Interview with Clyde Killens

What was his banking style? Did the people like living here, lots of people?


Yeah, well, I'm getting to that now, where he built the hotel. And he went in the banking business, he got into a little problem and they had to change it from the Lord Calvert to the Sir John because the Sir John people bailed him out. That's why, that's why it didn't stay the Lord Calvert. It was, ah, Sir John. And they took off from there, and in the fifties, The acts, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, George Kirk[SIC], all those guys when they come down, they, they worked here, in Miami Beach but their shows in the hotel, they off at 2 o'clock and they all would come over Sir John and all their White friends would follow them, you see. And they didn't have the crack cocaine and all of that going on then and they didn't have a problem. Nobody robbed anybody. You could come out and you could be as high as you wanted to do. Nobody would touch you because back there it was a little different it is now and, ah, they would follow up and they would, the musician would come out and they would go in the lounge and they would be seven, maybe ten, musicians there jamming**, they jammed there all night until 6 o'clock in the morning. And they have private parties, birthday parties around the pool. The PA system just went on all day long, call in different ones from the hotel, the hotel is full. Then they build the Carvel and the Carvel got full and the Mayor had made quite a bit of changes there. And then you had the Rocking Palace and you had Harlem Square, the Cafe Society. You had all of those places to go to plus they had a few good restaurants round there, and, ah, it was just nice to be around. It's kind of like in Atlantic City, the Club Harlem, if you just been around there, a lot of things happen there. A lot of people going in and out. And that's the way it was in Miami. And, ah, most of the businessmen could get away and the sportsmen they could get away. Then they had the, the North Side Golf Tournament here. It made it big, added a lot to it. And they give us the golf course, five days free because it was supposed to get people to come, come down and buy homes and whatnot, and they did a good job on that.