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1992OH01.8 Graham

Frankfort’s Craw Oral History Project

Interview with James T. Graham.

May 21,1991.

Conducted by James Wallace

© 1991 Kentucky Oral History Commission

Kentucky Historical Society

Kentucky Oral History Commission

100 W. Broadway ( Frankfort, KY 40601

502-564-1792 ( (fax) 502-564-0475 (

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The following interview is an unrehearsed interview with

James T. Graham for "Frankfort's 'Craw:' An African-American

Community Remembered." The interview was conducted by James E.

Wallace in Frankfort, Kentucky, May 21, 1991.

[An interview with James T. Graham]

WALLACE: Let's see. Today is Tuesday, May the 21st . . .

GRAHAM: First, un-huh.

WALLACE: We're at the home here of Mr. James T. Graham to talk

a little bit about Bottom. Mr. Graham, are you a native of


GRAHAM: I'm a native of Frankfort. I was born and raised

right here, 64 years old; almost 65.

WALLACE: [Laughter] Where were you born in Frankfort?

GRAHAM: I was born at the next door to the house that I lived

in. I lived at 609 . . . I was born at 609 Washington Street.

WALLACE: Okay. Would that have been . . .

GRAHAM: Uh, that's between, uh, Hill Street . . .

WALLACE: And Mero?

GRAHAM: . . . and Mero.

WALLACE: Ahh, okay.

GRAHAM: Umhumm, yeah.

WALLACE: When you remember your early years there at

Washington Street, uh, tell me a little bit about the house you

grew up in, your family?

GRAHAM: Well, we, uh, rented from a fellow called Mr. Crouse,

and, uh, in later years, he gave us an opportunity to buy the

house. It was just a small three-room house. There was my

father and my mother and there was . . . I had a brother by the

name of Paul. That was . . . it was the fifth house from the

corner of Mero Street.

WALLACE: So, you were born there in '27 [1927]?

GRAHAM: 1926.

WALLACE: Twenty-six [1926], okay.

GRAHAM: 1926. June the 24th, 1926.

WALLACE: Was the house just a little wooden frame or . . .

GRAHAM: Just a little wooden frame house.

WALLACE: Did you all have electric or plumbing or . . .

GRAHAM: Yeah. We had . . . we got electric later and we got

plumbing later, you know. Actually, when we started out, we had

lamps. Used to have . . . that was one of our early jobs was

cleaning out these lamps with the . . . with the newspaper . . .

WALLACE: Like kerosene?

GRAHAM: Kerosene, yeah.


GRAHAM: Yeah. And, uh, it was, I guess, probably in, uh, it

was almost the forties [1940s] before we got electricity.

WALLACE: When you remember those early years, uh, was your

daddy working and . . .

GRAHAM: Well, my father . . . my mother was a, uh,

seamstress. She made, actually made our own clothes.


GRAHAM: Made our clothes every year up until we were about,

say, probably 14, 15 years old. [Laughing]

WALLACE: Did she work in the home?

GRAHAM: Yeah, yeah. She worked . . . well, no, she worked in

the home and she worked at . . . when the Kathryn Shoppe was

opened, she . . . I think the first . . . the second week it was

open, uh, Ms. Kathryn Roberts hired her as a seamstress and she

stayed there for 30-some years.

WALLACE: Good grief. What was her name?

GRAHAM: Her name was Anne Graham.

WALLACE: Anne Graham.

GRAHAM: Anne Graham. And my father, he was like a, kind of

like a hustler, I guess, you'd have to call that. [Laughter -

Wallace] And he'd go from job to job. He went . . . he worked

with Hillenmeyer for a while. You know . . .

WALLACE: Yeah, the nursery.

GRAHAM: The nursery when they, uh, when they sodded the


WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: You know, he worked down there doing that, doing

that. Then, he was a bartender for Mike Deakins. He worked in

the whiskey store for Mike Deakins.

WALLACE: Deakins. Can you . . . I've heard of Mike Deakins.


WALLACE: Can you describe it to me, where it was and what it

looked like?

GRAHAM: Well, Mike Deakins was a . . . had a place, a little

whiskey store right at the . . . on the other side of Clinton

Street going toward Broadway. And, uh, as a . . . he had . . .

well, at that time, that was the only whiskey store. George

Taylor bought all . . . bought Mike Deakins out.

WALLACE: Deakins, umhumm.

GRAHAM: Yeah, after . . . even before he died, un-huh. But

that was the . . . the whiskey store moved three different

places. They had two little whiskey stores there when George

Taylor had it. He had one on the left-hand side of . . . in

between Broadway, and he had one on the right-hand side . . .

WALLACE: Broadway.

GRAHAM: . . . of Washington Street.

WALLACE: Where Washington ran . . .

GRAHAM: Washington, right, yeah, right.

WALLACE: When was your dad working down there?

GRAHAM: Well, he worked . . . he worked there when he was . .

. well, actually working there when he had a . . . he had a

stroke . . .


GRAHAM: . . . in the sixties [1960s]. And, uh, that was . .

. you know, before the flood because he died in '66 [1966]. But

this was all during the time of the . . . when they were going

through the planning stage of . . . of urban renewal.

WALLACE: Umhumm. When you were growing up, the folk down

there, was it mainly black or was it whites and blacks living


GRAHAM: No. It was blacks and whites. On the corner where I

lived in between . . . I remember we had one white family which

was the Marshalls there and which we was just like sisters and

brothers, you know.

WALLACE: Un-huh.

GRAHAM: I mean, if . . . if you . . . you know, the food was

a little light. You know, you'd just put a little more water in

the beans and everybody eating. You know, that was the . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: That was the type thing, the kind of relationship

that we had. And, of course, I had several . . . on Wilkinson

Street and on Hill Street in certain sections, there was three or

four families, you know . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . that was mixed there.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: They had black and white on the far side of Hill

Street was some of them. We had some in the middle of Clinton

Street . . . not Clinton, but . . . well, on the far side of

Clinton, on one side, there was about five families.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And on the other side, it was about two families of

whites. But that was the way it was, I mean, it was from

Washington Street to Wilkinson Street. Then, on the other end on

Wilkinson Street proper in between . . . behind Mayo-Underwood

all the way up to the edge of Hill Street, see, there was . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . still there was a little mixture of . . .

WALLACE: Ms. Fallis and her people.

GRAHAM: Ms. Fallis. See, John Fallis and some of his, uh . .

. he lived right on the corner there of Hill and . . . and . . .

and Wilkinson Street.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And across from that was Ms. Ruby Jackson, which was

black. And, then, like I say, there was always the Fallises,

Bixie [Benjamin] and all of them.

WALLACE: Oh, yeah.

GRAHAM: Back in around there. We had one that ran for a


WALLACE: Carlos.

GRAHAM: Carlos.


GRAHAM: Yeah, you know that by now, then.

WALLACE: Well, Bixie [Benjamin], I talked to Vivian.

GRAHAM: Right.

WALLACE: You remember Vivian?

GRAHAM: Right.

WALLACE: And those Fallises were wild boys.

GRAHAM: They were wild. The old man was something else. He

. . . he had a . . . he had a certain rule that everybody

followed. [Laughing] That was one of the things that . . .

WALLACE: What do you mean when you say a certain rule?

GRAHAM: Well, he . . . just like I say. He just . . . he

treated everybody . . . as long as you had respect, he respected

you and he wouldn't let anybody mistreat you, you know what I

mean . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . as far as kids were concerned. A lot of times,

you know, like I say, they . . . they would run . . . he had

little job that seemed to pay him, but I used to . . . a lot of

times, I made a little money emptying slop jars . . .


GRAHAM: . . . believe it or not. [Laughter]

WALLACE: Did you?

GRAHAM: Then, your father would take it away from you, you

know. [Laughter]

WALLACE: You were working for Fallis emptying slop jars?

GRAHAM: Well, I never . . . some of the other people down

there. There was a lady called Ida Howard. She . . . I used to

. . . I worked for "Frog" Woods [Huston K. Woods] at a grocery,

and, uh, but I delivered a lot of groceries to this lady called

Ida Howard.

WALLACE: I've heard that her reputation might . . .

GRAHAM: Reputation wasn't, right, a little . . . little . . .

little devious.

WALLACE: Yeah. [Laughter - Graham] As a matter of fact,

didn't she and Mr. Fallis have a relationship?



GRAHAM: They finally did.

WALLACE: Where was "Frog" Wood's [Huston K. Woods] place?

GRAHAM: "Frog" Woods was at the corner of . . . of Mero and

Washington Street. And Alonzo Lewis [Alonzo A. Lewis] was on the

other corner of Washington . . . I mean, of Wilkinson and Mero.

And, then, on the other corner of . . . going into the . . .

well, St. Clair was Triplett's Grocery [Eugene P. Triplett].

WALLACE: Triplett's Grocery.

GRAHAM: Grocery, yeah.

WALLACE: What was Alonzo Lewis's place, a grocery, too?

GRAHAM: He was a grocery, too. All three of those were

grocery stores. Now, most of the blacks, they . . . between them

and Sull- . . . the two Sullivan's. One of the Sullivan stores

was across from John Fallis.

WALLACE: Ahh, okay.

GRAHAM: Yeah. There was a little island that ran in between

there, just a little half a street. And that was Nell Sullivan

that ran that one.


GRAHAM: Nell Sullivan . . .


GRAHAM: . . . was who run that and she ran that store. And,

like I say, these . . . all of these four stores or these five

stores, more or less, catered to the black.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And, well, you know, that was . . . that ran both

ways. You got your groceries usually on the ticket, uh . . .

WALLACE: They'd let you run a tab?

GRAHAM: And you'd run a tab. They'd let you run a tab. All

of them were very nice . . .

WALLACE: Were those black-owned and operated?

GRAHAM: Oh, no, they were all white-owned . . .


GRAHAM: . . . and operated. But all of them had black

delivery boys or, you know, or sometimes some of them even had

black clerks that worked . . .

WALLACE: Those were places you could get the jobs.

GRAHAM: The jobs, right. That was one of the places they'd

let you. That wasn't a lot of money, but I guess it paid $6 a


WALLACE: Oh. [Laughing - Graham] Well, your rent was

probably $3 a week . . .

GRAHAM: Yeah, well . . .

WALLACE: . . . or five.

GRAHAM: . . . at that time, I mean, in . . . in the . . .

WALLACE: Would that have been the forties [1940s] . . .

GRAHAM: . . . house that we lived, I mean, we . . . we paid

about $20 a month.


GRAHAM: Umhumm.


GRAHAM: And, then, of course, it went up to about $35 a

month. After . . . well, that's all during the childhood days.

And, then, . . .

WALLACE: 1930's or so.

GRAHAM: Yeah, thirties [1930s], and, then, . . . thirties

[1930s] and the early forties [1940s].

WALLACE: Do you remember the '37 [1937] flood?

GRAHAM: Very much so.

WALLACE: What happened?

GRAHAM: The thirty flood . . . the '37 [1937] flood, I rode

in a boat with my father over the top of my house.

WALLACE: Good grief.

GRAHAM: Over the top of my house, of our . . . the house that

I lived in, 611 Washington Street. The house next to that was a

two-story house. And the boat was up to the window in the . . .

WALLACE: Second story.

GRAHAM: . . . second story of it, yes. And I can remember

that very well.

WALLACE: Did you all go back in after the water went down?

GRAHAM: After the water went down, we went in and cleaned,

you know, we washed and soaked and did all of this trying to get

the . . .

WALLACE: Mud out.

GRAHAM: . . . mud out of it. We went back every time up

until '62 [1962] flood is the one that we never did go back.

WALLACE: Why did . . . why did you go back? I mean, all of

the trouble . . .

GRAHAM: Well, at that time, we had bought the house.


GRAHAM: We had bought the house, and, uh . . . well, not in .

. . in '37 [1937]. We bought the house in '40-something

[1940-something]. But, uh, we went back and we added . . . it

was a blessing in a way because that's when we put the

electricity in and we built the . . . we fixed the porch and

built a . . .

WALLACE: You mean after '37 [1937]?

GRAHAM: Yeah. We built this . . . we built this toilet on

the . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . where the porch was.

WALLACE: Kind of a frost-free outdoor toilet?

GRAHAM: Yeah, yeah. See, we had . . . that's when . . . no,

this was one of those . . . we did a tub and everything in there

at that particular time. That was . . . it was in the forties


WALLACE: Forties [1940s].

GRAHAM: It was in the forties [1940s]. It was in the

forties [1940s].

WALLACE: Let me ask you about the school days.

GRAHAM: All right.

WALLACE: Did you go to Mayo-Underwood?

GRAHAM: I went to Mayo-Underwood. I started out in

kindergarten and they . . . because, uh, that was . . . Mayo-

Underwood had just . . . that was a . . . had been built. It

opened up the year that I could go to kindergarten.

WALLACE: About '32 [1932], maybe.

GRAHAM: Yeah, right. That's right. I was just . . . I was

six . . . well, now, really, they let me go . . . then, my

birthday was in June, and they let me start actually in

kindergarten, I was just five years old. I was in the first

kindergarten class.

WALLACE: Class, ahh.

GRAHAM: And Ms. Johnson. I never will forget that. And,

then, I, uh, stayed in school until, uh, I went in to the war. I

left in the tenth grade and went to service. And, then, I came

back in '46 [1946] and went to . . . went back to finish high


WALLACE: What outfit did you join up with?

GRAHAM: I was in the . . . well, I went in the Navy. I was

in the, uh . . . I went to the Great Lakes in the Navy. And,

then, the Navy transferred me to the CB's.


GRAHAM: And I was in the CB's. I went to the 34th in CB's.

And I went to (inaudible] California. And from [inaudible]

California strictly right on to Okinawa.

WALLACE: Ahh, man. [Laughter] Did you make it in time for

the big . . .

GRAHAM: Well, we got in there at the end. You know, they

was, uh, they was winding down, but I got all of the action I


WALLACE: You wanted. [Laughter]

GRAHAM: Actually when the . . . the day that we left, uh,

from Okinawa, there was several Japanese surrendered that had

been . . .

WALLACE: Yeah, kind of holding . . .

GRAHAM: . . . didn't know that the war was over.

WALLACE: Yeah. [Laughing - Graham] You must have only been

16 or 17 years old.

GRAHAM: I was 18 years old. I was 19 . . . I stayed overseas

until I was, uh, twenty- . . . I was twenty- . . . I got back

here on the 19th of '46 [1946], and I turned, uh, 20 on the 24th.


WALLACE: Ahh. Well, some of the vets I've talked to left

Frankfort and went north for jobs.


WALLACE: But you stayed.



GRAHAM: Well, I left at one time in 1951. I left and went to

Dayton and . . . and my wife, you know, wanted to . . . after we

got married. Then, we got married in '48 [1948] and had two kids

right quick. And I decided to go to Dayton . . . went to . . .

at, uh . . . right at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base . . .

WALLACE: Oh, yeah.

GRAHAM: . . . for two years. And we just never could get . .

. she could have got . . . come up there with a better job than I

could because one of her high school friends was in a position in

a . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . treadmill type thing. But we just kept

tickling about it and just as I say it was stuffing me to come

back and sometimes I wouldn't only be off on 24 hours.


GRAHAM: And, uh, it was right then only one day a week. I

was on security at, uh, Wright-Patterson.


GRAHAM: We was only off one day a week.

WALLACE: Not enough to even come down and visit your family.

GRAHAM: Yeah. See, when I'd come down, you know, I got the

train and just come in and go right back, you know.

WALLACE: So, when did you come on back to Frankfort?

GRAHAM: I came back . . . I finally got a transfer. Well, I

was working on a transfer to go to work at [inaudible] Farm, in,

uh, in Lexington.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And, uh, meanwhile, I had gone to sleep on the job.

WALLACE: Ahh. [Laughter]

GRAHAM: So, they, uh, . . . you know, I was in a little

trouble there. So, rather than to . . . you know, you got

dismissed that you kindly got . . . well, just like I say, it was

one of those times. I had gone back to the . . . jump down here

and, uh, try to go back and go to work.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And I . . .

WALLACE: You hadn't slept for 24 hours probably.

GRAHAM: And it just finally got . . . it got to me.


WALLACE: Well, when you came back here, where . . . where did

you come back to?

GRAHAM: I went to work at the state.


GRAHAM: I went to work at the state. Uh, that was in, uh,

uh . . . I worked for the state for the Division of Publicity.

WALLACE: Oh, yeah.

GRAHAM: For . . . at the time, that was all under

Conservation at the time when the end of the war. And I worked

at . . . I had a little experience of . . . well, really, before

that, I had worked for the Department of Education for two years,

and I was one of the first that . . . of any kind that taught the

multilith [ograph] machine.

WALLACE: Ahh, okay.

GRAHAM: So, I . . .

WALLACE: Printing.

GRAHAM: Yeah, printing. I had to . . . I had this guy that

was selling these machines. In other words, I'd go around and

demonstrate them . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . to the other departments, too. I think we

sold . . . I was probably in that a couple of years. Believe it

or not, I'd get $25 to demonstrate the machines and, uh, they'd

get . . . I think in maybe in a period of seven or eight months,

they sold maybe 20 of those things.


GRAHAM: It was what they called the, you know, addressograph

at that time.

WALLACE: Were you living down in Bottom when you came back?

GRAHAM: I was living in the Bottom. I still was living in

the Bottom. I lived at 308 Blanton Street after we got married.

And prior to marrying I was living, I was renting from Bob

Dreyer, Ms. Dreyer, that lived on the corner of, uh, of . . .

that's Ann and Clinton Street, at the corner there.

WALLACE: Ahh, okay.

GRAHAM: Because, now, he had a groc- . . . her husband had

had a grocery that was on the corner. Bryant had bought that

grocery out. That was on the lower end. There was Center . . .

Blanton Street, we called it, and . . . and St. Clair.

WALLACE: Yeah, okay. What was the name of the grocery?

GRAHAM: It was Bryant's Grocery then.

WALLACE: Bryant's Grocery.

GRAHAM: But it was . . . it was Bob Dreyer's first. They had

always . . . Ms. Dreyer and all of them . . . Bob and even Sam

worked in that little grocery there . . .

WALLACE: In that grocery.

GRAHAM: . . . at the corner. They had this house right just

a little . . . right on Blanton Street and that's what . . .

they rented that, a little . . . had a little four-room house.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Now, that house had the toilet that when you got up

off of it . . . have you heard of the tank toilets that they had


WALLACE: No. How did they work?

GRAHAM: People had it even inside the house. Boy, that was a

set-up there. You sat on the stool and, then, when you got up,

it flushed itself.

WALLACE: Itself, yeah. [Laughter]


WALLACE: Well, I heard it was sort of a rare thing . . .


WALLACE: . . . to have indoor plumbing.

GRAHAM: Well, we just had . . . at that time on that house .

. . in that particular stretch, I'd say that there probably was

only maybe five houses that any type of plumbing in them down

there in that area. Most of them still had a lot of outdoor


WALLACE: Did the people that lived down there refer to the

area as Bottom or Craw, or would that have been considered


GRAHAM: Well, actually, you had two . . . the Craw and the

Bottom were one and the same in a sense that some streets, you

know, they . . . some sections of the streets wouldn't have been

called the Craw. But, you know, usually any people referring to

it, they referred to the whole thing as the Bottom.

WALLACE: Well, what . . . what sections were Craw?

GRAHAM: Actually, the one street was the street from . . .

from Broadway to . . to, uh, actually to Mero . . .


GRAHAM: . . . was actually the part of it that was called the

Bottom. Really, it didn't go all the way down to the end of

Mero Street. They would always just classify that section

between about half a block down to Madison Street and about

halfway down to where those houses I was showing you here.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: That, uh . . . that was . . . at the half of this

block here, right at this street . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . going down Clinton . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . would be . . . and these are the houses right

there in that area.


GRAHAM: That's the little old places running across . . .

that ran up to the trestle.


GRAHAM: There's a little alley there . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . that ran from Clinton Street to Broadway.


GRAHAM: And that's what they classified . . . all of that was

classified as the Bottom.

WALLACE: Bottom.

GRAHAM: That was the Bottom.

WALLACE: Were people who lived in the Bottom, were they sort

of a stable neighborhood or were there people coming and going

all the time or . . .

GRAHAM: Well, you know, a lot of . . . the whole thing was

that, uh, the people in the Bottom that actually lived in the

Bottom, uh, they wouldn't . . . they wouldn't cause any trouble.

It was the people that came a-visiting that caused . . . usually

created all of the problem.


GRAHAM: Because, I mean, it was a good rapport. You had a

good sense . . . as I say, people cared about each other. You

know what I mean?

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: If there's a . . . if a family was in need, these

people even what you'd call the hustlers and the gamblers, the .

. . the neighbors, they'd get a pot together, you know, and

they . . .

WALLACE: Help them out.

GRAHAM: . . . just provided . . . would just take . . .

they'd take the money and no . . . no strings attached and they'd

help anybody out. I mean, if there was a sickness or a death or

whatever, you know. You didn't have . . .

WALLACE: So, trouble came in from the outside.

GRAHAM: Outside, really.

WALLACE: What brought those people in from the outside?

GRAHAM: Well, it was . . . it was fascinating, you know. You

had call girls or house of ill repute, as you say. You had these

two or three houses there that was . . .

WALLACE: Where were they, on Center or . . .

GRAHAM: They were really off of, uh . . . well, you had one,

you had two probably right in the heart of Bottom, that was

Clinton Street. And you had . . . that was, like, some of them,

you had to bring your own . . . you had to go to these joints and

pick up a lady . . .


GRAHAM: . . . this is what they would do and they'd go down

and this guy would run, like, a little . . . he'd furnish rooms,

you know.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Then, you had the places where that the girls was

already there, you know. And, uh, that was . . . that was the

type thing that, uh . . . and the thing . . . the bad part about

it was that I always . . . see, the rich people would come in and

do their little dirt, the girlies . . .


GRAHAM: And, then, they were gone and it was over, you know.

I mean, they . . . I mean, some of the finest families in

Frankfort . . .

WALLACE: Frankfort.

GRAHAM: . . . well, you . . . you . . . you see them now and

see them then, you know. [Laughter]

WALLACE: I imagine that makes it a little . . .


WALLACE: Well, they're probably the same ones that condemned

the people who lived down in the Bottom.

GRAHAM: Exactly, exactly right. And it was the same way that

we had the problem with the people at South Frankfort and . . .

and what we call the Hill. See, they would come down and raise

all of this sand in the Bottom, and, then, they'd go home free as

a breeze. I mean, you know . . .

WALLACE: Where was the Hill?

GRAHAM: The Hill was the campus. I mean, it was the people

that lived . . .

WALLACE: Oh, okay.

GRAHAM: . . . on East Main and, uh, because you had some

people that had some fine homes there. Some of your . . . you

know, your craft people, the black craft, the brick layers and

stone masons . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . that lived and had, you know, more or less had

money every day, you know, at that time.


GRAHAM: That trade was good, you know. And, then, you had

some of your business people that, uh, that, uh, you know, they'd

come down and raise a whole lot of sand . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . and, then, they're gone, you know. [Laughing]

WALLACE: So, as far as the violence, it was more or less

confined to maybe people getting intoxicated . . .

GRAHAM: -cated, right, exactly right.

WALLACE: . . . at joints or something.

GRAHAM: That was precisely the thing that would happen. And,

say, . . .

WALLACE: Well, you . . .

GRAHAM: . . . well, you had, uh, you had three . . . well,

you had three churches. Your Corinthian Church was on the corner

. . .


GRAHAM: . . . it was on Mero Street there, which was a very

big church. And, I mean, it had a very good following, you know.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: As I said, in this particular area, you had, uh,

maybe five teachers that . . . that lived in there. And, like I

say, even though they lived in the Bottom, they were not

basically affected by the Bottom.

WALLACE: What was the name . . . do you remember the teachers'

names? I'm curious.

GRAHAM: Well, you'd have Ms. Alice Simpson . . . Ms. Alice

Simpson and Ms. . . . and Ms. Pattie Simpson.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Believe it or not, they lived in this house right

here, right next to the Sullivan's . . .

WALLACE: Grocery.

GRAHAM: . . . Grocery. There was a house that sat back, and,

then, they lived in it. You could see the big house right there.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: That was their big house that they lived in.

WALLACE: Was Alice the principal at Mayo . . .

GRAHAM: Alice was . . . no, Alice at one time was . . . she

taught at . . . at, uh, Rosenwald [School].

WALLACE: Oh, okay.



GRAHAM: Then, you had Ms. Alice Samuels who lived right two

doors from the Craw itself. I mean, she lived . . . there was a

restaurant which was the Kozy Korner where . . .

WALLACE: Okay. Where is Kozy Korner?

GRAHAM: It's on the corner . . .

WALLACE: Corner . . .

GRAHAM: . . . caddy-cornered from the American Legion, the

big building you were talking about.

WALLACE: Okay. Clinton and Washington?

GRAHAM: Clinton and Washington.


GRAHAM: All right. They lived . . . there was another house,

some small houses in between that, and they lived in the third

house going back toward the Hill Street . . .


GRAHAM: . . . on . . . on Washington Street. Yeah. They

lived there because, uh, she and her mother and the whole family

lived in that big house, which was one of the best kept, I mean,

houses on that street in that section.

WALLACE: Well, let me . . . let me say this to you. I've

heard people refer to that area, the Bottom area, as a slum.

GRAHAM: Yeah, yeah.

WALLACE: Is that accurate?

GRAHAM: Well, it's accurate to a certain extent because if

you took the whole picture, I mean, or you took the number of

houses that, uh, that were run-down. Uh, but you had some people

that had a little pride that they . . . they would do paint, you


WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: But that was the only thing. You might have a house

that . . . that was well kept, and, then, the house next to that

would be, uh, uh, run-down, I mean, it just dilapidated on their

property. See, you had a man we called . . . a man . . . the

three men that owned most of the property down there was Dooley

Moss (Dulin Moss].


GRAHAM: Dooley Moss, which was a jack-leg lawyer.

WALLACE: Yeah. I've heard a lot about Dooley.

GRAHAM: Yeah. And he's . . . he's the man that broke my

grandfather's will. This was the man that broke my grandfather's

will. My grandfather . . . my grandfather owned . . . actually

owned where Montrose Park is right now.

WALLACE: Good grief. [Laughter - Graham] Owned that whole


GRAHAM: He owned that area. They raised that area. They

kept dumping . . . dumping dirt until they raised that area.


GRAHAM: But that was . . . there was two houses there in the

front and his brother lived in one of them and he lived in . . .

he lived on Hill Street. He had that property there.

WALLACE: What did Dulin do? Did he break . . . how . . .

GRAHAM: Well, he broke the will which Pat Sullivan was the

administrator of this will. I don't know how my grandfather came

into this money or how he would come up with the particular

things, but he evidently was a pretty smart businessman, you

know, of some type. I don't know how, but he, you know, at least

he'd bought . . . they'd wind up with a lot of property.

WALLACE: What was your grandfather's name?

GRAHAM: His name was Thomas Graham.

WALLACE: Thomas Graham.

GRAHAM: Thomas Graham. Thomas Graham.

WALLACE: So, Moss broke the will and the property went . . .

GRAHAM: It went to . . . it . . . well, my . . . my

grandmother by marriage was . . . they could pay for a divorce in

installment plan.


GRAHAM: Well, when he died, they, uh, did not, uh . . . she

hadn't finished paying for the . . . for the . . . and he had

left his . . . he had two sons, my father and another, Morgan

Graham. And, uh, he left . . . he left them a dollar apiece.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And he left his total estate to my brother and I when

we'd become 21 that we would inherit this. So, uh, that . . .

but, you know, there was a lot of times we needed school clothes

and we needed things like that. So, they would dish out a

certain amount of money.

WALLACE: The executors?

GRAHAM: Executor, right. So, when we got . . . did get 21,

after I got out of service, we got 21, there was very little

money left.


GRAHAM: But, uh . . .

WALLACE: What were the other men that owned a lot of property

in Bottom? You said there was three.

GRAHAM: Well, the other fellows, it was, uh, they were called

the . . . the . . . Rufus, Rufus [Rupert Apartments, 400-404 W.

Broadway]. They had the houses . . . the big houses up on the

corner of . . . they were . . . they started at the corner of

Broadway and . . . on this side of the railroad track.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Broadway and, uh, and, uh, and Washington. And they

ran all the way down . . . they had about five apartment houses .

. . . four . . . I think it was four apartment houses going

toward Wilkinson Street. Then, they had all of these other

houses in front of the school.


GRAHAM: They had . . .

WALLACE: That's a name I hadn't heard before, Rufus [Joseph

Rupert]. That's the last name?

GRAHAM: That was their name, Rufus. They . . . they . . .

WALLACE: They're still in town?

GRAHAM: Oh, they've been . . . they've been dead.


GRAHAM: They died . . . one . . . whatever the, uh . . . now,

these were all white. They were, uh, because the . . . you . .

. if you wanted the black landowners, of course, across from the

school, you had Ernest Wooldridge.

WALLACE: Umhumm.


WALLACE: John Buckner owned . . .

GRAHAM: John Buckner. He had . . . had the same thing over

there, you know, like . . . oh, these houses, like I say, you

know. I don't know whether you . . . anybody had told you but

the sign they used to have . . . that they had in the courthouse

square, that he bought that sign. And that's what he refurbished

a bunch of his houses with was that . . .


GRAHAM: That sign that had all of the veterans' names in

Franklin County on it. I mean, he . . .

WALLACE: John Buckner did?

GRAHAM: John Buckner. He bought that sign and that's what he

. . . he used that lumber. He'd buy old houses when they'd tear

them down and made . . .

WALLACE: Well, did these men keep up their property or is that

why . . .

GRAHAM: Well, they'd . . . they'd . . . they'd . . . some of

them tried.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Earl Tracy. Earl Tracy had quite a bit, and . . .

and, of course, like I say, some of them didn't . . . the thing

that teed me off about the whole nine yards was that the people

that were trying to maintain and doing their . . . a lot of

people had put quite a bit of hard-earned money into the houses

when . . . when it became final [inaudible], you know.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Now, this is a long-going . . . long-going thing

that, uh, like Ms. Holmes that owned their house. I could name

you, I'd say, maybe 25 people that owned, that actually owned

their house.

WALLACE: Finally paid off their house.

GRAHAM: That finally paid off their homes. And, uh, so, if

they came in with a deal, they wanted everybody to put up $200.

Even the husbands and wives to try to save it. Just like her

mother, she had owned two houses. She had already owned two

houses that she lived in, and, then, another house that she was

renting. And, uh, as I say, when you . . . if you didn't sell,

those houses mysteriously got burnt.

WALLACE: Well, that's what, I think, your wife told me.

GRAHAM: They would get burnt. They . . . they were torched.

And the fire department would be right there waiting. They'd see

that they burned all the way down, you know. They would be on

the scene . . .

WALLACE: If you were a property owner and holding out for a

better price . . .

GRAHAM: They also knew how much insurance you had. So, when

you didn't . . . when you paid . . . when they paid, whatever the

insurance company paid you for the . . . for the fire, that was

deducted out of the . . .

WALLACE: The proceeds of the . . .

GRAHAM: . . . proceeds there, which meant that they were

always less.

WALLACE: You said something that caught my attention. You

said they wanted everybody to contribute $200 apiece to save



WALLACE: What . . . what was the deal there? I don't


GRAHAM: Well, they . . . they had these lawyers that came

from Washington, D.C. that were going to try to fight this. And

they . . .

WALLACE: Who . . . who got the lawyers?

GRAHAM: Well, uh, I guess some of the leadership in town,

they called themselves, was going to try to get it, you know.

They never came back. There was never anything done about that.

WALLACE: Was that . . .

[End of Tape #1, Side #1]

[Begin Tape #1, Side #2]

WALLACE: . . . accounts in the newspaper where they made these

statements how they were going to fight . . .

GRAHAM: Yeah, fight for the rights.

WALLACE: . . . for the rights.

GRAHAM: That's right, exactly right. They never . . . they

never showed back up. It was, like, I think, my grandmother or

my step-grandmother and, uh, even her husband. There was Mary C.

Holmes. I could name you . . . I could name you 20 people


WALLACE: Did they contribute to . . .

GRAHAM: Sure, umhumm. They got . . . you know, some people

had to borrow that money, you know, to . . . to . . . to . . . .

WALLACE: So, they paid these attorneys all of this money.

GRAHAM: All of the money.

WALLACE: Was a lawsuit ever filed to try . . .

GRAHAM: No, nobody ever knew how to . . . to really . . .

they . . . I don't know. See, nobody wanted to take the credit

for even contacting them or how they contacted these other people

to do it. But, I mean, it was . . . it was . . . it was . . .

that's what happened.

WALLACE: You are the first person who has . . .


WALLACE: . . . even been able to tell me anything about that.

GRAHAM: Yeah. I'm going to tell you, now . . .

WALLACE: Because nobody, I guess, wants to be . . .


WALLACE: . . . associated with it for some reason.

GRAHAM: Well, well, I'm telling you because at the time, I

mean, because I guess I was a rebel. I was a total rebel, see,

because I thought . . . I could see that this was a sham, all of

this was a sham. The whole thing was . . . and just . . . it . .

. it irked me so much. And, as I say, see, I mean, during this

time, I mean, I . . . I know the hardships that, uh, some of the

people that had gone through. And, then, I said, well, you know,

this . . . it's like these promises that they say, well . . . I

remember I went to that one meeting that they promised that

you'll be able to . . . they showed the big plaque that you'll be

able to buy back at probably what we are going to give you for

the property.

WALLACE: Property.

GRAHAM: Because you'll . . . and these will be houses and

this will be this.

WALLACE: Who . . . who was making those kind of promises to

you, do you remember?

GRAHAM: See, actually the head at that time was the head of

urban renewal.

WALLACE: Charles Perry.

GRAHAM: Parish, Charles Parish [Charles R. Perry].

WALLACE: I tried to get him to . . .

GRAHAM: That's right, Perry. Perry?

WALLACE: Charles R. Perry.

GRAHAM: Perry. Perry was a man that they just . . . he

hood-winked a whole society of people.

WALLACE: What was the story on him? Do you know how he got

hooked up with urban renewal or . . .

GRAHAM: I don't know how he did it. I don't know . . . when

he just came out of the woodwork, and, uh, of course, like I say,

with promises. It was [laughing] I mean, I think it was

terrible that I said, hell, it was just like, uh, this . . . I

made several references to this in later years about it. I said,

well, it's just like they've got us off of that slave ship with a

piece of red flannel and a bone. [Laughter] You know, but it's

just . . . oh, he was . . . he . . . he got the people's

confidence. You know, he came . . . he was down there every day

telling about what . . . and this is going to be so much better,

you're going to be able to relocate and you're going to do this.

Fortunately, in a sense, we were one of the lucky ones.

WALLACE: How come?

GRAHAM: We were lucky for the simple reason that we left . .

. we went to a better house.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And, uh, we . . . that when we moved across from the

Post Office, we got that, you know, got that house from that, uh,

I can't think of . . . oh, Cohorn. We were lucky enough because,

like I say, we had four people, really five people working.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And, so, we could, uh, we could pool our resources

and we were able to buy this house . . . buy that house.

WALLACE: Well, did . . . did you all get what . . . what you

considered a fair price for your home?

GRAHAM: No, not, you know, not . . . we couldn't . . . we

couldn't, uh . . . we really . . . you know, I mean, like I say,

we . . . we didn't have any option. But, I mean, the house was

well kept and . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . it was maintained and painted and everything of

this type. And . . . but it was just . . . you know, what we had

expanded on, what we had built on the back and everything. It

was . . . but it . . . it . . . we knew we had no choice.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: In other words, it was one of those things where that

everybody else had sold all around us. We didn't . . . we . . .

and just like . . . we knew, too, that if we didn't sell, it

would be torched, you know.

WALLACE: Umhumm. You're the first person that's told me about

the fires.


WALLACE: Do you remember how you found out about the project?

GRAHAM: Well, when they . . . yeah, we found out about the

project at a meeting. There was another meeting that, uh, uh, I

think that was Sutterlin that . . . when they . . .

WALLACE: Fred Sutterlin?

GRAHAM: Yeah, when they was talking about building this thing

up here. And, of course, everybody was saying, well, now, in

other words, now, they're going to do us like the Indians.

They're going to put us on reservations, you know. [Laughing]

WALLACE: Sutterlin Terrace is a reservation?

GRAHAM: A reservation, it was. Well, you stop to think about

it. One police car can stop any vehicle from going through

there, you know. That was . . . it was insane. You stop to

think about it. You could maybe walk out, but you couldn't drive


WALLACE: Drive. You mean, it was sort of . . . they could

keep better control . . .

GRAHAM: Oh, and exactly, exactly. It was one of those type

things. And this was all in the thinking, you know. So, it's


WALLACE: Do you remember what you felt when you first found

out about it?

GRAHAM: Yeah. I . . . of course, I think we had already made

arrangements for this . . . to buy this other house and I said,

well, this is going to be another settlement that will be, you

know, where that in all probability that it will turn right back

into another slum.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Because you're going to have to have a certain cross

of sections, or what you call them, to satisfy what . . . what it

calls for. And, uh, it's like I say. When all of the rest of

them, they got to building them up and you could see the same

thing was going to happen. I know that Ms. Nellie Harris, she

had been displaced one time. She lived right next to us and had

a nice house, a nice, uh, stone house. And she moved to Hill

Street where she went into a tremendous amount of debt there.

But the ladies that she was working for, she worked for the

Caruthers, two old ladies, old maids. One of them worked at the

Education Department with me and the other sister, they . . . and

they were helping her out, you know . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . too, because they wanted her . . . because she

had worked for them for all of her life. So, they wanted to make

sure that she had a home and they supplemented. That's the only

reason she would buy that. And, then, of course, here comes the

other project and it displaced her again, see. [Laughing]

WALLACE: That's what I . . . the original project . . .

GRAHAM: Project . . .

WALLACE: . . . was not to affect Hill Street.

GRAHAM: Right, really.

WALLACE: And they expanded it.

GRAHAM: Expanded it. Expanded and . . . you know, and they

went on to Rosewood and down to the other place. But all of

these things was like I said. They . . . it was . . . the plan,

they kept talking about a 20-year plan or whatever the original

idea was, that they were going to build all of these things. But

they were all going to be . . . and where that you could still

have gone back into the slum area and built a house if you were

able to do it . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . which that never materialized because they

never . . . it was never made available.

WALLACE: Not . . .

GRAHAM: You look at the planning, the way all of the floods

that had happened . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Has . . . has the Capital Plaza ever flooded since


WALLACE: No. [Laughter]

GRAHAM: Why couldn't you have done this, you know, years ago?

I mean, it made you say, well, we improved your property. It's

just like this street, this street here was Blanton, the lower .

. . or the higher end of Blanton.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: You had on that corner the Brookses. Old man Brooks

was a stone mason at the end of, uh, Ann Street . . .


GRAHAM: . . . right where the . . . you know where The Cave

is now?


GRAHAM: That was, uh, that was a . . . a magnificent stone

building house. The lady next to that was . . . my sister owned,

sister-in-law owned that house. They had done a tremendous

amount of work. Uh, they . . . okay, the next house to that was

the only shabby house on that street.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Because everybody on that street had . . . that . . .

and all of them owned that . . . all of them owned that . . .

owned that property, each one of them. My mother-in-law had a

very nice two-story house there, and somebody burnt it down.

And, then, as I say, that other little house there next to that

was, uh, it was a little shabby. But it still was . . . you

know, it had been painted and everything. And all the way to the

end of the corner was . . . to the end of . . . which was the end

of, uh, St. Clair.

WALLACE: Well, why did they expand the project area? I don't


GRAHAM: Well . . .

WALLACE: Do you know?

GRAHAM: I don't know. It's, like I say, they had . . . they

found out . . . like I say, you just . . . you just . . . they .

. . I don't think they ever realized how many people that they

had displaced.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And, of course, that made families break up that

maybe had two families in the one house that would put . . . or

sometimes three families.

WALLACE: Where did the families go when they got this . . . I

mean, did they have anyplace to relocate?

GRAHAM: Well, really, most of them didn't have anyplace to .

. . a lot of them . . . I mean, they were working doing


WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . things of this type. Uh, they didn't have . .

. they just didn't have the facilities . . . if they were already

renting, and, at that time, they didn't do what they do now.

They displace and pay for you to move and, uh, relocate you.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: You had to go out on your own to find this . . . to

find a res- . . . to find these places.

WALLACE: Were families evicted if they were renting . . .

GRAHAM: Sure, right. They were evicted. Some of them tried

to stay there. They were either evicted or burnt out. It was

just that simple. That was . . . when they got down to the . . .

just like I say, when they . . . when they . . . big [property

owners], like, John Buckner. When they sold . . . well, that

probably . . . in that particular area, he, say . . . I'd say he

had seven houses.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: He had one building there that had six families, six

different families in it in that one building. Okay, then, on

Whitehead, he had another big building which he had five families

in . . . four families . . . there was five families in that . .

. in that particular building. And the little building that he

had next to that, and . . . well, I'd say he . . . when he sold,

that . . . that affected 15 families.

WALLACE: They said, at least I've read that a lot of people

wound up renting from the city or the slum . . .

GRAHAM: Umhumm, slum clearance.

WALLACE: . . . clearance.

GRAHAM: People was left staying in the houses they left.

They had these particular houses down there, some of those people

stayed in there maybe a year and a half or two years.


GRAHAM: And they rented from them; that they'd rent to the

city, see.

WALLACE: Do you remember Frank Lewis?

GRAHAM: Yes, Frank Lewis.

WALLACE: He's still alive and with us.

GRAHAM: Yeah. He is?

WALLACE: Yeah. Did you . . .

GRAHAM: Yes. I worked for Frank Lewis.

WALLACE: Oh, you did?

GRAHAM: I worked . . . I worked at Sherman Williams and he

was . . . Frank was the chairman of [inaudible]. Frank Williams

and, uh, Frank and, uh, Jim, uh, Jim . . . they ran Sherman

Williams paint company.

WALLACE: I know Frank was a relocation officer . . .

GRAHAM: Umhumm.

WALLACE: . . . for the slum clearance for a long time.

GRAHAM: He came in late.


GRAHAM: He came in late. He . . . he had more dealings with

the . . .

WALLACE: With Gene . . .

GRAHAM: Gene, yeah, Gene Hines.

WALLACE: Gene Hines.


WALLACE: Why did they . . . do you know why they brought in .

. . Perry went out in '63 [1963] and Gene Hines came in.


WALLACE: Do you know if there was something . . . why Perry

left and Hines came in or anything about it?

GRAHAM: I would think probably that some of the . . . the

people got to the point where probably they . . . I thought

really they might kill that man, you know, over some of the

things that they'd done.

WALLACE: Kill him.

GRAHAM: Some of the . . . here's what happened. Some of the

relatives that had been gone to Detroit and Chicago, uh, and

Ohio, they come back and saw what was happening, you know, just

to their relatives.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: You know, they . . . I mean, it was . . . they become

kind of violent.


GRAHAM: And you can see, some of the . . . you know, some of

these . . . some of this was like heir property.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And that's why you wonder sometime how they

manipulated these deeds or sold it without getting consent from,

uh, . . .

WALLACE: The heirs.

GRAHAM: . . . the heirs. They had . . . they had to either

condemn it or whatever they did, you know. Some of the vehicles

that they used to do that.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: But that was, uh, that was another . . . some of the

other problems. But, as I say, Frank, he came in in the late . .

. in late years . . . it was late . . . in the other stages, late

stages of the thing.

WALLACE: Sixty-four and five [1964 and 1965] and all of that.

GRAHAM: Right, right.

WALLACE: You say the '62 [1962] changed everything. What did

you mean when you said that?

GRAHAM: Well, it's, like I say, some people decided they

didn't, you know, they didn't . . . that they wasn't going back,

that they wasn't going to go through this again. And some of the

people, particularly some of the people that, uh, that didn't own

their property.


GRAHAM: See, they said, well, we'll find housing somewhere

else, see. And that's when a lot of them, you know, went . . .

was thinking in terms of the Hill. Some of them was glad to go

to the projects, you know, to . . . to get out of this . . . out

of this area.

WALLACE: Would your family, if you had not had your own home

and all, would you have considered the public housing?

GRAHAM: I wouldn't . . . I would never have considered, uh, .

. . I would never have considered public housing.

WALLACE: To my knowledge, the only public housing that was

built back in the Bottom . . . or close to the Bottom was


GRAHAM: Riverview, yeah.

WALLACE: Was the only . . .

GRAHAM: Only one . . .

WALLACE: . . . housing unit that ever went back down in there.

GRAHAM: Right, right, right. That's . . . that was . . .

WALLACE: Someone said that, uh, that no blacks were involved

in the planning of the urban . . . do you know of any black

resident that was ever . . .


WALLACE: . . . involved in the planning?

GRAHAM: No. I know of none. They, uh, they . . . they just

. . . they were eliminated, totally eliminated. There was a few

. . . they had a few, had maybe two that I would . . . that would

have, you know, they were seemingly sympathetic, but you . . .

you never . . . if you didn't . . . wasn't at the meeting of the

City Council at the time, you wouldn't . . . you . . . you know,

you would get fogged . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: A very fogged opinion of what some of them said


WALLACE: Did you go to any City Council meetings or . . .

GRAHAM: Yeah, I did, I did.

WALLACE: Did you raise any questions or issues?

GRAHAM: I . . . no, I was . . . I tried to take them on one .

. . you know, a one-on-one deals, but I would question some of

the pro- . . . you know, some of the politicians there. And, of

course, they would . . . some would, they . . . you know, they

lied to you good.


GRAHAM: They lied to you good.

WALLACE: They said John Gerard was a big supporter of the slum

clearance. Is that . . .


WALLACE: Do you remember John?

GRAHAM: Yes. He was . . . of course, he had a garage and

electronics because he also had the, uh, had the, uh, TV. He had

a . . . he was the one that really started Community Service for

TV. He had the . . . of course, he was in competition with

Jacobs. See, old man Jacobs was the one . . . Jacobs and, uh,

Norrell . . .

WALLACE: Oh, yeah.

GRAHAM: That was Norrell's son.


GRAHAM: You know, that's his son.


GRAHAM: That was his step-, I mean, his in-laws, son-in-law.

When Jacobs himself was around. You know, when we hooked on to

TV, it cost you $100 at that time.

WALLACE: Shew, a hundred dollars.

GRAHAM: They had a . . . they had a pole up on Fort Hill and

they'd ask . . . you know, and, then, run the lines from there to

the . . . down to . . . and you paid that $100 up front before

you got hooked on.

WALLACE: I remember Isaac Fields told me they got hooked in .

. .


WALLACE: . . . and all of the kids in the neighborhood came .

. .

GRAHAM: As I say, well, we were lucky to have one of the . .

. well, we wasn't first, but we were pretty . . . you know, it

was . . . it was early. We were one of the earlier ones on the

street to get hooked in on TV. [Laughing] So, you can imagine

in the afternoon, we had a room full . . .

WALLACE: Full of kids. [Laughing]

GRAHAM: Yeah. Yeah.

WALLACE: I heard that there was supposed to be low-interest,

federally-insured loans available to homeowners to help you . . .

GRAHAM: Umhumm.

WALLACE: . . . buy replacement housing.

GRAHAM: That's exactly right.

WALLACE: Do you know people that took advantage . . .

GRAHAM: That's exactly what you . . . I know of no one that

was that was . . . that . . . I know a lot of people that put

applications in, but everybody, for some reason or another, they

would always . . . they wouldn't qualify.

WALLACE: Oh, you had to have a certain income . . .

GRAHAM: Yeah. You had to have a certain income. And they

really wanted . . . it wouldn't be husband and wife. It would

have to be the husband.


GRAHAM: Head of the household.

WALLACE: So, only one income could be counted.

GRAHAM: Yeah, see.


GRAHAM: So, that . . . that means . . . that . . . that . . .

WALLACE: That ruled out a bunch.

GRAHAM: Sure. Well, at the time, even if you were working on

two jobs, that didn't count. You had to make a certain amount on

one job.

WALLACE: One job. Well, that didn't help . . .

GRAHAM: See, that was . . . that didn't help at all.

WALLACE: Yeah. I have yet to run into anybody that ever got

one of those low-interest loans.

GRAHAM: No, nobody got one. Nobody that I knew that . . .

that got one of those loans. I know that even the teachers that

applied, uh, they were asked to apply because . . . but at the

time, you know, the teacher's salary was very low, you know.

WALLACE: Yeah, they weren't . . .

GRAHAM: And they . . . they were strictly nine months'

salary, see, [laughing] because most of the teachers would

supplement themselves. They worked part-time jobs on the . . .

at the end of the school . . .

WALLACE: School year.

GRAHAM: . . . year, see. They'd have to get other jobs.

WALLACE: Where did the . . . you know, you talk about, like,

such a tight-knit community of friends . . .


WALLACE: . . . and neighbors. After the project started, did

the people tend to relocate in one area or did they just scatter

or . . .

GRAHAM: No, they scattered. Actually, as I say, the . . .

the . . . the working class, uh, opened up . . . well, South

Frankfort kind of opened up.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: You know. There . . . there was a lot of houses,

fairly decent housing that was in South Frankfort that they

scattered to. And, then, as I say, a lot of them came to the . .

. to the Hill. And, uh, that . . . that . . . that opened up,

you know, quite a bit.

WALLACE: Have you heard of a Cherokee Subdivision?

GRAHAM: Yeah, okay, the Cherokee . . .

WALLACE: Where . . . that was one I've heard mentioned as an

area that they were trying to develop.

GRAHAM: The Cherokee Subdivision. You couldn't . . . they

bought all of this. I wish my aunt had stayed here when you . .

. before you got here. The Swain subdivision is what it was.

WALLACE: The what subdivision?

GRAHAM: Swain subdivision.


GRAHAM: The Swains owned that . . .

WALLACE: Where . . . where was it?

GRAHAM: It's right at the . . . behind the football field.

WALLACE: Oh, okay.

GRAHAM: It's right there. You're going down Langford . . .


GRAHAM: . . . it went down. Now, Pat Green and his mother

owned all the way to the first turn. They owned all of that

property on that far side. The Swains owned all of it back to

where College Park starts.


GRAHAM: But, in other words, Missouri now, as you go down

through Missouri where a couple lives now, that's Missouri and

Langford. That's a complete circle.

WALLACE: Yeah. I know exactly.

GRAHAM: The Swains owned all of that. They sold those lots

for $50 a lot.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Okay. You couldn't . . . you still . . . you

couldn't get a contractor. You couldn't get anybody to go in

there with . . . I mean, I . . . I was a good friend of the

husband . . . see, the old man died.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Well, Lucille is like my . . . she was the wife of

the . . . of the son that owned this thing. They were living in



GRAHAM: Swain's, umhumm. The Swain's.

WALLACE: He was black.

GRAHAM: He was black. Un-huh, they were black. Okay. What

happened . . . I want to go back to another thing when I get

through with the Swain deal. They said, well, we'll just try to

sell it off in tracts where that somebody can go in and build a

home. And they broke it down into these small lots of, uh, more

or less like what some of the things you had in the Bottom.

Well, of course, anybody would have to buy two or three of them

to . . .

WALLACE: To . . .

GRAHAM: . . . to know the difference.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Okay. When they found out they couldn't get anybody,

nobody, no contractor would touch it.


GRAHAM: So . . . for some reason, and I don't know why,

whether it was, uh, black balls or whatever . . . whatever

happened. Even the people that owned that, I mean, some people

had four and five lots down there.

WALLACE: Couldn't . . .

GRAHAM: What happened, Ward Oates and Glenn Purdy and, uh, I

can't think of the other fellow's name. They, uh, decided . . .

they just decided they would go in there and find out who had

these deeds. They went out and bought it. They bought up all of

that land, and they cleared it straight down off. And they went

in there with something that if, uh, . . . . a mirage, but, of

course, there was . . . there was several people that had some

fairly good money like the Turners and, uh, a few others. They

had built houses. They did. They had actually got . . . were

able to get houses built.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Before Purdy and them came. And, then, after Purdy

and Ward Oates and I can't . . . I'll come up with the other

guy's name because he was a . . . used to be a vice-president of

Schenley Distillery, the other fellow that was in on that deal.

WALLACE: Not Liebman, was it?

GRAHAM: Oh, no, Liebman wasn't in on this. They, uh, bought

up all of these [inaudible] flattened them out. They started

building. They started building and putting houses up. But the

key was no matter how much money you ever got, it still was going

to take you 30 years to pay those houses off.

WALLACE: Ahh, 30 years.

GRAHAM: Thirty years. No matter if you got rich the next

day, [laughing - Wallace] you could never pay your house off for

30 years.

WALLACE: You mean, the money you got from the sale of your

house down in the Bottom or . . .

GRAHAM: House, yeah. Anything you got, whatever they . . .

like they knew, they knew exactly how much money you got and . .


WALLACE: So, they'd adjust the price accordingly.

GRAHAM: They adjusted the price . . .

WALLACE: Accordingly.

GRAHAM: That's exactly what they did. And everybody that

wanted in there that was out of that slum, out of the area, and

whatever they got for the other property they owned there, it was

. . . that's the way the price was adjusted on the . . .

WALLACE: You are the only person that has ever told me

anything about Cherokee before.

GRAHAM: That's right. That's Cherokee. That's Cherokee


WALLACE: And, then, College Heights . . .

GRAHAM: College Heights was a different story. That was a .

. . that was another deal. Now, we go back to South Frankfort.

And this happened. There was a man that owned what they called

the mill, all of that St. John's which is now in the new flood .

. .


GRAHAM: That's the new flood story.


GRAHAM: I happened to have . . . I own a house down there. I

own two houses down there.


GRAHAM: And we're going through the same deal that was done

back in the . . . it's going to be a . . . well, it's going

through the same type thing. Of course, I'm not down there

living. You've got property owners that live in the area, but,

now, the renters, see, I mean, they're going to be totally

displaced. Hollenrufer [George Halmhuber], a fellow by the name

of Hollenrufer owned all of this land. So, what he did, he would

sell you a lot on credit and make a deal with your . . . you

could buy these pre-fab houses. See, four of those houses down

there are pre-cut, pre-fabs.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Alex Sanders was one of the first to buy one of them.

And Lewis . . .

WALLACE: Is that the house that Alex still lives in now?

GRAHAM: No, no. Alex lives . . . that was the first house he

lived and it came in on a truck. I helped unload that damn

thing. [Laughter] On a Sunday . . . it come in on a Sunday

morning and I'll never forget that. He built . . . see, next to

that, then, he built a house. He built the one on the corner

after that.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Because his brother-in-law built the house next to

that. So, those . . . see, Alex and some member of his family

owned all three of those houses at one time there.

WALLACE: Where were these, now, on . . .

GRAHAM: On . . . it was on St. John's Court.

WALLACE: St. John's Court, okay.

GRAHAM: Okay. And, then, the one that I owned, which Patton


WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Patton. He got . . . bought that land from

Hollenrufer [George Halmhuber] and he built apartments, and,

then, this little house and Vernon Lightfoot built one of the

pre-cut houses. But he . . . but he wasn't . . . he really

wasn't displaced, but he bought that little house next to the . .

. on St. John's Street.

WALLACE: So, some people were making money off of these . . .

GRAHAM: Sure. They made . . . they made money on them. They

. . . they exploited.

WALLACE: It's funny. I've heard people . . . "Pappa Jazz"

Berry in an article in the newspaper . . .


WALLACE: . . . said that white people made money off of



WALLACE: And he didn't really explain that in the article.

GRAHAM: Umhumm.

WALLACE: I . . . I assume maybe bootlegging or . . .

GRAHAM: Yeah. Well, even . . .

WALLACE: . . . renting.

GRAHAM: Well, even . . . like I said, even the illegitimate

business, the . . . the blacks didn't own it. I mean, they were

running it, but it was for somebody living on Capital Avenue.

[Laughter] You know, free. I mean, it's . . . they still got

you both ways. [Laughing] They would . . . you know, they was

the backers and they would back you. But, you know, that was

like old man Haydon, uh, that had that beer garden and, uh, my

father worked for him. He went to prison for him. My father had

to go to prison to keep him from going to prison.

WALLACE: Where was the beer garden?

GRAHAM: The beer garden was on Clinton Street, right about .

. . right down from this thing here going . . .

WALLACE: Sullivan's Grocery.

GRAHAM: . . . on the same side on the far side of the street

all the way down.

WALLACE: On the north side, yeah.

GRAHAM: Yeah. There was a . . . that was between Center

Street. There was a little street that went in between there

called Center, and the beer garden was the next building over.



WALLACE: Well, you dad took a prison rap for this?

GRAHAM: Took a prison rap for . . .

WALLACE: For running . . .

GRAHAM: For . . .

WALLACE: For running a . . .

GRAHAM: . . . running whiskey for Haydon, yeah. That's

exactly right. He . . . that's . . . you know, he told him,

well, I'll take care of your kids and all of that, you go on, you

take this [inaudible]. It wasn't no . . . I mean, it was . . . it

was, uh, like, I guess maybe five or six months or something like

that, but he did. You know, he'd bring some groceries and things

in there.

WALLACE: Un-huh.

GRAHAM: I can remember that, you know, because like I say, my

mother was a real proud woman and, uh . . . cause, uh, when I . .

. you know, that . . . that was something to . . . that . . .

that . . . it was a stigma that you . . . you still think about

it today, you know. That's one of the reasons I think I've . . .

maybe I was at a time real bitter. [Laughter]


GRAHAM: I had a lot of reasons to be bitter.

WALLACE: Well, I've run into people who . . . who are bitter

because they feel like they lost a sense of . . . of community.

GRAHAM: Yeah, they did.

WALLACE: Ms. Gill said "I'm . . . I'm just one black woman

stuck out here all by myself."

GRAHAM: Yeah, that's right, and that's what happened. You

know, you . . . you could get together within three blocks,

walking distance. You didn't have to have a car to communicate

with all of your friends. Now, you've got to have a car. You've

got some of them stuck over here, some stuck here and some over

there. You've got to have transportation. Now, think of the

people that don't drive.

WALLACE: That's true.

GRAHAM: And you've got to get a cab to see one of them.

You've got to depend on somebody else for . . . to go anywhere

you want to go. So, it's . . . it was . . . it . . . it . . . it

separated it. And it created a cast system, too.

WALLACE: How so?

GRAHAM: It creates a cast system because, see, if you got

over and, then, that guy, you know, their chest sticks out, you

know. They say, well, I don't . . . I've got . . . I've made it,

you know. All right. Well, people will turn against you, you

know, in a sense because you say, well, people should never

forget from whence they came. And, uh, it's . . . but . . . but,

yet, at the same time, there's so much envy.


GRAHAM: You know.

WALLACE: For those that succeeded economically . . .

GRAHAM: Succeeded economically, that's right.

WALLACE: Sort of would look . . .

GRAHAM: They actually, you know, they . . . they . . .

they're looked down on instead of, you know, glorified. They are

looked down on.


GRAHAM: It's like some of the . . . one of the things . . .

I'll tell you what I . . . [laughing] this is a heck of a thing

to think about. Uh, I've always said that the slum clearance

caused more marriages because, see, when they went into these

housing, you had to be . . . all of the common law, people that

had been living common law . . .


GRAHAM: . . . lives all of those years, then, they made a

stipulation that they had to be married to move into the


WALLACE: Oh . . .

GRAHAM: And, so, I'll say that was one good thing [Laughter]

religiously that . . . that happened that maybe was a blessing,

you know.

WALLACE: That's the first I've heard of this. [Laughing -



WALLACE: Ahh. Well, what happened to the black-owned

businesses? There were . . .

GRAHAM: They all disappeared. They . . . well, they would

find . . . they couldn't find suitable . . . they wouldn't . . .

they couldn't find a suitable location or they couldn't afford

the location if they had found them because they didn't have . .

. well, they said, you know, everybody had the same stigma that

it's . . . it's going to create another slum there, you know. If

they open up a place here, the rowdiness. They didn't want you

in South Frankfort. They didn't want you on the Hill, and the

businesses . . . our business . . . I was . . . we . . . as I

say, we had just started in '59 [1959]. The VFW started and was

found in '59 [1959]. And, then, after we moved out in '62

[1962], after the '62 [1962] flood, we didn't go back into that

building. We went up on East Main, went up where we are now.

WALLACE: What happened to Ewen Atkins and Dr. Holmes and all .

. .

GRAHAM: Ewen Atkins was not able to relocate. Uh, he . . .

he didn't own the building. John Buckner owned that building.


GRAHAM: And, as I say, when he sold . . . see, he displaced

that business. When he . . . when John Buckner sold, he was not

able to go back into the building. And as I say, he lived . . .

he always roomed with Ms. Holmes who was a teacher at Mayo-

Underwood. She moved out . . . she went to . . . out on Wallace


WALLACE: Ahh, okay.

GRAHAM: Now, see, that was four houses that opened up out

there that, you know, blacks had not lived. I had . . . there

was only two black families that lived out there at the


WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: But that wound up being five families out there.

WALLACE: Across from the Post Office and back in there?

GRAHAM: Well, back . . . Wallace Avenue is out . . . going

out Holmes Street . . .


GRAHAM: . . . and it turns off of Holmes Street right, you

know, going back toward the Hill again.

WALLACE: Yeah. I know . . .

GRAHAM: That's Wallace Avenue. And, uh, because, uh, . . .

Ms. Holmes was able . . . lucky to find a house out there. She

bought and had to do a tremendous amount of work on it because

she had three roomers.


GRAHAM: And she had this big two-story house on Clinton, and,

then, she had to fill this little thing out there which was just

about less than half the size . . .


GRAHAM: . . . of what she moved out of. Let's see. You

know, I mean, she . . . it took her . . . I mean, I knew

personally by talking to her. I used to drive her. My wife used

to drive her around here. She was a good . . . she had bought a

car, but she couldn't drive it. [Laughter] We used to drive

her, and I remember she . . . you know, she would discuss her

business openly. And she was, uh, she was really upset about,

uh, what they had promised her for the house and, then, what they

paid her for the house.

WALLACE: She got a lot less than what . . .

GRAHAM: A lot less than what they . . . they . . .

WALLACE: Did a lot of those folk have to . . . that own their

own homes have to go back into debt?

GRAHAM: Sure. They had to go back into debt. That's what I

was saying. That was . . . that was the bad part. At that age,

you know, to have to go back into debt because she was, then,

retirement age at that time even. So, it . . . you know, it was

. . .

WALLACE: When Mayo-Underwood closed, did the black teachers

get . . .

GRAHAM: They didn't have but three teachers, and they didn't

get teaching jobs. They went on and got a library job and one of

the . . . it was later that they got . . . Ms. Alice Samuels was

the, uh, the . . . Ms. Alice Samuels . . .

[End of Tape #1, Side #2]

[Begin Tape #2, Side #1]

WALLACE: It's rare to find someone like you that not only

remembers it, but remembers it so vividly.

GRAHAM: Well, yeah.

WALLACE: Ms. Gill said, you know, I remember some of it, but

she had been sick.


WALLACE: And . . . and her memory was not quite . . .


WALLACE: . . . as good as she would like. Let me . . . let me

get away from urban renewal for a second and get back to some of

the businesses that you remember. Tell me about the

Suds-n-teria. . .


WALLACE: . . . where it was and what kind of business it was.

GRAHAM: Okay. The Suds-n-teria was a laundrymat. It was a

laundrymat, uh, and it . . . it . . . believe it or not, that was

another John Buckner. He owned that building.


GRAHAM: He owned the building. At one time, there was a

doctor's office up above it, a black doctor that had it.

WALLACE: Which . . . now, that wasn't Dr. Holmes, was it?

GRAHAM: No, this was Dr. Gay.


GRAHAM: He was a dentist.


GRAHAM: He had an office over there.

WALLACE: Where was Suds-n-teria?

GRAHAM: And, then, Dr. . . . Suds-n-teria was in the middle

of the block between Washington Street going toward, uh, the back

of the Capitol.


GRAHAM: Madison Street was the next little . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . street there. Uh, the . . . the Suds-n-teria

was, like I said, they had a little . . . probably the only

laundrymat that blacks could go to.

WALLACE: It was a black-owned business.

GRAHAM: It was not, no. It was . . . there was a Harrod . .

. Harrod, uh, rented that to . . . you know, put the laundrymat

in there for . . . I think it was the . . . you know, the same

fellows, the Harrod that owned the Pete's Corner.


GRAHAM: He . . .

WALLACE: Not Bob Harrod, was it?

GRAHAM: Not Bob Harrod, no. This was another Harrod, that he

. . .

WALLACE: That's funny because Pete's Corner is sort of the

white counterpart . . .

GRAHAM: Yeah, counterpart.

WALLACE: . . . to Tiger Inn.

GRAHAM: Tiger Inn, right. Well, it . . . he . . . of course,

Charles Fields worked for Pete's Corner. They had three black

guys that worked for him and still . . . Blue Bonnet, the

connections are still there, the same thing. He works for them

even today, and I guess Charles is probably 74 or 75 years old.

WALLACE: So, the same people that own Pete's Corner own Blue

Bonnet . . .

GRAHAM: Own . . . Suds-n-teria, right.

WALLACE: . . . and Charles Fields.

GRAHAM: Charles Fields, yes, right.

WALLACE: I want to go talk to Charles sometime.

GRAHAM: Yeah. He's a good . . . yeah, that's right.

WALLACE: Well, what about the 99 Club?

GRAHAM: Well, 99 was where . . . oh, the 99 came into . . .

that was George Taylor. George Taylor bought . . . see, when he

bought those two buildings, he bought . . . and they had a little

restaurant there and "Newt" Berry run one of them and a fellow by

the name of Thomas Jefferson.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Thomas Jefferson, he . . . I don't know where he . .

. he and his wife had come in here and George Taylor more or less

had him as a . . . like, uh, running the best business, the

hamburger joints and the . . .

WALLACE: Un-huh. Where were the two buildings located? Were

they on Washington?

GRAHAM: Well, they're still on Washington. They're on . . .

in the same area which was the . . . used to be known as Mike



GRAHAM: Which was the basic store, and, uh, they made a pool

room out of one side.

WALLACE: Was that Knott's Pool . . .

GRAHAM: Knott's Pool Room, Knott's Pool Room. Of course,

see, Jeff and . . . and Knott worked for George Taylor. All of

these were George Taylor enterprises.


GRAHAM: All of these, the three things. He had the three

businesses right there together, three . . . three businesses.

All of them was owned and operated . . . well, they were operated

by Jeff and Bob Knott.

WALLACE: Do you remember an individual referred to as "Black

Cat" [Thomas Graham]?

GRAHAM: "Black Cat" was my father.

WALLACE: Ahh, wow. [Laughing] I don't know anything about

him other than . . .

GRAHAM: "Black Cat" is my father.

WALLACE: . . . he was supposed to be a man who . . .

GRAHAM: If . . . if . . . his main thing was that if they'd

taken black baseball players during that time, he would have been

one of them. I mean, he'd had gone to major leagues, he was that

good a pitcher.

WALLACE: Ahh, okay.

GRAHAM: That . . .

WALLACE: He played for, like, Mayo-Underwood or . . .

GRAHAM: No, he didn't play for Mayo-Underwood. He . . . he

played for these what they call industrial ball leagues, oh,

black, whatever they call them, the Negro leagues.

WALLACE: Leagues.

GRAHAM: And they . . . you know, they . . . well, that was

one of the hustlings that they had then. They'd go to the best

towns, Springfield, Bardstown and Lebanon and Versailles and

Lexington and play ball on Sundays usually, and they had the old

[inaudible] lot out there is what they . . . that's what they

called their home field where they used to have circuses.

WALLACE: Un-huh.

GRAHAM: Out there on Holmes Street. That was called

[inaudible] Lot where they'd have their circus, and that's where

they had a ball . . .

WALLACE: Where . . . where on Holmes is that, now?

GRAHAM: It was . . . you know where, uh, okay. You know

where the surplus property is?


GRAHAM: Right across the street going toward the Hill.


GRAHAM: That lot back there, that was called [inaudible] Lot.

That was the ball . . . they had a regular stadium built out


WALLACE: What team did your dad play for?

GRAHAM: Well, it was . . .

WALLACE: A bunch of teams?

GRAHAM: They just . . . they just called them . . . they

called them the Merchants.

WALLACE: The Merchants.

GRAHAM: It was the Merchants, umhumm, the Frankfort

Merchants. Of course, like I say, they'd . . . you know, they'd

. . . that was a big time deal then. These people would turn out

like . . .

WALLACE: Black and white?

GRAHAM: Right, black and white was following them, you know.

They'd play these guys . . . like old man John Fallis and, like,

he'd go . . . he liked to bet on them, you know.

WALLACE: Un-huh.

GRAHAM: They'd bet that money, and, of course, they'd

bootleg good, too, out at the ball games and places. [Laughter]

WALLACE: When was he playing? When was your dad playing,

about what time?

GRAHAM: Well, he played, uh, . . .

WALLACE: Would it have been . . .

GRAHAM: . . . all the way through . . . even . . . even

played up in the forties [1940s], up into the forties [1940s].

WALLACE: When . . . do you know when he started playing, 1900?

GRAHAM: I don't know. See, he got out of service. He went

to the . . . he was in World War I, see. And, uh, I . . . I

guess after he got out of service that's when they started

playing ball.

WALLACE: But he didn't . . . like I say, he didn't make his

living playing ball.

GRAHAM: No. Well, he . . .

WALLACE: He couldn't.

GRAHAM: Well, there wasn't no really . . . of course, like I

say, they made . . . it was . . . they got paid, you know, after

. . . they got paid. Everybody . . . like sometimes what would

happen, they'd say winner take all.


GRAHAM: The winner, they'd take the gate, you know, because

the guy that was renting. They'd . . . you know, they'd charge

so much on the game.

WALLACE: On the game, right.

GRAHAM: Like fifty cents or twenty-five cents or something

like that. But they . . . they're all sold . . . they'd bet some

on it themselves, you know, who was going to win. But, like I

say, that would be a lot of money. And when they won, we'd

always have more to eat. [Laughter - Wallace] I know that, you

know. [Laughing] I can remember that. There was a lot more


WALLACE: Yeah. Well, they . . . they say your dad was sort of

the black John Fallis of . . .


WALLACE: . . . of Bottom.

GRAHAM: Yes. Well, that's what it was. They respected him.

At least one thing, you know, like I say, he was a law and order

man, you know, as far as if somebody got in trouble or whatever

it is, he could kind of straighten them out, and that's what . .

. I guess he's sort of like the mediator for trouble.

WALLACE: Ahh, I see.

GRAHAM: That was the one thing he could do, you know.

WALLACE: So, if you got in a fix, you could come to your dad .

. .

GRAHAM: Yeah, yeah.

WALLACE: And he might square it with the right people.

GRAHAM: And he'd square it with the police or the judge or

something. They respected him that way; that, you know, if he

told them something, it was right. And, like I say, he was a

peacemaker or supposed to have been, I guess.


GRAHAM: More like a peacemaker.

WALLACE: When you think of some of the places down there, the

joints, the Blue Moon, the Tiptoe . . .


WALLACE: . . . or the Peachtree.


WALLACE: Are those places that blacks went to or . . .

GRAHAM: No, the blacks didn't go in them, you know. They

didn't go in them, but, uh, like Alex Gordon, Peachtree Inn.

But, uh, uh, you know, it's like I say. The crowds, they . . .

each one respected their own territory.

WALLACE: Territory.

GRAHAM: Now, you have some whites that could come in to all

of the black joints and be welcome in that joint.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: But, uh, most of the blacks wouldn't go into these

other joints.

WALLACE: Where were the black joints? Where would you go as a


GRAHAM: Well, you had . . . I could name . . . I was just

thinking. Now, that's . . . these are all black joints in that

area. All of these were in that . . .

WALLACE: Where was "Shineboy" [Alfred Pollard's restaurant]?

GRAHAM: "Shineboy's" was on the corner across from the

school. "Shineboy's" was where the school kids in the day, you

know, they had . . . he sold hot dogs and chili and bean soup and

it was like the Tiger Inn. They had about the same stuff.

WALLACE: So, that was not a drinking place. It was an eating


GRAHAM: No. It was eating. But in the night, no, they would

drink. I mean . . .


GRAHAM: . . . they drank beer. He sold beer after school,

after school hours.

WALLACE: Oh, I see, okay.

GRAHAM: See, they'd sell it. And he had a little dancing

place in the back.

WALLACE: Who . . . who was "Shineboy"?

GRAHAM: "Shineboy" was one regular guy. He was . . . he was

a cat. He came out of Harlan.

WALLACE: Harlan?

GRAHAM: He came out of Harlan, yeah.

WALLACE: Eastern Kentucky.

GRAHAM: Eastern Kentucky.

WALLACE: What was his name?

GRAHAM: You know what, I can't . . . I can't think of what

his real name was because he's dead now. And he just died, I'm

talking about last five or six years.


GRAHAM: But, I mean, it was . . . he drove a cab in

Cincinnati even in later years after he left there. Uh, he was a

World War I veteran.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: He was, uh . . . I run into him at the hospital in

Dayton, Ohio at the VA Hospital one time. I'd run into him . . .

after he left here, he'd . . . he'd been gone out of Frankfort

for I couldn't tell you, maybe 35 years or maybe, you know, but

the renewal got him, too, you know.


GRAHAM: And there was a . . . he had three barber shops,

three black barber shops . . .

WALLACE: "Shineboy" did?


WALLACE: I'm . . .

GRAHAM: He had . . . he wound up one time he did have two

restaurants at the same time. He had the . . . he had the

restaurant up under the American Legion which is, uh . . . was,

uh . . .

WALLACE: What was the name of that place?

GRAHAM: That was Silver Slipper. They call that the Silver


WALLACE: Silver Slipper, okay. Would this have been in the

fifties [1950s] or . . .

GRAHAM: This would have been in the fifties [1950s], yeah.

It would have been the fifties [1950s], early fifties [1950s],

the early fifties [1950s].

WALLACE: Who were the three barbers, the black barbers?

GRAHAM: Barbers. You had Bob Martin. You had John Davis,

and, then, of course, you had Mr. Fred Allen. And, uh, the . . .

Wesley Martin's father, and there was a . . . like the other

fellow, you know, I can't . . . we called him "Corn Puddin'".

His name was Charles Chiles. [Laughter - Wallace] Charles

Chiles was his real name.

WALLACE: Little . . . Little Rose or Little . . . Little . .

. what's that one there, the Little . . . Little . . .

GRAHAM: Let's see. Little Restaurant, they call it. That

was the . . . George Taylor's too.


GRAHAM: George Taylor's ran that. "Newt" Berry ran the

Little Restaurant.


GRAHAM: That's what they called it.

WALLACE: Where was Ike's?

GRAHAM: Grill. Ike's was . . . was, uh, the other side of

the Grill. The Grill . . . there was two restaurants. See, two

restaurants in one. Swains owned . . . the same Swains I was

talking about, they were the ones that built . . . they built it.

He was a brick mason.

WALLACE: Ahh, okay.

GRAHAM: He built these two buildings.

WALLACE: The Grill.

GRAHAM: He built the Grill and what we wound up which was

Will Wren's first.


GRAHAM: Now, when they tore the . . . the protection between

the two buildings and they just made it a grill.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And, uh, because that was still Swain's, and they had

apartments over the top of the building and . . . on both of

them. They had apartments on top of both of these buildings, but

they were right side by side.

WALLACE: Did . . .

GRAHAM: And the next was the American Legion. And, then, of

course, 99 was on the other side of the street. The White Spot

was . . . belonged to Buckner, too.


GRAHAM: And it was on Clinton Street. It was on Clinton.

There was a church on the corner, Bethel Church. Next to that

was the Gaines. Next to that was Henrietta Gill. Next to the

Suds . . . that was . . . and, then, there was the Suds-n-teria,

and, then, next to that was the White Spot. [Laughing]

WALLACE: Was the White Spot sort of a . . .

GRAHAM: It was a little . . . it wasn't . . . it was a little

. . . well, it was a . . . it was a restaurant and beer joint.

And, uh, of course, he had a little dance space in the back of

it. And it ran all the way back to the [inaudible]. And all of

the buildings behind that next to that is where "Tubba" Marshall


WALLACE: He was supposed to be a famous . . . pretty famous

athlete, wasn't he, "Tubby" Marshall?

GRAHAM: Yeah, yeah. Well, "Tubba" . . . old man "Tubba" was

a heck of a . . . and he was a heck of an official. Daddy . . .

the daddy was a, uh . . . you know, he . . . he, uh . . . oh, the

college football games. He was a porter. He was a cook on the

railroad, on the L&N.

WALLACE: Un-huh.

GRAHAM: And . . . but on the weekends, he always could

arrange on these Saturdays to . . .

WALLACE: Officiate.

GRAHAM: . . . referee, officiate ball games, yeah.


GRAHAM: And he ran for City Commissioner. He was the first

black to run for City Commissioner.

WALLACE: When did he do that? Do you remember?

GRAHAM: It was, uh, that was right after . . . it was in the

sixties when he did that.

WALLACE: "Tubby" Marshall.

GRAHAM: "Tubba" . . . "Tubba" Marshall. Ellsworth Marshall,


WALLACE: Oh. So, I talked to his son.

GRAHAM: You talked to his son.

WALLACE: His son.


WALLACE: Oh, okay.

GRAHAM: There's three. Ellsworth Marshall, Ellsworth

Marshall, Jr., and Ellsworth Marshall, III.

WALLACE: Oh, man. This is great. I'm learning some great



WALLACE: The beer garden was on Clinton.

GRAHAM: The beer garden was . . . what I was telling you

about the beer garden was down . . .

WALLACE: Down the street from Sullivan's.

GRAHAM: . . . down this street. It was from Sullivan's, you

got on across the alley was those five houses and Fincel's Meat

Market. And, then, across the street from that was one house,

and, then, the beer garden.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Which that was . . . that was Haydon's. That's where

my father in long ago before . . . and it was early because my

father ran the beer joint, too, for Haydon.

WALLACE: Well, were most of these places in operation at the

time of urban renewal?

GRAHAM: They were all in operation. Every one of them was in

operation at the time . . .

WALLACE: Did any one of them survive?

GRAHAM: No, nothing but the American Legion went to, what you

call the American Legion. There was not a person that came out

of . . . one barber shop survived. John Davis got him some . . .

up on East Main.

WALLACE: Ahh, I seen his . . .

GRAHAM: Yeah. That's where the store is now. But that's

where he was because Dr. Holmes owned that building. The, uh,

uh, none of the rest of them.

WALLACE: None of them made it?

GRAHAM: None of them.

WALLACE: They just . . .

GRAHAM: The American Legion and the VFW were the only two

that made it, and that one barber shop after the urban renewal.

WALLACE: So, it was sort of decimated the black businesses.

GRAHAM: It did that. It did. It definitely did.

WALLACE: This was great. This is the first time I heard of

many of these places.


WALLACE: Thank . . . thank you very much for going to that


GRAHAM: Umhumm.

WALLACE: When you think of the leaders, the people who were

respected in the black community, the people that you turned to .

. .


WALLACE: . . . who . . . who comes to mind?

GRAHAM: Well, I always . . . I always . . . the . . . well,

Mr. Jackson Robb. But, see, Jack never wanted to take that type

of responsibility for the same point that in his business and the

dealings at the time. Jack made a tremendous amount of money as

an entertainer.

WALLACE: I heard he had a trio.

GRAHAM: Yeah, he had a trio and he had the . . . but he

played the solo piano and the organ in all the white places, you

know, where . . . sometimes there's one-man entertainer there.

The Capitol Hotel. He was just accepted there, you know.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: So, he, I guess, though that he didn't like to rock

the boat. So, uh, well, we were looking for John Buckner because

of property, you know, but at the same time, we . . .

circumstances were showing you that John Buckner was only out for

John Buckner.


GRAHAM: So, I . . . you know, I, as I say, now, I was a

rebel. I was a rebel. And Earl Tracy was the same way. He had,

uh, Earl had lots of . . . he came from the same mold. He was

from . . . from, uh, working with the Harrods.


GRAHAM: He worked with the Harrods, [inaudible] refrigeration

and he delivered ice cream and all of that. And he bought a lot

of property. He was able to save enough money. He was a pretty

good businessman as far as property, buying property. And, then

. . .

WALLACE: What about Will Castleman [William S. Castleman]?

That's a name I've . . .

GRAHAM: Okay. Will Castleman was like my father but he was

in a different mold and he, uh, he was . . . he was a strong-

armed man. But he ran . . . George Taylor first turned into

business as far as the black business dealing with all of the

blacks . . .


GRAHAM: So, he was the one that did it. He . . .

WALLACE: Will did that for him?

GRAHAM: Will did that for him, yeah, he did that.

WALLACE: I heard that Will would sort of fix it.


WALLACE: You get into a scrape . . .


WALLACE: . . . you go to Will and . . .

GRAHAM: And he . . .

WALLACE: . . . he could square it.

GRAHAM: He could kind of square it. He was . . . he'd go and

he'd call the judge and some of the other . . .

WALLACE: I've heard . . .

GRAHAM: L. Boone Hampton.

WALLACE: Who was that now?

GRAHAM: L. Boone Hampton.

WALLACE: L. Boone Hampton.

GRAHAM: His son is Johnny Hampton down there.

WALLACE: Mr. Hampton was a power.

GRAHAM: He was a power.

WALLACE: Did they work the polls?

GRAHAM: They worked the polls. They'd tell you who to vote

for. They'd bring you tickets . . . bring the ballots. See, at

that time, you had the ballots. So, you'd get the one . . .

they'd start on with that one ballot and they'd fix them up


WALLACE: Oh, they . . .

GRAHAM: They got $2.00 and a half pint of whiskey.

WALLACE: $2.00 and a half pint of whiskey . . .

GRAHAM: Two and a half pint of whiskey.

WALLACE: . . . for your vote?

GRAHAM: For your vote. And he, you know, they'd go to your

house, bring it to your house, and go to your house.

WALLACE: You mean they'd bring the ballot out and they'd give

you your money and your whiskey and you'd sign off and they'd

take it on.

GRAHAM: They take it . . . you'd just switch it around and

they'd bring . . . you'd go in and you'd bring that one out and

bring in another one, you know. You brought . . . you bought one

out and you went, too.

WALLACE: I've heard it said that Bottom was a politically

powerful . . .

GRAHAM: Yeah, yeah.

WALLACE: You had to go down in the Bottom if you wanted . . .

GRAHAM: You had to to win, you know, because you could . . .

like I say, the people, they voted, you know, they were almost

forced to vote, you know. Whether you were wanting to vote or

not, it . . . that wasn't . . . they knew that . . . they had the

wards. See, you had wards in there.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: So, you had to have that . . . well, you could win an

election without . . . without the ballots. You had guys . . .

people that didn't have even houses. They was living on the

street and living in boxes and things of this type, but they . .

. they could vote. [Laughter] They'd go out in these little . .

. and go in and get that ticket.

WALLACE: One of Ms. Gill's theories is that the reason urban .

. . one of the reasons urban renewal came down there was to break

up that black vote.

GRAHAM: Sure, it was. That . . . that . . . that was . . .

it was very good possibility that what you're saying that in that

one area that you was talking about, it would be anywhere from,

uh, seven or eight hundred votes. And, you know, a councilman

could win with 1,300.


GRAHAM: Just 1,300. At that time, you could win 1,300 or

1,400 votes.

WALLACE: I imagine you all saw people like Frank . . .


WALLACE: . . . Sower coming down there and, uh . . . well,

Paul Judd.

GRAHAM: Yeah. Paul Judd was a . . . Judge Paul was a type of

. . . an aristocratic type dude. He . . . he would send somebody


WALLACE: To come down.

GRAHAM: Yeah. He would . . . [sound of phone ringing] you

know, he basically wouldn't come down.


GRAHAM: Because, see, what would happen, another thing . . .

well, I was going to say that you had guys like Pallie Thomas

[Powell Thomas] and, uh, which was some kin to Henrietta.


GRAHAM: And you had, uh, uh, there was another guy that was a

Thomas that, uh, that's, uh, his wife lives, still lives over

here on South Frankfort. He was the trash man. He had a trash

business. He picked up all of the . . .

WALLACE: Garbage.

GRAHAM: . . . garbage and trash out of all of the business

places. And, uh, what would happen during election time, they'd

have a big rally in his yard. He had a back yard that ran out

into St. John's. Of course, they'd bring the beer and the

whiskey, you know, and a few of the politicians would come and

they'd, you know, they'd speak to you on . . .

WALLACE: Court you.

GRAHAM: Court you, court you . . .

WALLACE: At least for one or two days.

GRAHAM: Yeah, that one day [laughter], give you some hot dogs

and, uh, a bottle, you know, to . . . they'd have a couple of

fifths of whiskey there. And that . . . that . . . that was just

a going thing on an election day. You'd know that that was going

. . . that that was going to happen, you know. But, uh, that was

the kind of politics that they did.

WALLACE: When you think back on everything that's happened,

the Capital Plaza project and all of that, was it a good or bad

thing that Bottom is gone?

GRAHAM: Well, it . . . it's, uh, you can't have it both ways.

I know that. You can't have it both ways. [Laughing] Actually,

the . . . I feel that in some ways probably that it could cause .

. . . it was . . . the adversity was an incentive to do better.

WALLACE: It actually spurred some people.

GRAHAM: Spurred some. It spurred some people to try to beat

that . . . what was happening. And, uh, I feel like that's one

of the things that happened to me. I believe, you know, that

that was one of the . . . one of the blessings of it. But the

way in which it was done was definitely wrong. It was definitely

wrong. It was just . . . it was a master plan to disband the

majority of the blacks in that community.

WALLACE: That's funny. What you just said is almost the same

thing that James "Pappa Jazz" Berry said. He said, I came out of

it economically . . .

GRAHAM: Economically . . .

WALLACE: . . . better.


WALLACE: And I doubt that I would go back . . .


WALLACE: . . . if such a place existed again.


WALLACE: But he missed the . . . there's something about it

that he missed.

GRAHAM: Right.

WALLACE: And that's . . .

GRAHAM: Well, that's basically what I think. And I actually

believe that. And as you say, you know, that . . . it was a . .

. it was cruel mirage. They came in and painted such a beautiful

picture, you know . . .


GRAHAM: . . . of how things are going to be so much better.

But there was people that suffered 15, 20 years.

WALLACE: As a result . . .

GRAHAM: As a result of it. Actually, it was . . . it . . .

it, you know, broke up families. It, uh, it, you know, people

were taking sides. The black leadership was totally disrupted.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: You know, because . . . that's just like I . . . you

take what we wound up with in the American Legion over there.

You had a building that was made . . . that was put together by

blacks. I mean, that was built by . . . that was a three-story

building. And you wind up with a little hut . . .


GRAHAM: . . . compared to what you had. They owned that

building. They built it. That building was built by a black


WALLACE: Black craftsmen.

GRAHAM: Black craftsmen and black organization. They

actually got . . . that was the Odd Fellows, and, uh, . . .

WALLACE: Was it at the corner of Clinton and . . .

GRAHAM: At the corner. At Clinton . . .

WALLACE: Clinton and Washington.

GRAHAM: . . . and Washington. The white three-story brick .

. . creek stone.


GRAHAM: A . . .

WALLACE: A beautiful building.

GRAHAM: A beautiful building, a beautiful building, three

beauti- . . . three stories high. It was . . . it had two

businesses in the bottom.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And, then, it had a, uh, the American Legion was run

up in it, and, then, they had living quarters on one side. And,

then, they had a dance floor and the lodge. The Masonic Lodge

met up there for years and years on the third floor. They were

also there, you know. I mean, it was a nice huge-size building.

And when they . . . when you found out what they did to that,

just like I say, they condemned the building.

WALLACE: Ahh, okay.

GRAHAM: Because they couldn't get you at one way. They

couldn't say the building was dilapidated because everything was

up to snuff.

WALLACE: Yeah. What did the base the condemnation on?

GRAHAM: What did they base it on?


GRAHAM: That's exactly right. But it would . . . they was

not going to let it just stand there by itself. We argued . . .

they argued with them. We argued several times. I mean, they

said they was going to reconstruct the American Legion. No, no,

that building can't stay there, you know.

WALLACE: That was the one . . . I won't say it's a lie, but at

one point one of the leaders of the urban renewal said if the

house is in good condition on a good lot . . .

GRAHAM: Good lot, it could stay.

WALLACE: . . . it could stay.

GRAHAM: Yes, exactly right.

WALLACE: And none . . . not a single . . .

GRAHAM: Not a single . . .

WALLACE: . . . one stayed.

GRAHAM: . . . building, not a building down there stayed.

You got . . . you sat down there and they . . . of course, they

couldn't say that that church was out of . . .

WALLACE: Corinthian was a beautiful . . .

GRAHAM: Corinthian was a beautiful church, well kept.


GRAHAM: Maintained inside and out.


GRAHAM: And it didn't stay.

WALLACE: Fortunately they did get to build at a new location .

. .


WALLACE: Though they lost the pipe organ.

GRAHAM: They lost the pipe organ. They lost . . . they lost

. . they went to a tremendous amount of debt.


GRAHAM: See, you . . . you gave up a fixed building with all

of that space and all of the things they had. They had a . . .

they had a . . . in the back of that . . . as a kid, see, I went

to Sunday School there. That . . . all of the fellowship hall

that they had in the back of that, it was beautiful.

WALLACE: Describe it to me.

GRAHAM: The . . . the . . . behind the back of the building,

they built a . . . which ran into the back of that building right

into my back yard which I could look down through the back yard

the way . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . the way it was situated. And they built . . .

they got together there and build this what they called the

fellowship hall which it was . . . they had Sunday School classes

on the top floor.

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: And, then, they had another big . . . what they

called school . . . Sunday School rooms where that they could

have banquet they had food. They had a kitchen, a full-fledged



GRAHAM: And it was really . . . it was a heck of a thing.

WALLACE: Sounds almost like a community center . . .

GRAHAM: And it had offices . . . right . . . it was like . .

. and that's what they used it for. We used it as a community

center. That was the . . . it was the original . . . it was one

of the originals of community centers.


GRAHAM: And, then, they . . . when they took that, you know,

there was no comparison to what they have over there.

WALLACE: Right, right, on Murray and Second.

GRAHAM: Right. There's no comparison over there.

WALLACE: Well, I've sort of taken up a lot of your time.

GRAHAM: It's been fun.

WALLACE: But you . . . you have given me more in the last hour

and a half than almost anybody I've talked to.


WALLACE: I always leave . . . I've talked to about a half a

dozen to ten people now, and I always leave wondering if I asked

the right questions.

GRAHAM: Umhumm.

WALLACE: Was there any question you expected me to ask that I

didn't or something that you wanted to say when I . . . when I

first called you that you haven't got a chance to say?

GRAHAM: No. I was just trying . . . I got to going over a few

things in my mind that I didn't, you know . . . I had no idea

what you . . . what you . . . you know, what questions . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . you were going to ask.

WALLACE: I thought about writing them out and sending them,

but I got to thinking that maybe there would be other things

you'd want to talk about and if I gave you a list of questions,

you'd . . .


WALLACE: . . . feel like, well, I shouldn't talk about these.

GRAHAM: I . . . I . . . I've opened, you know, the

adversities. I can . . . I can handle a little, as I say, it's a

strange thing. I talk about it a lot now. In some ways, we had

better relationships during those times than I think we'll ever


WALLACE: You mean white/black?

GRAHAM: White and black, that's right.

WALLACE: Because you both suffered adversities?

GRAHAM: We were both suffering adversities. And . . . but,

in some ways, it's like this guy that I know down there, and in a

way I like to tell the story about one particular guy. We used

to fight every day, but we wouldn't let nobody else fight.

[Laughing - Wallace] You see. I mean, we fight over bottles or

fight over something, but nobody . . . no other white guy better

not jump in here or no black guy jump in here because, you know,

that was one little thing. This guy got killed. His name was

Buncomb Killion, Buncomb Killion. And he was Bottom rat. He was

totally a Bottom rat. He, uh, was the nephew of one of . . . the

guy that used to be the fire chief over in the Frankfort fire


WALLACE: Ahh, yeah. I'm going to talk to one of the firemen.

GRAHAM: Umhumm.

WALLACE: A guy came up to me at the Senior Citizens Center and

said he wanted to talk to me. He worked with Bixie [Benjamin]

Fallis. I cannot think of his name.

GRAHAM: Well, I was sorry . . . you know, now, like I said.

I had a lot of . . . you'll probably hear about a guy name of

Artis Quire. We . . . or some of the Brookses, R. T. Brooks.

WALLACE: I talked to R.T.

GRAHAM: R. T. Brooks, see, Opal Brooks. Uh, his name was

True. She married a guy named True. But, I mean, all during

those early years, oh, we played ball right behind their house on

the sandbar, we called it.


GRAHAM: And we had . . . we even . . . when the city was . .

. they were courting us to the point where they was putting

lights up down there where we could play at night. And that was

to keep us from trying to play over in the . . . over on . . . on

Second Street.

WALLACE: Street, yeah.

GRAHAM: And that was all that was . . .

WALLACE: So, they put lights up at the sandbar?

GRAHAM: Put . . . yeah, put lights on the sandbar. They did.

And finally that was, uh, the City Commissioner . . .

WALLACE: Back in the forties [1940s] or something?

GRAHAM: Back in the forties [1940s]. They put that . . . put

the . . . put the, uh, this was in '46 [1946] and . . .

WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: Yeah, '46 [1946] we got out of service. They put . .

. they put the lights up over there. [Laughing]

WALLACE: Isaac Fields told me a story, said as a kid when the

water came up, they used to have a dump down by the river.

GRAHAM: That's right, exactly.

WALLACE: They'd get big sticks and they'd wait for the rats to

come out.

GRAHAM: We'd go there and kill them rats. And they'd run out

of there like . . . see, right next to the ball field was the



GRAHAM: And, then, a little light . . . they had a little

light out there, you know. And them rats, you could . . . I

mean, I'm talking about big rats.

WALLACE: Cat-size . . . [Laughing]

GRAHAM: Cat-size rats. I mean, you'd have to war good,

you'd have to go to war good. [Laughing - Wallace] In fact,

they had to take baseball bats and finally had to kill them rats

off. But that was . . . that was . . . when they . . . they'd

start up . . . just as soon as the water would start up, that's

when . . . that was . . . that was . . . now, that was a form of

recreation for us. [Laughter - Wallace] To go down and kill

rats. . . yeah. [Laughing] And, see, a lot of times, these big

rocks and them rats would get up on the wood that would be

floating around in that area. And, of course, you'd try to knock

them off in there. [Laughter - Wallace] We did all of that, all

that sort of stuff.

WALLACE: Well, thanks so much.


WALLACE: I tell you what I'm going to do. When I get done

with this thing, I'm going to try to write up a paper on it . .


GRAHAM: Umhumm.

WALLACE: . . . and I'm going to turn these tapes . . .

GRAHAM: Tapes.

WALLACE: . . . over to . . . you know where the Library and

Archives building is?

GRAHAM: Sure, I know where that is.

WALLACE: They have the research room back in there. And they

have a collection of oral history tapes.

GRAHAM: Umhumm.

WALLACE: And I'm going to turn the tapes over to that so

they'll be kept for . . .


WALLACE: So many times a guy does a project and he keeps it at

his home and nobody ever gets to use it.

GRAHAM: See it, yeah.

WALLACE: So, I'm going to turn it over to the Oral History

Commission and let them keep the tapes, and I'll send you . . .

I've finished a first draft on my urban renewal paper. I'll send

you that . . .


WALLACE: . . . so you can see and if you see anything wrong in

there. I tried to make two points in there; the mirage point

that you . . .

GRAHAM: Right, yeah.

WALLACE: . . . made and the fact that, uh, Bottom wasn't just

an area of slums or poor people.


WALLACE: There was all kinds of people and good houses.

GRAHAM: Very good houses.

WALLACE: So, . . .

GRAHAM: Very good houses.

WALLACE: . . . when you look at . . . take a look at this and

you tell me if you think I did justice.

GRAHAM: Umhumm.

WALLACE: But, thanks. I mean, I've taken more of you time

than anybody else, but you had more stories than anybody else.

GRAHAM: Well, I'm glad [laughing] I could help you out.

WALLACE: You've been a great help, a great help.

GRAHAM: Well, hopefully, then, maybe I can come up with some

more pictures in detail where that these streets actually you'll

notice here's what some of them they put up. Now, you see these

big . . . they had concrete things. They had the names on them.


GRAHAM: They put them in . . .

WALLACE: Posts there.

GRAHAM: They put those in and I guarantee you it would be

in 194- . . . that was probably in 1945, '46 [1946] when this . .


WALLACE: Umhumm.

GRAHAM: . . . when we got back. They were new then. Now,

that . . . that . . . and on every street, they had . . .

WALLACE: A post.

GRAHAM: And I've got pictures, you know what I'm saying.

Some of them we probably . . . we come over it that will have the

street . . . you know, the street on those particular names, even

right down in the Bottom there. They had Washington Street . . .

WALLACE: That would be great because I could . . .

GRAHAM: . . . and Mero.

WALLACE: . . . identify buildings and things.

GRAHAM: Yeah, see. And, then, . . .

WALLACE: If I get it set up at my end with the photographer,

we'll probably have a couple of days where you can bring your

photos by and get them copied and take the originals home.

GRAHAM: Yeah. Well, I might do that if I . . . as I say, we

could probably . . . I don't know why I didn't think about it.

I've got a big album up there, but some of the things we were

able to save that, uh, even where I lived and in front of my

house, inside the house, you know, to see what kind of conditions

. . .

WALLACE: Oh, that would be wonderful. Well, we'll get back .

. . I'll get back to you later in the summer on that. But thanks

again. I appreciate it.

[End of Interview]

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