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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Icy Norman, April 6 and 30, 1979. Interview H-0036. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Seeing homeless people in New York City

Norman remembers a depressing trip to New York City. A bus driver took a wrong turn that brought her to a bad part of town. She remembers homeless people sleeping in the street.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Icy Norman, April 6 and 30, 1979. Interview H-0036. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ICY NORMAN:
This man, we went down one place, back kind of, I don't know if you've been on that street or not, but the bus made a wrong turn. It was a raining. And people was just laying on the street. Just laying in the road and on the street. I says, "Well what's the matter with them?" Preacher Wilson says, "I don't know unless they must have been drinking something and got drunk." This man that was announcing on the bus, telling us each building and, he says, "No, what you see out there, the bus driver made a wrong turn. We wasn't intending to bring you all down this way. What you see out there is people that's on this dope. They took too much and they passed out." One of the men spoke up and says, "Why don't they put them in jail?" He says, "You know, we've got 15,000 policemen in New York. And every jail we got is running over. And we ain't got nowhere to put them. We just leave them a laying out." You know, it was pitiful. Some of them was just laying across one another. Some of them, maybe three or four, laying on top of one another, just cross ways. It was just pitiful. The bus driver says, "I'm sorry I made the wrong turn. I have to go down this way now before I can get on my right route." And he passed this main building where all the executives and all, and he explained it to us. If I had known it see, I could have got to go in there. I didn't know it until later I retired.