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Marsha Bruggman: This is Thursday, June 16th, 1977; this is Marsha Bruggman. This morning we are talking with Mr. George Graham, a resident of the Parkland area. We are at the Parkland branch of the Louisville Free Public Library and we are continuing our project on the oral history of the Parkland area and its residents. Mr. Graham, can you tell me when you were born; the date of your birth?

George Graham: February the 6th, 1904.

MB: Where were you born?

GG: Shelby County, Kentucky.

MB: Was it on a farm or in a small town?

GG: On a farm about ten miles from the nearest town.

MB: What was the nearest town?

GG: Shelbyville, Kentucky.

MB: Okay, I know right where that it is. What were your parents' names?


GG: My father -- Solomon Graham and Julia Graham.

MB: Solomon and Julia? And what were their occupations; what did they do?

GG: Just farmers; caretakers.

MB: Were they caretakers of someone else's farm?

GG: No, farmers.

MB: Oh they had their own farm.

GG: Oh pardon me, I'm sorry; we lived on the farm and were caretakers.

MB: They caretakers of someone else's property. How many children were there in your family.

GG: There were six: two boys and four girls.

MB: Were you the eldest child or where were you among those children?

GG: I was the third child.

MB: Okay, did you live on the farm for a number of years with your family; were you raised there?

GG: I lived on the farm until I was about twelve years of age and then I moved 2:00to Louisville. My father died early in my youth and we came to Louisville hoping that we would get along better and to further our education.

MB: So when your father died, your mother had six young children then to support and you moved to Louisville.

GG: That's right.

MB: What did your mother do when she came here to Louisville? What kind of work did she do to support all you children?

GG: Well, she was a maid at the Louisville Library at 31st and Portland Avenue.

MB: Oh. Do you remember anything about the pay that she got during those times?

GG: Yes:

MB: What was it?

GG: She received seven dollars a week and she was also a janitress, or rather a matron at a church in the same neighborhood and she received a collection from the church and that sometimes amounted to about even dollars.

MB: So she got seven dollars a week from the job at the library and six or seven dollars a week from the job at the church and on that she supported herself and six children?

GG: Well, my elder brother and sister worked and they stopped school -- or rather my sister stopped school after the eighth grade and my brother passed the eighth grade and that's as far as they went.

MB: And was it because they had to help the family survive?

GG: Yes.

MB: My goodness. Where did you live when you first came to Louisville? Do you remember the area?

GG: We lived at 3612 Franz Avenue. That's down in Portland area.

MB: Franz. Oh, okay; some of those streets I'm not real familiar with. How many years did you live there in the Portland area?

GG: About five years I think.

MB: Okay. Backing up just a little bit -- when did you start school?

GG: I started school soon after moving to Louisville. I was about twelve years old.

MB: You didn't go to school then at all when you were in Shel --

GG: Oh yes! And incidentally my uncle was my first teacher and his name was George.

MB: In Shelbyville or you know, in the area around there?

GG: George Price.

MB: And he was your uncle and he was the schoolteacher there?

GG: Yes and his sister was my grandmother, of course.

MB: So you went to early grade school there near Shelbyville and then when you came to Louisville, you started school here. What school did you attend in Louisville?

GG: Portland . . .

MB: Portland Elementary?

GG: Uh, elementary school.MB: Some of the schools -- I always try to find out exactly which school -- but some of the schools they've closed, they've been torn down, the names have changed; it's kind of hard. Were there middle schools or junior high?

GG: No, we had no junior highs whatsoever.

MB: You went to elementary through eighth and then went to high school?

GG: Went from the eighth grade to high school.

MB: Where'd you go to high school?

GG: Central High School.

MB: Central; and you graduated from Central?

GG: Yes.

MB: What year did you . . . ?

GG: In '22.

MB: Oh, 1922.

GG: At the age of eighteen.

MB: Oh. What was Central High School like at that time? Do you remember very much about it?

GG: On the corner of Ninth and Chestnut with only one building.

MB: So it was a pretty small school?

GG: A small school with a gymnasium in the basement used for study hall and athletic games.

MB: Used for your sports and your study hall; how many students were there in your graduating class, do you remember approximately?

GG: I think there was somewhere -- I'd say thirty.

MB: So that was a pretty small school then. What did you study when you were at Central? Were you heading toward anything special at that time?

GG: No, nothing special.

MB: Just a general high school education; what did you do after high school?

GG: Well, I went to Simmons University -- I wanted to go to college and that was 3:00the only college and it was a theological school, but it was my only opportunity to go to college so that was an advanced school and I went to Simmons University.

MB: When you say it was your only opportunity was that because of finances?

GG: That's correct.

MB: And was it also one of the only black school ---

GG: [Stutters] And also because no other school or college was open to our people at that time.

MB: Mmm-hmm. Simmons University -- where is it located?

GG: Simmons, Kentucky.

MB: Or it was, right?

GG: It was, mmm-hmm:

MB: And what kinds of things did you study at Simmons?

GG: Beg your pardon?

MB: What kind of subjects did you study?

GG: Social sciences.

MB: Were you planning to be a teacher?

GG: Oh yes, I wanted to be like my uncle [laughs].

MB: Oh you wanted to be like your uncle?!

GG: Oh yes. Price was a great man.

MB: So what year did you graduate from Simmons?


GG: [Thinks] 1926.

MB: And did you get your first teaching job right away at that time?

GG: Yes, I went to Somerset or rather Wayne County, Kentucky. That was for two years and a half.

MB: Were you the only teacher? Was it a small school?

GG: It was a one teacher school, that's correct.

MB: Oh! And where did you go from that point?

GG: And then I went down to Fisk University to further my education.

MB: So when you came out of Simmons, you got the first teaching job and stayed a couple years in a one teacher school and then went to Fisk?

GG: At Simmons I received my normal training and then I taught and then I went to Fisk.

MB: And where's Fisk University?

GG: Nashville, Tennessee.

MB: And again, you were just getting more courses and experience towards teaching, you weren't changing --

GG: Well they accepted my credits from Simmons and it went on my college degree there.

MB: You went ahead and got your college degree at Fisk?

GG: Yes.

MB: Do you remember what year you graduated from Fisk?

GG: '32. Just fifty-four years ago. [Graham means forty-four].

MB: Did you ever think you'd live to see all of this [laughs]?

GG: Beg your pardon?

MB: Did you ever think you'd live to see so much?

GG: No, I didn't think so. I wouldn't tell so.

MB: What did you think of Fisk University at that time?


GG: I thought it was just wonderful. I was away from home and I worked my way down there -- I was a clerk at the YMCA and also I worked part-time on Saturdays at the Banana House and I received all of the bananas I could eat [laughs]!

MB: Oh it was really a banana house?

GG: Banana House.

MB: Oh, so you got a little pay for that plus all of the bananas you could eat?

GG: Oh yeah!

MB: [Laughs] Were you excited about being there and getting more of an education too as well as being away from home?

GG: I was well pleased.

MB: What did you do after you left Fisk? Where did you go from Fisk?

GG: I came home and I wasn't too well and I subbed around here in Louisville.

MB: Substitute taught?

GG: Central and Jackson Junior High School. And eventually then I married and it looked like I didn't let it interfere me however my health continued and wasn't so well so I just gave up for the time being. But I remained on the substitute list but I had to go out and do some steady work in order to make a livelihood.

MB: What kinds of other work did you do?

GG: Well, I continued with what I had been doing -- waiting tables -- and I remained at the place where I worked for thirty years; one place.

MB: Where?!

GG: Cunningham's Café at Fifth and Breckenridge.

MB: Oh, you're kidding, for thirty years? Everybody knows Cunningham's, my goodness.

GG: And I worked there at night and went over to Central High School, working there at night.

MB: So whenever you were called to substitute, you went and substituted during the day and you worked at Cunningham's at night.

GG: That's right.

MB: What year were you married?

GG: 1940.

MB: And what was your wife's name?

GG: Margaret.

MB: And how many children did you have?

GG: No children.

MB: No children?

GG: No children.

MB: Okay. What kind of work has your wife done over the years?

GG: She's been doing maid work all of her life.

MB: Mmm-hmm, working in private homes?

GG: One private family for thirty years. And incidentally, she's nursing some twins of a mother of which she nursed twenty-six some years ago. She nursed their mother and now she's nursing the mother's twins. And she worked for her grandmother; started with her grandmother.

MB: Does she go every day?

GG: For her mother rather.

MB: Does she go every day?

GG: No, she just goes three days a week. And now, pardon me, the last three weeks she's been going two days the first of the week and three days the last of the week; five days a week for three weeks.

MB: Boy, that's marvelous; the same family for thirty years.

GG: She went to work yesterday and Sunday she'll be off. I'll go out there and bring her back and we'll go to church.

MB: Mmm. Does she commute back and forth? Does she come home on evenings or does she actually stay with the family overnight?

GG: No she stays there the two days and the three days and I go and get her. But they come for her the first two days the last three weeks.

MB: Where does the family live?

GG: Anchorage, Kentucky.

MB: No wonder she doesn't come back and forth every night. They're probably pleased to have her too, my goodness. Okay, you were married in 1940 and did you continue your job for quite a long time -- now you did at Cunningham's for thirty years -- but did you substitute and do little things like that during the day as well over the years?

GG: No I couldn't find . . . and in time, I remained eligible as a substitute but I didn't try because I had to get something steady. And then in '69 I had a severe sickness -- a stroke. And five years later in '75 Christmas, I had a second stroke and I had to give up all together. And when I had the first stroke, I was only working three hours. I had retired and three hours serving breakfast --

MB: At Cunningham's.

GG: That's correct and I became ill on the job. I went to work but failed to work that morning. Eight o'clock I came back and that was it.

MB: Oh dear, that's a shame. What year did you and your wife move to the Parkland area? Did you live in other areas of Louisville for a while?

GG: Yes, we lived in some areas but we moved there -- we've been there eighteen years; that's about '59 or '60.

MB: '59 or '60 you moved in to Parkland? And what is your address?

GG: 3126 Virginia Avenue.

MB: Okay and now did you move there in 1959? [Graham must have nodded/confirmed] So you've been in the same house even? Oh my goodness, I bet you've seen -- you've stayed with one thing for a long time in your life. What made you decide to move to the Parkland area? Were you looking for anything special?


GG: Well we had a home at 16th and Breckenridge but we didn't like the neighborhood so we moved to this other house.

MB: Was the neighborhood getting tough or what was it about the neighborhood you didn't like?

GG: The wife didn't like it so well and the neighbors.

MB: So you decided to look for another type of neighborhood. What was it about Virginia Avenue that you liked; that made you decide to move here?

GG: That made me decide to move there?

MB: Mmm-hmm.

GG: Really I was told we wouldn't have to do much because at that time the city streetcar was -- pardon me -- bus was running on 32nd street. We moved there the first of the week and that weekend it stopped running on 32nd and run on 34th Street.

MB: Oh no, so you had moved in on 31st within a block of the bus so you would have bus transportation --

GG: Pardon me, the bus stopped right at my house.

MB: [Laughs] Oh you're kidding, a week after you moved in it stopped?

GG: It stopped.

MB: Did you think the bus company was trying to tell you something? That's discouraging!

GG: No they . . . [sounds like "they have their business"]

MB: Yeah. So they moved their bus line and that meant you had to walk a number of blocks to be able to catch the bus.

GG: I rode a bicycle then -- I didn't have a car, I had a bicycle. I rode it to work, church, school.

MB: That's quite a distance from your home to Cunningham's to ride every day.

GG: And the church is another distance; Jackson and Breckenridge.

MB: Oh, was where your church was?

GG: My church.

MB: Now is that the church you still belong to today? What's the name of it?


GG: New Coke United Methodist Church.

MB: New Coke United Methodist Church. How many years have you maintained a membership?

GG: Some fifty years, I don't know.

MB: Oh, so even though you moved in this area you still went all that way to stay in your same church.

GG: Because my relatives perhaps, they belonged there when we moved to the city so that was our church.

MB: You said you rode your bicycle everywhere -- work, church and everything; when did you give up having to ride your bicycle?

GG: Well, when I was able to buy a small car, I bought a small car. That was when I moved down on Virginia. I just put it away.

MB: Bought yourself a car and you still drive today, don't you?


GG: Yeah, I drive.

MB: That's what I thought; you told me you were going to come here by car. You were talking about the bus line that when you moved in in '59 or '60 the bus was coming right by your house; do you remember how much it cost in those days?

GG: I think it was seven cents. And when the street car was running, it was five cents. And my mother would give me -- when I was going to Central High School -- she used to give me a quarter a day and that was car fare round trip, a sandwich and a carton of milk; all of that for a quarter. We would walk one way back home 9:00[begins laughing] --

MB: And save your money? [Laughs].

GG: Save it or invest it or spend it.

MB: So when you say car fare -- that was your trolley or street car transportation. Was that a nickel round trip?

GG: A nickel one way.

MB: A nickel one way. And how much did your sandwich cost?

GG: Fifteen cents.

Burgman: And what kind of a sandwich was it that you could buy for fifteen cents, do you remember?

GG: Now I believe it was ten cents because something like a cheese sandwich, peanut butter.

Burgman: I always like to ask people when they're remembering things: "What did it cost?" Because that's what people think about today and where could you ever get a sandwich for ten or fifteen cents or ride a bus for a nickel? That's unbelievable. But at the time you moved in to the Parkland area you think the bus was right around seven cents one way?

GG: Seven cents. And might I add, when I was in high school, I was working at night at a drugstore and riding that bicycle and my salary was fifty cents a 10:00night, every other night.

MB: What did you do at the drugstore?

GG: Delivery boy and also clerk. It was very nice and we served the people and waited on the people.

MB: And you rode that bicycle when you made deliveries?

GG: That's right, fifty cents a night.

MB: Where was the drugstore? Do you remember the name?

GG: Drane Drug Company, [spells out Drane].

MB: And where was it?

GG: Thirteenth and Walnut Streets.

MB: And you did that all the time you were going to high school?

GG: Yes, ma'am.

MB: It's hard to believe that people were paid that amount of money. I bet you 11:00really worked for that fifty cents, didn't you?

GG: It helped me in my schooling.

MB: It financed you why you stayed? Did it buy your books?

GG: No, no.

MB: Were your books free in public schools then?

GG: Books were not furnished.

MB: And you had to buy them. Do you remember about how much it used to cost you for your school books?

GG: I do not know. I know that one of my books was old McGuffrey's Third Reader, I don't know whether you've heard of old McGuffrey or not.

MB: Yeah!

GG: But I do not know.

MB: I imagine that was quite expensive when families had a number of children and then they had to buy the schoolbooks for them. It was a real effort to stay in school. Back to the Parkland area when you moved here in '59 or '60: did you rent your house at 31st and Virginia or did you buy it?


GG: Bought it.

MB: Do you mind me asking how much you had to pay for your house then?

GG: It was listed, as I remember, for $8400.

MB: Mmm, I bet that was a lot of money then.

GG: It was a lot of money.

MB: Was the Parkland area at that time predominantly white or was it a predominantly black community when you moved here?

GG: My area was majority white because I moved into a house that a white person lived in. He was a Yellow Cab taxi driver.

MB: Oh, so it was -- when you moved in, it was predominantly white right around in your block?

GG: And the children there went to St. X and Manual -- or rather Male -- because 13:00we could see the writing up in the attic where they slept.

MB: Oh, the children who had lived in your house. Did you or your wife have any qualms about moving into a block or an area that was predominantly white? Did that worry you at all or did you not even think about it?

GG: No, we didn't think too much of it. Three doors east was a white doctor and he was a very prominent but I can't think of his name [Graham mumbles unintelligibly here].

MB: But you just didn't think it would be much of a problem?

GG: No we just wanted a place to live.

MB: What was the rest of the Parkland area like at that time? What kind of 14:00shopping was there? Was there shopping close to you?

GG: Well, 28th Street was developed fully . . . shops were inhabited.

MB: This 28th and Dumesnil up here? Was that its heyday? Was it really nice then?

GG: And also it ran up to 28th and Greenwood and all in that area.

MB: Oh, was that the heyday then; was it very, very nice?

GG: That's correct, yes.

MB: What kinds of stores? Do you remember anything about the kinds of stores?

GG: Well, I remember the old Piggly Wiggly at 28th and Virginia where since then have been several stores.

MB: But it was really nice then?

GG: It was nice.

MB: What other kinds of stores do you remember?

GG: After that, there was the A&P and then the Pic n' Pac and then another group, and now it's another there, but everything was just nice. You don't have 15:00to go --

MB: You didn't have to go anyplace else, you had it all here.

GG: Everything was nice.

MB: Were there hardware stores, clothing stores?

GG: There was a hardware store across the street from the [grocery?] store and the bank was there but he had to move away --

MB: Oh, there was a bank there!

GG: At 28th and Dumesnil but it moved out somewhere else.

MB: Gee, I bet that was nice then; you could go to the bank, you could do all kinds of shopping. Were there clothing stores up here too?

GG: [Confirming] Clothing stores but now you can almost count on one hand the businesses there.

MB: Do you remember when you moved here on 31st and Virginia; was that one of the reasons that you maybe were interested in the area too? Because you were so close to good shopping, you wouldn't have had to travel a long ways to get things?


GG: Well, that was reason for being satisfied with where we were. And might I add that also at 28th and Dumesnil was the Urban League and the NAACP.

MB: Was there then?

GG: There is now.

MB: Oh there is now.

GG: And incidentally, I'm working at the Urban League, did she mention that up there?

MB: Yeah, she was saying you had to get to work!

GG: Well, I'm just up there with the RSVP; I'm in that program and I'm in my sixth year without interruption.

MB: What kinds of things do you do at the Urban League?

GG: My office is at the entrance and I would see the people in and later they had a receptionist and that was her job. But I'm just around there and I tidy up 17:00the area, pick up papers and so forth.

MB: Do you like it?

GG: Oh, I like it; something for a little exercise.

MB: Do you go up every day, five days a week?

GG: Three days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

MB: Because Ms. Hays told me you had to get out of here on time because you had to be there by one o'clock. That's great, that's really nice! So but right now there is an office of the NAACP up there and then there's an office of the Urban League and there's a small hardware up there still, isn't there? And a grocery --

GG: And Volunteers of America.

MB: Oh right, they have a store up there! What did that store used to be where 18:00Volunteers of America is now?

GG: At one time it was a hairdressing place and another time it was a clothing store.

MB: Because it looks like a big store.

GG: Yes, it's a large one.

MB: And let's see, there's a dry cleaner up there still.

GG: Oh, yes on the corner.

MB: Right on the corner and a laundromat on the corner.

GG: Laundromat, correct.

MB: Now that laundromat, he's been there for a while, hasn't he?

GG: Yes but under new owners. Mr. Warren is his name.

MB: Oh, hmm. Going back to '59 or '60 when you moved here: What kind of recreation things were there to do for the children as well as the adults? Do you remember anything about the --

GG: When I moved what?

MB: When you moved here into this area on 31st and Virginia.

GG: Oh, I see.

MB: Do you remember anything about the recreation? What was there for you to do when you were off work?


GG: There wasn't . . . the recreation . . . you had to go sometimes a half mile to go to a park at 22nd and Duncan, no 22nd and [inaudible] I think there's a park. [Long pause]

MB: Was there a swimming pool close?

GG: No swimming pool.

MB: No swimming pool?

GG: Oh yes! At 17th and Magazine there was a swimming pool.

MB: Was that there then or is it there now?

GG: No it's not there now.

MB: But it was there then.

GG: It was then.

MB: Was that just for blacks or was it just for whites?

GG: It was for anyone in that area and usually coloreds or I think all blacks. It wasn't styled as a black pool but the area, according to where the people lived . . . California they used to call it, California.


MB: Alright, I know where that is. Well the reason I ask that is, in the Fifties and early Sixties still so many things were segregated and I was wondering if there was much recreational facilities for blacks, was there much for whites? What did people in this area do?

GG: May I also add that in this area there was a Masonic Temple at 28th and Dumesnil and I tried to become a member but I didn't qualify because of my age.

MB: I didn't realize that. Did they say that age was no problem?

GG: No, no problem.

MB: But it was obvious that it was a problem, huh? What kinds of things do the Masonic people do? Why were you interested in joining?

GG: I was interested because my brother was a Masonic and I wanted -- it was 21:00near me.

MB: That's too bad because many, many times older people have a little more time to be active in groups like that. That's too bad. Now you mentioned your church, your Methodist that you still travel to today: What kind of activities were there at your church for families? Did you spend a lot of time there?

GG: Okay, I was a former Scout Master there. We have scouts there now. I have been singing in the choir for thirty years or more -- senior choir, if you please, with my wife. When I met my wife, she was a member of the choir before we were married. She visited my church and liked it and in order to be with me, 22:00she joined the choir [laughs].

MB: That's sneaky. Did she tell you that later, that in order to get to know you better?

GG: Well, maybe. I think so.

MB: So you've been in the choir for over thirty years and then you have scout troops there. How many years were you a Scout Master?

GG: I was a Scout Master for about ten years. Mr. Stewart Pickett, he was pretty well known, he was on the Scout board --

MB: Oh he's done a lot for boy scouts in this community.

GG: And if you notice -- [here Graham is shuffling papers looking for something]

MB: Is that one of your jobs at the church now, arranging the bulletins?


GG: Oh this is my job and gratis as they say; I do it up on my own.

MB: And you take care of printing out the bulletins?

GG: I enjoy this and I've been doing this for thirty-odd years.

MB: You've been doing that too for thirty-odd years?

GG: No one else, every Sunday.

MB: No wonder you're proud of your church bulletin, that's wonderful. Now you have regular Sunday religious services there, is there any other night of the week that there are religious services?

GG: Yes we have weekday class and prayer service but I find I'm unable to attend because of other things I want to attend -- practices and meetings.

MB: So there's a regular prayer meeting kind of thing during the week.

GG: That's right.

MB: What other kinds of activities are there at your church that you've been involved in?

GG: Well, the Sunday School Men's Course.


MB: Did you teach Sunday school?

GG: Yes, I taught Sunday school when I could be available.

MB: Does your wife still sing in the choir with you today?

GG: Yes, she sings in the choir and the name of the choir is Chancellor Choir and then there's the Men's Chorus. I'm in the Men's Chorus.

MB: You're in the Men's Chorus too? Goodness sakes! How do you ever keep straight all of your activities? It seems like you're involved in an awful lot.

GG: I look forward to it.

MB: Well of course, with all of your activities, you've been involved for years and years with the church, do you notice any difference in the way churches are today and in the way they used to be? Are younger people as interested in being involved?

GG: I notice that young people now -- others too -- some are more free to do 25:00activities around the church. Some things they do, I frown upon.

MB: Do parents encourage their membership as much? Did you have a choice when you were little or did your mother just say, "We're all going to church; let's go," and you went to church?

GG: That's probably what decided it.

MB: And you don't think that there's the kind of parents directing their kids like there used to be?

GG: No.

MB: What about the membership of your church now? Are there many more older or elderly members than there are younger, or have you noticed?

GG: They're more younger.

MB: They're more younger?

GG: Yes. And of course in the summertime, they're on vacation. I can show you a 26:00piece of paper reminding people if you're going on vacation, don't forget your church. Last Sunday, we had eighty-one present [searches for paper]. [Reads aloud] "Last Sunday was a high day in Zion. Eighty-one feasted at the Lord's table."

MB: So you take attendance every Sunday and keep pretty good track of who is there?

GG: Oh yes! I take attendance and turn it over to the council people.

MB: Of course because it is summer vacation, does attendance drop quite a bit?

GG: Oh yes, considerably. This next chorus appears the fourth Sunday and after this, they're going on a two-Sunday vacation; July and August on vacation. They're going to King's Island one Sunday.


MB: Oh, the whole group's going?

GG: The whole group's going!

MB: Are you going to go?

GG: No, that's a mixed chorus.

MB: Oh the younger ones?

GG: Not younger, I might say middle-aged [laughs], but most of them are younger.

MB: That's nice. Does your church sponsor many field trips? Trips like that to King's Island or picnics out in the parks?

GG: Yes there's a Sunday school picnic. Each year they have a Sunday school picnic. And Bible school, Vacation Bible School starts the 20th of June as you see, from six to eight. [Reads aloud] "We ask you to send your children and youth, the bus will be running." We have a church bus.

MB: Oh, that picks up the kids?

GG: It picks up the kids. Each Sunday morning, we pick up those living distant that do not have automobiles.

MB: Do you draw quite a few people from other areas? I mean you come from quite a distance.

GG: They're scattered and of course, I have my own transportation. Now here's 28:00one lady who sent me an announcement through the mail. Now my middle name is Harrison -- you didn't ask me and you had already written George Graham -- but I always go by George Harrison Graham. George H. Graham.

MB: Oh, that's a nice name. Harrison; do you know who you were named after? I forgot to ask you that too.

GG: The president, Benjamin Harrison.

MB: Now was George your father's name?

GG: No, Solomon remember? Solomon was my father's name. George was my great uncle and also my uncle.

MB: Was that the uncle that you admired so much?

GG: No, my great uncle was a school teacher and then my mother's brother was named George.

MB: And then Harrison after a past president. Well, that's a nice name. I think 29:00I forgot a few things at the very beginning there.

GG: And she wrote down an administrative board meeting Thursday coming and she told me to be sure to put it in the bulletin.

MB: So people send you notices during the week to make sure that things get in the bulletin.

GG: And here's the lady and she's chairman of the administrative board -- chairperson, rather -- of the administrative board.

MB: [Laughs] You're up to date, huh?

GG: I read that's the way they have it now is chairperson.

MB: Yeah right, you have to be up to date now. That's really quite a nice thing, no wonder you're proud of your bulletins as hard as you have to work on them.

GG: [Shifting more papers] The way I write, her name is Green, Mary Alice Green -- CP, line, administrative board and it will be up here on the back of the 30:00bulletin on Sunday.

MB: Where your schedule is of what activities are going on.

GG: "Our Church in Action."

MB: Let me ask you just a few more questions about the Parkland area itself and anything that you can remember since '59 or '60 when you moved here. Can you tell me what kinds of changes have you seen in the area right around where you live, in the shopping area and this kind of thing -- have there been sad changes or good changes?

GG: Well, more or less sad changes. The twenties and Greenwood was the area where they had that trouble down there several years ago.


MB: People called it the riots.

GG: Yes, and then the fire department had moved away from there at 28th and Virginia. We do not have a fire department. It's down there at 34th and --

MB: Oh, that great big one?

GG: . . . Building and it's supposed to cover the same places.

MB: You had a small neighborhood substation and that's gone?

GG: It moved away.

MB: What other kinds of changes?

GG: But the building is there and it's boarded up and it's pathetic to see so many buildings boarded up and there's a filling station on 28th and Virginia boarded up. You remember, you can see it.

MB: Right, that is too bad. Has that happened a lot in the neighborhood with the houses too?

GG: Some houses too.

MB: When you moved here I bet there wasn't any of that was there? Everything was occupied and moving along.


GG: No, that's right.

MB: What do you think some of the reasons are for that? What do you think has happened?

GG: [Hard to understand but sounds like] shipped in and living in the housing there that must be that too.

MB: People moving on, other people moving in. Do you think the riots had any effect?

GG: Beg your pardon?

MB: Do you think the riots in '68 had any effect?

GG: Yes, I think so.

MB: Did it scare people off?

GG: [inaudible but sounds agreeing].

MB: What did you think of it when it happened? When the riots happened, do you remember? Did you think it was a big deal?

GG: I didn't think so much of it and I stayed far from it.

MB: You stayed away and didn't get in the middle of the riot, huh [laughs]. You didn't think it was that big of a deal, though?

GG: I don't think it probably could have been prevented.

MB: Do you think it -- did it scare off the businessmen? People who had the little business say up here at 28th and Dumesnil?


GG: That's right.

MB: What about neighbors? People who lived right around you? Did you have people move out as a result of it or did they just say, "This neighborhood is getting too tough and I'm going to sell my house" and then they were gone?

GG: No, not in my immediate vicinity but up and around 28th Street.

MB: People got scared and they were gone, that's too bad. Do you see anything else happening?

GG: They have policemen walking -- beat policemen.

MB: Frank Hobich?

GG: Beg your pardon?

MB: Frank Hobich.

GG: Is that his name?

MB: Yeah, he is very nice. Do you know him?

GG: Oh he is. Someone hit my car once and I was crossing going to work and someone backed into it and Mr. Hobich, that's his name, and he came and got the details and recorded everything.

MB: He's a very nice guy.

GG: This gentleman hit my car and tried to get away and run! I held onto him and yelled, "Police!" and Mr. Hobich was standing on the corner and he came a-running.


MB: You held on to the guy so he wouldn't get away? [Laughs]. What do you think of that policeman that walks and what he does here?

GG: I think he's very much needed. This morning I saw him and tooted my horn and he seen me passed.

MB: He's such a nice guy; do you think that would have made a difference in this area if there'd been more policemen and people like Frank who are here watching and taking care of people? What about break-ins? A lot of people have been talking to me about break-ins and that they have to worry about their homes.

GG: Break-ins?

MB: Yeah, where people break-in whether your home or not.


GG: Especially in this area; a business area with more break-ins.

MB: Do you have any trouble in your neighborhood?

GG: Yes, my house has been broken into twice. Came in the cellar once and came through the back door once.

MB: Oh, were you home!?

GG: No, we weren't home.

MB: Thank heavens you weren't home.

GG: We lost silverware and some money we had, some small coins of money and a radio but we never lost a television. We are very particular and careful about locking. We never leave the house with --

MB: But they didn't steal your television when they broke in those two times?

GG: No, we had an old television and I guess it wasn't --

MB: It pays to keep an old television! [Laughs]. When was that? Was that very 36:00long ago that you were broken in?

GG: That's about five years ago when we were [unintelligible but sounds like an insurance company name] and they took care of the damage and whatnot. The lady next door, she had a walk-in. She was looking for her dog and she went to the garage in the rear and left her front door open, I don't know why, somebody walked in and took some money and some more things.

MB: So now you're just really careful about how you lock up and what you're doing.

GG: Very careful.

MB: Would you ever move out of this area? Would you ever leave this area? Would you ever move?

GG: No, no I wouldn't.

MB: You still like it even though there are things maybe that you're not too happy with?

GG: It's my home and once you get a home and it's quite a home, you're going to have to like it.

Burgman: That's what a lot of people have said that have lived here a number of years.


GG: And up on Breckenridge that was my home too. You know how I say homes? I still have that.

MB: You have two homes then?

GG: Oh yes, a home and a house. Not two homes.

MB: Well I think that's about the end of my questions; did you have anything else that you wanted to add or anything else you could think of about the area? I've pretty well run out of questions?

GG: I think so.

MB: Well, I want to thank you. It was very interesting.