Title: Jim Ellison
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Title: Jim Ellison
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Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1


Right. It is the sixth of November. So, Saturday night. It is about six o'clock. Pretty
much, exactly six o'clock. And I am on I don't know what road I am on, now. I was
on seventy-eight. I think I might still be on seventy-eight. I am heading I am no longer
on Brighton Reservation that is where I spent much of the day, today. And it is six PM
and it is getting dark. It is twilight. I am heading back down to Big Cypress where I will
be staying this evening. And since I have got another hour or so on the road, I wanted to
do some field notes. The way things are going, I am going to be too tired by the time I
get back to feel much like pushing a pen for writing field notes. And I also have papers
to grade.

So, here we are on the road. My last appointment today, was with Baxley.
Lottie Baxley had been interviewed back in 1971 by Harry Kersey and I was going to do
an interview with her, today. I tried, I hoped to do some follow-up stuff and also just to
run through the questionnaire and see what it looked like with this person thirty years
after she had been interviewed by Kersey. I was pretty excited about that. Actually, I
had written an interview for her when I first started for the program based on her two
interviews things I thought would be interesting to do. Of course, those wouldn't make
up the basis for the interview, now. Things have changed considerably in my mind. But,
I was excited about the possibility to interview her. I tried, actually, in August, when I
was down here before to set up an interview with her and it didn't work out then. She
was sick and otherwise busy. And I didn't have a lot of time. So, we just agreed that I
would try to call her. So, I went over to her place this morning with Daisi and set up an
appointment. We set up the appointment for four o'clock and it was going to be the last
appointment I had. And it was kind of tight after a two o'clock appointment I had
already scheduled. I wasn't sure how it was going to work out so I took her phone
number and told her that I would be calling her if I were going to run late. It turned out
that I was running late. The two o'clock did take longer.

By the way, I was on seventy-eight. I am now turning on to seventy-eight and twenty-
seven. Now, I have actually turned the wrong way. But, because of the traffic, I'll have
to do this, anyway. It is hard to speak notes and drive at the same time.

So, anyway, things happened. My two o'clock appointment ran late later than I thought
it would. The cell phone battery died. I had not been given the cord sort of a crucial
piece of equipment with the cell phone when I got the cell phone from the office, today.
Yesterday Thursday, whenever it was. Thursday. So the cell phone battery died. I
couldn't call her. I had to wait till after the interview with the two o'clock appointment.
I called her then, which was which, believe it or not from seventy-eight by the
Lakepark Lodge, that area is a long distance call onto the Reservation. It cost me a
buck. But she didn't answer her phone. That was at five o'clock. So, I drove out to her
house, which was only a fifteen-minute drive, something like that. And when I got out






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
there, she was she looked like she had been lying down; she didn't look like she was in
a real good state. And she didn't even say hello. She just said, well, I can't talk to you
now. I apologized for being late and explained that things ran over and I tried to call.
And she said, well, we can't do it now. I said I would still like to talk to you at some
point. I know today is not a good time but I would like to call her. She said it would
have to be in a couple of months because things are really going to be tied up, now. She
just didn't seem like she was feeling very well. And I said OK. I just wanted to make
sure that I have the right phone number. It turns out that I did. I apologized, again and
then left it at that. So, Lottie Baxley didn't happen my four o'clock appointment. That
is where I am coming back from, now. Although right now, I am turning into a Texaco
Station. They have a Subway, there and I am going to buy a sub and eat that when I get
back to Reservation for my dinner. Pulling in, if I can get a parking spot. And it looks
like I am going to.

OK It is about six-fifteen and Ijust got myself a sub. Ijust stopped at a red light. I'm
trying to think what I was talking about before, in addition to paying attention to the road,
here. There is some construction going on and it is a little distracting. But, anyway,
Lottie didn't work out. And I am not sure if I am actually going to be able to interview
her even though we agreed that I would call her. The agreement came through a screen
door. I wasn't invited it. We will see. It would be nice to interview her.

My two o'clock appointment the one that ran late that was with Mary Frances Johns,
who informed me that the Frances is the formal version of Mary Johns. She was a
pleasant surprise. She had been interviewed before by Tom King. Unfortunately, I
didn't have that interview with me. I wasn't exactly sure I was going to be able to get
this appointment, so disorganization on my part. But, none the less, and she was good.
She was interesting. She had some interesting things to say. That interview (we going to
do it at the by phone, we set it up to do it at the Lakeport Lodge on 78 and 721 or
something the county road that goes into Brighton Reservation). So, Daisy and I got
there a little bit early from out previous appointment and when we got there, it was pretty
quiet. Actually, we checked it out before the previous appointment and it looked pretty
quiet. I talked to one of the waitresses and I guess the manager and I said, Look, I
coming in I have an interview and we said we would we would meet here at two
o'clock and I do this oral history project. I wonder if you have space where I could sit
down and do some tape recording. They said, sure, and they pointed me out to a table
sort of around the corner. It was toward the entrance to the bar part of the establishment.
It looked good. It had a little outlet. So, anyway, Daisy and I went back there. We got
there early after my earlier appointment. And we just had some lunch and were sitting
there having lunch and as two o'clock was approaching, that place started getting
crowded. It was a nice day, Saturday, a lot of people out in the lake and out in the rivers
with their boats, fishing. And people started rolling in about two o'clock. It started
getting pretty packed both in the bar and in the restaurant. And it was kind of loud. So,
Daisy and I decided that it wasn't going to work out for interviewing. Certainly, it wasn't
going to be the right environment. We thought, right next to it is a hotel. We went to the
hotel to see if they had like a little lobby. They really didn't. They used one of the hotel
rooms down at the end for their office and it was the size of maybe, a living room of a






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
hotel room. It connected to a room behind it. They had a few people who were working
there, to sleep in and stuff. They didn't really have a lobby and the guy really didn't have
any kind of other space. I didn't feel like asking him if I could rent a room by the hour
because it sounds kinda funny. And it already sounds funny enough that I am doing an
oral history program. But he suggested some place across the street. I went back out but
Mary Frances Johns had gotten there. We talked about this going across the street and
she said well, if you have batteries for this thing, this tape recorder, we could go around
the corer, down over to this park. Vandervelt, it is not park. Vendervelt something.
It is on the tape for the interview. So, we said, sure. It was good. It was nice outdoor,
good weather. She found a picnic table with a roof over it. Nice spot like a concrete
chickee, but it was about as windy as you could have without it being a tropical storm. It
was really blowing. It was knocking over Coke bottles and that kind of thing while we
were sitting there. So, consequently, I always had to have my hands on everything: pen,
questions, had to keep clamped down. So, the wind was a constant factor. It was always
there. Both distracting me and probably it is in the tape, too. I'm sure. Although, I kept
listening and checking to see what it was doing there. I think it is not so horrible. It is a
constant sound. It is not that bad. Very windy. Then, toward the end of the interview, in
addition to the wind (Heading into another construction zone, here) (it says road work
next ten miles) the sun I was facing west the sun started dropping down below the
roof of the concrete chickee. And so, I started pounded in the face with the sun. And
there was really no place to go; to move. I tried sliding over a little bit and ended up -
(here we go; I'm going to get off this road on to 80. Better slow down so I don't go
flying off into the...) So, anyway, that was really distracting. In addition to the wind
then, I was being beamed in the face by sun and I had my hand up quite a bit blocking it
and squinting quite a lot and it really made it a little hard for me to concentrate on the
interview. I think it probably detracted a little bit from the pace of the interview and the
depth of the questions. And it is unfortunate. And also, at that time, I realized that I was
running late for Lottie. So, that detracted, I believe, from the scope of the interview and
it's depth. That was taking place.

Nonetheless, Mary Johns interview was pretty interesting. She had done some things that
are pretty cool and that really require some possible follow-up interview material. She
got a grant from the state to learn medicines with Susie Jim Billie, who is related to her as
a great, she referred to her as a grandmother. But she is not literally, her grandmother,
maybe, a great aunt or something, on her Mother's side. So, she got the state grant to
learn medicines from Susie Jim Billie, who is a medicine woman. We talked a little bit
about that on tape but it needs a lot more exploring. We also, because we talked about so
many different things, we really got off talking with her about some of her craftwork that
she had been doing. She went into doing this at Tallahassee at the museum. We did a
whole lot on her early life history with education and stuff. The beginning of the
interview, there was pretty good stuff- pretty interesting. Consequently, we didn't get to
a whole lot of discussion, explicit discussion, about economics. We didn't get a whole
lot of explicit discussion about, actually about healing. And she has had some health
issues. In addition to the medical training, she has had both medical training and she also
had this herbal training with Susie Jim Billie. And she has personal health issues. And
those areas, really need to be explored more, as do, I think, the religion issues. She has






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
got pretty strong opinions about the religious stuff the Green Cor Dance and other
ceremonies that she talked about briefly. We could explore those a lot more. (Great
traffic out here on 80 on a Saturday night) At any rate (I'm about to make a turn off
here we have already made it to yes, there is the Indian Reservation sign. Ijust lost a
bunch of the traffic. I'm trying to do this without sending the tape recorder through the
windshield. It will be a good thing. And it is a good thing. There we are.) So, those are
things that we need to talk about more with her. ... That I would like to talk more with
her. She is very talkative. She is very comfortable answering questions and going off
and talking about stuff. So, I think, if I can do it, when I go through that interview, in
such a way that I set up, new, fairly specific questions, she would be a good and easy
person to do a follow-up with and ask some of those more specific things. Possibly, for
pretty interesting stuff. Talking with her about some of these things that she was doing
medical wise and so forth.

Right. The earlier appointment, my first appointment (I am losing my voice, today. I
don't know why.) was with Alice Johns Sweat. That was I tell you, I really need to
listen to that tape because it was an extraordinary interview and the microphone screwed
up. So, I don't know how much of that tape is ruined because of that microphone. I am
pretty furious about it. The microphone was giving me all of this static trouble at the
beginning and I finally got it worked out so that it was set and started using it (this is the
flat external microphone) and all of a sudden I heard this this is well into the second
side of the tape all of a sudden I heard this static. It was the static that I had heard
initially. And I thought Oh, my gosh. I picked up the earpiece and it was all you could
hear-was this static. Anyway, I just sort of sank and I quickly unplugged it and I decided
to use the internal microphone, which I am using right now for the rest of the interview.
And I haven't had a chance to go back and listen to it. I really haven't had a chance.
That is really the only thing. I kind of feel like I really don't want to listen because I
really don't want to go back and hear nothing but static because that was such a damn
good interview, in a lot of ways. She had a lot to say. We had a good interaction. She
was serious about the interview. She talked about things historically as changing over
time; connections. It was good. There was really some good material in that interview.
And she was also very personal about the information. She talked very clearly about how
her personal life [was effected] by these changes. So, the microphone I don't know. I
used (to stay with the microphone story for a second) when I got, then, to Mary Johns, I
started with that Microphone and it was giving me grief, again. Well, I had already
decided that I was just going to use the internal microphone because of that screw-up.
But then, there we are, sitting outside, at that Vandervelt place, and ( get my bright
lights back on, here) and so I had to use the external microphone because the wind was
too dam strong. With the internal, all you heard was the wind. So, I took off the bass of
the microphone, that it rests on and that stopped the static. Actually, it was Daisy's
suggestion. She said, try taking off that bass. And so, I did and it worked. So, that is
what we did that time but I am really hoping it didn't screw up that entire interview with
Alice Johns Sweat. She said she wanted to talk again. She said she would like to do
another do more of this. And I told her I would like to do that, too. I just hope that
when we do that it isn't starting from scratch and me calling her up and saying Hi, can we
do the entire interview from beginning to end, again, because the tape is screwed up






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
because of the microphone. You know, I got it going and I listened to it and it was fine
and I just kept watching the needle and I don't know. We will have to just see. (Traffic.
Two lane highways.) So, anyway, we'll try that out and see. She was really interesting.
She does work with elderly. And although, this was, I think, one of the first interviews
that was specifically dealing with elderly. The first one that I have come across; the first
one that I can think of at any rate. And what had triggered this was that I had spoken
with her two months ago when I was down here, back in August. I had just run into her
by chance at this church the First Seminole Baptist Church up in Brighton Armico
Church, and we talked a bit and she was interested in this. Actually, she had been at that
council meeting where I got chewed out way back in March or if she saw it on TV. I
think she may have seen it on TV. But, she knew who I was. She knew a little bit about
what I was up to. So, we talked for a little bit then and we started talking about the
elderly. It was just real clear to me that this person you know, she was working with
the elderly and she has these opinions and she sees these things these changes taking
place. And they concern her greatly. And so, my hope with the interview was to draw
some of this out. And really, it did. She really, really feels she had got really strong
feeling about these things. She was crying at one point when we were talking about some
of these changes and it is remarkable. But, it also points to a huge, large gap in our
record. And that gap is elderly. We haven't looked at... We have people talking about
education. We have got some really good things. My interview, yesterday, for example,
was with Louise Jumper, and is dealing with her work with the culture, the language
program, rather, with the pre-school people. Excellent. Really good stuff. But we don't
have this sort of comparable discussion of senior citizens, elders, and these people who
are highly valued at a different time and Indian history in south Florida, American
history, Seminole History. (I am going to check to see if this thing is still running. It
appears to be. It appears that the batteries are still working, here. Although I should
probably check. It looks like it is so I am going to keep going. Good, there is nobody is
front of me; I am going to put the bright lights on, again, so I don't run over anything in
the road.)

So, it points out something. It points out something that we could stand to be looking
into that we haven't. It is a pretty interesting oversight. Elders are so extremely
important and we tend to think about the elders, we tend to think about them in one
direction which is elders teaching younger people and that younger people aren't learning
and so on. And so this is an interview that takes a different direction. It takes it and
looks at all of the different people and says, well, what is it that constitutes an elder and
how is that changing over time. And it shows some pretty interesting changes. I mean,
there are things that we could kind of piece together through logic, anyway, though
induction. We could take this information and say, we see these changes happening with
housing and therefore the people who are growing old are going to be doing so in
isolation. And the broader patterns in the United States, anyway, would have elders
becoming elders in isolation and away from their families, their grandkids and so forth.
Here is somebody who works with it startling point that she works with, right now, she
has about forty elders that she deals with who are in declining health and who are in need
of care and so forth. Either needing their laundry done or what have you. And you
know, you have to think about forty years ago who an individual, who is her age, which






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
is what, late forties, what individual dealt with forty elders? There was no such thing. It
wasn't like that. So, this is a pretty remarkable change. So, it is a pretty important
interview. I really hope that microphone didn't screw it up. But that is something that -
well, anyway, the microphone chapter. That microphone, I am going to probably
abandon it at every opportunity to do so, because it has screwed me up a couple of times,
now. It is really unfortunate. So, otherwise, it is a good mic.

(I'm am going to stop and pause this and regroup for a second because driving down this
dirt road, I'm getting hypnotized. Trying to think about what I am doing)
Pause in tape

OK. I have kind of regrouped and thought about things a little bit. Also, I am getting
hypnotized. This is actually, a big issue. This place driving around... I've put probably
more than four hundred miles looking at three-fifty, but I didn't start doing the trip thing
until pretty late in the game. It is probably well over four hundred miles, probably close
to four hundred and fifty on this thing, down here in south Florida. And I am driving on
two lanes it is pitch dark out I'm driving on a two-lane highway. Right now, I don't
have my brights on because about a mile away is a car coming at me and it has been
going on. One would pass me and then probably three or four miles behind it, is another
car. And so you turn you brights on for a little while and then you can't because you are
going to blind somebody. There they go. Right now, it is pretty good, wide road, but
there are just pretty serious ditches off to the side and it all you can see -just dark. Later
on, up here (I'm on 833) we be going through an area, the road gets considerably worse,
as you get closer to the Reservation. And it is just a little hazard to do this kind of
driving around, constantly.

The other thing is that it requires a lot of driving around. It has big expanses. You have
to go it costs a lot of gas. You have got to go all over the place. And the telephones -
which cell phone, really needed that cord because that battery died, today. I didn't get a
whole lot of use time out of that. It is definitely like I am describing these distances -
things are far away. Two raccoons. And it smells like a skunk, somewhere, too. Hat
wasn't one of mine. Anyway, the tape recorder just scooted down the dashboard because
of two raccoons. And there is a car about two miles up so I can't have brights on any
longer. But, so the distance thing the phone is really crucial. You know, I talked to
Alice Johns Sweat from up north in Gainesville before I came down to set up that
appointment. So, I had gotten her phone number. It was one of those instances where it
worked. I called her and she said, Yeah, Saturday would be good. And I kept, from early
this morning I was trying to call her with I couldn't use I think I used my cell phone
for a couple of calls and then it was dead. It cut out completely. I was trying to call
Alice, in fact. And so I was using Daisi's. Daisi has a cell phone. We were using hers.
And really glad that she had it. She is willing to let us use things. It is really kind of
nice. But, in between times when we were calling her numbers and striking out (I am
trying not to get in a serious car accident. There are three or four cars coming.) In
between times when calling her numbers and striking out. (There was only two. I need
new glasses, I suppose because it looked like three or more cars. Here comes another
one.) We managed to get Bonnie Baxley's phone number. No, we didn't get hers. We






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
got Mary Francis Johns'phone number. We got Nancy Shore's phone number. We set
up an appointment with Nancy Shore for Monday. We set up an appointment with Mary
Francis Johns the one we did, today, on the phone cell phone. On the way, you know
because we have this hour-long drive out to the other reservation. It is absolutely crucial
- you know you are cruising around out here in big wide-open space. It takes you forever
to get from one place to the next. And you can set up interviews. Otherwise, you arrive
there at somebody's house and they are not home. A lot of these people have cell
phones. Alice, her contact, I didn't reach her at home today. One of the reasons why we
struck out is because her son-in-law was supposed to take her grand daughter to these
bowling tournament and didn't, for some reason. I didn't go into that. And so she had to.
Which meant that she, obviously, couldn't answer her home phone. She had her cell
phone with her but I gather it wasn't turned on until later on. I called her and got her at
ten or so. And she was telling me that she was going to leave this thing but her son-in
law was going to come back and take his daughter away from it at the end of the
bowling thing; that we would be able to meet for an hour or so. But it was her cell phone
that I actually got her on. So, the cell phones are kind of a crucial thing. And I am a little
pissed off that I didn't have the cord to use. I am really glad that Daisi could be so
willing to let me use hers even though she didn't have to. She paid for all those minutes.
(Big, big curve, here with a car coming the other way.) So, anyway, field work keep
that in mind. You have got big, wide-open spaces. Going to cost a lot of money; a lot of
driving and you need a cell phone. And I needed to use it afterwards, too. I needed to
use it to call Maude Baxley and I couldn't do that. I could have called her right at four
from that interviews and said... (That was an object lesson: let the tape recorder fall rather
than drive off of the road) I could have called her right at four and said, Look I am
running behind schedule. Can we do this appointment at four-thirty? Or five o'clock.
And she probably would have been a little more forgiving. Maybe not, but I think she
would have respected me more. Things to keep in mind. So, technical difficulties, today.
Telephone, microphone.

After the day's (now I am on a narrower stretch of road; narrower stretch that is in much
worse condition down by the sugar plantations. Sugar cane all around. There is some
citrus and stuff. Actually, there is more citrus here than sugar. Although it is kind of
hard to tell in the dark. If memory serves, this is more trees than sugar. More trees than
grass.) So, after the interviews, today after I struck out with Maude Baxley I went to
Louise Gopher's house. I had gone over there in August with her draft interview that had
been edited. So, I wanted to go pop by I had left it there for her she had gone out of
town or something. I had left it with this person in her house. So, she was there today.
She answered the door. I recognized her from her picture in the paper. So, she did have
some things that she said that she wanted to change and I am going to meet with her.
Or no, she is going to mark it up, I guess. Even though she is off work, she is going to
swing into her office at the culture building and leave it for me there. And when I am
coming through here on Monday Monday afternoon I'll go to the Culture office and
pick that up. She seems nice and I am really sorry I didn't have a chance to talk to her.
She seems like a good person. I saw that in the interview, anyway. It was nice to meet
her. So, that was done. So, then, I drove around. I went down to church to see if
Howard Micco was there, by any chance. I don't know where he lives. But I thought I






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
would just swing by the church and see if he was there. And he wasn't. The reason I was
looking for him is because I have his final copy of the interview and wanted to give that
to him. I haven't seen him in Big Cypress, at all, in the last day and a half.

After that, I went to the Bingo Parlor where Lorene Gopher was and saw her. She looked
good. She seemed kind of happy to see me. (Just got a frog.) And I was glad to see her.
Her interview was really good. I just wanted to tell her that I hadn't forgotten about her.
That we are so far behind that hers hasn't been done yet, but I hope that by the next time
that I come down, it will be done. I got her phone number at work. And she said, Yeah,
give me a call, when you do come down with it, we will set aside a Saturday morning and
go over it. I said, Great. That will be really good. So, that is what is going on with me
and my agenda for talking with her. And that was the last that I could think of to do up
there. And I was getting tired and I got back on the road. And here we are. And so I am
going to stop this for a bit and think about the road. Make sure I don't hit anything and
maybe start it in a bit.


Side Two of Tape
This is the eighth of November. The same car; it is about the same time of night. Maybe
a little bit, I don't know. The same direction. It is about seven o'clock. This is some
news. I am on 721; County Road 721, heading south more or less ( I don't know if it is a
north-south road) but I am heading more or less south. Coming up to 78. I am just
leaving the Brighton Reservation and these are my field notes for today. Being the eight
of whatever it is November. Try not to get in an accident as I turn onto 78. A car
coming.

So, I am leaving Brighton Reservation because I just had my appointment with Nancy
Shore, finally. I tried to meet with her in August and it just didn't pan out. She didn't
sound real thrilled about it. I need to learn a little bit about hearing whether or not people
sound thrilled that people tend not to sound thrilled about this. And they may be a little
bit more interested in it than they sound. Because we were finishing up today, (I think I
mentioned to her on the phone that I had talked to her in August) when I was leaving
tonight, she said, didn't you call me in August? And I said, yes. And so she had
remembered that call. She wasn't putting me off, last time. She was being honest that
she was dealing with her Mother and then she didn't have time. This time, she had plenty
of time in the morning. She expected that when she spoke with Daisi on the phone (when
Daisi and I were in this car Saturday, driving up around this way), she was under the
impression that we were talking about coming up here in. (I'm going to turn this down -
the record level a little bit because of the road noise, again). She was under the
impression we were going to come up here or I was going to come up here in the morning
which is an unfortunate impression to have left her with because I had appointments
scheduled for all morning. At that point, I had them scheduled, already, I think. So, my
intention when Daisi and I were talking about it was to try to work something out for the
afternoon and I would swing up here after the morning appointments. Sort of like I am
doing now, on my way back to Gainesville. [I would] do that interview and then head on
home. She had a different impression. We figured that out when I called her from Big






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
Cypress at three thirty. I was just at Dusty's, right at the reservation line and I just sort of
finished up and was just getting able to get in the car and call from the pay phone. [There
were] cars right behind me and I said, I am heading out up to Brighton from Big Cypress,
and I hope you still have time to meet. And she, well, you know I was ready for you this
morning and you weren't there. And I said that I apologize for that. I had appointments
all morning in Big Cypress and I apologized for the misunderstanding. And she said,
well, what time would you get up here? And I looked at my watch and it was three thirty.
I said, I could be there at four thirty. And she said, How long do you want to meet? And
I said, about an hour. And she said, Oh, until five-thirty? And I said, yes, it should be
about an hour. And she said, OK. And I said, Great. I'll be right up there. It takes
longer than an hour to get there. I was doing about eighty-five or ninety on the way up
just to try to make it. And I did. I think it took me seventy minutes to get there to her
door. On the way, I stopped by the Culture Office to pick up Louise Gopher's corrected
interview. She wasn't going to be there. She has been on vacation, or she is away for
three weeks. She had told me on Saturday that she was going to drop it off there. And
apparently, something had come up. She did drop it off and it was in her desk or she
hadn't had a chance to or it wasn't there or obvious. The woman who was there called
her up and she said, oh, just tell him that I will mail it to him. So, I left my address. She
is going to mail it to us. I don't have that interviewed right now.

Then, I went over to Nancy Shore's house. And she is a very, very nice person. She is a
very interesting person. I don't think the interview is as dynamic as I had hoped or as it
really had the potential to be because she is a very interesting person. Part of the problem
was I am tired and this is the third interview that I have done, today. And I have been
driving. So, it is not as good as it could have been but there is some interesting stuff in
there and it should make an interesting comparison with what she was talking about
twenty six years ago when she was interviewed by Tom King. We will have to see. I left
her the copy I had a photocopy of her interview with Tom King and just the way time
worked, I didn't have a chance to really go through it this weekend before talking with
her, unfortunately. But, I had it with me and I asked her if she had a copy of it
somewhere and she thought she did and so I said you can have this copy. So I gave it to
her and she has that. By like I said, I'm tired and I think that may have hindered the
quality of the interview. Although I think it was very good. She is an interesting person,
anyway. She, I believe, is the first person who has actually given me food after having
interviewed them. In that sense, it was sort of like it used to be in Africa, where I would
go to interview somebody and they would give me a quart of milk or a couple of eggs or
something, afterwards. She gave me a bag of oranges. Really am grateful for that. It
was very, very nice. She introduced me to a couple of her nephews nice kids. I guess
one of them was her son and a nephew. Nice kids. The interview, we did by battery.
The tape recorder with batteries. She said she wanted to sit out in the porch because her
house was full of people. And we did. So, there are going to be problems in the tape.
Those problems are going to be the following: cars and trucks, lots of people driving by
on the road, some fairly loud vehicles, particularly trucks driving by that are going to be
extremely audible on that tape, kids, lots of kids across the road a good distance away
but their voices carry out there, yelling and stuff. They are going to be audible on this
thing. They are probably going to be distracting for the transcriber. Dogs (what road is






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this? Oh, this is a canal. This ain't no road, that's a canal.) Dogs running around
barking, as with everyplace else around here there are lots of dogs running around.
Barking and they are going to be on that tape, kind of a disruption. What else? That is
pretty much it. She is also fairly soft spoken. There are times when she is going to be
coming through loud and clear because there are times when she was sort of speaking up.
There are other times where I think it is going to be kind of hard to hear her but we will
have to struggle through it. The interview lasted a little bit less than an hour and a half,
This is a wonderful road. Actually, this is better than 832 or 833, but it still bounces
around a bit.

I just stopped the tape because I heard this really remarkable noise and I thought I was
having car trouble. It was the coke next to me, fizzing from the cap. No problem. I
was trying to think where I was. I was talking about this interview. Let me stop here and
talk about just in general, what happened today. ...to put this in a context.

Woke up this morning pretty early, graded papers, until about seven. Then, I went over a
got breakfast and then I went in to wait for Theresa Jumper. I had an appointment with
her at nine something. And she had just a limited window of time between classes. I
wanted to be there early just in case she had more time. And I certainly didn't want to be
late because it was going to eat into that limited window of time. I got there early,
checked in, let them know that I was there and went back out to the car and graded a
couple more papers. Then, I interviewed her I went in and while I was waiting, she took
a little extra time because she was with a high school student who was doing a project a
quilt that involved patchwork. And it was a beautiful thing. Theresa was taking a lot of
extra time with her to help her finish it. I guess it was her final project, her last project.
Some of that gets talked about on the tape. It was pretty wonderful. Pretty nice piece of
work. She came out with Theresa and went into the office next door in order to show this
off to the woman there and a teacher, Allison McCollough that was there and somebody
else who, I believe was an administrator. Don't know here name. But, obviously she
was extremely proud of this thing. Went next door and showed it off. As soon as she
finished doing that, the student was on her way. She came back the student's name was
Melissa, I think she came back and dragged me into the room and said, OK, let's go.
And we went in and got hooked up. She was a little concerned, she was a little nervous
about the whole tape recording thing. Tape recording, I believe, is a tool that she uses
with her students to do language stuff. It is kind of interesting so it is something that she
is not familiar with, but she was like nervous like if it would be like a test of something.
And I just explained to her that, Look this is no test. This is a conversation. We are
talking about things that you are the expert about. So, we got over that. We did the
interview. And it turned out to be a really interesting interview. We completely
abandoned the questionnaire because we only had, I think, a half an hour to work with.
So, there was no way to do the questionnaire, so I just sort of jumped into her work there
doing the culture teaching. I will come back to this.

The second interview, then, from there, I went to well, I was leaving there, I swung into
the clinic. I went in and saw Helene Johns Buster for just a little while. I wanted to stop
in and just tell her hello. I didn't have her interview with me but I wanted her to know






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we are still doing this project and that I haven't disappeared. And she invited me in to sit
down in her office and we talked for fifteen minutes of so. She is really a neat person.
She had been in a conference last week in well, last week, she had just gotten back from a
conference in North Carolina of Indian chapter Native American chapter of AA. And
I would love to talk with her about that. She also, a week before had been in New
Mexico at a health conference dealing with Native Americans and Diabetes. And it
sounded really important. She said she didn't learn a whole lot. That maybe, she and her
outfit, here back there at Big Cypress are perhaps better set up than some of the other
tribes in the US that are farther behind in some of their dealings with Diabetes. She
mentioned, in particular, with some of the western tribes, people in the southwest. She
informed me that Diabetes is the number one killer of Native Americans in the US. I
really didn't know that. I knew it was a serious problem but I hadn't really understood
the scope of it across the country. She said that it is remarkable. It is that prevalent
among Native Americans. Anyway, she and I conversed for a bit. She said that Andy
had not had a chance to go over his interview. I had left that with her. She said that he is
really busy and so forth. And I said that was fine. Hopefully, when I come back down, I
could call her in advance and we could set up a little time to sit down and go through
these things and get that out of the way. She said that would be good.

From there, I am coming into some town with a Moose Lodge, Buck Head Ridge. I am
still on 78 east. From there, I went over to see I was going to head up to see Timmy
Johns. He was my next appointment. I was going to do that before lunch and then go
back to the Safari Lodge before lunch. Daisi said she might be trying to come back there.
And then after that I had the one o'clock appointment with Marie. So, on the way up
there I stopped over at the Frank Billie Center to see if Sam Tommie was around because
I had his final interview and he was not there. And I didn't leave it with anybody else. I
figured I wanted to give it to him. I thought I might be able to stop back by later, and as
it proved, I didn't have the chance. So, I didn't ever see him. Also, I still have Howard
Micco's final interview, even though I saw him on Sunday, he was kind of busy working
and I also forgot later, when I had the time. What road did Ijust go over. I have to look
at the sign in my mirror because if I just missed the...I don't think that was 441.

So, at any rate I still have his. Mitchell Cypress, I still have his. That didn't happen. I
didn't find him. I still have his interview and I had it last time, too. I did meet Moses
Jumper, Jr., whose interview I have worked with. His interview was really interesting
and I met him and talked to him for a little bit. He is just a really neat, dynamic guy.
And I really look forward to bringing him his interview and talking with him some more.
I met him on Sunday.

Then, from there, from not finding Sam Tommie, I went next door to see if Vivian
Crooks was around. I didn't have time to sit down and talk with her. Evidently, from my
trip in August, I realized that sitting down to go over her interview I think we have
already spent three hours talking about her interview and going over it for corrections.
And I didn't have that kind of time this weekend. And she isn't there, anyway. She is
now taken over education and she is out in Hollywood much of the time, which is good
for her. And I got a phone number for her out there. And I can call her when I get back






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up to Gainesville. I will try to see if we can't do it the next time that I go down or by
phone or what have you. So, she wasn't there. I also talked to Nina Bowland who was
there- she is a nice person. She told me about her grandmother who is alive I think it
was her grandmother and not her mother, who is ancient ninety-four years old and still
somewhat lucid and has some information and would love to be interviewed about oral
history of Hendry County and so forth. That is a possibility. But, unlikely, that I will be
doing anything like that.

Then, from there I went up to I got out to see Timmy Johns. I got there and there was
nobody around. I waited there for a minute or two and was walking back to my car and
wasn't quite sure what I was going to do. I was thinking I would go back to the Safari
and A) see if he happened to be there for lunch or B) maybe have lunch and then, go back
out there. As I was sort of debating what to do, he drove up. We talked for a minute or
two. I told him again what I was up to and explained that I would like to talk to him
about some of these changes. Perhaps in particular, what has developed in this citrus
industry. He laughed and said, I will tell you about the citrus industry in fifteen minutes.
And I chucked and I said we have got this longer questionnaire and it involved all these
other things. He said, well, OK. I said, do you have time, now. He said, well, not really.
I said OK. When would be a good time? He said, he wanted to know what I was up to. I
explained that I was seeing Marie at one and so on. He said, all right, come back at two.
I said, all right, I'll try to make it by two. I will see what I can do but I have this thing at
one. But I will be coming back after that. This is out at Big Cypress Citrus. So, I left
him and I went back to the Safari Lodge by then it was getting on to eleven thirty or
twelve or somewhere in that range. I went back to the Lodge, graded two more papers.
Then, I had a real quick lunch half of which I threw in a 'to-go' box and ended up
eating in the car on the way to Marie's interview and on the way up to see Nancy Shore.
So, I had lunch, jumped in the car, drove over to see Marie. When I got there, she was
there and Patsy was there. Patsy is the older woman who has been cooking there this is
the senior program, the hot meals Patsy has been cooking there for twenty years. And
Marie has been there for seven or eight years. And I explained what I was doing and
went over the consent form and Patsy was sitting off in the distance, had the TV going
and Patsy had this scowl on her face and it was hard to tell what she was thinking. But,
she did seem sort of skeptical and Marie is just kind of bubbly and excited and saying this
will be good, this will be fun. And Patsy is sitting off in the distance. And I finished
explaining and I said, is this something you want to participate in? And Patsy said, in
Miccosukee, that Marie translated, that she didn't want to participate. And I said, OK.
And then, Marie said, but I do. I think this is neat. And I said Great. We will do this.

I am coming up to 441, here. Big, red light bunch of traffic. So, Patsy sort of
disappeared. And I interviewed Marie. And this was at one something. We did this
interview that lasted a little over an hour and a half. We cut it short because we looked at
our watches and it was three o'clock and she had to run home because the school bus was
dropping off her grand daughter at three o'clock. And she said, oh, my gosh. She is
going to be dropped off and there is nobody there. So, she ran over and we ended the
interview at that point. But, it was a good interview. It was a good interview that Marie
had some interesting things to say. Obviously, all these interviews could go in so many






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and other directions. And there are so many other things that we just didn't get to. But,
we talked for an hour and a half and covered a lot of stuff. And I was really interested in
her stuff with the elders we got some of that. She was talking about her project in
working with the elders. And I think that is a good interview, a positive, strong
interview.

After that, by then, it is three o'clock in the afternoon (red light at Okeechobee Plaza, I
guess we are in Okeechobee) like I said, it is three o'clock and I was supposed to go and
meet Timmy Johns at two. He said at two. I was watching the clock and realized that it
was getting late but I didn't have his phone number and I didn't want to interrupt the
interview to drive up there. And so, when she ran off to go pick up her grand daughter, I
started just packing up my stuff and I was outside when she came driving back up and I
asked her if she had his phone number. She didn't and so we said our good-byes and so
forth and I hopped in the car and drove up to see Timmy Johns. It looked like his truck
was there but I got there and the door was closed and a fellow was working on a tractor.
There was a note stuck in the door of Timmy's office. (Another red light, here. We are
in town.) And the note said I got the note it just said, I waited until two-thirty and
then I had to run into town to get parts. And the guy who was there working on the
tractor said, yeah, he went with somebody else I can't remember who he said he went
with, but town, I suppose means Clewiston. So, there is not much chance of him coming
back in the immediate future. I asked the guy working there if he thought he might be
back. And he said, yeah, about five, he said. And obviously, that shoots it for me. I had
to be running up to Brighton and then doing what I am doing now. (I guess now we are
in the Okeechobee city limits, here, which is driving home) So, I wrote him a note just
saying, Sorry, if I kept him waiting and I was glad to meet him and that I still want to talk
to him and hope to maybe do that at some other point. I left him a card and told him that
I would try to get in touch with him before the next time I came down. So, I left him that
note and took off, drove out of the driveway, wrote down the phone number which is on a
sign for BC Citrus, right out at the highway, out the driveway from there. I wrote down
the phone number and then I drove across the street to Dusty's. And at Dusty's, what I
was doing there is to call Nancy Shore. Even though I don't have a cell phone and I no
longer have long distance credit card because I switched long distance services and I
haven't gotten my new credit card number, yet. I went there and I charged it to the office
- called the operator and said I want to bill this to Oral History because they didn't give
me the phone cord they can pay for the phone call. I had to call Nancy Shore and that
is what I was saying. I called her from, that is what I was saying when I began this, that I
called her from Big Cypress to say, you know, to talk her into to still letting me still talk
to her, even though it was running kind of late. That was three thirty.
So, that sort of fills in the time gap. While I was at Dusty's, just coming out from
because it didn't work the first time, making the phone call because everybody was on
the phone up at the office up there I got the voice mail. So, I went into Dusty's and I
bought a coke; came back out. Just as I was walking out, there was some guy who had
been in there, eating and he was stepping out. Kind of large guy, walking with a cane.
He was making a joke to the person inside about they were asking where he was going
or something and he said 'I am going off to write my book.' He was laughing and they
were laughing inside. He looked at me because obviously, I had heard this and he wanted






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to give it some explanation. He said, well, I am actually going to Bingo. I just told them
I am going to write my book. I am I go there and I observe people. I go and watch
them. And I am going to write about them. He was chuckling. And it made me laugh
because I am down here observing behavior and writing about it and he probably didn't
know that. Actually, he didn't because I introduced myself. Well, I am down here I
actually am writing a book. I am doing this research. We got to talking and he does drug
and alcohol counseling and he is a recovering alcoholic. Boy, this is a lovely town. And
he is down here, I say, because he is from Oklahoma; he is Native American from
Oklahoma. And he said his son is a tribal member which indicates that his wife is
Seminole or his son's mother, rather. I made that mistake once already today, about
assuming that indicates marriage and it doesn't. (There is a train that just went by and we
are stuck behind a dozen cars. Waiting for the gates to go up) So you know, I just talked
for a couple of minutes but I didn't get his name. But, he is down here. I guess he is
living at Big Cypress and he does this counseling. So, I can look for him at some point
and say, 'Hey we met at Dusty's.' He will probably remember if I remind him. He was
joking because he goes off and he plays Bingo at I told him one of the things -
somehow, health came up and Oh, and because of what he is doing. He mentioned how
big of a problem alcoholism is or has become. He wanted to know what changes. Well, I
said health and this and that, culture. He mentioned alcohol as being this huge problem
here and elsewhere and that he does this counseling and so forth. I said, 'Yeah, that
comes up.' You know, I mention to people about the health issues, those two things.
They say alcohol, alcohol/drug abuse and diabetes. He said, 'Yeah,' and he talked about
Diabetes, as well. He is a large guy and he talked about his weight and talked about fast
food and pointed at Dusty's. I said yes, I understand. You get into a schedule where you
can't go home and you don't have time to be cooking and you have got to go where the
food is. Raulerson Hospital on my right, looking like the outskirts of Okeechobee. And
we just talked for a few minutes and then parted. Nice guy. Seemed like he would be an
interesting person to talk to. And again, he reminds me of Mark Madrid, this fellow from
Oklahoma, who is down here doing stuff with Seminole Indians. Now, Mark, I didn't get
a chance to E-mail him before I came down. I really ought to find him and do an
interview. I think he is a pretty outstanding character who plays a role in some of this
stuff. He is in this Seminole picture here in a lot of ways. The language stuff, in
particular, seems really important. I had this long conversation with him back in August.
I really would like to do a formal interview with him. Well, anyway, then I drove ninety
miles an hour to get up to Brighton to do the interview with Nancy Shore.

I am kind of tired so I am going to pause this. Stop it and start again in a minute or two,
but right now I need to breathe.

OK. I am going to try to finish up some of these notes before I get too tired to do it -
driving back still. I am on the turnpike and I want to just try to wrap up a couple of
thoughts here. I ran into James Billie this morning at the no, it was lunchtime today at
the Cafe the Swamp Water Cafe at the Swamp Safari. I talked to him briefly and he
was in a good mood and just said, I told him I was looking for an interview and he said,
'OK I've got time. How long will it take? I said, well I can't really do it right now
because I was paying for my lunch at that point and I was going to be rushing off to






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interview Marie. He said, well, look for me later on. I will be over at the aviation thing.
And I said, well, because I realized I was not going to make it. I told him, it ain't goin
happen now. How about December? He said OK. That was it. He was running around
as usual, trying to talk seventy thousand people trying to catch up with him and trying
to talk to him about things. He is very, very busy all of the time. So, at least, anyway I
sort of touched base with him and was able to mention to him, once more that I would be
trying to interview him, or hoping to interview him. He seemed, again, agreeable to that.
Yesterday, Sunday, yesterday was Sunday, big church day, Daisy's son it was his
birthday. It was kind of an important thing. He has some problems with alcohol and
driving and he has a court date today. So, Daisy he was actually over in Fort
Lauderdale. Diasy wanted to bring him back for his birthday and then take him up to his
court date, today. So, she brought him... she was kind of concerned about having him be
- you know it is a big deal. She was kind of concerned about having him be at the
reservation because the reservation is a center for relapse for alcoholic people who are in
withdrawal from drugs. Daisy, then, was concerned that he would come back and I
guess, be around friends and so forth. But anyway, she also wanted to have him have a
good birthday. She got the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall and arranged with
people at the church, that after the service she would have his birthday party there. And I
wasn't paying clear attention. She told me a birthday party and I wasn't listening to who
and it was only the day before that it clicked that 'OK, it is Ira's birthday, her son.' So,
didn't schedule anything for Sunday morning and we said, OK we will do the birthday
party at the church and then we will try to hook up with people at service that we will
interview. People like Jonah, I believe it is Jonah Cypress. And not Jonah Osceola, I
think it is Cypress. At any rate, so I went to the church service with Daisy and that was
good. I am glad I went. I think that Daisy enjoyed having me there and Howard Mico
was there, running the service and he saw me and I think that he was glad to have me
there. They had these gospel singers from Arcadia a bunch of white guys. And after
the service, we went to the lunch that Daisy had put a lot of effort into and also got
Evelyn the woman who was working with her to take care of her mother. Actually,
Evelyn cooked the bulk of the food there. Apparently, she enjoys cooking. And they had
Ira's birthday and that was a lot of fun. A big bunch of people I don't know, forty
people or so, I suppose, there for the party. Which was good. I think Ira enjoyed it. I got
to serve. I was serving food with Daisy, Mona and Moses Jumper's wife and I can't
remember her name off hand. But, that was fun. And I did talk with Jonah there and
then, he seemed agreeable and like he would be willing and interested to do it. He didn't
have time that day. Surprise, surprise. It is really hard to pop in on people and say that.
And he also was running something for the church that evening so he didn't have time.
So, there we were. At that point, I don't know, two or so, three in the afternoon, we
didn't have a scheduled interview; it is Ira's birthday; and Daisy is there with Ira and I
didn't feel like saying, OK, we have got to go find somebody to interview. Pete was
there. He had come for the party, as well. And so Pete was saying, 'What do you have
going on, today, Jim?' And I said, 'Not really sure, not a lot.' And he said, 'Well, let's
got canoeing.' And Daisy was saying that she wanted to go and take Ira wanted to go
see a movie and so she wanted to take him to a movie. And I said to Pete, 'You know,
maybe you ought to check with Daisy about this movie. Perhaps she is expecting us to
all go, or you to go, anyway.' He sort of felt it out a little bit and sure enough it seemed






Ellison Field Notes
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to be what she was hoping and so. And so Ijust decided to go with them and it will be
fun and it was. We had a good time. We went out to Fort Myers. So, I spent the rest of
the afternoon and evening with Daisy and Ira, her son and Pete. And it was good. It was
a really good thing to do. And I drove out there with Pete and drove back with Pete and
so I had a couple of long conversations with him. On the way out, we talked a lot about
him and his family. On the way back, we talked most of the way about how he came to
know Daisy and things he knows about Daisy and her family and his experiences with
working with the tribe. Very, very interesting conversation. I am pretty glad I went out
with them. I think that Daisy was, too. I was.

I am going to turn up the volume, again. I think that I turned it up some just to
make sure. On the turnpike, I think the road noise is just a little bit different. I am going
to pause this while I think what I am going to say.

OK, a couple of things to think about. I was talking to Nancy Shore this evening.
Two things came up. She, without any prompting from me, began talking about elders.
And that is about something that has changed. This came up toward the end of the
interview. I believe as I was asking her, either as I was asking her if there was anything
else that she wanted to add or what she saw as some of the major changes. And I believe
she mentioned some of the elders in one of those contexts. The other thing, I asked her -
we were talking about names. And then, I was glancing at the questionnaire and these
questions about history and what do you know about Seminole history, and of course,
those questions designed that particular question "What do you know about Seminole
history?' is designed from a particular perspective where from which people are of the
assumption that Seminoles don't know their history. I have developed an alternative
hypothesis, which was actually very easy to develop because it sort of goes along the
lines of what my research has always been about, anyway, which is that these people
know their history but it is a very different form of history than what we in the
understand. And I have seen a lot of it in things like names. Well, at any
rate, I boiled the hypothesis down to a sentence or two and I asked Nancy Shore about
that. I said, 'Is there a history imbedded in these names? ...Histories of the wars and she
said, not just 'Yes.' But she then went on to explain how. And it is a wonderful
explanation and I should look for it in that transcript, on the tape. But I think, again
about the OK I just paused the tape to thing a little bit more.

There is another thought that is coming up as I am doing some of these interviews where
I am kind of exclusively asking people at the end about, 'Where do you see things going
in the future?' And realizing that it is hard to ask people about that. It doesn't- there is
no clear logical seg-way from talking about your personal experiences and so forth to
'where you see things going in the future. It has taken me asking that several times to
see, Oh, my God, there were eight deer back there, right inside the turnpike. I saw one
of those earlier about a half-hour ago and I just hope they don't bolt out in the highway.
Anyway, I am thinking in terms of the writing but some of that will be able to come from
those responses to those questions that I have been asking, 'Where do you see things
going?' Where I started coming up with that, though, was from responses to other
questions where people are talking bout what is going on now and what things they are






Ellison Field Notes
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doing that they hope will have some impact on their kids. And I really think that a fair
amount of that for the writing is going to have to come from those responses about what
people are doing for their kids, today. And that will be good. Those are good responses,
anyway. I just wanted to get that in because I think that is what it is looking like. I will
pause it again and save some tape and think about what I am going to say.

I have been thinking -just wanted to throw out once more that it seems like this project
or my work with Seminole Indians on this project it is hard to do this on weekends. It
is hard to come down and spend a few days and do interviews. There is so much going
on. But of course, now I have established some connections with several people. They
know me and they tell me about things that are happening. There is a rodeo in Brighton,
this weekend. There is several festivals taking place. Wednesday, they are having this
Veterans Day Ceremony, celebration that Louise Jumper is helping organize the pre-
school kids to say the Seminole pledge to the flag in Miccosukee down in Big Cypress.
All sorts of things. People talking to me Victor Billy, I was speaking with him on
Saturday morning, I guess it was or was it yesterday? Wouldn't have been yesterday.
And he was saying, 'You know, you really ought to go to Miccosukee. You ought to talk
to the Miccosukee people on their reservation.' And it is really Miccosukee
Reservation and Miccosukee people have come up a couple of times in interviews during
this trip in talking about language. And his point was he is how he phrased it 'they
are not more traditional' that is what he said. It is not that they are more traditional but
they make a greater effort to maintain some practices. And it is really worthwhile to go
check it out. And of course, we have interviewed some Miccosukee people and not just
Miccosukee speakers, but I think we have interviewed a couple of Miccosukee tribe
members. But I haven't gone to the reservation to do things. I have sought out
permission. And I really ought to at some point. I think it would be a problem, not to. I
think it would be a good thing to do it, although I understand it would be difficult. But I
do think it would be important to not draw the arbitrary boundary around the reservations
- particularly around Big Cypress but around the Seminole Tribe, in that way. Half of
my interviews this time (this trip) were in Brighton. The other half were in Big Cypress.
And one of the things that keeps coming up, always, and it came up in a couple of
interview real seriously, with for example Mary Johns is that these people move around a
considerable degree. So that the reservations can not be a unit. Intermarriage happens
and in the recent history of the tribe, makes those tribes units that are problematic. Even
talking about the last thirty years the movement and intermarriage and so forth, makes
it really difficult to just do the Seminole Tribe. And I think I will see that in some of
these interviews. I am going to pause this again and think if there is anything I want to
say.

OK, I paused the tape to think about it.. I can't think about anything else that I
desperately need to put on these notes, right now. It is a quarter to ten, night. I am tired
and I am driving through the construction in Orlando and the turnpike. I am going to turn
it off and listen to Monday night football on the radio, and not think about oral history for
a while.


Tape #2 Side A






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1

Today is the third of June. It is Saturday afternoon. I am driving on Highway 82, west of
Imokalee, northwest. And I am heading toward Fort Myers in a rental car. I have to get a
replacement tire. I had a blowout and the Everglades. So, I wanted to do some
field notes and I wrote some earlier today but haven't had time to write down some other
things. It is raining on and off on the windshield. It makes a lot of noise for the tape and
in addition to just the plain old road noise.

I had some interesting conversations, today. Hold Cow. I am driving right by a really
massive fire. It is just billowing black smoke right by the road. I am not sure what it is.
I am going to try to make it through whatever it is. Boy, it is just coughing out all over
the road. It is a brush fire -just huge. Fire trucks are coming. Oh, it is massive. Holy
Cow is it hot! Debris flying in the air. Jesus Christ. Wow. They are just getting that
going right now. I mean they are just getting the -it looks like the fire trucks are just
getting there. It is big, real big and right by the road.

At any rate, today I had a conversation this morning (I pretty much yesterday had
gotten through most of the appointments I needed to have. I talked to a lot of people
whose interviews I had and most people hadn't really done much with them.) And so it
was merely an opportunity to say hello and remind them and tell them I can talk with
them some other time about it. And perhaps they will make the corrections then. So,
today I had a bunch of free more or less free time. And there were some phone calls I
needed to make and I made those. And I needed to see some people and I got some other
ideas about things that I wanted to do. And I was sitting in the cafe. I had some coffee
and some breakfast and I saw Timmy Johns was there. I wrote some notes about this.
And then, we had a conversation afterwards sitting out on the front porch. And it was
really nice. I tried to interview him last year, I think it was November. I got delayed and
he had to take off. We didn't end meeting up. So, I didn't do an interview with him. So,
we sat down and we mentioned an interview. We didn't really have we didn't do a full
interview with tape and all of that. We said we might do it sometime in the future. He
said he didn't have a whole lot of time. We ended up talking for about an hour and a
half, anyway. We had a conversation that covered several things. We talked about citrus
quite a bit. In fact, that is how we really began. We talked about the weather and citrus.
That is what he does. He is in charge of Big Cypress citrus. And we talked about that.
We talked about changes in that. We talked about here comes one of the fire trucks. It
looks like it is coming all the way from Fort Myers. I am going to pause this.

OK. The fire truck just went by. I can see another one up on the horizon coming in.
They are going back to that brush fire. I have got this doughnut spare tire on the side. I
don't really feel like going off the road. It makes it really difficult. So, I will just slow
down. There goes another one.

So, we talked about citrus and I wrote some notes about that. There is some interesting
stuff. And I really wish I would have been able to tape an interview. We talked about his
health and we talked a little bit about Immokalee. Let's see, I am trying to think what I
have already written notes about. I've written quite a bit about that. So why don't I start






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
more recently and come backward. I was just like I said, I had a flat tire and I am going
to Fort Myers. The reason I am going to Fort Myers with this flat tire is I got the flat
tire on the way to Immokalee. With some of my extra time, today, in the afternoon, I
thought I would go since I hadn't had lunch and it was already two-something and
Dusty's is closed and the rice and bean place near Sadie's is closed, I thought I would go
out to Immokalee. I needed to get gas and I wanted to get something to eat. And I also
thought Immokalee would be a really interesting place. I could probably find something
to do there. I could learn something about Immokalee while I was out there. Well, that
was my plan. I got about half way there and had this blowout. So, I went through
Immokalee, anyway, just now a little while ago and stopped at a Mexican restaurant on
29A, had lunch. It was very good food. I was the only person in the place who didn't
speak Spanish. Nice Spanish language music playing from a jukebox. It was pretty
interesting. Very good food. I drove around Immokalee a little bit. With this temporary
spare, I don't want to do too much. I just checked out some of the old packing houses -
the old produce houses, you know shipping stations, where they it looks like where
they organize pickers and packing and shipping of produce from farms around this
region. And talking with Timmy Johns this morning, he was describing how some of
those in fact, a lot of those packing places have been closed. And some of them really
look like it driving by. Because some of them really did look like they were
functioning. But he was talking about in the eighties, those things were open twenty-four
hours a day, with several shifts and that there would always be action on the streets with
people doing stuff, outside. Things really happening when these things were open.
Workers working three different shifts. He said, now it is just not at all like that. It is
pretty obvious that it is not. Immokalee is pretty depressed. I have been talking about
Immokalee with a couple of people I have mentioned to a few people the last few days
and it is interesting. The reaction is basically is I say, 'Immokalee seems like a really
interesting place.' And the reaction is 'No, it is not. Or why would you say something
like that?' Or basically, just negative. It seems to be the reason is well, the reason on the
part of people who are Seminole who seem to respond that way is that well, it is poor and
Hispanic. And actually even Pete Bowers, yesterday was talking about how it is like a
foreign country. And he meant he really needed to know Spanish to be around there.
There are so many Spanish speakers. I was talking with Mike and I can't remember his
last name. He is security at the Museum and Mike was talking about how (International
Airport, OK, I am going to pause this and try to figure out where I am going).

I am driving down (I am going to put this up on the dash) OK I had a huge feed-back
problem and I am trying to get over that. I was just in Clewiston and I think that I
probably took the wrong road. I was driving down old 27 and I see It is
the old train track. No soliciting. Commissary. Checking office. OK, I am going to try
this again. Where I ended up was back on US Sugarlands and I ended up in one of their
camps. Talked to a woman who didn't get her name, she didn't give it. probably a
manager, white, about forties. Standing there talking to an elderly African American -
possibly not US worker. And another fellow walked up and he sounded Jamaican and I
described what I was looking for this old church, this old cemetery and they said, Well,
oh, you passed it when you came in. Old dilapidated houses. People still living in them.
I said, well, there is this old church out there, too. They said Yeah, it is out there. But






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
now, I am driving down this road again and I see the old church. It is a ways from the
road. It has got to be a hundred from the road. There are some old trucks littering an old
field. Old blue houses, they said people were still living in them. But it is not US Sugar
people. It is unclear...the younger guy walked up evidently he knew who lived in these
places. I am taking a drive down that road. There is a furniture truck. I am parallel with
Old 27 on this road. It looks like a whole bunch malaluca trees in the fields here. Like a
truck graveyard more truck graveyard an old trailers private property signs. It
doesn't look like I am actually going to make it to the church, although I am kind of
getting to that area. Oh, there it is; there is the old church. Oh, man, it is totally still in
use. Lawns mowed. It has got red, blue, yellow, green tinted windows. OK, I am just
doing a "U" and I am right down the church is right on the Miami Canal and I am now,
right parallel with the Miami Canal and perpendicular to Old 27 heading right back up
to it. It is a gravel road and the old church I am going to turn around when I get back
up here and get room and I am going to just drive up to the church if I can. I don't think I
can, actually. Actually, I am not going to do that. But that is interesting because the
woman at the library, Alice, told me that there was an old African-American, she said a
black cemetery out here that she had heard was paved over when they did this Old 27.
Anyway, I drove down Old 27 and I couldn't find it. I couldn't find an old church or
anything but my old quest for the old church started when I stopped at the Post Office on
Miami Canal Road and Old 27 because I had been down on Old 27 which had apparently
stops and starts. I stopped at the Post Office to try to get some info. It was closed for
lunch but I talked to Lynn, the woman next door who was out there chopping trees. It
looks like her husband is out there, now. She told me about how to get to the church and
Ijust did that. Across the canal from the Post Office is an old white house (she didn't tell
me the people's names) but she pointed to it and said 'those people would know more
about this area than me because they have been here a long time.' She, Lynn, and her
husband are from Clewiston. They have lived here for ten or twelve years or something
like that. So, she said she wouldn't know about it. But she said those people across the
way it is a white house. It has got kind of a what she called a catwalk that goes up to
Old 27. It is kind of a walkway that cuts across some low lands some low ground. And
they will know about it. So anyway, I spent this morning I went to US Sugar in
Clewiston. I got some of their paperwork on their history. Talked to Judy Sanchez and
then from there I went to the library and talked with Alice and ... at first I started talking
with Kathy Neal. There is a fellow named I think John Frasier, who wasn't there, and he
is apparently the Director of the Library. I went to the Museum and it was closed. But in
the library, I spent a bunch of time just looking up some stuff- looking at what they
have. They have a bunch of ...they have some collections back room sort of archival,
primary stuff that I didn't look at because 1) I don't have the time and, 2) I don't have a
project really defined for it, so I just sort of left it for now, knowing it is there. I met a
few people. I talked a long time with Alice about names of people and things that
happened around here some pretty interesting stuff. And I took some notes. But I
really wanted to run down this old cemetery and see if I could find anything. Well, I
found something. There is at least a little bit of lead here with this old church that is kind
of run down. People attend it. It is black church, apparently. And these old run down
houses that are near by it. When I asked the US Sugar people, well, this isn't US Sugar
people that live in these houses. And they adamantly said, 'Oh, no, no.' And the woman






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
said that US Sugar provides camps and houses. And they have their own churches on
their camps. And they do. Because we were not too far from one. So, anyway, I am
trying to get back to new 27, driving down old 27, and I just wanted to talk about that
briefly that cemetery and that church. Might be something interesting to try to find out
more information about. For now, I am going to turn this off and I am going to drive.

I neglected to record the date today's date is the seventh of June. Right now, it is about
a quarter to two in the afternoon.

The other thing I remembered just now, when I was talking with Alice in the library: She
is not from around here. Alice was from Pennsylvania but she has lived down here for
over twenty years. She lives in an old tourist attraction I took some notes on. She said
she seemed to remember that when she is a history buff and she has interviewed people.
She has actually recorded oral histories of some people who were survivors of the
hurricane and so forth. She said when that cemetery was paved over she said paved
right over it was her recollection that she had heard that there was a big stink about it.
There was some sort of thing or some sort of protest over it. Something to that effect. I
don't remember the exact way she said it. But something like that. Real interesting.

Also, while I am thinking about it, when I was at US Sugar this morning, I didn't have a
note pad with me because I was just going to go in and pick up some stuff and stupidly
left all of my note-taking material in the car. But Judy Sanchez was talking about how -
well, she was talking about mechanized harvesting. And we talked about a number of
things. I asked her about the mechanized harvesting. She told me that one company
around here began doing that in the seventies and that was probably the first people. But,
that US Sugar I asked her, then, when they had ceased manual harvesting. She said
they had ceased doing that they were the last company to stop doing that they did it in
1994. And for those of you are working on your calculator, that is six years ago. So, the
reason why they stopped so late, they had gradually going to mechanized but they found
that after a rain, you couldn't send a mechanized harvesting things out because they
would with the saturation of the sediment, they would sink. But you could send human
harvesters, pickers, cutters out to do it if the water wasn't, she said, knee deep. The other
thing she said was because when you have had a freeze, if the freeze -where the cane, the
grass freezes from the top down, and so where it is frozen, is of course, bad. But if it
freezes down just a partial way, then below the freeze is not going to rot and you have
cane that is usable. So and automatic harvester is not going to be able to decide where to
cut. It pulls it up and cuts it from down low. It does everything at a uniform length it is
to use that in the situation such as that with having had a freeze. Whereas,
cutters are out there and they can look at the plant and they can see where the plant and
they can see where it has been damaged been frozen. Which is pretty interesting a
pretty interesting statement. It means that your cutters have your company's interest in
mind. Whether that is naive I don't really know. Anyway, I am going to go get
something to eat.

A couple of other things to add. I was just driving through Clewiston after getting some
lunch. I drove by the US Sugar office and remembered that it is an impressive old






Ellison Field Notes
November 6, 1999
Page 1
building with these what look to be these really old Banyan trees, I didn't really check
them out. In front they are the biggest trees in that whole stretch of the main drag of
town. The old building I was wondering what it is what it was, what it was built for.
And I asked Judy Sanchez and she told me that it was built for the offices of the sugar
plantation, the sugar company, in the thirties, I guess. I remember her saying that. That
is probably some of the written material she gave to me. She also said that it was built
around the same time as the Clewiston Inn, the hotel that is sort of across the park from it.
The Clewiston Inn, I maybe misunderstood her but I thought maybe that was the second
building, the second generation of the Clewiston Inn. The Clewiston Inn maybe was
destroyed in the floods or the hurricanes the original one. I am not sure. I may be
mistaken. But she said that over at the Clewiston Inn they have a bunch of old
photographs of the early part of. the early town and so forth. I guess they are mounted
and you can go see them there. I seem to remember that Alice said that the same thing at
the library. Now, the other reason I wanted ...the Clewiston Inn is on the historic
registry. I guess National or State Historic Sites. Judy Sanchez said they could have
done that with the sugar building but they decided not to. And I believe they could have
because it is really an impressive building. She said they decided not to because then
they could modify it. They have recently done some sort of modifications and so forth.
She said they wouldn't be able to do had they been on the registry. It has got really thick
parquet floors. And they had to cut grooves in it in order to put in some of the partitions
that they did and they wouldn't have been able to do that. The tile floor in the front foyer
- the entryway was original tile floor. She was pointing that out. Anyway, that occurred
to me as I was driving by those buildings.




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