Lynes, Carlos A.

70 minutes
Owen, Thomas L.
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Ninety-five year old African American Carlos Lynes, son of a Seventh Day Adventist pastor and pastoral supervisor, lived in multiple Southern cities until he was in his last year in high school, expressing relief over the move to Louisville where he believed racism was not as intimidating. (Late in the interview he told of frightening Ku Klux Klan marches through his childhood neighborhood in Columbus, Georgia.) Lynes described what he felt as a newcomer that one year (ca. 1945) at Central High School. Carlos then discussed his three years at Louisville Municipal College where he practiced with the football team but was prohibited by his religion from playing games on Saturdays. He also believed his love for playing cards became an academic distraction. Leaving school, he worked as a night manager of a Black-owned service station on Eighteenth Street where he became friends with high-school classmate, Charlotte Wade, and her husband, Andrew. The friends became heavily involved in the local Progressive Party campaign for U. S. President where Carlos met left-leaning activists including Anne and Carl Braden. After the Korean War broke-out, Lynes is drafted into the U. S. Army, serving several years in a medical unit in that theater. Unable to find a good job after the conflict and moving between Louisville and Springfield, Ohio, where his parents had relocated, Carlos accompanied his friends, Charlotte and Andrew Wade, the first two frightening nights in their home in an all-white Shively neighborhood subdivision. Mr. Lynes vividly described the racist violence against the Wades those nights, indicating that he had earlier joined Andrew Wade’s father in a meeting with the Jefferson County Police Chief where they had been assured adequate patrol, which did not materialize, to prevent the attack. Lynes indicates that state authorities tried to interview him as a leftist “fellow traveler,” but he had returned to Ohio to join his parents. Again, unable to find work, he re-enlisted in the Army, met Mary during his basic training at Fort Knox, whom he married, and the family enjoyed a happy eight-year military stint, mostly in Germany. Most of the rest of the interview, Lynes described a series of jobs he held in Louisville over multiple decades, frequently being the first Black to fill the role. Starting in 1962, he sold mens clothing for Levy Brothers downtown, life insurance for both Commonwealth Life and Occidental Life, photocopy services for 3M, with a territory focused on smaller central Kentucky towns, furniture for Louisville-based Belknap Hardware Company and finally managed one of the city’s Vehicle Emissions Testing Centers. Carlos Lynes approached the end of his interview, proudly reporting that he returned to University of Louisville to earn his undergraduate degree in 1996.
African Americans,