Title: Hampton Dunn
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00006510/00001
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Title: Hampton Dunn
Series Title: Hampton Dunn
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Mormino, Gary
Publisher: Gary Mormino
Publication Date: 1979
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and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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Interviewee: Hampton Dunn 4i) C ) ) ra'
Interviewer: Gary Mormino
Location: Tampa, FL o ")
Date: July 20, 1979 5

M: Hampton DunnS W lovely home in Carol ood. Hampton why don't we start. We were discussing

just a minute ago one of the legendary figures of Tampa indeed Florida v in newspaper

circles Mr.. D. B. McCay / also the colonel is that right?

D: Colonel? I a 1 t

M: Would you reminisce a few minutes about the Colonel :and your relationship with him?

D: Yes indeed, I would be glad to. He was a man I admire very much. When I came to Tampa

actually I did not get, I came down here in 1935 in the fall of 1935, and X went to the

University of Tampa. Had a full scholarship to handle the publicity for the Spartans of

the day and A this in the depth of the depression and man I needed any help I could

get to and before the end of that year well I was working full time at the/Old Tampa QDaly

Times. Which was Mr. McCay's paper. However, he had heK in 1933 Ralph Nicholsen and

David Smiley had come to town and had an option to buy the Times five year thing it was.

And, but they had taken over operation of the paper and Mr. McCay was still around and

would write an occasional 4e-t-~er'and from 1938 this Smiley(?Smile4ANicholsen took up the

option and actually bought -e the Times Mr. McCay was out. But he was a grand old gentle-

man, he was a good looking guypbig kl rather heavy set and L/ dirty white hair and a perfect

Southern gentleman you know? And he was of the old line family around here the McCay's

and u/had I'm not sure that he was born in Tampa but he certainly lived here an awful

long time (chuckle) He came to the Time's I think about prior to the Spanish American War

of 1898. Cause when the 1940-41 when Mac Dill got started I interviewed Mr. McCay about

the uh Tampa during the Spanish Americal War days. At that time he was editor of the

Tampa Time's then. But he was uh a kindly gentleman and certainly y'public spirited I

think, I think he really liked politics as much as he liked newspapers.

M: Was he not a five time mayor?

D: Three times but yh' I think a total of sixteen years in all andOyWJhe spent so much time in

politics that he sort of left the paper run down. And / I believe it got him in debt to

Ybor 33 A

D: the International Paper Company and that's how this Smiley icholsen came in here with

out a dime and took it over. But / Mr. McCay was always active in the Elk's Club and
/ \VIj
used to spend a lot of time down there and Iy with him quite a bit he's what I

liked about hime there as you see it_ 4j journalism and I was just a brand new cub
__ riS- )
reporter I meai'n and yet he was very gentle and very kind to meg

M: And how old were yoiuwhen you arrived in 1935 in Tampa?

D: I was nineteen.years old.

M: Nineteen and you began full time uh job with the Tama_ Times.

D: That is right that lasted twenty-two years.

M: Give us an kind of captual description of Tampa. Well, first of all where did you come

from? And then kind of a captual description, your first impressions of Tampa.

D: Yeah, well I was born and reared in Florida. Citrus county bout sixty miles in a little
town of Floral City. County Seat is I was born and reared there. My father was a

phosphate miner and that was in the mining days when we were living there. I graduated

from hig school there. Then went up to Mer-y University in Macon Georgia. And had gone

back for the second year when I got this h/ offer to come down here. The Jniversity was

brand new it had moved over in the old Tampa Bay hotel in 1933 and became a full four year

college.at that time. So this is 1935 so it is still brand new.

M: And they made the complete adjustment oveyrk were the remnants of the hotel still there?

D: Oh, yeah there was still a lot of the furniture, the old wicker chairs andl
using a lot of theesome of the / football players not everyone on the spot as yet includ-

ing me was lived up in what they called the rat's nest. UPrat hole, rat hole. Which-i-s-

the old servant's quarters. It seemed uh I remember the first time I went back there

I thought it was miles and miles and miles up back steps and all that but it was..some of

the old yeah some of the bedroom furniture was being used and ( but u bit by bit convert-

ing it into an educational institution. The first president was Fred Spalding who had

been principal of Hillsborough High School. And they started it as a Junior college at

Ybor 33 A

D: night at Hillsborough High School. And then in 1933 when they incorporated it into a full

four year college / they moved over to the .University. And / used the old uff'JIL,

the first floor for classrooms and offices, administrative offices.

M: Was Tampa a big town to you coming from Citrus county?

D: Oh, yeah it was a big town yeah it was a big city. It certainly was because Floral City

was maybe five or six hundred people. And Tampa I believe, I believe in 1920 it was about

a little over a hundredd thousand maybe^ /n 1930, rather. And y, it had street cars amP

you know and to me that was always a sign of a big city, a y and the down town was

hustling it had all the stores open all the stores were down there et-d-everybody worked

a full week. I mean Monday thru Saturday. And u I worked even more than that because

as a reporter of an afternoon newspaper we would have to get up and get going early. I

would beAl would check in maybe seven o'clock by the police station or go to

.: the sheriffs office or by the hospital to check that on the way in and we worked all day

long our came out about four thirty. And then there is always night readings

to go through and things to cover if you are on a story you stayVwith it.

M: What was your first salary? Do you remember?

D: Yes I do remember (chuckle) I would start off on probation that is like ten dollars a week

and then I went on the payroll at twelve fifty and soon I got it all the way up to fifteen


M: Fifty percent increase.

D: Oh yeah we told that is right, I think we would be increased in increments of about two

dollars and a half a week. But ) I was yourand I was single but we got along.

M: What was Tampa like? How would you describe Tampa? Can you tell me your most vivid impres-


D: Well, I was always impressed with the port and /all the big ships coming in4ti was im-

pressed with the street cars and the big stores and I guess one impression that I got was

when I was ___ growing up we did come to Tampa and relatives lived here and we did

Ybor 33 A-

D: come to Tampa and I remember as a real young fellow maybe just in hig Vchool coming down

here with my brother once in the night and saw all those neon lights and all the bright

lights and that was really really attractive to a country boy. I felt like it was a big

bustling growing city and t I sort of felt like being in on the action.

M: Ybor city?

D: Ybor city at that time was had it characters YI-m/ as a Latin area. UX/and of course

was big then and also pas las n .A big Spanish park

restored then. There was a lot of stores out there a lot of action out there a lot of

activity. The real Latin flavor. At that time you had cigarsfJ(i'3 going too. There
would be cigarIC "I.
would be cigar C!W) ,,y at that:time there was a red light district out there.

M: The Scrub? Or is this a different...?

D: No, this was the house of ill repute.

M: Well, was there an area called the Scrub Bar?

D: Oh, the Scrub, the Scrub was / in the central avenue where the blacks lived, yeah. That

was just to the west of the Ybor city area.

M: Now as a lost country boy oyou have any hesitation going into Ybor city in the 1930s?

Well what was the impression from transly the Anglo community?

D: Yeah it did not bother me at all. I wasmaybe I way n tmayb

was not aware that there was any problem. And yeah I used to go outAhere by myself and

never, never had any real fears /)o0course now we get into the fact that there was a lot

of crime and gambling. There was gambling going on wide open really.

M: In what forms?

D: Mainly just the sale o _' and then they also had the wheels and other games in

back rooms. And also for a short period therein the 1930s there were slot machines which

actually they were legalized by the vote,) think it was the 1935 legislature. And it

created such a stink that they_ OJecc 'ryer -jci x r) \)(Vi,(i

M: .A\) OoTP particular group control']c rime in Tampa?

Ybor 33A

D: Yeah / the old Charlie Wall gang is what they called it. Charlie Wall was the black

sheep of a very prominent* .

M: Is Perry ljWiL in n -I-' --

D: 4 )oh strong families then and now. Top people in:the 0orYmi u iV ,

M: They did not like S_ right? Is that right?

D: That is right. Ar4myk(

M: So Charlie Wall was b___h-

D: Charlie Wall and-he was an educated gentleman a very intelligent man but he stayed in the

life of the gambling thing. jnce testified to a grand jury that he was the over lord of

the under world or some such thing. And he actually was. In the 1930s there began his

machine began to crumble. There was a political gambling combine. Pat uh'e was the

great criminal lawyer. I do not know, I do not think he was related to Charlie Wall but

he said it was his attorney. AndAd he was in the state senate and really one of the greatest

lawyers I have ever seen in action. The man was eloquent and he used every trick in the

book to swing a jury. He had a brother named Tom whohe was the brain, he would do the

research, and feed Pat the legal background and Pat would do all the theatrics. Very, very

able. I believe now there are others who can probably give you better fix on this than I

can but it is my impression that the Spanish people were in charge of the gambling. They

seemed to have control and then as time went by J (there seemed to be a transition and a

take over by the Italians.

M: Is this the t in this group?

D:'IIaTltalianoonly yeah, that is right. -.Ur

M: Charlie Wall was killed was he not?

D: Yeah, Charlie Wall was killed. But maybe it was not part of, maybe it was not by one of

the gangsters. It might have been by somebody in his camp. )fT he had a body guard named

Scar Face Rivera who is still around town.

M: Do you think he might be interested in an interview? (chuckle, chuckle)

D: I am going to give you some names that you might yeah .

Ybor 33 A

M: I take it'Scar Face is not his real name?
D: No, Scar....what is his firs ame? It will come to me.

M: O.k. I will check with you.

D: Rivera.

M: When would you say the transition was made where the white male took over? What year was

it kind of around?

D: You mean originally?

M: Yeah, right. Ball park figure.

D: Of course Charlie himself was part of the Spanish. I mean I have always heard that Spanish

was in Ghal.4. And I do not know. I guess, I really do not know about thebearly days

but I would guess that 'n ____ O M .. be& coming of the cigar factories and

around the turn of the century. But when it got highly organized and became suchi'a big

buis ess, it could have been coming with the prohibition days in the 1920s and 1930s.

M: From your perspective would you:say that the power of the mobsters 4a mminate

outward. I mean was this a local power control or did they have influence over the state

wqd- Miami ?

D: It was always my impression that it was pretty much a local. They might have had some ties

with the might havK' Of course as we got into the Italian influence there has

always been suspicions and accusations that the Oc e ~,- y /u n a nation

wide basis aybe world wide basis. U~P n 1951 when the committee came to

town, and they hauled in a lot of the politicians. They had on display at the

a poster showing organized gambling in Tampa then it shows the numbers racquet,

narcotics, some public officials, and unsolved murdersthis is a traumatic display. And

there they listed some of the twenty-two or more unsolved murders we had starting in the

early 1930s and continuing right up until World War II. Then after that there was a

couple more. But most of these occurred in the 1930s thee- starting about 1933,

oH I T Wh 0hVrI inl A P

H^ &eL^ y O/x A- j o ^ .^ / '4-, S4-f
12: fo^4 i-A- OS o o- ^ ^ 44>. c I j$injI) h<- va- ,flkj)c kitc

Ybor 33 A

D: Yeah that is, that was attempted assination. And that was, he was killed later on I would

say in the late 1940s or maybe the 1950s early 1950s. But this shows the first one was

Angelo Masara and then he gets Mrs. Fernando Serrara, I believe. Then you get into really

the big ones. Tito there La gambling house here called Tito e' Tito and Eddie

Tito and Eddie. Tito...was killed, Gus Perez was killed, Eddie Verila was killed, Mario

P \ .> .*' :y c /. The whole, a whole string of unsolved murders and

these were done in professional gang land style. These guys were not and who-

ever was after them, they would get them and them only. They would shoot a gangster with

his wife seated in the same car seat with him. They would not touch her but they would do

a real thorough and complete job on..

M: of Tampa had the impression of being a pretty wide open town?

D: Oh, yeah, it was wide open. There-was some drug traffic, but in those days, nothing like

we have today. But any of it was feared in those days and there is some of it going on.

I think Charlie Wall was mixed up in that in the very early part. But they did have a lot

of back roads R1j0s( and .. i,. (i .And believe it man that was

available everywhere. There was sophisticated ladies living in -high 9LL get a liter

from the maids. Well, it seemed like every ing it.

M: One description that you have not given so far, you arrived in 1935, this was/ according
^ 0i a,& PO-S
to historical -4+reares ete of depression. '&t this obvious?

D: Oh, yeah.

M: In Tampa?

D: Yeah, because what happened was in 1929 the citizens bank which was an old established

financial institution and a real rock of the community and people had their life savings in

there and-aoom one morning it wasT tUL U sppnlJ -- And many people

lost their life savings. I know people today who did not get to go to college because all

their money went down the drain with the closing of_.that_bank. And then there were several
I t \ ^ t\ I
others that went under. First National, ___ __ -b

M: The Ponds family had one or two did they not?

Ybor 33 A

D: What was that?

M: The Ponds family?

D: Yeah, / but of course then the stock market blew in October of 1929 and things went from

worse to (;li bad after that. Because they, President Roosevelt took over in 1933 and

he immediately set about to try.and pull the country together again and he started a lot of

these relief programs, WPA and FERA and TWA and all the alphabet and / jobs were really

hard to come by. It was __ unemployment year.

M: There were lines, soup lines?

D: Soup lines, absolutely. And the biggest _______ I guess was the WPA (chuckle) The WPA was

Make work :,',, Li for a project you would have to get a local sponsor to put of

their small portion of the funds and cost then the federal government would make up the resi

It did a lot of good really, you always .tlej]okes about them standing around resting on

their shovels, I am sure there was a lot of that- /going on. -Btt thpre-i- also a

lot of accomplishments. One thing they did, tbey Eh J the\Tmpa Bay hotel. They built

4J1-Bay Shore Blvd. sea wall. They built Peter O'Nite aircorp and they built an administration

building. All over town you will find projects,(Break in Tape) R.E.O. Chatse4y became mayor

in 1933. And so he was up for r4election in 19..well, maybe it was 1931 that he became

mayor, I guess it was. And in 1935 he was up for r election and I call that Tampa's longest

day...September 3, 1935. Here is a story I wrote to the Tampa Tribune on September 1, 1963.

This is when it all came to the climax. \/f /. A./ /-

This was a confrontation between the city forces and the county forces in a struggle to

take over the politics ad with it all of the gambling concessions.

M: Who represented the ?

D: Chatse'y the incumbent mayor, see he was the city, and D.B. McCay who had been the mayor

was trying to make a comeback and he had the county court house lined up inftI'i. 1,f, '' f.-
Sj j
/and in those days we did have all kinds of frauds, election frauds,4'.9j_ .j.i registrations

and actually had 1,- ,1i':vj hwo steal the ballot boxes and just the-were, we were really at

rock bottom. And it was obvious that we were going to have a '" i'; y, *i: .' *',.'.

Ybor 33 A

D: between two forces. The en t called out the national guard i

and to top it all off w that day. This is September 1935, Mr. Chatsef/ was

reVi ected.

M: Is that the hurricane that went through the keys?
1*A was A'*4 t mr t me-g stormL w it hAit
D: Yeah, that is right. It whippedYaroundit was a more tAi'a storm when it hit here.

But it was pretty bad, the rains and all. By the way I have a narrative a narrative of

the Fdys events that I just got from the national guard headquarters. Telling about the

national guard's role in trying to get peace out there.

M: How did you get that, by writing them?

D: Yeah, my friend up there in headquarters. And I hope that -yope t w be thinking about puttir

that somwh -e ina-.- tribute \ ) 4k I th~ l-jE urc) -_ I
?I-) I h 6fL i0 ILYYYUr hit) O& OL
M: Sure. --,- would you describe the city power structure in 1935? As a reported

Like where did power really lie in Tampa?

D: Well, I would say that at that timeL ' was really the top man. And Charlie

Wall was ein in the back ground.

M: So the mob you would say would be the real power?

D: Yeah, because they had control of the fo~S t for oe thing. It was just, you had

no lrHs remce that your vote would count _So after this we hit rock bottom, and good

citizens became alarmed an P / 0 0 ey said this is enough, we have

got to do something about this. And they did. They started a movement. The __ club

started a movement about voting machines for one thing.

M: How did people vote prior to that?

D: Paper ballot. It was very easy to doctor these, you could steal these, you could substitute


M: Were there cases of dropping acid down into the boxes..?

D: Everything you can think of, yes. And of/course after the polls close the lights would

suddenly go out and there would be a big shuffle of papers

M: Was this common knowledge?

Ybor 33 A
D: Oh, yeah, it was common knowledge. They would make, the prosecutors would make stabs but

you know they really made no inr \_ J ing irt up. TheO j, ip eg. Cd cn J

Although there was a young prosecutor named Rex rFi&l that came in at that time he was

a f64er affr Dkpo kolfe ,( ,'_ _*, in 1937 I guess. Rex was active in-the

C aO i5 0fn^ pO( he prosecutor/was very vigorous prosecutor, in his early days. He a

prosecuted the .Me- caselp in that time. Later on he continued after the Jlia. came

in. He was criticized by mainly for not doing his job.

M: Do you have any speculation as to what happened?

D: Why he did not do his job? Well, he was getting older and not as aggressive. Of/ourse he

was accused of being friendly with some of them, with some of the Italian lot.

M: When did he retire from that, state attorney ?

D: 1951, right after the. Incidentally, he is still around town3

you will certainly want to interview him. If any body really knows piJ/7tS around here

I do not know how much he will tell you, but certainly he should be interviewed. ,( ot
IU J C'\h _isala
of people, John Parkhill ought to be interviewed, oS IOnn he is a lawyer who

is related to Charlie Wall and is sort of an understudy of PatO 1&hii-. Very able lawyer

and one of the most eloquent speakers I know. John ran against Rex after WWII, in 1948 I
ov-J rnucL-J V j -\ +, ooII.0
guess it was, and if you want to interview John, -unow wi-4-te1-1--you

M: Sometimes what people will not tell you 1, .-

D: That is right. Another lawyer in town that you ought to interview is aMasren Garcia.

M: Yeah-, his mother just died. And I have been trying to get hold of him. I called Friday and

his mother had just died and they had the funeral tody ,. i>ro1

D: I did not realize that but he was part of at least he was in you know, all the
f y
action. And how much he will tell you I do not know. Now let me tell you somebody else

that you ought to get-and that is Jerry McLeod. I have got his phone number at the office.

Jerry used to have my job at the Time's he was managing editor of the Tampa Times way back

there. He had a Ce/ItO_( A ) 1 \ 048 3 { 0 ( I qt 6 c( 0 -
Si- t e wVas app inte she0 f.
\^. CCi./ ii^btJ he was appointed sheriff.

Ybor 33 A

M: He was sheriff?

D: Yeah, he was sheriff.

M: Typical transition for newspaper 4 o O

D: (Chuckle) ahb.t4 alisoWTA administrator.. But Jerry know5A _o. s

mjo^cYr, 4at d' 1h 4kOddS alV6 4l~~4 ei he was part of it. I have not seen himo
I have been talking to him about doing the history of newspapers, newspaper u-,LA 'nd

I hope we can get that done. Now there was a 5'. Named Jiughin whose daughter is still

around and her name is [\ Lil '*_ "

M: She is in the school system, right? Going back to the Tampa for a second. How would you

describe the political power base of Tampa in economic terms? ,Identify some _q p rS

w about economiccji4 ? Tampa has the impression of being a cigar town. Did the cigar
workers or cigar owner's have any clout or say so in the politics the town?

D: They may have had some influence but I would not say that they were the 1-l a4f'(V

I always felt that they were pretty much into their own business and that is i /'gr

manufacturing. Now the'workers every one of those were patrons Of in & D)yAJ -They may
r-, &A.nan IdhS ; 17
or may not have been part of this, all of this O c)` on the polls.

M: Ybor city 4.a _an outsider there would be great opportunity .s' .--... we have a

lot of immigrants it would be easy to organize worker's )O: .L Jd c "

D: Precinct by precinct and ,,' LPv &--' d. a ( 6'L<1 i7

M: I assume that they were democrats?
they a o t everyS .~
D: Yeah, they were emocrt There were some socialist. a they were alldemocrats, every

body was democrats, we just had a handful of republicans here up until WWII.

M: So the the primaries? Ybor city () considered a powerful ward to

D: Ja sure it was because first of all your city limits.aae restricted for so many years

Ybor 33.A

D: it ended on the west side aj- (I .. / G '-* 4 0j14D

*// lj other developments\Beach park ____ have been built up but it
was not until after WWII that we e4t9eed city limits and so it was a very condensed city.

Therefore like Ybor city and west Tampa latin people, they, say what you will, they are

interested in politics t,, _, .. I. .'. i ...*1 -. .Thecs ro _- .... .

Maybe some of the Anglo saxons would be more ,4aO'fl IC/so, they were pretty powerfulA

S LIcTy because they had rigged those precints.
M: Granted those facts. Why did not Latins have their own power I'O) ?A. -Dq t '< C /)

It would seem like they had the votes there that they could have run a candidate for

mayor. _hg/) _C/ ____is not errupting until the late 1950s early

1960s. Why did not the Latins .... .

D: They had a ties with V_-bIeve hs -- .. so they had some connect-
on_ that-soh hasmcn t
ions that way. McCay had some friendly .J with him or a

kinship. It was always an anglo saxon g OS, A- S 0 I L CI lCSo .

M:L io--'g eTTy county commissioner about this timer'.
0 0,-S eU- Q.O ) ne1I I
D: 0J 1')0K i) many years ago -owed the city part 1e then he got on the county commission.

Then he ran for mayor. He was county commissioner formany-many-ypars. And in those

days it was all\ county commissioners elected by 'e-warby their districts and
we had the Latin districts so hejhad a continuing incumbency there& it was awfully hard

M: Did they have a tradition of a bt,16i. tJMlhS ? Were they pretty well unanimous on

their choices?

D: Yeah, they were would be evidence __ now first you have 9i

you had "poll rPi up until the late 1930s Somebody had to pay that 0G(oI '

for him, ,Ard-they did not pay it. So they were t hcy-we -;,~a6 the O~L)

-g7the system.
M: -e(ero i Ja i.;!, : .', bi |\ really did not make any difference whether
'I J

Ybor 33 A

M: they voted or not?

D: That is right.

M: Were you I mean were you aware as a newspaper reporter that you had pretty much free access

or was it kind of a joke? I mean did .you have any clout or did they try to hide things

from you?

D: Remember that I was just starting in 1936 and so I was a real novice sEd.ub, did not have

any real importan+kl IC.-, until maybe 1938-3.9 when I was covering the police station

and gj- of course I was not...l remember .e always. a ,/S Agrand jury

investigations and a lot of noise making going on. I remember I think it-might have been

1940 and I-was covering a police report, I was covering these unsolved murders a( -

ftI h. these Ap (i murders. It was not unusual at allto- e called in the
middle of the night and \ K T / .: S I was 1

I remember one time that a grand jury (. Y (Q{- investigating __ bI I h,

and they would make a big noise about it and then nothing ever came of it. I remember they

recessed and they issued a list of twenty-two places i ir'" Qi who t L

/ ?v a t,\ t- and they made a big noise about we-ag. to an up or c
(4- E 1C'.b1b',L ', before we come back into session, three weeks

hence or whenever. And so $ my own afternoon before the grand jury was supposed to cot1e-

back I took 4\ -. And it ws t'he-

first time that I had ever bought, I never .... ( now. And-I did not really know

how to .I bought b .every ne in the

place, :' .They-had-not closed-up an- d .theywere not closed up the next


D: Unfortunately I did not even know (chuckle) I just had got there. Sorry about that. I re-

member they had Jerry McLeod on the. I was up there noontime with my photographer

from the Times of/ourse you can not get into a grand jury you just have to smell around

and figure out what it going on and hope somebody will leak to you. I remember at noorA


Ybor 33 A

D: one day I went up in the old court house there where the grand jury was meeting and it was

at noon so everybody was out to lunch and the judge was out but theyls beginning to stragl

back in. Jerry McLeod was the sheriff then and they called him in and he was sitting

S--- BO r/l'(i / grand jurer sitting there and at the same time 31,3 )KJ )

hX, DYu l i 'D ~f'\ ( an o.(LIK'5~j\(i -t-e take a picture

of the sheriff and he did and boy the guy jumped upand he was real tough fellow and really

just bellowed at us you know. Give me that film right now, Wally looked at me and wondered

what to do and I was as I say green, and there is this high sheriff demanding the film and

so I told him let him have it. If it happened today I would say the heck with it no way.

If I had to grab it and run out and let him shoot at me \ '.. ujunin those days

you really did not....I remember a very prominent citizen that was on the grand jury sitting

there ULi .' '. .! so it is pretty rough covering it.

M: Any of your peers actually get roughed up?

D: I do not recall any I never really o.!:', r.'Ne'r no. They seemed to, they were pretty

smart, they, it would be bad buisness for them to knk up newspaper guys and it would

/ be bad buisness to knock other _________.") VO )

M: Alright here is a seemier question. Did any of your peer ,your rival papers in the ,,

A.i.- '. of those forces have an affect on the payroll?

D: Oh, were they ever? I do not believe:so. I am almost convinced that) maybe in the 1920s

but here in the height of the prohibition and all that there might have been but935 to

now I do not know of any newspaper guy that was on the make. Now I may be naive, a lot of

it might have been going on but I am sort of proud of the calibur-arnd 6u, that we had

both newspapers. After years I really do not believe that any, I can not think of any that

might have been on the make. -------- Jerry McLeod ut then bol itician he was involved

with the operation t- '-, )c. "c-, A.- But while he was the managing editor of the

newspaper I do nottknow that he was involved

M: What were the rewards for political power in Tampa? -You know why so much concern over

controlling, I guess the question is obvious but from your perspective?

Ybor 33 A

D: I am sure that the corrupt politicians found the gambling concessions quite att-rpati- v

M: Gambling would be one, patronage/ '- :"( considerable patronage at that time?

D: Oh, yeah, particularly during the epression days when you could go with out a job

SJust aitodayrthey wer.epower mad, they liked to run things.

They sure had the politicians, course we still do, but / ^. f()/ /.

M: What would you do in a typical Je/klo/) ? What was your job during this period? In 1936

through 1938. .ees wve- you actually cover4r.w the election polls? And do you remember

I guess, any anecdotes that might illustrate these points?

D: Up until WWII I do not remember too much, I do not recall any, being involved too much in

actual coverage. I am sure I was. After WWII, I wasfin the na. for four years I came back

in early of 1946, and then I became managing editor and directed our news coverage.

M: I would like to talk about some of that later. Have we exhausted...

D: Let us mention l, I was mentioning about the WPA and some of the jobs they did and I also

mentioned about Mayor Chatsey. In 1939 he ran for reelection a second time, and I did

cover the campaign then, I remember thattl~e ell because I was covering the city hall.

He had two opponents one was named, one was a city couselman named Dick Rosenthal, and by

the way he is still around.

M: I am trying to get a hold of him. has told me about him. Is he the one who kept

the prostitute as his mistress? t>she\,lso a dentist, is that right?

D: Yeah, that is right. And he was chairman of the city board for many years you ought to get

him.because he was part of the game too. But he was running for mayor and a fellow named

I believe this is him, I may have sequence wrong, but he was a

juvenile judge and a lawyer. Anyway in those days we had what they called a white municipal

party, no blacks voted. They were noteligible to vote.i,(i 4 r-\ /' democrat i c it was

non partisan. So the white municipal party was, would stage political rallies around town

and Mr. Chatsey sort of put himself up above these Y w- f -k 0ql~t

politics and he ran his own rallies around town and let the party run theirs. One interest

ing thing that happened this was about in 1928, they always had a big rally over at i

Ybor 33 A

D: park in front of the University of Tampa near the hotel. Not V' (p but'il ll-t

they had a big band stand there.

M: Would you describe one of the rallies sir?

D: Well, oh yeah they-r packe din up to 10,000 people there. In those days you did not have

radio, well you did have them. The WDA started in 1922. I do not think there was too much

political campaigning by radio until maybe the late 1920s early 1930s. But in this very hot

sheriffs race in 1928, they were having the final rally at pnf park. There was a young

fellow running for sheriff and his name was g^ir' Patten jr. His father was __l_ Patten

sr. and he founded nd nursed along and built up the Tampa business college. And I do

not know why t1r wanted to be sheriff but he was running. And he did not have a:prayer

he did not have a chance. All the old pros were in there you know and he was an unknown-arr

W but he was a nice looking guy and had some charisma. But that night he was making his

final pitch, speech, and in front of him there at the bandstand was his mother JOd and

while he was making the speech she collapsed and died. That created such a 54 erve ote

that O~l Patten became the sheriff in 1929. And as I reconstruct it he was pretty(,1_

and he could not wait to get all the~j ._.- ., And they said he had airplanes and lincoln

automobiles and he was pretty arrogant he would walk into these places down town and demand

his payoff right there. It got so bad that ihis fellow townsmen Governor Carlton had to

fire him and did. I think he served only six months as sheriff. He later becamed, in h't

later years he was/deputy sheriff. He is dead now. I think he still has some relatives

here. But, / we were mentioning Chatsey running his own campaign he put out a very beaut-

iful brochure which he called for Tampa's 100,000, that is what our population was. In

^ h. ItI hi, 0 i- Ol f a'mayor from 1931 to 1939 out of contrast here the things that

he had done. He built the beautiful Bay Shore Blvd. and they extended it and completed it

all the way over to Plat street during those days, during that administration. And he built

the nurses home, the nurses quarters there at the hospital. Heliimproved the hospital itself

He built the Tampa health department facility. He did a little bit of-every renewal, with

public housing. HeL-pud-in the Latin areas and-the-black areas and some anglo saxon. There
was a 0(S/ hospitalyat the time(A C iC-' "rj C} he improved that. He worked

M: wnv nne S Uav navnniTrz seeTi LOU e urIUUUUIdi WI LII d IUL uI I uI-a i Ianu uate aL

D: Well he was a maverick he was not supposed to be up there. He snuk in there. He was a youn(


Ybor 33 A

D: The younger blacks began So it came, it came shortly after WWII. It was

very slow, very slow and it really did not get LeRoy()JliS was


M: How about the 1967 race riot in Tampa? Could it have been avoided?

D: I do not know. I guess it was just a blow up of resentment and emotions but u, this had

to come to a head and that is when it exploded. Fired by a lot of things happening around

the country and h, changes of attitudes. But we were not as violent you know I think we

have better relations haD &lL jat some of the other cities.

M: Hampton how would you, looking at Tampa, maybe the 100 years of Tampa, what do you think

is the salient characteristics you know wh re would you pinpoint as the strength of

Tampa? And also what do you see in the future of Tampa? You know will we recognize the

city fifty years froj now?

D: Well, I think the thing that has been the rallying force of the community has been our

transportation, our commerce, and industrial activity. It has sort of been, what has kept

it going all these years and continues to be. We are the leader of this region. Ofcourse
with the phosphate coming through here. And now we kk t th- pace, with our airport

Ofcourse trains they are dying, maybe they will come back now with the gasoline problem.
C0'rIcQ fII D
But with our network of roads now, an i .' CL4 C and we g t.\ I ,, '

_VY4-tbhd g Miami. And that is going to make us another transportation .We are

not too far from Disney World. What is the future? It is hard to envision, it is sort of

like you asked about right after WWII, could we envision what is going on today. Maybe some

people did ............. -A'4 ( :' " As long as you have got this wonderful

climate and

but, u/ everywhere I go, I am all over the state, speaking to a lot of these tourist

Om,0Mtl(Lf 10. It is incredible. Whole communities up there in _(_I_/_ Pe+mr-county and

-Citru county The biggest town in Citrus countywas not even there twenty years ago. But

I think as long as we have beautiful weather and as long as we can continue to spread out

Ybor 33 A

D: 1oisubdivisions, ominus threat of the situation, bo) I Su6

/ hprngp c-arze andVhave been, maybe it is going to have to be pulled back into the down-

town part central .Mainly by way of condominiums and I guess they L/i I

(.- Ldevelop And just reshape the community as they are doing already, they com-

pletely wiped out the downtown. It has completely lost itsCi -!" "* of th6

city hall and the __ theatre ____ and.:the Tampa Bay Hotel.

all the landmarks still visible right?
M: Tampa has not been very reverent Je its buildings?

D: No, they have not been very reverent....

M: The city on the move I guess. Well, I thank you very much for your time.

D: It was my pleasure.

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