Title: Clinton E. Taylor
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Title: Clinton E. Taylor
Series Title: Clinton E. Taylor
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Interview with Captain C. E. Taylor, Retired

Employed with FHP 1940 1962

Interviewed by E. R. Peterson

Date Interviewed 2/9/89



ERP: Today's February 9th, 1989. Uh this is an interview with

Captain Clinton E. "Red Thunder Cloud" Taylor. My name's

Ray Peterson. The interview is being conducted at the

Lantana Highway Patrol station. The time is 8:30 a.m.

This is part of the FHP Oral History Project.

Captain Taylor, as you know, the FHP will observe its

50th anniversary in 1989 and this interview will

establish your knowledge and obtain your input into the

past history of the Patrol. So, for our files and for

the tape, will you state your name, please?

CET: Clinton E. Taylor.

ERP: Okay. Just following the outline, Captain, just to make

sure we kind of stay with what we need to get, what date

did you start with the FHP?

CET: May, 1940.

ERP: Okay and what was your rank and position when you retired

from the FHP?

CET: Captain. I was in excuse me command of the Turnpike

troop in West Palm Beach in 1962 when I was retired. I

had intended to retire at the end of the completion of my

20 years of service because in the '60's the retirement

of a Captain opened up a lot of vacancies up and down the

line and a lot of good men profited when one with that

much rank retired and departed the organization. And I

had recommended Bill Kaufman as my successor since he'd

put up with me all the years of the Turnpike, I felt he

was entitled to the promotion. And there was'some

problems at the end of my 20 years and we couldn't quite

make arrangements for Bill to ascend to the troop

commander's throne of Troop K. And I just stayed a

couple of years until the politics quieted down and got

out of the way and when I was assured that Bill Kaufman

was going to get my set of bars when I retired, I retired

and took the job as Director of the Florida State

Turnpike Authority the motivation being that in those

days, the pay was quite low and there a little more in

the Director's job than there was in the Captain's job.

I wanted to see if I could make a living without the

cop's image. I don't care if you're a six star general

in police service, in this society you're still a cop and

I wanted to see if I could make a living without the gun

and badge. And although I missed the Patrol and followed

it very closely, I haven't been sorry. I've been

successful in my career.

ERP: Well as Director of the Turnpike, that's what your job

was when you retired from the Patrol?

CET: Yes.

ERP: What did you do as Director of the Turnpike?

CET: In 1960 when we when the administration changed, there

was a new chairman of the Florida State Turnpike

Authority who in those days was the also the

administrative head of the Turnpike and John Hammer, an

insurance executive from Tampa, became the chairman and

asked Colonel Kirkman to assign me as Director of

Operations of the Turnpike Authority. And at that point,

Bill Kaufman the Lieutenant in Troop K became the Acting

Troop Commander and I took the job as Director of

Operations and managed the operations and administration

of the Turnpike from Miami to Ft. Pierce, the old bobtail

the original segment of the Turnpike.

ERP: Um hum.

CET: While the chairman spent the majority of his time in

putting together -the bondage and the necessary

engineering to extend the Turnpike from Ft. Pierce to

Wildwood. And then upon my retirement from the Patrol, I

took that job full time.

ERP: You were on like a leave of absence while you when you

first began the Director of Operations?

CET: Tantamount to that I was running the operations of the

Turnpike and Lieutenant Kaufman was the acting commander

of the Turnpike troop was one of the department heads

that reported to the Director of Operations.

ERP: Oh really?

CET: That was an interesting sort of a real comfortable

situation for all of us. You see, when historically I

watched Mr. Butler organize the Weight Troop of the

Florida Highway Patrol for which the Highway Patrol was

reimbursed by the DOT for the services and expenses and

operation of the Weight Troopers and Scales, I had

transferred out of our GHQ as Administrative Assistant to

the Director and was in command of Troop B the old which

was geographically the largest troop in the State,of

Florida at that time. I used to describe it in my civic

talks as running from the Suwannee River to the Atlantic

Ocean and from the Gulf of Mexico to (UNK) comprised of

17 counties and was quite an interesting representative

of field operations was the strong urban problem in Duval

County around Jacksonville and comparable problems around

the other places in the state and the Turnpike opening

was in the offing and one after talking it over with my

wife, I went into a staff meeting in Tallahassee one day

and while I was there, I told Colonel Kirkman that if he

hadn't made up his mind who was going to be assigned to

the Turnpike, that I wanted him to be aware of my

interest that I'd like to give it a whirl because it was

really the only thing new outside of the Weight Troop

that had come along in the Florida Highway Patrol since I

went with them in 1940. And the Colonel made the

announcement at that staff meeting in Tallahassee that I

was being assigned to the Turnpike and I had two bosses.

I reported to Colonel Kirkman for Patrol logistics and to

Colonel Manual, the chairman of the Florida State

Turnpike Authority at that time, for operational and

financial and logistical problems or anything new that

came up that required additional equipment such as fire

extinguishers on the high speed highway and found it very

exciting, found it real challenging. The I started off

in 1940 I came in I took all of my examinations and

received my original training and tutoring under

Lieutenant Hall in GHQ in Tallahassee in 1940 and late in

July around the first of August of 1940, there was what

they called the Tallahassee school. We occupied an

elementary school facility in Tallahassee and stayed in

the old Cherokee Hotel in downtown Tallahassee in those

days and since I'd just been through the training and

taken all my examinations I didn't have any problems with

the school. And rode a motorcycle in Tampa. I came back

to Tallahassee from Tampa for that August school in

1940. Bill Stevens from Pensacola was one of my

classmates. Ralph Robinson a Marine Corps Drill

Instructor and and had come right off of the police

department in Mcclenny as Chief of Police were in my

class and a number of others. It was a small class.

ERP: What school was it in number after the first?

CET: It was the second one.

ERP: It was the second one.

CET: Yeah.

ERP: So the first one was in Bradenton and the....

CET: Bradenton in 1939...

ERP: And then yours was in Tallahassee...

CET: In 1940.

ERP: In an elementary school?

CET: Yeah. They occupied the facility there just before

school opened and after Labor Day in September I think we

had about...

ERP: How many weeks did that consist of?

CET: I think about six weeks as I recall. Last part of July

and all of August and I think I think we went home Labor

Day weekend. Something like that.

ERP: Did they, you say you rode a motorcycle?

CET: Yeah. I was assigned a motorcycle in May when I got

through with my training in Tallahassee and took it to

Tampa and then rode it back up to Tallahassee and then I

left Tallahassee on a motorcycle again after that fall

school or school number two, you might

ERP: Uh huh.

CET: Small class and ah..

ERP: Jay Hall was in charge of that?

CET: Jay Hall was in charge of that one, too. And it was the

most of us were pretty slender in those days, you know,

it was during the Depression and we could sit in those

desks those school elementary school desks without having

any problem. Only ones that had any problems were some

of our instructors including Captain Martin. He had a

little trouble getting in squeezing into the desks but he

was one of the instructors so he didn't he had to stand

up in the front of the class. But the Olin Hill and I

were the two first first two State Troopers to be

stationed in Hillsborough County. Olin Hill was in

Panama City in the early 1940's and when when I left

Tallahassee in May or early June to go to Tampa, Olan

Hill was assigned to a patrol car and I had a motorcycle

and we were the Highway Patrol team that first hit

Hillsborough and Pinellas County. We worked rode a

motorcycle from the Gulf of Mexico to the Orange County

line. I used to stop and visit with the sheriff in

Osceola County. We'd sit there on the old orange box and

whittle you know and ah...

ERP: Well, what brought you into the Patrol? How did you get

interested in it?

CET: I just I became interested through one of the original

graduates of the '39 school, Homer Clay was stationed in

DeLand and I met him -early on when he came there in

December and hark back to the Depression years of the

late '30's and early '40's the Depression was still on

until the beginning or end of the early part of World War

II. And as I recall, the youngsters in those days were

encouraged to seek out something with a retirement

benefit at the end of their career. Some Civil Service

or military or postal mail carrier job and the Highway

Patrol although I recall I was I'd been on a SRD which is

now the DOT survey party during summer vacations and left

college to go to go to work full time. I'd gotten to the

sumptuous salary of $115.00 a month and the Patrol was

paying $125.00.

ERP: No kidding?

CET: So it was a promotion and and even even though the salary

was only $125.00 a month the job was something of a

political plum. You had to have politics to gain the

opportunity to take the examination the old police

adaptability exam was the criteria in those days for a

the aptitude of being a police officer to serve the I

don't know whether it's still used or not but Jay Hall

and me acquired a reputation because he made a hundred on

the examination. The first in the history of the nation

and I came along in 1940 and made 99 on it so I didn't

take any...

ERP: No kidding?

CET: ...any backseat so there was some apparently some of the

psychology of the exam as I understood it was innate

public service and and both of us Jay Hall and and myself

that. made us like people and want to serve the public and

a good officer has to enjoy serving the public to be a

good policeman.

ERP: Wonder if they still give that test?

CET: I don't know whether they still use the test or not but

of course I was quite proud of that ...

ERP: I'll bet.

CET: Although Jay ah Jay made a hundred on the examination

Major Hagins gained the reputation of being hundred

called nicknamed "Hundred Percent Hagins" because he made

a hundred on a first aid at the Bradenton school and he

became the chief first aid instructor for all tue Patrol

schools henceforth and I took my first aid course from

him in Tallahassee in 1940 and then I guess he still was

able to be certified and still teaches first aid as far

as I know. He does a great job because he told us what

to expect and thanks to his training, we gained quite a

reputation for administering first aid to wreck victims

and when we worked in Tampa riding a motorcycle until

until Fred Cone went out of office and Spencer Holland

became his successor as Governor of Florida and during

the the inaugural detail, I was assigned the Highway

Patrol car in Tallahassee and as it wound up, I wound up

a with a car and a motorcycle because whenever we went on

a special detail the air races in Miami in those days,

the Orange Bowl Parade, the Gasparilla in Tampa, the

Georgia-Florida game, the Jacksonville and inauguration

in Tallahassee chap who came along in 1941 by the name of

Paul Tiller and I wound up being detailed to the

motorcycles in special events. Real good training. Paul

Tiller was the only trooper that we lost during World War

II. He was a native of Chipley. His dad, Dr. Tiller,

was an old-timey, country, family doctor out in west

Florida who everybody knew, big, big family. Paul had

three sisters and a brother and I got to know the whole

family because he was stationed in Dade City and I was

stationed in Tampa when I came on. We used to socialize

together. But when World War II was over, we learned

that Paul went into the Navy and a kamikaze Japanese

pilot went into his carrier and blew the gun turret off

the side of the ship and all hands in that turret

disappeared as result of an explosion. They never did

find his body. And he was the only man we Highway Patrol

lost to World War II although everyone of draft age was

encouraged to go ahead in a selective branch of service

and volunteer for World War II service and not wait to be


ERP: What happened to the Patrol during the World War II years

as far as manpower?

CET: It drifted off and dropped off. Jess Gillam was the

Director and we were all encouraged to go ahead into the

military and of course it was their own choice to do as

we want to and the final result was Jess Gillam was an

avid supporter of the draft and encouraged all of us of

draft age and the physical stature that meant that we

would be drafted to go ahead and select our branch of

service. And I had an occasion to arrest an Air CorpS

General from MacDill what is now MacDill Air Force Base.

It was called MacDill Field at the time and and the

General promised a real sincere interest in my military

career because of my arresting him for drunk driving.

And he intended to pursue my military career very closely

and take a deep personal interest in it. So I joined the

Coast Guard. Took an examination and made First Class

Fireman which was tantamount to a Buck Sergeant's job -

$78.00 a month pay instead of $50.00, which was pretty

good in those days and I had to go back to the General's

court martial in my Highway in my Coast Guard monkey

suit. It was a real interesting series of events there.

But I loaded him up I was in Seffner when he got involved

in the wreck with a selectee had just returned from Camp

Blanding and was visi-ting his family and the General's

drinking led him into the predicament. And it was sort

of irritating the General demanding that the selectee

salute about three minutes and I got tired of that and

locked the General up. Of course, he got out of

County Jail before I could get through writing




ERP: Yeah.

CET: He didn't stay too long.

ERP: Seffner's just outside of Tampa on 574.

CET: That's right.

ERP: I used to work that area.

CET: Interesting. Tampa is a good place for a rookie trooper

to start his career. There's never a dull moment.

ERP: You're right

CET: Miami or Jacksonville or one of the ..

ERP: That's right.

CET: ..bigger places. You learn a lot real fast in a place

like that. But I wound up in August of '42 on a leave of

absence from the Florida Highway Patrol going into the

Coast Guard. And interestingly enough, for that war, I

guess I was one of a very small minority of service

people who wound up in the same occupation as his

civilian work. I wound up in Coast Guard Intelligence

and was fortunate enough to be trained in an intelligence

course where we had the Secret Service as our instructors

and our classmates were from all the allied countries.

And the old timers in the Federal Bureau of Investigation

were quite candid in that the best investigative

intelligence training available in those days was by the

Secret Service. As proud as the FBI is of its

reputation, you know especially in those days, they still

the old timers told me many times that they aspired to go

to that same school and a number of them did in their

military career.

ERP: Um hum.

CET: There was quite an interesting...I had a coworker in the

Coast Guard by the name of Daryll Marsh who was in the

United States Secret Service and moved over into the

Coast Guard for his military service in World War II.

But it was his father who made the notorious briefcase

switch with the Kiser's agent in World War I that

shortened World War I, I don't know how many weeks or at

least he was given credit for it and because of that

particular case Daryll Marsh was sort of an honorary

appointee to the Secret Service as soon as he got out of

college he joined the United States Secret Service. Real

interesting chap because of Daryll serving in Coast Guard

Intelligence in Miami with me, we were privy to a lot of

coffee drinking sessions with the old time Secret Service

outfit. We had one agent stationed in Miami at that time

and because of Daryll's popularity in the Secret Service,

we were privy to a lot of things that that were not known

outside of intelligence circles when toward the end of

the war with Germany, Winston Churchill and Franklin D.

Roosevelt met at Hillsborough Mile, very exclusive

settlement in Broward County for the peace conference.

Nobody knew they were there. They came in and occupied

the two different private dwellings there and the Secret

Service contingent was responsible for protecting their

lives. They occupied adjacent private homes in the area

and was real real interesting real interesting to be

privy to that part of history. And since I've been on

this job with the Department of Natural Resources, I've

visited those places on the beach and seen the vegetation

that Winston Churchill planted while he was there.

ERP: Now where was this at?

CET: The Hillsborough Beach.

ERP: Hillsborough Mile, you called it?

CET: Hillsborough Mile, yeah. It's that area from Pompano

Beach to Deerfield on the coast. Very exclusive area and

the people are very proud of their history and the fact

that because of the security capability to block off

Hillsborough Inlet and the bridge at the north at

Deerfield, they'd have the same security that Palm Beach

brags about where they can block off the bridges and you

can't get in or out of Palm Beach. So it's the same

security and exclusivity that (UNK) and the Gold Coast,

Jupiter Island and places like that. They have a lot of

money a lot of name multi-millionaires that you read

about in the press. I came back out of let me see we got

into my Tampa...

ERP: So you were in Tampa until what, August of '42 and you


CET: '42 then I came back out of World War II in '46, April of

'46 and I'd been in touch with Colonel Kirkman during his

visits to Florida during World War II. Colonel Kirkman

left the Patrol as a Captain early on in '41 and he was

in the reserve as an engineer with the Corps of Engineers

and they activated -all the reserves in the Engineering

Corps because of their capability of building airfields.

Colonel Kirkman went to England and built many of the

airfields that the British RAF used during World War II.

He came back from England and transferred into the to the

Provost Marshal's Office and was in charge of the

military prisoners of war in the United States. Then

when he mustered out in World War II, he switched over to

the Air Force because Eglin Air Force Base was the

nearest military establishment in Florida of any size and

it meant that he could do his reserve duty his active

duty at Eglin Air Force Base and the Air Police function

there and it was from that that he retired as an Air

Force Colonel. When when Colonel Kirkman came back out

of World War II, an arrangement had been made through

Governor Caldwell and the changes in the law that were

subsequently amended, Colonel Kirkman came back as the

Director and he had threatened to move me to GHQ and I

didn't want to go. I was real happy when I came back out

of World War II and...

ERP: You went back to Tampa?

CET: I went I went to Bartow and we had problems in Ocala and

I replaced a Sergeant in Ocala and was promoted to

Lieutenant and moved to Tampa as the District Tampa

District Commander and following the Gasparilla

festivities and parade and the Patrol's participation in

the Gasparilla Day Parade, which was the biggest single

event in Florida at that time, attracting more people

than the Orange Bowl festival in Miami because of the

hundred mile drawing card that the Gasparilla had.

People could drive in a couple or three hours drive from

a hundred miles away. They consistently recorded more

people in attendance at Gasparilla than they did at the

Orange Bowl and before the growth of south Florida and

shortly after the Gasparilla Parade in February of '47,

'49, I got orders to transfer to Tallahassee and became

the Records Officer for the Florida Highway Patrol and...

ERP: What rank were you?

CET: I was Lieutenant.

ERP: Still Lieutenant?

CET: Still Lieutenant and at that time there was a problem

with press agents in state government. Everybody today

has a public information officer or research and

development officer or a PR function in their department

and there's no problem with it. It's a bona-fide

function of state government. But during those days,

there was a resentment against press agents as theycalled

them. And I was Records Officer and in that

responsibility had the job of converting that sort of dry

statistical data to something we could help sell highway

safety with and became the first Safety Officer that the

state had and developed the Safety Section of the Patrol

which placed a Safety Officer in each troop as staff to

the troop commander and I think there are additional

positions today so most troop commanders have more than

one Safety Officer and he has the same duties as the GHQ

Safety Officer does the Safety Officer in Tallahassee as

staff. to the Director and the local Safety Officers are

staff to the troop commanders.

ERP: Um hum.

CET: We uniformed the efforts of all the Safety Officers

throughout the state and had a special emphasis program

on a monthly basis and we coordinated that so that

publicity-wise we were all talking about the same thing

simultaneously. And one month would be pedestrian safety

and the other month would be bicycle safety and another

month would be night driving problems and another would

be vehicle inspection and we were promoting the various

aspects of highway and traffic safety which contributed

to the problem in an effort to head them off and reduce

the number of wrecks and fatalities and injuries in the

state caused by traffic. Then I moved (tape ended)

during this period of time even prior to 1949, in those

days we had biannual legislative sessions, '47, '49, '51

and biannual non-professional legislators at the time and

and we developed a legislative program and wound up with

the responsibility and were consulted on all safety

measures by the members of the legislature and their

their staffs and had input into any legislation including

driver licensing and the actual operation of our liaison

with the members of the legislature. Tom King, who was

long time director of the Driver License Division would

handle the Senate and I would handle the House of

Representatives. We worked closely together on the

legislative program and time that the the troopers

themselves were the most successful in passing

legislation. If we had a specific problem in an area or

with a specific member of the legislature, we would go to

the trooper in that area and find out what the problem

was and his stature and reputation was the stature of the

Highway Patrol in the minds of that Senator or

Representative and when he went to set down and have

coffee with a member of the legislature, he's the one

that passed our legislation before they ever came to

Tallahassee. I recall vividly Volley Williams in

Seminole County, who is now a Circuit Judge, had told me

in on my prior to the legislature going into session

meeting with him that he wanted Bob Harrison to have a

pay raise. When he arrived in Tallahassee at the opening

of the session, I contacted him and explained the

legislative program and he said Red, I'm committed to

make sure that Bob Harrison and his family have a little

more money.

ERP: Who's Bob Harrison?

CET: Bob Harrison's a retired Sergeant from the Turnpike...

ERP: Okay.

CET: ..who's now deceased. His wife, Ouida, is retired from

the County Animal Regulation Department in Palm Beach


ERP: Okay.

CET: And Bob in those days was stationed in Sanford and Volley

Williams and Brailey Odom didn't give a damn about

Colonel Kirkman or Red Taylor or Wallace Smith or Captain

Martin or Fitzhugh Lee or anybody else. He judged the

Highway Patrol by Bob Harrison's work in Seminole

County. Bob had come on at the Kissimmee school and I've

forgotten when that was but wound up working with me on

the Turnpike. And I promised Volley Williams that there

was a pay raise in our request for legislation at this

session of the legislature and and it was due to

scheduled to pass the House on a given day and I was

sitting up on the gallery observing and right in the

middle of our bill being handled by Colonel Ben Fuqua

from Manatee County and the House Volley Williams got the

action on the bill suspended and and signaled to me the

meeting downstairs in the committee room and I like to

broke my leg getting out of the gallery getting down to

that committee room to meet with him and Colonel Fuqua

and and we went in the room and he said, now, Red, don't

get mad. But he said is this the bill that gives Bob

Harrison the pay raise? I said you dumb son of a bitch.

I told you this twenty times already, what's the

problem. He said no problem, I just wanted to know,

don't he said cool off and he went back in and went

through his (UNK) of the pay raise bill passed at that

session. Scared me half to death.

ERP: I'll be damned.

CET: One man can do that, you know, in the legislature.

That's one of the interesting tidbits of the legislative

session and..Mack Britt is now deceased, a retired

Captain on the Florida Highway Patrol, used to come to

Tallahassee and do some lobbying with us and I looked up

one afternoon and there was Mack Britt in the House

chambers you know and I was talking to a member of the

House from a small county and we had asked for some

additional personnel and some more money to fund it and

some additional troopers. And that country legislator

had me cornered in the House and I had not yet introduced

the bill but I had about 98 or 99 co-introducers already

signed the bill. And he got me in the corner and said

now Red when this bill passes he said, I want old George

down here I want him to be made a Corporal. He's a nice

guy and he's my friend and we go fishing together. And

old Sam over there, he needs to be a Lieutenant and and

and James he I want him to be First Sergeant. I said if

you don't mind, would you take your name off of this

Goddamn bill. He said how come. I said what we do for

you, we've got to do for every other member of the House

and there ain't that many damn vacancies. We can't how

in the hell am I going to do this for you and not do it

for everybody else who asks the same question. You can't

do it.

ERP: Yeah.

CET: And he got mad. He got real upset and scared Mike Britt

half to death and we went back to the Martin Building and

told Colonel Kirkman what had happened and Captain Britt

said Red has really screwed up our legislative program.

We're not going to get a damned thing. That was one of

his members of the legislature and he was a Captain in

Bradenton at that time and he said you have really done

undone all the good work I've done. And about a week

later, the same representative called me over and said

you know Red I've been thinking about what you told me.

He said you're right. He said I want my name on that

bill but he said that you can't you can't obligate

yourself or Colonel Kirkman wouldn't ever go for

something like that. And what he didn't know was that

you could threaten Colonel Kirkman with something like

that and he'd run like a damn billy goat you know with

his tail on fire and promise him the world. And it hurt

his reputation in the legislature. But I just told him I

said hell there's no way we can do it. He said hey I got

to thinking about that and you're right. He said you've

got a good reputation among the members here and if you

say something we can put it in the damn bank. And he

said I appreciate your being candid with me. He said I

got mad and I got over it and he said we're still friends

and shook hands with him. No problem.

ERP: But in fact, back then, promotions did sometimes hinge

quite a bit on the politics....

CET: Exactly, that's exactly right.

ERP: And that's how, I guess the Patrol moved along at that


CET: And a spineless administration that was apparent at some

of those times permitted some good old boys to be


ERP: Um hum. I think it's time for a break.

Okay, we're back on the tape and we were talking about

the political promotional process.

CET: Right.

ERP: You were saying something about about that.

CET: We were aware that politics controlled the purse strings

of the budget of the Florida Highway Patrol. It also had

some influence in the promotions at that time and the

public relations and glad-handing of the troopers who

were smart enough in that particular area get them some

promotions a lot of times. We no we started off or when

I came along in 1940, we had a system of financing by

driver's license. Historically, when the Patrol in the

late '30's was organized, they were an illegal

operation. They were traffic inspectors under the then

SRD which is now the DOT and they were uniformed and

their police authority, however, came from the

appointment by the sheriff in the counties where they

worked as a deputy. And when Fred Cohn took office, he

abolished the traffic inspectors and the SRD and really

did the new Patrol a. favor because in 1939, Fred Cohn was

still governor, Dan McCarty was Speaker of the House.

Through the efforts of and exuberance of the Junior

Chamber of Commerce and the sage, wise guidance by the

American Legion, the Department of Public Safety Bill was

enacted in the state legislature in 1939, financed by a

fifty cent driver license. And subsequently, we found

that the income from driver licensing was limited.

Consequently, our growth was limited accordingly. So in

the advice that I had from those who considered the

Highway Patrol a fair-haired department of government in

their experience. One of them just died day before

yesterday Bud Gautier from Dade County who in his day was

the only senator from Dade County was one of our major

sponsors with the Highway Patrol and safety legislation.

But we had income that we were producing through our

efforts other than the driver license. We had the fine

and forfeiture fund that went into the county revenue and

the county commissioners loved us because if we had a

working bunch of troopers in the county, their fine and

forfeiture fund was higher than the counties where we

didn't have as many troopers. We had the assessments

from the weight troop in those days so we combined all of

those incomes from all sources including the driver's

licensing and showed how much income resulted from the

efforts of the Department of Public Safety, Driver

License Division and Division of Florida Highway Patrol.

And I was an advocate of operating directly out of

general revenue. Take our chances every two years we

would get an appropriation by the legislature from

general revenue. And we had a lot of problems with that

legislation because we had what was considered in those

days a trust fund, marked money from the sale of driver

licenses. And that was restrictive because you know

every time we wanted more money, we had to ask for the

driver's license to be raised and that was increased

taxation and the legislators didn't like it. And it was

finally decided in the opinion of Colonel Kirkman and the

governor and the cabinet that if we couldn't justify an

appropriation on a biannual basis from the general

revenue fund, then we didn't have any business being a

part of Highway Patrol. So we moved over and

subsequently in the second or third legislation following

that, there was a move to remove all trust funds, all

earmarked funds, everything had to come through the

general revenue fund. And that's when the Patrol really

started growing. When we were able to prove to the

legislature that there was a need for our services and we

did grow and really you can look at some other agencies

in Florida who were stymied because they did not approach

the problem in the same way that Colonel Kirkman guided

our approach and move over to general revenue fund. We

did not enter into the subterfuge of offering 24-hour

service until we had enough troopers to handle it. It

was 1954 or '55 before we even kept our Highway Patrol

radio stations on the air 24-hours a day. Formerly,

prior to that time at 11 o'clock at night, the radio

operator would sign the station off and sleep in the

station and be subject to call in the event of a wreck or

an emergency. But then, in about '54 or '55, we during

which time I was the commander of Troop B in Lake City,

we put on a rotating schedule basis, we had a trooper

working out of each station 24-hours a day. One would

come on at 11 o'clock at night until 8, 7 or 8 o'clock

the next morning. And he was driving an awful number of

miles to get to a wreck when the trooper who was sleeping

right next door to the wreck could have gotten out of bed

and handled it and a lot of them did. But we'd still

have that kind of service today where the midnight

troopers cover sometimes two or three of the smaller

counties and and give 24-hour service but at least we

have enough people today to give 24-hour service. The

other agencies around the state have endeavored to give

24-hour service without an adequate increase in their

strength to really handle it. And in the final analysis,

we if we're going to grant special privilege or cater to

any group, we should cater to the honest, law abiding


ERP: Yeah.

CET: And make ourselves available and in the public eye during

daylight hours and then on the weekends when the public's

traveling. Give them service. Help them out. Change

their tires. Give them gas if they run out of gas as

well as enforcement. But we in 1956, I moved from Lake

City to the Turnpike and found a real interesting

situation with a little bobtail Turnpike and a very

economy-minded administrator, Colonel Thomas Manuel, who

was the first chairman of the first Turnpike Authority.

And we agreed upon and received the allocated funds for

enough troopers to provide 24-hour service on the

Turnpike, which was the only police operation state

police operation in the state because the Highway Patrol

has police on the Turnpike. And to find out the secrets

and the pitfalls and the things that were mandatory to be

done in a limited and policing your limited access

facilities such as the Turnpike and the


December 1956, I visited all the toll roads from Illinois

to the New York Throughway. And I'd sit around the

Turnpike Authority headquarters and visit with the police

commanders and patrol commanders and the Turnpike

administrative people and listen to all this high level

philosophy and then at night I would relay across those

roads with a trooper or maintenance supervisor or toll

collection courier, someone to find out if all this

philosophy was really practical and if it worked. And I

made a list of the do's and don't and Bill Kaufman

called me a couple- of years ago and asked me if I knew

that the 25 years ago we had opened the Turnpike to

traffic and cut the ribbon and Governor Collins came down

and rode in a Chrysler convertible and the damn car

stopped and like to tossed the governor out of the car.

And I said Bill, I don't know what you've got on your

mind, but I'm not that damn old. You know, I didn't I

wasn't involved in that thing. Time sure flies but we

opened it in January of 1957 and won the awards through

the National Safety Congress for the safest Turnpike

operation in the United States.

ERP: How many troopers did you nave on there when you first


CET: We had a real mess. We had no Turnpike communications

and we had to depend upon the regular low band FHP radio

and we had to permanently assign troopers and some

borrowed troopers that were out there on temporary duty

until we could find out really what the manpower

requirements were. And within a few weeks, we got our

Turnpike communication system into operation and

eliminated the FHP radios and really the Turnpike

communication system was the secret to the success of the

Highway Patrol on the Turnpike because I could sit in my

car at the airport in Miami in those days and talk car to

car to a trooper down in Ft. Pierce. Then after we

extended it, we could do the same thing to Ocala.

ERP: Yeah.

CET: And it created something of a management problem because

some of the troopers would persistently ask a supervisor

what to do on a case and we resolved that by explaining

to them on the radio in as diplomatic fashion as possible

that they should use their own discretion but they'd

better be right. But we had...

ERP: How many times have we heard that?

CET: Yeah. You can now cross tie on the Turnpike radio and

talk the same distance but it's a...we had real close

liaison with the toll collectors and never had any

holdups during my command on the Turnpike.

ERP: They had a lot of traditionally they used to maintain

facilities on the Turnpike, I believe, for the troopers

to sleep during the night, didn't they?

CET: Oh yeah. One of the fringe benefits. We had barracks,

we had posts at Pompano, West Palm and Stuart and the

single troopers lived in those barracks on the posts. We

provided sleeping quarters and in return, they were the

first callouts when we had a wreck after hours, after

night. We granted the same privilege to married officers

with mobile homes. We provided parking facilities and

utilities, garbage collection and telephone service at

the interchanges on Turnpike Authority land. And

ultimately we felt that we should not ride a good horse

to death so we charged them $5.00 a month rent for the

mobile home. And then when Bill Barnett would come down

to the pistol matches and the shoots we had guest

quarters at the troop headquarters in West Palm Beach.

We could sleep two or three people there and that didn't

reduce our popularity any by providing that kind of

hosting service. And we kept the troop pistol trophy

championship all the time I was out there. If, you know,

three of us met along side the road, we'd have target


ERP: Yeah.

CET: And we had a the Turnpike provided us with reloads and we

reloaded our ammunition there in charge of the First

Sergeant, who was Duke Randall when we started off. Duke

came down the Turnpike from Lake City with me and Bill

Kaufman came over from Ft. Myers. And we'd have our

regularly scheduled post meetings and regular staff

meetings. We had a weekly staff meeting for lunch every

Monday and emphasizing...see we had some good old boys on

the Turnpike that -had never had any management or

supervisory training and we had to go through the

training to offset the habits of troopers who'd been

there fourteen, sixteen, eighteen years. Their most

comfortable posture was out on the road stopping

violators and writing tickets. And they were not

comfortable in a management position. So we had to

change this environment to make them more at ease in

supervising than in...they knew how to do the job. But

they we had to train them in management. We did that on

the job. The staff meetings were a management tool that

we used for training purposes.

ERP: Every Monday you had a meeting?

CET: Every Monday at noon we had a staff meeting. The

Turnpike was new and we didn't know anything about

operating a Turnpike and we had to learn. So...

ERP: You were just feeling your way around.

CET: Sometimes we'd change our rules twice a week. We had to

develop the things that were best. We had a running

start because of my trip across the northern toll roads

and the do's and don't that were generated there. But

traffic was low in those days. We had you know maybe

5,000 a day and you could lay down in the traffic lane

and not worry about getting run over. But we were the

monitors and inspectors for the Turnpike Authority on the

patron services. And I found out, for example, the first

week we were in business that we had six oil companies

doing business two at each interchange, two stations at

Pompano, two at West Palm and two at Stuart/Ft. Pierce

service plaza. And we had six different prices for the

same service. We had city service who would go anywhere

in their zone for $3.00 and Sinclair charged by the hour;

it was $9.35 anywhere in their zone. So I said look to

the chairman as soon as I found this out I said this

wouldn't look good on the front page of the Miami

Herald. We better straighten it out and he said well go

ahead and straighten it out. In those days, we didn't

make a move with relation to the patron service without

the AAA. All the AAA had a representative on our price

schedule for gasoline prices, for food prices, for

everything. And the contracts required that those people

provide products and services for not to exceed the

prevailing rate in comparable establishments along the

route of the Turnpike. And they even participated in

price wars or cut rate gasoline prices when the price was

when the stations were feuding over on U.S. 1 or 441,

they brought their prices down on the Turnpike also,

which they should, you know. We were interested in the

end result of encouraging more service on the Turnpike.

People wouldn't use the pike if they thought they were

going to get price go-uged.

ERP: Yeah.

CET: So we were the Authority's hatchet man. We ah Colonel

Manuel was the banker and was real adept at assigning

fancy titles and jobs but no more pay. I was the Safety

Director for the Turnpike Authority and the

Communications Officer, and the Transportation Officer,

so as Safety Officer, every time that there was an injury

of a Turnpike employee, there'd be a trooper looking at

him with a pad in his hand making an investigation so we

didn't have any malingering claims on Workman's Comp. We

constantly won the award for the lowest Workman's Comp

rate of any comparable organization. And the same thing

with patron injuries. If someone slipped and fell going

up the steps up to restaurants or in a service station,

the claims were practically negligible because they

wouldn't lie to a trooper who was standing there

investigating. So our men got the advantage and benefit

of investigative training also.

ERP: Um hum.

CET: And we had a problem. We would get men out of the

Academy like all the other troops did and look around and

find out that he'd been on the Turnpike for two years and

never investigated a wreck involving two vehicles. We

had them work out there two years and never filled out a

wreck report because no wrecks had occurred on their

shifts. It was unfair to keep a rookie on the Turnpike

for two or three years because in his formative years he

needed diversified training. So we'd move him off and

get him on the narrow roads so he could learn something

and further his career. You know you had to learn to

drive all over again when you left the Turnpike because

the driving was so completely different. But we promised

that we stopped the old policy of goofing off and getting

a transfer. If a man felt like he wanted to go somewhere

and didn't like his job, he would screw up and the troop

commander would move him somewhere else to get rid of

him. Well, we stopped that. We said if you want to

leave here, you've got to be a top trooper. You've got

to be a top dog. And it wasn't long before I felt

personally the reaction because at the staff meetings,

the other troop commanders would say hey, Taylor, you got

a trooper that wants to leave down there? They'd say

I've had a couple of your men and boy they're top hands

when they come off of the Turnpike. We were in a

constant training and retraining and in-service training

posture there that..it paid dividends. Unfortunately, I

had the unpleasant task of having to terminate some

officers who'd been around for 16 or 18 years that were

not trooper temperament. They should have been

terminated in their first year while they were on

probation. And because of the lack of good management

skills, their supervisors had been involved in a

popularity contest instead of bearing down on the trooper

and changing his work habits and making a top hand out of

him, they had given him good evaluation and performance

scores, performance evaluation scores and let him stay

on. I had a very unpleasant mission when one of the

senior troopers sort of took advantage of a sergeant who

was too lenient and let him swop shifts a couple of times

and he left early and came back late and went off and

partied all the time lhe was gone and came back to work

the daytime shift in violation of the rules which said

you have to get a reasonable amount of sleep before you

go on watch and he'd driven...was driving down the

Turnpike and went sound asleep and ran into the back end

of a toll paying patron. And I was upset because he had

taken advantage of the sergeant and (tape ended)

ERP: Okay. It's February 9th, 1989 and this is the

continuation tape 2 side 1 of tape 2 continuation of the

interview with Captain Major Inspector Clinton E. Thunder

Cloud Red Taylor.

CET: Where'd you get the Thunder Cloud? It was Red Cloud.

ERP: Red Cloudi

CET: Red Cloud.

ERP: I'm sorry.

CET: I've still got that cartoon that shows the Indian and the

arrows in the toll plaza.

ERP: I don't know why I was thinking I keep saying Thunder


GET: Yeah, it was Red Cloud one of the nicer things.

ERP: How'd you come with that handle? How'd you come by it?

CET: Stu Collins, Howard Collins was a pretty good

cartoonist. And he would..he had a great sense of humor

and he would come up with a cartoon every once in a while

and this was one of his cartoons and it showed a bunch of

Indians in war paint and the toll plaza in Ft. Pierce

full of arrows..pierced the toll plaza, you know, and the

toll collector was screaming "Who in the hell is Red

Cloud?" But his cutest one..one of the cleverest ones,

we had a policy on the Turnpike, historically, when

Governor Warren was down at Tampa for the Gasparilla

Festival one year, Lieutenant L. W. Brazzell brought his

car down from Tall-ahassee and Governor Warren flew in.

And Brazz drove the Cadillac down somewhere on U.S. 19,

he and a buzzard had a parting of the ways and Brazz

pulled up to the Floridian Hotel in Tampa with a buzzard

halfway through the windshield of the Governor's

Fleetwood Cadillac. And I recall when we opened the

Turnpike that the buzzards were not acclimated to the 70

mile an hour speed limit on the Turnpike and if there's

anything disastrous looking as old, stinking buzzard with

the windshield broken out of a car, you know, lying half

in the front seat, half on the hood of a car that was

running too fast. So we developed a policy that required

the troopers and the maintenance personnel to eliminate

dead animals from the roadway or anything that would

attract buzzards. We'd equip the troopers with shovels

and rakes and they called the things, those tools, they

called them 'coon spoons' and 'snake rakes.' Collins,

Stu Collins came up one time with a picture of his patrol

car southbound, just north of the Pompano toll plaza, and

he had driven by a dead dragonfly in the roadway. And

old Red Cloud had raised the lid in the median and was

saying "Collins, what about that snake rake you just

passed?" He said I would appear out of the blue, you

know, and find them doing something that they'd need to

correct or not doing something they should be doing.

ERP: How did he publish his cartoons?

CET: He'd just draw them.

ERP: Just draw them.


CET: Show up on the barracks, bulletin boards somewhere.

ERP: Any of them ever make it in the trooper magazine, they

used to publish?

CET: No, they never did that I know of.

ERP: That h.irnde really stayed with you, though.

CET: Yeah, it sure did. That was one of the nicer ones.

ERP: That's how I always heard of you when I was a trooper.

CET: Red Cloud?

ERP: Yeah, Red Cloud. Somehow or another I transposed that to

Thunder Cloud later.

CET: Yeah, right.

ERP: But I remember it.

CET: Yeah, the "Red" part of it used to remind me of when I

had some hair and the "Cloud"....I had..I was widowed in

November. In fact, my wife and I were, my first wife and

I were supposed to come to the Turnpike and start

developing plans and policies and programs for Highway

Patrol in conjunction with the rule making authority of

the Turnpike and communications. I came aboard as police

and communications commander and our communications was

one of the most progressive and advanced of its day. The

microwave carrier, we've had we've had the microwave

telephone as a as a fringe benefit so that we had free

telephone service in each one of our posts along the

route of the Turnpike. And we had to reverse the calling

procedure where you used to use your number first and use

the station or car you were calling first in case the

microwave didn't lock in and you would cut off the first

part of your message in a hurry or in an emergency

situation. And we would say Turnpike from 301 or Parkway

from 301 instead of 301 Parkway.

ERP: I never understood why that was done.

CET: It was because the system was a little bit slow in

locking in. If I were in Fort Pierce and talking to a

trooper around Miami, the microwave towers, which are

about as far apart as AT&T long distance telephone

company towers, 20 to 25 miles apart, they had to all

lock in. It was instantaneous almost but occasionally

you would, in an emergency, you would cut off the first

part of your transmission so we reversed the calling

procedure instead of saying 301 Parkway we'd say Parkway

from 301.

ERP: That way you'd get...

CET: They'd get the 301 even if they missed the Parkway,

they'd know 301 wanted something and you'd better

answer. But the disciplinary problems I had observed

that when Lieutenant Butler organized the weight troop

that the trooD commanders would bless him with all of

their best troopers. They sent the screw-offs, using a

nice word for it, to get rid of them and...at the time

Colonel Kirkman announced I was going to organize a

Turnpike troop, I suggested that he might reconsider

their policy instead of sending me all their culls, to

send me a good officer occasionally, you know, because I

could use all the help I could get. But they didn't. It

was just human nature, you know, not to send you your

most desirable and best performing officers. They'd send

the ones that were disciplinary problems. I promised

them that they'd be good troopers if they stayed. They'd

be top hands by the time they left the Turnpike and as it

turned out, they were. I had very few disciplinary

problems that went anywhere. We'd handle our own. We'd

invite them, you know, to spend the day off talking to me

in the glass castle, you know.

ERP: What did you call it, the glass castle?

CET: Well, that was the office on the second floor of the West

Palm Beach interchange.

ERP: Okay.

CET: You know, all glassed in.

ERP: All that glass.

CET: Yeah, Vincent enjoys it now. But they had to explain to

their wives why they were in there talking to their

sergeant or lieutenant or the little tin god, the troop

commander, instead of being at home taking their kids

fishing or taking their wives shopping or doing

something. But it didn't impact their pay. We'd get

their cooperation without going on their record. When a

man reported in, we'd turn a sheet in a notebook and say

this is all clean, this is where you're starting. I've

known you for a long time and your. reputation is

preceding you has preceded you but I think you need an

opportunity to straighten out and do right, fly right.

And most of them did.

ERP: Yeah.

CET: We had some that we had problems with but...

ERP: Any notable troopers that were under your command that

came up through the Patrol and achieved rank.

CET: Well, Bill Kaufman left the Turnpike and became

tantamount to a Colonel as a division head in Highway

Safety and Motor Vehicles and retired top hand is in real

poor health. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago.

He's got an emphysema problem as has MargarCt.

ERP: I understand he was just recently interviewed for this

oral history.

CET: Yeah. That would be quite interesting.

ERP: I'd like to read that one.

CET: Yeah. Duke Randall came to the Turnpike as First

Sergeant. He served with me as First Sergeant in Lake

City and I had a number of people who went through the

appropriate channels (UNK) down to the Turnpike from my

old Troop B headquartered in Lake City. Harry Darrill

retired as a First Sergeant. W. W. "Red" Johnson, who was

commissioned a battlefield captain in the Marine Corps in

World War II, became the First Sergeant, succeeded

Doyle. Bill Carlisle retired as a Lieutenant and he was

assigned to Colonel Manuel as his aide and Bill retired

and died a short time later from an aneurysm, a real

painful death. Bob Harrison retired as a Sergeant.

Darrill, Harrison and Carlisle were the first troopers to

be stationed on the Turnpike but came down here on a

guard duty assignment, really. As segments of the

Turnpike were completed, a problem developed in that the

local hot-rodders used those sections as a raceway. They

came in to the Turnpike in the final construction days in

1956, before the Turnpike was opened and we.had a number

of contiguous property owners who were issued passes to

traverse those sections of the Turnpike before they were

opened to traffic. A real interesting and gratifying

experience on the Turnpike. It's the only thing new that

had come along since 1940 except the weight troop and it

was a real challenge to put it together. We had an awful

lot of fun.

ERP: How long did you stay as the Director of Operations on

the Pike after you retired from the Patrol?

CET: Four years.

ERP: Four years. You became Sheriff.....

CET: Yeah.

ERP: ...for a short period of time.

CET: Yeah. We were in a Turnpike Authority meeting in Tampa

when Mr. Hammer was chairman, John Hammer. And Hammer

didn't drink coffee and he didn't smoke. I was smoking

in those days and he'd drink his tea and talk and we were

about to have a nicotine fit, you know, to get out and

get a cup of black coffee and have a cigarette. And one

morning during our meeting, the secretary came in said

Mr. Hammer the Governor'- on the line. Well, we got the

hell out, you know, to give him the privacy the rank

required. And it was a storefront office and we went

right next door to the drugstore and the girl had just

brought my coffee and I'd just lit up that cigarette, you

know, when the secretary came and said Red, the Chairman

wants you in there right now, PDQ. So, I had no coffee,

no cigarette. I went in and Mr. Hammer put his hand over

the phone and said just a minute, Governor. He said, Red

the Governor wants to appoint you Sheriff of Palm Beach

County. When can you be in Tallahassee? Well, that was

a Monday morning. I said, you know, how about..I got

stupidly thinking about what I had to do and I said how

about Thursday afternoon. Well, that afternoon at 2

o'clock, I was in the Governor's office. I was on that

damn Turnpike Aero Commander and went to Tallahassee to

confer with the Governor and...

ERP: Who was the Governor?

* 46

CET: Ferris Bryant.

ERP: Ferris Bryant. Did he know you before?

CET: Yeah, I was Sergeant in Ocala and Ferris was the

representative in the House of Representatives in Ocala

from Marion County. I knew him and he had a problem

here. The Sheriff had been removed for perjury, for

lying, to the grand jury. And he had appointed a

political supporter, D.A.B. Widener the third, and

Widener had embarrassed everybody in the county and the

Governor had to fire him and he wanted somebody to bail

him out. So I was in fact an employee of the Governor

anyway employed by the Turnpike Authority. So, I took

the job and John Kirk had been Sheriff and defeated

himself. Martin Kellenberger had been elected to the

office, a Republican, and it was a protest vote against a

16-year incumbent, John Kirk had elected Martin

Kellenberger. John had started his own road patrol and

John, Jr., had..was running the show and they got a

little high handed and abrupt and created a lot of

animosity. And the word had gotten out that..the

opposition put the word out that if John were re-elected

that he was going to step down and get the Governor to

appoint John, Jr. as Sheriff and John, Sr. was going to

retire. And Kellenberger went in and against the advice

of his lawyer, one of the best lawyers in the Palm

Beaches, he went in that Grand Jury room with the

admonition from his lawyer whatever you do, tell them the

truth. Don't ever lie to the Grand Jury. Well, he went

in. The Grand Jury said, Sheriff, did Lou Carroll ever

work for you and he said no. Did you ever put him on

your payroll and he said no. They said did you ever use

any other funds of your office to hire Lou Carroll; he

said no, which waz a blatant outright lie because Lou

Carroll was being paid as an informant out of the

Sheriff's investigative fund. The Sheriff said I don't

have to tell anybody why I spend that investigative fund;

that's a confidential fund. So, the Grand Jury

recommended his indictment and removal. And D.A.B.

Widener had gone in and he made the State Attorney mad

and the judges mad and just...I had met Pete when he was

appointed by Happy Chandler as Superintendent of the

Kentucky State Police when they changed from a Highway

Patrol to the State Police. Pete went in a gun-happy,

badge-happy kid. Pete's grandfather was a butcher, came

over here from Germany at the turn of the century and had

the meat contract to provide all the Armed Forces with

meat all during World War I. Made him a mint of money.

Pete said..told me when he passed away that he inherited

a hundred million dollars. There was three hundred

million dollars in the estate and he was one of three

heirs and he never really knew how much money and doesn't

today know how much money he's worth. When you've got a

hundred million dollars (UNK) make a million or so

dollars difference in your net worth. But the Governor

said talking about Monday's trip to Tallahassee, said you

go back and tell Pete Widener for you all to be up here

Thursday afternoon. I said, you know, Governor, you

hired Mr. Widener. You call him if you want him told

anything. You tell him. I'm not going to tell him he's

fired. So he called ?ete and told him to fly on up to

Tallahassee Thursday. And I went out and met him at the

airport, you know, Palm Beach International, thinking

we'd have a chance to chat about some of the intricacies

of office and hell, he jumped up in the co-pilot's seat

as soon as the pilot took off. Well, Pete flew the Arrow

Commander around all the clouds between West Palm and

Tallahassee and I sat in the passenger compartment

reading a funny book. And we didn't get to talk about

the Sheriff's Office any until on the way back we got

weathered in and stopped in Sarasota and we got to talk

about the office a little bit. It was real interesting.

I served a brief but distinguished 71 days.

ERP: Oh, did you? I thought it was longer than that.

CET: No. The Senate was in session. Ralph Blank, who just

passed away, was the Senator from here and he decided he

better take some active duty in the military and he ran

out from under me. And the Senate could not bar Widener

ERP: Well where'd you go? Did you go back to the Turnpike?

CET: I went to the..yeah, I went back to the Turnpike and I

stayed there awhile. And went to work for the then

Florida Securities Commission as a Palm Beach

investigator for 11 counties in this area for the little

SEC, little state level SEC. White collar crimes, real

interesting and challenging. And they changed the

Governmental Reorganization Act of '69 abolished the ..a

lot of the bureaus and functions of the cabinet members

and put the old Florida Securities Commission which was a

three cabinet administered function under the State

Comptroller's Office. And he had a supporter by the name

of Seth Edward Bishop, a private investigator from Miami,

who had Pan American's uniformed security contract at the

Miami International Airport. And Gerald Lewis brought in

Bishop as one of his chief supporters and top hands. And

I knew I was gone when I saw Mr. Bishop's name on the

list because we had a securities fraud case in Stuart

that involved about a million, three or four thousand

dollars in Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie County and

Richard Stone was a friend of Earl Faircloth's, who was

the chairman of Securities Commission at the time. And

he was appointed Receiver for this firm and they were in

those days what we called the five percenters. Savings

and loan were paying 3 and 3 1/2 percent interest and the

retired community members in that vicinity found out they

- 0

Mabyis..has the record of being the shortest serving

counsel to the Sheriff of anybody in the State of

Florida. I think he was Sheriff..he was my counsel for

about a month. But we couldn't find Kellenberger to get

him to come back and he was scared to come in,

remembering what had happened when Kirk was there. And

old big Red, he's about as bad as big John, you know. I

finally..Bob (UNK) was the radio news announcer for local

WGNO and he just died last year. I knew he and the

Sheriff were good buddies so I called Bob. I said Bob,

bring the Sheriff on over here. He said how'd you know

he was here. I said you just got through telling me.

And be brought him on over to the Sheriff's Office and I

turned the office over to him very cordially. No

problem. I scared the poor old man half to death. He

had a stroke, you know, and he had to leave the office.

Bill Heightman was appointed by Claude Kirk to take

Kellenberger's place.

ERP: So that was in what, '67, '68?

CET: Let's see. I was Sheriff in '62 and Kellenberger went

back in in '64 general election. And then sometime after

'65, '66, I guess, Kellenberger had a stroke and

Heightman was appointed. When the motorcycle gang was

running rampant around here and we had a lot of publicity

out of that.


could make five percent, ultimately 5 1/2 percent on

their investment by switching from the savings and loan

to this security investment


firm, investment

certificates in the security firm. And there was no

advertising. They found out about them on the

shuffleboard courts, church circles and on the golf

course. And they went under and took eight or nine

hundred investors. They were small investors and in

interviewing, I didn't interview eight or nine hundred

but I interviewed a representative number and they hadn't

been solicited. They had all found out about it and

being a cynical cop, I figured that most people were

victimized in the securities fraud area in those days

because of their own greed. But I found out that in

talking to these people, I did a dangerous thing in

computing their increased income in my head and I'd say

Mr. Jones you took this investment out of your savings

loan and bought these certificates and you got about nine

dollars a month more in spendable income. And some of

them would get 16 dollars. They'd say yes sir, Mr.

Taylor, but I've got a three-party telephone now that I

couldn't afford bef.ore. Proud parents like yours and

mine wouldn't ask their kids for a nickel. Their

productive days were gone and they had no way to increase

their income except change their investment, a little

nest egg. At the time they were talking to me, they


didn't realize it was gone. That shock hadn't hit them

yet and they real proudly were telling me about how sharp

they were to get this investment and get that little bit

more. One fellow said well, I paid all the doctors and

don't owe the hospital anything and the drugstore's

paid. Real proud. And it dawned on me that we were

faced with increased inflation and taxation and these

people were dead-ended. They had nowhere to go. I

inflation hadn't reduced their spending power, they could

have lived comfortably throughout their retirement. But

I don't know what happened when they lost their original

savings, the little nest egg that was coming in. Some of

them got whacked pretty hard. But the firm went broke.

Richard Stone was Bill Singer's son-in-law, Singer of

Royal Castle fame. Richard Stone, who subsequently

became Secretary of State and United States Senator would

take you to lunch at the Royal Castle and buy you a damn

hamburger. He was the Receiver for this firm. I was in

my Securities office in West Palm one day and in walks a

friend of mine who was an intelligent investigator,

private investigator, and Bishop, Ed Bishop. And in the

course of the business of the visit, I found out that his

purpose was to obtain from me our subpoenas duces tecum

and individual subpoenas, which the Securities Commission

had authority to issue, but he wanted to use them to find

assets for these defunct corporations that he was helping

Richard Stone with. And he was bemoaning the fact that

the state only paid ten cents a mile for reimbursement

for the use of the car. And they were both driving

corporate Cadillacs and using the defunct corporations

money and credit cards and drawing, the state allowed

full receivership expense accounts at ten cents a mile,

claiming that they were driving their own cars. The

crooked bastards. Well I got into the thing and

maneuvered around and got the federal court, had an FBI

agent friend in Tampa who had done receivership work and

got the federal court to order that receivership case

moved from Stuart to Tampa to federal court (UNK)

Florida. Richard Stone paid back $45,000 that he

admitted he had taken out of this firm. Plus with other

stolen that we couldn't track or didn't have the

accounting staff to track. I refused Bishop's request

for the subpoenas and he said well call your boss. And I

said you call him but make damn sure you pay for it

because my budget won't allow me to pay for it. And he

never did call my boss. He didn't get the subpoenas and

I made (TAPE ENDED). Betts...

ERP: Tom Betts. Yeah...

CET: Betts.

ERP: ..Tom took over the Academy.

CET: Yeah. But I was in my office one day writing a damn

report and our Director of the Securities Commission

called me and he said Rob, as you know Robbie has retired

as Chief Investigator and he said I want you to find me a

Chief Investigator. I said well okay, Tom, I'll sort of

look around I said your problem is you don't pay any damn

money. And nobody wants to work for nothing these days.

And you didn't have any appropriations. But anyway, we

got Bob Prince conned into taking the job. You know,

Chief Investigator for the Securities Commission sounded

better than corporal.

ERP: Yeah.

CET: He hadn't been working for us three months until the

legislature raised the pay and a corporal was making more

money than our Chief Investigator. Bob says you did me a

dirty turn. Bob is now Assistant Director of the Alabama

Securities Commission, has been for several years.

ERP: No kidding.

CET: Ever since he ran. for Sheriff in Leon County and got

beat. But Bishop had us both fired. Bob sued Gerald

Lewis. I got reinstated. Cost the taxpayers $18,000 to

reinstate me and give me my back pay. And Bob settled

out of court with Gerald Lewis. He sued him for

defamation of character and breach of contract and a

little bit of everything. But I never will forget a

corporal was making more than our Chief Investigator.

But we had some input into changing our pay scale and Bob

called me to Tallahassee one time and said we need some

more money. And we got the money up on the same level

with the State Attorneys investigators and Attorney

General's investigators and ad LE ad drew about three

or four months of that new high pay. The front page of

the Tampa Tribune had Richard Nixon, Bud Dickson..Bud

Dickinson and Red Taylor all on the front page of their

scandal sheet at the same time when I got fired. Miami

Herald the same damn way. The same time Nixon was

disgraced in the country, Bud Dickinson and I were

disgraced in the state. Crazy.

ERP: That's something.

CET: But it cost the taxpayers all that money to get me

reinstated. Then I left and was in the investment

banking business for awhile. Only time I made any money

in my life when I was a compliance officer for a firm in

Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. And stayed there about a year

and DNR advertised for an investigator and I called Bill

Carlton and the lady said Mr. Strickland will talk to you

and I said well this ad says Mr. Carlton. She said well

Mr. Strickland is going to take care of it. I said,

fine, yes sir, Mr. Strickland, this is Red Taylor and he

said Captain Red Taylor? And I said yes sir and you're

interested in this ad that Mr. Carlton put in the paper,

Captain? And I said who in the hell is this and it was a

deputy sheriff that I met that worked for Sheriff

Stoutamire, criminal deputy or the do-all deputy back in

those days in 1940 in Tallahassee. He was the Chief

Investigator for the Johns Comnmittee when they w afnt after

all the homosexuals in the school system. When Sheriff

Stoutamire retired as Sheriff and became Chief of Police,

Strickland went over and became a detective sergeant at

the Tallahassee Police Department. And I met him and his

wife one night when I first came on the Highway Patrol at

a party at the Armory in Tallahassee and we touched base

over the years every once in awhile. He'd need something

or I'd need something. Called and I hadn't seen him in,

God, 20 years, I guess. And a peculiar thing about the

job, they had dual standards. One was in engineering and

the other was in investigative law enforcement work. I

had majored in civil engineering as a freshman at the

First General College in Gainesville in 1935. I was one

of the guinea pigs. The General College was a

continuation of high school, a general education and they

just abolished it last year. They don't have it

anymore. The approach to proceeding from high school

when you don't know what the hell you want to do or be

and as it turned out, I had qualified with the personnel

division of the Department of Administration and had my

certificate of eligibility on the engineering and the

investigative side. After I got out of the Comptroller's

Office, I called personnel and had them send over a

certificate of eligibility to DNR and Strickland hired me

as an engineering technician at DNR. That was 11 years


ERP: You're still with them?

CET: Yeah. Still at the public trough.

ERP: Let me go back to where you were born.


Where were you

CET: DeLand, Florida, November 2, 1917. I'm 71 years old.

ERP: You're a native, then.

CET: I'm a native redneck from Volusia County.

ERP: Living here all of your life.

CET: Yeah. I came down to this coast in '56.

ERP: Where are your parents from?

CET: My mother was from West Virginia. My dad was from Ohio.

I lost my dad when I was seven years old and my mother

passed away in 1977.

ERP: You were raised around Deland.

CET: Went to school in DeLand and the University of Florida

and Stetson University and walked out of an economics

class in Stetson in 1939 and never did go back and ygt my

degree. Probably should have. Probably should have gone

to law school when I got out of World War II and be a

rich, famous lawyer by now. I might be hiring retired

troopers as paralegal.

ERP: Might be good for some of us.

CET: Yeah.

ERP: You have brothers and sisters that are alive?

CET: No, my sister passed away, had polio, both kinds of polio

and apparently got polio and conceived simultaneously up

at Virginia Beach. She was a civil service employee

working in the District of Columbia. We got a call, we

were in Tallahassee at the time, we got a call my sister

had polio. And we went to DeLand and picked up my mother

and we went up to the District of Columbia. One of the

most horrifying experiences of my life was looking in the

window and seeing my sister there in that iron lung. She

survived and moved out to Phoenix to a drier climate and

ultimately passed away. Her little heart just gave out

on her. The second child, she was out of the iron lung

50 minutes when a second child was born and her picture

was in the paper in that iron lung and everything, all

over the country. Th. ilrst time that had happened and

she improved to a certain point and they recommended a

drier climate because Washington's down in the swamp, in

a hollow. And she moved out to Phoenix, took the

respirator with her on the train and never went back in

the iron lung. She used that respirator occasionally.

They remodeled the house in Phoenix and made a bedroom

downstairs where the garage was and she sort of ran the

household from the bed there. When she passed away they

had a snowstorm, had winter between here and Phoenix and

my brother, half-brother from California came down to

Phoenix to represent the family and my brother from new

York came to DeLand and I went to DeLand to be with my

mother who didn't appear and my brother represented us at

the funeral. She, of course back during the Depression,

that was a sought-aft-er job, civil service job.

ERP: Oh my goodness.

CET: She got out of Stetson and went up there and married a

guy from Texas and they had two children. I've got two

nieces and the oldest one never got married. The

youngest one has a child.

ERP: Were you married when you came on the Patrol?

CET: No, I was single. I didn't get married unt Il ca:m back

out of World War II. In '56, I married my first wife and

lost her in Lake City before I came to the Turnpike. We

were already scheduled for Turnpike duty when she passed

away and Colonel just transferred me down here. It was

good therapy. I found out after a few weeks that I

couldn't work 24 hours too many weeks in a row, you

know. It was good therapy for me.

ERP: Then you got remarried?

CET: Yeah. I remarried in '63 and that's the reason I'm

reluctant to retire. She can barely tolerate me two days

a week. If I stayed home seven days, she'd leave me and

I'd have to find another one and I'm too old to start

looking. I've got a-good one.

ERP: Did you raise any children?

CET: No, no kids. God's will, I guess. Lost my first wife.

We had ten happy years of marriage and then I remarried

in '63 and still got the same gal, Peggy.

ERP: So, I think I read in the little resume on you that you'd

gone to Northwestern University at one time.

CET: Yeah, while I was stationed in GHQ in the fall of'5i I

was awarded a fellowship by the Automotive Safety

Foundation, which was quite an honor, and went to the

Police Administration Course at Northwestern. We

had..Jay Hall was a graduate of the National Academy and

that was shorter and less expensive and the Colonel never

did lean much toward the nine month course at

Northwestern. And I was a graduate of the last World War

II short course. They stopped this in the fall of '52

and went back to the nine month course in Police

Management because they just didn't have enough time to

give a guy a four year college education in nine in six

months. And I went up to Evanston in the fall of '51 and

they had the worst winter in the history of pneumonia

junction. I like to froze to death, my first experience

with snow. And...

ERP: Florida boy, I tell you.

CET: Yeah. I had two troopers from two lieutenants from

California were my classmates and had a number of

illustrious police officers in my class. And I was

elected president of the class, had a Frank McGiveney of

Arkansas State Police (UNK) he got out and politicked for

the damn job. I didn't want it, you know, I was up there

to learn something and got elected accidentally I guess.

Frank (UNK), the originator of the Traffic Institute at

Northwestern University, was the Director of the course

at that time and he made his mark in police training by

that's quite a course now. They send traffic engineers

up there, judges, traffic court judges conferences and

every legal division. They don't generate the rapport

that the National Academy does. The FBI gives the

academy graduates a lot of support and backing and a lot

of PR. The classes are too damn big. They've got..they

used to have a 150 people in the National Academy

classes. I don't know what they have today.

ERP: I think they get 250.

CET: Yeah, that's right. That's sort of like a conference.

ERP: Yeah.

CET: That's so damn big. We only had 22 people in our class

at Northwestern.

ERP: NA, I think, has cut way back on expenses. So they may

have cut back on the class sizes, too, because they can't

pay all the expenses out of the Federal Government like

they used to.

CET: Yeah.

ERP: And of course, you know the state and the city, they

probably can't afford to say. So that was..you have any

other like formal schools, formal educational experiences

that you were exposed to during your years...

CET: As Administrative Assistant to the Director when I was

promoted to that job in Tallahassee shortly after I

arrived there in '49, Colonel Kirkman put me in a

position of liaison with the State and Provencial section

of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and

the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators

and I represented Florida and the Director at the

Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances and

Uniform Signs and Signals Committee. And the

responsibility there was rounding, it was beautiful, it

gave me a chance to sit down with some of the big names

in police service around the country and I helped put

together the regior.al IACP meetings when Colonel Kirkman

was Director, chairman of the region, you know. One of

the most picturesque people I met was Gib Carroll, who

was Superintendent of the Colorado State Police and IACP

had the standards, you know, for the police service and

we weren't supposed to put uniformed trained police

officers in administrative duties and take them off the

street or off the road. We were supposed to hire

civilians, you know, to take those jobs and officially

utilize our trained manpower and Gib Carroll was a

picturesque individual, fancy, three or four hundred

dollar boots and this Indian jewelry, you know, and a

leather string necktie and cowboy regalia. Real expense

stuff, nothing cheap about it. But he was a Ford dealer

in a little town in Colorado, you know, and I said

Colonel, what kind of cars do Arizona troopers drive.

And he said, by God, Fords, what do you think? I'm a

Ford dealer in Colorado Springs. Somebody said, Colonel

Carroll, IACP's got these standards of using civilians in

administrative positions and I was wondering about

the..your communications officer, who's the

communications officer in the Colorado State Patrol. He

said well he said I tried a civilian for a long time and

he said all I could get out of him was (UNK) and language

that I didn't understand and he said well I've a got a

uniformed lieutenant is my communications officer. He

said all I give a damn about on that radio, you know, is

can I hear and can they hear me and that's all the

technicality I've got. And we asked him who his supply

officer was, you know, and it was a lieutenant. He'd

done the same thing that we had done, you know, using the

civilians who couldn't speak the language, you know, the

management concepts in police work the same as in a damn

factory or in industry or anywhere else,, but you've got

to talk this language like a policeman. You can't have

some civilian come in. They won't buy it. They're a

bunch of damn prima donnas. We were both prima dorinas in

our day and we didn't believe it if somebody said it and

he wasn't wearing a badge.

ERP: That's right.

CET: It's that damn simple

ERP: Not going to take any orders from no damn civilian.

CET: No! That's exactly right.

ERP: That's about right.

CET: It was..

ERP: Were you...

CET: We'd wind up in the National Safety Congress in the

Traffic Section of Chicago in October and have some input

into the national policies and the do's and the don't.

Captain Annette commanded the throughway in New York; he

was my counterpart. And the temperament of police in the

north is completely different that it is down here.

We're a service organization. We don't hesitate although

sometimes I've seen them..I wish I had my radio working

and you could yank them up by the back of the neck when

they pass some stranded motorist and don't Lim. service.

But Annette didn't believe it could be done unless it was

police service. He's retired down here in north Miami

now. But one of our policies on the Turnpike to engender

better public relations and help entice more traffic onto

the Turnpike was giving away gasoline. The first day we

were open, a trooper ran out of gas. He just..you're not

acclimated to turnpike driving. In the higher speeds,

you use more gasoline than you do on the narrow roads and

you..the first thing you know, you're out of gas. And we

had Sebring cans. I've got one in my car now. It had a

neoprene seal on it and you put that spout down and hook

it down and it won't leak. You can through it around or

do anything and there was no patrol cars lost from

exploding gasoline cans. But Annette called me one day

and he said you and your Goddamn gasoline. The

throughway wants me to carry gasoline in my cars and I'm

not going to do it. And he tried to get an injunction

against the throughway...

ERP: Jeesh.

CET: ...for giving away tax-paid gasoline, but he didn't get

anywhere with it. This was just an idea of not doing

anything that wasn't demanded of him and required under

the law as official police functions.

ERP: Ycah.

CET: They didn't do it.

ERP: Not service oriented at all.

CET: You know, we didn't hesitate to do those things because

that's the way we built the Highway Patrol.

ERP: Yeah.

CET: We built it on that basis. But we hired retired people

as toll collectors, you know, when I went in '56 when I

went to the Turnpike, we were on a..state employees were

on six day week or five and a half day week, 48 hours, 44

hours. So Colonel Manuel said we're going to do

something for the people we've enticed to come to Florida

and keep it green by bringing their money and we're going

to hire retired people for toll collectors. Dave Erwin

like to died. We put them on a 40 hour week and paid

them $235.00 a month. Everybody else was working six

days, you know. And we got the most fabulous record in

Turnpike history because of the accuracy or reversely the

error factor of the toll collectors. We engendered some

competition among those people and they were

competitive. We had a comedian by the name of Bob Odom,

who was the maintenance superintendent. The first guy

that died of a heart attack was 80 some odd years old

working at the Golden Glades Interchange. Monday morning

8 o'clock staff meeting, got around to Mr. Odom and the

Colonel said anything to report, Bob? And he said well I

got no problems in maintenance unless somebody's got some

questions for me but he said the other morning when Mr.

So-and-So died down at Golden Glades, he said I was at

the one mile post, went down there to see if I could be

helpful and you might be interested to know that the

ambulance pulled up and picked up three toll collectors

before they got the dead one. Dave was Dick's brother,

you know the former Attorney General's brother. He was a

policeman in Tallahassee before they run him off and they

always thought he could do a better job than any trooper

could and I had some problems with him over the years as

Director of Tolls.

ERP: How about the uniform and equipment. You've seen, I

guess, an evolution of the uniform somewhat and the way

the troopers were equipped.

CET: Initially, the Colonel wanted to copy the New York State

Police hence the Stetson hat that you still wear. And

that was modified somewhat when Mingle was a captain and

came down from Ohio as chief instructor of the Bradenton

school and they never did change the hat. Ohio State

Patrol uses a flat brimmed campaign type hat that sort of

hard to keep straight when you get it wet but the

policies were pursued after successful experience in

Ohio. Ohio, every southern police organization has a

northern counterpart. Indiana State Police were the

trainers and the parent organization for the Alabama

Highway Patrol. We pursued Ohio's policies after we got

started on the uniform from New York even the swivel

holsters and the lanyard leather lanyard on those swivel

pistols. And in 1940, I wore a Postal Telegraph

uniform. Blue with orange stripes. Looked just like a

Postal Telegraph delivery boy which you don't even

remember. As contrast Western Union and Postal Telegraph

were competitive in those days and they both wore

uniforms. Western Union was a green type sort of

military dull drab outfit. Postal Telegraph was

flamboyant with big old wide orange stripes and bright or

blue dark blue trousers, shirts. And Colonel Mengle

maintained his relationship with Colonel Kirkman up until

Colonel Kirkman passed away. Mengel died two years ago

at age 88 over in Cape Coral. He was a judo .expert and

every time we'd have a program come up, I remember Jay

Hall.went to Ohio to study the auxiliary system which

started in Ohio. They used veterans, American Legion,

members. That's one of the best public relations shows

we ever had. And right now, I think you've got a few. I

don't think there's ever the spontaneity or the

enthusiasm that we had when we had the veterans. Because

of the basic training innate to a veteran, we didn't have

any disciplinary problems and now you take anybody, I

guess. Anybody that's willing and stupid enough to spend

their spare time.

ERP: Out there riding in a car.

CET: Yeah. Like Joe Cheveroli to get insulted by Ed Redding.

Ed..Joe's been a real good friend as you know to the

FE?. Still is.

ERP: Yeah. Always will be, I guess.

CET: Oh yes. The...

ERP: Well, you've seen a lot of changes.

CET: Yeah a lot of progress. Still you know the most

important man in the outfit is the trooper dealing with

the public on a day-to-day basis and the only reason

they've got captains and ma ors and corporals and

sergeants is to service that trooper emotionally and

mentally and physically and besides the equipment and

flashlight batteries and tickets and tires when he needs

them and keeping his car in good running order, you've

got to be able to send him out to do a day's work

emotionally capable of handling it and mentally trained

on how he can 1 ell a falling too closely ticket easier

than he can sell a speeding ticket. Keeping him equipped

and gung ho emotionally and morale is a very elusive

thing that....

ERP: It really is.

CET: But you need to consider, I know my command always got

tired of my repetitious admonition at every staff meeting

saying, you know, the most important guy is that trooper

out there dealing with the public hour to hour, minute to

minute on a day to day basis. And at one of the staff

meetings, one of the sergeants says so and so ain't worth

a damn. I said what's wrong with him here a week or so

ago he was the best trooper you had. Well, he wants a

transfer. I said could that be because his sergeant

ain't worth a shit? What's wrong. My problem then was I

turn around to make a telephone call and if it got a

little lengthy, the sergeants would be back out on the

damn road working traffic, you know. They were

comfortable doing that. It was supervision that was

strange to them. And it degenerated into a, you know,

the troopers coming out of the Academy are sharper every

class, you know, they get better and you're faced with

Academy graduates that are smarter than some of your


ERP: Yeah. That's right.

CET: And it's hard to bring them up and keep them abreast.

Brain-pick these guys you learn something. You know,

they got a lot more training than we did. Think back.

This is true. I'd say you know it could be the

supervisor's fault this guy wants a transfer, wants to

leave. I said he's unhappy because his supervisor ain't

worth a damn. You know, when you took stock and examined

yourself, it found out to be true a lot of times. But we

had to develop a lot of morale-building policies that

gave the troopers on the Turnpike a little edge over the

narrow road boys because they were stuck out there behind

a fence, you know, they were kidded about the kind of

work they were doing, and who they were working for and

what they were doing out there as contrasted to the

narrow road boys. So we, you know, we shortened the

hours, lunch allowance and meal allowance and encouraged

them to spend it at the restaurants on the Turnpike.

They were on duty all the time they were out there as

long as they had that damn uniform on. But it was

real...we had good morale. We had..I went into Colonel

Clifton's office one day when I was in Tallahassee (TAPE


ERP: 9th, 1989. This is tape number three side number one, a

continuation of the interview with...

CET: Red Taylor.

ERP: Captain, Major, Inspector Red Thunder, Red Cloud Taylor.

We were talking about the incident that occurred when or

the conversation you had with Colonel Clifton about

ordering an air conditioned car.

CET: As was my normal practice on a trip to Tallahassee in

1960, I went through channels through Lee Simmons and

Reed Clifton and in the course of bringing them up to

date, I suggested that I would like mighty well to order

my new troop commander's car for the Turnpike troop as an

air conditioned vehicle. Clifton admonished that I knew

that if I got my car air conditioned I was going to be a

son of a bitch and I retorted that I already was and with

an air conditioned car, I'd be a cool son of a bitch.

But anyway I went on into the Director's office and

Colonel Kirkman approved that purchase as long as the

Turnpike was paying for it and the Highway Patrol didn't

have any money invested in it so that bore out my bet

with Colonel Clifton that within five years, the air

conditioners would be where they should have been all

along, with the trooper working on the roadway. Even in

safety education work, we had a problem getting all hot

and sweaty on the way to a civic club to...

ERP: Yeah.

CET: ...give a talk and you really couldn't really do police

work and be presentable for a civic club or school or

veterans organization meeting and now that they have air

conditioned cars, it makes the trooper a lot more

presentable and a lot more efficient really. But I

recall that New York State the Turnpike Authority New

Jersey State Turnpike Authority Police Special Chrysler I

had was the cause of a lot of comment I'm sure. I know

as a working trooper, I always with a lot of peon in me

like everybody else (UNK tape was blank) then to have

an unmarked car and a better vehicle because one day I

aspired to drive one myself as I got promoted and the

scuttlebutt got back to me pretty quickly that the

troopers on the Turnpike were kidding their counterparts

on the narrow roads that the Turnpike commander was

driving an air conditioned car, what was their troop

commander driving. Again, it goes back to that old

philosophy that we aspire to. something better and we

admire those superiors who have something better because

one day we're going to sit in that same chair.

ERP: That's very, very true.

CET: But one of the outstanding mnomtents in my career was J.

Eldridge Beach had left the Highway Patrol because he

didn't hire out to be chauffeur and in GHQ we had

assigned him the task of driving the Colonel and Mrs.

Kirkman, which didn't appeal to Eldridge's aspirations to

be a good street cop and he was a topnotch policeman.

But he showed up one day on the Turnpike to retread with

the Turnpike troop and did an outstanding job and I

understood his relationship with the former Speaker of

the House and president of the Senate and where he was

headed and as it turned out, he left the Turnpike and was

promoted right up the ranks until he became Director.

But one day when he was working on the Turnpike, I headed

south out of West Palm Beach or Okeechobee Boulevard

Interchange office and down north of the service area at

Lake Worth, Beach -was parked perpendicular to the

Turnpike, you know, and standing out by his left front

fender saluting the passing motorists. And I pulled over

to be brought up to date on the grapevine and chatting

with Beach for a few moments. As I started to leave,

across my vilonr flashed this computer printout of the

form 125, which I carried in my mind pretty prominently

in those days and I said, by the way, Beach, has anything

anybody said anything to you recently about your damn

48-hour cards. He said, no sir, but someone ought to.

He said I haven't written the first one this month. No

sir, but someone ought to, which was the truth. I don't

)know what his probl e wos, but there it was well into 1he

month and he'd made an adequate number of arrests and

warning tickets but he hadn't written the first 48-hour

card. And Beach was real a real good observer. He would

identify the driver and he would recognize the headliners

in the Palm Beaches. The movie stars that played over at

the playhouse and the other dignitaries that we only read

about on the front page and Beach would recognize them

either as a passenger or as the driver of a car on the

Turnpike and stop them for whatever reason he had, you

know, and come back with an autograph or something from

every one of them. He was a good observer and super

sharp and got his share of complimentary letters as he

was retraining, retreading as we called it on the...

ERP: On the Turnpike.

CET: ...Turnpike. But then he went right on up to Troop B to

Gainesville and then to Lake City and then into

Tallahassee, you know. He had an illustrious career. I

never was real specially enthusiastically pleased that

Beach didn't make use of his legislative friends who were

at the University of Florida when he was playing football

there. I thought he had a marvelous opportunity to get

back to the State Police Department organizational

concept that all of us aspired to and make the

specialists departments of Game and Fish and Division of

-Mrine Patrol and thi .g like that because I think the

Highway Patrol is a natural recruiting ground from the

uniform division into criminal and plainclothes

investigative work. And I know that when Governor Kirk

was governor the move in the legislature came from south

Florida to make the Patrol the State Police and because

of some problems that they that were imagined with the

FDLE, our people fought it and admitted to me later that

they were wrong in so doing, that they never would have

been subjugated to Bill Reid, which was their concern.

They'd been in there a long time and had their and were

entrenched and we just missed a grand opportunity during

the Kirk administration to become a state police and

expand and we lost a lot of men, you know, that's the

reason we've got so many outstanding FDLE agents that

came off the Highway Patrol.

ERP: Yeah, that's right. They're staffed from the FHP.

CET: Bob Tinvorne left us. Bob was a rookie on at the Stuart

post of the Turnpike, just started I think his first week

or so and we had a service station holdup in Delray Beach

and the idiots entered the Turnpike at the Delray Beach

Interchange and the word went up and down, you know, to

be on the lookout for them. The toll collector at FL.

Pierce called and

said those bandits are here at my

station, what's I do? And I came on the air, I was

wandering around one of those nights and said to tell

them to pull over and park, tell them to pull over and

stop, which they did. And I had gone over on the outside

FHP radio and called for a trooper from Ft. Pierce to

help intercept them up that way and he pulled up and Bob

Tinvorne from north end pulled in behind them and they

had plenty of police help by then. Incidentally, the

toll collectors have the same police authority as a

trooper on the Turnpike under the rules and regulations

but they were never permitted to exercise it because they

were retired people and we didn't want to subject them to

the hazards of police service. But the bandits didn't

know that the collector wasn't a policeman, you know, and

they just did what he said, pulled over and stopped.

Well, in a very few-minutes, Bob Tinvorne called and said

these are the people that held up the station but we

can't find trooper so and so from the Ft. Pierce station

and I can't find the loot. We know they got a certain

amount of money but we can't find it. I said well did

you ask them what they did with it. 10-54. And I said

well ask them. So he did and came back in just another

few minutes and said the money was up on top of the glove

box under the dash. They'd stuck it up under the dash.

Nobody knows more about a crime than the guy that did

it. He found that out real shortly.

ERP- Nothing like asking them, to

CET: Bob went up to Brevard County and ultimately went to the

National Academy and was one of their top criminal

investigators. He investigated the death of Wess Slappy,

who left the Patrol to run for sheriff in Columbia County

in 1956 and was defeated and became a tag inspector and

was stationed in Cocoa. He had a stepson who was

emotionally troubled and came down to West Palm Beach one

day and picked up a new state car and drove it back to

Cocoa and as it turned out, he walked in the motel room

where he and his stepson were staying and his stepson

beat him to death. Killed him right there in the room,

upset because of some disciplinary action that Slappy had

taken. Yeah, I guess J. Eldridge Beach was probably the

most prominent graduate of the Turnpike troop. Brady

came back and retreaded with me, you know.

ERP: Did he?


CET: Yeah. Major Brady.

ERP: Yeah, a lot of successful retreads.

CET: Yeah, yeah. We had the best. We had the cream of the


ERP: I retrejaded %ith Captain Johnny Hicks in M-iamu .

CET: Yeah, he was a great guy.

ERP: He was, I tell you.

CET: Except for those damn cigarettes. That was heartbreaking

to me. He got emphysema.

ERP: Yeah, I tell you the older we get, the more friends that

we see, you know, you lose to cigarettes one way or the


CET: Charlie Goodland was married last week, retired Chief of

Police in Belle Glade. He trained an awful lot of

troopers. You get over there in the Glades, you know,

and you're sort of isolated. He what was the guy's name

from Miami that got shot to death after he left Miami?

ERP: Bertrand?

CET: Yeah, the Bear Bertrand. Bill Barnes and I were in the

Kiwanis Club together, the retired police chief in West

Palm Beach and Bill was a cocky, feisty, contentious

little bastard. And Bertrand stopped him on one of the

expressway roadways in Dade County one night and stopped

him for speeding. Bill got into a knock drag..knock

c own, drag out argument w: th Bertrand, which didn't gqt

him anywhere because Bertrand made up his damn mind that

one way he was going and that was the right way and that

was it. But Charlie Goodland trained Bertrand when he

was in the Glades for the Patrol and Bertrand says, Chief

get your Goddamned speedometer calibrated and it just

blew Barnes' mind, you know, that a policeman

would..trooper would have the audacity to tell the Chief

of Police to go get his speedometer calibrated and Bill

came back up here and took it to the police calibration

shop here and the damn thing was off.

ERP: Oh really?

CET: And he drove all the way back down there instead of

calling Bertrand or Stephens or whoever was Bertrand's

troop commander. He went all the way down there and

chased Bertrand down to apologize to him.

ERP: No kidding.

CET: Took Olive with him. Took his wife with him.

ERP: Well I'll be darned.

CET: And lie said I made an ass of myself and you were right.

He said I went and took it up there wherever the police

care calibrated. You were right.

ERP: Well I'll be darned.

CET: And he apologized. Paid his damn ticket.

ERP: I'll be darned. Isn't that something?

CET: It was interesting. And Bertrand got shot. I never..I

was always a little bit critical about our evaluation of

the shootings because we were never able to get other

than grapevine feedback and never really had some

in-service training time devoted to what should have been

done or what we could do in the future to keep from

getting shot. It was a gap in our in-service training

program. Because that's when you learn something is when

a man gets shot. You got to separate all the chaff from

the gossip and grapevine, 10-56's from the troop and then

there have been a number, you know, that were


ERP: Yeah, there's been too many of them shot.

CET: Yeah.

ERP: Too many shot.

GET: Well...

ERP: Very violent police work.

CET: Were you around when Russ Garris got shot?

ERP: No that was probably went on maybe when I was on the

Patrol or....

CET: It was over in Lee County and this chap had murdered an

elderly couple out at Ft. Myers Beach and set their house

on fire and was on the way back from that. Didn't have

any rear lights and Garris stopped him, you know, and he

took a shot at Garris and Garris nailed him right between

the eyes, his first shot. And they had Garris in the

hospital and he had a hole in his britches and a hole in

his leg where the thug shot him. Someone said, Russ,

what happened? And that idiot Garris says you know I've

been having problems with my first sergeant. I couldn't

get a new pair of britches and he said he finally got me

a brand new pair of britches that weren't turned in by

anybody and never been worn. He says that son of a bitch

shot a hole right them, made me madder than hell. He got

him right between the eyes.

ERP: And then Garris would say dang.

CET: Yeah, yeah. He pulled out on 41, you know 441 and ile

didn't know anything except there was a car without any

rear lights or no tag lights or what the hell ever he

stopped him for, you know, and he rolled out of the car

and started up there and the guy shot him right through

the leg. Flesh wound as it turned out.

ERP: I knew he had been shot and he had shot the guy, but I

never knew...

CET: Yeah, he killed him.

ERP: What year was that in?

CET: God, I don't even remember.

ERP: Must have been before '60...

CET: Garris was with me on the Turnpike. That's another

distinguished graduate of the.Turnpike. How many times

has he been married? Five or six? Some unusual number.

ERP: I'm not sure.

CET: We'll ask him.

ERP: Yeah, we'll ask him about that.

CET: Right. But he. as undoubtedly the true comedian of the

Turnpike troop. There was never a dull moment when he

was around.

ERP: What a guy. He's a good friend. Well, any closing

thoughts, anything you'd like to impart to the (UNK).

CET: You mean right in the middle of this...

ERP: Right in the middle.

CET: ...we're going to stop?

ERP: We're going to stop right in the middle.

CET: Russ Garris. He's run out of tape. You need to send him

some more money. Yeah, I wish I could remember. I need

a roster here to refresh my mind because all of our

troopers were top hands. You know, we didn't have any

culls on the Turnpike.

ERP: No, not on the Turnpike. Not when you got through with


CET: Yeah, yeah.

ERP: When you got when Chief Red Cloud got through with them,

they knew how to find the in's room after thact.

CET: We weren't entered into a popularity contest, but we

had..G. B. Stafford had a protest meeting in Tampa when I

was Lieutenant over there and he got all the troopers

together, you know, to get them a new lieutenant and they

didn't get very far with it. They couldn't find anybody

they wanted to come to Tampa. And then in his career, he

went to Miami and Toby Bass run him off and where did he

come to get some help on his appeal was right to my


ERP: Really?

CET: Yeah. Stafford's a good friend. He's done alright.

Finally retired for the second time I guess.

ERP: Oh did he? I didn't know.

CET: Yeah. He's no longer in Taiilahassee. He..I saw him at a

retired troopers meeting in Palatka shortly after he

retired from the civilian post as planning officer or


ERP: That's what he was.

CET: Yeah. broke in under me in Tampa when I was a

district lieutenant. Had a radio operator down there

named Gardner Ralph Gardner was a Tampa police

dispatcher, came to work for the Florida Highway Patrol

at that little old Tampa station. It occurred to me that

we were having a lot of 10-21s and that we had radios in

our cars, two-way radios and microphones you can talk

over, you know, and the radio operator..this happened on

Gardner's shift. And at a district meeting one day, I

said listen ya'll got a radio message, give it to the

trooper and if not, just call him the next time he stops

for coffee. Don't have him 10-21 all the damn time. It

just barely get out of the drive-in or service station

and you got him 10-21ing again. So that, you know, that

went over like a lead balloon and that night on the way

home, what happens -but I get a call to 10-21 and it just

galls the hell out of me and I said Tampa, if you've got

a message, give it to me; if not, it can wait until I get

home. He said okay but your neighbor called and said to

tell you her husband's going to be out of town tonight.

Little old Tampa, you know, it went all over the middle

part of the state, down there in Bradenton and Ocala and

everybody ran that. I never did live it down. But

the..we had prowlers in the neighborhood, you know, and I

said you just, you know, call the station when Mr.

Johnson's leaving and let me know. So Gardner put out

right on okay Mrs. Johnson called and said to tell you

her husband's going to be out of town again tonight.

ERP: My God, I'd have killed him. I'd have killed him.

CET: They all get even, you know.

ERP: Oh Lord Almighty.

CET: They could really do that.

ERP: That was cute.

CET: Joe Gallop was in Orlando and I was in Tampa. We had a

problem, personnel evaluation. All of Gallop's men were

99 and 100 percent. Never goofed up, never made a

mistake and I realized that in trying to be honest and

fair and use the personnel evaluation as an improvement

tool, that I was screwing my own men. You know, they

were being downgraded in an effort to get them to do

better and yet the other, my counterparts, the other

lieutenants around were giving their men high scores.

And I was afraid, you know, it was going to reflect

adversely on some damn good supervisory personnel. Jim

Prater was my sergeant. Jim's, of course, retired in

Palatka now. When Colonel Clifton died, Helen Randall,

Duke Randall's wife is living in Paiatka and she got the

call from Jewell, who was in Ormond Beach. Jewell called

Jim Prater and Jim Prater called me from Palatka to tell

me about it and the teletype. Burkett had put out the

teletype some two or three hours before but, you know, it

just saidClifton had died. It didn't say to notify

anybody. I still got a bone to pick with him about not

notifying us. Hell, Ralph Robinson was the first

sergeant I ever had on the Highway Patrol and he was dead

and buried six weeks before I knew he was sick. Ralph

Robinson was stationed in Brooksville and his claim to

fame was a murderer that he apprehended in Brooksville

and he found the dead body in the trunk of the car. He

was nosing around in the back of the car and there was

some blood dripping out of the trunk and he solved the

notorious Pinellas County murder and got promoted to


ERP: Well, I'll be darned.

CET: I came across what looked like a plowed field one night

out in..on the..toward Seffner, Mango and Robinson had


tangled with a drunk FBI agent and the agent knew about

as much judo as Ralph did and the agent wound up with a

broken collar bone and a broken arm and he was drunk and

immune to the application that Robbie made, you know.

And he just wouldn't stop and I helped load and handcuff

him and load him up and get him in the car. But he was

as much a man as Ralph Robinson was and Robbie was, you

know, a Marine sergeant. One night I knew I was headed

to have my skinny red ass badly beaten. I stopped a

bunch of Marines. Robbie went on back into the Marine

Corps before I did, went into the Coast Guard in World

War II. And I stopped a carload of drunk Marines. How

stupid can you get?

ERP: Outside of town?

CET: Outside between Mango and Seffner one night. They were

out partying, you know, and having them a good time.

They started to pile out of the car and I slammed the

door on one leg and got him back in. I said, now look,

ya'll just left Parris Island and Ralph Robinson used to

work for me. I was his Goddamned sergeant. You think

he's tough? You're fixing to get another Goddamned

lesson. And Goddamn if (UNK) they were in his platoon.

Every damn one of them.

ERP: No kidding.

CET: And I told them that lie, you know, and they had a great

deal of respect for Old Red.

ERP: Well I'll be darned.

CET: I told Robbie that story the next time I saw him and he

couldn't believe it. 3ut he was tough. This was in the

tough Marine days. He came out of the Marine Corps in

peace time, you know, in 1939. Took the chief's job in

Macclenny and came on the Highway Patrol in that 1940

class I was telling you about. That's when he came on

the Highway Patrol. He married Faye, Faye Ellen was his

secretary there at Bartow'when he married her. He wound

up in Panama City. Wish I could think of. There weren't

too many...Lieutenant Whitehead from the Georgia State

Patrol was our instructor in police courtesy. Attach a

police badge to any course you wanted to teach but make

sure the badge is there before you teach it. And he was

our public relations instructor. In 1940 there was an

awareness of our PR mission. Back in those days, to help

build the Patrol. See the Marine Patrol's only got about

250 officers statewide. Their trying to give 24 hour

service on the boats and on their land surface duties.

Just the wrong thing to try to do.

ERP: Yeah. Plus I believe they've got a narcotics unit. They

do a lot of narcotics.


CET: That's right. That's right.

ERP: They don't have enough people to cover it.

CET: They should withdraw, retrench and give service to the

law abiding citizens on the holidays and weekends and

boat courtesy and everything and build the outfit and

then give the 24 hour service. They got some, you know,

I'm amazed at the number of troopers that are over there

working. They lateral over there, you know, because

their tired. I facetiously refer to this job as beating

the hell of writing traffic tickets from the backed of a

motorcycle but it gets boring.

ERP: Yeah, it does.

CET: And where else can you go and, you know, have a pretty

good boat and all the gas you can use and the only

problem they tell me is every time they cast their

fishing rod, it's hooked up to their radio and (UNK) they

get a call on the radio. That's sort of a deterrent.

ERP: You know, I've always said I never have known of any

organization that in the state government that required

more out of their people than FHP requires out of the

troopers. Being radio responsive, being responsive

through subpoenas, to this to that, to re-educating

themselves, to being under control under all

circumstances or in control. And, you know, the other

state agencies do different type of enforcement that goes

on. Those officers aren't held to the same line that


CET: No.

ERP: As far as I know, it doesn't appear that way.

CET: I deplored the weakness in management that permitted the

union to get started in the Highway Patrol. I think

that's the first indication of bad management is when the

people start talking about a union. And it hasn't been

successful either way. I know it's created a lot of

management problems and I recall Captain Martin would

come back in to Bartow, his car full of uniforms. He'd

check somebody out, fire their asses and they were gone.

And what's the sheriff's name from Tampa who was a member

of the legislature? Representative.

ERP: Blackburn.

CET: Blackburn was a trooper in DeLand and Captain Martin went

up there one day and got in an argument with him and

fired him. He went back to Tampa and was elected

sheriff. Did him a favor, really.

ERP: Yeah.

CET: But you've got to have discipline to have morale adnd if

you take it away from your basic supervisors, you

just..there's no way to build morale unless they've got

respect for that supervisor. He's got to have a certain

amount of authority. And I'd like to see just a complete

re-evaluation of the pay scale and I know they made an

effort but they still don't have the differences in the

pay ironed out like they should and move the lobbying

back to the troopers and you'd get the pay back up

again. You've got to divorce yourself from the Marine

Patrol and the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission and

the campus police. And they latched onto a good thing

when they got the legislature to come under the same pay

scale as the Highway Patrol. But now it's stagnant.

It's just sitting there, what 46th or 48th in the damn

nation and it needs to be re-evaluated and let each earn

his own pay raises. What danger is there to being a

campus policeman? You going to get mugged by a homo

student or what? It's inequitable.

ERP: That's right. It's very inequitable. It really is. I'm

with you, I think that it needs re-addressing. It

doesn't seem like that they can get out of the quagmire

because of the union. Basically the union so strongly

wants to keep them all together. (TAPE ENDED)

CET: ...opportunity to make money moonlighting. How many of

them are making a fortune moonlighting? You know, if

they're working the daytime shift the last hour or so

they're not going to do anything that will make them late

for their moonlighting job. Economically, they shouldn't

be second-class citizens.

ERP: Yeah. That's very true. They should be brought up to a

pay scale where they can live.

CET: Absolutely. And the communications system is going to

take awhile to upgrade it, but they're going to get some

more troopers killed before they, you know, what is it on

Alligator Alley they get out..run out of contact with the


ERP: Well, more closing stories. More parting thoughts? We

may not be around for the next 50th anniversary so...

CET: I don't know.

ERP: ...we better get it all in now.

CET: Why not stick around awhile? There's no use being a

short timer and...

ERP: Well, if my back doesn't get any better I may not make


CET: Oh me.

ERP: I think we've pretty well covered the outline. You

cormmLented on-..you were talking about the changing

uniforms and you were talking about wearing that bell...

CET: Postal Telegraph.

ERP: Yeah, Postal Telegraph. Well, where did you go from

there? Like, when did ya'll get an official uniform?

CET: Well, that was official for that period of time or that

administration. That was Bill Reed from Lakeland was the

Director at that time and then when he left and (UNK)

Gillam came along, they went back into something more

conventional. The dark green with the orange piping,

which was not an unattractive..it wasn't as glaring as

the Postal Telegraph uniform, as the blue with the wide

stripes. But then they went into a green with orange

piping, which was subdued but attractive and then they

went from that to the Army officer pinks. We inherited

that out of World War II, I think. The Eisenhower jacket

and the khakis or pinks that were..they're now wearing.

I still think they could come up with some of the

synthetics. Today they would be more comfortable and

less expensive to launder. These are Hagers, which my

wife throws them in the damn washing machine. Why can't

they do the same thing with the Highway Patrol? They

need some serious study on the uniforms. They have to go

to the drycleaners. I think the polyesters and manmade

fab ics today are coolCr and more durable and look great.

ERP: Yeah, they do. You can..you can (UNK) in the


CET: That's right.

ERP: Shirts, too, if you get them right.

CET: Yeah. That was a fringe benefit, you know. I went from

$115 per month with the SRD to $125 with the FHP but I

got my working clothes..

ERP: Yeah.

CET: ..my transportation.

ERP: That meant a lot, really.

CET: '40 Ford with a bulletproof windiuhield.

ERP: It did have a bulletproof windshield?

CET: Yeah. An old thick thing.

ERP: Was that by design? That's the way the Patrol ordered

them with bulletproof windows?

CET: They ordered them with the bulletproof windshields. For

one reason, we weren't too far from the Al Capone era,

you know, and...

ERP: Yeah, that's right.

CET: Let's see, in Lake City I had Johnny Jurgen...who was my

district lieutenant in Lake City and J. W. Hagins in

Jacksonville and Clint Hancock in Palatka. And then Gib

Godwin came back out of the war. He stayed an extra five

years after the last of our troopers got back from World

War II and he shows up in Lake City. Let's see, Jurgen

moved into Tallahassee and Godwin took his place there.

Jurgen's son was wi-th the Marine Patrol, I mean he's the

one that's got a son with FDLE, isn't it?

ERP: I'm not sure.

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