Chriss Doss East Lake Visit
CHRISS DOSS: Alright!
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Hello, good morning!
CHRISS DOSS: Good morning!
MICHELLE LITTLE: Hi Mr. Doss!
CHRISS DOSS: How’s everybody?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Good, how are you doing?
CHRISS DOSS: It's getting hot, but I guess y'all are used to it.
MICHELLE LITTLE: At least it's not raining.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Good to see you.
CHRISS DOSS: Good to see all of you.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Had you been waiting there long?
CHRISS DOSS: About 5 minutes. I was going to park up there and there wasn't apark to be bought up there.
MICHELLE LITTLE: It's tight parking with the, they're repaving everything behindour building.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: They have orientation going on.
CHRISS DOSS: They must have 6 or 8 signs down here of what all's going on withthe school.
MICHELLE LITTLE: You have your choice.
CHRISS DOSS: And they've got an innovation or something here. This is 151:00minutes. Well that won't cut it.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Mr. Doss if it's alright with you we're going to video our trip today.
CHRISS DOSS: Oh, I see.
MICHELLE LITTLE: If that's OK.
CHRISS DOSS: How do you plan to go out to Samford?
MICHELLE LITTLE: We were going to go through Mountain brook and get on OportoMadrid. Does that sound alright?
CHRISS DOSS: I would recommend you go downtown, get on 1st Avenue North, and goout to campus that way. That would be the route followed by many of the students on the old campus and you'll see why that's significant.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: That's just a straight shot, right?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah, almost, but you're going to see some little bitty things thatmade a lot of difference and this, you've got this wide 4 lane here. Let's see. 2:00This was widened like this, I believe in '67. There was just a two-lane road and none of this grass bank and of course even then, the hiking or whatever, walk that you have, that came much later. There was no buildings at all here. You see, this was an old lakebed and when I was head of the county commission, we had no buildings here. There was a boarding house that sat over there near the 3:00corner of where that structure is and they wanted to develop it and of course I had to approve it and I caught the devil, because I wasn't agreed to it until they had certain flow charts of the high water marks of the 100 year flood. You see, I had a reason. I wasn't just being obstinate. The problem was that they'd messed up my federal money and I was on good terms with EPA. I went over there lease once a month to regional headquarters just to see the fellas and I had to put a moratorium on anymore buildings that had to have a sewer over here and 4:00man, did I catch it, but it wasn't as bad as it appeared. I told the EPA, I got close to those fellas and they decided I reckoned alright and I said if I put--is that your?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Is your seatbelt on? That's what that beeping is.
CHRISS DOSS: I don't believe it is. Nowadays that's almost a felony. There wego. Somebody a lot smaller than me's been up here.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: It's not too tight is it?
CHRISS DOSS: No, no, no. I'm used to tight places.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I didn't mean to interrupt you.
CHRISS DOSS: Anyway, they said "Now you're going to have to put a moratorium5:00over there." One of the first groups to just throw a fit was the Baptists because they couldn't extend what then was Montclair Medical Center and so I worked out that if we put, I don’t' remember now if it was 2 or 3 bricks in every water chamber in every restroom, that would save so much water and they thought I was crazy but I said it's that way or nothing. A fella named Johnson was head of that and he was a good fella but they were used to getting their way about everything and then St. Martin's in the Pines was an Episcopal facility 6:00and the fella that headed that up was, what was his name? He was the grandson-in-law of Mr. Henry DeBardeleben.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: The lawyer?
CHRISS DOSS: DeBardeleben owned the Southern Gin Company. The original Mr.DeBardeleben and that's what I'm talking about, was the son-in-law of Mr. Pratt that owned Continental Gins and he was one of the first Alabama industrialists, Pratt, and they had a gin company that's still operating today, but they came to 7:00Jefferson County before the Civil War but not very long, that is, they bought interest up here and then they moved much of their operation up here but the old Continental Gin that Mr. Pratt started is still functioning in Prattville, Alabama. Some of the old buildings are still there and he's buried way up in the woods on a mole (?) overlooking the whole thing.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I didn't realize that. I have an uncle down in Prattville.
CHRISS DOSS: Now this is the Elton B. Stephens Expressway and they had it8:00finished, getting ready for the dedication and it was on a Sunday afternoon before the dedication was going to occur the following week. Well Mr. Stephens, he was a pretty good friend of mine and he helped me a whole lot with the business community when I was in the commission. So anyway, he decided to "Go out and look at what they named for me." Well they had it barricaded off but he went around that and got on it and started down through here and the police pulled him over and he said, the policeman said "Hey mister, you realize that 9:00this is barricaded and no traffic's allowed yet?" He said "Yes sir, but you see my license?" "Yeah." He said "See that name? It says Elton B. Stephens. That's the same name as this parkway." And the policeman said "Well it sure is, isn't that a coincidence?" He used to tell that and laugh. Now when you get out here take First Avenue North.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: OK. So was he able to get off of that?
CHRISS DOSS: I think that finally he convinced the policeman that he was thereal person. 10:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: It's not just a coincidence.
CHRISS DOSS: Now in those days, talking about, I graduated with the last class,the August graduation, because I went through in 3 years and I had to go up a couple of summers. Now back in those days, that area out there was a great big field and they had hundreds of steam engines, train steam engines, that had been partly cannibalized, but they brought them here as scrap and smelted them here in...
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Sloss?11:00
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah, in Sloss Furnace and when you'd come through here in theevening or at night and they would be doing a run of iron and they'd be spraying water on it as it got into the forms and that stuff, you could smell the sulfur. It was fogged up but the trolleys, there were copper wires on each side and the trolleys ran by electricity. Very quiet and in those days you had a front door and a back door and most people got on the front door and got off on the back door but about the back door was a sign but you could put it anywhere you wanted to on the back of the seats because the little sign that would say 12:00"Whites Only" "Blacks Only" or "Colored" that was the word, they could move it back and forth depending on how the load was and if the load got to be greater than the seat capacity, you would see the blacks having to stand. I witnessed that and that always bothered me, but that's the way it was.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: So would the trolleys go up and down this street here?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah but when we get on up here, I can't remember, it's70-something, every other trolley peeled off to the right and we'll do that and you'll see and then it got on the same avenue as Howard and Major Davis, the 13:00president, used to say it was wonderful that that link-up of having the car, having every other car coming over and getting on South Avenue, whatever it was, and then you went straight out to Howard. You will also see a little history when we get to where we're going to turn. There'll be a drug store. I think it' still there.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: You said we'll go off to the right?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah, but we're going to go a ways but we're going to go through or14:00by one of the most play outdoors places in those days for swimming and it was called Cascade Plunge. It was a big spring that fed the swimming pool and anyway, remember, I was there, in fact, I was in Montgomery at the Alabama Historical Association in April of '56. I think it, yeah, '56. That was a big Methodist church. They turned it into a wedding chapel but I think some minority 15:00now has it but anyway Ace Carter had his cleaning establishment up, I have to look a little before I can determine where it was, but anyway, they would have the White Citizen Council meetings over there at night and you've never seen such a group of, such a group of pickups and cars in your life at those meetings.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Packed house?
CHRISS DOSS: Oh, yeah. That was the redneck element.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: No shortage of that.
CHRISS DOSS: And of course, see, folks don’t' understand all of that. You had16:00a lot of bonafide rednecks and then you had a number of sophisticated rednecks and they would never be at a meeting like this. Nooo, but they're feeding the rednecks, you know, what to say and all of that stuff and giving them money to carry on their foolishness. Now right here, this was the city hall of Woodlawn.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Oh really?
CHRISS DOSS: Yes. In 1910, they had the legislature, they were having healthproblems. The water was contaminated and, now that little Episcopal church is 17:00some kind of service to the homeless or something like that, but anyway, you had a lot of people who wanted, they were hell-bent on having, continuing to have segregation. A lot of that was in the churches. Folks, the leaders would talk about the Supreme Court but in the privacy they were just praying the Supreme Court would be doing what it was doing. Then they had a good excuse. (phone 18:00rings) I wonder who this is. Hello? Who is this please? I'm fine, how are you? I'm sorry? Yeah. Yes sir and I'm already fixed with what you're talking about. Alright. Thank you. Trying to sell me something. I already got it. Go slow here 19:00so I know what we're doing.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Somebody dropped a chair.
CHRISS DOSS: They've torn so much of this up. Barbecue place, let's see.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: You just let me know if I need to turn somewhere.
CHRISS DOSS: Alright. We may have to go up here and drive back down there. If wedo, we do. They've torn down, let's see. I want to show you, I don’t' even 20:00know if it, yeah, slow down, OK. This right here was the campus barbecue stand and it was called Andrew's and Mr., there were two. They were brothers and their wives ran it and they would have maybe two or three service, but that was Andrew's and Andrew's was a buddy with all of the college students because they made up a whole lot of his trade.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: It was a barbecue joint?
CHRISS DOSS: Oh yeah. It was good stuff. The old, I think that's an adult movienow, but that was the movie place when we had to go (?). Now take a right right 21:00here. This, there were a number of fairly good stores here, department stores that you can see. Now they're not much. This was the library. They've added a great deal to it. This was the Barrett School. Many important people graduated from that school. This was the Church of Christ and we were, we'd go by here singing on the bus. "Gimme That Old Time Religion" and stop here. What is this? 22:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: 2nd Avenue South.
CHRISS DOSS: It's what?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: 2nd Avenue South.
CHRISS DOSS: Now we've got to go a little further. They've torn a lot of thisdown. There was a cleaner, there were two cleaners. Get your shirts cleaned for 20 cents.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: 20 cents.
CHRISS DOSS: Yep.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Wow.
CHRISS DOSS: I spent, those days, you wore... we would sing... up here at thelight we're going to turn and we'll go back to Cascade Plunge. Alright you want to turn right right up here. Where the light is. Turn left, I mean. 23:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Oh OK.
CHRISS DOSS: This is Rugby Avenue. Alright, now this was not college propertybut this was a private boarding house and they would serve breakfast to a lot of students. There was a small girls' dorm right there. Alright, now let's see. Pull up here and stop. Right here.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Was that the Hash House back there?
CHRISS DOSS: No, well, they may have called it that, but we normally referred to24:00it as the bookstore and the soup kitchen and it was run by a lady, Ms. Bookman. I thought that was always convenient that Ms. Bookman ran the bookstore and this used to be the Rose Manor and the Rose family were Italians and they were big Catholics but they had a daughter named Marie that went to school here and she was a great singer and then she married a fella who taught music at Samford. Well he taught, I guess 4 years. He died about 3 or 4 years ago and I'm trying to remember his name. He came just about the time I graduated but Marie got her 25:00hooks in him and they married wound up I think having 7 children. Anyway, she's still very proud that she's a Samford or Howard graduate. Y'all don't know who Ms. Miglionico was. She was the first woman city council member. She was very powerful. She was one of the, get this straight. She was about the fourth or fifth graduate from the law school at Alabama, but she did her undergraduate 26:00work and she was very powerful in the campus community. She graduated out here and put herself through Howard College teaching piano. We can get out and I can give you a lot of...
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Should I park somewhere over here?
CHRISS DOSS: Pull over there and park anywhere you find a space and if they sayanything we'll talk to them.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: So this used to be run by a family?
CHRISS DOSS: This was Berry Field folks.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: This was Berry Field?
CHRISS DOSS: This is Berry Field. Drive on down that way and let's see. Now thathouse, I think, I'll tell you when we go by. Look here, right out here. Now, the 27:00field went on back to where you see those bumper blocks yonder and just where you see those apartments, back there, there were three barracks. When World War 2, when America became involved in World War 2, they had a V-8 or V-7 or V-6 program where they would take soldiers, sailors, that were going to be officers and they would come here and stay for their training and education and they had 28:00it all set up and those were barracks and I might say that there was, this is one of those intangible things. This was in the early Forties and Howard was just barely making it financially. This is in some of the stuff I've written. Into '37 or '39, they had $78,000 to run the school on and they didn't think they could make it. They called a meeting of the trustees down in Renfroe Hall. 29:00I believe it was on a Thursday based on some of the stuff I've written but that was a long time ago and Mr. Crawford, who was the Coke-a-Cola dealer here, he was a man of some means, and there was talk that he had been, in his childhood, a good friend of what's the lady's name, that's the foreign missions saint? 30:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Mother Theresa? No.
CHRISS DOSS: No, but she was the Baptist Mother Theresa. Not Annie Armstrong.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Lottie Moon?
CHRISS DOSS: Lottie Moon. He had known Lottie Moon and his uncle, who was apreacher and Lottie almost married but she felt called, they said, to the mission field, and her preacher beau didn't feel the call so they split ways and she went to China and he started pastoring I reckon in Virginia, but anyway, Mr. Crawford Johnson settled here in Birmingham and he knew how to make money and he was on the board. They're meeting down there in Renfroe Hall not knowing how in 31:00the world they're going to make it and this was told to me by Major Davis, the president. I was his chauffeur for two years. I'm going to write a little something one of these days called Chauffeuring the Major but I've got parts of it going but I've got a whole lot more to do. Anyway he said they met there in Renfroe Hall. He said everybody was gloom and doom and so Mr. Crawford Taylor said "Well let's see what this group here can come up with. What you can give or what you think you'd raise" and he told them, he just said "I'm going to pass 32:00this legal pad and y'all sign on." Well it went around and Major said he could tell the pickings were lean. There weren’t' many of them putting down anything. It came back to Mr. Johnson and he looked at it and said "Well I'm pleased to tell you we've got the money we need." He was going to take care of it himself. That's right. So that's, I've written a paper, it's somewhere. I think all of the stuff y'all are looking at, called In the Shadow of Foreclosure and there were three times that the school almost went under and the first time 33:00was in '86 and it was still at Marion at that time and what happened was, the school was heavily endowed in the Fifties. I mean, the Baptists were pouring the money in and there was a proviso that if you gave so much money, you could have one full scholarship student you could name in each class. Now the story is that 34:00a Mr. Brown, who allegedly was the largest slave-owner in the state down in Sumter County and he really had a lot, but there's a number of people who claim their ancestor was... so you have to careful and one of the first things you do is go check the 1850 and the 1860 slave census but that's not always reliable because they're often listed from the plantation they're on and in some cases, some people would have maybe 4 or 5 plantations and they would be even in different counties, but anyway, so much for Mr. Brown, but it was said this was 35:00actually not part of that program but that he gave 40 scholarships in one year and he's an interesting fellow. Big Baptist. There was never, I doubt if one percent of the Baptist pastors even know, they may know Charlie Brown, but they don't know this Brown, but anyway, the first time, they had this program, one student per class. Well they had a big endowment, doing good. The war came on and the editor of, and it was a private, they had no official institutional 36:00connections, but it was Baptist. The editor of the Alabama Baptist was a real, I don't know that he was a fire-eater but he convinced the trustees that they should invest their assets or their funds into Confederates bonds and you can figure out the rest. They didn’t' have anything left. Well there was 2 men on the trustee board. I believe one was a doctor, I think his name was Willoughby 37:00or something like that and the treasurer of the trustees was a realtor and a man named Loveless, so they went to court because a man named Curry's father had one of those, but the school was saying that that was all erased and nothing to it and he said "No." So he sent a son down there and they were having the convention. I don’t' know if it was Marion or Selma but anyway it was in that 38:00area. They had most of them at Marion and went by to see his son and his son told him he had to have some money, that that scholarship didn't exist and he said "The heck you say?" so he brought a lawsuit and it was heard in front of the judge, his house is on Judson's campus, and he was a big Baptist and they all felt he'd figure out something. Well he did and he ruled against them. Of course a lot of folks didn't like that, but they went into foreclosure and the same courthouse that's now in Marion, same one, they went out on the west part 39:00of the courthouse, portcullis, and they auctioned it off, but Dr. Willoughby and Mr. Loveless was there and nobody would bid against, they started bidding, and nobody would bid against them. I think there was pretty much a community conspiracy there. You don't bid. Well they got it, they got the property for less than $1,000 and they held it and they, the convention didn't have any money 40:00to reimburse them and get it back, so this went on for some time and they finally deeded it to the convention and the convention wasn't sure they wanted it. There was a feeling statewide that they should move the college to a more urban area and they had finally voted to do just that thing and then they deeded the school, those two men, to the convention thinking that that would buffer the 41:00trend to move. Now they didn’t' know where they were going. There was talk of moving to Gadsden. There was talk of moving it to several places but finally they settled on East Lake, right here where we are, and East Lake was a separate city. A little town. There's ten of those in 1910 that were consolidated into Birmingham. Birmingham's population in one day was increased about 500 percent and a senator, state senator, named King, he was the one that pushed it through 42:00the legislature, and anyway, they offered a lot of inducements, they would put in so much money, they would give the land, and all of the East Lake Park out here, with the lake and all of that, that was all in this operation, so in '87, the college was moved here. Now when we get out and walk around I can tell you a little more.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I think you dropped your glasses.
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah. You've got Schroeder there with his airplane. No he's on hishouse, that was his airplane. 43:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Oh yeah, my floorboard there.
CHRISS DOSS: Alright, now, this was Berry Field and this was where we playedeverything except tennis. Now they had tennis and I will show you that later, but this was Berry Field and it was about his length. There was a dirt road over there and then you had the barracks and then just beyond the barracks there was a nice residence, brick, and that's where, I don't know, maybe 6 or 8 students 44:00lived and oh Lordy. I'll just put that in my pocket. That was where the housemaster lived and it was Dr. Yeomans (?) and Dr. Yeomans was head of the speech and drama, or the debate team and he left here, got his doctorate and headed up a similar department at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and on the side he had a used book business. I bought a lot of books from him but anyway that was that, but right about there where those three transformers are back from there, there was a lady's dorm. Then we had the bookstore and soup 45:00kitchen and they did make, I often just had lunch there. I'd have a tuna sandwich, maybe a pimento cheese sandwich. They were not fancy but they were pretty stable and that was where you bought your books. Now right over here, across the street...OK, now that grey house there was a girls' dorm.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Kinda small.
CHRISS DOSS: Well they put 2 in a room and sometimes more. They had a common46:00room and they could, and the same thing in the bunk of the buildings over here that they had from the Navy and the Navy left those, gave them to the school, but I was telling y'all earlier, it became a real issue, whether or not the school was violating church and state concepts and there were some saintly old 47:00ministers that thought they were. Now Major Davis knew had to have some money from somewhere, and he pretty much, with the silent support from the trustees, he went ahead and he'd been a major in World War 1 and he still had a lot of military in him so they put it in and that really was a shot in the arm for the school's finances so they made it and that got them through that one, but anyway you had a girls' dorm here. Now straight down, to the flat area, and we'll walk over there, was Renfroe Hall. Now Renfroe Hall, initially, was built for men, 48:00and it was a very nice structure, and they had, I believe it was 3 floors and they had a large parlor where the male students could go occasionally and nearly all of the female students took their meals there. Not all of them but most of them that boarded here. Now they built, up here where the hospital used to be. The original part of that building, that was Weston Hospital, it's now St. Vincent's East out there around Center Point. Anyway, you had the girls' dorm 49:00over here, Renfroe Hall, this one, and then the one here, and that was a pretty good sized building there, two stories, and those of us who lived in the barracks, I lived in the barracks one year and there was so much going on, I just rented a little cottage up here, another friend of mine did and we could study up there and not be bothered and we had a little kitchen and he was a butcher. He worked for Bruno's store. We came by it out on First Avenue North and he was a butcher and when the meat got a certain color they'd take it out 50:00and he'd bring it home because they didn't want to sell it so we'd eat pretty good. We had our own kitchen but anyway, the boys in the barracks could always see the girls in this one over here. They could walk them home, walk with them, tote their books. You know how young folks are, but anyway straight through there, it's got a sign that says "campus" something.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Campus Manor.
CHRISS DOSS: Alright now that was where the gym was. They named it after...whatwas that coach's name?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Was it Ledbetter? Coach Ledbetter?
CHRISS DOSS: Yes that's right. That was it. Now let me tell you, it was a prettygood place, but it was a multi-use place. Basketball was the big thing and I 51:00guess y'all can go into all that. They had football but Birmingham Southern and Howard got into it and there was a Howard boy working in some store downtown and the Birmingham Southern boys came into the store and were going to cut his hair, they said. I don't know where the manager was. Might have been at Birmingham Southern. I don’t' know. But anyway he kept telling them "Don't crowd me" and they kept crowding him and he pulled out a gun and shot one of them dead and after that, I don’t' think Birmingham Southern ever went back to football but 52:00anyway we had a little team and Bowden, when I was here, was an assistant coach, but I remember one day, this was the football field, it was also the baseball (?). We used stuff. Anyway, it had been raining and it was muddy but we were still playing and I'm coming in on 3rd and I just started to slide and I just went completely down. Anyway the third baseman, they threw the ball, he missed 53:00it and they were scrambling to get to it and I hadn't ever touched the base and I go back and fly into second and still, I can still see Bobby just doing a belly laugh. He was so tickled. I looked like a muddy hog but anyway, this was used and this was it except it went back to the street and then the variations or different uses of the gym. We always had registration over there. They would take, it seems to me we had about 3 days we could register and every department 54:00had a little section which consisted of maybe two tables and there'd be two or three professors sitting behind it and they had all these cards and the schedules and they would sign you up and fill out everything and then you'd go down and pay. I don’t' remember, of course I worked and made all of that, I think I paid about $300 a term, might have been 5. Wasn't much because I was Dean Dale, the dean of students, his assistant and I got paid for that and then 55:00when I drove the Major, I got paid for that, and I got my shirts laundried for a nickel and sometimes if it had something on it special they might charge a dime but anyway you had eating facilities in Renfroe Hall, you had two so called boarding houses down here, where they had some boarders, for men, also served, I don’t' think they served lunch, they served breakfast, a real southern breakfast, and dinner. You could get a, they had a card, pretty much like they still do, only it was, I think it was homemade and they would punch it out. Then 56:00there was, and I'll show you that later, way down at the southwest corner of the campus across the street, was the big public dining hall and students went there but the public could come there too and the school leased that, they had some kind of a contract because I know the manager, Major Davis would talk about this is his, you know, it's the school's and she'd get upset because she said "He's got a contract. It's mine." "Oh yes ma'am" so anyway, right behind the gym, oh, 57:00let me tell you one other thing, this, I think it was in '56. Basketball season. Both Howard and Birmingham Southern had good basketball teams that year and they were viving with each other and all of this so there's a game coming up and it would be played there in the gymnasium, so I don’t' know who did the first lick. Both sides claim the other one did and they were both probably partly right, but anyway some Samford students, it was alleged, I don’t' think any of 58:00them ever admitted it, went over and rolled Birmingham Southern. I don't know how much tissue they used but they really rolled it. Well that was a bad insult to use toilet tissue to roll Birmingham Southern. It was below their dignity and they began to do little things. Like if they saw a Howard student they would get into it about something but anyway, the dean told them, he said "Now look, stay away from over there.” Then they started coming downtown looking for Samford students and there was a lot of qualms between the two student bodies. There was 59:00a little baiting. It was usually off campus, both campuses and was kept fairly secretive but there was a great deal of exchange between the two, but I remember, they got after one fella and they got away from him and crawled under a car and they looked and looked for him and he just stayed under the car until they left and there were several incidents like that and about as short as it was long. Anyway the night of the basketball game, the gym is packed. Everybody cheering for their team and there was a fella named Doss. He was on the Samford 60:00team. He took just enough hours to be able to play basketball. He worked in the daytime, operated a steam shovel in a strip pit somewhere and he was big and pretty much all muscle and he played on the basketball team and the game had gotten started and there'd been a little roughness but most of the time the referees didn't call it. They expected, I think, some of this, but there was another player on the Howard team named Rudolph Davidson. His father was the 61:00pastor of the South Avondale Baptist Church and he was one of the shakers and the movers of the convention and Major Davis, the thing that worried him the most, was keeping the preachers in the Baptist Convention happy because there were a lot of them that wasn't sure about the stuff being taught and when they heard the word "liberal arts" they thought something opposite of conservatism. It was just a lot of that and he was trying to get us into the new era and it 62:00bothered him but anyway, they're playing ball and Davidson's father, he was on the board of trustees and fairly important and Davidson, then, years later, he was the lobbyist for UAB in Montgomery. "Rudy" they called him, but he was tall and skinny like a bean stick and he was a forward and they're down at this end. Birmingham Southern has the ball and one of the Howard players snatched it and got it. Rudy is headed down toward the other end of the court and this player up 63:00here drew back and threw it. Rudy caught it, went up to shoot, and this Southern player just went into him with his shoulder, knocked him into the bleachers, they had Doss on the bench, I don't remember for what reason, he wasn't playing right then, but he kind of looked after Rudy. Rudy's a great big monster but in those days, looked like he needed some help, so anyway, this student knocked Rudy into the bleachers and Doss was up and down there just like that and he 64:00drew back and hit the Southern player. I mean, he just, like a shoestring, went into the bleachers, just kind of limber and loose, and blood spurted out, oh Lord, and the crowd, first, was stunned, you know, and then all of a sudden, broke into chaos. In those days, we didn't have police, we didn't even have a guard on campus. So finally, Davis was one, in the worst of circumstances, knew how to maintain his composure. He'd stand up straight. He was in his seventies at that time. Nowadays I think that's kind of young but back then I thought that was in the league with Moses but anyway, he finally gets out on the court in the 65:00middle, you've got this circle, this halfway line, and then there's a circle. He got in that circle. His hair was ruffled. Never saw him like that before. He finally got everybody quieted down and he said "Listen. No more playing. You students who live on campus, go to your dorms and stay there and those of you who are here and not on campus, leave." Well, you know, a bunch of young students, they kind of take those things halfway serious. There was milling around all over the campus and I was down in front of the science building. I'll 66:00show you where that was when we get on the other side of this building. Anyway, we saw old Sherman on fire. Well we rush up there and took off our jackets and was beating the fire out, oh, a time for heroes, we got the fire put out, and then, "Who did this?" So the prowl was on and they finally found two Southern boys somewhere up near Main and they heard them bragging about the fire. Well they arrested them, carried them into Old Main and Old Main, it was, really, you 67:00had 3 floors. You had 2 for the most part and they carried the students into this room, a lecture room on the east end of Old Main, first floor and the boy that had crawled under the car just happened, hiding from the Southern boys that had been after him, he kind of pulled a group together and he says he's the judge, so by this time they're sort of gathering in to see that justice is done and one of the students, the other was quiet, he didn't say anything, I don't 68:00think, but the other one was begging. He said "Look, I am a student pastor and you can't cut my hair." Well the jury had a convention and they decided they wouldn't cut his hair entirely. They would just cut an H and he begged them and they said "That won't do." He said "When I pray and if any of them are looking and I'm bowing, they'll see that H." What was John's name? He was from Mobile. Anyway he said "That's no problem, you ought to pray looking up anyway." I 69:00wasn't in there and I don't know whether they cut the fella's hair or not but I can tell you, I think they did, I don't know that they did the H, but they bobbed him up enough that they knew he'd been punished I guess. Well after that we didn't have much and if y'all will look and find what date that was, find the newspaper, you will see this student, blood coming down, that was in the next morning's Post Herald. Alright, now just beyond the gym was an amphitheater and I think, from what I can recall, it was built by the WPA. They did a lot of rock 70:00work and it looked like, it wasn't the greatest thing but we did have some drama down there and occasionally there might be a student meeting. Most of the time the sororities met in their houses and I don't remember, they must have had about 3 houses. I don’t' remember what they were except one was Phi Mu and the reason I remember, the boys, a bit gross, would refer to them as the sorority of 71:00the Fine Mules but anyway, it was down, they had a nice little house, little brick house and it was down just outside of the library and then there were two others I don't remember. The yearbook, I think, would tell you. Then, let's go over on the other side where you can see where Sherman was and you see, most people think that Sherman was for General Sherman. Well Sherman was one of the founders of the school but he was a Yankee.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Do we want to walk or drive?
CHRISS DOSS: Huh?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Do we want to walk or drive?
CHRISS DOSS: We'll walk if y'all are up to it.72:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: We're up to it.
CHRISS DOSS: OK. You know in those days, of course a whole lot of studentsdidn't have cars so parking except when there were meetings here, was never any problem. Right here, now Old Main was right in here and there was an indention in the curb for a car to park angling into the sidewalk or to the curb and most of those, not necessarily, no policy about it but most of that area was the 73:00professors parked there and the administration but if there was an opening and a student was a little brassy, he could park there. We didn't even know what a parking sticker was. That was something that would restrict one's liberty. Didn't have any of that but the building sat about here and it was, I don't know the dimensions but it was a good-sized building. There was an auditorium. I guess there were 3 lecture rooms. The dean of the school who was dean of 74:00everything but the students and that was handled by William Pratt Dale, who was Phi Beta Kappa from Duke but he had polio when he was 15 and he could walk but he had to hold on to your arm and he had a stick. In fact I've got his stick. Not this one, this one's from Wisconsin by a Union veteran. I happened to be administering his daughter-in-law's, she's 94, estate and they didn't, the 2 children, weren't interested and since I have had a little problem, I've made a 75:00collection of walking sticks and they all have a history. You had a main door and as you went in, there was the registrar's office and then, you turned into the central part of the building on the left, past the registrar's office and there was the cashier, or earlier how they called that person the purser. I guess they took it from seafaring, I don't know. Anyway, then you had a lecture room and then Dean Dale, that was his lecture room and he could step up one step 76:00and they had a little rise and he lectured sitting down and he had a gavel. He never got loud. He'd calm things down if he thought they needed to be, so you had the lecture room and other people used it but that's the room he used when he was lecturing and things were pretty informal. He came here right before World War 2. He was a young man. He had a sister named Mary who had dedicated her life to looking after him. She was a student at Judson and when he got sick, their uncle was the chief legal counsel for the L&N Railroad in Louisville and 77:00he sent the best doctor in Louisville down here to see after Bill. His name was William, William Pratt Dale, and they were, his mother was a Todd and she was kin to Abraham Lincoln's wife, but anyway, he had his office then there and the telephone operator operated at the end of the hallway and she knew everything going on. Everything. But you'd always, "I don't guess you've heard anything," always put it in the negative and it worked. She’d start telling you whatever it was you're trying to get. Anyway on the 2nd floor, the dean of women, 78:00Margaret Sizemore, who taught French and she was kind of the social something or another, authority, I guess, and she would be involved in things like Miss Alabama then she became big in political stuff and she was something. She was called to make speeches somewhere all of the time and she could do a pretty good speech. Alright.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Here comes a car.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Was Sherman Oak around that side?79:00
CHRISS DOSS: I guess we'll have to go around here. This would have been near thefront of Old Main and it would have been here. They used to say that they baked the brick used in the building right off to the right here right below the gym. 80:00
MICHELLE LITTLE: There's some steps.
CHRISS DOSS: Don't know what we're getting into here.
MICHELLE LITTLE: It might be better if we drive around the block. We could drivearound to the other side.
CHRISS DOSS: You know what? I think we're gonna have to drive around.
MICHELLE LITTLE: I think we’re gonna have to.81:00
CHRISS DOSS: Now let me tell you this. The post office was right here. It wascatty-cornered right there and right behind that was the BSU building, Baptist Student Union, and that was where the students' religious activities were administered and they did a lot of things. We had a bus in that day, those days, and we would go out to Boys' Industrial School. The girls would go to the girls' school. We would go to different missions downtown and I think that some of the 82:00people encouraged us to visit other churches. I went to Beth-El synagogue and I went to the, I don't remember whether it was the Holy Cross or Holy Trinity. The Greeks had two churches. They finally combined them and now, but I went to theirs a couple of times. There was a small Catholic church down here on 1st Avenue and I went there one Sunday, but that wasn't a big thing, but some of us 83:00had enough curiosity that we wanted to look things over, but that was the post office. Now we've had one president who was a graduate and he was Dr. Neal and he was here in the early 1930s and the poor man didn't have any money and there wasn't any to get and the preachers wanted, ministerial students, wanted certain privileges and he couldn't afford it and they had a ruckus and they came out of the Student Union building in a file protesting. I guess that's the only protesting they've ever had on Howard or Samford's campus. One or two 84:00occasionally wouldn't hurt but we haven't had them but they came out from the Student Union building marching up the sidewalk to Old Main singing "Onward Christian Soldiers." It wasn't but a few days until Dr. Neal resigned and that's when they got Major Davis and they got him because Frank Samford wanted him and Major said to them "If I take this job there's going to be a lot of problems and y'all are going to support me" and Crawford Johnson and Mr. Samford and they had a fella here who was kind of a diamond in the rough. He had been a timber man 85:00and made a lot of money over in Mississippi but he was as rough as a cop but he just loved Major Davis and in those days the buildings looked alike. They were about to fall down and they were old homegrown brick and one day out here on the portico, not much of a place, but as you enter and down to the sidewalk, Mr. Pittman, not the one that just died, it was another Pittman. He was the father of Maryon Pittman who was married to Senator Jim Allen and he died in office and 86:00she was appointed as senator from Alabama. Well they've got the money problem settled and Major was trying to figure out what he could do to make the place look better, so...
MICHELLE LITTLE: I think Chase is going to pick us up right here.
CHRISS DOSS: What's that?
MICHELLE LITTLE: Chase is going to pick us up here.
CHRISS DOSS: Oh.
MICHELLE LITTLE: So we'll go ahead and get in the car. I'm sorry, I didn't meanto interrupt you.
CHRISS DOSS: Anyway, that's nice of him.
MICHELLE LITTLE: He’s a nice guy. OK here we go.
CHRISS DOSS: Anyway what I was saying, where was I?87:00
MICHELLE LITTLE: We were talking about Dr. Neal.
CHRISS DOSS: Oh yes. Now they've got Major Davis, they've got the money problemsolved and they're standing out, he and Mr. Pittman, who made a lot of money in Mississippi and bought the Caterpillar franchise here and he made a lot of money. His heirs sold out to Thompson who now are his family. He's deceased but anyway they're marching out, Neal resigns, and they get the money settled and Major's got Mr. Pittman who likes tractors. Let's go this way.
MICHELLE LITTLE: So the students were protesting against Neal?88:00
CHRISS DOSS: Yes they were the ministerial, and when I learned about that, Inever was able to find one, that I was told, take a left here. I was told, right here, now right in there, that might be some of the wall, but the amphitheater was right there. Right about here there was the first building and I should have told y'all that, looking away from Old Main, the first building on the right, was Riley Hall. I've got a painting somewhere of Riley Hall. You had Riley Hall 89:00and then when this program for the military came in, they needed more space and of course a lot of people came here under the G.I. Bill so they built an annex behind Riley Hall that had two big lecture rooms. Now Riley Hall was two-story and it had 4 lecture rooms. That was about it. Drive on down here. Let's see. 90:00Take a left here.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Is your seat belt fastened?
CHRISS DOSS: Oh I forgot about that. You're as bad as my granddaughter. Well youget under the shade, we're going to get out anyway.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Right down here?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah right down there. That'll keep the car, hopefully, let's see.Let's hop out here. Alright. Right here was where Old Main, do y'all know what 92:0091:00this is?
MICHELLE LITTLE: Is that wheat?
CHRISS DOSS: It's Dallas grass and I was in England and I went over to church.It was about here. This looks like they've kind of filled in and this tree, 93:00that's what they called an ironing tree. They're not worth much but they do make a pretty good shape but Old Sherman was right about here and you went straight here to the west and that was Montague Hall, named for the president, and that was the library and I don't know whether I've told any of you or not. It was a humongous oak tree and I spent about 7 years in school in Pennsylvania after I 94:00graduated from here and Old Sherman, of course, had been burned on, but it was pretty superficial, but it was a great symbol, putting out the fire, but during those 7 years, lightning struck Old Sherman and from that some of the wood died and then it became infested and it was obvious that Old Sherman was headed to the nursing home but they trimmed on it and trimmed out of it and I came out here one day, I used to come out here and kind of soak up the ambience but it's 95:00hard to do that now with all this construction. Anyway I could see that it was in bad shape, so I went back. By that time I had left the county and had come back. Samford wanted me to start the center for study of law and the church and I thought it was we were going to talk institutions and all of that stuff, and we did, but all of a sudden there was a deluge of litigation and I ended up defending preachers and defending churches and suing preachers and suing churches and I was the attorney for the State Convention. That's about 1.1 million people, adults, theoretically, and I sent one college president, he was 96:00convicted of a felon, not here, in another Baptist... Anyway I came out here and saw that Sherman was in bad shape and at that time, Birmingham had an urban forester. I brought him out here. He said "It's gone." OK. So I go back to Dr. Corts, the president, and Corts was very supportive of me because I got in a lot of scrapes and he'd just say "Use your own judgement. I trust you" but he got 97:00calls all the time from somebody thinking that I was a heretic and I really wasn't but anyway I told him, I said "I've got this urban--" and he was working for nothing because Birmingham loaned him to me and I said "It's gonna go down" and why don't we save the wood and use it for a drive, a fundraiser, and we can give everybody a pen, a fountain pen or something. Well he didn't know about that but he said "How much is it going to cost to get the tree down?" In the 98:00meantime the forester had told me the tree, the core of the tree, had partly caved and you couldn't exactly count the rings, but you know you can tell the age of the tree by counting the number of rings on the trunk of the tree. They were a little bothered by that and I told them. He brought in another forester and I didn't tell them what I was looking for. I just wanted to know how old the tree was, the best they could determine. Well they came back and said "We can't be sure, but we would say that the tree goes back to about 1840." That was the 99:00time and it just came up that way. I wasn't telling them to make it anything. I wanted to figure out a good explanation. It could have been 10 years younger, but anyway, then, I said "I think I can get a tree person to cut it" and I said "And I think I know a trucking firm that'll haul off the wood. Where are we going to store it?" He said "I'll take care of that if you do this other" and so I did and the wood is somewhere on campus, I guess.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Yeah we need to find that.
CHRISS DOSS: I have, they made a bunch of stuff, I have some fountain pens, I100:00have a bowl. I have a couple of little clocks and then I may have one clock that has the silhouette of a tree with a little clock in it. Anyway, I don’t' know what they ever did but I did all I needed to do. we got the tree cut and salted down so I don’t' know what happened and it may be that by now the wood is hard as a brick but I don't think that would be an insurmountable problem but anyway, here was the library and they had these old concrete benches where you just got 101:00a place to sit, no backrests, just one flat surface and they were stationed here around and those that were beginning to choose a partner would meet out here and talk and the story is that a world of couples had the exchange of a ring under Old Sherman but this was where it was. It was a humongous thing and here's the library. This way, kind of east-south, well it's more east than south, so east-south, would've been Riley Hall. Here would have been the library and over here, you would have had, right behind the library was the campus shop. We had 102:00about a crew of maybe 3 or 4 men and in the summer they had 2 men that kept all the campus mowed and that was it but we had a man that could do everything. He could put in a glass, he could fix a door.
MICHELLE LITTLE: We need that.
CHRISS DOSS: Anyway, then down there where that building is, and that looks likethat may be some of the original, but I don't think so. That was, at first, had a science building and then the school of pharmacy was between the science building. If I'm not mistaken, those buildings, they were tied together and then straight across, kind of at an angle, was Renfroe Hall, and I'll tell you about 103:00that. One day we were flying somewhere, not flying, we were driving that day and Major Davis, I could tell he was aggravated. There was something bothering him and he said "You know what? Ms. Zebindon," who was the house mother at Renfroe Hall, and she was a sweet person, the grandmother type. She had a good sense of reality and he said "She told me they had a peeping Tom at Renfroe Hall" and he said "I think we did." He said "I'll go and hire an off-duty policeman and the first thing I know, they caught him peeping in" but anyway-- 104:00
MICHELLE LITTLE: OK here comes...
CHRISS DOSS: He's a great fella.
MICHELLE LITTLE: He really is.
CHRISS DOSS: Down below Renfroe Hall, there were a number of residents and mostof those were taken up by the English and music people. Not all of them but most of them and then they owned, the school owned a number of dwellings. They were bungalow types on the other side of the street and they put the boy students over there so when they got to yodeling they didn't bother anybody, so the school owned quite a number of those dwellings. Alright I don't know if I've 105:00done anything but confuse the issue.
MICHELLE LITTLE: No it's been great. How do you feel about us stopping somewhereto get lunch and we can keep talking?
CHRISS DOSS: Let me show you where they had the last graduation.
MICHELLE LITTLE: OK let's do that.
CHRISS DOSS: Alright. Thank you.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: No problem.
CHRISS DOSS: Now let's see. I'm getting the habit, I think.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: The third time's a charm.
CHRISS DOSS: I don't know whether we could get out, now that good-sized tree there...106:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I'll have to get out this way.
CHRISS DOSS: I guess we'll have to back out, but back here they had their shopto maintain the campus.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: So that was the maintenance shop? Should I go this way?
CHRISS DOSS: Let's go this way, to the left.
MICHELLE LITTLE: I see they named the apartments Sherman Oak Apartments.
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah it was right up there and since I was last out here, they'veput a bunch of fence up.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: When was the last time you came out here?107:00
CHRISS DOSS: It's been about 2 years ago. I used to come out here often. Alrightnow take a left here.
MICHELLE LITTLE: How long did the buildings from the campus stay as they wereafter they moved?
CHRISS DOSS: Not very long it was sold pretty quick and they tore it down, takea right here. They sold it and it was cleared and they put the nursing home in 108:00and started building apartments. Now this, there was a fraternity house or two there and there were homes, a lot of antebellum homes here and here was, turn right here. This is Ruhama. This is one of the oldest churches. Of course it's no longer Southern Baptist. It's owned by a black church now but we graduated in that auditorium and we sat in this swing here for the, I believe we had the summer sermon and the graduate situation the same day, but anyway that's where 109:00the last graduation was held.
MICHELLE LITTLE: And you said you graduated in August?
CHRISS DOSS: Yes ma'am. It was, I don't know, in the middle of August. Turnhere. Many of these houses were pretty good 50 years ago and a lot of the faculty lived in some of these. Now take a left here. Let's see. Straight ahead. 110:00That was a private residence in those days but I think the school owned this. Let's see, turn left right here and I lived in this brick house my last 2 years.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: This one right here?
CHRISS DOSS: No, I didn't live but one summer. I'll show you the other one, butI lived in that basement and my landlord worked at the post office at the 111:00airport and I believe a doctor lived there at the time. Let's see.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: These look like old houses.
CHRISS DOSS: Oh they were, and a doctor lived in that house, I think. Now take aright up here and on up the hill.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: So you said a lot of the faculty lived in this area?112:00
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah this was pretty good stuff. Alright now where these apartmentsare, the vice president, Dr. Sam Ezell, he was something else. Great, big, he was a handsome and impressive fella but he was big and had a booming voice and during the election in 1928, when the Klan got so active, he was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Clanton and they had this little ritual. They would come to a church and at the end of the service they would make a little speech about 113:00patriotism and all of that and then they would leave an offering. Well he wouldn't let them come to the First Baptist Church, so they egged his car and egged the house and one night they got to carrying on outside and eh flipped on the porch light and they scattered across the street down there and he says "You SOBs, come out of there! I'll whip all of you!" and he starts across the street, anyway he never had any more trouble. This is something that nobody's never going to tell you. They had a big fight at the, I guess I'm on record, but I don't care. They had a real old timey, I mean knockdown fight at Ruhama and 114:00there was Dr. Xan, who, I think he was an Egyptian, but he was converted to Christianity by, I believe Presbyterian missionaries, anyway he was a doctor in chemistry and he was on one side and Dr. George Irons, the head of the...Xan was in chemistry and Irons was in history and they were leading the two factions. Well Ezell had put up with about as much as he could stand and they were both good-sized men but he towered over both of them. He got them in an anteroom 115:00there at the church and he wasn't making any progress and he just reached back and got them both by the nape of the neck and he said "Now agree to this or I'm going to bump y'all!" and I don’t' know that legally it would have stood up but they got together and he lived right up there and he played the stock market and we didn't have air conditioning in those days and he had a screened in front porch and he'd stay out there and play the stock market in the afternoon. He's the one that told me that I ought to go into law and he said "They need some good lawyers to defend the churches" but I was through the seminary before I did anything and had gotten a couple of degrees but anyway this was the Thompson 116:00sisters' house. They were both retired missionaries. Go straight on. And they were my last landlord for the last year and a half. In fact, the last summer I was here, I lived in that apartment right there and those two ladies were quite something. One of them was with the Home Mission Board and the other one was a missionary to China but that house has gone to pot. Now drive on down to this alleyway here. I don't know, well right there, it looks like it's...no it's back there but barely. That's where you, it's just a little cottage there. It had three rooms and we called it Bethaggee, the Cottage of Figs, but that's where I 117:00was when I got my last two years or year and a half and that's where I soaked up a lot of something. Dean Weeks, who was the first dean of the law school, that house has replaced his house. HIs wife was, take a, go on down one more, but that’s where Dean Weeks and his family lived and he was the son-in-law of Dr. Ezell, but now Ezell was something else. One Friday afternoon, he said "Doss, I've got a package down at Sears--" take a right here. This is Rugby Avenue. 118:00This was a major avenue. These are houses built since then. A lot of the old homes are gone and they have put up others. Anyway, he said "I need you to go with me. You've got a strong back to lift that package. Can you go?" I said "Yes sir" and he had a Buick. He always drove a great big Buick and we get on First Avenue North and start toward town. He ran every light. I was just scared to death. I'd never ridden with anybody like that and sometimes he'd say "Whooo! Little pink, wasn't it?" He was something else. Now back over the rise back 119:00there, there was a black, let's see when you get here, let's go, I think it's still up, let's go, wait a minute. No, this is Oporto. We want to, go on down to that red light yonder. Now these apartments here were built just before I entered school in 1954.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: These right here?
CHRISS DOSS: Mmhmm, they were very nice in that day and that takes you up to thebookstore and soup kitchen. Now then, I'm oriented. Right here, right there, at 120:00the corner of Oporto Madrid Avenue and 4th Avenue South, that's what they've got there.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: We've made a circle.
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah we did. We saw these houses. Turn somewhere up here. One nightat the girls' dorm that was here, a burglar got in, but the girls, one of them sounded the alarm and I can't remember that girl's name but she somewhere had a 121:00hammer and 2 of them are holding him and when he'd start to wrestle or anything she'd raise the hammer and say "I'm gonna hit you!" What was her name? She was the biggest tomboy. Down here at this next light.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Was it Quinn Kelly?
CHRISS DOSS: Yes.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Her name has come up in other stories.
CHRISS DOSS: She was, oh, she was something. I forgot what it was, but we werehaving, yeah, down here, we were having something and all morning she had a loudspeaker on the campus. Now that was the old dining hall right there. I 122:00believe that's been replaced or redone and the pharmacy school was right there and right here there was a walkway.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: There's a marker.
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah they did that to try to preserve the marker and I guessthey've done pretty good but there was a walkway all the way here up to Old Main and this, the bus, was the bus stop, or the trolley stop and it was quite something.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Gonna get a picture of that.
CHRISS DOSS: I believe they've, it was the last time I was out here, they've123:00cleaned it up a little. It looked like somebody had shot into it. As a matter of fact, I'm probably responsible for those brick columns. I told Dr. Corts we needed to do something. People would steal those markers and that's when he added those columns and this was the main Methodist church in the eastern part of town and I think, what's that sign, oh they're still meeting around.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: East Lake United Methodist Church.
CHRISS DOSS: That’s right. I think they have closed virtually all of theMethodist churches. Why don't you turn around and go back. Now a lot of 124:00dwellings, small dwellings, were along here, and most of them were used by the music department and there were some back on that corner. If we had an aerial view or diagram, this would have helped, but what was that lady's name? Liz McNeese? McSomething.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Do I need to go straight?
CHRISS DOSS: Straight. You see, every other trolley turned off, went over tothis street, and came on out, or this avenue and Major Davis said that was of great value and the cleaners was there. Of course I paid about 27 cents a gallon 125:00for gas in those days. Ace Carter's laundry was about a block over, pretty close to where we are now, but you know, he did all of his writing, and apparently pretty good author but he had a synonym that he used. 126:00
MICHELLE LITTLE: Would it be OK if we took you to the Irondale Cafe for lunch ina little bit?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah anywhere you want.
MICHELLE LITTLE: OK.
CHRISS DOSS: I eat anything.
MICHELLE LITTLE: I've never been there and I was hoping we could...
CHRISS DOSS: Where is that?
MICHELLE LITTLE: It's not far from here.
EVAN MUSGRAVES: It's about 5 minutes.
MICHELLE LITTLE: About 5 minutes from here.
CHRISS DOSS: Anywhere y'all say.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Is there anywhere else y'all wanted to drive by before we headover there?
CHRISS DOSS: I wanted y'all to see the Cascade Plunge.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Oh yeah, I was wondering where that was.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: That's where y'all would go swimming?
CHRISS DOSS: I don't know what the shape of it is now.
MICHELLE LITTLE: So y'all would go over there instead of over to the lake inEast Lake?
CHRISS DOSS: We would go up to Pinson to Turkey Creek in the afternoon. Oh, itwould be so hot. It looks to me like the place is grown up. 127:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Over here on the left?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I'll turn up here.
MICHELLE LITTLE: There's a building.
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah there's the old building right there and there were cars andpickup trucks everywhere. It's for sale and then if you go on up the hill, well you don’t need to do that, they may keep us. That's where the first mental hospital in Birmingham was. What'd they call it? Crestwood?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: You said they may keep us in there?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah, now you see, there's Dallas grass in there. Years ago I wasin London and, alright. The trolley came from 1st Avenue, down this way. This is 128:0069th Street, from 1st Avenue and turned here and went out to Howard College.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: So this is where...?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah, there's a big spring back there. Now if I wrote ghoststories, you could really go to town.
MICHELLE LITTLE: So there was a pool somewhere back in here?
CHRISS DOSS: This was just big. Let's see what's on the front of...oh, "BestPeople On Earth."
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Is that what that stands for?
CHRISS DOSS: See, they could stack them in here.129:00
MICHELLE LITTLE: That's a lot of acreage right here.
CHRISS DOSS: And this, at one time was the premier of entertainment parks inBirmingham and it's spring-fed by a big spring here. This would be, I guess what they call clear stone water.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: So where y'all would go swimming was it here or there?
CHRISS DOSS: The building behind this one and I think, they may have done thisduring the time that all that was in vogue, you know, about the civil rights, because they had a crowd, but let's see. BPOE, that's the Brotherhood of 130:00something. I'm not so sure. I think the care keeper lived out here or maybe a team of them did. Yeah, I think so, but the swimming pool is right over there.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Oh, I see. It’s in there. So you're not in the ghost storybusiness then?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah. Alright now it's back in y'all's hands, but you know, the131:00first year...
EVAN MUSGRAVES: Turn left when you get out here.
CHRISS DOSS: The first year, well the first term, I worked downtown at one ofthe National shirt shops and there were a number of students that worked there and I liked that. I enjoyed it. I had worked in a department store in the men's department. Now you can go back here, to 1st Avenue, now where's this place y'all are talking about?
MICHELLE LITTLE: It's back the other way, but...132:00
EVAN MUSGRAVES: It's OK, go straight.
MICHELLE LITTLE: We can go this way. Do you want to walk by another location?
CHRISS DOSS: Anywhere you want to go. I used to go this way because thesecretary in the dean's office lived down here and I would bring her home sometimes.
MICHELLE LITTLE: She lived on this street?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah this was, she lived on, there's a railroad track down here orused to be and you had to cross this.
EVAN MUSGRAVES: Turn left.
MICHELLE LITTLE: So we'll take a left up here.
CHRISS DOSS: I guess they've taken care of my railroad track. Well she livedright there. 133:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Right here?
CHRISS DOSS: Yep.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: They've got a garden there now.
CHRISS DOSS: They sure have. She married a dentist. Buddy Morrison. I guess he'sretired now. He'd be about 80.
MICHELLE LITTLE: So you're writing some memories down from driving Major Davis around?
CHRISS DOSS: Am I what?
MICHELLE LITTLE: You said you were writing some memories down?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah, I sometimes the mood hits me and I may write for 2 or 3 hoursand I write by episode and then one of these days, if I live long enough, I'm going to put all of this in some kind of a book. They've got a little trash out 134:00here. What the kudzu hasn't taken away, they're using to throw away their trash.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Left right here?
MICHELLE LITTLE: Uh-huh.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: OK. I've come this way before.
CHRISS DOSS: That takes you out to the hospital. This takes us out to Irondale.
MICHELLE LITTLE: We thought we'd eat over there at the Irondale Cafe.
CHRISS DOSS: Have y'all eaten at the Fried Tomatoes in Hoover now?
MICHELLE LITTLE: No I haven't.
CHRISS DOSS: One sister established it out there. The other sister kept the135:00other one at the railroad. What do they call it now?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: The Whistle Stop Cafe?
CHRISS DOSS: The Whistle Stop? They changed the name.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Or Fried Green Tomatoes?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Where is that in Hoover?
CHRISS DOSS: Where is it?
MICHELLE LITTLE: Is it near the Galleria?
CHRISS DOSS: You know where Books-a-Million used to be?
MICHELLE LITTLE: Yes sir I do. Yes sir.
CHRISS DOSS: It's at the end of the block. Dale's Diner is up there or something.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Yes, Dale's. It's kind of like a meat and three.
CHRISS DOSS: Oh I'll tell you what this is. This was one of the federalprojects, one of the first ones. What did they call this? It was, I think it's 136:00nearly all black now, but in the barracks, we had a black man named Rufus. He was a Baptist deacon and he'd come around and hit us up. Now right there, that would go back around.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: To Howard?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah. Now let’s see, alright you're going to go on up, if youwant to go to, we're nearly there.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Yep we're almost there. I think if we just keep going on 2ndAvenue North like this.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: There's the railroad.
CHRISS DOSS: Yep. That railroad goes to Atlanta. Goes on through Birmingham toNew Orleans. That’s Irundelee. 137:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I've never heard it said like that before.
CHRISS DOSS: We'd come over here to Howard Johnson's. It was a Howard Johnson'srestaurant. That was a hot thing. If you wanted to spend some money, it wasn't a whole lot by the standards today but you might spend $3 for a meal.
EVAN MUSGRAVES: You're going to turn right at the stop sign.
CHRISS DOSS: Just stay close to the railroad. Historic Irondale right here.138:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: There it is.
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: That's the backside of it. Michelle you've never eaten here?
MICHELLE LITTLE: I've never eaten here. I'm excited.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I can drop y'all off and then I'll park around back.
CHRISS DOSS: Well let's see. That's the Robinson Trading Post.
(tape ends) (tape starts)
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I think we all did.
CHRISS DOSS: A lot of times in the evening I'll just go by there and eat vegetables.
EVAN MUSGRAVES: Turn left here.
CHRISS DOSS: You're going to have to go this way now because you can't get out.That was one of the problems here. 139:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Is your seatbelt fastened? Is your seatbelt on?
CHRISS DOSS: Well I'm flunking, I reckon.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I go left? Which way Evan?
EVAN MUSGRAVES: Yeah, left.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Then do I go back that way?
EVAN MUSGRAVES: Go straight.
CHRISS DOSS: Let’s see, can we cross down there? I don't think so. We can goout this other way.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: There it goes.
CHRISS DOSS: Thank you.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Yes sir.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Thank you for taking the time to--140:00
CHRISS DOSS: Let's see if we can go out this way. Yeah there's a viaduct there.We'll go under it and I think we can get on the interstate from here. See it right yonder?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Yes sir. I'd heard one time that you had met President Clintonone time? Bill Clinton?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah I've met, he invited me and some others to have breakfast with141:00him one morning to discuss what he, let's see here. I think we can get on down here. What he might do when he left the presidency and I guess I was there twice. You know, he and tony Compello were very close but I don’t' think that was the reason I was called. Well we must have missed it.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I can go this way on Montevallo Road and go through Mountain Brook.142:00
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah you can. Well let's see. I've been, I had lunch one time,twice with Reagan.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Really?
CHRISS DOSS: Yeah and I had lunch once with LBJ and I was at a reception forladybird, who was, has a lot of roots in Alabama. Right there, that's St. Martin's. That's the group that was after me and I finally told them "If you want to get some capacity, but it's not going to be right now," so (?), that was 143:00the fella's name, he said "We don't have that much discharge." I said "Yeah but those little animals that digest all that sludge can't distinguish between St. Martin's disposal and other folks'." He laughed and said "I don't think I'm going to get anywhere" and I said "If we can figure out how you can extend and not use any more capacity" and I told him what I had done for the Baptists. He said "I think we've already done that" but anyway he said "I understand and I respect the position you're in" and then when I was running he'd go around and say "I've never voted for a Democrat but I do vote for Mr. Doss." He looked like 144:00John Foster Dullis. He wore those metal rim glasses. Looked just like him. He said he had grown up in New Orleans as a Methodist but he went to a Saturday night dance and they churched him, so he looked around and found that he could be a member of the Episcopal Church and still go to dances and that's the reason. He had a son who was an Episcopal priest.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: So when you met the President was that at the White House, at145:00the Oval Office? Were you able to go there?
CHRISS DOSS: Most of the times we met in the East Room. That's a pretty goodsized room, but I've known every President personally since Harry Truman, including Harry Truman. I have letters from Harry Truman. He's one of my favorites. He was just a genuine, down to earth person. You can't see him taking a poll to decide what to do. He did what he thought he ought to do. He did what he thought he ought to do. Let's see. The only one I never actually met 146:00personally was John Kennedy.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: What was that like in the White House?
CHRISS DOSS: Well, some folks, you know, oh that building right there is the oldsteel master’s home for the old steel furnace over here.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: For Sloss? No, no.
CHRISS DOSS: No, the same name as that church. What was that name?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I don't know about that.147:00
CHRISS DOSS: In fact that's where the community, all of that land back there wasowned by a family that had a big building named Baker's and they poured a lot of money into that church.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I imagine this area has changed a lot.
CHRISS DOSS: Some. Of course this area was newly developed. I can remember whenthere wasn't much development beyond here and many of the houses, they were, a lot of them, bungalow-type houses, were torn down. Some of these are the original. 148:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I think the houses all through here are gorgeous.
CHRISS DOSS: These are young couples and older people, but they've upgraded alot of these homes, or they've replaced them. Right back over there is St. Luke's Episcopal Church. A lot of the families go downtown to the Advent but St. Luke's is where most of the young folks go and I guess it's now the oldest Episcopal Church in the state. The old Episcopal church in Mobile, a few years 149:00ago, had a bad situation and split and it was real funny, there was one element in the church that were converted Baptists in the Episcopal church and they were sure enough high church and the old timers wanted to liven things up a little and they got into it and the converted Baptists started referring to the old timers as the holy rollers in the church. That didn't go over really well. This 150:00pastor here is one of my best friends, or he was. He's retired.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: What's the name of that church?
CHRISS DOSS: Mountain Brook. What time is it?
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: It's 2 o'clock.
CHRISS DOSS: Got plenty of time. I have a lady, I told her she'd have to look atme like I'm coming off of the bean wagon, dressed up today. I don’t' even know the lady but she's got a problem and had to talk to a lawyer today. I told her 151:00I'd see her at 4 o'clock but I got to go to St. Vincent’s to pick up something and then I've got to go over to pick up something at the stockbrokers' but that'll just be running in and grabbing something.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: We can get you back with enough time.
CHRISS DOSS: This has been a delightful day.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: It has for us too.
MICHELLE LITTLE: Yeah we've really enjoyed it.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: I appreciate you taking the time to ride out there with us andtell us about the old campus.
CHRISS DOSS: I hope that there's something in the book, and I didn't get intothat today, but the buildings, I meant to tell you about Mr. Pittman, he and 152:00Major are looking at the campus and looking at all these old drab buildings and the Major said "John," he was John Pittman too. He said "John I don't know what we can do to spruce things up a little." He said "The only thing I can think of, what if we white-washed all of these buildings?" He said "I don't know whether people would like that or not." Pittman said "That's your decision Major but I tell you what. If you can get the labor to do it, I'll buy the paint and the tools" and it was kind of interesting. Mr. Pittman's byword was "damn." He would 153:00always say "Damn this" and "Damn that." He says to the Major, "I'll be damned Major. I don't know what we can do" and then he said "But if you get the labor I'll pay for the whitewash and the tools" and that's how they got to be white and that was pretty good but you couldn’t imagine what the inside was. It was plaster that was giving way and it wasn't anything unusual for a class to be in session and for a piece of plaster to fall out of the ceiling on somebody. It got to be so common that it never even interrupted the lecture. 154:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Have to wear a helmet to class.
CHRISS DOSS: Nowadays that wouldn't work. Somebody would have a lawsuit before sundown.
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: Yeah. So the campus, was it a crowded campus? Were there a lotof people on there?
CHRISS DOSS: We had about, I believe, 1,600 to 1,800 students and you knew mosteverybody but there were different divisions. The pharmacy crowd were the sinners and they took great pride in that. 155:00
CHASE TRAUTWEIN: It's still that way.
CHRISS DOSS: The ministerial students were the holy Joes and they, you know, andI tried to stay on good terms with both of them and I dabbled in campus politics and it was a lot of fun, but you won some and lost some. 156:00
MICHELLE LITTLE: What did most of the students on the East Lake campus thinkabout the new campus? Were they excited?
CHRISS DOSS: Oh, very much so. Dr. Hulcee Acton was another clown. He was fromKentucky but when he came to Howard as a young professor, he fell in love with one of his students and married her but she died. They had a teenage daughter and that daughter was a teenager when her mother died but he was a great 157:00teacher. I don't know how many languages he knew but he was something else. A lot of drama and anyway, I was finishing my last courses. I had two and I was getting married on Saturday. The Fourth of July was on Thursday and the school was out from Wednesday on but they were going to give the test on Friday and 158:00Dean Dale said something to Dr. Acton, "Doss don't need to be taking a test the day he's getting married" or the day before and Dr. Acton said "OK. I'm not going to be doing anything but sitting at home reading on the Fourth. He can come to my house and take the test" and I did and he reminisced about his wife and showed me different things she had done and I don’t' remember, his daughter was in Europe or somewhere and there he was, supposedly a renowned 159:00professor, nobody to spend the Fourth with, and he's giving this young whippersnapper a test. I had a lot of hours I didn't need but I had a major in religion. I majored in history but I also had enough hours in religion but Dr. Chapman was chairman of the department and the registrar's office told me that there was one required religion course that I hadn't taken and it was required 160:00of all students and I don’t' remember how I messed up on that but I'm thinking "Here I got all of this, all these other hours," so I went to see Dr. Chapman and he wouldn't budge. So I go see, I mean, I tell Dean Dale. He said "Don't worry about it. I'm going to talk to Percy." That was Dean Burns and Dean Dale was the only one I knew who called him Percy. So the next say the dean said "Have you seen Dean Burns?" You're going to let me out up here and I said "Yeah" and he said, no, I said "No" and he said "You need to go." I said "Yeah I'm going to go by. I've talked to him and told him you were coming, so you need to 161:00go by there." I said "I am, I am" so I went by and told Dean Burns what the problem was and he was a brother-in-law to Dr. Chapman. They married sisters. Their uncle was the governor of South Carolina in the old antebellum time. Well that family was in Edgefield and anyway, Mrs. Burns, I heard her say one time that whatever her brother's name was, that he was the only man she knew that could strut sitting down. Anyway, I went to see Dean Burns and told him my problem and he said "Problem? That’s no problem." I said "Dr. Chapman thinks it is." He said "Whose name do you think it is that's going to be on your 162:00diploma, degree?" I said "The dean signs." He said "Don't worry." OK human nature is human nature.
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "I would recommend you go downtown, get on 1st Avenue North, and go out to campus that way. That would be the route followed by many of the students on the old campus and you'll see why that's significant."
Segment Synopsis: Chriss Doss describes the Old Lakeshore Highway, the history of the area and its significance to the old campus. He also discusses the founding of Prattville and the Elton B. Stephens Expressway.
Keywords: Elton B. Stephens; Elton B. Stephens Expressway; Montclair Medical Center; Samford University; Southern Gin Company
GPS: Elton B Stephens Expressway
Map Coordinates: 33.508635,-86.791041
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Yeah, in Sloss Furnace and when you'd come through here in the evening or at night and they would be doing a run of iron and they'd be spraying water on it as it got into the forms and that stuff, you could smell the sulfur.
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks about experiencing Sloss Furnace during his time at Howard, as well as the scrap yards for railroad steam engines. He also discusses the old electric street cars and segregation.
Keywords: Howard College; Major Harwell Davis; Sloss Furnace
GPS: Sloss Furnace
Map Coordinates: 33.520560,-86.791350
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Yeah, but we're going to go a ways but we're going to go through or by one of the most play outdoors places in those days for swimming and it was called Cascade Plunge. It was a big spring that fed the swimming pool."
Segment Synopsis: Doss discusses Cascade Plunge, a popular swimming location in East Lake.
Keywords: Alabama Historical Association; Cascade Plunge; Montgomery, Alabama
GPS: Current site of Cascade Plunge
Map Coordinates: 33.549467,-86.733292
Hyperlink: Cascade Plunge
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "This right here was the campus barbecue stand and it was called Andrew's and Mr., there were two."
Segment Synopsis: Doss describes some of the buildings near the East Lake Campus, such as the campus barbecue stand, the library, movie theater and the Church of Christ.
Keywords: Barrett School
GPS: The Barrett School
Map Coordinates: 33.558911,-86.727813
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: " We normally referred to it as the bookstore and the soup kitchen and it was run by a lady, Ms. Bookman. I thought that was always convenient that Ms. Bookman ran the bookstore."
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks about the campus bookstore and soup kitchen, the boarding house for female students, and the local dry cleaners.
Keywords: Cascade Plunge; Hash House
GPS: Location of where the Hash House, Bookstore and Soup Kitchen once stood.
Map Coordinates: 33.557856,-86.723590
Hyperlink: The Bookstore and Soup Kitchen
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "This used to be the Rose Manor and the Rose family were Italians and they were big Catholics but they had a daughter named Marie that went to school here and she was a great singer and then she married a fella who taught music at Samford."
Segment Synopsis: Doss shows the location of the old Rose Manor, and talks about a member of that family who graduated from Howard and became the first female city council member.
Keywords: Howard College; Marie Miglionico; Rose Manor; Samford University
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Partial Transcript: "This was Berry Field folks."
Segment Synopsis: Doss describes what used to be Berry Field, and talks about Howard College involvement in World War II.
Keywords: Berry Field; Renfroe Hall; V-6 Program; V-7 Program; V-8 Program; World War 2 (WWII) (World War II)
GPS: Site of Berry Field
Map Coordinates: 33.558535,-86.721685
Hyperlink: Berry Field
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "I believe it was on a Thursday based on some of the stuff I've written but that was a long time ago and Mr. Crawford, who was the Coke-a-Cola dealer here, he was a man of some means."
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks about Crawford Johnson, one of the board members of Howard College at the East Lake Campus.
Keywords: Crawford Johnson; Lottie Moon; Major Harwell Davis; Renfroe Hall
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Partial Transcript: "I think all of the stuff y'all are looking at, called In the Shadow of Foreclosure and there were three times that the school almost went under and the first time was in 1886 and it was still at Marion."
Segment Synopsis: Doss discusses the near foreclosure of the Marion campus of Howard College, and the decision to move the college to East Lake.
Keywords: Alabama Baptist; Birmingham, Alabama; Dr. Willoughby; East Lake, Alabama; Howard College; Jesse B. Loveless; Marion, Alabama; Matthew Turner (a man named Curry's father)
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Alright, now, this was Berry Field and this was where we played everything except tennis."
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks more on Berry Field. He also describes some of the uses of the field, as well as some of the student residents near the field.
Keywords: Berry Field; Dr. Yeomans; Major Harwell Davis
Hyperlink: Major Davis
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Now straight down, to the flat area, and we'll walk over there, was Renfroe Hall. Now Renfroe Hall, initially, was built for men, and it was a very nice structure, and they had, I believe it was 3 floors and they had a large parlor where the male students could go occasionally and nearly all of the female students took their meals there."
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks about Renfroe Hall, one of the principle residence halls at the East Lake Campus, and its uses.
Keywords: Renfroe Hall; St. Vincent's East; Weston Hospital
GPS: Site of Renfroe Hall
Map Coordinates: 33.560284,-86.723579
Hyperlink: Renfroe Hall
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Yes that's right. That was it. Now let me tell you, it was a pretty good place, but it was a multi-use place. Basketball was the big thing and I guess y'all can go into all that."
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks about the Howard College Gym and the various ways that it was used. He also talks about the heated rivalry between Howard College and Birmingham Southern.
Keywords: Birmingham Southern; Birmingham, Alabama; Campus Manor; Coach Ledbetter; Howard College; Major Harwell Davis; Renfroe Hall; William Pratt Dale
GPS: Site of the Howard College Gym
Map Coordinates: 33.559747,-86.722402
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Anyway the night of the basketball game, the gym is packed."
Segment Synopsis: Doss relates the tale of one particularly heated incident that occurred at the Howard-Birmingham Southern basketball game, which resulted in a brawl and the Sherman Oak catching fire.
Keywords: Birmingham Southern; Howard College; Major Harwell Davis; Mobile, Alabama; Montgomery, Alabama; Old Main; Phi Mu; Rudolph Davidson; Sherman Oak (Old Sherman); South Avondale Baptist Church
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Right here, now Old Main was right in here and there was an indention in the curb for a car to park angling into the sidewalk or to the curb."
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks a bit about Old Main and how car parking was accommodated at the East Lake campus.
Keywords: Margaret Sizemore; Old Main; William Pratt Dale
GPS: Site of Old Main
Map Coordinates: 33.558900,-86.722990
Hyperlink: Old Main
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "The dean of the school who was dean of everything but the students and that was handled by William Pratt Dale, who was Phi Beta Kappa from Duke but he had polio when he was 15 and he could walk but he had to hold on to your arm and he had a stick."
Segment Synopsis: Doss discusses William Pratt Dale, who was Dean of the school during his time at Howard.
Hyperlink: William Pratt Dale
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Now let me tell you this. The post office was right here. It was catty-cornered right there and right behind that was the BSU building, Baptist Student Union, and that was where the students' religious activities were administered and they did a lot of things."
Segment Synopsis: Doss describes the location of the campus post office and the Baptist Student Union. He also talks about some of the other religious communities around the East Lake campus at the time.
Keywords: Baptist Student Union (BSU); Beth-El Synagogue; Crawford Johnson; Dr. Thomas V. Neal; Frank Samford; Major Harwell Davis; Old Main; Riley Hall
Hyperlink: Post Office
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Now we've had one president who was a graduate and he was Dr. Neal and he was here in the early 1930s."
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks about the tenure of Dr. Neal, Howard College's only alumni president.
Keywords: Dr. Thomas V. Neal; Frank Samford; Howard College; Major Harwell Davis; Old Main; Riley Hall
Hyperlink: Dr Neal
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Partial Transcript: "They're not worth much but they do make a pretty good shape but Old Sherman was right about here and you went straight here to the west and that was Montague Hall, named for the president, and that was the library"
Segment Synopsis: Doss describes the locations of the Sherman Oak, Montague Hall, and the East Lake campus Library. He also relates a tale of his time back at Howard to set up a law study, and the removal of the Sherman Oak.
Keywords: Birmingham, Alabama; Dr. Thomas E. Corts; Montague Hall; Old Main; Samford University; Sherman Oak (Old Sherman)
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "This way, kind of east-south, well it's more east than south, so east-south, would've been Riley Hall. Here would have been the library and over here, you would have had, right behind the library was the campus shop. We had about a crew of maybe 3 or 4 men and in the summer they had 2 men that kept all the campus mowed and that was it but we had a man that could do everything. He could put in a glass, he could fix a door."
Segment Synopsis: Doss describes more of the campus layout, particularly the location of Riley Hall, the library, the campus shop, Renfroe Hall, and other residents halls.
Keywords: Renfroe Hall; Riley Hall; Sherman Oak (Old Sherman)
Hyperlink: Riley Hall
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "This is Ruhama. This is one of the oldest churches. Of course it's no longer Southern Baptist. It's owned by a black church now but we graduated in that auditorium and we sat in this swing here for the, I believe we had the summer sermon and the graduate situation the same day, but anyway that's where the last graduation was held."
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks more about where some of the building at East Lake were, such as the maintenance shop, and shows where the last graduation at the East Lake campus was help, Ruhama Baptist Church.
Keywords: Ruhama Baptist Church
GPS: Ruhama Baptist Church
Map Coordinates: 33.563452,-86.722912
Hyperlink: Ruhama Baptist Church
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Alright now where these apartments are, the vice president, Dr. Sam Ezell, he was something else."
Segment Synopsis: Doss discusses more about faculty housing, as well as a story about Dr. Sam Ezell, the vice-president of Howard at the time.
Keywords: Dr. Sam Ezell; Dr. Xan
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "Now that was the old dining hall right there. I believe that's been replaced or redone and the pharmacy school was right there and right here there was a walkway."
Segment Synopsis: Doss describes the location of the East Lake campus dining hall and the pharmacy school, as well some of the surrounding locations.
Keywords: Dr. Thomas E. Corts; East Lake United Methodist Church
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Partial Transcript: "At one time was the premier of entertainment parks in Birmingham and it's spring-fed by a big spring here. This would be, I guess what they call clear stone water."
Segment Synopsis: Doss describes Cascade Plunge, the local public pool in East Lake. He also points out some of the other landmarks in the area, such as Crestwood Hospital, the first mental hospital in Birmingham.
Keywords: Cascade Plunge; Crestwood Mental Hospital; Howard College; Turkey Creek
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Partial Transcript: "I worked downtown at one of the National shirt shops and there were a number of students that worked there and I liked that. I enjoyed it. I had worked in a department store in the men's department"
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks about his time working for a local men's department store during his time at Howard. He also mentions the book he is writing on his time with Major Davis, as well as other locations in East Lake.
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Partial Transcript: "I've known every President personally since Harry Truman, including Harry Truman. I have letters from Harry Truman. He's one of my favorites."
Segment Synopsis: Doss discusses his experiences meeting several US presidents, including Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, and Harry Truman.
Keywords: Bill Clinton; Harry S Truman; Lyndon B Johnson; Ronald Reagan; Sloss Furnace
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Partial Transcript: "I meant to tell you about Mr. Pittman, he and Major are looking at the campus and looking at all these old drab buildings and the Major said "John," he was John Pittman too. He said "John I don't know what we can do to spruce things up a little.""
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks about John Pittman, and the decision making process that went into moving the campus from East Lake to Homewood.
Keywords: Howard College; John Pittman; Major Harwell Davis
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Partial Transcript: What did most of the students on the East Lake campus think about the new campus? Were they excited?
Segment Synopsis: Doss talks about the opinions that students at the time of the move to Homewood, and some closing remarks.
Keywords: Dean Burns; Dr. Chapman; Dr. Hulcee Acton; East Lake, Alabama; William Pratt Dale