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Larry Huggins

Pioneering construction executive Larry Andrew Huggins was born on February 5, 1950 in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois to Mary Hightower. The second of four siblings, he graduated from Englewood High School in 1968 and continued his education at Washburne Trade School, where he got his painter’s certificate in 1972.

Huggins began his career as a painter for the black-owned Brown’s Drywall Company in 1975. His own company, Riteway Construction, began as Riteway Painting and Decorating in 1983, and with help from mentoring by larger firms and projects set aside in affirmative action programs, Huggins’ company acquired several of the most pivotal construction projects of the time including the Harold Washington Library, the United Airlines terminal at O’Hare Airport and the Chicago Board of Trade building. Huggins’ company, Riteway Construction, saw continued success in the 1990s and landed a joint deal as contractor for the Unicom Thermal Technologies, Inc., the $6 million district cooling plant. Huggins was a founding member of Black Contractors United, which continues to support and pave the way for African Americans in the construction industry.

Huggins and Riteway Construction have committed to many projects on Chicago’s West and South Sides. Riteway Construction continues to flourish as an award-winning construction service, obtaining major municipal, residential and commercial ventures each year, including the 2005 McCormick Place expansion and remodeling an apartment complex defaulted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1997. In 1997, Huggins became the first African American to sit on the board of Chicago’s commuter rail system, Metra. In 2001, Riteway Construction was contracted on the ten-year re-development of the Ida B. Wells housing projects, which a team including Riteway Construction have worked to rebuild into market-rate, affordable housing for the Chicago Housing Authority.

Many of Huggins’ numerous philanthropic efforts lead back to his childhood community in Chicago. He gives scholarships to single-parent children and created a $10,000 yearly scholarship at Englewood High School. Huggins is a continuous participant in the Chicago Public School’s “Principal for a Day” Program. In 1996, he gave $7,000 worth of toys to children in his old neighborhood of Englewood. Many organizations have recognized Huggins for his groundbreaking career and service to the Chicago community, including the Chicago Defender, the Chicago Urban League, the African American Contractors Association, Bank of America and the Chicago Economic Development Corporation. He is still a resident of Chicago and was honored by Englewood High School with the Larry Huggins Basketball Shootout.

Huggins was interviewed by The Historymakers on February 4, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.007

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/4/2008

Last Name

Huggins

Maker Category
Schools

Englewood High School

Wesley Avenue School

Beale Elementary School

Washburne Trade School

First Name

Larry

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

HUG06

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

Emilie McKendall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

At The End Of The Day.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/5/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak

Short Description

Construction entrepreneur Larry Huggins (1950 - ) owns Riteway Construction Company founded in Chicago, Illinois. Ritway Construction Company was contracted to re-develop the Ida B. Well Housing Projects.

Employment

Riteway Huggins Construction Services, Inc.

M. Ecker and Company

The American Company

R.S. Bailey and Associates, Inc.

R. Jack Construction Company

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins narrates his photographs

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Larry Huggins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins describe his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins describes his father's work ethic

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins describes his home life

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins describes his brothers' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larry Huggins talks about his grandmothers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins recalls the summers in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins recalls his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls living with his aunt

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins describes the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins remembers the gang activity in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins recalls his influences at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larry Huggins remembers the impact of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins recalls his decision to attend the Washburne Trade School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins describes his training at the Washburne Trade School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins remembers integrating the Washburne Trade School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins recalls his first position as a professional painter

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls his painting apprenticeship at the Washburne Trade School

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins describes lessons from his career as a painter

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins recalls his decision to become a self-employed contract painter

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins remembers the African American general contractors in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins recalls the founding of Riteway Painting and Decorating, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins describes his role as the president of Riteway Painting and Decorating Company, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Larry Huggins describes Chicago Mayor Harold Washington's minority business initiative

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins remembers founding the Black Contractors United

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins recalls the election of Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins talks about the construction contracts at Chicago O'Hare International Airport

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins remembers his contracts at Chicago O'Hare International Airport

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls his political activism in the City of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins recalls a conflict within the Black Contractors United

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins recalls his role in Harold Washington's mayoral administration

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins recalls the end of Chicago's minority business initiative under Mayor Richard M. Daley

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins recalls his contract to paint the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins recalls his contract to paint the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins remember the mentorship of Gerald McCollam

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins describes his firm's relationship with the Tribco Construction Company

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins recalls lessons from his career as a general contractor

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins talks about his bankruptcy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins describes his relationship with the Turner Construction Company

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins recalls his first project as a general contractor

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins recalls his collaboration with Nelson Carlo

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins describes the difference between a joint venture and subcontracting

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins recalls his endorsement of Jim Edgar's gubernatorial campaign in Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins recalls his work on the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins recalls the divisions within the Black Contractors United

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins recalls his decision to leave the Black Contractors United

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins talks about his departure from the Black Contractors United

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins remembers his nomination to the Metra board

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins recalls the issues during his tenure on the Metra board

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins remembers organizing the Chicago Football Classic

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Larry Huggins recalls the creation of the Chicago Football Classic

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Larry Huggins talks about the Chicago Football Classic

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Larry Huggins describes the Christmas in Englewood Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Larry Huggins talks about his civic activities in the Englewood community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Larry Huggins reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Larry Huggins reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Larry Huggins describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Larry Huggins reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Larry Huggins describes his advice to aspiring construction company founders

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Larry Huggins describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Larry Huggins remembers founding the Black Contractors United
Larry Huggins recalls his contract to paint the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, pt. 1
Transcript
--Campaign for Harold Washington, were you, you were really just an entrepreneur trying to make money, right--$$But--yes, I was.$$Okay.$$Well, let me, let me go back to-$$Okay.$$Well, you know, in 1979 when we formed Black Contractors United.$$So you, that, okay.$$I was one of the founding members of Black Contractors United.$$Can you talk about that, then? Oh, you are gonna talk about that, okay.$$Yes, I definitely--well, Murray Brown, Murray Brown who was my partner at the time [at Riteway Painting and Decorating, Inc., Chicago, Illinois], James Martin [ph.] of, which is Robert Martin's brother, C.F. Moore [Charles F. Moore, Sr.], and Lawrence Woods [ph.], and a guy by the name of Reverend A.I. Dunlap [Alexander I. Dunlap], and of course, there was Taylor Cotton [Taylor Cotton, Jr.] with Chicago Urban League [Chicago, Illinois] and Glenn Harston [Glenn M. Harston] and Rufus Taylor from the West Side. You know when (background noise), what's essentially Dearborn Park [Chicago, Illinois]-$$Hold on one second. Hold on. While you're talking about Black Contractors United, what, was, was Paul King [HistoryMaker Paul J. King] in that at all?$$(OFF CAMERA VOICE): No, that's your office calling.$$Paul King came later. Paul King had another organization [West Side Builders Association; The United Builders Association of Chicago], which was before Black Contractors United.$$That was Black, Black--$$Was it community builders?$$Okay.$$Not community builders, but they were on the West Side [Chicago, Illinois], so they had another organization.$$Okay.$$But BCU was actually formed and came together after the success of Dearborn Park where, when he was building that, the Urban League was able to get the developer to use black contractors down there, and like Ernie Bush [Ernest Bush, Sr.] built so many of the homes, James Martin built a lot of the homes and now the first time that you have a lot of black contractors working on a single project at one time, but with the success of Dearborn Park, the Urban League decided let's come together and form another contractors association [Minority Contractors Alliance], and, of course, our first meeting was at Army and Lou's [Chicago, Illinois], where we met for lunch one day and, of course, I was there, Steve Garth [Steven A. Garth, Sr.] was there at the time, and of course Taylor Cotton [Taylor Cotton, Jr.], James Martin, Glenn Harston [Glenn M. Harston], Rufus Taylor, Lawrence Woods [ph.], and like I said, Reverend A.I. Dunlap [Alexander I. Dunlap]. And, what we talked about is putting together an organization and we decided to name it Black Contractors United and the purpose of that was to make sure that African Americans got an opportunity to participate mainly in a lot of the downtown projects which, at that particular point in time, just really did not exist for us. So that's how we became more advocates, so one of the things that we did is that, of course, in the early stages of that, you know, if we went and we identified a project and they weren't using contractors, you know if we have to march or picket, we were always prepared really to do that so it was, of course, during the time when Harold Washington decided to come to run for mayor was when, from a political standpoint, we began to have help raise money during Harold Washington's candidacy which, at the time, when I think you had Bush, was a real strong supporter of Harold Washington and also Charlie Moore, so a lot of the money that we raised as contractors, we gave it to Ernie Bush and Charlie Moore, and they, in turn, contributed to the campaign.$Let me ask this and I want to back to '83 [1983], but just a couple thin- you know, you mentioned several things that I'd like to address. What, how were you guys showing discrimination [in the predicate study]? What were the stories, like when you brought people in front to testify before, what were they, what things of discrimination were they talking about?$$Let me give you the best example that really happened to me. When, under, during the Washington [Harold Washington] administration, as I said, when minority contractors got an opportunity to go downtown to do work in the Loop [Chicago, Illinois], at the time I was painting the Federal Reserve Bank [Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois]. I was the only minority contractor that was working at the bank at the time and there was another guy, I can't think of the contractor's name. He had a little small masonry job, but we had to contract to paint the entire Federal Reserve Bank under Pepper Construction Company [Pepper Construction Group, LLC, Chicago, Illinois]. Everything that I did, if there was a little spot on the wall, you know, when the architects came to punch list my work, anything that he saw he made me do it over and over again. And because I was the only contractor there, you know, there was a lot of change in the work, you know, Pepper wouldn't process to change orders and I remember going to Gene Sawyer [HistoryMaker Eugene Sawyer], Congressman Savage [HistoryMaker Gus Savage], Chicago Urban League [Chicago, Illinois], John Stroger [HistoryMaker John H. Stroger, Jr.] was the county board commissioner at the time, Allan Streeter, Bob Shaw [HistoryMaker William E. Shaw], Beavers [William M. Beavers], and I was telling them about the fact that Pepper wouldn't pay me, and this architect [Bertrand Goldberg] kept making me do work over and over again, and what they were doing, they were going to bankrupt me into bankruptcy because when I submitted a pay application to get paid, instead of them saying I was 30 percent complete, they would say I was only 20 percent complete, so which meant that I was taken another whole thirty days, they have to bill for the additional 10 percent. The unions came at me because when I went downtown, at one time, I used to have an all-black crew that made me put on a lot of white employees, so between the unions telling me that to a certain extent, you can't bring all these African Americans down here and work and made me put on some of their members at a Local 147 [Chicago Painters District Local 147], which was that downtown local, from the architect that scrutinized my work. As a matter of fact, I even got a letter from the union saying that basically my work, the work that I was doing was up to painting standards, so I even had a letter from the union that said that this architect was very picky.

Ray F. Wilson

Chemistry professor, construction entrepreneur, and lawyer Ray Floyd Wilson was born on February 20, 1926, in Giddings, Texas to Beulah and Fred Wilson. As a young boy, Wilson worked with his family in the fields and with the livestock while going to school. Wilson was drafted by the U.S. Navy in 1944, before he could attend college. He went to submarine school and served in World War II in the Pacific Theater. While in the Navy, Wilson achieved the rank of petty officer third class. After graduating with his B.S. degree in chemistry and math from Samuel Huston College in 1950, Wilson was awarded his M.S. degree in chemistry and math in 1951 from Texas Southern University (TSU). Subsequent to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1950 decision in Sweatt v. Painter, Wilson was the first African American student to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry and math from the University of Texas at Austin in 1953.

After he received his Ph.D., Wilson joined the TSU Faculty in Houston as an associate professor of chemistry. Rising to the rank of full professor in only four years, Wilson continued to teach at TSU for forty-two years, turning down various offers from other universities and research centers. Wilson authored eighty-three different articles that have appeared in national or international scientific journals. He has been a longtime member and president of the TSU chapter of the Texas Association of College Teachers, and mentored many students.

While working as a professor, Wilson started working as a part-time real estate broker in the 1960s. By the 1970s, he owned and operated his own contracting company and was awarded many major public works contracts in Houston over a period of three decades. In 1972, Wilson received his J.D. degree from TSU, graduating with the highest GPA in the school’s history. Wilson used his degree to do pro bono work for his church, his community and his own interests. After moving to Houston, Wilson was an active member of the Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ where he oversaw the Sunday school and church credit union.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Wilson served as a Congressional Counselor to the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, the first African American female from a southern state to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Congressman Mickey Leland. Wilson retired from TSU in 1999.

Ray Floyd Wilson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 11, 2007.

Wilson passed away on June 10, 2015.

Accession Number

A2007.232

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/11/2007

Last Name

Wilson

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

F.

Schools

Texas Southern University

Huston-Tillotson University

University of Texas at Austin

Giddings Colored High School

First Name

Ray

Birth City, State, Country

Giddings

HM ID

WIL41

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

If You Don't Work, You'll Steal.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

2/20/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Vegetables

Death Date

6/10/2015

Short Description

Construction entrepreneur and chemistry professor Ray F. Wilson (1926 - 2015 ) taught chemistry at Texas Southern University for forty-two years, and was the first African American student to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry and math from the University of Texas at Austin. He owned and operated his own building contractor company, and did pro bono work for his church and community after earning his J.D. degree.

Employment

United States Navy

Texas Southern University

Various

Five Eleven Home Repair, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ray F. Wilson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ray F. Wilson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ray F. Wilson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ray F. Wilson talks about the cowboys of Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ray F. Wilson remembers his paternal great-aunt, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ray F. Wilson remembers his paternal great-aunt, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ray F. Wilson describes his mother's education and activities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ray F. Wilson describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ray F. Wilson describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ray F. Wilson recalls his experiences of discrimination at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ray F. Wilson describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ray F. Wilson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ray F. Wilson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ray F. Wilson describes the Jim Crow laws in Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ray F. Wilson talks about Superintendent David Everett

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ray F. Wilson remembers picking cotton

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ray F. Wilson describes his grade school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ray F. Wilson remembers Giddings Colored High School in Giddings, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ray F. Wilson remembers being drafted into the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ray F. Wilson recalls his role as a U.S. Navy steward in World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ray F. Wilson talks about his success as a gambler

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ray F. Wilson talks about his higher education

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ray F. Wilson describes his experiences at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ray F. Wilson remembers joining the faculty of Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ray F. Wilson talks about his career in real estate

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ray F. Wilson remembers teaching at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ray F. Wilson talks about his chemistry research

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ray F. Wilson reflects upon his research methods

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ray F. Wilson talks about his work as a government contractor

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ray F. Wilson describes his career in real estate and construction

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ray F. Wilson describes his other academic interests while a professor of chemistry

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ray F. Wilson recalls his students at Texas Southern University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ray F. Wilson describes opportunities at Texas Southern University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ray F. Wilson talks about his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ray F. Wilson remembers U.S. Representatives Barbara Jordan and Mickey Leland

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ray F. Wilson talks about the Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ray F. Wilson describes his home in Houston, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ray F. Wilson reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ray F. Wilson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ray F. Wilson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ray F. Wilson describes his advice to African American youth

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ray F. Wilson reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ray F. Wilson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ray F. Wilson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

4$8

DATitle
Ray F. Wilson talks about the cowboys of Texas
Ray F. Wilson remembers picking cotton
Transcript
I don't know, you're the first person in Houston [Texas] I've asked this question of, but I'm kind of surprised as I sit here it became, I just had the realization that nobody that I've interviewed has grown up in Houston or in Texas this week that's talked about black cowboys at all. Is--were there any--was there any such thing as a black cowboy when you were growing up or when your mother [Beulah McCloud Wilson] was growing up, did she ever talk about it?$$We didn't talk about cowboys as such, but horses and mules were indispensable--was an indispensable part of the environment. Transportation, you either walked and but if you had to go several miles you go by horseback. If you had a load, everybody had a wagon and so you hooked the mules up--a doubletree, you used two mules and use a doubletree, hook them up and so cotton and so forth, you carry it in a wagon.$$Carry it to market in town?$$Yes, wagon. And one wagon would carry a bale of cotton easily. So, and then you would have a buggy. Some people had--if you, an average person in the community you had a buggy, and a buggy you'd have one or two horses, sometime one horse. And the buggy you'd go to and fro and the horse would just kind of at a trot, and so that was a fast way of transportation, five or ten miles an hour, rather than walking, you would be traveling at three to four miles an hour, unless you're a real professional walker you could do four or five miles an hour. So that was from place to place, wagon and you ride--a saddle--in the family you'd have one or two saddles and people would go by horseback. But black people didn't call it cowboys much, they called it a mode of transportation. Cowboy was something you looked at as white people being a cowboy.$$I think I've talked to some Mexicans or Mexican Americans that actually call white people the cowboys, that's what they call them.$$Even the songs, we kind of looked around on the left side, cowboys were really signified white people only. And so, and blacks would ride those horses, but they'd ride them without saddles, break them and so forth. Yes, I mean, they would ride, but we didn't look at them as cowboys, at least in my community we didn't. But we would ride, crawl up on that horse with no saddle or anything and ride them until the world looked little.$And we'd grow up on a cotton pick, and there was only two persons that could out pick me, I was eleven years old, was Cotton Picking Red and my oldest brother. So we would--we would do all of our crops and finish them and then go up on a cotton pick and so forth. And I enjoyed, yeah, three, Cotton Picking Red, my oldest brother [Freddy Wilson], and a mechanical cotton picker, those are the only two that could.$$(Laughter) Now, who was Cotton Picking Red, you haven't tell us about him?$$He was a fellow who wen the whole season, he'd start down south, Corpus Christi [Texas], and pick cotton. And they'd pick cotton and go out west, and then on the day before Christmas, they come home and they'd been picking cotton over half of the year. And that was his profession. And so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Did he have red hair, was he really--really that (unclear)?$$He was kind of red, you know, because he was not black like me and he wasn't white like the plantation owner, but yeah, but he could go and that's all he did was. And I would--I could pick half a bale, I was at Huston-Tillotson [Samuel Huston College; Huston-Tillotson University, Austin, Texas] working on my bachelor's [degree] and they had just nine weeks summer. I'd get out and leave and go to Rosebud [Texas], and pick cotton and I'd get out there early, six o'clock, by eleven I'd have eleven hundred pounds. I enjoy--I got a ranch here and then three in--I got a tractor and our ranch--I sold a lot of my cattle because too much work. You see how we had stuff stacked then, helping people in the community.$$So is there a secret to picking cotton that fast?$$I had a brother that could hardly pick, stand up in the field and--he could hardly pick fifty pounds on a day. I picked eleven hundred and get out there at six. Eleven o'clock I'd have that big long sack and I could just pick that--this--that cotton. It's just all over that stalk.$$Is there a secret to it, do you have to do something special to be able to pick that fast?$$It's nothing secret about it, it's just working your fingers and you're moving and so forth, and some people don't take the cotton and put it all back there. You take your--knock it open like that and you see it, it's like swimming or anything.$$Okay, so you develop a motion for it.$$Right. I could pick three rows, I'm so fast that I'd be walking straddled this one and I'd pick that cotton on this one and just be walking with that long sack. I was a little fellow, I'd almost need somebody to help me pull it up on that be- you know them boards. A hundred fifty pounds, I need to crawl up every--it would be hard for me to empty.