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and Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida.
ALACHUA PORTRAIT FORUM #10
"Working Session for Project"
1 December 1983
[Transcribed from original audiotape. Incomplete. Tape broken].
S: Sudye Cauthen Sheppard, Project Director ALACHUA PORTRAIT
C: "Charles" [No Last Name Audible], Anthropologist from UF
TC: Tim Check, Moderator for Panels 1-9
W: Bill Watson, Resident, Panelist Forum #6
FW: Fiermon Welch, Panelist Forum #1
R: Leoris Richardson, Panelist Forums #3 and #5
MS: Marian Strappiere, Strong supporter of project
RS: Rod Smith, Panelist Forum #4
T: Lucile "Nicky" Taylor, Baha'i Faith Organizer of Small Communities
H: Blanche Hill, Panelist Forum #4
PH: Penny Haskins, Panelist Forum #9
O: Ethel Phillips O'Dea, Audience Participant at several forums
I: Mary Elizabeth Knight Irby, Panelist at Forum #8
EC: Elmo Campbell, Chairman-Alachua Community Relations Board
[THIS TAPE NOT COMPLETELY TRANSCRIBED]
SCS: Good Evening! and Welcome to Alachua Portrait. .g
eK.-Saese -Pt .rr. I'm Sudye Cauthen Sheppard, the project director_
^ml m I k you fz.f&ce t W f --
,36S _Ar.... Thank you for being with us. AfiiJir?
SCS: .,r. tn Do we have anybody representing Florida
Endowment for the Humanities? As announced at each forum, the project is
funded by the Florida Endowment for the Humanities and the/ity of Alachua.
This gentleman on my left is Tim Check. been 4 i 2. that held
theseforums together and i this is the first time I got to
sit up front so I'm real eager to get started. OM we had a
series of nine forums and this was designed originally to be
our final foru with an assessment and summary fi.,the 4eoJ_
itself. t to talk a little bit to you 4 as an introduction
and then I want to divide the conversation into two parts. This
will not be a panel discussion. It is not a final forum./it is
not a summary. So, surprise i Welcome to the surprise of
I thought I would
the evening. Ah...I want to divide essentially into, / s call it
the formal and the informal parts of the discussion although I
intend to speak to you very informally and I want you to talk
back in these discussions. But the reason I would call the first
part formal is because i want you to know what the formal..ah
guidelines are that were laid down for us with this project in the
beginning. I'm not sure we ever made that clear to the
community and so, I want to talk to you a little bit about the
original intent of the project and- what my formal responsibilities
to Florida Endowment for the Humanities, are at this time. Then I want us to talk informally about
your ideas as well as mine, for how we can best serve this community
in an informal way, in way4 that are not required by our contract
with Florida Endowment for the Humanities I feel much better in a classroom if I can sit in the
lotus position on top of the table (laughter). We' do without
the lotus. I just come around here where I can... closer.
Ah...this project is one of two in the State of Florida and ah
initially it began with a little flyer that came out of Florida
Endowment for the Humanities and told us that they were willing
to fund what they called a "Community Portrait." Please let me just
read you a small bit from it. "Good leadership in a free society
depends upon/clear sense of and values. How shall
we know which way to go if we do not understand from where we have
come? The Florida Endowment for the Humanities is interested in
working with scholars and with community leaders in a variety
of Florida Communities to develop what we are calling thekeai-
Community Portraits. These portraits will emerge from a thoughtful
dialogue among community representatives in response to
questions such as 1) Who are we as a community?: 2) Where do we
come from? Who are our predecessors and where are we coming from
in terms of shared traditions and values. 3) What do we now stand
for by way of our current needs, priorities and values?
What kinds of decisions or what kinds of values do our contemporary
decisions reflect? and 4) What kind of community do we want to be
in the future? Community will meet together and
study their community culture under the guidance of a qualified
scholar."F.E.H. ah... addressed the type of dialogue they wanted
in further guidelines here. Let me just beg your indulgence for
a moment. Some of this ah If you bear with me just
a moment, I do want you to hear this.because it wasthe heart of
and trying to do.
what we intend reaching for/ iAmxlxyiRg "F.E.H. has a goal."
and so, quite reasonably their goal is "to
strengthen the bonds between the humanities and the public.F.E.H.
encourages the citizens of Florida to interact with professionals
." Now the professional in this case is Dr. Burns
who led our original nine discussions. "These are people who devote
their lives to interpreting the lessons of history, literature,
art, religion, philosophy and to reasoning carefully about the meaning
and value of things human beings do. We think"-You all still listening?
"We think that our citizens will learn many surprising and valuable
things and that our humanities professionals will learn new ways to
relate their scholarship to the and deep concerns shared
by all people. We are noted as a people of economic power and tech-
nical ingenuity. We could someday be noted as a people of broad
understanding,clear vision and sound leadership. F.E.H. challenges
humanities professionals to think more pertinently and more power-
fully than they have in the past to the concerns that perplex
people in the modern world. F.E.H. challenges the public to get
involved in thinking through more carefully the things that we do
. F.E.H. seeks to involve in an ongoing dialogue of
values humanities professionalsand/ an ever-widening circle of
citizens from every region, class, occupation and cultural back-
ground. We are especially interested in reaching those who have
not had great exposure to the humanities." Just let me lift out
a statement here This is a
clearly important. "The Humanities speak to inter-
pretthe meaning and value of what human beings do. The arts speak
to interpret in a different way. The arts are poetic,
As an Endowment, Florida Endowment for the Humanities stands
between the arts and the social sciences, providing support for
programs of reasoned interpretation...reasoned interpretation of
the things human beings do and the things they would do if they
were wise. John who originated the state humanities
endowment, said it this way, 'Who or what is this program against?
It is against claptrap. It is against thirty minute solutions to
three hundred year old problems. It is for _
for informed choice, for reason and tolerance. It is not for lib-
erals. It is not for conservatives. It is not for malcontents. It
is not for the complacent. It is not anybody's boy. It is for the
humanities and the public." The reason I wanted to read it to you
is, I think, ah...in the process of discussing the topics which
were ah...you know... let me see if I can stretch my
own memory a few weeks since the last four. We discussed "The Place,"
"Making a Living," ah "Local Government," "Education," "Family Lifek"
"Health Recreation and Welfare," "Between the Cracks: The New Folk,"
"Continuity through the Generations,"..."REligion and Ideals." Is
that it? And ah in focusing on those areas of concern
I think sometimes we lost sight of the
fact that we were asked by F.E.H. to draw a portrait of our town
and to define our values in this community. When it came time to
do a summary, to put together to put together that 15-page
brochure, that 20-minute videotape, I felt that it would be an
injustice to the community to do that simply on the basis of the
forums. The forums have been valuable to me and, I think, for many
of us. Butthey just begin to _what we are about. We're
a little community but we're not simple. We're complex. And so I
made the decision and the volunteers that work with me all
agreed that we continue this program into the Spring and that
forums are, may ormay not be I do expect to
have a concluding celebration of the forums at the end
present the videotape and the brochure at that time and, in a
few minutes I'll be through with this introductory stuff. Then
we can talk. Ah...Driltech, one of our industries here, has offered
to print the brochure that we will make up at'their expense.
I was thrilled Driltech made that offer. We were talking about
xerox at that point. so I intend it to be of the very highest
quality. I don't intend to do a whitewash of our community at
all. But I hope that when we ah, discuss our problems, we will
we will be
discussing them in the kind of reasoned way that F.E.H. presents here.
We need to bear in all these of the community. All
the ideas and energies and values that each of you bring to the
______________program. Ah ... .yhixiedxdyiixixytafx
this is still introduction but,..concerning the formal and informal)
I do want to clarify Our formal
contract with Florida Endowment for the Humaniteis obligates me
and the City of Alachua to...do a 15-page brochure, and I'll get
that done. To do a 20-minute videotape. We have about 30 hours on
videotape already and to do a brief flyer about the community.
I expect to have that done in the Spring but I don't want to put
it together until _
until I know more about the history of this place, and especially
the area of Black Historyin this community. This is a brand new
FOR ME BECAUSE I WAS TOTALLY IGNORANT OF IT WHEN I
began. And ah I found out nad I realized I'd
taken a lot for granted. Ah...those, I think those are the formal
things that have to do, according to my notes here.
ah, Many other things were suggested in the forums and other
people suggested things we might do. Thre are the not the usual
number of people here tonight because I didn't send out press
releases, put it on radio and TV, and the reason I didn't is be-
cause I wanted to have a discussion with people that I thought
would, I thought it would be more comfortable if we didn't have an
overwhelming house. And I also think a great many people came for
the program we had and the sense of performance and I don't have
that performance tonight. This is just a very...casual but
serious time for us to look at the program and discuss its weak-
nesses and strengths so far and see how we can best use it for
our community's benefit. I do welcome those of you whose faces
I don't know but the reason there aren't more is because I was
afraid some people would be very disappointed if i really
hyped it and they came and it wasn't so entertaining. It's
...essentially...a work session. Ah...since there are a couple
of you here who weren't here before, perhaps what I describe as
the Informal Part which I'd like to break down into two sections,
Since I expect Tim to talk more than I will, I'll relinquish my
high seat. Ah...did I say this is Tim Check? Did I give them your
last name? Ah...let me look at
Okay I told you what I have to do for the contract
for what we do and what we have to do. See, we
could have wound this up. We could, we could have made it look
real good, could have put together the brochure and the video-
tape and I'm certainly not I
thought we might begin, fairly briefly, depending on your interest,
talk for a minute or two about each forum and get your feedback
on what you recall from them that was valuable, perhaps what you
think we missed because this would suggest areas where we need to,
to look and after we go through the nine forums which we did
then we can talk about what other things we want to do. Okay?
Tim, would you like to comment at this point?
TC: I don't know if I could talk for more than minutes so
what I'll try to do is keep it under one minute.
TC: Yep. I really perceived the first series of discussions
were, in my estimation, a springboard to identify those locally
based historical resource persons that we had no prior knowledge of.
In talking with ah the people at the forums
on weekends, I was truly amazed
at how much people in this community are truly interested in
its historical past and its current present and I think that
let me say, right from the start, the forums
prove to be a springboard from which much moredialogue could
very well be forthcoming. I'd like to see this forum ,
forums encourage that kind of dialogue on a regular basis.
We've got some tremendous resource people here in this room
and in this community whoapparantly live in closets as far
as anybody else is concerned. They never share any of their
history or current ideas and I think that's really needed in,
in a community like this. (laughter)
SCS: ANd he made one of my points i forgot.
SCS: That when we started, my secret hope was that Alachua
Portrait would be a catalyst for ah in this community
and I think it's...has begun to do that and I think it's
diversity of this group an the gropus attending other
forums that that strength has emerged and ah, exactly how to
go about doing that -and have to do this according
to number, I don't know but Tim, would you...do you
want to comment on that or would you be willing to comment on
each forum very briefly and...and let's invite comments...
TC: I really think, you know...let's take one forum at a time
and encourage the people here to comment on them and instead of
trying to set the tone for each one, let's ge
TC: get a little feedback.
SCS: If they don't talk...The first one we did was "The
Place". The panelists were Richard Bryan and Frank Cellon and
Arthur Spencer, Jr., and Doris Dansby and Ralph Emerson and
Gussie Lee and Bill Enneis, Sr., St. Elmo Cherry, Mary Jones,
Debbie Findley. Ah...comments: What did you hear there you
thought was most valuable? Where did you hear...what did you
not hear that you wanted, or what would you like more of?
BW: The first session, in my personal opinion, was somewhat
of a get acquainted session. Ah...we found that both sides of
the community share a basic common interest
spoke bout recreation and the role that Burnett's Lake played
for rec... I think that Burnett's Lake was the topic
that night (SCS laughing) Think that what we went into was ah
getting to know each other, being comfortable with, with each
other that night. As far as detail information, I don't think
we actually went any further than that. Recreation and burnett's
Lake and being able to sit down at a table and discuss our
FW: There was a number of There were one thing I thought
brought out and that was more or less ah some of the
businesses that were started by black people in this community,
most especially when we settled what you call Downtown Area. Ah
I recall...several businesses. There was _black
people _. Rev. Carter
opened a restaurant down to the center of town and ah
opened a dry goods store and also a grocery store. Ah
...there was a shoemaker. Miles in Alachua ___
and was there for a number of years
-~____~_. other businesses by Black
people we did not...bring out...I thought
SCS: One of the reasons I asked you to be on that panel was
because i knew that you had that information and it is true that
we do not have that on tape, we do not have it in our
archives and it is a valuable piece, part of our history. And
Tim ? You weren't there. YOu came on board at second forum
ah...one of the ah...to speak to what I think is one of the simple
interests of people in this community, we have interest in con-
temporary issues, but we also have a very strong interest in the
past and the history of this place and it may be that that ah...
is our ...most likely source of pride and sense of community
if we could elevate some of that shared heritage ah...how things
were,, if we knew more about that directed,
maybe could take more accurately You wanta
and David Bush
talk about the second forum? Making a Living: George Duke/and Bob
Miller and Madge Sapp, Tim Check, Gary Rickle, Alex
Lundy, Mary Lou McFadden, and St. Elmo Cherry were on this panel
[St. Elmo Cherry was not on the panel] Comments?
TC: That forum dealt quite heavily with businesses that people
in the audience and panel could recall. What it was like to work
aintree harvesting, the lumbering-business. back 'round the turn
of the century, the first part of this century, people tried to
progressively/up to date in terms of the, you know, what the
transition was, where the population went to work, what kind of
opportunities youth had for employment in the area right up to
the present time. SOme people, Gary Rickle, for one tried to ah
project into the future, you know, what Alachua would be five
years or ten years from now.
SCS: I was dismayed after that forum to realize that no one
during that entire evening mentioned..the downtown area. We had
to wait 'til we got to Local Government for Blanche Hill to talk
about Main St. and have the audience practically jump out of
its seats and applaud. This seems to me like a very obvious con-
cern that I do think the community cares about and the fact that
we have an appointed Redevelopment Agency and they submitted a
million dollar grant application to HUD. None of this was on tape
until right now and ah...I don't think we could possibly say that
we "Making a Living" in Alachua on that night Ah...per-
haps two hours wasn't very ah, very small time in order
to do that
I thought...I can't remember what order we did these...I think the
third one was"Education." The third one was Education. Some of
you in here Comments...
: What'd you say about the second one?
SCS: Making a Living was the title of:it.the third one is
Education ... Ah...Bill Irby
and Terry Stechmiller, Leoris Richardson, St. Elmo Cherry,Debbie
McGill and Mary Jones which let me check were on that panel.
TC: In that forum, Mr. Irby did a real nice kind of historical
sketch and he recollected the schools, the ah different buildings
that were here and gone and here and gone again and ah Terry
Stechmiller talked about his plans for the future, what kinds of
things he wanted to do at MeBane. Questions from the audience
were brought up about some of the things that have happened in this
area in the past. Ah...so it was kind of a historical sketch
new middle school principal the
fact that it was involvement he wanted to get in the community,
ah...Terry was very interested in trying to bring all segments
of the community together. Ah...
Who else was here?
LR: in the community and curriculum
and comparing today
with the past, that type of thing. Ah...we had a very good response
from the audience
, panel as well as the audience.
I think it's very good
TC: Had a lot of dialogue about people
MS: Getting back to businesses here, I don't they, I think
They talked a little about how
impact of those
Copeland Sausage and ah Dukes Lumber, they were really two of the
SCS: One of the things I in looking over this
was that all the forums and this was especially
true of the Education Forum and the part about integration,
that in every forum I realized that we really didn't have a com-
plete picture unless we could hear what the Black Community and
the White Community had to say about these areas of experience in
our city and ah...that was one of the things that I need to
get the whole picture_
The fourth forum was "Local Government." The people on that panel
were Ralph Cellon, Jr., Rod Smith, Neil Sherouse, Tommy Langford,
Rogdger Mallard and Blanche Hill What ah...I find it
very curious and myself in going back and listening to
the tapes and looking at the video, ah...to try to remember what
do I remember from it? You know, what stuck with me? And ah...
that's what I you, what I'm
sure that I don't remember everything. Not at all.
TC: Mr....Mr. Cellon gave a a humorous historical sketch on
the people who played a significant role in the community
and Rod Smith
Rodger Mallard took kind of a step back, looked at politics from
a humanistic and moral interest standpoint and gave a pretty
sketch on what he felt politics in small towns were versus how
they should be.
SCS: Neil Sherousetalked about values in/decision making.
He said/our legal system doesn't buy
says is that our system does not buy that the end justifies,:
this is one of the places where the talked about
values _came in late already. this
was ah mandated that we identify our values
RS: Ah, I thought the, the...my my part ...fairly insignif-
icant. I just reviewed ordinances... so outdated
Alachua Beach[Attorney Rod Smith's reference to an outdated or-
dinance he discussed in Local Government Forum] but ah, I thought
that ah, that that Neil's pres, presentation on the moral values
decision making could have could have given rise to
some very interesting discussion but I, I for one am not gonna
argue with a preacher. Ah... (chuckles) but I, I did
think that there was some real interesting statements made and
that we as a political entity "do not believe that the ends jus-
tify the means." I I think without
that'snot one of the stronger considerations that happens/in
politics on the local level. ah, I
say that with certainty. I say that realistically. Many times
that the, that in local politics you want to expedite and ap-
that happens to be a
proach to getting whatever's donel...particular goal of that
administration...even though it may turn out to be
Now I thought that was a subject that could lead to more dis-
cussion than it did.Ireally probably would have minister
No, I don't mean that personal against Neil,of course.
/ I"m just saying, somebody telling that, I
Sunday in a row but
don't want to be brought up two / bht ah I, I do think
think that it was a
SCS: Were you brought up last week, Rod? (laughter)
RS: I just wanta make sure that there should, there could be
some real discussion in fact the opposite...local politics. I
don't mean, like I said, I don't mean it in a Machiavellian sense
-in a realistic sense which is that oftentimes if you only get to-
gether once a week or once every two weeks and you've got something
to do and some people have some goals to get that done which just
may enhance their political status or sometimes ...(chuckle) even
their personal status That's...that's what makes politics...
S__: but as you were talking I knew .......... If
Alachua Portrait had operated a little more toward the end and
not the means, maybe we would have had more information. We might
not have had the sense of gradually getting to know one another,
that we have, however. I do think that kind of dialogue would have
been valuable. I think that we had so often 8 panelists, 6 panelists,
10 panelists, that people like you/could very well have provoked
interesting discussion, did not do so out of consideration that
the other panelists should have their opportunity to speak. And
this is part of why I'm saying we did...didn't dig deep enough
RS: I just wanta back up something Mrs. Strappiere said
really, I don't know_
I thought one of the things that was! interestingly omitted
from a large number of the discussions was the Copeland Industry.
Now. I don't know why that is....I mean I, I think it's even be
interesting to explore why it was left out because I, I think
that having moved here when i did, which was..actually I moved
here right about the time of the original sale of the plant.
the original sale of the plant and I've been familiar
through relatives and friends with the operation of the plant
and I've gotten to know people who were involved in it, it ob-
viously was ah...agriculture notwithstanding, teh lifeblood of
the community for..30 years and ah then, of course it was pur-
chased by a larger concern and and...things began to change very
rapidly. I thought it was interesting that we didn't..........
every panel, almost every panel that dealt with the historical
perspective of the community for an opportunity to deal with
presented itself. It wasn't dealt with.
the Copeland History in depth/ Ah...it was interesting.__
that was really, I mean, not to get on the bad
Because I'd say that,l ixtoBghBtxkthaxwasside of anybody,
(aud laughter) ah, in all honesty, that's what
put this town on the map for a long, long long time. I mean, I
can remember seeing, I don't know if anybody remembers the "Grey
Ghost" used to be a 7 o'clock television show. I didn't live
in this community but Copeland Sausage was the sponsor for that
particular Western movie. Half hour Western show and I can remem-
ber that long before I ever heard of Alachua and ah so it's, you
know, I think the history ofl...I, I, I just thought that was in-
teresting. I think it would even be interesting to discuss s
sometime why it wasn't brought up the decline,
THE DEMISE OF it seems somewhat unsavory, I
agree with Mrs. Strappiere that that particular
SCS: Locsl Government. Tim?
TC: We've had some substantial changes in local government
since then. new city manager
SCS: Mark DuChon.
TC: And ah I think uh we're all gonna see some some really
positive things hopefully coming out of this administration. Seems
to have a good support, he's a strong individual, be an inter-
SCS: I have a note here to myself that the salient
point of local government for me was made by Mary Hipp at the
very end and it had been said several times before in different
ways but Mary Hipp said "WHen you elect a commissioner, you need
to go down to commission meetings and support that commissioner."
And ah it was said many times in many different ways but ah, ah
that struck me and at the next commission meeting I plan to
and be there.
RS: I, I thought Ralph Cellon was great fun that night.
I remember...Ralph Cellon's one good point that it was very
difficult sometimes, however, to...for governmental officials to
make decisions based on what is the apparent or ostensible
sentiment that night. kaixisxxtxxayqxtkatxifxaRyxxxixxsxexxx
SCS: Um hum.
RS: That is to say that if you pick any one issue in this
town, sixty people could pack this room sixty people who felt
strongly on that issue. And it might be the only sixty people
on earth who felt that way on that issue but it would give the
appearance to elected officials "My goodness this istheland-
slide position." I tho-ught Ralph Cellon gave an interesting
perspective and I think that's because he's spent so much time
in public office or near public office as to realize that that
the concerted efforts to to turn opinion makers ah, even though
obviously we concur with what Mary Hipp said, in one sense in
another sense, it is dangerous for political people to overly
rely on the presence
SCS: Yes. I think that point was very well
RS: And I thought that Ralph made that more than once.
SCS: I felt several of the people on that panel are...showed
us how difficult it is to be a commissioner and how very much in-
between you are and it even, Rodger Mallard made the point that
sometimes he had to call people up to ask them what they think
in order to come to a decision himself and ah...I think what
Mary Hipp said, what it meant to me was that I'm a part of the
problem, you know, and ah...not just when I'm
but when I'm out on the street or when I meet that person or I'm
playing cards with him or whatever, I have an opportunity to
interact __government but thso-called apathy
or the lack of involvement ah, of people in the city is another
thing that I We hit on that again and again and
People will complain about things but they/ they'keep things secret
between themselves but
and they grumble about it but they don't ah do anything to under-
stand why the bill, how the bill is made up and what the rate was
by which we're charged and they, they just kind of grumble but
they aren't The next forum was Religion
& Ideals. most of you were here and I was
very nervous because we brought together about evrey possible
sampling of belief that we coudl find and I didn't know whether
to have the fire department stand by and hose 'em down or not.
I instructed every single person on the panel and every musical
presentation that they were not to discuss doctrine or the Bible.
And I might as well have asked them not to speak in English (aud
chuckles) because they all got up and proceeded to
Almost all of 'em. The Bahai's were noticeably ah quiet about
their beliefs but the remarkable and lovely thing about it was
that it was all enjoyed, not just tolerated. Enjoyed. To me, that
evening that I was so nervous about turned out to be one of the
best experiences. At least that's the way I experienced it of
the entire forums. A very great acceptance among very different
ah religious groups who talked about their, their ah...where they
were coming from
TC: I don't know how many converts the various religious
groups in this town made as a result of that night, but they
certainly had their chance in front of the camera and I thought
it was just tremendously enjoyable. I wish some of 'em
would bring some of their food back (Laughter from aud.)
LR: I think it was very enjoyable, all the various denomi-
nations we had. It all turned out that everyone was on the same
accord. Ah... singing their songs and what
not and I thik, from that forum, I think we have the makings of
I think that be-
cause of that I think that that time
I think we all brought out that religion isn't something
that only do on Sunday throughout the week
we talked about that we were in-
terested in community. I think on that night we had some
the young people
all in all
I think/that was one of the most effective topics we had.
TC: It was much more than just a, I I got the feeling think
a lot of other people did too. There was much more than just
a case of religious tolerance that night or a case of
you know accepting the other person's ah valuing structure or
whatever It was very worthwhile. I think there
was a lot more long term potential coming out of that one par-
ticular session than any other one. We had ah offers of donations
of clothing and other things like that coming basically from that
ah, that feeling of apirit there. Now we gotta figure out
what to do with this program. (CHuckles)
Page twenty one
LT: Well, we to do earlier to
help everybody understand everybody else's background and see
that I experience this but to you it meant something else and
you sae that and it was a manner of all of us becoming a com-
munity, one of a family, from all those different
it could be realized that night. highest ideals and I
think the reason it was so effective was because that
SCS: At that forum we heard that was several
othersbut at that forum, the need for a ministerial
alliance possibilities. AH
TC: Has anything ever been followed up on that? Did you?
BW: We have, we have a, a very active, sometimes [Change of
Tape from side "A" to Side "B"]..............
...might go a bit further. We are in the process of ah estab-
lishing a clothing and toy drive [Tape damaged, speech slurred]
We are in process of contacting the various churches and organi-
zations plus individuals that might have clothing and
toys that ah we might give, make available to needy families
of our community since we are enjoying the spirit in the season
of giving [Christmastime] at this time...very needy at this
time. Now this information did not come to us so much from the
citizenry of Alachua. Ah...our needs were magnified through in-
dividuals from Giinesville that worked ...this area
and 'course we ah have ah identified with these needs but we
didn't have a nickel to do anything, to do anything about it.
Page twenty two
Now the Ministerial Association is working together with the
ah Alachua Health Dept., I believe and ah Green at the
University of Florida and ah, no doubt, the Alachua Portrait
and ah...a number of people. So we're trying to get
the word out that we would like to collect toys, clothing. Cloth-
ing in this particular instance as described by the social worker
in the community, the county. "We need theclothing more thanwe
need the toys because we do have children and they expressed that
most cases have been identified as in the Black Community.
Sometime we do not see, I mean we do not know
what needs is there We solicit your support and ah, if you by
chance belong to a church, you can put your gifts in your church
box. If you're not affiliated with a church, please contact me or
any other church person here and we will get this clothing to
Alachua Clinic up at the Alachua Elementary School. We ahve a
planned distribution point there and perhaps as early as next week
we can start with the people that are in need, but we would also
like to have clothing. If the various heads of household would jot
down what your basic need might be, besides money, (churckles) ah
...if the children need coats...and shoes, let us know what you
need so we won't duplicate what you already have
TC : Bill, what's your number?
BW: ...ah, so we don't wany any identification as to who you
are so you can maintain a certain amount of pride and dignity.
Only thing we want of you is what your need is and number of small
children you have in your family and ah...we'll go from there.
...It's not a rush-rush put together project. Ah, we had a lun-
cheon over this today and no doubt we'll have another one next
week but we trust that all of the churches and individuals -
ah, I would imagine just off the top of my head, for
those that do not have old things and do not have the time to
shop for new things, I would, I would assume if they did have
af a donation that they could make it to the association. Because
we, wo do have a right now ah, whereas we are help-
ing people that are .Appears that
in the last several months, ah the junction of U.S. 441 and 1-75
has been a jump off place for the needy so the Alliance, the
Association [Ministerial Association of Alachua] rather, we have
been ah...putting out, not a large amount of money, but we have
been helping to get people to Ocala or to Lake City. becuase we
do not have the put 'em up here in
Alachua./furnish the gas food, get you to the next Christian
SCS: Could you tell how many ministers you have involved in
the Alliance (Alachua Ministerial Assoc.] and if you're ready for
more people, tell them when they/meet.
BW: Ah, okay now, we have a scheduled meeting which everyone is
invited. You do not have to be a minister to come in to the
the association We welcome everyone. At present, there are four
Page twenty four
ministers. Ah...Rev. Neil Sherouse, minister of the First Baptist
CHurch. Rev. George Shultz
SCS: Lutz, George Lutz.
BW: Lutz, yes 'scuse me. Rev. George Lutz of the Methodist
Church and Dr. Snow Donmoyer Rev. Snow Donmoyer, Presbyterian
Minister. And ah I came along, I think before the Portrait
, Snow and I, and the Portrait just ignited our
interest. And I'm Associate Minister for St. Matthews Missionary
Baptist Church. I _I'm not the pastor of St. Matthews.
I wish I was but ah (laughter aud.) nonetheless, we have four active
ministers and we just today brought in the, the ah Assembly of God.
SCS: You have a representative?
Assembly of Christ.
BW: Ah. ..right./ Anyone that would like to come in,now
we have had breakfast breakfasts to the point
where we got tired of eating breakfast (aud.laughter)
SCS: Blanche Hill has a question.
BH: I have a point. I didn't have a question ....I think.
The first one is ah ah about needed ah clothes and
seething we ought to fol-
_this time of year.I think it's very good think it's/ )bxDtxld)6x)
low up but also I think get together
BH: Get some information
SCS: Excuse me, but would you mind very much saving your thoughts
for further discussion we're going to discuss
things we can do. And we won't get to it if we don't through this
review. Finish your sentence, please, and then let's come back to
Page twenty five
BH: Okay. I do, my point I wanted to make was/I think wexnaedxx
when you say community, ah whatever you're doing,
contacted. last forum or whatever it
was community thing and that uh
other people would have joined you cannot par-
ticipate in something we don't know anything about.
: Murmur from audience.
- 3sC: ^8W wras9S enatiyoB4rea tal t gtH8M0tYou don't knonothing about.
BH The last ah ah,
: Unified program?
BH: Yeah. Unified program. [Community-wide Bi-racial Thanksgiving
Eve Service sponsored by Min. Assoc]
BW: Right. well, what had happened on this now, and ah, we'll
make this 'cause I know we got to go on...
SCS: BEFORE IT gets (aud. laughter)
BW: What had happened, after the Alachua Ministerial Association
was formed, our first project was the unified service and ah
conditions, the last two years...the unified program has been
going...Thanksgiving...has not been, ah had not, rather, been
integrated service. So this year, the Blacks Community was invited
too.. This coming out of an alliance of black and white ministers.
Okay. To keep it from being a white service at a white church
with a white minister we wanted a mix-
ture of black and white cooperation. Okay. with any
BW: Right. Okay. Paradise: We contacted Paradise.
Page twenty six
minister. His schedule was We
: [Voice from aud. speaking]
BW: contact another minister, he was not interested. We con-
tacted anotherr minister, he was gonna be in Memphis. Well, boiled
down to almost Bill Watson so when ah we got down
to, we really wanted a Black minister for some reason, a Black
SCS: Well, you had a white church...(laughter aud.)
BW: Yeah. We had a white church and we wanted a Black speaker.
So it's, it got down to the point where we were going to have to
get the newest minister in the city and ah...that was me. so ah
Commissioner Criswell, they called him.
THen we had some objections from city officials because they
say no, this might be political (aud. laughter) so
finally, he said"Regardless of what the ah, the repercussions
might be, I'll preach And I had a videotape session
that day and I didn't attend that breakfast and ah, so
what part you want?I said, "Well, anything you want me to do...
usher...collection...anything but singing"and ah...ah...we had
a beautiful program. It was more than we had expected. But as
far as the churches not being aware of what was going on, this
it's almost like in every other situation.That brings out the point:
In the Black COmmunity, the church is the core of its nature.
SCS: In this case, it seems to be the Black churches that are
complaining and you know what you all can do about this, Bill?
Page twenty seven
SCS: Put together.a Christmas Service...and fix it all up.
BW: Right. Well, well, what we're doing...
: Murmurs from audience.
BW: Christmas Service is so close, that we have planned two
SCS: Bill, let's...I did this too. I Please let's
come back to this when we talk about priorities and what we can
do. Let me just get through two or three other forums, and
we'll come back to this. Will you forgive me if I
BW: I promise, I'll forgive you.
SCS: Okay Don't forget. Ah...let's just get to Family Life
and ah, I want to let, I'd love to let you all
by 8:30, which'd be a half hour, we'll have refreshments afterwards.
That'll be a half hour earlier than we ever broke before. So we'll
be way ahead. Ah...at Family Life Forum ah, the things I heard
that struck me most were ah... Altamese walker talking about the
fact that we are no longer a community where neighbors call the
parent at work and say, "Hey! the kid's out in the street."
We seem to have become more individuated, more a nuclear family
letting everybody do his own thing and I heard ah...what is that
Liz Parke,r I heard Liz Parker telling us again as she
did at the, ah in the Education Forum, that the parent needs to be
an authority figure in the home. I heard that again. And I heard
Bill Watson talk about that most desperate of remedies for un-
happy home life, the divorce. But I didn't hear anybody talk about
teenage pregnancylor drugs
SCS: It seems we didn't I ~i tCc finish/with that topic.
Page twenty eight
: Aud. comments.
BH: that, after that forum, it talk
about. Ms. Taylor and I have talked about a drug
SCS: Um hum.
BH: And ah, she ----------------and wejust talked ----------on
the telephone and we been waiting' til you got back from restin' up
so that you can (aud. laughter)
SCS: Can we talk about it just as soon as we finish getting
through these forums? Don't forget. Bring that up. Ah, we did have
child abuse mentioned. Joyce Horsley talked about that. Any, ah...
I want to get through this...I want to get to the
where you all are away, got
the reins away from me already so but I would
like to get finished with this ummary. Anybody/got a comment on
the Family LIfe Forum? Ah, Health, Welfare, and
TC: Bill, I think, pretty much tied into what we want to get
back to the needs of the community.
[Was mentioned.By D.Green]
SCS: Okay, ah...somebody told me and it wasn't mentioned/at
that forum, that they thought it was a great idea to buy a big
old house and / to fix it up as a convalescent center and we
wouldn't have to send all our old people off to Tennessee and
Miami That way, you could go visit them all
at once. I thought that was an interesting idea and also that there's
Page twenty nine
a need for home nursing and ah _
How 'bout Continuity Through the Generations? Penny, [addressed
to Penny Haskins, who has just come into the meeting] you want to
know what we're doing? We're not having a summary.
PH: I see. (Aud. laughter)
SCS: We're not having a conclusion. We're going to do something
else in just a moment Continuity through the Generations:
RS: I thought that was a great...I thought that was a
program. I don't know why I liked it...actually, I did. I
thought the Irbys were good (aud. laughter) No, no I did. I
thought that was a really good forum... good program. I
thought ...I don't remember the elderly black gentleman's name.
SCS: Alex Lundy.
RS: Yeah. Yeah, I thought that was a good program...showed
a lot of not just generations but a lot of how people have
changed in, and/in so many ways remained the same.
SCS: Hare Krishna
. How 'bout Between the Cracks: The New
Folk? My notes say every time newcomers get a chance they talk
about the freshness of Alachua and how
I wrote, "Even the newcomers are reluctant to criticize Alachua."
(Aud. laughter) Ah...Penny Haskins, you were on that panel.
PH: newcomers on there?
SCS: Are you sure?
PH: The next to newest person had been here five years?
SCS: Well uh, Mr. Welch was new in the sense that he had
been away ...and come back...which is a very special and unique
position and uh, Debbie Findley...she ...has she been here that
PH: in the community She's been here five
years (Aud. laughter)
SCS: My next door neighbor says she's been here 25 and she's
still a newcomer (aud. laughter) but Rudolf Welch was on that
panel and Frank Bradley and Debbie Findley and Gino Cavaceppi
Penny Haskins and Tim Check
TC: I was on the panel/and iMzxx Rxh xxlxaxyexxxRxx^xs and to
show you how I was treated, I didn't get a chance to say anything
SCS: ...Chance, there ought to be two of us...up here.
TC: I'll pass (Aud. laughter)
SCS: I've heard Tim's story of his initial impression of this
TC: I'll tell 'em. wouldn't wanta quote me. First
time I came to town, I thought...my wife and family were still
living out of state. I found a nice house I wanted to live in.
I couldn't figure out a good way to get up the street without
going past the Downtown Area (Aud. chuckles)...........(More
Page thirty one
SCS: Those were the nine forums. Ah..you see why I don't feel
it would be fair to summarize
Alachua on the basis of these forums. Ah... there were four
COMPLEXITY of the black and white
that's one thing; a very deep sense of heritage,
although perhaps it exists only in pockets and needs to be lifted
out of those pockets and brought to all the other people, the
newcomers, ah some of the people who perhaps don't know the
history. I know I grew up here but I never hear of the Bellamy
Road 'til I came back. I was 35 years old. Ah...if Miss Ellis/ schoolteacher
& local amateur
told me that, I wasn't listening. (Chuckle from someone) historian,
Thatcould betrue, too. Hard to think she would have left it out.
But, anyway...it didn't make an
TC: You didn't hear it.
SCS: it hadn't made enough impression on me. And so, there is a
...I thought, in these forums, much recognition of our racial
divisions which I think have begun to be healed through the,the s
Portrait and...other The possible goal of
and facilitating and making the town uh...vital, the
proposed uh involvement in city affairs, the feeling that
we are run by the government and not that we run it and the pride
in community heritage. Those seem to me to be four very obvious
things Do you have some other thoughts?
.well, they got through that
Page thirty two
So far and so wide and so
that this might be what as a town instead
of just a spot if we really can do something about
the downtown and I think all the
subdivisions outside of
SOMETHING here if we're going to maintain Alachua, a community,
and not ah Community and Turkey Creek Community and
whatever the other divisions as
a community that I think
SCS: I think Copeland's is a point, too. We have a
we can all look to. If we have to dig up a...a bell, and pretend
(chuckling) we had it all along or something and put it on the
town square..Iwe do need something and your suggestion .....to
: Aud. murmur
SCS: We need to do something about that
TC: Well, since the forums started, the city did take down
the, one of the burned out buildings downtown so we have seen
some progress ...in the past few months.
SCS: Well, on to the fun part, now. And that's where I'd like
us to share our ideas of some uh, not perhaps say energetic
brainstorming but.a..a real open way ...whatever ideas you have
ah...about how, as a group of people we can uh
seem to have brought together a nucleus of very varied individuals
who have in common a love of...this place. Uh
I...would like to read you the list of things I jotted own and
then I would really like to hear from all of you and I'm not
going to exercise not going to make you be
Page thirty three
quiet this time. Uh, what in the world would
happen if somebody donated a nursery for kids ...city commission
meetings? 'spose we'd get more families more young couples out
to commission meetings? What if we sponsored dialogues about
contemporary issues of concern? Should I offer my services to
Community Relations? I could help them set that up, should
Alachua Portrait have these dialogues? Is somebody else gonna
do it? should we have some discussions on the heritage of this
place? Shoudl we have a field trip out to Hubert Alligood's
farm and see if, indeed, some of the remnants of that old Spanish
Mission are still there? Should we have a walking tour ?
Maybe through cemeteries? Should we have a genealogy workshop?
two people say they're willing to teach one.
Tom Salmon from Santa Fe HIgh Schol's willing to teach a video-
taping workshop for us. I myself to ah, and I hope
some of the rest of you are interested in it, I intend to go and
see some of those old people who were not able to make it, older
people (chuckles)...not able to make it to the uh, to the forums,
who have so much that is fascinating to tell about this way of
life ah...at the top of my list is Ernest Huggins because he's ah
buried several generations and he has some very interesting ah
perspectives on our families. Ah...what about a grandparent-
grandchild program or don't we have something like that going in
the elementary school and, if we don't...or if we do, can't we
expand it? How much continuity do we have between the generations
and how can we ah... ?If anybody here has Hospice
Training, we have people dying in this community who don't have
ah, don't have some of the help that would make life, what they
Page thirty four
have left of it,/m8re lovely, more bearable. Ah...I had a call,
yesterday, I think it was. There's a lady dying of/brain tumor
who won't talk to any member of her family but she says she'll
talk to somebody from Hospice. The lady said to me, "Sudye, have
you had the Hospice training? I had to say ,"No." But...why
don't some of us have the Hospice training? Why don't we have
a task force that can answer some of these needs? And ah...
the last thing was,the needsome good listeners
for the very ill. Okay, that's my list. Mr. Watson, you're the
last person I interrupted...
BW: well, I would like to continue right on this same topic,
'cause this is
SCS: Is it about Christmas? Or about the clothes?
BW: The clothes. In this case, clothing comes before Christmas.
clothing will make it more comfortable for winter. I
have a, I hate to get engrossed in something and...it doesn't ma-
terialize. Sometime I feel myself as a doer and not a doubter. I
was saddened that the Alachua Ministerial Association declined to
light the Christmas Tree lights. I was also saddened that we de-
cided against having a float ...in the Christmas Parade, but I
trust that through my efforts we will not be saddened that some
child in Alachua will be cold or hungry perhaps next
week or soon after Christmas. Ah...I think one of the saddest parts
about being a parent is to be in a situation of, lady in a biblical
story I read about, ah...the lady that Abraham sent away from his
Page thirty five
house because his wife Sarah, he was talking about Haggai. She
was sent into the wilderness and with a bottle
of water, a small portion of bread. And after her water was spent
and the berad was already eaten, she laid her little infant --
a great distance from her, but she could not stand to see the child
...starve and we are not in that situation but we know that there
are needy people. Sometime we let our mentality rise about that,
but there are needy people...in Alachua...and ah, we see these
people every day and, of course, they do not go around with a sign
that says, "I'm needy," because no one likes to identify themselves
as the poorest in various socio-economic classes. Everybody wants
to have a certain amount of pride. When we face reality, there are
children that are...in need of clothing. we know the county
social people come in contact with these people monthly basis, they
know this. The teachers that are very positive about our kids
coming to school, they know. They know we don't go to K-Mart and
buy, buy shirts just like, buy a pair of pants with the same patch
on'em just like. So they say these children need help. So I'm here
to offer my services, whatever they might be and plead with people,
let's help the children. Ah, little do we realize teh children are
our future. And ah they can't concentrate on our problems in
Alachua and the way our government functions if they're cold, if
SCS: And ah, you're the contact person...
: Voices all at once from audience.
BW: Well, I am at the one that
Page thirty six
MEI: Rev. Watson?
MEI: At Alachua Elementary,_
young children and contacting
Alachua Elem. School and
E O'D: when the people stop the schools.
E O'D: And they have to do it.
BW: That was ah...very well received comment and I appreciate
it. However, that is Now we did not
know that had been going on so we
E O'D: go 'round shoutin' about it...
BW: Right. Someone has to be...
: Mingled voices commenting
E O'D: Something that we have been doing and we've
done for years...
BW: Right We learned that today that the good people
at the school have been ...doing this and we want to
loan a hand. Of course we have planned to use the clinic
which was partof your county facility there
as a distribution point but I think we might have to
talk to you or Dr. Irby or perhaps the use of the old
cafeteria building for more space.
SCS: Snow Donmoyer's in charge of arrange
BW: Yes. Snow Donmoyer. Right.
SCS: and he's going to
BW: Yes. Snow 's supposed to go up to the school
Page thirty seven
: Mingled voices all at once
E O'D: Not, you know, not just
E O'D: If there's a child in the elementary school,
we try to decide...we try to see they don't come to
school without a jacket.........The teachers .........collected
out of our pocket.
BW: Right. I've learned that today and that's very
MS: And there are some clubs and sororities...
SCS: Leoris, what is it you want?
LR: I just want to say that if we have this type
of people in the community, they have not been identified.
If they were identify themselves, ah, if anyone in the
community knew about it, because the churches, the clubs
and sororities and there are so many...resources
...we don't know about them. These are things been going
on down through the year, not just at Christmastime.
SCS: In this case, this situation that Bill's talking
about public health nurse at the Health
Welfare and Recreation...Diane Green has got the Junior
League of Gainesville to funnel clothing over her e
and after the 16th of December the Junior League will
give Alachua the toys that it has left to be distributed
over here. Diane Green was seeking a vehicle for doing
Page thirty eight
LR: The main point is to let the community know about
SCS: They're going to be contacting all the churches
and they're going to contact Mr. Irby.
TC: I think one thing that you have to recognize
here is that just from what I'm hearing, there are various
churches individuals and agencies who seek donations of
clothing and food, helping....and there are also people wh
want to get involved in the process and perhaps what we might
better do is ah, instead of trying to make one clearing house
for everybody is just identify those locally based agencies
and churches who will solicit clothing and also
to give aid and, you know, that might be
by 10, 15 different places in Alachua where clothing and food
might be ah dropped off as well as picked up.
SCS: it seems like what we/have here
is an information problem which Diane Green....called me.She
said, "I don't know how to give these clothes away. And I
called the Ministerial Association but now, it seems that
there ...the Assemblies of God person...because sh
told me that her church has been praying for the needs of the
community to be known to them. So I picked up the phone. I
said, "Hey! here's some need."But here are people who are
saying we wish we knew who those people are. We, we want to
do something to help. So not only are there needs, but they
Page thirty nine
are not connected with the people who can help.
BW: One, one otherament I would like to make, briefly:
Considering ah, ah the magnitude of distribution that we
have suggested, ah we we will, it was brought up at the meet-
ing today that we will be needing some volunteers to size
clothes out......stay in the clinic building or whatever building
Dr. Irby provides school building, someone to be in
charge and we need volunteers to sit. Also we need people
who know about clothes. We feel that ladies know more abou
kids' clothes than men, so we gone have to have somebody t
sort out the large, medium small, the boys' and the girls'
clothes, whatever...and ah to take, perhaps on an index card,
teh basic needs of that particular family. We will not give you
what you don't need.
BW: BIll, if any of these individuals want to be sure they're
represented their church or organization is included in
this where are you meeting and when?
BW: We'll be meeting Tuesday Morning at 9 o'clock at the
LR: Do you have any guidelines, guidelines on
BW: On families. Ah...we were trying to get away from, from
teh guidelines. We don't even want a name as of/this week, at
this point. We didn't even want a name. We thought through
honesty, if there was aneed, that person come and the only thin
we wanted to know was what is your basic need. If you need
linen...you always need linen but...
LR: The reason I asked about the guidelines, every organiza-
tion has guidelines. From to Gainesville.
BW: Right. We...
LR: Would only get a family,..so many of this, so many of that...
BW: Right. Right. We discussed that today but ah ...with the
urgency with the problem that was explained to us...
LR: How many families do you think you have in Alachua that
BW: Well, the county has a identified at least 36
LR: IN Alachua?
BW: We have at least 36 priority cases. Priority cases.
BW: Well, the county people they know these people. They se
SCS: They see them in the clinic.
BW: The clinic. Now, we have others that have other needs. But
ah, as far as the criteria go, we will have to work that out as
we go along but right now they mentioned that we do not want to
get involved in a whole lot of red tape.
LR: No. The reason I asked that is if if there,
if there is a need...can't we identify these people? You have s
many agencies as ...Red Cross. You have so many agenciesgthey're
and that need, they will...give you a, a certification to go to
a store and buy x amount of clothing, depending upon the need o
teh minor child-and that's why...guidelines. If they really need
something ........teh _'s out there to help.
Page forty one
BW: Right and this is very true. Now, the people that we are
helping now, no doubt, are receiving some type of social service
ut through this or whatever
: Conversation among audience.
SCS: BIll, would you be comfortable if said to you ?
BW: At 9:30.
TC: But Blanche Hill
_SCS: Blanche ...................about this clothes thing?
BH: Oh, oh, oh
SCS: and your is the last one.
BH: Okay, I just WANTED TO ask ah, and.I understand
while ago, that
and we have enough vacant,
empty buildings downtown ah, that it seems to me we can have a
permanent situation with clothes you know
for Christmas and then, what's
and along with that, Santa Fe High
SCS: Mr. Campbell...
BH: ...that are doing that
SCS: Elmo Campbell, who heads the Community Relations Board,
can probably update us on the situation. Ah...they've been trying
to get a building where volunteer agencies could be available
to people Like for food stamps, child abuse, employment, clothing needs
~and so forth. What is happening, your board's
and so forth. What is happening, your board's _.
Page forty two
EC: ...in the process of finding the price of
SCS another voices: Rolling Green.
EC: Rolling Green, and I don't think they're gonna...
told me that.....they would do something about it
BW: Along the Mr. Campbell submitted...........
to the commission, I think one for $ thousand, one for
$27, if I remember correctly. The commission