and so on. So, I think
that, overall, St. Augustine had acheived about as good a working relation-
ship and living relationship, blacks and whites, as was acheived in the
C: Okay, I remember you mentioning that the last time. That's one of the
things I found very interesting, and rather unique about a Southern town,
Page 2 sjm
to see that there was very little racial segregation in housing. We
also talked briefly about Dr. Joseph Shelley, who was head of the, mayor
of the commission and you were characterizing him, you were discussing
him, and the other members of the commission. Would you care to go over
that again briefly?
G: Alright. Well, first, if I recall, I said that there were a number of
identifiable social groups or classes or sets within the community and
that there was very little social mobility from one to the other. And if
I could review those again, then I could place Joseph Shelley-
C: Fine, fine.
G: And the general leadership of the town within one of those groups. Now
the first of those groups, I said, was the old, I call them the old English
group, in that most of them have English names, are old-time Anglo-American
families dating back to the territory and early statehood years. Many of
them belong to the Trinity Episcopal Church in the city. Many of them
lived on Water Street, directly north of the Castile de San Marcos along
the bay. They were generally very well educated, enlightened, had no pro-
blems about racism. At least none that were public or ever came into view.
Had, what would you say, a liberal sophisticated approach to the world in
general, and to St. Augustine in particular. That was one group, and a
very small group.
C: Were they influential?
G: Not in city politics, no. They were not. They were influential culturally,
they supported the arts, and they were generally well-to-do and so had the
influence that money always has. But apart from that, they were not a
Page 3 sjm
significant force in, in government or life in St. Augustine. They
were respected, looked up to, but they generally kept to themselves, and
that's one of the things I'm going to say about all of these individual
groups: that they generally kept to themselves, socialized among them-
selves, and had very little intermix with the other social groups in the
city. The second group I identified as the Minorcans, the members of the
families, descendants of the Minorcan families who elected to stay in St.
Augustine after the American takeover of Florida in 1821. And there are
quite a few families of Minorcan descent. And they form a very distinct
identifiable social or community group within the city. They tend to be
very self-centered, narrow in their understanding of themselves and their
place in St. Augustine's history. Sometimes defensive, but always proud
and assertive, in that they are, generally speaking, the oldest families in
the city. As far as their attitude toward minority groups, and particularly
the blacks is concerned, they seem to have participated with the old Eng-
lish families in the generally good relations thatAwhite people had to-
ward the blacks in St. Augustine prior to 1963, but with the difference,
with this difference. That you have to look at the Minorcans not as an
absolutely, what's the word, that you can't look at the Minorcans as a
monolith. Rather they were a community that was highly stratified accord-
ing to education, wealth, opportunity to travel and so forth. Many of the
Minorcan families perhaps by dint of the tradition or heritage that was
inculcated in them in their youth were very much St. Augustine centered.
They had no great interest in travel, to discover the virtues of other cul-
tures. St. Augustine was home. I always think of the Minorcans when I
Page 4 sjm
think of that English lady who was once asked why she didn't travel,
and she said,"Why should I travel when I'm already here?" And I think
that's the way the Minorcans felt about, and still feel about, about St.
Augustine. But that's again to make a generalization to which there
are exceptions. The more enlightened, the more educated and the more
wealthy of the Minorcans tended to travel and to do exciting and innovative
things. But as you went down the line of education opportunity and affluence,
and.ended at the bottom, you had people who were extremely narrow, ex-
tremely defensive and who's, not who's sole satisfaction, but who's fre-
quent satisfaction was to find solace in that there were still other people
beneath them. And those people were the blacks. And thus there would be
some Minorcans in this tragic episode who would appear publicly, and in
a very devastating way for St. Augustine, as racists. And the classic
/ /0 4 A" Hey
example was the man known as Hass ,,use /.
C: Ah, he was a Minorcan?
G: Oh yes, very much so.
C: ts IonuIe was a man who lived out in the country, outside, but near
St. Auglustine, who averred to a CBS television interviewer in these days
that there were children running around his house whose names he didn't even
know. Who organized a group of bullies who went into town armed with blud-
geons to beat up the niggers and so forth, and so to assert i-tims- And
you know this is part of the general Southern story, there have been lower
classes of whites sometimes called in popular language "poor white trash",
who have got their kicks out of beating on the group who was below them.
Page 5 sjm
And in that way giving themselves some kind of social respectability-
that there was somebody that they were better than. And I think-Has-
MImsi and his ilk fell into that category. But I would hate for the
Minorcans all to be painted with the same brush as we must paint 44fsr
_Muse There were other Minorcans, and are today who are very enlight-
ened and well-to-do, very successful figures, and they have done an
immense amount of good for St. Augustine. But that is a distinct group.
And by the way, talking about these groups, this was such a tightly knit
group of people there was very little social intercourse between them
and other groups in the city. For example, there was almost no social
intercourse, not even social contact of any meaningful sort between the
Minorcans and the old English group. Now we come to the third group, and
that is the professional and businessman group. Now here you have even
a wider distribution of people, because the professional and businessmen
together with their families, were a very large, almost amorphous group,
which thought they participated in the general Southern culture of St.
Augustine, were never really part of the old history of St. Augustine in the
way that the old English were, and the Minorcans were. They were people
whose homes were in St. Augustine, who loved St. Augustine for its atmos-
phere, for its environment, for the, the beach and, and the company that
they formed with other friends that they found there. But they were not
necessarily people whose long time roots were in the city, although many of
them did have roots within the city. And of course you cannot, you cannot
draw an absolute distinction between the Minorcans and the professional and
Page 6 sjm
Business men, because in point of fact, there were some Minorcans among
the professionals and among the businessmen. But the professional people
and the business people were generally a separate caste or group in that
they tended to belong to the same groups such as Rotary and Kiwanis, and
they tended to associate socially between and among each other. And if you
take that professional and businessman group, you find almost no Minorcans
in it, and you find no old English in it. So, I would identify this as a
special group. And it's this group that gave the civic leadership to the
city over the course of many years, in this present century, and we can go
back to them in a little bit to talk about George Shelley. The fourth
group is the group that I called farmers and fisherman. Pardon me, laborers,
farmers and fishermen. Now here, you're getting close to a group that, while
it never really articulated its' attitude toward the blacks in any overt
or public way prior to 1963, was ready to do so if pressed. Because these
were white people who, who had goals, attitudes, philosophies of their own.
They were people of the earth, people of the sea. They were people who
worked hard, who scraped for a living. Who had very few of the creature
comforts that the professional and business people had, and the old English,
and many of the Miprcans had. In some respects you can say, they were in
frequent, if not constant competition with the blacks for employment, al-
though there never was a racial confrontation over employment between the
two groups. This group became the most vociferous of the St. Augustiners
in the black crisis of 1963-64. Still, it must be said that this group
was not the white group that fought in the streets. These were the people
who criticized the blacks the loudest. These were the people who belonged
Page 7 sjm
to American Legion and the Oddfellows and the Elks and groups such as
that had occasion to come together and to discuss these issues and to
speak about the blacks once black militancy came to the surface. And
they did so very strident tones, but they did not participate themselves
in any of the, or I won't say in any, but in, in much of the activity
that followed. Although there may have been elements of this group in
the, in the problem.
C: They weren't affiliated with Minuse's ancient city hunting club, then?
G: Yes, some of them were, but most of the ancient city hunting club came
from outside the city, outside the ciy. I'm talking about the people
within the city limits, now. The city of St. Augustine, because of the
special point that I think needs to be made, namely that when St. Augustine
had its violent confrontations, those confrontations occurred between
groups, both of which came from outside. But there were people within the
city limits who sympathized with some of the white activism that took
place, and this was the group laborers, farmers and and fishermen. Then
you have, of course, the blacks. And they, the blacks had a, I think a
long time and generally honorable history in the city. They took pride in
the work they did. They had a certain esprit and they lived in a community
that they loved. They wouldn't go anywhere else. They thought St. Augustine
was about as close to heaven as, as a black person in America, could, could
find. And so I think the blacks were generally a contented group, and prior
to the arrival of the, I don't want to call them agitators because that's a
loaded term, but it's the term that was used by the white group, until the
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arrival of those who would sensitize them to their legitimate gripes in
American society, these blacks lived generally contented life with their
lot, and participated freely with white people in various things that they
were allowed to participate in So those are the five groups: old English,
Minorcans, professional and businessmen, laborers, farmers and fishermen,
and finally, blacks. Now, it was that third group, the professional and
businessmen who gave the city its' civic leadership. Not only because
they were the members in the main of the city commission: and zoning board
and other governing bodies, but they were the people of influence, who
at the Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club and various other gatherings, social,
civic and fraternal, had the opportunity to say and do things that affected
the direction of the city in total. It happened that in the early 1960's,
that St. Augustine, which has always been somewhat behind the times in just
about everything, and by design, I might add, because there's consciously
no hurrying and scurrying in St. Augustine. It happened that there was in
the city a very active John Birch chapter, chapter of the John Birch Society.
And this, you see, after the McCarthy era of the fifties, and whereas the
John Birch movement or the extreme conservative or reactionary movement had
been discredited in many quarters of American life, it still lived on with
amazing strength in certain pockets of the South and the West, and St. Augustine
was certainly one of those pockets. The leaders of the John Birch Society,
and therefore the leaders of the reactionary movement and therefore the
people who were always writing condemnatory letters to the St. Augustine
Record about the liberal or progressive direction the country was taking,
the leaders were the physicians. They were the people like Hargrove Norris
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and Joseph Shelley and Dr. Caffaro, I forget his first name, but he's
in the directory, and others. That was a very vocal group. And the
early 1960's was a time of not very great political activity in St. Au-
gustine, there were no special civic issues. The city was fairly much
at peace, participating in general prosperity of the early sixties, tre-
mendous tourist income, everybody was involved in making money. The only
people who were talking ideology were the people on the far right: Hargrove
Norris, Joseph Shelley and various others.
C: If I can interrupt you for a second-
G: Yeah, yeah.
C: Do you have any idea why-there were three doctors-do you have any idea why
they were so conseative?
G: No, I don't and somebody needs to do a study of that. Somebody needs to
find that out. You're obviously the person, because I don't think anybody
has really tried to determine. I used to ask, I was in school in those
years, and, or I was over here at the, well, I was in school until '62, and
then I was in St. Augustine my first year back when I was at the mission
in '63, and I used to ask my mother, "How come all the physicians are
mouthing all these things? What's, what's their problem?" and so forth. But
I don't remember my mom's answer. Maybe she knows, or she can point you to
some people who will know, because she does know the people who know the
answers to these questions. And that would be a very interesting thing to
know. Well, at that particular time, there were a number of businessmen who
exercised leadership in the community. There were three in particular. And
all of them, though citizens of St. Augustine, exercised their authority and
Page 10 sjm
influence in different dimensions or spheres. For example, Eaq Pope,
who is a local insurance agent, was probably the most influential member
of the Florida Senate, because not only of his natural talents as a leader
and an orator, but because of his seniority. &ari Pope was not an inno-
vative legislator. Shortly before his death, he reminisced that he got
very few bills passed but he sure killed a hell of a lot of bad bills.
That was the way he put it. He was known as the "lion of St. John's"
Because he came from St. John's county and he had a mane of white hair.
And I knew him, I knew him well and honor and prize that friendship and
he, he was a man who showed exceptional foresight, a progressive temper
of mind, and did a world of good not only for St. Augustine and St. John's
County, but for the state of Florida. The second person that I would name
who exercised exceptional leadership at this time was Herbert E. Wolfe.
Herbert Wolfe was the chairman of the Exchange Bank. He was the president
of the San Marco Contracting Company, and also the owner of a large, sig-
nificant ranch. He had immense political power, not only locally, but
state-wide. He was the treasurer for at least one governor's campaign
fund, successful governor. He was successful in that the man won the
office. He contributed to the chests of a number of other governors in
C: LPope claims in his memoirs that he helped sponsor Smathers campaign for
G: That's right, I think he did. I think he did. I'm quite sure that that's
true. And so he, he held tremendous sway over local politics and local
life. He owned a great amount of the city. As a matter of fact, a lot of
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people feared Herbert Wolfe, and I think unreasonably, because Herbert
Wolfe was really very ethical, high-minded and generous man with a
strong sense of community obligation. I think he's been faulted unjustly
by many people for for having intentions that I, I'm not sure that
Herbert E. Wolfe ever had. I always found him to be a gentleman, and a
gentleman of high ethical and moral standards. Well in any event, he was
a man who pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. He, I think I told
you that story the last time, which I certainly wouldn't want to repeat
for attribution, because it doesn't appear to do him any credit and it
may not be altogether true, but he was plowing the farm one day as a, as a
young man and there was a black sitting on the fence watching him and
Wolfe was having some difficulty turning the horse and the plow or doing
something, whatever, and the black was sitting on the fence and convincing
and telling him how to do it and right then and there Herbert Wolfe quit
plowing and walked away from the farm, and said, by God, he would never do
anything else the rest of his life that a nigger could do better than him.
So, he set out to do some other things. And he was extremely successful
at them. Toward the, he's still alive, as you know, and toward the end of
his active public career, he was named the first chairman of the Historic
St. Augustine Preservation Board. A Board which by strange irony, I'm
chairman of, now.
C: I didn't know that.
G: And this was really a very significant work that he undertook. And he was
good at it.and he labored hard at it, and really did an exceptional job at
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it. And St. Augustine owes him the highest debt. As a matter of fact,
just recently awarded him the highest honor that the city can bestow, the-
Order of La Florida. Only eight living people can hold that award. They
must be fifty-five years of age and must have rendered truly distinguished
service over the length of many years to the city and only two such people
have been so honored, General Henry W. McMillan, the recently retired adjutant
general and who's also a member of the Board now, and Herbert E. Wolfe,
just two months ago. Well, those are two people who wielded power. And
then we come down to the local level, strictly local level. And we find
Joseph Shelley elected to the City Commission and then becoming mayor com-
missioner. Now I don't remember the system by which the mayor commissioner
C: He's elected by the other members of the commission.
G: He was? Okay. I, I, I think that that's the way it was, that's my recol-
lection. And so Joe Shelley, either in turn, became mayor and unhappily
was mayor during that time, or else he was the first one of the new commis-
sioning, I, I just don't recall. I'm sure you know or will find out. In
any event, he was mayor at the time of St. Augustine's trial, and he was
he was, he was the worst mayor that St. Augustine could have had in that
moment, because he was not a peacemaker, and he was not a man of vision, and
he was not a man who, he was not a compassionate man. He was full of John
Birch rhetoric and he was, his eyes were blinded by extreme right-wing ideo-
logy. And he let things dissolve into chaos and violence and was not unduly
perturbed when the violence happened. He was just the opposite of a civic
leader. He was a civicfollower and of the worst order. I was, I would always
Page 13 sjm
felt friendly with Joe Shelley and his wife, and I sympathized with
them deeply when their son was fatally wounded in Vietnam and Joe flew
out to the Phillipines to the hospital to which his son had been brought
and worked with the physicians day and night, you know, to save his
boy, but he died. Later on, when I was in Vietnam, and I did a series
of articles, one of which was on the field hospital, Da Nang, which was
a, just the most terrible thing I ever saw in my life. And I, I wrote
it up, and it was syndicated, and Mrs. Shelley happened to read it in the
newspaper, and she said, that was the hospital that her boy had been
brought to. They've always felt a certain bond with me for that reason,
and, you know it's hard to say hard things about, about a man whose been
through that agony, and I think that's affected him. I think he's, I
think the death of his boy really took a lot out of Joe Shelley. And then
the subsequent peace, if you want to put it in his terms, defeat that oc-
curred in Vietnam was also, I think, disabled him mentally or emotionally.
I understand he's in a very bad way right now. You know, when you think
that your boy gave his, gave up his life for nothing, it has a, a terrible
effect. When I was in Vietnam, all the guys up on the front lines, the
grunts, the marines and the army guys, they, they all said their private
moments that the war meant nothing to them at all. They saw no reason for
it, it was senseless, it was useless, and I said,"Well, why are you fighting?",
and they said,"To keep my buddy alive." That was the only reason. They
weren't fighting for America, they weren't fighting for-to keep their buddy
alive, that was the one thing. And, and then, the second thing on their
list was,"Because I've lost my best friend," or "Because my buddy's died
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here somewhere and I don't want their, the loss of their lives to, to
mean nothing. I've got to give it a meaning," you know, and so they
kept fighting. And I think Joe's been that way and I think he's just
gone into a pit because of it. A lot of parents experienced this. Well,
that's why, you know, I've got to speak charitably Ct I Dabout Joe
Shelley. But how he got into this, this bent of mind that he was in
in the early sixties, I, I, I don't know. It was, it was the undoing of
St. Augustine, that it did not have at the helm a man of insight, a man
of compassion, a man of courage, a man who would dare to go out and, you know,
hold back the contending forces and speak the language of reason. It
didn't have that kind of man. It had a very inadequate police force, both
city force and county sheriff's force. Both were pitifully undereducated,
undertrained for what happened, and Joe Shelley failed. He was not the
only one who failed. The rest of the City Commission failed. Every civic
leader failed. Unfortunately, as I said the last time, there had not yet
risen to the surface a civic leader such as John D. )/aley proved to be in
the years immediately following this. Now John )aley was in the city at
the time, but John was, he was young, he was a greenhorn in the city, he was
really just getting started. He had gotten his insurance company underway,
together with Peter Thompson, Thompson-Valey Insurance Company. And he was
beginning to test the waters of civic, you know, participation in civic
affairs. He was beginning to take an interest in politics and so forth. After
these terrible years, '63-64, John aley would thrust himself on the
scene to try to save the city, which he did. And in 1965, he was the
mayor of the city and in the year afterwards, I think he was mayor, too.
Page 15 sjm
And ever since then, he has been the conscience of the city, civically
and politically. And if there's any one man I would name as Mr. St.
Augustine, it would be John D. ialey. It's, it's unfortunate for St.
Augustine that he did not matureahese events. There were some other
people who, okay, I'm talking about that group of professional and
businessmen. There were some, I'll talk about John aley and certain
others who were up at the top of the list of people who could have done
something. Unfortunately, the people who had the influence and the power
and the momentum were the people at the lower rank of the professional
and business group. And Joseph Shelley was one, and another was Noble
Putt Calhoun, Noble Putnam Calhoun. And if you want to know about white
racism from the professional and businessman's standpoint, in other words,
at the bottom of that stratum, talk to Noble Putt Calhoun. I knew Putt
very early on, because at the close, well it's in the last year of the
Second World War, I was working at a radio station, I was a disc jockey and
sports announcer and war analyst and everything else at WFOY, the only
station in town. WFOY, wonderful fountain of youth, 1240 on your dial. And
toward the end of my year there, a man came to work at the station, Putt
Clahoun. Putt had just been discharged from the military, an early dis-
charge, for what reason I don't remember, and Putt was a real southern
guy, you know in those days, two hundred and fifty watt stations didn't
have much pick on your announcers. The normativeAin American radio was
what was called the Chicago voice. And that was because radio ini-, originated
in Chicago. And in the 1920's, early '30's, when the networks first
started, the voices that the American population identified with big time
Page 16 sjm
radio were the people who had the Chicago voice, and when the network
headquarters moved to New York, the Chicago voice moved to New York.
There was, in the early years, there was never a New York announcer on the
air from New York, they were all Chicago networks. And so, in all, as a
matter of fact, that prevails even today. If you, if you turn on a
southern radio station in any community of any size, you'll never hear a
southern voice. Very interesting.
C: I've noticed that.
G: Yeah. Southern people always want to hear a Chicago voice. Fascinating.
Nobody's ever done a study on this. I talked about it for years, but it's
fact that nobody really has studied. Well,Noble Putt Calhoun, though, had
a very deep Southern drawl and it always bothered me, because I could never
understand how Alan Brown, the manager of the station would hire Putt Cal-
houn. But Putt worked there as an announcer doing mostly commercials. I
did all the DJ work, and I did Touchton's Telequiz and Today!s War Commentary
and all kinds of other nonsense. And Putt did mostly commercials, and I
remember one day on this DJ show I had, the 12-40 club. It was the middle
of the mayoralty race. This was in 1945, the spring of, about this time,
1945. There was a man running for mayor, Walter B. Frazier, who had been
a power in St. Augustine. He owned the Fountain of Youth, he owned the oldest
schoolhouse, his son now owns his properties, and he'd made a lot of money
and injected himself into Florida politics and even ran for governor and
was defeated. When he was mayor of St. Augustine, a number of times and
he was running for re-election this particular year, spring, '45
Page 17 sjm
and he decided that he would not read his own campaign speeches. What
he would do, would be to ask me if I would read his, his speeches for
him on the air. And, about what a great guy, sort of third person stuff,
you see, what a great guy Walter B. Frazier was. And in return for that,
he promised me a chicken dinner and three cartons of Camel cigarettes.
Well, the chicken dinner didn't appeal to me, but the three cartons of
Camels really did, because in those days, all the Camels were sent to the
fighting men, you know. And all we could get were Wings and Fatimas and
All Americans and things like this. So, I, I read his campaign speeches
for him. He lost by the way. And I never got the chicken dinner and I
never got the three cartons of Camels, which bothered me no end. That was
my first taste of the treachery of American politics. But I did this.
And then on the 12-40, this DJ show I had in the afternoons, see radio was
the only thing there was in those days. And all the kids got out of
school and I, theoretically, I was a senior in high school, but I dropped
out because this was all more important. Is that still going?
G: And I ran for, I decided what the heck, here I am giving all these campaign
speeches for Frazier,"Why don't I run for mayor myself?" So, I, I publicly
announced my candidacy, and so on, and all the kids in town voted for me
and more. I mean, they said they were going to vote. They couldn't vote un-
less they were twenty-one. Well, the vote came out and Frazier lost by a
narrow margin. But I got thirty-eight write-in votes and they were all from
black people, in West Augustine and Putt Calhoun found out about it and he
came into the control room one day when I was working there and said, he
Page 18 sm
said,"What are you doing appealing to the niggers? What are you doing
appealing to those niggers, those black, stinking niggers?" And that's
the first time I've ever heard anyone in St. Augustine talk about blacks
that way. Later on I found out that Putt had been in Australia the same
time Steve O'Connell was in Australia and they knew each other. And Steve
was teaching physical ed to a, to the troops, teaching them sports and
keeping in condition. Putt Calhoun was a captain in charge of a company
of black soldiers. And it got to him, somehow. And Putt said a few things
over the air, too, after this, which really gave me pause. I was worried
about this. Well, when all of this came to the surface, Putt's racism came
to the surface, too. And I mean in a big way. And Putt was a member of the
Trinity Episcopal Church and a member of the vestry, and that will give
you a clue to a primary force in the vestry's decision to keep the niggers
out. So that shows you a low point there, that professional and businessmen.
Okay, where are we now?
G: I went a long way.
C: Right, well, we're about to leave '63 and go on into '64 and I think talk
about the emergence, the entrance of King. Before we do, I wanted to ask
you, the last time we talked, you said that you didn't think anybody in St.
Aug ustine thought anything serious would happen in '64, despite the events
G: Uh hum,
C: I was wondering if, in other words, I guess you're saying that they didn't
take that Florida advisory commission on Civil Rights which came to St. Au-
Page 19 sjm
gustine in Aug ust and made a number of recommendations to the U.S.
Civil Rights Commission. I guess they didn't take their observations
seriously. Basically what they said was to halt the spending of, ap-
propriating of federal funds for the 400th anniversary. They mentioned
the discrimination out at Fairchild-Strtis Corporation, they mentioned
discrimination within St. Augustine. But apparently, most of St. Augustine
didn't pay much attention to that report.
G: That's true, that's true. And they felt that these were the same kinds
of reports that were being made about every city in the south. So St.
Augustine did not, at that time, feel itself especially singled out. Al-
though it, there were certain elements in the city that became very ner-
vous when the 400th anniversary was mentioned.
C: Uh hum.
G: I was one of those.
C: Right. How about the, the Florida East Coast Railroad strike, which started
in February, actually started, excuse me, started in January of '63, and
would, would last about two years.
G: Maybe even more.
C: Did that have any- yeah, right. Even longer.
G: It took more, oh yeah, more than that.
G: I think it's the longest strike in American history.
C: Right. Now, did that have any influence on people in St. Augustine? Were
many employed by Florida East Coast?
G: Oh, yes, it had a lot of influence on the people. There were tremendous
Page 20 sjm
numbers of people in St. Augustine who were, well, tremendous, I don't
know. But a large number of people who were employed at the Florida East
Coast Railway headquarters and that had always been a stable industry in
the town. That and the Miller Shops of the Florida East Coast Railway, the
whole Miller locomotive shops, you can still see the remains opposite the
Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge across Route 1. They were primary source of
jobs in St. Augustine. And the headquarters still is. But I don't remem-
ber that there was any connection between the strike and the civil rights
C: Okay. Do you think, do you think it sitrred up feelings in St. Augustine,
or it left a floating body of unemployed loose who could be mobilized in
an anti-civil rights cause.
G: I would say yes, if I knew that those two events were conjoined, because
I don't know.
G: But I think your reasoning is very good and I, I never thought of that
C: Okay. The other, one of the other things that happened in '6-. (end of side)
G: -drawing inferences, in that most of the violence that occurred was at
night, when all working people were free.
C: Right. Good point, good point. Another event in '63 that might have gone
unnoticed by most St. Augustinians but it didn't go unnoticed by blacks in
particular, I've found reference to in the, considerable reference to in the
Page 21 sjm
Florida Star News, the Jacksonville black newspaper and the Pittsburgh
Courrier, the national black newspaper. And that was the imprisonment of
four young blacks from St. Augustine, teen-agers, who took, who were
involved in the Haling-led protests of '63. They were under-aged. They
were taken from their parents by Judge Mathis and put in jail, and then
went to the federal, excuse me, the state prisons for teenagers. One at
Marianna, I believe, and I'm not sure where the other ones were. Two
girls and two Boys. And this, was this, did this go unnoticed by most-?
G: I don't, I remember that, but I guess it went generally unnoticed. Nobody
rallied to the side of those, those boys. And Haley himself was some-
thing of a newcomer. Quite, quite a remarkable and courageous person, but
he did and said things ultimately that got him into hot water with the
NAACP, which for a while he represented in the city.
C: Uih hum. Right.
G: I think Haley was a sport. He was like Haley's comet. He, he went through
the sky, you know, and then disappeared.
C: Uh hum. Yeah, he doesn't even live there anymore.
G: No. But, no I don't remember that, I don't remember that.
C: You know, they, it became, once they, once they were put in jail, they
stayed in jail for several months. It wasn't a matter of just being in
there day, days. And the judge put them in prison because their folks
wouldn't promise to keep them out of further demonstrations. Well, anyway
let's, let's go on and jump into '64.
G:. \jE figures.
Page 22 sjm
C: Why do you think King became involved in St. Augustine? Martin Luther
G: King, I think, needed a peg on which to hang passage of the Civil Rights
law. It was foundering, or it was making slow progress, and he needed
to attract attention to a place or a cause that was more specific than
his general cause. And St. Augustine provided an easy and obvious target.
Because it was about to celebrate its four hundredth anniversary, in the
course of which federal funds had, or were going to be appropriated. And
this he seized on. And in retrospect, you'd have to say that he was a
very good tactician. But in retrospect also, you might argue that he
was not a very good strategist. He secured, or I'll reverse that, he was
a very good strategist and not a very good tactician, because he secured
passage of the Civil Rights law, and I think largely, because of what he
did in St. Augustine. But he left in his wake, a ruined city, in many
respects. A city that would take years to recover from what he did there,
from the bad publicity that he brought there and caused to happen there.
He left people who lived in terror in the nighttime because of fears that
had been engendered in them by experiences that took place in the city. He
left behind a quadracentennial that in great part was nothing that it had
expectations of being and most of all, he left a city that was devastated
by drastic decrease in tourism because of the bad image of the city and the
reluctance of people to go there. And St. Augustine depends eighty-five
percent for its survival on tourism. I think he picked an easy mark. And
I, I think it's, I think it's tragic that he chose a place where racial
relation in the main were good and where black people as well as white, today,
Page 23 sjm
do not remember him kindly. For that, of course, you'll have to
correct my opinion by talking with black people themselves. But there are
numerous things that I could say to that. I remember when Martin Luther
King first came to the city. I never saw him there myself. I was in-
credibly busy with the Library of Florida History and with the building
of the cross and the church and the mission, with the planning of the
church's role, the quadracentennial, the coordination of the church's role
with the role to be played by the Castillo de San Marcos, the St. Augustine
Historical Society, the city government and the Historic St. Augustine
Preservation Board, and yet of course I could not be anything other than
dismayed and troubled and very much aware of what was happening racially
in the city. And as time went on, I became more and more aware, and more
and more troubled in my own conscience, because I realized belatedly, I
should, these are things I should have realized a long time before, but I
realized under the press of events that I didn't like at all, that really
the black people in America were, were, were treated like cattle. And this
cried out to heaven for change, if not for vengeance. I understood how)
I knew the history of the South enough to know what had happened and why
it happened and, and of course I was a voice for gradualism. We've got to
solve these problems gradually, and I fell into the trap of, of excusing
the lack of any change at all, under the mantle of gradualism. But I tried
to be a peacemaker of sorts, within the limitations and all I can tell you
now, is my experiences as I went around and saw what happened. Without
going into the, the sequence events, of events that you can determine for
yourself, because I remember I had forgotten the sequence. Mrs. Peabody
came down at Eastertime and that was before King came down and so forth.
Page 24 sjm
And all of those things are fairly open to the record. What I remem-
ber, I-that when Martin Luther, I remember being passionately involved
with the quadracentennial, and being invited to Tampa to speak with
President Kennedy about the quadracentennial and the history of the
city and our plans for it, and how he was actively interested in it,
and promised to keep in touch with me about it and so on, and then four
days later he was shot. And that was, that was the first tragic thing
that happened to me, in this, that something I had committed myself to
and I had found a champion in the highest office in the land, you know,
to make this nationally known. All of that just went down the tube.
And then, I don't know again, the sequence of that event, but I remem-
ber that was one thing that happened. And then the entrance of Martin
Luther King into the city caused the rest, or much of the rest of what
we had planned, to go down the tube. Because we didn't get any federal
monies as a consequence of what he did and the loss of the president who
was interested in us, although-
C: Johnson, Johnson didn't provide any money?
G: Well, he may have provided a little bit.
C: Uh hum.
G: See, the President told me he would come, Kennedy said, he said,"Look, you
set things up and I'll be there to help you out", and so on. But when King
came into the city, my feelings were mixed. On the one hand, in my mind
and, in my mind I knew that he was, he was right in what he was doing. In
my heart, I was wishing to hell he was doing it somewhere else. And you see,
there's the old problem, the old dilemma, you know. The limousine liberal,
Page 25 sjm
such as I was, admittedly. I was wishing that allAthis could be done,
but that my own interests would not be affected and of course that was
a stupid position to take, but it was the position that I, that I took
and I have a great deal of sympathy for people whose lives are upset, or
whose plans are, are threatened or damaged or destroyed by a necessary
social change. I think I had a lot of trouble with King on one count
in particular. And yet it may have been necessary to his tactics. He
brought in demonstrators from Atlanta and elsewhere, to do the marching.
He dragooned certain local people, mostly youths from Florida Memorial
College to march with his people and those marches were conducted in
King style in a peaceful manner, but still very loudly in such a way as
to cause real concern, if not fright among many of the citizens of the
city. And my mother I remember, was one who was terrified. I used to
have to go and stay in the house with her at night. We'd pull the blinds
and turn out, leave the lights out and so forth, as the groups of blacks
would go by shouting and singing and yelling and so forth and there were
other ladies, many of them living alone who were just frightened out of
their wits by this. Nothing like this had ever happened in St. Augustine,
and they were, they were really frightened. I remember that. And then I
remember, on the other side the violent white men who came. in from outside
the city, armed with their truncheons and their clubs, their chains and how
in the nighttime they fall upon these lines of young black people and beat
them and see the young blacks running screaming and yelling from the scene
and then I knew that the, the whole matter was going rapidly out of hand.
It was a shameful display. The only thing I could think of to justify what
Page 26 sjm
I was viewing was the fact that the people on both sides were from
out of town, as nearly as I could tell. St. Augustine had become a
battleground, a kind of Anzio for two armies, neither of which was
Italian. And I've spoken about the failure of the, oh, well, I'll,I'll
stay with the blacks for a while now. Martin Luther King used to go
into the black areas of the city and the black neighborhoods and demand
money from, from the people there. And you'll find blacks in the city
today who'll tell you how he and his people went around and demanded peon
ple's entire welfare checks for this enterprise. After a time, it didn't
take long, the black people in St. Augustine became very disenchanted with
"Martin Luther King, and they didn't support him, many of them. Maybe even
-most, But then again, you'd better talk to the blacks. And I, I met blacks
who would not talk about, didn't want anything to do with him, felt trum-
melled and ashamed, dispirited about the whole thing. And that's what I
thought was the tragedy. That Martin Luther King was, the tragedy for St.
Augustine, not for the blacks in general, but the tragedy for St. Augustine
was that Martin Luther King was using the black people of St. Augustine in
a way that was not serving them at all, in the short run. In the long run
of course it would, and in a way that everybody in the city thought was
bringing ruin upon the city, and was provoking unnecessarily the violence
that was taking place in the street. And then soon, eventually you had
the classic confrontation of black leaders and then such clowns as J.B. Stone
and Lynch and various other racists who came to town to, to, to preach their
garbage. And there's no question in retrospect that Martin Luther King saved
the black people of America, or he was largely responsible for it. And
Page 27 sjm
many of the rights that the people of, black people of this country had
in consequence of the passage of the Civil Rights Law and other laws
that followed soon afterwards, that the responsibility for that is largely
his and he deserves to be credited by history for that. But that does
not remove the dilemma, the irony, the anomaly, whatever it is, certainly
the tragedy of one city having to be destroyed in a sense, that that
might happen. Do you know what I mean?
C: Uh hum.
G: In other words, I'm not saying that Martin Luther King set out to do an
evil thing, to manipulate a city for evil purposes, no. He set out to
use the city for noble purposes. But that city went down the drain for
C: Can I ask you, while. we're here, we're a little ahead of ourselves, time--
wise, but why, what were race relations like after he left? Did they just
deteriorate completely, or how would you characterize them?
G: They became very bad after he left. Where they'd been two rather congenial
groups, now looked at each other as across a no man's land. Whites were
afraid to be seen speaking to blacks, working with blacks. Blacks kept
a very low profile, let it be known that they had nothing to do with Martin
Luther King's works and thoughts. It was, it was a tragic time. Now the
fighting in the streets, I saw a lot of that fighting. Now in retrospect,
I wish to hell I'd had the moral courage to do something about it, but I
didn't. And I'll tell you why. I would have been shipped out of town by
my bishop immediately. Now I, I put the blame on myself.initially for not
having tried to do more than I did. I remember President Currier of Florida
Page 28 sjm
Memorial College once said something that was very generous, but I don't
think true, he said I was the only white minister who stood up for the
blacks in those days. And maybe that happened, but if, if it did happen
it happened in rather quiet remarks that I made or things that I may
have tried to do of an obscure nature. But there was an opportunity for
me to have, to have tried to do something, and I didn't do it. And I didn't
do it, because I would have lost everything that I'd worked for at the
mission and I would have lost my own presence in the city. I would have
been shipped out of town the next day.
C: Would you care to go into that, why the ishop would do that?
G: Yeah, in this -matter, the bishop was a coward. I hope none. of these things
I say will come out the way I'm saying them now. You know, I'm, I'm, I'm
just speaking as directly and clearly as, as I can, so that you'll understand
the situation. But he, he acted in a very cowardly fashion. He was afraid.
Given a chance for greatness, he muffed it. One third of the city was captLve.
He found loopholes for inaction. One of his loopholes was the fact that
most of these people were from out of town. He had no influence on them
one way or the other. But he could have had influence by courageouslof one
nature or another. He also talked glowingly about peace, justice, all in the
abstract and felt his own conscience and the obligations of the church
satisfied in that respect. His man at the cathedral, the man who had the
cure of souls, the cure animarum for St. Augustine, was Monseignur John P.
Burns who is now the pastor of St. Patrick's Church here in Gainesville.
C: Right, right.
G: And Burns locked himself in the rectory and hid from men's eyes. I remember
Page 29 sjm
once in the middle of violence in the Plaza, looking up at the rectory
window and saw him with the curtain drawn, looking out and then closing
the curtain. And I'll never forget that. That was, that was the symbol
to me of the church's care for what happened in St. Augustine in those
C: How many blacks were Catholic in St. Augustine?
G: I don't know, but a pretty good number. I would say maybe what five hun-
dred, maybe, something like that.
C: Uh huh, that would be a pretty good number.
C: How about the rest of the religious leaders, Mike while we're talking about
the Catholic Church, let's talk about the others at the same time. Were
they doing anything?
G: No, the white churches. No, the I'll get to the Episcopal story in a
moment, but I'd like to just stay on Hurley for just a second.
G: I remember when Archbishop Hurley arrived at, from a flight on an airport,
at Trme*o) airport at Jacksonville, Martin Luther King had just gotten
off of another plane, and Hurley and the, King were in the lobby of luSOon
a very small lobby at the same time. And Hurley raced and hid behind a
pillar, and said,"Don't let that man see me." So he really hid from this,
he, he was afraid. Subsequently, he wrote a sermon for Monseignur Burns to
give in the cathedral and it was the most abstract, cliche-ridden, ethereal
sermon you ever heard about. You know, do good and avoid evil. Obey the
ten commandments and if everybody does that, everything will take care of
Page 30 sjm
itself, which was a way of just separating himself utterly from the
situation and doing it, you know, in such a way that everybody could
applaud it, you know, and so on, for, for saying all the right things.
Well, he said right things, but they had no application to, to the
situation at hand. And I was no better. I'm criticizing him, but I
was no better. In retrospect, I should have laid my whole career and
job on the line, and gone out in the streets and tried to do something
to, to stop.
C: Why do you suppose he acted in a, what you call a cowardly fashion? Is
there any specific reason?
G: Yeah, I think I know exactly. But you have to know a little bit about
Joseph P. Hurley, who's a very complex character, one of the most fascinating
of the people in twentieth century Florida history. And incredibly
accomplished and incredibly powerful man in Florida life, culture, politics.
Well, Hurley was burned a couple of times. He started out, he started out
in life as a, an assistant pastor in Cleveland, Ohio, caughtthe fancy of
the bishop of the diocese, Mooney, who decided to make him his secretary.
And Mooney was named Papal delegate, papal nuncio, to India, and took
Hurley along. Hurley became secretary of the nuncioture in New Delhi, and
then later, Mooney was transferred to Japan. All of this in the thirties.
Then Mooney was named to Rome as head of the American desk at the Secreta4ry
of State of the Vatican, and Hurley was left behind in Tokyo as charge d'affaire.
Then Mooney was translated to this country and named Cardinal Archbishop of
Detroit and Hurley went to Rome, succeeding Mooney as head of the American
desk. And Hurley became a very strong anti-Nazi. Very interesting. I found oLt
Page 31 sjm
a lot of things about him by accident and I remember, I remember one
day, excuse this diversion, but one day in the 1950's, I was skiing in
Switzerland at Grindelwald and I was on, up on Mt. First and watching
the pre-Olympic skiers in their slalom trials. And I noticed a man
up the slope, who I thought, whom I thought I recognized, and I went
up and I said,"Excuse me, but are you, by any chance, Sir Arnold Lunt?"
And he avowed that he was, and I said,"Do you-?", oh, he asked me where
I was from and I said St. Augustine and that I was a seminarian studying
in Belgium and so forth, and he said,"Isn't that where that remarkable
man, Joseph P. Hurley went?", in his British accent, and I said,"Yes."
And he said,"Oh, I remember him well," he said. "I was a correspondent
for the Daily Mail in 1939 in Rome and my paper asked :me to be on the
alert for any Vatican people who said anything at all about the Nazis.
And one evening I was listening to Vatican radio and on comes this
American Monseignur, this Joseph P. Hurley, the head of American desk
and the Secretary of State, blasting the.Nazis, just excoriating them up
and down. And it was the first time there had ever been a public statement
about the Nazis outside of a few very formal statements of the Popes
themselves. So I immediately interviewed this man, and found him to be
extraordinary. Then war broke out and Hurley was named to St. Augustine,
and when he arrived in St. Augustine, it was the expectation of the American
church that he was going to be the new great American churchman, the new
Cardinal Gibbons, a man of extraordinary courage. All, almost all of
Hurley's belongings were sunk by German submarines. They had come over on
another boat and the boat went down. He lost most of his things, but he
Page 32 sjm
arrived here shortly after, about six months his arrival at St. Augustine
he was, he was asked by the NBC program, the Catholic Hour, the radio pro-
gram, the Catholic Hour, to give a talk. And he gave a talk. And the
talk was against Nazi Germany. And this was in 1940, and when the talk
ended, Catholic Hour received more mail than it had ever received before,
and almost all of it, against Hurley. Almost all of it' from Catholic
C: Ah, yes.
G: Irish Americans. And I remember, I, I, I saw all of that, I have microfilm
of all that correspondence, because Hurley kept it. There was something
perverse about him in this sense that he kept all bad mail, and there were
boxes of it and I have it all microfilmed. And I remember onGel1tter in
particular from a woman in his home town of Cleveland, a letter that said,
"To think that Minnie Hurley's boy would stoop to lick a British jack." And
Hurley was, was devastated by this. Nothing like this had ever happened.
He had ridden the crest of success all his life. And all of a sudden, boom,
the whole country, down on him. It, it, it killed his spirit for a long
while. He wrote a letter to Cardinal Mooney, just a, a weeping letter, I
have a copy of it. And, in 1940. Well, then the war was over, and the
man for whom he had worked as Secretary of State was now Pope, Fucelli,
Pope Pius XII. And Pius XII at the end of the war, named Hurley Papal
Nuncio to Yugoslavia, a very difficult problem there dealing with the
Communists, Tito, the Croatians and the Slavs and all of that. And Fucelli
knew of Hurley's talents and named him, and Hurley did a fantastic job at
the trial of Cardinal Stapenok and others, he was heavily involved. And
Page 33 sjm
he earned the wrath of Tito for standing up for the Catholic people and
standing up for justice and so forth, and he was really back in his ele-
ment again, and, and on the crest once more and then he did an incredibly
stupid thing. He took his aide, McNulty, John McNulty, he and McNulty left
Yugoslavia to go on vacation at Lugano in Switzerland. And when they
went to return, the border guards did not allow them back in. And Hurley
said, "But I'm the Papal Nuncio." They said,"We're sorry." See, once he
was out of the country, Tito was under no obligation to let him back
in And Hurley went to Rome, and Pius XII refused to see him. And he
remained in Rome in a condition of shame and disgrace for months when
finally Fucelli made him an archbishop ad persona, meaning he was an
archbishop, but in title and rank without having archbishop's territory
or authority, and gave him a gold chalice with, encrusted with.jewels,
and sent him back to St. Augustine, where he arrived. And that was a
way of saving face for Hurley. But Hurley knew that he was in disgrace
and he, he never lived it down. And he never did another courageous thing
in his life. And when he hid behind the pillar in Imeson Airport, it
all fell in place. But he was the man who could have saved St. Augustine
and I could have helped him and others could have helped him. But he
did not have the courage, and alas, neither did I, because I was, I was
saying to myself,"Discretion is the better part of valor, and I'll be
able to carry on things and keep them going. Don't be foolhardy, don't
lose everything. Try to work behind the scenes." And subsequently I did
try to work behind the scenes. And so, on one occasion, after the city
had just gone completely to pieces, by the way Hurley wasn't the only one
Page 34 sjm
who was hiding. I remember one day, one night, I was standing in a
doorway in the darkness watching the violence in the streets, watching
Lynch and Stoner ranting, watching the blacks marching by, watching the
whites come in with their clubs and clubbing, watching the police try to
do this, watching the CBS cameramen taking it all in, the bright lights
and so on. Watching this whole frightful scene from this blackened corner
of a doorway on King Street and a figure came, came up and sort of scurried
by me into the next doorway. And after a while I looked around to see
who it was, and it was General Henry W. MacMillan, adjutant general of the
State of Florida, also watching from afar, you know?
C: Uh huh.
G: Well, in any event, the, I guess the one, I, I went to see Shelley, appalled
by what was happening and ashamed that nobody was doing anything con-
structive, and I, I put together and I, I meant to find it in time to
give to you today, but I'll find it, put together a statement called
A Declaration of Good Will" to express the, to give expression to the
voice of both the white and the black communities, as I saw it. And I
begged Joseph Shelley to sell this to this, to the population of the city,
to reverse the terrible publicity the city was suffering from and to stand
up for an objective, careful, fair look at the, the rights that were being
demanded and so on. And I went to his office and I presented it to him
and he read it, and I begged him to do something, and he refused to budge.
The only thing he said to me in reply was, "How come the niggers all ride
around in-", I don't know if he said niggers, Negroes, niggers, he didn't
say blacks in any event, because that wasn't the popular parlance at that
Page 35 sjm
point. "How come they all drive around in big cars?" That was his
response. And I've always remembered that. So, then I remember we had
C: I wonder if I could get you on the other churches for a second.
G: Yeah, oh yeah that's right.
C: I don't mean to belabor that-
G: I need to get to the other churches.
C: If 1, I'm just curious as to why the, you give.me. a good sense of what
was happeningthe Catholic Church, but I, I think the other religious
leaders had an obligation, too, which they let go by, and I wonder if we
could just talk about that for a minute.
G: Well, for one thing, the reason why there was a stronger obligation on
the Catholic clergy to do something than on the others, was because the
Catholic priests were not subject to the vote of their congregations. But
the Protestant churches were. And they could dismiss their pastor just
like that. And it would be a very rare white Protestant minister who
would stand up and say something, if he knew it was violently opposed to
the will and opinion of his congregation. He'd be out of his job the next
G: Now, the only white priest or minister who did anything of that sort was,
Father Bullock of, and what is his first name, I'll remember it,nof Trinity
C: You, you mean, Seymour, Charles Seymour?
G: Or was it Seymour, Charles Seymour?
Page 36 sjm
C: Yeah, Charles Seymour, right.
G: That's right. His predecessor. I think.
C: Yeah, Bullock, Bullock was, Bullock followed Seymour.
G: Bullock followed Seymour-
G: After Seymour left. Seymour stood up, against his vestry.
G: To permit the blacks to enter, it was Seymour.
C: That's right.
G: And, that was a courageous act. He was supported in that by his bishop,
which was more than Archbishop Hurley did for his Catholic counterparts
who might have done the same thing. And Seymour was the only one, the only
one who made an issue of admitting blacks freely into his church to worship.
And his, his vestry opposed him, and Seymour left, under what circumstances,
I forget. Don't know if he was-
C: He went to New Orleans after that, I'm not sure if he was called by a parrish
down there or exactly what. But, he, he's there now, I believe.
G: You know, you should try to talk with him and you should talk with Puck
Calhoun and members of the vestry. I can give you names of lots of people
to whom you could talk in St. Augustine. And I'd like for you to talk to
my mother's black maid, if she will agree to do it. But if she doesn't,
she'll put you in touch with people who will. Louise, Louise was shocked
by what Martin Luther King did. And, but she was also shocked by what the
whites did, and at one point, oh yes, Martin Luther King told the black
Page 37 sjm
women, the maids, not to go to work for the white families, not to
show up. Louise did anyway. She was one of the few because she snuck
through the back streets to get to my mother's house, and-
C: So there was tremendous pressure on the blacks.
G: Oh, tremendous, yeah.
G: One, on one of those trips to my mother's house, Louise was assaulted by
Ku Klux Klanners who grabbed her and dragged her into an automobile and
she clawed herself away and ran. An old woman, too. She can tell you, if
she'll open up, if she knows that it won't be written-she's still scared.
C: Is that right?
G: If you mentioned her this, she's still scared. That's why, you know, we'd
have to be very delicate about this, but, and if she knows that she would
never Be quoted. She's so afraid, she lives in fear still, because of this
and... Well, in any event, there's, not too many black, there are not too
many church people, and there were, I think Charles Purrier at Florida
Memorial was the wisest black in town. And the person who tried to do the
most to keep things peaceful. But there were nonwhites who, whites either
powerful or lay who took a you know really substantive, S2 of lea-
C: It's getting late and I know you're getting tired, so I figure maybe one
more question and we'll call it quits. But, when it really got violent, were
any of the, wereany of the businessmen'who could see that, that businesses
were being impaired, affected by the racial conflict and the riots in the
city, were any of them beginning to mobilize behind the scenes to put
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pressure on Shelley and, and government and the others on the commission?
G: I, that's a question I can't answer. I don't know.
C: Uh huh. Okay.
G: I don't remember. I remember, you know, it was, what was it, Brock-
C: James Brock.
G: James Brock who was really in the forefront, I think you mentioned this
the last time, the fore front of the local motel operators in trying to
do something about black rights. And he was going to make a motion at
the forthcoming meeting of the Hotel and Motel Association of Florida
which he was president of that year to open up motels and hotels to
blacks. And it was an irony that he, by a quirk, was singled out as
a vicious white racist. You see, St. Augustine was filled with these
ironies. It seemed the harder you tried to do one thing, the more you
were painted with a brush for being the other thing. And Brock is a classic
case. By the way, he's back in town and has bought
C: Oh, is he really?
G: He's bought it. He owns it.
C: How about A.H. Tibolt and the St. Augustine Record. They seemed to provide
minimal leadership during this whole period of time.
G: Yeah, well, that's the story of that paper throughout its' history. I was
once the sports editor of that paper when I was in high school. It was a
joke. The paper was a joke then and it's a joke now. It's never done any-
thing. The radio stations similarly. Although Frankie Walker, I would say,
Frankie Walker, in her way, has done more than any media person in St.
Augustine, in those years and afterwards to alert people to what was actually
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happening. And Frankie has a she has a high sense of what's right and
what's wrong. She would be a good person to talk with.