John Grady Hodges

Citation
John Grady Hodges

Material Information

Title:
John Grady Hodges Apalachicola anecdotist (1911-1998)
Creator:
Buck, Morison
Place of Publication:
[Tampa, Fla
Publisher:
Morison Buck
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (4 p.) : ill. ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Judges -- Biography -- Florida -- Hillsborough County ( lcsh )

Notes

Original Version:
Originally published as part of the "Chips off the Old Bench" column: [Tampa, Fla.] : Hillsborough County, November 1999, Lawyer under title:
General Note:
Title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
B28-00004 ( USFLDC DOI )
b28.4 ( USFLDC Handle )
NEW

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Book

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PAGE 1

Joh n G r ad y H od ge s A p al ac h i c ol a A n e c d ot i s t ( 1911 1998) I m m or t a l t hi nke r A r i s t ot l e 's c om m e nt a bout a pl a y a ppl i e s t o m or t a l m a n's l i f e a s w e l l A pl a y, he s a i d, ha s a be gi nni ng a m i ddl e a nd a n e nd. J ohn H odge s ha d hi s be gi nni ng on A ugus t 29 191 1. H i s bi r t h c e r t i f i c a t e on f i l e i n A t l a nt a G e or gi a doc um e nt s t ha t he w a s bor n a l i v e A l i ve he w a s a nd l i ve he di d w i t h gus t o, f or t he e ns ui ng e i ght y s i x pl us ye a r s H ow i s i t t ha t a 4t h ge ne r a t i on F l or i di a n, w hos e a nc e s t or s s e t t l e d i n A pa l a c hi c ol a or e nvi r on s w a s bor n s uc h a di s t a nc e a w a y? W e l l t he r e w a s no hos pi t a l i n F r a nkl i n C ount y. M or e ove r i t i s be l i e ve d t he ne w ba by's f a t he r J os e ph H a r pe r H odge s w a nt e d hi s f i r s t bor n t o t a ke hi s f i r s t b r e a t h i n A t l a nt a T he s e ni or H odge s w a s 33 a t t he t i m e but J ohn w ho a l s o s i r e d t hr e e c hi l dr e n out di d ol d da d by not m a r r yi ng un t i l a ge 40 F or t hos e not a c qua i nt e d w i t h t he a r e a h i s t or i a ns t e l l us t ha t t he por t of A pa l a c hi c ol a w a s n't e s t a bl i s he d unt i l 1822 w he n P r e s i de nt M onr oe a ppoi nt e d a por t c ol l e c t or B e f or e t h e n, t he I ndi a ns ha d oc c upi e d t he t e r r i t o r y f or 10 000 ye a r s I t s s t r a t e gi c l oc a t i on m a de i t t he s i t us of a na va l bl oc ka de by U ni on f or c e s dur i n g t he C i vi l W a r D u r i ng W or l d W a r I I a m a j or A r m y A i r C or ps a i r f i e l d w a s e s t a bl i s he d. N e a r by w a s C a m p G or don J oh ns t on, one of a bout 200 t e m por a r y m i l i t a r y i ns t a l l a t i ons i n t he S uns hi ne S t a t e D r J ohn G o r r i e a phys i c i a n, i s c r e di t e d w i t h de ve l opi ng t he f i r s t i c e m a ki ng m a c hi ne w hi l e l i vi ng i n A pa l a c hi c ol a T he f o r m e r H yde P a r k G r a m m a r S c hool i n T a m pa w a s gi ve n hi s na m e i n 1915, a nd ha s s i nc e be e n c a l l e d G o r r i e E l e m e nt a r y T oda y A pa l a c hi c ol a i s be s t know n f or i t s s e a f ood r e s t a ur a nt s I t s popu l a t i on i n 1997 w a s 2700 pe opl e a nd t he t ow n boa s t e d 22 e a t i ng pl a c e s O ys t e r ha r ve s t i ng w a s f or m e r l y a m a j or i ndus t r y, but gr ow t h, ha bi t a t i nc ur s i ons a nd de ve l opm e nt a ppe a r t o ha ve de c i m a t e d i t H odge s ha d a r e m a r ka bl e l i f e T he m a n di d s o m a n y t hi ngs w e l l : ne w s pa pe r r e po r t e r l a w ye r s oc i a l l i on j udge m e di a t or t e a c he r out do or s m a n, s c out l e a de r hus ba nd a nd f a t he r T he r e w a s l i t t l e t ha t J ohn H odge s l e f t undo ne i n t he c ou r s e of hi s l o ng l i f e H i s l onge vi t y s ur e l y w a s ge ne t i c a l l y l i nke d t o hi s m o t h e r A l i c e S t C l a i r H odge s S he l i ve d t o be 101 ye a r s o f a ge H odge s a t t e nde d E m or y U ni ve r s i t y, but di d not r e c e i ve a n unde r gr dua t e de g r e e ( none w a s r e qui r e d a t t ha t t i m e ) H e w a s a young m a n i n a hur r y s o he a ppl i e d f or a dm i s s i on t o G e or ge t ow n U ni ve r s i t y L a w S c hool a nd w a s a c c e pt e d. W hi l e i n s c hool he w or ke d ni gh t s a s a c ub r e por t e r f or t he W as hi ngt on T i m e s H e w a s a w a r de d hi s L L B d e g r e e i n 1939 T he w a r c l ouds w e r e a l r e a dy f u l l y f o r m e d ove r E u r ope s o he de c i de d i t w a s a pr opi t i ous t i m e t o s e e k a c onne c t i on w i t h t he U ni t e d S t a t e s N a vy. L e s s t ha n t w o w e e ks H i l l s b o r o u g h C i r c u i t J u d g e s a t a f i s h i n g h o l e s o m e h w e r e B e t w e e n 1 9 6 0 a n d 1 9 6 5 L e f t t o r i g h t : H i d g e s M c M u l l e n S a n d l e r M o o d y S p o t o a n d M a x w e l l

PAGE 2

pr i or t o hi s 30t h bi r t hda y he w a s c om m i s s i one d a n E ns i gn i n t he N a va l R e s e r ve H i s a ppl i c a t i on w a s s uppor t e d by l e t t e r s f r om i nf l ue nt i a l pe opl e i n hi s ho m e t ow n l i ke H L O l i ve r P r e s i de nt of t he A pa l a c hi c ol a S t a t e B a nk. B e f or e be i ng c a l l e d t o a c t i ve dut y, H odge s c om m e nc e d t he pr a c t i c e of l a w i n T a l l a ha s s e e a s a n a s s oc i a t e i n t he f i r m of l a t e r G o ve r nor L e r oy C ol l i ns T ha t c onne c t i on w oul d pr ove va l ua bl e t o hi m a f t e r C ol l i ns w a s e l e c t e d G ove r nor i n 1954. I t s houl d be a dde d t ha t ha vi ng J ohn H odge s he a d up hi s c a m pa i gn i n H i l l s bor ough C ount y w a s a s t r oke of good f or t une f or C ol l i ns H e c a r r i e d t hi s c ount y w he r e he w a s not w e l l know n a nd not e xpe c t e d t o do w e l l Y e a r s be f or e gi vi ng a ny t hought t o pol i t i c a l c a m pa i gns J ohn's t i m e w a s gi ve n t o na va l dut y, s e r vi ng a s bot h a n i nt e l l i ge nc e of f i c e r a nd, l a t e r a s a gunne r y of f i c e r i n bot h t he A t l a nt i c a nd P a c i f i c t he a t e r s H e w a s di s c ha r ge d i n e a r l y 1946, i n t he r a nk o f L t C om m a nde r I nc l ude d i n hi s m e m o r a bi l i a i s a c e r t i f i c a t e c om m e ndi ng hi m f or hi s s e r vi c e i s s ue d by P r e s i de nt T r um a n on M a r c h 17, 1946. I n J ul y of t he l a t t e r ye a r he w a s a pp oi nt e d A s s t U S A t t or ne y i n T a m pa unde r t he l ongt i m e pr os e c ut or H e r be r t P hi l l i ps P hi l l i ps w h o w a s or i gi na l l y a ppoi nt e d by W oodr ow W i l s on, w a s l a t e r s w e pt out of of f i c e du r i ng a R e publ i c a n a dm i ni s t r a t i on a nd t he n r e a ppoi nt e d by F D R T he r e c a n be l i t t l e doubt t ha t t he ne w pr os e c ut or i n t ow n got c a ught up i n T a m pa 's s oc i a l w hi r l a ha nds om e w e l l t ur ne d out 35 ye a r ol d ba c he l or j us t hom e f r om t he B i g O ne H e r e 's w ha t S a r a K e l l e r H obbs ha d t o s a y i n O c t obe r 1946 i n he r s oc i e t y c ol um n i n t he T r i bune : A n at t r ac t i v e addi t i on t o our e l i g i bl e m e n about t o w n i s J ohn H odge s w ho hai l s f r om A pal ac hi c ol a and w ho i s an A s s t i n t he U S D i s t r i c t A t t or ne y s of f i c e H e w as a L t C dr i n t he N av y dur i ng t he w ar i s br une t t e and c har m i ng, and s houl d m ak e t he he ar t s of t he l oc al e l i gi bl e y oung l adi e s s k i p at l e as t t hr e e or f o ur be at s "R e d Sk e l t on ( or pe r haps F i bbe r M c G e e ) m i ght hav e s ai d, "O l d f our be at J ohn, he w as k now e d as i n t hos e day s H odge s qui c kl y be c a m e a m e m be r o f t he e l i t e M e r r ym a ke r s C l ub. F o r m e r j udge J ohn G e r m a ny, now i n pr i va t e pr a c t i c e s a ys hi s e a r l i e s t m e m or y of J ohn H odge s i s w he n he br ought t he a s s e m bl a ge of young r e ve l e r s t o ne a r h ys t e r i c a l l a ught e r w i t h hi s i m pe r s ona t i on of C l a ude P e ppe r J ohn a l s o a c c e pt e d a n i nvi t a t i on t o j o i n Y e M ys t i c K r e w e of G a s pa r i l l a I n 1949, he w a s a c a ndi da t e f or K i ng o f t ha t c i t a de l of T a m pa 's s oc i a l s upe r s t r uc t ur e L e a vi ng t he U S A t t or ne y's of f i c e i n 1947, he t e a m e d up w i t h J oe G i l l e n, a l s o a f or m e r f e de r a l p r os e c ut or t o f or m t he f i r m of G i l l e n & H odge s I t s he a dq ua r t e r s w a s i n t he P e t t e w a y B ui l di ng ( c or ne r o f T w i ggs & F l or i d a A ve s ) N e i l M c M ul l e n ( l a t e r a c ol l e a gue on c i r c ui t c our t ) p r a c t i c e d l a w a t t ha t l oc a t i on w i t h hi s f a t he r D on M c M ul l e n. I n t he e a r l y 1950's G i l l e n w or ke d a s U ni t e d S t a t e s D i s t r i c t J udge J oh n B a r ke r 's l a w c l e r k, t he n be c a m e C l e r k of t he S e c ond D i s t r i c t C o ur t i n L a ke l a nd, w he r e he s e r ve d w i t h di s t i nc t i on. M a ny l a w ye r s i n t r i a l p r a c t i c e r e m e m b e r G i l l e n's s on, G uy w ho w a s i n c ha r ge of our c i r c ui t c our t j ur y s ys t e m I n t he c our s e o f hi s l a w ye r i ng J ohn ha ndl e d a n um be r of hi gh p r of i l e c a s e s O ne r e c e i vi ng w i de s pr e a d publ i c a t t e nt i on w a s w he n H odge s w a s a s s o c i a t e d a s c ouns e l w i t h C J a y H a r de e S r r e pr e s e nt i ng J oe P r ove nz a no, w ho w a s on t r i a l f or m ur de r i n e a r l y 1949. J udge H a r r y N S a ndl e r pr e s i de d. A t t o r ne ys f or t he de f e ns e w e r e a n i nc ongr uous pa i r H a r de e w a s a l oud, t ough, a nd a ggr e s s i ve c r i m i na l de f e ns e l a w ye r H odge s w a s

PAGE 3

m or e r e s t r a i ne d a nd pol i s he d, but no l e s s e f f e c t i ve T he de f e ns e t e a m p r e va i l e d ove r a t r i o c ons i s t i ng of S t a t e A t t o r ne y J R e x F a r r i o r hi s a s s i s t a nt F r e d T S a us s y, a nd s pe c i a l pr os e c u t or G r a dy B ur t on, of W a uc hul a T he c a s e w e nt t o t he j u r y a t 6: 00 p m A t 6: 15, t he f or e m a n a nnounc e d t ha t t he j u r y ha d r e a c he d a ve r di c t C l e r k R a ym ond V e gue ga ve i t t o j udge S a ndl e r w ho g l a nc e d a t a nd ha nde d i t b a c k t o t he c l e r k w ho r e c i t e d t ha t M r P r ove nz a no ha d be e n f ound not gu i l t y. A f t e r L e r oy C ol l i ns be c a m e G ove r nor H odge s w a s r e w a r de d w i t h a ppoi nt m e nt a s a t t or ne y f or t he S t a t e B e ve r a ge D e pa r t m e nt I n 19 60, he w a s one o f t h r e e c hos e n ( pr i o r t o t he pr e s e nt J udi c i a l N om i na t i ng C om m i s s i on pr oc e s s ) a s c i r c ui t j udge s of t hi s c i r c ui t t he ot he r s be i ng N e i l C M c M ul l e n a nd O l i ve r M a xw e l l J udge H odge s s e r ve d unt i l h i s r e t i r e m e nt i n 1981, w i t hout e ve r f a c i ng oppos i t i on. J udge H odge s m a i nt a i ne d s e ve r a l s c r a pbooks w i t h r e c or ds of hi s m i l i t a r y s e r vi c e l e ga l c a r e e r vol un t e e r dut y w i t h B oy S c out s hi s s oc i a l a c t i vi t i e s a nd f i na l l y, hi s j udi c i a l r e c or d s pa nni ng m or e t ha n 20 ye a r s H i s w i f e M a r y R ut h, m a de t hos e pi e c e s of m e m or a bi l i a a va i l a bl e f o r us e a nd t he w r i t e r i s i nd e bt e d t o t ha t g r a c i ous l a dy f o r he r a s s i s t a nc e H e r e i s a s hor t s t a t e m e nt a bout a f e w of t he i m por t a nt de c i s i ons r e nde r e d by t he j udge dur i ng h i s t e nur e : ( a ) I n 1963, he i nva l i da t e d a C i t y o f T a m pa B l ue O r di na nc e t ha t b a nne d t he s a l e on S unda y of s om e 43 i t e m s m os t l y goods of f e r e d by di s c ount hous e s a nd c ha i n s t or e s I t s r ul i ng t ha t t he l a w w a s di s c r i m i na t o r y a nd un f a i r w a s a ppl a ude d e di t or i a l l y by t he T r i bune ( b) I n S e pt e m be r 1963 he de c i de d t ha t p r i va t e l e s s e e s of T a m pa P or t A ut hor i t y pr ope r t y w e r e not e xe m pt f r om c i t y a nd c ount y t a x e s ( c ) I n J a nua r y, 1966 he r ul e d t ha t 18 pr i va t e p r ope r t y ow ne r s c l os e t o T a m pa I nt e r na t i ona l A i r po r t r unw a y w e r e e nt i t l e d t o c om pe ns a t i on f or i nva s i on o f a i r s pa c e up t o a n a l t i t ude o f 250 f e e t a nd t he A i r por t A ut hor i t y w a s m a nda t e d t o f i l e e m i ne nt do m a i n pr oc e e di ngs w i t hi n 60 da ys A n a ppe a l w a s t a ke n t o t he S e c ond D i s t r i c t but he w a s a f f i r m e d. D ur i ng t he de ba t e on t he ne e d f or c ha nge i n t he s t a t e 's j udi c i a l s t r uc t ur e ( p r opos a l t o a m e nd A r t i c l e V of t he C ons t i t ut i on) H odge s a nd f e l l ow j udge J a m e s S M oody, publ i c l y oppos e d t he a m e ndm e nt but i t w a s ne ve r t he l e s s a dopt e d a nd t ook e f f e c t J a nua r y 1, 1973 L e s s t ha n a ve r a ge he i ght w e l l uphol s t e r e d, w i t h c our t l y c ha r m a nd e ndow e d w i t h r i c h hum or J ohn H odge s w a s a t e a s e i n a ny s i t ua t i on. H e m e t hi s f ut u r e br i de a t a br i dge ga m e i n T a m pa B ot h o f t he m w e r e e xc e pt i ona l l y good pl a ye r s H ow t he i r f i r s t c a r d s huf f l i ng e xpe r i e nc e c a m e out i s unknow n, but w e know t ha t J ohn c a pt ur e d t he l ove l y M a r y R ut h B e t t s a nd, a s t he s ong s a ys i t w a s t he s t a r t of s om e t hi ng bi g T he i s s ue of t ha t uni on, i n or de r of a ppe a r a nc e w e r e J ohn, J r B obb y, a nd J a ne B e f or e r e t i r i ng f r om t he c our t H odge s t a ught l a w a t H C C a nd be ga n a c t i ng a s a m e di a t or / a r bi t r a t or w i t h m a r ke d s uc c e s s f or ye a r s L a t e r he w a s a c t i ve a s a s e ni or j udge i n P i ne l l a s C ount y, a nd w a s s o popul a r t ha t a n o f f i c e w a s m a de a va i l a bl e f or h i m t he r e A l l hi s l i f e C oc o" ( hi s ni c kna m e ) w a s a n a vi d hu nt e r a nd f i s he r m a n ( s e e phot o a c c om pa nyi ng t h i s a r t i c l e ) H i s f r i e nd a nd f e l l ow s a i l or H ow a r d G a r r e t t s a ys t ha t J ohn w a s a n e xc e l l e nt m a r i ne r but un f or t una t e l y, w a s n ot a s good a t ke e pi ng f ue l on boa r d! H i s boa t M i s t r i a l ( or M i s s T r i a l ) r a n out of ga s a nd w a s s t r a nde d f or a t i m e i n t he G ul f

PAGE 4

s h or t of t he S t M a r ks buoy, t he i r de s t i na t i on. T he t e m por a r y r e dne s s i n hi s f a c e a t t ha t t i m e w a s not due t o s unbur n. A f t e r hi s de a t h, M r s H odge s r e c e i ve d a l ove l y l e t t e r f r om D i a na R os e nba um a n of f i c i a l w i t h M e di a t i on & D i ve r s i on, w ho w or ke d w i t h hi m f r e que nt l y. S he s a i d, i n pa r t H e r e pr e s e nt s t he be s t of hi s ge ne r a t i on a n A m e r i c a n G e nt l e m a n. T he r e w e r e qua l i t i e s i n hi m t ha t I 'm a f r a i d I w on't e ve r s e e a ga i n i n qui t e t he s a m e uni que s w e e t but not t o o s w e e t br a c i ng 'c oc kt a i l '" W he n R obe r t B e nc hl e y di e d i n 1945 hi s c ol l e a gue J a m e s T hur be r quot e d a m ut ua l f r i e nd a s s a yi ng: T he y'r e goi ng t o ha ve t o s t a y up l a t e i n he a ve n now a nd w ha t i s m or e t he y m us t be ha vi ng t he t i m e of t he i r i n f i ni t i e s l uc ky a nge l s J ohn H odge s w a s no a nge l but w e f e e l good r e m e m be r i ng hi m e nj oyi n g hi s good hum o r a dm i r i ng hi s w i s dom a nd a l l t ha t he a c c om pl i s he d. M or i s on B uc k A f t e r w or d: H um or t o a m a n i s l i ke a f e a t he r pi l l ow I t i s f i l l e d w i t h w ha t i s e a s y t o ge t but gi ve s gr e a t c om f or t I r i s h P r ov e r b


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APA

Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.

MLA

Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.

CHICAGO

Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.

WIKIPEDIA

Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.