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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Interviewer: Robert Hampton
Interviewee: Marna Weston
H:My name is Robert Hampton. This is an oral history interview
with Marna Weston in the Little Hall Conference Room. The
date is April 3, 1995. The time is approximately 5:30 p.m.
Marna, why do you not begin by introducing yourself.
W:My name is Marna Rinaldo Weston.
H:Where did you get that name? Your mother or father?
W:Besides from my parents? [Laughter]. My dad was stationed in
Santa Domingo in 1964 before I was born. He met three three
kids named Marna, Mario, and Marco. He named his three sons
H:Is Rinaldo a family name?
W:No, Rinaldo came from that meeting. I am Marna Rinaldo Weston.
My middle brother is Mario Ricki. My youngest brother is
Marco Rigulardo. My dad is Marvin Ricardo. [It is] all MRW
in our family.
H:So your mother had nothing to do with it?
W:Margaret, but no r's in the middle initial.
H:All right. When and where were you born?
W:I was born on March 21, 1965 on a Sunday morning at 5:04 a.m.
at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in Cumberland County.
W:My dad was stationed in the 82nd Airborne at Bragg. Airborne
all the way.
W:He is currently working with the post office. He is a
minister. My mother is a kindergarten teacher's aide in
Palm Beach County.
H:Where are they from?
W:My mother is from Sampson County, North Carolina--Orcherville,
which is located approximately twenty-five miles southeast
of Fayetteville, North Carolina. My dad was born in West
H:You say your father is a minister. What denomination?
W:Southern Missionary Baptist.
H:And he is no longer a practicing minister?
W:Well, once a minister, always a minister. He still conducts
weddings, wakes, and eulogies at funerals. He ministers to
the youth in the community. He does his best on a day-to-
day basis to provide spiritual guidance in people's lives.
H:But he does not have a church.
W:No. He is not affiliated with a church. He was associate
pastor at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. He is
currently deciding whether or not he will be in his own
ministry or just continue to affect people one on one.
H:How long was your father in the 82nd?
W:I am not quite sure. I know he was in the 82nd in 1963, 1964,
and 1965. I believe he was in 1962. My dad does not talk a
lot about Vietnam.
H:He was in Vietnam?
W:Oh yes. He went.
H:Just one tour?
W:I believe he had one tour. As I said, he does not talk about
it a lot.
H:I see. Was he a chaplain in the service?
W:No. I believe his highest rank was E-9 when he got out of the
service. I guess that is the equivalent of a sergeant or
something like that.
H:Yes. So you were born in North Carolina?
H:At what age do you leave North Carolina?
W:I was born and grew up there. We first came to West Palm Beach
in 1968. I remember watching the first man on the moon in
1969. I remember Watergate. Then I came back to North
Carolina where I lived for the first four years of my
schooling, except for a brief time when I was in West Palm
Beach. There was a time when my parents sent myself and my
middle brother Mario to live with my grandmother in North
Carolina, so we did a lot of our schooling there.
Eventually, we ended up doing high school in West Palm
H:Why were you sent back?
W:Maybe it was financial. Maybe it was just to live with our
grandmother. It was nothing negative. It was just that we
liked North Carolina. It was more convenient for our
parents that way at the time. It was an opportunity to grow
up outside the city.
H:Why did your father move to West Palm Beach? Why did he move
the family down?
W:He is from West Palm Beach. That is where his family was from.
My mother was from North Carolina. My dad was stationed at
Bragg, but his mother and his brothers, sisters, and other
family were in West Palm Beach.
H:You went to high school in West Palm Beach. What do you
remember about that?
W:I enjoyed high school. I went to Twin Lakes High School. I
was freshman class president, and on the debate team, where
I traveled extensively across the country. I was a member
of the orchestra, and concert master of the county youth
symphony. Growing up in West Palm Beach was a lot different
then. West Palm Beach.