Title: Professor Blackman
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00024715/00001
 Material Information
Title: Professor Blackman
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Blackman ( Professor ) ( Interviewee )
Zino, Joe ( Interviewer )
Publisher: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: March 28, 1973
Copyright Date: 1973
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00024715
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Full Text


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

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AL 41A Side One
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... My name is Joe Zino from an -O4t History, class at. GIn~~i e e Righ

School, and T'. intervyieVng Rog. Blackamn at 214 NA 7tkAyenue, Gineasyle,

Florida. This is the 28th day of X1rch, 3973, at approximately 2:30 p.m.

2: Prof. Blackman I would like to begin by asking a few questions about

your early life in Gainesville. J'll start off by asking a few questions

about the construction of the Northeast Boulevard.

B: Alright, uh, the Boulevard was constructed after I came to Gainesville.

We moved here in September, 1923, to take up a position with the _F_1_

-- f c^ '. And uh, we uh lived in an apartment on this

block the first year and where this house is on, is situated were two

vacant lots with large oak trees all around and piles of rubbish over

the area. And uh, we bought the los and builtthe house. And uh, in

September, 1923, we moved from uh ( Texas to Gainesville,

Florida. In September, 1924, we moved out the back door from the

apartment into our home and we've been here now in this house forty-nine

years, just about, it will be in September.

Z: This house was, this house was built when you came, or did you build

this house?

B: No, we built it. We built and finished it and moved into it September

the 18th, 1924. It was the same size it is now except uh, in, in 50,

about 56 we added another room, and uh, uh, another bathroom and a

washroom. And uh, Boulevard was built after that, they, apparently it

was an outgrawth of uh, the so-called duck pond which was built some-

where in the late 20's uh, or early 30's while Mr. Videll was on the

city commission. And uh, where the duck pond V-5 (a dammed up

AL 41A Side One
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as it is now, why they had to moe from one side to the other so they

built the Boulevard, so traffic could, could 'k4ioyaq i both diections.

HE~wold were you during the construction of the Boulevard?

B: When uh, the general construction. I was in the neighborhood of

forty, forty-five, somewhere along there, because as I said, I was

uh, I was uh thirty-seven when I came to Gainesville in uh, in 1923,

and uh, now I'm eighty-seven.

Z: Do you remember how long it took to build?

B: No, I don't. But because, uh, uh... I do know that things were torn

up for a considerable time. Construction moved rather slowly cause

of uh, all dirt was moved then uh, by hand, and horse and little

equipment, slippers, or uh, slips and uh scrapers and uh...

Z: What's a slip?

B: Slips are the scrapers that you handle dirt with.

Z: They don't use them nowdays no more do they?

B: Huh?

Z: They don't have them now...

B: They don't have the scrapers now, except maybe somebody has one around

the farm or some other way, to clean out ditches some other way. They

also used a long, uh, long scraper that was called a fresnol that uh,

and uh, you would so-called wheelers.., in fact the stadium at the

University of Florida, Florida Field was built with fresnols and uh

wheelers, for handling the dirt, mules and horses, didn't have any car

equipment in those days.

Z: How much, uh dirt could you know, people move around in an adequate

amount of time, like...

AL 41A Side One
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B: Well, uh, uh they could handle a few hundred yards of dirt. One

of the large fresnols would hold two or three square yards, or

cubic yards. A wheeler would hold a little more than that. A wheeler

was simply a, a large scraper that uh, was mounted between two wheels,

And uh, a team of uh, the eV TlIe4S moved it from one place to the

other. This was used for moving dirt quite a little ways. And they

had uh, to fill the craper up, the uh wheeler-scraper they had what

is known as a slatch team, s-l-a-t-c-h, slatch team, hooked on at the

end of the turn of the wheeler and that was usually three big mules.

And they'd pull the wheeler-scraper through the dirt and fill it up

so that the two mules that pulls the wheeler from one point to another

didn't have to exercise themselves in a extra heavy load, just exactly

like you might have a extra heavy piece of machinery somewhere, a

piece of machinery with a, unusually heavy load that you can handle


Z: At that time did they have like livery stables?

B: Yes, yes, they had the livery stable and, and it'd be of interest to

know that just across uh, uh, 3rd Street, NE 3rd Street here, the old

home, where one of the old time livery stable men lived

for years. I knew him quite well. He died several years after I came.

And he had a big livery stable down where the uh, uh, Western Auto Supply

stores are now on uh, on S. Main Street. And uh, I've been in there

many times when he had mules there, and uh I was eating' with him out uh,
west of town where lived. Lots of mule training and horse

training and all that kind of stuff going on there.

Z: Has the Boulevard changed much in the fifty years since it was constructed?

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B: Yes, yes, At it has improved uh, considerably. One, uh, one of

the greatest improvements was in the area between the two streets,

that uh, you say would be north of the uh duck pond in which uh, the

the rough terrian uh, that formerly was allowed to uh, be in existence

down to the bank of running water, nice little brook. And uh, it was

always rather rough and uh, and zig-zag in its course, and uh later,

later years they have uh, filled that in, walled the uh brook and

confined the water into uh, uh, normal uh, channels and uh makes it

uh,r(0V1'Y /-Cdi along various places and makes it much, a very

beautiful, attractive place. All of that area then, from the brook

back to the street has been grassed and uh, flower beds and within

the last two months the Boulevard itself has been made in to two-way

streets, uh two streets. One on the west side uh, going south, and

one on the north side that goes north. But that's been only recently.

Before its been two, each one's been, each street, each two streets

were two way streets.

Z: During the times when they had, you know Boulevard was constructed,

did they have policemen in the center of the street directing traffic?

You know for the mules, was there any traffic tie-ups, or any kind of

traffic jams?

B: Not as, not as we think of it as now. Uh, sometimes, of course, they

had to get in there to keep the traffic from, from moving along in the

way of the equipment that was being built. But, ordinarily, we didn't,

we didn't think there was traffic being moved. But, the de, the old

Seaboard depot was down on Main Street there, uh, uh, right where the

First National Bank is now, T guess you've heard that many times. And

AL 41A Side One
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of course you had to keep traffic out of the way there or the trains

would run over rem. And 1 guess I've told you also that the old

Whitehouse Hotel is where the Sun Bank is now. Then another bank

is being built just north of that.

Z: Did your way, did you way of life change as a result of it being built?

B: Did what?

Z: Did your way of life c~hge as a result of this being built, the


B: No, I wouldn't say it has except uh, uh, the only thing that uh, it

could have, as long as I've been uh, every since I've been grown,

especially after I got out of college, and then the college was in

uh, beautiful surroundings, beautiful environmental clean areas. And

uh, I did enjoy that. It... seems, it seems that uh, the part of the

bank that was left uh, as uh, landscape proposition has been more

attractive than the duck pond has been because there's alot of people

feeding ducks and there's lots of trash that stays around there...

But as far as that could change the way of life, uh, it would, I

wouldn't say it was. There's one thing that uh, children down there

have the greatest time, and I've been down there a ot with two grandsons,

George and Pat. Pat is living now and George is still ~_B Sa

Haevard Universtiy. And uh, they'd catch little fish in jars and uh,

bring them home with them and keep them in a bucket and try to do things

with 'em like people do with !gn (4J / 11/0 wasn t

very successful but they did have alot of fun catching them. And

once, one thing they-did that is always tilt the bottom up, so that

uh, when the fish tried to swim out of the jar, why he'd hit the glass

AL 41A Side One
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instead of hitting the pouth of the jar.

Z: Did people have recreational activAties or it... on the Boulevard?

B; They uh, main activity, uh, you pean now or then?

Z: No, then.

B: Uh, no uh... about all you would see would be, uh, children playing

along the Boulevard, especially after rains. They, uh, they, they...

where the present Gainesville Shopping Center is was the headwaters

of a, for collection of alot of the water that came down this bank.

And uh, so heavy rains why it... overflow and the children always had

alot of fun wading down there in the water.

Z: Wasn't there any horseback riding?

B: Yes, alot of horseback riding and uh, uh, two people that uh rode

quite alot uh, Mr. and Mrs( C )rg &6/, /who used to live in that

general area, but uh, later bought out, out past uh, 22nd Street and

NW 22nd Street now. Both of 'em are dead. But they used to ride

horses alot and a great many people, they had uh, uh, stop the ride

in this area where you are here your pasture and uh the dairy farm

was not very, was about four or five blocks, uh east of here and uh,

so they uh, the people that had this dairy had horses to work the

cattle and so on.

Z: What was your social life like during the 1920's, such as weekend

activity, picnics?

B: Oh, I uh, I did alot of uh, a whole lot of developing this home here.

I didn't have any money in those days and I had to do lots of work

myself, In fact, uh, I uh, did all the painting of the house for

several years after it was built and uh, to hold down expenses. Then uh,

I would uh, go to uh, later on we had a, a D class baseball team in

AL 41A Side One
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Gainesville and we'd go to that. Then, of course, T went to the, the,

games in season out at the University. And uh, we had uh, uh, some-

times out there we had what is known as a little international, and

uh, you've probably heard of that, I think it's played out now, all

gone in to general University fair. And uh, then we had uh, uh,

we'd take >g p to the beach.

Z: Which beach?

B: I say we'd take a & to the beach, occasionally on weekends

and uh, then of course we always tried to go to Sunday school and church

on Sunday. But in general uh, uh, I did play some tennis although I

wasn't much of a tennis player, but then uh, we used some of the courts

some. Then I had uh, my daughter uh, '7v 1> I' -1,71 I had

to help her alot with some things, and she had to help me

And so, all in all it was, it was a pretty busy life. On the Fourth of

July, we always looked for that because that's when the whole department

that I was in, all of us in the department down at the University we

went to the beach and got a good sunburn, but we had plenty to eat.

We ate on the beach and on the way back.

Z: Did they have any theatres or movies in Gainesville at that time?

B: Yes, we had uh, the old uh, the old movie down where the uh, Hope

building, electrical building is down just this side of the old uh,

Post Office. And the uh, I can't rightly say the name of it, probably

forget the name of it...

Z: The Lyric?

B: Uh, Lyric. And uh, that was the only show we had. Then the next thing

that came along in the 30's there was the Florida theatre which was later

AL 41A Side One
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enlarged and improved,

Z: And they had talkies at that time?

B: Yeah, yeah, yeah, uh yeah talkers were, were going when uh, uh, we

came here.

Z: Did you ever go on any trips or picnics and stuff from a church or

as a church social or school social?

B: Yes, uh, I probably uh, went out with some of the picnics in the firstt

Baptist Church, Later on though uh, vy wife went with the daughter

on trips more than I did. The later on, of course, when the grand-

children came along which was much later why I had to go all around.

But, uh we uh, we sometimes would uh, go and uh get uh, oriented with

*the country. We, one, one... one place we went to some when we first

came was Silv... uh, Silver Springs. Uh, and we... my wife and I

were talking about it the other night. We were saying we saw a Silver

Springs picture on T.V., which we didn't have anything like that in

those days. And uh, I just remarked I said, There's alot of difference

in this and the old paddle boats we, we took. We rode an old paddle

boat, you know that had glass in the bottom there. I think that was

1924 or something like that.

Z: Has it changed alot since then?

B: Yeah, and it took a whole day to drive from here to Ocala in a car,

and back in a car... if you had good luck, didn't have any flat tires

and didn't run over too many alligators,

Z: Where there alot of alligators at that time?

B: Yes, yes. Yes, 1, I remember at one time, I hadn't been here very

long, I was driving through the sand ruts, Ocala towards Gainesville

and I saw what I thought was a stick in the rut and uh, laying in the

AL 41A Side One
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rut and K dIdn't think my Ford would go over it so T got out to get

the stick out of the rut. Before I got to it, At crawled out so it

had to be an alligator.

Z: The Hotel Thomas, what are your memories of it's being built?

B: The Hotel Thomas was an old plantation home and uh, before... see

we might go back just a little bit and say that when we came to

Gainesville, uh we arrived in, in a somewhat transition period from

in the agricultural work all over the state, because it hadn't been

too many years prior to that that the boll weevil, which is an insect

that attack cotton and invaded the area. And Galnesville was big

long stable cotton area, in those days the long s tee cotton was all

Seattle cotton and uh, it's a continuous blooming cotton. It doesn't

grow like the short stable with uh, determinant growth and then stop.

But uh, it uh, grows almost continuously through the season which

makes it ideal for the boll weevil. And the reason we can control

work with the boll weevil today is because of the varieties that have

been developed since then. So when we came here the uh, the big

plantations uh, had played out, and uh, they working 'em with small

share cropping and so on. And they begun to grow potatoes in the

Hastings area and the Cross area and around Hague and through there.

So the, the Thomas Hotel was the former home of a plantation owner.

Now Mr. Thomas was a great uh, uh, civic minded individual and uh

he bought the plantation, as a matter of fact when the university moved

here in 1906 from uh, Lake City, in 1905 or 1906, after the BuckmanAct

was passed, uh, he gave the state six or some, something like 600 acres,

the original 600 acres on which the campus is located now. And uh, he

AL 41A Side One
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owned, he owned all that land uh, out this side of P. K.

and all in through there. And uh, this uh, about the time, soon

after we moved here they began to uh, work on the uh, idea of a

Hotel and they got subscriptions from citizens to help finance it,

and uh they moved uh, the old barn which was one of those double

story, double uh, area barns where you could throw the hay way in

the middle, and a big potato loft. And uh, then uh, one of those

uh, they cut the barn in half. One of it is on the corner of

Boulevard and uh, NE 7th Avenue, And the other is corner of 4th and

NE 2nd Avenue. Both nice homes, the one on Boulevard is much larger

than the other. And uh, when this house was built, the old farm road

had just been turned into a street in front of the house and it was

kind of a sad thing, a rock type of a surface. And uh, the gates

to the plantation, or rather the gate posts on each side were large

big pillars on each side of the entrance, from the, which is now

2nd Street, NE 2nd Street, which was then known as Virginia Avenue.

And uh, it stayed there for quite a little while and when the cars

come in why people tried to knock 'em down running into 'em with their

car. But they finally tore them down and then paved the street, it was

an awfully sad thing. But they made a nice hotel out of the grounds

and uh, later on uh, alot of the uh, athletes that came here for

contests at the University stayed at the hotel there. It was quite a

place for a parties. It was nice, we used to attend luncheons there

and banquets. They had large rooms that they could join together so

they could take care of a large crowd. And uh, that's where uh, the

banquet was given my son-in-law when he returned after having been elected

president of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce.

AL 41A Side One
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Z: Do you remember anyone who still, who worked there that still might

be alive, such as waiters, gardeners, malds, doormen?

B: No, uh, uh I remember 'Mr. Clarence Thomas, uh, I think uh, know well

he had general supervision over the estate after Mr. Thomas died and uh,

he lives uh, down this uh, 8th Avenue here just on Boulevard and 8th,

W. Boulevard and 8th. And uh, he's uh, hess retired general manager

and chairman of the board of the White Electric Company. And uh, if

you haven't uh, if you haven't interviewed him, you ought to get in

touch with him. And uh, he's a very interesting man to talk with and

uh, he ran, of course, had general charge of the hotel, of course he

hired a manager.

Z: Are these people still working as yardsmen, tradesmen, other people

besides this man Mr. White, or did they go into other occupations?

B: Who?

Z: Have these people still kept, ur, Mr. White's the only person that's

still alive?

B: Uh, not White, it's Thomas.

Z: Yeah, well is he uh,

B: Yeah, he's the only one of the Thomas' that I know of that's still

alive. There may be thirty some others and I don't, I don't think

any of the yard crew, that uh, I know anything about. At present,

at present the place you know is used by ( 1 ': t (S"- -7/ > 'i .

Z: How was food purchased in the store during your life in your home during

the twenties?

B: Howd did what?

Z; How' was food purchased at the store.,.

AL 41A Side One
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B: Oh, we had uh, a certain number of cash customers but I would say

a large percentage of people were, were on monthly accounts. 1

know' : _ \,* we wae a onothly accounts -Aost al t1 h the te, And

uh, they'd deliver to you any amount, For example, early in the morn-

ing you got up and wanted some light bread toast and you didn't have

any light bread, just call up one of the stores and they'd have a

loaf of bread there for you in a fewtminutes and sometimes it didn't

cost over five cents or a dime. But they'd charge it to your account.

And they call you up sometimes during the morn... call up your home

sometime during the month, morning and find out what you want in

groceries, in the way of groceries that day. And they'd deliver,

they'd make 'em up and deliver 'em to you. So, of course groceries

were much cheaper in those days than they are now, but you didn't have

any money to spend for them either.

Z: How was it stored in your home. Where did you keep it, did you have

a pantry or refrigerator, cupboard?

B: Uh, in those days?

Z: Uh, huh.

B: Yeah, we had QOl 6 ***, uh, first we had an ice box, a small

ice box. And then we, uh we bought one of the, one of the first makes

of uh, early makes of uh, uh,... General Motors, uh, Frigidare. Uh,

and uh, that was, an interesting thing, that was so noisy that, uh,

had the uh, compressor taken out of the box and put out on, on the

ground on some, on some concrete blocks and run a special pipe, run

the pipes up through the floor into the box.

Z: How was it prepared? Did you have a stove?

AL 41A Side One
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8: Yes, we had a, of course we had an oil stove. And then we had a, we

had, they, had manufactured gas around here, artficial gas, uh... but 'h,

the gas was very poor f//////i/ /.! r and dirty gas, but we got to

using it, and uh, did fairly well until uh, during the Depression there

it got in such bad shape that it... liable to cause an explosion so we

got rid of the gas stove, and got electric stoves, and oil furnace, oil...

oil furnace.


AL 41A Side Two
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B: ... e t;pne in thre, that; -

Z; YeVh your 4ughter was telling je, U4 did you have any way of preparing

your food, did you have to, ,you know, sA1t your qeat, you know, to keep

it in the house?

B: Not, not here. No, we uh, we brought all uh, uh, our meat ih, in when

we lived in Texas we,-we _' ,,g- f'_ ~c it away and salt

salt, but we didn't do it here,

Z: How did you have your milk delivered? Did you have delivery?

B: We had it uh, delivered by uh, uh, wagon. UTh, delivered, uh, delivered

milk wagons. A guy would ride around and deliver milk. And we bought,

we bought most of our milk I guess at the stores. We, in those days

it was all put up in glass bottles, and we'd have to.take the bottles

to the store. We were always running out, uh we had too much or too


Z: Did you ever have to go with your own pitcher to fill up with milk?

B: No, no we uh, we never... there's some people that got to go around

and get them from people with cows that's not running a regular dairy.

They used to do that, but uh, we always felt it was safer to get it uh,

bottled, a little more sanitary, much, good a sanitary condition as

possible in those days.

Z: What was meal time like?

B: Milk time like? Uh, of course it was all hand milkin' and uh, the uh,

cattle were brought in, and of course in the FA ta CL?

the cattle were given, different ere placed in -f and were

allowed to eat while you were milking, And uh, you turn in a certain

bunch of cows and, and milk them and turn them out and A l'-

AL 41A Side Two
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took about two, two oQ thrre, tQ o to tw.and halg hovr, to gilk.

% started, R'4.atop' about Gouc Q 'clack or five, round saie tme

in the morning.

Z: What was meal time like?

B: 'Meal time? Just like it is now for old timers. And we had uh,

breakfast, oh about seven o'clock and the noon meal around twelve,

twelve-thirty, and supper around six, -sixthirty.

Z: For supper, did the entire family gather around one table?

B: Yeah, yeah.

Z: And your mother made the meal?

B: Yeah, yeah. Part, sometimes she'd have some help, of course my mother

wasn't living when we moved here, my wife did it.

Z: Did you have a telephone at that time?

B: Sure, Yes, we, we've had, we've had a telephone almost ever since we

married,-and we married 58 years ago.

Z: Did you have lighting throughout the whole house?

B: Yes, yes.

Z: And that was electric?

B: Uh huh. Yes we had uh, we had uh, lights, gee uh, electricity's been

available I guess uh, oh 70's, somewhere along there. I remember as a

child in the late 1980's and the early 1990's.

Z: You mean 1890's don't you?

B: I mean 18,... correction, 1880's, I mean late 1880's and the early

1890's, uh, going to Wako, Texas I, there was a string hanging down

from the ceil... the hotel where we'd stay, a string hanging down from

the center of the ceiling that turned on the light. Didn't have a pull

AL 41A Side Two
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chain in those days. They had a switch there that you... never did

have a, good many years later they had switches on the wall. But

they --i- If had the modern switches on the wall when

we came to 'lorida.

Z: Did they have... did you have heating throughout your home, central


B: No, in fact uh, we had, we had a wood stove. We have the old fireplace

now, well it was built when we built the house and that's what we had,

when we lived in the apartment next door. And then uh, uh, we never

have put in what you call complete central heating system what we have

what is known as a oil furnace. ... run by electricity.

Z: What were the change, changes in home life when someone was sick?

B: Great changes uh, as far as, in those days uh, you had to be very sick

to go to the hospital. The doctor came to see you. I know in 1928, uh,

my wife and daughter and myself all had the flu and uh, all piled up in

the bed so the doctor came to see us here at the house and we hired a

girl to look after the house while we were laid up.

Z: Did your family doctor, he made house call then, right?

B: Yes, he made house calls. And uh, uh, Dr. Tillman in those days was uh,

and Dr. Snow and uh, and Dr. Mainas and then later, of course, Dr. Grail,

and now Dr. Allman.

Z: How did you have to wait before he came?

B: It was really fairly, uh, fairly quick. IUh, they had certain calling, uh,

out of office hours, why he could get by going to, to and from the office

you see.

AL 41A Side Two
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Z: Do you remember the new hospital being built?

B: Yes, but 1 can't tell you the egct yar, When we cope here there was,,

there was a little uh, wel ati a old residence ;a what it i, 3ts

still standing there uh, the called it... seems like it was Williams

Hospital, I don't remember te name. But it was over, over here just

a two story house it .rd..ag.- i. ght or ten, had eight

or ten beds over there. Then along, I guess along about 1906, late

20's there is when the hospital was built, 3 guess you have some pretty,

you can get some pretty definite dates on that. When was it built? Do

you remember?

Z: No. I'm sure they have it ~l_______

B: Yeah, yeah.

Z: After it was built, did you ever use it?

B: Well I never did us it, but uh, personally but my wife used it. And of

course my daughter used it when her children were born. My wife spent

about uh, uh forties, the forties there, along about, she spent I think

it was eight days, uh, eight weeks.

Z: Were they drug stores near you, or you know, in ample...

B: Yes, uh, uh, that is/l would say everything was 0X /1,, $7 t4FA. in

those days, so that's where the drug stores were.

Z: What types of medicines were used, such as, was there more... alot of

family remedies or home remedies?

B: Yes, some of them uh, uh, then of course the doctor's gave you prescriptions,

of course this was before the days of asprn so everybody, everybody didn't

have aspirin, but we had some old tonics that uh, everybody took. One was

-. S)-( 'arnnd it was terrible stuff, but uh, better

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than the quinine and so on. But it was wonderful tonic after you had

the serious cold,.,

Z: What about castor oil?

B: Castor oil, we had that. I tell ya, the Blackmon's.were never much

on taking medicine. We've never taken much medicine,

Z: Was the majority of medicines prescription? Did you have to...

B: Yes, yes they, they, the pharmisists then had something to do. He

made, he made up the prescriptions himself mostly. He couldn't open

a package and pour pills like they do now.

Z: Do you have, did you have any old fashion remedies in your family

that you remember?

B: Yes, when we came here, in fact, uh we just used it up until a couple

years ago, it was a remedy that uh, we got from our old doctor in Texas.

And uh, we had the prescription, brought the prescription with us and

we used it up until about a year or two ago, and uh, uh, one of the

ingredients, I took it down and had it filled, one of the ingredients

is not, not being used anymore in extent so it couldn't be filled by

the pharmisist where I took it so I told him just forget it. But it

was used for, if you cut your hand, if anything J::,'. '"' r-;

it was like a sauve, you know, and you just put a little on there and

it had great healing power. It seemed like that, I don't know whether

it did or didn't, it might have been imagination.

Z: What did you children do to make up school work when they were out sick.

B: They uh, uh, they had certain back work to do, I don't know just uh,

they had to turn in their little reports.

Z: Did their teacher come over to your house, you know, to give the assignments

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they wissed that day from being sick, or'.,

B; Well, once in a great while they'd come by and see how they were

getting along.

Z: How did children get to school?

B; They walked and parents took them.

Z: That's what your daughter said, she remembers you taking her to school,

B: Yeah,

Z: How did children dress for school, compared to now days?

B; Oh uh, well they dressed like people dressed in those days.

Z: More conservative?

B: Very conservative and uh, modest type of dress you see. In fact,

bathing suits, uh I threw, in fact I cleaned up the other day, and

I wished I had kept it, I threw away an old bathing suit I had. It,

the britches came down to here, and the skirt came down to there,

came around here, you know.

Z: See, we ought to have a museum exhibit.

B: Ha, ha, ha, ha... yeah, yeah.

Z: That's what we, you know, really need. We've just been borrowing from

the exhibit.

B: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Z: How much homework did they have. Do you remember how long...

B: They had quite a little bit of homework to do, but uh, they uh, were

all the time bringing something home that they did. Uh, used to be a

little case, a little thing up there that uh, that uh, Mary Perish, and

my daughter,'7 /jA, i Ruthamade together in their homework. I don't

whether it's still on the mantle there or not.

AL 41A Side Two
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Z: What did they study, do you remember?

B: No, u.h 3 uh, pretty well j general things, Of course they had uh,

alot of, alot of English uh, of course uh, grammar and "i n '-

and stuff like that. And then, of course, there was arithmetic and a

little smattering of biology and some mathematics and stuff of that kind.

Z: How long was the school day? 'From what time to what time?

B: Well, about like it is now. As I understand it for the older students

uh, the older ones, uh in the old days, I'm not talking about kindergarten

now, but the regular day of school.,,. as I recall they'd go about 8:30

and got out about uh, 12:30 or 1:00 or something like that. Then later

on in high school they still went about the same time and got out about

what about 2:30, about 3:00 or 3:30 something like that. Isn't that

about what they do now?

Z: How long was the school year?

B: Eight or nine months.

Z: What did you do during the summer?

B: Well, uh, personally?

Z: Uh huh.

B: My job at the University of Florida was a twelve month job so I worked uh,

eleven months. I was supposed to have twelve month, uh one month vacation

but alot of times I didn't take it. That extra month I'd work around the

house here in the twenties.

Z: What did the rest of your family do?

B: They uh, they were just as busy as they could be around the house here.

Uh, of course my daughter, she spent an awful lot of time with music and

stuff like that. And then my wife did most of the house work, you know

AL 41A Side Two
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she helped' w it. the. '_ shgolwok1 that the daughter

was inearsted Sin and so on,

Z: pid you ever go on family tripe?

B Yes, Yes we used to take a trip most every', uh sometimes we, we did

lots of camping in those days because, uh, we could uh, camp nMost any-

where along the roadside when you had a wide enough space to pull of

the side and water. And uh, I just moved an old tent out in the garage

uh, the other day to make room for some other stuff I wanted to store

away. But uh, we bought it back in the early twenties, about twenty-two,

three somewhere along there. Stretched over the car you see, and had

room for three cots there, my daughter, my wife, and myself. And uh, I remem-

ber one night in Mississippi we camped on a hillside, had about a three

inch rain that night and the water went down under the cots there like

a f ____ But that, that's really enjoyable traveling. We

were, uh traveled uh, in fact we started~trt before we came to Florida.

November 1918 we took about a 2,000 mile trip and uh, over west Texas

and Oklahoma. Stretched a wagon sheet over the back of a Model-T Ford

pick-up and had it fixed like an old prarie schooner.

out on the side and everything.

Z: What kind of car did you have, if you had a car?

B: I had a, well my first, my first car wws a 1912 Ford and that's what

I drove to Florida in I bought it second hand

along about 1918 or 20 or something like that. Then uh, then we walked

for a year or two when we first came to Florida because of putting alot

of out money into the house and everything getting safe here. Then uh,

uh, T had a Ford.,. what do you want a pencil?

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Z: pencil.

B: Pencil or pen?

Z: It doesn't matter.

B: Huh?

Z: It doesn't matter, thank you,

B: And uh, the uh, so we had uh, a Ford pontiac, Chevrolet and Oldsmobile.

Uh, in fact I've got one, still got one of the Chevrolets. Uh, the

'48 Chevy that I bought, still got it, It's now an antique, uh with

antique license,

Z: Were autos sold here in Gainesville?

B: Were they what?

Z: Automobiles sold in Gainesville?

B: Yes, they were all sold in Gainesville. I got forty dollars for the

old (' f,' if I had it now I'd probably ~e4

$1,000 dollars for it. It was really worn out when I got down here

with it.

Z: Did you ever buy from Wilson's department store or Bad's Hardware.

B: Oh yes, in fact all the, all the, practically all the hardware in this

house came from Bad Hardware. We traded Bad until they became a whole-

sale business entirely. And Wilson's, we bought alot of things from

Wilson's. And uh, if fact uh, the uh, Miss Cat, Miss uh, Wilson girls

well WI4lon) \ A/-t I t( were great friends of ours,

Z: Did you have a mayor in Gainesville during the twenties.

B: We had uh, uh, we had the alternate type f government at that time. I've

forgotten how many alternates there were sixteen or something like that.

And then, and I guess there were that many, don't know, Didn't have

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,much to do witth .0i Just trying t6' r') /(At) to put this

14gkt pole on the coP hARe

Z: Do you remember how many men there were on the police department,

B: Oh, I guess three or four, five, something like that.

Z: Was there a jail in Gainesville?

B: Was what?

Z: A jail?

B: Yeah, I've forgotten where it was. Down the road there somewhere uh,

back in, back where the uh, old uh, where the present uh, Federal Building

is, along in there somewhere. In fact uh, the old jailor, the jailor's

there for a long time, uh has just turned a hundred years of age. Mr.

Coley, uh, W.M, Coley. Uh, he's in the hospital now, he had a serious


Z: Was the punishment of crime stricter or easier th than now.

B: I believe crime was punished a little more stricter, the officers

didn't have to be quite as careful I don't think as they do now.

Z: Do you think that maybe because there was stricter then and easier now

that, that's why you have a higher crime rate now than then.

B: I think so. Yes, that's my, that's my feeling about it. Well it's

just like uh, noticed in the paper the other day where a case was

a boy was given four years, a man was given four years for raping a girl

for uh, not rape, but uh, kidnapping a girl, That years ago would have

been almost a death penalty. In fact I remember not long after I came

here that there was some boys that uh, kidnapped an old lady, an old lady

out of west Florida there and one of them got life and the-other one

got long, many, many years,

AL 41A Side Two
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Z; We are planning a museum exhibit for the month of May and we wondered

if you had some items or things that we could borrow to use at the

exhibit. Such as newspaper clippings of Gainesville, the Hotel Thomas

social life, 'elBuilding, Crash of the stock market, the newspaper,

elothap, photographs of the Boulevard, kitchen utensils such as coffee

grinders.,, printed announcements of plays or public events We would

be contacting you again in April, at the end of April to find out it

you have anything that we could borrow for the exhibit. Are there some

accents of life you would like to tell us about that I didn't ask you

in the twenties?

B: Well the only thing that uh, that uh, might say about is uh, the uh,

that hasn't been covered by your questions and that uh, 'my uh, well in

fact our lives in Gainesville has been extremely uh, pleasant and I

think that uh we have been, people in Gainesville are among the finest

that you can find anywhere. However, you find some people who criticize

here just the same as they will anywhere else. Very much like the state-

ment that uh, somebody moved into place and said how are the people here?

He says, how was where you left? He said the finest people you ever saw.

He said, well that's just the kind of people you'll find here. And that's

been our experience. And uh, the uh, the way that we were taken in, uh,

then most appreciative we have wonderful friends and been very nice to ds,

wonderful help. And we, we continue, my wife and I have been married

58 years and uh we continue to uh, talk about the uh, vigorous winters

that we've gone through in Texas with high, Zero weather, with high uh,

wind velocity and so on and how much nicer it is here, we think about

those things. And then another thing is the size of the University. When

AL 41A Side Two
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Scanme here it was less than a thousand students at the University, and

-uh, all where there!s big buildings now we had plot work going for

agricultural experiments and all those kind of things, And where the

stadium is had one big -4-I XC e experiment down there

growing crops /D Atft J 'C t And then we had alot of

uh, liberal actions that we h' V 7, I know we wanted to buy

something we had a requisition in our hip pocket, and weld take it out

and write a requistion and buy it, now its different today. And uh,

I've had, uh, lots of friends all over the state, I've done lots of

travelling, and uh, wonderful experience.

Z: If you could have chosen a time to live your life, would you rather have

been a young person in the twenties or in the seventies.

B: I'd rather be a, well I don't know that I would change it. Just, just

think of what's happened. You see I, I came along shortly after the

Oklahoma land rush, when I was born, And uh, uh, just think of the

experiences now, think of the developments that have come along. The

automobile, the airplane, and the space uh, areonautics, electronics...

all those things. Take these uh, this thing here that we're taking

into, they all came along at that time. And uh, the first moving

picture show that I saw was a guy opening his mouth and closing it,

opening his mouth and closing it. It was kinda like it jumped from

one place to the other.

Z: Could you tell me the advantages and disadvantages of living in Boulevard

area in the twenties?

B: Could I tell you what?

Z; The advantages for and disadvantages of living in Boulevard in the twenties

or the seventies?

AL 41A Side Two
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B: Oh uh, well iuh, there were advantages and disadvantages and uh, I

don't know, When you've lived in, lived through a change uh, like

we have here, it's very difficult to uh, to evaluate those differences,

and to really figure out a break, So uh, uh, there's advantages here

now, we have cheaper taxes than they do out in the, in the suburbs and

so on. And uh, so I don't know that uh, how I could answer that uh,

more than to say that uh, we, we just lived through the change, and

we've come to change with it.

Z: Well I'd really like to thank you for your time, and giving me, you know,

this good interview, and I really appreciate.

B: Well it's really, really been a pleasure to talk with you on this and

I hope that what I've said will be of some value.

Z: Well, after...

B: I might say this in closing, that I was out at the University 31 years

and uh, retired in 1934, or 54, and I had some very happy times even

since then, but I keep up my association out there an I'm still a member

of the Afternoon Club and go out to meetings there. A1- \ -k

and I hope you have good luck with your program.


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