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Interview with Reby Cary [02/27/2007]

James Yeh:

Today's date is February 27, 2007; we are interviewing Mr. Reby Cary. Mr. Cary was born September 9th 1920. My name is James Yeh; I'm with Congressman Burgess's Texas 26 district office. We are interviewing Mr. Cary because he was commended with the Congressional Veterans Commendation from 2005. Also present is Robin Vaughn, the district administrator for the district office. Mr. Cary served in World War two as a member of the Coast Guard and he was a first class radioman. He served in the Pacific. Mr. Cary what is your age?

Reby Cary:

I'm 86 at this day.

James Yeh:

Where were you born and raised?

Reby Cary:

Fort Worth Texas, right here, [address redacted].

James Yeh:

What was your family background?

Reby Cary:

Well my father was Reverend Smith Cary, and he, I grew here up in Fort Worth, he organized the, still the largest church Rising Star Baptist churches here in Fort Worth and he was the founder of it years ago, but I grew up in a religious family.

James Yeh:

And so your educational background...

Reby Cary:

Well I finished I. M. Terrell High School 1937,1 went to Prairie View in 194... I graduated Prairie View in 1941, 1942 I got into the masters program and then I, that's when I got into the service, but, then I did additional work at North Texas State University and Texas Christian University. I had all the requirements for a doctor but my dissertation.

James Yeh:

And so was your post graduate work after your service?

Reby Cary:

Well no, the master's degree, that was required before I went into the service, I had completed all the requirements of my master's degree in 1942, except my dissertation, but then I'll tell you now, I got drafted, and I did not want to go to the Army. Blacks that time, as now were discriminated against and I didn't want to go to Mississippi and Alabama, none of the those southern states were the black soldiers were treated so badly. Now, while I was in graduate school, and I had this draft, fella came there recruiting for the Coast Guard, and I heard what he said and the first they are gonna take blacks as the first apprentice seamen in the Coast Guard. Now let me say this, I always thought I was real smart, I said what if I go out in the coast, I won't have to go anywhere but here in the United States, but I didn't know at the time of war that the Coast Guard was no longer the Treasury Department, it was under the Navy, but anyway, I volunteered because I did not want to go to the Army and they took us in as apprentice seamen, okay. I had never been out of Texas in my life, so they sent us to Manhattan Beach and that really encouraged me to go because I had an opportunity to get out of Texas, so I went to Manhattan Beach for my boot camp and that's another story there, but, that's the way it started.

James Yeh:

huh-huh, so what is your current occupation?

Reby Cary:

I'm retired.

James Yeh:

umhum

Reby Cary:

Well, I still, maintain my real estate license.

James Yeh:

umhum, and you still live in Fort Worth?

Reby Cary:

Oh yeah, I guess my last thing was I was in the state legislature, for six years, after then I just retired really, huh-huh.

James Yeh:

So at the time of the war, were you in a relationship, married, or single?

Reby Cary:

No I was single then, now let me tell you ,there again, I was in Prairie View when the war was started, when the war started, I was doin' my masters program, and frankly when they said it bombed Pearl Harbor, I mean I'm a college grad, I didn't know where Pearl Harbor was, I had to go look it up, and so I went to Houston and white fella told me, he said well, "we have a ballot," and I says "no, we don't have one, you have a ballot"— because then again, I was a real victim of discrimination here in Texas, and I knew I wasn't wanted period, so I said no you goin', but then I got this draft card I had to go, so that's why, but anyway, I was in, in graduate school then and I had no relationship to anybody, else period.

James Yeh:

umhum, so you said that you were drafted and when...

Reby Cary:

but I had been drafted for the Army, because they were gonna draft me, so that's why I volunteered for the Cost Guard, okay.

James Yeh:

umhum, so what year did you go into the Coast Guard?

Reby Cary:

1942, and I, now let me say this as I was walking out of the (Brett Bemett?) building where we were sworn in, I heard a fella one day says "suckers," and I heard the, when I got out into the Pacific because I didn't realize then that I was really going to the Pacific, but as I told ya, I did not want to go to Florida, but guess what they did when I left Manhattan Beach, they sent me to Florida, sent me to Miami, the Navy wouldn't keep us there so they sent us to Key West Florida, and that's another long story, but that was because of the racial discrimination but so happens that I kept getting Coast Guard credit. President Truman recognized that hey, we need some equality and he, so when we got to Key West, had the captain of the port there, we ate with the Marines and they broke down all the discrimination, no whites wanted to eat with us, they couldn't eat, so that kinda broke it down so we had a little better time as far as the part of the Naval base but not the city, and so I wont take my story off of Florida, but it still was worse to me than Mississippi as far as racial relations, blacks were treated just like heathens, and so that had been my fight but you'll find out later on and I still fight that battle.

James Yeh:

umhum, so you said that in the actual, on the actual base, it was a little bit better?

Reby Cary:

Oh yes, yes in Key West.

James Yeh:

And that was primarily because they separated?

Reby Cary:

Well you see, at Key West you had all the soldiers, I mean, all the units, you had the Army, you had the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard all together in the same area and we ate with the Marine Corps, and the Marines were in charge and so those white soldiers, army fellas who didn't want to eat with us, they made them, they said well if you don't eat with these guys, that's it, and I have another instance when I, later on they sent me to Fort Lauderdale Florida, I was the.. .there were two blacks on the base, I was the second one, and when I got there... remember I was a (inaudible) seaman now, and they had a separate table for me, so I had my food brought to me, I was in style, and the whites was sittin' over, saying what is he doing sittin' over there? Well I'm going over there, and they came over, so that broke that down in Fort Lauderdale, but I'm just saying that there was a policy there that we just had problems with, and I didn't tell you this but one of the problems I had that you said you've seen with some of the books I've written, I volunteered and went to Manhattan Beach on a segregated train. I came back from the service from Louisiana when I was discharged on a segregated train, fought the war, but I still had to be on a, ride a in a separate coach, so that's been a problem that we've been fighting for years.

James Yeh:

So, after you volunteered to enlist in the Coast Guard, was Florida the first destination?

Reby Cary:

No, I went Manhattan Beach in New York.

James Yeh:

Manhattan Beach?

Reby Cary:

Yeah huh-huh, I did my boot camp there, and it was, it was, you could go almost anywhere there in New York, but, after the boot camp, then they sent us back to Florida. See there were about 12 of us in the group that I was in, the first black apprentice seamen's that you know, in the Coast Guard. Now what that means is you came out in Key West, one of the things that I always remember, chief came in wanting me to work in the kitchen, see, before the war, during the war in the Navy, that's all blacks could do, work in the kitchen, but as an apprentice seamen I didn't have to, and I refused to work in the kitchen. I told that chief, I said man I'm working on my Masters degree, I ain't gonna peel no potatoes and all that kind of stuff and I thought he was going to throw me in the brig, came back next morning, and said come here and handed me to the radio shack and so that's how I got into radio, came in the radio shack and said, told him, said, "treat him like the rest of them," and this was a chief from Georgia, and so that's how I got started, and then after a few months there in the, at Key West, they sent me to Atlantic City New Jersey to the radio, to the radio school, so that's how I had my training there at the radio school in New Jersey.

James Yeh:

So when you went to radio school, what was it like being an African American?

Reby Cary:

Well, I was the third black ever admitted to that school, and we were in Atlantic City, and I've always said that I wanted to be sure that I had to pass now, my background, I'm not, I wasn't too good in Math, in fact they had me, when I was taking Algebra, they'd be trying to find the unknown, I couldn't even find the known, there's nothin' unknown, but, I did extra study, because at that radio school, you had a test every week, and if you flunked they sent you back from where you came. So and I didn't want to be the first out of three, I was the third black in that school and I didn't want to be the first one to flunk, so I told 'em, said man I've got to make it, so I stuck, but anyway, I learned, I became, I'm not bragging now, but I was able to copy 20 words of code and 30, some 30 of plain language, and, but I tell youngsters all the time and what I used to brag about my ability to take that code, before I left the ship, USS Cambria, it was obsolete. So I tell my youngsters all the time okay well how much do you think you know now, that technology next week might be obsolete and don't even need you, and so that was the lesson I learned really from the Coast Guard period.

James Yeh:

You said that you didn't want to be the first African American to flunk...

Reby Cary:

To flunk out of school

James Yeh:

Not just that, but did you feel that you had to work extra hard?

Reby Cary:

Oh yeah, yes, oh yes my friends in the room, they were playing bridge and stuff, I was in there studying my little math I had to know, and of course it was based on code words, but I said there's certainly a lot of math and stuff we had to know, and so while they were in there playing, I had to study, because I was in a class with guys who were, who were from Harvard and Yale, I mean it was— you know that math was nothing to them, but I had to do a little extra study, and I tell people all the time that you know you might have studied harder than others, my grandson is a, is a, right now is a computer expert and I just learned how to turn mine on a few weeks ago, you know, so I have to rely on them, but I'm saying that technology changes so much, you can be in, you can be out of it.

James Yeh:

Beyond the work load, how did your peers receive you, was it more discrimination or did you have...

Reby Cary:

Oh no, oh I was, the group, I was welcomed. I mean, as far as I knew. I do recall that some of my roommates, there were four of us to the room, and we had a fella of Jewish descent, and they wouldn't associate with him, we'd go out on liberty, but they'd carry me, and I asked them man, you know what's going on here, but they used to like the Jewish fella, but they accepted me, I'll put it that way. I didn't, they didn't just come by and just say we didn't want you period, like some of you used to do, but my peers that you asked, yes, as far as I know they accepted me, umhum.

James Yeh:

So when, how long were you in the school?

Reby Cary:

In the school itself, 6 months.

James Yeh:

6 months

Reby Cary:

umhum

James Yeh:

And then after the 6 months

Reby Cary:

Then they sent me back to Florida, and that's... let me tell this part, they sent me to Florida, they sent me back to Miami and I don't mind saying, I got, I was on the elevator I had my little, stripe on with the radio sticker and a fella got on there, big guy and said, "Well I'll be doggone, a nigga radioman," and that just blew my mind, but I, he was just too big to argue with, so, but it was odd. A few weeks later, they didn't keep me there, they sent me to Key West, I mean Fort Lauderdale. I stayed in Fort Lauderdale a while. Then one day, I come from my own, they sent me up to what they call Banana River, with me now? Banana River, it was up the coast there, and one of the, when I got there the blacks who was (?stuart mason?) and all that, they said, "man you a radioman, they not gonna keep you," and no joke, they sent me back to Fort Lauderdale the next day because they, some how they didn't know that Reby Gary was a radio, and that was real odd, but there, that was one thing in my favor, I appreciated it 8 because you'd have to see Banana River, I tell all that junk and stuff, I didn't want to stay there anyway, but it was just the principle of the thing that, you can't be no radioman, so they sent me back to Fort Lauderdale, and I, I don't have the exact time, but stayed there for about six more months and, the professor, the lieutenant that was at Radio City in Atlantic City, came to Fort Lauderdale and he saw me, he said, you mean you are still, you are here? Few weeks later, I got my, got my own message to report to the U.S.S. Cambria in San Francisco California, and that's how I got aboard the Cambria. That, that was what, oh that was.. .way up there...

James Yeh:

At that point, what rank radioman were you?

Reby Cary:

At that time, I was second class, when I went to, I made second class. By the way, in Fort Lauderdale, the reason I made second class, something happened to the radar equipment, and I don't know what I did, and really, whatever I did, it, it, it worked, I cleared it up, and they promoted me, they thought I knew something about radar and stuff, but, and so I was a second class, and so when I went aboard ship, I went aboard ship as a second class radioman, but in a few weeks, I went up to first class.

James Yeh:

In just a short time?

Reby Cary:

Oh yeah, well, let me say this, I was in the radio division, and we did all kind of copying code and stuff, I think we was on our way, back to the, were going down to Guadalcanal to carry some troops back down I think, and that was a World Series or something, and a friend of mine, we just copied some plain language you know, scores and stuff that was goin' on, now we're out at sea, but we could copy mpm, it was Honolulu you know, and we, we can get all kinds of messages you know, so we typed this paper and print it and the captain saw it, and he told us to, "hey, you come by, that's all you people do," the two of us, and so we started publishing the paper for the ship crew, so right there baby you didn't have everything, so 9 and that, but one thing, so my stock just went up, you know, I just had to, I didn't have to stand on them long watches. I didn't have to do nothin' but copy that code and put that little paper out and that was it, so I made first class, and even when, the war was over, they offered me to go to officer training school, I had already been admitted, I didn't want to go to officer training school, I said, give me my money and let me go home, and, with all do respect, I just didn't want to be in the service, I, I just couldn't, you know, I, I learned a lot there which I understood, 'cause all the discipline that was going on I think all youngsters need that, cause I didn't worry about this and my mother was my disciplinary, so all that stuff they were talking about didn't matter, but I learned some disciplinary things in the Coast Guard that I think all youngsters should've had and that's what they need. They had us down there sometime crawling around picking up cigarettes on, on our knees, the guy made us do it, but that was part of the training to let you know hey, you do what we tell you to do, so I learned that and that's one reason I didn't want people telling me, when I got home, what time I had to get up and what I couldn't do, you know, so that's why I came out.

James Yeh:

So what was the climate like in terms of racial discrimination on the ship?

Reby Cary:

On the ship? Well on the ship we didn't have, you, well, as far as I was concerned, we didn't have any discrimination, now let me say this, because of my rank, the blacks who was stewards of the captain, we had the commodores on that, we had those big wigs, they, they looked out for me, in fact I didn't even have to eat in the main lunch room because the blacks who cooked for the commodore and the captain of the ship were my friends, so whatever the captain ate I ate too. Yeah, they took care of me, so I didn't have to go with all that stuff and, but there again I got some pictures of some of the guys and I forgot some of their names, but they looked out for me all the time because of my rank, and there again, they didn't have any 10 other black radioman on that ship but me, that's the only one, and, but you don't know me, I told the captain one day we had all these drills and things, had certain boats, I told him, I said, if we get attacked, but at first, (inaudible) is mine, I don't care what, you stay here, I'm goin' and that was the rule they had, you know the captain and the radiomen stay on the ship. Uh uh, I'm going, but that was just me, but anyway, that was a real good experience, and the crew, was real good to us, the captain was real good, I mean I, I had no real problems on that ship ever, you know, racial problems.

James Yeh:

During the war, were you just stationed in the Pacific front?

Reby Cary:

In the Pacific?

James Yeh:

urn hum

Reby Cary:

Yeah, but except the training I had in Atlantic City and, but I, no other, no other, now we went down to Guadalcanal you know, to pick up troops, and we'd go back, see our ship was the first one that went back to the (Mary Adams?), we went at the battle of Saipan, and, we, well that's a long story but that was the first battle that that ship was in that I was on, and then Tinian was right across from Saipan, and we took that, then it made a (Lusan?) and I mean all of those, and there again, that, we were there on D-Day, and I can drop it in later on through. We were there D-Day. We had a corn-task force and uh, that was just, I was a com-task force 38 or 50 or whatever, whatever, and that was, that was where it was. So we went up and down the Pacific all the time, but there was, everything, I never went over to Europe or anything umhmm.

James Yeh:

Um hmm, so you said you were at the battle of Saipan?

Reby Cary:

Saipan, yeah um hmm.

James Yeh:

And, how did you feel about those times where you actually...

Reby Cary:

Well now, let me tell ya, that's a different ball game when them bombs start fallin' and goin' on, it's, it's just a ball game. Saipan, one thing that bothered me a little bit, we lost, well the Marines that we, that were hittin' the beach on the LST's and LCI's, they were being picked off like mad, and, and my ship, they even had body floating by our ship, you couldn't even get 'em out, I mean it was somethin' on that first day of Saipan, and we got ready to send a message back to MPM which was Honolulu, where we communicated, and the captain had me sending this message, and he said "few casualties." Well, I said, "few?" I said man, I said captain? He said you do what I tell you. I learned again, get back in your place buddy, but I thought it was very strange, that we had all those Marines, bodies floating up around and they talkin' about few casualties. Now, and then from then on everyone we had, you always had large casualties of, of Marines. I've got a picture where we even, once we got on our way, person died aboard ship, we had a ceremony, it was, dump it, you know, well I'll say don't dump it, push him over board, and that was the thing that always kind of made me conscious of you might go in there too buddy. But let me say this, because you know I told you my father--1 have been a Christian my whole life, but this Chaplin we had, let me say this, when we would leave Sai..., when we left Honolulu, we left Honolulu goin' to Saipan, and as you go into, get close to D-Day, we had, they had mass all the time, everyday, and when we first started taking it, just be a few us, but the closer we'd get to the port, you couldn't, you could hardly get there, but this, this Chaplain always talked about that "thousands shall fall at thy right at this, at the right hand, whatever the scripture is, and "but harm shall I come not you," and I said this, I made those five, the five invasions in all on D-Day and Lord brought me back, and I, hey, I, I so I said well, I heard what you were saying friend, so but, there are some, and I don't think we had 1 or 2 casualties on the whole ship, out of the who crew, so we, we were in pretty good shape.

James Yeh:

So, you know, you had a pretty strong head about you know, the type of conflict and the type of wars you saw right, how did others around you react?

Reby Cary:

Well they had some of the same feelings I think, they were really afraid, well I was, well let me say that, the worst battle that I thought we had was at Okinawa, it, we were in storms and, storms and everything not only but I mean rain and wind, but we had bombs falling all around us, and, it was real bad there, ships all around us gettin' hit, and, so when I heard that message that they could take your stations, that means we're getting ready to move, that's when we started back to Honolulu, and I jumped up for joy because just to get out of that atmosphere, it's a different ball game when you all night, and the Japs all, most of the time would attack us at night, so you didn't have much time friend, you, they had stuff going on at the daytime but at night here they come. So you had to be, well, it just was part of it, and we, like I said, we, in the corn-task force, we had aircraft carriers all around us, but, you still, they were still gettin' hit some of them, but we were spared. That's the way it was, yeah.

James Yeh:

So to get a sense of the time frame on the ship, you, you got there, it was in San Francisco, and at some put went to Guadalcanal?

Reby Cary:

Huh-huh

James Yeh:

And then you went to Honolulu?

Reby Cary:

Hhuh-huh

James Yeh:

and then when did the ship go out to...

Reby Cary:

Well we went back, we came back to the United States, well, '45, well '45 just after I got discharged, um hmm, yep.

James Yeh:

Before that, prior to that, when did the ship go from Honolulu to Japan? 13

Reby Cary:

Well, I went aboard ship I think in 1944, believe it was '44, and that's when, whenever I got aboard and left, mm hmm.

James Yeh:

Did you, you said that there were two people on your whole ship that got killed, did you know them?

Reby Cary:

No, no uh-uh.

James Yeh:

How many people were on the ship?

Reby Cary:

Our crew, around six, six hundred, we had a six hundred member crew.

James Yeh:

What was your most memorable experience out of your entire time on the ship?

Reby Cary:

Well, beside all of the bombing and stuff, I, you know they used to tell us all the time, be sure to put your, your safety jacket on and, but we got that, "ah, wouldn't do it." One day, a, a little ship right next to us got hit. It was a munitions ship, boy they blew, and I came up, I said I slept way down below the, the (inaudible), I about three decks below, yeah we had a big ship, well you can see it, there it is over there, and we, when that bomb hit, I came up, and I hit my, I'll never forget, I hit my leg on, on the steps, but I never sto.., slowed up, and that was a (inaudible), it just kinda woke me up, and from then on, man we had on life jackets, everything on because you never knew what was, what's gonna happen to it, but just watching that, those Marines hit those beaches and things was, just blew my mind, and one day I did, got in one of those LCI's and they needed a radioman, but that's when I was, I was first class, I pulled my rank, after I got out there, I said uh-uh, I goin' back to this ship and so I went back and we sent a second class radioman out there, but it, it was just real good experience you know, but it's something that I think that we need to recognize right today. These people around here 14 talking about the servicemen and all that kind of stuff. They better be glad because if it's not for them, we out of it, yeah.

James Yeh:

So that kind of gives some indication, but how did you actually feel about the war, you know before you went in?

Reby Cary:

Well, the war, let me say this, I'm, I'm, let me tell, I still had a problem, and one day I asked myself, said what am I doing at, now discrimination I grew in, see I grew up in Fort Worth, and, and I was, that stayed with me, and I said why in the devil am I doin' out here fighting for something and I had to come out here on a segregated train white folks didn't want me (inaudible) anyway, so why would I be out here fighting? Well, I had no answer really, and that's when, and one day, a little fella made some kind of remark and I won't get on that one, but I, I pulled my, had my little dagger and I was almost started to cut his head off, because he made some remark about us you know, and I'm out there on the ship, but from then on we had no, they had no more trouble, the guy said, "oh (inaudible) man,' because we, but I, my problem was that here, what am I doing out here, and the country that, where I live, the city I live, we, we can't even go in a restaurant, and that's, that's the problem. Now, I, I've written all, I've got 3 or 4 books over there you're gonna see but, and I talk about that continuously, that this country, that here in Texas, blacks couldn't even vote in the Democratic primary until 1945 when I came out of the service, wouldn't let us vote, and, and, so I, I just had a problem, and, and yet I understood that even though there are problems here, I'm here in the United States, whether they like it or not, when that bomb fall, they gonna say well we (?gonna fall?) on black__+ here lets go, everybody go, so that was, but I still think that the racial climate was my problem, from beginning and the end. Did I tell you I came, when I came from New Orleans I was, where I was discharged, in Lake Pontchartrain down there, had to come back on a segregated train, and here I 15 had just fought a war and yet they said well you blacks, you had to, you can't ride, you have to get right up over here, and, and that's a problem, now I understand that there are some remnants of it still in the service, but I don't know, I don't think it's as profound as it was during World War 2.1 think a lot of things have, might have changed since then.

James Yeh:

So it seems like, you know, at certain points you didn't really know what you were doing there, but you'd negotiate it with, you know responsibility or duty to the country?

Reby Cary:

Well, like I said, I didn't want to get drafted, so I had to go, and once you volunteer friend, when you raise that hand, you're in, and that's why they send you anywhere, and I told you this, when they, when I was being discharged, the officer said, "we'll send you to officer training school and we'll send..." I said look man, I know when I said I will, you'll send me anywhere you want to and there ain't nothin' I can do about. So that's one reason I said no, I don't need it, but that was a problem that most people had you know, and I just resented the, now the racism has changed now, it has a different form, I call it viseral racism, it doesn't, it's not pronounced but it's there, and so we have problems in this country, that especially where blacks are concerned.

James Yeh:

So, after the war, you said you got discharged in what year?

Reby Cary:

1945

James Yeh:

And, sorry, let's go back to the war a little bit, what was the social climate like, you know...

Reby Cary:

The social climate?

James Yeh:

on the ship

Reby Cary:

well now, oh the social climate on the ship?

James Yeh:

yeah

Reby Cary:

oh well, we were friendly you know, lot of, they had a place down there where they'd gamble. I didn't gamble but I watched 'em, they, but on the ship yeah, but in the cities, we had a, we ball, we had a ball all the time. Where we went, even Fort Lauderdale, they had night clubs and things, we made it all, but on the ship itself there wasn't much to do, and so those guys in the late evening' would be down on there, gambling going on, playing poker and all that kind of stuff, dice, I didn't risk my money like that, so I didn't have much to start with, but.

James Yeh:

Was there a lot of down-time on the ship?

Reby Cary:

No, no, no everybody had a duty friend, oh yeah, yeah didn't have much down-time.

James Yeh:

Especially once y'all were _

Reby Cary:

I laughed, but one day, one of the lieutenants came by and, fellow friend of mine who was an artist, and he said oh so you fellows, you a artist, he said ok good, he said I need a painter, he said go on out there and paint that deck on that ship. So they had, they had things going on all the time that you had to do you know, work, oh yeah, didn't have much leisure time, buddy, not, not aboard ship because even when you on ports going like I said coming back from Pearl Harbor, where you were going, we went to Shanghai China, and, you had to have that ship in good shape, and that's what I liked about the Coast Guard, even when I was in Manhattan Beach, we had to get up at five o'clock in the morning, and, and, you had to have, they'd make you fall out, and you had to have your sea bag ready, everything, that was the training you had, you had to be just right, and so whenever you had that inspection all the time, that was it, so that was just a routine thing but, you didn't have much spare time for foolin' and all that kind of stuff not aboard ship.

James Yeh:

Alright, so in 1945 after the war had ended,

Reby Cary:

mm hmm

James Yeh:

you get sent back...

Reby Cary:

Oh yeah

James Yeh:

On a segregated train in Louisiana, where did you go from Louisiana to...

Reby Cary:

Oh okay, when I came out the service, I had finished, I had all my material except my dissertation for my masters degree, but before I go to school, they opened up, okay, here are the veterans again, veterans in Fort Worth could not, black veterans, they had classes for veterans at the Will Rodgers coliseum out here, and different places, to give them the training and different things you know, and, but the blacks could not attend, so a Reverend (Jay Avery Washington?) and friend of mine (Ebel?) William, they organized a what we call the McDonald College of Industrial Arts to train black veterans, we had to set up our own school for black veterans, so, so I was elected to the student personnel of that, I mean director personnel, and I got pictures all over that book on that one, that one, and, but black, black veterans could not, even, war is over now, they, we had all fought, but for the training that they offered these, blacks couldn't do it, so we set up out there at Riverside at the (inaudible), we set up the McDonald College of Industrial Arts, it was later changed to the Southwestern College of Industrial Arts, and we taught auto mechanic and (inaudible) and all the trades that could help blacks get jobs, and, and, while I was there, I said you know what, I better go back to school, and so I took off and went back to Prairie View, and that's when I got my masters degree in 1948.1,1 had been out all that time at the veteran's school, but I decided then so in 1948 I got my masters at, at Prairie View, but in the meantime we had the McDonald College of Industrial Arts and, so then, 18 I decided well that's, that's okay but I still need my degree, so that's why I went on back in 1948 and got it and shortly after the school closed anyway, so that's, that's

James Yeh:

the school y'all set up?

Reby Cary:

Yeah, the McDonald college, yep

James Yeh:

Now, after the war, what was the, the, I guess social climate in the United States, like how did people receive you guys?

Reby Cary:

Same, same way when we left, I'm, I'm tellin' ya, it was almost the same way when we left, now, now not everybody, but there were some that accepted us, but for the most part the, the, it was the same.

James Yeh:

What about for white veterans?

Reby Cary:

Oh, why they had all the privileges anyway. See here again, let me show you, I was the radioman, I, I tell some youngsters all the time, that when I came out of the service, I came very elite, I joined, I was a member of the fifty-two twenty club, they said what? I said oh yeah man, I'm a member of the fifty-two twenty club. See I was a radioman, and every week you had to, you had to apply for, you know, you had to register to get your unemployment compensation and when they found out that I was a radioman, I couldn't get a job. They look and said, I'd go down here, go down, and sign up, and I would put my little shirt and tie on, but I knew they wouldn't hire me as a radioman. And, so I, what I tell ya, I, I said you know I was a very elite, I was in the fifty-two twenty club, I see all the guys going to, to colonial country club and all these (inaudible) but I belonged to, they said "what, really?" The fifty two twenty club that I drew 20 dollars a week for 52 weeks, unemployment compensation because they wouldn't hire me, I couldn't get that job in the rank that I was in the service, I was a radioman, and in them airports out here, wouldn't do it buddy, just that simple.

James Yeh:

But a white radioman?

Reby Cary:

Oh white, they had no problem, so and, and, and that's been there all along.

James Yeh:

Was the, you know you growing up with racial discrimination all your life, but was it a little bit harder to take that seeing you know, your fellow veterans more well received?

Reby Cary:

No, well it doesn't, I, I just, we were used to it, there was no problem. See if you were black, you were, you were on the back seat buddy, just that simple, anywhere in the United States really just about.

James Yeh:

So you expected that coming back from the war?

Reby Cary:

Now we did, we didn't appreciate it, but we challenged it, and you'll find later on that I challenged it all the time, still challenge it, and that's a different ball game, but.

James Yeh:

So, you, you went on to get you graduate degree, did have, did the war leave anything you know physical or mental health problems?

Reby Cary:

No, no just get away from it.

James Yeh:

How did you feel when the war ended?

Reby Cary:

Very good, like I said, I had just, I came, we came, when we came from Saipan, I don't mean Saipan, I mean Okinawa, we went to out in California, I came home on leave, and, that's when I married, I didn't think I was gonna make it back anyway, I didn't see, the war wasn't over then, but on my way back to San Francisco, I mean to Los Angeles where we were, the war was over, everything, and, so my wife and I we stayed out where I had some (inaudible) out in California still, and, but, so we came back on then, but the war was over and, well not, not exactly right then, my ship still had to go back to, we went back to Nagasaki, Japan to pick up some things, but we, that's when I came back to Mt. Rainier in, in Washington and 20 they sent me down to, to be discharged, but I still had to go back and go pick up those troops, and, but my time was up, friend. I was having a ball and I knew it was over, and that's when they tried to get us to reenlist and nope, no thank you, but it, it ended up like that.

James Yeh:

When did you get married?

Reby Cary:

Well I got married in 1945, uh huh.

James Yeh:

And when did you meet her?

Reby Cary:

Oh I had, I had met her before then, oh yeah.

James Yeh:

Uh hmm.

Reby Cary:

See when I was in, in I have a friend of mine, she's still out in California now, during, I was in graduate school in, in '42, and I'd been known her, well that's a long story, so, she, I told her she had finally convinced me to marry her, I said I finally agreed, but she'd be a (inaudible)

James Yeh:

She convinced you while you were on the ship?

Reby Cary:

Nah, oh no she lived in, see she lived in Dallas, my wife did, um hmm. So we'd come home and, after then, we moved over here, I mean with my father for awhile, and then he bought me a house down on town street and oh that's another long story, but we stayed here, and we were married for 15 years, she passed about 3 years ago, but we, we had it goin', mm hmm.

James Yeh:

Were y'all an item during the war while you were at sea?

Reby Cary:

Oh yeah, I got a book back there she, when I was on my ship, she sent me the, I don't know if you've ever heard of it, you ever read the American Dilemma? It came out one of the big classics and she sent me that on my ship and I've been trying to find out the, I had my, my little diary, I can't find it, but she sent me-- because she knew I really like to read, and I 21 had, I had a lot of research and stuff, but she sent me a book out there and, but we, we had a good relationship for years, yeah.

James Yeh:

So on the ship, you know you had girlfriends and also your family back home, were those you know motivating factors that...

Reby Cary:

Yeah I wanna come home, yeah, see I, see being on the ship and being, was really not my cup of tea, it's alright, I, like I said I did it because I didn't want to go to the Army, but I wouldn't, shoot, that's not my choice, uh- uh, and, and so that was, I was glad to get out of it, period.

James Yeh:

And what was it like seeing everybody once you got out?

Reby Cary:

oh hey man I just had a ball, yeah, yeah, and, and like I said we, so once I, we got it going and then from then on, things started happening and I really got involved in the community and it, almost had to stop, but it's, I'm trying to slow it down, but it's still going.

James Yeh:

mm hmm

Reby Cary:

yeah

James Yeh:

So post graduate work 1948...

Reby Cary:

uh-huh

James Yeh:

tell me where...

Reby Cary:

In, in Prairie View, so I got my Masters in Prairie View, I got my bachelor's in Prairie View and well okay let me go back again see Prairie View was one of the few schools that black could attend in Texas, you couldn't go to a University of Texas of Austin, not a big white school, and so I, I got my Masters again at, at Prairie View, and let me say this, I talk about some of my books, my first book that I wrote was called Princes Shall Come Out of Egypt, Texas and Fort Worth, and it, it was based upon blacks in the history of the United States, 22 Texas and Fort Worth, that was my Masters thesis, but when I came, went back to graduate school, the professor that I, Dr. Warren that I had worked under had gone, and Dr. (Wolfolk?) was my professor for my Masters degree so he made me change he said, "that's too much material." So I had to change, I'll show you a copy after of it, to, to, and I wrote, I had to do research on the history of the black chamber of commerce in Texas, that's my Masters thesis, the history of the black chambers of commerce in Texas, so I had all this material that's why I had for this first book that I put out, and, so I thought it very interesting isn't it, didn't take me long did it, had all the research already, and then, after then, well that's another story in there, but in, I started teaching school, I went and taught at Dunbar High School over here, and I didn't want to teach school, but my friend Joe (inaudible) was the vice principal. He insisted I come over there and do some, and said I was nervous, see I had my degrees and all, but I didn't want to at no school, I knew the kids over there, them thugs and things, had them earring (inaudible) and stuff, but they convinced me to come to Dunbar, and I stayed over there, what nine years, and oh that's another story but, we, we, that school went from segregated school again to integrated school...

James Yeh:

and you where there during that time?

Reby Cary:

oh yeah, yeah, yeah, and so just before I, my, what was it 50 somethin', with Tarrant County Jr. College open, they, I was one of the first black professors out there at the Tarrant County south campus because there again I had gone to TCU and I had a course, I had six hours of a junior college administration, didn't know why I was taking it, I was just taking it because you know, had it, and they saw that and they hired me out here, and so I stayed there for about three and a half years, they made a mistake of inviting me during black history month just like this month here to come to UTA, and I, I got on the black/white racism that's out there in, on division, blacks couldn't even live in the, the dorms, I mean the apartments around the campus, 23 but yet they had, they were out there fightin' and marchin' and goin' on the blacks were, and they had about 150 of em I think, but I recognized that I had taught some of those students at Dunbar, and I, when I, I had some sailor language too I used, but I could tell those boys what to do fast, and, but we, and then I got on the black students, I said you out here marchin' and fightin' and goin' on, you need some grade points, and I'm at TCJC, few weeks later they came, said we want you at UTA, I said I'm not goin' to UTA, now there again, I thought I was making, I was making about 9000dollars somethin' out there, for that time for blacks were high salary buddy, and I said I don't want to go out there when they had that rebel flag out there, oh I mean, they had sellin' slaves on those mall out there in the week I mean it was somethin' else you know, demonstrations they had all the time, football games you had the (inaudible) with the confederate flags and all that kind of, so, but they wanted me to come, and, so then finally I said well for 15,000 dollars I'll come, two or three days Dr. Harrison called me and said come down and we'll have lunch. They hired me just like that, so they hired me in 1969 as the first black professor at UTA and I was also associate dean of student affairs, but I also was, had American history, now remind you, that blacks wanted somebody to teach black history, but they put me in American history class first, that was history, but anyway, then I finally changed over to the black history that I taught out there at UTA, but that was one of the things that really was something else, and I, I often talk about this, at UTA we got all that rebel flag out of there, oh yeah we, we got rid of it.

James Yeh:

So you said you worked for Texas Christian University to the University of Texas in Arlington and it was...

Reby Cary:

no, no see I...

James Yeh:

Oh sorry Tarrant County ... Junior College 24

Reby Cary:

Tarrant County Junior College, mm hmm

James Yeh:

So at Tarrant County Junior College _...

Reby Cary:

I taught American history

James Yeh:

How was the, the racial discrimination?

Reby Cary:

Well I think there were three black teachers; I was one of them, well there were two us first and then hired another one so, but they didn't, but they, they started inter, now one thing about TCJC, they started to integrating. Reverend the Haines one of, was on the board, first black professor that, he was on the board, and so we had a little integration all the time but, out there.

James Yeh:

And your hesitation to go to University of Texas in Arlington was...

Reby Cary:

Yeah well let me say this...

James Yeh:

...that the confederate flag was there

Reby Cary:

Oh well I didn't want to go to all that fightin' stuff they had out there, and plus, I was making more money selling real estate in the evenings. Now that's another story there buddy but let me tell ya, see Forrest Hill, you know where Forrest Hill out here? Blacks, they couldn't even live there for a while but it started breaking down and the real estate market just expanded but also I was making, I had two or three closes there ever week out there in Forrest Hill, so I didn't want to waste my time going out there, but they convinced me to go to the blacks students say oh yeah you got to come and I said oh well, so I went, of course I'm glad I did, and, it, it got rid of that, that flag, the student number of blacks increased, when I went there was about 150 students, black students, and it just start increasing, I, in a few weeks I got that minority cultural center set up, Dr. Hudson who was John Hudson was over the library, I convinced that we needed a minority cultural center so I had a black and Hispanic cultural center 25 set up and then they moved to, it's still out there I think, still on to the new building that (inaudible) who was the attorney and who call me being out there, I said (inaudible), had set up all the funds for that library just about, and so, now see he was on the board of (inaudible), I had signed out here at TCJC and when they still awarded me I said look I've already signed the contract, he was on both boards when I said (inaudible), he said forget it, he, he got me out there, so that's, that's, but anyway he was one of the one's, when we set up that library, and there again that was by 1974 at UTA I was the first black elected in the Fort Worth school board here, I had friends that wanted me to run for the school board and that was 1974, and so I was on the school board, the doctor, UTA helped me get on that school board. I won the school board elections city wide, at large. Now there again you don't know me but we had trouble with racial discrimination about Dunbar school, and they didn't want us to have what they had, I mean discrimination was really bad for our black kids here in Fort Worth, and so I, when I got on that board, stuff really started jumpin'. So, but I knew because of my, attitude and taking on the top boys down there, and, that I couldn't get re-elected city wide, so I pushed for single member district, and my friend Paul (inaudible) who's still, who's still around here now, he was out there at UTA, he took his graduate class and got us the demographics for the Fort Worth school district and that's how we set up that, at large, I mean the, the single member district for the for the district, so now we always will have at least two blacks on the school board, but to win at large you can't, it was going to be a hard process, but I wanted large and I knew it wouldn't happen again because of my, I, when I took on the superintendent and all of them it didn't make no difference.

James Yeh:

So this is around the mid 70's right and you....

Reby Cary:

Yeah that was, see I went on the school board from 74 to 78 and there again, here I go again, my friends wanted me to go to legislature, so in 1978 I filed to run. 26 reluctantly, and that's when my wife finally decided I was a mental case, and listen at this time at UTA I, I think my salary had gone around 24 or 27,000 dollars ,1 mean it just moved up, I was out there, you know from '69 to '78 and, but my friends induced me, or persuaded me to go to state legislature, I won, state legislature. Now listen, I applied for a legal absence without pay from UTA but let me say this, I think the administration helped me get elected to get rid of me and the attorney general ruled that I'd have a conflict of interest if I, whatever, and I took advantage of that later on, but, the, to make a long story short, I had to go, I had to come off the school board in order to go to legislature, now, my salary then was 500 dollars a month, cause to (?predict?)__+ you got, (?now remind you?) I was making 24-27,000 dollars, and you leave a 24,000 dollars to take a 500 dollars. My wife said, "you know what I've been thinking, but I'm convinced now I know you are mental, to come out and lose that much money." And I found out right away friend that the system was set up for, to keep us out. At that time in the legislation, I think there were 12 black representatives. That's all we had, out, out of 150, and, but anyway, that, it was designed you couldn't get there because you didn't have any money, so if you didn't have, like I said, if you're not independent, the boys got you on a string, but I was fortunate again. I still, I still got my real estate license, I keep 'em up, so when I get hungry I can always go sell me a house, but my point is, is that, you can't go to Austin. I had a friend of mine when I won my election, she called me, she had a real estate friend down there, Dana Anderson, and she says, oh we'll find you a place to stay, when I got there down to Austin, my wife and I, she had me a condominium, 600 dollars a, but I didn't make but 500 dollars a month, 600 dollars ,I said girl I can't live in this thing, but those other boys could, whites could, they had no problem because I found out they put them on rolls so they could get in but not blacks, okay, so I had to get me another apartment, I couldn't stay in that condominium because my secretary made more money than I did in the legislature, and why is 27 that friend? That's to keep us out. You can't go there without some income, or if you go you'll confined, the guy who finally replace me, the labor unions had him. In the mornings, he didn't even have to give his, they'd tell him what to vote, what he had to do, but not me because I, I didn't have to go, go for that stuff and I've always tried to remain and I'm not rich but I stay independent and I don't let people tell me what I can say and what I can't say, and so that's, but now if you're working with them you have to do what they want you to do, with all do respect you can't go against Burgess too much because you, you on the payroll, but he'll tell ya, I will tell him, "man hey bud hey this, something ain't right here." But it's a, I'm gonna tell, later on I'm gonna show in my book here, he's my favorite, I have it all over, but anyway that, the thing is, my point is that, for blacks to have any clout at all you have to be independent, anybody, not only blacks, you have to be independent, otherwise you have to go on a string and I'll be very nice, I had to embarrass my wife but I won't tell you that, but it, it put you on a string, negro get behind the desk; I'm Vice President and can't even do a thing, can't even make, can't even approve a loan, but I'm back in, and they got him there talking about, with no authority. See that's part of the system and that's why I'm so encouraged that you'll find out later on, you don't have much time for this here, but I encourage youngsters all the time, I said the business men run this country, and they use political machinery to stay in power. If blacks gonna have any equality at all, you got to have some economic equality, and what have the Democrats done for the blacks for years, put you on the payroll, I mean welfare, what we gonna give you welfare, and I, and I, don't start me on that one boy I tell ya, you don't need welfare you need to go to work buddy, get your own, but that's where they keep you in control and that's why I guess I've always maintained that economic advancement is the only way we gon' go.

James Yeh:

So many years have passed since the war right... 28

Reby Cary:

oh, oh yeah

James Yeh:

.. .and you saw the social climate in America change, but you know it went from overt racism to what you call visceral racism?

Reby Cary:

Visceral racism, oh yes, now they don't come out and say you can't live here, plus I'm in real estate, I know red-lining when I see it, you can't get a loan out in certain areas. When I bought this house here, this, this was a big house, I got the, I got the last of the 4.5% interest, remember that's been a long time, and when I would, I'd, see I lived on the south side over there at the (inaudible) street, and when I would, look, I called a guy about houses in the paper about (inaudible) veterans, I said, "oh I'm a veteran, they said "oh yes," I said, "oh yes," and when I would say Carver Heights, they said "oh, oh," not Carver Heights. Took me one year to get a mortgage on this house out here because it was what they called a stop six area, but this was Carver Heights and they called it a stop six, a whole black neighborhood, and when you said that, the mortgage companies and the insurance companies they said oh no, not them, so I'll never forget, Frank Bliss was in business then at a mortgage company downtown, and he, I called him one day and he, I said you giving veterans loans he said "oh yes." So I said well let me stop you now, I said I'm black, he said Mr. Gary I don't care if you green, if you qualify you'll get it. I got a loan just like that, but let me say this a few months later he was out of business, but my point is, is that, and right today, I got this house next door for sale, and I, I even had some lawyers come out here wanting it, and they can't get qualified, I wonder why. You see, it's, it's the, and then the, you can go out to some other place and get one just like that, no problem. So that's part of the problem and back to my point, again, you going to have to start reading my book, in more, in all my books I've written, Bill Macdonald who grew up in Fort Worth (inaudible) in Fort Worth was the first black millionaire in Texas on 9th street, just down 29 town, and he had the first bank, and he had it because of the masons, black masons in Texas and of the area that had to put their funds in for the cash flow, but Bill Macdonald he said if blacks want there own business, you set it up. You want your own newspaper, you set it up, and I had, I watched that, I knew him and brother let me tell you, that was the thing that blacks needed to, anybody now, that if you are going to make any progress, you've got to have some business, you can't go out here with your hat in your hand. Anyway, that's another story.

James Yeh:

Do you mind if we pause for a second and change tapes?

Reby Cary:

You all breaking out your... [Changing of tapes]

James Yeh:

So Mr. Cary if, is there one thought about your war time experience that you would want to share with future generations?

Reby Cary:

Well, the main thing is, if our country, when it's threatened, we need to come out and defend it. Like I said, when the bombs fall, there's no, there's no race and they just fall, so everyone has a responsibility to at least defend our actions and, now what age group, cause I'm 86 so, it would, but I don't think I'd be goin' but I guess I could if it got down to (inaudible) but the point is that everybody ought have some interest in it, that's why it kinda bothers me about this political stuff now about the war when, all the news media is doing and the democrats over there are just, helping the enemy, telling them where our troops gonna be, what they're gonna do and when they see the division in this country it just keeps them going, and so we, we have to, I think it's unfair to the veterans, I think this country ought to at least wake up and understand whether or not you approve of the war or not, we're there, now after it's over you can do what you want, but don't do everything... I listen to the news media sometimes it just bums me up, they tell everything we're doing and the enemy is just sitting there "oh yeah, oh 30 yeah," you know, and, and it, just, under the, talking about the free press, that's a lot of stuff man, but anyways, I just think that everyone should have some interest in their country, and if we are attacked, we have to defend it.

James Yeh:

So do you think you know duty to your country, even civic duty, do you think those always supersede things like social issues?

Reby Cary:

Oh yeah, well yeah, I mean social issues there's some fun we have goin' on, but the real issue again to me is economic development and, and, and protecting the rights of, whatever rights we have, now see we live in America, and we're supposed to be in a capitalistic system, and it just bothers me when I see us going so much toward communism and socialism, the very thing we've been fighting. See I learned a very long time ago even in, in, in Prairie View, that this capitalistic system is based upon free enterprise, free enterprise, not government regulation, and when you have socialism the government controls the agents of production, the agents of production, land, labor, capital, management, that, that's, that's socialism, okay, where are we, but when you have total control of consumption, I mean production and consumption, that's what they call totalitarian states, so where is this country, and I see us all the time with the changes we're making and little stuff that's going on that we are so far, we're so socialistic and all that, we, we're just like they are, and yet we are over there fighting against socialism and communism, so I think somewhere we need, whatever values we have, we ought to at least maintain those values.

James Yeh:

You know, as a member of the military when you were in your youth, do you find certain commonalities with the youth of today who are serving overseas.

Reby Cary:

Oh no, nuh-uh, no, now this generation now is totally different. I, I have a real, well, like I said it's a different ball game all together. I was talking to some youngsters the 31 other day, I, I used to go down to Dunbar High School here on career day, and, now don't start me on that one, because I have a problem with our youngsters with the values they have. See education ought to be their main focus, but they go around there with their pants hanging down and all these curls and things, now, and all these little, things going on, and instead of trying to get some education, they try, they blame the white folks for discrimination in school. I said okay, I, I grew up in the discrimination, but my mother made me, I had to learn how to read. You can, like I was tellin' them all, you gonna have to learn how to read under that tree if that's your goal, so why are we- I was talking to some young people yesterday, they have a program over there to help kids who needs kind of academic help, they weren't even enrolled in the class, they out there playing basketball, running up and down the street, when we ought to have some priorities of our own. Now I'm saying this while this generation here is totally different, now you can't go, 'cause like I said, my mother, look here, when I finished my little chores of the evening, I had to go down and study, I would say (inaudible) you go study anyway, 'cause she meant, and that's why when I went to school, baby, I couldn't come home with no D's and C's, not in that house. So all I'm saying is that things have changed. Now our kids, I had lady call me when I was over at Dunbar, 8 years-old, talking about, "well what can I do with him?" Now I can't tell you what I'd did, since you're on tape here, but, I, I said, "that's your child, you mean, talkin' about, you can't tell him what to, nuh-uh." So you've got a different environment and all this kind of stuff, but the, the attitude and the priority, to me, are far different. And again, back to that, I'm staying with education there because unless we focus on what we need to do first, even if you get degrees, there's no sign you'll get a job. You can have degrees around the wall, and I, I always tell this one, when I, I told ya when I got my Masters Degree, I thought I was hot stuff man, I said oh I've got my Masters Degree and everybody's gonna come, but I couldn't find a job. 32 'cause at that time, black teachers couldn't even, we had problems then, even getting on the school system, but, so I started painting with one of my church members, he was a painter, and I go, started painting, he was paying me a dollar and something a day, dollar and a half a day to help him paint, okay, now you can ask, a dollar and a half a day? And one day a lady say, "ohhh you've got a Master's Degree and you painted?" I said well I have a dollar and half baby and you don't have one, she was around being, sophisticated; "I'm a teacher and no money." See my point is, is that regardless of what degree you have, if you are not able to put it to work man you out of it, and so we have to have something that we, our youngsters again are gonna have to be able to... My sister has a little baby down there, well he's dead now, but he was, he was a teenager down there in, in Houston, she called me one day, she said "well he, he can't find a job," I said has he ever heard of a lawn mower, cut grass, you can make more cuttin' grass than he does sittin' at home, and that's our problem, we, we, our values, and, and of course I grew up in the depression so I, I did it all friend, but that, that's the, but you work, and so because you won't let me have a job I'm gonna go make my own, just that simple.

James Yeh:

So, you know with the, the, the war today, or military service today, we don't have a draft...

Reby Cary:

no

James Yeh:

.. .what are your thoughts on that?

Reby Cary:

Well, we don't have draft, if they volunteer, and those people complain, I said when you raise your hand friend you go wherever they send you, and (inaudible) I shouldn't go." well, why did he go into the service, and that's cold blooded, but I'm gonna tell, if I, I volunteer for the service, I, I, if the war start, I can't say well I think, I don't think that war, I can't go to that, uh-uh, not in the service, because now a lot of the people in the service, and I put it, with all do respect to them, they're there because they can't make it in, in, in the economic development world, they go, "I get in the service, but then they'll send me to school, I can get my pension when I get out, it'll take care of me." Oh yeah, yeah, that's what a lot of 'em, I've got some of my friends, they'll tell ya, I got in there because I couldn't get a job. Why, why didn't you get a job? Who told you to drop out of school? Nobody made you drop out of school, but he, so he went to the service, to get him, to get him some, some substance, and he, and he, and we, we laugh about that all the time. I said man, I said uh-uh, you out wanting the government to take care of you now, and that's why a lot of them are there now. Now some of them are there because, they really want to defend their country, I know that, but there are a lot of them there because that's the best thing they can do to have some security later on, is in the service.

James Yeh:

So when you were, when you had to volunteer for the Coast Guard...

Reby Cary:

yeah...

James Yeh:

because of the draft, would you have wished that there was no draft back then?

Reby Cary:

Oh if there hadn't been a draft, I wouldn't have been in the service, just that simple.

James Yeh:

Do you look back upon it, like...

Reby Cary:

Yeah, if there hadn't been a draft, I would not have been in the service because let me tell ya, there again, we were so discriminated and I'm down there in Prairie View and they, and I told you this, a fella asked me, talkin' about that, "we have to fight." I said, "no you've gotta fight, not me, because we were out of it, so why would I be fightin' for something for, for you, for you and, and you don't want me do have a part of it." Uh-uh, so I wouldn't have 34 been in it had there been a draft but to be honest with ya friend, I doubt without a minute, in there. Now I tell 'em now, now, if the Russians or somebody dropped bombs out here (inaudible) I might volunteer then because you're close to home, but then to answer your question, if it had not been for the draft, I don't think I would have been there because blacks could not, man, well you need to read some books man, do some research, blacks was treated so badly in, in the Army, in, in these, these southern states, uh-uh, they weren't even there, all they could do was be labored, they didn't even let them have rifles, some of them, so you know, so, it just, so I wouldn't have been there to answer your question, no, had there been no draft.

James Yeh:

So in closing, is there anything else that I should ask you or anything else you'd like to add?

Reby Cary:

Well, no well, I, I think, I think you are doing a good, a good job here, but I think basically there again, the veterans today are doing us a, are protecting us regardless of whether we like it or not, and whether we have the draft or volunteer, doesn't matter, as long as the protection is there. Now if, if we don't have enough to, if we in a war and we don't have enough volunteers, I, I they could draft, I would, I would have no opposition to it, cause you, we gonna draft you to fight for our country now. I'm too old, so I send you. It'd be all alright, you can go, but to answer your, but I think again it's very important that we support our veterans instead of all this stuff that I hear where we seem to be so divided, and people out here demonstrated and goin' on, that's showing, telling the enemy hey we, we got 'em divided, let's keep 'em there, and, and that's gonna happen, might help defeat us later on.

James Yeh:

Alright Mr. Reby Cary I thank you for your time.

Reby Cary:

Okay.

 
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  October 26, 2011
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