0:00

BRADEN: --the idea was, where do you want this, I think that's the name of it. But he was having to prove that he wasn't a communist was the point in the paper and it's a, it's a good story. It's a well done ----------(??). But the main point, the political point was, the only way he could sort of prove that was that he had--he, he carried a sign that said, "I love capitalism." (Fosl laughs) And, and finally he was- -he just gave up every sort of dignity he could possibly have--(both laugh)--and that way maybe he could prove he wasn't a communist.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But the main--but the point is, politically, that if--once you, you outlaw communists, you know--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --not only--the Communist Party never was technically outlawed in this country, but in effect, in that period--

FOSL: --it was--

BRADEN: --it was. That you could not function, you couldn't hold a job, you couldn't--you shouldn't--you weren't even acceptable as a human being if you were a Communist Party member. So in a way it was outlawed. And once you sort of--it was more than just being 1:00outlawed, it was more than it being outlawed legally, it was a de- legitimatization of certain views. And that once you put certain, put the ideas of communism beyond the pale of humanity sort of, the other side of that coin is you do deify the economic system--(laughs)--that exists, which is capitalism.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: And it became treasonous really to question capitalism. And I'm sure you've here me tell the story from Carl's trial, which I often think back to about that and how that, you know, there were a lot of scary things, but the jury came out, but, it was unbelievable. It was one of the things that they really scared the jury with was this, you know, 'cause they raided all of our, our house and took all of our files and Carl's a real good filer. And so they were all categorized, Civil Rights Congress, National Council of American-Soviet Friendship and all these things we belonged to. But one was stories we had written for the Federated Press, which was the labor news service. And Carl had written this story and sent it to Federated Press in the late forties before the Korean War started about the rise in unemployment 2:00in Louisville.

FOSL: I, I didn't know that.

BRADEN: And, um, which it was, of course all over the country. It picked up after the war started, unemployment did. But the prosecutor waved that around and said, "Did you write this?" And he said--and Carl said, yes, of course he wrote it. And he said, "Well now, Mr. Braden, you say that the unemployment rates rise in Louisville. Does that mean that you're saying that the capitalist system doesn't work?" And that--and you could just see the jury just sort of sh-, startled at that, because you couldn't--and obviously the capitalist system wasn't working.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: You see? But you couldn't say so. And I think that was one of the most--well, it was the most devastating thing about the whole anti-communist hysteria of the fifties was that it became treasonous to criticize--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --the society. So the net result was, if you can't criticize what's wrong in a society, you don't do about correcting--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --the problems. And the problems festered for ten years. And we're still inheriting the fruits of that right now, 'cause there are a lot of things that could have been done in that period that weren't 3:00done, and problems became worse. But, and, you know, some of us knew that at the time. And you just did not give into that--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --no matter what. Whether you were a communist or you weren't a communist. Now what?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Can we go out walking?

BRADEN: Where are you gonna walk to?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Hold on.

BRADEN: Um, and in that period, this was such a test, that it became a very important, not just a matter of principle, but a matter of practical politics not to give into that.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: That's why SCEF never adopted a policy that communists couldn't be a part of the organization, although I don't think there were any communists on our board at that time.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I--

BRADEN: But we never said they couldn't be. Yeah, where, uh, where is it you're going?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Up, um, to walk to Hawkeye's house and back. But we ain't going to see Hawkeye?

BRADEN: You're not?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Unh-uh.

BRADEN: You're not gonna tell him hello?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Well, we might.

BRADEN: All right. It's okay. Now you'll be--well, look both ways when 4:00you cross Virginia Avenue and 45th Street, right?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yeah. Yes, ma'am.

BRADEN: And then--and you'll put shoes on before you go.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yeah. (laughs)

BRADEN: And you'll put your coat on Dominique. Right?

FOSL: And you'll zip your coat Dominique.

BRADEN: Yeah, that's a good idea.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I don't know how.

FOSL: I will do it for you. Come here.

BRADEN: I bet you do know how. And, and you'll come back pretty soon, 'cause it's--

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: --yes--

BRADEN: --gonna be getting dark pretty soon.

FOSL: Yeah ----------(??)

BRADEN: If you decide to stay over at Hawkeye's a while, will you call and let me know?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Okay.

BRADEN: Okay. Um--

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Dominique.

BRADEN: --not to give into that.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --either you resisted it or you were a part of it. There was no need for--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: ----------(??). And whether you were a communist or not, if you answered that question, you were conceding--(coughs)--the point- -(coughs)--conceding to the assumption that that was the test as to whether you could be considered a human being or not. So you just didn't, whether you were or you weren't. But, and I think, what I was 5:00saying earlier before you turned the tape back on, that there was a lot of understanding among people who weren't that political just to--a, a gut level understanding--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that this was just something you didn't do, because I got a very positive response, especially on college campuses, but that happened to be where I was speaking. I think I--and I got it in community groups too, when I explained to people why I wouldn't answer that question. And always some character would ask you, you know.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Now that doesn't happen so much anymore. Occasionally it does.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But um, it was--you couldn't go to any meeting, you knew it was gonna be asked. And what I was telling about, I just remembered vividly because it was such a big crowd there, this, uh, meeting, one afternoon actually on a, a weekday afternoon at San Jose State College in--part of the university system I guess in California and it was a small student group that asked me to come speak because there wasn't much student movement--the, the movement at Berkley had just started growing out of the, um, demonstrations against HUAC in May of 1960.

6:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Which were really inspired by the Southern sit-in movement.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: ----------(??) any pictures?

BRADEN: Unh-uh. Um-hm, you want me--why don't you leave it for me to look at?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Okay?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: But we gonna sell--sell 'em.

BRADEN: Oh, who you gonna sell 'em to?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I don't know.

BRADEN: Okay.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: We can sell 'em to, we can sell 'em to, we can sell one to Hawkeye.

BRADEN: Okay, well don't go to people's houses you don't know here.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Okay.

BRADEN: Okay?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Okay.

BRADEN: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: We can sell one to my mother too.

BRADEN: Okay.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Here's some ----------(??)--

BRADEN: Just people you know.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: --here's some--

BRADEN: I'll buy one when you come back. But right now I'm busy with--

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Okay.

BRADEN: --a tape recorder. When you come back I'll buy a picture. You ought to tie your shoes Alice or you're gonna fall down.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: ----------??----------

BRADEN: Um--

FOSL: Yeah, just put it right in ----------(??)

BRADEN: And, uh, um, and that whole demonstration, that's another story really, was inspired by the sit-in movements that had started in February of '60 in the South. So you did have the movement growing at 7:00Berkeley out of that.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And it was beginning to spread to other campuses. But all--but it wasn't like, you know, a few years later at all. And all through the fifties when--or the late fifties which is when I was getting around the country some, you'd have small little groups of radicals on campuses, you know, but they were all small. And that--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --so it was a little group there at San Jose had invited me to come speak. And I was out there on a fundraising trip for SCEF, but I would do things like that while I was making trips for fundraising. And, and I suspect they might have had twenty or thirty people at the meeting, that, that somebody decided to go to the administration and suggest that I should--was dangerous and shouldn't be allowed to speak 'cause I was a communist. That's what they said. And so they did. And I can't remember--it--I was banned. And I can't remember how they got the ban lifted, but they did. Which, of course, swelled the crowd. So we had about two thousand people out instead of thirty.

FOSL: That's great.

BRADEN: But anyway, so I was not--I talked some about HUAC, I think, 8:00but um, 'cause by that time Carl had been indicted. That was before he went to jail. But mainly I was talking about what was happening in the Civil Rights Movement in the South, 'cause that's what I was out there about and that's what I was active in. But in, during the question period, the--um, you know, of course somebody got up and well, "Well, Ms. Braden, are you a member of the Communist Party?" And maybe some preface to that, I forget. You know, so I--and, and this is what I always said, but I just remember this occasion, I, uh, I said, I said, "Well, I'm not gonna answer that question and I'm gonna tell you why." And so then I, essentially, what I always said in those situations was a little bit briefer than what I just said in that the, the whole setting up of the membership in the Communist Party is the test of whether this person can be considered a human being in this country has stifled any real discussion of the issues that face the country, and it, it's stifling the discussion of the Civil Rights Movement in the South. Instead of talking about the rights of, of blacks, I guess we 9:00said Negroes then--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --um, people talk about whether people are communist or not. And you're not dealing with the issues. So and that the, and that, and the, and that we've set up a situation where we've created witches. We've made communists into witches. And then--and once you've, um, that you--in order to have witch-hunts you've got to have a witch-- (coughs)--group. There got to be witches before you can call everybody else a witch.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that, um, and that's what we've done. And it's, it's, it's stifling any sort of real creative approach to the issues that face this country and, and my part of the country in the South, but it's true everywhere too. And that, uh, this--the only answer for that is for communists to be considered human beings like everybody else. But I'm not gonna be a part of this process. And if when the day comes that a ----------(??) person can be a member of the Communist Party and, and say so and continue to work and, and, um, function in the 10:00society, um, I'll answer that question. But until that day comes, I will not. At which point everybody burst into applause. I mean they just knew that was the right decision. Take it--and they were, you know, not politicized students. But I think there was a instinctive sort of reaction on a lot of people's part that that was an important battle at that time. Now, of course it's different today--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --in that the, the, the argument today is that, well, why don't people just say because, just, you know, it's--nobody's going to jail for being a communist now and so why not say? But I still don't because it, it's not, it--nobody's going to jail, but it's still, in most places, it's probably not--may not be true in New York City and a few metropolitan areas, but most places, it's still not possible for people to be members of the Communist Party and be looked at like everybody else.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Like a Democrat or even a member of another left group. It's 11:00very interesting that it's--that there's that de-legitimatization. And, and I've thought, you know, that to me there's no shortcut. I, I don't see shortcuts out of important issues. I think that you not gonna get away--you're not gonna really be able to have honest looking at the issues and, and questioning--(laughs)--capitalism, which has got be questioned, and it--well, people do begin to question that. But they- -there's still that, that barrier, um, until the, until you get past that witch sort of psychology and the Communist Party is legitimatized. Which is why, and I wrote articles for the paper about this. You can- -I'll, I could find one of those for you. Um, why, you see I served as an elector for the Communist Party in Kentucky in 1972, which was the first time they had tried to get on the ballot since the thirties here.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, and also in '76 and '80, I guess. I hadn't--I didn't 12:00after that. I didn't in '84. Um, because I was so involved in the Jackson campaign and it didn't make sense to be an elector for another candidate ----------(??). But in--I guess that's three times, but in '72 was the first time it was more significant because it was the first time that--no, you can't eat the cheese. Wrap that up for me, get it out of the way.

FOSL: Let me just take a--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: Anyway, what I was gonna do I, I think can, I think I know where a copy of that is----------(??). I wrote an article that year, 1972, I decided that that was the most important thing to do that year. A lot of people were supporting McGovern. But it seemed to me, and I don't know--well, well I guess I do ----------(??) was '72, that, the most important thing at that point was to make this break with the Cold War thing, and we're still working on that, and to, uh, eliminate the 13:00witches so we wouldn't have any more witch-hunts and to try to have a atmosphere where you could have real discussion. And that you had to legitimatize the Communist Party to do that. So I agreed to serve as an elector. I was not a member of the Communist Party. Um, and they're--and, and a number of the other electors in Kentucky weren't either. Um, 'cause they liked to get people to serve as electors. It doesn't mean much in the Democratic, Republican, but any candidate who runs, you know--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --for the Electoral College, you've got to have electors. Nobody even knows who they are for the Democrats or Republicans. But it took--not everybody could be an elector for the Communist Party because their names get put in the paper and, and you file a petition--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and stuff like that. And a lot of people just weren't able to do that. Well, I was working for SCEF and wasn't gonna lose a job and stuff like that, so I did. And, um, but I wrote an article and sent it to the op-ed page of the Prairie Journal about why I, I was serving 14:00as an elector--why I thought this was important and laying out sort of what I said about the need to demystify the Communist Party.

FOSL: Did it run?

BRADEN: Yeah, they ran it. And um, funny thing was I didn't get much flack from that article either. I--a lot of times I had things in the paper, I'd be quoted in the paper or something about me in the paper, in that period and still really, and I'd get a lot of crank calls. Now I haven't really since that thing in the paper the other day, which is ----------(??). But there have been a lot of calls where people have, have hung up.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. So I think the answering machine steers some of 'em off--(Fosl clears throat)--this week. But anyway, I never have gotten much flack from that, which convinced me that not many people read that op-ed page. (laughs)

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: I think it's the--that the people read the letters column, the short letters.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But I don't think they read that op-ed page. But anyway, I had reprints of it. And I'll give you a copy of that. And then I, I also served as an elector four years later in '76, and I believe I did in '80, but it wasn't such an issue then. I always was to a certain 15:00extent, but by that time it was kind of really a surprise to people around here that the Communist Party was trying to get on the ballot, and it did get on the ballot.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It's very easy to get on the ballot in Kentucky--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --compared to other states. All you gotta do is get a thousand, um, validated signatures of registered voters and that's very low compared to, very, very low compared to most states. It's--there's a pattern, it seems like, that it's the ballot access process in that way is easier in most southern states than other parts of the country.

FOSL: I didn't know that because I didn't know what they are. The only thing I've really, uh, I've never worked in a campaign to get, you know, another party on the ballot. But--

BRADEN: I don't know what it is in Georgia.

FOSL: It's hard--

BRADEN: Virginia--

FOSL: --or it was hard. The only thing I've really even read about was it was an incredible struggle that the Progressive Party had in '48 to get--

BRADEN: In '48--

FOSL: --to get Wallace--

BRADEN: --in, in Georgia?

FOSL: --on the ballot, in Georgia.

BRADEN: --in Georgia--

FOSL: And, and, and Wallace was the only one--only the president 16:00[telephone rings] and vice-president were on the ballot.

BRADEN: Really?

FOSL: For some reason--

BRADEN: Mark N. Marshall (??), I remember him as running for office. Maybe didn't get on the ballot on the Progressive Party's, he's a white guy--

FOSL: Yes, that's right.

BRADEN: --for senator.

FOSL: In the end, I think he did not get on the ballot.

BRADEN: Well, maybe Georgia's different now this--like Ohio it's just has to have a tremendous number of signatures. In California, you have a certain number. And I think the reason it's easier in the sou-, in the southern states where it is easier is that there's never been a serious third party challenge--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --where there has, they have got--

MAN ON ANSWERING MACHINE: Anne, this is Abdul in New York, 212-365-3001. I do need to talk to you immediately, if not, as soon as possible, please.

BRADEN: Abdul who? There are so many Abduls here in New York. Hmm.

FOSL: Well, anyway, uh, there was a good bit about that in Pat 17:00Sullivan's dissertation about, uh--

BRADEN: The ballot access?

FOSL: The--yeah. It was really a struggle. Were, did you work on that here in Kentucky? That year?

BRADEN: Yeah, um-hm. I didn't work--well, I don't remember. I guess I did some, no. I don't think I worked on the petitions. But I was, um, let's see, the--in '48--and of course it started in '47, sort of, uh, I was still at the paper.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I didn't leave the paper until No-, after the election probably. But I had gotten involved in the Progressive Party. But I was staying sort of in the background 'cause I was a reporter.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they weren't as strict about reporters being political demons as they've been in recent years. They just don't let 'em do anything now. But I was getting a lot of stuff in the paper for the Progressive Party, so, anyway, I could do that better if I wasn't too public. But I was living with, um, that was before Carl and I were married, before we were living together even. And, um, I lived with a woman who was down here from New York who became the organizer for the 18:00Progressive Party.

FOSL: Right, what was her name?

BRADEN: Her name then was Barbara Lane.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But she hadn't come down here to do that. She--her, her husband at that point was named Tulipan (??) that was her, Barbara Tulipan, she had--she used the name Barbara Lane. I don't know if that was her maiden name or not. But she--and they were living in Lexington, I believe, 'cause he was a doctor at a hospital over there, federal hospital--what was then a federal hospital. But some way she was--she had connections with the, um, people like Mark and Tony in the movement and those people in New York that--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --became a part of the Progressive Party. So in some way she got involved in organizing the nucleus here. And I met her some way. I don't even remember how I met her. I remember I went to--well, I had sort of gotten involved with the Wallace thing, 'cause that was the year I was slowly trying to think through where I was and all that, and 19:00met Carl and all that. And was finding out about the labor movement. There was a lot of things going on. But I can remember, and I can't- -Wallace came here and spoke and I would have to--I could find that was ----------(??).

FOSL: There were two major tours--southern tours that included--

BRADEN: This was before--

FOSL: --southern cities.

BRADEN: --the campaign I think.

FOSL: Uh, both of them were before the campaign. One was in August and one was in November of '47. And he declared his candidacy in December of '47.

BRADEN: Um-hm. August and November?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Well, it was one of the two then, 'cause it was before 'cause I remember when he declared his candidacy. I remember where I was that night. But it was at one of those occasions--well I guess he only came here on one tour. And there was a woman from North Carolina in here organizing who I met later, Mary Price.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Well, yeah, who later had a terrible automobile accident and was never the same again.

FOSL: I didn't know that.

BRADEN: Um, I don't know if she's still in or not. Later--and her sister was Bronson Price--

20:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --and like, and whom was a good friend of Virginia Durr's and stuff and Carl and I met and visited when we were in England in the early seventies. She lived in--she went to England and stayed.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: I think--oh, well Virginia always said 'cause she had a child out of wedlock and couldn't raise her here 'cause that wasn't done in those days or some fool thing.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But she was--something--that's what Virginia said. But she was very--and both of 'em, they were sisters, Bronson and Mary. But I remember Mary Price. But I was just, you know, I wasn't a leader of it or anything. I was just--it was--I was around. But I can remember seeing her, meeting somebody, and I can't remember who it was that I was a reporter, of course, it was, it would have been August of '47. See, I just came here in April of '47.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So it could have been November. Um, asked me one day if I wanted to go to a mailing party they were having. That's where I attended mailing parties as political organizing tools.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And it was getting out something, probably about that rally, 'cause it was a big crowd that came. And I went and stuffed envelopes. 21:00And just listened to what these people [knocking sound] were saying. Um--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --decided that made sense. And that's how--but, the, it wasn't sort of something you--I don't know whether there actually was a Progressive Party. It was sort of the Wallace support movement--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --at that point.

FOSL: No, there wasn't really a Progressive Party quite yet.

BRADEN: And--but at some point, and I don't remember how soon, well that was--I remember going to that and being real impressed and then well, this, this, this makes sense. Um, and I had been a Wallace supporter, because I identified with that in '44.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: I remember that. And I was still in Alabama. And I remember the summer of '44, I mean I was still in college. I hadn't graduated. But the year--the betw-, it was between, of course, my junior and senior year at college and I was working on The Star in Anniston that summer. And um, um, when the Democratic Convention was going on, and I was--I guess that was probably the second summer I had worked for The 22:00Star, you know, that's 'cause I worked between my sophomore and junior year. Between my freshman and junior year--uh, between my freshman and sophomore year of college I went to the summer theatre in New England. So my first year on the paper was between my sophomore and junior year. And then I came back and worked that summer between my junior and senior year. And then I came back and worked a year at The Star after I--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --finished college. But that year when the Democratic Convention was going on, uh, of course I couldn't vote that year 'cause you couldn't vote till you were twenty-one then.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: I was just twenty. But--anyway, I can--it--remember, it stands out in my mind 'cause it was the first time I ever felt emotional about any political issue. And I didn't know anything, you've got to understand. I had not--I hadn't even made up my mind about segregation. That--well, I had about segregation. That's true. See, I think everybody was against segregation that I knew. It was fashionable. That's what people don't remember. But it--most of the- -I mean I thought that was passe, most of the people I was in school with thought segregation was passe. But we weren't doing a damn thing 23:00about it--(laughs)--you know. And I considered myself a liberal, so I had gotten that from Harriet partly. And um, and some of the students, people that I was friendly with in college that considered themselves part of the New South and--

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Ellis Arnold in Georgia, you know, and that sort of liberal movement in the South, we just kind of identified with and were sort of rejecting the idea of segregation like we rejected our parents' ideas about sex, and we were the New South. But we really weren't political. We weren't active. There wasn't anything thing active in. I didn't--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --belong to any organizations. I was--I had decided I wanted to go into newspaper work. And I was--and I was getting a lot of good experience on The Star 'cause all the men were at the war and there wasn't anyone to write anything. And, um, but I was enough sort of following what was going on by then that I knew something significant was happening, and Roosevelt was about to dump Wallace. And there was a big feeling among people who were liberals in those days, and 24:00radicals too I guess, that Wallace was the soul of the Democratic Party. And that if the Democratic Party had dumped Wallace, that it was losing its soul. And it did. I think that was the--

FOSL: Um-hm, a symbol of the New Deal.

BRADEN: That's for sure. So I, so I knew I liked Wallace. And then so I had sort of followed what was going on after that. And then of course after that I went to Birmingham and worked there. Then after various other things happened. But then I came up here, you know, everything else began to happen to me, internally and kept finding out about things. But in some way--so I was watching Wallace anyway, and I knew this movement was developing to run him for president. And of course people thought it was gonna be a mass movement. You've probably gotten that if you--had--from I guess what Pat Sullivan is writing. And that this was gonna be the third party and a major breakaway. And to--(Fosl clears throat)--and it--in the beginning it was. I mean you had a lot of--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --union support. You know. And there were unions here supporting him. See, there was a left wing of the CIO here, 'cause the CIO was in the process of splitting, which happened a few years--

25:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --later. But they had already polarized and the--there were four unions that were a part of the--identified with the left wing of the CIO. And Carl was all, was very much involved, and he was labor reporter at the time. And so he knew all these people and he got along with all of 'em at that time.

FOSL: The UEW--

BRADEN: No, not the UAW, no, no, no, they were--

FOSL: No, U-, United--I don't know--it's United Electrical Workers.

BRADEN: UE.

FOSL: UE, yeah.

BRADEN: But UE was not here then. The ones that were here that were-- and part of it was, as to whether they were in the left wing here de-, was determined by the, the policies of their international. I mean the people weren't that different probably. The people at Harvester were different for another--for other reasons of their history, that was the biggest local or International Harvester. But they were different, they were different 'cause of the experience in that plank. The others weren't that different. And it really turned on--a lot of it was foreign poli-, well it was, well, it was more than that. We really ought to talk about this some more--make some time. It was class struggle versus class collaborationism among unions. But a lot of the 26:00issues came to the head over foreign policy 'cause these unions opposed the Marshall Plan basically. And the whole sort of empire thrust, they'd call it, of the US. But--and then there was the Taft-Hartley Act. Now all of labor--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --supposedly fought the Taft-Hartley Act. But once it passed, then some of the unions began signing the non-communists affidavits and some didn't. Um, but the unions here that made up the left wing were, see, the biggest one was the Farm Equipment Workers at the International Harvester plant, which was about three thousand people.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And the Transport Workers Union.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Which was led by Mike Quill in New York, who later sort of went to the right, but had been a left wing leader. And there were some people here that were fairly left with that union. And here they had the city bus drivers organized. And there had been a bitter strike, which Carl worked with a lot. He was labor reporter then, in '46, to get recognition. They had been trying to organize for years and had 27:00failed every other time until '46, that was before I came here, and Carl always took credit for that sort of. And they gave him credit too because he said they couldn't--that the other side wasn't able to mess up their publicity 'cause he put in--and nobod-, and he was a, he was such a good reporter, um, and a real professional newspaper person and he, um, I don't think he ever had a complaint when he was labor reporter there from the management people saying he hadn't been fair. His, his philosophy was, if you let the union tell its side of the story and non-union tell their side, that labor was always gonna come out ahead 'cause they were always right. And so he would--so he made sure he quoted both sides. But for the first time, the labor people could really get their side in.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And it, and it helped in that strike. Anyway, that was one. And they had about somewhere between a thousand and two thousand workers I guess. And then there was a fairly small union of the United Public Workers, which was organizing garbage workers here, 28:00and something ----------(??). And a very tiny local of the United Furniture Workers. So there were four. And they had, they had a combined union hall down on Seventh Street, I'll show it to you some time, I believe the building's still there. Which is later where we worked, we set up an information center for 'em. But all of those unions were supporting Wallace, you see. And, uh, that was quite a base here 'cause of the big Harvester plant.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, and probably some people in there. So there was a base and--

FOSL: But even after Truman vetoed Taft-Hartley, they didn't switch their support.

BRADEN: Oh no. No, there were a lot of other issues. And I think they saw it, and I think the, I think the Wallace campaign pushed further on civil rights issue, for one thing. You know. I know--

FOSL: Oh definitely. Yeah.

BRADEN: But anyway, when he was coming, that's when I went to the mailing party--(laughs)--and began to hear about what they were doing. And I guess they were in the process ----------(??)----------, they saw 29:00themselves as organizing the presidential campaign, and people were--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And then when he came there was a big rally at what was then called the Armory. It's down--and it's still there, it was the biggest place in Louisville then. And that was a big thing, ----------(??) very big things. But it's now called Louisville Gardens. They get concerts and stuff. And, um, packed, it was a great big hall. And I believe you're right. I believe it, I believe it was in the fall because it always--I remember thinking about it, Wallace came back in November or right before November '48, right before the election, and they had a rally out at Memorial Auditorium, which is a smaller place. And I bet more than a hundred, a hundred fifty people were there that decided to campaign with him in Louisville by that time, it was real issued based. But anyway, it was, you know, it seemed like a mass movement to people. And I thought it was great. But then somewhere along in there, and it was private--well, I can remember where I was when--the night he announced. I--see, I had some--I had a lot of 30:00family connections in Kentucky 'cause all my family had come from here. And you know, my mother grew up here in Louisville and my father grew up in Owensboro and they both went to University of Kentucky and had a lot of friends here in Kentucky. And at that time, my grandmother still lived out Eminence, thirty miles out and she spent winters either are my house or at my aunt's house in New Jersey, but she'd go there in the summers. And then my sister-in-law, my brother's wife, was from Shelbyville, Kentucky, which--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --is also about thirty miles out. That--close to Eminence. And, um, um, and I never was real close to my brother, but we were in touch through mother, at least, at that time. And--but I never really, when I came back, came here to go to work, I never looked up 31:00any of those people, um, much, the--any really, of my parents' friends. 'Cause you don't. I don't know if anybody else would have either, really. But, um, and I was busy, you know, with the newspaper people and all the other people I was meeting. But there was one woman, and I'm trying to think, I guess she called me, a Dr. Alice Pickett. She later delivered Jim. Jim was about the last baby she delivered. She was quite old. She was really--she was a wonderful old woman doctor, I mean old--she was elderly by then, who had just delivered thousands of babies.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But she was an old family friend of my sister-in-law's. And um, I remember, let's see, when I came from Stratford to come to my brother's wedding in--his wife got married in Shelbyville in, in-- during the winter, right after Pearl Harbor. They, they graduated his- -my brother was to graduate from Annapolis in the spring of '42. And 32:00they graduated immediately after Pearl Harbor.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And he was getting ready to go off somewhere. And so they had already decided to get married. So they decided to get married before he left and, and she was at- finishing at Wellesley. I think she had another semester or something at Wellesley. So they'd marry and, and, and I remember I left Stratford to come over here and be in the wedding in January of '42. And, um, and I can remember this Dr. Alice Pickett had us all some kind of a party then. But what had happened, I think that then when I came back here to live in '47, I guess Dr. Pickett called me or something, she was just being nice--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --because, you know, to--and wanted me to come out to dinner one night. So I went, I guess, just thought it was something I ought to do. And I--and she was just trying to be nice. And then I didn't see her after that until when I decided I wanted to get pregnant, I went and found her and she [mechanical noise] was a wonderful doctor that was later. But I went out there that night and she had invited 33:00some other young people, I guess she thought, you know, we'd all be congenial or something. And she was an active obstetrician. I remember she served us dinner. And then she excused herself, she had to go to the hospital. She had somebody in labor. And I can't remember how many people were there. I can hardly remember. I think there were, you know, maybe four or five other young people besides me. And I was so totally out of sync with people like that but then, I guess it was people she knew. And but I knew that Wallace was gonna speak that night. And it--and announce whether he was gonna run for president. I remember that real vividly. So I said at dinner, I said, "Well, we gotta listen to Henry Wallace to see what he's gonna do." And none of 'em were interested at all. They weren't hostile, they just were not interested. "Well, we won't, uh, we don't--you don't want to do that, do you?" or something. I said, "Yeah, I want to know what he's gonna do." So I went in, we went in and turned on the radio. There wasn't any TV then.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I think they came in there, but they were so bored, you know, and it was just--I could see--you know, I was just in such a different world by then from people like that, I never saw any of those people again. But he, but that's the night he announced it. 34:00I remember that. But it must have been soon after that, if that was December, I didn't remember when it was--

FOSL: That was December of '47.

BRADEN: Oh. Somewhere then, probably later that winter, there was sort of an organizing meeting for the Progressive Party and it was held at this union hall. I remember that. I'm pretty sure that's where it was. On Seventh Street, 'cause Carl and I were both still at the paper. And I went, not to cover it, I don't think I was covering it, I think I just went. But I met--that's where I met Barbara because, in some way they had--I don't know whether she had called the meeting or who had--was getting it together, but they were forming the nucleus of us Wallace, I guess, campaign committee. And what became, certainly, the nucleus of the Progressive Party here. And I guess that, you know, they, and they thought, I guess that she thought that I was sort of important 'cause I was a reporter at the paper. Um, and 'cause I remember she came over to me and asked me if I would be willing to be 35:00on the executive committee or something. Well, I didn't know anything about anything. And you've got to remember, I was not a joiner in those days either. Now I join everything that comes along. You know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I didn't join much when I was in college, really. I wasn't, I wasn't a joiner until--(laughs)--I got into the radical movement. I mean, like, I worked in--on the newspaper at junior college in Randolph- Macon, worked in the drama departments and I did things like that. But I didn't join the YWCA and I didn't join the International Affairs Club. I just didn't join things that much. And after I was living back in Anniston I never joined anything. I just wasn't a joiner. And so I hadn't even joined the Progressive Party, I don't think. But I sure was interested in it. But I can remember I told her no, I didn't think I should do that, but I was interested or something. And, um, so I wasn't. And then I don't know whether it was then that she mentioned that night she was looking for a place to live in Louisville 'cause she had been living in Lexington. Either then or maybe at a later meeting 36:00I went to, and I said, "Well, I've got my own apartment, if you want to come." I was living out on Fourth Street and Park. And she did. She moved in there. And, um, and we had a lot of trouble with the landlady later, 'cause she was Jewish. And I don't know how the landlady found that out, 'cause, you know, but she was, but she raised a lot of sand about me having somebody else in the apartment. It was under rent control, I can remember exactly how much rent I, see there's a lot of rent controlled stuff. But I paid thirty-two dollars a month rent.

FOSL: Where was this?

BRADEN: In what's now old Louisville, very fashionable part of Louisville now. Wasn't very fashionable then. It's--I'll show you. It's downtown. Fourth Street's the main drag, you go out on Fourth Street and there'd be a, what used to be single family homes out there, that were--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --had been broken up into apartments. In recent years, in the last twenty years it's been gentrified and there've been a lot of people fixing up those houses. The property's terribly valuable now. The, the mayor lives right--two doors from where I lived. Now he bought a house there. But at that time, it wasn't that fashionable. 37:00It was just apartments. But even at that, even for then, that was low rent because it was still under rent control. Some things weren't, I've forgotten how that worked. So I sure didn't want to give up the apartment. But, um, um, what I, as I recall, she was a mean lady anyway. I used to take her my rent. Um, I think I--well, I know, I paid her some extra. Do you know what? I told her--maybe I didn't tell her somebody was moving in. But I think then I worked something out. That may have been what I was gonna do. (coughs) I don't know if she tried to put us out, but she didn't work. (coughs) But she really didn't like it 'cause she was Jewish. And I, I know what I did. I think I paid her some extra rent in cash which was illegal, 'cause, you know, over the rent control or something, [telephone rings]. But the funny thing was, 'cause I really wasn't very principled then, you know, 38:00I didn't develop my politics. And, um, um, I remember that when, when I had, when I first came here--now what are you all up to?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Nothing. Me and her weigh a hundred pounds.

BRADEN: You do?

VOICE ON ANSWERING MACHINE: Hi Anne, this is Judy. It's about twenty past seven. At, uh, ten or 10:30 tonight I'm gonna call Minneapolis with the changes, the final version of the program so that they can print a correction--(Braden coughs)--sheet or a change sheet. And I just wonder when that--

BRADEN: I don't know. (Fosl laughs)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yes.

BRADEN: I tried to call Gayla Rubinstein (??) today. I haven't gotten her. I'm gonna--

FOSL: Here, wait a second.

[Pause in recording.]

FOSL: Well--

BRADEN: I was just off on a side story I hadn't finished. I said I wasn't very principled about that, that--

39:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --landlady, because I remember that so because it--and we had this hassle, but some way she wasn't able to put us out and we stayed there until Carl and I got an apartment together along about Mar-, in March, maybe, eight-, '48. And I can't remember what Barbara did after that. But I don't, don't know whether she stayed on there or went somewhere else. But she was here. She stayed on through the campaign, I think. And I've got to come back to what I was doing at the time during the campaign. But I remember that, um, when I had rented that apartment, when I first came here I got--I, I was out at, uh, I got me an apartment out on Cherokee Road, which is the Highlands and it was one of these big houses that you sort of had a room in, a lot of young people lived there. I never was particularly congenial with any of 40:00'em, and I decided I wanted my own apartment. But, um, um, I had found out about it--about some ways to get a place before I came here, uh, 'cause I came--I finished working in Birmingham on Saturday and flew. People didn't fly that much 'cause I thought I had to be here Monday and I flew up here. Turned out I--they weren't really expecting me till the next week, I could a taken the week off--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --but I didn't. So, um, but so I began looking for an apartment. And I probably just saw this advertised in the paper or something, and I called the woman. But I remember vividly when I called she asked me what, uh, what my church affiliation was. Well, I wasn't going to any church then. But I told her Episcopalian, which is what I was traditionally, and she said, "Okay, well, that, that was fine. That it didn't matter, except that she just, uh, wanted to make sure I wasn't Jewish."

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: So, you know, I didn't like that. But I didn't say anything or, when I rented the apartment. And I remember that this guy that I 41:00had had this affair with in Alabama that I broke off with, Marshall who was--(laughs)--had come up here sort of following me, but I never--and, and got a job on the Times later, came after I did, and I never did, um, he came up to see me once, I think. And then he came up here and got a job. But by that time I was just through with that, although he meant a lot in my life in one way, but I was through with it. So I didn't--but I'd see him at the paper and then he then, he left here and, well, back to Alabama I guess. But I remember telling him about that and he said--(laughs)--about the trouble I was having with Barbara, I remember that. But, and he, and he said, "What," he said, "Well," he says, "You should have known that was gonna happen." He said, "And you never should a gone there in the first place," he said, "after she told you that. She'd asked you that." You know. But I didn't think about doing things like that in those days. So--(coughs)- -but I was a--by that time I had sort of established myself pretty 42:00well as a reporter at the Times and we didn't have a lot of reporters at the time. They--in recent years they've had so many reporters on papers. But I guess it was still enough of the aftermath of the war [telephone rings] that they were short too. And, um, it was--that had certainly been true in Anniston and to a certain extent in Birmingham. Or maybe they just didn't hire as many. But I worked at--it seems to me there weren't more than, I don't know how many total, but Carl was labor reporter. There were about four or five of us that were sort of assigned to the city desk. I did general assignments and I did rewrite on the city desk. There were just you know, people would call in stories and I'd write 'em--

VOICE ON ANSWERING MACHINE: Hi. This is ----------(??)Washington calling from Atlanta, Georgia for--

FOSL: --an interview. (laughs)

[Pause in recording.]

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: Well, anyway I was just gonna--then, and then, so my role in the Progressive Party that year was pretty minor, but I was--I had kind of kept up with what was happening 'cause I'd see Barbara, you know, off 43:00and on. I wasn't there a lot. We shared this apartment. And she would sort of tell me, uh, they got a lot of people involved and it was, uh, in the beginning on a broad spectrum of people. They lost people here like they did everywhere. And I didn't--I think I pretty much quit going to the meetings because then I was able--I, I--oh, I was saying I'd pretty much established myself at the paper then and thought--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --I was a really good reporter. And they'd assigned me to the education beat. So I was covering the schools and then and but I was also doing general assignments which meant it just could be anything that came up. And some of it was boring and some of it was pretty important stories. And, um, so I can't rememb-, I know there were several times when I was able to cover things that the Progressive Party was doing, which I, if I'd been too active in it I couldn't have done. So I remember Barbara told me it'd just be much better if I kind of, didn't get too involved in the party itself.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. But, um, I felt like I knew what was going on because 44:00I was listening to her talk about it. But I was doing a lot of other things too because that was when Carl was sort of introducing me to the labor movement. And he would take me to union meetings and he didn't work on Saturday. But--and I did. And, um, um, and he--because he wouldn't. He just had a thing, he wouldn't work on Saturdays. And so sometimes when things would come up, union meetings, I remember there was a big telephone strike. There were some important meetings. And he would, he would arrange for me to cover those. And I didn't know anything about the labor movement. Uh, but he was telling me about things. So I would get to do things that way 'cause he would have 'em assign me to it. And, um, and I began to cover some other civil rights things. And some things I would initiate it, that, because I, I began to meet people in the black community. And, um, knew some of the things going on and, and a lot of the re-, reporters didn't, just like they don't know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, but I remember that, um, this Lyman Johnson that you saw 45:00that--I think you met him the other night, they introduced him and everybody clapped, uh, as one of the distinguished people there. And I think I told you he was sort of Mr. Civil Rights--

FOSL: Oh that's right.

BRADEN: --in Louisville.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: And now--he's blind now, he's quite old. And, um, but he's a, he's sort of, he's a really a elder statesman here.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And everybody thinks Lyman is wonderful. Now he was pretty controversial in the old days then. But he was, um, and I, I went out, and maybe you weren't with me, I went out to see--he had told somebody the other night to--he wasn't gonna leave till he got to speak to me or something. And I went out to the door before he left and spoke to him. And, um, he was, um, a high school teacher in what was then the black school--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Central High School, um, which is still there, but it's in a different location now and has been for some years. And is--it's been some bone of contention lately as to whether they're gonna close it. But this--there's such a battle put up a few years ago that they won't 46:00for a while. It's--it was the high school where everybody black went who's over a certain age here, it's their alma mater and they really love it. But he was the--and he was apparently a really good teacher, he taught history. And he was young. But he, and he was very active. He'd come here from Tennessee, in fact he has just written a book, uh, an oral history, by the way, which is, um, I had and I loaned it to--now who did I lend it to? Bob Cunningham, he was there last night a matter of fact--The, The Rest Of The Dream it's called. A professor here at Bellarmine College did it and it's, it's purely oral history with him.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: He came here from, he's from Columbia, Tennessee.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: He was there during the big riot in Columbia.

FOSL: Huh.

BRADEN: I--[recording error]--quite a militant leader in the black community. And was president of the NAACP at one point. I don't think he was president after I came here. He'd been president earlier. But he put up a real fight within the school system to try to get equal pay 47:00for black teachers.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Which they didn't have. They were paid less. And he did things like that. And he was, he was considered quite a militant. And I guess to a certain extent he managed ----------(??) for example, he worked with the Civil Rights Congress for a while, although he got a little nervous about that later. I think he went to some of their early national meetings. Um, but um, he--and, and people forget that- -[recording error]--NAACP. I had kind of looked him up. I was, you know, I was by then trying to find out what was going on, and I and I think I had started going to some NAACP meetings. But I knew some of the lawyers that were--and they had various cases, a lot of, you know, they were always filing court cases. And--but it was seen as, you know, certainly in the deep south it was dangerous to join, to belong to the NAACP. It was a--and there was--and--

FOSL: --Louisville--

BRADEN: --and here it wasn't dangerous to belong to it, but it was seen as a radical force, and it was really, I guess, the only organization in the black community that was doing things about civil rights. The- 48:00-when the Progressive Party came along it began to take some aggressive stance on, but otherwise, so--but I remember it very well, he filed a suit, uh, to enter the University of Kentucky graduate school. He already had his degree. You know. College degree from somewhere--now what, now what?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: We can't wait.

BRADEN: Well your mommy's on the way. They called from Esther's. You all had--

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: We're tired of waiting.

BRADEN: You had cheese and crackers. You had Reese's cups. You had--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: Um--

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: We want it, you want it, another drink.

BRADEN: You do? Okay. Okay.

FOSL: Just remember, mine's on the door.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Did you start it again?

FOSL: I've started it again.

BRADEN: You--it's when it blinks red it's on?

FOSL: Well, actually to pause--it still blinks red when it's paused. I don't know why, but it's--

49:00

BRADEN: Hmm.

FOSL: --it's not moving.

BRADEN: Anyway, um, he already had--I think he had gone to Michigan State or University of Michigan and had gotten his undergraduate degree. And see, we had a, a state segregation, school segregation law called the Day Law--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --which had been passed in 1904 basically to be-, uh, aimed at Berea College--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --which was integrated and always had been. It was set up, I think, after the Civil War, and so forth. And they were--and in that whole period of segregation laws, the Day Law was passed. And it prohibited, um, people at any level, college or, on down to elementary school, going to school together, black and white. And so this was the first challenge to the Day Law. And he--so and he filed a s-, applied to enter the graduate school at the University of Kentucky and was filing a suit. And I do not remember whether the paper assigned 50:00me to cover it or whether I just heard about it and told them about it. I think I heard about it and told them about it. Anyway, I went over to interview him, it was the first time I'd met him, and I went over to Central High School and, um, he--in the afternoon, 'cause there weren't any classes there, and I remember him perched up on the desk and he was [noise] a very dynamic sort of person at that time. He must have been a good teacher. And talking about why he was doing this and, and so forth. And I referred--I may have referred to this in The Wall Between. I remember something I've written. 'Cause I remember going back to the paper to tell 'em about it and the way it was then, I don't know how they work now, usually if I'd gone out to cover a story, I would talk to the city editor about it or other people, and they were always sitting around the desk and we had sort of a big desk thing. And, um, before I wrote anything, he'd decide how many words and--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --so forth and so on. And everybody kind of laughed about it. 51:00I mean it wasn't that they were hostile to the idea of ----------(??) you know, that's, that's just, the, um, they didn't take it seriously. You know. And that, you know, you know, that's not gonna go anywhere or something like that. That was the attitude.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And so I remember that the editor said, said "Well, write two or three paragraphs about it." And I said--and I remember arguing with him, and Lyman's forgotten this, but I reminded him once, or maybe he didn't even know it at the time, but I put up a real fight about it, about the significance of it. I said, "Well, I think this is a major suit."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I said, "This--you're talking about the whole segre-, school segregation law could fall on this suit if he wins it." "Oh well, it's not gonna go anywhere." And I said, "Well, you don't know." And I said, "It's,"--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --I said, "I think it belongs on the--it's a major story. I think it belongs on the front page." And I kept arguing with it. And so they say, and so finally he said, "Okay." And I think he said, "Okay, well write five hundred words," or something like that.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: That was--and that was a long story for the Times 'cause we had short stories. We used to laugh about the long stories in the Courier- 52:00Journal that nobody ever read 'cause they--you know, just--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --so five hundred, I think he said five hundred maybe, which was a long story. And they did put it on--

FOSL: That is long.

BRADEN: --the front page. And, and of course, and then later, uh, he won the suit and it did begin the cracking of the Day Law.

FOSL: Um-hm. Yeah.

BRADEN: And, um, and, and he went to the University of Kentucky. He, you know, enrolled in graduate school and then he continued to be a leader around here for, um, various things. Well, he still is, except now he's incapacitated by being so old and blind. But he, uh, in recent years he's just been lionized really.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Because a lot of people who were active than hadn't lived that long, you know. (laughs) You live long enough, you're asked to come out, I guess. But then later he, he ran for the school board in the seventies after the bussing. He was on the school board. And he retired as a teacher. He, he got into a lot of conflict in the sixties 53:00with the younger militants that--he didn't handle if very well. But they thought he was an old fogy. And--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --couldn't understand it. And in a way he was. I think some of his positions were backward at that point. Um, but he would get very impatient with young people who didn't understand and he--and he still does that a little bit. He'll preach you, "You all don't understand where we've come from." But, um, he worked with, um, but he's been passionately pro-integration at a time when some people were more separatatist, certainly, even to the ----------(??)--when they filed the school deseg-, segregation suit here in the seventies when the ACLU did that, and I was even doubtful about the way they were going about that, um, he fought for it because it was really gonna--it was--well, I know that's another issue. It was gonna dilute the black ---------- (??) Which is what it's done. You know. That they--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --they have no power anyway.

FOSL: Hmm.

54:00

BRADEN: Um, but some of us wanted--we didn't, we really didn't want the city and county schools merged. Although looking back on it, I think it was inevitable that happen sometime. But people in the city were always afraid of being swallowed up by the county, which this ought to happen. But he fought for that. And so now--but he still gets around and he's sort of--he considers himself a socialist, 'cause I know he think--after he retired he says, "Well, now," he says, "I'm gonna start talking about socialism more." (Fosl laughs) He also got pretty frightened during our sedition case. By that time I had worked with him on several things. And I can remember--he never did much when--but nobody else did either. But he was friendly, personally. But um, but I can remember standing down on a cold street corner one night, we'd been--I'd been somewhere during that sedition case. And, um, him sort of explaining to me why he couldn't do more about that.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And he said, "You know," says, "they might go after the--they get the big fish, they'll go after the little fish too." And there were things and he'd been to the, some founding meeting of the Civil 55:00Rights Congress and he was worried about that, that it might be in his ----------(??) and stuff. But he doesn't want to be reminded of that now. That is not in his book.

FOSL: Oh really?

BRADEN: But--

FOSL: Even the fact that he was there?

BRADEN: Well I--no, I meant that he had, was ashamed of it or--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --tried to hide it. But I--it may not even be there. I'm gonna look and see, because it may not even be there that he was--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --a part of it. And I don't think he was ever that active in it, you know?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: There was no branch of the Civil Rights Congress here. But, uh, we became kind of a contact for it--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --like once we got involved in some of these things, we were the contact in Louisville for all kinds of the national groups that didn't have, um, branches here. And we, we brought William Patterson here a couple of times. He was head of the Civil Right--at least once when he was on his tour about We Charge Genocide his book--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --or the petition to the UN. And we may have had him another 56:00time. I can't remember. I know he was here that one time. And so we would do things like that, you know. Some of these national things that these groups were doing, we'd try to get them to Louisville, but there was never a branch here. So I don't think Lyman was that involved in it, but just the fact that he'd been to that one meeting had him real nervous and ----------(??).

FOSL: Hmm. Well, um--

BRADEN: But I got into all that, see, the--during that was all during the Progressive Party year and I was in--I was just doing a lot of different things like that. But I was sort of keeping up with what the Progressive Party, and was very much for it of course.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And I met a lot of people that they would come in through Barbara really. She would bring people to the apartment and stuff like that. And I stayed in touch with Barbara for a long time after she went back to New York. As a matter of fact, after the se-, sedition, when the de-, sedition thing happened and Carl and I started going to New York to get support and everything, we would stay with her and her next husband, who was Walter Bernstein, who's the guy--he's, he was a 57:00blacklisted writer at that time, very--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --talented writer. He--but he's, he's the one who wrote The Front. Did you ever see The Front, the movie The Front.

FOSL: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: Well, he wrote that--

FOSL: Huh.

BRADEN: --in recent years. And he's done some other--he, you know, he got back into the mainstream. And I haven't seen him in a long time. I've been meaning to look Walter up. But they separated later. But he's had two or three other wives since then ----------(??). Um, and then I eventually lost touch with her, although I guess I saw her in the seventies sometime, ------------(??). One of the things that makes me so sad as I get older is all the people I've lost touch with--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --in all the phases of my life. Now she was a political friendship, but, um, when she went back to New York after she left here, she was all involved in the Hollywood Ten defense and she would send us stuff about that and all that.

FOSL: How did you meet William Patterson? How did you come into contact 58:00initially with the Civil Rights Congress?

BRADEN: I don't know how I first came into contact with the Civil Rights Congress. I think I probably got on a mailing list or something. I remember we used to--Carl and I used to make regular contributions to various organizations, just little ones. But Carl was very, uh, faithful about that. He was adamant about it. He would--he said everybody ought to tithe their income--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --take--we'd take 10 percent of our income and give it to different things. So we'd make monthly pledges. And I remember that we'd send, maybe, we sent three dollars or five dollars a month or something to the Civil Rights Congress and about eight, eight or ten other organizations. So we--it may have just been getting a mailings in the beginning. I don't know. I don't remember when it was. But I, um, plus, you see, I began to read left publications. Somewhere or 59:00other I began reading The Guardian, which started in '48.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Which would have been covering things the Civil Rights Congress did. And there were things like--and I don't remember when all these cases started, but, like, the Martinsville Seven Case and of course the ----------(??) case that I got involved in, but there were a lot of others. The Rosa Lee Ingram Case. And there were others. Um, so--and I don't remember when I first heard The Guardian or when I started taking it. I'm sure it wasn't right at the beginning, but it was probably pretty early. And it started in '48 really as a vehicle for the Progressive Party.

FOSL: Oh really? I never knew that.

BRADEN: Oh yeah. That's why it started, yeah.

FOSL: I never knew that.

BRADEN: Well, there's a lot--there's a whole book on that, Something to Guard, which I haven't read. I don't have that book. But Jim Aronson wrote.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: He's died recently.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But he wrote after he retired. Um, of course he left The Guardian in the sixties and taught at, journalism--

FOSL: --Hunter College or somewhere--

BRADEN: --in New York. But, um, and wrote several books about the 60:00press. And more of the details in there, but--and I think it may have been that they were--ee he and John McManus--Jack McManus who died much younger than the others, and Cedric Belfrage who's still alive, organized The Guardian and they'd all been in Europe together, in Germany in, um, and some of that, some of that, and I have it around here somewhere, is in the--The Guardian put out a fortieth anniversary little thing. I wrote a piece for it.

FOSL: I have that.

BRADEN: Yeah, I think they go into, I mean, a little more the, uh, the beginning of it. I believe they all knew each other in Germany and they were in the denazification program, which was being sabotaged, you see.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And got very--and they'd all worked, I don't know what Cedric Belfrage had done, but Aronson and McManus had worked on, in the establishment press before the war.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And so they were experienced journalists. And I think they had talked maybe in Europe about coming home and starting a progressive 61:00paper. But, um, um, and they got so disgusted with what was happening in Germany because they weren't denazifying--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know? Um, but I guess by the time--I may have the dates wrong, but by the time they got back to this country, the, the Wallace thing was beginning to build up and needed a--see, it, it wasn't officially, but organizing--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --but, but that that was one of the impetuses for it.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And it became sort of a, a real communications network for the progressive movement and, and continued, and was really that during the fifties. It was the connecting link that--of course they didn't--gave us a lot of support in our sedition case.

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: Um, and we went that trip, when somebody sent us fifty dollars to come to New York--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --we met--I think it was that trip that somebody [doorbell rings] had us at their house and Jack McManus was there. And he got interested in the case and they just wrote an awful lot of stuff on 62:00it. But they were doing that, see. They were the communications link during that period. And then I began to--

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: ----------(??)----------

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: --I don't think it was anything very valuable, but a lot I'd say ain't valuable. That's why I'm ----------(??) figure I'm wasting a lot of tape. Um, see my grandmother--my mother's mother was the daughter of, they called him, Colonel William Thorne who was lieutenant governor of Kentucky in the early part of this century. And I've never known a lot about their politics frankly, Cate, I've often kind of wondered because I think he was somewhat progressive for his day. He certainly wasn't any radical. But there's a whole thing, the guy who--oh, what is his name? Who got assassinated? We--they used to have a statue to him over there where we were today at the capitol. I think they've taken it down. He was a populist really, I think. Now whether he--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --identified--I mean this, the governor who was assassinated, um, whether he identified with the organized populace movement, but he fought the railroads and he fought the big corporations, sort of. And 63:00they apparently had him killed. And there was some--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --big issue at that time, this would all be in Kentucky history books. It was around the turn of the century. Um, that he was assassinated pretty soon after he took office and I--his name has gone right out of my mind. But it wouldn't be hard to find. But there was a wonderful quote from him and it was on this statue. But I think they took it down. Carl always admired him because it--the statue said, "Tell the people that I died fighting for their rights."

FOSL: Hmm. And what's his name?

BRADEN: As he died he's supposed to have said that. That's what I'm trying to remember, is his name. But when he--after he was--I believe the, the evolution of it was that after he was assassinated, a guy named Beckham became governor and in some way my great grandfather became lieutenant governor. But they were all part of the same politics, sort of. And, um, which was--but, you know, my family--but my grandmother, to me, was just a traditional southerner. But she was a woman who was active in politics. Now whether she ever took part in 64:00the suffragist movement, you know, I don't--I, you know, I never heard her talk about it because at the time I knew her I wasn't interested in those things that much.

FOSL: And what was her name?

BRADEN: But she wasn't, um, Agnes Thorne Crabbe--she, Agnes Thorne. And she married a man named Crabbe, it was Agnes Thorne Crabbe. But she was active in the Democratic Party and she was--went around and spoke and stumped for Barkley and some of the congressional candidates, but she was fairly close to Barkley.

FOSL: And that was your mother's--

BRADEN: But Bark--

FOSL: --Mother?

BRADEN: Um-hm, um-hm.

FOSL: And what--did she ever talk about the race stuff?

BRADEN: Race issue? No, it was just all assumed. She had black servants. She had this old--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --faithful Ann that always came early and had breakfast fixed when we came--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --down for--(laughs)--breakfast. You know, that sort of stuff. And sort of took care of--she took care of his son, who was always getting in trouble. You know. It was Eminence, Kentucky and it was--I don't think they questioned race at all. I don't think any of those people--the populace were not really lib-, liberal or whatever on race. You know. I don't know that, um--

65:00

FOSL: There was a moment though when--

BRADEN: When there was some kind of unity before Tom Watson's--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --changed, uh, among poor whites.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Yeah, see? But these people weren't poor. My family was, you know, they were the upper class. They were part of the ruling class, really, of Kentucky. Um--

FOSL: But don't you think there's always been--

BRADEN: --in a minor way.

FOSL: --sort of an intellectual group, but even of the ruling class, that supported these kind of movements?

BRADEN: Yeah, but I'm not sure--I don't think particularly among these people on race. I just never heard of 'em doing anything good on race. Now maybe it would be worth looking into, I mean, just for me, for my satisfaction. But maybe they did for their time, you know, have some idea of--they certainly didn't have any, any, any--didn't question segregation. But very few people did in the first decade of this century. Now whether they had any idea of justice or there being sort of any injustice--blacks voted in Kentucky. See, that was not an issue in Kentucky, um, of, you know, keeping people from voting and stuff. 66:00They--so far as I know they--uh, always after the Civil War they voted here. That was what I've always heard. I've never really--a lot of that--his-, the history, well, that's more Louisville. It's this book that I haven't picked up, but Holly Cook, it's The Life Behind The Veil, this guy from the University of Texas has written a pretty good book really. He's white, but about the history of blacks in Louisville from the Civil War to the 1930, and that--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Darryl Owens that presided today, that's the--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --county commissioner. He's just gotten some money from the county to bring that up to date. He's got a professor out of the--

FOSL: Hmm, huh.

BRADEN: --U of L's gonna do it. But it's more Louisville. But I think he says in there that there wasn't any, at least in Louisville they always voted. Um, but anyway, um, she, she was, um, you know, pretty traditional by the time I even heard it. By the time I knew her she really wasn't that active in politics, but she knew all the Democratic politicians in Kentucky and stuff.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And had been kind of a wheel in the Democratic Party. I don't 67:00think it ever occurred to her to run for office, but she worked with Barkley and his people.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, um, and he was--yeah, he was considered a liberal, I guess. You know. I don't, I don't know what that means really-- (laughs)--what he, well, he was a New--he supported the New Deal all the way through, I think--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --pretty much. And um, and he was a, he was a great orator, you know. And he, and he said very quotable things. There's a thing on his tombstone too, wherever it is he's buried, 'cause he made a speech right bef-, not before, long before he died and I think they put it on his statue somewhere, maybe down--he's from Paducah, he's not from this part of the state. Something about, "I'd rather have a place by the side of the Lord than sit in the seats of the mighty," or something like that.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they put it on his tombstone.

FOSL: I have a book I want to show you. Let me just--

[Pause in recording.]

FOSL: Okay, more of these questions. Oh, will you tell me about the 1951 sit-in at the Louisville bus station? Do you remember that?

68:00

BRADEN: Um-hm, you mean with the, the bishop or the man that became the bishop and stuff, yeah. Where was--that was in the Patriot wasn't it? Um-hm. It was something--there was a picture of that. I have a picture of it somewhere. Or I did have it. Of him sitting there.

FOSL: I don't remember--

BRADEN: You don't know where you heard about it even?

FOSL: I, I heard about it in, uh, the, the Gerald Horne book.

BRADEN: Really? Oh interesting. I wonder why he would mention that. You know, it was just a local thing. That's ----------(??).

FOSL: That's all it said. I guess it was just talking about civil rights activity in those interviews and it was that limited--(laughs)--of it--

BRADEN: I should--next time I see you, why don't you bring that book along--

FOSL: I don't have it. It's--

BRADEN: Well, where'd you get it?

FOSL: I got it from the library.

BRADEN: Oh you did? Huh. Hmm. I'd like--maybe I should get that one. 69:00I wanted to get his book on Du Bois too. He wrote a book on Du Bois.

FOSL: And then let's see, I have Little Compton. What is it? Where is it and what is your relationship to it? (laughs) 'Cause, because I kept hearing about this in your interviews.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: Hmm. Operation Freedom in Mississippi. Was that the--

BRADEN: It was a movement, Red Cross, sort of, that helped people, tided 'em over economically to help Miss Hamer stay in Mississippi and a whole bunch of other people. It was started by some pastors up in Cincinnati, Maurice McCrackin. Pe-, somebody's doing a book on him too. He's, he's still living, quite active up there, he's the one who, he got put out of the Presbyterian Church years ago for his radical views, his, his anti-war stuff. Well, but he was active in civil 70:00rights. And um--

FOSL: Was he was Peacemakers?

BRADEN: Yeah. And Peacemakers, we used to get their newsletter, sort of centered in Cincinnati.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: There was a group of people.

FOSL: I remember that.

BRADEN: I don't think it exists anymore. But then they, they recently reinstated McCrackin in the Presbyterian Church at the, at the same meeting where the Presbyterians took up whether to move to Louisville or not.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: There was a big thing about it, which was kind of nice. But, and but what happened was that, um, he and some other people from the Peacemakers went down to, really to West Tennessee when the, um, and we put 'em in touch with people down there, when people were being put off the land and stuff for trying to vote. And that's, that's all in the Patriots. And we--they'd set up tent city and were living in--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --tents and it was--that was to dramatize it, as well as they were living in the tents. But they met a lot of people down there and they came back deciding the main thing--the best thing they could do was raise some money for 'em, so they set out and they raised a lot of money.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they continued--Operation Freedom really continued into the 71:00mid-seventies and it really is too bad it didn't continue longer, they finally gave the money they had left to the Braden Memorial Fund, which I've let sort of fall into disarray now. 'Cause Miriam Nichols (??), the woman who came and worked for SCEF later was a Peacemaker up there, I'm still in close touch with.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: In fact she'd like to come back some time to work with me. Um, just didn't want to fool with it anymore. She didn't pay taxes anyway and she was so tired of fooling with the--filing reports with the IRS and stuff like that 'cause it was--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --tax exempt. But it was very useful. And they expanded--and we did a whole special section of the Patriot. It would be in the files once--when they were expanding into Mississippi. It was first just to--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --help people in West Tennessee. But it did a lot of good. But it was a, it was basically a fundraising thing. I called a movement Red Cross, it be-, because it couldn't solve people's economic problems permanently. But it could tide 'em over--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --until they could figure out some way. And the main point was so they could stay. And it was really important that people be able to 72:00stay where they were.

FOSL: I ----------(??)----------of course, but then here's the, the final evidence, were you at the Wallace rally in November '47 in the Louisville Armory? Will you describe it? (laughs)

BRADEN: Yeah. Well, my memory of it's kind of vague. But I should find the, I should look at--find the story in the paper about it, which would refresh my recollection. I think Carl and I went together. When was that? November '47?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Right? I think we--yeah, we went to that together. Or did we? We went to the November '48, well, we were married by then. I believe we went to that one together. I think we got tickets through the paper. Carl may have been covering it. I should look up the, the story about it.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: 'Cause it's not hard to find those files. They're on microfilm. Also, one thing I've been meaning to look up is when I, I interviewed 73:00Paul Robeson when he came through here in that period.

FOSL: Oh you did.

BRADEN: And I don't remember exactly when it was. You might find out when he made a tour. But it was, it was after Paris. It was after he was--you know, had made that famous statement in Paris. But I think that was '46 anyway. You know, how the--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Negroes in America would never fight against the Soviet Union.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But he was, I think, here on behalf of the Progressive Party. So it would have been--well it had to be between April '47 and November '48 'cause that's the--

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: --all the longer I worked at the Times. And I remember sitting and talking of the him. I don't remember where we were, somewhere downtown. And I don't remember what I wrote about him. But I'd like to know myself--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --'cause I didn't, you know, I didn't have a lot of sense then, and I may have written the wrong thing. But I know I was interested in that comment he had made, 'cause that, everybody was talking about that. And I think that's what he was talking about, that people would not fight. ----------(??) find that, I don't know how you find--I guess there's a way that, um, there's some kind of a cross reference or 74:00something on newspaper files where--

FOSL: Right, there's an index.

BRADEN: --find Robeson or something.

FOSL: I tend to think it was that same tour that swung south and got so much flack. But I don't know exactly when that was.

BRADEN: I was trying to think if that was the only time I ever met Robeson.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Personally. I saw him in Othello. Harriet Fitzgerald took me to see Othello which would have been in the forties in New York. And I know I met him here. I ----------(??) ever met him--I--oh, I know. He was at the Progressive Party meeting, I believe--

FOSL: In Philadelphia?

BRADEN: No, I didn't go to that. You mean the founding convention, right?

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: No. See, I wasn't that involved then. But Carl and I stayed in the Progressive Party after '48. We really weren't active in between '48 and '50 that much, we were so wrapped up in the union work. But it 75:00continued here and, you know, it was very small but it continued. It was sort of something that--a vehicle that people could do some things. And it--and then of course there was the national kind of split in it over the Korean War. But it, it was, it was active here. And it--then when Vincent Hallinan ran in the, in '52, um, we worked with some people here to get him on the ballot and he was on the ballot in Kentucky, although he didn't get many votes. But there was an organization here, and it was small. But we were tied in, and the national was going on. And I went to--Carl went to a couple of the national committee meetings, from Kentucky. He hitch-hiked to one. I remember that. He went to New York. I believe that that was the weekend that the--they were meeting right, either right before or right after the invasion of Korea. But I'm--the one that I remember, and it may have been the only 76:00one I ever went to, and that's where I met Patterson, you had asked me about that yesterday, was in Chicago. And that was later. It was in, um, it was after 1950. It was in probably around March or late winter or spring of '51, because that's where I heard about it--

FOSL: Which was right before you went to Mississippi?

BRADEN: Well, that's why I went to Mississippi, because I had heard him talk about it there.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And--

FOSL: And you were pregnant at that time?

BRADEN: Well, I didn't know it, but I was, yeah. Um-hm.

FOSL: 'Cause Horne sort of plays it up, your first arrest in Jackson when you were pregnant, you know?

BRADEN: Yeah, I didn't know I was pregnant. But I probably would have gone anyway on, but I didn't know I was pregnant. But, no, that's where I met, um, Patterson. But we--I knew about the McGee Case. Like you asked me how I found out about all these things. Part-, basically we started taking the left wing publications. And I said the Guardian and all this was in the Guardian. And we began getting on the mailing 77:00lists of all these groups. So I mean we felt like we were a part of all these groups. You know. It was just the most--a lot of 'em didn't, most of 'em didn't have chapters in Louisville, there weren't that many people. But we, but we had quite a little movement here that could get, we could get big rallies together. You know, I mean when Rosalee McGee came, this was later, after we--McGee was executed.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: We filled a church with a rally for her. But, um, the--so we knew about those things and we were taking also the, the communist paper, the Daily Worker which was covering a lot of this stuff.

FOSL: Probably more so than the Guardian with the McGee Case.

BRADEN: No, no, no, the Guardian fought about these cases. They--the, the Guardian built itself around cases. I mean--see, the Guardian was the first crusader for the Rosenbergs. And we were very much involved in the Rosenberg Case. I mean everybody identified with that emotionally. You know, I remember the night they were executed. It was terrible. But they--

FOSL: What were you doing?

BRADEN: --and they took up the, you know, the Trenton Six Case.

78:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: That was one of their earliest--

FOSL: The Martinsville Seven.

BRADEN: The Martinsville Seven. And the Rosa Lee Ingram thing and Georgia. And, uh, and Willie McGee. But The Worker was too. I remember the Guardian really more than the Worker on those things for some reason. I don't know what the--and I had very little memory. I know I was taking The Worker but I don't have a lot of memory of it. I think--I mean the Communist Party was having such trouble. But see all that was after the first midnight condition, and I think maybe after the second indictments, the second sort of string leadership. But, but I [telephone rings] would meet reporters. There would be--I remember a guy, Abner Berry came by here.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And came to see us once. Um, ----------(??), you know, he died recently in North Carolina. I had lost touch with him entirely. He left The Worker and left the Communist Party I think. But he was sort of an elder statesman of the radical movement, living in North Carolina. I didn't know it. Wish I'd seen him before he died. But 79:00some of the young black radicals--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: Um, that had sort of made a connection with him and he was advising 'em on things and stuff. But I know--I remember he came to see us. It was before we lived here. We lived in an apartment up, 16th and Ormsby back here, pass right by it when you go that route. Um--

FOSL: He's the one that got Highlander in so much trouble?

BRADEN: Well--(laughs)

FOSL: I mean Martin--

BRADEN: --well I wouldn't put it that way.

FOSL: Yeah, yeah. I mean--

BRADEN: But--

FOSL: You know what I mean.

BRADEN: Yeah, he's in the picture. Yeah.

FOSL: Right. (laughs) That was just so awful.

BRADEN: Um-hm. Myles, uh, see I don't, I wouldn't--I'd cut this out if you put it in the book, but see, I don't think Myles acted right on that, 'cause Myles knew, knew who Abner Berry was. He had to have known who Ab-, and he told people later, you know, he didn't know who he was and that Abner Berry had told him he was there for the YWCA or something. I don't believe that. I just do not believe it. Myles had been around a long time. He was no fool. And he knew who Abner Berry was. But he was just trying to get the onus off himself when all that hell broke loose. But, um, anyway, we'd read about things there. So 80:00I--and then, you know, we got on the mailing list of things like the Civil Rights Congress and, um, the American Peace Crusade.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And--

FOSL: Can we talk a little bit about that?

BRADEN: Can we talk about it?

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: Well, you want me to finish on Patterson?

FOSL: Oh right, yeah.

BRADEN: Yeah, see--

FOSL: Sorry.

BRADEN: Um, yeah, but I went to a thing in June '50, I remember that, in Chicago, the American Peace Crusade called, that was after--I think it was after the Korean War started. So we were involved in a lot of those things. And were--became kind of the contact in Louisville and Kentucky for a lot of these national left wing groups because they didn't have anybody else and mainly because Carl and I were articulate on paper. You know, we would write letters to people, so they knew of us. So we'd get letters from them. That's all it was, really. We weren't as--any more active than a lot of other people here. But we were, um, we--but I think just because we were paper-oriented, that we 81:00would tend to be the contact with national organizations.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And it was a bad situation to be in. I got really weary in those years because everybody, well, sort of the same way now, but maybe for a better reason because I know people personally now, but everybody wants you to do their thing. You know?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Civil Rights Congress wanted this and the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship wanted that, and you know, I just was really--in fact I was so tired or feeling so pushed at that point, and it was sort of like I feel now, but--and I had--was younger and should a had more energy. But, um, there was a period in there and it really wasn't the political pressures, it was just that--I mean in terms of the attacks from the outside.

FOSL: Um-hm

BRADEN: Which we were getting some of, but so was everybody else. I mean it wasn't like after our sedition case, you know. But we knew we were on the fringes and stuff. Well, I--but I knew that when I got into these movements. That really wasn't any great problem. I expected to be, sort of, you know. And, you know, we would have--you-- 82:00circulate ----------(??) particular people would throw eggs at you. But some people were friendly. It was an interesting sort of dichotomy. But the--and we'd set up a table downtown to get petitions signed against the Korean War or something, and then they'd find out this was the Progressive Party or the American Peace Crusade and that was some horrible thing and it was supposed to be communist, and they'd make us move the table. You know, you, you were sort of always in a hostile world. But, not like later. And it wasn't particularly focused at us. But I was tired because there was just constant ----------(??) and then after--along about nine-, the late 1950s maybe, I wasn't working and Carl was supporting us by going back to the newspaper. But I was just constantly going and, and neglecting my baby, I think, 'cause I didn't know anything about taking care of a baby or how long it was gonna take. Um, but I was just tired. And I used to have this 83:00Shangri-La of, uh, I, I'd talk about moving to Denver. (laughs) I was gonna move to Denver. Um, and I don't know whether I ever really considered it or not--(laughs)--I don't think I did. But it was sort of like a pipe dream. When I'd get real tired I was gonna move to Denver. And the only reason I picked Denver, I didn't know a soul in Denver, which was why I picked it.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: 'Cause I wanted to--I thought, well I could, and, and that nobody would call me on the phone or anything and I could have some-- but it was the climate. I had heard that the climate was real great in Denver. And I did not like the climate in Louisville.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: I still don't. I mean I really like Louisville 'cause I've made so many roots here. The climate's awful. You know, we have two decent seasons and they're getting, seem to be getting shorter and shorter, in the fall and spring and, and winter, and it's kind of pretty today, but it's generally damp and cold.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I don't mind the snow, but it's damp and cold. And it's muggy and hot in the summer. It's like the Washington DC climate really. So--and I often said to Carl, you know, I only planned to stay here for two years. If I'd known I was gonna settle down where I went at 84:00that point, I could have looked into the climate. Well, Denver sounded great 'cause it was high and dry and pretty. And I thought, oh, I'll go to Denver. And maybe I'd a done it. I don't know, if all the Wade house thing hadn't come up. I don't know. But anyway. Um, but we did--were pulled at that way. But then--but I was beginning to feel more and more involved too. So I don't think I'd a gone to Denver. But anyway, I did go that spring to that meeting in Chicago, which was a meeting of the national committee of the Progressive Party. And we had an organization here and we always sent somebody. So I just went.

FOSL: Spring of '51.

BRADEN: Fifty-one. Did I say '55? Yeah, spring of '51. Either late winter or Feb-, I think it was spring by then though, I believe. And I knew all about the McGee Case. We had been--Carl and I had driven in--I remember that in March, 'cause we almost had a bad accident, we got caught in the snow, to Washington. Um, and I believe--I'm pretty 85:00sure it was March '51, to go to a an-, anti-war demonstration. And then--we took some other people with us and went--and I remember we got there late, most of it was over, because we got caught in bad snow in Pennsylvania. And in those days there weren't near--you know, the interstates weren't there. There was the Pennsylvania turnpike-- (laughs)--and I remember we had tried to go through the mountains. It was crazy. But um, but I remember getting there and we missed most of the demonstration, but we went to where the headquarters was and saw, and saw people. And everybody was elated 'cause they'd just gotten some kind of a stay on a execution date for Willie McGee. And I think that was along in March of that year. And I don't remember whether the thing in Chicago was before or after that. But I knew about the McGee Case. It was a--

FOSL: It'd been going on since '46.

BRADEN: Yeah, but it didn't really become that well-known until the Civil Rights Congress took it up really, which was probably maybe in the late, maybe '49 or something. That's--but, um, anyway, I went to 86:00that and there was--I'm trying to think, I can't rememb-, there were several of us, went up, drove up to Chicago to that meeting. A guy named Walter Barnett, a black guy who died just a few years ago, spoke at Carl's memorial in '75. I'd lost touch with him. He was wonderful. He was chair of the Progressive Party. And his wife Mary Agnes, she's the one who, who, um, I really felt pretty close to for a while. She, she's the, was the spark plug of this thing we called the Interracial Hospital Movement that after those--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --guys got hurt in the hospital wouldn't take 'em in down at Breckin-, Breckinridge County. And she said that she had decided this was one Negro not gonna sit and let this happen this time. And she came to see me. And we organized that thing. It became really big and we did get some legislation through as a result of it. That's- -hospitals couldn't deny at least emergency treatment. And they were there and I can't remember who else went. But anyway, at that meeting, 87:00by that time the Progressive Party, what was left of it, was very much of a besieged organization. But it was, you know, attempting to stay alive and to build. And there were people there from all over the country. I remember I met Hugh De Lacy there that I kept in touch with through the years. He just recently died. I think he, he supported SCEF and SOC. Lived out in California. But he had been a congressman from I think the state of Washington or something. I can remember him talking about how he maintained his base in his own neighborhood. It was an interesting story. But I remember meeting him. Mark Antonio was there and spoke. Um, I don't know whether I met him or not. But, you know, I, I suppose there--I can see the room sort of. There were probably maybe forty or fifty people there from around the country--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --that had come to this meeting. Funny thing is I can't even remember who was chairing the meeting or who was head of it. Wallace had left by then, you see, Henry Wallace.

FOSL: Where was it?

BRADEN: In Chicago. And I don't remember what place. I don't remember 88:00what place. Although I can see the room. It was kind of a meeting hall. And um, and I don't remember who was chairing that meeting. But, uh, um, but Robeson spoke. I remember that. And I probably shook his hand afterwards or something. I don't remember. I--oh, that's how I got into this, was whether I ever s-, actually met him personally after that interview other than that time in Chicago. I know he was there. Um, and I know that during our sedition case a number of people were here that knew him better, were talking about trying to get him to say something or speak out on our case. I'm not sure they ever got to him or if that ever happened. But, but Patterson was there. Well, Winifred Fisah (??) was there from New Orleans. She was a white woman, is a white woman, I saw her at this past summer at something--oh, at the Berkshire Forum. Berkshire Forum up in, when I 89:00went up there to the anti-communism thing they had. Um, and I've seen- -I run into her at various times through the years. But she was living in New Orleans then. She was not a native of New Orleans or the South, but she had gotten very involved in the Willie McGee Case. And she had been to Mississippi--see, there were a number of delegations of white women went to Mississippi on the McGee Case at different times--

FOSL: Organized by CRC?

BRADEN: Yeah, pretty much. At different times. Decca was on one of 'em and--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --she writes about it. And they went to--the idea was, what they were trying to do, but they weren't very successful, was to talk to white women in Mississippi and try to get them to do something. And Decca tells about that in The Fine Old Conflict, I guess which you haven't read yet, from her viewpoint, which, and she gives it a light touch, but she takes that case seriously. Virginia tells about--told me, I don't think it's in her book.

FOSL: I don't think it is.

BRADEN: Think it is.

FOSL: Might ----------(??).

BRADEN: That Decca came over to Alabama, either wrote her or called her, something, to try to get her to come over and Virginia wasn't about to 90:00do it, you see? And, um, she tried to calm Decca--

FOSL: ----------(??).

BRADEN: --down. Huh?

FOSL: 'Cause why?

BRADEN: I think she didn't want to stick her neck out at that point. Now I mean I'm ----------(??) you'd have to ask, you'd have to ask Decca that, what she said or, or what Virginia's thinking was. She didn't think it was gonna do any good I guess, and she just didn't want to get involved. She--I guess they were back and that was before the, you know, several years before the Eastland hearings when they got so headlines about 'em and stuff. But they were trying to make a living and he--they'd been forced out of the government and, or Cliff had resigned rather than force the lawyer, you know, he didn't get fired, he resigned, you know. But they were having a bad time. And they were trying to survive, you know. And I guess that--it would be interesting what Virginia would say now. I think she probably thought it wouldn't do any good or something. Anyway, she didn't. And Decca was very ardent at that point about her because--her causes, you know. I know- -I think Virginia said to me that Decca sort of, you know, cooled off 91:00later. But you can, you can get that sense. I mean she writes about things lightly--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --but she really believed in what she was doing. And still does I think, you know, in a different way. But, anyway, they had been there and I'm not sure exactly when. I think Winifred Fisah from New Orleans, and there were some other women from New Orleans that had gone up there, I think it was a different trip from the one with Decca. They went up and, um, spoke at something, I don't know whether it was a hearing. They--it wasn't before the governor. But it was someplace because she described that--she was telling about their visit. And I believe that was the time when Aubrey Grossman, who was with the Civil Rights Congress on the West Coast, it may have been when he got beat up in a hotel there and stuff. Some of that's blurred in my mind, but it's easily findable because it's been written about. And that may have been when Winifred was there. But she spoke somewhere because one of the things that she was--I remember her saying was that she had 92:00found out that if--that--well, she went and she was the only one in this white women's delegation wherever they were speaking, at some kind of a hearing, could have been parole, but it was something--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --some kind of a panel in Mississippi, in Jackson I guess. She had a hat on and nobody else did and she said that you have to understand that in the South, women wear, white women wear hats. And they should have worn hats. Well, I agreed with it, you know. I mean you know, when in Rome do as the--

FOSL: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: --Romans did. And she thought it would--so I remember her talking about that. And then she kind of talked about what she, she had said. And I was very impressed and I kind of remember some of the things she said and, you know, the whole rape myth as it was used then and how she didn't want her little girl to grow up being constantly afraid of this, you know, and that sort of thing. She was very effective and I was very impressed by her and, um, and what she was saying. And I had these same feelings, which I already had about, you know, that kind of thing, and felt like it was something I just ought to do something about because I'd had that feeling. And they said 93:00that, that I can't remember whether an ex-, another execution date was set at that point or not. But then Patterson, I remember him speaking. He said they would be organizing some more delegations of white women to go. So I think I went up to him afterwards, said, "I'd like to go on one of the delegations."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So I guess he took my name or something. And then when, um, after I got back, and I don't know the time interval, at some point or other I either got a call or a letter from him asking if I would go on this particular delegation. Which I think that, my und-, my thought about it was, I think when I was first contacted, I thought we were gonna be doing the same thing that Decca--'cause I didn't know Decca at all then. I'd never even heard of her. Um, and--[recording error]- -Baptist ministers and deacons meeting. And they still have it. And it met every Monday in the world and it still meets every Monday in 94:00the world. And a lot of the black Baptist ministers go to it and they don't all go, but it's always kind of a big thing. And that's what it was then. And I had--I was--I had a, some connections with, um, that went back to the Interracial Hospital Movement.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Which that--the dates I need to check, but I think that accident where the people were injured and they wouldn't treat 'em at the hospital and one of 'em died, um, and one was injured, had an injury, I--but I think he must have been an invalid for the rest of his life, um, I believe that happened in, like, the summer or fall of 1950 maybe, could have been '49. I've got that, that sort of stuff is in my files, there are clippings and stuff. But anyway that--and I told you mention this Mary Agnes Barnett who we already knew through the Progressive 95:00Party. Now I don't know how they got into the Progressive Party, but we got to be real good friends with 'em, she and her husband. Her husband had a very hard time of reprisals. He worked over at the thing called the Jeffersonville, um, Depot. It was a federal government--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --depot, like it was no national security thing. They just stored things.

FOSL: And what was his name?

BRADEN: Walter Barnett.

FOSL: Oh, okay.

BRADEN: And he was chairman of the Progressive Party. He led--they later put their house up, which wasn't enough to even cover the whole bond, but on Carl's bond.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And he wanted--the, on the first bond, ten thousand dollars, before he was convicted. And I think that he, he put his house up and we put up Mom's house, Carl's mother's house, and Jim Dombrowski sent us a thousand dollars. We had never met Jim Dombrowski, he sent a thousand dollars. But they put their house up, which took a lot of courage to do that. I mean not so much the house. They knew we weren't gonna run away. But just to identify with us, they were very--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --courageous people, they were always loyal to us through all that because we'd been loyal to them. I mean there was a real esprit 96:00de corps built up with those people in the Progressive Party here in those days. Oh, and in all these movements, but the time--I guess the main organization that we worked through was the Progressive Party--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --it was a magnet. And in some sense, I'm diverting a lot, but I'll come back to McGee and you--this is what, when you do oral history, you have to edit.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Um, I think politically Carl and I made, um, some mistakes in that period. Um, because we narrowed down our field of operation. But it was partly the pressures of the time. It's, it's kind of, it's, it's kind of, it's interesting to me at least to remember when we left the newspaper, you know, I'm--I gotta go into s-, some of this later, some of this I may want to write myself really rather than saying. Well, some things I'll talk about, but some things I think I've got to write because I can't really talk about 'em. Maybe not this. Not what I'm gonna say now. But when we left the newspaper, right after 97:00the election of November '48, over a silly thing, and I had not planned to leave right then. I wasn't--didn't know what I was gonna do. See, I told you I was gonna run away and I was gonna go get a new identity and then I married Carl and I was all wrapped up in Carl, um, which I really was all of my--all of his life, all of our life. Later found I disagreed with Carl on some things, not the big things, but anything he said was right, then, because--and I had never been that way with other men in my life. But it was that he knew more than I did, you know. He was part--he was this world that I didn't know anything about and it was true, he was. Um, but so I hadn't really--I don't remember that we had planned ahead, except that there was a real sense when Carl and I decided to get married and we decided to live together and then sort of got married later as a convenience, that--but we were gonna join our 98:00lives. And we were doing this to, um, bring about a new world. I mean we were gonna be partners in this. That was--and that we, we could work together. We had the same sort of talents and interests and we were both writers and so forth and so on. But, that this was a commitment to building a different world. And I think we, and we often used the term revolution, but we had no idea how this revolution was gonna come about anymore than most other young revolutionaries--(laughs)--do--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --before or since. But that was the commitment. But we hadn't figured out how we were gonna do it. But we basically wanted to work with the labor movement. Because that was Carl's orientation because he had grown up with it and his father was a strong human (??) person and a dead socialist and he'd a grown up with socialism and the whole and seeing the struggle of working people as the, as the important thing--

99:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --in building a new society and so forth. I, I'd have to look at some of the letters I wrote then. I probably used different phraseology. But that was the concept. But the, but that was where we wanted to work. And he had very strong ties with people in the labor movement here that, from people he had known always. Um, growing up here and, and had worked on papers here before he'd went away for ten years to work newspapers other places, you see. So he had a lot of roots here. But also as--while he was working as labor reporter for the paper, he knew all these people in all the wings, not just the left wing of the CIO, but he knew, had good friends in the AFL and other wing of the CIO, whatever it was. He was very close to the guy who was head of the CIO here named Bill Taylor. And, um, Bill thought Carl was a little radical, because there's a book here somewhere that I never 100:00really knew Bill Taylor that much, but he was the head of the CIO here and he went the other way on the split.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But--and at some point he gave Carl a copy of Ten Days that Shook the World. It may still be here. But he wrote an inscription in it to something that took, "For Carl Braden whose ashes, like the writer of this book, should lie in the Kremlin," or something like that. So--(laughs)--but he liked him. But they, but they went in opposite directions on the split. But um, so we knew we, and he, and Carl was also very close to the Teamsters here.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And we had thought at one point about trying to work for them 'cause they had resources. But, um, um, the--there was a guy named Pat Asbury who died long ago. But the Teamsters were a very strong union here then and I guess still are to a certain extent. But this had, but this Pat Asbury was a tough guy, and a sweet guy, but tough, who I 101:00remember he, he gave us a big, they gave us a big silver service when we got married, 'cause they had money and they gave it. And we didn't want it. We gave away all our wedding presents. We didn't have any use for a silver service. You know, if we'd had any sense we'd a saved it till later or sold it or something. We gave 'em away. But they gave us this, you know, when we got married.

But he had organized the truck drivers here at a time in the--before Carl came back here. I don't know whether it was the twenties or the thirties. But in terrible strikes and struggles, all of Main Street down there, which they're kind of rehabilitating now, and the waterfront wasn't developed at all. Now it's where the Actors Theatre is and the, our center for the arts and the museum and everything, but it was all warehouses--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --on the river. And um, and the--everybody--thing non-union and the people were really pushed around and stuff and they just had tried to organize and never could. Pat had grown up in the mine--his father was a miner, in Illinois, came here and he was an Irishman and he was real tough and, and he organized the Teamsters and they had, um, they, they controlled Main Street by then, you know? They really had a strong 102:00union. They were sort of separate, he'd been in the CIO, I guess they weren't there or something. They were separate from the rest of 'em, they were here, but and of course Carl was close to them. So Carl had, had the bee in his bonnet that he really wanted to work directly with the labor movement. He was tired, I think, of just doing sort of behind the scenes and being a labor reporter and, and as I say, getting a reputation for being very objective and none of the company people ever complained about his stories, but he was able to get both sides in. But he wanted to do more than that. He'd done that when he was in Cincinnati on the Enquirer too for ten years. And he became the editor of the Kentucky edition of the Enquirer. But he had done some of that there and had worked with the newspaper guild there and stuff like that. But he really wanted--and I think that's one reason he wanted to marry me. I think he was in love with me too, but I think that he figured he could do some of these things that he really wanted to do with me, which he hadn't been able to do with his previous wife 'cause she was worried about security and stuff like that. And plus the fact 103:00that they had become totally incompatible in, um, non-, but sexually, but also in, in politically and what they were interested--she just wasn't interested in the same things he was. So it wasn't a marriage anymore. But, um, but also I think that he saw once he was with me, that he could break loose and do some of these things he had wanted to do. I think. He never really said that, but looking back on it, I think that's true. But I don't think, but I think he was in love with me. But--and for me, of course, he was, he came along as the answer to all these things I was trying to figure out. And maybe it was a shortcut for me. Maybe I would have been better off if I'd had to spend more time figuring out things myself. It was like a shortcut of answer, all this confusion I'd been going through for that year trying to figure out, and really before I left Alabama, but even more after I got here, figuring out what the meaning of life was and what I wanted to do with my life, it all sort of came to an--the, the image, and I may have written this somewhere, came--it was a like a shoestring when 104:00it gets all tied up in a knot and all of the sudden you pull the right string and it all comes out clear. And suddenly everything seemed to make sense and a direction for life, um, with Carl, which--and I, I won't take time to go into now. When we sort of--you see I thought--I had really admired Carl from the time I walked in the bar (??). I don't even remember in the first day I was in the newspaper office. He remembers me, he looked, you know, 'cause naturally you do, somebody new coming in. But pretty soon he would be--I would be--and he was one of the few people there on the city desk, and he would begin to fill me on things before I went out or the city editor would tell him to, "Tell Anne about this, that or the other," and he would give me, you know, background on Louisville, which, you know, you gotta have if you work on a newspaper. And then, and then I would begin to see him in, um, he would take me to meetings and to, sometimes to some social gatherings with some of his labor friends, more as a, uh, professional sort of 105:00thing so I'd meet some of these people and as I said yesterday he would get me assigned to cover some of the strikes. And there were a lot of strikes going on. The Harvester Local was just being formed. Had just been formed the year before and was very militant. And that was the whole post-war wave of strikes. And it was hitting here too and, um, was an important thing. And he was covering it pretty well, and I--so I would cover some of it. And then I had made a good many friends among the young reporters who liked to sit around and drink and talk and philosophize, you know, and that would be like Sundays. I never worked on Sundays. Um, there was a guy lived over across the river, sometimes I'd walk over there and we'd have breakfast and four or five of us and just sit around and talk all day. And there was another guy that I kind of halfway went with, Red, Red Vance. He was a radio reporter and we'd go down to this fancy restaurant, but not to eat, it's still there, the Old House, and sit there and drink in the afternoons. 106:00We didn't get drunk, but we'd just sit there and talk. And you know, that was the kind of world I was moving in here, was basically these young reporters, most of 'em younger. Carl was ten years older of course. Um, who were somewhat socially conscious, but not many of 'em a part of any movement. I was finding that in other ways through Carl, through the labor movement. And I went looking for it in the black community myself, sort of, to find the NAACP and these people that were doing things in the black community. Um, but they were sort of--

FOSL: And you said you went looking for it, kind of--

BRADEN: I don't remember exactly where I got in touch with the NAACP, but I knew the NAACP was an organization I needed to be in touch with. So I think I went and looked 'em up. I, I st-, you know, to see what they were doing in terms of news. But I got friendly with 'em. There was a lawyer. It--of course everything was very--Jim Crumlin, and he lives, still lives right over there, he's got to be a judge later and, um, I don't see him anymore, he's not very active in things anymore. He was president of the NAACP and he had an office on Walnut Street 107:00which was a very segregated, you know, um, it was where the black theatre was and a lot of the--what professional offices there were. And I used to go down and visit him, sit and talk with him. He was a little bit romantically interested in me I think. Which I really wasn't in him. I was trying to sort of--I was just--but, you know, it, it was okay. But, um, and I was just learning about what was going on. But he was--I remember he tried to take me to that theatre on Walnut Street one night, Lyric or something, and they wouldn't let me go in. "Well, she can't go in. She's white." And he said, "Now we're gonna integrate this town or desegregate it." He says, "We're gonna start right here on Walnut Street." But they didn't let me in.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: I remember that. But he was--he would do things like that. I don't know what he thought of me. You know. I don't know what any of those black people thought of me 'cause I must have been terribly racist, you know. I didn't have any experience with black people at all. You know, I was just probably, I was just like a bull in a china 108:00shop, like a lot of young whites

later. You know. Um, and I guess--and I, you know, I think, I was prob-, I was having a hard time pro-, pronouncing the word Negro. And then people didn't say black, you had to learn to pronounce Negro, which--(laughs)--a great salvation when they started saying black and southerners didn't have to learn it. 'Cause that's always was the hardest thing for people to do. I remember--I suspect I said neegra, I suspect--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --'cause I knew not to say nigger. But it's just was very difficult 'cause you had a feeling you were speaking, and I think I said this in my book, a very affected way when you said Negro.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And so I, I bet I--I think Jim told me later that, that, you know, I wasn't very good at pronouncing that word--(laughs)--when he first met me. But--

FOSL: Had you all--had your family said nigger?

BRADEN: Oh yeah. Everybody said nigger. Oh yeah. I never heard--see, they began to try to say nigra. My father kept slipping into nigger until the day he died, you know--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --he'd, although he'd made a real--

FOSL: My family says ----------(??).

BRADEN: --effort to say nigra, you know. And--but no, nobody. I 109:00never heard nigra growing up. It was just nigger or coloreds. You know. But, um, I remember Myles, Myles Horton tells a story about somebody, and I forget who it is, that was at a workshop or something at Highlander and this guy kept saying nigra or something. And a black guy who was on their board, I'm not sure who it was, but he remembered, I'm sure, but says, "Look, I'm gonna teach you how to say that word. And it's really not all that hard," he said, "whenever you get ready to say that word, just hit your knee and tell your knee to grow."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So that was--(laughs)--I thought that was good. But anyway I always--but I was real wanting to know. And it wasn't just curiosity. I just--I think it was that impulse I had had that I knew I had to do something, but I hadn't figured out what, and all of the things that had oppressed me in Birmingham. So I knew that--and here there was a little bit more freedom. See, I could have done that sort of looking around in Birmingham, but I didn't think I could.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And I didn't know where to look. Well, I didn't know any better here, but I, I was able to make a point of finding out. So 110:00I began to know some of these people in the NAACP and I don't know what else. I'm not sure there was any other organization. I--well I met Lyman. I, I told you about that yesterday, Lyman Johnson, on that school desegregation suit. I'm not sure I had known him before I went to interview him. Um, and well, once I sort of made contact with these Wallace people, yeah, I met people that way too because and the Progressive Party in '48, they were--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --then I met blacks in that. And some, and some of them were the NAA--Alfred Carroll was law partner of Jim Crumlin. I don't think Jim--I don't remember Jim ever being that active in the Progressive Party, but Alfred Carroll was, and so I met some blacks that way. And um, I met people at the Defender, the Louisville Defender which was the black paper and still is. It isn't very good now. But they were a crusading paper, you know, for the times and there was a wonderful 111:00guy who was editor of it who went on and became quite a distinguished journalist at other places after he left her, Fletcher Martin, I remember him, Carl and I, Carl and I worked with him a good bit after Carl and I were working together more. Um, so I was doing that and I think, you know, I've alluded to this in things I've written before, the, the real push on the civil rights and black rights issue was--came from me more than Carl. You know. That was sort of a compulsion with me. And I drew Carl more into those things. And Carl was all for it, but Carl took it for granted. I mean he--and he took for granted that you got to bring black and white people together to struggle together. It was a class struggle approach and it was the--what Carl himself later said was an old socialist approach, which I think he moved beyond. But the, you know, the Socialist Party sort of had this concept of, that we're all workers together.

FOSL: Um-hm. And that was what his father had been ----------(??).

BRADEN: Um-hm, yeah, he used to take Carl to hear Debs and stuff like 112:00that. And, and was, and considered himself a Marxist. His, his father was, you know, didn't have any formal education. I don't know how far he went, but very little school. And he worked at the L & N shops, uh, L & N railroads, it was--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --a big thing here then. He wasn't on the trains. He worked in the shops and that's where he went on strike and got fired and then worked at the Ford plant which was right out then. It's moved now on Western Parkway where he was--that was where the, the speed up at Ford which they, everybody thought was a good job, you know, they were making five dollars an hour or something, or something like five dollars a day, which it was, I don't know. But it was supposed to be good pay and everything.

FOSL: Couldn't have been five an hour.

BRADEN: No, because that would be pretty good now, wouldn't it? Five dollars a day?

FOSL: I mean it wouldn't be good, but it'd be, you know--

BRADEN: Yeah, it was, must have been five dollars a day. I can remember that five dollar figure and it was supposed to be real good. That's in a lot of things. But there was terrible speed up, and I think I've mentioned that. And then Carl said that he'd just come home at night exhausted and fall in bed. But he was a, but he was a, he had, somewhere, I don't know where he'd gotten, probably through the union 113:00or something, had gotten involved with the Socialist Party, and there was a Socialist Party here and Debs would come and speak and, um, Carl can remember maybe once or twice going to hear Debs.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Um, but not very long, because he--see, Carl wasn't born till 1914, so he would a been pretty small, but he, he, he remembered things when he was real little 'cause he remembers nursing when he was three. But, um, but his father and his friends, there was a whole group of 'em that were--considered themselves revolutionaries.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And Carl said they would sit around--see I never met Carl's father. He died when he was about fifty of a, um, what do you call it? It's like a stroke. Cer-, cerebral hemorrhage on Christmas Eve when he, in 1935 or something, somewhere along then. Um, but they would sit around the kitchen table there at that house rather than--and they would, and, and, but their con-, of taking over city hall. That was sort of as far as they really looked.

114:00

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Um, as Carl remembers it. But they were thrilled by the Russian revolution. And he can remember 'em collecting money to send to the revolutionaries in Russia.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: You know. Because they--some way that inspired them and then they could take over city hall, you see, if the Russians could take over the government. So they were, they were identified with that. But um, and I don't know, you know, whether he, he certainly considered himself a Marxist. I wonder if he ever read Marx. I don't know how much of an intellectual he was. I don't remember Carl saying. But he--but, you see, he, he wanted to name Carl for Karl Marx.

FOSL: Oh, I remember that.

BRADEN: Yeah. And of course Carl's mother was a Catholic. But they never had any conflict over it, any--over those things. I mean they--and his, and he says, the way he remembers his father, Carl didn't really idealize his father. Carl used to say that politically, 115:00he said that he never really had a close relationship with his father personally. He admired him a lot, and he learned a lot of his ideas. But there was a, some kind of a barrier there just in terms of personal. People, I guess, are never satisfied with their relationships with their parents. But he remembers--but there was no particular--and he, but one of the things that he always taught him was to respect people's religious, uh, people of all religions and all races. And he just wouldn't let anybody make a racist comment, you know. Because that was a socialist principle, we're all workers together. And religion too, that was people's private business. So, you know, it was assumed that Carl would be baptized and would be, would go to church, and they went to the parochial school. But the priest wouldn't let him name the baby for Karl Marx and said he--

FOSL: ----------(??).

BRADEN: --he could name him Carl, but he'd have to spell it with a C. So then when Paul was born, his next brother, they took him to be baptized and said and told him they wanted to name him Paul Marx Braden. And the priest, same priest said, "You're just not gonna do that Mr. 116:00Braden. And we'll call him Paul Mark Braden." So Carl used to tell that story with great delight. I don't know whether it all happened exactly that way, but I don't think he made it--

FOSL: Yeah--

BRADEN: --all up. So he'd always say that we always said after that, "In our family the gospels were written according to Matthew, Marx, Luke and John." (Fosl laughs) So--but he had taken for granted although he lived there in all white Portland, of racial equality. But it wasn't particularly the main issue you got out and battled on until he met me. And I think that he was influenced by me on that. And I think that he--certainly Carl moved far beyond what I consider a somewhat limited view of the, the old socialist view that we're all workers together, 'cause we're not all workers together. I mean blacks are--been much worse off and so forth. But, um, but what we were--the point I was gonna make was in terms of the sort of change politically in our lives at that point was, that our concept was to work with the labor movement.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I wanted to be a worker. And that was, like, a lot of 117:00young radicals in every period of history that come from the middle class or the upper classes, of wanting to be a part of the--(Fosl coughs)--working class. And it was a big emotional thing with me because I'd, and I hadn't really--long before, and I think I mentioned this yesterday, that I had any concept of organizing the working class, at least I wasn't arrogant enough to think I could organize 'em, it was sort of for my own, um, peace of mind and being where, you know, I, I'd come to understand the class struggle as Carl would have put it. And I knew that I had grown up on the wrong side of the class struggle and everything was wrong about this. And I may have romanticized the working class a little bit. But not entirely 'cause I'd begun to meet some real jerks in the labor movement. So I--(Fosl laughs)--knew everybody wasn't perfect. But--and Carl didn't think they were all perfect, 'cause he, you know, it, 'cause this is his background. But what he always said and it's a slogan in the labor movement, that, that labor may be mistaken, but it's never wrong. And that ultimately they were on the right side, you know--

118:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that was, and, um, but that, and like I said yesterday before I realized that I was in love with Carl or that he was in love with me, that I had decided I'd go away and get a new identity and I'd get a job in a factory, which it wasn't hard to do in those days. Well, the employment sort of went down later. But women had worked in factories during the war and wasn't totally impossible. And then I could get a new identity and be working class. And I, I would, it would be interesting, and I could have done that. Some people did that sort of thing and I'd like to know what would have happened to me. But I never did. But when he found out that I had said I, I told him--by that time he and I were talking a lot during the winter of '47 toward the spring of '48. And, um, and as friends. And I had no idea that the relationship was anything but platonic on my end--

FOSL: 'Cause he was still with his wife, first wife.

BRADEN: Yeah, he was living with 'em in the same house. But, but that 119:00wasn't a factor anyway. I had been down to his house. I went down there to see him about something and I'd see her and you know, he has just another reporter. I mean I did really--if I had any sexual feeling toward him, I was not aware of it.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --and, um, he was a mentor sort of, you see? And I thought that he had the same feeling toward me. He said later that he was always in love with me. And you know, and maybe he was. I guess he was that into it. But I, I honestly didn't--but then that's, that's an-, it's a whole--(laughs)--another question. But I've always been that way. I've--I don't have sexual feelings toward men unless they excite me intellectually. I don't know whether that's true of all women or not, but I mean literally, it's not just that you want that sort of companionship too, I just don't. I, I can't--well, I did, I think once, somewhat, sort of early feelings when I was in high school and all that kind of stuff. But later, the only men I ever felt physically attracted too were the people who excited me intellectually.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It's just, that's just the way I am. Maybe it's crazy. But um, 120:00then--but anyway we were talking a lot and I, I think I told him, you know, how I was feeling and I really had to get away from the world I'd come from and I was gonna move and go away. So I remember one day he brought me this book--I've still got the damn thing upstairs. County data book, and I never in my life read anything like that. Just--(Fosl laughs)--it's a, it's a--and I never had. It was a whole--I think every county in the United States with all the data on the population and all that. And he said I could study that about where to go. (laughs) And I wasn't gonna read that book. But it--and later he said, you know, he was worried for fear I really would leave 'cause he had decided he-- (laughs)--was in love with me. So I think--and Carl had a way of always being able to precipitate a crisis, I think, when he wanted to do something. Not a very good trait either. Some things he could a just gone on and done, but that's the way he left the paper too, he could precipitate the crisis to do it. But um, and I had sort of decided 121:00that's what I would do. But even after--and then, well, he did precip- , I don't know, no, maybe he precipitated it, it could a just happened. The, the, um, I was in Frankfort. They had sent me to Frankfort to cover, to write some feature stories about the end of the legislature.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I wrote a real good story--

FOSL: This was in '48?

BRADEN: Um-hm, in March. They were closing in March. I should find a copy of that story. It was a real good story about how cra-, crazy the place was. (laughs) Um, and I was over there. And I was actually had sort of a relationship with another reporter who was around. I was kind of with him over there. But--and I remember I, I wanted to stay on, I think I was there on a Thursday and I'd sent the story in, and I wanted to stay on 'cause something else that was gonna happen that day and I remember calling the city editor because this other reporter who 122:00was also an older reporter that I was sort of had a half ----------(??) off again, on again relationship with thought I should stay and write something else that day. So I remember I called the city editor or the guy who was sitting on the city desk that day and I said, "Can--what about my just staying over here?" He said, "Well, I wish you wouldn't." He said, "There's a terrible storm in Louisville," there was a big storm going on. He said, "We just don't have anybody here and we just- -and people are out and all these things are happening. I wish you'd come on home, come on back." So I did and when I got the morning paper, so I'm, my--I can't remember how I got back and forth. 'Cause I didn't have a car then. I don't remember. Maybe I--that's interesting. I don't know. Isn't that funny, maybe I went on the bus. I don't know. Um--

FOSL: Did you drive?

BRADEN: But--

FOSL: Could you have had somebody else's car?

BRADEN: I might have, no, I drove, yeah, but I didn't own a car. Anyway, I came back--but I got the morning paper and there and in addition to the story, I believe it was in the same edition as the 123:00story that I'd written on the legislation, there was this big story about some brouhaha the night before. And the funny thing is that I'd have to look it up to see exactly what had happened. But it was at some CIO meeting where I think they had thrown out some of these people in the left wing unions. This was locally. And Carl had been there and he got involved in it. And they threw him out too, I believe. And before, he had sort of steered a middle path publicly and didn't, stayed in good with everybody. I think he was thrown out. But it was a, it was a ----------(??). And so I--well, I remember I went back to the newspaper office and, um, it--I may have the days mixed up. That could--that story could have been in the paper the day before because I'd been in Frankfort two or three days. And um, and I guess 124:00he had, he was at the office when I got back and, and Ted was the city editor, had all kinds of things for me to do 'cause things were in uproar 'cause the storm, which was over in a little while. And--but I remember when Carl left he--and I said, "What in the world happened, you know, at this thing?" And so he said, "Well," he said, "It's a long story and I want you to meet me down at a, um," what was the name of the place? 'Cause we often met there to talk. It was a little restaurant down on Jefferson Street that was where we'd go sometimes just to talk, "at five or six o'clock or something and I'll tell you all about it." So I went on home and, um, went back to meet him and hear about what happened at the CIO meeting. And went down there and that, and he began to tell me about it. And funny I don't remember all the conversation, but that's when he told me he was in love with me. 125:00And all of the sudden I realized I was in love with him. It literally had not occurred to me before. Literally I had never thought of him as anything but a friend until that minute.

FOSL: Hmm. And in that minute you just knew?

BRADEN: Um-hm. I just knew, like it was--I'm, I'm bound to have known before, but I'd been repressing it, you know, 'cause I knew he was married. And I, I, and I--he had never really talked to me about his personal life or his relationship or lack of it with his wife. I'd see her and she seemed like a very nice person. I'd been at some things where she would be too. I remember that fall I'd been at some sort of a mutual friend, another reporter had, had us over to dinner or something and Virginia was there and she seemed nice. And you know, and I just kind of assumed that they were happily married like anybody else. He'd never talked to me about things like that. You know. He wasn't like that.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: He was talking about--like I was, I was the other woman he was talking about his unhappy marriage. He really never talked about it at all. And I knew--and I thought Sonya was his child, which I had met her when I'd be at his house occasionally. I'd been at his mother's house once. It wasn't a lot, but you know, once in a while. Mostly I 126:00saw him at places like the cafe or at meetings or in around the office and we'd talk, and we had talked an awful lot. And he would call me on the phone and he'd give me--he gave me a biography of Debs to read, I remember. This was all back in the fall. I had never heard of Eugene Debs, literally had not heard of Eugene Debs. And he gave me other things to read, I, I can't remember what all of 'em were. But he would call up and talk to me about different things going on in the labor movement. He'd talk about the socialist movement. You know, he was like a teacher or a mentor and I, and, you know, I'm bound to have known underneath that I had some other kind of attraction to him. But it was--I had repressed it I guess.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But I also was confused about where I was going on with my life or and it was like, you know, here was the companion I needed. And the shoestring came loose. But, but what he--the precipitating thing, and that's why I say, well, I don't know whether he precipitated it, but--and I can't even remember how he got into it. But he was saying that Virginia was very upset about the story in the paper and she was, 127:00had sort of gone off and said, "Oh, you know, Barry Bingham's not gonna put up with this and you're gonna get fired and all this and all that and you've just got to quit all this." And that he said, "Well, I'm not going to." And he said and the net result was that she was gonna leave. And she had left. She had moved somewhere else. She stayed around, but she'd stay until Sonya got out of school that spring. And, um, and see, Sonya was not his child, but I don't think that made a lot of difference. Sonya was a baby when he married Virginia and Sonya always thought of Carl as a father. Sonya--and Carl and Virginia had had one baby that died, um, as a baby and they didn't really know what, of what, some, one of those mysterious childhood things, named Lee. But, um--

FOSL: A baby boy?

BRADEN: A baby boy, um-hm. Um, but I was sort of--that came up then, because I says, I remember talking to him about it, 'cause I had this, I guess, sort of a, I wasn't planning as I said to get married myself, 128:00but a traditional sort of feeling, which I still think some too, that you ought to stay married for the sake of a child. And I said, "Well, you gotta think about Sonya." That some way made a difference to him. He said, "Well, she's not really my child, you know?" But in a way she was. Um, psychologically I guess. But anyhow, um, so, so then I think from then on--well, we worked, of course, together. That was in March, March the 19th, we always considered it our anniversary, although we didn't get married till June 21st I believe was our real anniversary. Or it was the 22nd. I can't even remember. But um, and everybody at the paper was thrilled that we were--when they heard we were getting married. They didn't know we were together really until we actually got married in June, 'cause we'd always been around together friends. But everybody was thrilled 'cause they figured we'd both stay in Louisville and we were about their two best reporters, you know. And 129:00so we were getting along fine with the paper. But Carl was restless and I was. I hadn't really, you know, to that, for right then, that kind of solved my problems. You see? I'd married into the working class, I didn't have to move to any place else. But it is a shortcut ----------(??). But he wanted to get away from that, from what he was doing, being a journalist. He wanted to get into the labor movement directly. And I still had this thing that I, even though I had sort of solved some of my problems by marrying Carl, I really wanted to prove to myself I could do something, make a living other than with my brain.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I wanted to be able to make a living with my hands. So I--(Fosl clears throat)--wanted to get a job in a, and sort of be a part of the working class, but also just to prove I could do that.

FOSL: Excuse me, were you reading a lot of Marx and that type of stuff at that point?

BRADEN: I read some things. I never read a lot of Marx to tell you the truth 'cause it's just so, not the kind of thing I read. But I read, I read a good bit of history. And I began to read some black history. I heard about Du Bois. I read some of that. And I read things like 130:00that. And I read some Marx. I can remember being very impressed by State and Revolution by Lenin. And I'll have to re-read that sometime, see why it impressed me. But I think, I think the reason it did--see, one of the things that I was having to grapple with was, um, my own gut feeling that I really lived in the perfect democracy, you know. And the whole concept that rights are conferred by class was something that I had no concept of, and that's in State and Revolution sort of. And the--I think, I'm gonna re-read it some day, the state is the, uh, executive committee of the ruling class. See I had no, I had no class concept at all. And, but--and coming to terms with sort of the, the--what I had thought, because I had a very emotional feeling about democratic rights and the rights I had and I had made, you know, I won an oratorical contest when I was in high school on the, that the civic 131:00club had, I remember that, about, uh, how wonderful our democratic rights were compared with these places where there were no democratic rights like fascist countries and communist countries, which were the same in the lexicon. And, um, but sort of coming to terms with the fact that these things really weren't rights, that they were privileges that I had gotten because of class. And that was a real turmoil thing for me. I went through a lot of turmoil politically. I, I'd rather go into that some time we had time to, 'cause I was already going through that before I ever became political. I can remember having discussions with Harriet about it, because Harriet had gone--Fitzgerald. 'Cause she had gone through some of the same things. And of course she never got involved in, as involved in politics as I was. But she was beyond some of the places I was, obviously, even after I began thinking about things. And this was before I met Carl. It's funny, I can't remember how--I used to go over and visit, even after I, after I got out of school I'd go visit Harriet, and I can remember--

FOSL: In New York?

BRADEN: Well, this was in--

FOSL: Or was she--

BRADEN: --Virginia, I'd visit her in New York a lot. I'd go there and 132:00stay with her. You know, not a lot, it wasn't that many years, but I'd go, but also in Virginia. I remember once I went over there and spent some time. She was painting in the mountains of Virginia and I can remember riding around the hills, the beautiful hills of Virginia in her car, and she would go out and paint and we'd ride around and then it was several days. I, I don't know, it was maybe part of a vacation I had. I don't remember the year. But I can remember some of the conversations. And I was sort of grappling with the fact of dealing with the fact that the society was wrong and what we were gonna do about it, and she had a socialist perspective. She never really did anything about it. Well, she was a, she was a New Dealer.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But she had, she had already worked through all these things, I think partly, you know, with maybe the whole thing about her father and the--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --how hurt he was by the workers organizing in his plant. But I was sort of, I, I can remember crying. And that's why I remember it. And, because, and thinking about, I guess, it's whether I was turning against my own people sort of, you know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I don't know what it was. But I can remember crying. And I didn't cry easily. I still don't. I hardly ever cry. So I just say 133:00that I'm gonna think about it more and go into it more because it was terrible turmoil I was going through of, of changing sides in the class struggle, which is what was going on. But it is not something you do easily. You don't flop from this side to the other. I mean you, you just really tear your insides out. I had been through some it before I met Carl. And Carl, in that year when it was platonic between Carl and me, he would help me think through some of these things. And he'd give me things to read and I was inspired by people like Debs and, you know, the whole concept of the working class and so forth. But it was still difficult because it wasn't my class. And--but we didn't know for sure what we were gonna do, or I didn't. And--but I was sort of settled down to, sort of getting used to, well, I was, you know, and I was, by that time, had sort of established myself at a paper and the work wasn't that hard in that, you know, I knew I could handle any assignment they gave me and I was enjoying that. And, and then 134:00keeping the--and you know, being in touch with the Progressive Party and those things I was able to get in the paper and stuff all through that year. But I--ultimately I think we both knew that wasn't where we wanted to stay. And, well, I had--even when I was thinking about leaving the year before, it was partly, you know, to start a new life and also I was becoming very dissatisfied with what you really did in journalism, although I knew I was good at it and I liked writing about people, especially, and I liked finding out about their lives. I still do. You know, I'm still always, uh, trying to find out people's life stories. But um, I really didn't like being an observer of life. And the very fact that I couldn't get that involved and the Progressive Party. I remember they had a, they were gonna have an integra-, Andrew Wade was involved in that, and I didn't, we hadn't met Andrew. I didn't of course know him like I did later, they were gonna have an integrated picnic at Shawnee Park. And we were on the--that was that summer.

FOSL: Of '48?

135:00

BRADEN: Of '48. And the--everybody was announced some way, and the powers that be were scared to death there was gonna be a riot and they were all upset about it and it was all kinds of stuff, and I wanted to be involved in it. Well, I couldn't be. But I wrote the story and they were mad at me after that, because they called it off. And they gave into the pressure on it. And, um, um, and I remember this, Red Vance that I'd kind of halfway gone with some, was a reporter, radio reporter before Carl and I were married. And he was--had gotten active in the Progressive Party. And he was, you know, very visibly active and he was a white guy. I don't know whatever became of him. He later married the daughter of a, of a columnist on the Courier-Journal. And then we lost touch with them, they left here. And we tried to, well, we knew where they were for a while, 'cause when we drove to the West Coast in '55 we knew where they were and we called her up. I don't know whether she's still with Red or not. She didn't want to see us. She wasn't hostile, but she just wanted to stay out of everything. So ----------(??). But, um, but I remember I called him that morning-- 136:00(laughs)--and I was so nasty. I remember it so well, and I said, "Is it true Red that they're now calling the Progressive Party yellow as stil- , as well as red?" 'Cause they called off--(laughs)--the picnic. And he was, he was furious. But we wrote a decent story about it. But I was on the fringes, you see. And I didn't want--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --to be. I wanted to be in things. So I knew I didn't want to stay at the paper. But I hadn't figured out--but what Carl, what happened was that that fall, the Dixiecrats had a rally and I can't remember whether this was Strom Thurmond came and spoke. Somebody came and spoke for 'em at this Memorial Auditorium, same place Henry Wallace came when they had such a small crowd. And Carl was assigned to cover it and we went. And there was a guy on the copy desk, Sharply. Sharply I think his name was. Lee Sharply? Somebody. Who was a member of the 137:00Dep-, Dixiecrat Party. Now they don't let the paper, they don't let you be a member of any party, but I think they knew we were somewhat associated--as long as we--I don't know how Carl got assigned to cover the Dixiecrat thing, but he did. They weren't as strict about, you know, having political eunuchs in those days. So he wrote a story and for some reason Sharply got it on the copy desk the next day and made a change in it, to make the--what happened was that the--there was some blacks came, just to harass 'em really, I think. And I believe they put 'em out or something. There was an incident about it.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It wasn't any violent incident or anything. And I can't even remember exactly the change. And I don't think it was that major, but it was something to make the Dixiecrats look better. And Sharply changed it on the copy desk. And Carl wrote this irate letter and resigned from the paper.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: It wasn't worth resigning over, and he didn't have to do it because they--Carl--they need Carl, they wanted Carl more than Sharply. I mean he could have protested about it and it wouldn't a happened 138:00again. But he didn't. He was just looking for an excuse to resign, and they resented it. I think they knew that. And I think they kind of resented it, although they were friendly, really, to us until the sedition case.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But it was a, it, you know, Carl would do things like that. And maybe, and, and in a way I'm glad he did, 'cause you know, he was the one who always took the bull by the horns and did things in our family. I might have fooled around for years before I left there.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: That's really the truth. (Fosl clears throat) But he would, he did. [telephone rings] And so then I wrote a letter. Somebody said later, "Your letter was better than--(laughs)--Carl's," and resigned too. 'Cause I said if he couldn't work there, if my husband couldn't, I wouldn't either. So we both resigned. But we stayed on--it was before the election. We stayed till after the election and the editor made a real nice statement to the paper and said that he was really hated to see us--'cause there was a story about it, 'cause of the incident, you know. Somebody else wrote that story. And he hated, he regretted seeing us leave because he considered us both experts in our field. Carl--

139:00

VOICE ON ANSWERING MACHINE: Hello Anne, this is Bill Van Wyke (??) in South Carolina.

FOSL: Oh, can I get this?

VOICE ON ANSWERING MACHINE: I'm calling for Cate.

BRADEN: You want to put that on pause.

FOSL: Bill? Hi.

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: --some other things. But I think I can finish the point.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: Um, anyway, Carl had a tendency to take the bull by the horns and, and move and do things, which I think even if I had developed the political ideas that I did, which I'm not sure I would have ever clarified without Carl--(coughs)--I think I would have a had a very different life because--(coughs)--I, I'm sure I tend to move much more carefully and cautiously on things. And, and he didn't. He, there wasn't anything cautious about Carl. And I'm not, and I, and that can be either a vice or a virtue. But I think in the times we lived in it was a vi-, a virtue, 'cause I think you had to just take hold and do things. (coughs) So anyway we left the paper. And really didn't know what we were gonna do except we were gonna some way work with, for the, um, cause of the working class. We really wanted, we were already 140:00working with the, a lot with these, what became the left wing of the CIO, which I, I think you had that on tape yesterday, the four unions with the main base being at the Harvester Local.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: A very remarkable local and I dealt--I talked a little bit about that in The Wall Between, um, and I'd like to go into it more 'cause that was a very important experience for me, getting to know those people, um, in that union. And I learned so much in a very short time there. But I was already working with that--they put out a, the, they- -before the final sort of split in the CIO, that group of unions here was putting out a little newspaper called Labor's Voice-- [recording error]--yes and still, and I loved to do it 'cause I learned--I used to do it, and even with The Patriot by writing stuff and sending it to a printer and figuring out the space. Then I learned to typeset it and do it myself and next thing I gotta do is learn the, what do you call it, the laser stuff, make-up, which I'm gonna--

141:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --get hook, you know, mouse and a--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --all that, when they quit servicing my type setter, which IMB's gonna do next year. I gotta get that kind of equipment. I don't know how to use that yet, but I've learned a lot of new ways. But I've been putting something together, but--since I was, you know, in high school. So we were doing that already with them, but, you know, on a volunteer basis. But we really wanted to work out something to where--and we, I remember we got on the train, 'cause that's the only way you could travel in those days if you didn't have a car. And we didn't have a car. Went to Chicago and talked to the people at the farm, leadership of the Farm Equipment Workers, about how we could work with them. And they didn't have any job for us, and we weren't really asking for a job that much. We were--'cause we had absolutely no concern in the world about how we were gonna live. And you don't if you don't--now I don't know why Carl didn't, but I had never had any problem about having enough money to live on. So I didn't--it was out of my ken, it never occurred to me that I might be hard up. (laughs) Um, I 142:00just didn't know what that was like. But, um, because I had had good paying jobs ever since I got out of school and before that my parents took care of me. But the, but we were really talking about maybe being colonizers for them in some plant they were trying to organize or something, and they were kind of interested in that. I think they thought we were kind of strange maybe. But we got to know 'em later, I think we developed a lot of mutual respect. But just these people appear out of nowhere, and Carl had a history of course with the, as a labor reporter, but we weren't really one of them, and they might have thought we were a little strange. But they had staff here in Louisville and so we did talk about getting jobs, places that they might want to organize. And for some reason, I, and I cannot remember why and whether they were interested in it, I decided to try to get a job at this Belknap Hardware Company, which they could have organized anywhere. I don't know whether they thought it--but there was no union there and it had always been non-union and Carl thought it would be a good place to organize. Well, it was kind of ridic-, I didn't know a 143:00thing about organizing--(Fosl laughs)--I didn't know anything about it. But I went to apply for a job there and but I remember I had to sign- -I did sort of try to create a new identity, 'cause for the kind of jobs I wanted to get I didn't want people to know I was college educated in the newspaper and all that. So I remember writing to some old friends of mine in Anniston, sort of some, some of the kind of people who hung around the courthouse and people that I enjoyed more than the people I'd--(laughs)--grown up with that I got to know as I was a reporter. And I said, "I'm gonna give you as a reference." And I said, "Just write a letter and just don't," and I said, "it's," and I didn't tell 'em why 'cause they wouldn't have understood that, but just for various reasons I'm getting a different kind of job and don't mention that I've been to college or worked on a newspaper. And I--they may have done that. I think I saw one of the guys later and he didn't know why, but he didn't care. He liked me. You know. So I was kind of doing that. And I remember I went down and took a test and I--in there, and I got a job. But I tested way off the scale for the, you know, so it's a wonder they hired me because I was overqualified. But they did. But it was a real dull job. I was just ----------(??) with the papers, you 144:00know--

FOSL: Now when was this? What year?

BRADEN: This was pretty soon after, because we did have to get jobs to make a living, you know. It was pretty soon after we left the paper in November of '48. I think maybe before that--I tell you what I did that Christmas, I went and got a job at--that was, that was probably later in the winter 'cause at some point we went to Chicago and talked to those people. And the guy--I remember the UE organizer, not UE, it was FE then. Um, Farm Equipment Workers who remember him being at our apartment and I was telling him, uh, the night after I'd applied for that job at Belknap. So they must have had some interest in, you know, or I didn't take it very seriously, but that I might be able to do something there. So he was real friendly about it. But before that, that must have been after Christmas 'cause I think the first thing I did was I got a job in a department store around Christmastime because we just had to have some income. And Carl got a job ride-, driving a cab. And he enjoyed driving the cab. And he got to talk to a lot of people. Um, because I was in the lamp department, I remember that, 145:00selling lamps. And I was not a good salesperson because I knew they'd mark those lamps up for Christmas. And I'd see people come in there, they really looked so poor, would want to spend everything on a lamp. And I'd tell 'em to come back after Christmas--(laughs)--and it would cost less, you know. So I--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --really--it's not--but I always thought about that because I remember talking to Jim Dombrowski about it and I would get so frustrated sometimes in our work with SCEF, as you do with any sort of work like this. And I remember talking to Jim. Jim was--I just adored Jim and he was one of my mentors. But I remember talking to him one time about, um, that I said, you--I think what I was saying was that he was very patient and he never got upset. And I said, you know, "I, I guess I get so frustrated sometimes 'cause you don't see the results of what you do. You, you meet people. You talk to 'em and you think you're doing something, but you don't see it till years later." And I said, "I guess I, I just something in my psyche that I like to see, 146:00to do a piece of work and then see it all finished and completed and have that sense." And Jim kind of chuckled and he said, "Well," he said, "you should have stayed selling lamps, 'cause you can wrap up the lamps." He says, "That's the only kind of job you can do that on." I said, "No, that's not true, you do it on a newspaper."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: 'Cause every day you, you start out and you go home and the newspaper's gonna come off the press and it's there. And I think that's why I do like the printed word, 'cause it's something you can see, you know. And I remember that. And I didn't work there very long, maybe till after Christmas and I can't remember, maybe they didn't have the job after, maybe it was just a Christmas job. At some point, I think it was after that I got into Belknaps. But that was very frustrating. (laughs) I was bored to death on the job. It was obvious I couldn't do any organizing there. So I don't think I stayed there too long, maybe, you know, a few months. I really lose track. I could figure it all out. A lot of this took place very fas-, I was, things were happening very fast internally with me too. 'Cause at some 147:00point there I worked as a waitress too. Now that may have been later, at the Brown Hotel which is still here. At their little tearoom. And I didn't know a thing about waiting--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --tables and, but I learned on the job, for twenty-five cents an hour. I do remember that, which is what waitresses made then, but you made tips. And that was, you know, there were fairly good tips there. But somewhere before too long, and we were--this really was not very long, we were still doing this volunteer work for the unions of doing the paper and news releases and, and that kind of thing. And some of the people at, at the, especially at the Farm Harvester Union--Farm Equipment, really wanted to develop their information program more now. And it may have actually been Carl's and my proposal or mainly Carl. Carl was always dreaming up structures, which is a good thing to be able to do, proposed that they set up this information center. And they pooled some money and did that so that we would have enough to live on. We couldn't have been making much. We never made much money ever after that, which is why I'm not gonna get much social security. 148:00And we divided what salary we did get with SCEF, which was a crazy thing. We looked ahead, you know, 'cause I--

FOSL: You did what?

BRADEN: Divided it, like when we worked for a joint salary, 'cause we always had this idea we were working together, cooperative thing, and it was silly. It--if we had any sense about looking ahead, we would have had Carl make, or me, one of us, because that's--

FOSL: I see.

BRADEN: --don't mean I'll make much, get much less social security. But, anyway, but we had, we had no id-, concept whatsoever of security. And I don't think people should when they're young. It always amazes me that people are so worried about things like that 'cause, and I never have starved, you know. We ----------(??)--I had saved some war bonds back from World War II and we cashed those in and lived on that for a while. We gave away all our wedding presents- -(coughs)--so we had a pretty impractical view of life. But we were getting by. But then they pooled some money and, and we set up this information center. And that's a whole thing I'd like to talk about 149:00more 'cause I really learned an awful lot. And during that period they had this big struggle with UAW which we won, and I had formed the women's auxiliary, 'cause they didn't--(laughs)--but I really got to know those women, and didn't think, you know, the women's auxiliary's a little repulsive now. But it was important to those women. But there was just--it was a very important experience in my life, those years with--and it, and then while we were there they merged with UE and we made good friends in the UE. It was when we decided to have a baby and that's another sort of the inspiration to one of these UE organizers. But then after that election that we won, 'cause they merged with UE during that election, um, in some way that thing didn't get going. And the funny thing is, I can't remember why we decided at a union--we didn't have any falling out, we continued to work with 'em. But it just wasn't feasible to keep that thing going, I think financially 150:00they didn't feel they could do it, and they were, and maybe, and the furniture workers had lost an election and maybe the public workers had. FE had won, they lost the, UE lost that local later. But we had left by then. But um, so we had to figure out something else to do. And it may have been then--well then that's when I went to work in the tobacco factory for a while. And we really did--and that would have been a good place to stay and organize. There was a union there and I went to a union meeting, blacks on one side, whites on the other. Um, and but we were beginning to do other things. By that time, this was by, by then it was 1950, '50, or '51? No, '50 maybe. I can't remember. I'd have to figure it out with some other things, when Carl went back to the newspaper. But the Korean War started in '50. A lot of things were going on. The--wh-, there, if we had--when I started this out by saying, I think we, probably looking back on it, we made a political 151:00mistake, although I think if I had to do it over again, I'd do the same thing. I think because of the pressures of the time you make certain decisions. The, the way we had worked with those unions and the people we knew in the labor movement, even though they were somewhat on the left, we knew people all through, we should have stayed somewhere working with the labor movement and we could have done it at that point.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Because, you know, we weren't the pariahs we became later. And I actually was working, and that was a part-time thing. I think after we left the UE, I mean, yeah, UE and FE, but labor ----------(??) there, I worked part time putting the AFL-CA--no, the AFL-CIO hadn't gotten back together. And the AFL News--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --a monthly or weekly paper, monthly, bi-week, bi-weekly maybe, paper together. And I think they paid me a little bit to do it and I knew the people and I called 'em all up to get the news in the different unions and, um, and it was sort of a part-time thing which I 152:00think they must have paid me for. I don't think I did that volunteer, oh I might have. Um, so I knew all those people. And I really think, you know, in the, in, you know, even people today that--young people talking about what they want to do to save the world--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --I think they belong in the labor movement. You know. I think people who've become--there's a problem, but if you become, if you go-- join a staff of a union, you don't have much independence and people get terribly frustrated because some of those unions are very reactionary in some things. But you're with the people who are gonna be doing things.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: The best way, really, if you want to organize is to work somewhere where you're a member of a union.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And people have--you know, some of my friends have done that who came out of the sixties. Like Ira Grupper who called on the phone this afternoon.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I gotta call him tonight. He's been working in a tobacco plant for years and he's--he came here to work for SCEF. Of course, he's got a working class background; he wasn't sort of shifted class allegiance. He comes from New York and his family was, you know, not 153:00on the radical movement, but it was basically working class. But he was college educated. He went to Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement. And he came here to work for SCEF. And I was just taking him as one example. But back in the sixties he decided to get a job in a tobacco plant and he's been there ever since and he's, does a lot of other things. He's been on the Human Relations Commission, there was a big fight that put him off of that, but different things. And he--you know, Ira wouldn't want this transcribed--(laughs)--or anything, but he's got some problems. But the point is, he stayed there and built a base.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: He's never quite--he's run for office. He--but a lot of people have done that. And I think it's--if you really want to change things, and, you know, if I had--there again, if I had a perfect period of history to live in, but we thought those times then were an emergency. And you see--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --like I said yesterday, and the fact that our children and everything else--and I think they were, because we began to feel like we weren't doing enough with the state this world was in, even at the union, and things were beginning to happen then. We had a fight sort of with some of the people in it. I think it was when Paul Robeson 154:00almost got lynched at Peekskill.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I believe that was what it was.

FOSL: Forty-nine.

BRADEN: And we put a big thing about it in this newspaper we were putting out. Some of the people in the union got real upset about that.

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: Paul Robeson was a communist and what's this and so forth and so on. I remember that hoorah about that. It quieted down. I also remember we began to see how Carl fought things, Carl and I through the years and sometimes it became a clash, had different tactics in the way we fought. We never really disagreed on the principles. But Carl, I used to argue with him later, some of the SCEF things, because my way as I developed some confidence in myself, which I didn't have then, and had some political experience, when there was a controversy, my way is to try to talk to people and get everything out in the open and let's see where we're different and talk about it. Carl's way was to build his faction. And I remember that, and that, and of course I didn't disagree with him then. I hadn't really developed my own tactics. But I saw him do it all through his life, and I think it went back to his 155:00childhood and maybe, and of course he got more done than I did in some ways. But it was sure different from my approach. But--on that, I remember when the people began calling and raising hell, and some of our good friends in the union, on why would we put that in the paper. And Carl got on the phone and called some of the more reactionary people in the union or conservative, there wasn't anybody reactionary, some of the Catholics. See, the Catholic right wing movement was--they were really a big part of the witch-hunt, some of the Catholics in the union, and talked to them about it and kind of won them. Well this is, "You know, you can't have somebody being lynched and stuff," and won them to his point of view. He was building his faction.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I always said it and he used to tell me about how he was the leader of his gang in Portland, you see--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and you had to fight the gang on the next block. And you all, and, and that he, and he used to tell about it. And of course he wasn't into physical fights by the time I knew him, but how they, they'd lure the other gang into the school-yard and beat hell out of 'em. He never quite got away from the way you fight is--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you get your folks together and you line up your faction and 156:00your gang.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And he didn't do it physically, but he was always doing it that way. He did that. And it quieted down and they didn't, you know, I mean some of 'em may have been a little leery of us after that, but we were there for quite a while after that. I mean, it wasn't something we had to leave over. But we, you know, we felt like that was important. And then--oh, there'd been a thing, I--the women's auxiliary, I talked to 'em and we done--we started a petition drive against the H-bomb, and the women were really interested in that, but some of the men were really upset that we were doing that. They were also upset that the women decided to have a, a dance, 'cause they really believed in black white unity and they preached it and they had, and there were black leaders of that union. But a dance was something else. But we had it and the union hall didn't fall in. But the, but the Korean War started and the Rosenberg Case happened somewhere in there. The communists were going to jail. I--people we 157:00knew of by then all over the country were going to jail. We knew, we didn't think we were going, you know. Um, I had sort of assumed, but that was abstract when I married Carl, that someday he'd go to prison. You know. But in all that witch-hunt we didn't think we'd ever be, we didn't, we, I mean we weren't. We weren't any major players and things. But these things were happening and we didn't feel like we were doing enough, just putting out this paper and this, you had to be doing more. So we wanted to get more in, directly into things that were doing things. And the net result was that over the next few years, um, although as I say I think I'd do it again, feeling like I did then, but our contacts and our, the world we operated in became much more narrow in terms, it was the left world. Whereas--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --we operate in a much broader world. And I think, you know, if you look at it in the long pull, we would have been better off to have had more patience and built that base and stayed there. But feeling like that World War III was right around the corner and fascism was close by--(coughs)--so at that point that's when we got real active in 158:00the Progressive Party, which had continued here. There was a group of people. And we were in touch with 'em, but just, we just weren't going to the meetings and being very active. And began, um, working with all these other things nationally. That's when it began the thing I was describing earlier, that we got on all the mailing lists and everybody was writing us about all the things. But the vehicle that we sort of promoted most of these things was through the Progressive Party. And it was an active group of activists. But it was definitely, and including racial justice issues--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --the Rosenbergs, the Korean War, the Stockholm Peace Petition, um--

FOSL: There was the, uh, I know that was a CRC campaign in '53 that again you were mentioned in this book as having been involved with this co-, like the United Summer Appeal for Children, um, of victims of the Smith--

BRADEN: Yeah, I remember I sent a letter, uh, we'd gotten a letter about 159:00that and I sent a letter to people I knew and didn't get very much response from a lot of people I used to know to get money for that thing. And I didn't get--I remember that. I was mad at some of those people, they didn't respond. But there was, um, oh, the Du Bois Case, when Dr. Du Bois was arrested--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and there was a woman here, I believe that woman's still living who worked very close, a black woman, Lillian Elder got just, dedicated to that case and we got postcards signed, we did all sorts of things. Went to all the churches about it. And, and then this hospital thing came along.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And we got really wrapped up in that when Mary Agnes came to see me about it, said, "I'm, uh," but by that time we really knew them. And there was a real esprit de corps. I can remember, I remember the New Year's Eve party, it just sort of sticks in my mind. We always had a party. We had a lot of parties. But--and I believe it was in '54 before all that happened, so this was later. But just the feeling I had about those people. And we all had a feeling something was gonna happen to all of us.

FOSL: Um-hm.

160:00

BRADEN: And it did--(laughs)--to most of us. Well, but just the feeling of love that we all had for each other because we were in battle. Um, I remember Walter saying, we were standing there in a circle singing or something at this party. There were about twenty or thirty people there at this party. And I re-, but I remember him talking, he said- -and they were talking about people calling us subversive. He says, "You have got to be subversive. You have to be subversive." (laughs) I remember him saying that.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But, but I'd gotten to know them real well. And I got into all this, and we can come back to the McGee Case some other time. But in the course of working on the hospital campaign, we formed an organization called the Interracial Hospital Movement. And we got a lot of people involved. And even though, and we didn't have the reputation, see, we had later, although it just wasn't as well known, people were a little leery of the Progressive Party, but there were, we weren't, we weren't leaders. We weren't the chair of it and stuff. You know, it was just very different from the position Carl and I were 161:00in later. So we got a lot of people involve in that hospital thing 'cause it was an appalling thing. And what we found out at, you know, we didn't know. But after the--this thing happened in Breckinridge County, Hardin County, Breckin-, Hardin County. Anyway it's to the west of here. Um, was that none of the hospitals in Louisville admitted blacks, practically. The general hospital, public hospital did and was totally segregated. Most of the, the private ones, none of 'em did, including the Episcopal. And that's when I got back into the Episcopal Church. I hadn't gone to church at all. We'd gotten married in the Unitarian Church. But we went to see--oh, I don't want to take a lot of time on this now. We went to--we had heard about this white minister who was pretty good and a couple of us were riding around one Saturday afternoon taking petitions, we had petitions, about the hospital thing. Stopped to see him, Albert Dalton, we got to know him real well and, and he got very active and became chair of this Interracial Hospital Movement. But he called me up, I remember the next ----------(??), said, "I hear you're an Episcopalian." I don't know how he found that out. He said, "Why don't you come to church?" I said, "Well, I don't know. Just been busy doing other things. And 162:00then it--church doesn't seem to be doing much." So--but he talked me into coming to church.

FOSL: And what year--

BRADEN: And we got scared--

FOSL: --was that?

BRADEN: --that, that well, that's what I don't remember exactly when that hospital thing happened. But I think it was maybe summer or fall of '50. Could have been spring of '50. But it was in there somewhere. But that--and, but in the course of that I went one day to this Baptist ministers and deacons meeting, 'cause we were going to all kinds of different groups to get support for that hospital campaign. And I went and spoke and told 'em what we were doing and distributed the petitions. I asked 'em to circulate 'em. And see, you gotta remember I was still a, had, knew nothing. (laughs) Well, we were reaching out to some whites, but I had no concept that, you know, it wasn't my job to be organizing the blacks.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But um, but they took petitions and there was this old guy named Reverend J. C. Olden, came up to me afterwards and said, he said, "I'd like five of 'em." Found out later he didn't have a church, but he'd 163:00been around a long time and he was sort of very well respected by the other ministers. But he was a, he was a militant. I didn't know it at the time. Well, he was a radical, but he was a militant. So we didn't have any car then. And--yet. And so I took orders. But--well I guess I'd given out all the petitions I had. That's what it was. So I took orders for petitions and he wanted five and he--so I got the addresses of people that wanted 'em.

And so sometime that next week I went on my, out on my bicycle to deliver the petitions to people, including to Reverend Olden. So I took him and I went and rang the doorbell and it was down here on Madison somewhere, I think he lived. We were living over on Main Street in a--right on the edge of Portland, the first apartment that Carl and I had. And, um, so he came to the door and took the peti-, I said, "Here are the petitions, you know, you said you'd circulate." And he thanked me and so forth and, and so, then he looked out and he said, "Oh, 164:00how you gonna get back to where you're going?" I said, "Oh, I got my bicycle out here." He said, "You're on a bicycle?" And I said, I said, "Yeah, that's what I travel around on." And he said, "Well, are--," he said, "I'm--," he said, "well, I--," he said, "well, let me get you a ride. I don't think you who'd be riding the bicycle." It was at night, you see. "You shouldn't be riding a bicycle around." I said, "Oh no, I ride a bicycle all the time, so I'll be fine," so I left. Well, that impressed him so--I didn't think anything about it. He, he told that story about the bicycle, he told it a thousand times after that.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: He called me up the next day, he said, "I really want to talk to you. Would I come down to one of these lawyer's offices on Walnut." He didn't have a church or an office. So--and he says, "And I'll think, and maybe I can do more on the petition drive," or something. So I went down and talked to him. I can't remember whether Carl went along or not. But then he, he got very much involved in it and became the co-chair, once--after we found Dalton, of this Interracial Hospital 165:00Movement, which got to be a big thing. Um, but he had a little organization that he called an organization and he did. He could call some people--called the Militant Church Movement that had been fighting racial justice battles. And I had never heard of 'em at the time I was at the paper looking for things, you know. But it was well known in the church community. It's just how, you know, it's that same two worlds--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that you, I mean I could--somebody told me about the NAACP, nobody had told me about the Militant Church Movement. People in the black community knew about it and they knew Reverend Olden, he was just widely respected. And, um, and with the ministers there, even though he didn't have a church, but he was always raising hell about something, about segregation here there or wherever. So, but he developed a real affection for me and for Carl and we just, we began to work together. And also another black minister that he--was a part of his Militant Church Movement called Reverend Perdue, who lived much on-, Reverend Olden died before our sedition case started, right before. I remember Carl--we, we went to the funeral. Carl spoke at 166:00the funeral. But we worked together real close. And so I sort of had that connection and others. And Reverend Perdue later joined the SCEF board and he--but he really supported, he was one person who was not afraid all during that sedition thing, Perdue wasn't. And he--I think his widow still lives around here. But he would, he, and all the time when people told him not to associate with us he always did. He was a part of Reverend Olden's movement. But Olden was dead by then. But I had developed this sort of relationship with the black ministers meeting through that, you see.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And--but it, the bicycle was what got him because he thought that the ne-, he thought a white woman would be afraid, you see, to be in a black--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --neighborhood. And that--there must be something different about me. So he would always tell that story. Carl used to laugh about it. And he said, "After the revolution we're gonna put a monument to that bicycle somewhere--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --because--(laughs)--but so how I got into this was that that, because I had that sort of, uh, you know, I went to the Baptist ministers meeting about various things at different times. So when 167:00the, when I came back from the meeting in Chicago where they talked about the McGee Case, I think I called Reverend Olden or maybe Perdue or some of the others I knew at that, by then, said, "I really wanted to go and I needed to raise some money to go." And um, "On one of these delegations to Mississippi." So I went to the meeting and talked about the McGee Case which, they may or may not have been aware of, because if you read the left press you were, but not necessarily. But they, and they raised the money for me to go.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And maybe enough for Alberta's fare too. I don't remember, probably so. Probably that was them. And, um, so I think I shouldn't- -I, I can talk more about that when we have more time. But that was sort of the connection there. And that was, you see, but this thing- -and I should find that letter you've heard me quote so from Patterson, 'cause it was after I got back--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --when I wrote Patterson. I went back and reported to the black ministers meeting and, you know, they were very impressed. Uh, you know, with, here's this white woman doing all these things. And I began to get these invitations to go speak at churches and then Patterson wrote me I shouldn't be going around speaking at the black churches.

FOSL: Hmm.

168:00

BRADEN: See. And that was when--and other people. Well, I had begun to get some of that in the Progressive Party, you know, but that was the real sh-, sharp thing, that my job was to talk to white people.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And it was all new to me. So I've understood, you know, how so many whites have had trouble learning that. But at least I learned it fifteen years before the SNCC people--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --had to learn it. (laughs) But um, and that's when he said the thing about the other America. But--and I've got that letter somewhere.

FOSL: That would be great.

BRADEN: It's a beautiful letter. Hmm?

FOSL: That would be great to have.

BRADEN: Well, I don't know if it's here or in Wisconsin, but it's, it's here. And I've always wondered how--why he took time to write to me. Because I must have looked like just this little racist, you know, with--wasn't dry behind the ears obviously. And it's always made me feel bad that I haven't sometimes taken time to write to people that are--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --at this important stage of their lives and I don't see it ----------(??). And he was, I'm sure, busier than I've ever been. But he found time to write that letter. And sure, it was a major factor in 169:00my life.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: But anyway, we can talk a little more about the McGee Case and what happened when I got there. And, you know, I went back to Laurel when I was, um, well I wasn't even in Laurel in '51. We were in Jackson.

FOSL: Oh, you never went to Laurel?

BRADEN: Oh no, no. We went to Jackson.

FOSL: Oh, I didn't understand.

BRADEN: No, we were in Jackson trying to see the governor.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But I don't think we have time to go into that now. But when I was doing the pamphlet on the, the letter of white women, which I thought you'd seen, the people at SCEF asked me to do that, working on the Watsley Case (??) which we thought was a rape frame-up. I still think so. But they wanted me to write out on my experience about the McGee Case.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And um, and there were things I didn't remember, really. And I, I, I was interested in finding out more, sort of, about it, you know 'cause I went on to other things after that. And what people were saying in Laurel then and I went down there to Laurel. I remember Ken Lawrence who then worked with SCEF went with me. And uh, by that time, that was when SCEF was working with the pulpwood workers in that area 170:00and I was down there for some stuff related to SCEF, anyway. But I went to the library and looked up a lot of stuff, in fact I got a lot of clippings from the Laurel paper from--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --that time. And a lot of pictures that I got--actually I got those I believe from the Daily Worker file.

FOSL: Are those here or are they in Madison?

BRADEN: No, I think I still have all that McGee file upstairs--

FOSL: I'd love to see it.

BRADEN: --somewhere. Um, and then I kind of wrote about the experience in this pamphlet. And later I revised it a little bit. I never was satisfied with it. Southern Exposure wanted me to bring it up to date and for that women's issue they did, and they also wanted me to review Susan Brown Miller's book in the same thing. And I was--I never liked that article although, because it was too much to do in one article. And I was--tried to sort of redo the letter to white women and in that context it, it never worked as far as--so I didn't like it. But the pamphlet we really circulated a lot. And I still get people writing me for a copy of that pamphlet.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: They've seen it somewhere. And it's just a different sort of viewpoint from some--than many people put on paper--

171:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --recently.

FOSL: I think I actually have seen it. But I--it was, like, before I ever had this idea or--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --you know, so I'd like to see it. Well, why don't we call it--

BRADEN: Yeah, well, you should eat something.

[Pause in recording.]

FOSL: Okay, well why don't we do that? Why don't we just take the decade of the thirties and focus on that.

BRADEN: Okay, I hadn't really given it any thought. So, you know, till this minute, so I sort of might be out, disconnected. And that's why, I mean, you wouldn't want to put in a--that's the only difference, I think, sometimes. But I think some of the personal experience that way too, Cate, I think it all could be um, improved by some editing and not just--

FOSL: Well--

BRADEN: --stream of consciousness--

FOSL: --right--

BRADEN: --stuff.

FOSL: Right. And you know, maybe even picking pieces out of both things you've already written and said. I mean there is some really good--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --little meaty quotes in some of these earlier interviews I've read.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

172:00

FOSL: Your arm is really looking better.

BRADEN: Yeah, it's better. It's just I gotta straighten it out. I believe that it's--I think it's gonna improve. I don't think it's ever gonna get really straight. But I think it's gonna improve. I think ----------(??), I've already, looking pretty good at ----------(??), you ought to have seen it last night. Well, okay, so let me just think out loud. (pause) Well, I spent the thirties in Alabama for the most part, certainly till the end of the thirties. But I came back, I always forget when we moved to Anniston. It was in November and I 173:00think it was '30 'cause I, I always have this memory that Roosevelt became president soon after that. But I was seven, I know I was seven. So if I was born in '24, we must have gone there in the spring of--I mean in the fall of '31.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And Roosevelt wasn't elected till the fall of '32, so that was really a year later. And I get kind of mixed up about that 'cause I was only seven years old. But so that was '31. And we really came there--we lived in Little Rock for a couple of months that fall, but I never--just for a couple of months. I went to school in Little Rock. But for some reason my father went there to work for a few months. And before that I had been in Columbus, Mississippi, when I was, let's see, I was seven--no, no, I hadn't, I'd been in Kentucky. We'd moved at--from Mississippi we'd come back to Kentucky. That was it. We moved around a good bit in those first years. After I was 174:00seven we never moved again. But I had started to school in Columbus, Mississippi when I was five. And I was supposed to be in kindergarten and my mother took me--it was the, to a private kindergarten. It was the, uh, the training school or something for college there, Mississippi College for Women, I think. It was a women's college. I can't remember the name of it. I guess it's probably still there in some form. And, um, I was a little bit big for my age, which I wasn't later. So they kind of thought maybe I should be in the first grade. But I, I tested to, um, ahead of the kindergarten level so they went on and put me in the first grade, which they wouldn't do now. But they did that in those days. So I was always a year ahead of myself, other years. And, um, um, and I remember that test. Isn't that funny? 175:00I remember some of that test. They don't, they didn't test children as much as they do now. Now life is one test after another, I think it's awful. But did I tell you about that? The day that I remembered that--why they thought I was so smart? And I don't know how it did--and I, I haven't been able, I've tried to find--see we had a black servant. We never had, yeah that's one thing, my family didn't have full-time servants. I think they couldn't afford 'em. But they always--Mother had somebody came and cleaned one day or something, a week. And once in a while would take care of us, but you know, I didn't have that experience of the black nurse I was so fond of 'cause Mother took care of her children and, you know, she might and there were, I don't think we ever heard the word sitter. I don't know what women did with children. There weren't any sitters in those days. I think--

FOSL: I've heard of actually, um, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn says the same thing, there were no sitters in the thirites. Never heard of it.

BRADEN: I never heard of this, a sitter. I mean I never heard the term. And, and we didn't have a nurse. So if Mother went somewhere, I think 176:00I usually went to stay with a friend and she had good friends. And the friends had nurses.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I know my best friend Lucy, um, who lived next door to us, before they moved away, but they had full-time servants and they had a woman there and I, I can remember being there in the afternoons, I guess, if Mother was doing something. But I don't know what other people did. Most people in her social category had nurses. Anyway, she--there was and I don't remember the woman that much or in Columbus or I'm not even sure I remember her name. But there was a holiday that was important to blacks. And the funny thing is, I have not been able to ever find anybody who knew about this, the eighth, eighth of May. But they call it the Eight of May. And it was supposed to--it was Emancipation Day. That was--I, I don't know that I knew that word. But that's what it was. But that's real strange because Emancipation Day, I mean, I haven't been able to figure it out, is celebrated on January 1st some places and in Mississippi it's celebrated a lot on June 19th. They 177:00call it Juneteenth, there's a day in June that's a big--still, they like, in Holmes County, they have a thing on Juneteenth.

FOSL: Nineteenth?

BRADEN: But I think it's the 19th, I'm not sure. But--and I've asked several people is the eighth of May something? Well, I think what really happened after the Civil War was that slaves were freed at different times in different places so it was celebrated different times. And I really hadn't, I mean I've had--pursued it, but I never have been able to find out in, um, you know, more recent years what that eight, but she would talked about the Eight of May. And she had to be off from work because it was the eighth of May, Eight of May. So anyway when--on the test, one of the questions they asked me was, what is the date of today? And I figured it up from the eight of May, eighth of May, which had been about a week before and put it down.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But I remember it 'cause Mother asked me later, 'cause I guess they let her see it, said, "How did you know what the--(laughs)--date 178:00was?" And I told her that I had counted back and figured up 'cause I remember when the eighth of May was, and they thought that was real smart. (laughs) Anyway, they put me in the first grade. But it's funny I remember that. And the, so, and I guess I stayed there all that year. And then we came to Kentucky and lived in Owensboro and I was in the second grade in Owensboro and that was a cold winter. I remember walking to school in that cold, twenty-two below zero, I remember that one sum-, one day. And then that was the second grade. And then toward the end of that school year we moved to Lexington and didn't live there, I think just part of that, part of that school year and through the summer. And I had some good friends there, I remember playing in Lexington. Friends--two girls who were daughters of my mother's best college friend lived about a block from us and I 179:00was there all summer. But in the fall we went to Little Rock and I started the third grade there and we just stayed a couple of months then we went to Anniston. So and that was '31. So essentially I spent the thirties in Anniston. And, and of course I knew nothing about what was going on outside of my own life. Even in the late thirties I'd say, you know, I should try to remember about that. But I don't really remember anything sort of going on around me that impinged on me that much except some sort of--well, there were, there were some things in terms of the Depression. I knew about being, people being hungry and poor. But I mean, but that, when you think about what was happening in Alabama then, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Scottsboro Case, which I think started in '31.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I'll have to check that date. But that date is what sticks in my mind, was in '31. And uh--

180:00

FOSL: That's right.

BRADEN: Do you have a date? A time of year?

FOSL: I don't have a date, just 1931.

BRADEN: It wouldn't be hard to find out. It might have been that fall which or it could have been earlier. But there's so many, so many books written on it and I've--

FOSL: There's The Strange Car-, Career of Jim Crow right, well, I guess that was--

BRADEN: Well, that's about Jim Crow laws. Yeah.

FOSL: Yeah, right. But um--

BRADEN: But I've, I've got the book that that guy, one of the defense lawyers ----------(??) the non-communist, part of the defense wrote about the case, They Shall Be Free--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --somewhere, by the book, he was sort of anti-communist. But they eventually all worked together. Well, anyway, that's not hard to find out. They, you know, I've got these things upstairs, some of 'em have gotten scattered, called Labor Fact Book. It was put out by Labor Research--

FOSL: I saw that.

BRADEN: --which is a ea-, they put out each year and which is a, sort of a documentation of things that happened in the year.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Not just labor things, it was certainly labor things. But they included other things too. And I found in recently, it's a 181:00good reference on looking back about when things happened that you'd forgotten. And I used to have 'em for every year. Not sure I have all of 'em now, but anyway, the Scottsboro Case was, was going on in that decade. And I think was a, a real turning point as I've talked to people about it and read about it since in terms of several things. In terms of the, the country and the world, I think, being made aware of the atrocities that were being committed against blacks in the South. Which, of course, well all, you can't believe people didn't know it before, but it certainly dramatized it. And a feeling that people could organize about it. And a certain, and, and to a certain degree an organization, I think, within the black community in, um, Alabama.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Although there was such repression, I think, that it was, um, 182:00hard for--I'm sure it was [telephone rings] almost impossible for some people to be openly identified with the Scottsboro defense in Alabama. Um, but one of the things that Rosa Parks told me when I interviewed her one time was that, um, her husband, who by the time she became so involved later was really not involved in the movement. He had a lot of problems, which won't, didn't want to talk about in print. But he was, I think he was sort of an alcoholic. And--

VOICE ON ANSWERING MACHINE: Hi, it's Gary Washington. Um, sorry about these calls from Atlanta. (laughs)

BRADEN: You want to pick it up? You want to pick it up?

VOICE ON ANSWERING MACHINE: But, uh, Cate, if you get in any time soon, give me a call. I'll, I ought to be here--

BRADEN: Push that.

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: --maybe having a good time by himself.

FOSL: I'm sure he's having a great time. There's really no doubt in my mind that he is.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: But, you know, anyway. So where were we?

183:00

BRADEN: The Scottsboro Case.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Well, I was talking about Rosa Parks. One of the things she told me one time about her husband, who when they were just a young couple and, um, I don't know when they got married, but somewhere in there, and, um, she wasn't all that active then. But her husband was active then in things. And she can remember--and it kind of reminded me with, of Carl talking about his father and his friends sitting around the table counting the money they had collected to send to the revolutionaries in Russia. That they, that her husband and his friends would come in, they'd been collecting money for the Scottsboro Case--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --and they would draw all the blinds--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --so that nobody could see in and they would put the money out on the kitchen table and count it and they'd collected money for the Scottsboro Case. That was in Montgomery. So, you know, that was just one instance, and I suspect there were a lot of other people that that was happening. And, um, and what I don't know, I'd like to look again at some of those books on the Scottsboro Case, I think that ultimately 184:00there were a good many people in Alabama, black and white I think, who spoke out on the Scottsboro Case. I think John Temple Graves may have. I'm not sure. You know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It's interesting. You had him down, 'cause I thought of him as a reactionary later. But he may have been considered something of a liberal then. I think he might have sup-, supported the Southern Conference in the beginning, I'm not sure.

FOSL: Right, he did. He was at the founding meeting.

BRADEN: Yeah, well see, yeah, but he, by the time I was really-- (laughs)--he was, I thought, pretty reactionary. But he probably--he may have on the, and maybe, maybe that is true of the Montgomery paper, ----------(??) Grover Hall who played a--

FOSL: I don't know.

BRADEN: Grover Hall. That name is--he was sort of a liberal and he--I know he spoke out on something atroc-, atrocities that involved blacks and it may have been the Scottsboro Case--

FOSL: In what years?

BRADEN: It'd be worth--well, it would have been the thirties. 'Cause that's when--

FOSL: Oh, then he was the--

BRADEN: --the case--

FOSL: --editor? I got it.

BRADEN: Um-hm, that's when the case was going on. And, and, you know, eventually they--their death sentences were commuted and, you know, one 185:00of 'em escaped. It went on for years. And, um, one of 'em recently died. I think the last one, maybe just recently died.

FOSL: Yeah, I think that's right.

BRADEN: ----------(??). But anyway, that was, um, but I don't remember hearing anything about the Scottsboro Case. I, I certainly don't--

FOSL: --not a word--

BRADEN: --I don't remember it at all. But I wasn't, you know, I don't remember reading the papers. It was, I assume in the papers.

FOSL: Well you were pretty small.

BRADEN: Well, I was seven in '31. By '39, though, I finished high school in '41, so I was a sophomore in high school. But during those mid years in the thirties I was in elementary school, but, um, and I think I probably--I kept up with some things and I must have read the paper. I mean, you know, I, I can--at school you had current events, right?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I think once a week you had to bring in a current event. You know. (laughs)

FOSL: I can't imagine that would have been the kind of thing they would a put in the Weekly Reader though in--

BRADEN: No.

FOSL: --Anniston, Alabama.

186:00

BRADEN: No, it wasn't the Weekly Reader, but it was probably something like that.

FOSL: But you know what I mean.

BRADEN: Yeah. But I did--now I was kind of aware of things going on in the world. I knew about fascism, I mean I'd heard about it and about Hitler. And, um, and Mussolini and communism in Russia and how bad that was, and Stalin. 'Cause I told you, you know, I did the, or-, oration about how bad those things were--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --compared to democracy. I was probably more of aware of world things in the terms I was being told than the Alabama things, I bet you. You know. I think probably looking back on it.

FOSL: And what year was it probably that you would have done that kind-- the oratory thing?

BRADEN: I don't know. I'm, I could, I might have something in the--oh, I've got some old scrapbooks up there somewhere back in a cubby-hole when I cleaned out my mother's house, the first time in Alabama, which was ten years ago, that I brought that might have something on that. But probably I was a junior in high school, maybe, which would have been about 1940 if it was that--no, I doubt I was younger than that. Probably junior--I don't think it was my senior year. Um, but so I, I 187:00hadn't even thought of that before, but I bet I was more aware of world issues in terms of people talked about 'em, whether they were in our papers, than I was Alabama issues, anything racial or labor. I know there was--of course there was a lot going on on that. The other thing that was, among the other things that were happening was that I learned about later was there were un-, there was quite an unemployed movement in Birmingham. You can get that from--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Hosea Hudson's books.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: 'Cause he was involved in that. And I'd like to refresh my recollection so that, you know, but, that there will be a bit more about that if you're talking about the thirties in Alabama. It was strong all through the South. And it was always black and white, that was the interesting thing to me. And there were big--I know there were big marches in Atlanta. That's what got, um, Angelo Herndon in trouble.

188:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Which was, uh, that un-, big unemployment march in Atlanta. I forget which year it was. I think that was early thirties. Um, but I think that there were marches in Birmingham too, I think I re-, remember reading that in, maybe in Hosea Hudson's first book, the one, Black Worker in the Deep South and he really wrote it himself. And it may be--

FOSL: You've got that around here somewhere.

BRADEN: Yeah, I've got that. I don't think I have Nell Painter's book. Now that's a book I know I have.

FOSL: Yeah, you have it.

BRADEN: Did you find it?

FOSL: Yeah I found it--(laughs)--but I--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: I want to find that. It's a beautiful, wonderful poem, "In Egypt Land" I believe is the name of it.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But it's the story of this pitch battle, well--of town farmers, black and white, together, defending themselves against an attack from the sheriff's office or something. But it's also the basis--and he tells it as in this poem. And it really happened. And I forget the town in Alabama, because there was a lot of organization going on among town farmers and it did cross racial lines.

FOSL: What's the poet's--

BRADEN: Now I don't--

FOSL: --name again?

BRADEN: John Beecher.

FOSL: Beecher.

189:00

BRADEN: And I knew him. He was on the SCEF board in the late fif-, or he wasn't when--I think he had left the South, so, he, maybe he wasn't on the board. He used to come to some of our meetings. And then during the sixties he was back teaching at Miles College in Birmingham.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, I can remember him being at some SCEF meetings. And I remember he could not deal with the concept of black power. You know. He was, he was a different generation. He--I remember he was at the meeting where Stokely Carmichael came in Nashville to, um, in '67, that's when--right before the uprising in Nashville and that became all involved in the McShurley (??) and the, in the sedition case in Kentucky. I mean in terms of what--they, they accused us of stirring up that riot. But the--Stokely came to our board to talk about black power. And I remember John Beecher was there and he just could not cope with it. He just and I think that generation of people couldn't.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But, um, well he was a great poet. He wrote some other things 190:00too. But that story, because there'd been, I don't want to say a lot, you know, I don't really know. But these, and maybe nobody knows, but the te-, Southern Tenant Farmers' Union was active in Alabama--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --and of course there were all kinds of struggles going on within that between the communists and the socialists and, and, um, um, H. L. Mitchell who's still alive--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --in Montgomery and loves to talk about the past, apparently, and he and Virginia have--are on, are good friends now, they were, I think, on different camps. He was very anti-communist, you see, and he was trying to run the--he's written a book. Have you read it?

FOSL: I've seen it. I haven't read it.

BRADEN: I, I, you know, a lot of these things I really would like to read.

FOSL: What's the name of that book, do you know?

BRADEN: What is the name of that book? I don't know. But we could find out easy, he ----------(??) but it's, it purports to be, and I guess is from his point of view, a story of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But the other person, of course, that I knew--I met H. L. Mitchell briefly. And I interviewed him when I did that Southern Exposure thing on Eldridge (??). Um, but, um, was Claude Williams that 191:00I knew real well. And we worked with him some. Well, I say I knew him real well, but he was of course old by the time I knew him. But he had been--he was more aligned with the communists and he had and H. L. Mitchell did not get on. And I don't understand all that split. But there was that going on. But--and I'm not sure whether Claude worked in Arkansas some and H. L. Mitchell did too. I've--I'm under the impression that the main--strongest base of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union was Arkansas for some reason.

FOSL: That's right.

BRADEN: And I don't know why. But it was also active in Alabama. And this particular thing happened in some little town in Alabama where they fought this battle to defend themselves, sort of, if I recall. And were defeated I think. But that is also the basis of this book that became quite well known a few years ago, There's Mean Things Happening in the Land. Remember that?

FOSL: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: Which is a--one of the first kind of books in our period that 192:00got a lot of attention, it's straight oral history.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And it's this guy that tells his story. I haven't read that and I've never had it--

FOSL: --I haven't read it. But I've seen and I've thought about it--

BRADEN: --but that's something I'd really like to get. Because--and he was one of the people who was involved in this thing that Beecher wrote the poem about. It's the same incident. But I think there's the book, his book I think goes into his whole life and the whole background. ----------(??) I imagine ----------(??) for you. So the farmers were organized to a certain extent. Um, the um--(pause)--unions were trying to organize in Alabama. See, the CIO was formed--do you remember which year the CIO was formed? I think--

FOSL: Um, '35.

BRADEN: --thirty-five? '35, yeah. Um, and John L. Lewis sort of led a walk out, didn't he, or something from the AF of L?

193:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: 'Cause Carl--I remember Carl talking about that. Carl was in Harlan, Kentucky at that point. Carl had started working on the old, um, Herald Post was a newspaper here then, went out of existence later, that was a competitor of the Courier-Journal. He was a police reporter and that was his early experience here. But then he left Louisville for, I forget which year, but he worked in Harlan and he worked in Knoxville and maybe somewhere else before he went to Cincinnati and stayed there about ten years before he came back to Louisville. But he was in Harlan, Kentucky. And, um, I remember him talking about when the CIO was formed that he was following what was happening at that convention. I forget where it was, but, you know, it had been brewing for some time of the, of industrial workers trying to organize. And, and my understanding is they were able to begin to do it because John L. Lewis had the base and the mine workers and gave the support. 194:00But--and when they broke away and formed the CIO, Carl was running the paper, this little Harlan paper there. And made it a banner headline on the front page because it was one of the major stories of the century, this--from his point of view, the beginning of the, that new labor organization. And the owner of the paper just got livid and said, "What are you doing putting this in the paper?" He said, "Well, it's the biggest story that's happened in a long time." He says, "But we live on coal here. You can't be putting these things in the paper." So he didn't stay there very long. So but--and I don't know when they really began organizing in Alabama. But the thing that impressed--one of the things that impressed me in reading Hosea Hudson's story was the way the black workers were really the first ones to try to organize.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, for whatever reason, you know, I mean you could figure out a theory on it. They were probably the worst off and they had the least to lose, I guess. But when the white workers were really afraid to 195:00organize, they began organizing in the mines in Alabama. And of course the mine workers--(coughs)--had been around for a long time. But they didn't have those mines around Birmingham organized. And--of course the steel mills were all unorganized. And I think that, I think Hosea himself was working in a mine and that that's where he was organizing. Although I may be wrong about that because he was also active in the steel workers. Or maybe he was in mine mill and smelter too; I mean I'd like to check on some of these things. But he was a spark plug of the beginning of the organizing and so were other black workers. And the white workers began to join 'em. But it really started with the black workers, and a lot of people don't realize that. And I, I--sometimes when I talk about the kind of theme that seems to me to run through history of the, the push of the blacks for freedom, always being the motor force that pushes history forward for people. (coughs) I use that as an example, that it was black workers in the South that 196:00began to organize and kept on organizing even during the witch-hunt--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --when the whites got scared to death, like in Memphis. I did an interview for The Patriot--(coughs)--with a great guy, I forget his name but it's in The Patriot who was with the, um, um, he was with the old food and tobacco workers, but by the time I interviewed him, he's, it was, it was a different union. And he was telling me about what happened in the fifties or in the late forties during the--(coughs)- -Cold War and the way their union was decimated by that, because the whites all got scared and left. The blacks stuck with it. And by the time that I'd talked to him in the late sixties, I guess it was or very early seventies, and he's now dead, um, their union was almost entirely black. They had rebuilt it--

FOSL: The what?

BRADEN: --(coughs)--but they never really won back those white workers who went off and formed their other union, another union or something. 197:00They were divided. But they had been together and he tells about how they first began to organize there in Memphis in the cotton gins where conditions were so bad. And, um, but that some way--as he put it, I'm trying to think how he put it. That when the, when they began to charge 'em with being communists during the-- (coughs)--witch-hunts in the Cold War in the late forties, and they were trying to break the union, and they charged the, and the, and the whites were, uh, charged them with being nigger lovers and communists. And which it was that got to 'em, he wasn't sure. But they just couldn't stand all that. So most of 'em--(coughs)--fell away--(coughs)--and went off and or-, eventually organized some other union. (coughs) It was never as strong. A good friend of mine, Mike Honey who used to work with SCEF, he's not from the South, he's from Michigan. But he spent some time--a 198:00lot of time in Memphis--(coughs)--he's now gotten his PhD in history. (coughs) He's teaching--was in Connecticut, he's out in the state of Washington now, but he's done his doctoral thesis on the Cold War and the labor movement in Memphis, which I'm--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --dying to read, which is a detailed study of this period that I was talking about. (coughs) Of course the same thing happened in Birmingham. (coughs)'Cause eventually--(coughs)--eventually Hosea, you know, got to be kind of a leader in the union movement there. And eventually he was put out--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --of the CIO or of the central labor body, CIO council I guess and really run out of town. And the Ku Klux Klan took over the steel workers there. I mean, literally. By the time that I became active in the fifties or began talking to people in Birmingham. The Ku Klux Klan was operating out of steel workers' headquarters, literally.

199:00

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: That's s-, kind how it degenerated. But that wasn't true in the thirties. And, um, so that was going on. And then of course in 1938 was when they had the big meeting in Birmingham to form the Southern Conference. And I never heard anything about that, although I'm sure that must have been s-, considerably publicized at the time and you could find clippings on that.

FOSL: Oh, there's a lot. Yeah, I've got--

BRADEN: Okay.

FOSL: --a lot about that.

BRADEN: I mean I'm sure it was news. It wasn't ignored by the press. Um, and--(pause)--E.D. Nixon was active in Montgomery in that period already. He was in the, um, Pullman Porters Union, you know. And he's 200:00talked a lot--I don't think there's been a book on him, but I think Tom Gardner may be writing one. There've been a lot of interviews with him. But what he was, as I've heard him tell it, what he was doing in that period, he was trying to build the NAACP and that was in the thirties and that was worth your life, because people were afraid to join--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --the NAACP. But he was doing that and they, um, a lot of it was fighting cases when blacks were getting pushed around in one way or another in court cases, of helping people get into court with their cases and he would go to court with them. And sometimes he would go and take some people to go see the governor and people were even afraid to go see the governor. I know he told me about one time that nobody would go and he said, "Well, I'm going." You know. And um--

FOSL: Who was governor?

BRADEN: I don't know. I'll have to try and -----------(??). I think he ----------(??) too. I may have mentioned that in the thing I wrote 201:00then. See, I did an interview with him for the Patriot and then I did that op-ed when he died.

FOSL: Yeah, I've seen that interview. I just saw it a few days ago and I did jot down the day ----------(??)--

BRADEN: In the Patriot?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But also I, and I wrote the, I wrote a long op-ed about him for the Guardian when he died a few years ago. I guess I used some of that same material. But that--you know, that was in the thirties and Rosa had gotten active in the thirties--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --although I think it was more into the early forties when she was the most active. But she was working with him. She was secretary of the branch of the NAA then. And she says--and they were sort of-- she says they were going door to door trying to get people to join the NAACP. She can remember them doing that. Now that may have been more forties than thirties.

FOSL: I think it was. I'm not sure.

BRADEN: Well, I think he was active--I know he was active in the thirties and I think they already had an NAACP branch. Um, and then I think the whole thing is sort of, um, something that I would want to go 202:00into in more detail about the organization of the Southern Conference ----------(??). But--oh, the other person who was around that I didn't know, that of course came to know well later is Fred Shuttlesworth, who was, I'm trying to remember whether Fred was born in Birmingham. He-- now he spent some of his young life around Selma, um, but part of it in Birmingham and he and I are just about exactly the same age. I think he's maybe two years younger than me. So he was growing up partly there in Birmingham and partly down around Selma when I was growing up in Anniston, you know, and deciding to be a minister. And I think trying to figure out what he was gonna do about the way things were. 203:00Um, but really didn't become active, of course, when he was too young, until the early fifties. That's when he became active, and mainly when they outlawed the NAACP, although he had gone to Birmingham to take a church, that's what it was, in the fifties. And, and he'd gotten into the NAACP. But when they outlawed the NAACP is when he brought together the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights that became the, sort of spearhead of the movement then.

FOSL: When was that outlawed? Do you--

BRADEN: That's not hard to find. It was, um, it was either '54 or '55. His house was bombed at Christmas '56 and that would have been after he got really active and had done a number of things. So it was probably '54 or '55. It was after the Supreme Court decision, I know, because it was partly a reaction to that. And he tells a lot of--we- -I'm jumping ahead, but he can tell you a lot of stories about how he 204:00organized that and how scared everybody was. And--the other preachers and stuff. But he was there. And I--of course I didn't know him. Um, and then there was Joe Gelders, whom I never knew. But I knew his, um, 'cause he died in 1950 by which time he had left the South and left the movement and was really, I guess, pretty tired and, and some people think disillusioned. Although his niece, who was so, um, worshiped him, told me when I was thinking about writing a pamphlet about him that that just wasn't so. That she was seeing him all through those years and he wasn't disillusioned or anything else, but he'd become inactive and he really--never got over the injury when he was beaten.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I'm--I forget what year that was, but that's easy to find 205:00out. Which--it was in the thirties of course. But he was the--his, um, aunt was Emma Gelders Sterne. And she had married a Sterne. The Sterne family, there were Sternes in Birmingham. But there were also Sternes in Anniston--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN:--and they were a very prominent Jewish family in Anniston. And there was a lot of anti-Semitism of a, of a southern type in Anniston, and I guess Birmingham too. Um, although it was, it was a strange thing, there were not many Jewish families in Anniston. And there was a small synagogue and it was, not had many members, but I never heard of but a few Jewish families. Um, and they were very prominent, uh, and they tended to have a good bit of money. One--I think this 206:00particular family was lawyers mainly. And they were widely respected. There was a young woman who was a contemporary of my brother, four years older than me so she and I weren't close with--but, where I knew her 'cause we all went to the same Episcopal Church, Carlton Sterne. She was a brilliant woman. She's still in--living there in Anniston, married and raised her children there. Um, and she was the younger generation of that family. And she was sort of one of the, the crowd in high school. But the Sterne family couldn't belong to the country club, they didn't admit any Jews. And there were just some things that Jews were not permitted to do, and there was an undercurrent of anti- Semitism and yet they lived with it, you know--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and were accepted on some levels, which is a strange thing. But the attitude of the white gentiles in Alabama made a very great 207:00dist-, a sharp distinction between Alabama Jews and New York Jews.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: New York Jews were kikes, that's what they called 'em. And they--people--I can remember people in Anniston always complaining because the kikes were taking over the University of Alabama they said. There were a lot of Jews from New York came to the University of Alabama, for some reason--(laughs)--I don't know why they wanted to come. But they had their, and they had their own fraternities, 'cause the other fraternities wouldn't let 'em in. But they had their own. But there was a lot of resentment. And the people say--and I can remember my own family saying, "Well, the, you know, the, uh, New York Jews are just different from Jews in Alabama." But then New York people generally were different from people in Alabama.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: They were, you know, they were, uh, they were just strange people lived in places like New York. That was the, and but Jews especially. But the Sterne family, you know, had that sort of prominence and Emma Gelders married one of those Sternes.

FOSL: From Anniston or--

208:00

BRADEN: Well, she was from Birmingham. See, the Gelders--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --Joe, this was a sister or sister of Joe. Did I say aunt?

FOSL: You said aunt.

BRADEN: She was a sister. No, she was a sister. She was the same generation as Joe. And they were--they grew up in Birmingham. I, of course I didn't know a thing about Joe Gelders. I had--I never heard of him until, um, I don't think I heard of Joe Gelders until the sixties when I began--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --talking to people about some of this history. But I--but she was a writer of children's books.

FOSL: I've noticed a few of her things.

BRADEN: Well, and she was a radical too, but I didn't know that at the time. Um, well, she wasn't then either. I met her. I knew her, uh, later, much later. But I knew her as a child too. She used to come to--she--because she was married to a Sterne and I forget the exact relationship of that Sterne to the ones in Anniston, but there was a cousin or something, she was married to a Sterne and she would come and visit the Sternes in Anniston occasionally and she was a writer, a 209:00fairly well known writer of children's books. And I can remember, my mother took me to see her. She knew all the Sternes, thought it would be nice for me to meet this writer, 'cause Mother had a bee in her bonnet I should be a writer. And she was sort of, you know, trying to expose me, I think, to people like that. And I can remember visiting with her, going to the place that she was at, this house of these Sternes there in Anniston and talking with her. You know, I was just a little girl I guess.

FOSL: How old?

BRADEN: How old was I?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I don't know whether I was in elementary school, junior high maybe, or something like that. Yeah, junior high probably. And, um, and she--I--you know, she was being nice to--now maybe there was some other, um, people my age there. I'm not sure. I can't remember. But I was very impressed she was a writer. And she lived in New York or some in--which sounded very interesting to me. I thought interesting people--I, I know I always had that idea that--I didn't think those were bad people and it seemed to me kind of interesting people lived in New 210:00York, and especially people who left Anniston and went to New York and writers. There was--there were others. There was--none of the others became radicals that I know of, but I can remember there was a woman, Sara Henderson Hay, she was a poet who came from Alabama. I mean, came from Anniston. She would come back occasionally to visit and I remember my mother taking me to meet her too. She had left Anniston--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and she was living in New York being a poet. And she published poetry. And some people didn't quite approve of her poetry. It wasn't politically radical, but I think it dealt somewhat for that day and age, um, overtly with some sexual themes or something. So it was a little shocking. But she was also admired 'cause--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --she was a successful poet. And I thought she was fascinating. I think I, you know, I sort of had the idea the fascinating world is outside of Anniston. There were mountains surrounding Anniston, so you get over those mountains, there was a world out there that was real interesting. And being a writer was sort of a way to get into that other world, I think I sort of began to get that sense. But 211:00Emma Gelders, um, I met. And then later, much, much later the next I heard of Emma Gelders Sterne was during our sedition case when we were looking for support and she was living in New York and she was with a group called Southerners for Civil Rights, or something. It was a New York--group of southern exiles in New York. That may not be the exact name of it, but they were very--they got interested in our case and gave us a lot of support. And I think I--and I visited her in New York and they raised some money for us and stuff and we talked about Anniston. And so I kind of kept in touch with her that, after that, and she supported SCEF. But I didn't really know her real well then. But later she moved to California and lived in San Jose until she died in the late sixties I guess. And whenever I'd go out there on a SCEF 212:00fundraising trip, she would do a fundraiser or something for SCEF. And on some of those visits I really got to talking with her and she told me something about her life and, and about Joe. But I'd, I'd heard of Joe before. I guess I probably heard of Joe Gelders first probably from Virginia Durr and Jim Dombrowski who really, uh, just adored Joe Gelders. But what had happened with Emma Gelders, when I met her as a child, I realized later she was not a radical, but she got involved through the, the--but Joe was the one that got radicalized early.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And she told me about how Joe used to come to New York in the thirties and he went--came up there to some communist school or something or some kind of and he worked for the International Labor Defense, that's what, what he was--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --which was a--well, that was the thing that took up the Scottsboro Case, as, as I recall, didn't it?

FOSL: Yes.

BRADEN: But he worked for, for them in Alabama for a while. And he would come up there for that and he'd stay with her. And she said 213:00he kept telling her she should do this and get involved in this. And she thought he was just being too far out and stuff like that. She considered us--herself, I think, more of a southern liberal. But she, I think the Cold War radicalized her as I recall her telling her own story. And she later joined the Communist Party, 'cause she--I remember her telling me in California, she said, "You know, I joined the Communist Party at the most dangerous time, when they decided that it was--you couldn't do it. That's when I did it," -- (laughs)--she said. But, but she stayed active all of her life and actually toward the end of her life she's the one who wrote when the, when the Soledad brothers, you know, was the forerunner to the Angela Davis Case, the--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --people in prison, she wrote the, the pamphlet that, that, um, um, that made that case known all over the country. I had it somewhere ----------(??) and she was good, 'cause she was a good writer. But the 214:00books you've seen by her, see, she did a--well, that one--

FOSL: There's one right there. There's one upstairs, at least one upstairs.

BRADEN: She did one that she--and she gave the proceeds to the SCLC, I think on som-, some of the black leaders and the South. And that was on white southerners. She's got a chapter in there on me which is pretty superficial. They took the ----------(??).

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Yeah, she's got one on Bob Zellner.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But it was white southerners in the sixties. And I remember I was out there, she's sitting just like we're sitting here, but it was late at night. And she said, "Now can--sit down and tell me about everything 'cause I'm making a book,"--(laughs)--she said. And it was late one night after a fundraising party, and I did.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But it's, but it's a children's book. It's teenagers, that's what she wrote for--

FOSL: And you'd met her when you were a child?

BRADEN: Yeah. Um-hm.

FOSL: Did she remember that?

BRADEN: Oh yeah, yeah. She knew where I came from and everything. (coughs) But Joe, by that time was dead. And I knew--and--but I had heard about him from Virginia. And now the way Virginia tells the story of Joe, see he--they were a very prominent family in Birmingham, 215:00I guess under sort of the same restrictions as the Sternes in Anniston, but still, but widely respected and so forth, the Gelders. And Joe was a, uh, um, I want to check on some of this, but I'd like--but--at--I think a physics professor. And the way Virginia tells the story, and I, I've told you, I've got a whole box of stuff somewhere on Joe Gelders and I need to look up some of it. And, and his--Emma Gelders' daughter, Barbara Lindsay, who was very politically active in California--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --'cause that's where they all moved to, um, by the time I was around out there in the sixties, um, was really wanted--she knew her father very well and she had--and she's the one who said that he never really stopped believing in what he'd always believed in. He just couldn't be active toward the end of his life. And she was--she got 216:00together some material 'cause she really wanted me to write something about him and wanted something written about him. And we set up kind of a Gelders memorial fund and--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --um, within SCEF that we did certain things with and stuff, but we just--I never got around to writing the thing. And she died I, prematurely. She's about my age or something, she developed something, maybe it was cancer. I don't know. But she--um, but at some point she--oh, I know, she gave us some money. She--(laughs)--Barbara, she told me one time, she must--took a trip to Alabama to talk to one of these rich relatives of hers to talk--to tell, to ask them to leave her some money 'cause they had a lot of it, in their will.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, that she could use for the Civil Rights Movement in memory of Joe. And she said and oh--she said that money came from blacks in the first place. I don't know how they made their money. And they owed it to us. And the people did. So she had this--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --money they'd left. And she started a, she gave some of it to, to SCEF and to some of the southern civil rights things. And she used 217:00it to start a radical bookstore in San Jose. Bread and Roses Bookstore or something.

FOSL: Right, I know that ----------(??).

BRADEN: But--and she wrote me, I've got long kind of things from her. And I'm not--I never quite trust Virginia's memory. But what Virginia always said was that Joe was in some kind of a--well, he was, like a lot of people, of course this was a universal experience apparently in the thirties. And it didn't, it, and well I'll tell you about some of it. And I knew people were hungry and poor. I did know that. And it was oppressive to me. But then I was pretty young. But for people who were a little bit older it was a traumatic experience. That's what happened to Virginia Durr too, really, she tells that--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --in her book and why they were pouring the milk out when people were hungry and all that. She couldn't understand. Well, a lot of people were going through that. And apparently Joe Gelders was one of these. He couldn't understand why people were hungry, and--when there was too much. Same thing. I heard Sam Hall told me the same thing later, and I'll tell you about him in a little bit. But this--they said the same things in, in different words. They could understand why 218:00people were hungry when there wasn't enough food, but why were people hungry when there was too much food. You know. And--but he got hurt in some kind of an accident that was not critical at all. But he was in the hospital and some way somebody brought him a book. I've got to- -that's what I gotta find Virginia's letters and see what the book was. I think it was a book by Lenin. But then I've heard it--another--told another way it was some other book. But it was some, it was a Marxist book and it wasn't the Communist Manifesto, but it was some book by Marx or Lenin. And he read that while he was laid up and, and it was like a light flashed and he said, "Well, this is the answer."

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: So he--after he gets well he goes back to the physics department at the University of Alabama to the department head and puts the book on his desk and said, "We gotta quit do everything else we're 219:00doing and just teach what's in this book cause this is the answer." (laughs) I mean that was how naive he was, according to Virginia. So he didn't last long at the University of Alabama. But from there, then he got involved in, I guess, the Scottsboro Case and some with the CIO organizing and in some way got hooked up with the ILD, the International Labor Defense--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and I think was actually on their staff, but he never taught again--well, he was fired at the University of Alabama. I don't know, just whether only because of the book or whether it was something else happened. And, and then, um, it was the--and then it was during that period that he got abducted off the street by--and I read, when I thought when I was ----------(??), I'd like to look--and in fact I think I photocopied them when I thought I was gonna do something on this pamphlet on him. I was--one summer when I was up Little Compton I went into Providence to the library and looked up the--which they had the, uh, the record of the transcripts of the La Follette Committee 220:00Hearings of the--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --thirties which are fascinating, you know, and I think they're in most libraries. And found the stuff where it, where it, uh, Joe Gelders testified and other people about that incident and other things that happened in Birmingham.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Because there was--Birmingham, it was always a violent place. You know.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: It doesn't even start in the sixties, it just, it was just a violent place, sort of frontier I guess or something. And the, the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company dominated it, you know, that was the company that ran Birmingham. And when they made up their minds that they were gonna integrate in the sixties, they did. And, you know, I mean they ran it. But they were determined to keep the union out. You know. So they were--there was a, all kinds of incidents that I didn't, of course, didn't know all this. You see, I didn't know what was going on. But as I've heard later that one union organizer after another was being run out of town. But this--but several people testified, and I think I've photocopied those pages and have 'em somewhere, and it's 221:00real dramatic really, as you read those hearings, because it becomes clear, and it wasn't clear until those hearings that came out that the people who snatched Joe Gelders off the streets were agents of TCI. See, that hadn't come out before but it came out in the hearing. And took him out in the country and beat him and left him for dead. And that parts in the, in Promises to Keep, it's accurate--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --about that 'cause Virginia gave, um, the guy who wrote that book, what's his name?

FOSL: Krueger.

BRADEN: Krueger, that. In fact Virginia told me that, see, he had a, he had a whole different story of the origin of the Southern Conference and she read the book, the manuscript and she says, "That's just not right." Said, "Joe Gelders was the one who really started the Southern Conference." And he took her word for it and rewrote it. So that part of that book's good I think.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And it tells this story, you know. It doesn't tell about the La Follette hearings, but the, um, and the, and with all those things happening, that's when--and then he went up to Hyde Park to see Miss Roosevelt to try to invest her help in this, and did. And apparently 222:00worked himself to death organizing that conference, so much so and I guess Virginia or Jim told me that, that he, he didn't come to that first conference. He had had some kind of a nervous breakdown.

FOSL: Oh, I didn't know that.

BRADEN: Hmm, I'm sure it's either Virginia or Jim Dombrowski told me that, that he had worked so hard pulling it together and had--was on the verge of collapse or something and had some kind of a temporary--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --breakdown. I guess his health wasn't that good either, wasn't good, you know. 'Cause they really stomped on his stomach is what they did--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --when they beat him up, among other things. It--he had internal injuries he never recovered from, from that. Um, and that he didn't even come. But he had organized it, uh, more than anybody else. Although I asked Jim one time, uh--(laughs)--about--Jim Dombrowski, I said, "Jim," um, I said, "Who did organize it?" And well, he said Gelders did more than anything. But I said, "Who did organize the Southern Conference or that meeting?" I said, "Did the communists organize it?" He said, "Really nobody." He said, "Gel-, Gelders worked 223:00the hardest on it." But he said, "You didn't have, nobody had to," he said, "things were so bad." He said, "You just don't realize how bad things were. People didn't have any place to live. They were hungry. They were dying." And he said, "You--all you had to do was put the notice in the paper there was gonna be something, a meeting to do something about it and people came." That was what he said in the fifties.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Which may be a slight exaggeration. But there was an element of that then.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: And the CIO was finding that too. I know Carl used to say that, um, Carl used to talk about this in the sixties to make a point about the sixties, 'cause he felt like that there was a moment in the sixties during the Civil Rights Movement when the--after it had grown to this, to a, um, tremendous proportions that a lot of things were just going on their own momentum. Everybody--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --wanted to be a part of it. Now that wasn't true in the beginning, wasn't even true in 1960. But--

FOSL: No.

BRADEN: --by the mid-sixties it was sort of that way. And Carl--I 224:00remember Carl saying as things began and then there was the repression sort of began, you know, in the late sixties and things began to sort of splinter. And it was a struggle to keep things going. And we had a lot of--(laughs)--problems with people that were working with SCEF that weren't--didn't really quite know what to do.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I remember Carl saying, "You know, one problem is that a lot of young people that came into the movement at the heyday of the mass sort of things going on in the South got the idea they were great organizers because people were moving--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --but they don't--never really did have to organize anything until now." And he said, "It's like in the--," and he said, "same thing happened in the thirties." He said, "People were so anxious to be a part of the CIO that all somebody--all they had to do," and he said it happened everywhere, he said, "you just went to a plant gate with some application cards in your hand and the--and the workers just--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --snatched 'em out of your hand."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: He said a lot of people got the idea that they were great organizers. (laughs) But then when the repression started in the forties and they, they didn't have any idea what to do 'cause they 225:00hadn't ever organized everything. But that there was that kind of a thing. And I think that, you know, people who--if you haven't experienced a time when a mass movement is finally flowered, you know, it's, it's, it's hard to sort of feel that kind of--

FOSL: Um-hm, um-hm.

BRADEN: --spirit that existed. So I guess that was true in that period. Now I--so and I didn't know anything about ----------(??) so I didn't know anything about the Southern Conference when I was in Birmingham--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --working as a reporter in the late forties because, you know, I knew all the--what I saw was the bad things happening. I didn't know-- I had a feeling somebody must be doing something about these things, but I didn't know who and the Southern Conference actually had an office there then.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But I didn't--

FOSL: And didn't they have one more meeting there?

BRADEN: I don't think they ever had another one there. They had, um, I think at '38 in Birmingham. They met every two years--

226:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and they would move their office.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: See, no I don't--their, their headquarters were never in Birmingham, I don't think. But there was an Alabama committee, is what it was. See, their, their state branches were called the committee for, the Committee for Alabama, the Committee for Georgia--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --and so forth. And, and they became, you know, during the war especially, their membership grew, and right after the war, 'cause you can look back, you can look at the Patriots in that period, in '45 and '46 and they would put sort of a report in how many people--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --have joined and such.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It was becoming a mass organization. But I think it was the Committee for Alabama. They met then--they, they tended to move their office to where their conference was every two years. And my recollection and this is easy to check, but that they met in Birmingham in '38 and in Chattanooga in '40, '42, they met at some time or other in Nashville. Nashville may have been '42. One year during the war, one time they skipped and that could have been '44 because of the war. They met in '46, I know, in New Orleans and we've got--I've got 227:00pictures of a gathering there, Henry Wallace is speaking there--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --actually. I think I put that in the Cold War packet. And then moved the office there and that's--and, and that's why the office of SCEF was, was there, because that's how they--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --got to New Orleans, 'cause they had the conference there. So I don't think they ever had another regional conference in Birmingham. But there was an active Alabama committee and, you know, later when I was working in the fifties and the early sixties I'd meet people around in different parts of the country, had been a part of those things, like--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --the Dodds. It was Peggy, Peggy? Not Peggy. Malcolm. Dobbs. D-o-b-b-s. Malcolm Dobbs--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --great guy. And he, he and his wife were in California by then. Did a lot of things for me out there, or for SCEF. He was from Texas actually, but I think she was from Alabama. They were white and had been sort of leading spirits of the Southern Conference in Birmingham, in that very period when I was there, and I'm--I--that was in the forties. But I--(laughs)--never knew 'em. Um, and there were other, 228:00there were a number of Al-, Alabama whites that were really active in that. Some of 'em got arrested and all kinds of things. Plus, see, the Southern Negro Youth Congress was another important factor.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they had, they may have had their headquarters at some point in, um, Birmingham. Lou Burnham lived in Birmingham who was a organizer for them. Did you ever hear of him?

FOSL: Unh-uh.

BRADEN: Oh, he was a wonderful guy. Well, I knew him, um, in the fifties. But he dropped dead at age forty-five or something in the late fifties or very early sixties. By the time we knew him, he was in New York and was writing for the Guardian, a black reporter. But he had been the organizer or one of the main organizers in the South for the Southern Negro Youth Congress in the forties, I think. Now whether Lou was in Birmingham in the thirties I'm not sure, because he was 229:00young, or would have been a little maybe before his time. So he was more forties. But--and I'm not sure, and this I'd really like to check on. I would like to have some, you know, if we're gonna talk about what was happening in that period, something on the Southern Negro Youth Congress because I think it was very important and it's been blotted out of history.

FOSL: Right. I haven't found--

BRADEN: To the point--

FOSL: --anything on it. I mean, just, it's mentioned--

BRADEN: Well, there have been things written on it. And what did I read recently in connection with the Negro History Week that made me think there's a whole thing? Well, um, Esther Jackson who's, um, who edited Freedomways Magazine--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --which I'm sure you've seen for a while and is still active and her husband Jim Jackson, they're both in the Communist Party in New York, was a wheel in it. And she'd spoke on it. Oh, I know where she spoke on it, and we could get that--I want to get that paper, at the 230:00anti-communism conference.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And gave sort of a history and I think the World, I think I tore that out, the Daily World has been printing some of the speeches from that conference and I think that they printed excerpts from it. But I'd like to get the whole thing. Because there's never been a book done on that that I know of. And it's like it was blotted--now somebody may be working on one, I tell you, at that--

FOSL: Yeah, seems--

BRADEN: --women's conference, well, at the women's conference, one of those workshops I went to there was a woman that was--did a paper on it. But I missed it.

FOSL: Oh really?

BRADEN: I got there late that morning. Um-hm. You could ask, um, what's our friend? Mal--

FOSL: Mary Male. (??)

BRADEN: Mary Male, 'cause they asked everybody to--you know, I sent 'em a copy of my presentation because they asked everybody to do that. Um--

FOSL: Yeah, I should too.

BRADEN: And you felt obligated to do it thinking they were gonna pay your way or--(laughs)--some room, which they didn't. But, um, but that morning, Saturday morning workshop I think that I went to this black woman from somewhere had done a paper on this and she was gonna send me a copy of it. Of course she didn't. I always forget to send people copies of things too. It was a paper, I don't know whether she 231:00was doing a book or a thesis or something, on the Southern Negro Youth Congress, but I got there late. I'd gone to another workshop first and I missed her presentation. But eventually get a hold of that. And I'd also like to get a hold of Esther's thing at the Boston--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --conference.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Because it was a very important organization.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And the interesting thing was, you know, by the time SNCC came along, there wasn't a soul in SNCC knew it ever existed; it practically had the same initials, S-N-Y-C, S-N-C-C. You know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Only fifteen years earlier that it--I think the main strength would, uh, veer from the thirties because it blur-, blurs in my mind too. I believe the main strength of the Southern Negro Youth Congress was in the forties--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --but early, as well as late. But--

FOSL: But I think it was around in the thirties too.

BRADEN: It may have been, because--and they were--it was, um, they had whites in it too. It was not a, you know. But it was--and she talks about that in this thing that was excerpted from the Boston conference. And they, uh, they sparked organizing drives at tobacco plants--

232:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --in Virginia. They had a big conference in, uh, and Jack O'Dell talks about this, um, he's talked about it at our workshops in Columbia, South Carolina, don't know what year, but I've got that somewhere too, where Dr. Du Bois spoke and made a speech that became very famous and it was sort of some phraseology which you--to hold the land.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And it was a call to black youth in the South to, to hold their own land and stay in the South and struggle for the South. That's sort of what--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Du Bois was saying. And it was at a conference at the Southern Negro Youth Congress. I suspect that was forties but not thirties. But, but Lou, I, I don't know, but it wouldn't be hard to find out--(laughs)--'cause I know his children, um, not sure where he was from but I think somewhere in the South. He may have been from Alabama. But he worked in Birmingham and he was, um, and they were--he was very good friends with Sally Davis, Angela Davis' mother. And 233:00okay, and Sally was active in--or supported the Southern Negro Youth Congress. And a mythology developed when Angela got in trouble in the early seventies. I remember first time--I'd never met Sally Davis, at all the years we were working in the Civil Rights Movement, you know, and in SCEF and stuff, I'd never met Sally Davis. She wasn't active, Angela's mother, in those days. And I know we were having a SCEF meeting in Birmingham soon after Angela was arrested and Ella Baker was there and she said, "We've got to do something about the Angela Davis situation." And she said, "I'm gonna call Sally Davis, and let's go talk to her." She didn't know her either. But she just called Sally and said, "We'd like to come talk to her," or invited Sally to come down to our meeting. That's what it was, and Sally came and told us from her point of view about Angela. And we set up a committee to plan a sort of a southern tour for her to go around and talk and we began working with Sally then out of that, you know, a lot of the southern Angela support committees came, I got to know Sally real well. And I--until she--her husband died a few years ago and she's now spent most 234:00of her time with the children. She's got four kids, other places. But I used to always stay at her house. But I'd never known her before. But the mythology sort of was then that Sally had never been active in anything and Angela just was a maverick and that she was one of the mothers, there were others in the sixties that, um, became involved because their children were attacked--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and there were some others like that. I remember I wrote something about that for the Patriot once. Well, it wasn't quite true because Sally had been very, if she hadn't been really active, she'd been very much involved with Lou Burnham and the Southern Negro--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --Youth Congress. And Margaret Burnham, did you ever hear of her?

FOSL: Um-hm, I've heard of the name, but--

BRADEN: Well, Margaret, um, was Lou's daughter, one of 'em, is, she's a, um, very active now. Lives in Boston. She was, she was a judge. She was the first woman black judge in--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --Boston. She got appointed. But she's not a judge anymore. She's worked with the, um, she works a lot with the, the National Alliance. But she's also, um, she worked full-time for a while for 235:00the National Congress of Black Lawyers. And she's--but she be-, she was in law school, she had just come out of law school when Angela got arrested. She was in Mississippi during the Mississippi Summer--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and, you know, with SNCC, she was that age. She was in college. And then when, um, and she was just finishing law school, she got a Davis Hunt (??) scholarship to go to law school when Angela got arrested, and she became her lawyer. Of course there were other lawyers came in the case too, but they had been childhood friends in Birmingham--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --because Lou, Lou--and then, and then Linda Burnham, who is a younger daughter, and she's on the West Coast, she's a wheel in Frontline, in the Line of March organization.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So hers and Margaret's politics differ a little bit, but they seem to get along. But, but Lou was a great guy and he just dropped dead of a heart attack in the midst of a speech somewhere in the--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --the late fifties. But that was the southern--and I--we really need--[recording error]--

FOSL: Actually, I had it--I can't find it right now. But I have some 236:00reference in this notebook about something that's written about the Southern Negro Youth Congress. But I just can't find it right now. But it's--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --not a book. It's just an article or something.

BRADEN: Um-hm. Yeah, well, it was real blotted out of history, kind of, although, you know, it's one of those things probably be revived once it's safe. (laughs) But, um, um, and, and it would be one--it would be interesting when you--unless you're gonna write a whole thing I guess on the Southern Negro Youth Congress, there's no use doing it, but um, and maybe this woman who's doing the research is doing this because a lot of the people involved in that are bound to be still around. They, they were young and they wouldn't be dead yet.

FOSL: Well, some of them--uh, it--I think the Southern Negro Youth Congress was later reconstituted as the National Negro Congress, which was one of the three organizations that merged to become the Civil Rights Congress.

237:00

BRADEN: Well, you check on that. Because my impression was that the National, National Negro Congress--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that that was sort of simultaneous with the Southern Negro Youth Congress.

FOSL: Oh really?

BRADEN: That the Southern, the Southern Negro Youth Congress was more of a youth wing of that. That was my impression.

FOSL: Well, maybe it was that. It was like they were affiliated or something. So maybe even some of the CRC people.

BRADEN: Um-hm, but see, I don't even know who all they were now. You know. It--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --the point is that, that who's around in the South who was a part of those things. I think a lot of the older blacks were certainly influenced by the Southern Negro Youth Congress. But, um, I believe it was, I believe there's a mention in this Krueger book that people, that people from the Southern Negro Youth Congress were at the first conference of the Southern Conference, which would mean it was around in the thirties, if that's true. So none of those, you know, 238:00developments of stirring of, the stirrings of change impinged on me. Now I did know something about poverty, I think--and well, I know I did. Because everybody did to a certain extent during the Depression. And, and I knew about the separate black and white worlds and that's the thing I, I've talked so much about that, there's no use going into it again. It's the thing that I don't remember and I've never found anybody that remembers when I began to realize that was wrong. I've never found anybody who could pinpoint in time when they suddenly saw a great light and knew this was wrong. Did you? Have you ever found- -because I--and I've talked to a lot of people, you know, changed their racial views, and everybody says the same thing, sort of, when you look back you sort of feel like you always knew it was wrong. But you can't really pinpoint it. And I--

FOSL: See I have to, I have to, but, on my own experience is a little 239:00different than that. It's not like a blinding light--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --and then, you know, my whole view changed. But I can remember very vividly the starting point.

BRADEN: Can you? Um-hm?

FOSL: Very vividly.

BRADEN: How old were you?

FOSL: I was, um, was not quite twelve.

BRADEN: Hmm.

FOSL: 'Cause I mean before that I was in--like an avid, you know, racist and segregationist really. I mean I used to just, I was just, I was just a lazy child, really, and my grandparents had taught me never think of these as people. And I just didn't question. You know. It's like if somebody--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --tells you that the, you know, that's a cat, you believe it and you, you know--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --just go right along with that assumption. And I was never close enough to any blacks to get that challenged. The one that I was close to, uh, was really very, very, you know, uneducated and I think she really was quite slow mentally. She, uh, had, um, sickle cell anemia.

240:00

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: She had never gone to school at all. She, she was in a horrible situation both economically because of our family and because her husband was terribly abusive. And, you know, she just had--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --a number of and it was easy for me to see that she was so different, you know. But it really--I mean I think I'm a perfect tribute to how school desegregation had an impact, 'cause it was, it was the first year and there was one black girl in my school and, um, I sat dir-, directly across from this girl and I just remember just sitting, just staring, you know, like it was just the big experience of the seventh grade for me, of just like--

BRADEN: Hmm.

FOSL: --it just belied everything they told me.

BRADEN: Hmm.

FOSL: Now because see for me, I wasn't, I had no class consciousness and never developed that till much more recently and I still have 241:00a long way to go in that regard, but, but for me it was like such a breakthrough that here was someone with black skin, but this person was just like me. She had nice clothes. She, you know, could win in the spelling bee. She, you know, and it was like it just cracked wide open everything they had told me.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: So that was just, you know, that was the starting point. But I can--it--I just felt like I was in an altered state. It was like doing drugs or something ----------(??)--

BRADEN: Well, that was sort of like the experience I think I had that I described in my book with the black actress.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But of course I was in college by then. But what I meant was, and that's--just what you describe it, this was just a--she was the first black person I'd ever really sat and talked with and realized she was just like me, and actually I--she was beyond me 'cause she was a successful actress, which is what I wanted to be at that point.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. So, so it's kind of that kind of experience you're talking about that I had with her, but I was in college by then. Of 242:00course I was also--it was a different period of history too.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But I'm tel-, but the other, but what I'm talking about is that I am convinced that I've or I and I can't pla-, that I, I was aware that things just weren't right long--

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: --before that. That some way people were being mistreated by my people. You know. And I can't place when that was. But I know it--I was aware of that and worried about it sort of unconsciously. But, but, but you see, the thing about my generation, nobody was talking about these things.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Now when you came along, I always forget when you were born.

FOSL: Fifty-four.

BRADEN: Fifty-four, yeah. So by the time you were--I mean the Civil Rights Movement was going on. People were, at least, you know, at least there were things to read in the paper. And when I was growing up, you know, people just did not question segregation. I didn't know anybody that did. And yet I think I knew something was wrong.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that's the same sort of experience that I've--it seemed to me a lot of people I've talked to of my generation or even a generation a little bit older than you, like people who got active in the late 243:00fifties or sixties--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --whites, describe the same thing, that they just knew something was wrong but you couldn't place when you knew--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --it was wrong. Even though you didn't know any blacks in the way you know, you're talking about that relationship and--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --me with the actress. Um, I do remember and I think I've talked--it's hard, you know, you try to think back and I know when I wrote The Wall Between I really had to sort of probe into my unconscious then to think of things, when I was closer to 'em then, but--and I, I don't remember whether I put this in there, but I remember we used to--I, I--of course I was very religious and I went to the church a lot. But there was a young people's group. By the time I got in high school I was very active in the young people's group at church and we had meetings every Sunday night and, and had s-, I guess, some pretty good discussion groups. There was a young assistant minister there, his name was Marshall Seifert, I have no idea what the man's politics were. I don't think they were, they certainly weren't radical. And I don't even know that they were liberal. But he, I 244:00think, had some concept of getting young people to think.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I don't have any vivid recollection of the discussions, but it seems to me we sort of discussed affairs of the day, sort of, you know.

FOSL: It was in high school, you said?

BRADEN: I was in high school by then. But it was a church, it was a church group.

FOSL: Right, right.

BRADEN: Yeah, YPSL.

FOSL: The high school years.

BRADEN: Young People's, Young People's, YPSL, Young People's Service League, I think or something with the Episcopal Church. It was the youth group at that time. And, uh, Carlton Sterne that I talked about it was in it. She was, she was older than me and she was sort of a leader of it. She was very smart, I remember being very impressed by how smart she was, this Jewish woman--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that was a contemporary of my brother's. I can't even remember my brother even going, but she used to be there, and, um, in the early years. So I would have been--they were four years ahead of me, so I was almost, like, in junior high school, you know what I mean? If she was there, she was still in high school. She was either a junior or senior and I was four years behind her. So it was more like 245:00when I was in junior high school and maybe the thing broke up after that. I can't re-, really remember going much and I got much more involved in the social life after that and maybe didn't go. So it was more when I was in junior high school I would go to those things. And Marshall, this young guy was there and maybe he was liberal. I don't know what he was. I think he--but he was a very vital sort of young man and I think he was trying to, I imagine, trying to get young people to think a little bit or something. And we used to have, as I recall, some fairly lively discussions there of various issues. And I just have--I remember one night that I--and I don't remember what I said, but I said something, um, that they must have been discussing maybe what was called the Negro problem, which is what everybody called it if they talked about it at all.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, that was the terminology--(laughs)--uh, colored problem, 'cause nobody knew how to say Negro. But that was the--for years it 246:00was called a Negro problem, but they wouldn't have said that. They probably said the colored problem. But I made some mild comment, I wish I remember exactly what it was, but it was some--I think something to the effect that it seemed to me that people ought to be treated equal no matter what color they were, or something like that. And I can remember people looking a little startled and then somebody coming up to me later and saying, "You shouldn't say things like that, the people will think you're a communist." I got a memory of that and I had no idea what a communist was. And--except I knew it was something bad.

FOSL: And this would have--let's figure the year. This would have been '24, '34, '39, '40? Something like that?

BRADEN: Well, if--now I don't know whether--how many years I went to that thing. But I know I was under sixteen--(laughs)--because I remember Marshall used to--after the meetings he'd, we'd drive around some and he'd let some of us steer the car, and I wasn't even driving. 247:00I remember doing that. That was sort of a treat we had.

FOSL: So '38, '39?

BRADEN: So, you know I might have been thirteen or fourteen. Although if Carlton was there, as I say, if she was a senior in high school I would have been in the eighth grade.

FOSL: Which would make you thirteen.

BRADEN: Is that right? Eight and five is thirteen, yeah, '37 along in there some time. Well, she would have graduated from high school in '37, so it may be '36, '36 or '37 probably. So I remember--but I don't know what Marshall Seifert's views were, but I can remember those discussion groups. And I've, I've talked about this, I think, in some interview I did. So you may ----------(??) it may be in the Highlander Review. I've never really written about it, but I, I remember talking about it, the minister at that church was quite an influence on me. 248:00(coughs) The Grace Church. He was an interesting guy. And I think he was sort of a liberal probably. But he was, his name was Jim Stoney, James Stoney. He later became a bishop in the Episcopal Church. But he was the minister at Grace Church when, when I was growing up there and really the only one I ever really knew I think until I went away to school. Later after I think while I was at college, he left to become a bishop and his brother Bill Stoney became the minister. And my parents adored Bill. They liked Bill better than Jim, but--and I could, sort of got to know Bill a little bit and he was--Bill was very supportive and--(laughs)--one of the few people in Anniston who was when we got charged with sedition. But he was just a sweet guy. But Jim was, Jim Stoney was a more dynamic guy and was, had some sort of a social conscience. (coughs) I never remember him talking about 249:00anything that had to do with blacks, but he was very much aware of poor people. This was a very rich little church, you see.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Very ----------(??). There were two Episcopal churches in Anniston. There was a great big cathedral-like church, which one of the founders of Anniston had built this great big church. But in some way the town didn't grow that way, it was, and it was on the wrong side of the tracks, what became the wrong side of the tracks. So it was out where a lot of poor people lived. And little Grace Church was in the area where the, you know, the, the good people-- (laughs)--from, in Anniston lived, white people. Um, so we used to go, so and, and this great big church out there, St. Michael's, was hardly ever anybody in it much, a few people went there, but we always went there on Christmas Eve. They had a big Christmas Eve service. But Grace was the church 250:00where--it was actually pretty small 'cause the Episcopal Church was not as big. And I thought--and I used to--my friend, most of my, a lot of my friends either went to the Baptist church--my father was a Baptist, grew up a Baptist and he would, he never went to church much until later and then later he joined the Episcopal Church and became very active in that Grace Church. But when I was a child, he would sometimes go to the Baptist Church. But Mother and my brother and I went to the Episcopal Church. But most of my friends either went to the Presbyterian Church or the Baptist or the Methodist where there was a lot more going on 'cause there were more young people. And I always thought it seemed much more interesting in those other churches. But um, because there weren't a lot of young people in our church, but we, you know, we're--we had that young people's group and stuff. But, but the, some of the sort of first families of Anniston went to that church and in the later years, you know, I go back there now and it's all the ruling class of Anniston goes to the church. It's grown. (laughs) 251:00But, um, but--and Jim--and everybody loved Jim Stoney. They didn't-- but he always sort of let it be known in some way that they were not the only people in the world. And he worked very hard and set up two, what they called missions, which were on the other side of town. I, I, as I say, I've never heard him doing anything about blacks. These were poor white people. They were working--they were--it was--see, Anniston was a textile mill town. And part, and um, um, pipes, iron pipes they made. It wasn't steel mills, but it was iron pipes for the Alabama Pipe Company, they were the two industries that were the most important then, textile and pipes. And, um, and the--there was iron ore around in that part of the country. And the--some--there were these two missions, one was called Redeemer and one was Resurrection, I think.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: That sticks in my mind. Little churches. I can't ever remember 252:00going to either one of 'em. I just knew they were there where the mill people lived. But I remember the children and some of the adults because he encouraged the children from those missions to come to our Sunday school.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: So I would see them at Sunday school and they were, like, from a different world. Well, I remember one family, I'll never--I remember their names, Potts. It was a big family. And there were several Pott sisters who came to my Sunday school class and, um, um, and there were some other families. It--as I recall it seems to me the children came to Grace Church but the adults didn't very much, either, either Jim didn't ask 'em or they felt they'd be out of place and didn't. But they sent their children. And I mean, uh, everybody knew these children were different. I don't know why he did it, must have been kin-, hard on them, you know, and yet they came, they kept coming. And everybody was nice to 'em, the teachers. I can remember the teachers being nice and they would--they did well in the class and all that. 253:00But I was, you know, I knew there was this great--they just came from a different world, and that some way there was a world where people didn't have as nice a clothes as I did and all that. And I knew black people didn't either, because I knew that from the--well, my friends had black servants. You know. And--well, and we had, I think her name was Mary, who used to come and clean one day a week. And I knew--I think I wrote about that in the book, I knew her little girl who'd come and wait for her there and stuff like that. But--

FOSL: And did they always eat off different plates?

BRADEN: Um-hm, um-hm, yeah, the servants did, yeah. Um-hm.

FOSL: And always at a different time.

BRADEN: Yeah, oh yeah. Yeah. Never ate together. And nobody, you know, ever suggested they should. But, um, but, but I think looking back on it, I think Jim Stoney was constantly trying to make those smug 254:00rich people in Grace Church aware of the suffering that was going on in that period. And of course, um, because I can remember him talking about the people being hungry and what they needed to do about it. Now there wasn't, you know, it wasn't revolutionary. But the--they needed to be their brother's keeper sort of thing. You know. And making people aware of that. And the, um, and I remember I think I wrote about this in my book, that there was a constant stream of beggars coming by asking for food.

FOSL: And your father gave it to 'em and your mother--

BRADEN: And my mother sent, moth-, sometimes she would, but Mother would just get tired of it. I mean sometimes each ----------(??)there'd be twenty in a night. You see, people would get off the trains or something and then go looking for food. Every once in a while that machine ticks itself off, I don't know why. Um, yeah, and I would worry because I--'cause I really took the Bible seriously. It said feed the hungry and I was afraid Mother was going to hell because she 255:00wouldn't always feed these people. I really--I can remember lying awake at night worrying for fear she would go to hell.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But Daddy, I never saw Daddy turn one away. He'd go cook egg sandwiches and stuff for 'em. Um, but they were white. Now none of them were black, 'cause I guess blacks would have been afraid to come into a white neighborhood like that. You know. Where they went to get food I don't know. I never knew. But the other guy who worked around the Grace Church was a guy named Captain Channon. And I never hear of it anymore, but there was a thing in the Episcopal Church, may still be called the church army and I should ask somebody whether it still exists or--I never quite under-, it was like an order, like a Catholic order. I don't know whether they were celibate or not, but it was something you joined if you really wanted to spend all your life serving God and humanity. And he was in the church army.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And got assigned there, I guess because the church needed an assistant and this--they had this one Marshall Seifert who looked more 256:00like he was a--fresh out of the University of Alabama, sort of. But this was a very serious young man. His name was Captain Channon and I often wonder what happened to him. And I've often wondered what his politics were be-, because--and he spent most of his time working with the people at a missions of the Redeemer and Resurrection. And I think that I could--and I know from things Mother said too, I think he really didn't have much use for the people in Grace Church, you know.

FOSL: Um, wasn't there one of 'em that you later asked Sam Hall about?

BRADEN: That's what I was gonna tell you.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: Captain Channon.

FOSL: I'm sorry. I just--

BRADEN: Yeah, that really started Sam Hall toward socialism, Captain Channon did.

FOSL: Okay, go ahead.

BRADEN: Well, that was--is that in the Hollander interview? 'Cause I talked about that--

FOSL: Yes.

BRADEN: --somewhere. Yeah.

FOSL: But I'd like to hear it again.

BRADEN: But he, um, but I remember Mother coming home really kind of shaken one day from a women's meeting she'd been at, 'cause she was in the women's auxiliary at church and was sort of a leader of it ----------(??) later or then. But Captain Channon had been talking to 257:00'em, describing to 'em conditions that some people were living under in those days. And the, and, and it, and the, and the way people were suffering. And, and he had said, you know, "Do you really believe these people are human beings?" or something like that. And, and it really kind of shook Mother 'cause she was telling me about it, and quoting Captain Channon. So I guess what he was--but he spent most of his time at the missions and then I think he came over and tried to shake up the other people, is all I can figure. 'Cause it--and it did shake my mother a little bit, um-hm. But that's right. Later--but right down the street that we lived at Fifth and Quintard. Quintard was, um, one of the main kind of streets in Anniston. It was not in the, what you call the ritziest area, um, although, um, or where the wealthiest people lived, 'cause we weren't among the wealthiest people. 258:00But some way we moved in those circles. That's family connections I think, 'cause we, you know, that's or well I don't know exactly how that all came about. But we--I don't, I've always figured, you know, in those days that your fam-, fas-, social status in the South depended more on family origins than money. Later that changed. I mean in Ann- , I think it's different now. I don't know how it is now in Anniston. I know a lot of people got real rich after that, it was more money bought you things. But then everybody was sort of hard up, really. You know. Some people were harder up than others, but um, I don't think anybody had any money even the richer people to waste in the thirties. But I guess partly it was base-, some--my mother, much more than my father, but my mother, I think, was totally convinced that--I mean she, I mean they, that she was upper class. I mean if anybody had ever told her she was middle class, she would have been insulted.

259:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Although economically that's exactly what she was. But she, but she took it as a mark of great distinction that she was descended from the first settlers and that's what established whether you were upper class. And, and a lot of other people accepted that too. And in Kentucky that her family had been recognized, I think, as, you know, of Eminence and to a certain extent here in Louisville as, you know, the leading, among the leading families. And when she went to, when they went to Alabama they didn't have those roots there. Um--

FOSL: Did they have any family there?

BRADEN: Unh-uh, none of our family came from Alabama. So it was, um, but it's interesting. And, and, um, you know, that's what kind of surprised Virginia when I referred to it in the thing she read, because--and maybe Mother worked at it, you see. Because I can remember when she told me not to associate with this little girl that lived over, right over on the next block, Leighton Avenue, the next block, but her family was just not in that social status and that-- 260:00(laughs)--I remember Mother saying that when I--that you just have to watch who you associate with and that when I came to--when we moved to Anniston I had to do certain things and be careful who I associated with to, to create a, um, a social status for you, she said to me. See. And I should appreciate that and be careful I don't destroy it by associating--so maybe she worked at it. I don't know. But by the time, but as far as I ever was aware, I, I mean I never felt like, because I didn't have as much money as some of the other people in my school and stuff, I never felt any--that I was, um, inferior to them. I'm, I mean that, I had a lot of concerns, but I was--that I, I picked up that same sort of attitude that Mother had. I was sure I was a part of the upper crust of society. I mean I didn't even have to think about it. I just knew it--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --some way. And she, and, and part of that, I guess, is you, you just pick that up by osmosis from your parents, probably. You 261:00know. If that's their attitude, you begin to get it too. And she--and their friends were, you know, Mother and Daddy, until they left there, were the ruling circles of Anniston. When we moved there we rented a house and the people lived next door to us were named Turner. Eugene Turner and his wife Francis. And they had a little girl just my age, Lucy, and two boys, one older, my brother's age and one younger. And Lucy and I became best friends. We parted ways, sort of, she went away to school in high school and we never were particularly close after that. We spent a lot of time together. But the Turners, I don't know why they were living there at that point, but they, uh, both of 'em, especially the Turner side, came from one of the ruling families of Anniston. We lived next door. So it may have been sort of through them that Mother and Daddy met a lot of other people. And they didn't 262:00go to the Episcopal Church, they went to the Presbyterian. But, um, you know, those were just the--that was the milieu that--and I never questioned it one way or the other, except to wonder about the people that, you know, as you began to wonder. But--and how much, you know, how consciously she worked at it all the time, I don't know. But there--it never seemed to be a doubt about it. But anyway, this was Quintard. And we lived at Fifth St.--well, then we bought a house right up the street from there a few years later at the corner of Fifth and Quintard, um--(laughs)--Jim told me when he was home at Christmas, that's, later they, that all that area was destroyed. They built a highway through it. Mother and Daddy stayed there longer than most people 'cause they really and tried to keep 'em from building the highway through there, but they did. Most people moved away, and 263:00finally they did too, um, maybe ten years before they left Anniston, and not too far away but got a little house somewhere else. And that house that I grew up in from--after we lived there, has been razed now. It's not there anymore. In fact it's--I don't think there's a house left on that block. But, um, Jim told me--(laughs)--when he was here at Christmas that, uh, when he was driving from the West Coast to the East Coast last--along in January some time, a year ago, that he stopped at a, and spent the night at a motel in Anniston, right--that's right catty-cornered across from where we lived. And the night he was there Jesse Jackson was spending the night there.

FOSL: Wow.

BRADEN: And, and Jim said, "I thought you'd like--(laughs)--to know he spent the night away--across from where, from your house." Um--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --but anyway that was Fifth and Quintard. And right down at Ninth and Quintard--and I always walked to school, school was--you 264:00had to walk from Fifth to Tenth--this was elementary school. And then maybe about three blocks and we always walked to school and back. And right down at Ninth and Quintard there was a family that lived on, in a corner house there named Hall. And it just sh-, you know, I don't know what makes the social divisions in a town like that. That the, that the Halls were not among the elite. But we--but they were white and they went to the Woodstock School. Um--

FOSL: Which is where you went?

BRADEN: Um-hm. I read a thing in the North Carolina Independent a few years ago, some guy that I'd never heard of wrote a thing about Woodstock School in Anniston. He had been there some time and he went back to see it and stuff and wrote about it. It wasn't--didn't have any particular social significance. But it was the school that, there were other schools built later, but it was the school that served the more elite part of towns at that time.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And there weren't any priv-, there were a few, well, the, there was the McCallie--no, and McCallie was in Chattanooga. Anniston Military Institute, which wasn't all that military, well they did wear 265:00uniforms some, but it was a private school. Some of the boys went to it in high school. But most people went to the public schools then. You know. Uh, for the first place, most people couldn't afford to pay for their kids to go to school, even if they were in the--

FOSL: Um-hm, um-hm.

BRADEN: --elite. But the Woodstock was in an area where--then, later, but rich people moved out kind of over the mountains. See, Anniston's surrounded by mountains. It's in a little valley with just mountains all around. We were always afraid a tornado was gonna get it 'cause it would never have gotten out. But it didn't. We never got hit by a tornado. But, um, and Woodstock School was in the area that served the eliter area. But not everybody that went to Woodstock School was elite, and you knew the difference and the Halls weren't. But they were, you know, nice people. But the--there was a little girl in my class named Emma Jo Hall and I just ad-, loved her. She was a cute little girl. And I had a way of kind of developing crushes on different people I guess. And now she was one of my favorite people and I can remember we would always walk home from school together that 266:00far, and I always wanted to walk by her. And sometimes I got to and sometimes I didn't. But I never--I don't remember her ever coming to my house. And I don't ever remember going to her house. But we were friends in school. And we'd usually walk home together in those grade school years. And then she moved away, her family moved to Talladega and, and I don't guess I ever saw her again. I was trying to think, I heard something about her recently, what was it, I heard something about the Halls. But, but I didn't know it, there--was a fairly large family. I think there were four or five children in the family, most of 'em older than her. And I kind of vaguely knew that one of, one of 'em worked on the newspaper there at some point, I can't remember whether it was when I knew her or later. But I never really ran into him that much. But that was Sam Hall.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And he was older, he was older than my brother who was--

267:00

FOSL: Who was how much older than you?

BRADEN: Four--

FOSL: Four.

BRADEN: --four and a half year. Four and a half years. And Sam was, uh, at least three or four years older than my brother, I think, so he was so far ahead of me that he wouldn't impinge on my life at all, 'cause those years make a lot of difference at that age. You know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But I, I kind of vaguely knew, I think, that he was--that Emma Jo had this, um, older brother Sam and he worked on the newspaper. And that was all I knew. And then, but much later in later years, um, some way I heard in the late forties or very early fifties, probably late forties, that Sam Hall--and I'm trying to think if I heard about it- -anything about him in the meantime and I can't remember where I first heard, but he was very active in political things and was an organizer for the Communist Party in Alabama.

FOSL: Hmm.

268:00

BRADEN: And had been active in, um, well I think maybe when I was back working on the newspaper, he was not there at the newspaper then at all. He may have been in Birmingham by then. I think I heard something about him maybe as being somewhat active in the Folsom campaign. I'm not sure about that. But I think I did 'cause some of us, um, there were other people that were sort of liberals, if not radicals, that were active in the Folsom campaign. I may be wrong about that. But at somewhere I heard uh, must a heard something about him when I was there on the newspaper. But I was living in Louisville when I went back to Anniston at one point to visit and I heard that he was living in Birmingham and he was the organizer for the Communist Party and I was interested in meeting him, and I went to see him. And that was after Carl and I were married, 'cause Carl and I both went to see him. And--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --spent some time, I think we may have spent the night there. Anyways, spent some time talking to him, and his wife was named Sylvia. She wasn't from Alabama. She was from, I think, Texas, I believe.

269:00

FOSL: Now was this before your sedition case?

BRADEN: Oh yeah. It was, I said, late--see, we got married in '48. It was late forties. It may have been when we were working for the union, um, or very early fifties. And so--and I enjoyed meeting him and he was a very nice guy. I don't know that I ever saw him again. He died young. But that one time, I can't even remember or unless maybe I went to see him twice in Birmingham. But I--so the two visits might have merged in my mind. But I never saw much of him. But I remember comparing notes with him about Anniston and that we had--and we had both worked on the Anniston Star.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And by that time I was quite active in radical politics myself, and I remember he had quite a sense of humor and I said, "Well, Anniston produced two radicals anyway and they both worked for the-- both worked for the Anniston Star."

FOSL: That's interesting.

BRADEN: And he said, "Well, that was that high pay they gave us that- -(laughs)--did that to us--(laughs)--radicalized us." But then he was 270:00saying what--so he kind of told me then about his evolution into a radical. And he said that he was very active in high school in the Methodist Church and the Methodist youth movement. And at some point, and I am not sure, I wonder if his wife might remember, she's still around. She's married a couple of times since he died. Um, so I don't know whether this was in high school or when he was--and I don't even know where he went to college. I know he went off to--and was in World War II.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Because I think he told me that he got involved in, somewhat in politics, although I don't know whether he was actually a communist or not, before he went to World War II.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And then when he came back from the war, he became the organizer for the Communist Party in Alabama and was living in Birmingham and was quite open about it, being a communist--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --although nobody else was. But he told me there were about two hundred communists in Alabama, but he was the only open one that was 271:00able to say so, he and Sylvia, his wife. And they were--by the time we met 'em, they were already beginning to be really harassed. And he'd been arrested, I think, once for circulating the Stockholm Petition or something. And eventually they were literally run out of town and all kinds of charges brought--

FOSL: And went where--

BRADEN: --up.

FOSL: --then?

BRADEN: Went to New York.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And sort of--then I, I saw and he died soon after that. I'll come back to that. But anyway, what he, um, um, but he would--so I'm not sure the--whether the--his process of radicalization he described, whether it happened when he was in high school or after he was out of high school and he was probably in college somewhere. But I don't know where. Um, but see, if he was into things by the late thirties, my brother, and he was older than my brother. My brother had graduated from high school in '37.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So he would have been probably graduated three or four years 272:00before that. So he was either a college student or a high school student, but very active in the Methodist things and concerned about what was happening and had the same--a very similar experience that Virginia described about Joe Gelders and that you hear repeated over and over of people during the Depression in one form or another.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And he's the one who really, I remember his exact--his exact words, and it seems to me that, that um, Virginia kind of quoted Gelders as some of the same thought. But I remember him saying that he just could not understand what was happening during the Depression. And, and seeing people hungry was just devastating. And he's the one he said, you know, he said, "And I, and I," he said, "I was very religious and I read the Bib--," and he, he said, "I read about in biblical times when there'd be famines and people were hungry because there wasn't enough food." He said, "You can sort of understand that. But why were people hungry when there was too much food?" And he said, "I--and people began to think I was crazy," he said. "I would go around and ask people, how can peop-, how is this possible that we've got people--

273:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --starving 'cause we got too much food? It doesn't make sense." So he said he talked to Captain, this Captain Channon--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --whom he knew, you see. And asked him that. And Captain Channon said, well, there were--there were reasons for it and he gave him George Bernard Shaw's An Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism to read.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Which he read and that was the first time he'd ever heard of socialism.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And that made sense to him. So then he went to the library in Anniston and to try to find out more about what this thing socialism was. And began to read everything he could find, and some way, I don't know where he first heard of Karl Marx, whether Channon told him that. I don't remember him saying that he did. But found things by Marx and maybe Lenin, I don't know, but certainly by Marx in the Anniston library, which is kind of surprising that he found 'em.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: And said he read everything he could get--

FOSL: ----------(??).

BRADEN: --a hold of. And, and you know, decided, well, now here there are some answers. You know. So then after that he began to look for 274:00the radical movement or for--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --some sort of movement and found it some way. I don't know how he found it. But um, re-, but, and so--and I don't remember, I'd really like to find--check Syl-, ask Sylvia, his wi-, wife, widow, what exactly happened when they left Birmingham. I know they--I said run out and it was something, either they were getting ready to put him in jail, I think--I know Hosea Hudson left in the middle of the night with the police in pursuit of him or something. And they may have too, 'cause they were already, as I said when I talked to 'em, being harassed some. Went to New York and of course I lost, totally lost touch. Well I never was in much touch, you know, like I say, I visited 'em once, maybe twice. Um, but somewhere I heard he had died. By that 275:00time I was taking the Daily Worker which was the communist newspaper. So I might have seen something about it in there. But somewhere I heard he died. He had told--I remember one thing he told me. He was- -they were under a lot of strain, obviously, but he--I remember when I talked to him that time he, he had had some health problems but he sure--but you see, I wasn't but about twenty-five or six then--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and if he was ten years older than me, even as much as ten or six and he was just in his early thirties then or mid-thirties, certainly no more than mid-thirties. But he'd had some health problems. He had high blood pressure or something and he said that, um, the doctor had told him--he had seen some doctor, I guess some sympathetic doctor, who had told him that, that you, that you, you're not gonna live to be very old unless you change some things and he said, "Well, what have I got to do?" And he said, "Well, there's several things you could do." He says, "You really ought to do some other kind of work from what you're doing." And Sam said, "Well, I'm 276:00not gonna do that." And he said, "Well, I knew you weren't," says, "But so then you've got to quit worrying and slow down." So he--you know, he said he was doing that. But apparently he really worked awfully hard and the kind of strain that, you know, you worked under if you were in that situation. I think he died of something like a cerebral hemorrhage or something like that.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. Or a stroke or something. Maybe it was a heart attack. I can't remember. It wasn't long, and I don't know how long after he went to New York, but it was--(coughs)--but I remember it--I ran into Sylvia, his wife, ex-wif-, or widow some years later and not a lot of years later after I was working with SCEF and was in New York and, and she maybe was around something SCEF gave or somewhere I got--I was back in touch with her. And talked to her, I remember talking with her one time and she told me a little bit about, um, the circumstances after he died, with his family. And that they had--he didn't die 277:00suddenly like, because he was in the hospital, 'cause she told me that ----------(??) I said cerebral hemorrhage, sometimes you die of that right away. Whatever it was he did not die immediately 'cause he was in the hospital. (coughs) And, um, some of his family came up there 'cause they didn't think he'd be, anybody would take care of him or that she'd know how to take care of him 'cause they didn't, uh, you know, they didn't agree with what he had been doing or at all. And um, um, what was it she said they said? I think they were upset about the hospital he was in 'cause it had a Jewish name or something like that.

FOSL: Oh God. (laughs)

BRADEN: But I remember Sylvia telling me that it's--now her feeling that it was very important for--to her, for them to know that the Communist Party was gonna take good care of him. See, they didn't think he'd get any care at all and, you know, that she was--so that was some way 278:00important that they know that. And I don't know where he was buried or anything else, the only thing else I remember was that she said later-- she tried to keep in touch with them, I guess that she must have--I, I--

FOSL: Did they have children?

BRADEN: No, they didn't have any children that I know of, and I'm pretty sure they didn't. But she tried to keep a little bit in touch with his family. Maybe--and including Emma Jo, I think, 'cause I think I asked her about Emma Jo having known her. And she wrote to them or called 'em, maybe, at some point and maybe it was Emma Jo, but one of 'em said they really didn't want to hear from her again. "The only thing we had in common is dead." And she was hurt by that, you know. But, but I also remember Sylvia saying that she--and this was in the late fifties or something, maybe early sixties, that she felt like some day that Sam would be honored and she--in Birmingham like he should be. There ought 279:00to be a statue to Sam in Birmingham and some day there would be. And I thought, gee, that's the most fantastic thing I ever heard. (Fosl laughs) You know. For that--you know, for her to pipe-dream that way, you know, Sam was never gonna be recognized in Birmingham. And he's probably not, although when they were talking about putting up this, even today, although it's less likely, you know, they--when Hosea Hudson went back in the early eighties, Mayor Arrington gave him the key to the city and they had a big ceremony for him at the--(laughs)--the city council. Scott Douglas arranged it. But they--and--well, Arrington's pretty open, you know. And Scott--Hosea was gonna be in town or something and Scott called Mayor Arrington's office and told him, he said, oh yeah, they'd give him the key and have a little ceremony at the--(Fosl laughs)--city council. And Scott says Hosea always till--he just died, you know, last year, till the day he died thought he was a great organizer because they went down, there was a big crowd that day at the city council. But they had come for something else that was going on. It wasn't--(laughs)--for Hosea. But they did. I mean the mayor did--and he knew who he was, you know. Had this ceremony for him 280:00and this, and, and everybody in the city council chamber was full and they all applauded and Hosea and how wonderful he was and all that.

FOSL: That's great.

BRADEN: But, you know, he's black and that makes it a little different. And that's a con-, a sort of a connecting link to the later movement. And I think that it would be a little more difficult with Sam. However, when they were getting ready to have a civil rights museum in Birmingham, which I don't know whether they'll ever have now because I think the people voted down a bond issue for it or something.

FOSL: Oh yeah?

BRADEN: There was a big thing that--there was a whole committee and Peggy Dobbins that I know and some people were on--she, she was on some kind of committee. I said, "Peggy," she--and she's comes to SOC things. And I said--she used to teach at the University of Alabama. I said, "There's gonna be a civil rights museum?" I said, "You all gotta include the--some things that happened before the sixties." I said--"Or the fif-, even fifties." I said, "You know, there were things--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --that happened before the fifties, remember." She didn't know a thing about it. And I mentioned Joe Gelders. I said, "You gotta have something about Joe Gelders. And, uh--and all the things that happened in the thirties." And she, she didn't know anything about it. She got 281:00really interested and said, "Well, I'm gonna push 'em to do that." So there--and several people were doing that. And it seemed--I'm afraid they'll never have the museum now. I think they--I--although I think Arrington's still committed to trying to raise some money for it or something, 'cause, you know, they, they've got a statue of Martin Luther King, they've named a street for Fred Shuttlesworth and, you know, they--all that kind of stuff, now. Um, so, so I thought, well, you know, I'm gonna raise the question of Sam Hall with 'em some time. And--but I, I, I've really got to try to talk to Sylvia some time when I'm in New York. I saw her, I, I hadn't kept in touch with her for a few--through the years. She's married a couple of other people, both of 'em communists. She married a rather prominent communist, Bob Thompson, who was one of the Smith Act, um, defendants, second string Smith Act, I think. But he got a lot of notoriety of--because he was a, he was a war hero during World War II and he had some sort of a plate in his head or something from, you know, injuries. And there was 282:00a big to do and he died fairly young too, and they wouldn't let him be buried in Arlington cemetery because he was a communist or something.

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: There was a big fight. And I think they finally got him in Arlington cemetery.

FOSL: So she's still in New York?

BRADEN: She's still in New York. And then she married some--(laughs)- -other communist. I think she just--I don't know where she found all these communists. I think he's--or some radical anyway. But I ran into her--(Fosl laughs)--and I lost touch with her, I never kept in close touch, although she told me when I saw her in the sixties that she was--and this was after Sam was dead, that she was keeping in touch with people who had been communists in the South. And there wasn't really any party organization, but that they would--people would come to New York and she was trying to keep in touch with--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --people and that period when people were either underground or and stuff. But I ran into her at--last year, for I hadn't seen her in years, at, um, um, Harvey O'Connor's memorial in New York. We--Frank Rubins (??) and I worked together to put on a real nice memorial for Harvey and she was there. And I talked to her a minute before the thing 283:00started and I was trying to tell her about this civil rights museum which was then a live issue in Birmingham, 'cause I wanted--I said, "You know, we're gonna have to get Sam into that museum, somewhat."

And I never was able to finish the conversation, I think 'cause the pro- , it was time to start the program or something. And I'm not sure she was as interested as before, I don't know. I'm really--sometime when I'm there I'm gonna call her. But--

FOSL: So you know her last name and you have her address?

BRADEN: Well, to tell you the truth, I don't. But I can find it. I've got, um, I've got a list of people who--I would recognize it. I can't remember it right now. It was Thompson for a while 'cause she was married to this guy Thompson. It's something else now. I--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --but I could find it. And I know people who know her. Um, but it's interesting, you know, those people whose--and who were pioneers in so many ways and it's like they were just blotted out of history.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It was like their lives don't exist. And um, and yet I think 284:00that every one--everything that people like that did made a difference, it pushed the barriers back a little further if nothing else. You know. I think.

FOSL: I would think that it made a big difference to you just to--[recording error]--called Moscow directly--(both laugh)--to the Communist Party--

FOSL: Let me just look it up.

BRADEN: --to develop a black nation in the South. But I think, uh, to me the Moscow directive is an anti-communist term. Now there was a--I think if you read any of the literature of that period, there was certainly, there was an international communist movement, you know. And I'm sure communists all over the world saw the Communist Party in Moscow as the leader of that since that happened to be the only country where they had come to power, so you would sort of look to 'em for a little leadership I suppose.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But I, I don't believe really frankly that that's the way communists would have put it. Now maybe--I think that what they would say is that, you know, they had studied Marxist and Leninist theory and, and Lenin had a theory of the national question, I mean he, he 285:00wrote things on the national question. Or maybe it was Stalin, I don't know. But there was a whole--the idea of where in a country where there were different ethnic groups, that every people had to develop its own power and culture.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I--at least that's the way I understand it.

FOSL: Well--

BRADEN: Or else that somebody's gonna--[recording error]--that I'm sure I'm oversimplifying, because I am no political theorist, Marxist or otherwise. And, and actually I've stud-, have read very little Marx myself, although I've certainly been influenced by it and we'll talk about that at some point. But--and so I'm sure that's an oversimplification. But I think that's the thinking behind that. If you have people who've been oppressed, that they have to develop their own identity or else they're always gonna be submerged.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I think that sort of--and I would, I would imagine, and I really have, am not basing this on any sort of thing I've particularly discussed with anybody, but the way communists would have looked at that in that period was that--that people in Moscow might have 286:00thought this was a good idea. But that they looked at that theory and see--and, and they thought it fitted the black people in America. And to a certain extent I think they had a little germ of truth in what they were thinking because, because of the recurrent nationalist, um, upsurges in black, in the black community in this country, of people, you know, even before that with the Garvey Movement which was more--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --leaving the country. But Malcolm X, I mean all the way through up till today. I mean, you've got, you know. And even right this minute when we've got what we hope is a real black, white, brown, yellow, red coalition in the Rainbow Coalition, and yet blacks are really feeling they've got to get themselves together at this point. That's why there's gonna be a black summit in New Orleans in the next, uh, month.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: You know. And Jesse was--Jackson was talking at the Rainbow board meeting I went to in December, he says--and he, he called for this black summit, although now I think it's being called by a lot of different groups.

287:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It's very united. It's everything from the King Center, which, you know, I don't see as very radical to--

FOSL: (laughs) I know.

BRADEN: --to, you know, people that are more, I suppose, you'd think of as more militant or radical. But, uh, it seems to be a pretty--but it's a black unity move. A little--sounds to me a little insignificance, possibly, I don't know how it's gonna turn out, sort of like the Gary Black Assembly in 1972, black America getting itself together. Of course that unity didn't hold, but it had an impact at that point. But I think that's because--I mean I see, I hear it here with our people, with Rainbow, the chair guy, you met him at Frankfort yesterday, Dr. McMillan who's head of the Rainbow here. Well, I think Dr. McMillan is ----------(??) I mean he's, he used to be very separatist. He didn't have much--(laughs)--use for us white folks. He sort of changed his mind when--and he's been very active in politics and building the power of the black community. He'd, and he's, he's, but he's a great leader of a--to me, of a inter-racial, which is what 288:00we are here, organization. Um, and I don't feel like any second class citizen in the Rainbow 'cause I'm white. And he, and he likes to, and he, he, but he began, he changed his attitude really a little bit--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --about white folks, I think, after the '84 Jackson campaign when we got out and got people, white people to vote for Jesse. He really didn't think anybody except some of us crazy radicals would do that. But we really worked at it and we got a decent--well we had caucuses then, but we won, um, caucuses in predominantly white areas. So it didn't, but he didn't think that was possible. So once he sort of saw, I think, that coalitions were possible, he's been very coalition minded. But it was--he's the one who said to me before I even knew Jesse was calling this meeting, he said, you know, he said, "You know, Anne, what's happening?" He said that in the Rainbow, he said, "Everybody's getting something except the blacks." (laughs) And that, "There's nothing black about the Rainbow at this point except Jesse." And he didn't mean there weren't black people in it 'cause you 289:00go to a board meeting and it's more black than any other group. But he said, "Our issues are getting lost in the shuffle again."

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: "And we're--," and he said, "the peace people are getting something. You know, they got a treaty with the Soviet Union--(laughs)- -and, you know, this is happening. Environmental people are winning things. This is happening. But the--we're losing affirmative action, we're losing every time." So, and he, and he said he wrote Jesse a letter and I'm sure other, and I'm just pointing him out as typical that, um, I think and I'm just saying, this is has been a recurring thing in the black community in this country, of--because I don't care what you say about any other group, the blacks have been the most oppressed I believe, because they were the only ones who were slaves.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And recurringly that it's--they, they suddenly say, "Well, we're still getting the short end of the stick and we have to get ourselves together." So I think when the communists were promoting this idea of the black nation and it was probably pretty mechanical 290:00that there would be the areas of black majority in the South should be ruled by the majority, just like we say about South Africa today.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Um, it wasn't a totally wild idea. And I think it was also not totally out of, um, sync with a lot of unconscious longings of black people in this country. Now the Communist Party later reversed its position totally on that.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And some blacks left the Communist Party, I think. I don't know for, you know, I wasn't that kind of touch with it at that point, because they disagreed with the change.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But--

FOSL: Well, just to clarify the point that I, you know, started this part of the conversation on, this, uh, you know, this 1921--eight, quote, Moscow directive call for establishing a Negro republic in the black belt and the CP focused on organizing blacks and black 291:00separatism. That phra-, that quote that I just gave you was taken from an interview, either an interview that Pat Sullivan did or it might have been the memoirs of Junius Scales who was no longer in the Communist Party--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --but who talked, I remember this now, who talked at some length about the party's position on this, um, you know, putting him at odds with the realities that were going on in the South. He found that to be a great handicap and he, he felt like, he, nor, neither he nor most of the Communist Party members he knew in the South followed that, because it was so difficult given, you know, it just wasn't, um, it was, it was difficult to even talk about that given the realities--

292:00

BRADEN: Of what was happening then.

FOSL: --of what was going on in the South. Now that--so this Moscow directive, I, I agree with you, it sort of sounds that way. But I mean now I don't know, you know, he was no longer a communist at that--or a member of the CP anyway at that poi-, point. I don't know. Maybe he was anti-communist. It didn't come through that way in, you know, the other--his other discussions of the CP. But that was a quote from him. So.

BRADEN: Well, I think he did become anti-commun-, or anti CP. Um--

FOSL: Well, he had a rough time of it. You know.

BRADEN: Sure he had a rough time, but so did a lot of other people. But, um, well, you know, I, I never really knew Junius 'cause I met him one time in the fifties, and at that point, I think--but--was it before he went to jail or--

FOSL: He was in jail a long time. But I don't know when--

BRADEN: He was in jail, he was in the same prison with Carl and Frank Wilkinson. They were only there a short time. After they moved them from South Carolina over to Lewisburg, they saw Junius up there.

FOSL: He was there, like, four or five years, at least.

293:00

BRADEN: Um-hm. Um-hm.

FOSL: But anyway, just to identify the source of that.

BRADEN: But I've seen Junius somewhere in the last year and I'm trying to think where in the hell I would have run into him. But I have not read his book and I should. Um, but I think when I met him maybe he hadn't gone to jail, but he'd already sort of left the party and that was kind of dismal to be going to jail for it after you'd left it or something.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But any--[recording error]--I, I just, I think it's an oversimplification, put it that way. But I think that, um, and, and then of course when the mass movement, new mass movement developed in the fifties it was supposedly a movement for integration and it seems that position seems so out of keeping with where the masses were that the Communist Party changed its position. I mean I guess that's why, that they were trying to deal with reality. But I, you know, and 294:00I don't, and I think the kind of mechanical thing of carving out a black state in the South doesn't make a lot of sense. But the idea of majority rule does.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And actually that--and, and a fr-, the, and I think that it was totally impossible at that time, you know, as terrorized or as much terror as there was against blacks, they couldn't even vote or anything else, you know. And yet that's precisely what they've been building in areas where there's still black majorities, is--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --majority rule, like in the black belt of Alabama. Although it's not anti-white. And I can remember people--hearing people talk about that black nation thing at the time that didn't present it as anti-white either. It's just like today in South Africa.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: You know. That the South--that the freedom fighters there say they want majority rule. But they don't want to run all the white people out. What they want, and I've heard people who've been there, like Bob Moses tell, he says, "What, what they're talking about is, is a non-racial society in Africa. That's what they're working for."

295:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And you look like you don't believe that, but I believe it. Now I think it's white people who will keep that from happening.

FOSL: No, actually what I was thinking about was I didn't get the impression that this, this CP orientation was that either, anti-white.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: But it was just so absolutely removed from the reality--

BRADEN: From what was possible--

FOSL: --of southern blacks who had no--

BRADEN: --um-hm--

FOSL: --rights. I mean they're, they were--

BRADEN: --um-hm--

FOSL: --here they were, like, getting lynched for trying to do voter registration. It was really a bit much to try and--

BRADEN: --um-hm--

FOSL: --discuss with the rank and file people--

BRADEN: Having a state.

FOSL: --having a nation, you know--

BRADEN: --um-hm, um-hm--

FOSL: They couldn't even have a town. I mean they, you know.

BRADEN: Um-hm. Yeah.

FOSL: So that, you know, that was what he was--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --his discussion and that was about.

BRADEN: Um-hm. But I think one of the sort of, um, what's the word, not ant-, antecedents stuff that's come before, one of the things that kind of grew out of that concept of the black nation at that time, which was, as you say, totally unrealistic, but it was the whole idea of self determination.

296:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Which you heard a lot about in various radical circles when I became active. Um, I didn't hear much about a black nation to tell you the truth, until--

FOSL: I think it had already been.

BRADEN: I don't know. I never, I mean I was around communists and radicals, you know, when I began to get in things here in Louisville. I never heard anybody particularly talking about a black nation. Now maybe I just didn't talk to the people who were talking about it until at Carl's sedition trial when they brought in all these ex-communists who were supposed to be experts 'cause they were ex-communists and didn't claim to know Carl. But were--testified about what the Communist Party stood for. And one of the ways they were gonna prove Carl was a communist was that the Communist Party advocated taking all the land away from the white people and giving it to the blacks for a black nation. And that's what we were doing when we bought and resold that house. We were taking the land away from the whites to give it to the blacks. So that, I, that's--

FOSL: Wow.

BRADEN: I may have read something about a black nation, but that's the first time it really impinged on me. But I did hear a lot about self determination. That whole concept of self--that black people should, 297:00and we didn't say black, we said Negro. But should have the right of self determination, to decide in what kind of, um, deciding their fate. And that, the application of that, as I recall, was of blacks running for office. And that to--supporting a black for office, which wasn't gonna prevail in most places, is--in the forties or fifties, but that people I talked with says it's important to sup-, support that--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --because that is, that's self determination in practice.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. It's not just a theory, that if you, you know. And I think that blacks in the South who had the guts to run for office in that period really were important pioneers.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Like you had candidates on the ticket of the Progressive Party and they were really sort of, they got fired for their jobs and they got harassed--

FOSL: The senator, the senatorial candidate you disc-, you talked to, you mentioned his name from Georgia.

BRADEN: In Georgia. That--you said--

FOSL: L. Started with a L.

BRADEN: --you, you didn't get onto that--Larkin Marshall. And I met him at a Progressive Party meeting once after that year. He died aft-, but he lived a while, I don't know how long he lived. But he was, yeah, he 298:00ran for senate. Maybe he didn't get on the ballot, but he was really--

FOSL: --he didn't get on the ballot in the end--

BRADEN: --harassed. And, um, Jack O'Dell talks about that in this Cold War pamphlet, there was a, what was the guy's name? Moses something, in Louisiana ran for the legislature there. I think Senora Lawson in Richmond--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --ran. And you know, they didn't have a prayer of getting elected, but it was, it really, it, it was important that some people stood up and said, "Yeah, we should be elected to office." It was sort of a first step toward a self determination I think. And, and, um, and you know, laid the basis or not laid the basis but cleared away some debris for what would come later. You know.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: But to go back to the thirties, you know, I think, I don't know. I, is, I don't, um, as I say, I was unaware of all these things except 299:00for the, knowing the Depression was going on and that people were suffering somewhere right around me. And that, and, and that something was wrong about, um, blacks, the way they were treated.

FOSL: Um, were your parents, like, um, New Dealers? What were their--I mean, are they, were they, were they anti--

BRADEN: They were--

FOSL: --Roosevelt?

BRADEN: --Democrats. They were Democrats. Um, no they were--they liked Roosevelt. They weren't, um, some of my family, some of their families didn't. I--my mother's brother who was a capitalist businessman in Chicago, Uncle Thorne, uh, used to get, he got ulcers hating Roosevelt. He just hated Roosevelt. He real-, literally developed ulcers. And I think my, my mother had one sister, Auntie Virginia was her name, they lived in New Jersey and they had a lot more money than we did, and her husband was some big something in some company. And they had a lot of 300:00money and they, um, she had no daughters. She used to buy me evening dresses and things, she always wanted a daughter, and we used to go up there. I knew they lived different from what we did. But I never had any feeling they were better than we were. But I think he hated Roosevelt too. And my aunt never talked about it that much. Um, but, but my family voted for Roosevelt I'm sure. Well, well of course there wasn't anything but Democrats in the South. There was no Republican Party. But my--

FOSL: But there was a very--there was a lot, there was sort of a southern backlash against the New Deal. I just wondered--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --what your parents thought about, like, when candidates like, um, you know, Ellis Arnold were running. I mean I don't know what they--

BRADEN: They would have probably been against him, but that was later.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: That was more during the war. Um, the--

FOSL: Yeah, you were already--

BRADEN: They seemed--

FOSL: --gone.

BRADEN: --uh, I think they were, I think they, I think they sort of liked Roosevelt because he was doing something about the--see, my 301:00father was in close touch with farmers because he was in--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --as I said, he was a frustrated farmer and he was in the- -worked for a feed mill as a salesman, but he would go around and he really was--his customers were the stores, but he knew a lot of the farmers. And I remember--I don't remember him saying it, but I remember Mother talking later before the stock market crash in '29. I don't know, we would have been in Mississippi then, she said that, that Gambrell, that was my father's name, that Gambrell talked about so--the economy was gonna collapse. And of course that it was like, you know, like it is now. I mean things look prosperous--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --uh, in the twenties, because the farmers were so bad off.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And this was in the twenties. And he knew that and he--she said he would come in talking about that. He said, "Something is gonna collapse because, because when the, if the, that meant that there was gonna be trouble."

FOSL: Were you only five years old--

BRADEN: And--

FOSL: --when that happened? (Braden coughs) Do you remember it at all?

BRADEN: I don't remember the crash, no. (coughs) And this was--she was 302:00talking about this later, that he saw that coming. So I think--and there were a lot of programs, you see, that Roosevelt instituted that helped farmers. And I think--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --was for all those and for the, you know, the TVA which has become pretty reactionary now--(Fosl laughs)--um, was a progressive thing at that time.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And it brought electricity to the rural areas and all that. And I think they thought that was a good thing. Now they--as time went on, see, they, they were very pro poll tax.

FOSL: Oh, they were?

BRADEN: Oh yeah.

FOSL: You remember the discussions--

BRADEN: Oh yeah, I remember--

FOSL: --on that?

BRADEN: --discussions on that. But that was later when I--by the time I was, maybe, in college and stuff.

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: Um, and they were against the anti-lynch legislation. Those were the big things--

FOSL: They were? And do you remember, can you--

BRADEN: Oh yeah. Yeah.

FOSL: --recall a discussion--

BRADEN: Oh yeah, I remember that.

FOSL: --more concrete?

BRADEN: But by that time I was in college. I'm talking about in the thirties when I was a child--

FOSL: Um-hm. Okay.

BRADEN: --I think the kind of things that the, um, the New Deal was doing they probably agreed with because it was trying to deal with the 303:00problems. You know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Now they were--I, I think they were anti-labor unions. But they weren't, it wasn't a big emotional thing with them 'cause they weren't dealing with 'em direct. Well I meant to say this, see, the other thing that hardly impinged on me and I should try to find out about, but I think there was some efforts at organizing unions in Anniston in that period. But that didn't impinge on me either. I have very little recollection of it and none of those textile mills were organized then. I think some of 'em got organized later. So many of 'em may have closed by now. But the general attitude of people I knew, which would include my parents was that if there were labor organizers around, these were troublemakers coming in to stir up trouble. And that everybody was happy and that there were problems, you know, about, and people should, you know, people being out of work and unemployed or and having, and poor and something, and, you know, Christians ought to 304:00do something about that. But the idea of a labor union was of outside agitators and probably communists. I can remember that 'cause you began to hear about these things being communist. And things, and I think I alluded to this in The Wall Between that you would--that I can remember and it's all vague in my mind, but how a feeling that people liked Franklin Roosevelt better than Eleanor Roosevelt. That Eleanor Roosevelt was stirring things up.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: That was the sort of the general feeling.

FOSL: Oh that--I'm glad you mentioned that 'cause I had a question. Did you feel that Eleanor Roosevelt was influential on you at all? I mean or did you, did you just sort of buy their negative impression? 'Cause she really was, you know, a very, uh, sort of powerful personality of the day.

BRADEN: Yeah, I don't remember any sort of--having a personal effect on me on at all. I remember hearing talk about her and she seemed like a very interesting woman. Um, and I think that--I, I don't know 305:00I should, I'm sorry I didn't ask my mother before she died. I'm not sure my mother was totally negative about her. Mother tended to admire career women, even though she wasn't one herself. And she wanted me to have a career, sort of. So she might have admired Eleanor Roosevelt, I mean, uh, like she, she, she held up this, Mother did, as sort of models to me, women journalists, for example.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: There was a famous woman journalist then who I found out later was a terrible reactionary, Dorothy Thompson.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: She wrote a column. She was very--she was, traveled all over the world. She always happened to be in the right places at the right time when, you know, Hitler took over or this person. So she became very famous. She wrote a column and, and I think was very reactionary and I think lived after the World War II and was all tied up with some of the counter revolutionary stuff in, in, um, Europe. But I didn't know that or the difference. But I can remember Mother talking about her as model for me, you know. And she--so I think Mother somewhat 306:00admired Eleanor Roosevelt. But I think that it would--her attitude would have been that she, that, you know, she was a, an important woman. But she ought to, um, not to be meddling in the South, that people didn't know anything about the South shouldn't meddle in there or be stirring up the, um, labor people or stirring up the colored people. And there were, and I had, and I came, I do not remember Mother talking about this, but I definitely heard about this, these sort of rumors that she was organizing Eleanor Clubs, you know. You know about that? I think that's in my book. I think I allude to that.

FOSL: You do?

BRADEN: But--and you'll find it in other things. There was these--but I don't think anybody ever found an Eleanor Club. But there was the, the, the sort of mythology was that, uh, Mrs. Roosevelt was organizing the domestic work, black domestic workers into Eleanor Clubs to not show up for work or to do bad things to their employers or just to--

307:00

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: --to, to demand more pay, demand more pay.

FOSL: And you remember your mother mentioning this?

BRADEN: I don't know whether it was Mother or not. But I remember talk--people talking about the Eleanor Clubs and nobody ever knew where one was. But just that Elean-, that Mrs. Roosevelt was organizing the blacks, the colored, and to stir up trouble. But on the other hand, you know, if she would just quit meddling in the South she would have been all right. I have a feeling that would--was my mother's attitude.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I think.

FOSL: So your mother had a--sounds like a tremendous amount of respect for women having careers, did you ever talk to her about what that, you know, like why she gave up hers?

BRADEN: Oh yeah, she just, it was, she--because she got married. And she, uh, she doesn't, and she never would admit it if she regretted it. I think she was gonna kind of live vicariously through me. She went to college and not a lot of, a lot of women did, but not everybody went to college in--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --those days. And her sister didn't. Virginia was more of a, more of a social butterfly than Mother. Virginia was five years older 308:00than Mother. They were both--grew up here. Mother lived in Eminence, this little town out here where the Governor Throne lived and her mother and so forth. But they moved--her fam-, immediate family moved to Louisville when she was five. So she grew up here and went to girl's high school and all that. And her father whom I never knew, he died young at about fifty, I think soon after Mother got married, along in there, um, oh, around the distillery here. He was in the distillery--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --business. And um, I don't know a lot about their life here, in a way, because, and, and I don't know when--because the funny thing was, and Mother, after I was sort of made a point of living in a different world and with different values, and, and Carl being from Portland, and she said, "Well, I lived in Portland." And they did, when they first moved to Louisville they lived, the distillery was over there in Portland somewhere and they lived near it. But they weren't 309:00particularly proud of that 'cause it didn't fit in with their social position 'cause I remember Auntie, that's just Virginia, but we always called her Auntie, saying one time, she said, "Well, you don't like to remember when we lived in Portland," or something. But they had moved out near Cherokee Park, and that's where Mother grew up, or out near- -no, Eas-, Eastern Parkway somewhere out there. And I've never even known what house it was. But um, and Virginia did not go to college. Um, but she was a real social butterfly [telephone rings] and she had all kinds of beaus and all that, which is what you had in those days. And, um, [telephone rings] I think more than Mother, although Mother-- they were both very attractive women--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --young women.

FOSL: Just the two of them? [telephone rings]

BRADEN: There were two girls. There were three boys.

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: That Virginia, the older sister of my mother, was quite a social butterfly and Mother was too, I guess, to a certain extent. And I guess Virginia never wanted to go to college, I never remember hearing 310:00that it came up. But I can remember Nana that was their mother-- (coughs)--telling me one time, she was a very talented woman. You know, she's the one who stumped for Barkley and was active in politics.

FOSL: Um-hm. And she lived in Eminence after you lived here, right?

BRADEN: Yeah, and we used to go there, just like you came to Louisville for the summer when I was--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --little.

FOSL: Oh, huh.

BRADEN: Or we'd--well, a lot of summer, I'm sure we'd stay a couple of months. She had a big house. Doesn't--it seemed big to me at the time and, well, and I, I ride by there sometimes 'cause my, see my, um, my daughter and Carl and are buried, or their ashes are, out in that Eminence cemetery out. I've got six--

FOSL: --oh--

BRADEN: --gen-, seven generations in that, that cemetery including the child that my family always said was the first white child born in Kentucky, we're all descended from, is buried there--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --Mary Pogue.

FOSL: Oh God.

BRADEN: What'd she do?

FOSL: Oh, she was going after the, uh, so it just--(laughs)--

BRADEN: Oh.

FOSL: --scared me.

BRADEN: So I go out there every once in a while, but the house doesn't 311:00look so big now. It's been changed a lot and they cut down trees. It had big trees. Well, that wasn't where my mother lived as a child. It was another house that where--that burned later or something. But--and I'm not sure when Nana moved back there, 'cause they lived in Louisville when--from the time Mother was five. I know she moved here when she was five and growing up. Well, at some point she moved back there, but for the time I was aware of things she would usually spend the winters either with us or in New Jersey with--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --her other daughter. And she'd alternate. One winter she'd come stay with us and one winter she'd go there and then in the summer she'd go back to Eminence. And then we would come and Mother and my father never came, and he'd make--come in to get us, but he was working, you know. And he never--hardly ever take any vacation. Once in a while he'd take a vacation, take us on a trip to the World's Fair and stuff like that. But we'd go there and then my brother and me and the two boys who were Virginia's--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --children--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Alfred and Joe, who were around my brother's age. They were 312:00all a little bit older than me. And they had ponies and I was always sort of the odd one out 'cause I was younger and I tried to tag along with them and didn't always get accepted.

FOSL: And the only girl, too.

BRADEN: Yeah, I was the only girl. But we'd spend the summer there. But I can remember Nana saying it wasn't, as I say, she was by then she--I don't think she was that politically active. But she had been sort of a leader in the, I guess, woman, Democratic Women's Club and all that when she was active. She also probably should have been an actress. She loved the theatre. And she--when she would be in New Jersey she'd go see all the New York plays. You know. And I can remember when she would come and visit us then for a winter, she would absolutely--it, it wasn't staged or anything. But when there'd be visitors at our house, they just loved Nana. And she would practically perform a play. She would be telling 'em about--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Elizabeth, the queen or something she had seen. And she would be acting all the parts and she was really good. So she probably should have been an actress. But I can remember her saying one time something about that she had insisted that Virginia, I think, take singing 313:00lessons which doesn't sound like very intellectual activity. But she said, "I told--," she said, "I told her I didn't want a daughter whose only brains were in her feet." She was--she loved to dance.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But she had to do something besides dance, so she had her have singing lessons. I don't know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But so she--I, I really don't know whether she encouraged her to go to college. But Mother did go.

FOSL: Did she go to Randolph-Macon?

BRADEN: No, no, she went to the University of Kentucky. That's where she met my father.

FOSL: Wow. Now you had--

BRADEN: Yeah.

FOSL: If you told me that, I forgot.

BRADEN: Yeah, maybe not. But see, he had grown up in Owensboro, and I never, uh, I never felt quite as close--and I knew his mother too, and his father died when I was six or seven years old. I remember that when--after we moved to Anniston. So it was after I was seven, probably the next year or some--along in there sometime. I remember we drove up here for the funeral and stuff and it was the first funeral I think I ever remember going to. But I never knew him very well and, and Mama May, we call that grandmother, would also come visit us but, and you 314:00know, people went for long visits then. Like she'd stay a few months, maybe the winter that Nana wasn't there. She had two daughters--

FOSL: And you called her--

BRADEN: --who lived in New York.

FOSL: --Mama May?

BRADEN: Mama May. That was what all the grandchildren called her. And there--my, my father had two sisters, um, who lived in the New York area. One was a--married to a doctor and one was married to a guy, stockbroker, um, and they had children, you see. And I'm in touch with some of their children now, but that's, that, you know, my cousins, um, who all are a little bit younger than me. Some of 'em came, we had a big family thing here when we buried my mother's and father's ashes here about a year ago, a year ago last October. 'Cause Mother had died two years before, but we hadn't--we were--Daddy wanted to wait until he died and do it all at once. So everybody came. It was a str-, it was an interesting gathering--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --all these cousins I hadn't seen in years. But um, but so 315:00I don't really know and I don't ever remember hearing my mother say whether it was sort of she decided she wanted to go to college or whether Nana encouraged her or what, but she did. And she was a, she, she was a--I wouldn't say she was an ardent intellectual or determined to have a career. I think probably she was more like she leaned more toward being what most women went to college, looking for a husband sort of.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: There was some of--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that. She was--she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority which was a very prestigious sorority and Daddy came from Owensboro and was maybe a year ahead of her in school. And, um, um, he was a Kappa Alpha, you know. So they had a lot of that kind of social life. But she worked on the school--the Kentucky Kernel, the thing that, you know, there was a reporter there yesterday from the Kernel, it's still named the student newspaper there, and became the first woman editor of it.

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: And she liked that. And--but she never--I think she left, I 316:00think she left either in the mid--she didn't graduate but she, um, either left in the midst of her senior year or right before her senior year to, during World War II to marry my father who was getting ready to go to Europe in the war. And, um, so then, you know, she never pursued a career at all. She never worked at a paying job in her life.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And um, she never expressed any frustration about it. And I don't know that she felt any. It was--but she began talking to me quite young that maybe I would like to be a writer. And I'm sure it was sort of her living through me, you know. And whether I had any real talent for writing, I mean I think I developed some, but maybe anybody could develop it if somebody encouraged you, you know.

FOSL: Right. Exactly.

BRADEN: But I began to write stories when I was as, as you know, the minute I could make letters, I'd be writing stories or books. I remember I, I was writing a book and I would tell Mother--

FOSL: Really.

BRADEN: --about this book I was writing. I was on chapter two. And 317:00I remember asking her, "Do you think I ought to do--," I remember she hurt my feelings once 'cause she--(laughs)--and she shouldn't a done that. I don't know. She must have been tired. But I was, I was at some serious dilemma about what to do about chapter two in this book. I couldn't have been more than second or third grade. And I said, "Do you think I should do this in that chapter?" or something. I can't remember what it was. And she said, "Well, I'm not sure it makes a lot of difference. It's not gonna be published." (laughs) Just and that was--I felt crushed.

FOSL: Oh, that is ----------(??).

BRADEN: I don't know why she did that. But it--you know, it's funny how things like that stick in your mind. I remember it all these years. But she encouraged me. And I wrote poetry and I--it was fair poetry I guess. Um, but she talked to me more about being a newspaper reporter. And you know, she would--and as I say, she would make sure I met these writers that had come--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --from Anniston and were somewhere living an interesting life, you know. And um, um, but on the other hand, Mother really believed that um, she didn't believe a woman's place was in--I mean she believed 318:00in women having careers, but she didn't think you ought to combine that with being a parent.

FOSL: I was just about to ask you if it--'cause it sounded like, um, maybe that was some of where your conviction never to get married came from, because it sounds like, you know, if, whether it was stated or not, the clear conclusion from what she was saying was that you couldn't--

BRADEN: You couldn't do both.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: 'Cause she, she was a full-time mother and she thought everybody should be. And my father um, literally, I'm sure, did not know how to change a diaper. He never did anything for the children. And it was just assumed he wouldn't. And he was very kind, Daddy was sweet, I mean except for his violent racial views, and I guess that's one of the things that influenced me so, because he was such a changed personality when you scratch that part of him, but mostly he was a kind, sweet man until you scratched his racial views or challenged 'em. And intelligent--

FOSL: Sounds so much like my grandfather.

BRADEN: You know. And he was the one--he'd always, like we'd go and we didn't have, have much money in those days and we--and you--we'd go 319:00shopping and you could bring dress from--at least in Anniston, dresses home to consider, sort of. Or you could if you knew the people. And we were trying to decide between two dresses. And he said, "Well, why don't you just get 'em both?" You know. That's the--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --way he did, things like that. Um, but he'd never take care of the children. That was not his job. And Mother didn't think it was either. And I know she told me even in later years, you know, and I felt that was a little out of balance, she never had any sympathy in recent years for the Women's Liberation Movement.

FOSL: Oh really?

BRADEN: And--

FOSL: 'Cause you would think, you would think the reverse.

BRADEN: Unh-uh. And she, and she said, well, she just always had so much respect for man's--if he could--that the fact that he could get out and make the living. That that was enough. And, um--

FOSL: So what did she think of your all's arrangement?

BRADEN: Mine? My marriage?

FOSL: Your--yeah, I mean with both of you doing--

BRADEN: Oh she, oh, well she--that just broke her heart. I really can't even talk about that now. You know, that's--some of these things I think I need to write about. I can't talk about 'em. I mean you, you, you may have noticed I kind of shut you out when you ask me some things 320:00that are personal.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And it's so painful I cannot talk about it. I could write about it. That's why some people--and I, I think, I, I was thinking about that yesterday. I'm gonna write some of these and, things, and that'll be easier for you than listening to a tape--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --really. But I just can't really talk about the things that are really painful. And I haven't told you that before. I, I just cut your questions off. I don't know whether you've noticed that. But I have. But anyway, but that was her view and, and but she was a very smart woman. And I think intellectually, I think frustrated--she didn't think she was. And maybe she wasn't. If she was happy until the end of her life and didn't have a bad end of her life, she had terrible health problems though. She had such bad arthritis and stuff, but um, she, but she, I think she was satisfied with the role she had chosen in life. But she did things with her intellect as her children got a little older. Um, she, you know, in volunteer work in Anniston. 321:00She became a--one of these women volunteers. But she didn't a lot when we were little 'cause she, you know, she just didn't leave us, sort of thing. But then after we got a little older she--well, she got active in the PTA. She was president of the PTA--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and then she was always about the best one they had. And then she got into the--she was a part of forming the League of Women Voters in Anniston.

FOSL: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: Which really was sort of after I left there. See, I don't think there'd ever been a league there. There may have been while I was in college, sort of, that--I think she and a few other women organized it and that was kind of a, I don't think too, I mean, see the league as very progressive, although, you know, they have been on some things. But it was kind of radical for Alabama.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, and in some places they were pretty liberal and sort of under attack. But I don't think the Anniston one was. It was more kind of good government. And they would go and observe the city commission meetings and keep an eye on the politicians and all that kind of stuff. But she would do that and she was very active in it. And I asked her 322:00one time--well, when I was growing up she was active--oh, I know, she was active in the DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And, uh, she never was in the Daughters of the Confederacy for some reason, but I was in the Children of the Confederacy, 'cause that was, um, 'cause I, you know, all our ancestors were in the Confederate Army and, and there was no children of the CAR there. But there was a, a Children of the Confederacy and some of my friends were in it and I joined it. My, and I was secretary of it. That's where I learned how to take minutes and be a, be in--

FOSL: That's ----------(??)

BRADEN: --a meeting. But, uh--

FOSL: But weren't, weren't they--being in a border state, were they in the Confederate Army?

BRADEN: Oh, well very much so. My, um, yeah. Well the, the, that's-- Kentucky was divided of course. But my, my family was all Confederates.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But um, but I asked--I remember asking mother one time, 'cause 323:00that, the DAR, which had, but always was reactionary and had become more so as time went on, you know, in that period when I, like when I was in college, and by that time she was in the League of Women Voters and I remember one time when I was home I, I said, um, I said, "Mother I--you must have schizophrenia." I said, "I don't see how you could--(Fosl laughs)--manage being in the League of Women Voters and the DAR all at the same time." And she said, "Well, I don't pay that much attention to the DAR anymore. But I just been in it so long I just stay in it. I don't want anybody to be upset 'cause I left or something." But she did that. And then she was in a thing called the Wednesday Study Club. Which was kind of a fashionable thing, but they did book reviews.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they read and they were, you know, these women read a lot and they read some good books. And she sort of had a reputation for giving the best book reviews, that she--and I, and I can remember her working on those book reviews. She'd read the book and she'd write, write it all out, you know. And she really put a lot of work into making these presentations. And, um, and then she got very active in 324:00the church. When I was a child, a little child, she wasn't that--she always took us to Sunday school but she wasn't that active. But then she got very active in things at the church and so she--and then my father did too as he--after he retired, especially, when he was there more. And, and I guess that even toward the end of his working on his, you know, his main job, he traveled less because he, you know, the business was all built up and stuff and he didn't have to work as hard. So he was there more and he got active in church and he was senior warden and that kind of thing and they had a, so they just, and they had a real circle of friends. When they left there, people, the, the people moved away, a lot of--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Ann-, people in Anniston were just devastated. Everybody loved 'em--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and that because they were so active in things. But, um, so you know, I don't know if, if she ever felt like that she was sorry she hadn't had a career. She never said so.

FOSL: Did she ever write that you know of--

325:00

BRADEN: Unh-uh.

FOSL: --after that?

BRADEN: I don't think so, except things like the book reviews and, and she would, um, but I don't think so. Unh-uh.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But no, all of my family came, was--well, the other thing she would do, you were talking about whether they were Democrats. My--see, I had a great grandmother that I remember who lived out there in Eminence and she was quite old, or at least she seemed old. Well, she was old. Um, lived by herself, but she was, um, cranky old lady and had been a child--no, had been a young girl during the Civil War.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: I believe she had married right before, young, when people married young in those days, before the Civil War. And so she 326:00remembered all that. And she, um, was an ardent Democrat, but that was because she associated the Republicans with Yankees. And she still hated Yankees. And I can remember her talking about that and anything was better than the Republicans. But Mother used to take me, and I'd have to sit there all Sunday afternoon listening to Mammy Crabbe we called her, to hear about her tales of the Civil War and so forth because Mother thought I should hear all this so I could write a great American novel about it. I guess she wanted me to write Gone with the- -that was before Gone with the Wind. But, you know, she thought this was good material I should know so I could write a book. Well I was pretty bored by it. But, and I, I actually I wish I'd listened more 'cause some of it was interesting.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But, you know, a little child, you don't want to sit there all day listening. But I had to go--

FOSL: And now how old--

BRADEN: --every Sunday.

FOSL: --were you probably?

BRADEN: Well, she died in, um, I think--it seems to me she died in along '37 or '38 or something. So this was when I was little. I don't know, something's wrong with that machine. I hope it's not going on the blink.

FOSL: But it's still answering.

BRADEN: Yeah. So as long as it's doing that.

327:00

FOSL: But she was a tyrant. And Mother--she'd take me out on Sundays, when we'd be there in the summer, Mother and Auntie, when she'd be there with her boys, they had to go to see her every day or she'd be upset. And she was, she, she was the, um, and they, they did it as sort of an unpleasant duty. But she, she was the--

FOSL: (laughs) Every day.

BRADEN: --she was the mother of Nana's husband who I never knew, my mother's father. And apparent-, you know, there was a bad--a whole tense family thing about that 'cause he was an only child and she never quite let go of him and there was--and she was always, and I rem-- (laughs)--it's one, you know, how people have these, this tyrannical influence in a family. I know when, when she died, everybody came to the funeral and we were there at my grandmother's house, which was a nice, pleasant sort of place to be in. People didn't want to leave to--(laughs)--ever go to grandmother's house. But she just lived in a little house. She--nobody stayed with her. By that time she had lived 328:00in a big mansion, but she'd moved into a little house. But I remember Auntie said that--the phone rang. And it was somebody. But she said, you know, "Isn't it strange," she said, "I was," and Mammy Crabbe had died and everybody was there for her funeral. She said, "When that phone rang I just knew it was Mammy Crabbe wanting to know why we hadn't called her yet." (Fosl laughs) And Mother used to say that she, Mammy Crabbe was the meanest woman she ever knew in her life and that she was, um, [telephone rings] she was always, she, that she, she worried about what she was gonna do when she met her in the hereafter. [telephone rings] And I--when Mother died, I told my sister-in-law, I said, "I can't help but think about what Mother said about [telephone rings] ----------(??) that one day she'd ----------(??) Mammy Crabbe yet in the hereafter.

FOSL: Was Crabbe her last name? [telephone rings]

BRADEN: Crabbe was my mother's maiden name, you see. That's her father was Crabbe, C-r-a-b-b-e. Her father was Crabbe and this mean ole lady was his mother, Crabbe. Now that's somebody hung up. That's what 329:00that was.

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: They changed their mind for some reason. I don't know, so that was the.

FOSL: Huh. And then what was Nana's last name? Thorne?

BRADEN: Thorne--her--

FOSL: Thorne.

BRADEN: --was her maiden name, T-h-o-r-n-e. And she married Crabbe. It--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --became Crabbe. But Thorne. And her, her father was the Lieutenant Governor Thorne that I mentioned.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: He was a lawyer.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: And, uh, and he was apparently quite a character. Carl always thought he was interesting because the story was, I--that, um, I did not hear from my family, but he was well known out in those parts, well, I mean in all of the state really. But of course he was old by then. [telephone rings] But I happened really--(laughs)--it was real strange, uh [telephone rings] after my children were in school here I was on a committee, we were trying to get a library up at the 330:00school [telephone rings] and this school was, you know, in this--it was really neglected like a lot of the west end schools. And we formed a committee [telephone rings] to have a library, see, just to get a library, it was still just the city school system. And we finally got one. And um, but one day we were on a delegation out to the school board to see the guy who was then superintendent of the schools, I'm trying to think what his name was. Doesn't matter. But um, and we met with him and he tried to butter us up, you know, and I was, and it was--I guess I was probably the only white. The rest of 'em were black 'cause it was mostly a black school. But somebody--

VOICE ON ANSWERING MACHINE: Hello Anne, this is Gary. Please call--

BRADEN: Now see, that cut her off. There's something--damn, I gotta take that machine to be worked on. That's gonna--well, I know who it is. See, it's not supposed to be doing that.

FOSL: That is weird.

BRADEN: Well, every once in a while it gets out of whack and--but then I have to do without it a few days when I take it to be worked on.

FOSL: Well, I'll screen your calls.

BRADEN: Well, yeah, but anyway, yeah, but you'll be gone. (Fosl laughs) 331:00It's gonna take 'em longer than that. They may lend me one. Sometimes they do that. (coughs) Um, so it really irritated me the way this guy did this. I mean it was really bad. But he was trying to placate these irate parents from the west end wanting a library. But as we, he, um, I, maybe I, um--[recording error]--barely remember things. So I may have mentioned it in an earlier meeting. I don't remember--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --mentioning it then. But after--as we were leaving he says, "Oh let me," he says, "you know, I knew your," he says, "I know your family out in Eminence." I said, "Do you?" or something. And he said, "Yeah." People kind of drifted out. And it was like he was sort of buttering me up. I was the only white one and kind of, you know, we'd got this Eminence common ground or something. And I didn't like that. You know. And I know that's what he was doing and I was being a little cool. But then he was telling me this story about--he says, "Oh, that Governor Thorne was--," now of course he wasn't governor, he 332:00was lieutenant, but everybody called him Governor Thorne till he died. "Governor Thorne was a real character," he said, "and every," and you know, he knew people and he said nice things about him now --------- -(??). But he said, "He was a real character." And he says, "You know what he used to say?" I said, "No, what?" He said, "He--his ambition was to live to be 104 and be hung for rape."

FOSL: (laughs) God.

BRADEN: I had never heard that. Well, he didn't live to be 104-- (laughs)--and he wasn't hung for rape.

FOSL: What a riot. (laughs) I think that's great.

BRADEN: But I told Carl about that and Carl said, "Well, that's the most interesting ancestor I've heard that--(laughs)--you've had." But--

FOSL: Well, um, were you and your brother close as children?

BRADEN: No, not at all. It's strange, we just never were.

FOSL: Tell me his name again, I can al--

BRADEN: Lindsay.

FOSL: Lindsay. Okay.

BRADEN: Lindsay.

FOSL: I want to say Waldo. I don't know--

BRADEN: That's L-i-n-d-s-a-y. Some people spell it with an E. And he was named--my, um, mother's father was named Lindsay.

333:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, and we just weren't. I don't know, um, we didn't particularly fight. I think four and a half years is a lot of difference when you're little.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And then by the time that--and I was just sort of a kid, nuisance kid sister I guess. And by the time I was old enough where those years begin to collapse a little bit and we might have had some common ground he was away most of the time. Well, not in high school, but see, when he was in high school I was in junior high.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I was just still not grown up and, and then once he, he went- -after he finished high school he went to Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama to prepare to go to the, to Annapolis or West Point. He didn't care, wanted to go to one of 'em. And he was practically never home again after that because he'd be gone in the summers too. He--the--I don't know where he went that first summer, but the next year he got into Annapolis and they don't come home in the summer, they went on cruises and stuff and came for leave in September. He 334:00just never was home again really. And then pretty soon I was away at school, four years later. But he never was back anyway. I mean he always came for a few days for his leave, but we just weren't. And um, um, and I don't know. I can't--I still don't understand my brother, whether he really wanted to go to Annapolis. It was more--when my mother and father started talking about him going to one of the academies, it was more of a way to get him an education 'cause they didn't know they had, they didn't think they had the money for college.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Which they probably didn't. And that was a way to get a free education. And because of my grandmother's political connections in Kentucky, she was trying to get an appointment for him, you know, the appointment or at least they were then, I guess they are now, by Congress and stuff, through all these congressmen and people she knew that she had worked for in the Democratic Party. And I can't remember whether that's how he got it or he and he took some exams. You can also--some of 'em have competitive exams. So he tried for 335:00several different ways and not--I forget which one got him the place in Annapolis. But it was more just a way to get a free education.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But um, I've always thought that he never had a thought after he went to Annapolis. But I wouldn't want to put that in print 'cause he's still living. But that um, but I think, you know, I think that's what those military academies do is teach people not to think. And I think he quit thinking. But, um--

FOSL: And never have started back. (laughs)

BRADEN: Not much. Although he's mellowed a lot, I mean we all do to a certain extent I guess as you get a little older. But, you see, I was totally out of touch with him for, let's see, throughout--maybe from '52 to '77. That would be--

FOSL: Twenty-five years.

BRADEN: Twenty-five years I never heard--

FOSL: Wow.

BRADEN: --saw him or heard from him. But I--and the, the thing that he, um, he married--I think I mentioned but for some reason I did come to 336:00that wedding, or about Dr. Pickett.

FOSL: Right. Yeah.

BRADEN: But he, he, he met this real nice woman. I've always thought she was a frustrated intellectual--(laughs)--too. But she'd kill me if she heard I said that. 'Cause she thinks she's had--she's satisfied, I guess, with her life out here at Shelbyville, which is twelve miles from Eminence. But I think he must have met Beverly when we were there one summer or something. And, um, she had, uh, she was at Wellesley. She was very smart. She had won a full scholarship to Wellesley 'cause her family was old family too, but didn't have money.

FOSL: Now wait. Go back just for one minute about Shelbyville. Is-- that's where they live now or that--

BRADEN: Oh no, no, that's where his wife grew up.

FOSL: Okay, that's what I thought you were saying.

BRADEN: Yeah.

FOSL: I, I knew you'd said they lived in Virginia. I just--

BRADEN: Yeah, no. And she doesn't have any family there anymore, but she had gone to a private school there in Shelbyville and won a full scholarship to Wellesley and had and I remember saying that she almost had a nervous breakdown in college 'cause she had to work 337:00so hard 'cause she felt like she had to succeed 'cause she had this scholarship. You know. And stuff like that. And--but--and then they decided to get married. He had been, he had had other girlfriends, but--and I, and but, I don't know, I guess he was in love with Beverly and so they were gonna get married after he graduated. But then after the war came in December '41 they speeded it up and married that January. And then he was gone into the war. And they had two boys, Thorne and Joe and, um, and we saw 'em, I saw 'em a few times. I would see her. You see, they--that was--they married in '40 whatever. You know. The--I saw her--like I, then I was in college, you see, in that period and every once in a while when I'd go home to visit she would be there. He was off in the Pacific somewhere, um, and Mother almost 338:00had a, you know, Mother collapsed at, in the day right after, well, it may have been the day of VJ-day, Mother collapsed and she'd never been sick in her life. She was sort of like me up until old age, that she just wasn't sick. Didn't have any patience with people who were sick either. And I don't have much. I'm like her that way. Um, but she collapsed and put her in the hospital and she had a bleeding ulcer and really seriously ill. She recovered all right. But it was--I--and they always figure she had just held herself together with bailing wire all during the war--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --because he was, you know, he was in dangerous, my brother was in dangerous--so, he was on a sub. He was in the sub service.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, and, and, and she claims, and you know, she really sort of believed her claimed in mental something, psychic stuff. And I do too. I think there's some kind of ment-,telepathy.

FOSL: Um-hm, um-hm.

BRADEN: That she knew something was wrong. There was a time and they didn't think they were gonna get off the bottom in the Pacific. But they did, you know. And she, she says she knew that that day that 339:00something was happening.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But--so she--when the war was over she just collapsed. But she got all right. But she'd done a lot of war work and stuff. You know, she was head of the bond drive and all that to keep herself busy. But I would but there to--you see, I was in college exactly during World War II, from '41 to '45. So I'd be home not, you know, in summers after the first summer and stuff. And Beverly would be there occasionally. And, um, visiting, so I kind of got to know her a little bit, but not a lot. And then after I moved up here, let's say they, they had one child, I guess, who was born in--during the war in '44, the first child. I believe he was born in '44. And then one after the war. But they had them pretty close together. And then I didn't--you know, I just kind of--because I was in the process of sort of cutting myself--I didn't deliberately not see 'em, but I just wasn't in touch 340:00with 'em and we never had been in that much touch. But a couple times they were in Kentucky because her mother was still alive out at, and her father too. In fact her father outlived her mother out at Shelbyville and they'd come to see them. And I--well, and actually I saw her, she was--before Carl and I got married, I went out--and Mother came up to visit at, her mother, out at Eminence, one time, and I went out and spent a few days with her ----------(??). And the--and Beverly and her boys were over at Shelbyville and we'd go get 'em and bring 'em over for the day and stuff. And that was maybe while I was still at the paper. But then after Carl and I were married they, they came to see us once, I think we were working at the union hall. I can remember Lindsay, I think it was kind of a strain. He didn't know what that place was about. But they weren't being unfriendly. I remember him walking in with his little boy and we went out to dinner or something. And then one year they were at Shelbyville and this was--we had Anita by then, so that would have been along in '52 or something. And they 341:00were gonna--they were at Shelbyville. And we rode out to Shelbyville to see 'em. They were staying at a motel out there near--visiting her family. And we spent the afternoon or, you know, spent an hour or two with 'em. And so, you know, it was that kind of thing. It was just sort of something you did. But after the sedition case, I literally didn't see 'em for twenty-five years because, see, he was, um, worried for fear that was gonna--what was--my situation was gonna hurt his Navy career, and with good reason, because that's, you know, that's, a lot of people did lose their jobs--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and stuff. And he, apparently, I think what he did, I mean he--well, I didn't see him. But from--Mother would tell me a little about it. But--and he--we've never talked about that part--that stuff at all since I've been back in touch with 'em. But, um, I guess, so I guess I got it from my mother that he, he went and talked to his commanding officer. He, he got very high up in the Navy. He got to be quite a--every--just one rank short of admiral. He never made admiral, 342:00which I think disillusioned him. I don't think that had anything to do with me and I don't think he, he thinks it does. But I think he did get disillusioned about the way the Navy works. But, but he wouldn't, I don't think he'd talk about it a lot. But I think that was sort of- -I know it was a disappointment to him, he wanted to be an admiral. But he got to be whatever it is before you get to be an admiral, captain or something. And um, but at the time in '54 when you heard about-- (laughs)--all this, he, he went and talked to his superior, whoever it was, to tell him about it before they heard about it somewhere else. And, you know, just told him that, you know, he was out of touch with me and that I was kind of, had always been sort of strange. And I know some of--and the Navy intelligence did a, when I got my FBI file or what they gave me, I never, you know, I never put a fight to get the whole thing, which I should have, but I think I told you about that, but I didn't.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But some way they sent me--what they did send me, some pages, and I'm not sure where that stuff is Cate. I think it's in Bill Allison, the lawyer's office. I gave--'cause we were thinking at one point about pursuing, getting more.

343:00

FOSL: I'd love to see that stuff.

BRADEN: I never even took the time to read it all. That's why I didn't pursue the rest of it. I thought well, I ain't even got time to read this stuff anyway. I think it's good that some people do that and, you know, Frank Wilkinson has made his--has done a lot of good by exposing some of those things. But he had somebody else to read through it and--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --be it--see, unless you got somebody to analyze it and put this together with what's over here, you can't sort of get much out of it, 'cause they bought out so much. But along with the um, FBI, for some reason there was some--it wasn't a lot, but there were some sheets from the naval intelligence. And uh, I would have to--I, I'm sure Bill must have that stuff, uh, somewhere, because um, 'cause I remember being kind of amused by it when I read it because they, 'cause I think that Lindsay had said or something or it could have been somebody else they talked to in Anniston, but they were investigating me because 344:00of Lindsay, you see. Or trying to see what influence I might have on him, I guess. Um, but that I was always sort of strange and I had a tendency to sit out on the roof at night writing poetry. And I talked to a friend of mine, I was sitting--I think maybe--I thought it was Lindsay that said that. But I talked to a woman who was my best friend when I was in high school, she's sweet as she can be, she still loves me. And I--she's one of the people I still see when I go--whenever I do back to Anniston, Jean Willit. And she said, "I think I told 'em that." She said, "Well, we did, don't you remember, Anne? We, we'd, and we did write poetry on the roof." (laughs) And then she--

FOSL: And they came and talked to her?

BRADEN: To her. Um-hm. She was married to a naval officer too, a guy that we all went to high school with. I said, "Well, yeah, that's right." I said, "Well, why'd you, why'd you--(laughs)--tell them that?" But--(coughs)--anyway--(coughs)--I never heard from him. And literally in those years I literally forget I had a brother. I mean people would ask me, just like you did, "Do you have any brothers and sisters?" And I'd say, "Unh-uh." And I'd say, "Oh, yes I do. I have a brother." I 345:00mean I literally forgot I had a brother. And I wasn't particularly hurt by it because we'd never been close. I mean it wasn't any great loss. But--and I think he probably felt the same way. But, um, now Mother acted--but, I mean, the painful thing was with Mother because she would, you know, how terrible it was she couldn't have both of her children home at the same time anymore. And I said, "Well, it's not," I says, "it's not my fault Mother, I'm perfectly willing to be here when Lindsay is." But see, Lindsay couldn't come when I was there.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And she assumed that, you know, it was not--that naturally he was right in the way he lived and I wasn't and so it was my fault. But the funny, but the--so the first time I saw him was after Carl died and I still wonder whether he would a come when I was there if Carl had been still alive. I don't know. But by that time he had retired from the Navy some time before really. Well, in the meantime the other thing that had happened was that his children grew up, Thorne and Joe. 346:00And somewhere along the line they heard about this strange aunt they had and got interested in meeting her. And of course I had seen 'em when they were real little boys. And they looked, both, looked Carl and me up. I'm trying to remember, I think that maybe--and came 'cause they all lived in the East at that time, and he was--and the older one, Thorne is an, was and is an absolute genius. Um, he is, he was, he went, he was at Harvard Law School, but he, he got a degree in law and mathematics or something and he was--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --combining those two things. And since then his field--he's gone into some sort of human, um, human and, not human intelligence, inhuman. You know. Machine intelligence.

FOSL: Robot.

BRADEN: Huh--what do you call it? But anyway, computers, before anybody else was and he, and he goes to international conferences and gives papers. He sent me a paper once and I tried, you know, after I got to know him a bit. I was really trying to understand what he was doing so I could talk, and I couldn't understand what he was doing--

347:00

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --talking about. And his wife, and they separated, I think he's found another woman now, but she told me, I got friendly with her, and she said, "You know, there are only a few people in this country Thorne can talk to." I mean he's--but and Joe, the younger one, a sweet boy and very handsome, handsomer than Thorne and smart enough, but compared to Thorne, a dunce. So he was--(laughs)--always sort of the low man on the totem pole. And Mother told me one time that he told his father once says, says, "You just got to face it, I'm the dumbest one in the--(laughs)--class." Or something. (Fosl laughs) So he always--but he was a much more outgoing and stuff than, than Thorne. But they were both nice and they both sort of got caught up in the sixties student movement, not a lot. I mean they were never any real activists, but you know, there was a time when most students were sort of--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --somewhere in that spectrum. So and so, which made us a little 348:00more fascinating or something. So I think that it was--I can remember them both, several times, they came to see us at Little Compton in the summer, I don't think they ever were here at that time. Well, I did see Joe, but that was different, when, when Anita died. Beverly and Joe, by that time, he was sort of in his teens, that was '64, were in Cincinnati or something and they came down and met us at the cemetery by the services for her. But--

FOSL: Well, that was kind of nice. I mean--

BRADEN: Yeah, yeah, they did that. And--but of course Lindsay didn't. But the, but--

FOSL: And didn't he, he didn't even send a card or nothing?

BRADEN: No. But we just didn't do that anyway. I mean I didn't expect it. But she came. And so the--and then, and then you see the children, my children, would be at my parents when Joe and Thorne were there.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So they knew each other, it was just that Lindsay wouldn't come. Like Joe--when, when Anita--I remember Joe and the, the, when Anita 349:00was ten, when that picture was taken, just happened to remember that summer that Joe was there then and they were kind of, they were older, see? They were--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --a little bit older than my children and they were doing things for 'em. And then Daddy had the farm by then. He had retired and he had a great thing of giving--wanting the boys, his grandsons to work during the summer--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --instead of just lazing around. So he'd give 'em jobs on the farm and paid 'em a little bit. It wasn't much. And they--and he gave each of 'em a calf. He was, had a dairy farm.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, and Joe tells about how his calf got to be the best producer and he thought he ought to get more money and he bargained with Granddaddy--(laughs)--about it. But--and he and Jim, and Jim was, Jim and Joe and Thorne would work on the farm.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Jim never took too much to it, but he went along with it. So they would all be there together. But it was just that I didn't see 'em and that--and, and Beverly, I guess, only at Anita's funeral. But, but anyway, Thorne and Joe then, as they grew up and they were in college in the East and then--and Thorne was at Harvard and then went 350:00on to, um, Harvard Law School, or maybe he went to undergraduate at Yale. And Joe went to Yale. I mean he--even though he was the dumbest one in the class, he managed to get into Yale. Um, and so they came to see us a couple of summers in Little Compton in the late sixties. And Thorne with this girlfriend that he later married and then they lived together for some years, him and Diane was her name, and they decided they were gonna get married. And Beverly was pretty old-fashioned about things like that. She just couldn't understand people living together if they weren't married, and she never would sort of recognize they had really been living together till they were married. But it was--she--her family had been his--her father had been an naval officer or something. Lindsay was apparently a very strict father. He ran the house like a naval ship, because Thorne talked about that when I got to know him when he was grown. And--but he was away a lot and Beverly was 351:00the one that they sort of had some fun with. But, but Thorne decided that now that he was--that his mo-, wedding would be a good time to get the family back together. And that, that Carl and I should come to the wedding. So apparently he told his father that he was gonna invite us to the wedding and Lindsay said he wouldn't come if we came. So I never talked, and I've never talked to Lindsay about that since, but I remember I called Thorne on the phone, 'cause we'd kind of gotten on, and I said, "Thorne, this is ridiculous." I said, "You know, it's much more important for your father to be at the wedding." I said, 'I see what you're trying to do, but it's just, it's too soon. It's not the time. It's much more important for your father to be at the wedding than for us to. So we, we won't come." Well, he was so disappointed. And then we didn't go. Uh, it was in the summer and Jim was living with this woman that he had met at Macalester (??) and that he lived with for four years. They were--sort of like they were married. 352:00And she went to England with him later and stuff and they were up at Little Compton before we were. They had gone up and had gotten jobs around there to be there most of the summer. And they hitch-hiked down to Washington for the wedding. They told me about it later 'cause the--Jim was sort of being a hippie then, which Granddaddy didn't think he looked too good. Carol was his girlfriend and she said, she says, "I was perfectly straight." She said, "I looked all right." Said, Granddaddy said, "Well, he'd have to get him a coat and this," and he said, "except his shoes." He said, "His shoes were fine." (laughs) That was about all. But they were at the wedding, but we didn't go. Unfortunately that marriage didn't last. We--and I used to see 'em pretty regularly when they, and then they went out to California, but for a while he was at Stanford doing something. And they were very much or she was sort of caught up in the Angela Davis Case which came along after that. I remember she wrote and wanted to know if I wanted to write some stuff about it. And they were very friendly to us and so--well, they all, and Joe too. Joe later--neither one of 'em's marriages worked out. Joe--but it was like they had sort of found us 353:00and stuff, although in--I don't know, I really haven't heard a lot from 'em in the last few years. But um, finally Thorne and his wife moved back to, um, Rochester? Not Rochester. Buffalo. Buffalo, New York. He was teaching in the law school at the University of New York in Buffalo at that time. Now he's at Rutgers. But um, and when we would drive east in the summer we'd stop there and spend the night and see 'em. And I did that for a few years even after, after Carl died. And, but I kind of lost touch. And then they got a divorce and--but I see 'em--then, you see what happened, when I got back in touch with the- -Lindsay and Beverly, it happened that, it might have happened anyway, but it was, and it was--I remember very, it was 1977, Carl had been dead a couple of years. And Beth and I went and, and Beth went down for 354:00Thanksgiving to Anniston, they were still in Anniston. I may be wrong. No, no, that wasn't in '77, because they moved in '77. It was '76, it was the fall of '76. So Carl had been dead, uh, ov-, a little over a year. But I went down for--Beth and I went down for Thanksgiving. And we had this, um, I believe--I may have it mixed up. Maybe it was the fall of '75. Anyway it was after Carl, Carl died in February '75. One year we went down we had this student from New Zealand that Beth was so crazy about staying with us, went with us down there, not sure she was with us then. But anyway, I remember I knew that Lindsay and Beverly were gonna be there. Nobody said anything about this gonna be unusual or anything. They were just gonna be there. So, okay. So um, I remember I got up. I, I think we came in late at night or something, which I always got there late at night driving. And when I got up in the morning I came out in the kitchen and I looked in the dining 355:00room and Lindsay was up on a stool or something changing some kind of light or fixing something for Daddy in the dining room. And I just walked in and said, said, "Hello Lindsay, how are you?" And he said, "Hello," like we'd seen each other the week before. Nobody ever said anything about we hadn't seen each other for twenty-five years. And it was cordial, you know. There wasn't any, there was limited what we could talk about. But it was always limited what I could talk about at--with Mother and Daddy when I was home. So we all stayed around and had a pleasant Thanksgiving, I suppose. And then after that I--it was probably the fall of '75, I think, and I wondered whether they would have called me if Carl had still been living. But by that time he was retired from the Navy. So that wasn't an issue anymore.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I guess, I don't know when Thorne's wedding happened, I guess he was still in the Navy. See, if you're in the sub service, you, you can retire early 'cause it's presumed it's a bigger strain, which it is a strain, so he was pretty young when he retired and had a second career. He, he got a--they had decided to build a house down on the, 356:00in the northern neck of Virginia. They had some other Navy friends had retired down there, Whitestone, Virginia, right on the--what they call a creek, looks like a river to me. And they did. And he, uh, got a job in the bank there. And then became manager of that branch--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --little branch in Whitestone at the Bank of Virginia. And um so--and worked I don't know how old he was. I think maybe he was maybe retired at forty-five and worked twenty more years, at least fifteen more years. And then he retired just at--not long ago, not too many years ago from that. But they were living over there and I didn't keep, you know, I wasn't in touch with 'em much, but it was pretty soon after that that either Beverly called me or wrote me and said, "We wanted to talk to you about this. We just feel like that--and it might be a good thing if Neeno and Granddaddy," that's what the children always called her, my mother, Neeno, so everybody began--as she got 357:00older everybody called her Neeno, "Neeno and Granddaddy moved over here." Hadn't dawned on me. You know. I thought, well, why? And I'm still not sure it was good for them to leave Anniston. But, um--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --they were never happy there. But it was, in many ways, it was better. But it was their idea and they had talked to Mo-, Mother and Daddy about it and apparently they had decided they wanted to do it. And I think that's--as Mother, that Mother and Daddy had gotten a little worried about getting old and not having any family around. The thing was, that if you got money being old isn't that bad. I mean they were able to hire people to take care of 'em.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And could, uh, which they ultimately did in Virginia, and could have done it in Anniston. But they didn't want to live with children and so, uh, what they did was build a little addition on to Lindsay and Beverly's house, so it was like they had their own house.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Well, actually Beverly--they had just--when they built the house, they had sort of a wing that was guest rooms. So they gave up 358:00one of their guest rooms which was--became Mother and Daddy's bedroom. And they built a great big room, it was all one big room, sort of a sitting room and a little breakfast room--

FOSL: --kitchen--

BRADEN: --and a kitchen and a bath. It was like an apartment, a, a nice apartment. But so, and I know it was the summer of '77 when they moved because I went down, um, to try to help 'em pack up. And Beverly--(laughs)--had done most of it, I must say, when--by the time I got there. And I guess, you know, there comes a point and I guess you- -maybe you've already been at this point with your grandparents, when you realize that your parent--when you suddenly realize your parents are old and you have to take care of them?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And I never did take care of 'em, 'cause they never lived with me. But I--and it was sort of at that point that and I think they did become old very quick when they left Anniston, because, you know, before then I had tried to keep in touch with 'em and I--if 359:00I went to Alabama I'd see 'em. It was always a strain to be there and it was just sort of the--but, you know, it was a matter of how you were gonna manage and--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --hold your psyche together while you were there. You know. And--but I'd never had any feel of them needing me, except as just needing something that I wasn't gonna be. But I realized then they did. And actually my father it--that I was kind of came to depend on me, 'cause I was nicer to him than anybody else, 'cause I get a lot of the--I, I'm, I have a lot of my father's traits, the worst ones, some of the good ones. He was a very determined person. He could worry you to death. And I worry people to death. But it was a determination and a, and a, and I think that's where I get my, um--he was a workaholic, which I am. And he really loved working. He really didn't want any other recreation, sort of. And he wanted to do what he did well. And 360:00I have that. Now maybe I don't know--I don't think these are inherited traits, I think I got 'em from--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know, it's--

FOSL: Being around.

BRADEN: --it's environmental. Yeah. But um, um, but also in that he--well, his, it, worse than my office now, stuff he had accumulated through the years--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --you see. And nobody could understand that but me because I accumulate things.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Of course I don't like it much, I don't like the kind of mess things are in, but I think it was a family trait. Mother used to try to get him to clean up his office. And she'd say, "If he would just stay home and we won't go on a vacation this year and do that, he'd be so much happier." But he never did. Well, see I, I say I don't have time. Well, I do, occasionally. I cleaned it up ten years ago 'cause it gets just too bad, like it is now. But it's a major job.

FOSL: Major.

BRADEN: You know. And I can't do it in a day, right? And I've been looking for a month. But there's something--and his sister was that way, this--and a brilliant woman who I know her children now. I kind 361:00of gotten back in touch with, that when she died everybody had to go through all of these things that she should a thrown away. And I have a dread of that. I really--that's why I want to get stuff out of the house. I don't want anybody to have to go through my stuff when I die, which I hope I don't very soon. But when they were moving, I was the only one who had any patience with him 'cause he did not want, he wanted to go through everything before he decided what to take and what to leave.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And Beverly just thought that was ridiculous. But I sat with him and we went through things, and I'd help him with it. And, and Beverly says, she says--(laughs)--"You're the only one who has any patience with your father," which is true. So he kind of developed a kind of a, affection, well, he always was proud of me and he wanted me--but he, I think he developed kind of an affection for me 'cause I was kind of nice to him and his quirks. But they had to get rid of a lot of their furniture and all that kind of stuff, which is when they sent me so many antiques 'cause he'd been, he just couldn't resist buying antiques, even when he didn't have any money he'd come in with an antique table every weekend and stuff like that. And Mother would wonder where to put it. He loved antiques. But--and they did take a 362:00lot of things with 'em to Virginia. But some things he couldn't take. But then after they moved up there, after we got 'em packed up and I remember they had a big farewell party for 'em in Anniston and stuff, and Beverly and Lindsay came down or Lindsay came down I guess and Beverly was there helping pack and drove 'em up, and I really didn't, I didn't go, I didn't see 'em for the next year 'cause I was real busy and I hadn't--I guess I really didn't think too much then about how much they needed to see me. And it was much harder for me to get to the northern neck of Virginia than Alabama.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. I mean Alabama, where they lived, by the time the interstate was there, I mean I could get there in six and a half hours and it's thirteen or fourteen to--over to the coast of Virginia. And um--

FOSL: Oh, and it's at the coast? I wondered--

BRADEN: Near Norfolk. It's, it's, you can see it's, they call it the northern neck. It's, it's a nice area. Um, pretty. But they wanted 363:00to be near the water and stuff. But I know Lindsay got in--and, and I didn't blame him for this. He called me one time and he said, "Now, you know, they've been here a year and, um, ------------(??)--(laughs)- -and you haven't been here. And you need to come see 'em. And they were wondering where you are." So after that--and he was right about that. After that I really was, I wore myself out really for the next nine years I guess it was driving over there. And it got worse. And when, that last summer before Daddy died he, he knew he was gonna die I guess. But he would call--well, I--he said, "Now you think you could come this weekend ----------(??), I really need to see you." I'd drive over there. Um, I didn't stay a long time but I would go, uh, pretty often and I'd, you know, I always felt like I should go more often. But in the course of that I got into all this with my relationship with my brother and sister, who, you know, I had a lot of real, um, relationship with 'em, just in terms of--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --the situation with Mother and Daddy. And things got--it was fine the first few years I went over there. It got very hard 364:00on 'em the last few years because Mother and Daddy had gotten so old and pretty cranky, um, and weren't happy. And the funny thing was that they, they really got this fetish about me. Almost anything I did there was--they would talk about, "Wasn't it nice Anne Gambrell did this?" I had straighten out Daddy's papers when Mother was in the hospital, she broke her hip and Daddy had this total confusion about insurance. He didn't know what insurance policies he had, he had many, too many. And I straightened it all out for him, wrote to the insurance companies. Oh, it was so wonderful when Anne Gam-, Beverly resented it 'cause she was doing something--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --for him every day and I would just come do one thing and I knew how she felt and we talked about it, um, but they were--I think sometimes regretted having 'em come over there. I think now they're glad they did, you know. You look back and you remember the good things. And I appreciated what they were doing. And Beverly--because, you know, some parents, uh, because they were, they were my parents too and they were taking care of 'em. And they, you know, I would have- 365:00-but they would have been miserable of course here. So it was never a question that they could move here. 'Cause, you know, the, this, see, they never came to see me after this, this house, this neighborhood turned from white to black, just--except they came when--for Anita's funeral and I, um, that's a whole story too. I don't want to take time to go into now, but they--and I was kind of cruel about that because when Mother said they were coming, I said, "Well, why would you come now? You never came when she was alive," which was kind of cruel. But they did. And then the whole--yeah, the whole kind of scene with Jim there and stuff. And I can't go into it. But you know, we wouldn't, it was just, got ridiculous. We would--the, the children went down there a lot, but we would meet them in Nashville to give 'em the children. You know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they'd want the children for a few weeks and I was always glad for 'em to go. I, I wonder if it was a good idea now. But um, we'd drive to Nashville and meet 'em. And one time they were on their way to Lexington and wanted Beth and 'cause they had friends still in Lexington, they'd drive up there. And literally I met 'em--I drove out 366:00to the airport fifteen minutes from here to take 'em Beth rather than them coming here.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I mean that went on for years, you see. Um, so there wasn't any question they were ever gonna move here. Although at one point I think when Daddy thought that Beverly and Lindsay--(laughs)--were really getting tired of him, which, you know, they weren't really. But that maybe he was being a burden he thought maybe he would like to come here and live. I remember he told--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --me that. And I told him, I said, "Well, you know, you can come live with me any time you want to." And I think I told you he did come over and he--I, you know, I've told you a little bit about the Beth thing. Of course he got furious with me then when he first found out about Beth. It was just all my, my bad influence on her that she'd done all these things and stuff, which I didn't think were bad things anyway. But um, but I appreciated, you know, I couldn't help but appreciate what Lindsay and Beverly were doing. And I told 'em that. And I've told 'em since they've died. And Beverly said one time, she said, "Well, you know, it's just this, that every, that, that one, 367:00that the, that the main burden of an older parents always falls on one child. It's just inevitable."

FOSL: That's true.

BRADEN: You know. And so they and they don't think, I don't think they resented that, and we had very cordial relations. And then when, you know, and I'd go over there and actually they're nice people and you know, we'd just, it's sort of like always, we don't talk about anything um, very much, except family things. And there was always Mother and Daddy to talk about. I've wondered since, now that--I'm gonna try to keep in touch with 'em. I wrote--and I've always sent 'em Christmas things and we send their grandchildren Christmas things and um, and I wrote 'em at Christmas time, they were gone all this winter, they've got this big boat and they went to Florida and stayed all winter and they'll be back in April. And I said, "I'm, you know, we should, and I hope we can keep in touch 'cause family should. And that, um, if you're ever this way." And they all did come over here for this memorial we had for my mother and father in October '87.

368:00

FOSL: Oh that's good.

BRADEN: When we buried 'em out at--the ashes out at Eminence and we had--and everybody came and we had a sort of a dinner together out at the motel where they were all--and they came down here, all of 'em, for supper after the service out at the cemetery that night. It was on a Sunday. And, um, all these cousins were here and Lindsay and Beverly with their children. So um, and they wrote back, yeah, they really wanted to keep in touch. And it was more likely I'd be in that part of the woods than over here. And I'm gonna try to go see 'em. In fact I think maybe when I go over to that conference at Charlottesville in June I might--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --rent a car and drive over and see 'em for a day. I mean after a day that's--

FOSL: (laughs) Yeah, well, um, tell me this. Do you think--you know how every child is usually like more their mother's child or their, their father's child? Like, you know what I mean? Just a closeness with one parent. Do, did you feel like you had that with either, you know, was it more pronounced with either parent?

369:00

BRADEN: I don't know and I'm not sure, yeah, I guess my mother if anything 'cause I was around her more. I think as a little child I always felt a little bit uncomfortable around my father just 'cause he wasn't, I wasn't with him as much. And I--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --I was sort of shy as a child. I think most children are. I think most people are naturally shy, so and I, I was shy. I had to work to overcome being shy. Still do sort of, people, people don't believe that 'cause I cover it up well. But I am. And, um, um, so I never quite knew what to say around Daddy. You know. And I felt a little awkward just because I wasn't used to him being around and I felt quite at ease around Mother.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know.

FOSL: It was 'cause he was working so much? Or was he actually traveling too?

BRADEN: He was traveling.

FOSL: He was gone.

BRADEN: He would be gone maybe from Monday till Friday. Now that let up a little bit later, for some reason, but he would be gone a lot. And, and then as I say, even if he wasn't gone overnight, he'd be out working all day and Mother was the one who was there. We used to--sometimes I'd eat at school, sometimes I'd go home for lunch from 370:00school 'cause you know, small town, you did that and Mother was always the one who was there and, and I felt totally at ease around Mother. I never felt, you know, awkward and not knowing what to say, sort of, growing up, whereas I did with him. But, um, but he was, you know, he was just, as I say, except when you scratched his racial assumptions, he was very kind and proud of his children and wanting to do things for us. You know. Within the limits he had. And, um--(pause)--and then later, you know, when I began to develop and before I sort, you know, got up here and all sort of changed my views, I certainly had different 371:00views all the time I was in college from them. We'd have terrible arguments and--

FOSL: You and he or--

BRADEN: --finally--

FOSL: --you and both?

BRADEN: Oh both, but mainly him because he was a rabid racist and overtly so at that time. And, and, and Mother was too in her own quiet, sophisticated way. (Fosl laughs) She changed, I think, her views maybe a little bit more than he did. Um, and she used to say in the sixties that--there was a human relations council in Anniston, you know, one of those things the Southern Regional Council set up, which was, you know, pretty mild things. But it was--took some guts I suppose to join. And then some of 'em, you know, were pretty good. Um, but she never joined that. But I remember she told me one time, well, that she might join it except for, for me.

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: That that would--that she might hurt cause her connection with me. Well I said, "I, I thought that was a good excuse she was 372:00using not to," you know. But she at least thought that maybe it was something she ought to do. And she came to the point where she had said, you know, "Well, you're, you're probably really right on these things and we're wrong." But she never--she said that he would never have quite said that. But he, but, but on the other hand, she never really thought, she never changed her assumptions, um, but I think at the conscious level she moderated some of her ideas, like a lot of people did. But the main thing was I was an embarrassment to 'em. And she used to say, "Just stay out of Alabama. You can have the rest of the United States, but stay out of Alabama." Um, and, you know, they would read all these and they never really knew what I was doing. I tried to tell 'em sometimes. I, well, if I could, I offered to send the Patriot to 'em. That was when I was editor of the Patriot and my mother said, "Oh, that's just so unacceptable to us," she'd rather not see it. But I thought--(Fosl laughs)--they really, so they had 373:00probably a totally distorted idea about what I was really doing. They didn't really know what I was doing.

FOSL: What'd they think about The Wall Between?

BRADEN: I don't really know. I do not really know. I gave 'em a copy and they never quite said. You know. They didn't explode over it or anything. They never particularly commented on it.

FOSL: Hmm. 'Cause I mean usually, I know with my grandparents, you know, they don't necessarily agree with the content. Of course, you know, this book that I have coming out is not at all a personal experience type thing, but you know, just the idea that your child has had a book published is a real, you know, you can look at it very positively.

BRADEN: Yeah, I think they sort of did. I, I, and I think they sort of wished I'd just settle down and write. (laughs) You know. And, and write more books--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and then not do some other things--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that kept getting me in trouble. But on the content of the book they've never really talked about it.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Um--

FOSL: Do you think that they had a good marriage?

374:00

BRADEN: I sure thought they did. I think they well, they, they, they squabbled a lot when they were older, it's funny, I guess they were, you know, they were, you know, it's, I, I guess I hope I really don't live to be that old. (Fosl laughs) Or at least to be infirm as they, and they, they had both been pretty healthy all their lives. Well, not Dad. I mean Daddy had, Daddy was a hypochondriac. Um, and he had various operations he had to have. But he was always pretty vigorous. But he was, he was convinced he had heart trouble. And he would do that at--when, when he was old over there in Virginia, he was--I remember one day, oh, something wrong with his heart and he lay down and I--and--it was some place he didn't want me. I--my cousin was there and we were getting ready--he didn't want us to go off is what it was, I think. I said, "Daddy, you've been threatening us with a heart attack since you were younger than I am now."

375:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And it was sort of wolf, wolf. Now maybe he really was gonna have a heart attack that time. But, but in general, you know, except for his hypochondria, they were, um, very active people, both of 'em. And I think it's so frustrating to be old and not be able to active anymore. So sometimes they took their frustrations out on each other.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know, snap at each other. But I re-, you know, my recollection is that they--I never remember 'em fighting--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know. Physically or anything else. That it was sort of--Daddy knew--sort of left the running of the household and the family to Mother and she--and he was out making the living. He would take us places sometimes on weekends or we'd go out for a ride, that was a big thing to do. Or we'd go walking in the woods. (coughs) That's something we did as a family. The--these Turners who lived next door to us that moved away then, but Lucy and I were--remain friends, it were kind of old families there in Anniston. They loved to walk on 376:00Sunday afternoon over the--to ----------(??) County. You'd go over the mountains and there was a place you went and there was a spring. Or there was a family lived out in the country named the Christians. And they had this place, Boiling Springs, it was a famous, uh, spring around there. And they were friends of ours, and the Turners and we'd go out there and have picnics. We'd have, there were several picnic places. We'd go on picnics on Saturdays and stuff with the Turners and two or three other families and he would do things like that. You know. He wasn't totally remote. (coughs) But I never got any, you know, as I say, that I never heard him particularly argue about anything.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Um, and I think Daddy adored Mother. And he was really lost, of course, after she died. We had always figured that the, that one of 'em would not outlive the other one long. We always assumed Mother would outlive Daddy 'cause he was threatening to die of a heart attack from the time--(both laugh)--he was fifty, you know, but he didn't and she went down pretty quick after that hip thing. But um, and he was 377:00just lost, 'cause they had been married for--and she died in 1980, '85 and they married in 1917 I guess. So what, what would that be?

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: To '77 would be sixty years.

FOSL: -six--

BRADEN: They had a big sixtieth anniversary. We had a big ninetieth birthday party for him on his ninetieth birthday. Beverly had that and I went for it and everybody went.

FOSL: Oh, he was ninety?

BRADEN: Well, Mother--he was ninety, well, let's see, died in '87. Well, he was older than that when he died. Uh, he was born in October 1894.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And he died in September '87. So he would have been ninety- three in October. He died in September. But on his ninetieth birthday we had a big party. But they had been married, so they had a big sixtieth thing and that was, I believe, after they went to Virginia. 378:00But sixty would have been '80, '77. Right? So that must have been right after they went over there they had a sixtieth anniversary. I think that's right, yeah, '77, '78.

FOSL: They almost made it to seventy.

BRADEN: Yeah, '85, and that would have been eight more years. So sixty-eight years that they were married. Shoo. 'Cause Daddy told me he was--and he would, he--it was sort of funny, he said one--that somebody had called him up it was in Whitestone, there was some kind of widowers and widow's club. And this man called him and wanted to know if he'd like to--(Fosl clears throat)--know if he'd like to join this club. And Mother had been dead about a year then. And said, "Uh, well I understand, you know, you lost your wife," and he said yeah, that's right, he did. And so he said--the man said, "Well, are you adjusting?" Daddy said he told him, "Adjusting?" He said, "We were married sixty something years. How do you think I'm gonna adjust?" (laughs) So he was--he adored her. I, I don't know what their,you know, as I say, it 379:00was always smooth as far as I saw. I always had the feeling probably, and I wouldn't want to talk about this but just for your interest that Daddy was probably sexually frustrated all of his life. I think--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --Mother was frigid, I think. I--just from little things she said, and I think the way she was raised that there was something wrong with sex, I think.

FOSL: Yeah, it's sort of--

BRADEN: And--

FOSL: --it's--just flows from what you've said about her in a way.

BRADEN: Um-hm. And I think--I, I don't, I have the feeling just from some little things, 'cause she never talked to me about things like that. But little things she would say, I, I don't think she ever enjoyed sex in her life.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Well, she said one time, she didn't say anything beautiful about sex except it made babies. She loved babies. She especially liked little babies before they had any will of their own. (Fosl laughs) But so--and I think he was a very outgoing warm sort of person. So I suspect he was sexually frustrated all of his life.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But you know, whether he knew that or not, I don't know. He lived with it. And um, and I'm sure, and I'm sure was totally faithful 380:00to her. I think that would have been--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --beyond his ken not to be.

[End of interview.]

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