Milton P. Fields oral history interview #2, October 4, 2013


Q: University Archives Oral History Interview conducted 4 October 2013 with Milton P. Fields of Rocky Mount, North Carolina by Professor Jonathan Dembo of Joyner Library's Manuscripts & Rare Books Department in Joyner Library Room 4014. This is Interview number 2.¹

Q: In our previous interview, we discussed your early life and background and focused on your naval career. In this interview we would like to pick up and talk about your post - Navy career. Mr. Fields, when did you leave the Navy?

A: In April 1946.

Q: Where did you leave.Where were you demobilized?

A: I was demobilized, the best I can recall, at the Bainbridge, or in that area.

A: Bainbridge, Maryland

Q: Maryland?

A: That was a big boot camp. And I had been stationed at the hydrographic office in Suitland, Maryland. I had been trained in lithographic printing. So I was making negatives in the hydrographic office in Washington but I lived in Suitland, Maryland. And I was discharged, I think, in April of '46 [1946].

Q: Cast your mind back to that time period. What were you planning on doing with the rest of your life at that point?

A: Well I had considered going to journalism school, but some teacher in my background had said that I had a legal mind so I thought maybe I ought to become a lawyer, so that's what I concentrated on from that point on.

Q: Did you immediately return to North Carolina after you left the Navy, or did you travel, or have a vacation?

A: Oh no. I came back home.

Q: Came directly back home?

A: Came back home.


Q: And in order to be a lawyer, you probably had to go to college. What colleges did you look at?

A: When I got back, of course, I picked up a job here and there. I worked as a carpenter's helper there for a while. I surveyed land for the Department of Agriculture. Those sorts of things.

Q: Did you consider at all continuing as a photographer?

A: No, not really. Not really.

Q: Why?

A: Well, I really don't know why. I thought, maybe, at one time about opening up a print shop, but I preferred being a lawyer.

Q: So, back to considering colleges?

A: I went up to UNC at Chapel Hill to see about enrolling there. They were loaded. Everywhere you turned, a batch of Veterans was coming back. So I came back and checked out East Carolina. And East Carolina had, at that time, a great legal course. You could go there for two years, transfer up to Carolina, shall we say, go there three more years; and you would get a B.S degree and a law degree for five years, which wasn't bad. So I came to East Carolina and enrolled in the pre - law program.

Q: Did you get any credit for having served in the military?

A: I may have. I'm not sure. I couldn't say positively about that. There was some talk going around campus about so many hours credit for being in the military, but I don't remember exactly how it worked out.

And you asked about going into photography and becoming a photographer. I brought my camera, naturally, and got some photographic equipment, and at some time East Carolina was going to teach photography - it had a lab but no equipment - so I got permission to set my stuff up in the lab. That was in the classroom building. And there was a window in the classroom building that they didn't lock at night. So I would go through that window and go up to the lab and, of course, everything was done in darkness - they had cut off all the lights - and I would process my picture. When we had a dance - a band would come through and they had a dance - and the boys would be out with their dates, etc., and I would make pictures of them. I didn't participate in the dancing; I was making pictures. So, I would go up and process them and I sold the pictures to the dance people. I also did some weddings and things of that type, many campus things, photographs for the magazine, the year book, that sort of stuff.

Q: Did you keep those negatives, or prints?

A: No.

Q: Those would be a good addition to our collection to documents ECU's history?

A: I did not keep them. I had them for a while, but they got in the way and I threw them in the garbage can. Now I would not have done [that]. There is one thing that I did do. I made panographic photograph of a large area of the campus, a procedure I learned in the Nay - for making maps. I ended up putting it together and I guess it was about eight foot long and about 10 inches tall.


Q: It sounds like something we'd be very interested in seeing if you could find it?

A: A friend of mine came by and saw it hanging up in my room over in Wilson Hall, What are you going to do with it, [he asked]?" I said "I don't know." "I want it [he said]." "Of Course you can have it, I said." And I gave it to him and I have no idea who that was [Laughing] No idea.

Q: So, you lived on campus?

A: I lived in Wilson Hall

Q: For your whole time here?

The whole time here, yeah.

Q: Did you have any jobs on campus?

Now, when you say jobs.

Q: Did you have student employment?

A: Not student employment. My employment was photography. I did enough on that to keep up my car payments. I had bought a car in the process. Well, my dad had found an old Model A Ford which I bought and one summer - the summer of '48 [1948} - I worked in Raleigh. I made negatives for an engraving company up there and that was when the Jeepster was produced by Willys². And I liked that car so much that I traded my Model A Ford and bought the Jeepster. That's why I had to do a lot of photography back at school to keep up the payments. There weren't many cars on the campus.

Q: So, you were spending your time studying or working on photograph; was there any kind of social life in which you participated? Were you a member of a club or organization on campus? Any?

A: Yes. I was a member of the veterans club there on campus. We had the Jarvis Forensics Club, which was the debating club. I was a member of that and on the debating team and I headed that up. I was chairman of the Elections Committee one year. Of course, I worked on the magazine and the newspaper, and two years later, I was asked to be the editor of the annual. So, that delayed my law training. I stayed an extra year to edit the annual, and finished in August of '49. Also, that summer I edited the newspaper. So yes, I was involved in campus activities.

Q: So, you graduated in 1949. Was that the spring of '49?

A: No, that was the summer of '49.

The original plan, then, was to get your pre - law degree, then go to Chapel Hill. What caused you to change?

A: We had a professor that came to ECTC (I forgot his name) who was very popular, very likable guy.

He had a lot of influence on me, and he finished at Emory. So, there were three students taking pre - law at the time. And he convinced the three of us to go, after two years, to Emory. So I stayed on to edit the annual. My friends had already gone to Emory but they transferred back, I think to Carolina. However, on I went to Emory and enrolled there.

I had a friend who was also engaged in pre - law. He went to T.C. Williams in Virginia. We ran around together, (I had a car; his dad had a gas tank!) I met his sister and I dated her a few times. She finished high school and enrolled at Atlanta Christian College, a very small school in Atlanta, Georgia. She was going to be a preacher. I was going down there and she was going down there at the same time so I carried her to school. I enrolled in the law school at Emory, taking courses at night. That took care of part of it. The other part was: What was I going to do for money? So, I got a job teaching school in Jonesboro, Georgia.

Q: Was this grade school or a high school?

A: High School

Q: What subject did you teach?

A: Well, when I got there to start teaching, I was a little late and they had organized classes and anything they had leftover, I got. I taught English, Algebra, Government, Civics, and a little course they called Home and Family living. Then, there was a period when they practiced sports, football, etc. If you did not do sports, then you had to take exercise and I was in charge of that. That consisted of military - type marching.around the campus.

Q: So this was in the fall of '49 [1949]?

A: Fall of '49. I learned a great deal of respect at that time for school teachers. I think it is one of the most important jobs a person can have and I think that school teachers influence the world. Like I say, I learned a lot of respect there.

Q: What was the name of the school?

A: Jonesboro High School. It's in Clayton Country, just south of Atlanta. I had a little drive at night.

Q: What did you do during the day besides teaching in the school?

A: Well, I taught school during the day, and I went to school at night?

Q: Weekends? Social life?

A: Social life consisted of dating the girl I carried down there. She reminded me of this the other day. She was saying: "Do you remember asking me, "If I sell my camera will you marry me?" and then I said: "Did I say that?" And she said: "Yes." And what did you say: "I said yes." So January the 13th, 1950, or a Friday, we got married!

Q: Friday the 13th. Was it too unlucky?

A: I had gotten an advance on my salary from the county for teaching and she had a break in semester at the school where she was going and went down to get our license. However, the people there in Georgia said there was a five - day waiting period, and of course I didn't have that much time off. So, she learned from one of her teachers that there was a church over in Alabama where he knew the minister: we could go there and get married on the same day. So, we were married in Anniston, Alabama!

And we came back and lived for a while in Jonesboro - two or three nights - then I secured a mobile home which was parked on her school campus and we lived there for a while. And then we sold that and moved into a little apartment and later, we moved to a garage apartment in Jonesboro. We stayed there I don't know how many months, but for a while. During that time she had become pregnant and we had a son that was born while we were living in Jonesboro.

It was a busy time. She didn't know too many people in Jonesboro. We were sort of adopted by a couple of teachers' families there in Jonesboro. They had a meeting of the teachers in the county and I've always been anxious to get up in front of folks, I guess. We had the meeting and I had made a motion that if there were any vacancies in school bus drivers, the vacancies should be offered to the teachers first. That was voted down. [Laughs] Any rate, I got the chance to drive a school bus. So the first year, I taught; the second year I taught and drove a school bus. But teaching school, as I said, was an interesting thing to do. (We had a lot of activity with the coach down there, and the agricultural teacher, who took us in. (And helped us an awful lot.) We became friends with the coach and the agriculture teacher and their families - which made us "enjoy" life more!

Q: Were you affected at all by the Korean War?

A: No

Q: You were no longer in the Reserves?

A: No

Q: Tell me a little bit about your classes at Emory? Do you remember any of the faculty members? Or did you make friends when you were at Emory?

A: Not a great deal. When you are in night school most - I guess all of the students there worked during the day and when the class was over at night, you went home. And it's not a matter of accumulating friends. There were one or two fellows that I did keep up with for a brief time. And there's one professor that I remember, I remember Professor Quillan³. He was known for saying to his classes:

"Now Mr. A in Atlanta says to Mr. B in Boston "I'll sell you my watch for $40." Now, you notice, young men that I did not say $50 because contracts, involving $50 or more in Georgia, have to be in writing. So, Mr. A in Atlanta says to Mr. B in Boston, "I'll sell you my watch for $40." And Mr. B in Boston says to Mr. A in Atlanta, "I'll accept your offer." Now, were did the contract take place?"

That's the only thing I remember from Emory Law School. [Laughs]

Q: Do you know the answer?

A: No. [Laughs] But I was able to transfer most of my credits to Wake Forest [University] and my wife, our son, and I came home - and when I say "came home" - came back to North Carolina in the summer of '52 [1952]. The idea was for us to stay with my parents and I would work and we wouldn't have any real expenses. I got a job as a carpenter's helper. We decided the best thing was to go on to Wake Forest, get settled in and registered.

We went up to Wake Forest and found an apartment - think it was a converted chicken house, it had two bedrooms, a commode, a sink, a stove and a sink in the kitchen and that was about it, for $35 dollars a month. So, since I was a carpenter of a sort, the lady told me that she would furnish the material if I would enclose the porch and make it a room and she would not go up on the rent. So I did!

I went off to find a job. I found a construction project going on there at Wake Forest; they were building a house. I found the contractor and builder and told him that I would be going to school in the fall and needed some work to do in the summer. And he said he wasn't hiring. I said. "Ok, I'll tell you what I'll do. You let me work one day. If you don't like what I do, you don't have to pay me." So, I worked that one day and he hired me. I worked as a carpenter's helper from then on until I started school.

It was a scramble, shall we say. In the meantime, my wife had become pregnant again and we were in the process of having another child, which we did while I was at Wake Forest. The child was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. I picked up jobs wherever I could, particularly on holidays when I went home. Daddy usually found something for me to do, working at a service station, country store or something of that type. But things were tight; real tight.

My wife was an excellent typist and she would type papers for fraternities, and they paid her well. We were getting by. My people just didn't have money to send us to school and we did the best we could. People asked me "Didn't your parents help you? I said, "Yes, my daddy endorsed my note at the bank for $500.00 and my wife's daddy gave us a pig at hog killing." Which is all true. And I had an uncle who loaned me $500.00. He was sort of speculator in land and other things. He never would let me pay him back. So, he had a lawyer for life, and he got his money back many times. [Chuckles]

The second semester that I was at Wake Forest, I got a chance to read for a blind student, and they paid me by the hour. This blind student was a very good student and kept good notes in braille. When I had classes with him, it cut down on the need for me to buy a book.

Q: This was the law school?

A: This was the law school? In the process of reading for him we discussed law. Now, I was not on the Dean's list, when I left Emory, not by a long shot, and I had a long ways to go, but his braille review, when I reading for him, was a great, great help.

Most of the law students finished in the spring and they went off for a law Review before taking the bar exam. Several places were available for this. Most of the young grads went to one of those schools to review before their law exam. I was still in law school when I took the bar exam. I was reading for this blind student and when we caught up with our lessons, we went back and reviewed his notes, [and] that was as good, for me, as going to one of those law review classes. We both took the bar exam and we both passed! Had it not been for my experience with him I would have had a difficult time passing the bar exam. We took the bar exam on two different days.I was one of the first to finish the exam and would go out and wait and resolve in my mind that I didn't make it. After the first day, I told Lea, my wife, "I don't think I passed." I believed I had failed the first part. I did not study any for the next day. However, I did pass - on my first try!

Our brother [in - law], who went to T.C. Williams Law School in Richmond, and then went to Ashville to study law under a lawyer there. He was a night clerk at the Manor Hotel. After he passed the bar and began working as a lawyer, he kept his job at the hotel. And when I said we "finished the bar" - my wife and I - when I passed the bar and finished school, he gifted us with several days in the Manor. So we took off for Ashville and the Manor and a few days of fun. Early one morning, we had a call from him, saying the results for Ashville area for those who had taken the bar exams, had now appeared in the paper. If you will come down and buy one from the East, maybe the [Raleigh, NC] News & Observer, you might see if you passed. Now, you're talking about an exciting time, and expectant time, a scary time, or whatever you want to call it. My wife and I immediately got up and dressed and went down and parked near a newsstand. I went down and bought a News & Observer and there, on the fold of the paper, where they had printed those who had passed the bar, the name "Fields, Scotland Neck" and I knew that was me! [Laughs] I ran all the way from the news stand back to the car and she knew!

Q: So, that would have been in 1951?

A: '53 [1953]

Q: '53 [1953]?

A: I was now a lawyer!

Q: So what were your plans at that point: to set up your own law practice, or to find a position with an existing practice?

A: Martindale - Hubbell⁴ is a publication which publishes a list of all lawyers and gives their ratings. Rocky Mount had more lawyers with higher ratings than any place around, and not many young lawyers! My parents lived about 35 miles from Rocky Mount, and my wife's parents lived about 60 miles from Rocky Mount. The fellow that I had read for wanted me to practice with him in Winston - Salem but my only brother lived in California and I felt like I ought to be somewhere near home. So I came to Rocky Mount and talked to several lawyers. One lawyer suggested that I see another lawyer, John King; I talked to him about a job and he said: Yeah, I might can use you. But he suggested I go see the clerk of court in Nash County before I made a decision. John Daughtridge [the clerk of court] was leaving that office to work for a bank and they were looking for someone to replace him. I went to see the clerk of court and he hired me. All this happened just before I graduated. We were so excited. I had a job! I would be paid $300 a month! - and I was the only one in my class who had a job!!!

Q: What does the Clerk of Courts do?

A: Keeps track of all of the court records: Trial of cases, estate papers, etc.

Q: And what was your particular responsibility?

A: I assumed that my responsibility would be attending court and keeping up with the court documents. And maybe, interviewing the people who came by to transact business. The clerk of courts handles estate, guardianships, and land divisions. I would have been involved in that. One day we were on the way back to Scotland Neck - I think this was just before I graduated and I decided to check with the clerk to see how things were coming along, and when I could start work. He said a local boy has come back to Nash County and I'm going to have to hire him so I can't use you. What a blow.

I go back to Mr. King and tell him what had happened. Mr. King says, "Well, I will hire you. I can pay you $150 a month. You pay your own expenses. I started work for John King. Mr. King did some trial work, but mostly titles and deeds and wills.

I was working for John King when one of the local lawyers who was a legislator, died. Tom Dill was the prosecuting attorney for the Recorders Court in Rocky Mount and he was appointed by the legislature, creating a vacancy in the Recorder's Court. And I was lucky enough to get that job. It paid about $300.00 a month. My wife worked at our church and I felt with our incomes, I could start my own practice. So I did. Mr. King helped me find an office near him and I was soon in business.

Q: When was that?

A: It was along about '57 - '58 [1957 - 1958] or somewhere along in there. I don't remember the exact date.

Q: What size practice did you have at that point? Did you also take his [John King's] client list?

A: No. Because he had cut his work load, he didn't have a lot of clients at that time. A few years before Mr. King died, his health was failing and he cut back on his work load. When he died, I moved into his office, bought some of his equipment, and continued practicing.

Many good things happened to me, I suppose. There was a member of our church who had a trucking company and he asked me to do some work for him. Mr. King had assigned one of his clients who was a trucker for me to represent before the industrial commission. With that, I got involved with the trucking industry to some degree. And that was a mainstay because they usually had work to be done. I built up a fair practice, I suppose. I did a lot of zoning and similar work.

Well, my practice was growing, and I knew this lawyer [Roy Cooper] who was practicing with a man named Abernathy over in Nashville. When Mr. Abernathy died, I talked with Roy about forming a partnership. He agreed and we became Fields & Cooper, Attorney at Law.⁵

Q: How did the law partnership work? Who does what?

A: At that time, Roy maintained an office in Nashville, I maintained one in Rocky Mount. He did a lot of real estate, and related work; and I handled litigations. We had a real pleasant relationship. There was no conflict there with what we took on. If Roy had a litigation situation, I usually helped him with it, and with things concerning real estate wills, etc., he helped me.

As our business grew, we needed more space. We built a building on Sunset Avenue for our Rocky Mount practice. We moved in and our business continued to grow.

Q: About what time was that when you built the building?

A: That would be in the '60s [1960s], I guess the late 60s, somewhere in there. We were fortunate - our business kept growing and we needed another lawyer. So I got in touch with Norman Wiggins. Norman Wiggins was a Law School grad from Wake Forest College and had been called back to Wake Forest to teach law after a period of employment with the trust department of Planters Bank here in Rocky Mount. I called him to see if there was an upcoming graduate who needed a job. I wanted one with an Eastern Carolina background. This would require less adjustment than one who grew up elsewhere.

Q: Did you find one?

A: Yes, Leon Henderson.

Q: I know the name from the New Deal. He was an assistant to the President? A Leon Henderson was.

A: Yes, his daddy was head of OPA⁶ during the war. When Norman told me he was in the tops of the class, I said "There's no way that he would settle here in Eastern North Carolina." Norman insisted that I interview him. So he came down and we interviewed him. He had married a girl in Wendell.⁷ That's why he wound up in Wake Forest. He interviewed with us and left. A few hours later, I got a telephone call from him in Wendell and he said "I know you could be discouraged from employing me because of some of the questions I asked, but I would like to have this job." We hired him for Fields & Cooper. He was an excellent lawyer. He was a real fit for our firm. He worked primarily in the Rocky Mount office, doing commercial work, corporations, and that sort of stuff. He was a real asset. Soon, we became Fields, Cooper, & Henderson and continued growing.

Q: Did you have any temptation to get involved in politics?

A: Uh, Yes and No. I was appointed to the job of prosecuting attorney for Rocky Mount. A football player, who had earned a scholarship at Duke, came back as a lawyer and ran against me and beat me by about three to one. That took care of my politics. [Laughs] But, it was the best thing that could have happened. Now I had to concentrate on my law practice. I had a wife and three children to take care of!

Q: Can you tell me just a little bit if there were any issues beyond playing for Duke?

A: He knew everybody. I didn't. I'm a stranger to Rocky Mount and he knows everybody and everybody knows him. He had deep family connections; I had none. I didn't know anybody in Rocky Mount when I came here. So he had all of those advantages. Any rate, I was beat rather handedly. That ended my political career.

However, my partner in Nashville [Roy Asberry Cooper, II] was very actively involved in politics. He was president of the Nashville JC's⁸ and when Truman⁹ made a visit to the country, he was Truman's escort. His son, Roy III, joined our firm and became involved in politics.¹⁰ I didn't tell you a thing, there, did I?

Q: No, you didn't.

A: Roy Cooper. You know that name?

Q: I know the name. I don't know the personality. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with him?

End of Tape #2 Side A

A: We had a great relationship. No bickering or disagreements. The only time that there was a difference in opinion was when computers became a useful office tool and I suggested that we buy one. Roy and Leon were not in favor. They went on vacation at the same time and I bought one! When they returned they met for lunch - without me! After much discussion, they approved it. Actually, they wanted one for the Nashville office too.

Henderson was a great asset to us. He worked for us many years before being appointed a Superior Court judge. He is a good lawyer and a good friend - one of my best friends.

Roy [Cooper] had a son, Roy Cooper, III, who as a Morehead Scholar, a great athlete in high school, and did all the right things. He went to Carolina¹¹ and then went to Carolina Law School. And Roy said to him: "Come over to the Rocky Mount office." So when Cooper - we called him "Coop," passed the bar, he came to Rocky Mount where he was involved in litigation.

I've been retired now, I guess about 26 years, and when I retired, I retired!¹² I did not take on any more cases and passed on what I had to the remaining lawyers. And I did that not out of fear or pain but I had seen many old lawyers, who never retired. I resolved not to do that. I heard a prominent trial lawyer say "every time you tried a tough case, you left a little bit of your blood and guts on the courthouse floor." I have had some of those experiences.

Trial work is strenuous and that's what I was doing, primarily at the time. And I did not miss it much though I do miss our "office crew" and our clients. That was my end of my active practice of law.

Q: Before you left your law practice or that period of time, could you talk a little bit about your social activities, your community activities, if you have any?

A: Well, one of the main things a young professional should do, back when I was starting off, was to be active in a church and join civil organizations. First, we joined First Christian Church, the JCs, and Civitan Club. We had various social groups with whom we'd meet and cook out, played bridge, and traveled. Our families lived nearby; we visited often. We stayed busy. I had several jobs with the church: deacon, elder, board chairman and different projects. One of the most successful was the gleaning of several potato fields, which I organized and called the "Yam Jam." It has been going on for about twenty years. In the beginning, it was for local charities but it got so large we had to call in the food bank for help. Many thousands of pounds of potatoes are gleaned each year. There is always a project to work on when you are a church or club member and have children.

Social life and such, yes. My wife taught Sunday school; I taught Sunday school. I was active in the church. I was even a scout master at one time. Most of the activities, outside activities you might say, was involved with the Civitan Club.¹³

Q: Where did you live? The last [time] you talked about living in a converted chicken coop? [Laughs] And spent three days in a hotel? Where did you live in Rocky Mount?

A: When I finished law school, we moved to Wilson because there was no affordable housing really available in Rocky Mount. There was a company that had a series of apartments and duplexes in Wilson and Rocky Mount. They had a vacancy in Wilson, so we went to Wilson. We only stayed there a few months - until a vacancy became available in Rocky Mount at Riverside Apartments. That was where a lot of people lived. Most young people, at one time or another, lived in Riverside apartments. We lived there until we built a house. We moved several times, I guess because of family size and I liked building.

Q: What does the Civitan Club do?

A: We worked on civic projects for our schools and for our community - anywhere we saw a need.

Q: What type of civic projects did you work on?

A: Uh, we worked on several of them. If there was a joint thing going on like when we tried to get Wesleyan College, we would work with other clubs. A businessman in the neighborhood built a mall, one of the first malls, it had a lot of space in there, so I suggested to him one time: "Why don't you have a boat show there?" And he said "Well, you put it on and we'll do it." So I presented to the Civitan Club that we could sell space to boat exhibitors and that would be a fundraiser for us. So, they said, "Well it's a good idea. You're the chairman." And I was chairman for ten years, until he sold the mall. The Boat show was a big success. At Christmas they had more than any other time; the second largest crowd was when the boat show was there. Bob Gorham, owner of the mall, and I worked well together.

Q: Your kids must have been 10 - 12 years old by the '60s [1960]? Did they go to school, the public schools?

A: All of my children went to public schools, got a very good education, [and] graduated from Rocky Mount Senior High. They all have college degrees, good jobs, and great families. I am proud of them.

Another project that the Civitan Club sponsored was a kind of charity. We had a discussion over at my house. It was agreed we would furnish the children's museum with a planetarium. Now, I'm not suggestion something like that at Chapel Hill. It was on a smaller scale. The money was raised by contributions. I went to see an employee of the Recreation Department. He went with me to New York where we bought a planetarium, and when it came, had it installed. That's one of the things the Civitan Club did. The band was in bad shape; needed new uniforms. So we raised money and re-equipped the band. Rejuvenated, the band was invited to play in the Rose Bowl in California. So the Civitan Club did a lot of good things like that.

With the help of the city, I organized an annual meeting at Sunset Park to emphasize the Tar River. It was called Tar River Fest and included recreation and clean up. I was given an award by the Pamlico Tar River Foundation.

There were many kids in the area we lived and some thought a community swim club would be an asset. I was asked to take charge and did. The pool was nice and is still enjoyed by the neighborhood kids.

A group of about 6 young men came by my office for legal advice. They wanted to build a golf course. I accepted this job and set up the course for which they gave me a membership. I also served on the first board of directors and later served as president. This was Birchwood Country Club¹⁴ in Nashville. It is still in operation. I didn't enjoy golf. I got whipped and needed to take lessons from the Pro¹⁵ . I didn't have time for that so I gave up golf.

Q: I understand the feeling. [Laughs] Perhaps that is a good place to bring our interview to a close.

A: We haven't even begun. [Laughs]

Q: Well as long as there's breath, there's hope, I suppose. [Telephone rings] At this point, I want to thank you very much, and I will be in touch as soon as we get the transcript done and you can review the conversation we had over these two interviews.

A: Well, you see, we haven't gone over the church activities yet.

Q: We began. We began. [Laughs] Thank you.


¹ Interview #2 by Jonathan Dembo, 4 October 2013; draft transcript 27 October 2016; transcript revised by Milton Fields, 11 January 2019; transcript re-typed by volunteer Thomas Hall, 6/24/2019; transcript revised by Jonathan Dembo, 7/8/2019.

² The Willys - Overland Company produced the Jeepster from 1948 - 1950. It was the last phaeton produced by an American automobile manufacturer. A phaeton is an open, convertible - style, vehicle without a permanent roof to protect occupants from the weather.

³ Probably a reference to Prof. Henry Milton Quillan, Jr. who was a member of the Emory Law School faculty from 1922 - 1961, and who specialized in contracts. A Tribute [to Henry M Quillan] by Henry L. Bowden, Journal of Public Law, Vol.10 (1961), pp. v - vi.

⁴ Martindale's American Law Directory, by J.B. Martindale (New York & Chicago: American law Directory, Inc., Publishers, 1868 - )

⁵ Fields and Roy A. Cooper, Jr. established their law practice, Fields & Cooper, in 1959. See:

⁶ Office of Price Administration was in charge of price controls during World War II. Leon Henderson, Sr., was director of OPA during 1941-1942.

⁷ Wendell, NC, is a town in Wake County, east of Raleigh

⁸ United States Junior Chamber (JCs or Jaycees) established in 1920 as a voluntary leadership training and service organization for people aged 18 - 40.

⁹ Harry S. Truman, served as President, 1945 - 1953, visited Nashville, NC in 1960 after he left office.

¹⁰ Roy Asberry Cooper, III (b. 1957) was an attorney and Democratic Party politician; he was elected Governor of North Carolina in 2018.

¹¹ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

¹² Fields retired from his law practice in 1990.

¹³ Civitan Club was a voluntary service organization that encouraged good citizenship.

¹⁴ Birchwood Country Club, Nashville, NC was incorporated in 1960.

¹⁵ Professional golfer.





Milton Fields Oral History Interview #2

rev. Thomas Hall, 6/24/2019; rev. Jonathan Dembo 7/8/2019 11:59 AM

fieldsm #OH 268 add 01 oral history interview #2 rev 2019 07 08

Milton P. Fields oral history interview #2, October 4, 2013
Milton P. Fields oral history interview #2 conducted October 4, 2013. Fields discusses his personal, social, and social life, particularly his education at Emory University (1946-1949) and Wake Forest University Law School (1949-1953) and his legal career in Rocky Mount and Nashville, North Carolina (1954-1990) with his law partners Roy A. Cooper, Jr. and Leon D. Henderson, Jr. Interviewer: Jonathan Dembo.
October 04, 2013
Original Format
oral histories
10cm x 6cm
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Location of Original
East Carolina Manuscript Collection
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