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Title: Interview with William L. Maloy (April 4, 2000)
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Title: Interview with William L. Maloy (April 4, 2000)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: April 4, 2000
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: 12081
Manatee County (Fla.) -- History.
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Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00006986
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Manatee County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: MCBC 1

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Cover
        Cover
    Abstract
        Abstract
    Interview
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
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University of Florida
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program




MANATEE COUNTY BUSING CRISIS



Interviewee: Dr. William L. Maloy
Interviewer: Ben Houston
Date of Interview: April 4, 2000










William L. Maloy
MCBC 1


Dr. William Maloy begins his interview on the Manatee County busing crisis by emphasizing the
segregationist/right-wing zealots who Governor Kirk was trying to forestall, along with the overall
desire for law-and-order pervasive throughout the state (1, see also 13; 19-20), particularly after the
precedent of events in Daytona Beach (3). He shares his impressions of Judge Krentzmen (2), whom
he sees as entering into a clash of personalities with Kirk over the Manatee situation (3). Dr. Maloy
also conjectures about the influence of key advisors in the Kirk administration who might have
unduly influenced the governor (4; 10; 12; 23), and comments on the extent of Manatee's County's
intransigence to forced busing in comparison to other communities (4).

With regard to the specific events in Manatee, Dr. Maloy recalls early meetings between Kirk and
the Manatee County school board (5). He comments on the tension between Kirk and Floyd
Christian (Commissioner of Education) (6), the influence of the Florida teacher's strike on the events
in Manatee (6-7), and remembers black protesters during his brief tenure in Manatee County (10-11).
He also speaks to his responsibilities and duties as temporary superintendent (7-10 passim, see also
13). Dr. Maloy also touches on his relationship with parents and the press during this time (10), as
well as the sporadic instances that Kirk personally appeared down in Manatee (12).

On page 14, Dr. Maloy records his impression of Manatee County Sheriff Richard Weitzenfeld and
talks about Kirk's resuspension of the board mid-week in the Manatee situation. He treats the
"standoff" between the U.S. marshals and his fellow aides on page 15. Page 16 contains Dr. Maloy's
thoughts on why he was not called before Krentzmen and fined for his actions (as two other Kirk
aides were). He speculates on Kirk's contact with the Justice Department during the events in
Manatee and more broadly, on the usual reluctance of courts to intervene in busing matters (17). He
also comments on Nixon's behind-the-scenes involvement and shares his judgement on Kirk's
handling of the crisis (18).

On page 19, Dr. Maloy talks about the widespread comparisons of Kirk to other widespread
segregationist demagogues, and how the public relations aspect of such a controversial intervention
conflicted with Kirk's well-know penchant for confrontational politicking. Page 20 contains Dr.
Maloy's thoughts on Kirk's claims of victory after Kirk's withdrawal from Manatee, as well as the
tension between Republican principles of less government and the need for equal rights for African
Americans. Dr. Maloy concludes the interview with some thoughts on busing in Florida generally,
the inherent difficulties of keeping schools integrated when neighborhoods remain segregated, and
his take on the larger significance of Manatee County's struggles to American history.










MCBC 1
Interviewer is Ben Houston
Interviewee is W. L. Maloy

H: It is April 4, 2000, and I am here in Pensacola with Dr. W. L. Maloy, who has
graciously agreed to talk to me about the Manatee County school crisis of 1970.

M: Happy to do it.

H: What does the W. L. stand for?

M: William Lewis, and it is a one-L Maloy. I come from the poor side of the family,
the Scotch-Irish.

H: I think the best way to go about doing this is to start recollecting as much as you
can about the given events. Then, after that, we will go back and fill in the holes
and look at the wider context. Does that sound all right?

M: Yes. Let me put it in a broader context, if I may, to start with, of what led up to
Manatee County. And I will do it in a couple of pieces. One, I want to talk about
the general circumstances at the time and a thing called domestic tranquility,
which [Florida Governor Claude] Kirk [1967-1971] was very much concerned
about. The other, then, was the more legalistic aspects of what preceded and
subsequently followed Manatee. The circumstances of the time was forced
bussing had become the charged words and the emotional words across the
state of Florida. We were coming into a conflict with the federal judiciary, and I
will come back to that. Kirk was-and I think your research on him will pretty well
substantiate this, including from his many friends in the African-American
community-not a racist, and people knew him as not being a racist. He was also
pretty wild, and he would come with wild ideas. But, what Kirk was sensitive to
was the fact that there were a lot of nuts running around the state of Florida who
were really looking for confrontations, and he was afraid that many of them
would take leadership roles that would be terribly divisive for the state of Florida
unless he took some kind of decisive action that would be able to hold them
back.

H: This is on the issue of bussing?

M: Primarily the issue of bussing. His position was, if I fight forced bussing, then I
will be able to say to the folks from Jacksonville who said, we have our
Confederate flag and we are ready to join you, Governor, anyplace you want to
go, or to the lawyer in Miami-whose name escapes me right now, but it will come
[Ellis Rubin]-who was telling him, we will fight this into the streets if we have to.
Kirk's position was, again, if I do something, then I can control the actions of
others, particularly the fringe, which might well be willing to go into the streets
and really have riots and confrontations.










MCBC 1 page 2

H: This sounds almost reminiscent of the original desegregation decision and the
Citizens' Councils that arose. Would you consider it on par with that?

M: Yes, I would. I think there were similarities in that regard. What was happening
was really fear of the turmoil. Domestic tranquility was a serious matter, and it
had shown itself in other parts of the South and the North. It was a case that Kirk
worried about a good deal. With that in mind, that led to the weekend before
Manatee, but let me now go back until probably December or January. I cannot
remember exactly when, but I do know the general circumstances. There was a
judge in Tampa, the federal judge Ben Krentzmen. Krentzmen was the one who
got irritated with the Manatee County School Board and issued an order, I think,
in January for the board to cease and desist its resistance, and they were to
integrate their schools, including bussing.

H: How justifiable do you think his irritation was?

M: I think his irritation was justifiable; his action was totally irresponsible, but let me
add quickly: rather than Governor Claude Kirk getting on his airplane and going
down to Tampa and saying-Judge Krentzmen, I need to talk with you, I have to
worry about domestic tranquility [and], really, what I want you to do, if you will, is
issue an order but put off your order until September, and have it done in
September-instead, Kirk held a press conference and said no federal judge is
going to tell me what to do and things to that effect. I do not remember exactly
what was in the newspaper, but it was inflammatory on both sides, because as
soon as he said that, the judge said, the hell I will not tell him what to do and I
am going to. Now, what was bad about Judge Krentzmen, about his order, was
he took-and I do not remember the numbers but I think they were-6,000
youngsters and started bussing them after the spring holiday. There were six
weeks left in school, and he picked them all up and was going to cause this kind
of turmoil around Manatee County, Bradenton. That really was not very smart.
As a matter of fact, that was very unsmart to do that, in my judgement. Again,
Judge Krentzmen was a fine man, a good jurist in many respects. Just as an
aside, his sisters were very prominent professors at Florida State University. In
essence, they were a prominent family from Milton, Santa Rosa County, the
point being that Judge Krentzmen had grown up in the South and had become
one of the enlightened jurists in terms of segregation and in terms of getting
something desegregated, getting something done. Again, the Manatee County
board, in my recollection, had been very, very slow to come forward with a plan.
They were one of several who were ordered to do something by the court, and
that is where the problem was. Once more, the point that I want to emphasize is
that my belief is that two less headstrong men could have sat down and gotten
that solved and everybody gotten what they wanted, and we did not need to
have the Manatee confrontation.

H: So, to a certain extent, it was a clash of personalities.










MCBC 1 page 3

M: Absolutely a clash of two strong men face to face, though they come from the
ends of Florida, is what it amounted to. So, that was the confrontation, and it
dragged on with threats and counter-threats from the governor's office, and the
press picked it up. We came to early April, or whenever that was, late March,
and the governor ended up in the hospital. I do not remember whether it was gall
bladder or what operation he had, but had something.

H: Kidney, I think.

M: Yes, kidney, maybe an infection or something, but he was sort of ill. He was
saying we are going to go down there, going to go down and take over
Manatee's school system. He threatened to do it. As I remember, he even made
that threat in the press, [though] I do not recall exactly.

H: Do you think is it just the clash of personalities that explains Manatee? I know
certainly in other places, similar situations were occurring, Daytona Beach, for
example, and he backed down after a judge threatened him with contempt. So,
what was the difference between that episode and Manatee?

M: I think he thought he had the support of it. I do not remember the chronology of
it. Did Daytona happen after Manatee or before?

H: I think it was before.

M: Then, perhaps, I cannot recall that as such but I think maybe he felt like he had
made the mistake by backing down from the judge. I recall the general
circumstances, but that may have made him even more recalcitrant, feeling and
seeing it and being uncertain. Again, we were very worried about groups in
Jacksonville, which would have been very close to Daytona. What would happen
there and how it would happen there, it might well be that he made the decisions
in the basis as he saw it at that time. I do recall vividly that by the time we came
close to Manatee, he became absolutely recalcitrant about we were going there
and that is all there was to it.

H: Do you remember the names of these groups in Jacksonville?

M: No, I do not. Whether they would appear in the news releases or somewhere in
the archives, they are not in my archives, you know, like the Sons of the
Confederacy or something of that nature, organized and pseudo-organized
groups. Then, I remember vividly, again, the, we will get in our car and we will get
our flags and we will follow you anywhere, Governor, and that kind of thing. First,
enter Charlie Spielberger. The more I became convinced that Gerald Mager [Kirk
aide] was going to keep encouraging the governor to go get them...

H: Excuse me. Was he doing that because of principle, or politically or legally?










MCBC 1 page 4

M: I think I would ascribe more political to Gerry than I would principle. The governor
was surrounded by a group of young men that were I-gotcha kind of people. I
was kind of the old guy, and I was less of an I-gotcha person, as such. Mager
was his lawyer, and he was advising him on the legalistic aspects of this. Some
of us thought that the legal position was very shaky. Charlie Minor-a lawyer in
Tallahassee today-and I worked on a weekend, as I remember, trying to build
some of the circumstances of why this might not be a good idea to try to take
over that school system. It seems to me maybe Thursday or Friday night that
Spielberger and I had talked about a plan that I came up with, which said,
Governor, let us go to Manatee County and let this happen and study, seriously,
the sociological implications of this move; you know, is this really the way to do it,
[and] what happens to these kids? What I kept believing from my own
experience is that you can bus them up to the front door but unless you do
something when they walk in that door, you do not get the results that you need
to get. I think that remains part of the problem, including the two failed schools,
that it is what you do inside that schoolhouse that is going to make the
difference, in terms of helping youngsters feel wanted and needed and perform
effectively.

H: Just in terms of context, how unusual do you feel Manatee was in its obstinance
of resistance to bussing?

M: I do not think it was any more or any less than other places, but I think that its
leadership, the board, was pretty tough-minded. The superintendent really was
quite a good superintendent. [Dr. Jack] Davidson was his name. A good guy and
was being very helpful, incidentally, in trying to make this happen as smoothly as
possible. So, I think those were the circumstances. The governor had the school
board members come up there, and the governor had Davidson. Davidson tried
to be cooperative, as you tend to do with the governor. I think everybody sort of
felt that [Kirk] would not [take over the schools] when it came down to it,
including me. Well, I was not sure that I really felt that way, but I thought when I
went to him with Charlie Spielberger with this plan that we really had worked out
of going in and looking at what the sociological circumstances were. It was late in
the evening-Governor Kirk, after a couple of martinis, became a very tough guy
to deal with, but he was in a good mood-and we presented this idea to him.
Now, Governor, let us do it. He said, fine, fine, we will do it, but we will still take
over the school system. And that is what we did. In essence, the die was cast,
that we would go. Charlie Spielberger went with me on the airplane, and there
were one or two others, as I recall, who were involved, to really kind of conduct
the sociological look at things.

H: And did it happen?

M: It did happen.










MCBC 1 page 5

H: Did you publish it?

M: No. As a matter of fact, I do not even remember what happened to the report, if
much ever came out of it. It probably was not very thorough or very long because
we were not there that long. Charlie, as I recall, went home on Tuesday. We
arrived Sunday afternoon. Ray Osborne, the lieutenant governor, Spielberger,
Maloy, and one or two others. Russell Stratton. Russell Stratton was a tough-
minded little bugger and had a great sense of humor, loved this kind of stuff, and
loved doing dumb things. That was kind of the spirit of this administration.

H: There was an early report in the news that Governor Kirk-I think this was the day
that he took over the schools, the Sunday that he issued the proclamation-that
he was not going to intervene. Do you know if he changed his mind at the last
minute?

M: No, I think that was probably an erroneous report because, as best as I
remember, I never thought he was going to back down after our meeting with
him.

H: Were you at the meeting that Kirk had with the school board and Dr. Davidson?

M: Yes.

H: Presumably, this was not the only option discussed?

M: Well, I do not remember what else was discussed. He may have listened to what
they had to say, but I do not recall there being a great deal of resistance from the
school board. You would have to check my memory on that pretty carefully
because I was more directly involved in the takeover situation, and I do not know
that my memory is so great about what different people were really thinking. I
know Davidson was cooperative, and I think the board in general was
cooperative. One of the distinguished senators from down there, [Wilbur] Boyd
[from Manatee County], who was well thought of, Democrat but conservative, I
think he had not taken any negative stand against it. You are better than I at
looking at the press reports and the like, as I have not looked at them in thirty
years, but it may well be that things changed as the confrontation with the federal
judge became imminent.

H: What exactly was your position in the administration?

M: I was his education advisor. That was the title that I had. Kirk's relationship with
the State Department of Education with Floyd Christian [state education
commissioner] and with Johnny See was very bad.

H: Why? What was the problem with that?










MCBC 1 page 6

M: Johnny See was Floyd's deputy and was pretty well-respected by everybody, but
Kirk thought Christian had sold out to the teachers' union. That was just prior to
me going down there when they had the state strike. He did not think Christian
had taken enough [of a] leadership role. He did not feel that Christian was really
exerting much leadership, and I think he was probably right on that. Christian
was not, and [he] ended up in jail, as you may or may not know. He was the only
commissioner of education who went to jail for book scams. So, I think Kirk had
him pretty well-figured as a guy who, what did they used to say about Floyd, that
the only thing he did well was throw a football. I think that was kind of the tenor of
the time as well. So, there was great resistance between the executive and the
education department under Christian. They, of course, were very critical of his
movement, but I remember Johnny See saying to me, do not make yourself sick
over this whole business, when I went down to tell him that we were going to do
this. Then, we ended up down there [in Manatee County], and the circumstances
were reasonably acceptable to us. The next day, there was a major protest. The
black leaders managed to get a whole bunch of kids. They took them out of
school, and they marched around outside the administration building. I went
outside and had a confrontation with them, and said you know, I want you to go
to school, and wherever this goes, you need to be in school. Well, in essence,
from that point on, people kind of did what they were supposed to do. I do not
remember any big confrontations with anybody. I do not remember any
circumstances. Some black leaders came and talked with me and said, this is
what we are going to do, and we do not believe this is the right thing.

H: Do you remember the names of those black leaders?

M: I sure do not.

H: Would it be Reverends Lazier and Bryant [Manatee County NAACP leaders]?

M: Maybe, yes. Very well could be. I do not remember them being abusive or a
problem at all. I think everybody was taking a bad situation and trying to do it
without turning into a great racial crisis, and I do not remember that happening. A
couple of things. We had a lot of all-night sessions, but they were primarily
coming about because Ben Krentzmen was not kidding. You know, he had
ordered in 200 or more federal marshals, and they were flat going to take us to
Atlanta and put us in jail. I do not think there was any question of that at all, and
that, in essence, is when Claude Kirk backed down, when he decided that he
was not going to win this thing, that Krentzmen was just as determined as he
was to break this up.

H: Was the Manatee crisis influenced by the teachers' union strike?

M: I do not think so, in the sense that I think that Kirk had his ideas of what ought to
happen, educationally, and they were not all bad. As a matter of fact, he had










MCBC 1 page 7

some good things that, really, [Reubin] Askew [Florida governor, 1971-1979] was
able to make happen in his administration because it was a different style of
leadership. I think Kirk dismissed the teachers' union about the way of anything
else. Manatee was not heavily unionized, as I remember it. As a matter of fact, I
would think it would be very minimal in that regard and, I think, generally pretty
good relations with the administration. I do not think there were any
undercurrents that were divisive in any way. Again, as I remember Davidson, he
was a good superintendent. He just got caught in the middle of this political
situation like you will not believe. One of real humorous things that came out of
this-and I think this was Russell Stratton and maybe a couple of others, and we
had a speakerphone set up in my office at the [Manatee county] school board
with the office in Tallahassee, in the governor's office-it was probably 11:00 or
11:30 one night, and it was getting toward the end of the one nights. As I
remember, they came down and got us out of there on Friday, and moved us out
pretty fast when it came time to do it. Stratton and a couple of the guys said hey,
Bill, have you done your income tax yet? I said, oh no, I have not. I think it was
Russell and he said, well, we will put it on a statement to hold it off, but we do not
want you to get in trouble with the federal government. That was a great line, we
do not want you to be in trouble with the federal government. Here, there were
200 and some marshals already assembled down there, and they were worried
about me.

H: Let us walk through the events as much as possible, and we can always go back
and fill in the deeper details. You present Governor Kirk with this alternate plan...

M: I think that was a Thursday. Sunday is when we went. It was Sunday afternoon,
as I remember it, that we ended up going.

H: So, did he want you to go down there as his representative, or was it more to do
this plan?

M: No, no. I was the guy picked to be superintendent. I literally became
superintendent, by governor's order.

H: So, it was not just because of this plan that he wanted you down there.

M: No, I was his hand-picked handmaiden to go, all along. It was just that I thought
that it was not a good idea, that we would be better off to try and do some other
things. I do not think any of us thought that Krentzmen was going to back down,
other than perhaps the governor. He might have thought that, well, maybe
Krentzmen would make some move to hold off on the actual bussing plan, but he
did not. He did not do it at all, and he was going to force that.

H: So, you went down there Sunday afternoon, and what happened?










MCBC 1 page 8

M: Met with the board, and as I remember it, Senator Boyd came over, and the
superintendent. We talked about what we would do the next day. I moved into
his office and started worrying about a couple of things that had to be done.
There were payrolls we needed to be sure got done. I did not end up signing
anything, per se, but being certain that things did happen.

H: What was the board's reaction when you came down there and said we are
taking you off?

M: They knew. Kirk had told them that was going to happen. As a matter of fact, you
reminded me of something. I do not remember when exactly it was that Kirk met
with the board in Tallahassee.

H: A couple days before, I believe, maybe Friday.

M: That is when I believe he told them this was going to happen. I think he called
him up and said we are going to do this Sunday or Monday morning. This is
going to happen, and there is not going to be any bussing that takes place. That
was one of things that I was responsible for, to be sure nothing did happen, that
we actually defied the order of the judge. Again, I do not remember any particular
unpleasantries. I do not remember anybody being nasty or mean or bad-
mouthed at all. I know Ray Osborne did not stay any longer than he had to. It
may have been that he kissed me on the ear and left that day. I do not know that
he stayed overnight even. I do not recall the circumstances. He did not have
anything to do with that at all, nothing at all. The governor made him go, and I
think he went. The governor could not go, and I guess that is clear because his
health made it impossible for him to be there. Otherwise, he would have been
there for sure.

H: But Kirk ended up coming down shortly thereafter. Was he not there twice during
the week?

M: Yes, I guess so. I am trying to remember that. He could have been. He did not
stay too long. Maybe he did come down during the week. The circumstances
were such that...I know when they came to get us out, that became a very fast
move. I think that somehow, and I do not know what was actually said between
the governor and Judge Krentzmen, if anything, between the two of them, but I
think it became very clear that the Highway Patrol were the ones protecting us,
and the marshals were the ones who were being ordered in by Krentzmen. I
never knew until years later how many of them were, but I think my figure of
about 200 or so is true. They were really going to have a bunch in there.

H: So, you stroll in Monday morning. You are the newly-minted superintendent.

M: I was superintendent and overwhelmed by power, and I was wondering, how









MCBC 1 page 9

long is this going to last?

H: Who was with you when you went in?

M: I suspect I was pretty much by myself. Charlie Spielberger was still there, I know,
and it seems to me there were several others but I do not recall who.

H: Lloyd Hagaman [Kirk aide]?

M: Lloyd might have gone down, but I do not think he stayed.

H: Robert Dooley Hoffman [Kirk aide]?

M: I do not recall whether Dooley went down to that one or not.

H: They must have joined you at some point because you were in the standoff in
the room with them later on in the week.

M: That is right. Refresh my memory.

H: This is just a basic chronology. Hopefully, this will help you recall everything. This
is way I understand it, and I could be as wrong as your memory could be vague.
Monday, you took over. Then, Tuesday or Wednesday, the suspension was
invalidated, so Governor Kirk had to re-suspend everybody. Tuesday, Krentzmen
ordered a hearing, which Governor Kirk missed because he went to Tallahassee.
Then, Wednesday, Davidson took back control. Then, Wednesday night, you
and Hagaman went back and took it back from them. Then, Thursday, you had a
standoff with the marshals. Then, Friday, you cleared out of Dodge. Does that
sound right?

M: Yes, and I had totally forgotten that Davidson was back for a day, or some short
period of time. We remained pretty close all the way through this. We even
managed to laugh a bit. Yes, we had no problem whatsoever, so there was not
any animosity on, you are in charge, no you are in charge, or anything of that
nature. I do remember Hagaman. That is right. You said we were sticking with it.
But, I have forgotten the circumstances of the hearing, and you say Kirk did not
go to the hearing.

H: Yes, this was in Tampa in front of Judge Krentzmen.

M: Who ended up at that? Gerald Mager?

H: Millard Caldwell.

M: Defending us?










MCBC 1 page 10

H: Defending the governor. That is a whole subplot to it.

M: Yes. One of the spooky things that I always felt may have influenced the
governor more than any of us know, and I cannot remember whether this
happened during the Manatee crisis or just before it or just after it-it probably
would have been after it, if not during it-Gerry Mager made some comment
about guns. It got reported and it was something like, well, we will pick up guns
and we will do something, and quote, he did not mean that, that is not exactly
what he meant, but there was something, and it was a very inappropriate
statement, and I think it may very well have brought the governor to a realization
that he needed to be pretty careful. He may have made his point, and now was
the time to start backing down.

H: Is Mager still alive?

M: Yes, he was a judge in Palm Beach County, maybe. I think you can find him.
Dooley probably knows where he is. But he was one of the I-gotcha guys.

H: Who else would you count in that circle?

M: Probably Russell Stratton. Russell's sense of humor was, let's go get 'em. Bill
[Munsing]...I know he lives in Kissimmee, and he would be kind of fun to talk
with.

H: So, Monday, you are in the superintendent's office, and you had to deal with
some actually fairly routine stuff?

M: I think routine stuff. I do not remember anything that was not routine. Let me tell
you what my orders [to the school system] were: do everything that you would
do. You know, I expect you to carry out your responsibilities just as though Dr.
Davidson was here. That was the position that I took on everything throughout
that week.

H: Did you have any interaction with the press?

M: I am sure I had some contact with the press. I do not remember what or anything
unusual. At least, nothing comes to my mind at this point about it.

H: What about parents? Did parents come visit you?

M: We may have had some parent visits. Again, I may have had some black
parents, but I think the ones I recall are the ones who led the charge around the
building. I finally just walked out there and joined them. I was not very welcome,
but I do not remember anybody really giving me too terribly bad a time about it.
Again, I think the people who were in the leadership kind of knew Governor Kirk










MCBC 1 page 11

and knew of his personality, and I think they just felt like he was doing the wrong
thing.

H: Do you think that African-Americans were universally opposed to Governor Kirk
and his stance on bussing, or was it more complicated?

M: I think it was more complicated than that. I think that they opposed Governor
Kirk's politicizing it. When he made statements in the press, then they had to
make statements in the press. But, I think in the main, many in the African-
American leadership, the black leadership, were more than casually aware that
just moving kids around on busses was probably going to have the more
detrimental effect on black than it would on white kids because it was the black
kids, for the most part, who were going to be the bussed youngsters. Again, I
think they were equally suspicious, with me and Charlie Spielberger and others
who had some experience in this area, that when you get to that schoolhouse
door, that is where you better do things differently and make it work.

H: Was Charlie Spielberger with you throughout the week?

M: No, I think he left. He may have gone when, as you reminded me, Davidson took
back over. The governor did not let me come home. I know I stayed down there.
I cannot remember what I did when Davidson was back in charge, but that may
have been when Charlie went home. The plane was coming back and forth, so in
all likelihood, Charlie went home on one of those return trips.

H: Do you remember when Hagaman and Hoffman joined you?

M: No, I do not. It must have been Wednesday, what you said. Probably, Lloyd
came with the order, whatever the order was that said we were back in charge
again, is what I would guess. Again, that is when you are saying that maybe the
governor was there at that point.

H: Yes, from what I understand, he was there Monday morning, and then he went to
Tallahassee. He had a hearing in front of Krentzmen on Tuesday, but he had to
address the opening of the legislature. So, he missed that hearing.

M: On purpose, I am sure.

H: Later in the week, his son was born. He came down again at the end of the week
before the pullout.

M: I do not think he was there when we pulled out, for some reason, but I could be
wrong on that. He might have been there at that time.

H: He was there sporadically, I think, and briefly.










MCBC 1 page 12

M: Yes, I had forgotten that he was coming in and out, but the more you refresh me,
the more I think I do remember some of that of his being there. I do not
remember him doing much about it, and I do not remember him getting very
much involved. Maybe he would just get in the press, saying I am there, I have
been there and that kind of thing. I do not recall much happening as far as he
was concerned. There were a group of very capable young men who were
involved at this point, but their personalities were like Kirk's. They liked to shoot
from the hip and liked to stir things up. Mager did not have much of a sense of
humor. Muncy was more of a I-gotcha, we'll-get-'em, we'll-hang-'em. His famous
line was zap-'em, let's-zap-'em. That was kind of the order of the day at this
point. I am sure that flavor gave Kirk all he needed to really stand by this
position, right down the line. That is what he liked, that kind of encouragement,
so he would go-get-'em and zap-'em. Lloyd was the one person who was well-
respected on the governor's staff and was, I think, more balanced, in terms of
the consequences of actions. He was tough-minded, but I always thought that
Lloyd understood my reluctance better than some people did. Particularly, I
thought Kirk picked an awful lot of fights with Floyd Christian and the Department
of Education that really were just not worth the energy. Again, it would be around
forced bussing or around something of that nature. One tries to forget those
things after awhile.

H: What about Hoffman? How did you read him?

M: Dooley was kind of a Mr. Outside Guy. He was the hail-fellow-well-met, and very
capable. I think Dooley was a good person. He is an okay guy.

H: Was he part of this zap-'em sort of mentality in the governor's inner circle?

M: Not as much. As I remember Dooley over that couple years that I was there, [he
was] more restrained. He would say funny things and do things, but the people I
felt were providing the governor with the best kind of advice would be Dooley and
Nat Reed [Kirk aide]. Has Nat Reed's name come up at all? Nat Reed was from
Hobe Sound and was the environmentalist and, really, a before-his-time
environmentalist, very much attuned to that. I think Nat is still alive, still around
some place, but I felt that he knew that I was having problems with seeing the
governor take on education as vigorously as he did. I think Nat had some
concerns about the bussing business, as far as we were taking it, and the image
that it was providing, that we were a bunch of racists over there trying to do
things. Again, as I have seen ol' Kirk over the years and known his dealings with
people, I think that most people just did not believe he was a racist as such.

H: Maybe some of the details are hazy about the actual week in Manatee, but if we
can just try and retrace that to the best of your ability. Did the routine stuff that
you were doing continue throughout the week, or did you run out of things to do,
or did you have more to do?










MCBC 1 page 13

M: Yes, I think I ran out of things to do. I do not think I had anything to speak of, to
do. I met with people. I wandered around the halls a bit. I talked to folks. But, my
belief was that this place will run itself and that, if I stay out of the way and do not
cause any problems, it will run itself pretty well because it had been running itself
pretty well, the best I could tell. So, I saw little or no professional role
whatsoever, other than to occupy the office and to take whatever orders the
governor gave us at that point, to stay there and to not interfere. My recollection,
and I think is quite correct in this regard, is [that I was there] to make it very clear
to the professionals who were on that staff that I had no intentions of trying to
influence what they did one way or another. Again, my posture, as I mentioned a
little while ago, was stay out of the way, and just be sure that nobody
implemented the bussing plan, but not to interfere in any other aspects of the
organization.

H: These right-wing pseudo-segregationist groups that you were talking about, did
they make their presence known during this crisis?

M: No. My memory is, where Kirk had some rationale in being able to say I am
handling it, I do not need you, thank you very much for your support, I appreciate
that. Ellis Rubin is another name you should be familiar with, who exists today as
a lawyer in Miami. Ellis Rubin was one who kept offering his support, and he was
an example of the fringe. The reason I say that, every crazy thing that has come
up-I think he tried to get involved, one way or another in [the situation with] Elian
[Gonzalez, Cuban refugee boy], too-he tries to get [involved], on fringe issues.
He was an example of the kind of people who were trying to input Kirk and
encourage him to literally go to the streets, as happened in other places. That is
where I think Kirk, to his credit, saw domestic tranquility as one of the things he
could best handle, if he had ways of controlling these groups. He was a great
posturer. He loved to posture, and that may have been some of the aspects that
got us through some of these areas without civil disobedience, at the level that it
would have caused great problems along the way.

H: At what point do you remember during your tenure as superintendent that the
police became a factor? I am, of course, leading up to this standoff on Thursday
that you had. You are painting a picture of it being pretty much business as
usual, at least for that first day, and yet, with all the spectacle around it, it does
not seem like it was that way entirely.

M: For me, it was not very disruptive, as I recall it. As a matter of fact, I do not even
remember the standoff, other than the fact that the people who were with us,
with Highway Patrol, and maybe some Game Fish and Water Commission
people. I do not remember exactly, but the Highway Patrol primarily.

H: What about Manatee County sheriff's deputies?










MCBC 1 page 14

M: They may have been on our side.

H: Richard Wietzenfeld was the sheriff.

M: Wietzenfeld was the sheriff. Yes, I had forgotten his name totally, but I think he
was pretty nice to us, in the sense that I think [he was] generally supportive. He
was an elected official, and so, as a consequence...my guess is, on the whole,
Manatee County was probably pretty supportive of the governor's position. It was
that kind of a county. I had totally forgotten Sheriff Wietzenfeld, but I think they
were the Highway Patrol. You are going to have to help me, of when the federal
marshals showed up. I do not remember them ever showing up in force. As a
matter of fact, I am pretty sure I am right in that regard. There may have been
some who came. I do not think they ever threatened to take me to jail, but I think
it became pretty clear that was exactly what they intended to do.

H: I know on Wednesday night before this happened, that was when Kirk re-
suspended Davidson after he had taken over. There was a quote that you were
there to stay on as a consultant to Davidson. Did your role change at all?

M: No.

H: Was that pretty superficial? How did that work exactly, considering that when
Davidson was put back, he was committed to carrying out the bussing order and
you were there to stop him.

M: I moved out of his chair, and I think he was not about to carry out the bussing
order until such time as this got resolved once and for all. I do not remember
specifically, but I think that nobody had any doubts that the governor was going
to immediately suspend him again, or suspend the board. It seems to me he
would have had to do both. So, I think that it was probably a matter of just how
quickly Gerry Mager could get the order into effect to do something about it.
Again, the time frame was probably such that nobody thought they were going to
be there very long. I do not remember what Judge Krentzmen's order said. I
guess it reinstated the school board. I would guess that our lawyers were saying
he did not have any right to do that, and I would guess that we took the position
that, no, you cannot do that, that those are constitutional offices of the state of
Florida and no federal judge can override the governor in that respect. So, I think
that was a matter of hours. So, while I would guess that Davidson and I changed
chairs, I am pretty sure that everybody understood I was not going home.

H: But he was making statements to the effect that he was planning to carry out the
bussing order, as the judge had ordered him. Do you think he was genuine?

M: I think he would have done that if the governor had not exerted himself. Sure, I
think he was pretty sure that he was not going to have time to do it. I am sure he










MCBC 1 page 15

would do that because that is what he was supposed to do.

H: Okay. So, Thursday, then, was the standoff, and as I understand events, [Oscar]
Blasingame, the assistant U. S. attorney, came with two marshals, John Barr and
Mickey Newberger.

M: Blasingame, you reminded me. Yes.

H: So they came sometime in the morning? Are you recalling this?

M: I do not recall, and I do not even remember what they said to me, and I do not
remember who else was there, to tell you the truth. Do you know who else was
there?

H: Hagaman and Hoffman and Richard Warner [Kirk aide].

M: Richard Warner, that is right. He was. Dick Warner may have come down with us
originally.

H: So you do not remember that standoff. From the way that newspaper accounts
had it, it was basically a shouting match from inside the superintendent's door.

M: Boy, I sure do not remember it that way. I do not think I shouted at anybody, and
that was not Lloyd's style either.

H: Well, it was probably the marshal, predominately, doing the yelling.

M: They might have been making noise. I do not recall, as such. Is that not strange?
One would have thought I would have remembered that, but I do not remember it
being a big deal at all. I may have been convinced by that time that they were not
kidding, but I think I was already convinced of that, in a sense. And that was
Thursday?

H: Yes, sir.

M: Because I think it was Friday around noon, as I recall, that the governor pulled us
out of there. I think that is right. I do not think it was Thursday.

H: Well, Hagaman and Hoffman had to go to a hearing in front of Krentzmen on
Friday, and that was when he found them in contempt.

M: Okay. I do remember, that is the thing that brought the governor to his knees, I
think. They did go up there.

H: Do you know why you were not called with them, or Warner?










MCBC 1 page 16

M: I do not know why I was not called. As a matter of fact, I remember now that was
a curiosity, that maybe they did not want to ruin my career as an educator. I was
the only professional in the group, in terms of what we were doing there and the
like. Governor Askew reminded that I was the one calling myself the
superintendent. I think Governor Kirk was calling himself superintendent. So, that
may have been, that my consulting role was the thing that saved me from being
ordered. I was not ordered to appear before Krentzmen. They went up there
Friday morning, that was the hearing, and he held them in contempt. So, I am
right in my recollection. He did not put them in jail.

H: No, he did not.

M: I guess he said you can appeal, gave them time to appeal.

H: He said that the fine for contempt of court would apply, after the fact, if they did
not cease and desist with Manatee County.

M: Okay. That was when Kirk became convinced. I think it was in that time frame
that Kirk became convinced to get us out of there, and call it a day.

H: You said that through the week, you were in contact with Tallahassee, that you
had a direct line. Did anything happen with them? Were you aware of any
changes in what they were doing?

M: No. It was just kind of, what is happening down there, what is happening up
there. I do not recall any of it to be terribly substantive in nature, more of this is
what the papers are saying, and I am sure we went over headlines and went
over what the governor was doing, what the legal ramifications were. I had
forgotten Millard Caldwell's part before Krentzmen, the birth of the baby, and all
of that, and I had forgotten Kirk coming down there. I do not remember him
making any big splash. I could be wrong on that, but I do not think so.

H: Did you spend the night in the office?

M: I think I did that one night. As I recall, I was there the night that I told you about,
the you do not want to be in trouble with the federal government [referring to the
earlier anecdote about jokes regarding income taxes]. As I remember, I spent
that entire night there, and I would guess that was Thursday night, now that you
bring up the hearing that they were going to the next day. I do not remember
Dooley and Lloyd spending the night there.

H: I think they left Thursday night, and they were taken to a motel. Then, they left
Friday for the hearing.

M: That is what I believe probably happened, yes.










MCBC 1 page 17

H: My understanding is that Governor Kirk was in pretty constant contact with the
Justice Department and the Nixon administration. Are you aware of what sort
exchanges went on there?

M: Yes. Well, he was in the Marine Corps with who? There was somebody in the
Justice Department he was pretty close to. I am speculating at this point, but I
think a lot of folks thought that Judge Krentzmen may have overstepped not his
judiciary bounds but the common sense. I think the thing we had going in our
favor was picking up 6,000 kids and moving them six weeks before the end of
school. That just did not pass the common-sense test. So, I think people were
willing to talk to Kirk. He really is a very engaging personality, a lot of fun, a great
sense of humor, and I think what the Justice Department would be telling him is
you are pushing the envelope, [and] you better not go any further. I have a
feeling that, again, that is what happened when it came down to the end. We are
not going to be able to protect you in this regard. The judge is doing what he can
do on it. The governor talked to them a good deal.

H: One quote that I found in the newspaper accounts said that one aide described
the conversation as a love fest, in the sense that the Justice Department was
sucking up to Kirk.

M: Well, that would be their interpretation. Again, I think a lot of people realized that
we were really getting into a quagmire in the "forced bussing issue." And, again, I
learned years later that the feds were not going to get back into the forced
bussing issue, no matter what, no matter how. Everybody recognized that was a
failed policy across the board that did not do what everybody had hoped it would
do.

H: How did you learn that exactly?

M: Well, from little birdies in the judiciary telling me. More specifically, I had thought
about bussing in a different sense when I was superintendent of the schools
here in Pensacola, with the idea of giving people choice, being able to bus
people for making choices. I had some constituents threaten me with, well, we
will bring a lawsuit unless you keep bussing or unless you keep balance in
elementary schools. So, I talked to folks whom I had great respect for, and they
said there will be no intention of the federal courts to take over, making
desegregation at elementary schools the issue that it was twenty, twenty-five
years. I think the public policy just suggested that was not a very good idea. That
is a long way around of saying that I think that even at that time, [the] Justice
[Department] was very leery of having to get in and defend all of these bussing
suits, and the like, that had the potential of really causing great hate and
discontent at the community level, and domestic tranquility issues truly were
there. Again, I think it was Kirk's personality and this particular guy whom he had
known in the Marine Corps. At least, they all thought they knew each other










MCBC 1 page 18

better.

H: Did you get any sense of Kirk trying to take on Nixon with this Manatee crisis?
He kept quoting Nixon and Nixon's stance on bussing.

M: I think he was probably looking for as much support at the highest levels of
government that he could get. I think he probably had all kinds of assurances
from Nixon that Nixon understood his plight and understood the circumstances. I
think he probably also knew without doubt that Nixon was not about to call out
the federal forces to keep the marshals from going into Manatee County. I do not
think Kirk had any illusions of that nature at all. I do not remember anything that
would suggest that Nixon had any desire whatsoever to get too terribly involved
in those kinds of issues. The election was that close at hand. We are talking
April, and then November was the election. Kirk was up for re-election, but, once
again, I do not think Nixon had any intentions of being very helpful in that
respect.

H: Generally speaking, how do you think that Kirk handled this situation?

M: I have already said to you that my judgment was that we should not have
disobeyed the order, that we should have gone and said, we are going to get
some really hard cold facts that we are missing, of why you did not do what you
did like that. I think there would have been a good deal of data that came out of
that. But, I also would like to ascribe to the governor some realization that by
manufacturing a confrontation, he may well have kept the lid on groups and
organizations and individuals that very much wanted to carry confrontations into
the street. So I would give him the benefit of knowing what those people were
saying, of knowing how volatile they were and they could become, that his
domestic tranquility initiative may well have kept us in reasonably good shape in
Florida, and we did stay in reasonably good shape. We did not have much in the
way of real confrontations. Again, I know he did say, I will handle this; thank you
for your support, but I will handle it. And he was able to do that--Boy, old Claude
is out there for us, Claude is taking on that judge, go Claude. You know, get the
feds, go after them. So, I think that in that vein, he may have in the long run
avoided a good deal of the overt confrontations that we might have otherwise
had. What he did, also, was wear out the people of Florida, to where, when
Askew came in, he was able to build upon what I considered to be the people
tired of confrontations, so that he was able to rally enough people to not have to
worry about those folks that Kirk had pretty well kept under control through his
confrontations.

H: Do you think he should have handled it differently in terms of the press and the
public relations? You mentioned earlier that it became very easy to brand him as
a racist, and there were comparisons to Ross Barnett, Orval Faubus and George
Wallace [prominent segregationist governors]. Should that have been handled










MCBC 1 page 19

differently?

M: No, I do not know exactly how he would have, if you are going to take on a
federal judge on those issues. That is probably the way that was going to come
out, depending on who the people were who wrote about it. Again, I think that the
press tended to be a little more worried about the people who were around him
than they were about Claude Kirk. I remember Martin Dykeman [journalist] and
some of the people who covered those areas. The famous statement that we
always had in the Kirk administration [was], we are only kidding, we are only
kidding. In essence, that was kind of the style, that he is only kidding, and he is
just funnin' with the judge. He is going to fun with him and take him on and that
thing, and that was kind of his style, to fun with them and these kinds of things.
He would take anybody on. He would scare them to death. He fired a lot of
people after his second martini at night, or have you go do crazy things. I spent
my time calling the desegregation center down in Miami, wondering how much
money did you spend on this, how much money on that? That kind of thing was
what, really, the next morning, he had forgotten about it. I never felt that he got
branded as a racist, other than by real ideologues on the other side. The people
who had to posture back postured back, you know, the Southern Christian
leadership [Southern Christian Leadership Council, SCLC; Dr. Martin Luther
King's organization]. Everybody postured. But, I think that, in truth, he came out
reasonably well, in terms of that issue. I do not think that is why Kirk lost to
Askew. I think he wore people out. Folks just got tired of all these confrontation.
Every time, any place you go with Kirk, he is going to have a confrontation with
somebody.

H: By that definition, would this then be a reason why he did lose, considering that
this was another confrontation?

M: Oh, I think so. I think in the main, his confrontation style really undercut his
effectiveness before it was over with because he was way ahead of his time with
Nat Reed in pollution issues and environmental issues, good stuff there. He was
interested in roads. He was interested in a lot of things. His follow-through-with-it
ability--dumping that nerve gas out there in the Atlantic was an issue that he was
as right as he could be, but he never managed to get anything done because it
was just a big confrontation and threats and then that would be the end of it.

H: I guess what I am asking about, in terms of how he handled this in terms of
public relations, is that his stance came to be seen, from what I understand, as
Claude Kirk combatting desegregation, instead of forced bussing.

M: Yes. At the time, I thought the forced bussing issue probably overrode that, in the
sense that I think he got the story of forced bussing out pretty well. I would have
trouble remembering that he was pinned as being opposed to desegregation. I
am sure some of the headlines, some of that, would come through, but I believe










MCBC 1 page 20

the overall [view] would have been whether he had gone too far in fighting the
forced bussing issue. I think his fight with forced bussing was pretty much the
hallmark of what he was saying, but people hear things the way they want to
hear them.

H: Connected to that, how do you feel of the fact that when it was all said and done,
Governor Kirk claimed victory?

M: I think I do. I do not remember exactly. I think we probably all got in the back
room and giggled at that one, but that would be his way. You know, if we had all
gone to jail, he would have claimed victory because that was his style. He did
"stand up" to the feds, which, once more, I think did have some impact on
keeping people, who would otherwise cause great problems, off-balance. I think
he managed to keep the whole state off-balance in that regard, and because of
that, maybe the most appropriate thing to do would be for him to claim victory. I
do not remember what we claimed it over. As far as I was concerned, the only
victory that I saw is that we got the hell out of Dodge without going to jail, without
having the 0. K. Corral going on behind our backs.

H: Do you feel that there is any way that a Republican could have supported,
genuinely, civil rights while still being against government intervention?
Realistically?

M: The fact that he was a Republican was by accident, I think. Everybody was
wondering about where the feds were going in the desegregation suits, so that
was something everybody was kind of learning their way along. He took over a
state...let us see, Brown v. Board of Education was in 1954, and so [it was] ten,
twelve years where not anything to speak of had happened. By the time that it
came to the governor's level, in our state at least, there had been a lot of local
resistance to doing anything. That caught the chief executive in a sense into
have to enforce the policy on the one hand that would be desegregation, but
trying to figure out a way to get it to happen without federal intervention was a
very difficult task. Askew is probably the one who makes your model, and it was
not because Askew was Democrat or because Kirk was Republican, as such, but
it was their styles, where Askew said I am going to obey the law and I am going
to expect you people to do the same thing. So, the approach to make the thing
happen the way you kind of suggest is to take the stand that we are not going to
let intervention happen because we are going to do what is right, and we are
going to do it as a people of the state so that we are not testing the feds in terms
of their injecting themselves into our state, which, in retrospect, was probably a
very big mistake. What actually has been accomplished on forced bussing is
minimal, in terms of educational reform, in terms of learning, and in terms of
social interaction. I do not know that I can claim much in the way of success for
that policy for the awareness, but, there again, Askew's approach to that was we
are going to do this because it is the right thing to do, not because federal










MCBC 1 page 21

intervention is making us do it. That is the difference, I think. I think Kirk thought
that but never really got that one across very well.

H: So, after the Manatee crisis was resolved, how did bussing play out, in Manatee
County and in Florida as a whole?

M: They did it, and I do not recall any other big orders that came down. There may
have been...Hillsborough, perhaps...Jacksonville, but Jacksonville got around it
pretty much. Cecil Hardestee was the superintendent over there. Most of them,
where the orders were, they came in the fall, and they were not disruptive.
Between April and the elections, I think Claude avoided the confrontations pretty
much, other than just pronouncements. We never injected ourselves, as I recall,
into anything from that point on. It seems to me, maybe, Jacksonville had
something before or after, but, again, the superintendent over there, Hardestee,
was much like the governor and said I will handle this stuff, you folks stay out of
it, and was strong at that.

H: Is bussing still potent as an issue today?

M: I do not think so. No, I think what we ought to be worrying about today is how you
get communities to organize themselves to close the gap in human performance.
I think we have too many ways, in a positive sense, to bring races together,
rather than putting our little kids on two-hour bus trips. Now, we still bus an awful
lot of kids but not for racial balance as much as to get them down streets and to
deliver them to schools safely. I believe that there is a lot of evidence that
neighborhood schools do make greater sense than bussing kids across lines at
the elementary level. You probably do it at the middle school level and high
school level far more, for types of programs. The remedies ought to be for types
of programs, as contrasted with racial balance. Then, what I think we should be
looking for is, again, to close the gaps in human performance so that we do not
have a have and have-not intellectual community in the future. I think that is the
greatest danger that we face.

H: How do you let neighborhood schools flourish when people naturally segregate
themselves in housing patterns?

M: What I do not believe is that we are going to desegregate based upon schools,
and I am not sure we are ever going to desegregate based upon housing
patterns. What I think we have to do is desegregate based upon equity and
based upon kinds of opportunities. The best way to do it, in my judgement, is to
be very certain that we do not have haves and have-nots. I do not mean
economically, because I think we have to do something about that, but what we
have got to do is equity in employment, equity in learning, and that means
organizing communities in such a way that we really do not let children fall further
and further behind. In my judgement, people will be forever behind gated










MCBC 1 page 22

communities as long as you have folks out there who cannot read, who cannot
write, are disenfranchised, not employed, and they are probably going to mug
you. That is probably the kind of behavior that you can pretty well expect when
you do not build opportunity and equity and aspirations. Those are the things I
think you need to look at, and I think what we thought was [that] the bussing was
going to bring that about. No way. Again, it is when you get people to the front
door, or whatever doors there are. It is what is happening inside that setting that
is going to make a difference. Again, that setting cannot be four or five hours a
day. It is the eighteen hours a day that we need to be paying attention to, round-
the-clock opportunity is what I think.

H: What significance do you think the Manatee crisis has for us today?

M: For me, it has been a classic example of how confrontations seldom bring about
the desired results. I have seen where two headstrong people do not look for
common ground, you are probably going to have one heck of a confrontation,
and that has influenced me considerably over many years. I tend to be a
confrontation kind of person. I am not accused of being milk-toasty too much, but
I keep reminding myself that, that is not the way to do it, that somehow you have
to find common ground. I think that as truly as Krentzmen and Kirk lost the focus
on common ground, I think many of our communities are doing the same thing
today, and I think, incidentally, at the heart of it is racial relationships. I mean,
you do not have to spend too much time in our community spending three hours
of Rush Limbaugh [conservative radio commentator] and then into our own Luke
McCoy to find how convenient it is to keep people pitted against each other.
Unfortunately, that tends to take on some black-white characteristics to it, or
Little Havana [Cuban area of Miami] or whatever. I hope nobody thinks that little
kid [Elian Gonzalez] is anything more than a Manatee County, where everybody
is going to prove to their satisfaction that the other person is wrong. I think that is
what is happening.

H: Real briefly, I would just like to touch upon...you have given me some possible
other people to contact. You think Mager is in Palm Beach?

M: Gerry Mager, Dooley might well know where, but I am pretty sure that was one of
the things that we all thought was paradoxical, is that Gerry Mager became a
judge, the last guy in the world. You knew something about that shooting
incident, the terms he used.

H: Yes, I should bring that up. Did you feel that he made that comment and it
immediately got blown out of proportion?

M: I think he thought it did, but, probably, the way in which he did it was a very big
error. I do not remember exactly the way it came...










MCBC 1 page 23

H: And Kirk had to disassociate it from him.

M: I do not know. I think Kirk may have, but what I really thought is that, that began
to get Kirk thinking about, have I got wild men around me? Because I said
something to him at one point, you got some pretty bright people, Governor, but I
am not sure where they are taking you. And he said, I am not sure either. I do
not remember exactly how that went, but it led me to believe that he was
becoming somewhat sensitive to the fact that loose tongues could hurt him
politically. I think that may have happened to some extent, although I truly
believe the governor's confrontation model is the thing that hurt him most, when
it came to the elections, not that he was a racist, not because he did not get the
black vote because the black vote did not turn out. As we know, the black vote
has not been that good nor was it that good. It was because Askew had another
message, and I think his message was one of common ground, of finding ways
in which we could work together. I think the people of the state were ready for
that by the time that election came along.

H: In terms of primary sources, I know you mentioned the Desegregation Center at
the University of Miami. Does that still exist?

M: I do not know whether that does or not. I cannot even remember the guy who
was there. That was one of Mager's...Mager said that they were going to try and
prove that all this money was being spent and little came out of it. It was
harassment. The best I know, they had some pretty good people, and they were
trying to work with counties and help them do it and figure out ways to do it and
the like. I think the Department of Education was for it, and, therefore, Kirk was
against it, kind of approach.

H: I know you have to go, so any particular anecdotes I should have asked about?

M: No, I think I gave you the anecdotes that I thought...the other one of Kirk, do you
like that rumor? Spread it. It was a confrontation environment, and they were
people who liked to be involved in confrontation, perhaps my notwithstanding. I
am not sure I fitted into that altogether, although I liked some of those people
much. There were some pretty good guys. It was a good example, I think, again,
of, you can wear people out by the kind of model that Manatee represented.

H: All right, that should wrap up the interview. I thank you for your time.

[End of Interview.]





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