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1981-03-18 Interview with Helen K. Gaylord, March 18, 1981 Reed001:1981OH035Reed03 01:44:11 Stanley F. Reed Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Reed, Stanley Forman, 1884-1980 Helen K. Gaylord; interviewee Edward Gilson; interviewer 1981OH035_Reed03_Gaylord 1:|7(13)|22(9)|33(2)|63(11)|72(12)|83(7)|93(2)|103(4)|120(3)|139(13)|150(5)|174(8)|185(4)|195(11)|205(1)|215(7)|240(7)|252(18)|288(2)|318(4)|342(5)|362(3)|374(4)|398(4)|412(4)|445(5)|453(10)|469(1)|479(14)|498(1)|524(4)|542(2)|573(11)|587(8)|600(16)|610(3)|620(11)|631(1)|653(5)|672(1)|683(1)|722(1)|746(2)|760(2)|772(6)|799(11)|820(2)|846(2)|857(13)|875(5)|890(3)|922(7)|958(2)|976(7)|987(12)|1000(3)|1015(5)|1028(5)|1041(2)|1052(4)|1060(7)|1083(11)|1094(13)|1123(7)|1139(2)|1154(15)|1174(1)|1182(6)|1200(3)|1224(6)|1244(2)|1267(2)|1283(8)|1299(9)|1320(15)|1346(2)|1366(7)|1393(1)|1409(8)|1435(6)|1447(3)|1473(8)|1501(3)|1515(3)|1528(6)|1538(3)|1559(13)|1582(5)|1592(1)|1609(7)|1614(7)|1637(8)|1673(12)|1685(10)|1699(5)|1716(4)|1737(12)|1745(12)|1773(7)|1793(2)|1812(15)|1824(5)|1835(9) audiotrans SFReed reed001:interview GILSON: Okay. Well, Miss Gaylord, I guess the . . . the first thing I ought ask you is how you came to be a . . . a secretary for a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. GAYLORD: Well, I was working with Ben Cohen, who was of the Cohen- [Thomas] Corcoran team, and the justice wanted a secretary, so Ben recommended me. And I hadn't known the justice and . . . but I went and interviewed him, and he decided he'd try me out, and I stayed for thirty-one years [laughing]. GILSON: Well, does that mean . . . did you retire in 1969? GAYLORD: `69, umhmm. GILSON: `69, okay. Okay, con- . . . continue. I'm sorry. I just wanted . . . GAYLORD: And we had thirty-one years of a very happy association. The justice was an extremely hard worker. He researched each opinion very carefully, and hours meant nothing to him. We just worked until things got done. And at that time there was one law . . . when I first went with him there was one law clerk, me, and [Gerald D.] Ross. And that went on for ten years. And then they decided each justice should have two law clerks. And . . . which just complicated things a little bit more. And . . . but they were all very smart young men and I thoroughly enjoyed my association with all of them. And we . . . as I say, we worked very hard and . . . and the justice was most interested that everything should come out just right. GILSON: Okay. How long had you worked for . . . for the Cohen people before you . . . GAYLORD: A couple years. GILSON: A couple years? GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: So, you're . . . you're pretty well established as a legal secretary by . . . GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: . . . that time. GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: Okay. GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: What kind of man was . . . was Stanley Reed when he first came there? I guess you met him just as he was beginning as a justice? GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: What were your first impressions of him? GAYLORD: Well, he was a very . . . very kind . . . very calm. I remember when he . . . he first came there. There was one envelope that he had me put in the safe which was not to be opened. And sometime later something came up that . . . where were certain papers that he had had at the department that he wanted. Oh, I said I hadn't seen them. I said the only thing that I don't know about is this envelope which you said was not to be opened. So, we got that. Well, of course, that's [laughing] where they were [laughter]. So, that was my first . . . and that was as excited as he ever got about anything. He was, as I say, [a] very calm and collected sort of a person and very . . . very kind, and we never had any difficulty about things and he just . . . as I say, he researched each case thoroughly before he attempted to write it. He wasn't as . . . didn't have as, quote, "facile a pen" as some of his brethren, but he said things the way he wanted to say them to make the opinion come out the way he wanted it to. And . . . GILSON: What can you say? Well, did he change a lot? Not so much physically. Physically, of course, I know he changed. But through his . . . his retirement, just . . . did he just get older or did he . . . GAYLORD: Well, after he retired from the bench, the bench in `57, then he sat alternately on the Court of Appeals and the Court of Claims and he wrote opinions on each of them. And then they, all of a sudden, seemed to have retired judges on the Court of Appeals, so then he sat primarily on the Court of Claims. But then, as time went on . . . years, several years later, he finally said that he really didn't think that he should . . . could sit on the Court anymore. That he . . . he didn't always just understand what they were talking about. And so I put a bug in Dave Schwartz's ear, who mentioned it to the chief judge down there and . . . because they would call up and ask him to sit and he would say he would. Well then, of course, he did. But he . . . he knew himself that he wasn't really doing the right job. That he . . . he didn't always just understand what it was all about. And I think . . . then after that, he didn't . . . he didn't do much sitting. And . . . but he had always been so keen. It was . . . it was sad, because he'd always been so keen and so interested in everything, and tried to do everything that he could and worked. He . . . he loved his work, and so it was sad when he reached that stage. But he realized it, I think, before anyone else did, really. And . . . which I think was great. And . . . GILSON: What were his first days on the . . . I guess your first days at the Supreme Court. What were they like? They must have been exciting. GAYLORD: Well, it was an entirely different place at that stage. As I say, it was a smaller organization and it was more like one big, happy family, you know? GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: And everyone knew everyone else. And . . . and everything just went along smoothly and . . . and then, of course, as more and more people came, of course, things became more complicated. [chuckle] And . . . and so . . . GILSON: Yeah, I . . . GAYLORD: . . . I'm glad I worked there when I did because I . . . I wouldn't enjoy, I think, working there now, as I did then. GILSON: Is just the workload that much more now? I . . . GAYLORD: I don't . . . I don't see . . . now, that they . . . each justice has two secretaries and three or four law clerks, I don't see how there can be that much more work because the term of the Supreme Court is only just so long. They can only hear just so many cases. And how can there be that much more work? GILSON: Sure. Well, how . . . how did the workload increase for . . . from say, `38 to `57? Did it . . . GAYLORD: Well, . . . GILSON: . . . did it increase a lot? GAYLORD: . . . it started increasing after we'd been there, I don't know, six . . . five or six years, six or seven years. It . . . it . . . it kept getting . . . it kept becoming more and more . . . GILSON: Was it more and more complicated , or . . . GAYLORD: Yes. And . . . and then . . . then, I think, that was about when . . . well, we were there ten years before the . . . we started having two law clerks. And, well, that helped because, of course, there were more and more in forma [pauperis] cases filed and, at that time, each justice went over them. I understand they don't do that now, but they did at that time. And so that took a lot more time. And . . . but the justice never seemed to mind working. As I say, he always enjoyed his work and . . . and just . . . GILSON: Okay. Well, you . . . you knew many justices throughout the years, I guess? GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: Tell . . . tell me about some of them. Which . . . do . . . do you have . . . excuse me. Did you have any favorite justices, of course outside of Stanley Reed, during the . . . those times? I mean, any that you especially liked? GAYLORD: Well, I always like Justice [Felix] Frankfurter. GILSON: Yeah? GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: Why? GAYLORD: I don't know. But I just . . . I . . . I always really enjoyed him. I had known him when he was a professor at Harvard. He used to come in Tom [Corcoran] and Ben [Cohen]'s office. So I knew him before he came on the Court. And he was . . . he was something else, but he never could intimidate me as he did [chuckle] many people. And [laughing] . . . and . . . and we got along beautifully. And . . . and I remember one day--he may not want [me] to say this- -I had seen him at a concert the night before, which was a beautiful concert by Rudolph Serkin, a pianist. And it . . . it was a beautiful program. Everything . . . nothing was alike, but it . . . the . . . whoever had arranged it had things that . . . that just all blended together. And it was a beautiful concert. And the next day he came in and he was having a real fuss with the justice, and they called me in for something and he glared at me and he said, "You will never hear a lovelier concert than that last night." [chuckle] And I said, "No, sir!" [laughing] And . . . and so, as I say, we . . . we always got along beautifully. And then, of course, I loved Justice [Sherman] Minton. He was . . . after he retired, he occasionally would come into the Court and . . . when he would . . . would be there for, oh, maybe just a few days, I was supposed to take care of him, as well as Justice Reed. This was after Justice Reed had retired from the bench. And, well, I felt sort of like Janice, because no two people could be any different [chuckle] than those two. And they were each equally charming, of course, but . . . and he was . . . he was just terrific. I became very fond of him. And then I always . . . of course, I always liked Justice [Robert] Jackson because we were neighbors up in [chuckle] New York State. Two hundred miles apart, but we were still neighbors, he insisted. And . . . and I had known him, too, before he came on the bench. And . . . and . . . well, I don't know. I li- . . . and I liked Chief Justice [Harlan] Stone. He was strictly New England, and I don't know how many New England people you know, but they're a little . . . oh, I can't say stand-offish, but they're . . . you . . . you have to get to know them before they're . . . they will become friendly. And he would come down the hall, and he never could find Justice Reed because you had to come either through my office or through the law clerk's office because the justice's office was in the corner. And he'd stand out in the hall and yell, "Where's Reed?" [laughter] And so I'd usher him in. [chuckle] And . . . and Mrs. Stone painted. And one spring I had a bouquet of forsythia in my office and it was in a green vase and it looked very pretty against the wood paneling in there, and it really did look pretty. He started out the door and he came back and he said, "That's beautiful. Mrs. Stone should paint that." [laughter] So many, you know, little things like that happened through the years which all [added] to the enjoyment of the place. How far does this go? GILSON: It's got about three or four feet on there. You can . . . tell you what. Let me . . . let me hook you up to an extension cord. [Interruption in taping] GAYLORD: So . . . GILSON: This . . . GAYLORD: . . . and then he came through and he wasn't elected. I never will forget my father was . . . oh, he was desolate. GILSON: Oh, yeah? GAYLORD: Yeah. And after that, we moved to Washington and . . . and I was walking . . . [inaudible] . . . I was walking down by this . . . which was then State one-eighty building, which is now the Executive Offices, and he was coming down the steps to get into his car. And . . . GILSON: That was just after the . . . the election where . . . GAYLORD: No, this was when he was Secretary of State. GILSON: Oh, okay. Okay. GAYLORD: And . . . and so I, of course, recognized him, you know. Naturally er- . . . having . . . I was just a child, you know. I was in school. And . . . but I recognized him, and so I stopped and waited for him to get down and get into his car. And he doffed his hat and spoke to me. Well, see, I was in . . . in seventh heaven, you know. I thought that was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. And so, of course, I had . . . had to have his picture. So, he signed it and then he . . . I knew his secretary very well and . . . and so he said that . . . and he . . . words to her and then [wrote], "And I send to you and to Miss Gaylord the season's greetings and my best wishes." GILSON: Charles Evans Hughes. That's quite a . . . quite a . . . quite something, isn't it? GAYLORD: That is . . . that is extra special because, as I say, he never autographed pictures for a person. So I'm quite proud of that. GILSON: I . . . GAYLORD: And he was . . . he was a remarkable person. And he was there when we went there. And these are the [looking at pictures] . . . the justice and Stone. GILSON: Stone. GAYLORD: Jackson. GILSON: Jackson. GAYLORD: [William] Douglas, [Thomas] Clark. GILSON: Boy, Clark looks young there, doesn't he? GAYLORD: Hmm? GILSON: He . . . he sure looks young in that picture. GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: Frankfurter. GAYLORD: From Justice Frankfurter. GILSON: "To Helen Gaylord, one of the"--what is that word?--. . . GAYLORD: Faithful. GILSON: ". . . faithful, . . ." GAYLORD: Indispensable. GILSON: ". . . indispensable people . . ." GAYLORD: Public servant. GILSON: ". . . public servants . . ." GAYLORD: . . . who do . . . GILSON: ". . . who do . . ." GAYLORD: . . . good work . . . GILSON: ". . . good work anonymously. With the best wishes of Felix Frankfurter." GAYLORD: Yeah. That's Justice [Frank] Murphy. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: And Justice [William] Brennan, who was at one time connected with the War Department, I think, and in what capacity, I don't remember, but my sister was there. And he came in frequently. And so when I first met him at the Court, he looked at me and he said, "Don't I know you?" And [chuckle] I said, "No, you know my sister." [laughing] And here's [Earl] Warren and, of course, Byron [Kabot]. And we're very good friends. And Potter Stewart. GILSON: I was . . . wasn't he one of [Fred M.] Vinson's former clerks? GAYLORD: Beg pardon? GILSON: Wasn't he one of Vinson's law clerks? GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: Umhmm. Umhmm. And we . . . he seem to be very friendly. And his wife always seems to be so . . . so friendly because she's from Denver, and I . . . one of my closest relatives lives in Denver. So, we always seem to have a lot of conversation, you know, about Denver when . . . whenever I see her. And that's with all the . . . and these are pictures of our law clerks at dinners . . . GILSON: Oh, yeah. GAYLORD: . . . they had. Stanley Reed Day at the . . . GILSON: Oh, in Maysville? GAYLORD: . . . at Maysville. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: And this picture I took of the . . . GILSON: Of the three Stanleys. GAYLORD: . . . the three Stanleys. And . . . and . . . and this one. That's little Deborah Pollak and . . . GILSON: Who? GAYLORD: . . . she was one of our law clerks' little girls . . . oh. There was one that I took of the justice one day--I don't seem to have it in here--of the justice and . . . and Stanley when he was a baby. And the justice looked very . . . oh, smiling, you know, and . . . and pleased about the whole thing. And after that this chap came in from Fortune magazine, and he was trying to get a picture of the justice, who was looking very stern, and he couldn't get the kind of a picture that he wanted. And he said, "Who took that picture?" And I said, "I did." "Well, then, will you please stay here?" [laughter] So I don't know whether he ever got a picture to please him or not. And . . . GILSON: Let's . . . let's . . . let's get back here. You were talking about Hughes there back when the tape recorder was off. What kind of a justice was Hughes? He . . . I mean, he . . . he seemed to have commanded just the utmost respect from everybody without really having to do anything to . . . GAYLORD: Justice Reed? GILSON: . . . or . . . Justice . . . Chief Justice Hughes. GAYLORD: Oh, yeah. GILSON: Ross was saying last night . . . he said, he . . . he never had to say a word, but just . . . he just had the . . . GAYLORD: Hmm. GILSON: . . . the utmost respect. GAYLORD: I don't know, frankly, whether it was his looks, his . . . his demeanor, the . . . just his whole character. You just automatically felt that he was extra special. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: And he was . . . he was an extremely brilliant man. His . . . he had this little old man who was his secretary who used to come into the corridor on occasion. And one day I remember I happened to be in the marshals' offices. He was talking and he said, "Well, he just . . . he just dictates opinions complete with citations. He just never has to look them up." [laughs] And . . . and . . . and that . . . I mean, he was just an extremely brilliant man. GILSON: How did . . . I . . . I'm interested, of course, in this . . . in this old era . . . older era. What about the . . . the . . . the remaining "Nine Old Men" on the Court? Of course, [Willis] Van Devanter had retired and made room for [Hugo] Black. And [George] Sutherland retired and made room for . . . for . . . for Reed. GAYLORD: I beg your pardon? GILSON: I said, Sutherland retired and . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . Reed took his place. GAYLORD: Yeah. Umhmm. GILSON: So that left two of the staunch old conservatives. GAYLORD: [James] McReynolds. GILSON: McReynolds and . . . and . . . now, who was the other one? GAYLORD: Well, [Louis] Brandeis was hardly there when we were there. He . . . I don't think he sat. GILSON: Oh, yeah? GAYLORD: He was ill, I think, and I don't know that he sat on the bench after we went there. But I do remember he came in the office one day. And . . . oh, [Pierce] Butler. GILSON: Butler. Yeah, he was the . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . real . . . GAYLORD: Butler. Umhmm. He was a little difficult, I thought. GILSON: Difficult? How so? GAYLORD: Well, he was quite a stickler for accuracy. And I know Justice Reed commented one time that he was his mentor. [chuckle] And . . . and we had circulated an opinion one day, I remember, and I had checked over the one opinion and . . . and it was, you know, okay. So, I just addressed the others and sent them around. Well, pages were mixed up, which I didn't check. And he came in and he threw it at me. How could he be expected to read an opinion when it was all mixed up? [laughs] Well, then I had to go around and collect all the others to be sure which ones had too much of one thing, you know, and not enough of another. It all . . . but . . . and Justice McReynolds never would speak to me. He . . . in the first place, I was a woman. In the second place, I smoked. GILSON: Oh, yeah? I heard he fired one of his clerks for smoking, . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . but . . . GAYLORD: And so we . . . we never had any words. Well then, this little friend of mine who was with Hughes . . . it was in the summer and she had had her little dog with her because she'd taken him up to . . . to a veterinarian up the street to have it clipped for the summer. And so here she was with the dog and here came Justice McReynolds. Well, she thought, she couldn't very well go through the marble floor and she didn't know what to do, so there she was. And, well, it seems he was very fond of dogs. So, he made a big fuss over her and the dog. And so [chuckle] Doris said what I should do was bring down my little dog. I had a little wire-haired. And [laughing] . . . but [laughing] I never did. Oh, I had him . . . I had him with me there one day, but not when Justice McReynolds [chuckle] was there. And . . . but he was . . . he . . . everyone said that Justice McReynolds didn't like women, period, but now, that wasn't true. I mean, he just didn't like them working. He was . . . I understand that at the parties he was quite the ladies' man, but working was something else again. And . . . what other scuttlebutt do I [laughing] know? GILSON: I guess that . . . that brings us to . . . oh! Oh, [Benjamin] Cardozo. Was he . . . I know he was on the Court when Reed was appointed, but just . . . just for . . . GAYLORD: He was . . . GILSON: . . . a very short time. GAYLORD: . . . he was ill. GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: He was ill, and I don't think he ever came to the Court, because Frankfurter replaced him. And . . . which was the next year after we came. And . . . and then Douglas replaced Brandeis. And now . . . GILSON: Mur-. . . Murphy was the next appointment. Who di- . . . who did he replace? GAYLORD: Murphy? GILSON: Yeah. I don't . . . GAYLORD: Butler. GILSON: Butler? GAYLORD: Umhmm. And Clark replaced Murphy. GILSON: Umhmm. Yeah. Clark was . . . GAYLORD: And . . . GILSON: . . . a Truman appointee. GAYLORD: And then Jackson replaced [Owen] Roberts. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: And . . . there's another one over there. I'm thinking in terms of offices. Well, I'm lost. GILSON: Oh, [James] Byrnes. GAYLORD: Byrnes replaced McReynolds. GILSON: Oh, he did? Okay. GAYLORD: Umhmm. He wasn't there too long. GILSON: No, he wasn't. GAYLORD: He was terrific. GILSON: Yeah? GAYLORD: Oh, I loved him. [laughter] Yes, he was a delightful person. GILSON: Is that the Roosevelt Court over there [pointing to a picture] or is that a later Court? No, that's . . . yeah, that's Harlan Stone, Chief Justice. GAYLORD: Justice . . . yeah, Harlan. GILSON: That must be Roberts, Black, Reed, Frankfurter, . . . GAYLORD: Umhmm. Jackson. GILSON: . . . Jackson, . . . GAYLORD: Murphy. GILSON: . . . Douglas, Murphy, . . . GAYLORD: Douglas. GILSON: . . . and . . . GAYLORD: And Byrnes. GILSON: . . . and Byrnes, yeah. GAYLORD: Umhmm. I never had any of the pictures that they took each time a . . . a justice was replaced, they took a new picture of the Court. But I never got any of those. And . . . I mean, I'd have quite a collection at this stage if I had, . . . GILSON: Oh, yeah. GAYLORD: . . . and I just had some of those that I knew and liked. Enough portraits. And . . . GILSON: Yeah, let's carry on. That was the Roosevelt Court. We talked about Frankfurter, of course. Did you ever . . . did you ever know Justices Black or Douglas very well? GAYLORD: I never knew Justice Black very well. Strangely, because we . . . when I was with Ben, we worked all day at the Capitol one day on the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was about women working and hours for women, you know? GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: And it was about seven o'clock when we left the Capitol and suddenly it struck someone funny that here was I, you know, working on this Act, and it was the Black-what? I have in mind Connery, and I'm not sure that that's right. GILSON: I don't even know. GAYLORD: Anyway, we worked all that night. And then he came to the Court, but somehow or another I never got to know him. Justice Douglas I did. And . . . because he was in . . . he was . . . [inaudible] office was just up the hall from ours, and he was in frequently and . . . and it . . . this was when each one had one secretary. And if his secretary was out because of illness, I would help him and vice versa. And so I got to know him and he was always very pleasant. And . . . in a strange sort of way. [chuckle] But-- I don't know if I should add that--but . . . GILSON: Yeah, I was . . . I was wondering if I should have you elaborate on that. [laughter] GAYLORD: No, I'd rather not. [laughter] He . . . well, he was a very interesting person. And I know that one summer . . . the justice had a place for the summer up along the Hudson--ca- . . . can't remember the name of the place, now--and next door to him Maxwell Anderson lived. And so they became friendly, and that winter then, Maxwell Anderson was putting on this play with Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Lorraine. So, when they came to town, the justice had a party for them and . . . and I was invited, of course, and . . . and many other people. And Justice Douglas came up to me and he . . . came up from the back, startled me and he said, "What other plays did he write?" [laughter] Well, if . . . if you had asked me just calmly, I couldn't have told you, but I rattled off two or three plays and I thought afterward, "I wonder if that's true." [laughing] And when I got home I checked up and they were all right. [laughing] So, he just s- . . . scared it out of me, I guess. And [laughing] . . . and . . . but the last time I saw Douglas, I . . . I don't know that he knew who I was, frankly. I tried to talk with him and I didn't get very far. And he was in very bad shape at that time and frankly, as I say, I'm not sure that he knew who I was. And . . . GILSON: Was that . . . was that his illness or was . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. Umhmm. He be- . . . he became very ill and . . . but he would go around. He came down to the Court in his wheelchair and . . . and tried to do things. GILSON: But he . . . GAYLORD: They all seemed to . . . to have that feeling that they . . . having belonged to the Court, they should just do their utmost to . . . to keep on going. GILSON: Umhmm. That's what I was going to say. I've . . . I've heard that he would come back and try to . . . GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: . . . more or less convince other justices of the . . . the right way. GAYLORD: Wasn't that one too bad? GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: Too bad. GILSON: Well, let's continue. Move on to the Truman . . . to the Truman Court. Did you . . . did you ever know Fred Vinson? GAYLORD: Yes. GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: Umhmm. Not too well, I think, and . . . I don't know why. I just never got to know him so well. GILSON: I was just wondering there. Well, of course, here w- . . . here was a . . . a chief justice appointed from Kentucky. GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: I was wondering if . . . if Justice Reed ever wondered about that, that . . . GAYLORD: I don't . . . don't know that he did. I never heard him go into that at all. GILSON: Okay. Who else was on that Court? Well, you told me about Minton and Clark. They were both . . . they were both Truman appointees. Was that all? I guess that was all, wasn't it, because the . . . before Roosevelt's . . . GAYLORD: Abe . . . Abe Fortas came in there some place. GILSON: Was he Truman or was he Kennedy? Yeah. [chuckle] I guess I was thinking the next person to--yeah, that's telling me I'm coming to the end of the tape here in a few minutes. GAYLORD: Oh. GILSON: In fact, I'll . . . I'll flip it over and we can continue. I guess the next would be the Eisenhower Court. Or as . . . or . . . I keep referring to the [individual] president's Court . . . GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: . . . and a lot of times . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . nothing's further from the truth than that. GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: I mean, Eisenhower . . . well, I . . . I'm not . . . I'm not the one who's supposed to be digressing, you are. Let me . . . let me flip the tape and I'll be [chuckle] . . . GAYLORD: Well, when did [John] Harlan come in? GILSON: He was a . . . GAYLORD: Wasn't he . . . wasn't he Eisenhower? GILSON: Yeah, he was Eisenhower. GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: In fact, he was . . . GAYLORD: He was a very nice person. GILSON: Okay. Well, we'll continue on Justice Harlan. [End of Tape 1, Side 1] [Beginning of Tape 1, Side 2] GILSON: See, we were talking about . . . well, we were talking about Justice Harlan, but let's back up a little bit. Would you . . . would you repeat that story about . . . GAYLORD: About Justice Stone? GILSON: . . . about Justice Stone, yeah. GAYLORD: Well, he came into see the justice and . . . and as he was leaving he wheeled around, and I had a large vase . . . you know, it was a green vase with forsythia in it on my cabinet and up against the wood-paneled walls. It did look pretty. And he said, "That is beautiful. Mrs. Stone should paint that." And . . . GILSON: That's . . . yeah. That . . . that's . . . of course, . . . yeah, I'd heard that. That . . . that's really interesting. A personal aspect of him. GAYLORD: He . . . I had wanted a picture of him for so long, and his secretary was always going to get . . . have him sign a . . . a picture for me, but she didn't get around to it. And this particular day I had occasion to go into their office with opinions, I presume, and she had all the pictures spread out on the table for some reason. And I said, "Today is the day I should have a picture." Well, she happened to know that it was my birthday, and so she said, "Today is the day you will have your picture." So, it is inscribed on my birthday. And the next month he died. GILSON: Oh! GAYLORD: And so I was . . . felt very pleased to have that. GILSON: I guess so, yeah. That's a . . . anyway, let's . . . okay, let's . . . let's switch from one Harlan to the other Harlan, now. GAYLORD: Okay. [chuckle] Justice Harlan. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: Well, he was a charming person. I don't know what I can tell you about him. But he, too, was a very hard worker and . . . but I always liked him, admired him. And . . . GILSON: Any . . . any special reason? Just because he was a hard worker or . . . of course, I don't . . . I don't . . . what did Harlan do before he came to the bench? I don't know. GAYLORD: I don't think he was a judge. I think he was with one of the big firms in New York. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: Of course, he was from New York. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: I don't think he was on any court up there. I don't think. I'm not sure of that. GILSON: Of course, his grandfather was the older Justice . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . [John Marshall] Harlan. GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: And he was a Kentuckian, too. GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: That's interesting, I guess. What about the rest of the . . . of the Eisenhower Court? We have . . . well, Earl Warren was appointed chief justice at that time. Do you remember anything about Earl Warren? GAYLORD: Yes. He . . . I always liked him. He wasn't always too popular with some people, but . . . GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: . . . he was always very nice to me and . . . and I . . . I always liked him. And . . . GILSON: Did you ever know Warren Burger when he was on the Court? I guess you knew him, . . . GAYLORD: You're reading my mind. [laughter] I knew him [chuckle] before he came on the Court. GILSON: Uh-huh. GAYLORD: But he never knew me after that. GILSON: Oh, really? GAYLORD: Hmm? GILSON: Really? Why? GAYLORD: I wasn't there any longer. GILSON: Well, that's true. That's true. GAYLORD: The one day . . . there was someone . . . there was some sort of a party and he walked in with Warren, and Warren made a big fuss over me as he usually did, and Burger decided maybe he'd better speak to me, too. So he did. GILSON: Oh! That was mighty nice of him, . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . I guess. [laughter] GAYLORD: I guess I better not say that. GILSON: Oh, it's . . . it's quite all right. This is going to be restricted. Nobody's going to hear this but people that are studying it anyway. I mean, I hope. [chuckle] GAYLORD: I hope, [laughing] too. Oh, one of the . . . one of the girls . . . one of the secretaries of the Court died, and . . . and we were up at the funeral home, and this was in the winter, and I have a white beaver jacket with a mink collar and . . . which is quite fancy. I [chuckle] don't wear it very often. But I was all dressed up with everything to go with it, and it got warm because so many people came, you know. So, I stepped out in the hall and . . . and he [Burger] was leaving. So, he made a big fuss over me. [laughs] So I decided I guessed you had to look the part. [laughs] Oh, dear. Well, I . . . GILSON: Well, any other justices that you remember fondly or not so fondly, as the case may be? I guess we've covered just about everyone of . . . GAYLORD: I think we've covered everyone. Oh, there's . . . oh, there was Justice Rutledge. GILSON: Oh, that's right. Wiley Rutledge. GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: I'd forgotten about him. GAYLORD: Yeah. Justice Rutledge. Yes, we were . . . we were very good friends because he lived just . . . not far from me. So sometimes--and this was during the war, I think this was. When was he there, `42 or something? GILSON: Yeah, about that. GAYLORD: He'd sometimes drive me home. And I'd say, "You can just leave me out at the corner of Forty-ninth and Mass., Mr. Justice. I can walk up," you know. Never . . . always brought me home to my door. Oh! And then we've forgotten . . . GILSON: Rutledge, Byrnes, . . . [microphone interference] . . . GAYLORD: Who replaced the justice? Justice . . . the middle guy . . . GILSON: He must not have lasted too long. But I can't think of his name. [microphone interference] Let me think. Let me think. We . . . well, was it . . . was it during Roosevelt's time? GAYLORD: Uh-uh! GILSON: Truman's. GAYLORD: No, he . . . he replaced Justice Reed. GILSON: Oh, Justice Reed's replacement? That was . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . Whittaker. GAYLORD: Whittaker. GILSON: Charles Whittaker, yeah. GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: Oh, he was delightful. GILSON: Oh, yeah? GAYLORD: And after he retired--he was just over here. GILSON: Umhmm. You just clip it to the white thing there. GAYLORD: I . . . I got . . . this came apart. GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: I don't know how to do it. GILSON: Okay. Well here, let me give you mine. [Interruption in taping] GAYLORD: . . . don't like to run this while. GILSON: Huh. We'll have to . . . just . . . here, . . . GAYLORD: I can't do it. GILSON: Here. Give me this. GAYLORD: Oh. GILSON: It's just like . . . well, of course, I don't know if you'd know about a tie clasp. GAYLORD: Oh, I see. GILSON: Yeah. You just . . . there's a little alligator clamp there. GAYLORD: So then after he retired, he . . . he would sometimes come in, and he would have something he wanted to have written, maybe, and I would help him, also. And . . . this was after . . . of course, after Justice Reed retired. So, as I say, he lived just over . . . he'd walked around. GILSON: Hmm? GAYLORD: So [laughing] . . . so, we . . . we became quite friendly. [chuckle] And . . . and yes, I liked him very much. He . . . he just couldn't take the Court. GILSON: Oh, really? I knew he retired fairly s-. . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . after not too long, but . . . GAYLORD: And they tried to say that he was not well. I don't think that is quite true because he told me that . . . he said there was just too much work. And while the law clerks were very competent, able young men, he just didn't feel that he could trust their judgment. He had to do it himself. He was the justice. GILSON: Hmm? GAYLORD: And . . . and it's impossible. You know, with all the stuff that there was to be done, it's impossible for one person to do it, you know. And I think it . . . it got to him. You know, it was just too much. He wouldn't take it. And . . . yes, I liked Justice Whittaker very much. So I don't have a picture of him. I never . . . never got his picture. GILSON: Did you ever know John Paul Stevens when he was Wiley Rutledge's clerk? GAYLORD: No. Actually I don't remember him. I know when he was appointed. Justice Rutledge's secretary is a very good friend of mine, and I see her . . . still see her frequently. And [chuckle] I saw her last night. But I don't see her as often as I used to because she is involved in so many things. But anyway, when Stevens was appointed she kept calling him John and I said, "How do you get to call him John?" She said, "Well, he was Justice . . . one of Justice Rutledge's law clerks. Don't you remember him?" And I said "no." I said . . . she said, "Well, you saw his picture in the paper." And I said, "I still don't know him." [chuckle--Gilson] I never . . . I never knew him. And . . . but that was true with . . . with many of the clerks. Some of them just never got around. You know, if they came around and talked with the other clerks, then, you know, I would get to know them. But if they just stayed put and . . . in their own office and didn't go around to talk with the other clerks, you didn't get to know them. And so I just never knew . . . never knew him at all, really. GILSON: Hmm. I just . . . just a . . . a contemporary remar- . . . remark there, I guess. We don't need to talk about the modern-day justices, especially when we're talking about Justice Reed. Let's get a little more concrete here. GAYLORD: All right. GILSON: How . . . how did you run the office? And if you say, "Very well, thank you," I'll cut this interview off right now. [laughter] GAYLORD: Oh, I did the best I could. [laughter] And when the law clerks would get a little bit too obstreperous, [chuckle] I'd take them down. [laughter] And . . . and I think I taught a few of them things about working in an office that they hadn't learned in law school. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: And . . . but we usually got on very well. They were, of course, always . . . well, this . . . this got to be later on. I've forgotten which one that was, now. But they all, of course, always wanted to see the opinions that . . . that were circulated as soon as they came around. And I said, "Well, that's all right. You may. But," I said, "they come to me first so that I can enter them in my book, because the justice has to know when he goes to conference on Saturday." One time one of them had collected an opinion and still had it in his desk and the justice hadn't seen it, and it came up at conference on Saturday. And, of course, he came into my office immediately from the conference and, of course, the law clerks came in immediately, too. And so, he s- . . . said, "What about this opinion? It's not on my book." And I said, "I have never seen it." And so the clerk went and retrieved it from his desk. Well, that wasn't a very happy situation for a few minutes [chuckling], but . . . but I tried to convince them that there were certain things that had to be done for the work of the Court. I mean, to . . . GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: . . . they were supposed to work on the certs [certiorari] and . . . and occasionally I'd try to help them out if they were busy working on opinions. And there were s- . . . if they hadn't got their cert memos done, I'd try to help them out by typing them. But if they fiddled around all week, and . . . and it wasn't a . . . and they weren't working on any particular opinion, and then just waited till Friday to want to give me some cert memos, I'd say, "Uh-uh. If you can't get them to me the first of the week, it's too bad. Friday I don't have time." And so . . . but we had the docket to keep, and we had to keep track of the opinions and which ones were . . . you know, what was happening to the different opinions, and who was doing what, and that was . . . was quite a chore, keeping track of everything. And, of course, as I say, I had to have them to keep track of them. And . . . and . . . and then, as the certs came in, they had to be sorted out and . . . to go into conference on Saturday . . . Saturday . . . originally it was Saturday, and then it got worked up to Friday. And . . . but when I first went there, Saturday was just another day. And so . . . but when Hughes was running the Court, the conference on Saturday was from 12:00 to 4:30, just the same as the Court was. And it stopped at 4:30. But then when Stone came and he let the justices enlarge on their opinions, it sometimes took longer than that. And . . . but then, of course, I took care of all of Justice Reed's correspondence and . . . and whatever. Typed the opinion. GILSON: I remember some of those . . . some of those wonderful form letters that used to come out of that office. For instance, when somebody would write in asking for an autographed picture and you would write back and say, "I'm sorry, but, you know, Mr. Justice is all out of these pictures. But if you would secure one, I'm sure that he'd be glad to autograph it for you." Did you compose those? GAYLORD: No. GILSON: No. GAYLORD: Uh-uh. GILSON: He did? GAYLORD: Uh-uh. GILSON: I mean, . . . GAYLORD: Umhmm. Oh, I . . . I may have written some. I don't know that there was a . . . was any particular form letter that I had. Well, Justice Frankfurter would never give anyone a . . . a . . . a photograph. I . . . the reason I got one was Justice Reed had just ordered some new ones and so I said, "While you're sending them over, won't you send me one of Justice Frankfurter." And I said, "I'll pay you for it." "Oh," she said, "there'll be no charge." So, she just sent it over to me, the photographer. And so, I got it anyway. So, I don't know. I . . . it just seems to me I worked all the time. What else did I do? [chuckle--Gilson] I did everything. [laughs] GILSON: Yeah. I was really just kind of wondering . . . well, I . . . you said you typed the opinions and stuff. I was just wondering how you had the . . . the office organized? How things went over. GAYLORD: I . . . GILSON: . . . I mean, . . . GAYLORD: . . . well, there . . . GILSON: . . . there had to be a tidying force from year to year, . . . GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: . . . because the clerks would change. GAYLORD: Well, then you . . . you'd type the opinion and send it to the printer's, and it would come back and you had to check it. And if a law clerk was available, it was better to have him check, but sometimes they weren't available, so I checked it myself. Everyone said you can't do that, but I did it for years. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: And [laughing] . . . and . . . and . . . and then . . . and then they . . . and maybe there would be changes and you'd get another printing. And then they had to be circulated, and then you had to keep track of who returned them and what their vote was. And . . . and . . . and then there was, as I say, the docket that had to be done each week with all the cases that came up . . . would come up for conference. And . . . and . . . and for many years . . . you said you've seen the pretty red leather ones. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: They all had to be done by hand. Well, then some one [of] us got the brilliant idea it would be much simpler if we could type them, so they [chuckle] stopped the red leather and got the . . . just the loose-leaf, I guess they were . . . GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: . . . with the printed sheets. Took a little less time. GILSON: I missed a point. Getting back . . . getting . . . let's get back to the . . . to the justices for a second. Did . . . I guess in a . . . in a professional way, you knew Stanley Reed better than anybody else around there. GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: Did . . . did Reed like any justices better than other justices? I mean, he was cordial to everybody, . . . GAYLORD: Hmm. GILSON: . . . but were there some that maybe he really didn't . . . didn't really care for, that you can recall? GAYLORD: I can't recall any that he . . . that . . . that he didn't . . . that he . . . dislike is not the proper word, but that he, maybe, thought less of than some of the others. I don't . . . I don't recall any such feeling. GILSON: Umhmm. I guess he . . . well, of course, the . . . the general consensus that I have gotten from talking to people all week is that he . . . he thought highly of everybody . . . GAYLORD: Hmm. GILSON: . . . regardless. GAYLORD: Right. Umhmm. GILSON: But I was just wondering if . . . if . . . if you had any . . . any in- . . . indication to the contrary about that? GAYLORD: No. I know Felix came in frequently and . . . and they'd have these big arguments and they'd scream at each other, but I think he . . . he really liked Justice Frankfurter. I think he . . . he really admired him and thought he was extremely brilliant. But, I mean, they had differences of opinion, you know, and they'd have these big arguments but, you know, nothing would happen. [chuckle]. And . . . but . . . it's a little hard to remember that far back. [chuckle] GILSON: Yeah. I can believe that. Well, through the years, you two . . . you and Justice Reed, I guess, worked on a number of different ki-. . . types of . . . of cases. Maybe you could give me a little idea about the general way he went on some of them. For example, the New Deal cases, labor cases, government cases, things basically pre-war . . . GAYLORD: Well, most of those New Deal cases came up before we came on the bench, remember? GILSON: That's true. But, . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . I mean, there were some early on like the Milk Co-op cases. That was Royal Rock Cooperative [United States v. Rock Royal Cooperative, Inc.]. I mean, he was . . . he was kind of a government's man in many ways. GAYLORD: Hmm. Well, yes, because he was . . . he came to Washington with a tobacco growers' cooperative, so he was very much for cooperatives. GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: And he had that going on in Kentucky, and that's how he happened to come to Washington, who appointed him general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. Federal . . . GILSON: Federal Farm Board. GAYLORD: Federal Farm Board. GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: And so he . . . he thought cooperatives were great. And . . . I don't know. It would seem to me the boys could tell you more how he felt. I mean, I'm . . . GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: . . . not a lawyer and I don't know. GILSON: Umhmm. Well, I was thinking maybe you could just . . . since I . . . I guess that you would have been on some of these things or at least been privy to . . . to some of the things going on, other cases . . . well, the war cases with the war criminals. Speaking of which, was . . . were there any conflicts on the Court when Jackson went to try the war criminals in Nuremberg? It seems to me that we're . . . I'm . . . we're filtering some of that out. We're not too sure about that. GAYLORD: What . . . did you say if there were any conflicts on the Court? GILSON: Yeah. Well, not . . . not really, you know, fist fights or anything . . . GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: . . . but just . . . I mean, did . . . did . . . apparently not everybody thought it was right. And I'm . . . GAYLORD: Hmm. GILSON: . . . I'm wondering if . . . if Reed had an opinion on it? GAYLORD: He may have. If he did, I never heard him express it. I know that he was . . . he . . . I guess it was Eisenhower [who] appointed him to the . . . to the Civil Rights Committee . . . GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: . . . and he mulled that over for a couple of days and then he decided he couldn't do it. And . . . GILSON: Hmm! GAYLORD: . . . that it would be too much of a conflict with some of the cases that might be coming to the Court and he just couldn't do it. So he went over and told him, "No, thank you." And so whether he . . . he felt the same way about Jackson, I don't know. I never heard him express himself on that. GILSON: Yeah. Do you remember the pornography cases? GAYLORD: Yes. [chuckle] GILSON: I was . . . I was wondering about those because . . . well, and of course we've gone through them and they don't . . . they seem rather mild in comparison to . . . GAYLORD: What was the book that we had that was supposed to be so . . . such a bad book? Hecate County? GILSON: Uh-huh. GAYLORD: I think that came down per curiam. I don't think anybody wanted to write anything on that. But the book wasn't around . . . the few . . . the one chapter to which you could take exception was, you know, . . . that was apparently what they read. Well, if they read the whole book, which I did, this one chapter, in context, didn't . . . didn't mean anything. It fit in with the rest of the book. But if you just read that one thing, you could become pretty incensed, I presume. GILSON: Perhaps. I . . . [chuckle--Gaylord] I didn't read . . . GAYLORD: And there was . . . GILSON: . . . the book. GAYLORD: . . . there was a picture. [chuckle] What was that picture? I remember I went to see it. I've forgotten. It's just . . . I can't remember. That, I thought, was pretty silly. I don't know how anybody could be up- . . . incensed about that. GILSON: Getting back to the civil rights thing. He had some . . . there were some civil rights cases that came along. How . . . well, Reed being from the South was . . . of course, he realized the predicament that the states were in. How did he feel about a lot of the cases . . . a lot of the ways that Court went on . . . on the cases? Of course, the . . . the landmark comes to mind, that's the Brown case [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka]. GAYLORD: Yeah. Well, I don't know, frankly. I often wondered. [chuckle] GILSON: Did he draft any . . . any dissents or any concurrences to that case? GAYLORD: No one did. GILSON: Yeah. I know no one published one, but . . . GAYLORD: Well, I . . . GILSON: . . . how about . . . GAYLORD: . . . think any time there was any . . . any dissension, they met in conference. I don't think there was ever anything written about it. GILSON: Hmm. You mean, they just hacked it out . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . orally and then . . . GAYLORD: It had . . . it had to be unanimous. GILSON: Umhmm. Yeah. I . . . I think every . . . GAYLORD: And . . . GILSON: . . . member of the Court realized that. GAYLORD: Yeah. And I don't think there was ever anything . . . there were a couple of opinions that came down from time to time, but . . . but . . . but there wasn't any . . . there weren't any memos floating around, you know, as there would be among other cases. And . . . GILSON: Well, . . . he's . . . I don't know, he . . . he seemed to have a hard time with that case. I don't . . . talking to the other clerks, it seems he really agonized over it. Not so much because he didn't believe in it, but more that he . . . by the way, who wrote the mandate? Do you remember the mandate came down the year after the opinion? GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: Who wrote that? I don't . . . I don't know. Was that . . . GAYLORD: I don't remember. GILSON: You don't remember? Okay. Well, we can move on. It's not really . . . GAYLORD: Okay. As I said, these . . . these are all legal things. I mean, the . . . I'm sure the clerks could tell you more about that than I could. GILSON: When did the justice . . . well, first of all, le-. . . let me . . . let me backtrack a little bit from this. When did he first realize that he should start to diet, start to . . . to . . . to reduce? I mean, he lost quite a lot of weight in quite a short time. GAYLORD: Oh, yes, that. Well, he . . . his blood pressure went up, and I think that was when he went down to Duke [University]. And . . . GILSON: Did it . . . GAYLORD: . . . and the . . . GILSON: . . . like go up over the course of the year, or . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . had it been slowly . . . GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: . . . rising since he . . . GAYLORD: And it was getting too high, and he went down there and this Doctor Durham . . . a doctor . . . well, whatever his name was . . . in Durham. I knew a Doctor Durham [chuckle] at one time, that's why I'm [chuckle] . . . Anyway, he put him on this . . . this rice diet. And, of course, when . . . [chuckling] no one was supposed to know where he was. So then, the justice one day being bored, went into the court in town and listened to some cases and, of course, everyone recognized him [laughter] in that court. It got in the paper. So then everyone knew that he was down there taking this rice diet and . . . which was for people who were usually on their last legs, you know, . . . GILSON: Umhmm. GAYLORD: . . . and they had all sorts of rumors about it. And . . . but it was his own fault for getting out because he didn't have to go and listen to that case in court, but he did. And . . . but he . . . he lost a lot of weight, and he kept his weight down after that by himself. And it . . . every once in a while he'd go down to be checked out. But he was convinced it was important and so he . . . he went through the regimen and took care of it. GILSON: When did he first speak for retiring? GAYLORD: Beg your pardon? GILSON: When did . . . when did he first speak of retiring or of thinking of retiring? GAYLORD: Well, when he went on the Court he informed me that he was going to retire when he was seventy. He felt that was long enough. GILSON: In 1938 he said that. GAYLORD: Umhmm. And . . . well then, it got to be that time and that was when the Brown case was . . . so, he didn't retire then for two years after that. And the only reason he retired was because he had just decided that was long enough. That he didn't think that anyone should be on . . . be . . . or should be on the Court after they reached that age. GILSON: Umhmm. Did he . . . well, I mean, we look at two of his contemporaries . . . or three of his contemporaries on the Court at the time, Black, Douglas, and Frankfurter, and they all stayed on way late. GAYLORD: Indefinitely, yeah. GILSON: Did . . . did . . . did he think they were foolish for doing that, or . . . GAYLORD: Oh, I'm sure he did because he . . . as I say, he had very strong feelings about the length of time a . . . a person should stay. And not only that, but he had very strong feelings that when you get to a certain age, you're not as keen as you were when . . . at seventy as you were when you were fifty. And . . . which I . . . is true. I know that. [laughter] GILSON: Why did he wait? This . . . this is going to sound like a facetious question and I guess it is. Why did he wait until January of 1957? That seems like such an unlikely time to me to announce retirement. He could have done it in `56. GAYLORD: Well, we came on in January of `38. GILSON: Okay. Sure. I'm . . . I'm . . . I'm working at it from two angles. GAYLORD: Hmm. GILSON: First of all, okay, I can see why he wanted to wait until after the . . . GAYLORD: Umhmm. GILSON: . . . Brown decision was over with. Why didn't . . . immediately after that were over with or at the end of the term or whatever, just kind of s- . . . bid farewell? Instead he waits until January of `37. He could have waited till--I mean, `57, excuse me--he could have waited until the end of the term. GAYLORD: Hmm. I don't know. I never figured that out myself. [laughter] GILSON: I said it was a facetious question, didn't I? GAYLORD: You did. [laughs] But that was when he wanted to do it. [chuckle] GILSON: Do you think he would have retired sooner if . . . if it had been a Democrat in the White House? GAYLORD: I don't know. GILSON: Purely speculation? GAYLORD: Why, yeah. GILSON: Okay. Now we get to the fun part. GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: Let me . . . we're running out of time on this side, too. Tell me about the law clerks. GAYLORD: Oh, dear. [laughs] What can I tell you about the law clerks? [laughter] GILSON: Well, I . . . there's just . . . really just . . . you know, there's a half a dozen or so points that I'd . . . I'd like to . . . to cover. Of course, they started out with just one and then went to two. GAYLORD: We had one for ten years and then . . . and after that we had two. And . . . GILSON: Who was your favorite law clerk? GAYLORD: I've already told you [chuckle]: Byron Kabot. GILSON: Byron Kabot. GAYLORD: [chuckle] Because for years the justice said that if they wanted to . . . to get anyplace with me, they'd have to be as good as Byron was. [laughter] That was his standard remark when they took them on. And . . . but others of them were . . . were delightful. I . . . I enjoyed all of them with one exception, but we won't go into that. I don't [chuckle--Gilson] like to talk about people. And George Mickum's my good lawyer now. GILSON: Oh, yeah? GAYLORD: Yeah. Well, George . . . George and I became very friendly because he'd . . . he'd come by on . . . on Tuesday and--he just lived up here--and he'd come by on Tuesday and ride in with me and then . . . and then he'd come by on Saturday and . . . and pick me up so my sister could have our car. And so we got to be very friendly. And so I had to have an operation in the fall and my will was completely no good, because . . . well, my dear friend George Houston, who was in the library [inaudible]. Oh, he was always so great and he helped we . . . me with so many things and . . . and . . . on the Court and . . . and then he helped me personally. And . . . and he had drawn my will, and he was the executor. Well, of course, you know, it wasn't any good anymore. So, it needed to be done over anyway. So, I called George and went in and he had one of the girls in his place who does that fix it up for me. And so then he witnessed it. Well, the girls were very much impressed. And I said, "Well, that's nothing. One that I had before this," I said, "John Pickering signed." [laughing] And so then they were impressed. So, John was with Justice Murphy for several years and he was . . . we were very good friends. And then Jack Fassett, we were . . . we were always very friendly. And, of course, Gordon [Davidson], I love Gordon. And . . . and Joel Kozol. And when . . . when . . . after we started getting two, I thought, "Wouldn't it terrible if we got two who didn't get along." And . . . you know, and Gordon came in. Well, obviously, Gordon Davidson was only one thing, you know. [chuckle] GILSON: I'm afraid we're going to have to change the tape here. GAYLORD: Okay. GILSON: But we'll continue. [End of Tape 1, Side 2] [Beginning of Tape 2, Side 1] GAYLORD: Well, then Rod [Roderick M. Hills] came on the . . . the . . . in October before the justice retired. And . . . no. He was with us the year before that. He was with us the year before that for . . . GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: . . . the whole term. And he was a darling child but he was spoiled rotten. I had a terrible time with him. [chuckle--Gilson] So when he left, I talked to him like a grandmother. And so then the justice asked to come back for this half term, you know, until he was going to retire. But we were still very . . . we're still very good friends. [laughing] But [laughing] oh, I had such a time with him and . . . but, as I say, he was just an adorable child. And . . . and . . . and then Lee [Manley] Hudson came on that year and his . . . GILSON: Tell me . . . tell me about Lee Hudson. GAYLORD: Hmm? GILSON: I have Lee . . . Lee Hudson in my notes, for some reason. I . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. Well, Lee was . . . Lee was . . . of course, his father had been a professor at Harvard and then he was with the Paris- -what was that court in Paris, you know. Peace Court or something that they had in . . . in Paris. And his father was there, and so Lee was there. And so Lee came with us, and then he stayed on with . . . with Justice Whittaker. Well, of course, I . . . I'm a Yankee myself and know how New England people are. So, for . . . I think it was s- . . . six weeks at least, all Lee ever said to me was "Good morning," and "Good night." But then after he went with Justice Whittaker, he'd come around, he'd plop down on the big chair in my room and tell me about his love life and, "What'll I do next?" [laughter] he'd say. And . . . he was a doll. And . . . and he is the only clerk that I have ever known who picked up his Fulbright [scholarship], you know. GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: In school, you . . . you usually can get a Fulbright or you come to the Court. You don't get both, you know. If you don't take the Fulbright, too bad. But Lee came to the Court and then he picked up his Fulbright and went to Paris. GILSON: That's right, he did. GAYLORD: And he's the only one I have ever known who was . . . who did that. And so he was in Paris and then he was in Brussels, and now he's in London with this . . . this firm. I guess their main offices are in New York, but they have branch offices in London and he's there. And he married a very nice French girl. And I was in London a few years ago, and he asked me over for a drink and . . . and we had a great time. Charming and smart as all get out. And . . . well, as I say, he's the only one I've ever known who has ever been able to come to the Court and then pick up his Fulbright. And so . . . all the rest of them, they're all nice boys. Boyden Gray. I think he has . . . I think he has a cigarette lighter of mine. [chuckle]. At the . . . at the Hill, Carla made me go over and sit down and she said, "Let people come to you." And so he . . . Boyden came over and was talking with me and he lit a cigarette, and either he put it down on the table or he put it in his pocket, you know. Anyway, when I got home I didn't have my cigarette lighter. I've never called him. Of course, if I did, you know, they'd buy one and send it to me, which is ridiculous except that it was a gift and I would have liked to have it. And . . . GILSON: Well, was it a good lighter. [chuckle] I mean, . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. It was a very . . . GILSON: Oh. GAYLORD: . . . good lighter. GILSON: Oh, okay. GAYLORD: A terrific lighter. And . . . Stuart Pollak I liked very much. He's in California. He wrote me the most beautiful letter when I was sick. George sent out a general alarm, and I got letters and cards and flowers from practically all of them. And . . . and Stuart wrote me the most beautiful letter and I ha-. . . I still have it up on my desk because I . . . someday, when I feel just right, I want to . . . but it's one of those letters that needs to come out just right, you know. GILSON: Umhmm. Yeah. GAYLORD: And . . . and, of course, George Cochran was from Maysville. GILSON: Umhmm. Yeah. GAYLORD: You knew that. GILSON: Yeah. When he was . . . GAYLORD: I don't know where he . . . GILSON: . . . he spent most of his life in . . . in North Carolina, I think, didn't he? GAYLORD: Yeah. And I don't know where he is now. No one seems to know what ever happened to George. GILSON: Really? GAYLORD: Hmm? GILSON: You mean, he's not . . . he's not where he's listed on the . . . he's not at the University of Mississippi? GAYLORD: No. GILSON: Ha! GAYLORD: No, I think he's back in North Carolina. And he's divorced. And I don't know. I keep expecting him to bang on my door someday. [chuckle--Gilson] See, he was . . . he was really wild. And . . . well, Arthur Rosett was . . . was a nice little guy. He's out at the University of . . . GILSON: Yeah, at U.C.L.A. [University of California at Los Angeles]. GAYLORD: . . . at U.C.L.A. And . . . and a friend of mine and I went to Hawaii, and we came back through Los Angeles, and . . . and I called him. Well, they had just moved there and they had two little children, neither of whom had been to Disneyland yet, so it was wouldn't we like to go Di-. . . well, I said, "That would be great to go with kids," you know. I mean, otherwise I don't think it would have interested me. And that . . . it was more fun being with those children, you know. And the little boy . . . the . . . the little . . . they must have told him, you know, that they should stay . . . we should all stay together. Well, of course, it's crowded, you know. Millions of people. Well, little . . . the little one, I don't know what his name was--I have in mind it was David, it doesn't matter--and he became misplaced. So Arthur went back looking for him, and these people . . . this elderly couple had him, and they kept saying, "He keeps saying his name is Rosett." And Arthur said, "That's right." [chuckle] And so he gathered him up. Well, the poor child was in tears. He was just a little guy. And . . . but Arthur didn't say one word to him. He just gathered him up and he took him back and everything was fine. And . . . because he was distressed enough that he had become misplaced. And they were very nice people. I liked them. GILSON: Now these clerks, after . . . after the retirement, of course, they . . . they only worked part-time for Justice Reed. GAYLORD: Well, . . . GILSON: Right? GAYLORD: . . . just at first they seemed to work for Justice Reed most of the time because he was so busy, you know. He was . . . he was working on both the Court of Appeals and the Court of Claims. Well then, you know, when he gave up with the Court of Appeals because they had their own senior justices who had retired, and so . . . but he . . . he was still busy all the time. So, up through . . . well, I don't you know, I guess up through Boyden Gray and then the next one was David Hanes. And I think about then was when things began to simmer down. And . . . because I don't know any of the rest of these. Of course, I retired in `69. Dave Hanes was the last one I knew. But, as I say, by this time he wasn't doing much, which is why I retired, because I . . . I just wasn't doing anything, and I couldn't see any point in just sitting there not doing anything. And . . . GILSON: True. GAYLORD: . . . and . . . GILSON: Who took over the secretarial duties after you retired? There was . . . GAYLORD: Well, they had a . . . although by this time they had a secretarial pool. GILSON: Yeah. GAYLORD: That's another thing we didn't have when I first [chuckle] went there. All these things that have happened since, you know. And so there were . . . you know, there's always someone to . . . to do the typing if any was necessary. And then Ross stayed on for two years after I did. I was unhappy about that because I . . . he . . . he wasn't well, and then he became ill and had to leave. And so they called every hour on the hour and wanted to know something. [chuckle] "What do I do now?" [laughter] And . . . oh, well. I have a set of books upstairs which I've [been] trying to get Rod to come over and look at, which I think you should have in the book fund. GILSON: Oh, yeah? What about? What are they? GAYLORD: I don't know. You . . . you may already have one, if . . . in which event you wouldn't want another. It's a set that my father got of messages and papers of the presidents. GILSON: Hmm. I don't . . . I don't think . . . well, I don't . . . GAYLORD: Of course, . . . GILSON: . . . know about the rest of the library. I know that . . . GAYLORD: Yeah. GILSON: . . . I don't think there's one in our collection. GAYLORD: I'd be glad to give them to the collection. GILSON: We'll look into that. We'll look into that a little later. Well, let me . . . let me see what else can I co-. . . Oh, how was the . . . how was the Reeds' social life throughout the . . . throughout the thing? I figured you'd know more about that because invitations would come in and you'd see them. GAYLORD: I didn't . . . I didn't do the social secretary bit. Mrs. Reed took care of that herself. But they managed to go someplace every night. GILSON: Every night? GAYLORD: And . . . I know that if the justice was going out to dinner, he'd leave the Court at a quarter of eight, and I would say, "I think your dinner engagement's at eight o'clock." "That's all right." He could apparently get changed into evening clothes faster than anybody I've ever heard of. Be-. . . [laughing] . . . he . . . he . . . GILSON: Well, would he change at the Court, or would he run . . . GAYLORD: No. GILSON: . . . back to the Mayflower? GAYLORD: No, he'd go back to the Mayflower and take it from there. And . . . but they . . . Mrs. Reed liked to go, and she liked parties, so they went. GILSON: She must have been quite a social animal. GAYLORD: Beg your pardon? GILSON: She must have been quite a . . . a social animal, quite a social person. GAYLORD: Oh, yeah. Umhmm. GILSON: Of course, every indication we get says that over and over again. I can ask you this question. You might know this better than anybody. How did the annual law clerk dinners come about? They started out . . . well, who was it, [Bennett] Boskey said they didn't really have them when he was on the Court. GAYLORD: Well, no, he was only the third one. GILSON: Uh-huh. I . . . I guess they started . . . well, they'd have to have started sometime. GAYLORD: I don't know. It seems to me . . . I don't know exactly when they did start. I think what happened, I was in the [inaudible] [chuckle] and then they had them each year, and they'd have the dinner someplace with just the boys, and then the Reeds would have the boys and their wives for lunch the next day. To lunch. And I got invited to that. And . . . and then, finally . . . oh, I don't know, along toward the end, someone decided that the wives should come to the dinner as well, so they did. But that . . . that was just the last two or three that they had. And, oh, by this time they were getting pretty big, you know, and . . . and . . . and it was getting sort of confusing. Up till then I always knew the names of the wives. Some . . . along the last two or three, I got confused because wives had changed. [chuckle] And so . . . but I . . . I don't know. I think it was . . . it was probably just as well that they had just the boys and the justice. They probably wanted to talk about things that . . . that otherwise they wouldn't, maybe, if the wives were there. GILSON: Legal matters or otherwise? GAYLORD: Yeah. Yeah. Of course, Shirley Boskey's a lawyer and, of course, Carla Hills is, too. [chuckle] And so . . . but it was always very nice to . . . to see them all. GILSON: Umhmm. Well, I think that's about all I wanted to cover. If you have anything else you'd care to add, feel free. GAYLORD: No, I can't . . . it seems to me [chuckling] I've done an awful lot of talking. I can't think of anything else that . . . GILSON: Well, all right. I thank you very much, Miss Gaylord. GAYLORD: Well, you're very welcome. [End of Interview] Helen Gaylord, Justice Reed's former secretary, begins by describing Reed's personality. Next, she discusses his relationships with fellow Justices Felix Frankfurter, Sherman Minton, Robert Jackson, Harlan Stone, Thomas Clark, William Douglas, Earl Warren, James McReynolds, Louis Brandeis, Warren Burger, and Fred Vinson. She explains how she managed the justice's office and helped to supervise the clerks. Other topics mentioned include Reed's rice diet, his retirement and his opinion on the length of a justice's tenure, his work with cooperatives, the book Memoirs of Hecate County and the controversy surrounding it, and the Fair Labor Act. Kentucky Politics