Interview with Nancy Jefferson

OK give me something in the story about Harold that you will always carry with you as a memory of him. The individual, the man, the intellect. Tell me something.


Harold was, ah, it was just so many things that, that, that you carry with you with, with Harold. He had a, and, and I think I heard somebody say this, Harold had, Harold and, and this is, Harold had the ability to make common people like me feel very royal and, and he had the ability to, to, to make the royal come down to talk with the common people. I, I'll never forget that, ah, you know, about three summers ago, we were involved with this West Side stadium building stuff and Harold appointed me to help get that together to get the felt needs of the people in, to see if there should be such an animal out here. Now for thirty years I have been trying to talk to William Wirtz, you know, big multi-millionare who, you know owns all this stuff out here. And we could never get to him. I never would and I remember one day that, ah, I got a phone call from Wirtz who was on his yacht in Florida, ah, that, ah, ah, with the brigadier general of the Air Force and he called me and said, ah, I want to come, I want to get an appointment with you. And, you know, I was flabbergasted and I said, you know, "Why?". He said, Harold Washington, I tried to meet with Harold Washington about the West Side problem out there. Harold Washington told me I had to meet with you. And that was the greatest day of my life because I, we on the problems, he owns all this land out here, we have been trying to do something with him, with the land and Harold Washington ran him into us and that's what I mean, he made that man common. He says, I, you know, I'm the chief executive officer but that's their side of town, you have to meet with them. And we had been trying for years. So we all, you know, relish that and he was that kind of a man. Just many incidents like that that Harold Washington put people together, linked them together, made them understand, ah, what they had to do and made us understand who we were.