Morris Evans, center

Morris Evans

Morris Evans was born in 1918 in Lawrence. He was initially raised by his grandmother, a former slave, at 418 Locust. He attended the all-black Lincoln Elementary School. He later lived with his mother at 765 Locust. Evans has been a life-long member of the First Regular Missionary Baptist Church. After graduating from high school, he worked for Ship Winter, a local car dealer. In World War II he served with the Tenth Calvary, the Buffalo Soldiers, in the Pacific islands. After the war, he married Doris Williams and went to work in California. After living 22 years in California, he retired and they moved back to Lawrence. The Evanses have 6 children.

November 21, 2003
Interviewed by Alice Fowler

I'm Alice Fowler and I'm interviewing Mr. Morris Evans, who lives at Clinton Place Apartments in Lawrence, Kansas, and the time is about 1:35 or 1:40.

Alice: We are going to start out, Mr. Evans, by asking you where were you born and the date?

MR. EVANS: April the first, nineteen hundred and eighteen (April 1, 1918).

Alice: All right, and where?

MR. EVANS: Lawrence, Kansas.

Alice: In Lawrence. Okay. Your parents... Tell us a little bit about your family. Your mother, father, sisters and brothers, that sort of information?

MR. EVANS: My sister, Iris, and I lived with my grandmother, who come out of slavery, on 418 Locust Street until she passed away, and then we moved in with my mother out there at Corpus Christi, with Huey Taylor. And, that's where I went from there to high school, middle school and everything. So, that's about all there is about that.

Alice: Okay. So tell us about your mother and father and how many of you there were?

MR. EVANS: Alright. I didn't know my father. My mother and my father had got a divorce.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And he was up in Denver, Colorado.

Alice: And what was his name?

MR. EVANS: I didn't know him until I was about ten or eleven years old.

Alice: Uh-huh. What was his name?

MR. EVANS: (Laughter) Uh... I can't think of it (laughter). I'm sorry about it...

Alice: Okay.

MR. EVANS: ...but I...

Alice: I'm sorry. Well that's alright.

MR. EVANS: ...I didn't care for him. He was quiet man Don't get me wrong.

Alice: No! Uh-huh, uh-huh. And you don't have to share that with me.

MR. EVANS: He liked to read and he didn't want to talk to nobody or nothing like that. But I just didn't...

Alice: You didn't get to know him?

MR. EVANS: That's it.

Alice: Okay. What was your mother's name?


Alice: What was your mother's name?

MR. EVANS: Jenny.

Alice: Jenny?

MR. EVANS: Evans.

Alice: So there was you and Iris, and were there any other brothers or sisters?

MR. EVANS: Oh, I had Roma who was my oldest sister. Paul was my oldest brother.

Alice: And they all grew up there on Locust Street with you?

MR. EVANS: No. Roma lived in Kansas City. She had a family. That was my oldest sister.

Alice: Oh, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: Paul, he left home when he was a youngster. He went to Chicago and stayed. He came back and went to high school. But then when he got older he left here and went to Chicago, and got in a big band up in Chicago.

Alice: Did he go to school here in Lawrence?

MR. EVANS: Oh, yeah, they went to school here in Lawrence.

Alice: They went to school here in Lawrence, right.

MR. EVANS: He lived here in Lawrence and went to school in Lawrence.

Alice: Right. Okay. What do you remember that it was like when you were a child with your family? What types of things did you do together?

MR. EVANS: We didn't have no, uh... That is, when I was coming up, "Children, you go here and play, family, you talk over here," so you don't be listening to what they're saying.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: So I didn't have much dealing with my family. I did what I could do with them. I shouldn't say that because I did deal with them because I lived with them. But you couldn't repeat grown stuff.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: That's not yours to repeat.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: You were not supposed to be listening to what they say anyway. You had to go out there to the barn or go out doors.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: If it's cold, you go in that room.

Alice: Right. "Children should be seen and not heard," that sort of thing?

MR. EVANS: You should not be seen at all. Be seen, not heard.

Alice: Yes. You said you and Iris lived with your grandmother. What was her name?

MR. EVANS: Violet.

Alice: Violet?

MR. EVANS: Violet Morris.

Alice: Violet Morris.

MR. EVANS: And my name is named after her.

Alice: Oh, alright.

MR. EVANS: My grandfather... I didn't know him that much because I was young, but he couldn't work.

Alice: Oh, alright.

MR. EVANS: And he passed away before I was able to.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: ...Do anything with him. But, my grandmother... But, first of all... let's put it this way, I and Irish, uh... You remember Iris, don't you?

Alice: Yes, I do Yes, I do.

MR. EVANS: Iris and I, after my grandfather had passed, Iris and I lived with my grandmother, Violet.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: So, I did this. Iris would help but I'd do the work and we'd stay with my grandmother. My mother would come by every evening after work. She would work from... (inaudible). They owned a store. She would come by and see how we were doing. She had another house out where the Taylor's... Huey Taylor used to stay?

Alice: Right. In the 700 block of Locust?

MR. EVANS: Yes, because we lived right across the street from them.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: Yeah, so.

Alice: So tell me a little bit about your grandmother.

MR. EVANS: She would... She used to sit us down... Sit us down, you know how kids do, sit down on the floor and get around her and she'd tell us stories about different things. And, I was just too young to have the vision of what she was talking about, but it was about them coming out of slavery.

Alice: Yes, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: She'd tell us about how the lady that she was working for in slavery, she told us that she could leave, and my grandmother didn't want to. She said "Nope, Violet, you must leave."

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: "You can't be in slavery no more."

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: So she worked her way all the way from down South, all the way to Kansas.

Alice: And did she walk all the way? She worked her way?

MR. EVANS: She worked her way.

Alice: She worked her way.

MR. EVANS: She worked her way. But, see, she used to wash and ironed for... Even when she came here.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: Just like there were some of those guys on the railroad and things like, they'd bring their stuff over and she'd wash and iron for them and fix them for them.

Alice: Right. Right. That was a way of income for a lot of women.

MR. EVANS: Yeah, but, you know where 402 Locust is don't you?

Alice: Yes, I do.

MR. EVANS: Well, I was right across the street from the railroad, at, uh... I'm trying to think what it is now. It was right across the street.

Alice: Across the street. Right.

MR. EVANS: They'd come over. They worked on the railroad there, and they'd come over, give her the clothes, she'd wash. They'd give her good money, too.

Alice: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that was a good way of doing that. Were there other family members besides your mother and your grandmother that lived here in Lawrence, kin to you like uncles and aunts?

MR. EVANS: No, my sister lived in... Roma?

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: She lived in Kansas City.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: It was Iris, I and my mother and grandmother. My brother, Paul, he had left home. He played in the band in high school and he learned how to play a saxophone. And he had left home when he was..., I think, I'm not positive, but I think he was seventeen or eighteen years old when he went to Chicago. He played in a big band up there until he got sick.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: Then he came back home and passed away here in Lawrence.

Alice: Yes. One of things that you were telling us about is some of the stories. Do you remember there were stories your grandmother used to tell you about?

MR. EVANS: Oh, yeah! Oh, God! Some of them I done forgot myself. She used to tell us how the people'd treat them down there at home.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: The "Master" they called him. But, it's been so long ago. She'd sit us down around her and she'd talk about what the master did and different things like that. But, I guess it was a hard situation. I can't really tell you the way they told it to me. I felt like it was bad, the way they treated them.

Alice: Uh-huh, right, right.

MR. EVANS: But, maybe she had gotten used to it or something.

Alice: Well, I think maybe it was time that she was trying to tell you...(inaudible)

MR. EVANS: ...Yeah, I was too young then. I really was young then.

Alice: Right, right.

MR. EVANS: I was going to Lincoln School then.

Alice: Yeah. Well, tell us what you remember about Lincoln School. Who were your teachers, who was the principal?

MR. EVANS: Mrs. Shepard... I mean, no it wasn't Mrs. Shepard, but... it wasn't Mrs. Shepard.

Alice: Was it Webster?

MR. EVANS: No, Webster came later.

Alice: Dillard?


Alice: Mrs. Dillard?

MR. EVANS: No. Uh, what was that... She was a kind of heavy-set lady? Oh, God! She was Iris'... Oh, I can't think of her name. Mrs. Webster came after she did.

Alice: Oh, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: She was my first...

Alice: I can't help you with that...

MR. EVANS: I can't either because I can't remember her name. She was a heavy-set lady.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: But she was real, uh.... Anyway...

Alice: It'll come to you.

MR. EVANS: Then after she left Mrs. Webster taken over and she became the principal and everything. Then, uh... I'm trying to think of somebody...

Alice: Somebody else...

MR. EVANS: I think Newman, one of the Newmans...

Alice: Walter Newman?

MR. EVANS: I don't know who he was. I can't remember. See, because I was just in grade school. One of them came over and was assistant to Mrs. Webster.

Alice: One of things you were saying about how strict parents were at that time and how children were separated from the parents. You remember any incidents especially or just in general?

MR. EVANS: You mean being separated from my parents?

Alice: Well, where the parents were really strict, your mom was really strict or your grandma was really strict?

MR. EVANS: Oh, yes they were. You couldn't do nothing like these kids.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I mean, when somebody come to visit, older people...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: You're out. I'd go out doors and play. You couldn't sit there with your mouth open, listening. You go out doors.

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: And that's what they did. I mean, you couldn't hear nothing what they said.

Alice: That's right.

MR. EVANS: So, that way you can't know what they are talking about and you can't go out and tell somebody else what you heard.

Alice: Or thought you heard?

MR. EVANS: Yeah. So.

Alice: Did you have chores when you were a child?


Alice: Did you have to work as a child, did you have chores to do, or what?

MR. EVANS: Oh, yeah.

Alice: Did you have a paper route? What did you do around the house?

MR. EVANS: You worked. You remember where Huey Taylor and them lived, don't you?

Alice: Yes. Yes, I do.

MR. EVANS: You know the house that used to be right across the street from them?

Alice: Yes I do.

MR. EVANS: I used to go out there, we had a garden, and I had to go out there and hoe the weeds so they wouldn't...

Alice: Choke out the vegetables.

MR. EVANS: Yeah. And I was about like that...

Alice: Probably about eight or nine years old?

MR. EVANS: I was about maybe nine or ten.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: Go out there, and you'd better not chop none of the vegetables down 'cause you got a killing (laughter).

Alice: That's typical of that era.

MR. EVANS: But basically I'm proud of what my mother, my grandmother, my sisters and brothers, I'm proud of what they did for me.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: Because it brought me a long, long way.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: A long ways. They were all very, very, very nice to me.

Alice: Yes, yes.

MR. EVANS: My mother whipped me, don't get me wrong, but I needed it. Because if she'd tell me, "Morris, come here," and I holler, "Wait a minute," that was it.

Alice: That's right. That's right.

MR. EVANS: That was it. I knew I was going to get a whipping because I was just playing marbles or doing something like playing jacks or whatever.

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: But, when you said, "Wait a minute," that was it.

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: You're going to get a good one (laughter).

Alice: Well, that was the rule of the day, that children just obeyed their parents...

MR. EVANS: That's it!

Alice: ...or they got a whipping.

MR. EVANS: That's right.

Alice: Did you have a lot of toys when you were growing up as a child? What kind of toys or things did you have to play with?

MR. EVANS: The kind of toys I had?

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: Get that old skate that's all bad and take the wheels off of it and put it up up on a board and make a...

Alice: A scooter?

MR. EVANS: Uh-huh. I take two by four, cut it and take a what you call it and put up there and put a padlock there, put some front wheels up here and back there and flew up and down the street.

Alice: And that was your fun?

MR. EVANS: That was my fun. That was my play.

Alice: Didn't hurt you a bit, did it?


Alice: Didn't hurt you a bit, did it?

MR. EVANS: No (laughter), because we had fun (laughter). And, you know what? And, I'm not trying to make no racial stuff up... But, when I finally started doing that, come to find out a whole lot of white guys were...

Alice: Were doing it too?

MR. EVANS: You get a 2x4, about that long, set it straight, put the front part up here, nail it down, and then put the back part down here and nail it down, and you put a board and then put a handle... A board out here... so you can hold on.

Alice: So you can hold on to it, yeah. Well, I know I had one of those...

MR. EVANS: Did it work?

Alice: I had one of those too. The boys didn't want me to play marbles with them, my uncles didn't want me to join in with that.

MR. EVANS: So you had to go over there and get you something to do?

Alice: That's right.

Sherrie: That's right.

MR. EVANS: But, you know what? These kids nowadays... And, I'm now trying to downgrade them, don't get me wrong...

Alice: I know, I know.

MR. EVANS: But they don't put nothing into nothing. Everything is supposed to be put right in their hands.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: Whereas, when I was a child, I had to go out there and I had a little hatchet... You remember them hatchets like that?

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: You go out there and chop wood.

Alice: Right. Chop and carry it in...

MR. EVANS: You carry in there and put it behind the kitchen stove.

Alice: That's right.

MR. EVANS: And when I got bigger, I could use an axe.

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: But, I had to work. No, there wasn't no... You could play, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we didn't play.

Alice: Right, you were still a child.

MR. EVANS: But when it come time to working, we had a little... I don't know whether you remember down on 765 Locust Street?

Alice: Yes, I do.

MR. EVANS: You remember that little barn out there?

Alice: Yes, I do.

MR. EVANS: That was our coal bin.

Alice: Coal bin, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And I had to go out there and take a shovel and I could not carry a whole one, so I had to put a piece in there and then I had to go back for two or three pieces until I could fill up that box behind the stove, kitchen stove.

Alice: Right, I remember them days.

MR. EVANS: Them was the days. See these kids don't know what life has been.

Alice: No, they really don't. And, they do get a lot given to them. And, I think you were saying a while ago they want everything put in their hands.

MR. EVANS: I got to have. I got to go over here, got have to new shoes. I got to go here, I got to have a hat. But, then, when I finally got able... Now, when I say able, I mean old...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: My mother would allow me to go out to Wise's or Shockey's and everything to pick up potatoes. Six cents a bushel...

Alice: Picking potatoes.

MR. EVANS: Potatoes. Fifty cents a day. After potatoes then you chop wheat. You'd get so much a bundle.

Alice: Kind of tell us a little bit... Picking potatoes was like how? What did you do to pick potatoes? Did they plow them up...?

MR. EVANS: Oh, they plowed them up.

Alice: Okay, they plowed up potatoes.

MR. EVANS: They plowed them up. They go up under the potatoes and the dirt come up like this and the potatoes come on top, you get kind of a mound. And, you had two rows that you walked between and you'd take the potato basket... You've seen them baskets?

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: Wire baskets?

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: You had a handle, but if you get... You had to take your fingers. I'd put my fingers, because I was too small to... I'd put my fingers in between the wires and I'd take my basket and drag it like this (laughter), because I couldn't pick it up.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: So, that's the way I had to do it. I might have grabbed it trying to move it.

Alice: Right, right. So, what was chopping wheat like?


Alice: When you chopped wheat?

MR. EVANS: Chopping wheat? No, it's not chopping wheat, it's, uh... We did chopping, but they'd cut the wheat and they'd tie it and then put it into sheaves and they'd lay it down like this, and then when you come and get it, you go like this, you got to put the head... What they called the head...

Alice: Uh-huh, right.

MR. EVANS: You got to put it where the water won't beat it off.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: See, you fold it underneath like that and then you make a tee-pee...

Alice: Oh, okay.

MR. EVANS: ...and then you tie it.

Alice: Okay, I see. Okay.

MR. EVANS: Then they'd put it up with a...(inaudible).

Alice: And how much did you get paid for doing that.

MR. EVANS: Oh, God! I don't remember now, but it was cheap. It was cheap.

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: Wasn't no big bucks out there.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: No big bucks. Wise, Shockey, Art, uh... What's that other guy? Chuck Wise, Shockey.

Alice: Okay.

MR. EVANS: I'm trying to think of the other. His name was Terry something?

Alice: Heck? Was it Heck?

MR. EVANS: Yeah, Heck was one.

Alice: And Altenburn?

MR. EVANS: Altenburn! That's it. All four of them, that's who worked for.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: Altenburn, Heck, Shock, and Wise. Shock and Wise.

Alice: Shock and Wise. And that kept most of the kids busy during the summer. Were the high school...?

MR. EVANS: You know how much we got a bushel?

Alice: Six cents? You told me six cents a bushel.

MR. EVANS: Six cents a bushel.

Alice: Were there only blacks that worked in the potato field?

MR. EVANS: Oh, no, no, no, no, no....

Alice: It was all kids?

MR. EVANS:, no, no. It was everything, Mexicans, white and colored, they all worked.

Alice: Yeah, yes.

MR. EVANS: Times were hard back in them days. It was hard. People couldn't...

Alice: Everybody was poor then.

MR. EVANS: That's right!

Alice: Everybody was poor.

MR. EVANS: The rich was rich and the poor was poor.

Alice: Yeah. That's a good thing that there was something to do to help bring money into the family.

MR. EVANS: Yeah. Anyway, it, uh... It was hectic. But, then we had to live with it. And, Mama worked, she worked for, uh... Ah, she did house work. We used to have a butcher shop on Massachusetts Street.

Alice: Hmm!

MR. EVANS: I can't think of his name now. And, they were so nice to my mother, they used to give her meat. Like a piece of meat, they'd give her meat so we could have something.

Alice: Yeah. Yes.

MR. EVANS: Oh, I'm trying to think of that man's name. Down on... I think it was the 1600 block... It was down the street from, uh... What was that?

Alice: From the Jayhawk theatre?


Alice: From the Jayhawk theatre?

MR. EVANS: Jayhawk theatre, yeah. It was down the street... The second block down from that.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: He had a butcher shop down there.

Alice: Bill... Was it Bill Dogget?

MR. EVANS: I can't think of his name right off. He wasn't really... I can't think of that man's name. But, he would give my mother... You know, like they had a short end or something like that?

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: He would give us stuff like that. That's where we got a deep freezer too.

Alice: Yeah. So tell me about... Oh, you went to school and you had jobs in summer... What about your religious experience? What did you all do for that?

MR. EVANS: My religious experience?

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: When my mother went to practice, we went too, Iris and I. You remember Iris, don't you?

Alice: Yes, I do.

MR. EVANS: Iris and I sat in the back and I tried to go to sleep (laughter), I ain't gon' lie (laughter).

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: But, Iris and I had to go and we couldn't sleep, but she didn't leave us in no house.

Alice: That's right.

MR. EVANS: See, my grandmother lived on 418 Locust. My mother lived on 765 Locust, down there with Huey Taylor, right across the street from Huey Taylor.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: But, you couldn't stay no where, we had to go where she went.

Alice: That's right. And, what church did you go to?

MR. EVANS: First Regular.

Alice: First Regular Missionary Baptist?

MR. EVANS: I belonged to First Regular Missionary ever since I've been a baby.

Alice: Okay. Okay, and it was over in North Lawrence then?

MR. EVANS: That's right.

Alice: 416...

MR. EVANS: That's over in North Lawrence.

Alice: Yeah, yes.

MR. EVANS: My mother used to take us to choir practice, Iris and I. Iris would sit up there and listen to it, but I would go back there and lay down in the back and go to sleep.

Alice: Go to sleep, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And we didn't talk. You know Horace Peterson?

Alice: Yes, I do remember him.

MR. EVANS: That's my uncle.

Alice: Really?

MR. EVANS: Yeah.

Alice: I didn't know that.

MR. EVANS: We used to go through their yard and go right up to where my grandmother lived.

Alice: Yes, yes. So, Horace Peterson... You did have relatives living in Lawrence?

MR. EVANS: Oh, I had... I got a lot relatives. There's Florence Peterson, Horace Peterson... Oh, man, I had... I had quite a few relatives here.

Alice: So, were they cousins or uncles or both?

MR. EVANS: Horace is my uncle and Florence is my auntie.

Alice: And that was your mother's brother?

MR. EVANS: Yeah.

Alice: Okay. Yeah. I didn't know that. One of your uncles lived in the town, right? Wasn't he... Oh, there was an Evans that lived in the town, had a wife that was heavy-set? Evans?

MR. EVANS: I can't think of who that is.

Alice: I can't think either.

MR. EVANS: Let's see, there was, I'm Morris, grandmother was Violet, uh...

Alice: I can't think of his name.

MR. EVANS: Iris, my older sister, Roma, my oldest sister. Iris is my next to the oldest, Roma was my oldest sister. Paul was my brother, of course...

Alice: That's good. So, who was your pastor at that time, when you were growing up?

MR. EVANS: Oh, God! I can't think of who it was.

Alice: Was his name Rev. Scott?

MR. EVANS: Let me ask Roma, hold on.

Alice: Alright. I asked you about Mrs. Webster in school and a little bit before we go on about the church. What kinds of things did you all do when you were in school?

MR. EVANS: In grade school?

Alice: In grade school? And, what kind of person did you think of Mrs. Webster.

MR. EVANS: Mrs. Webster was a very stern teacher.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: When I say stern I mean she wanted you to learn and she'd push you to it. She would put you on a paddle if you didn't do it.

Alice: Uh-huh, that's right.

MR. EVANS: And that... I think a lot of the, uh... As far as I'm concerned, I think that's the reason why a lot of us got to get out of school and go to school, junior high school and high school, because she put pressure on you. And, Mrs. Dillard did too. We had good teachers.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: Yeah, both of them, they didn't give you no... Wasn't no play time and when you come to school, you come to school to learn...

Alice: That's right, that's right.

MR. EVANS: ...And they had a (hah-hah) paddle, about that long, about that wide, and the handle was about like this. And, Mrs. Webster and Mrs. Dillard, neither one... If you kept on acting a fool, you're going in the other room, when you come back you'd be alright because she'd tell you if she's going to whip your behind and you cry, then you got go in there and wash your face and come in there and be like a... What you're supposed to.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And I think... Personally, I think it would help a lot of colored kids coming out over in North Lawrence. And, some of them, like one guy I know, he didn't care about going to school anyway. But, Chester Waters and all of those guys, the Mumfords, Bruce Mumford, Chase Mumford, Teddy Mumford, all those, we all went to school up there.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: And most of them all went to high school too. Most of them did because that woman put a hurt on you (laughter, phone ringing). You didn't make no play because Mrs. Dillard and Mrs. Webster did not play (phone ringing).

Alice: That's your phone.

MR. EVANS: Oh, is it? I don't like it that loud, that's reason why I don't hear it because I don't like, "Hey!" You wake up in the middle of the night and it's somebody you don't want be bothered.

Alice: Yeah. Those phones are helpful and they can be annoying too.

MR. EVANS: Yeah.

Alice: So, Mrs. Webster's expectations and Mrs. Dillard's were that you all had to learn there and you were going on to school and...

MR. EVANS: That's right.

Alice: ....and accomplish something? What kind of job did you have after you got out of high school? What kind of work was here in Lawrence that you could get?

MR. EVANS: Right after I got out of high school I guess I was just doing a little bit of anything I could find. But then I finally got a job, I worked for Ship Winter, washing cars and changing tires and things like that. But, otherwise, I had... I would say good jobs. I can't remember all of them, but I've some pretty good jobs. The people were pretty nice to me, I mean there wasn't no hollering and cussing and going on like that. At one time, when I was with Ship Winter, I was the only colored in there.

Alice: And then you went on from there... Did you go into Service after working for Ship Winter or did you work at other jobs in Lawrence?

MR. EVANS: I worked at, oh, I don't know how many jobs I worked in Lawrence.

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: See, now I went back to picking up potatoes and things when things got slowed down.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: 'Cause, see, I was living with Mom, Iris and I. You remember Iris, don't you?

Alice: Right, yes.

MR. EVANS: Me and Iris lived with my mom and my sister had married and moved to California... I mean Kansas City and my brother he'd done left the town and went to Chicago, Illinois.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: That's where he was playing saxophone.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: So actually wasn't nobody but Iris and I. But they'd come home to visit.

Alice: Right, right. So you worked to help your mom out?

MR. EVANS: Right. I'd go to work and I'd even go out and... You remember Huey Taylor?

Alice: Yes, I do. Yes, I do.

MR. EVANS: Huey would come over and plow my mother's back yard so that she could have a garden.

Alice:, yeah.

MR. EVANS: Then he'd come back with a harrow and level it off and everything. And he showed me how to take a string and go all the way down to line it up and then put a space and then stick a hole that go up underneath it and then plant seeds.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: And I did that... He taught me. Mama didn't teach me that, he taught me that. Mama tried to teach me things, but Huey'd come over with the horse and whatch-ma-call-it... They just made me take a string and level it off and everything. Didn't charge my mother or nothing. Well, see, my mother and Huey's mother were real tight, real good friends.

Alice: Hmm! Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: She was a real nice lady.

Alice: When you were growing up, Lincoln School was an all-black school wasn't it?

MR. EVANS: All-black!

Alice: All-black. And, then when you went over town to school, did you have a lot of problems with race, the race problem with the white kids or...?

MR. EVANS: I didn't have, but I think there was some places that some people were... In a way, I don't think it was all their fault either, because some of the coloreds decided to move in and wanted to be up where they're at.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: But, I never did try to fool with them. I stayed with mine.

Alice: Your own people.

MR. EVANS: That's right! You, see, some of them... You know, the ones who get in to the...?

Alice: Well, what about with education and jobs? Did they discriminate against you in school as far as your education, and...?

MR. EVANS: Not as far as I know.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I got out of high school.

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I come out of junior high school... You remember where junior high school was, don't you?

Alice: Yes, I do! On... On....

MR. EVANS: Mass, Central, and Old High?

Alice: ...And Old High.

MR. EVANS: Alright!

Alice: Right! The three schools.

MR. EVANS: I made it out of that and I made it out of high school.

Alice: Yes, yes! And, so when did you go into the Service?

MR. EVANS: Nineteen... What they say on my Discharge? I think it was 1945, I believe it was.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I think that's when it was. I got it somewhere.

Alice: Oh, that's alright.

MR. EVANS: I got a Discharge here. But, anyway, I think it was 1945.

Alice: Uh-huh. But, you went in, and what then?

MR. EVANS: We went to... When was the war? The war in Japan started in 1945 wasn't it?

Alice: For... I'm not sure. I'm not sure.

MR. EVANS: I think it was in the '40's.

Alice: It was in the '40's.

MR. EVANS: It was in the '40's.

Alice: It was in the '40's, right.

MR. EVANS: 'Cause I went in '45, or maybe I'm wrong.

Alice: No, it could be. I'm not questioning that. I know that you did go. What branch of the Service did you go into? What branch of Service?

MR. EVANS: I was in with the Tenth Calvary.

Alice: Okay, you were in the Tenth Calvary?

MR. EVANS: You see, I was in Fort Leavenworth...

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: ...And then they moved me up to Fort Riley, and that's when the General chose me... I was a cook. I had been to Cook and Baking School in Omaha, Nebraska.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: The General wanted a cook and they chose me, so that's how I really got sent overseas.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: I was his cook.

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh. Okay. And, so, when you joined, the branch you went into was the Army, was the Calvary?

MR. EVANS: The Tenth Calvary.

Alice: The Tenth Calvary?

MR. EVANS: Uh-huh, yeah.

Alice: And that was what we called the Buffalo Soldiers?

MR. EVANS: Buffalo Soldiers, that's right.

Alice: That's right, that's right. And, so, then at some point when you were in there, they quit using the horses... Is that the way that went?

MR. EVANS: No, it wasn't when I was in there. I don't know what happened after that.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: See, because they come up with, uh... What they call it? Automobiles and...

Alice: Mechanized units?

MR. EVANS: Mechanized units and stuff like that. But, see I'd already got out because I was overseas.

Alice: Oh, I see. Uh-huh, you had worked for the General there? Yeah. So what was the General's name?


Alice: You worked for what General?

MR. EVANS: Uh? God! Can't think of his name now. I got a picture of him.

Alice: That's all right. It'll come to you later. Sometimes when people ask you questions, it catch you off guard, but...

MR. EVANS: It's been so long (laughter).

Alice: So, anyway, you went overseas and you worked for the General. And, you have any memorable experiences back there?

MR. EVANS: Yeah. Well, the General had, uh... A Captain, and he and I, we'd, uh.... He was tall, but I can't think of his name now. He was a tall fellow there, and he and I got along real well. But he became a Major...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: So the General had to let him go, and he bought in a little punk from down South somewhere.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And, he didn't like me because the General would treat me like I was... I could go in his room or go any place, do this, do that...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: But, he and I didn't open up too good.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And, then, finally he got all in my face, I got too uppity for him and that was...

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And I started to tell him what I thought, so he went and told the General I did a whole lot of stuff that I didn't do. But I did do some stuff that I wanted to... Tell him what I want. And, so, the General told me, said "Well, I'm going to have to suspend you because the Captain told me you were talking too bad..." I said "No, I wasn't. I was just telling him what I wanted to tell him." And that's what I told the General, I said "I'm telling him what I want to tell him out of my mouth, what I feel like telling him."

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: He said "Well, we won't have any more of that. I'm going to get you packed up and find you a place." I said "Thank you!"

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I turned around, saluted him and walked out.

Alice: Uh-huh. So, where did they send you.

MR. EVANS: Down to (laughter)... I got in with another outfit. But it was a nice outfit, though. I had to go there because the war was over.

Alice: Uh-huh. And, so, what part of the country were you in then? You were in Europe, but what branch were you in?

MR. EVANS: No, the Pacific Islands.

Alice: Oh, in the Pacific Islands then?

MR. EVANS: Yeah.

Alice: Ooh.

MR. EVANS: That's when we got here, from back over there.

Alice: Right, right. Yeah.

MR. EVANS: No, it was... It wasn't the best thing in the world, don't get me wrong. I mean, I didn't hate it. But there are certain things in you... We had a good Captain.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: He became a Major.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: That's the reason why he was gone. The General couldn't keep him a Major under him, so he had to get this little punk out of... Ah, he was from down South somewhere...

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: ...And the General made him a Captain. And, then he became the General's Aid Captain. But...

Alice: But that's... It's all past now. How many years were you in Service?

MR. EVANS: Oh, God, I don't know. Let me go get my Discharge, I can tell you. I can tell you. Discharged, Quarter Master, Fort Riley.

Alice: Yeah. What were the conditions like for African-American soldiers during that war?

MR. EVANS: It was... It was... There was kind of racism back in them days.

Alice: Right, right.

MR. EVANS: You got to remember that they didn't care too much about us...

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: ...But, they wanted us because they wanted somebody else to get kill beside them (laughter).

Alice: Yeah. All right. Were you in an all-black company or were you mixed?

MR. EVANS: Oh, yeah, we were mixed. See, we'd get out in the field there and you...

Alice: You were mixed?


Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: But, I want to show you something.

Alice: I can't read that.

MR. EVANS: Oh, just a minute, I'm going to... Color hair... Color eyes: Brown. Color hair: Black. Height: 5'7.5", 176 pounds, boom, boom, boom. And then even when I went back to history of where I used to work at...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I used to be a...(inaudible - damper?)-man in Joliet, Illinois.

Alice: Oh, okay.

MR. EVANS: Yeah. But, anyway, they had me a truck driver-like...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: ...And, it's... It's not much, but that's my Discharge right there.

Alice: Yes, that's nice. That's nice. When I take pictures of your family and things, I'll take a picture of your Discharge too. We can set up a time and come and do that. Did any of the soldiers... Were you all in the active part of the war, where you were in danger when you were on the frontline?

MR. EVANS: Oh, you were in danger any time you get out there with a gun (laughter).

Alice: Right. Right. But, you all were in the...

MR. EVANS: We was over in the Pacific Islands and... I don't know whether I told you this or not, but that used to be trenches

Alice: Um-uh, you didn't tell me, but go ahead.

MR. EVANS: Used to be trenches, and then they'd take bamboo and sharpen it like needles, then they'd push it in the ground, then they'd take bamboo and stick it into the sides of the hole...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: ...And then they'd push grass... The cut sods of it, to put on top of that bamboo, and then when you'd walk through there you'd fall through there...

Alice: And then that bamboo would...

MR. EVANS: The bamboo would stick you.

Alice: Ummm, um, hmmm!

MR. EVANS: So you have to take a... When you start killing so many, then people act like they surprised. (Inaudible, knocking sounds).

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh. Were you wounded at all?


Alice: Were you wounded?

MR. EVANS: No, I didn't have nothing bother me. I got two guys, but I never had a problem. Never had a problem. Never had a problem.

Alice: When you were discharged what did you do then? Where did you go? What kind of job did you have? Where did you live?

MR. EVANS: Oh, I came back here and worked for a while, and then I went off to, uh... That plant over in North Lawrence...

Alice: FMC?

MR. EVANS: FMC. I worked for them and then the money wasn't right, and I went on vacation and then I bought an oldsmobile from Ship Winters. Brand new. I went on vacation, I went out to California and my... One of my kinfolks out there asked me, said "Well, how much you making, man?" I told him. He said "That ain't no money." He said "You ain't making no money." I said "That's alright, I can make it okay." He said "No, you ain't. I'm going to take you out tomorrow." I looked him, I said "Why?" So, we went out to different places, we went to a machine shop where there was a Japanese and a crew, and my brother-in-law asked him... He wasn't my brother-in-law, but he's my wife's brother-in-law... Asked him, he said "You have any openings?" He said "Yeah, we got a couple or so."

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: He said "This is my cousin from back up in Kansas." The man said "Well, what you looking for, a job?" I didn't say nothing. He said "Yeah, well, if you thinking about moving out here." He said "Well, we got an opening for you." So he asked me, said "Well, how long will it take you come out." I said "I don't know," I said "I'd have to get my clothes and things packed up and everything, and get a trailer or something to haul them with," and I said "I have no idea how long it would take me to get to you." He said "I'll tell you what, if you can get out here in a couple or three months," said "you got a job."

Alice: Hmm.

MR. EVANS: Yeah. So, I went... You remember Doris, don't you?

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: Doris Williams?

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: So, I went and told Doris, I said "I got a job out here in California," I said "pays more money than it is in Lawrence." I said "What do you think?" She said "Well, it's up to you." So, I asked my brother-in-law, I said "Well, how's the work out here?" He said "Oh, man, I can get you a good job," he said "there's good work out here." I said "Well, let's go out and check it out."

Alice: Uh-huh. And Doris was your wife?

MR. EVANS: Yeah, uh-huh, Doris Williams.

Alice: Doris Williams-Evans, that was your wife?

MR. EVANS: Yeah. And, I said "Uh, well... Got to talk to the old lady" I said. She said "Well, we'll go out here and check it out and see what's going on." So, I went out there and my brother-in-law... Not my brother, her brother-in-law, he took me out there and we looked at a place and went several places. And, we got this one place and it was a Japanese there. He was a foreigner.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And, we said "Well, you got any work here?" He said "Oh, yeah." He said "We got openings." He said "This is my brother-in-law back from Kansas and he's looking for a job." Now, I hadn't told him nothing, I just let it go because I figure he was going to say that we don't have any work. He said "Well, we got some openings," say "but how long would it take before you could get up here." He asked me, said "How long you think it would take you?" I said "It's going to take me several days."

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: He said "Well, I didn't mean that that way," but I said "I'd have to get my clothes and my things and then have to go get a trailer and everything to...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: ...move out there. He said "I'll tell you what I'll do," he said "If you can get out here before three weeks, you got the job."

Alice: Uh-huh. So, three weeks?

MR. EVANS: Three weeks. I said "Oh, God, that's going to be hard." But, you know what, Alice? God is my witness. A week and a half, I was in California.

Alice: Really?

MR. EVANS: I was, I was. I went to Kansas City, I left from there. I came back, drove all the way back here, went to Kansas City and got a trailer, come back and... See, I stayed right across the street from Huey Taylor and them then.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: I got me some... I bought me some rope and stuff and I loaded all the inside as much as I could and then I had... They had them little bars out there and I tied stuff down on top of it. So I drove from here all by myself, but I would stop at nighttime...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I'd pull into a service station and I'd gas up.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: And I'd ask him "Uh, could you let me stay here for a while. I'm driving up in from Kansas and," I'd say "I'm getting tired." He'd say "Yeah," he say, "just pull your truck right up there by the window so I can see you."

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I mean the car... Because I had the trailer. "Pull your car right up there where I can see it," he said, "keep your doors locked and crack the windows."

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I said "Okay." So I cracked the windows about like that, and I laid there and go to sleep. I'd wake up, go in the bathroom, go in there and I said "Well, thank you very much." He said "You're welcome." I said "How long is it to go, from here to California, now?" Because, see, I didn't know exactly where I was.

Alice: Where you were, right.

MR. EVANS: So, he says, "Well...," he'd tell me where I would end. He said "Well, you got quite a bit a ways to go yet, but you're pret'near close."

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I said "Okay. Thank you." I'd go to another filling station about 200 miles or so, go in there and do the same thing, gas up. So, I did that until I got Los Angeles, and then I called them up. When I got to that last station I got, I told them could I use the phone, I had the number...

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: ...and I called them up. I said "Well, I'm getting close," I said "I'm so and so... and so and so..." But, then, I said "I'm kind of leery of where I'm coming to."

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And she, Doris... You know Doris?

Alice: Right, right.

MR. EVANS: She said "Well, let me ask my brother-in-law." So, she asked him and he come up there and said "Well, you come so and so... and so and so. You come through this was and then you come..." I said "Wait a minute, man (laughter)!" I said "Just tell me something. What kind of road do I get off to and what...?" He said "Well, I tell you what..." He said "You make it off the highway coming in,"

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: He said "I'll be there and try to see you." I had a oldsmobile.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: A white and green oldsmobile and a blue trailer. I said "I'm going to have a trailer behind, so you'll know who it is."

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: So, he said "I'll be out there looking for you when you come off." I said "Okay." I come to the road, he started honking his horn and I looked over there, there he was.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: ...When we was out there, we had my whole family, my children and all.

Alice: How many children do you have?


Alice: Six children?

MR. EVANS: Uh-huh. Three boys and three girls.

Alice: Three boys and three girls?

MR. EVANS: Uh-huh.

Alice: And, do they live around here?

MR. EVANS: Shirley lives out there in Eudora.

Alice: And the rest of them?

MR. EVANS: And the rest of the live... All out in California.

Alice: California, yes!

MR. EVANS: Chuck, that's my next oldest son. Morris, Jr., he was in... Oh, God! Where you go way out, uh... Dumb, dumb! Oh, God, what was that...?

Alice: You'll think of it. Just name your other children.

MR. EVANS: Pam... Pamela is the baby girl. Roger is the baby boy. They live in California. Deborah, she's in Arizona, that's my next to the oldest daughter. She's under Shirley.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And, I got six kids.

Alice: Uh-huh. There's Shirley, Deborah, Roger, Morris, Jr., Pam, and... And there's one more.

MR. EVANS: I'm trying to think of who it is now.

Alice: Well, the boys are Morris and Roger. Now what's the third boy?

MR. EVANS: There's Roger, Morris, Pam, Debbie, Shirley... Hmmm! What's my oldest son?

Alice: It's not Morris?

MR. EVANS: Morris, Junior.

Alice: Okay. Well, you named him. Just name your boys. Morris, Jr., and Roger, and who else? Who's the third boy?

MR. EVANS: Morris, Jr., Roger and, uh... Oh, boy! God knows. Now that's a shame, I can't even now remember my son's name.

Alice: Well, it'll come to you, it'll come to you. That's all right.

MR. EVANS: There's Roger... PHILLIP! Phillip.

Alice: Phillip, okay.

MR. EVANS: Yeah.

Alice: Roger, Phillip and Morris, Jr. Then there's Shirley and Pam and...?

MR. EVANS: Roger.

Alice: No, girls?

MR. EVANS: And, uh...

Alice: Baby girl?


Alice: Pam's the baby girl?

MR. EVANS: Yeah.

Alice: And Shirley, and who?

MR. EVANS: Deborah.

Alice: Deborah. Deborah is the next and Shirley is the oldest?

MR. EVANS: Yeah.

Alice: Okay.

MR. EVANS: I think I got them all.

Alice: That's right, that's right. So, Shirley lives down in Eudora, you say?


Alice: Shirley lives in Eudora?

MR. EVANS: Yeah, she lives in Eudora.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: She's out there.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: I don't have no other children here.

Alice: Do you go see them very often?


Alice: Do you get to go see them very often?

MR. EVANS: Where, out there?

Alice: Your children? Uh-huh, they're in California.

MR. EVANS: I haven't been out there for... I don't know how long. I've been out here ever since... This is about what, my fourth year or fifth year? I don't know.

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: I get so lost... I've been out here so long, I don't know. But I was out here a long time.

Alice: Yes, yes. Back here in Lawrence?

MR. EVANS: Yeah, uh-huh.

Alice: Yeah, a long time. Tell me about some of the things you did. You had mentioned the other day, when we were doing the pre-interview, about the barber shop and the domino games.

MR. EVANS: Oh, they used to play... That was... They had a...

Alice: Who had the barber shop?

MR. EVANS: Uh...

Alice: Monroe's Barber Shop? Bud Monroe?

MR. EVANS: Bud Monroe had it.

Alice: Bud Monroe!

MR. EVANS: Yeah.

Alice: And, so, what did you all do there?

MR. EVANS: We'd go in there and talk and rap and what he wanted to give you. And we go in there and play dominoes. Bud liked to play dominoes too. So we all played dominoes there.

Alice: You all had a domino group over there?

MR. EVANS: Yeah! Uh-huh.

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: Sit around there and play dominoes, and then when somebody come in we kind of quiet down a little bit and... We'd make so much noise. But, as soon as Bud get through cutting hair, he was ready to go back down on that game (laughter).

Alice: (Laughter), yes.

MR. EVANS: When did he pass? Did he pass away here?

Alice: Yes, yes he did. He, uh... He ended up in a rest home.

MR. EVANS: Oh, did he?

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: Hmmm. Now, he and I was...

Alice: Real close.

MR. EVANS: ...Like that.

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: We were very close.

Alice: Very close. Yeah, he passed away. He had got ill and then his health degenerated and at the time his wife was sick and now his wife's dead too.

MR. EVANS: Hmmm.

Alice: Both of them are dead.

MR. EVANS: Oh, God!

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And, Bud's way younger than I am.

Alice: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he passed away, and I want to say about two or three years ago. I'm not sure about the date though.

MR. EVANS: So he passed away just recently?

Alice: Yeah, just recently.

MR. EVANS: Oh, I didn't even now know he was still living, tell you the truth about it.

Alice: Yeah, just about three... Two years, maybe two years or three years ago.


Alice: Uh-huh, yeah. And his wife's been dead maybe less than a year... No, a year, about a year, maybe a little better than a year.


Alice: Yeah, yeah. That's kind of a bad thing. But, anyway, he was ill, so... And, when people are ill, you just don't want to see them hang on and hang on. When you were in California, you lived in the Los Angeles, right? In the Watts area?

MR. EVANS: Watts area, yeah.

Alice: Watts is famous for some riots and things that happened there, but was that during the time you were there or way later?

MR. EVANS: I don't really know because Watts was just... just plain to us. We didn't have too many whites out there.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: Very few.

Alice: Mostly black?

MR. EVANS: It was all-colored.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: We had to get off... Let's say, like we had to get off the Arbor Freeway, that's going off at Watts. Arbor Freeway, the Howard Freeway, depends on where you were working.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: You had to stop off and get off on...

Alice: On another freeway, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: And if they had an accident on freeway, (clap).

Alice: I got to witness one of those one time, a 200-car pile-up. I didn't see it, I saw it on television, they showed it on the television.

MR. EVANS: Things just (clap), everything stops.

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: If you can't get to ease out and get out there and go around it, you gone be stuck there for a hour, hour and a half, because they got to wait for those trucks to come through there and they got to move people out the way and on the sides and all that kind of stuff. Oh, it was... (laughter). Alice, I liked... I didn't like to work in Watts, because it wasn't no good money out there. Colored money.

Alice: Uh-huh, uh-huh. Right.

MR. EVANS: So I would like to work where the white folks give you good bucks.

Alice: Good pay. Right, right.

MR. EVANS: So, that take care of me and my family and everything. They was giving me all I need, because I was getting good jobs.

Alice: Right. Yes. That's good.

MR. EVANS: And I had... I had a good foremen, a little Japanese.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: (Inaudible). He and I was the only non-white friends.

Alice: Well, when you came back to Lawrence, after you retired and after the 22 years out there and you moved back here, did you go to work again?


Alice: You were completely retired then?

MR. EVANS: I retired. Yeah, I was getting retirement. I was getting my retirement money then.

Alice: Right, right. And, so, what do you do now? You're retired, what kinds of things do you do? Do you have any hobbies or...?


Alice: No?

MR. EVANS: I go out and rap with the people (laughter).

Alice: Yeah (laughter).

MR. EVANS: And we got out to eat, some of us. We go out.

Alice: Yeah.

MR. EVANS: We get together and go out and have dinner somewhere. I spend my time... Go to church, stick around and then go out in to the lobby out there and talk to some of the people out there.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: You know ain't too many of us out here?

Alice: Right. I met a lady out there while I was looking for you and she was saying "Oh, he was here this morning, I just spoke to him."

MR. EVANS: A little lady?

Alice: Uh-huh, a little short lady.

MR. EVANS: They're nice. I'm not bragging, but I got along with white people. See, we did a lot in school.

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I don't know why they... Now, I can see coloreds, we get along good, and then there's some others walk in...

Alice: Uh-huh.

MR. EVANS: I'm not going to hate them.

Alice: Right, right.

MR. EVANS: I wasn't raised that way and I ain't going to be part of it.

Alice: Well, that's right. That's right.

MR. EVANS: Because my mother raised me to be... "Careful, don't do nothing you don't have to do, and stay out of trouble."

Alice: That's right.

MR. EVANS: I ain't never been arrested in my life.

Alice: Well, praise the Lord for that. That's great. Well, listen, I'm about to close this interview for today. I want to come back and take some pictures of you and your family shelf and your Discharge paper, and then that'll go along with this, because this will be going into the Spencer Research Library.

MR. EVANS: I'll tell you what... I'm bragging now, but read that... That shows you how good I was.

Alice: "Rifle Expert."

MR. EVANS: That's right.

Alice: Thirteenth of April, 1945. You had the Rifle Expert Award.

MR. EVANS: That's right. I was tough, I could shoot. My family used to go out hunting rabbits...

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: ....and stuff like that.

Alice: Right. Squirrels...

MR. EVANS: Squirrels. And, I... To tell you the truth about it, that helped my family. My mother, my grandmother... You remember Violet?

Alice: Oh, yes. Now, I don't remember your grandmother, but I do remember your mother.

MR. EVANS: Well, Violet was my grandmother. That lady come out of slavery. That white lady told her, said "Violet, you are free now." She worked her way all the way from down South... I do know whereabouts, but all the way from down South up here.

Alice: Uh-huh, right.

MR. EVANS: That's where she met my grandfather, he was in Civil War too.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: They got married and that's when my mother and my uncles and aunts and things, that's where they come from (laughter).

Alice: Yes, yes.

MR. EVANS: But, anyway...

Alice: Well, I'll tell you what, I want to come back. I'm going to find out a date that you can come back, but I want to thank you for giving this interview and then I want, if you want to continue and tell us some more things about your life, we'll set up another time. Maybe the time when I come back to take your pictures. But, anyway, it's been a pleasure.

MR. EVANS: It's been nice talking to you. Because it makes me feel good. I get to go remember things.

Alice: Right.

MR. EVANS: Like what I have been through, it's a long time been left behind.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: Now it's back up.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: I can remember these things. It felt good. I've had these things for so many years.

Alice: Yeah, 1945.

MR. EVANS: That's right.

Alice: That's a long time.

MR. EVANS: And, I don't believe some have ever even now think about it. Seriously, I don't even now think about it.

Alice: Yes.

MR. EVANS: But, now that I read it, you look at it, and it goes way back and tells a lot of things about you.

Alice: Yes, it's a lot of information.

MR. EVANS: That's right. A lot of things I've forgotten.

Alice: On our next visit, when I come back again, if you want to talk some more, we'll put some more on this tape.

MR. EVANS: All right.

Alice: Okay? And, then, we'll take the pictures then.

MR. EVANS: All right.

Alice: Okay.

Alice: Now, Mr. Evans, repeat what you just said. I had told you that this would be put in the Spencer Research Library and used at the Sesquicentennial, and you have the option of whether it can be used in the library, the Lawrence Public Library, the school system, or on the internet. What do you feel about that? What permission do you give us?

MR. EVANS: Well, I don't have any thing about it. I just feel like it shouldn't be hidden. It's something that's been hid and other people should know what it's about.

Alice: What it's about. Okay. Well, that gives us permission to use this then. And, thank you very much. And, I'll give you a written permission slip when I come back, so that you can sign that, and we'll date it as of today when we did the interview. Okay, thank you.


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