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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Subject: Ertle Hunt
Interviewer: Lew Barton
B: This is November 7, 1974. I'm Lew Barton, interviewing for
the University of Florida's history department's American
Indian Oral History Program. This afternoon, we're favored
to be in Baltimore, Maryland, and right now, we are on Broadway
Street at the American Indian Study Center, And with me is
a young man who works over here, is that right? Who has kindly
consented to give me an interview. And I'm going to ask him
to tell you his name, and what he does, and whatever other
biographical information he can give' us about his home, his
family, and sisters and brothers and relatives, and all that.
H: My name is Ertle Hunt, and I work here/at the American Indian
Study Center in Baltimore, as the coordinator of the community
mental health program, which, in essence is really the Alcoholism
and Drug Abuse Program, that gives the facts related to alcoholism
and drug abuse.
B: That sounds interesting.
H:.'Very. It's very exciting work, to me, anyway. I don't know if
you know this, before I go on, I'd kind of like to add this to
it when I say this,Athe biggest problem of the American, or the
one biggest problem of the American Indians today, is alcoholism;
it's the number one killer among American Indians, that's bringing
in all the f-a-s that are related to t _h dt Be it by
accident, by accidental shooting,4car accidents, and whatever.
B:Al". the number one killer?
UL 22A 2
H: It's the number...kills more Indians over a period of twelve
months than any other disease if you consider it a disease,
Yome people call it a drug, some call it botl I b Becomes an
addictive thing, thereforeit's a drug that becomes a disease.
It creates pther diseases in the body, such as cirrhosis of
the liver, and and whatever--gastritis, it's related
to all these things. Unfortunately, it's hard to come up
with a definite number because on most death certificates, they
don't put, be it Indian or any other race, -e doctor doesn't
put down "alcoholism", he puts that diseaselhe always shies
away from it, because it's kind of an embarrassment to the family.
I assume that's because of the stigma still attachedA .But,
you know,4anyway, that's my job here, and it's a very serious
and necessary job, we think. We have three people in our
program, a coordinator and two counselors) And a part-time
secretary. About my family, I come from a large family, we
have fourteen in my family. I was born and raised in North
Carolina, and as a result of,Aafter graduating from high
school, started to college, and quit and went into the service.
B: 49,CeHf'w vJ eO as 4?is ,
H: CoUeSe' B? iy< a1h,d ho h school.
.1Jg: Y started Oh, in high school, I went to Magnolia, which
is out on _and Robertson County, and then started to
Penbrook, and went one half, year, then joined the Air Force,
and, jiC fhfk Ms one of the best things that ever happened
to me. After joining the Air Force, I, it was ;Q y the first
time I4#Y@f'r left that community, Robertson County, life.
B: How old were you?
UL 22A 3
H: Eighteen. I joined the, I was actually nineteen when I joined
the service, but I left when I was eighteen, and I came to
Baltimore, and stayed four or five months,Athen joined the
service, andAApril Fools Day, and stayed in four years,Agot
involved in mental health and alcoholism, and community relations,
and as, well, here I am, to make a long story short.
(BREAK IN TAPE)
H: ...and then after joining the Air Force, I, like I was thinking
of going into community mental health, and got involved with
public relations. And, as a result of that, I discovered the
need for, I guess, mental health workers, or public health
workers in the field of alcoholism and drug abuse among the
Indian people.. While in the service, I was stationed in
A bui rque,
AJ _-94- New Mexico, and at that time, I was reassigned
to the Department of the Interior and did some, I guess, off
the face work, which is called fact-finding and resource work,
which is where I really became conscious of the problems with
American Indians as far as alcoholism, not necessarily drug
abuse, but alcoholism, per se. This was in Farmington and
GoIitp New Mexico, which is a large distance apart. AS i soA.
40oe Jrep the two particular communities in which I was assigned to.
We found at that time there was an average of like 600 deaths
per year between the G\ all township and the- Mvr tribal,
I !fayedieJ mkm
say, deaths. So the need was there. And thatA 4m stuck
in my mind, and then going to Vietnam, coming back, getting
out of the service, ggng back involved with it in San Jose
California, in the same kind of work. Well, I've knwR what
they call an addictions counselor, went back to school, got a
UL 22A 4
certificate in counseling, came to, back to-N-a country,
a6 you might say, and stayed there a few months just to, I guess,
revive some old relationships. Then came back to Washington,
D.C.) I was involved in some movements. I was fortunate enough
to have met a Lumbee Indian from, who was going to school at
Sanford) .y the name of Dean And you remember, oA
Richard Oats, who was, I think he was part I'm not
sure, but they started this movement on Alcatraz, and we were
involved in it, I was working in the San Jose community, with
the United Native Americans at that time, and we got involved
in the Alcatraz thing, and I got a little taste of that, and
then, with a lot of other factors involved, I finally came
back East. YOu know, you're heart's always at home. So I
finally returned home,Awell, I actually came to Washington,
D.C., involved again, in a different kind of movement, but,
in Veterans Against the War, and I stuck that out, I guess,
for about a month, and then came over to Baltimore and beemefty
involved in the mental health program here, then entered back
into school, and at the present time, I'm still in school at
nighttime, but I am able to perform a function here as coordinator
of the alcoholism-mental health program. Which isn't really
a handicap to me at all, it's, as a matter of fact, it's a
an assistance, because I get credit for doing this kind of work.
Kind of like a field placement, you know, which wasn't reaLy-)
very hard to convince the school board,you know, whatever you
want to call it to assign me here, because the need is obvious.
So I'm here. a nutshell how I ended u in Btimore, and
So I'm here.4 0% a nutshell, how I ended up in Baltimore, and
UL 22A 5
some of the things I've done since high school.
B: Well, this must be very fascinating work. Itcould be a
little dangerous, too, couldn't it?
H: Oh, very dangerous. We were kind of speaking of a little..4
it's dangerous when you deal in a thing, what I call "reality-
therapy", that, I deal with facts as they are. For example, if
you're going to, when you tell a person that went--to drink, or
smoke, or any other addictions, that he's going to have to give
it up, you're asking him to give up a lot, and sometimes these
people get emotionally involved, and get violent. I've been
hit, I've been assaulted, I've been hurt physically, internally,
an yetI I still like it because, as a-.result of.., that tells me
something, people react that way, really stresses the need for
people who are sincere, and have compassion for these people.
I think one of the things today, is once you can get a well,
I believe that once you can one of these individuals to a
rehabilitated state, on that path, where he's walking =M in
ovie o P (' u k
a straight manner, he's eg- to -be a better functioning individual
in our society, because he's been down there, and he knows)
he knows where he doesn't, well, he may not know where he's going,
but he knows where he doesn't want to go. It's one of those
B: He's come to grips with life#vnd his roblN k ^
B: Do you wf us about.... or am I being personal? On
Syou had just a while ago?
H: Oh, not at all. A few moments ago, again, I don't know if you're
familiar with reality-therapy, but reality-thereapy in essence,
UL 22A 6
is that you deal with what's before you. You don't go into
case histories, where an awful lot of E Ve usd 'l cie6t Qt
niVe, I refusedto go back and talk about why he's drunk. :ea, it's
good to talk about it, only to the point, where he doesn't
begin to depress himself or regress. ,e just talk$ about it
as a matter of information and how to deal with the guy. For
example, the case that I just had. The guy comes in, and he's
drinking, he's not drunk, but he's drinking, and.....
B: 'o oqu Qdgnf- TV-1 +A', ofJ not too obviously drunk?
t: ^ x .tf,, 'eM? ALu L1.
,: ,will you see them at the time?
H: Yeah, I'll see them, it's okay to see him when he's drinking,
but he can communicate, it takes me about one minute to decide
whether or not he can communicate, and this guy could communicate.
I know him well enough to know that this is his normal behavior
to get angry at what I was saying to him, so he wasn't, it wasn't
a drunk Harold, which was his name, I'm not supposed to mention
names, but I won't mention his last name, but it wasn't a
drunk Harold that was there it was just a drinking Harold, it,
probW he--like S& e he's drinking, but if he's drunk,
S1 i+ Wa
he's a lot worse. I think ke would ..fe gotten) something more
UQld np hemae been drunk, and I wouldn't have
approached him that way. But he was to the point where he was
just drinking, he has to drink to come through the front door.
He needs a little courage to come through. And he's just
recently gotten out of the hospital. He had a job for three
days. But this guy, he wanted to come in and talk about a friend
of his who got drunk last year and burned himself, an Indian
guy, who burned himself to death in an alley here in Baltimore.
UL 22A 7
He got drunk, lit a fire, fell asleep, rolled overA and burned
8: Oh n(.
up.A U;Hie was drunk when it happened. So this guy begins to
talk about that, and 140s Qedy with me, it's a door, kind of
f ol a door for me, I said, "Doesn't this k4iq4-d motivate you
in any way to kind of rehabilitate yourself,A kind.of correct
your activities, andAbecome a productive person, a tax-paying
citizen, as we might say?" And for some reason, he was angered
by it, he wanted to talk about this guy, in very negative
terms, and I refused to do it, he wanted to talk about his
personal life, that really wasn't necessary to the pointAfor
our conversation to continue, as a-matter of fact, he started
saying about his mom and his dad, who are both dead, and how
they were killed, and he begins to look very sad, and regressed.
So I refused to talk about that. But reality-therapy, you
deal with what's before you, here's a guy who came in...
B: The "now".
Io' AWVl'--OcL"se Whes yOu"
H: The now.A A lot of times, some of these guys don't want to talk
about it, and, but they will, because that's the only thing
they have to talk about. They only have memories, so they
want to talk about these bad memories. So what you try to do
is really just, don't really ignore it, butAsay, "Hey, listen,
For Ore""- /OLC herc
that makes me feel rotten. You know, you're hereAasking for
help, so don't make me feel bad, let me maintain my good feeling,
and maybe I, some of that goodness will rub off." Sometimes
it comes across, sometimesA But reality-therapy is really
dealing with what you just heard, dealing with the now of What's
before you. And this individual really got hostile, took off his
coat, and there was three other people in ta with me, one
UL 22A 8
other counselorA another guy, and he would have really wanted
to attack me, because I hadtruthfully dealt with the guy. I
Ay< fceco WC1of&6
pacified himA4 pampered him, I iin-k vo voulveA tomorrow he'll
probably, at least he's in the hospital now.dAie took him to
the hospital, or the other guy did. -at at least he's in the
hospital, before it was all over, he realized it. You know, I
said, "Now you can't, if you want to discuss it with me-,-and
improve where I'm wrong,A please do so. I'll be the first one to
ask your forgiveness'.' But he couldn't do that.
B: Is this -alt-o4 people running to you because they want to
H: I think that's a major reason, it's a general reason that they
want to escape,t9&ifThey wan-t-n escape from, not the total
reality, I don't think, I think they want to escape from certain
factors in reality.A LIke, every, in everyday life, you have a
1A*f^'sqnull IIre 'I
job, you have friends, you have a socialA atmosphce. And iEbtRL rc o
certain aspects of itAthey want to escape from,Anot necessarily
total reality, I don't think,but/the only way cs can do is to
escape from total reality, is to escape from part of it. Sleeping
is one way people do it. Some people just like to come home and
go to bed because they don't want to deal with their wife, or
their kidsA so they come home and escape reality by sleeping.
SAme thing with a drunk, but he escapes total reality, he becomes
passed out, totally escapes from all the strain,Adoesn't wake
up the next day and go to work.
B: He sort of resigns from life.
H: Sure.A That's the big reason, but we really don't know why they.
drink, there's too many factors involved. The person that wakes
UL 22A 9
up one day, or comes up with the solution of why a person drinks,
-r the formula that's going to rehabilitate him, is going to
become what-we call an expert. And I don't believe in experts
myself. I believe that some people know more than others about
certain fields. And I believe that other persons are constantly
coming along taking the place of the person on top. So, there's
really so many factors involved, as a matter of fact, that's
our approach to it here, is that we're a community based alcoholism
program. That we approach it from the community, gut-level,
(le-Ve a/-.t s.
grass-roots aLa-H4, and deal with the fats A lot of times
people drink, because their kids, well, a man might come home
one day, and his kid says, "Dad, I was the only kid in the school
today that didn't have new shoes the first day of school." And
his father might feel so rotten and let down that he goes out
and gets drunk. Just begins to build up, to pile up. And he
doesn't realize that he's throwing away his money on the booze
where he could have easily, in one night of getting drunk,Ahave
bought his kids a pair of shoes.A It', what causes the other,
weAdon't know, but we deal with those things, like we show these
people where we're-getting into a thingAcalled "Money Management',
Budgeting, how to utilize the dollar with the economy the way
it is today, we have to. And, I think, well, with the current
situation in the country, getting worse, getting more deeper and
deeper into, I guess, what is it they call 4A 4o a
-thy'f& go'1 r0--
H: Inflation, whatever,Athings are going to get worse.
B: It is possible to have both at once, regression and inflation.
H:A Right. So these are the factors we're dealing withlike he
H:A Right. So these are the factors we're dealing with.Alike, hey
UL 22A 10
man, this is reality. This is going to happen.so Deal with
it, don't run from it.
B:A The old idea that people drank because they lovedthe taste, that
doesn't enter into it, does it?
H: Not at all, not at all. I believe some people can drink, I think
some people can't drink. I mean, I know for a fact, I personally,
"X can't smoke a cigarette, I can, but a cigarette makes me sick
as anything. I don't, I've never smoked, I don't smoke, probably
never will. But I know that I can smoke. The first drunk I
ever got was on Viceroy cigarettes. When I was in the
service, I used to sit around with this girl,Awe'd smoke Viceroy
cigarettes and get high.A I was susceptible toward them.l knotv 4tA4-
ykrOiL ome people are.
B: Some people can drink, some can't. And if you can't drink, let's
say a person who can't drink and manage himself, can this
person ever learn to drink?
H: I, that's a debatable thing. I don't believe, I believe people
can be conditioned to drink, and structured, and all this, but
I don't think they can &ff p'e- 1learn to drink, I don't, dJoy"+
really think so. I believe it's either in them, or it's not,
and if it never was, it never will be. We have a research firm
aq here in Baltimore City where they're trying to teach people
how to drink, and so far, there hasn't been one success. Now,
that's not to say......
B: They haven't had a single success?
u~ftfvt Skloi roe -b.
H: Not yet. They only -w- because I worked in that place
for a month for experience, and, where they give rewards for a
person who stays sober for so long, or does so much work in the
UL 22A 11
lab. We tested people drinking in all sort ofAconditions.
Every thing from a sexy barmaid, from a male bartender, to a
very exposed barmaid, to a very clothed barmaid. This s -h
thing,4 it does make a difference if there's a bartender or a
barmaid, to some guy. I mean, a man buy more drinks from a
woman than he will a man, or other cases, depending on what his
lonliness is, or what his taste is, believe it or not, and
there's so many factors involved. Every day is not, today is
not like yesterday, ovnW or ou not l ....
B: Some men feel more susceptible to feminine persuasion, say
like you might find in a bar. A girl comes around, "Oh, be a
man." Pressure. And naturally, she's: a__ o_ ic as foos5,'le,
H: Sure. It's a fact that a man is, he's so hung up on masculinity,
o his masculinity, that one of the ways to prove it, you know, they
say drinking's going to put hair on your chest, that he's going
to prove to some lady, q woman, that he can drink x amount of
booze, and get up and walk out.
B: The woman might drink him under the table.
H: Exactly. Simply because, excactlyA I've seen it happen.A I've
seen it done in laboratories, in a laboratory setting, and in
a realistic setting. Sure.
B: Well, who makes the worst alcoholics, in your opinion, men or
H: I think men do. The reason I say that, well, I shouldn't, I
really don't have basisAexceptAfar more men, but there's almost
as many women, it's just that they're hidden alcoholics. A
woman is in an environment should she be a wife, where she
can control and hide it a lot longer than a man can. Women
UL 22A 12
that are in careers, they aren't as able to hide it, they're
just as obvious as men.
So There's, there's so many factors involved, I'd say the man,
depending on your responsibility, I think women are a lot
stronger when it comes to rehabilitation, than men, they face
reality a lot sooner.
B: I read a very old book one time the clinical book
on feminine alcoholism,Ajust a coincidence. I don't remember
which doctor wrote it, it's called The Alcoholic Woman, and it
had lots of dreams, you know, showed a lot of psychological
play on dreams, and this, and .thMB the author of this book
said that it was his opinion that we might have fewer women
alcoholics, but when a woman falls, she really falls. Is it
becauseA maybe she can, she's so vulnerable to loss, or to
injury, to hurt her, loss of reputation, ((j 4C.
H: I think that$A think she's just more vulnerable because, it's
just like a man dates seven times a week, and a woman who dates
seven times a week--- the woman who dates seven times a week
might be called a whore, but what do we call a man? You know,
there's no names.....
B: We pat him on the back,*:pat him on the back, congratulate him.
H: I think that might be called the chauvinist domination, or
whatever they call it.
B: The double standard.
H: Double standard, right. I think it's just, I think one is just
as much so as the other, it's just that women have more names
attached to them than men, but I do think they're more susceptible
UL 22A 13
because they hide it longer, and when they do, when they are
found, they just, they're already at rock bottom, as you might
say, They've already passed the point of theirtolerance level
has already reached the peak, and it's going down, where they
can get drunk on less beer than they could, say two years ago,
or whatever it is they're drinking. That's another thing, people
tend to confuse, they say that "My doctor said I was becoming
an alcoholic, so now all I drink is beer."4 That's alcohol,
too. You can become just an alcoholic on wine, beer, as you
could on liquor or liqueur. So it doesn't, it doesn't matter.
B: Are there different kinds of alcohol? Now, I have a friend
who spent considerable time on Broadway, New York, and also
some time in Hollywood, and he said there are different kinds
of alcohol. For instance, vodka is not as potent as some other
kinds of liquor, or something, and he just likes to drink
vodka. He very seldom drinks anything else. Over a long
period, he, I wouldn't call him an alcoholic, because he still
H: Alcohol in itself is ethyl alcohol, in all of it. It's all the
same. Now the degree of alcohol in a certain drink is limited.
You know, there's only so much you're allowed by law, and
but the same kind is in everything, it's ethyl alcohol.
B: Is a lot of alcoholism, I know you're sincere in your work, and
you love your work, with people, and trying to help people,
and alcoholism, is it usually associated with certain things,
like, say, like romantic interests, or, say, a sexual problem,
maybe a guy feels inadequate at home or something, or the wife
UL 22A 14
H: Those are factors, those are all factors, yeah. I think a
lot of cases, we've found even in my own case, for example,
I was a very timid and introverted young man, had never left
North Carolina, and being raised in what I/Acall a vacuum, where
I couldn't go downtown and go anyplace I wanted to go.A GO
ad -see any movie I wanted to go in, or I could only go in a
certain section. When I became, when I left that community,
I was, all the sudden, I found myself to be an introverted
young man, I didn't know how to open up and deal with other
people, so I started drinking, because it allowed me to be
loose, open, it made me an extrovert. I never danced with
a girl, a non-Indian girl, and, with drinking, I realized,
yatko,v nman l'ke
"Hey, wow, ... ew- i- e, I can dance, I'm a big swinger",
you know. And, I think that's one of the factors, sure. j I
became sexually aggressive, when, without some drink, I wouldn't,
or alcohol, I wasn't very aggressive at all, in fact, I was
a zero. I think Shakespeare one time said that alcohol
stimulates the desire, but numbs the performance. I think
maybe he was ,:_o do I.R;And it's true, I believe
it works on people different ways, I know, I have known, and
still know, meno and women, that become, well, men, rather,
that become impotent once they're drunk, on drugs, or high,
or any other way. Some people don't, their sexual longevity
is prolonged, once they get high. So, I don't know, there's
a point. I think you can get dog drunk, and a just S pp
and you say, "A man needs a woman." Just a sloppy, two drunks
slurping all over each other all night, really never get the
sexual act performed. But a lot of men do feel inadequate,
UL 22A 15
and they feel that, and the drink, even makes them more
inadequate because they're confusing their aggressiveness with
their sexual inadequacy, and that they can get a woman, they
know how to go out and meet women, but they can't perform
once they meet them. So once they get drunk, itygAs. *L( -S
regrettably more. So, that's more of a deep psychological
B: Part of a vicious cycle, isn't it?
H: Exactly, sure. And they begin to question, you know, whi4eh
causes which? "Am I alcoholic because of my problem, or is
my problem because I'm an alcoholic?" And they don't know.
So it becomes a deep psychological thing, where, you know,
it maybe goo, way back to their childhood, aad Freud or Burns,
or some of the great psychologists or psychiatrists weeod say.
So there's just so many factors involved, that's, -if, "wo /
we do case histories, now, we do....Here at this place, I don't
keep case histories. I did in the first year, but I4M- eea4reoJLccl
,- you know Like.I said, going back, prying into a
person's background. A s- back things that he doesn't, sometimes
it hurts him more+o than not. There's sometimes in conversation
over a period of a year I can develop a case history, r O.--.
a period 14four months, really. Or just sitting down talking,
things come out, you know, in rap sessions. And as the guy
begins to depress,\feel depressed, I have a humorous attitude
with a lot of my clients, and they understand me, that I kid
B: Do you have to adapt to the individual?
H: Yeah. You have to remember a thousand faces when you're doing...
UL 22A 16
I don't joke with every client, sometimes I'mAoverly passive
with some that I should be, because a lot of times I think
people come to you because they're lonely and need to ee th-at
expression of love, and that expression of loveAlean be sharing
of whatever you have that you can't break in half that you
can give, give it to them and feel totally at ease without it
without feelingA giving up anything, ad- ti- t you're gaining
an emotional or spiritual feeling abLut giving, and I think
in givingA when you relate that, these people feel a sense of
love that they didn't have, or don't have. And a lot of times,
they come to you beca- uf S f thal amre- roe they really don't
want to talk about alcohol. They just want to come to you -o heo
h n think v some people wamma that idleness is the
tool of the devil, or something like that. And a lot of times
these people know they don't want to drink, and they know they're
feeling idle5lAa loneliness sets in, they become depressed, and
automatically they jump into the bottle. They start drinking,
and so they come to u)' Hey, let's talk about baseball, let's
talk about the Foreman-Ali fight',' or something, and we do, we
talk about politics, religion, race segregation, bussing.
B: Anything A01i t,.*
H: Sure, we don't always talk about...everything can be therapeutic.
B: I want to ask you a question, but I don't want you to answer
it unless you want tocuOAsC 1i h OCld t -e.."
H: I bet I know what it is. *Abe4t experience with alcohol or drugs?
B: No. No, I- was just-thinking as you were talking, that you're
still very young and very handsome, and I was wondering if some
of your alcoholic, some of the women alcoholics get sexually
UL 22A 17
aggressive? Now, don't answer that if you don't want to.
H: Oh, no, that's one of the most legitimate questions, I'll tell
you. Yes. We were warned of that at school at the last....Well,
I went to a school here at Hopkins, but I worked for a city
health department Hopkins You know, a school of
medicine and dental hygiene. The women, they tell you that,
that's one of the things they definitely tell you,4you have
to be strong, because some of these women in, that I know,
are really beautiful women, aid-you know O-"d ....
B :.Atdexually attractive?
H: Jgi sexuallyy attractive and sexually aggressive, especially
when they're drinking. And they come to a point where you
could actually sue them for sexual assaults on you as a male.
They actually get that aggressive in certain cases. Yes, we,
both men and women, sure it's happened. I've, well, I've been
doing this long enough now that I know how to deal with it,
'and I can pick up the points, now. B:You have to kind of play
it by ear.?8: see now)that I can pick up clues that it's going
to happen. I can see things develop and that's leading to
them, and where as, say, four or five years ago I didn't. But
I've never had a problemAthe first two years. And I never
thought it was because I was handsome, I always thought it
because I'm a touchy person, and I deal with people, I like
to touch them because it adds another feel or sensation to
my dealings nmid -4td i r ,r communication, and a lot of times,
my actions and emotions were misunderstood as a sexual flirt,Iv 0o+4H
yoVd.AA lot of times it was more of what I was doing than what they
UL 22A 18
were doing. Like they were feeling this, and not, had this
feeling of women, and some men. And I've had problems with
homosexuals, for example, when they would get aggressive.
But these, these things have to be very carefulA you don't
tease them, youAtell it like it is.
B: How do you, I'm sure you have to create a certain amount of
resolve, I mean, well, that too. A certain amount of reserve,
you have to keep them at a distance, and yet you have to be
B: This is very difficult, is it not?
H: It's very difficult, it's like Mr. Lockler the principal
investigator of this program, Aeminds us, it's like, kind of
allow yourself to become, you have to allow yourself to become
maybe their lover in the sense of psyche, and being with) te-_m
But they feel like they're with a lover, and then if you're
really a good counselor, you don't allow it to develop into
a physical relationship.
B: Then you would lose your ,_:lose your total, the
H: I had a, one of the first counselors I ever worked with, a
beautiful young girl, I'll never forget this, a beautiful young
girl came in, and I didn't want to deal with her because she
was too sexually appealling to me, and I was at one of the
meetings that I was heading at that time, as a matter of fact,
I saw her walk in, her mother comes up to me,.whom I knew, says,
"Ertle, I'd like you to talk to my daughter, she's eighteen
UL 22A 19
years old, and I think she's an alcoholic." I said, "But
she's got to tell me." She came in, she says, "Mr. Hunt,"
atd- told me about her drinking problem/\ All the symptoms
say that the girl is an alcoholic. I said, "Well, listen,"/' id
h*ve ,,VC: SI-d/J vN1 ti-
"I think Ilthe person you can deal with,Asomebody you can
relate to." Said no, I think this is the one I came to,
sure, whatever you say. -He dealt with this girl for two
sessions, the first session -he had her in bed. That destroyed
+ook me a. Io oT dor'-t- k1OLO)(
the girl, took me over a year^At;Q--kt I'm not going to say
a year, but it took me a long time to get this girl out of
her emotional state that he got her in. ,
B: But what did it do to him? g;D'' I'&t A worse to
him? Or PYobcMy_ ?
;* 7 Cor)io^>r
H: He wasn't a, he was a good actor. He wasn't/ae compassionate,he
didn't have the feeling for alcoholics that he pretended to
have. It, it destroyed him, it didn't really destroy him, he
was already like that, but it just made me realize how, you
know, he didn't really have, if he would have been the person
that he should have, he would have fe+-d,)at least to the
point,where he would have come back to me and say, "Hey, listen,
I can't deal with this girl, she's too beautiful. All I think
about is being in bed with her when I'm with her." But he
didn't do it like that, he couldn't overcome his own sexual
desire, or lustTor -er.
B: So it became a physical relationship?
H: But of course we dismissed him from the program. There was
no doubt, it wasn't my program, by the way, it was, I was
working their inin in the program at the timebut I was
working there,/Atraining in the program at the timelnbut I was
UL 22A 20
on the evaluation team, and that's how I evaluated him,AI
wasd be ood +ro vork
thought he was w"tig-b-t e-w ee-with her, because f
his age and his background, and he wasworking with alcoholics
af-d he was an ex-drug addict. He didn't makeAI don't know
if he's still in the field or not, because I don't see if I4
,saaet &. But, I've never had such' a case, believe me, I'd
admit it if I had, though. It's never happened to me. I don't
even date my secretary, so I-don't even, there's only one person-f4id
T'e been-" in all my life that I've ever been able to establish and disti(uih
staia the difference between a private and a professional
relationship, where, as during a relationship, I can be angry
at this person and really have a cat dog relationship and
yet during the social evening, I can have a good evening with
6eein yi MY 1fe
this person, there's onlyAone person who I le. That's because
the understanding of both of us, we both understand each other.
-_h's -.D kelp
B: You're striving for one goal, and wheer hlps this person. s
B: I would imagine that certain people with sexual problems, like
a nympho, I guess that's not a good way to express it, but
would alcohol aggravate this?
B: This would be a very difficult person to work with.
H: Sureohck.edijfif a person has something other than alcohol
in our case, here anyway, it's,Amost of the people I've talked
about wcreR -t Indians, now2 Keep that in mind A Lhese are
"T r-C Iy Indians. And Indians are different. They're
different from most other people. TheyIaren't as apt to open
up about their problemsJ Men or women. As non-Indians alcoholics.
UL 22A 21
But we have had these persons )L# nymph. I've only had one
in my clientele, in six or seven years that I've been doing
this. I've known several. I've sat in on evaluation teams
with several. But, what it is, when we think this is a case,
*we refer them to a higher authority, if you want to use the
term such as a psychologist or a psychiatrist. We send them
to a local clinic and a lot of times they admit this anyway.
And they say this is, it's because -ees an alcoholic and
the joint, and that's not necessarily the case.
B: Do you think some of them don't think they're not, want the
-h- YOt aS 6'n adkievirtuLke
help, but they come forward it-' advEnRa ?
IS (?VI ad
H: It is. Its-s -aiv-rte. |
B; And you have to be able to discern betweenAthe reason?
Oh IeA, it U,6, ove 46f1ic,
H: I,sure, oh yeah,/ And one thing4about alcoholics,
it breaks, if there's anything good about it, which
I can't think of, it does break a ratio of sexual barriers, and
a lot of racial barrier, I should say, without adding sex. And 4a d
4kev doba'+ Crc uicaZ Ccdov yooLo.
it does brea1 the racial barrier, I mean, it'll kill a ___
aovc anymore, 4^ do0ePif--# v have no, just have no concept of it
after a while.
B: -We44, you term alcoholism as being chiefly psychological?
H: ,I think it's a combination of psychological and physiological,
too. I think more psychological. Well, I shouldn't say that
because a lot of times, a lot of people there's a __mA(C_
imbalance that creates a state, makes them more susceptible to
becoming drunk. Like, they claim that Indians get drunk a
lot quicker. May be, but then Indians were the last ones in
this hemisphere to ever be introduced to alcohol. So we weren't
UL 22A 22
as conditioned as the non-Indian was, At that time. And
so our condition stays still in the formulating stage. We're
still being conditioned to alcohol. I think, I know I'm
going to be criticized for saying this, but I have said it
to, just about on national T.V. that we have, I think alcohol
is part of our system. A lot of people think that drinking
and the drunken Indian or Non-Indians tend to think that
it's part of our society. I think it is part of our society
now, and that's what we're dealing with, that is a very
negative, and that's-a good part of our system. We're dealing
with it though. I knew alcoholics -b_+t I never knew
what they were, I just thought they were sick people, as a
child. I learned to make a living before I Ke) undtter-stand
what liquor was. But I could-make it, I don't know if I could
now, but I could make it back then. So I, I've known about
it and dealt with these things long before, well, about my
existed, I never knew, I thought it was a good thing,
I thought all communities, arealcoholism, even then I called
d aih e&En, r 9i'
it a sickness, it is a sickness. But I- id think then that
these people were just sick, I dijth' related to alcohol.
B: Well, this is all fascinating, but how about the control?
I'm asking for a personal opinion again. What do you advocate,
Si r wet control, or sifordry control? You know, some people,
legal alcoholism is better than A 1 c4,5 1' If
at thy, t i it, er'vy'p-c-] :It, for
some reason, taking statistics in this country as they stand,
where there is controlled liquor, there is less alcoholics.
6; -s -cd +-e? tH: Oh yes- 6:: never Kle 4-+i.-
/',So, and there's less deaths. For example, now here's 4o
UL 22A 23
yeot- argument. I'll give you an example, let's go to Choctaw
country in Mississippi. All the counties are, what are they called
down at PerryAI'm not sure, I forget what state that is, Louisiana?
But in surrounding areas in the Choctaw country in Mississippi, it's
all dry. Okay, you have to go, maybe through another county to get
led's s^a7 iF 4iecs noneI Cec)e vi
their alcoholA I mean legally. So if these people are rce-cerr
their alcohol legally, by the time they go all the way through a
county, get drunk, come back at one or two o'clock in the morning,
chances are, 90% of the time, they're going to ave an accident.
Weree o and rllob7'A
So if theyAlegalize itAwithih the community, they wouldn't get
drunk as much, that's just an argument. But they wouldn't get
get drunk as much, and even if they do get drunk, they wouldn't
have to drive that far to create a road hazard. But the same
thing applies like, is it morally wrong? Okay. The religions
that allow drinking have less alcoholi2a. The Jewish people have
been drinking, it's part of their culture. To sip a little wine.
A little wine. And that's about it, they don't tolerate drunkenness,
they tolerate drinking, they do not tolerate drunkenness. The
other religions, not understanding, when they started getting into
it, the moralizing on it, they started drinking, and they
tolerated drunkenness. They didn't disassociate the two. The
difference between drinking and getting drunk. Course, drinking
leads to drunkenness. But, it's Js an aarei'le thing. And
if I were to give statistics as they are, I'd have to say-you st
34t y b4 it all over the country.
B: Well, how about, of course, different states have different approaches
to this control, and their laws concerning drunken driving, and
N: BrexLyrze7 : 6r, --!. 1zer
so how about the so-called breath.,..6 athli A How accurate is
UL 22A 24
Worked rhy dJlrT, doye
H: --40 very accurate, I've used it. I'veAMKsi part of an experiment
81 .c oarse^c&$.
with it anyway, in school, we all 'd breath testA 4a
If) it's very accurate, let me tell you, very accurate. If you can,
w/ken, i[ 4k-y 3'-r e
you do it within like, fifteen minutes after 4reu stop the guy,
it's a very accurate machine.
B: Oh, but it is an analysis, isn't it?
H: It is, it's a breath analysis.
B: Suppose it's a borderline case. What is, what is supposed to be
tolerable, about ten?
H: I forget what...
B: I don't think it's....
H: I don't think it's that high, I forget exactly what it is here, I'm
kind of embarrassed that I can't remember. *
B: But say, let's assume that it is, just... i:'(e_= figure,*:for
H: And if it's4?en or above, and if it's on nine, you aren't drunk.
"*Tet yoUl yoou blov)
B: But if it's tenI Aa- ij B eleven...
H: Okay, yeah, right. That determines the state of drunkenness, after
ten is drunk, that's illegal drunk, drunk driving. Then, whatever
it goes above that, that just goes against you in court. If it
goes like eleven, well, it could have meant that the guy just had
a beer about five minutes ago. Suppose he, the breathalyzer, okay,
if I have a beer, and I had te breathalyzer ten minutes after I
had that beer, suppose I got in my car and' drove two 'blocks and
got stopped, that breathalyzer would register above ten, let's say.
Aj right, if I went to court, now I'd have to go through all
these other tests, they'd give me these, like walking on the chalk
UL 22A 25
line, touching my noseAwith my eyes closed, if IApassO every
test, you'd beat it in court. They take it all in, in Maryland,
I know, they take all that into consideration. The police here
are informed to such things, so people can, it's a smear on yourdr,'\/ctr
Yt kn0W driving record. So what they do is, they give you all these
resulting tests, or associated tests, rather, such as walk a line,
balance,- close your eyes, touch your nose, this kind of thing.
They give all of them. Plus, you would have raised it above the
drunk level, depending on when you had your last one. Now/ you
can also takeAa blood test, and try to determine* theybreathalyzer
actually tells how much is on your breath, it doesn't tell how
much is in your system.
B:us- ________i_5 ; ,
B: ItAjudges how recently youe- beer) rihkij',
H: That's about it. Just gives, well, how recently you had contact
with alcohol, that's really about it. But, they're fair here in
Maryland, I'll say that, very fair.
B: It is a serious problem.
H: Sure, oh yeah. But I'll tell you, if they find you, they'll send
you to a school in a minute. I mean, they don't even argue with
you, you're going to go to a school. They'll send you to a school
for about one night for a month. Which is great, I mean, I like
that kind of thing. I've had to go to one.
B: E-Veyb6od know evv od Yeed s ti+. 14 Joem+ ht4.
I 0 I IT -k oI' knackcj
H: It's not going to hurt, I'll say that. No, thy d t ck, maybe
knock a point off,Aybu mayot leave a point, but they'll sure send
you to school. And if you don't go to school, you get a point.
It's that kind of thing. Maryland is a very, as far as I'm concerned,
because I've worked with what is called ASAP, Auto Safety Action
UL 22A 26
B: Very pragmatic program.
H: Very. Very much so. Ve u muc.
B: I want you to know this has been a very fascinating interview for
me,4 i a I know it will be for a lot of other people, and we
do appreciate so much you being willing to sit down and talk with
us and give us this time, and I want to wish you good luck
in all that you attempt to do.
H: Thank you very much.
B: td l j meet a most sincere person, and you've contributed so
much to our program, and we're so appreciative. Thank you.
H: Thank you very much.
(END OF TAPE) C nd of i0nfy c]