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Interview with Jackie Willie, May 18, 1992

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Title:
Interview with Jackie Willie, May 18, 1992
Creator:
Willie, Jackie ( Interviewee )
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Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
Seminole Indians
Seminoles -- Florida
Seminole Oral History Collection ( local )

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Funding:
This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Seminoles' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
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SEM 208 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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Full Text
SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Interviewee: Jackie Willie
Interviewer: Billy Cypress
May 18, 1992


C: We are here today in Hollywood Reservation at Jackie Willie's house. The time is
about 6:35 and today is May 18, 1992. Jackie, I want to give you a little survey with
some questions on tribal government. These questions relate to whatever you
remember about the early years of Seminole tribal organization and government
between 1957 and 1970. Where did you live in 1957?
W: Right here at Hollywood.
C: Why did you favor or oppose tribal government? Were you in favor of tribal government?
W: Yes, I was in favor of it.
C: Why were you in favor of it?
W: Years ago, it was all right to live the old ways, but we were going into new things so
we needed to improve ourselves. I believe that was the only way we could advance,
and so that is why I was in favor.
C: Why were you chosen for the constitutional committee? Why did they pick you?
W: I came here from Miami in 1953, and they were working on organizing to improve
the Seminole tribe. So, we worked together for the Seminole tribe a little bit here
and there and I think that is why I was chosen.
C: They thought you could help, right?
W: Right.
C: How did Mr. Rex Quinn help with the organization?
W: I thought he did a pretty good job because he was straightforward. He had worked
on a different tribe out West for their organization. He was good. We needed
somebody so he was the one that was sent down here to help us out.
C: What did he do down here?
W: Well, he showed us how to organize and what we had to do. So, we did what we
were supposed to, and when it was time to work on the constitution by-laws, that is
when we went in.
C: Did he write things down when you told him things? Did he write it down?
W: Yes.
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C: Why did the people on the Tamiami Trail refuse to join?
W: I am from the Trail myself. They were very strict and they did not want to have
nothing to do with resources like money, and that is why they wanted to be left
alone. They said, "We don't want no money, we just want the land." That is what
they kept saying. So I think that is why they were opposed.
The Seminole tribe, you know, had that reservation for quite a while. When I first
got here I heard that from way back in the beginning they had had a tough time
because back in Big Cypress there was nothing. That was way back in the jungle and
there was no road getting in there. I went in there before the 1950s, and I drove
back there. There was nothing but sand to drive back in there, and if you get stuck,
you get stuck. So, I believe that they needed improvements; that is what I think.
C: I see. Were you elected to an office in the new tribal government? Were you
elected or did you run?
W: No, I never got elected. I ran for office and I did not win, so I did not bother with
it. I do not run for office.
C: Where did the tribal government get its money in early years when you first got
started?
W: I know they did not get money from the government because we could not get any
money. There was no money so they set up raising animals like cattle and all. That
is what they did, but it was hard because it would take awhile before you can get the
money out of it. Cattle is what they started. So there was no money around.
C: Were council members more concerned with their own reservation or the total tribe?
When they got on the council from Brighton, Big Cypress or Hollywood, did they
only push for just their reservation or did they push for the whole tribe?
W: Well, the representatives and individuals from each reservation were concerned
about their reservation, but they all came together and they operated together
because one person cannot pass anything, so to be effective they worked together.
I am pretty sure they were concerned about the whole three reservations; in fact the
whole tribe because they represented the tribe.
C: How has the tribal government been most successful or least successful? What do
you think about that?
W: In the beginning we did not have anything until we were organized. That is when
things started developing for improvement. I think they made a lot of improvements.
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I am pretty sure because we got a little money coming in now to use it for the tribe.
I think they have done a pretty good job, but we need more development.
C: How long have you lived on this reservation? You said it was Hollywood, [but] do
you remember which year you were here?
W: I moved up here from Miami in 1953. When I first got here there was not practically
anything. Everybody lived in a chikee, so it was a hard time at that time, too.
C: That was almost thirty-nine years ago. So, you answered that question; you lived
here about thirty-nine years.
W: Yes.
C: How has the reservation environment changed over the years [with respect to] water
levels? That is the water that you see here, and if there was a lot of water and if it
has gone down, you can say so, and the quality. Is it good water, clean water, or how
has it changed?
W: You know, I was raised in the area back in a little town in the Everglades, so there
was a lot of water. We did not have any canals and all of that, so water comes up
and goes down, and that was good water. But nowadays they make canals that are
supposed to control the water and everything. I understand that it is a little bit hard
now because the water is not like it was then, and so some of the water you cannot
even drink nowadays.
C: [What about] forest cover? When you first came there were a lot of trees, and you
can let me know how many trees are still left. How has that changed?
W: Well, when I was a little boy, I thought it was natural myself, but now we have a
problem about the trees.
C: There is less of them?
W: Yes, I believe that there are less.
C: What about animal life? What kind of animals lived here and where did they go?
Have there been some changes?
W: Yes, because way back, they lived better because they were out in the natural
[surroundings], but now they have been disturbed. So it is not like back in the old
days. Animals are having a hard time to live, too, because a lot of them have to
have water and now we do not have any water.
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C: There is less animals around today, right?
W: Yes, there are less animals.
C: I know this is high ground and you were talking about water, but were there any fish
and turtles? How have the fish and turtles changed over the years that you
remember?
W: Again the same thing, because back in those days they were living in a natural
[surroundings]. Today there is a lot of improvements in different areas so it has been
changed a lot, but there is some turtles and fish. We have still got some, but not like
years ago.
C: Now, let us talk about plants; those things that grow in the ground. Some you can
eat like oleki, and berries, and coontie, and then there are some plants that medicine
man can use. What about those? Are they still around or have they disappeared?
W: No, they are still around. There are some areas still around, but you have to know
where to get it, and if you are going to make medicine, you can go out there and get
the medicine. But you find those back in the Everglades, but here it is developed,
so it is not around here. You have got to go back. But yes, there is still some
around.
C: When you talk, you can talk about Hollywood. Here in Hollywood, there is not too
many around anymore?
W: Yes, in Hollywood there is not any because so many things have been developed.
C: How did you make a living over the years? Did you ever hunt or trap?
W: Well, I did not do much hunting because I got out of the Everglades when I was
about eleven or twelve years old and I moved into the white people society. I
learned how to live and I would go to work, so that is how I survived. So back in
those days you could hunt and everything was free and you did not have to go to the
store and all of that. But now you have got to work and make some money so that
you can buy food.
C: Did you ever herd cattle or did you ever own cattle?
W: Yes. At one time I owned cattle, but then I got rid of it because there was people
that got into it and got out, so I got out.
C: What about cutting timber? I do not know how much wood was around Hollywood,
but did you ever work cutting timber or trees?
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W: Yes. I did a little bit of work in wood. Again, there are still some around, but there
were lots bigger trees, but they are not around because somebody eventually went
back in there and cleaned it all out. We can get wood, but they are not real big and
that is what we use when we need it.
C: You are talking about here in Hollywood, but also out there too, right?
W: Yes. In Hollywood, we do not have no trees, but if you want to get the good ones,
you have to go back. We go to B.C. [Big Cypress] because that is where they have
the cypress and all of that.
C: I see. What about agricultural labor like working on the farm picking crops? Did
you ever work on a farm?
W: Yes. I worked for a little while when I was young. I picked potatoes. I did a little
bit. It is a lot of work, so I do not do that. I work, but not in the farming area.
C: Did you ever work for the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs], the government?
W: I worked as a maintenance man one time, but again, I did not work too long. I did
work with BIA, yes.
C: What about the Seminole tribe? Did you work for the Seminole tribe?
W: Yes, I worked for the Seminole tribe for a little while because when we organized,
we started business. We built a village and I happened to be an alligator showman.
I have been doing that since I was about fifteen. I was hired to handle those
alligators and that is what I was doing when I was working for the Seminole tribe.
C: At the village here?
W: Yes.
C: Also, for a short while you were a policeman, too, were you not?
W: Oh, yes. So I did work for law and order for Hollywood Reservation, but I was a full
deputy for Broward County. I guess I worked for maybe about two years. We did
quite a bit of work and I thought it was the nicest people I have worked for at the
Sheriffs Department.
C: Can you remember anything else you did? Any other work besides the ones that you
have talked about, or is that about it? That is mostly it, is it not?
-5-


W: Yes. When I was still in Miami, I did work here and there. I used to work in a
parking lot and different areas, but mostly I got started with wrestling alligators, and
I did that a long time. That was my hobby.
C: I know I'used to see you wrestle a long time. Now, did you ever live in a chikee?
W: Yes, I was brought up in a chikee. In fact, I was brought up back in the Everglades,
and I can remember when I was a little boy that is where I was raised. We did not
have anything. There was no electricity. We used to travel by canoe to go back in
there. Then, when I was about fourteen, when I got out of there, we started having
those air boats, so we stopped doing that. I got out of there, so I have not been back
in there since.
C: Did you ever learn how to build a chikee?
W: Yes, I learned how to build one. In fact, I did a quite a bit of work building chikees.
When the people wanted it, I would go out there and build it for them.
C: That is another thing you made a living with?
W: Yes, I worked building chikees, any size, big and small.
C: When and why did you quit living in a chikee? When did you move to a house like
this? Do you remember?
W: Yes, because when I first came up here there were nothing but chikees. Everybody
lived in a chikee. That was how I was raised, so that is where I was living, too. We
had a cold spell that time and it was real cold. During that time I had about three
kids and we were covered in blankets, but I had to practically stay awake trying to
keep them warm. Then we learned that overnight some of the animals died out in
the cattle pasture. That is when you think about making some kind of improvement.
That was me, you know. So Bill was working on it. We went to different meetings
to talk about it and all of that, so that is why we were going to something a little bit
better so you can live better. When we were organized and we got those homes built
we lived a little bit better. We live in a house now.
C: But when did you move into a house? Do you remember what year or about when?
In the 1950s sometime?
W: In the 1950s. There was no money. We could not build homes and all of that.
When we organized, the money was coming in to operate, so that is when everything
started rolling. So we got some money to build homes, and then we had to pay it
back for building our homes. That is what we did, but it sure made improvements.
-6-


That was in the 1950s. If we were not organized, I am pretty sure we would still be
living in chikees.
C: Did your family ever provide part of their food needs by hunting, trapping, or
fishing? Did you ever get food out of that?
W: Yes; when we were back in the Everglades that is what we did. My dad used to go
out and hunt. They [would] go for hides, you know. They used to trap and all of
that. After they would get so much, they would take it and get money and then turn
around and buy food with it. That is how we used to make a living.
C: What about raising hogs or cattle? Did you ever get food for that?
W: Not cattle, but some of us raised pigs a little bit here and there, but not real big.
C: In the Everglades you do not have much land, right?
W: No. In the Everglades we have open land, but we did not go into it too big. Now
we have some wild pigs back in the Everglades. Years ago we did not have that.
We got deer but we did not have pigs and all of that. But they have got some wild
ones now.
C: What about going out in the woods and gathering berries; contiki, coontie, or lucky
or any of those berries? Did you get anything from the woods to eat?
W: Well, yes, some of us would go pick all of that, and different things that you can eat.
When you were living back then, it was nice. Some of them you cannot eat so you
have to pick out the right stuff to eat because some of them are poison and you can
get sick.
C: What about raising crops like beans, corn or pumpkin in a garden next to your chikee
or maybe off a little bit? I know the old ones used to do that, but here we do not
have much land, so I do not know what we did. Have you ever done that?
W: Yes, way back when we still lived back in the Everglades they used to plant some
corn, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and all of that. We used to raise those in our
backyard. During the time to grow they would plant the corn and that is how we
used to eat. We would plant some sugar cane, too. They made a syrup out of that.
It is a lot of work, but it is good.
C: Can you remember anything else that you did to get some food without going to the
store?
-7-


W: No; you do not particularly have to go to the store. If you want fish or meat or
anything like that, you can go out and get it out there. Then you do not have to
spend no money every day; you can survive on food like that. But some of the stuff
we had to use we had to go to the store and buy it. Like corn, they can work on it
and they can make flour out of that and make bread out of that, too. That is the
way it used to be done. Practically, some people do not have to go to the store
because they gather all of that and they are ready for it, you know.
C: When you were going around the reservation (and I know Hollywood is smaller than
the other two reservations) how did you move around? Did you walk, or did you
ride a horse, or did you go anywhere by canoe, or by car or truck?
W: Well, back in that time, we did not have nothing to travel [in]. We traveled by canoe
since there was a lot of water. If it was dry we would have to walk to get where we
would want to go. I have never been to a reservation like Big Cypress or Brighton
until I moved out of the Everglades and come to town. Then I went to work and
bought me a car so I would be able to drive around. That is when I went to Big
Cypress. I have not been to Brighton too much because it is quite a ways [away].
I used to go to church back in the 1950s and that is when I started coming here. So
I was working at the alligator wrestling and all of that. I built a big chikee.
C: And then the tribe organized and bought it from you?
W: Yes. When I first come up here, I built trading posts like a big chikee by the road
so we could put souvenirs in there to sell. That is what I was doing. I had a few
alligators in the back, and some more animals like Florida deer. But when we
organized, the tribe bought me out and then I had to move in a house.
C: I think you already answered that question on how to get around. So in Hollywood
you moved by foot, no horseback, right?
W: No.
C: Then you did not use a canoe here, but you used a canoe out in the Glades.
W: Right.
C: You had a car or truck here, right?
W: Yes, I worked and bought me a car to get around. In fact, that is how I used to
come up here. I learned how to drive then.
C: Now we are going to talk about the family unit, like your father, sisters and brother.
Is the family unit important today for teaching youngsters how to live off the land?
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Like you were saying, they used to teach you how to find out where to eat, how to
get your food and live off the land without going to the store or anyplace. Do you
think the family should teach the kids today how to do that?
W: In a way, yes, but then in a way [no]. Like today, we cannot live like that anymore,
so we have to send our kids to school and learn different trades so we can live better
than back in the old days. Back in the old days, that is the way we had to live. We
were taught how to live and we had to go out and hunt and get the right kind of
food. That is what we were taught when we were little. Now the younger generation
has to go to school and get special training. That is what we got to do today.
C: What about the family unit: is it important for them to pass on cultural traditions and
values that is the Indian way and Indian thinking? Do you think the family should
continue to teach that?
W: Again, way back that is what they used to teach. They would teach the young people
how to survive and teach them the old ways and all of that. Again, we live in a
different way now. Yes, they should know, but many of us, especially the young
people, do not get no training because they go to school and everybody has to work
and they do not have too much time to teach them like back in those days. Back in
those days we had a lot of time so that is what they used to do. I guess it must have
been like school, where they taught them. Today, we live different. We are
supposed to keep it up, but we are going down a little bit, I think.
C: Is the family unit important for maintaining discipline among the young? Discipline
means like they should listen to the parents and older people, and do what they are
supposed to do.
W: Yes, I think it is important. Again, you learn all of that. Nowadays they do not have
too much of that so they just learn. I guess, pardon the expression, but we have
learned more of the white people's way.
C: We have been talking about the water and how clean it was. Maybe it has gotten
worse or better, I do not know, but thinking about the environmental problem on
Hollywood Reservation and the cities and everything around us, what is the biggest
environmental problem on the reservation? One of them [could be] solid waste
disposal. That is, stuff we have to throw away. How do we get rid of it? You just
cannot throw it in your backyard anymore, you have to have the truck pick it up or
put it somewhere. Then drainage; whenever there is water falling, water has to go
somewhere. And sanitation, which is those trucks that go around and pick up our
trash. In your mind, what is the biggest environmental problem on the reservation
as far as helping the reservation stay clean? Would it be just trying to get rid of
trash?
-9-


W: Yes, it is. Again, we were in open country years ago and there was not too many
people and all of that. But now in the area there is a lot of development and a lot
of people around us. We have a problem with water.
C: Pick one and talk about it. I think you are doing that. We have a problem of trying
to keep everything clean, right?
W: Right, and also back in the old days, we did not have too many different nationalities.
We did not have no bad disease and all of that, but a lot of bad disease we are
having today is [from] people that come from another country. All kinds of disease
was brought over here. It is like that all over the country.
C: That is the biggest thing that you can think of, right?
W: Yes.
C: These problems that you talk about, who should take care of these problems? Who
is supposed to do that? Is it the U.S. government, tribal government, or the people,
or who?
W: They are so covered all over the United States, so I think the United States
government should provide the money to work on that. There is a lot of things that
the government has to do, but we are responsible for [some things]. Like you say,
you cannot just throw everything in your back yard anymore because we have got to
put them in the right place and the truck goes by and picks it up.
C: I was just talking about the problems on the Hollywood Reservation. Who is
responsible? Who is supposed to take care of those problems?
W: I guess we do. In cities, we have to pay for the [truck] to come around and pick [the
garbage] up. But it is our responsibility to keep things in order.
C: What about BIA or the tribal government?
W: Well, I guess BIA is part of it, but the tribal government [is responsible] too. The
county is responsible, too, but the tribal officials are responsible, too.
C: Is the reservation a better or worse place to live today than in your youth? Why?
You might say things are better today or things are worse today. Well, what is your
opinion?
W: Well, as far as living, it is all right, but as far as conditions [are concerned], I think
it could be a little bit worse because there is a lot of things going on now that we do
not have before. Everybody has got the same problem all over the country. There
- 10-


is a lot of illegal things that is getting into other areas, you know. I am not going to
mention what, but I guess you know what I am talking about. I think it is good to
live, but we have got that problem like that. I think it is good to live on the
reservation, but we do have the same problems as anybody else.
C: Jackie, I want to thank you for your time.
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Full Text

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SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Interviewee: Jackie Willie Interviewer: Billy Cypress May 18, 1992

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C: We are here today in Hollywood Reservation at Jackie Willie's house. The time is about 6:35 and today is May 18, 1992. Jackie, I want to give you a little survey with some questions on tribal government. These questions relate to whatever you remember about the early years of Seminole tribal organization and government between 1957 and 1970. Where did you live in 1957? W: Right here at Hollywood. C: Why did you favor or oppose tribal government? Were you in favor of tribal government? W: Yes, I was in favor of it. C: Why were you in favor of it? W: Years ago, it was all right to live the old ways, but we were going into new things so we needed to improve ourselves. I believe that was the only way we could advance, and so that is why I was in favor. C: Why were you chosen for the constitutional committee? Why did they pick you? W: I came here from Mia~i in 1953, and they were working on organizing to improve the Seminole tribe. So, we worked together for the Seminole tribe a little bit here and there and I think that is why I was chosen. C: They thought you could help, right? W: Right. C: How did Mr. Rex Quinn help with the organization? W: I thought he did a pretty good job because he was straightforward. He had worked on a different tribe out West for their organization. He was good. We needed somebody so he was the one that was sent down here to help us out. C: What did he do down here? W: Well, he showed us how to organize and what we had to do. So, we did what we were supposed to, and when it was time to work on the constitution by-laws, that is when we went in. C: Did he write things down when you told him things? Did he write it down? W: Yes. 1

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C: Why did the people on the Tamiami Trail refuse to join? W: I am from the Trail myself. They were very strict and they did not want to have nothing to do with resources like money, and that is why they wanted to be left alone. They said, "We don't want no money, we just want the land." That is what they kept saying. So I think that is why they were opposed. The Seminole tribe, you know, had that reservation for quite a while. When I first got here I heard that from way back in the beginning they had had a tough time because back in Big Cypress there was nothing. That was way back in the jungle and there was no road getting in there. I went in there before the 1950s, and I drove back there. There was nothing but sand to drive back in there, and if you get stuck, you get stuck. So, I believe that they needed improvements; that is what I think. C: I see. Were you elected to an office in the new tribal government? Were you elected or did you run? W: No, I never got elected. I ran for office and I did not win, so I did not bother with it. I do not run for office. C: Where did the tribal government get its money in early years when you first got started? W: I know they did not get money from the government because we could not get any money. There was no money so they set up raising animals like cattle and all. That is what they did, but it was hard because it would take awhile before you can get the money out of it. Cattle is what they started. So there was no money around. C: Were council members more concerned with their own reservation or the total tribe? When they got on the council from Brighton, Big Cypress or Hollywood, did they only push for just their reservation or did they push for the whole tribe? W: Well, the representatives and individuals from each reservation were concerned about their reservation, but they all came together and they operated together because one person cannot pass anything, so to be effective they worked together. I am pretty sure they were concerned about the whole three reservations; in fact the whole tribe because they represented the tribe. C: How has the tribal government been most successful or least successful? What do you think about that? W: In the beginning we did not have anything until we were organized. That is when things started developing for improvement. I think they made a lot of improvements. 2

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I am pretty sure because we got a little money coming in now to use it for the tribe. I think they have done a pretty good job, but we need more development. C: How long have you lived on this reservation? You said it was Hollywood, [but] do you remember which year you were here? W: I moved up here from Miami in 1953. When I first got here there was not practically anything. Everybody lived in a chikee, so it was a hard time at that time, too. C: That was almost thirty-nine years ago. So, you answered that question; you lived here about thirty-nine years. W: Yes. C: How has the reservation environment changed over the years [with respect to] water levels? That is the water that you see here, and if there was a lot of water and if it has gone down, you can say so, and the quality. Is it good water, clean water, or how has it changed? W: You know, I was raised in the area back in a little town in the Everglades, so there was a lot of water. We did not have any canals and all of that, so water comes up and goes down, and that was good water. But nowadays they make canals that are supposed to control the water and everything. I understand that it is a little bit hard now because the water is not like it was then, and so some of the water you cannot even drink nowadays. C: [What about] forest cover? When you first came there were a lot of trees, and you can let me know how many trees are still left. How has that changed? W: Well, when I was a little boy, I thought it was natural myself, but now we have a problem about the trees. C: There is less of them? W: Yes, I believe that there are less. C: What about animal life? What kind of animals lived here and where did they go? Have there been some changes? W: Yes, because way back, they lived better because they were out in the natural [surroundings], but now they have been disturbed. So it is not like back in the old days. Animals are having a hard time to live, too, because a lot of them have to have water and now we do not have any water. 3

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C: There is less animals around today, right? W: Yes, there are less animals. C: I know this is high ground and you were talking about water, but were there any fish and turtles? How have the fish and turtles changed over the years that you remember? W: Again the same thing, because back in those days they were living in a natural [surroundings]. Today there is a lot of improvements in different areas so it has been changed a lot, but there is some turtles and fish. We have still got some, but not like years ago. C: Now, let us talk about plants; those things that grow in the ground. Some you can eat like oleki, and berries, and coontie, and then there are some plants that medicine man can use. What about those? Are they still around or have they disappeared? W: No, they are still around. There are some areas still around, but you have to know where to get it, and if you are going to make medicine, you can go out there and get the medicine. But you find those back in the Everglades, but here it is developed, so it is not around here. You have got to go back. But yes, there is still some around. C: When you talk, you can talk about Hollywood. Here in Hollywood, there is not too many around anymore? W: Yes, in Hollywood there is not any because so many things have been developed. C: How did you make a living over the years? Did you ever hunt or trap? W: Well, I did not do much hunting because I got out of the Everglades when I was about eleven or twelve years old and I moved into the white people society. I learned how to live and I would go to work, so that is how I survived. So back in those days you could hunt and everything was free and you did not have to go to the store and all of that. But now you have got to work and make some money so that you can buy food. C: Did you ever herd cattle or did you ever own cattle? W: Yes. At one time I owned cattle, but then I got rid of it because there was people that got into it and got out, so I got out. C: What about cutting timber? I do not know how much wood was around Hollywood, but did you ever work cutting timber or trees? 4

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W: Yes. I did a little bit of work in wood. Again, there are still some around, but there were lots bigger trees, but they are not around because somebody eventually went back in there and cleaned it all out. We can get wood, but they are not real big and that is what we use when we need it. C: You are talking about here in Hollywood, but also out there too, right? W: Yes. In Hollywood, we do not have no trees, but if you want to get the good ones, you have to go back. We go to B.C. [Big Cypress] because that is where they have the cypress and all of that. C: I see. What about agricultural labor like working on the farm picking crops? Did you ever work on a farm? W: Yes. I worked for a little while when I was young. I picked potatoes. I did a little bit. It is a lot of work, so I do not do that. I work, but not in the farming area. C: Did you ever work for the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs], the government? W: I worked as a maintenance man one time, but again, I did not work too long. I did work with BIA, yes. C: What about the Seminole tribe? Did you work for the Seminole tribe? W: Yes, I worked for the Seminole tribe for a little while because when we organized, we started business. We built a village and I happened to be an alligator showman. I have been doing that since I was about fifteen. I was hired to handle those alligators and that is what I was doing when I was working for the Seminole tribe. C: At the village here? W: Yes. C: Also, for a short while you were a policeman, too, were you not? W: Oh, yes. So I did work for law and order for Hollywood Reservation, but I was a full deputy for Broward County. I guess I worked for maybe about two years. We did quite a bit of work and I thought it was the nicest people I have worked for at the Sheriffs Department. C: Can you remember anything else you did? Any other work besides the ones that you have talked about, or is that about it? That is mostly it, is it not? 5

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W: Yes. When I was still in Miami, I did work here and there. I used to work in a parking lot and different areas, but mostly I got started with wrestling alligators, and I did that a long time. That was my hobby. C: I know l'used to see you wrestle a long time. Now, did you ever live in a chikee? W: Yes, I was brought up in a chikee. In fact, I was brought up back in the Everglades, and I can remember when I was a little boy that is where I was raised. We did not have anything. There was no electricity. We used to travel by canoe to go back in there. Then, when I was about fourteen, when I got out of there, we started having those air boats, so we stopped doing that. I got out of there, so I have not been back in there since. C: Did you ever learn how to build a chikee? W: Yes, I learned how to build one. In fact, I did a quite a bit of work building chikees. When the people wanted it, I would go out there and build it for them. C: That is another thing you made a living with? W: Yes, I worked building chikees, any size, big and small. C: When and why did you quit living in a chikee? When did you move to a house like this? Do you remember? W: Yes, because when I first came up here there were nothing but chikees. Everybody lived in a chikee. That was how I was raised, so that is where I was living, too. We had a cold spell that time and it was real cold. During that time I had about three kids and we were covered in blankets, but I had to practically stay awake trying to keep them warm. Then we learned that overnight some of the animals died out in the cattle pasture. That is when you think about making some kind of improvement. That was me, you know. So Bill was working on it. We went to different meetings to talk about it and all of that, so that is why we were going to something a little bit better so you can live better. When we were organized and we got those homes built we lived a little bit better. We live in a house now. C: But when did you move into a house? Do you remember what year or about when? In the 1950s sometime? W: In the 1950s. There was no money. We could not build homes and all of that. When we organized, the money was coming in to operate, so that is when everything started rolling. So we got some money to build homes, and then we had to pay it back for building our homes. That is what we did, but it sure made improvements. 6

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That was in the 1950s. If we were not organized, I am pretty sure we would still be living in chikees. C: Did your family ever provide part of their food needs by hunting, trapping, or fishing? Did you ever get food out of that? W: Yes; when we were back in the Everglades that is what we did. My dad used to go out and hunt. They [would] go for hides, you know. They used to trap and all of that. After they would get so much, they would take it and get money and then tum around and buy food with it. That is how we used to make a living. C: What about raising hogs or cattle? Did you ever get food for that? W: Not cattle, but some of us raised pigs a little bit here and there, but not real big. C: In the Everglades you do not have much land, right? W: No. In the Everglades we have open land, but we did not go into it too big. Now we have some wild pigs back in the Everglades. Years ago we did not have that. We got deer but we did not have pigs and all of that. But they have got some wild ones now. C: What about going out in the woods and gathering berries; contiki, coontie, or lucky or any of those berries? Did you get anything from the woods to eat? W: Well, yes, some of us would go pick all of that, and different things that you can eat. When you were living back then, it was nice. Some of them you cannot eat so you have to pick out the right stuff to eat because some of them are poison and you can get sick. C: What about raising crops like beans, com or pumpkin in a garden next to your chikee or maybe off a little bit? I know the old ones used to do that, but here we do not have much land, so I do not know what we did. Have you ever done that? W: Yes, way back when we still lived back in the Everglades they used to plant some com, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and all of that. We used to raise those in our backyard. During the time to grow they would plant the corn and that is how we used to eat. We would plant some sugar cane, too. They made a syrup out of that. It is a lot of work, but it is good. C: Can you remember anything else that you did to get some food without going to the store?

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W: No; you do not particularly have to go to the store. If you want fish or meat or anything like that, you can go out and get it out there. Then you do not have to spend no money every day; you can survive on food like that. But some of the stuff we had to use we had to go to the store and buy it. Like com, they can work on it and they can make flour out of that and make bread out of that, too. That is the way it used to be done. Practically, some people do not have to go to the store because they gather all of that and they are ready for it, you know. C: When you were going around the reservation (and I know Hollywood is smaller than the other two reservations) how did you move around? Did you walk, or did you ride a horse, or did you go anywhere by canoe, or by car or truck? W: Well, back in that time, we did not have nothing to travel [in]. We traveled by canoe since there was a lot of water. If it was dry we would have to walk to get where we would want to go. I have never been to a reservation like Big Cypress or Brighton until I moved out of the Everglades and come to town. Then I went to work and bought me a car so I would be able to drive around. That is when I went to Big Cypress. I have not been to Brighton too much because it is quite a ways [away]. I used to go to church back in the 1950s and that is when I started coming here. So I was working at the alligator wrestling and all of that. I built a big chikee. C: And then the tribe organized and bought it from you? W: Yes. When I first come up here, I built trading posts like a big chikee by the road so we could put souvenirs in there to sell. That is what I was doing. I had a few alligators in the back, and some more animals like Florida deer. But when we organized, the tribe bought me out and then I had to move in a house. C: I think you already answered that question on how to get around. So in Hollywood you moved by foot, no horseback, right? W: No. C: Then you did not use a canoe here, but you used a canoe out in the Glades. W: Right. C: You had a car or truck here, right? W: Yes, I worked and bought me a car to get around. In fact, that is how I used to come up here. I learned how to drive then. C: Now we are going to talk about the family unit, like your father, sisters and brother. Is the family unit important today for teaching youngsters how to live off the land? 8

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Like you were saying, they used to teach you how to find out where to eat, how to get your food and live off the land without going to the store or anyplace. Do you think the family should teach the kids today how to do that? W: In a way, yes, but then in a way [no]. Like today, we cannot live like that anymore, so we have to send our kids to school and learn different trades so we can live better than back in the old days. Back in the old days, that is the way we had to live. We were taught how to live and we had to go out and hunt and get the right kind of food. That is what we were taught when we were little. Now the younger generation has to go to school and get special training. That is what we got to do today. C: What about the family unit: is it important for them to pass on cultural traditions and values that is the Indian way and Indian thinking? Do you think the family should continue to teach that? W: Again, way back that is what they used to teach. They would teach the young people how to survive and teach them the old ways and all of that. Again, we live in a different way now. Yes, they should know, but many of us, especially the young people, do not get no training because they go to school and everybody has to work and they do not have too much time to teach them like back in those days. Back in those days we had a lot of time so that is what they used to do. I guess it must have been like school, where they taught them. Today, we live different. We are supposed to keep it up, but we are going down a little bit, I think. C: Is the family unit important for maintaining discipline among the young? Discipline means like they should listen to the parents and older people, and do what they are supposed to do. W: Yes, I think it is important. Again, you learn all of that. Nowadays they do not have too much of that so they just learn. I guess, pardon the expression, but we have learned more of the white people's way. C: We have been talking about the water and how clean it was. Maybe it has gotten worse or better, I do not know, but thinking about the environmental problem on Hollywood Reservation and the cities and everything around us, what is the biggest environmental problem on the reservation? One of them [could be] solid waste disposal. That is, stuff we have to throw away. How do we get rid of it? You just cannot throw it in your backyard anymore, you have to have the truck pick it up or put it somewhere. Then drainage; whenever there is water falling, water has to go somewhere. And sanitation, which is those trucks that go around and pick up our trash. In your mind, what is the biggest environmental problem on the reservation as far as helping the reservation stay clean? Would it be just trying to get rid of trash? 9

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W: Yes, it is. Again, we were in open country years ago and there was not too many people and all of that. But now in the area there is a lot of development and a lot of people around us. We have a problem with water. C: Pick one and talk about it. I think you are doing that. We have a problem of trying to keep everything clean, right? W: Right, and also back in the old days, we did not have too many different nationalities. We did not have no bad disease and all of that, but a lot of bad disease we are having today is [from] people that come from another country. All kinds of disease was brought over here. It is like that all over the country. C: That is the biggest thing that you can think of, right? W: Yes. C: These problems that you talk about, who should take care of these problems? Who is supposed to do that? Is it the U.S. government, tribal government, or the people, or who? W: They are so covered all over the United States, so I think the United States government should provide the money to work on that. There is a lot of things that the government has to do, but we are responsible for [some things]. Like you say, you cannot just throw everything in your back yard anymore because we have got to put them in the right place and the truck goes by and picks it up. C: I was just talking about the problems on the Hollywood Reservation. Who is responsible? Who is supposed to take care of those problems? W: I guess we do. In cities, we have to pay for the [truck] to come around and pick [the garbage] up. But it is our responsibility to keep things in order. C: What about BIA or the tribal government? W: Well, I guess BIA is part of it, but the tribal government [is responsible] too. The county is responsible, too, but the tribal officials are responsible, too. C: Is the reservation a better or worse place to live today than in your youth? Why? You might say things are better today or things are worse today. Well, what is your opinion? W: Well, as far as living, it is all right, but as far as conditions [are concerned], I think it could be a little bit worse because there is a lot of things going on now that we do not have before. Everybody has got the same problem all over the country. There 10

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is a lot of illegal things that is getting into other areas, you know. I am not going to mention what, but I guess you know what I am talking about. I think it is good to live, but we have got that problem like that. I think it is good to live on the reservation, but we do have the same problems as anybody else. C: Jackie, I want to thank you for your time. 11