Interview with Tom Turnipseed

Tell me about Webster, Massachusetts.


Well, we were putting on a rally in Webster, Massachusetts, working in the ballot position campaign for Governor Wallace. And Webster's a small town in South Central Massachusetts. It has a strong Polish-American population. So I felt like maybe go to the Polish-American club and see could we use their hall for a rally. And uh, I walked in the hall and, and told them who I was with, and they said, "Great, we like George Wallace, gosh, you know." And I said, "Well, let me look at your hall." And I looked at it, and it was perfect for what we wanted, and, we made a deal on the time and so forth, and I offered to pay them for it, and they said, "Look, we'll just let you have it free, we like George Wallace that much." Then they said, "Well, just stay here and have," they had a little bar too, and it was getting late in the afternoon, they said, "Have a drink with us, and we'll talk to you a little bit more about Governor Wallace." And I did that, and just before I left, the head guy there, the manager and the head bartender looked me right in the eye and he said, "Now, Mr. Turnipseed," he says, "now, when George Wallace is elected president, he's going to line up all the niggers and kill them, isn't he?" And all of a sudden, I realized the man was serious, and I said, "Hell, no. I mean, you know, he's, he's worried about this and that and the other thing, but nothing like that," I mean, he just, you know. And it kind of got to me. And, uh, a lot. And, to know that these people really felt that way, that they wanted to kill Black people, you know, and it got me starting to think in changing my views from that point on, I guess. I mean, subconsciously, at least.