Tipton Anderson PhD Black Man and Dead Man
For purposes of protecting privacy I have changed the name of this man. This is an interview that has occurred over many years. Yet, his story is worth telling. I will condense it as if it was an interview.
“Hello Mr. Anderson. How are you today?” I ask.
“Fine Just fine.” replies Mr. Anderson. He should be addressed as doctor because of his degree but prefers mister.
“Mr. Anderson will you please explain how we know each other for the establishing our relationship.” I say.
“You came out and helped me without my asking one day at the grocery store. I know how busy pharmacists are. That impressed me. So I checked your prices and changed over to your pharmacy. I am glad I did. You are my pharm-cist druggist as we older ones say.” states Mr. Anderson.
“Mr. Tipton what state are you from and what did your parents do?” I ask as my first question.
“My parents were sharecroppers and I was born in Mississippi. I picked cotton as soon as I could. My whole family did” pride shows on Mr. Anderson’s face as he talks. He is a soft spoken man that really never boasts. You too can hear the tone of pride.
“Where did you get your PhD?” I ask.
“I went to Washington University in St. Louis.” Said Mr. Anderson
“Wow. I bet that was hard being a black man in the depression. I told Rev. Smith the other day that stealing is hard to justify. He said how about a mother that is trying to feed her family. I said that is a hard one but then I thought of you and your wife having your degrees and getting them during the depression and being black. I so admire you. It could not have been easy. How did you get your money for school?
“I ran a pool hall and worked long hours there. My wife did all kinds of work.” Mr. Anderson says. This time his expression gets serious. “You know Sandra people today don’t want to work hard. I mean really hard. I know you do because we have talked. Your father made sure you knew what it was like to work hard from a child. But so many do not get this at all. You raise your children the way your father did you! HEAR ME!”
“YES SIR. I hear you. I intend to just that.” I let him know I respected his age and elder authority in a way. I go on to ask, “How and when did you meet your wife?”
Mr. Anderson beams with life again. “I meet her in a class. I knew from the first time I saw her that I was going to marry her. I would court her the proper way. I did and we married after we both finished our PhD. Now we have been married almost seventy years. Sandra that is true love. Don’t settle for anything less.”
“Mr. Anderson, what brought to Guthrie, Oklahoma?” I was really curious. He could have gone a number of places but he chose here.
“Originally it was Langston University. We both taught there. I ended up being the principal of the black high’s school in Guthrie. Then when the schools were integrated; I was the first black principal of the high school. I had no trouble with the whites or blacks. If either one needed a spanking I did it.” Says Mr. Anderson.
“When did you retire and what do you do now? What are your hobbies?” This is my next question.
“We spread our time between hear and Palm Springs. We do all sorts of things. I love golf. My wife loves to shop. We really only come back here to check on family and go to the doctor and take care of the house and bills. Of course to see our little pharmacist that makes sure we take our medication right and won’t let me fill our medication twice. Remember that time you told me to go home and find my medication? You said I could get it again but why spend the extra money?”
I shake my head yes. “It is always easy to wait on you. I like being able to do real pharmacy stuff when you come in. Instead of just being forced to go non-stop rush rush. You know how we are backed up so often. Thanks for the interview.”