Interviewee: W. Paul Shelley, Jr.
Interviewer: Sid Johnston
Date: November 4, 1984
William Paul Shelley, Jr., is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law
(1939). He has spent most of his professional career in his own law practice and then
with his brother-in-law, James C. Gwynn, in Tallahassee. He has also worked in
campaigns for Spessard Holland for governor and U.S. Senator. Shelley served a term
as the president of the University of Florida Alumni Association. He is now retired and
is living in Tallahassee.
Shelley was born December 3, 1914, in Telogia, Florida. His family moved to
Tallahassee in 1925, mainly for the children's schooling. His father was in the
turpentine business and also served as a Florida senator from the 5th District.
Because of his father's interest in nature and wildlife, Shelley mentions the scholarship
in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation in his father's honor. While at
Leon High School in Tallahassee, Shelley participated in baseball. He also enjoyed
hunting and fishing, and he worked at the A & P. He graduated in 1933. The following
summer Shelley worked in the Florida exhibit at the Chicago World's Fair.
Shelley then enrolled at the University of Florida in business administration. In
his senior year he enrolled in law school. He was active in ROTC--he was the captain
of the pistol team and cadet major of the ROTC artillery, and he was the distinguished
military graduate in 1937. He also participated in BACCHUS and L'Apache (social
clubs), Sabers (ROTC), ATO (he was president for a year), Colonels (law), and the
John Marshall Debating Team. While in law school he was elected to the UF student
executive council. (George Smathers was president of the student body at that time.)
Shelley graduated from law school in 1939. He discusses Gainesville--especially
eating establishments--and the University during the late 1930s.
In the interview, Shelley discusses law faculty: R. S. Cockrell, H. R. Trusler, C.
W. Crandall, J. W. Day, C. J. TeSelle, and I. R. Pridgen, the librarian. He also recaps
some of the students of the classes of 1938, 1939, and 1940. Also discussed are
women in the law school, diploma privilege to encourage students to attend law school,
changes in law practice from the 1940s on, and his own law practice. His specialty was
civil law--real property, wills, and estates.
After graduation from law school, Shelley went into private practice for a short
time. He then was appointed by friend Spessard Holland to the Florida Racing
Commission. When World War II broke out, Shelley utilized his ROTC commission as
a second lieutenant and served from 1942 to 1945 in the artillery. He saw action in
Guam, the Philippines, and Okinawa.
When the war ended, Shelley went to work in the Senate campaign office of
Spessard Holland. When Governor Caldwell appointed Holland to fill the vacancy
created by the passing of Senator Charles Andrews, Shelley went to Washington with
Holland. In the interview, he discusses Holland as a politician, emphasizing that he
was good for Florida. In 1953 Shelley returned to Florida and went into practice with
his brother-in-law, James C. Gwynn. In 1958 Shelley managed Holland's re-election
campaign. Shelley retired in 1979.
In his spare time, Shelley enjoys yard work and golf. He has been married to
Erin Clark since 1948.
J: Today is November 7 and I am Sid Johnston, sitting in the home of Mr. Paul
Shelley in Tallahassee, Florida. The address is 506 South Ride and the zip
code is 32303. Good morning, Mr. Shelley.
S: Good morning, Sid.
J: I want to thank you on behalf of the law college in agreeing to do this interview
and share your knowledge with us about what it was to be a law student in the
1930s. Where were you born and on what day?
S: I was born in Telogia, Liberty County, Florida, on December 3, 1914. Liberty
County is about thirty or forty miles west of Tallahassee.
J: Who are your parents?
S: My father was William Paul Shelley, Sr. My mother was Pauline Lavender.
They are both deceased. My father was a native of Georgia. My mother was a
native of Wakulla County in Florida.
J: When did your parents come to Florida?
S: My mother was born in Florida. My father came to Florida in 1904 from
Randolph County, Georgia, the main towns of Cuthbert and Shellman, and he
settled at Sopchoppy, Wakulla County, Florida.
J: There are a lot of Indian names you spoke of there for Florida. Do those towns
still go by those names?
S: Yes. Sopchoppy is about forty miles south of Tallahassee, and there is no other
town in the world by that name.
J: A real original town. When your father moved to Florida, did he come with his
family or was that a move, a strike-out on his own?
S: No, he came on his own as a young man to find employment and started working
in the turpentine business. He made a life's work out of that as well as other
related forestry products.
J: Where was his main turpentine operation?
S: Mainly in several places in Liberty County along the A & N Railroad from
1912-1937. Several years before World War II, he gradually got out of the
turpentine business and went into buying and selling timber. That is the best
way to describe his activity. He was a timber broker. Buyingand selling timber,
and also buying and selling land as well as retaining land for investment
J: Would you say he was driven out of the turpentine business by synthetic paint
thinners and the like? Just no more demand?
S: He was not driven out by that alone. It is true that with the paper mills coming
into existence, they produced by-products that served the same purpose as
turpentine. But probably one of the main reasons was the cost of production
and the low price of the commodities produced. The principal products were
spirits of turpentine and rosin, both of which were used extensively in paints.
J: Now, how much exposure did you have to the workings of turpentine?
S: I had been exposed to it from the time I was old enough to know what it was
J: Were you out there working the trees or what?
S: I did not work the trees, but I was with my father quite a bit. And back in those
days, practically every turpentine operation carried on a commissary activity,
which provided the really basic food products for the employees. But as time
passed, and the supermarkets or chain stores came into existence, that went out
because people could buy food products, especially those folks in town like
Tallahassee, as cheap if not cheaper than what you could furnish them.
Now, World War II changed the situation because of the need for
turpentine products during the war effort. But he had pretty well gotten out of it
by that time and was devoting more time to timber, for which there was a great
demand during the war. Now one of his activities was political. He served as
state senator in 1921 and 1923 representing Wakulla, Liberty and Franklin
counties in the state senate and seved again in 1933 and 1935. Back in those
days, the legislature only met once every two years. State senators were
elected for a four-year term.
J: How long would a session last in those days?
S: The regular session back at that time was limited to sixty days, and they usually
got through with their work in sixty days. I do not recall any extended sessions,
but there could have been. I just do not remember.
J: So he was able to be a politician as well as a businessman?
S: That is right.
J: Allowed him to do both.
J: Now in the commissary operation, did your father also arrange for housing for the
workers or did they have to do their own?
S: Yes, in all instances people who worked for you lived in the housing that was built
around the settlement where your turpentine still was located.
J: How much acreage would you say he owned at any one time?
S: Well, in Liberty County at one time he and his associate controlled, he owned, at
least about 30,000 acres of land. But with the financial difficulties following
World War I, and the so-called panic of 1923, commodities of all kinds practically
overnight dropped in price to the point that it just about put everybody out of
business. J: Now, at the university today, there is a fund, a scholarship fund that
is named in his honor.
S: That is right.
J: Did you begin that?
S: Yes. I began that scholarship fund back when Steve O'Connell [Stephen C.
O'Connell, President, University of Florida, (1968-1974)] was president of the
university, and we got it up to an amount now where it is respectable. I believe
that starting last year a fellowship was granted from the interest earned on that
fund. Only the interest is expended, the principal remains intact. But I set that
scholarship fund up in recognition of what he had done in the forestry work as
well as trying to give the school of forestry some money to do some experimental
work that they were not doing at the time.
J: Was your father a scholar of woodland Florida?
S: Yes, through practical experience. He had no formal education. In fact, he only
went through the eighth grade, but he was very knowledgeable because of his
long experience in the forestry industry.
J: He was also a successful businessman and seems to have been a successful
S: Well, he enjoyed it and devoted considerable time to it. Now, I need to point out
that although I was born in Liberty County, I came to Tallahassee when I was
about ten years old and our family lived here continuously since that time. That
was around 1925.
J: Why did you all move then to Tallahassee?
S: I had four sisters at that time. No brothers. All at grade-school level, and that
was the main reason we came over here.
J: You would have been in grade school, too, I would think.
S: Yes, that is right. I was.
J: What schools did you go to? In Tallahassee?
S: I started at Caroline Brevard School, which was a new school at that time. It went
from kindergarten through the sixth grade, and I started in the fifth grade. Then
from there I went to Leon High School where they had grades seven through
J: Is the Leon High School that you went to the same Leon, located where Leon
High School is today?
S: It is not in the same location. The present Leon High School building was built
after I graduated from Leon High in 1933. It was located in a different spot and
is not now standing. But the present Leon High School building was one of
those buildings promised to us when we were in the fifth grade. It was not built
until later on. Now, going back just a few years, before I came over to
Tallahassee permanently, we lived in Quincy, Florida, for a couple of years to go
to school there. I am not sure about the dates, but it was sometime probably in
J: Were you able to tell the difference between your teachers and the educational
facilities at Tallahassee and Quincy? I know that is a pretty young age to be
able to see that.
S: No. I felt that they were comparable to each other.
J: What are your sisters' names?
S: My oldest sister died August 7 of this year, and her name was Eleanor Bigham.
J: I am sorry to hear that.
S: She was survived by her husband and three children. I am the second oldest,
and then I have a sister named Annie whose first husband was James C. Gwynn,
a graduate of the University of Florida Law School. He was county judge and
circuit judge here, I believe around twenty-five years. He died on April 19, 1974.
She is remarried and lives in Moultrie, Georgia. Her name is Mrs. Bud Vereen.
Our next sister is named Pauline, named after my mother. She never married.
She lives here and is a registered nurse. Our youngest sister is named Glenn,
and she is an only child of my father's second marriage. She lives in Dade City,
Florida. Her husband Allan is a retired air force colonel. Her name is Rankin.
Mrs. Allan P. Rankin. She has six children. Three boys and three girls.
J: Well, it sounds to me that you might have been swamped with four sisters.
S: You would think so. But it was not difficult at all. We all got along real well
J: What brought about your father's second marriage?
S: Mainly he had four young children and needed somebody to help take care of
J: Very practical reasons.
S: Yes. My mother died during the flu epidemic back in 1920, the flu epidemic that
followed World War I. She was pregnant with my sister, Pauline, at the time and
just did not have the strength to fight it off.
J: What were your hobbies? Your favorite things to do growing up before you
graduated from high school?
S: Oh, we liked baseball better than anything else. But I did the usual fishing and
hunting; although I enjoyed it very much, I did not carry it on after I got out of high
school, but I did considerable hunting.
J: Where were some good fishing and hunting spots around here?
S: In Leon County, back when I was in high school, the countryside was pretty open
with no problem about hunting, although there were certain farms whereyou
would need to get permission, but you could go most any direction. As far as
the open woodsland was concerned, you had no problem at all. For fishing,
Lake Talquin on the Ochlockonee was excellent for freshwater fishing. For
saltwater fishing you had a long way to the coast south of here. Saint Mark's is
still an excellent outlet to the Gulf. Now you need to go out in boats, but you do
not need to go very far.
J: How far is Saint Mark's from here and to Jupiter?
S: Saint Mark's, by a straight line, is not more than about fifteen or sixteen miles.
J: So as a child you could walk on down there or maybe catch a ride?
S: Well, no. We did not walk that far. We would walk anywhere from eight to ten
miles with no problem. We had a number of lakes in this area that were also
fairly good. Lake Bradford was much closer, only about three miles, and that
was really the big swimming hole, so to speak, for us when we were growing up
as well as the Boy Scout camp. It is also the site of the recreation area for
Florida State, and back at that time, it was Florida State College for Women.
J: Did you have a bicycle to go into town on?
S: I never had a bicycle. I always wanted one, but I never had one, and I think the
main reason was that my father did not want me to have one because he was
afraid I would get hit by an automobile. But I learned to ride one. My older
sister had one and I learned to ride a girls' bicycle.However, I have not been on a
bike in many years.
J: What did you do for work before you graduated from high school?
S: Well, I worked part-time when I was in high school. Even back in junior high I
always had a little job of some kind, cleaning up in a store. However, later on, I
worked for A & P on the weekends and holidays and things of that kind. I did
that up until I graduated from high school. I got hurt in football in high school
when I was a sophomore and that ended my aspiration to be a football player.
However, I did play baseball.
J: Where did you get hurt?
S: I hurt my knee. Torn ligaments and cartilage.
J: Of course, in those days there was not all the protection equipment that we have
S: Yes. That is correct. The principal treatment at that time was to put a cast on
your leg and give it a long time to heal.
J: They gave it a real long time.
S: I gave it a long time. Although I know I still got it. And occasionally, even just
rolling over in bed, a piece of the cartilage will move and it will take a day or so
for it to work out. But I never entertained a serious thought of having an
J: Did you letter in baseball in high school?
S: In high school I do not think we gave out letters. We were too poor in the school
to give anything away. But I played enough to letter. Although I did not play my
J: What positions?
S: Outfield. Probably some of the most enjoyable times I ever had was after I got
out of high school and when I was going to the university, playing softball at
night. That was very popular here when it first came. It was a slow pitch type,
but we had a lighted field and we had a lot of fun. I enjoyed it very much.
J: Were the softball games composed of local teams or would you have teams from
out of town come in?
S: All local teams, although Quincy had a very fine team over there and we would
occasionally play the Quincy team. We had enough teams organized here to
make it very competitive.
J: When did you become interested in attending college? Before you graduated
from high school?
S: Oh, yes. It never occurred to me that I would not attend, although economic
conditions were not too good. But my stepmother's family lived in Gainesville
and she had three brothers, all of whom attended the university. The youngest
one was in school when I was there. There just was not any doubt, and my
father wanted me to be a lawyer. I really wantedto be one too, because I did not
know of any other profession that I would like better than that.
J: Were there any lawyers or judges or politicians in town here that helped influence
S: No, I cannot say that there were.
J: It was more on your own.
S: Pretty much on my own, yes.
J: Had there been any tradition of formal law in your family? Your father had been
S: No, I do not know of any lawyer in my family prior to the time that I became a
lawyer. They were mainly in business of one kind or another. That has
changed, of course, since I graduated. My younger sister, one of her sons
graduated at the University of Florida College of Law and is now practicing in
Tampa. His name is David Rankin [David P. Rankin, University of Florida
College of Law, class of 1978]. Her oldest son graduated from FSU Law School
about two years ago. He was a little bit late in getting started. He has not yet
been admitted to the Bar. J: So you have had quite a few members of the family
in law professions now.
S: That is correct.
J: When did your youngest sister graduate?
S: She attended Florida State College for Women, and I am not sure that she
graduated. I think she got married before then. I would say she went at least
two years. My stepmother graduated from FSCW. She had gone to school in
Valdosta, Georgia, and had two years of college there. Then she started going
to summer school here at FSCW, and gradually over a period of several years
received enough credit to graduate. At one time, when all of my family was
either in high school or grade school, we had six of us going to school during the
summer at FSCW. My mother was going to college and all the rest of us were
spread out in lower grades up to high school level.
J: Lots of people being educated.
S: We had a real scramble to get ready and get out there. Those summer schools
were eight weeks long. There was only one session.
J: Men were allowed at FSCW only during the summer?
S: Yes, that is correct.
J: And women were allowed at the University of Florida only during the summer?
Except in the law college.
S: I think one exception. If they could not get the course up here, they could attend
the University of Florida.
J: They could go to the agricultural college and the law college and one other
college. Probably pharmacy. There was only one pharmacy school. So you
graduated from Leon High School in June of 1933?
S: Yes, it was June 2, 1933.
J: When did you first apply to the University of Florida? Did you have to fill out a
long registration form or did you just send a letter saying "Hello, I would like to
come to school?"
S: As I remember, all you needed to do was to show up down there and register.
J: Boy, have things changed.
S: Prior to going to Florida in September 1933, I spent two months in Chicago
working in the Florida exhibit at the World's Fair. That was a very enjoyable
experience. It was the fist time I had been that distance from home.
J: What did you do at the World's Fair? What were your duties?
S: The Florida exhibit was one of the most attractive there, and in our building we
had different displays of products from the state. At each one of those positions,
we would have a person to explain that exhibit to the people visiting there. They
were using a kind of common term at that time, anyone doing that kind of work
was referred to as a barker. That is what you were. You were a lecturer, a
talker or just a person there that knew more about the exhibit than the people
J: What did you talk about?
S: I learned a lot about Florida while I was there. I talked about citrus. We had a
number of dioramas. A diorama is a three-dimensional structure that depicts a
scene. We had scenes from Silver Springs, Suwannee River, a turpentine still,
citrus orchards and things of that kind.
J: Was the exhibit well received by the Chicagoans?
S: It was well received by the public. It was really one of the best there. One of
the odd questions that someone asked was how deep is a tung oil well? We
had tung oil on display and the nuts and so forth, and I had to explain that the oil
came from the nuts, the oil was extracted by a process of pressing the nuts.
J: Were you paid to do this work?
S: A very nominal sum. Just about enough to take care of your expenses.
J: How did you travel between Chicago and Tallahassee?
S: I first went up on a truck that was hauling palm trees to be planted in the exhibit.
J: How about that. Did they have them packed up and bundled?
S: They had them bundled with burlap around the roots.
J: Did they survive the trip?
S: Yes, they did.
J: Why would you go to Deland to pick up palm trees?
S: A man named Earle Brown was the manager of the Florida exhibit, and his
son-in-law, John Colvard, was driving the truck. It was a two- and one-half ton
Ford truck with high sides on it. I met him in Lake City. I rode that truck from
Lake City to Deland, and we spent several days down there getting the trees,
and then from Deland to Chicago. About a three-day trip.
J: From Deland to Chicago?
S: Yes. Back at that time.
J: I would have guessed closer to a week.
S: You asked how I got back. I caught a ride with a boy who had a car who was
going to attend school at Gulf Coast Military Academy. I rode with him to
Montgomery, Alabama. Then I caught a ride with a man moving to Florida. He
had a truck with all of his household goods on it, and his wife and small child
were driving their personal car. So he picked me up on the outskirts of
Montgomery, and we got to Tallahassee about dark. I took them home and they
spent the night with us. Never heard of him since. I would not know who he
was if I saw him.
J: Do you remember his name?
S: No idea.
J: You took the initiative to leave Chicago going to Montgomery, Alabama, knowing
full well that you did not have a ride from Montgomery.
S: That is right. I did not.
J: Pretty adventuresome soul.
S: I did not have but ten dollars when I left, and I paid the boy who took me to
Montgomery five dollars. Back in those days there was a lot of hitchhiking,
particularly among college students. This fellow did not have anybody with him,
so I rode with him in the cab all the way down to Tallahassee. He needed an
overnight parking place out of the weather, and I was able to assist him there
when we got to Tallahassee because there was only one place available.
J: So what you did in hitchhiking would not be considered uncommon for those
S: No, not at all.
J: Now that is something I did not know.
S: It was very common practice about those times, and especially in college towns.
Both in the town and outside it. A considerable amount of hitchhiking between
here and Gainesville went on all the time.
J: When was it that you returned from Chicago?
S: I got back here around the first of September 1933, just a few days before I went
J: Did you also hitchhike to Gainesville?
S: No. I do not know how I got down there. I have no idea. My folks probably
took me down there because my mother's people were living there at the time. I
lived with her brother most of the first semester I was there, and then I lived with
her mother for the rest of the year. She had a house on what was at that time
named Washington Street. It was just about one block north of Language Hall.
Very good location.
J: Very close.
S: She had a number of other students staying there. J: She operated a rooming
house or something?
S: That is right. She also taught in the public school system in Alachua County.
She taught at the Gainesville High School. Her name was Mrs. C. F. Mizell.
Now, my mother's oldest brother, named B. F. Mizell, known as Bud Mizell, was
president of the University of Florida student body, I believe in 1927 or 1928, and
her second brother, Keener Mizell, was president of the senior class. They both
graduated in business administration.
J: Your mother-in-law's sister was in Gainesville? Is that correct?
S: No, my stepmother's mother, Mrs. C. F. Mizell.
J: Your stepmother's mother.
S: Yes, and her brothers.
J: Did she also operate a boarding house, serving food?
S: She had rooms available for students, just furnished rooms.
J: No food?
S: No food.
J: What were some of the first courses that you wanted to take at the university?
S: I went into business administration, and I decided to take what was known then
as the combination course for business administration and law. The first three
years in business administration would count along with your first year in law
school toward a B.S.B.A. degree.
J: Would you say that was a pretty common approach for people at that time to take
S: The combination course was very attractive because it would enable you to save
a year rather than go through a regular four-year undergraduate course. You
could save a year by taking the combination course. It was also available to
students in the College of Arts and Sciences.
J: What kind of business were you interested in? Were there accounting and
finance and tax electives that you could concentrate in?
S: No. We just had a general exposure to those courses of finance, accounting,
and also chemistry. You had very few elective courses during that three-year
period because you had to get in the required courses. But chemistry or biology
or some science course was required, and I chose to take chemistry. I do not
know that anyone in that particular class ever became a well-known chemist.
We were mainly there because we had to be, but it was an enjoyable course and
we had an instructor who was excellent. He knew we had to take the course as
a required subject, and he made it just as simple as he could. His name was Dr.
Pollard. Now, one of the required courses was one hour of physical education.
You could not graduate without that. Some students would put it off until their
senior year. That was recommended for one reason or another, but still they
had to have it. I took it my freshman year. Back at that time, we had what was
called the new gym, the big frame building, I guess it is still standing there. The
old gym was the brick building standing right next to it. Not much bigger than
the length of my house.
J: It is called the Women's Gym today.
S: So we did have the outdoor swimming pool. Now after I finished three years in
business administration, then I was eligible to go into law school and that was my
senior year on campus.
J: Did you have to fill out any type of application or registration forms to go into law
school or take a test?
S: No. You just had to indicate a desire to go into law school and register and
show evidence that you had finished the required courses. It was very simple.
We did not have more than 150 people in the whole law school at any time when
I was there.
J: This was right after the nadir of the Depression.
S: Well, we were coming out of it. See, that was in September of 1936.
J: That is right. I am sorry. I was thinking of 1933 when you started.
S: But when I started, things were still pretty tight. I would say that seventy-five to
eighty percent of the students had some sort of help.
J: Was that federal government help? Parents?
S: No. They were working part-time, working for meals, handling dry-cleaning and
laundry, working in the library.
J: What did you do?
S: I worked at the College Inn, which was managed by my mother's brother, my
Uncle Keener Mizell.
J: What did it look like?
S: It was in the same location that it is now, but it was not as large.
J: I have just seen a picture of the Old College Inn in 1911, and it is constructed
with a form of river rock.
S: Yes, that is right.
J: Big. Is that what it looked like in the 1930s and the early 1940s?
S: It had been refurbished when I went there in 1933, but it had the same general
rock structure on the outside. But it was very modern at that time.
J: Was that a popular place?
S: Oh, yes, very popular.
J: That is almost directly across from Buckman Hall, isn't it?
S: That is correct.
J: I think prohibition was lifted the same year you went to Gainesville. Were they
serving beer at the Old College Inn?
S: No, we did not serve any beer.
J: Or any kind of alcoholic beverages?
J: The entire time you were in Gainesville then there were no alcoholic beverages
there to the best of your memory.
S: It seems to me that beer was served at various places in Gainesville after it was
legalized, but I do not recall it being served at the College Inn while I was there.
Now, down at the corner of University Avenue and Thirteenth, there was the
Black Cat. It was a popular eating place. In fact, it was started by my mother's
brothers, Bud Mizell and Keener Mizell, as a very small hamburger operation. It
grew into a full-scale restaurant by the time they got out of school, and they
continued to have all financial interest in it after they got out of school. Later on
theydisposed of their interest to another man who was with them. His name was
Jimmy Keezel, and he operated the Black Cat for a long time when I was goingto
school down there.
J: Your whole family was business-related. Always had something going.
S: Well, they had to. They had no financial resources. They just knew how to
work and were very successful at it.
J: What other jobs did you hold?
S: I worked under Billy Matthews [D. R. "Billy" Matthews, U.S. House of
Representatives from Florida, (1953-1966)] one summer over at the old Florida
Union building. I do not know what it is called now, but it was the first student
union built when I was there.
J: Today that houses the romance languages and the philosophy department. It is
called the arts and sciences building. And the union has actually moved to the
Reitz Union, which is to the southwest of the old location.
S: But Billy Matthews was the director of that activity, and he had students working
in various capacities there. I worked at the main desk at certain hours, mainly in
the afternoon or night because all of my classes were in the morning.
J: Was the Florida Union a fun place to work?
S: Yes, very much so. It was a popular place for the students.
J: How late would you close the doors?
S: I believe ten o'clock. Nine-thirty or ten o'clock.
J: Was there a lot of night life in Gainesville?
S: In the summer school periods, it was quite active because girls were admitted
there at that time. But nevertheless, nothing compared to night life now,
because even then people did not have automobiles at their command, and you
pretty well created your own activity. You had very few places to go. The
theater was one place. It was very popular back in those days. But mostly
when you moved around, even when you had a date, you walked. Some of the
fraternity houses were open during summer school.
J: Now, the Florida Union was in part built through WPA [Work Progress
Administration] and PWA [Public Works Administration] funds and they looked for
labor from the students on campus. Were you ever part of that?
S: No. I was not. I know it took a long time to get that building constructed.
J: Do you remember when they began the construction?
S: No, I do not.
J: Were the grounds laid, the foundation laid when you began in Gainesville?
S: I think it was. Yes.
J: Was it fully completed before you left in 1939?
S: Yes. It was very close to the cafeteria. I do not know whether the cafeteria
building is used for food service now or not. I doubt it.
J: It is.
S: One experience I had when I was a junior, we had an epidemic of mumps. It
started after the Christmas holiday. I went into the infirmary and stayed fifteen
days. By the time I got out the infirmary was filled, and a one-story building, that
at that time was used by the YMCA, had anywhere from thirty to fifty cases. I
missed all of my exams.
J: What did you do?
S: I registered for the second semester. We were on the semester system back at
that time and gradually I worked them off. Took them one at a time.
J: I guess there were a lot of cases like that.
S: Well, some of them fortunately were able to get through exams before getting
sick. I went in the infirmary about the middle of January, and usually our exams
did not start until after January 20.
J: When did you take your first law class?
S: I started in law school in September of 1936, which was the beginning of my
senior year on campus, and we took the prescribed courses.
J: Was it any different from taking the business courses?
S: Oh, yes. It was like taking a foreign language because it was so new and so
different. Just took you a while to really get on to it, and of course sometimes
you never did. That is one thing about law school: it really is no reflection on a
person if they cannot pass a course or if they do not like the courses. It is just a
different subject, and you havegot to like it to stay with it. Now, one thing that I
would never do if I had the opportunity to do it over, I would never go into law
school or any other graduate school during the senior year. At the time I was a
senior on campus, I was involved in so many activities. I was a senior in the
ROTC military, and I was president of the Alpha Tau Omega chapter. Your
campus activities just really reach a peak during your senior year. So, I had all
those extra-curricular activities, plus going into a new study. It was not easy at
all. I failed one course while I was there, and it was Common Law Pleading
under Dr. Crandall [Clifford W. Crandall, Professor, University of Florida College
of Law, (1914-1949)]. I did not know anything about it when I first took it, and I
did not know anything about it when I took it the second time. Common Law
Pleading was getting to be a thing of the past at that time. But I was not by
myself. We had some others who did that. But he did not call on us the first
time during the semester when we took that course, and he gave everybody a B.
J: I have got a list of some of your activities when you were at the university, and it
is quite an extensive list, I will say. You were on thefreshman baseball team in
1934. Was that the only year you were on the baseball team?
S: Well, back at that time, you had freshman athletics and varsity. Freshmen could
not compete in varsity in any sport. That year was the year that all alumni
coaching staff came in to the university. Dutch Stanley was the head football
coach. Rainey Cawthon, who lives here, was one of the freshman football
coaches. Goof Bowyer was the freshman baseball coach andalso assistant
football coach, and Ben Clemmons was the varsity basketball coach and varsity
baseball coach. All of them had been great athletes at the university and came
back as coaches. Now, Bowyer was the freshman baseball coach my freshman
year. We had very few games. We mainly would play against the varsity, but
we did play Gainesville High and went over to Cross City one time. Nothing like
the schedule they play now. Even varsity baseball had no more than maybe
twelve, fifteen games at that time. Now they play fifty or sixty games. The next
year, my sophomore year, I did stay on the varsity squad, but I did not play in any
games. Then the next year the coaching situation changed, and I just did not go
out because of that. I could have made the squad but I was not good enough to
play regularly. There were too many people better than I was. But anyway, I
enjoyed the experience. I also became interested in certain phases of the military
training. I had decided I would take advanced military, and I got into the pistol
J: You did most of your, I call it extracurricular activity, during your law school
career, according to these dates and names. Captain of the ROTC Pistol Team
and then a cadet major in the ROTC Artillery, and both of thosewere in 1937.
S: Well, you see, that was my senior year on campus and also my first year in law
J: And distinguished military graduate ROTC in 1937. Commissioned second
lieutenant artillery organized reserve corps in 1937. How did you have time to
study? When did you study?
S: It was not easy.
J: Did you sleep?
S: Oh, yes.
J: Where were you living at this time?
S: I was living at the ATO house, because I was president at that time and had to
J: That is right. Now, you were also part of the BACCHUS club, the Colonels,
L'apache, John Marshall and the Sabers.
S: Bacchus and L'apache were social clubs. Bacchus was limited to freshmen.
L'apache was for upper classmen, Sabers was the military organization, and
Colonels, that was a law school organization. John Marshall Debating Club,
back at that time put on a program at Homecoming which they do now. It was
on a much smaller scale because we conducted it at Homecoming in the law
school building. We outgrew that and moved to the grounds outside of the
building. Now, I am referring to the building that was used as a law school
during my time, not the new law school center. It was right on campus there, not
far from Language Hall. I do not know what it is called now.
J: It was renamed Bryan Hall in 1941. But it was referred to as the College of Law
when you were there.
S: That is right. After I left, at least two additions were put on that building. But
those skits were held in that area, I believe up until the time they moved over to
the field at the Reitz center now. While I was in law school, I was elected to the
student executive council, representing the law school. There were two of us. I
had no opposition. That was the only time I have ever run for an elected job,
and I do not plan to run any more. But it was a good experience because the
council was composed of representatives from all of the colleges on campus, and
George Smathers [George Smathers, U.S. Senator from Florida (D),
(1950-1968)] was president of the student body at that time.
J: Was George in law school at that time?
S: Yes, George, I believe, finished law school either in June or sometime during the
summer of 1938. He got out a semester ahead of me.
J: Had he taken a combined course of study?
S: I think George came out of the College of Arts and Sciences. I do not know
whether he had received a degree before he went into law school or not.
J: What did you do with the John Marshall Debating Society? Would you travel
places and debate people?
S: No, no. Our whole project was planning for the Homecoming skit.
J: No debating at all then. This was just the John Marshall Society.
S: That is right. No debating.
J: Was there a debating team at the law college?
S: Oh, yes. Yes. A very, very good team. Dr. Phil Constans was the debating
coach for the university. I did not participate in any debating, but they always
turned out good teams. George Smathers was excellent along with some
others. Dr. Constans was very popular on campus at that time, and I think he
J: I do not know. That is a good question. What professor from the law college
stands out in your mind?
S: The law professors during my time had been there quite some time. Everyone
was different from the others as day and night. But certainly Dean Trusler
[Harry R. Trusler, dean, University of Florida College of Law, 1914-1947] would
have to be a favorite. He taught a number of courses as well as being dean,
and he was highly regarded and well-liked. During his instructions, he closed his
eyes most of the time. Whenever he would come into the classroom the
students would shuffle their feet, which was a means of showing respect.
Letting him know we were there.
J: I have heard they would also do that if they carried on a lecture a little too long.
S: That is correct. That is right. If he wanted to go beyond the bell, the buzzer,
whatever it was, we let him know.
J: Would that stop him?
S: He would get the message.
J: I have had some people tell me that it was almost, not a religious experience, but
he would hold his arms out at his sides and he would lift his head up. Was that
a common appearance for him?
S: Yes. Very much so. I think he did it for emphasis, and he was so dedicated
and so devoted to what he was doing.
J: I have also heard conflicting reports about that in that people could sometimes
literally get up out of their desk and walk out of class and he would not know
it, and other times they would be whispering to one another and he would see
and he would tell them to hush up.
S: I would not doubt any of that. Now, the other members of the faculty were quite
well known. For example, Judge Cockrell [Robert Spratt Cockrell, Professor,
University of Florida College of Law, (1919-1941)] had served on the Supreme
Court of Florida for sixteen years before he taught down there. In fact, up until
that time, he was the only man who had been defeated from the Supreme Court
of Florida. Judge Cockrell was very knowledgeable. He taught criminal law,
marriage and divorce and Florida civil practice. He was very concise and brief.
If you could answer a question from him with one word, that was all he wanted.
He was real strict on grading his examinations. He would not even look at an
examination paper if more had been written than he thought was necessary.
J: Would he call on people in class?
S: Oh, yes. That is right. But he also loved to take the initiative and go on with
discussing the subject matter if someone did not know exactly what they were
talking about. I would not consider any of them a real demon, so to speak, with
students. They all had a way of getting the students' attention and trying to
impress on them. Judge Cockrell is the only one that I recall that was strict with
reference to answering his examination questions. On one exam that I took in a
course under him, I answered the question in about forty minutes and I was
scared to death. I put the paper down and back at that time, we operated on the
honor system. You could go anywhere you wanted to.
J: And take the test?
S: No. You took the test in law school, but you could get up and go get coffee or
something to eat and walk around outside. You did not have to stay in. So I did
that and came back and looked at it again and I could not figure out where I
could change it any way. The answer was very brief and I got an "A" in the
course. One of the few, I did not make many "A"s. I was real proud of that
because it was a four-hour course.
J: It did good things to your grade point average.
S: It sure did. The other instructors like Dr. Crandall [Clifford W. Crandall,
Professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1914-1949)] taught courses like
Trust and Future Interests and other related Real Property courses. He was a
very easy going, rather stout person, had a van Dyke goatee, very
distinguished-looking. He was from Michigan. Very pleasant, but for some
reason I never could write a good exam for him. I just could not grasp the points
that he was trying to make, but I got along with him very well. After I got out of
school, he told me that he had suggested me for a trust officer position in one of
the banks down in central Florida, which I appreciated, but I never heard
anything about it.One of the most thorough professors down there was Professor
Jimmy Day [James Westbay Day, Professor, University of Florida College of
Law, (1930-1961)]. He taught property courses and Legal Bibliography and
some of his classes were real small, more or less, and would be conducted on a
round table discussion. I enjoyed those very much and I learned a great deal.
On his checking of the examination papers, he would examine the first question
all the way through the papers and then go to the second one rather than
examine the entire answers. He would take them one at a time.
J: Did he have a nickname?
S: Jimmy Day is all that I remember.
J: Somebody, in one of my interviews, called him "Footnote."
S: Well, that could be. Most all of the professors referred to footnotes and if you
did not pay attention, you were really caught. Because invariably they would
appear on an examination. Mr. Clarence TeSelle [Clarence John TeSelle,
Professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1929-1959)] was from
Wisconsin. He had been a prosecuting attorney somewhere up there, andthe
worse the answer you gave, the worse he would be. But if he felt like you were
holding your own and you were going to stick to your conclusion or your answer,
whatever it was, he would go to the next case. He chewed a cigar. He never
did light it anyhow. Cigar in his mouth most of the time, and he was badly
crippled from arthritis. But he would scare the devil out of you. You would sit
on the edge of your seat, during class. You never knew when he was going to
call on you or not. One of his favorites was that if you answered unprepared,
then he would say, "Oh, how far did you get?" And you might say, "Well, I got to
the first case.""Okay, give that." He would not let you off the hook at all. They
never gave a definite assignment. You would normally go five or six cases
during the hour, but you might not go but three and the next time you would go
more than six. So, you just had to try to keep one step ahead of him all the time.
We had several married students back at the time and they were the best
students in the class, being prepared and making the grades.
J: Is there any connection between being married, and being a good law student?
S: I think very definitely. I think they had a real purpose in mind.
J: They were staying home when you all were going out?
S: Very likely. They knew what they wanted to do and the sooner they got through
with it the better.
S: But there were only about three or four that were married at that time.
J: Do you remember who they were?
S: Guy Race [Guy A. Race, University of Florida College of Law, class of 1939], he
lives over in Gadsden County, had been a schoolteacher, and I think maybe a
school principal before he came to law school.
J: How old was he? Considerably older than you?
S: Yes. I would say anywhere from five to seven years older than the average age
of the members of the class. Another student by the name of Oscar Keep
[Oscar J. Keep, University of Florida College of Law, class of 1938] made a
career out of working for the FBI. Oscar retired a number of years ago and is
practicing law in Miami now. Professor Slagle [Dean Slagle, Professor,
University of Florida College of Law, (1923-1928, 1929-1958)] taught
constitutional law, both United States Constitution and Florida Constitution. He
was noted for giving repeat questions on his exams. You had to get a set of old
exams and study those and write out the answers. He would usually give one
new question. Nine repeats sometimes and one new question.
J: I have got a copy of an old exam.
S: You have?
J: Any like ones that you have taken?
S: We had an examination about the middle of the semester in Torts. It was a
true/false completion so forth that Dean Trusler gave. It covered about 100
J: There were tests available to 1922 and the next test I could find was 1950.
There is a wide gap between those two.
S: I bet. Now, Professor Slagle--his first name was Dean--people who did not know
any better would call him Dean Slagle, thinking that he was the dean of the law
J: How did he take to that?
S: Oh, good naturedly. He had a nickname of "Sloogie."
J: Why did he have that nickname? Where did that come from?
S: Never did know it. It was just one of those things that was passed on.
J: Now, Huber Christian Hurst [Professor, University of Florida College of Law,
1935-1936] was another instructor that was there. I think he was there part-time
when you were there.
S: Well, Hurst taught over in the school of business administration. I do not
remember him teaching in the law school.
J: You do not remember him.
S: He graduated from the law school. But I took a course under him in business
administration, and I am not sure what it was now, to tell you thetruth.
J: Do you know if he taught any guest lectures at the law school?
S: No, I do not. J: He is listed on the faculty from about 1937 through 1944.
S: Well, he could very well have taught over there after my time, but I remember
him in the college of business administration.
J: Now, Trusler was shuffled in class. Was anyone else?
S: No, I do not remember anyone else.
J: Do you remember Professor Crandall's wife driving up in an automobile and
tooting her horn?
S: Very definitely.
J: Tell me about that.
S: Mrs. Crandall had a means of communicating with Professor Crandall when she
came to pick him up and it was by blowing the horn of the automobile.
Whatever he was doing, he dropped it and took off. There were not any
exceptions. He did not keep her waiting at all.
J: Did you meet her?
S: No, I never did meet her.
J: But they had an automobile?
S: Yes, they did.
J: Did any of the other instructors have an auto?
S: I think they all have had automobiles.
J: How about the students?
S: Very few.
J: Do you remember anyone who had an auto?
S: I remember Walter Woolfolk [Walter W. Woolfolk, University of Florida College of
Law, class of 1937], a lawyer down in Lake Wales, and he was ahead of me in
law school. Walter was married. He had an automobile.
J: These married people really had an advantage, didn't they?
S: Yes. Right offhand, I cannot name any others. I am sure there were several,
but not many.
J: Well, usually though, she timed it so that class was over. If he was not in class,
and he was sitting downstairs where most of the professors had an office, then
he took right off.
J: Where were most of your classes held? What part of the law school?
S: Most of them were in the courtroom of the old building. J: This being the old
S: All of Trusler's classes were held in the courtroom.
J: What part of the school was that on? The north?
S: I would say it is mainly on the north half.
S: TeSelle had a classroom that would be in about the southeast corner of the
building, and Day had a classroom across from them about the southwest corner.
In the back of the courtroom was one small room that could take care of about
ten or twelve students where Professor Day held classes.
J: Those little round table discussions back there you are talking about.
S: That is right.
J: Where did Ila R. Pridgen [lla Roundtree Pridgen, Librarian, University of Florida
College of Law, 1930-1954] work?
S: She was the librarian, and I think she had a desk in Dean Trusler's office.
J: She was his secretary, too.
S: That is right. She was a wonderful person. She completed her work toward a
law degree and taught some courses during World War II.
S: She was a great person and had a tremendous influence on all the students as
well as the professors, because whatever she wanted done, she got her way
mostly. She pretty well ran Trusler. At least we thought so.
J: What did you like most about her? Being definite or being kind?
S: Well, I liked her because she always listened and would help if she could or
make some helpful suggestions. She was never in a hurry, never tried to put
somebody off. She was very accommodating if you wanted to talk to Dean
Trusler, which was infrequent, but there were some times when you would like to
talk to him. I was in the Magister of Phi Delta Phi at a time when we were trying
to revive it. All the members graduated, and wedid not have very many
members. During my time, we revived the program that had been carried on
before of inviting graduates who had distinguishedthemselves in their profession.
We had people like Judge Sebring [Harold L. (Tom) Sebring, former Chief
Justice, Florida Supreme Court],who was a curcuit judge in Gainesville at that
time, and G. B. "Gabby" Knowles. He was a well-known lawyer from Bradenton.
They were all well-known to the faculty because they had been students there.
We revived those lectures based on practical experience or describing the court
J: Were the students required to attend?
S: No, but we had good attendance.
J: A lot of interest.
S: We would fill up the law school courtroom with students. I recall when Gabby
Knowles spoke that Dr. Tigert [John J. Tigert, President, University of Florida,
1928-1947], who was president of the university, and Mrs. Tigert came for it.
Those kind of things of course were cleared with Dean Trusler.
J: Now, would the professors invite a certain number of law students, or the entire
body of students, over to their home or to the auditorium or to some place in town
for a social gathering?
S: No. No, we did not have that. We did not have that sort of relationship with
J: What would you say the relationship really was?
S: Well, in some respects more or less of awe, because you knew they were well
acquainted with their subject and you did not know very much about it. A lot of
times you were afraid you were going to ask a question that would display your
ignorance instead of intelligence. Well, they were treated by the students with
great respect. There was not anything ever done to embarrass a professor in
any way, shape, or form in our college.
J: Were there practical jokes in class?
S: Oh, yes. Yes. All the professors were amenable to a laugh.
J: Who were some of the practical jokers that were in school, or were you one?
S: No, I was not one. I do not recall anyone that might fit that description, but I will
cite this. Manuel Garcia [Manuel M. Garcia, University of Florida College of
Law, class of 1938], a lawyer in Tampa, was about a year ahead of me. His
favorite expression was, "Give me the facts and I will give you the law." Manny
was editor of the Alligator one year down there.
J: Did Manny use that expression in class with professors?
J: Was that kind of a way of identifying?
S: No, that was an expression that we would use in the bull sessions outside of
class. During the break.
J: Just out of the range of hearing of the professor, I will take it.
S: He did not use that in class.
J: Did you all have bull sessions quite a bit, and if you did was it about the law or
about football games on campus? What did you all talk about outside class or
S: The only times that we ever got together in groups for discussion of the law
school was usually during the period of preparing for an examination. The
examination you might pretty well count on for your entire grade, and you had to
start reviewing about the last week of December. I always went back to the
university right after Christmas to start my review, and Ifound it very helpful to
have group discussions after you had been over a course and get viewpoints
from other students. But as far as studying together, there was not too much of
that, except for these group discussions. The law school as well as any
professional school is an individual matter and especially in law, where every
case is just not cut and dried. There are always two sides and maybe more to a
question, so your reasoning might be better than somebody else's, so you really
must rely on your own judgment. I think the honor system worked well in the law
school. I do not recall any problems at all with it. The law school building had
three floors to it. The first, the ground floor, and the second floor were used by
the law school. The third floor was used for military classes--just showed you
how short they were for space down there. So one time during an examination
period, several of us decided we would go up to the third floor and write the
exam. You could write the exam in the library, anywhere you found space. We
knew that space was not being used. So we went up there and lo and behold,
Mrs. Pridgen appeared on the scene and ran us out of there in no uncertain
terms. Yet it was a part of the building, and I always thought that you could go
anywhere and write the exam. You could go outdoors and write it if you wanted
to. She did not believe that. She told us to get out of there because it was not
a part of the building that was used for instruction purposes. And we did. We
got out right then and there. That was just, I never understood that. I do not
know yet why it would not have been all right.
Another thing that took place and this was more of an amusing situation
than anything that I can recall right now, but the Phi Delta Phi initiationritual has
old English wigs and black robes. I never had seen them used but they were
there in a chest up on that third floor. So, when I was a magister along with the
other officers we decided to use them. We were initiating George Young [Hon.
George C. Young, University of Florida College of Law, class of 1940], who was
recently retired as U.S. District Judge in Orlando. He had maybe half a dozen
more members in the audience, so when we came in with those wigs and robes
on and started our initiation ceremony and began to look around, one by one
folks in the audience would disappear. Several of them were hanging out
windows. They were laughing so much that they had to leave the room or hang
out of a window to keep from upsetting the initiation. We did not know what was
going on and neither did George, but it just about broke up that initiation to see
us up there with those wigs on. I do not think George liked it too much. I think
we did a good job of revitalizing Phi Delta Phi. Of course, it is much larger and
more active than anything we could have thought it would be at that time. The
same is true about Phi Alpha Delta.
J: Well, how difficult was the study of law after that first year?
S: It was still difficult, but you had a better understanding of what you were trying to
do. J: Was it fun being in law school?
S: I think it was at that time because we were operating more or less a leisurely life,
so to speak. All the classes were in the morning. We had no afternoon
classes. So all that free time was really a luxury. You could take a nap, go
someplace, go swimming and just do anything that you wanted to. I think the
time that I spent in college was the most enjoyable I ever had. I really liked to
go to school. It was great.
J: It was hard work after you got out.
S: Oh, Lord, absolutely.
J: Well, did you immerse yourself in the study of law, or did you just kind of see it as
a practical way to...?
S: No, I did not. I just wanted to get through as soon as I could and I went to
summer school two summers and made up a semester. That is why I graduated
in February of 1939 instead of in June. I have a copy of the graduation program
for that date and ten law students graduated in that mid semester.
J: Robert McKinney Barton; Paul Lionel; Edward Helliwell; Jack Hamlin Kline;
Thomas Curry Merchant, Jr.; William Bradford Roman; William Paul Shelley, Jr.;
Stephen F. Smith, Jr.; and Henry Stephen Toland. With honors was Harold
Tannen and with high honors was Guy Austin Race.
J: Where was that ceremony held? Does it say on there?
S: This graduation exercise was for the entire university, all colleges, and it was
held in the P. K. Yonge School auditorium, Friday morning, February 3, at ten
J: Now was that the P. K. Yonge School auditorium across Thirteenth Street at
Norman, or what is today Norman Hall?
S: Yes, it is on the east side of Thirteenth Street. I would like to mention some of
these names of the ten that graduated the same time I did. Bob Barton of St.
Petersburg was afflicted with some sort of muscle deterioration and died not
many years after he graduated. It was a great shame because he was a
wonderful person and a good student. Paul Helliwell is not living now, he
practiced law in Miami. He and his law firm put together all the land that is now
Disney World. He did that some years before he died. He also handled the
legislation that was necessary to set up that project down there and it passed
successfully. Disney World has certain powers that other municipalities or
governmental units do not have. It was necessary for them in order to build
such a mammoth project. Jack Kline is in Orlando as far as I know. Curry
Merchant was the son of a newspaper publisher over in Madison, and he did not
practice law but went into newspaper work and is still doing that, although he
sold his paper a few years ago. I do not think Bill Roman is still living. I am not
sure about that. Stephen Smith, last I heard, he was in Jacksonville. Henry
Toland lives in Tampa. At one time he was president of the Exchange National
Bank prior to its merger into a holding company, and he was a partner in Holland
and Knight law firm. Whether he is still or not, I do not know. Harold Tannen
lives in Miami Beach, and hetells this on himself that he is well known because
his son was a professional football player with one of the New York teams. His
son was an All-American at Florida. Guy Race, as far as I know, is over in
Quincy. He did not practice law too much, but went into juvenile work.
J: When this ceremony was held, did they recognize the Bachelor of Law with high
honors and Bachelor of Law with honors and then the law degrees separately
from engineering and the other degrees?
S: The program starts out with candidates for degrees in the College of Education
and then goes right on through the various colleges, and I would say yes. Yes.
They did recognize these individuals who graduated with honors and high honors
J: Was there a separate ceremony back at the law school where they handed you
your diploma or some other certificate?
S: No. That ceremony was probably the only ceremony that we went through. I
would like to mention some of the people who were down there. I realize that in
mentioning some I am going to overlook some others, but we have some
graduates of that school that have gained great prominence in their work. Now,
Guy Botts in Jacksonville was in the class of 1937, but he distinguished himself
in banking and has served as head of the Barnett Bank system. He is retired
now. In the class of 1938, Eddie Boardman has recently retired as a judge of
the court of appeals down in Lakeland. Cleve Hedrick is a well-known tax
lawyer in Washington, D.C. Fred Gilbert is a judge of the tax court in
Washington. Ben Krentzman is a United States District Judge and is
headquartered I think in Tampa. Bob McCrary is a Circuit Judge over in
Marianna. George Smathers lives in Washington and has offices in Miami and
Jacksonville. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives and then in the
United States Senate.
J: Is he alive today?
S: Yes. He spends most of his time in Washington.
J: Is he still politically active to any degree?
S: Probably in support of certain people, but not in seeking office himself. Now in
the class on 1939, which was my class, Wade Hampton lives in Gainesville. He
has been involved extensively in the practice of law. I mentioned Paul Helliwell.
Now David Kerns lives here. He had been on the Board of Governors of the
Florida Bar for several terms. He is not on there now. But he has had
extensive experience in the state government. Leonard Pepper lives here.
Leonard is a very successful real estate developer as well as a lawyer. And
Jack Pinkerton lives in Sarasota and is prominent in banking and has been very
generous in contributions to the law school. In the class of 1940, Wallace
Jopling is a circuit judge over in Lake City. Russell McCaughan of Ft.
Lauderdale is a well-known lawyer and an authority on probate and
administration of estates and has written extensively for the Florida Bar. Guyte
P. McCord, Jr. lives right next door to me. He served twelve years as a circuit
judge here and recently retired as a chief judge of First District Court of Appeal.
Steve O'Connell [Stephen C. O'Connell, president, University of Florida,
1967-1973] and I were roommates my senior year. He was president of the
student body. I was one of his advisors.
J: Was that the year that he was the boxing champion?
S: He was, probably the year before that. I am not sure about that, but he was on
the boxing team for at least three years, probably started out as a freshman.
J: I recall Bill Goza [William M. Goza, University of Florida College of Law, class of
1941] telling me that Steve knocked him out in a sparring match.
S: Steve was also an Alpha Tau Omega fraternity member. We have had a very
close relationship all through the years and when he started the program down
there while he was the president of the university of encouraging contributions
and encouraging people to contribute $10,000 in order to be a member of the
President's Council, I frankly thought he was out of his mind. Of course, I could
not see anybody contributing that much. Anyway, he was right and has been
very successful and I made the contribution before he got out as president. I did
so mainly because of him.
J: That is very important in this. How hard did you have to work? How many
hours a week would you work with the study of law, say outside of class?
S: I would say it would average at least three hours a night, and then when I was
reviewing for the examination, it was probably twelve hours out of the
twenty-four. That was very intense study.
J: Were you working that entire time? At some job?
S: No. I did not work outside after my freshman year.
J: How did you pay for your education?
S: My mother and father. Back at that time, $900 to $1,200 dollars a year would be
all it would cost you to go to the University of Florida.
J: Were there any assistance plans, any financial plans you could turn to thatwere
state or government?
S: There were a lot of scholarships, but I do not know of any scholarhsip that would
have supplied all the money that you needed. Three hundred, $400, $250,
things of that kind.
J: You had to supplement it considerably.
S: That is right.
J: Now, when you were a roommate with Steve O'Connell, where did you live?
S: In the dormitory. It was customary for the president of the student body to be
given a free room in the dormitory and he was in charge of that section. We
lived in what was called the new dorm at that time and he was in charge of that
section. I do not recall how many students lived in there. It seemed to me like
it was about a three-story structure.
J: Was that on honor or was it more of a burden to have that?
S: Well, it was just a means of compensating a person for all of the time that he put
in being president of the student body.
S: Now, others who served in that similar position I believe did so for free room.
Every section of the dormitory had someone in charge and their main purpose
was to maintain order. Not that things got out of hand too often, but that was
their main purpose. They had nothing to do with the maintenance of it. That
was all done by the regular maintenance people.
J: You mentioned when things got out of order and that was not too often. What
would happen when they got out of order, when they got out of hand?
S: Whoever was in charge of the section could handle the situation.
J: Are you referring to a hall brawl or a shaving cream fight or what?
S: Mainly noise and loud talking. Probably some celebration after a football game,
which was rare, because we did not have a great deal of success when I was in
college with football.
J: Florida Field was finished, I believe, a year before you graduated. Did you
watch any games in there?
S: Oh yes. Florida Field was built in a ravine. The top of the stadium was level
ground, and it was built in that location because it was economical to do so to
utilize the topography of the ground.
J: There was no real excavation then?
S: No. There probably was some, but not a great deal. We had a football practice
field and a track at the south end, which is now filled in. All of the additions to
the stadium were built after I left there. One thing that I remember very much
about football games is that the students dressed up. Coat and tie was very
prevalent. The girls all dressed upin their best, and we do not see that now. It
has gone the other way.
J: Did you appear like that in class too?
S: No, not with coats and ties on all the time. It depended on the weather mainly.
But no shorts or anything of that kind.
J: Well, would you come home to see the folks as well as to look for a date? I am
sure there were a lot of fellows coming up here to look for a date.
S: We made regular trips to Tallahassee. Absolutely. Yes. Frequently.
J: Who had the automobiles?
S: You would just have to scout around and find somebody that had one. It would
usually cost you about two dollars round trip which would be enough for
someone to pay for the gas up here. I really do not remember now. I never
had a car. I always had a ride with somebody else. J: Would you come up for
the weekend if you were coming up for a date?
S: Usually you would try to come here in time for a date on Friday night and you
would have two nights here.
J: Where would the guys stay? Did they have accommodations for them over at
S: No. No, they would stay with people. In my case, Steve O'Connell came up
here with me and stayed with me. You would stay with someone here locally.
There were not any motels or only a couple hotels back at that time. No, you did
not have enough money to spend on a hotel room and Florida State College for
Women operated on a light flash system. The girls were supposed to be in by a
certain time. The best thing would be coming on Friday afternoons, so you had
Friday and Saturday night and through Sunday noon. Sometimes you would get
invited to eat in the dining room along with all the other girls and very few boys.
It was quite an experience. Then you would have to go back Sunday afternoon.
J: Where would you eat on campus? And around town?
S: On campus, the main eating place was the dining room which served during
regular hours. Off campus, the eating place named the Sweet Shop, and I think
it is still in existence, had a regular soda fountain service along with sandwiches.
J: Where did you like to eat?
S: Well, I have always been more a steak and potatoes person.
S: As well as fish. I like fish. Oysters. I am very fond of raw oysters. Chicken,
in fact I do not know of anything I dislike that I will not eat in the way of
J: Speaking about the law college a little more, what would you say the overriding
philosophy of the structure of the law college and the instructors of the law
college was? Was it practical or would you say more theoretical? Where would
you draw the line?
S: The type of instruction when I was going to school, I believe, was prevalent
throughout the country. Our college used the case books series, and I think the
reason for it was that they felt the students would get more out of it by dealing
with actual cases that had been decided. I think that is true to some extent.
However, there are certain courses that I felt should have used textbooks. In
one case we did use a textbook and that was in Torts. But in practically all the
others we used case books. From a practical standpoint, we did not have the
facilities that they have now for teaching the practical aspect of the law. I did not
get a lot of things I wish I could have been taught that would have enabled me to
be better prepared to get out into the practical world. Now, I think our school did
as good a job as they could and then the trial practice work, I think that was
good. But I have always had a feeling that we would have been better off if we
could have had more training that would have actually equipped us to get right
out into practice. Because I think, when I got out of school, the only way you
were going to learn the practice of law was more or less apprentice yourself to an
J: Did you know how to prepare a brief, where to file it, when you graduated?
S: No. I did not. There were some briefing work done, in the trial practice court,
but as far as knowing anything about the courthouse and knowing anything about
the various forms that were used at that time, you just did not.
J: I have this question from time to time. Do you think it would have been helpful if
you had been exposed to the courthouse and it had been required to go down to
the courtroom for two hours a week and watch proceedings and go over to the
clerk's office and see how to file for them? Would that be practical to do today?
S: I think it would. I do not see why it would not be. Right here in this town, we
have got every court there is in the state of Florida.
J: This is true. Do you think it would have been beneficial for you and it would be
S: It would. Absolutely. And it could have been done, I think, during my time.
But it just was not. Even it they had put somebody on a part-time basis on the
faculty to acquaint you with the clerk's office, it would have been worthwhile.
While I was there, a local Gainesville lawyer had that idea, and it was a good
idea, of teaching a practical course to students who paid him a small fee. I was
one of them. He had about five or six students and he had all the various forms
and would go over those forms with us like a deed or lease or other kind of forms
and show us how to fill them out. I think, we had maybe three or four sessions,
something like that.
J: Did Dean Trusler and Judge Cockrell know anything about this?
S: I guess they did because we met out there in the law school.
J: You did not hear anything negative about it or positive, either way?
S: No, not at all.
J: What did you think about it?
S: I thought it was a good idea. It just did not pursue it far enough. It was just
really a brief exposure, but I thought it was helpful.
J: Who was that lawyer?
S: His name was Hyman Sobol. He is not living now. He was a very active
person at the time. He died rather suddenly. He lived in Gainesville and
graduated from the law school.
J: A five dollar charge and you could take that?
S: That is what we paid him, I believe. I do not know how many sessions we had.
I know there were several.
J: Did you have the opportunity to clerk around town for local lawyers?
S: No. That just was not being done at that time.
J: Do you think that would have been helpful?
S: It would have been very helpful. I think the main reason was the economic
conditions. Every lawyer, even the senior members of the firm were carrying a
work load and....
J: They needed the work themselves.
S: They needed the work rather than spending their time on trying to train a student
that he might never see again.
J: What about the moot or the practice court? What happened in there? How
was that arranged? What were the proceedings?
S: I did not take that course. It was taught in the second semester and I got out in
February. But the professors that were handling that course drew up the
requirements of the criminal case and they had a prosecutor and had a defense
attorney. Or if it was a civil case they had attorneys representing the plantiff and
defendant. One of the professors would serve as a judge and students would
serve as the jurors, so it was about as close as you get to an actual trial. Now I
know that was helpful to the ones that took that course. I never did take the
course, but during the time I was there I was involved in it either as a witness or
as a juror. So I did have a chance to observe the conduct of the class.
J: Were there any class notes that you could purchase from fellow students that
had the course before you or any notes that you could buy from the bookstore,
which I guess was in the Florida Union, that would help you out in class?
S: I do not recall, no.
J: Was the bookstore in the Florida Union?
S: Yes, it was in the union. It used to be in Language Hall over there on the bottom
floor. It moved to the Florida Student Union when it was finished.
J: Well, were there any politics about the law school? The question might be better
phrased. Was there an active student government within the law school proper?
S: Most of the leaders on campus were from the law school. Their activity was
campus-wide rather than just the law school.
J: Was there a publication produced?
S: No, we did not have a Law Review during that time. I do not recall any
publication in the law school.
J: Were there any problems in the way of what you students thought were poorly
conducted classes or a grievance against the way a professor treated a student
or the way you would address them?
J: Why do you think people went into law at that time? Today, I think people go
into law school for the financial and the economic ends of it as well as the gaining
knowledge of law. Do you think that was any different then?
S: Some of the students who had relatives who were lawyers, I think, were attracted
to it for that reason. Others liked the prestige that they thought lawyers held. I
do not believe during my time that anyone was thinking about the remuneration
in the practice of law. Or money-making....
J: What do you think was on their minds, and on your mind? Did it excite you?
S: I always feld that it would be worthwhile regardless of what I did in the practice,
that it would be helpful to me in any line of work. I have always had a strong
feeling for the business world, and I just thought thatthe law would work well with
that if I were involved in business or if I just stayed with the practice of law.
Now, to get started in law, unless you are an exceptional case, is slow and a lot
of people do not have the patience to stay with it. It is really a three- to five-year
period beforeyou know whether you like it, whether you want to stay with it or not.
J: Does it take that long to build up a clientele?
S: Yes, it does. I would not recommend anyone now going into the practice of law
to go on their own right out of law school. I think it would be unwise. It costs
too much to set up an office, and besides, law is so specialized that you cannot
be a general practitioner and know all the subjects that you are going to be
J: What became your specialty in law?
S: I would say the civil side, mainly in real property, wills and the administration of
J: Did you see that emerging when you were in law school?
S: No, I could not.
J: What did you see?
S: Well, I think I was like a lot of other people who were thinking of the trial side, the
spectacular side. The criminal side. I learned early that I did not care for the
S: You get too involved emotionally. It is very time consuming. Of course there
was no money in it whatsoever when I started out. But I highly recommend
some criminal trial experience to any lawyer, regardless of what he will eventually
J: Is that where the leading edge of law is?
S: Well, in this day and time everyone who is involved in any criminal act hasa
lawyer. I am not opposed to the pubic defender set-up at all, but we had nothing
like it when I started out. The only time when anyone would be given a lawyer
was in a first-degree murder case.
J: If they were charged with a lesser offense, what were the legal avenues available
S: Somebody would come forward and volunteer to assist them, or they would just
have to make the arrangements to hire somebody, or go to trial without counsel.
J: Pretty bleak.
S: It was.
J: When was that changed? When was the public defender system put into play?
S: It came into being after the adoption of Article V. I do not know when that was
now, but probably sometime in the 1960s. It has not been in existence too long.
But that is an office where there are many opportunities for lawyers now.
J: It opens up the job market tremendously.
S: The public defenders, the state attorneys, the legal aides for the Supreme Court,
the Court of Appeal, every state agency has a lawyer or several. The Attorney
General's Office. There are just so many openings now thatnobody dreamed of
back then in the 1930s. When I got out of school, unless you went to work for a
bank, or you had an established firm to work for, you did not get paid. You could
find a place where you could work for experience. I never made any money
practicing law for the first year at all, just worked for experience.
J: Now, there were several women in law school when you were there. Katherine
Walton graduated in 1936. Do you remember her at all?
S: I do not remember her by that name. I remember Margaret Edwards.
S: I had known her up here at school and her brother was an Alpha Tau Omega
with me. She was from Lakeland. And there was a woman there and I cannot
remember her name, but she was before Margaret.
J: Lucille Cairns? [Lucille Cairns George, University of Florida College of Law, class
of 1940] Today her last name is George. And there was Rosa Parks.
S: I do not recognize the names. I am sorry.
J: That is okay.
S: What is her first name again?
S: Clara Floyd. [Clara Floyd Gehan, University of Florida College of Law, class of
1933] Her husband grew up here. I think Clara was from Gainesville, and he
went to school down there. That is where they got together. She was ahead of
J: I think 1933 is when she graduated.
S: Clarence TeSelle's daughter Jeanette came along maybe right after I got out of
school, but I remember her. But this lady that was there I remember worked in a
law firm, had been there many, many years and came from somewhere down in
the southern part of the state. Her dress was dark clothes and about
ankle-length skirts. I have often wondered what happened to her. I wish I could
remember her name, but she kept to herself and appeared to be a very neat sort
J: How old was she?
S: I would not have any idea. Of course, we were all all about twenty-one,
twenty-two along that time.
J: She would have fallen in the same age bracket then? She was not in her thirties
S: I think she was much older than that.
S: Now, we had a person in our class that came from Maryland. He had been an
established lawyer there, and he took some courses out there in order to prepare
for the Bar. I cannot remember his name.
J: Well, you have already remembered a bunch of them today, so you are allowed
to forget a couple.
S: Harry Shad, that is his name. I doubt if Harry is living now.
J: When you did graduate, were you aware that you were not going to make much
money in the first couple of years?
S: Yes, I was.
J: There was no misunderstanding about that?
J: Now, lawyers at that time were granted the diploma privilege. I think that
changed about 1956 or 1957. Tell me how you went about earning that diploma
privilege or obtaining the privilege.
S: That diploma privilege was granted to the University of Florida, Stetson and
Miami in order to encourage students to attend law school. It was a means of
encouraging the build-up of the school, and I was grateful for it. I would have
hated to have to take the Bar examination by myself. Then the legislature
changed it sometime, I cannot remember, but you had to be enrolled by a certain
time in order to get into that last class. We had a friend of mine here, Ed Hill,
got in, I think, in summer school in order to qualify for the diploma privilege.
[Edward J. Hill, University of Florida College of Law, class of 1954]
J: I bet that really compelled some people to enroll.
S: Well, it did. They had to make up their minds on whether they were going to get
in or not.
J: What motions did you have to go through to get that diploma privilege? Did you
have to go to Tallahassee here to take a test or were you on the Bar?
S: No, you graduated from law school and were interviewed by the chairman of the
board of law examiners there at the university. He took us one at a time and we
had a little conversation, and when you were awarded your diploma then
automatically you received the certificate you needed to practice law in Florida.
When I was in high school, way back in junior high, I worked as the assistant to
Mr. G. T. Whitfield when they gave the bar examination. He was clerk of the
supreme court and also the secretary of the board of law examiners. I would put
out the pen and ink and be around as a handyman. The exam was always given
here and it was given in the old house chamber in the state capitol, so I was
acquainted with a number of the lawyers who were chairmen of that board. The
man who interviewed me when I graduated from law school was Mr. Neil
Ferguson from Ocala, and he, at that time, was chairman of the board of law
examiners and had been on the board and I had known him several years
before. Another chairman that I knew quite well was Judge Roy Chapman from
Lake City who was a law partner of the late Governor Fred Cone [Frederick P.
Cone, Governor of the State of Florida, 1937-1941] He later was appointed to
the Supreme Court of Florida by Governor Cone. He is not living now. I kenw a
little about the giving of the examination, but I am mighty happy that I had the
J: Are you familiar with the procedure for appointments to the Florida Board of Bar
S: No, I am not, but I do see published requests for people to apply for the job when
a vacancy comes up. I think back in my time it was just another board that the
governor filled whenever a vacancy occurred. It had to be somebody willing to
serve on it because back at that time, the board members had to examine the
J: Looking back over the years since you have graduated and watching changes
in the law and changes in the way we train lawyers, what do you see that are
good changes and what do you think should not have been changed?
S: Well, the law profession has become like others, highly specialized, and I think it
will get more specialized as time goes on. I think that is one of the biggest
changes that has taken place, and I do not see how it could be avoided or can be
avoided now. It is more or less a necessity, and the reason I say that is
because of the problems of malpractice. No one is immune now from a lawsuit,
whether they are a doctor, lawyer, or whatnot, if he is guilty of malpractice, he is
going to be sued. Now, one of the changes that has taken place, and this is just
my own opinion, is that lawyers are prone to file lawsuits and then talk to see if a
settlement can be reached. I always liked the procedure of talking first and
following a lawsuit as a last resort.
J: That is a real shift.
S: The lawyers, because there are so many and time is so limited, do not have the
personal relationship that we had when I started in the practice. You would not
think of filing a lawsuit without talking to a person's lawyer, or you would not think
about doing anything that affected another lawyer without talking to him about it.
Without breaching anything, in confidence of course. Now, while I am on the
subject, my pet peeve right now is with the secretaries of the lawyers who throw
up a shield around them and protect them from anyone that might want to call
them. Now, I have always gone by the policy that if a lawyer wants to talk to me,
I will talk to him regardless of what I am doing, even if I am talking to a client. I
will tell him what I am doing and he will understand that. That is not the way it
works now. You may or may not get a return call from a lawyer during the
course of a day or maybe never get one. He is always in conference with a
client or he is out this and that. It just galls the hell out of me, if you want to
know the truth about it. I do nothave to put up with it now, because I am not
engaged in the practice. But that is one of my pet peeves, and if I had to tell
young lawyers or beginning lawyers one thing, they ought to pay attention to calls
from lawyers because there is no better friend to a young lawyer than an older
J: When did you see this shift in the philosophy of law practice?
S: I think it is mainly because of economic conditions and the competitiveness
J: Can you place your finger on a time?
S: No, I cannot. It was well established when I quit active practice at the end of
1979. It was not too long before that. I would say certainly in the beginning of
the 1970s. Of course, the number of lawyers has grown tremendously in the
state the last twenty years. Now, another thing that is going on and is
happening here, every lawyers' law firm in Florida is establishing an office in
Tallahassee. Holland and Knight moved up here first, I believe, and I was on the
same floor with them. They had a suite maybe of a half a dozen offices. Well,
now they have got a whole floor of the Barnett Bank Building. The Louis State
Bank Building which was built and not half occupied for a long time is now full,
and it has law firms from Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, etc.
S: And Miami; they are all here.
S: Because of state government, and because the legislature meets every year, and
because of the supreme court also. Another thing that has changed
substantially in this took place probably twenty years ago, is the appellate
practice that Tallahassee lawyers pretty much had to themselves.They lost it
because of the rapid means of transportation. Lawyers from Miami could come
up here on a plane and argue their case before the supreme court and go back.
They could come up the night before and go back the next afternoon, whereas
before that, a Tallahassee lawyer would handle that appeal. He would not
necessarily prepare the briefs, but he might prepare some. That is due to rapid
transportation, airplanes, etc.
J: Now, you are pretty active with the law college alumnus association. What
changes do you see in the curriculum that the students have now and the way
they are trained that is different from what you remember and learned in
S: Well, I do not know how much emphasis is being given to the so-called
environmental law, but it seems to me that probably is just in its infancy. It is
important now, but it is going to be even more important as far as Florida is
concerned because of the increasing population. We just cannot control it. I do
not think there is any way we can control people moving into Florida. And yet,
as much as I dislike all of the regulations about the environment, it is just
inevitable. We already on that fine line between protecting the environment and
taking somebody's property without just compensation.
J: It really is close.
S: There are going to be many, many lawsuits and it will be a whole new field of law
in that regard. I do not think it has happened yet. I do not believe there have
been many cases, but they are going to come.
J: You worked with and for Spessard Holland [Spessard Lindsay Holland, Governor
of the State of Florida, 1941-1945; U.S. Senator from Florida, 1946-1970] for
quite a number of years. When he had his law offices, do you remember if he
hired solely University of Florida law graduates or did he cater to other state
institutions and out-of-state too?
S: Well, when I first met Holland, he was practicing in Bartow. I met him at the
university because he was an Alpha Tau Omega like I was. Also, I got
acquainted with him in 1933 when he served in the state senate the same time
my father served. His law firm in Bartow back at that time consisted of three
people. I do not recall that one of the members went to the University of Florida.
I think he had studied law and passed the exam himself. But before the great
expansion took place in his firm, I would say that all of the lawyers were
graduates of the University of Florida. Now, I think it just happened that way. I
do not think there was any design to do that. He was very close to the
university. He had been president of the alumni association. The great
expansion of his firm took place after McRae joined the firm following World War
J: What was your role with Spessard?
S: My role was all in the political field. I never was a part of his law firm.
J: Did you ever want to be?
S: No. He asked me that question one time, and I could not leave Tallahassee. I
could not re-establish myself in Polk County. I had too much up here to take
care of. Otherwise it would have been an attractive setup. He ran for governor
in 1940. There were eleven candidates in that race. I just thought it would be a
good idea to make a contact with him because I thought he would win. He was
an outstanding individual, and it would broaden my knowledge of Florida to be
associated with him. So I volunteered to travel with him during that campaign,
and he accepted the invitation. It was really made through Ralph Davis, who
was his campaign manager and who was my good friend and lives here. Ralph
is a graduate of the school of journalism down in Florida and is one of the first
distinguished graduates that they honored here a couple of years ago. His
picture is in the school somewhere down there; I have not seen it. So I spent
about six months with Holland in that campaign in 1940, and he won.
J: What do you do during a campaign? You travel?
S: I drove the car.
J: You drove the car?
S: I drove the car and distributed literature and handled the sound truck, to be sure
it was informed of our schedule. In other words, just a handyman who took care
of hotel reservations whenever we had to make them; usually our friends took
care of that. I took care of getting the luggage into the car and getting it out. In
other words, whatever needed to be done.
J: All the practical problems.
S: I did it and we got by. We traveled about 50,000 miles. Back in those days you
did not have anything but two-lane highways in the state, and we traveled all the
way from Pensacola to Key West.
J: Good night!
S: We were through in June of 1940, but he did not take office until January of
1941. So I came back here and got back into the practice of law in a limited
J: Well, you had only been in practice for about a year.
S: Actually about eleven months. I left here in January of 1940, and I got out of
school in February, so it was just about eleven months. And then the war was
coming on. We all knew that. I had a reserve commission and knew that I was
going to be called, but I did not know when. He appointed me to the state race
commission composed of five members representing the old five congressional
districts in the state. I was a member representing the district from Pensacola
through Jefferson County and also I was named the secretary, which was
executive secretary because I handled the daily affairs at the office in Miami, so I
went down there. Our racing back at that time all took place more or less in the
winter months, so we were through by about the middle of April and the racing
did not start again until November. One year before I went into the military
J: In that appointment, did you think that the appointment would keep you from
serving in the military? Was that at all in your mind?
S: No. It was just a stop gap. While I was in Miami, I got a telegram calling me to
active duty to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, not long after Pearl Harbor. I was in
Miami when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
J: How did you first hear about the bombing?
S: On the radio. I could not believe it, but it came over enough times that Ifinally
did believe it.
J: What were your thoughts? Obviously disbelief, but...
S: That is right. All that we had read in the newspapers before this indicated that
there was still contact with the Japanese ambassador and other representatives.
I think the secretary of state was talking to the Japanese representative just a
few days before.
J: Did you call Spessard and tell him that you had been called?
S: Yes, yes, there was not any surprise because we all knew that I was going to get
called sooner or later.
S: There just was not any way to avoid it. I could have gone in and volunteered
because they were taking officers, but I just did not see any need to do that. So
I went in in January of 1942 and served almost four years, just six days short of
four years. I went into the artillery, the same branch of service that I had a
commission in, and went overseas to the Pacific area and was in three major
campaigns: Guam, the Philippines, and Okinawa with the 77th Infantry Division.
J: Did you witness any of the massive kamikaze attacks at Okinawa?
S: I did in the Philippines. We had no air opposition on the Guam operation. The
navy had eliminated any air opposition there mainly because they had caught
most of the Japanese planes on the ground. The planes and aircraft carriers
had pretty well shot them up. But on the island of Leyte, which is in the central
Philippines, I saw quite an area of battle there, there were really two. By the
way, Admiral Halsey is responsible for the invasion of the Philippines rather than
island hopping from the southwest Pacific, because he made a personal
reconnaissance in a plane and did not find any real obstructions along the
beaches at Leyte. They have some beaches over there that are not exactly up
to what we have in Daytona or Panama City, but they are wide, sandy, and you
can ride right up and lower a landing craft and walk out on dry land. So he
recommended that the invasion go into there, and that is what happened. A
number of those islands which we had plans for to the south, the Japs just left
there shortly after the invasion started. I saw at one time in the air operations on
the west side of the island of Leyte, seven Japanese planes that had been shot
down by U.S. planes going down at the same time. It was just unbelievable.
There you are standing on the edge of the beach and this air warfare is just going
on out there like a moving picture, and the reason for it was because our ships,
they were going after the ships in that harbor.
Okinawa was more like what I would say conventional warfare because it
was a pretty good-sized island with rolling terrain and you had identifiable lines of
resistance there. Whereas on the smaller islands you had Japs all around. It
was very hard because of the terrain and the vegetation to have any fixed front
line, so to speak. But Okinawa was different. It was more conventional, and it
was really the last main effort that the Japsput up, and it was fought very strongly
by the Japs. We had picket ships smaller than the destroyer type, 120 miles off
the coast of Okinawa, and when a plane went up from Japan, they could pick it
up. Their radar could pick it up. That line of ships were under attack every time
those planes came over on the way to Okinawa, and they took some heavy
J: One of the more obvious questions I have about that is did you have the
opportunity to be in the legal branch of the service?
S: Not overseas. I served on a general court here, and then I served on a special
court. I was an artillery battery commander for a while. A commander back at
that time had a summary court authority where you could administer certain
penalties for violations by men under your control. The next higher court was a
special court. It had three members of that court and it would handle more
severe offenses. I served on all the courts, and on the general court, I was just
a member of that. But that is the only exposure I had to the legal aspect. I
never had any opportunity to go into the Judge Advocate Corps until after the
war. I did not consider it seriously, though.
J: After you returned from the Second World War, you again served some time with
S: Yes. He was exploring the possibility in the middle 1940s, 1946, of running for
the United States Senate. At that time, in the Senate from Florida were Claude
Pepper [Claude Pepper, U.S. Senator from Florida, (1937-1951), and Florida
congressman in United States House of Representatives, 18th District,
1962-present] and Senator Charles O. Andrews [Charles O. Andrews, U.S.
Senator from Florida, 1937-1946]. Holland would run against Andrews.
Senator Andrews' health was not good, so he made it known in September of
that year that he was not going to run for re-election. That freed Senator
Holland. I got back, after I was separated from the army at Fort Jackson, in
Columbia, South Carolina, on the eleventh of November, 1945, and I went to
Bartow and started setting upa campaign office for Holland to run for the United
States Senate. Then early in 1946, Ralph Davis, who was in the military service,
got out and came to Bartow to run the office down there, and again I traveled
J: Same procedure?
S: I did about the same thing that I had done previously in 1940, and bear in mind
that there was no television carrying this Florida campaign. Television was just
coming in 1946. There was very little TV. We used a lot of radio. That
campaign worked out successfully. That gave me several months during 1946,
and I came back here and did not get involved in the practice because I was
getting reacquainted with my family and also considering going to Washington. I
did decide to go up there, and in the meantime Senator Andrews died in
September of 1946, and Governor Caldwell [Millard F. Caldwell, Jr., Governor of
the State of Florida, 1945-1949] appointed Senator Holland for that unexpired
term, from September to January. I went to Washington in December of 1946
and left there in January of 1953 after the Eisenhower inauguration. I came
back here and went into practice with my brother-in-law, James C. Gwynn, whom
I mentioned earlier. He went back in office as county judge of Leon County after
four years and I continued to practice by myself. Right on up until the time I quit
J: Did you ever consider taking any partners or associates?
S: No, I did not. My father was not well when I came back in 1953. He died in
1959. I just had too many family responsibilities. It would not have been fair to
have somebody, so I just continued to practice by myself. When he died I had
even more responsibilies, and we were able to hold on toour properties and
gradually sell some of them off. By 1978, I knew I had cataracts on both eyes,
and it was just a question of when I would have to have an operation. So, I had
two operations, one on each eye in 1979 about six months apart. That pretty
well wound me up as far as being active in the practice of law.
J: How successful were the operations?
S: Very good. I do not have the implants but rather the soft contact lens. One
lens can stay in my eye indefinitely, and the other one I take out every night and
clean it. The one that stays in indefinitely is the kind that is very fragile, but it
does not cut off oxygen from your eye. That is the reason it can stay in. The
other one needs to come out to give your eye a rest, but I do not have any
problems with it. I do have to replace them about every nine months or twelve
months, just depending, you never know when they will give out or when calcium
will form around the edges that will irritate your eye, and then you have to replace
them. But I go to the eye clinic at Shands an average of about every six months
for acheck-up. I need to go down there now. Sometime between now and the
first of the year.
J: How long were you in Washington?
S: Six years.
J: A good long while. What were some of the strains on your family life?
S: Well, when I went to Washington, I was not married. My future wife was hired
by Senator Holland to help in the senatorial campaign. She is from Bartow, and
that is how I met her. She went to Washington with him when he began serving
that unexpired term in September 1946. My mother and father were real active
at that time and everything was going all right with them. So, there was not
really any pressing need for me to be here. Erin Clark and I got married in 1948.
We continued to work for Senator Holland until the end of his first term. We did
not know what kind of opposition, if any, he would have. So we just thought it
best to stay on there until the end of his first term and then make our move to
return to Florida. The reason I had to leave was because my father got sick in
1950 and there was not much choice. I was enjoying it up there and liked it and
felt like I was doing a creditable job. I came very close to getting Potomac fever.
J: What is that?
S: Well, Potomac fever is a kind of expression. When you get Potomac fever you
get so that you do not want to leave Washington anymore. You get the feeling
that it is the only place in the world, and whatever you are doing, you are the
most important person there is, no one else can do it as well as you. That is
Potomac fever. [Laughter]
J: With a bad case of that, you are in trouble.
S: That is right. Oh, when we got back here in Tallahassee, Dan McCarty [Daniel
T. McCarty, Governor of the State of Florida, 1953] had been elected governor.
I had known Dan since 1933. He was at the university the same time I was. He
asked my wife to be his personal secretary, so she went to work for him in the
governor's office. About the early part of September of 1953 he died in office, as
you may know. He served about nine months and then Senator Charley Johns
[Charley Johns, Acting Governor of the State of Florida, 1953-1955], who was
the president of the senate, took over during that interim period. She was not in
the governor's office then. She got out, and LeRoy Collins [Leroy Collins,
Governor of the State of Florida, 1955-1961] was elected governor for the
unexpired term and then later for a full term. He served a total of about six
years, and she worked for him the entire six years. Then my law secretary
decided to go back to school and get a degree, so my wife came and worked for
me for about fourteen years until we closed up. Since we do not have an office
and keep regular hours, she says we do not leave the work there any more, "It is
here at home." It stays with us all the time whatever we do. We only take care
of our personal business.
J: Where was your office?
S: In the Barnett Bank building. Well, at first it was across from the courthouse in
the Dometree building, which now houses a law firm from Jacksonville. The
state realtors had space downtstairs. But when the Barnett Bank building was
finished, we moved over there. Some of the people that I have known in public
life were Florida graduates, like Dan McCarty and of course, his brother, John
McCarty. John and I were freshmen together. We started in 1933. While I
was a freshman, Charlie Bennett was a senior on campus and was president of
the student body. And I mentioned Billy Matthews before. Billy was there
before he went to the congress. Chesterfield Smith was in Bartow as a lawyer in
the Holland firm in 1958 when I managed Holland's 1958 senate campaign. It
was the first summertime campaign.
Claude Pepper, who was defeated by George Smathers for the United
States Senate, decided to run against Holland. So, we had a rather active
campaign there in a short period of time. Holand called me in June of 1958 and
asked me to come to Bartow and open an office and manage his campaign,
which I did. I was president of the University of Florida AlumniAssociation at that
time. Leland Hiatt was the executive secretary of the association. I went to
Bartow the latter part of June and set up an office. That campaign was
conducted during those hot summer months and was all over in September. It
was a hard-fought campaign because Pepper was a very formidable opponent.
It was hot and rainy and television was getting to be a more prominent part, but
anyway, it ended up successfully. I came on back here and started back where I
left off in the practice of law.
J: In the mid-sixties, the law school offered the option of a retroactive Juris Doctor
degree. Did you take part in that?
J: What did you think about that?
S: I do not know. I do not know what the answer is. At first, they asked you to
turn in your old diplomas, which I did and then they sent them back. So I do not
know that it makes any difference to me. It was more or less automatic.
Seems to me maybe it gives you a little more prestige to have that kind of
designation behind your degree. It looked to me like it indicated more of a
post-graduate degree than just an academic four-year degree. I cannot answer
your question. I do not know.
J: There were some people who graduated with the Juris Doctor with the original
class. A few of those expressed some measure of disappointment and maybe a
little bit of short-lived animosity about that because they felt that they had earned
that, they had worked extra hard to earn that Juris Doctor. Did you hear any of
those kinds of rumbles?
S: No, I did not. I just thought that everyone that had graduated down there was
entitled to it.
J: Yes. I think they did change the designation from a bachelor of law to a Juris
Doctor to give it a professionalized sense. Well, I have talked little and I think
you have talked a lot and I have enjoyed listening to you. Is there anything that
comes to mind that you would like to say to wrap this up?
S: The last activity that I was involved in for Senator Holland was when Claude Kirk
[Claude Kirk, Governor of the State of Florida 1967-1971] decided he would run
for the United States Senate. I headed up a finance committee of one man, and
I was the man. I was not the campaign treasurer,but I was the person that knew
most of his friends, and the feeling was that I could approach them better than
somebody they did not know. Well, you know, that kind of talk is used for
persuasion. But anyway I did not have to go anywhere. I did all my work by
telephone from Tallahassee.
Senator Holland was a great individual. One of the greatest persons that
ever served in public life in this state. I do not think he will ever get the
recognition that he deserves, mainly because he was not the kind of person who
sought a lot of publicity. He had a great mind and he had one of those that
could perceive things and was a great one for solving problems. Especially in
the government. His knowledge and intelligence ranked up there with senators
like Senator Taft [Robert Alphonso Taft, U.S. Senator from Ohio, 1939-1952] and
Vandenberg [Arthus H. Vandenberg, U.S. Senator from Michigan, 1928-1957],
Senator Russell [Richard B. Russell, U.S. Senator from Georgia, 1933-1971] and
others who were recognized nationally. He had the distinction in the United
States Senate of being really the number one senator in agriculture because he
served on the agriculture committee and was chairman of one of the key
subcommittees where legislation was formulated. Also, he was chairman of the
subcommittee of the senate appropriations committee that handled the
appropriations for agriculture. He was making the basic law on one hand and
appropriating the money on the other hand. He was highly regarded by the
state of California agricultural interests, and in fact, they referred to him as the
third senator. Of course, he was a tremendous help to Florida because of his
knowledge of the state. He was undoubtedly as well informed as anyone I have
ever come in contact with about Florida from Pensacola to Key West.
J: That is a lot of territory.
S: We could ride through the state and could remember what took place in a certain
area, like an Indian war or something during the Civil War. You name it, he
knew it, and of course serving in the state legislature and as governor just
broadened his knowledge.
J: Do you think he made his most gains as a governor or as a senator?
S: I think that probably he was best as a legislator. And yet, while he wasgovernor
he did something that got this state on the road to recovery. If it had not been
done, it would have been years working out. He worked out a payment plan for
the bonded indebtedness, particularly in the lower part of the state. There were
any number of drainage districts that were in default, and other projects that had
been bonded had fallen by the wayside because of the boom collapse in the
1920s and things of that kind. He was able to work that out with certain
payments that were set up from gasoline taxes. The holder of those old bonds
would not come into Florida for fear of being served with lawsuits, so Governor
Holland went up to Thomasville, Georgia, and met with a group and finally
worked out some compromises that would eventually settle that indebtedness.
It really was the beginning of the prosperity of Florida, because until those bonds
were paid off, the state would not have moved on until some means were made
available to pay the bonds off. The property owners could not pay them off.
J: When did he pass away?
S: I believe it was in 1972.
J: And how many terms in the senate did he serve?
S: He served about twenty-four years. I think he served four terms, plus the
unexpired term of Senator Andrews of about four months. I heard about his
death on the radio at night when I was returning from Jacksonville after going to
a Georgia-Florida football game. His wife was waiting for him to get dressed.
They were going out that evening. She went in his room and found him, just
J: Where did he die?
S: In his home in Bartow.
J: He was in Bartow?
S: Yes. It was a heart attack.
J: Was he holding an office at the time?
S: No, he had already retired and had moved back to Bartow.
J: Was he practicing law or was he totally retired?
S: He was a counsel, I think, to his law firm. They provided him with an office.
What he was doing mainly was gathering material to write a book. He spent a
lot of time making an outline of a book he wanted to write about Florida, but he
just kept putting it off and never got to it.
J: That is easy to do.
S: He had an outstanding collection of Floridiana books of all kinds about Florida,
some very old. He was always collecting books that had anything to do with
J: Did you have many chances to visit him in Bartow after his retirement?
S: We always visited with him during Christmastime because Erin's people
liveddown there. His oldest daughter lived up here at the time, so between the
two places, we would see him several times during the year, even when he was
J: I see your seventieth birthday is almost upon you.
S: Yes, on December 3, 1984, I will be seventy.
J: How do you feel?
S: I feel great.
J: You look good.
S: I cannot believe it, but anyway, that is the truth.
J: Well, I hope I look as good at seventy years old as you do.
S: Thank you. I enjoyed the forty-fifth reunion of my class of 1939 last May, and
we had about half of those people that I read off earlier. There is a member of
our class in Gainesville, Covington Johnston [E. Covington Johnston, University
of Florida College of Law, class of 1939], who is in the Erwin Clayton [Erwin
Americus Clayton, University of Florida College of Law, class of 1924] firm, and I
expect he is about the senior member of it now.
J: I talked with him two weeks ago, and I can look at that name plate on the building
and I cannot tell you if it is Johnston and Clayton or Clayton and Johnston.
S: Well, there has been some change in that firm. I am not sure what it is.
J: It still carries that name.
S: It probably is Clayton and Johnston, because Harry Duncan was in that firm,but
he died several years ago.
J: I do not know of him.
S: Are you going to talk to Judge Adkins [Hon. James C. Adkins, Jr., University of
Florida College of Law, class of 1936] tomorrow?
S: Of course, he grew up in Gainesville and he knows all of the people down there.
He had a very active career in the law. He is a very capable person. He is not
only a writer, but he is a good judge. He was a prosecutor at one time down
there. His father when I was going to school was state attorney for the judicial
J: He was a court reporter as I understand it before he began law school.
S: Is that right?
J: And in fact that, according to Bill Goza, is why he was such a good student.
Able to take notes so quickly and thoroughly. Have you written any books?
J: Do you contribute to the Law Review or write law articles?
J: What are your hobbies today?
S: Yard work.
J: You have got some beautiful azaleas out there.
S: I am interested in golf, but not enough to be dedicated to it. I am handicapped
by my eyesight a little bit, but I do enjoy the game. I do not play too often, but
here in the last several months I have been trying to do a little practice, how well I
keep it up, I do not know. But I need a seeing-eye person when I play for
several reasons. One is that the golf ball does not always stay in the fairway,
and then I cannot follow the ball in flight. I just cannot see it. The glare, and
one thing or another. I just cannot see it when it comes down.
J: I suspect that is more than just frustrating.
S: Well, it means that I cannot get out there by myself except on a driving range,
and then it does not matter.
J: That is right.
S: If I could follow the ball in flight and see about where it went down, then would
not need anyone to play with. I could at least try by myself. That is not much
fun, but it would be a possibility, but I cannot do that.I play maybe anywhere from
six to twelve times a year, and that is not very much.
J: No, not enough to be serious about it.
S: No, it sure is not. I just cannot get serious about it because I feel like I ought to
be doing other things.
J: Yes. How much time do you devote to garden work and azalea trimming and
S: That is a good question.
J: Does it take most of your time?
S: I would say, well for example, yesterday afternoon I worked an hour and a half.
I would say anywhere from three to six hours a week.
J: Pretty good therapy for your body and your mind?
S: Oh, yes, it is.
J: Tell me a little bit about the history of this area [Tallahassee] and how the name
came to be South Ride and North Ride?
S: This property was owned by a family named Parker. They had about 300 acres
up here, and when they first came down here from up North it was all woods.
They named it South Ride because it was an area where they rode horses, and
North Ride likewise. Another street back directly behind us is Vinnedge. I do
not know how they got that name.
J: I found it to be a little confusing when I picked up my road map. I looked for
Ride Avenue, and that was my mistake.
S: Yes, that is right.
J: I should have looked for South Ride, and finally I saw that that had to be the only
S: I should have told you more about it on the telephone, but I did not.
J: Well, I talked to Dean Lindgren about it. He remembered being here, but he
was not crystal clear on the directions. Steve Aton was not in the office for me
to talk with him. He had been here three of four weeks ago, as I understand.
S: If you travel 1-10 it would be very simple. Get off 1-10 and come down
Thomasville Road and turn right on South Ride.
J: That is right.
S: Do you have any preference whenever you travel 1-75, 1-10 or through Cross City
J: I did not take the Cross City/Perry route. It was late last night and I had been up
early in the morning, so I thought being on a big safe highway would be a better,
S: Then you came in on 1-10 and got off at Thomasville Road and came in here and
went through all that construction--you saw all the construction that is going on.
J: I got off on the first exit and I believe it is called....
S: I cannot remember a picture being taken in cap and gown now.
J: You do not remember that.
S: It was, there it is. Pinkerton, I mentioned him earlier.
J: He is from Howey-in-the-Hills.
S: Yes, that is where he grew up, but he went directly to Sarasota and has been
down there since that time. He is a lawyer and he got involved in banking in the
Southwest Florida Banks. He was vice-Chairman of the Board there and within
the last year they merged with Landmark Banks, which are on the east coast, Ft.
Lauderdale area. I do not know where he fits into that picture now, because
Landmark was the surviving bank.
J: There were several Landmark banks in Tampa when I was there three years
ago. I am not sure if that was before the merger.
S: Well, the merger was in the last year.
J: So that was before.
S: Now, here is a picture of Leonard Pepper. Leonard had the highest scholastic
rating in the 1933 Business Administration class. We started at the University of
J: He was in the same program as you, in that business/law combined program?
S: He has been very successful. He is also a certified public accountant as well as
a lawyer. I do not know that he practices as a CPA.
J: But you say most of these people are alive today.
S: Most of them. Now, Seldon Waldo is gone. He was an outstanding person in
just every way. He was president of the national Jaycees after he got out of law
school. He had kidney problems. I do not know when it started, at a very
young age, and he was not qualified for the military. He died a long time ago.
J: Seldon looks a little older than most of the people pictured there. Is that the
S: I think so.
J: He was from Gainesville?
S: Yes, he was. Now, here is Harold Tannen. I cannot think of his son's first
name, but he was truly an outstanding football player. Here is Wade Hampton.
J: He is just out of the hospital from an operation.
S: Oh, is that right?
J: I have yet to talk with him since then. In fact, I could not talk to him. His wife
would not let me talk with him.
S: I am sorry to hear that. He was our class representative. He kind of headed up
the group that was down there for the forty-fifth reuion.
J: He is supposed to be quite an historian from what I hear. Keeps up with the
developments in Gainesville.
S: I imagine so. Here is a picture of Bob Barton. Now, George Baughman was
president of the new college. Are you familiar with that?
J: St. Petersburg. No, Sarasota. I am sorry.
S: Sarasota, yes.
J: That is part of the University of South Florida system.
S: I do not know whether he is still in that position or not. But he was.
J: That was one of our rival schools. I am a graduate of South Florida.
S: This fellow, Pat Hyman, had a tragic ending. He was in the air force in World
War II and caught a ride from Montgomery down to Tampa. The planewent
down off the coast and they never have found it. Here is Covington Johnston
right there. There is David Kerns.
J: Now, Covington's mother ran a rooming house in Gainesville for a number of
S: This fellow is not living, I know that. Jim Moody was a circuit judge for years
over there in Hillsborough County circuit. He is from Plant City. He is retired.
This fellow is not living, Joe Moran.
J: You had a rather sizeable class. Fifty people? Not quite.
S: Probaby not all of the pictures are there. I do not know if everybody had a
picture in there.
J: No, there are only the two pages.
S: Here, Guyte P. McCord, Jr. is my next-door neighbor right there.
J: How is he doing?
S: He is enjoying retirement. He has not missed it a day.
J: That is wonderful to hear about how people enjoy retirement.
S: Busy as a bee. Jack Harris is quite active. Do you remember Lucille? Picture
at the top right. She was a Gainesville girl born and raised right here. I think
so, but I do not believe that I ever knew her very well.
J: Never in any classes that you remembered?
S: No, I do not. There is a picture of George Young. George and I are longtime
friends. I have not seen him in a long time, but he came up to Washington the
same time I did and worked for Senator George Smathers. He went to
Jacksonville from there and started the practice of law.
J: He was in Blue Key and you were a Blue Key vice-president, I believe, in 1938.
S: Yes, my last semester. Bob Barton was president, and the vice-president was
Spencer Burress, who lives here. He quit school during the early part of that
semester to work in Tallahassee, and I was elected soon after that and served
until February when I graduated.
J: Boy, they had a quick turnover on presidents didn't they?
J: Did you all have a Gator Growl at that time?
S: Oh, yes.
J: Did you have the fireworks like they do today?
S: Nothing like that.
J: I know you did not have the skits like they do today.
S: Here is a picture of Jeanette TeSelle.
J: Yes, she is pictured here.
S: I do not know whatever happened to her. Have you heard?
J: No, I have not. I would like to find out.
S: Well, here is an old picture of Goza.
J: Bill, yes.
S: Yes, and right next to him is Al Graessle. He died not long ago. He served in
Jacksonville as a circuit judge for a long time.
J: Bill is still quite a talker in my estimation. He seems to be the type to be a
practical joker, to cut up a little bit.
S: Well, I do not know. Tell me what is Goza really doing? Is he practicing law or
does he have an office or is he just....
J: He is at the Florida State Museum right down the hall from where I work, and his
responsibilities are supporting recruiting funds for the museums through his
contacts. I cannot be any more precise than that because he is just that vague
S: Do you know J. C. Dickinson?
S: Well, J. C. was in school the same time I was, and he and I were in Alpha Tau
Omega. I was probably two or three years ahead of him.
J: He is retired from the directorship of the museum. He retired in 1979. It has
been a while. That is right.
S: The ATO house was on the corner. This is what we call Messonic Street here.
I think it is Ninth...
[Enter Erin Shelley, wife]
E: It is still Messonic.
S: The administration building is over here, across the street.
J: Oh, Tigert. Yes.
S: This is south. Tigert Building is over here, and this street running east and west
is right here. This house was moved.
J: The Alpha Tau Omega house was moved.
S: This house was moved south to the corner lot. We had acquired that property.
J: Did you do that when you were in school?
S: I was president of the chapter when they moved it, but not during the negotiation
that led up to it.
J: How did you create the funds to do that? Sounds like it would be pretty
S: I remember that.
E: It has been a long time.
S: The Alpha Tau Omega trustees did that, so the present house stands on this
place right here.
E: But that is not the same house.
S: They created a parking area after it was torn down.
J: That is right.
S: But when this house was moved, everything in the contract covered any damage,
except there was no provision to construct a sidewalk.
J: What did you all do? Leave it, let it go?
S: No, Emmet Tally was working at the state road department testing laboratory
where they tested all kinds of road building material and so forth. So, he knew a
little about construction. We got some old boards and built a form and then
picked up some brick and other things to fill in there, and he came up with the
concrete. I do not know where he got it from, and I did not ask. We mixed it
right there on the spot.
J: You fraternity people can really put it all together.
S: Poured it in there.
E: Back in those days, they did it. They had ways of doing it.
S: We took a board moving it back and forth to try and level it out, and a black man
came along, he was a brick mason. He had all his tools hanging on his clothes,
and he stood there and watched us shift around. He looked and then he said,
"Can I help you all?" We said, "We do not have any money, but you sure can
help us." So, he got down there and smoothed it out and that was just ten days
before school opened.
E: You are going to have him drag out all of the old albums.
S: No, this is his. See.
E: Oh, well, I thought maybe you had gotten into yours.
S: No, I told him, I did not recognize the outside of his copy of The Seminole, 1939.
E: It looks like yours except different.
S: Yes, I will pull it out in a minute.
E: We will just let him go over there and look at it. Do not drag them all out.
S: Well, I will tell you. I do not have a coy of The Seminole of 1939, I was not there
when this book came out in June. Maybe May.
J: That is right. You have got the blue one for 1938. Is that right?
E: Yes. His has a darker color back on it.
J: Some of these are scarce. I think we have a couple copies of this, but the 1967
one we only have the one.
E: That is unusual.
S: You know it really is odd that this name was placed on this book. I do not know
when, but a long time ago. I never thought of it.
[End of interview]