T: ... Jim Dot. He was pretty wealthy and he owned a couple of famous ship bars.
He was a millionaire or I imagine he was. He was a big young fellow. That is
the way that most of them are that hung out in there where Barnett Bank is now,
in that lot. I understand that Dot was the man that was doing a lot of the
financing in fact for the community private school that is operating right now in
the YMCA building. That is one of the reasons why we are having such a zoo at
the Y now. Because the Y was developed by a liberal mayor. Blacks could use
the pool, blacks could use the facilities and everything, but they do not even want
to do that. They are not very generous with us on the one hand, and on the other
hand over there, the Y is even sponsoring a day care center for mothers in the
black community. This is well and good for the black mothers to keep their
children off the streets while they go out and work and this kind of thing to keep
them off of welfare. I am for day care a hundred percent. We need that care, we
need somebody to take care of black children, but I also feel black parents, black
mothers or somebody in the community in their homes has always taken care of
those black kids. Maybe there are not the best facilities in the world, but there
are houses. Now all of a sudden the city cracks down, and the Y decides to put
in a day care center, saying that it is federally funded. So the city cracks down,
and all these people who have been keeping children are closing up. So now the
Y punishes us, and they have got the day care center. They have got three to
four whites up there, and some whites working, whites directing and all this kind
of stuff, and in the black community that is what we were doing for them. In the
mean time the Y is housing this private school. To me, you cannot serve two
masters. If you are going to feed me with the right hand, feed her with the left
hand. We have had a heck of a to do with the Y about this thing. We need a lot
more blacks on the board of directors. We have got black members at the Y and
all this, but there are no blacks in the policy-making outfit at all. If you have no
black participation out there, you are going to limit black kids to an alley as a
place to go. We do not have anything private, we do not have a private
swimming pool. This is the only place we can go where we do have things like
that. We deserve to have something besides a softball team, and they have
some pretty nice things out there, weights, and softball, and things like that, for
everybody, and I think it is really pretty down there. They have tennis courts and
basketball courts, and all that kind of thing.
C: The William Kinnard jolt that was riding through the black community, did this
happen much during this period of time that you know of?
T: Sure. I mean this was common practice.
C: There were nearly a hundred of them.
T: We knew that someone was framing and they knew it. And then we tried
to talk. This was during the time when everybody knew about it. Maybe that
week, there was something else that came up. I think his wife was in the school
system here. He had two small girls, and they had a big old box of dolls at the
house, up in Scottsville, I believe. For some reason, I called, or someone called,
and told him that they were out riding that night. We had pretty good
communications, word of mouth, phone, or someone would get out there in the
back yard and holler. I saw the cop pass. Well, they would take this car, we
were told, and we believed it, and I still believe it, and they would take this car
and they would paint different colors on different days. It was mostly black, and
they would put a white top on it or a black top, or a black top on a white body,
anything on the same car. And this was the car they were operating from, this
car and a pickup truck. Now, Roosevelt James, a fellow who lives out on Palmer
Street, a fellow who has not been able to get a plumbing licence, they stopped at
his house several times to try to find Brady. Now Brady never stayed there, they
thought he did. They would pass there, just ride up and down the street all night
long. So one night they stopped at his house, and they were all out there
winding through the rooms. They came by in this pickup truck and when they
did, they had a number sixty-eight, he did not want to kill anybody, bird shots in
the shotgun, and they unloaded in the squad in his house, and when they did, he
just ran out in the street, and man, he did not have his trousers on! And he
fucked with these guys, so what happened, there are these men there, they are
out there investigating, go Braden goes to the school to see if his wife is there,
and they see a pistol in her pocket, and they arrest her for carrying a weapon, but
they do not catch the guy who is in the truck, they do not do anything with him.
We have got the tag numbers, we turn in the tag numbers, we have seen who we
identified, we know who is doing it and everything else. We always had to be on
the alert to go to sleep at night. So a couple nights before then it had been down
the road where Goldie Eubanks lived on the corner. Now, Goldie was very
outspoken, and folks could tell he had been there for a number of years from
South Carolina, and everybody seemed to like Goldie, until Goldie began to
make some demands, and then he was a scoundrel.
One night my brother-in-law was in the house, and he heard the dog's noise out,
and he ran out to see what it was about, or ran to the door, and when he did,
they took one of these old flambeaux off the street where the city had been doing
some work, this was before they had these automatic blinkers, they had little
flambeaux, kerosene flambeaux or whatever they worked on, and set it in the
back seat of his car sitting in the front yard. So he either had a choice of trying to
get his gun and shoot at the guys or putting out his car. So he ran to put out his
car and they disappeared by the time the police came about two weeks later, that
is when they set the house on fire, but in the meantime, he then was talking on
the phone, I do not recall exactly who it was, someone was talking on the phone
to his wife, and she got up off the divan, she must have been seven or eight
months pregnant, and the divan was across from the door almost to the back of
the room. She got up off this divan and answered the phone, and that was the
only thing. These guys went out there and stopped this car in front of their house
and riddled that house with bullets. It looked like they had machine guns or
high-powered rifles. Some of them went clean through the house, literally almost
just shot the door clean off the hinges, and she happened to be in the next room,
otherwise she would have gotten killed. They killed the boxer dog. He came to
the door and was stepping around when he heard the commotion out there.
Somebody even saw this and everything, and nobody ...
C: That must have been, I guess, when he made that comment, about arming
T: Yes, right. It brings back the time when we had a young fellow get shot right in
that center, just some fellow was walking down the street, and he got shot with a
.22 rifle right through the heel of his foot.
C: Why did they go out to the Klan meeting?
T: They did not actually, I was supposed to go on with them, they did not actually
attend the Klan meeting. Now we had some very good, liberal white people that
would inform us, some local people from here and some ministers that had come
up from Daytona who we trusted who were at our meetings and would keep us
informed and so forth, because we wanted to stay one step ahead of them. So
they had been attending those Klan meetings, and they decided that night how
we were going to find Jenkins. Well, they were supposed to come by for me, but
I do not know what I was on, but anyway they did not come by, I did not go.
They were having the Klan when I was out there, and we heard all the time
remarks about what all was going on, and Jenkins' stoning the common men out
there and whatever else was going on at that particular time. So they went out
on the road, out on U.S. 1, and there is a bowling alley right across from the
shopping center, that is where they were, on back down there behind the little
grade school that is there now. So they just rolled out there out of curiosity to
see what was happening, and they went down there and were just standing
around, and when they turned around there were so many cars coming from the
Klan meeting, they got in this lane of cars that was turning right going back in the
woods. Well, these guys were just waving people on, waving them on, you
know. So they got in this particular lane, traffic was so heavy from what I was
told that I do not think they could get out of it or something, and they attempted to
turn around and come back out. Well, after they got down in there, somebody
passed the word around, and all these guys had CB's during that time, and we
did not have any, and they got down there and they poked him right on down
there. This is what happened when they discovered they drove him all over the
woods while they said the words, niggers, niggers, niggers, and this was the cry
at that particular time. They pulled him onto the ground, and pulled him onto the
stage, and they whipped him. It was awful. You should have seen it, it was
really something terrible. I do not know if you have seen any pictures of it or not,
but it was something terrible.
C: I have not seen any pictures of it, no.
T: And then the local doctors did not want to wait on him. They really tried to, I do
not know, they told Hilling he needed a dentist. They wanted to break him up,
they tried to break his hands, pulling his hands off, his fingers, pulling between
his fingers, and then they were going to set him on fire. They really knocked him
for one once.
C: Some of these white people, did they get the sheriff out there? How did the
sheriff know about it?
T: The sheriff was there. He was there all the time, he and all his deputies, I mean
this was common. The sheriff was, in a lot of cities in the South the sheriff was in
the Ku Klux Klan. You do not know who it is under those sheets, you do
not know who is in there. Now he is working out there today and tomorrow, but
at night he is out there under the sheets. So, he swears that, I do not know, and
so some of these people who were attending this meeting saw what was going
on and they slipped away and called. Or they patrolled, I do not know, maybe he
was there, I do not know. He was accused of being there, some of the people
thought he was there. So they went out there, and they went to get some
gasoline, they were going to set him on fire.
C: Yes, I remember that time. Is it true that they took Dr. Hilling and Houser and the
other fellow over to Jacksonville Hospital to protect them, or did they take them
over there because they could not get treated at Flagler?
T: They could not get any treatment over there. You know, we had a black list, we
might want to call it, over there at Flagler. Some of the doctors would see you
out there picketing or see some of your family out picketing and tag a label on
you. Everybody here knows everybody, and the local police would take pictures.
You would be out there picketing, and they would ride by in the car, and
everybody would take your picture. So they had you on at the clinic and
everything else in town. I mean, you went in a place, and they would look, and
they identified you, and you are one of those smart guys or whatever the case
might be, and so you just do the best you can to go somewhere else.
C: Now, these doctors, many of them were members of the John Brooks Society.
T: I would think so, yes. We definitely would think so. They even, I do not know
about now, but on this radio news, not WFOY, another radio station, every
Saturday morning they would have a call-in, some conservative poll, some guy
working I guess out in Texas or something, was it not? Right.
C: Yes, I cannot remember what the fellow's name is, but...
T: I can, Hunt. Yes, he was a millionaire or something. He ran the program out of
Texas, and his was the only program such as this or whatever the case might be,
every Saturday morning on this radio station, to keep people informed of what
was going on and so forth, and this fellow was highly conservative and so forth,
and the government was listening. We had just gotten that to tie, in a way of
speaking, city and county against the federal government at that particular time,
especially on the conservative programs and so forth.
C: Well, I guess that brings us into sixty-four.
T: Well, we had meetings with the city. We tried to sit down and iron out our
problems. We wanted to talk with them. I knew the guy who was city manager
at that time, and we had big meetings set up with the City.
C: Was that Barrior? Was Barrior city manager?
T: I believe he was, I believe it was Barrior, I think it was. And all the black men
used to come, and the city commission and some of the county representatives
and so forth, and we would go up there, and there he is sitting up there with a
tape recorder. So quite naturally, I mean we do not want to talk to no tape, we
want to sit across the table, and they refused to talk with us. So this is the thing
that had gone __ with you all now. We had some kids that did some picketing
and sitting in. We look back on it now, but at this particular time, they grabbed
them, I think, and then put them in jail, and after they put them in jail, they sent
them to reformatory school.
C: Oh, that was the two young girls and the two young boys.
T: Right, right, they were on the corner we are on now, and he has not been exactly
himself since then. This was a hell of an ordeal for these kids twelve and thirteen
years old, and we had a heck of a time getting them out. It took us six months or
eight months to get these kids released from reformatory school.
C: That was an incredible development.
T: I am telling you now, we have been through the mill. My wife was one of the first,
she and probably Jenkins I would say, were the first black adults to go to jail
here. Mostly the kids were doing the serving. And the kids were easy for it. We
kept them ornery. They were well-dressed and everything else, and they were
pretty good, and they would go in and sit at the lunch counter, and the whites did
not want blacks, and when the blacks were at the lunch counter, and you were
open, you would have to serve them, so they would cut out the lights, and all the
waiters and waitresses would just walk out, and they would close the door, so
they would lock up the place almost, lock the inside.
C: Shelley argues that the blacks would lay all over the floor. Is there any truth to
T: We did have a lie-in. These are the only people who made any time in jail
besides these kids, we did have a lie-in, and we did not have any protection to
that. This happened at St. George Pharmacy. This only happened one time. A
young lady, well, they dropped all these things off the records, I think she spent
about thirty days in jail. We had offered her an alternative, she teaches school
now down south, and so forth. Now, they will say that the kids who participated,
they went on to make them criminals, but this is a lie. Now I can tell you a lot of
kids who participated are people who are teaching in the public school system.
Some of them are principals and assistant principals and all this kind of thing.
They went on to continue their education.
C: Shelley would have you believe that this took place all the time.
T: I know, I know, I can tell you exactly how many of them there were, four, I think,
or five of them. There was only one place this took place, and that was St.
George Pharmacy. This was the only place this took place.
C: How did you get all those people in from the North, those college kids, and Mrs.
T: Well, these people were interested in, this was the hardest place in the nation at
that particular time, because, you know, you had your freedom riots and
everything else, and these people followed King, they believed in King. So,
actually, we wrote some letters to some fraternities, some white people had
come here, some liberal-thinking people, some people who were staying out, but
we had contact with the University of Florida, we knew somebody over there.
This was Dr. Jones, they eventually fired him over there. And the Homily
brothers, I remember them from the University of Florida.
C: David Chalmers came over.
T: Yes. Homily, I think they were from Daytona. And we had a lot of northern
students there. I cannot think of some of the names. Some of them lived in
housing with us much of the time. But, Dr. Jones, I remember him specifically.
He got arrested over there, and boy, that was really big news when his wife
found out about it, that they had locked him up, she called me long distance that
night in Gainesville, and my wife went to jail with him, she was having quite a
time of it, and eventually they fired Dr. Jones from over at the University of
Florida. He fought this thing, he fought this thing for years, and they did spot him
everything in the last four or five years, I believe it was.
C: Now, when Mrs. Peabody came, and some of those ministers from the North,
and those college kids, then the press seemed to come, the New York Times,
and the ABC cameras and everything.
T: Well, the press was following King here when he came here. King was
something new. Nobody had ever seen this before. This was almost like Martin
Gandy [Gandhi?] you know, the black passion resistance. You offered your
body as a living sacrifice, you did not fight back. Now, the northern kids fought
them back. Leeland fought them back. This was annihilating women, you
fought the white man, but we could not shoot, we could not buy any ammunition,
we could not buy twenty-two shells, we could not buy no guns, we could not buy
anything around here. We do not have no violence. This was the only way we
could do it, and this was King who persuaded us to do it. I bet that Leeland did
not like to go along with his ideas, but he had to, because this was King's
organization and everything, and he did not want any shots fired.
C: After the Easter protests, things seemed to quiet down from then until May, and
then they got really hot. What was happening in that stretch of time? Do you
remember? That would be from the end of March, actually it would just be the
month of April, really.
T: Well, during that particular time, King had several commissions, made up of
citizens in other places. We had to stop and revamp. We had to get money and
everything to get people out of jail. This was, I think, the first time my wife went
to jail, I believe, about $250 I think, in fee charges, conspiracy, delinquency and
minor trespassing out at the Warners or something. The next time, I think, was
$500 or something like this, or $1500.
C: Fifteen hundred, that is very high.
T: Well, and the next time, it went up to about $7,500 or something like this apiece
on fee charges. So then we had to revamp, and we had to reorganize and
everything, but we kept picketing. I mean, there was only a limited scale,
because we did not have as many people participating, but we tried to show that
we were together as much as possible, and we got as many whites as we could
get participating with us. To tell you the truth, I really feel sorry for some of the
whites, because a lot of the whites, they would give them hell, they would call
them all kinds of names, and accuse the whites of laying up with blacks and all
this kind of thing. They would kick them, and they would beat the hell out of
them. They treated them in some ways worse than they treated us. Truly
speaking, these were really some fine people, these people took a lot of time for
T: When things started up again in May, according to Shelley, he claims that you
met with Andrew Young, and you asked Young if there was anything the city
could do for St. Augustine's black people. He claims Young said no, there was
nothing, and then he claims that Young went out the next day, or two days later,
and that the city had rejected thirteen demands he had made upon them. Were
you familiar at all with that? Could you respond to what Shelley was saying?
T: Yes, Shelley is not telling the truth. No, we had met with someone, as I told you
before, and they refused to sit down and negotiate our views with us and talk with
us. Some things they claim they did not do, it was just up to the local merchants,
the local chamber of commerce and so forth. In fact, I should have done my
homework, I knew you were coming, but I have a book in my room. I have got a
lot of statements, I have got a lot of dabbling with King, he wrote little notes and
all this kind of thing. Every night we would meet. After we demonstrated at night
we would meet. We would sit at Leeland's house or somebody's home. We
would meet in various homes with the executive board, and all these attorneys
would meet. Now, we had pretty good legal advice, from Custers, Guy Simons,
Earl Johnson and so forth. And all these lawyers were legal defense, and also
Civil Liberties Union. One time we had thirty-seven attorneys in there.
C: What were the demands being made? Do you remember the specifics?
T: Integrate the lunch counters, this was one of them. Jobs were one.
C: I remember that one.
T: All right. We wanted to integrate the beaches. We even talked about the
C: Plus foods.
T: Foods, this was one of the main ones. Cleaning supplies. Fire department.
C: One of the big things that Shelley and other whites would claim is that
percentage-wise, there was a comparable number of blacks employed by the city
to equal the percentage of blacks in St. Augustine.
T: Yes, if they pick and choose. Right now, you look at the blacks, and I mean, we
have been negotiating with the city right now. In fact, we have some demands
up there right now to upgrade blacks, of trying to open up a school or something,
so these blacks can move up in their positions. Now we have got one, maybe
two black farmers out there at the present time. One fellow by the name of
Jones who is in charge of the food, who puts the orders in or something like this,
he has got the highest position as a black in the city work force. We do not have
any blacks. You go uptown and go up the city building and find out how many
black workers there are in the department, how many tax collectors, and even
the county courthouse, find out how many. We are still trying to fight this battle.
Why are there not any blacks in the fire department? We have been trying, but I
mean our examinees cannot even pass this test. See, a white man does
homework and he does very well. Meanwhile, they are playing around, shooting
dice and working, and picking cotton and other things, and smiling, and trying to
figure out a way to escape from the South and go north and make a comfortable
living, or something for forty hours a week, but this man here is checking it out
and is doing his homework.
C: There was one black fellow, was there not, working for the police department.
T: He is still there, by the name of Fred Waters.
C: Fred Waters.
T: Fred Waters was taken on because he had been appointed at that time chief, or
whatever call you want it to take, for the Black Legion. I do not think Fred Waters
has ever taken the advanced Civil Service exam, I think he has been carried
through, and has been grandfathered in. That is my way of thinking, I do not
know. Now, uphands of the last two or three years ago, Fred Waters ought to
have become the chief, to have been working there for so many years. Now I
say five or six years, but I am not sure of the correct time. But he worked, I think
his hours were from about three or four in the afternoon to about three or four in
the morning, in the black neighborhood, and he only could arrest black people, at
that particular time. Now, he has got patrol car, he works a regular shift,
whatever a regular shift is, seven to three, or seven to whatever the case, maybe
he rotates around their shifts; but Fred Waters has been out there twenty-five or
thirty years, and he is still patrolling. Fred Waters' salary is below the
lowest-ranked white patrolmen who walk. But I imagine his salary is pretty
comfortable now, because they have been negotiating contracts, he had to gain
approval. It is the union, you know, they have been unionized. We have never
had but one black policeman, but they have given those tests, but what
happened is this city has its own civil service rules. They are not statewide, and
they are not covered. In this city, I mean you make up your own civil service
rules. You have got a civil service board that consists of about four or five
people, who represent the police department, there is one from the fire
department, and I think two or three civilians on it. All these are white people. All
right, now they give a civil service exam whenever there is an opening, and if you
take the exam, then they have the right to pick the man who they think is best
qualified, best suited for the job, as far as I know now, maybe I am wrong, and
then this fellow is picked. Now we have had people who have passed the
exams, but I admit they did not go to school, and you stay on there until the time
falls and there is another opening, after you take the exam again. This is the way
they do it, they do not keep stagger slips.
C: When King came here and started mobilizing the black community, although as
you are pointing out, it was mobilized, when he came here and started holding
his meetings, what sort of things did the SCLC expect from the black community?
T: Nothing but cooperation, we had told them that we did not have any money. We
did not have no anything.
C: He just wanted to get as many people on the street ...
T: On the street, this was his strategy, to get as many people on the street, fill up
the jails if necessary, just offer your bodies as living human sacrifice. Let people
see us on the outside, what they are doing to us. See, we tried to keep this thing
in tact. I have seen newspaper reporters beaten something terrible there, their
cameras snatched and all this kind of stuff. I have seen even some reporters
from I believe Sweeton or someplace uptown, I was working up there one day,
and some kids went across to Woolworth's. They went into the Munson and
they locked the door, the Munson specifically, and they walked across the park,
the play market, over to Woolworth's. And once they got into Woolworth's, the
guy, Hansen, who was a Holiness minister, he was a deputy sheriff at that time,
he arrested these newspaper cameramen, because they had followed these kids,
and they had tried to get a piece of the action. He claimed that one of them had
turned his camera on and hit him, or hit somebody. He knows better, surely it
was accidentally, so he put the man in jail. See, every night, at our tour, we
would have a strategy, and we would have something different every night, and
we would just try to sit there and iron out, and figure out what was going to be
everybody's reaction, how you would react to this thing.
The day that the kids went in the pool, this was all planned out. We had these
rabbis coming up. They were young rabbis, and they arrested Drew Munson.
So at ten o'clock the next morning, Dr. King would be down on the seawall, he
was there, and we got these girls, they came in from Savannah, Georgia and
were good swimmers. We did not have any girls down here who were good
swimmers. These were all good-swimming girls. So now when we dive up there,
you are going to arrest this knight. They go up there, and they arrest Drew
Munson. Everything is going, these are all white people. Nobody pays any
attention to them. So they arrest them, they arrest all the rabbis, they get all the
young rabbis, and they arrest them. So the next morning at ten o'clock they had
on their bathing suits, and we had a car arrive up there at ten o'clock. Everything
is going very precisely. The car arrives at ten o'clock, and when they arrive at
ten o'clock, immediately the police were almost right there. They were all
uptown, and they had four all-days going, and these girls jumped right out of the
car and jumped right in the pool. The rabbis jumped in the pool, and that was
everybody in the pool, and you know that they are going to react. You know this
white man is going to react to this thing, because he cannot stand it. He does
not want this thing to happen. King was over there on the seawall. They were so
busy watching these girls, they do not hardly pay attention. Some of the
cameras go over to King, and some of the staff sit there on the seawall. They
were sitting, all of them, right there waiting. When the action takes place, they
want to see their reaction. A lot of people say that King was sitting back. No, he
was not, he was right there on the seawall. Someone could even have pushed
him over on anything, or whatever. You could have shot him, anything you
wanted to do to him at that particular time, and then this when this policeman, a
fellow by the name of Henry Bennett, he jumps out of the police car and tells
them to come out, and they do not come out, and he just cannot stand it any
longer, so he jumps over in his uniform.
C: Is that when Watson threw that acid in the water?
T: Well, maybe the same day he threw the acid in the water. The next day, no, they
put alligators in the pool, but we did not want to go to the pool that morning, we
had something else to do the next day. Right, the next day or so we went down
to St. Augustine Beach. We stayed my wife back there. She said she did not
swim, so she was not going down on the beach. And these guys were working at
Fairchilds, and they came right through the gate, and they let them off in some
kind of way or other, and they had all these axhammers in the trunks of these
cars, and they passed them out down there, and we chopped some wood. The
axhammers, boy, they worked some kids pitifully down there. A young white
woman, I never will forget, I cannot think of her name, but she would be walking
around with broken bones. Another boy, we had to send this one on back home,
they had beaten him so much, and then that boy had a concussion; and he
wanted to stay, but we just said he just could not afford to stay, we sent him back
home. We had a lot of other white kids who came, we had a boy who came who
was tending flowers, I think, I forgot. Gary Oswald was his name, he stayed here
with us. Gary just could not take it. He got sick. Man, he was so scared, he just
stayed in the house. He would just stay in the house, lock the house. Usually he
was in the house. He would just lock the house all day, because this thing lit him
up. I mean, all right, we had been accustomed to it all our lives. We were
accustomed to police jumping out of their cars, a blackjack in one hand and a
pistol in the other hand, and knock us upside the head. We were accustomed to
that, we were accustomed to white people who walk uptown, and you would have
tipped your hat and said, "Mister," or something, or whatever the case might be,
and he would kick you in the pants or something, because nobody is saying
anything about it. Well, all right then, this was the thing that we were rebelling
C: Why the night marches? Why not other marches?
T: It was the only way we thought it was going to be more effective. See, you had
to take your tactics.
C: To get publicity.
T: Right, right. We were taking our tactics, and the general organizations, service
organizations, whatever you want to call them, began to buy dogs, the Kiwanis
Club, the Rotary Club, and I guess the Knights Clubs, I am not sure, and so forth,
the Daughters of the American Revolution, and all this kind of thing. They would
buy these German shepherds, and they would surprise you. You do not see the
shepherds around there now.
C: They bought those for the police department?
T: Yes, they bought them, or the dogs were donated by the police department.
C: Oh, somebody came ...
T: Yes, that is where some of them came from. The police and the city bought
some, and they donated some. You do not see, we have got the same black
people living right here that lived here before, and you do not see any dogs.
They hardly use one. Now, with the drug problem we have got, they will not even
bother to buy any dogs to find the drugs now.
C: What was it like going downtown? Were the police there? Did they try to stop
the whites from pounding the heads of the blacks and the other whites who were
marching with them?
T: I will tell you, the first night march we had, the first one we had was in October at
the Lutton and Brown Ladies' Center, we caught them by surprise. We left
Washington street, and we got on down to Dole Street, and the police station at
that time was on Hipolica Street, the police and fire departments were on
Hipolica Street. They have got a parking lot there, between the state board and
Thirtieth Street. We walked down there, walked flat up to the van, and when they
did see us, they did not even know what was happening, and there were a lot of
cars that passed us on the street, and a lot of whites immediately armed
themselves at that particular time. This was the first night march I had
ever participated in, when we were at the Lutton and Brown Ladies' Center.
Then, after them, in 1964, the next one we had, the first one with King therefore,
we got right there in the Lightly Museum parking lot. My boy was a little boy
then, about three or four years old, but the police were still going to stop us, on
Cordillo Street. So we left Cordillo Street, right in front of where city hall is, or
the county courthouse rather. We came over this big rock, and C. T.
asked if we could have a prayer, and he and Jose and the rest of them got to get
it together, still while we were stopped, right on the corner of King and Cordillo
Street. So it was debated, do not go on, we do not know what they are going to
do to us. So we said, let us have a word of prayer, let us thank the same Lord.
So we did, we stood and had a word of prayer. This was something familiar to
black people, black people are family prayers. Even the rusty ones checked on,
because you do not hide the expression for the good Lord to do something, for
somebody to help us. We sent the boys back, we said, send the kids back. We
decided we were going tonight, so we went. This time we caught them by
surprise, but after that, boy, they would be militant. You could go up there in the
city, and at night they would have all the benches and chairs and things that they
could find, and they would have them all around the place blockading us. There
were people running in reels, and they would be loaded. These guys would have
bricks, they had bicycle chains, they had lead pipes, they had some of
everything, and we had people come rank us in the head and so forth, and
tomorrow night they would be right back.
C: Did you get any protection from the police department until the judge ordered
them to protect you?
T: No, this is what they wanted, they wanted to stop this thing, they did not care,
anything to stop them, kill them, beat them, anything.
C: How about the city fathers there, the mayor, the commissioner and the city
manager, were they doing anything to try and negotiate the problem, or get the
police to enforce the law?
T: No. Well, yes, they were enforcing the law, that was the law at that time,
segregation was the law. This is what they were doing, getting the police to
enforce the law, segregating, keeping the niggers in their place.
C: Did you get any cooperation at all from the business community after you really
T: There were one or two people. For instance, a fellow had a shop, Friendship, or
the Loving Shop, or something like that, down on St. George Street, Mr. ,
down right here. He was there at this particular time, I think he taught a Sunday
school class at one of the Methodist churches, and they ran this man out of town.
Last thing I knew of him, he was in Ocala working at the Holiday Inn. I have
seen him since that time. the state senator at that time, he spoke out
against it, he thought it was wrong. We were at the college, in history at
Flagler College, I took a course, and they went by and broke all the windows at
his place. All right, he was located at the corner of Treasure and Taylor Streets.
So the place was rigged.
C: After they passed the Civil Rights Act in that year, and Munson and some of the
others said they would abide by it, that is when they followed you into the
restaurant, was it not?
T: Oh man, yes.
C: What sort of man was Munson?
T: He was a
C: What do you mean when you say
T: He is there now.
C: Was he from Tampa? What sort of man was he to deal with back then?
T: He did not own it, Farr owned it. Farr was from Tennessee out there, and he
owned a chain of restaurants in Tennessee. Farr brought some blacks here,
they lived out there with him and everything. A fellow by the name of T. C., he
thought the world of them, but when these blacks started demonstrating, it was a
different situation. "Now you blacks are just like everybody else, I am going to
raze you," but this is a different situation now. And that is when we separated.
So, Brock supposedly had been buying the Munson's from Farr at that particular
time, and they will do this, he has to run his business, and Farr took it back, and
now he is back up there, he is back with Farr and so forth. There are a lot of
rumors I would not want to put in on this tape, in the black community about
some of the accidents, about some of the things that Brock had done.
C: Were you all shocked by the action of the judge in Jacksonville, Judge Bryan
Simpson, when he took the side ...
T: Scott had the first case. That is when we went to the Federal court in
Jacksonville, because here, Judge Matthews was giving us hell. Weinberger, we
were kind of shocked at him, he did the interview, and Meniacle, we thought he
would be sympathetic with our case, but we had the first store cases in the city,
and people would look at those. Next, we went to the local courts, the county
courts, and Matthews, oh man, he has never gotten over this thing.
[End of the interview.]