Sue Ellis and John Espey

Recorded February 7, 2022 Archived February 7, 2022 32:24 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby021466


Sue Espey Ellis (55) talks with her father, John Espey (83), about growing up in Clearwater, Florida, attending the same college of Florida State University, Chicago, segregation and desegregation of the north and south.

Subject Log / Time Code

Sue (S) asks her father John (J) what was it like to move from Chicago to the segregated south in the 1950s. J talks about not being use to the bigotry in the south and gave an example of white only water fountains. J talks about Chicago being segregated by neighborhoods.
J talks about his first experience with bigotry when a black woman was turned away at a swimming pool in Chicago.
S asks J about the desegregation of the schools in Florida. J describes problems being mostly with poor white people not wanting to be in schools with poor black people.
J talks about being a school board member and deciding to abide by desegregation laws. He describes how upset some people were with this decision. S asks J what made him run for the school board and J responds that it was because of the salary.
J describes his transition from St. Peterburg Community College into Florida State University. J then talks about six man football and the swim team.
J talks about moving to Clearwater, his mother buying him a new bike when he was younger, and hitch hiking to Clearwater beach.
J shares a memory of his father sheep shearing, wrapping the wool and selling it. He then describes his parent's divorce.
J describes his brother moving to Indiana to work with their father with the work of sheep shearing and painting barns. J then talks about a train accident that led to his brother's death. J talks about the family dynamics, his father going to the funeral and then describes the death of his father in a tractor accident soon after his brother's.
S and J discuss Florida State University, Bill's bookstore, fraternity and sorority life. They then talk about when J dated S's mother. J describes driving a Ford convertible and taking passengers when driving to Clearwater. S's mother was one of the passengers.
J talks about what he describes as his crowning glory at the school board, which was creating a school initiative.


  • Sue Ellis
  • John Espey

Recording Locations

Center For Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation