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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
INTERVIEWEE: Glen Oxendine
INTERVIEWER: Lew Barton
October 2, 1975
B: This is October 2, 1975, I'm Lew Barton interviewing for the University
of Florida's History Department's American Indian Oral History Program.
This afternoon we are in the library at the American Indian Studies
Center and with me is a young gentleman who has kindly agreed to give
.me an interview. Would you tell me what your name is please?
0: My name is Glen Oxendine.
B: Glen Oxendine?
0: Yes, sir.
B: And you spell that G-l-e-n.
B: 0-x-e-n-d-i-n-e. Where were you born, Mr. Oxendine?
0: Baltimore, Maryland.
B: How old are you now?
B: id, who are your parents?
0: My father's name is Vernon Oxendine and my mother's name is Trevia
B: bfit, T-r-e-v-i-a?-
B: Chavis, C-h-a-v-i-s. We have to give the spelling so the girl will
know how to type this when s e'styping it. So you were born here and
you live hete all your life?
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B: or- a do your parents come from North Carolina?
0: IMy father, I o know what part of North Carolina hd.sjfrom, but
my mother a jrom Robeson County.
B: Vtrh. Do you have any brothers and sisters?
0: r have three brothers and three sisters, seven in the family all to-
B: I see, would you mind telling us their names?
0: The oldest':one is Diane. She's twenty-three, married, got two kids.
The next one is my oldest brother. His name is JimmfA Ray. He's'
married, He s)got two kids. Dennis is my other brother. ie'
twenty-one. He married. (He's got one. Then comes me.
0: I got one kid, and I got a younger sister. e not married. I
4on't know where sho at. Then I got two younger ones. Onel sixteen
and she got a kid, and I got a younger brother. He's)fifteen, still
B: itea -t2a. Who was it you married?
0: A white girl.
B: 9gbsan, you have lived here all of your life and do you ever go back
0: I dot't like the place i .
B: So you dn't..,
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0: No, everytime I go down there I get hurt.
B: You get hurt. What happens?
0: I don'tknow. Some superstition I guess. Just everytime I go down
there I wind up getting hurt in some way.
B: Yes, well,1kind of rough on both ends of the line, isn't it?
B: Thts too bad. Of course, yc're,- yatM W a native of Baltimore.you
could say. IIve walked to several young people ad* who were born
here. They seem to like it all righty==ieEe Do you think there
is a difference in living in the city and living in the rural areas
like back in Robeson County, North Carolina?
0: y', j1k-C- iC Edifferect, because everytime a person gets in trouble
down in Robeson County they come up here. When someone gets in trouble
up here they go down there.
B: Is that the way it works?
0: Yes, up here there% more people, so t'snot as strict as down there.
IS n^ o4
It ta's as strict up here as it is down there.
B: Wftha You think (it' easier to get in trouble in Baltimore than
it is in North Carolina or the other way around?
0: Trouble is everywhere. (t not hard to find. You can look at some-
one cross-wayd and they're ready to fight you.
B: What y saying is a guy usually finds if hes looking for trouble
he can find it easily.
0: Yes, he can find it.
B: UMha% I guess t at's)true in any part of the country. So you dqn't
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have any plans of every going back to North Carolina to stay.
0: No, Syms stay. I like to visit my grandmother.
B: abrI e. Yourenot in school now, are you?
0: No, I finished school.
B: LEBSD You told me how old you were, but I'veforgotten already.
B: 1Hwm I mean which grade were you in when you dropped out?
0; When I dropped out, I- finished school, twelfth grade.
B: Oh, you did, oh, sorry. That"s great. What do you plan to do for
the future? Going to make a life here, are you going to make the
rest aae business?
0: Yes, I'm"going to make that...
0: ...try to work for a business and get my business for myself.
B: W-hah, eventually you want to own your own business.
B: A restaurant business. What kind of training are you particularly
interested in? Do you want to be a...
0: Really a cook and a manager.
B: TMt=ay well, that sounds like a good field to be in because people
do have to eat no matter hewr -44a .ow worse times get or how good they
get you still have to have food. iayhow long ago was it you
graduatedfrom high school?
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B; Which, was this Patterson High?
0: No, I went to Idaho and finished.
B: I see, the state of Idaho?
0: The state of Idaho.
B: 4h*0pss, do you have relatives in Idaho?
0: Just traveled, went up there and finished school.
E: Do you like to travel?
0: Oh, yes,
B: This is a big, wonderful country, isn't it? I like to do a lot of
traveling and make it 'v) traveled from Carolina to
0: California is too big for me. 'ftf -l,' '.. when I went to Idaho
up in there.
B: UIRta .
0: 1 vf i1 Ln < -j A Washington, Canada, Texas, places I
always wanted to see and I got to see them, all except Alaska and
B: I imagine tt's'kind of cold in Alaska.
B: (I've)een to Hawaii. Well, 've)been to Alaska, too.
Alaska, up in there, I've)been to a naval base there, and also Pearl
Harbor. I guess a1SS=yyou could say those were, the fringe benefits
of being in the navy,
B; Do you ever think about getting in military service?
Page 6. dib
0: I think about going in the army, then from there to marines.
B: Well, how do you feel about this war that we just wound up or were
supposed to have wounded up, although it do sn sound like it some-
tires when you hear the news.
0: The Vietnam war?
0: What I think about i '., ,' nhy should we send innocent
people over there to fight someone elses battle? jAussia wants some-
thing, then let them state that thDr going to fight the country
and Russia fight it out instead of bringing United States in, because
everytime someone the United people from the United States
go over there our population just goes smaller.
0: And one day Russia will want to take over the United States, there
Ias t going to be that many people here to protect the United States.
B: Do you ever spend any time in military service?
B: Yes, I think this is one of the most unpopular wars that we've ever
been in and I hope it'"sthe last one. Do you go to church anywhere?
0: Well, I'm,;iYE*gEs Catholic, but there i-at 'really good Catholic
churches around here.
B: Uh.-h-i one thing about the Catholic church is---ea-e4awe, you always
know th're there when they have chimes going off and their clocks
going off in their churches. I'venever learned to tell the time by
the ringing. Can you tell what time it is by listening?
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B: I just never have learned. For example at twelve o'clock it may
0: Something like gsUnratg n ae nineteen rings.
B: tfcmib._at twelve o'clock, And then on the quarter, is it the quarter
hour or the half hour they ring again?
0: On the hour and half hour it rings.
B: h=mh, you could sure hear them for a long way. It used to drive
ma nuts trying to figure out what time it was. I guess you have
to have a check point to start by that, to really know because they
4n always ring the number of times the hour is. G always in
the dark. The people back in Carolina do they act kind of snooty or
something when you go?
0: They act like t ey umb. They're mb. They ont know--tTi^rj
"-SB:w the proper dress or nothing like that. Just old-fashioned people.
And they come up here and finally get into style, J9S23 ut their
talk is still old. They just Ck rnf lJ. rf -i talk.
B: Wkind of talks funny to you?
0: Yes, they talk funny. gte n and stuff like that.
B: Yes, they come up here they, they think you talk funny. Both, each
one you think does talk funny.probably. After you get used to a place,
I've noticed this I been in different parts of the country, when I
first get there people don't found right to me. Afte I stay a while
then t ey begin to sound all right. Eg7-p you get used to it I guess,
and people do have different accents in different parts of the country.
JL L/ 3ft
Page 8. dib
Because in Viriinia you hear somebody say that they are
or something like that. If you go to Brooklyn y
got a different kind of accent. J guess it all depends on the part
of the country ydc ) in. Row long have you been working over at
0: Eyer since they started, a little over a month now ._.
B: You think tsCgoing to pay off? s going to be a great success?
0: 3 hope so. e--m -ca -c_-unt-ynurr hic-ke n-!Bfore -wx4, you an
count your eggs before th yre hatched.
B: Right, that s true.
0: Just got time to work.
B: What do you think of the education department? Do you think a a
good thing to have?
B: An immediate thing ?
0: Thereq, a lot of people in this world that cYt) read, write, or spell,
stuff like that, and this education department can help them learn
all of that.
B: I know tsa great advantage to have a high school education when you
start out to get a job. Times are kind of rough now, a lot of un-
employment. Sometimes even people with college degrees dc have jobs
also. Do you think times are worse now than thl ever been in your
0: Just a little. TrA' kra4ise a family. Th ts s,.* ,I. ', *:i I
1-oric *Y(IL. O.VC yry1-V oO *. .
Page 9. dib
B: Do you think people in the Indian community have suffered more because
of unemployment than other people?
B: So yc'llprobably spend the rest of your life in Baltimore.
0: If d6n'ti settle,
B: You don't have any children, do you?
0: Just one, a little girl,
B: t ssee, did you tell me her name?
0: Her nae'sSandra Dee.
B: oow' old is she?
0: S stwo months old.
B: Two months old. ] l [ i i. Are you attached to a particular
church? ftye did you say Catholic church?
0: Catholic, yes. Right no I not attached to all them new churches
now, but my church is way over in Sparemont_
B: Tat's; an outlying part of Baltimore?J
r r rri r k,-\ tC
B: 42rafs do you think there are more temptationein the city than in
the country or do you think t sj bout the same?
0: There are more temptations for a person in the city because in the
city you can get more in trouble and stuff like that than what you
can most of the time in the country. In the country there's) 3Mgg
a lot of land, not too many people. Got too much work out in the
country, more than they do here, on irrigation and stuff like that.
Page 10. dib
But here all a person can really do is either go to school f
not that stay home and sleep and eat and play.
B: ThE`e not enough recreation you think?
0: Oh, thre'a plenty. They got recreation centers down here now.-et b."
some people c4o 0 -t e Got great old big parks _,
Mnst people d0n' like to go to them. -TEB fight and get in trouble.
B: Do you think the e'sa lot of that going on? People just fighting
and getting in trouble?
0: Yes, plenty of it.
B: Do you thinkmaybe people from the Indian community don' go around
to recreation parks very much because maybe it might be dangerous
out there or...
0: None: of them go ost: of the old ones d6in
Theylve)always stayed at home and read a book-instead of going out,
or you go into the bars. You know, instead of having exercising a
little bit they go to bars and drink their life away.
B: If there was something, if you had your wish and you could change
anything about the Indian community, what would it be?
0: People, change the people. 11' f1 -!anything, cars, bars.
,1 .'anything, cars, bars.
"gigi.S vwe. dh0:( g y let them build up for
themselves. Throw away the cars and everything. Let them build
-up +eassis from scratch.
B: Just start all over again. Say, well, wve done a bad job. L t'
start over and see if we c get things right. Well, tha certainly
something to think about. Well, I certainly have enjoyed talking with
you. T appreciate the opportunity to talk with you. If you were going
Page 11. dib
to give advice to other young people,in your age group, what would
it be? Y Cuvegot any advice you would give somebody ci4-Q-_- in
the city here or back home or _Vw I ?
0: For the people in the. city, the ones who are in school, they should
really stay in and finish, really put themself someplace. It'sx
really the young people that, going to make the world of tomorrow.
0: And for people in the country, they can get a better life, too, by
staying in school and building themselves and making them out
something, make them have their own property and land and stuff like
B: Well, that certainly sounds like good advice to me. I want to thank
you very much for giving this interview and I want to wish you a lot
Sof luck. I hope you make out well whatever you intend to do. The
restaurant idea sounds like a great idea to me and maybe i l give
a lot of our young people a chance to get started in doing some of
the things they want to do. Even when you go into business for your-
self you need to know the background on it, the groundwork, everything
like that. I want to thank you very much.