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Angle, A. Bayard,
q (Allie Bayard),
A. Bayard Angle
h [electronic resource] / interviewed by Judge Morison Buck.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file ( 110 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (digital, PDF file)
Carlton-Anthony Tampa oral history project
Interview conducted on February 5, 1998.
p Original version:
n VHS videocassette.
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Allie Bayard Angle discusses living and working his entire life as a "third generation Floridian". He practiced law in the area, and has had lucrative citrus and real estate investments. He is the last surviving charter member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, a member and former president of the Lakeland Highland Citrus Co-Op Association, and a member of the Retired Officers Association of Tampa. Mr. Bayard's interest in genealogy, research, and oral histories compelled him to donate considerable sums of money to the USF Library.
Angle, A. Bayard
University of South Florida Libraries.
University of South Florida Libraries
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
University of South Florida.
Resource Center for Florida History and Politics.
Oral History Program.
y USF ONLINE ACCESS
C O P Y R I G H T N O T I C E T h i s O r a l H i s t o r y i s c o p y r i g h t e d b y t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a L i b r a r i e s O r a l H i s t o r y P r o g r a m o n b e h a l f o f t h e B o a r d o f T r u s t e e s o f t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a C o p y r i g h t 2 0 0 7 U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d T h i s o r a l h i s t o r y m a y b e u s e d f o r r e s e a r c h i n s t r u c t i o n a n d p r i v a t e s t u d y u n d e r t h e p r o v i s i o n s o f t h e F a i r U s e F a i r U s e i s a p r o v i s i o n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s C o p y r i g h t L a w ( U n i t e d S t a t e s C o d e T i t l e 1 7 s e c t i o n 1 0 7 ) w h i c h a l l o w s l i m i t e d u s e o f c o p y r i g h t e d m a t e r i a l s u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s F a i r U s e l i m i t s t h e a m o u n t o f m a t e r i a l t h a t m a y b e u s e d F o r a l l o t h e r p e r m i s s i o n s a n d r e q u e s t s c o n t a c t t h e U N I V E R S I T Y O F S O U T H F L O R I D A L I B R A R I E S O R A L H I S T O R Y P R O G R A M a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a 4 2 0 2 E F o w l e r A v e n u e L I B 1 2 2 T a m p a F L 3 3 6 2 0
Interview with: A. Bayard Angle Interviewed by: Morison Buck Location: Tampa, FL Date: February 5, 1998 Transcribed by: N/A Audit Edited by: N/A Final Edit by: N/A B=Morison Buck A=Bayard Angle B I want to introduce my old friend, Bayard Angle. I'm Morison Buck. Bayard has had a long and fascinating career, and he has recently been a benefactor of the University of South Florida Library. He's going to talk to us a little about his life and history. Bayard? A Oh, well I was born in Bartow, Florida, on October the 1st, 1908. And it was even published in the local paper that I'd been born, and was going to keep, maintain a home with my parents, in Bartow. And so, my mother had been born in Florida. And also my maternal grandmother. So, third generation Floridian. And my father had a furniture business in Bartow. And he was also in the Florida Legislature for two terms. They had a, I had a sister--Jenny. She was born in 1904. And my father had graduated at the Florida Military Academy. Which was a forerunner of the University of Florida. And located in Bartow. B Let me interrupt you a moment and ask you, how did you come by the name Allie Bayard Angle... A Well, my father's name was Allie Jay, J-A-Y. And then my mother's brother was Dr. Bayard Mitchell. So, between the two of them, I got that. And usually I was called Bayard, at home. But when you get out later, you find out that in the, in the military and legally and so forth they always want to use your first name, Allie, in this instance. So we lived there, in Bartow, I think until maybe I was three and a half, or along there. And my father moved to Tampa. And established another furniture company. And we, we were in a family concept there. There, we had uncles and aunts and all living in a matter of just two or three blocks of each other. And my grandmother also. So it was very homey. And, unfortunately, my mother died in 1913. And so her sister was Nellie Ferguson. And Mr. Ferguson, my uncle, had built a real nice house out on Buffalo Avenue in Tampa. And they asked my
father and we two children to move in there with them. And they had ample room, and this turned out to be great. Aunt Nellie stepped in as a second mother to Jenny and myself. And came time to go to school, I was not quite old enough. I know Aunt Nellie wanted to get me out of the house, so she got in touch with the superintendent of education and got me in there a little early because I could read-but she missed out on one thing, and this is how a boy should dress to go to the first day of school. She sent off and got me a Buster Brown suit; had a sash and all and I had a real uneasy feeling about that. Because we were surrounded by some good cracker families around there that didn't like any pretense. B Heh heh. A So I did get rid of that sash. But I did wear the Buster Brown suit to the first grade. Well I think I fought every boy in there, and maybe some of the girls too. That Buster Brown suit. So one of them who was in first grade with me, who I'll mention every now and then, was Linebaugh. And he and I were in the first grade together and we went on to eighty odd years. So, anyhow, we were there for a year. And my uncle, Fergie, traded his property there for some property up in Petry, Alabama. And it consisted of a general store and a house. In a little town of about 200. And so Aunt Nellie and Fergie and Jen and I, we moved up there. And went to school in a one-room school house. Jenny was four grades ahead of me and she was in the same room with me. And we really enjoyed the school and made a lot of friends. But there came a time where I had to tell about one time that I had gone to Washington, D.C. with my parents or my, some of my family. And we had gone to George Washington's home. And Jefferson's home. And we had taken a brougham buggy up above the clouds in one mountain there. And I happened to mention that we had driven above the clouds with--I was branded as a liar immediately by all the kids there because they knew that was impossible--and it shook the confidence of the teacher in me too, for awhile. We went to this one school for a year, and then it burned down. So they found a church about three miles away and we would walk up there and back. Now, some people complain about walking. Well, that was one of the greatest times of our lives, walking back and forth. And, we'd have a few scraps about taking a good looking girl's books for her and things like that. But we had, we really did enjoy it. B Let me ask you, didn't you tell me one time that your sister had a rather protective instinct... A Heh heh...
B ...with respect to your relations with your friends? A She came on me one time when--about four kids were jumping on me. And boy she scattered them like they were pigeons. Because she didn't want anybody else picking on me. She'd take care of that! B So you didn't have to do much fighting, it was by surrogate? A That's right. Well, we lived there in Petry in for three years. In the meantime my father remarried. And also World War I came along, and he was in the Army. So he was stationed at Camp Sevier in Greenville, South Carolina. He came and got Jenny and me. And we went back and continued to, to live with my step mother-who was just a great person. Her name was Rachel Reed. And she'd come from New Jersey originally, but had lived in Tampa. So she became really our third mother, I suppose. And she was a great one. But we lived there in Greenville, and then Columbia, South Carolina. And then later on, we were in Decatur, Georgia. So this meant changing schools for us each time. And making new friends and having a few fights along the way. Which is one of one of the finest educations I ever had, to meet new people all the time. And accommodate myself to a new environment. So, I've always been very proud of it. B Let me ask you, what--did your father have any foreign duty while he was in the service? A Yes, we, while we were in Greenville, he went to Europe. And he was with the 81st Division there. And later on with the 5th Division--he was promoted to Major. And he stayed there, and when he came back is when we went to Decatur, Georgia. And he was posted to Fort McPherson there. B Right out of Atlanta, isn't it? A Yes, that's just six miles out of Atlanta, uh huh. So then, of course, we wanted to return to Tampa, which we did. And he reestablished himself, but it was hard to find living quarters at that time. So many people coming back from the war. So he and my stepmother lived with an aunt of ours. And I lived with--and Jenny was a musician, and she was off to Chicora [sp?] College in Columbia, South Carolina. I lived with my Aunt Honey--my grandmother and her sister, Aunt Honey. They were Spencers--their maiden name was Spencer-and they had married Mitchell brothers. And so this, this stay with my aunt and my grandmother there, there was
also their grandmother's oldest--youngest--son. And then Mitchell Stallings and his father, Otto Stallings. They were cousins and an uncle. And I was a kid. So, it was a great experience for me and they taught me, I think, the love of books. And to look up good authors. Which stayed with me the rest of my life. B Let me digress a moment and ask you, the name Mitchell has a good deal of significance in the state of Florida. Not just in Tampa. Tell us about that, would you? A Oh, alright. Now my grandfather was Charles Mitchell. He was a doctor. And he later became Commissioner of Land and Immigration of Florida. Which is now the what, the Commission of Agriculture. He also, before that time, had run into Hamilton Distunt [sp?], who had bought millions of acres of land in Florida. And he had my grandfather represent him in selling over a million acres there. And my grandpa had a, nursery. So he sold him citrus trees to go on these lands too. And then his brother was Henry L. Mitchell. And he was a prosecuting Attorney. Then Circuit Judge, and that circuit took in from about, about Cedar Key to Key West. And then he became Supreme Court Judge. And then he became Governor of Florida. Now both of them, my great uncle and my grandfather died before I was born. So I was living with their widows. And they told me a great many stories about the earlier days when they were married. So it's a great benefit to me. I went to the, in the sixth grade there, went to the Robert E. Lee grammar school which... B That's still here, isn't it? A Excuse me? B Isn't that school still in existence? A Still there, that's right. And at the end of that school year my father established, a furniture store in St. Petersburg. So we moved over there. I think I went to seven different schools in the first nine years of my school life. And so I joined the, went to Junior College--I mean Junior High School--first. And then High School. I had some athletics, but usually I worked for my father in the furniture store in the afternoons. And I always did have a paper route in the mornings to give me some cash. My father had--we had good food and a good home and all, but he was, wasn't very lavish with spending money and I wanted a little spending money. So, I graduated from the St. Petersburg High School in 1927. So I then went to the University of Florida. And this uncle of mine, Dr. Bayard Mitchell, wanted me to be a doctor. He had no children. So when I went up to the university, I went to pre-
med school. Which meant four hours in the laboratory every afternoon. And by the time--this time, by the way, the Depression had hit a double whammy on Florida-my father lost his business, and as many others did, at the time. So I waited on tables, or anything else I could do up at the University of Florida, and then Saturdays I worked down at a grocery store. And I became adept at cutting sow belly--I could cut it to the 16th of an inch. Heh heh, I could have made a career of that thing. So uh... B Good eating, too. A Good eating too, that's right. So I... B Let me ask you something, to interrupt you... A Yes? B I know the viewers of this program, whoever they may be, won't believe it. But if you don't mind, tell us your age please. [pause] How old are you? A Oh--I was born in, October 1st, 1908. B So you're 89? A I'm 89 now. B Okay. A Yeah, I'm new to being 89, so I don't know quite how, what to do you know at 89. So I'm tryin' hard. And, so anyhow, I stayed up there a year and a half in University of Florida. And I had to drop out. And... B Did you stay in the private quarters while you were in school? A No, I lived in the, I had been pledged to the Delta Chi fraternity and I lived in there. And I had made some friendships there that just lasted all my life. And I'll bring that out later on in the series, and um. There were a number--here I was spending four hours of every afternoon in the laboratory, and the rest of them were usually lawyers, and they got, seemed to me they were loafin'. And I liked that idea a little bit better. So, I left it though, and went on down to St. Petersburg again, and I got different jobs there--jerkin' soda, selling ladies shoes, working as a room clerk out of a hotel--and I went to some junior college classes. And so then I got a job
with the St. Petersburg Times. They didn't pay me much money, so they gave me a title: an Assistant Circulation Manager. So, I got some experiences along those lines. B Let me ask you, didn't you tell me one time that you had some job in the old Detroit Hotel, over there on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg? A No, I didn't, but I was at the Mary Jane Hotel. B Mary Jane... A But it was on Central Avenue. B ...oh I was confused. A A smaller hotel. B Is it still there? A Still there, uh huh. Yeah. And uh... B You were telling us about what jobs you were doing while you were there in St. Petersburg. A Yeah. And, that was a good experience, working--I found out something about how hotels operated and it has served me well later on. I went to New York and Honolulu and every place else, and I would come in and introduce myself and say I was a hotel man. And usually was able to get the accommodations one way or another. B What about, kind of transportation did you have in those days? A Well, I had a Model-T Ford. And after the jobs seemed to disappear there in St. Petersburg, I had a friend who had gone out to Phoenix Arizona and worked on a newspaper there. And I contacted him, and asked him if I could get a job out there. And he sent me a wire, said yes I have you a job there with the paper. So, paying expenses and getting out there was a problem, so I recruited two of my friends. And, we drove out. We called my car "Flozona"--Florida to Arizona. And we drove on out. We stopped en route, went up, at El Paso, and went across to the Mexican side. Saw Mexican life for the first time. And then proceeded on to Phoenix. Now remember, Phoenix is in a desert. And it was hot, and it was before
they ever had air conditioning. So this job did not materialize. So my friend, to atone for it, he let us three boys sleep on the floor at his home. I had known his wife before, and she was very gracious. So we slept on the floor until we got jobs. And we got these odd jobs as, uh, working in a drug store and I was sent out to Tempe as a soda jerk and supposed to cook. Well they didn't appreciate my cooking so that job didn't last very long. B What year was this, Bayard? A That was 1930. B Alright; things were pretty difficult, economically? A They were very difficult. There were what they called "Hoover Villages" all along the roads there, that where people were living in piano boxes or tar papered houses, you know. And, a lot of people out of work, at something like 25% I believe of the population was out of work at the time. So it was--these jobs you got, were usually temporary jobs at the best. B I'm lucky, I was in the second grade about that year. A Yeah? B And had things pretty soft, back in Memphis where I was raised.. A Heh. B Okay, go ahead and tell us more about Phoenix and your experiences there. A I had a reaction I never had before. My health has always been very well, but my teeth started aching and my hair was coming out with that dry climate out there. And we would uh, we had, after we'd leave my friend's house, we had gotten a room downtown Phoenix. And at night we would get up and soak the sheets in water so it would make it a little cooler. And then we'd have these sandstorms, and despite all we could do with stuffing papers under the doors and in the windows and all, you just couldn't keep the sand out. And that's the experience everybody had out there as a matter of fact. I finally got to selling automobiles--or trying to sell automobiles. And, met several people there, salesmen also. So after a little while one of them who had come from Seattle, told me he was going back there as sales manager and asked me if I would like to go along with him. Well I was not that great a car salesman, but I thought things were ending there in Phoenix, so we got
in the car. And there was another salesman also going, and so we had a convoy going of three cars. And we went on through Yuma and some of those really desert towns where the degree--hundred and fourteen degrees, and so forth--and we got to Los Angeles, and found out we had a number of people we knew from St. Petersburg living there. So we decided it might be better to stop there instead of going on out to Seattle and trusting my abilities as a car salesman. So we went to the Delta Chi house there. And it was summertime, and so they let us stay there. And we started looking for jobs. And about, couple times a week, the movie studios or agents would call up and ask for some students to go and be in mob scenes and what not. So Jimmy, one of the fellows with us, he took advantage of that; they paid him ten dollars a day--we thought that was great. So George and I looked for jobs. And I ran into Yank Alexander, who I'd known in St. Petersburg, and he was jerking soda at Walgreen's out in Hollywood. So I went by to see him and told him I'd appreciate it if he could help me get a job. Well he canvassed all the drug stores around there, and located a community drug store. And they needed someone. So I went to work there, and George got a job downtown. At also a soda shop in a Tandy Store. B That's George Hughes, your old friend? A George, Georges Hughes. H-U-G-H-E-S. We got to see a good bit of life. This drug store I started working in, the first day a young man came in and said I used to have this job, and said I left and the boss owes me $350. And he said, you'd better be careful how you treat this job. Well, the owner was just as affable as could be, but he was supporting two men and women as I understood it. So, I probably talked it over with him, but I worked every other night. And every other night I collected my pay for two days. And sometimes we would have a footrace to the cash register. And I usually won. I had to. Adolph Menjou would come in there, and Norma Shearer and John Boles and a good many of the movie people, but more writers than actors as a matter of fact. And Mr. Carroll who directed the "I Love Lucy" series was out there. B You know they discovered Lana Turner, they said, in a drugstore. I'm rather surprised they didn't tap you for some screen roles, heh. After seeing you in action. A Well I was never tempted, and I never had an offer. But I did enjoy meeting those people. And then there was another writer who lived up the mountain there, and he had a daughter my age. And so she invited me to come up to their house and have lunch I know, one time. I didn't have a car, I had to walk up that mountain. And I got, I got lost, or she gave bad directions, so I never did have my
lunch. That day, anyhow. But she came by a few days later and took me up there, and I did have lunch with them, it was very nice. And, the people are very sociable. And, part of the job there working the drugstore was cooking things like Navy bean soup--simple things, and I seemed to cope with that alright. And, so, finally, I suppose, my boss couldn't pay his bills. So they closed him up. But before he did, there was a man that came in as a customer. And he operated some vegetable and fruit stands. They're a good size out there. And so he, one day he said look, said everybody seems to like you. And you're fairly smart anyhow, said, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'm going to start a new store, and I'll lease it to you, and finance you to get started. Well I hated to admit it to him, but I really didn't know what a lease was: what it obligated you to do, and what the income would be. So, I told him I'd think it over, appreciated it. And so I got a job there at the Los Angeles Times, in the circulation department. So I started working there, and I got to thinking about the fact of how little I knew. So I decided what, maybe since I liked to read anyhow, I would take a law course. So I sent off to the LaSalle University Correspondence Law Course... B LaSalle? A Yes. And I had even gotten the first volume back during this six week period, and I enjoyed it. So in the meantime Jimmy did not seem to be able to get a job. So he decided to go home, and he hitch-hiked his way on home. And George stayed on with me. And George worked downtown in Los Angeles, near Dempsey's Gymnasium. Now that was the brother of Jack Dempsey who ran it. So the preOlympics were coming to Los Angeles, so Dempsey--George would go in there at noontime and, and box with some of them. He stood three feet and a half--I mean six feet three--and was athletic. So they urged him to enter the heavyweight division. So he came back home-in the meantime we, by the way, school had started again and we had to leave from the University of Southern California--and with two other fellows who were also Delta Chi's and decided not to go back to school, we rented the top floor of a house right on Lime Street in Hollywood in Los Angeles. So George came and told me that they wanted him to go in the preOlympics. He thought it was a good idea, and he wanted me to be his manager. Well I had zero experience as a manager but I thought I could maybe help him out. So it--a big auditorium, that night. We went in there and they had these fights. And then they brought in the Pacific Fleet. And there were two sailors who entered the heavyweight division too, with George. So I was in his corner when he went out. And uh... B You were Knobby Walsh [sp?] to his Joe Paluka [sp?].
A Heh, yes. B Remember the old cartoon? A Heh, that's right. So the first round, he did pretty well. But he, you paid too much attention to the crowd. So he came back to the, corner, he said "How am I doin'?" and I said, "George, you're doing fine. But hit him more." Heh heh, and so he did. He got on out there, and he started, whittling away at this sailor. And about that time, a well-dressed man, three piece suit. Small. Came rushing down the aisle and he came up to me, he says, he introduced himself. He was a former world champion in his weight. And he said you've got a good boy there; said would you mind if I helped you with him? I said I'd be tickled to death. So George came back to the corner, I introduced him you know, and he gave him some suggestions. So he went in there and George really piled into this fellow. And, so, he broke four or two, of the sailor's ribs as a matter of fact. And the fight ended-I thought sure George had won it. But they had a sailor judge, among others, who persuaded them to vote for the sailor. But he couldn't, couldn't fight any more. So the other sailor, that came, won the title there without fighting. So, Al Jolson was handing out the medals that night. So there are two Jewish boys there--lightweights, featherweights probably--and he told them says, "Boys lemme tell you something," said "when you are grandfathers and you show these medals to your grandchildren, tell them that one night you were damn fools." Heh, heh, heh.. B Heh, heh, heh. A So, shortly after that we just, decide to come on back to Florida. And we did, we took Flozona. And incidently I had to sell Flozona one time in order to get eating money. And um... B How much--what'd you get per gallon on that car, if you remember. A ...27 miles to the gallon. B And gas was cheaper than it is today... A It was ten cents a gallon out there in Los Angeles at the time. And, so I'd bought the car back. And we started on out, and we drove day and night. And ate frugally. And we finally arrived in St. Petersburg and the poor old car is about exhausted at that time. And my father was able to get me a job with the County Attorney of Pinellas County. And he was the one that encouraged me to become a lawyer.
And, well, the volumes arrived, and I kept on studying. So I worked, for the County Attorney doing all kinds of odd jobs, and doing some research. I had a chance to go into court. Even served on a jury several times. And then I also collected delinquent county and state personal property taxes for his office. So I just did everything. Well, I got into the atmosphere of law. B Let me ask you a quick question, if I may. Most people today would probably have never heard of that program, but as I recall, LaSalle University used to advertise in Collier's and Liberty and a lot of the popular magazines where... A They did. B ...they would offer courses. A They did. And there was another one, Blackstone. By the way I had a friend who studied Blackstone at the same time, and he and I would compare notes. And it was very helpful I think to the both of us. Then there were, at that time by the way, you could take the Florida Bar without having finished, getting a law degree from the college. And there were about 25 of us, some business people, some of them and what not, they wanted to become lawyers, or wanted to--and, a good friend of mine, Harry Young, who'd also been a Delta Chi, was practicing law in Clearwater. So he got permission for us to use their law library. And once a week we would go in that law library and we would have bull sessions on the law. And it was very helpful. I had gotten that idea from when I was up at the University of Florida, B.K. Roberts was a law student, upperclassman, who later became Chief Judge of the Florida Supreme Court. And he had trouble reading with one eye. So he organized a bull session there of senior law students--including Fuller Warren who later became Governor. And Henry Baynard who later became State Senator from Pinellas County. And others--and they studied law that way. And B.K. got a good bit out of it. B Now you had to get your, you had to get your license to practice by taking examination... A Yes, that's right. And by the way, after I'd been studying three months one of the members of the Bar committee, that passed on the examinations, called me and told me that they had--a law would be introduced, ending that practice. It would require you to have a law degree from a university. And he said, "I suggest you go ahead and take that examination right now." And I said, well, I've only been studying for about three months. He says, I don't care, so that would qualify you. So I did, I
went on up there and unfortunately I didn't pass. Although I came within a half a point of passing. Because it'd have been a catastrophe if I had passed it then, you know. So I continued to study every night, except Saturdays probably. And I continued on that way, and finally took the examination and passed. This is by July 1933. B You weren't married then were you, Bayard? You were a single man at that time? A I was a single man, uh huh. And, so I had a chance, with a cousin of mine-Edward Angle--to work my way on a freighter over to Europe. And back. And I really, I'm worn out studying. Heh. And I'm also looking for the adventure I suppose. So I made arrangements to go. And before I went, another Delta Chi, upperclassman, who had become a lawyer in Clearwater, had a cerebral hemorrhage and was in the hospital in Tampa. And I went by to see him. And he told me that he would not be able to go back to practice for some time, and asked me if I would work in his place for Judge Hamilton. Whom I knew. And I agreed to do it. So we went on this cargo ship. And the name of it was Endicott. And it was owned by Lykes Brothers. And we started out from Port Tampa. And went first over to Houston. But before we arrived there, we were hit by a hurricane. It tore up our lifeboats, took all the paint off. Caused other damage. And, I found out that I didn't get seasick. It proved very helpful later on. But, anyhow, we limped on into Houston and had repairs; we got new lifeboats and so on. And on the ship were two communists. They were--it was a general crew of many nationalities. But these were two communists, which was common in the union at that time. Seafarer Union. And after we went from Houston to Lake Charles and then to New Orleans; we anchored on the river off of New Orleans there, that first night. And I stripped off my clothes and went swimming and the Chief Officer came along, said what are you doing? I said I'm going to take a swim. He said if you dive in here, he said you'll come up probably five miles down stream. So that persuaded me that I wasn't too smart. So I didn't. Then we stayed several days in New Orleans and enjoyed it there. And then we went out and there was a Dutch man aboard. Not educated; rough. And he got drunk. And these communists got hold of him and told him that Ed and I were taking jobs away from seamen by working our way over. We got a dollar [?], by the way, for working our way over there. And back. And this was not true. But anyhow, they convinced this Dutch man of it. So the next morning, went as usual to breakfast. And they had a long table with a bench on either side, and I was sitting with my back to the bulkhead. And this fellow came in and sat right across from me. And he started jumping on me, and he pulled out a knife and stuck it right at my throat. Well I didn't really appreciate that. And
so, there was a fire ax above me. And I thought if I'd just be able to get that fire ax without being stabbed first, well I would use it. And my cousin was over there, but he was small and he was afraid to help me because he was afraid I might get cut in the meantime. So I decided the only thing I could do was talk. And I started talking, heh heh. Told him about the penalties of things like that, and I was a lawyer and so forth. And I kept on talking and talking and gradually he kind of cooled down. And the bosun was there, and he took the knife away from him. So, I was first tempted to report this. But I got to thinking; there will be many dark nights for the rest of that trip and return trip. And I might be smarter not to say anything about it. So, and that day I was working--the Chief Officer had found out about it apparently, because he came over there to see, sat down beside me to see if I was going to report it. So I talked about everything else in the world except that. So when the, whole atmosphere changed among the seamen--they became more friendly with us. And, so we went on to London. And the first night there, this Dutch man got drunk with these communists and took that same knife and cut one of them up rather badly. And so, he was capable of doing things like that. And Ed and I did not have to work while the ship was in Port. So we rented a very cheap apartment, and we lived in it. And my father had become United States Collector of Customs for Florida. So, he had written a letter to Mr. Bernard Waite who was head of customs for all of Europe. U.S. Customs. And he had a, they had a nice apartment there, and had a daughter, Margaret--my age. And they introduced me to the American Colony, and I was invited to the parties. And the, General Counsel over there in the Embassy, he was a former sea Captain; he found I'd worked my way over there and he took an interest in it. So it all, all helped. And so later on Mr. Waite, the Customs man, went to Paris. When the Germans marched in at Paris, and the state, our State Department people had pulled out, and he represented the United States government with the Germans when they came into Paris. And later on when he retired, he and his wife came by to see me in St. Petersburg--I always appreciated that. From the ship, after leaving London, went to Hull. And Ed and I later, when it was ready to leave, we took a bus trip up the east coast of England and rejoined the ship at Hull. And came on back. B Was that your, this voyage over there across the Atlantic to London, was that the first long sea trip you had taken? A Yes, it was, uh huh. B What was your reaction to that kind of a _______... A Well, I liked it. I liked it very much. It was hard work. We were doing menial
work. But the officers, I saw how they lived. And they did pretty well. Now, by the way, the food was not good coming back. And I got alarmed about the eggs. So I ate potatoes for 30 days--I'll never look a potato in the face now. B Heh, heh, heh. A We were... B Maybe those were Dutch eggs. A Yeah. So we got back to Port Tampa. And after I got situated, I went by to see my friend who was still in the hospital. And he told me to go and see Judge Hamilton in Clearwater. And I went over there to see the Judge. And we talked, and, so he offered me five dollars a week, and room and board in his home. And no other young attorney in Pinellas County was paid anything--they just worked for the practice. So, I grabbed at the opportunity. And he had the contract with the federal land bank to examine titles. And all of the farmers were trying to borrow money from the federal land bank. So we examined a lot of abstracts. Wonderful experience. B Was he a good lawyer? A He was a good lawyer. And he knew how to get his money's worth. After eating supper each night--he had a lovely wife-and they were from South Carolina and the food was good and he had a daughter and a son younger than I. And, after supper on a number of occasions he said, "Bayard let's go back down to the office and examine some more abstracts." So, he was getting his money out of me. So, I stayed there several months. And I always had wanted to come back to Tampa. Because I knew people, and it was economically better off. Things were still bad in Clearwater and St. Petersburg particularly. So my father called me one day and said that there's a law firm over there. And they said if I would come over and take offices next to them, they would send me enough cases to keep me in food, anyhow. So, by this time my friend never would be--he had gone to North Carolina to recuperate--and I realized from everything I knew that he would never be able to practice again. And he wasn't, he never did practice again. So I told Judge Hamilton that I had this opportunity to go over to Tampa. And I wanted to take it. And I could get him a replacement if he liked. And he said that he would like me to-and I did, I got a friend of mine who was a lawyer that was a graduate of Stetson. B Bayard, let me ask you something--some of the viewers might not be aware--
when you mentioned examining abstracts. Tell us simply what an abstract is, with reference to real property. A Yes. An abstract is a record of all the deeds, mortgages, liens, judgments, and everything else affecting land. And so, and also if it was a corporation, that the corporation had the authority to go ahead and convey the land. And that the, if a man mortgaged it or sold it, his wife would join in if he was married. And, we sometimes had to clear titles. We'd have to bring suit. Because the title was marred in some way. And so I got a little experience that way, too. B Are--those title insurance companies currently do a great deal of that type of work, is that examination... A Yes, they've taken over largely now. At that time the title insurance company was not as active as they became later. And I got a chance also with Judge Hamilton to try some cases with him--once or twice by myself as a matter of fact. And didn't fare badly. By the way, the judge who swore me in when I passed the Bar was Judge John U. Bird. And he sat on the bench over there in Pinellas County for years. So I had a chance to practice with him even after I had gone to Tampa. B You and I have tried a case before him in the old Clearwater Courthouse about 40 plus years ago as I recall. A We did, we had a law case. And interestingly enough about that, it was a criminal prosecution--one of my civil clients had gotten in difficulties. And so Moris and I went over there to uh--you and I went over there--to try this case. And the prosecuting attorney approached us and said that he wanted to tell us that he was a son-in-law of Judge Bird. And asked if we had any objections him prosecuting the case, or Judge Bird presiding. And I knew him better than Morison did, but I said no, I have no objection whatsoever. And so he said would you mind stepping up to the Judge's desk and telling him? So we went up there and this prosecutor told the Judge what he had told us. Judge looked at us, "well how about it?" and I was... B Heh. A ...and I answered for us at the time, and I said, well, Judge, I said, we've been friends for a long time, and despite our friendship, you've been so darn tough on me, I said damn if I'd try a case before you if I was related to you, heh, heh.
B Heh, heh. A He laughed. B I know you're a modest man, Bayard... A Heh. B ...but as I recall we won that case, didn't we? A That's right. We got directed verdict by him. A ...Tampa was more of a, let's say a wholesale place. And businesses from all over West Florida came, dealt, with Tampa. And so I also had enough relatives-later on, my wife said that the reason I came over to St. Petersburg to marry her is because I was related to everybody in Tampa. B She was from St. Petersburg? A Yes, she was from St. Petersburg. And, I'll get to that part of it in a moment. But anyhow it started up, in my practice, a one office walk up. And I'd get a case occasionally. And at that time, there were a lot of indigent criminal cases. And they didn't pay anything. So Judge Petteway started sending me these cases. They didn't pay anything. B Criminal Court of Record Judge... A That's right. But it was an excellent practice. I remember that I tried 13 cases in one week, which is a lot of cases. And did real well with them by the way. And I, but I was never tempted to become a criminal attorney. Really, the only ones at that time making any money at that were those who represented the rackets. And so anyhow I kept on. And gradually developed some clients. And stayed there until Bill Dickenson, who was quite a famous attorney--trial attorney--in Tampa and was reputed to be the best Supreme Court lawyer in the state--had an extra office. So I arranged to move in with him over there in the Tampa Gas Company building. And he associated me in some cases. And they made out well, and he was personable. And I found out one of his secrets as a Supreme Court Judge, he realized all the judges on the Supreme Court were elderly and their eyesight wasn't good. So he had the biggest type you've ever seen on all his briefs--and wide margins. So they could read his, where they might not be able to read his
opponent's. He had also practiced some criminal law. And Charlie Wall who was kind of the head man of the rackets in Tampa came from a fine family. But he was the black sheep of the family. And he was well educated. And when he got tough cases, well he'd come up and see Mr. Dickenson about them. And another time, Mr. Dickenson was busy when he came up there, and I would be sitting there hoping a client would drop in. So he would come in there and sit down. And talk. He was well read. And we just, well, talked about books and old families and things like that. So I got to know him fairly well. But I'd never walk down the same side of the street with him because he had too many people who'd take a pot-shot at him. And... B Somebody eventually did a permanent job of that... A Eventually he was killed in his own home. With a shotgun blast. He had built a tunnel from his garage to his house. So it was someone that knew him well. And he had, he had differed with the Mafia on some cases and some politics. So there's always that suspicion you know, of course. B By the way, didn't your father have an office in Tampa when he was Collector of Customs? A Yes, he was the United States Collector of Customs for Florida--which took all of Florida in. And the ports and the international airports. And had an office in the old Post Office building in downtown Tampa. And he had gotten into the citrus business. And had bought some groves. Which he sold, he sold me 20 acres with a low down payment. And sold my sister 20 acres at low down payment. And by the way, they'd done extremely well during the war, and paid for themselves. And even paid for my house--the mortgage on my house. So I started getting into that somewhat, you know? B Tell us, didn't you have a, in the course of practice in those early days, a rather famous civil conspiracy action that you brought? Tell us about that. A Well, Bill Dickenson had started this case--represented Bernard Kilgore [sp?], who was a big citrus man. And the big citrus people in Orlando were the Doctor P. Phillips [sp?] Companies. So they got in a feud and they brought suit against Mr. Kilgore for a good bit of money. And just let it stay there, they wanted to injure his credit. Which they did. He couldn't get a loan in Tampa or St. Petersburg. And he even tried the federal land bank and couldn't get credit-later on I went with him and Bill Dickenson up to Columbia, South Carolina and took depositions up there
and, that they would not loan him money because of this. So we'll hire an investigator who went--the name, the case was drawn in the name of Isadore Zemurray. Z-E-M-U-R-R-A-Y. And now he was a brother of Sam Zemurray, who was one of the biggest people in the world in the vegetable--in the fruit business in New Orleans. And Isadore lived in a small town in Alabama. So Dr. Phillips used his power of attorney to do so, to bring suits and everything else--without mentioning the Kilgore matter. So Dr. P. Phillips's attorneys filed suit against Kilgore, claiming that a grove that he had leased, he had not used good husbandry and so forth. So we went into that, and in the meantime this investigator went up to Alabama and found out that Isadore had gone through bankruptcy. So he went in the bankruptcy court there in Montgomery and looked the proceedings up and found out that Isadore had not listed this suit as an asset. So he accused him of it. And it scared Isadore so badly, he gave an affidavit that he didn't know anything about this suit against Kilgore and didn't know it existed, never authorized. Which we used as a basis then to go ahead and file a suit against the Phillips' interests--for damages. And so this case came up before Judge Bird in Pinellas County. And we fought over the pleadings for a year or two. And finally came to trial. And we had a hard time selecting a jury. Because there were a lot of farmers and some of them knew Kilgore and didn't like him, some of them knew Phillips and didn't like him, and so forth. So Dr. Phillips, when he was on the witness stand, I was cross examining him and I mentioned something about his life; the fact that he had a castle in Austria. And, so, we finished with the case, and it came time to make arguments. And Mr. Dickenson laid his head down at his desk and he said, "Bayard, you'll have to make the arguments." Well I had to pick it up at that point and try to improvise. So most of the jury and--we didn't even have, had Judge Bird, had difficulty with him, getting him to know what a civil, unlawful conspiracy case would consist of--what was necessary. And surely the jury was puzzled, you know, by the whole thing. And so, I used this thing of the, Mr. Phillips, Dr. Phillips, having this castle you know and so forth--and I came out with us saying that this conspiracy business was unAmerican and unAmerican--pulled all the feathers out of the eagle's tail. And darned if we didn't get a verdict. A hundred thousand dollars. B That was a big verdict in those days. A Yes, oh it was a big one in those days, yes. So, this was in, ended in 1942. In the meantime the war had come along... B By the way the Supreme Court heard that case, did they not?
A The case went to the Supreme Court while I was away in the service. And it was, the award was cut down some, but it was confirmed. Oh, in the meantime I had made application to get in the Coast Guard. My experience at sea previously showed I liked it and I didn't get seasick. So I was, made a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Coast Guard. And taken in in St. Petersburg. And stayed over there for orientation and Commander Willie Kenner--K-E-N-N-E-R--was the commanding officer who took me in. And I'll bring him in later. He sent me down to Ft. Myers to open up a capital [?] port office. We had to guard--get submarines through, were off the Florida coast--much more on the east coast, but it's also on the west coast. So we had to guard against them and also guard against spies coming in. The Coast Guard caught two-three or four--up at Jacksonville Beach who had slipped in. So we operated 26 boats from Venice on down south of Ft. Myers. And we took over a motel on Sanibel Island; put a beach patrol group over there. And took over the Ft. Myers Beach Hotel, and based our men in there for beach patrol over there. So the Army had a flexible gunnery school there also--and we bought all our foods and supplies from them and came, and we rescued one or two of their flyers who were downed in the Gulf. And we had a very pleasant arrangement with them. After I had been there several months, I was ordered to Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland to a firefighter's school. And stayed up there six weeks. And met some people whom I would meet later on. And, enjoyed that, and came on back and I thought I would return to Ft. Myers. And, I did just briefly, and then I was sent to St. Augustine Florida, where the Coast Guard had taken over all the motels and hotels to prepare their men for sea duty. So we took all the navigation courses, the communication courses, and everything else there. And stayed there for--by the way, in the meantime now, I had married. And I married Lillian Elbon. Of St. Petersburg. I had known her brother, older brother, for years. And she was a real sweet girl and, good lookin'. And quite talented. She was quite an artist, at painting. And we were, had a very pleasant life. And she was not able to--she had gone to Ft. Myers with me--and we had bought a home. By the way, our marriage was based on very shaky ground. I had a damage suit pending over there in Ft. Pierce. And I knew I was going to win that case. And so we married, and kept the marriage secret until the money came in from that case. Well, I was not even thinking that I could win it, but I did win it, and so, used that money to get married. And later on I got a damage suit and, happened to win it, and got enough money to get the down payment on a home. Which you've been in, over there on Bay-to-Bay in Tampa. And so we rented the house out. And Lillian went with me down to Ft. Myers; we had a nice home on the Calusahatchie [sp?] River. And she couldn't go to Ft. McHenry because I was in the barracks there. But we rented a room up there in St. Augustine; she went up there. And she met all the wives and so forth and the
very--and qualified for sea duty. And then I came back, they transferred me to the Captain of Port in Miami. And I just thought, well, this is just preliminary, going to sea. So we got an apartment down there in Miami. And I'd only been there a short time and one day a messenger came down and said I was to report to personnel. District Personnel Office in the DuPont Building out of Miami. And Commander Chester MacPherson Anderson [sp?] was the commanding officer of the personnel. So I had no--I'd met him briefly once or twice before--so I went up to see him and he said, look, said you used to handle the personnel over there at Ft. Myers, didn't you? I said, yes, sir. He said, well, I've got a vacancy in the records and assignments office. Which means taking care of all the records and assignments of the enlisted personnel in the district. And said, I want you to take that. I said, well, Commander, I said, I've been qualified for sea duty and I was hoping I'd get to sea. He said, well, I need you here. And so he ordered me up there. And I took the position-it proved to be real interesting, as a matter of fact. The district took all of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina and Panama and so forth. And I took the place of a man who had gotten a lot of applications from sea men who wanted to go to sea. And he just had nothing to do with them, he just stuck them in the drawer. So I thought, well, if those fellows want to go to sea, they'd probably be the best sailors. So I started getting those records out. And got letters from Captains of ships saying we're getting the best men we ever had before. Now some of them in the meantime had gotten married or something else and didn't want to go to sea, you know. But anyhow that worked out real well. And I was also called on to try some cases involving Coast Guard personnel, and I tried those. And so I stayed there several months. And I kept wanting to go to sea. I was a C-D [?] Lieutenant by the way, at the time. And so Commander Anderson wanted to go to sea too. Matter of fact, he'd been sent out to the Pacific to take command of a transport. And had been succeeded by Lieutenant Commander Bailey, who became a Commander there. Who was out of headquarters in Washington. So I worked with him awhile there. And so I told him I was, I got a, we got a message today wanted a C-D Lieutenant and several other people to go to Alameda, California. So I told him I was going to apply for it. He said, well, look, said if you'll stay here, said I'll give you a spot promotion to Lieutenant Commander and you can stay here for the rest of the war, if you want to. I said, no. I said, I came to the Coast Guard because I understood you'd get to sea even more rapidly than you could if you were in the Navy. And so, he was very nice about it, so I went on up there and I saw the Chief of Staff. Who hadn't liked me in the past--we had a run in one time. But then when it came to me leaving, he said, well, Lieutenant I'm surprised at you, we've trained you for this job. And here you want to take off after all that training. I said, well, Commander, I said, I came in here to go to sea originally, and I'd like to do it. So he said, well, forget it. So I went on down back to the office and I was standing in
the doorway there leading to the hall and Captain Whitbeck [sp?] came by--he was the District Coast Guard Officer; the Commanding Officer of the entire District. He says, Angle, I understand you want to leave us. I said, Captain it's not that, I said, I've met some of the finest people here I ever knew. But, I said, I came in the Coast Guard service because they told me you had an opportunity to go to sea. He said, "Pack." Said, "I wish I had more like you." So I had, we got together and I told Lillian and I said, now Lillian we're going out to Alameda, which is out of Oakland California; between Oakland and San Francisco. And we're going on a train; you can go with me if you want to. But you'll have to take the train back by yourself. Oh, she said, I wanna go. So we had reservations to Chicago. And then got to Chicago, well, luckily, we got a roomette. And crossed the rest of the country that way. And that was fortunate because I set up a bar and a lot of officers there, you know, we became headquarters, heh heh heh. We had a good, real social time going on across. So we arrived in San Francisco. Went to the St. Francis Hotel there, which is the best hotel there. And I knew we couldn't get rooms, but I went in there, I used my past knowledge of the hotel business, and told him I'd like to have a room. They kinda laughed, and I said, wait, wait a minute, don't laugh. I said, you've got an overflow hotel close by, I know. Said yes, it's right up the street, the Koren [sp?] Hotel, it's half a block away. Nice little hotel. So we went up there. You're supposed to only stay there at that time five days, no longer. But they got around that by billing you every five days. So we stayed there a little while and, in the meantime, I had reported in Alameda. And they told me that I would be stationed there until I went to sea. And so we went on over to Oakland and rented a room on Alice Street there, where lived several other Coast Guard officers and their wives. And I reported in then to Alameda. And I reported in to Lieutenant Commander Wycoff [sp?], whom I had known at Ft. McHenry. For six weeks. And we had become friends. So I reported in to him and he asked me said, where you staying? I told him my wife was with me. Said, where you staying? I told him on Alice Street. Said, I'll get my girlfriend and we'll come by tonight and go out to dinner. Oh, I said that'd be fine. So I went on back home, told Lillian, and got ready. And so he came, and just as soon as he came, he stuck his hand out and said congratulations. I said, for what? He said, you and I are president of the Summary Court Martial Board of Alameda. I said, well, for heaven's sake, how the hell did that happen? He says, well, said we've got some hot cases. And looking for somebody to try them and I said, I told them you'd be, you could handle it. So I'm responsible. I said, well, I've been trying to get to sea--you just fixed that. So he apologized, but he had already done his job and so-they were hot cases. And I made it a point of not knowing anything about them before I went in. And so I went in and tried them. Actually they were battles between the itinerant group--that is, going through on the way to sea--and the base force. And they had had previous
cases, and the base force had lost the case. And Captain Blake was the Commanding Officer of the base force. They had called him back from retirement. He was somewhat senile. And the itinerant group were commanded by Commander Evans. Who was a bright star in the Coast Guard and was slated to be Commandant some day--later on, he did become Commandant of the Coast Guard Academy and promoted to Admiral, and I later ran into him in Washington, D.C., where he was Operations Officer. But anyhow, I tried these cases and came to the same conclusion that the base force was responsible--like they'd _____ to other cases. So Captain Blake couldn't say much then. So, I tried a few more cases. And Commander Evans put me on his staff and I was his aide and so on. But there wasn't a lot of cases coming along. But we had a boat running over to Treasure Island where the Navy Schools were located. So I made it a point of, when I could, to get on that boat and go over there and take in the refresher courses sometimes, or new courses. And, stayed there, oh, a little while longer. And one day got orders to go to the Moonlight Maid. Which was a yacht, old yacht. It was over in San Francisco at dock. And I was designated as Executive Officer and Captain Lieutenant--he's Lieutenant Commander-Anderson, was the, Commanding Officer. And the boat was in there for repairs. Now this was a boat that had been in the Spanish-American war. And it had fireplaces. It had been converted after the Spanish-American war into a yacht. Had fireplaces, rugs on the deck, and all that. Jack Benny chartered it to a trip around the world one time. And other celebrities had done the same thing. But it was in awful shape. So they were working on it, and also the shipyard kept being assigned to that, they were trying to hold for when more jobs come in, you know? And every day I would, some nights I had to stand duty. But other times go back and forth--back and forth, between Oakland and there. So finally they agreed that it was not--it was to be sent to Australia as a recreation ship for the United States Air Force. And, I hated, I dreaded the thought of crossing the Pacific in that thing. But anyhow, they finally decided they could not make it seaworthy and I was called back to Alameda. And soon afterwards, I received orders to go to the A. K. Albiero. That's A-L-B-I-E-R-O. I misspelled it someplace. Which was a cargo ship. So I was designated as Senior Watch Officer. Had my own cabin. And the Captain was a little bit upset about me because he had some men who had ridden with him before and I was over them. So we didn't get off to good terms. But the Executive Officer was from Mississippi, and he and I hit it off well. He knew how to eat, knew about southern folk and what not, you know. So by the way, he had been on, before getting into the Coast Guard, he had been in the Merchant Marines, on a banana run many times. And he had gotten malaria--which was dormant at the time, but later it reoccurred. But, anyhow, we became very good friends. So our first trip was to Pearl Harbor. And we had 13 other ships with us. And we were a convoy--Commodore. And we had a Navy
Captain aboard who was the Commodore Captain. It was his first tour of duty as such. So I had asked for the 4:00-8:00 watches; that is four in the morning to eight in the morning, and then four in the afternoon to eight. I liked to get up early, and another thing, that was, as far as submarines were concerned, that was the most dangerous time: sunrise and sunset. And I wanted to be on deck if anything like that happened. So, anyhow, we went on towards Pearl Harbor. And he came up there that first morning to have coffee with me. And we were totally blacked out. So I sent one of the men down to get coffee, and they brought it up, and we had a cabinet with a piece of canvas over it so light couldn't get out. And they put it in there, and I served the coffee to the Captain and then I poured one. And as soon as I drank it, I spit it out. Because it was as sweet as it could be. And, so he said mine's sweet too. So I got a flashlight and got under there, and I had poured my coffee in the sugar bowl! He didn't have any so we got more coffee. But that was just one little incident there. And we arrived in Pearl Harbor. And, after we did what was necessary there, we discharged cargo and so forth. B What year are we talking about? A We're talking about 1942--or `43. Latter part of `43. And the Arizona was of course still sunk there. And they took a plate off the Arizona and put it aboard our ship. To be taken back to Mare Island at San Francisco. We were puzzled why they would do that. Found out later the Intelligence had decided they would plaster that to another battleship and claim that the battleship Arizona was afloat again, as a propaganda ploy. And out there I learned something about the-we would hitchhike all over Pearl Harbor and would go to the Officer's Club which was a good one. The rest of the Officer's Clubs out there that I had mentioned were rustic affairs with thatched roofs and things like that. But this was a good one. And then there was one restaurant: P. Y. Chung's [sp?], which was an old house, you took a bus trip out there. When you got out there, you had to wait in line two blocks to get in. But they had the finest steaks and the finest salads that you ever ate. So every time I went back to Pearl Harbor I would go out there to P. Y. Chung's. But anyhow, we then went on back to Mare Island for repair work, and refitting. And took that plate of armor. And while we were there we had a good entrepreneur or two aboard ship that noticed that there was some freeze boxes there in the yard. And loudspeaker equipment. So he also noticed that they were using yellow chalk to put the ship's name where everything was to go to. So we got a piece of yellow chalk and he put the name of our ship on a couple of freeze boxes and other equipment, you know, and we had them--then he demanded that they deliver them immediately and they did, they delivered the freeze boxes. We immediately bolted them to the boat decks, painted them the same color as the ship, and we had, started
getting fresh, having fresh food for awhile at sea you know. And also we had this loudspeaker installed for the first time--and radar. We had never had radar before. We, our next voyage, we went to the Hebrides, but we always stopped by Pearl Harbor to refuel, and sometimes pick up mail and all that business. So we went on to the New Hebrides Islands. And we took our cargo there. And I believe it was there that President Roosevelt died. And they flew an anchor--they flashed a signal from shore out there and my cargo--I happened to have the watch. The _______ told me what the message was, and I said, ask them to repeat it. So they repeated the same thing. So then I went to the Captain and they announced that, over the loudspeaker system, and I, all those fellows just broke down and cried. He was a father figure to them, you know. And... B Where did you go after the Hebrides? A New Hebrides? B Yes. A Yes. B Where did you go from there, if you recall. A Back to San Francisco. The, by the way, the French were there, and a French gunboat was in there, painted white, all the officer's men lolling around on deck. And the French had --they're the ones that had black teeth, you know? And all. They were doing all the work out there. We found out something else: we had, of course, run the Japanese out. And we had shot down a lot of palm trees--Coda [?] Palms. We had to pay the French five dollars a tree for each shot, palm tree we shot down. Which irritated us. So, from the New Hebrides we went back, stopping again by Pearl Harbor, and back through San Francisco. And we stayed in there a couple of weeks. So Lillian, in the meantime, had gotten a job working in a bank at Oakland. And still lived in the same place. And some old friends, the Linebaughs, who I'd been in the first grade, was out there with his wife, who was a friend of Lillian's, so that was good company for her. And, Isman [sp?] Linebaugh was stationed on a boat at the mouth, entrance to San Francisco for all the war out there. He was a good man, I would have loved to have had him with me. So then we again went out, stopped again by Pearl Harbor for fuel and so forth, and went to the Admiralty Islands. And there was a dry dock there that my ship before I ever got on it, had towed half of it down south of Australia up to the Admiralty Islands-another ship had brought the other half. We had a tow machine aboard in the event
we ever had to pick up a tow. Now I had been named Damage Control Officer. That was the only thing I didn't have any training in. And that was the way military did, anyhow--you know, I knew navigation, communications and other things. But that towing machine came under my jurisdiction, and I was told if, that, if we were ever attacked, to be sure to cut that line. Or have it cut. So and anyhow well, we were in there, Admiralty Islands in port there, a transport came in and one in there and went ashore and borrowed a plane and did loops and loop, what not, and flew through the side of the transport and killed some 30 odd men. So that's where the dry dock comes in. They hastily put the transport on the dry dock and patched it up so it could go on to wherever it was going. I ran into--oh, they had a good Officer's Club there. That was just for the base. So I reported in to the port director's office and found the man there in charge was a brother inlaw of a man named Hunk [sp?], who I'd been to Ft. McHenry with. So we got friendly and he was a good scrounger, he had a good tent with a refrigerator and beer and he had a boat he could use any time. So he got me in the Officer's Club. Said I was attached to the, the, his office. Well I decided that would be poor politics for me to join without getting the Captain, the Executive, in there. And so I got them in there too. So, we had, there were slot machines in there and a bar, you know, and everything and we, we enjoyed that part of it. For a little while. And, then we left. And again we went back to the states. And again had some repair work done. Got new cargo. We had one little thing--we had to go down to Port Wynemie [sp?] and they wanted to attach a barge to us. Ammunition barge. Well, the Captain and Executive Officer finally talked them out of that, so we didn't have to take that tow out there. So we went back to San Francisco, and then went on to, headed for the Philippines. So, by the way, on that trip to the Admiralties, I did forget the delivery: we did tow a merchant marine ship that had been dive bombed. We towed it from the Admiralty Islands to Pearl Harbor. En route, we went by Coffin Corner and got a message that we were being trailed by a submarine. And to take evasive action. Well, we were only making about four knots. And to take evasive action was to zig-zag, you know. We were nearly lying flat in the water. But, anyhow, nothing came of that. But we did drive, after that, run into a submarine and we had, well it must have been nine hours that we were fighting with them. It was sighted by the periscope and our tactics were to keep the stern of the ship, which was the smallest target, to the submarine, and also a five inch gun was on the stern too to take shots. So they took some shots at the periscope. And the Jap kept on trying to get broadside of us to get a better target. Well, all this time I was Damage Control Officer, I was down below securing, seeing that everything was secured, and doing all those things. So, I later went on up there on deck and was talking to Dr. Wells--he was the ship's doctor--and a red blinker light came on, flashing. And we were wondering, what the hell is this? Because we didn't know that they'd broken radio silence. And this
was a, they had sent out a destroyer and a fast mine sweep and it was there blinking at us, to let us know they had arrived. And they did a wagon wheel operation around us, and the Jap, Jap apparently had to take the _____ and had gone. So we didn't get sunk. And I was ordered to write up the action. First time I'd ever done it. And so I got the ship logs and all--they kept a good log-and I did write up the whole thing. And it was sent in as required. So then this, we had gotten back to the states. And then we went to Leyte and we were--Philippines. So we reported in there. And my old friend who had taken me in the Coast Guard, Commander Kenner, had become Admiral Kenner, Commanding Officer of the Southern Pacific for the Coast Guard. So he had surrounded himself with a number of men that he had taken into the Coast Guard in St. Petersburg. So he told me, said tell you what I'll do, said I'll take you off that ship. And put you on my staff. Well, I didn't want that. I was getting back to the states about every three months, and that would kill me right then, you know. And then, and, anyhow, I was enjoying the ship--in the meantime an old friend, Willie Neighbors [sp?], the doctor had made him stay in San Francisco because his malaria came along. So he had been succeeded by Commander Matt Ryan [sp?], who was from Seattle. And he and I became good friends. So anyhow we went into Leyte there and I talked Admiral Kenner out of keeping me there. And the Captain was somewhat impressed, he saw all this going on. And he started to feel a little more kindly to me. So he received, he knew the native pilots there in Leyte. And they invited him, and he included me, to go and have lunch with them. It was a big table, much larger than this table and some thirty pilots eating there. And they served us a meal like I never saw before. I didn't know what I was eating most of the time, because they were very exotic foods. But they were good, and I didn't, I didn't decline any of them. Of course, as you know, I never do decline food. B He's had a good appetite since I've known him. A Yeah. So we stayed in there and then we were ordered to _________ in Samara [sp?]. And en route, we were stopped at a waterfall where they had piped water across the dock to ships, so we got our water supply. And also there while we were docked, we got some goods for the board. And arriving with it was a week snake. And I happened to be up there on the bridge and I saw the sailors start scattering. And the week snake was six or eight feet long; light color. And they either threw it overboard or killed it, I forget which. But I inquired about this week snake; they said well, it bites you, you die in a week. And so, I didn't forget that. And later on, by the way, I saw a T.V. special where they showed them, and they are very aggressive. And will attack divers and so on. But anyhow, we went on over to Samara. And while we were there, some Australians were also there, and they
invited some of us to their base. So we arranged to go. And we were anchored out there in the harbor. So I had told the _____ I said at midnight you come over and have your crew bring a boat over there to the dock and meet us, because we were coming back from this Australian base--which we had prearranged with the Australians, of course--so we went over to the Australian base and ate with them, and had a drink or two with them. And came on back and we arrived at the spot at midnight and I looked for the boat and it was across the channel from where it should be. So I walked down--this road was about 20 feet above the dock. And it was a metal dock, floating dock. So I walked down and called to the boat crew to come back over there. And I didn't know they had taken a section out of this floating dock. And so I plunged right through there and went--I was smoking a cigarette--I went down and fell through that hole in that dock, and the first thing I thought of was week snakes right there--I came out of there so fast my cigarette didn't go out. B Sounds like something out of Buster Keaton movies. A Yeah. And so the Exec and the rest of them were up there, they didn't even know that I'd even fallen in. So I got in, I felt humiliated. I got in the boat and sat down there and the Exec came along and put his hand on my shoulder you know and I was soaking wet. He said, Jesus Christ, been raining? Heh heh-we was 20 feet awayheh heh. But, anyway, the ship paper gave me quite a write up about taking a midnight swim. Heh. B Did you continue smoking for years after that? A Oh, yeah. B When did you quit? A I quit after, until after I got back, maybe when we had offices together I quit. And, but I smoked--get cigarettes five cents a pack. We couldn't afford to quit. At that time. So, the, see--oh, while I was there, they had one of these Officer's Clubs and I walked in there one day, I thought with all this crowd I oughta know somebody. And Captain George Lynch, who was Superintendent of Schools of Pinellas County, had a very prominent nose, and his son George also had a nose like his. So, I looked around and I saw this nose. And it happened that when George left home he'd run away. And ran into me down by the drugstore and wanted me to go with him. I didn't have any reason to run away, and I didn't. Later on I found out from Captain Lynch that he had gotten in the Navy, was in San
Diego. So I ran into him there he was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy. And he remembered me. So I wrote Lillian that I couldn't tell where he was, because you couldn't do that. But I wrote and told her I had run into George out there in the Pacific, generally speaking. And she wrote her sister in St. Petersburg; sister told her husband, her husband went downtown the next day and ran into Charlie, the older brother of George. And told him that I had seen George Lynch. And he collapsed on a green bench. They thought he was dead. So, we stayed there at Samara for awhile. And I liked--I always went aboard ships to see if I knew anybody. And I ran into Turnbull from Tampa, and some other people there, occasionally that I would know. And so we returned to-we had got orders to go to Ulithi which is an Atoll out there in the Pacific. By the way the betting at that time in Samara was that the war would be over in 30 days because they knew something was going to happen but they didn't know what. So we went into Ulithi. I'd been promoted to Lieutenant Commander. And so I was officer of the deck when a small, fast boat came out with a carrier. And the war had ended. And they had orders for us. We didn't know if we were going to Japan or to San Francisco, but this was orders to go to San Francisco. So we started our trip back. In the meantime the sailors had gotten enough potatoes together to make some alcohol. So we didn't know anything about this, so one day on the way back, a bunch of them got together to celebrate the end of the war I suppose. And they had gone to the electrician's shack on the deck. And they were having drinks. The electrician decided they were selfish in not inviting the Captain. So he left them in there and went out and locked them in. Went up to the Captain's quarters. A He and the doctor and everybody'd come and, and take charge. So the Exec and I went down to the electrician shop and was reopening, the ship's photographer was in there and took our picture. As opening the door, you know. So we ordered the men up there on the boat deck and the Exec told the doctor to go ahead and see if he could detect any alcohol on them. Well, he was a smart doctor; he knew he was heading back to the states, and he didn't want to be delayed: he couldn't detect anything. They coulda smelled like skunks and he wouldn't have known it... B Heh, heh. A ...and so, then the Captain ordered me to hold a general court martial. Well he was so hot at that time, I didn't want to tell him the facts of life right then. We'd put that off a little while. He'd get after me about every day or other. Finally, I said, Captain, you can't hold a general court martial of this. You've got to be a Commodore or Admiral to do that. He said, well, what can you do, and I said, well, I said, I might hold a summary court martial. He said alright, go ahead and do
it. Well, I stalled on that too. And, because I knew if we got involved in a law case when we got back to the states, we would be held up. If we'd gotten any appeals and anything like that. So I stalled on that. And so finally I found occasion to know something. Oh, I said, Captain, I said, you told me that when we got back to the states you were going home immediately, didn't you? He said, yes, I did. So what? I said, if we have a court of record, you are star witness. You'll be held up until all the appeals are over. He said, what can I do then? I said, well, I could hold a deck court. He said, go ahead. And I thought it over and I went back and said. Captain, the war is over. These men have done a good job. They don't have any blemish on their record whatsoever. I said, let me hold a mast on them. And there will not be even a record... B What's a mast? A Well, that's inform--where an officer, the Captain can do it, or the officer, he designated just go ahead and try them by himself, you know. No record is made of it whatsoever. So I found them all guilty and confined them to the ship until we got to port. So we arrived back at port in San Francisco. And the Captain left immediately. And he was supplanted by Commander Franks who I had known at Alameda. And we had been pretty friendly. So he came aboard. And I was trying to get off. In the meantime, the Executive Officer had been a friend of, had been a roommate of the Washington Senator--I can't think of his name off hand--but anyhow he got quick orders to leave, through his friendship with the Senator. And so I was appointed as Executive Officer. So Frank, Commander Frank, came aboard, and he talked with the officers, and different ones, and he came to me and said look, we're going to Japan. Said I want you to stay on as Executive Officer. I said, look Commander, I appreciate it, but I've got to get back and start over in the law office. I said all these other lawyers will be beating me back to Tampa if I don't. And he considered--he said we're about to go Los Angeles first. And you've got to write up a history of the ship. So they were leaving right away for Long Beach, down there in Los Angeles. I said, well, Captain, I'll need a yeoman and an office. He says well, we'll furnish you that. I said, now I bought an old Oldsmobile here, I said I want to drive it down to there. He said that's alright, he said go ahead and do that. So Lillian and I, we packed and we went down there to Long Beach and we got a motel. And I got an office, a yeoman, and got all the logs of the ship. And also there was an, the Chief Engineering Officer, who had been on there when I had, but he had been also on there before I, when the ship was first launched. So I got him to come over and tell me a lot of things, give me some information--he and his wife were living down there. So he gave me a lot of information and I used the logs, and I wrote up a history of the ship. So we were
there two weeks, I suppose. And he and his wife would take Lillian and me all different places. Knotts' Berry Farm, and other places, you know, and we'd see some shows there in Hollywood. And so it wasn't all work. So we started out then, headed for home. And I had to buy tires every now and then for this old jalopy we drove. We got back to--stopped in Los Angeles and I was able to buy a suit, civilian clothes, at Holmes Department Store. We came on back to Tampa. In the meantime, while I was still in the Admiralty Islands, I had gotten a letter from Lillian saying it's too bad about the house, but we could always rebuild. So I wondered what in the world happened? Well her second letter--her first letter--then arrived and said it'd burned down. So I quickly prepared a power of attorney and sent it to my father in Tampa to collect from the insurance company and have the house rebuilt. And Otto P. Stallings, my uncle, was their insurance agent, so he had it rebuilt--and did a wonderful job. So we had that home to go back to. And I had trouble getting an office, because there were not many available offices. But I finally did. In the Tampa Gas Company building. And so I practiced there awhile. And an old friend of mine, Judge Raney died; he and his son were in the practice of law. And so I'd had occasional cases with the Judge. And so his son came over and asked me if I would join him. He had so much work to do, he couldn't take it by himself, and I was just back, and maybe I would come over and help him. So, I did, I went on over there. I didn't know much about him. And so we practiced there, we were on the top floor of the First National Bank building, and then he fell out with the other tenants there, and we moved over to the Stovall Professional Building. And had offices there. Well, it didn't work out too well. His disposition wasn't, I thought, too good. So we broke up the partnership and he moved to another location and I kept those offices. And Morison Buck here, my friend, was over there in an office. So I went over to see Morison and see if he wanted to move in there with me, and he did. So. We started a friendship in a professional basis there, and worked some cases together too. And, I also started, my father died, and so I started taking care of some of the citrus groves. And I bought out my stepmother and my sister. And so I had a LakelandHighlands Citrus Co-op taking care of the groves. And I was put on the board of directors then and elected president of it, and I served as president for seven years. And kept on adding to it, planting new groves and buying some groves, and got in it rather heavily. Then right around 1950, I think it was, George Smathers ran for United States Senate against Claude Pepper. And he came over there, and I met him. We all got together on a committee and I was made chairman of his organizing committee there. And we selected a campaign headquarters and. And so Morison and I both participated in his campaign there. So he was elected, and so went on and served in the Senate. In 1954 Doyle Conner ran for Commissioner of Agriculture. So, we met in Orlando and a group of citrus people talked to Doyle and asked me to serve as state
treasurer. Because I was a lawyer and a citrus grower. Which I did--I thought I'd be sitting there in an office, people'd bring money in to me and I'd put it in the bank, pay some bills. It wasn't that at all. They wanted me to go out and collect money. Which I didn't really have time to do. But I traveled with Doyle all over the state and it was an interesting experience. And I met people in all lines of agricultural work. So then Senator Kennedy was elected to President. And when he went in, Senator Smathers called me, and asked me if, he remembered by father had been the United States Collector of Customs, so he asked me if I would take the position of collector of customs, which took in all of Florida and also a pre-clearance in Nassau. It had jurisdiction of 14 seaports in the state. And also the International Airports, and of the military installations where they had planes coming in, and ships coming in from foreign shores. So I talked it over with Lillian. And we didn't have any children. And the groves were doing pretty good. And I knew something about the work, I knew most of the older employers of the customs. And I decided it would be interesting. A lot of travel involved. So I did, I took, I was appointed. And enjoyed it very much. And I had also had stayed in the Coast Guard Reserves, had been Commanding Officer of the Tampa-St. Petersburg reserve unit. And was getting calls to go to Washington frequently. And served on the National Policy Board of the Coast Guard five times. And I was often called to Washington by the Customs also. So I found out that the Coast Guard Headquarters, they had a reserve unit--lawyers. Reserve Legal Unit. So I got--the Admiral there in the Coast Guard was the Commanding Officer--so I would go to those meetings every time I was in Washington. And got to know the lawyers and all of the different government offices. And any time I had business with any of the other offices, well, I would, I knew who to see. And so anyhow they had promoted me to Captain. And I retired when I was 60 as a Captain, 26 years of service. But I stayed on in the Customs and I really enjoyed it. And I was able to do a lot of things because I was a presidential appointee. B How long did you serve, Bayard, as collector? A I stayed there six years as collector, and then they reorganized the Customs, and abolished, so I was the last Collector of Customs for Florida because they abolished those positions. And I became the first District Director of the Tampa District, which took in down to just north of Naples across the state to Canaveral and on up to Tallahassee and West Florida. And added duties to it and put another district down there around Miami. B Didn't there come a time when you and Lillian relocated from Tampa, went over to Pinellas County?
A Just a little bit later. B A little later? A Yes, uh huh. But, see, I was able to do a number of things when I was a collector. As a presidential appointee, and I also had a good connection with the agricultural department and with the Coast Guard. So it all worked together. So, anyhow, then I stayed on four more years. With the Customs, when I was district director. And then I retired. And two of my old clients died. They were very wealthy men. And they had made me their executor, along with their respective wives. So I had to go ahead and administer those estates. And I thought the Internal Revenue was taking advantage of us because we had already paid the estate tax. And they wanted $350,000 more. So I decided that was, they were wrong. So I got some good appraisers to back me up. And sued the government. And won the case. Well, they settled for $1,000, that's the way that ended. And then Lillian and I had always liked to go to the beach. So we sold and went on over there to the beach and had a condominium right on the beach. And by the way I started playing golf for the first time then. And we started traveling a lot. We went on HollandAmerican lines over a hundred thousand miles. And beside that line we went to Europe and so forth. And then Lillian had an operation that didn't turn out well on her eyes. And so we thought it was time to move from the beach to a retirement community, Freedom Square, in Seminole, Florida. And my old friends who had been playing golf, all of them had moved to Freedom Square. And I had other friends there too. And it turned out to be very fortunate. They had doctors there and also, and, we stayed there. Lillian's health started failing and then I finally lost her. On January of last year--two years ago--1996. B You still come to Tampa a great deal, don't you Bayard? A Came over usually every Friday, went to the University Club, to lunch with old friends and all. And, let's say--oh, I had gotten in, after retirement, I had gotten interested in genealogy. So I went to, I wanted to trace the Angles, and then my mother's people, the Mitchells, my maternal grandmother's people the Spencers, and my paternal grandmother the Gilmores. So I went to the libraries and all of the state capitals of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. London. And out to the Mormon Library out there in Salt Lake City three times. And did research. And other, also Bartow and Orlando and other libraries. So I gave, nearly made my home in libraries there for a long time and have always been interested. So, at Freedom Square they elected me to--the residents had a board-they elected
me to that, and then put me on the finance committee, so I stayed active in that capacity. And I have been traveling since that time too, a good bit. And became interested in the University of South Florida and the fact that they had a library which I had been in too, and did some research one time. And so also I think you and I were invited to Gainesville when Senator George Smathers gave 30 million dollars to the library up there. And in this speech that night, when he told about it, he said that he thought so much of libraries, and I knew what he was talking about. He said a lot of people could not go to universities, but everybody could go to a library. And I thought that was a great line. So, that's the reason I've been interested in the University of South Florida Library. B Bayard you've had a long and fascinating life and career, and I've been privileged to have been a small part of it. But I'm sure whatever you've said today will be of interest to a lot of people that don't know you. A Well, I appreciate that. I've lived long enough to have a lot of experiences.