Interviewee: Mandell Glicksberg
Interviewer: Sid Johnston and Stephen R. Prescott
Date: October 20, 1986 and October 1, 1990
J: My name is Sid Johnston and I am in the office of Professor Mandell Glicksberg
at the Holland Law Center. Today is October 20, 1986, and we are going to
discuss his career here at the law school. Let me begin by asking you, and I
have heard this from a number of sources, that you have a nickname, and it is
either Mindy or Mandy. Could you clear that up for me, the origin of it as well as
the spelling, and whether it is even true?
G: My nickname really is Mendy and the origin of it is that my name, which is
Mandell, was taken from the name of my grandfather, which was Mendel. It
was changed to Mandell when they named me, but the nickname stuck from the
original one, Mendy.
J: [Tell me about your childhood. How did you live?]
G: Comfortably. My feeling on it, although I really do not know the details, is that
there were some assets left to my mother, the extent of which I cannot address,
except I think sufficient to enable my father to do some dealing in real estate.
What he did was to buy a piece of property and sell some property, and deal
sort of in real estate. The market down there was not bad at the time. It was
just at the time that Miami Beach was starting to develop rather slowly, but it
was. There were people coming in; south Florida was expanding a bit in the
Miami area. But it was still a small town. Miami was a small town then. And
we called Miami "town," that is the way we referred to it, and whenever we
would "go to town" that meant that we were going to go across the causeway,
which was at that time the Fifth Street Causeway. I can probably give you a
pretty good history of Miami Beach more than the law school. But that was the
Fifth Street Causeway, which is still there but is now known as the MacArthur
Causeway; they renamed it after General MacArthur after WW II. And my
J: Remained in the real estate business?
G: Pretty much. He had an apartment house, which he ran for awhile and sold in
1938, I think, I am not positive but 1938 sticks in my mind. He and another
man whom he had met there built a hotel right on the corner of Fourteenth
Street and Ocean Drive which at that time was prime location. Fourteenth
Street was the heart, the center of Miami Beach, and Ocean Drive was the
prime location right across from the ocean, and it was called the Winterhaven
Hotel. It is still there in that art deco district and it was built like that, it has the
pastel shades and things, there were seventy-five rooms.
J: Would you go down as a young boy and watch it daily go up as the construction
workers built it?
G: Oh, yes. I remember the hotel being built, and I remember the hotel opening.
In fact, Danny Kaye came down and visited at the hotel because they knew him
a bit from this experience in the summertime in the Pocono Mountains. And I
remember when the hotel opened, it was not open very long, maybe three or four
years, five years at the most I guess. I do not know. It was built in 1938 or
1939 and then the war came along. Pearl Harbor was in December 1941, and
we had the hotel at that time. That was my father's occupation at that point,
running the hotel. And it was a nice hotel, it was one of the nicer ones there. It
was not a huge place, but very nicely located, and then the war came along.
Miami Beach suddenly got taken over by the military, and they took the hotel,
they took all the hotels and lived there. They sent down, mostly Army Air Corps,
not the air force because the air force had not been formed yet, but it was the
army, but the air corps branch of the army. And they were trained there where
we lived, our home was directly across the street from Flamingo Park which is
the major municipal park in the south part of Miami Beach. It is a rather large
J: How far away was your home from the hotel?
G: Oh, ten or twelve blocks I guess. Miami Beach is a relatively narrow island and
the hotel was right on the east side of the island because it faced right on the
Atlantic. We lived closer to Biscayne Bay, which would be on the west side of
the island. We lived on Twelfth Street and the hotel was on Fourteenth Street
so we were only two blocks away from that direction, but I guess there were
probably eight or ten avenues in between, including the park. You had to go all
the way through Flamingo Park. We lived on the west side of Flamingo Park,
and you would have to go through the park and then you would walk east past
where Miami Beach High School was, which was where I went to school. I went
to school every morning and walked most of the time or rode a bicycle and had to
go through the park, and then you would start down the avenues toward the east,
so I guess it was about ten or twelve blocks away. All within reasonable walking
J: Do you remember your father being paid by the government for the use of his
G: I do not know what the arrangements were, I just do not know.
J: You remember the servicemen living in the hotel.
J: Tell me about the high school. Did you attend elementary through high school
in that one main building?
G: Well, the elementary school that I went to was known as Central Beach
Elementary School. There were three elementary schools on Miami Beach at
the time, public elementary schools. There were a few private schools also. I
actually started out in private school there. I started going to a school called the
Lear School which may still be there, it was there for years. It was run by a
family named Lear, and they may still be around, I am not sure. The school
when I started going there was located on the beach, actually, it was off of Ocean
Drive and up around what would be about Fifteenth or Sixteenth Street. I
believe what is on the site of that school may be the hotel where I got married, I
am not sure. But I think the Shelbourne Hotel was built on the site of the Lear
J: So that was a good little walk for you?
G: Oh, I did not walk to the Lear School. I am talking about first grade, second
J: Would your dad drive you?
G: My mother would drive me. I am not sure exactly where we lived at that time.
We lived in several different places before we built a house. The first house we
built was on Lenox Avenue and Twelfth Street, just behind the house that we
built in 1940. My father built our house in 1940 on Michigan Avenue and
Twelfth Street. Prior to that he had built a house, probably around 1936 or
1937, on Lenox Avenue.
J: He contributed significantly to the development of Miami Beach then,
personally, building homes and hotels.
G: Well, the only three buildings he actually built were the hotel and the two
homes, the one on Lenox Avenue and the one on Michigan Avenue.
J: Are those two homes still standing?
G: Oh, yes.
J: And the hotel?
G: Yes, they are still standing. Prior to that, the first place we lived was a duplex.
It was an interesting duplex, as a matter of fact; my father named it the "Coral
House" because it was built out of coral rock.
J: Not coquina.
G: No, it was coral. That was what I was told, and it looked a little unusual. It
was not coral colored, I mean it was grey, but I was told that it was coral rock
that it was built out of. That building is still there but it has been totally redone.
J: The outside texture is different?
G: Well, what I think happened is that they remodeled that building. It is possible
that they tore down the building and built something else. I do not know the
I was saying, I went to the Lear School, which was a private school, until
about the fourth grade. I believe I entered the public school system in the fourth
grade. I was at the Lear School for probably second and third grade, something
like that. Then I went into the public school. And the three public elementary
schools on Miami Beach were known as South Beach, Central Beach, and North
Beach. And that is where they were located. North Beach School was located
further up north on the island than the distance between South and Central
because the major population area of Miami Beach at the time was in the
Central Beach Elementary School was directly across the street from the
junior high school and the high school. And the junior high school and the high
school were in a building that was connected. It was one building. Part of it
was Ida M. Fisher Junior High and the other part was Miami Beach Senior High.
lola M. Fischer was the wife of Carl Fisher, who developed Miami Beach. He
was the major developer of Miami Beach. There is a statue to Carl Fisher on
Miami Beach further up, maybe in the high forties, Forty-seventh, Forty-eighth
Street in Miami Beach. And Fisher Island off of Miami Beach is now becoming a
major development area. It is named for Carl Fisher. Fisher was a pioneer
developer of Miami Beach. Miami Beach is almost entirely filled land. And Mr.
Carl Fisher was the person, I believe, who was primarily responsible for the
development, and so the junior high was named Ida M. Fisher Junior High
School. I went there when I finished the sixth grade at Central Beach
Elementary. I went across the street and from being a senior sixth grader, I
became a junior high seventh grader and spent, I guess, two years in junior high
and then went on to Miami Beach Senior High. It could have been three, I forget
where the dividing line was. And that is where I went to high school. I
graduated from Miami Beach Senior High in June of 1945.
J: When did you start thinking about college, attending college?
G: I guess my last couple of years in high school. I do not think I ever thought
about not attending college. I mean, it was just one of those things you did.
J: Your dad had an advanced degree, a medical degree to practice dentistry.
G: A dental degree, yes. My father went to Cornell for a year or so and then
transferred to the dental school at NYU. The interesting thing about my father
is that he never graduated from high school. He studied on his own.
Apparently in New York at that time you could take what they called regents
exams, or something of that nature. And if you scored well enough you were
admissible to college, and he started out at Cornell. Exactly how long he spent
there I am not positive, a year maybe. Then he went to NYU Dental School.
So he did have that degree. My mother does not have a college degree. But
most of my friends in high school, at least the people that I was friendly with and
the group that I was involved with, the vast majority of those people went on
J: Did you think or talk over with your father about attending the University of
G: Yes, I suppose, because I certainly gave that some thought, I recall thinking
about it. And the University of Miami at that time was one building. I am
serious. That was true, there was one building there and it constituted the
entire University of Miami. Well, I was very familiar of course with the
University of Miami, it was right there in the area. Occasionally we would go
watch some of the football games. The University of Miami played the
University of Florida. They used to play Rollins and Oglethorpe and
Presbyterian and Wofford and Stetson. That is right, that was basically the
schedule of the University of Miami. I remember seeing some of those teams.
J: What other schools did you consider besides Miami?
G: Well, I only applied to three colleges when I graduated from high school. I
applied to Tulane, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Florida.
J: Can you give me a little bit of background, why those three schools and why not
G: I think that the reason that I did not apply to the University of Miami was
because I felt, and my parents apparently felt, although I cannot say this with
any great certainty, that it was desirable to get away from home, that the
University of Miami was just like staying at home. There certainly was not
anything wrong with it in that sense. And I gave some serious thought to it.
Several of my friends went to the University of Miami, but it was not really a very
diverse school at that time. I think the main impetus was to get away from
home. The reason I chose Tulane and North Carolina really, now that I stop and
think about it, was they were schools of good reputation, but they were not that
far away. I really did not have that much desire to go that far away. I wanted to
go away, but I did not want to go that far away.
Whatever ties we had with the New York area by that time had diminished;
my father's father passed away when I was quite young. It would be in the late
1930s when my father's father died. I can pinpoint it a little bit because I
remember the house we were in, and it was not the house we built in 1940, it
was the earlier house, and so it had to be before then. We had not been in that
house very long so we must have built that house around 1934 or 1935. He
must have died in 1936 or 1937, something like that. At which point my father's
mother came to Miami Beach. He brought my grandmother, his mother, to
Miami Beach and so she was living there.
J: With you all?
G: No, she did not live with us. She had her own apartment and she lived by
herself. We would visit and all that but my father's mother maintained an awful
lot of the old country ways, and my father was much closer to his mother than
my father's brother. My father's brother, who as I said was an English
professor, was very much into his academic pursuits, which he did extremely
well. She remained there until my father's death, and at that point our family
situation was such that it was necessary really for her to look to my father's
brother. So she did, she spent the last years of her life back in New York living
with my father's brother and his wife. She went back up there because when my
father died I was already away from home.
Well, when my father died, I actually had already graduated from law
school. I graduated from law school in February of 1951 and my father died in
March of 1951. So I had already graduated from law school and I was married,
but my mother was not well. My brother was probably a junior in high school,
either a sophomore or junior, he graduated from high school in 1953. So she
still had my brother, and she was not well, and it was just not feasible for her to
take over the care of my grandmother, who at that time was up in years. My
uncle, my father's brother, was living in New York, they lived in New York the
entire time; they still live there, he and his wife are still alive. I did some
graduate work at NYU in the mid 1950s. The first summer we were there was
1956 and we saw my grandmother. But she died sometime in the late 1950s. I
am not sure exactly what year.
J: What would you do for entertainment during your junior high and senior high
years on Miami Beach? Did you surf? Would you fish, [go to] movies, would
your family go on picnics?
G: Well, no, I did not do any surfing. It is funny that growing up in Miami Beach I
really did not spend that much time on the beach. We would go occasionally,
but not the way I would go today if I lived there. Really, I guess we just
accepted the beach. When I was very young we used to go to the beach; I
remember that. But then, when I was in high school, oh, we would go
occasionally, but it would be occasionally.
My father was a tennis player, he loved tennis. This is before tennis was
popular. This was before it became a popular sport. That is one of the reasons
we used to go every summer to the Pocono Mountains, because they had
excellent tennis facilities, and that is where I learned to play. My father literally
spent a fair amount of every day on the tennis courts. Because the type of work
that he did, which was mostly buying and selling real estate, lent itself to a
schedule that was not really very confining, and so he played a lot of tennis, and
as a result, so did I. I sort of grew up in Flamingo Park. We built the house that
we did primarily because of the location of the park.
J: To the tennis courts.
G: To the tennis courts and to whatever else the park had to offer. I literally grew
up in Flamingo Park. I would come home from school and change into my
athletic equipment and the park then, this is the municipal park of Miami Beach,
had a very well organized recreational program for young folks, boys and girls. I
participated in that recreational program. They played everything. We had
softball teams, we had field hockey, we could not play ice hockey but we had
field hockey, we had football, we had soccer. It changed depending on the
season, and I was in with a group of people, fellows, my classmates and other
friends, and that is what the majority of us did. So I would come home and do
one of those sports in the afternoon. I would come in and go out of the house,
and we lived across the street. You could go across the street and you were in
the park, and they had everything there. They had shuffle board courts, they
had basketball courts ...
J: They had a baseball diamond, tennis courts?
G: Yes, in that park were several softball fields right across the street from my
house. On the other end of the park, maybe three blocks from my house, was a
baseball diamond, which the Philadelphia Phillies used for their spring training.
J: A major league baseball diamond.
G: Well, it was small.
J: I mean, it had 325 feet down the outfield line, it was large enough?
G: Oh, yes. It was the diamond that the high school used for baseball. It was our
baseball diamond. On the other side of the baseball diamond was the high
school football field, and that is where we played our high school games. That
park doubled as the athletic field for the high school, although the high school
was three blocks away from the park, three or four blocks away. The high
school had a practice field, right by the high school, but its major practice and
playing field for both football and baseball was in that park.
J: Did you have an automobile to get to and from high school in your junior or
G: No, I never had a car until I came up to college. I got my first car for my
twenty-first birthday. I did not drive in high school. I did not know how to drive
when I graduated from high school. I remember when I came up here to the
University, which was June of 1945, my first roommate was a fellow from
Tallahassee. He had a car and it had an automatic transmission, one of the
very first. It was one of those Oldsmobile Hydromatics.
J: Buttons on the dashboard.
G: No, it had a lever, but you did not have to use a clutch. You did not have to
shift with a gear shift and use a clutch.
J: I have seen some of those old Ramblers that have buttons on the dash and you
have to push to switch the gears, and it is a semi-kind of automatic
G: Maybe it was. I do not remember. But I know you did not have to use a
clutch. As a result of which, I could drive it. Because all you had to do was
steer and learn how to hit the brakes. You would just put it in gear and then you
drove it. So I started driving his car a bit, and I had gotten a license, I learned
how to drive after that. I experimented on his car a bit and learned and then got
a license but I did not have a car and did not drive much at all until I was, well I
guess I started driving when I was probably eighteen or nineteen, a bit, but I did
not have a car. But I learned how and I got a license.
J: I want to touch a little bit more on Tulane and Chapel Hill, why you selected
Florida over those two?
G: Well, the primary reason was the war. That was the primary reason. Because
I graduated in June of 1945, the war was ending in Europe but the Pacific was
still going on.
J: In Europe it was May, in Japan it was August.
G: It was just coming to an end, but the draft was on full speed, and the draft
continued the whole time that I was in college here. I graduated from high
school when I was sixteen. I was always a year too young for the draft. I was
sixteen years old when I graduated from high school. I turned seventeen in
July, my birthday is in July. I was born in 1928, and so I became seventeen in
July of 1945, so I was still sixteen when I graduated from high school.
J: But you were not yet eligible for the draft.
G: I was a year too young for the draft, and so the thought was that I would try to get
as much college in as I could before I had to go into the service. The idea of my
having to go into the service was one that was pretty well accepted, I mean it just
appeared as if we were all going to have to go to the service. We never knew
exactly when and I did not really think I would be able to stay in college very long
before I had to go in the service. I figured I would have to interrupt my education
to go in the service. But I thought that I would be better off in the service if I had
more college education than less because the chances of getting something a
little better to do were enhanced.
J: Better training?
G: Yes, so I would have a little bit more to offer perhaps than someone who did not
have that much college. I did not know that for a fact. But, that is the way an
awful lot of my peers were thinking and we of course all discussed it. Now,
some of my contemporaries were a little bit older than I. See, I really graduated
just a little bit ahead of my class, because I had gone to summer school one
summer in high school. I made up a semester. The class that I really was in
graduated in mid-term, which would be February of 1946. That was really my
J: And you would have been almost eighteen when you graduated. It would have
been much closer.
G: Well, I went to school one summer and made up a semester because I wanted
to graduate in June. I am not sure exactly why at the time but it just seemed
better off graduating in June. So I got into that June graduating class.
J: I am still trying to touch on Tulane and Chapel Hill; why come to Florida?
G: Because Florida was outside of Miami, so I could get away from home. It was
still in the state of Florida so it was not that far away from home. With the war
and the idea of having to go into the service, I suppose my mother wanted me
to be closer. I got absolutely no pressures from my parents one way or another.
The tuition was not a factor. The tuition at that time was not what it is today,
even though the dollar today is not what it was then. Even on a comparative
basis, I do not think the tuition at that time was as much of a stumbling block as it
might have been today.
J: Some of the older graduates of the University that I have talked with told me
that there was no tuition at all if you were a resident of the state of Florida.
You did have an activities fee to pay.
G: I believe that is true. I think I paid around seventy-five dollars a semester.
That is my recollection.
J: It was not labeled, or categorized tuition per se.
G: No, no that is right.
J: You got your football tickets with that?
J: You did not have any additional expenses at basketball games?
G: That is correct. There was no charge to go to football games, no charge to go
to basketball games. It was not expensive to go to the University of Florida.
But, that was not the thing that made my decision because the only thing that
would have been more expensive to go to those other schools was perhaps
some winter clothing, I guess, and the tuition.
J: And transportation.
G: Well, transportation might have evened itself out because I doubt that I would
have come home as much as I did. A couple of my friends had cars, and I have
driven between Miami and Gainesville more times than I like to think, particularly
before the turnpike was built. That was an eight hour drive on a two-lane
highway. It was tiresome, but we would do it. We would go back and forth. At
that time you did not worry very much about hitchhiking and I hitchhiked home to
Miami several times. My mother was not that pleased, but it was not what it is
J: Did you have to go over to St. Augustine and then go south? How would you go
G: Yes, a couple of times I think we hitchhiked through Daytona Beach. We
would go over to the coast, or sometimes you just hitchhiked toward Ocala,
mostly down 441. The two roads were 441 and 27, they branched off south of
Ocala. Or I would take a bus occasionally.
G: Mostly the train; the major mode of transportation was the train. It was not
overly expensive to do that. That is the way I went primarily. I took that train
an awful lot. That was the train that left you off and picked you up in Waldo.
J: You were close when it dropped you off in downtown Miami, you must have
been pretty close to home. You could have walked there in a half hour.
G: Oh, no. No, not at all. It was much further than that. Don't forget the train
dropped you off in downtown Miami. I lived in Miami Beach. I had to go
across Biscayne Bay to get home, I had to go across the causeway. That is a
good distance, that was not an easy walk. I never walked from the train home
at all. Somebody would always meet me there. We would always have
arrangements, either me or one of my friends.
One of the things that made my decision to come to Florida was that
Miami Beach, as I told you, was at that time a small town. When I graduated
from high school, we knew each other and I had a lot of high school friends. A
large group of us came up here to Florida then in June of 1945. I came up here
[with what] must have been ten or fifteen of my good friends. One of the
reasons we all came is because the rest of us were coming. We all decided that
Florida was the place to go. I doubt seriously that I applied to Tulane and North
Carolina totally by myself; two or three of my other friends must have also
applied. We would talk about it, and I would talk with my friends about what
school they were going to. Emory was a school that several of them applied to
and went. One of my friends that I graduated from high school with and still is a
very good and close friend of mine is Phil Emmer here in town. He was in my
graduating class, and Phil went off to Georgia Tech with another fellow that we
were very friendly with and that I played tennis with, Burt Warshaw. I remember
where people went to some extent because it was a close group. I played on the
tennis team for Miami Beach High and two of my teammates came up here to
J: Did you consider playing on the tennis team at Florida?
G: Yes, as a matter of fact I went out for the tennis team for a little while. I did not
pursue it. I am really not sure exactly why, and I must confess to you that it is
one of those things that if I had to do over again I think I would have done it. I
would have pursued it. I am not sure exactly why I did not.
J: Did you play tennis while you were here?
G: Oh yes, I played intramural. That is a form of recreation that has served me well
for many, many years and which I still indulge in. I spent a lot of time on the
tennis courts. I spent a lot of time there or if not playing just being around the
tennis court. During the years I was here at the University I got a summer job
for two summers as the recreation director in Flamingo Park for the junior boys.
They had various types of programs and one of them was a program for junior
boys, I forget the exact age group, I guess they were anywhere from eight or ten
to fourteen, something like that. I was the recreation director in the park, and I
ran the recreation program for these young fellows. And we had all kinds of
sports. We had boxing, which I really did not know very much about, but we had
boxing and rollerskating, and tennis and softball and swimming.
J: That was during the summers at Flamingo Park?
G: Yes. I got into this for two reasons. One, we used to spend our summers, until
the war started, in the Pocono Mountains and that was a summer of sporting
activity daily. I mean it was arts and crafts and sports and swimming. I became
fairly decent in many of those sports, junior life-saving, that type of thing. They
had all those kinds of programs, and so that was something that I was used to.
Especially in the summertime, and then at home in Miami Beach that was a daily
occurrence, I was just in that park every day. That is what we did after school:
go out there and play on one of those teams, and most of the people I knew did
J: Did you maintain that type of schedule when you came to college? Playing
sports and intramurals?
G: Well, to some extent, although I confined it then to mostly the tennis. I played
intramural tennis. I played a little bit of other things, softball and that sort of
thing. I belonged to a fraternity here and it had an intramural program and we
would all participate. If there was a group of fellows who were going to go play
softball I generally would be involved in it.
J: Tell me about how you developed intellectually in your undergraduate years
moving toward attending law school.
G: My decisions with respect to what I was going to study, what I was going to do,
were not very well directed. I did not come up to the University of Florida to go
to law school. As a matter of fact, I do not think that ever occurred to me at the
beginning. I came up ostensibly as a pre-med student. I say ostensibly
because I am not sure that was very well thought out. I am not sure if I really
had thought through the fact that that meant you were going to be a doctor. This
may sound a little strange to you, but in high school I guess, particularly the
kind of high school I went to, people talked in terms of pre-med, pre-this, pre-that
and for lack of something better to put down you put down pre-med. What I was
really saying was, I am really not sure what I want to do. I certainly did not have
anything along those lines in high school. I mean, I did not study chemistry and
physics because I wanted to. I studied them because you had to to get out of
When I came up here you took the C courses, C-1, C-2, and all that kind
of stuff. I took all the C courses. I think there were two of them that I took a
test for and did not have to take and got credit. Miami Beach High School at
that time was a pretty good high school, considering things. I think it was
thought of as a fairly good high school. There are not that many high schools in
Miami and most of them were fairly good high schools. There were only about
five high schools in the whole Miami area. I did well in the English courses,
because we had a very good background in verbal skills from high school. So, I
did well in the English courses. I did not do too well in the sciences when I say
I did not do too well I mean I did not care for them very much. I started with
chemistry and I did not really take to it at all. In fact, I dropped it I believe before
I ever finished it. But I went through the languages. I took a couple of years of
German here, which I had never had. I took Latin in high school and then
German here. I really did not know what I wanted to do, I really did not. The C
courses were good in that sense, and that is what they were designed for really,
to give you the opportunity.
J: By your junior year, your third year, had you experienced or were you enrolled
in any classes where you were inspired by the professor or felt a larger purpose
than attending classes and graduating from college?
G: No, I must confess that I do not think I did.
J: How about by the time you graduated?
G: No, I would do well in some courses, but I worked at it. I liked some courses
better than others of course, as most people would. I finally ended up majoring
in psychology. I found that to be interesting, although it never occurred to me
to be a psychologist. I really was not heading in that direction. But I took the
psychology courses and they were sort of interesting. I really did not know what
I wanted to do. I do not know how frank or candid you want me to get with
respect to this.
J: As comfortable as you are.
G: I do not mind telling you about it. I ended up going to law school purely and
simply because it just seemed to me the wisest move at the time. It was a
professional school. I guess my thinking was that a law degree was probably
the best degree I could have if I really did not know what I wanted to do; it had
more options with it than any other degree that I could think of that I was able to
get within reason. I certainly was not going to start at that point trying to go back
and try to make my way into medical school. I am not sure that I would have
been comfortable digging through chemistry and physics and that sort of thing.
They were not subjects that I really took to very well, when I was doing well in
these others. I would do well in the humanities, I would do well in the
communicative courses, logic, English, psychology, those courses. But
chemistry and statistics, courses of that type, were things that I was not overly
excited about and not comfortable with. Math has never been one of my major
At that time, I had a lot of friends here because I was involved with a
fraternity. I had people whom I knew who had come up from Miami Beach with
me and a lot friends who I had made. Many, many of them were in law school
or going to law school. I had roommates that were in law school. And getting
into law school at that time was very easy.
J: How easy?
G: In comparison to what it is today it was very easy. You needed a "C" average.
J: When you graduated from here with your B.A. in psychology in 1949, I assume
that was in June or April?
G: No, it was February of 1949 that I got my B.A. in psychology, and I entered law
school in February of 1948.
J: Is that a combined course of study?
G: Exactly. I took a combined degree which at that time you could do. You
cannot do it now and have not been able to do it for a long time. But at that
time we could get into law school with two years of undergraduate work, and
many of my contemporaries in law school did just that, particularly the people
coming out of the service. I was here at the University at the time that the WWII
veterans were starting to come to the university, and that was a different crowd.
That was a different group of people. At that time, many of them were interested
in getting in and out as fast as they could, because they had already given
some years that they did not want to give.
J: They were older than you.
G: They were older by anywhere from one to considerably more years. Some of
them had families, many of them were married. They were interested in getting
in and getting out, most of them. You could get into law school then after two
years of undergraduate school. Some of them already had the two years.
J: "C" average.
G: "C" average.
J: At that point.
G: At that point, "C" average and you were in.
J: No LSAT. No preliminary tests.
G: No, nothing.
J: Fill out one sheet of paper that is an application to law school, present it to
Harry Trusler [Harry R. Trusler, Dean, University of Florida College of Law,
(1915-1947)] and you are in.
G: Yes, as long as you had the "C" average that is right.
J: Was it that easy?
G: As far as I know.
J: Did you get an application from the law school and just fill it out?
G: I do not remember where you got the application from. I guess you got it from
the administration, which at that time was, well I do not know. When I first
started here the university administration was in what they called Language
Hall, which is now Anderson Hall, and that is where Dr. Tigert's [James J.
Tigert, President, University of Florida, (1928-1947)] office was. I remember
his office there in Language Hall which became Anderson Hall and Tigert Hall
was built after that. I forget exactly when, but it was not here.
J: 1950 or 1951.
G: But it was not here when I was in school. So you could enter law school pretty
easily. My major concern when I decided that I wanted to go to law school was
not could I get in, I do not think I ever gave that any thought. I knew I could
get in, not because I was so good, just anybody could get in if you had a "C"
average. So, when I applied to law school, I do not think it ever occurred to me
to think that my application would not be accepted. I do not know anybody who
got rejected from law school at that time. It was not what you bump into today
and have for many years now. It was not that way at all, the LSAT did not exist.
You did not need any prerequisites whatsoever. All you needed were the
number of hours, which was the equivalent of two years, plus the grade point
J: Did you begin taking law courses as soon as you entered in February of 1948?
G: Oh, when I entered law school in February of 1948, I entered law school. And I
took the regular law school curriculum.
J: That was it for psychology; no more.
G: That was it. Because the way it worked was, I had decided that I was going to
get that combination degree. In order to do that, what you did was to get all the
requirements for your degree completed so that all you had left were electives.
All the required courses were done, and I did that. I had advisors and I took
all the psychology courses that I needed, I had completed my language, I had
two years of a language. You needed the language to get an arts and
sciences degree, and I had my language, and I had my major courses, all the
psychology courses that I needed, I had all my C courses done. All the
requirements were met. What I needed to get my degree was twenty-eight
hours of electives.
J: And the law school courses filled that?
G: I elected them in law school, exactly. My first year of law school counted as my
last year of arts and sciences. That is the way it worked.
J: What a deal. Do people not wish they could have that option today?
G: Yes, that is the way it worked. So when I completed my first year of law
school, which was February of 1949, I graduated from arts and sciences.
J: Did you go through a procession at the auditorium?
G: At the auditorium, yes, I graduated at the auditorium. I remember it, standing
out in line with a friend of mine, who also graduated from arts and sciences, a
friend who I had known from high school. She and I were looking at the
program, I remember this vividly because it was a shock to me. We were
looking at the program, and we saw our names and they had little asterisks by
them, little stars. I asked her, I said, "What does that mean?" And she said, "I
do not know, let's look down." We looked down at the bottom of the program
and it showed that we graduated with honors. Neither of us knew it, or at least I
did not. I was totally unaware of it. But see, I did well in law school. I did not
do badly in arts and sciences, but I did very well my first year in law school. My
first year in law school was very good from a grade standpoint. That must have
kicked me up to where I graduated from arts and sciences with honors. But I did
not even know it, I was totally unaware of it.
J: Women were introduced to the University in 1947. How did you feel about
G: Oh, I thought it was a very fine decision on the part of the University. I was
dating regularly a young lady who is my wife, and she went to Tallahassee.
She graduated from Miami Beach High School in 1946 and she started at Florida
State College for Women, as as result of which I spent a lot of time between
Gainesville and Tallahassee. A lot of people here were doing that. I mean, the
road between Gainesville and Tallahassee was a well traveled road when I
entered this university because this was a men's college and that was the
woman's college. There were some women here, but they were few.
J: Professional schools?
G: Yes, when I started law school there were maybe three women in law school. I
understand that there were women in the pharmacy college because FSCW did
not have certain professional schools, and so the women would come here, and
pharmacy and law are two that come to mind.
J: Agriculture, I think was one. I am not sure.
G: Maybe so. So, there were some here but there were not very many. And so a
lot of the fellows would go off to Tallahassee for the weekend. That is what I
did. We would always find a car that was going over to Tallahassee and we
would catch a ride. Plus the fact that my very first roommate was from
Tallahassee, he was a native of Tallahassee.
J: What was his name?
G: Melvin Turner. His family owns Turner's Stores in Tallahassee, which are fairly
well known stores in Tallahassee. He had a car, and so one way or another
we would find a way to Tallahassee. There was always a bus, or on occasion
I would hitchhike.
J: No trains though.
G: No trains between here and Tallahassee that I can recall. I know there was a
train, but it did not come into Gainesville. They used to refer to it as the Loapin'
Gopher, which you may or may not have heard of. It was the Live Oak, Perry,
and Gulf Railroad which went through Perry and Live Oak, but it did not come to
J: Let me get your wife's name and the year you got married.
G: Her name is Joyce. Her maiden name is Kerzin, and we were married on
December 27, 1950, which was approximately a month or so before I graduated
from law school.
J: So there was no transition time between your graduation from undergraduate
school and beginning law school.
G: No, I was already in law school. My graduation from arts and sciences over
here at the University Auditorium was just an interlude because I was in law
J: You completed a third of your requirements in law school, or nearly so.
G: I had finished a year, that is right. I had two years left. I never went to summer
school when I was in law school. But most of the people who were in law
school at that time, a substantial number of people who were in law school at
that time went to summer school, largely because they were the veterans and
they were interested in getting in and getting out as fast as they could. I was
J: You returned to Miami.
G: I would go back home in the summers. I valued my summers, the time that I
had. It gave me time away from the books. I was not married, I was not that
old, especially in comparison with the other people who were coming out of the
war, and I valued the summer off. I would work in the summertime. Two
summers I spent as a recreation director in Flamingo Park. A couple of
summers I worked in my father's store, I never did tell you about the store that
my father had.
J: Tell me about it now, briefly.
G: Well, what happened was that during the war the government took over the
hotel. In the meantime, my father had met a man who had been in the clothing
buisness, men's clothing. The two of them sort of hit it off, and they opened a
men's clothing store in Miami Beach. They catered principally to the military
that was there at the time. But even after the military left they continued the
store. They subsequently opened another one in Miami itself, downtown
Miami, not far from Flagler Street. They were called Dixie Men's Shop, that
was the name of it, Dixie Men's Shop. Eventually, the other man bought out my
father. But that is what my father did after the hotel. He never went back into
the hotel business.
J: What did he do, did he sell the hotel after the service turned it back over?
G: Yes, when the war was over, the man that my father built and owned the hotel
with, Harry Kovner, was a very interesting man, as was my father, frankly. Both
somewhat inclined on a philosophical bent. Mr. Kovner had written some
poetry books, you know, nothing that was very popular. But he enjoyed that.
He was to some extent a philosopher by nature. My father also tended to be
that. The war was a terrible experience for them even though they were not
physically involved in it. Mr. Kovner was a little bit older than my father. But the
war was a terrible experience for both of them. Not just the fact that it was a
war, but some of the underlying causes and the Hitler regime and all that sort of
J: Well, the homeland was torn apart, too.
G: Right. That fact that that hotel had been part of a military experience,
particularly [for] my father's partner, [who] just did not want to go back to the
hotel, just did not want to continue it. They got an offer for it, which I assume
they felt was appropriate, and they sold it. They sold it very shortly after the war.
They never went back into the hotel business, they sold it. Mr. Kovner was
basically retired when my father and he built the hotel. He had already retired
from a very successful business in New York and was living in Miami Beach, and
my father just happened to meet him. They just met and took to each other.
So we became very close friends with that family. But that is what happened with
the hotel and the clothing store. So when I was in law school, if I was not
working in Flamingo Park, I was working in that men's shop when I went back
there in the summers.
J: Well, that clears it up. I am glad we took the time to talk about the store. I
think it would have been a little confusing otherwise, where did this store come
G: You know, my father hit if off with this other man, Bert Wilmers, who he went into
the clothing buisness with. Because Mr. Wilmers was an avid tennis player and
that is where they met, on the tennis courts. Mr. Wilmers was German. He had
come over from Germany just before the war and had gone into the clothing
business in this country as a salesman. He knew the clothing business. So
they hit it off pretty well, and the store was very successful. They had a very
nice business out of it. I assume it provided a decent return and they did well
with it. As I say, he bought my father out. As far as I know he is still living in
Miami; he is in his eighties, but I understand he still likes to play tennis.
J: Tell me about the professors at the law school. Dean Slagle [Professor,
University of Florida College of Law, (1923-1928, 1929-1958)], Professor [Clifford
W.] Crandall [Professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1914-1949)],
G: Trusler I really never knew. I had met him, but he had already retired from
teaching. I had met him once or twice when he would come to the law school
just to visit. I remember seeing him coming to the building. But he was not a
professor that I had. He had already stopped teaching when I started law
school. I took a course from Crandall. He was here; he left shortly after I
entered. So, I do not believe he was teaching here when I graduated.
J: My notes show that he retired in the summer of 1949.
G: Yes, that would be about right, I suppose. He was here probably a year when I
was in law school.
J: What was his demeanor or character?
G: Well, he was a very distinguished gentleman, rather portly with a goatee. Very
good professor as I recall. He was known as an authority on Common Law
Pleading, which at that time was an extremely complex subject. Fortunately, it
has been simplified to some extent.
J: Did you use his text?
G: Yes, we used a book, Crandall on Common Law Pleading, I think it was. We
used a book that he had written. But I took a part of a course from him. My
very first course in pleading I did not take from Crandall. I took an advanced
pleading course from him, I believe. The very first one I took from another
member of the faculty who was a local attorney named Seldon Waldo
[Professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1947-1948)]. You may have
come across Seldon Waldo's name; he died at a rather early age.
J: Can you give me an approximate date of when he died? 1955?
G: No I cannot, but Sam can.
J: He had two very brief terms as a professor here?
G: Waldo? Yes. His family is still in Gainesville, I think. I met somebody once, I
think it may have been his wife.
J: I have got that he began in 1947, I assume that would be the fall of 1947, and
he resigned in July of 1948, and I got that out of a University reference book.
G: All right. Well, I probably had him in the spring of 1948, because I think he was
one of the first professors I had. I think it was in that sequence of courses that I
took at the very, very beginning.
J: I have not talked to many people that have had him as a professor. Do you
remember much about him? Even something simple, [like] the way he looked
G: I remember a bit about the way he looked. I think [he had] sort of sandy hair,
light completed, not a very large or imposing person. My recollection is that he
was a good professor. I think he had been an excellent law student. I
remember something about the fact that he was highly thought of as far as his
intellectual abilities. I thought he was a good professor. I really did not know
him very well. But I do not have unfavorable recollections about him at all. I do
recall when he died. I do not recall when it was, but I remember that it was an
extremely untimely death. He had some sort of illness, some disease or
something. I cannot recall.
J: It was not from an automobile accident?
G: No, I do not believe so. I think he contracted some illness.
J: When you were in law school, would professors call on you, would they ask you
to stand and rise and give an answer to a question?
J: Did any one of the professors make use of that technique more than another, or
maybe abuse it or put people on the spot purposefully?
G: Well, the one with the reputation for doing that of course was Mr. [Clarence
John] TeSelle [Professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1928-1930,
1932-1958)]. He had been a prosecutor and he used a prosecutorial style in his
questioning. I was always of the opinion that his bark was much, much worse
than his bite. He enjoyed a little bit of a kind of put down on the spot. But, I
never really had the feeling that he was doing it with any malevolent feelings or
anything of that nature at all. I think he honestly believed that that was the best
way to teach someone to react to an adversarial type of process. He was pretty
good at it.
J: He was maintaining his own when you were in law school, there were not any
people that were getting the best of him.
G: Oh no, he was maintaining his own. I suspect he maintained his own until he
could no longer maintain anything. He was always chomping on a cigar, which
I doubt was ever lit. But he always chomped on his cigar. At the time that I
was in law school, when I first started he could get around, but he had a cane
as I recall. He was getting around all right. My recollection is when I was
finishing law school, he was in a wheelchair. I remember him being in a
J: Do you remember when he died? Was it before you returned to become an
G: You know, I am not positive. Because I remember visiting him at the White
House Hotel. I liked Mr. TeSelle. For all his barking and stuff, I was sort of
fond of him. I went to visit him at the White House Hotel; he lived there. The
White House Hotel is gone now, of course, it is all torn down. It was where the
Sun Bank is I believe, downtown. I remember going to visit him there and he
was in a wheelchair. I cannot recall whether I did that after I came back here to
teach or whether it was when I was in law school.
J: This book lists him as retiring in 1958, and it may be wrong. Does that help?
So, he would have taught another five years after you returned to become an
assistant professor. Does that sound right?
G: No, that does not sound correct.
J: Do you think he was here or even alive when you returned?
G: When I returned to teach?
J: In 1953.
G: Professor [James Westbay] Day [Professor, University of Florida College of
Law, (1930-1961)] was here and Slagle was here. You know it is possible that
he was. I get him mixed up a little bit, it blurs in my mind. Just the same way
that I get mixed up with people that were here in law school with me and people
that were here when I came back to teach, I get them mixed up. Part of the
reason being the age, because a lot of them that were here when I came back to
teach were my age or even older. I was not gone that long. You know, I left in
1951 in February and I came back to teach in September of 1953. So there was
not really a full three years. He may have been here teaching when I came back
and that may have been when I went to visit with him. That is possible. I would
have to have my memory refreshed on that one. I do recall seeing him at the
White House Hotel and going over there to see him.
J: Well, it is a short number of years too, between the time you graduated and the
time you returned, and I can fully appreciate how that would become blurred.
G: I remember that he lived at the White House Hotel, I remember the house that
Professor Day lived in and I remember where Professor Slagle lived.
J: How good of friends were you with these professors as professors before you
became, in your own right, a professor here?
G: You mean how friendly was I with them before I came back to teach?
J: Right, would you go to their home or perhaps have coffee with them with a
group of people after class?
G: The one that I was friendliest with as a student was Professor [George John]
Miller [Professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1948-1955)]. I was in his
home a number of times and had worked with him in his home. We worked
together. He took me with him one Christmas Eve when he sang in the
midnight mass at the Episcopal church, and I went with him. I was friendly
with Professor Miller, Dick [Richard Badenoch] Stephens [Professor, University of
Florida College of Law, (1949-1977)], Frank [T.] Maloney [Dean, University of
Florida College of Law, (1958-1970)], Bob [Robert Barbeau] Mautz [Professor,
University of Florida College of Law, (1950-1967)].
J: Tell me a little bit about Miller's character.
G: I was friendly with Professor Day, but I really never socialized. I was friendly
with Professor Day, but Professor Slagle not so much. I did not ever get to
know him too well. I really never socialized or anything with Professor TeSelle.
I just remember going to visit him at the White House. I was friendly with Mrs.
Pridgen [lla Rountree Pridgen, Librarian and Secretary, University of Florida
College of Law, (1930-1954)]. She was friendly with an awful lot of the law
students. She sort of made her life around the law students.
J: What about Miller's character?
G: Miller was a character. Miller was one of the most unusual people I have ever
known. We maintained a correspondence and a friendship for a long time. We
have sort of drifted apart now, and frankly I do not even know where he is at this
point, but he was very influential in some of the decisions that I made and some
of the things that happened to me while I was in law school.
J: Share with me some of those things.
G: Well, I worked on the Law Review and that is how I got to be pretty friendly with
Miller because he was the advisor to the Law Review and he, probably more
than any one person, was responsible for the Law Review becoming a stable
ongoing publication. They needed somebody like Professor Miller, he did not
get it started necessarily, because I think it was Hal [Harold Bryan] Crosby
[Professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1959-1964)] and some of the
other people who actually did the spade work, and I do not think Miller was here
when that started. I forget exactly when he came.
J: I think he came in 1948.
G: The ground work for the Law Review had already been laid by some other
J: I think the first year's issues had already been published at that point.
G: There may have been an issue or two maybe even three published at that time.
Miller came in and single-handedly took over the editorial work of the Law
Review and directed it. In fact, if you go in and read the first several issues of
the Law Review after he came, I think you will find a certain style that runs
through them and it was his editorial style. He was responsible for getting many
of the articles that appeared in the issues of the Law Review, and of course,
getting a Law Review is not the easiest thing in the world. I suspect that it could
easily go under. He developed the early character of the Law Review, he really
did. He ran the Law Review, he rewrote almost everything that came in. He
was a real stylist when it came to the English language.
J: Now, you mentioned earlier that you went over to his house on occasion.
G: Primarily in conjunction with Law Review work. We were editing pieces for the
Law Review, and we would do that day and night.
J: He would just have you sit down with a pencil?
G: Yes, we would sit down with a pencil or we would take it over there to him and
he did his best work usually after midnight sitting around with pencils and coffee
and just grinding it out. He would rewrite he was meticulous when it came to
style, maybe too much so. But everything had to be done the way it was
supposed to be done. The citations were all exactly the way they were
supposed to be, and he inculcated in the Law Review a feeling for some tradition
and for a way of doing things that was not sloppy. Everything was meticulous,
everything was the way it was supposed to be. As I say, perhaps to the point of
being too much that way, but I guess when you get a law review started you
J: Why do you think he personally became the driving force behind the Law
G: Well, that is primarily what he loved to do. He loved to do that. He loved
language, he loved words, he loved to play with them, to work with them, to turn
a phrase so to speak, that is what he loved to do. He was a Rhodes Scholar,
he was a man of some substance intellectually and [he had a] great, great
capacity for work.
J: Had he not graduated from Oxford?
G: Yes, he has a degree from Oxford. He graduated from the University of Florida
and was a Rhodes Scholar. Then he became an associate in a very, very well
known, highly respected law firm in New York, Davis Polk Wardwell, something
or other. The Davis is the John Davis that ran for president of the United States.
Dr. Miller used to say that when you look at that law firm's name you will see it is
Davis Polk Wardwell whatever and there are no commas and that is the sign of a
prestigious law firm they do not have the commas. All the names are strung
out, but there are no commas in between them. Apparently that was a sign that
you knew, you could tell class when you saw that the commas were missing.
Kind of strange, but that is what he said.
J: Did any of these professors have nicknames?
G: Well, Slagle of course was called Sloogie.
J: How did you all spell Sloogie, with a "u" or two "o"s?
G: I always thought it was with two "o"s, but I cannot tell you that I ever saw it
written. I just assumed it was two "o"s, but I do not know that I ever saw it.
J: Did Judge [Robert Spratt] Cockrell [Professor, University of Florida College of
Law, (1919-1941)] ever make an appearance at the law school?
G: My recollection is that I only saw Judge Cockrell once, and he came into a
classroom in which I was a student. I remember asking somebody afterwards
who was that, he was an extremely old man at the time. Somebody said it was
Judge Cockrell. I do not recall ever seeing him other than that.
J: You had no classes under Trusler or Cockrell?
G: I did not. I could not even tell you who my first semester professors were off
hand although I remember Frank Maloney and Seldon Waldo, and very likely
Professor Day, but I am not positive. I took courses from Professor Day but I
am not sure whether it was the first semester, it probably was.
J: Dean [Henry A.] Fenn [Dean, University of Florida College of Law, (1948-1958)]?
G: Dean Fenn was not here. My recollection is that Dean Fenn came in the fall of
1948, September of 1948, but I started law school before he came. He arrived
in the fall of 1948, and when I started law school Crandall was the acting dean.
J: How was that made known to you?
G: That Crandall was the acting dean?
G: I do not know. I guess I just knew who the dean was.
J: Was it above his name or on his door?
G: I do not remember.
J: Just as a point of evidence. I have seen it in some books and I am wondering
if you remember seeing that on his door or him being referred to as dean.
G: I think his office was probably the dean's office.
J: That would do it.
G: The dean's office at that time was set apart. I am talking about the old law
school now. When you walked in from the main entrance facing the west, the
dean's office was to the right. If you turned to the right and walked straight
ahead, you walked into the dean's secretary's office and behind the secretary's
office was the dean's office itself.
J: All the way down the end of the hall.
G: No, it was not all the way down, because the main entrance on the west side of
the law school was also on the south side. In other words, as you faced that
old law building it would be the entrance that would be on the southwest part of
that building. As you entered that entrance you turned to your right and
walked about ten steps and you were into the secretary's office.
J: There is a small addition, very small, maybe thirty feet square to the south that
was added to the law school building. I was wondering if that was there at the
G: That may have been what I am talking about.
J: It is not very far from that front door.
G: They may have expanded that to put the dean's office in there. I guess you are
right. When I first entered, the dean's office may have been on the north part
near the library.
J: That was a long time ago; a lot of additions have been made.
G: The dean's office may have been in the north part in the library. I think you are
right. I think they may have added that other dean's office that I am thinking
about. See, I do not have any recollection of Crandall's office, to be perfectly
honest with you, I just do not remember it. I remember he was the acting dean.
But the only way I remember that is because I know it. I do not remember
seeing anything. I was just told he was the acting dean. See, we did not have
a dean at the time because Trusler had retired and they were looking for a dean.
And Dean Fenn was the dean they hired from Yale; he was an assistant dean at
Yale. He did not come until September of 1948.
J: Did you have a sense that the course load or requirements were increased after
he arrived? I do not mean immediately, but maybe two years after he arrived,
your senior year? Do you have a sense that more was required of you in
class? The point has been made to me in a number of interviews that Dean
Trusler had begun to slip and not keep the law school in the place in which he
had placed it over the years, and that Dean Fenn took some steps.
G: I do not think that there is any question that Dean Fenn took some steps to
improve the curriculum and the quality of education at the law school. He did.
I do not think there is a question about it. The main faculty when I entered law
school, most of them, were very close to retirement. They were older people
from a different mold, close to retirement. Dean Fenn brought in some new
people, and they were different people, very good. A different approach, that is
true. They had a broader perspective, and the curriculum then started changing.
It changed more as time went on, but yes, he started making some changes.
There were some visiting people when I was in law school. One was Judge
Smythe. I know I took contracts from him and it may have been that first
semester. He had been a judge in New York. There was a bit of controversy
involving him, which I cannot really give you the details of. I should remember it,
I would have to have my memory refreshed, but the students wanted to keep
him, and I think the administration was sort of easing him out. He was a nice
fellow and the students liked him. But there were several people like that. They
were here for a little while and then gone. I know Dean Fenn was interested in
bringing in people who were committed to law teaching as a profession and who
were not looking for a place in the sun to sort of spend the last years of their life
type of thing.
J: You had plenty of those.
G: Yes, there were a number of those people who were available, I am sure. This
is not implying that Judge Smythe was one of them; I do not know. But I think
Dean Fenn had a better sense of law teaching as a distinct profession which
people committed themselves to and prepared themselves for and worked at
rather than something that anybody who was a good lawyer could come in and
start teaching law. So there were some people that came and went.
J: Was there a testing period?
G: I cannot call all their names. Of course, you have to man the podium, so to
speak, and he probably had to hire some people and then let them go.
J: Let me read off a couple of names that have come up in other interviews that
have not been addressed. One is Cornelius Joseph Smythe, I assume this is
who that is.
G: Cornelius Smythe, that is him. That is the judge from New York who taught
J: How about Charles Siliman?
G: Yes, I had Charlie Siliman.
J: Tell me a little bit about him. His middle name is Vrtacek.
G: Well, he left here as I recall and went down to central Florida and opened up a
law firm, I think. I do not know if he is still around or not. I just do not know.
But he left and went into practice. I think he was basically a practicing
attorney type of person. I took a course from him, partnership I believe was
the course I took. He was not an outstanding law professor. I suppose he was
a capable person and I believe [he] did develop a successful practice.
J: Do you know where he came from before he got here?
G: No, I do not remember. There was also someone named O'Neil, McNeil or
O'Neil something [or] like that, who taught corporations.
J: How about Sterling McNeese [Professor, University of Florida College of Law,
G: That is who I am thinking about, McNeese, I think he taught corporations.
J: I have got him down almost for the same dates as Seldon Waldo.
G: The same as Waldo. He was here for a very short time. I thought it was after
J: Well, I have got him for the same dates, almost exactly from fall of 1947 to July
1, 1948. Which would be a little bit shorter than Waldo, but not much.
G: I do not believe I ever took a course from him, but I remember him being here.
That is who I was thinking of when I said McNeil or O'Neil it was McNeese.
J: Okay. James Robert Wilson.
G: Yes. James Wilson was an extremely fine professor, if it is the same person I
am thinking about. A very, very capable person and a very fine professor.
J: He left in 1948.
G: He left and opened a law firm in Daytona Beach, which became known as
Raymond, Wilson, and Karl. I believe it is the same Wilson, you might want to
trace this, I think my memory is correct. He was an extremely fine lawyer, a
very, very able lawyer. [He] developed a law firm in Daytona Beach which is a
top notch law firm. Fred Karl, does that name mean anything to you?
G: He became a justice of the Florida Supreme Court and is now practicing law. I
think he represents the insurance industry. And Paul Raymond, who used to
be the dean of Stetson Law School. It became Raymond, Wilson and Karl. My
recollection of Mr. Wilson, and I have met him, is he is a very, very able and very
fine law professor. I suspect his leaving the law school was a considerable loss
to the law school. He was a good person, I believe.
J: Can you give me a sense of why he would have left?
G: No, not really.
J: Any speculations?
G: Opportunity to go into the practice of law, maybe. Maybe he decided that he
wanted to practice. I do not know a lot about him other than what I just told
you. I know he was very highly thought of. I do not believe that I ever had a
course with him, but I just heard good things. I think Professor Day thought
highly of him and that must have influenced me considerably. But I remember
hearing very fine things about him, and he did develop a reputation as an
extremely able attorney. A very, very fine lawyer.
J: Tell me about the classroom conditions in terms of the number of students and
chairs and breathing space, [and] bathroom facilities, if they were adequate.
We had a huge number of returning vets to a very small location. How bad
G: I do not recall it as being that terrible. The summertime was hot here and the
place was not air conditioned, but I was not here in the summertime. I never
had any, but they were holding some classes across the street.
J: Was that a church?
G: One of those old houses or the church over there, yes. They did hold some
classes over there; I never had them over there. But I remember they were
J: How large of a class would you have?
G: Some of them were very large.
J: Would Miller have a class of 150?
G: It would not surprise me. I remember my first class with Frank Maloney, which
was either equity or torts, one of those two, it was five hours in the old courtroom
and the courtroom was full and it was a big room.
J: One hour, five days a week.
G: Yes. It was in that old courtroom which they tore down, it was in that old
building, and they were big classes.
J: Had they grown any smaller by the time you graduated? I know it is a short
period of time to make comparisons.
G: Well, of course the first year is always more crowded because they are required
courses. You get some electives towards the end.
J: And the addition had been completed quickly, I assume.
J: And so that may have eased the classroom conditions.
G: I remember having classes in the classrooms downstairs. There were two
classrooms downstairs and we would have tables, long tables with movable
chairs. Not like we have here, where everything is anchored to the floor. There
were long tables with moveable chairs, and each table would hold probably six or
eight students sitting at those long tables.
J: I think they still have some over there.
G: Yes, I would think so. I guess the classroom would hold 80- 100.
J: As I recall there is also a partial third floor. It is not a floor that has classrooms
G: That is right, it has offices. At least it did. I have not been up there in a long
time so I do not know what is there now. But when I came back to teach my first
office was up there. When I was a student there was a classroom up there,
and they converted that classroom into offices.
J: Between the time you were a student and when you returned?
G: Yes, there was a classroom up there on that third floor. When I first entered
law school up on that third floor was a classroom. When I came back to teach
there were offices and there must have been four offices that they made up
there. I had one of those offices.
J: Were you involved in the Law Review all three years?
G: Yes. Well, certainly not my first semester, and I cannot remember when I first
got on the Law Review; it may well have been my second semester. It may
have been in the fall.
J: Would the books show us that?
G: No, but I can come fairly close.
J: What were some of the other responsibilities of the Law Review in putting
together the big package for the printers and getting the articles together from
the various authors? What role did you play in those two processes?
G: This is the spring 1949 issue, which means it was probably being worked on in
the fall of 1948.
J: It would not have been much earlier or later than that.
G: I am listed here as a member of the research staff of the University of Florida
J: You were on very early then.
G: Two other students and I are listed in this article, in a footnote, as having done
some work for this article.
J: Who are the other students?
G: Myself, Irvin P. Golden [University of Florida College of Law, class of 1950], who
I have lost track of totally. I have often wondered where he is and what he does.
I just have never bumped into him again; I have lost track of him.
J: Here he is. He is in Atlantic Beach, Florida, he graduated in 1950, and he is
G: Okay. And the third one is Mallory E. Home [University of Florida College of
Law, class of 1950], whom I have not lost track of. I know pretty much where he
is. Do you know Mallory Home?
J: No, I do not.
G: Mallory is the only person I believe to have served as both the President of the
Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Florida.
Unfortunately, in the past number of years he has had some difficulties with
business matters. In fact, he was in a rather well-known lawsuit that took
place a couple of years ago involving Mallory and his nephew. His nephew
was convicted. I forget exactly what the charge was, but his nephew was
convicted and Mallory was acquitted. But he went through a very, very difficult
and very tough time. He was a very influential and very well-known member of
the Florida legislature for a number of years. He is a lawyer in Tallahassee and
has been extremely successful financially, and unfortunately has apparently been
extremely unsuccessful also. It has been up and down. The past few years
have been extremely rough ones for Mallory. Mallory and I became quite
friendly, and I used to see him over the years and of course would keep up with
him because he did become so well-known.
J: What was your relationship in terms of the research for that article and for
subsequent work on the Law Review? Would the three of you or two of you get
together and talk about such and such an article or the layout of this book?
G: On this particular article we obviously were just newcomers on the Law Review,
we were members of the research staff. They asked us to look up some stuff
and we looked it up, and they were just nice enough to give us a footnote there,
that is all. We probably did it on our own. We were looking up laws in other
states and we must have divided up the states and I took some, and the other
two took some, and we just made a compilation of the laws.
J: So obviously the work you did with Miller was later on, maybe two or three
G: Well, from the research staff you then do some writing. That is the way the
Law Review would work at that time. Anybody who wanted to participate on the
Law Review, the first step was research. You would spend a semester or so
learning how to use the law library. Then you would write something, either a
comment on a case or a note on a particular topic or something like this. If it got
accepted for publication it would get published in the Law Review. There is a lot
of student work. The Law Review is made up very largely of student work as
well as work from other people, judges, lawyers, professors, people like that.
The Law Review was divided; articles are major written pieces generally done by
non-students. Notes and comments are generally done by students. You
progress from the research staff to the editorial board, which means you are
doing some kind of writing. Then some people get selected as editors, which
means they then supervise the writing of the editorial board and also do editing
work on everything that is written.
J: You made it to the top of the student law review heap.
G: Not exactly. The top of the heap is the editor-in-chief. Because once you
become an editor, then there are certain kinds of editors. The editor-in-chief is
in charge of the entire Law Review. I am talking about a student. So each
issue of the Law Review has an editor in chief, a group of editors and then an
editorial board and a research staff. I became what was known at that time as
the notes and comments editor. At that time that was probably the editorial
position that was right under the editor-in-chief. So I was never the
editor-in-chief of the Law Review, but I was the notes and comments editor.
That would be the second step, the next level of editor. There was one notes
and comments editor at that time. Now they have a different editorial hierarchy.
Yes, it was probably the number two position on the Law Review from the
J: What were some other activities that you became involved in that were outside
[or] extracurricular in nature?
G: Well, my only venture into politics was when I was in law school. That was sort
of interesting. I ran for honor court as the representative from the law school to
the university student honor court. I do not know exactly why I did. Actually,
the way it came about, the fraternities were heavily involved in politics. I was not
particularly heavily involved in the fraternity, I never have been. But they had a
political representative to the student political groups and he asked me one day
would I be interested. He said that the fraternity was in line for something or
other and would I be interested in being a candidate for what they called at that
time executive council, which is student government. I said no, I was not really
interested in that. I never really was particularly interested in political-type
things. But I said the honor court was something that I might be interested in.
He said, well, okay, make it the honor court. So I said, okay, I will do it. And I
did, I ran for a particular party which our fraternity was affiliated with, which I do
not remember. The person who opposed me was Bill [William F.] Leonard
[University of Florida College of Law, 1951], who is now a member of the Board
of Regents, a lawyer from Ft. Lauderdale. Bill and I got together, and we
decided that we would run a respectable campaign. It was not going to be a
political campaign, a knock-down drag-out type of thing. We were just going to
run, we would have a few little signs, we would not say anything nasty about
each other. We would conduct it on a pleasant high level. He said fine, I said
fine. My campaign manager, I had a campaign manager, was Bob [Robert T.]
Mann [Professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1974-1986)], who has
just retired from our faculty. He has been a member of the legislature and a
judge of the second district court of appeals. Bob coined my campaign slogan
which was "On to Vicksberg with Glicksberg." The only reason he coined that
slogan was because we could not think of anything else that rhymed with
Glicksberg. That was my campaign slogan and I won.
J: A clean campaign.
G: A clean campaign, yes. Bill was and is a man of his word. And so was I. We
conducted the campaign exactly the way we said we would, he did what he said,
and I did what I said. It was a very pleasant thing. I won it. I forget what the
vote was. But I served on the honor court.
At that time the honor court was totally different than it is now, completely
different. The university at that time prided itself on its honor court. When I
entered the University, one of the things you learned about was the honor code,
and the university was run by the honor code. We signed every one of our
exams "On my honor as a Florida student," (at that time it was Florida man). "I
have neither given nor received aid on this examination." You did that, and
there were no proctors. The exams were totally unsupervised and everybody
operated on the honor system, the entire university. If anybody was accused of
violating any provision of the honor code they would be tried, or at least have the
opportunity to be tried, by an honor court. The honor court was composed of
students with one representative from each college on the campus, so the law
school had a representative to the honor court, and that is what I did, for I guess
a year. There was a chancellor of the honor court and a clerk of the honor court,
and those were positions that people would run for in student government.
They were recognized positions, the chancellor of the honor court was just
under the president and vice- president of the student body. I do not
remember how many cases we had; not an awful lot. It was not a tremendous
case load, but we would get some cases, eight or ten, something like that. It
was not a constant, daily sort of thing.
J: Would you have daily conflicts in fitting in your scheduled courses and the Law
Review and the honor court and tennis?
G: No. Well, I was not playing that much tennis at the time that I was in law
school. I played some, but I spent most of my time around the law school. If you
were working on the Law Review, at least at that time, you spent most of your
time in the Law Review office. We were a very close knit group; the Law Review
was much smaller than it is now. The law school was smaller, and the Law
Review was just getting started, so it was at that time much, much smaller. If
you look at the Law Review now you will not get any idea of what the Law
Review was at that time because it was a very close group.
J: How many people in numbers?
G: I would have to look in one of the books.
G: Oh, no. Probably more than ten, maybe twenty.
J: And today?
G: I do not know, there are probably fifty or sixty or maybe more. It is a larger
group now. There was a woman in the Law Review office. I do not know if
anybody has mentioned Mrs. Culpepper. Does the name Martha Culpepper
mean anything to you?
J: No, you need to talk to me about her because no one has brought her up.
G: Well, Martha Culpepper was somebody that should be remembered in the
history of this law school, she really should. She gave a lot to the law school.
As a matter of fact, if you look in the law school catalogue you will see that there
is a Martha Culpepper fund. It is either a scholarship or a loan, I am not sure
which, but it is in there. Aafter her death, we contacted her son, Stuart, and he
was agreeable to us setting up that fund in her memory. And we did that. We
referred to Mrs. Culpepper as Mrs. C. That was her name, Mrs. C. She and
George Miller were probably the two people who were more responsible for
making certain that that Law Review got on its feet and stayed there than any
other two people. She had a background in English, and even though she was
not an editor, she edited. She would catch mistakes that nobody else would
pay attention to or catch. The final editing of everything went through Mrs. C.
J: Was she the final typist?
G: She was the typist, she was the secretary. She was hired as a secretary.
Because of her the job became administrative assistant because she did so
much more than a secretary would be expected to do. She took the Law
Review home with her, she edited it at home. We became very close. We
became known as Mrs. C's boys. Because it was boys at that time, there were
very few women. Only occasionally. One of the early editors- in-chief was
Corise Varn. But there were very few women. There were some others that
were on the Law Review, but it was one here, one there.
J: There were not many women law school anyways?
G: Right, that is true. We were close with Mrs. Culpepper, with Mrs. C. After I
was teaching here I visited her several times. She was living in a nursing
home in Andalusia, Alabama. I was in the Air Force Reserve at the time and
would go up to Montgomery, Alabama, to do two weeks active duty, and I would
stop off at Andalusia on the way up and back and just visit her, just see her.
J: Can you give me a sense of when she worked here on the Law Review and
whether she had any other duty than that?
G: She had no other duties. She started with the Law Review when it started, I
think, and stayed until she retired, and her replacement was Alice Hendrickson.
That would have been in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
J: You had already become a full professor or maybe an associate by then?
G: See, I get it mixed up a little bit for this reason. After she retired from the Law
Review she continued to live around here. She lived in Mclntosh, and then
moved to Gainesville.
J: My gosh, she had a long way to come, not Micanopy but Mclntosh.
G: She lived in Mclntosh right across the street from the post office. Sometime
after her husband died she moved to Gainesville. But she lived in Mclntosh
during most of the time she worked here.
J: You were involved in the Law Review and in the minor political campaign of the
honor court. What about the legal fraternity? Were you initiated into that?
G: I belonged to Phi Alpha Delta, PAD. I belonged to it, I did not do a lot with it. It
mostly had parties, I think, and I used to go.
J: Was there an initiation?
G: Yes, there was. I could not recall it for you.
J: Obviously you did not place a major amount of your time in PAD.
G: No, I belonged to it. I did the activities that it generally did. The person that
was closest to it and did the most with it and really developed PAD and was
really very interested in it was Frank Maloney. Frank Maloney became rather
prominent in PAD nationally, in fact. He was a national officer. He was very
much into PAD. I recall one time I did go with him. We went to Tallahassee
when they installed the chapter at FSU, at the FSU Law School. He and I went
up there and maybe someone else, but I recall going with him and attending their
installation of that chapter. But otherwise I was not active in it on a national
standpoint at all. He was. He was the local chapter advisor. I never was an
advisor to it. I belonged to it. At the time when I started law school I believe
there were only two legal fraternities; one was Phi Alpha Delta and the other was
Phi Delta Phi. Sometime after I started a third one got started, I want to say
Delta Theta Phi, but I am not positive. I think that is it. But Phi Delta Phi and
Phi Alpha Delta were the two main legal fraternities.
J: Do you have a sense that women in your classes were treated any differently
than men by TeSelle, Day, Slagle or by Frank Maloney or Bill [William Dickkson]
Macdonald [Professor, University of Florida College of Law, (1948-1984)]? Did
those new people treat the women any differently than the older guard had?
G: No, I really do not have any recollection of any different treatment one way or
another. Women were treated differently at that time in the law school than
they are today. Purely and simply because there just were not very many of
them and so they were given a hard time by a lot of people. When a woman
would enter the law library, whether she was a law student, well the law students
not so much because they were used to them, but any woman other than a law
student would enter the law library and everybody would start shuffling their feet
on the floor. You know, the famous shuffle that I am sure you have heard
people talk about. Well, the floor at that time was not carpeted and they would
just start shuffling their feet or banging on the desk when a woman would enter
the law library. They would not do it for the law students because they were a
part of the crowd, you knew them. What they would do with the women law
students was to hide their books occasionally. There was one law student when
I was in school who used to study in the stacks in the library, because that is
where most of us studied, and she used to keep an alarm clock with her and the
other students would hide her alarm clock. They would take it and hide it and
the darn thing would go off in the stacks every once in a while until finally she
stopped bringing the alarm clock.
J: Who was that?
G: That was Vivian Scheaffer [Vivian Scheaffer Stadlan, University of Florida
College of Law, class of 1949]. Vivian is still practicing law in the Miami area.
When I practiced down there she was there. She was a very good student.
They used to do it just to be doing it. Just a practical joke, that is all. She took
it pretty well. But the women got that kind of treatment because it was so
unusual. There would be like one woman in a class.
J: Would the professors also get shuffled?
G: Oh yes, the students shuffled for anything. Shuffling was a form of expression
meaning, I like it, I do not like it, something just happened, or almost anything. If
a professor would make an outlandish statement they would shuffle. If a student
who was reciting would say something strange they would shuffle. If he said he
was unprepared they would shuffle. It was one of those expressions that does
not really have a definition.
J: I do not want to skip ahead too far, but what has happened to that tradition?
G: Well, one thing that happened was that the floor got carpeted. I think people
just by and large sort of outgrew it. It just sort of stopped, and times have
changed. Freshman do not wear beanies anymore. I guess the shuffle went
the way of the beanies, so to speak. Fraternities do not do hazing anymore as
they used to. Times have just changed, and it was one of those things that
went out the door, so to speak.
J: What month did you graduate in 1951?
J: Tell me about the graduation exercises. Were they with the rest of the
G: No, they were separate. It was in the courtroom of the addition that was built it
1948, the courtroom over there at the old law school. It was in that courtroom,
and that is all I recall.
J: Who handed you your diploma?
G: I really could not tell you. I assume it was Dean Fenn, but I do not remember.
J: Did Tigert hand you your BA dimploma in the auditorium?
G: I do not remember. Well, we did not get handed diplomas. If they handed us
anything it was not a diploma, because we had to go over to the registrar's office
and pick them up. I remember somebody shook my hand and did something at
the law school graduation, and if I had to guess I would probably say it was Dean
Fenn and probably Dean Mautz, but I honestly just do not remember. I do not
remember whether I went across the stage in the auditorium at that graduation or
not. I just cannot remember.
J: What was on your mind that final year, your final semester of law school?
About the future and what you were going to do with your life at that point?
G: I really had no idea, I really did not. There were some problems with my family
at home. My father was not particularly well and neither was my mother, and I
guess those things were on my mind more than anything else. I never
interviewed for a job the whole time that I was in law school. I had no idea what
I was going to do.
J: Had you clerked for any lawyers in town?
G: No. I did not really think much about getting a job until I got out of law school.
I had a couple of opportunities to talk to some people about it. One very kind
opportunity I guess, came from Richard Ervin, who was the Attorney General of
Florida at the time. I gave that some serious thought. I actually went up there
and looked through the Attorney General's office. It never got to the point where
he offered me a position. I still see him and he mentions it on occasion.
Although I have not seen him now for a year or so, but I have seen him over the
years and he has mentioned it on occasion. I, for one reason or another,
decided that it was not right for me to do it at that time. I felt that it was right for
me to get back home because of my family situation.
When I went back home I had no job. I graduated in February of 1951,
and went on home and was actually living with my family at the time. I did not
have a place to live, [and] I was married. So we moved in with my family. As I
said, the situation there was not good, and my father passed away in March of
1951. Shortly afterwards I went in with a two-person law firm in Miami Beach.
One of the lawyers, Walter Kooner, is the son of Harry Kooner, who owned the
Winterhaven Hotel with my father. They really did not have a place for me. I
had a little makeshift place in the secretary's office. The secretary, Iris
Schuham, and I became good friends. She was dating a lawyer down the hall
and I was married, and so we used to socialize with them. We have maintained
a close friendship with them over the years. Her husband, A. Budd Cutler, is a
prominent attorney in Miami. Their son, H. Jeff Cutler, who went to law school
here, is now in practice in Miami, so the thing has gone full circle. But that is
how I got to be friendly with them. Budd used to come and get her for lunch and
I was sitting in the secretary's office. I stayed in that firm for a little while, a few
months. Then they told me that another lawyer in the building upstairs on the
sixth floor, George J. Talianoff, was looking for an associate and he had more
room. So I went up and he hired me and I worked for him.
J: How long did that last?
G: Oh, another six months or so, and then I got called into the air force to active
duty in April of 1952. I left Mr. Talianoff's office to go into the air force in April of
J: Let me step back and try to get something in perspective. What were your
interests in terms of the kind of law that you enjoyed reading or taking classes in
while you were in law school, and did that translate at all into the kind of practice
that these people had you involved in?
G: No, no connection with any of it. It was all just happening. No direction from
the standpoint of my interest. I went into their office and I did what they did,
general practice, both of them. The first firm that I went with and then the man
that I went upstairs with.
J: Your real property interest did not come about until later, then?
G: Yes, that is correct. When I started teaching here I started teaching what they
needed to be taught. I taught across the curriculum for awhile. I taught lots of
things. I taught criminal law. I taught domestic relations, United States and
Florida constitutional law (we had a combined course at the time). I taught
property. I taught a little bit of contracts with Dean Fenn. He taught it, but I
worked with him. I worked in the legal writing program. The opportunity to
teach real property came along when they needed someone to help Professor
Day, and it was more the fact that I was interested in helping Professor Day,
whom I had a great liking for, than anything else. I ran the law library for a year.
The reason for that was I was looking to do something other than teach the
United States and Florida constitutional law course and they needed someone to
run the library. Mrs. Pridgen had retired and they had not replaced her. So
Dean Fenn spoke to me and asked me if I would like to consider taking her
position, at least temporarily, because I was friends with Mrs. Pridgen and I knew
the library very well. It was the same library that I had used as a student; it had
not been changed. I said, "Yes, I will become the acting librarian for a year if
you can get somebody else to teach United States and Florida constitutional
law," and he said, "It is a deal." So that is what I did. I ran the library for a year.
I was the acting law librarian for a year.
J: No course load at all that year?
G: I probably was teaching a property course. I expect I was, or maybe one other
J: It was a very light load then.
G: Oh, sure. I got a reduced load, but I was teaching. It was not a full-time law
J: But you were the only librarian, on the other hand?
G: I was the only librarian, that is correct. Well, I had an assistant. Frank
[Francis Tyrone] McCoy [Professor, University of Florida College of Law,
(1956-present)], who is on the faculty here. Frank was an assistant librarian at
J: The same time you were.
G: Yes. Frank worked with me in the library, he was an assistant. Alice
Hendrickson, whom I mentioned earlier, who became the administrative
assistant in the Law Review, she was the secretary in the library and she had
been Mrs. Pridgen's secretary. So I had some continuity there; I mean she
knew how to keep the books and run the place. So it was not a situation where I
had to sit down at the desk and actually run that library because we had a very
competent secretary in Alice, who on a day to day basis could order the books.
She knew all the procedures for ordering books and things like that. But I got to
know some of the book people and gave a little thought to becoming a law
librarian. I did not do it, but I gave it some thought.
J: Were there law students that you would hire?
G: Yes, all the people who worked in the library were law students. I had some
interesting ones work for me, Lawton Chiles [University of Florida College of
Law, class of 1955] worked there, Dempsey Barron [University of Florida College
of Law, class of 1954] worked there. Yes, a lot of people came through the law
school at that time.
J: How did you first meet Lawton and Dempsey?
G: I guess because they were working in the law library. I suspect they were
working there before I took over. I do not recall that I hired them or anything like
that. They were probably already involved.
J: Was Alice the one that would interview the people, the law students, to work in
the library, or were you involved in that process?
G: I really cannot recall. I am not sure I hired very many people. I think they may
have had a staff when I took over, and I may have hired one or two. I really do
not remember. It is a good question; I cannot recall. But I suspect most of
them had already been working in the library. Once they started working in the
library they usually stayed. It was a good job. Well, you did not have to leave
the school to go to work.
J: You did not have to work off campus, wait tables.
G: That is right.
J: You were called into the air force in April of 1952 (we jumped ahead a little bit),
but I want to touch base with that again and where you went and your duties in
the air force.
G: I was in the reserve and received orders for active duty in April of 1952 and went
directly to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, to a ten-week
Judge Advocate General school. When I finished that school I was stationed at
Eglin Air Force Base in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. I was in two legal offices,
both at Eglin Air Force Base. They had two legal offices on the base there, one
for the base and one for the air command. It was the Air Proving Ground
Command. The headquarters of the Air Proving Ground Command was located
at Eglin Air Force Base, so they had two legal offices. I started out in the base
legal office. I was the claims officer for awhile and I did all sorts of other things:
legal assistance, military justice, courts martial. Then I moved into the Air
Proving Ground Command legal office. I worked there until I left active duty on
August 26, 1953. In that office I worked for James Cheney, who was a
lieutenant colonel at the time in charge of the military justice section, and
subsequently became a major general and the Judge Advocate General of the
Air Force. He now practices law in Melbourne, Florida.
J: Let us move on to your returning to the law school and the process of how
Dean Fenn contacted you about taking a teaching position here.
G: When I graduated, Dean Fenn had mentioned to me that if I was ever interested
in teaching, to let him know, maybe something could work out. I never really
thought seriously about it. But then the opportunity came for me to separate
from the air force, which was in the summer of 1953. It was probably around
May or June of 1953. At that time I felt, for a number of reasons involving my
family, particularly my mother and brother, that it would be very advantageous
for me if I could be in Gainesville because my brother was getting ready to
graduate from high school and come up to the University. My mother was not
well, and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to be here.
So I called Dean Fenn, I just took a shot really, because I remembered
what he had said, and also I did not want to go back to the practice of law. I did
not enjoy it. I just did not want to do it. I was very definite in my feeling that I
was going to do something else. I was not going to practice law. So I never
gave a thought to going back to the law firms that I had been with. I could have
gone back to the man that I had practiced with at the end, and if I had gone back
it would have been because of him. He was a wonderful person, he still is as a
matter of fact. He is semi-retired now, but he is in Miami. I enjoyed my
association with him. One of my regrets in not going back was the contact with
him that I lost, because I enjoyed my association with him very much. I just did
not like practicing law. I did not want to do it anyplace with anyone. I just did
not want to do it. So I gave some thought to what else was available, what I
could do, and I remembered what Dean Fenn had said. I just took a chance and
called him since it would have worked out very well, which it did.
It happened that when I called him, he had just found out that there were
two people on the law faculty who wanted to leave to go back into the practice
of law. He was starting to look around for someone on very short notice. He
knew me, and the timing from his standpoint was not really good because he did
not have enough time to search for someone. He said, "Come on down, let's
talk." I did. I drove over here from Eglin and spent some time with him, and we
J: Who were the two people leaving?
G: One of them was William Reese Smith who is now a prominent attorney in
Tampa and is a past president of the American Bar Association. The other one
was J. Allen Smith, who went into private practice but then went back into
teaching. He has taught at Rutgers and was the dean at the University of
Toledo Law School. I am not exactly sure where Allen is this year. Last year
he was visiting at a relatively new law school in Mississippi, and I am not sure
where he is this year.
J: What were the kinds of things that Dean Fenn and you discussed in your visit
here talking with him about the position?
G: Oh, we generally talked about what would be expected of a law professor, what
I could expect, the courses that I might be interested in teaching and that might
be available to teach and what he had in mind from that standpoint. We talked
about the timing, whether I could make it by the start of the fall semester. We
talked a little bit about Gainesville and housing and some about compensation. I
guess those were mostly the things we talked about. See, we knew each other.
I mean, it was not as if we were meeting for the first time, and we knew each
other pretty well.
J: Had the housing situation in Gainesville improved or deteriorated in that span of
almost two years since you had left?
J: Where had you lived during law school?
G: I had lived in the dormitories.
J: So, there is no perspective on that.
G: I really did not have a perspective on housing in Gainesville. My last period of
residence was in Buckman Hall. I started out living in Fletcher, then I lived in
Murphree, then I ended up living in Buckman. I then got married on December
27, and I had a month left in law school. For that month I rented an apartment
at the Manor Motel. Do you know where the Rhodes furniture company is
now, not far from Albertsons on the corner of Twenty- third and Thirteenth
G: Well, on that property where Rhodes furniture is, it is across the street from a
J: That is a terrible long way to have to go to get to school.
G: Albertsons is in there. Well, that was the Manor Motel. That was an old motel
here in Gainesville and they had units that had kitchen facilities. They would
rent them by the month or the week. It was not the typical motel that you
would think of today. They rented them by the month, and for one month it was
about the best place that I could find that I could afford. That is where we lived
for that month, and that was my experience with housing in Gainesville. I had
never looked for a house or anything like that. The apartment situation in town
was pretty miserable; there were not that many.
J: How had you been supporting yourself in law school, paying for your food and
the little bit of tuition and activities fees and books?
G: My parents.
J: And then when you got married?
G: I had worked in the summers. I worked most summers. I had saved a good
part of my income, and I had some savings that I had over the years. When I
got married, I had enough in savings to pay for the apartment and the groceries
and this sort of stuff. My parents and my wife's parents also helped out.
When I graduated I did not have a job, but we went back and moved in with my
parents. My wife went to work in a bank in Miami Beach. Rent and food were
not a problem because we were living with my parents at the time. Then I
started working in the law offices, and so I would bring in a little money and my
wife was working in a bank.
J: Was there a tremendous difference in the salaries between the air force pay as
compared to the law school?
G: I was a first lieutenant in the judge advocate general's department, so I was
making what a first lieutenant made. I came here for slightly less. I started
teaching for slightly less than what a first lieutenant was making in the air force.
Almost the same, very close. But of course, they took care of a number of
things in the air force that were not being taken care of here. The salary
structure here was .. .you know you cannot compare it to what it is today. But
you could buy a lot more for a dollar than you could buy today. So it was not a
magnificent salary, but it was enough to live on. We rented an apartment all the
way over on the east side of town, they were known as the Eastside Garden
Apartments. Actually they were barracks that had been brought in from Camp
Blanding and turned into apartments. They were not bad, I mean they were
nothing luxurious by a long shot, but you could live in them. They were liveable.
It was all the way over on the east side of town very close to the Waldo Road.
They are still there.
J: My gosh, that is a long way to come. Were the students receiving any more for
their money in the way of education when you returned than when you had
been a student?
G: Oh, I think so. I think the quality of the faculty had improved. It had
expanded. Dean Fenn had brought in some very fine people. The curriculum
had changed and it was a different law school and I think it had improved
J: You said when you first came you were teaching across the board, whatever
they needed, and I think Day retired in 1958.
G: I cannot tell you the year but that would not surprise me.
J: And it was at that point that you began to focus -
G: On property.
J: Did you change the kind of material that was presented to the students? Did
you offer a different kind of real property than Jimmy Day had offered you when
you were in the law school?
G: Not at the beginning, I think I just followed in his footsteps. We started out
teaching the course together, as a matter of fact. But after awhile, yes, I did
change because I started using different books and started doing it differently.
There certainly has been a drastic change from the way in which real property
was taught at that time. He used to use his own materials in many of his
courses, and I did not. I started using regular case books.
J: What was his own material? Could you make that a little clearer for me?
G: He would put together a set of materials that he would teach from. In other
words, he would put them together himself.
J: So he would find case studies in individual books and photocopy them and then
present that as material for the students.
G: Yes. That is done today. I use my own materials in a course that I teach, a
set of materials that I have put together. It is not published, it is just a set that I
use. It is sold through the law school bookstore, at the cost from the printing
department or wherever they get it printed up, and it is not a published book.
But, in other courses I use published books that the students obtain through the
J: About the time that you took over for Day, Frank Maloney stepped into the
dean's chair, I believe that is right. Pretty close, within a couple of years of one
another. I wonder if that made any difference in the kind of courses you had to
teach, in the philosophy or approach of the education the law school was trying
to give its students.
G: Well, I think that each one of the deans that we have had has had his own
philosophy, his own style of operating, but each one I think has advanced the
law school rather than made it retrogress. So I think the law school has been
on an upward climb ever since I became connected with the law school, not
that I had anything to do with that (I do not mean it to sound that way). But it
has improved as a law school over the years, and I think the deans have been
largely responsible for that. I think each one in his own way has enhanced the
program here. And so, yes, I think things moved under Frank Maloney, and they
were moving very well under Dean Fenn. They were to some extent similar in
many ways, both relatively strong deans I suppose in the sense of being
authoritarian. The law school has become more committee oriented and
structured, which is good as long as it is not totally out of hand. There were
some growing pains during Frank Maloney's years. But I think the law school
had to go through that, and I think his tenure led into Dean [Joseph R.] Julin's
[Dean, University of Florida College of Law 1971-1980]. Dean Julin was, I am
convinced, the right person at the right time. We needed somebody like that at
that point. He came in with a background from the University of Michigan, which
is a very fine institution, and helped to develop what Frank Maloney had started,
which was a more national outlook for the law school, and I think Frank Maloney
was interested in getting that started. I think Dean Julin was able to take that
and develop it, really accomplish that.
J: So each dean in a sense has been able to pick up the ball where the previous
dean had felt comfortable leaving it?
G: Well, I think when Dean Fenn arrived he really had to put a law school together.
He had to build a law school, because what we had had stalled, I guess is a
good word. People were retiring, it was a rather provincial, small faculty, been
here a long time, not much infusion of new ideas and new people, and things like
that. It was strictly a place where people could come, learn enough to get enter
the profession. We had the diploma privilege; you did not even have to take the
bar exam. It could produce adequate and even outstanding lawyers, but there
was not much more than the bare fundamentals that you needed, there was not
a rich curriculum or anything beyond the very, very basic things.
J: What happened to the diploma privilege?
G: It got phased out. It disappeared. I think there was pressure brought to have
people take the bar exam, otherwise the law school becomes attractive to
everybody wanting to come in. Because if you can get through the law school,
you did not have to take the bar exam.
J: Had that happened by the time that you returned to begin teaching, or was the
diploma privilege still available?
G: I cannot tell you the exact last class. They started talking about getting rid of
the diploma privilege while I was in law school. The talk was tentative while I
was a student. They actually got rid of it somewhere in the very early 1950s, but
I cannot tell you whether it was 1952 or 1953 or 1954, but it was right in that
period of time.
J: What about the LSAT and other entrance examinations and tougher, more
stringent requirements which you had to pass to be admitted? Can you tell me a
little bit about that process and the philosophy behind that and when that came
G: I honestly cannot tell you when that developed. I just do not remember. I
really cannot give you the history of that.
J: Were you on any of those admitting committees when you first returned to
G: No, not when I first returned. I have been on the admissions committee, but
not at the very beginning. When I first got on the admissions committee the
LSAT was already in place, and I just do not recall the early history of that. I
just do not remember when the test started.
J: Would you suspect that it would be around the same time as the ending of the
J: Under Dean Fenn's administration, as opposed to Maloney?
G: I do not think the ending of the diploma privilege or the taking of the LSAT was
developed for this law school. The diploma privilege was available to the
graduate of any Florida law school, University of Miami and Stetson were also
involved in it, and it was a statewide movement. I suspect that Dean Fenn may
have had some influence in that. But I do not know that the impetus came from
here, I am just not sure of that. The LSAT is a national movement.
J: It is something that we picked up.
G: Yes. I do not think we instituted the LSAT as opposed to other schools that did
not, it just sort of came on the scene nationally. I think law schools just started
requiring it, and then I suspect it was the accrediting association, the Association
of American Law Schools, but I really do not know the history of that.
J: Did you return to your involvement with the Law Review?
G: Yes. When I first came back to teach I did because I was very close to the Law
Review, and I spent a number of years. I cannot tell you exactly how many. I
was the advisor to the Law Review, I started out as a co-advisor with Bob [Robert
Barbeau] Mautz [University of Florida Law Professor, 1950-1967], and then I
became the advisor myself for a number of years. I remember we used to go to
conferences for the Law Review, national Law Review conferences, usually the
Southeastern Law Review conference (it was a Southeastern association of law
reviews that would get together) and we would go to their conferences. I used
to go when I was a student, and I went with the law review students several
I went to many of those meetings, and I guess I decided that I was not
going to be the advisor anymore when we would go to those meetings and all the
students would say, "Well, what are we going to do tonight?" My reaction was, I
am going to take off my shoes and sit here and go to sleep early and they were
going out and I said, "Somebody else ought to take them, take this over." So I
resigned as Law Review sponsor, but I did it for a number of years. I cannot tell
you how many years, but we could find out real easy by just going through the
Law Reviews. You can get an awful lot of information if you have not done this
by just going through them from volume one. I have a complete set here and
there are other complete sets available. Just start with volume one and look at
the masthead of every issue. By the masthead I mean the front page, although
it is not always in the front, you have to recognize how you do this because you
have to go through these volumes. The masthead will be in with each issue,
and the volume is likely to contain two to four issues, and that lists all the
students on the editorial board and it lists the advisors and it lists the
administrative assistant. So you can just follow your way through there and you
can get a lot of names and a lot of dates. My name will be in there from when I
started as an advisor. I will be listed as an advisor and if you follow them
through at some point my name will drop out and somebody else will come in.
J: Those records will be an excellent resource and historical tool for whomever
writes the history.
G: Well, I cannot remember the exact date, but it has been a long time ago. It
was before we moved into this building. In fact, the Law Review students, in a
gesture that I really was very moved by, dedicated an issue to me. They
surprised me; they had my picture, and that is when I retired and when I
stopped being the advisor. They dedicated an issue to me, which was very
unusual. Usually the qualification for having an issue dedicated to you is that
you have to die, although they have done it other times with people who are
alive. They kept it from me, so it was a total surprise.
J: A great group of kids to do that.
G: They had my picture and they got Reece Smith [Jr., University of Florida College
of Law, class of 1949] to write the dedication.
J: I will have to look for that. That will be worth having noted on the interview.
G: They have dedicated issues. They have not done one recently, but they used
to do it, and they dedicated issues to a number of people, one of whom was Mrs.
Culpepper and another was Professor Day. I think one was dedicated to Judge
Whitfield of the [Florida] Supreme Court. There is a fair amount of history in that
J: That is interesting. That is good to have that on tape; I do not think anybody
else has spoken of that issue, but that is a good piece of information to have
G: Yes, I think that from a historian's viewpoint it would be worthwhile taking the
Law Reviews one by one and just going through them, because you can get a
lot of dates and names.
J: It is tough to come up with that sometimes, just the dates and names. Let me
jump and try and make some comparisons that I have seen and maybe
incorrectly so. But one of the reasons behind a dean's retiring is they have put
in ten years as a dean and they would like to return to teaching or also because
of the pressures of the time in which they served as dean. Lucille Maloney
talked about when her husband retired, it had just been an uphill battle, and he
did not see an end in sight. He could not see much affirmative response from
the students about the new law school building that he helped bring about
(Holland Center, where we are). The better curriculum he had secured and
helped put in place for the students. He was tired. Vietnam was causing
tensions on campus, civil rights still were playing some role. I wonder if the
same sorts of things had happened with Henry Fenn, not perhaps to the same
degree, but maybe he had to put more effort in those ten years that he served
because he did build from almost nothing, and he had things like Virgil Hawkins
and then George Allen, the beginning of the civil rights [movement] or at least an
integration movement of blacks and minorities at the law school. I think both of
those deans had those kinds of pressures to some degree. Can you expand on
G: Well, I think it is unusual for a dean to stay much more than ten years. The
average dean does not stay much beyond ten years. I think there is a certain
burnout that takes place. Deans by nature tend to be people who want to
accomplish things. They are movers usually, people who want to become deans
generally are people who have some ambition, some idea that they can do
something and they want to do something. So they come in and they start doing
what they want to do. Well, they bump into a lot of frustrations, a lot of
They accomplish a lot; our deans have. I think we have had excellent
deans. I would say that every one of the deans, Fenn, Maloney, Julin, and
[Frank T.] Read [Dean, University of Florida College of Law, 1981-1988], in this
time span have all been excellent. They have all accomplished a lot. They all
bumped into frustrations, and I think Read will bump into more as time goes on.
But I think that is just the nature of the job. You can accomplish so much and
then it just starts to wear on you, and a law school, like most colleges, I suppose,
is not an easy place to administer. Maybe a law school is a little tougher than
other colleges. I do not know; it is hard for me to compare. But the student
body has its ups and downs, sometimes they can be very troublesome and
sometimes they are sort of docile, it has its ups and downs and changes.
So I think they all had different kinds of problems, but they all had some
problems. Of course the University administration changes, then the legislature
changes. These all play into what a dean feels he or she can accomplish, and I
can see where Frank Maloney toward the end probably felt that it was time to let
someone else do it. He accomplished a lot, and this building is, I would say, a
tribute to what Frank was able to accomplish. I think each one of them has built
on what the other one has done. I really see that the four deans that we are
talking about as a progression in each one building on what the other one has
provided for him to move with.
J: What did Julin run into in terms of the comparison I made with Fenn and
Maloney? I do not have any idea.
G: I do not really either. He accomplished a lot. I do not know exactly what he ran
into, if he ran into anything other than just a feeling that he had accomplished as
much as he could. You reach a point where I think you would like to go back to
teaching. He likes to teach. It is enough of the hassles already. Because
being a dean of a law school (I suppose it is true of other colleges) is a hassle.
There is always somebody with some kind of a complaint about something, and
no matter what you do somebody does not like it and they are going to let you
know it. When you are avoiding stepping on somebody's toe you are stepping
on someone else's. You get to a point where I think you just feel it is enough.
Dean Julin was an effective dean. He accomplished things, he got things
done. He got a lot done for the law school, but I suppose along the way you
step on some toes and they come back to make things a little difficult. So
towards the end of Dean Julin's administration, I suppose his relationship with
the University administration was not quite as smooth as perhaps it was
earlier. He may have worked more effectively with Steve [Stephen C.]
O'Connell [President, University of Florida, 1968-1974] than he was able to
work with Bob [Robert Q.] Marston [President, University of Florida, 1974-1984].
I cannot be specific about things.
J: Will you give me some of the examples of his accomplishments? I have not
done much work on the kind of accomplishments he brought together, I had a
sense that they were programmatical as opposed to physical, like buildings.
G: He came as the dean when we moved into this building. So we had a brand
new building, which Frank Maloney had been instrumental in building. He had a
brand new building with which to work, so you do not really need to go out and
build a new building. From the standpoint of physical facilities I do not think that
there was much that he did, but I do not think that there was much that he had to
do at that point. He did accomplish a lot with legislative appropriations. The
library was increased and funded very well. He worked well with the legislature.
I think the law school was treated well financially. He established the
momentum which the law school has continued to have for a number of years,
and which Tom Read was able to work with and move even further forward. But
that was established largely through some of the things that Julin did.
J: He was an effective and successful fund raiser?
G: Yes he was. So was Frank Maloney.
J: To get this building, sure.
G: Yes, because the law school never had a dime. Henry Fenn really was not able
to do that because he had to build something that you could then go out and sell.
So he was not really in the business of going out and selling and fund raising
because he was in the business of developing the product. The fund raising
really started under Frank Maloney and started from almost nothing. Frank did
a good job and developed the basis for a significant program which Dick Julin
then moved along very effectively. Then Tom Read came in and really was able
to continue it. So Tom Read, when he came in as the dean, hit the ground
running. Read spent more time away from Gainesville than he did in the law
school because he became dean right in the middle of that funding campaign.
Bruton-Geer Hall had been started under Julin and when Tom came it was right
at the point where it had to be done, and so he came in and started doing it. He
did not know anybody. He really did an amazing job when you take a look back
on it because no one knew Tom Read. No one knew Julin either. Frank
Maloney was known a bit when he became the dean because Frank had been
teaching here. Frank was on our faculty. So Frank had a lot of contacts
because Frank also went to law school here. He had some contacts that he
could make and he built the base, he knew the right people to talk to. When
Dean Julin came in he really did not know very many people. He came from the
University of Michigan; he had no ties in Florida. And Read, few people in
Florida knew him and he did not know very many. So they both did a very, very
J: Let me move back to some of your personal experiences. With civil rights and
the Vietnam era, do you remember seeing Virgil Hawkins here at all?
G: No, not Virgil Hawkins.
J: How about George Allen?
J: Do you remember teaching George?
J: How was he treated in the classroom by the students?
G: My recollection is that he was treated well. I do not recall any bad incidents. I
do not recall anything. I recall worrying that there might be something, but I do
not recall anything.
J: Catcalls, fights?
G: I do not recall any. I just do not know. My recollection is that he was treated
well by the students. Now, what happened outside of the classroom I do not
know. I do remember an incident that took place here with respect to a black
professor that we had on the faculty (this was in the old building). I am trying
to recall his name; it is on the tip of my tongue but I just cannot think of it.
J: Simmons from Howard University?
G: Yes, I believe he did come from there. It was not Simmons though.
J: I think it was.
G: That name does not ring a bell. What is his first name?
J: I do not have it written down. He was here, he was threatened and he left.
G: That is right. But the name Simmons ... one of his names begins with a "B", it
could be his first name rather than his last name. Let me look at the list of
J: When I talked with Fletcher we looked through that book and we did not find his
G: Simmons. That is not his name, that does not sound right.
J: We will come back to that.
G: I want to say Boyer, Spencer Boyer.
J: That is who he said; Simmons is somebody else.
G: Spencer Boyer is his name. He got some threats.
J: He was here for a very short time.
G: Yes, but that was after we had black students, I think. That was after George
Allen and Stephan [P.] Mickle [University of Florida College of Law, class of
1970]. Yes, Stephan was after George Allen, and there was another one before.
Who was the very first? Was it George?
J: As far as I know George was the first, Stephan was the second and Aaron [A.]
Green [University of Florida College of Law, class of 1972] was maybe third or
G: Somebody entered and left and did not graduate before George Allen?
J: Virgil Hawkins tried.
G: It was not Virgil, it was someone else. He entered, he stayed here awhile, he
left, Willie Allen.
J: Well, George's first name is W. George Allen. His first name is William or
G: Maybe it was George. My recollection of George's experience here in the law
school was, at least in the law school and in the classroom, not bad. Now, what
he went through outside or elsewhere I do not know. But I do not recall any
incidents in the classroom at all. I am sure if there had been an incident in the
classroom that I would have recalled it. Because I am sure that you know that
that would have been something that would have created a situation that I would
have remembered. But I do not remember it. I think the students accepted
J: Well, when I interviewed him I had the sense that he is such a strong
personality that he was going to make it work.
G: Yes. My recollection of George Allen was that George was not going to pick a
fight just because he enjoyed picking a fight. I think George handled himself in
such a way that the potential for anything like that happening was greatly
reduced. He did not have a chip on his shoulder, at least not one that he was
letting people see, and I think he was determined to make it work. As long as
George was treated properly, George treated people properly and did not try to
J: Was there ever any discussion about bringing blacks and other minorities into
the law school in committees that you felt uncomfortable with? I do not have
any idea here, I am shooting at the dark. Something Dexter Delony [Professor,
University of Florida College of Law, 1949-1982] might have said or something
Dean Maloney or Dean Fenn said?
G: Not that I recall.
J: Were you on the selection committee, admissions committee I should say, from
1957 through 1960?
G: I do not think so. I do not remember. I have been on the admissions
committee and I cannot recall when. But I do not remember ever being in a
committee in which there was any sort of an incident or anything or problems
with respect to admitting people or not admitting people because they were
black or anything else.
J: To what degree had changes been made in perhaps the temper of the times or
the general feeling of having George Allen in the classroom and having Stephan
Mickle in the classroom differ or were alike? I had a hard time putting the
question together because your initial response about George was that there was
a very open setting.
G: Oh, I think there was tension. Like I said, I sort of anticipated problems which I
do not recall ever happening, but I think it was a different type of situation.
George Allen was a new experience and people did not know what to expect.
I think there were some concerns that there might be some incidents. You sort
of had to feel your way because you really did not know. By the time Stephan
got here, they were sort of used to it already. So I think there was a certain
amount of tension when George Allen started which was not present when
Stephan Mickle started because it had already been done. There is always a
little trepidation when something new takes place.
J: Do you think there is a difference between the times in which Stephan was here
which was sixteen or seventeen years ago, and today with black students?
G: Oh, yes. Because when Stephan was here it was still an unusual situation, the
same thing like with the women. A black law student was an exception, an
unusual thing, so the one black law student in school obviously stood out. Or
the two black law students; people were still getting used to this. Now there is
nothing to get used to really. Nobody pays much attention to it. Black students
are accepted as students without regard to the fact that they are "black" students.
If there are people today who still look upon it as something unusual and
different I am not aware of it because we have a considerable number of black
law students. Today I would not think in terms of the potential for an incident
just because a black student was sitting in a classroom. I suppose an incident
could occur, but I do not think about it.
J: That might be an unusual thing to have happen today.
G: Yes. I do not think about it, and I do not think other faculty members think
about it. When George Allen started school you thought about it. I think a lot
of people thought about it. I think there were a lot of people very
uncomfortable with it. I do not know this for a fact, but I am quite certain that
there were a lot of law students who were very, very uncomfortable. I do not
know this, but the times were such that there may have been some people who
did not come to this law school because we had a black student. It would not
surprise me if there were people who felt that way and did that. That may still
happen today, but if it does it is the exception, and I suppose that is just saying
that there are people who are prejudiced and always will be, and what you do
about that I do not know.
But today it is a totally different situation because black students are a part
of the student body and have been for some time. Women students are such a
great part of the student body now, it is close to 35-40 percent, so that has
changed totally also. A woman law student today is just an accepted part of the
student body, whereas when I was in law school it was very unusual. You know
the practical jokes that went on. I have noticed over the years, at least I
perceive this without any concrete data to back it up other than just my own
feeling, that the black law students are much better students today than they
were at the beginning, and I am talking in terms of numbers now. Because if
you pick out individuals, Stephan, for example, was a very fine law student.
Stephan was an exception.
George Allen was a good student, I think, a relatively good student. But I
think George Allen was an exception. The very first people had to be
exceptional to be the beginning students. Then, when they started coming in
without being the specific ones that were starting the thing and just people who
were coming in, it took a little while for undergraduate education to supply us with
people who had the background. It took a little while for the high schools to
supply undergraduate institutions. I think the process is in a period of
development now because it is clear to me that we are getting more and more
black students who are better prepared by virtue of their background and
secondary education than they used to be. Which to me just demonstrates the
fact that if you give people, I do not care who they are, the advantages of a
decent education from the beginning, you will get decent students without regard
to whether they are black, white, any other color or male female or anything like
that. I think the law school is seeing that.
J: To what degree have you seen a cycle of change, maybe a cycle of continuity
in change, in the law school as a teacher from the 1950s, a time of extreme
conservatism with the Red Scare and the communist threat visible everywhere,
through the 1960s and the early 1970s with the move to a liberal ideology?
Are you seeing a return in everything, in the way the students dress, the way
they talk, and respond to you? How other professors, your colleagues, talk to
you about the students and the changes they have seen?
G: Oh, I think the law school reflects the changes in society in general. We get it
here, I do not think the law school is any different than the other changes that
are taking place. Clearly there have been the changes that you have described
during the 1960s and early to mid 1970s I suppose. It was a different group of
students here, you saw it in appearance, in behavior, as you did in so many other
J: Did you see it in grades? Was there a difference in their intellect and
performance from the students of the 1950s and the students of the 1980s?
Did you have to make up a new curriculum, did you have to use different
G: I think the change in grading standards to some extent is a reflection of the
change in attitudes that society has in general. We have progressed from a
society that was very authority-oriented to a society that is more democratic in its
thinking, maybe more liberal in its thinking, so that if the students perform well
there is probably a tendency to say, "Okay, a lot of students can perform well,"
rather than to take the approach that only percent can make an "A" in this class,
and I do not care how hard they work we only give so many because we have
got to show them. I do not think that people are trying to prove things to people
so much. We are not as rigid as we used to be. We are willing to let students
demonstrate more imagination and creativity in their responses, and we are
willing to accept things.
It is hard to generalize in this area. It really is because there are always
exceptions and things like that, but in general I suppose you would say that
faculty never felt they had to explain things to anybody. You would tell a
student, for example, that they are supposed to do something and the student
says why, the faculty did not feel that they had any obligation to explain. "I am
the professor and that is the way it is. Turn in this paper at this particular time,"
and a student is likely to say, "Could we talk this over, there may be a more
convenient time," or something like that. In the past you were more likely to get
a rejection of that approach. Faculty were likely to be much more rigid. But I
think this reflects society in general because I think it is true of faculty and
parents. I think the lesson that we learned from the people of the 1960s may
have been learned in a very tough way, but it was a good thing it was learned
and people should have learned it sooner. Which is, you know, you can deal
with people without having to impose certain things on them. The grading
system is part of that. It is an imposition of certain things.
I see it in the parents' approach to children too, which I think has become
more that way than it used to be. I think parents are more willing now to listen to
children rather than just tell them. To roll with the punches, so to speak, and to
put up with some idiosyncrasies. I think we are willing to do that in school also.
So the tension does not exist that used to exist. I think the students may be
coming around to the realization that if they have an idea they can get it heard,
and maybe they can actually get something done. That did not used to be.
You never really would think to ask certain questions, you just did what you were
J: When you were a student?
G: When I was a student. You did what you were told. You did not question an
awful lot. Some people did, but I am talking in general. You just would not
think of going to the dean and saying, "Hey, you know, we think we have a better
way of doing something here." Now they do. When I was a student they did
not have students on committees. The faculty would not have thought of making
the students part of the governing structure of the school. I mean, they are
students, they are not going to tell us how to run this place, we are going to tell
them. That attitude has totally changed. The students are heavily involved in
the running of the law school, and to the surprise of a lot of faculty I think, the
students have been very good at helping to run the school. Some of the very
best ideas that the faculty has ever had around here were ideas that the students
came up with.
J: Obviously you approve of the way the school is run.
G: I approve of student involvement in the decision-making process of the school,
yes. The other side of that coin, of course, is that the students by and large
that had been involved in the decision-making process around here have been
extremely responsible. They have. They have treated it with great respect,
they have not been making trouble just for the sake of making trouble. They
have not been haranguing and they have taken their responsibility seriously.
J: They are here to further their education and get the best they can.
G: Yes, and they come up with some very good ideas, and so I think there has
been much more of a spirit of cooperation between students and faculty and
administration that has developed over the years. I also think the quality of the
student body has increased. We get a larger number of better qualified students
than we used to. But that is the nature of the school. The school has
improved. I think this is true of the whole University by the way. The school
has improved, the demand for higher education has increased. As a result, we
have become more selective in our admissions because we can only take so
many people. If you keep taking the best ones that apply, you are going to keep
getting the ones at the top, and so we have better students.
J: I would like you to explain your work and relationship as a representative to the
NCAA and the SEC as a professor. Your involvement has been since I think
G: Yes, I first got on the athletic board and the committee on intercollegiate
athletics in 1962. I took Professor Day's place. Which pinpoints the year of his
retirement, I suppose, because he must have retired in the spring of 1962. I
came on in July of 1962, I believe. I know it was 1962, and I think it was the
summer of 1962, because they used to start the new boards in July. It was Bob
Mautz, who was then vice-president or dean for University development. I forget
his exact title. Bob and I had been good friends, and he and I had been
advisors to the Law Review together. I was teaching property, which was
Professor Day's specialty, and he had been on the athletic board. So when he
retired they looked for someone to take his place, and they wanted somebody
from the law school. So Bob Mautz asked me about it, and I came on the
athletic board. I have been on it since 1962.
J: What was the reason for wanting someone from the law school?
G: I think traditionally they always had somebody from the law school; there are
some legal problems that present themselves. Although neither I nor Professor
Day acted in a legal capacity. I have never acted as the attorney for the athletic
association or anything of that nature at all.
J: Even with this last -
G: Even with the sanctions with the NCAA, I never acted in the role of an attorney.
The only role I filled was that of faculty athletic representative, which is what I
am and have been since 1965. I became a member of the athletic board in
1962, and in 1965 I became chairman of the committee on intercollegiate
athletics, which is the athletic board. The same people serve in two capacities.
J: You separated that so clearly for me last time, and I would love for you to
reproduce that if you will.
G: Well, there is a University of Florida Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics. It is
appointed by the president, although now the faculty members are selected by
the University senate, but their names are sent to the president and he appoints
them. He does not have to appoint the ones the senate recommends, so it is
basically a University committee that is appointed by the president. It has some
ex-officio members, such as a member of the Board of Regents, it is the
chairman of the Board of Regents or someone he designates from the Board of
Regents. The president of Gator Boosters serves on it. The vice-president for
administration, who is Bill Elmore, serves on it. The vice-president for student
affairs serves on it in an ex-officio capacity. The athletic director serves on it,
and the faculty athletic representative serves on it. The faculty athletic
representative historically has been the chairman of that committee, Committee
on Intercollegiate Athletics. That committee, that same group of people, also
serves as the board of directors of the University Athletic Association,
Incorporated, which is a non-profit corporation set up in 1929 to administer the
athletic program of the University. It was set up as a separate corporation
primarily for the purpose of fiscal administration. But it is this group which is
appointed by the president and which also serves as the Committee on
When I became chairman of that committee in 1965 I also automatically
became president of the University Athletic Association, Inc., and the president
of the University serves as the chairman of the board of directors of that
corporation. About 1971 or so, they separated the presidency of the athletic
association from the chairmanship of the Committee of Intercollegiate Athletics.
I continue to serve as chairman of that committee, but I am no longer the
president of the athletic association; Bill Elmore is, but it is the same group of
people. So when we meet as a board of directors of the athletic association,
Bill Elmore is the presiding officer as president of the corporation. When we
meet as the committee on intercollegiate athletics, I am the presiding officer as
chairman of that committee. The jurisdictional distinction between the two
groups is largely along these lines. The board of directors of the athletic
association has all the money, it has a budget, it administers the finances of the
athletic program and the personnel aspects of the athletic program. The
committee on intercollegiate athletics is the general policy-making group with
respect to athletic policy and with respect to our connection with the NCAA and
the Southeastern Conference. I serve as the faculty athletic representative,
which means that I am the contact for the University with the NCAA and the
Southeastern Conference when it comes to academic matters. Every university
that belongs to the NCAA has three or four people that the NCAA recognizes as
people that they primarily deal with. One is the president of the university,
another is the athletic director, and another is the primary women's athletic
director (in some universities they have a separate person and in some it is all
under the athletic director). Then the other one, the fourth one, is the faculty
athletic representative. That is what I am, and I have been that since 1965, so
they recognize that as a position and that is a person with whom they deal. So
I have a lot of contact with the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference.
J: What is your role when you are not on the intercollegiate athletic committee?
G: What do you mean what is my role when I am not on that, I have been on that
J: When you are not serving as the chairman, when you switch hats?
G: Oh, when we meet as a board of directors of the athletic association, I am the
secretary of the corporation.
J: You are the secretary of the corporation or you are the chairman of the
G: Yes, the committee on intercollegiate athletics has one officer, that is the
chairman. I am chairman of that committee. There are no other officers as
such. The board of directors of the athletic association has a president, Bill
Elmore; a vice-president, Virginia Maurer, a professor in the business college; a
secretary, which I serve as; and a treasurer. The treasurer this year is Nick
Cassisi, who is a doctor at the medical center. The treasurer in the past has
been Bill Carr, the athletic director, but Bill is not in that position now. The
chairman of the board is the president of the University, he serves as the
chairman of the board of directors. I serve as secretary of that corporate group.
When we meet as the corporate group, I am the secretary. When we meet as
a committee on intercollegiate athletics, I am the chairman.
J: As a representative and having served for twenty-one years as a faculty
representative, has there been a time in Florida's athletic history where
sanctions as harshly as those that were imposed two years ago took place?
G: There have never been any sanctions at all in the time that I have been
involved up until this recent incident. There were some sanctions, I believe,
shortly before I got on the board in the very late 1950s, but they were of a minor
G: Yes, but of a very minor nature. I do not even recall what they were. I was
not involved. I was not even on the athletic board at the time. I do not even
recall what they were, but I remember somebody saying something about there
being something in the late 1950s, but it was a minor thing. There has been
absolutely nothing until this recent incident.
J: No basketball?
G: Nothing. Oh, there have been a few little private reprimands here and there for
a little violation, but that is almost normal operating procedure for any program
because you are going to have inadvertent violations here and there with the
program of the type that we have. But this has been a brand new experience
for the University of Florida and it has been a brand new experience for me, and
it has been a very distasteful and very discouraging situation.
J: Are you at liberty to share any of that? Your experience with the recent
sanctions of the football team?
G: Oh, yes. I can share it because it is all public knowledge, public record. It is
just a very upsetting situation.
J: What was your personal role in making contacts with the SEC and the NCAA?
G: My personal role in it was rather minimal. When the fact that there might be a
problem first came to the attention of the University, it involved a situation with a
student who had gone to high school in Ft. Lauderdale and had been recruited
by the University of Florida and had subsequently gone to the University of
There was an allegation in a Ft. Lauderdale newspaper that there had
been some improper recruiting with respect to that student. President Marston
asked me if I would look into that, and I did as best I was able to at the time. I
wrote a complete report, which we then sent to the NCAA, in which we found that
there had been some improprieties with respect to the recruiting. Some of the
allegations we felt were true, and some of the allegations we felt probably were
not true, and we related this in its entirety to the NCAA and sent them a complete
report. The next thing we heard was that they were placing the University under
what they call "preliminary inquiry," which was several weeks after we sent the
report. I forget exactly what the timing on it was, but it was sometime after we
sent the report, but not a long time because this all took place within November
and December (I forget the year, probably 1982).
J: That is when you first heard from the NCAA?
G: Yes, that is when we first had any idea that there might be some problem. We
still did not think we had a major problem because the University administration
and the athletic department administration has always been committed to
operating the program within the rules. Any time that it had ever come to our
attention, at least to my attention, that there had been any alleged violation of a
rule, we had always looked into it and had always reported it if we found that
there was a problem. Frankly, we felt that we were running a program that was
as good if not better than most programs in the country.
This whole thing has come as a complete, total shock to me. I attribute it
perhaps to maybe being naive, I do not know. But we ran what I considered to
be a good program within the rules, and we were committed to that, and the
president, Dr. Marston, and his predecessors, were all committed to that and
would not stand for the violation of rules. I am convinced that Dr. Marston did
not have any knowledge of the extent of the violations that we were subsequently
found to have committed, and I certainly did not have any hint of that.
J: Did it snowball like a Watergate with people trying to plug the dike, or did it just
all come through?
G: No, I do not know that there was anybody trying to plug the dike, so to speak.
What we did, and what we felt was the best approach to take, and we did it as
soon as we got that letter saying we were under preliminary inquiry, [was] we
hired a lawyer. We did this based on past experience of other schools, all of
whom had said that the best thing to do was to hire legal counsel to deal with
the NCAA in respect to this because it starts to involve things which require a
legal approach. The feeling was that someone who was competent in taking
depositions, taking statements from people, questioning people, who had some
investigatory skills, was the kind of person that you wanted, which would be
basically a lawyer who did some litigation, rather than just trying to handle it
through athletic personnel. I did not feel that I was the person to do it, because
I do not do that kind of work. I have not gotten into litigation or that sort of
thing, questioning people, investigating. So we hired Jim [James S.] Quincey
[University of Florida College of Law, class of 1963] from Gainesville, a local
attorney who handled it. I worked with Jim Quincey at the very beginning
because he was familiarizing himself with our athletic program and the way we
were set up. He then started working very closely with Dr. Marston. I made a
couple of trips with Jim Quincey to talk to other schools and lawyers who have
handled cases for other schools. I visited two places with him. Then he and Dr.
Marston started dealing with each other and I sort of dropped out. This went on,
I guess, during the winter and spring of that year, which was probably 1983. I
think we heard in 1982 and then went into 1983 and the winter and spring of that
year I was involved in it with Quincey. Then he started working with Dr. Marston
and then I really did not get involved in it much from then on.
J: By the fall of 1983 then your personal involvement in this ...
G: Was minimal. I was still involved in the sense that I would talk to Jim Quincey
now and then, but I was not getting inquiries from the NCAA, they were dealing
with Quincey. It had all gone over into his hands and he was handling it. I did
go to the hearing in Kansas City when they heard our case, and I was involved
when they brought the charges here. Because their rules require them to deliver
the charges to the president and the faculty athletic representative and the
athletic director, those three people. So, I was there when the charges were
handed to us.
J: The three of you met together.
G: In the president's office.
J: And the charges were handed to you by?
G: A representative from the NCAA.
J: What about Kansas City? Tell me a little bit about the hearing.
G: It was a hearing before the Committee on Infractions. It is a committee of the
NCAA. It is one of their standard committees.
J: Were you asked to give a deposition or a statement?
G: No, I was asked to be there. I was there, but I was not asked anything. I did
not really participate at all. They questioned those people they wanted to
question. I had no personal involvement with any of the allegations. I did not
personally know anything about any of the charges. So they could not question
me about whether this had happened or that had happened because I was not
aware of any of these things.
J: Well, do you think this whole affair has changed your perspective on athletics
and do you intend to continue your position, or positions?
G: I have given that a lot of thought. The whole thing has been very disturbing,
but I am convinced that the University was committed to a program that
adhered to the rules. I am convinced that the University still is committed to
that kind of a program. If the university was at fault in any respect it was to
permit one aspect of its athletic program, and this is a very large athletic
program, very diverse, it permitted one aspect of that program to get out of hand
and probably did not supervise it sufficiently. I would hope that mistake would
not be repeated.
J: Are you more disturbed by the sanctions or by the infractions?
G: Oh, I am more disturbed by the fact that the infractions took place. I am more
disturbed that the infractions took place within the scope of this University, and
that apparently there were some people who knew about it who did not do
anything about it.
J: People who could have done something about it.
G: Who could have done something about it. I am not talking about people
necessarily connected to the University now, in an official capacity. Because I
am convinced that Dr. Marston was not aware of the fact that we had some
infractions. I know, for example, that there are infractions within our program
of one sort or another just the same way that I know that there are infractions
within any athletic program of this magnitude any place in the country. They
have to occur, just the way infractions occur under the tax laws. There are
some things that just happen whether you want them to happen or not. The
rules are so complex. But I am also convinced that this University is committed
to making a good faith effort not to have them happen and that it will deal with
them if they do happen, and if it has anybody on its staff who is not committed
to the rules, it is going to get rid of that person. Which is exactly what
President [Marshall M.] Criser [president, University of Florida, 1985-1989] did
when it became apparent that we had that situation. It certainly was not
apparent to me that we had that situation until it all blew up.
J: That must have been terribly disappointing after twenty-plus years of
G: It has been a very devastating situation, it really has. I mean, here I was
operating on the assumption that I was connected with a program of great
integrity. I still feel that way. I look upon what happened as a fluke, as
something that got out of hand without our realizing it. I know for a fact that the
University was not and never has been committed to a winning program at any
cost. If I felt that way, if I felt that this University or any of the people in an
official capacity connected with the University were willing to look the other way
just so we could win, I would not even have to think about whether I would keep
my position or not. I would have nothing to do with it. But I did not feel that way
about President Marston, I did not and do not feel that way about Bill Carr. I do
not feel that way about Marshall Criser, and I think all of those people whom I
have named were committed to a program operating within the rules. I think
what happened was that we let one aspect of our program get out of hand, and
by the time we realized that it was out of hand the damage had been done. I do
think that the sanctions they imposed were particularly harsh.
[Interview continued on October 1, 1990, by Stephen R. Prescott]
P: I am in the office of Mandell Glicksberg, Holland Hall, the University of Florida
College of Law. We are discussing his early family history as part of the
ongoing history project in the University of Florida College of Law. Professor
Glicksberg, what is your full name?
G: Mandell Glicksberg.
P: No middle name?
G: No middle name.
P: So, you spell your name with a M-A and your nickname with an M-E, is that
G: That is right. Although, a lot of people spell my nickname with an M-A also.
But, my family and people who that know me well do not.
P: Do you pronounce it Mandy or Mendy?
P: Could you tell me when and where you were born?
G: Well, I was born in New York City on July 16, 1928. My family moved to Miami
Beach when I was quite young. I cannot remember the exact year, but
somewhere around 1933 or 1934.
P: So you were not even in school yet when you came to Florida?
G: No, maybe a little bit of pre-schooling. All of my schooling that I can recall was
in Miami Beach. I went to a couple of private schools there at the very
beginning. One, I believe, was called the Jacks School. Then I went to the
Lear School, which is still there. I went to the Lear School until about the third
grade. I recall starting the fourth grade at Central Beach Elementary School,
which is on Fourteenth Street between Washington Avenue and Drexel Avenue
in Miami Beach. But, I had gone to the Lear School before that and the Lear
School, at that time, was located right on the ocean.
P: So you have seen Miami change greatly during the time you lived there.
G: I think the Lear School was located on the site where the Shelbourne Hotel is.
That is where I got married, in the Shelbourne Hotel. And the Lear School has
since moved. But, I went Central Beach Elementary School. I then went to
Ida M. Fisher Junior High School which was across the street and [to] Miami
Beach Senior High School, which has since relocated, but at that time the junior
high and senior high were in the same building.
P: We picked the interview up when you are discussing that. So we have a pretty
good description of your high school and the park across the street where you
used to participate in athletics. What were your parents' names?
G: My father's name was Herman and my mother's name is Blanche.
P: What was her maiden name?
P: What kind of background was your family originally from? Do you know if they
were from Eastern Europe, Russia, or Germany?
G: My father was from Warsaw, Poland. He and his parents and his brother came
to this country in approximately 1910. I am not sure of the exact year, but it
was around 1910. He was probably twelve years old; he was born in 1898. So
it was around 1910, through Ellis Island. His brother was, I think, three years
younger. They settled in the Williamsburg section of New York. My mother's
family was originally from Russia. I am not sure when they came to this country.
My mother was born in New York City. My father was born in Warsaw.
P: Do you know how your parents met?
G: I think so. My mother's father was a printer and did printing for, among other
things, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in New York. They were apparently comfortable;
she was an only child. My father's family was not that well off, financially.
My father went to Cornell for a year and then went to the New York University
College of Dentistry and was a dentist. It was NYU's College of Dentistry. He
worked in the summertime in the mountain resorts, as a waiter. My mother's
family had gone to one of these mountain resorts for a vacation and that is how
they met. My father was a waiter. I think he may have been the head waiter.
P: I am glad you said that, because you refer, in the interview, several times to
going to the mountains and I did not know what you were talking about.
G: Well, that is something different. Because, when my family moved to Miami
Beach, my father never practiced dentistry again. He studied for the Florida
State Boards, but there was a mix up in his school records and by the time he got
it straightened out he just never took the boards. They used to go back up north
every summer to a place in the Pocono Mountains, called Camp Taminent. It
was a combination adult camp on one side of the lake and family camp on the
other side of the lake. We had a cabin on the family side and we would spend
our summers there. They went every summer until World War II started. You
know, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, we would leave Miami Beach. We had, as I
recall, a Pierce Arrow car and we would drive up to the Pocono Mountains in
Pennsylvania, spend the summer there, then go back to Miami Beach when the
summer was over. So those were the mountains I was referring to, because we
spent our summers in the Pocono Mountains. I am not sure the last summer
that we went, but it could have been 1939.
P: Were the roads pretty decent at that time, or were they still pretty bad?
G: Oh, it was all two lane and I believe it was U. S. 1 that we traveled. There were
no interstates. The car was not overly reliable. Occasionally we would break
down or have a flat tire or something like that. We generally broke it up and
stayed along the way. Airplane travel was not what it is today. If we had to go
back up North for anything, we generally went by train. We traveled a lot by
P: I would think that would be a lot more reliable.
G: I recall taking train trips on [the] Florida East Coast Railway.
P: Coming back to your father for a minute: I assume he came to Florida, originally
planning to set up a practice of dentistry when he came from New York City. Is
G: No, not really. My mother's parents (she was an only child) died within a short
time of each other. Both, as I recall, from pneumonia. When her parents
died, my father thought it would be a good idea to take her away from the house
and to come down to Miami Beach. We went on a ship. It was the Clyde
Mallory line. They had three ships that used to go regularly between Miami
and New York. They had Indian names: one was the Iroquois; one was the
Mohawk; and I forget the other one. We went on one of those ships. We went
down there and his idea, I think, was just to get away for awhile. My recollection
is we went in late fall, November, December, somewhere around that time.
We stayed on Ocean Drive and Eighth street, right across the street from
the ocean. My father came to the conclusion that anybody who did not live in
this sort of climate, really, was not doing the right thing, that this was a nice place
to be. So we went back to New York City, but mainly for them to sell the house
and for him to close up his dental practice. He had a dental practice. I guess
his intention at that time--he did not come down with the idea of staying in Miami
Beach. I think he came down with the idea of having a vacation and getting
away a little bit and sort of fell in love with the place. Apparently, my mother's
parents death had left them financially in a position where he was able to close
his practice and move down to Miami Beach and not have to concern himself
with employment immediately.
He then bought a duplex next door to the place where we stayed. That
is the reason that I know that it was Eighth Street and Ocean Drive. He bought
this duplex, which was built out of coral stone. He named it the Coral House and
we lived in one side of it and rented out the other side. Other than closing up his
practice and selling the house up North, we just sort of stayed there. We went
back up to New York every summer and then went to the Poconos from there to
the Camp Tamiment in Pennsylvania. There were some famous show people in
that camp. My parents got to know Danny Kaye and Sid Caesar and Imogene
Coca. They were all getting their careers started at the time, and they
performed in the social hall on the adult side of that camp. They got to know
them and, in fact, some years later, my father built a hotel, one of these art deco
hotels in Miami Beach, on Fourteenth Street and Ocean Drive. Danny Kaye
came and stayed there. I remember when he did.
P: You discussed the hotel in your interview.
G: I did not have that picture when I did that. I have just had that picture a year.
P: That is a large hotel, particularly for that time period.
G: It was five stories and seventy-five rooms.
P: If I remember correctly, he kept it until the military took it over during World War
G: That is correct.
P: Was your father in any other business besides the hotel business?
G: Well, as I said, he studied for the dental exam, but he never took it. In the
meantime, he started buying and selling a little property and that is basically how
he made his living. He would buy a piece of property and later on he would sell
it. We owned an apartment house on Eleventh Street and Meridian Avenue,
called the Palermo, which he ran for several years. Then, about the time of the
war, he met a man who was in the men's clothing business. They opened a
P: Do you remember his name? It does discuss it, but we do not have the name
of the man he opened the business with.
G: Yes, his name was Bert Wilmers. Mr. Wilmers was a German refugee. He
had come over from Germany before the war broke out and settled in Miami.
He was a salesman for Shwobilt Clothing. A well known line of clothing, at the
time; less expensive clothing.
They sold it here in Gainesville. I remember going down to the old
Stock's Men's Shop, which Otto Stock ran. Sam would know him. It was right
on Main Street facing the Confederate statue. I guess maybe Danny's is there
now. Well this was not on the corner, but it was one shop further down on Main
Street. It was Stock's Men's shop. They carried Shwobilt. Mr. Wilmers used
to come through Gainesville, as a matter of fact. He knew several of the
clothing stores here in town. He was a salesman for that line and maybe some
others, also. My father met him on the tennis courts. My father was an avid
tennis player and so was Mr. Wilmers. In fact, I grew up in Flamingo Park on
the tennis courts. That is how they met, they were both avid tennis players.
Mr. Wilmers knew the men's clothing business, but he did not have much in the
way of finances. My father, apparently, had some money, but he did not know
much about the men's clothing business. So they got together and during the
war they operated that shop. It was called the Dixie Men's Shop. It was on
Sixth Street and Washington Avenue in Miami Beach. They then opened
another in Miami about a block or so off of Flagler Street and First Avenue
which is in the heart of the downtown area of Miami. They opened one there.
Eventually there was a third one, but by that time my father may have sold out.
He sold out to Mr. Wilmers. There was a third one that eventually they opened
on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.
P: When you would have come to Florida, in the mid-1930s, it would have been
the very depth of the Depression. Do you remember very much about Miami
during the Great Depression-- bread lines? Or were you too young to really be
aware of what was going on?
G: I do not know if I was too young to be aware of what was going on, but Miami
Beach, I do not recall, really, being in the depths of the depression. This would
be like 1934, 1935, or 1936. I really do not recall anything with respect to the
Depression at that time.
P: I do not know what happened in Miami, but nationally it was getting a little
better. Then in 1937 it started to get worse again and basically World War II
was what pulled them out. But [do] you remember your childhood as being
quite happy and normal?
G: Yes, I would think so. We moved a little bit. My father built a house on Lenox
Avenue and Twelfth Street. It was in the course of building that house that he
met Harry Kovner, who was the man with whom he shortly thereafter built the
Winterhaven Hotel. He and Mr. Kovner owned that hotel. Mr. Kovenor was a
man who had been in the paper box and packaging business and had come to
Miami. They just happened to meet. I think they met while the house on Lenox
Avenue was being constructed. I think Mr. Kovner just happened to come by
and they got to talking and they met and sort of hit it off. Eventually, they
decided to build the Winterhaven Hotel. It is my understanding that they owned
it together. I do not know exactly what the business arrangement was; they
were both owners. My father was more active in the ownership of it, because
Mr. Kovner was a little bit older than my father. In fact, Mr. Kovner's son,
Walter, is still practicing law in Miami and has already celebrated his fiftieth
anniversary as a member of the Florida Bar. That was a couple of years ago.
P: Of course, as covered in the earlier interview, you came here and got your
undergraduate degree here and got your law degree. You practiced in Miami
Beach for a few months and were in the air force for a couple of years.
G: It was almost a year that I practiced in Miami Beach.
P: Then you came back here as a professor and have had a very long and
distinguished career and become a nationally, perhaps internationally known,
property law expert.
G: I am not sure that I would go as far as you have; you are exaggerating, but I
have been here a long time.
P: Make it as sound as good as you can. It is true, I have people tell me that.
Since the interview, one thing that has happened that you were involved in is with
the athletic situation. You were, I believe, chairman of the University Athletic
Association for twenty-some years. There have been some major
controversies over the athletic association. I would like to know how you feel
about that; the sanctions that were announced last month. Just your feelings
on that subject as someone that was involved in the governance of the
G: Well, I was involved in it for a long time. I became a member of the Athletic
Board in 1962. I became the chairman of the Committee on Intercollegiate
Athletics in July of 1965. The Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics and the
board of directors of the University Athletic Association, Inc., which is a non-profit
corporation, are composed of the same people. It is just a question of wearing
two different hats. I was chairman of the committee until August 1 of this year.
I was also president of the Athletic Association until 1971. At that time Bill
Elmore became president of the Athletic Association. He served until he died
about a year and a half ago. Dr. Cassisi then became president of the Athletic
Association. But I continued as chairman of the athletic committee,
continuously. But the two groups, being composed of the same people, sort of
merged into each other. It was a little difficult to keep the distinction between
the two groups.
For many years, of course, we had a fine program, as far as we knew.
The last several years there have been some problems. The problems have not
been in the academic area. In other words, I do not think we have ever had any
infraction problem with respect to the academic side of the athletic program.
You know, like some schools have had problems with grade changes or pressure
on professors and things of this nature. At least you read about that in the
newspaper. The registrar's office here has always been an office which did its
job properly and meticulously and with great integrity. I believe our financial aid
office is the same way. Our problems have not been in that area. The
problems, in general, have been problems stemming from improprieties in
recruiting, extra benefits, and things of this nature. I suppose, in hindsight, you
could say it would have been better if we had done this or done that. But, I was
pleased that the NCAA, at its latest hearing, had a charge in there, which they
normally put in there (it is sort of a boiler plate type of a charge, lack of
institutional control) and the staff recommended that that charge be dropped.
Because as far as they were concerned we did have good institutional control,
and whenever a problem would come to the attention of the University officials, it
would be dealt with. So, I do not believe that the problems in the athletic
program can be attributed to a lack of institutional control.
That raises the question, "What can you attribute it too?" I really do not
know. People doing things that they ought not to have been doing. But the
University has always made an effort to keep the coaches and others involved in
the program, informed as to the rules. I do not think that the problem stems
from a lack of information as to what the rules are. I think it is just from an
attitude that you could get away with certain things and that is the way it is done
and other schools are doing it, so why do we not do it. Hopefully that attitude
has changed and maybe the lesson has been learned the hard way. I think we
have people in place now who have learned that lesson and who are paying
attention to it.
P: Do you think that it is basically true that other schools do do it? Florida has just
been unfortunate in getting caught more or do you think that the offenses have
been more egregious here than at other SEC schools?
G: I do not know whether I am in a position to answer that.
P: That is fair enough. Sid Johnson talked to you four years ago. At that time
Tom Read was the dean of the law school. We now have a new dean. At that
time you felt that there was steady progress. Do you feel that it has continued to
improve in the last four years?
G: Yes, I think Tom Read did a fine job as the dean. The law school progressed
under his leadership and he left it in basically good shape. I think we were very
fortunate to have Jeff Lewis in the position he was in. He was the associate
dean under Tom Read, he stepped in as the dean and it was not much of a
transition. It was not much of a transition because he had been there. He had
actually been doing most of the internal operation of the law school. Tom Read,
to a large extent, was an external dean. I think that was what was required at
the time he came. Because we were trying to raise funds and develop interest
and support from the alumni. We have tremendous alumni support now, both
financial and otherwise, which really did not exist years ago. We had almost no
financial support, not that the alumni did not want to do it. It was just that no one
went to them and asked for anything.
It may not have been the appropriate time, because the school was
building internally at the time. When Frank Maloney was the dean he started the
fund-raising efforts. Dean Julin built on that and Tom Read came in at a time
when that had reached its proper point where someone had to do it and he did.
He did an excellent job at that. Jeff was the internal person, so when he took
over, he knew the law school extremely well and we knew him. In my opinion he
has been an excellent dean. We have progressed, [and] we have added some
extremely fine people to the faculty. I think we continue to make progress
toward what I am confident will be a nationally recognized law school if it is not
P: Dean Lewis told us at orientation that there were 2100 applicants for the 200
seats in the Fall class, so that says something about the reputation that the
school is building. Is there anything you can think of that you would like to add
that would help us have a more well rounded knowledge of your involvement in
the history of the law school?
G: Well, it is a little hard for me to think of that because I do not know what is
already on the tape. There is a lot that we did not cover today, but it might
already be on the tape.
[End of the interview]