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Transcript of interview with Harriet Trudell by Caryll Batt Dziedziak, May 3, 2006






Born on August 22, 1935, Harriet spent her childhood years in the segregated southern cities of St. Petersburg, Florida and Mobile, Alabama. Daughter to a blue collar plumber, who was also a union organizer and ‘rabid Democrat,’ Harriet recalls her father saying, “Remember children, you know what meat tastes like because there’s a man named Franklin Roosevelt.” Unsurprisingly, she grew up thinking Roosevelt was God. With her mother’s sudden death at age thirty-one from a cerebral hemorrhage, ten year old Harriet spent two years at a boarding school before rejoining her younger brother at her maternal grandparents in St. Petersburg. Florida. During this time, her father also based out of the grandparents’ home while following big construction work opportunities at various cities. In 1948, sixteen-year-old Harriet accompanied her father, an Alabama Delegate, to the Democratic National Convention. Hearing Hubert Humphrey’s Civil Rights speech change her life. “I came home from that conve

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Trudell, Harriet Interview, 2006 May 3. OH-02668. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Harriet Trudell An oral history Interviews conducted by Caryll Batt Dziedziak _______________________________ Women’s Research Institute of Nevada Las Vegas Women Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas 2008 ? NSHE, Women’s Research Institute of Nevada, 2008 Produced by: Las Vegas Women Oral History Project Women’s Research Institute of Nevada, UNLV Dr. Joanne L. Goodwin, Director Caryll Batt Dziedziak, Interviewer and Editor Angela Moor, Editor Annette S. Amdal, Text Processor This interview and transcript have been made possible through the Foundation at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the research efforts of the Women’s Research Institute of Nevada (WRIN). Located at UNLV within the College of Liberal Arts, WRIN is a statewide research institute with programs that add to the body of knowledge on women and girls in the state. WRIN has housed the oral history project since 1999. The specific goal of the oral history project is to acquire the narratives of Nevadans whose lives provide unique information on the development of the state and in particular, southern Nevada. In addition, the oral history project enables students and faculty to work together to generate these first-person narratives. The participants in this project extend their appreciation to UNLV for providing an opportunity for this project to flourish. The text of this transcript received minimal editing. These measures include the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetition. The editing served to retain both the narrator’s style of spoken language as well as the reader’s understanding of the narrator’s words. Ideally, this interview would be heard as well as read. In some cases, the narrator has provided photographic images to accompany the narrative. If the narrator agreed, these images have been donated with the transcript to the UNLV Lied Library, Special Collections. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Las Vegas Women Oral History Project, Series II. Community Builders. Additional transcripts may be found under that series title. Joanne Goodwin, Project Director Associate Professor, Department of History University of Nevada, Las Vegas LIST OF PHOTOGRAPHS All photographs are courtesy of Harriet Trudell. Frontispiece: Harriet Hope Hardbarger (1950) The following photographs may be found following the text in the order listed below: 1. Harriet Hope Hardbarger, Senior Year of High School (1951) 2. Harriet with her mother and younger brother (ca. 1941) 3. Harriet with her brother, father, and maternal grandparents (ca. 1940) 4. Harriet with her son, daughter, and young neighbor (1963) 5. Harriet with family (ca. 1977) 6. Dinner at Henri’s Room at the Top (ca. 1975) 7. Harriet with U.S. Congressman Harry Reid 8. On the Campaign Trail (ca. 1980) 9. Harriet with U.S. Senator Richard Bryan 10. Harriet being arrested in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda (1995) 11. Harriet and Pat Van Betten (1998) 12. U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, Harriet, and U.S. Senator Harry Reid (ca. 2000) 13. Harriet receiving emergeNevada’s ‘Doorbuster Award’ (2007) 14. Proclamation honoring Harriet with ‘Queen Isabella Day’ (1980) 15. Congressional Record’s tribute to Harriet (1996) Preface Born on August 22, 1935, Harriet spent her childhood years in the segregated southern cities of St. Petersburg, Florida and Mobile, Alabama. Daughter to a blue collar plumber, who was also a union organizer and ‘rabid Democrat,’ Harriet recalls her father saying, “Remember children, you know what meat tastes like because there’s a man named Franklin Roosevelt.” Unsurprisingly, she grew up thinking Roosevelt was God. With her mother’s sudden death at age thirty-one from a cerebral hemorrhage, ten year old Harriet spent two years at a boarding school before rejoining her younger brother at her maternal grandparents in St. Petersburg. Florida. During this time, her father also based out of the grandparents’ home while following big construction work opportunities at various cities. In 1948, sixteen-year-old Harriet accompanied her father, an Alabama Delegate, to the Democratic National Convention. Hearing Hubert Humphrey’s Civil Rights speech change her life. “I came home from that convention a wild woman,” says Harriet. She suddenly recognized the pervasive racial divide of her community and thus began a lifelong quest for social change. In the years that followed, Harriet marched and protested against various forms social injustices, oftentimes being arrested in the process. By her early twenties, Harriet was organizing unions for the State AFL-CIO in Florida. Marriage and children soon followed. By 1962, Harriet and her young family relocated to Las Vegas. After a brief trip in 1965 back to Selma, Alabama marching with Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet focused her activism within Nevada. In the years that followed, she worked on against nuclear waste, on behalf of school integration, welfare rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, and Campaign for Choice. During this time she also ran many local and statewide political campaigns. In 1968, Harriet directed Hubert Humphrey’s Presidential Campaign in Nevada. In the 1970s, Harriet worked for the George McGovern Presidential Campaign as Campaign Manager for Southern Nevada. She then served as Southern Nevada Aide for Governor Mike O’Callaghan from 1974 to 1978. From 1983 to 1986, Harriet worked in Washington, D.C. as the Foreign Affairs Aide for Congressman Harry Reid. Harriet became known nationally for her expertise in grassroots campaign organizing. She traveled across Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, and Louisiana recruiting women to run for public office. She served on the National Organization for Women’s National Board and in 1992, returned to Washington, D.C. to work as a lobbyist for the Feminist Majority Foundation. In 2000, Harriet returned to Las Vegas and continues her work in Democratic politics, currently serving as Political Director for the Nevada State Democratic Party in Clark County. As a Democratic Party advocate, feminist and civil rights activist, campaign advisor and precinct organizer - Harriet’s political acumen has earned the respect of both local voters and noted legislators, making her, in U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s words, “A local legend.” Harriet Hope Hardbarger Petersburg High School (1950)Harriet Trudell An oral history Interviews conducted by Caryll Batt Dziedziak 1 This is Caryll Batt Dziedziak interviewing Harriet Trudell. Hello, Harriet. Thanks for taking the time to interview with us. It’s a pleasure. Let’s start with your childhood. Looking at your biographical questionnaire, I see that you were born in St. Petersburg, Florida on August 22, 1932. Right! Me and Roosevelt. We came in together. My dad said it was a great year for the world! That’s a great line! And your birth name was Harriet Hope Hardbarger. What nationality is that? German. It means “hard rock” or “hard mountain” in German. Oh, okay. That’s interesting. Now in several past interviews, you have referred to your family as “rabid Democrats.” Yes. Tell me a little bit about that. Well, my father really believed that the most horrible thing in the world was a Republican. He really brought my brother and I up to believe that if we voted for a Republican our hand would fall off. Some of the earliest memories that my brother and I talk about are Sunday dinners. In the early days when I was like six or seven, you ate a lot of beans. But on Sunday, we’d have chicken or a roast. And whenever we’d say Grace, my father would say, “Remember children, you know what meat tastes like because there’s a man named Franklin Roosevelt.” That’s very heady stuff to be raised with! Sure! 2 And he believed that! Both sides of my family were dedicated Democrats. Let’s go back to your parents’ names. My mother’s family was also German: Wilhelmina Antonette Burkart. My grandfather Burkart was first generation. His people came over in the 1840s through New York and settled in a little village outside Green Bay, Wisconsin. Now my mother’s mother, whose name was Maud Rachel Morrow - her family goes back there to 1620. When you go to Jamestown, there’s an obelisk and my eight-jillion great grandfather was George Browne. We’re descended directly from him. My grandmother belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution. She belonged to the Daughters of the War of 1812 and to the Daughters of the Confederacy. My great grandfather fought for Tennessee First Volunteers under Colonel Moses White. So, I came from a family of rebels - all the way through. Now when you said Morrow, is that M-O-R-R-O-W? Yes, Irish. The first Morrow, Patrick Morrow, came in from Kerry. They were Orangemen. They settled in Knoxville in the late 1700s. So, you have quite a lengthy family lineage. Yes, and I’ve done a lot of research. My cousins have all done research, so it’s been a lot of fun. My grandmother, Maud Morrow, my mother’s mother - her family goes back the furthest, but they’re all fascinating. So, you’ve got the German-Irish mix? And Scotch-Irish and English. My dad used to say that the most German thing about him was his name, because on his mother’s side it was Bennetts and Lanes and Byrds - all Virginians. They all settled in Virginia for generations. 3 So, are you related to Senator Byrd of West Virginia? You know, I’m sure there’s probably a connection. There was a Harry Byrd of Virginia, who was the most anti-labor [senator] and we were connected to him. I had a great great grandmother who was Maryann Byrd, but my father never would admit it. We also were kin to the explorer, but distant. We were all connected in the same world of Virginia. Your father’s name was Harry Olin Hardbarger? Right. Tell me about what he did for a living. My father was a plumber and then a union organizer for the Plumbers’ Union - plumbers and pipe fitters. And in your early years you lived in Florida? No, I was born in Florida while my dad was in the Coast Guard. There was a big base there and my mother had lived there since she was a child. He came into port there and met her and they courted and got married. But when I was two years old and he was out of the Coast Guard, he took my mother and I back to Virginia. He worked there for a rayon mill in a little town called Covington, Virginia. My brother, who’s four years younger than me, was born in 1936. While my mother was expecting him, they actually had one of the early sit-down strikes at this rayon mill. I have the memory of him my father behind this fence and us coming and bringing him something to eat. The guard let my mother hand it to him. They lost that strike and he was blackballed- he couldn’t work in Virginia. My grandmother’s youngest sister’s husband worked for the Texas Oil Company in New York City and was Chief Engineer. Anyway, he got my father a job in Mobile, Alabama - so I got to Mobile by the time I was five. I lived there until up 4 through my elementary school. My mother died in Mobile in ’43 when I was in fifth grade. So, sixth and seventh grade I spent in boarding school and then I went back to Florida to live with my grandparents. My father based out of there. That’s where his local was. He traveled doing big construction with companies. I read that your mother was only thirty-one years old when she died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Yes. And my mother had a severe curvature of the spine. She was born with tubercular bone and three compressed vertebrae. She was born in Chicago and spent her childhood in hospitals. When she was about seven, they said, “You need to get her out of this climate.” So, my grandmother took her to Florida. She couldn’t walk and they would roll her out into the Gulf and fed her orange juice and by the time she was twelve she was operating as a teenager. She chose to get married and have children. She did really well when she had me, but then she really had a bad time when she had my brother. She lived another six years, but my grandmother used to say it was like it had taken her reserve of strength. But anyway, she chose to live her life as she wanted to. Did she need to use canes? Oh no, her back almost looked like, I don’t know how to describe it, except it looked like a triangle. It came almost to a point, but she wasn’t chicken-breasted. She was about 4’10” and weighed about eighty-five pounds and she was an artist. She did political cartoons and she really was just getting started with it because it was World War II and the paper in Mobile was beginning to pay her for cartoons and she died. But we still have a lot of her cartoons. Was she able to work from home, since you and your brother were so young? 5 Yes, she did work from home. She had a little room set up that she did her work in. I’m trying to remember, because I remember being in first grade and coming home. She was always there, but she would have sometimes been out. And that was Mobile, Alabama in the ’30s. The blacks would work for clothes and food or anything you could give them. It was a terrible, terrible social blight. I have my father’s income tax. He made like $1,500 a year, so you can imagine how the blacks lived. So, your family had help? My mother always had help. Yes, I grew up in a world where blacks waited on you. My grandmother was more upper-middle class. We certainly weren’t, but she gave us things like a car. We were the only people in our neighborhood that had a car and that kind of thing, but we were certainly a blue-collar family. As a child, did you do a lot of reading? I’m a very avid reader. I’ve read all my life. In fact, when I was little, my family didn’t use corporal punishment. But the greatest punishment would be if they would not let me read for a week if I did something. And, I mean, it was just brutal for me! Remember, we didn’t have TV, we had radio. But the adults listened to radio. We listened to “One Man’s Family” on Sunday night. I’d come home for lunch from school and my mother would be making the sandwich or whatever she was fixing me. And I’d always come into “Baukage Talking,” which was out of Washington. And we’d listen to Fulton Louis, Jr. My father hated him! He’d cuss – well, not cuss, but rave about him the whole time. So, the radio was on quite a bit? Oh yes! Well, on news and current event-type things. 6 Tell me more about growing up in Mobile. What it was like during that time - the later years of the Depression? Well, the Depression for the South wasn’t over until World War II ended. I remember when my father came home. He had left Texas Oil and gone to work at the shipyards. He was the superintendent for the pipe department at Alabama Dry Docks and Shipyards. When he came home, he was making a hundred dollars a week. I’m telling you, he was always so bitter because my mother died. He had finally gotten to where he could do some of the things he had wanted to do for her - and she died. It was just so poignant for him. I’m sure. We lived very well once World War II started. When my mother died, my brother was only six years old. So, her mother, my grandmother, came up from St. Petersburg and got him and they sent me to boarding school, because my grandmother had just remarried two years before. She married my step-grandfather, who I consider my grandfather. They had this lovely life planned. They were in their early sixties and suddenly they had two children. He had never had children. He had had an invalid wife and she had passed away. So, everybody’s life went topsy-turvy. And, of course, my father was frozen on that job until the war ended. So, I went to Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina. I was raised Episcopal and it was an Episcopal girls’ school. Our Pastor in Mobile did a lot of the arranging - he and an Episcopal Deaconess that we knew. I spent two years in Charleston, South Carolina. I learned things there. I learned to pour tea properly and I could jump a horse sidesaddle and all these things. I mean, you learned how to be a 7 southern lady, but I’d come out of a family with a father and a mother and a baby brother and a dog and a cat - and suddenly my world was gone. Sure, you were only ten. So, I was eleven when I went to boarding school. She died when I was in fifth grade and I went to boarding school for sixth and seventh grade. After the seventh grade, I pleaded with my grandmother, “Please don’t make me go back!” So, of course she didn’t. She built onto the house instead. [Laughter] So, I spent my junior high and high school years in St. Petersburg. Your maternal grandmother? Yes. My mother died in March of ’43 and that summer my brother and I went to my father’s parents’ farm in Virginia. And the following January ’44, my grandmother died of a heart attack. So, that left my maternal grandmother with all of it. Before, I was going to go to boarding school and they would have Huey in the winters - but that went awry too. My dad lost his mother and wife within one year. Lots of unexpected changes. But, you know something - I was loved. And like my brother says, with my grandparents we had a very nice upper-middle class life. And so, it went all right. So, you moved back to Florida with your grandparents and your father stayed in Alabama? You see they hadn’t built anything during the war. Everything was frozen because they needed all the materials. Suddenly, the building boom was all over and he followed big construction. He worked for major construction companies that are still around. And he, of course, made very good money. But he based out of St. Pete, where he had his union 8 card. Then he got this opportunity to organize throughout the Southeast for the National Plumbers and Pipefitters. So, your dad was politically active in union organizing? Oh yes! And in Democratic politics. And my grandmother too. My step-grandfather certainly voted and believed, but he wasn’t like my grandmother and my father. And my real grandfather, my mother’s real father, Burkart - he was also very active. He fought against the loan sharks and all that kind of stuff. Now, this was the grandfather who was from Chicago? Yes, well, he was from Wisconsin and then made a lot of money in Chicago. When you were a teenager living with your maternal grandmother and her second husband, did you see your father regularly? Well, he lived with us when he was in town. My grandmother’s house was his base but he traveled when he was doing the big construction. So, he’d come home for a couple of weeks and then he’d go off. In those days, you could go down to your union hall and they’d tell you where your next job was. This Charles Wilson, who was part of the Detroit carmakers’ thing, was the one that put a stop to that. You had to go and see if you could get a job there. Your union B.A. [Business Agent] couldn’t send you anymore to a guaranteed job. That was in Eisenhower’s years - my father hated them all! Did he talk about this? Oh my God! I can pull that guy’s name out and I can tell you what he did. He said, when they were getting ready to stop that as part of the union negotiations, “I always liked the dog that had to go hunt and not the fat one that sat in his cage.” Oh God, my father and the AF of L! 9 Let’s go back to when you were a child. You were saying when you were talking about Mobile and the segregation, “This is what I grew up with.” What was the turning point? What politicized you or what raised your awareness? I knew I was a Democrat and I knew Roosevelt was a god. But I was sixteen when I really became aware of segregation. I mean I lived in a world where you had black and white. I have to say, that’s the scariest thing in my life: I was sixteen years old and in anybody’s view would have thought I was politically aware. I knew who were my senators: I grew up thinking Claude Pepper was fabulous, Lister Hill of Alabama. But I didn’t know I was segregated. It was a way of life. I can remember my grandmother, whose father fought for the Confederacy saying to me, “Harriet, slavery was wrong.” There was no one in my family that ever thought slavery was right, but their financial livelihood was based on it. My dad was a delegate from Alabama to the 1948 Convention and he took me. And the Alabama [delegation] walked out over him signing the Civil Rights Act. This was Hubert Humphrey? Yes! Hubert Humphrey made his Civil Rights speech. He was mayor of Minneapolis. And my dad used to say, “Well, I took her to the convention and lost a daughter.” Although, he later came to think like I thought. But, I mean I came home a wild woman. So, this was a flashpoint for you? Oh yes! I came home, looked around, and thought, “Oh my God!” You know, “Ugh!” And, of course, then I had raging battles with my father. My grandmother just so worried that people were going to realize that I wasn’t a southern lady. My whole life literally changed with that week. His [Humphrey’s speech] was the epiphany. I was sixteen and I 10 was ready to challenge everybody. I mean - how dare you? And of course, it was so reinforced. You’d go over and the roads in the [black] quarters there in St. Pete were torn up. If they bought a car, it got torn up. You didn’t see the roads like that anywhere else in St. Pete. It was a lovely little clean tourist town - no industry. But, my grandmother, whose father fought for the Confederacy, always said to me that slavery was wrong. Well, I mean, that’s a mild statement! But nevertheless, that was a big jump for her. This was your maternal grandmother? Yes. And she raised me because my mother died when I was little. And your grandmother worried that people would notice that you weren’t a southern lady? Oh, yes! There was this thing she used to always say to me when I’d say, “Whoa - something!” She’d say, “society will never support you in that. You will regret it and be punished for it. You must not mix the thing. Society will never let you do that in the end.” That’s so interesting, coming from a woman who herself broke the mold. Yes, she did! But she always really knew that she was a mustang. That to be a true southern lady, she should have been able to go to Ward Belmont, which her father had promised her. And that working was the most humiliating thing that could have ever happened to her. So it was more of a protective thing she had for you? Absolutely! Because I’m sure she had been sneered at for it. She never talked about that. If that were so - she didn’t. But I suppose she was telling me society will never support you. You can’t buck that. So, of course, that’s all I did! [Laughter] 11 You took that as your mantra then? Yes! [Laughter] A great deal of what I am though came out of my childhood and I suppose everybody’s does. But I mean, my grandmother, whose parents had grown up in a society where any woman who did labor was no lady. Her father told her that if she’d make her grades, he would send her to Ward Belmont in Nashville. Now they’re on this ranch out in Texas - they’ve migrated after the Civil War. My grandmother was born there. I have the report card with her 99%. And, of course, he couldn’t send her across the street! So, she went into Fort Worth to a little Stock and Grain Company and learned telegraphy and became the first woman in her family to work - and everybody was horrified! This is your maternal grandmother? That was my maternal grandmother that raised me. Who later became a nurse? Yes. She met Burkart. He was a telegrapher too, which is how he got into the Stock and Grain business in Chicago - but that was later. They ran off and got married, because he was a Yankee and a Catholic. I mean, there was nothing worse! She ran off and married him and they went to Gallup, New Mexico. In Gallup, was this fabulous little hospital with this young tubercular doctor. He was from Boston and his family was immensely wealthy and they had sent him to the desert and done this whole hospital. And, of course, most of what he worked on were the Indians. But my grandmother learned nursing. He taught her nursing. When she went to Florida, after she had left my grandfather in Chicago with all his money, she took her State Boards and made the highest score that 12 was ever made. In those days, you didn’t have to go [to school]. She had interned, you might say, with this young doctor, who she said was marvelous. She left your grandfather? She left my grandfather Burkart when my mother was seven years old. He had the first Cadillac in Chicago and he had lady friends. He was not good to her. He was a poor young boy who made it and he went nuts from it! And when she left, I guess she charged everything she possibly could and shipped it to St. Pete. When the “Crash” came in ’29, “Black Tuesday,” he wired her. I still have the wire, “You can’t get blood out of a turnip!” [Laughter] So, then she went to work as a nurse, but she always maintained and had a nice life. You mentioned that your mother wasn’t lacking for anything when she was growing up. So, this was provided by her own mother? Well, later. Yes. And I don’t know how much money she had stashed from my grandfather - she didn’t talk about it. She did keep the telegram! [Laughter] We still have that! And he was God’s most charming human being - I adored him! He died when I was twelve. He could sell you your ears, but he didn’t have a very - how can you judge people? Sure, like you said - drastic changes in their life. You bet! His father was killed by runaway horses when he was about twelve and his mother had about eleven kids. All good Catholics with these wonderful names like Aloysius and Melchior - nine boys and one girl. The girl’s name was Kate. [Laughter] I thought, “All these elaborate names for the boys - and ‘Kate.’” Well, Katherine, I guess was her real name. Anyway, I went back and did a lot of research on his family and 13 actually met my Great Aunt Kate’s daughter, who was my mother’s first cousin. When I was walking up in New Franken, which was this little village out of Green Bay, she says, “To think I’d live to see Billie’s daughter.” [Laughter] And she had pictures of me, because my grandmother kept in touch with my grandfather’s family - she loved them. And I have all kinds of pictures of all of that and I have a book on the history of New Franken and the three Burkart brothers that came. They were schoolteachers and started a little Catholic school there in the village. What nationality is Burkart? German. They were from Bavaria and I don’t know where the Hardbargers originated. We’ve never traced back. They go back to the late 1700s in Virginia and my dad always said that they came in through Philadelphia and they were millwrights. I imagine they went over into the German section and then came South. All along the tidewater, the landowners wanted them to teach the slaves their trade. Boy, they knew better than to do that! But, when you read about the Germans in Virginia, they really brought them in because the English were merchants and landowners and the Germans built their homes and their offices and their barns and things like that. You can go through in Virginia and see the German barns - they’re much bigger than the English. But, when the Germans were through building, the landowners really didn’t want them around, so they gave them land in the western part of Virginia - a lot of which is now West Virginia. It was Indian country, but for those land-starved Europeans - they took it. And a lot of them were slaughtered, but those who survived went back up there in those mountains. Hardbarger is a very common name in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. So, that’s how your dad’s family basically pushed up into the mountains for land. 14 Right, the Hardbargers. Now, the rest were there before. Like I said, my grandmother was a Bennett and there was some Dutch on her side. I had a great uncle that used to tell me that’s why they were such good housekeepers. And my grandmother used to say about my Grossmutter Burkart, “She’d get up and scrub the roof if she could figure a way.” And I always loved this - she said that my Grossmutter would say, “Aghh, the drecke French. They’ve got a piano in the living room and a mortgage on the house.” [Laughter] I mean, people never change! They always find something! Let’s go back to when you attended the 1948 Democratic National Convention at age sixteen - you were a changed person. Yes, I was! I absolutely went mad! I couldn’t believe it! When you say, “went mad” were you an activist? Well, it took me a little bit. I didn’t know where to go. In other words, I began to notice things, like the blacks - their roads were horrible. I mean they’d buy a car and it would be torn up on the roads they drove on. We have this beautiful pier in St. Petersburg. At Christmas they’d put up trees and they’d reflect in the water, and everybody would drive by. I had no idea that blacks couldn’t go - that black children couldn’t see that. I didn’t realize. I never looked around me at a beach and realized there were no blacks. That came a little later to horrify me, but I tell you when I realized that blacks had a little piece of barbed-wire thing that they could swim in, which had a terrible undertow - whew! It was just a horrifying thing to think. I had been brought up with Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson as my heroes! [Laughter] My father didn’t know the Civil War was over. He was still fighting it! Such a common sentiment for Southerners. 15 Now, let me tell you how bad it was. My grandmother and grandfather belonged to the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and they belonged to the Bath Club at the beach. And when you signed in as a member, became a member and were accepted – there was a whole list of things. And as I told you, they did not address anything about color. They were after Jews. They did not want Jews in it. We also had a public beach - St. Pete Beach. And when you drove up and parked there was this huge sign that, oh, it was several hundred feet up and it said, “Restricted Clientele.” I remember it on the public beach sign, but what it meant was that Jews were not allowed. Now, they did not enforce that, but it was there. I don’t know if at some time they had or not. But they no longer enforced it when we were there. I had a Greek girlfriend who looked Greek. And a guy did ask her once if she was Jewish. And she said, “No, I’m Greek.” And I think he made some comment to her, “Same thing!” But he didn’t do anything. He just asked her. Do you remember any reaction at the time? No. I don’t think we thought about it, you know. I mean, well, she was very pretty. She was “Miss Florida” in 1950 and she went on to Miss America. She won all kinds of beauty contests, and so, we were used to men coming up to her. Your brother, Hugh, who was four years younger than you, was probably a little too young to notice these things? Hugh. Hugh Morrow Hardbarger and he went into the Navy right out of high school. And so, he came home after his four years that he had put in there. The last two he spent in Fallon, Nevada and married my sister-in-law. He came home with his own ideas, but he didn’t get really prejudiced until he went into the trades. He became an electrician and it’s just so prevalent still. 16 So would they have been with the AFL side of the union? They were with the AFL, but by the time my brother was an adult, they were merged. The trade unions just crawled up out of the horrors of the Depression. They saw blacks as threatening their jobs, and absolutely the underlying hatred came from that. It was a threat to their survival and they just passed it on. But I look today and I see people - I have friends in Florida who are right where people were in the fifties. It’s unbelievable to me, unbelievable! But it’s there! You talked about being a young teenager and not being aware of these things - some people can go through life like that. Yes, I guess so. Although, remember - then the Civil Rights Movement began and people were aware. Nobody could hide under that rock any more! I remember the little girl that they marched into the school in Arkansas. God, with her pigtails just so starched and everything white except her skin, because even they thought that was the way to be. Was that ’54? It may have been. It was in ’56, I think. Eisenhower was President. He was elected in ’52. I think it was about ’56. Brown v. Board of Education was ’54. Well, it took a couple of years before they marched them in. I remember when Brown v. Board of Education was passed and the South had a conv