Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Anne Braden, March 10, 1989

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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FOSL: Pick up a little bit on where we were yesterday and just be sure that you, um, mentioned all of the sort of, you know, major events of that period of the twenties and thirties that you--

BRADEN: Well, we hadn't really talked about the twenties.

FOSL: Well, right, I know.

BRADEN: No, we were just talking about the thirties. I'd have to do some more thinking about the twenties really 'cause I'm embarrassed ----------(??). We were talking about the thirties.

FOSL: Right, okay, the thirties.

BRADEN: Well, I was just mentioning the kind of things that I think of when I think of the thirties. And I'm sure there's a lot of other things that went on, right? Um--

FOSL: I mean we've talked about, um, the founding of the Southern Conference and--

BRADEN: Yeah, and we didn't talk a lot about the Southern Conference 00:01:00itself. But we can do that another time. That's a whole thing in itself I think.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: As to what it did. And then some of that's, you know, there's some of that history, I don't know whether you're taking it with you, I did that short history of SCEF and the Southern Conference. I think it's just a history of SCEF, but I go into the background of the Southern Conference just to give to a lot of people a few years ago. There's a copy of it in one of those folders.

FOSL: I think I've got it.

BRADEN: Um-hm, but, um, somewhere. But we should talk about and I think that's a topic in itself that ought to be talked about at some point.

FOSL: I believe that's in there. But um, well if, if I've got what you have said on these tapes together with what you've already written, maybe that would be a good opportunity for me to put that together, synthesize it with what I would add to it and then give it back to you and then we'll--

BRADEN: We'll go and then think about it, yeah. 'Cause we've probably 00:02:00forgotten some things.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um, we talked a little bit about the formation of the CIO and organizing the black workers in the South. Um--

BRADEN: Southern Tenant Farmers Union.

FOSL: Um-hm, yeah that is ----------(??)--

BRADEN: NAACP. And the Scottsboro Case and the International Labor Defense. Hmm. The unemployed movements. And Joe Gelders a little bit, although I wanted to do--get some more material on him when I can find that. I--you may, uh, find in there, I found a, uh, folder marked, Joe Gelders--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --but there's not a lot in it. It's just some correspondence mainly from his relatives. But I have a whole box and I, I know it's back in one of those cubby-holes is where that is. There's a whole box of stuff on him--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that I need to get out maybe before you come again.

FOSL: Um, and then we talked a little bit about the role of E. D. Nixon 00:03:00and Fred Shuttlesworth.

BRADEN: Yeah, well Shuttlesworth, of course, his role was in the fifties. I mentioned him 'cause he was growing up around there the same time I was, and of course we didn't know each other.

FOSL: And I'm gonna do a little bit of poking around to see what I can come up with on the Southern Negro Youth Congress.

BRADEN: Yeah, well there's Beth. (laughs) The, um, yeah, what I'd like to find is any--well, I'm gonna--I will find, 'cause I'm, I'm sure that I tore it out of that world, is a--I think it's an abbreviated thing of Esther Jackson's speech at the Boston conference. Now I've got the address where you can write and get, uh, the whole, um, text of all the speeches there. I'd like to get that one. And then if you want to call, um, Mary Male (??) and see if they have a copy of a paper from 00:04:00this woman that was on a panel there--

FOSL: I've got that--

BRADEN: --on that, that would be useful I think to see that. Although--

FOSL: Did you say Esther Jackson?

BRADEN: Esther Jackson. I would be more inclined to think what she said was more reliable than somebody else. But it would be good to look at both of 'em, 'cause she was there. She was a part of it.

FOSL: Okay, well um, anything else you'd like to say at this point about just your growing up years and--

BRADEN: Well, we didn't go into that a lot. See, I don't--I'm not sure there's anything that much to go into a lot of detail about my childhood. It was just like most other people's childhood, and of course, I guess a lot of people don't know what those childhoods were like, but a lot has been written about southern childhoods. But, you know, at some point I'd have to sort of summarize it, I guess, a little bit more than I did in The Wall Between which wasn't that, you know, wasn't that much of an autobiography, it was pretty brief. Um, and I 00:05:00don't know, I, I should think about it a little. You know, I--it was a, just a fairly, I guess, typical childhood of a white, little white child in a small southern town, um, in that period.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I don't, and I, you know, in the Depression period and we talked a little about that and the, the awareness I think everybody had of the, um, people being hungry and without jobs.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, uh, but that, you know, that's an experience everybody had. But um, and--

FOSL: Is there any--are there any experiences that sort of stand out? I mean this is, of course, is something you, you can think about and talk more about later, but anything that stands out about, uh, maybe 00:06:00something that sort of, uh, jarred your sensibilities with respect to fairness or, you know, those sorts of things?

BRADEN: I should think about that. I should think about it, yeah. You know what, I should make myself a note. There's some things like that I should think back, 'cause you forget things--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --and you have to really rack your brain to remember things you haven't remembered before.

FOSL: Okay, well I actually think--

BRADEN: Yeah, I'd like to think about, you know, a little bit of what I want to say about my--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --my, those, that sort of, the childhood thing.

FOSL: Okay, well I, I actually think I have enough material to work with, with all of this and these tapes, the previous interviews and putting together some other information--


BRADEN: Of what you've, yeah. But maybe what I--and I don't know when I'm gonna do it-- but I should just sit down and kind of write something out I think about the way my childhood looks to me as I look back on it.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: ----------(??) and, but I don't have to do that before you do this, necessarily--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --so, yeah, I kind of, I think I'll do that, 'cause I need to think about it.

FOSL: Um, well, it looks like we're about to get interrupted when Beth comes in anyway, but what, there's another, there are two more things that I'd like to kind of cover while I'm here this time.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: And the one has to do with I would like to hear in detail from you what you--you've talked about it some and then we kind of got off, was, you know, what really happened in Mississippi in '51--


FOSL: --with the McGee Case.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: And then there's another whole area that I'm really interested in 00:08:00that you've alluded to that this would be sort of a big conversation and, um, and that's, like, this kind of conversion experience you had over a period of a year or two when you were really turning yourself inside out about--

BRADEN: Um-hm. It could be I should try to write something on that, some things are easier to write about than talk about.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And maybe that's another one I should write about, maybe. And we can talk about it too, but I think if I tried to write something first it would be more coherent I think.

FOSL: Um-hm. Okay, well um--

BRADEN: Then there's the--I mean, what--we need probably to talk about the forties the way we talked about the thirties yesterday of the things--

FOSL: Well, I agree.

BRADEN: --happening--

FOSL: I wasn't really thinking chronologically.

BRADEN: --happening in the forties, yeah. And the twenties. But I need to think more about the twenties. The forties I could do off the top of my head, sort of, the things I remember right now.

FOSL: Well, do you want to begin with that?

BRADEN: We could. I mean that's easier than some of the other things. The McGee Case is sort of an enclosed thing. We could talk about 00:09:00that. But yeah, we could do the forties, or when you come back from with Beth, you know. Are you going out to the cousin's house tonight, or ----------(??) say?

FOSL: I don't think so. If I do anything--

BRADEN: That's--

FOSL: --I'm gonna go see that movie.

BRADEN: Yeah, well we don't want to go on too late, but we could talk a while 'cause you're just gonna be gone a little while--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: -----------(??).

FOSL: Yeah, 'cause I was thinking maybe I--if I did go to this movie I'd go to the 9:30 show 'cause to me that worked out okay last night. I mean we went a little bit--maybe we wouldn't want to go quite--

BRADEN: --yeah, about ten--

FOSL: --that late, but--

BRADEN: --um-hm--

FOSL: --you know, to--till seven or eight--

BRADEN: --yeah--

FOSL: --or something like that.

BRADEN: That would make sense. Um, yeah, so we might talk about the forties are, you know, so much of it I can remember that easy in terms of what was going on in the world around me--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that we might sort of talk about that. You might then want to look up some stuff on that before you come back--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --from that period. And I think the Southern Negro Youth Congress overlaps those two decades, and so does the Southern Conference--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --for that matter.

FOSL: Well, let me put this on--


[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: You might want to do some research on it.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But we thought of a number of things we wanted to find when we talked about the thirties, like the Southern Negro Youth Congress and stuff.

FOSL: Um-hm.


FOSL: So had the war started when you went away to college? I mean had it started, in the United States?

BRADEN: No, it was before--

FOSL: But the war was going on--

BRADEN: --Pearl Harbor. But, um, yeah, I guess the--I think there was a feeling that we were gonna be in the war. It was beginning to impinge on, on people.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And on people my age. Um, the, and I was trying to think, that's--let's see, the summer before I went to college--there was 00:11:00always a certain glamour about the military--(laughs)--for the people in my milieu growing up in Anniston because Fort McClellan was there, which was an Army post, had been there for years. I don't know when Fort McClellan was built, but it was there when I moved there in the early thirties. At least I think it was. We--yeah, 'cause there were always children would be in our class at school from Fort McClellan, who were Army children. But it was pretty small and I don't really know what the Army was doing with it between the two wars, or I guess, I don't know whether it was there in World War I or not. But anyway, it was there and there would always be some children in the school who were there because their fathers were in the Army. And other than that we didn't pay much attention to it until we got in our teens--(laughs)- -and it was, um, it was where the, the ROTC, which was a big thing then as I guess it is again now, um, in high schools and coll-, well, not so 00:12:00much high schools. I do not remember ROTC in high school. It was in college, now it's in high schools.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It was a big thing in college and we--most people were in the ROTC. And um, most of the boys in college and they came to Fort McClellan for summer training you see.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And this was great for the girls in, um, Anniston 'cause they all met all these glamorous college boys and there's a limited number of college boys in, in Anniston, all these descended, you see, in the summer. And they would have dances and all of that and we all went. I don't think I started going--and this was totally in the white community. I don't think there were black R-, you know, this is just how the worlds, worlds were--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --so separate, if there were black ROTC people there, I never saw 'em, naturally. And I don't know what they did.

FOSL: You know, there probably must have been though. Or would they just send 'em to a different place?

BRADEN: Well, where would they have come from? You see, from the black colleges, did, did they have ROTC? They may have.

FOSL: You would think.

BRADEN: I really honestly don't know.


FOSL: I don't either.

BRADEN: But naturally they didn't come--(laughs)--around our place, our dances. I mean that was unheard of. Nobody even brought it up. It just, you know, occurred as you look back, well it was obviously white. But they would have dances and all--this was something that everybody- - and a lot of roman-, lasting romances came out of that. And one of my first romances, uh, not that--I think the first year I really went, 'cause Mother didn't think I ought to, uh, go, run around with boys young, you know. And actually I think girls started run-, dating a little bit older then than they do now. Or I think the mores are a little different now. But I think maybe the first year I really went to those dances was the summer between my junior and senior year in high school, when I was sixteen. I remember I got my driver's license that summer. Um, and I had a wonderful time and I had this romance with this guy--he was younger actually, he wasn't college. He came 00:14:00from a military school of course and he--it was a prep school, Columbia Military and it's still, I think it's still there. I read about it every once in a while. You know, there was a little military academy on every corner in the South practically then. That's--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --it's always seemed to be a part of the southern culture. It wasn't really take--it almost wasn't like we think of militarism today. It was--I think, I identify it more with southern chivalry and the--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --confederate tradition and--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --you know, all those negative things. But it--nobody was thinking about going to war. (laughs) It was just sort of uniforms were glamorous and there was something that nobody really, that I recall, said confederacy, but it was kind of that--the lost cause, that brave southern tradition sort of thing that was a part of it. And as I'd mentioned earlier, there was a little military--Anniston, AMI, Anniston Military Institute, which had closed--that what it was. The, uh, boys my age were not going to that because it had closed and the 00:15:00building stood there for years and later they did something else with it. And I think it closed during the Depression 'cause people couldn't afford to pay for it or something. You know. So--but there were, and this one was in Columbia, Tennessee, um, which of course became famous later for the, um, thing that happened there in '46, um, which I didn't find the pamphlet about that this morning either, by the way. You know, the Southern Conference put out a pamphlet on the riot there.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I don't know whether riot's the right word. It was a police repression really. The-- very quickly, I remember, uh, I'm veering away, this was, well, this was forties, we should come back to that. That was '46. But I remember Jim Dombrowski told me that when that happened, I think he was at Nashville, maybe at the Southern Conference headquarters were still at Nashville, I'm not sure 'cause I forget when it--I know it was '46, but I can't remember what time of the year. But the, um, when that happened he said they sent people down there to find out what happened, something like ten thousand copies of that 00:16:00pamphlet out within two days to tell people what was really happening in Columbia. And I've got a copy of that somewhere. It's an historic document I think it must be with those other Southern Conference documents somewhere. But anyway, this guy was from Columbia, and he, he was actually from Columbia, but he attended Columbia Military Academy, institute or something. So he was more high school age. He was more like my age. But um, and I was sort of--I was infatuated with him and kept in touch with him for a little while. Of course it didn't last. But there were other, you know, and they came from Clemson and Davidson and all these places that sounded very glamorous to us. So that had been going on for years there before I was old enough to take part in it. And Fort McClellan was a part of the scenery. And I'm trying to remember when--then it, the, of course the fort got tremendous during the World War II--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --until it really was bigger than Anniston. I mean there were more people at Fort McClellan than lived in Anniston at the height of 00:17:00World War II because I think it was a basic, it was a basic training camp. And before we actually got in the war the Army was building up, you know, and, and Fort Mc-, and they began to bring in a lot of trainees there. So--and I really can't remember when that started happening, 'cause I--and the funny thing is, I remember the ROTC stuff that year before, between my junior and senior year. And I graduated from high school in '41 and I was seventeen that summer. And I cannot remember much about that summer. I don't have that same memory of going to there. They may have stopped the ROTC at that point and would been converting it to regular training because as I say, by that time, I think there was--I can remember my friends talking about it that probably they were all gonna be going into war. It was just sort of that feeling that sort of the world was closing in on people. And I remember when um, let's see, when in, in 1939 in September was 00:18:00when Hitler invaded the So-, Poland and the Soviet Union, I believe. And that was ominous. You see, I--like I said earlier, I was more aware of what was happening in the world than in what was happening in Alabama. And I can remember, Lindsay was in Annapolis of course and he came home for September leave, I think the very 'cause it's--they always had, they went out on a cruise during the summer and they have leave during September, the month of September and he usually came home for at least part of that. I think it was September 1st, that date's easily ascertainable. But I think the day he got home Hitler had invaded the Soviet Union. So.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And um, or was that--no, no, I got the history of the war mixed up. Or was that when the--

FOSL: Yeah, that was--

BRADEN: That was when um, 'cause no, Hitler didn't invade the Soviet Union--I should look that up, was at '40 or '41 before Pearl Harbor 00:19:00maybe? But something had happened. The war had started in Poland. That's what happened in '39. Anyway it was a major event in the world and it's gone right out of my mind. It may have been when the Germany and the Soviet Union sort of divided Poland or something. Remember? But anyway it was--it looked like there was gonna be war in Europe. And, and actually during the thirties I think that although we knew--I was aware of fascism, you know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I mean it--I guess I didn't know exactly what fascism was, I, ex-, um, except that it was not democracy like we had and communism was just as bad. All these bad things were happening. But I don't think I had any feeling that was, um, something that was gonna impinge on my life that much, except just to look at from a distance. And I think the general pacifist sentiment that did prevail in the country in the thirties was a part of the world I lived in too. I re-, my mother told me one time and I've got this vivid memory of it. And she said she 00:20:00was sure later she'd never--(laughs)--said anything like this. But you don't think up these things. I remember just being a little girl, maybe I don't know how old I was, but like I have a feeling maybe I was five or six or seven years old and I can remember--I can see myself or see us, we were in a store or something and we were talking and she was talking, I don't know why we got to talking about uh, World War I and she said something about, "Well, we never should have been in that war. We shouldn't get involved in those wars in Europe."

FOSL: Very isolationist.

BRADEN: Um-hm. And of course she said later that she didn't. And, and she was, uh, during the thirties, um, I think among the people that thought the United States ought to be building up their military forces because we were gonna have to use 'em. 'Cause I can remember she had a friend, um, who was an Army officer, old friend from Kentucky or something that she invited to speak at maybe her DAR chapter or 00:21:00something on that, which was going against the grain at that time, because most people didn't think that. And he, he said that, you know, that I, I can remember her telling me about it. So some of those things impinged on me that he made this speech that the United States was just being foolish. That they'd better be building up their military forces. But--

FOSL: So she had sort of switched in that time?

BRADEN: Well, yeah. And when I reminded her later that she said we should never should have been in World War I, she said, "Oh, I don't think I ever said that." But she did. You know. So she had switched. But she switched earlier than some other people I think. But not in the way that, um, like Virginia Durr and people like that who were also very much for building up the mil-, because they, and for the United States stopping fascism.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And getting into the war, really, against Hitler long before we were. And of course the whole Spain thing. Now Spain did not impinge on me I don't believe--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --at all. And of course that was a great divide for a lot of people politically in that time, sort of like Nicaragua today, only I 00:22:00think stronger than Nicaragua in people's consciousness.

FOSL: I think so too.

BRADEN: Um, but you know, because Virginia, you know, being politically active saw the rise of fascism as the main issue, and she still does. She still thinks that's the main issue in the world, is fascism. And she may be right about that.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: She may be right. But um, so you know, but a person like my mother didn't have that sort of political understanding. And, and wouldn't basically have disagreed with the fascist ideology on a lot of things, in fact had a fascist ideology. But she didn't think in ideological terms anyway. I think for people like my mother and my father, and this is one reason that I guess that there was just such a chasm between us once I began to have a different understanding of things, the, uh, in terms of any sort of communication politically, is that their view of the world was, I think, and it's, it's, it's not 00:23:00surprising to me. In fact it's sometimes hard for me to figure out how they could a been different, although some people were, but I often thought about it after they got old, how much it happened in the world during their lifetime when you think about that they were born in 1894 and 1896.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And lived until almost the, uh, 1990s, that the whole world had changed, you know. But they never adjusted to that at all and to me, I mean as I saw it. (coughs) So I think that their general view of the world was that things had always been a certain way and they were always gonna be a certain way and the people that they were identified with and came from were firmly in control, uh, in this country. And although there might be somewhat disturbing things happening in others parts of the world that, that we would prevail. And what they saw as democracy would prevail.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: They, you know, they believed in what they conceived of as 00:24:00democracy, which as you, you know, when you understand it better, meant democracy for them and not other people. But that's what they thought they believed in. And they saw things like, and they certainly knew that Hitler was bad. They thought Mussolini was bad. Mother read--and of course there were some respectable pro-fascists in the United States at that point. And it was a strong--besides the crazies. There were, you know, like Father Cochran (??) and I saw something about him the other day, um, respectable ones. Charles Lindbergh, you know, who was pretty respectable--

FOSL: I didn't know that.

BRADEN: Oh yeah, he was pro-German. And he wrote books about it and so did Anne Morrow. And Mother admired Anne Morrow Lindbergh. She was, she wrote some books--

FOSL: She wrote books--

BRADEN: --she was--

FOSL: ----------(??).

BRADEN: Well, she wrote other books too. She was a rather poetic writer. I remember she--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --and some of the things she wrote were not political at all. But I think she did, and he certainly did. He made speeches. He, and he said this was the--

FOSL: I never knew that.

BRADEN: --was the, this was the wave of the future. That was the terminology that was used, was fascism. And you have to, and to 00:25:00give those people their due, that you have to remember they did not, they really did not know until later some--all the things about the concentration camps. They didn't know that. Now um, I literally think they didn't. In fact people in Germany said they didn't. And you know, there was a lot of debate later, could they not have known? And they closed their eyes. I mean there have been whole books written about this, you know. On how the German people could have let this happen. Well, you could see--it, it could happen here. You know.

FOSL: Yeah, right. (laughs)

BRADEN: But, um--

FOSL: And did in ----------(??).

BRADEN: --but I don't think people in this country did. And you know, the whole thing about, you know, the big thing that Mussolini made the trains run on time, that he was making things work sort of. And, and the fact that Germ-, that, um, Germany had been so crushed, you see, after World War I and maybe the terms of the peace treaty were too harsh and therefore people, they had to build their country again and he, Hitler, um, gave 'em that. But I don't think my moth-, now my mother didn't adhere to that, or my father either, I mean they were 00:26:00against Nazism. They were against communism because all those -isms were not democracy.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Uh, but they read these other things and they didn't think it was outrageous. I mean, you know, it was something, oh, this was this person's viewpoint and they were wrong. But it wasn't what you might have thought about it twenty years later. You know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that of course it wasn't just Lindbergh. I mean the other thing people forget is when you're talking about the thirties, we weren't, that, that I realized later, and I think this was a big factor in the Hiss Case. I never knew exactly what the truth of the Hiss Case was, but I remember reading articles after all that, you know, in the forties and fifties. See, there was a real tug of war in our government in Washington as to which side of that war we were gonna get in on. I mean and the, and, and I know people like Virginia and people like that, that's why they were so, um, passionate about it because it could very well have gone the other way.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that, and Carl remembers that. Now I remember, he--that people he knew even during World War II who said we're on, on the wrong 00:27:00side of this war. You know. And saw Hitler, although he might not be what we would want to be governing our country, but as a very valuable asset because he was gonna stop Bolshevism.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that was a widespread belief. And so there was a big, struggle going on in the country and, and in, and the government. And, you know, I'm sort--that there are experts on the Hiss Case and I wouldn't even want to be quoted on it. But I always just kind of wondered, you see, Hiss was in the state department and he was obviously with the people that was, were, were trying to get us on the right side of what was happening in the world. And there was the other side. And the, you know, I don't know what he did, but they were, they were all doing things. See, I think they were all passing secrets--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --to somebody, tell you the truth. That's what I really think. But I would, but Hiss has maintained he didn't. So I'm not gonna say he did. But I think they were doing that, because I think people do that. You know. I don't think--there are very few people that are first off loyal to their country. They may think they are. But they're 00:28:00first off loyal to whatever they believe in. You know. And um--

FOSL: Were you aware of a rise in anti-Semitism at that time?

BRADEN: No. Because as I said, there were so few Jews in Anniston anyway and I was always somewhat aware of, um, overtones of anti- Semitism. I mean I knew that the Jews, like the Sterne family, I, you know, I knew they weren't quite treated like other people. And yet my family had a lot of respect for 'em, and other people--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --and they were not, now Carlton, see, went--was an Episcopalian. They weren't Jewish. But some of the Sternes went to the synagogue. I remember there was a young man, boy, who was a contemporary of my brother's named Marvin Yalivitz (??). Yalivitz was one of the Jewish families. Now Lindsay, I gotta give him credit for that. He--a lot of people sort of shunned Marvin Yalivitz 'cause he was a Jew. And Lindsay didn't. He was, um, I can remember that. That he was always friendly with him when other people weren't, which is 00:29:00interesting 'cause later on I know that my sister-in-law, before we, you know, I, I lost touch with him, and I can't remember why she would a been telling me this, but told me something that Lindsay had said insulting to some black people that really upset her.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And that she wasn't gonna live with that and told him so. So, you know, he certainly had mixed feelings. But he was, but he, you know, well, was ambivalent like everybody else. But he sort of defended Marvin Yalivitz, who was Jewish. But I didn't sense any rise, because there had always been that separate kind of anti-Semitism reserved for New York Jews that I mentioned earlier and the kikes as they called 'em at the University of Alabama. But um, but my mother and father both, and I guess this was general, had a strong sense of what--of patriotism. Always did. And that was identified, I think with, um, as I say I don't think, not with the issues in the world 00:30:00as much as this, this was their country, but it was also this loyalty to the world as they knew it. And that's a, and that was the, the, the country as far as they saw it. Um, so you know, they were proud of Lindsay being in the service, always were proud till the day they died I guess. Um, so anyway, by the time--as I say, I just have that summer, some ways um, I can't remember. I do not remember the ROTC boys being there. So it may be--I think they were already building up the Army. And then there was a lot, and there, all these men came there then and I had a romance with one of them. But that was later. A lot of lasting romances came out of that too. But--(coughs)--I don't think we were too aware that it, well, it might really hit our generation, or the people we knew. And I was absorbed in getting ready 00:31:00to go off to college, and did. And um, which I didn't really know what college was gonna involve and I--but it was just something every-, you just went to college. That was something that the people that I knew did. Somewhere. And of course as I told you, my family kind of wanted me to go to a women's college. And we had made a trip to Virginia some time either my senior year. Could have been my junior year. And visited some of the colleges and I considered some of the four-year colleges. But decided to go to Stratford. My family had a connection with Stratford. My--that grandmother, um, Nana, the one--my mother's mother spent several years as sort of a house mother at what became Stratford College in the twenties.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And knew the people there. It was then Randolph-Macon Institute; there were four college, four institutions in the Randolph- 00:32:00Macon system. This was the prep school for girls, and then there was the Women's College at Lynchburg and the Men's College at Ashland. And there was a prep school for boys. I forget where that was. But it had changed its name to Stratford, but it was the same building. And um, I've got pictures of it places. It was just this one building, small school, and um, but some wonderful teachers and wonderful people from my point of view, and still there. The dean, Miss Kennedy, Miss Mabel Kennedy was a, just a, an amazing woman. She had a, an, and she was a- -my grandmother knew her. So there was that sort of a connection that sort of made me decide to go there, and two other, two of my friends from Anniston went there too, tw-, twins, Mary and Betty were--there were seven of us in high school that were sort of a clique or we call 'em the WASes, We Are Seven, and the twins were two of 'em, and they were some of my closest friends. And they decided to go to Stratford. Neither one of them were students much. And I wasn't either. Now 00:33:00I was a straight A student in high school and I and Mother, and in my family that's what you were supposed to be. I mean it was just expected you were--want to be at the top of the class. And my father had a lot of, you know, push people to achieve. Not so much--it wasn't what I hear people have now, it wasn't anything about us making money or something. It was just achievement that you're supposed to really do your best. And um, um, enjoy doing it, sort of thing. And, but I, I'm sure I've, all, you know, I just knew that's what you're supposed to do. But it wasn't that hard 'cause the high school just wasn't very good and it didn't take much to make straight As. And as I say looking back on it, I felt like I never learned anything in high school. Although I did learn some things. I learned the English language, um, learned grammar and things like that 'cause I took two years of Latin, which everybody did, two and a half years I think. Two years of French which I don't, didn't remember any of, later. (laughs) Latin neither. 00:34:00But I never understood English grammar till I took Latin really. And, and that, and then I did. So um, so you know, I did learn things like that. But I wasn't really--never, I wasn't exposed, I think, to the great literature of the world or music or art. I got all that in college. As a matter of fact, they were--and I read a lot in college, but to this day there are things that people usually read in high school that I have not read, like for example some of Dickens. I never read David Copperfield in my life. I never--some of those things that I think most people now read in high school and in some place--and, and in most places or some places then read in high school 'cause nobody told us to read 'em in college. They assumed we had read 'em, you know. So I read--

FOSL: Kind of confirming the, the story of the South as "Sahara of the Bozart." Do you know that essay?

BRADEN: No. But I can kind of imagine what it says.

FOSL: It was written around that period, I think--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --well, when was Mind of the South published. Do you remember? It's right over there.

BRADEN: About 1940 I think. I didn't read it till--


FOSL: Well, this was like--

BRADEN: --in the late forties.

FOSL: --mid thirties--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --when that essay came out.

BRADEN: Well what--

FOSL: It might have been by H.L. Mencken. That's who it was.

BRADEN: --um-hm, and what did it say?

FOSL: And he just made--he was really just talking about the South as a cultural wasteland.

BRADEN: Well, I don't think there is any doubt it was. Now there were some people that tried to, you know, have a, who thought they were cultured. And, you know, my family never had many books in the house. They--well, of course, you know, I've got an oversupply. But they-- (Fosl laughs)--they, you know, there would be a few books that were almost like decoration, not fancy coffee table books, but most--but I never saw people read. Now Mother when she--after she got to working with the Wednesday Study Club would, you know, read and review books and she was a very literate person. But they didn't spend time reading books. Although they certainly encouraged their children to read, I mean just 'cause that was something you should be, you should do. But as far as any sort of grasp of the literature of the world, I don't- -well, of course they went to the University of Kentucky, so they must have read something.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But, and they weren't particularly social butterflies. My 00:36:00family wasn't, you know, they didn't go to dances or things like that. They did as young people, but not by the time they were having a family. Everyone's got ----------(??). (coughs) They just didn't. And that's true. And I think it was partly that the school systems weren't that good, the states were very poor, you know, and they couldn't afford one good school system and were trying to support two. I mean that was one of the problems. And of course what I always heard growing up, I mean some of the things about growing up, as I remember things, was that the, this is--oh yeah, I, I, didn't mentioned this, one of the things that I always heard and I guess from my father and maybe some of my teachers, that the reason that Alabama and all these southern states were so poor was that there was--the reconstruction governments after the Civil War, when the ignorant coloreds took over, had inflicted all this debt and been very foolish and spendthrift and so forth. So we were saddled with debt for all 00:37:00time to come. And that that's why we were poor. I remember that--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --very definite. You know, all these things, I forget 'em because they were just assumptions that you heard.

FOSL: Yeah, right. Well, you know, actually that sounds familiar to me too, you know, now that you mention it--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --I think I've heard my grandpa saying it.

BRADEN: Yeah. And that's what the, you know, it was just an assumption. But, and I had some very nice teachers in high school. In fact a couple of 'em I, you know, kept in touch with. I'd go back and see when I went back to Anniston. And I think they thought they were cultured. And they may have read more than they had us read. But I just don't remember reading much. We might have studied one Shakespeare play or something like that.

FOSL: Well, it sounds from what you're saying as though your answer to this question will be no. But just in case I want to ask it. If, did you--in 1938, the Roosevelt administration came out with this report on the economic conditions of the South which--

BRADEN: Did I ever hear of it?

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: No, no. Never heard of it. I can't imagine. Although, as I 00:38:00said, I can, I know that like in history class we had current events at least one day a week. And I'm sure that was publicized. But it wasn't something that impinged on me at all. Well, but I, I knew something about, as I've said before, that the economic conditions, that I knew about that there was a lot of poverty. I don't know if I can use that word. But no, that report--(laughs)--didn't impinge on me at all. But yeah, I think that thing of the South being an intellectual desert, and also a desert of ideas, and I think--and I've always thought that that was--it was partly this thing of the school system, of, of the, of the people who were in control, probably although it was unconscious, a fear of ideas.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: A fear of outside ideas. So there was not even incentive to try to have a school system that would stimulate thinking, right. And that's unconscious. But that we gotta keep things like they are. I mean a lot of these things happen without people ever putting 00:39:00'em in words. So that the whole thing of maintaining a system that was obviously, if anybody started to examine it, based on injustice, you had to squelch any sort of intellectual inquiry. And that's the sort of thing that's that that guy Silver wrote about later in, about Mississippi, of the closed society.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It was closed. And I think that, you know, it became very apparent to me and I think a lot of other people too as things began to open up, or we began to look around, how a stifling thing that was for everybody. I've always remembered one thing that Casey said--Sandra, uh, you know, Casey Hayden.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: When--I think it's probably quoted in the Patriot 'cause we did an interview with her, I think Carl actually interviewed her when he was in Texas, when she was still at the University of Texas, 'cause he wanted to interview a white student who was active. I, I may have ended up writing the story, but I can remember it, that I've never forgotten what she said. She said, "You know, I was, I was twenty years old before I ever encountered a full-fledged idea." And I think 00:40:00that was typical. And she encountered 'em as I think her story was after she went to college through the YWCA.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm. I remember ----------(??).

BRADEN: And that's, and that didn't, the YWCA didn't impinge on me like that. That was, um, but the YWCA and we ought to mention that somewhere, I think, played a very liberalizing arm, uh, broadening sort of role in the South--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --for a lot of women.

FOSL: That's right.

BRADEN: And especially the generation older than mine. I can remember-- I don't think that, like, Virginia was that influenced by that. I never heard her say it. But like Dorothy Markey who's a friend of mine. I don't know whether--I haven't heard from Dorothy--but she's still in, she grew up around Newport News and her father was a doctor, she was so thrilled by that strike over there in the seventies. And um, was a, became a radical. She's a generation older than me and by the time I knew her she was living around New York and she supported a lot of things we did and, and I, we'd visit her and stuff. But she, and she 00:41:00wrote, she, she's a writer. She wrote that book With Sun in Our Blood about the Appalachia. She spent a lot of time in the Appalachia.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Um, and other books too. And she was writing an autobiographical kind of thing about growing up in Virginia when she was really getting pretty old, she never finished that. But the Y was a, the big influence in her life as opening up a wider world 'cause she--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --encountered people in the Y. And I've, I run into other women that that had played that role. I do not remember it in Anniston. I think--well, there was a Y, now wait a minute. I'm not even sure there was YW there. There was a YM that became sort of a center for meetings and things and they, during the war I believe the USO, where the soldiers came, maybe it was at the YM. But I don't remember it being a factor. Now in high school I think I may--the people kind of joined something called the Tri Y or something, which was a high school one--

FOSL: Oh yeah, Tri-Hi--

BRADEN: Tri-Hi or something.

FOSL: Tri-Hi-Y.

BRADEN: Tri-Hi-Y. At Randolph-Macon, by the time I got there, the Y, 00:42:00student Y there was pretty active. But I never joined it.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: 'Cause as I say, I think I mentioned before I wasn't a joiner in those days anyway.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And it was a little bit, I think the people that I was attracted to in college--(laughs)--because of course I wasn't political particularly, were more sort of intellectual or thought they were than the women around the Y. I thought the Y women were sort of dull and the more intellectually exciting people were--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know, just tended to sit around on their own in the dormitory rooms talking all night rather than going to a Y meeting sort of thing.

FOSL: And probably even kind of rugged individualists in a way. You know.

BRADEN: The people that I was attracted too? Yeah.

FOSL: Yeah. I mean that's what I connote with being, like, quote not a joiner.

BRADEN: Yeah, could be. But later I know the Y played quite a role there when, um, because I remember that, at the second SNCC conference, 00:43:00the first one I went to in 1960 and I've written about this, the, um, in the fall of '60 there were twelve southern white students there 'cause I counted 'em, 'cause I was writing a story. Casey was one of 'em, but there were two students from Randolph-Macon and I was--

FOSL: Oh, I remember you saying that.

BRADEN: Yeah. And I was really interested in that and I met 'em and I went up and talked to 'em and they didn't want me to quote 'em by name because they were not there as participants, that they had been sent by the Y to observe. But the Y had sent 'em down there. And they had some interesting things to say, because they were--they said that there was so much more interest just in the last, since the sit-ins had started on their campus of what was happening with the black students. And they were seniors and it hadn't been like that the other years. But their base was the Y.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And that was, you know, I think it produced some sort of social consciousness and I think was--then of course the, you know, the interesting thing was that they, and they were supposed to just go back and report on what they heard at the SNCC conference. And they apparently did and then because two or three weeks later they were all in jail--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --they were all, and they had gone and looked up the black 00:44:00students and gone and sat in. Randolph-Macon had a big soul searching thing about whether they were gonna expel 'em, but they didn't. And they took their books down to jail and stuff like that and I met some of those people later. And for a few years it was quite a little sup-, movement there on the Randolph-Macon campus. And I think a good bit of it was based in the Y. But I didn't sense anything about the Y much when, when I was there.

FOSL: Well, of course--

BRADEN: But I got into--hmm?

FOSL: Go ahead.

BRADEN: Well, I got into that because of Casey. That--I think that's where she first got into things.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: In Texas. And then she moved on to I guess, well the NSA, and the SDS. But and I, and I think, I remember being around Chapel Hill when I was organizing a conference on civil liberties there when Carl was in jail on the HUAC Case, we had a big conference. It was kind of the first big conference we had in that period. Kind of a breakthrough on that issue, on freedom and the First Amendment. And one of the groups that was supported at Chapel Hill was the student Y. But it wasn't a factor in Anniston. But anyway, um, I got into all that 00:45:00'cause I was just, it was--looking back on it, it was an intellectual desert. Um, I worked on the high school paper and I enjoyed that. But I don't think it had a lot of content. But I did, you know, um, in fact I may have been editor of it. I don't, I don't, no, I was on the editorial staff. I can't remember if I was editor or not. But I spent a lot of time on it. And I'd stay--and I was in plays.

FOSL: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: I was in the dramatic club and I can remember some, Ladies of the Jury. I remember that was one of 'em. And we had a, but I don't remember 'em all. But I was in several of the high school plays there. I think they called it the dramatic club. You join and then you were in plays. It wasn't a class. And um, and I was in the honor society. And I was in the DD club. (laughs) The DD club, there were twenty- four and it wasn't dirty dozen either, but it was double dozen. That was it. But it was the, the snobbish, it was like a sorority.


FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And you just, that was something you just--people wanted to be in the DD club. And you couldn't be in the DD club--(laughs)--wonder if that damn thing still exists, unless you were of the right social class. But that didn't guarantee you getting in the DD club either. You had to be, quote, popular and with the boys and all that kind of stuff. And I didn't get in the DD--(laughs)--club as young as some of the people in my class 'cause I wasn't particularly popular with the boys when I was in the eighth and ninth grade. So I think there were people in our class got in the DD club when they were in the ninth grade, and I thought that was just wonderful and I wanted to be in the DD club. See, that was, you know, sort of the--I think I was a mixture. Well, everybody's a mixture, you know, I was very serious and, and religious and the church meant so much to me, especially as a little girl. And when I was thirteen, in fact I've got a-- Mother always was sort of impressed by it, and I have it somewhere, Cate, she gave it to me just a few years ago, of sort of a prayer I wrote on my thirteenth--[recording error]--let me find, at least and get to some 00:47:00of the cubby-holes where this stuff is. I brought a whole a lot of stuff from their house which I think is back in one of the cubby-holes at the back when they left Alabama. But then later I'd bring stuff back from Virginia they took over there. And after Mother died we cleared out some stuff and then cleared out everything when my father died. So it's probably in different places. But anyway, it was in very--after, in Virginia, she had come across that thing and she had kept it. It's written in longhand and I think it's pretty right well written. I was fair, a decent writer for my age. And it was sort of a prayer on my thirteenth birthday and she thought it was remarkable that a little thirteen-year-old girl had written this and I've forgotten what all it said, but it was pretty serious 'cause I was, and so I was a serious minded little girl. And I had all those, a very deep sort of religious feeling and I wanted to maybe be a missionary or I wanted to do something for the world and which Mother said later she wished she had understood all that 'cause I guess what she thought was she had steered me in some direction other than what--(Fosl laughs)--I went in. She didn't really understand what was going on with me she said later. 00:48:00So I think that, so I was a mixture. I think what happened, you know, probably looking back on it and I'm moving back in the forties now, was that by--if I wrote that little prayer when I was thirteen, what grade would I have been in when I was thirteen?

FOSL: Eighth.

BRADEN: Eighth grade. That up until about then I had been very serious and real good student, you know. And a little bit too good to, especially for boys to like me. Um, and even in junior high. And then I guess when probably I, I suspect I hadn't, I'd have to search my memory, but sort of when I got into adolescence it suddenly began to bother me that I didn't have boyfriends--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know. And I think I figured out that the reason I didn't have boyfriends, and there were dances you'd go to, but, and people, but I didn't, and it was very important in those days if you went to a dance. And I think this has changed some because people, even high, you know, the flittiest high school students, they tend to go steady or 00:49:00they have one boyfriend.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: The point in those days was to have as many as possible. And you were a total social failure if you danced a full dance with any one boy. You're supposed, you know, 'cause you had this cut-in system. And what made you a success was that if you just, if you couldn't take but two steps with one boy, see, because that meant you--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --and this was the most important thing in life to people. Isn't that horrible? But--(Fosl laughs)--but, and I used to go to some of these dances. And but I would, and I'd always have some people dancing with me. But I never, you know, I wasn't somebody cutting in all the time. So I was not a social success.

FOSL: That's wild.

BRADEN: So I think I began to worry about that, see? And I think at that point somewhere along in there, must have been in, you know, eighth grade, ninth grade, along in there I guess I figured out that I was gonna have to sort of change if I wanted to be a social success. And I figured out somewhere that the main--that I didn't have a lot of boyfriends because I was too smart.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And so that I'd better hide the fact I had brains. Now I don't 00:50:00think I put it in those words, but I probably almost did. And that was the prevailing notion. I'm sure every, any other woman who had brains covered it up.

FOSL: Oh yeah. I've read a lot of people who say the same--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --thing.

BRADEN: And I've said that to some young women sometimes that this was the standard when I was coming along and they say, "Well, it still is." And to, you know, I don't know how much it is, but I think there is a good bit of it. And I, you know, and I, you, you learned that it finally, you know, I figured it out pretty quick that the way you could get boys to like you was to make them think they were wonderful and that they were absolutely brilliant. Even though, no matter how stupid they might sound, you know, if you--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --but you, if, but you, you made 'em feel like they were real smart and then they'd like you. And you couldn't let 'em know that, that you were smart, especially you couldn't be smarter than they were.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I mean I just knew that. So you began that play-acting thing, you know. And so I worked at it a couple years and I finally pretty much succeeded. I mean I never was the, the most belle of the ball. 00:51:00But I was, um, you know, I went to the dances and I danced with all these people and I was a relative social success. And there were others, um, that were more so than me. But I was in that crowd, you know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So I'd been sort of successful at that, oh--(laughs)--you know. Which I guess, you know, I don't know it's, it's just awful. And nobod-, and I think my mother was aware that that was not a particularly good thing. I can remember her talking to me, well not to worry about whether the boys like me, that I had plenty of time and that, you know, you're, as you--(Fosl clears throat)--got older you're gonna meet other boys and men, she never, occurred to her to say that, just, that men weren't important in your life, but that I was young and I didn't have to worry about those things yet.

FOSL: Yet.

BRADEN: So I--(Fosl laughs)--yeah. But I think she was, you know, I think she didn't want me to worry about that. You know. So that was kind of good. She would sort of um, she wasn't certainly--I mean and some mothers did that, making me feel bad if I didn't have a lot of 00:52:00dates and stuff, you know. But it, it's the peer pressure and you know you have to do those things and so I concentrated on doing it. I did some other things like working on the paper, being in plays. But so I didn't totally, and there wasn't, as I say, any particular intellectual stimulation. But the main thing was to be in with the right crowd, and then that, when all the boys came--(laughs)--in the summer with ROTC it wasn't hard to have a lot of boyfriends. So that helped. But finally- -so then, but then, and being in the DD club was very important. Well, some of my friends got--(laughs)--in the DD club and they were freshmen or sophomores. But I didn't. But the, the summer, because in the summer they always picked new members. But I, then I, I was asked to join the DD club the summer before my junior year. So, so you know, I sort of got over that hurdle. And um, and I guess at that point, you 00:53:00know, I must have been all mixed up because I couldn't have totally lost the sort of more serious approach to life I had or and what was, and the very, I don't like that oratorical contest. You asked me when that was. Now that was a serious thing to do, sort of, it, by, that was by the standards then and I did that. But and I, and I always knew I had to excel. I mean Mother and Daddy never let that drop as far as grades were concerned. But, um, I, I got 'em pretty easily. And could hi-, as I say, hide from the boys the fact that I had brains.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I don't know how well I hid it. They probably figured I did. But, and there was one boy particularly I sort of went with that I, off and on, back even after I was out of college I went, I dated him some and I thought I was, I didn't have any idea. I thought I was in love with him at one point. Um, and so I went with him a lot. And then there were others--

FOSL: This wasn't the one--

BRADEN: --just for friends--

FOSL: --that was in, uh, in the service, that--


BRADEN: No, that met at Fort McClellan? No, this was just a boy in high school, um, that, um, I think he was a year ahead of me. So he went away to school the, to Auburn, I believe, the, my senior year. But he was, if he went to Auburn you were home every weekend. So I, I went with him a good bit I guess about my senior year. And then sort of while I was away at college I'd write to him and I'd, and that kind of thing. But once I got to college things changed so that I, I just didn't keep up correspondence with boys that I'd been interested in 'cause it had became so much less important. He gave me his fraternity pin and stuff like that. And even after I was back in Anniston I, working, I saw him a few times. But it was, and I was congenial with him, I guess. It was just, you know--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --if I hadn't gone--

FOSL: Something to do.

BRADEN: Well, I thought it was serious at the time. I think, as serious 00:55:00as I was gonna get about anybody. But that was sort of, that was the level that boy, girl relationships were on. You know. It wasn't, um, looking back on it I, doesn't seem to me it was a very profound relationship. But it was, seemed to me so at the time. You know. And there was a certain sexual attraction. But, um, and he's the, you know, if my, if I hadn't encountered a different sort of world, he's the kind of person I would've married just on the basis of that, which wasn't very much of that sort of feeling. You know. And what most of my friends did, I think, in terms of who they married. Um, and I, I've, I haven't seen him in recent years. I guess he's still on, he's not in Anniston anymore. But I, even I, you know, he, his family all lived there, saw him a few years after Carl and I were married, somewhere we were, saw some of our old friends and he was around. But um, and as I've said, I think that if, if the war hadn't been on the horizons, 00:56:00because and that's why I think that Fort McClellan had been -------- --(??), 'cause boys were being drafted, and that's why the university was becoming like a women's college, that there weren't that many boys there. And that's when I decided, well, you know, it didn't matter. That I may as well go to a women's college 'cause there weren't any--

FOSL: So it was some--

BRADEN: I think I told you that.

FOSL: Yeah, you did. And but I'm still trying to--I think you told me--

BRADEN: Think when?

FOSL: --a couple times when you graduated was--

BRADEN: Forty-one.

FOSL: That's what I--

BRADEN: Spring of '41 from high school. So, but I think the, see, I-- and we can check on this, I think the draft started in '40.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: I think, uh, that I, I--in some ways that year sticks in my mind. I think it must have. Or maybe some people were volunteering. There was a lot of that too. But I think there was a draft maybe or something. But people were going in the Army and they weren'and there was a general feeling that was gonna continue and there weren't gonna be many boys on the campus at--(laughs)--Tuscaloosa. Um, and there weren't. Those did become sort of women's colleges. You know. 00:57:00So I decided to go to Virginia and I was excited about going away to school. It was--I was scared, you know, I think everybody is a little bit, how I was gonna do. And we went on the train because nobody flew in those days. There was a train went up through, from, came through Anniston, the Southerner and it went up through Virginia, went right to Danville. And I remember going. Um, and that--so that was the fall of '41. So we were really--let me go back a minute, we weren't talking--I wasn't really trying to tell you all of the things that happened to me in those years. But for what--see, then, and then Pearl Harbor [children screaming] was in December of '41. [children screaming] And then--I don't remember a lot about that day although I guess [children screaming] I don't have a very vivid memory, but what, of it, except it was on a Sunday, you know, and people heard about it on the radio. And then I came on home of course for Christmas holiday and that was 00:58:00the first Christmas holiday home, which was always a big thing and, you know, that social kind of world of seeing your friends, many of 'em had gone to other schools. And there were all kinds of parties. As time went on those Christmases at home from college weren't that important, but we, I think you were still sort of tied to see people at home. And I was beginning to change from college, but it was, I really didn't, I can remember enjoying that first Christmas back at home and seeing my friends. But I also remember, and there were a lot of dances and stuff, which, you know, our, our crowd that had been in high school together. And I can remember sitting there and resting between dances or something and one of these dances, and Bobby, Bobby Baker, that was the boy I'd gone with more than anybody else in high school and we were together, I guess, at that dance--gone to that dance together. And I 00:59:00remember him saying, looking around and he says, "You know, that over half of the boys here tonight are gonna be killed within the next few years." You know. And I hadn't really thought about that before. But I think he said that and he went in the Army. They all did. And how people were thinking about it and realizing, and um, and you know, it was kind of intense. People were gonna be leaving for the Army and they did pretty much. Everybody went in the Army. And--

FOSL: It's lucky you didn't decide to marry this guy at that moment, you know.

BRADEN: Yeah, well I think, you know, we were talking about that. But we--oh no, I wouldn't a gotten married. But that, it did sort of intensify people's feelings and all that kind of stuff. So of course I went on back to college and um, but I think the, that the war was certainly obviously on everybody's mind by then. That was when I went out to my brother's wedding that January out here in Shelbyville after 01:00:00I got back to school. And then that summer, you know, I don't, I still, I don't know when I became aware really, but I did by the time I was at Randolph-Macon, and I don't remember exactly when [children screaming] what the war was about. And you know, I knew we'd been attacked, I knew Hitler was bad. Um, but somewhere along in there, you see, the, I think there was a, I think the ideology of that war did have a big impact on the South.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And I began to pick that up from people I knew, I think more at Randolph-Macon than at Stratford. I don't remember any overt sort of political influences at Stratford or Randolph-Macon either in a way. Except among the students that I'd talk with and I, when I, after I 01:01:00met Harriet. But I didn't meet Harriet until the spring that I was finishing Stratford, which was my sophomore year in college.

FOSL: I see.

BRADEN: I knew Ida. See, Ida was her sister and Ida was younger and Ida was dean of the hall, they called it, which was the high school part of Stratford which still existed at that point. Miss Mabel Kennedy who was dean of the college and was such a fascinating woman and real intellectual, and I think pretty reactionary politically, but see I had nothing to measure that by at that point, but loved her students and, and had a passion for trying to awaken young minds. And she was interesting because she was totally disorganized. She would come into--we took English from her. She taught English and she was dean of the college, but she taught English. I think she taught me freshman English, and I know she taught me sophomore English. And one of the big things was her big thing was Beowulf. I remember we had to 01:02:00study Beowulf from the beginning to the end and make a whole notebook on Beowulf and Shakespeare. I took a course in Shakespeare. I read all of Shakespeare's plays practically in this course of Shakespeare from her. And poetry, Keats, she loved Keats and Shelley and you know, all those poets. And the novels, we read English novels and all these things I say I hadn't read the ones you read in high school, but I read other things. And she would arrive, she would sail into the classroom with a stack of books that high that she was gonna read from or she was, you know, it was like a lecture I guess. But she was-- (laughs)--it wasn't like any other lecture anybody ever gave. And--of talking about some book we were reading, whether it was Vanity Fair or something, or some English, she was great on English literature. Ruskin, I remember reading Ruskin. Um, but to give us the feeling of what this was all about, and then she would go through this book and she'd read something and she'd go to something else. And then the bell would ring. "Oh no," she said, "It couldn't be. We've been here an 01:03:00hour?" (Fosl laughs) "No, we just began," she'd say. And she was so frustrated 'cause she hadn't finished. "I just can't give you girls all I want to give you," she said. And then this Shakespeare class- -she lived right there. It was just one big building. We were all-- there was, weren't more than a hundred, a hundred or so students in Stratford all told. And the dormitories were on the second and third floors and the classrooms were on the first floor and a big dining room. We had to dress for dinner and put on stockings every night and you sat at the same table every night with a faculty member. And um, we had to have lights out at eleven o'clock and we never minded all that stuff 'cause--every school I'd ever heard of was like that then. And um but we'd find ways to stay awake at night. We did do that. But um, but she lived up on one of the floors where everybody lived up there. And we, we used to--the Shakespeare class, which was small, 'cause it was on, an elective, you know, would sometimes meet in her apartment and we'd go there and stay for hours while she would read 01:04:00Shakespeare or talk to us about the plays.

FOSL: So she really was fascinating? Wasn't just--

BRADEN: Oh yeah.

FOSL: --in her own mind?

BRADEN: No, no, she was a fas-, and a good teacher. I mean she really did awaken a, in me, and I think in many people before that. She was pretty old, she seemed old to me. Although she was still there for, I don't know when Miss Mabel died 'cause see, I lost touch with--I can remember I took the alumni bulletin and Stratford closed, you know, maybe ten years ago. But I took the alumni bulletin and I would keep up and I remember reading about her dying. And she retired at some point but she still lived close by and kept in touch with the students. But she was active even for years after I left. And I remember after I got indicted for sedition that year, when we did, that fall of '54 I went to Danville to see Harriet because Harriet was so important in my life and Harriet was in Danville. And I remember that visit very well because I went to the Fitzgeralds, you know, I told you that her family 01:05:00was the big mill family there. And they had this big house right across the street from Stratford. And I had begun to--actually the first year I was at Stratford I really, it, you sort of when you're a sophomore year, before you developed a personal relationship with these students, but I was, see I was an outstanding student and, um, for there, because I didn't have a lot of competition and it was a small school.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, you know, I won every honor in the place and I became editor of the paper and I learned a lot by being editor of that paper. I also became president, I was elected vice-president of the student body and then the president left to get married. She's the one that I sent the telegram to saying I wouldn't come to her funeral, in the middle of our sophomore year. And then I became president of the student body. And then I won the cup that, for the best student. I mean I just and I was, I took, I majored in, well, you didn't major, but my main thing was, uh, English and journalism. And then I had a minor, sort of, in dramatics 'cause I was thinking about being an actress and I had to, in order to get my certificate in, in dramatics 01:06:00I had to do a whole play by myself and I did Saint Joan. I did all the parts in it. You know. Had to perform it.

FOSL: Oh, interesting.

BRADEN: And I worked on that for all that year, that, and I was in the, all plays, uh, the whole time I was there. And I played the Madonna in my freshman year in the Christmas thing. So you know, I, I was, and my mother, and I know Ida Fitzgerald told me she thought it was kind of remarkable on the part of a mother that when she came up to, I guess, to the graduation--they visited me a couple, several times I guess while I was there, but of course they came to graduation. And, and Mother said to Ida Fitzgerald who had, by that time, even though I didn't-- I never took a class from Ida 'cause she taught in the high school, but I'd gotten to know her, um, and Ida told me later that Mother said to her and she, that she really wanted Anne Gambrell to get into a bigger place 'cause she thought it wasn't good for her to be such a big frog in a little pond. And Ida thought that was kind of remarkable that a mother, you know, would rather than being just sort of cocky about her 01:07:00daughter would see that a lot of this was that, you know--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --it was small.

FOSL: I think that's pretty--

BRADEN: But in a way I think it was good. I was always glad that I went to small schools, and Randolph-Macon of course was bigger, I never loved Randolph-Macon like I did Stratford, not, just because I wasn't a big frog in a little pond I think, but because Stratford was where I really had my intellectual awakening and I just had such a emotional thing about Stratford. And I might have had it about Randolph-Macon if I'd gone there first. But I came into Randolph-Macon as a junior transfer and we lived--there were several of us, there were about ten of us who were junior transfers and we were in one dormitory separate, away from where the other juniors lived, I think, well, the other people in our hall maybe were sophomores or something. And I, and you never felt like you were totally a part of that class, the friendships and the cliques had already been formed. And I had friends there and, you know, it was okay. But I just never had the same tremendous feeling about Randolph-Macon I did about Stratford. But, but it was 01:08:00small and relatively speaking. I think the, they maybe had about four hundred students then. I don't know how many they have now. So I got to do a lot of things there too. I worked some on the paper there, but I never got as involved in it and I wrote for the creative writing magazine. And I got-- that's where I got, I think I've told you, I got very involved in the dance group. You didn't know that?


BRADEN: Yeah. Yeah.

FOSL: --I'm not sure if you told me or not.

BRADEN: Yeah, and that was a big thing in my life then. And--

FOSL: What kind of dance group?

BRADEN: Oh, I'll tell you about it in a minute 'cause--

FOSL: Oh okay.

BRADEN: --but anyway, that was big thing and the dramatics and stuff. Um, I--that I did there was in the drama. But I didn't really tell--I was in the drama club I guess. And then the Greek plays and that kind of thing and, and um, I guess those were the main things I did on campus there. But looking back--I still think even if you do get to be a small frog--a big frog in a little pond, that small schools have 01:09:00a great advantage because I got to do things I would never have gotten to do on a big university campus like editing the newspaper. I mean by editing that paper I learned an awful lot about writing and editing and make-up and Stratford's paper won a lot of, you know, they won all the contests. We had a good paper for that day and I age. I think--look at 'em now they look kind of dull. But, um, but I learned a lot which, and you don't have the opportunity and, and being a woman's college, I think, women have--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know, in that day, and I suspect still, you know, opportunities to do things I wouldn't have otherwise.

FOSL: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: Which gives you experience. You know. But anyway, when I went--well I began to, I had this, I made some real close friends--I kind of grew away from the twins who had gone there with me. The twins from Anniston didn't go back their second year, they went somewhere else. They liked it, but they really wanted to get into a co-ed school 01:10:00I think, and they never felt the, as, as emotional about Stratford as I did. And I don't think they experienced the same sort of intellectual excitement I did. So they didn't come back. But in the meantime I had made some real close friends and there was sort of a little group of us. And it was an intellectual kind of friendship, although there were some of the people, it was social. I never really established any ties in the Danville community. I did go to church I think the first year to the Episcopal Church there, and I quit doing that 'cause I was always busy working on a paper or doing something else on weekends. And I began to work very hard, which I didn't, which I've been doing ever since, I think sometimes to a fault, which I had not done in high school. Um, or even in elementary school when I was pretty serious. But the school work was fairly easy. (laughs) But I remember the weekend, I always say, this was one of the turning points in my life, my, my roommate that had been assigned to me, Mary Beth, Mary Beth Ames 01:11:00(??), was a, in, from the northern neck of Virginia where my brother and sister-in-law live now, in that area. In fact I saw her when I went to Daddy's memorial over there.


BRADEN: I hadn't seen her in years. But my mother had--since, after they moved over there had sort of made contact with her. Her children are grown and all that. But she was, she was there in Virginia and for Thanksgiving, I think it was that week--that first year we were there, she invited three or four of us to go home with her 'cause it was too--we couldn't go all the way home for Thanksgiving. And parents always sent you boxes of food for Thanksgiving and things like that then. Mother had sent a box of food. Um, and she invited us to go to her place and that was kind of nice, we were gonna go and be at her, you know, for a visit.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: At the last minute I decided not to go because there was either some papers I needed to write or I needed to work on something or maybe--and I was already working on the paper by then. Um, and I didn't go. And in fact I don't, I never went to her home. She and 01:12:00I roomed together both years, she wasn't one of my best friends. We were, um, we always got along and we were um, congenial roommates. She didn't bother me and I didn't bother her, um, a lot, but my friends, but she wasn't as intellectual and I gravitated more towards, I think, what you'd say was a more intellectual group. But I wanted to go on Thanksgiving, but I just decided not to 'cause I had work to do. Matter of fact, I've been doing that ever since, something come--came up, I'd work instead of doing the fun thing.

FOSL: That was in You Can't Be Neutral wasn't it? That story?

BRADEN: It might have been. It might have been. Because--and actually, but I've never, except the thing was, that partly I sort of gave up something. And I thought--I remember kind of thinking it might have been fun to go with 'em. But it wasn't really self-sacrificial sort of, you know, in terms of, well I gotta get these papers done. That was what I really enjoyed doing. See, this is the other thing. What I really enjoy doing is working. Now I would have had fun going for 01:13:00the weekend, but just like now you all are going to the movie tonight. Well actually now I'm feeling so oppressed by undone work, which I know I'm not gonna do tonight 'cause I'm gonna be tired. So it's not--but actually if I had a choice of going to a movie tonight or sitting down and working on a SOC newsletter, I would enjoy doing the SOC newsletter more than I would the movie.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: That's all. You know. And there's no use pretending that I like to do these other things when I really enjoy working.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. (laughs) So, so--but sometimes it got oppressive. You know, it's just whether you go to extremes I guess. But yeah, but anyway, I got to, and gradually I got to know Ida a little bit. Ida had a way of--she was a excellent teacher and she really, she was sort of like, she was very different in personality from Miss Mabel. But she in, she had the same feeling about trying to awaken young women's minds. Also had some fairly, as I realized later, not then so much liberal, I guess, politics. Not as much as Harriet, 'cause she hadn't 01:14:00lived in New York. But to a certain extent she did. But I never had her in the class. But she had a way of sort of, I think, looking for the people that she thought were outstanding intellectually and cultivating 'em, I mean in a good way, of trying to--so and she would have and I think even that year or it could have been my sophomore year, I would begin to be invited over to her house for sort of suppers. She'd have people come over and the--it was a big house where the Fitzgeralds had always lived. And there was a barn, they called it, which wasn't really a barn then, but out in back that was fixed up sort of like a studio and she would have cookouts there. So I--and I can remember, and I, when I first went over there--I can't remember other people who were there, who the other students were. But, well, some people I knew and some must have been my freshman year 'cause some of 'em were, the next year and of course were older than I was. And I remember feeling so awkward 'cause I didn't know what to say, because I felt like everybody was really smarter than me. Or, you know, their 01:15:00conversation was more about things I didn't know about and I felt very awkward. So it took me a long time to sort of feel at home in those, those settings. But it was some time along my senior year, I mean not senior, my last year there, my sophomore year really when I was really busy, because by then I had the main responsibility for the paper. And that's how I got a way out of the eleven o'clock curfew, because the office of the newspaper was in the basement and after the lights out I would just slip down to the basement and turn the light on and work all night on the, uh, Traveller. That was the name of the paper. And nobody ever bothered me. And if they did, they wouldn't a really cared that much 'cause I had sort of established myself by then. So I was working all the time and um, and, and actually I will and some of the courses weren't that hard and some of probably weren't that good, not nearly as broad an approach to learning I think as at Randolph-Macon. 01:16:00Some of the teach-, I remember the history teacher was pretty old- fashioned but we had to do the work. But like for Miss Mabel's, you had to do a lot of work. I mean you had to read an awful lot to, um, and, and her exams were thinking exams. I mean you didn't have, you had to, you know, it was you had to understand to do well. Um, so I was working hard. And pretty un-, and I think some wrapped up in things there at Stratford that I wasn't too aware of what was going on in the world, even with the war. I knew it was going on, but what I, and I knew Lindsay was off on a sub somewhere. And I knew that--I can't remember when Bobby went off in the Army. But the, most of the boys I knew at home were in the Army. So of them--

FOSL: Did you write to him when he was, like, at war?

BRADEN: I don't think he was ever, he wasn't in combat. I can't think where--he was in the Army. I don't know whether he was in, he, he was never in any danger. He was not in combat. I don't know whether he was in the Pacific or the Europe, I don't remember. But a lot of 01:17:00people I knew were--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and some of 'em got killed. But--well the summer bef-, between my freshman and sophomore years at Stratford I went to the summer theatre in New England, uh, called, uh, the Plymouth, Plymouth something, Plymouth summer theatre--

FOSL: New Hampshire?

BRADEN: It was on the coast of Massachusetts, near Plymouth, Massachusetts. Priscilla Beach Theater, that's what it was, Priscilla Beach Theater. And it was--there were a lot of students there that my--the dramatics teacher at Stratford had a connection with them. Her name was Miss Parker. She was the sweetest woman and she taught me a lot about acting. She had sort of, I think, the--what's the method? The Stanislavski, Stanislavski method of acting--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --she followed. And, and I learned a lot about--I had always done a certain amount of public speaking as a-, because--Mother taught me that. Now see, Mother was pretty good at, she didn't do big, you know, she knew how to preside at meetings and I learned about meetings 01:18:00from the Children of the Confederacy, right? But um, but I remember that I, I think I was the valedictorian or something in my sixth grade graduating class from elementary school and I had to make a speech. And I can remember Mother wrote it for me, actually. I remember that. (laughs) She shouldn't a done that. But she did. But I memorized it and I may have worked on it a little, but she helped me with it. And I can remember being a little afraid. But I did it pretty well. So--and then in high school I was in plays. So I was, had sort of learned to think on my feet and talk in front of people, um, even though I was very shy. And you know, sometimes people who are shy like, become actresses because you can--if you're behind the footlights you're, it's different. I remember the best actress that I thought she was, and most of the other people at that summer theatre was one of the shyest young women I ever saw.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And to just--she was just painfully shy when you'd talk with her, and I was too, so that wasn't, you know, I wasn't. But, but 01:19:00she was a trem-, and I think she was--had some success in the theatre later. I can't remember her name. But when she got on that stage it was like an electric light had turned on.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: It was just she was totally different behind the footlights. But, um, anyway, Miss Parker had connections and she had had other students go up there for the summer. And you had to apply and be recommended and all that and you got accepted. I think you also had to pay some money. It wasn't real expensive. It was sort of on a scholarship. And it was a--I'm sure, and I, I'm sure it doesn't even exist anymore, but it was there for a long time. And what it was sort of a semi-professional place because they had--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --people there who were sort of in leading roles and or were in, in every, and they were, they were doing several plays each week and touring with 'em all through New England. And the, and they had professional actors and actresses there who were, you know, maybe doing things in the New York theatre, other places, but they would come there for the summer. But they had a lot of students who were there for 01:20:00sort of training. We were like apprentices. But we would get parts in plays and you had to--I remember everybody had to come with some performance prepared 'cause I can remember Miss Parker working with me on mine. I've forgotten what I did, that you gave at some time during the summer. But then you tried out for different parts and I was in several plays while I was there. Um--

FOSL: Was it the whole summer?

BRADEN: I think it was two months, I believe. It was two months, maybe, like part of June until early in August or something. I believe. It could have been just a month, but I don't think so. And the war of course was, that was '42, summer of '42 and um, um, everything was blacked out. We were right on the coast and you couldn't have lights on at night near the coast. And we'd, we'd go down to the beach and stuff, but you couldn't have any lights on the beach. It was, it was a black-out they called it. And we'd get on buses and take, you know, and the plays would go other places. And I made some friends there. 01:21:00I don't really think I kept in touch with any of those people. And I think I told you before, that's sort of when I decided not to be an actress. I decided I wasn't that good for one thing, compared to some of those other people. You know, and I hadn't worked at it very long. (laughs) But that was when I talked to this woman who'd been in the theatre for years. And she said unless you want to do som-,--didn't I tell you about that? Wanting to do--

FOSL: I think so--

BRADEN: --you'd rather, you, it, unless you'd rather, the theatre, the life in the theatre is hard, but unless you'd rather be sweeping the floor in the theatre than doing anything else in the world than anywhere else, don't go into the theatre. And I said, "Well, I don't like it that much." But it-- and that's when I decided, but I do feel that way about newspaper work. I'd rather be doing something around the newspaper than anything else in the world anywhere else. So that-- and I still feel that way. So that was sort of when I decided not to go on with any serious effort to a career in the theatre. But I enjoyed the summer and um, and you were asking about the boys I knew like Bobby. I remember I had his fraternity pin, I lost it that summer. 01:22:00I remember that. (Fosl laughs) And I was worried about writing him about it and I finally wrote him I'd lost it. And I remember he sent me a telegram, "Forget the pin, it doesn't matter. I love you," or something. But I don't think I, I--(Fosl laughs)--wrote him was 'cause I, you know, I had to tell him I'd lost his--(both laugh)--fraternity pin. And really he and, and all the boys I had known in high school were becoming less and less interesting to me.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I mean they just seemed pretty dull and um, um, and I was, you know, kind of encountering really exciting people and exciting ideas. And I started to say about Miss Mabel, I think her politics were somewhat reactionary, but she was, on the other hand, she was a very broad kind of open-minded sort of person. Except she was a snob. One thing that stuck in my mind be-, in this she was like everybody I'd ever known, I remember--who told me this? Maybe Harriet later. Or another very close friend of mine, Lucile. That she had sort of taken 01:23:00under her wing at some point a young girl, young woman, young girl from very poor background from somewhere in Appalachia in the mountains to sort of educate.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And how she happened to do that I don't know. Or how she encountered her 'cause she'd--I think she came from Maryland and she'd been at Stratford for years because she was there when my grandmother was there. But some way she'd run into this girl maybe on a summer trip or something and decided to--she never had much formal education and she sort of took an interest in her. And, and I don't know whether she brought her to Stratford, that's not the point of the story. I don't know. But the upshot of the story was that it just didn't work. That the girl never really sort of did develop intellectually, which had sort of proved to her that intelligence is inborn and, and it's--I don't know that she used the word class, but that's what it meant, that the Lord, you see, because that was a part of, it's the, it's pretty- 01:24:00-see, my theory about the thinking of the people I grew up was that it wasn't just racist, it was fascist in the way I define that. That it was a real--and I remember things that people said. And, and I don't like to use that word because they weren't vicious people. See that was the thing, like you talked about your grandfather and my father was such a kind, and he really was. He was such a kind, kind man. Um, they weren't vicious and when you think of fascists as mean and nasty and vicious. They weren't until you, as I said, you scratch their racial assumptions. But it was a fascist mode of thinking because they really sincerely believed that the Anglo-Saxon race was just superior to every other race, including southern Europeans, you see? It was the Nordic superiority. And they really believed that. And their, and their passion about the South and the thing I always heard growing up was that the, that the South was the last bastion of hope for Anglo- 01:25:00Saxon civilization. Because the North was corrupted, not only because there was, that, there was a mixing of blacks and whites in New York, but there were all these southern Europeans who had migrated to the East. And the only place where there was pure Anglo-Saxon culture anymore was the South. And, you know, that's just something I just heard. And I don't know who I ever heard, first heard say it. But it was something.

FOSL: I've heard it too. So it's not just ----------(??)--

BRADEN: Everybody believed it.

FOSL: --in the twenties.

BRADEN: And like I was talking about the, there was so little cultural life in Anniston. Now there were some intellect-, Eugene Turner, who was a sweet man too, and, you know, the people that we moved next door to when we moved to Anniston and became such close friends of my parents until they died, they both died before my parents moved away from Anniston. But yeah, I believe they both died before then. And Lucy, my good friend that we grew away, apart in high school and who still lives there, married an Anniston boy, had five children, 01:26:00and I think I had lunch with her and some people one time when I was back there in the last couple of years. Um, but he was sort of an intellectual and his family, much more than my family. He had, he went to Princeton--(coughs)--he was--(coughs)--um, part of the, uh, real upper crust of Anniston and um, pretty wealthy. And but also, you know, old family and all that. But he'd gone to Princeton and both of his sons and his daughter, by then, went to--no, Lucy didn't. I'm sorry. It was a granddaughter went to Princeton, one of the next generation, after they let women in. So Princeton was their big thing. But now, like, my father who never felt particularly cul-, was aware that he wasn't very cultured, the University of Kentucky was sort of a cow college, you know--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --compared to Princeton, respected Eu-, uh, Mr. Turner, I 01:27:00always called him, a lot as an intellect. And they, and but the Turners didn't look down on my parents. They really loved 'em. They were very close friends all those years. But my father felt like that Mr., that, uh, Eugene Turner was a lot smarter than he was, and well, or more educated. And he was--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --in formal education. But I can remember--(coughs)--and they would, they used to-- well, this came a little later, I guess after I was away at school, the Turners and my parents and this Bill Stoney that sat-, the minister that was the one that came there, the brother of the one I was there when I was a child, and his wife and a couple others, they would get together every Sunday night just to talk and they were, uh, they called themselves the Old Crows. And they would talk about, you know, the affairs of the day and what was happening. And I guess they were even doing that before they got the regular Sunday night gatherings. But I can remember, you know, things stick in your mind, of my, uh, 'cause Mr. Turner was well read in, you know, 01:28:00the things he read--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --of, um, history. There's, uh, of western civilization, of any, I bet he didn't know a thing about--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --African civilization or Asian. I mean everything was, the world started, the way I learned about the world was that civilization started in Greece, came in a direct line through Rome to Western Europe to the United States which was then the, was now the zenith of civilization.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: That was my view. And, and so it was, you know, he was well versed in that history. And um, but I can remember my father quoting him as saying that, um, that the danger to civilization was if dark skinned people mixed with--this was by way of Daddy explaining to me that it wasn't just the, the, it wasn't that he didn't like colored people, that this was a matter of preserving civilization and in Mr. Turner, who knows about history, has said, you know, that this is, that scholars know this, that wherever dark skinned people mix with 01:29:00white people, that civilization goes down. And look for example at South America. That's what he'd say. I remember that. So you know, it was that kind of thinking. Well--and also that was the color thing. The other thing that I absorbed somewhere that was in the air, it was just the idea that um, the people who were leaving out race, the people who were in control in society were there because they were especially intelligent and that, that people like us who were descended from the first settlers--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --came from a particularly good stock. And that we were very intelligent because of that. And that people who were poor that you felt sorry for and you shouldn't let 'em be hungry because that was unchristian, but they were simply not as smart.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that that's why they were not, hadn't been able to get 01:30:00ahead. And they couldn't help it, you know, so you didn't condemn 'em for it. But that by the, at, but they weren't born into this ari-, aristocratic line that we were and that we were just smarter.

FOSL: And therefore deserved a better quality life.

BRADEN: Yeah. That that was sort of God's will.

FOSL: Was, uh, poor white trash ----------(??)?

BRADEN: Yeah, well, my family didn't use that a lot. It was, that was the implication--

FOSL: It was.

BRADEN: --I think, but I don't remember them using that term. But it was, anyway and that was sort of the, the assumption that this experiment that Miss Kennedy had made, and she never told me about it, so I heard this indirectly, proved that. That she had tried to go against that myth and see if she couldn't really develop this young woman from this, quote, poor background. And it didn't work because obviously she just didn't have the bloodline for it. Well, you know, Miss Kennedy couldn't help herself. That's what she grew up with. But the funny thing was, when I went over there to tell them about the 01:31:00sedition case, see that's how close I felt to Stratford and mainly to Harriet and Harriet was in Virginia, and I knew she'd understand. And, and I guess she did, well, she was a little scared. Well she, she did understand. But, and I talked to her and I stayed over there a couple days. And I remember I flew. By that time people were flying a little bit. This was '54 and I can remember that morning I went out to--Carl took me out to the airport. Must have been, well, it was bound to, it was after, of course we would have been arrest-, and we got out of jail, see. I think I was in jail only about a week and then he was out, out after about three weeks. And the children were, by that time, in Alabama. So I remember he took me to the airport, 'cause I remember our lawyer coming out there to talk to us about something before I left. I remember him being there. So I flew over there. And I must have stayed a couple days or something to talk to, tell 'em about the case. And um, so we were sitting at--and Ida was there and Harriet at this, their big house across the street. And Miss Mabel I guess was still teaching then. So she came over to see me and, uh for breakfast, sort of, I can remember sitting there. And, so she was just, and she was always a, she was a wonderful listener. Um, she'd, you'd ask 01:32:00her, if you were talking to her you felt she didn't have another thing on her mind anywhere. She was just an intent listener and she was that way when I was in school. So I was telling her about this, the case and what had happened. I'd already--Harriet knew about it. I'd written her I guess about it and Ida, and they already knew about it. But Miss Kennedy wanted to know what had happened. And so I told her all about it. She just, she would shake her head, "Oh dear. Oh dear," she said. But I remember--(laughs)--Harriet then said, "Well, now, Miss Mabel," she said, "now you can't raise these girls up to, to think and, and, and figure that something like this isn't gonna happen."

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And Miss Mabel said, "Well, I guess that's right." She said, "I guess that's right. That's right." And she was very supportive, you know--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --'cause, because she loved me and I was--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --one of her shining stars of stu-, of a student. But, um, and she--and of course Harriet had a reputation by then in Danville 01:33:00of being a liberal in terms of race and other things too. And she adored Harriet and they respected Harriet and stuff like that. But I suspect her own views were somewhat um, reactionary. But I can't remember really at the time that I was at Stratford any o-, much overt discussion of politics until I--a little bit after I began going to the gatherings over at Ida's, at the house, when I'd go over for the cookouts. And um, and then I--it was probably, oh, late winter or spring of my sophomore year when I met Harriet. I hadn't met her before 'cause she was living in New York. And of course she came down, but I hadn't met her my freshman year. And um, somewhere the point I'd started out to make, and I, I just can't identify when it was, possibly with Ida and Harriet and people like that, but maybe more at Randolph-Macon that I began to sense and the people I talked with, this 01:34:00feeling that, that people of people who conceived of World War II as a fight against the ideology of Hitler, which was different from just the patriotic thing I felt in my parents and stuff of defending the country and democracy and all that. But the whole idea of Hitler and the master race. And see, I think that had a real impact on southern politics, the liberal movement. Because you couldn't be fighting that in Europe and not notice that it was also prevailing in, in, um, the southern United States. And I think there was a growth, you know, of the liberal movement in the South in that period. That's when Ellis Arno-, Arnold--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --got elected for example. And there were others. His name sticks in my mind 'cause we heard a lot about him. But there was, there was kind of his breed of young politician, white--(laughs)- -coming along, and Folsom sort of, although Folsom was rough around the edges, um, you know, class-wise, and that's another story too. 01:35:00But, where sort of he came from. But he was a part of that tradition and there was that whole rise of liberal politics which the Southern Conference was a part of. But it--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --reached much further than the Southern Conference by that time. And I think the impact of what the war was about speeded that process up.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I really do.

FOSL: I think it was '44 the SRC was founded, which I'm not saying that was any bastion of, you know, progressivism. But it was [recording error]--

BRADEN: --but see, I, I, my theory is, may very well be wrong about this and some people say it is. I, well, but after, later as I got into SCEF and was hearing about the history of the Southern Conference and so forth, I always figured that the organization of the SRC was sort of a counter to the Southern Conference. That it was the more moderate.

FOSL: It was, I think. Yeah.

BRADEN: But, now Clark Foreman told me one time 'cause I, and I got to know Clark, you know, really after he had left the South and Clark was a, was a wheel in the Southern Conference. But I, I knew him aft-, when he was running the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee in New York 01:36:00and they helped on our case. And I remember I said that to him and he said, "Well, I don't think that was really true." That was not his theory of it because the SRC grew out of the old interracial commission or something--

FOSL: Right--

BRADEN: --you know.

FOSL: --the interracial ----------(??).

BRADEN: He thinks it would have happened anyway. But I always thought that. And at some point, I want, we should talk about the differences I can see to, of the, between the philosophy of the Southern Conference and the SRC. 'Cause that became kind of important in my life later politically. But anyway, that-- it was '44, I think, when that was formed.

FOSL: It was. I just checked.

BRADEN: And there was, um, um, but, and for example, though, now things that were going on then still didn't impinge on me, even in college. See I never heard of Lillian Smith at that point.

FOSL: I was gonna ask you when you--


FOSL: --did hear of her.

BRADEN: Well I, yeah, I saw the Strange Fruit in New York. I think Harriet took me to see that. Now that was in the early forties. That was while I was in col-, college I believe.

FOSL: I think it was first--


FOSL: --published in--

BRADEN: When was it made into a play?

FOSL: --'42?

BRADEN: But I saw the play.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And well the book came first and then the play, you suppose.


FOSL: Yeah, I'm pretty sure.

BRADEN: You may be right. And I think I saw the play before I read it and I believe it was probably when I was visiting Harriet while I was still in college. It could a been after I was out of college 'cause I visited her, you know, all through that period off and on in New York. Um, and then I re-, and Killers of the Dream I think didn't come out till about '48--

FOSL: Forty-nine.

BRADEN: Was it '49? Of course I read that. But you see, but Lillian Smith was publishing that little magazine she put out called Something from the Mountain--

FOSL: ----------(??).

BRADEN: Yeah. I never--

FOSL: ----------(??).

BRADEN: --I never saw that. And I do not remember Harriet talking about Lillian Smith. See-- and once I got to talking to Harriet, she taught, she taught me so many--(laughs)--things. She began to tell me about a lot of these things. She told me about Lucy Randolph Mason and how I must meet Lucy Randolph Mason some day and I never did. But she knew Lucy and was a good friend of Lucy Randolph Mason's I think. Um, and she, and, and I think I began to hear a lot more politics then. And I 01:38:00remember just a few things 'cause I--it was all so new to me that a lot of it I'm sure I didn't absorb and I was still feeling a little awkward in those intellectual discussions in the barn. But it was some time in the, that winter that I met Harriet I think, or spring, and it must have been fairly early because she started this campaign to get me to go to Randolph-Macon, which was--

FOSL: Was how far from Stratford?

BRADEN: Well, it's from Danville to Lynchburg which is maybe sixty miles or--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --something, maybe a hundred. No, just about sixty. Danville's right on the North Carolina line, Lynchburg's, you know, a little bit in the mountains. Um, but she, that was her alma mater. She adored Randolph-Macon and it had been such an important experience in her life and she had been quite a leader. She was chairman of the judiciary committee then, which was a big thing at Randolph-Macon 'cause they had this honor system--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and she was there in her, and important in her life and in Ida's too and some of the other, rest of the family. She thought it was a good college. And she thought it was important that I get a good 01:39:00education. And I guess I was thinking then of possibly transferring to a school back in Alabama or somewhere. I knew I was going home to college and, um, and she told me later that when she came down on that visit whenever it was, that Ida had written her and said that she-- when, while she was there she wanted me, her to persuade me to go to Randolph-Macon that I was the most brilliant student who had ever been at Stratford and that she had to persuade me to go to Randolph-Macon. So she started this campaign to do that. And it must have been in the winter because I would have had to apply, you know, that spring to get in.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Which I finally decided to do. And Ida particularly wanted me to study English with this Miss Cornelius at Randolph-Macon, which I did. (laughs) Because I'd learn, because Miss Cornelius was such a strict trainer of writers. And she said, "You can write," but says, "you've gotta, that, that, um, but you'll never be a good writer if you don't get a foundation like Miss Cornelius will give you, because 01:40:00she won't let you get by with anything that's slipshod." And that's, and she was that way and she, but I got along fine her. And she--and I made As in her courses. But she was an authority on Keats and I took a, I took an English composition course, this was after I went to Randolph-Macon, from her, wrote all kinds of papers. Um, but then I took a course in Keats and several other courses from her. She was a very dry scholar. She wasn't a thing like Miss Kennedy that made learning exciting at all. But I got along with her all right 'cause I worked hard and I, I think, yeah, I took a course in--no, I did an independent study with her in Russian literature.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: You could do anything you wanted to and I took that some way. And, and, and read all of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky and Turgenev. I remember that. That's what--

FOSL: I saw some of the ----------(??).

BRADEN: Yeah. And that was when, you know, when they raided our house in '54 they took all those, they thought they were communist books. 01:41:00(Fosl laughs) They really did. But, um, and I wrote papers on all of 'em and I was very excited by all of 'em, Dostoyevsky especially, I remember reading The Brothers Karamazov.

FOSL: That's right upstairs.

BRADEN: Um-hm. But that was, that was, but that was an independent study. She didn't teach Russian literature, particularly. I just decided I was interested in it. Um--

FOSL: I mean was--


FOSL: --excuse me, but was that, I mean was that any interest you had in Russia--

BRADEN: Russia?

FOSL: --do you think?

BRADEN: It might have been a little bit. But I think it was more--no, I think really it was Ida. See that--Ida and Harriet both were intellectual influence on me. It was more, I think the initial thing was that she said I should read, that you were not educated unless you had read War and Peace that this was the greatest novel ever written and I must read War and Peace. And I think I read War and Peace before I ever went to Randolph-Macon.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that just kind of interested me. And then I heard about the other Russian writers that way. So I'm not sure that was political. But I began to hear a lot of politics, mainly from Ida and Harriet because I can remember little things. See a lot of it didn't sink in 01:42:00'cause I had so little background for it.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But I can remember being over there for one of these supper gatherings and I had a friend named Sarah Thorp (??) who had been in the high school at Stratford when I was a freshman there. She was a senior in the high school and she and I became very close friends. And Sarah was from Georgia, Savannah, and she was a real intellectual and had been at Stratford, I think, for two or three years. She had gone to, all of high school there. And, and I remember we had a real emotional thing about Stratford and she said that she had the Stratford spirit and she was gonna pass it on to me and this was very important. And um, I kept in touch with Sarah off and on for some years after that. In fact after I was married she came, she came and spent some time with us at Little Compton. She was married and her marriage broke up. She, and I've often wondered what happened to her 'cause she had a hard time after that. She was--never could decide whether she was a lesbian or heterosexual. That was one of her problems. I think she 01:43:00was, there was a lot of lesbianism at girl schools then. You know. I never, I never was overtly involved in it, I think it would have scared me. Um, I'm sure it would have. But some of my friends were.

FOSL: Well, was Harriet already a lesbian?

BRADEN: Oh, I'm sure she was. But we didn't talk about that. But it was some--

FOSL: So you didn't know it?

BRADEN: --hmm?

FOSL: So you didn't know it?

BRADEN: I think I sensed it. But I think, you know, and I think Harriet was in love with me in a way. But I think she knew that it would sort of scare me. And it was more of an intellectual thing anyway.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I know I was in love with her. But, you know, I mean I didn't call it that. But I realized later, somebody told me that, I can't remember who it was. Somebody that knew something about psychology, well I was talking about her and she says, "Well, she was the first person you were ever in love with." And I think that's true. (coughs) But I knew, you know, she had this long standing relationship with Norma and they lived, lived together for some years and when and Norma went off, after I got to visiting Harriet a lot, Norma left for a year 01:44:00to go to the American Theatre Wing, they called it, to travel all over the world. They were doing theatre for the troops and stuff, the war was still going on then I guess. Or maybe it was right after the war and people, lots of people still overseas. And, um, it was a wrenching sort of thing for Harriet when Norma left. And she told me later that she thought that when Norma left, Norma came back and they lived together when and Norma, as I say, died young in the early fifties. And I think that, I didn't know it till, Carl got to, went to see Harriet and got to know her at, and--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --would stop and see her in New York. And I think the first I knew Norma had died, uh, Harriet said, "Tell Anne Gambrell, Norma died." Well I knew, I think I knew she was dying. So they were back together before she died. But I know she told me later she thought that, that, that had been a hard time because when Norma left she thought she was really leaving to look for a man, that she really 01:45:00wanted a man. So the--see, I think they were both ambivalent--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --about their sexual orientation. And, well, Harriet did talk to me some about that. She talked to me, she had a very close man friend. She always had men friends. I mean every, people, like Harriet, was one of these very exciting people. And she was very, in addition to being an artist, she, she lectured on art, very vital kind of, uh, person just to talk to, to be around, you know. And excited about ideas. She was a good lecturer. Um, and she had a lot of friends and she had a lot of men friends. Um, and there was one man she used to tell me about. She said, "He was the only man I ever really wanted," she said. And she said she was glad by that. Said, "I don't think you really experienced everything unless you wanted a man." But I guess she never really had a sexual relationship with him. She only met him in New York. And she told me when I went to, see, I took a trip to see her to tell her when I was getting married.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And he said, he said--she did say, said he did the same thing you did, "He told-- came to see me and told me when he was gonna get 01:46:00married."

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: So, you know, it was little things like that that I, but we never really talked very openly about what our relationship meant, I think. And I didn't know exactly. I just knew she was the most exciting person I'd ever met. And I think that, and she was. I mean it was intellectually exciting. It was the same and that's why I and I told her later, "I don't think I'd ever been able to have the relationship I had with Carl if I hadn't had the relationship with you first."

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Because I would have se-, I didn't know it was possible. I mean until I knew Harriet, I didn't know that kind of excitement with another human being was possible, which I saw as an intellectual thing.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, but I saw it that way with Carl too, you see? And that was why, and I said, and, and I still am that way. I mean as I said, I don't have a se-, well, I'm really--I've sublimated my sexual desires now. But even in later years, I'd had no s-, feeling of sexual arousement about a man unless he excited me intellectually.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I don't know whether men, other, whether there's something 01:47:00peculiar about me or whether there are other women who have that or not. Do you have that?

FOSL: No. I, I mean, well, I don't think it's peculiar or unusual. I think that, uh, I mean with Bill, let's turn the tape off. (laughs) It's just--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: --I don't think ever after that I ever felt a spark of sexual desire without the, unless somebody excited me intellectually.

FOSL: Well see, I do think that that's very much kind of the realm of women. I think that's how women are.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: That, uh, you know, uh, you know, with some women I think of sex and love have to be, you know, they, now not all women are like that, but I think it has to be more than just a--

BRADEN: More than the physical. Well, I've always heard that. What I'm saying, I think I'm a little peculiar because I understand, I think a lot of people have that. And some men have it.

FOSL: Some do.

BRADEN: I know Carl used to say he had it, even though he did a lot 01:48:00of running around in his early days. But that there was something different about sex if there was a psychological thing to him too. And I think men have that too, some of 'em don't want to--

FOSL: Well, I think there's--

BRADEN: --admit it.

FOSL: --there, they would say there's something different about it. But whether they need it or even want it, as a prerequisite to having sex, I think is quite doubtful. Not with all men, but with--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --the majority of 'em.

BRADEN: Well, I don't know. I don't know. I think that, I think that, I think Carl meant it when he said that. And I think some men do. See, I think there's also a thing that men have been told they're supposed to have a lot of sexual prowess and it doesn't matter--

FOSL: Well, that's true.

BRADEN: --you know, and, and so that it, it's sort of what they're supposed to be. It's just-- sex is all it is. And but I think, well I'm not saying all of 'em, but I don't think it's that unusual with men either that there's a desire for the psychological as well as the sexual. You know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that--so that does seem to me an unusual concept. And I, but it is the, the popular wisdom is that women have that more. That you can't, that the, for the fullest enjoyment of sex there's got to 01:49:00be the spiritual union too. What I'm saying makes me kind of peculiar that I've never been able to figure out is that I don't even feel the sexual desire. The intellectual thing came first. And it may be because of my relationship you see with Harriet. I think that had a lot to do with it. The fact that she, that with her, because I did not have a physical relationship with her--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --I remember--and I really wouldn't want to say--but, well, she's dead now. One night it was like she sort of made some advances to me and I think that it sort of startled me so that she never did again. And I think that she knew I was twenty years younger than she was and I think that, and she knew she had this--(coughs)--long term relationship with Norma. (coughs) I think she, I think that she, she certainly cared about me and she cared about me all her life. And she certainly, and I think she was excited by me, sort of, as a young mind and a young person. But I also think she didn't want to do anything that was gonna mess me up and to and that maybe she thought that sort 01:50:00of relationship was. But she backed off of that pretty quick. It was only one time. So, so there was no physical relationship there. And the only thing was this tremendously exciting intellectual thing, which was not physical. I don't remember having a physical feeling about it. We'd listen to music together, I remember Tchaikovsky, you know, um, um, Beethoven and all that. And we'd go--but it was, so it was, and ideas, hours talking about ideas. She told me all about Freud. Now she was all into Freud, which I don't put that much store about. Now she was--but that was important for her generation. She'd tell me and she told me a lot about politics, but also a lot of history and all sorts of things.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But and this was all very exciting. So, but it was not physical and yet it was so exciting that maybe it just took the place of sex or something? So that I think maybe what it did to me, because I said, ever since then, I've never felt a sexual attraction to anybody that I 01:51:00didn't have the inner. I think it may have conditioned me or something that I just, that I wasn't gonna be attracted to anybody if they didn't excite me that way. So it may have been that's what did it, but it was certainly that was the way it was with Carl. He was just in, he was just exciting to be with. And then it turned out we were quite sexually compatible; at least I thought we were. And it was, uh, for me, I, was a satisfactory sexual act. I think Carl was much more highly sexed than I ever was, and you know, that's, happens. And it isn't always the man that's the most either.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But, um, but the intellectual thing came first. But anyway, going back to sort of how the world impinged, I began to hear these things. And I--oh, I mentioned Sarah Thorp who never could figure out whether she was lesbian or heterosexual. But I had been quite close to her. But she didn't come to college there and she'd gone to Auburn in Alabama. But she'd come up, I remember, it was probably right at the end of school that sophomore year when Harriet was there. And I remember her and Harriet talking and, and Sarah was talking about how, 01:52:00for some reason I--this is the only part of that particular part of the conversation I remember. But how she had read, um, the Socialist Six of the World by Dean Hewlett Johnson, the Red Dean of Canterbury. Which I--well, a lot of people were reading then. And I read later. I'd never heard of it at that point. And, and Harriet was--she said, "Well, that's very interesting to me." She said, "How many, how many people at Auburn do you think have read that book?" And she and, and Sarah said, "Well she's ----------(??) a number of people I know." She said, "At least a dozen people I know." And I remember Harriet thinking that was real good that they were reading that and finding out a little something about the Soviet Union from a different point of view. And so, you know, I was beginning to hear things like that. And then I think that, and I don't even remember when all it was. That, that summer after I finished Stratford four of, three or four of us who 01:53:00were students together there went and got a cottage at, um, for a month before I went back. I knew I was gonna get a, I was, maybe I already had it. I was gonna get some kind of job on the paper at home. But I wanted to take some time off and I was taking a month off and we went, we got a cottage at, um, um, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that belonged to the family of this good friend of mine that I haven't mentioned, but one of the, Lucile Schoolfield I was so close to. Um, she was totally apolitical. Lucile was, had long blonde hair and looked like sort of a, uh, what'd she look like? Sort of like an angel, but she also was very intellectual and very interesting and she, her, she had family lived there in Danville and she would flit in and out of Danville. Her family, her immediate family lived in Rye, New York and they came from a sort of a ritzy family up there. But, but 01:54:00she was a, liked to live in the world of the mind. But she didn't like going to school or doing any of the normal things. And I thought she was absolutely fascinating. And she, and Miss Kennedy loved her 'cause she was smart. And so she would have, she had, some of her family, she'd come to Danville and so she enrolled in Stratford for a little while and then she'd be gone again. I don't think she ever graduated. But she, but she read, she had read all Shakespeare's plays and she read poetry and she'd bring me poetry to read and she'd come over and talk to me for hours in the dormitory and stuff like that. So I was very close to her. And I've still got letters she wrote me later. And of course she was close to Harriet and Ida. And her family, who didn't approve of what she--and I remember I visited her in Rye a few times and her poor mother said, "You know, here, I think about my beautiful daughter and then she comes in and what's she wearing but blue jeans." (Fosl laughs) And people didn't wear blue jeans that much and poor Lucile had to--I remember she wrote me. She had to make her debut 01:55:00and she went to ----------(??); it was just awful. And but she had to do it to please her family. But she ended up down in Tennessee and married a guy there. She was--I kept trying, I, my life went in such a different direction I just lost touch with people. But I did go back to see her once after I was married. And I didn't even, it's funny. I called Harriet or wrote her and told her I was gonna get married and went over to see her. But I didn't tell Lucile. Lucile was a little hurt because she wrote me later or called me, but she said it was all right. She knew it was okay if it was me. But she, um, had just happened to be in Danville and, and had seen Ida and Ida was--she was driving off in her car and said, "So, by the way, did you know McCarty was married?" They, she always called me McCarty. And I hadn't gotten in touch with her. But she wrote me and that was all right. She knew right away it was all right 'cause it was me. And then at some point I told--by that time our phone was tapped for the, by the FBI and I knew that, you know, I was, had, was an outcast and stuff. And it was a different world. And I remember it, but Lucile never cared 01:56:00about that sort of thing. She never understood. And by this time Mc-, McCarthyism. She didn't what it was all about. She didn't care. She just lived in this world of poetry. 'Cause I remember one time and she said, "And tell-- and I want you to tell me all about the FBI,"-- (laughs)--I remember she said. But she had married a, uh, somebody, she said, "I knew I wouldn't meet my husband at a cocktail party." She had married somebody who worked in the yard at her, some of her family's house near Knoxville--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --and moved down to Chattanooga. Had a very bad marriage, I think, and I don't-- drove up to see her, borrowed my parents' car once. This was before the sedition case and I was in Alabama for a few days and Anita was a baby. I left the children with Mother and drove up to see her. And um, she was not really happy. Some-, or something in her, his family was driving her crazy. She never wanted to have any children. She didn't. And she died young. And I never, and I heard later that she had died some time before I heard it. I still don't 01:57:00know what that girl died of. But anyway, she was, um, she was totally apolitical. But by that time I was becoming real interested in these things and that was fine. That was me and that was fine. And, and Harriet, she, and I know--oh, that she wrote me when Roosevelt died. Well, this was a very personal thing to a lot of people. To a lot of people, you know, this, people were crying in the streets. But Harriet had adored Roosevelt so and had really worked for him in the last ele-, in all the elections, but when it was kind of touch and go whether he was gonna be elected that last time. I remember Harriet writing me about how important that was and all that. And, and um, and I remember hear-, Lucile, having a letter from Lucile a few weeks later. And she said, "And I feel so, I'm so worried about you and Harriet since Roosevelt died." I mean it didn't matter to her, you see, but these were, she was just totally apolitical. So I was partly living in that 01:58:00world too.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And she didn't want me to get too ambitious because that was, she didn't, you didn't appreciate the beauty of life enough if you were really ambitious. You sort of, you sort of, and she quoted Keats. Keats' idea of the negative capability, just let life sort of come to you sort of thing. Well I didn't follow that, but I was certainly attracted to it. But it was, but at some point um, we spent that month and, well we had a real good time until and with another student from, until her father came and that sort of ruined things. But then I went on back for the rest of the summer and started working at the Star in Anniston. But I, I think I went to New York to visit Harriet that summer before I went back. So it wasn't real often, but the visits with Harriet were fairly regular through there and mainly it was just that she would just be, you know, I was listening more than I was 01:59:00talking, I think. And she would, she told me all about the Dan River mills and her experience in the CIO. I never--all I had heard about the CIO up until then was it was a bunch of communists. But that was, um, before I went to Randolph-Macon. So it's hard for me to sort of separate in my mind now how much of this sense of what was going on in the world I got from, at Randolph-Macon, from other students, but there was a lot of talk about things like that and about what the war was about, and somewhat about race in the abstract. And that the, the, and sort of a sense of being a part of the New South that was moving beyond segregation, which we weren't, but we talked about it. Um, and how much of it I got from Harriet. I mean it's hard for me to separate those--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --two things in my mind. But, but by the time I was there--now I got pretty wrapped up in my schoolwork at Lynchburg too. And it 02:00:00was ha-, it, and it was pretty hard for me too because they were, they--that was a good school. And I mean you had to work pretty hard in the courses there. And then I got into the dance and all that. But I was, um, and I can never remember, sort of like Danville, I hardly left that campus the whole two years I was there, now, to go downtown. Some people did and went to movies and things. But I was on and--life was complete there. There was a little tea room across the street you could go get things to eat. But I just stayed there and got wrapped up in the various courses I was taking and, and the dance group and the Greek and the um, and the drama. And um--

FOSL: Did you have long hair then?

BRADEN: Not real long. I've never had real long hair. Um, I've got pictures somewhere ----------(??) it was sort of down to my shoulders 02:01:00kind of.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, but um, but by that time, you know, I definitely was watching the war and what was going on. And I can remember being very excited about the United Nations. See, that was--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --the San Francisco conference. And we had a, matter of f-, actually we had a program and I remember speaking at that program. I can remember putting on--at Randolph-Macon on the, when the sort of a prayer service or something somebody had for the founding conference of the United Nations. And um, and a feeling that we all had, 'cause I, one way you, that I kind of re-, can remember things in the past, I've often said I don't have, I do not have a photographic memory. I don't remember how things looked always, but I have a phonographic memory. I can hear conversations years later and that sort of reminds me of things. I can remember talking to Harriet, um, now this could have been in '46 after the war. But because things--see, as soon as 02:02:00Roosevelt died, things began to change in Washington, right--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --away.

FOSL: Very quickly.

BRADEN: And I can't remember what it was, whether it was the, I think he did the loyalty oath in '47, so this would have been before that.

FOSL: Well the first big thing--

BRADEN: Then--

FOSL: --was really the, the thing about Wallace as head of the Department of Commerce.

BRADEN: Yeah, well I, well, and see, I remember that summer of '44 when the convention was going on about Wallace very vividly--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --because and I, I think I said before that was the first thing I was ever emotional about, about politics. And that was partly Harriet was writing me about it. She was all in a state about Wallace being dumped. And I remember talking to people in Anniston about it and people didn't think it was wild that I thought that. But I--not many people agreed with me. But I can remember talking, people around the paper that the, the Democratic Party was gonna lose its soul if they dumped Wallace. And I remember feeling that way. But I'm trying 02:03:00to think whether it, it was while I was still at school, I can remember this conversation with Harriet. Well, she had a letter--I remember- -no, it was Harriet. She had had a letter from somebody, some friend of hers who was in Europe in the Army or something and, and it was a very glowing letter about what, what, what the post-war world is gonna be like.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And how that we won't have any more wars and that some way, because we've been through this and we're gonna come back and we're gonna--that things are gonna be different in the United States and we've learned about fascism and what, I don't, I really honestly don't people--remember people using the word racism then. I don't know when that came into my vocabulary. So I don't know what word, but that's what he meant, of racial equality and all these things. And I remember Harriet reading me that letter, I forget who it was from, but it was some friend of hers. And I, I remember having that feeling too, that after the war things were really gonna, we were gonna have a New South.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And there was gonna be justice and a lot of these problems were gonna be solved and all that. And then I remember, I think it 02:04:00was later though, and I think it was probably after maybe HUAC was beginning to have some hearings or something because something was going on in Washington and I can remember saying that again to Harriet. Well she said, uh, "That, you know, things are gonna be different." She said, "Well, I don't know," she said, "I think we're gonna have more of what's going on in Washington right now."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Because somebody had called about something and 'cause Norma came in, I remember. And, and she said, Norma said, "Some committee about something happening in Washington that was bad." And Harriet said, "Norma, they want you to sign this thing that they're getting people in the theatre to sign and stuff." And she said, "Oh," she said, "well," oh she said, "I don't know what to do. And you sign it," said, "they always want money too. And I don't have any money." But something was going on then, you know. It hadn't impinged on me that much. But and I didn't realize how, that things were changing that much I think. But that feeling of hope, of what--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --the end of World War II was gonna bring. And, and a feeling that I had by that time that I was identifying with, I prob-, that of, of the New South.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Which wasn't a new phrase, but we were the, we were the New 02:05:00South. I gotta go to the bathroom. And I don't know what time it is. Do you know?

FOSL: It's about eight.

[End of interview.]