Thomas Doty – Storyteller
1965: Bank Opening in Jacksonville
On a side note, I've always had an interesting connection to Jacksonville. My first schooling was near Jacksonville in a converted barn called Miss Pat's Kindergarten and Dance Studio, and when I was in high school I was cast as an extra in the Jacksonville filming of The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid. I know I'm in that movie somewhere but have never been able to spot myself.
In the early 1970s, long-haired and wild-eyed, I worked briefly as a fire truck driver for the Forest Service at Starr Ranger Station a few miles past Jacksonville in the Applegate Valley. At 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I was on a fire call and ripped through Jacksonville at a pretty good clip. I was on my way to the station to get the fire rig and was in my own car, a green 1963 VW beetle with oversized tires and a Love Bug sticker on the back. With no one in sight in town, I ran the stop sign doing 40 miles an hour over the speed limit, and was pulled over by Frank Carter. As he waddled up to my car, convinced he had this long-haired hippy firmly in his legal grasp, he asked me rather sarcastically (I kid you not!), "Where's the fire, Sonny?" I told him Blackwell Hill, flashed him my official ID, and the most amazing thing happened: he gave me a police escort all the way to the fire station!