Typescript for a Homecoming performance entitled "The Campaigner" regarding Florida politicians, University of Florida J...


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Typescript for a Homecoming performance entitled "The Campaigner" regarding Florida politicians, University of Florida John Marshall Bar Association (7 pages)
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John Marshall Bar Association
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Box: 1
Folder: University Archives Small Collections - John Marshall Bar Assocation - Skits and Programs


Subjects / Keywords:
Law students -- Florida -- History
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
sobekcm - AA00003156_00001
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Full Text


My friends, and I-I-I do mean my friends -- I want to thank you for this op-

portunity to speak to you this morning in this quaint little University City of

Gainesville, in this grand and glorious sovereign State of Florida. And I want to

make a last minute appeal to your conscience, to your pocket book, and for your


Iy friends, while we are on the University campus, let me say that it has

been truthfully said about me that there is not a greater backer in the State of

of Florida -- of Florida State University.

Now, friends, my opponent -- that Republican communist running on the

L7ILY WHITENESS of the FAIR VIRTUE of the Democratic ticket -- has been going

around bragging about the fact that he was born in Florida. Friends, I would like

>o go one step further. I was produced in Florida -- from the ground up -- from

the ground up. Now friends, my opponent, that alcoholic incompetent, has been

spreading a vicious rumor around this state about me to the effect that my charm-

ing father Lycurgus and my dearly beloved mother Arelia, had only been married

eight months when I was born. Now friends, let's look at the facts. Let's look

at the facts. I was a premature baby, a preposterously premature baby And, as

Dr. James said -- he was with my mother when I was born (and he is one of the most

outstanding veterinarians in Taylor County) -- as Dr. James said, "Ers. Davis, I

don't see how this poor child survived the ordeal of birth, only weighing sixteen

pounds at the time. My friends, my opponent, that skunk -- I have a slander suit

pending against that skunk in the Gainesville small claims court, and I would get

him for libel but he can't write -- that skunk has been running around this state

telling all of the poor peons -- this doesn't include you, my good friends -- has

been telling all them poor peons, that I won't get any votes. In fact, he has

gone so far as to say that I wouldn't get a vote if I were running for county

Page 2

commissioner in Dade County against Charlie Johns. Now friends, isn't that a

perfectly ridiculous thing to say? Of course, I would get some votes, even though

I do concede that Charlie is a very, very popular man in Dade County.

Well, friends, I do admit that when I heard what my opponent had said, I was

a little bit worried -- just a little bit, of course -- and just to reassure my-

self that I really am as popular as I'd like to be -- I mean, as I think I am -- I

spent some time moving about this great state of ours talking to some of our wonder-

ful state's political leaders to see what they really thought of me.

Well, folks, I started looking for a political leader, and the first man I

came onto was our distinguished acting governor, Charlie E. Johns. When I saw

him, he was out by a road nailing up a sign -- started by Dan bEcCarty -- I was kind

of curious since I remembered that the road had been and I noticed that the

sign said, "Another promise fulfilled by Charlie E. (ohns." Friends, Charlie had

been working hard, I could see that -- the ticket stubs were falling all over the

ground. I asked him for support in the coming elections, and friends, I can't

lose I can't lose because not only has your good friend and mine promised

to back me, but he has promised me two box car loads of conductor C 0 Ps. Friends,

I can't lose.

Friends, the next man I decided to see, was your good friend and mine, LeRoy

Collins; you know, Leroy lives right next door to Charley. He isn't going to have

far to move, but Charlie says the people might find out that's one of the most

expensive moves they ever made when they get the bill. Well, when I got to Leroy's

houc', he was coming down the steps and I could tell right off that he was going

out to get some of the ladies votes. He sure was dressed up, from his patent

leather shoes to his turned up collar. Leroy, I said -- I always call him Leroy,

Leroy, I says, and he said, Mr. Davis, you can call me Roy. I asked him for

backing in the race for governor. He said, "You damned fool, I'm running for


governor myself." I said, "But Leroy,- this/for next time, Leroy -- I wouldn't

run against you, Leroy." He asked me where I went to school -- first he asked me

if I ever went to school atall and I said, "Roy, every since I was a small chilc

I wanted to go to Cumberland. I worked in a store as a child I worked as

common labor in a sawmill and saved my money so that I could go to Cumberland,

but you know what happened, Leroy? When I got ready to go, I found out that the

out of state tuition was so much that I had to do the next best thing and go to

the University of Florida, where I could get a cheap education." He said, "Mr.

Davis, since you did the next best thing, I am going to help you in your race."

Well, friends, with Leroy and Charlie behind me -- I got worried -- so I got

to looking for more support. I was passing through Taylor County again going

south when I ran into your good friend and mine -- a former senator from our great

State, Claude Pepper. I says to him, "Senator"-- I always call Claude Senator -

I says to him, "Senator" -- and he says to me, "hir. Davis, you can just call me

me plain Claude." I says to him, "Plain Claude, how about backing me in the

coming election?" He says, "What office, lir. Davis, the senate?" I says to

him, "Now, Senator, you know I wouldn't run for the Senate because me and you

have been good friends for years -- you did not think that one of your friends

would run against you did you, Claude?" He says, "It has been done before, Mr.

Davis -- it has been done before." I says, "Will you back me, Senator?" He

says, "Mr. Davis, there is nothing I would like better, but I have made it a

standing rule throughout my legal and political career never to get tied up with

anything that is the least bit controversial -- and, kr. Davis, you are not only

running for a controversial office, but you yourself are probably the most con-

troversial sight I have ever seen" Friends, I sure did hate to lose Claude's

support because nobody knows just how strong Claude really is.


Well, I decided I should see if I couldn't get the members of the great

cabinet of our wonderful state to support me. I found them having a cabinet

meeting on the 6th floor of a Miami Beach hotel. It must have been a very

important meeting, because when I came in the room, I noticed they all had their

secretaries with them -- at least, I suppose the young ladies who left so

hurriedly were their secretaries. And friends, I want you to know that they were

really glad to see me. I said to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom

Bailey, "I would like to get your backing in the election race coming up." He

says: "Mr. Davis, what business are you in?" I says, "Mr. Bailey, I am a

l~a er almost." And he says "A lawyer I hate lawyers; they are no good,

they aren't kind to their mothers, they are no good at all, and, what's more,

they sit on the United States Supreme Court."

I then says to Attorney General Richard Ervin, "How about backing me in the

coming election?" And friends, I can't lose I can't lose 'cause Dick is not

only going to back me he is going to make campaign speeches for me -- I just

can't lose.

I says to Commissioner of Agriculture Nathan Mayo, "How about your support,

Mr. Mayo?" He says, "Mr. Davis, I would be willing to help you except for one

thing. As usual, I will be having a very tough race on my hands. It is always

difficult for me to be reelected. I barely get by by the skin of my teeth."

I then said to Clarence Gay -- you know, he is our great Comptroller -- I said

"Mr. Gay" -- I always call kr. Gay Mr. Gay, "How about backing me in the coming

election?" He said, "hr. Davis, what office are you running for?" and I told

him I was running for governor. He said that he would like to back me but that

he hadn't made up his mind if he would run for the office himself. Now friends,

my good friend and yours, Clarence Gay, still hasn't made up his mind. One day I


hear he will, and the next day I hear he won't. But I know and you know that

if i1r. Gay decides not to run before the election, he will surely give me his

unfailing support.

And friends, Secretary of State R. A. Gray was in the room too, but I didn't

ask him for any support. He is the man you have to see to get your name on the

ballot and any man who would let a skunk like my opponent run for office must

ha-c a shady past, and I only want the extra-honest politicians behind me. To be

in my camp, a man must have either honor or money.

Friends, the last raan there was Ed Larson -- you know in many ways he is

about the smartest man in Tallahassee -- 'cause even with an LL.B. degree he got

into the treasury. He is also Insurance Commissioner. It is rumored that he is

going to become president of a big insurance company -- we offered him the job

of president of Taylor County liutual, but he hasn't decided yet. I asked him

for support. He said he could not back me but he would be glad to insure me --

I can't lose, friends -- being insured by Ed.

Well, as long as I was in Midmi, I decided to stop and see my good friend and

yours, yes, you're right -- I stopped in to see Fuller Warren. Friends, I want

to tell you that Fuller is really doing all right down there at the Beach -- I

walked into his office and bogged down in a rug that thick. I said to Fuller, I

said, "Governor, (I always call him Governor) -- I says, "Governor," and he

says, "Mr. Davis, you can just call me Senator." I says, "Wait a -- just a damn

minute, now, Fuller, you were Governor, but how come I should call you Senator?"

He says, "But, son, haven't you heard? the people of this grand and glorious

state have given me the call.-- and they need me, son, they need me." I saw that

I -wasn't going to get any help from Fuller -- cause when he starts politicking

he ain't got time for anybody but Fuller.


Now folks, I knew I'd have a better chance if I could get our U.S. Senators

behind me -- I knew they wouldn't let me get behind them -- so I started out to

get their support, and I ran into the two of them, our good friends, Senators

Spassard Holland and George Smathers, Senator Smathers, as you know, is much

admired in Washington for his good looks. You know, folks, he is a very hand-

some man, and I have heard some say that he is even better looking than Fuller

WP:.:en or Leroy Collins. I said to him, "Senator," and he said, "Son, just call

me plain George." I says, "Wait a minute, Senator, I ran into a good friend of

yours and mine and he told me to call him Plain Claude. But why should I call

you Plain George when you now hold the office of Senator? He said, "Yes, son,

but for how long?" "Oh George," I says, "I guess you heard about Fuller getting

The call for the Senate." Well, folks, Spessard speaks up about that time, and

he says, "George, don't worry about Fuller, he just told me that he is going to

run for my seat and not yours." Folks, I don't believe I have ever seen anybody

look more relieved. George says, "I sure am glad he isn't running against me,

cause when old Fuller gets the call, and rouses up all the north Florida peons

and south Florida pheasants, he is a hard man to beat," Spessard says, "George,

you are perfectly right. Fuller is a very hard man to beat, and so I have de-

cided to vacate my office and let Fuller have it and run against you, George."

And George says, "But, Spessard, you can't do that. I am your friend -- you

wouldn't run against your friend now, would you Spessard?" And Spessard says to

George, "It's been done before George -- it has been done before."

Now friends, my opponent, that Replublican communist alcoholic incompetent

skunk, has been bragging about the fact that the people of this grand and glorious

virgin state of Florida have contributed $300,000 to his campaign fund. Now,

friends, I just can't believe that is true, but if it is true, then let me change

my description from "this grand and glorious virgin State" to "this grand and


glorious state of Florida."

Well now, friends, you see that a good many of our political leaders are

already supporting me and the rest of them will be behind me soon. Everybody's

getting on my band wagon, and folks, I want you to get on board too.

(Two white coated men, one carrying a butterfly net, and the other a
straight jacket, have silently entered the stage during the above, and
now approach Davis)

Well, boys, what do you want? I suppose you boys have picked the winner and

want to get on my band wagon. You're doing the right thing. I see from your

rhite jackets that you are waiters, and there'll be a place for you in my

administration .

1st. attendant: Mr. Davis, we've come to take you back.

2nd. attendant: Yes, Mr. Davis, remember, you're going to give a campaign

speech to your constituents at Chattahoochee this afternoon.

(one puts butterfly net over Davis head -- the other begins to put straight
jacket on Davis)

Folks, I see it all now. it's a plot to get me out of the way and block my

attempt to be governor, Friends, I am as sane as any politician in this state.

(The men are dragging Davis off and he continues to campaign wildly)

It won't work, friends. I'll be back. The people will rise up and demand that

I be governor of this great state. In fact, maybe it is best that I do go to

Chattahoochee. When I come back, I'll be completely qualified to serve you. I'll

be a graduate politician.

Sa don't despair, friends, I'll be back. It's "Davis for Governor" in 1972.

The people want me and need me, etc., etc., etc., etc.,

(^Mt-ic Rfnrt. -- "lroinc Fomnp1")

Page 7



1, Music
Claude Murphree

2, General Welcome
Jim Yonge, Vice President, JM.B.A.

3# Introduction of Henry A. Fenn
Gene Roberts, President, J.M.B.A.

4. Dean Henry A# Fenn

5. Introduction to Award Presentation to Mrs. Ila R. Pridgen by the Hon.
Charlie Bennett
Gene Roberts

6. Introduction of the BARBLISTERS
Gene Roberts

7, Song: "I've had Legal Training"
The Barblisters

8. Introduction of: "The Campaigner Retired?"
Gene Roberts

9. Song: "Pull out Estoppel" and "C-O-N-T-R-A-C-T"
The Barblisters

10. Introduction: "Two Old Grads."
Garlon Davis

11. Song: Dreamweavers and Co-eds

12. Introduction of Ralph Mabie
Garlon Davis

13. "The Home-made Will"
Ralph Mabie

14. Song: "Oh what a Beautiful Question"
The Barblisters

15, Introduction of Dave Todd
Garlon Davis

16, Introduction to "The Great Compromise"
Garlon Davis

174 Song: The Barblisters* Theme