Partial Transcript: Are we on? So, I’m just going to go around and ask you to introduce yourself …
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Jones discusses his childhood and family, detailing his early years in school and his working life after graduating.
Keywords: Broad Street School; Cabin Creek School; Fairmont; Fairmont High School; Georgia; Henry County; Rosnwald School
Partial Transcript: Well there are a few questions I have about …
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Jones discusses life in Georgia prior to the Civil Rights Act and the implementation of desegregation. He recounts experiences with the institution of Separate But Equal in cafés and at drinking fountains. He further discusses the gradual process of integration in the South and working conditions for African Americans at that time as a result.
Keywords: Civil Rights; Civil Rights Act; Fairmont; Georgia; Griffin; Integrated School; Pike County; Segregated School; Segregation; Separate But Equal; Spalding County; Zebulon
Partial Transcript: Can you tell us about your connection with the Fairmont High School or the Rosenwald School ...
Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses his experiences attending Fairmont High School. He talks about the Fairmont High School faculty and differences he sees in education in the present day compared to the pre-integration era.
Keywords: Civil Rights; Civil Rights Act; Educator; Fairmont; Fairmont High School; Fairmont High School Band; Georgia; Griffin; Integrated School; Rosnwald School; Segregated School; Segregation; Separate But Equal; Spalding County; Spalding County School System
Partial Transcript: You know, I don’t know how much you can speak to this …
Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about his work as an insurance salesman in Griffin as well as working conditions generally for African-Americans in Griffin. He discusses Griffins status as a "mill town" and the effects of integration on the mill economy.
Keywords: Civil Rights Act; Fairmont; Georgia; Griffin; Griffin MillCivil Rights; Independent Life Insrance; Labor Rights; Plessy v. Ferguson; Separate But Equal; Spalding County; Thomaston; Thomaston Mills Inc.
Partial Transcript: Tell us your most memorable experiences as a student at the Fairmont School …
Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses his most memorable experiences from high school, and recalls his love of dating and school dances. He also talks about some of the people who influenced his academic experience, especially his uncle, who encouraged him to finish school.
Keywords: Mill town; brick mason; football; prom; teachers
Partial Transcript: Well you asked me about the teachers that were influences in my life....
Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about his relationship to his church and the church's importance in the African-American community. He goes on to discuss his activism during the civil rights movement. Mr. Jones ends talking about jobs which were considered most highly sought after by African-Americans in the Fairmont Community.
Keywords: Civil Disobediance; Civil RIghts Marches; Civil Rights; Civil Rights Act; Fairmont; Georgia; Griffin; Labor Rights; NAACP; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Non-Violent Protest; Peaceful Protest; Pike County; Plessy v. Ferguson; Segregation; Separate But Equal; Spalding County; Zebulon
Partial Transcript: Since you went to a segregated high school but since that time you’ve had children who have gone through integrated schools … can you share with us your thoughts on racial equality?
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Jones discusses his thoughts on integration versus separate but equal. He details both the positive and negative effects that resulted from the change in policy and reflects on how this change affected his life and the lives of those around him.
Keywords: Civil Disobediance; Civil Rights; Civil Rights Act; Fairmont; Georgia; Griffin; Integrated School; Labor Rights; Marches; NAACP; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Non-Violent Protest; Peaceful Protest; Plessy v. Ferguson; Segregated School; Segregation; Separate But Equal
Partial Transcript: So tell us more about what you’re doing now days after retirement...
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Jones discusses his passion for gardening and what he has done in the time since retiring. He also discusses the state of Griffin and the Fairmont Community in the present day.
Keywords: Fairmont; Fairmont High School; Georgia; Griffin; Integrated School; Master Gardener; Spalding County School System; T.S. Richardson; The Easy Shop
JOHN CRUICKSHANK:So we'll start?
RICHIE BRAHMAN:Take it away.
CRUICKSHANK: Are we on?
CRUICKSHANK:Uh-oh, okay. So I'm just going to go around and ask you to introduceyourselves. I'm not going to say your name; you say your name, okay?
CRUICKSHANK:So my name is John Cruickshank, and today I have with me two otherpeople who will be interviewing Mr. Jimmy Jones. And so with me I have --
BE-ATRICE CUNNINGHAM:Be-Atrice Cunningham.
CRUICKSHANK:And also I have --
CRUICKSHANK:And so we're interviewing --
JIMMY JONES:Jimmy Jones.
CRUICKSHANK:Jimmy Jones. Okay, so let's begin by getting you, Mr. Jones, to tellus where and when you were born and grew up.
JONES:I was born in 1936 in Henry County. That's just a little north of here.And in an early age, in the early '40s, I moved to Spalding County 00:01:00directly across the street from the Rosenwald School.
CRUICKSHANK:Mm-hmm. And so you grew up there?
JONES:I was born -- I mean I grew up at right there on Jefferson Street. Iattended -- the first school I attended, the way it was set up at the time, we went -- I went to what was called Broad Street School from the first through the fourth grade. And after that, we were transferred to Cabin Creek School. We got to fifth and the sixth grade. From there, at the time, we went to Rosenwald School. By that time -- before the -- before that, we had the Cabin Creek School. It burned down after about I was there about a year. We had to go to school over at Rosenwald School a half a day, and the high school children went to school a half a day. But before that, they had a junior high 00:02:00school that we went to sixth and seventh grade. Then, all ninth and through the twelfth was at Rosenwald.
CRUICKSHANK:Did you have brothers and sisters?
JONES:Yeah, I had -- I come from a large family. I have a family of four boysand three -- and five girls. I have five sisters and three other -- four other brothers.
CRUICKSHANK:What did your parents do?
JONES:Well, my daddy, he was a construction worker, and my mama was, at thetime, you know, was the stay at -- with five -- with nine children, she was a stay-at-home mom.
CRUICKSHANK:Mm-hmm. And your current family, do you have children yourself?
JONES:My wife and I -- this is my second marriage, and she and I don't have anychildren, but I have two children by my first wife. And I have seven grandchildren, and I think it's two great-grandchildren. 00:03:00
CAIN:Okay. Well, if I can, I'll continue some of the questioning. Tell us alittle bit about -- we'll come back to the school, but tell us a little bit about your vocation over the course of your life, where you worked and --
JONES:Well, right out of school, I sold shoes for a short period of time. Afterthat, I did construction work and I worked in manufacturing. And the last twenty years of my work experience, I was an insurance agent. I did that for twenty years. I retired from the insurance business and I was took off three months, and I got bored from not working. I went back to work at Walmart, and I worked at the garden center at Walmart for thirteen years. And now I'm 00:04:00completely retired and the only thing I do is garden, working in my garden and around the house.
CRUICKSHANK:So what were you doing at Walmart?
JONES:I was in charge of the live flowers. I kept them watered. I kept themdisplayed. Anything to do for the live flowers, just the live flowers, that was what I did. Now, I only worked three days a week; I worked Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I sort of got the place ready for the weekend.
CRUICKSHANK:Well, there are a few questions that I have about -- that I'mparticularly interested in relating to segregation back in the '60s when there was an effort here in Griffin to implement segregation. What were you 00:05:00doing at the time, back in -- that would have been, what, '64, '65?
CAIN:Well, really, integration probably happened sometime in the mid to late'60s, so prior to that, it was pretty much a segregated town. Is that right?
JONES:Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. You said what was I doing?
CRUICKSHANK:What were you -- where were you at that time?
JONES:You must try to remember. It was a way of life with us because that's allwe knew.
JONES:It was just a way of life and we just --
CRUICKSHANK:And then integration came, what, in the mid-'60s or something? Sothen was that a huge change in your life?
JONES:Not really, not really. It was a change because we could do so many thingswe hadn't been able to do. We could go places we hadn't been able to go, so that was a change. But I think about all of us, we took it in stride. It 00:06:00wasn't a thing that we really had to work at.
CRUICKSHANK:How did you feel about it? I mean was it --
JONES:It was a blessing. I'll tell you some of the experience -- one experienceI had. It was a blessing knowing that I didn't have to bow down to a person just because his skin color was different. There was a time when we was expected to say, "Yes, sir," and, "No, sir," to any white person that was older -- just white person. He could be 15, 16 years old and we'd be 30, and he was expecting you to say, "Yes, sir," and, "No, sir," to him. I remember I was working at a caf, and this fellow, this young fellow, was bringing produce to the caf, and he and I joked along. We were about the same age; he and I joked along. And one day he came in, and he told me, said, "Jimmy," said, "I think it about time for you to start calling me Mister." And I didn't think too much of 00:07:00that, so, you know, how strong as I am sometimes, I said, "Well, explain it to me." And I said, "Well, I just -- I won't call you anything." So that's something that sticks out in my mind. I remember that happening during my early experience with segregation.
CAIN:Mm-hmm, and just in terms of having access to department stores and movies,theatres, and, you know, drinking water, those kinds of things, what was it like here in Griffin?
JAMES:Oh, boy, it was a big difference because I remember down here in Griffinwe had what we called the McClellan Ten Cent store. They had the water fountain. They had the little caf part that we couldn't -- they had the black 00:08:00and white, the colored, the whatever -- it was colored then; we were colored then. The colored fountains and they had the white fountains. And they had the little caf that we could buy the sandwich, but you had to stand back. They would hand it to you, or you could go to the rear or the other stores and get it. And it was a blessing. It was a pleasure to be able to go sit down because that's something y'all really wanted to do anyway. You see those people sitting at those stools. I've always wanted to go sit at that stool, and it was a blessing, Lord, that I could go sit at the stool. That was something that was refreshing.
CAIN:What about just hiring? For example, if there's a department store or astore in the area. Jobs, integration in terms of jobs in and around that time?
JONES:Well, now that really, that took some time. That didn't comeinstantaneously. I mean that came about slowly because see, I remember only people working for the city. The only people you saw working for 00:09:00the city was people that are colored. Black people working for the city were the ones that was doing construction work. They poured the cement; they dug the ditches; they carried the trash. The white people, they drove the trucks or they stood there. They were the bosses. And that carried on for a long while. That didn't happen right off the bat when black people started being given some of the other jobs now. When I worked at the mill, the cotton mills, too. And when I first started working at the cotton mill, there was no black superintendent or foreman in there in the cotton mill. Just before I left, they started having blacks in supervisory positions, but that was a while. That was up in the '70s.
CRUICKSHANK:And so there were situations where there were African Americans who00:10:00were supervising white people?
JONES:Oh, yeah, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Yeah, they were, uh-huh.
CRUICKSHANKAnd do you remember there being much resistance to that?
JONES:I never did work in that capacity, so I really couldn't say. I never was a supervisor.
CRUICKSHANK:Mm-hmm, but you were saying that that was a gradual change.
JONES:Oh, yeah, yeah.
CRUICKSHANK:But earlier you were saying with the water fountains and so on, theway you said it, it sounded like that just happened absolutely overnight. That you'd come in the next day after this new policy was put in place and everything was just completely changed. How gradual was that experience?
JONES:Well, you mean --
CRUICKSHANK:I guess there was -- wasn't there an official date at which thepolicy began? I'm not sure.
CAIN:I think --
CRUICKSHANK:It was signed into law at some point on an exact date, I00:11:00presume. So are you telling me that, you know, the day before everything was complete segregation, and then they come in the day after and you had access to all these things? How gradual was that?
JONES:Well, well, let me put -- let me say this. What you are speaking of, ithappened here. That happened here in Griffin.
JONES:And at the time, I was living in Zebulon, Pike County 12 miles from here,so I don't remember if they had an official date when we got a -- they got a committee that went down and drink out of the fountain. I don't recall. I'm not saying it didn't happen. I just don't recall. But now, in Pike County, we didn't -- I -- the marching had came at a later date, and then it wasn't for a water fountain. It was for to guarantee that the principal of this all black school was black. 00:12:00
CRUICKSHANK:But in terms of your personal experience, so I mean, at some pointearly in your life, you would never, ever drink out of the same fountain. But eventually, you -- I presume more and more you were drinking out of both fountains. How did that work?
JONES:Well, eventually, they took one of the fountains out, and there was justone fountain eventually.
CRUICKSHANK:Oh, okay, okay.
JONES:And if you wanted to drink them, you drunk them, and if you didn't, youknow, it wasn't no colored and white no more. It was just one fountain. But at first, gradually, it didn't come out all at once. They didn't do it one day and just moved this fountain. It stayed there for a while and eventually removed one of them.
CRUICKSHANK:So would you have recollections, like, of your very first experienceof drinking out of white fountains? No?
JONES:No, no, no, no, no, uh-uh.
CRUICKSHANK:Uh-huh, but it did happen and then eventually it just -- what, overa period of months , I suppose, you got used to? And then they took 00:13:00out the fountain out.
JONES:Absolutely, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.
CUNNINGHAM:Can you tell us about your connection with the Fairmont High Schoolor the Rosenwald School, and also with the Fairmont community?
JONES:Okay, like I was telling you earlier, I lived directly across the street.The school was on one side of the street; I'm on the other side of the street. So I -- that was from my early age from maybe four years of age on up. I attended the Fairmont. It was Fairmont then; it wasn't -- at first, it was Vocational High School, and then they changed the name to Fairmont High School. Now, I attended Fairmont High School; I didn't -- I never went to Vocational. I went there from the seventh -- no, no, it was from the ninth through the twelfth grade. I played football. I was... I played basketball. 00:14:00
CRUICKSHANK:What years were they?
JONES:This was in the early '50s. It could have been '53, '54, something like that.
CRUICKSHANK:Okay, so it changed names in '49, so you would have been there,started going there about three years after it changed its name then I'm guessing, okay.
JONES:Yeah, see, I don't remember when they changed the name. But I know when Iwent to the school it was no longer Vocational; it was Fairmont. As a matter of fact, when I first knew the school, it was just a small school, just the ninth through the twelfth grade. Out back of the school, they had a place where you could take -- the people in the community, they could take their vegetables and stuff that -- they had a cannery set up out there. They could take their vegetables and can their vegetables. They also had a building out back 00:15:00that we could learn to -- even before they put it in school, we could learn to... we'd go out there and practice laying brick, even before they put it in the school.
CUNNINGHAM:You mentioned that you were involved in athletics: football andbasketball. How were the sports facilities at the black high school?
JONES:Okay, okay, okay. Now, we did have a place where we could dress at ourschool in the field. The field was directly adjacent to the school so we didn't have to go in there just to change clothes right there at the school. But now there was a thing that I remember. We had to walk all the way across -- after at a game, if tonight we're going to have a game, we didn't have the 00:16:00bus to bus us to the stadium. We had to walk all the way from the school all the way across town to the stadium, and walk back. And we would dress at the school and walk over to the stadium, play the game, and walk back.
CRUICKSHANK:How many miles was that?
JONES:I'd guess it was a couple of miles.
CAIN:What about a gymnasium?
JONES:We had a gymnasium. Now, that's what she wanted me to mention. That's whatI wanted to mention. Now, when I first found out about Vocational, I don't know of them having a gym, per se. The gym was owned, the way I'd say it was, by a teacher there, Mr. Millett. He was the principal of that school. He had a wooden building that the black played in, played basketball in. We didn't have a gym until after they built it. It was in the '50s when they built 00:17:00Fairmont. That's when we had a gym of our own. Before that, we didn't have a gym. And we never did have, and don't have now, didn't have a stadium that the black could play. We played in the white stadium. The white and the black used the same stadium. The white played on I think it was Friday night, and we played on Saturday night.
CAIN:And what was it like? The faculty that was at Fairmont, I'm sure they wereinterested in their students, but what was that like? What was your experience academically?
JONES:That is one thing that's missing in the schools today that was prevalentin my school. The teacher could talk to you in a way that the teachers can't talk to a child now. The teachers today, I'm told, they can't 00:18:00really put a child in a bad situation or talk to them in an embarrassing way. Well, we were fortunate that our mothers and fathers were in tune with the teachers, and the two teachers had absolute control over us. I mean it didn't make sense for me to go home and tell Mama stuff about what the teacher did or didn't do because the teacher was right. And you'd probably be best not to even mention that if you had a run-in with the teacher. (laughter) You'd probably get another when you got home. So that is a big difference in discipline, and another thing, too, that I think about, we was... The teachers and the children back then, the education was more important to us, in my age group, 00:19:00than it is to children today because we knew and it was drilled into us: "If you don't get an education, you are not going to be nothing. You just got to have this education." And I think for that reason, more of us got into the school and curriculum than get into it now because I don't think it's important to children. Because we knew that about the only thing, if we studied hard and did good in school, we might be an insurance agent, we might be a schoolteacher, or we might be a preacher. That's about as far as we could see at the time, but now, you know, you can aspire to be whatever you want to be.
CRUICKSHANK:How would you explain that change in attitudes and so on? Do youhave any idea of why that would be?
JONES:Well, sometimes I think the more we got, the less we appreciate00:20:00it, you know? We didn't have very much, so what little we got was an increase, was of value. But children today have so much that they don't seem to value it as much. Then I hear people say, "Children don't have anything to do. We need something for the children to do. It's nothing for the children to do." Well, I think they have a heck of a lot to do, more than we had. I mean they have the girl -- the gymnasiums for the girls and boys in the afternoon. They have the picture shows in all during the week. We had nothing like that. If we wanted to play, we made our toys or we'd go down in the woods and we'd bend over a tree. We'd roll a barrel. We didn't have the computer to sit around and play with all day. So I think children have a heck of a lot to do. It's just 00:21:00channeled a different way.
M1:Pause for just one second. I think I'm somehow missing the audio from you,and it's picking you up --
M1:-- John's, but I just need to pause for just a second.
CRUICKSHANK:Good, I need a break anyway. (laughs)
(break in audio)
CUNNINGHAM:Education seems like it was more valued back then than it is now andmore appreciated. Do you think this is a direct result of desegregation? What are your views on how desegregation has helped or hindered the black community?
JONES:To some degree, I know it's helped because our... The education, what wewere exposed to, the material of what we exposed to has broadened. But I don't think -- I think sometimes the teachers can't do the drumming type, the pounding type teaching that they did when I came along. When you could be 00:22:00embarrassed into getting the teacher to work, when you could be scolded in getting the teacher to work, I think that has had an effect. I don't think they had a discipline in the schools that they had when I'd come along.
CUNNINGHAM:Do you think most folks in the black community view desegregation asa good thing?
CUNNINGHAM:Good, as good?
JONES:Yes, yes, yes, I do. I really do. Now, I've heard people say thatdesegregation was a hinder. I can't see it in from my perspective. I just can't see it being anything but good.
CAIN:You know, I always hear about how Fairmont was before integration. I hearabout parades and walking to the stadium and the bands and that kind of thing. Tell us a little bit about that.
JONES:Oh, that was great. You know, well, we had -- back then, they had bands.00:23:00It was, and parades. The major difference, they were more physical than they were. They didn't just walk; they danced. They really got into the music. It would be people standing on both sides of the streets in the black community, all the way from our house to the stadium. And it was a joyous thing. I mean they didn't have that like you see them downtown. Now, they got the ambulances and the police wagons and so forth. It would just be bands. It would be just bands, just marching to the school, and they'd be -- that's exciting to us because that's something we had. See, now when I first went to Fairmont, we didn't have a band. It was some years later when we got a band. We used to have football games and we would have to get this band out of Atlanta to 00:24:00come play for us. It was the same thing then. That was a big thing to see those children come down from Atlanta and march because we didn't have anything like that. That was a beautiful thing. That was beautiful.
CAIN:You know I don't know how much you can speak to this. I'd be curious,though. Integration, I know, was a challenge, particularly in education because think about it; you had faculties at Fairmont, and you had faculties at, I guess, Griffin High School. And there was a principal at Fairmont; there was a principal at Griffin High School. There was a head football coach at one school, and a head football coach at the other school. There was a librarian at one school, and a librarian at another school. When you do consolidation, a lot of times people lose jobs or at least positions in the hierarchy. How -- 00:25:00what -- tell us, if you can, about that challenge.
JONES:I hope I can say something that makes sense, but understanding that Iwasn't in that teaching profession, so it didn't affect me at all, and I really don't know how much it affected those that were in the teaching profession. I'm sorry I can't give you any more information on it, but I'm sure there was people that lost their jobs, you know.
CAIN:Sure, well, I thought I'd just ask that question.
JONES:I can't speak to that because I wasn't in that profession, so it's hardfor me to speak to that.
CRUICKSHANK: Yeah, go ahead.
CAIN:Well, I know you worked at an insurance company. I don't know if it wasAtlanta Life.
JONES:No, it was Independent Life.
CAIN:Independent Life, and you sold policies to primarily to African Americans?00:26:00
JONES:Mm-hmm, primarily to African Americans. Now, there were -- I had somewhites, but basically that whole industry here in Griffin was the whole intention that Independent was built on black policyholders. The whole thing was black. And yet, yeah, it was to black, African Americans I sold policies to. And it wasn't all good and it wasn't all bad. It was good that they had somebody that would come round, almost rob or beat them into buying the policy, come around and beg them to pay the policy, come back two or three times to pick up their fifteen to twenty cent. It was good that we did that because that's the most money some black people had ever seen when we paid that thousand dollars to the beneficiary. That's the most money they'd ever seen. And they had money to be buried, like some of them don't have now, but it was a good 00:27:00thing. It wasn't all bad. Naturally, we paid the highest premiums, but it wasn't all bad. There was some good to it. Yeah, some good came out of it, mm-hmm.
CUNNINGHAM:Can you tell us a little bit more about the working conditions forblacks, maybe like in the '50s, '60s?
JONES:I can speak to just being out there. We managed somehow to get along.There was times when we didn't get along, but for by and large, you knew -- can I say it? You knew what was expected and that's what you did, what was expected of you, I mean. You -- we had -- there was times when we had run-ins. We had the worst of -- first of all, when they segregated the water fountains, 00:28:00we had the worst places, the worst restrooms. They wasn't clean. We had the worst facilities, but we made -- somehow we made it. We expected that was the way of life as we knew it. We didn't know anything any different, so we lived under that.
CAIN:Griffin was a mill town.
JONES:Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
CAIN:And you had a mill village.
JONES:Mm-hmm, no, that was only the whites lived on the village. No blacks livedon the mill village.
CAIN:Did you have blacks who were living -- working in the mills?
CAIN:And later years, you know, almost after segregation, then we had blacksworking in mill as well. Now, I was told, there was a big change in the mill when they started hiring blacks. I'm told by some of the white people 00:29:00said there were times when they would almost -- they would have to shut part of the weave shop down because they didn't have the white women to come in to run. Most weavers were women. They didn't have women to come in and run the weave, the looms, because they just they had to mill how they wanted to mill, you know. The mill depended on the workforce then, and so they came to work like they'd want to. So after the blacks started coming in, some of the whites just said that they just flat out wasn't going to work with blacks. And this fellow told me, said, "Well, it got to the place where they told us that, well, 'You're just going to have to quit then because if we're going to run this mill, we got to have somebody to run it. And you won't run it; we're going to hire the black people to run it. If all of you all quit, we'll just have all black.'" So yeah, that was a big thing about that, and I'll tell you something else. There up in the weave room where they docked the cloth to take the big 00:30:00boat, move the cloth, hung -- those things run for eight hours. If something happened and that thing didn't come off as soon as you went on, you'd wait. You didn't have anything to do until that thing -- the eight hours ran off. So if you -- this is during the '60s when it was quite all white. If you wanted to go to the picture show and come back by the time that thing needed to come out, you were free to go. But when the blacks went in the mill that stopped. You had to stay there, just be around or sweep the floor, doing something until that thing was time for the --
CRUICKSHANK:What happened if you just stood around doing nothing? Would theydiscipline you for that?
JONES:Well, they had -- I'm sure. They had supervisors there to see that you'dhave something to do. 00:31:00
CAIN:I'm also curious about whether there were black businesses in the blackcommunity, and if so, what were they?
JONES:Well, I remember as a -- when I was coming up, there was a grocery store.There was a funeral home. And in my neighborhood, there was a grocery store, T.S. Richardson's grocery store. There was a Calhoun's, Coosie Calhoun's funeral home. And there was a man come in and be up just above the Rosenwald School, just on the other side of the street. He built a little sandwich shop, and that was about the extent of the black businesses right around Rosenwald.
CAIN:Was that community totally segregated? Did you have any white00:32:00families in the area?
JONES:In the whole of what they called Fairmont then, yeah, there was whites,but the whites mostly lived on one end of the street. One end, say, up on the north end of the street, there was white. The south end of the street were black. They wouldn't mix there.
CRUICKSHANK:Tell us your most memorable experiences as a student at the FairmontSchool or the Rosenwald School.
JONES:Most memorable experience. (laughs)
CRUICKSHANK:He's laughing. (laughter)
JONES:You know, being a young man just going into manhood I guess, I guess thatthe most memorable experience there was to me was being able to date. 00:33:00I guess that was the most memorable experience. (laughter)
JONES:Yeah, that was about the -- well, that --
CRUICKSHANK:So are you going to tell us about it? (laughs)
JONES:No, no, I was just, I was really trying to think of something that Ireally could think about, but I can't think of anything that really stands out. My whole -- well, I went to school -- my whole experience with going to school was because of the girls. I never would have finished high school if the girls hadn't been there. That was my whole reason for going. (laughter)
CAIN:Let's talk about the girls a little bit.
JONES:Well, it was just nice to be around somebody that smelled good and bathed.(laughter) That was the extent of mine. That really was what kept me in high school, is being around the pretty girls.
CAIN:Did they have dances and parties?
JONES:No, the only -- the really -- I'm not one party person, but the00:34:00thing that we had at the school was, you know, you had at the end of the year. You would have a party, and especially when you got to be a junior and senior, you had the junior senior prom. Now, that was something that was real nice. But other than that, well, we'd have little socials after the ball game. That was nice.
CRUICKSHANK:Socials where? Where did you have them?
JONES:It'd be at somebody's house. Some mother would have a little party out inthe backyard for us. It'd be a select group of people there. The whole community wasn't invited, but a select group of people that could go to this party.
CRUICKSHANK:Like how many people would show up?
JONES:Maybe 25 or 30.
CRUICKSHANK:And tell us, you know, describe the person or the people you believehad the most influence on your academic experience. 00:35:00
JONES:Well, I believe I could name -- I would say we had a -- I had a teachernamed Miss Roundtree and she was a sweet lady. I have seen her sitting in the classroom and cry because we wasn't coming up to her expectations. And she would... Somehow she took a liking to me and she would call me off and talk to me sometimes. And she would pump me up and tell me that I was doing good, and that made me want to do better, so she had a great influence on me. Now, I had an uncle, now he wasn't in the school system, but he was in the insurance business. And he was always clean. He always drove a nice car and he always had money in his pocket. And he influenced me as to going to school. See, if you go to school and get your education, you can get your job in the insurance business and you won't have to be dirty like your daddy. You won't 00:36:00have to work in the ditches like your daddy. You can do -- you can make a living and be clean. And now he had a great influence over me. Now, there was another one, Mr. Whitaker. Now, he was a teacher and a basketball coach. He would often talk to me and tell me about how important it was to get an education, and I was doing a good job, and if I keep on doing the job I'd be doing, I could inspire to have a better life than my daddy had. So Mr. Whitaker and my uncle and Miss Rawntry, I guess they were the people that -- oh, and Mr. -- yeah, there was Mr. Kendall. He was the brick mason teacher, so he was instrumental in forming my opinion about life. 00:37:00
CAIN:So he taught you specific skills too, did he? Laying -- he was aninstructor, I guess, at this point.
JONES:Yeah, I taught -- he taught us. I took brick masonry with him. And I didthat for a while. And brick mason at the time, brick mason -- and it is now. It was a thing you just worked when you had something to do. And if you didn't have anything to do, you had to wait until the next job. I got married early in life, so I couldn't wait until the next job, so I got me a job in the mill, and then I left the brick masonry and I never did go back to it.
CRUICKSHANK:Oh, okay. We can talk; we'll just cut this part out. (laughs) Okay,thanks, Art. 00:38:00
CAIN:Okay, thank you. It was a pleasure. I'll see you around I'm sure.
CRUICKSHANK:Mm-hmm. We'll just wait for him to close the door here. Do we need abreak or no?
CRUICKSHANK:We can take, yeah. Let's take a break.
JONES:Okay, okay, that's good, so do I need to take this off?
CRUICKSHANK:You can if you want to, if you want to get up or anything.
JONES:I don't know; is it turned off?
CRUICKSHANK:No, we're not going to turn it off; we're just going to edit out thestuff we don't want, yeah.
JONES:Okay, okay, okay.
CUNNINGHAM:We're about 40 minutes in.
CRUICKSHANK:Yeah? How do you feel about continuing? Continue on for a while?
JONES:I just hope that I'm doing something that's just going to be beneficial,that I'm not saying things that really I shouldn't be saying. 00:39:00
CRUICKSHANK:It's all news to me. It's great, yeah, yeah.
JONES:And some of the questions asked that I just couldn't answer.
JONES:So I wished I could answer, but I couldn't.
CRUICKSHANK:I think you did. You had answers for everything, didn't you?
CRUICKSHANK:Good answers, I think. I've learned a lot.
JONES:Well, you know, you asked me about, and I just thought about this sinceyou asked me about people, the teachers that were influential in my life. I think about it; after I got out of school and after I married, I moved to Zebulon, and there was a man --
CRUICKSHANK:Excuse me, could you please -- don't -- when you're -- okay, don'ttouch this stuff, okay, because that could be influencing your mic. It might pick up in the sound; that's all, yeah. Okay, thanks. 00:40:00
JONES:There was a man, John Henry Butler. He was a big mason, and he was -- Iguess I learned more from him about manhood then anybody else I could know because I helped him lay the brick, you know, and I had learned at school. I went through school laying brick and I went some time to start working with him, you know. I really learned how it was to work out in the field. And working in school -- laying brick in school and laying brick out on the job is totally different. Right, it's two different things altogether. You're not too concerned about getting it right because nobody's going to inspect you except the teacher and he'll give you a grade on it. But if you're out in the field, man, he can scold you, you know, by being -- not doing it right. So Mr. Butler, he not only taught me about working every day. He was also instrumental in getting me into church and started me going to church, and I go to church today 00:41:00because Mr. Butler introduced me to church. And he was -- I guess he was the one man that really -- all the talk he told me about what I should and shouldn't do. I guess he's the man that really -- and he kept me grounded too. Some of the things I would have done as a young man, he told me that wasn't the way to go, that wouldn't be becoming to a young father or young man. And he, yeah, I guess he's the person that was most instrumental in my life in growing up.
CRUICKSHANK:So you weren't active in the church until a bit later in life? Isthat --
JONES:Later, and I didn't -- I wasn't brought up in the church. And some peoplesay my mama made me go to church from a child. I went to church occasionally. My mama, she belonged to church. My daddy, he went occasionally. Sometimes he might go to church, but we didn't go to church except when sometimes when 00:42:00the older sisters might take us -- take me to church. I'm speaking for myself, but I really wasn't brought up in church. I really got into church after I married.
CUNNINGHAM:How important was the church for the black community?
JONES:Oh, it was everything. It was everything because that's where wesocialized. We didn't have the social club to go to. We went to the church. The church was everything to us, so if it wasn't for the church, we wouldn't dress up. We had the church to dress up and go to church. That's the only place we could go if we dressed up was the church. So the church was very instrumental in our lives.
CRUICKSHANK:So was it a part of your life during weekdays? You know, aside fromSundays, were you involved in the church at all throughout the week? 00:43:00
JONES:Very seldom. Now, there were times where we might have something at thechurch during the week, but it was very seldom, in my experience, that we had anything during the week at the church.
CUNNINGHAM:Can you share with us the importance of the black church and also theimportance of black businesses in respect to their role in the Civil Rights Movement or as it relates to politics? How important was the black church and the black businesses in moving that Civil Rights Movement forward?
JONES:Well, I hope this is what you mean. The black church was the places wherewe had to meet during the time. That's where we met. The black businesses are the one that supported the effort that we had when we needed some transportation. The black businesses had furnished the money for the transportation or got people to drive, do things for us. If it had 00:44:00not been for the church, we wouldn't have had any place to meet. That was our meeting place. That's where we went back to, laying strategy. That was. The black church was the whole thing. It was -- that was all we had was the black church at the time. And like I said, the black businesses, there was time -- I'm not going to say that. There was time that there was people, when we was marching in Zebulon as a group, there were people. The black men would say, "Well, I'm not going to march with you. I'm afraid to march with you. I'm not going to get out there and I don't want to lose my home." But he had a little grocery store. He sold wood. He'd say, "But I'll tell you what I will do. I'll give you a little money to help you along the way, but I'm not -- don't expect to me get out the march. I'm not going to let my children march, but I'll give you a little money to help you along the way." And I can understand that. I really can understand that. Fear is a cruel master. I can 00:45:00understand fear because I can really understand that.
CRUICKSHANK:Do you remember having a lot of fear, or how did you feel?
JONES:Not to the extent that my daddy had. My daddy was afraid to go to the cityhall for anything. If Daddy had to go to the city hall one day, he's sending one of us. I've never been afraid to go to the city hall or to speak to people. My daddy was afraid to speak to people. I've never been afraid, so --
CRUICKSHANK:What would he send you there for?
JONES:Oh, my daddy was a bootlegger. (laughter) Yeah, so there was some fear,but I can't remember anything that really stand out when I was really fearful. 00:46:00
CRUICKSHANK:So you went on a lot of marches? How many times did you go on marches?
JONES:Oh, man, that was, shoot, that went on for maybe a couple of months orlonger. Not every day, but you know, during the week, we'd have a march probably every week for a couple of months or longer.
CUNNINGHAM:What was the racial climate like during the marches? Did you -- wasthe black community really invigorated, really motivated to see some change? What about the other side of the community, the white community?
JONES:Let me tell you this. To tell you how instrumental blacks were in themarch, you would hear black people saying, they're saying -- they would say that you're going to get in trouble for the marches; y'all, stay at home. 00:47:00Well, you would hear people saying, "I'm already in trouble." And it didn't make any difference because you couldn't get it -- it couldn't be no worse than it was, so yeah, we had great participation in the marches. Some people did lose their job. Some people did lose their home. But we had great participation.
CUNNINGHAM:Did your family support the Civil Rights Movement and support?
JONES:Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
CUNNINGHAM:Okay. Did you have any personal encounters that you'd like to sharewith us that involved racism or a white supremacy that you can recall or that you can recall that your family may have talked about?
JONES:Now, I'm sure there were some, but I don't know of any that stand out inmy mind.
JONES:Well, I'm not one to get -- I don't get excited. I'm not too00:48:00easily excited, so there might be some times that could have been that I don't -- just don't register with me.
CRUICKSHANK:So what went through your mind when you found out about all thesepeople who lost their jobs? What were you thinking? Was there a lot of fear?
JONES:Well, no, not really, because see, now I was living in Zebulon. That's 12miles south of here. Now, their main employer down there was what we called a pepper plant. It was a cannery. They canned the beans, the greens, the peppers and stuff like that, and that's mostly where they worked. And when we started marching, (inaudible) didn't segregate his plant, and they had a union come into his cannery. He closed the cannery. They had kept it. It was during 00:49:00the pepper season. He just had those trucks take that pepper, take it out of the patch and dump it in a patch, and closed it. And eventually, the blacks that were working at the cannery, and I guess the blacks' wives' too, they migrated to Griffin and other areas, Atlanta. And as a matter of fact, it was a blessing in a sense that you didn't work six months out of the year and then draw unemployment six months. It was truly a blessing because that's what some people did. They just depended on that plant to open in March, maybe, and run till October. And the rest of the time, they're on or drawing unemployment. So when they closed that plant, they went other places and got jobs. And I remember a fellow telling me, said -- I don't know if y'all remember trading 00:50:00when you went to the grocery store. You traded; you didn't use cash money so much that you'd go into the grocery store and you would buy 15 dollars worth of -- no, you would buy five dollars worth of grocery. You'd pay the man three dollars, and they put two dollars on the book. And all during the week, you went back to the grocery store, get stuff and you'd put it on the books. And the fellow was telling me he didn't realize how cheap groceries was until he got a job in Griffin. And he started buying groceries on the way home instead of going to the one grocer in Zebulon where he was doing what they call trading. You know, so that was a -- it was a blessing in disguise when he closed that plant.
CRUICKSHANK:But now, you mentioned earlier how people who went marching some ofthem lost their jobs. Was that -- is that all you're talking about, that cannery? What about -- did people who had jobs in other places, were 00:51:00they losing jobs, or was it because of that cannery?
JONES:Now, I don't -- I can only speak at the cannery because see I worked inGriffin at the time. I was working at the mill. And I don't remember anybody in Griffin losing their job because of what we were doing in Zebulon. But now, when that plant closed, naturally, people that were working at the cannery, they lost their job.
CUNNINGHAM:What were considered some of the best businesses to work at for blackemployees? Was the mill considered like a great job?
JONES:The mills were one of the best jobs that you could have when they starthiring people to work, blacks to work in the mill. Now, you must understand; before integration, the only people who worked in the mill was people that cut the grass. I had this lady; she was a custodian in there and cleaned the bathrooms up. That's about the extent of the black people in the mill. And so when they opened up the mills for blacks to go in, that was a 00:52:00blessing to be able to go in the mills and work. And I'll tell you. I worked in a place. It was called Borden Chemical at the time. Oh, boy, that was -- when they came to town, that was a -- they was paying more money than anybody and that was a blessing. If you got a job at Borden Chemical, you were somebody.
CRUICKSHANK:You were saying you worked there?
JONES:Yeah, I worked there.
CRUICKSHANK:What were you doing there?
JONES:Well, I was what they called an operator, a machine operator.
CUNNINGHAM: Okay, since you went to a segregated high school, but00:53:00since that time you've had children who have gone through integrated schools, can you share with us your thoughts on racial equality? Do you think separate but equal versus integration, which -- what are your thoughts on separate versus equal versus integration?
JONES:I think separate but equal was never going to work. I do feel like throughintegration, we lost some of the hands-on teaching for the blacks that we don't have in the integrated schools. I do think that children got -- black children was probably better... There was more time spent on black children, 00:54:00black education, than it is now because there are so many differences. There's bigger schools and the curriculum is different. And I do think that to have a little bit more time spent on making me understand that I had to have education than it is now. I do think that. Now, you said, "Which one is better?" I would take an integrated school over a segregated school any day.
JONES:Because I think their horizon is broader. They have more things too. Youget to know people. Now, there's one thing that I think was a problem with integrated schools, so far as race relationships is concerned, we never knew each other. I didn't know that white fellow standing there; he didn't know me. But now, I know what it's like that you hurt just like I hurt. You have 00:55:00the same problems I have. So that's a big difference right there, and I can relate to you better now. I'll tell you; when I went to work, when I worked -- this is way up in the 2000s, like, '98, there was people I worked with -- the white people I worked with -- that they honestly down deep down in their heart, they thought they were better than black people. You couldn't tell him. You couldn't make him understand that we are all in this thing together. You couldn't make him understand that he was no different from the other people. He just felt like -- some of them just felt like that they were just better than black people.
CUNNINGHAM:And do you think that some folks still feel that way even till this day?
JONES:Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, yes, ma'am. There are some people feel that way today.00:56:00
CRUICKSHANK:Do you think the message, you know, the understanding of peoplewithin different color skin, did that go both ways? I mean, you understood more about white people. Did you see them learning a lot more on their part about your situation?
JONES:That's what I just said, so we didn't know each other. I thought I saidthat; we didn't know each other.
3JONES:I didn't know you, and you didn't know me because we just sort of met inpassing, you know. You were separate. You were over here and I was over here. We only met in work situation. Social, we were never together. But after we integrated the school, I got a chance to -- well I won't say I got it. The children, my children could sit next to this child and this child could sit, and they can get to talk to each other. We could get to know each other, other than just a playmate and you go home and I go home. I could -- we could -- 00:57:00on a broad scale, we could go home with each other.
CRUICKSHANK:Okay, so it went over pretty much the same way on both sides?
JONES:Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Let me tell you something I heardone time that makes sense. Who would you rather invite to your house, somebody you know or somebody you don't know?
CRUICKSHANK:Depends on who it is. (laughs)
JONES:Well, naturally, it's somebody you know. You'd rather have that personthat you know at your house than somebody that you don't know. So that's what integration did. It taught us to know each other. We got to know each other.
CRUICKSHANK:So I guess there's really no way of getting the best of both worlds.You were saying that earlier, before integration, you know, I guess 00:58:00you had more attention, right, perhaps better instruction. I guess there's no way you can get it both ways. Is there? I mean, you have the integration, but is there anything that you --
JONES:No, let's put it this way. If you had to choose between the two, which onewould you choose? Now, I would choose integration over segregation. Now, that's the message I was trying to get across.
CRUICKSHANK:But I guess there's no way that you can, in an integrated school,that you could get anything like the kind of the attention that you'd got in the segregated school, right? There's no way they could change the curriculum or something to --
JONES:I don't -- it's hard for me to say because, see, the00:59:00discipline, they don't have that. They can't discipline like they used to discipline, and that's the main thing. You got to have some fear. If you don't have discipline, you got to have some kind of fear. Fear got to enter in. And in today's school, they don't have the discipline that they had in the school when I went in the school. Like I said, the teacher was the absolute authority in the segregated school. Mamas and Dad had no say over it. We wouldn't -- Mama and Daddy didn't even go to PTA meetings, you know. (inaudible). You would have a PTA meeting and you'd have two parents out of a class of 25 or 30 people. So the teacher, whatever the teacher did, that was what it was, you know.
CUNNINGHAM:I think -- I know this is an interview, but in my personal opinion, Ithink the discipline went out of the window with the integration of the schools because black teachers were not allowed, per se, to discipline the white. 01:00:00
JONES:That is absolutely true. That is absolutely true. When they integratedschools, I didn't want this black teacher whipping my white child. I don't want this white teacher whipping my black child, so we took corporal punishment out of the schools. And that is one thing I think a child fears. Whipping in school wasn't the hurt that the strap put in your hand. It was to humiliation too, and they don't have that factor, see. They took that out of schools. Who wanted to be humiliated in front of their little classmates? They don't have that now. You can't even raise your voice at a child now. So, yeah, discipline and what you just said, that not wanting this black teacher disciplining my white child and my white child disciplining my black child. I think that made a great 01:01:00big difference in the discipline in the school.
CRUICKSHANK:I'm just going through my list of questions here. (laughs) I don'twant to miss anything here. (laughs) Could you describe the connection of the Fairmont High School to the Fairmont community? What kind of a -- how much of a role did that play in the community? 01:02:00
JONES:Not really, other than the children having to go school and the activitiesthey had involving the children, there was no -- and PTA meetings -- there was no mix and mingling with the community, so far as the school was concerned. I mean the school was there and there was schools, and they did what they had to do. And if they ever needed the parents with the school, they would get some participation. It's hard for me to relate. I hope I answered your question; it's hard for me to -- because you don't really talk about the school. My wife worked at this school as a cook. And she said, "All during the day," -- this is during the integration -- "all during the day, there is teachers got a 01:03:00pyramid to and from the school parents, telling the school, getting on the teachers." Well, when I was going to school, in the segregated school, that just didn't happen. You didn't hear about a parent red at a teacher. Now, there was time when teacher would go to the house and talk to your parents, but I don't remember parents going to the school red at a teacher. And that may have happened, but I don't recall it ever happening.
CUNNINGHAM:This is a pretty general question, but can you tell us howdesegregation has impacted your life? And that can be positively or either how 01:04:00it's effected you negatively?
JONES:Well, I'm a people's person, and I love to talk and I love to be open withpeople. And to walk up and talk to anybody, male or female, is a blessing. It's really nice to be able to. Up at Walmart, when I worked at Walmart, I got white friends that I never would have had during segregation because I wouldn't have been alive, and they wouldn't have been alive. Now there are times when we must remember; we try to please our peers much rather than ourselves. We do things that we wouldn't do to please our peers. So yes, to say "Is it better with the integration?" Yes, it sure is. It sure is because I can talk. I feel free to talk to anybody I want to talk to about anything I want to talk to them, 01:05:00and I'm not afraid of it getting back to the wrong people, so yeah, I think it's nice. Integration is nice. I think that's the only way. There's no other way. I do remember what Dr. King said: "We either learn to work together as people or perish as fools," you know, so I think that that's a broad statement, means a lot.
CUNNINGHAM:So tell us more about what you're doing nowadays, after retirement. Iunderstand that you work in a garden; tell us about that.
JONES:Yeah, yeah, yeah, somehow, I don't know the origin of it or the beginningof it. Somebody decided they wanted to have a community garden. Somehow I got involved with that because I love gardening. I've always done that. That's something that I took up on my own. I didn't go to school. I wasn't 01:06:00in an agricultural setting; it's just something that I loved to do and I've been doing it all my life. When they talked about the community garden, I thought that would be -- and I still think -- that would be a good concept because some young people don't know that a tomato grew on a vine rather than on a bush. Some people don't know, but onions come on under the ground rather than on top of the ground. And the origin -- they don't know the origin of fruits is not right there in that supermarket. And that's always just nice to me to know that I taught somebody something. I was instrumental in teaching somebody something that they wouldn't have known had they not come out to the garden, and I just love it. So when they started having meetings, I started going and I started helping and started working. And they asked me to help, and they had 01:07:00this opportunity. I had the opportunity; myself and another fellow had the opportunity to go take this master gardening course, so we took the master gardening course, and so they used both of us in the program over there.
CUNNINGHAM:And the garden is over at Fairmont?
JONES:Over at Fairmont.
CUNNINGHAM:So is it still servicing predominately a black community?
JONES: The garden you mean?
JONES:Oh, yeah, yeah, but we don't have the participating that we'd like tohave, but we do have good participation. And it's thriving and it's growing and we're producing the crop every year, so we're doing good.
JONES:Yeah, that community garden, I remember one of the things that peoplesaid, and I hadn't thought about it until they said it. Said there's nowhere in our Fairmont community that you can go and get a fresh produce. Well, 01:08:00there's not. Nowhere in that community, except, well, there's still pretty close, but... If you think -- I don't know about them making it, but around here, that's what we used to have the convenience stores, the little mom and pop stores (coughs). They're not -- they don't sell produce anymore, but just canned goods and little stuff like that. But produce and meats, they don't really. You don't find them in a number of convenience stores around here, except frozen food.
CRUICKSHANK:Did they? They did back in the day, didn't they?
JONES:Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, we had community. There were stores in the communityyou would go down the street to a grocery store, the mom and pop grocery store. Had them all over town. That's one of the bad things about the situation now with the convenience stores. They don't -- I don't know who they cater to. I don't go that often, but the ones I go to sometimes, you don't see 01:09:00any produce in there. You don't see very much on the shelves, just a can here and a can there. It's the same thing with the mom and pop drug stores now. They're scarcely stocked. I don't know why. I guess they make the money off of the medications. They're sure not making the money off their little things that they used to sell. I went to a drug store, Claxton drug store, and they had -- you can go in there and the shelves was full of all kind of things. But you go to the drug store now, you'll see shelves, empty shelves in the drug store. Maybe a bottle of Pepto-Bismol here, a little, just, bottle here, and a bottle there, just not there anymore.
CRUICKSHANK:Where do you do all your shopping these days for your groceries andeverything? Where do you get all your stuff?
JONES:That's when I do what?
CRUICKSHANK:Where do you do all your grocery shopping nowadays?01:10:00
JONES:Oh, well, to be completely frank, I don't do any grocery shopping. My wifedo that, but she goes to Kroger's and Walmart and the major chains because we just don't have the little -- well, there's just one or two mom and pop stores around here, and they serve a niche. They have a little niche there. There are things you can get the one or two mom and pop stores around here that you couldn't get in the big chain stores. Like there's people that like still -- black people that still eat pig's feet, still eat pig ears, and you don't buy pig feet and pig ears in Kroger's.
CRUICKSHANK:How are those stores doing? Are they going to survive? Are theydoing okay?
JONES:I suppose they're doing a big business around. Seem to be doing a bigbusiness around here. I can only think of two. I'm sure there are others, but the only two that I can think of they seem to be doing a thriving business. 01:11:00
CRUICKSHANK:When you say around here, are you talking about Fairmont?
JONES:In the Fairmont area, yeah. One of them is right down the street, not toofar down the street. What's the name of it?
CUNNINGHAM:The Easy Store?
JONES:And there's another one across the street, across the river. It'sPhillip's. They're the only two I know. Now, that was, phew, oh, man, that was (inaudible) at those stores for a while back. I don't know. The Phillip's and Easy Shop is the only one I know that the whites still own, that's not owned by the foreigners in Griffin because all the rest of them are bought by the Indians or whoever. They're foreigners, they're not white people.
CUNNINGHAM: Is there anything that we haven't asked you that you'd01:12:00like to share?
JONES:No, I just hope I haven't said too much already. (laughter)
CRUICKSHANK:You can cut it out if you don't like it. (laughs) I asked one or twostupid questions I'd like to cut out that make me sound stupid, but that's okay. I just don't want to forget something or overlook something, then a month later think, "Darn, I wish I'd asked that."
JONES:I'm mostly concerned about Jewel. Did I do what Jewel wanted me to do?That's the main thing. (laughter)
CRUICKSHANK:She'll let you know, huh? (laughs)
JONES:Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Jewel don't bite her tongue.
CRUICKSHANK:Well, could you just give me a couple minutes? I just want to see ifthere's anything else I can come up with while we got you here. (laughs)
JONES:Well, I want to say I'm particularly interested in talking to you, oh,yeah. Oh, yeah.
CUNNINGHAM:Good, good. I enjoyed talking to you too.01:13:00
CUNNINGHAM:I enjoy listening. You have some really good stories to share.
JONES:All right, all right.
CRUICKSHANK:That's too bad Art had to go.
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah. Are your children here in Griffin?
JONES:Nope, no. Yeah, one of them is. One of my children is here in Griffin. Ihave two children, boy and a girl. My girl, my daughter, she lives in Milner.
JONES:You go through the -- you go past Milner to go -- no, you don't go pastMilner, no. But anyways, and my son, he lives here in Griffin, and my daughter lives in Milner, so...
CUNNINGHAM:Okay. Do you think there are a lot of economic opportunities foryounger people to keep them here in Griffin now?
JONES:You know I would like to say yeah because, you know, I think01:14:00that the job market is not as picky as it was a while back. I think if a person is qualified, he will find a job somewhere. And ambitious enough to get out on track because there are so many things open to them that wasn't open to them. If you get -- I think, yeah. Yeah, I think the job opportunity's great here in Griffin if a person would -- not necessarily in Griffin. A lot of people work in Atlanta from McDonough and so forth and so on because you must understand; Griffin was a mill town, and when the mills left, that just left a void here. So what most people do here in Griffin, they work out of Griffin; they don't work in Griffin. And Griffin's just like a retirement community now. And 01:15:00my preacher -- I'm Methodist and my preacher, he was sitting in here from somewhere, and he said he had never heard of Griffin. And he said once he found about Griffin, he said he found out about one of the best-kept secrets there is. The town is a nice, quiet town not too far from Atlanta. It's a really nice retirement community.
CUNNINGHAM:I know earlier you talked about a few black businesses. You mentionedT.S. Richardson and then a funeral home and then a sandwich shop. Do you think there are opportunities now for black businesses? Because I don't know of very many that are here in Griffin now that are owned by black business owners. Do you think the climate is any better right now than it was, let's say, 01:16:00back in the '60s when --JONES:I believe there are. There would be a good opportunity for some black businesses. The right business, I think it would have good participation, a good following if you knew what people want now that they can't get better in a larger city. I think about all the little cafes here that's white owned. I mean I think if somebody put up a nice black caf, I think they would do good. I believe they would. I don't know, but I believe they would. Yeah, I think the opportunity's good for black businesses.
CRUICKSHANK:So tell us a little bit about your day to day life now.01:17:00Like what's it like? You get up, you said, 9:00 in the morning, so take us through your day. (laughter)
JONES:Okay, now, I'm an early riser. There's just sometimes (laughter) in thepast few months that I start, well, getting up late. I'm usually up and out of the house by 6:00. Now, I get up in the morning, and by 7:00, I'm out at the walking track, at the walk exercise track. And after that, I'll come back and I'll do some chores around the house. And the wife and I might go to the grocery store or to somewhere, McDonald's or somewhere. And I come back and I work in the garden some more, and that's about my day.
CRUICKSHANK:So how many hours a day would you spend in the garden?
JONES:During the really growing season in the warm climate, oh, I spend maybe01:18:0010, 11 hours in the garden.
JONES:Because there's always something to do in the garden. Not unless standingin the garden, then around the house. Between the garden and cutting the grass and cutting the hedges and so forth and so on, I'd say 10 to 12, 13 hours. I'm a busybody; I need to have something to do with my hands.
CRUICKSHANK:Do you ever miss work?
CRUICKSHANK:Do you ever miss work?
JONES:Yeah, yeah. As a matter of fact, like I said, I stay busy now. I mean I --(Be-Atrice laughs)
CRUICKSHANK:I mean being employed, I mean like at Walmart or something, you know.
JONES:No, wait a minute; wait a minute; wait a minute; wait; wait; wait; wait.Let me say there is nothing like being retired (laughter) because you're your own boss. You don't have any obligations. You do what you want to do until you come spending some (laughter) money. Then you have to be real 01:19:00careful. But I enjoy it. I enjoy retirement; I really do. But I do miss some of the people that I worked with because I'm a people's person and I love to talk. And I miss the people I worked with, but so far as wanting to go back to actual work, I could live without that.
CRUICKSHANK:What do you do to engage other people now? What do you do to get outand meet people?
JONES:Well, like I said, I'll go to this sort of garden. I do the gardening, andI also go to the senior citizen. I'm a member there. I go down and exercise and talk to people, so... I'm active in the church I go to. There's always something going on at church, some activity going on at the church, so I stay pretty busy.
CRUICKSHANK:The senior citizen center, is that in Fairmont?
CRUICKSHANK:Is that in Fairmont, the senior citizen center?
JONES:No, no, no. No, that wouldn't be considered in the Fairmont01:20:00community, no. I think every county now has a senior citizen program. Are you familiar with what we're talking about?
CUNNINGHAM:Yes, it's out 16, the senior center.
JONES:And I think there's -- I know they have one in Zebulon and McDonough. Ithink every county around here has a senior citizen program now.
CRUICKSHANK:Do you ever go downtown to downtown Atlanta at all, or very much at all?
JONES:Not now, uh-uh.
CRUICKSHANK:Hardly ever then? Yeah.
JONES:For what? What do you think there might be downtown that I would go for me?
CRUICKSHANK:I have no idea. (laughs) I'm just curious. I'm just fishing here.
JONES:No, if you think about it, most of the stores that you -- except for a fewselect stores -- has moved out of downtown now. 01:21:00
JONES:It's almost 4:00, everyone.
CRUICKSHANK:Well, I guess I've kind of run out of questions a long time ago. (laughs)
CUNNINGHAM:We appreciate you coming out and sharing your information with us today.
CRUICKSHANK:Thank you so much for joining us.
JONES:And I appreciate y'all having me.
CRUICKSHANK:We can just leave this running; we'll just cut it off, yeah, yeah.
JONES:Now you said you were going to play this back?
CRUICKSHANK:We'll type up a transcript and you can look at it if you want, andyou know and, you know, just cross out anything you don't want.
CUNNINGHAM:You want us to mail it to you or bring it back by your house or what?
JONES:If you can mail it, just mail it to me. That would be nice.
CUNNINGHAM:Okay, why don't you go ahead and give me your address?
JONES:My address is 409 Springfield Drive. That's Griffin, Georgia, 30223.
CUNNINGHAM:Thank you so much. Go aead.
JONES:Of course, my name is Jimmy; Jimmy Jones.
CUNNINGHAM:Jimmy Jones. Got you, Mr. Jones. We sure do appreciate you01:22:00and appreciate all the time that you've given us today.
JONES:Like I said, I appreciate y'all having me. I just hope I was --
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, you were wonderful.
CRUICKSHANK:It was great.
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah, thank you so much.
JONES:No problem. It was my pleasure.
CUNNINGHAM:Do you want to get a headshot of him? Just --
CRUICKSHANK:Yeah, good idea, yeah.
CUNNINGHAM:-- of Mr. Jones?
CRUICKSHANK:Yeah. So let's see. Give us a smile too. (laughter)
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah, there you go; there you go.
CRUICKSHANK:That was a good one.
JONES:All right. All right.
CUNNINGHAM:All right, thank you so much, sir. I appreciate it.
JONES:Now, I'm a hugger.
CUNNINGHAM:Yes, I was reaching out. Thank you so much for sharing.
CUNNINGHAM:We appreciate you.
JONES:See, that's what I've been talking about. I just love people; I just lovethem. (laughter) To be able to just walk up and talk to people is so 01:23:00nice; it's nice.
CUNNINGHAM:Yes, that's good, very good.
JONES:And we'll see y'all next time.
CUNNINGHAM:All right. Take care now.
CRUICKSHANK:Thank you so much.
CUNNINGHAM:Very good, John.
__:I think that was way better. I do.
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah, I think it was good.
__:I wish I caught it all.
CUNNINGHAM:Exactly. I thought it was good, very good.
CRUICKSHANK:It's really worth sitting there and trying to come up withquestions, you know, I think.
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah, so you can try and make sure you didn't, you know, covereverything. Yeah, like you said. I think that's good.
CRUICKSHANK:It doesn't matter if you do a lot of humming and hawing. We can takethat out.
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, good, good. That was good. I enjoyed it. I actually enjoyedlistening to him.
CRUICKSHANK:I learned a lot, yeah.
CUNNINGHAM: Hey, girl.
CUNNINGHAM:You got your haircut again?01:24:00
F1:I got it all wiped off.
CUNNINGHAM:You sure did, but it's cute.
CUNNINGHAM:What, y'all done? Are you y'all done now?
F1:This is just now. That's what's pulling us.
CUNNINGHAM:God, that look like a monster, right?
F1:It does, doesn't it? And look, we had the (inaudible).
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, that's so cute, okay. Megan didn't come?F1:No, she's got a chorusconcert, so that's --
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, you told me that.
F1:That's, look, and that's the Christmas tree, the box with a Red Ryder BB gunfor the banners.
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, let me see the banners.
F1:Misty made them. Let's see if I can scroll down.
CUNNINGHAM:Can you see it on the back side too or only on the --
F1:You can on the front side.
CUNNINGHAM:Really? How'd she get banners? How'd she --
F1:I don't know. (Leigh?) made them somehow.
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, of course, (Washington?)? That's good.
F1:That's (inaudible) sandwich (inaudible) that they have.
F1:She, I mean, yeah.
CUNNINGHAM:She's good now.
F1:That's the front of the lion's (inaudible).
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, that's cute.
F1:And then on the back, in his little bucket that he has, is (a leg lamp?).
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, (laughs) I think this is going to be so good.01:25:00
F1:It'll be interesting.
CUNNINGHAM:That's hilarious to me right there.
(overlapping dialogue; inaudible)
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, yeah, that's cute.
F1:And then we'll put a spot right here that says, "Going down," so they'llfocus on the singing.
F2:Oh, like a spotlight?
F2:Oh, good. So who's going to be playing?
F1:Stephanie, and then (inaudible) after that. And Stephanie's the little -- theyoungest one is Ralphy. And she's got her picture of him with some glasses on last night. He looked dead on him. And we're going to put Dr. Hunnicutt right there, staying in it so he can hold that bench.
CUNNINGHAM:Okay, good, with his buttoned suit on?
CUNNINGHAM:Hilarious, girl, hilarious. I can't wait to see it. I think y'all aregoing to win this year. I think y'all are going to win this year.
F1:I hope we win something.
CUNNINGHAM:Win something, I don't know what.
F1:I know; something. We got to win something.
CUNNINGHAM:I know that's right.
F1:But I told them. This run was full. I had 20 people show up for my floattechnique. Everybody involved in it and everybody came. And I told 01:26:00them. I said, "I don't know why, but I'm glad we've got this excitement." I mean, Adam, Ryan, George have been sitting over there -- Chris -- have been sitting there all day finishing it up, I mean, having a ball.
F1:And I said -- nothing against Dr. (Arkin?) because I love him.
CUNNINGHAM:I understand, but, still, the people are excited.
F1:Yeah, it's super exciting.
CUNNINGHAM:It's all about change, period.
F1:And I've gotten about 40 people, and you know we've never had that.
CUNNINGHAM:We barely have, just barely have 20.
F1:Barely have a dozen.
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah, exactly, so y'all got of plenty of hats and all that good stuff?
F1:I'm going to take them. When they give out, they give out. Definitelyencourage people to bring their own.
CUNNINGHAM:Okay. Yeah, I saw that.
F1:We got six golf carts.
F1:Six golf carts. Stephanie's bringing her own, her personal one.
F1:So her kids and her husband will be on that one, and then we're --
CUNNINGHAM:I thought you had got three. This is huge.01:27:00
F1:I didn't either. And then we're having academics do the (Cadillac?), so thathas six people on it. And then we've got, just, the rest.
CUNNINGHAM:Everything else. Everybody rounded up their carts. Is Dr. Raymer oranybody --
F1:His, Lewayne is driving his.
CUNNINGHAM:Who's participating that I know?
F1:Clay Bennett, student worker --
CUNNINGHAM:He's going to come with his wife and the baby?
F1:Bring his wife and daughter, and they're going to be on the golf cart. Andthen his student worker, Alan Wise.
CUNNINGHAM:I've heard the name, but I don't know Alan.
F1:Yeah, he said he's been in the office up there.
F1:He and his fianc and daughter. He's going to pick her up in (inaudible)because that's where she lives with her mother, and she's going to be on the thing. And then Lewayne, Melanie, and Lewayne's niece.
CUNNINGHAM:Wait. Did you put them two together just now, Lewayne and Melanie?
F1:Yeah, they date.
CUNNINGHAM:That's what I thought.
F1:Yeah, they've been dating a while.
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah, that's what I heard.
F1:I don't know if --
CUNNINGHAM:Everybody's wearing black too?
F1:They're supposed to.
F1:Phyllis Bryan's been helping us, but I don't know if she's riding.01:28:00George is driving the tractor.
F1:Joe Hortz is float team. I'm looking at the way we went around the route.Adam Gregory's the dad; Stephanie's the mom. Ron has been helping us, but he's got a project for school that he's got to finish, so he can't be there. And we got Misty driving the academic cart. Lee Taylor's going to be on the main float. Avery's going to be probably on the cart with Misty. Diane might have to drive a cart. If not, she's going to be somewhere; I don't know.
CUNNINGHAM:With somebody. And then you got somebody to carry -- Chris Reynolds?Is he coming?
F1:Chris Reynolds and the six student ambassadors are carrying the banner. JulieCook's going to be on the float. Julie Peters and her daughters are going to be on the float. Tiffany Fields and her two daughters are probably going to be on the float.
CUNNINGHAM:That's USDA, ain't it?
F1:Adam's not sure if his wife and daughter -- oh, wife and son are riding,but then who else? 01:29:00
F1:Meredith and Dan are driving their motorcycle.
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, for real? That's going to be so cool.
F1:I called them and asked. I said, "Can he?" She said, "Yeah, that's fine,"because he's not going to be going fast enough where he'd lose control. So they're going to be on the motorcycle. Then I've got Dr. (Chen?), Dr. Hao, H-A-O.
CUNNINGHAM:I don't know him. (inaudible) Hao, oh, from the Center for Food Safety?
F1:I don't know. This just came in an emailto me. And then Z-H-A-O is bringinghis family.
CUNNINGHAM:I don't know them.
F1:So I got five Asians, Orientals, whatever you want to call them.
CUNNINGHAM:I think that's -- I don't know.
F1:See, I don't know.
CUNNINGHAM:I don't know if they're Crop and Soil or if they're Food Safety.
F1:See, I don't either. I have no idea.
CUNNINGHAM:That's fine, but that's good.
F1:Yeah, and so I've got to find, make sure I have room for them. Ellen's ridingor walking with me. Dr. Braman and George, Sheri Dorn --
CUNNINGHAM:Oh, you're going to have room. You'll have room.
F1:We'll make room.
CUNNNIGHAM:Even if people have to walk. They'll be fine, or they can sit alongthe float if they need to. 01:30:00
F1:Yeah, and (Carly?) said, "I'll tell Dr. Chen he's got to walk." I said,"Okay." So it's going to be fun; we're going to have a good time.
CUNNINGHAM:Dr. Chen. I wonder this Ray Hao.
F1:It's H-A-O. That's all he gave me, the guy, Zhao, whatever, sent me an email.
CUNNINGHAM:So it is probably Soil; that's his person.
F1:Okay, so --
CUNNINGHAM:I've seen that name; I just don't know who it is.
F1:He's bringing, like, his, I guess, wife and daughter or wife and kid. Hewants to bring his family. I'm like, "Yeah, sure."
CUNNINGHAM:Mussie's not coming back?
F1:And Tami and Chris might come out to be on the parade route, just to watch,bring the grandbabies.
CUNNINGHAM:That'd be cool.
F1:Who else? I've had to sit down and --
CUNNINGHAM:-- kind of map it out, who's going.
F1:Who's going where and...
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah, because it's better than you end up bringing a (overlapping dialogue).
F1:So I can make sure I have a few people that are covered.
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah, and you can kind of get them where they need to be.
CUNNINGHAM:Yeah, because I heard the carts are meeting up at a different placethan (overlapping dialogue).
F1:They're meeting at the Food Depot.
CUNNINGHAM:So that means that some folks are going to have to --
F1:And the reason that they're doing that is because most of the01:31:00majority of them are electric, and so we don't want them to waste 30 minutes, 45 minutes, trying to get to the beginning of the parade route. I said, "Y'all meet me there, and y'all can just get in with us."
CUNNINGHAM:That's cool. That's smart.
F1:That's where I told Meredith and Dan to be. Just meet us right there.
CUNNINGHAM:That's smart. So who's going to -- they just are going to be lookingat out or whatever?
F1:Yeah, I'll tell (class?) that I've got your cell number; you have mine. Wecan tell you where we're at. Y'all just come right out and go down with us.
F1:And they won't -- because we don't start -- we don't get off the float untilwe start going up the hill toward Chik-fil-A to walk.
F1:So then we'll just get out and go. But what we need to do for next year is goahead and when somebody's placing an order, like for pencils, pens, little --
F1:We need to go and try to plan some to hand out.
CUNNINGHAM:I can't believe they said no candy, even handing it. I can't believethat mess. Really? Really?
F1:Yeah, Sandy said --
CUNNINGHAM:Really? I mean even handing it out?F1:I said, "Sandy, I can't hand itout? I'm going to have golf carts and I'm going to have walkers, and we can't hand it out?" She said, "No candy, but you can hand out pencils." 01:32:00
CUNNINGHAM:I don't get that.
F1:Handing out pencils and somebody can throw that and hit somebody in the eyewith it.
CUNNINGHAM:I've got some pencils if y'all want that stuff.
F1:We're not doing it.
F1:We're just not going to do it because we're just going to --
CUNNINGHAM:They don't want a pencil; they want some candy. That's kids.
END OF AUDIO FILE