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What were the circumstances of your childhood, generally?
Well, I had a very happy childhood. I really did. We were
comfortable, and we lived through the Depression, but somehow it
seemed to strengthen the family ties, rather than anything else. I
remember the Depression very well. I remember that we had to cut back
on all kinds of things that we had always had in our lives. But it
wasn't really that much of a hardship. And at the end of it, I went
to college. That was when the Depression was softening a little bit.
But it was still hard times in 1934.
How can I tell you I had a happy childhood? I enjoyed
everything. I enjoyed school. I loved school. I enjoyed recreation.
I enjoyed the little traveling we did. I was very happy.
I can't say it was impoverished, or - - for me, it was
privileged. For me. Now, by objective standards, I would guess you
would say it was just an average family. But it was a very privileged
The elementary school and high school you went to would of
course have been segregated schools?
Yes. It was absolutely segregated. There was only one school.
Hot Springs was a very small town, so there was only one school for
blacks and one school for whites, and you went all the way from
first grade right through 12th grade right in that same school.
Do you recall when you became acutely aware of this
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