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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Interviewer: John Andronaco
Interviewee: Martha Varnes and John Andronaco
A: ...conducting an interview with Maj. Martha Varnes and Capt. Crews in his office
at the University Police Department facility on the University of Florida campus.
The date is April 2, 1996 and the time is 10:10 a.m. Good morning Ms. Varnes,
Mr. Crews. Will you please give me your full name?
V: Good morning, it is Martha Varnes.
A: Capt. Crews could you please give me your full name, please.
C: It is Earl Crews.
A: Great. Okay, Ms. Varnes, what is your father's full name?
V: My father's name was John Vlacos and my dad was from the old country, he was
of Greek decent.
A: And what is your mother's full maiden name?
V: My mother's full maiden name was EllieMay Padgett and she is a local Floridian.
A: Great, Capt. Crews, could you give me your father's full name?
C: It was Johnny W. Crews, local Floridian.
A: And your mother's maiden name?
C: Verdie Mae Tindale.
A: Ma'am, what is your birthdate?
V: September 14, 1934.
C: July 25, 1943.
A: Are you both natives from Gainesville?
V: Not from Gainesville, my birthplace was Gilcrest County.
A: That is nearby?
V: It is nearby. It is over in the High Springs, Trenton area. I do not know what they
used to call the highwoods.
A: So you grew up in that area?
V: No, my parents moved away from there. We moved into Trenton and lived there
for about three or four years then I moved back to Alachua County and lived with
my grandparents for a while.
A: Is that what brought you to Gainesville?
V: Yes. My mother was from Bradford County so she has been in this area. Her
parents had moved to Alachua County and they were all farmers so we moved
back and lived with my grandparents for a while.
A: Capt. Crews, same question for you.
C: I was born and raised in Otto Creek, Florida. I went to school in Bronson. I
went into the military about a year after high school. I was in the 101st Airborne
Division for three years. I got out of the army and I came to work here and I have
been here for the past thirty-and-a-half years.
A: Terrific. What got you into police work?
V: Well, when I was working when my husband was going through school, I first
started working with IFAS and I transferred over to the police department and I
thoroughly enjoyed working with the students and being a part of the services.
We were a very small department and I just really enjoyed the positive aspects
and the association with the students. Then we moved away and I was gone for
three years. My husband graduated and we moved to Pensacola and lived there
for three years. Then he was coming back to get his doctorate and I came back
and worked with the police department as an OPS for a year. I was full-time but
it was an OPS appointment. The department was growing. I started to school
and really got a degree in education and was ready to teach. So I went to school
part-time, took advantage of the opportunities here and then the chief offered me
a position as a police officer. It had a lot of good positive things to it, developing
educational programs and working in those areas where crimes were committed
against other females. So I took advantage of it and went to the academy and
became certified and been in the field ever since. I have never regretted one day
of the choice of the profession.
A: What did year did you formally...
V: I went to the academy in 1972.
A: Sir, when did you first start here at UF as a police officer?
A: We already talked about you being in the military, but what prompted you to
chose police work?
C: Chief Scheuller. I did not really know him at that time, but he was a good friend
of my brother and sister in law. I was taking leave to come to find a job where I
would have employment when I got out of the military because I was getting out
in July of 1965. He offered me a job. I did not really want to be a police officer,
but I can paid for my leave time rather than taking it. So I promised him that I
would work for him for six months. I have been here ever since.
A: Is it everything you cracked it up to be, or do you regret it at all?
C: Oh no. If I would have regretted it, I would have left. Six months turned into
thirty years and six months.
A: Staying on that, you in 1972 and you in 1965, obviously the campus was a lot
smaller, so how has the department grown in order to accommodate for the
growth because the campus has just exploded from what I understand?
V: Well keep in mind that I went to the Academy in 1972, but I actually started with
the department the second time in 1964.
C: You were here when I came here.
V: 1964. I was gone for three years and I worked with the department three years
before then. I have been with the department in different phases. When I came
back in 1964, I have been with the department since then, and I went to the
academy in 1971/1972. When I first started with the department, the building
that we are in now, this was all storage. We shared the building with Property
Records, so all the old equipment and stuff, like desks and stuff out of the
residence halls. We really just had the main room, which is now a squad room
for roll call training. We just really had that and a little office for the chief and a
little office for our communications, so we only took like half of this. We had
night-watchmen working then that had the clocks. They went around and
punched in various buildings. I think the student population was like 8,000 or
9,000. It was below 10,000 at that time.
C: When I came here it was somewhere around 14,000 to 16,000. I remember
when it went up to 20,000, I thought that was a phenomenal figure.
V: When it went up to 12,000 to 13,000 we thought, what are we going to do with all
these students? We were all what was called the semester basis then, fall and
spring. When I first came here, during the summer, we were shut down.
C: No classes were taught in the summertime.
V: Then they went to the quarters and then to the tri-mesters, and now we are on
semesters, so we have seen all of that change. Campus was basic. When I
started here, Rawlings and Jennings Halls were not built at that time, so we were
here when Jennings was being constructed. Did you come after that?
C: Jennings was here when I came.
V: Okay, Paul worked as one of the construction [crew], so they were building.
A: Jennings is this one right over here, right next door?
C: The tower dorms, they were not even thought about.
V: And the female resident halls were females; they had curfews...
C: Jennings was all-female, Graham...
V: And they had curfew and I know that when Hume was an all-freshman, we called
them dorms then, but we are not allowed to call them dorms now, it is resident
hall. The campus really closed down at 11:00 p.m. Because the curfew was
11:00 and everyone had to be in. We did not have the activities and the football
field was very small.
C: Seniors could stay out, but they had to be checked in. The officers that worked
the dorms would check them in when they came in. Most of your seniors did not
live in the residence halls back then. You may have two or three seniors total in
the residence halls.
V: We have gone through the freshman and sophomores could not have
automobiles. That was one of the problems that we faced
C: They could not have them in the county.
V: On the weekends, they would bring them on campus on the weekend. We would
forever having to enforce the rules on cars. The parking was not a
problem and I can remember when the Health Center was being constructed and
the problems that it brought. Patients and all were coming in.
C: I worked on that. I worked for W.W. Gay part-time.
V: Florida Gym was "the" building at that time. All concerts were held there.
Anything big, speakers, it was all in the Florida Gym.
A: When did events either move from the gym to the bandshell or to the Plaza?
V: That is why we were using the Plaza for the Halloween Ball and all that is
because it could not be housed in the gym.
C: We did not have a bandshell.
V: We did not have a bandshell at that time.
C: That was Flavet buildings that were in that area. They were temporary buildings
that they moved in here from Camp Blanding.
V: I lived in Flavet III. They got the name Flavet from Florida veterans. I think
Chuck Village and McGuire Village are named after students who have
graduated from here who were casualties of the war. So we had three
temporary, we had Flavet 1,11, and III. I lived in III. You had to [have a] veteran in
your family, and that was family housing at that time, those two-story barracks.
C: II left first. It was over there behind Williamson Hall, it was where the North Lawn
is now. That was II, they got rid of it first. One was up here next to 13th Street
where tower dorms are, it was stretched along there. Three was where the
bandshell is. Flavet III was the big one.
V: The parking garage across the street used to be an orange grove. Where the
music building and the architectural building is now, that was all orange grove.
We had Grove Hall there, which was a barrack building, it was used for a
residence hall. We had orange trees just everywhere in the central part of
A: Now the 34th Street [area] with the Performing Arts Center, the museum and
now I guess they are building the new museum out there. Does that stretch you
all too much or do you think you are growing accordingly.
C: We are growing with it.
V: Back when I started here, we were security. We were more security. The only
people that could be armed was the sergeant in charge of the shift and the
person who did the money escort.
C: Everybody on patrol car were armed after that.
V: But I can remember shifts like Sergeant Douglass, he was the only one armed.
Then, by state law, we became authorized police officers just like any officer in
the state of Florida. That changed our training and they got a great deal when
we came under them. So we have really grown from primarily a security force to
a full-fledged professional police agency.
A: Last time I met with you, you all had just become accredited so
V: The first in this area and the first in the state of Florida for the University Police
Department and the second-largest one in the nation. The University of Texas
has more people. They have 188 full-time people where we have 159.
A: What does accreditation mean to you both and to UPD?
V: What it means to me is one of the most positive tasks that I have experienced in
looking at law enforcement overall. It gives me a great deal in the sense of pride
in our department that we could take standards that were developed by experts
in law enforcement, a commission, a body, that this is what all police agencies
should do and this is how. Like use of force, those kinds of policies that pertain
to any law enforcement agency. To come to our own department, evaluate it,
look at it, evaluate the standards to see if we met them and everything. To
realize that we did meet the standards with very little changes that need to be
done gave me a great sense of pride in our department as well as the university
because I am a firm believer that a police agency is only as good as it's
community will allow it to be. If it is bad, it is because the community has allowed
it to be and has not supported it. I think it speaks well for the university as a
whole for seeing that we were provided with the personnel and the equipment
needed to meet the additional growth. You just addressed the reason that the
chief was pursuing them was because our responsibilities and growth have been
so explosive and our responsibilities have just tripled, quadrupled. We had to
look for ways and means to streamline our operation. You know, I kind or use
the analogy, if you have an old car that is running fine, that gets you back and to
work, if you invest a little bit in it, it is going to get you back and to tot work, but it
is going to cost you less but you are going to get more out of it and you are not
afraid to go long distances in it. That is kind of how I look at it. That is what it
means to me. It indicates that we are going in the right direction. Our surveys in
the community indicate that. It indicates that we are aware of the services that
our department or our community needs and we are approaching those services
and it really shows that part of the university that we care for our community and
we are dedicated to it. That is what it means to me. It is an evaluation to see
where you are, where you need to be and are you going in the right direction.
A: You were one of the first female officers?
V: I was the first female investigator that our department had. We had a female
officer, Officer Rocky. She was referred to as meter maid so that is what
women were used for, those kinds of things. She also worked with parking and
supervising parking administrators, the parking patrollers or the people who work
traffic, Mary Ann Rocky. So she was actually the first female with the
department. I was the first female investigator.
A: As the first female investigator, did you see yourself as opening doors for other
women in the field?
V: I have always felt that way. I have always felt like there was an extra burden that
was on me because if I was not successful and if I did not learn to work in a
primarily all-male profession that whatever I did could have an impact on any
other female that was interested in coming into law enforcement. I had the
advantage, I think, because I had worked in the administration and had worked
with all the officers. and they knew me and so they openly accepted me. I have
had a wonderful experience here, but I knew that when you are the first in
anything that whatever you do has an impact on anyone else. Now I am very
proud to say that we are leading, as far as female officers percent-wise, we are
ahead of all other law enforcement agencies in the state of Florida. That does
not mean we have the same number in sheer numbers, but percentage-wise
when you look at the size of the department, I think we have done very well.
A: Again, this is for you. The Alligator, December 3, 1974 called you a counselor, a
listener, and resource person and do you still consider yourself in those terms or
has that changed because you are over in administration now?
V: No. I am known as "Momma Bear." I have always enjoyed working with the
students, I think that Capt. Crews would tell you this. I am a student-advocate.
The students get younger, we get older. That is something our I
have not changed at bit. Rank and title does not mean anything. The majority of
students that know me know me as Martha or they know me as a person they
can come to and if I can help them I will. If I cannot, I will also let them know
that, but then try to refer them to someone that maybe can help them. I think the
greatest compliment that was ever paid to me was when I was named "Mama
Bear" because I feel responsible.
A: Now, I do not know if this rubs you the wrong way, but in some communities,
people do not like the police, and I know you all get that in different areas, people
think they do not like the police. Has the UF community, I know some have
embraced you, but do they usually come to you, do they trust you all that you
know of? Do they worry about you all?
C: I get phone calls all the time. The community does not rub me the wrong way.
We are here to give a service. I am an advocate that the police are here for a
service. I think we are a lot farther advanced and that is probably because of the
atmosphere that we work in than the city and the county as far as knowing what
we are here for. Yes, and I know Martha does all the time also. I imagine my
phone has already rang a couple times and I imagine somebody is wanting some
V: Capt. Crews is the special events coordinator so he gets an opportunity to work
with all the student organizations and providing security and working with them if
they have any problems associated with their event, he is also the one that has
to deal with that. One of the things that I tell the parents and I am very open and
I think that is one of the things I appreciate about the department, we are very
open. The chief has an open-door policy. We may not like some of the things
we hear, but we are open to it. It is like I told the parents, we represent authority.
No young person likes authority, you know that, you do not like authority, you do
not like being told what to do. Parking has been such a tremendous problem that
they all hate us for their cars being towed and parking tickets. That is something
that we have to work with that I do not know. Even President Lombardi is
frustrated over the parking situation and trying to address it. But what really
counts, John, in a true measure of what your community things of you, they may
call us all kinds of names, but in a real crisis situation, when they need us, they
turn to us. We can work well with the students. I think a good example, even
back in during the days when we had the riots on campus. We had less vehicles
and less damage done to us and we were able to work better with the students.
The further the law enforcement agency comes from the campus, the less they
can work with the students because they do not understand them. We work with
them and Dr. Griffin, when he was at the student center, did a survey and talked
to some of the students, and the students told them that if they were going to be
stopped by a law enforcement officer, they would rather it be a university police
officer because we listen, where some of the other agencies do not listen to
them. I think another good example was during the horrible homicides that we
experienced several years ago. The students flooded to the campus and they
reached our to us. I think that is how you measure it, you recognize that you
represent authority and people are not going to like you because you stop them,
because you do thins and because you do that. They are not going to like you ,
but if they turn to you in time of need, then that is what they really think of you.
That is where we are, I think.
A: Okay. Now switching gears a bit. Since the early 1960s, how have crimes
changed, have they changed dramatically from the breaking and entering?
C: Oh yes. I can remember when we had a burglary up at the main cafeteria, it was
Johnson Hall back then, we thought that was just unheard of, a building in one
of our buildings.
V: A safe was taken, was it not?
C: Yes. That never happened. Year after year, we did not have burglaries on this
campus, we did not have thefts on this campus. Of course, the campus
population has increased, the campus is more of an open campus now than it
was back then also. Where your non-affiliated people come on the campus
where back then, if someone that was not affiliated with the university came on
the campus, you could pick them out, it was like a bunch of white beans and all
of a sudden there was a black bean stuck in, that is how easy they were to pick
out. You just did not have crime on the campus back then like you do now.
Where we would have one, two, three reports a day, if we can get by with less
than thirty then we are real lucky. The weekend, we can have well over 100
reports when we come in on Monday morning that we go through and check into.
Theft is the biggest crime that we have on the campus. We still thank goodness
that we do not have a lot of violent crimes on campus. That ratio is real low. We
do have a lot of thefts, automobile burglaries are a big thing throughout the
United States, auto thefts are a big thing throughout the United States. That has
increased everywhere, including the campus'. The parking garages have created
a larger problem as far as auto burglaries because it is harder to patrol. When a
police officer goes through it and goes on patrolling his area, of course the
person that is going to burglarize the car, they will see that patrol car leave and
they know they have "X" amount of time to do whatever they want to do. It only
takes seconds to burglarize an automobile. Somebody that knows what they are
doing, they are not going to mess around. They are going to shatter a window
and they are going to go in and get what they want. They are probably not going
to be with that car over about five minutes.
A: They can also duck down, I guess it is in the dark sometimes in the garages.
That must make it difficult for you all.
C: It does. On the other hand, if you did not patrol with an automobile, it would take
too long to do it on foot. Bicycle patrol is growing all the time. It is great because
you can cover a lot of territory and you can do it quietly.
V: To give you some idea of the safety and security on campus, when I first started
here, we had the honor system. They actually had apples in boxes where you
could get an apple and put a nickel in. People did not steal apples. It was the
honor system. This has always amazed me. If you put a box os apples up here
now, it is just now the same. The larceny as Capt. Crews said, we are just not
there. Over the years we have had suicides and I think that that is something
that is just going to happen sometimes in a stress kind of situation. But when this
campus became an open campus versus closed, that changed and a lot of
institutions were really not ready for that change. The security that was in place
like the lighting and the emergency telephones, those kinds of things were just
not there. As crime slowly approached our communities and they became open
and we started experiencing some of the same criminal elements that the city
around you experiences, because we are a city within a city. Whatever affects
the city surrounding us, is eventually going to affect us. It is just sort of an
attitude thing, you know, we went through gregarious where everyone was just
together. The freshman used to wear the little beanies and it was just a friendly
outgoing [place] where you just congregated. The student's snackbar and
everything was up at the Hub where the bookstore is now. That was the big
cafeteria and the students just gathered. Then we went through a period of
individuality. The sororities and fraternities felt the impact. The membership was
down because there was no longer this togetherness kind of thing. We went
through that for a while. Then we went through what we finally say the
There was a change there. So with all of that, we saw changes in
crime. Then, when Alachua County became a wet county and drinking became
available for 18 year olds, then they moved it up and then they moved it back,
drinking added to it. Crimes against persons, if you really looked into it, a lot of it
can be associated with abuse of alcohol. Then drugs came along in the hippie
area. So I mean all of that added to the crimes and the types of crimes and what
is going on.
A: Did O'Connell change the dress code for women where they did not have to
V: We went through that. I guess maybe the feminist movement helped that too,
where women were not allowed to wear shorts to class and those kinds of things
and then he kind of changed the style. You have to look at the whole thing. Now
the crimes are more violent in nature. Still property crimes is the...
C: Also another thing back then was that you could not drive around campus without
a decal. If we spotted a car on the campus without a decal, we stopped that car.
That was a valid reason for making a traffic stop, where now it is not. So if that
person had no business on the campus, and also if you stopped them and they
were affiliated with the university--students, staff or faculty--you could write them
a ticket no matter what time of night for not having a decal. Where now, once
restrictions are lifted in the evening, then the person does not have to have a
decal to park on campus, except in the 24-hour areas.
V: student population. It just kept growing, facilities were not available to
have everyone where they could go to class during the day. They started having
evening and night classes. Now the university practically for all purposes is open
twenty-four-hours a day. We have students studying or working in labs or
something, in the medical center. And then the VA Hospital across the street.
So when you look at what brings people, not just patients but relatives and
people associated so we are bringing them a lot of people from other areas.
A: So you are responsible for the VA?
V: Well no, but it has an impact.
C: It brings more people to the area.
V: Sometimes some of their people will get out of the hospital and we
they wander the campus.
C: Especially the ones that have an alcohol problem.
V: Any kind of large medical facility is going to bring [people]. When you look at it,
the last time I talked with the out-patients at Shands, they were seeing on
average of 4,000 people daily and that has increased in those out-patients. That
is just huge.
A: Say you see an area that is poorly lighted, do you say to someone, an
administrative person, hey, look, we need some lighting in that area or we need a
phone in that area?
V: Out of this department, we started a part of it as the campus changed from
closed to open, I mean we knew that we had to get different set-ups because you
cannot have a police officer on every corner. You just cannot afford that. We
started really evaluating our campus and made recommendations for the
emergency telephone system. Lighting, we constantly keep a priority list. The
students are involved. Student Government has been very much, the student
lobbyists that get monies for improved lighting, so yes, that is part of our
responsibility. We are out here twenty-four hours a day and we have what we
call the hazardous report and the officers, they see a light that is out or anything
that they feel is a risk to safety, they do one of those reports and we are always
processing those,so. Yes, we have had a lot to do with that. Capt. Crews, now
with construction sights brought a lot with them with the growth, you know,
building construction and the construction sights and I will let him address that. It
brought a lot of additional problems. A lot of people associated that kind of work
are not the most desirable and when they are not working they can be causing
you some problems. I guess what really brought that to light was we had one
that left a construction sight and one of our students was raped in one of the
bathrooms in one of the buildings. That really brought some attention to that. So
we have really worked toward that and reduced a lot of problems associated with
construction on campus.
A: Whomever the corporation is that is doing the construction, are they asked to
keep their people on the area?
C: Either myself or Maj. Powell go to the preconstruction meetings that are held on
campus. Campus Planning and Physical Plants have the majority of the
construction. Every so often there will be something like a Reitz Union like when
they built the area of the Collonade, that was an individual effort through the
Reitz Union Administrative Affairs but we still went to the preconstruction. The
department came up with a list of requirements that we go over at these
meetings with the contractors. Normally they will have the general contractor
and sometimes they will have all their subs at these meetings. We have thirteen
requirements. They are all important but the main ones are that they are
prohibited from working anyone on the campus that are wanted, that have an
outstanding warrant. Of course, we also make them furnish us with a list of
names, dates of birth and social security numbers of all our employees. So we
do a criminal history on them. If they have been convicted of violent crimes then
we do not allow them to work on campus. That came to light again last year
when Mayor/Commissioner Jim Paynor, he does a lot of masonry work on
campus, Paynor Masonry, he decided that our rules were not fair. So he took it
to the vice president and the vice president told him that our rules are very valid
and that if he wanted to work on the campus that he would abide by them. So
we have not had a lot of problems in that area. If we allowed all the construction
workers to work on campus, we would have all kinds of things, such as this
gentleman here, attempted homicide, willful kill, burglary, and he just did this
December 18, 1995. We would have those people working on the campus.
Known rapists we would have working on the campus and we do not allow it. If
we find out a construction worker is violating this, then he is in jeopardy of losing
his contract or not being allowed to bid again for a contract on campus. There
are a lot of things that we do to try to prohibit crime on campus. Work release
people, in general work release people. We notify the people at the work release
center that they are not allowed to send people to work on campus that are
convicted of violent crimes. They have to register those people with us, also.
We have not had good success in that area since Doc Lucky came to work for
us because Doc, that was one of his jobs when he worked for corrections. He
handled work release people. He met with me all the time and I recruited Doc
through that contact and he became a police officer here, which I think we are
V: Our job is being responsible for the safety and security of this campus is to
identify any risk we see that jeopardizes the safety of our community and then
recommend programs or some service or some operation that is going to reduce
that risk. We will never eliminate all the risk, we all know that. All we can do is
reduce it or keep it at the potential rather than it actually happening. So we are
enlocked in many things, special events, that is why we have a special events
coordinator and that is why we have to approve any security that comes on this
campus. No department can hire another security firm to come in and do
security. It has to be cleared through the chief because we totally control that.
That is our job.
A: I did not know about this construction, the checks and stuff that you do, but that
sounds like it is a great prevention.
C: There is a lot of construction on campus and a lot of construction work.
V: One of the problems we have with the construction sights around homecoming
when a student wants to go to a construction sight to get all their materials for
their floats and stuff. They do not realize that that is a felony.
A: To go into them?
V: Yes, to go into those compounds is a felony. That can be serious trouble.
C: We also assist the contractors. We tell them how to post their property as far as
marking their compound where it is a felony. We give them the proper wording
that they will put on their fences and so forth. We also instruct them that they
should talk to their people, that they are not allowed to interrupt students, staff or
faculty on campus in any way.
V: Cat calls and that kind of stuff, sexual harassment, none of that.
C: They have to put up harassment signs on their compounds where all the student
has to is look at that sign and they know who to call and report harassment from
a construction worker.
V: That has really eliminated some problems. Up in the main those
construction guys could not work for watching the students and yelling at them,
so we have a tight one on that.
C: There were just a few fired over at P.K. Younge I think this week.
V: They will get rid of them if they can identify them, right?
C: Yes. Right behind that, I went to another preconstruction meeting and it was that
contractor and I brought it up that we had had some recent problems in this area.
He said, yes, they were mine, but you do not have them anymore.
A: Okay, let us talk about the Plaza, we can switch to the Plaza, we have done the
preliminary stuff. What do you both see as the purpose of the Plaza?
C: The Plaza is a resting place, it is a study place, it is a multi-use place. It is a
place where people can come up and voice their opinions, they can give
speeches, they can preach, they can do whatever they want to as long as they
do not interrupt other people's rights to the area also. Now there is a method of
reserving the Plaza and that is done through Jack Helseth at the auditorium. He
handles Turlington and he handles the Plaza of the Americas. The Plaza is just
a great place and it has been here since I have been here. The Krishnas, they
serve food on the Plaza. People go out and get a suntan on the Plaza there
between classes. I think it is a great thing for the students and it is a good place
just to rest and relax when it is not raining or it is not too cold.
V: He has pretty well covered it. I think of it sometimes as a place of reverence, a
place you are kind of free to be. If you were what people might call a little odd or
whatever, you can just go there and you are free to be odd if you want to be.
Where you might stand our somewhere else, at the Plaza you do not. You can
kind of just let your hair down. There are certain rules, you cannot just go up
there. I do not know, it is a place of reverence, a quiet place, a sharing place.
The criticists find it very well. It is a place where you are going to see and be
present with the population on this campus because I do not think you can go
anywhere on this campus that you can find the traffic that is going in all directions
and I guess it is a meeting place.
A: Since you all both have been here has there ever been a time that maybe it
caused you problems or something where you thought, geeze, maybe they
should get rid of the Plaza?
C: No, never. When I was a student I enjoyed the Plaza. I never go up there now
except on business but when I was a student, I liked the idea of the Plaza. You
could go out there and sit down between classes and if you needed to cram a
little bit, you have a place to go out and do it.
A: So before the military you were here as a student?
C: After the military.
A: Okay, I did not know that.
V: When you walk through there, you just have a respect for the place and the
history and what is representative of the population, whether it be student,
faculty, or staff. I understand that the deed when the land was deeded that they
could never construct a building on that land, it is going to be open like that.
A: I think it was called something else before that and then they named it the Plaza
of the Americas.
V: Murphree, Murphree Plaza? His statue is right off of it.
A: Ever since I have been here it has been the Plaza of the Americas.
V: When the Reitz Union and the Collonade and the open area between the Reitz
Union and the journalism/communication building, that has never been as
popular as [the Plaza].
[end side A, tape A]
A: ...behind the Reitz Union is not as popular and GPA...
V: It is not like it is not popular, but if you want to reach the students, go to the
Plaza. The Rock is real popular at Turlington, but you have to look. It just feeds
right off the Plaza. It is right there, so it is an extension. That is the way I look at
A: It is good that you put it that way because we have someone who wants to look
at that area just outside GPA or Turlington there that he made an observation in
class that black students do not hang out at the Plaza, they hang out at this area,
I think he called it the "Set."
C: Black students hang out more at Turlington than they do at the Plaza. There are
a few black students that hang out at the Plaza but very few.
A: Has it always been that way, that you remember?
C: In general, since Turlington has been there the black students congregate more
V: They have had some of their step shows and stuff there, but it is very close to the
Plaza, so what I am saying is that to me, they do not want to get too far away,
they want to be...
C: And there are two sets also. Little Hall, they refer to it as Set also, and
Turlington. Little is not being used as much as it was in the past. It may be
because of different construction and so forth there. They used to do a lot of
step dancing up around Little. They have practically quit. Now in general the Set
V: They will use the top boards of the garage sometimes to do their step to and all
the are gone. That is a good observation because that is the way
because we know what is happening but then you see a good mixture of
students and think, no, that is And I tell you the reason that this might
be, because here for a while the black sororities and fraternities did not have
houses and they were having their open parties and they had a lot of them up in
the Turlington area. Because of crowd control and no way of controlling
outsiders from coming in and creating a problem they are no longer allowed to
have their outdoor parties. That is part of it. That is kind of like their place, but
yet it has always amazed me that it has been close to the Plaza so
A: Like you said, it is an extension. We proposed that to the guy in class. We said,
well maybe it is an extension, maybe it is close enough. He said, well, I am
going to talk to some of them and see why they hang out there and not at the
Plaza and why they just do not like it.
C: Well you have the wall there for them to sit on. That wall that comes around,
people like to sit there. Also, it is a thoroughfare from the Hub area all the way
through to Little Hall, which is a lot of traffic.
A: Either one of you, what is your first memory of UPD being called out to the Plaza
for a problem?
C: What comes to my mind is back during the Vietnam era when we were having a
lot of protests. There were a lot of meetings on the Plaza, meetings with
President O'Connell where he would get up and talk and he would answer
questions. As far as real tense times, that would be the times that come to my
mind. Over the years if you compile it, there have been very few things of
violence on the Plaza. There has practically been nothing. The chance of
violence has been there, but as far as violence, have we really had any violence
on the Plaza?
V: I think the closest thing was that last couple Halloween Balls out there and that
was because drugs were involved. But the danger he is speaking of is because
that has been the meeting place to voice your frustrations, your objections to
what is going on in society and tempers can fly when you are debating such
things as the Vietnam War or when you are debating such things as abortion,
you know, and I think that is what he is referring to. The speaker, the groups not
agreeing with each other. I think we have always had complaints, I do not think
as much now, but about the preachers that used to go up there that aggravated
people. It was nothing serious, it was just that you could not be in peace. Some
people are a little afraid of people and that is just the way out. Selling stuff.
People want to just go up there and sell and I mean we have always had that.
Some known campus' prohibited We had a lot of problems when the
Krishnas moved in there as far as food.
C: The Health Department decided to stop the serving of food on the Plaza. They
did that one time and they never have came back. Really, what does it hurt?
They are not selling it, they are giving the food away and they still do. I do not
know how often they are up there...
A: Every day.
C: There is no problem in it, but the Alachua County Health Department, and by law
when it comes to serving food, they are the governing body. By statute we have
to enforce the rules. They come out and they say, okay, they are in violation and
we are the arresting authority. We have to do that and we did that one time and
they have not come back. There was so much pressure as far as doing that and
nobody was really for it. We had to do it by statute. We had to make the arrests
for them because they cannot make the arrest. But that happened only one time.
I think all the cases were dismissed, I do not think any of them were found guilty.
I think the state attorney's office dismissed all the cases. I did not feel
comfortable myself doing it, even though I was involved in having to make the
arrests. I am glad we did not have to do it again. That is something that will
probably never happen again.
A: I guess it makes you all feel like you are the heavy...
V: We are the enforcers. That is the oath you take is to enforce the laws of the land
and it does not mean that you have to agree with the laws of the land but if you
are going to stay in law enforcement, that is your job. It is how you go about
doing it, the sensitivity you use has a lot to do with it. You have to just look at it.
Anytime something different has moved into our community, and they were
definitely different, their mode of dress, and they did not look that clean, and a lot
of people were concerned about the food they were feeding our students.
C: Allen Levin was their leader for a long time. He is an attorney back in
Tallahassee, is he not?
V: I think so.
C: I think he is an attorney back in Tallahassee, but Allen, I mean he was a strong
person. He was strong by voice and he was physically strong. He was not
violent. We had a concert at the Florida Gym, that is where we used to have all
of our concerts, well he lined up all the Krishnas in front of the entrance to the
Florida Gym to keep people from going in. They chanted and sang. So I went
out and I talked to him. I said, okay, Allen, just move them down a ways because
you cannot impede the rights of the people to come to this concert. So we
wound up arresting eighteen because they refused to move. We did not want to,
but he would definitely force the issue.
V: He did that with solicitations at football games too when people could not go
through the stadium without them approaching them on a donation, they called
them donations, but...
A: Someone in class mentioned that, that they were also at the football games
sometimes, I do not know if they still are, but have you ever had problems with
V: We did at one time when we arrested two cars of them one day. They kept an
attorney on retainer and before you could do the paperwork the attorney, it was
because they were new and they were different. We were slow, when I say, we,
any community you know when something comes in, my personal opinion is that
they were a little pushy. It was their way or no way kind of thing and there was
some resistance, but now it is an everyday thing.
C: You could talk to them and they would just pretend that you did not say anything.
They would act like there was nobody talking to them. They just continued what
they were doing. You could not communicate with them. At times, like the
Florida Gym incident, I was the sergeant in charge of that concert that night, we
did not have a choice but to arrest and remove them.
V: I do not think they are quite as pushy now or something. It was like they were
really just looking for I do not know if it was eye visibility they wanted or what.
C: When Allen finished law school and left the area, he was more the radical end of
it. We have not had any problems since he left here, have we?
V: And you know, we went through the hippie stage, what I call the hippie stage and
that is how everyone refers to it. The flower children, the lovers. We
went through that, but then this group came in and they were not peaceful. They
speak peace, but they definitely did not do anything, and it was different so we
had to deal with that.
A: Someone in the class mentioned that there used to be more bushes out there on
the Plaza and so maybe people could hide out there or there would be maybe
C: Right, there was hedge all the way around the Plaza.
A: So were there like sex crimes or problems with that or nothing that you all
C: No. There was a little bit more pot smoking.
V: I think the majority of the things that have occurred there on the Plaza, other than
the Halloween Ball, I do not know why they ever decided to have it up there, but
they did, other than the protests and the debates that get heated, but we have
never had any real serious crime problems.
A: You have mentioned the Halloween Ball a few times. Can you tell me what that
was, I have no idea what that is.
C: To start with, they had it up on the Plaza, the first one. It was a real hit, because
they had an M.C. was just as vulgar as he could be. He did not know how to say
two words without "m.f." being one of them--or two of them. So they had just a
filthy mouth at M.C. to start with and they had some pretty good rock bands. In
general it would be crowded up there that at times there was open sex right in
front of the stage up there.
V: Costumes were outrageous.
C: Costumes were vulgar. One of the state attorney investigators, I will not call any
names, I think he is retired now, but a lot of their investigators and assistant state
attorneys participated too that we would see up there. The investigator, I
remember him very well, he had a square cut out of the seat of his pants and all
his butt was poking out. I thought he should have been terminated from any law
enforcement agency. You know him, he did not have but one leg.
V: It was open to anyone and they were coming from all over everywhere so it was
drawing the most...
A: It was a big festival, a big party?
C: It was just as vulgar as people could get because it was Halloween.
A: This was what, the 1970s? Do you remember the dates?
V: 1970s, 1980s.
C: Probably late 1970s, early 1980s.
V: Late 1970s. It was to the point where it was not the students as much, and the
whole purpose of it was for the students. You know how people's inhibitions
when they can put a costume on? It is like coming out at night or you are
drinking, I do not know, you may not drink. This is what happened when they get
those weird costumes and any and everything goes.
C: And it did. Dr. Sandeen [Art Sandeen...] finally said, there will be no more. So
they moved it to Archer for a couple of years.
V: They wanted to be independent because the university was putting too limitations
C: The university clamped down and said student government will not sponsor
another operation off this campus because student government funded it over
there a couple times. There is no doubt it was inappropriate. They stopped that
and then they decided to have a Halloween Festival but it would be over by 10:00
C: It was really a good concert, they had fireworks.
V: Good family kind of situation, too, where little kids...
C: They cleaned up their act and they kept bringing back the same M.C. who was
just about as vulgar as you could get. He was as bad as Red Fox when
V: Some local disc jockey.
C: He started it off right.
A: Were you all called out there to arrest anyone or patrol while it was going on?
C: We did, we made numerous arrests.
V: We were finding kids passed out on campus. They were mixing drugs and
alcohol. I know the last one I was called out twice. I came out
C: I had a guy who thought he was Jesus.
V: I had a case where a young woman thought that she was sexually assaulted
from the ground floor to the third floor of the resident hall. People were with her,
but she insisted. Under the influence and we had to admit her to the hospital for
twenty-four hour observation. I do not know whether it was LSD or something.
C: Window panes were big time back then.
V: It was nothing for us to find kids just staggering around on campus. So we saw
the aftermath of it. Then they had concerts at that bandshell. They brought a
band in there, the Plastastics or something like that. That was just horrible. We
had a young woman who was assaulted right behind the bandshell
They were horrible. I think they were pulling off all her clothes. It was terrible. It
was one of the worse concerts that I have ever had to work since I have been
here. It took me days to get the ring out of my ear. Anyway...
A: You mentioned that Dr. Sandeen wanted to tone it down a little bit. Did you all
say, yes, we agree with that or we want you to get rid of it?
C: Dr. Sandeen said there would never be another Halloween Ball, so he agreed
that they would have it at the bandshell, that it would be a Halloween Festival.
They had to incorporate certain rules and as far as people exposing themselves,
that had to be discontinued. They still had the costume part of it where people
got graded on their costume, but they could not be vulgar costumes. They could
not be indecent. These rules came into effect. The next couple of years, they
still have 10,000 or 12,000 at that thing. It was a good concert. We did not mind
that. We had no problem. I like to see kids go out and have a good time. I did
not appreciate standing back when there would be just thousands of kids out
there exposing themselves and everything else. We really could not do anything
V: When the university sponsors an event like that open to the public, I never could
understand parents bringing their children out. Usually when you have an event
and one of those kinds of things is open to the public, then ...what
you are exposing them to, but it was horrible. I had teenage daughters at that
time and if they ever came to one they did it without my knowledge. I will not say
they did not come. Anyway, the restrictions were no advertisement all over the
southeastern part of the United States.
C: And your motorcycle gangs.
V: We had those too.
A: So this was huge?
V: Oh it was huge. It was out of hand, it was horrible.
A: So it was like maybe Gator Growl. Was that going on also at the time?
V: Oh yes, we have always had Gator Growl.
C: It was not as big as Gator Growl but it was harder to manage than Gator Growl.
V: Different profile.
A: Okay, the last time that we met, you mentioned the Bear's Fair.
V: We started the Bear's Fair on the Plaza about fifteen years ago. It was in the
early 1980s. The reason that we did that and chose the Plaza was for the same
reason we have been talking right now, it is the place. If people want to get
student participation, that is the place. It was spring break and the number of
arrests, you were probably too young to remember Fort Lauderdale and all the
mass-arrests that went on down students getting in serious trouble.
Then they moved it to Daytona and then the falling off the balconies and the
underage [drinking]. I mean just a lot of serious things. We wanted to implement
something that would be a fun day for our students the Wednesday before Spring
Break started, but yet all the beach rules and regulations from the
popular places and kind of encourage them in a fun way. You know, hey, take
responsibility, know what you are getting into. We started the Bear's Fair that
first year, it has been a success every year, we have no problems. Its name
Bear's Fair is because the law enforcement agency You know, we
see you on spring break, contact with you and do not drink and drive
and be responsible and all this. We had the dogs, the K-9s, you know.
Everyone loves to see those dogs perform. We have a lot of uniformed officers
out there that day people and all that. One of the criticisms we
received to kind of show you how the Plaza is thought of and sometimes people
do not like weapons and stuff because the Plaza is thought of the peace, loving
place where you can go and feel free to be. We had some complaints about all
the officers Why are all these cops here? That was after the
purpose and it was in the newspaper. We have not had any problems since
then. Everyone looks forward to it and The Krishnas, the first year
that this came, they just came and were going to sit right down in the center of all
of our activities. Sergeant Norris at that time was working with me in crime
prevention. We just went over there and told them, we do not mind sharing it
with you, but we have this reserved, all the activities here. We will be glad for
you to move over there, it will not interfere So we kind of worked that
out and it has been a success. It was something new and different and that is
what I mean about anytime something new comes in, you have to be prepared to
address the concerns.
A: Do you think the students responded favorably to it?
V: The students loved it. I mean they love to find out like the false ID's and that kind
of stuff. We have Daytona Beach come over with their display and the students
go and talk with them. They are not intimidated a bit. The third year that we
were up here, this one individual, which is kind of unique and what you are going
to see on the Plaza, had a thrown-out diaper on We had the swat
team, you know because the students are really interested in the breathalyzer
and seeing Batmobile, they call it, and seeing how it works. Everyone is
fascinated. They may not approve of guns, but they are all fascinated with the
operations and what and all that. Well, this young man that was totally
resistant to any law enforcement or weapon, it was really weapon. He climbed
up the tree by the center of the stage, and I mean, all he had on was burlap
diaper. It was a burlap bag that was tied on the side. Kind Everyone
just gathered around just watching. I think a lot of people were saying, how long
do you think it is going to take before he falls out of the tree? Of course, we
would not dare to do anything because we did not want to be the cause of him
falling out of the tree. So it is those kind of exciting things that happen at the
Plaza. You never know what you are going to have.
A: Now the Black Student Union has had a lot of rallies out there, or at least they
used to, according to the articles that I got from you. They burned Dr. O'Connell
and things like that. Or no, they buried him What was that
all about, what was that like for you all to provide security for them, or were you
just not even out there?
V: You know you have to keep in mind people's freedom of speech and as long as it
is approved and organized by the university, our job is to protect and to make
sure that their presentation or whatever can go on just like
C: I do not know of any problem that we have had with the black students on the
Plaza, have we?
V: Yes, remember the sit-in in President O'Connell's office? That was basically all
C: But it was not on the Plaza.
V: Well it started at the Plaza if you remember. They met for a few days and then
C: Then they went over. ON that, all we did was observe because as long as they
are not in violation of the law, then we do not get involved except observation.
They might violate the law because other people may violate them.
V: Was that not about the same time, too, that the first black student...when did they
accept the first black student into the College of Law? It was a protest. So they
had sit-ins and they did not feel like they were being given recognition. It was all
associated with that movement.
A: With the Civil Rights Movement?
V: Yes. But they did. A group of them just sat down in President O'Connell's office
C: Yes, I had to go up there.
A: A couple of the articles mentioned [O'Connell] in a negative way, why was this
V: President O'Connell was at a time, John, he is a wonderful person and I feel that
he really brought the university through. It is even like when we had the
tragedies here. You have to keep some type of control. If you do not, you have
chaos, you know? He was a former supreme court justice, he knew the laws of
the state and of the land. I guess he was used to dealing with those highly
volatile [situations]. I guess being on the supreme court, looking, evaluating,
making decisions, he was a decision maker.
C: I think he was necessary. You had to have somebody who was tough back in
those times that would make a stand and be right out there with you. President
O'Connell, he did not make a stand inside of his office, he was outside talking to
the students, talking to everybody, he was a brave man, I know that. There was
so much turmoil all over the United States, Vietnam. You know your
Kent State shootings...
V: And the civil rights issue.
C: And the civil rights issue right through there also. You had so much going on.
You had to have a president here, I felt like, that really had a lot of backbone.
President O'Connell was I think the necessary person for that job.
V: He knew. Like I said, control. Someone has to be in control. I viewed him,
some people looked at him as one that was on their side, but I viewed him as an
individual that knew the laws and said, this is not the way to get what you are
entitled to and I am not going to tolerate it. We are going to do this a different
way and we went With that one, we had some cars torn up, some
officers injured and the water hoses out in the street.
A: 13th Street was blocked, was it not?
V: They used water hoses and I mean, you know. We finally got it under control but
it was a bad situation.
A: You mentioned Vietnam, you said that Jane Fonda was out here one time...
V: Jane Fonda spoke at the Graham Pond. She was in protest of the United States'
involvement in Vietnam. We had some speakers. I mean, you had groups out
there that we were trying to keep apart. So we cannot take sides.
C: Black Panther movement.
V: When you bring the motorcycle people, now motorcycle people today have a
better reputation then what they did for a while, but they would come in with their
chains and stuff. We always had to worry about things like that. Anytime you
had a movement that they did not agree with or were on the other side so...
A: What was it like, just walking or being around there? Were there constantly
people out there on the Plaza, say, what was it, 1972, I think when they had a lot
of rallies up there?
C: It seemed like it was forever.
V: home all the time. Weather they were approved or not, you had them.
C: We worked all the time. We worked twenty four hours a day. If you got to go
home back then, you knew you were going to get called back. Just try to get
V: There were days we did not go home; they had jumpsuits. We had cots, a few
cots and we would get some rest.
C: Many decks of cards were worn out.
V: The panty raids, we went through the panty raids.
A: Tell me a little about that. The streakers...
V: The panty raids started out harmless. The women were angered
Then after a period of time, those became violent, ball throwing, and we had
some people get hurt. Those were kind of fun. You never one was going to
happen, they just gathered up. The women would not talk to the guys. I never
will forget one of the hall directors that was a pretty hefty individual. We were out
there and she said, I am just going to go get a pair of my drawers and if that does
not disgust them nothing will. That is kind of the attitude that people had you
know. It was a nuisance really, but the kids were having fun. They would go to
the sororities and gather their panties. Then somehow, those began to turn. We
had some trouble there. The streakers, that was a fad and did not last very long,
but I tell you what...
C: It gathered them up.
V: It gathered them up and the community people would bring their folding chairs
and line up the road so they could see the kids streak. So that was not bad too
and it was not, other than to expose yourself. Now we had a basketball game at
the Florida Gym...
C: Against Vanderbilt.
V: It was on t.v.
C: High profile game.
V: It was packed. A young man who was from Pensacola, Florida, we will not give
his name, that would not be fair. They greased him up and put an overcoat on
him and at halftime the gymnasts were on the floor performing. I could not
believe it. He just streaked across the gym.
C: I did not see him. I worked that day.
V: He was greased down and you could not catch him.
C: I was talking to somebody and somebody hollered, look, look. And when I turned
about ten people stood in front of me and I did not see him. It was like three
seconds and he hit the floor out the back door.
V: He was greased down so we did not try to catch him. Then of course his
fraternity brothers kind of
C: He ran smack into a photographer and he said So come the next
day, we got him.
V: He was in serious trouble because need to expose yourself to children
underage and families. It was a big basketball game at the Florida Gym. I tell
you, everybody was like, I cannot believe school was that way. I just saw it.
Those kinds of things, you expect from young people who are having fun trying to
do something. There is no violence involved.
C: This big fat girl, what was it, music class? She just walks in, walks down to the
instructor and does her about face and walks out naked as a jaybird.
V: You know the kids coming back from being on LSD, I mean They
have someone who was taking their clothes off. We had one individual that just
stood there in class, just got up out of his seat and took the clothes off one piece
at a time, neatly folded them, had them all off and put them over in the corner of
the classroom. He went back and sat down in his seat. You know, those kinds
A: Just sat there naked?
C: But the main streakers were down at Graham Pond. Every night.
V: And it was amazing. Just to give you some idea about the community. They
were up in arms about the Halloween Ball, the last one. It was really because of
C: Streakers were entertainment.
V: They saw streakers as a college prank kind of fad. For some reason they did not
object to that.
C: We started arresting them to the hall. We really started tightening
A: What were some of the other things, you said pot, drugs, that have been a
problem out there on the Plaza? Obviously it was the 1960s, a big drug
movement, but are drugs still a problem out there?
C: Not really.
C: You have pot smokers forever, but back in the 1960s and early 1970s, I tell you,
you had some pot smoking out here. We would make several arrests every day,
right in the middle of the day around these ponds and so forth. Everybody would
come out and take their pot break between classes. Half the class would be out
there smoking pot and we would be out there cracking them.
V: In the concerts in the Florida Gym, the Corner Drug Store used to put up a
station to deal with it. I worked two concerts over there and I prayed that I would
never have to work another one because I have led people into the bathroom.
Then I would go into the bathroom and drug and led people out because a lot of
kids were experimenting with something they did not know. I have never smoked
pot so I do not know what it does to you. I mean, they are not violent.
C: LSD is what
V: That is when they got on what we call the hard stuff.
C: LSD caused us more problems back in those days as far as suicides.
V: You are always afraid a kid is going to die. But alcohol has been our number one
problem on the campus.
A: I think that is under-rated nation wide. I think alcohol is a bigger burden than
people make it out to be, but I am sure
V: The number one substance abuse is alcohol. We have had more students, that
we are aware of, die from alcohol.
C: Keith Allen.
A: That is right. I remember this, I was here when this happened. It was at the Mill.
He drank so much, they probably have the number in here, the actual number of
what his actual level was so high. It was just terrible. That is unbelievable. In
staying with this, earlier in the semester, Dr. Proctor's offices are in Anderson
and we walks through the Plaza to get to our class in Turlington and he
commented to us. He said, you know it is the 1960s all over again out there. He
said with the preachers and the Krishnas and the long-haired kids and the
V: And the dogs.
A: And the dogs and the people out there. Do you all think that is accurate?
C: No. No, it is not the 1960s all over again.
V: I think it is a mixture. I do see a change, but as Capt. Crews said, it is nothing
like it was.
C: Police officers back in the 1960s were targets. Police officers really had to be on
their "p's and q's." Our officers now days, they have no idea of what the 1960s
were. You had your police officers getting shot all over the country, people just
walking up and shooting a police officer in the 1960s. You do not have that now.
Like a police officer was called over to a car in an intersection of Atlanta. He
comes over to see what the people want and they just shot right through the door
and killed him. Those things happened in the 1960s. So no, it is not like the
V: I think a lot of what happened on campuses was the result of the National Guard,
what institutions? Ohio...
C: Penn State.
V: Where some students were shot and killed. That does not bring much respect to
the law enforcement family. The students rebel and you know when they said,
you cannot tell us what time to come in. Like always, the students started voicing
and exercising their right That was part of the opening of the campus.
You see some fall backs. I see the mode of dress, with the long dresses now on
women, back to the hippie style. When you start looking at some of those things
when you lived this long, you can see a few of those little things that were
pertinent of those times that are beginning to show back up.
C: Without the violence or disrespect.
V: The long hair. You were a hippie if you had long hair. If your hair was not as
short as his, oh my God, you were a hippie. Now, you walk into a courtroom, an
attorney with his ponytail. So a little bit of each one of those, and I guess maybe
Dr. Proctor sees some of those things. We have an Afro-American, a black
minister, he goes around shouting. He will walk through water sprinklers, I mean
nothing stops him. He is always preaching. You see him walking down the
streets and doing that. When you look at it, you can reflect back on all those
A: Speaking of the preachers to date, did you all have to arrest them or kick them
off the Plaza for anything?
C: The only problem we have really had with preachers were that sometimes we
would have, Brother Judd, Jed?
V: He was the one.
C: He would get in between the dorms late at night and just be hollering. We would
have to stop that because people were trying to sleep in the dorms. We had to
control his outbursts. As a matter of fact, is he not trespassed from the
V: Yes. He is the type of person who can just aggravate you to death. When you
go up on the Plaza, you have a right not to be harasses or preached to. We
have had some that were pretty persistent up there that we have had to trespass.
The students have no peace. That is one of the reasons the university does not
allow people to sell things. Can you imagine what it would be like as a student if
everytime you moved somebody is trying to sell you something? Preserve the
environment where our students can enjoy their academics and be successful.
A: There is a guy that someone interviewed named, Radical Bill. Do you all
remember Radical Bill?
V: I have heard the name. We have had so many go on up there. It is rare that I
can remember any fights or anything other than during the protest time. You
always have your You know who the leaders and rulers are and who
you have to watch and those kinds of things. But I cannot ever remember...
A: Radical Bill, do you remember someone like that?
A: Radical Bill, I think, is what he goes by.
C: I know there is a Brother Bill, I do not remember a Radical Bill.
V: Pete Self and his group. Pete is a well-known person around here. He stayed
on the Plaza a lot.
C: Pete is a protestor. He is a professional protestor.
V: Jumps on anyone's cause.
C: He is not around here now, I do not know where he is at. It does not matter what
you wanted to protest about, you could always count on Pete.
V: He was a graduate student. He wore three-piece suits and was doing marvelous
work in the community and Last time I saw Pete, his clothes looked
like they had not been washed in months. He was barefoot. His hair looked like
it had been...
[end side B, tape A]
A: The tape ended and I just put a new tape in. Is there anything else that I may not
have covered, that I may have missed, that you would like to bring up about the
Plaza that pops into your mind?
V: I cannot think of anything.
A: I forgot this earlier. You said you were married? What is your wife's name?
C: Jackie Crews.
A: Do you have kids and how many?
C: Yes, three.
V: I am not presently married and I have two daughters who both graduated from
the University of Florida.
C: I actually have five. I have three blood sons and two step-sons. Did I put that
A: Alright good. I just wanted to get that.