Terrific. What were your expectations about going south again? How did you feel about returning, seeing friends?
To be very honest, I just did not, ah, plan on going south that summer. I had the two preceding summers and felt I had to good advantage, but, ah, things had begun to change. And, although it was already, what, June, I did not see myself going south because I wasn't sure that I still had a role to play down there. There are many activities, you know, in New York City that I could spend my time on equally as well. I, ah, when the march started, ah, I went down, ah, expecting to do nothing but what we've done on previous marches and that's provide medical presence: ah, conduct foot clinic at night, pass out salt pills in the morning, and take care of whatever occurs in between. And that's, I assumed that it would be very much like the other marches I had been on. It was not.
Can you tell me more?
The attitudes were much different this time when I got down there. There was some polar--polarization, I, I think, was the best way of putting it. Ah, to illustrate, I had been in Greenwood, Mississippi, ah, in the summer of '64 for some time. Made friends there because I didn't drive and I had, a, ah, Vietnam vet, who for gas and meals would take me where I had to go and help me with what I had to do, give me entree into those areas where I might not otherwise have gotten it. Ah, he and another young man, who had just been shot by a drive-by shooter, ah, outside of Lulu's Cafe in Greenwood, had a tracheotomy, a hole in his throat, that I had to dress every day. And the three of us just went round and round, ah, the county and the surrounding areas, in fact the whole central part of the state. On the first morning in Greenwood I was passing out salt pills and as I walked up to them, I recognized them and was ready to throw my arms around them, locked eyes with Jimmy and, ah, he said, "We don't need any of that White man's crap." And they both pivoted, he and the Egee boy, ah, McGhee boy, excuse me, ah, pivoted and turned their backs on me. And, ah, that smarted but it, it gave me a good indication of the winds of change, the directions they were taking.
Let's stop for a minute.