Title: Henry Twine [CRSTA 13]
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Title: Henry Twine CRSTA 13
Series Title: Henry Twine CRSTA 13
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INTERVIEWER: David Colburn
PLACE: St. Augustine, Florida

C: Wel6 I:thought--two6uld-start in'1963 and you can tell me how things got started.

T: Well, actually t+re first beg nMrn-g- at "F~EPW B(F-lagler/ Memorial College, there

were some students who went uptown and sat in ..., and they called some

of the trustees from other cities to come in, and they finally got them out of jail

and squashed it, And from then on out the members began to pick up and +- ilrf'.

into the city.

C: Was this early in 1963, do you rememberg,~*-about what time?

T: t iV I do not know when the sit-ins first began, when the first sit-ins actually


---~A lot of people claimed that Martin Luther King came and started it, but we were

actually doing it approximately a year before King.arrived on the scene.'2. after

then the NAACP at some workers ino-ty had/j NAACP chapter here all the time,

so they sent some workers in/ A fellow by the name of Lutman and a fellow by the

name of Brown, I cannot think of their first names, one named Brown I think he

was NAACP, and stillrin service now, and Lutman' )Two young fellows, I think they

came in from around Savannah, Savannah State College, I am not sure, but they

came in and worked during that summer. Andj~uh we began to make demands on

the city and z 0it-tteAwa the first marches that we had.

C: 'If I can.:interrupt you for j-us 'a-mmeo.mnt

T: Yes,-yes any time.

C: What were race relations like before the sit-ins started?

T: Well, as usual,"47-ISBn, we thought things were good. The whites as usual, thought

things were good and this wa 'we made any demands. This is where the troubles

begfn in inter-race relations. Afxaxgmlxwasxkiaakx hxwooumixhax8axta The average

black was happily, as it seems, whistlin' and doing his business and going about

his business ai, the first time he asks for a piece of the pie, g a dif-


T: ferent story.

C: In terms of-,bi.. segregation, what was it, was there a segregation in the

school system?

T: Oh, everything, everything, everything, not only the school system, everything.

They were just as loose about it as any other place,Aradio station, bus terminal,

and everything else. And separate white and blackgjj, drinking fountains, white

and colored at that particular time, and so forth and so on. And there were no

colored restaurants uptown, you could not eat at any of the lunch counters, or

St any other place.

C: How about the library? Did you use the library?

T: I really don't know, now we.~aae never tried to use the library before, we did

try at that particular time and we were turned away. Not only that but even

churches, right now very few blacks can be found attending white churches around

here. thlo--

C: How about the Catholic church,'4 that integrated? Or did it have...?

T: Most blacksfar as I know, 1 am not,-moSt attended St. Benedicks up here on,

I would say yes it was segregated in a way of speakingbecause up until that

time, pp- until the 1960s the black kids attended St. Benedicks School upAon

Central Avenue. The white kids went to what they called CTS and St. Joseph's

Academy. The black kids could only go, I think, as far as eighth grade up there.

They had no white sisters at all in the school. But they could only go as

far as eighth grade, they usually had to transfer to the public school or if

they continued their Catholic education, they had to go up to Rock Hill, South

Carolina. So those who had money, or somebody who would sponsor them, -ti~~ would

go up to Rock Hill, South Carolina, that wasjt the nearest black, T:hf-Aiuajt-

+riBP gaiEs -gr-^ Catholic, 1 ~ higher public education, tml :l::.pact-r"twt-0way;-

They had to Rock Hill, South Carolina, to continue, you know their gradeg W




C: Wf~t-g when did you get involved in the, .-uh r-; the/ivil rights group?

T: Oh, I have been involved, actuallyvsTFr since I came out of service in


C: -E 'emi h bUt had you lived in St. Augustine all of your life?

T: Practically all my life. Actually I was born in Tallahassee, whienrmy.grar-dparent-s

I -ur -'i F -;t'-. ..hat-7 I came here/when I was six months old, between here and

Tallahassee, and I started school in Tallahassee. And when we moved here

permanently, I would say -when I was JittT*-eabout nine or ten year old. I think

about third or fourth grade. But, first that I can remember what you

might want to callVe Civil Rights struggle was right around 1946 or 1947*

R-n there was a black lady came here with some people, 4thi from Canada,

they had a beach cottage and they went to the beach, and this lady was in the

water with the kids, the blacks- .tt.i nursing the kids, and she was in the

water with the kids1 I believe it was late in the 1940s or early 1950s. 4-

this lady went in the water with the ids at what they called a white beach

woman out of the water. Well, maybe this was in the 1950s, I am not sure of

the date, but we had just elected a fellow by the name of L,O,Davis, Jr,

as sheriff at that time. His father ran a store in the black community on

Washington Street for years and years And both of them were pretty liberal
ex kjfd ^ f
as far as blacks were concernedY -. y,-i. tJem credit and doing other favors.

And everybody knew him 4~r he was a little boy and raised up here. And there
IVoc / hd he-
was a deputy under him, an-d he; uh,- Noll Carter ranked this lady out of the water

Well, news spread in town, and w- have a kind of a town meeting at'the

O uc'O Halland we f ( C -omething like a manifesto, or what"

ever the case might be,-someone-said--'-. and they asked me to read it,

so I had to get up and read this thing.'-Av I 45Uhuatht-"s -kindt-of blew over, maybe

+ .do "ro ,. -,,"' C .... .... ." ..... "- ". /.

pg 4

T: But this kind of blew over, kind of -,ke4ased down a.+.M-aaS they began

to demonstrate in other parts of the country and quite nSua S spread over.

Then we had a young fellow who lives right down the street here by the name of

Henry Thomas, he was away going to school hdurw heif-oi N- up around

Atlanta, and Henry came here and sat in by himself. L-fe tt h i t*?5--re' his

mother lives right down the street now. He sat in by himself, I think at Woolworth's,

He cut the lights out on the counter and everybody said,| he was crazy or something

and they arrested him. They put him in jail, and after they put him in jail they
-fvJr-I/c., OMn2' -1-oi
took him out of the jail one night about l]~rSB1 3 S-orEi o'clock and brought him
c, .-tc O( -
down to the hospital for a jie'--iPr the doctors to look at him and have him committed.

-4Af E he r .r. and raised so much sand down there,-- 7VI~kho some how oranother,

I don't. rmembr t the--e~xac'tetais, "t-a" y ,he got out of it, / eventually he left

here and went back, he is living in Atlanta now. "And-he joined the freedom PiBSrriots

afterwards. ) I understand that he is doing very well in Atlanta, he owns a couple of
.-- ". r -".- ,-
those treeM a I believes Kentucky Fried Chicken, or some chain outfit, or something


C: qty, what do you think got you involved? -~i.t~ti what was it in your background

your parents, the service' c ae r -lii:, Dyqdarg-y ', other than the fact tbat.

obviously you are black, what got you involved in the civil rights movement?

T: Wanting a better life I imagine, wanting things that I have seen other people with,

wanting to live better, and so forth and so on. I stayed in the service little better

than three years and I was mostly with a white outfit the time I was in the service

going to school up in New Jersey g communications.

C: Fort Martin? i

T: Fort Martin, right, that was re I was stationed. Yeah, out there at ____
f romrhere, /), p,@ OV --r$
first I went to as far as Utah then back over to Fort Martin and then to North

Carolina for a while.

pg 5

C: -Whefe6.youS.ahw* lne" you in an J.er e unit when you were in the service?

After you came out of school?

T: No. r-. *\ ",i01 was in the 437,
for the Air Force. l-t1 4.' l ,. '.,' ~" what ever they did around here. And

then, after I came back home, 'about- year I got married I was working as a janitor

to the ThompsonRecord Company. I took the U05 al5 m I was lucky enough':to pass

) d q c x, ^ c J5. c> --
C: So there was nothing specific that happened it -i just your desire to have what you

think is the same (pLpaiuiity,-- -

T: AJ#* everybody else. yqt-aker-su there ^S a lot of things yem.mer that

specifically that happened, iMSFa. you seem the way they treated people around here,

I mean as far as putting them in jail, for instance, when a white man killed a black

woman right on, right in front of Pantry Pride. This was all during this particular

time. Ae was deputy sheriff by the name of Bill Wade, and .^ he was involved in a

little gambling scheme out here. He had a little joint or whatever and black folks I

went out there and gambled i*Mjhe pulled a pistol and killed them, <' ? ,

at~t-M-s.+ t iJ-Ar.-me-:" ,-. .1 i< There was fellow by the name of

Sheppard, and they never wanted to arrest the guy and the black fellows J fU -

4n .C eL i- l2 Kr v .3A t _to find out who

he was. But) 5A4 C41tA. dPa 6et(r aM t* ofor relcJla

S* 1and all the blacks 6W-O > registered, tried to get people
to register, we did not have to much trouble registering around here. The only diff-

erence though is that if you went to register and if you were not sharp and watching,
they would automatically register you Republican if you did not tell them that you

wanted to participate in the Democratic primary. Now they would do this to you at the

registrar's office. So you would have to watch them. Now, I have seen people come

away and then wnmi have to go back t end in a registration slip to get in the

Democratic Party. Of course the Republican Party could not participate in the

iTcFi't.lelet.ons and .so for.th-z-I-,man, of course-te-Democratic primary.

pg 6

T: The Republicans there were not strong enough to hold a primary j;-there was not

that much competition. But in the general election.1-A you could vote either way you

wanted zJD VOf

C: How about in terms of registration, esteaie aa e did you find you had to

re-register? Did they take your name off the registration list?

T: Well, I think they did this in general accordance to the list-- every pnce in a while

as they do now EgL I do not think they persistently a_-ii~ u a but I do

not know.
C: I know A1O in North Carolina they did that specifically toward blacks.

T: Yes, I worried about that. .../

C: Well, I guess back to 1963, you said that .C-t- .,gg the NAACP, what

was your involvement in the NAACP at that time?
SY00otor e-Ue rtiton^ -- OLIri
T: Well I was a member at thatytime and 4 ipi MMAi yl I secretary whjreI served on the

executive board.

C: Now what role did Dr. Hilling play here? Was he the head of the youth council?

T: Yes, L- ` Jr ourt council IMP U 4 / I-CA A have got NAACP chapters

in most cities __ with mostly elderly peoplethe older people.but

they never had an active youth council, .... He saw the need for

this and at that particular time the older persons who had been in the NAACP chapters

kind of underground could not let white people know what was going on and this kind of

thing. These kidsLM eM MeM were seeing what was going on with the states and so

forth and they were w o get out on the street. So we took th advantage of this

and formed a youth council.

C: Was there much interaction between the college students and the youth council or was the

youth council mostly young black kids from St. Augustine?

T: Well, Ma e young black kids'twga from' in the city. Oh, there were several kids

from ~ the school participating. 44qw they were willing and they participated quite

a bit but mfxxmxMs quite naturally the parents drag home the meaning of the good word,

pg 7

T: the administration out at the school and they put theePon and you get into jail

you see.

C: When did things begin to get out of hand at least^S the hostile reaction from the

white community? Did it happen from the first?

T: No, a0tgtVIV@ fC=quite naturally we got a little resistance ixam to begin with but

Y thought maybe this things 1 blow mi over S I would imagine so thak this was on

their minds. Right around 1964 h SWifirheated up because we began to apply a little

pressure. At this particular time we began to appeal to the head of the____S__- _

to o Bishop at that particular time -T rc-4not-;E se r_-ecal-whrf-ii m i is ___ 9

he had headquarters sau and lived in Jacksonville Beach.. We wrote

letters to him and then 4 egan j.-iata- talking about this celebration we were

supposed to have.

C: 'bjA.Y. dk 400th Anniversary?

T: Right, -sa-BE g Tat is where we began to apply the pressure. We began to write

letters and we began to get the word out to the news media and so forth. We even wrote

.^f? TnrT^-40--0 N Organization of American States.

T: Right, we even wrote them because _____ e people were participating

in this program see and word began to leak out that is when we began to take to the

streetsxxxWHxhganxxixhk and King gggbegan withrojgo M down in'Florida.

C: Tell me about that how you get King to come here?

T: .i Well, they were having a meeting down in Orlando, Florida. I forget now

exactly what the meeting hki was but it was a big one.

C: I think it was a state meeting 1u Sv { L e j --- i

T: Right, right down in Orlando, Florida. So several of us, Hilling, myself, Billy

Eubanks, my wife, about two carloads of us went down and we went to talk with him

about the situation.A --- alad we were IeM--a-agu and 0

pg 8

T: we needed hKip some help and g- that particular time the NAACP national chapter just
qrQ Ur f- or i n tCd
did not believe in taking to the streets. It has always been a T~,e-aS!

outfit you know. You go to court and you VAIt' ( -,,4 bC but youbdo not demonstrate

or you are going to ge ut and risk s rfe. life Now this was at that particular

stage in the game. So at that particular time the NAACP sent some representatives

there. We had most of our officials come here from time to time. -We-IB4tFather

Gibson I think came here from.:Miami and Reverend Graham at that particular time-pp was

a big wig in the state. I remember Vgi they would not turn their books over to the

state. They wanted to find out what ae- aS he the NAACP VAAS

/h *n state legislature and they refused andVjailed both of them. That particular

time they came in and tried to talk us out of it U :-- ---'

:C: _-g la- n Tw tdpgrtg- national president of the NAACP-- o

T: :Roy Wilkins?

C: Roy Wilkins just retired.

T: Yest, 1

C: I read something that he sort of censored Dr. Hel \ .

T: He did. Or neqssesy remarks. This came out some moonies report or somebody AcJ

picked up a remark that HellImade. He said something about--whites were really

\J -Fand we made them pretty angry and they began to throw fire-bombs and

they began to shoot at people's houses and so forth. In fact they threw some right

down the street. 4- S& h nn s-my sister Lilian Robinson, had Bunyan Robinson,

her kids were the first kids to integrate the school out in--the 0 Aj_ School,

and they burnt up their housdout there one night. That is my sister's house. Then

there was a deaf fellow that lived next to her name of Charlie Bronson. His kids

were attending school and we were out there attending a PTA meeting and somebody set

a fire in the back seat of his car and burnt up his car right there in the front of

the school. So the whites-after they found out that we were intending to keep on

pg 9

T: this thing, a- they came to Hell and Hell6nC j -fired and he made the
t---- CO
remark, P'Shoot first and ask questions later if this is the way it is going to be.'1 .

So when he made this remark thevmedia picked up this thing more and they sent it on

the wires. It is like this is what they want--they want# something/and up until

that time we had notiwe had tried to be quiet and go about our business with this

thing. I was working in St. Augustine _ there o Street and/one

of the reporters came by and stopped and wanted to know what the hell was wrpng with
H116,and wha is going on.1 ko 1k. / ;
Hlloand what hids going on. a b know. \Look at this. And I lookedrA-agt

the man made a remark so we had a' ,'l l eai and we tried to assume that it

was not so important but it had gone W like wildfire at that time. Somebody called

the national office ,- Wilkins being the man ~L in a court-nd.i e ld

outfit that is when we stated that he would have no part of this.

C: Did he ask you to remove HllB from the Youth Council? Did he go that far?

T: I cannot say for sure but it was something in -as order. I~ aE -Si cSea

They wanted to liftf(i charter and everything else, so then that is when

we turned to the SE0, e went down to Orlando with C.T. Vivian. T t VQ'S

r :_. \ of

T: T

Jose Williams C.T. was the main speaker down there, King wasn't there. I think

King was in his room or something. Anyway, I remember meeting with C.T. Vivian/

and la I think C.T. Vivian was the director of branches for the SC 6or

something and we persuaded him at that particular time to come and take a look

here. So they sent some workers in here to begin with and they looked around and

they liked what they saw and they thought that: 'T.ig.;Spsyr they

would not have that much troublee/here would not be that much hostility. pnly

problem ti;itg. was that St. Augustine was promeniently Catholic, this is the birth

place you know of Catholism in the United States,.i so we sold them on this ideC

pag 10

T: They thought this to be a dominant tourist town and some people accused. us at

times for ruining the businesses and a te tourists off and so forth. But,

this was not our intention# to begin with. Maybe there was some remarks made

concerning this, k rrn- ~"'-afoXr-'- mir. hen the whites began
"S CcMille I n
to organize an!tegsa g rerandat-hy-ghdiw Klu Klux Klans from all over the
state. We had somebody from all of the United States here. Here was this fellow

aQcus/ed of beating these kids with stones. Another fellow out of South Carolina

:- he died, he had a heart attack.

T:-'i nni^fe" a* they came in as organizers. This fellow out of

Louisiana, he had a heart attack and died but he was supposed to come here.

He was scheduled to come here, btSi.min ,B S^tjmm le was a big

man in Louisiana .at that time, 1SQiw a big Catholic man. Han.er ihe

.too an dhe talked about shutting the Catholic schools down and everything.
**": he W~i~L~tC.(j ^ 4c bh, \^ w sopic
He said iF Tmi wit laid he w lu i -the.-b. aek zand '.pttihem oa .*fl e
i"sO A1Cb Sj2d s-i krc: oLi ii QwL ) '1 L-t 61c
S-' ut 'u it some mosquetr and- snake.,infested place.

He was supposedto come here but he had a heart attack and died right before

he arrived here. We had some of everybody, a fellow who did some bumming

over in Jacksonville, remember the bumming school over there, he was caught

right here, he was taking a rose plant or something like that. He worked

over here at mobile courtyard. See they would let all these guys come in here
e[inE^" hi'c-.
and all this bad 8iaat and they would come in 1rik.. AnrWaap we had the

John Bird society, all of the big whigs onthe John Bird Society, we had the

~<-J3Klux Klan aed some of everything that you could name here.

C:"t I think the day I came by here I mentioned that I was going to talk

to 5-kij -and I did.

T: He will talk to you now, d EfR~iw'T I,; about four or five years ago'- ffhaEB.

he would not r=B-talk to anybody.

C: I know t qoraeted him. And now it turns out that he talked. But he said that

Page 11

C:.. DIr--.4elling-and Tlwant vou-t-' 3 gomment=onE- t R- Helling was a very militant

black, he said that at one meeting they came away shaking tSe heads. This

was he and the city police chief, Stewart, saying that this fellow had all the

markings of a black panther. How would you characterize him?
-_ .- y ..ji,
T: Noq g*q definitely not, "H ig riL E, was raised on the

University, his daddy was a professor there. HIlling finished school in Tallahassee

I think he attended college I-bee4.yr in North Carolina., I am-ntm~ -w I do

not know whether he attended ATI or not and then he went t(oha-ri That is where

he got he got his degree. That is where all the black doctors and ministers had to

go at that particular time. We had this meeting up at the Civic Building. We were

making certain demands on the city. Quite naturally when you 4i* resisted automa5ic-

ally at that particular time you were brandedeithercrazy or you, ere a bad name

Okap^ r 'bapefdla^unuaa Helling was 4ilH a spokesman/ o he spoke for

the community. t3is what happened, anytime you resisted automatically you

were 4y ,CV (AA a tTd= relMA.e the Black Falcons and we never had the Black

Falcons here. We probably could have gotten here but for some reason we wen

rt AI I (on know Ahow the _ got started. The> ent the

National Guard, they sent all the Highway Patrolmen. There were supposed to have

been 2000 or 1500 camped out on Butler's Beach6 or something, a. somewhere between

hue aJ Jacksonville or something. They were going to invade the city of St. Augustine.
You have never seen nhaLging-ike it in your life. Tis was on camera in a way of

speaking. And they would catch our people down there every once in a while and if
Wt2P-e A6LE-r-,
they Aeg#Vcatch somebody with a knife or a gun or something they would arrest them.

But one night they caught some guy' who came up from Ocala, from what the newspaper

Ui', ? 'J and from what I understand they had a bushell basket of ammunition and all kinds of

guns. And they put them in jail and they go out there the next day for trial and

they are going to bring them up to have a hearing or something and theyddon' fine

the guy. They turn him out. And at that time a fellow was living by the name of

Page 12

Jim Dot. He was pretty wealthy and he owned a couple of famous ship bars.

He was a millionaire or I imagine he was. He was a big young fellow. That

is the way that most of them are that hung out in there where Barnett Bank

is now, in that lot. I understand that Dot was the man that was doing a

lot of the financing in fact for the community private school that is

operating right now in the YMCA building. That is one of the reasons why

we are having such a zoo at the Y now. Because the Y was developed by a

liberal mayor. Blacks could use the pool, blacks could use the facilities

and everything, but they do not even want to do that. They are not very

generous with us on the one hand, and on the other hand over there, the Y

is even sponsoring a day care center for mothers in the black community.

This is well and good for the black mothers to keep their children off the

streets while they go out and work and this kind of thing to keep them off

of welfare. I am for day care a hundred percent. We need that care, we

need somebody to take care of black children, but I also feel black

parents, black mothers or somebody in the community in their homes has

always taken care of those black kids. Maybe there are not the best

facilities in the world, but there are houses. Now all of a sudden the

city cracks down, and the Y decides to put in a day care center, saying

that it is federally funded. So the city cracks down, and all these

people who have been keeping children are closing up. So now the Y

punishes us, and they have got the day care center. They have got three

to four whites up there, and some whites working, whites directing and all

this kind of stuff, and in the black community that is what we were doing

for them. In the mean time the Y is housing this private school. To me,

you cannot serve two masters. If you are going to feed me with the right

Page 13

hand, feed her with the left hand. We have had a heck of a to do with the

Y about this thing. We need a lot more blacks on the board of directors.

We have got black members at the Y and all this, but there are no blacks

in the policy-making outfit at all. If you have no black participation

out there, you are going to limit black kids to an alley as a place to go.

We do not have anything private, we do not have a private swimming pool.

This is the only place we can go where we do have things like that. We

deserve to have something besides a softball team, and they have some

pretty nice things out there, weights, and softball, and things like that,

for everybody, and I think it is really pretty down there. They have

tennis courts and basketball courts, and all that kind of thing.

C: The William Kinnard(?) jolt that was riding through the black community,

did this happen much during this period of time that you know of?

T: Sure. I mean this was common practice.

C: There were nearly a hundred of them.

T: We knew that someone was framing and they knew it. And

then we tried to talk. This was during the time when everybody knew about

it. Maybe that week, there was something else that came up. I think his

wife was in the school system here. He had two small girls, and they had

a big old box of dolls at the house, up in Scottsville, I believe. For

some reason, I called, or someone called, and told him that they were out

riding that night. We had pretty good communications, word of mouth,

phone, or someone would get out there in the back yard and holler. I saw

the cop pass. Well, they would take this car, we were told, and we

believed it, and I still believe it, and they would take this car and

they would paint different colors on different days. It was mostly black,

Page 14

and they would put a white top on it or a black top, or a black top on a

white body, anything on the same car. And this was the car they were

operating from, this car and a pickup truck. Now, Roosevelt James, a

fellow who lives out on Palmer Street, a fellow who has not been able to

get a plumbing licence, they stopped at his house several times to try to

find Brady(?). Now Brady never stayed there, they thought he did. They

would pass there, just ride up and down the street all night long. So one

night they stopped at his house, and they were all out there winding

through the rooms. They came by in this pickup truck and when they did,

they had a number sixty-eight, he did not want to kill anybody, bird shots

in the shotgun, and they unloaded in the squad in his house, and when they

did, he just ran out in the street, and man, he did not have his trousers

on! And he f---ed with these guys, so what happened, there are these men

there, they are out there investigating, So Brady*(?) goes to the school

to see if his wife is there, and they see a pistol in her pocket, and they

arrest her for carrying a weapon, but they do not catch the guy who is in

the truck, they do not do anything with him. We have got the tag numbers,

we turn in the tag numbers, we have seen who we identified, we know who is

doing it and everything else. We always had to be on the alert to go to

sleep at night. So a couple nights before then it had been down the road

where Goldie Eubanks lived on the corner. Now, Goldie was very outspoken,

and folks could tell he had been there for a number of years from South

Carolina, and everybody seemed to like Goldie, until Goldie began to make

some demands, and then he was a scoundrel.

One night my brother-in-law was in the house, and he heard the dog's noise

Page 15

out, and he ran out to see what it was about, or ran to the door, and when

he did, they took one of these old flambeaux off the street where the city

had been doing some work, this was before they had these automatic

blinkers, they had little flambeaux, kerosene flambeaux or whatever they

worked on, and set it in the back seat of his car sitting in the front

yard. So he either had a choice of trying to get his gun and shoot at the

guys or putting out his car. So he ran to put out his car and they

disappeared by the time the police came about two weeks later, that is

when they set the house on fire, but in the meantime, he then was talking

on the phone, I do not recall exactly who it was, someone was talking on

the phone to his wife, and she got up off the divan, she must have been

seven or eight months pregnant, and the divan was across from the door

almost to the back of the room. She got up off this divan and answered

the phone, and that was the only thing. These guys went out there and

stopped this car in front of their house and riddled that house with

bullets. It looked like they had machine guns or high-powered rifles.

Some of them went clean through the house, literally almost just shot the

door clean off the hinges, and she happened to be in the next room,

otherwise she would have gotten killed. They killed the boxer dog. He

came to the door and was stepping around when he heard the commotion out

there. Somebody even saw this and everything, and nobody...

C: That must have been, I guess, when he made that comment, about arming


T: Yes, right. It brings back the time when we had a young fellow get shot

right in that center, just some fellow was walking down the street, and he

got shot with a .22 rifle right through the heel of his foot.

Page 16

C: Why did they go out to the Klan meeting?

T: They did not actually, I was supposed to go on with them, they did not

actually attend the Klan meeting. Now we had some very good, liberal

white people that would inform us, some local people from here and some

ministers that had come up from Daytona who we trusted who were at our

meetings and would keep us informed and so forth, because we wanted to

stay one step ahead of them. So they had been attending those Klan

meetings, and they decided that night how we were going to find Jenkins.

Well, they were supposed to come by for me, but I do not know what I was

on, but anyway they did not come by, I did not go. They were having the

Klan when I was out there, and we heard all the time remarks about what

all was going on, and Jenkins' stoning the common men out there and

whatever else was going on at that particular time. So they went out on

the road, out on U.S. 1, and there is a bowling alley right across from

the shopping center, that is where they were, on back down there behind

the little grade school that is there now. So they just rolled out there

out of curiosity to see what was happening, and they went down there and

were just standing around, and when they turned around there were so many

cars coming from the Klan meeting, they got in this lane of cars that was

turning right going back in the woods. Well, these guys were just waving

people on, waving them on, you know. So they got in this particular lane,

traffic was so heavy from what I was told that I do not think they could

get out of it or something, and they attempted to turn around and come

back out. Well, after they got down in there, somebody passed the word

around, and all these guys had CB's during that time, and we did not have

any, and they got down there and they poked him right on down there. This

Page 17

is what happened when they discovered they drove him all over the woods

while they said the words, "Niggers, niggers, niggers," and this was the

cry at that particular time. They pulled him onto the ground, and pulled

him onto the stage, and they whipped him. It was awful. You should have

seen it, it was really something terrible. I do not know if you have seen

any pictures of it or not, but it was something terrible.

C: I have not seen any pictures of it, no.

T: And then the local doctors did not want to wait on him. They really tried

to, I do not know, they told Hilling he needed a dentist. They wanted to

break him up, they tried to break his hands, pulling his hands off, his

fingers, pulling between his fingers, and then they were going to set him

on fire. They really knocked him for one once.

C: Some of these white people, did they get the sheriff out there? How did

the sheriff know about it?

T: The sheriff was there. He was there all the time, he and all his

deputies, I mean this was common. The sheriff was, in a lot of cities in

the South the sheriff was in the Ku Klux Klan. You do not know who it is

under those sheets, you do not know who is in there.

Now he is working out there today and tomorrow, but at night he is out

there under the sheets. So, he swears that, "I do not know," and so some

of these people who were attending this meeting saw what was going on and

they slipped away and called. Or they patrolled, I do not know, maybe he

was there, I do not know. He was accused of being there, some of the

people thought he was there. So they went out there, and they went to get

some gasoline, they were going to set him on fire.

Page 18

C: Yes, I remember that time. Is it true that they took Dr. Hilling and

Houser and the other fellow over to Jacksonville Hospital to protect them,

or did they take them over there because they could not get treated at


T: They could not get any treatment over there. You know, we had a black

list, we might want to call it, over there at Flagler. Some of the

doctors would see you out there picketing or see some of your family out

picketing and tag a label on you. Everybody here knows everybody, and the

local police would take pictures. You would be out there picketing, and

they would ride by in the car, and everybody would take your picture. So

they had you on at the clinic and everything else in town. I mean, you

went in a place, and they would look, and they identified you, and you

are one of those smart guys or whatever the case might be, and so you

just do the best you can to go somewhere else.

C: Now, these doctors, many of them were members of the John Brooks(?)


T: I would think so, yes. We definitely would think so. They even, I do not

know about now, but on this radio news, not WFOY(?), another radio

station, every Saturday morning they would have a call-in, some

conservative poll, some guy working I guess out in Texas or something, was

it not? Right.

C: Yes, I cannot remember what the fellow's name is, but...

T: I can, Hunt. Yes, he was a millionaire or something. He ran the program

out of Texas, and his was the only program such as this or whatever the

case might be, every Saturday morning on this radio station, to keep

people informed of what was going on and so forth, and this fellow was

Page 19

highly conservative and so forth, and the government was listening. We

had just gotten that to tie, in a way of speaking, city and county against

the federal government at that particular time, especially on the

conservative programs and so forth.

C: Well, I guess that brings us into sixty-four.

T: Well, we had meetings with the city. We tried to sit down and iron out

our problems. We wanted to talk with them. I knew the guy who was city

manager at that time, and we had big meetings set up with the City.

C: Was that Barrior? Was Barrior city manager?

T: I believe he was, I believe it was Barrior, I think it was. And all the

black men used to come, and the city commission and some of the county

representatives and so forth, and we would go up there, and there he is

sitting up there with a tape recorder. So quite naturally, I mean we do

not want to talk to no tape, we want to sit across the table, and they

refused to talk with us. So this is the thing that had gone

with you all now. We had some kids that did some picketing and sitting

in. We look back on it now, but at this particular time, they grabbed

them, I think, and then put them in jail, and after they put them in jail,

they sent them to reformatory school.

C: Oh, that was the two young girls and the two young boys.

T: Right, right, they were on the corner we are on now, and he has not been

exactly himself since then. This was a hell of an ordeal for these kids

twelve and thirteen years old, and we had a heck of a time getting them

out. It took us six months or eight months to get these kids released

from reformatory school.

C: That was an incredible development.

Page 20

T: I am telling you now, we have been through the mill. My wife was one of

the first, she and probably Jenkins I would say, were the first

black adults to go to jail here. Mostly the kids were doing the serving.

And the kids were easy for it. We kept them ornery. They were well-

dressed and everything else, and they were pretty good, and they would go

in and sit at the lunch counter, and the whites did not want blacks, and

when the blacks were at the lunch counter, and you were open, you would

have to serve them, so they would cut out the lights, and all the waiters

and waitresses would just walk out, and they would close the door, so they

would lock up the place almost, lock the inside.

C: Shelley argues that the blacks would lay all over the floor. Is there any

truth to that?

T: We did have a lie-in. These are the only people who made any time in jail

besides these kids, we did have a lie-in, and we did not have any

protection to that. This happened at St. George Pharmacy. This only

happened one time. A young lady, well, they dropped all these things off

the records, I think she spent about thirty days in jail. We had offered

her an alternative, she teaches school now down south, and so forth. Now,

they will say that the kids who participated, they went on to make them

criminals, but this is a lie. Now I can tell you a lot of kids who

participated are people who are teaching in the public school system.

Some of them are principals and assistant principals and all this kind of

thing. They went on to continue their education.

C: Shelley would have you believe that this took place all the time.

T: I know, I know, I can tell you exactly how many of them there were, four,

I think, or five of them. There was only one place this took place, and

Page 21

that was St. George Pharmacy. This was the only place this took place.

C: How did you get all those people in from the North, those college kids,

and Mrs. Peabody?

T: Well, these people were interested in, this was the hardest place in the

nation at that particular time, because, you know, you had your freedom

riots and everything else, and these people followed King, they believed

in King. So, actually, we wrote some letters to some fraternities, some

white people had come here, some liberal-thinking people, some people who

were staying out, but we had contact with the University of Florida, we

knew somebody over there. This was Dr. Jones, they eventually fired him

over there. And the Homily(?) brothers, I remember them from the

University of Florida.

C: David Chalmers came over.

T: Yes. Homily(?), I think they were from Daytona. And we had a lot of

northern students there. I cannot think of some of the names. Some of

them lived in housing with us much of the time. But Dr. Jones, I

remember him specifically. He got arrested over there, and boy, that was

really big news when his wife found out about it, that they had locked him

up, she called me long distance that night in Gainesville, and my wife

went to jail with him, she was having quite a time of it, and eventually

they fired Dr. Jones from over at the University of Florida. He fought

this thing, he fought this thing for years, and they did spot him

everything in the last four or five years, I believe it was.

C: Now, when Mrs. Peabody came, and some of those ministers from the North,

and those college kids, then the press seemed to come, the New York Times,

and the ABC cameras and everything.

Page 22

T: Well, the press was following King here when he came here. King was

something new. Nobody had ever seen this before. This was almost like

Martin Gandy(?) you know, the black passion resistance. You offered your

body as a living sacrifice, you did not fight back. Now, the northern

kids fought them back. Leeland(?) fought them back. This was

annihilating women, you fought the white man, but we could not shoot, we

could not buy any ammunition, we could not buy twenty-two shells, we could

not buy no guns, we could not buy anything around here. We do not have no

violence. This was the only way we could do it, and this was King who

persuaded us to do it. I bet that Leeland(?) did not like to go along

with his ideas, but he had to, because this was King's organization and

everything, and he did not want any shots fired.

C: After the Easter protests, things seemed to quiet down from then until

May, and then they got really hot. What was happening in that stretch of

time? Do you remember? That would be from the end of March, actually it

would just be the month of April, really.

T: Well, during that particular time, King had several commissions, made up

of citizens in other places. We had to stop and revamp. We had to get

money and everything to get people out of jail. This was, I think, the

first time my wife went to jail, I believe, about $250 I think, in fee

charges, conspiracy, delinquency and minor trespassing out at the

Warners(?) or something. The next time, I think, was $500 or something

like this, or $1500.

C: Fifteen hundred, that is very high.

T: Well, and the next time, it went up to about $7,500 or something like this

apiece on fee charges. So then we had to revamp, and we had to reorganize

Page 23

and everything, but we kept picketing. I mean, there was only a limited

scale, because we did not have as many people participating, but we tried

to show that we were together as much as possible, and we got as many

whites as we could get participating with us. To tell you the truth, I

really feel sorry for some of the whites, because a lot of the whites,

they would give them hell, they would call them all kinds of names, and

accuse the whites of laying up with blacks and all this kind of thing.

They would kick them, and they would beat the hell out of them. They

treated them in some ways worse than they treated us. Truly speaking,

these were really some fine people, these people took a lot of time for


T: When things started up again in May, according to Shelley, he claims that

you met with Andrew Young, and you asked Young if there was anything the

city could do for St. Augustine's black people. He claims Young said no,

there was nothing, and then he claims that Young went out the next day, or

two days later, and that the city had rejected thirteen demands he had

made upon them. Were you familiar at all with that? Could you respond to

what Shelley was saying?

T: Yes, Shelley is not telling the truth. No, we had met with someone, as I

told you before, and they refused to sit down and negotiate our views with

us and talk with us. Some things they claim they did not do, it was just

up to the local merchants, the local chamber of commerce and so forth. In

fact, I should have done my homework, I knew you were coming, but I have a

book in my room. I have got a lot of statements, I have got a lot of

dabbling with King, he wrote little notes and all this kind of thing.

Every night we would meet. After we demonstrated at night we would meet.

Page 24

We would sit at Leeland's house or somebody's home. We would meet in

various homes with the executive board, and all these attorneys would

meet. Now, we had pretty good legal advice, from Custers(?), Guy Simons,

Earl Johnson and so forth. And all these lawyers were legal defense, and

also Civil Liberties Union. One time we had thirty-seven attorneys in


C: What were the demands being made? Do you remember the specifics?

T: Integrate the lunch counters, this was one of them. Jobs were one.

C: I remember that one.

T: All right. We wanted to integrate the beaches. We even talked about the


C: Plus foods.

T: Foods, this was one of the main ones. Cleaning supplies. Fire


C: One of the big things that Shelley and other whites would claim is that

percentage-wise, there was a comparable number of blacks employed by the

city to equal the percentage of blacks in St. Augustine.

T: Yes, if they pick and choose. Right now, you look at the blacks, and I

mean, we have been negotiating with the city right now. In fact, we have

some demands up there right now to upgrade blacks, of trying to open up a

school or something, so these blacks can move up in their positions. Now

we have got one, maybe two black farmers out there at the present time.

One fellow by the name of Jones who is in charge of the food, who puts the

orders in or something like this, he has got the highest position as a

black in the city work force. We do not have any blacks. You go uptown

and go up the the city building and find out how many black workers there

Page 25

are in the department, how many tax collectors, and even the county

courthouse, find out how many. We are still trying to fight this battle.

Why are there not any blacks in the fire department? We have been trying,

but I mean our examinees cannot even pass this test. See, a white man

does homework and he does very well. Meanwhile, they are playing around,

shooting dice and working, and picking cotton and other things, and

smiling, and trying to figure out a way to escape from the South and go

north and make a comfortable living, or something for forty hours a week,

but this man here is checking it out and is doing his homework.

C: There was one black fellow, was there not, working for the police


T: He is still there, by the name of Fred Waters.

C: Fred Waters.

T: Fred Waters was taken on because he had been appointed at that time chief,

or whatever call you want it to take, for the Black Legion. I do not

think Fred Waters has ever taken the advanced Civil Service exam, I think

he has been carried through, and has been grandfathered in. That is my

way of thinking, I do not know. Now, uphands of the last two or three

years ago, Fred Waters ought to have become the chief, to have been

working there for so many years. Now I say five or six years, but I am

not sure of the correct time. But he worked, I think his hours were from

about three or four in the afternoon to about three or four in the

morning, in the black neighborhood, and he only could arrest black people,

at that particular time. Now, he has got patrol car, he works a regular

shift, whatever a regular shift is, seven to three, or seven to whatever

the case, maybe he rotates around their shifts; but Fred Waters has been

Page 26

out there twenty-five or thirty years, and he is still patrolling. Fred

Waters' salary is below the lowest-ranked white patrolmen who walk. But I

imagine his salary is pretty comfortable now, because they have been

negotiating contracts, he had to gain approval. It is the union, you

know, they have been unionized. We have never had but one black

policeman, but they have given those tests, but what happened is this city

has its own civil service rules. They are not statewide, and they are not

covered. In this city, I mean you make up your own civil service rules.

You have got a civil service board that consists of about four or five

people, who represent the police department, there is one from the fire

department, and I think two or three civilians on it. All these are white

people. All right, now they give a civil service exam whenever there is

an opening, and if you take the exam, then they have the right to pick the

man who they think is best qualified, best suited for the job, as far as I

know now, maybe I am wrong, and then this fellow is picked. Now we have

had people who have passed the exams, but I admit they did not go to

school, and you stay on there until the time falls and there is another

opening, after you take the exam again. This is the way they do it, they

do not keep stagger slips.

C: When King came here and started mobilizing the black community, although

as you are pointing out, it was mobilized, when he came here and started

holding his meetings, what sort of things did the SCLC expect from the

black community?

T: Nothing but cooperation, we had told them that we did not have any money.

We did not have no anything.

C: He just wanted to get as many people on the street...

Page 27

T: On the street, this was his strategy, to get as many people on the street,

fill up the jails if necessary, just offer your bodies as living human

sacrifice. Let people see us on the outside, what they are doing to us.

See, we tried to keep this thing in tact. I have seen newspaper reporters

beaten something terrible there, their cameras snatched and all this kind

of stuff. I have seen even some reporters from I believe Sweeton(?) or

someplace uptown, I was working up there one day, and some kids went

across to Woolworths. They went into the Munson(?) and they locked the

door, the Munson specifically, and they walked across the park, the play

market, over to Woolworths. And once they got into Woolworths, they guy,

Hansen, who was a Holiness minister, he was a deputy sheriff at that time,

he arrested these newspaper cameramen, because they had followed these

kids, and they had tried to get a piece of the action. He claimed that

one of them had turned his camera on and hit him, or hit somebody. He

knows better, surely it was accidentally, so he put the man in jail. See,

every night, at our tour, we would have a strategy, and we would have

something different every night, and we would just try to sit there and

iron out, and figure out what was going to be everybody's reaction, how

you would react to this thing.

The day that the kids went in the pool, this was all planned out. We had

these rabbis coming up. They were young rabbis, and they arrested Drew

Munson(?). So at ten o'clock the next morning, Dr. King would be down on

the seawall, he was there, and we got these girls, they came in from

Savannah, Georgia and were good swimmers. We did not have any girls down

here who were good swimmers. These were all good-swimming girls. So now

when we dive up there, you are going to arrest this knight. They go up

Page 28

there, and they arrest Drew Munson. Everything is going, these are all

white people. Nobody pays any attention to them. So they arrest them,

they arrest all the rabbis, they get all the young rabbis, and they arrest

them. So the next morning at ten o'clock they had on their bathing suits,

and we had a car arrive up there at ten o'clock. Everything is going very

precisely. The car arrives at ten o'clock, and when they arrive at ten

o'clock, immediately the police were almost right there. They were all

uptown, and they had four all-days going, and these girls jumped right out

of the car and jumped right in the pool. The rabbis jumped in the pool,

and that was everybody in the pool, and you know that they are going to

react. You know this white man is going to react to this thing, because

he cannot stand it. He does not want this thing to happen. King was over

there on the seawall. They were so busy watching these girls, they do not

hardly pay attention. Some of the cameras go over to King, and some of

the staff sit there on the seawall. They were sitting, all of them, right

there waiting. When the action takes place, they want to see their

reaction. A lot of people say that King was sitting back. No, he was

not, he was right there on the seawall. Someone could even have pushed

him over on anything, or whatever. You could have shot him, anything you

wanted to do to him at that particular time, and then this when this

policeman, a fellow by the name of Henry Bennett, he jumps out of the

police car and tells them to come out, and they do not come out, and he

just cannot stand it any longer, so he jumps over in his uniform.

C: Is that when Watson threw that acid in the water?

T: Well, maybe the same day he threw the acid in the water. The next day,

no, they put alligators in the pool, but we did not want to go to the pool

Page 29

that morning, we had something else to do the next day. Right, the next

day or so we went down to St. Augustine Beach. We stayed my wife back

there. She said she did not swim, so she was not going down on the beach.

And these guys were working at Fairchilds, and they came right through the

gate, and they let them off in some kind of way or other, and they had all

these axhammers in the trunks of these cars, and they passed them out down

there, and we chopped some wood. The axhammers, boy, they worked some

kids pitifully down there. A young white woman, I never will forget, I

cannot think of her name, but she would be walking around with broken

bones. Another boy, we had to send this one on back home, they had beaten

him so much, and then that boy had a concussion; and he wanted to stay,

but we just said he just could not afford to stay, we sent him back home.

We had a lot of other white kids who came, we had a boy who came who was

tending flowers, I think, I forgot. Gary Oswald was his name, he stayed

here with us. Gary just could not take it. He got sick. Man, he was so

scared, he just stayed in the house. He would just stay in the house,

lock the house. Usually he was in the house. He would just lock the

house all day, because this thing lit him up. I mean, all right, we had

been accustomed to it all our lives. We were accustomed to police jumping

out of their cars, a blackjack in one hand and a pistol in the other hand,

and knock us upside the head. We were accustomed to that, we were

accustomed to white people who walk uptown, and you would have tipped your

hat and said, "Mister," or something, or whatever the case might be, and

he would kick you in the pants or something, because nobody is saying

anything about it. Well, all right then, this was the thing that we were

rebelling against.

Page 30

C: Why the night marches? Why not other marches?

T: It was the only way we thought it was going to be more effective. See,

you had to take your tactics.

C: To get publicity.

T: Right, right. We were taking our tactics, and the general organizations,

service organizations, whatever you want to call them, began to buy dogs,

the Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club, and I guess the Knights Clubs, I am not

sure, and so forth, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and all this

kind of thing. They would buy these German shepherds, and they would

surprise you. You do not see the shepherds around there now.

C: They bought those for the police department?

T: Yes, they bought them, or the dogs were donated by the police department.

C: Oh, somebody came...

T: Yes, that is where some of them came from. The police and the city bought

some, and they donated some. You do not see, we have got the same black

people living right here that lived here before, and you do not see any

dogs. They hardly use one. Now, with the drug problem we have got, they

will not even bother to buy any dogs to find the drugs now.

C: What was it like going downtown? Were the police there? Did they try to

stop the whites from pounding the heads of the blacks and the other whites

who were marching with them?

T: I will tell you, the first night march we had, the first one we had was in

October at the Lutton and Brown Ladies' Center(?), we caught them by

surprise. We left Washington street, and we got on down to Dole Street,

and the police station at that time was on Hipolica(?) Street, the police

and fire departments were on Hipolica Street. They have got a parking lot

Page 31

there, between the state board and Thirtieth Street. We walked down

there, walked flat up to the van, and when they did see us, they did not

even know what was happening, and there were a lot of cars that passed us

on the street, and a lot of whites immediately armed themselves at that

particular time. This was the first night march I had

ever participated in, when we were at the Lutton and Brown Ladies'

Center(?). Then, after them, in 1964, the next one we had, the first one

with King therefore, we got right there in the Lightly(?) Museum parking

lot. My boy was a little boy then, about three or four years old, but the

police were still going to stop us, on Cordillo(?) Street. So we left

Cordillo(?) Street, right in front of where city hall is, or the county

courthouse rather. We came over this big rock, and C. T.

asked if we could have a prayer, and he and Jose and the rest of them got

to get it together, still while we were stopped, right on the corner of

King(?) and Cordillo(?) Street. So it was debated, "Do not go on, we do

not know what they are going to do to us." So we said, "Let us have a

word of prayer, let us thank the same Lord." So we did, we stood and had

a word of prayer. This was something familiar to black people, black

people are family prayers. Even the rusty ones checked on, because you do

not hide the expression for the good Lord to do something, for somebody to

help us. We sent the boys back, we said, "Send the kids back." We

decided we were going tonight, so we went. This time we caught them by

surprise, but after that, boy, they would be militant. You could go up

there in the city, and at night they would have all the benches and chairs

and things that they could find, and they would have them all around the

place blockading us. There were people running in reels, and they would

Page 32

be loaded. These guys would have bricks, they had bicycle chains, they

had lead pipes, they had some of everything, and we had people come rank

us in the head and so forth, and tomorrow night they would be right back.

C: Did you get any protection from the police department until the judge

ordered them to protect you?

T: No, this,is what they wanted, they wanted to stop this thing, they did not

care, anything to stop them, kill them, beat them, anything.

C: How about the city fathers there, the mayor, the commissioner and the city

manager, were they doing anything to try and negotiate the problem, or get

the police to enforce the law?

T: No. Well, yes, they were enforcing the law, that was the law at that

time, segregation was the law. This is what they were doing, getting the

police to enforce the law, segregating, keeping the niggers in their


C: Did you get any cooperation at all from the business community after you

really began to...

T: There were one or two people. For instance, a fellow had a shop,

Friendship, or the Loving Shop, or something like that, down on St. George

Street, Mr. down right here. He was there at this

particular time, I think he taught a Sunday school class at one of the

Methodist churches, and they ran this man out of town. Last thing I knew

of him, he was in Ocala working at the Holiday Inn. I have seen him since

that time.

,the state senator at that time, he spoke out

against it, he thought it was wrong. We were at the college, in

history at Flagler College, I took a course, and they went by and broke

Page 33

all the windows at his place. All right, he was located at the corner of

Treasure(?) and Taylor(?) Streets. So the place was rigged.

C: After they passed the Civil Rights Act in that year, and Munson(?) and

some of the others said they would abide by it, that is when they followed

you into the restaurant, was it not?

T: Oh man, yes.

C: What sort of man was Munson?

T: He was a

C: What do you mean when you say

T: He is there now.

C: Was he from Tampa? What sort of man was he to deal with back then?

T: He did not own it, Farr(?) owned it. Farr was from Tennessee out. there,

and he owned a chain of restaurants in Tennessee. Farr brought some

blacks here, they lived out there with him and everything. A fellow by

the name of T. C., he thought the world of them, but when these blacks

started demonstrating, it was a different situation. "Now you blacks are

just like everybody else, I am going to raze you," but this is a different

situation now. And that is when we separated. So, Brock supposedly had

been buying the Munson's from Farr at that particular time, and they will

do this, he has to run his business, and Farr took it back, and now he is

back up there, he is back with Farr and so forth. There are a lot of

rumors I would not want to put in on this tape, in the black community

about some of the accidents, about some of the things that Brock had done.

C: Were you all shocked by the action of the judge in Jacksonville, Judge

Bryan Simpson, when he took the side...

T: Scott had the first case. That is when we went to the Federal court in

Page 34

Jacksonville, because here, Judge Matthews was giving us hell.

Weinberger, we were kind of shocked at him, he did the interview, and

Meniacle, we thought he would be sympathetic with our case, but we had the

first store cases in the city, and people would look at those. Next, we

went to the local courts, the county courts, and Matthews, oh man, he has

never gotten over this thing.

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