Partial Transcript: I’m John Cruickshank, Librarian at UGA Griffin. I have with me today several other interviewers.
Segment Synopsis: Harps discusses his childhood growing up on a farm in Griffin, Georgia. His father was later hired by Dr. Stuckey at the Georgia Experiment Station, under the condition that he would send his children to school. Harps talks about how Dr. Stuckey treated all of his employees with respect regardless of their race. Harps also worked on the Station washing beakers for the chemical lab.
Keywords: Bill Baker; Great Depression; H.P. StuckeylGeorgia Experiment Station; Jack Williams; Meriwether County; Spalding County; UGA Griffin Campusl; William Baker
Partial Transcript: See I left here and went in the Army...
Segment Synopsis: In this section, Harps talks about his millitary service in the United States Army in the European Theatre during World War II. He discusses his experience of segregation in the Army and the hypocrisy of fighting a war for a country in which he was treated as a second class citizen. He discusses his mother and her relationship with the Baker family in Griffin.
Keywords: Executive Order 9981; Harry S. Truman; Jim Crow Laws; Plessy v. Ferguson; Separate But Equal; United States Army; WWII; World War II
Partial Transcript: What was school like for you? Elementary and … ?
Segment Synopsis: In this section, Mr. Harps discusses his school years at Mt. Pleasant Church School and Vocational High School. He discusses the conditions in the schools and relates his experience of the instructors who taught in them. He talks about the changes in discipline that occurred after schools were integrated, saying that black teacher were not supposed to beat the white children and vice versa.
Keywords: Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church; Mt. Pleasant School; Q.D. Flemming; Segregated School; Segregation; Spalding County School System; Vocational High School
Partial Transcript: It was terrible back in those days. The Ku Klux Klan used to come and ride by Ellis Road.
Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Mr. Harps discusses the problem of the Ku Klux Klan and how it affected the African-American community in Griffin. He also comes back to the discussion of the Mt. Pleasant Church School.
Keywords: Domsetic Terrorism; KKK; Ku Klux Klan; Lynching; Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church; Mt. Pleasant School
Partial Transcript: I only have one pressing question. You mentioned earlier that the consolidation of schools was a bad thing ...
Segment Synopsis: Mr. Harps shares his thoughts on the integration of schools and the differences he sees between segregated and integrated schools. He says that integration was a "bad thing" because the teachers couldn't discipline the students as much, but he agrees that the black schools needed better books, teachers, and facilities.
Keywords: 13th Amendment; American Legion; Black Codes; Civil Rights Act; Civil Rights Act of 1964; Desegregation; Fairmont High School; Griffin High School; Integrated School; Integration; Plessy v. Ferguson; Segregated School; Segregation; Separate But Equal; Vagrancy Laws
Partial Transcript: When you talk about the Experiment station and working at the Experiment Station and working with Director Stuckey and working in the chemical laboratories, it sounds like your experience at the Experiment Station was a good experience.
Segment Synopsis: In this section, Mr. Harps discusses the working climate for African-Americans in Griffin under Jim Crow. He talks a little bit about his job as a truck driver which took him all over the state of Georgia and also discusses African-American businesses in Griffin. Mr. Harps further discusses the extremely broad vagrancy laws which were in effect under Jim Crow.
Keywords: Black Codes; Buford; Georgia Experiment Station; Herman Talmadge; Jim Crow Laws; UGA Griffin Campus; Vagrancy Laws
__:You can go. You guys go right ahead.
JOHN CRUICKSHANK:Okay, do I have to speak to test the levels, or anything?
__:No, I'll just ride them as we're going.
CRUICKSHANK:Oh, okay. So, I guess I'll start. Okay. How do I start this... I'mJohn Cruickshank, Librarian at University of Georgia Griffin. And I have with me today several other interviewers. We have here -- and I'm just going to go around and get you to say your names.
JEWEL WALKER-HARPS:I'm Jewel Walker-Harps, Griffin Branch NAACP, and EducationalProsperity Initiative.
BE-ATRICE CUNNINGHAM:Be-Atrice Cunningham, University of Georgia Griffin Campus.
ART CAIN:Art Cain, University of Georgia Griffin Campus Office of Continuing Education.
CRUICKSHANK: And I guess I should mention the date. It's December the00:01:0021st, 2015, on a Monday. And our guest today is --
TOMMY HARPS:Tommy Harps.
CRUICKSHANK:Mm-hmm. Tommy --
HARPS:Tommy L. Harps.
CRUICKSHANK:Tommy L. Harps, Tommy Lee Harps. Okay. So, just to start off then,Mr. Harps, would you please tell us when and where you were born and where you grew up?
HARPS:Well, I was born in Mayweather County. I left Mayweather County when I wassix years old. I moved to Spalding County. So, my daddy was working for a farm that they got when we were little bitty boys. And we (inaudible) we 00:02:00can remember, but that he was riding the mules out there. And he had a farm. And his boss want him to take us and make us work on that farm. He wouldn't do it. He come to Georgia Experiment Station. And Dr. Stuckey hired him. And there used to be two little houses that sat right up there. We moved to one of them until they could get a house for us. And then, we started -- he started working there. And Dr. Stuckey told us that we had to go to school. If we stay here, we had to go to school. And we moved on to Georgia right down there on Ellis Road. There was seven houses down there. And we stayed just about the middle of it. And I just -- we just grew up here on Georgia Experiment Station. 00:03:00Little boys, cotton was right there at our backyard. And we had to -- he wanted to see what -- Georgia Experiment Station, they wouldn't let me and Glen and them pick the cotton. They made us go to school. But we used to walk from Ellis Road to Mount Pleasant every morning. I'm talking about every day, rain, snow, or sleet. We had to go because Dr. Stuckey -- they had a truant officer to make sure we went. And Dr. Stuckey made sure that all of us went to school because he wanted us to get an education. But the people in the rural section, they had to quit school and go and pick the cotton. And we wanted to pick cotton. And Dr. Stuckey told them, "No. You all don't pick cotton. You're going to school." That's what he told our parents. So, my daddy worked for Georgia 00:04:00Experiment Station, started working for them in 1931, he said. And my mama worked for bakers, that cook -- work over there. She raised all them children and fed us. We had to work every day when we were little seven, eight- year old little boys. I had to feed the hog. We sent(inaudible) we used to order chicken from there, little bitty Betty. We were raised on them to be grown chickens, didn't have no light. Nothing but a lantern. We had a lantern we put in a great big old box and raised them chickens and fed them till they got large enough until they got fried, then we put them (inaudible). So, when -- like the Christmas now, they want a big old hen, we just go out there and 00:05:00killed them, had eggs, chicken, hog, and Georgia Experiment Station had cows. They had a dairy sitting back in there and had a freezer in that building across the street because that's where they would do something to the milk quarters because, see, all of this then, black people working in here. We had Dr. Stuckey, Dr. Harley, you know, those people working in the office they were white, but all -- but raising everything they was raising everything and we want grape, watermelon, cantaloupe, peas, butterbeans. And they were taking (inaudible) and Dr. -- what's his name? Not Harley (inaudible) -- 00:06:00well, anyway, they worked at the chemical laboratory. They would take that stuff, send it up there to run a test on it. When they run a test on it, they would let us -- they would call or we had a wagon, we had what we got for Christmas, they would tell us to go to right there and pick up the potatoes, pick the peas, pick the butterbeans.
And, see, they'd give you that, we didn't have to buy nothing because we stayedthere. We have to buy the meat. We didn't have to buy butter. And, see, back in those times, when times was hard, we used to take eggs and swap for sugar, take it to the grocery store and swap it for sugar. And when we'd leave Experiment line going to work, the children would go to school. Now, we were going to school, that's what dad wanted us to be doing. We go to school. We had to fight every day to work at the experiment station with them white boys. We 00:07:00had to walk. They rode in busses. And I always thought it was wrong for them to treat us like that, but that's the way we was treated. But we -- now, you couldn't come on Georgia Experiment Station to arrest nobody. Police, state patrol, federal, they couldn't come on here. And then, they'd go out there to Dr. Stuckey's house. And Dr. Stuckey would give them permission to come -- if he said no, that was it. That was it because didn't want nobody to come down -- I'm going to tell you the truth, he was a man that everybody know over the State of Georgia. And if he said no, that was just no. That was all. But he would treat all his employees the same way. He was -- now, a lot of folks don't like him, but I'll say this about Dr. Stuckey, Dr. Stuckey was a man to stand up for what was right for black people because the sheriff would be saying they 00:08:00wanted to come, but he said, no, you ain't going to do it. If we did something, we didn't have -- if the
employee did something (inaudible) Dr. Stuckey, he comes over there and getsthem, next they to go over to him and ask to him. See, his cook lived right over there. Yeah, the lady that cooked for him, Miladia Blackwood and them. Dr. Stuckey lived there. And when we got -- when me and Glen and them got big enough to do some work, we used to water -- Regan had a flower place up there. We used to water his flowers for 50 cents a night. That's all we got, but that was a lot of money for us because we just poor people.
CRUICKSHANK:Got a couple questions.
CRUICKSHANK:Your father was hired in 1931. Did he tell you anything about thehiring process? How they made a decision to hire him and also about how much he was making during that time because that was going into the Depression and so on?
HARPS:Well, what I know of what my daddy was making for a week from 8:00 in themorning till 5:00 in the evening, he would get $15.88 a week. That's what they were paying him, $15.88 a week.
CRUICKSHANK:Fifty or fifteen?
HARPS:Fifteen-eighty-eight a week, but we had, didn't have to pay the rent. See,we stayed on that line down there. And when the people stayed in (inaudible), they didn't have to pay rent. Of course, they had to build the big old houses over down on that line. And so, but how he hired dad, I don't know. I 00:10:00don't know how they hired him because now he would help them some way, but he had a -- we was staying out there on Barkley's farm. And so, he was fixing to leave, so somebody heard about it. He said -- now, I don't know what he said. And Dr. Stuckey -- see, we had a first cousin stayed up there. Now, that may have been how he got connected with Georgia Experiment Station. And his sister stayed below us, his sister did. We were little bitty boys and we just followed dad and them wherever they had to go because we had -- see, back in them days, children had to be children. They couldn't sit down when they had company. And we sat in the room. Well, we had to go in our room. See, we had a 00:11:00room we stay in, bedroom, where we'd sleep --- we never would eat till everybody sat down at the table and somebody would say grace. See, I look at today and I say these children are blessed these days. Have to try -- see, we went to school because we loved to go to school I'm talking about walking, cold -- used to get to school, hand done got so cold. And there wasn't no fire in there in the church we was in. Me and Frank Jr. and Touchstone and them had to go in there and cut wood and come and make a fire. My sister used to -- her hands would be so cold, they put her hand in water before they let he stick them in a fire. We walked, Georgia Experiment to the Denis Line. And you couldn't be 00:12:00absent because mama would make us go to school. She didn't get it, but she's going to make sure the children got some. So, after we went to school, now, if we hadn't been on a farm, we couldn't have went because back in that day, they pull people out of school -- the black children out of school, but they didn't pull their children out. And I would always ask them why they didn't because they farm and I wanted to know why they didn't, but they never -- nobody never did tell me.
CRUICKSHANK:Well, let me ask you this, you also said that over here on theExperiment Station that I'm going to interpret this as laborers, many of the laborers were black?
CRUICKSHANK:Okay. And that many of them, I guess, the researchers werewhite. So, if you could just guess at the percentage of folks who 00:13:00were laborers and were black at the Experiment Station at the time?
HARPS:Well, it had a -- they had a few white supervisors, but for the plantersand everything, my daddy and Jack Wheaton and them, they planted everything. My daddy used to -- see, they had peach trees. He plumed them. Of course, nobody plume them like he could. Didn't have no education. He didn't have no education. My daddy just didn't -- I had to learn had to write his name, but he could run this station good as anybody else good. Mr. Jack Wheaton could run it. Them black builders and them would go out and plant that cotton and plant them hoes and plow them mules. I'm talking about heavy -- people that don't know, it was 00:14:00amazing to see what those people did, couldn't read and write. And I read the Bible I read the Bible. I seen in the Bible where Peter joined, had never been trained, had never been to school, but they were blessed to look at the Bible, I bet they wrote it. See, God gifted them to do this stuff. That's the only thing I always told Daddy, "Daddy, you've been gifted", I had an uncle, didn't know his name and they were married right here in Griffin, didn't know his name just know how to put it up there, but he know how to translate business. He bought a cab company and he made the money. And nobody been-- you gotta tell them about old Anna and Ellie, he'll tell you.
WALKER-HARPS: What did you do -- those of you who were laborers do?00:15:00Other than planting the crops, what other jobs did you have?
HARPS:Well, see, dad and them planted the crops and grow it up. They would godowntown and get people to pick the cotton, the corn. And they had watermelon when they'd go out there and get one or two of them, run to the Kindergarten. They let us go down there and get the wagon and haul down there and give a try the haul. We didn't want to eat. We would eat some, but we would give to -- see, dad and them did the planting. Dad and them did everything, but the (inaudible), he was there, but Dr. Stuckey was the man, had black men working with knowledge to know how to do this stuff. I don't know how he got them, but he had them. They would get up in the morning and go to work. Everybody worked. 00:16:00You didn't touch nothing if you didn't. They used to have a law here in Griffin. If you didn't work, you better not walk the streets the next day -- that day. And people that were lazy and didn't work, they had to stay in the house all day because if they came in the street, they would tell you, because everybody is attending a job and you had to work. You had to work. Didn't have no stealing. Used to leave our house wide open, go to Atlanta, and come back. I'm talking about the door. Nobody never go in there.
WALKER-HARPS:Were you all ever in the labs or what were the labs like? How wouldyou describe your presence or your work if there was any in the labs?
HARPS:Well, see, when I was a little boy, I was about 12 years old ,they hired me for the chemical -- to come to the chemical laboratory to watch 00:17:00the beakers and the glasses and the tubes and things. So, Mr. Prekas, he -- Dr. Prekas, he seen that I was catching on. And he used to setup the chemistry and tell me how to run it. And I used to be at the chemical laboratory and run that for them. William Park, he did it for a day. We had me, William Park, Wille Beck and Small and Arnie Framer. We used to run the chemical laboratory. We used to run the chemical laboratory with Dr. Prekas. He was over us. And Dr. 00:18:00Harlie was in charge of the whole building, but Dr. Stuckey was over the whole business from Tifton to the last building here. Dr. Stuckey was the man that speak and never ordered. And then, I used to work in the chemical laboratory. James Miller used to work down there where they would can stuff at. And they had another room in there where they made wine at. See, they had a big grape vineyard up there. And they'd take their wine and take their grapes and make wine. And they would keep it 10 years before they would open it. Like this year's 10 years, they would take the wine 10 years old and they would open it. And by me working in the chemical laboratory so, I was bored. And I 00:19:00drunk wine and it was good. (laughter) I drunk that wine and I just started going round and round. Now, you see when I got sober, I ain't put nothing -- I don't drink wine no -- ain't never drank wine no more. And there used to be a syrup mill out there. They had a syrup mill with a mule going round and round. I used to sit there and feed that syrup mill, get that juice out, bring it to the chemical laboratory, and I would cook that syrup, cook that juice, and make syrup right here. I'm the one that used to -- I used to make the syrup. James did all the canning, but the syrup, I would make that. And, see, that's why everything was handled through the black people. And I didn't see a 00:20:00drunk -- we didn't see no drunk women. And a woman -- I know they did it, but they didn't cuss around us. They didn't say nothing around us. And then, they try to teach us how to read the Bible something else like that. When I first seen a drunk woman, I had been to Germany and come back. And I moved out there on Cerci Avenue and I seen a drunk woman. I was about 20 years old then because I -- they just didn't do it in front of us. People respected their children then. We did not see no drunk -- we didn't have nobody curse. And I used to say, mama, now, I know you all did. She said, that ain't none of your business. And that was it. When she said -- when they said that -- see, mama was a 00:21:00lady. She said what she meant and she meant what she said. If she tell us go to the store, we had to walk from up there where we stayed at all the way to Experiment Street where the store was.
WALKER-HARPS:Did your daddy have a good relationship working with Dr. Stuckey?
HARPS:Oh, my daddy don't say nothing about that because he was the number oneman with Dr. Stuckey. Dr. Stuckey believed everything my daddy said. I know sometimes it'll be wrong, but he believed it. He used to on Saturday he had mule and a lawnmower that the mule pull. He cut all that grass on Saturday with a mule and that lawnmower, that lawnmower with the mule. See, everything then was mule, wasn't no vehicles. If you were going to go anywhere, you had 00:22:00to go in a wagon. If you hauled stuff away across the hill over there, you had to do -t in a wagon until they got -- the later time -- I can remember when they -- now, I can remember when they got the tractor. They started getting rid of mules. They got a tractor and started following with a tractor. I can remember that because we were staying down there. See, I left here and went in the Army, left Georgia. They pulled me out of the high school and sent me to the Army.
CAIN:Was that in World War II?
HARPS:World War II. Yeah, I'm a World War II veteran. And I didn't like the Armybecause they were Jim Crow, just like they were right here. They had to separate. White one place. Black in another. We was in Germany. They had a sign that said white honor. I'm talking about in Germany.
CAIN:Was that -- were those signs created by U.S. military or were --00:23:00
HARPS:Yeah, I was in the U.S. military. See, U.S. military was Jim Crow back inWorld War II and World War I till we got on the front line. Everybody (snaps) like that on the front line.
CAIN:Did you go to the front lines?
CRUICKSHANK:You did, mm-hmm.
HARPS:Them boys (hums) and both of them come up the front line, black go here,black go there and that's how the Jim Crow was. And as quick as they said I believe, I left. Some boys got 20 years. I maybe would have stayed, but I didn't like it. And I come home. And cause they saif, yeah, I know it was wrong. And they said -- I said, well, why did I got to go to the army? This is 00:24:00your country. You have to fight for your freedom. Go over there and do all that stuff, lay in the snow and ice and stuff, and then truck getting stuff, and come back here and you're treated like you're a fourth-class citizen. And, see, I had an attitude. My uncle had a worse attitude than me. We would let people know what they do to us. They said "shut up.", No I'd tell them if I die. I said, I'd rather be dead then if I can't talk. Well, you go to respect them. I said, they don't respect me. And people respect you when you stand up to be a man because they respected us. They would always say well, (inaudible). They stopped talking and they treated us like we were men, but we had to orient the children. We didn't have no -- we had a connection with the police downtown. These 00:25:00police today (inaudible). They didn't lock us up. They would catch us doing something wrong, bring you home to your mama. And I told them just go on and lock me up now because I know what mama was going to do to me. I know she was going to get that peach tree and I was going to get, you talk about brutality, whipped on your back, whipped on your foot, whipped on your butt, whipped on your legs. I'm talking about, she would whoop us all over. And she just whoop us. It looked like she'd gone crazy. And then, she'd sit down and say I love you. I'd say, mama, how you love me and beat me like that? She said, if you love somebody -- she told us this, if you love somebody, you're going to chastise them. You're going to make them live right. You're going to make them 00:26:00respect people. I respect people today because that's what -- I don't care. If I talk in the store, I don't care if the lady black or white, if she's about twelve years-- I respect her at the cash register. I don't -- and then, I stole a marble one time me and my brother. I said, don't you all tell mama. They said, no, we ain't going to tell her. When I walked in the house, I heard my brother Ben. He said, mama, I know what (was next?). She got me and she whooped me from Experiment Line back to down there at Experiment Street, made me take it back, and go in there and tell that man I'm sorry. The man laughed and said, well, he can have it. And she said, no, he ain't going to have it. And I ain't stole nothing since. She made a believer of me.
CAIN:Let me ask you about you mother because you've talked a lot about yourfather and you mentioned your mother worked somewhere not too far 00:27:00from --
HARPS:Right across the street.
CAIN:Tell us a little bit about your mother and her working.
HARPS:My mama she worked hard. She fed us. She worked for Bill Baker. She(caught?) all his children, raise them. Billy Baker could tell you that. Pat Baker down there in that flat down there, she raised -- she caught that baby and bring them in the -- brung all them children in the (war?). And she worked for them. She cooked for them. She cooked for us. She had washing and ironing. And she used to do that. We had to draw water to do that.
CAIN:Tell us about who she worked for.
CAIN:Tell us a little bit more about who she worked for.
HARPS:Bill Baker. Uh-huh. He had a little store there. And he would give usstuff out of there to eat, like sandwich and stuff like that. And if 00:28:00we didn't have -- if she didn't have enough money to get our clothes with, he would do that. Bill Baker would. She would -- them people were crazy about her. When her children grew up, I took you up -- didn't I take you up there one time?
HARPS:They loved her so. Oh, they were so crazy about mama because she workedfor them all their lives until they got grown. And when she -- when we moved downtown, I used to come around there to try to get her to Cartersville, she wouldn't come back. Because when I -- see, I left and went in the Army to help my mama with--that's the reason I left the school, to help my sisters and brother because it was hard trying to live. So, I went home -- when I went in the Army made (inaudible) to her to help with them. And she was saving some money. I said, no, you don't save it. You feed them and clothe them because I'm all right because the Army was clothing and feeding us and a place 00:29:00for us to stay, so I want my brother and sisters to have as good a place as I did. Well, we've got some lovely family. We looked out for one another. Like I said, we had to work for what we got. We couldn't -- didn't nobody give us nothing because we had to work. And mama and them made us work. In the summertime, they would make us -- now, they used to have cotton out there in front of our house. We used to go as little bitty boys go and pick boll weevils out of that cotton and bring Mr. Z and and Dr. Stuckey and them, I don't know what they did, they put them in a jar. They give us a penny a boll weevil, if you made 50 cents you made something because money was money back in them days. See, people now beg too much. I don't, growing up people begging because if they would work , they can get what they want. 00:30:00
WALKER-HARPS:What was school like for you, elementary and --
WALKER-HARPS:School. What was it like going to school or being in school? Yousaid you went to Mount Pleasant.
HARPS:Mount Pleasant, I can tell you what Mount Pleasant was like. It was achurch, Mount Pleasant Church. You know where Mount Pleasant Church at? We went there. When we got there, wasn't no fire I said, we had to go right there in the woods and cut wood. We were to come back and make a fire. And we would be so cold, we done walk through Experiment Station Glenn and them be done walk from Pomona and went to Pomona up there. They be sone walked there every day. To get there, you're so cold, but you got to go up there and try to get something to get warm, had a big old heater that we went up there and cut that wood. The bigger boys would do it. They'd cut that wood. They'd come back and make a fire and got the church warm. So, one day, me and James Hammer -- this was 00:31:00when we were mad because we had to do it. We got some -- we go out there and got the wood. We had some pine -- the little pine needle thing. We put it in the church in the thing. I reckon the sparks come out and set the church on fire. (laughter) But we couldn't get nothing else going. We just throw it in there and the lady come.
See, we had to tote our water from Mount Pleasant Church to way over there onHill Street now. There was an old lady that lived in front of the spring. We had to tote our water from there for the school, didn't have no lunch, didn't have nothing but -- mama never make us lunch because we had plenty to eat. 00:32:00Go in there and cut a ham or cut whatever there was and they make us -- we had good lunches, we did, because she was prepared for that. But when I went to high school, vocational -- vocational didn't have no hot lunch, didn't have no gym. We had Mollet Gym is what we had to use to play basketball in, had to use Howard Field to play football in. And we had to know what day they was going to play because we was going to play, but it was exciting. We enjoyed it.
WALKER-HARPS:What do you remember most about high school at the vocational school?
HARPS:Vocational? Well, I'd say in vocational, Ms. Williams, Ms. Bennett. Shewas the English teacher and she was harder than (knocks table) over 00:33:00there. You had to get your lesson when you go in her room. You couldn't go in there and talk. She was a little ole bitty short lady, but you couldn't talk. When you go in there, you go in there working. You worked that whole hour. When they changed class -- I'd be so glad when time would change classes. I'd get out of her room. (laughter) We'd be running getting out of there. Now, if she gave you an assignment, you better have it the next morning. If you didn't, she'd send you down to go see Flemming. Mr. Fleming would take you down there in the shop and he would wear your out down there with that strap. I don't care how big you were or nothing, but you just couldn't do nothing by that man. The football players, he'd walk around at night and see if they were out. They couldn't play football. If he catch them out in the street, they couldn't play football. I'm talking about the star, Ben Copland and them, he was the star on the -- the quarterback and they caught him out, he didn't go to Columbus with 00:34:00us. He said if I lose the game, I'm happy because you ain't going. We said, Mr. Fleming, ain't you going to let him go? Coach, ain't you going to let him go? No. He thinks he's -- because he (inaudible). I bet you from then on, he didn't catch him out. And they -- and if they be -- if we were -- when I was playing football for the high school, if I know Fleming was somewhere around, I'm going to start running home. Everybody had to have a project in high school. And I had a hog and had a bunch of chickens. And he's going to walk and see that you got them. He's going to check us all out to see what we said we had, that we had them. And you better have them because I reckon everybody know what's next because we did. He went -- and when you walk into school, he said, 00:35:00you ain't going to class, you go out there in the shop. When you went out there to the shop, we know what that meant. He going to whoop us, discipline us. When they took discipline out of school, they did the wrong thing. Because if they would've had discipline in school, you all wouldn't have no problems now.
WALKER-HARPS:How well did your hogs and your chickens do?
HARPS:Chickens? Oh, they'd grow. It was like I told you we had a -- we didn'thave no electric. We had lamps. We had to get -- if we didn't get our lesson in there, we had to get it by lamps with oil in there. No electric. And the chicken, we had a big old box, baseboard box where we raised when we went down to Mr. Harold's barn. And we put them in there. And dad had a lantern. We'd hang that lantern over there to keep them warm. And they'd grow, grow, 00:36:00grow. We took care of them.
CAIN:Was there electricity in the high school?
CAIN:Was there electricity in the high school?
HARPS:Yeah, there was electricity in the high school and vocational High.
CAIN:And vocational High.
HARPS:Uh-huh. They had electric in there. They had everything there, but didn'thave no lunchroom, didn't have no gym. And the uniform we wore for playing football, we get the one that Griffin High done wore three or four years. They sent them over there and we had them. We didn't get no new uniforms. They get the new ones. We get the old ones. Books, they get the new ones. We get the old ones. But we took what we got and we put it to good use. See, the teachers made us do it then. It ain't whether you want it or not. When the 00:37:00teacher said you had to do it, you had to do it. You couldn't -- of course, if you talked back to the teacher, she -- I don't know how mama got it because no telephone. But when I'd get home that evening, she knew it. (laughter) And when she know it, everybody know what was next. The next day, we'd go there and we had to go there and beg the teachers, apologize to the teacher and tell her we won't do it no more. And Frank Touchstone would tell you the same thing tell you the same thing. He was principal.
But when they consolidated the school -- now, people may not -- don't agree withme, but that was a bad thing because them teachers would tear your up back then. And I asked a question, why did you all stop disciplining the 00:38:00children? But they didn't have to tell, I know. They didn't want them black teachers whooping the white children. That's what it was. It was just that simple. See, I'm a man that tell you just like it was, and I would tell them that. I didn't bite my tongue for nobody, and I didn't scratch my head for nobody. And I never like for nobody to hit me on the back because it's something they want. People don't hit me on the back now because I know it's something they want. Don't touch me. Don't do that. You can shake my hand. You can hug me or anything, but don't hit me on the back because my granddaddy told me don't let nobody touch you on the back because it's something they want. See, they trained us for these things when we was children. They trained us. They trained -- my uncle always trained me to speak up regardless of if it'd kill you. Speak up. Don't be scared. He said, what you going to be scared of? People 00:39:00going to do what they want to do. And I'm talking about it was so Jim Crow over here until -- if you're going down Ellis and a white boy come up and slap you and you knock him down, they're going to accuse you of doing it, you knock you down first. They're going to let him go. And they're going to take you home and you had to get a whooping. It was just that's the lives that -- we went through it. You all don't know nothing about it. It was terrible back in those days. The Ku Klux Klan used to come back, ride Ellis Road, going in them homes. Me and my brother were just like the devil. We'd sit behind the fence there. We 00:40:00would sit behind there and throw rocks over there and hit them. When they stopped the car, we'd jump out and go up to the watermelon and lay down in the watermelon. I'm talking about -- and so, they stopped riding through there because they didn't -- couldn't never find out where we hid the cars, breaking out the glass. But we were doing it because didn't have no business up there. They couldn't come on the line. Now, on Ellis Road, it was all right, but they better not come to none of them houses up there because Dr. Stuckey was in charge. And he knows that it don't matter what they're going to tell him the next morning. My daddy would anyway because he made fire for him, he helped him with his air, and he took care of Dr. Stuckey. Every morning, he'd go there and make fire for him. When he'd get up, his house warm, but he would leave ours warm because they would get up at 5:00 in the morning, 5:30 mama done 00:41:00fix breakfast, and she's ready to go to work. And she'd fix our breakfast. Whatever she bought, that's what we had to eat. Then she'd go over there and said, now, when you all leave here, I want you all to be--and she done cleaned up her house at 5:00 in the morning, all of us were in bed, we were laid in. She'd say when you all leave here going to school just like I was out at night, better be here when I come home tonight and it was like that. We did -- I left a plate one time and I got a whooping about it. And at night, nothing in the dishpan, no fork, no spoon. Everything go to be washed before we can go to bed. Clothes, everything had to be washed before we go -- and we used to water at our door in the summertime and heat the water. We heated our water 00:42:00because we had a stove with a reservoir on it. But by us being five children, each one of us had to draw some water and put in five tubs and that's what we bathed in at night.
WALKER-HARPS:What heated water?
WALKER-HARPS:What heated --
HARPS:Sun heated, the sun. You sat it out there in the yard, it'll heat thatwater. It's warm. You can do that now. He was very excited for us to live and we was happy to be here on Georgia Experiment Station. Now, that's one thing was, we lived on the Georgia Experiment Station, we worked for -- my daddy worked for the government. And Dr. Stuckey didn't allow nobody coming onto Georgia Experiment Station bother nobody, don't care who you -- white or black. If you come on here, you're going to respect everybody. . Now, he -- that's 00:43:00the kind of man that he was. He was a white man too. That man would always tell us, I said, all white people wasn't mean it was some of them, but they had some good white people. When I got old enough to start driving trucks, I used to drive trucks all over Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama. Never did have no trouble with nobody because everybody I drove -- everybody know where I went in. I had a sack of feed on my shoulder saying -- this white man came out there and slapped me. And he done not to have did it because I knocked him down. And then going down over near the state schools right there at the old railroad crossing, the children were going to school. Then, they went to running. Ahh, that nigger done hit that white man. I said, if I catch you, I'm going to hit you. And 00:44:00I don't know how it got to the man I worked for in Griffin, P.C. Williams. When I looked around, he was hitting that railroad. He hit that railroad all the way to the (inaudible) building. And he come out. I said, who'd I hit, Peewee? They called him Peewee. Who'd done hit, Peewee? And so, the sheriff came out there. I said, Mr. Williams, Mr. Williams, would you pardon? And so, I told them. I said that man hit me. And he got at him with his pistol. They had to stop the man over there. And the sheriff told him said, no, no, no, look, we ain't going to have that. He cut them off and he said you ain't going tell me what you're going to do because I got some -- see, them old Williams in Griffin were smart. They were mean men. There was a bunch of them, but they would take care of us. They really would.
CAIN:I've got a few more questions.
HARPS: All right.00:45:00
CAIN:How big a problem was the Ku Klux Klan --
HARPS:It was a problem. They were a big problem. I'm telling you the poor whiteman could be in his house, they're going to drag him out and whoop him.
CAIN:So, it wasn't just black folks --
HARPS:Black -- no. If you were poor, and all black folks is, but if you likedown in East Griffin, go in there and whoop them white folks like they wasn't nothing. And Captain Drawer , I used to work with the police. I just (inaudible). I used to go over there and he used to get me in the car to ride along. And he used to take me down to East Griffin, he whooped them white folks to death. And I said, Captain, why do you do that? I said, they're white like you. They are. And that's the reason I do it because they had a chance to have something. They didn't. They poor. I said, everybody can't be rich. 00:46:00They were poor when they was born. They going to be poor. So, I always tell them here's one for -- I'm talking about the Ku Klux Klan would whoop the white where they treated the water. And if you're going down the street and see a white woman and she said you raped her and you ain't said nothing to her, they'll hang you for an hour.
CAIN:Did you ever know of any lynches here?
HARPS:No. I didn't know them, but they did tell me it went on. I didn't knowthem because stayed here. And I know it didn't go on here on Georgia Experiment Station. That's the reason I'm like I am today, just speak out, let people know because Dr. Stuckey told me to always do this. Stand up for yourself. 00:47:00And so, he would tell every man to stand up for his self. And if you can't handle it, you come to me. And Dr. Stuckey would take care of everybody up here. All them men that worked for him stayed on the station. Here on the station couldn't nobody come on here and touch you. Don't care what they did.
CAIN:Backing up just a second, about how many people were at Mount Pleasant whenyou went to school?
CAIN:About how many people were at Mount Pleasant when you went to school?
HARPS:Well, I'll tell you the truth, I can't -- people go -- they have a goodgroup when we first started, but, see, when they start getting a farm, they pull all them children out, but the people didn't -- here, and Touchstone and them we had to go to school, but they pulled them others out to gather the crop. 00:48:00
CAIN:Was it -- how many teachers were there?
CAIN:Just one. So one teacher --
HARPS:One teacher for the whole class. That's just how it was. And they'd comearound and they'd give you -- every now and then, they could bring an apple there and give you. That's the only thing you had to eat. I would take mine and throw it away because I had my lunch. I just threw it across the field because I didn't want it. And so, they said I was just mean. No. I wasn't mean. I just -- they're the ones that made me like I was the way they try to treat me because you got to treat me as a man. Because you had to treat my uncle as a many because he was human just like anybody else.
CAIN:I'm going to have to go. I was supposed to go at 3:00. It's been a pleasurelistening to you. And I wish I could stay a little longer, but I've got another commitment. Thank you. It's been my pleasure. 00:49:00
HARPS:Okay, okay. Where's the restroom at?
CRUICKSHANK:Yeah, let's take a break. Yeah, the restroom is just out here.
M:I'm ready whenever you guys are.
WALKER-HARPS:As I said, we're building a -- the third Sunday in January, we'rebuilding around this project, MLK Program.
CRUICKSHANK:Oh, yeah. Yeah.
WALKER-HARPS:So, I hope I can tie it together.
WALKER-HARPS:But, anyway, I'm ready whenever -- now, whenever you want to stopfor the day and you want to call this part one and come back for part two, that's okay. Just say the word and we'll do it.
CUNNINGHAM:I only have one pressing question. You mentioned earlier that theconsolidation of schools was a bad thing in your opinion. Can you 00:50:00tell us why you feel that way or can you give us some specific examples of what was bad about the consolidation of the schools?
HARPS:The children took control of the school, the children. The teachers cannottouch the children. Some of the teachers -- I talked to teachers. They can't touch them. They can't chastise them. But when I was going to school, when my children were going to school in Fairmount, the teacher would say jump, they would have to jump. And then, they took prayer out of school. When we had prayer in school, that's the first thing we did in Mount Pleasant Church in school, Mount Pleasant School when we had the school, first thing we had was prayer. And everybody now had to say a Bible verse. And when we took Lord out of 00:51:00the school, you put the devil -- now, you look at the schools today, little six-year-old children sitting in there scared, don't know no -- when somebody's going to come in there and kill them. This is happening. But in my day, you didn't have to worry about school because the teacher was in charge, but the teachers ain't in charge now. And the law stopped them from whooping -- stopped the parent from whooping them. But I told the law this as long as mine stay in my house, I'm going to chastise them, I'm going to have to feed them, and I'm going to have to clothe -- and they told me, they said, well, I know you were going to do it anyway. That's right. I don't think no child can stay in my house -- I've got children. They're grown. They got grandchildren. I go in their house. I respect it. And what they say, I try to do it their way. If they come in my house, they have to do it my way. The grandchildren all would tell you the same thing. I don't have no trouble with them because I set the tone 00:52:00for them when they were little children. Let them know who was in charge. And I told them do the same thing. Let your children know who is in charge. Don't let nobody come -- but, see, now, you look at the average child in school today, you cannot -- we could not walk the streets and then school. They used to have truant officers. And you had to go to school. If you didn't, they'd come talk to your parent. Now, your parents, they'd take them to jail. Now, look, if you're a schoolteacher and do something -- if you do something to a child now, try to chastise him, tell him what's right, he goes home and tells his mama and the law on you. She come back raising hell. That's wrong. That's wrong. See, you got yours. I'm trying to get mine. That's what my mama told me. Mrs. Unie 00:53:00started here's, and you're trying to get some, so you better go there and do right. But when they consolidate the school--all of it-- just look how the school fell apart, ain't no respect in school. You all teachers can't do nothing. You can't chastise no child now. I got a grandboy. He had two boys in school in Atlanta, they called them off his job because they couldn't do nothing about it. But he went there and he whooped that boy. He said he whooped him all up in the back. They said Mr. McCray, you can't do that here, he said he did it, here. And he whooped him, and they called the police. Police sat out on their car he said and they talked to him. So, he told him, he said, now, 00:54:00I'm going to tell you, I know you're going to take me to jail, but my big daddy going to come get me. But when you take me to jail, take them clothes off and lay them on the step, take them shoes off and lay them on the step, and don't bring them back in my house. Police said we can't do that. He said if he come in my house, I'm going to whoop his -- they looked at him -- and he said they looked at him and laughed. I wish we had more young men like that. That's what they said they told him. And they didn't take him to jail from then on. He didn't have no trouble anymore. The teacher could tell him something, he would do it because he told me I ain't got time to come off my job, come over here and get you. Boy, I'll kill you. He was just that -- he said he was just that mad with him, because I know what you used to do to us. You'd go over there and you just, you would tear us up. And I'm going to do the same thing, so he didn't -- I think had -- I made him a little too mean cause he, but, see, 00:55:00that's the reason and I said -- when this -- if they had have kept control of the children, I wouldn't have said that because we did need better books. We did need better teachers. We did need people that -- a better school. See, when we went to Mount Pleasant, we went there and we had to go in the church. We used to have to go to school in a church. We didn't have no school, walk, cold. And, now, look at the young people now, got a school bus to ride. When they get there to school, it's warm. Got first-class books. And we had to get them old raggedy books that Griffin High done threw away, but we put them to good use. See, we put that stuff to good use. It was the same thing, they got the book, 00:56:00but they were old. Some of the pages was tore up, but we got what we were supposed to get. And that's why I said this is school, that was a bad thing they did when they -- because they took the switch out of teacher's hands. And when I was going to school every teacher had a switch. And if you so big, he was going to whoop you, he'd send you to the principal. The principal would send you there sharp, and he would whoop you. Now don't be saying he ain't going to whoop, he going to whoop to whoop. He don't care how biig, he going to whoop you. I don't know what kind of man Killian Flynn was, but he old man, but you couldn't do nothing with him. And he would whoop you too. I know-- and take you home to your mama and tell her he whoop you and she going to whoop you again. And 00:57:00they had good children in school. We didn't have no fights and all that. I used to go to the VFW Club we were supposed to have police. We go there to dance all night, had all these famous bands here in Griffin. Didn't have no police. You know who was the police? The members. They took care of you--Raymond Head, all of you knew him. If he write you a letter say you barred, you barred. You couldn't come here. You couldn't come through there. Down there at that hill and they see you, they call the police to come get you. You couldn't come there. When he said you're barred, you're barred. You had to stay out as long as he tell you. They used to beg, go to the Pessing club, and beg, and let them come back. When they get back in that club, they was some changed young 00:58:00men. No fight. No cursing. We would drink a lot of liquor, but there wasn't no fight, no cursing, everybody respect everybody. Never did have a fight over there, but they'd now-- Why? They lost control of it. Them folks was -- the young people -- generation done destroyed everything we built. The American Legion had to close it down. It done fell in. We built it. Now, they just all working on churches. Them folks going to take care of, they taking charge of the churches, it ain't what it used to be. The preacher used to -- could chastise the children. They can't chastise them now. The mom and dad -- see, the breakdown is in the home. If you don't raise your child at home, don't put it all on the teacher. If you got a young man and you're supposed to 00:59:00chastise him when he come in there with-- because you had him first. And if you don't chastise him, how do you think the teacher is going to chastise him. You can't do it. Well, see people back in them days, chastise them-- their parent would chastise them children. They know how to act straight in church down the hill that would tear that joker up. When he walk in that school, he'd know how to act. Tony Hardin now how to act. Benny Hardin know how to act. We were well trained at home, but they don't train them at home now. Every time you go there, you're going to see mom and daddie, they somewhere else and the children -- I used to come home at 12:00-1:00 at night. I see little old -- six and seven years old playing the street. I would stop. I said, man, where your 01:00:00mom and dad? I don't know. See, we know where our mom and dad was at night. We know. We know to be at home before sundown. Everybody be in their own house before sundown in Experiment Station. If we would have half of the discipline that I come up under, With the parents sitting down and talking to the children like they did in my day, it'd make it work. Children too sorry now, they lazy. Why? Because the parents, they don't make them work. We had to work. Everybody at Georgia Experiment Station had to work. We was little bitty six and seven-year-old boys, we had to, like I said, picking boll weevils out of cotton. If I asked mama for a penny, she'd say then you -- go out in that 01:01:00yard and pick up that match stem she said, I ain't going to give you my money for nothing. Go work for it. That shows you how they trained us to work. And I worked till I got 62 and I had heart trouble. They took me to get a heart operation. And I never did miss a day out of school or off work. I'm talking about out of all them years. When I was working in the chemical laboratory, when I got out of school, I go there to the chemical laboratory. And the thing that Dr. Pickney and them set up, they were showing what they done did, I stayed there at night, sometimes like 7:00 or 8:00. He would help me get my lesson. He would show me how to do my lesson, but then I had to work there by 7:00 or 8:00 at night. And I'll go -- when I went through that little path to my house wasn't nobody down there. What to--I was going to be at the Georgia 01:02:00Experiment Station no way and I know that. And so, I'd go in there, come in the backdoor, and come home. Now, when I was 10 years old in the summertime, I worked there the whole summer, but in wintertime with school time, I had to leave and go to school.
CUNNINGHAM:When you talk about the Experiment Station and working at theExperiment Station and working with Director Stuckey and working in the chemical laboratories, it sounds like your experience at the Experiment Station was a good experience. So, what was the climate like for black workers let's say throughout the city, the ones that may not have worked at the Experiment station? What were the working conditions like?
HARPS:Well, everybody had the -- see, the law was then everybody downtown whodidn't work, they couldn't walk the streets. You work on working hour 01:03:00or you better not be seen by the police because they would lock you up.
WALKER-HARPS:Where was there to work?
HARPS:Well, you had plenty of jobs, farms, I hear something about people gettingyou to go to farm, you could work at the mills, you could work at the filling station. We had five grocery warehouses here. We used to have five grocery warehouses here and you had -- they have a lot of employees, there were plenty of places, there was a job for everybody.
CUNNINGHAM:So, what were some of the best places to work for black folks?
HARPS:My best places, I was a truck driver. And I enjoyed driving the truckbecause I didn't have no supervisor, didn't have nobody telling me nothing because I know what I had to do. But, see, when I get on the truck, I know I had to work to get it unloaded, so didn't nobody have to tell me. And 01:04:00every morning, I'd go there -- and so, they had people at night load the truck. And we'd go there in the morning and pick it up. And then, we -- sometimes -- now, I seen 12:00 at night I was way above Gainesville, 12:00 at night. Now, I had to drive all the way back home. Well, it was a good job. Now, we made money. We made a living. I worked -- and so, when I left here, I went to Atlanta, went to work, joined the union, and the union -- see, the union is good. People don't know it, ain't been in there. They make people pay you. They make them give a percentage of what they make, union does. And they know how much money they made. We sat at a table like this. I was a shop steward. Shop stewards sat on this side, the company sat on that side, the president sat there, the 01:05:00secretary sat there taking notes of everything we said. And when we asked a question and the president questioning the carpenter about the working conditions and if something is going on in the company, we'd didn't like, we'd tell them we had to negotiate on it. Nine times out of ten, the union would win because we would go on strike.
WALKER-HARPS:You were -- excuse me, you were a short distance truck driver. Imean, you drove to and around the surrounding towns.
WALKER-HARPS:Yeah. Okay. That was a period of segregation. What was it like inthe rural towns where you had to go in terms of race relations?
HARPS:Well, I didn't have no problem, but I kept my mouth shut and I01:06:00did my job. You do your job, I -- like I go to your store. I sat there. If you have any cane sugar, I put it there. But we have -- sometimes, we go into the store where we have old folks and we scatter around sort everything over and then put it up. And so, I had a good relationship with the people that I worked, South Georgia, North Georgia, West, East. I had a good relationship. Everybody knows me. They had my name wrote on the truck. And so, when I go in a town, they would -- like this time -- like at Christmas, you see a lot of drunk folks, a lot of drunk folk. And there was a lot of mean black folks out there, like there's a lot of mean white folks, don't yall think there wasn't. And 01:07:00they'd be drunk. They'd want to raise hell, which is what I always tell them. But I tell them, I said, no. And I go in the store and make that report about what he's doing. Then, they come out there and they let him know that he couldn't say that to me. Of course, I didn't do it, I'll tell you right now. They'd say so, now, he don't bother nobody. He come here and do his job. When he gets through, he's gone. And then, nobody would -- the police or nobody wanted to touch me because everybody in the towns I went they know me. I had good relationships. South Georgia, North Georgia. Over there in North Georgia if you go up there in Blairsville, wasn't no -- now, Forsyth County, wasn't no black people up there. No black people. I go up there on a Friday. I go up there on Friday. And, now, when thugs started going down to Buford, the people 01:08:00in Buford, the policemen in Buford go over there and get me and bring me with them over there. (laughter)
WALKER-HARPS:Well, is that necessary?
HARPS:Well, sometimes. You couldn't be caught up there after sundown. Blackfolks couldn't. And they got a river down there, they'd throw you in. (inaudible) he was up there and they throwed him in there. They said, that's what they said, but they know me. If they missed me and I wasn't there, they'd get in the car and come to Forsyth County and get me. Now, I had to hide all the money, that money that goes on the truck. I had to bring it back Saturday morning, had to go back there Saturday morning to deliver. They wouldn't let me deliver it that night. And I headed all the way from Griffin back to Forsyth County.
WALKER-HARPS:And that was because you were black?
HARPS:Uh-huh. Because I was black. (laughs) Hey, now, when Cain come01:09:00on the scene that's when black folks went to -- They weren't up there. That was Cain, the one that -- Jose Williams, the one who got him in there. He made him -- because they had promised him -- they had took their phones and things. Now, they took all them -- they took their phone and everything from him and run him away from up there. And the people in Buford, they didn't like it. The white people in Buford didn't like it. But they could control Forsyth County, but they could control Garnett County. See, one county can't control the other county or what the law they make, they make it. Like in Spaulding County, people in Atlanta can't run Spaulding County. And they can't run that. But the 01:10:00relationship with me with the people, I didn't never have a -- I had one cross word when that man slapped me down there in Fort Valley. That's the only cross word I've ever had. And what Peachtree City had, Dave McWilliams was over them over there. He was the sheriff. He was the judge. He was the solicitor. He was the lawyer. Wore an overall with a .45 in his back pocket all the time. Herman Talmadge, when he was running for governor. I was in Fayetteville onloading groceries. He had a rally down there in Fayette, on old flatbed truck. See, I know Herman and I know Betty. I know both of them because we was in 01:11:00the American Legion together. So, he sees me standing out there on the truck and had all those white people there with overalls on. He said, now, a man with an overall ain't worth 75 cents a day. They go woo. And every one of them had an overall. (laughs) Every one of them. Every one of them had an overall. And I looked at it. So, then he looked around some and he said, see that nigger boy sitting on that truck, if you elect me, he'll be walking and you can have that job. They put Herman Talmadge in the governor. He put black children in the school buses. Herman Talmadge did. He did nothing. And so, I said -- one day I said, Governor. He said, what is it, Peewee? I said, you know what you said about me? He said, said a little nigger boy. I said, well -- he said, 01:12:00you get Mr. Wellshire and read and see what nigger means in a low-down way. Now, see, he said nigger, N-I-G-G-E-R. He didn't say N-E-G-R-O. He said nigger boy and that, in the low-down portion you get Webster and read it yourself. And I read it. The experience I got down the road with some white people, I wouldn't take nothing for it, because they really took care of me in North Georgia, South Georgia. Sam knowing them, and his mama, they took care of me down there in Perry. See, I knew Sam before he got to be Senator. See, I know them all. I know everybody in Griffin. I know every sheriff there was in the 01:13:00surrounding counties. Every sheriff, I know them. Now, one of the biggest bootleggers there ever was in Fayette County Houston Flintstone. And the next one, Paul, right there in Griffin. Paul was the one (laughs) See, they could do that stuff. I had a cousin. He was a chief detective member of the county. He'd just go and take drugs run, and get somebody to sell. I said, buddy. He said "What is it, Harp?". I said, man, you better stop this here what you're doing. And Lawrence, he did it in Mayweather County. Them police wouldn't touch him. I said, someone's going to drop a quarter on you. And somebody did. He 01:14:00lost everything he had. But, see, now you're talking about crook -- now, you want to find a crook, you go to the law enforcement. And, see, they know I know. They don't -- I don't have no trouble with them. I don't give them no trouble. And I don't have -- right now, I don't have no trouble with no law. I'm 89 years old tomorrow. Locked up one time, right in the devil, and they caught me. And I had my trial. My mama come in there, had a pocketbook on her arm, cost me $15 to get out. She didn't pay that. She turned her back and walked out of that jailhouse. And she said, I didn't do it. You did it. You work for it. Well, I paid $15, I had to call Mr. Preston to come get me, but his lawyer knows 01:15:00how to live. Lawyer knows how to be disciplined. Lawyer knows how to treat people. I love people to death. I don't hate nobody. Of course, I've always helped them in the churches. And the preachers back then, they taught us to love everybody and if you read the Bible, it tells you, you got to love everybody. He said, cause God made me the color he want me to be. He made you the color he want you to be. We didn't make ourselves, but we all are brothers and sisters.
WALKER-HARPS:Okay. On that note, I think we're going to bring it to a close.
CUNNINGHAM:Yes. Thank you so much for your time, Mr. Harps.
CRUICKSHANK:Thank you very much.
CUNNINGHAM:We appreciate you coming in today.
HARPS:I appreciate being here. It was exciting to look at how they done improvedthis place. No mules and wagons over there. There wasn't no trucks, 01:16:00wasn't no cars. Everybody working. They had to walk to work, mule and wagon.
WALKER-HARPS:Like taking you back into time.
HARPS:Yeah. See, it was exciting. I'm proud to see experiments at the Stationlike this here. If Dr. Stuckey was living now, he would shout for joy. You just -- when you were coming up here -- sometimes, I'd ride by here and look. I said this is the same place. I used to -- they used to have trollies in Griffin. And the way I got to high school, I had trollies and they cost me nothing but a dime. I'd go in there and work in the morning. And by the time to go to school, I'd go out there and catch a trolley right out there. And I'd catch it downtown. And I'd come right down there and then I'd walk down through there to my house. So, we could get a little passes and things, the bus driver he would 01:17:00know. He would give me a pass or something. To ride through some days. He would always give me a pass and I'd go to school. He must see me going in that building where I went in the front door and went onto the chemical laboratory and went to work. And I worked there and Mr. -- Dr. Pritchard he would be there and Dr. Holly. He just sat there in the office. He was over everything in the chemical laboratory. People don't know if you get really into work, it's happy. It's joy. I used to see her go to school, and sat there. She enjoyed it so much. She enjoyed it like I enjoyed my job, I wouldn't have took nothing-- and I was talking my little grandboy he drive tractor trailer. He said, big 01:18:00dad. I said, what? He said, I wouldn't take nothing for it. See, I enjoy them. I'd say I know you stayed on the road so long. I stayed on that road 30 years (laughs). He said I see why you stay on the road so long. I said because I didn't have no boss, I was my own boss. I know what I had to do. And I know how long -- they know how long it would take me to unload that truck and that's what I did. When you got a job there, you went to work. They could send you anywhere, you went to work.
WALKER-HARPS:Are we on or off?
HARPS:You all keep going.
CUNNINGHAM: Thank you so much.
CRUICKSHANK:Thank you very much.
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