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Eleanor Foreman: Well, do you edit out some things that you? Tracy K'Meyer: Like I said, I always like to start out with a little bit of basic biographical information, like when and where were you born? EF: Right here in Louisville. TK: In Louisville, and when were you born? EF: 1926, November 23rd. TK: And, in Louisville. Was your family in Louisville for a long time? EF: Yes, they were raised here, born here. TK: Okay, could you tell me a little bit about where in Louisville you grew up, what your schooling was like, things like that? EF: Okay, let's see. I grew up in what they called an area called Fort Hill, I don't know whether you have heard of it or not. It is between, well, it's where Germantown, you know where Germantown is? Okay, it is Germantown, some people call parts of it Germantown, some call it Fort Hill, and there was like a division like say, like Shelby Street, some people on this side said Fort Hill, 1:00some people on the other side, like Galbard and Sylvia and all of those streets, Forest, some people said Germantown, so it was just all put, call it all Fort Hill, I never did know exactly what, but I think it was due to the war, Something they called it Fort Hill. But that's where I was born at, there, near Shelby, and we went to school at Lincoln School, it was a school about a block from where we lived, from where we were raised up. And it was called Lincoln. And, of course we started there when we were about three, because they were just starting the school, and we could walk to school, and of course my mom says they'd take us to school and we could leave, I don't know why we left, but we would just walk on back home, so I guess we knew how to go back and forth. And, so of course, we had a very, very wonderful teachers. We had good teachers and we were all very good students, I guess, you would say that, too, but we had a 2:00very, very nice school, nice teachers and nice neighborhood. Very nice neighborhood. We were raised up with a lot of, well, we were integrating, we were black but we never, what is the word I want to say? Well, felt inferior, because we just played with each other. You know, and we just didn't know anything about it. Of course, our school was mostly black, because most of the other kids went to Manual, or the school up, well, closer to them. We were closer to Lincoln, and I don't remember any whites in school with me, I don't remember that. I can remember, but it mostly was all black. TK: You said we, how many brothers and sisters did you have? EF: None, I was an only child. When I say we, I am talking about my friends, the other neighborhood kids. I am an only child. TK: What were your parents' names? EF: Jeanette, her name was Jeanette Patterson at that time, before she married my father. My father's name was Dowan, that's an odd name, D-O-W-A-N, Johnson, and my father's father was 3:00Italian. TK: Oh, really? EF: Yes. And he had a, oh years and years ago, they used to call them Dagos. TK: Yes, I've heard the term. EF: And they was up on the markets. Of course, those places were in good walking distance as we grew older, you know, you could walk into what you used to call the Haymarket, but he, my dad and them tell me that he used to have a stand and everything up there during that time, course I never got to meet him because he died just before I was born, and, but I heard a lot of stories about him and everything. So we lived, had a very, very wonderful childhood, as I say, we didn't-- TK: Only child. What does your dad do? EF: Oh, he was working for the railroad, at that time. My mother was a housewife. TK: Working for the railroad, did that mean traveling or working here for the railroad? EF: No, he worked here for the railroad. TK: For L&N? EF: No, he worked for Railway Express. TK: Did you work outside of school? EF: Not really. I think the first job I really had was when I 4:00went into the Post Office, really. We were some of the first, um, women to go into the Post Office. We were in school, and we graduated, they had this big newspaper that came out that they were going to start hiring women, and they went out and told about the lists was looking for girls that, in fact it was one of the girls at school with me, Dorothy, Dorothy Smith now, I'm trying to think what Dorothy's name was when we were in school, because she has had two or three husbands (laughs). But, anyhow, we were all in school together, and we were getting ready to go to Municipal. And this big article came out that they was going to hire women, and we was all excited because we had never had a job. And so, we applied, and they said we would have to sort 1000 cards in I think it was 5 minutes. And we thought that was ridiculous, a thousand cards, we said, and you couldn't miss but four. And so we was tempted, we always had a challenge, so 5:00we got studying, and used to have Coke, that was before your time, used to have Coca-Cola cases, and where the Cokes were in these little cases, and they made real nice stands, because the streets, you had to know every street in Louisville, and you had to know like, if they called it residence or business, or boxes, like they call them now, well, they had different symbols then, and we had to learn every street in Louisville, and then you had to know whether it was business area or the residential area. And so we got these big Coca-Cola cases, that's what they told us we could practice with, they gave us all the streets in Louisville, they gave us a big book, and of course we would write out all of the streets, and we would put them on these little cards. Of course, you have to throw the cards, it was just perfect for that. And we all got those boxes, and we studied, and we had to take the test, and all of us passed. And we didn't miss, I don't think we missed over two or three, we couldn't miss but four, so I think we missed two or three, and it was about at least twenty women that I can remember, white and black, that were able to go there and we worked and they put us, well, we felt we was going to, oh, we just knew we was going to make money, 6:00I think it was seventy-five cents, I think it was around seventy-five cents. TK: An hour? EF: An hour, or something like that. And we thought that was a lot of money. And so we was excited, and we thought we was going to work in the daytime, you know, go to work in the day, come home like the rest of the people did. And they put us on the 5:30 at night to one o'clock in the morning. We like to died. And so we stayed there, I stayed six months, and my girlfriend, she stayed a little bit longer, but I stayed six months. This is not for me. So I said, Mama, I'm ready to go back to school, because I was supposed to go to school up in Michigan. And my uncle lived there, and he was one of Joe Louis's first backers, and his name was Thomas Hammonds. And they called him "Rooster," that was his nickname, Rooster Hammonds, so he lived up in Detroit, he wanted me to go to Ann Arbor, when I was an only child, naturally I wanted to stay with 7:00Mom and Dad, so I didn't want to go away from home. They didn't want me to go anyhow, and at that time, you were sort of nurtured by your family. They didn't want to see you go off by yourself, not that things were that, we didn't hear of all the things you hear of now, for society had that closeness and bond that you had. And so I stayed here, and so I said okay, so he was, we used to go there every summer, and visit him, and so I said, "Oh, I want to go see Uncle Tommy," but I didn't want to stay there, so I thought I would come back here. So then we went to school here in Municipal. TK: At Municipal? EF: Yes. TK: And what year did you start Municipal? EF: Ummmm. Let's see, oh my goodness. We were supposed to go as soon as we got out of school, I think I went over there around '46, I think it was '46, somewhere along in there. TK: And you went there your whole four years? EF: No. TK: No? EF: No, I didn't. And later on I went over to Bellarmine [College], and then I, I just kind of moved around a bit because 8:00then, after that, after I got the job there at the government, I enjoyed working for the government, and I stayed at Municipal for a while and then they called us at the, let me see, where was it, Louisville Medical Depot. And that was another chance, "I think I want to go back to work for the government." I seemed to enjoy working for the government for some reason. 'Cause all my service has really been for the federal government. And I went out there and worked a while, in fact I was there about seven years, until they closed. TK: What was the name there? EF: Louisville Medical Depot. TK: Medical Depot, I have never heard of that. EF: And that is where they used to have all the, a lot of army equipment, see, for instance, like hospital, let me move, is that enough room? TK: I'm just making sure I can watch and talk. EF: A lot of the hospital equipment, they had like the alcohols and the towels and the sheets and all of those type things, they had, even had liquor, because they had a pit, that and I don't know why they used the liquor, but they would burn it, every once a year, they would burn all of this liquor and alcohol in this big hole, and there was one guy that used to love to do it. We didn't understand why he liked to do that, but I guess when, while it was down in there, getting rid of it, he was-- TK: Yes. EF: He 9:00was-- TK: Where was this? EF: This was on Old National Turnpike Road. You know where that is? TK: No, I have heard of it, though. EF: It is near, I'm trying to think now, this brings back so many memories, it was near, between Outer Loop and I'm trying to think of the street that we turned in on all of the time. But it was sort of out, at that time, and it was about, I think I drove about sixteen-seventeen miles at that time from my house to there. And, I can't remember exactly what that other street was, you may have know that street because it's, you know where the Naval Ordnance is? TK: Yes. EF: And I can't remember the street Naval Ordnance is on, but seemingly that was the road that we, you want to see Mr. Smith? No, Bill. Someone to see you. Anyhow, the, I can't think what the name of that is. And it is a well known street, I know you would know it, I can't think what it is. But anyhow, that's where it was, and it 10:00was, it was sort of a beautiful place to work, and that's where I first met Loretta Hornung, Paul Hornung's mother. TK: How do you spell Hornung? EF: H-O-R-N-U-N-G. TK: Okay. EF: Paul Hornung's mother, and she was our personnel director, and she and I became real good friends, and when the closed, when the Medical closed, she went to the [U.S. Army] Corps of Engineers, and for a while, and then, naturally different ones keep in contact with each other, and that's where I ended up, and that's where I retired from, was the Corps of Engineers. TK: Corps of Engineers, okay. EF: Yes. TK: So you worked, so you did the post office six months. Went to Louisville Municipal College, then you worked at the Medical-- EF: Medical, Louisville Medical Depot. TK: And how long did you work there? EF: See, I think I was there for about seven years, something like that, because it closed around, oh, I guess around '56 or something like that. Then 11:00that's when I went on to the Corps of Engineers, and before I left the Medical Depot, however, that's where I got my license for real estate, I was studying for that, and we went to Bellarmine, we, some of us went to U of L, just different places, and there was an attorney named Bemis Lawrence, that had us, had a school, he was at U of L, and we took a course under him, and he went through the real estate, in about, oh, whereas everybody was going to school and getting so many credit hours for it, he had a course, and he would teach it in three days. And so we took his course, and he said, "I can teach you everything you care, if you don't want to come back out here," because during that time we were working, then I was getting married, and had children at that time. And so I said, well, I will take it. So anyhow, I started studying on my own, on the job, and then I said, well, I'm going on and enroll in his classes because you was getting the college credit and everything for it. And that's what I did. So I, he had it on a three-day crash course. I took that and passed it. And then I got my broker's license. So that's where all of the fun started coming from 12:00there, because I was working, I knew that if I went with a broker, I wouldn't have to worry about not working, sometimes you have be a broker and set up your own office, set up your own office, and that's what I intended to do. And, but at that time, when I got the job at the Corps, I had started traveling. And so, I thought, well, this is ridiculous, so I started selling just part time. But by having a broker's license, I could have my own office, but if I was selling, I was selling as a broker/salesman. So that's where I was working as a broker salesman and then when I met Alice Mobley, when I first started getting involved in all of the other stuff, well, I was with Lincoln Cosby, Cosby Real, I don't know if you have heard of-- TK: I have heard his name, yes. EF: Well, he and I, of course all of us came in, kind of after each other, I think. Buckner, I don't know whether you saw a picture, or did you see a picture where I got my award? TK: No. EF: Okay, well, I was trying to think what year it is, and these years are just leaving me now. But anyhow, brokers, were about four or five brokers 13:00and there were about two or three men and then it was about two or three women, but most of the women were sort of working like Louise Reynolds, she was working with, as an alderman, and myself I was working with the government, and then Lillie Glees was working, she was on her own, too, but all of us sort of had other jobs, so we were just doing it sort of for a time. But, it being a broker, you can have, you can do what you want to do because even if you had your own office, even if you had salesmen working with you, like I did, well, they would kind of run your office for you. And so this is where it got interesting when I met Alice Mobley. Because I was with Cosby, and she was selling some houses, and the house that she had on Broadway was where I was making arrangements to sell 14:00her house, and we had never really met. And so we met face-to-face, well, we just became real good friends, so she would call me and we would chat, and said, "You ready to do something?" I said "What?" She said, "You ready to go into the realtors?" I said, "Now you know we can't be realtors." Because we had tried, and there was one guy named Jesse Waters, and he tried for several years, and had been turned down. And of course, a lot of us said, as I said, all of us were working so many different jobs that, when we came together, we would talk about all of the things that was going on and you know, wonder why this, and wonder why this. And different ones would go on and apply for it and they would get turned down. And the fellow that was president at that time was Frank Walken, and he was on, I think he had his office on Market Street, if I can remember. And he was the president of it at the time that I was into the realtors and we went to this meeting, out to Dutchmans Lane, and the Jewish Community Center. Was the first time I had ever been there, and Alice said, "Come on, let's go to some of the meetings." I said, "Oh, Alice," but I was off that week and so a lot of times when I travel I would like, be over the weekend, or something, how you 15:00come in on Friday evenings or something like that. And this one particular weekend I was off. And she and I went to the meeting. And in fact, you don't know how I got into that first place, do you? Okay. After I was trying to sell her house on Broadway, the lady that, I can't remember her name, and I said I was going to get up here early and see if I could go through some of these old records and see if I could find her name, but, I did think of the guy's name that I sold the house, I think that when I was there on, at the interview when we was talking I couldn't think of Bill's name, and it came to me just as clear as crystal today, I said, "Jim, his name was Bill Lowe." And he said, "That's who it was." [TK laughs]. But anyhow, going back to how I got with Alice, as I said, I was working with Lincoln Cosby. And when I sold her house, well, this lady that, the white lady that said, "Alice, I like her, why don't you have her working with you?" And so I said, "Well, I guess she could." So we just talked. 16:00TK: Is Alice white or black? EF: White. TK: Okay. I thought from what you said about her the other day, but I wasn't sure. EF: Yes, she is white. TK: Okay. EF: And so she used to have an egg place up at 18th and at that time it was Walnut Street, and the person she was in with was Grover Sanders. And he was an alderman. And they had their name like Sanders and Mobley. That's what it was called, Mobley and Sanders, and so they had, they bought all their property and everything together, and they weren't married at that time, but then they got married during, during the course of this, they got married, but anyhow, that's how we came into contact with one another, so when this woman asked her, why don't you have her working for you, and Alice said, "Okay. Well, I had never met her, we had just talked on the phone." So we got to meeting each other, and a lot of times, if she had open house, I would go and sit with her, and we just became real good friends. I mean, we were really good friends. And so one day, she comes and says, "Hey, you are ready to come on and work with me." I said, "Now Alice, you know you are going to be opening up a can of worms?" She said, 17:00"That's okay, you game?" I said sure, I always love a challenge, that's why I am where I am now, because I was in school, then I was going back and forth to school. So anyhow, I went on with her, and I was there, I guess, approximately six months, it may have been a little bit more than six months, and they had this big meeting at the Jewish Community Center. So she and I just go and sit, said we were going, so I said okay, I will go with you. Well, I didn't really want to, but I didn't know what to expect, I just thought it was a small group of people, just sitting there talking about real estate and things. We got there and I bet there was, it looked like four or five thousand people in this big room, and I had never, and my eyes, and I saw these cameras, and I said, "Alice, what is going on?" And she said, "Oh, come on, let's go in and see what is going on." And so she was, if you had ever met her, you would understand her, she was just, bouncy, and she had beautiful white hair, just gorgeous white hair. And she would throw her head, she was walking in, she was kind of, wasn't heavy heavy, but she was kind of heavy, but she looked nice in all of her clothes and everything. And we went in and we sat down among all these people. We were the 18:00only, I was the only one there, besides Jesse Waters sitting way up front. And I thought, well, what's going on here? I said, we had come at the wrong time. Alice says, "Well, come on." We were sitting about six rows from the front, and of course, knowing her she wants to sit right down front, and so we sit down there, and they were asking different questions, and I can't remember who the moderator was, and I don't even know what the meeting was all about. We thought it was just a regular meeting. But it wasn't that kind of meeting, so it must have been some sort of a, what's the word I want to say, a public meeting, you know where they were bringing something to the forefront, and it was probably about the housing, but we weren't knowledgeable about that, that's why I said everything we did was just sort of a quiet thing, we just sort of moved in and just happened to work out at the same time, and so while we were sitting there, well, different ones were speaking to Alice, and I guess they probably thought I was a secretary, I don't know what they thought I was. But anyhow, [laughs] we were sitting there just chatting and carrying on, and we looked up, so finally 19:00one of the questions came up and said, well, what do you mean realtors? So that struck a bell in me because that's what I was. So, then I looked over and I saw Jesse sitting there, and so one of them said, "What do you mean Rela [unintelligible] again?" And so he was so embarrassed, I don't think he was prepared to say anything about the difference, and like I said, being going so long, because all of us had passed the test, all of us went to the same, identical test. I mean it was no difference at all. And it was just like going to college and being a member of a sorority or fraternity, and that's the only difference was, you joined if you want to, if you didn't you would have to do it for them, but for us it was a no-no. We just couldn't be a part of it at all. And-- TK: Now was it, was it also because of being female? EF: No, it was just because you were black. TK: Just because you were black. So even though he was a male-- EF: Right, he would still not be able to join because of his color. And so I didn't know that he had tried that many times. Because, I say, they were 20:00older than we were, and they had been in a part of the realtors before we came along, because we came along in that last wave of real estate people, and he said, "Well, I have tried, I have tried several times but I was turned down." So, of course, naturally, a lot of the people there, the people that own the Starks Building, and all of those big, Heyburn Building, all of those people were there. Those kind of people were there, and so they were saying, "Why?" And so one little Jewish lady stood up and she said, "Well, I have had black rent with me for a long time." And she lived out, not in your area, but off of Crescent Hill, I'm trying to think of where it was, Grinstead, somewhere up in that area. I'm trying to think which street she said now, but she said she had a two-story house, and I think from the way she described it, you could come up from the back steps and go up in a separate apartment. And she lived in the downstairs part. TK: Yes. EF: And she said, "Well I can't understand what you mean." And so no one really understood. So finally, he said, "Well, really we 21:00belong to the Relat [unintelligible] and of course he didn't see me, because he was, the way he was sitting, you couldn't see who was there in the front part. So, finally, when Alice, stood up, well, everybody turned around, and then you could see the people who were sitting in front of you. And so she kept on saying something, and she kept saying, and I said, "Alice, don't do that," because she kept moving around her seat, I knew she was getting ready to do something, because I know her. I said, "Don't you dare, don't you dare." And of course all of these cameras were in the back, and there was one black guy, and when I turned around and looked and saw him over in the corner, he was from Lexington, Kentucky, and evidently he might have been going through some of the same things we were going through here, but we never did speak, we never did get to talk to each other, because as I said, we weren't there for that particular thing. So finally, Jesse was beginning to get a little frustrated. And so Miss Mobley got up at that time, and she said, "I want something to say." And of course, naturally everyone turned their attention to her. And she said, "Well, you know what, you got a black with you, and you have been here for six or seven months, 22:00you didn't know the difference, and what difference does it make?" And of course, the other people start, "What is a rela [unintelligible] ?" because they didn't know the difference. We went out, we never said we were relati [?] [unintelligible] or anything, we just said we were real estate brokers, or real estate agent, salesman, whatever, because they didn't ask you all of this. They knew if they called to show the house that you would represent. Because we all had to have our cards, and we were representing certain offices. And so it really didn't make a difference. And so then when she got through explaining this and that and the other to them, of course a lot of eyes became open. Well, then the Courier-Journal was trying to reach me for, I wish I had thought, I could have brought that little plaque that they made of me, they tried to get an interview with me for a whole year. And I told them no, I just didn't have anything to say, because I wasn't in it for that. We were in it trying to have the same opportunities because we thought we were just as capable and the only thing we couldn't, they wouldn't give us loans, we couldn't get loans around here. TK: Really? EF: And so we had to get our loans from out of state, like with the insurance company, there was a domestic insurance company here at that time, Mammoth Insurance Company. So, we were able to kind of go through them to 23:00get our loans out of other cities, like Georgia, and other places like that. TK: Really? EF: Yes. And if someone wanted to back you, you know, had the money to back you, and of course, a lot of people at that time had a reasonable down payment to go ahead on and purchase, and then these other loans would carry them over. After this happened, well, First Company, and I can't remember whether they started at that particular time, where they were already, well, they were very new, so I can't remember whether they started right after we got in or whether they had just started before all of this came public, because of that there were several men there that we met, and of course working with Alice, she was able to go through, because I knew about them. But, you know, being what I was, I couldn't go through the same area unless we went through with her. So 24:00after I got it, then everything started going through the first investor, so then if it went through the first investor, then I could tell the other agent. So it was more of a pipeline for us, in fact it's meeting today. We still, we still have meetings, we have NARAB, it's called NARAB, National Association of Real Estate Brokers. TK: I have heard of it. EF: That was the national, and so we joined that group, and of course that made us associated with them, so we were called relati[?][unintelligible] in the Louisville area. Every state had their own, like Nashville, Memphis or whatever, so we were the Louisville Real Estate Brokers Association here. But you were all a part of NARAB. And that's the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. And of course other people belonged to it, they had investment companies, all this, just like the realtors do. But that's what it was called, brokers, I don't know why they call it brokers, I guess because brokers were the ones that started, you have to be a broker to have your own company, so I think that is probably where it started from. TK: So you can be a real estate agent and not be a broker? EF: You can be a salesman. TK: A salesman. EF: See, you can have, when we started taking the test, see, years and years ago, you could take either the broker's or the salesman's. But then after, I don't know where now, I always had a myth about 25:00this, after there was so many brokers, black brokers passing, I don't know whether they put a stipulation on that where you had to work so many years before you could become a broker. TK: Ohhhhhhh. EF: I know after I got my license, now I can't say how many years it was, I don't know whether it was a year or two, or when it was and I hate to say the date, but it became all of a sudden that you had to work so many years for a broker, before you could become a broker. TK: Okay. EF: So even then it was either way-- TK: Yes, makes sense. EF: Because when I went, they said you can either take the salesman or the broker's and I was told by Bemis Lawrence, take the broker. Go whole hog. And I thought that's what I am doing. So of course I felt like that I was, well, I have always had a good memory for one thing, and even in school, you know you can remember things and the test was so, it was hard, it was all day long and of course, at that time we had to do everything by hand, you couldn't have 26:00calculators and all of those so they weren't even heard of I think. But anyhow, you had to do everything by figuring. TK: Because that would have been in the fifties. EF: Well, when I took it was in the fifties-- TK: Oops-- EF: Sorry. It was fifty, I think it was '57 or '58. TK: That you became a broker. EF: I think it was '57, I have to find that. TK: Why did you want to be a broker? EF: Because I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to work for my own, have my own company. In other words, do what I wanted, because by that time, when I was studying for it [phone rings], I was working with the Corps of Engineers. At first, and when I got it the first time, I was working with Medical Depot. Then Medical closed and we went to the Corps of Engineers. In fact, they transferred me to New York, but I knew I wasn't going to New York, so I said, "Hey, I am just giving it up." So I stayed around here for, oh, let's see, before I went to the Corps was about, I think three or four months, something like that, so I was just in real estate, I just did more or less real estate, and then after they called me to the Corps of Engineers, as I said, the personnel office up there, 27:00they called up and said they want you to come up here and start doing some work. I worked there with computers. TK: I was going to ask you, what did you actually do for-- EF: With computers, working with computers. But they weren't like they are now. We used to have to wire, we had to go to school, and went to, I think I had to go to Indiana, and go, I have been to a whole lot of schools, in Chicago, and different places where we had to go and had to learn actually to wire boards for the computers, and everything we had to do, like the sorting and see, what did they call, it, they had what they call this, UNIVAC machine, it was in Washington, so everything was different, in other words we had to be trained on everything, and that's the reason the most of us stayed with the government, because we enjoyed it, I really enjoyed doing that, and I learned, and loved going to school, and wiring boards, and you know, it was all up here, you know, you had a challenge, and then after everything became more computerized, well, 28:00of course, we didn't have to do that, and you lose your, you kind of lost a lot that you had learned, and it was a challenge for you every day and see what can I wire this board to do today. And you just do a lot of different things with it. So it was just a challenge and then of course, I stayed, being in real estate part time, but then when I went on to work full time for Alice, well, then I guess I had been there for about, well, that they knew of, I guess for about a year, then all of a sudden they put out a documentation that they didn't have any part time realtors, salesmen or whatever, and you had to either give up your license working with a realtor if you were not going to work full time. TK: Oh really? EF: So, oh yes. So they did a whole lot of little, they threw a lot of little things into the play now. I am not saying, like I said everything we 29:00did was sort of quiet, I'm not saying they did all of this because they knew I was there, because at that time I was still the only one. TK: You were the only black, or the only black woman? EF: Only black period., TK: Only black, period. EF: And then about a year, when I was in there about a year, I think I -- guy came into it, but he didn't stay into it very long, and I never did know what happened to him. I don't know whether he just-- TK: How did people not know you were in there? EF: They, well, they didn't know that we were working for Alice, well, they knew after I worked for Alice Mobley, but they didn't know that before. See, that's when I became it, when it became known that I was working for, used to be, say for instance, like if you would see a house out there for sale, and you call me and say, "I saw a house down there I saw on Broadway. Could you make an appointment for me to see that house?" Well, all I did was call. I would call the agent, and I said, "I've got somebody who wants to see it." And they say, "Okay, make the appointment." Or sometimes they would make it for you. They never asked you who you were. But I think a lot of times they thought they could tell by the way you talked. TK: Oh, okay. EF: That was always 30:00a little clue, too.TK: That's interesting. EF: And so, when they would call, course, most of the time I would answer Alice's phone, they never knew, and nobody ever said a word and then after I got there and they really found out I was black, they kind of said a couple of times, some of them would call, "Alice, you've got nigger working for you." And I'd be the one talking to her. And she said she could tell sometimes when I was getting those calls to my face, I would turn, I said, "You mean I would turn red?" She said, "Yes, you would turn red." And we would laugh about it, you know. And then she would pick up the phone on her desk, and then she would talk, and of course she was, she was just a beautiful person, she was just a person that you could talk to and say things to her without feeling compromised in any kind of way, I don't know whether I should say this, you sort of talk to her like you would a friend, would talk to another friend. And she would always tell when I would get one of those calls, you know, because most of the time I never lost my cool, and she would say, "I would be in there cursing them out." I said, well, we were taught to respect--[phone rings] END TAPE 1, SIDE A START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B TK: You were 31:00saying about your background. EF: We were taught to be respectful, not to lose cool, and I think my family was sort of a, they were kind of quiet people anyhow. I mean they were, my grandmother was Cherokee, and, on my mother's side, and she lived with us. And she was a person that always read her Bible, and being an only child, of course, I couldn't blame things on anybody else; I couldn't lie and say, "Hey, somebody broke this," or "Somebody did this." It was always me. If there was something wrong, it was me. So I just, I guess you come up with a certain air of, of being straightforward with everything. If I said something, I meant it, or if I did something, I said, "I did it." There wasn't nobody else to blame it on, so, I think you come up in a way that you respect people, and even though that person was talking ugly on the phone, I had enough intelligence to not lose my cool with him and shout, and say a lot of ugly things. But she could tell from just the expression on my face, I guess, how it was going to, who it was, and then sometimes she got on the phone, and most times she knew them, and they knew me. Because they had been talking to me for 32:00days, and I always recognized their voice. But they couldn't recognize mine all of the time, because they didn't know who it was, answering Alice's phone. And so, that's really how we got into play, then after that-- TK: So you were doing this work without people really knowing you were doing it? EF: Yes. TK: Without them knowing you were black and doing it. EF: Right, right. Because as I said, we would just appointments with different ones and that was it. And went to the closings, well, then, as I said, sometimes she would go, because I would be out of town sometimes, a lot of times, because a broker that time, of the office was the one that really closed your deals. In other words, if I was a salesman, I couldn't close it anyhow. But being a broker, I could do it, but most of the time she and I would be together, they, they just never, I guess it didn't 33:00matter to them, 'cause they were homeowners, they didn't care, they wanted to sell their house, it really care any to them. But sometimes, the broker would be there, but most of the time Alice would go. Most of the time she would go, because most of the time we would have a closing during the daytime, like two or three o'clock, or twelve, one o'clock, or whenever the time would be, and I would be at work. So most of the times I would go up in the off, afternoon, or sometimes I would go up before I came home, it's just according. TK: And did you sell with, I mean, did you help both white and black customers find houses, or did you deal with the-- EF: Yes, more or less. But for a while it was more or less centered down in the West End. Because Alice never did like to sell in the white end of town, she never did like, she lived out on Speed, and she never liked out there, she wouldn't want to sell any houses, she always loved, just loved, some kind of way she loved being down here with us. And that's where she did most of her business. All of her signs were more or less down here in the West End, because people would call Alice Mobley, or Mobley-Sanders, as I said it was, that's what her signs were saying, Mobley and Sanders, but he was not really into the selling, he was more of an alderman, and he didn't bother with stuff, but he would always tease us, and, because we would get up there and 34:00would get to figuring how much commission we was going to make, and he said, "There is one thing I'm going to tell you girls," and we would say, "What?" And you know, because we were just spent the money, it wasn't a whole lot of money at that time, but to us it was a lot. And he said, "Never spend it till you get it." We had done spent it, gone and bought this that and the other, going out and doing this, and everything, we was like two kids. And, so he would always try to keep us on an even keel, and advise us sometimes, you know, because he was a little older than she or I. TK: Was she about your age? EF: Oh no. She was, let me see, Alice was about, let me see, she died, Alice was around close to ninety, she was sweet. TK: So she was quite a bit older than you? EF: Yes, yes she was. And she was just a lovely person. Just a lovely person. And as I said, she ran a egg business up there at 18th and water for years-- TK: What 35:00kind of business? EF: Eggs, she sold eggs. [Phone rings] TK: Eggs, selling eggs, like chicken eggs? EF: Yes. TK: Okay. EF: She was selling eggs; she had an egg house up there, at 18th and Walnut. And he had, he sold chickens and I forget what else up there at the Haymarket. But he, for somebody, he had, I should say he owned a store up there, because I don't think he was ever in it hardly, because he was an alderman, and he was in office most of the time, doing paperwork and so forth. And he sold, too, but I mean he didn't sell like we did. TK: So was that around the time then that you were getting into this, though, then, in the late fifties was right when the West End was sort of making a transition, wasn't it? EF: Uh huh, it was, because see, during that time, see, Martin Luther King was coming into effect, because a lot of times we had to go out, in other words, when we went out to list houses, we had to go knock on doors, and that's where the hard part was. We had to actually go out and physically knock on doors. And this is one of the things that Bemis Lawrence was, used to tell us all of the time, "If you go out and they do ask you in, well, go in. If they ask you to have a cup of coffee, have a cup of coffee. And 36:00always, never talk down to them, saying this and that, usually this and that, too, you know me, make them feel like you are a part of them." So we had a pretty good strategy then, well, most of the time we would go out like twos together, because you never knew at that time what you would run into, and not that we were afraid of anything violent, it was just the [unintelligible], you know, because that could really hurt you. And so a lot of times we would go together and list property together and sometimes, and if say if there was two of you in the office, and we would go out at that time, say, I was working for other people, because I was, traveling a lot, so I didn't, I would set up in my office for a while to get to that point, but anyhow, we would go out and knock on doors, and sometimes they would accept us, and most times they wouldn't, because actually there was so many white signs down here. See, we were having a hard time selling out, selling in the area that we lived in. Because at that time, I lived on Virginia, Virginia Avenue, 32nd and Virginia. And then I moved 37:00to 44th Street, but anyhow, we would go out and knock on doors and they would slam doors in our face, or ask if it was about Martin Luther King, as if we knew Martin Luther King. They would say, it was according to who you were, and some of the people would say, "Come on in, let's hear what you have got to say." And so we would have to sell ourselves and say, "Look, we are moving in here, and we live down here, and we want to sell houses." They would say, "Well, can you do this, that," and a lot of times you have to be honest when, if they were asking about their loans and all that, well, we would say, "Well, we can sell it, but it may take us a little longer, because we have to get our loans from out of state." Where if someone really wanted to take a chance with you, they would. And we had a lot of good, lot of good listings, but as I say, by that time, of course, I had gone with Alice. And, I had quite a few, so it didn't matter, 38:00because with her, when she and I went, we went together, and so therefore they would accept me along with her, but most times she said, "Well, you're calling Miss Foreman, this is Miss Foreman." And she would go with me. And so we would, we sold, we just had a lot of sales all over Louisville. TK: So when you say you would go out door to door together to get listings, does that mean go door to door and ask people if they were going to sell their house? EF: Yes. Ask could we sell their house. TK: Okay. EF: Because, see at that time, see, what had happened, and this is around, like I said, everything we did was quietly, the realtors were, what's the word I want to say? Like, they wasn't getting people upset about selling, but they were sort of saying, "They are moving in." TK: You had better move out?EF: Yes. Move out, that kind of thing. TK: I have heard people talk about it. EF: I had worked at the Corps with a lot of them that lived down here. And you know, I would ask them, "Where do you live?" And they would say, "Where do you live?" And I would say, "Well, I live over off of Virginia Avenue," at that time it was off of Virginia Avenue, and I think Virginia Avenue evidently had started having that type of integration a long time before it got further down, or whatever. And I was in Municipal when I was 39:00on Virginia Avenue, and I got pregnant, that where I had the kids come down to, I went to a sorority, it was Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and I had kids singing to a tree, and at that time, the Oak Street bus used to come down Virginia Avenue, that's when it was two-way. And then all of a sudden, it changed around me and everything went away. And every evening, I would sit out there on my porch and I had my sorority chapter up at that time. Come down and sing to a big tree, I had every evening, they would sing to that tree, and they would walk around that tree. And they had their little red and white on, their little beanies, and carrying their ducks, for the-- TK: You mean like a pledge thing or something? EF: Uh huh, and the people on the bus would say, look, I think probably people just wanted to see, cause they would think, "Something is going on at that house every evening." And they would be out there-- TK: I was a pledge trainer for my sorority, and I made them do that kind of-- EF: Oh yes, 40:00they loved to sing to my tree, and everybody went through said, "Miss Foreman is going to have down at that time," I was a Hayes, out there when all of this was going on. So anyhow, they said she gonna have you come down and sing to this tree. I didn't have them do bad things, but I did little fun things, you know. Stand up there at Sixth and Muhammad with their eyes covered up passing out toilet paper. Stuff like that, you know. (Both laugh) TK: Now this was when you were also a student? EF: But this is a little before, but I am just saying, just having fun with them. Because all of these things was going on at the same time. Because I was still selling, but I was working and all of these things were just going on at the same time. TK: And also being a student, wow. EF: So, anyhow, see, I lost my track of time. But anyhow, as I was saying, when we went out to list property, we had a hard time because there were so many white signs down here, we couldn't get our signs down here, because they didn't have confidence in us, they thought we couldn't sell. And we would have to sell ourselves on whether we could sell your property as far as who we were. And that's when they wanted to connect us to Martin Luther King, and what was going on in other places. We said, well, we don't have anything to do with all of that, and you 41:00know, it made it difficult, and so then it is assumed by then, after everybody knew that I was who I was with Alice, well, we went on and Alice and I would always go out together, but I would always share my information with the realtors. You know, anything that was going on, because we would get able, because with the multiple listings, because we didn't have a multiple listing system, and the multiple listings system was, for us, was-- TK: What does that mean, multiple listings system? EF: Where you have every house in Louisville, you can see any house and it is in the book. TK: Okay. EF: You have seen the big multiple listing book, MLS, they call it? Okay, that is the multiple listing book. Well, when it comes out, it has every house listed all over Louisville, the West End, East End, South End, wherever, lots, whatever it was, they had it listed in this book. See, we didn't have that capability, and that is one of the reasons--[phone ringing] TK: Okay-- EF: Okay?TK: You were talking about how you didn't have the multiple listings thing. EF: Yes, we didn't have the multiple listings, so we had to invent our own. So what we did was like I do now, just 42:00like properties that I have for sale, I will get all of my listings together and I would send it to all of our brokers, or all of the offices. You know, like Cosby's or Buckner's or whatever, and then they would post them in their bulletin, we used to have little bulletin boards and we would go up and see what was going up. Like a property I have got down here now on Northwestern Parkway, well, I would call, and I would tell them, "Look, I have got this for sale." Because I don't belong to the realtors no more, because I didn't join the realtors any more because the fees were getting up so high and so enormous that by me being in it part time, it didn't make sense for me to do it when I still had access to everything, and then that is another thing I did with the Corps of Engineers, I made them get the multiple listing book, so we had access to all of the multiple listings that I needed, so I had it, too, for them because that's what I did at the Corps. TK: Really? EF: I was a negotiator for the Corps. And I had to go out and, say for instance if the Corps was going to buy something for a lock or dam or whatever, I had to go out and negotiate it with the homeowner. 43:00TK: Oh, okay. EF: So therefore we could look in their book and see what the properties were selling for in certain areas and of course, in working with the federal government, with the, real estate was a little different than working with the state, because they have real different rules they have to go by. TK: I bet. EF: But it was interesting, so that is one of the reasons that I loved working with the federal government. TK: Yes, I was wondering what you liked about that. Because you said you always-- EF: I liked going out and negotiating, and as I said I negotiated with everybody. Hospitals, you know, a lot of the times we would have to go to courthouses and research work and see, they had a clause in the deeds, that if this property was owned or whatever like a government could come in and take it, you know, say, for instance, in emergencies. So an emergency to the government was an emergency, if they need it, they need it; if they want it, let me tell you I look, we are going to give you this amount for your property, and then I would go out and negotiate with you on it, and they would always tell me before I left the office, "Well, you 44:00can go up X-number of dollars more thousands or whatever it is, but you don't let the person know but you sent the person a letter and tell them you would be out to see them and so my territory was like Indiana and Ohio, Illinois and most of it was in Eastern, a lot of Eastern Kentucky, over in Buckhorn and Caesar Creek, where all those kinds of lakes are. TK: Oh, so that's why you had to travel so much. EF: Yes, so I had to go down there and then a lot of time we went out, well sometimes you would be out over the, you would come in on Friday evenings or something like that, you were very seldom gone on Saturday and Sunday, but sometimes you had to leave on Sunday. And to go somewhere, to be there for my Monday morning meetings or something, so I have dealt with railroads and hospitals and all those things, you know, I used to go to quite a few places, so I enjoyed that, so I liked both of them, so I had the best of two worlds because I could sell real estate here, but when I got to the government, I had to put on another hat, because the, I guess you would say the mechanism was just a little bit different. They were similar, but they were different. TK: So, you were doing the real estate thing here, in your off hours, in other 45:00words, from your job? EF: Well, yes, after work, after work, and most times people don't see houses anyhow till after work. TK: Yes. EF: So most of my time was, say for instance, they call the office and make an appointment, if I had someone here, I had some, I had two or three people who worked full time, and, but it is an amazing thing, they are all gone, they died. TK: Oh really? EF: Yes. Younger than I was, too. But anyhow, and so they were very capable of keeping it, but as I say, when I was with Alice, I stayed with Alice a while, but when I came down here on Broadway, I was right on the corner where the barber shops are, I used to have that whole building right there. And I was there for a long, long time. And what happened, as I say, a broker has to have another broker keep her office open, so if something happens to me, and I know another broker, I say, "Look, I am going to have to be out of my, incapacitated for a long time, can you come over and keep my office open?" So you cannot have 46:00a salesman, you have to have a broker. TK: A broker has to-- EF: Yes, they have to have a broker's. And, so, therefore, the attorney on the corner, his wife was a salesman. Oh, she was a broker, I'm sorry, a broker, and she got sick. So I came and asked, Alice said, "Well, why don't you go down and help her out," cause we all worked together, and her name was Taylor. And so I came down and kept her office, and within the meantime she died. And so then, after I got down there and I had been working so long in that area, I told Alice, I think I will just stay down here and, so we still worked together, but we, and we still sold each other's properties, and everything like that, but that is how come I come on down Broadway. TK: What, when was that? EF: Oh, let's see. I have been down here on Broadway for about twenty-something years. TK: Oh my. EF: Uh huh, and then Bill Smith and I, we worked together, he was the auditor at the Corps of Engineers. And we were in school together, we were schoolmates. And so there was another real estate office here and they had a fire, and so she asked if he wanted in, so he bought it, and I just came on down here because he was up there with me for a while. TK: Can I ask a question that is a little offbeat? So you 47:00weren't actually at Louisville Municipal College for very long? EF: About three years. TK: Oh, you did go that long, okay. EF: And then I went to Bellarmine, and then I went to Indiana, so I never did really, I didn't, I, see, what's the word I want to say? In between all the activities going on for the government, and traveling so, and children coming along, I kind of got waylaid, but then I just enjoyed traveling so much with them, and then it just took up so much of your time, it really did. It took up a lot of your time, because you was in and out of town so much. And then at that time, well, sales were, were better, but we still had a, it was still so much going on, undercurrent stuff, you know, that really kind of deteriorated from really getting out, because loans were 48:00still being denied, appraisals, that's another thing, you know we couldn't get as high appraisals for property. And then after everything, kind of, open housing kind of came along, then we started getting better appraisals, and things like that, but until that time, see, we were really in, we had a hard time. We just really had a hard time trying to get good appraisals, and that's one of the reasons that kept us from getting a lot of good listings, we got listings. And we were able to really open up the doors, but then after, as I said, when I went with Alice, well, we were able to get access to First Investment Company, and then, therefore they had a wonderful closing attorney, Al Fazio, and everybody just loved Al Fazio. And he is still working, I don't know what company he is with, he went to Cowger and Miller, and I'm not certain where he is now, but all those kind of stemmed from First Investment and then they, you know, by word of mouth and then working with the employees, they become, well you know, they had so many tales that we couldn't do this, we couldn't do that, we weren't qualified and you know how that myth is. So it 49:00took, it takes you a long time, it took us a long time to kind of get ourselves infiltrated into letting people have confidence in you, that's what it was all down to. So once they did that, and it took quite a few years to get, to get into that, but by us all working together, the realtors all working together, we helped one another, and as I say, that, and we are still going, we are still, we are fifty-two years old, I think it is fifty-two, yes, fifty-two years old. TK: So you are still a member of that? EF: Oh yes. We all are still. TK: What's the whole name of that? EF: NARAB? The National Association of Real Estate Brokers is the term we go under, but in Louisville we are just called Louisville Real Estate Brokers Association. Every state has their own, agency of their state name really. But the National Association of Real Estate Brokers is what we go by, and I don't have nothing here I think-- TK: So are you still a, what a 50:00relatrice? EF: Relatiss. TK: Are you still a relatiss? EF: Relatiss. TK: Boy, that is a hard word to say. EF: It is, well, you can say relatiss. TK: Relatiss. Are you still a relatiss? EF: Yes. TK: And you quit the realtors because of the fees? EF: Not really because of the fees, but I think it was because at that time, was because most of my agents, well, two or three of them died, and then a couple of them just gave up because they got older and they didn't feel like going out and pounding bricks anymore. And then after a while it just got to be me, now I have two agents now, but I don't see them because one of them is sick now and then the other guy is in school, law school. And so-- TK: And the relatiss-es?EF: Relatiss TK: Are they still all black? EF: Oh no, no, not anymore. We have a list, it's in, we were integrated long, long time ago. And so we have different groups that we, we have investment companies with you, you have, and then other people from other organizations, for instance you may have someone from Re/Max, even some of their agents belong with us. But now, it's a 51:00different situation because we more or less meet and greet, and share information and things of that sort, just like they do at the realtors. You know, because the realtors is a larger area, but now away from here, now Washington, now that's where our main concentration is, and Memphis, and I guess you would say Nashville, and places, they have larger groups than they do here. They have a lot of more of us, because now, when I was living in Atlanta, I lived in Atlanta for a year, and I was transferring my license there during the time of Martin Luther King, 'cause that was in the sixties-- TK: Oh really? EF: Yes. And my husband was transferred there for a year, and he worked for the Atlanta General Depot there for a year, but he didn't like Atlanta too much, so we were there and we was getting ready to move there, and he got transferred back here to the post office. And so I got interviewed for his job, by the way, too. And he got the job because of my interview, see, I told him, you are working there because of me, but anyhow, the, that's how come, but when Martin Luther King was there, and see what I tried to do when I came back to Louisville was try to get our group similar to what they were doing. If they were having, how they kept things integrated, if the word come down that a great big 52:00beautiful subdivision, I'll never forget, it was called Professor's Row, near the colleges there in Atlanta. And they was all [unintelligible], professors of so forth. And they became integrated so that blacks could move into it. And they put out the word, no more than six families were going to live in there. And that's all that moved in there. So they kept it integrated. TK: Oh, so it wouldn't go over, to be completely black. EF: Right, because the things just like they do here, when they had the, uhh--all areas that all, black at that time. We still didn't get the, say like, sidewalks, all the things that you get if you got it integrated, you get more exposure, you got more stuff. TK: Stuff. EF: Stuff, got a whole lot more stuff. Then if it was all black, well, you get 53:00kind of put on the back burner. So this is what Martin Luther King was smart enough to know. He knows that if you keep it integrated, then you are going to get some of the same amenities that everybody else gets. But if you keep it this way, you are not going to do it. And I came back and I was trying to tell people here, this is what we should do, and it was like Montclair, I got a call the other day to list a house in Montclair. Well, I was out there when Montclair, and that was when the builders all were building up out there, and we had open house out there, there was only about two houses, and I told them, "You ought not be building, just don't sell no more of them," and they said, "Oh no, we want to live there." Well, this all, it got to be all black. Well then, the whites stopped moving in, and I had a lady call me the other day, she said, "I have a white agent, selling my house." She was a minority, and she said, "But she is only showing it to whites." And she said, "Nobody is buying it." And I think her house is listed for a hundred or something thousand dollars, and she said, "Do you think it is worth it?" and I said sure. We can move into your neighborhood, but you don't want to move into my neighborhood, you know? So it's, it's still there. You know, and this is really, now Alice and I was trying to do things on a quiet way, not saying we were trying to make any waves, or do 54:00anything that was gonna cause someone to get rioting or just like my girlfriend did was out here in Shively, the Wades they were talking about? We were in school together. We were in college together. TK: Oh really? EF: Yes. And so all of that was going on during that time, see, so I was still working with her, in another area, and still quietly doing some other things, like the house I sold out in Houston Acres. But see, no one knew-- TK: I never heard that story before, see-- EF: Yeah, well, it was a very quiet one, and this woman was a very prominent woman, worked at the Courier-Journal. And that's the reason I didn't want to call her name, because I wasn't sure how, you know, she could still have family, you know, there are a lot of things that were not done as I say, people have a sense of saying something then all of a sudden they want to pick at a piece about something, and then going back forty years, was over and done with. And when she had her home she called me, and she was a friend of Alice's, too, but she called me, she said, "Hey, El, you want to sell my house?" And I 55:00thought, "Yeah! Where is it?" I was excited, and she said, "Over in Houston Acres." And I thought, "Where is that?" I didn't know where it was myself. TK: I had never heard of it. EF: But that's what they called it, and it off of Taylorsville Road, Hikes Lane, out near that area. TK: Okay. EF: And so, it was a beautiful, it was all ranch homes at that time, of course during that time, nineteen, twenty thousand dollars for your house was, it was a nice price. And so she told me, she said, "I want you to sell it." I said okay. That's another one I was going to try and find today before you had come, but anyhow, I went out there and looked it over, and Alice was with me, of course, I think a lot of times people think when they see us together, they would automatically think it was Alice, it was like when I went out to negotiate, I was with, and I had another white girl with me, and then I would say Miss Foreman, Miss Foreman, and she would sit there and just take it all, and then finally I had to say, hey, now this has gone too far, I am Miss Foreman, you know, and so she would look at 56:00me and say, oh yes, this is Miss Foreman, she wanted, wanted to feel good, and status and everything, you know. But anyhow, so when she called me again, she said, "What do you think about it?" I said, "Well, I'm game." This is what we are in here for, to sell property. We don't care who gets it. Because, you know, people are in and out, nobody sits there and all day long watches your neighbor, because you don't see them, they go to work and you come home and tend to your own business, so anyhow, so I told her, I said okay. So at that time I was still with the Corps of Engineers, too, and this guy came in from Philadelphia, and he was a black guy, just so happened that he was a black guy, and I told him, I said, "Where are you going to live?" And he said, "Well, I don't know anything about Louisville." I said, "Great!" Big idea here, another challenge. I said, "I'm going to take you out, we will just try to see if you like to see this property," and I took him out and he said, "Oh, this is perfect." 'Cause most of the time, those people, black negotiators and realtors stay, sometimes they were transferring, they would stay someplace three years and then they would go someplace else, and so that's what he did. And so he come here and he loved it, and his name was Bill Lowe, I will never forget it, and so I took him out and he 57:00liked it, so I called her and I said, "Hey, I think we have got a sale." And she said, "Okay, that quick?" I said, "It just so happened he came into Louisville." And she said okay so we sold that house to him, and all of the neighbors, came, except for one neighbor, all the neighbors came over to welcome him, and they, at that time, they were, in that neighborhood they had a policy of bringing food or some kind of little gift, you know, a housewarming gift. And everybody came but the next-door neighbor. And I think the next-door neighbor finally kind of said something to him, but he didn't like him, just didn't like him. [Almost whispering] Of course, the guy was a very, very dark person. But he was a beautiful man, you know, just intelligent and you would just enjoy talking with him. And but evidently he just had a hang-up over black people, and so Bill stayed there about three years, and he said, "Eleanor, I have got to move," so before he could get out, this guy offered him a tremendous amount for his house. TK: For the house. EF: So he wouldn't, so he could own it and he ended up selling it. So that's how he, and he went on back to Washington, D.C. TK: Oh, wow. EF: I never have heard from him since. I don't know whether he is still 58:00living or not, but I don't know what happened to the neighborhood, I never have been back. And when I did think about going back, I had kind of forgotten, exactly what street this was on, and that's the reason I was thinking, I'm going up here to look and see, but all I remember was the Houston Acres area, and all of the houses were ranch style. TK: Now is this around the same time as the Wade case, or is it after it, or? EF: No, this was, let me think, this was probably, I'm trying to think if this was around the same time or what, and I remember when Anne was talking about last, a week or two ago, I can't remember, what date did she say? TK: She, the Wade house was bombed in 1954. EF: In '54, okay. This was after that. This was after that, because I didn't get my license until '57. 59:00TK: Right, you said that. EF: Yes.'57, '58. TK: But you were friends with Charlotte? EF: Oh yes, we went to school. TK: Wow! What was your reaction to all of that Wade stuff? EF: Well, we were all horrified, we were scared. You know, because we didn't think anything would go that far, that anybody would hate anybody that much. Because it's just like, we used to have a, a thing about the Portland area, and about Shively, and those two places, they used to say, "Don't go to Portland, don't go to Shively." I remember as a grown woman, that I got lost in Portland, you know, I mean-- TK: It's easy to do. EF: I took the wrong street and I turned around and noticed it, and thought, oh my God, I'm in Portland. Just like they say now, "West End." You know, it was Portland. And I thought, "My goodness." So I just kept on, and you know, I wasn't afraid, afraid, but I was kind of confused because they had turned the streets around and made them one-way, that's when they started making all of the one-way streets and everything. I don't know how I got turned around, but it helped me 60:00in a way, because when I started negotiating in that area, I was kind of familiar, I started going down and walking just to see where I was, to see where I was, I told Mother, "I got lost and I spent the longest," and it was cold, and I thought, "Oh, Lord, don't let me have a flat or anything down here." Because I knew I wouldn't have a place to go, because I had run into that with the Corps of Engineers, going to Paoli, they didn't have any blacks in Paoli. TK: Oh really? EF: They had one black family that come in, there was this teacher. And I used to go up there with my boss, and he would always tell me, "When you go to Paoli, I'm going with you." And I would say okay. And I often wondered why, because I just didn't know there were not any blacks there. And we got up there, he said, "You know there is no minorities up here?" And at that time we were saying blacks, and I said, "Oh really?" And he said yeah. He said, "I thought maybe it was such of long stretches of open territory that if you had a car problem," and at that time the government had the worst cars, they didn't have 61:00any radios or anything, we didn't have any kind of contact. Oh no, no contact at all with each other, and so, he would go up there and we went to this one little restaurant, and of course, everybody was white that we was working with, too, and so here I sat again. And I thought, well, where are we going to eat? And he said, "Come on, let's go into the restaurant, everybody else is okay." And everybody was very friendly, and we went to this restaurant, and evidently they must have told them there was a black girl out there wanting to be served with these whites, and we was all sitting there, and I took my boss, I said, "Look, I said they are peeping out of the kitchen." [Laughs] And we laughed and he said, "They sure are." And he was a kind of a red-faced person. END TAPE 1, SIDE B START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A EF: I was, you know, I, we were just all, I had never met anyone that mistreated me, and no matter where I went, because I think I had the type of coming up background that I respected people, and I wanted to be respected, and so I would always go in with a smile or something, you know, and say, "Hello, how are you?" And I don't think I, my husband said I never gave anyone a chance to get upset, because I was talking constantly. You know I would 62:00say yes, that's a cover over. But anyhow, we was there, and they kept peeping out of the kitchen and I was beginning to get kind of uncomfortable, so I told him, I said, "They are peeping." [laughs] So he said okay. So they came out and took our order, she could not hardly take my order but for looking at me. And I thought, "Well, has she ever seen one before?" TK: That's what I'm wondering. EF: You know, and it tickled me so bad. And I thought I can't believe this, but I guess, I don't know what she was thinking, I don't know what it was, or what the myth was, but evidently they, then the ranger told us, said "We only have one black person here." And that's a schoolteacher and his wife. And so I guess they hadn't seen too many black people or something, and so my boss told me, "This is the reason I wanted to come up here with you, because if something would happen to your car," what I said, "You would be sort of stranded." And my boss, he was very prejudiced, but I always met him with a smile, too, and I knew he was sending me to Hazard, and all those kind of places that they really 63:00didn't, you know, didn't quite take to us. But I never, and I always came back and I had my reports written up, and I gave it to him, and I think this is one of the reasons is that has made me successful because I have always tried to treat everybody the way I wanted to be treated. Because I know what it feels like, and I can understand how some people can get misled, and so when I left there they was all waving goodbye, and I waved goodbye, too, I said, "I hope you remember me when I come back through by myself." TK: Yes, really. EF: But I never did have any problem, and even in Hazard. You know, I would walk up to them, shake my head, say, "I'm lost." That was my favorite line. "I am lost, you are going to have to help me find my way." And "What are you looking for, little lady?" Then they was ready to help you. And I would tell them, they would invite me home, to dinner, you know, I would say "No, I've got to get on back to Louisville. Got a long ways to go," you know, this that and the other. And, but I always tried to remember my upbringing, and you know, because I know that you 64:00are not going to get anywhere if you were up there hostile, because if they were hostile and you were hostile, you were not going to get anywhere, and I need the information. And to let them know, because there was one little, and now I have gotten completely off the subject-- TK: That's okay; it's all very interesting. EF: But anyhow, this one couple I went to in, when I went to Buckhorn Lake, where we had to go, now they sent me, to put someone out. The rangers, the marshals and everything had no success, now why they thought I was going to be successful, I wasn't successful either. But anyhow, I went up there and talked to the people, and that was the first time I had ever seen houses built on stilts, see I had never seen this before, and I was just amazed at the way they had to live and everything. And these three little kids, they were all smoking marijuana. Sitting in the car. And I asked them, "Where in the world do you all live and how do you get what?" They didn't have any, they didn't have water in 65:00the house or anything. And they showed me where the water was coming down from the side of the mountain there, that's where they got their water. TK: Wow! EF: And everything. And what I was there for was to say they were going to be moved, because they had to move, because when they opened up the floodgates they would get flooded. And this was every spring, every spring they was going up there and every spring they would move out, but they would sleep in the car. They had a place to go in the city, because I guess everything was, I guess everybody left where they were to go into the other part. But anyhow, they never did move, and I never did understand what happened to them, but I got so tickled, I said, "Now, my boss knows that. Why would he send me up there if the rangers have been there, if the marshals, how am I going to get somebody to move?" TK: Like you were superwoman. EF: Yes, I don't know I think he was, but he learned to respect me, because I never got upset with him and then of course, after our new colonel came on board, he really respected me then, because I, the colonel and I just really hit it off real good. As a matter of fact, all of the colonels did, they all stayed three years. And-- TK: Was it easier for you to get government work than say some other kind of job? EF: Yes. I think because of your, yes, qualifications and so forth, it meant a lot. And then I think your schooling and 66:00knowing how to talk, knowing how to talk and how to deal with people, because I had been trained to interpersonal communications, and all of those kind of things that I had gotten, in school as well as previous, and I think, you know, it's how you sell yourself. TK: And you went to a lot of school, a lot of years of school when you add it all up. EF: Yes, yes. And the, the main thing, of course getting back to the real estate field, I think is knowing how to present yourself. You know, because people have a myth: Black people are all lazy, or they are this that and the other, they can't talk or anything. And there were two engineers that worked with me, and were very intelligent men, but they could not talk. And I said because they came from the Deep South or where they had a different lingo, or cutting the words off, you know how you hear some people cut 67:00their words off, put "s" on them, and so forth? And I think that a lot of people thought that this was a way we communicated. You know, that we couldn't talk right or something, I don't know. And they eventually, I think they were able to go to other schools, not other schools, I don't mean that, other areas of communications to get some communications skills so that they could sell themselves to get other people to come back to the Corps. Well, we never had over nine, when I first started at the Corps of Engineers, I don't think we had over nine blacks. And they kept nine blacks for a long time. TK: In the whole office, in the office here? EF: Yes, over a thousand some employees and they had-- TK: Oh my gosh! EF: --about nine blacks. And they were in jobs of like, they had a secretary, they had a couple of people in the communications. Bill Smith was auditor. And they had, oh, like clerk-typist, things like that. And 68:00then of course, when my first larger job was a contact rep, and that's what I was for the Corps of Engineers was a contact representative. And I never did understand a lot was contact representative was doing the same thing, but I was contact representative. And then when jobs became available as negotiators, well, they had never had, and I don't think they will probably ever have another black negotiator. TK: You were it? EF: Woman or a man. And, but I had the, I guess you would say the savvy, or the know-how, or the way of communicating with people, because the personnel, I always got to the point, every time they hired a black they would say, "Be sure you see Miss Foreman, be sure you talk to Miss Foreman." Because I could kind of give them some kind of guidelines of "Do this, do that." Because all five of the heads of the people that, when I was there, were all very prejudiced then, naturally, that's natural. Because that's the way it was at that time. And so you had to kind of infiltrate to get them to 69:00understand that, you know, I am still someone that wants to make a living just like you, and I have to get out and do the same things you have to do. And you want to be respected the same way. And that's the reason I stayed with the brokerage, because I enjoyed selling and I enjoyed people. And if it hadn't been for Alice, I don't know how long it would have taken so long for someone to have gotten into that area, but as I say, there was one black man that came in, and he didn't ever, of course he's dead now, too, but anyhow, [phone rings] he came in, but he only stayed for about--[stops tape] EF: So he is one of our commissioners. I mentioned something about putting something in the mail, tax time, they probably throwing something in the mail, I saw some of that coming through. And, but-- TK: I have got a couple, little couple of questions. EF: Okay. TK: Just sort of some general type questions. One of the things is, you have hinted at this, but maybe you could say a little bit more is, how did the participation of blacks in the real estate business change over time, since you have been in it? EF: Well, it changed greatly because I think it opened up the 70:00door, I think, for a lot of them to become realtors, not be afraid to send their applications in. Because before, when, to say before I came on board with Alice, those that were sending them in, no one knew they were even being turned down. In fact, we didn't know you were even sending them in. Because everybody was sort of, I think, hostile and they were scared and didn't want any troubles or, there was so much things going on, it was a lot of hidden stuff going on, you know, and signs then, I know I used to have my signs, I used to have people call me and say, "My house is not for sale." And I thought, "Ma'am?" "Well, what's your sign doing on my property?" And you know, people would take your signs and put them on somebody's property, well, see, that gets you in trouble. TK: Wow! EF: And sometimes, sometimes, I would, one lady told me, said, "I see you have 71:00got a house for sale on so and so street." I said, "Oh no, not again." And I couldn't say who was doing it, I mean, I, that's one reason I didn't want to go through the, publish, the newspaper, because I know that people, you get all kinds of crank people, you get all kinds of crazy people, and I thought well, we had enough problems as it is trying to sell it on our own, just on our intelligence, without you calling and getting a hold of that thing. My signs would end up all over town. TK: Oh my goodness. EF: They did. And as I say, I got a lot of crank calls, and things like that, but and I don't think I ever got too many calls at my home, because I don't think nobody had my home, they had my home address on them, but most of the time, when I was with Alice, we would have her office number, and then, well, we just had both office numbers on there. I'm trying to think whether we ever had our home numbers on there at that time or not. I don't think we did, I think we had the office numbers on there. Because we had the [unintelligible] and we always had the department, and at that time the telephone operators would have your code, and they would call you or something like that, say you had a call from so and so. And so they didn't have that, so but at the office I was getting a whole lot of calls after they found out I was a realtor, and as I say, some of the same people, that were calling 72:00her constantly, and talking with me, always thinking that I was her, and then-- TK: And end up saying, yes you told that story. EF: So she could tell that. And so, your signs, little things like your signs being taken up. That hadn't happened before, you know, my signs would stay there forever unless a kid would throw a rock or something at them, but never move from, same people's property. I can't say whether they was put there deliberately, I don't know, but I know, I don't think kids could do it, because those signs, sometimes they would go in the ground, we would put them in there pretty deep, you know, for someone to pull them up like that. And sometimes you had to have a hammer to hit 'em up, you know, to get them out. And so my signs were up all over town, and my husband and I was constantly going, you know, someone would call him and say, "Oh, you have a house for sale, so and so?" And I would say no, why? He says somebody has got, and I would have to get up and go get it. TK: Oh man. EF: Because sometimes people would call, you know, and then some people got to the point, I think, 73:00they would kind of know, "Miss Foreman, you have got a sign over here on my property." And I said, "Where is that?" And they would say and I would go out and say I was sorry. I said, "These children just take your signs and do everything." So we kind of laid it on the children, but I don't think it was children all the time, now maybe sometimes it was kids, but in your same area. But not a way across town, I don't think that. So I went through that quite a bit. And as I say, the calls were quite a bit frequent, but then, after a while, Alice, after she got through talking to them, and she had a, she was very nice, but she could be very unladylike, too, and tell them, "Don't you call here no more." She just tickled me to death. And, so you know, she and I, just so, we, as I said, we sold a lot of property, and downtown, in fact all over the West 74:00End, and you know, every now and then, I walk by, I go by, in fact that's where most of my clientele is now, coming from referrals back, or you know, you sold my mom's house, or this and that and the other, and property that I had, that they had me when I was getting this award over on 32nd Street, they have got me putting up a sign, the craziest looking thing. But anyhow, they had me putting up a sign over there, and this was a young man's mother that we had, years and years ago, and they remember you, and this is the reason I was telling all the young people coming up, you know, keep your character, you know, don't get out of line, because you never know who is looking at you. You never know who is going to-- TK: And isn't most business sort of referrals from other people and stuff? EF: Yes, and I say, if they know you and you have had a good reputation, because I have had some people call me and ask me where a certain office is, and I say no, they say "Well, that's good, 'cause if you was with this company I wasn't going to let you on my front porch." Or you know, you don't want a name like that, so I have always tried to treat people right, and it's a lot of older 75:00people and then sometimes you know, people that are of older people, and I say older, I mean really old people, they don't know how to deal with selling their property and maybe their family is gone or something like that. And I would always make sure they came out with something, because some of the people just, I have a piece of property I was trying to sell downtown, and the lady is blind. Her son had run through some things and just put her in trouble and she just didn't know. And I would never charge them the same commission, and that is one thing being a broker and being not a realtor, I can do, I can do a lot of little things that I don't have to if I-- TK: Be more flexible. EF: Yes, be flexible. And because I feel like, that these people have struggled hard, and worked and someone's just gone through, and left their moms, and uncles, dads or whatever, without thinking what's going to happen to this person. And I sold one lady a 76:00house and Alice and I both, we sold a house three times to the same, we sold that house three different times to people, trying to help them get a house by giving them what they called a, assuming the payments. And they would mess up, and we would get the house back, and we would sell it again, and sometimes it would take us three times to sell that house, trying to get people opportunities. And this is one thing I liked about her, she was just such a, a Christian person. And you know, you enjoy working with someone that's, that's on the same wavelength with you, you know. Because everybody is out there to make money, and that's not what it is all about. My character, I would tell them my character and integrity means a lot to me, and-- TK: What was this, the name of the award you got? EF: Oh, the, ain't that awful? The Woman of Distinction. And that was with the Center for Women and Families, about, on the 22nd of March. TK: Just this year? EF: Yes. TK: Okay, because I knew you had mentioned a couple 77:00of time that you said the award, so-- EF: Yes, they gave, and this is the pin that they gave--TK: Oh, really? EF: Yes. TK: I had noticed that before, that is beautiful. EF: Yes, I got that and then they gave us a Jefferson Cup, we got a lot of things, it was when I, but I mean, a lot of that is because of the works I have done all, you know, community type works. TK: Actually, that was my last sort of question, was after the real estate stuff, is what other kind of civic things have you been involved with in the community? EF: Everything, I am still working with the Zoning Commission. I work with the Zoning Commission, I am on the Olmsted Conservancy Board, and I work with the Elderserve, I don't know whether you know what that is or not, Elderserve. TK: I have heard of it. EF: Okay, well that is where you have, well, you do everything a lot for elders, elderly people. They have all kinds of home care things that they do. And they have, well, I am pointing in the wrong direction, but anyhow, 28th Street, they have what they call the Oak and Acorn Center, and I don't know, I think, I don't know whether you have seen that or not, it's at 28th and Magazine. And it is a nice big building up there. And they have a children, they have a daycare center and they have the adult daycare. And we work with that, and oh, let's see, I 78:00work with my sorority, and of course, my church and oh, so many other things that I work with, and United Way, and the Childwatch Care, so I have been in volunteer work since I was in school, so I just continued on with it, and I just love it. TK: This is, and how many children did you have? EF: Three. I have three sons, three son, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. TK: That's nice and symmetrical. EF: Everything was in threes. Of course, I have one son that, of course, when he married, he had, his wife had two children, so I call them my children, too, so other two children, but I have actual three, three sons and three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. TK: Well, I don't have any more questions, but I was going to turn this off because I think-- END OF INTERVIEW