The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr.

Gilbert R. Mason, Sr., “wade-in” activist and physician, was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on October 7, 1928. When he graduated from Jackson’s Lanier High School in 1945, Mason dreamed of becoming a doctor. He earned a B.S. degree from Tennessee State University in 1949. He earned an M.D. degree from Howard University Medical School in 1954 and served a year as an intern at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mason started a family practice in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1955. In May 1959, he led a nonviolent protest against the “whites only” section of a federally funded Gulf Coast beach. Mason’s group was arrested. Subsequent “wade-ins” ignited some of the bloodiest white rioting in Mississippi history. These resulted in a successful antidiscrimination lawsuit against the state of Mississippi, the first such case filed in U.S. history. At the same time, Mason filed the first school desegregation lawsuit in the history of Biloxi, which he also won. Mason collaborated with other Mississippi NAACP activists, including Winston Hudson, Amzie Moore, Aaron Henry and Medgar Evers. He helped the NAACP join with CORE, SNCC and SCLC to form the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). Mason played a role in COFO’s massive black voter registration drive, the Freedom Summer of 1964. Mason served as president of the Mississippi NAACP for thirty-three years.

The recipient of numerous awards as a physician, Mason was recognized with a special commendation by joint resolution of the Mississippi State Legislature on March 1, 2002 for his contributions to the Biloxi Regional Medical Center. He resided in Biloxi where he was known as “the civil rights doctor” until his death on July 8, 2006.

On Sunday, July 30, 2006, the mayor of Biloxi, Mississippi proclaimed it to be Dr. Gilbert Mason Day in Biloxi.

Selected Bibliography

Beaches, Blood and Ballots: A Black Doctor’s Civil Rights Struggles. (1998) By Dr. Gilbert Mason and James Patterson Smith.

Accession Number

A2002.202

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/11/2002

Last Name

Mason

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Organizations
Schools

Lanier High School

Tennessee State University

Howard University College of Medicine

First Name

Gilbert

Birth City, State, Country

Jackson

HM ID

MAS02

Favorite Season

None

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nassau, Hawaii, Silver Springs, Maryland

Favorite Quote

If It Is Done When It Is Done, It Will Be Well If It Is Done Quickly.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/7/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Okra, Collard Greens, Pork Chops, Pineapple Cream Pie

Death Date

7/8/2006

Short Description

Social activist and family practitioner Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. (1928 - 2006 ) worked as a physician in Mississippi for over forty years, and led a nonviolent protest against the “whites only” section of a federally maintained Gulf Coast beach, which resulted in a successful and historic first federal anti-discrimination lawsuit against the state of Mississippi. Mason and local activists also won the first school desegregation lawsuit in the history of Mississippi.

Employment

Homer G. Phillips Hospital (St. Louis, Missouri)

Howard Memorial Hospital

Private Practice

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:5208,74:19810,232:55080,612:82204,949:102838,1310:199770,2182:201420,2236:203520,2504:207795,2589:275180,3366$0,0:2456,19:9512,162:27650,391:40950,658:61430,917:130850,1568
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his paternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his maternal family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his paternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the research he is doing on his paternal great-grandfather, who was allegedly a slave of George Mason

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his paternal great-great grandfather's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about his maternal great-great grandfather, Confederate Army Brigadier General William Wirt Adams

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his father's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his maternal family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes why his parents settled in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood in Jackson, Mississippi, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood in Jackson, Mississippi, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his childhood interests and activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about his paternal great-grandmother, Suzanna Mason

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. shares memories from his childhood in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes what a slaughter bin is

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes stargazing as a child in Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about being a Boy Scout and becoming an Eagle Scout

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes what happened to his Eagle Scout friend, Joe

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his experiences in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes why he attended Jim Hill High School rather than Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the history of schools in Jackson, Mississippi, and black Mississippi government officials

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about transferring to Lanier High School and skipping eleventh grade

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. shares meaningful moments from high school

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes two of his high school football coaches' connections with black activists

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about his high school class- and teammate, HistoryMaker Lerone Bennett, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the use of second-hand materials in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes why he enrolled at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes how he made extra money as a student at Tennessee State University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his experiences attending Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his experiences with racism as an intern at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes the racism he faced working as a doctor

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes why he continued to practice medicine in Biloxi, Mississippi rather than move to Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his involvement in the fight to desegregate schools in Biloxi, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his work on desegregating Mississippi's beaches

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about forming the Gulf Coast Civic Action Committee and the first wade-in on the Gulf Coast Beach

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about organizing and participating in the "Bloody Sunday" wade-in on the Gulf Coast Beach

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about being reprimanded by the Gulf Coast Medical Society for his Civil Rights activities

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about raising money for the Gulf Port branch of the NAACP

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about Medgar Evers

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about Gulf Coast Beach in Biloxi, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the ruling that effectively desegregated Gulf Coast Beach in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about being a consultant for the film "Ghost of Mississippi"

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes what happened to the money intended for his bail after the Gulf Coast Beach wade-ins of 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes how the Biloxi Branch of the NAACP integrated Biloxi, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the racism he faced trying to attend the 1960 Boy Scouts of America Jamboree in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes how his Boy Scout troop was discriminated against in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about pressuring the City of Biloxi to put blacks on the police force, in the sheriff's department, and in city hall

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the issues the Mississippi NAACP faced

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about forming the Council of Federated Organizations in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about attending the Democratic National Conventions as Parliamentarian of the Freedom Democratic Party

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about working with President Richard Nixon and President Lyndon B. Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes what he learned from serving on an ad-hoc committee to bring the National Football League to Biloxi, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. shares memories from the various committees he has served on

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes a racist incident at Howard Memorial Hospital in Biloxi, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about the Academy of Family Practice, the American Board of Family Physicians, and the Mississippi State Licensure Board

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. describes his reasons for filing a school desegregation lawsuit against the City of Biloxi, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about retirement

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

9$10

DATitle
Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about organizing and participating in the "Bloody Sunday" wade-in on the Gulf Coast Beach
Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr. talks about forming the Council of Federated Organizations in 1963
Transcript
So the students, I organized them and the next Sunday, April the 24th, we called it bloody Sunday. They were waiting for us. They got ready too, with pipes and chains and baseball bats and cue sticks. So when we went down there, they had walkie talkies. We organized it at my office and we left from there. Anyway they were waiting for us. Now we thought the sheriff, we helped to elect him, was going protect us. And they the guys stand up there with their hands on their hips. And they met us with baseball bats and what have you. I wasn't supposed to drive my car down there, but I had drove it, and there were two young men, Gilmore Fielder and Joe Lundburger, they had em down on neutral ground beating them up and had cue sticks, so I jumped out of the car and took the cue stick from em and I beat one with the cue sticks and the other one grabbed me and I bit him. I said Lord, I'm glad it wasn't much AIDS back in those days. So some of us--the undertaker whose place we have went to another section of the beach and they were beating him up so bad and Mrs. McDaniels fell across him and said please don't kill my husband. And big mama whose married to the barber, she about 300 pounds, she said you want to beat on somebody, beat on me. At any rate the future undertaker, Galloway, they broke his knees by hitting him across the knees with the cue sticks. And we had a guy who owned a cleaner name Brown, they beat him across the head, you'll see some of those pictures in archives. Anyway they arrested Gilmore Fielder and me and Joe Lundburger. And I told em, I said the guy's name was deputy sheriff, I said, I ain't got time to be arrested. I said I'll come back and give myself us as soon as I sew these people up. So I went on and took care of them and gave them lock jaw (unclear) and then I went on down gave myself up. He said well he said he was coming back. So they took me and finger printed me. And by that time my wife and Christopher Rosato was a friend of mine were there with my bail money. So then we had to work to get the other people out. This is the 24th now, of April, Bloody Sunday.$$And--$$How many people went to the beach that Sunday?$$Huh?$$How many people went to the beach that Sunday, how many black folks?$$Oh, I'll say about 200 in all places.$$And how many whites were there with--$$Oh, they outnumbered us three to one. All right. So--and the students were there. And it was so many of my Boy Scouts out there, I saw one report says that a Boy Scouts who Dr. Mason led the Boy Scout troupe down there for an activity, that isn't so. It just happened to be (unclear) Carney and his brother--Carney. I told Carney, I said, I see they said something else other than (unclear) run over the railroad track. The only way he could get off of the beach was go on the railroad track and run down the railroad track, but at that time I went before a justice of the peace and he found us guilty. Gilmore Fielder and I posted a bond too, it wasn't much. Okay. And so we gon negotiate again and try to see what happens. And Felix went before the Governor, that's a different story.$$Was that Felix Lundburger?$$Huh?$$Was that Mr. Lundburger?$$No. Lundburger and I were together. Lundburger and Gilmore Fielder.$$Okay.$$Anyway--$$(Unclear).$$--We talked to the Board of Supervisors and what have you.$So, tell me now, I think you were around when COFO [Council of Federated Organizations] was formed too, back in '60' (1960)--$$Coburt?$$--COFO.$$Oh, COFO, yeah.$$That was formed you said at Dookie Chase Restaurant in New Orleans [Louisiana]?$$Dookie Chase on the second floor, in Dookie Chase.$$Okay when was that?$$Nineteen sixty-three.$$Okay. And what was the idea behind COFO?$$We found that somebody said divide and to conquer. That we were fighting each other, the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] was said not to like SNCC [Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee] and SNCC says that NAACP is old and SNCC is too slow. So we figured we could come together and also consolidate some of the kids from the Northeast and East and Midwest and get a better job done. See up until that time NAACP was footing just about all the Civil Rights bills and did for a long time after that. But then SNCC started raising--and those young people were bold enough and ingenious enough to create new ideas. They came in and organized freedom schools and taught people how to read and write and to vote and ordinary hygiene. We even had some--one Thanksgiving, Dick Gregory [HM] sent three ice box truckloads of turkeys to the Gulf Coast. So people (unclear) our branch was adopted by the Long Island Branch, and they sent us clothes, a copying machine--$$Mimeograph machine?$$Yeah, yeah, mimeograph machine.$$Okay.$$And they gave us comfort and consolation. So the idea of COFO was a joint effort, I thought it was good. It was good.

Dr. Alfred Stovall

Alfred Stovall was born on August 13, 1936 in Birmingham, Alabama. An only child, Stovall moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana with his parents when he was seven years old. His father, Franz, got a job at General Electric and his mother, Arrie, opened a beauty school and operated it for 25 years. Stovall followed his parents' wishes that he get an education. He has used his medical degree to serve Fort Wayne's predominately minority neighborhoods, improving their access to health care and giving people pride in their community.

After graduating from Central High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1953, Stovall attended Purdue University and then Fisk University. He finished his formal education in 1966 by earning his M.D. at Howard Medical School. That year, he was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in Vietnam. He worked as a battalion surgeon and attained the rank of Captain. He was decorated with a Bronze Star. After returning home, in 1969 he opened a private practice as a family physician.

Stovall practiced medicine in an office on the corner of Lafayette and Pontiac streets, where he bought land. He and another African American physician, Dr. Jeff H. Towles, saw the potential and need for a full-service medical facility there-patients in their area had to travel relatively far to get x-rays and physical therapy. Together, they attracted investors and secured the necessary $2.7 million funding to build the 33,000 square-foot Lafayette Medical Center on the intersection where Stovall's office was located. It opened in 1993 and contains a low-cost pediatric center, an on-site urgent care center, a laboratory and a pharmacy as well as doctors' offices to cover a range of requirements.

Dr. Stovall serves as the president of the Fort Wayne Black Medical-Dental Association, which he founded. He is also a board member of the Fort Wayne Urban League and Star Financial Bank. He has four children with his wife, real estate broker Ernestine Dees Stovall.

Accession Number

A2002.137

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/30/2002

Last Name

Stovall

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Fisk University

Howard University College of Medicine

Purdue University

Central Catholic High School

First Name

Alfred

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

STO01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Man's Salvation Is Measured By His Goodness To Others.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Indiana

Birth Date

8/13/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Fort Wayne

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rice

Short Description

Association chief executive and family practitioner Dr. Alfred Stovall (1936 - ) is the founder and president of the Fort Wayne Black Medical-Dental Association.

Employment

United States Army

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:31922,551:44674,734:53138,878:60408,972:73643,1138:119862,1862:121955,1928:126869,2007:135324,2152:140292,2262:147356,2317:147704,2322:158905,2506:160430,2537$0,0:7560,98:8652,113:8988,118:9492,126:9996,133:12852,204:43270,734:49350,835:86544,1327:88650,1357:94320,1460:97560,1517:97965,1767:101367,1809:135990,2055:149110,2329:167950,2479
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alfred Stovall's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Stovall lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Stovall talks about his parents' background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Stovall describes his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Stovall describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Stovall describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alfred Stovall describes his childhood in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alfred Stovall remembers moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana at age seven

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alfred Stovall describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alfred Stovall remembers attending school in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Alfred Stovall talks about his role model, Dr. Roland Byer Wilson

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Alfred Stovall talks about attending Central High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Alfred Stovall describes leaving Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Stovall talks about how his interest in medicine developed

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Stovall talks about gaining admission to medical school at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Stovall describes attending the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Stovall describes Howard University College of Medicine

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alfred Stovall describes his experiences in medical school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Stovall describes his medical internship at Pontiac General Hospital in Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Stovall recalls serving in the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alfred Stovall shares his views on the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alfred Stovall talks about serving at Fort Ord in Monterey, California

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alfred Stovall describes his medical practice in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Stovall talks about the Lafayette Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Stovall describes treating Vernon Jordan's gunshot wound

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Stovall recalls other cases of gunshot victims

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Stovall shares memories from his medical career

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Stovall talks about being an African American doctor

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Stovall talks about health care access in the United States

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alfred Stovall describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alfred Stovall reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alfred Stovall describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alfred Stovall narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Alfred Stovall talks about how his interest in medicine developed
Alfred Stovall describes treating Vernon Jordan's gunshot wound
Transcript
Okay, you had a pretty good time in California but you--$$Right, while in California I worked--I worked at the Post Office, took the--took the exam, the Post Office exam, and aced it and so I was able to get a job even though I didn't have a--a military preference. Most of the veterans would get jobs there 'cause they had a ten point preference. But I was working nights, had night bonus, so I was making pretty good money so I bought me a nice car and then I found out I didn't have enough time to enjoy myself so I quit that and started doing a sales job. So I went and sold china, out in Watts, Compton [California], and the money stopped rolling in so I said well, I'll go sell for General Tire Company. The guy asked me to sell for them. Did that and it was pretty good and then I just got tired of working and I called my mom and said, I think I want to go back to school. And she said, yeah, come on home but, you know, you can't stay here unless you go to school and work. And I did, I came back. Got a job at the hospital. Got a job at city, lifeguarding. Had three jobs. Was lifeguarding daytime, cleaning pools at night and I was lifeguarding, cleaning pool. What else did I do--orderly. I was an orderly at St. Joe Hospital, I mean Parkview Hospital.$$It says you had three jobs going at one time?$$Yeah, yeah.$$So what was your day like? You know, what did you do?$$I slept at the hospital.$$Okay.$$I slept there. The day, I was a lifeguard. During the day I was a lifeguard. In the morning I'd get up and I left the hospital in the morning about seven, 8:00, I'd go directly to the pools and I'd clean four city pools. After cleaning the pools, I'd go to work at the pool. Would open the pool up at Memorial Park and I worked there till--till 6:00 at night, at which time I'd go home, clean up and go to the hospital. So I did that the one summer and that's when I got interested. I met some doctors when I was working as an orderly at Parkview Hospital. New doctors in town, they're outstanding physician. Now there was one Dr. Pretty (ph.) and, Dr. Albright, who used to be a coroner here. But they were fairly fresh and new and I just--I said to myself one night when I was talking to the nurses, I said, boy, these--if these two guys can be physicians and have the troubles they have communicating as well as doing their job, and, you know, I think, it's something I can probably do. It's something that's what my mother always did want me to do. So I saved my money and I decided to go back.$Can you tell me about--you were the--you and another, Dr. [Jeff] Towles, I think were the primary physicians who took care of Vernon Jordan when he was shot, here in Fort Wayne, back in the--it had to be back in the--was in the '70s [1970s] or '80s [1980s]?$$Eighties [1980s], I think--$$Eighties [1980s], okay--$$--it was in the '80s [1980s], yeah. Yeah, we were--I was on the board of the Fort Wayne Urban League at the time when Vernon [Jordan] was here for our annual meeting, right, to give a speech for the annual meeting. And he was shot by a perpetrator coming back from our dance. I had already--I had left the dance and Vernon was still there. And then I had gotten a call from another board member that Vernon had been shot and he was a John Doe at the Parkview Hospital, so I got up and flew there and then was able to take over his care and make sure that they knew who he was. And, of course, I called in Dr. Jeff Towles, T-O-W-L-E-S, 'cause Jeff was a trauma surgeon who had worked with me. He is also a primary care physician but an extremely astute surgeon and extremely good hands and very good mind. And he helped me do many, many gunshots before. Every Saturday night it was getting so that we were getting gunshots. So he was--I forget he was going to be the best there was for that. And we were successful in saving Vernon's life and it was a team of surgeons. He had help with another surgeon there, too. And Vernon was very grateful but he spent as little time here as he possibly could. We put him on a plane and I escorted him back to--it was to--back to [Washington] D.C. Either, not NIH [National Institute of Health] but it was a big hospital, big military hospital there.$$Not Walter Reed [Hospital]?$$Reed, yeah, it might have been Walter Reed. Yeah, we flew him back there. I remember that trip. Vernon [Jordan] and I are still good friends and he's very good friends with Dr. [Jeff] Towles.$$Okay. He was shot with a high caliber bullet, right?$$Yes he was. He was shot with a .30-06 or something like, that if I remember correctly. And the way the forensic people described it, that the bullet hit the fence and was not coming straight. It was tumbling and it was not straight so it hit sort of sideways, as it was tumbling. And so it hit into some bones and--but not with enough velocity to make these bones explode inside and this was what saved Vernon's life. Some of those particles are probably still in Vernon today.