Accessibility Navigation:

Interview with Peggy Scoggin Holland, Part 1

Holland, Peggy Scoggin
Griffin, Ruth Faye
Date of Interview: 
Holland, Peggy Scoggin, 1957-; Scoggin, Robert E., 1922-2003; Ku Klux Klan (1915- ); United Klans of America; Committee on Un-American Activities; Race relations; Race discrimination; Women of the Ku Klux Klan; White supremacy movements; South Carolina--Spartanburg; Georgia--Stone Mountain; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
Peggy Scoggin Holland recalls memories of her father, Robert E. Scoggin, particularly in reference to his role as a member and grand dragon of the United Klans of America in South Carolina. Holland describes her childhood perspective of Klan rallies as social events involving whole families, and emphasizes her father's strengths as a leader, spokesperson, and organizer. Holland expresses her belief that the Ku Klux Klan has been misrepresented by the media, and stresses the libertarian aspects of her father's goals.
South Carolina--Spartanburg; circa. 1960 – 2004
Interview Setting: 
Mrs. Holland's Home, North Carolina--Concord
Oral History, KKK in the Carolinas
Collection Description: 
Ruth Faye Griffin researched primary documents of the Klu Klux Klan that had once belonged to Robert E. Scoggin, and she interviewed some of his children about their memories of Robert E. Scoggin.
Interview Audio: 

RG: Testing one, two, three. Testing one, two, three. There you go. Helps when you turn the mic on.
PH: Yeah.
RG: [laughs] Alright let me start off. My name is Ruth Faye Griffin. I am undergraduate intern at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte working with Special Collections in the J. Murrey Atkins Library. Today is November 5, 2004. I will be interviewing Mrs. Peggy Holland, the daughter of Robert Scoggin. Hi Peggy.
PH: Hey Faye.
RG: Hey. Just for the record could you state your name?
PH: Peggy Scoggin Holland.
RG: OK. And when and where were you born?
PH: Was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina. August 3rd, 1957.
RG: Ok. And your parents' names?
PH: Robert (Ekels) Scoggin and (Pecolier) Scoggin.
RG: Ok. And what were their main occupations growing up, when you were growing up?
PH: When I was growing up my mom was just a mom, housewife, et cetera. And my dad was plumber, and electrician, and the grand dragon of the UKA, United Klans of America for South Carolina.
RG: OK. And how many siblings do you have?
PH: Eight. Yeah -- seven, excuse me.
RG: What are their names?
PH: Robert, Guy, John, Mike, Selwyn, Tim, and James.
RG: OK. Out of curiosity, what are their occupations? What do they do for a living now?
PH: Uh. The oldest one, Robert, has passed away. My brother Guy works for a commercial developer.
PH: Building, acquiring properties for commercial development. He works with my brother Tim doing that. My brother Michael is a civil engineer in Spartanburg. And one of the youngest that there, that there's ever been.
PH: And my brother John is parts manager at a auto dealership in Mooresville, North Carolina. And my brother Selwyn, he owns a heat and air company, and he's a master electrician as well. And, I think that's it.
RG: OK. What do you, what do you do now?
PH: I'm the managing principal of a mortgage broker.
RG: OK. You married, have kids?
PH: Yes.
RG: Going back, going back now to your family. What were the living conditions of the family growing up? Like where did you grow up, what kind of environment?
PH: I grew up in what would be -- I guess it would equate to like what you call a mill, a mill village, a mill hill, of whatever -- kind of like Canon Mills. Neighborhood has gone down significantly now. But when I grew up it was it was just fine. And a very comfortable house. Not a very elaborate house as far as furnishings and things. I hesitate to say I grew up poor, I didn't. I had every thing I needed, just didn't have all--
RG: All the wants.
PH: All the wants and desires. But, just a clean, just a clean, just a clean neighborhood with a lot of mill houses in it. And everybody knew everybody. My grandfather lived across the street. And all my aunts and uncles -- this is on my mother's side -- lived within a block of us.
PH: So we knew everybody.
RG: Close-knit family.
PH: Very close-knit.
RG: Your dad, Robert, was -- there's a quote I found that says that he was an intelligent man. Says he would have made a good salesman or professional organizer. What, what do you remember of his personality?
PH: Extroverted, friendly, very humorous, [pause] very charismatic, a lot of charisma. Extremely good looking, so that helped too I'm sure.
RG: How did your father, aside from the plumbing business, how did he become involved in the Klan?
PH: Well he was already involved when I was born so it was a question that I had to ask him. And he said when he got back from World War II, he was not happy with the condition his country was in. And he felt compelled to do something about it.
RG: So he wanted to, to make things better?
PH: Yes, he did.
RG: How did he go from just being an average member as, as there were many average members. How did he go from being just another member to getting to be grand dragon?
PH: He did that in a short time too by the way.
RG: He did it very quickly.
PH: Very quickly. I asked him that question too and he said that the people voted him in. As I said he's extremely intelligent, professional organizer, great salesman, charismatic, good looking, just a great personality that people would just, would just cling to.
RG: They identified?
PH: They identified with him, yeah.
RG: There's one picture of one of your siblings where him and your dad are at a rally and your dad is getting him dressed and all this, getting ready for the rally. What, what are your memories of this? Like getting ready for rallies, and getting ready for things? Or that you remember stories your siblings tell you?
PH: I don't know. My siblings and I don't, we don't have a lot of conversations about that in particular. But I remember, actually getting ready for rallies and etcetera. It was fun. You got to go somewhere, anywhere but home. And it was just fun. And I think, I had my first little outfit when I was a little over a year old.
RG: So, it was a, a social, social event?
PH: Yes, it was a social event. Kind of like, I hate to say. I hesitate to say church. But kind of like a social.
RG: OK. Your dad, because of the Klan business, he was away from home, I imagine, a good bit of the time.
PH: Yes.
RG: What was life like while he was away on business?
PH: Hum, a little more relaxed maybe. I had a very, a very strong mother but not overbearing or authoritative. She was just, she was just a great mom. And probably a little more relaxed just like it is, "Oh everybody better straighten up because dad's home." So, I don't know. It was just fine.
RG: What was your mom's role as far as being his wife, I guess? Did she get involved in the organization?
PH: Yes, yes. She did. She would speak at rallies. She had her own, I guess, uniform, outfit, or whatever. Museum of the New South has that. But yes she participated.
RG: Did the family go with Robert even when he did travel?
PH: Actually yeah. I'd say the younger siblings did, the older ones didn't. I went basically – well, I had fun while I was there. But I went basically because I had to. I mean, I was the only girl out of seven boys; couldn't afford a babysitter, so what you going to do?
RG: Yeah.
PH: So.
RG: What activities, hobbies did you get involved in as a kid? [pause]
PH: Not very many actually. Played the piano some, sang at church, that's about it. [long pause]
RG: What was your [pause] mom's impression of how involved your dad was with Klan? I know, I know some wives today, they get frustrated when their husbands are constantly gone, constantly on the move. So I didn't know how she felt.
PH: Sometimes good, and sometimes bad. Because, in actuality when we were smaller and he was gone our lives just continued. There was no big deal. She did everything she could do to keep it normal or whatever. So we still went to school each day and all that kind of stuff. But I think, I think she was kind of maybe tired of it, of him being gone so much. And probably because they actually met at our house a lot too, so she was probably tired of all the in and out, the coming and going and stuff like that. But although – I mean, she loved it too.
RG: Yeah. But it also means having to keep up the house.
PH: Yeah. She was hard-working woman. She cooked 24 hours a day, just about, so.
RG: What was your mom's opinion later in life about how the government treated Robert?
PH: She didn't think that was fair. She didn't think it was right. She felt like he was being persecuted, singled out, that kind of stuff. And of course, that, them singling him out and persecuting him and stuff like that, of course that only made the whole unit grow stronger. Yeah, yeah she was not happy, not happy with that.
RG: OK. [clears throat] As a child, what -- you stated that you'd often go to the rallies and stuff with your family.
PH: Uh-huh.
RG: What were the rallies like? You said they were, not really like church, but it was like a social gathering. What's the kind of order of things that you remember?
PH: OK. Well now, I honestly had fun. I mean I didn't know no better. It was just, I knew everybody there, everybody knew me, and just had fun. They would -- I know they would start like preparing the cross and the torches and all that at least a week in advance. And I remember he always drove the station wagon. And I remember loading that station wagon up with, I don't see how you could just put a toothpick in it when he was finished. It, it had the speakers and the PA system, and all that stuff. And off we would go and it would start out, it was always. Not, almost always on the back of a flatbed truck, almost always. And of course it was always in the open, always in a field of some kind, of, of cow pasture where you'd better watch where you step [laughter] at a rally for sure. [clears throat] But it'd always start with, I don't know, singers and sometimes they would have guest speakers, speakers from local churches even, other grand dragons. They'd even have speakers from certain levels of government that were on their side. And my mom would speak sometimes, not that often. We had a lady singing "The Old Rugged Cross" that could not sing, it sounded like a cat in a bag. It was horrible. A lot of music. It was like a big, big picnic too. They had their little concession stand going on with hotdogs and hamburgers, and hot chocolate and it always amazed me, no matter--, in that no matter where it was held the lot, or the pasture, or whatever was packed. Most people would sit in their cars. Some of them would get out and mill around. And spread a blanket and sit right in front of the platform or whatever. I mean and that was it, and then they would light the cross.
RG: What -- is there anything specifically that stands out in your memory of a rally? Anything that just -- I don't know, you know how when, when you see something and you go --
PH: Cross lighting ceremony.
RG: I need to remember this.
PH: Cross lighting ceremony.
RG: Cross lighting.
PH: Uh-hum.
RG: What are -- I mean, what emotions does it kind of bring up?
PH: Nostalgia now. I mean, you know it's like a -- I don't know. Emotions? Kind of just reminds me of how much I miss him. And exactly the sacrifice that he made for what he thought was right.
RG: OK. How did -- because I know at least within South Carolina and other groups, the group as a whole began to splinter off. And I know there were many quotes where Robert and other leaders were watching out for spies from other groups and they were.
PH: Yeah.
RG: There were a lot of tensions. How did, how did your dad feel about this?
PH: That, actually that started around the same time the FBI started hammering them. And the House Un-American Activities people got involved, is when all that really started happening. I can. Dad kept a close watch on his organization best he could. But I mean, I don't know -- like I say, I was probably 11, 12, 13 years old at that time. And that just wasn't a heavy thing on my mind. I do know that a lot of members had maybe treated him unfairly. But there's probably a lot of jealousy over him and, and that sort of thing.
RG: OK. I know we talked once before about the different images people get of the Klan.
PH: Yeah.
RG: Would you say that there is a -- even back then and even today, a difference between the say the low, down south regions and say North and South Carolina? Like, just--?
PH: Seems to me like, and this is just--
RG: Stereotypical ideas.
PH: Seems to me like just from what I have, just from things I have read. Now I have met other grand dragons too, but I don't ever remember meeting anybody from like Mississippi. ‘Course I met Bob Shelton, several times. But I don't. It just seems like in the deeper regions of the South it was a lot more violent, or they could not, maybe the leadership in those areas wasn't strong enough to curve that violence, or maybe the leadership kind of turned their back, or maybe even egged it on. I don't know. But I know as far as South Carolina is concerned -- North Carolina too I think, you just didn't have that kind of stuff. They didn't blow up churches and stuff, that wasn't going to happen. My dad kept a really keen watch on that.
RG: OK. Later -- later on your dad was placed in jail for several months --
PH: Nine months.
RG: Due to the Un-American Committee.
PH: Yeah.
RG: When you read the documents, he stands his ground. What was life like while he was gone, and what was it like when he came home?
PH: Tough. Very tough because during that time if you read the documents too, during that time they -- he had a Navy disability. Or he got, I don't know, wasn't a full disability. He had gotten eight, like eighty percent disabled. So, he had disability and he couldn't do his plumbing/electrician work because he was in jail. And we had gotten outside help and, et cetera. It was tough, it was, I mean it was just tough. And then it was very tough when he came back home too because we had, I guess we had just kind of grown used to without him. Used to being without him. And you got to keep in mind that I was, I'm the only girl out of seven boys so you know where I stood with Robert. I mean, I was the apple of his eye. And they'll all tell you that. So, I think it was a little more difficult on me than it was rest of them.
PH: Yeah, I can remember laying in bed at night just crying my eyes out, "I want my daddy, I want my daddy, I want my daddy!"
RG: But he couldn't come home?
PH: But he couldn't come home.
RG: Did he ever talk about his war years, his years in the navy?
PH: Oh no!
RG: No?
PH: No, no! He talked to me about that one time, a couple months before he died. But even, even when asked. And that was with anybody. He never bragged about his service, he never, no. But yeah, he talked with me about that one time. [clears throat]
RG: What was the relationship between Robert and the other leaders of the groups, like Shelton and others?
PH: Really don't know. Because I overheard a lot of conversations. I think they had a lot of respect for each other up until the time the FBI started hammering at them. And I think they had a lot of respect for each other, respect for each others territory, and stuff. And I know at one time Bob Shelton and my dad were like extremely good friends. I don't know what happened with that. And they would, I guess it was fine. They would come in and out. He had a stronger relationship with some than he did with the others. He particularly liked some better than the others. So, I guess it was fine.
RG: You stated that your dad kept a pretty good tight watch on things in South Carolina just to make sure that nobody really got out of hand.
PH: Out of hand, right.
RG: Though of course you always have the people who don't always fall in line.
PH: Oh yeah! [laughter]
RG: Do you, you remember anything? I know there some instances specifically in Wagner that went on by some of those who didn't fall in line.
PH: Yeah.
RG: What do you remember of that?
PH: All I remember, I remember a lot of shouting matches either in the living room or on the telephone. He wasn't, Robert wasn't ashamed to curse either. I mean, he would just tell them, "now damn it, this is, we're not -- this is not going to happen, and if you do we're going to get --" So, if he caught you, you were banished. But the bad thing about it is, if you were banished from this Klan, from the UKA, because Klan had never been copyrighted or anything like that, they could just open up a new Ku Klux Klan in their own home or whatever and just start a brand new thing. And that's, that's one reason why you couldn't control it. So, and then you had the UKA, and then the Confederate Knights, and all kinds of stuff that were total separate organizations. And somebody gets disgruntled and just go open their own, but Robert stood his ground on the fact that he was just not going to put up with that. It just wasn't going to happen in his world. It just was not going to happen.
RG: So there was a definite difference that people sometimes today don't understand between the different groups and between the different levels.
PH: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
RG: OK. What was your impression, and I don't know if they were at the Klan rallies for South Carolina, but I know in many areas they would have bodyguards that were nearby. Do you remember there ever being any of them around?
PH: Oh yeah! Yeah.
RG: Were they kind of your down to earth kind of people? Or were they--
PH: [long sigh]
RG: More reserved and frightening?
PH: And that was I think, I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I think that was -- if you were, if you were a Ku Klucker that was the prize, to be the security guard. And they also had what you'd call nightriders. I don't know why they called them that. But they would walk in between -- they would walk around and hang out in like the corners of the cornfields or whatever just to maybe overhear what people were saying and make sure there was not any violence or anything like that. But yeah, there were security guards and that was the prize. If you were a security guard, you'd made it.
RG: So they were there to protect the group as a whole?
PH: The group as a whole basically, yeah, and of course the speakers and the guests, and et cetera that were there for that too.
RG: OK. [pause] One newspaper article, I think from the Charlotte Observer --
PH: Charlotte Disturber?
RG: [laughter] Yeah. Is entitled "KKK Contributes to Civic Charities." Now today, not many
people would think Klu Klux Klan and put it together with civic charity.
PH: That's because people like -- well not people like, but outfits like the Charlotte Disturber and all that never told the story accurately. Yeah. Sure they would, sure they would. And actually a lot of families that they did help were black.
RG: Really?
PH: Yes. They sure were, were black. And a couple of -- a couple months before my dad died he had bought a bunch of flowers and everything and took them down to an older black lady's house who he was friends with and got in the yard and help her plant them.
PH: So, yeah.
RG: Well, that definitely contradicts what most people think.
PH: Uh-huh. Yeah. I think, I think we have a picture of it. I'll see if I can find it for you. But, yeah, he said, "She keeps her yard really nice and I'm going to buy her some flowers." And he did.
RG: OK. The Klan, in reading, often had their own chaplain and I noticed that many of the letters were written "Yours for God and Country". And I guess this kind of comes back to the contradiction you just stated, is that most people view the Klan as being a hater group. But when you read the letters or whatnot, they really, like we stated about your dad, they just wanted a better place.
PH: Yeah, yeah they did. And a better place to them of course was desegregation and less government involvement, you know. Things like that.
RG: So they really, they just wanted individualism, localism.
PH: Right.
PH: Yeah. Nothing to do with liberalism, socialism, none of that kind of stuff, you know. LBJ was Satan himself.
RG: [laughs] What were the viewpoints of LBJ? I know he was not well liked.
PH: LBJ, Hubert Humphrey, and Kennedy both. All three I say, I think used Robert used to call LBJ "Beekie Buzzard". He just couldn't, he despised him. Called him a damn liar on national TV. Wasn't too long after that, that's when the House started investigating him. I know when he said that he messed up.
RG: Here it comes.
PH: Here it comes. You have just done it now. You don't get on national TV and call the president a damn liar. [laughs]
RG: Even the opposing political party doesn't do that.
PH: No, I don't think so.
RG: What was -- was the Klan ever concerned with maybe critical literature at the time? I don't know if you'd remember this but there was, there was one book called "The KKK" written by Benjamin Hass by Tower Publishing. And apparently it created a pretty good size stir.
PH: Yes. And I have, I don't remember that book in particular, but I've been down to my public library and I've read everything in the public library I can on the Ku Klux Klan and I've read what is it, Craig Winn's book and Patsy whatever's book. And I would read those, and me and Robert would sit here and talk about them.
RG: Um-hum.
PH: And none of them were the total truth, let's just put it that way. They were all written from a negative point of view, not a realistic point of view.
PH: You know – just, they weren't.
RG: What was the, the importance of, and I hope I pronounce this right, Pulaski? You ever heard of that town?
PH: Pulaski?
RG: Maybe I'm pronouncing it wrong?
PH: Pulaski! Pulaski, Tennessee. Pulaski, Tennessee is where the first Klan originated. You know, Nathan Bedford Forrest and all those peoples started it there.-
RG: Did you--
PH: Actually I think it was started by five, I think five attorneys after the Civil War and decided they didn't have anything to do. It wasn't supposed to be political at that time. It was suppose to be a sorority of some sort like a Phi Beta Kappa or something, you know. It was just a, a think tank for different, different things. And then the reconstruction started and they, I guess they felt like that was the only recourse they had. Because they had to do something. And they had to do something secretly.
RG: Did you and your family ever take a trip that way to see the town or?
PH: I think my dad's been a couple of times. I've never been.
RG: [pause] I know in the documents that, one place along with the name of that town, one place that kept coming up, kept coming up was Stone Mountain.
PH: Yeah. Stone Mountain, Georgia. I guess James Venable had his own Ku Klux Klan -- National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan or something, I think I'm right. Now him and Robert they had, they had a good relationship too. Stone Mountain, Georgia was -- the rebirth of the Klan back in the 20s actually started at Stone Mountain, Georgia. And they had an annual, even all the different groups and everything had an annual get together every year at Stone Mountain. And it didn't matter if you were UKA, National, whatever, none of that. You were welcome at Stone Mountain.
PH: And my understanding is when Mr. Venable died -- and he had actually left it in his will that the Ku Klux Klan could use Stone Mountain, Georgia as long as they wanted and anytime they wanted. And the federal government got involved and said, "I don't think so."
RG: So would you say that --
PH: But I mean Stone Mountain since been sold too.
RG: Sold since then. So would you say that Stone Mountain I guess a neutral ground for everybody to, to come to?
PH: Yes, yeah. I would.
RG: How did your dad feel about the group later on his life? After he was out and I guess kind of watching it?
PH: I'm sure he was sad when he came back out to find that everything that he had worked so hard to put together had broken up, splintered up, come apart. I'm sure he was sad at that. He tried really hard to regain some semblance of control. But I don't think they ever, they never did get it all back together again. But, he loved -- he absolutely loved his Ku Klux Klan. And he did till the day he died.
RG: How did he feel later in his life. You know he had worked so hard to make a better America. And I guess as he watched the other civil, civil leaders and everything going on. How did he feel? I mean, was it like watching a dream die, or did he feel that things might get better?
PH: Watching a dream die. Yeah, I think he, he was saddened. And he honestly, wither you agree with him or don't agree with him. And I don't agree with him totally. But he honestly thought that he was doing the right thing. And he was extremely passionate about it. And I mean, I have literally seen him just cry and cry and cry at the shape his country was in. So, I, I'm sure watching a dream die a very--, not disheartened. Discouraged, bitter, that things had gotten so far. Hated Bill Clinton worse then he did LBJ. Just, you know. Oh, literally could not stand that man.
RG: Going back a little bit. Did you ever get to attend a wedding at a rally?
PH: Yeah.
PH: Can't remember, I can't remember who. I just remember the wedding, and I remember them and their little Ku Klucking uniforms and her in her 1950 hairdo. And [laughs], yeah, it was just sweet. It was just a strange way to get married, but.
RG: When your dad I guess finally just, came out of the group or whatever. What was his reaction? I know you said he, he had had an office and he locked -- well not locked, but pretty much left everything in there and never really went back in since 1982.
PH: I think -- well, what had happened in the 80s is his health started failing and he had actually fell down and busted his hip, and et cetera. And he couldn't physically get up there, so he just locked it down. And if he couldn't go up there, wasn't anyone else going up there either. So, you know, I don't know. He still, I think, I'm pretty sure up until the day he died he still remained -- he still had KKK contacts, and they still used him as maybe a consultant or whatever.
RG: Advisor?
PH: Advisor. For many, many, many years after that. I know he had a. I had asked him specifically one time. And he said "well they want me to come speak." But I, he had congestive heart failure, he said "I can't speak because I can't breathe." So.
RG: So he really, ‘till the end, still had a passion.
PH: ‘Till the end, yes he did.
RG: What is life like now for you and your family? [pause] I mean --
PH: I guess kind of the same. Just maybe a void there. I mean we didn't, we were all closer to our mother for obvious reasons. We, because he was gone a lot. We were all closer to our mom.
We all miss it. It's just, you know, it's just a void there. But we didn't see each other that often, really, up until maybe the last couple of years. And he would drive up here like every other weekend. To see us. But he wasn't around that much growing up so it's just a void.
RG: What are people's perceptions I guess--? Not, not everyone knows who Robert Scoggin is.
PH: Uh-hum.
RG: So I didn't know if you know when you have a conversation with someone and say, you know, family history that kind of thing comes up.
PH: Yeah.
RG: Do you find that some people are just ignorant, have no idea or --
PH: Yeah.
RG: Or if they do know, do they maybe treat you differently or --
PH: Oh, me personally?
RG: Or even your family? I know you said one of your kids had had done a report and the teacher didn't smile favorably on it.
PH: No, I mean, I tell -- as far as history is concerned, I tell all of my children. I say, "You go to school and you learn history and then you come home and I'll teach you right." [laughs] We'll do history the right way.
RG: I guess all parents have to do that. [laughs]
PH: Yeah. "I'm going to reteach you." [laughs] But as far as, actually in my adult life no body had actually knew that until after he died. They knew it was, it was fun and funny, because it was all a shock. They were like "No!", "Oh man!" And it -- yeah, they come unglued, they thought that was just wonderful.
RG: [laughs] What do you feel your dad's, I guess, greatest legacy or impact is on your family?
PH: [pause] Hmm. I can't answer that one in one word or less.
RG: That's OK.
PH: The things he left us. Survival of the fittest maybe, never give up, never quit, winners never quit; quitters never win, stand your ground no matter what the cost, find out what you believe, where you stand, and stand there. It just, we don't sell out, or he didn't. Maintain a positive attitude.
RG: Did he have any favorite sayings that kind of -- you know when you're going about your day?
PH: Winners never quit, quitters never win. [laughs]
RG: Don't give up. [laughs]
PH: Winners never quit, quitters never win. Well that was one, and there were others, clichés and different things that he couldn't -- I can't remember them all. I know when he wanted you to do something and -- instead of -- you do that right now. "You do that right now." We would just crack up at that. It was so funny.
RG: [laughs]
PH: "You do that right now!" [pause]
RG: What do you hope now for your family? And I guess kind of the memory of your dad. I know there's -- everything written on him is in such a negative light.
PH: I know, and I hate that, I really do. I hate that.
RG: What's your ( ).
PH: I don't think it's fair to him, I don't think it's right. [coughs] And just because I guess the other legacy is too he also taught me to think. I don't believe everything I hear, I don't believe everything I read, I don't believe -- you know sometimes I don't believe everything see for that matter. But he taught me: think, research, dig it out figure it out. I would have -- I hate for people to think of him as some kind of maybe under-educated, country bumpkin, tobacco-chewing, running out both sides of his mouth, overall-wearing redneck.
RG: Yeah.
PH: Because see, that was just not his personality at all.
RG: That's how the, I guess you could argue, the government tried to make him look.
PH: Well, yeah. Yeah, they tried to portray him that way. They tried to portray him as ignorant too. Very well read. And actually his entire family for that matter, extremely well educated people. Not a stupid one in the lot. [cough] He always wore a suit, he always dressed nice. I never even seen the man in a pair of blue jeans, corduroys, khakis, shorts, nothing like that. Always, always presented himself well, could talk intelligently to any group of people anywhere, anytime, about anything. And that actually shocked me. Still does, the fact that he could be at home in the garden with some old country bumpkin or, you know, you could put him in front of the House of Un-American Activities and he could stand his ground there too. He was -- certainly not stupid. Was not evil either. Was not mean, was not evil. He just believed what he believed and what he believed he thought was right. So. I've got some old speeches of his.
RG: Really?
PH: Yeah. And I've got some people mailing me some more so I can get them to you and Robin.
RG: Good, good. Well, is there anything else you'd like to add? Anything that pops to your mind?
PH: Umm. No.
PH: I don't think so. [pause] Yeah, other than, other than the fact that I don't
Think -- of course, I don't think they do it to any public figure either. But, none of the, none of the media or anything has told it accurately, lets put it that way.
PH: So.
RG: Well, thank you for your time.
PH: You're welcome.
RG: Alright.