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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
R:This is Emily Ring. I am sitting in the beautiful home of Louvina [Louvin] Smith, Mrs. T. Lynn
Smith, here in Kirkwood, [in] Gainesville, Florida. The date is March 5, 1979. Louvin, we
want to ask you about the career of your late distinguished husband, who was a research
professor of our University and who died just three years ago. [Thomas Lynn Smith was
professor of sociology from 1949 to 1974. Ed.] We are going to start with his background,
and then we are going to get you two together, and all of the experiences, that you can
remember in both of your careers here in Gainesville.
Let us start with T. Lynn, Louvin.
Where and when was he born?
S:November 11, 1903, in Sanford, Colorado.
R:In Colorado. Now, you were born in Colorado, too, were you not?
S:In Manassa, Colorado.
R:I see. What was his father's name, and what was his father's occupation?
S:His father's name was Mephi Smith, and he had a cattle ranch down in New Mexico.
really his career.
R:I see. Was this a Mormon family?
S:Yes, Lynn's family was a Mormon family.
His grandparents were of Scotch-Irish descent.
father was born here, and then they moved out to Colorado. Later on his father had a ranch
down in Mexico.
R:Was his father also a Mormon?
S:His father was a Mormon.
R:Were they descended from the founders of the church?
S:No, [there is] no connection.
R:I see. So [he lived] in Colorado. Was he of a very large family of brothers and sisters?
S:Yes. I think there were nine children in his family.
R:Where did he come in the family group?
S:Lynn was about the middle.
R:I see. And his father was a cattleman?
S:He was a cattleman.
R:Did all the boys on the farm help with the operation?
S:Oh, yes. That was really the reason for having the ranch and the farming land, because the
farmland furnished the hay for the cattle.
S:His brothers, [the ones] older than Lynn, were on the ranch with the cattle. His three sisters were
mostly with their mother in Sanford, but the boys were usually down in New Mexico with
R:So they lived in town during [part of the year], and then they went to the ranch.
S:Well, Lynn's father actually was at the ranch most of the time.
He would come up for special
occasions, but not very often. He stayed down there. They had a little ranch house. But
Mother felt she had to stay in town. She had a little garden, and she had a place for the girls,
a home in town that had to be kept.
R:What was her name, Louvin?
R:Just like Holyoke College?
R:Who were her forebearers?
S:I really cannot tell you much about them, except they were from Parowan, Utah, which is down in
the southern part of the state. Her parents came from Scotland.
R:Were they also of the Mormon Church?
S:Yes, they were. They were in Utah, and then later moved to Colorado.
R:I see. Now, T. Lynn went to an elementary school in Sanford?
R:At that time, what kind of school system did Colorado have? [Was it] just the usual elementary
S:Just the usual elementary school. Then he went to a high school up in Manassa. Manassa was
where we had the church school, which was a high school. The young people from Sanford
would come up to Manassa to high school. That is where we really met.
R:Both of you went to that high school?
R:So you knew each other from about what age?
S:Well, high school age, [from about age] fourteen on.
R:Did you start dating him at that early age?
S:Well, a little, but not too much, really.
R:You were just in a group together.
R:After that schooling in the high school and the church school, where did he go to school after that?
S:First, being a Mormon, he went on a mission. That seems to be the high aim for Mormons, to go
on a mission. They pay their own way.
R:Like the boys that do that here in Gainesville?
S:Right. They come to your door. They are very fine young men, very principled and very
dedicated to what they believe.
R:How do they earn their own way?
S:They do not earn it while they are on a mission. The money is sent to them by their parents.
R:Is there a set period of time that they work?
S:Two years, usually. They just go from door to door; you have had them come to your door.
R:Oh, yes, and they are always in pairs.
S:Yes, always, and very fine young men. They have very high moral standards. Lynn was on his
mission in Wisconsin. That is where he met Lowry Nelson, who you know.
R: I remember Lowry Nelson. He taught at our sociology department [in the early 1960s].
S:Right. Lowry was a good Mormon, too, and he was teaching at the University in Wisconsin.
Lynn met him there at church, and Lowry encouraged him to go to B.Y.U. [Brigham Young
University], which he did. Brigham Young University is the Mormon college. It is a very
big college, and very well endowed. It is a very rich school.
S:Therefore, they can set up their own standards. If someone goes to that school and is "offensive"
in that they are not dressed properly or their hair is long or they are unshaven or they do not
bathe, they are asked to leave. If they object, the school says: "After all, you knew what our
standards were before you came here. If you do not like it, maybe you would be happier in
another school." They have very high standards.
R:Interesting. They cannot very well do that in a public university.
S: They cannot. It [B.Y.U.] does not take any government money, you see, so they can keep their
standards. So Lynn, after his mission, went to B.Y.U. I think he graduated in three years.
R:What did he major in there?
S:Rural sociology. Swinson was his professor. Maybe you have read about Swinson in sociology.
And Lowry [Nelson] was there off and on. We met him there in the summer. Lynn did
some research work for Lowry Nelson.
R:Were you married by this time?
S:No. I was in school in Salt Lake [City].
R: Let us go back a moment to your origins and your parents, and then we will get up to where you
came together. Who was your father and what did he do?
S:My father was William Jackson. He was a sheep and cattle man, a rancher. My Grandfather
Jackson came from England. Let me tell you about a precious little hotel in England, down
near the coast, where we took the boat to come to America. There is a little hotel there
called Angel Hotel, and it is sort of a frumpy little hotel, painted blue with a little window
box. It is so precious. A sign on it says, "This hotel is named Angel Hotel because this is
where the pilgrims spent the night before taking the boat to America."
S:My grandfather was one of those [European Mormons who immigrated to this country in the
second half of the 1800s to live in the new Mormon settlements out West]. He was a very
young child, nine years old, when he came with his family. At that time, of course, it was a
Mormon movement, but it was more than that. It was religious liberation, you see. That is
the reason they came. There was a train then from New York to Missouri, and they went out
by train. The rest of it was by foot, carrying what they could, and pushing a handcart. My
Grandfather Jackson, at age nine, helped to push a handcart from Missouri to Salt Lake
S:During the winter he said they almost froze to death and almost starved to death. Of course, they
had to feed their horses, and they would watch the horses eat. If there were a grain of wheat
or oats that dropped from their mouths, they would pick it up and eat it. They were that
He loved the West, and he always wanted to go to Utah, which he did. He moved out there when he
was very young. I have a painting of the ranch house that he did. He was the first man in
Colorado to make red bricks--he baked them--and build houses. He built a house in town
and then one on the ranch. I will show you my painting of the ranch house.
R:I want to see that. Now, who did your father marry?
S:My father married Mary Gilbert. My grandmother Gilbert's [maiden] name was Stout. She came
from Denmark, and she was a very young girl, about sixteen or seventeen. We think of girls
now leaving home as teenagers, but my grandmother did this way back then, when she was
sixteen or seventeen. [She left home] to go to Salt Lake [City] because of religious
convictions. She left a very wealthy family; they disowned her, and she never saw them
again. She went to Utah, where she later met my grandfather Gilbert, and they were married.
They were in Riverton, Utah, at that time, and then they moved to Colorado. They had a
ranch near a canyon, a beautiful ranch. It was wild and beautiful. The roads were very
rough, not much more than trails.
R:Did she ever hear from her family again?
S:A brother, but that is all. She never went back.
R:This happened because she had been converted to the Mormon religion in Denmark?
S:Right. [She left home because of her] religious conviction.
R:She was almost a child, was she not?
S:She was, and a very marvelous person. She was always so strong and courageous, and always for
education and high morals--a wonderful person. She raised her family along with my
grandfather on the ranch. At that time they were the only American family, the only white
family; they were surrounded by Spanish-Americans, by Mexicans. My mother and aunt
and uncle learned the language [Spanish] very quickly, because they went to school with
them. So my mother grew up being bilingual. More than that, she made friends with those
Mexican people, and they came to her in later years for money, for clothing, for food, for
friendship, for counseling. She was a marvelous influence over that southwestern part of
Colorado. They came to her for what she knew and how she could help them. They went to
R:What was your mother's first name?
S:Mary Gilbert Jackson. Then they moved to Manassa and had a home there, and then my mother
and father were married. They also had a home in Manassa, and that is where I grew up,
except in summers, when they would go to the ranch. I told you about that. [It was a]
beautiful ranch. That has made me love nature, the beauty of His holiness.
S:It is so beautiful, and the ranch is so lovely. My mother always liked to be with my father and
have us with them. This would be at shearing time and lambing time. We would have our
dinner not later than 4:30, and we would tidy up the dishes. Then [we would all get in the
buggy]--my mother and father in the front of the buggy and we three children in the back--
and we would ride through the meadows, those beautiful green meadows, to pen up the
sheep. My father would put up a scarecrow to keep the coyotes away from them, and then
he put a lantern out. These are the happiest times. It was such a beautiful time.
R:What a wonderful place for a child to grow up!
S:Yes, it is. It was really a sheep ranch. The lambs would run and play in the evening with their
mothers--well, not with their mothers so much, but with the other lambs. Then at dusk the
lambs would run to find their mothers. Do you know how they find their mothers?
S:[That is right.] It was one scramble, going from one mother to the next. This is a beautiful
R:But there were three children, you and ...
S:Well, at that time Mother and Father had twelve children.
R:Are they all still living?
Every one of them are marvelous
S:All except my older brother and sister. But the others are [living] and are very successful. My
parents taught us how to work. They taught us that it was not disgraceful to work, so long as
our motives were pure and we were doing it for the right cause, and especially if we were
working for ourselves. That is the only work we ever did, for ourselves.
our home or ourselves or the ranch.
[We worked] for
My father had two older brothers, and his father and they were in business together at first. Then, as
my brothers and cousins grew older, they needed to break up the holding so they could each
have their own and go their own way.
Of course, they did, but they always worked very
R:Did your father pass away before your mother, and was she able to hold onto the ranch after he
S:My mother died very young. She was forty-two.
R:She had twelve children.
S:Right. But [she was] a beautiful, wonderful woman. My mother was really a great lady. I have a
brief sketch of her here. You may like to read that sometime.
R:Oh, I would love to, yes.
S:What she did for that community, for the state of Colorado..
She was really a pioneer. What a
R:Perhaps we can file a copy of that along with the transcript, too.
S:Maybe you can. I would be glad to [give you a copy].
R:So both you and T. Lynn had a ranching background.
R:And you loved nature and animals. Now, why did you turn out to be an artist?
S:Well, it was natural.
R:We want to talk about that later.
R:We have gotten up to the point where you were at Brigham Young University. Now, did you go
to that university?
S:No. I went to nurses' training and to the Mormon hospital, the Latter-Day Saints Hospital, in Salt
Lake City. A very fine one. I worked in connection with the University of Utah, and that is
where I finished my nursing degree. I finished nursing just before Lynn finished his
undergraduate work. We did not have a dime and did not expect any money from our
parents. I was working, and Lynn was grading papers. Then we went to Minnesota. Lynn
had a fellowship there [at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis] with [Carle]
Zimmerman and [Pitirim] Sorokin. You know them.
R:Yes. At that time rural sociology was a fairly new discipline in the university, was it not?
R:But he was influenced by his own professors to go in that direction.
S:Yes, he was. That is the reason he went there, and it was very good. He could not have done any
better anyplace. That was in Minneapolis. I was working as a private-duty nurse, and I also
worked at the health service at the University of Minnesota. This is the way we paid our rent
and how we ate. Lynn was grading papers and going to school, and he also had a
R:Now, give us the dates of this graduate work. That would have been in the Depression, would it
S:That was during the Depression. Exactly. That would have been the year we were married, in
1928. I finished in 1927, he finished in 1928, and then we were married. He went to
Minnesota, and I came a little later. I did some work in Alamosa [Colorado], at the Alamosa
R:Were you married at home or in the Mormon church?
S:We were married in the Mormon church.
R:Is the marriage service for the Mormon church fairly similar to the other churches in the marriage
ceremony, or is it in any way unique?
S:[It is] completely different.
R:Is it different from, say, the Methodist church, or the Baptist church?
R:Can you tell us a little bit how it differs?
S:I really cannot, because it has been so long ago, but I know that it is completely different. I always
had great respect for the Mormon church, although I did not really know a great deal about
it, except that there were some things that I did not care [for] about it. I always appreciated
their high moral standards and their dedication to family. That is another thing to get into.
The Mormon family is really something.
R:They are known for that. By this time they had long since given up polygamy.
S:Oh, my, yes. That was no part of it at all. But Lynn, too, even having spent two years on the
mission, had turned away from the Mormon church. I could see that there were things in it
that I did not believe, and Lynn did not think that he wanted [to belong to] any church. He
was a sociologist. He was going to study all of these religions, and he just lumped them all
in one big sum. It was just a religion, just something that he wanted to know more about. I
did not feel that way about it, and I have always felt half starved, because I think we all need
a spiritual background.
S:Oh, we do. And our children need it; by all means, they need it.
S:And then. I would take the children, my two sons, Jack and Richard, from one church to another,
but he [Lynn] would not let us join. He said, "They can join when they are sixteen if they
want to." Richard did, you know. He became a Presbyterian, and Jack later became an
Episcopalian. But Lynn just did not want me to be associated with a church.
Later (maybe I am getting way ahead of the story), when Dr. [Edward] Kissam told me in the
hospital that Lynn would not live long and that it would be a very terrible death, I turned
immediately to Christian Science [Church of Christ, Scientist]. I thought, If medicine cannot
help me (and that is where I have my training) [then] surely something else could help. I
turned immediately to Christian Science, and I gave Lynn thirteen extra years, good years.
He told his colleagues over here [at the University of Florida] that he would have been gone
long ago if it had not been for me and Christian Science. I used to say after he retired:
"Lynn, now anytime you want to go on a trip, tell me. I can leave my practice." (I did go
into the practice [as a] Christian Science practitioner.) He would say, "All right, just as soon
as I finish this." I said, "Now, I can leave it, [but] I do not want to give it up." "Oh, I do not
want you to give it up." He knew I had something that he needed. He wanted me to have
that spiritual strength. When I took him to Geneva [Switzerland] for one of their meetings,
the Russians said, "But you are so strong." I helped him up the steps--he had not been up
steps for an awful long time. We were in the Palace of Nations. We went there to a meeting
for international labor laws.
R:Let us pin down the date when he first became ill, and then we will go back to his earlier career.
S:Yes, we are getting too far ahead.
R:The date when he first became so ill was about...
S:That was about 1959. We were at the beach.
It was the same year that we lost Dr. [John Miller] Maclachlan [head professor of
sociology and anthropology].
R:Now, let us go back to T. Lynn Smith's earlier career as a sociologist. He is finishing his graduate
work at the University of Minnesota, and you are serving as a registered nurse, performing
private duty. Had the children come yet?
S:I worked at the health service. No, we could not afford children. We had to work, and we knew
that we had to.
R:Everybody in the Depression deferred having their children because they could not afford them.
S:Well, we could not afford it.
Then Zimmerman and Sorokin went over to Harvard, Sorokin as
head of the Department of Sociology. Zimmerman followed.
R:Will we ever forget that darling man, Dr. Pitirim Sorokin?
S: He was great.
R:You and Lynn brought him here to lecture to us, and we all enjoyed it so much.
S:You and John [Maclachlan] brought him here.
R:Well, we loved him.
S:That was great. We always appreciated John for bringing us here.
R:He was so proud for having gotten T. Lynn away from Vanderbilt. But we are getting ahead of
ourselves, so let us get to the birth of the two sons.
S:Let us go over to Harvard first. That is where Lynn then did an extra year of graduate work. He
had an extra year there, and I worked. And then Fred Frey invited us to come to Louisiana
State University [LSU]. I think the salary was $3,200 a year.
R:What year was that?
S:About 1932. Then we could afford to have our baby, Jack. Lynn had his degree, and we were so
happy. That $3,200 looked like a lot of money.
R:That was a great deal of money in 1932, much more than [the University of] Florida was paying at
S:We could live well.
We lived at "the Pentagon" in Baton Rouge.
It was an old Spanish army
R:That was a cute name for it.
S:The walls were three feet thick.
R:At least you were cool in the summer.
S:Oh, it was a great place, and Jack loved it there. What do you want to talk about now?
R:Was the sociology department at Baton Rouge as strong and active as Chapel Hill [North
Carolina] in the South?
S:I think Chapel Hill has always been strong, but Lynn did build up LSU, and we had Fred Fry.
Fred was more [into] academics.
assistant to the president.
He was the dean of arts and sciences, and he was also
R:So T. Lynn became chairman of the sociology department.
S:Lynn was the head of the department a little later on. He brought some good men there, and it was
an outstanding school.
R:He trained a good many of our southern sociologists.
S:You bet he did, including Hover Head, McMahan, and [Julian] Tatum; I still hear from those
marvelous young men. They were so good to us. They were just fine men. And there were
some women, too. We enjoyed Louisiana very much.
Then Lynn's work began to develop in Latin America, and he decided that he wanted to be a Latin
American demographer. His first trip was to South America, and he had a grant from the
State Department. He went down there to lecture. He took a boat from New Orleans down
to Peru, on the west side, and he came home around by Brazil on the east coast. That took
two or three months, in the summertime. I was in Baton Rouge with Jack.
R:This was the State Department grant?
R:I see. Did he go on a sort of contact trip, or did he do research and gather statistics?
S:[It was] more of a contact trip, and he did do some lecturing. That is where he met Otto Romos.
Do you know him? He was a very distinguished sociologist and psychiatrist. Dr. Romos
and Louisa then came up to Baton Rouge.
S:Yes. Lynn had them there a year.
R:What university did he come from?
S:He taught at several schools, but he really was in practice. He was a distinguished anthropologist
and sociologist. But you see, the system is so different in South America. He could teach in
several schools, or he did not need to teach at all. He was distinguished in his own right, and
he lectured in several schools. That is true with so many, like with the Sternbergs, whom
R:How did the Latin American scholars manage to do that, not to be attached to one university?
S:They have to do it because of survival. One university does not pay enough. They do not have
campuses as we have. They have schools all over the city. It is really very difficult. They
spent most of the time going from one school to the other, riding streetcars or any [other]
way. It is very wearing. That is the reason some people move up here, so they can raise a
family with adequate income. Our university salaries are not the best in the world, but at
least you can raise a family on them.
R:It would help a great deal if they came from a wealthy family, but I guess that is not always the
S:Dr. Romos and Louisa had a very lovely apartment on the Copacabana Beach in Rio, and we went
there to visit them many times. There were other times when they would come to see us.
They were up here for a year, at LSU, that is, and we had a nice house there. We always had
the students [to our house] for several things.
R:At that time did he know our friend Freitas Marcondes?
S:Yes, he did. He was here, because it was through Dr. Romos that Freitas Marcondes came up
here. Freitas was the first to get a master's in sociology .
R:Right, and he lived at my house. By that time I was a widow, and I rented him a room.
S:Yes, you did. They are so proud of the fact that they know the campus here and that he has a
degree from Florida.
R:How is he getting along?
S:Just fine. We saw them the last time we were down there. I hear from him. He hopes to come
and pay me a call.
R:Well, be sure to let me know.
All right. He [Lynn] is building up the department at LSU and traveling in Latin America,
especially Brazil. How did he come to specialize in Brazil?
S:This is another thing from the State Department. This is during the Second World War, and the
State Department needed information about the countries down there. Taylor, whom you
know, was assigned to study Argentina. Whetton, whom you probably know, was assigned
to study Guatemala. Lynn was assigned to study Brazil. It was very sensitive work, a lot of
it for the government. The children and I went with him. We lived in Rio for a year. Then
we came back to LSU, and Lynn finished his work for the State Department. He had all this
wonderful material, and that is what he used to write Brazil: People and Institutions .
His first book, though, was The Sociology of Rural Life; he wrote that at LSU. The Brazil
book had four editions in Brazil.
R:And it is still going strong.
S:Still selling until the last book.
R:How about the rural sociology text?
S:That is out of print and has been for a long time.
R:I remember teaching from it. He wrote a text on social problems, too, did he not?
S:He did [Social Problems (1955)], and also a [book on] urban-rural population [Population
R:When did T. Lynn do his writing? Was it at night or early in the morning?
S:Lynn kept very regular hours. [First] breakfast, and then, in later years, exercises. That is why he
had this big king-sized bed. He did lots of exercises, but he could not get out and do a lot of
yard work. He had a good bed, and he did do his exercises. At 10:00 he would go to his
study. He worked very regularly until 12:30, and then lunch, then rest, and then the
University. Then he would come back and rest and then have dinner. After dinner he would
go to his study [and work] until ten or eleven o'clock. With those regular hours he would get
a great deal done. [That was his regular schedule] except for Friday, when we would take
off and go to the beach; that is why we have our little beach house. We would go to dinner
down at Ormond Beach, and then go to the beach and [our beach] house.
R:Now, let us go back and get the names and dates of birth of the two boys. Jackson was born while
you were in...
S:November 29, 1933, in Baton Rouge. That was during the Depression.
R:And then Richard came along ...
S:Richard was born April 5, 1936, in Baton Rouge.
R:I see. Then, from LSU he [Lynn] was persuaded to go to Vanderbilt in what year?
S:That was in 1946 or 1947. In 1946 we came back from Brazil, and in 1947 we went to Vanderbilt.
We were there for two years. Then, bless his heart, dear John Maclachlan invited us to
come to Florida, and we loved it and we loved them ever since.
R:Well, thank you, Louvin. Jack was very proud to get Lynn; he thought he was just the star of the
sociology department, and, of course, he was. Now, he was made a distinguished research
professor shortly before his illness, was he not?
S:Yes, he was.
R:Now, as I recall it, he was not fond of Vanderbilt.
S:Well, there were a lot of complications. I would rather not say on tape. I will tell you about it
R:All right. That is fine. I remember there was some hitch there, but we will not go into that. So
you are now in Florida. At first you lived in a house that is now occupied by the Harvey
S:Yes, A little house at 928 North West 21st Terrace [Bowers Road, then]. [It was] the only house
in Gainesville for sale.
R:Oh, you don't mean it!
S:It was. We came here in 1949. We went to Vanderbilt in 1947 and were there for two years.
When we came here in 1949, it was the only house [for sale]. It was before the great build-
up in Gainesville. Our furniture would just barely squeeze in. And John, bless his heart,
made arrangements with the University to let Lynn keep his library at the University. That is
where our books were for the first two years.
R:I had forgotten that.
S:Then we built this house. We had thought of just building on the house over on Bowers Road, but
it was still inadequate and we would not have had the space. For the same price, we built the
R:Now, I am trying to recall who you bought that house from, not that it makes a great deal of
S:I have really forgotten the name of the people. They had not been in it for six months. They sold
it for what they built it for, and it was at that time what we could afford, of course. We were
glad to pay it. Prices had not risen then at all.
R:No. And soon after that you started building this house.
S:We built this house in 1950, just before the Korean War.
R:This house sits in Kirkwood, which is still a lovely subdivision, with many beautiful houses. I
remember that T. Lynn was rather fond of the yard, of the camellia bushes. He planted all
those citrus trees, which are amazingly big now, with lots of fruit on them.
S:That is true. This was just a wheat patch when we moved in here, and he planted I think seventy
camellias and many more azaleas. It is a showplace in the spring.
R:Then all the rest of his life he kept going back to Latin America. Did he go to Chile later on?
S:Yes. We were both in Chile once on a lecture tour. Lynn did a great deal of work for the State
Department. He was always getting enough money to do some research. He was in
Argentina, but I did not get to Argentina. Colombia was another country that he studied and
wrote another book about, one as equally important as Brazil: People and Institutions
[Colombia: Social Structure and the Process ofDevelopment (1967)]. He studied Colombia.
R:He also got some of his graduate students working in Columbia.
S:Yes, several whom you know.
R:And all those years we were having the Latin American conferences.
S:Yes, we did. We had fine conferences.
R:Was [A. Curtis] Wilgus [director, School of Inter-American Studies and professor of history] the
first head of those conferences? I believe he was.
S:I think so.
R:They were financed by the State Department, were they not?
S:I do not want to make a statement about that, but I know they did have money. They had to have
money to bring so many people here.
R:I guess it was from different sources.
S:I think so.
R:Well, we covered the Caribbean conference.
S:That was it, the Caribbean conference. They were very fine conferences. They built up a rapport
between our people and other countries down there. Lynn did a lot of good work for the
people. He really loved them, and they loved him. I think Lynn spent fifteen years in South
America, mostly the years the children were growing up.
R:And that left you at home to raise children.
S:Yes, the two children. We could go sometimes, but not always.
R:No. It is too expensive, and they had to be in school.
S:It was too expensive, and the children were in school. But we did take lovely trips all through the
United States and Canada and Mexico and Brazil. But I created a home and raised the
children. That was my duty.
R:Yes, that was your duty.
S:Later on I did some work at the hospital. I went back to bring my degree up to date; I went to
Shands [Teaching Hospital], to [the] J. Hillis Miller [Health Center]. I then did some work
at Alachua General Hospital to bring me up to date. Dr. W. C. Thomas thought it was a
good idea to stay up to date.
R:Do you find that there is any conflict in your mind between being a nurse and dealing with
physicians, and with being a Christian Science practitioner?
S:Well, there is so much that is related, and I did not turn against medicine or the doctors. They are
doing the best they can, the very best. But I had to have something besides that, because
things were going badly. During all those years that I nursed Lynn--twenty-four hours a
day--my nursing experience came in very handy, because I knew how to handle him. But
more than that, I think I have always been a Scientist, because when I was doing private duty
work I would never allow my patients to speak of their illnesses or dwell on their illnesses or
let anyone else [do so].
R:Yes. They had to think positive.
S:Right. You can think yourself into an illness too, you know.
R:As I recall, Dr. Samuel Martin, who was the first head of our medical department and later provost
of the whole health center, talked to my sociology class and said that a very large part of the
illness of people is due to their emotional problems.
S:This is true. He was a very fine doctor, and he would speak to me privately about Lynn. He
would say: "It is just remarkable. I do not know how you have done it." And he was not the
only one. Many of the doctors [would say]: "What have you done? How can you do this?"
Well, I worked with him all the while, twenty-four hours a day, and finally we got a brace on
him. And, you know, he had his classes here at home, in the solarium. I would get this
brace on him, get him in the wheelchair, and take him to the solarium, and then his students
would come. He did not miss a great many classes.
R:Dr. Kissam had diagnosed this as bone cancer?
S:Yes. His rib cage and his spinal column had separated [due to] disintegration of the bone tissue.
This was mended, and it was proved by x-rays.
R:Was he also on medicines and special diets of any kind?
S:No. Well, his skin doctor gave him a drug; this is when we went to Geneva, because there was an
irritation on Lynn's skin. It [the medicine] made it so much worse that it made him blister.
He did not stay on that.
R:Did he go to a health spa in Geneva? Was it a health spa?
S:Oh, no. Lynn was one of seven experts invited to work on international labor laws. One
Christmas Richard was here, and Rena and Michael. Lynn could not sit at the table that
Christmas; I had him in a wheelchair. After they left, I was helping with his mail, and there
was an invitation to go to Geneva.
R:In what year was this?
S:That was in 1964. I said, "Lynn, you cannot give this up. This is a beautiful invitation." He said,
"Well, I cannot go without you. I will write them." Within a week's time we both had first-
class TWA tickets to Geneva. This was in March 1964. Lynn was one of several experts
invited to Geneva to work on international labor laws, and there were representatives from
many of the countries around the world. I was invited to listen, because I went with Lynn
and was with him all of the time. The Mexican ambassador, who was in charge at this
session, invited me to come. It was the most marvelous experience to listen to these men--
through earphones, of course--from India and Africa and Egypt. People from all over the
world expressed their views on agrarian reform. How could one set of laws in the United
States, for instance, fit in with the laws in India, or Africa, or wherever? It was a fascinating
thing, and one that we both thoroughly enjoyed. The Russians were very friendly.
R:Well, Louvin, you became a sociologist in your own right, just by helping Lynn and participating
in all his work.
S:I have, I know. I am very familiar with his work. Another time [we went to] a populations study
meeting in Rome, but we will not go into that now. But we had lovely trips, wonderful trips
R:Let us go into the trip to Rome. Did that come after the Geneva trip?
R:Did you go from Geneva to Rome, or did you come back?
S:No, that was a different trip. On this trip, we first went to London to the International Sociological
Society in London. That was an experience, a beautiful experience. Then from there we
went to Rome, but first we went by Vienna. I love Vienna, but we could not stay long
enough. We had to get down to Rome. I always wanted to go to a Mozart or a Beethoven
[concert] in the opera house. I went over there one afternoon, the only afternoon we had
[free], and I thought, Well, the musicians are going in now. They surely will not notice me.
I could go in and at least look in. But the doorman said "No, madam." I told him we were
leaving that night and asked if I could please just look in. "No, madam." So since that time I
have always wanted to go back to Vienna to go to a Mozart performance. And this summer I
am going, with the Friends of Music. That will be fun.
R:That is wonderful news, and you and Ann Little will room together on this Friends of Music trip.
S:Right. We are looking forward to being together.
R:You will be going first to concerts in Amsterdam?
S:Not concerts in Amsterdam but galleries in Amsterdam.
R:And then concerts in Vienna?
S:And then concerts in Vienna and in Salzburg and in Yugoslavia. It will be a lovely trip. I hope to
go see Lottie Mauderlie in Switzerland.
R:Well, let us go back to Lynn's illness.
S:Excuse me if I may, but we have to get down to Italy. That was for the International Populations
Meeting. That was included in the trip.
R:It came later on in the 1960s?
S:Yes, and there again we met new friends in sociology, and we were entertained. It was a
wonderful experience. The Zimmermans were there, and also some very interesting people
in Rome who we met.
R:Everywhere that you and Lynn travelled, I recall, you brought home lovely tokens of your trips.
This house is full of those artifacts.
S:It is. I put them away for a while and then I get them out, because there is so much to them.
R:You have special ones for your Christmas parties, and we have had so many happy and beautiful
parties here in this house. You have been just the perfect hostess that everybody wants to
come to your house.
S:Well, it is for fun.
R:You have been a good cook, too. I remember the delicious food we have eaten here.
R:Now, Lynn kept going to these world conferences in population and writing his books and
teaching his classes, and all this time he had bone cancer.
S:No. Let us go back to 1959, when we went to the beach. He was fishing, and he was up on a bank
to get some bait or something. He slid down and broke his ankle. He got home some way;
he was alone, but he could drive home to the beach house, where I was. I had not gone
fishing with him. Then we brought him home and had him see his doctor. He was in the
hospital, and at first they thought that there was not a break. Then they discovered that there
was, so he had surgery. We had him in a cast [at] J. Hillis Miller Hospital, and that was quite
an experience. But he recovered from that. The doctor said that they had never seen a man
of his age (he was about fifty-nine or sixty) recover so quickly and be in such good physical
health. Then, the next year, I took him to the doctor because he was having excruciating
back pain. That was because his spinal column and his rib cage had separated. It was
But he still had his students. It was registration time. I am not sure whether you recall or not, but he
had them [his students] come down in the study and register. X-rays were taken, and I was
shown the x-rays. The doctors told him that it was very serious and that he would not live
R:This was so sudden.
S:Yes, it was very sudden. But Dr. Kissam is a wonderful doctor, and he was so good to us. He told
me that he [Lynn] had cancer of the bone [and that] he would not live very long. I said, "But
Dr. Kissam, remember, I am a student of Christian Science, and I do not believe this." He
was rather shocked. He was very respectful to me all during the period that Lynn was ill. I
just healed myself of a broken ankle, foot, and leg. I saw Dr. Kissam at the Friends of Music
party the other night, and he said, "You know, you really are a remarkable woman." I asked
him to put a splint on it so that it would not slip out of place when I turned over, and that is
all he did to it.
R:I think Dr. Kissam or any other doctor might agree that the human body has the power to heal
S:I think it does.
R:All the doctors do is help it along.
S:It went into place immediately, and it stayed there. He said, "You are a remarkable woman. Most
young people come in, and they just have a fit about anything. They make such a fuss about
the least bit of pain." Actually, it did not pain me, though I had done so much on it. But Dr.
Kissam was so good to us, and he came out to the house to see Lynn. He was so good to us.
Lynn got up, to the surprise of the medical college here, and I would take him for rides
around campus. We found so many beautiful spots just around Gainesville, just to get him
out and to do something. We would stop and buy any simple food, like fried chicken or
some fish or something, and go out around the outskirts of Gainesville, find a beautiful spot,
and have our lunch out. It was getting him out and getting him away and not talking about
this thing, and keeping him interested in his work. There were times when he did not think
he could do anything else. But I kept bringing him things. Not only that, the professors
were so wonderful to him, and his students, and his graduate students would bring his mail
every day. This was not a one-man deal. This was a cooperation of the sociology
department. We appreciated that.
R:I remember the sociology department was on the top floor of Peabody Hall, an impossible place
[to get to] for anybody who had [difficulty moving around].
S:But you know what? He was so determined that he would get back. For many months I would
take him over to the University, get a wheelchair, get him in an elevator, and take him
upstairs to the library where he had his classes. Then, later, he wanted to go through the
University to his office, and he drove over, I think, or else I took him. Anyway, there are all
those flights [of stairs] in Peabody Hall. He was determined he was going up.
R:I remember. I had started teaching up there at that time.
S:Were you there?
R:Yes, and I could not believe that he got up those stairs.
S:His graduate assistant said, "We must not do this again." He said: "It was the hardest way, us
pulling him and helping him up. He must not do it." He did it the next day, and got stronger
and stronger, and right up to the last he was doing these things.
He was supposed to go to a meeting down in Orlando three years ago just before he became ill. He
did not die of cancer. He died of pneumonia, really. He had to have so many tests, though.
The doctor had told him that he was not absorbing enough vitamin B, so he had a lot of tests
and was completely worn out with them, and he did not feel like going to Orlando to the
Florida Sociological Meeting. It was on Friday, and I said: "Lynn, let me call your doctor,
Dr. [Richard M.] Anderson. He will come out." He said, "It is a weekend, and Dr. Anderson
needs his rest." He would not let me call until Monday morning, and then it was Monday
night at 11:00 when he got there. But Lynn was feeling so much better, and I said: "Lynn, if
I could get a hold of your doctor, we could tell him not to come. It is so late, and you are
sleepy and [doing] so much better." He said, "Well, if you called him, lets let him come."
Then they took him to the hospital, and he went down very quickly. He was only in the
hospital twelve days. He went down very fast.
S:Yes. With all these other things that they were working on, that was the acute thing.
R:I am so glad that we have this down for the archives of our University. Now, let us go back to
some of the things that you have been doing, Louvin, since you lost Lynn. You have
traveled quite a bit.
S:I have traveled quite a lot. Lynn and I had planned to do more traveling. We planned to go to
Egypt. I felt that I really needed to do something for myself. I have been with books and
with the household things, and I really felt that I needed to get away. The first Christmas
after Lynn left Jack invited me to go to Peru. Jack was the head of the political division in
our embassy. So I went to Peru for Christmas, and I came back and very quickly slipped on
the steps and fell and broke my ankle, my foot, and my leg. So that gave me time to study
and to be quiet. I had been going so hard and so fast for all the years that I had been with
Lynn; during the latter part, I had to be down about the home and business and with him. I
did a lot of reading, and I was quiet and friends were so marvelous to me. They all came,
and they were so wonderful to me.
R:About what period, Louvin, did you take up painting?
S:I have always wanted to paint, even back there on the ranch. I would examine the leaves and
think, How can I do this on canvas? How can I make all these fine, beautiful colors? Before
Lynn became ill I had wanted to paint, but because of the children and the family I thought I
would wait until the children were through with school. When Lynn became ill, I thought, I
will be with Lynn for twenty-four hours a day; I simply must do something for myself. So I
set up an easel in this room. I won a prize in St. Augustine in ajuried show, the first thing I
R:That got you on your way.
S:That got me on my way. Then I went to class. By this time I was studying science, and I went to
class and had a marvelous teacher. But I could not paint when I came back. I had too much
[to do]. I tried, but...
R:Was this a university class?
S:No, it was in Kansas City. I had so many other things to do, so I did not paint until about eight
years later. Since then, since Lynn left, you asked me a minute ago, I continued to paint with
Lori Cramen. She has a class every Tuesday morning, and I am in that class. I love it.
There are about six or eight of us, [and they are] wonderful friends. She is a fine teacher and
a very wonderful person to be with.
R:The medium you use is acrylic or water color?
S:No, I use oil. I did two collages, but one collage is very special. I will think of his name in just a
minute. But another Brazilian taught me this collage which I will show you sometime later.
I do that and oils, and I love it.
R:Do you do this for fun, or have you sold any of your paintings?
S:I have sold some, but I do it mostly for fun.
R:Your son Richard has become a well-known painter down in New Orleans. Now, what do you
S:Richard is a Southern primitive, one of the best.
R:Define "Southern primitive" for us.
S:You would love his work. People there are so tidy and neat, usually barefooted, but always in
clean cottons, clean linen. You can tell that they are clean and well kept and proud.
R:Now, these are oils, and they are done with little dots, are they not?
S:They are done with acrylics.
R:He builds a myriad of little dots with the tip of his brush--is that the way he does it?
S:No, that is a different technique. He paints usually from memory. Richard was born in Baton
Rouge, you remember.
S:He grew up in the South, and he is so familiar with these pictures. To get an idea, he takes many
pictures of old things, anything old in the South. But he always paints from memory.
Everything Richard paints he sells, and he has commissions way in advance. He has done
some paintings for the Goodyear family over in New Orleans. Handsome things, just
beautiful things. When you go over there, ask him to take you out to that home. He paints
for the Colemans in New Orleans as well. Richard was over here putting up a show. He had
another show in New Orleans at one of the banks, and when he went back Mrs. Coleman
said: "I have been trying to call you. I have been in Gainesville." She said, "I have seen
your pictures in the bank, and I want some," so he did several for her. He also painted an old
schoolhouse between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
R:Louvin, you and I ought to go to Mardi Gras next spring and get Richard to show us all the
pictures, and then we could meet my brother and my brother's wife. We could really have a
S:Wonderful. We have to make reservations right away.
R:Right, and hope that there will not be a police strike.
S:Oh, it is wonderful there.
R:Now, your house is full of your paintings, and you do have some of Richard's here. Let us go
back to the education of Jackson and Richard. They went to P. K. Yonge [Laboratory
School], did they not?
S:P. K. Yonge, yes. First, of course, they went to school in Baton Rouge and then Nashville, and
Richard was in eighth grade. I think he was twelve.
R:That was a hard time to change your friendship roots.
S:Yes, very bad. But they did. They adjusted so beautifully, and I have always been so proud of
them. One year, soon after we were down here, Lynn had been in Mexico that summer and
he said, "I will take you down for Christmas, you and the children." So we had Christmas in
Mexico. We went to visit some friends there who were in the embassy. Jack was about
seventeen then, maybe in college. He said, "This is what I want [for a career]." He decided
then that he wanted to be a foreign service officer. He did become an officer, and a very fine
one. One of the best. Some wonderful things have been written about Jack.
S:Now, for the present tour of duty, he is in Washington. But his first post, after being assigned out
of Washington, was Maracaibo, Venezuela, a most difficult post. But he did a fine job, and
for his excellent work he drew London next, where he went as first secretary.
R:You went over to attend something given by Queen Elizabeth, right?
S:I did. [David Kirkpatrick Este] Bruce was the [U.S.] ambassador [to Great Britain, 1961-1969],
and Jack learned so much from him, such great respect. Jack only has two pictures of
outstanding political officers, of diplomats. Ambassador Bruce is one of them, and George
Vest is the other. Yes, Jack was there that summer. I had just nursed Lynn through a year,
remember, with a broken foot. At Christmastime he said, "I have not been able to get out to
buy you anything, but I will give you a trip to England this summer." So I went on the
Queen Elizabeth and came home on the Queen Mary. I had a glorious summer.
R:I remember that you had a special dress and hat that you were going to wear to the queen's party.
S:Yes. I was reading about it last night; Eleanor Crum wrote it up. And What's-her-name, this
precious person here, made this garden hat for me. Actually, I did not know that I was going
to a garden party. Jack had said, "We will go to the Royal Ascot," which we did, and "We
will go to the queen's garden party." He told me about this, but he did not tell me that I
would be presented to her majesty, the queen.
S:It really was.
R:Did you wear this costume then?
S:I wore this beautiful dress. I still have the dress and the hat. We must think of her name, because
she is so dear. It is in this article. [Mrs. McCallum. Ed.] She made two hats for me. When
we were at the Royal Ascot, we saw the queen and Prince Philip arrive in the gold carriage
with the white horses. That was beautiful. Then came Margaret and the queen mother. We
were in the royal enclosure, and I was very formally dressed, and Jack was in his tails and
top hat. He still has those things, you know. They come in handy, too, at different posts
when he has to be an assistant.
R:Did they wear striped trousers and tails and a top hat?
S:A grey top hat and white shirts; I have not seen that since then. We saw the queen go down on the
paddock and place her bets, so we did the same.
R:Well, now, tell me who Jack married.
S:Elizabeth Hendrickson, from Tennessee. She was at school here, and they met at the library where
both of them worked. Jack was so afraid that he would make some commitment. He wanted
to, but he was not really ready to make the commitment about marriage or even engagement.
He said, "I want to get through college first. I want to be established before I make any
commitment." Elizabeth is a precious girl, just beautiful. Her father is a very dignified
Dane, and her mother is English, so they were very particular about this matter also. So Jack
finished here, and he did graduate work here, also. Then he went up to Washington. He
said, "I just want to get started on this."
R:At that time we offered a graduate degree in foreign service, right?
S:Yes, and he was working on that. But he decided to go up to Washington and get in the program.
He passed the examination with flying colors. When Ambassador Cabot was here for one of
the Caribbean conferences Jack talked to him about the foreign service. He said: "There is
nothing like buying stocks when stocks are low. The foreign service is very low on officers
right now, but, of course, you have to go in." So Jack went into the service, and he was in
Washington for two years. They lived in Georgetown, in a third- or fourth-story apartment.
It is a beautiful house on M street, but they had converted it into apartments. They loved
Georgetown. Jack could walk most of the way to work. Bunna was working in modem
design. Then they went to Venezuela, which was very difficult.
R:What is her nickname?
S:Her real name is Elizabeth, but they call her Bunna.
R:And they have one little girl.
S:Yes; she is nine, and precious, such an intelligent, beautiful child.
R:What is her name?
S:Pamela Lynn Hendrickson Smith. They took the British, you see, that long name.
R:That is a lovely name. Richard has ...
S:Richard has one son, Michael, who is sixteen. He goes to Newman Private School in New
R:Who did Richard many?
S:Richard married Rena Webb, but that marriage was not right and did not last. Richard has
Michael now, and they live in the French Quarter. Richard lives only two blocks from
Jackson Square, where he is painting, so he has very good exposure for his paintings. People
from all over the world come.
R:Why, it is just the ideal place to show paintings.
S:His paintings are going all over the world. He sold one group of paintings to a Japanese
businessman in New Orleans. They were having a show, Richard along with about 100
other artists, and this Japanese businessman came up to Richard, saw his paintings, and
bought all seven.
R:A clean sweep!
S:Yes, a clean sweep. That was an exciting day.
R:I know that you are very proud of them.
S:They are a lot of fun, so different and so talented in different ways. I am so grateful for my sons.
R:I expect that all of the travel they had when they were growing up in itself gave them quite an
S:It was good discipline. They learned at an early age how to travel, how to get along.
R:You are painting a lot and active in several organizations. Which organizations do you belong to
S:Well, I love everything that I am doing. I am on the board of the Friends of Music, and I love the
Gallery Guild, naturally, because of my work. I am in Gallery Guild and chapter eight of
R:Are you still practicing your counseling?
S:Yes, and I am a Christian Science practitioner.
R:Do you do that at home, or do you need an office?
S:I did have an office downtown, and then Lynn became very ill and I wanted to be close to him. He
wanted me to be downtown and have an office, but then I moved my office here. Now I
have the study that he used to use. It makes so much more sense for me to be here so I can
take care of the house and the yard, and so my practice will be here in one place without
R:We want to attach to this transcript some of these clippings that you have about T. Lynn's career.
We can duplicate those, of course, and return the originals to you. As you know, Louvin,
this will be transcribed, and you will get copies to correct or amend. Then this data will go
into the archives of our Florida State Museum [now the Florida Museum of Natural History]
here on the campus of the University of Florida. I want to thank you so much for this
excellent interview. I have enjoyed every minute of it.
S:I have enjoyed talking with you. I hope you can use some of this.
R:We will use it all.