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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
April 19, 1973
INTERVIEWEE: ELMER HUNT
INTERVIEWER: MARILYN TAYLOR
I: My name is Marilyn Taylor. Today is April 19. I'm in Pembroke State
University campus--in the office of the most famous person here in campus.
He's been around a little while and, uh. well I'll him speak for himself.
Would you tell us your full name, sir?
S: Elmer W. Hunt.
I: Where do you live?
I: How long have you been living in Pembroke?
S: Approximately 27 years.
I: Uh, and you're about that old I would imagine?
S: Yeah, I'm just about. 53.
I: 53. To what extent of a family do you have Mr. Hunt?
S: I have two children. One's--both married. And I have one grandchild--four
I: Four months old. So you're getting to play daddy all over again. How does
it seem to have grandchildren?
S: Well, it's okay. I haven't had much time to devote to it yet. My wife's
hung up on it though pretty well.
I: You think so? Uh, women seem to go for those things a little more than men
are--or is that a similar observation that you've noted or not?
S: I think that's about right. Uh, I don't know, seemingly the grandmother--
they start spoiling them first.
I: Do you think primarily the care of children should be within the realm of
S: I think so.
I: You don't. it would be beneath your dignity to change diapers, and wash
dishes-or scrub floors.
S: I never did get around to it for some reason. I never did--my wife still
talks about that--simply didn't have time to, uh I worked day and night for
the past 27 years you might say.
I: And we didn't establish what your official jobs, I guess you might say or
title of what you do here.
S: Here? I suppose you would say photographer.
I: You are the school photographer?
I: Tell us some of the people that you've taken pictures of, besides most of
the annual and things like that you work with. .
S: Well, I shoot weddings and family groups, babies--anything that turns up.
I've worked with civic clubs, you know in publicity shots for the past 20
years around here, maybe more than that. Now even before!I started doing,
uh, photographic work for the college, I was doing it for the civic clubs--
shooting a few weddings around town. Now after, I, uh, I started doing year-
book work for them. I've done their yearbook work for, since 1952, on the
side. Of course, after I graduated, taught school for 16 years, Magnolia School.
I: What subject areas did you teach?
S: Well, I had the, uh, all subjects in elementary. Primarily, usually though
the eighth grade. Maybe, a combination, the seventh and eighth. And towards
- A -
I: Now Magnolia lJt for the benefit of our readers and listeners and so
on. How far is Magnolia from our area here at Pembroke?
S: About 20 miles, between Robertson and St. Paul.
I: So you commuted--you still lived in Pembroke?
I: And you taught there how long?
S: 16 years.
I: 16--that's a pretty good record service them--then you went into full-
time photography from that?
S: Yes, that's right, four years ago.
I: And came here?
I: I see occasionally your name in such papers as the Robertstonian, your
photography there. Has does this come about?
S: Uh, I don't know I seem to be short-handed over that time so I been pinch-
htting over here for a number of years. about 15, 20 years, something
like that. Anytime I get anything they can use--I send it over or carry it
over. Take it over, you get it in faster, I think.
I: Do you do this out of the goodness of your heart or is there compensation? --
pay I'm speaking about.
S; Uk, no, they used to give me film, you know, replace the film-.that's about
all it amounts to now. They pay me a little something but not enough eemn
buy gasoline to take the thing over there--let alone go out spend a couple of
hours getting the picture and processing it--taking it over to them.
I: Have you ever hit them--thought about hitting them for a raise?
Probably be Mr. Jack Shaw if. .
S: Well, we get a little publicity--I mean for part of them I get a credit line
you know. Of course, that increases my burden; people start calling me, you
know. They say, well this that and the other.
I: Yeq I recall one time getting you out of church to take some pictures of
the people. I didn't feel too guilty because I felt it was a worthy cause
_____-- ---- I imagine you get caught in all kinds of jams in
places, don't you?
S: Yes, certainly do.
I: Uh, how did you get interested in photography?
S: Well, I suppose it was back in 1938, 39--I picked up a little 49, double
ought, they called it, camera, got 2 rolls of film with it--an interesting
gadget you know, that was right up my line--I got to messing around with
it--finally, I borrowed it. I picked a camera from a lady and I shot a
few rolls on it and I'm sending it to Wisconsin for processing. The film
was only 25( a roll the-e her dayj. It costs 250 to get film processed. That's
500. Uh, any. .
I: That sounds like the gold ole days, sort of, doesn't it? Or was it only
with the exceptions of the films?
S: Well, uh, that 25 roll, that 25 processing--that was real cheap--I mean
-W look at it right now. But, the problem back then was getting 25 back
I: So we're still kind of in the same jam today.
S: Not the same, I would say. Film today. the same film today costs somewhere
around 85 a roll I use. Some of it costs a$1.25. I would say, though, it's.
possibly combine that $1.25 easier than you could a quarter back in those days.
I: What type of camera did you finally use for your shots of publicity?
S: Right now I'm using a -------------interchangeable back; you can preload
your film, you know, carry color and black and white--you can interchange
them. You don't have to shoot up a roll. It's not a real new camera--it's
been out a few years. And I use ni on--I use a nidn too; I'm getting into
35 mm. stuff. I like the large 4-mat4enegative. I use a 4 x 5 speedjacket
4or years. It gives you 4 x 5 negatives. You can really roll one up on
that. I used to see these fellows run around here with these old ---
You have to carry a suitcase full of film over you. Now you can take that little
35 mm and hang it around your neck--fill your pockets full of these little ole'
cassettes and you're in business.
I: So you do your own developing. Now how did you get into this--this again.
S: Well, that again goes back to, uh, the 25C processed rolls and 25--the company
lost some of the film once I didn't get any prints back. And once I got
s somebody else's prints. So I saw a little $2.98 processing kit, Sears and
Roebuck Catalog so I--that's where my processing started. I got that kit.
I: What age would you say youwere?
S: I was somewhere about, uh, maybe 19 at that time. A couple of years before
I went in service.
I: And, uh, so you got this kit--did it work immediately for you?
S: Oh, yeah, I had to of course, now you've got now you've got chemicals
and stuff like that--that's about all you've got. no enlarger or anything.
You have a little cutrhing frame, nothing but a glass. And you turn the light
on it and expose your negative, and you had to use soup bowls. I threw a
rug over the window, you know, and blacked out the room. Borrowed some soup
bowls--I started to say my wife's but didn't have any at that time. And, uh,
I messed around that a little bit. Then, of course when I went in the service,
all that was the processing end of it,---to me at that point because
I got in an infantry outfit and we didn't have time to process the film. But I
still. I still make it.
I: You were in what branch of service, now?
S: I was in the 9th Infantry Division, Fort Bragg for two years and we left
there in .
I: Would that be a foot. you would be classified as a foot soldier?
S: Yeah. Went overseas stayed two countries. I hit eight different countries
while I was over there.
I: Tell us which countries.
S: Uh, .
I: You got an education there.
S: Let's see. In Africa, we were in North Africa.w errthe Casablanca to
start with. We were in Donasia, Algier, and Lebia. And when we left
Africa we went to Sicily; we left Sicily went to England; left England,
went to France. There was an invasion there and, uh, through Belgium,
Germany, and through Poland. Back into German and back home.
I: Back home--what was that like?
S: Oh, my, can't imagine it. That was a great day, I'll you. We, you know,
we, let's see, about three years we stayed over there. And, uh, I don't
know, you reach a point where you just give up, you just don't think about
I:' Were in mostly active combat all this time?
S: Yes, pretty active most time.
I: Do you have to just. .you're saying you just have to kind of forget about
home and everything in order to survive -y'--?
S: Well, you don't actually forget about it, but you know, when you're first
over there, you wrap it up real fast and go back home ten after a year and
then two years, then two and a half years, but I tell you, once we got it
rolling over there in France--got to cross that Rhine River. Incidentally,
I w e n a r se n
I went across thatla+Mdon Bridge before it fell.
I: Oh dea; I'm gad you got1there before it fell.
S: Whoever tried to blow it up.
I: Did you enjoy your service days?
S: I enjoyed most of them I would say. I can't say I enjoyed all of thea however,
I wouldn't take a million dollars for the experience--I wouldn't give a dime
to go through it again.
I: Wouldn't want to do it again.
S: I would like to go back to Europe and look around a little bit. Especially
if we can get some of that Doris Duke money you're talking about.
I: Well, if we can find out where she is--she seems to be very generous, I
understand a very warm person. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her;
I would like to. It would be nice.
S: Yes, those old service days were something.
I: I was going to ask you what it was like in combat, uh, did you find it when
you were in service the fact that you were Indian was a drawback or any kind
of a stigma or was work good for you--was there any significance at all?
Did anybody. .
S: As far as I'm concerned. .looking bahk on it--as far as I could see, uh,
there wasn't ..-------stayed in the same outfit, same company,
not the same fellows all the time because they went and come. But there
was no problem what so ever here this Of course, now we had
some characters, you know--they call you chief.
I: And how did you handle that. with humor more or less?
S: Oh, with humor, yes.
I: How can you think of some of the examples you might have answered
when they speak to you as chief? I have one professor, I see him on
campus, I refer to him as that man because I kind of have an identity
with him; he's Cherokee and I have a little bit of that. .I always
say, hi chief--he seems to be, you know. It's a tone of endearment.
I find now but I don't know if they always mean it that way or not.
S: Uh, other than that---I mean the guy that was fellows--a couple in
particular. They always called me chief but I didn't mind. I knew
he was, you know, you meet all kinds of people in service as far as
that goes. But, I mean heias a good--I mean it was. I took it in
stride. It didn't bother me any; in fact,------------. Somehow
or another, I didn't know too much about the situation before I went
into the service. Now, my parents were born up here in North Carolina.
I: Who were your parents?
S: Mr. and Mrs. Kerney Hunt.
I: Kerney Hunt.
S: His folks were from around Fairmont and mine were down here around the city
of Low. Do you know where Low. .?
I: I've heard of it.
S: Over near Lumberton--used to be a train stop there.
I: Yeah, I believe I've seen a sign or something there. I may have been through
S: They migrated--his parents migrated in South Carolina when he was a young,
a very young man. The grandfather was sawmill--he plotted t1se sawmill things
up and down the coast from the bottom started out. With- him, he was doing
the same tling. But, I don't know, he left grandfather and went to
Seller, South Carolina. They were putting in a me there at that
time. And he went to work there and- ---because he was married by
this time. He was running back and forth up here, uh, keeping company
with my mother. So they married and they lived in S-ler, South Carolina
until they died and dat's where we were on born down there. It's about
S.oh, I'd say about 35, 40 miles from here--about 20 miles this side as
far as South Carolina.
I: So, uh, .
S: I wasn't too well acquainted with the situation, not living up here--come
n-- -uf a-if ~visit occasionally .It's been said that, if you had to go to Lumberton
you always would have to go around the other way, because it's kind of dangerous
to come through, particularly if you're with any type of origin other than Indian.
Can you remember or heard talk of your parents speak of days such as these?
I: O is this another thing of propaganda?
S: I guess it is; I'm not sure, uh, like I say I took up-------------in 1945,
bt of things to tie together. Of course, I knew there were about three school
systems up here in .lL.L
I: And what were they, white. .?
S: Yeah, white, Indian, and Negro#. But when I .when I got out of service,
got married and settled down up here, I really began to find out what it was
like, you know, with all these white only signs in restaurants, barbershops,
and things like this.
I: How did this make you feel when you say that?
S: Well,. .
I: I mean honestly and truthfully.
S: I tell you it didn't bother me too much, until over in Red Springs.
I: Did you find it offensive that you couldn't drink from the same water
fountain as a white man in Lumberton?
S: I certainly did, especially after spending six years in service, you know
and going wherever we wanted to.
I: O.K. you started to say something about Red Springs, would you bring that
S: Well, I don't know, the oily time it really bothered me, fretted me; I had
tospend two and half hours over in Red Springs sitting in front of a drug-
store with a white only sign in front of it, you know. It was about .- VL.
And I was sitting out in the car and there's refreshments in there you know.
Well, that pain really drove on, you know, so, but generally though I never
knowing they didn't want you in these places or never did impose upon them.
I've never yet in Robertson County been in a place where I knew that I wasn't
welcome with, uh, a sign on. I've possibly been in some place where I
wasn't welcome--but probably still go into some. but. And I still.
I: You used better tact, maybe than you did then.
S: And I still don't patronize the place.
I: How do you feel about spending your money in Red Springs today?
S: Well, I feel about the same way I've always felt. I've never spent any
there. I've never had cE occasion. I don't make it a point to go to Red
Springs to buy anything. Lumberton's no better--the same thing. I don't
is &- bd-h
know--somehow or another, it seems that Red Springs -a-little/worse than other
towns. But I don't think so--after Lumbertson--all the other places are just
as bad-in Robertson County. Of course you get out of Robertson County. you
I: Can you figure out any reason other than this prejudice----you know talk
to us and prepare us?
S: Well, I think that.
I: What people had against the Imdians so much?
S: It's not only Indians--I think it's just
I: It's ridiculous when you think about on it now.
S: I really tried to alayze this thing and how it's come about but I really
don't--I don't have any answers other than, uh, possibly slavery perhaps.
I don't know--these people were--I don't know how to take it, really, to
tell you the truth about it. To say that they were prejudiceebecause their
skin was black and yours was red, dark, black, whatever the case might be.
Uh, I don't know--sometimes it's hard to believe that that is it but J tell
you know, it's not so much. You can't--it's hard to change a a'Jg' Es dpot
with this. And that's the way it is right now. These people have been taught
this--they've lived it--they've taught it from childhood. They're not going
to get out of it any time soon. Now I feel possibly the situation could have
been a little bit better4 or, well, you know, racial discrimination, but some
people would have opened their doors but they were afraid of what somebody else
would iave-4id-. They would lose business like- .4 10 te down here in
Lumberton---what is it Meadowbrook? Uh, you know they don't allow Iidians or
nece i- Cer e4A nri eC
Negroes to be thar-o-------------. They're in the same outfit started one
I: Does this still exist today?
I: To your knowledge? In other words, they don't hee- --------
S: They sell lots, yes.
I: But not to Indians or Negroes.
S: As far as I know. Never have had at Meadowbrook.
I: Is this supposed to be some exclusion, great --.--. ,
S: Supposed to be perpetual cemetery where you buy, you pay so much for
your plot. Now, they started a new one, uh, Lumbee Memorial Gardens--
something like that isn't it?
I: Sounds familiar I've heard of it.
S: Over. .. back over here some place between here and Lumberton off to the
left and out in there. But some of the people they didn't like it too much
the same outfit that started this o4 t'o2s the one in Lumberton, -rtfl) D 30t
thte=ta.- en. And, they didn't care too much about buying lots--of course
I was one of the first to buy--buy any there--decided it was a good buy
there--a good deal. We really needed a cemetery--one that was going to be
taken care of. I'm highly in favor of a Perpetualcare cemetery. But I
can see his pdf not to selling to Indians and Negroes. The other people
weed have em.
I: Oh, Lord, we can't live together--we can't even be dead together, can we?
S: That's right.
I: This is almost carrying it too far--it almost seems like madness doesn't it?
S: Yes, it does.
I: Or does it seem that way to you? It's funny in one sense of the word. It's
funny ha, ha and it's funny strange.
S: Well, I've never let it bother me too much. Uh, not any for that matter.
I: I've never been so aware of the discrimination against Indians as I have until
I came to this area and I've been around Indians. Indians is a part of my
heritage as Indian. I was brought up on, you know, primarily inmewhite
community. I'm about 3/4 Cherokee--something like that but my mother and
father separated when I was small so I didn't get much of h dian influence
til I got bigger. But, uh, I guess maybe they're on a reservation and
all, you know, together there. But I never noticed the discrimination
astiZal as it existed here. I feel it's--is it opening up--do you feel
it's because there's an Indian and your roots are here so to speak. Do
you feel it's for the betterment of the Indians--where you can go in and
get an ice cream cone or a coca cola or whatever?
S: Well, those, that, I think of course that, you know, these places are
doing it but they're not doing it because they want to. They're doing
it because they have to to close their doors. And some of them do it.
I: The civil rights movement.
S: Right. The civil rights movement. And some of them did that, you know.
But, I can't say for positively that's why, but I haven't, uh, I still don't
patronize these places I couldn't go in before. If there's somewhere else
rlrf\,e re, Av\ t 4, ^*3 -J}^]~1i n c," I161
to go--I go down ----------------used to go. -----------there anyway.
I: Well, I go there too. They have pretty good steaks.
S: But I tell yoi- Red Springs over there and Lumberton --they were tough.
Red Springs L-JAAm- L-m--- -opimposed upon You go to one of
these places and you. know you're not wanted--you're just sitting around
I: When you go off in this atmosphere environment of rejection. Do you think
it has anything to do with your self concept --------------
S: Well, I think children I don't know--it's not as bad.
I: How do you feel it affected you--I mean, you were probably old enough, mature
enough, mature enough tp come above it some. But looking back on your younger
years, how do you feel it affected you?
S: Well, uh, it never did bother me. Now you see, like I said, I wasn't up here
during my boyhood and all that--only after I come from out of service. I
didn't hIe,.--- ------. Those born and raised around here--they de-
finitely have an inferiority complex--no two ways about it.
I: Well, I can see in schools that I taught in--you can't--particulary, they'd
look at me, you know, you go on what you see sometimes and not --judge a book
by its cover, I guess you might say. Uh, til they learn me right away I can
sense fear in their eyes and everything else, you know, of Indian kids.
S: It's not as bad as it used to be. You know, kids that are growing up now
can go--walk around Lumberton and al of Red Springs, walk in the drugstore
and anyplace they want to. But before that, I definitely had an inferiority
I: Well, do you fell this is why maybe the Indian people, uh, took--I noticed
in a classroom situation they won't speak out--or maybe participate in class
S: It might be, I don't know. And too, it might be--are you speaking now as a
student--I mean when you're in there with them?
I: Yes, I meant like the professionalized questions or comments from some of
And maybe we!Lrego through a whole semester, of maybe 10 students, there might
be three or four Indian and I've never heard them say a word as far--in that
class. And somebody asked something about that--is this because they feel
they were judged or if they'd been shut to success too much. Could it be this,
S: It could be, yes. I definitely belie that had something to do with it.
I: Then this is unjust in making what we might say an incrimination or freedom
of speech and this sort of thing. How do you feel this is in connection with
some of the militant groups that are springing up today?
S: Do you mean. ?
I: In other words you get held down like you shake a Pepsi Cola--it's so
long after a while that it won't happen like that unless. sort of
S: I don't know.. I think militancy's had its place some time Tci the pajL.
But I don't think you're going to get too far with it nowadays. You can't--
I don't anything can be accomplished like that. As here in Robertson County,
uh, we have, uh, I would say they're militant--ignorant for the most part.
I: Most Lumbees feel that way--we did establish that you were Lumbee, you identify
with this. .
S: I identify with the Lums. yes. o
I: We say this is the law of the land. miot-paItg-ilis.
S: It doesn't make too much difference. Thye've had many different names around
here. And I can't see where these names make any difference to the situation,
you know. Some of thesegroups--I don't know what they are after. I know one
group in particular they're talking about. .
I: You're talking about. .let's name so we won't get confused on t1at. I under-
stand that there are so many divisions of it that's it is hard to keep up.
S: I'm talking about -w- -Brooks .
I: .. -- -.* a great man. i
S: Yeah, he says he is fighting for his people.. people, wants to be known
as Tuskorosa. I don't have any objection to being called Tuskorosa. He can
recalled anything he wants to. He definitely not speaking for me. And I feel
he is definitely not speaking for the majority of people in Robertson County
because the majority of people in Robertson County don't even reii 4y (?) with
him. I know I don't.
I: What would you say the extent of his followers In Lumberton..
S: I really don't know. I think his following doesn't seem to be.
I: Two hundred, three hundred? That much?
S: I don't know--I don't believe its that much, when you get down to brass
I: Since you're in photography and pretty closely related to the newspaper,
what is the latest on what their activities are?
S: You mean aTkomer
I: Right--the other day he was giving me the latest information on it.
S: Oh, they're still in jail, unless they got out today.
I: And the state council meets in Raleigh.
S: The last count I had of it--they were still in jail.
I: Oh, give us a rundown on it--I don't think we've had one up to date recently.
------------- -------------really has to come from---
S: Well, uh, I don't know--all I know is what I read in the paper, you know.
I: Will Rodgers says that may not be true but- e can relate that if you like.
S: But, as you know, they locked up--they went ahead and arrested him the other
day--making quite a mess around the premises of the Indian Commission Building
so they put them in jail. -Atr-am BPcgs is on a $100 bond and Franks, his old
buddy, I think he's taking over aSchief it seems, he's on $100 bond. I think
he's still in jail, too, or he was this morning, only one had gotten out. They
had the women on a $25 bond.
I: Was it their wives? These other women involved, who.
S: I think their, evidently there were some other women. Now Howard Brook's
wife was involved under a $200 bond.
I: Why did they maketers higher?
S: I think they found a concealed weapon on her..
I: I thought maybe they considered the women more valuable.
S: I don't think so.
I: She had a knife on her?
S: That's according to Raleigh News --- -----
I: What was their purpose in Raleigh news, you understand it.
S: Well, I don't knDowrw. It seems they wanted, originally you know they
said they were going to see Governor Wholehauser, but Governor Wholehauser
decided that he didn't want to see them or he wouldn't see them. So, anyway,
they switched to the Indian Commission. They wanted to convene this commission
to add their grievance with them, but the Indian Commission wouldn't have anything
to do with them long as they had -------between them and the other race,
you know. But, I think they just don't want to have anything to do with them
I: What is the extent that you know, if you do know this, of Franks, what's his
S: He's.. .uh,------------ranks
I: Of their education?
S: I don't know about Franks, I never paid too much attention to him, even
though, you know, I've been hearing about him--he's been in and out of jail
around here for the past mveral years on his marches and things. This is just
old stuff to him. I think he thrives on that sort of thing. But, I couldn't.
with the information I could get Hiram Brooks in all probability didn't get
beyond first grade.
I:Does he state any reason why. .
S:This is hand me down stuff. I don't know--I've never talked to him. I've
thought about going out and talking to him, you know.
I:When you go, take me with you.
S:But I've never gotten around to it.
I don't know where the ashtrays are so I guess we'll have to use whatever
we're using. We ought to go out and talk to him sometimes, but ask for
triba Laa, federal aid, things like that. I don't know where he expects
to find tribalaaEs. Now, if he wants to get a hold of some tribale-, I guess
he'll have to get a reservation somewhere and move in with some of those cats.
I: And that's what they want--segregation, don't they?
S: Seemingly. And return of Indian schools, as I understand it--back to.
I: Bet-yet they want government support, financially.
S: I think that would be a step backwards, in my opinion, really. It's chaotic
now in some places, but it'll take 100 or 2 years to work itself out,
but I think it would be--I think it's--we don't like the way sometof the
schools around here manage, you know, these so-called city units. It's
ridiculous if you look at it, but.
I: Yeah, double voting issue.
S: All that stuff--but I don't, I don't--I'm not in favor. I recognize his right
to go ahead and do whatever he wants to do as long as it doesn't interfere with
anybody else, but it's a democratic country we live in, as I understand it,
we have, uh, go ahead you're free to do what you please as long as it doesn't
interfere with somebody else. If it starts to interfere with someone else,
I think there is where you ought to draw the line. But a lot of people don't
I: I think that as of two or three weeks ago, it was reported that around the
county there was some 31 fires, or something like this. Of course, I don't
know if all of them have been proven officially or any of them have--certain
it was the standards of Carson. The Tuscarora got credit whether they did
all of it or not. How--do you think they are capable of doing this kind of
S: Well, I think they're capable of doing it. I couldn't say definitely
they did do it. But I tell you, uh. .take these imported Indians they
have in here. .
I: Now tell us what you mean by that--I understand I think.
S: These American Indian Movement People. I think they have an office
down in Lumberton. You know, they. .I don't think. I don't really
believepr am Brooks had gone as far as he had in this little kick
he's on unless if it had not been for these people, these outside
Indians. Now I think they should go back to Wounded Knee or Pineridge
wherever they come from, because in my opinion, they don't have anything
to offer us, because we've been out of T.P.'s a long time.
I: Yeah, and it's a shame that we're not eating raw buffalo meat with the price
of meat these days or we'd been having some.
S: Go out there and get some pony meat or something. But I feel that, getting
back to the&-i _n -- I've always felt that's my opinion I think I'm entitled
to it regardless of.
I: This is what we want, your opinion.
S: I think, I've always contended that these, uh, outside agitators on top of
this whole arson bit. Now possibly there's been some fires that someone just
took advantage of the situation, you know, possibility there. I still think,
I'll always believe they're on top of it, --J ----- - f
I: Well, I think that seems to be the general public opinion all around.
S: And in the final analysis, I think it will probably come out. Of course,
they've already arrested three other people and I think. I think we got
the right people myself.
I: Let's see. which service. you finished here at Pembroke State College,
it probably was then, owned by the university, you finished here.
S: Yes, it was a four-yeqr college.
I: Uh, was it an Indian school at that time when you finished?
S: Well, it was--there were some whites here.
I: Did you find an difficulty in the human relations were strained. how would
you find this?
S: I nrer found, uh, I don't think enough of them here to make any difference.
Just getting them to come in, youknow .
I: Well, as an Indian and born in an Indian community predominantly up to that
time, would you feel that they were imposing or didn't have any right to be
here, what was your reaction?
S: No, I was glad to see them come in. I think, uh, well, I think that, uh,
I think we need outside influence, you know. I don't believe, uh, see we're
going round and round in a rut and that rut is getting deeper and deeper and
deeper. Uh, children out at Magnolia here at Prospect, Pembroke High, -----
seems to me should be another at Pembroke State. Those that managed to get
to college go to Pembroke State from those high schools- Right when they
graduated they went right smack dab back to the place they come from.
I: To teach?
S: Right and that's the way it went. From Magnolia High to Pembroke State
College and back to Magnolia High, and the same with the other schools. And
we didn't have. there were a few white teachers, you know, they were very
scarce around Pembroke in theelementary schools but there was nothing coming
in from the outside. I think this outside,. .
I: Sort of isolation.
S:We were just going around in a rut in my opinion. I think you can gain.
I think everybody has something to offer and different reach. And that's
the reason why. I think it helps the other students too get more on the
stick, this outside influence. That's one of the reasons I don't favor
this higher tuition rate for out-of-staters now you might say I don't want
to be paying taxes. I don't want my tax money being spent for. to educate
people from other states for them to leave and go back. But the way I see it,
we have people doing the sme thing. .sort of a change. We get people together
from different areas, we'll have different ideas. you can sort of combine them.
I think it's good to have, uh, I think that, uh, I don't think the good old
legislative, uh, fathers, and representatives and all that were doing good
things when they slapped that tuition up there so high, this amount. .like
shutting off a faucet, I don't think we felt the full affects of it, yet.
I: In other words, you think. you're saying it would not only be a benefit to
education but in improving human relations?
S: Right. f r
I: Do you think as you get to know people he race Bsue, you know, fades in the
background, or. .?
S: -JL -I think so,it could help that too.
I: From your experience in service, were you able to see this or did it even exist
here because you had more noble means for a cause to go about to be concerned.
S: Well, the service, of course; they're having problems in service there with
this but we didn't have, uh, as you know, it was all Negroe outfits. The Negroes
that went in service went in certain outfits. They lived in barracks by them-
selves. They're isolated, you know, sort of speak. And when they went into town,
it was the same situation, generally. But, uh, I didn't experience those problems.
I didn't go into. I never did, uh, fact that this is--I don't know if I
ever did talk to a Negroe soldier at Fort Bragg or not, I may have. I didn't
come into contact with' them, you see.
I: How did you find the blacks accepted, I mean, you said that the contacts was
very limited. The contacts tha dorhave. Were the relationships between
blacks and Indians good. Or was it just. .?
S: I don't know. I never had enough to know, to tell you the truth aboutthe
matter. I mean, uh, you're still talking about the service?
S: Never had enough contact with them fC,
I: Well, I was leading up to the reason for the question. I was trying to lead
up to the fact that at one time, did not the Tuscorora had, uh, one of the colleges,
one of the black colleges they had some black support--did they withdraw?
S: You mean up in Raleigh?
I: Yes, these people.
S: I think most of them did in information I get. You have a certain group of
people and they get anything. anybody they see out on the street demonstrating,
therefore, it doesn't make any difference whether it's good or bad. Usually,
they're for it. Naturally, the Negroes would support these Tuscororas up there.
They feel that they are the same %grip that they are and I suppose it's possible
we are to a certain extent. But, I feel that we are definitely making progress
in this area here in Robertson County. I think that political xeoes a = we ve
got to try.
I: You're saying within the aw.
S: Right. Uh, we can get representatives in the legislature. We can get repre-
sentatives on the board of education, county commissioners, all that. But of
course we don't. we still don't have the representation that we should have.
And I don't know whether we'll ever get it or not. But, we need. .
I: We do have some better than we do now?
S: Yes, uh, huh. I feel we're making progress and I think tfis is the route we've
got to travel, because this demonstrations and burnings and breaking out windows,
and things of that nature. I don't think that's it. I think you generate more
ill feelings there than;you're not getting anyplace. You're taking one step
forwards and going two steps backwards in my opinion.
I: You're saying perhaps, uh, forcefulness and militancy counteracts to get
S: Right. And I don't think that's the way to get the job done.
I: Uh, someone has made the analogy that the Lumbees are not exactly you know,
100% behind the Tuscaroras. Others have said they're completely ashamed; they
want to just force themselves to any part of anything they do. Some are writing
S: They have, uh, you say some feel that the Lumbees are not 100% behind the
I: Some feel that the Lumbees are behind the Tuscoraram And that the Lumbees are
behind the Tucaroras. And that the Lumbees, we're talking about Cornell Locklear
and his group, the Eastern Indians, they compare him to Martin LUther King. They've
been going through legal channels, you know. But he had the Black Panthers
there with a bit of threat.
S: Well, you know Martin Luther King; he was supposed to be a nonviolent .man and he
was a nonviolent man, himself.
S: But, he lead these marches which lead to violence. In my opinion, he was
directly responsible for. .he lead these marches.
I: Some-people said that he, he talked down, you know, violence. Yet, the Black
Panthers, he could call them .but the thing is if he had to .the threat
S: Well, the way I feel.
I: They see the analogy here the Lumbee and the Tuscorara. the Tuscorara
being the Black Panther so to speak. .
S: Well, I've never favored any of these groups, such as, uh, either ----__!
lae-r .eOfJ'i I don't ]ow what they're wanting really. I haven't gotten
into the East Carolina set up very much and I don't. .
I: Excuse me just a minute, let me .. .
END OF SIDE ONE
I: Okay, you were saying you never favored Cornell Locklear.
S: I mean, I never, in so far as identifying with him. I don't see anything
to identify with. a certain. I mean I don't know what they're after.
They say they don't like Lumbees. tey don't like the same Lumbee. Well,
it doesn't really make any difference to me. Uh, as Cornell and Brooks'
group. I don't. .I don't declare. I declare not to identify with either
of those groups. When it comes to identifying these groups, I don't. .
I don't. what they are wanting to do in my opinion is, uh, they want to go
back to tepee days. I want to just live as person, you know, and accept,
in so far as being a Lumbee Indian or any kind of an Indian. That doesn't make
any difference. .but if somebody wants to name us. that's all right too.
I don't have any. I don't see any reason for identifying with a particular
group. And I don't see what they're after, you know. Unless it's federal aid,
if that's what they're after, shucks. I think most of them ought to get off
their fannies and o the work.
I: Certainly you've made your contribution to the Indi ns. maybe this is one of
"rS -T ; t th aaC. -X -K
the benefits they woutd have. ..they re lazy work as har -- ----- --
--- ---- going out and really put it to -------
S: I think that anybody that wants to. Of: course we're going to have poverty. We've
had it ever' since time began and we'll have it until the end of time, because the
Bible tells that. ,. l
I: We've always. .
S: Indians have a monopoly on poverty. more than the Negroe. Might be a little
bit more of it, but more prevalent in the Indians than Negroes, but you'll find
poverty among the whites also, but, uh, I believe today if a man really wants to
do something, he can get on out here and do it. The opportunity's available
right now, except. .he can go in business for himself if he want to.
I: Um, hum. You don't, then, see as much discrimination toward the American
Indian, particularly the lumbee in this area as there once was?
S: I don't think so, not now. Uh, there is still discrimination, job opportunities,
high-paying jobs, things like that. That still exists. But it's improving, slowly
but surely. I don't know how long, if ever,Aget to the point to where it will
be like it should. But it has improved and I -think it will improve some more.
I: You say ---- -- ---is pretty -_ ----- I won't ask you a question
relative to the defensive or anything. Might even sound ridiculous to you, but
again when We mention names, do you feel proud to be Lumbee Indian, when you
hear the name Lumbee.
S: Well, Lumbee, like I said doesn't mean anything to me, really, I mean, the name
itself. Now, uh, .
I: What about the word Indian?
S: The word Indian, it doesn't. I'm proud that I am an Indian, but, and you
know what's funny, I never have given it too much thought, until all this stuff
come about. Like I said, I just prefer to be, .to live in this society as
a pat of it and not a part from it, you know.
I: Well, you seem to have philosophy that others express that you believe in the
race, the human race, a member of the human race.
S: I don't see any reason Qy we can't all live harmoniously. I think. they'll
come a day, possibly, I don't know when that will be,. it won't be during my
time, though. Possibly, I think they'll come a day, but like I said, I just
prefer to live as part of society doing my share of whatever's to be done.
As to identifying groups, I don't know, I just don't go in for that bit.
I: Somebody has proposed September 22 as American Indian Day, but you know.
it hasn't. they've envisioned it as becoming a natimal holiday, would you
S: Well, I don't. .
I: Would you sign a petition, would you put your name?
S: I wouldn't get hung up on it, but if we had enough people that wanted it I
would, I mean, if it was really something. I mean if the Indian people
are really behind you know.
I: I mean just sit down and say well, this is American Indian Day, let's all
sit down but really get out and you know, let teachers in schools to put
more emphasis on it than, you know, have the whole curriculum maybe around
S: I guess that's all eight. Something. just never did get hung tp on the Indian
bit. .I mean, Indian heritage, Indian culture, .
I: You don't care whether it fades away or. ?
S: No, no, it, the way I see it, uh, as far as the Indian culture, it has faded
away. We've been out of it for years and years and years.
I: For td Lumbee this seems to be true because we're not a reservation Indian as
S: These reservation Indians, I suppose is another story. But I don't. .I never
did get hung up on it. I never did get hung up on that. Iteverdid get hung
up on Old Main over here. I didn't think. good riddance you know. They
talked about tearing that thing down. Of course, uh, I hated to see it go the
way it did, but they had to change the side. We could jump from one side to the
other right fast.
I: A, yeah. that's all right. .
S: But, uh the American Indian today. I don't see where it would serve any purpose
really, necessarily. I never did get sentimental over this thing. Uh, over
all, American culture, heritage, and. .
I: Well, maybe you're like most people. It doesn't do much good to get hung up
because there's not much youtcan do about it. Is there? As I've often said,
the people that maybe hate the whites can't get what------------------------
S: I've never actually hated them. You know, I used to in my older days, in
my middle-aged days get a little peeved sometimes, you know.
I: Yes, I think we all do.
S: But actually hating people, I don't suppose I .I don't know if I could hate
anybody or not. really, truly hate people, you know.
: ---- ------------------------ -------. Well this is why
we're delving into this thin of why it is p ople aeem to be against the American
,_, i n o r i s i t j _/.
Indian or is it jus p-- - av-en- t been able to until
recently to drink from the same fountain as white men.
S: Of course. I tell you. .
I: When I just came to Pembroke twenty-five years ago, I lived with an Indian
family, which was more affluent than I grew up in. And most people ride by
Main Street, they think Pembroke looks something like Dodge City maybe. Now,
we've had some improvements on state road, buildings, and provisions that's come
in, chain stores, and this kind of thing. But, uh, I would like you to comment
on some of the homes that we have and have people living out here. We do have
some affluent people here and beautiful homes in Pembroke.
S: Got blossoms growing all over the place.
I: Spring has almost sprung, hasn't it?
S: Well, I tell you. .most of these homes you see around here, though, people
really worked for. They had desires.
I: Tell us about that. i L -0 r-__
S: --- -------have to be packing up and go. Well, some people, now, they
had, we have people here in Pembroke have homes and property. Some of them
inherited it. Their parents worked hard for it. And we have peqie in Pembroke
that have real nice homes; they're in debt up to their ears, just like I am.
I don't have a big one--but it's pretty good. But I'll be paying on it. .
I: It's got electric lights, a toilet that flushes. it's got the same thing
that millionaires have, maybe not in the same standing.
S: I think it seems to. .uh, people have the desire to get out of these shacks
and stuff they do something about it. Now. .my house, the home I was.born and
raised in .you could uh, lie in bed and count the stars at night. and look
outside look through the cracks in the house and see the chickens running around
out in the yard.
I: I heard this. many people, .
S: But I didn't inherit anything. no land, no house, no nothing. About all @F
--.-could do was get --2-_f--------. But when I got out of service
I spent all the mustering out pay and got married. Then took it from there.
I: I know you consider that a good investment. it's lasting. or do you,
do you not. is marriage a good institution. ? Some of the young people say
it's going out of style. How do you feel?
S: I don't think it's going out of style. I think they'll eventually come around
and see that .they'll eventually come around. they'll wake up one of these
days. Now, uh, I grant you that possibly some people get married and maybe
they shouldn't have, but, I think that marriage is a good institution. I don't
see how in the world we can do without it.
I: I believe you said you-had a son, did you not?
S: Uh, yes, I have a son.
I: What is his age?
S: Let's see. he's 27. 26. About 26. .
I: Is he in school or service?
S: He was in school here for a while til he got married.
I: That slows you down.
S: He's working somewhere there in Lorenburg. And a daughter, Kay. She'sabout
23 now I guess. She's married. She's been married about a year. She was
working down at Greengrove. no Partegrove School. She used to do secretarial
work up at Pembroke High School. But, uh, right now, though, she quit. Monday
went down here to Peggy's Nursery.
I: Oh, this is the daycare center you're speaking of. How many. I've been by
there. .I've never been in. do you know about how many children they
accommodate in there?
S: I certainly don't. I'm supposed to go in there and make some pictures some-
times in the near future, but. .
I: What his is connection, Mr. Adkins?
S: I really don't know. .I. .we had a date set. We were going to make some. I
don't know what they going do. what it is. but I couldn't make it that time.
We called it off and we haven't set another date yet. Uh, I think something
come up and I didn't make it. So we j4st haven't gotten around. I haven't
leen in there yet.
I: We have an interesting commerce here. And it's been said that Pembroke needs
"a lot more industry and job opportunity. Could you see the benefit of having
"a 24-hour nursery.. work on shift work?
S: I don't know whether that would. you mean here in Pembroke?
I: Yeah, would it pay off or would it be feasible for practical reasons? Uh,
help families, you know. .
S: Might lead to abandonment of children. .they might bring them there and
not. .Ha. ha.
I: No, I mean the people that work shift work having -------i ----mothers
have to wait working at, uh
S: Yeah. I really don't believe .I really don't know. I'm not qualified to
answer. I was fixing to say I'm not qualified to answer. I started to say
I didn't believe it would be profitable to operate,. .but I really don't
know, you know. Might be.
I: Did your daughter express or has she been there since. long enough to get
an impression and tell how she likes working with the Lumbee people?
S: I haven't talked to her about it. Now, that's what she was doing at Pinegrove,
working in the kindergarten. .. .got a chance to go up here but she started
there Monday. I've seen her a couple of times since but I haven't had time to
tIk to her about it. She really likes little children. She works real good
with them. I have here in the. I say I have her. school superintendent
of First Baptist. e ---------------a-weetiy. She keeps the nursery.
I: You're a member of the First Baptist Church here in. .?
S: Pembroke, yes.
I: .And, what is. you're Sunday school superintendent?
I: What is. what is about the membership, approximately of the First Baptist
S: It's very small. Always has been for some reason, less than 200. Now that
is, you know, the resident members. you know how we have new members on
I: Sort of dead members, they call it.
S: Yeah, they moved out and moved their membership. It's politics.
I: Do you enjoy church work?
S: Oh, yes.
I: I beliawe, uh, you go to prayer meeting every night. I think on Wednesday
night I got you out of prayer meeting to tape some people you had connection
with, uh, Dr. Spees, from the university. Duke University it was.
S: Yeah, I knew.iim. yeah. Duke University, yes that's right.
I: Take blood samples to become diseased patterns of the Lumbees.
S: Whatever happened to that?
I: Well, I think it's still in the studying, research, uh,Adetermine diabetics
L24one of the diseases that's high in Lumbees and nervous disorders, suicides
S: Lance Blaspoas (?) sponsor of a mass glucomoa, diabetes clinic here sometime
in the near future, I don't know if we're biting off more than we can chew or
not,bte it takes a host of.
I: So you're -&--iPAtL---too. What other interests do you have that maybe I
S: Civic clubs?
I: ----- -obbies. .-------------?
S: I tell you. I'm a active member of the Lion's Club. I belong to the V.F.W.,
the Booster's Club, and all that. I'm not very active in those two over half
the time. As for hobbies, I simply don't get a chance to work at anything.
Usually, about 99% of the time, I'm running off some place to take pictures
of somebody or something. Matter of fact, I get away from here. But this
job here occupies the majority of the time. The activities going on. .
I: Do you enjoy your work?
S: I enjoy. I enjoy my work. it gets aggravating at times, just like anything,
else. It hs advantages and disadvantages.
I: Let me ask you this. You make a lot of pictures of people. It's been said
that some people just, you know, that can make a picture, I wouldn't say just
anyone. it doesn't matter that. some people are more photogenic than others,
is this true or is this hypothetic?
S: That's true. That's a fact. I know some people. .
I: Is there a cause for it. what is this? I mean you can sometimes take a
beautiful girl and she doesn't turn out tha way on the picture. .
S: It doesn't turn out that way on the picture, that's right.
I: You can take one sort of homely and plain looking and make her beautiful.
I didn't know if that was the photographer or not. .I was going to ask
you how they make a homely girl beautiful if you could do that or not.
Of course, maybe you can do it with touch-ups.
S: When I say more photogenic, I mean that. some people you can point a camera
at them and they light up like a sunflower. Others you can point one at and
freeze and you can't get them right. Sometimes, I have to make six or seven
shots and you can make more than that if you get-.a fairly decent shot, you know.
Some people you can hit them one time and you've got it. And, yet, I don't know.
I: You say that taking pictures, as you say, causes people to freeze. Uh, they
sort of fool the camera maybe?
S: I don't know what it is, uh, I suppose I would fall in that clAss.
I: I know in interviewing, I've encountered people and I'm kind of one of them
but I just go ahead and do it. I found out to get over ---- the
best way to do is, you know, --------- ---water and jump in. Uh, recorded,
you know, they feel they're being recorded sometimes now words are garbled
and this kind of thing, but, how are you following ----- -L----fear of the
camera when you're on the other side of it?
S: I'm not in front of it very much. I've noticed the pictures that I have been
though, you're trying to. instead of just acting natural, you're trying to!
pose, or something you know. If you jsut relax and forget about it, I think
it'll make a much better looking picture. I make it a habit not to get in front
of a camera very much. I look like a convict and then------- -
I: You're not very objective about yourself, anyway, I think you're being, uh,
dishonest, facetiousto yourself. .1 couldn't agree with that.
S: Aren't. I'm about to run out of time. how about you?
I: Okay. we're about to run out of tape. I want to thank you for the con-
tribution made in giving me this interview and for myself, I thank you.
In behalf of the Doris Duke Foundation and the American Indian. the history
program. Uh, maybe me day maybe your children, your grandchildren, will come
down and hug you and listen to granddaddy who will tell some of his philoaphy
and people across te nation, that's what we want you to do. You want to give
your telephone number and your address for anybody that wants their picture
taken? You've got more to do than...5t- CO'. 0)
S: Look in the hook.
I: Okay, so we'll let you cut. we'll cut off now so you can go take your pictures
then. And thank you again, Mr. Elmer Hunt.
S: Glad to help you out, if I've helped you. Hal ha!