Major C. W. Keith
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Full Text



Interview with Major C. W. Keith

Employed with FHP July 1, 1941

Interviewed by Jim Roddenberry

Date Interviewed January 17, 1989


JM: Good Morning! I am Jim Roddenberry and I am in the Florida

Highway Patrol Headquarters Building which is located in

the Neil Kirkman Building, Tallahassee, Florida. Today's

date is January 17, 1989, and it is Tuesday. It is a

beautiful morning. The temperature is in the low forties

early this morning. I have the pleasure of conducting an

oral interview of retired Florida. Highway Patrol Major C.

W. Keith. Also a retired Director of the Division of

Drivers License. The purpose of this interview is for the

Florida Highway Patrol oral history project in conjunction

with the Patrol's observance of its 50th Anniversary this

year and also in conjunction with the University of Florida

oral history program. Major Keith on the behalf of

Director Burkett and the staff of the Florida Highway

Patrol, let me just say that we appreciate so much you

taking your time to come out and participate in this

program. I think that during the year as you see the

events progress in the celebration of the Patrol's history,

which you were so much a part of over the years, that you

will like what you hear and what you see, so again, just

thank you so much. As a part of this interview we will

talk about your tenure or the many, many years you spent

with the Patrol, but we would also like to talk something

about Clay Keith himself and we won't start with when you

came on the Patrol, Major Keith, we will began back first

of all when were you born?

CWK: I was born July 4, 1917.

JM: Where were you born, Major Keith?

CWK: Born outside of Asheville, a little place called Democrat

which has now been incorporated and most of my boyhood days

were spent with my grandmother in this small community.

JM: Now where was this, Major Keith?

CWK A little place outside of Asheville called Democrat.

JM: And Asheville is in

CWK: and

JM: in South

CWK: North Carolina and Asheville is in Bunko County.

JM: What was your dad's name?

CWK: Dad's name was Frederick William Keith. Now I don't know

too much about my father, because he and my mother

separated when I was real small and as a result practically

up until I went to I guess until I was about the fifth or

sixth grade I didn't see my mother too much. She worked at

the Veterans Hospital at Oteen, North Carolina, which is

about forty miles from that little' farm of my grandmothers,

so I didn't know too much about him. When we moved into

Asheville, when I was about seven years old and I attended

the public schools in Asheville, and when I graduated from

high school I received a scholarship to go to Morris Hill

College, and Wake Forest College down in the eastern part

of the state contacted me. I didn't have the money in

those days, a scholarship only meant paying for the books

and maybe while you were there they would see that you got

enough employment with the university to keep to help a

little bit.

JM: Was it an academic scholarship?

CWK: Yes and so I went to Morris Hill College which is about

twenty-five miles northwest of Asheville. It is a junior

college and played baseball for them and of course up in

the mountains North Carolina there if you can play baseball

in the summer time you had a job with a blanket mill like

in Swannanoa, North Carolina. They had a big blanket mill

there. In fact North Carolina and South Carolina probably

at that time was the largest textile states in the United

States turn out most all of your blankets came out

of those two states. So in the summer time I played for

Bekin Mills that was a plant that made blankets and so I

got about $15.00 a week and back in those days for someone

first year in college that was good money. Of course when

I went to Morris Hill, I played ball for Morris Hill and we

played Furman up in South Carolina several small colleges,

but ..because of sickness and so forth at home I didn't

finish. I went only one year.

JM: Let us go back let us get your what was your

mother's full name, Major Keith?

CWK: Mother's full name was Annie Mable.

JM: And her the last name was her her maiden name.

CWK: Buckner B-u-c-k-n-e-r

JM: All right Annie A-n-n-i-e Mable Buckner B-u-c-k-n-e-r. So

after you attended college for a year where did you go from


CWK: I was running a or working for a drug store there in a

little place called Oteen, North Carolina.

JM: And you were about nineteen or twenty at that time?

CWK I was, yes, about eighteen nineteen and a friend of mine,

Mr. Earl Brown, from DeLand, Florida, he brought his family

up to North Carolina every year. So I got to know him. He

was a promoter, a craftsman, I guess you would say that he

was, today we would say that he was in the marketing

business. He build dy for exhibits and in

fact he put on the exhibit for the State of Florida when

they had an exhibit at the at Chicago at the Century

Progress Fair at Chicago, that was 33 and 34 and in 35 and

36 at the Great Lakes Exhibition and Cleveland he put on an

exhibit for the State of Florida. So he came in the drug

store one day and I got to talking with him and he told me

that when I got some time off to come and see him in

DeLand, Florida.

JM: Now you were taking about the year 1935, 1936?

CWK: 1935 well I would say this was about this was in 1939

when I was talking with him. So that was in the spring of

1939, so I got some time off and went down to DeLand to see

him and of course he had a business called the Florida

National Exhibits. He was a promoter as I say he was

surrounded by a group of craftsmen, machinist, and people

like that and he would help by building things to sell your

product. That was his business and of course he was the

mayor of DeLand. So I stayed down there for about a week

^ --

and he told me he said, why don't you stay down here, you

can work for me. So during that time there were some

articles in the newspaper about the Highway Patrol being


JM: In Florida?

CWK: In Florida, now keep in mind in North Carolina, I had

already made an application for the North Carolina Highway

Patrol. So any how I started working for him and he had a

contract with the State of Florida to put the exhibit at

the World Fair and so I went to work for him.

JM: And we and we in 1939

CWK: Thirty-nine in December.

JM: OK December of 39.

CWK: Right and we started preparing all the exhibits for the

World Fair in 1940 or you know, so I went to New York with

him and of course he was just like a father to me, he and

his wife, and I met a lot of real important people at that

time or turned out to be later. Grover Whalen who was the

Mayor of the City of New York he was real close to Mr.

Brown 'and I would visit with them. I guess maybe the first

time I ever saw a fifty dollar bill was when I was with

that group. I didn't know they made one. But we worked

and put those exhibits in and I was helping on an

electrical part. We had a lot of craftmen there. It was

what you, I guess my specific responsibility was trying to

help out, I was a helper I didn't have much training in

that area, but any how it was cold up there. I had never

been that far north and during that period of time while I

was at the Fair as I indicated I met Johnny Weismiller,

Eleanor Home, I met Gregory Peck, these are people that

were in other booths with plays and things of this nature.

Everybody would come in of the morning and go through the

styles and go to work. Diana Shore she was in an exhibit

up there trying to get off the ground singing and things of

this nature. So, I met Governor Combs in the Florida

Building we had a room for the governor and had a lot of

parties and all of this was to sell the State of Florida.

This was what the state was spending to get the people to

come to the State of Florida that is what it was all about.

During that process, I come to know Mr. Ed Ball real well

and back when we left New York and came back when the Fair

was over the first year, I use to take Mr. Brown down to

Port St. Joe to see him. So when the Patrol started

talking about putting men on and so forth, I got an

application and submitted the application and had some good

references and I told Mr. Brown that this was really what I

wanted to do. He said well if he could help he would be

glad to.

JM: What motivated you Major Keith to become interested in law


CWK: Well there were quite a few individuals in my family that

were in enforcement in North Carolina,

Asheville, County, 'some were on the police

department and some were on the sheriff's department. I

grew up around people in enforcement so I guess that was

the motivation and everybody respected them and so this was

what I wanted to do. So when they started organizing the

Patrol up in North Carolina, I put my application in up

there before I left to come to Florida. But I guess to

make a long story short, I didn't seem like I was getting

too far with my application and you kept waiting on the

mail everyday. So I come to Tallahassee and the

legislature was in session, not the legislature, what was

happening was at the time I came to Tallahassee it was in

November of 1940, well that was right after Governor

Holland had been elected to governor and there was a

Cherokee Hotel and I ran into later turned out to be

Tony Maseda all dressed up in his uniform, looked real

sharp, with boots and his britches and so forth. I talked

with him and told him who I was and so forth. He told me

that they had many, many applications down at the

headquarters but he gave me some tips on who to contact.

^- -w

JM: Where was headquarters?

CWK Headquarters was in the Martin Building, the Highway Patrol

in the Martin Building.

JM: What did the old Martin Building use to be back during that

time, what was its purpose?

CWK: Well the Martin Building housed the Department of Motor

Vehicles and Highway Patrol had part of the bottom floor of

the Martin Building, what is now the old Martin Building

was torn down and now the City Hall is there in that place.

But Tony gave me some good advice on who to contact and he

told me that the Chairman of the Road Department and the

Governor was the persons that was in charge of the Highway

Patrol and that was right at that time. When it was first

organized it was under the Governor and the Chairman of the

Road Department. He told me that the Chairman of the Road

Department, Judge Perkins, was from DeLand. He told me,

well he got out a map, told me I had to know the geography,

I still got that map, and told me about what I needed to

study the laws of evidence, things of this nature, and he

told me to go by the Martin Building and maybe I could pick

on up. I went by the Martin Building and I met Frank

Tidwell who was one of the original members of the Highway

Patrol and Frank lent me a accident investigation book to

use plus a book on evidence, I have still got those two


JM: Was he an officer, Major Keith?

CWK: No, he was a trooper, he was a trooper.

JM: Was he assigned to the Martin Building?

CWK: He was assigned to Tallahassee and I think he was from

really down on the east coast, Frank Tidwell, so Frank gave

me that and when I got back to DeLand I asked Mr. Brown if

he knew Judge Peacock, he was the County Judge, and he said

yes I know the Judge. Well he was real close, he was

apparently one of Governor Holland's closest friends there

in Volusia County. I went to see him and talked with him

and told him I was interested in it and so he told me that

he would do what he could, he understood that they had

5,000 or 10,000 applications up here. He said you know

they are just going to put on a few. But in the meantime,

I had met Betty Stover, my wife. Now Betty she lived in

DeLand and her father was Dr. Ervin C. Stover and he was a

professor at the Stetson University in charge of the speech

department. He was real close to Judge Peacock. So I had

to go talk to Dr. Stover.

JM: Was Judge Peacock a County Judge?

CWK: He was a County Judge.

JM: Do you recall his full name?

CWK: No I don't.

JM: All right.

CWK: Dr. Stover he went to see the Judge too I think Betty's

father was on the School Board and in fact, Judge Peacock

just lived three or four blocks from Dr. Stover. So I got

word from Dr. Stover that Judge Peacock wanted to see me

again. So I went to see him and he told me that he was

coming to Tallahassee and wanted to know if I wanted to

come with him and he said we will go in and see Director

Gillman and I said yes sir.

JM: Who was Director Gillman?

CWK: He was, when Governor Holland was inaugurated in January of

1941, he appointed Jess J. Gillman as Director of the

Department of Public Safety and he was the man that we went

to see. So I thought we never would get to Tallahassee.

JM: In 1941.

CWK: In 1941.

JM: In 1941.... inaudible....

CWK: I don't know it seems to me like I don't know this was in

the spring, I guess, 1941. So the Judge knew him real

good, Judge smoked a little corn cob pipe and he was always

sticking his fingers down in it to keep the ashes inside.

We went into his office in the Martin Building, ground

floor, and he had several people around in the building and

in his office, Ms. Ruby Redfern that used to work for us

that was Major Smith's secretary and was with us even out

in the Kirkman Building for years, you know Ruby. She was

his secretary, Ms. Redfern told us, the Judge had

apparently been there before because she acted like she

knew him if it hadn't been that it was either that or she

had a good personality knowing how to deal with people, so

we got in finally, Judge Peacock went in and in a few

minutes I was called in, I met Mr. Gillman and he asked me

a little bit why I wanted on the Patrol and where I was

from and so forth like that and so I told him. He

indicated that the cap on the Patrol the legislature had

just I think he indicated that the legislature, well was

either in session, I think the legislature was in session

from what he indicated, that they were raising the cap from

sixty up over one hundred men for the Patrol, but he was

telling me and Judge Peacock how many applications he had.

He said he had a file cabinet full of them, but he told the

Judge he would keep me in mind and we left. I say we left,

we went down to see a gentlemen by the name of Tribble who

was in the Attorney General's office, he used to be a

professor at Stetson University, who was a close friend to

Dr. Stover, Mr. Tribble, then after we got through we went

back to DeLand. Everyday I was looking for that letter and

I just had my heart and soul set on getting on the Patrol.

I didn't know, you get to thinking about I guess I am not

telling you anything I imagine that whenever you put your

application in for the Patrol you probably felt the same

way I did. You would meet the postman everyday whenever he

was coming. So, the letter finally came. I don't know

what date that I received the letter in DeLand, but I still

got the letter and that letter from Mr. Gillman indicated

that I had been asked to participate in the Patrol school

in Lakeland, Florida, at the Floridian Hotel. Be there by

July 1, and it had a paragraph in it that they advised me

not to quit your employment but to tell your employer that

to ask him for a kind of a leave. Because they had so many

applicants if you failed to pass then you would have a job

whenever you got back. They didn't and I felt like today

looking back I thought that was real good to say listen

don't quit your job, be here but in case you don't make it

you will have something to go back to.

JM: You were still working with Mr. Brown?

CWK: Still working with Mr. Brown. It indicated that even

though that we were selected to attend the school that

didn't mean that we were going to have a job, that we would

be on our own. We would have to pass the examinations and

it indicated that your political friends may have helped

you get this application or get to Lakeland, but they were

not going to help you with your grades and he wanted us to

understand that. There was a paragraph on that, about the

political angle that had you not had some friends it just

spelled it out that was fortunate enough to get you where

you are that's good, but from now on you are on your own.

If you don't make it you are not going to stay there. Well

I guess I was the proudest man that ever walked down the


JM: Were you a single man at that time?

CWK: Yes.

JM: You knew Miss Betty during that time?

CWK: Oh yes.

JM: And you knew Dr. Stover?

CWK: Yeah, 'a single man, No, No, I got married May 1, 1940.


!^ ---

JM: All right let's talk about that. All right you got married

May 1, 1940, to and what was Miss Betty's full name to

include her maiden name?

CWK: Her name was Elizabeth Gwendolyn Stover.

JM: All right you were married when in 1940?

CWK: May 1, 1940, in DeLand in her home.

JM: And you were living in DeLand, still there?

CWK: Yes.

JM: OK let us go on to your, let's talk about your family life

for just a minute and through the years you had two real

fine children, tell me just a little bit about those

children, when was the first one born and where they are


CWK: Nancy my oldest daughter, her name is Nancy Keith Wheaton

now, she married a Wheaton.

JM: When was she born?

CWK: She was born September 9, 1941, she now lives in Lake City,

her husband is the Director of the Veterans' Hospital over

in LaketCity.
I r

I .

JM: And what is his name?

CWK: His name is Tom F. Wheaton, and they have two children, one

is named Tommy and the other one is Annie. I have a son

who was born July 3, 1943, in Lakeland, Florida.

JM: What is his full name?

CWK: His name is Paul Frederick Keith and he works with the

Department of Administration here in Tallahassee. He has

two children, Jessica and Kelly, one is seven and one is


JM: His wife's name is?

CWK: Her name is Debbie.

JM: Maiden name?

CWK: Crumwell, she was from over Fairhope, Alabama. He met her

at FSU. Then after Paul came along, after Paul was born,

I, you know, I thought we were through with our family.

Here about thirteen years later in 1957, we had a little

one, Betty did, Catherine Ann Keith. Catherine was born

here in Tallahassee, and she lives in Tallahassee now. She

works for, she majored in Marketing, Advertisement, and Art

at FSU. She works for Commissioner Connor at the present

time. Of course that was, Cathy is probably we know more

about her, she has been, well I am just glad she came along

because she has meant so much to us. All of them are doing

well and I am proud of them.

JM: You may have told me Cathy's date of birth but in the event

you didn't, what is it

CWK: Catherine's date of birth is July 12, 1957, all my children

except one was born in the month of July in an odd numbered

year except my oldest daughter, even my grand baby Kelly

was born July 1.

JM: It is a coincidence.

CWK: Yeah and of course Betty's is on the 13th of July.

Throughout the years Betty has been good and hung in there

with us and since I retired I guess maybe the hardest job I

have had is getting adjusted to her. Since the

reorganization in 1969 I have been coming out to this

building out here the Kirkman Building and be here at 7 and

get home about 5:30 or 6:00. I just didn't know the woman.

JM: You didn't mention the Saturdays and Sundays that you were

out here too, Major Keith that I do know about. All right

that's all right we will talk about this a little bit later

on. All right so you got your family and you got a lot to

be proud of there. We got you down in Lakeland now where

they have just about scared you to death as far as coming

on the Patrol with the letter you got so let us pick up

from there.

CWK: All right at the school there they had, as a result of

being with Captain Martin who was probably responsible for

the school being there as well as Jess Gillman he was from

Lakeland, Governor Holland was from Bartow, but there was

121 that reported to that school.

JM: When was this Major?

CWK: This was 1941, July. July 1, 1941, was when my letter said

to report. I know from being around Captain Martin back in

those days how many reported, I know how many graduated.

The largest school we have ever had and since that time we

have none that were larger. There was 87 in that school

that graduated. Most of the men disqualified because of

some physical impairment. Everybody was scared to death.

Every time that they had a class they would tell you, they

used a lot of diplomacy there, they would tell you that if

you didn't pass this examination that you would have to go

because they didn't have, they had a quote here. They

couldn't go beyond it because all of the fees for drivers

licenses went to support the Department of Public Safety

but they told you when you went in if you had a test that

day and if you didn't pass that test that you would have to


JM: How long was the school scheduled for?

CWK: One month, four weeks, and of the morning we would get up

and most of our training was, well a lot of our exercise

was up on the top of the hotel. Then the National Guard,

back of the National Guard was a field, Lieutenant

Robinson, Robby Robinson.

JM: Ralph Robinson?

CWK: Ralph Robinson, he is the one that was training us.

JM: Let's go back if I may revert just a second to Captain

Martin, what was his full name Major Keith do you recall?

CWK: Howard C. Martin.

JM: And he was calmly referred to as was it Red Martin?

CWK: Yeah. So we every morning we would get up and of course

we would have dungarees that we would put on and then we

would,' for our exercise, he would march us down the street

out to the Armory, about a quarter of a mile. I remember

- -

the first morning that he lined us all up, he said, he was

a real comical individual, lined us all up and said OK

those of you that were in the Marine Corps. take two steps

forward and of course out of the group I guess two lines

there were several men to step forward, then he said OK the

rest of you can go home.

JM: Well now he was an Ex-Marine if I recall.

CWK: Yeah and he would let you know it too. So he said rest of

you go home. Then they had a gentleman from Northwestern

Traffic Institute to teach evidence, that was the hardest,

accident investigation, and then they had

McArthur was the attorney for the Department. He taught

the traffic laws and the drivers license laws and so forth.

It was hard on us, I guess, now I was ahead of the game

because when I got to school I knew they placed a lot of

emphasis on geography. I knew every road in the state

where it started and where it ended. The counties, county

seats, and I could draw the map and put the counties in.

Finally when Captain Hall from Eglin Field, I had a man to

make us a map, went to the State Road Department and got a

map and he cut the map out in a jigsaw puzzle for them to

use at the school where they would know where the counties

went. So I already had that behind me and a lot of the

information in the evidence book, accident investigation, I

had read those books one or two times and I, the meeting

^ -M

with Tony, the meeting with Frank Tidwell and those books

helped me tremendously. I possibly wouldn't have my friend

that I got to know while I was in school spent so much

time on that geography..

JM: On the map.

CWK: Yeah on the map. Anyhow we got through a lot of the men,

what would make you nervous is that you were going up to

the class room people men were leaving with their suit

cases going down, this is what really, you know that 'had a

terrific affect on you and so here I was I just hoped

and prayed that I would you know make my grades and so


JM: Well Major Keith did you draw salary from the Patrol while

you were attending recruit -class?

CWK: Yes I think we drew maybe $50 or $75 I don't know. There

was something here.

JM: What was the first salary you recall?

CWK: $125.00.

JM: That was you know upon completion of the Patrol school


CWK: Yes, Yes.

JM: $125.00?

CWK: After we graduated then they called us in and, this about

scared us to death, they selected 30 of us to stay an

additional two weeks to take to learn how to give

drivers licenses examinations.

JM: I see.

CWK: See in 1941 that legislature whenever Mr. Gillman was

appointed Director in January 1941 he had legislation

prepared. When the Department of Public Safety in 1939,

the Director of the Department was under the Governor and

the Chairman of the Road Department. The reason they did

that they felt like that, and that is one reason why

Colonel Kirkman was hired, they felt like that the man here

that was on the Patrol ought to know something about

weights and engineering. This you will find is in the

history of the Highway Patrol. That is the reason they put

the Chairman of the Road Department in there. Mr. Gillman

drew a bill and then when one was organized we had two

divisions, the Highway Patrol and the State Motor Vehicle

Drivers License. That was under the Motor Vehicle


JM: The Drivers License then were...inaudible...to be

administered prior to 1941 by this, by who now?

CWK: By the state Motor Vehicle Commission.

JM: All right.

CWK: The money was ear marked for the Highway Patrol, so you had

a clumsy situation here, so Mr. Gillman did two things, the

bill provided in part that the Director of the Department

of Public Safety would be hired and under the control of

the Governor and Cabinet. That the Division of Drivers

License be moved transferred from the Motor Vehicle

Commission to Public Safety. It also provided that you

have an increase in drivers license, those under eighteen

years of age could get a license for fifty cents. Those

over the age of eighteen it cost a dollar and they had what

they called multiple license. You as a father could go in

and get licenses for everyone in your family if you had the

money and if you had enough information to fill out the


JM: Without any type of examination?

CWK: Without any type of examination. But this was not unusual

because most of the states that is the way they started


JM: This is a continuation of the interview with Major Keith on

January 7, 1989. Major Keith we were talking just before

we turned the tape over about the DL fees and that most

states had a way of doing this, pick back up from this.

CWK: Yes, as I indicated that in order to hire additional

personnel they had to be an increase in fees. At that

particular time the drivers license fees was ear marked for

the operation of the Department of Public Safety. That

bill provided for an increase. It also provided that

anyone after October 1, 1941, who had let their license

expire as well as those people who had been suspended or

revoked would have to take a drivers license examination to

get a license. So that is where your examination

started was October 1, 1941. Now these, and the County

Judges issued the drivers license. We prepared the

application, the applicant would take the application to

the County Judge and pay his fee and get his drivers

license. Now I got a little ahead of myself here about the

bill so that morning that 30 of us were called out of that

class room before the end of the school not knowing what we

were called out for.

JM: You thought the school might have just ended for you?

CWK: Yes, we thought it had ended. So we were pulled out and

they told us that we had been selected, there were 30 of us

that had been selected to give drivers license

examinations, and this was new, so therefore, we would have

to stay an additional two weeks. But they were going to

give us four or five days off to go home but we had to come


JM: Four or five days would be after you had graduated from the

..inaudible...month long Patrol school.

CWK: That was the question that was asked more right then, are

we still on the Patrol, that was the first question that we

asked. I think Captain Martin was the one that was talking

with us. He or Sergeant Clifton that was Colonel Reid


JM: Who later became?

CWK: The Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. Now he was

there during the school, Colonel Clifton and Clyde Carlan

and Britt, now Britt came in Captain Britt, Mack Britt,

whenever we came back for the examiners school. I am

thinking later Simmons was in that school. H. Lee Simmons

who was finally the Deputy Inspector a great man and all of

us had determined years later that we were the ones

selected to go we were on the hit list we felt like that

was the reason they gave us the job to do the examining.

But any how we returned to Lakeland and Glenn Carmichael

was the one who taught us. Glenn Carmichael was the one at

that time was with the National Safety Council. He later

was the Executive Director of the American Association of

Motor Vehicle Administrators, then he went from there when

Dr. Hadden was appointed the first Director of National

Highway Safety Administration, he was, Dr. Hadden was the

first one that was appointed and he selected Glenn

Carmichael to help him, so Glenn left the Association at

that time. I just wanted to give you some background. But

he conducted the school and we felt bad about it because we

later found out, see when you, when the people who

graduated from that school, there were some things that

were real important to us. The appointment card, your

badge number, your revolver had all the same number.

appointment card, badge number, and your revolver that was

real important to us. Some of us because that we assumed

being pulled out maybe that. didn't work out for us. Mine

was just right.

JM: What was your number?

CWK: 159 that was my badge number and I have still got it,

appointment card too, I still got it and the revolver we

had to' turn that in for the Magnum years ago. But any how

we got through the school, my first assignment was Winter

Haven, FKlorida.

JM: Now this is after you graduated?

CWK: Two weeks.

JM: Assigned to Winter Haven, Florida?

CWK: Winter Haven, Florida, so....

JM: You are talking about late September or October?

CWK: We were talking about the school finished, we are talking

about, we started....well before October. The school was

in July that is a month then two weeks more, but our

assignment I reported to Bartow that was headquarters.

Bartow was the headquarters of the central division at that

time we had three divisions in the state. The top of the

state we had the northern division, central division, and

southern division. Captain Lee was in

charge of the northern division, Captain H. C. Martin was

in charge of the central division and Captain Senate was

troop commander down in the southern division. So I

reported to Bartow and Captain Martin was with us at the

school the whole time. He was at the school and after that

school he was made a lieutenant but they were Clifton,

Martin', Carlan, and Britt they were all there and Captain

suggested before October the 1st that was when the drivers

license expired it was good from October 1st to October

1st, one year.

JM: Twelve months?

CWK: Yes sir. So my responsibilities were to go to these

locations we had seven locations in that county to go to.

Polk County is a big county about 50 miles square, had

seven locations and the Captain indicated that, well I said

we reported to the Captain, we reported to Sergeant Olin

Hill, he was a great man, I loved Captain Hill, I mean

Sergeant Hill, we reported to him. He was the one that

instructed Captain Martin in what to do and going to give

examinations go and locate us a place to give them. We had

to do that, we had to do that, they suggested maybe the

city hall, court house, wherever you can go. Well so we

did that, I was informed by Sergeant Hill that I would be

issued a motorcycle and I had application forms, I had test

papers, I had an eye chart about that long and I wondered

how I was going to get that in the saddle bag. Captain

Martin said give me a ruler so he measured and cut it in

half and put a piece of adhesive tape on it and folded it

up and said put it in your bag. So my saddle bags carried

my supplies to give examinations.

JM: All right sir let us stop here. Describe your uniform,

Major Keith that you had that you were using at that time

and also tell us a little bit about, you didn't have a

patrol car apparently, I am assuming you had a motorcycle

so just tell us a little bit about the uniform and your

patrol unit.

CWK: I was going to get to that. The uniform was a forest green

trousers, a broadcloth forest green shirt, black tie, a cap

(I despised it) it was green and around the top it had an

orange band. It had orange piping around the edge of the

top. Of course you had black shoes your leather was black.

JMR: Did you have a black stripe on the trousers?

CWK: A black stripe on the trousers, yes. That is what we left


JMR: How about the shoulder patch down there.

CWK: I had one shoulder patch on the left hand side. It had

Highway Patrol it had a definition it had FLA. left

side so what we did there we were also issued some of it

was lucky men that had quit they had winter uniforms that

the original group started out with beautiful. The hat was

beige,- ___hat, it had an orange band around it

and the shirt was forest green with orange piping around

the epaulettes and around your pockets. The trousers were

whip cord so we I think that first year everybody got in to

the winter uniform early that year. Everybody liked the

other uniform, of course it was very clumsey you couldn't

hardly ride a motorcycle with a hat on that disappointed me

but I loved that uniform. It was real nice and outstanding

looking and you were proud of it. I was not proud of the

other uniform and don't think anybody else was. But any

how you were just proud to be one of the members of the

Highway Patrol. I worked out of Bartow, I mean out of

Winter Haven for awhile and the Captain transferred me to

Bartow and sometimes I was fortunate to have a car. But

most of my trips were on a motorcycle.

JMR: Did you take the motorcycle home with you when you were off

duty, Major Keith?

CWK: Oh yes, I took the motorcycle. I was taught how to when it

was raining how to put it on backwards all these things for

it. I took, we had parallel parking standards made out of

wood the bottom of them with a spring on it and then a four

foot post made out of a two-by-two. I put one of the

bottoms in each saddle bag and stuck the other one I had a

frame work on the side I went down to the Ford Motor

Company but when I took off I had on each side after I got

on, I, had my sticks, parallel parking signs and the

extension where it would stand up in this framework, I

would take that with me on the motorcycle.

- "^

JMR: What kind of motorcycle was it, Major Keith?

CWK: Harley Davidson it was an eight-four Harley. Weight about

500 pounds and we had a man that could, Peter Lewis was our

Sergeant after Olin Hill left from Bartow and he was much

of a man when he wanted to turn it around from talking you

he would just pick it up between his legs and walk it

around. It was might heavy and it seemed like whenever you

fell it always caught up with you and landed on top of you,

you couldn't get away from it, I loved it. The only

problem that you had with a motorcycle and had some times

with it going to and from your places you would run into

accidents, you had no communication, somebody would come by

and you would tell them to, give them the number to Bartow

and have them call one of the men so you could go ahead to

your assignment to give examinations and the public was

real helpful to us, respected us, and proud of us, I think

they were as proud as we were. It was virgin territory and

everybody liked us, every time you would go out and have to

give an examination at the court house they would be out

there looking at your motorcycle wanting to know how fast

it could go and all that kind of stuff. The motorcycles

the problem that you would have when you ran into a man

that was driving while intoxicated you pull up and tell him

to pul'l over he would pull over, the problem that you would

always have, not always but most of the time, you would

. I ,

have to take everybody to the county seat for whatever

violation that you had, whether it was DWI or running a

stop sign. You had to take him to the county jail, write a

ticket and turn him over to the sheriff. So if you came up

on a man while intoxicated you were happy enough and told

him that he had a little too much to drink and you would

have to take him and he didn't have any problem with that.

Where we had the problem was whenever you told him to scoot

over and you would drive his car, that's when you had the


JMR: In other words you were taking the man to jail in his own

automobile. You left your motorcycle there?

CWK: Oh yeah, you had to leave your motor there. But this is

what separated the men from the boys and I weighed about

155 pounds with everything on.

JMR: Full uniform?

CWK: Full uniform, and I, during my ten years with the Patrol in

Polk County, I was drug up and down those ditches many

times. I always felt like if I could talk him into getting

him to the jail I could get some help and most of the time

I could, but you occasionally would run in to one out there

and it was embarrassing to tell, stop a motorist, we

stopped a lot of them. I didn't mind stopping a truck

driver and just say, buddy I need some help with this man.

After I had had one or two experiences of that drug up and

down the road, I got brave and would stop a truck driver

and say my friend I need some help. This boy here don't

want to get out, I don't want to hurt him, I want you to

help me. So now if he went out down off a highway you were

down in the sand you might as well forget him just let him

go because it took somebody real good to operate a

motorcycle in the sand and a lot of them would do that.

JMR: Did you ever have one to ride in to the jail on the


CWK: No, No.

JMR: That was a no,no?

CWK: No I couldn't do that, couldn't do that. But anyhow you

ran in to some real experiences there in those days as I

indicated going to and from your place of examinations

people in the groves if someone was hurt, now on your

motorcycle the biggest thing you had on it was a first aid

kit. People would come out of the groves if you had

someone hurt and would try to help them, I have set legs

out in the field with just plain planks, they had nobody

else to look to. So they would go out and stop you. This

was done a lot, as I indicated the Patrol, it was virgin

territory, Sergeant Hill used to tell us these people in

these groves whenever you come in contact with one of their

employees black, white, or whatever color might be and of

course the sheriffs didn't like that, but we did it, I

guess the Patrol started that way, we would issue the man

after we had talked to him a little bit other than DWI like

reckless driving and speeding, we would give them a summons

and, tell them to be in Bartow Monday morning for court, he

would be there, he would bring his boss with him. If you

told someone to do something you didn't have any problems.

JMR: In those days a man's word was almost his bond.

CWK: This is right.

JMR: In many instances it was.

CWK: Whenever we would have accidents out there, going to

investigate accidents we would always have two flashlights

we would get the public to help us with the traffic and

they loved to do that, they loved to help you, just wanted

to be asked. But I guess maybe that after I got home in

the afternoon about 5:00 we would, some of the men would

come by and pick me up and I would ride until about 10 or

11 o'clock with them. Occasionally, I would have a car, it

being 'troop headquarters a lot of times you had extra cars

there and Sergeant Hill whenever he could he would let me

use a car.
-* j

JMR: You did have radio communications?

CWK: No not at that time and I will get on up here in 1943

that's when we began to install it, the communications

system. As I indicated this morning the first well it may

or may not have been when I was talking to you on tape the

biggest surprise that I received was whenever I was asked

by Sergeant Hill to teach in a school in Lakeland in 1943.

To teach drivers license and how to take care of equipment.

JMR: How often were you giving drivers test, you started in 1941

and 1942 in Polk County and I believed that you indicated

earlier that there were seven locations that you were

looking for in Polk County?

CWK: In Polk County, yes.

JMR: Did you give them on a daily basis, everyday you gave....

CWK: No, no, Lakeland.and Bartow is the largest cities in that

county, so we spent two full days, one day in each of those

places then you went other places one-half a day. Like

Frostproof, Fort Meade, Haines City, Lake Wales, and Winter

Haven, you would go half days.

JMR: Did you for an example if you gave test in one city in the

morningspart that afternoon you did regular patrol duty?
_> r

CWK: No, no, I had full time, unless somebody was sick.

JMR: Full time what now Major?

CWK: Giving examinations, actually I thought when I started

giving examinations and all of us did that we felt like we

didn't go to school to be an examiner and I felt like if I

would do a good job maybe they would put me on the road.

During that period of time, Captain Martin would send me

other places that was during the war and during that period

of time we hired a lot of undesirable people on the Patrol

a lot hired. We hired well a lot of new people so I was

selected to go to different counties to teach these people

how to give examinations, so that took a lot of my time.

JMR: Were you working five days or six days a week?

CWK: I was working, we worked five and one-half days a week,

half day on Saturday, then the rest of the time I would

ride with someone if there was a patrol car there I would

use it. This went on and of course in those days what

happened during the war you had a lot of conveys coming

through the county you had 17-92 was the main thing how to

get to Tampa from Orlando 17-92 you know Plant City to

Lakeland up through there and so lot of them would turn

over, gasoline trucks had a lot of escorts, army equipment,

things of this nature and of course if I was giving

examinations and they called the office where I was giving

the examination and said there was an accident, I was

informed, I said I am sorry I have got to go I'll be back

here next week or I will be in Fort Meade tomorrow, I would

tell them but that was a priority so you just had to leave

and most of the people who came, I would say a great

percentage of them we had trouble with them writing we had

a lot of people that couldn't read and write and I learned

a lot from those people. We had to write out the

application for them, the Judge complained that he couldn't

read it so that is what we would have to do is print it and

let them raise their hand, take an oath, and they would

take this to the County Judge and get the type of license

that we had indicated on the application.

JMR: And you were administering a written test then, Major


CWK: Yes.

JMR: All right, and driving test too?

CWK: We gave them a vision test, a road sign test, road rules

test and a driving test. Now keep in mind that I indicated

to you' that we only examined original persons getting their

license plus these people who had been suspended or revoked

that is the only ones that we would examine. So as a

result we gave them a complete examination. Anyhow we,

remember in 1943 after the school in Lakeland after I

taught that school Sergeant indicated that everybody

thought I had done a pretty good job, but I really studied

for that it made me real proud to be able to teach the men

the drivers license laws and taking care of the uniforms.

I really spent a lot of time on that, after that school is

whenever Captain Martin informed Sergeant Hill that Captain

Smith who was the executive officer up in Tallahassee was

going in service.

JMR: Who was Captain Smith, what was his first name?

CWK: Captain J. Wallace Smith was the executive officer under

Director Gillman. He was the top man under him, that he

was going into service and Hill had been elected to go to

Tallahassee to be his assistant during the absence of

Captain Smith, so that is when that happened in 1943. In

that same year, Den Denby from the City of Miami who was a

radio engineer he came to Bartow to install the radios the

two-way radios and of course during the war, wire,

everything was hard to get, your tires, your gasoline, all

of this was rationed. So Captain Martin had a friend and

we needed some wire. They build a tower out in the

Highlands that is out between Lakeland and Bartow the

highest point that is where the Bartow Radio Tower was to

-- ~"^

be. Mr. Denby told us what we needed and Doug Willis,

Patrolman Doug Willis, was in Polk County at that time

stationed in Lakeland. Doug had some experience with being

a lineman working for telephone company. They apparently

got permission but it was about five miles from the station

to the tower. Willis and I took a pickup truck and the

wire and we strung that wire, he put the wire on the

telephone poles to hook up WKSO in Bartow, man that was

something, they had on top and center of the car they had

this was the antenna it went up about four or five feet

above the top of the car. Limbs and everything hit it and

all that kind of stuff.

JMR: That would almost touch wires wouldn't it?

CWK: Yeah. So they installed this two-way radio and no I forget

Earl Burchard showed up in Bartow at the station and one

night about 5:30 the station was closed and so we I took

him home with me, he was supposed to be in charge of the

radios, the engineer.

JMR: He had been hired by the Patrol?

CWK: Yes, to be the radio engineer. So that is when I met Earl

Burchard and Earl of course at that time keep in mind we

had the barracks in the Patrol. Everywhere the State Road

Department had an office, the Highway Patrol had a room or

two rooms, the Patrol had no stations, when I went to work

there was only well no when I went to work I don't

know of any patrol station that we had but wherever DOT the

State Road Department had an office, we had an office

there, so we had a barracks there, so somebody had to stay

there when sleeping there every night to listen to that

radio and answer calls, well we were there when somebody

had to be there. But anyhow they got the radio in and I

think it was early probably I don't know when I don't

remember the time of the year that Earl came in but seemed

like it started in 43 and maybe whether or not they

installed it all over the state I don't know in that year.

But I do know that 1944 that we had about 7 or 8 stations

throughout the state one in Pensacola, Tallahassee,

Jacksonville, Palatka, and on down, see. That 43 that was

in 43 that same year we were asked, Captain Martin advised

us said that we would go to Tampa on a certain day to be

measured for a new uniform. So we went to Tampa and got

measured for new uniforms and we asked the Captain what

color they were going to be and of course he said that he

didn't know exactly but he understood that they would be an

army pink, just like the army officers in the service wore

and of course everybody liked the green winter uniform with

the piping, orange piping. But Captain Martin indicated

that they couldn't get the wool, the armed forces had all

the green tied up they couldn't get the wool from the

factories so we had to go to another color. Mr. Gillman

I .

had, and I later found that this was true, he had selected

another color and this was the, I never will forget when

they came in, the uniforms they were sharp, they came in

that fall, this was in about 1944 was when they came in

late 1943 or 1944 could have been but boots, riding

britches, and olive drab blouse, we called it the Smokey

Bear the hat was a graphite blue, now something sharp, it

was sharp, with an orange band around it, it was sharp.

The uniform that we have got right now doesn't look half as

good as it would if you had a contrast I will get into that

later. But it was not designed for the hat we wear now and

I will get into that. But they were sharp, we wore on

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we wore our britches, our

boots, britches, and blouse on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

until such time we worked all the green out. I told you

there that we had a lot of trouble with tires, if you ran a

car too far, too fast, at long periods of time to try and

catch somebody the whole tire would come apart. You had

synthetic rubber and the whole outside of it was like a

retread it would just come off.

JMR: You were riding in 40 or 41 Fords or do you recall?

CWK: At that time you had even up into 44 you had some but very

few when I was there in Polk County in 42 or 41, 42, and 43

and sill had some of the old cars the ones they started

out with. They had bullet proof windshields all of them

did. You never had to worry about it being fogged up, it

had little tanks there so whenever you speed up that little

tank kept the windshield wiper going. It was fast it would

run. I guess those cars stayed in effect until probably

maybe 44 now they in 42 when the cars came out of course

they didn't have any chrome on them they were all, they had

placed many of these windshields took them out of the old

cars and put them in the 42 models. OK, then when the

uniforms came out, as I indicated, the boots they were

pretty everything man you were dressed up. That

uniform came out and the patch spelled out the word


JMR: Did it have the Highway Patrol on it?

CWK: Oh yeah, had Highway Patrol but the original patch just had

Highway Patrol FLA in the orange and this spelled it out

the word Florida. Whenever that happened and then that

same year the uniforms came out is whenever the seals

changed from an orange on doors the decals when the Patrol

first started it had the orange with the Highway Patrol

with FLA in the orange and in 43 the decals came out they

were state seals, seals of the state and many of the new

cars that were bought during that period of time had them

already on them. I know that there at the station in

Bartow' I took several cars down to the Ford Motor Company

to have the decals taken off and the new decals put on.

Now in 45 here Governor Caldwell was inaugurated and

whenever he was inaugurated in January of 1945, I was

assigned to the mansion detail out here at the old mansion

and Ed Ferrell, Lieutenant Ed Ferrell he was stationed down

at Sebring, Ed Ferrell, he came by and picked me up and we

came to Tallahassee he was real close to Governor Caldwell

and a lot of friends in that administration, so that was my

first detail at the Governor's mansion. Being out there

and our responsibilities was security and to see that the

crowds got in and out, things of this nature to be sure

that nobody picked anything up while they were going

through the old mansion and so that was something you know

that made you feel real proud to be up here and be exposed

to something like that going on that would have been my

first trip to Tallahassee after I was appointed. We then

had charge of the inauguration down at the steps of the

capitol whenever he was sworn in a good friend of mine from

Winter Haven, Mr. Hamilton an attorney, I later found out

he was from Winter Haven and was born and raised with Mr.

Caldwell over here at Milton, Florida, that is where he was

from originally, but from that first detail at the mansion

I was with, I was privileged to be at every detail at the

mansion from that point until the first administration of

Governor Askew. The first administration of Governor Ruben

Askew the Patrol had charge we were at that time teaching

the Florida Department of Law Enforcement people what to do

and so forth to where they could get acquainted, but that

is the last time that the Patrol had anything to do with

that plus being an aide to the Governor, that made me feel

bad that is one of the worst things I feel that has ever

happened to the Patrol is to lose that responsibility. But

Governor Caldwell liked the Highway Patrol during his

administration there were several times or one specific

time when there were......

JMR: This is a continuation of tape two of the oral interview of

Major C. W. Keith on January 17, 1989. Major Keith we were

talking before the end of the last tape about Governor

Caldwell administration so you can pick right up from


CWK: I believe I was referring to whenever Governor Caldwell,

during his administration, the Patrol there was one

incident up here in Tallahassee which there were several

more I am sure similar that was trying to get more highway

patrolmen and so the Sheriffs' Association shortly after

the Patrol was organized and during those years they were

strong and they had a strong organization they tried

they always felt like the Patrol was trying to the a

state police so they all tried to keep us from getting the

cap raised on the number of highway patrolmen we would

have. One incident that I remember whenever Governor

Caldwell was in office and they were up here lobbying

against the Patrol bill and he put the word out that those

of them to all the sheriffs here in Tallahassee that

those of them that didn't have permission to come up here

for them to go back home. You see the sheriffs before they

leave their county they are suppose to let the Governor

know where they are going. I think during his

administration he had threatened two or three times and I

think the Tallahassee Democrat an editorial on it that he

felt like during that period that he should make the

Highway Patrol a state police that is where it first

that's the first beginning of it of the word being put out.

Shortly after the Governor got in in January or in the

summer of 1945 Director J. J. Gillman was dismissed or

resigned we will put it that way, resigned, and got Olin

Hill and was made Acting Director and in November of that

same year Colonel Kirkman was appointed the Director of the

Department of Public Safety by the Governor and the


JMR: This was in 19.....

CWK: 1945.

JMR: Was that the first time that Colonel Kirkman had become

associated with the Department, Major Keith?

CWK: No in 1939 whenever the Patrol was organized W. F. Reid

from Lakeland, Florida, was appointed the Director and

Major Kirkman, H. N. Kirkman, was appointed as Commander of

the Patrol. He was the one that was responsible for the

training and so forth.

JMR: The first class.

CWK: The first class, now keep in mind whenever the old weight

division was organized under Governor Schultz'

administration back in 1934, whenever he organized the

weight inspectors, Kirkman was in charge of those people

too. The Colonel had gone into service and he had returned

and still in uniform in November of 1945 whenever Governor

Caldwell appointed him Director of the Department of Public

Safety. In 1946 I was in Bartow at that time and Captain

Martin called me in and told me that he was going to

Tallahassee and that he wanted me to go with him that we

had a new Director up there and he wanted to talk to me.

He said that he had asked the Captain what he wanted to

talk to me about and he told him that he had heard about

the good things I had done in Drivers License and he wanted

to talk with me. So he told the Captain to bring me along.

We came to Tallahassee and the Colonel's office as you

walked in to the ground floor of the Martin Building the

first door on the left that is where the Colonel's office

was and he was still in uniform.

l -tf

JMR: In his Army...

CWK: His Army uniform, yes and he told me that he had heard good

things about what I had been doing in Drivers License and

that he had been around the state and knew that we had a

lot of new men and a lot of no uniform they had indicated

that he could find. Had a lot of undesirables and so...I

might be ahead of myself but I should mention this whenever

the Colonel took over and was appointed by Caldwell,

Governor Caldwell he had one request that he made was to

run an investigation on some of the people in the Patrol,

he called giving it a house cleaning before he took over

and Leo Foster was an attorney here in Tallahassee was a

man who was assigned to head up that investigation and that

is where I got to know Mr. Foster and I took him to several

places in the state while he was running his investigation.

He got rid of about 18 people. We would take a car and we

might pick up two uniforms in one day. Most of it was

political reasons during the time that Caldwell was running

for Governor and the boys out politicing, most of it was

for that. But back on the subject here, the Colonel, as I

indicated, impressed me real good he indicated here that

he understood that I had been around to help out and so

forth but he stated that he wanted those motorcycles and

patrol, cars on the highways instead of setting at these

county judges office giving examinations and he felt that

is what the public paid for was to be out on the road. So

he asked me to pick out 8 or 10 places he said the Captain

will help you pick out 8 or 10 places in the state where

they are giving the examinations you go see what they got

and then record that and he says I think you are going to

find what I have been told then I want you to help me come

up with a plan of what to do and how we are going to get

the men back out there on the road and still continue to

give examinations. He said in a period of a month I want

you back up here with a plan, scared me to death. So that

was a big challenge so what I did I went back to Bartow,

Captain and I talked about it, decided which areas I would

go look at and then I got a hold of the man that set the

program up, Glenn Carmichael, to come down and help me come

up with a good plan. But when I went around to see what

they were doing it made me feel bad their supplies were

left in the sheriff's offices any and everybody I don't

know why anybody never did get in trouble with it any and

everybody was giving those examinations, the men I found

very few that was appointed that wanted to give them. Some

of the troop commanders wanted them out on the road and not

give examinations at all and so when I got back off of that

trip I sat down with the Captain and he indicated that I

had to be careful here about criticism from the stand

point, you know you had some troop commanders that would

just say forget it do it whenever you can he wanted him on

the road, you know active, keep in mind that when Mr.

Gillman back in 41 when Mr. Gillman was appointed

Director of the Department of Public Safety he had the

International Association of Chief of Police to make a

study of the Highway Patrol and its activities. Did you

know that this report and I have got copies of it. I gave

the full copy to Colonel Beach he has got all of it and it

ought to be in the archives out there he would probably

give it to you if you will ask him. But that report at

that time in the United States you were killing 40,000

people in traffic accidents, now that was back in 41. The

mileage death rate in the United States at that time was

about 12.4 per hundred thousand miles in the State of

Florida it was 13. something. We had one of the worst in

the country.

JMR: Was that one hundred thousand miles or one hundred million.

CWK: Well I think it was per one hundred, what is it?

JMR: They usually run it from X number of deaths per one hundred

million vehicle miles of travel.

CWK: ..... inaudible.....I may be wrong but it is amazing that

since the Patrol started we are just now up to that again,

so the Patrol throughout this country, you know, did a

tremendous job of cutting it back. See, I just thought I

would bring that out. But he basically did the same thing.

Mr. Gillman was an Army man, now keep in mind if you will

look at the history of all of the highway patrol and the

state police organizations in this United States, there is

not one according to the records that the first commander

of that state police was not from the armed forces, had

been in the armed forces of a branch of this service of the

United States that was appointed. They felt like this was

the type of man they needed. Most of your highway patrols

and state police organizations in the United States were

organized after a strike, or after a disturbance of where a

local enforcement broke down that created room for someone

to come in from the state standpoint and do something about

it, that is the only reason they were created. In this

state it was the Jaycees and American Legion they got

behind this. A lot of people said well, you know Mr. Comb

he came in and abolished the Highway Patrol

.... inaudible...certain reasons, well the Highway Patrol

according to the facts and the history it was abolished

because he felt like the legislature should create the

Highway Patrol instead of the State Road Department, see

when the Highway Patrol, the road inspectors were first

appointed they were appointed chairman of the Road

Department they were...because he had authority for weights

so forth, so Combs felt like that the legislature should do

it so he abolished it when he came in...

JMR: What year was that?

CWK: 1937, 1939 legislature created it, Highway Patrol, and of

course during that period of time that was right after John

Dillinger and all these people all the trouble we had that

is where the bulletproof windshields came from it is an

era. They just felt like this is what should be done most

all of the states had that and that was 35 to 40 was when

the great majority of highway patrols and state police

organizations were created.

JMR: *Was the result of a crisis somewhere.

CWK: Yes a local law enforcement broke down. Now we are getting

back here to our plan here but I got Glenn Carmichael down

here to help me come up with a plan but while I was out in

the field going around and finding out who was giving them

the examination and so forth I ran into some of the men who

told me that the Federal Government was providing a grant

to a serviceman amputee, a person that lost their limbs,

$1,600.00 provided that he could get a drivers license this

is what some of the people told me that was out there in

the know. Of course I had come into contact with some of

that which was brought up in Polk County but it didn't dawn

on me too much so when I got back and I told him about this

and he said well that's good and I said well the only

problem we have Colonel is we don't have anyway to test

them. I said we need a special equipped car for that to

test them. Colonel with the backing of the American

Legion, Ford Motor equipped a car for us, it was called

amputee car, free of charge. Then after we got that, I had

to get Glenn Carmichael again to help me set up some

standards on what to restrict them to if they passed the

test. He helped me with that. We got a man from Georgia

Tech. I went to Atlanta to meet him and we met over at

Georgia Tech a professor by the name of Cox. He and

Carmichael worked us out something on infirmities on what

to restrict people to. That guideline is still used in the

examiners' manual today and the great majority of the

states use the same guidelines that we prepared at that


JMR: What year was this?

CWK: That was 1946 and we found there were 300 people in the

state, veterans, that were entitled to that car if they

could get a drivers license. Well I was selected to go

around and test them. A schedule was prepared for every

city we didn't hit all of them but we hit enough to get

them all, there was about 300 of them of course the first

thing we had to do, and I have a photograph of it, we had

to pull it up in front of the Capitol and let the Governor

and Cabinet, Mr. Caldwell and all of them look at it, try

it out, but it all worked hand controls so we were the

first state in the nation to come up with that idea. We

got national recognition and many of the states come down

here to see it and wanted a copy of our guidelines, AAMVA

made copies of our guidelines and sent them around.

Carmichael did, they didn't have a director at the time

with the association. We got a lot of publicity out of it

but it was good.

JMR: The Florida Highway Patrol?

CWK: The Florida Highway Patrol, we got a lot out of it. We

were the first in the nation and as indicated those

standards are still followed today and that was real and I

have got newspaper clippings and all to back all of this

up. But that was wonderful. It was wonderful here to be

able to do that. Then May 1, 1946, I was called to

Tallahassee and promoted to Sergeant. We didn't have

corporals at that time. So that made me feel good and made

Chief Examiner in charge of examinations. Then....

JMR: Major Keith, troopers were still administering examinations


CWK: Yes sir, yes sir.

JMR: All right sir, they did this as part of their regular

patrol, duties?


CWK: After, well now let me tell you about the car, after the

car situation, see on the amputees, after the guidelines

were sent out there, we at that time had where you could

order this equipment, so people after that schedule, after

that 300 was examined out there, any of the men in the

field the examiners see or come in contact with veterans

that came to them they would restrict them to, they'd tell

them OK this is the equipment that you need, this is where

it is. available, you got a General Motors, this is where it

is available, your man will get it for you. Ford Motor

Company furnished them free they said there wasn't a

veteran in this country that was going to pay for any

equipment. So we'd tell them., you go because that car

wasn't available, you know, it was in one spot. We tried

to take care of it by sending the car there but it got to

where there was a lot more getting out of the service,

etc., had that problem. So that's how it continued, we

kept that car for two or three years. But now in "46, the

Colonel was asked to send me over to the Mississippi

Highway Patrol to set up their program and you remember Mr.

L. E. Birdsong that used to come?

JR: Yes, I sure do. He was with AAMVA for many, many years.

CWK: Yes, so I went to Mississippi over there and we took their

law, I had called back over here to the Atorney General's

office, keep in mind, during those days, the Attorney

General's office represented us. You know, and so about, I

went over there and spent two weeks, they had a copy, well

their law was practically like ours so we promulgated rules

and we took their law and wrote them up a manual and we

taught them how to give examinations, etc. L. E. Birdsong

was appointed Chief Examiner of Mississippi, so at that

time, Glenn Carmichael came over to help, see he was still

with the National Safety Council, AAMVA didn't have any

directors running around at that time, so that makes you

feel good, gives you confidence when you are asked to come

somewhere else to do that. Alabama, we went up there and

done the same thing in Alabama, helped Georgia set their's

up so, but I remember going over to Mississippi, we are

still during Mr. Caldwell's administration now we are

getting back to the Patrol again, keep in mind that during

that period of time, we probably, well during the war we

got down to less than a hundred men. and I was not

privileged of being, I went about 10 or 11 times, but I

wasn't privileged to be in the service. They indicated

that I had varicose veins and Captain Martin said I was so

skinny that was my trouble that they showed up, and they

used to tell everybody in Clifton that I was the only man

on the Patrol just had room, room for one, hip pocket in

the back. But we had at that time, during those years

there especially in Caldwell's administration, we had

counties in the state where people didn't want to go,

troopers. If you transferred them there, a lot of them

quit. That was Duval, Calhoun County over here, and Baker,

that a lot of men just didn't want to go and had a lot of

trouble and Baker County, I guess we wrecked a lot of cars,

Stafford was over there for awhile trying to catch these

people running moonshine.

JR: Garland Stafford?

CWK: Yes, Garland Stafford, he was over there and caught many of

them. Colonel Clifton used to say that Stafford if he got

9000 miles out of a set of tires that would be good for

him. He caught a lot of them, but a lot of people didn't

want to go. Now there was another thing that happened

during Caldwell's administration, he as I indicated, liked

the Highway Patrol, it's image, and he wanted the Colonel,

told the Colonel and being right here after I was

transferred up here in "48, I was close and knew what was

going on but just before, I think it was "47, after I got

back off my trip to look in the field to see what we could

do there, I needed to get back on that a little bit. You

know, the Colonel told me to go out in the field to see

that I had and come up with some plans on how to keep the

cars on the highway. If I may touch base and go back a


JR: Yes, indeed.

CWK: Carmichael helped me put that report together and I

recommended to the Colonel that what we needed to do in the

metropolitan areas is to hire civilians. We had in the law

at that time, it gave authority to the Department to hire

patrolman, civilians and so forth to give examinations. So

really, I recommended that in the metropolitan areas that

we start hiring civilians to do that work. And, also, felt

like and this, if it had of stayed like we had visualized,

I visualized that whenever years went on after that and we

did, we took a lot of men and put them on as examiners

after that that were not able to pass the patrol

requirements. He had a lot of friends out there wanting

him to get on but we had a place for him and I was looking

at the examining part of it someday to be the division to

where we could start them out through hopeful that

everybody could go through that where they would know

something about the Department, radio operators, examiners

and so forth. If they got hurt, leg broke or disfigured in

a motor vehicle accident that they could give examinations.

You know what I mean. Well, this is what is recommended

that we do that and actually, the first civilian examiner,

he didn't stay that long.

JR: What year was that, Major Keith?

CWK: In about "46. We hired Bob Phillips from Bartow, that's

Ralph Davis' nephew. But he didn't last but about, he

didn't like it, he was so small like me he couldn't even

crank the motorcycle. You know what I mean. Afraid of it,

I think. He quit. But really, the first examiner, full

time examiner, was Cecil Kemp from Jacksonville in that

building, driver license office building in Jacksonville is

named after him. But he was the first. So I recommended

that this happen and as time went on, we would gradually

get the Patrol out on the highway. So this was the

beginning of it.

JR: In 1946?

CWK: In "46. And then, I had no more than got back down there

until the Colonel indicated that, through Captain Martin,

that we needed to sit down and talk about what Caldwell had

in mind about the Patrol. He, Mr. Caldwell, wanted the

Colonel at every cabinet meeting, that he come to the

cabinet meeting but he wanted him to give him a report on

the Patrol activities. What was going on out there. He

also indicated that every quarter, that this would be

verbal, but every quarter, he wanted he and the cabinet to

have copies of the activities of the Highway Patrol, and

along with that, he wanted him to keep the public informed

on what we were doing. He wanted us to patrol, to prepare

exhibits and put them in these fairs. So since I had a

little background on that, I was selected to do that. That

was the beginning of your public information, I would say

in your Patrol right there. So what we did, came to

Tallahassee and the Colonel told me what he had in mind, I

went to see Monty Douglas, with the Tallahassee Police

Department, he was the photographer for the Tallahassee

Police Department and made pictures of accidents and things

of this nature. I talked to him and he told me if I would

get all accidents out there, running stop signs, different

situations, get them to him, he would format them for me in

big photographs, blow them up, and put them in mats and

help me with it, come up with some ideas. So the Colonel

put out a memorandum to the field and told them about these

accidents, what we were doing and so forth, and to send

that to Captain Martin in Bartow. The first exhibit that

was set up, we set one up in Winter Haven, The Florida

Citrus Exposition in 1947 and of course, the Colonel was

there and Governor Caldwell had a picture in front of the

patrol car and I would come up with some, I could pull

crepe paper, you have seen this, decorate this and I would

help people to make me signs and I got me, I got authority

to get Bill Norris to help me, to help me set it up.

JR: Retired Lieutenant Bill Norris?

CWK: Retired Bill Norris, deceased, and he helped me, we did

that.....we started out and then the State Fair at Tampa,

there at the college...Mr. Huskinson....he was executive

director down there, he found out about it and wanted me

down there. This carried on for about two years and we

were doing about twenty, every year. We had a little old

case and I have photographs of this, we got a showcase and

we put the things that we used, like first aide kits, fire

extinguishers, and things like that in it and then we would

put placards up with our activities of the Patrol for that

year, what was going on and then when the radio came in,

two-way radio, we had one there boy, talked to the

station and had a map of the state of Florida, showing

where all these stations were. Man you talking about

proud, we were the most popular booth there in the

fairgrounds. But that happened and to me, that was the

beginning of your safety education situation and that

carried on now until later, Captain Taylor was called from

Tampa, he was a lieutenant, come to Tallahassee to be your

public information officer and that's where Adams and all,

I'll get into that here later. But there was another thing

that happened during Caldwell's administration that is

important and that was, 1947, October 1st is whenever the

financial responsibility law went into effect. That was

the Sergeant C. A. Brooks that used to work in records up

here, keeps all informed on what was going on in the field.

He was smart, he had resigned and went to work for Mr. Ed

Larson, he was the one that drew the first financial

responsibility law in 1947.

JR: Ed Larson was the State Treasurer?

CWK: Yes sir, Ed Larson was the State Treasurer. Also, in 1947,

the, we had a lot of people coming into the state from

other states and I got some ideas out there, so we came up

with the one license concept, we frontiered that and that's

indicating if you had a license in this state or any state,

if you were a resident of this state, then you didn't need

any more, you didn't need one, you have to surrender that

license from that other state. So we, Florida, was the

first state in the nation to come up with that and it

helped us control the driver. That's what driver license

is all about. You can give examinations, that's fine, but

after you get all the documentation together on your

records of people identified, that's what the license is

for, identification to find people, to spot accidents, to

correct and things of this nature. So send it back to the

state where the man was from and then they would send us a

copy of his driver record. So "47, whenever that took

place, and then we go to the Warren administration and I

believe I indicated that Captain Taylor was transferred up



JR: Yes sir.

CWK: And, we go to the Warren administration, Governor Warren,

he was inaugurated in 1949 and a lot happened during

Governor Warren's administration. After he was elected, I

was transferred to Tallahassee in 1948 and my

responsibility at that time was, I would spend about three

months to cover the state, go around and try to get

everything uniform on what was going on out there in driver

license. When Governor Warren was inaugurated, after the

inauguration, he wanted to go to President Harry Truman's

inauguration in Washington and Colonel called me in and

told me that this was what was going to happen, that he

wanted me to select someone to go with me and we would go

to Washington, make arrangements for Governor Warren and

his committee of 19 or there were that many in a party to

provide the security during the time that they were in

Washington at the inauguration. He also informed me that

Ford Motor Company had just got in Jacksonville through

painting a brand new Ford convertible, patrol car colors,

and this was the car we would use to go to Washington. So

naturally I had been always close to Bill Norris so I

called Bill and asked him if he wanted to go and he said

fine and Bill, of course he was good with a camera. He

took photographs, developed them and all of this. That was

Lieutenant Bill Norris....So Colonel told us about some of

the things that we needed to do and here we are going up

there but he apparently had confidence that we could do it

so this was about a week ahead of time and we went about a

week ahead of time, and he gave us, told us to stop in

Richmond, Virginia, and see Colonel Woodson, he was the

superintendent of State Police there in Richmond and get

some chains for the cars, that's to put on your tires in

case of snow, and be sure, he told us, we got some men to

help us with that group coming in. They would be coming in

on the train from Alexandria, Virginia, he and his party.

So he had already called, he said he'd call Colonel Woodson

to tell him to be looking out for us, then he also called

the Colonel with the State Police in Maryland and told the

commissioner up there, I don't remember his name, but that

we would be coming up and of course, we stayed in the

barracks up there at Laurel which was about 15 miles out of

Washington at the State Police barracks, and they were to

help us and we needed them, I'v got news for you. So, this

was, then when we got in Washington, to see Mr. Riley, he

was with the Secret Service, he was Colonel Kirkman's real

friend and see we had, the Patrol had created great

friendship by President Truman going to Key West. We would

have people assigned down there so we got real close to the

Secret Service and in Washington, D.C. during the

President's inauguration, if you haven't got identification

issued by the Secret Service or the Treasury Department,

you don't move, you don't go anywhere....period. We found

this out....Well, with all of that in hand, we took off and

of course, Governor Warren, before he left, and he had a

man to bring up, he wanted, see during his administration,

at every cabinet meeting he had orange juice. He's the man

that created a taste test with the oranges, and they all

drink orange juice when they had the cabinet meeting. He

wanted enough juice in Washington to where, he was staying

at Shoreman Hotel, in Washington, his party, and enough

juice to supply his group. This was sent up there ahead of

time but he wanted us to take fruit to President Truman,

some tangerines and some oranges ....... fruit. Well, when

we found that out we loaded up because we could see that we

could trade that off for some favors. But that, well,

Norris and I left out from Tallahassee and it was as cold

as it could be up here, that day we left, never will forget

when we left and so, everyplace we stopped everybody would

come out and look at our patrol car. We were all dressed

up you know, shined up.....

JR: In the convertible?

CWK: In the convertible,

JR: Top up?

CWK: Top up, you'd better believe it, cold. So we had to go up

US 1, thought we never would get up there. You know, you

know how these interstates are and all that kind of stuff.

Well, we finally got, we made it to Richmond and got

straightened out at Richmond with the Colonel, met him,

then we went from there up to Alexandria and he told the

Sergeant up there at the State Police barracks who to

contact, then we left there and asked one of them to go

with us up to Laurel, and they were great. One of the

state policeman said where are you all staying, well, we

are going to stay, we think, rooms have been made. Well,

I'll just go on up there with you, it's a lot easier to

come back. You all won't have to come back. So he took

his car and we followed him all the way up there, he knew

all about Laurel and the State Police barracks. So we got

acquainted with them up there and the next day, we went to

Washington to see........

JR: This is a continuation of tape 2 with Major C. W. Keith for

our oral history program on January 17, 1989. Major Keith,

you were going to see Jim Rowell in Washington, let's pick

up from there.

CWK: Yes, we got into his office there and of course, we had to

wait, not knowing anybody, we were told this was the man we

wanted to see, don't see anybody else, we wanted to talk to

him and of course, we told the secretary who there who we

were looking for and of course, she could tell who we were,

and apparently, she had heard them talking about some of

the trips that the Treasury Department had in Key West so

- --

we had a good conversation with her and Mr. Rowell gave us

a card, one of his cards, special made up about the parade

and told us that there would be people anytime that we were

stopped by the FBI or any of the police officers stopped

us, they had certain information just to show them that

document. Then he told us in order to keep from having any

trouble, I want you to go to the Metropolitan Police

Department there in Washington, and see the Chief or his

assistant and get a badge to use. This will support what

I'm doing but you are going to run into, during this period

of time, the District of Columbia, it's thousands of

officers from all over the United States to come up there

to help with that and the traffic so we did that, got all

of our documents from over there at the Metropolitan Police

Department. In fact, they went with us and showed us where

to pick up certain documents for the Governor, a car, and

the people in his party. So the, we got all that together,

then here comes the day that they are all supposed to come

in to Alexandria, Virginia, so we had the state police car,

two state police cars from Virginia, and we had two from

Maryland and it took every one of them, took care of the

people and no we had three from Virginia, three state

police cars from Virginia and two from Maryland and our

car. So, but with the baggage and everything, we had to go

back one time to get more baggage but they stayed at the

(Shoream) Hotel, now the Shoream Hotel was one of the

hotels that all of your elite people, your well-to-do

people stayed. The rooms over there were $25 and $30 a day

and we were getting, at that time, $7 a day per diem, so

that's the reason we had to stay up at Laurel, Maryland,

state police barracks. Anyhow, what happened was, we got

there, of course, they had all of these inaugural parties

and everything. What we did, after we got them in, no

before we picked up the group, we had to get rid of that

fruit so at the Metropolitan Police Department we left some

fruit over there with those people. Now the people, the

Chief or his assistant, referred us to were the people that

we were going to eventually see out on the street somewhere

that was in charge of the detail. Of course, we had a lot

of questions about where do I go to get some cars to carry

my people around, I'v got 19. I need that kind of

information and I don't know the town and so forth like

that. So we gave them some fruit, we were told when we

left Tallahassee, the Governor said "I want President

Truman to have a selected", we had a crate full of selected

oranges, a crate of grapefruit, and tangerines, okay, so we

pulled in to the White House there security, got out shook

hands with the men, told them who we were, they were

looking over the car and all that kind of stuff. Grim as

they could be and we told them, well, they said come on in

men, come on in, so we pulled inside the gates there at the

White House. So, one of the men came out and must have

been in charge of the detail and said, I guess you people

are up here with your Governor, I understand he is coming

in and things of this nature, and they said the right

things and I told them, Norris and I told them what we had

and where do you want us to put it. They said, well, just

take it out and put it here and he said, by the way, the

President may come by here any minute, he's at a meeting

over here. During the process of us taking them out and

putting them on the ground, the President came up with a

group of men, I'v got some photographs of all the chiefs of

staff, the Navy and all this kind of stuff, you know what I

mean, the parade...the braids on the caps and wanted to

know what part of Florida we were from, he knew the

Colonel, he had been down there and we told him and he

wanted to know what we had there and told him this was from

Governor Warren and he wanted us to bring this fruit

by...and he said, why don't we have one. Rod, we stood

right there, we opened that crate of tangerines and stood

right there with those people and opened up that fruit and

ate them and man it was good....must have been .... talked to

him. wanted to know, Norris would tell him, he's driver

license, I'm on the Patrol, you know what I mean, how that

goes. So, he told us at the time what kind of sorry

program that his state had, Missouri, get them in the five

and dime store and all this kind of stuff. But anyhow, we

got to see him. As the highlights, that was it. You know,

it's the man and I think today, why they would have

examined that fruit 15 times before, they wouldn't even let

him-touch it today but all the boys there they were picking

up his peelings, you know what I mean. We had a nice

meeting there with him and not too long, so we left. Then

the next day, we went and picked up the people and took

them out to the Shoream. Well, during the process of

taking them out there and after we took them out there, the

second day that we met, it was kind of clumsy to run from

Laurel down there, Mr. Johnston, who was a race track man,

that's where I met B. K. Roberts, Justice Roberts, Supreme

Court, met him, he was with that group and Mr. Johnston was

a race track man out of Duval County. He was the one that

built this Duval Hotel down here and finally gave it to the


JR: University of Florida, Florida State University.

CWK: Florida State University. He found out where we were

staying, and he said, well why don't you all move in down

here. So we told Mr. Johnston, we can't afford it, we

can't, you know what I mean, we are getting along alright

and he says, well, he says, come on in here. He told the

man there, find a room for these boys and put them up and

put it on my bill. So we stayed there at the Shoream in

high cotton. So anyhow, whenever we got back from

Washington, well, while we were there, we got the Secret

Service to get us programs that were put out by the

President's office and get them signed by the President and

send one of them to Governor Warren. That was done. They

sent them to Colonel Kirkman. And, when we got back in

Tallahassee at the first cabinet meeting that we had, after

we got back, the Governor and Dan Wright, his assistant,

was there praising what the Patrol had done for him and put

them out in front and we were the first highway patrol when

they started down Pennsylvania Avenue, we were the first

highway patrol car that was ever put in that parade at the

inauguration, first state that ever had a patrol car.

JR: Made history there, didn't we?

CWK: We made history right there.

JR: We are talking about 48, what year are we talking about

Major Keith?

CWK: That was in "49.

JR: 49 alright sir.

CWK: 59, 69 that's thirty years ago, forty years ago. So they

questioned first, and the man that had the parade

questioned that but anyhow, it was done. The Miami Police

Department had a team of motorcycles up there, they were in

front of us and the Florida float. My friend, Errol

Brown, had made the float for the State of Florida and it

was up there. We rode him in the Patrol car. So we made

history there. But, getting back to Tallahassee, the first

meeting that we had there, he was telling the Colonel what

a good job we had done and so forth and so the first,

during the meeting, why Governor Warren indicated to the

cabinet that he wanted to change, said Colonel Kirkman was

a fine man but he had a friend he had promised he was going

to appoint director of the Department of Public Safety and

that was Ed Garner, Chief of Police down in Sarasota,

Florida. His picture had been in the paper so Colonel told

us when we got back and I never will forget it, Mr. Bob

Gray said, well Governor, I didn't know we had a vacancy.

He said well, that's what I'm getting ready to do. So Mr.

Bob Gray told him, he was Secretary of State, he said,

well, you need to bring it up but he said, keep it in mind,

you have only got one vote. So they voted on it, Garner

was there but that was no vote.... he was the only man that

voted for him. But that surprised everybody, it even

surprised, see the Secretary of State, when the Governor is

not there, he is the man that runs the show. Mr.. Bob

always looked out for the Patrol. So the Colonel, I guess

the Colonel, I don't know the details and background on

whether he had been talked or called over there and knew

about it but I imagine if his picture was in the paper, the

Colonel would have done his ground work before that

meeting, knowing him. So that didn't unk..... But

several times during while I was stationed here and during

Governor Warren's administration, he had some plans about

safety, he wanted to clear up and pass a bill dealing with

ranges, wanted to get the cattle off the highway. The thing

that, when I first went on the Patrol ----- to go back a

minute ----- that you had to watch at nighttime when you

were going to an accident, this was something that you

really had to watch, and that was animals especially down

around where we were and especially up here. You see in

the daytime, your asphalt accumulates a lot of heat, when

it gets cold, the animals like to lie down on a place where

it is warm, they get up there and lie down. Many patrol

cars were torn up during that period of time going to

accidents, hitting pigs, big pigs, they'd turn you over or

cows so when you started out, we were told to be careful

because of animals. But he wanted a safety council and he

had a man that he was going to put up here as executive

director to start this Governor's Safety Council out from

the Orlando Sentinel, and somehow or other, I don't know

what the circumstances were, but he didn't do what the

Governor felt like he should do so I was out of town but he

wanted the Colonel to appoint somebody executive director

of the Governor's Highway Safety Council and I was the

first one appointed. Still on the Patrol but I was

appointed. Had a good write-up and I'v got that ---

unk fortunate to have somebody that had been to

Northwestern up there and all this and so forth and of

course, keep in mind that Captain Taylor was up here at

that time and when we got out of the meeting, when the

I- --

Colonel got out and I was informed about it, he told

Captain Taylor and I to begin looking for a full time

director of Governor's Safety Council. So Taylor knew a

man by the name of Nat Rambo who died about two years ago

here, his wife worked at the Supreme Court, he had a safety

council organized down in Hillsborough County and was doing

a tremendous job so Taylor and I went down there to talk to

him. I have the minutes of that cabinet meeting, they

brought him to Tallahassee and the Colonel introduced him

and he asked a lot of questions about him and gave Nat an

opportunity to talk and so forth and what he had done and

so forth. So he was hired. Now the question came up from

members of the cabinet how was he going to pay for it.

Well, at that time, I remember it because it's in the notes

of the cabinet meeting, the minutes of that meeting. His

contingency fund at that time was $500, that's all he had

in that fund, today that's about a half million, but that

was $500, and so, he hired Nat and we recommended, the

Colonel did, that not to call the Governor's Safety Council

that somebody might get peeved that it was political to

call it the Citizen's Safety Council and that's what it was

called and that was the beginning of your highway, your

Governor's Highway Safety Council right there, that was

that beginning, and I was glad to be a part of that. Also,

during his administration and back when I was down in Polk

County, I told Jim, giving examinations, I learned a lot

from the people who couldn't read and write. So I

developed, when you asked them, let's take your diamond

shaped sign or your stop, let's take your stop sign,

octagonal shape, you asked a person who is unable to read

and write, what does that sign mean? He said to stop. I

said, how do you know its stop. He said, its got four

letters on it. Okay, I would show him the rectangle, that

might have fifteen different items on it, let's say it had

slow on it. I'd say to you know what this sign means?

Well, he would, well that says stop too. I picked up an

idea, so what I did, I designed the shapes of the sign, we

had five, octagon, rectangular, information, railroad

warning, railroad crossing. Okay, we made that part of the

Examiners Manual because like your diamond shape, if that

person will slow down, if he knows that anything on this is

a warning sign, if he will abide by that, he is fairly

safe. If he knows that the rectangular is the information

sign that this is for speed or information, you know, that

it is information, speed limit, and so forth. Well,

anyhow, the National Safety Council wrote the Colonel and

asked if they could use the road sign idea to come up with

the signs alike and the Colonel gave them permission,

that's where it come from.

JR: How many examiners did we have on board then, Major Keith,

you were Chief Examiner, still in FHP uniform?

CWK: Well, we are talking about, back here during Warren's


JR: Yes, the late seventies, late forties.

CWK: The late forties. We had probably 35 or 40.

JR: Civilians?

CWK: Yes.

JR: Civilian examiners then?

CWK: Some in your large municipalities, some in Duval, Orange,

Pinellas, Hillsborough, Dade, Broward, Pensacola, etc. Now

in 1948, is whenever we were called over, of course the

Colonel knew about it, to Governor Warren's office, got a

photograph of that, and we were presented with the Driver

License Award for Outstanding Achievements in National

Traffic Safety contest. This was sponsored by the National

Safety Council about our driver license program and that

was the first one and we repeatedly, well after that, we

got one in "49, "52, "54, "60 and "61, that's whenever they

stopped the program. But we received national recognition

for our driver license program.

JR: I can remember this.


->. --^

CWK: During those years. Now during his administration, another

division was created here and that's a western division,

Tallahassee West. You had a western, a northern, central

and a southern.

JR: Panama City the district headquarters then or do you


CWK-: No, Chipley. That's when Captain Martin was over there.

He, Captain Martin, went over there to Chipley and was the

troop commander over there and Olin Hill went down to

Bartow as commander down there. I think that's the reason

they did it but now in 1950, we came up with an

idea in driver license called the "Classified Driver

License". Now that was a system of where we felt like a

person in a truck or a big truck, log truck, whatever he's

driving, ought to take the test in that vehicle and of

course, at that time, still keep in mind, the judges were

given issuing the licenses, we just gave the

examinations. So Colonel let us try it and our people were

enthused about it, we had gotten some people together that

taught us, we had a school, one in central Florida and one

up here in Tallahassee to kind of teach people what to look

for driving these big trucks. We felt like if he was

driving a tanker that he's take it in a test in that

tanker. Well, we didn't realize some of the problems we

would encounter with that program. It was good but after

you had about three trucks out at your station, from the

time they left and went downtown and stopped at the county

judge's office, they blocked everything, these big trucks

and what I'm saying is that we couldn't control it. we

were issuing the driver, the idea was good keep in

mind that was "50, in 1986, the federal government now come

out with a federal law and that federal law is called

commercial driver license. They got the idea from right

here in the state of Florida.

JR: A 1950 idea?

CWK: Was the idea, it was originated we gave it to

California, California did a half-way job with it but the

idea was originated right here in the state of Florida. We

just couldn't, didn't have the facilities to put it

together. The idea is good, but today I have news for you,

its going to be rough, its going to be hard, these truckers

out here, if the program I'm right now looking at it,

trying to help the Florida Trucking Association, its going,

its tight. Okay, now in 1952, the Colonel called me in his

office and he indicated that he had got information from

Washington to send me to Missouri to set up the program out

there in the state of Missouri. So, that was a real

compliment because that's where President Truman was from

and I got Glenn Carmichael again and Glenn was with

Northwestern then.

JR: Northwestern University?

CWK: Right, and then we went out there to Sadalia, Missouri, got

with the Missouri Highway Patrol and took their law and sat

down and put a manual together and trained their men how to

give examinations. So, that gave us a lot of clout all

over the country, that helped us so much, the Patrol. We

used to, people used to say about trying to kid us a little

bit, in saying to us especially when I was around these

meetings, they said "Florida has the best program in the

country and if you don't believe it, ask Keith". So that

administration with Governor Warren that's a lot a things

that happened during that administration, keep in mind, he

did a lot, he was a man that started planning on the

Turnpike, he was the man to start your water control down

in South Florida, he did a lot for the state of Florida and

he liked the Patrol and wanted to help us and was proud of

what we did. And, then we come to 1953, that's when

Governor Dan McCarty was elected Governor and of course,

after the inauguration, he wanted to go to Washington for

the inauguration. Now that was during the first term of

Eisenhower's administration and we took the same course, we

got the Virginia State Police to help us, we got the

Maryland State Police to help us, we took a convertible up

there and we, now keep in mind, that one of the people

going up there with Governor McCarty was Senator LeRoy

Collins, he was with that group and they talked about, we

were listening to them talk, they talked then about him

running for Governor. While we were in Washington, it was

cold, snow on the ground, and that place up there is not

equipped to handle snow, they don't have any snow plows, so

they have to go over to Ft. Myers over here to the army

base and get stuff to come in there when it snows up there

to clear the streets because the city doesn't have all that

kind of stuff. Anyhow, it was cold and Governor McCarty,

we, Bill and I got real concerned about him, we went to all

the parties, we drove on sidewalks and everywhere else, the

police were so gracious to us. I'll tell you its something

to go down Pennsylvania Avenue in a patrol car and pass the

White House, the President throwing up his hand, this gives

you a lot of, you know.....

JR: You FHP uniform

CWK: Oh yes, man. All decked out, shined up, you could see us.

Okay, while we were up there, we got real concerned about

the Governor because he got a cold and we went with Mrs.

McCarty and got him a overcoat, he had a topcoat. We got

back to Florida, he had a heart attack in February and

September of that year, he died. That was a great man, he

would have been great for the Patrol, he would have been a

great man had he lived because he had, we were making every

effort, the Patrol, Sheriffs' Association was still on our

back, he would have, Caldwell did a lot, Governor Warren

didn't do as much, didn't as much happen but McCarty we

would have really gone places there. In fact, during his

administration is whenever the Turnpike came up to Ft.

Pierce and back to Washington a little bit, during those

years in Washington with the Governor, we met some

important people. Mr. Taft, Senator Williamson over

at we met so many important people that we would have

never met any other place and we were right there in that

uniform and everybody, you can say what you want to about

it, I don't think there's a uniform that's ever been put

on, when a man is really dressed up, got his leather goods

all shined up, that is any more colorful than the Florida

Highway Patrol uniform, I don't care what it is. But

anyhow, then we'll stop here for lunch. Norris went with

me again, he went with me on all of these, I'v got all the

badges and you may have seen them, I'v got all the badges

that we got from the Metropolitan Police Department up

there, got it in a big frame enclosed and so after Dan

McCarty died in September of 1953, President, well Senator

Charley Johns he was the President of the Senate and he was

appointed Governor to serve out the unexpired term of

McCarty and we had Senator Pierce from down at Palatka that

was real close to the Colonel and several of us went by

before the swearing in one night down at the Capitol to

where he could take over until they could prepare a little

inauguration. Went by the Colonel's house and I knew the

Governor was there, Charley Johns and Senator Pierce, and

we took them on down to the Capitol building. And, what I

liked about it back in those days when the legislature met,

you had a man out in front leading the members of the

Senate into the House of Representatives, the Patrol was

part of what they were doing down there. We played such a

great part the Patrol did in what was going on at the

Capitol building during the legislature, during the

inauguration, all of that, used to. But, the, now during,

I'm here between "53 sometime in "53 I think it was,

looking at my memorandum, you know, up until that time, we

had a lot of things here that as I indicated to Colonel, if

you see anything, I want you to let me know about the

uniforms. Well, certain things about the uniform bugged

me, I didn't like the cap, he didn't either, nobody liked

the cap. It looked terrible if I might say it. But, then

we always wondered why we had one patch on the left sleeve.

Now I can understand if your passing in traffic, somebody

might see it, I don't know where that idea came up with,

that's the only thing I can figure out. That used to bug

me. So, we got back from up in off of this detail and I

think it was during this period of time from inauguration

of Dan McCarty, I went to the Colonel and asked him, I went

to Jay Hall, he was in charge of all the property, Captain

Jay Hall, about getting a patch for the right sleeve, he

said, well, I agree with you Keith, that will be fine, we

got the money, I agree with you.

JR: How many troopers did we have during that time, Major

Keith, do you have any idea?

CWK: During that period of time...

JR: About 300, 350?

CWK: We had about 300 I guess, somewhere in that area. That's

what I was going to bring out here. So I talked to the

boss, so when I say the boss, that means Colonel Kirkman.

So Colonel Clifton, now the Colonel was transferred up here

from Miami, Colonel Clifton in "53 I think and they were

all for it. So Major Smith was still in charge of the

money, in charge of budget. So I was asked to hit him up

with it. So I went to see Major Smith, I guess at that

time, well, Captain Smith, I asked him about that and he

tickled me, he said "now Keith, say do you know why you

always keep coming up with all these different things about

that uniform", he said "now you know we haven't got the

money to buy no extra patch". He said, "you know what

those extra patches cost", I said "no sir". Well, 25 or 30

cents, he said "we haven't got that kind of money", and

says, "please don't be going to the Colonel with all this

stuff". Well, anyhow I always get a kick out of him.

Anyhow we got the patches, first batch that came in, Hall

and I examined them and the Sunrise Store across the street

from the Martin Building, that fellow over there, I can't

remember his name, he was the one that got the bid. Well,

I looked at them, Hall and I inspected them real good and

they hadn't filled in the orange real good, you know, you

know what I'm talking about. They hadn't done that real

good like it should be. So Colonel Kirkman always listened

to Hall so I got Hall all worked up so he told the Colonel

about it and so we called the man in that ordered them and

Colonel wasn't going to take them. Man said "give me a

nickel for them, just a nickle". Colonel said I don't want

them in circulation, I'll keep them over here because I'm

afraid you might sell them to somebody. The box stayed

there for I don't know how long. Well, anyhow, we got one

for that side, then the way that those patches were not

like they are today, they would, you had the patch, then

you had a little, about that much around it cloth, you had

to tuck that in and get somebody to sew it on. You know

how they used to be. That's when we came up with that

other patch. I guess maybe you are about

JR: Let's go, we have about five more minutes on this tape,

Major Keith, something close to that, we might as well use

it up.

CWK: All right, I remember that patch and it was so good to get

another patch. Now keep in mind that two or three things

bugged me about our uniforms and I was continually looking

everywhere I went. We had what we called the gray ghost

shirt that we wore with the pink trousers. I don't know

whose idea that was and don't ask me what I think about how

it looked but you remember the gray ghost, I don't know who

got the idea about that mixture and then that cap set it

off. So then I was still looking and I want to say this to

you about the seal, here, I don't know if it's still in

existence, I had my wife to take that shoulder patch that

was full and we supplied Hall with the number of stitches

in the leaves and in the orange. They used to be in the

specifications, so to be sure the orange would be full

color. Now before we get into Governor LeRoy Collins

that's 1955 through 1961, we probably should take a break.

JR: That will be fine Major Keith.

CWK: I'm sorry to take all your time.

JR: No, that's quite all right, we have about three or four

minutes left on this tape right here, do you want to go as

far as we can on this.

CWK: Right, now whenever Governor Collins was elected, as I

indicated, we had the privilege of being with him before

and of course, the first thing after the inauguration why

the Colonel wanted, indicated the Governor wanted to go to

Washington to take his party. That was the last

administration of Eisenhower's, so we prepared and we went

through the same process as we did before except what we

did as a result of our experience, we took an additional

car and loaded it with fruit, we took the patrol car, a

convertible, one of us drove another car because we had so

many friends up there that helped us. During, when we got

to Washington there in Collins' administration, the police,

we'd even drive down through the route that was before

any of the parade had already started. We would even use

that car to help the parade marshal line everybody up.

But, the Governor when he returned from his first

legislative session there, and he was a safety minded

individual and we accomplished a lot during. his

administration. One of the pieces of legislation that he

had drawn up dealt with the state flag and the state seal.

He had some language he wanted to correct and he wanted the

state seal or the state flag to

JR: This is a continuation of the oral interview of Major C. W.

Keith at the Neil Kirkman Building in Tallahassee, Florida,

on January 17, 1989. Major Keith we were talking before

lunch and before our tape break about the Governor Collins'

administration. Would you continue with this now, please



CWK: Yes. As I was indicating, during the first legislative

session after the Governor was inauguarated, he wanted

some, a bill prepared dealing with some language in the

state seal, correcting some of it and also wanted to

the state flag to be more prominently used by state

agencies and as a result, this legislation provided in part

that all of the state agencies, state motor vehicles that a

seal with the proper name of the department would be around

the state flag. Now keep in mind that prior to that time,

we were using the state seal itself with. the Florida

Highway Patrol around it. But he wanted to apparently push

the state flag so in that process, Colonel Kirkman called

me in one morning and indicated that there had been a

committee appointed by Governor Collins to come up with a

decal to go on all state owned vehicles and that they had

come up with a decal with the proper wording and he wanted

me to look at it and my suggestions about it and to work

with the committee. So, the first decal that came back,

there were two that came back from, I think 3M made the

seals, there were two seals. One for the right door and

one for the left, and the seal showed, it had under the

state seal, or the Florida flag, the Florida Highway Patrol

and this was really, in looking at the statute, this was

not what he wanted. So the Colonel asked me to put

something together to present to the Governor and Cabinet

at their next meeting. I took the state seal that had come

back from 3M and put the state flag in the same decal that

we had on the patrol cars with Florida Highway Patrol

around it. The decal of the flag was the same size and had

Mr. Bob Miller, the cabinet man here, to fix it up for me

on a piece of masonite. So I went with the Colonel to the

Cabinet and they were enthused about what we had come up

with. I'v still got that, it's out at the archives in the

Highway Patrol Academy now. So the first samples coming

back after we had given it back to 3M, they looked great.

What they did, they sent just those for the right door but

you had to have because of the flying of the flag, you had

to have one for the left door too. But anyhow, the two

that came back plus the one that I had prepared for the

Colonel, they are out at archives too, one of them was,

the other one now I'm fixing up for Governor Collins on

something else. Okay, so this is whenever we started with

the new state seal on the patrol car, the Florida flag.

JR: What year are we talking about?

CWK: This was in 1955 after the first session of the

legislature. Also in that legislative package during that

session of "55, he had a bill prepared to provide for a

coordinator to be in his office from the Highway Patrol to

handle all safety matters that come through his office and

that bill provided and I have a copy of that bill, provided

in part, that it would not only be a member of the Highway

Patrol. but his rank would be lieutenant, and so whenever,

that legislation passed, Colonel Clifton went with Colonel

Kirkman down to Governor Collins there, Collar was the man

that, I think he was present when the Governor signed the

bill, Collar was over there at the Governor's office any

item that came up from anywhere the Governor would give it

to Lieutenant Collar.

JR: Roger C. Collar?

CWK: Roger C. Collar. Right...and that was real great. Then

during Governor Collins' administration, he had cuff links,

I'v still got a pair that he gave me, with a Florida flag

on it. A little thing here and he started something

because thereafter, shortly thereafter, the Governors that

followed him up through Burns came out with something. I'v

got whatever they came out with. That was one of the

highlights of his administration as far as the Patrol was

concerned. Another item that came up during his

administration which was real great, we did not have in the

State of Florida a speed law, we had a reckless driving

charge that was most difficult to convict an individual of

and because for reckless driving it stated in part that it

was prima facie evidence if you were exceeding the speed

limit of a certain amount, like 55, it was prima facie

evidence of reckless driving. So, with Colonel Collar and

getting the information from out here, this was pushed,

this was really pushed and Governor Collins prepared a

bill, had a bill prepared to provide for speed law in the

state of Florida. Now for example, maybe the law would,

the bill passed but it was going into effect six months

later to give DOT the opportunity to put up the signs.

What happened was, Governor Collins did like Governor Askew

when the federal government passed a speed limit on

interstate highways. Governor Collins took the authority

from the State Road Department, had them put up the signs

ahead of time out here on the highways. That was before

the bill was even passed using their authority that they

could provide minimum rules and regulations and had

authority on the speed limit law. So, what we did,

we....to get it kicked off, at that time, we had some

photographs that appeared on the Florida Handbook, he

wanted it circulated, wanted it publicized that we had a

speed law so the handbook carried that. Bill Joyce was a

trooper here that eventually was sheriff of this county,

took him out on a highway, Thomasville highway, with one of

the signs standing at the patrol car and a photograph was

made and that appeared on all the handbooks in the state.

That was first publicity that went out, covered with the

handbooks. So everybody was enthusiastic about this and of

course, the bill became effective, the signs were already

up whenever the law went into effect. And, another item

that really, I was fortunate to be present at that time,

one morning the Colonel was us to go over, wanted me to go

with him to see Mr. Bob Gray. This was during the

administration, his administration here as to the dates,

somewhere between "55 and "61 but

JR: Bob Gray was serving

CWK: Bob Gray was Secretary of State and he was the man to look

out for us and at that time, we, the Department, was

getting 50 cents for our driver record. So there was a Lot

of money accumulated there, I don't think that everybody

knew that the Colonel had that money. It was put up in

accident records, accident and driver license fees, and his

contact with Mr. Gray was to determine whether or not that

money could be used to build the Kirkman Building and so

Mr. Gray told him that he thought it was fine, it wasn't

costing State any money and we needed to use that money so

he told him to get with Mr. Gay, who was the Comptroller,

to circulate it around in the Cabinet where they would

know. Okay....... so at the time that this was presented at

the Cabinet, many times what I would do, go with him if I

was in town, I happen to go with him that day and got

copies of the minutes of that meeting, and always, I had me

a box ...... shine...and I'd always get the man's shoes

shined and all that kind of stuff, get him all fixed up,

you know. So, that subject was brought up at the meeting,

Cabinet meeting and of course, everybody wanted us to have

a building. Governor Collins wanted it in the capitol

center down there and so, prior to that time now, we had

been down to see Mrs. Richardson who owned this property

down here, used to have a house right down here on

Apalachee Parkway.

JR: Where at on Apalachee Parkway are we talking about Major.

CWK: We are talking about across from, as you go down in the

hollow, we are talking about the ...across, just across

from Sonnys over there. There was a big home there, she

owned all- this property in here. That's where we got the


JR: The Kirkman Building is located

CWK: The bill, the patrol station but he wanted some more

property. So Major Smith and I went down there to see

about that. That had all been done. So, anyhow, he

wanted, the Governor wanted it in the capitol center like

it needed to be there. And, of course, there wasn't

anything out here. Now keep in mind, there wasn't anything

out here. Mrs. Richardson, out here, they had a pasture out

here and every day about 5 o'clock., of course that U.S.27

out there, concrete and had a cattle gap where the cows

would come over in this area here, back and forth, across,

but every day about 5 o'clock man would get out there in

the road and hold up the traffic for the cows. So, anyhow,

we, that was brought up and discussed. So, they had a vote

on it and of course, the Cabinet overruled the Governor

there about that thing, so the Kirkman Building started.

JR: What year was this, Major Keith?

CWK: This was about, Mr. Carlisle was the man, the contractor

who got the job out here, he and Huddleston, this was about

"55 or "56 because we came out here in this building in

"58, in this building, we moved in, this building from the

Martin Building. Now, at that time, we were expanding down

there at the Martin Building, if you will remember across

the street from the Martin Building, they had the Pepper

Building, we had driver license over there, we have it

scattered around everywhere. So, this was designated out

here, and keep in mind now, the city limits was about up to

where, not quite at the Holiday Inn. You didn't have this

route her, you went around Lafayette Street coming up 27

down through the hollow where DOT is now and back up the

hill. So this strip of road, they were preparing it

straight in like the Apalachee Parkway, this Kirkman

Building was built, they had already started on that, but

this was built before they ever finished that strip of

road. So after it was finished, the Colonel knew Mr. Ed

Fraser, Senator Ed Fraser that had a nursery over at Glen

St. Mary in Baker County. So on one Saturday, I took one,

I can't think of what the janitor's name was, that was with

us so long that came out here, black fellow, but anyhow, we

went over on one Saturday and took a truck and brought back

the plants and everything to put around the building. I got

with the Florida Forest Service over here and got enough

seedlings to make three in a row down our whole property.

So on Saturdays and Sundays I got one of the men and we got

a dibble and we put out all these pine trees out around the

property, all down the back. You know, we finally got a

shooting range back there but anyhow, the building was

built and then when we found out, Captain Hall and I did,

we were at that time having a school, a patrol schools, out

in, we had moved, we used to have them out at Eglin Field

so the Colonel negotiated with the city and brought some

property out there with the old barracks was out at

the old west campus where the Patrol Academy is right now.

So we felt like, Hall and I did, that we may lose that

money and we talked to Colonel Clifton about it and so the

Colonel said well, I think we have just about got enough

money to build an academy. He had Huddleston here to build

all of our patrol stations, he was the architect, drew up

the plans for the academy and we, the patrol academy was

built and they dedicated it to Captain Hall in 1966 that

was when it was dedicated and all of the formats that's in

there now, the pictures and everything that is in it, I got

Mr. Bob Miller to design all of that, you know that format

and all the people who were killed in the line of duty, he

designed all of that and that case out there, it's made out

of beech, he designed it and I had him put rollers on it to

put stuff in that used to be downstairs in the building.

So we moved it all out there and I, there again, when the

building was built, I decorated the front when you come in,

the cabinet members, I had plastic of the capitol building

with all the Governor and the Cabinet and everything as you

walk in.the Kirkman Building. That's when that was done.

Now another thing that happened during his administration

with the uniforms, one Spring or Summer, well I guess it

was in the Spring, Governor Collins' son was at Annapolis

and Mrs. Collins and the Governor wanted to go up there for

graduation exercises so Joe Cook at that time was driving

them a little bit, he had driven Dan McCarty and Joe was

driving but Joe apparently was on vacation and I was

selected to drive them up there. And, of course in those

days, you went up US 1 and it was a long deal.

JR: It took forever to get there, didn't it?

CKW: So we went up to Maryland at Annapolis, okay, while we were

there at Annapolis and they assigned the Governor's, they

assigned a trooper to me to show me where to go, to take us

around and so forth. But while we were there, they had a

straw hat and it is in archives that was made by Stetson

for the Maryland State Police, straw hat, they had a belt

buckle and while we were there, they took me down, we went

to Baltimore and to see the man that made the belt buckles.

-- -"

They had Maryland they had the state seals they had

the state police. I, a Sergeant, we talked with a man,

this fellow by the name of Hahn that turned out all those

buckles and then here they had a pink broadcloth shirt,

same color as these pink trousers we got, the army uniform.

JR: At that time you were wearing gray.....

CWK: That gray, I couldn't wait to get back. So I brought one

of their buckles back and sent it back. But about two

weeks after we got back they had made up a buckle for us

and that was a long summer we wore uniforms. Colonel

couldn't wait to get rid of those hats, those caps and the

shirts. Major said, I don't know what we are going to do

now we've got so many shirts out there, Colonel.

JR: That was Major Wallace Smith?

CWK: Major Smith and he was coming in and talking to Colonel

Clifton. Colonel Clifton was a hundred percent for it

because he didn't like the caps anyhow. He said, Keith,

that's wonderful man and I took that hat in. Before that

summer was out we had hats coming in for the next summer.

JR: This was about "55, so I gave, I still had the same shirt,

or the first group of shirts that came in, I gave that to

the Academy, the hat and the belt buckle. So that was done

and then the this was the when we were going through

all of this, I wanted our first shirts had a straight

pockets and I got this idea from Maryland and we went, the

pockets were cut, officers pockets, so we got those shirts

back, everybody went crazy about the shirts. So our winter

shirts, summer shirts, all had straight pockets so I got

with Captain Hall and he helped me sell Colonel Kirkman and

Colonel Clifton helped us and they wanted, they were trying

to do something with that winter uniform because it was so

plain and this hat never was made to go with it in the

first place. We tried, Colonel Clifton tried for the

Colonel to get rid of that hat, to get a black hat, get a

graphite hat, get something that would be a contrast here

with the uniform. The hat, the gray hat that we've got

today was never made for that uniform. So we tried and

tried on the uniform we finally got rid of that

little tan stripe, little leather thing that went down, we

got rid of that so the Colonel black we finally sold

him on the black band to get rid of that nickle band that

was on there. But Captain Bass, this must have been "54 or

"55 because Captain Bass had been transferred to Panama

City. Captain liked things and I got him to help me, he

was close to Colonel Kirkman. So I wanted to do something,

I first started out, I wanted maybe black pockets, the

flaps black here, so we had Levine to make up one up and

when you had the black flaps these just too much,

so we finally decided on black piping to go around the


JR: The border

CWK: The border of the pockets and around the epaulets, up here

and of course, the Colonel wanted, Colonel Clifton wanted

to get rid of the hat but we were never able to accomplish

that while the Colonel was here. Now, we got rid of those

caps, we, and keep in mind, we got rid of the caps, and we

still had the graphite hats that was designed for this army

pink uniform that we are wearing. A lot of them down here

in the warehouse, across the street from the Martin

Building, well, Colonel Kirkman made arrangements for the

Georgia Highway Patrol, the Colonel up there, I forget what

the man's name is, we took a panel truck and took those

hats and caps to Georgia. Georgia used the caps for the

examiners and the graphite hats that's what they wore. But

Major Smith he was having a tiffy about spending all that

money but keep in mind a change in uniform cost a lot of

money because the hats back in those days, the 3X Beaver

Brand was about $37.50 a piece in lots of a hundred,

somewhere in that neighborhood. They were expensive so

that was the main thing but the shirts and we got those and

it took awhile to get rid of the gray shirts and now the

caps, we didn't have any trouble, they went, the caps. In

1957, is whenever the law passed on special service

officers and I received eight of these for eight troopers

that were designated for the Division of Driver Licenses.

the pockets.

That's when that came up, special service officers and I

had the privilege of designing the format of that, look

like a first sergeant deal and then eventually, what we did

on the examiners, you know, we were at that time still

wearing FHP uniforms and we took and under Florida Highway

Patrol, we put an examiner, you know what I mean. under

that, and that was a real accomplishment.

JR: That was for the civilians, were wearing FHP uniforms, they

had an examiner's badge and did not wear a gun belt, not

bonded is what I'm saying.

CWK: No, they were just civilians, but anyhow, that gave them a

shot in the arm. Now

JR: Tell me about your special service officers, Major Keith.

What was their primary responsibility. Were they assigned

full time deals duties or

CWK: The special service officers, you had see Captain Taylor

started it out and Adams was up here. But they had a

safety education section and that same year in 1957 is

whenever Dodge gave the Patrol enough cars for

advertisement purposes, I'm sure, for their special service

officers. These were public information your safety

officers out there. They call them service officers and

then they assigned eight to the Division of Driver Licenses

and so they help me regulate and supervise the civilian

examiners in the field. That same year, 1957, is whenever

the Highway Patrol and the State of Kentucky was made the

state police. That's the last state police in the United

States that was organized in 1957 and that was Kentucky.

So they asked the Colonel to send me up there to set up

their program. So there again, we got some help from Glen

Carmichael now and he was still at Northwestern so we went

up there and set up, we wrote their manual and set up their

program there and we built a lot a good will in Kentucky.

So that was real good. That same year, Inspector Clifton

was made Colonel and Deputy Director and then Simmons, H.

Lee Simmons was made Deputy Inspector and -if there ever was

a man, a fine man, it was nobody but Simmons. All the rest

of them was fine but Lee Simmons was something. Now that

same year, well, during this period of time, during

Governor Collins' administration, is whenever we, Tom Joyce

brought back a decal that was used with State Trooper on


JR: Now who is Tom Joyce?

CWK: Tom Joyce was a member of the Highway Patrol and he was

safety education officer down there, way back.

JR: Down where?

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