Interviewee: A. E. Carpenter
Interviewer: Denise Stobbie
Date: February 6, 1986
S: [This is Denise Stobbie. Today is February 6, 1986. I am interviewing A. E.
Carpenter for the University of Florida Oral History Archives.] Let me start by
asking you your full name.
C: Archer Eugene Carpenter.
S: And your city of residence?
C: Orlando, Florida.
S: Your birth date?
C: October 5, 1897.
S: Your birthplace?
C: Roanoke, Virginia.
S: Where were you raised?
C: Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.
S: You were raised in Virginia. How did you come to Florida?
C: My father was a railroad official and he was moved to the Southeast by the
railroads. In other words, it was a matter of food. But we moved first to
Alabama, and then to Florida. In Florida, he was definitely with the railroads
only. He took over a railroad that had a huge mileage of tracks, a total of
forty-two miles, which ran from Tavares to Winter Garden and Clermont in
Orange County. That is what brought me to Florida.
S: Did you ever work with him?
S: You were too young?
C: Well, this was in 1912. I was young.
S: What was your father's name?
C: Charles A. Carpenter.
S: What education did you have before going to the University of Florida?
C: High school education.
S: And where was that?
C: Orlando and Jacksonville.
S: Why both places?
C: Because I lived two of my years in high school in Orlando and then moved to
Jacksonville, where I got my high school degree. From there I went to the
S: When did you first enter the University of Florida?
C: [It was] 1916; I do not remember the exact date. That was the year I graduated
from the high school.
S: So you had a high school diploma?
C: That is right.
S: How did you decide to enter the University?
C: Economics had a lot to do with it. My mother pushed very hard to send me to
Princeton, but I refused to go. I did not have the money. Those boys up there
had the money.
S: What did your parents want you to study?
C: They did not take any position on it and just left it up to me. I entered for an AB
degree, or Bachelor of Arts, whichever you call it, and did not shift over to law
until after two or three years. However, I knew many lawyers and I had a very
close acquaintance with Judge [Robert Spratt] Cockrell, [professor (1919-1941)].
S: Was that before you went to law school?
C: And after.
S: How did you know him before law school?
C: Through the man that I lived next door to in Orlando, Judge T. P. Warlow. He
and Louis C. Massey later took me into their law firm.
S: So, they knew Judge Cockrell?
C: Oh, yes. I found out years later they followed me all the way through high
school and college, telling him what was going on with me.
S: That helped.
C: That helped a lot. I was walking down Orange Avenue one day, and I was still in
college. I met Judge Warlow, and he asked me what I was going to do when I
graduated. I told him I did not know. There was an abstract company in up
state New York that I could have taken over, but I did not like winters there. He
asked, "Would you consider a job in Orlando?" I said, "No, it would not be
considered; if I was offered one, I would grab it."
S: And you did?
C: And I did.
S: That was Judge Warlow?
C: Yes. He was judge of the Criminal Court of Records for many years.
S: When you first came to the University as a freshman, was it a big school?
C: Oh, no, it was a little country school from my standpoint.
S: Had you seen bigger schools?
C: Yes, I had seen the University of Virginia and Princeton University. My finances
would not let me consider either one of them.
S: How did you have the money to go to the University of Florida?
C: I had been working in an abstract office owned by my uncle for a good many
years and that is where the beginning came from. My father paid about half of it.
The other half I scrambled a lot for. No. That is not correct. I did work for a
while at an abstract company in Gainesville, but that is all.
S: When did you enroll in the law school?
C: No way of telling.
S: So, it was two or three years after you enrolled at the University?
S: So, that would have been about 1918?
C: About 1918. By 1917 I had made up my mind to try to get into law school.
S: Why did you want to go to law school?
C: Because my grandfather was a trial judge in upstate New York, under the New
S: And he influenced you?
C: I quizzed him a great deal about my plans when we were fishing the trout
streams in Westfield, New York. He was a big fisherman, and I took after him.
Have you ever heard of how they fish up there? They wear hog nail shoes and
boots and waders, and just wade down the streams fishing for these small
speckled trout. And I did that for many years.
S: And he told you about being a lawyer?
C: We talked about law during those days. We would be sitting out for lunch on a
rock in the middle of the day, and I would quiz him on things. He opened up a
whole lot when he finally realized that I was really serious about wanting to go
into law. He wanted to know where I wanted to practice. I said Florida because
I liked the hot weather.
S: So your grandfather influenced you to go into law.
C: And the fact that I lived next door to Judge T. P. Warlow over here on American
S: How old were you when you were fishing with your grandfather up there?
C: I was anywhere from age six on up to twenty-eight.
S: And about when did you really get interested in law?
C: In the early 1920s. You see, I lived next door to a criminal court judge here in
Orlando. Through him and through my judge grandfather in upstate New York, I
got interested in law.
S: Now, when you entered law school, it was in a big, brick building on University
Avenue. They now call it Bryan Hall. Do you remember that building?
C: I remember the brick building. I took academic early work in a building on
University Avenue. University Avenue goes east and west, I believe.
C: There was a north and south road on the west end of the university property, and
there was a building there that was the law school at that time. First I went to
one they called Language Hall [now Anderson Hall], then I shifted over when I
went to the law school.
S: The law school was pretty new when you enrolled; it had opened in 1909.
C: Well, you see that was a new school then. That was a new building we went
S: Was it nice?
C: Oh, very nice. Of course, it had professors and they were very inquisitive. One
of those professors looked at me one day and yelled at me. [He said,] "I have
spoken to you three times, Mr. Carpenter, and you have paid no mind to me.
What were you doing?" [I said,] "I was watching the loveliest little bird you ever
saw on that limb, right there in the window."
S: What professor was that?
C: Oh, I do not know. It is hard to say.
S: Here are three of them: Cockrell, [Clifford W.] Crandall, [professor (1914-1949],
and [Harry Raymond] Trusler, [dean (1915-1947), professor (1909-1947)].
C: Well, Crandall was my friend. It was either Trusler or Cockrell; I do not
remember. Trusler was the dean at the time that I was there.
S: These are the professors when you were there.
C: I took Crandall and Trusler. Clifford W. Crandall, I think, is the one that I knew.
S: He was the one that was there since 1913.
C: John Howard Moore [professor 1919-1921], when I knew him, was called Miss
S: He was?
C: Because he was so fussy in his ways. So he was known by the college students
as Miss Moore. He knew his law all right, but he was so fussy [that] the boys
had to do something.
S: What did he teach?
C: I could not tell you now; that is too far back. My mind does not retain that much.
S: You are doing fine.
S: Do you remember a professor [named] William Gordon Kline [1920-1923]?
S: Some of these professors were there for only a short time.
C: I knew Dr. Murphree very well, thanks to his oldest daughter.
S: Did he ever teach at the college?
C: Not that I know of. I did not know him except as president of the university and
the father of two girls, one of whom I was very fond. One day we had been to
camp; it was during the World War, and we were in camp north of Atlanta. Now
that the war was over, we went to find out whether we should stay there or
complete school and get our degree, which would mean our commissions in
reserve. There were about eight of us from the University of Florida. We talked
it over together, and one of them piped up, "Gene, it is up to you to call Dr.
Murphree and pay for the call." They laughed and said, "You can talk to the
S: Did you call them?
C: Oh, I called them right then, and we made our decision. We decided to stay
right on at the Camp Gordon north of Atlanta. Dr. Murphree told me: "Gene,
listen. You are missed some more at Jackson Hall. If I were you, I would drop
the whole thing. I will excuse you from any further military work at the university,
and then you can carry a little more academic work and get to where you want to
go." That worked out very nicely, knowing the president's daughters.
S: Were you in the reserve military?
C: I was taken in at the camp at Plattsburg; it was an officers' training camp one
summer long. [We were] not really in the U.S. Army I do not know what it was.
It was a special training division for officers for the army while the war was still
on. From there, I returned to the University. And that summer sport was over.
S: Had you already started law school at that time?
C: Let me think back to when the war was over. I do not remember. I went to the
University in 1916, 1917, [and] 1918. I started my law work in 1919. I might
have still been in the service, but I do not remember. I just told you all these
things. My brain is not big enough.
S: While the war was on, were you in school that whole time, or did you go away
and serve in the military?
C: I spent the summer at Plattsburg, New York.
S: And by the time you entered law school, was the war over?
C: No, I cannot tell you. I was still in college 1916-1917, 1917-1919, 1918-1919. I
went into the military. I got orders that I had to go to camp Gordon in Atlanta,
Georgia, and I was there when the armistice was signed.
S: And then you came back to Gainesville.
C: Then I came back to the University and continued my work on my degrees.
S: Were there many veterans of the war coming back to school?
C: Oh, yes. The school was down to a little fistful [of students]. You would be
surprised at how few there were left at the university. I am guessing that around
200 men were all that were left.
S: During the war.
C: Yes. I was among those that left and I just do not know how low it got, maybe
S: That must have been in 1918.
C: Yes, because the war ended in 1918, but I just do not remember the [exact] date.
S: Now, when you came back to school, were there a lot of other men coming
C: Yes. When I first came back, it was deserted. I was in officers training camp in
Atlanta, and they wanted our space the minute the war was over. They wanted
space for returning, discharged men. So all of us that were in camp at that time
at the end of the war were kicked out just as fast as they could get rid of us
properly so that they would have room. They wanted the camp available for
men who wanted to come back to be discharged there in Atlanta.
S: So you went on back to the University.
C: I went back. Well, of course the war had ended in the early fall, as I remember
it, and Dr. Murphree suggested that a large group was coming back (I called it
large; now it would be considered very small). He suggested we go ahead if we
had things to do, and he said that if we wanted to get [some things]
accomplished and come back at the beginning of the second term, [it would be
fine]. A whole batch of us got together and voted on it, and we decided we
would all go back at the beginning of the second term.
S: And what year would that have been?
C: It was the end of the 1918 or early 1919. [It was] just after Christmas of 1918.
S: And you said it was deserted when you first got back.
C: Oh, yes. I was one of the first to get back because I was right here in Florida,
and it was during Christmas vacation when I got word it was time to come back.
S: When you started up with you classes that winter, how many people were in your
C: I could not possibly remember. It was small to start with, but before January or
February after the end of the war, it was nearly normal. A large percentage of
the students returned.
S: What subjects did Professor Trusler teach you?
C: He did very little teaching. He was head of the law department, and he was
more of a supervisor than a teacher. I did go to one or two classes I do not
even remember what they were under Trusler. But he tried to stay out. As
long as he had a competent man, he stayed out of the teaching end if he could.
But he was a good teacher.
S: He was?
C: Yes, Trusler was a good teacher and a good man. I am gibing this statement
now; I disliked him then. I just disliked the man, but he was a good teacher. He
was well-educated, and when the cards were down, he was a fair man, though
some of us did not think so at one time. But we put the screws on it, and it
turned out he was a very fair man.
S: Why did you not think so before?
C: There are always jealousies, and all of us had lots of jealousies. Some men
were given certain advantages that others were not given. Trusler was a good
man, but we all utterly disliked him because he preferred Alpha Tau Omega
fraternity over the other fraternities, and we did not like it. And often that was
the way. I was the one that talked in different ways. So if I said something, I
backed him right to the head man. I took a lot of these things right down in
Trusler's lap, and he did not like it at all at first, but before I was out of there, he
thought I was his best friend. We understood each other, but there was a time
when we did not even speak.
S: Because of that favoritism and that kind of thing?
C: [You can] blame favoritism; but maybe it was not favoritism. Maybe it was me,
or maybe it was the eight or ten men I was getting advice from. I just took the
burden of it because I did not like the way it was going out. I knew the faculty
very, very well. I used to eat my meals with two of them.
S: Who was that?
C: Dr. Larry Cox. Do you have a list?
S: Yes, and I do not remember Cox.
C: Well, there was a Cox; he was a lesser professor. I cannot think of the one who
was my friend.
S: Was it Crandall or Cockrell?
C: Well, Crandall was a very close friend of mine and so was Cockrell. John Moore
was young, and we called him Miss Moore. I do not remember Chapman. I do
not remember Blusher and Walsh. But Trusler and Murphree both ended up as
my very good friends. Trusler did not start out as a good friend, but we ended
up understanding each other and it was good. Murphree was a very close friend
of mine because before law school I used to date one of his daughters.
S: Were your classes crowded with the men coming back from the war?
C: Not unduly so.
S: You all had seats.
C: I did not run into that in my classes. Other classes might have been crowded,
but mine were not. They filled up very fast with returning men and those who
left last were the first to come back in. I was one of them. My memory is that
the war ended during the summer, and I was here in Orlando when it ended. I
probably laid out all my plans, and the minute school opened, I went right back.
My education was my first work then.
S: Where did you study when you were in law school?
C: Now, where do you mean, where did I study?
S: Where did you actually do your reading?
C: A great deal in the law library. But on the other hand, we would have lots of
reading to do in our own books.
S: Where did you live?
C: The first two years I lived in dormitories, and then I moved across University
Avenue into a rooming house in the back of a lot. It was right there on the
university grounds. It stood on the southeast corner of the university grounds.
S: Was it across from where the law school was?
C: It was more across and back.
S: Were there rooming houses all along University Avenue?
C: Well, I do not remember the name of the street on the south side, [but on it] were
half a dozen fraternity houses. Mine was right near the corner of University
Avenue and the street that goes across the south end. I do not know the name
of that street; it was a numbered street.
S: Was it University [Avenue] and Ninth Street?
S: What fraternity were you in?
C: Pi Kappa Alpha. The Tri Delts were the sorority. There was another fraternity
up about four blocks further east that most of my friends were in. I was the best
Pike member they had.
S: How did you get around back then?
C: On your feet. Just a few boys could afford cars, and the rest of us walked. We
used to hike to downtown regularly.
S: What did you go downtown for?
C: I went to attend church. I was very active in the Episcopal Church in those days
and for many years afterwards. Also, we knew a lot of girls downtown, and we
went down to see the girls.
S: Did you ever ride bicycles?
C: I never did there, but a lot of them did. Lots of bicycles were used.
S: How did your law professors get around?
C: I do not know. One of them had a bicycle, and I think the others had
S: Did Trusler ride a bike?
C: I do not know. I do not remember. Let me see, where did Trusler live?
S: Did you ever go to his house?
C: Yes, but I cannot tell you where it was.
S: Which professor rode a bicycle?
C: That I cannot tell you. You are going back too far and I have a weak memory.
S: Some of them had cars, though?
C: Oh, yes, just a few cars. But that was 1916 to 1922. Of course, by 1922, cars
were becoming more numerous. I went there in 1916. I came from
Jacksonville, and to me it was just a little country college when I went there.
S: Not like it is now.
C: And I went there because my finances permitted me to do so. My mother
insisted that I go to Princeton. She even wrote to Princeton, and Princeton even
got my grades. I was admitted if I wanted to come. She never told me that she
did all of this.
I was the number one football follower. If they had a vacant upper berth where
the team slept, that was my berth.
S: That was the University's team?
C: That was the University of Florida team. And I had about five friends on that
team. I never did anything athletically except I was a member of the track team
in long distance running. I thought nothing of running for five miles in a dog
trot, of course not at high speed.
S: Did you do it for exercise back then?
C: No, we had a team. We competed with all the other schools that were close by.
S: Did you do that when you were in law school also?
C: No, that was when I was in the arts department. In the law school, I was strictly
S: Were you involved in any organizations in law school? Do you remember the
John Marshall Debating Society?
C: No, I was not involved in any of them.
S: How about student government?
C: No, I dodged all those things as much as possible. The only thing I did was my
social fraternity. I did not do any of those other things. I received several
honors at graduation, and I have even forgotten what they are.
S: Were they academic honors?
S: How were your grades?
C: We will not talk about it because you will say I am a brain.
S: Where did you graduate in your class?
C: They had a tie of three men as to who would be elected the leading student in
the class. They could not decide which one of the three to work it down to, and
so they voted for all three.
S: Who were they?
C: It was L. C. Husten and me, and Bill Gibbits. He came from Tallahassee.
S: So you were in a tie for the top of the class?
C: That is right.
S: How did you get to the top of your class? Did you study a lot?
C: I was used to studying, and I always did my work. Compared to some of the
other men, I did very little studying, but I had a lucky mind that retained a lot of
things. So it came to me easily.
S: What professors do you think taught you the most? Here is a picture of some
C: I knew Crandall and I knew Trusler. Cockrell is the man that did a lot for me.
S: What did he do for you?
C: He taught several classes, and I liked his classes. Let me just say that we
understood each other, and the result was that I paid a lot of attention to his
classes. I was probably actually at the top right along, but sometimes I asked
him to put me down, and not at the top. I do not imagine many men had that
experience. I did not want to be known as the person who was always number
S: Was that so you would fit in with the other men?
C: Yes. Exactly so. I did not want any of that going on. I do not remember this
man TeSelle. I remember Crandall very well. He and Harry R. Trusler were the
ones that I knew best. Now which one was Cockrell?
S: This is Cockrell, right there. I have another picture of him here.
C: Now, that looks more like him as I remember him more than this one does. And
I would recognize Trusler anywhere. Crandall was the man that I really knew
S: Did the professors you had teach you about practical law? Did they teach you to
be lawyers or teach you more theory?
C: I would say theory. I did not get any real practical law knowledge, that is,
running law offices or consulting clients or jury training. I did not get things like
that until I got out into a regular practice.
S: When you got out of school, what was your first position?
C: I never had but one position. When I got out of law school, I had three
conferences with two lawyers here in Orlando, Massey and T. P. Warlow. They
were the two leading lawyers in those days. Those men asked me to come and
talk with them several times. Before I ever graduated, they gave me an offer to
come with them. They gave me a proposition. They asked me what kind of
proposition I would accept. I said, "Whatever you offer. It is accepted now; you
don't even have to tell me." Massey looked at me and he said, "Independent,
I had met Judge Warlow on the street. Do you know where American
Street is? It is right here at the end of Lake Lucerne. I lived in the second
house on American Street, and Judge Warlow lived in the third house. Mr.
Massey lived across the street. I had known them, and they had known me.
They knew my habits and everything, and before I ever graduated, they offered
me a position in their office.
S: Were they partners in a law firm?
C: Yes. The name of the firm was Massey and Warlow.
S: So that is where you got your practical experience.
C: Is this practical experience? You have a grandfather who is a trial judge in
upstate New York and you spend many a day sitting at the foot of his rostrum,
listening to trials. Is that practical?
S: It probably is the best kind you can get.
C: Well, I had that for three summers after I entered law school. I did not go to
college in the summer at all, but I did go to law school in New York. I lived at my
grandfather's home, and I had permission to come and sit at his rostrum any time
I wanted to.
S: You spent your summers in New York?
C: Until I was twenty-five, I spent every summer in upstate New York.
S: Did you ever sit in on any trials in Gainesville while you were in law school?
C: Yes, half a dozen or so, but that is all.
S: Did your professors tell you to go down there and do that?
C: We were told about it, and they said that we could go. I went down to quite a
number of them. Of course, it was not interesting to me because I had been to
my grandfather's trials when he was trying cases so much of the time.
S: What city in New York was that?
C: Oswego. Do you know where Syracuse is?
C: Well, Oswego is thirty miles north of Syracuse at the mouth of the river.
S: OK. Did you ever take trips home to Jacksonville while you were in law school?
C: From the university?
C: About 60 or 70 percent of the weekends.
S: How would you get there?
C: On the train. My father was a railroad man, and I had annual passes to go on
any railroad of south of Richmond and east of New Orleans.
S: Is that how you got to New York in the summers?
C: I had my trip passes, and I never bought a railroad ticket during those periods. I
did not have annual passes north of Richmond, but I got a trip pass every time I
wanted to go. My father was the manager of this little railroad which was not as
big as your two fingers. It was forty-two miles of track. It ran from Tavares to
Winter Garden and Ocoee. Did you ever hear of the little place?
C: Well, that is what brought me to Florida.
S: Those places are just outside of Orlando here.
C: Oh, yes, within thirty miles.
S: What did his railroad carry? Was it a freight?
C: It had one passenger car because Uncle Sam and the railroad department made
him pull one passenger car. That was the conductor's car. It was on a mixed
train and it ran from Winter Garden and Ocoee. The two lines joined together
and went up through the far side into Tavares. There was a theatre for the
Seaboard railroad. For 75 percent of his life, my father worked for the
Seaboard. That is the reason he took over this little railroad down here.
He went to Addison, Alabama, with the blast furnace. Do you know what
that is? They make pig iron. They take iron ore and run it through the furnace,
and then they end up with pig iron. They had two big furnaces out there at
Addison, Alabama. Why did they call it pig iron? It came out from underneath
the furnace down to a long rumbling where liquid iron was, scalding red hot.
Then from this ran small ditches, and each of the little ditches had smaller
ditches. Because of those smaller ditches with the big ditch, [it seemed like a]
pig and its beneficiaries, and they called it pig iron. All just lined up there as if
they were hugging up mama pigs.
S: When you studied at the law library, was there a librarian there?
S: Do you remember who that was?
S: Was it a woman?
C: Most of the time. She was a very helpful person. I cannot tell you her name.
S: Do you remember a woman named Priscilla Kennedy?
C: What were the years? Do you have the different ones by years?
S: Well, how about Agatha Freeman Agatha Walsh?
C: That could have been one of them. I was there I worked in the law library -
from 1919 to 1922. I went to Gainesville in 1916. See, I took a six year course.
S: Now, it may be Priscilla Kennedy; that is the only other librarian I can think of.
C: Well, it could have been. I am not really sure. I lived in Orlando for two years,
and then my family moved to Jacksonville. In Jacksonville, I graduated from
high school, and I went over to Gainesville and spent six years there.
S: Were you single the whole time that you were in school?
C: Well, I did not even have a consistent date down here. I had one in Oswego,
New York, who I used to see in the summer time.
S: Did you marry after you got out of law school?
C: I did not marry until I was out of school. And I have had two wives since.
S: Did you ever serve on a moot court team while you were in school?
C: Yes, but I had forgotten all about them.
S: I think they had a moot courtroom in that building.
C: Well, they had practice trials there. I handled a couple of them before I ever
S: But you did have some practice court sessions downtown?
C: Oh, yes. We had practice court down there.
S: Did you have real judge sit in on it?
C: No, I think one of the teachers would serve as judge, as I remember.
S: And you participated in those?
C: Oh, yes. Not only that, but in the summer, I used to go to about ten different
trials and sit on the steps where my grandfather presided as judge, and I was just
going in to sit. I took no part in any way; I just went to watch how he was
handling it and how they were handling it. That is where I got some additional
S: Did you use that after you got out of school? Did you serve as a trial lawyer?
C: Unfortunately, I did not like trial work. I lost one of the first trials, and I thought I
should have won it. Before I was through, I got inside with one of the jurors to
find out what went on. I had written down all of the instructions given by the trial
judge, and he said if he (meaning me) provides answers to all of these questions,
he should have the ruling for him. I took it up to this one man that I knew, and I
said: "Here are the judge's instructions, and yet I think that I proved everything
that was needed to win the case. I was better equipped, and the jury went
against me. It was a small judgement, but it did go against me." This man
says, "I sat in on that, and they all agreed that you proved everything the judge
said, but they said, 'Give the man a little something anyway."'
S: So, you did not win that one.
C: So I did not win my first actual trial.
S: Was that a big case?
C: No, it was a small damage suit.
S: And is that when you decided that you did not like trial work?
C: Yes, I decided right then that I did not like trial work. I tried a few cases here. I
was living in Orlando and Jacksonville, but my folks were living in Orlando, and I
had a home to live in there with meals served and no expenses. So I decided
that I would start out in Orlando. I also had the opening with the leading firm
here in Orlando. It was T. P. Warlow and L. C. Massey. Both of them lived
right over here on America Street. They were neighbors, and I used to play golf
with Warlow. They gave me a chance and I grabbed it.
S: What kind of practice did you do with the firm?
C: It was purely civil. I did not handle any criminal cases at all. I asked to be
excused from criminal cases. I did not like criminal law. Crandall wrote to a law
firm in Orlando, and he recommended me for anything in civil trial work but
nothing in criminal work.
S: Why is that?
C: They said I was not good at it. He came right out with it.
S: But he thought you were good in civil work?
C: In civil work, he said, "I would recommend him for any firm." I did not know
about the correspondence then; I saw the correspondence years later. I had
been a member of the firm for three years before I knew about all of that
correspondence that went on.
S: So, you lived at home at first while you worked for Massey and Warlow?
S: That would have been 1922.
C: 1922, 1923, and 1924, approximately.
S: Did you continue to make trips back to Gainesville every now and then for
C: Not regularly.
S: But you attended some meetings in Gainesville. Is that where they were?
C: They were in Gainesville.
S: That is when Raymond McGuire was president of the association.
C: Well, I rode up with Raymond two or three times because he wanted me to go
S: Did you go up in a car?
C: Yes, it was his car. And I was looking at the age on here for McGuire.
S: I have the minutes of the meetings here.
C: Well, I thought McGuire was quite a number of years older than I.
S: This was one old alumni association, and here is your name. You were the
recording secretary. So you were at a meeting with these men McGuire,
McKean, Mase, Cealy, and Hamilton talking about the university.
C: John V. Sutton, G. F. Garret Olson Chillingsburg and Sutton I remember on that
side. This is Gainesville; this is not in Orlando.
C: George McKean I remember, and then, of course, McGuire came from Orlando.
S: In some of these meetings, Raymond was talking about ways to improve the
university. So you were involved in that?
C: Slightly. Raymond had a way of worming himself into things much more than I
did. I had those railroad passes, and the result was that I returned to Orlando
an immense number of times. I had friends here. I would take the train. Mind
you, we did not have cars and busses like you have now. I would take the little
old Jerkwater train from Gainesville over to Palatka, and there I would catch the
Jacksonville to Tampa train and come down here generally at night and get here
around 2:30 in the morning.
S: Would you spend the weekend?
C: I would come down on a Friday if I could get that afternoon off. I used to live in
Orlando, and then my father got a much better job, and he was centered in
Jacksonville. He ran from Charleston and Savannah south to Tampa. He was
a freight solicitor; they called him a general freight agent. In the older days, he
made good money until he lost his health. And then, I must say, the Seaboard
[Coastline Railroad] was very good to him. They sent him back to Orlando,
where he could live in a home, and all he did was solicit freight on the branch of
the Seaboard that ran from Wildwood over to Orlando and out to Ocoee. They
really made a little job for him. That is the reason I say they were awfully good
to him. I have always felt very friendly towards the Seaboard. Of course, there
is no such thing anymore.
S: Now, when you were at the law school, did you think it was a good law school?
C: Well, there were only two or three others that I knew about. One of my friends
went to the University of Syracuse, and one of them went to Princeton. You
see, my mother came from Oswego, New York, and my father came from
Syracuse. I spent a great many summers right up there, and I had a great many
friends who went to the University of Syracuse or Cornell. Cornell was very
popular among the young group that I was with. I used to get letters at the
beginning of May that would say, "When are you coming up? We want to save a
space for you," and such and such. So I had two sets of friends my age, one in
Orlando and Jacksonville and one in Oswego, New York.
S: So they went to those schools, and you came down here. Can you make a
comparison of the law schools?
C: We made comparisons as to what we had covered and what we were called
upon to do. I decided very early in my conversations with them that a man who
is going to practice law in Florida would do a whole heap better to continue stay
right in Florida. This was before I even got into law school.
S: Did your professors in law school teach you all about the Florida laws?
C: Everything they handled, if there was a Florida decision on it, they brought that
out very clearly. It was taught for students who were going to practice in Florida.
And of course the Florida law just could not be omitted. You just had to know
it, and they saw that we did know it.
S: Who was the professor who knew a lot about Florida law?
C: Trusler did. Was Cox in that group?
S: You mentioned him as an assistant professor.
C: He must have become a full professor later on, I think.
S: These were the law professors right here. Well, these three, this was closer to
C: Well, now Cockrell was the one that I knew the best. Pridgen I did not know. I
knew Stanley West, but that is all I can say. That is not to be derogatory at all.
S: Did Stanley West work in the library?
C: I did not know of him as an assistant librarian, but he must have been. It says
S: Do you remember him teaching?
C: All I remember is Stanley West and that so far as it goes. Did he teach?
S: I do not know. So Trusler knew Florida law.
C: Dean Fenn tape-recorded his lectures. I do not remember the name Fenn.
S: No, he was at the school later in the 1940s.
C: TeSelle I heard of. The ones that I knew were Crandall, Trusler, Cockrell, and
that is all.
S: Do you remember your graduation ceremony?
C: Not particularly.
S: Did they give you a diploma?
C: Yes, we got a diploma.
S: Who gave you that?
C: I do not remember. From the time that I knew that I was graduating, I had made
reservations on a Pullman from Jacksonville to New York City, and I was going
upstate New York. Before school was ever out, I had all of my reservations
made to go north. My mother came from Oswego, New York, and my father
came from Ithaca, New York.
S: So did you take a vacation in New York after you graduated from law school and
before you started working in Orlando?
C: Yes, I did. How did you guess that?
S: Well, you said when you got out of school you went right up there.
C: Well, I took a month's vacation. Then I was walking along with Massey and
Judge Warlow and one of them, I guess it was Massey, asked what kind of work
did I do in abstract, and I told him just what I did. And he said, "You know,
Tipton and I have been talking about you and what you will do when you get out
of school. We do not know what our interest would be in you, and we can only
pay you a very small salary to start with." I said, "Well, that is enough to pay for
my groceries. You are accepted." He says, "Do you mean that?" I said, "Yes,
Mr. Warlow, I would love to go into the firm."
S: Well, you must have been considered very highly to have an offer like that.
C: They looked at me and said, "What do you mean, you would love to go into our
firm?" I said, "When I get through with my first year or two with you all, you are
going to offer me a place in your firm." They looked at me, and said, "You're a
little bit rash aren't you?" I said, "No, Mr. Massey. That is not rash. I know
that if I work like hell, I can accomplish an immense amount of work. I know that
if I am accepted into your law firm, I expect to do that. And I expect when two
years--maybe one--is up, that you all will want to keep me here." But they could
not promise that I would be a partner. They said, "Remember, nothing binding
at all." I said, "It is just that I am hoping."
So when I got out of law school I told Massey, the senior partner, that I
would like one month off before I went to work. He wanted to know where I was
going. I said, "To Oswego, New York. It will be the last chance I will have to go
up there and be with these friends who I have known for years and years, and I
want to have one more month with them. That would terminate my upstate New
York saga." So I went up there, and I came back, and I went to work with
Massey and Warlow and stayed there until both Massey and Warlow had passed
Warlow had a son. We offered to take him into the firm, but on a certain
basis. He said he could not go to work for that amount of money. So the man
who was the son of the first two partners could only say no.
S: Was that after you had already formed this law firm, Carpenter & Carpenter?
S: That is when you were still there.
C: I had not even graduated. Judge Cockrell had reason to believe that I would
graduate. He had the idea and Crandall did, too that I would graduate.
S: They thought you were ready to graduate?
C: Yes, and this was about three months before graduation time. They always
gave certain honors of mention to the best man in the class. Crandall called me
in one day and said, "We have trouble." I said, "What is your trouble?" He
said, "We have three men on our list to go in as number one in this year's
graduating class, and we cannot pick out number one." I said, "Of course I
would like it to be me; it would be foolish to say otherwise. You understand I
would like to be number one, but you are telling me I am not, you are telling me I
am one of these." Crandall said, "Yes, and I do not know what we are going to
do about it because we can not get six men to agree." He said, "The funny thing
is, they are split evenly between the three men who are up for consideration."
S: The six professors were voting?
C: Yes. The final decision came down to three, and those three were split. And I
said, "Well, you know, that is an easy thing to solve. He said, "We do not think
so." I said, "I do." He asked, "How would you solve it?" I said, "I would solve
it by saying we got three men that are equally qualified for the position, we do not
want this one or the other, and we are going to name three."
S: Were you friends with those other two?
C: Oh, sure. I was friends with all of those. You cannot be at a school for six
years and not make enemies or friends. In the law school, I had a lot of friends
because I worked. I did miss a couple of classes; I was the youngest in the
family and I had to leave (with permission, of course), and when I came back,
they told me what I had missed. Someone (I am trying to think which one of
these men it was) and Crandall were talking to me, and they said, "What are we
going to do about it?" They said, "You a going to be getting three awards, and if
you all feel that is proper, I admire both of the other men and I will now offer to
S: So you all three got the award.
C: I said, "Why not split it up?" And that is how it ended up. I did not know what
they were going to do.
S: Did they make an announcement about it to the rest of the class?
C: Oh, they announced these names at graduation ceremonies. My memory is that
these names were announced. And the man that made the announcements
said that they are going to break all order because of the fact that the committee
could not agree as to who to put in as number one. He said, "We have three
men who could easily be called number one if you pulled the other two out, and a
suggestion has been made that we appoint all three, and we are going to do so."
So, anybody that would look back at the records of that year would find three
S: Do you remember any women students on the campus?
C: There were several. But, there were very, very few. Personally, I cannot think
of any at this moment but one, and I do not know her name.
S: Was she a student?
C: Yes. There was at least one female student; she lived in Gainesville. You see,
they did not have any women's dormitories, and this girl lived in Gainesville and
was accepted as a student.
S: What did she study?
S: She was in the law school?
C: Yes, and she would make a good lawyer.
S: Did you ever have her in your classes?
C: Regularly. I do not know how she got back and forth. I do not remember.
When we got into law, we were beginning to have automobiles. I did not have
one because I was one of the poor boys. I was lucky to be there at school.
S: So she came from Gainesville every day?
C: Yes. She walked. It was a good walk.
S: I wonder what her name was.
C: I do not know.
S: I will have to see if we have any records on that.
C: See if you have books; they have to list students as well as faculty.
S: Now is this when you were in your first year of law school or was it later?
C: I cannot tell whether it was first, second, or third. It was either the fall of 1920 or
C: That is the nearest I can come to it.
S: It sounds like you were very mature for a law student.
C: I do not know why.
S: Well, from the dealing you had with professors, I think you were. I think you had
learned a lot.
C: I had a next door neighbor who was a judge in criminal court of record in Orange
County for many years. L. C. Massey was a very active lawyer, and he was on
the state legislature for a great many years. The third member of that group,
Clark Gritty, was just an ordinary young lawyer poking along, like me. They
picked me because Judge Warlow lived next door, and he knew whether I went
with the drunks or not. He also had two daughters, both of whom I knew. I was
acquainted with one of them in church work. Of course, all of these things help
in making acquaintances. So they had talked it all over and said they would like
to make a proposition for two years. They said, "At the end of that time, we can
take you in as a regular partner or kick you out; we have that privilege. We will
employ you on a salary. It's very low $100 per month the first year and $125 a
month the second year."
S: How long did you work for that firm?
C: Until they died.
S: And when was that?
C: I cannot remember the dates.
S: And then did you go into solo practice?
C: At the end of two years, I was taken in as a regular partner in Massey, Warlow,
and Carpenter. I was on a 25 percent basis. (In other words, if we made $100,
I got $25 of it.) And then when Massey passed away, Warlow and I just stuck
together. And when I tried to work in Warlow's son, Tim, Tim did not like amount
of money he was making. I thought it was satisfactory for myself. We did not
take in anybody else until after Judge Warlow died, and my son had graduated
from law school. He decided that he would like to take a shot at it, and he did
S: So you and your son started working together.
C: Yes, very soon after Warlow passed away.
S: And is that when you became Carpenter & Carpenter?
S: What year was that? Your son graduated in the 1950s.
C: He went in shortly after he graduated. He served a little time, a year or two first,
earning just a salary. Then we just worked it into a partnership. But I cannot
tell you the years. Both Massey and Warlow had died quite elderly men.
S: So Carpenter & Carpenter is what used to be Massey & Warlow & Carpenter?
Is that right?
C: That is right. And Massey & Warlow & Carpenter used to be Massey & Warlow.
S: Before you came along.
C: Right. I cannot tell you the name of Massey's firm; it came of a law firm in
Philadelphia. Warlow did a lot of his academic work in England, and then he
migrated to the United States. He studied in Massey's law office; that is what a
lot of men did in years past.
S: After Warlow died, did you practice alone for a while?
C: Yes, I did, for a short while. But it was Massey & Warlow, then Massey, Warlow
& Carpenter, then Warlow & Carpenter, and then Carpenter & Carpenter. It was
a natural sequence.
S: Did your classmates in law school the ones that you were your friends with -
have nicknames for each other? Were you on a real friendly basis like that?
C: Yes, we had nicknames. But I cannot think of the different men and their
nicknames. I was always known just as Eugene.
S: Later on they had a tradition of shuffling their feet. The students would shuffle
their feet when somebody did not know the answer to a question or something
C: That grew up after my time.
S: You did not do that?
S: Did you ever play jokes on professors?
C: Well, the only thing is the man who got shipped for hazing.
S: Did they get kicked out?
C: They were kicked out from about the middle of November until the beginning of
the next semester. They did do some hazing back in those days. They gave
fantastic haircuts; that is what the hazing consisted of at that time. It was
nothing that was permanent; they could grow the hair back. I sent one of my
fraternity brothers over to get his hair cut, and that is the only thing that I did.
They asked for the names of all the persons who took part in it. I told them I did.
I said I asked one of the juniors in my fraternity to get his hair cut, and he very
kindly went ahead and did it.
S: Did you get in trouble?
C: Yes, and I said, "As far as I am concerned, I back up these men. They did
nothing that injured anybody permanently. We were thinking about that at all
times, and I back them up."
S: What kind of haircut did they give them?
C: Anything you could think of. You might start here and just go right on back, or
you do a criss-cross, or a half a head, anything you thought of that you could do
with shears. I said, "Hair is going to grow back, and they are going to train it the
way they want to, and I do not see where we have injured anybody," except a
few had their personality pulled down a little bit. I said, "It will not hurt them at
all. Let them learn what life is."
S: So what kind of trouble did you get in?
C: We were indefinitely suspended.
S: By whom?
C: The president of the university. There was one man in Orlando who was in the
same group. His name was Robert Duckworth. I do not know if you have ever
heard of him or not. He is a real estate man here, and has been all of his life.
He and I came home, and I reported it to my family while I was there. My
mother asked me who I had hurt. A bunch of these kids had their feelings hurt
when they got their hair cut. The hair would grow out. We felt that we were
doing something that would no be at all injurious. All I did was send one man
over there, and I am right with all of them. There was nothing done that would
injure a man; it was not like hazing used to be.
I got a letter from Dr. Murphree asking me to come and see him some
time at my next convenience. We talked the thing over at great length. I said,
"Doctor, you know me; you have known me for years. You knew me even
before I graduated from high school in Jacksonville, and you know what I do and
don't do. I expect to receive the same punishment that anybody else does. I
do not want any favoritism whatsoever. I think that the position that the
university had been put in is wrong. I think that the men did nothing that was
dangerous or injurious, and I will back them up." So when the list came out of
those who were suspended, A. E. Carpenter was among them, which suited me
fine because that kept my friendship with a whole lot of these men that I knew.
S: So they kicked you all out of law school?
C: This was before law school.
C: My memory is that we were in our last year before law school. I returned to
Orlando and I told my mother what had happened. I said I did not know when
we would go back to school, if at all. She said, "I heard about it before you told
me." I said, "You did? From who?" She said, "Mrs. Duckworth. She lives
here and her son was in the group in Gainesville. She and I sat there and
talked. While we were talking, I got anxious to know what really did take place.
So I called Dr. Murphree, the president of the university, and told him that you
were returning home. He looked at the record and said the most that you did
was to tell one man to go and get his hair cut. He said you asked for the same
punishment that anybody else got because you back up the whole thing. He
said, 'Now, I am going to tell you something that I expect you not to tell anybody
but Mrs. Duckworth, who is supposed to be sitting with you. These boys will be
permitted to come back with no penalty, in a very short time."'
S: So you were permitted to go back to school.
C: Yes. Dr. Murphree said, "But please do not pass it on. Just console yourself
and Mrs. Duckworth that we are going to put it through, and then it will be put out
and about." That was probably about the middle of November three or four
weeks before Christmas and when the second term started at the end of
December, we were back at school.
S: It was all forgotten?
C: So far as we knew. But we who were involved formed a club.
S: You did?
C: Yes, into law school. One of the men had a great deal of curiosity, and he took
the class averages during those four years (including three years of law) of the
men who were suspended. He took their records and took the same of the rest
of the students to see how they came out. Those kicked out averaged ahead of
all the rest. Can you imagine that?
S: Do you ever remember someone bringing a bull to the law school?
C: I remember they had a cow.
S: Maybe it was a cow.
C: It was brought to school. Now, what for and why, I do not remember, but it was
done while I was there.
S: It was brought to the law school?
S: Somebody at one of the reunions mentioned putting a cow in one of the
professor's offices. It might have been Cockrell.
C: Let me see. There was the Dean Trusler, Cockrell, Crandall, and Moore. We
were talking about the antiquities and those are the things that just came along
and only lived for a short while, and that is all it amounts to.
S: Did you keep in touch with many of your law school classmates?
C: For awhile, yes, and gradually, they drifted off. I could not tell you where any of
them live. One of them is supposed to live in Winter Garden and I cannot think
of his name.
S: Bill Bivens?
C: It might be. We used to sing about old Bill Bivens.
S: You did?
C: Yes. College boys and men have all sorts of crazy ideas.
S: Would you say that you were respected by the other students? Were you a
C: No. I never have been a leader and I am not a leader today. I have a retiring
S: You were just one of the law students.
C: I was just one of the law students; that is what I wanted to be. Now with
Crandall and Cockrell, I had a close relationship. I had developed a right close
relationship with the dean.
S: Would you talk to them outside of classes?
C: Oh, sure.
S: In their offices?
C: No, in their homes. I visited those three in their homes many times.
S: What did you talk about?
C: Generally about law school and other things, student things.
S: Were the law professors trying to improve the law school back them? Did they
want it to be a better school or a bigger school? It was still young back then.
C: I cannot remember having much of that put towards me. I did know that they
were trying to get the men to have a sufficient knowledge and balance to go in
successfully to the practice of law. It was not to improve and benefit the law
school; it was to benefit the men and the life they had. This was a very well-run
school. I compared my instruction with those that went to other places in other
states. My friends went to the University of Syracuse, Cornell, and Princeton.
Those are three very selective schools.
S: And how did it compare?
C: What I got out of it was just as good as what they got out of it. Now, these were
local men from around Oswego, New York. And of course, I came from Florida,
but my parents came from right up in that area, and I used to spend all of my
summers up there. My friends from those three schools that I mentioned would
get together and discuss the different schools. I was the only southerner among
the bunch. Of course, my people were upstate New Yorkers.
S: Well, when the professors were teaching classes, would they teach all of the law
students at one time or were you broken up into different classes?
C: Well, we were in classes. There were about fifteen to the class they were not
big classes and they would teach certain subjects. They were divided up by
subject. Each of these professors would take a certain subject and then he
would teach that subject. And each subject would meet about three times a
S: Would you meet for an hour or two hours?
C: My memory is it was near two hours. There were two hours with about ten
minutes between the classes.
S: Would the professors stand up and lecture or did they ask you questions?
C: Both. They had a desk sitting up in front facing the class. And they would
lecture about half of the period, and then they would have question and answer
S: Did Trusler lecture to you?
C: Oh, yes.
S: And did they ever call on you in class?
C: Oh, yes, sure.
S: Did you have to stand up and recite?
C: No. You had to answer questions, which included a discussion of the legal
politics. During law school, we were always called upon. We never knew who
he was going to call on or what branch of it he would want us to talk about.
Trusler in particular loved to take some side angle of a case leave all of it out
except this one side angle and spend the whole period on the side angle. I
found this out: you had better learn it or else you might get it shoved in your face
S: So you learned it.
C: I learned that very early.
S: Was he a tough professor? Was he hard?
C: The dean was not particularly hard; he was very fair. Now, I do not know other
men felt about him, but I felt that he was very fair.
S: How about Cockrell? Was he difficult? Were his classes hard?
C: His classes and Cox's could be a little bit harder.
S: How were his classes?
C: They were easy for me because I knew Cox.
S: Would Cockrell call on you?
C: Yes, he would. All of them called on you for certain things. They would not try
to cover the whole subject. But there would be certain parts of the subject that
he would want covered, and he would call upon a student to introduce the
subject. Then he would call upon the rest of the class to see if they had any
objections to what the leader had said. I had my ideas criticized a good many
times. And I have taken the whole period on a few questions that were assigned
for the day. I would have my own questions, and I would be turned into the
S: What did they think of that?
C: Oh, they liked it.
S: They did. All of them? Which ones liked it?
C: None of them objected to it. Trusler, of course, had his own position maintained,
but you know, you could raise these things and not take advantage of the
professor or the dean or anybody else. I would say, "Now gentlemen, this is my
explanation of it as I see it. However, Dean Trusler may not see it the same
way." They listened to my approach of it, and I wanted to hear the criticisms
S: Did the other students do the same thing get up and ask questions?
C: Oh, sure, all of them would once in awhile, but as a whole they would not. I did
not have a fear of professors. Trusler was a professor, and I had known people
of position, and position did not slow him down at all. I would just talk to him as
an equal. One of them did go this far; he said, "Gene, where did you at this
early stage in the game get this knowledge of the law and its handling? I
would like to know now." I said, "For many summers, I used to go down and sit
on the steps of the judge's rostrum and listen to the trials that went on. That
judge was my grandfather."
S: Which professor asked you that?
C: I do not remember his name.
S: Do you think it was Trusler?
C: No, it was not Trusler; it may have been Cox.
S: Crandall or Cox.
C: Crandall is the one that I knew the best. If they wanted me to do anything they
would send Crandall to have me do it.
S: Did you like him?
C: Oh, I was very fond of him because I understood him and he understood me.
Actually, when I went to college I did not go there for play time, I went there to
accomplish something. We had differences as to the law of some things quite a
number of times.
S: Did you learn a lot at UF's law school?
C: Oh, yes. The thing is this: I have not found professors to be as austere as
people make them out. I found that if you talk with them and express a
reasonable idea as to why you are raising it, they will work with you. The fact is,
I found these men that I had were very adaptable if you raised a question. If it
was a serious question, they would hang on to it right quick. If they knew the
answer, they would say so; if they did not know the answer, they would say, "I
don't have that answer. I will bring it to you tomorrow or the next day."
S: Well, that is good.
C: In those days, you did not have to have prior degree before going into the law
college. I went in from a serious angle because I knew that I had a place to go,
and I went in and seriously learned the law.
S: You think that the degree that you had gave you an advantage over students
who came in without that?
C: Yes, I think it had its advantage, merely because you had some discipline in
studying ahead of time. I think the discipline that you got from studying was the
main thing. What you actually learned did not amount to too much, but you got
S: We have covered a lot.
C: We have covered a lot. I will simply say this, that I have covered a lot in life.
S: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments in your professional
C: I cannot point to any one thing in my career. I never handled the big cases; I
never sought the front of the group the way so many people do. I went to school
to learn, and when I got out, I wanted a place to go. I wanted to go to Orlando.
S: Later on you had a son. Did you just have one child?
C: I had a daughter and a son. I tried to talk my son out of the law, but I did not
succeed. He was correct because he has made a very good lawyer. He was
correct; I was wrong. I can say it when I am wrong. My daughter was not
interested in professions or anything of that nature. She got married, and she
had six children. She wanted a large family. Unfortunately, she lost one boy,
who passed away when he was about twelve. She raised five children. All of
them are married now. I do not know how many grandchildren there are or how
many children that branch of the family has produced. All are married and they
live from Portland, Maine, across to Texas. They are all over the country.
S: I see that you have come to some reunions. Did you go to a College of Law
C: Some time or another I did. I do not remember anything about the reunions. I
just do not remember them. I did go to several of them, earlier. Now, I do not do
anything except stay home.
S: Are you getting ready to retire?
C: Theoretically, I am already retired. A year ago, my son and I thought the son of
one of our earlier partners was coming in, but he backed out because it was not
enough money to him. My son wanted him to earn his money and not just get
handout because his father used to be in the firm.
S: Do you have other members in the firm, or is it just you and your son?
C: It is just the two of us. We handle no jury trial work at all. I gave that up within
three years of becoming a member of the bar. I found that I did not hold the
trust of juries, so I got out of that. One case that I lost was a beautiful case, in
my defense standpoint, but I lost it.
S: You were telling me about that one.
C: I have never tried another case, but I have done a lot of legal work since then.
S: You have had a good, long career.
C: Well, I think it is a long career.
S: Yes, it is. Can you think of anything else that we need to cover?
C: I think I have thrown too much at you.
S: No, you have not. You have helped a tremendous amount; you have given us a
lot of information. The things that you have told me about Trusler and Cockrell
and Crandall could not be obtained except through the students who were in
C: There are just few of us left, I guess.
S: Yes, I need to go around and interview as many more as I can. It has been a
C: It has been a few years.
S: Well, you still have a good memory of you law school days.
C: Those were good years. I did not have the money that some of the boys did, but
I did have one advantage. My father was a railroad man, and that meant
passes. Many a time I have came into Orlando by train. I would go to Palatka
and then come down in the train. In those days, we did not have bus service
like we have now. One day I arrived here, and my letter had not gotten through,
so nobody met me at the old station down there on the corner. There I was; it
was two o'clock in the morning. What would I do? I looked around, and
thought, "Well, heck, my legs are still good," so I started walking. Do you know
where Gatlin Avenue is?
C: Do you know where Plaincastle is?
S: I think so.
C: Well, I had a hike of four and one-half miles. I started out a little after two in the
morning, and before daybreak, I had made about two and one-half miles. They
had not gotten my letter. My mother was spending the night out there by
herself, and my brother was married and living in the north. My mother and
father were separated and she had a house in town on America Street. It is
S: You could not call there. Did they have a telephone?
C: No, she did not have a telephone there at the farm. She did have a house in
town, and she had a phone in that house.
S: Oh, but she was out there.
C: Right. I did not want to leave her the rest of the night, wondering what
happened to me or whether I had come down or not, so I went on out. It was a
black night, but it was not too bad. Many times, I left here on the midnight train
going to Gainesville, and I would get into Palatka and sit on the bench for two
hours. Then I would catch a train from Palatka to Gainesville. I would get there
in time to walk out to the university and get to my first class. I had no sleep.
S: You had a busy life as a student.
C: I enjoyed my student life. I had railroad passes. I could go to St. Louis,
Chicago, or New Orleans without paying railroad fare, if I would sit up. I used to
follow the football team, if it went anywhere in the southeast. I think St. Louis
was the farthest I ever went.
S: Are you talking about the Gator football team?
C: Yes. I was their chief yeller.
S: You did the cheers?
C: Yes, I did lots of cheering.
S: Would you do it at the stadium there?
S: Would you lead the cheers?
C: I did in some. They had a regular cheer. But most of my cheerleading was with
a bunch of the Florida men that were gathered together from all of the different
places between here and New Orleans. We played one school in St. Louis.
But I had passes, so I could go for nothing.
[End of the interview]