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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Interviewee: Bruce Hunt
Interviewer: Dexter Brooks
July 10, 1973
B: ...Mr. Bruce Hunt. Today's date is 10 July 1973. Mr. Hunt, when were you
H: 7 December 1942.
B: You were born in this area?
H: Right. Correct. Penbrooke, North Carolina.
B: You were uh...
H: I was, I was uh reared by uh Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bell, a local teacher in
the county school system and er /t//1 4 chica eO the civil service
system i Florl Brdaq orAh Cirlnathat was in Penbrooke, you're right.
B: Were you the only child reared by Mr. and Mrs. Bell?
B: You uh, were you uh in your childhood days uh, you lived in the town of
filt rf -l,4
Penbrooke. Dij you have playmates? What sort of, co= you describtheir
occupations .) fl r e/ p, your stepfather, I take it, what,what
sort of a person was he? Ts his personality?
H: He was a uh the type of guy that was very involved with a--thethe-
concern, nemtally concerned v u'Jh the, the development of the camnunity.
He was involved in a very heavily mannered with things like Little League,
American Legion baseball, promotion of anything that was k. benefit ^ the
cmmmnity 1hust he, he, himself enjoyed -bei My stepmother is a
schoolteacher for numerous years and was, I think, traditional to most
schoolteachers, very concerned with the advancement and development of
very basically, with-the development of kids and having been exposed to
Page 2. mrnh
different areas, different life styles, extremely interested in developing
kids to prepare them for things beyond the scope of Pembooke, as such,
which. I think, the trend was in Penbrooke if you had a car and if you
had a steady job van-dyou didn't do public work, th*a I think the cliche
was c \V(-to -feir, their whole scope in life wa- toand the thing was
to really make, do whatever they could do for people was to promote it,
to advance people, either, either via the ex, extracurricular things such
as baseball or st9% as my dad did, or in school, iry aunt did. She was to-
tally in the, the, concern was' the advancement of the people. Myself, I
was given every opportunity to, to uh, exposure to numerous things like)
I was well-traveled, I was quite versed in uh mk, numerous subjects, I,I,I
think I had, I had quite an edge e a lot of other people otherwise, I
don't really 'feel I took advantage of it to the extentthat I should have
but you know, -,s r in i ba i/"i -rirf rta, k of appre-
ciation for or understanding of what was going on.
B: So then uh, it seems that your, you wouldn't say tha your parents were very
strict, they, more or less, counselled you and between the group of you, you
decided what, what you as a person should do, is this, is this what you are
H: Strict, no. Of-easee, there was a very distinct discipline factor in my
uh environment and Daddy ruled the house, and if I stepped out of line, -fr
example, if I I got a licking at school, I got a licking at home. I, I
think discipline was probably a predominant factor in my childhood stages.
I think I was probably uh as big a bastard as the next guy when I was growing
up. I enjoyed doing things, not getting caught. I, pardon me?
Page 3. mlh
B: Go ahead.
H: Oh. I uh, I think I, I was always fearful of being caught, but yet, the
tenptation was there to do it. Eea-le-, many things to do in Pembrooke,
contrary to populaelief at the tine, for a teen-ager, for example to do, Sr f
as partaking of drinking, gambling, generally, vices that were,were socially
extreme outcasts, yet, they, they were readily available ,50 would but you
a beer, regardless of age,and, and, in my, in my teen years, for example,
it was quite, quite popular, it was the thing to do and uh I,I,I've partaken
of everything that was readily available that I could afford, that I, That
I could take advantage of, I did.
B: Do you recall the first time Ja you drank anything?
H: The first time, no, no. It was probably when I must have been seventeen or
eighteen OA. S, 4fe en .hirt thirteen or fourteen
years old. It was all, it was never any, anything, that --wuld rmove bad
connotations to it, which was nyer any cat-and-mice type of situation.
"Twelve guys with a quart of beer di,,4f k this type of thing.
hal Ac. wias
B: So having fun wih the fact that.it.was a ....
H: It was fun, it was a teen-age game,really. We also did oonsttive things,
by the way. At the sane, the same tine we were, we werenvolved with the,
with the Boy Scouts. I was a patrol leader. The other guys were pretty
close to me. My buddies were in the sane situation. We wereapt really
delinquents, we were io the Jcu-a I think, -'
B: Were, were ou uh encouraged to join the Boy Scouts by sane person or...?
H: No, I think uh it was traditional in my era to be in the Boy Scouts, It was
a, a customary thing, you were... I would, I would venture to say that, that
Page 4. mlh
,,A' al probably c
I advanced, I joined the Boy, Boy Scouts i- fleig, continuing with the
Boy Scouts in the later years of my teens for example, because I was in the
position financially and because 5f my parents -or guardians to go to summer
camp for example and other things. I have &-uniform. I didn't achieve
my uniform. I didn't came by expenses for summer camp totally by my guardians.
I did coeely this by my own means, working for example, when I was fourteen
w5 S*Or d 5A-rueC1P I ,"
years old, I wfkeed-a a driver f- o I drove him around
and I did calculations when I was fourteen years old for a coun4 S5Lr fu.
I, I do think that, that-my economic standings because
of my guardians put ie in the Boy Scouts and I was able to partake and, and
participate with whatever had to be offered, more so than a lot of other kids.
Because we, we were able to burden the expenses whatever they were,
B: iletwr- the Penbrooke Boy Scout troop,was this all Indian or were there
H: Oh, certainly, certainly. -A34 Indian. There was uh an Indian chief uh by
the name of Benchback. e 'me 1h I -t r;hk dropped off frem a freight
train-a hobo-type dude. Uh, we were very distinct in, in summer can5b. For
example, we won all of the sporting-type events -aquatic, any aquatic
events we participated in, we won-swimring, Cad o e r 9 boating, an b k k
rowli' l baseball, football, softball,any, any athletic or -s aC
or individual effort, we normally weCd-4 e coipd ifig, and usually we
were successful. I think as, as a uh, as a young fellow, I, I
think I,I really turned on to this type of thing and gave me same, some
extra drive to, to excel because I wanted to, to beat anybody else because
to give you an example, at summer camp, we had possibly three,four, I don't
Page 5. mlh
wh o were
don't recall the total number of guys in the troop, but- -bt a minority,
A very few guys for example had uniforms, most guys did not. Ill-equipped,
but we were able to everything, any, any sort of, .any ccapetitive thiing that
S we might would enter ,we, we would excel, and I think, I gave -a extra effort
just to do this because I, I realized at the time, we were an underdog ,
I-Men, everything was against us and this is what, this is where establishing
ourselves as the top, top group top of the lad
B: Was Pembrooke the only all-Indian troop?
H: Oh, no. At one point, there was a troop from Chapel. Union Chapel.
I don't recall Unicn Chapel ever going to the, I don't know what a C A/ecA c
referred to, -he 40o0 church was p i a regional, a regional thing.
r4e (I' i +*rs r/'3 u1s- (4's- y
I don' t recall Chapel ever being netieedI- --he Belas, the only one that
'e..r)dC-)r, L I
I swrkL m during the period that I was heavily involved with the BW Scouts
was UmIhi Chapel. They were never, never _k involved as we were, I don't
think, -,-.& .f- .i n- arm- k/i ccamnunity support At,
it appeared at tines that we did have the anrmunity support.
B: Were there any uh black troops?
H: Oh no,no. Certainly not. .._. ...i4back kidsJ, o ,r) the black kids wAo
were in +of 6jur,...r You could probably count on a couple of hands, you
know, by the sane token, there were no white Y t$a either.
B: I mean, when you went to rP mbtokLkQ Church, were there any?
O: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. We were the only guys that were not- wc ifet .
B: Then the uh with the carpetition, you say at many times would be 7h,you
felt same sort of racial, racial grounds?
H: Well, yes. I'm sure because we were physical, we were very physical, we t' rr
Page 6. ulh
basically a helluva a lot of linebackers, we were tough. And even weaklings,
myself was a small guy. I was skinny, a small belt,AI,I,I,I felt I was tough
and probably, in ccapetition, was twice as tough. Steve Brooks, for example,
was a big guy. Tony Brooks, for example, was a small guy, strong and uh,
these were the guys that I socialized witm identified with, we did everything
together. Aid there were other guys, I, I thinAbecause of uh, ah racial overtones
t" t( .f &, //l
we felt a super sene of competiveness and _J for example, in"atang
3 recall ron occ.8 sor) V.e.. .f
call or.ll pii e we were outclassed. I,I,Iwouldn't even hen
ap, i L...... o u, /7 7-e ofe ____T_?5-u _, I wouldn't
say, but uh, sheer competitiveness and tuieq the will to, to, the desire
to be, to grab them right on the dann ground, We were phy-
sical, we were dann physical, we were tough. hose little guys were tough.
B: HEIw do you think the uh, the white boys kept the Indian, the Indian troop
H: As a g-d-damn bunch of tough noodles.
B: You were, did uh many of them pmae b, paeient them fmr being the only non-
whiteapparently intrude s white territory?
H: Overall, I, I wouldn't think so, because we had, you know, we were quite suc-
cessful, you know, we were heavy on the Boy Scout thing. But, overall, I
wouldn't think so because uh Boy Scout uh functions uh are, are heavy in
lores, uh folklores archery related to thkt Indian bows and arrows ,
tracking, hiking, that sort of thing, and 3 I think possibly, we we were
identified and because of our physicalness, we, we were, we won uh the iden-
tity with the function, with the, the things, like you know, there were nerit
aadges everybody went after and uh, I think possibly there was a acceptance
Page 7. mlWh
of -i, you know, appreciationno, acceptance possibly yes. That, there,
there weroccasicns s a quarter mile \ y ,.., ,/ /, ', ,C cC
and nerit badges advancement to different levels, and .. promotions.
I don't recall ever having, were ever really discriminated against or any
racial overtones reported. Its evexy was followed because we promoted
it. I,I,I would go so far as to say that. I don't, I don't think anybody
ever really, we were too damn tough, I'll tell you, we were physically tough.
B: Revisiting dues on at the time uh, there was quite a deal, quite a great
deal of racial discrimination in Robeson County. Did this include uh, say,
the soout troops, the white scout troops from say alog ?
H: I think that's funny you should ask that because it brings to mind a guy
by the naznf uh Sam Douglas. il Douglas Senior was a lawyer in Lutmerton
and uh Sam Douglas Jr. was a uk Cou Qc /rfr a waterfront t o u Sc /or.
I think he was senior lifeguard, the title and position held on the water-
front I dcnt think was he was senior in same respects. Uh, he
was a bad-ass, no doubt he was a bad-ass from day 1, but he was a bad-ass to
everybodyad I don't think he ever showed any partiality to anyone tall.
There was another guy from around Laurel Hill by the name of Mike something
J fetl\ c ;I ; prH h (felfJ bracd-^u^d Jl,buf ou scI
_iol,.p... att aweo was a problem because he was..,
<<2 (A if covZ
uhinever, you know, just seep for keaop, yu know, yn for g. I don't,
I would venture to say any,,.-any 56 bj r 's V; TC ,/ r, sate isolated
inch det o lC i(
incident tbhaiwt* w y a couple of guys would bump heads, possibly some of them
yuld te -a white guy, an In y^r ,y f r A guy _daf I ,,3 'T' iA
reallI did, I don't recall any, any that that you know ," '" .ere .li.
wat I'm sure.
Page 8. ml.
B: Did you make any uVi, what you might call friends with iuh white uh scouts,
H: Oh yeah. Sane long lasting ones. Sam Douglas wa one of them. There were
two guys uh, now I,I don't recall their names now, but up until '60, 1960,
their dad ran a uh service store, called GI Service Store, up in .._____
I think, yeah I,I did make scmea "/o .L -f;l.'de elop', *developed
onc /rc friendships '__ Even with uh local guys I think,fmiend-
Sfriendships .. .
B: In the uh town of Penbrooke itself -uh, as a kid growing up,did uh you have
any friendships with uh whites or blacks?
H: Whites, uh, friendships as such, no, uh, acquaintances, yes. I think we have
o_ lrcl i
to be )- oan 4 cn the n .anmc would be to never say "yes,
"Cr +O -fQ 1f/c) L wAuhd/S
pr i t ... ....a."iblZ to h in . . . . . .
uh, true friend, hard-standing friendship, no, I wouldn't think so. Blacks,
I think I can asy the sane because uh I don't think 4 was fashionable.
There were uh a very distinct three races in my,"my yyith, were, I think,
"i'-S \"s j^ cTrcli-v:
quite clearly, a ccmpetitiveness,a oanpetitive between the 'wn VtA s and,/\
and uh, a mutual agreement between everybody that the blacks were something
less. I don't know uh, I don't know why, I don't recall having anybody
""ea. saying that you' can't participate you can't have a
friend uh, it just seemed that like uh, the old clich "the black guy knew
: iJ rC I L
his posiionaid stayed in it? was, was, was the rule and ,,r Ab;J ( o.
I knew "guy, still do, friends, ve, no I wouldn't say we were really
friends. It, I don't think anybody at that tine had any black friends.
I don't think any, anybody at that time had any, any white friends also
Page 9. m1lh
either. It as, it was a three way system.
B: Do uh you s a boy uh, recall mS the first uh act of discrimination directed
against you as an Indian?
H: Oh, certainly, certainly. Lunberton restrooms,very, very,very distinct.
ao4 90 0 6_ 0 ^
Uh, that wasl u f-t uly n Y4,zs for example) You couldn't go in the
drugstore iwth...,. there were, there were white ap-type services and Lumn-
berton was the same thing. You, you, the Indians had to sit, for example,
Lumberton, in the theatre, you had to sit upstairs on mh Sunday afternoon
oh qC e
and 41-, you-knw-, there were sery distinct discrimination, and of course,
the Indians were isolated from the whites so, again it was thlie -A e pi-
ro -racial situation.
B: Were any of these uh acts directed specifically at you? for example, were
you ever refused service or this kind of thing?
H: Personally, probably not. I don't recall anything. I, I would think as a
matter of conditioning, my guardians were, were a-l l .
spared -ls 4 -tf-e, oT 4,cf i scl u1 1C r)-
we were L- -y .J not go to places _wy, you know, it, it was
obvious, I-and-yeu for am example, as a young guy, were well, let's put it
this way now, I, I was reared partially in New York and also here and uh
for example, in New York, it was open-I did what I wanted to, whenever I
rT tv ( uJ'2
wanted to, an&school and everybody else uh. At home, I went to school
with just Indiana kids 4a white kids were t probably, what we wwaAd
consider slum whites. Sone of the ha-te-have professors from the
a pe' .->^-l o
college with the kid in school. Some guys '5e, 4/- r jl
would be about the only white kid to be in school, truly white kid, ow/cald bc
5n on j h, A-I 5 Pc professor in college. Uh, the general practice, tIe
Page 10. mlh
,,5cr rPor thing, I, I think, we were, it was an accepted thing that uh you know, you
go here, you go there, so far as a racial thing, the blacks go here, and
the whites go there and you can't have this when you came into a drugstore
am order medicine, for example, but you couldn't sit down and drink a milk-
shake and uh possibly we carplied with the i h.____ .___ or local rules
1e r- -, r ) l yh
and, and we didn't knock it. Uhlpraebi-ly, no, I was never discriminated
against, I, any more so than anybody else. on a personal basis.
B:. As a kid growing up uh, could you uh, could your family uh did they ever
go visiting ho, j.v ili f id they all jump in the car and say, go visit
an aunt or an uncle or a 'relative?
H: Uh, on what basis )1---.l -?
B: Within the county, yes? A
H: Oh, within the county? I guess '.............' ma. If you^go, you go.
B: WAs this -a C'axm1 JiU.ae.i, I mean, did you uh did you see uh your most
of your other relatives, uh when I say relatives, I mean your father's
brothers and sisters and your mother's brothers and sisters, uh fairly ex-
B: I guess, what I'm getting at was did the family !A really
extend beyond your immediate household?
H: I wouldn't, I, you know, don't think so, probably because of the unique
situation where there's a uh, uh a man and wife Tr, they're childless and
have reared kids and uh, you know, they're, they are not kids by their own
type, it *s just 4bya adopted types which, which I was, along with my
sister and uh ..... I don't think there were ever any, any real -uh hang-ups
Page 11. mlh
!s re e t( I
as far as ,A* anybody visiting or, or not visiting or anybeYys-seeial
gatherings because of that uh, anything that we might have, you know, our u\ \5
WouldJ ]h)L b b__ _
scheduleM bas ed on the work schule for example q
worked day in and day out. H' 5 S'i ri split shifts, the-e ne shift
a+ rr-+ 65ra^
I think, Civil Service oM- aixpuaL L irum. He could work on Sundays, he
could work on Satmrdaysnd have off Mondays and Tuesdays for example which
conflictedwith most working people. HoAwver, at hmoe, we had a uh what
I would call a very wholesome and uh I think, extremely social uh home life.
I can't as a, as a small boy,growing up, I, I was aware of uh Tomn 6_0_
Oxendine for example, which was a flyer who was, use to come around the housed c
W ^ttS Ct^k e a fre,+' )r
S4 oesty ,j. think, most people at the tinm to identify with and socialize-
u,4 Tro /3o t amd --1 54 LoIr/cl a r
for example, wasfr P intcrz-ntJ Lh LCilc-. And uh.....
B: 'i'm Bewie and who?
H: Ttamn ee Oxendine and tWIrocklear.
B: Who was the uh Locklear?
ohi' 0 ; J.,1 ,
H: 5.r) ?He's, bhe's a e t kid) f r e He's a, STan is from
ra i.S e d ,
Fairgnt and he was a bastard-type boy. He was verywil, /hOu s eI
but he uh was a schoolteacher. There, there were about three guys way back
in the uh late '40's,early 50's who came out as truly representative of
the people. torn, 'Thmas Iee4bak feid ,o s) 7p 1 Stan Locklear and
)rtWStr Chavis. Stan, more or less, went his own way and he never
I don't know if the guy was ever assigned locally where he could come by
and i the. bhrAo o F v n 0/,' -he never lost
his Indian identity with the -WIML.z-7= L ad j-u eg I o / y I5
SUper 't bcuc r-i a similar situation. He was a geed bey,.-a playboy, and I,I wouldn't
Page 12. mlh
One point in time, he didn't, didft-epply-any--sgchxli
Ixt the sane, Mi jor wae-worse, still very concerned with his people
never, anyr bny feelings of rejection or whatever. I think Stan probably-had,
I 4hing ^
Stan*'O ," m' was happy, I think.
B: Do you think this was characteristic of uh, uh aot of people from here
at the tine, they uh, they seemed to have kept a sense of their uh, their
identification with uh the people here in Robeson County?
Lo a I i L
H' WE.1l,-/ yw, -,1 to the connunity? Ch, certainly, sure. Th, I think because
the armannity felt a, a sense of responsibility for the guys that WCh lw ,
Oh, certainly there, there was period of time where uh everybody^was
fashionable to go to Detroit and work the automobile factory. (side of
B: (New side of tape begins.) Ckay, go ahead please.
&as sat4 bV.CA
H: Yeah. There, there was a, there was a period where it was, I don't recall
the econamicsituation of the camnunity at that time, but I'm sure in most
days it was grim, critical, but it was fashionable for exampleQto to
Detroit and work in the automobile factories. And everybody was, was always
concerned and extremely interested in the guys that, that went off and worked
in the businesses in Detroit along these, what they're dodinghow they're
doing, how's their families and so forth and when they're going to come
hane, you know, btt they did come hacneS. Xt was a gala event-everybody came
out. "Welcone home", "How're you doing?"-this sort of thing. ANd I, I
think uh those were all, there was a concern of the community and, and at, at
that period of time I doc*t think there was any possibility of additional
conversation but uh I don't think there was any, any jealousy or, or uh egos
Page 13. mlh
uhiany concern of egos,r this sort of thing, involving, it was just a, the
guy went off aid made news, the guy who worked in the factories, which we
didn't have factories, there were, there were no uh, everything you did
locally was referred to as public work-twe-a either working on your own
farm, you taught school, anything else was public work
| c, 0c1roi f
and ias very temporary and anybody that went breke for example, *as grabbed
a lasting job and lots of dann dollars. A0
B: Right. That's very true. As a kid uh, ih when you went to school here w\
B: At the time was Ji an all-Indian school%
moet Oian the
HI No, I don't, I don't think there was one or two whites in school af-that,
if that many.
H: There were none in my classes. One-was, unless they allowed, oh it would,
been IVSS .'". 1 4 ., .. ,
it would have a bastard sigh- in the school all. One kid was atuaLay
6: Whi;n T
""e mSLht .... w-A"ouhr l y..woalcall
H: Mostly was a bad scene.
B: What do you nman?
H: Oh, I think there was a feeling of superiority relative to (UA in, 4 o W/,, n,
Most of the guys wanted to take him apart. I think 4t-was basically a
physical people. And uh, this type of attitude wasn't popular, it was not
Page 14. mlh
B: So, this was a white person who uh ,he didn't fit into the area here and
eventually apparently was forced,forced out o4t?
H: No, not, not true. His older sisters, both of his older sisters we for
example were in my class fhey-mveAe very good friends. Walter Oxendine
cflh inp Y
was his own, was his nephew. eny was the, was the bro/er to my re
the uer You B i
mother. You know, it-would, -w was Se4 oce r kc for sonm reason, don't know.
I would venture to say in M"recollection,he was, he ran into social prob-
lems in his own school and uk his folks felt that ft rr'cc 4 We y
-fcrv' /ro heit m'ch- even do
sent him off .^ Lo Czblcitw_? be rer" .R However, he moved here
and felt to us, at the time, as I de9recall, he felt like he was uh far
superior in a sense. He was much more advanced academically and uh the guys
in the class with him and just socially, it was a bad scene. He was, he
was a cocky ed son-of-a-bitch those eigh-veeks and uh, I think uh well,
I had a few battles with him and he probably, most of the guys at the end
bea*4- ,' 04 3ta$+.
of class ea!-' -4- w was- t a d on the son-of-a-bitch.
B: When you were uh in grade school, uh...
H: As a matter of fact, his own, his own nephew didn't have anything to do with
B: When you were in grade school, were there any -k teachers that uh you par-
ticularly liked or disliked?
rIcc'/I hC' T
H: Uh, yeah. There was one I th4inkall I,I,I,I, don't think I disliked--te -
dA/ les it's
question a2 'b i u I-s now, I,I would question my judgment of
Sthe person at ths time. I wef& questioriis ability and I, I wetld question e(
the answer, and possibly because of my relationship relations and-a same-
body else. s ta y .-- .
Page 15. mlh
B: -Wkai you uh, would you consider yourself a serious student ? I mean, would
you involve yourself academically?
H: Uh, through my junior in high school, I would say yes, very much. Pre //Ch W iu p
Gelahrn a school, I think:a was motivated. I, I think so. I, you know,
I had the how much, how much -fih' how much
as a graduate compared to other kids. You know sometimes, I, I seem, that
I car' out on the short end of the stick/ but I do feel that I was a pusher
in school and I did, I worked pretty hard. I,I think I probably pushed my
instructors a little bit. Some of these _______............ cam-
pared to other guys.
B: Where there any, is, again an elementary school? Any social activities
associatedwith the school at that time?
K: Oh, yeah. I had a seventh-grade banquet.
B: A seventh grade banquet? What...?
K: there was a seventh grade banquet and that was, that's when you graduated
from Penbrooke Grade School and you went over to the eighth grade at Pem-
brooke High School. I don't know that, I don't know how many years it hap-
penned or how many years it happened after 1,1 have no idea of--heh that
was the only event that I can recall being^ so that was specifically for
the graduates. It was a May DAy type thing /ue 0odu useto go over
to the college, but that, that was a county qf & IAeri'r) All schools
would bring up their, their ch4i O .'r athletes and compete.
B: You mean, th 'all would be Indian schools?
H: Oh, yeah. That's all.
Page 16. mlh
B: Did they have any, any other contest than the .?
H: de-iJ- ain exact names, 1,1 don't think no, no, I don't
recall any, there possibly were, but I don't recall any. I,I don't remember
anybody participating in anything. Apparently, there weren't any.
B: How well attended weee these functions?
H: Oh, very heavily. It was the turnout of the year. It was like Veteran's
Day, for example. Everybody came in town for the Veteran's DAy parade. It
was fashionable for the time .........._... .
B: So then, you would say that no other ement in the Indian community brought
together -4ma nny people as this particular event?
H: I don't know. Possibly not, I would venture to say no because it was a day-
light type thing. The parent, students, teachers-participation was pretty
broad. I would, I would venture to say no. I don't think this was the
town could, could withstand that many people on a nighttine-type things so
I would, I would say no. At the tine the field days were held, they were
labeled school days. I don't think, I would venture to say that was the
biggest event the town had. It was, it was the Robeson County Indian
e-or- C -Wc All lndians hoee-cod participate.
B: Was there any public speaking associated with these gatherings?
H; Yeah, yeah. There were awards. As I recall, there was a stand where the,
A OA ^.
I don't know, possibly the Indian principal, W'u c ,o n S "r h college or of
education, I don't know, I can't recall exactly who it was or their, their
position. I don't know. I do recall same sort of introduction, same dialogue
before giving out the ,ircA., ajc CV;- s -'A.s c h',. nt .) 'C
There were, there were awards given i.Therse, but I.I,I don't re-
There were, there were awards given. Thre t,") ... but 1,1,1 don't re-
Page 17. mlh
neirber if _
B: In higfh school, did you, you went to Pembrooke High School?
B: In this inme, were there any other Indian high schools in the county?
H: Oh, yeah. Prospect, Magnolia, Kirk, Rome-that's about it. These,I,I'm
thinking in terms of conpetitions, as fas as athletics. I think there was
Pa Iclda It,
possibly ... I don't know the specific county....as
far as the county, I believe it would have been Fair Grove, Magnolia and
Prospect. Of course, 4hen fhAI wo Ile -t1/L/e A A "schools.
B: You say ccnpeted. These four schools formed sone sort of athletic conference?
H: Oh certainly, certainly. It was a longstanding thing. Tournament basketball,
I think basketball was probably the main thing and for example, my sister
got to play in 1954, and at that time, Penbrooke HIgh had been taking trophy
after trophy after trophy', Y t wh-f s.m I graduated in 1960, it was the same
therl I ve; kess
thing. And id was a helluva lot of carpetites between the schools
and there was sca, 1,1 think the best wa Ip da big fights between the
schools. O r r tournaments, basketball tournaments, baseball
playoffs I don't recall ever being a big problem. Playing basketball, be-
cause we, we had bte dann best team. We were probably the largest high
school, I,I,I don't know that for a fact, but I :would imagine we were.
I'm pretty sure we were the strongest academically. Our record shows that
we were. But, well, we were tough in basketball and we played, for example,
Pembrooke played a 1Jt of teams outside the Robeson County area. It's
Robeson County where I think im a fair amount of aQch t a8 n c-
prospect. It was tough, pretty strong. I think the record wi+ show one
Page 18. nlh
of the most c
B: But you, you never played any white schools within Robeson County?
H; Not that I can recall. No, //
B: White nor black?
B: So Bobeson County had three basketball champions-white, black, Indian?
H: I would have to assume. We didn't play the blacks, we didn't play the whites.
We didn't play each other. I would have-to assume at that time that it was a
B: Ccmpetition you said was pretty keen among the, the Indian high schools in
basketball. Was basketball the, shall I saythe highlight, of the school
year? I maan, would, was, was there anything that would bring together
students as much as basketball did? Was that a main topic of conversation?
H: We're talking now about a period wij I was in high school and of course,
we didn't have a field day type thing which was an annual event and I
think the only thing that we really had that did bring the schools together
in a, in a athletic event that was competitive was"of course basketball.
Baseball, for example, was very highly competitive, but it was held in the af-
ternoons. It came on in the early part of the year, school year, and I think
h4 t< -Ier d5 .( ion or do;,CJ )-) -rr WOr*
most kids were still going home ton and didn't nc o to t +h m tre- o
\ there were a lot of chores. And, I would imagine this didn't lend to parti-
cipation, attendance. However, basketball was held on, as best as I can
recall, I think on Tuesday and Thursday nights and this was an established
schedule year after year after year. It was always a good turnout. Every-
body was super rooting for oaEteam.
B: Did the rivalry between the Indian campunity schools carry ouer into other1
Page 19. mlh
other areas oAct An bhsf ?
H: Oh yeah, certainly. Socially, for example, a guy from Pembrooke could not
standing out on his position or let's say his relation to, to those in Pem-
brooke, could not at will go into a community and date a girl, for example.
A Lowry from Pembrooke could not, was not at liberty to go to Magnolia and
date a girl because there aren't that many damn LcwryS for example. Myself
as a Hunt,I could go to Fairmont and most tines, I could, you know, if I
had te-4'g, I could identify myself as a Hunt and relate to the people
S____but I think because of the damn competiveness, there was
nobody else to pick on really .... t don't, I think you're right-
ULev r neck o4 -/4e Lvoel3 &e're
it's us and you, you know, oeiaour -our little neighbl hI d wasA our can-
mnity, we've got our things, you've got your things,Istay in your little
syndrome and we've got ours and that's it. You know, i* you divide yourself
_____---- J 5.C1 Ir-l-fi
as the right-on sorta guy-I'ip with you, you-4eo 1 BrQi-j- / '- a break
it down, you could,you could go and becQa / 14 .p But it did extend
beyond athletic events certainly.
B: What you said about a Hunt, by being a Hunt you could go into the Fairmnnt
area and you feel that that kinship was a stronger bond than\his, this
H: Over relationships, certainly. I think, you as an example, weold- verify
that yourself. Having the Brook*' for example, in the FAirnnnt ccmiunity
and establish that. In the Magnolia community, you could ;o on your mother's
side OGia an,0 and I,I'm certain there, there's no doubt in my mind be-
cause I,I'm aware of people who had ..t* -zero relationship established
because of the, for example Jais Lowry. He, he didn't have a snowball's
Page 20. mlh
chance in hell of havig anything any place. "P' 4 rt ( fq 55, 1,4J +4e trr onr,
h'o. but nevertheless, he encountered difficulties every damn place he went.
B: So he was isolated from Magnolia, Fair Grove and Prospect because Lowry's...
H: Certainly. It was, it's, it's a very low fool thing to do. It's a Pembrooke
B: Pembrooke thing.
H: This particular group was. You know, to give you an example now, -he qrmoWc1
or, or Hunt, the Hunt clan that I belong to, was :' 'T k -=Ma go
back years and years and years. .1 i 5ps Ad Fairgroves Magnolias,
4 Pembrookes-so there is, there are sometimes between three places.
And I think/your,g-your position, I think goes the same way with the-Handles
6 roeks (rooks p
and the fieeks, the Heeks a little bit towards r p noto t ch,
but a little bit. Very distinctly, Fair Grove wa Cer4a, /j i'i 4' Ain.ri
Magnolia-Magnolia St. Paul Ministry.
B: Then you feel that The Indian communities by an intermarriage and moving
have became less clannish?
H: less clannish? No, that's a term that I wouldn't, I don't really turn on
but .t-think it'sI think clannish ranks high amcng Jewish people/ I've
never really felt that we were clannish. I thought we were possibly
in a sense. Clannish would mean, in ir connotation, would, would certainly
come over as a, oh, a particular group, tht-was very, collectively, no, I
don't m4ak0'e ger hen clannish. Intermarriages rank in about, no, I
don't feel Sa W 04 ) f because I think 5fjd
it possibly could ntined at the sae ace, the sae direction
it possibly could haN4-been continued at the same pace, at the same direction
Page 21. mlh
we were in the middle 50's, late 50's, it would have certainly brought ua
the, the Indian people together in Robescn County but there again, I think
trends, the economic situation was such that the people that were, were in a
position to bring about some sort of unity didn't stick around. They left.
Because, like I say, of the economic situatican 'he ef-. The u r to
"_______i "__________ to
things that)there were more kids graduating and I think in high school
records would indicate that each class, each class, succeeding class was
larger thif than the class before. And obviously, there were more people
that were, there were more aware people and I don't think for example that
most" high. school graduates were in a position to attend college because of
their, their financial position alone. There were certainly no dam jobs I-
l c,?(d h 9 VP-
theyhad to support, to support themselves through school so they had to
go off. And, and possibly or, or ultimately, it, it didn't bring about any
unity. It, probably the VeerQ case, it,it, I think if anything, it lead
to a standstill, possibly the worse case because I think because nobody ever
really got together because of the economic, economic or social obligations.
B: I guess really what I meant was that now high school kids dideae have much
bv to-4(t ?A^CX tu ke r -A S
interdating -i the Pembrooke commmityA Magnolia,afi, at the time in the
50's, with the kid\ as you said, w-*k-the kids fran Pembrooke and Magnolia
tLIh It "5
was dating.-stabe the kinship relation ?
H: No. You could ask Jeffries, he was down there.
4hW? 4 5s
B: I think another thing ik helped bring s- about and perhaps your stepparents
would be an example of this when people at one time, when an Indian received
becua _~t p4.tr r?0rl e P
his education, if he moved a step educationally at- allAfeom his community rdr
"an* migrate to Pembrooke....
Page 22. mlh
H: Oh certainly, certainly.
B: This in the past teryears has changed now. You had, for example, your
stepmother. She became educated, she lived in Pembrooke and she always
comuted to school. &- P
Th-s /s A W;
H: 4hat-La4 from Pembrooke e/-er t / As a matter of fact,
her husband was from te Parker Junior =l or *he Magnolia Junior Hall-4 ?
which .is where she wE-I and became, I think, that's, that was her es-
tablishment-the county school system. She established herself in the county
school system at Magnolia and was p/a / related to the kinship
wi;h beini o ?
thing -bt Daddy eme from that area. But I'm, I'm certain she did the joO.
B: Right. But as I understand in the past ten years and now, when persons for
example compare the Fairmont area, they have to get their college education)
no I olA er-
they didi't want to find it necessary to leave the area. They, they remain
in the area, build a brick home, and the community, as such, grew sane.
Did you go into college directly out of high school?
H: No. I, I was forbidden,forbade whatever the correct term would be. I
was forbidden to go to college fars, right from high school because of a
social problems I was barred from the college campus for a period of one
year due to a minor Indian-white o type^clash and we had, my pro-
bation was an ultimatum from the ...' to go'withstand this typa cu'
charges) or go through one year as, as a graduate from high school. You are
not allowed to came to college, you are not allowed to come on the college
campus which in a sense, posed a helluva problem because yewa you couldn't o
you couldn't come to town because, without going cn the dann college campus,
which I did, but you know the thing was that I could not attend college
Page 23. mlh
my first year out of high school because of the Indian-the white guy clash.
It was, it was just a regular old doobey-gunp thing which was a mistake on
both parties' part. However, it happened and that was the result.
B: Did you resent white people coming into the area? By area, I guess I mean
the college? I iho i,
H: At the time, I think so. There was a, in our opinion or my opinion, a very
distinct takeover am as such, in that, I think the, the feeling was, cer-
tainly on my part, that it, it, the college belonged to us. It was our
college. You know, my parents attended the college and graduated from it
and, and imported,if you will,sdomebasta outside. However, it was our
place-if you wanted to, yFtmT schoolteachers ) ell, you went to P.S.E.
and came out. You got your degree and you could be a schoolteacher in the
county system. With the influx of white kids, I think our, my opinion was
thatyou know, we lost same of what was ours. There seemed to be, oh little
things like you know, Christ, we lost the damn basketball team, we lost same
of the baseball teamnhich, like I said before, was winning championships.
Obviously, the guys that were looking at it now -mre qualified and 4he 'r" C ,
S*cc,^/,( are -- "e +Ae
apparently that the coaches 'are pretty straight basically and their response
T -ml.ri ri"' '-. give a damn what he is". But, there were, there were,
there were mrments of total disgust, I think, outright hatred for the people.
Most, most guys aW nowg I'll retract that, -there-were, there were tse as
0te -;)rl- +ha-f
who I,I remerrner for exanple,-vey few white guysAever cane '0 c cilez In utc/
next door Joe Williams and, and another guy by the name of Bob something,
Joe Williams was nice a guy as you would ever want to meet in yourif .
He and the family, the family was as damn lo as anybody here. He did ,
Page 24. mlh.
he didn't have, he didn't have a bad bone either. Se-ewas unique. He
was, and I think everybody recognized here was just a dann poor wiite boy
that,you know, was a nice guy. It didn't stop.....
^ ., 1 ,, i ." ^ u '' *. 1 !1'! i