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June 30th, 2020
Former Mayor of the City of Brea, Carrey Nelson, recalls his childhood in Alabama, his service in the U.S. Navy, and his twenty-two year career in local government. Recorded in Brea, California.
Text: “Carrey Nelson former mayor of Brea and military veteran” CN: I was hatched in Alabama on a farm out in the middle of nowhere and my father and mother were sharecroppers and we moved frequently. We could never pay the rent in full because we moved every so often. And, when I got old enough to go to school, every time we moved and went to a different place, we got demoted one grade. [holds up photograph] About 1932. This is Tobacco Road. This is at my grandfather’s, on my mother’s side, house in Chilton County, Alabama. Text: “Joining the military” CN: Maxwell [second word is unclear] is in Montgomery. There were soldiers all around and I used to sell papers out there. In fact, that’s where I lost my southern accent, perhaps. But, anyhow, I saw what they did and I knew if they put twenty years in, they’d get a [gestures] until they die. And that’s where I said – well, I was hungry. I was really hungry and if you – have you ever been hungry? So, I know that if you were in the service, you would get three meals and a flop. I enjoyed the Navy. After the war, we went to the Mediterranean and we did all kinds of things there. We visited all the ports. I went to Rome, to Foro Mussolini which was the big facility that Mussolini built for the 1944 World’s Fair, which didn’t happen because the war was going on. So, when the war was over, they took it over and made a rest home out of it. Text: “Close call at Pearl Harbor” CN: I have to tell you one thing. One of the reasons why we were so glad that we left to go to Pearl was there was a big typhoon came up and the destroyers could not refuel and they went this way [gestures]. Capsized. [..?] So, I was lucky. Lucky there. Interviewer: It was wrong place, wrong time. CN: And that was the next best thing, when I thought I was gonna die with [..?]. Text: “Involvement in city government” CN: [laughs]. City government. Let’s see, how did I get – Mary Ann, my number two daughter, came home, when she was in high school, and she was in a government class that they’ve got to go through a meeting of the City Council or some other… So, she asked all of her brothers if one of them would go with her to a council meeting. They all turned her down, so my wife says, “You go in with her.” So, I had to go with her. We went to the first meeting and we got hooked. I thought it was interesting and there was a vacancy. And guess what? Carrey was the only one. Got it. So, it was 1978, so I filled up the time then I had to run and I lost the dumb election by sixty votes. Sixty-one votes or something. So, anyhow, I had to stay off for [gestures], then I got back on, so then I stayed on for twenty-two years.
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Original file was named, OCDS NELC002.mp4. It was renamed to, corcl_000179_prsv.mp4.