Interview with Howard Holland

Thanks, if you could just tell me a little bit about who you were and, and how you felt when you first got into Detroit.


Well, we had, ah, moved to Detroit when I was about ten years old, ah, from middle Tennessee, ah, been raised on a, on a farm, born in a farm house there, then came up to the city and we lived out in Mt. Clemens for quite a while, and then moved to Goldsville. In 1966 I had joined the Guard and, ah, was looking for something to do with my life so I decided to join the Guard and make a career out of that at the time. And, ah, I'd been in, ah, joined in March of `66 and I went to basic training and went to my, ah, advanced skill training and then went on to jump school and the airborne school at Fort Benning, and then came back, ah, I got back about October of `66. And, ah, I guess at the time, ah, I had been reading and, ah, watching television and reading articles in the paper about Watts and, ah, out in the Los Angeles area, and the disturbances they were having out there, and Newark, New Jersey was at that time and I knew that part of the Guard mission was to, ah, community involvement, as far as protect citizens and to help out, ah, with floods and, ah, snow storms and things of that nature. We were always told if there were any civil disturbances like there were in the 30s with the labor strike in Detroit, ah, that, ah, we'd be committed to duty at that time. And I was out on the beach with my girlfriend, out in Metropolitan Beach here in, near, north of Detroit, and apparently the Guard had called my house at the time, my dad was on the phone, had to go down to the park office and call home, and he told me that, ah, they'd alerted the Guard and I was to come and report immediately. And so I, we ran home, ah, I dropped, ah, the girl I was with, dropped her off at home--