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interviewed by Otis R. Anthony and members of the Black History Research Project of Tampa.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 transcript (2 p.)
Otis R. Anthony African Americans in Florida oral history project.
Other interviewers for the Black History Research Project of Tampa were Fred Beaton, Joyce Dyer, Herbert Jones, and Shirley Smith.
Interview conducted August 8, 1978.
This is a transcript of an oral history interview with Mary Cash, a nurse, in which she describes the Clara Frye Hospital, some of its medical equipment, and political conditions among the staff. The Clara Frye Hospital was at one time the only hospital in Tampawhere African Americans could be treated.
African American nurses
x Medical care
Anthony, Otis R.
Black History Research Project of Tampa.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL TRANCRIPT
COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 2009, University of South Florida. All rights, reserved This oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrig hted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fo wler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.
1 Otis R. Anthony African Americans in Florida Oral History Project Oral History Program Florida Studies Center University of South Florida, Tampa Library Digital Object Identifier: A31 00011 Interviewee: Mary Cash Interviewer: Unknown Interview date: August 8, 1978 Interview location: Unknown Transcribed by: Unknown Transcription date: Unknown Detailed Summary by: Mary Beth Isaacson Detailed Summary date: March 18, 2009 Final Edit by: Maria Kreiser Final Edit date: March 19, 2009 [Detailed Summa ry Note: The USF Oral History Program was not provided with the audio for this interview. The following Detailed Summary was compiled from a transcript provided by the USF Department of Anthropology African Americans in Florida Collection, which is curren tly housed in USF Libraries' Special Collections.] Clara Frye Hospital Mary Cash was a nurse who worked at Clara Frye Hospital, Tampa's segregated hospital for African Americans. She worked at Clara Frye until 1962. There were no white patients there at a ll. After she left, there were "charity people out of the county, but they didn't have any paid patients." The nurses at Clara Frye Ms. Cash saw to it that each of the nurses she supervised was qualified. "They were willing to take a reprimand, and I was very nice with them, every one of them." The nurses worked well with Ms. Cash. If something went wrong in the hospital's north wing, they would come get her to see if she could do anything. Medical technology "I guess I'm the first black woman to give oxy gen." She learned how to do that in Fort Lauderdale. Ms. Cash is also the first one at Clara Frye who drew blood. They made all of the tubes and other supplies. "We made our tubes and everything. All this stuff you pay for now, we made it." She learned how to do that in Fort Lauderdale, too. They also made a blood pressure apparatus: "those tubes you see hanging up there, running down," which Ms. Cash helped make. "Then they got this plastic stuff; it's even different to what it was when it first came out. After World War II they used plasma, and the doctors came over and showed her how to mix it and get it going.
2 Politics The Clara Frye nurses had nothing to do with politics. "If we voted, we didn't say we voted. We didn't have nobody's sticker on the back or our cars or anything. We didn't root for this man and taboo the other one." They just worked. Whatever went on at Tampa General Hospital went on at Clara Frye, because the two hospitals had the same superintendant, Mr. McKay. Ms. Cash does not rem ember his first name. The nurses' strike Some of the nurses decided to go on strike. "I had too much sense to go on a strike and ask for money, because I knew if Tampa General got a raise, we'd get a raise because we were under the city." When Mr. McKay c ame in, he would fire everybody. He asked the nurses if they were on strike; they told him they were just sitting down to rest until he came to talk with them. He still wanted to fire them, and he had the power to do it. Ms. Cash told the nurses that, "Wh at affects a poor white man affects a N egro." She told them not to worry about the government cutting things off, because there were so many poor people and the Senate and Congress would see to it that people wouldn't suffer. Relationships with white doc tors "We had very good relations with the white doctors that had patients over there. We never had any complaint. Everybody tried their very best to do what was on the chart, and that was all we was responsible for." Other Clara Frye superintendants There was someone named D.W.P. Johnson. After he left, there was a superintendant named Mr. Callahan. "He died while I was on my vacation, and the last word they remember him saying clearly was, I wish Cash was here.'" He was "a little short fellow." "They cla im he and [Curtis] Hixon must have been some kind of relation, because people bucked about this man being superintendant of our hospital when he knew nothing about medicine." Hixon, who was mayor of Tampa from 1943 to 1956, was a pharmacist by trade. [Det ailed Summary Note : The i nterview ends at this point in the transcript. The transcriber notes that the recording was paused. After recording is resumed, an unidentified male voice begins reading an article about Clara Frye Hospital called "Here's Legend o f How First Negro Hospital Started." The newspaper is unidentified, but the date is given as Sunday, April 5, 1959. Mary Cash is mentioned prominently in this article. Although the article is included in the printed transcript, it has been omitted from thi s digitized version due to copyright restrictions. Consult USF Tampa Library Special Collections for the printed transcript.]