Geneva Cox Boykin Oral History Interview, May 28, 2014

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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TRACI DRUMMOND: Okay, so, um, we are here today, Traci Drummond is -- uh --

JUDY CLARY: Judy Clary.

DRUMMOND: -- Judy Clary, and -

GENEVA COX BOYKIN: Geneva Cox Boykin.

DRUMMOND: -- and Geneva Cox Boykin, to discuss Ms. Boykin’s, uh, career as a nurse and her life. Um, the other thing is this interview is being done on behalf of Georgia State University Library for our newly established Grady Nurses Collection. And, um, and Ms. Boykin is our first interview. Today is, um, May 28th, 2014, and we are at Ms. Boykin’s home. Um, welcome, and thank you so much for agreeing to talk to us today. Um, so, let me start at the beginning -- can you tell us -- we -- we -- we’ve been talking a little while, but can you tell us again, um, where you were born and when?

BOYKIN: Born in a small town in Alabama, Bay Minette, Alabama.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: And that’s just south of Mobile, you said?

BOYKIN: It’s south of Mobile, yeah.

1:00

DRUMMOND: Okay. And -- and, um, what was it like, growing up in Bay Minette?

BOYKIN: You know, if you were to ask me, I guess it was just as normal as any other child growing up.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And, um, evidently, my parents allowed me to do a lot of things, but they were very closed. My -- my father kept up with me, you know -

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- I had to come back from school and report.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And I used to come home, and my fa-- father’d go over everything I’ve had in school. I thought that he was totally -- I’m sure he was -- interested in what I was doing in school, but later, I found that was his way of learning. He went to the third grade, and when his older sisters saw him later, they thought he was a college graduate. I would go over every day that I came home, I would go over my materials. And he was just soaking it in. He was 2:00excellent in math and English. You wouldn’t have known he was a third-grade person.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: However, he was lucky to get a job in a plant after he -- they left the farm -

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- and he became a lead worker in a plant that -

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- made turpentine.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: My mother never worked. She was a teenager, almost --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- because there was a lot to do. We still had a big garden, and -

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- we would do the gardening, collect things, and walked the street and to give them to people, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay, Okay.

BOYKIN: So --

DRUMMOND: So, let’s go -- let’s go back and talk about your dad a little, may -- and his life. So, growing up, he only made it to third grade, um, because there wasn’t an opportunity?

BOYKIN: Because there -- no, there was no opportunity. They had to work.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh, his parents -

DRUMMOND: And what -- yeah, what kind of work did his family do?

BOYKIN: His family, I said his father was a -- a farm worker.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And they had fifteen living children: eight girls and seven boys.

3:00

DRUMMOND: Wow.

BOYKIN: My daddy was the second in line, he -- so, he had to oversee it because he was the oldest, oldest boy. There was one girl above him.

DRUMMOND: Okay, so, they were in charge while the parents were working? Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: They -- uh-huh. They -- so -- they -- that’s -- that’s just how it was.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And evidently, all of the brothers and their wives was on the farm.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Until we moved out of a country land, I guess it was a wooded area, into houses that was bought from this land that was given to my grandmother.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And from there, we stayed until -- until they died and we sold the place.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: That kind of stuff.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: But I was in the -- the high school. Not -- up to the ninth grade, that school up to the ninth -

DRUMMOND: You-- your school went -

BOYKIN: The -- the other -- When I started school.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Up until the ninth grade.

DRUMMOND: And what kind of classes were taught, were you taught?

BOYKIN: All the basic classes. We -- I was lucky as a child because all -- most 4:00of our teachers were from Tuskegee, Alabama.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Only reason because they couldn’t get jobs, and a lot of these teachers filtered out into small areas. So, I got things that maybe other small kids didn’t get.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Things that I knew all the sailor’s song, “Blow The Man Down,” and all these kinds of things. (laughter) I learned to diagram sentences back in the sixth grade, and I knew it.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And you know, we had individual classes, not very large, we had -- and we could say what we wanted to say. Um, and I had -- just mention this, I’ll tell you how cl-- closet I was. And they ask about -- she was talking about had one -- had one subject we was talking about the sea, and animals in the sea, and they talked about the crabs, and then somebody said, “I st-- Are those the same crabs that are on the people?” (laughter) And the class just roared, “You dumb-dumb!” (laughter)

5:00

CLARY: Oh, that’s so sweet, they didn’t know any better, did they?

BOYKIN: They just -- Well, I could just imagine seeing these crabs out of the sea, coming on people. (laughter) But then, through-- we had all of the subjects that everybody else had, you know? We had second-hand books -

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- because the white students would get the new books.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then we got the second-hand. But I did not know that until I came back one summer from Chicago because I went with my mother, picking up books for the other kids. I did not know that. I -- I didn’t go to the -- I told you, we didn’t ride the buses, there was no buses --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- except the one going back and forth. Didn’t ride the bus. We were walking.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: We were always walk -- I walked two miles to school. And so, it was nothing -

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: -- to trot to school and back. Didn’t go to the movie -- there were entertainment areas that people had, that little small entertainment. There was 6:00a football -- not football, a baseball by the adults, and I always went with my father to the -- to those, uh, baseball games.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: He did hunting. I went with him for the hunting.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, that kind of stuff. We -

DRUMMOND: Uh, did you help him hunt? Did you --

BOYKIN: Did I help him what?

DRUMMOND: Hunt?

BOYKIN: No. I learned to shoot a shotgun.

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: The pretty old shotgun. And then, um, I -- what I’ve said -- going -- just going back and forth and visiting and playing. That was my thing.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then I had, um, almost -- since I was an only child, all my other folks had four and five children, I had any -- all the new toys. Every toy that came out, I had. I got the first radio the -- of the little community.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: My daddy got me a radio. I used to listen to, um, Eddie Cantor [of all things?]. And in that la-- in that neck of the woods, there was not the jumping and jiving stuff.

7:00

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: So, I grew up with hillbilly stuff.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And the -- uh, that -- you know, I didn’t know all that other stuff.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And my mother was too young to know it --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- so that’s where we were. Didn’t go to a movie because that was -- the movie was segregated. I went to the movie one time, when Judy Garland played -- what’s that -- oh -

CLARY: Oh, The Wizard of Oz?

BOYKIN: Yeah, Wizard of Oz.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: That’s the first time I went -- and went -- they took us as the team to The Wizard of Oz.

DRUMMOND: Well, that’s a great first movie to see, though.

BOYKIN: Oh, no, we saw other movies.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: There were -- there were people who used -- who came -- individual people who showed movies to the school. That’s when people went at night to the movies.

DRUMMOND: Oh, okay.

BOYKIN: They made money that way, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay. And that was just for the black community?

BOYKIN: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay. So, what kind of movies do you remember seeing early -- earlier?

BOYKIN: A lot of the cowboy stuff.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: It was a -- it was the -- the central things that you could take your children to.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Gene Autry and all those folks, I knew the whole bit with those kind of things.

8:00

DRUMMOND: Did they show, um, movies with black actors or black filmmakers, or did y’all -

BOYKIN: Oh, no, no, no. It wasn't -- that was not at that time.

DRUMMOND: No? Yeah, Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, I don’t -- if they did, I didn’t know about it.

DRUMMOND: Okay. Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, they were mostly, um, cowboy things.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And easy romance, with a lot of these old, old actors, that kind of stuff. And everything else was in the school, in that little community. All right, then I left to go to Daphne.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: That’s where I got exposed to, um, a lot of the sciences, and I fell in love with physics and microbiology. They had football, they had cooking, and they had singing -

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- that you would go to these various things.

DRUMMOND: And Daphne, uh, that’s where the private s-- high school -

BOYKIN: That was the private -- that’s the private, yeah.

DRUMMOND: And what was the name of that high school?

BOYKIN: Baldwin County Training School.

DRUMMOND: Bowen [sic] County Training School, okay.

BOYKIN: Yes.

DRUMMOND: And was it for girls only?

BOYKIN: No.

DRUMMOND: It was -

BOYKIN: Boys and girls.

DRUMMOND: Boys and girls.

9:00

BOYKIN: That was a -- The people came in who lived in this community. This came -- like they came to school.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: But the -- they had dormitories for these outside people, we were the outside people, who came in.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: From other little towns and so forth. Um, and they always -- to me, they were always full.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I -- I don’t know what would happen if they were not -- didn’t have enough room. I guess they went to the other places --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- that kind of thing. And when I went there, because I was dumb -- I was really dumb -- and my father’s opened a little account across the street so I could have -- if they didn’t feed me and give me enough to eat. And the girls said, “What is wrong with you, fat girl? You better get in here and eat and stop this.” And then, for clothing, I, um, he opened the little account so I can pay for my clothing and be dumb over there. And they said, “You better learn how to iron.” (laughter) So, I started ironing when I was there. I ironed all the way up my arm. (laughter)

10:00

CLARY: So, would you say you were spoiled as a child?

BOYKIN: I don’t think so, but I was -- I was a dumb child. I --

DRUMMOND: Well, it sounds like -- I don’t -- I don’t like the word “dumb.” I think you were maybe sheltered?

CLARY: Yes, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

BOYKIN: Yeah, maybe that’s what it was.

DRUMMOND: I -- I don’t like -- because d-- you’re a very smart -- you’re very smart. (laughter)

BOYKIN: So, what would happen is the children would -- with all of this -- but I learned from these other girls, but we were almost never alone, unless we were in the class, because they oversaw us as though we were -- we were children.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And that kind of stuff.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then there was a house mother who -- in the building dormitory taught us how, you know, be sure how to place the silver and how to eat and -- and we had people who do the food for us, and that kind of stuff. And it was wonderful. I really enjoyed it. And it -- with going to church in a little small town, we would go into little groups.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then, it -- after I graduated, I was seventeen when I graduated -

11:00

DRUMMOND: Well, can I back up and say, were the girls at your school just as encouraged to pursue the sciences as the boys were?

BOYKIN: Well, not -- I guess there were contents in the courses that you had to take.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: It was content.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: That you had to -- so, many sciences you had to do -- I don’t think it had -- had to -- had to do with trying to encourage, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay, Okay.

BOYKIN: Because you had to take -- you had to take some things in farming, cooking -- I never cooked, so I just watched -- I would sit there and watch everything. And then, a farmer -- how to plant. See, they had groups with this, a group with that. It was a comprehensive place.

DRUMMOND: And -- and the -- both boys and girls were taught the same things?

BOYKIN: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Yes. Like home ec and that kind of stuff, like. Yeah.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Okay.

BOYKIN: And then, after I graduated, um, my father had selected a little small school for me to go to. The reason I say I came in nursing accidentally, I had a -- a very wonderful friend. See, most of my friends was more out of the 12:00dormitory. I got to know people out, you know, they -- because you were in the whole -- whole body of students.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And in class you -- you just found people.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: There was a young girl that we’d -- the minute I got there, we became friends. And, um, when she had -- oh, she had worked as a nurse aide in the hospital. She said, “I’ve always wanted to be a nurse,” so forth. Well, I had only -- I had been in a hospital one time, to have my tonsils removed. I was nine years old. I -- I didn’t know anything about any, um, hospitals.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then we had an -- at home, we had an old family occ-- occasion, old family doctor, who would treat us like babies and that kind of stuff. Because my mother would -- any time I would sneeze, she’d bring me. “I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to my only child,” that kind of stuff. So, this friend of mine said, “Why don’t you ride with us to Grady because I 13:00am going to enroll in the nursing school there?”

DRUMMOND: And what year was this? What year was this?

BOYKIN: When I was finishing high school.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: That was, hmm, I have to track back, because seventeen --

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh, I have to look at dates, so -

DRUMMOND: Okay, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- don’t pin me into dates, overall dates, I know, but individual. And I’ll call my parents, could I go. And my father said, “Let me send you some money so you -- you -- you’ll have your own monies.” So, we -- I rode with them down south Alabama to Grady. She was to take the test, you know, the math tests and English tests. They gave a battery of tests. And I was just going to sit with her because I’d never been out anywhere, really, anywhere to -- and it was just marvelous to me, to go to a big city and see things. I thought it was wonderful. So, when we got there, they were passing out sheets. I was in the room with her, and the guy who was doing the testing, he said -- and he said, 14:00“Are you here?” I said, “No, I’m here with my friend.” He said, “Would you like to take the test?” And I said, “Well -- ” He said, “It’s not a problem, just take it.” I aced the math and the science test, and, um, sh-- it scared me. (laughter) Well, I didn’t -- I just passed it, you know, because I had a good background. And, um, we turned all the papers in. “Hm,” he said, “Hm.” And then she failed.

DRUMMOND: Oh, no!

BOYKIN: Failed, failed, all of them. I was sick. You know, here I was, with -- a little seventeen-year-old kid, scared to death. He said, “Would you think you want to become a nurse?” I said, “No!” He said, “Why don’t you try?” I said, “Let me call my daddy.” (laughter) He said, “If you think you want to do it, go ahead.”

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: So, I stayed -- I stayed over a couple -- they left -- over a couple of 15:00days because when they -- they did a physical exam on me, I had a heart murmur.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And I’ve had a cardiologist since I was a student because I have what is known as a leaky heart. And I haven’t had any problems, but I’ve had a -- all blown away.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: He said, “We can fix that.” But you know, we got back, she never spoke to me again.

DRUMMOND: Aww.

BOYKIN: It just hurt my heart. She said, “I guess I’m through with you.”

CLARY: Oh, gosh.

BOYKIN: Can you imagine? And then after I -- that following fall, I started at Grady.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: In, um, ’48.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: See, I know that, I know that -

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- in 1948, there was about thirty or more students, and they -- we went through our regular orientation. She can talk about the orientation period and --

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- and after we left that, then we started in the clinical areas with teachers, and that kind of stuff.

16:00

DRUMMOND: Okay. Well, why don’t -- what -- why don’t -- so, this was a big experience, though, because you’ve ended up in a program that you did not set out to join --

BOYKIN: You do.

DRUMMOND: -- and it’s far away from the small towns you grew up in -

BOYKIN: Yes.

DRUMMOND: -- and from your family for the first time --

BOYKIN: Yes.

DRUMMOND: What was that like for you? That must have been overwhelming.

BOYKIN: Well, it was overwhelming, but my father lectured to me, when I first went to this high school, he said, “I want -- I want you to watch, look at your mother and me.” He said, “You are losing your best friends because nobody else cares about you.” He said, “Just be sure, you’re losing your best friend.” But as I -- when I came to Atlanta, my father said to me, “Try to participate and be around people with the background,” the reason I use “dumb” because he used that a lot, “but don’t party -- don’t party with these people who’ve been accustomed to big cities and partying.” He 17:00said, “Because until you learn,” he said, “you don’t know much about this world and people. And I think it’d be wise if you’d pal around with those people.” I ended -- so all while I started nursing, I was, uh, a friend with a girl from Mobile, one from Chattanooga, and -- and they were with the same mentality I had.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And because there were parties and things, you know, the school had parties for the same thing, parties for the college people, the boys, the -- from Morehouse, and --

CLARY: Okay, right.

BOYKIN: Morris Brown, that kind of stuff. So, um, and then we would go together.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And if there were other parties, there was -- I know there was another few parties outside. And one of the girls from Chattanooga, she said, “Now, if we go to this party, we have to smoke, and -- and we don’t know how to smoke.” (laughter) So, she decided to go and buy some cigarettes, some Camels, 18:00so that we could learn how to smoke. I smoked Camel and I was out. I couldn’t go to the party. (laughter) That is the first and the last time I had a cigarette. (laughter)

CLARY: That’s a great story.

BOYKIN: They told me I was the wrong one to smoke! (laughter) And then we really got into the areas, we were -- we were busy.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I mean, the school of nursing busy.

DRUMMOND: Well, what was the address for the -- the school and the dorms? Was it close to where the hospital is today? Were y’all in the area?

BOYKIN: Yeah, it was in the area.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Oh, there was -- there was several dorms. They built a new one. We ended up getting into one of the new dorms, but there was dorms on both sides of the hospital. Dorms for the white students and dorms for the black students.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: But a lot of the classes, that new building where we were in with the black students, they had more classrooms, so the white students would be all there for class.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

19:00

BOYKIN: And like, Bernice Dixon taught everybody pharmacology. There was a Dr. Hunter from Georgia State who did the psychology. There was a nutritionist. See, all those people were the same folks --

DRUMMOND: Okay, Okay.

BOYKIN: -- who taught us. And at that time, they didn’t have any black instructors -

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- other than the head nurses on the floor.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: So, all of our teachers were the same, we got the same content.

DRUMMOND: Okay. Now, did white and black nurses go to classes separately, or would you have --

BOYKIN: Some classes, but a lot of classes, we were together.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh. And now -- I don’t remember which ones they were.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Um, then, because the clinical practice schedule --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- was dictated by the head nurses, we had to get to class on time, but we had assignments, they worked -- I’m sure the teachers worked with them to tell them the type of patients that we needed.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: So that we could correlate that with our sciences and that kind of stuff.

20:00

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And it -- it was later, when the colleges really got involved because a lot of the science and things early was taught within the school itself, and Bernice ought to tell you about that because I -- I don’t remember that there. And then the psychiatric areas, some people went to Milledgeville and some people went somewhere else to get the psychiatric con-- content.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Okay.

BOYKIN: Any questions you want to ask me?

DRUMMOND: Oh --

CLARY: So -- so -- did you go -- I know in my research, I saw where the black students went to Spelman when the white students went to Georgia State. Do you remember any of that?

BOYKIN: They were -- I was not in that group when they went to Spelman --

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- because that was later.

CLARY: That was later?

BOYKIN: That was later.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Because I didn’t have that college contact when I was there. See, you’re talking about what is -

CLARY: Okay, now, all of the sciences were taught right there at Grady --

BOYKIN: Right there.

CLARY: -- when you went in ’48?

BOYKIN: When I was there.

CLARY: I think that started in the ’50s, I think you’re right.

BOYKIN: It -- yeah, it started late, uh-huh.

CLARY: It started later, okay.

DRUMMOND: Okay. Okay.

21:00

BOYKIN: And all the others. That’s why we had Dr. Hunter from Georgia State who did a lot of stuff for us.

CLARY: Okay.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then the colleges came in later, where the group went to Spelman when the others went. And then, for the psychiatric areas, some went to Milledgeville and some went to here and there.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: They went to various places.

CLARY: Right, because there was no psychiatric ward at Grady back in the early days?

BOYKIN: No. No, back -- in the early time, it was not.

CLARY: Can you tell us about the hospital? Because this is prior to 1958, when the hospital that we see today is standing. So, you were there when the old hospital was there and all of the annexes and stuff. Can you kind of give us an idea about that facility?

BOYKIN: It was a -- it -- before -- it was an old hospital, both white and black, old hospital. Um, where they had -- there were six floors, seven floors, I don’t remember how many were with the -- the white group, floors, for 22:00patients. They had, um, pediatric section, they had medical/surgical, um -- you know, come to think of it, I don’t know where the OR was, but there was -- from one hospital to another, there was a tunnel.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: You ever heard people talk about that tunnel?

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: That -- they would combine the areas for the tunnel. In there, there was central supplies and all the supply areas, the operating rooms, and all of that from that tunnel, going back and forth. So, if you -- you didn’t have to go outside when you were in the hospital --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- because you get in the tunnel to go back and forth.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: So, the tunnel connected the different buildings that became the hospital over the years?

BOYKIN: It might have, that -- with the new one, it did.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Yeah, uh, because it was no longer -- when it was no longer, I don’t remember, when it was no longer.

CLARY: Right. And when you worked on the patient wards, you only took care of black patients when you were a student, is that right?

23:00

BOYKIN: Only took care of blacks when I was a student.

CLARY: Okay, so there was a black hospital and a white hospital --

BOYKIN: A white hospital, yes.

CLARY: -- so there were actually two separate buildings?

BOYKIN: They were two separate buildings.

CLARY: Okay.

DRUMMOND: And did staff -- or did the nurses stay separate based on which hospital? Would you have only been allowed to work with the --

BOYKIN: We just worked anywhere the black -- we -- the black students --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Okay, Okay.

BOYKIN: -- worked with the black patients, the white students worked with the whites patients.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: Now, the doctors and nurses that were not part of the school of nursing that staffed the hospital, did they work in both, or was that also segregated?

BOYKIN: That was all -- that -- except the doctors.

CLARY: The doctors did both?

BOYKIN: The doctors did both.

CLARY: But the nurses --

BOYKIN: There was only -- only in last years, when they had black doctors at, uh, Morehouse --

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: -- but we always had the Emory doctors, uh-huh.

CLARY: Right.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: So the doctors were everywhere.

DRUMMOND: Um, well, you -- you said you started there in 1948 at Grady, as a 24:00student, um, and that would have been two years after the school integrated?

BOYKIN: No.

CLARY: No, didn’t integrate until 1964.

BOYKIN: No.

DRUMMOND: Oh, it did-- Oh, ’64, I’m -- Okay, I’m sorry. I’m 20 -- I’m sorry, I’m -

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Yeah, Okay.

DRUMMOND: My apologies, Okay.

BOYKIN: Okay, that’s all right.

CLARY: So, there were two Gradys?

BOYKIN: There was two Gradys.

CLARY: When she was there.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Well, did you ever feel -- I mean, I guess I feel like I should ask this question, I feel like it’s an important question to ask --

BOYKIN: That’s all right.

DRUMMOND: As a black student, did you ever feel like -- maybe the facilities were better for the white students, or the attention paid to the white students was better?

BOYKIN: Didn’t think -- I didn’t think about it.

DRUMMOND: You didn’t -- you just didn’t think about it?

BOYKIN: You -- I didn’t think about it.

DRUMMOND: And no one ever discussed this in your --

BOYKIN: Well, you had your own program and everything. You didn’t discuss it.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Okay, Okay.

BOYKIN: The difference, now, the white students were called “Miss” whatever they were.

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: And the black students were called “Nurse.”

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Like, I was maybe Nurse Cox, if she’s white, she was Miss Cox.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

25:00

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay. Okay.

CLARY: I didn’t know that.

BOYKIN: You didn’t know that?

CLARY: No, I didn’t know that. Yeah.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, uh-huh. Yeah. And -- but other than that, I didn’t think -- we didn’t think about it because you didn’t -- you didn’t -- you got to -- I got to know -- we got to know a lot of students going to class, and the one thing, too, there were two students who were Caucasian who were named “Cox.”

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And we sort of communicated. And I said, you know, a lot -- we sort of talked a lot. And you got to know people that way.

CLARY: So, you got to know the white students is what you’re saying?

BOYKIN: Yeah, uh-huh, yeah.

CLARY: Okay, but did you go to parties together or any social thing?

BOYKIN: No. No.

CLARY: So there was no social thing together?

BOYKIN: There was no -- yeah, no.

CLARY: Some of the classes were combined --

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: -- but the hospital was separate.

BOYKIN: Separate.

CLARY: But yet, you could see each other in the halls or in the tunnel, and things like that?

BOYKIN: Something like that, that’s right.

CLARY: Okay.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Because we -- we also had a tour in central supply, that’s where they did all of the sterilization.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And we had to do that. You didn’t -- probably didn’t come through there.

26:00

CLARY: No, they didn’t have when I was there.

BOYKIN: We did gloves, we did the autoclaving --

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- and all that type of thing. Um. You -- you didn’t get packages. It was later, when you got things in packages --

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: -- that you learned to do all of those kinds of things.

CLARY: So, you did -- you took the instruments and all that came back from the operating room and cleaned them and sterilized them and packaged them in central supply?

BOYKIN: It would have been another group. Well, I’d never involved --

CLARY: You didn’t do that? Oh, Okay.

BOYKIN: I wasn't -- I’m su-- it was done by another section.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: They had the small autoclaves in the operating room. That was done from there.

CLARY: And they had them on the floor even when I went.

BOYKIN: I know it, uh-huh. Yeah.

CLARY: Yeah, Okay.

DRUMMOND: Um --

BOYKIN: Interesting, isn’t it?

DRUMMOND: Yeah, yeah --

BOYKIN: Ever.

DRUMMOND: -- it’s -- it’s -- and it’s a whole new world to me. I don’t know a lot about nursing --

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, yes.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- or, uh, or, uh, nursing programs.

CLARY: One of the things I would like to get a feel for is I know that when we 27:00did our clinicals, you know, you said your assignments were done by the head nurse.

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: When I did my clinicals, I think instructors, Betty Blake and y’all, decided where we would be and what patients we had, and that was a big change. Because the head nurses really used you as their staff, is that correct?

BOYKIN: Yes, that’s true.

CLARY: That is something that’s important that I think we need to capture because the -- the education that nurses get today is so different than what we went through. Our experience working in the hospital was a major part of our education. Can you kind of talk about your experience working in the hospital, the hours you worked, the direction you got, the responsibilities you got, things like that?

BOYKIN: Okay. I am sure that the teachers gave instruction to the head nurses. We had hours like 7:00 to 3:30, um, 12:00 to 6:00, 3:00 to 11:00, 11:00 to 7:00, 28:00those -- not any of this 7:00 to 7:00 business. It was the old fashioned, 7:00 to 3:00. The difference is that you might have st-- started in the morning, got off at 12:00, because there was certain classes of cat-- left to go to a class to 12:00 to 6:00 and that -- that type of thing.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Evidently, the head nurses were um, oriented to our needs because we did get -- we did get the type of patient that we were able to discuss, to know about. And you really knew about because if that’s a patient with congestive heart failure, you -- you knew -- because you had content to talk about that.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then we made a lot of rounds with the doctors, we made a lot of rounds, but you really had -- when you had patients, I’m talking about six to seven patients. The -- the difficulty was for me to int-- interpreting some of the needs of the patient, and it took me a while to really enjoy nursing because 29:00I remember one time, I was in the -- I used to be afraid of the patients, too, that’s why I’m a --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. (laughter)

BOYKIN: -- (inaudible). One of -- One of the patients told me he wanted to take a leak. I thought he was going to leap out of the -- I ran and got everybody, “There’s a patient who’s going to leap out of this room,” leap, and they said, “Little nurse, he wants to urinate.” (laughter)

CLARY: Oh. We -- we heard a lot of terms te-- taking care of patients that were new to us, didn’t we? (laughter) I know. And now we can laugh about it.

BOYKIN: I know. (laughter)

CLARY: I know.

BOYKIN: And -- and then, um, when -- at -- at night -- at night, we weren’t at -- we -- oh, I forgot, later on, in the later -- later two or three years, we did night duty, still mostly with the supervisor. That was -- There were, uh, white supervisors in the, uh, emergency rooms and those kinds of things. There 30:00was one supervisor, every time she would see me, she thought I was anemic. At night, I had a yellow cast to my skin. I don’t know how many times she sent me to the emergency clinic to get me checked out because I was, um, uh, like this, this color.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: (laughter) She said, “Honey, are you sick?” “No, I’m not sick.” And they would send me, I bet about once a quarter, they’d send me to the emergency clinic. They’d say, “Are you back here again?” (laughter) And that’s why they think I’m sick.

CLARY: They were worried about you.

BOYKIN: Yeah, because -- and then my face had a hue, sort of a --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: -- a pinkish hue to it. And there were other students who looked just like me, but I think -- I must have had some undertones because there was a lot of, um, racial mixing in my family. So, I -- these old tones would come out, 31:00that -- that she wouldn’t see anyway. (laughter)

CLARY: You just confused everybody, didn’t you? (laughter)

BOYKIN: And then, at night, um, when we made rounds, we really -- they let -- had -- let us do a lot of rounds. Then I saw things I didn’t know existed.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I know one night, I, um, almost fell out because this lady’s covers came off, and there was a growth in her vaginal area, and I thought it was an animal. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: But I bet you do see a lot of things, being a nursing student, that I mean, I mean, that’s -- because that’s kind of what you’re trained to do, is help people with --

BOYKIN: Well, I wasn’t helping -- her covers came off.

DRUMMOND: Oh. (laughter)

CLARY: Wow.

BOYKIN: Oh, no.

CLARY: Oh.

BOYKIN: (inaudible).

CLARY: We saw a lot of stuff as naïve young ladies that we didn’t know 32:00existed, did we?

BOYKIN: I know I didn’t! (laughter)

CLARY: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Did y’all go back and tell the other nurses, like, “Oh, my gosh, guess what I just saw?”

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: Oh, yes. That’s how you survived.

BOYKIN: Yeah. That’s how -

CLARY: That’s how you survived. (laughter)

BOYKIN: That’s how you would survive.

CLARY: You would go back to the dormitory and share your experience, and you grew -

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: -- because you realized that you were not the -- you were not the odd person. Everyone else didn’t know that, either.

BOYKIN: Either, that’s true.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: That’s true.

DRUMMOND: Okay. Okay.

BOYKIN: But I had a mixture of people in my class who had been out of school and might have started college, out of that forty-some group. And there were a lot of folks older than me. So, you know, what young -- at -- at one time, I was the president of my class, and that kind of stuff. And, uh, now Bernice doesn’t know this, but we went on a strike. (laughter)

CLARY: Was she the director?

BOYKIN: No.

CLARY: Okay.

33:00

BOYKIN: No, she -- she became director of nursing education, not of nursing.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Because you had Hammett -- you heard about (inaudible) --

CLARY: Frances Hammett, right.

BOYKIN: Frances Hammett, and then [Nancy Boutin?] would send the assistants and all those kinds of things.

CLARY: Okay. So, you went on strike as a student nurse?

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, and I led it.

CLARY: Tell me about that. I want to know about that.

BOYKIN: (laughter) Well, we felt that we were not given time, we were really cheap labor.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Um, you know, but -- when you got -- when you finished your patient care, you had to go in to the utility room and scrub up the pots and pans and the bedpans and autoclaving in the area.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You did all the trivial stuff. And we had nurse aides and all this kind, but you really did the bulk of the work.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And we thought they need to do something about it, and we -- and we were in our class meeting, and there was a group of students in the class to make the 34:00others behave. We’d beat you if you don’t go on the strike, (laughter) you know, to -- to talk about what our needs were.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And do you know, they heard us?

DRUMMOND: Really?

BOYKIN: Yeah, because you were looking at a -- you were looking at a force, a workforce.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And they decided they were not going to do until they listened to you. So, we had, uh, director and all these people sort of talked to us.

DRUMMOND: How long -- how long did you strike?

BOYKIN: About a week, almost a week.

DRUMMOND: Really? So it, like -- it was substantial?

BOYKIN: It --

DRUMMOND: I mean, it lasted a whole week.

BOYKIN: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: And was it the -- the white and black students?

BOYKIN: No.

DRUMMOND: Okay, it was just the black students?

BOYKIN: No, just the black students.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Okay. And, um, they -- they talked to us.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: But by the way, we were working in between time, but we were balking on certain things.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: You know, we didn’t leave the area completely.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: You didn’t leave the patients without care.

BOYKIN: No, no, because right, now you -- by the way, legally, you can only strike so long because the government, they -- you won’t be allowed -- they’ll jail you.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: You know that?

CLARY: No. As a nurse?

BOYKIN: You -- you -- a nurse, right now, the nurses can’t just walk off.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Okay.

35:00

BOYKIN: Oh, no. No, no, no. And, uh, they only -- they -- they’ll get jailed in a minute because, see, it’s patient care.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Although they do -- when they do striking, this group was marched -- the next group was marched -- but not everybody. You don’t leave the patients.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh. It’s a different kind of strike.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh. And to make it a different kind of strike now, you had the American Nurses Association that sort of helps to general salaries and these kinds of things.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Salary was really low, real low salaries, okay?

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Anything else you want to ask me about the school, per se?

CLARY: Okay, um --

DRUMMOND: Well, I just want to know, did you ever have any downtime? Were you able, ever able to explore Atlanta and --

BOYKIN: Oh, yeah --

DRUMMOND: -- you learned -- learn about -

BOYKIN: you had -- you had -- oh, you had --

DRUMMOND: -- because y’all are close to Auburn Avenue and Edge--

BOYKIN: I never -- I’ve never went on the Avenue.

DRUMMOND: You never went? Okay.

BOYKIN: I went maybe one or two times --

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- because there were, uh, bars and things like that. There used to be a lot of stuff down there, and dad -- my daddy told me, “Don’t get involved in things you don’t know about, don’t do anything.” And when I would get 36:00there, I would remember. You know, it’s amazing, when you teach -- you have children?

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You can teach them certain -- and sometimes, it resonates with you. And then, I -- I didn’t -- I didn’t -- we didn’t go to a [foyer?] night because Daddy said, “No, no, no, no, no.” Then I had a grandfather who was a deacon, and he believed what you should -- the dos and don’ts, even though I didn’t get involved. I -- it was in my head.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: It was in my head --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- that these are the things you just didn’t do.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Well, did your parents ever come visit you in Atlanta when you were in school there?

BOYKIN: Yes, yes, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: They took a -- they had to, you know -- they didn’t have a c-- they had a car late, so somebody had to bring them.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: But I would go home every so often.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: I don’t remember the time.

DRUMMOND: Well, um, and you -- you said you were an only child for twelve years -

BOYKIN: Twelve years -

DRUMMOND: -- and then -

BOYKIN: Ev-- every two years, they had those other children.

DRUMMOND: Okay, so there was --

BOYKIN: And when I graduated from high school, um, my parents couldn’t come to 37:00the high school because my mother was having that last baby, the boy I showed you here, Harold.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then my daddy had broken his leg, but my grandmother was there, and then my first escort for my prom was my uncle. (laughter)

CLARY: Oh.

BOYKIN: When y’all leave my pictures -- it’s somewhere around here -- they -- oh, yeah, uh-huh. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: Well, I mean, did -- did you have a, uh, a follow-up? Uh --

CLARY: I’m -- I wanted to, um, just a little more about working in the hospital as a student. Um, did you -- at one time, the student nurses had assignments in the hospital, six days a week, and only a half a day off, like on Sundays. My mother went to nursing school in 1941, so she was seven years before you. Not at Grady, but at -- at -- at Diploma School, up in Delaware. And she only had half a day off. But you had more time off?

BOYKIN: She was --

CLARY: Did you go to school just Monday to Friday, or --

BOYKIN: No, no --

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- we worked weekends, too.

CLARY: That’s what I was wondering.

38:00

BOYKIN: Well, we worked weekends, too.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: We had a -- I think -- you might -- right. I’m not too sure how many days we have.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Bernice might remember. I am not too sure, but I know I could go to church, uh-huh.

CLARY: Right.

DRUMMOND: Which you didn’t mind so much when you weren’t on a mule cart. (laughter)

BOYKIN: I hated church.

CLARY: Okay. And I’m thinking they build Piedmont Dorm for the black student nurses around 1940-something. No, that was Feebeck.

BOYKIN: That was Feebeck.

CLARY: They built Hirsch in ’22, Feebeck in ’40, and those -- Hirsch was the nurses’ homes, and it wasn’t just for student nurses. It was for nurses who worked at the hospital.

BOYKIN: Who worked at the hospital, too.

CLARY: Feebeck was for the white student nurses -

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: -- and then they built Piedmont --

BOYKIN: For the black.

CLARY: -- for the black --

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: -- and that was in the ’40s, though, because they got the money because of the war effort.

BOYKIN: Yes, mm-hmm.

39:00

CLARY: So, do you think you might have been in Piedmont?

BOYKIN: I was in -- when I -- I was -- yes, I was in Piedmont.

CLARY: Because that would make sense to me.

BOYKIN: That -- yes, I was in Piedmont.

CLARY: You were in Piedmont.

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: Now, I was in Piedmont.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: Piedmont was my dorm as a freshman, first year and second year --

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: -- and then seniors went to Armstrong.

BOYKIN: Yeah, that’s right. And now, Armstrong was built later.

CLARY: Right, (overlapping dialogue) and Armstrong had air conditioning, and none of the others had air conditioning.

BOYKIN: It’s okay, it had --

CLARY: The hospital wasn’t even air-conditioned until 1968.

DRUMMOND: I can’t imagine.

BOYKIN: Right, because the --

CLARY: So, we did not have air conditioning, but Piedmont was a lovely dorm.

BOYKIN: Yeah, it was, uh-huh.

CLARY: I loved Piedmont.

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: Yes, Piedmont, okay. So, you and I, we probably were in the same room, Ms. Boykin, and we didn’t know it.

BOYKIN: Didn’t know it.

CLARY: Twenty years later.

BOYKIN: Isn’t that something? We didn’t know it. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: Well, um, let me ask, um, because in our first conversation, you mentioned the -- the tuition. Um, and so -- and so, I -- so, I am curious to know -

BOYKIN: I don’t know how much tuition because you didn’t pay --

40:00

DRUMMOND: Well, not how much --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- you didn’t pay much tuition.

DRUMMOND: You didn’t? Did your -- Were parents able to help you with that, or --

BOYKIN: Yes.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: I didn’t -- they had to.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then my -- my, uh, father sent me a stipend and I had monies, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay, for just little things you needed throughout the year.

BOYKIN: Yeah, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay, but your parents were in a position to -- to afford that, okay. That’s great.

BOYKIN: Yeah, my -- my father -- my father had -- my father had, uh, um, really, a, um, a stable job.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: (inaudible) Thinking about that, um, did you work for pay? We were allowed to -- because you might have had a different schedule, where going to class six days a week or working and only having Sundays off, we went Monday to Friday to classes and clinicals and on the weekends, we were allowed to work one eight-hour shift for pay, and that’s how many of us earned our spending money. Did you have that opportunity?

BOYKIN: No.

CLARY: So you did not get any money working or whatever?

41:00

BOYKIN: I didn’t -- didn’t get any money working.

CLARY: Okay. In my research, what I discovered was that the nurses actually got a stipend when the school first opened, of nine dollars a month, but their uniforms, they had to buy themselves. And that was increased to eleven dollars a month in about 1915, and then it was increased to fifteen dollars a month, which lasted until 1933. And in 1933, the stipend went away, but the hospital bought your uniforms and laundered them. Do you remember about your uniforms? Were -- what did they look like and how you took care of them?

BOYKIN: They -- they -- the aprons were the same. Um, I’m sorry I don’t have that -- oh -

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: But the -- the white students had the blue --

CLARY: The blue dress with the white apron??

BOYKIN: -- the dress, yeah, white apron.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And the black students had the pink and the white.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And the caps were different.

42:00

CLARY: Yes. If I remember, your cap was a little more elongated.

BOYKIN: That’s right, it was different.

CLARY: And ours was a little crunchier, shorter.

BOYKIN: Yes, almost like, um, my -- I don’t even -- I -- all that stuff is in storage, okay, okay.

CLARY: Right, right. And then when the schools integrated, they did the new cap, put them together.

BOYKIN: Yeah, they put them together, putting them together.

CLARY: Yeah. Okay.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: And did this hospital provide your uniforms and wash them for you and starch them?

BOYKIN: The student uniform?

CLARY: Your student uniforms.

BOYKIN: The hospital did that.

CLARY: Okay, that’s the same as us. Thank goodness.

BOYKIN: I would have been in bad -- I would have been in bad shape.

CLARY: We all would have been. They -- they finally switched to the students had to buy their uniforms and wash them themselves --

BOYKIN: Wh-- When did they start it?

CLARY: In 1969.

BOYKIN: Oh, really?

CLARY: And we were so glad we had the old ones because we didn’t have to launder and wash them, even though they were very old-fashioned and starched. We loved our uniforms.

BOYKIN: And, uh --

CLARY: We loved them.

BOYKIN: Another thing -- you looked good in them.

DRUMMOND: Right.

CLARY: We did.

43:00

BOYKIN: You looked good, you were clean, you had -- the aprons were nice, were starched, and you -- you looked good.

DRUMMOND: Right.

CLARY: We did.

DRUMMOND: Well, there’s a -- a lot of confusion in hospitals now because everybody wears scrubs --

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: -- and there -- I know that there are different colors of scrubs for different positions, but somebody going in, if -- especially if you’re sick or you’re worried about somebody who’s sick, you don’t know the differences. So -- so, how do -- how do -- how do you feel -- how do y’all feel about the change, I’ll ask, and from -- from going from a more traditional uniform, or at least a uniform that clearly identified you as the nurse --

BOYKIN: Yeah, not now.

DRUMMOND: To -- to -- to scrubs?

CLARY: How do you feel about it?

DRUMMOND: How do you feel about it?

BOYKIN: With the uniforms or not?

CLARY: Yeah, the scrubs.

BOYKIN: I think about germs. Just contaminating because they go everywhere with them and --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- because when I got to my -- for my physical exam, every -- everybody’s in the -- walking down the street with jackets on and everything. I think it’s germy.

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: You -- you think it’s germy?

44:00

CLARY: Yeah. I -- I have to agree with her. Um, you see scrubs in the grocery store, you see them at the daycare, picking up the kids, and, um, our uniforms were to be meant to be worn in the hospital only. When we --

DRUMMOND: And there was -- and there was a very sort of strict, like, guidelines or a code for that? Like, you didn’t wear this to run your errands after work; you would change before you would --

BOYKIN: Well, it -- right, if you went to the store, around in there, you should not have your uniform on.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: But you didn’t see student nurses in the downtown with all their uniforms.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Yeah, we were not allowed to wear our uniforms as student nurses anywhere but in the hospital or back and forth to the dorm and in the general vicinity.

BOYKIN: Yes.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: We were not even allowed to wear pants --

BOYKIN: That is right.

CLARY: Remember that?

BOYKIN: You couldn’t even wear pants.

CLARY: We couldn’t wear pants, and this was -- I -- I graduated in 1970, and when we left the dormitory, we had to be in our uniform, going to the hospital, or we had to be in a skirt or a dress, and, um, we had to check out with the 45:00house mother.

BOYKIN: [Watchful eyes?]

CLARY: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: So, you meant you couldn’t even wear, like, as a representative of the school, as a student of the school, you couldn’t even wear pants?

CLARY: I couldn’t go on a date wearing pants, to the Fox.

BOYKIN: No, you didn’t wear pants.

CLARY: I could not go to a picnic unless I had permission --

DRUMMOND: So, it was --

CLARY: -- saying it was an, uh, recreational activity that I could get permission to wear pants.

DRUMMOND: So, did you have a house mother in the dorm that sort of -- okay.

CLARY: Yes.

BOYKIN: Yeah, yeah, a house mother.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: She sat at the first floor and you had to sign in and out --

BOYKIN: In and out.

CLARY: -- you had to say where you were going --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: -- and we had hours. So, like, um --

BOYKIN: You had hours --

CLARY: -- so if you remember, our study hours were from 7:00 to 9:00, and you had to be in your room studying or in the library studying, nowhere else. The phones were turned off and the operator operated the phones, and no phone calls came in from 7:00 to 9:00 unless it was an emergency.

DRUMMOND: Wow.

BOYKIN: You didn’t make -- you didn’t mention, it was -- it was real structured.

46:00

CLARY: If you heard the phone ring between 7:00 and 9:00 -- because there were no cell phones back then --

DRUMMOND: Right. Right.

CLARY: -- if you heard the phone ring between 7:00 and 9:00, every door would open, every head would come out of the door with a look of gloom because we knew it was not good.

DRUMMOND: Right.

CLARY: My mother had emergency surgery one time and the phone rang, and we all looked out the door, and the person whose room was next to the phone, there was only one phone per floor that we all shared.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: That actually was one --

CLARY: If you can imagine this, in this day and age, one phone for all these girls --

BOYKIN: And no cell phones.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: And, uh, everybody looked out, and they said, “Judy Lee" and it was like the walk of death down that hall to answer the phone --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: -- between 7:00 and 9:00 because you knew it wasn’t going to be good news --

DRUMMOND: Right, right.

CLARY: -- that the operator put through. So --

DRUMMOND: Okay, interesting.

CLARY: -- and -- and then, um, lights were supposed to be out by 11:00, but if you were quiet in your room --

BOYKIN: No one -- you could -- you would --

CLARY: -- you could study.

47:00

BOYKIN: You would pad the door so you couldn’t see the light.

CLARY: Exactly, so the light wouldn’t come under the door. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: So, you had your tricks?

CLARY: We had tricks, definitely, yeah. (laughter) But you couldn’t be up and down the halls or anything. It was quiet. And then we had curfew, so if you went out during the week, you literally had to be back in your room by 7:00 --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: -- and then, two evenings a week, you could go out till 10:00, I think it was. And you had to have permission to stay out after 11:00, even on a Saturday and a Sunday. We were sheltered.

BOYKIN: It was structured.

DRUMMOND: Yeah. Yeah.

CLARY: We were -- It was very structured. And it’s -- you know, looking back, now, then we kind of thought it was a little strict, as young people in a big city.

BOYKIN: Well, I didn’t think too much about it because that’s how I --

CLARY: You grew up.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: I liked it because it gave me an excuse not to be tempted or for people to say, “Oh, come along.” I’d say, “No, I’ve got study hours.”

BOYKIN: Yeah.

48:00

CLARY: “I’ve got a curfew.”

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: So, it gave me boundaries that I could blame it on the boundaries, not me.

BOYKIN: Yes, yes.

CLARY: So, I liked it.

BOYKIN: See, I was already in the boundaries.

CLARY: And you were already in the boundaries.

BOYKIN: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible)

CLARY: And I -- I was from a pretty strict family too, but then, like, I wanted to go see Gone With The Wind. I had never seen it, and here I was in Atlanta. So, my now-husband, who was then my -- you know, my boyfriend -- wanted to take me, and we could not get back to the dorm by the end of curfew because it was a long movie.

BOYKIN: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible)

DRUMMOND: It’s a very long movie.

CLARY: So, I had to get special permission and go in front of Ms. Boykin and Ms. Dixon and all and say, “This is where I’m going, this is where I’m going to be,” and they said okay. And a security guard had to come from the hospital to let me in because that dorm was locked at 10:00.

BOYKIN: It was locked, locked, you didn’t get in.

CLARY: To let me in, and I did that once in three years.

DRUMMOND: Okay. I -- I bet --

CLARY: So, it was very structured.

DRUMMOND: But -- but you could get out if you needed to? Like, if there had been a fire or something, you --

CLARY: Oh, absolutely, (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

49:00

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: We had fire drills and all those kinds of things.

DRUMMOND: Okay, okay, okay.

CLARY: We did, all hours of the night.

BOYKIN: That you -- oh, that was awful.

DRUMMOND: Um -

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Two o’clock in the morning -

CLARY: Yes.

BOYKIN: -- just having a fire drill.

CLARY: Now, I don’t know if you did this, but the no-pants rule, we would go over to the hospital on Saturday mornings because it was the only time they made pancakes.

BOYKIN: (laughter)

CLARY: And we didn’t have to go to class, so we would roll up our pajamas and put a trench coat on --

BOYKIN: Okay.

CLARY: -- because we were not allowed in pants, and we would go eat pa-- pa-- pancakes in our trench coats on Saturday morning because it looked like you were wearing a dress or a skirt --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: -- come back to the dorm, and go back to bed. (laughter) Did you do that?

BOYKIN: No.

CLARY: Okay. (laughter)

BOYKIN: There was a [sub?] area from the tunnel where the black students ate and this -- this faculty.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: It was -- it was almost directly under the administrative building for 50:00the hospital.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And, um, the cooks who worked there would be sure you got the food and so forth and so on, so if they had chicken or special things, they may give you one piece or whatever. One day -- and I -- I used to be very thin. I got heavy through the years. Um, I went to get another piece of chicken, and she said, “You -- that’s all you’re going to get, that’s all you -- that’s all you’re going to get.” I -- even though I was quiet, I was a troublemaker. I took my plate and went around upstairs into the administrative area, with the assistant superintendent of the hospital. I said, “They wouldn’t give me another piece of chicken.” (laughter)

CLARY: You were a troublemaker, weren’t you?

BOYKIN: He said -- he said, “I’ll go with you, come on.” He went, oh, they had a fit because they -- the assistant superintendent of the hospital, Mr. 51:00Walker, was coming with me. He said, “Give this child some more chicken.” Oh, and they gave me the dirty eye. (laughter) And you know what, the other students came up to get chicken!

DRUMMOND: And they couldn’t say no.

BOYKIN: Oh, they wanted to -- you know, we -- we -- we’re supposed to eat.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: But, see, oh, the chicken was delicious. Oh, the best chicken ever.

CLARY: They had good food.

BOYKIN: Good food, very good.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Good food. We had enough to eat, but I just -- I did -- I didn’t want the other stuff, I wanted another piece of chicken. (laughter)

CLARY: Did you have a nickname when you were a student nurse?

BOYKIN: No.

CLARY: Did you know what Ms. Dixon’s nickname was?

BOYKIN: No.

CLARY: She told us that.

BOYKIN: What --

CLARY: You want me to tell you?

BOYKIN: What it was?

CLARY: “Killer.”

BOYKIN: Oh, that Killer Kilcrease! That’s right, but she was strict. And I mean, she was a whirlwind with whatever. You know what changed her?

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Getting married.

52:00

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Because when she married Tommy, um, she became a different person. And, um, she was mean as a snake, meanest, but she eased as she had her two girls, and he was killed by a drunk driver.

CLARY: I know.

BOYKIN: Um, so, she became a different person.

CLARY: Yeah. She was so strict, Traci, that um, for a long time, students were not allowed to be married. You had to live in the dormitories and you could not be married. That was the case when you went.

BOYKIN: That’s true, that’s true, the same thing.

CLARY: And in the ’60s, they finally allowed students to enter who were married, or to become married when they were students. I chose to get married the last quarter before we graduated because my classmates were my sisters then.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: And I didn’t want to get married down in Florida, where I didn’t know anybody.

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: I wanted my classmates to come to my wedding. So we were in senior 53:00rotation and we had to be the charge nurse on the floor as a senior nurse during the Saturdays --

BOYKIN: She had part of really the nurse -- in an area -- going ahead, I’m sorry --

CLARY: In the Sun-- That’s all right. In the Sundays and the evening shifts, whatever. And my husband was being commissioned -- this was during the Vietnam War -- he was being commissioned into the Air Force on one Saturday. He was going to graduate from Georgia Tech on a Saturday, and we were going to be married on a Saturday. I went to Ms. Dixon and I said, “I have all of these events. Can we work with this?” And she said, “You may have one Saturday off, pick which one you want to attend.” She would not let me go to my husband’s graduation, my wedding, and his commissioning. I had to pick one. He was able to change the commissioning to a Friday, so I got to go to that. We got married on a Saturday, and I missed his graduation. She was mean.

54:00

BOYKIN: She was mean, but she is as nice -- different, nice lady.

CLARY: Yes. Of course, she’s ninety-two. (laughter)

BOYKIN: But with all of the things that happened to her -

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: -- that made a difference.

CLARY: Yes.

BOYKIN: Uh, and then she had younger teachers who challenged her. You know, you wouldn’t challenge anybody. They tell you what it is -- because it really scared them when we went on a partial strike. (laughter)

CLARY: And if I had been braver, maybe like you were --

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: -- I was not a troublemaker. I did whatever I was told. I was on scholarship, I felt like I was just -- it was just so special to be there.

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: I think now, I would have said, “No, we need to work this out.”

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: He graduated number one from his class in Georgia Tech and I was not able to attend. So, I had -- you know, I’ve forgiven her for that, but I wish I had been there.

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: Yes, you think like --

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: -- and what -- how mean people were, you could talk about it. Because I 55:00-- when I had to wash those pots and pans and scrub it, I -- you know, I -- I'd rebel. Up -- I’m probably the only one who rebelled about it, and the head nurse said, “This is your assignment.” I was so mad, I didn’t even eat. And I said, “I don’t do pots and pans.” She said, “Who does pots and pans?” “My mama.” (laughter)

CLARY: That’s a major difference of when you went to nursing school and when I went.

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: You had to do more of what I call the menial tasks.

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: Not --

BOYKIN: Housekeeping stuff.

CLARY: Yes, not --

BOYKIN: Only thing we didn’t have was sweep.

CLARY: Yes. You know, you -- you -- did you have to cook for your patients?

BOYKIN: No, no, no, no.

CLARY: See, my mother did, when she went.

BOYKIN: See, that’s way back -- oh, back then.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: The difference is with the other menial tasks.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Okay, but everything else was done. You had housekeeping and those -- those kinds of things.

56:00

CLARY: Okay, so you had more of the -- more of the cleaning and -- and things like that?

BOYKIN: Yes. Yeah, being sure the -- the dust and -- with the patient’s bedside. They said they were just keeping the environment tidy, but we were doing other stuff.

CLARY: You were doing, uh -- yeah.

BOYKIN: And when the supervisors and everybody came around and -- and the doctors, key doctor, you had to stand. Did you do that?

CLARY: Yeah, they didn’t do that when I was there.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh. You had to stand to acknowledge, um, that they were present. (laughter)

CLARY: These memories come back, don’t they?

BOYKIN: It’s coming back.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You still think about those kinds of things.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Any other questions you want to ask me about it?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Well, I want to --

CLARY: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible at 56:35) in there.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, well, I was going to say, so, you graduated from Grady -

BOYKIN: In ’51.

DRUMMOND: -- in ’51, and then what happened? But then what happened? Then --

BOYKIN: Well, in -- when I graduated in ’51, um, I stayed on at Grady to work as the employee for about two and a half years. I worked the pediatric clinic 57:00and it was still separate.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then I did premature infants, and after about a year, I went in to male medical nursing as the head nurse over there.

DRUMMOND: And can you explain for somebody that might be listening, what is male medical nursing?

BOYKIN: It was, uh, areas where only male patients -- see, the patients were separated.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: They had an area for the females, and right now, they’re everywhere.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh. And at that time, they had them separate.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Male, okay?

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then, um -- and I told you I worked the pediatric clinic, and I did premature infants. Then, about two and a half years, I decided that I knew I was going to -- because I had a diploma certificate --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- meaning that, um, you know, it was not a four-year, and I had wanted 58:00to do further things in nursing. So, what I did, I got a list of all of the schools. I don’t think Emory had a -- a -- a -- they might have had. I don’t remember.

CLARY: I don’t know. I don’t know.

BOYKIN: Might not have been able to go to it, either.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: True.

BOYKIN: That’s true. I -- I don’t know. So, I got a list of about five schools in the Midwest and northern states who offered the, um, a baccalaureate degree, and -- because Georgia State didn’t have anything. I wouldn’t have been able to go to that at that time, either. And I had to work because I didn’t have the money to go to the school, so I was going to the schools to look around what hospital was near that I could work. See, because I worked --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- and went to school part-time. And I put them all in a basket and shook the basket up. Ca-- Came up with DePaul University, out from Northwestern -- Northwestern, in Evanston, Illinois?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

59:00

BOYKIN: Okay, you’ve heard about the Big East, there.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Okay. So, I -- that’s where I -- I wrote and to say that, um, I was interested in coming, or did they have any openings? So, I got an answer right away because, you know, I had given my background. The evident director must have known something about Grady. So, at the first tap, I was hired. And then, when I -- I got there, I left the train station and went right to the area because I thought I would be living in the dormitory. I had all my stuff with me. So, when I got there, I met with the director. And she said that, oh, I had already an assignment that I would do day -- day duty. And it was the time when all the other nurses were graduating, they were getting a lot of new -- I think that time, they had about ten or twelve new RNs. So, when I got there, she said she didn’t realize I was black. It was -- this hospital was on the north side over by Northwestern campus, it was an elite hospital. I mean, practically, most 60:00of the patients were rich.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And, um, and she said that, “I -- we don’t have a place for you, our dormitory is full.” And she said, “I’ll get a place for you.” So, she -- there was a little, small black hospital about a -- adjacent, almost adjacent, to Northwestern University. So, she called, said they got a place for me there, and she said, “The other thing is that I want you to work night duty.” I said, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.” And what I found out later, they only had one black RN, and they had her on nights. And then everybody else was Caucasian.

DRUMMOND: No kidding.

BOYKIN: All the patients. I don’t -- at that time, there was no black patients in that hospital. Well, I didn’t think too much about it, you know -- you know, didn’t think anything about it. And I said, “No, I’m not working nights -- I’m working days.” I said, “I made a contract to work days, and 61:00I’m not working nights.” And she told me she’s never heard a Southern nurse be so adamant. I said, “No, I’m not.” Okay. And then, I -- you know, within two or three days, I started to work. Enjoyed it immensely, I really enjoyed it. Then, I got to -- to know the new girls, and they said, “Where are you staying?” And I told them where. And I said, “They didn’t have any more room.” She said, “They’re lying.” You know, they catch you --

CLARY: Oh --

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: You know, you have friends, they tell you, aww, she said they just don’t have any blacks here, that’s what it is.

DRUMMOND: So, even as a working nurse, um, once you left school, you would still stay in a dorm? They still had dorms for the nurses?

BOYKIN: Yes, they had dorms for the nurses.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Okay, because you hadn’t actually entered another program at that point -- you were just working.

BOYKIN: No, no. It was -- they used to have dorms for nurses who worked.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh. Wasn’t that good?

CLARY: Yeah. Um --

BOYKIN: You had to wait.

CLARY: -- and Hirsch Hall was built, one of the major problems Grady had over 62:00the years was where to house the nurses. Nurses were housed at the hospital.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: Very few were -- went to a house and lived because you worked so much.

BOYKIN: That’s true.

CLARY: You needed to be right there at the beck and call, and it was not unusual for a physician to have maybe a favorite nurse, maybe that scrubbed in the operating room, and in the middle of the night, want that nurse to scrub with him, and she had to be right there and get up and come over.

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

CLARY: It also happened to student nurses -- student nurses who maybe were, you know, had some area they were really good in, would be called in the middle of the night to come back to the hospital. So, you lived there.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Talk about that whole --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- just a little bit. When I was in the operating room, um, I remember there was an operating supervisor named Gluck you know, the -- that area was the 63:00white, Caucasian nurses, who was in charge of the operating rooms and all.

DRUMMOND: And was this at Grady, or --

BOYKIN: When I’m -- I’m back -- I’m backtracking, back when I was a student.

CLARY: A student at Grady, okay.

BOYKIN: Backtracking with that. We really covered the operating room. The doctors in the clock in certain people to do, okay. I, um, with all these crazy hours, we had to -- if they had one RN who was late, then we took -- took the role.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: One afternoon, the RN was sick or something, the main -- so, they assign me to work three -- finish up till eight or nine o’clock. Nobody told me. So, I got dressed to -- to go, and then somebody said, “Do you know you -- you have to be here till nine o’clock?” I said, “No one told me! I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to do it, unless nobody asks me.” So, the little supervisor came, she had these clicking heels, cute little blonde, you 64:00ever -- she was pretty.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And I said, “You didn’t ask me to stay over past my time.” She said, “You -- you’re staying over.” I said, “No, I’m not.” So she sent me to the main office, to the assistant director, named Ms. Gluck. And I told her how unfair it was to do that to me, and she said, “Sometimes you have to forgive people and you have to do” -- I was so mad, I couldn’t see straight. (laughter) I was so mad. But then I st-- start working, scrub nurse, and all that kind of stuff. This woman on the regular operating area, she said, “I” -- she said, “I’ll fix her.” She would assign me to the cases that I was there maybe eight hours, uh, and they would feed me food because I didn’t have time.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Then she would put me with the worst doctors to scrub, and you know, I’m on a student -- we hand instruments. We -- We did a lot of handing of 65:00instruments. Then, this one surgeon, um, I worked with him so much, he -- he wanted me.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You know, you knew the instruments --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- and that kind of stuff. Then, one day, he got a -- a broken Kelly, and he took it and threw it. Um, he said, “I don’t want this damn whatever,” and -- and -- and that the -- the -- all the medical students looked at me. I said, “You threw it, you get the damn thing yourself.” (laughs)

CLARY: You talked back to him?

BOYKIN: I talked back to him. And you should have seen one of the doctors was watching me, (laughter) because I was only a student. I was so mad!

CLARY: A Kelly is a surgical instrument, it’s a clamp.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: It’s a clamp.

CLARY: Yeah, uh-huh.

BOYKIN: And it -- And the -- And the medical student over there is looking at me, and I said -- I just sat there. And I thought he was going to report it, so he called the supervisor, “Get me the right kind of instrument.” Didn’t say another word, didn’t say anything about it. He was a chest surgeon. Every time he came, he said, “I want that little old sassy nurse,” because I would 66:00pass the instrument directly to him. I -- I could keep up with him.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And the medical student was, “Pardon me,” because they knew I knew how. (laughter) And I kept up with him. He said, “Where is that little old sassy nurse?”

CLARY: I’m going to call you sassy nurse from now on! (laughter) That’s your new nickname.

BOYKIN: Yeah! (laughter)

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And -- and you know, when I left that practice, the bag’s still there, she gave me a C. And I said, I -- I went back, I complained, I said, “I’ve done 50 C’s worth.”

DRUMMOND: But the night -- the night supervisor gave you the C?

BOYKIN: Yeah, gave me a C because with all the work I’ve done, I said, “No, I -- I despise this.” (laughter) And all right, we’ll go back here.

CLARY: It’s good, I love these stories. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: But I always would talk back. I had my -- okay. Now, um, I went to Evanston Hospital, I told you about that, and I was there for about two and a half years. I really enjoyed that place. They had the best food, and the 67:00patients were excellent. I worked on an area that was a combined area. The area was like this: there was -- the pediatric was here, and then there was adjacent area with adult patient, and they called it cable two. It was one of the old sections of this hospital. And the other section was maybe about 10 or 12 adult patients, they were the elite rich who got the private rooms --

CLARY: Oh.

BOYKIN: -- all separate.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And they were throughout the hospital, but that was really reserved for the -- some of the super-rich.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then all of the children was in the back. They had -- we had, um, a little small nursery, children of different ages, so you would assign one or the other. So, when I got there, I was -- used to make rounds with all the doctors. The nurses didn’t have time to make rounds with them, but I’ve made rounds. 68:00When they’d come, I would drop my stuff. They’ve gotten to know me as that little Southern nurse who’d tell them to wash their hands, you know?

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And there were doctors that I really loved, that you know, you go around, and the children. And one thing about the children, a lot of them hadn’t seen black patients, so one little kid, “Uh, Ms. Cox, but Ms. Cox, you are dirty, let me” -- I said, “It won’t rub off, sweetheart.” (laughter) They would rub me, to be sure I didn’t rub off.

CLARY: Oh.

BOYKIN: But their parents were good, the patients were wonderful, and it was just a good experience.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: The head nurse was a lady from South Dakota.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh, somewhat looked like you.

CLARY: Oh.

BOYKIN: Okay.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And she sort of took us hand-in-hand. Then, they had a lot of private duty nurses there. I had a locker room in -- near the hospital, where you come in, you change your clothing. They had a lot of private duty nurses. Do you 69:00know, there was one private duty nurse who wouldn’t allow me space. I had a locker next to hers. She would take all of her clothing and put in on the -- on the stool, and I put my clothing on standing up. Okay, and that went on for about three or four months. Let me tell you when it stopped: she had a patient, we had these old suction Wangensteen suction, that flip over?

CLARY: Yes.

BOYKIN: You remember that?

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: Okay. They -- see, they didn’t have some of that stuff, and when they had it, nobody knew how to work it. And --

DRUMMOND: What -- I’m sorry, can you just -- what -- what is it?

BOYKIN: It -- that you -- if a -- if you had drainage from your stomach --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- with a tube in, it would go through a suction machine, but it was a thing that flip over that caused the suction.

DRUMMOND: Okay, Okay.

BOYKIN: Okay. And then, um, when I was at Grady, we knew a lot about oxygen and 70:00all the -- the apparatuses and those kind of things, starting and doing all of those kind of things. Well, she ran into this, and nobody knew how to do it. Somebody told her to go and ask me. I -- I helped her with the suctioning, I helped her with the calculation, and all the things and how to manage the oxygen for a patient, everything. Do you know, I couldn’t do any wrong with that lady, and that lady moved all her stuff, (laughter) brought me -- because those other young girls didn’t know one thing about it.

CLARY: Right.

DRUMMOND: Right.

CLARY: Do you think that had anything to do with Grady because Grady --

BOYKIN: It did.

CLARY: Grady was pretty advanced with some of the things that they did --

BOYKIN: We -- we was advanced, uh-huh.

CLARY: -- versus some other schools of nursing.

BOYKIN: I was more advanced than all those other -- you would think that being that I was the same age, I was farther advanced than they were.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Because I used to volunteer to work some night shifts so I’d get to know the hospital. I got to know the hospital because the medical surgery, I 71:00wanted to see what medical surgery was doing, and do it, two or three things in that area.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: So, after I started, then I went to register at DePaul.

CLARY: After two and a half years?

BOYKIN: Afternoons.

CLARY: Okay. So, you worked for two and a half years and earned money before you went to DePaul, is that what you’re saying?

BOYKIN: No, I went -- I was earning money and going to school.

CLARY: Okay. How soon after you started working at this hospital did you register at De-- DePaul?

BOYKIN: About six months.

CLARY: Oh, okay, it wasn’t long. Okay.

DRUMMOND: Okay, okay. And the -- well, I’m curious, do they ever reconcile the, um, issue with the dorms? Were you ever invited? Were you ever invited?

BOYKIN: Yes, yes, yeah!

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Less than a year, she said, “Oh, we got an empty room, uh, you can come.” I said, “Nope, nope.” She said, “I knew you would say that.” I said, “Nope.” (laughter) She would call me every so often and talk to me, she told me I was a fascinating young woman. (laughter) And then I would talk back to the doctors who would challenge that you had something done, it was not 72:00right. I said, “I said it was that. If you don’t like it, you take it yourself.”

CLARY: You were sassy!

BOYKIN: I was sass-- (laughter). Do it yourself.

DRUMMOND: They probably realized pretty quickly that you knew more of what was going on, yeah.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Yeah, they did. And they were -- uh-huh, because they would ask about the vital signs. I said, “That’s it, that’s it, I’m not taking anoth-- I’m not taking any more, I know what it is.” (laughter)

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then, they get to know you over the areas.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And they know you from areas because some of the people would come -- you want to work on this area with me? (laughter) No. All right, go over here.

CLARY: That’s great.

BOYKIN: Then I was going to school at the same time --

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- um, at, um -- you -

DRUMMOND: Was it as rigorous a program as Grady?

BOYKIN: What, this program?

DRUMMOND: Yes.

BOYKIN: No, it’s college.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: I -- I -- I started university.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, but I mean, was it -- oh, was this when you were just studying science, or was this when you -

BOYKIN: No, no, no, no -- I’m back in Chicago now.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Where I was working --

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- as an employee --

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- back -- and then, I was going to a university.

73:00

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: That was my -- my time that I paid for, and just like coming to Georgia State.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Right, no -- no, but what I asked, was the -- was the program in Chicago as rigorous as the program at Grady?

CLARY: The academic part, did you find it as challenging, or was it a totally different experience?

BOYKIN: No, with the -- with the college?

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: No, it was just like a regular university, just as I’m coming into Georgia State.

DRUMMOND: Okay, okay.

BOYKIN: Um, it was very challenging. I found that there was some basic things that I was behind in because a lot of the students had more advanced knowledge of things than I had.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Naturally, I found me a friend. Within six months, I was up to date. She took -- Some of the things that she had had, coming up, I didn’t have. Like, um, doing algebra and those kinds of things. I had to -- to pass this and pass that. But she was alongside me.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

74:00

BOYKIN: And I said, “I know as much as all of you know,” but I -- some things I hadn’t had.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: So, I was -- I caught up real fast. I got to be speed demon too, and I -- (laughter) and I passed everything. Because I would take the subway from Evanston to Chicago, the section that I went to for DePaul University was at the end of the subway, downtown Chicago. So, I was within walking distance from the subway to DePaul University, that section.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Because they had just like a -- they had this section, a north section, that belonged to DePaul. DePaul University had a -- a vigorous nursing program. Not with students, but with the graduates, but it was primarily for law degree.

CLARY: Oh, really?

BOYKIN: Yeah, they had -- they have a lot of lawyers come from DePaul University.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

75:00

BOYKIN: Then, it was a Catholic institution, so I had nuns and priests who taught a lot of classes. It was a different environment because they -- they went on, and so, some of my classes were together because of Catholic philosophy. I had -- it was mandatory that you had fifteen hours of Catholic philosophy, that you know, you got the metaphysics, the Thomas Aquinas stuff, and a lot of the -- the key people in -- in, um, Catholicism because you had to have that as your background.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: So, I got fifteen hours.

DRUMMOND: Did you enjoy that?

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Oh, you did? Okay.

BOYKIN: Yeah, because it was different.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Because you learned some of the, um, high people that, um, there’s a one -- one person, I have to always -- I keep up with him because someone gave me a medal to that. And, uh, and I would go to the high mass a lot. They had good high mass. I went to that.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

76:00

BOYKIN: Saint Francis of Assisi.

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: This, um, pope, now, got this -- his name from, um, the, uh, Saint Francis of Assisi.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, the current pope?

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: The current pope. And, um, I -- I really like what he did, the things, so I have -- at the end of this, I’m gonna read you something, uh, a prayer -- that he did. And one of the girls gave me a Saint Francis of Assisi medal. Not a medal, um, whatever. And somebody stole it. Oh! I had a fit, couldn’t find it, they stole it. Because they’re -- they’re -- it’s a treasure.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: But I would go to high mass. I really liked the high mass during the holiday time and those kinds of things. But nothing else was pushed. If you want -- and I wasn’t Catholic.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I was overall -- universal person, Baptist, whatever. Yeah, whatever you call it, I was that. (laughter) But they didn’t push that area, but they did have Catholic structure.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

77:00

BOYKIN: And then they had -- the rest of them were lay teachers, then they went into all the things that the course content --

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- out there.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then there was a section, after you got your basic stuff, there’s a section with nurses. That was a -- a nurse section that you went to, in order to get the baccalaureate at that area.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: It was -- It was really strict. But it was a lot of students.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You were not by yourself.

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: So you can share. Everywhere I’ve been, I wasn’t by myself. It was just a lot, a lot of people there -

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Mm-hmm

BOYKIN: -- to do things. And then -

CLARY: And how long was that program for you? Since you came out of a three-year diploma school, did they recognize any of your Grady education?

BOYKIN: No. No.

CLARY: So, you had to start fresh, as a freshman?

BOYKIN: I started fresh -- I -- I took everything like a regular college, straight through. All of the English, all the sci-- I went straight through.

CLARY: Okay. Four years.

BOYKIN: Almost, yeah, because I think I went doubles one term.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Because I finished the baccalaureate in, uh, ’57.

CLARY: Okay.

78:00

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, so it was -- it was all the content. See, I had heavy courses.

CLARY: Yes.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: We would take -- you would take biology -

CLARY: And working part-time.

BOYKIN: And working, and working.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Because I had to have monies, that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: All right. Let’s see, anything else I want to tell about?

DRUMMOND: Did your family ever come visit you in Chicago?

BOYKIN: No.

DRUMMOND: No?

BOYKIN: Um. Soon -- no. Because I -- no, they didn’t. I can’t -- can’t try to think of why. I went home frequently.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: That made a difference. No, my -- because at that time, I had ailing father, my father had coronary problems, and later on, my mother died with cancer of the uterus.

CLARY: Hm.

BOYKIN: And then, the other children were going places and that kind of stuff. No.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I had -- I had done by then. Uh-huh. All right, DePaul University, mm-hmm. Um, I had time while I was working and going to school, to go to baseball games. I really was a -- one of the Cubs because it was that -- Wrigley 79:00Field was between Evanston and Chicago. Uh, on the af-- so, afternoons, I went to a lot of Cub games. And I couldn’t find anybody to sort of go with me. I would go by myself. Because, see, you would get to the rapid rail in between Evanston was Wrigley Field.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: And it was beautiful. And they’ve done a lot of things to it now. And then, I would, um, talk about -- I started a church, going to a church, and I went back to the church in Chicago. Then, I became a Sunday school teacher for about three or four years in the -- at that church, okay? Let’s see, anything about, uh, Evanston? I stayed in Evanston about two and a half years, then I applied to work at Cook County Hospital. Oh, that’s the --

CLARY: That’s the Grady of Chicago, I mean -- (laughter) --

80:00

BOYKIN: The Grady of Chicago. There was an opening -- somebody told me there was an opening because I know I was going to get where I needed to get. There was an opening for a lead person with a practical nurse program, about nine months, I was a lead person in a practical nurse program. Okay.

DRUMMOND: What is the practical nurse program?

BOYKIN: They would, um -- people who were more -- older people who had a year’s training, it’s more now, they’ve done a lot with practical nurses. Um -- eighteen months, that type of thing.

DRUMMOND: Okay, Okay.

BOYKIN: You want to say anything about practical nurses, or --

CLARY: Yeah. It’s -- it’s not the same as a registered nurse. You do have to be, um, licensed, but they did more of the, um, direct patient bedside care, not the higher skilled levels.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: So, bed baths, um, things like that.

BOYKIN: That -- that aren’t -- right, now they may do a little bit more.

CLARY: Mm-hmm. Now they do a lot more.

BOYKIN: Okay.

81:00

CLARY: Back then -- back then, they couldn’t even give medicines or anything like that.

BOYKIN: Okay.

CLARY: Now they can do more.

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: So.

BOYKIN: Okay. That [practice went south?] about nine years. Then, I went into -- I’m still at Cook County now. I went -- I became a staff development instructor for the entire hospital. That was several -- a lot -- a lot of us were RNs -- you did-- with all these key people, they were RNs. A staff development instructor, and about four of us, what we did, we was -- we oriented all new hired RNs, and then we had staff development program for the whole hospital. Now we had a lot of downtime in -- in there because, uh, we would share. But because I had, um, done a lot of things, I did a lot of lecturing. And -- and you know, you did it for eight -- I could talk for eight hours with them, (laughter) going on and on and on, you know? So, certain things, they were 82:00pu-- the other teachers would push off on me because I do-- I wasn’t tired. (laughter) And then we would go around all the areas. It -- it was almost like a city. Cook County was like a city.

DRUMMOND: Really?

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And, um, I think I gave that to my varicose vein because we went to this building and this building and this building, and you taught them how -- how the oxygen worked. You know, we used to have oxygen on a cart, that you push it, and if you didn’t just screw it on top, it would fly off --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- all kind of thing, or float down the hall, a lot of things like that. Uh, and then when I left there, I -- still at Cook County, now, I did -- was an instructor in pediatric nursing -- it was a -- it was all like another hospital. They had hospitals within the hospital. There was seven floors of pediatric.

CLARY: Hm.

83:00

BOYKIN: Um, they had newborns, they had premature nursing, and all of the levels. But there was a lot of nurses who did it. There was a nurse, uh, RN in charge of the teachers, she was a teacher as well. And if you liked this area, you may specialize in this area. And I did a lot of newborns.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And then, um, and then there were -- I start also working with older children in an area where there was a steam room, before they started, you know what they -- they used to have, uh, a room, when kids were congested --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- that they had steam come into it. You heard about it?

CLARY: Yeah, like they get the croup?

BOYKIN: Yeah, the croup.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Steam room. And you’d be witnessing it all coming out of there. (laughter) But if you were sick, it really opened you up, that kind of stuff.

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: And then the other -- then they had children in wards all over the place, but you was -- you could switch around if you wanted to, but I stayed up, uh, mostly with the smaller children in that area. Um, and by then, I was 84:00finishing up with my baccalaureate, then I started my master’s program.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: At that time. Um, so, after I -- all while I was working, there are two things I did differently. I had a friend who was the weekend relief at a Chicago TB sanitarium, and she said, “They need -- I -- I got to move,” her husband was moving, and she said, “they told me I had to replace myself.” And she said, “You -- You’re not doing much, go.” I said, “I’m not doing much,” so I went over. So, every weekend, uh, I had off-time, I was a 3:00 to 11:00 charge RN in charge at Chicago TB San. That was quite an experience, um, because they had room with patients, was really -- I mean, they had the bad TB --

85:00

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- they did the surgery, you know, you had to wear scrub -- scrub clothing, and then your shoes were covered. You had to be qualified for the state. They fingerprinted you and all those kinds of things because it was a state-run institution.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: So, you -- you have had all those qualifications there. I enjoyed it. In the afternoons, uh, we would all get together and watch TV because they -- at that time, you -- you did not wear other clothing, and you had to have the scrub, and you had to change your shoes.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: So you had a locker room, and when you left out there, you’re in your regular street clothing.

CLARY: Mm-hmm. (laughter) In your spare time, you worked the weekends?

BOYKIN: And I worked -- well, it was good for me, too, because by that time, my father had died, and I helped my mother with those other children. I had -- Maybe that’s -- they think I’m their momma now because all of my sisters and brothers finished college, except the one who died.

86:00

CLARY: Hm.

BOYKIN: You know, my two sisters are retired schoolteachers, and Barbara Jean is also a librarian, and my, uh, brother is -- was in management because he went to a college in Alabama. In -- in some part-time in [Auburn?] University. So, he was able to work through Georgia Power as a starting person and became one of the supervisors for -- for Georgia Power.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: But at that time, when I finished college, I was the first one in that big family to finish college.

CLARY: Oh, yeah.

BOYKIN: Because they couldn’t afford it.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Didn’t -- didn’t have -- didn’t have any monies. I didn’t have much, but I made the little I did -- and I didn’t think about it as not having much. It’s just -- you just -- you just didn’t know.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And -- and the environment that I came from, I was eight years old, we had our first electric lights.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

87:00

BOYKIN: We had out-- outdoor privies with the toilets outside.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You don’t know about those, do you?

CLARY: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: Not personally, no. (laughter)

BOYKIN: Okay, okay.

CLARY: But you’ve seen them?

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: But, well -- and my mother, um --

CLARY: Okay.

DRUMMOND: -- my mother and father both grew up in the -- very rural area, so.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So, and then we went to get the water. We had pumps. I learned with my father to put the rods on the pump to make the water come up from the pump. (laughter)

CLARY: All right. You’ve come a long way.

BOYKIN: I come a long way to get there. (laughter) Okay, um.

DRUMMOND: Why did you decide to pursue your master’s degree in science?

BOYKIN: Well, it had -- it had annexation to nursing, for teaching nursing students, but it was basic -- the same basic stuff that everybody else got because we had to do theses and all those kinds of things. Then I had an oral exam.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh, that kind of stuff. Uh, when -- when I finished the master’s program, we were doing oral exams, and a the-- you had a counselor to help you 88:00with the thesis. Uh, they had to -- the people who quizzed us was a -- came to be with the big room. You had to have your gloves, your hat, and all this kind of stuff on, to meet this group. Can you imagine?

CLARY: No, it --

BOYKIN: Okay, and, uh, hm, there was maybe one or two nuns, and that kind of stuff. But they all sat around the table. They had questions that related to all the contents you had with all the teachers. I missed one question.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And I knew the answer to it, and, um, when they got through, they said, “Would you go outside?” Outside the little cubbyhole. When I came in, they had a table fixed with food and told me, “You passed” --

CLARY: Aww. (laughter)

BOYKIN: -- and what -- what question I missed. I knew I had missed that question or something -

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- but I don’t know what it was. But, uh, and -- you know, you’re sitting there with your hat and your gloves and all that -- (laughter). I was one of the first ones from my master’s program to do the oral exam, so I got 89:00on the phone and called all of them and told them what was what, what, what. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: Well, was the school integrated, or the -- DePaul?

BOYKIN: Yes.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Oh, that -- it was accredited.

DRUMMOND: No, no -- integrated.

BOYKIN: Oh -- oh, yes. Oh, that was -- no -- no -- that was nothing with black and white --

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- when I was in the college.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, no, no, no, no, no, no. You were just like anybody else.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Okay. So, my -- Grady -- one -- in one of those philosophies classes, there was a little, short Caucasian fellow, who would rush to put my coat up. I said, “Get away from me!” (laughter) He wanted to be sure I hung up my coat. He was a lawyer, came in. (laughter) And somebody said, “He likes you,” I said, “No, he doesn’t, he doesn’t like me, I’m (inaudible).” (laughter) No, it wasn’t -- it wasn’t no -- no -- it was just like Georgia State now does it.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

90:00

BOYKIN: It was a regular college and university --

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: -- Okay, let me see what I left out. All right. And during that time, I had extra time to do, um, um, I had a couple of courses in modeling. I used to work as an usher in these, in the, um, at these shows. You know, there’s like the Alliance Theatre?

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Because you went in for free, you became an usher, and I saw a lot of the major things. Um, and then I took a course in modeling and took courses in various things, and flowers -- I don’t know [doom?] about flowers now, though -- go -- and we’d go to the, um, areas where they had new cars, ride around, that kind of stuff. Uh, so, in about then, when I -- about the time I finished my master’s, by then I was married and I was coming back to Atlanta because that was his home. Soon I wrote Ms. Hammett. Uh, I think she was -- yeah, she 91:00was the director at that time -- that I was interested in -- in teaching the students. And -- And she said, “Well, come on,” and so I -- I got there and got involved in -- in teaching freshmen students. But one thing about when teaching the freshmen students, there were -- there were a lot of them, really.

DRUMMOND: And where were you teaching the freshmen students?

BOYKIN: To what?

DRUMMOND: Where did you go back to teach the freshmen?

BOYKIN: No, to -- no, I went back to Grady, and I --

DRUMMOND: Oh, you went back to Grady, Okay.

BOYKIN: No, I was -

DRUMMOND: Because you said “Atlanta,” you didn’t say specifically, okay, it was Grady, okay.

BOYKIN: Oh, yeah, oh, Atlanta and Grady. Came back to Grady, and, um, enjoyed the students immensely. I really enjoyed students. And then I -- by that time, I really was enjoying nursing. I liked people because I would take time to talk to the patients, and when the students were gone, because I had to wait on my husband to pick me up and so forth and so on, I would go -- go back into the areas and talk to patients. The patients, we had gotten up in a wheelchair, the 92:00staff had left them there. They found out I came back and raised and they said, “Oh, here she comes.” They kept those patients back through.

CLARY: (laughter) Did they get stick in -- stuck in those wheelchairs all afternoon, wasn’t they?

BOYKIN: Yeah, they thought, uh, they thought they were gonna have free time because I would say, “Uh, Ms. So-and-So, when have you been to bed?” “I want to go to bed.”

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: (laughter)

CLARY: Now, this was -- you graduated with your master’s in, what, ’60-something?

BOYKIN: And I ended up with six -- I have to look at my sheet, here, uh-huh.

CLARY: Yeah, I think I wrote it down.

BOYKIN: Okay, yeah.

CLARY: So, by then, the new Grady was built.

BOYKIN: Yeah, the new Grady, uh-huh, the new Grady.

CLARY: Okay. Can you tell us some of the things you recognized were different there because it was still -- it was still segregated until ’64, ’65 --

BOYKIN: In about ’60-- uh-huh.

CLARY: -- so, was it -- was it still segregated when you came back to the new Grady?

BOYKIN: Yes, it was with the students --

CLARY: Okay.

93:00

BOYKIN: -- with -- but -- and -- but let me see, when did we start combining? It was in about time you graduated, we was combining patients, weren’t we?

CLARY: Right -- right before I entered, they combined patients.

BOYKIN: With com-- combined patient.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: So really right then it was patients and students. So, I taught all students. So, we didn’t have the students separated, so when I went in, we were teaching all students, okay.

CLARY: Okay, that was a good question.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, yeah.

CLARY: So, there -- we still had the municipal training school for colored nurses and the Grady Training School for the white nurses, and you taught in both until they combined in ’64? Or were they already combined when you came back?

BOYKIN: No, no, no, no, no -- No -- No -- they were already com-- they were already combined.

CLARY: Okay, they were already combined.

BOYKIN: They were already combined, Okay.

CLARY: Okay. How about the new hospital? What did you think of it when you came back?

BOYKIN: It was -- it was good. The way it is now, I -- I’ve been back there about a couple of times. It has changed tremendously. It’s almost like The Wizard of Oz going into it, it’s different. I -- I don’t know my way around, now.

94:00

CLARY: We don’t, either. I don’t, either.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, I don’t know about you, but, uh. So, then I became involved with the students and the students’ activities and all those kinds of things. Um -- teaching mostly basic nursing, but in the summer, you know, there was no basic nursing, so we had to work in other areas. I mean, be in medical/surgical, we did also somewhat like staff nurses, uh, on those areas, but we were not part of the staff, as such. I did -- some of us did different things. I did medical/surgical nursing, I did OB, obstetrics, and I did a bit in psychiatry. When -- When I went in psychiatry, the, uh, supervisor had asked for me to help do, um, care planning.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

95:00

BOYKIN: Because at that time, we were getting into writing a plan of care for patients, so you had to write the principle, getting ready for a state board, and all those people to come around. So everything had to be in check. And the supervisor, the psychiatrist, told me that she said she heard that I was good. By the way, you want anything to drink?

CLARY: I’m good, thank you, though. I’m good.

BOYKIN: Um, that I was good with care planning -

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- or -- she asked me, would I come to psychiatry? She said, “I know you don’t have a background but you do -- I understand that you can really do care plans and match the care with the patients.”

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And I -- you know, I was good with that. So I went into the psychiatric for that summer, and, um, they oriented me, but she told me, I’ll -- I’ll always have somebody with me. But I ne-- never took care of patients. I was just going in --

CLARY: Right, to do care plans, okay.

BOYKIN: -- yeah, uh-huh, writing care plans and showing them how to work. And then, anywhere I went, there was a, um, uh, orderly or whoever with me, letting me in and out, that kind of stuff. I would go to all the conference. I learned a 96:00lot about psychiatric nursing about then, to match whatever had, so they could be ready for the board to --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- come check with that. But the ones who were in basic nursing did various things during the interim from one to the other. Okay? Anything else about the schools you want to ask me before I jump?

CLARY: Did you have any memorable period with the students, of --

BOYKIN: I had a lot of it. I -- I -

CLARY: -- that you remember? Like, do you remember when Dr. -- Dr. Martin Luther King was killed and we had to be locked up in the dorms?

BOYKIN: Yes, uh-huh.

CLARY: Yeah. How was that decision made? Because I remember sitting on the windowsill, watching the parade, you know --

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: -- the funeral procession go by, and thinking that the black students would want to be there, and they were not allowed to go.

BOYKIN: Now, I don’t -- I --

97:00

CLARY: You don’t remember that decision? It was probably Mrs. Dixon’s decision.

BOYKIN: I don’t remember that. Yes, uh-huh. I -- I -- I don’t remember much about it. But they thought there’d be a problem, but there was no -- that was no problem.

CLARY: We had no problem, did we?

BOYKIN: No problem in Atlanta.

CLARY: Yeah, everybody was -- wasn’t rioting or anything, and it was -- it was like --

BOYKIN: You know --

CLARY: -- they were so afraid, and I can understand --

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: -- she was afraid the student nurses under her care would be harmed or whatever and so we got locked up, but we had not one problem.

BOYKIN: None. No problem in the city with anybody else.

CLARY: Nothing, yeah. And it was such a historic event.

BOYKIN: It was a historical event.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: And nobody didn’t have no problem with it.

CLARY: Yeah. I was in Piedmont, of course, and Piedmont, we could see Ebenezer from the window.

BOYKIN: Yeah, from -- from the -- you could see the --

CLARY: So, I mean, I saw --

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: -- I saw all the dignitaries and all the celebrities walk by.

BOYKIN: And you didn’t -- and you -- and you didn’t see any fuss --

CLARY: Nothing.

BOYKIN: -- no -- no -- no, um, outburst --

CLARY: Nothing.

BOYKIN: -- of anger, or nothing like that.

CLARY: Nothing.

BOYKIN: Okay.

CLARY: Yeah, everybody was respectful that day.

BOYKIN: It was very nice --

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: -- and the mayor of the city was there and everything.

98:00

CLARY: Right.

DRUMMOND: Who was the mayor, then? Was that Massell? because he’s --

CLARY: I don’t remember.

DRUMMOND: Well --

CLARY: Who was the mayor when Martin Luther King was killed --

BOYKIN: I’ve thought about it. It was a fleeting thing.

CLARY: It wasn’t Ivan Allen, was it?

BOYKIN: Yes, it was Ivan Allen.

CLARY: Because he was there a long time.

BOYKIN: It was Ivan Allen.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, Okay.

CLARY: And he really worked hard to make sure --

BOYKIN: He worked --

CLARY: -- everybody got along.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, gotcha, it was Ivan Allen, yeah.

CLARY: I think it was Ivan Allen.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: See, because I was not -- because every once in a while my sister in law, who was also a schoolteacher, when she’s pumping me for information, she didn’t understand. Her upbringing was different from mine, and she didn’t understand why I didn’t know a lot about the civil rights. Because I didn’t have any courses in civil rights.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: All this stuff happened in Birmingham. I knew about it and all the sit-ins. I knew about it, but I was never a participant of it because I was not in any environment to be a participant.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

99:00

BOYKIN: And I didn’t know about it, so she, uh, tells -- she tells me, and sometimes on TV, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned more things about the civil rights and all that, being older, from the TV and those kinds of things.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: So there were a group of people who didn’t know about it, or knew about it, but was not actively involved. And there was a -- later on, there were a lot of sit-ins in Atlanta for the stores down there, but I wasn't into that.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: So -- so -- so she --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- you sort of separated area --

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Anything else about the school of nursing?

CLARY: I can’t think of anything right now --

BOYKIN: Okay.

CLARY: -- but it might come to me.

BOYKIN: Okay.

DRUMMOND: And if we do think of things, we could always plan another trip to come down and talk to you, to -- to fill in anything we miss today.

BOYKIN: Okay, okay, let’s see what I have. Do do do do do do do do do do -- return to Grady -- all right. When I returned back, working at Grady, I used to 100:00do a lot of walking to do -- teach -- collect money for the American Heart, the diabetes, and all those kinds of things, but I had dogs with me. I raised about three dogs, so I had that, too. Oh, one thing I -- look -- can I backtrack just a moment?

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Sure.

BOYKIN: When I was in Chicago --

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: -- I was, uh, an advisor to the Student Nurses of Illinois. And that -- we -- they were -- we would have a council. That’s me, right there. Uh, and we, uh --

DRUMMOND: May I see this?

BOYKIN: -- would meet with the -- the various students in the groups and to sort of talk about the things they would do. Isn’t that interesting?

CLARY: Their uniforms are very similar to ours, aren’t they?

BOYKIN: I know, and I think -- yeah. (laughter) So, isn’t that --

CLARY: Look at that room! And the white gloves.

BOYKIN: It’s -- it’s like -- yeah, have you --

CLARY: We dressed so much better in the old days, Traci. We just did. (laughter)

101:00

BOYKIN: The -- didn’t we look good? Uh-huh. It’s, uh -- it’s interesting.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: I was filing through my stuff and brought that for. (laughter)

CLARY: That is a great photo.

BOYKIN: It -- uh-huh, it was good. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: Oh, your hat is so pretty.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I had my hat on. We always had the hats.

DRUMMOND: Oh, yeah, so pretty. What --

CLARY: What -- if and when we came as student nurses to Grady, they gave us a list of what to bring.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: And we had to have gloves and a hat.

BOYKIN: Yeah, mm-hmm. Gloves.

CLARY: To go out on Sunday, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: We had to dress properly.

DRUMMOND: So, I’m looking around this picture and I -- I don’t -- or maybe I only see one other African American in the photo?

BOYKIN: They had students -- they had black students, mm-hmm.

CLARY: Okay.

DRUMMOND: Okay, okay.

BOYKIN: But nationally, there are very few black nurses. You see a lot because of Grady, but universally, the -- the number of blacks RNs is very low. Did you know that?

CLARY: Even to this day, really?

BOYKIN: In this day and time, nationally.

CLARY: Okay.

102:00

BOYKIN: And nationally, they have a low RN, black RN. Most of them are --

CLARY: Why do you think that is?

BOYKIN: Well, uh, it could be at the time they were coming up that there were no place for them.

CLARY: Right. Right.

BOYKIN: Like schools. Uh-huh, and when Grady closed, you know, they had (inaudible), spotted. Howard University.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: But you know that if you go to big organizations --

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: -- you don’t see many black nurses, do you?

CLARY: Oh, yeah.

BOYKIN: Have you thought about it?

CLARY: I know I’ve been a patient a lot in the last couple of years, and I always had black and white nurses.

BOYKIN: I know.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: But see, this -- this is later on --

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: -- but if you go universally, you don’t see as many.

CLARY: Interesting.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: You know, one of the things -- and this does remind me of a question -- in the school of nursing, we had the black school and we had the white school, and then we combined. And by the time I went, we only had six black girls in my class.

BOYKIN: This is what I’m saying.

CLARY: So, we wondered, was that something that was chosen by the black 103:00students, they didn’t want to come, or did the schools keep them from coming?

BOYKIN: Yeah, it -- No, no -- No. No, no.

CLARY: What happened?

BOYKIN: What happened is that when they finished the high sch-- some of these little high schools, they didn’t need to -- couldn’t pass the test.

CLARY: Ms. Dixon did tell us that, that you had to take tests to have the qualifications --

BOYKIN: To come here.

CLARY: -- and they didn’t have the good high schools that gave them.

BOYKIN: That’s true.

DRUMMOND: So -

CLARY: It wasn’t that they weren’t bright, they just didn’t have the background.

BOYKIN: They were not test-savvy.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: So it was very difficult for them.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, very difficult.

DRUMMOND: And they weren’t getting the same education the white students were getting, okay.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, that’s true.

CLARY: It took years be-- for them to have the same education.

BOYKIN: To catch up to date, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: To catch up.

BOYKIN: And -- And there’s still some problems in these little small towns.

CLARY: Yes.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Because it -- and because they don’t -- can’t pass the test. But it -- they were not dumb, they just --

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: -- couldn’t -- not test-savvy. Okay.

CLARY: Right, you’re right.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: Because we -- we graduated, I think, six black girls in my class, and we have a total of seventy-one. Yeah.

BOYKIN: See? Was that because they were not able to get in?

104:00

CLARY: Now -- and then, what’s interesting, the very last class that graduated in 1982, when the school closed, I think there were -- I just got a picture of it yesterday, the graduating class, and I think there were seven black students and maybe four white.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: So, it was a very small class --

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

CLARY: -- but there were more black girls than there were white girls, but it was a very --

BOYKIN: It was phasing -- they were phasing out the program --

CLARY: It was phasing out.

BOYKIN: -- so the white students may chose to go other places (overlapping dialogue; inaudible).

CLARY: Exactly. They had more opportunities.

BOYKIN: Opportunities.

CLARY: So then it kind of switched.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: Yeah, yeah.

DRUMMOND: And do you know if Georgia State’s nursing program had been established by ’82?

CLARY: Oh, yes.

DRUMMOND: It had? Okay.

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: Yes, yes. Many graduates from Grady went to Georgia State when they left.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, yeah.

DRUMMOND: Okay, okay, okay. Okay.

CLARY: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Isn’t that interesting -- you -- you learned some things here, haven't you?

DRUMMOND: (laughter) Yeah, yeah. Well, so, but earlier on, there was a more even number of black and white students, and it was just after the -- the school integrated that the numbers dropped for the Af-- African-American students?

105:00

BOYKIN: It did drop because they could go other places.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Because they were being integrated in other areas, okay.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: All right. Um, and then when the school closed, I went over to be a director of medical nursing, and, um, although, uh --

DRUMMOND: Went where to be a director of medical --

CLARY: At Grady?

BOYKIN: At Grady.

DRUMMOND: Okay, you went to the hospital?

BOYKIN: I went to the hospital.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Bernice was so upset. She was so upset. She left -- when I told her Betty Blake was then was the director, and I told her, Betty had called me, asked me, did I want a position? And when -- Bernice thought I was going to stay until they completely closed the school out.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Because you know, I -- I was doing a lot of work. I did a lot of work for Bernice in --

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: -- getting things together, and, uh, and being in charge of the other folks that she didn’t have to do.

CLARY: All right.

BOYKIN: She was so upset, she had brought some brownies, and she left that day early. She said, “You didn’t have to do this, you didn’t have to leave, 106:00then. You just don’t.” Because then she lost her help.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Her person who supported her and helped do the other teachers and all those --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- kind of stuff. She was upset. So, I went over and --

CLARY: But do you know what she told me? Because we -- When we were in her house a couple of weeks ago, I said, “You know,” we -- I said, “We’re going to go -- I’m going to go visit Ms. Boykin whenever,” and she says, “She was a true friend. She supported me through thick and thin.”

BOYKIN: I really did.

CLARY: “She was a true friend,” and she recognizes it.

BOYKIN: Yes. I -- she was -- and I did, I had -- because a lot of times with the teachers in basic nursing that I was in charge of, talking about Imogene. Imogene was -- had been in the Army, and she would get mad with the students and -- if they didn’t remember what she asked, she wanted to slap them.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then one -- one day, uh, when we were in the areas, um, Imogene had -- was teaching students, and they had forgotten the formula. And she was getting ready to bristle up, and one of the kids ran upstairs to me and, “Ms. 107:00Boykin, get down here, quick, because Ms. Davis is going to hit a student.” (laughter) I flew, I flew from the seventh floor down. I missed steps getting down there.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I said, an-- and he-- “Imogene,” I said, “Imogene, don’t touch no -- don’t -- don’t,” I caught her hand --

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: -- because I think she was going to slap a student.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You go and sit down. Then I took over giving medicine for that area.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Because she was strict. You had to have this done and this done because she had been in the Army. I said, “You can’t do this.”

CLARY: Right, right. We were not in the Army, were we?

BOYKIN: No, we’re not in the Army.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then Imogene’s mother became ill, and she stayed with her mother, sat up in a chair. And then, she would fight with Bernice. Bernice got mad with Imogene and told me, “I want her fired. You fire her.” I said, “No, I’m not going to fire Imogene.” Said, “Well, I’m not going to fire her, then.” (laughter) You know?

CLARY: So, you had to be the go-between, between the two of them, didn’t you?

108:00

BOYKIN: Oh -- uh-huh. No, I told her, no, no, no, no, no. And -- and then, when her husband, Ollie got sick, it came back to her.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: She -- we had to do things for her, that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, yeah. It kind of changes, doesn’t it?

BOYKIN: It’s -- it’s a -- it changes when you have to see whatever.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: Okay, being in to the director of medical nursing after I left the students, and then I had a lot of areas like the medical/surgical areas, the coronary unit, the renal ICU, the medical ICU, the patients, everybody are combined, nursing’s everybody -- that was no difference here. Radiology and oncology, but I had a lot of help because I -- I didn’t know all the stuff. I -- you know, the head nurses answered to me, I had supervisors, I had clinical specialists, and staff development people --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- that kind of stuff. Um, and then, I guess that must have been nine or ten years, and then the hospital changed with the downsizing that happened then. 109:00So, uh, we -- we had to either leave or retire.

DRUMMOND: Do you remember about what year that was?

BOYKIN: Was it the early -- I -- it might have been the early nineties.

DRUMMOND: Early nineties, Okay.

CLARY: Early nineties because Bernice left in about ’92, I think. Was that the same time you left?

BOYKIN: Yeah, it was in the nineties. Uh, I left before, about a couple of years before.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: It was in the nineties. The -- they -- they made rearrangement. They didn’t so much told me the monies were short.

CLARY: Hm.

BOYKIN: So the ones -- now, this was not publicized.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And the ones who might have made a little bit more money, they -- you know, they erased us out.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: We -- We had -- we started doing like the -- the big cities, you know?

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Like the get rid of people, that’s how we did. Um, I chose not to retire. Um, because I could have, but some of the students I had taught was in public health.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And they said, “Come on and work with us.” So, I went to, uh, to -- 110:00to public health. I don’t --

CLARY: Was that still as an employee with Grady?

BOYKIN: No.

CLARY: Okay, so you left Grady --

BOYKIN: Separate.

CLARY: -- entirely for the first time, for years and years, okay.

BOYKIN: Yes, right, uh-huh. And then went to, um, all of the -- the supervisory and the students were at Grady, under Grady.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: But this is a different pub-- like, public health department, like --

CLARY: Like the -- Like DeKalb County public health -

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: -- or Fulton County?

BOYKIN: I went to Fulton County.

CLARY: Fulton, okay.

BOYKIN: Yeah. Um, and when I was hired in Fulton County, I did home visit and the immunization program and anything problems related to public health.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And I did that for just a few months, and then I took -- see, like, public health now, Fulton County, I took a course in examining children. From then on, I didn’t do the house -- I examined children, get them ready for school, and you know, they had routines, they had to see three months over, or I did that.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: For, uh, for the time I was there.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

111:00

BOYKIN: And then, while I was examining children, Fulton County de-- uh, Health Department allowed us one day –- not allowed. We were borrowed out to the City of Atlanta, and around one day a week, I was in an elementary school one day a week to examine children. And while I was there, I helped looked at the immunization schedule and all with the assistant principal. And I would relieve the teachers if they had to go somewhere.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: I didn’t -- that was not part of my assignment.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: But I was into everybody’s business, (laughter) and when they were not busy, I would be at the desk, greeting people. And, um, and I think a lot of other teachers, public health nurses, didn’t do what I did because the assistant principal knew I knew a lot of things about it, so I would help her be sure that all of the students in the school were up to date, the immunization. I would help her go over all the immunization sheets, and then I would be in the 112:00waiting room, uh, you know, introducing to patients, and the day they had orientation. Now, the -- I don’t know why they picked me, but I did that. I would be sure that all the immunizations for the kids coming into the school --

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: -- with that right. And then, on the payday, when the teachers got paid, um, I would relieve some of their areas. I would sit in with their students while they were going to get their checks cashed. (laughter)

CLARY: You just did everything. You were -- you were a Jack and Jill of all trades.

BOYKIN: Jack and Jill.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: But they had an LPN to take care of the sick. I didn’t have to take care of them.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: However, they would still come to me --

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: -- because they knew I was an RN in public health.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: And I -- uh, and one morning, I remember I was coming to work, you know, after I parked and all. I used to drive a little red truck, I had a truck, a Dodge truck. And as I was coming in the door here, John Lewis.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: You know who John Lewis is?

CLARY: Yes, I know who John Lewis is, right.

113:00

BOYKIN: Yeah. Uh, he was coming into the school, and I was waiting until he passed. And he -- the -- the principal of the school, “That’s my nurse!” I said, “Well,” I said, “I’m not her nurse.” (laughter) I belong to public health. But I really felt a part. Everywhere I would go, I would feel a part of that area.

CLARY: That’s nice.

BOYKIN: (laughter) Yeah. So, I did, um, uh, uh, public health, about -- I guess I stopped early into -- into 2-- 2000.

CLARY: Two-thousand? So, a number of years.

BOYKIN: Not too many, but about five, I guess.

CLARY: Five years? Okay.

BOYKIN: About -- about five years because my husband was getting sick. Then I stopped working full-time. By way -- by the way, while I was there, we learned WIC, how to do WIC and all that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Okay, right.

BOYKIN: When you -- for foods, for food --

CLARY: For food stamps, right.

BOYKIN: And that kind of stuff. And then I started working part-time, doing part-time. And then, part time ended up being I worked one day a week for pay, 114:00and two days for volunteering. (laughter)

CLARY: Isn’t that always the case?

BOYKIN: Because, see, I had to -- to work for pay for my license and all that kind of stuff. And then, I volunteered the two. And when I would volunteer, I had the same workload.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: And the –- and examining the children, my schedule was full. They were giving me the other -- the other people in public health give me (inaudible). Then, we got a lot of the Hispanics in, started getting a lot of Hispanic patients.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: We had an interpreter with us. This is when I -- I started learning -- I did know some Spanish at one time. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: And, um, I really felt for some of those. So, you’re talking about a hard time, they are.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: But they’re despised, as far as immigration is concerned.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

115:00

BOYKIN: But I had a lot of contact with them. And I tend -- I -- I -- I don’t whether they assigned me -- some of the patients I saw, wow, the children were little, and that kind of stuff, all -- all through the whole family. This one family, I remember so well, I always saw her, her children. Then, one day she had a -- she had a little boy in, and she was sitting there, just crying, and I didn’t know what was wrong with her. So, I was waiting on the interpreter because she would go from one, uh, one, uh, person to the next. And she said that someone had robbed them. You know, they kept money without the bank.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: And they have a lot of monies, they don’t take it anywhere, and someone stole everything they had.

DRUMMOND: Mm.

CLARY: Wow.

BOYKIN: And, um -- and you know, we made some people learn to speak English and that kind of stuff. And then, I took time just to hug her. And because at that time, I was an older person, so when the parents would come in, sometimes the grandmamas --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- the grandmama was young, and I had the whole family. And then, we had 116:00students from these schools of nursing. Georgia State would send their students to the public health area, and then they would follow us. I saw a lot of Georgia State students.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Now, they wanted to follow me.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh, because I was older and I didn’t threaten them, and I would let them help me plan for the -- the patient.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: That kind of stuff. And I think just because they would knock themselves out -- I want to go here today -- I said, “All of you some day” and their teacher would say, “All of you can’t go with her, can’t sit in with her.” (laughter)

CLARY: You were the popular one. Well, you were the popular one when I was a student. We all wanted you. (laughter) We didn’t want Imogene Davis, we wanted you.

BOYKIN: So, but -- so, uh, they were -- you know, I helped them. We planned for the patients and that kind of stuff with them. Uh, but, we had a whole schedule of patients from 8:00 to 5:00.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: And then the -- it was getting dark, and the supervisor said, “Don’t pres-- don’t have Ms. Boykin past nighttime, she can’t see at night.” (laughter)

117:00

CLARY: They had to get you in that red truck and come get you.

BOYKIN: I had to get home in the red truck, okay.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Then, um, then I stopped, uh, a little before my husband died, not working.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: He had, um, cardiovascular failure, and, um, up and died on me. Just as I said my mother up and died on me. Okay. In the meanwhile, I showed you, my husband -- after he retired for -- he early retired from the school system -- we started an in-home, um, record distribution. Gospel. And I didn’t like gospel, but I was with it. We did -- we sold DVDs and CDs to small record stores.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: The -- the major record stores, like Provident and all those big stores, didn’t sell to those. There was a -- had to be a middle person.

CLARY: Okay.

118:00

BOYKIN: Okay. The big stores sold to us if we had a credit line because we didn’t have to pay to get the records, but then we sold to the -- the people with the little stores.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Okay.

DRUMMOND: What was the name of the company?

BOYKIN: Statco (inaudible). S-T-A-T-C-O.

DRUMMOND: S-

BOYKIN: Statco, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Oh, Okay.

BOYKIN: That’s -- it was -

CLARY: S-T-A-T-C-O?

BOYKIN: C-O, uh-huh.

CLARY: Statco.

BOYKIN: Uh, Stat-

CLARY: How’d you come up with that name?

BOYKIN: Somebody -- he got it from somewhere.

DRUMMOND: Yeah. (laughter)

BOYKIN: Um, before my husband got that company, he used to tape-rec-- because he was in music, he used to tape-record sermons and all that stuff.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Then we started getting our own supplies and this kind of stuff.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Then he left that because people didn’t pay us. We were not good business people. (laughter) And they didn’t pay us, and my husband would leave that -- the Christian part of them. And we had folks who owe us money. I remember the one time we went to a, um, a dinner party. By the way, my husband, 119:00all the student nurses program, we went to, my husband was always with me.

CLARY: He came with you?

BOYKIN: He -- we -- he -- wherever, and I went with his place. But back again, we were, uh, at a, uh, party, and then he -- he went to pick up his old Chevy. And while I was waiting, I saw this preacher who owed my husband a lot of money. And then, about the preacher was getting in his car, and so forth and so on, that’s why you thought my husband was a preacher -

CLARY: Exactly.

BOYKIN: -- because we dealt with a lot of religious people. And -- but they’re worse than the ones who are not religious.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: So, when he -- my husband was coming from our car, he said, “Catch him, catch him!” He was driving a fancy car. “He has my money!”

CLARY: Did he ever pay you?

BOYKIN: No!

DRUMMOND: Aww. (laughter) That’s too bad. Well, let’s go back -- because I know you said when you left Chicago, you had already gotten married.

BOYKIN: I was getting married -- I was married by that time, that’s true.

120:00

DRUMMOND: Um, so -- so, I think a -- a real important story to tell is how you met your husband.

BOYKIN: Do -- what?

DRUMMOND: How you met your husband.

BOYKIN: How I met him?

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: -- in group sessions, meeting him because of, uh, going to music things. I met him through some music, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Okay, like social events and -- Okay. Okay.

BOYKIN: Social events, uh-huh, uh-huh, social events.

CLARY: And I think it’s interesting that he was from the South --

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: -- and working -- and did he go to school in Chicago, too?

BOYKIN: He went to -- he did -- they have -- These teachers had to be, um, extra folks. Like, he went to the Northwestern Uni-- University to -- to update, you know? The teachers, I -- I don’t know whether they have to do it now, but I saw somewhere in the paper that they start -- stop giving money to teachers to go back and get further education.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: But every so often, they had to go back and be updated.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And my husband did, um, Indiana University and Northwestern University.

121:00

CLARY: Okay. So, was he already teaching in Georgia and went up there for a course, and that was when you met him?

BOYKIN: For courses. I met him -- I had met him a long time ago and didn’t realize I met him.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: But then I got to know him more --

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- going back and forth to courses.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: And then he wanted to come back to Atlanta to teach in the schools? Okay.

BOYKIN: Because that’s where he was working, see, the -- he was working.

DRUMMOND: He was only there temporary in Chicago?

BOYKIN: Temporarily, to get updated. Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: I understand now, okay.

BOYKIN: Okay.

DRUMMOND: What -- what -- was he teaching at a high school?

BOYKIN: Was he teaching high school and elementary.

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh, Okay. Wh-- wh-- which schools, do you remember?

BOYKIN: Yes, he was at, um, um, he was in the various counties.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Um, DeKalb County, didn’t -- wasn’t in Atlanta, um, system. And then there’s a -- what’s the name of it -- Buford. Buford, Georgia.

CLARY: Yeah, Buford, Georgia, right. They have an independent school system, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Yeah, in-- independent school system, all the school system that he was in.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: When he worked in Buford, they had to, um, the teachers had to start the fire in the -- in the heater. (laughter)

CLARY: In the furnace?

122:00

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: Oh, wow. Buford -- Buford was a little old-timey. I worked as an occupational health nurse in Buford at the Lovable Company.

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: They had a company there that made ladies’ undergarments.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: And they made them for Sears, [J.C.] Penney's, you name it, nobody knew this, but they made them right up there in Buford. And it was a nice little town, but it was a little backwards.

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: It was a little backwards.

BOYKIN: Yeah, so you can see the teacher there -

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- making and starting the fire in the furnace. Okay.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then when I started little -- I -- with the little company, I had, um, a t-- what I guess you call her, um, I don’t know, whatever, aide or whatever, who did -- put things in the computer, all the records in the computer, that I was selling. And what I did mostly was I ordered records and received the records from the vendors. I -- I paid all the expenses, but I had a 123:00CPA who did all the time, I had two people with the computer. I had a guy who, um, was sure that everything was in the computer. If I was audited, that would be exact.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: It could show that. Then, we had someone to, um, repair the computer. I had a big computer downstairs. I had -- we had a workstation downstairs but this is an old, old house that, uh, my husband wanted to move out, but, uh, one guy told him that if he did, the crooks would be in there, cooking, and he -- he would be -- so he had -- we -- I got a place downstairs where we did records and there’s a big computer down there.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And that kind of stuff. And then I had, um, uh, I said a CPA. And then, UPS came to pick up things from here --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- and the -- in the porch, okay.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, so your business was run out of your home?

BOYKIN: It -- it was -- it was -- it was -- at first, we made money.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Um, um, you know, Tyler Perry, when he first started -

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- doing records, uh, he sold a lot of records. We bought a lot of records. But that stopped because he started putting them in the main stores and 124:00the price went down.

CLARY: Oh, okay.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh, you didn’t make much money because if you bought the real records, you had -- couldn’t -- couldn’t charge these middle -- these people in the middle very much, so they upped (inaudible), whatever.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And, um, I had about sixty to seventy clients, but not all of them bought. And after my husband died, you could see the difference because they said I didn’t know anything about records, and now, blah, blah, blah, blah, there’s a lot of stuff.

CLARY: Hmm.

BOYKIN: And then people didn’t pay me. I got a collecting agency and they got some of my money, but right now, I have thousands of dollars owed to me.

CLARY: Hm.

BOYKIN: One reason I didn’t sue, because that meant that I have to almost finance it -- finance the lawyer -

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: -- and then you may not get the monies.

CLARY: I know it.

BOYKIN: And then, just before, um, about two -- two and a half to three years 125:00ago, I stopped the company.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Because it was a 24/7 job.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Trying to collect your money and trying to sell, it was just too much for me. And then, when I started getting the infection, I was so tired, I didn’t know. because I didn’t know this was happened to me. And I think it came from eczema -- I was bitten by a mosquito that -- under my face, and what happened to -- and then my skin, I was with -- you could see different colors. The sunburn, too, but I had a rash all over and my legs and everything, and my primary doctor told me I had eczema. And so, I went to a dermatologist. It took a month to decide I had eczema. (laughter) And during that time, I had -- and by the way, and in '07 and ’09, I had two knee -- knee replacements. Okay.

CLARY: Knee replacements.

BOYKIN: Then, evidently, that -- that infection started in the knee.

CLARY: Oh.

126:00

BOYKIN: So, when they got pus out it, they found bacteria, and that -- that made me have that universal thing. It was painful.

CLARY: I know.

BOYKIN: And I told you, as I -- uh, and then I fell and couldn’t get up because of that. By the way, I had one of these things that went on your neck.

CLARY: Okay. A medic alert?

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, a medical alert thing.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: Uh, and, uh, that’s a good thing for folks to have.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: It circles this whole building.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And when I -- I’m here by myself and whatever, I don’t need it, but I -- they -- they called me and asked me, “Do I have it?”

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And I said -- And the -- it’s a good thing. I’m -- with that, um, uh, area that you have to activate it once a month. It -- it comes another color, and then you have to call and see whether it’s working.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: I really like it --

CLARY: That’s good to have.

BOYKIN: It’s good to have.

CLARY: I wish Mrs. Dixon had something like that. She doesn’t.

BOYKIN: I’m gonna tell -- I’ll -- I’ll -- I’ll ask about it.

CLARY: Yes.

BOYKIN: It’s marvelous. And they’re -- it’s my little gizmo in there. It -- it’s a red alert, and I don’t worry about it. If -- if someone comes and 127:00you know, I -- when you all leave in about -- I’m going downstairs because the washing machine and all that down there --

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- I’ll wear it.

CLARY: Good.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh. It -- she really needs it, you really -

CLARY: She does.

BOYKIN: And that’s something that everybody need to have, uh-huh.

CLARY: Uh-huh. If you’re living alone, you need it.

BOYKIN: You -- you need it.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Because what -- when I think I might have been the first elderly person who got it. And, uh, at this little meeting --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- they told -- they told other folks, a lot of folks started getting it.

CLARY: Once you did it?

BOYKIN: Once you get it, uh-huh.

CLARY: Okay.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And to -- to make a difference.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: And you feel safer with it.

BOYKIN: You feel -- I feel -- well, I feel safe, uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And -- but -- and now, I got three base phones and everywhere I go, I take my phone with me.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Then I have a --

DRUMMOND: That’s good.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: That’s good.

BOYKIN: -- cell phone. I don’t even know my cell phone number. (laughter) Yeah. Okay. And that -- when I disband the area, do you know, it’s hard trying 128:00to stop, uh, a business because we had a machine that took care of credit cards.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You had to rent it -- you couldn’t buy.

DRUMMOND: Hm.

BOYKIN: And when I stopped doing it, I sent it back through UPS. And do you know, they told me they -- they had sold that company to another company, and they told me why -- how much money I had to pay? And I said, “No, I stopped and sent it back.”

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: They said, “We don’t have it.” And I talked to a young lady, and she wouldn’t let me talk, and I said, “Never mind.” And, um, then somebody else called me. I said, “I sent it back. I have a tracking number.”

CLARY: Good. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible)

BOYKIN: A tracking number.

CLARY: Good.

BOYKIN: And then, uh, all the stores were still calling me, and the people who are still calling, that’s why I don’t always answer the telephone.

CLARY: Right. You -- you kind of have to screen your calls, don’t you? Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I screen my calls because even though I wrote them and the records that we had that’s in circulation all over on the Internet and everything else, but see, we didn’t want to do any -- we was doing telephones.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

129:00

BOYKIN: That kind of stuff. They’re old gospel songs, and they’re still in that list. So, they won’t die out, and so that means, that’s stuff that we sold still in that package that you got, or whatever.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Well, you kind of do like Traci does, you’re preserving something.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Yes, uh-huh. That’s true, that’s true. It’s the --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Well, we -- we do have a music archivist, too.

BOYKIN: Do you?

DRUMMOND: Um, I’ll see if he’s interested in getting some of those for the archives because we have lots of records, I mean, thousands and thousands -- thousands of records.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: See, this -- this was gospel. You know how I didn’t even like gospel? (laughter) I’m, uh, uh -- [so small?] rock. (laughter) I’m ashamed to say it.

CLARY: So, who -- who’s your favorite singer or band? Who do you like the best?

BOYKIN: Well, I -- I -- I like the old folks.

130:00

CLARY: The old ones, yeah. Yeah. See, I listened to Frank Sinatra, and he’s even before my time.

BOYKIN: I know it. (laughter) I have to always look back, who they were, when -- all right, and then I, uh, stopped it because I was in rehabilitation at Buckhead Rehabilitation Center.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: Because they -- I thought they had to do another knee replacement, but the Dr. Aaron, who I got from that area, the reason I end up going down -- to that downtown area, when I got ready to go to the doctor, my sister will take me because, you know, I -- I was down, they found me on the floor.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: And, um, there was a traffic jam, and I could-- they wouldn’t let people go into Piedmont area, so they took me to Midtown.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And that’s how I got that -- I loved that place down there.

CLARY: Well, good!

BOYKIN: I really liked that place down there. And they took me in and people say 131:00that nurses get special attention. They may be right --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- but they didn’t know that I was a nurse when they brought me in.

CLARY: That’s right, yeah.

BOYKIN: And, um, then they sign-- assigned me to an orthopedic surgeon, that’s that Dr. Aaron, and then the -- the place over there, it’s just immaculate. Have you ever been over there?

CLARY: No, no. Is that run by Emory, [the town?] Emory?

BOYKIN: Well, it’s part of Emory.

CLARY: Okay, because it used to be Crawford Long, didn’t it?

BOYKIN: No, Craw-- Crawford Long is still there.

CLARY: Oh, is it still there?

BOYKIN: This is a -- this is the -- this is the back and -- and the knee area.

CLARY: Oh, okay. No, I’m not familiar with that one, Okay.

BOYKIN: With that. It was marvelous, just mar-- . So, when they got me -- see, they had to go ahead the -- they -- and do surgery on both of them.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Instead of him -- he found that he could make a band around that area.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: So, when -- when they finished the surgery, I had to go to a rehabilitation center -

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- because I couldn’t use that leg at all.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I was at the Buckhead, the rehabilitation area, it’s an old folks’ home, too.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And -- but they had rehabilitation -- for three months.

CLARY: Wow.

132:00

BOYKIN: And then, I was in rehabilitation in the house. I had a home health nurse, had a physical therapist, and the occupational therapist, who came to me.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: One I saw every week --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- for three months. And -- (laughter) they would, you know, walk with me and do my exercises and all those kinds of things.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Isn’t that interesting?

CLARY: Did they know you were a nurse by then?

BOYKIN: Oh, yeah, yeah.

CLARY: Okay.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: They knew, they knew.

CLARY: Okay, so then you got your special care? (laughter)

BOYKIN: I -- I -- I think I got special treatment, but there are two things that I learned as rehabilit-- how valuable it is to have insurance.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: There are a lot of people who couldn’t finish their -- didn’t get rehabilitation long --

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: -- or who might not have gotten it, but when they got there, because they didn’t have insurance.

DRUMMOND: Hm.

CLARY: Now, you were an employee of the school of nursing, but the school of nursing really was under the auspices of the hospital.

BOYKIN: The hospital, that’s right.

CLARY: So, you really got retirement from the hospital and insurance from the hospital when you retired?

133:00

BOYKIN: No, I -- I didn’t get -- see, I didn’t get retirement when they severed our [bend?]. They wanted -- Yeah, I got retirement from the hospital.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: But you know, when they severed us, they wanted to give us a bulk amount and not give us retirement from --

CLARY: Not in a monthly retirement check, okay.

BOYKIN: Monthly check, Okay. And -- And let me tell you how that -- how we got that for the -- some people didn’t get it. They took monies.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: We have a -- I -- I got the -- the group together, you know Annie Shaw?

CLARY: Yes. Yes, I worked on 4-A when I -- when I -

BOYKIN: Okay. Annie -- Yeah, Annie was one of those groups who had --

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- was in this group that they severed.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And I got her with the -- about four or five of us, got lawyers.

CLARY: Good.

BOYKIN: And some of them didn’t want to go -- I said, “You’re going to get here, okay?”

CLARY: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

BOYKIN: And so, we, um, got a lawyer -- oh, they were the offspring of Garland’s, that group of lawyers.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: You know Garland?

134:00

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: But he had some sub-areas. I saw one of the guys laying in that area who took us on as clients.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And we paid as we went --

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: -- with the -- so we had --

CLARY: He worked with you, right.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, okay. And we would not -- people thought we were suing the hospital. You know what we were suing for? To get our pension.

CLARY: Exactly! Because you had some kind of employment agreement for years and years that included --

BOYKIN: Years and years.

CLARY: -- a retirement.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: And now they changed the rules afterwards and wanted just to give you a lump sum.

BOYKIN: That was from the -- all that severance.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Some people just took it.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: But we said no, no.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: So, we were able, by law --

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: -- we won our case. We -- and they were just a select group of nurses who did that. The rest of them took their money and --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- really --

CLARY: How many -- How many do you think were in your group?

BOYKIN: In my group, there started about six of us started with that group.

CLARY: Annie Shaw and you, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh, it was a medical, um, Mildred Cherry.

135:00

CLARY: Yes, I remember Ms. Cherry, right.

BOYKIN: You remember Ms. Cherry, um, Barbara Riley.

CLARY: And -- yeah, and these are all nurses who had been to Grady for years --

BOYKIN: For years. Years.

CLARY: Twenty, thirty years, easily.

BOYKIN: Yeah, that’s you talking, uh-huh.

CLARY: We’re not talking ten years.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: We’re talking their whole careers, almost.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: No, yeah, I mean --

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: -- you deserve a pension if you work for somebody that long.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: And we -- and I thought that was just awful.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: That they didn’t want to give us --

CLARY: How about healthcare? Did they give you, um, insurance?

BOYKIN: Yeah, they -- they offered that, what is that group of things with the -- but I didn’t have to put -- what -- my husband had insurance from the school system, so I --

CLARY: Okay, so you were okay under him, okay.

BOYKIN: I was okay, but some of the others went to another plan. That’s very expensive.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Uh, what you call it, uh, Aetna. That was the plan, yeah.

CLARY: Okay, Aetna had a plan? Okay.

BOYKIN: Yeah, they -- they got it through that way.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Can you imagine?

CLARY: I know.

BOYKIN: It -- that -- I thought that was ugly.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: But I made them stick with it and really --

DRUMMOND: Good.

BOYKIN: And then we met with Betty Blake and the lawyers, um, from time to time. 136:00You know, I don’t think they liked the idea that we had lawyers --

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: -- but we met and they wanted to explain why they did what they did. We just listened to them.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: But we followed though and got our stuff, okay.

CLARY: Good for you, good for you.

BOYKIN: Uh, that was a -- a small annuity they gave. You know, nurses didn’t get very much money at that time.

CLARY: Exactly.

BOYKIN: Almost -- and there are older nurses, if you asked them how much in retirement, it would be crumbs.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: It -- it just -- they were p-- they were poor.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And they were poor people because there was no monies in them.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

CLARY: Nursing was not a lucrative money field to go into.

BOYKIN: I know it, I know it, mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

CLARY: Even here you had a BSN, an MSN --

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: -- and all this experience --

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: -- and like Ms. Dixon told me when she retired, she said, “You know, the most I ever got paid was like $60,000 a year,” and she worked till 92.

DRUMMOND: Oh.

CLARY: And -- and the responsibility that they had --

BOYKIN: They had, uh-huh.

CLARY: -- was tremendous.

DRUMMOND: Uh-huh.

137:00

BOYKIN: And now beginning nurse get to offer $40 and $50,000, just starting.

CLARY: Yeah, with no experience whatsoever.

BOYKIN: Whatsoever.

CLARY: So, it’s really -- we’re thrilled.

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: That it has changed, we really are.

BOYKIN: Yeah, and -- and two, getting male students.

CLARY: Yes.

BOYKIN: I think Grady might have been the first of the schools that had male students.

DRUMMOND: One of my --

CLARY: I think it was in the state.

DRUMMOND: One of my very good friends, there was a program he went through. I think it was in Athens, but he’s a Grady nurse and he’s an ICU nurse, and he works two -- two days a week, and he probably makes twice as much as that.

CLARY: Do you know his name?

DRUMMOND: His name is Brad Miller.

CLARY: Okay, because we have a list, we have twenty-three men graduated from Grady in its entire history.

DRUMMOND: He didn’t go to Grady. He -- He went to a program in -- in --

CLARY: Oh, but he worked at Grady? You said he was a Grady nurse, I thought you meant he graduated.

DRUMMOND: Oh, no, I’m sorry. He’s at -- no, he’s at Emory, he -- he’s an Emory nurse, yeah.

CLARY: Oh, okay, yeah.

BOYKIN: Yeah, because Grady had very few male students.

DRUMMOND: Yeah. Yeah.

CLARY: Only twenty-three in the entire time.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: But they tried to get them.

DRUMMOND: He loves being a nurse, and he’s so good at it.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: And I was kind of surprised he went into that field, but he’s wonderful.

CLARY: Yeah. That’s -- that’s -- I think that’s what helped us to get our salaries up more than anything, don’t you?

BOYKIN: I think so, too.

CLARY: When the men came in.

138:00

BOYKIN: That’s true. And -- and nursing, I -- I think nurses were more maternalistic.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: That you were -- you helped everybody but yourself.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Well, and maybe there was this prevailing idea, too, that if you were a nurse, you were going to marry a man who would really be taking care of you.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: So you wouldn’t have to make the money yourself. And of course, that’s changed over time.

BOYKIN: It changed immensely, okay.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: Or that attitude has changed.

CLARY: Yes. Well, it was you were -- you were either going to be a secretary, a nurse, or a schoolteacher.

BOYKIN: That’s it, that’s what it was.

CLARY: Those were your choices --

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: -- if you did -- if you had a career, you know?

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

CLARY: And that took a long time for that to change.

BOYKIN: Okay. Um, and there are two things I always maintain --

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- that American Nurses Associations, I was always a member of that.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And the National League for Nursing.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And if you -- but I wasn't active in those areas. I was not.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: If you look at --

CLARY: You just remained a member for years?

BOYKIN: Yeah, but I want to tell you something, too.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: When you -- if you get to the National League of Nursing with Georgia --

CLARY: Uh-huh.

139:00

BOYKIN: -- you’ll find my name as one of the nurses who’s been a member for years. And I might have been [topic?] but I wasn’t active with them.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: I just -- and I still paid my dues.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Oh, the one thing, I -- I don’t, uh, get my registration anymore. I don’t –- I’m not gonna --

CLARY: Right, I don’t, either.

BOYKIN: But I -- I have a membership in the American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing.

CLARY: And you kept those?

BOYKIN: I kept those.

CLARY: But not your, um, um --

BOYKIN: Licensing.

CLARY: -- RN license, right, okay.

BOYKIN: R-- RN license, okay.

CLARY: Kept those, okay.

BOYKIN: And if you my -- I haven’t done doodly squat far as -- as being a member, but I just pay it. I just figure that -- and then, it gives you -- it keeps you up to date with what’s going on.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Because they send you free literature.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: Good. I didn’t not keep the -- either of those up, either.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: I was a member of the, um, occup-- the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses --

BOYKIN: Oh, yeah.

CLARY: -- because that was my specialty --

BOYKIN: Yes.

CLARY: -- for years. But once I retired, I stopped it all.

BOYKIN: Yeah, you -- but I still keep going because --

CLARY: But you kept this, uh --

BOYKIN: I keep those because I --

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: -- I like what they do.

CLARY: Okay, good.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, okay. I think I’ve told you everything. Um. I told you I -- 140:00all -- just as a -- a person, I did, um, collected money for these American -- all those kinds of things. I stopped answering telephones when I was sick. They were still calling me.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And I -- I said, “I can’t, I have to take care of myself, I’m not able to do that.”

CLARY: That’s right.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Um, and then I -- I worked on campaigns.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I used to give voters stuff.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: If I had my life to live again, I would be a politician.

CLARY: Oh! I’m going to write that down. (laughter)

BOYKIN: Because that -- I used to campaign for -- and especially if that --

DRUMMOND: You are very persuasive.

BOYKIN: I -- what -- campaign, when -- when -- when I was at public health, all that neighborhood over there, uh, it was safe to go into.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You can’t go into these places now.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You don’t know if somebody may shoot you.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: But you -- you go in and talk to them and so forth and so on. And I got 141:00to know a lot of them because when I was in public health, when we had a baby’s death, you would go to the family and sit with them and counsel them.

CLARY: Aww.

BOYKIN: I got to know a lot of those people.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: At that time. And sometimes, the family will come back and bring you food and vegetables and that kind of stuff.

CLARY: They appreciated it.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then, when you would have to follow the teenage mothers, um, and they were not doing what they should do, the -- the parents would come and get you because I remember one parent came to get me to see his daughter.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And he was riding on my truck. He said, “I want her to get back here with you.” And with my little truck, uh, during the summertime, when I was in public health, uh, examining children, it was hot, and some of these mothers without husbands, had a lot of folks without husbands, would bring their children in the hot sun, on the bus. And I would take them back home. Well, I didn’t have all the stuff in the car with them. I had to hide the kids down 142:00and I would drive them home. (laughter)

CLARY: You didn’t have the car seats and stuff, did you?

BOYKIN: I didn’t have those. (laughter)

CLARY: I know what you’re talking about, I’m a grandma! (laughter)

BOYKIN: Because they would bring their children! (laughter) Oh, I think I’ve covered most. And I told you I raised three dogs.

CLARY: Yes. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: What were your dogs’ names?

BOYKIN: What were my dogs’ names?

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Uh, I had a mixed German shepherd named Max, and I wasn't ready for a dog. I was in the post office, and all of a sudden, I was looking at the board. I said, “One day, I’m going to get a -- a dog.” And this man was standing behind me, he was some kind of st-- staff development in the area. He said, “You want a dog?” I said, “Later on.” The next day, he brought me a little puppy. (laughter) I said, “I didn’t want him here!” But I took it back to the dormitory. The students took care of that dog until my husband came to pick me up. (laughter) It was one of the best dogs. And then, I wanted to get 143:00a girl dog to have him company.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: One of the students’ father, um, ran a farm with shorthair pointers, uh, a shorthair pointer.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: So, I got sh-- a registered shorthair pointer from the student’s father.

CLARY: You got a pony?

BOYKIN: A -- uh-uh, pointer.

DRUMMOND: A pointer.

CLARY: A pointer; I thought you said pony.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, no, no, no, no.

CLARY: Okay, I thought, where are you going to keep a pony?

BOYKIN: No, you -- And so I got -- we call her Muffet. She had a -- a special name because she was full-bred.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: Okay. And then, um, Max was getting older, and going to the vet, I went -- you’re not really -- it’s expensive, raising dogs --

DRUMMOND: Yes, yes.

BOYKIN: -- because you know, we fed them the right food and they went to the doctor’s and so forth and so on. So, when Max was getting sick, I said, “I’m going to get another dog.” Well, my vet called me and told me there was a dog up there that, uh, someone had given her to sell. She said, “But you can have the dog because you bought so much from here.”

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh, and that was a Weimaraner.

144:00

CLARY: Oh.

BOYKIN: A light gray dog, a dog -- light gray dog, pretty blue eyes. And what has happened, well, she might have been about seven months, what had happened, they were raised in North Dakota somewhere. Somebody -- and they were show dogs -- they -- they specialized in having show dogs. So somebody in Georgia got a male and a female from them. The male -- and -- and -- and Sarah could do everything you wanted to do, but she decided not to do it.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: So, when they got Sarah, uh, her -- uh, her name was something, I –- Lady (inaudible), whatever. They want -- they got rid of her. They gave her to a vet.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: So, the vet I was going to, she said, “You want another dog?” And I got Sarah. Sarah could -- if she didn’t want to do anything, it was all right with me, whatever. (laughter) Um. So, that’s how I ended up. But Sarah ended up having diabetes.

DRUMMOND: Hm.

BOYKIN: Um, cataracts, and I -- and then, every time I would take her to the eye 145:00doctor, it was a -- a $75 a pop.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Okay, and I would have gotten her, would have taken her to University of Georgia and gotten a cataracts number with her diabetes, that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: I gave her insulin.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And my dogs were indoor/outdoor dogs. There’s a part of my basement that, you know, we house-trained and all. I did most of -- my husband just admired them. I did all the work with them. (laughter) Because Sarah had, um, a hysterectomy.

CLARY: Mm-hmm. Sarah’s just like taking care of a person, wasn’t she?

BOYKIN: I know. And -- and -- and Muffet had, um, um, a cavity. You know, we got a -- a pear tree out there. She loved those pears, keep the squirrels away. Then, one day, she kept spinning round and round and round, took a -- had a big cavity.

CLARY: Oh.

BOYKIN: So, they extracted a tooth. (laughter) They were my children.

CLARY: They were your children?

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: Well, you -- you also had many student nurses who felt that you were very maternal to us, and I hope you considered us part of your children, too, because 146:00we considered you our mother away from home.

BOYKIN: But you see, that -- because I was accustomed to, you know, taking care of folks and everybody else.

CLARY: Exactly.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And then, well, the reason I -- it’s hard to remember people. When I say folks they saw me, I said, “I am Geneva Cox Boykin, who are you?”

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: I have to ask that because I’ve had tons of students in Chicago --

CLARY: Yes.

BOYKIN: -- hundreds.

CLARY: Yes.

BOYKIN: And then -- and with the -- we had a lot of students at Grady. And then, being these -- these other places with public health, and you just had an overwhelming amount. And see, it’s just one of you, but it’s --

CLARY: Exactly. They all just run together, they -- they overwhelm.

BOYKIN: They all run together, you don’t know -

CLARY: I understand.

BOYKIN: -- who they are.

CLARY: If we had our annual, and we could show her a picture when we were students, she might recognize this better than forty-four years later.

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: Yeah, I know it.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

CLARY: But you look great. You look great.

DRUMMOND: Yeah, you do.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: I-- I-- I’m doing well. (laughter)

CLARY: You’re doing great!

BOYKIN: Ah, to be old, this old -

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: -- eighty-- I’ll be eighty-four in October.

CLARY: You -- that’s incredible.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: That’s great.

CLARY: That’s just incredible.

147:00

BOYKIN: And -- and what -- what I’ve done through the years, going to that little, uh, course in modeling, the -- they teach you things, they teach you about the makeup, and I follow through with makeup.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: And a lot of times, when I would go downtown, I used to go to JP Allen’s a lot.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: And Thompson Boling Lee. And the reason I went Thompson Boling -- because they have small heels to get the right kind of shoes.

CLARY: Uh-huh.

BOYKIN: But when I was -- would go to JP Allen, I got to know this lady because I would come in and buy stuff for my sisters and brother and so forth. And I had very poor skin, uh, you know -- the work -- she said, “Honey, why don’t you, uh, get stuff like” -- then I got some stuff from a company that sort of helped you with your skin.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: And, uh, but they’re closed out now.

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: But that sort of helped me with my skin.

CLARY: Right, right.

BOYKIN: And I -- while I was in nursing, all through nursing, I found people who were almost like a surrogate mother to me.

CLARY: Did you? Okay.

148:00

BOYKIN: Yeah, because my mother, I was born when my mother was sixteen and dad -- my daddy was nineteen.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And I almost sort of worked hand in hand with my mother, and not really like her daughter.

CLARY: You kind of grew up with her, didn’t you?

BOYKIN: But that -- uh-huh -- but there were always nurses who I was attached to, like Ms. Wooten.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Ms. Wooten used to go to a place in Carolina and get shirts and sweaters and all. She always bought me blouses back, that kind of stuff.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: Nancy Wooten was nice, wasn't she?

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, uh-huh, and that -- that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Yes.

BOYKIN: And then, when I was in Illinois, I found there was another lady out -- I became attached to like a mother, and they would instruct you on different things.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And even if they were in your business, you didn’t know they was in your business, you let -- you didn’t sass. (laughter) You didn’t -- didn’t -- didn’t sass them, that kind of stuff. Uh-huh.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And that’s what my life has been like.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And talking about my -- my, um, father’s folks, out of all those 149:00children, fifteen children, only two living out of that group.

CLARY: Really?

BOYKIN: And they are two girls, and they have one here younger than me, and the other one is two years younger than me.

CLARY: Wow.

BOYKIN: Okay. That’s on my father’s side. On my mother’s side, her mother died when she was young. Her father married about four or five times, and every time he would marry, he’d bring all this children with him. They were not allowed to talk about half-sisters and half -- that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And my brother right now didn’t understand that some of his aunts were half-aunts, like whatever have you. (laughter) And the old word is that -- and every wife he married died, and they claim -- I don’t know where this come from -- if a women died in the -- and kept dying, they had -- the husband has some kind of like a white liver, whatever. (laughter) Whatever the -- what -- I don’t know what that meant.

CLARY: Well, my husband’s, uh, grandfather had a white liver then, too, 150:00because he -- he outlived six wives.

BOYKIN: Yeah, they -- but every time he would -- every time my grandfather would, uh, marry, he’d bring all his children with him.

CLARY: Yes, yes.

BOYKIN: There was a close bond with them. And I -- I said it was almost like an African thing, you know, because we -- I came from a background, there was always a momma and a daddy.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: This is one thing about this street, there -- there are couples. There are very few singles, that are all together --

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: -- or it died out. And -- And they watch after you, that kind of stuff.

CLARY: That’s good.

BOYKIN: So, I came from that -- that year, when people were together, and the husband --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- and the wives, and that kind of stuff. And, um, one of my grandfathers from my mother’s side had the last child he had, came to live, her mother died. She came to live with us, with my mother, and she -- so my father took her on like another child, uh-huh.

CLARY: Okay.

151:00

BOYKIN: That -- that -- those kinds of relationships.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

CLARY: Yeah, the family staying together, took care of each other.

BOYKIN: At -- the family stayed together. But then, all of a sudden, they went -- they went wild. (laughter) Drugs and everything else.

CLARY: Oh, no.

BOYKIN: And after my grandfather died, people started divorcing, and all kinds of things. (laughter)

CLARY: He was kind of the glue that held it together, wasn’t he?

BOYKIN: He was, uh-huh, and you’ve got to do right because he was quite curious.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. (laughter) Hm.

BOYKIN: Ah, okay, I think that’s all. That’s all I want to -- to mention, here.

DRUMMOND: Well, I have --

BOYKIN: And -- and right -- right now, I’m, um, you know, I -- I just -- little on computer, I’m learning. I’m going to the senior citizen area and doing computers, uh, and last quarter, I went to a course on, um, how to buy stocks and bonds and all that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Wow.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh. And, um, but I’ll keep up with anyway -- anyway I kept up with my stocks and bonds. I -- I knew stuff, I gave stuff to the teacher.

CLARY: Huh.

BOYKIN: because I, uh, I did a Wall Street -- I take the Wall Street Journal.

CLARY: Okay.

152:00

BOYKIN: And -- but I, you know, keep up with the Dow, uh, Jones average and all that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: Uh, because, uh, you know, we’re getting -- and my husband had an annuity, so I’m getting into annuity a bit, that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Mm-hmm. Okay.

BOYKIN: And that’s how my secondary insurance came through, the teacher’s area --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You’ve got to have insurance, darling.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: You’ve got to -- and after, you know, you have to get, um, uh, Medicare. I don’t -- you -- The people who are, uh, handicapped have been getting Medicaid, but after you’re, uh, sixty-five, that’s your primary insurance, is Medicare. But they only pay eighty percent of bills, so you get -- get another for twenty percent to pick up.

CLARY: Right, a supplement. Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: I pick up on it.

CLARY: Right. I pick up on it.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: And now, all the time that I was in, um, um, Buckhead --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- Home, to -- all that time, you know how much my total -- I had a -- a pay out of pock-- pocket?

CLARY: How much?

BOYKIN: Four hundred dollars.

CLARY: That’s pretty good.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

CLARY: That’s pretty good because you know that was thousands a day. Uh, well, 153:00I had open heart surgery in 2007 --

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: -- and the bill was $65,000 --

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: -- and I had to pay $25 because my husband was military.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: And that’s allowed me to retire because we could afford health insurance.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: And we knew we had good health insurance. But you’re right, that determines the rest of your life, is your health insurance.

BOYKIN: But see, you --

CLARY: A lot of young people don’t know it --

BOYKIN: They really don’t know, they need to learn that.

CLARY: -- but it does.

BOYKIN: It -- because it, uh --

CLARY: because things start breaking down, don’t they, as we get older? (laughter)

BOYKIN: Yeah, you -- and you think about it. And also, I told you, I -- I met with these people who didn’t have any insurance, and they had to meet a deadline. And I -- I remember going back to my primary doctor. Her secretary had a knee replacement, and I was telling her about my exercising. She said, “What exercising?” Well, she couldn’t got to a -- a -

CLARY: She didn’t get what you got, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: It’s a shame. Can I take a picture of you?

BOYKIN: Yes.

DRUMMOND: Well, I --

CLARY: Do you have some more questions first? Okay, go ahead.

154:00

DRUMMOND: I just have one more question: what has it meant to you, to be a nurse?

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: It’s a big question.

BOYKIN: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: But -- but -- but what has it meant to you? Both professionally and personally?

BOYKIN: It means that healthcare should be a priority for everybody. That’s when I made rounds to talk to them about healthcare.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Um, because you must have good healthcare to live because there are a lot of things, come Alzheimer’s and all this stuff coming in, cancer is rampant, it’s always been rampant, people didn’t talk about it.

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: TB has gone out of the way, but they’re coming back. And -- and TB was the same way. So, you need -- I think in terms of understanding more for healthcare. And if you get an opportunity that you are able to tell people about healthcare.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

155:00

BOYKIN: And right now, I talk about healthcare and I talk about insurances, (laughter) you need insurance, because a lot of people in my neighborhood didn’t have any. The old-fashioned word used to be “barrel insurance,” it’s not called that anymore.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: But having insurance that -- that you could have a funeral.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: And -- And pay and get a cemetery plot. Because many years ago, the neighbors dug the hole and put the thing in.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Now, it has to be done through a company.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: But see, I didn’t have to worry about that because my husband got the free area for his -- his burying. And I have a plot. It’s on top of each other. But the only thing I had to pay for is, uh, my name on the little placard, that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: So, everything for my burial’s all set. The only thing I have to -- they told me the only thing I have to pay for, opening and closing the grave.

CLARY: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh. And she said, “Do you want to pay for it?” And I said, “No!” (laughter) That’s what it means to me.

156:00

CLARY: Okay.

BOYKIN: It’s -- it’s the health of the nation.

DRUMMOND: Okay.

BOYKIN: And I -- I -- I don’t think people realize it. And as you start getting older, you -- you -- you need care because there are conditions that are not new, but they died, and they -- you didn’t know.

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: You didn’t know what they had. And if they had TB or something else, uh, they would not discuss it because people would be afraid of them. Then, here come AIDS, and AIDS didn’t --- had a different name. They called it immune syndrome, or something.

DRUMMOND: I don’t know, I don’t know.

BOYKIN: They didn’t -- uh-huh. They did not know, uh, or didn’t discuss it.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: It took -- that -- I mean, we was taking care of patients with all that stuff and didn’t know about it. Um, because nobody would talk about it.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: It’s -- all that came into being. A lot of stuff was coming into being. But the health of a nation, and I think about that. And security for insurances --

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- and that always flashes --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

157:00

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- to my mind. Because sitting in that -- that, um, rehabilitation unit and I would have to wait to get on my machine and all this kind of stuff, and I would sit at the occupational table and then talk with those folks. They would just be talking. And then, treatment, how they are treated. Um, people are not good to patients sometimes, and they had problems with some of the nurses who would leave them half-dry, who would not help them, that kind of stuff.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh, and it’s amazing how much mistreatment there may be in hospitals.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And people stealing your belongings, and, uh, when I was at, uh, Buckhead, we had a place with a lock on it --

DRUMMOND: Right.

BOYKIN: -- right at the table. And, uh, I remember one day, the people from the state came to evaluate. That place is really up to date because to evaluate -- and the guy asked me, was I pleased with how they did my valuables? I said, 158:00“My sisters -- I don’t have any.” (laughter) They left me with $5. (laughter)

CLARY: She took everything and ran, huh?

BOYKIN: No -- I know when there were people would visit me, they would leave me money.

CLARY: Right.

BOYKIN: There was a lady who was in my two-bed area whose husband was also there, a Caucasian woman, and, um, and she would go down to play bingo. So when they would leave me money, and I didn’t go to play bingo because I was depressed to see those people sitting there with all late for hauling --- I would give her some of my money so she could play.

CLARY: Go play bingo, right.

BOYKIN: And she would bring me ice cream. (laughter) Did that answer your question about what -- it means health.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

DRUMMOND: It means good health for everyone.

BOYKIN: Yeah.

DRUMMOND: That everyone deserves and has a right to --

BOYKIN: It -- they need the health, they need health plans.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Somehow. Uh, and I don’t have any problem -- well, I don’t know all of -- I keep a list of that Affordable Care Act. It doesn’t matter what it is. I don’t care what it is, who has the plan, but you know they’ve been trying 159:00to get health for people --

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: -- for years and years and years and years.

CLARY: Yes!

BOYKIN: Because the insurance will not take people who have preconditions, and that kind of stuff.

CLARY: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh.

CLARY: And then they have these out of pocket, or these maxes. So if you have a catastrophic illness, it can wipe you out.

BOYKIN: That’s what I know, wipe you out!

CLARY: You -- Even if you have insurance.

DRUMMOND: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: Uh-huh, that’s -- I know, it can.

CLARY: It’s not right.

BOYKIN: Yeah.

CLARY: People go bankrupt over healthcare. It’s terrible.

BOYKIN: Yeah, they do. It is -- it is really -- it is -- I -- I think it’s awful for America, as rich as we are, with the people who do not have coverage.

DRUMMOND: It is.

BOYKIN: Do -- and you don’t realize it until you -- when you go to these emergency rooms and -- and people have to wait all day and -- and get there's couple of hospitals in South Georgia about to close, and where are these people going?

CLARY: I know it. It’s a major problem.

BOYKIN: It -- it is something. It -- it troubles me.

160:00

CLARY: Mm-hmm.

BOYKIN: And I say, if I was physically able, I would get in out there and campaign against something.

CLARY: You could be a great politician. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: I think I’d be a politician.

CLARY: You still can do that.

DRUMMOND: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for sit-- talking to us today. I think our interview, do you -- do you want to know how long we’ve talked today?

BOYKIN: How long we’ve talked?

DRUMMOND: We have talked for two hours and forty minutes.

BOYKIN: Really?

DRUMMOND: Almost three hours. So see how much you had to say today?

BOYKIN: We are mouthy. (laughter)

DRUMMOND: No, I -- It was a great interview. I wouldn’t call it mouthy. This is a very -- a very important interview.

BOYKIN: And then you activated things I’d forgotten about.

DRUMMOND: Yeah.

BOYKIN: Okay.

DRUMMOND: So, thank you, again.

BOYKIN: Hm-hmm.