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Title:
Interview with Malcolm T. Murray (With Joseph R. Reaves),  November 18, 2004
Date:
November 18, 2004
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Murray, Malcolm T. (With Joseph R. Reaves). Interviewer: Hayes, Sherman / Seapker, Janet. Date of Interview: 11/18/2004. Series: Southeast North Carolina (SENC). Length: 80

 

Go on the record.

Hayes: Restrict a tape for X number of years.

Seapker: Yeah, that’s one of the 30 or so. An interesting story that has no relation to this, we were talking to the faculty and one of the people said this is silly to talk to somebody now because there are still so many powerful people around he didn’t want to-- he says “Could you promise me never to release this for 25 years?” Then he was going to tell me--

Hayes: Exactly.

Seapker: -- what he thought of the university.

Hayes: Uh huh.

Seapker: And he was particularly speaking about our recent getting the peach D program in marine biology which was a long and treacherous process. But he said-- and I said, “Well, I hate to restrict things for 25 years. People would really like it a little sooner, so.

Seapker: I think you should have done two tapes.

Hayes: Two tapes, yeah.

Seapker: The restricted version and the not restricted.

Hayes: You had mentioned that this wasn’t your only project and that’s what I think is important because it did take up a lot of your time. What are some of the things you have developed as a team?

Murray: Well, the real estate company, Harbor Associates Realtors, we had appraising, property management, commercial, residential divisions and so that was a going business.

Hayes: So, like how many folks, at your peak how many people were working at the time?

Murray: At that time, we were one of the larger companies in town but less than 20 people there, wasn’t it?

Reaves: Right and small compared to today but at that time that was a big organization.

Hayes: And you weren’t much into the residential market, right? You were--

Reaves: Oh, yes.

Murray: Oh, yes.

Hayes: Oh, really?

Murray: Because we had developed where Joe was building the houses in the development we were selling them.

Hayes: And so did you have some particular, you know, neighborhoods that you feel you were responsible for?

Reaves: Well, a few here but let me go back here. I guess the first one I was involved in before Mal came to Wilmington they had had property off of Shipyard Boulevard, as I said, and we built a few houses out there and I think the first house I built was a three bedroom, one bath house for a family and I think the whole thing, house, lot, the whole works up there was $6,500, something like that. That can tell you about how long ago that would have been. That was probably about 1948, ’49, somewhere along that, you know. But anyway that area was developed called Victoria Village and that was really my dad’s situation but I was involved in building and whatnot and we didn’t pave the street because we couldn’t afford that with those prices up there. We just left it and later on the state came, it was the county at that time, and the state people got on the road. The houses were built and people living there. They petitioned the state to come in and put a little pavement on there. So, I guess that was number one in developing. The duplexes that we were involved in at Montclair [ph?].

Murray: Montclair.

Reaves: We were ahead of our times on that. We built duplexes there and--

Murray: An office and a warehouse complex.

Reaves: And a duplex but at that time people, it was difficult to sell and we sold a few of them and it got so slow in development we went ahead and completed that particular phase, packaged them up into an investment group and sold it to a group of investors and we continued to manage it. After several years the depreciation got down pretty well and so we sold it again for them, so, you know, it was a thing that you keep managing for different owners and whatnot. We were involved in part of the Crestwood subdivision, a stretch of houses, office warehouses out on the Eastwood [ph?] Road.

Murray: Eastwood Road.

Reaves: We were forerunners in that and we were____________ for our times there, Hickory Knoll down in the sound.

Murray: In the sound, Southgate [ph?] over on Carolina Beach Road.

Reaves: Carolina Beach Road, developed that--

Murray: And Southport [ph?].

Reaves: Yeah and then there was Southport.

Murray: Then there was Southport.

Hayes: You developed all of Southport?

Murray: Oh, just about. No, we thought Southport needed a good inn.

Reaves: Hotel. Hotel.

Murray: Motel/hotel type of thing. There was a piece of property on the water.

Reaves: On the river.

Murray: Right on the river and every car that came off the ferry had to go by it and we thought that was a perfect place for a little inn and we had it designed so that it looked just exactly like the houses, Southport houses, with a group of them connected by walkways and that sort of thing. And the engineer down there worked with us and we got everything all done and he approved everything we were doing. So, then we went to get a building permit and the town said, “No, don’t have the sewer or the water” one or the other-- sewer.

Reaves: Yeah.

Murray: And you got to wait until we build a new sewer plant, so we sat on that thing for two years and Southport at that time did not want any outsiders coming in to do anything. They still don’t.

Reaves: We think.

Murray: We think.

Hayes: So, it never happened?

Murray: Well we finally years later put about eight houses in the location.

Reaves: We divided it up into eight plots and sold the houses. Some of them people bought the lots and built their own houses. Some of them we built the houses so, but that was a bail out situation.

Hayes: Yeah.

Murray: Not what we wanted so we spent a lot of time that we weren’t compensated for--

Hayes: That’s the development business.

Reaves: Fighting City Hall. Fighting City Hall.

Murray: Not all gravy but interesting.

Reaves: But it was very difficult trying to get funds for this project and the negative feeling about downtown and what it could do and what it would do, yeah.

Hayes: Do you feel good now?

Reaves: Yeah.

Hayes: I mean you’re not an owner now but look at the vitality of this.

Reaves: Yeah.

Hayes: And I think the stores are mainly filled.

Murray: Not only here but downtown.

Reaves: Yeah.

Hayes: Well it’s better.

Murray: See there was nothing downtown.

Hayes: Right. And PPG is coming down, which is obviously going to create a traffic pattern I think.

Reaves: I hope that with PPG coming down and maybe the convention center, we’ll be able to see the arrival of some good quality shops for not only the tourists but the local people.

Hayes: Yeah.

Reaves: Ladies’ shops, men’s shops, shoe stores. Go to downtown Charleston and see. They’ve got a collage of good shops that would appeal to Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.

Hayes: But they also have the-- interestingly enough they have the mall shops downtown which we don’t have. Which I, I think that’s interesting because they have-- they have a national chain.

Reaves: Yeah, well they have-- they have Sax. Sax.

Hayes: Who want to be downtown.

Reaves: Yeah, yeah.

Hayes: Which we have never seemed to be able to--

Seapker: Well, those are also in newly constructed facilities.

Reaves: Yeah, they are.

Seapker: For the most part in Charleston but not in--

Reaves: Sax Fifth Avenue, there downtown is a new building, yeah.

Hayes: Yeah, I see what you mean, yeah.

Reaves: Yeah.

Seapker: And I think they’ve got a GAP and a variety of national chains.

Reaves: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Murray: But when we first-- when the first two or three phases of the concept, we had to take phase by phase because we didn’t have the money to do what they--

Reaves: Also, if we could get possible tenants in there.

Murray: Actual tenants.

Reaves: Couldn’t build a lot and let them sit vacant.

Murray: That’s right. But we checked the sales constantly every single month and as a general rule, Christmas sales make up better than 25 percent of the annual sales and down here, even in Wilmington at Christmas you don’t have the tourists at that time and their sales were the same as the mall sales were 25 to 30 percent of the annual sales after Christmastime is over. We were getting people coming downtown at that time to do their shopping.

Seapker: Yeah. If you think about it, what you’ve done with Cotton Exchange has basically enabled a lot of entrepreneurial businesses to start up. I mean the folks who are here and over in Chandler’s worth couldn’t afford a place in the mall, so you made those people possible, those enterprises possible.

Reaves: Yeah. Yeah the mom and pop operations, true. Well, there’s a few here that have been right on.

Murray: Yes.

Reaves: Some of them have changed ownership but the business is still here. The bookstore downstairs is still here even though the original people died and people have carried it on.

Hayes: Well, Mary Ellen Golden [ph?] has been here for a long time.

Reaves: Mary Ellen, that’s right, she’s another one up there.

Murray: Right.

Hayes: And how about the German restaurant?

Seapker: That’s a long time.

Murray: That took over from Cortley [ph?].

Hayes: Oh, is that right?

Murray: Right. They’ve been here a long time.

Hayes: You said the kitchen concepts seems to do well.

Reaves: The kitchen shop is still here.

Hayes: You would always have a certain number of gift stores and those are hard to keep.

Reaves: Oh, yeah.

Murray: What’s the one down on Nut Street there, Joe, because that’s been there from almost the beginning?

Reaves: Yeah, well Fiddler’s and Riddler’s combined.

Murray: Right. How about that little gift shop down there?

Reaves: Yeah the general gift shop has been there a long time.

Murray: Right.

Hayes: I think you had a great concept of the mix, the food and the retail.

Reaves: Yeah.

Hayes: Without the food that’s not as good. I mean the restaurants and the shops those are good. You’ve always had good food.

Reaves: The ice cream parlor is original.

Hayes: Oh, is that right?

Reaves: The operation of it but different owners, yeah.

Seapker: You also provide something in the receptive tour business that I do from time to time I’m pleased with and that is a complex that has more than one restaurant.

Murray: Uh huh.

Reaves: Yeah.

Seapker: And you’re also close to bus parking. It’s not easy to find a spot to park a coach.

Murray: That’s right.

Seapker: And fortunately it’s just down on Nut Street.

Reaves: Good, good, that’s great.

Seapker: I could bring a group here.

Hayes: But the Hilton coming in, when did they come in?

Murray: They just bought from the Timmy [ph?].

Hayes: And what year was that?

Reaves: I don’t know. I think it was probably--

Murray: Late ‘70s.

Reaves: -- before we started it was a tenant hotel.

Hayes: I mean I wondered if you saw with that marquee name did you see better traffic? Did you see more activity or not anything better?

Reaves: I don’t know if there was any great big thing.

Seapker: Actually, I think for a while it went under the flag of Timmy Hilton, didn’t it?

Murray: Uh huh. I think so.

Seapker: And then it finally flopped over to Hilton.

Reaves: Yeah and then _________.

Murray: Timmy was a large manufacturer for materials for automobiles, the seats--

Seapker: Upholstery fabric.

Murray: Upholstery fabric. Had a big operation.

Hayes: Why don’t we finish by asking how you felt about this whole time? Was it _______? Was it--

Reaves: We thank you and we thank you very much for this young lady here.

Murray: Right. Janet, thank you so much for all your continued support and your help. Gosh, we just can’t thank you enough for the help that you’ve provided us back--

Murray: You sure did.

Seapker: It’s been a mutual admiration society.

Hayes: And you look back and 25 years involvement with this facility, I mean that’s a long time.

Reaves: Well, we were involved in it for about 15 years.

Hayes: Fifteen.

Reaves: And sold it in 1990 to John Boyd [ph?].

Hayes: And are you happy you did it?

Reaves: Yes. You know after a while you begin to burn out and he brought in a new push and with a family operation and so we felt good about that and just to have it continue because there were a lot of nags back in the old days. That won’t work. They won’t be down here very long. They’ll be gone and whatnot. So, to have it in its current status up there I think we’re very happy and pleased, aren’t we Mal?

Murray: I think-- I have the feeling that we’ve left something in Wilmington.

Seapker: Absolutely.

Murray: That has made Wilmington a little better.

Hayes: I agree.

Murray: And that’s more important than money.

Reaves: And we feel, others have commented that we were anchor group up there and had some part in getting people focused on Wilmington and helped downtown enhance itself, so we’re grateful for that.

Hayes: I think the long view is going to confirm that because this area was a vital historic area in a commercial sense and with Community South College booming like crazy and down the road a convention center and, like you said, PPG, an interesting new dynamic.

Seapker: Uh huh.

Reaves: Uh huh.

Hayes: Now at this end.

Reaves: That’s right.

Hayes: And what if you had let this go into probably just an empty lot, I mean that’s where it was headed.

Murray: It would have been torn down.

Reaves: A few more months up there and it would have been an empty lot, yeah.

Hayes: And I don’t know that another department store or another, you know, office building, I mean they keep going up around here but I don’t think that was going to create any action so what you did really served the history but it also economically really helped this end of the city. I hope it helped you financially but I mean it did help the city that’s for sure.

Reaves: Yeah, well, we thank you. Thank you.

Murray: I’m very pleased now to sit back and watch somebody else do it.

Reaves: Janet-- Janet and Sherman we thank you both for that.

Hayes: All right, listen that was great. Thank you very much.

Hayes: So, is this area, how recent was this done then this?

Reaves: This is original here. This is that narrow staircase.

Hayes: Oh, you were talking, yeah that’s right.

Reaves: And the handicapped--

Hayes: Couldn’t get up there. Did this ever have an elevator in this building?

Reaves: Oh, no.

Hayes: No, huh uh.

Reaves: We put this in between the restaurants here.

Hayes: So, what vintage would you say this really nice--

Reaves: Probably I’d say about 1920, something like that.

Hayes: And what did you do? You did all of this really nice redo here as far as--

Reaves: This is probably-- this was after people occupied for new tenants. They got ___________. I guess this is probably done in the, what, ‘80s, ‘90s-- no, ‘80s, probably ‘80s this change here.

Hayes: Interesting, still very nice.

Reaves: __________ down below first ______________.

Hayes: I see that vault is that the--

Reaves: Yeah, that vault is the original vault.

Hayes: The old sprite vault.

Reaves: Oh, yeah, and there’s one downstairs too.

Murray: There’s the vault right there.

Reaves: And there used to be a vintage shop downstairs in the vault and shops down there.

Murray: They made an office out of that.

Hayes: And they’re still using this vault?

Murray: Yeah, oh yeah.

Hayes: I hope the door is hard to shut.

Reaves: It’s a good sized vault.

Hayes: There it is. That’s the real thing isn’t it? That’s--

Seapker: Hey, Sean how are you?

Seapker: ______ administers the Cotton Exchange now.

Hayes: Oh, good, good.

Seapker: But here are the photographs of the fire.

Hayes: Oh, ouch.

Seapker: Yeah.

Hayes: Do you want to look at that again or not. I don’t know whether--

Murray: Where are you?

Hayes: Is that you up in the ladder with the hose?

Murray: That’s not the ladder I’m talking about. They had it up here.

Hayes: Up here.

Murray: From the ground way up to that top.

Hayes: Golly.

Seapker: I think this is, is this the award you were looking for back here.

Hayes: There you go.

Murray: I believe it is, yeah.

Hayes: Oh, wow. I got it.

Seapker: Got it?

Hayes: Yeah.

Seapker: It’s the American Institute of Architects award.

Hayes: That’s wonderful. And the air and everything is fine in there?

Seapker: Well, we added a ceiling fan because it was a vault and there’s no heat or air.

Hayes: That’s what I wondered.

Seapker: My mother would be horrified if she saw we were filming in here.

Hayes: All right. We won’t-- we won’t send her a copy.

Seapker: We’re getting our Christmas stuff out.

Hayes: We won’t send her a copy at all.

Seapker: Right.

Murray: Thank you very much.

Seapker: You’re welcome, anytime.

Murray: We’ll get a video for you.

Seapker: That would be wonderful.

Hayes: Did we lost our compatriot?

Murray: This is the barber shop and--

Hayes: What about these famous--

Murray: The lamps _________.

Hayes: Isn’t that something.

Murray: They come customized at the top.

<shot of lamp outside building>

Hayes: And where do you-- how would they use the lamps? What do you think they were--

Murray: _______________ and there’s a similar pair, a sister pair of these on the post office in Columbia, South Carolina.

Hayes: These are great. Aren’t these great?

Reaves: They didn’t know how to-- they didn’t know how to use them ____________ either.

Murray: I don’t think they do. Must have been gas lamps. We didn’t have electricity then.

<shot of the Cotton Exchange>

Murray: And this was the entrance going into Sutton Counsel Furniture Company when they were using it.

Hayes: Uh huh.

Murray: But this next building here, this first ____________, see it’s a three-story building here?

<shot of building>

Hayes: Uh huh.

Murray: That was the Bayer [ph?] Building.

Hayes: Okay.

Murray: It was three stories and we built it back. We had left the façade but built a two-story building behind it and then braced up the front façade so we could maintain its original appearance.

Hayes: Great.

<shot walking down street>

Seapker: That was the one that burned right the Bayer Building?

Murray: Yeah, the interior of the Bayer Building and all up and down on Nutt Street.

Seapker: Now did you-- you put this pavement in right?

Murray: Yeah, this is all concrete in here for the entrance to Sutton Counsel but all these doors, windows, tenements and so forth all this came out of that hotel down in _____________.

Hayes: That’s great.

Murray: They’re the lights right there that came from the church ____________.

<shot of chandelier inside building>

Seapker: You know, I’ve often thought it would be fun to do a tour of things that aren’t really _____________.

Hayes: That’s what he said. Isn’t that great?

Murray: I have my notables.

Hayes: Is that right? You had a visitor huh>

<shot of photo of President Reagan>

Hayes: Is that when he was running for president?

Murray:

Hayes: Yeah, isn’t that great?

Murray: And I showed him all through the Cotton Exchange.

Hayes: Isn’t that something?

Murray: These are the fronts that came from the-- all these storefronts came out of that Ocean Forest Hotel.

<shot of storefronts>

Hayes: Isn’t that great?

<shot walking through building>

Hayes: Thank you.

<background discussion>

Hayes: Wow, look at this here. This is--

Murray: This building up here the roof was burned off and we had ___________ upstairs.

Hayes: Yeah, I see that, gee.

Murray: ____________________ filled in and we filled in that restaurant beside it.

Hayes: Well, that was about five years ago. I mean you guys weren’t here then but there was a fire then wasn’t there?

Murray: No, no. The storm blew down--

Hayes: Oh, he storm.

Murray: -- a parapet wall and it-- of course that rain came in but also the ceiling fell and the sprinkler system flooded.

Hayes: Oh, gee. Oh, gee.

<shot of courtyard>

Murray: This is open and I just have-- there was a walkway that went from over here to over there and that was--

Hayes: Okay.

Murray: We talked about putting that back if we ever developed that thing up there.

<shot of building and trees>

Murray: They have also upstairs…

Hayes: Do you have a sense of what this building originally was? It’s just--

Murray: That’s the grainery [ph?] building.

Reaves: Yes, the grainery.

Hayes: Oh, the grainery.

Murray: Yes.

Reaves: The grainery is still in there. The cleaner of the grainery is still there.

Hayes: Interesting.

Reaves: And those stars you see there are hurricane rods that go all the way through the building to hold it together.

<shot of grainery building>

Hayes: Wow.

Murray: You can see them on the side over here.

Hayes: Yeah, I see that.

Reaves: Some of this is said it was pre-Civil War.

Murray: This was an old courtyard.

Seapker: It was the fire of 1886.

Murray: It was dirt back here.

Hayes: Dirt, yeah. You talk about these levels how you got to go down and up.

Murray: See the way we got around this thing they could go up the sidewalk and come in Front Street to get in on this level so they let us get by with that and you can’t go from Front Street right straight up.

Hayes: Right.

Murray: But you can walk up that sidewalk.

Hayes: Come clear around and come in.

Murray: Uh huh and come in to this shop here and to the restaurant down here.

<shot of restaurant>

Murray: This anchor.

Hayes: Yeah.

<shot of anchor>

Murray: A fisherman down in Southport caught that thing in their nets and tore up their nets so we bought them some new nets for the anchor.

Seapker: You guys know how to deal.

Murray: The floor is in that building down there. Somebody called Joe and said, “Joe, we got an old rope working elevator and I wonder if you want it” and so we went over and looked at the old rope working elevator. I think we bought it, I mean for someplace, but Joe looked at the floors. “What are you going to do with the floors?” “Oh, we’re going to tear them up and replace them.” “We’ll replace them for you,” cut all those big old wide beams. They’re down, they’re down here.

Hayes: Oh, nice, yeah.

Reaves: We had to do a little trading here in order to get that one.

<shot of anchor>

Seapker: This is the _________ you mentioned right?

Reaves: Yes, this is the __________ down here.

<shot walking through courtyard>

Reaves: This is a flat brick building there.

Hayes: Uh huh.

Reaves: That was the vault for the operations building and so we put that--

Hayes: The little blue--

Reaves: __________ uh huh, yeah.

Hayes: Interesting. And who did you say you modeled that after?

Reaves: It was a house from south-- North 5th Street that had space looking like that and so we thought it looked pretty good so we had to copy that.

Hayes: Now what about touches like this though? Did you have to bring all this kind of stuff in the posts and the--

<shot of posts>

Reaves: Scavengers.

Hayes: <Laughing.>

Murray: These trees were so small. At that time some of them were planted.

Reaves: <Laughter>.

Murray: Buy them and threw them up on that wall.

Hayes: Is that right.

<shot of building and courtyard>

Hayes: It’s nice to see it grown up though, isn’t it? That’s good.

Reaves: Oh, yeah. _____________________.

Hayes: God this is heavy. I’m sorry.

Murray: Let me take that and I’ll put it on my shoulder.

Seapker: Okay.

<shot of building and courtyard>

Reaves: Do you want to walk downstairs?

Hayes: You bet.

Seapker: I especially want you to talk about this area at the foot of the steps because it always interested me. So, don’t talk about it yet until we get down there.

<shot going down steps>

Murray: Bear in mind now this-- this wall came on over here and also this wall here.

<shot of walls>

Hayes: Joe. Are you okay with that?

Reaves: Right through that wall there.

Hayes: Yeah.

Reaves: And these doors and windows were down underneath. We saw them from the top and looked down and saw doors and windows but that was a part of the coal room as this was here.

<shot of building>

Seapker: I have a band aid if you’d like.

Reaves: I’ve got one. I don’t know where it came from. My skin is just so dry and so thin, old age.

Seapker: What all happened down here? What is this?

Murray: That was there and it went on our and you can see where we-- it carried on over there.

Seapker: Yes.

Murray: And this is all underground here so we pulled it out and we got some old ballast stuff in here and ____________ this all back here.

Seapker: Okay.

Murray: And we put steps in here.

<shot of buildings and courtyard>

Reaves: That was something and we don’t know exactly what it was.

Seapker: Uh huh. It’s always interesting.

Reaves: Somebody just left it here.

Murray: So, it would have just been a junk pile.

Reaves: Have you been in this place before?

Seapker: But you wouldn’t-- you wouldn’t mortar it together.

Murray: Yeah, but that’s all right.

Reaves: You have been in there, okay. __________________. But the ___________ that Mal was talking about.

Hayes: Yeah.

Reaves: <shot entering building>

Reaves: When we uncovered upstairs it was down to grate.

Hayes: And you ________________.

Reaves: And ________________ door here so we--

Hayes: Just incorporated it.

Reaves: Knocked out this wall here.

Hayes: And this is a very popular restaurant isn’t it?

Reaves: Yeah.

Hayes: Something been in here almost all the time?

Reaves: Oh, yeah ________________ operation but I didn’t know it.

Hayes: Yeah. Now was this whole courtyard dark? I mean this was pretty much the same as it was?

<shot of courtyard>

Reaves: We built this roof over it.

Hayes: You built the roof over it.

Reaves: We built the deck out there and at one time we had all the shops down below.

Murray: And at one time we had all the shops down below.

Hayes: Uh huh.

Murray: But they were sort of out of the way and it just didn’t go so they finally took out the shops and they moved elsewhere and they made that offices down there.

<shot of courtyard>

Murray: This is the furnace room right here and that’s part of our kitchen now.

<shot of room>

Hayes: Uh huh.

Murray: <Inaudible.>

Hayes: Looking here now I see the elevation continues to drop.

<shot of hillside>

Murray: Plus we had to put water and sewer lines up there and drainage and all that stuff.

Hayes: Oh, yeah. What?

Seapker: You all tell him what you told me about.

Murray: When we looked down, you see this grade over here?

Hayes: Right, right, right.

Murray: This window, that door and that window over there were right here.

Hayes: Uh huh.

<shot of windows and door>

Murray: They were underneath and we had to break through this wall to get to it.

Hayes: Well, what do you think it was?

Murray: It was a coal bin, wasn’t it?

Reaves: Huh?

Murray: The coal bin was right here wasn’t it?

Reaves: The coal bin I think was--

Murray: Well, this was a solid wall, Joe.

Reaves: That’s a solid wall but I think the coal bin and the furniture store was underground.

Hayes: So, I wonder why they even had that?

Murray: __________ this was half full of water for a whole year.

Hayes: Oh.

Murray: That whole area.

<shot of courtyard>

Reaves: Oh, one of the other things other ___________ down here when we first started, we didn’t have enough money to pave the parking lot out there so we were always on call to go and push the customers out of the dirt that got stuck in the parking lot.

Murray: They were.

Hayes: Golly. It was nice to be young, wasn’t it, something here? I mean what you do when you’re--

Murray: It’s nice to be crazy.

Hayes: <Laughing.>

Seapker: Let’s cut through here so we can see some of that.

Hayes: Oh, these are the things you say go clear through the building.

<shot of rods through building>

Murray: Yes. They’re hurricane stars.

Hayes: Wasn’t that something?

Murray: They go all the way through the building.

Hayes: Hurricane--

Murray: Big rods go through the building.

Seapker: I know someplace where they called them earthquake rods.

Murray: Right.

Seapker: And I said, “Well, if you’re from the East Coast they’re hurricane rods.”

Reaves: Whenever we were building this area right in there to save money, you know, we had to do a lot of scavenging and so forth. So, I went out to banker builders out there and in the back area they had things that were a little damaged or things that were returned or anything of that sort. All these windows and doors in here are of that vintage and they put this door up here and it looked new and I said, “That will never do,” so I bought it and got this hammer and I beat it.

Hayes: Oh, my goodness.

Murray: And he said, “What in the hell are you doing?” I said, “I’m making it look old.”

Hayes: <Laughing.>

Seapker: You succeeded.

Hayes: You succeeded, did a good job.

<shot walking by shops>

Hayes: It’s so fascinating.

Reaves: All these things just came out of the junk piles so they were reasonably priced.

Hayes: Yeah. Well you were trying to create a mood anyway I mean.

Reaves: We had to sand blast all the walls.

Hayes: Yeah.

Seapker:

Hayes: I’m getting--

Seapker: We came in to see your machinery.

W3: Oh, okay. Yeah, there’s a nice chunk of machinery there.

Hayes: What is it?

W3: Well it’s an old seam separator back when this was in production.

W5: That’s a machine.

Seapker: _________ way over here.

Murray: Oh, yeah, look up there.

<shot of ceiling with belts and pulleys>

W3: There are some belts and pulleys up there on the ceiling.

Hayes: That’s interesting.

Murray: Yeah, that ___________ would go through and then go down below and you’ll see where the truck used to come in and wagons used to come in and collect the grain.

Hayes: Interesting. That is great.

Murray: A wooden chute.

Reaves: Shaft.

Hayes: I see that.

Seapker: Something...

Reaves: You see this _____________ 50, 40 and 60-feet long.

Hayes: Isn’t that something?

Reaves: That tall old pine.

Hayes: It was solidly built wasn’t it?

Reaves: Yeah. We had to sand blast everything and, of course, we had cracks on these floors and the restaurant down below here you know what happened when people walked on here the sand would fall down below.

Hayes: Oh, no.

Reaves: So we had to go downstairs in between the joists and put in some antique looking plywood, try and hold it up.

<shot walking through courtyard>

Seapker: Thank you for sharing your milling equipment.

Hayes: Thank you.

<background conversation>

Seapker: You have to be able to make sure somebody takes some with them. Hey, you all look pretty doggone official.

Murray: Well.

Reaves: They’re official. We’re the tagalongs.

Hayes: Yeah, right.

Seapker: This is where on the way up you can really see the _____________.

<shot of stairway>

<background discussion>

Hayes: You may not know these gentlemen. They’re the gentlemen that developed this property originally.

W3: Oh, how cool.

Hayes: Yeah.

W3: You developed the Cotton Exchange?

Hayes: That’s right. That’s right.

W3: How neat is that?

Hayes: That’s right.

W3: Well, thank you. You did a great job. I’ve been here eleven years. You’ve done well.

Murray: Good, wonderful.

W3: I’m a happy camper.

Murray: I’m happy for you.

Reaves: That’s good.

W3: I just need some more bodies. Tell your friends to get down here.

Murray: Okay.

W3: Actually, I’m thinking about advertising the other way. I’m thinking about advertising negative. Don’t come down here.

Murray: Don’t come down here.

Reaves: It’s too crowded.

W3: That’s right. It’s too crowded. Don’t bother. Too many people, you don’t have a parking spot, no parking spot.

<shot of stairway>

Seapker: You can see the width of the boards that form the floor up there.

Hayes: Yeah.

Seapker: The thickness of them.

W3: The parking lot is full. You can’t find a spot.

Hayes: Oh, I see that, yeah.

Murray: We salvaged all of this material from the Bayer Building, the fire and made all these steps and so forth.

Seapker: Huh.

Murray: We came in here and put these things in. The inspector said that won’t pass. We got to condemn this thing, got this thing too low. So, Cap [ph?] he was their foreman, he said “The hell with it” and he came in and put a piece on top to raise it up and it’s the right elevation. That’s a simple thing.

Seapker: Uh huh.

Reaves: But, you know, you stopped the job because… hand raised two levels.

Seapker: We a building inspector.

Murray: Well, actually when he came in here old Cap was telling a story. The building inspector came in here and said, “You got to tear the thing up. It’s too low.” And Cap pulled out the book and he says “It says right here it’s supposed to be here” measured it, it was just right. The building inspector said, “Let me see that book,” crossed it off and said “The book is wrong.”

Hayes: Oh, my God.

Seapker: Was that Haywood Roan [ph?]?

Murray: Yeah.

Hayes: We’re still taping.

Seapker: He was a menace.

Hayes: We’re still taping.

<shot exiting the building>

Reaves: He would never know it. He would never.

Hayes: Oh here’s your-- oh, great yeah.

Reaves: There’s your--

Hayes: You were talking about this cotton bin.

Reaves: That’s right. There it is.

Hayes: The old carts.

Reaves: This area right here was where the milling and so forth and the grainery and stuff. And they had a big platform, they had a--

Murray: There was a big platform there.

Reaves: A dock there.

Hayes: Oh.

Reaves: They had a dock there and that’s where it came in and that was torn down and we put an exit door there and extended the restaurant into this back area.

<shot of carts>

Hayes: Now, is this our Ronald Williams? Did you commission him to do this thing?

Reaves: Yeah.

Hayes: Oh, that’s nice.

<shot of painting>

Reaves: Now this is a reproduction of a painting which you’d find in some of the old ________________.

Hayes: Oh, it’s a cotton thing. I mean that’s kind of good, isn’t it?

Reaves: He did a nice job on that.

<shot of building>

Seapker: Didn’t you have a cotton bale kind of explode, I mean somebody cut the bands and it just went woof?

Reaves: Well, up ____________ somebody set one on fire.

Seapker: Okay.

Hayes: Oh, gee.

Reaves: And then we had to get rid of it.

Seapker: Okay.

Hayes: That’s great.

<shot of inside of building>

Hayes: They’re not rushing Christmas too soon are they?

Murray: They’re just beginning to get all the stuff out for Christmas.

Hayes: I see that.

Seapker: Or Halloween, so.

Murray: This is some of the stuff that came out of the-- the __________________.

Reaves: Where the grain came down through there.

Murray: Yeah.

Hayes: So, this is all original stuff.

Reaves: Yes, oh yeah. Yeah.

<shot exiting building>

Seapker: Joe, while you two are both here let me take your picture over by this cotton bale.

<shot moving toward cotton bale>

Murray: Thank you Karen. That’s pretty heavy.

Seapker: <background discussion>

<shot of Joe and Mal posing for picture>

Hayes: Go ahead.

<background discussion>

Seapker: I need you to say money.

Murray: Money.

Reaves: Money.

Seapker: That didn’t do it, one more time.

Murray: Cheese.

Reaves: Cheese.

<posing for photograph>

Seapker: There we go.

Hayes: Thanks guys.

Reaves: We should get her in there.

Murray: We want to get you in this thing.

Seapker: You were the two instrumental ones.

Reaves: Get him to take a picture of the three of us.

Hayes: Sure.

#### End of Tape 1 ####

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