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Wilma Hensel oral history interview
h [electronic resource] /
interviewed by Connie J. Brown
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (91 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (56 p.)
Sulphur Springs oral history project
Interview conducted March 14, 2002.
Oral history interview with Wilma Hensel, longtime resident of Sulphur Springs, Florida. Hensel's family moved to Sulphur Springs in 1924, when she was four years old. In this interview, Hensel describes the social life and customs of Sulphur Springs, including recreational activities, education, local businesses, her work history, and friends, and discusses her father's real estate business and some of the properties he handled in the neighborhood.
Sulphur Springs (Tampa, Fla.).
Sulphur Springs (Tampa, Fla.)
x Social life and customs.
Social life and customs.
Hillsborough County (Fla.)
Social life and customs.
Brown, Connie J.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
Sulphur Springs oral history project.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL AUDIO AND TRANSCRIPT
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 transcript
text Wilma Hensel: they went up to New Port Richey, different places, come back and theyd just love Sulphur Springs. Â So when they went back home, they told his parents, Lets go to Sulphur Springs. Â Go to Tampa, Sulphur Springs, next time, because we wasnt incorporated then. Â And so, they came down and bought property on the main street over here where the theatre is. Â Over there, we had that property.
Connie Brown: Now, thats not Nebraska [Avenue]?
WH: Thats Nebraska, uh-huh.
CB: It is Nebraskaokay.
WH: And also bought, uh, property here and built three houses just about right thereI have pictures of that. Â These two are built because there is a house that he had here; his son burned it down for the insurance on some pianos he had in it. Â It wasthey called it a duplex, but it wasnt like these duplexes now.
WH: So, anyway he put these two big houses up to rent. Â Three bedrooms, four bedrooms. Â Well, we had goodwe always had good tenants; we couldnt complain. Thats how come we stayed. Â We was gonna stay one winter but when we couldnt have a place to rent, we went up on Alaska Street and Pop bought almost the whole block right there.
CB: So where was that first house you moved into as a four-year-old?
WH: Well, it was right here in this duplex area with my grandparents at the time. Â Thenthey didnt have room for us, Grandma and Grandpa, you know, for four little kids. Â I mean, Jo was ten months old. Â But anyway, so then Pop says, Gee, I think Ill go out, and we were just going to stay one winter and now we stayed all this time.
WH: My mother didnt like it, bless her heart. Â She was kinda sick all the time; she had a goiter in her neck that didntthat hot weather was kind of bad on her. Â But it wasnt as hot in those days as we getting it now. Â In the summerwintertime we could go outside about ten oclock with a little jacket on; three or four hours later wed have it off cause it was so warm already.
CB: Oh, my goodness. Â So, when you moved out of here, where did you move to?
WH: We went up to Alaska Street when he bought some property, bought a house. Â It was dirty. Â My mother cleaned it and cried and cleaned. Â And then my dad builtthere was an orange grove next to it that we had, full of all kinds of fruit. Â And then there was a vacant lot and he built that house, and it still stands and it looks real nice. Â I went by the other day and it looks real nice. Â Somebody had bought it and painted itI think one of these people who buy ugly homes. Â But when we lived there we had two bedrooms and there was eight of us. Â But then across the back and across the front was this big porch, so my granddad from Michigan came down one year; he was a carpenter. Â He made a sleeping porch on the back porch and a bedroom on the front porch, which we called a sleeping porch at the time.
CB: Right. Â Right. Â Oh, fantastic.
WH: So that was (inaudible).
CB: So what was Sulphur Springs like when you moved here? Â I mean, was there places to go?
WH: Well, yeah, there was a lot of places and everything was so nice and shade treeseveryone used to talk about the streets, you know, especially nice when they had all these big oak trees and theyd come down. Â Everybody walked in those days. Â We about had the only car in Sulphur Springs, cause my dad was in real estate, and his little office was over here on the corner.
CB: Well, now, did he start out in real estate when he got here or before he got here?
WH: Well, he had been a little bit in Michigan. Â He had been in real estate a little bit and then when he got here he just decided, you know, hed go into the real estate business. We had a few little houses wed bought and were renting them. Â He said thats what kept us going sometimesjust like one room and a bath or something.
CB: So, the Springs was here, but was it likewas there anything built up around it? Â Did peopleI mean, was it a tourist attraction? Â What wastell me about the Springs.
WH: They called it a tourist attraction because, I guess, of the Sulphur Springs pool. Â They had that and there wasI have pictures of that; its different than it is now. Â People would go sit on the benches right there in the sandthey didnt have it fenced in or anythingand watch people swim. Â Had an alligator farm, people would go watch that. Â And then when we had a flood in 1933, I guess the alligators all went, probably down the river. Â But the flood got in this house at one time, about a foot deep, and it didnt get across the street to those houses. Â Theyre burned down, now. Â But it just got to the porch, but it got in all five of our houses. All of our tenants had to move, but they moved back in after the flood. Â We had to clean and clean. Â That was in thirty-three  when we hadthe dam broke; it was a wooden structure and I guess it was gonna go anyway.
CB: Right. Â So when did you moveoh, go ahead.
WH: I heard my dad speak about Sulphur Springs. Â We didnt have sidewalks, except we had boardwalks, and he said you almost had to walk sideways to get by people, it was so crowded. Â I guess a lot of people would come out here forwell, it was the only resort around here, I guess, like the Springs pool.
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes. Â Now, what were some of the landmarks in town, or buildings and such? Â What else was there that you can remember?
WH: Well, I can remember now this bank down here. Â My granddad was a stockholder in it. Â It still stands on the next block. Â And then there was the theatre, over where the theatre is nowmy granddad owned that property, and there was an open-air theatre.
CB: Oh, really?
WH: Nobody mentions that.
CB: Where in the world was it?
WH: Well, its right there where this concrete theatre is now. Â And I dont know, my dadGranddad didnt run the place; he rented it out, I guess. Â But it was silent movies, wooden benches you sit on. Â If you wanted to get a little higher up you could rent a cushion to sit on. Â Yeah. Â I can remember one personit was Mary Pickford, but I cant remember the man who playedthat actor with her. Â But it was all silent movies, and everything written on the screen.
CB: Was there a piano player like you see in the movies?
WH: No, you didnt seeI dont remember that. Â Course, my dad wouldnt let us go out in the theatre part. Â His office was right at the corner at the time, and we could go in his office and sit there and look through the window without catching cold, cause he didnthe always took good care of us. Â He should have been a doctor, but he wasnt, or a dentist. Â But anyway, no one mentions that theatre, but a friend of mine used to be the ticket lady there; course she was gone a long time ago, this is.
CB: So it wasnt just the one buildingthere was an outdoor theatre also at the same time?
WH: Well, this theatre wasI dont remember any other theatres around here, but this one theatre, it had no roof on it. Â I dont know what they did when it rained, cause I was too small, I guess, to even know anything about that. Â But I know we went every now and then; wed go down to see the theatre pictures and stuff, sit in my dads little office. Â But then after a while, his officeI guess they tore the buildings down. Â It had a little plumbing shop, a little building there, and had a little place where you could get your tickets with a little drink standMrs. Boujis owned that, her and her husband, and people used to get their candy and cold drinks there.
And later on that building was moved across the street cause they soldmy dad sold the property at that time. Â There was, like, a little plumbing shop over there and this little eating place and all, the little candy shop and Cokes. Â Then I dont know what else they had, but once in a while they had an auction, had an auction there; wed go down on Saturday. Â I dont know what they auctioned off now. Â We were young and Mama said, Well, we could go down there and watch and see whats going on. Â But they had torn everything of that down, and then later on my dad sold the property to the Sparks Theatre and they put up this theatre over here.
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes.
WH: They had a pretty good run of nice movies and stuff for years and years and years, and then they closed it down. Â And then one day we saw papers going up on the side. Â I said, Papa, I bet its going to be a you-know-what theatre, and it was, rated X. Â It didnt last too terrible long.
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes.
WH: But then in the meantime theres a theatre around the corner on Nebraska, and they had a rated X theatre there, tooit was getting it all over then. Â Thats been, you know
CB: Well, what happened to the afterafter you get rid of the X-rated people that were there?
WH: Well, then they put a Spanish or something theatre in and it didnt last. Â So then it stayed vacant for a long timeits Beacon paper company, like Lindas got the North Tampa News, and it was Beacon News out in Temple Terrace, and he bought this building. Â And his daddy had bought the tourist club in the meantime and wanted to make a place like [Louis] Pappas did in Tarpon Springs, drive up in your boat and get out, but it didnt work out. Â I mean, the food wasnt anything like Pappas or anything. Â So then his son had bought the theatre property and also bought the property that was fenced in that my dad used to own. Â We sold to some man and then Hudd bought him out and paid him a big price, and we sold it for nothing. Â But he got a big price, but when he got it he didnt have nothing left.
But anyway, then these people now that have it as an audition theatre, they bought it, but it was vacant for a long time. Â So when they bought itJohn somebody, then they bought the lot across the street, got it all fenced in nice, got a sprinkler system, cause when they have an audition I guess they have cars park and then they want it fenced in. And then one time I thought they were gonna have it next door, and then the man next door there has energy electric that my brother and I (inaudible). Â If he got all his property on the corner, I knew you couldnt get the corner property, and then the next house I didnt know what he would do when it come to him. Â He would bump minethen he would want mine, but he would bump it down. Â And I know this house needs a lot of work. Â I had it done, painted, not long ago and its just the most horrible paint job you ever seen.
CB: Inside or outside?
WH: Outside. Â Inside is good.
CB: I was gonna say, Im looking at a really attractive house.
WH: Outside is terrible. Â And the man just ruined my garagehe punched holes in the garage and he put roofing on it, cause I said, Could you put a roof on it? Â Yeah, I can do that. Â Ive had it termited [sic], and theres stillI know the woods already been rotted, but its not that bad. Â I mean, they call it a historical house, but they say you couldnt move a house like this anymore. Â But I see them on the road a lot of times and theyre worse than this.
But getting back to the old theatre, in this theatre now that hesthe man bought it, John somebody, where they have auditions. Â He said they even had the symphony from Tampa in one day.
WH: And I hadnt seen any cars around, but this guy next door keeps saying, Oh, theres a lot of cars out in the parking lot. Â Ive never seen any. Â But I dont usuallyI used to not stay home on Saturdays because (inaudible) on Saturdays, weekends at my sistersshe had Parkinsons; she still has it, and Id go and stay with her. Â And when I fell, that put a crimp in everything. Â I was pulling a couple of weeds and I just missed my step up onto the carport and went backwards ninety miles an hour about four big steps and down I go.
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes.
WH: Hospital, three weeks.
CB: Oh, my goodness!
WH: Then they told me I couldnt go home cause I had steps to go up and this and this and that. Â So anyway they gave me a walker, said get a cane later on and getmy sister said get a cane because I was at her house and I didnt have good balance out of that old cane. Â But anyway, this man thats got the theatre now, hes got that fenced in property that we used to have and it looks nice. Â But the theatrewhere the property is on Main Street, now theyve got a rug company and its kinda junky looking or something, I dont know. Â But they fixed the building up behind us with a nicer roof.
CB: So you told me earlier youve been here since 1924. Â I remember you telling me youre eighty-two?
WH: Im eighty-two. Â I was eighty-two in January, the twenty-first.
CB: Oh, wow!
WH: So if I came in twenty-four I was born in twenty , so I must have only been four that year. Â Mom had all of us pretty close.
CB: Right, and then she had two more after she had you.
WH: She had twins after she got here, and the doctor lived about two blocks up the street, Doctor Lake.
CB: Okay, I have to ask, cause I remember my mother and aunt talking.
WH: All at home.
CB: Thats what I was gonna ask. Â At home, right?
WH: At home. Â They didnt know twins was coming, so it was wintersummertime, May 10, and we had our wood stove in the kitchen stove still going cause it was cool weather. Â So we had a chair and Pop put a pillow on, here come the little girl, and Doctor Lake put the baby on the pillow. Â All the sudden he said, Oh, here comes another one! Pop said, Oh! and he said, Dont sit on the baby, cause he was a good friend of ours, too. Â And he charged twenty-five dollars and didnt charge us any more for the second baby, Edward, and the boy came second.
CB: Oh, how wonderful.
WH: He was kinda puny. Â They held him over the stove cause it was real cool that morning. Â I can remember because I was seven then, and I know they told us all to go on the back steps, or out in the back, and I had to watch the other kidsyou know, I was always the mother hen. Â I was always out there watching them.
CB: Now, that wasnt in this house. Â This was on
WH: Alaska Street.
CB: Alaska Street.
WH: Its a nice looking housewe went by in a big, umI was walking towards the house and I says to him, You live here? and he said yes. Â I guess we scared him to death. Â My sister, she kept kinda rolling the car. Â But he had a little kid with him. Â I said Did you buy it? Â He said, No, I rent. Â But a man took me to there one time that we knew his wife through dental patients, and his wife died and we went by and my daddy and I took a walk up there cause he took three or four walks a day. Â Oh, he just believed in that walk. Â He didnt tell his children how to do anything like that, but he just walked. Â So anyway, the man took us through there. Â They had wall-to-wall carpet, they had two bathrooms, and it was so fixed up pretty inside and I thought, How wonderful.
CB: So when did you move to this house?
WH: In 1939.
CB: Did you really?
CB: Did you move here by yourself?
CB: That housethat houseyeah.
WH: No one was married, so all eight of us lived there. Â We had twofour bedrooms. Â We bought all new furniture when we moved there cause the lady that bought was from New Jersey, so we left our furniture, which was all right; it wasnt great, but it was all right, and she just loved it. Â And then we moved here and stayed here untilthen as the kids got married and all, they lived in one of my dads houses. Â He let them all live in each house. Â One girl didnt, but she had money enough to put down on a house. Â Her husband didnt, but she had the money. Â So any-who, that was over in Palma Ceia.
So Gladys lived here and she had three of her children here. Â The first one was born at her mother-in-laws house on Buffalo [Avenue] cause Mama was sick and Gladys just couldnt be out there like that. Â So anyway, Mama died then in forty-six , but she died in that house. Â But anyway, then Pop gave me that house cause he was always helping the kids out, cause they lived in that house until they were on their feet and then hed help them buy the house or put money down or whatever he wanted to do. Â He always was good like that. Â So then when hemy brother lost his wife and then I went out to take care of his son, twelve-years-old. Â Four years I stayed there, and Iwas working too (inaudible).
CB: Where was that?
WH: On Country Club Drive was where I stayed with my brother, and I worked at 109th [Avenue] and Florida Avenue in the dental office cause we soldwe rented this one out and then they all went out there to buildmy brother-in-law and the doctor I worked forhe asked me to work for himthe doctors office.
CB: You were out there twelve years?
WH: I was out there four years with Charles. Â Then when I came home I went there and I had the inside already painted, and then Charles let me have some of his furniture because he had nice furniture. Â He had gotten married thenhe was getting married, so he was going to move in with his wife, which he should have stayed in that beautiful house that he built, but she said, Its got (inaudible). Â Well, you can always change the windows. Â So she had a house that he was paying on all those years, and Im surprised my brother was doing that.
So anyway, then I came home and Pop said, Well, theres no sense in you staying over there. Why dont you come over here? because he had lost his wife in the meantime with Parkinsons. Â So I came over here and stayed, and everybody said, Oh, youre doing the wrong thing staying there. Â You know, theyre saying he ought to get a girlfriend. Â Everybody thought my dad was so handsome. Â He was a good looking guy. Â My mother was pretty, too. Â And so I stayed here with him and then Pop said, Gee whiz, you cant be looking after two houses.
It wasnt fenced in or anything and people were coming from the bar back there and going through everything. Â They broke into my garage and took the trunk that had pictures in that I put in the garage when I was painting the house inside. Â Were looking for a picture now with my dad holding the twinsa pair of peaches. Â And were looking all over the place (inaudible), and now were going to a nearby place to see if we cant find it, cause that picture was gone and the twins must have only been five-years-oldfive-months-old. Â A pair of peaches. Â It was a pretty good-sized picture.
And so anyway, then we decided to sellmy brother-in-lawmy sisters two boys, they come in and remodeled the house real pretty. Â And they stayed, and then they both had a job out of town and then my brother and his wife came to stay for a little while. Â I still had a room over there. Â And then we decided we were gonna sell because they were going to move to Georgia, the only one out of our whole family moved to Georgia. Â Then he got married after he moved to Georgia, with his wifethey werent married when they lived here. Â So, anyway, theyPop said, Were going to sell the house, and we sold it to John, this tune-up shop guy. Â (inaudible) Â I dont know if he thinks the guy in the theatre doing it all wrong. Â You know, you got to clean it uphes got stuff under the house, like tires, and I alwayseverybody always used to come and say, You got the prettiest yard around. I planted winter rye every winter, but you know, this year I didnt get it planted.
CB: But its beautiful from the outside. Â I mean, it was very easy to pull up and see whose house it was.
WH: He did a terrible job painting. Â Its peeling on the other side. Â He washed it and then pressured and then put paint right on it, with a brush. Â He didnt scrape it first, and I didnt pay it attention cause it looked so good to be painted, but it wasnt bad looking. Â HHe had his house raw for five years straight and just now painted it.
CB: Is that right?
WH: My granddaddy built these houses. Â Weve got double floors.
CB: Your grandfather actually built the houses?
WH: Yeah, I guess he had someoneI still got some of the things where he had to pay for the street down in front of his house down there, those houses at one time. Â Had to pay them for putting bricks down, I guess, was their thing.
CB: Oh, my goodness. Â So what was the main area of Sulphur Springs when you moved here? Â Was itsomebody told me something about an arcade.
WH: Oh, yeah. Â You havent heard about the Arcade? Â Oh, my gosh, I got a picture of it.
WH: I have a picture; Ill show you. Â Mr. Josiah Richardson, he didnt havehe had money, I guess, but he built that Arcade. Â He built the gazebo back there.
CB: Ive seen the gazebo.
WH: Uh-huh. Â And he built the Arcade, and all the sudden he goes broke. Â He built the [water] tower, and all the sudden it seemed like he just lost everything. Â But that Arcade had a dime store in it, it had doctors, dentists, lawyers, we had the bankno, we had the post office at one time there. Â Everything you can imagine in that building.
CB: So you were really a little town, just not incorporated.
WH: Mm-hm, everything. Â Its in Ripley [Ripleys Believe It or Not], I think, that had everything under one roof. Â We had two drugstores.
CB: So was there anything you couldnt get here that you had to go into one of the other towns?
WH: Well, you couldwe had an A&P store across the street. Â In the Arcade building we had our beet market, we called it, but it had groceries in there. Â That used to be on the corner before the flood came, and it was called the United Market from that old picture of mine. Â And so they moved over there, and they didnt stay too long. Â But we had a bakery over there and a dry goods store, and a barbershop and beauty shop all combined. Â Upstairs, you had rooms to rent, apartments or rooms; you could live there or just overnight.
CB: So you actually had your own hotel?
WH: We had our own hotel, and its beautiful upstairs. Â I went to a wedding there one time, and I would go upstairs; I had a lot of friends that lived there. Â And this girl got married and we went up there and it was beautiful.
CB: Now, when did you lose it, cause its obviously not there today?
WH: Well, thats beengee whiz, thats over twenty years, its been. Â I cant remember the date. Â I should have on one of them papers.
CB: What happened to it?
WH: Well, the dog track bought it. Â They bought it and then they didnt need it. Â They didnt need that. Â They just let anybody park there. Â And they bought on the other side of Waters Avenue a church and all. Â They dont even park there because they didnt havethey had enough parking and then they took the Arcade down. Â Everybody was up in arms. Â They went to Tallahassee and everything, I guess, trying to save it. Â I guess we was in the city by that time. Â I forget what year we went into the city. Â We didnt get much done when they took us in the city.
CB: Well, when did theyI also saw that theres a fence around the springs, the pool over there. Â When did all that happen?
WH: Well, that happened a long time ago, when the old pool was still there; they fenced it in for some reasonI guess people would be going swimming without paying. Â But then when they remodeled this other pool and built a new pool and everything, they took the little bathhouse down and everything. Â I havent been over there; I was supposed to go opening day. Â I dont know what happened. Â Anyway, they had tothey fenced it all in again. Â Everybody says Oh, its so nice, but you know, the old placeI never went swimming because I didnt like to wear a bathing suit. Â I didnt want anybody to see me in a bathing suit, so I never would go in. Â First place the water was too coldit was a certain temperature. Â It was real cool. Â But I hadmy youngest brother, the twin, used to swing off of the swing on the tree and hed come homeall day hed play and his lips would be purple when we had to go get him for supper. Â His lips are just purple and hed swing off of that thing. Â My brother-in-law, he grew up here and he just loved that pool.
And at one time they used to have a little carnival come every year, and the entrance would be sort of like where you turn in off of Nebraska now, and they had a carnival and they had a big Ferris wheel and they had a few little rides, not many, and sideshows and stuff. Â And my brother-in-law used to stay and take razorblades over there andI cant remember the name of the guyhed eat em, come out on the stage and eat razorblades. Â And then hed take him oranges and stuff like that; they had an orange tree in the yard and hed take stuff so hed get in free at all those freak shows. Â And I didnt know that but we grew up with my brother-in-law, Josie married him. Â Theyve been married for fifty-seven years.
He lived on Tenth Street, and of course we lived on Alaska then, down hereJosephine got married (inaudible) and then she got married in New York. Â Her husband was gonna go overseas or something. Â He was in New York, she goes up, and Mom says, I knew shes gonna get married, and so she did. Â And then Josephine, when she got married, she got married at Drew Field; thats where she worked. Â And the priest was kinda ugly to us that day so I guess shes gonna marry another Protestant, so that kind of set us off. Â He was a good friend of ours, very good. Â So we went to Drew Park where she was working, and theres a nice chapel over there, and she got married. Â Harold, I think, would have turned Catholic if the priest asked (inaudible). Â And anyway, then I come along, and lets see. Â Josephine got married, then there was a slack in the thing for a longI never got married.
Anyway, then comewhen Josephine got married she got married at Drew Field, and here comethe next one who got married was Charles, he did then. Â Charles got married up here at the church up here on Eleventh Street, but they tore it down. Â Then he did a lot of work for the church, Charles did. Â Then come along Elda getsEdward gets married, then Elda gets married. Â Three of them got married in the little church up herewe call it the chapel(inaudible) the big church. Â But Gladys got married in New York and Josephine got married at Drew Park. Â Six oclock on a Friday night, I never will forget it. Â Mamathat was the last time I saw Mama dressed up.
CB: Is that right?
WH: Cause she just was sick.
CB: Now, you told me she had Parkinsons?
WH: No, she had heart trouble (inaudible).
CB: That was the brothersister (inaudible).
WH: The goiter worked on her heart; it was just one of thoseneither the doctor in Michigan or here would touch it. Â Now they would, but they said she would never come off the table.
CB: Oh, for goodness sake.
WH: So up there they didnt do it, and she just suffered in the hot weatherno fans, no nothing, just (inaudible). Â But anyway, now we got air. Â She wouldve liked that. Â But anyway, she died at forty-six in forty-six .
CB: And you were how old when she died?
WH: I was about twenty-eight, I think I was.
CB: So even the kids
WH: She hoped and prayed she would get to see the children grown. Â And the twins were eighteen, I believe, so I might have been twenty-seven or so. Â But anyway, they were just graduated out of high school.
CB: Now, are all your brothers and sisters still living?
WH: Charles is the only one who passed away, three years ago. Â He had arthritis and he justtwo hip operations on one side, one on the other, and he still couldnt walk.
CB: And are they all still in this area?
WH: All the rest of us are here in Tampa, except Edward had to go move to Young Harris, Georgia, tip of the mountain. Â He went out of state, but he hates to come back to Tampa. Â He drove a Standard Oil truck for thirty years with no accident; he got a plaque and everything. Â But he just found this property one year when they was on vacation, and just loved it. Â So he bought some property and hes been selling it off a little bit and making a little money off of that, but he gets a good income. Â He drove a school bus; they asked him to drive a school bus and he did for a while, part-time then full-time then part-time. Â He says (inaudible).
CB: Oh, my goodness. Â Now, did all of you go to the school here in Sulphur Springs?
WH: Sulphur Springs. Â Now, they dont have it first through ninth, they got likeI dont know what they call it, but we went first through the ninth. Â We could walk; we lived on Alaska Street and could walk to school.
CB: Now, is it where it is today?
WH: Yeah, but they tore our first little building down. Â Yeah, they tore it down; they put a new building up. Â Then three of us had to go to Hillsborough High School, then the other three came along and they made them go to Jefferson High School. Â Hillsborough was too crowded, so they went to Jefferson. Â Elda and the twins went to Jefferson.
CB: So tell me about the first through ninth school. Â What was a day like there?
WH: The what?
CB: What was the day like, going to school at what time?
WH: Oh, going to school, wed get up
CB: What did you do?
WH: Its not like it is now. Â Wed go to school a certain time, wed get up and have breakfast and go to school, come homewed come home for lunch because it was only a couple blocks; there was a lot we could cut through. And then after school we alwaysthere were so many of us, there were like choreswe had chores to do. Â We had a cow and chickens and stuff, and my dad always took care of the cow and everything. Â But coming home from schooland you know, in those days we didnt have a dress for every occasion. Â We (inaudible), so we knew to change our clothes so we could have it the next day or so.
I was the oldest, so I always tried to help Mama out more than the rest of them did. Â We were just like sisters, we were so close. Â She was twenty years older than I was. Â My dads about twenty-nine years older; he was older than Mama. Â But wed come home from school, wed get to play. Â There was no cars going up and down the street. Â Wed get to play baseball in the street, and across the street we had a lot that my uncle owned. Â We could, you know, play over there if we wanted to, cause there wasnt that many houses on that side of the street.
CB: So did you like school?
WH: Yeah, I liked school. Â I worried about my mother being sick so much. Â One day a teacher sent me home kinda early. Â (inaudible) Your mothers sick (inaudible), she said. Â Why dont you just go home? Â She was so sweet. Â Then when the twins was born I told her to come down and see the twins. Â She came down, she didnt live far; she came down to see them. Â Yeah, my dad was so proud of them, the twins.
CB: Oh, my goodness. Â I guess. Â So whenthen you wentafter ninth grade you went up to Hillsborough High? Â What was that like?
WH: Well, that was nice. Â It was big and large and you had to get used to everything.
CB: I can imagine. Â Okay, whats your strongest memory of Sulphur Springs, the things that you remember the most about Sulphur Springs that you still think about today?
WH: Well, I used to go down to the Springs to my dads office and go to the grocery store and get some groceries and wait for him to bring me home. Â We didnt buy much meat cause we had cattle that wenot cattle, but we had our own meat. Â And I didnt like meat, cause Id get used to those animals, you know. Â But anyway, I can rememberwell, the pool and going to the Arcade and all like that, when it was first built and stuff like that. Â And then I remember when the dog track was built. Â We used to go around schooling because they let you in free and Mom said, Get your homework, and wed go over there, so thats the only time we went. Â I never went any other timewell, I did with my cousins one time, and they gave me some money to bet and I couldnt win a thing and they was winning money right and left. Â But they were gamblers, like horse races and stuff, they had horses; they knew what to do. Â All that I can remember, and then friends we grew up withand I still have friends that I keep in touch with from the first grade.
CB: Is that right? Â Did you
WH: And one girl just died, and she wrote me a letter, I still have it. Â She said, Wilma, you were my best friend. Â Now her daughters writing me and she says, Wilma, Mama always said that you were her best friend. Â She didnt live near us; she had to ride the school bus to school. Â But she saidshe was kindashe was just real sweet. Â I liked everybody. Â I didnt dislike anybody, you know?
CB: Right, right. Â So when didwhen would you think that things beganor that you were aware that things were starting to change in Sulphur Springs? Â Or did you even feel like things changed in Sulphur Springs?
WH: Well, the only thing that I remember changing was that Arcade being taken down. Â That just upset everyone, it seems like. Â So, that was the first thing that would enter my mind.
CB: The change was the Arcade.
CB: Now, was that before or after they fenced in
[Transcribers note: The audio in this section of the tape is warped. Some words are inaudible.]
CB: You asked me when I came inI was born in Kansas and raised in (inaudible).
CB: My folks are from the Missouri region.
WH: Well, thats unusual; everybodys usually from Michigan, Indiana, or Ohio or something.
CB: (laughs) Well, I can
WH: You never talked likeyou know, you talk normal to meyou know (inaudible). Â Now my one sister, she was really a Southerner, Josephine.
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes.
CB: Now, you showed me a really nice picture of your dad. Â When did he pass away?
WH: He passed away in eighty-five . Â (inaudible) eighty-five  in October; he passed away one month later, in November.
WH: And everybody loved my dad. Â He passed away right here in the living room with a hospital bed, and he was never sick. Â He said to me one day, What is wrong with me? The doctor said your hearts wearing out, and he didnt like that answer. (inaudible) Â But that night at 5:30I was by his bed all day long. Â I had another little single bed there that Id sleep on. Â He kept rubbing my fingers and I could not get away from him, you know. Â But he wasnt hungry; he wanted ice cream, something cold. Â (inaudible) Â So I fixed squash (inaudible), and I know just before he passed away I rushed and got a shower (inaudible) and come back in here, and he was still rubbing my finger. Â All a sudden I looked at him, said, Oh, my gosh, Papa, youre gone. Â And I kissed him on the forehead and I knew what I had to dothey told me what I had to do: call the fire department first.
CB: Oh, really?
WH: And thats the first time after several times they said dont fire him and theyI didnt tell them about that night, and here it was dark already because it was that time of year. Â And so here comes the fire truckclang-clang-clang-clang-clanggot five firemen on it. Â One was (inaudible), the other onehe covered Papa and he said, Rigor mortis has already set in. Â He had just passed away but (inaudible). Â Then they had to call the police, and they questioned me like I had killed him, you know, they do that. Â (CB gasps) Â Yeah. Â And all that stuff, so then I sat thereI didnt have this furniture at the time; this is from my sisters home when she moved at the lake and then they went to Pebble Creekwished theyd never gone out there. Â They was afraid she might fall down the stairs, but they didnt have to use the stairs; they had a downstairs den (inaudible) beautiful bedroom. Â (inaudible) Â She gave me all her living room furniture.
WH: And then my sister just gave me that dining room furniture. Â But anyway, I was always giving my furniture away.
Anyway, the policemen, they asked me all sorts of questions. Â I had a portable phone my nephew had given me; hes my nieces husband; hes an attorney in Bartow now. Â So he brought this phone out. Â I said, Oh, that phone might not work when we need it; that was about a month before. Â The phone I had hooked up wasnt long enough to reach Pop and we didnt want to pull the bed over any closer. Â So Tom brought this phone out. Â So I was sitting there with the phone in that chair and the manthe policeman said, You better call someone, and I said, I dont really need anyone. Â He said, Yes, you do; if you dont call someone Ill go get a neighbor. Â I said, Well, dont do that.
CB: In other words, he wanted you to callfor you? Â Someone to stay with you?
WH: Uh-huh. Â So anyway I calledmy nephew still had their phone number from Carrollwood on there, so I just dialed their number, which my brother got a little bit peeved at the time. Â But, anyway, I called Tom and Carol, and he had a case the next morning but I didnt know, and here they come in real fast. Â When he come he was calling my sisters and brothers, and they was all here. Â Elda was working at Bealls [department store], but then she finally came after she got off work. Â We was in the kitchen, because it took a long time for them to take care of Pop because my nephew had called the undertaker too soon. Â But anyway, then they parked down therethe Jennings Funeral Home right down the street was who we called.
WH: So then they made us stay in the kitchen, sitting around the table and not coming in. Â But anyway, he just went quietly. Â I didnt hear him make a sound or anything.
CB: Well, for goodness sakes. Â Is there a cemetery in this area?
CB: Is there a cemetery in Sulphur Springs?
WH: There is not one too terribly far; its Garden of Memoriesit was Myrtle Hill. Â My dad, when my mother died, we didnt have a plot. Â We knew she was sick but we didnt think about buying anything, so the undertaker we had thenWilson Salmonthe boys that work for him now have Marsicano, thats their funeral home. Â We had Wilson Salmon, and then Fortieth Street and Hillsborough Avenue out that way is where the cemetery is.
CB: Was that actually part of Sulphur Springs or a different
WH: Sulphur Springs was just a little area in here. Â People that had anything going on, they dont like to say Sulphur Springs. Â And its notLinda put in the paper one day the fire was not in Sulphur Springs. Â She had it in her Penny Saver. Â Yeah. Â I thought the same thing, Linda.
But anyway, so then it took a while for them to get my dad and everything; they finally took him. Â He had dentureshe didnt need dentures but (inaudible) got dentures (inaudible). Â He had nice caps and nice partials. Â Well, he never did like those dentures but they were beautiful. Â I got them ready to takehe always kept them real clean, but I dont know if they put them in or not. Â I gave the case to clean them. Â But anyway, so then they took Pop out and Tom wanted me to go home with him, and I said, No, I cant do that. Â I have to stay here cause were going down to the funeral home tomorrow. Â So my sister had been coming in every other night to stay with me, and so she stayed with me that night. Â And then her carshe just got a new car. It wasnt brand new, a year old, and it wouldnt start. Â I forget where she had it out front, where it was I dont know; but whatever, he worked on it and got it working, whatever was wrong.
But anyway, she stayed with me that night, then we go down to the funeral home and take care of business. Â But we already had a plot for my dad, right there next to my mothers. Â Now, my brother has his wifes right by our mothers and his mother-in-law, and then he had a plot, and he told me he didnt have one. Â So when he died, I asked his wife and she said, Yeah, Charles has a plot. Â I said, Gee what are you gonna do with it? Â She said Hes buried up at Bushnell, and thats where Im gonna be buried. I said, Well, do you want to sell it? so she sold it to me. Â I dont know if I did the right thing, but its right there next to my mother and daddys. Â And its in a Catholic section, and thats what they were doing in those days. Â You had a Catholic section, but now they dont pay no attention to sections.
CB: Is that right? Â Each denomination or just
WH: I dont know about other ones, but it was a Catholic section.
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes.
WH: Its all right. Â Its right by a beautiful mound ofthe Mother of Sorrow, the big statue of Mother of Sorrow, and its on a big mound and we keep it so pretty. Â But they dont take care of the place like they used to. Â We used to go out there all the time, but you are scared to go out there. Â My brother-in-law goes out there all the time, cause he goes out that way about once a week, to the bank or something out that way, so he goes by. Â They lost their son; he was retarded. Â Lost himforty-four years old, I think, and hes in a crypt. Â Hes been cremated, so they go out there to see him quite a bit. Â Michaels a good guy.
CB: Right, right. Â So you made some comment about [being] afraid to go out there now. Â Do you thinkare you comfortable in your neighborhood today?
WH: Im comfortable now, but my niece and her husband, theyre not; they want me to get out. Â And theyre building me a house, like a mother-in-law house on their property. Â They have a beautiful property in Bartow and hes a big shot lawyer and hes just now working for himself. Â I think its gonna do him good because he was with another companyhe and another guy was partners and Tom was doing all the work. Course they have other attorneys, but hes doing all the work; it was too much. Â So he just decided Im gonna (inaudible). Â So hes been by himself and its been going great, and its only been a month or two.
CB: So are you thinking about moving out there with them?
WH: They want me to. Â They said they have the plans by the end of thisI think another week. Â They want me to look it over and see what I want. Â I dont know anything about plans. Â And then they told me where its gonna be built, right by their swimming pool. Â I can go into their house through the swimming pool area or through the garage.
CB: Maybe youll start wearing a swimming suit and go swimming, finally.
WH: I paid eighty-some dollars for one not long ago, about three years ago, to go to the beach with my niece. Â Im telling yall see that picture, whew! Â The church kids wentwe had so much fun. Â Up to someones condo, this attorney that was with brother-in-law.
WH: We hadyou see me talking with my hands, you ought to see my sister Elda! Â But anyway, we had a good time; we stayed a week. Â It was up near Jacksonville, some place up that (inaudible). Â So we had a good time. Â Now they have a condo at the beach, so we go over there.
CB: So if you move, will it just be cause you just want to be around your relatives?
WH: No, my familys going to really be kind of upset, like my sister with Parkinsons. Â I havent told them anything yet, cause they wanted to build for them out there. Â But theres always a little friction here and there, so.
CB: Somebody coming to our door?
WH: Penny SaverPenny Saver.
CB: So, in other words, are you
WH: I was thinkingGladys says, my sister, I dont know why you dont just stay here. Â And I said, Well, Tom and them want me to get out so bad. Â Thats when it was kinda really bad for a while, and now its kinda better. Â Things are a mess because Im trying to pack this and pack that and Ive got my boxes where my TV came in. Â The kids give me so much nice stuff for Christmas and my birthdays I could just cry. Â But I got that new one for Christmas a year ago, I guess.
CB: Oh, wow.
WH: And then I got a microwave Ive never used, a year ago, because I haventwell, I just havent used it. Â I gave mine away, and then my nephew buys me this nice, sharp (inaudible). But anyway the reason I would be leaving is because they want me to, and theyve got two loving children and they just love me to pieces, and Carol and Tom are so good to me. Â Well, everyones good to me. Â Carols oldest boy, hes fifteenhe was a preemie, one pound ten ounces. Â Went to the hospital every day to seehe was on tubes and, oh, he was so pitiful. Â But he did live. Â Hes on medication a little bit, and he said something about driving; he could get his restricted license now. Â And I feel so sorry for him because his cousins are all kind of driving. Â But he said, Im going to take special lessons. Â But I think if theyif he cant drive out on the road, I know kids thats worse off than he is; they drive up in Atlanta, Georgia. Â And then what he would do isthey got enough land that he could drive around the land.
CB: So you wouldntits not so much youre moving from Sulphur Springs as youre moving to them.
WH: To them. Â Cause I grew up here and, you know, this would be my place but my dad, before he died, he said, Wilma, I wish we could get out of here for some reason. Â The only thing is I would probably stay here, but none of them want me to. Â Gladys just spoke up not longI dont see why you dont stay here. Â I said, Gladys, Carol and themI havent told anybody but Elda, and then Gladys Ive kinda mentioned to her. Â And her son, when he lived next door, he didnt like it cause it wasnt fenced in, and the bars and stuff; they was always running through the yard stealing stuff. Â So he didnt like it, he and his brother didnt like it at all. Â But now it can be fenced in better, and I was gonna have this fenced in before I moved, but they were gonna (inaudible) I didnt know he was gonna go at it so soon. Â Theyve been trying to get me to move there for two years. Â And I thought, Oh, please leave me alone, Tom. Â But hes so good to me. Â And so he said, It wont cost you a thing (inaudible). Â I thought, Im not gonna let him do it for nothing. Â But anyway, I wouldnt be leaving if it wasnt for them wanting me to come over there so bad.
CB: So will you sell the property?
WH: I would sell it, yeah. Â And then my sister said, Huey never did like it, but maybe if you give it to him hell like it. Â I said, Well, maybe Ill give it to him. Â (CB laughs) Â All hell need to do is really have a good paint job on the outside and maybethe plumber did a bad job on my bathroom floor; he just tore all the tile up and everything and left it, so I justthat needs to be done.
CB: Im looking at these beautiful hardwood floors.
WH: Well, theyre double, and we had rugs down. Â When my stepmother moved here she wanted rugs. Â We had a bookcase on both sides; one was for books, one was for dishes. Â She didnt like that so she took it out. Â She put rugs down. Â My dad didnt like that idea, but that was his wife and she did what she wanted to. Â So anyway, not long ago we took the rugs up. Â Pop said, If you ever take them rugs up, youre gonna see termites eating that whole floor up. Â But theres not that much. Â And when they took the rugs up and the padding, I was surprised.
CB: Theyre beautiful, theyre beautiful.
WH: But they had beenI need to polish it or something, but anyway I just dont give nothing anymore. Â I get the vacuum outI swept the porch off the other day because it was so dusty; when I was in the hospital, it was just terrible. Â I used to wash it off with a hose. Â I used to wash the whole house off with the hose at one time, to keep it nice.
CB: From what I remember, were talking aboutthis house is close to fifty years old.
WH: Yes, I think it wasmaybe older than that.
CB: Cause, you know (inaudible)and these floors have never been replaced?
WH: No. Â Even the flood didnt hurt em.
CB: Isnt that amazing? Â You told me that you have friends in the area that you grew up withyou actually schooled with.
CB: So tell me about some of your long-term acquaintances.
WH: Well, this one girl lived over on Knollwood [Street] just off Nebraska by the post officeeast of the post office. Â We go to this reunion, we see her, and then we send Christmas cards every year. Â We hardly ever talk on the phone or anything because sheher husbands been kinda sick, and Im not much on the phone since I quit working at the dental office, cause I had two phones ringing in my ears all the time. Â If I get on the phone Im all right, but I just hate to keep worrying people.
Frances Routon, her family was a good friend of ours, and she went to school with me and we kept in touch all these years. Â And then there was a girl, Harriet Harvey, she comes to the reunion, but now since her girlfriend passed awaymy girlfriend passed awayI dont think shes going to be coming. Â And that was Anita Forester; she used to live on Alaska Street by us. Â And then my brother-in-laws brother, he keeps in touch with meRobert (inaudible); hes out in New Mexico. Â We cant stand the hot weather, so we talk on the phone once in a while; send Christmas cards, birthday cards. Â I guess he married and his wife left him with the baby. Â She took the baby, but it might not be his. Â I dont know, but he never did see the baby after that. Â I dont know, something was funny there, but Robert wasyou know, kinda funny. Â But anyway, theres several like I keep in touch with. Â Frances Routon comes to mind now.
CB: You told me theres an old-timers reunion.
WH: Mm-hm. Â We have that twice a year. Â Were having itwe used to have it in February; now were gonna have it in April. Â And its gonna be the first Thursday. Â Would you like to come? Â Ill take you as a guest.
CB: Id love to. Â Oh, Id love to. Â Yeah, let me come over and pick you up.
WH: Well, its out at Fifty-Sixth Street and Fowler [Avenue].
CB: That I can find.
WH: At the Golden Corral. Â Its not right on the corner; you have to turn left and then go into the Corral (inaudible).
CB: What time?
WH: Its from four oclock to eight oclock, however you want, and people just come and everybody tells me that I havent changed a bit.
CB: Oh, my God.
WH: But anyway, thats this first Thursday. Â April 4, I think it is. Â I wrote it down. Â Ive been calling different ones, but they already know about it.
CB: Id love to. Â Now, Im sitting here looking at a really beautiful complexion.
WH: Oh, my God.
CB: And I know my mother-in-law used to tell me that she always thought her complexion was so pretty cause she used lye soap, which I found real hard to believe. Â Tell me a bit about what you ate, how you guys took care of yourselves.
WH: You know, my dad had pretty skin when he died, and my mother had pretty skin, but she didnt use a lot of makeup: her lips were small, she never used lipstick, but a little rouge. Â And Pop, his skin was beautiful. Â But when I was in the hospital, this girl who was quite a ways away from me said Oh, youve got pretty skin.
CB: You do.
WH: Oh, you gotI only have two removed teeth, and thats wisdom. Â I got all my teeth. Â Course, I got gold in em (inaudible) silver. Â But anyway, everybody says my complexions still pretty, but I never used a lot of powder. Â And all I do now is use a little cream to put on firstits a cleansing cream, but Id rather wash my face with Ivory, (inaudible). Â They say youre not supposed to use soap (inaudible), so I put this little cream on it, (inaudible), and then after that I put just a little tiny bit ofwhat do you call it?
WH: Foundation. Â Just a little bit, not much, and then just a little bit of rouge, which isnt much; I wipe half of it off. Â Everybody always said I had pretty skin.
CB: Do you think it wasdo you think that was there was a difference in the way you eat or something?
WH: Well, you know what? Â My dad, like I said, he shouldve been a doctor or something because he made us eat good food. Â We always had fruit, and wed go to the farmers market and get apples, peaches and stuff by the bushel. Â He said, Eat all you want, but dont waste it. Â We had the fruit trees, you know, for years. Â Like I said, he had pretty skin. Â I dont know if its the German in us or what. Â Now, we were Germans.
CB: Right. Â What about the Springs; do you think it has anything to do with it?
WH: Well, my dad used to drink that sulfur water every day. Â But he wouldnt bring it home and put it in the icebox; hed drink it right out of the faucet, right out of the spout. Â He said thats good foryou know, they sold that water years ago for health reasons.
CB: Is that right?
WH: Yeah, by the gallon.
CB: So did you take it? Â You seem to have been very healthy.
WH: No, I didnt like it. Â My dad took his grandson that lived here at one time; he was about three-years-old. Â Pop took him, Danny, over there and he saidDanny come home and says, Mama, that water smelled like rotten eggs. Â Dont know how he knew what rotten eggs smell like. Â He wouldnt drink it. Â Pop drank it pure right of the fountain; he had a big glass he took with him every morning.
CB: Do you think (inaudible)?
WH: I dont think thatit could have helped. Â Thats what everybody said, but I didnt drink it. Â I didnt drink it, myself.
CB: I get the feeling from you youve always been pretty healthy.
WH: Yeah, pretty healthy till I fell. Â Well, Im doing all right now, I guess, but I did have a blood clot that was kinda scary. Â Well, the doctor didnt pay any attention to my legs and my feet and legs are swollenboth of them, you knowand I told the nurse and they said, Oh, look at your legs, when I get up, and yeah. Â And when I told the doctor one morning early when he came in, he saidoh, he rushed me right down to get a scan, a Doppler [ultrasound], you know. Â I was off my feet for a couple of days. Â That scared me for a little bit. Â I went back to him; he said, I dont think youll get another one. Â Im taking blood thinners. Â Ive got all my medicine, (inaudible).
CB: Was the whole family healthy like this?
WH: The whole family, yes, except Charles when he got arthritis. Â He come home with sinus and he was in construction (inaudible). Â Then the next thing you know he starts getting arthritis in his hips and one operation didnt take, and they did the other and it didnt take. Â They went back to do the other one, had to stretch his foot three inches, and he said it was worse than the whole operation. Â And then they had him flat on his back, and he couldnt lay on his back long. Â He was just suffering with that arthritis so bad. Â Then they had to do a trach[eotomy] so he could breatheit wasnt cancer, but they had to do a trach, had to do that every now and then. Â Oh, he just suffered terribly the last three or four years, terrible. Â He was the best person (inaudible); hed do anything for anyone, just like my mother and dad. Â They would help anybody out with food and just do everything, and thats the way we are, as far as helping people. Â Im not as good as I should be in this day and time, but
CB: So, these long-term friends you have, did theyI guess what Im looking for is do you feel like people in Sulphur Springs were basically healthy back then?
WH: Well, seem to betheyre all in my age category, the ones that grew up around here.
CB: Is that right? Â And do they all still live in the area?
WH: Yeah, one girl moved out, a little ways out; she used to live right across the street on Patterson [Street] and Nebraska. Â And her husband, he was a postmanwell, he was a big shot in the post office. Â He built a house out there, and then she died not long ago, but he died right after they moved out there. Â She diedshe had a stroke and I guess she just went like that. Â She was eighty-two or eighty-three, and Frances is about my age, eighty-two. Â But all the ones that I knowtheres even some guys around here that I know, but I dont keep in touch with them, but I know that theyre around.
CB: Well, you alsowhen I came in you told me youd been to the grocery store; did you walk to the store?
WH: I took a cab. Â The cab came right away, so coming home I waited forty-five minutes, and the girl that called the cab said, Did the cab come yet? Â I said noto a girl that waited on me. Â She came back, said, You still waiting on a cab? Â I said yes. Â And then the little guy that works therehe didnt work that day, but he was out there smoking a cigarette. Â So he went in after they didnt come and three more called a cab. Â So then this lady and a man walked in the store and she started talking to me, telling me thatI was telling her about it; she said, Well, arent you scared to stand out here? Â I said, Well, yeah. Â I am, really, and there was a man trying to borrow money. So, anyway, she talked to me and her husband was in the store. Â She said, We dont shop here, but he wanted to get something they had. Â We shop at Winn-Dixie; its out on Armenia.
So we got to talking. Â She was a very sweet little person; he was a big tall guy. Â So I says to herwhen they come out, they says, You havent gotten your cab yet? Â She says, My husband said well take you home; you said you didnt live too far. Â Thatll be our good deed for the day. Â Theyre from Indiana; theyre going back in two weeks. Â And so they piled my groceries in the carand I had eggs and everything, they were so carefuland I got in with my walker, I took my walker, had it (inaudible). Â And Im telling you, I had my purse on my arm and Im telling you, I was fit to be tied. Â I was all right standing there waiting, but its just Id never waited that long. Â One time I had to come back in here and call for them because they said it was marked off the thing. Â You know, it got marked off. Â I said, You know, when I walk up I cant get back in the house that good. Â Please dont let me do that anymore.
So anyway, they brought me home and they came down Waters from the Kash n Karry instead of Bird Street, and they come down Waters to Ninth Street, cross down Nebraska, and then turn down here in the front. Â Found my house real good.
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes.
WH: And I hugged her and she said, Oh, have a happy Easter, blah blah blah. Â Let me pay you. Â No, they wouldnt take no money.
CB: Arent you glad theres still people in the neighborhood
WH: Yeah, another lady dropped me at home like that one day that I met in the store, and we were talking and she said something about Howd you get here? and I said, Well, I took a cab. Â Oh, you dont live far from here? Â I said, No, maam. Â She said, Ill take you home. Â So she brought me home. Â She lived off of Broad Street and Florida Avenuenot near the project but west of there. Â So she dropped me home. Â And thats twice I got a ride like thatI wasnt scared to ride with them, but you know, I wouldnt have ridden with just a man. Â Because we were talking, this lady and I, about this couple that was beat upI dont know if you heard about it?
WH: Well, good friends of mine for fifty or sixty years, he was bringing the garbage can in, he was eighty-four years old. Â And this guy, I guess, followed him. Â But this man was too feeble to notice the man was behind him or not, and so he goes in the house and the man follows him and starts beating him up. Â And his wife comes into the kitchen, where this was, and he knocks her right in the chest. Â And she had the phone in her hand to call 911, but she didnt get to call the people. Â 911 picked up the call and so they were there right away, and they caught him about a block or two away. Â He didnt live right there but he lived some place, but he said he had been on a binge and he was hungry and he didnt mean to hurt em, but he just got out of jail or something. Â And so since then Ive been kind of, you know, just nerves ready because they were in the hospital yesterday, yet.
CB: Is that right?
WH: University Community Hospital. Â But theyre doing okay; they said theyre recuperating. Â Now, her sister was talking on TV a couple times and when I was in the hospital her sister was a Pink Lady, so she used to come up and visit me once in a while. Â And the lady that was in the bed next to me, she knew all about this Charlotte that was beat up the other day; but she didnt give me her phone number or nothing and I didnt give her mine. Â But she saidwe used to talk for hours at a time at night, Charlotte and I. Â For Gods sakes, Ive known Charlotte ever since we were kids.
CB: Well, for goodness sakes. Â Well, is there a lot of that out here?
WH: Well, theres not that much, and if there is its usually up the street a little ways from me.
CB: How safe do you think you feel?
WH: Well, I pray at night, by myself. Â I have a prayer that says I live by myself and I read that every morning, and then I got another prayer that tells you about nervousness. Â I do stay nervous, because my doctor says I was just born nervous. Â (both laugh) Â Oh, God. Â And my pulse was going so fast the other day, 112, and that was high at my sisters house, where you take the blood pressure to get your pulse, and my heartI could just almost feel it. Â I said, Im notI dont feel bad, so I called the doctor and the nurse called me back and said the doctor said to take an extra nerve pill, which is one milligram; its not gonna kill you. Â Its not a Valium; its another kind. Â Everybody that you talk to, nurses, says, Oh thats not going to hurt you. Â But he said, Give me another one.
So then I had to have my medicine transfer (inaudible) by Gladys and Eckerds out here to Kash n Karry. Â So the girl wouldnt fill my prescription because she said if youve gotta take another pill the doctors gotta write a prescription. Â So he called one in for me, then I went back and got more. Â My sister took meI dont have to take a cab all the time becauseGladys couldnt take me yesterday because the grandbaby was sick. Â He told me this morning, he says, Mom, I threw up on Momma.
WH: But he said I feel better. Â I said, Well, you tell him that his mother threw up on me one time in this house, because Daddy was babysitting and he called me over and he was feeding the baby so much milk that itI was all dressed up, I had my hair done and washed it myself, and I had a nice clean dress on my sister had made it for me. Â I was rocking the baby, (imitates sound of vomiting) all over the place, in my hair and everything. Â Im so sorry, honey. Â Gladys was grocery shopping.
CB: So, you worked in a dental office for a while? Â For a long time, or what?
WH: Seventeen or eighteen, maybe twenty, years.
WH: My brother-in-law, my dad built this office for him over here, a beautiful office, and he stayed about seven years. Â I worked for him, and then he went back to orthodontics school in Pennsylvania, took my sister and the four kids. Â I cried my eyes out when they left that night, in a station wagon. Â I was in that house then and they used to stay with me until their office was built. Â And thenwhat was I talking about?
CB: Youre in a dental office.
WH: Oh, yeah. Â So then when theyhe got back from dental school, he went to Florida Avenue with another orthodontist, and they decided they all wanna build some property, buy property out on Florida Avenue. Â My brother had some property for sale that an insurance man had, and so Charles got the property for them and they built an office out there. Â Dr. Ross was part owner and Dr. Edmund, my brother-in-law, was part owner, Dr. Schafer was part owner. Â And I think they called it the Stork Club, cause they had three or four baby doctors in there. Â And then the rest was all renting, like Dr. Wadsworth was a orthodonticI mean, an oral surgeon. Â And then we had an eye doctor in Dr. Stoman. Â They had it all rented.
Then whenI retired kind of young because I was getting bored. Â Pop said, You dont have to work. Â I gave my notice and he didnt like it. Â So at about fifty, I retiredI retired about fifty. Â And so then my brother-in-law, when he retiredand Dr. Ross finally just retired and Dr. Wadsworth retired, so I dont know what all they go in there now because they sold the building, I think to some foreigners or somehow these people buy stuff. Â I think they sold something like that. Â My nephew became a dentist, Dr. Edmunds son became a dentist, so then I go to him over here on (inaudible).
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes! Okay, lets pop back to Sulphur Springs a minute and tell me who you think were the most important or influential people there in Sulphur Springs during the years you were growing up, or as an adult. Â Who particularly pops into mind? Â Who do you think was historical or important?
WH: Well, lets see, when we had the bank down here, there was the man that wehe was a big shot in the bank, and they called it Mr. Winters Bank. Â It wasnt that at all; they just called it that cause he was well known. Â Yeah, Mr. Winters. Â There was an article in the paper telling about that. Â And well, I dont know, justI can remember all the grocery stores, like we had a table supply, which is now Winn-Dixie on the very corner. Â And you could put the shutters up and people walked on the sidewalk and just looked at the fruit, never stole a thing.
CB: How long was it?
WH: It was a long time, I just recently. It has been within the last twenty, twenty-five years or so. (inaudible) steak out at my brothers house and now he wont eat steak. Â He gets all turkey for it.
CB: Oh, how funny. Â Well, you know, were learning things we didnt know before. Â Okay, we were talking about Sulphur Springs and about the different areas. Â I was asking about influential people. Â Now, I kinda got the impression from Linda that your daddy was pretty influential in Sulphur Springs.
Linda Hope is the Penny Savers publisher, a long-time resident of Sulphur Springs; she is an area historian and local communities advocate in cases of adverse publicity. [quoted from CBs thesis]
WH: Yeah, he was. Â He used to also get letters from other people and he would answer the letters for the Chamber of Commerce.
WH: He wasnthe wasnt that, but theyd send it to him just like they sent people from the University down here.
CB: Right. Â Right.
WH: For him. Â So he used to answer the letters for likein the Chamber of Commerce. He wasnt, you know.
CB: Ill be darned. Â Well, and he owned a real significant amount of the property around here.
WH: Well, yes, but we didnt get rich off of it. Â We didnt get rich off of nothing. Â (laughs)
CB: But I guess what Im asking is if he owned such a significant amount of property, that evidently that was also part of what built up Sulphur Springs.
WH: I guess so, yeah. Â And everybody that ever rented from us, C.J., are still friends of ours.
CB: Is that right?
WH: Everyonejust very few people wasnt. Â But Ive been to fiftieth wedding anniversaries of people that lived in our houseup on Alaska Street that was. Â And Ive been to the fiftieth wedding anniversary, and she wasnt even living in Tampa at the time but I got an invitation. Â And all that stuff. Â We kept in touchall the people kept in touch with us if they lived in our houses many years before theyd maybe move to another house or bought one or something. Â But everybody always come back to see us.
CB: What I hear from you is that there seems to be so muchyou know, they talk today about how neighbors dont know their neighbors and theres not that much care, but I hear you talking a whole different thing about Sulphur Springs. Â Theres just a lot of neighborly goings-on.
WH: Well, now, the lady that used to live across the streetshe was renting, and then they sold the house and they went up on the rent and she couldnt afford it. Â We were very close, and she knew my dad from way back when, the duplex across the street. Â But anyway, the one girl comes upthey know me, they like me, and this one girl comes up and says, Hey, honey! and just talks to me. Â She got twins and four kids.
CB: Oh, my.
WH: The twins were babies when she moved in, five years ago now, but shes real nicethey just, sometimes theyre a little sloppy. Â But the man, I just met him about a month or two ago. Â His name is Jos, and I obviously dont know too much since I met him over at Johns. Â And then I know the guy down the streetin fact, when my dad first came to Sulphur Springs, they rented a place down here at 8113; it still stands. Â For room and board, I dont know what they paid a weekroom and board. Â Oh, they went traveling, like to New Port Richey on roads or something. Â But the house still stands. Â Then I know the people that run (inaudible) electric. Â And of course I know John; he works in the driveway all the time, so I asked him to move today because Im having company, cause hell ask you to move and he does it all the time; if I have someone coming unexpectedly, then he comes knocking on the door. Â My nephew was in here putting an air conditioner in the back bedroom one day; John tried to tell him (inaudible) I said (inaudible). Â And hes supposed to do my yard every once in a while (inaudible) leaves out there driving me crazy (inaudible). Â I paid him forty dollars when I got out of the hospital, I dont know what for.
But anyway, getting back to my neighbors now, I know the people in the theatreI wave to themand the people that did live next door before they knocked the house down. There was about three families living there, all related. Â And I didnt pay much attention to them, cause if I ever walked outside and they saw me theyd never get through talking, you know? Â And that was all right, but I justyou know. Â They wanted to mow my lawn one daythey had a mower. Â I said, No, John does it. Â They said, Well, well do it for nothing. Â And I just
CB: So how do you fill your daywhen youre home? Â (laughs) Â You go out a lot.
WH: When Im homeI went to the store, the General Dollar store, yesterday, before the grocery store, and I get these cards fifty cents apiece.
WH: C.J., they are gorgeous.
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes.
WH: I want to show you some.
WH: And I get sympathy cards ahead, cause (inaudible) passed away, good friends of ours from way back that worked with my brother-in-law. Â And I get all the Easter cards the other day, I get some birthday cards. Â I got twelvethirteen cards for $6.50.
CB: Good grief.
WH: And a lady told me one day I could go out here to Bearss [Avenue] and Florida [Avenue] and get three of them for a dollar. Â I said, I cant get out there. Â But Ive had the cab take me there so I wouldnt have to walk up the slope or down the slopelet me out right there at the door.
CB: Well, for goodness sakes.
WH: Thats why I wished he could have brought me home the other day, (inaudible). Â But anyway, yeah, I bought a lot of cards because I send cards. Â If people write me letters and stuff I try not to answer it too soon, but I answer it, you know. Â I keep everything kind of in order.
CB: Oh, you really do.
WH: And then I had an aunt that just diedshe was my godmother, and she died one month short of being ninety-nine years old.
CB: (gasps) Is that right?
WH: But my mothers mother lived to be ninety-nine and two months from being a hundred.
CB: Oh, my goodness.
WH: And she was looking forward to that birthday party. Â We had her ninety-fifth birthday party here, out at the lake at my sisters and I got all the relatives; everybody came from all over that was here in Florida on vacation. Â And she just loved people. Â She was so sweet. Â She was married sixty-two years. Â I have a picture of her here with Grandpa.
CB: Oh, thats gorgeous.
WH: Grandpa with a big tall guy and she was short.
CB: How old is she here?
WH: Well, shes been dead quite some time, but they were married sixty-two years.
CB: In that picture?
WH: When he died. Â They had eleven children. Â My mother was third. Â She was the third one, and then her youngest one was three years older than me and the girl was five years older than me and she still lives in St. Petersburg. Â Shes not too well, but she drives and goes to church every morning. Â And then her other sister thats livingtheres just two of them living nowlives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Â She comes down every once in a while, but since this thing in New York [9/11] she doesnt come down.
CB: Yeah, I can understand. Â Well, this is part ofobviously genes is where you get some of that, skin
WH: Ill look at that. Â Pops folks all lived to be in their eighties, but Pop lived to be the oldest one before he died; he was ninety-five. Â And of course Grandma was on Mamas side.
CB: Right, right. Â So were they all in one area? Â I mean, before you came here, was that
WH: Yeah, they were all in one area.
CB: Okay, okay. Â So pretty much your family kind of sticks together wherever they go.
WH: Yeah, and then my mothers fathermy mothers folksmy dads folks had farms right together and they sold General Motors the farms in Pontiac.
CB: Is that right? Â That is wonderful. Â So everybody was settled there in Michigan?
WH: Mm-hm. Â Mama was born in Indiana, but they moved to Michigan. Â Now, Grandpa had a brother that traveled everywhere; he had ten or eleven kids, and every time they was in a different state. Â They named one girl Florida (CB laughs) because she was born here. Â And they had
WH: Yeah, but theyre all deceased now. Â They originated insettled in Fort Myers.
CB: So, Linda was telling me that basically, I guess, when it was a tourist town it was primarily all white, Sulphur Springs was.
WH: The section up the street, maybe just before the railroad track, that was our line. Â Blacks would be the back end to our whites, and they didnt bother anybody.
CB: And it was definitely integrated, but it was by choice?
WH: And my daddy used to do business with a lotyeah, that was the way it was supposed to be. Â My dad used to do business with a lot of the blacks. Â And he alsothey wouldnt walk in the office like they would now, but theyd wait until everybody left and then theyd come in. Â There was one rich guy, Mr.I cant think of his name. Â He gave us a check every year for Christmas. Â We didnt want him to. Â And he wouldnt come in that office until everybody left.
CB: Well, for goodness sakes.
WH: And he shookmy niece was there one day, and Pop introduced my niece Carol Ann to him and she shook his hand. Â Pop thought that was real sweet of Carol Ann, cause shes a sweet girl. Â (inaudible)
CB: Uh-huh, uh-huh. Â So, actually, there wasnt any racial problems
CB: in town.
WH: No. Â We had someone work for us sometime (inaudible).
CB: Right, right. Â Is it still that way?
WH: No, I think the whites are starting to work with them.
CB: No, I mean is it still
WH: Now, I mean, every time you look up theyre going down the street in a car.
CB: So its fully integrated
WH: Now mine right now, in hereI dont know what the apartment has down there. Â I think they have both in there. Â But on this side of the street its always been all white, except when she brought that one from Texas.
CB: Right, right, right.
WH: And then on that lot across the street they put a duplex. Â This mayorSandy Freedman, I think it was(inaudible) a duplex. Â And up on Waters Avenue when you used to go up on there youd see those sloppy duplexes. Â Now this one is pretty nice, although they dont do the garbage; they leave their garbageshe leaves her garbage cans out. Â But I always got mine in the back. Â I dont leave my garbage cans because they stole mine several times, so I just put down a nice double bag of garbage and I take it out and (inaudible) outside. Â I used to get up every morning early and put it out. Â Im not doing that anymore.
Its almost like daylightthe theatres got a big street light that shines through here on the station over here where there used to bethe rug company now. Â They got a light that shines clear across my yards and clear on that house over there, and she puts her porch light on. Â Now I have a light that if anybody walks by it should go on, but the man that put it onit lasted about one month and I was gone for a weekend, and everybody said, Oh, Wilma, your lights were on all night and all day. Â I said, Well, I dont know whats wrong. Â I need to have him check it out because I paid quite a bit for that. Â Ill get someone fix it. Â You cant get anybodya man four weeks now is going to fix my roof.
CB: Is that right?
WH: On my garage. Â He does my roofing and he hasnt called me back. Â He was gonna call me back from Monday to Friday because I had a dental appointment Thursday and I havent heard from him yet. Â I dont know whether to call him or not. Â If Im gonna moveyou know, the more you dobut it makes me sick with that stuff, because we always kept everything up, but now its getting kinda bad about it cause you cant get anybody to do nothing about it.
CB: It wasnt that way before though, right?
WH: No. Â You could justmy dad had a man that did all of our painting, and every winter hed come down and theyd do the one house or the other. Â He did such a good job. Â But since hes been gone we dont see him many years now, even before my dad died. Â Ive had it painted just one time. Â The man did a sloppy job. Â Right there on the south side, it just looks like its peeling.
CB: Right, right. Â So how do you think the atmosphere in the neighborhood has changed, and what do you think was the beginning of the change? Â How has the attitude of people?
WH: Well, the only thing I would blame a lot of it on is the duplexes they were putting up all over the place, although we just got one here. Â Then they took the tourist clubtook the trailer parks on both sides of the street a block down, made everybody move and put up houses (inaudible) sold them or what, but they look kinda junky, too.
CB: Well, for goodness sakes. Â So there was actually trailer parks out here.
WH: Uh-huh. Â And every time they made people move they just about killed them. Â You know, it just tore em up. Â And it wasnt bad little trailers down there, you know.
WH: Some that owned it kinda took care of it. Â My brother one timemy dad got him a job to mow their yard, you know, little strip here and a little strip there, and for three dollars on both sides of the street. Â He got so mad he didnt know what to do. Â And he worked at a bowling alleythere was an open air bowling alley back there one time and Edward worked there, I guess, setting up the pins, but he made so much money that he had to quit work so he could spend his money.
CB: Oh, how funny. Â Now, Linda was telling me there used to be bathhouses and there used to be something she called the Tin Can Tourist Club.
WH: Well, let me tell you what I heard, and I didnt know about this. Â A girl come here that used to live up on Alaska Street, a good friend of ours; shes living down on Osborne now. Â She said, and another man told me the same thing, that they came down here and put up tents over here by where you drive into the pool, by the Nebraska area, and they put up tents there until they could find a place to live, and I didnt know that till she sat here and told my dad. Â Then this man told me one day, so they both told the same story. Â They called it Tin Can Alley or something. Â But I didnt know that.
CB: Well, Ill be darned. Â So, do you have any memories of the Depression and how it may have affected you in this area?
WH: Well, I can remember the Depression. Â We always had food and stuff, cause we had the cow; we had everything. Â If we needed anything, my grandmother always had money we could borrow from her, pay her back and all.
CB: So you didnt see any great problems in this area, with your neighbors
WH: What we would do is we would give people the skim milk and theyd buy a ten-cent box of soda crackers and have their meal, one meal off of that. Â But wed always givewe wouldnt throw the stuff away.
WH: We always saw that they got fruit, cause we always had plenty of oranges and stuff. Â But yeah, Mama was a goodshe knew what to do, she made all of our clothes, except the boys. Â She made Edward and Elda a little outfit: he had a little panty part and Elda had a little pleated skirt, and the lady next door said, Gee, Edward, you got a girls top on. It was little animals on the top, just like Eldas. Â Boy, he wouldnt wear nothing that matched Eldas anymore to save his life. Â She should never have said that, but it was cute little outfits.
CB: What do you like the most about Sulphur Springs today? Â Cause youve already said you wouldnt leave if it wasnt for your relatives.
WH: Well, I just liked it, you know, because I guess I grew up here and I just liked it.
CB: What do you think youll miss when you move out there with your niece? Â (laughs)
CB: Well, what do you think are the most important issues?
WH: Ill miss my relatives, too.
CB: Being this close to them?
WH: Yeah, but I got these calling cards that give me 500-600 minutes, so I can use that. Â (CB laughs) Â Although I used to run my phone bill up before I got them.
CB: Oh, I understand that one.
WH: Talking to my niece. Â Yeah.
CB: So what do you thinktell me a little about, like, the fire, the police, that kind of things out here? Â When you first moved, was it a volunteer fire department or was it a regular fire department? Â Who was the police?
WH: Until a couple years ago I dont think we had a fire department out here.
CB: Well, who was thedid you have a sheriff?
WH: Had a sheriff over in the Arcade.
CB: And now you, what, you have a police station somewhere around here?
WH: Well, we did have it over at the pool at one time, but they took it down, the bathhouse place. Â We had thethe police was over there. Â I called one time for something and I said, Well, youre right there, a block away from where Im calling for you to go. Â That didntthey didnt know where they were. Â But anyway, so far, I would say everything not that bad. Â Thats my opinion. Â But this area right in here. Â And then what I would miss would be my family, mostly; but then, were all in Tampa, so its just get on interstate or the express or whatever and get over there in forty-five minutes to an hour.
CB: Okay. Â Well, the last question, and then were gonna move over to the table and Im going to have you explain some of these wonderful artifacts that you have. Â The last question I have for you is if you had to tell somebody that you havent talked to in a while, that hadnt been here, about Sulphur Springs, about where you live, what would you say? Â How would you describe it to them?
WH: Well, I would say its changed a little, you know, from the people that used to be here and now its, I think, more rentals than it used to be. Â Actually (inaudible) just jump out there in the yard and say hallelujah or anything. Â I look out before I go out.
CB: You do watch out for yourself.
WH: Im a scaredy-cat anymore.
CB: Okay, well, lets move the tape recorder over to the table, because youve got some wonderful things to show me.
WH: You can just put that any place. Â Do you want some more coffee?
Pause in recording
WH: where it used to be a goldfish pond, and across the street would be where his office and all would be. Â But thats him standing; someone came by and took his picture. Â Now heres our Arcade in color.
CB: Oh, in a postcard.
WH: Thats a block right up east from me.
CB: Is that hotel apartments I see in the top?
WH: Mm-hm, mm-hm.
CB: Look at the lawn; they had it manicured.
CB: Wow, thats
WH: I dont know what year.
CB: No, it isnt.
WH: It showed us
CB: No, it doesnt show us on the back. Â Okay, and?
CB: Nineteen twenty-seven.
WH: Yeah. Â You wanna sit down?
CB: No, what I want to do is get me a camera.
WH: Oh, oh, oh.
CB: Okay, look at that. Â Now this iswhat am I looking at?
WH: This isnow see, this is where theyre starting to build that Arcade.
CB: Is this what they call Model-TModel-As, Model-Ts?
WH: Yeah. Â Now, this is Nebraska. Â See, Nebraska didnt have the main street. Â We went down around this street and there was an old wooden bridge you had to go across before the other one was built. Â Now, lets see. Â Heres my dads little real estate office, after he moved it from by the theatre, where we used to go in and watch the theatre. Â Thats his little office, and theres his little office again. Â So this is right on Nebraska Avenue.
CB: I see, from one direction, and then we turn and come from the other direction.
WH: Yeah. Â And right here is the building that used to be that, and werethis house is the one that burned down that time, and thats our property right there.
CB: And theres a little American Lunch; is that a little lunch counter?
WH: Yeah, and here it is right here.
CB: Oh, look at that!
WH: And she put that in the Penny Saver, in one of the calendars.
CB: Oh, thats fantastic. Â Now, I wonder what year this is.
WH: I dont know, but it should bewait a minutelet me see
CB: Must be
WH: I got twenty  on here.
CB: Nineteen twenty, okay. Â Now, what about
WH: Thats when Grandpa must have built those houses.
CB: Okay, those are the two houses that your grand
CB: Now, thats not this one, though?
WH: No. Â This is on Sitka Street here. Â My dad had his office there at one time when he had to get off of the property; someone sold it. Â And one nephew was born there and then thisthe other, this is Ninth Street. Â This is the house that used to be next door to me.
WH: And this is the corner, this is the same house.
CB: And look at all those long sleeves, long skirts
WH: Oh, and my dad had a picture with his cuffs onhow in the world they ironed all that stuff?
CB: Well, it makes you wonder what time of year it is, knowing how hot Florida is.
WH: Now this lady here, she always carried a little doggy around. Â She lived across the street and her and her husband was the twins godparents when they were baptized. Â But theres steps thereI remember theyd been filled in, there was no steps to go upbut my dads office was right there, his little office right there.
CB: Oh, my goodness.
WH: Where he (inaudible).
CB: Yeah, I see it. Â So what does this say, Bludwine, five cents?
WH: I think it says something.
CB: Well, yeah, five cents for whatever it is.
WH: Now this, lets see (inaudible).
CB: C.L. Barnes Real Estate.
WH: Papas the only one left after all these realtors. Â They said, Oh, you ought to get a Cadillac and drive your customers. Â Grandpa had a Model-T, or whatever. Â So Papa was the only one left standing in real estate. Â Well, anyway, this is like Nebraska here and then you used to kinda have to go around here. Â Now this right here, I think its a theatre, (inaudible) theater. Â You can see advertisements on the outside of the building. Â This was a little drink stand.
CB: I can actually see it says there.
WH: Let me go get my littleI got a little magnifying glass. Â I paid forty dollars for it and my dad said Are you crazy?
Pause in recording
CB: Okay, what have we got here?
WH: I dont know.
CB: Theres our
WH: What this says
CB: All right, lets see if we can find that one out. Â That one says, Bludwine in the hobble skirt bottle.
WH: Anyway, my sister-in-law gave that to them and they didnt know what it was, and she said, You know anything about a lunch room? and I thought Sulphur Springs lunch room, didnt know anything about that. Â She said, Can I come down and see? Â And she brought that picture and I said, My gosh! Â All these pictures got away from me. Â But anyway, she finally put it in one of the calendarsone like October of last years or the year before.
CB: Right, right. Â I have copies of that. Â Okay, this islooks like Im looking at June 1992
WH: That was looking backheres the Arcade again (inaudible).
CB: Do we know what this is of?
WH: That was out of a Penny Saver.
CB: Okay, okay. Â Oh, thats this Arcade picture. Â Perfect. Â Okay.
WH: But I dont know what yearI should, you know, remember.
CB: Dont worry about it. Â I think its wonderful we even have em. Â Okay, what else have we got here?
WH: Well, lets see now.
CB: These are the ones we just sawnope, part of them.
WH: Now this is Ninth Street here. Â Grandpas place is that way. Â Grandpa had two houses on one lot: this one and another one, and then this one was on a single lot. Â And this onethese two were on one lot. Â Now heres (inaudible), and theres my dads office again, and theres our houses behind there.
WH: Which isnt the two big ones. Â But anyway, then Sitka Street would run right there.
CB: Now, are the streets paved at this point? Â Or are they still dirt?
WH: Well, they wereat that time I think they were dirt, and my granddad had to pay for that brick street up there. Â I had a check one day, a returned check that (inaudible).
CB: Is that right?
WH: I think I gave it to Charles.
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes. Â Okay, what else have we got here? Â Youve got some great stuff.
WH: Im trying to go through
CB: Oh, okay.
WH: Now this lady here, she believedshe just passed away the other day. Â Im never gonna get through picking up this thing.
CB: Easter grass. (laughs)
WH: Shes got my dads name in here some place. Â But she went down to get the sulfur water.
CB: Oh, she did?
WH: Down at my dads; he used to have his place down there. Â Now this is a separate picture. Â It tells you about Mr. Marcus and the Harbor Club.
CB: Now, tell me about this Harbor Club.
WH: That was where the tourist club was.
CB: Okay, okay.
WH: And with the tourist club, people used to go down (inaudible), then all of a sudden it kinda went kaflooie. Â I guess all the old timers passed away, and then whenever they sold it, whoever was still living got some money out of it. Â I dont know just how that was.
WH: My dad never did; he was a member of it. Â Now this is the same picture here that tells about Mr. Hensel.
CB: Right. Â Area pioneer Carl Hensel swore by it, as did many of the other longtime residents.
WH: But he swore more about this pool over here (inaudible), said it stronger than (inaudible).
CB: Oh, okay.
WH: I dont know how much land he had on this property. Â (inaudible), she just passed away the other day.
CB: Margaret Anderson?
CB: Oh, for goodness sakes.
WH: They used to get this water and take it home, I guess.
CB: Hmm, okay. Â Whatve you got there?
WH: This is the same picturethats my dads picture. Â This is a picture taken up on Alaska Street where the twins were born.
CB: Oh, my. Â All right, which one are you?
WH: There. Â I got beads around my neck. Â I went swimming with beads around my neck. Â (CB laughs) Â (inaudible) jewelry.
CB: Oh, what a beautiful family.
WH: Thats Charles, Mom and the twins, Gladys, and Josephine.
CB: What a beautiful, beautiful family. Â And this is 1927?
WH: Mm-hm. Â The twins was born in this bedroom right there.
CB: Okay, keep talking.
WH: And Grandpa fixed this, made a sleeping porch out of that.
CB: Lets see if this is going to take. Â Okay, why dont we tilt it just a little up towards me, get a little of the glare off it. Â (camera noises) Â Okay, well find out if these will take. I had people tell me thisll work. Â Oh, that is wonderful. Â Now, is this the sleeping porch he built?
WH: Uh-huh. Â My granddad built that.
CB: Right, right.
WH: But Pop built the rest of the house with Mr. Rand down the street. Â But this was a bedroom, thats a bedroom. Â And the bedroomsyou could go through a closet and youd go through here, and then you didnt go straight through but you jogged in and you went through the other bedroom. Â So you hadboth had access to (inaudible).
CB: Oh, wonderful. Â Okay, whats itwe have a map of Sulphur Springs?
WH: Now this is Popyeah, this is my dad; he had his name and picture in the paper that day and they showed a map or something. Â I think this all lumped together here. Â Now this showstells more about what he had written here, starting down here a little bit. Â I think thats where it starts. Â This was Tampa Times at the time.
CB: This is 1980, right, right.
CB: So if I write this down I should be able to find a copy of this in the Tampa Times.
WH: Well, I got a part of this, and I know I should have another part.
WH: My cousin that comes downI havent been out there in years, you know. Â (inaudible) he wore them out showing them to people.
CB: (laughs) Oh, no.
WH: Up in Michigan.
CB: Oh, no. Â Okay, Tampa Times, August 25, 1980. Â Wow, look at that, and its in section A; you made the front section. Â Okay, and this wasthis was when your dad was eighty-nine; this was still a ways before he died.
WH: Its not a good picture. Â Oh, he did have his glasses on, but thats not very good. Â Anyway, when it starts out reading it tells something like what I was telling you a bit about.
CB: But now it says something like the homes are poorly constructed?
WH: Well, I guess they didnt
CB: Seasonal cottages.
WH: Make them. Â Yeah, they didnt make em
CB: Make em like this one.
WH: Didnt have a inspection or whatever you call it.
CB: Right, and a grab bag, thats what you were talking about. Â Duplexes and everything else up here. Â Oh, whats this about broken promises? Â Oh, large-scale demolition, did we have large-scale demolition coming in here? Â Well, I guess when the dog track took down the Arcade. Â Feeling of helplessness. Â Wilma, you do not strike me as a lady who feels helpless.
WH: I used to rake my yard going, Oh, God.
CB: But were getting an increase in the duplexes. Â Are you seeing that now?
WH: They quit that, they quit that later; they stopped after they got a big mess of them. Â Sandy Freeman wouldnt want one next to her house.
CB: (laughs) So is there any building going on in Sulphur Springs?
WH: Theres some. Â I see new houses going up in vacant lots, like going out to my sisters, havent been out that way in a long time. Â Alaska Street looks like some nice houses was built across from our old house.
CB: Right, right. Â Thats fantastic. Â Oh, I like it. Â Okay. Â Youve made some notes. Â Did we cover what you wanted to?
WH: I just started out with his parentsthey decided to take a vacation and go to Florida. Â I just scribbled this down.
CB: Oh, thats in 1916.
CB: Oh, thats right, you (inaudible).
WH: Then he came back eight years later and he was already married then to my mother, and four kids. Â They didnt waste any time. Â They came back eight years later in twenty-four .
CB: Right, right. Â And thats when he went into real estate, in 1924.
CB: So now, is this the last thing that the family owns, is this property youre in right now?
CB: So once its sold, theres no more Hensel ownership in Sulphur Springs.
WH: My dads aunt, my great-aunt, owned where the museum is on River Cove. Â Thats a house like one of these houses I showed you; it still stands, but the museums torn down.
CB: Right. Â If this is considered a historical building, will they allow you to sell it or will only certain people be allowed to buy?
WH: I dont know what theyll do. Â Now, when we sold to him next door, we got proof from the city that we could sell it to him (inaudible) whatever; of course when he got it he didnt care (inaudible). Â I used to get a headache every week.
CB: I can imagine.
WH: Every month.
CB: Well, listen, you have just been wonderful. Â I appreciate you so much, and I know the Sulphur Springs historical associations gonna appreciate you. (laughs)
WH: But as far as Sulphur Springs (inaudible). Â Heres a picturemy mother wasnt in this picture, but my stepmother was.
CB: Is that the family?
WH: We all got together. Â Theres one boy thats not on there; hes thirty-three years old, so hes not in the picture.
CB: Now, where are you?
WH: I was sick that day. Â I had to cancel my hair appointment. Â So she was in Atlanta (inaudible). Â I had to sit on the vanity or the stove and comb my hair, I was so sick. Â I didnt have a headache, but I just didnt feel good. Â This is my stepmother; she had Parkinsons. Â This is the girl that lived in Bartow. Â This is her brother thats a dentist. Â This is her other brother (inaudible), and theres her older sister, Sharon. Â She doesnt have any children (inaudible). Â Now this is my brother who just passed away; his wife died some time ago. Â This is Edward the twin and theres his sister (inaudible) and her husband; hes real short. Â Theres Gladys and her husband. Â Their son came back from Vietnam about a year later and died of leukemia. Â But that wasnthe didnt get it from there. Â Thats his other brother. Â And lets see. Â Theres (inaudible); hes the one thats got a birthday today. Â Theres his little sister right there; shes a nurse at Moffitt.
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