Partial Transcript: HT: Tell me something about your family life, where you were born and when you were born and that sort of thing.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes growing up the youngest child in Winston-Salem. Dark also describes her father as a prominent local businessman in the African-American community, and her mother as a homemaker.
Partial Transcript: HT: Well, tell me about your first days on UNCG's campus.
LD: Well, as I said and I hate to say this; I don't remember a lot but there were a couple of things that I do remember very clearly.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes in depth racial discussions with her white roommate while she attended summer school at UNCG in 1965.
Partial Transcript: HT:Well, back to UNCG: What was your favorite subject there?
LD: I would have to say- Well, you know what? I did like microbiology.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes studying Biology at UNCG, eventually achieving a BA in Biology. Dark also mentions having had an intention to become a medical technician, but that falling through.
Partial Transcript: HT: Well now, that was the thing because at Central State- It was an HBCU, a historically black college or university, and I had pledged Delta there.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes what she did for fun while at UNCG, including going over to A&T for their events, such as homecoming or seeing The Impressions.
Partial Transcript: HT: Were you involved in any extracurricular activities on campus, like the theater?
LD: Not that I can remember. And I think for me I just felt kind of isolated.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes growing up in a segregated area. She describes several black owned businesses and services. She also describes her mother not being allowed to try on clothes in the store.
Partial Transcript: LD: And so that was the background that I came from and, like I said, I was so surprised that Kristen and I got along so well because we were coming from two different cultures.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes a lack of socialization with many of the other students at UNCG, due to a different and segregated background.
Partial Transcript: HT: Since we're talking about men on campus and what about men in general because UNCG became coeducational in '63 but the men didn't come until '64 so there weren't that many of them.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes an incident she remembers of one of the first men on campus taking a biology class with her, and fainting when they have to kill a rabbit to dissect.
Partial Transcript: LD: Now I can tell you another story, which wasn't about UNCG per se but it was about Greensboro and, as teenagers do, when you're dating, you get in the car you go to a movie.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes an incident where a police officer came and questioned her and her boyfriend due to her light colored skin.
Partial Transcript: HT: Well I think the yearbook said that you were in an organization called GUTS, G-U-T-S [Greensboro United Tutorial Service]. Do you remember that? I think I was some kind of tutorial?
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes being involved in the Greensboro United Tutorial Service, going into housing projects and helping students with their homework.
Partial Transcript: HT: Tell me something about the various work you've done since you left UNCG.
LD: Okay. I do want to say one more thing about the sixties and that was when Dr. King was assassinated.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes her memories of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being assassinated, in addition to Medgar Evers, and President Kennedy.
Partial Transcript: HT: Speaking of experiences, how has the experience at UNCG changed your life? Attending a predominantly white university.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes major experiences during her time at UNCG, including having a white roommate, and realizing the lack of support minority students receive.
Partial Transcript: HT: There is one thing I wanted to ask you about: some of the traditions on campus.
Segment Synopsis: Dark describes traditions on campus, including the cattle drive (women being driven down to Chapel Hill to meet men). Dark also doesn't remember several traditions, including class jackets, the Daisy Chain and Rat Day.
HT: Today is February 15, 2012 and my name is Hermann Trojanowski and I'm at thehome of Mrs. Linda Scales Dark-
HT: -in Winston-Salem. She's Class of 1968 and we're here to conduct an oralhistory interview for the African American Institutional Memory Project, which is a project of the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection. Mrs. Dark, thank you so much for meeting with me today. It's wonderful to meet you.
LD: You're welcome.
HT: Tell me something about your family life, where you were born and when youwere born and that sort of thing.
LD: Well, I was born here in Winston-Salem. I had one brother and one sistereach; however, I felt like an only child because I was the baby that popped up unawares. You know, my mother had not planned to have any more children so there are actually fourteen years between myself and my brother and sixteen between me and my sister. My sister is deceased now. So by the time I was in high school, 1:00they were gone. They were out and married.
HT: Now what did your parents do?
LD: My mother was a housewife; my father had a bonding company-Scales BondingCompany-and that had belonged to his father, I guess, since the nineteen-I would say twenties, thirties; something like that. And even though my dad's father died when I was three, I'm the family historian so I know all about him; I have pictures of him. It's like we called him "Poppy" and his name was W. S. Scales. He had the bonding company; he had a poolroom; and, at one time, he leased two theaters. Of course this was during the time of deep segregation and so this was all in the African American business district, which was a little bit further 2:00away from the main street in Winston. So that's what my father did: he took care of the bonding business. And he was sort of-By the time I remember being a teenager, he was sort of semi-retired because he had people helping with the poolroom. He wasn't doing very much because he had developed some illnesses also. But my mother was home.
HT: And where did you go to high school?
LD: High school-I went to Atkins High School. My elementary school days were inthe local Catholic school-St. Benedict the Moor-so initially I graduated from there in the eighth grade and then went to St. Ann's Academy for a year or a year and a half. That no longer exists; the nuns, I guess, sold it and moved away. But eventually I left St. Ann's and went to Atkins High School, which is 3:00one of the local public high schools here. Back in that day and time, there were four black high schools: Atkins, Carver, Anderson, and, I think, Paisley and great rivalries with football and basketball. You know, there are a lot of sixty-year-olds and above running around talking about Atkins High School, the Camels. So it was fun; I didn't know it was fun at the time, but it was fun.
HT: Well, in high school, what were your favorite subjects?
LD: I graduated from UNCG in biology so I guess it started in high school. Ienjoyed French-probably can't speak a word of it now-but I enjoyed French. I had a wonderful chemistry teacher and I'll tell you more about her later. I was okay in math. I did not like math so I tried to stay away from that, but I guess I could only say the biological sciences because I seemed to do okay in that. 4:00
HT: And what made you decide to go to UNCG?
LD: Well, actually I transferred into UNCG. When we graduated from high school,there was a friend of mine-Brenda Cathcart-and the two of us decided we were going to go to school out-of-state. We wanted to get as far away from Winston-Salem as we could so I was looking at Wayne State [University] in Detroit and I was looking at Morgan State [University] in Baltimore, but she and I decided to go to this small college in Ohio, Central State College, which is now Central State University. This was in a very small town called Wilberforce and there is a Wilberforce University, which was right down the little road where, at that time, it was. I thought [Wilberforce University] was basically all men but I guess there were a few females; I'm not sure. So my first year, I went to Central State in Xenia, Ohio-very cold. I always tell kids today, "We 5:00didn't need refrigerators when we were in school because we would have cereal in our dorm room. We didn't have fridges; didn't have-I guess the only appliance we had was an iron. But it was so cold in Xenia that if you wanted cereal, you just go buy some milk; raise your window; put it out on the windowsill all night long-you had these little ledges-and you woke up next morning and nine times out of ten it was frozen. You had to thaw it out and then you could have your cereal. So anytime we had leftovers, it went on the windowsill.
HT: What on earth made you want to go to Ohio?
LD: I wanted to get as far away from Winston as I could. And I don't rememberexactly who, but I think someone in the guidance department told us about Central State. It sounded good and Brenda wanted to go so I wouldn't be there alone; I had a friend. So somehow we chose Central State.
HT: And was this a historically black school?
LD: It is. It was and it is. It's now Central State University, right down the6:00street from Wilberforce.
HT: So when did you transfer to UNCG and how did it come about?
LD: I-Well, what happened was Brenda decided to leave. She got married so I losther to marriage and, you know, you got homesick. There were people there from a lot of the larger cities: Philadelphia; a couple from New York, not too many; big Detroit contingent; not very many from the West; and Cincinnati, Ohio. I just felt homesick. You know, I was meeting new people and that was fun. I was doing the things-That's where I pledged Delta-Delta Sigma Theta sorority; however, with the money-It wasn't really a terrible problem but we were paying out-of-state fees and I was just far away from home and I wanted to go back home. Plus the fact that my husband-my boyfriend at that time-was home so that 7:00was influential, too.
HT: So how long did you stay in Ohio?
LD: I think it was just a year, and Martha Jo will probably tell you different,but I think it was just a year or so. I transferred that summer of 1965 and I had to go to summer school because, as you know, when you transfer, sometimes you lose certain credits. So I had to go to summer school and that was a very interesting experience, too, which I'll tell you about.
HT: Well, tell me about your transfer process.
LD: To tell you the honest truth, I really don't remember but I knew that Iwanted to come home. As I said, my husband was here and he was in school at A&T. So I did all of the paperwork that needed to be done and then I found out that Martha Jo-Mrs. Campbell-was going there. We knew each other; we had grown up together. She was at Atkins when I was there so I called her to ask her if she 8:00had a roommate. She will be more accurate in giving you this background, but when I found out that she was there, I think we requested that I could room with her and so I felt a little bit better. So the year that I came in, we were in Mendenhall [Residence Hall] and she had already made friendships with these other two people and, as I said, they were downstairs so we were on the third floor. And that was about it.
HT: Well, tell me about your first days on UNCG campus.
LD: Well, as I said and I hate to say this; I don't remember a lot but therewere a couple of things that I do remember very clearly. That first summer I had to go to summer school. I think I had to take English or something because UNCG did not accept credits for something I had taken. Well, that summer, I don't know how it worked but I got assigned a roommate and this was, I think, back in 9:00'65 so of course the sixties were still raging. And I had a white female for a roommate and I wasn't used to that so it was like, "Oh, what's going to happen here." And I don't remember her full name; her name was Kristen. She was very nice; she was a very nice lady-young girl at the time-and we would sit in our dorm room-She was there taking classes. She would go about her business; I would go about mine and then we would come back in the evening and we would talk about race relations or things like, "Well, I have to wash my hair every day. Do you have to wash your hair every day?" And, [I said] "No, African Americans don't wash their hair every day." [She said] "Well, why not?" So I would explain that and then, and just routine, everyday things that girls would talk about. So we kind of had our own. I can't think of the word, our own cultural exchange-maybe 10:00you could call it that-just living together in that dorm room. As I said, she was very nice so there wasn't any friction there and the conversations we had were very stimulating because I was beginning to understand young, white females. I had been around older persons but, you know, understanding that and all that you're going through-the peer pressure and the hormones and all that stuff-so that was a very positive experience for me. The other thing that happened-and I guess you could check the year from this-that was the summer that Richard Speck killed all those girls in-I think it was-Chicago. I think they were all nursing students and it was horrible. And I think it was like eight girls, eight or twelve girls. One hid and she was the only one who survived and lived to tell it. And all we knew at the time was that this man had somehow 11:00gotten into this dormitory. So of course that freaked me out because this guy got into a dormitory and ended up killing all these people. We talked about that a lot too. I guess that was the first time that I can remember that a serial killer had really affected me in that way.
HT: Well, what did your parents think about you transferring back home, basically?
LD: We really didn't talk about it that much. I guess my mother was glad that Iwas coming back home. And my father was probably glad because he didn't have to pay as much money for out-of-state fees so we really didn't talk about it that much. I guess in that generation-my parents' generation-they just, you know. Neither parent had a college degree. I think my dad went to Howard University for two years; I think my mother went for one year. My mother was very much a 12:00homebody and she was very shy and so the guidance I got-I got external guidance from guidance counselors and people in the neighborhood. Back in those days you really did adhere to the saying, "It takes a whole village to raise a child," because every time I would come home, the neighbors across the street would say, "Well, Linda how is school? What are you doing?' blah-blah-blah-and they were very, very involved in a positive way, in what you were doing. As I said, my mother was very shy and so she kind of stayed to herself. She was sort of like a homebody. But she had a couple of very good friends but she wasn't the type of person to go out.
HT: What about your siblings?
LD: They were gone. My sister, by the time I went to UNCG, my sister-Well, bothmy sister and brother were married. My brother lived in Winston; my sister eventually lived in Montgomery, Alabama. Her husband was a dentist who, after 13:00working a couple of years, decided to go back to medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. So by that time, they were-He was from Montgomery, Alabama so he wanted-He was an Alabama guy and he wanted to go back home and my sister went there to raise her family. So they were gone although, you know, we would call and visit. And I would babysit.
HT: Well, back to UNCG: What was your favorite subject there?
LD: I would have to say-Well, you know what? I did like microbiology. I did. Idon't remember if there were other students-other black students-in the classes that I took. I don't think there were. It seemed like to me I was the only one that had to go to the lab. I had to incubate all this stuff and I had to do this and that. I didn't like that because it messed up my weekend but you had to do 14:00it; that was the course. But Sarah Sands-who I think is deceased now-was our lab instructor in microbiology and I really did love, for some reason, microbiology. And she was very open and cordial to me. Now she was a strict teacher and you had to do what you were supposed to do, but she was always asking me, "How is this going? How is that going?" She would smile so I do remember her. I guess it [my favorite subject] would have to be microbiology although I hated the labs.
HT: So your major turned out to be-
LD: A BA in biology. My plans, at that time, were to go-to continue one moreyear for medical technology. My sister was a med tech so I was going to follow in her footsteps. But things changed because after graduation I got married and 15:00then we were off. So I never did go to med tech school.
HT: Did you enjoy going to school?
LD: Yes, pretty much.
HT: And what did you do for fun?
LD: Well now, see, that was the thing because at Central State-It was an HBCU, ahistorically black college or university, and I had pledged Delta there. There were no black sororities at UNCG to my recollection, so what we did for fun, all of us, we would go to A&T where the guys were. And one of Martha Jo's [Campbell] very good friends-I don't know if you've talked to her yet. Her name was Terry, Terry Ann. I can't remember her maiden name; she's Cockerham now, Mrs. Cockerham. We all palled around and her future husband had gone to high school with us so we would get on the bus-or I don't know if somebody had a car or 16:00what-and would go to A&T because I could see my boyfriend there and she could see her boyfriend there. These boyfriends became husbands in the future. So basically for fun, you would have to go to A&T's campus or homecoming. Now I do remember-I don't remember what room it was in-but every so often there would be a dance and they would have a rhythm and blues band and I remember-and this blew my mind-I remember the Impressions, not the Temptations but the Impressions. Curtis Mayfield, Fred Cash and I can't remember the third guy, but they came for some weekend party or whatever. There was live music; I mean these were recording artists so I was just-my eyes were this big.
HT: This was at UNCG?
LD: This was on the campus of UNCG.
HT: It was probably held in Cone Ballroom.
HT: In the Elliott University Center.
LD: I think it was Elliott. Mrs. Campbell can tell you more about that. But we17:00would go to these concerts and they'd play and they'd sing and then we danced. I'd never been that up-close and personal with a recording group. And I knew the Impressions and I liked their music. So that was interesting.
HT: Did you ever get involved with any of the students who were at Bennett College?
LD: My sister was a Bennett graduate but, no, I don't think we-I don't think Iknew anybody at Bennett at the time. I don't believe so.
HT: I think you said you lived in Mendenhall. Did you live there for all threeyears or-
LD: Yes, I was in the same room the whole time I was there, with Martha Jo.
HT: Wow. And was that by your choice, to not move around?
LD: I didn't want to move. I didn't want to move. Like I said, Martha Jo and Iwere friends from high school and even younger than that and we knew each other well. We got along well. We didn't have to put on any particular show and we 18:00could just be ourselves and so we both supported each other and I was fine.
HT: What about the dining hall food; do you have any recollections of that?
LD: I saw that question. The only thing I remember-I think it was on Sundays oreither weekends-you would get this bag lunch and it was pretty bad.
HT: You mean like a brown bag?
LD: Yes. I could be confusing that with Central State so again Martha Jo canprobably help you with that. But we would get this bag lunch and it just, you know, wasn't so great, although I guess as a junior and a senior I would come home a lot to Winston.
HT: Did you have a car by then?
LD: No, I never had a car but my husband had a car-my boyfriend had a car. Andso either we would-Back in those days we would take a bus, a Greyhound bus, so we'd just go downtown, get the bus and then go home. You know, it's only twenty-six miles. You'd be there in a flash and then there may have been parties 19:00here or just seeing your friends, stuff like that. Friends that you grew up with.
HT: Were you involved in any extracurricular activities on campus, like the theater?
LD: Not that I can remember. And I think for me I just felt kind of isolated.Again, we were at the beginning of real integration. I came from a segregated background. So here in Winston we had our own doctors. We had our own transportation-taxicabs and busses. Safe Bus Company was the only black-owned, black-operated transportation company in the country and my cousin was the general manager, Hampton Haith. Where I lived, my mother and I would walk a 20:00couple of feet to the corner-maybe to the mailbox, probably that far-to the corner, wait for the bus, get on the bus and go wherever we wanted to go. We had our own doctors; we had our own lawyers; we had our own restaurants. The only thing that I think that we did not have in Winston was like a retail store that was owned by a black person because my mother would have to go to-Oh, what was the name of that place? The something shop. I can't remember the name of it. ["The French Shop."] I remember her going there; the clerks were very nice to her but whatever she wanted to try on, they would give it to her-this is my recollection now-they would give it to her. I don't know if she paid for it or what because I was a little kid. But she would bring it home and try it on and then if she didn't like it, she would take it back. But she couldn't try it on in the store. She couldn't try it on in the store. And so that was the background that I came from and, like I said, I was so surprised that Kristen 21:00and I got along so well because we were coming from two different cultures. And I think I just felt-I think because I did not come in as a freshman, I didn't have that group feeling that everybody else did because they had all come in [together]. They knew each other as freshman, sophomore, junior, senior and I kind of didn't have that. And then also, I think, because of my major. I don't remember any other black students in any of my classes-there may have been but I don't remember-and so I felt kind of isolated because of that as well. Plus the fact I had to do labs over the weekend. I was, "I've got to go to the lab. I've got to go to the lab." It was a time thing. You had to give it eighteen hours, twenty-four hours, thirty-six hours and then you had to do something. So I think because of that I felt a little bit detached.
HT: Do you recall any social or academic events that really stand out in your22:00mind? You mentioned earlier the Impressions, the groups.
LD: That stands out in my mind. That was a lot of fun. Then there would be someother groups, some other black groups. I don't remember who they were but they would come and that was pure fun for me because we were so few. Now I could be wrong about this but I believe that out of about four thousand students, there were only about a hundred black students.
HT: That's probably about right.
LD: I think that's what it was. And there were only two guys that I remember,two African American men. I can see them; I cannot remember their names.
HT: Larry McAdoo was one who graduated in '68.
LD: It was Larry; it was Larry. Very quiet-
HT: And there was a Charles Cole but he might have been in the Class of '69.
LD: It may have been Charles. He was a tall-
HT: He was a basketball player.
LD: He was a tall, brown-skinned-That must have been him. Yes, I remember Larryand Charles and they were very nice, very nice guys. I remember Larry McAdoo as 23:00being very quiet, or at least quiet around me. But we had those two guys and that was it as far as I can remember.
HT: I understand that Mr. McAdoo is, I think, in banking or finance up in Connecticut.
LD: Good for him. Great.
HT: And Mr. Cole, I think he's still in town somewhere in a lab of some sort butI can't remember exactly.
LD: Well, they were both very nice guys, very nice guys. And I guess they musthave really felt in a minority because it was only the two of them.
HT: I listened to an interview that was done with Mr. Cole-this was done for theCentennial which was about twenty years ago-and he said he did feel very odd because he was a minority of a minority. There were no guys at all and I think there were no men's dorms on campus when he first got there so he had to live in an apartment off-campus by himself.
LD: And see the thing of it was, it was easy for us females to go over to A&T24:00but these guys couldn't go over to A&T to scope out the girls because the A&T fellows would say, "What are you all doing over here? Those are our women, you know; they are our classmates. You shouldn't be over here." So I'm sure that they were very kind of isolated or lonely.
HT: Since we're talking about men on campus and what about men in generalbecause UNCG became coeducational in '63 but the men didn't come until '64 so there weren't that many of them.
LD: I don't remember any guys. Now I do remember one guy. I have no idea whathis name was; it was in an organic chemistry class but I'll save that for later because that has to do with Dr. King's assassination. But I don't really remember any guys. There was a guy in my-It was either anatomy and physiology or microbiology or something. This will probably sound gross; you know, science 25:00majors do a lot of gross stuff and so we had to-we were raising these rabbits. They were experimental animals and we had to something-I don't remember what it was. We had to grow something or do something, but at the end of the semester, you had to kill your rabbit and draw blood out and do something with the blood. I said it was gross. I couldn't do that today but as a senior student I did it. Anyway there was this one guy in our class-I don't remember a thing-so we were at the point where we had to inject air into the poor thing's heart and it died. And then you had to draw out the blood and all of a sudden we heard [crashing sound]. "What happened?" And the guy had fainted. It's not funny but he was the only one. The rest of us were focused. Well, what are we doing. Yeah, that's right. Do this, do that." And he just went out, he just went out. But I thought 26:00that was pretty funny.
HT: Oh, my goodness.
LD: Don't publicize that too much because I don't want to embarrass anybody.
HT: Well, while you were at UNCG, did you ever feel discriminated against bystudents or faculty or staff?
LD: Well, as I said, Sarah Sands-as far as I was concerned-was very polite,very cordial. I was, I guess you could call it a research assistant, for a Dr. Lutz, L-U-T-Z, and again this will sound gross. He was doing some kind of experiment with maybe rats or mice or something, but we were growing food for whatever his research animal was, and that food consisted of worms. So I had to go to this big-that was, I think, my work study-I had to go into his lab and there were like tanks, like fish tanks but they were filled with some sort of [dirt] and all these worms were in there squirming around. 27:00
HT: It might have been compost.
LD: They weren't earthworms; it was another type worm. But I had to go in andfeed these so-called worms. Like I said, kind of gross, but it was work-study and that's what I did. He was fine-Dr. Lutz was fine-and I remember Dr. Eberhart, Bruce Eberhart-I think he was the chair of the biology department. I never really had much contact with him but when I saw him, he always smiled and said hello. But I did feel isolated because, again, I'm coming from a segregated background. My senior year here in Winston my chemistry instructor-who was a dear, dear lady, Inez Scales but we were not related-she suggested that I be one of the students to go over to Reynolds High School here in Winston in their senior AP classes. Well, we had never heard of AP classes before; we didn't know what that was. And there was a contingent of us; I think Martha Jo went to one also. Miss Camel[?] went to one also. Unfortunately for me, my subject was 28:00chemistry and so I said, "Oh, sure, I'll go," because Miss Scales convinced me to do it. Well, little did I even anticipate that I would be the only female in a class in 1964 with all white guys. So that just traumatized me. Now the teacher, Mr. Jarrell-I'll always remember him-he was very nice and he bent over backwards to make me feel comfortable but I didn't feel comfortable in a class of maybe seventeen or eighteen teenage white guys. I just didn't feel comfortable at all. They never did anything rude to me but they never did anything: They never spoke; they never sat with me; they never said anything. I was invisible. I went through that for a semester so I think I was coming to UNCG with that in my head. "Oh, God. I've got to go through that again." So it 29:00wasn't so much that-I don't think that anybody discriminated against me, but it was just that there was no connection, no human connection. Now I can tell you another story, which wasn't about UNCG per se but it was about Greensboro and, as teenagers do, when you're dating, you get in the car; you go to a movie; when you come home you sit in the car for a little bit: kiss, whatever. Well, my husband and I were-We had come back from a date and we were just sitting in a car. It must have been around the neighborhood-I don't think it was on the campus-but a policeman drove by and knocked on the door. And, of course back in this day and time, my hair was what we called "straightened"; it was pressed and obviously I have been mistaken for white people all my life, there was someone 30:00in my family way, way, way back, who did pass for white and left the family and we don't know what happened to him. So anyway I'm there with my husband-with my boyfriend-and this policeman knocks on the window. This is probably about 1966, '67 and he says "What are you doing here? Show me-Give me your IDs." Well, we both handed over our IDs. He's flashing the light and of course back in those days, on your license it said "Negro" which saved us because otherwise he would have thought my husband was sitting in a car with a white woman in a white neighborhood. But he was very nice and he said, "Mr. Dark, is this your girlfriend?" He said, "Yes, actually we're engaged to be married." He [the policeman] said, "Well, let me just give you some advice. Your fiancee looks like she's white. You need to-" And I'd told him I was a student on campus-[The 31:00policeman said] "You need to take her back to UNCG and you need to always stay on that campus. You do not need to come into the neighborhood because people will mistake your fiancee for a white woman and you'll be in trouble." So we said, "Thank you very much, officer" and then we left.
HT: I guess that was rather frightening.
LD: It was frightening and so because, you know, back in those days people werebeing killed. So we were very, very careful after that and I mean, even to this day, although things have certainly changed like, there is still racism. But it's not anything like when I was a teenager, but even now I'm kind of careful about where I'm going. Like if this place looks like it's one of those places that, you know, shady characters go into, I'm not going in there. I'm not going in there. My husband goes in there all the time. He goes anywhere; it doesn't 32:00bother him, but I'm not going in there.
HT: Well, what was the political atmosphere like at that time for you? Were youinvolved politically at all?
LD: Yes, I was. We're talking '65, '66, '67, and '68, okay. I did protest; I didparticipate in a protest. In Winston, I think we had SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which I believe Stokely Carmichael was instrumental in getting started. And so, I think when I was about sixteen or so, they came to Winston; we got organized through one of the Episcopal churches-it was a black Episcopal church-and there was a Father Smith. He was a priest and he kind of hosted everything. So we went through the thing about nonviolence and 33:00we would sing freedom songs and we knew about the Freedom Riders and all this stuff and so we targeted one of the restaurants here which you may know-K&W. Well, we targeted K&W and there were two people in my class, Thelma Atwater and Kenneth Williams, who were very fair, very light-skinned but they had [straight] hair. Thelma was a red-head and she had this long, straight, thin red hair so they could easily pass for white. So what we did, we went through training where we were told what to do; what not to do; this might happen; that might happen, but keep doing what you're doing. So long story short, one Sunday afternoon-and the only K&W that was around then was the one that was downtown, near the bus station.
LD: Can I get you some water?
LD: I'm not sure where we stopped.34:00
HT: Let me see: you were talking about Thelma and the K&W-
LD: And Kenneth, right. So we targeted the K&W. The only one was the onedowntown next door to the bus station and of course on the busses, you had a lot of African American riders but they could not go into K&W to get something to eat. So anyway, we did a protest march outside. It was raining; I remember it was raining because back in those days women would wear those little plastic caps so as not to mess up their hair, so I had on one of those little plastic caps. Thelma and Kenneth were double-dating with a white couple. This was a white couple who had attended our sessions and they were, you know, sympathetic to getting equal rights for blacks. So anyway, the four of them went in and while they were inside, we had to still pretend-"Oh, look they got in. They got 35:00in."-So we had to pretend that nothing had changed, so we're still walking around in circles, singing and carrying these signs. And I don't remember anything bad happening but I do remember there were some people who were yelling at us. I was just afraid somebody was going to spit on me. I could take anything else, but I just didn't want to get spit on; that was my fear. But we're going around in circles and we're singing all these songs and when they finished eating-when the two couples finished eating-they came out but instead of going to their cars, they walked right out into our circle and then we gave them the signs. We pulled out these signs that said, "I'm black" or probably, "I'm Negro. I'm Negro and just ate at K&W." Then we all started yelling and screaming and clapping hands. People didn't understand what was going on until they saw the sign. Well, that just-I mean it was a successful activity, but the powers that 36:00be, of course, had to meet with NAACP and SNCC and all these groups to work out something to start integration of the K&W. I don't remember all that stuff that happened afterwards, but I just participated in that one little protest. You know, it was just exhilarating.
HT: Was this when you were in high school or-
LD: That was when I was in high school. I didn't do anything at UNCG's campus,basically because I was trying to study and get out of there and, plus, my boyfriend and I became engaged at that time and I was planning a wedding. So my mind kind of went to other things at that point.
HT: Then suddenly you were very, very busy.
LD: Yes, and I had a genetics class that was kicking my butt.
HT: Well I think the yearbook said that you were in an organization called GUTS,G-U-T-S [Greensboro United Tutorial Service]. Do you remember that? I think it 37:00was some sort of tutorial.
LD: I didn't remember it until you just said it just now and I do see it hereand I did participate. I guess it was in GUTS. Yes. And I don't remember a lot about it but we did go to a project. To me it seemed like it was an integrated project because the little student I had was a little white child. We would go tutor-I don't remember how often-but we would just go tutor and help them with their homework; help them with reading; that kind of stuff. I do remember it was in a housing project. I guess that did kind of affect me because, off and on, I've been doing that my whole life; if not tutoring, doing some sort of educational program or exposing kids to some form or another of an educational activity.
HT: So this was sort of a mentoring the child a little bit.
HT: What was the youth educational service that you were involved in?38:00
LD: I don't remember. I would assume it was pretty much the same thing.
HT: Okay. Well, the Neo-Black Society was formed in 1968.
LD: Do you have the month?
HT: I do not. Of course this was about the time you were ready to graduate.
LD: I graduated in June of '68.
HT: So it might have been a little bit earlier in '68.
LD: I got married in June of '68 so all that year I was planning for a wedding.I was trying to get out with this biology degree and doing all these labs and doing all that stuff and I don't really have a recollection of that because I actually thought-I didn't realize it was founded in '68; I thought it was founded after I graduated.
HT: You know, it may have been; I'll have to look that up. Do you recall Bettyand Yvonne Cheek who sort of-
LD: I know those names. I definitely know those names and they were very activein everything. Now my buddy Alice knew Yvonne and Betty. [phone ringing] Excuse 39:00me, I'd better check that. I think they were friends. I'm sorry.
HT: Let's see: We were talking about tutoring and mentoring and that sort of thing.
LD: Right, and the Neo-Black Society and, like I said, Alice-Alice BarnesFreeman-was a good friend of Betty and Yvonne but I really don't remember a lot about that.
HT: It sounds like you were busy doing other things; trying to graduate and get married.
LD: Yes, and, like I said, on weekends frequently I went home and so they mayhave been doing a lot of things over the weekends and I just wasn't there.
HT: Do you remember anything about the chancellor? It was Chancellor Ferguson atthat time.
LD: I don't. I don't. I just thought he was, you know, an okay guy. I reallydidn't know anything about him at all.
HT: At that time, did you still have-at one time they were called "Chapel." When40:00I was at Greensboro College, we had chapel every Tuesday. But they were assemblies that you had to attend every-at least once a week, where they made announcements and things like that.
LD: That happened to me at Central State in Ohio. I can't recall.
HT: Well, do you recall any of the other administrators from that period oftime, like Katherine Taylor? She was the dean of-
LD: No, the only faculty that I remember, of course, was Ms. Sands because I had99 percent of my contact with her; Dr. Lutz, who was doing some research and it must have been in one of the sciences; and then Dr. Eberhart who just seemed to be a really nice, quiet guy.
HT: Did you take any history courses or English courses?
LD: Well, I had to take-I had to make up an English course here at Wake Forest[University] another summer so I don't really remember specifics other than the people that I named to you. Because I already had my basic core courses so by 41:00the time I came to UNCG, I was getting into the upper-level studies.
HT: I think you had mentioned earlier in the conversation that you had plannedto become a medical technologist.
LD: That's what I thought I would do when I entered.
HT: Would that have meant additional schooling like a master's or-
LD: One year. One year and I think [UNC] Chapel Hill had a program but I gotmarried in June of '68 and, of course, my husband was looking for a job at that time. We eventually ended up leaving the area and relocating for his work so that kind of knocked the med tech out.
HT: What did you do? Did you work after-?
LD: Yes, I've always worked. I think my first job was as a bank teller. Yes,that first job was here in Winston at Wachovia, but eventually, after we moved, 42:00I went back to nursing school but it wasn't here. We were staying in Rhode Island. So eventually I got back into the science end of it. My career has been as a registered nurse.
HT: I bet you've seen quite a few changes in nursing over all those years.
LD: Well, the sad part is when I started in nursing in '77, there was a nursingshortage. When I retired Friday, there was a nursing shortage because nurses can do so many things now that they, perhaps, could not do before so they leave the field and they go do other things. Or now you find a lot of young people going straight through into the PhD program because they can do so many more things. So there are not enough nurses in the hospitals because hospital work is still the same kind of problem it was before.
HT: So you worked locally as a nurse?43:00
LD: I worked-When we graduated, we left here in '70. We relocated for myhusband's jobs and we stayed in Chicago for about three years. Then we moved to Newport, Rhode Island and that's where I got my nursing degree. I went back to school and got my nursing degree in Rhode Island and then we moved to Washington, DC. I thought we'd be there for only two years. Thirty-some years later, we decided to come back home, so most of my time was spent in the Maryland-DC suburbs.
HT: If we could backtrack just a second; what do you recall about the CivilRights Movement back in the 1960s.
LD: Oh, I recall a lot. The one incident that just kind of galvanized me-I meanit has just affected my whole life-was the Emmett Till incident and I don't know if you're familiar with that. Emmett Till was about maybe fourteen years old and 44:00I think at the time I was around ten. He was a kid out of Detroit so he was a city kid. He was an urban kid sent down to-I think it was Mississippi-to visit his grandparents. And while there, as any kid will do [when] a pretty girl walks by, he's going to whistle at her. That's been since the beginning of time. But he was a black kid and the person he whistled at was white. Long story short, they (whoever they were, I guess it was the Ku Klux Klan) kidnapped him; beat him; killed him and dumped his body in a river. So when they finally found his body, it was all puffed up and, you know, it was just awful. What changed things was that the media convinced his mother, who was in Detroit, to have an open casket funeral so that everybody could see the horror of what happens when crazy 45:00people do stupid things; do horrible things. And he was only fourteen years old and I was like ten and I'm going, "This can happen to a fourteen-year-old boy?" So that really opened my eyes to the whole civil rights thing and, of course, by the time I was fifteen or sixteen, we did the protest in front of K&W. But I remember Medgar Evers being assassinated. I remember, of course, Dr. King and Robert Kennedy, and President Kennedy as well. It was one of those eras, one of those generations where you remember exactly where you were when you heard about it. I just kept thinking, "Is this killing ever going to stop?" The four little girls in the Birmingham church. You know, it was just something one after the other after the other. And then the other thing that got me-It wasn't the three 46:00civil rights workers who were killed in Mississippi; it was the housewife, the white housewife. Viola Liuzzo, who was an Italian housewife. I think she was from Detroit. All she was doing was ferrying people back and forth and they killed her. And I just said, "God, if they can kill a mother, this is a dangerous place." So it was very turbulent; it was very scary. Then there was the-not fight-There was the discussion between Dr. King and Malcolm X, going back and forth and back and forth, and we didn't know what we should do. Should we listen to the Black Panthers? Should we listen to Dr. King? It was really a turbulent time but, at the same time, I can say that was the one time in my lifetime that I remember that black people worked together. Prior to that, you had this group had their leader, this group had their leader; this person 47:00listened to them. This was one time when everybody came together for one reason and that was to get us from second-class citizenship to equal rights.
HT: Do you think that's been lost since Dr. King's death?
LD: Yes, to an extent. I think black people as a whole come together when thereis a terrible tragedy and you need to come together. But now the problem is not so much black and white-although that's still a problem-but now it's haves and have-nots. It's the same old thing; united we stand, divided we fall and when minority communities get divided by various little topics and subjects, then you're not going to make any progress because you're going to be too busy thinking about this or that. And for today's young people, because they do have 48:00the freedom to go up the street and moon somebody; they can do that if they want to because you have that freedom. Obviously they're not going to think about somebody's civil rights being ignored or disrespected. You know, for us, I remember drinking from a colored water fountain. I didn't even think about it; I just automatically went to the colored water fountain. My brother has a funny story; he says one time he decided," You know what? Well, I'm going to see what happens if you drink from a white water fountain." He didn't know if balloons would go up in the air or soldiers would come and shoot him, but he said he wanted to see if it tasted different. But you know, I never even thought about it. I think one of the-Martha Jo has a story about it, too. I never even thought about it; I just went right directly to the colored water fountain. So I knew about that and then for me personally, every time I was in a situation where 49:00there were a lot of whites, it was "Oh, where are you from? Are you Polynesian?" because I looked as I looked. But of course there is white ancestry in my heritage. We don't know who they are in terms of names but we know where they were in terms of location and geography and maybe what they were doing. But we don't know names. But, yes, I remember all that stuff and for a lot of the time I was scared to death.
HT: What about your recollections of Vietnam. Do you have any?
LD: Yes. Yes, I do. First of all, I don't remember when the big push was. Wewere actually living in Canada and I was pregnant with my first daughter. This would have been like '69, '70. And I think that's when- 50:00
HT: Was that the Tet Offensive maybe?
LD: Yes, I think that was when President Johnson needed everybody. So there wasa bus-The word was, "If you're not in college, get in college now because if you're out of college, they're going to draft you." So my husband got his letter. Now he wasn't in college; he was working in Canada. I was pregnant and couldn't work. So he got his letter of greetings: Your Uncle Sam wants you to do whatever. So we came back home and out of this one bus that left Winston-Salem to go to Charlotte for the induction-it was packed-there were only two people who came back to Winston-Salem. Everybody else on that bus got drafted. One was a young white boy who had had severe visual problems. The other one was my husband and he got a 4-Y [draft] deferment because when he was a kid, his leg 51:00had been broken-he got hit by a car-so there was a steel rod, I guess, from foot to knee. One of our African American surgeons Dr. Rembert Malloy-who was very well-known in Winston and other places as well-put that rod in his leg. We were able to talk to him after we got married because he had been my husband's family's doctor and he had been my family's doctor so we told him, "Dr. Malloy, you kept him out of Vietnam." But everybody who went on that bus that got-
HT: So being married and having a child on the way didn't affect that?
LD: Having a pregnant wife who could not work. So what happened was he did notget drafted, thank God. He went back to Canada but I think I stayed here for a while, just to kind of get myself together. And then eventually I went back up there. Our daughter was actually born in Canada.
HT: Where did you live in Canada?
LD: London, Ontario. And we met-That was another life-changing experience, too,52:00because again, all we knew was black, white, and Greek. In Winston-Salem, Greek folks had restaurants. That's all I knew. But when we got to Canada, it wasn't black and white; it was white and Eskimo. The Eskimos were the ones who were shunned in Canada. Black folk were fine, but it was the Eskimos. And frequently when we met new people, they would say to my husband, "Oh, do you play cricket?" And, of course, he didn't know what cricket was, you know, but they thought because he was a-he had a black skin in Canada, they just automatically assumed he was from England or the Caribbean and, of course, the game there is cricket. So it was a very good learning experience.
HT: What line of work was your husband in?
LD: When we went up there, he was in direct sales; commission only. We hadnothing. We had a U-haul. Our parents probably thought we were crazy. We packed 53:00up everything that we owned on earth, put it in a U-haul and went up there and we were there for about a year. And my story is that when we came back, we had thirteen cents between the two of us and a baby. We came back when my daughter was three weeks old. But it was an-Oh, and there were only two blacks in that organization. It was called Renn Enterprises and they sold fire alarms. Now-
HT: How do you spell that? Excuse me.
LD: R-E-N-N. In fact, Renn married T.J. Garner's daughter, who is with Garner'shot sauce, Texas Pete. Texas Pete, I think that's the Garner family. But it was a great experience. There were only two of us families with this all-white group but the fire alarm back then was probably about this tall-this candle and candlestick.
HT: About a foot and a half tall or something like that.54:00
LD: This great big huge monstrosity of a thing and they sold it by direct sales.But it was a fantastic experience because then we learned about the power of positive thinking in a real life and real time. We just knew we were going to be millionaires; well, it didn't work out. But still the attitude, the positive-thinking attitude, is what we really gained from it.
HT: Did your husband stay with Renn for a number of years?
LD: He sold here before we left, probably for about a year, and we were inCanada for about a year and then he came back and went back to A&T and finished and got his degree.
HT: Oh, so he didn't finish it.
LD: He didn't have a whole year; he had a couple of semester credits to do. Backin those days though at A&T, sometimes what you needed to graduate in the spring, they didn't offer until the fall so he got caught in that trap. But he graduated in engineering math so he was a systems engineer. 55:00
HT: I'm sure that was a lot better than trying to sell Renn materials.
LD: A whole lot better, but it was a great experience and, you know, we metpeople from all over the world. I had no family up there; had never had a baby, of course, before, but-
HT: Did your mother come up for the baby?
LD: She did not because we knew we were-By the time I had her, we knew that wecouldn't make it on commission so we were going to go back home. So there was no point in her coming up but there was this Dutch couple-Bouma, Dan. Was it Dan Bouma? Anyway he was this merchant marine-the hefty guy, the chunky guy, the beard; you know, you just knew he had seen the world-and he and his wife befriended us. They were older and so they kind of took care of me. And then in Canada at that time they had a visiting nurse service where every new mother, 56:00regardless of income, would receive a home visit and I think they gave you something like twenty-five dollars to help you buy formula, something like that. So the visiting nurse came out to see me so we made it for those three weeks and then we came back home. And really, if it had not been for snow; if London, Ontario did not get snow, we would have retired in Canada because it's a lovely place. It's a lovely place, but I don't like the weather. The weather is pretty bad.
HT: I imagine so.
LD: We were right up on the other side of Detroit across Lake Erie.
HT: All that lake-effect snow and so forth.
LD: Very cold, very cold.
HT: Tell me something about the various work you've done since you left UNCG.
LD: Okay. I do want to say one more thing about the sixties and that was whenDr. King was assassinated. And again I don't remember a whole lot of details, but you always remember where you were and I was at organic chemistry class and this was at UNCG, yes. I would have been a senior. Somebody came in-I don't know 57:00who-and said, "Dr. King has been killed." So, you know, everybody [said] "What? What happened?" After a while it hits you, "This is true." Well, the instructor-I don't know who it was-would not let us leave. You know, we had to stay in that chemistry class until it was done. Well, my brain was just-I was fried. I wasn't thinking of anything so I don't know what I did. I don't know if I had a partner and they took care of whatever we were doing, but finally the class was over and we ran to the dorm. I remember downstairs there was like a study area or maybe just an open area where you could relax. There was a TV there; we didn't have TVs in our rooms. We didn't have smart phones and all that stuff so we ran to the TV and Alice and Cassandra and Martha Jo were there, too. 58:00So we were just sitting in front of the television, just like this [demonstrates], very emotional, and I remember one guy-again I don't know who it was-but one young man who was white was coming in; I guess to either sit down or to read or do something. He saw us and there were probably other black students down there, too, and he saw the TV, what it was talking about and he said, "I'm not getting into that."
HT: I imagine it was rather difficult to believe this was going on.
LD: You were just speechless. I mean we were scared; we knew that this couldhappen because we know about Emmett Till; we knew about the Birmingham church bombing; we knew about Medgar Evers; we knew about the Freedom Riders getting beaten to an inch of their lives; we knew about [James] Chaney and [Michael] Goodman.
LD: Oh, I'm sorry. Okay. And we knew about President Kennedy and, you know, we59:00knew that anything could happen, so it was a mixture of emotions because first of all, you were angry. You were very, very, very, very mad that this had happened and you saw Andrew Young, who was very well respected, and he was just in tears, so it was just all these emotions going on. You were angry; you were scared; you were going "What in the world are we going to do now?" It was just chaos. And then in Winston, there was a riot. I don't remember what happened but I remember coming home and there were National Guard troops in the city. Somebody-some African American man had been shot and killed. I don't know the circumstances of it because I was in Greensboro. You know, I had never seen National Guard troops coming down the street on a tank and that's what we saw. 60:00So it was just chaos, it was just real chaos.
HT: Tell me about-let's see-Do you have any recollection of Robert Kennedy beingkilled because that was about the time that you were getting married, I assume?
LD: You know I didn't feel as close to Robert Kennedy as I did to John Kennedy.Everybody was just so excited about President Kennedy and I just loved Jackie Kennedy. Oh, my God. I thought she was the most classy-plus the fact that I felt like I had a connection, although it was from a distance. When we lived in Rhode Island, we were in Newport and there was an area called Ocean Drive, which is where all, you know, the wealthy folks had these lovely houses. But you could drive through there and kind of sight see. Well, John and Jackie Kennedy had been married in Newport at the church-I don't remember the name of it; I think it was St. Mary's Catholic Church. I knew where that was and they had a little 61:00plaque on the door: "This is the site where President John F. Kennedy got married." But Jackie's parents-and I believe it was Auchincloss-had a home on Ocean Drive, so whenever friends and family would come to visit, we would take them on Ocean Drive. "And that's Jackie Kennedy's parents' house" as if we knew them personally. When he was killed, I was just scared because I'm going, "This can happen in 1963? You can kill a president?" I couldn't adjust that that could happen. So then we kind of expected it; you know we were kind of waiting.
HT: Because it happened again and again and again.
LD: When Medgar Evers was shot, we were kind of waiting and we just kept saying,"Lord, Dr. King, be very careful." And then he was shot and then Robert Kennedy-I mean, by that time we had gotten numb to it. You were kind of numb to it. 62:00
LD: It is; it is.
HT: And what about after you graduated? You said you got married right after that.
LD: Got married right after. I think we graduated June the fourth or June thesixth; I got married on June the twenty-ninth. And so then we started to work and it was nothing like it is now, but I couldn't find a job so the job I ended up with was being a teller at Wachovia Bank. That was an experience, too, because the downtown branch on Main Street-which is now the Winston Tower but back in the day it was Wachovia Bank-at that branch, you only had a few, a very few, black people and I think I was about the fourth one who was hired. So I was trained at that Main Street branch but then they sent me to another branch where there was one black assistant manager so that's where I stayed. And then we had 63:00a family friend who had also been a teller and he was passed over for a promotion so whatever. No, let me take that back. He may not have been a teller but he was within the system but had been passed over and he said, "Okay, enough is enough." He went back to, I think, North Carolina College law school. He's now retired as a judge, but he got his start with Wachovia Bank as well. You know the saying was you couldn't get a job there unless you had a light complexion.
HT: Did you ever think about making banking a career?
LD: Not really. I did very well at it; I always balanced to the penny. And whenI moved to the Chicago area, I got a job as a teller and there was another bank teller who was very good, and we used to have contests to see who would balance to the penny every day, because we were both good at it. But no, I don't think I ever considered that as a career-although, when we were there, there were about 64:00five women-I was the only black-there were about five women and one male and the managers chose somebody for a-I don't know what you would call it, sort of like a manager-in-training situation. Well, guess who they picked? They picked the man so I said, "Look, you people, why can't we"-because one was the one I was competing with all the time, don't know what her name was-I said, "Stacy, you're good at that; you could be a manager. Why don't you apply?" So we all five got together, the women, and went to the manager and said, "It's not right that he's the only one going. Stacy balances to the penny every day." So we got them to say that at least one female could come as well. So you kind of had to protest all along.
HT: The late sixties were the beginning of the feminist movement as well.65:00
LD: That was-Let's see, when was I there? I was there from '72-my daughter wasborn in '70-probably '72, '73 and '74. But we made sure that there was a woman in that manager class.
HT: Have you been involved with UNCG at all since you graduated, other thanattending reunions?
LD: I just went to that one reunion-the 25th reunion. I probably have not givenas often as I should but I do. When they request alumni giving, I'll give a small amount. I did buy one of the bricks. Are the bricks still there?
LD: And I remember I was in Maryland when they sent me the notice about that soI did buy a brick and have never seen it. I need to go see it.
HT: You need to see your brick.
LD: It's probably deteriorated by now. But, because I never really had that66:00connection with UNCG-That's what happens a lot when, not now so much but back in the day, when black students went to predominantly white institutions, you didn't have that connection and so when you graduated, you just went on. Now you might go back to Winston-Salem State University's homecoming or A&T's homecoming or Bennett-well, Bennett doesn't have a homecoming-but you really wouldn't get involved. Now my children; my daughter went to a predominantly white school and she did find that was best for her and that's where she wanted to go. She probably hasn't been back to very many activities at all. My son went to an HBCU [historically black college or university], Morehouse College in Atlanta and, of course, that is a complete brainwashing. You know, once you're a Morehouse man you never get away from that. So they both had totally different experiences, but now at least nowadays, you have that choice. Back in the day, we didn't have 67:00that choice.
HT: Speaking of experiences, how has the experience at UNCG changed your life?Attending a predominantly white university.
LD: I would say the first thing was when I roomed with Kristen that summer, itmade me understand, I guess in a very deep way, that black students and white students are really the same. And we really can get along if you just sit down and talk to each other. You know, you get along. So I think that changed me. But other than that, I just didn't have that connection. I just felt isolated. Well, I guess one way that it influenced me, it probably is a negative, but one way 68:00that it influenced me in the very beginning-not so much now, but in the beginning-when more students were thinking about going to any school, regardless of whether it's black, white, Hispanic, Greek, whatever, and if it was a predominantly white school and if anybody asks me, like a church member or a friend, I usually would tell them, "Well, if you go there, don't expect blah-blah-blah." I did work in an HBCU in Baltimore and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Those students were inner-city students; they did not have a lot of experiences. So particularly if a student needed-and I'm talking to their parent now-if a student really needed support and really needed, you know, "let me hold your hand while we walk you through this process," I would always tell the parent, "Don't send them to a predominantly white school because if it's a large school, they're going to be a number; they're not going to get the support they 69:00need." Now my daughter went to a predominantly white school but she knew what she wanted to do. She did it; she got out of there and she went on to a PhD program. My son also didn't need the hand-holding but he just wanted to be around the brothers. That's what he wanted.
HT: You've got to find your fit.
LD: You've got to find your fit so my experience has told me, if the student, ifthis child needs a lot of support, hand-holding, emotional support-You really need somebody to guide you through the maze, a large predominantly white school might not be the best choice. Smaller institutions, I think they do have that sort of feel where they can help you. When my daughter was getting ready-when she was choosing her schools, we looked at Princeton and she looked at some 70:00other places and inside I was saying-I didn't say it to her-but inside I was saying, "Please don't go to an Ivy League school. Please don't go there; go somewhere else." And she did, thank goodness. She went to a state university but I just did not want her to go because there's just not the support. When she went to her PhD program, it was kind of like the same thing that I had gone through at UNCG because there was a small group of black students. There was support for each other but like they were on this little island. She was at MIT and so you had people from Russia and Brazil and Australia and Switzerland. You had all these people, all these different cultures, and then you had this little island, this little core of black students who really needed emotional support and I just felt so bad for them. They got through it but, you know, it's tough.
HT: I would imagine when you were at UNCG in the sixties, there was no support71:00for black students from administration or anything like that.
LD: Not that I remember; not that I remember. I didn't get the feeling fromadministration that they did not want us there. I did get the feeling from the student body that they did not want us there. Strictly because they were coming from segregation as well so they had their myths and their stereotypes. Black people are this and this and this and can't do this and that. At least Kristen and I bridged that gap for the few weeks that we roomed together. But, yes, I did get the feeling from the student body that maybe-It wasn't so much maybe that they didn't want us there but that they were just uncomfortable having us there. And, well I have to say this, too-you may not want to put this down on paper-I remember my buddies, Alice and Cassandra (Cassandra's deceased now), but 72:00Cassandra Hodges Young was very different in those days. She had a lot of friends who were white and she just palled around with them all the time. I felt a little bit isolated so I didn't do this and I'd just sit there and look at her and say, "Wow, how does she do that?" She just talked with them like she talked with us. I guess she was ahead of her time. We were in somebody's room one night, one of her buddies, and somebody had spilled a Coke on the floor. We were all sitting there talking and, you know, it was just chit-chat, that kind of thing. Then it got late and we left and Cassandra told us about two or three days later, "You know I went back to (so and so's) room and that Coke spot is still on the floor. They didn't wipe it up." Well, this girl came from a home where they had a maid. She didn't do her laundry at school; she took it in a 73:00pillowcase, took it home and let the maid do it so I guess she was waiting for the maid to come. We used to laugh about that because, you know, we cleaned up our rooms. We had chores that we had to do at home and this young lady, she didn't know so we said "Cassandra, did you clean it up?" And she looked at us and said, as if to say don't ask me to do that. I'm not going to do that. It'll stay there forever. That was pretty funny.
HT: What was Alice's last name?
LD: Barnes; Alice Barnes Freeman. And she lives in- having a senior moment.Wilson, North Carolina. Alice has a very-I think she's already been interviewed. She has a very good memory of some things that went on there.
HT: I don't have any more formal questions. Do you have anything you'd like toadd to the conversation? We've covered such a variety of things this morning.
LD: Yes. Let me see. Yes, I told you where I was when Dr. King was assassinated.74:00I definitely wanted to get into that. I think that's about it. I think that's about it. I can't think of anything else. Well, I can tell you about Mrs. Gross, who was our dorm mother. To me she was tall-Now I'm short-but to me she was very tall, very slender, about the size of this candlestick, and very soft-spoken and usually-seems like I remember whenever she would talk to you, she would have her hands like this [demonstrates] and she'd smile at you and-You know, she was very nice to everybody, I thought, but she was just so old-fashioned and, you know, it was like, "Am I in Gone with the Wind or what?" She was just so old-fashioned. And I told you about the mahogany paneling in Mendenhall which eventually got carved with, I don't know, names or sororities or whatever there was, but with Mrs. Gross you just really had to toe the line. And, of course, 75:00back in that day and time, whenever you had company, you had to receive them in the parlor. Which, again, "Am I in Gone with the Wind?" So it was pretty funny. I think we had to be in, on a weekday, at eleven and the dorm got locked and I think on the weekend you could stay out until midnight. And of course, there was no such thing as coed dorms, nothing.
HT: That came later in the seventies.
LD: Right. Right.
HT: There is one thing I wanted to ask you about: some of the traditions oncampus. Do you recall getting a class jacket when you were a sophomore, a blazer that had the logo of the university on the pocket?
LD: I don't. No, I would have remembered that because when I was at CentralState in Ohio, I pledged and I got my sweater, my Delta sweater. I still have that; I'm very proud of that. So if I had gotten a jacket, I would have kept it. 76:00
HT: What about another tradition that was sort of going by the wayside by thelate sixties. During commencement they had something called the Daisy Chain. As a graduating senior, you would march through two rows of-I think it was ivy and daisies that were held by underclassmen.
LD: Oh, that's a nice touch. It sounds familiar. I don't remember it, but itdoes sound familiar.
HT: After the men came there, many of the traditions of the Woman's College daysquickly disappeared because the men didn't want to have anything to do with them.
LD: Absolutely. I can see them saying, "No, we're not going to do that."
HT: So, and that sort of thing. How about Rat Day; do you have any recollectionof that?
LD: What is that?
HT: That was a hazing form and it was done against freshman. Freshmenparticipated in Rat Day.
LD: Oh, I wasn't there. Now I do remember one tradition and I don't rememberwhat it was called. But it was the one day of the year, probably in spring, when all the girls would get in cars and go down to Chapel Hill, and maybe Duke, but 77:00I remember Chapel Hill. And you had to do that; you'd go down there and go visit your boyfriend. I guess it was around some football weekend, I don't know. Well of course, I didn't have any boyfriend at Chapel Hill but I do remember one year. I think we went because I believe Cassandra had a friend, a male friend there, I believe. So I think we went and I just remember, I didn't have anybody and I think they must have introduced me to somebody who didn't have a date and we just talked or whatever, very noncommittal, just social. But I do remember that because the girls, the Caucasian young ladies, would get so excited. They're going to Chapel Hill; they're going to do this; they're going to do that, so I do remember that. It had a name. I don't remember what the name was. Martha Jo can probably help you with that. 78:00
HT: I'll have to ask her about that this afternoon.
LD: Yes, that was like the highlight of the year.
HT: Thank you so much. It's been great listening to your stories about UNCG inthe sixties.
LD: It was quite an interesting time. Like I said, there was a part of it that Iwish we could still have-that unification feeling. But it was a tough decade; it was very tough.
HT: Right, that's so true. Okay, well thanks.
LD: Okay, all right.