David Jolley migrated with his parents from Georgia to Cleveland in 1944 and has lived in the Central neighborhood since 1954. He recalls stores and the Haltnorth Theater in the 55th-Woodland commercial district, high school sports rivalries, and the expansion of Black population to other neighborhoods.


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Jolley, David (Interviewee)


Downer, Nick and Newman, Clea (Interviewers)


Cedar Central



Document Type

Oral History


46 minutes


Nick Downer [00:00:01] All right, can you hear? You want to say your name and address just to see if it’s-

David Jolley [00:00:08] My name is David Jolley. I live at 2230 East 46th Street, Cleveland, Ohio, 44103.

Nick Downer [00:00:17] How is that?

David Jolley [00:00:17] Is it gone? It’s not?

Nick Downer [00:00:19] All right, let me.

David Jolley [00:00:22] Yeah, absolutely.

Nick Downer [00:00:26] You want to tell me that you follow the Cavs?

David Jolley [00:00:29] Hmm? You know, off and on. Off and on.

Nick Downer [00:00:32] Or the Indians? I mean, we just need you to.

David Jolley [00:00:33] Keep talking so we can follow the Cavs. I follow the Indians. I follow Browns. But I don’t go to all the games no more. All like that.

Clea Newman [00:00:41] It’s working now.

Nick Downer [00:00:44] Okay, so this is recording, so we’re ready to get started. This is Nick Downer and Clea Newman. We’re working with the Campus District and Cleveland State University with the oral history Project. And we’re here with David Jolley. Mr. Jolley, could you state your name and address and how old you are, please?

David Jolley [00:01:05] My name is David Jolley. My address is 2230 East 46th Street, Cleveland, Ohio. I’m 73 years old.

Nick Downer [00:01:15] That’s great. How long have you lived in Central?

David Jolley [00:01:20] Central area? Oh, ever since 1954. Central area. But I’ve been living in Cleveland longer than that.

Nick Downer [00:01:35] Where were you born?

David Jolley [00:01:36] Georgia.

Nick Downer [00:01:37] Georgia? Did you move up with your parents?

David Jolley [00:01:41] I moved with my parents in 1944.

Nick Downer [00:01:47] Was this the first place they came? Central?

David Jolley [00:01:49] No, the first place we came was over on Rawlings Avenue off of 79th. And then Kinsman, 75th and Kinsman, we stayed over there. We went to- I went to Kinsman Elementary School, which was on 79th and Kinsman. I went to Rawlings School, was on Rawlings off of 79th. And we stayed over there, ooh, about eight, nine years. Then we moved down to the Central area. I came down to the Central area in 1954. I used to live on East 19th Street off of Woodland, and I started going to school from there, on 19th Street. They had another school on Carnegie and 14th Street called Brownell. That’s where all the kids went. That was in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. When they left that school, they went to East Tech. Everybody went to East Tech. I didn’t go to East Tech when I came out of high school, I went to Thomas Edison. It was on 71st and Hough, so people went- And then we went to Central High School, which is on four different. Central. It has a different name now. So I’ve been around quite a while. The streets have changed. There was no Community College. Everything up and down Quincy was streets: 28th Street, 26th Street, 27th Street, 30th, all the way down to 40th. I used to live on 19th Street. They had an elementary school on 20th Street between Quincy and Woodland. All the kids were going there. So I came out of school in 1958. I moved away. But we had a lot of things down here. They used to- Down there where the baseball stadium is at, that used to be east side market. It was just like the west side market. But when the Indians wanted to make a ball stadium, they tore it down. At that market, they used to have a horse and wagon used to park outside, early in the morning, you come there. He was the rag man. He would park his wagon there. Up and down that street, they had stores that had all kind of different jars of food. It was just a stretch of stores up and down, right there on that one street. You could buy just about anything you wanted in there. It’s not like it is now. From there, on 19th Street they had an open-air market where they had all your vegetables sitting out to the street. So when you ride by, you can see and stop your car and buy your fruit and vegetable and go home. This is between 19th and 20th Street and Woodland. I used to work there on Friday, Saturday evening, from five in the morning to ten or twelve at night. On down on 22nd and Woodland, they had other stores that sold all kind of canned goods and stuff from, coming on down on 28th, 27th and Quincy, they had a show, a theater, neighborhood show.

Nick Downer [00:05:33] Do you remember the name?

David Jolley [00:05:34] I don’t remember the name of the show, but it was there, just like downtown they had the Carter show that was on 9th Street. And, you know, all the rest of the shows down there, which is down there now. Hippodrome show was down there. State Theater, Palace Theater, all like that was down there still. We used to go downtown. Cause every store was downtown. And the best part about downtown, around Christmas time, when it was all decorated. We didn’t have no suburbs or malls, had no malls at all. Downtown was your mall. Coming on down Woodland, down to 55th at Woodland. They had a market down there, too. They had a big bank on 55th and Woodland, Cleveland Trust, sitting right on the corner. They had a market right next to the Cleveland Trust. They had a five and dime next to the market. You could go in on Woodland side and come out on 55th side in the market. They had, on 55th and Woodland, they had a big Sohio station right on the corner where they got the post office at now. And across from that, on that Kinsman corner, they had a nightclub, which is right now gas station. On the other side of the Woodland, they had a big drug store with doctor offices on top of the, over the drug stores. Next to the drugstore, they had the Haltnorth Theater, the show. They had shoe stores that’s downtown now, that wasn’t down there then. They had Mike the Hatter on 55th and Woodland. They had a Stetson sold shoes on 55th and Woodland. Just about- They had every store that’s downtown was on 55th and Woodland. You come all the way down to 55th and Central they had a Black hotel. All the entertainers used to come to town, which now they got down there, I think a Goodwill sitting on the corner. The biggest business in town was, I tell you the truth, it was Wills. Everybody went to Wills. But, you know, it wasn’t all these places they have now.

Nick Downer [00:08:06] What was Wills?

David Jolley [00:08:07] Wills funeral home. Wills was big, which it’s still there, but they don’t took the name down. So everybody that lived around this area went to Wills. Wills used to help the people that didn’t have the money pay on time, so people were satisfied with that. Across the street from the Wills, I had East Tech High School. Great big old-looking school. When the Cavaliers were winning, I mean, when the East Tech High School was winning back to back championships, ’58, ’59, and 1960, they were winning so many championships, they started breaking up the schools. All the boys came out of the projects. The Catholic schools couldn’t beat them. So what they started doing was recruiting the boys from the projects when they would do, come by your house, and ask your mother, send your son to St. Ignatius ’cause he was a good ball player. So that’s how they broke up the monotony of East Tech winning every championship. Half of them didn’t go to college, but they were real excellent ball players. So they broke all that up then. On 43rd and Quincy, which they still have, we call it the POC [Portland-Outhwaite Center], is the bath house. It’s still there. Across the street from there was Kennard Junior High School, where the kids went to school in the projects. They had another elementary school on 40th and Central, which is not there anymore. They have a Jehovah’s Witness church on 40th and Central in that area. Across the street was Central High School. It wasn’t no elementary school. That was Central High. I remember my sister, my cousin, telling me, 1936, it was senior high school. You know, you come out of Central. All of them came out of Central Senior High School. Then they changed it, like the middle school from the 7th, 8th, 9th. But now I don’t know what it is now. I think it’s a little different now.

Nick Downer [00:10:31] So what do you- What do you remember about the neighborhood being like, you know, when you walk down the street, what was it like?

David Jolley [00:10:36] About like it is now.

Nick Downer [00:10:37] Yeah?

David Jolley [00:10:38] The difference in the neighborhood then, though, with all the streets and the houses, people got along better, and we knew one another. They had now- They said, it’s kind of bad now, but we had all kind of things going on back then. They had the same fights they got now. Kids did the same thing, you know, so it wasn’t no different. I moved out of the Central area, and I used to, like I said, stayed down on 75th and Woodland. I stayed on Rawlings. 75th and Rawlings. And they had Rawlings Junior High. Most of the kids went to Rawlings Junior High. We had a Kinsman school on 79th in Kinsman, which burnt down about 1967. All the kids around 79th and Kinsman went to elementary school there. Rawlings had a junior high school on 75th and Rawlings. All the kids on Quincy, Cedar came down to that high school. That’s only high school, unless you came all off of 55th. Then you went to Kennard. On Grand and Woodland, they had an elementary school sitting on the corner. Now, they had tore down and burn it down. So they had all kinds- The schools were right in your area where you could walk. You didn’t have to be bused nowhere. On 55th and Woodland, they had a fire department, which is not there anymore. It was right between 55th, between Broadway and 55th they had a fire department. On 55th, one, they had the post office next to the House of Wills, the post office. So. And then they had clubs on Woodland, 55th and Woodland. They had a club on Woodland off about 48th Street. They had a club right on dividing line between Kinsman and Woodland and 55th was- Well, Kinsman split up at- Go down on 55th, they had a club sitting right down the corner, which is a gas station now. So then across the street they had another club, which burnt down, where all the Black entertainers used to come to town at.

Nick Downer [00:13:14] So what did you used to, when you were growing up in the neighborhood, what did you do for fun? What would you guys do?

David Jolley [00:13:20] Well, the biggest thing back then was track and basketball. Track was more, biggest thing, more than basketball, which- Basketball is the biggest thing now. So. But that’s where we used to go to track meets at all the schools. A lot of schools are torn down that we used to go. Further on down off of Kinsman, everybody went to John Adams that stayed in that area of 116th around Miles. But John Adams is still there now. Then the other school we would go to, John Hay. At that time, John Hay in 1950 was a girls school. East Tech in 1950 was a boys school. Jane Addams in 1950 was a girls school. It was on Carnegie. It wasn’t where it’s sitting at now. Cause my wife went to Jane Addams, the all girls school. And basically everybody came from the South, came around that area, moved in that area, 55th, 79th on up to Central, Cedar. We all stayed right in one big area. Then later on we began to branch out. But wasn’t too many people living across 93rd and Kinsman that was Black. Only a handful of people might have been living. So we used to go to Woodhill, we call it Woodhill Inn, to go up there to the- And they wouldn’t allow us up at Woodhill, not back in the 1950s. Cause mostly white lived up in Woodhill. But we could go up there. And like I said, basically you just stayed in your area. And then finally Blacks started moving out, moving out towards 105, towards 140th and Kinsman all the way up to Warrensville, slowly to the Miles area. But we didn’t- When they first came to Cleveland, they didn’t. So basically that’s what it was. And as we got older, we began to move away. But I tell you, when I grew up around, I had a good time. I was a young man. We had our fights like any school and all like that, so it wasn’t too much difference. Didn’t have no shootings, though. Kids didn’t shoot kids back then like they have now. They got arrested, put in juvenile from fighting, just regular fighting. They had clubs. They had all kind of clubs back then. If you weren’t in a club, you might be in a lot of trouble. They had the Mighty Kings, they had the French Nobles. They had clubs like that. And most kids were 12, 13, 14, 15, in those different clubs.

Nick Downer [00:16:38] Were you in a club?

David Jolley [00:16:39] No, I never was in a club. If you used to go in the wrong neighborhood, say, I’m going over to see my cousin. If you didn’t know nobody on that neighborhood, you was in trouble. Cause every area had a club, and they would be on the corners when you come down. If you come down the right way, they wouldn’t bother you. But if you wore a club jacket, they would.

Nick Downer [00:17:08] So be careful what you wore.

David Jolley [00:17:09] Well, yeah, be careful just about what you wore and how you approached the club. See? Because you come down there, you might see six, seven guys right down here in the projects here. They had clubs. And if you didn’t stay down here and I stayed over there on Rawlings, 79th and Rawlings. I come down here, see my cousin that was down here in the projects, I would be in trouble unless I can prove that my auntie stayed in the projects. So, like I said. But the police broke all those clubs up about, I think it was by 1965, they had broke most of them up, a lot of young men went to juvenile. Some of them got hurt. A lot of them went to the army. What they would do back then was, they won’t do it right now. If you were around 17 and got into trouble, the juvenile down on 22nd, the judge would give you the option. Would you want to go to jail or go to the army? That was your option. It wasn’t like it is now with drugs keep you out of the army, there’s was nothing keep you out if you got in trouble for the first time. So you would go to the army at 17 or 18, you know, keep from going to jail, which it should be like that now with boys on drugs and stuff, they should put them in the service. But they said if they haven’t finished high school, you can’t go. That’s why they got so many kids wandering the streets right now.

Nick Downer [00:18:38] So after they broke the clubs up, did they- Did some of those clubs come back in the form of gangs that you see now?

David Jolley [00:18:45] No, this a different sort of gang they have now. See, now these boys got- They really ain’t got no gangs now. They have guns and stuff. One or two of them shooting each other, all like that. We never did have no guns. You might hear of a shooting once in a while when we used to have big high school dancers. You know, you’d go to the dance. You might have five clubs at one dance. So you had to be very careful at the dance, whose sister you were looking at, you know. [laughs] So whatever, if her boyfriend was there with his club. But that was the biggest thing, the club nights when they had big, big dances.

Nick Downer [00:19:29] You have any stories about those big nights?

David Jolley [00:19:33] Well, Rawlings school had the biggest dance on Wednesday nights and Friday nights. And everybody from Quincy on down came to Rawlings off of 79th. So those dances would have big fights. They would have two gyms. They have a gym where you play basketball. They have another gym where you danced in. And the dance gym part, you would get in a fight. They had so big a fight, they used to have a guard there. He was a maintenance man, really. He wasn’t a guard. He would break up the fights. But after the turnout, he would turn out like at 10:00 on Friday nights, 10:00 on Wednesday nights, police would be around the school because they would have a fight. And the fight might come off of Kinsman, might come off of Cedar, might come off of Quincy, might come off of Woodland because you had all them places were down on Rawlings in the, at the party. Kennard didn’t have those big dances like Rawlings used to have. So that was the only difference in it. I used to enjoy going to the dances and the parties. Then they had the school on 71st and Hough called Thomas Edison, where they used to have all the big track meets, and they would have big fights at the track meets, you know. So [inaudible] would go all the way out to St. Clair, Superior, where they got schools atcnow, we used to have track meets and all like that. But you would have a fight at track meet, I don’t care what track meet you went to.

Nick Downer [00:21:19] From the people in the track meet or the people in the stands?

David Jolley [00:21:21] The stands. You know, if your school didn’t win, they had a little insult there, somebody would start something. The only thing I liked about my schools back then, we had more in the schools back then. When I went to Thomas Edison, we had swimming in the school. We had boxing in the school. We had photography in the school. We had welding in the school. We had wood shop in the school. You had math, English, science. That was Thomas Edison. That had all them things in the school. And East Tech had the same thing. But East Tech didn’t have a swimming pool. We did. But when they told them schools down, they didn’t put all those things back into schools like we had, we was going to. They built East Tech back on 55th. They don’t have half the stuff they had. Thomas Edison, they never even put back. It’s Martin Luther King now, I think. They don’t have half the stuff. Thomas Edison had a great big track meet, had inside track, outside track. So we did have a lot of different things that people didn’t realize we had.

Nick Downer [00:22:35] You think they used to keep the kids out of trouble more? Cause they had stuff to do?

David Jolley [00:22:39] No, I don’t think that-

Nick Downer [00:22:40] They just had more stuff to do.

David Jolley [00:22:44] See, the difference is, we wasn’t into all that sports back then like they are now, where the people be so much at the basketball game, recruiting their kids. Parents didn’t recruit no kids for no basketball or no track. If you just goin’ there, that would just be you. I got a grandson. He played basketball year round. He go to St. Ed. But back then, you didn’t play basketball year round. When school was out, basketball was out. Same way with football. We didn’t have no baseball teams. We had baseball teams, but it was in the summer. The neighborhood would have a baseball team for the boys in the neighborhoods/ Woodhill would have a great big- Back in the seventies and eighties, they had baseball teams up at Woodhill Inn because the white people really started moving out. Black folks start moving in, which is up there now.

Nick Downer [00:23:43] Can you remember when that was, around when?

David Jolley [00:23:44] When they started moving out? They kind of slowly moved out.

Nick Downer [00:23:50] Sort of sneaky?

David Jolley [00:23:51] You know, you never notice how- Cause when I’m- I bought a house up there by John Adams. I was 25, 26 years old, and when I moved, that was in 1967 by John Adams, actually on 112. I had white neighbors. Slowly, they moved. They started moving in the sixties. By time, because when my son went to John Adams, they had White going to John Adams. By the time, I think when he came out, they had moved away. I had cousins stayed up 140th and Kinsman. When they was going there, they had White going because whites still- Whites still stayed all the way down there. But they began to move east, slowly, so you didn’t hardly notice it. Then one day, you realize all Blacks done moved the whole area. Then like down here, down here on Central in the 30s and the 40s, first of the 40s, was all white till the blacks started coming from the South. And they started coming around the 55th-Woodland area, Quincy area, Central area, 79th area. A few of them started going out towards 105 by Superior, St. Clair. They began to move like that, but slowly moved out.

Nick Downer [00:25:16] Do you remember there being White people living in Central when you were there?

David Jolley [00:25:21] When I was down in the Central area? You know, I really never- I really didn’t see that. It was just a handful at the most, so you wouldn’t really notice it. But when I moved over on by John Adams, they had White, because my kids were going to school with some White kids. We had Whites staying next door to us. But by the time I got there and stayed a year or two, they was gone, you know, so they began to- So it took a while, but they all moved out of the area. Like I said, Woodland used to have all kind of stores. You didn’t have to go all over town to shop.

Nick Downer [00:25:59] Were they White-owned or Black-owned?

David Jolley [00:26:01] White-owned. They was all White-owned, but it was there. But soon we got in the area heavy, they sold the stores, they began to move out. They did have Black-owned stores now, don’t get me wrong. Blacks did own a lot of stores. They had more Blacks owning stores then than they do now. So we could go into a store Black-owned. On Woodland around 63rd and Woodland where my wife stayed at, all Italians and maybe Jews owned the stores, grocery stores. Look, all of the stores around there. The cleaners, they own all that kind of stuff around there. But slowly, they began to move out to the Blacks. But they did own all those stores. On 55th Market it was just like the West Side Market, in Woodland. They had sawdust on the floors. They had vendors all in there. You could buy anything in that market you wanted to buy. So we didn’t have to go downtown to the downtown market. Right there around where the baseball stadium at, they had a big old market. You go across the bridge, was the West Side Market, but we didn’t hardly go over there that much because that was there. But when the Cleveland Indians wanted to build, they bought that whole area, and the Cavaliers wanted to build, and so that cleared up all the houses downtown that we lived in. Because we used to live on 12th Street, 13th Street, 14th Street, 19th Street, 20th Street, 22nd, 24th, all the way down to 30th. Wasn’t nothing but houses and stores. The 40th Street Market was still there like it is today, on Woodland, but it was more productive then. Had a lot more trucks and a lot more- You had more jobs then. Guys could go down, load trucks, make them few dollars this way or that, which they don’t have now. They had a lot of jobs. Like I said, had open markets that you could work after school to make a few dollars. Cause your parents didn’t really make that much money. They don’t have those jobs no more. They cut out all those kind of jobs.

Nick Downer [00:28:18] What kind of jobs did you end up doing? You said you worked at the open-air market, right?

David Jolley [00:28:22] I worked- When I was about 15, I worked there.

Nick Downer [00:28:24] What kind of other jobs have you had?

David Jolley [00:28:26] Oh, I don’t have a lot of- I used to go to golf course and caddy, which is Highland View. Everybody went to Highland View, but I went out at Highland View and caddied in ’53. I was 13, I was caddying 18, 9 hole, and then I worked at the markets. Just about any job I could get. I worked downtown below the Hippodrome show. They had a Chinese restaurant. I was 17. You know, I was still going to high school. I finished high school in ’58. I worked at Metro Hospital three years, just out of high school, got a job in Metro. I worked in Navy Finance Building. That’s not the one that’s downtown now. It was on 13th and Euclid. It was a Navy- It was a Navy Finance Building, but they were renting the building. The department was renting it until they built the one they have now. I was about 24 then. I worked at ALCOA aluminum, which these jobs, I just quit. They didn’t fire me or nothing. And finally I went out to Ford plant, because I always did want to work at Ford.

Nick Downer [00:29:43] Where was that plant?

David Jolley [00:29:45] Brook Park. Finally they called me. I retired from Ford plant. Thirty years. But I done had so many jobs. Like I said, you could find a job anywhere if you wanted a job. And then down here on 22nd between Central, they had a laundromat where a lot of White and Black worked. They did all your uniforms right on, which they had the highway come and tore it down. Richmond Brothers on 55th, where a lot of sewing and stuff was going on, White and Black worked in there, which is still there. You see the building there. Now they had another sewing place on Kinsman down near Grand where they got that new market they put down there. But where that new market at, that was my father’s land. They bought that a few years ago from my family. Not the whole, all of it, but part of it. My father owned some of that land. They had a beer place here that made beer on Quincy. They had two great big beer places, around 83rd and Quincy, 82nd Street, Central, Quincy, down there. They had Warner and Swasey on 55th and Carnegie. They had TRW on 55th, which they moved all out. So all them plants that’s way out were really off 55th by Carnegie where you see all them abandoned buildings. That’s where they was at. Let me see. They had so much, like I said, I was a teenager, and teenagers don’t notice so much, but so much. But as I got older, by the time I got older, TRW and Warner and Swasey, all of them had moved out, you know, so they wasn’t there, but they were there in the thirties and the forties in the early fifties. So then we had recreation. When you was a teenager, we’d have pool halls in the neighborhood so we could go hang out in the pool hall. Pool hall, had three of ’em on 55th and Woodland, they had one on Central, they had another one, you know, they had them all around. So you 17, 18, 19, you hung out in the pool hall, but they didn’t allow women in the pool hall. Cause women start trouble. [laughs] If you look right now at what they do, you don’t see too many now. That’s why you don’t see ‘em. But when I came up, that was the neighborhood place where you were 17, 18, you stay, shoot pool on Friday and Saturday nights. I tell my, when I was going with my wife, said, where you been? I said, Aw, I just been hanging around. Oh, you been in that pool hall. I see that chalk all over your fingers. [laughs] We’d be about 18, 19. We sittin’ up in the pool hall shooting pool, you know, because I didn’t hang out in bars. I didn’t drink nothing, so I didn’t do all that. That’s why a lot of bars- They had clubs all up on Euclid, too, Black clubs and White clubs for James Brown, Redd Foxx, all those entertainers came. B.B. King. They all came down on 55th-Woodland too where the clubs was at. But, see, I didn’t hang in them clubs. Basically, most of the time I was working, trying to earn. Cause, see, our parents didn’t give you no money back then, didn’t give you nothing. If you want it, you gotta go find your job, boy. So a lot of days, the kids down here went to school, didn’t have no money to buy lunches. Lunch wasn’t but 35 cents. You lucky if you had 35 cents. Now, the parents- My child gotta have this. My child- You didn’t have that. And all this different stuff for sports now. Drinks and body lifting and all like that. Those kids were really good in sports and didn’t do none of that. All they did, maybe one time a day, two times a day, but they were athletic. It didn’t take all what they got now. I remember when Jim Brown came to town. Jim Brown came around. I was 19. Jim Brown came around 19, I think ’59, came from Syracuse. We never forget him. Biggest man in town, Jim Brown. Biggest man.

Nick Downer [00:34:30] Did you get to meet him?

David Jolley [00:34:31] And I never get to meet him. No. Jim Brown. Poor man like me didn’t meet no Jim Brown. [laughs] No, I probably could have if I wanted to, but Jim Brown, he come to town and bought him a great big old Cadillac. You know, everybody knew when that Cadillac parked out there who it was, you know. Wasn’t too many people had Cadillacs and stuff. But preachers. Preacher might have had a Cadillac, but when Jim Brown had a Cadillac at 22, he came to the Browns. If Jim Brown got in trouble, Paul Brown all would call. That was the rest of it. Wasn’t nothing else said, you know. So Jim Brown’s biggest thing in town. Police didn’t hassle him like they do the players now. News didn’t hassle him like they do the players now. You didn’t do all like that. If they had a favorite athlete, they took care of them, see? So things were a lot different then. So, like I said, the biggest thing then was track meets. Wasn’t so much about high school was the biggest thing in basketball. But track meets, we used to have. We used to enjoy. They don’t have that. And we didn’t have too many baseball teams. We played baseball in the summer, but we didn’t have teams. Which they don’t have teams now, you know, which they should, but they don’t. They promote more basketball than baseball, you know, so. And then we didn’t have no televisions. Kids sit in front of TV 24 hours a day. We didn’t have TVs. We had radios.

Nick Downer [00:36:15] What kind of stuff you used to listen to on the radio?

David Jolley [00:36:21] Your parents was listen to the radio. You had to make- Basically we used to listen at the music. What they listen at now, 43, all like that? We used to- They had the rock and roll back then, 56 and stuff. When they had all the entertainment. Because you hear James Brown all that. Because a lot of stations didn’t broadcast Black music back then. They had Soul Train. We used to listen at. When Soul Train first came on, We seen Soul Train and all like that. Biggest thing you had then was channel three, five and eight. Back in the fifties and forties. That’s when the TVs first started coming out. The only thing you could watch then was I Love Lucy. [laughs] Lucy would come on, Milton Berle and all like them. All them old stars would come on. But you didn’t have but three channels. And parents didn’t allow you to sit in the house, what they would call looking in their face. You didn’t sit in the house. She point like that, you had to go out. Kids now, they run their parents out of the house. If parents had company, you would go out. They didn’t want you to hear every word they spoke. You didn’t- See, the kids got a lot more respect for their parents back then. Cause they wouldn’t let kids hear everything they said. And they wouldn’t do anything in front of the kids. That was the difference in the kids then. We didn’t disrespect our parents. If my aunt came over and I said, hello, Alice. She’d say, Young man, what’d you say? I said, oh, hello, Aunt Alice. Cause see, you got to give them that title. Uncle, Aunt, whatever it is. You had to put that title on it. Cause if she go back home and tell your father what you said, you had a tail-whipping coming. Or she might give you a tail-whipping before you leave. They, now they call it brutality. But the kids did respect their parents. They respect the older people. They didn’t fight older people at all. We could walk the street at night at 12, wouldn’t nobody touch you.

Nick Downer [00:38:43] As an adult?

David Jolley [00:38:44] As a child and an adult. You know, I used to stay down here on 19 and Woodland. I could walk down on 55th at 12:00 at night, all the way down Woodland. Wouldn’t nobody bother you. They might say something to you, but it wouldn’t bother you. But now you can’t hardly walk out the house. See, kids had respect. The parents demanded respect. But the government killed all that respect. They don’t allow the kids, parents to say nothing to the kids. They don’t allow the teachers to say nothing to the kids. The teachers had more authority than the parents when you was in school. You didn’t backtalk the teachers. You might say a few smart words, but basically, the teacher know who the smart word was. And the first thing they holler, see? You come up there, put your hand out, and you know. And you know what you had coming. So. Or if they send you down to the office, and most of the time you didn’t want to go to office, but if the teacher called your parents to come up to the school, you had a whipping coming. Now, come up there, your parents come up there and call the teacher a liar. The parents never would do that. These parents now will fight the teacher. My child don’t do- But you didn’t do. So that was the difference. Then we had more respect. We didn’t have nothing like the kids now. We didn’t have all these toys, all that stuff to play with. See, we had to go outside. I used to go in my room and draw. I used to draw pretty good. So I would sit in there and draw three or four hours a day and that didn’t bother me at all. We didn’t have no radios because the parents had the radio, and you might listen at it when baseball came on, sometimes. You might not. Everybody didn’t have TV because TV cost too much money. The average TV around $1,000, $800. Not many houses had TVs. So it wasn’t that. So the few houses did have TVs, we would all go down there to their house. That TV’s a big thing then. You might have half the neighborhood sitting in the house looking at TV. So that was, you know, so. But that was it. That’s about the biggest thing back then. Respect the kids had for the parents, the respect the kids had for the teachers. You know, if you was fighting outside of school and teachers come out, the fight stops. They have to change that situation nowadays. Give respect back to the teachers. Parents get the respect from the kids, and I bet you have a different area. These kids don’t care nothing about the parents now. You go over there right now and hit a child. Sh-, on the phone, call the police. Police come and arrest the parent. Well, how are you going to chastise your child if you don’t have some kind of authority? They have authority in prisons. You don’t see all that. They have authority in juvenile, you don’t see all that. Mention of juvenile, I used to work with juvenile too, detention home. I used to work out at the boys school out there on Green Road. I was a youth leader, they called them back then. I forgot all about I worked there. I was about 28 years old and, you know, and so, and they didn’t have women working in those places then, or boys, which they do have now. See, women done take over, mostly- I’m not saying women not doing a good job, but they done took over all the jobs that the men used to have. Men don’t have no more. So that’s why the problem come in again. You see women riding down the street on garbage trucks. Women didn’t ride no garbage trucks back then, ’cause they were women. They had respect for the- They wouldn’t see nobody on the truck. They didn’t drive garbage trucks back then. They didn’t work in the streets back then. The biggest thing women did back then was be mothers. Then they did day work. Now they would go to White people’s houses to do day work. Back in ’58, ’59, ’56, wasn’t too many women really working. So, around the house they watch their children. Now you look out, more women got jobs now than men. They’re not at home. And that’s like my daughters, them, my kids came up, my wife was home the first ten years. I don’t have- My kids mind just as good. I don’t have no trouble out of them, you know, like I said, my son a teacher, my daughter a teacher, and my other son in computers, all of them went to high school and finished. I made them give respect. I didn’t beat them or nothing, but I started off that way with them. They’re not drug addicts or nothing like that, own their own homes. Another thing I told them, like my daddy told me when I left home, when you move out, you’re on your own. That’s what I told mine. That’s what he told us. If you got down, he didn’t open the door back. You work your way out of it. That’s what he did. That’s what I did to my kids. My daughter, I can bring up her right now. She speaks at the high schools and stuff for kids to go to college. She speaks at church functions. You might see her down at the Palace ushering, volunteering. She works in the church and all like that. But the thing is, my kids don’t backtalk me. I don’t have no backtalk in the house. I run the house. See? My daddy, you didn’t backtalk him. He ran the house. Even my mother. When your father spoke, everybody listened. I don’t care if he was lying, his wife did not call him no lie in front of company. See, that was- That was different things then. You did not do that. Now the wife will go there. You might go and say you lying, what you said it for? You wouldn’t do that then. You would not chastise your husband front of other people. Cause you know why you wouldn’t do it? He would reach over his hand and knock her across the floor. So she gave him the respect. Now, when she’s talking, he listened, too. Every now and then, you know, parents do have their ups and downs, don’t get me wrong. But she would not make him look bad in front of other folks. She might tell him once they go out the door, he was lying. But she would not do that. That’s what I mean. This is what I’m talking about respect. The kids gave you respect. Your wives gave you respect. That was the all difference.

Nick Downer [00:45:50] All right. I have to go to class in a minute, and I think we’ve covered all the questions. You’ve been very helpful, I think, so I don’t know, I guess, do you have anything to add, Clea?

Clea Newman [00:45:58] I don’t think I do. I’m sorry.

David Jolley [00:46:03] So that’s the difference in it. But like I said, they had all kind of jobs then. You didn’t have to worry about no job if you wasn’t lazy. It wasn’t a problem like it is now.

Nick Downer [00:46:12] All right, well, I think we’re gonna. We’ll end there at 12:30, Tuesday, April 2nd.

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