Title: Julius Sperling
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Title: Julius Sperling
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Sem 253
Interviewee: Julius Sperling
Page 1

Sem 253

Interviewee: Julius Sperling

Interviewer: J. Ellison

Date: September 22, 1999

E: Your full name is Julius Sperling?

S: Julius Stephen Spurling.

E: And you were born in New York?

S: In Brooklyn.

E: And you moved down to Florida in 1926?

S: That is correct.

E: ...just in time for the hurricane.

S: That is right.

E: How did you time it so well?

S: We did not want to miss anything.

E: How far in advance of the hurricane did you move down? Did you just arrive?

S: We moved down on July 4th, 1926. The hurricane was September 18, 1926.

E: So you had a couple of months to get prepared.

S: But nobody knew about hurricanes in those days.

E: There was not a prediction.

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S: Even the Weather Bureau did not know.

E: So, it was not anything at all like the last couple of weeks, here.

S: No.

E: So people would say that there was going to be a storm or that sort of thing?

S: No, we heard on the radio that there were some bad winds and maybe a lot of rain and to

be careful. That is from the Weather Bureau. And they just really did not know.

E: They were right about the winds.

S: ...and the rain.

E: And you took refuge in this hurricane. You were saying that this happened during a

holiday or during the fasting period, Yom Kippur.

S: Yes. It was Yom Kippur. We had a retail store in Allapattah, an area of Miami.

E: You said it was near where the airport is, today?

S: No, on the way to the airport. It was across from where a new junior high school is being


E: That was Miami?

S: Miami Jackson Junior High school. My Dad and Mother had opened the store at the

beginning of 1926, and were just getting started. And then, later the hurricane came

along and we were all inside the store during the hurricane.

E: It was also your home?

S: Yes. We had our home to the back of the store. Later, we had apartments, upstairs. But,

we were going to go to services on Friday night to the Temple on the Beach. But, my

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Dad decided that the winds did not sound properly and the rain was coming in sheets.

So, he said we are going to do our praying at home. So, we stayed at home and we were

very fortunate because that is when the hurricane started.

E: So that was a good decision. Did it do any damage to the store or your home?

S: We were very fortunate. We had little or no damage.

E: Because it was a horrible storm, as I remember and heard about it.

S: During the midst of the storm, one of the skylights started coming loose. We had so

many people in the store B many were workmen of all kinds B and they realized that if

we did not nail down the skylight, the wind would come in and blow the roof and

everything off. So, what they did is to take a very large ladder; went to the back of the

building; made a human chain, holding the ladder and the men as they climbed up on the

roof. And they used nails that must have been about twelve inches long B slid the

skylight back in place and nailed it down. Having done that, they all came back and went

into the store and we all waited out the fury of the storm.

E: So, they did this in the middle of the storm? Winds...

S: Yes, in the middle of the storm. And it is a good thing they had help because we could

not have done it ourselves.

E: Why were they there?

S: These people lived in shacks and very poorly constructed homes and they were trying to

get to the junior high school across the street from us. Because it was a new building B

six stories and safe and they figured they would be better off, there. Many of them could

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not get into the building so they came into our store. We had a very large store, like a

large K-Mart type of store. And B well, they had little children. We put them under the

counters and on blankets and covered them up and gave them whatever food we could, so

they would not cry.

E: But, you and your family were fasting?

S: Yeah, we were fasting. It was Yom Kippur.

E: One day of fasting?

S: Yes. We fasted from Friday night to Saturday night. My Mother had prepared a lot of

food, so we had it available for the kids.

E: ...for after the fast.

S: We were going to use it after the fast. And besides that, the people at the store were B

many were old customers and many became new customers. We all waited out the

storm, trying to figure what was going to happen to us. Nobody had any inkling of any

storms before. Even the Weather Bureau did not know.

E: So, there you were with the storm coming and some people sought refuge. Fortunately,

your Mother had prepared this food...

S: During the hurricane, I looked out the front door and I noticed a big Mack truck, trying to

drive down the street. The wind started blowing it part of the time, sideways. And the

people were lucky to get out of the truck and get into the building.

E: That is remarkable. And you lived in Miami after that? Have you ever experienced a

hurricane of that magnitude?

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S: No. Briefly, I read where they figured the value of the destruction caused by that

hurricane. It was worse than any other hurricane that they have ever had. I mean, if you

put it in present dollars. It destroyed so much it was unbelievable.

E: So, you were very fortunate that your store...

S: We were very fortunate.

E: And the name of the store was Allapattah?

S: Allapattah Five-Ten Department Store.

E: Five-Ten Department Store.

S: Allapattah was an Indian name.

E: It was an Indian name? I did not know that.

S: Yeah.

E: That was the general name for that area?

S: Yes.

E: What does it mean? Where did it come from, any idea? Obviously, it was there when

you got there.

S: I do not know. Sweet water, I really do not know. I really ought to check into it. You

know what I mean?

E: Is that area still referred to as Allapattah?

S: Oh, absolutely.

E: And you moved there when you were about eleven years old?

S: I was eleven years old. Yes. Never expecting to have anything like that happen.

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E: No, you did not move from Brooklyn to Miami planning to meet that hurricane. I am


S: During the early hours of the morning, everything became very quiet and the winds did

not seem to be blowing much and hardly any rain and some of the people said they would

go home. My Dad convinced them that the winds did not sound right and they should

wait a while. We found out later, this was the eye of the storm and it turned. And it is a

good thing they stayed because it was worse the second half of the storm then the first

half. During that time, some of the men went down the street where there was a wooden

frame building that had been a grocery store. It was flattened, so that everything was

exposed there. Of course, there was nobody, there, so they picked up cans of food and

milk so we would have milk for the children. And it worked out fine. They all came

back and my Dad convinced them to stay and they did stay until the storm blew itself out.

And then, people started leaving B we gave them all kinds of clothing and blankets and

supplies because they had no idea if they would have anything in their own homes.

E: And your father...what was your father's name?

S: My father's name is Nathan. And my mother's name is Esther...Sperling.

E: But, they had just moved down there and started the store a couple of months before that,


S: That is right.

E: So, they were just getting to know these people.

S: They were just getting used to...they really did not know that we had hurricanes, there. It

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was really one of the worst ones, I understand. And from the financial standpoint, it was

the worst of any of them that they have had, including Andrew, which was rough.

E: How did it disrupt your life, personally, afterward? Did it change B school, obviously,

was still standing and it was September, so, had you even begun school, down there?

S: No, I had not ... I finally, started and went to school. Well, it gave us a new outlook on

things and we realized that we loved Miami and that was the place we were going to live

and bring up a family, so, we stayed there. Later, many relatives moved down there.

You know, how everybody wants to live in Florida.

E: Right. That went on for a number of years, right?

S: Yes. Many, many years.

E: We got in touch because of this article in the Gainesville Sun that mentioned that I am

working on this project of Seminole Indians and you called because some of the patrons

in the store had been Seminole Indians. At this time of this hurricane, do you recall, were

any Indians among the people who came and sought refuge in the store?

S: No, most of the Indians stayed in the Everglades. They had their own way of protecting

themselves. They knew about hurricanes. None of us really knew about them. And they

B I do not know where they went but it must have been someplace in the Everglades,


E: You may not recall this, but since you had just been there for a few months, had you

already met the Indians?

S: Yes. Some Indians came in the store. But, the Indians did a lot of hunting and trapping

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B they would catch possums and raccoons. They would gig frogs and gig snakes. They

would get all kinds of feathers, which they would sell

E: Sell those...at your store?

S: No, no. We did not buy that. They sold them to farmers. At first, the Indians had no

way of finding the market where they could sell it. So, farmers would come to them and

buy the merchandise and give them checks. Later on, they had their own sources. But

they would come into our store and present the checks to my Dad; the Indian Chief and

he got along fine, Chief Osceola. And the would have the Indian Chief

put his mark B his AX@ there, and two of the sales girls would witness the signature and

promptly cash the check for him. Also, the kids, the Indian children would collect

pennies and other coins at the village and they would bring them in and my Dad would

wrap them in fifty-cent rolls B of pennies, and give them the money for that.

E: You said the village. Do you mean the...?

S: Musa Isle B the Indians lived in the Musa Isle Indian Village which was just a few miles

from where we were. It was on the Miami River. And the Indians used to show

their crafts, do Alligator Wrestling and take care of the tourists that came in. One of the

things they did is to buy from us. They bought large bolts of cloth and solid colored

cloth that they took back to the village and cut them into little strips. They put together

the various colors, on their Singer sewing machines, which they kept in their chickees.

The chickees were the buildings that they lived in. Besides that, they had to buy rickrack

and tape and thread to piece these garments together.

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E: What is rickrack?

S: Rickrack is a zig zag type of tape.

E: OK.

S: And they made these jackets and these long gowns which they use to sell in the villages.

We used to sell some of the jackets for them, too.

E: You mentioned that. You would not buy them from them, but

S: No, we did not make a profit. We hung them in our store, sold them and gave them the

money. Because of the fact they bought the tape and the thread and all, we finally

received a visit from the Vice President of the Spool Cotton Company, which is a major

manufacturer of threads and tapes and all like that. And he came in and spoke to my

Dad, asking him why we sold so many of these bright colors. We told him on account of

the Indians. He told us that the Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma sold the same colors,

there. They made the same type of jackets.

E: No kidding. Where was this guy from? It was the spool thread...?

S: New York.

E: New York. He came down...and he said that...

S: ...they are a national company. Still are.

E: And so he was saying that you had a unique sales pattern compared to other parts of the

country. And Cherokee, Oklahoma is

S: Yes that is where the Cherokees were. I think they were shipped out of North Carolina or

someplace in that area. The Seminole Indians defied the American government. They

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did not want to be shipped anyplace. They wanted to stay where they were and have

enough land to do their hunting and fishing and trapping. And they never made peace

with the American government. They finally settled and got what they B best thing that

they had. They moved out of Musa Isle Indian Village to the forty-mile bend on the

Tamiami Trail. And they established themselves in doing very, very well.

E: So, you are eleven years old and you have moved down from Brooklyn, NY. And

suddenly, it is July. Is July when you moved down?

S: Yeah, July 4th, we came here.

E: It is hot. It gets hot in New York, too, but it was probably uniquely hot and humid in


S: Well, Miami was something new for us, so it was desirable.

E: Do you remember what it was like to come down to this new place with palm trees B that

kind of thing? Was it the first time you had been to Florida.

S: Yes. Well, my Dad said when he came, at the end of 1925, he stayed in a hotel in the

downtown area. And he said everything was sky high. When he went into a restaurant to

get a sandwich, he said that the bread was so thin, he had to buy extra bread to hold up

the sandwich. It was very expensive. But he did the best he could. He still decided that

this would be a different type of life than being up north.

E: So, he went down in advance to pave the way and B you told me before, about how he

had found the site for the shop.

S: He had taken a bus tour where they were taking people to see new sub-divisions. And he

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went out to an area in Hialeah where they had a sign up saying, New Sub- Division, Buy

Now, (while you can buy the land, cheap). But, of course, he was not interested in it and

some of the land really was under water. But, people sold it. Some of them would buy

and the next fellow would come and buy them out and sell it to somebody else. But, it

was a get rich quick scheme. On the way back from the Hialeah area, Pop went through

what was north west 36th street, (what was the Allapattah area) and he saw that they had

some store buildings, there, and some stores. And they were working on building some

others. So, he stopped and asked the owner, there, what they were building. He said he

had vacant stores and he would like to rent them. And Pop asked him if he had a variety

store, a department store or anything like that. He said no. So, my Dad decided that is

what he would do. He would open up a variety type of store.

E: Yeah. Marketing research.

S: And he did. He opened up a very small store and stocked it with as much merchandise as

he could. And within a few years, it was a very large store. He was very, very

successful. He became one of the largest, independent merchants in that part of the


E: And you were thoroughly involved in that.

S: Those days many of the merchants figured that this was a get-rich scheme business in

Florida and they would pay, for example, two dollars and try to sell the item for eight

dollars. Which was ridiculous. Many of them did not pay their bills. They would order

merchandise from the manufactures or the wholesalers up north in Georgia or Carolina,

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and then they would take the merchandise, ship it out, and disappear. Well, the

manufacturers and the wholesalers realized that they could not trust a lot of them, in the

south. My Dad did not work that way. He decided that he was going to be in business;

he was going to be legitimate; he was going to pay his bills on time; and establish a good

credit rating, which he is what he did. And he made it his business when he went to buy

merchandise for back to school or for Christmas B that he got extended terms of two-ten

EOM or October, or whenever. But he would pay

E: two ten, EOM?

S: ...end of the month. But what Dad did is B he realized that if he paid the bills early and

discounted it, he could get extra discounts B one quarter of a per cent; one half of a per

cent B whatever they would allow, and then, pay it early. So, he did that and paid his

bills that were due late in October, early, and he made extra discounts. By doing that, he

established a very good reputation B that he was one that paid his bills. And everybody

came around to sell him.

E: So, he became a success at that. I would like to back up just a little bit. I am thinking

about when you first moved down...


E: ...when you were eleven years old and you came down to Miami into the heat of Miami.

I am wonder if you remember the first time you met Indians. Had you met Indians up in

New York?

S: No.

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E: Not in Brooklyn.

S: You mean they had Indians in Brooklyn?

E: Well, you came to Miami, obviously.

S: Yeah, I know.

E: So, do you remember when you first ran into them? Was it at the store?

S: At the store.

E: Had you heard about them or were you surprised?

S: No. We knew about the Indians. We used to go to Musa Isle Indian Village, sightseeing,


E: When was the first time you went there? Do you remember that?

S: No, I do not.

E: Just remember going?

S: No, what happened is we would have relatives or friends come down and they would

want to go sightseeing. So, we took them to see the Indians.

E: Those were the sights, at Musa Isle...

S: That is right.

E: What was that like? I have seen photographs of it but it is not the same as actually, being


S: It was interesting. The Indians would wrestle the alligators. They would show you their

crafts. They show you the chickees B the thatched huts they lived in. And they showed

you how they made different things, there. And how they could take care of themselves

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in what really, to Americans, would be wilderness. And the Everglades was their home

and the Seminoles, especially, did not want to leave. They wanted to have their own area

to develop whatever they wanted and have their own hundreds of thousands of acres.

But, the government did not always cooperate with it.

E: Yeah. That is one way to put it. This Musa Isle sounds like it was a big place. You

could see all of these things taking place, there.

S: Yes, since it was on the Miami River, they used to have sightseeing boats come there.

E: Did you ever go on a sightseeing boat?

S: I did not have to; I just rode right over.

E: Because you were right near by?

S: ...near by.

E: So, it was actually a village. One place they would have people doing one thing and

another place would be the crafts and another place would be the...?

S: They showed you the things they did; how they lived.

E: Did they talk to the tourists?

S: Oh, sure.

E: Would there be like one person who was the guide?

S: Usually, not all of them learned English, but after a while, as they learned English, they

would all talk to you. And they would try to sell you some of their craft items.

E: Like clothing, or

S: ...or the fans; the thatched fans; and other things. It was very interesting. It was like

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going to a foreign country.

E: Things that I have seen so far, today, in the tourist areas run by the Indians, seem very

different from anything that I have read about, like Musa Isle. So, it is interesting to hear

what you are saying and imagine what it was like, years ago.

S: Well, now, their villages are improved. I mean they are well organized.

E: Were some of the people who would come into the store, from Musa Isle?

S: Yes. Many were from Musa Isle. In fact, quite a number of years later, when they

opened a big shopping center in Fort Lauderdale, we had a friend who was the manager

of the Sax Department Store, who invited us to come up. He told us that the Gabor

sisters and Mama Gabor would be there. We figured we would go to see them. When we

came up there, my wife said, I do not see the Gabor sisters. As we walked by, there was

an Indian display. These were my Indians B set all up for me. They were the Indians

from the Musa Isle Indian Village.

E: This was much later?

S: Yeah. That was many years later.

E: Like the fifties or sixties?

S: Yeah. I think it was funny. So, you see them all over. And you get to know them and

you are very friendly with them. They are really nice people. All they want to do is to

protect their rights and be able to live like they have before and the American

government did not always like that. They like to take over a lot of things.

E: They were not your biggest customers?

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S: No, no. We had customers from all over. But they were very good customers and they

were fine people. And you could get along with them and you could depend on them.

E: Did you establish friendships or particular relationships with any individual Indian, in


S: One of my friends went to Miami High school where Mike Osceola went. I think Mike

was married to an American woman. But Mike is involved in many things, now. I think

he has his own sales department.

E: It is a name I have come across. What did you do for entertainment.when you got into

your teenage years?

S: I belonged to various clubs on the other side of town.

E: That took you away from the store.

S: Well, not that. I had a couple of Syrian friends so Ijoined the Syrian American Club.

E: Interesting. How did you end up...?

S: Because a couple of my friends belonged there, and they decided I would be a good asset.

And I learned to eat all kinds of foods that the Syrians and the Arab type people eat.

E: So, what was the Syrian American Club? Was it an organization for...

S: ...organization for students and young people. We would go on picnics. We would go on

outings; we would go all over.

E: And it was people of all ages and they would do culture...

S: Mostly, teenagers and a little bit older. And everybody brought whatever he or she could

to make it interesting. And we enjoyed it.

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E: What were the foods that you found to be in the Syrian diet that were different that you

were used to?

S: We had kibbe; we had falafal; I wish I could remember some of them. We eat them,


My wife likes to cook and she makes a lot of those.

E: Was there a big Syrian community around...?

S: Well, it was not just Syrian. It was all Arab nations. And you know when they started

the club, it was the Syrian American Club. But, everybody and his brotherjoined.

E: It diversified.

S: Even I joined.

E: That is pretty interesting. Were a lot of these people in the club living around

Allapattah? Or, did you say it was on the other side of town?

S: Some, but mostly on the south side of town. And then, many of them, I got to know in

high school. I went to Miami High school and we were friends for many, many years.

Still are, if I can find them.

E: Are you in touch with any of the people since you have moved up here to Gainesville?

S: I have been in touch with some of the people B some of them have moved up here, too.

Not to Gainesville, but the middle part of the state. And I would meet them in Sarasota

or Orlando or Kissimmee or someplace like that. You do not give up old friendships.

E: No.

S: No matter what.

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E: No, they are important. So, you went to Miami Jackson for middle school...?

S: ...and Junior high school...

E: ...and you went to Miami High school. How far away was that from the store?

S: Miami High school was way on the other side of town.

E: How did you get there?

S: School buses. In those days, the school buses ran all over. And then I belonged to

various clubs on the other side of town.

E: You say, it was also on the south side of town?

S: Yes.

E: Did you encounter many Indians down in the south side of town?

S: Not so many. There were some of them, there, but most of them were in the northwest

section. And then, as I say, they moved up the Tamiami Trail to the forty-mile bend.

And some of them went to the Hollywood area. They really opened up many villages.

E: Some of the same people that you knew were...

S: Yeah. There were many, many Indians. I mean, in different groups. Besides the

Seminoles, there were the Miccosukees.

E: You were saying that name was not one that you were really familiar with until...

S: No, until later.

E: Although you knew Buffalo Tiger.

S: Yeah. Buffalo Tiger, I think, became the first one that was the head of the Miccosukees.

E: How did you meet him?

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S: He used to come in the store.

E: Describe, if you will, the interaction that would take place in the stores. You said it was

not like other customers who would come in individually and talk with the sales help.

S: No. Well, some of them came in, individually. But, most of them came in groups. And

they would buy things in groups. We would try to cater to them to get whatever they


E: Were they groups of men or groups of women or mixed?

S: Men, women and babies. The squaws were there. It was very interesting. They knew

that in our store, they could find practically anything. But if we did not have it, we

would try to get it for them. We sold everything.

E: Everything such as...you mentioned cloth, hardware, nails, and so forth.

S: Children's wear, ladies wear, shoe department, boots, clothing B whatever you can think

of, we sold.

E: It was really a department store.

S: Yes. It started off in a small way but it kept growing and as people asked for different

items, we kept adding and adding to the size of the store.

E: So, people would come in these groups. You were saying that they would generally

interact with you or with your father through...?

S: Well, the Chief B Chief Osceola, the old Chief B at first, worked only with my father.

Then, the others started in and they worked with the sales people.

E: So, initially, it was

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S: ...just the Chief and my father.

E: And they worked things out.

S: And the young bucks and the squaws, and all, when they first came around, would not

talk to the sales girls. They would point out what they wanted and grunt, to let them

know. I think they were given instructions not to talk to us.

E: Do you think that was it, as opposed to not knowing English?

S: Yes, because many of them had some smattering of English. And then, they learned.

And I tell you; many of them became very well educated.

E: You mean, English...

S: The Indians, yeah. Not only English but I mean, they went to schools; they learned

trades; they became very efficient; and now they are spread all over the country.

E: Yeah. Now, there are attorneys and people with college degrees in the tribes.

S: And many of them still prefer Florida because the Everglades are always enticing. It is a

place where they knew they could have their own type of life. In other states, they had to

establish themselves. But here, they were established.

E: Yeah. Here, they have history and family and so forth. So, gradually, things would

change; their interactions would change B they would come in, in these groups and just

follow Osceola, who would be the person to do the interactions. And later, they would

come in individually?

S: Yes.

E: We had talked a little bit before about this fellow, Chief Osceola, and he had a son.

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S: Yeah.

E: You had gotten to know him?

S: The son is in charge of the Indian group (the Seminoles), now. And he is very well

educated. Well, I mean, as far as the Indian ways. He is a very good spokesman for

them. In other words, he tried to improve their lot in life, which is good, because so

many of them have not learned, and he had learned quite a bit. But he lost an arm.

E: His name was...?

S: I do not know.

E: Do you know if he went by Osceola, also?

S: Yeah. It was Osceola. And since he was the one that coordinated things, they call him

>Chief=. I do not know if that is the term or not, but they called him that. I guess his

father must have died and he took over.

E: Interesting.

S: Because there is not too much mention of his father, in the history. But, we know his

father was there because he was with my Dad in the store.

E: He would always talk to your Dad. Did your Dad ever interact with the Indians outside

of the store that you know of?

S: No, just if we would go to the Indian village.

E: And he, of course, recognized the people there.

S: Of course.

E: It must have been fun when you had family visiting. He could take them to Musa Isle.

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S: Or if you would go to Palm Beach or Boca Raton or someplace like that, many of our

Indians would be there.

E: And they would know your Dad.

S: And a lot of them knew me because I would talk to many of them.

E: What did your Dad do outside of his work? I guess his life must have been consumed

with business.

S: ...mostly the store. And you know, they gathered with friends and relatives.

E: Your Mother worked at the store, as well? We have not talked much about her.

S: She did. She was very active in the store.

E: I guess they really would have to be for it to be that successful.

S: That is right. I mean, those days, the old timers thought that was the way you built a life

and you built up a fortune. And they tried. I think the younger people do not actually

believe in that. They want to make money and have a good life but they want to have

time off.

E: Well, the way your parents were looking at it, I am just guessing B had to do with the

fact they came from overseas. And so they had a different perspective on things.

S: There, I mean, they had to work very hard to just make a living.

E: Whereas here, there is an opportunity to get ahead a little bit. They were from Austria?

S: Yes, both of them were from Austria. My Dad met my Mother in Austria. And when she

agreed to marry him, he asked her if she wanted to Paris, London, or New York. She

immediately said New York. A few months later, she came to New York. She came on

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one of the big ocean liners. My Mother was very beautiful. Until the day she died, she

was gorgeous. She was on the boat, and Mr. Fox from Twentieth Century Fox was on

the boat. He admired her and saw that this was a very beautiful woman. He went over

and introduced himself and he said, >Young lady, I want you to come to California and I

will make a movie star out of you. And my Mother said, >No Thank you, I am going to

meet my future husband. I am not interested in being a movie star.

E: She told him she had plans.

S: That is right.

E: That is a good story. Your father, Nathan, had preceded your Mother, here.

S: He preceded everybody. He went back to visit his sister and her young sister-in-law is

my mother. That is how he met her. He courted her until she agreed to marry him.

E: Your Father's sister.

S: Yeah. And then, Pop kept saying, he had an imported bride. Which is true.

E: And he is the first one in the whole family to come to the United States.

S: Yes. And he gradually, brought many others, relatives as well as friends. Of course, he

brought his own parents. And I got the very, very, friendly and loving with my

grandparents and grandpa taught me all kinds of things.

E: When they came over, you were already down in Florida, right?

S: No. We were still in New York. My parents moved to Florida and then my brother and I

were supposed to come. They decided to let us wait until the summer session started, so

we finished the school year. Grandpa used to tell me that he and grandma moved into

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our house so we could sell the house. My brother and I were there with some other

cousins. Grandpa use to say that if I would get up early in the morning before school and

go to the business district B which was about five or six blocks away B I could pick up

the Jewish Morning Journal or The Forward.

E: The second one was called the...?

S: The Forward. F-o-r-w-a-r-d. And he said if I would do that, and he made sure that

grandma was in the kitchen; not in the dining room B he looked at her and he said

grandma is going to make Kreplach, which is a pasta filling with meat and it goes in a

soup. And she would make it on a Friday and that he would give me some of his. And

he told me, but do not tell the old lady.

E: I am not familiar with Kreplach?

S: Kreplach, it is like dumplings.

E: How do you spell that?

S: Kreplach.

E: OK I was close. I had a >c= there.

S: I think that is how you spell it.

E: OK. So, your father came down in 1925 to do the scouting. He found the place.

S: My father and mother both came.

E: Oh, they came at the same time. OK. And you came down in July.

S: 1926. I came with my brother.

E: And his name was?

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S: Maxwell.

E: And you, two came down on the fourth of July. Was there any celebration on the fourth

of July or did people sort of ignore that?

S: Well, we were on the boat, and I was mentioning that my uncle and aunt gave us some

little tiny packages of firecrackers, which were in bundles. And they made sure that one

of the men who worked on the boat would take care of us. So when it was time to light

the crackers, we would be at the tail end of the boat and he would make sure that we

tossed them over the boat. We did not want to set the boat on fire. Pop, pop, pop,

E: That must have been fun.

S: They wanted to make sure we celebrated the fourth.

E: Did your parents come down by boat, also? Or did they come by train or...?

S: You know, I am not sure.

E: And your grandparents joined you or did they stay up there?

S: They stayed in New York.

E: Did they ever move down?

S: No. They had many more relatives, up there. More than we had. They stayed with

them. They had many children, so

E: So, they became really established.

S: They had children and grandchildren.

E: I would like to backup, again. We were talking about this Chief Osceola and his son B

the fellow who lost his arm B we cannot remember his name.

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S: Maybe you can find it in some of the books.

E: Well, I was just thinking that one of the places that we might be able to find it is in the

movie you remember. You came across this film, several years later, with Burl Ives...?

S: Oh, that one, Window over the Everglades. Well, in that one, Burl Ives had an Indian

guide with one arm and I recognized him as being the Chief Osceola's son.

E: You saw someone you know up on the screen. That would be a way to find out what the

person's name was.

S: If you want, I will go to the library and look up and see if I could find it.

E: Yes, you could. I will try to do it, as well. I will see if we can come up with his name. It

is a film I have never seen. There is a woman who writes about Seminole history...

S: Who is she?

E: Her name is Patsy West.

S: Oh, yes. I have seen her...

E: And she has written an article in the newspaper about, and talked about, that film. And I

will see what she has about it. Maybe, I will have to have a look at that film, if I can find

it. Sitting between us, on this table, you have three pages of notes about a chapter in a

book you are writing. You are writing a personal history, to tie together parts of your


S: ...and the family history.

E: And one of the things you have been writing down are things related to the store and the

Seminole Indians. Is this going to be part of a chapter in this book?

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S: Yes, like a chapter. Why not?

E: Did encountering Seminole Indians influence you in any way? How are you going to

construct that as part of the book?

S: Because it is part of my life. It happened just like the 1926 hurricane that was part of my

life. And the Indians came along and they were part of my life and they still are. I mean,

we do not have the store, anymore but I know the Indians. At times, I would meet them

such as the time I met Buffalo Tiger. I remember him when he was young and then when

he became the head of the Miccosukees.

E: Were you paying much attention when they were forming the tribes and trying to get

recognition and so forth?

S: Well, I think, he was elected as head of the Miccosukees. I do not know whether it was

Miami or Fort Lauderdale or someplace like that.

E: And were you keeping up with that...?

S: No, I would read about it, because I was interested. You know they were my Indians.

You get to be close to people. Especially, when you grow up and meet them, again.

E: How did you feel about that? Obviously, when you knew them when they were young.

There were groups of Indians, but they did not have an organized tribe in the sense that

they do, today. Then, when there was open discussion about their recognition in the late

fifties, what was your reaction? Did you think it was a good idea that they form a tribe or

a bad idea?

S: My idea was that they should have rights. I mean, they were really the early Americans

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before everybody else came in. They should have their rights; they should have had their

lands; they should have been able to hunt and fish and work their crafts and live the kind

of life they wanted. They should not have been persecuted and driven from the East

Coast to Oklahoma or someplace else.

E: That is a very sympathetic view.

S: Yes. I mean, all people should have their rights B no matter where they come from.

E: This is a sympathetic view that you are expressing. You spent your young, formative

years, down in Miami. You have had this involvement with people in the Syrian

American Club and so forth. Do you think your views are unique for the people that you

grew up with? ...Or with other people who came into the store? Was there the same sort

of respect for the Indians by others or do you think that your personal experiences gave

you a different view of..?

S: Well, I do not know if people had the same respect for the Indians. Most people did not

know the Indians. They knew them as people that had their own crafts and wrestled

alligators. Whether they are Indians or any other nationality, they should be respected as

human beings. They should be allowed to grow and improve their religion and culture -

no matter where they come from, whether they come from Czechoslovakia or they come

from Italy or Russia or any place. I mean, they are human beings and if we would work

together with other human beings throughout the world, we would have peace all over.

But that is the trouble. A lot of people do not want to do that.

E: In some of these interviews in south Florida B not necessarily in the Miami area B they

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remembered going to grocery stores and not being allowed in because they were Indians.

That they would bring a list of things that they needed to the back door and their supplies

would be brought out to the back door. Obviously, everybody did not share the sympathy

or the view that you have across southern Florida. Did you encounter people with

different views toward the Indians?

S: You know, people did not have prejudices like they do now about many from foreign

countries where there is animosity between people of neighboring countries. But that is

not the idea. The idea is we have to look at things with an open mind. We have got to be

tolerant of all the other peoples because they have the right to live and enjoy life like

Americans have. And if they become Americans, we want to give them their rights, here,

too. So, why not have those ideas in mind in the beginning? That is what I believe.

Maybe, others do not believe that, but I do. I mean, you can not have prejudices. You

should not have, I should say.

E: How far along are you, in your book?

S: Not far enough.

E: Anybody who is writing a book would probably say the exact, same thing.

S: Well, I have got various chapters written; typed up and all. But I have got more in the

computer but it broke down. I have to get it fixed and then pull out that and put it on

pages in book form.

E: Yeah, print it all out.

S: See, I was very fortunate. When I started writing some of that, I did not know whether I

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could write or not. And I wrote and wrote and then I showed it to my next door neighbor.

He has been writing history of the Italians. He is very good; he is a professor. And in

fact, he taught Italian. He asked me how many rewrites I had done. I said I did not do

any rewrites. That is the first one. He said, you are kidding. I said I did not know I was

supposed to do rewrites. I just wrote it the way it came to me and it worked out fine.

Now, when I start writing, I am crossing out this and crossing out that.

E: Now, you started thinking about this rewrite stuff.

S: That is right. That is the way it works.

E: Well, it is a good project. I think it is really important.

S: Well, my sons keep getting after me. They want more information. In fact,

E: Good for them.

S: They want me to give them all the...

E: That makes sense. You are the person who has it.

S: Well, they found a relative in Miami who has a history of some of the cousins. Now, my

oldest son wants my wife and me to go to Miami so we can meet this cousin and

exchange relatives and backgrounds on people.

E: So, they have been writing their own...?

S: Well, no. They have not been writing it; they have been living it.

E: Oh, I see.

S: One of them happened to be some kind of a rabbi and he, having been a rabbi, got to

know a lot of the relatives B you know, second cousins and third cousins and aunts and

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uncles, that I did not know. I mean, I never came across them. Some of them were in

Europe; in Israel and various parts of the world; the orient.

E: It is interesting to me that when your father came to New York from Austria, he was on

his own. He did not have connections. He was coming here, by himself.

S: Nothing. He did not know anybody.

E: And similarly, when he and your mother moved to Florida, they were not coming to be

with a group of family members. They were coming on their own, setting out and

establishing a new place.

S: That is right. They were pioneers.

E: In each case, he brought people from New York. He brought family over, and to Miami.

You came down after a couple of months. It sounds like in each place, there was a fairly

large Jewish community in parts of Miami or parts of Brooklyn, where you were. Were

those communities important in facilitating the entry into those communities into those

parts of the world? When your parents moved to Miami, was there a Jewish community

to tap into?

S: When we came to Miami, we lived down in the northwest section of Allapattah. There

were not too many Jewish people living there. In fact, I was the only Jew in the whole


E: No kidding.

S: And I graduated with honors. In fact, I have a picture where Ruth Bryan Owen, who

was our congresswoman at the time. Do you know who she is?

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E: No.

S: William Jennings Bryan's daughter.

E: Oh, right. OK

S: I will have to show you the picture where another girl and I represented our school's

But, I was the only Jewish student for years.

E: Was that difficult, at all?

S: Not at all. Practically, everybody in my class was my friend, and most of the people in

the school were friends. I mean, since our store was across from the school, everybody

came in and they were just like home folks. Later, more Jewish people moved in, but

most of them were on the south side of town. In fact, to go to the temple, we had to go to

the beach or other parts of town.

E: You mentioned earlier, that the service was being held out at the beach. And you and

your parents were practicing?

S: Yes.

E: ...involved with temple and right there in Allapattah, there was n a

S: Allapattah was not developed that much and mostly consisted of people from B Georgia

crackers or others from the Carolinas or Louisiana. It was mostly working people that

wanted to get started in a new area. And Florida was the area.

E: So, in Allapattah, aside from the Indians, most of the people that you met were recent

arrivals B people who had come recently, to establish businesses or trade.

S: ...and they were working class people. Mayor Bob Floyd lived, there.

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E: Were people engaged, in surrounding areas, in agriculture? Were there seasonal laborers

or that kind of thing?

S: Not much. I mean, we did not have that much agriculture. You know, some of them

would have their own plots of land where they grew all kinds of crops, but it was not big.

E: So you were meeting all these people that were carving out their space in Miami not

having been there for generations and generations.

S: As things developed, people wanted to be involved in industry or business or something

besides farming, you know. I mean if they did not know anything else, they would farm

some land but they did not have to do it in the Allapattah area. They could do it a little

farther out, where land was cheaper and it would be a lot easier. And that is what


E: So, then you stayed in the Miami area until you went to high school. Did you go to

junior high and high school, there, and then, go off to college? Was there a break

between high school and college? Were you just working at the store?

S: No, no.

E: The next year, right off to college? You came up here, right?

S: Yes. I went to the University of Florida.

E: You were a Gator for a year.

S: Right. Let me tell you what happened to me as a Gator. As a freshman, we wore what

they called rat caps. After a game, we would march in the middle of the street on

University Avenue until we got to the downtown area, which was close in. And there,

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we would stop and take branches and trees and build a bonfire right in the middle of the

street. It was very interesting. And then, everybody cheered and sang. We had a lot of


E: This was after football 1 games?

S: Every football game. But that is what I remember as a freshman.

E: What is a rat cap?

S: It was a freshman cap. It is a regular cap, with colors B orange and blue.

E: Why did they call it a rat cap?

S: Because they considered the freshmen, rats. That was the expression, then.

E: So that sounds like it was a lot of fun. Is that why you went up to Emory? Because it

was too much fun, here?

S: No, no. Emory was a good school. In fact, they were talking about ratings of the

different schools. Florida is forty-ninth or something like that. Emory is eighteenth in

the nation. It is a good school.

E: It is a good school.

S: It is a very good school. I'm glad I went there.

E: And you went there after your first year, here. You went for three years?

S: Four years. I had to take ROTC, the freshman year, and I was a kid. I was very young. I

had to tramp around with my uniform and a rifle. I could hardly hold the rifle. I had to

do it.

E: What about at Emory? Did you have to do...?

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S: Oh, no. That was professional. That is different.

E: So, it was a big difference.

S: Entirely. There, we were in a big city and after the first year, you took more lab work.

And then the third and fourth year, you were working on patients.

E: Your program was in dentistry?

S: Yes.

E: When you were here, did you already know that you were going into dentistry? When

you were in Gainesville?

S: Yes.

E: So, you were already...

S: I would have stayed here, longer, but when I found out I only had to stay here one year

and I could get in Emory B I figured I ought to get in there, right away. I think I would

have been better off taking two or three years of pre-dentistry. I would have aged. I was

very young.

E: How did you decide to go into dentistry? It sounds like you knew before you went to


S: Well, not entirely. I wanted to get into some medical field and I did not think I wanted to

go into medicine, itself. And then, I had friends who were dentists. And they convinced

me that I would like it. So, I went into it.

E: And you did. Up at Emory, what did you feel was the major difference between Emory

and Gainesville?

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S: The major difference was the dental school, called the Atlanta Southern Dental School.

And later, was taken over by Emory. It was on a street, Courtland Street; it was like a

factory. You felt that you were going into a factory. But, it was just the big labs and the

clinic. It was entirely different. You felt like you were learning and you were going to

work. You did not fool around. We lived in B first we lived close by, in little boarding

houses. And then, after a while, when some of our friends had cars, we lived on the other

side of town.

E: Did you work while you were in college?

S: No.

E: You were fortunate you could just devote your time to...

S: Well, the only work I did, is when school opened. They gave you a list of instruments

you had to buy B some for the lab and some for the clinic. And when I was a freshman, I

saw a long list and many of the items were expensive. So, I went next door to the

sophomore lab and I asked some of them if they had any used equipment B Bunsen

burners or whatever, appliances or anything B and one fellow did. He said he would sell

me something for two dollars. I looked at it and the new price was eight dollars. I said,

OK. And I took it next door and asked if anybody needed a Bunsen burner? They said,

yes, for six dollars. So in the first week, I made several hundred dollars.

E: Enough to see you through for a while.

S: That is right. I mean, I had learned business in the store.

E: So, you were doing business.

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S: That is right.

E: You took this practical skill

S: But, you know what I did? In those days, they did not have Federal Savings and Loan or

anything like that. They had postal savings. You put it in postal savings and I think we

got B I do not know, I think one half of a per cent, or some nominal amount. But, it was

better than just keeping it in a checking account. So, that is what I did. I put it in there.

E: Your brother's name was Maxwell?

S: Yes.

E: Had he gone off to college?

S: He was in dental school. He was a year ahead of me.

E: No kidding. The same route? Did he go to...?

S: No. He took three years of pre-dental at Florida. And then, since I only took one year, I

caught up with him. I was one year behind him.

E: So, you were at Emory at the same time, overlapping?

S: Yes.

E: That is interesting. I had not known that he went into dentistry, also. Did he go back to

Miami and practice there, also?

S: He did not go into practice. I will tell you something that happened. I came up that first

year and sold some equipment and made several hundred dollars. The week after that, he

needed an appendectomy. School was just starting and I had this money; this extra

money, and we made arrangements with his professor in physiology who was also a well-

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established surgeon. I checked with everybody and they told me he is a very good man, a

very reputable man. We arranged for him to operate on my brother. Well, they would

not let me go in and watch the operation but I was outside. And after it was over, since I

had made this extra money, I paid the surgeon his fee. We never told my parents about it.

Until the next summer, when we came home, they did not know anything about it. My

brother did not say anything about it, either. And then one day, a man came in B a friend

of my cousin and said, I hear that Max had an appendix taken out. And I said, Oh, no.

That was Max ---, and I named somebody else. So, later, my Mother said, are you sure?

Are you sure? After a while I told her. I said, OK B You see he is OK. She said, how

did you pay for it? And Ijust said, you know me.

E: You found a way.

S: One of the little incidents in life.

E: But he did not go on to practice?

S: He decided he did not want to go into practice.

E: And you did.

S: Yeah. Until I decided to go into the military. And they would not take me.

E: That was in the forties, right? It was during the Second World War.

S: Yes, not the First.

E: No, I knew that. You were born in the middle of that one.

S: That is right.

E: You definitely were not going to take any of that.

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S: But, ideas were different in those days.

E: You were born in 1915, I believe.

S: Yes.

E: And your birthday is in...?

S: April 4th

E: And so, it was during the Second World War, when you tried to go into the military. And

they would not take you.

S: I was single and I would go in the military.

E: At that point, you really left dentistry?

S: Well, I had sold all of my equipment B

E: Thinking that you were going to go...

S: And I had closed my office and when I did not go in, my Dad and Mother said, you

know, we need you to help in the store because all of our male help is gone. My brother

was out of there.

E: Was he in the service?

S: No, he was in military work, in Georgia. And I thought to myself, well, I ought to be a

good son and help my parents. I was wrong. I should not have done that. I should have

gone into business where everybody made millions, because the women took over. And

women were even more efficient than the men in running businesses. I mean, they really


E: So, you went back and took over the store, then?

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S: Yes.

E: For how long?

S: Until we had a fire in the store.

E: When was that?

S: Early 1970's, I think. 1971 or something.

E: So, a couple of decades. A couple of decades, you were running that store, again.

S: Yeah. What happened was that we were firebombed.

E: No kidding.

S: At a time when the blacks were coming down from the north and they wanted to establish

themselves in the south and they figured that if they burned some buildings, that it would

give them a reputation. It was Friday, the thirteenth, incidentally. One of the buildings

they burned was a University of Miami lab, which was out in the northwest section.

They set it on fire B firebombed, but they had a guard on duty, there, and he put it out.

So, they did not have any problem. And then, they took a lumberyard B a very big

lumberyard B and did the same thing, but they had a guard on duty and he put it out. But

ours, on Friday, the thirteenth, we had closed the store at about eleven o'clock and on

Friday the thirteenth at twelve o'clock they fire bombed it; and by the time they called us,

there was tremendous amounts of fire.

E: You were no longer living....

S: No, we were living on the other side of town. My Mother was living on the beach.

E: But it was the same store.

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S: Yeah, it was the same store in Allapattah. And they called me and I came down there

and there were the firemen cutting holes in the roof to put out the fire. It really was

horrible. We cleaned out a lot of the things. The only thing I regret is I

had a big bag a laundry bag full of old pictures in one of the closets and I forgot to

take it out.

E: And so that was gone with the store?

S: It was not gone with that. Some of the black students climbed in there and tried to take

anything that was not nailed down. In those days it was rough. I mean, this fellow (they

caught him, later) was trying to wind the young blacks up to be against the whites. And

he finally was sent to jail. He laughed about it. I forget his name.

E: This is interesting. You went away to school. You became involved with dentistry B

you practiced for a while. Then, got out of that...

S: ...to go into the service.

E: ...which fell through.

S: So, I came back and my folks told me that I should help them and I thought I should be a

good son and do that.

E: And that was in the forties. So, you were away from the store for a good ten years.

S: I became a real estate broker and a developer.

E: In the seventies?

S: No, before that. I became a real estate broker and I worked all over the state selling large

tracts of land and I would bring in money people from Brazil and from Argentina and

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from various parts of Europe and Israel, who would develop complete communities.

E: When was this B this was not in the seventies?

S: Part of it was in the seventies; yes, I guess it must have been the seventies.

E: This is after the store burned?

S: Yeah.

E: Because the store burning B it seemed like that ended the store.

S: That is right. And then, I finally sold the store. You know, what was left of it.

E: What was left of it?

S: The shell was there. It was concrete and steel beamed building, so it was still in good


E: So, it had survived the fire.

S: I mean, a lot of the things B the floor and the walls and all B had to be fixed up, and the

roof, but other than that, it was a solid building. It was very well constructed.

E: And you sold it to...?

S: A man who had a little store in the neighborhood and he figured he would fix it up, so I

gave him a good price. I got the best price of any type of... type of [laughing] B because

they came down from the city to ask me, did I really get so much a square foot. I said,

yes. Who did you sell it to? I said that fellow down the street, there. How did you

convince him of that? I said I gave him all of the ideas; all the facts that it had steel

beams; that it could be fixed up; that all he had to do was just fix it up and divide it up

and he would have something worthwhile. And he believed me. And he did.

Sem 253
Interviewee: Julius Sperling
Page 43

E: So, what did he make it into?

S: He was afraid to have regular show windows in front, so he had it sort of boarded up.

And it never went over. You do not have a retail store with window shutters covering the

front. I mean, you can not do that. He was afraid they would break in and I told him,

take your chances. He is still there.

E: Do you remember the address of your store?

S: 1748. You want the other numbers, too? 1754

E: Oh, there were several buildings.

S: ...NW 36th Street. Miami, Florida

E: When you went back after you did not get into the service and you took over the store,

again, was the store a very different place than it had been before? Did it change a lot

during that break? Were the clientele different? For instance, were the Indians still

coming into the shop?

S: Yes, the Indians were still coming. But there were a lot of younger people who were in

the service. So, it was the older people. By that time, we knew everybody. I mean, they

had been customers, there for so many years, it was like coming home. I mean, when

you get to know people for so many years, you extend them credit. You have all kinds of

gimmicks to make them want to come back. We had all kinds of programs where the

kids would buy shoes. They would punch a ticket and when they got their ticket

punched, they would get a discount. So, we had all kinds of things. And we carried such

a variety of things, there. We carried many things like Burdines carries. Our ladies

Sem 253
Interviewee: Julius Sperling
Page 44

hosiery department and our infants= department, had better things than Burdines.

Burdines was the lead store, then, because Burdines had their own label. We had own

label. But people would not realize it. And when they did realize it, they would come.

We had people from Coral Gables come in. I mean, you have to merchandise and you

have to know what you are doing.

E: And you have to build that reputation and once they know you exist...

S: People often do not realize that it makes a lot of difference. It is better to start small but

be honest and do things properly, and then people will come back.

E: So, the business was pretty similar when you took over as to what it was when you left.

S: Except it kept growing and you did not have the young people there because they were in

service. You had the older people and the new ones coming in. And everybody had


E: Of course, everyone had babies. This massive change taking place after the war. I am

thinking back about the Indian questions for us, because that is how we got started with

this. And I am thinking about the places like Musa Isle and so on, and if those went

through. Did you continue to go to those places, at all, or did they eventually close down

or were other places...?

S: No. See they really closed Musa Isle and moved to Forty-Mile Bend, Hollywood and the

West Coast. That changed quite a bit.

E: When was that changing? Was that after you took over, again, or was it...?

S: I do not remember.

Sem 253
Interviewee: Julius Sperling
Page 45

E: It just sort of happened.

S: Of course, by then, the Indians were getting better educated and whatever they made and

whatever animals they caught (the egret feathers B or anything like that) they could sell

on their own. They did not need a farmer to buy things so they did not have to get checks

to come to us to cash. But they still bought, you know, the piece goods and clothing and

stuff like that. I mean, we were fair with them.

E: Up until the time the store burned, you still had Indian customers? Or had they sort of

tapered off by that time?

S: No, not as many as before. Except for the cloth that they bought.

E: People still came in and bought the bolts of cloth?

S: Yes, because we got them whatever they wanted and plenty of it.

E: That is a remarkable set of changes that you saw in Miami, it seems to me.

S: It was remarkable. And the area changed and then more Latinos started moving in. And

there were a lot of blacks. When the store was fire bombed, there were a lot of blacks

that wanted to riot. But, then, many of the Cubans came in. Well, the Cubans took over

many of the stores there. And they were not going to allow the blacks to do anything.

They told the blacks if they catch them fooling around on any of their property, they

would shoot them.

E: So, there was animosity B a fair amount of animosity?

S: A terrible amount of animosity. But, then, most of the blacks were good, nice people.

Because we had a lot of customers that were black. There was a small element that

Sem 253
Interviewee: Julius Sperling
Page 46

wound up with the fellow that did the fire bombing. They felt like Awhitey@ was taking

advantage of them. Or they did not want to do anything. They just wanted to start

trouble. Well, the Cubans put a stop to that. They let them know, you come in and fool

around on any of our property B we are going to kill you.

E: Was there a change in the feeling of being in a Jewish community in Miami over that

period? Did that ever become an issue?

S: No.

E: In some parts of the country, there were times when that changed.

S: Maybe in other parts of town. But, we never had it. I mean, ordinarily, you would think

we would. But for most of us Jewish people B everybody knew them. I mean, if they

went to school or had shops or something. Everybody knew them. Most of them were

very, very fair in what they did. So, it is like anything else, if you have someone whom is

really nice, and someone you care about and are interested in, you can get along. The

country had a lot of prejudiced people. But it is either the way they are brought up or

their ideas. Or somebody instills them with crazy ideas. You know like these Nazi

groups and all like that. That is just hatred being furthered. The percentages are not as

great as people think. They just get a lot of publicity.

E: Yeah. I think you are right. And it is does not sound like it is something that really

impinged on your experiences down there.

S: No.

...which is good.

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Interviewee: Julius Sperling
Page 47

S: I never had that trouble.

E: That is good.

S: If I could belong to the Syrian-American Club and all the clubs like that, ...that is a good

example. I had some friends that were Arabs. They belonged to our clubs, too. But they

could cook. Some of them were very good cooks.

E: Well, I am thinking that we could, maybe wrap this up. I know there are a lot of things

that we did not talk about that we touched on in an earlier conversation. But, is there

anything else that you would like to bring up for this particular interview B as you are

going through your notes...?

S: I do not think so. I mean, after you go over this and see...

E: We will get it transcribed.

S: Yes, and then we will see. I am sure there is much more I can give you.

E: That will be good. We will have a look at that and see where we go from there.

S: I will have you over at the house and show you a lot of trinkets, there.

E: I would be interested. Do you have a lot of trinkets from early days in Miami B the

Indian things?

S: No, not that much. I am sorry I did not save it. You know what happens? It is right

there and you do not think of it. But, when you go on trips, then you want to save

everything, which we did.

E: I am finding the same sort of thing. I look back, already, just ten or fifteen years ago and

I think about stuff that I let go.

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Interviewee: Julius Sperling
Page 48

S: A lot of things we gave to friends and relatives, which we should not have. Many of

them did not appreciate some of the things. You know you give them another trinket.

And to us, it would have been more than a trinket. It would have been something you

remembered that you got on your trip.

E: ...that had specific memories tied to it.

S: That is why I am trying to teach our sons and daughter-in-law. I only have one; the other

one died...

E: Oh, I am sorry.

S: ...the value of these different things. As they looked through what we have, one of my

sons said, I know I will never be able to travel around the world like you and Mom did.

But my wife and I would like to travel. He said we will pick out different places and you

let us know what you got from there. I mean it has changed now, but a lot of it is very

similar. They are not going to find the people I picked up.

E: No, it will be very, very different.

S: I picked up people all over. And I tell my wife I am shy. She says, you are shy? When

we started out; I was very shy B really. And then, you meet people and people are so

nice. It is fun. That is where you get enjoyment out of life.

E: I think so, too. I really agree. That is where you learn. That is where you really expand.

S: When you make money and start traveling, I will give you pointers. Would you like


E: Yes. That would be good.

Sem 253
Interviewee: Julius Sperling
Page 49

S: I will introduce you to the son who wants to travel the attorney. He is a nice guy.

E: I am sure. And he is here in Gainesville, also?

S: Yes. All of them are here in Gainesville, all of them. Our immediate family is all here.

E: That is great. That is really great. You are very fortunate for that.

S: I think so.

E: I am going to turn this off. Thank you very much for doing the interview.

S: It is my pleasure. And you interview very nicely.

E: Thank you very much.

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