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Title: Oral History Interview with Julia Virginia Jones, October 6, 1997. Interview J-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Jones, Julia Virginia, interviewee
Interview conducted by Friedman, Nancy Sara
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
Size of electronic edition: 240 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2006-00-00, Celine Noel and Wanda Gunther revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2006-05-22, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of sound recording: Oral History Interview with Julia Virginia Jones, October 6, 1997. Interview J-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series J. Legal Professions. Southern Oral History Program Collection (J-0072)
Author: Nancy Sara Friedman
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Julia Virginia Jones, October 6, 1997. Interview J-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series J. Legal Professions. Southern Oral History Program Collection (J-0072)
Author: Julia Virginia Jones
Description: 321 Mb
Description: 101 p.
Note: Interview conducted on October 6, 1997, by Nancy Sara Friedman; recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series J. Legal Professions, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Julia Virginia Jones, October 6, 1997.
Interview J-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Jones, Julia Virginia, interviewee


Interview Participants

    JULIA VIRGINIA JONES, interviewee
    NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 2
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You were born August 30, 1948 in Shelby, North Carolina. Did you know your grandparents?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I was very fortunate, both sets of my grandparents, lived in Shelby. In fact they lived across the street from each other, and all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins lived within about a mile of each other. So, I had a very large extended family. We walked back and forth to each other's houses. Spent the night. Very much of a community. I even knew my great grandparents. One on each side. My great grandmother on my father's side, and my great grandfather on my mother's side. So, I was very fortunate to have a long family history, and lots of great aunts and uncles too.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What do you remember most about your grandparents?

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, my great grandfather was quite a business man. Always dressed up in his suit, even when he was in his 80s. Fairly formal. I don't have any real . . . . We were kind of dressed up in our Sunday clothes when we went to see him, so most of my memories are sort of formal showing off the grandchildren type thing. Now my grandfather on my father's side lived to be 99, and he also everyday would get up and shave, and put on a coat and tie and go sit in the living room. This was after he was blind and deaf, but people came to visit him because he was a very very interesting person. He was often on the wrong side of the law. I don't think I learned any or had any ideas about going into law because of him. He, because of some good lawyers, did not go to prison over some business deals but he was quite an interesting character.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Do you remember particular instances, or is that pretty much the broad picture?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I don't remember any particular instances.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, your grandparents - you said that you all lived in the same . . . ..
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I will tell one tale on my grandfather. My grandfather was charged with tax evasion by the federal government. In fact, Mr. Thigpen, the senior from Charlotte, and Guy _____ were his lawyers because Guy was his cousin

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too and that is how things went back then. This was in about 1950 - in the 50s - and I knew that the government took all of my grandfather's money, and I knew he didn't go to prison, but I never knew why he didn't go to prison. Now remember this happened in the 50s. Well, my grandfather died in 92, at the age of 99, and I asked one of my cousins. I said, I always knew about grand daddy and the tax boys. Anyhow he didn't think you had to pay taxes if you earned it in a different county, but what I never knew was why he didn't - how they kept him out of prison. My cousin said, "Well, don't you know that he had a bad heart and they convinced the judge that he would surely have died immediately if he had gone to prison." Of course he lived 40 more years after that. So, that's kind of the story of my grandfather.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, you saw your grandparents as both grandparents and as sons and daughters, was that an interesting role for you to see?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, a little bit, particularly watching my grandmother take care of her mother-in-law who lived there. This is the same grandmother of the grandfather that got into tax trouble.
She worked outside of the home. She worked as a sales clerk in the 30s which was very very unusual, and she worked for the Jewish family that had the clothing store. There were, to my memory, maybe two Jewish families in

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Shelby and one of them had a clothing store, and she worked for him. That was very unusual for her to have been working outside the home. She also was a registrar at the precinct for voting. Was very active in the community, and very active politically. I have always thought that I got some of my political interest from my grandmother, Florence, because she was always out in the community and I think what both she and her husband taught me was that community is important, and again, even though my grandfather got into trouble, he was also in the Rotary, the Jaycees, and did a lot of civic things. And my grandmother, as I say, worked outside the home; also worked as a registrar, and the other thing that they did that was a little bit unique was they always worked at the county fair. Shelby had the largest county fair in the United States. It was started by Dr. Dorton, the same person that the Dorton Arena is named for. He is a veterinarian who was from Shelby, and he started the North Carolina State Fair as well as our local fair and my grandmother always worked as a judge of the pies, cakes and jellies at the fair. At Christmas, we had a ritual. They always bought the prize winning country ham, and every Christmas eve we had the same menu. We had country ham, rice, green beans, pound cake and cheese biscuits. Now, another thing that I found out about my grandmother later on, was that she did not always make that pound cake. It was her recipe (Here comes the train by my house. We are going to have to stop until the train goes by.) Anyway, many years later I

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found out that Granny Florence didn't make those pound cakes. She paid somebody to make them for her, and somehow I liked her even better to think that I had this grandmother who could choose whether to be in the kitchen or not. Not that being in the kitchen is not great; I love to cook, but she could choose, and if she would rather be out working at the store, she would have somebody make the pound cake.
My other grandmother, who I am named for, Julia, was just the opposite. She was a complete homebody. Her job was to be the perfect homemaker and she was. She had two separate rose gardens to cut from. In the front yard those were the flowers for the people who walked by to see. The cutting garden was in the back yard, and when my grandfather plowed for the vegetable garden, he plowed about four or five rows that were planted with nothing but flowers to cut. So, there were fresh flowers in every room, every day. Meals were, as you can imagine, country breakfast, because before breakfast we had been up picking vegetables since 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning in the summer, and would come in and eat sausage and liver mush and baked apples and sliced tomatoes always in the summer. And eggs and grits and biscuits. Lunch was generally two meats, corn bread, biscuits, and five or six vegetables, and then supper was usually cold. Leftovers from lunch, but quite a feast.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Did you go there often for breakfast?

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Oh yes, because my father . . . .. it's real funny, this was his father-in-law, but my father was very interested in picking the vegetables and so usually daddy and I would go pick vegetables and then have breakfast with my grandma.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, that was the grandmother Julia that you were named after - that was your father's side?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Mother's side. It is very confusing because my father was very active with my mother's parents. My father was the caretaker of the older generation. He took care of his parents; he took care of my mother's parents; he took care of the great aunts and uncles. He was a caretaker. He dropped dead of a heart attack at age 48, and sometimes we think it's because he just took care of too many people, but he was the caretaker for everyone.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, did he know your mother when they were growing up? Did they grow up in Shelby?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
They grew up together, and knew each other, but they really didn't start courting until after the war - until after World War II. Mother had finished college, and

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came back and daddy was working. Even though my grandparents lived across the street when I was growing up, they didn't when my parents were little. So, they didn't really start, even though they knew each other, they didn't start dating until after the war. Then they got married, and had four children—
—and daddy died in 1971. Mother, at that time, was also 48. I had graduated from college, but I had a sister who was a sophomore at Chapel Hill, a sister who was in high school, and a brother who was 14. Mother basically worked minimum wage at the hospital as a volunteer coordinator, and with social security put the rest of the kids through school. So, she certainly was an influence in my life, that you can do what you want to do through hard work. I think, also, the fact that my father died suddenly, influenced me. I've talked to my two sisters about this. Both of my sisters worked outside of the home for a long time. They are now raising children, but one was a banker for about ten years, and the other sold real estate. We all agreed, we realized that when daddy died that even if you were happily married that was no guarantee of someone to take care of you.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
I'm just going to bring you back a little bit, just to talk more about your dad. Did he go to college?

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
He went two years to Western Carolina. He played football. He was on a football scholarship, but in 1942 he joined the navy and he was a bomber pilot. He flew off of aircraft carriers, and according to my uncles he was quite a hero. That he made many hits. He only landed in the ocean once, and they laugh about it I guess because he got out alright. He did not talk about the war, and I couldn't decide whether he didn't talk about it because his three oldest children were girls and he just didn't know how to talk to girls or what, and the reason I say that is that when I started going out with a man who was in the navy, my father talked to him about it, but he did not talk to us. But my favorite story about daddy . . . In the service, if you grow up in Shelby there's not a lot to do, so you learn how to play cards. It's a big card town. I learned to play bridge when I was in about the fifth grade, and play bridge every hot summer afternoon from 1-3 until I graduated from high school. Mother even taught bridge to supplement her income at one time. Daddy taught me how to play poker, of course. So they tell the story they are on the aircraft carrier, and it is hot down in the quarters down below. So, they are not in uniform. Basically they've got their skivvies on. So, they are sitting around the table playing poker, and daddy is winning big time and he keeps winning and people drop out, and they drop down to two people - daddy and one other man, and daddy basically cleans house. So, the next morning they get up to go up on deck, and it turns out that the man that daddy took all his money was his

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commanding officer, and so he got a lot of grief from his cohorts about taking all the money from his commanding officer and what kind of duty he would get. Of course, nobody knew it the night before because they didn't have on their uniforms. My father was fun. He would get down on the floor and ride us piggy back. Very much a presence in our lives. He sold real estate, and just about the time he died had become successful. He had struggled financially before then, and as I say he also spent a lot of time taking care of people. He was president of the Jaycees. President of the Rotary. He helped get the merry-go-round for the park, and different things like that, but unfortunately died at age 48.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You said that he had some financial difficulties career wise when you were growing up. How did that affect the way that you were raised?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
We were land poor. Particularly on my mother's side there is a tremendous amount of land. As I mentioned, my grandfather was quite a business man, and he had bought up a lot of property that was very valuable where they put a new road, and of course that brought in new business. When he died the land was, of course, still there and so we had all this property. Huge farms, but we didn't have much money, and we all had nice houses. That was the other thing. My grandparents lived on this side, my mother's side, in a mansion because they

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bought this back when they had a bunch of money, in the 40s, and my parents built a very nice little brick ranch house. So, I always felt like I had enough money, but we weren't rich and I couldn't have Weejans. I had to wear what Penney's sold. I remember when I got my first Villager sweater when I was a junior in high school. I had earned the money working in a jewelry store, but I never felt deprived because we certainly had plenty of food because we had these huge gardens and farms and my grandmother cooked and baked. But I knew it was a struggle for my father, and I knew that when I went to college that I wanted to go to a small woman's college because in the 60s that was . . . First of all, Chapel Hill didn't let women in unless you were going to be a nurse, and I didn't particularly want to be a nurse at that point in time. So, I wanted to go to a small woman's college, but I made up my mind that I had to have a scholarship that would pay the same amount as if I was going to a state supported school like UNC-G which was women's college at that time. So, it really influenced me about money. The other thing was, I always had a job. I had my first job when I was fourteen, and that was my first job I should say outside of the home. I'll talk about what I did before that in a few minutes. When I was fourteen I worked at a grocery store and I was too young, the law wouldn't let me handle money, but I could weigh out penny candy, wrap presents, stock the shelves, and that's what I did the Christmas I was fourteen. Then after that I worked in a jewelry store from

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Thanksgiving to Christmas every year until I graduated from college. Before I was fourteen, from the time I was about ten, I sold vegetables out of my grandfather's garden. Daddy and I would go pick in the morning before breakfast. I would put them in my bicycle basket and go up and down the street selling them. Of course they were delicious, and of course because they had been picked that morning my grandfather made me give thirteen ears of corn for every dozen, and an extra tomato for every pound. So, I got such a reputation that people would start calling the night before and place orders and so the next morning I would pick and bag and they would come pick it up. That's how I made my money to go to summer camp, because I also always wanted to go to summer camp but my family couldn't afford that. So, I sold vegetables until I graduated from college too, and my sisters and brothers kind of took over as we went along. I never bought a vegetable or a fruit, in the grocery store, until I was over 30. It was a rude awakening to have to go buy produce, because even when I was married and lived in Boone, my grandfather would pack the station wagon with everything from June apples, to sweet potatoes, to onions, to tomatoes and drive the two hours to Boone to bring us our vegetables for the month, and he would come up a couple times in the summer when my husband and I lived there.

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NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
How did you balance picking the vegetables and selling them, and then still going to school?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, I only did that in the summer. In the winter I only worked between Thanksgiving and Christmas, after school, at the jewelry store. I did not work full-time during school. I studied a lot. I was lucky that we had a very good high school. At the time I didn't think so, but we did. School was important. My mother really valued education, and that was very very clear. I think, she had a college degree and somehow she thought it was important that her daughters, as well as her son, have a college degree. So, there was never any question about going to college. Now, I wasn't quite sure why, because you got married and raised children, and I didn't quite understand why you went to college I just knew you did.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, did your mom work?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
She started working when I was in high school, and she worked as a social worker which was her training. She did that through a government program with Richard Nixon, of all presidents. I don't think people remember kind of how much money there was for social programs during that era, but it did dry up and after that she

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went to work for the hospital. So, I always worked at some entrepreneurial . . . . We also baked cookies for the fair, and won prizes there. That was kind of our money to spend at the fair.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What was your relationship with your brother and sisters like when you were growing up?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
The family order is I'm the oldest, there's four years between me and the next sister, and her name is Jean Ann. Then two years and there's Linda, and then another two years and Thomas. There's nine years difference between Thomas and me. Growing up I was the babysitter, and I had a lot of responsibility. I liked my siblings, but I was not friends with them. Basically they were the kids I babysat with. Now, as adults, we are best friends. All of us. I mean, we are so close, and even though my sisters are not close geographically (one is in Los Angeles, and one is in Connecticut - my brother's in Newton) we still see each other and talk on the phone two, three times a week. We are very very close.
I want to tell a story about money, and being rich or poor. The sister that is four years younger than I, she thought we were poor, and I asked her why she thought we were poor. [This is as an adult we are talking about this, not as kids.] She

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said, "Well, don't you know." And I said, "Well, no." And she said, "Well we had a fire and our house burned." And this is true. Lightening struck our house in the summer of `61 or `62, and it did - it burned, and we had to move out for six weeks, and it was fairly traumatic. Also, because daddy got hepatitis in the middle of all that. So, it was a very traumatic time, but Jean Ann said, "You know, in Sunday School you took clothes to children whose houses had burnt," and so she thought we were poor because our house burned. I said, "Okay, when did you decide we weren't poor?" And she said, "Well, don't you know the answer to that either?" And I said, "Well, no." And she said, "Well, about four years later we got a motor boat, and only rich people have motor boats." Well, now the truth of why we got the motor boat was, that daddy sold a house and the people didn't have enough cash to pay his commission, so they gave him this used motor boat. I think she was like eight at the time the fire happened, and she was like twelve at the time we got the boat, so she thought we were poor and then she thought we were rich. I always knew we were neither rich nor poor. We were fortunate. I always felt we were fortunate to have the family, and the resources we had even though when I was about eight, Dad almost filed bankruptcy. He didn't, but he was in a textile waste business that just didn't do anything.

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One other interesting thing about my father. When he got out of the service he got his mustering out pay, and he started an oil refining recycling. Basically to recycle oil. There was all this oil that had been used in the war, and in the war they recycled it, and so he started this process for it. He thought he would have a very successful business. Unfortunately, with the war over everybody had new oil and there was no reason to recycle, and I like to think about my father as one of the early conservationist. If only he had had business.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
I haven't heard you mention religion at all as part of your growing up. Was that a large part of growing up?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I can't believe I haven't mentioned it. We went to the Methodist church. It was up on the court square, and it's a beautiful church. My father's family went there. Mother had grown up a Baptist, so she joined with daddy and very active. At one point my father was chairman of the board of stewards; I was president of the senior high MYF; my sister was president of the junior high; mother ran the girl scouts; my aunt was head of Methodist's Women. We went to church at least three times a week. Twice on Sundays, and usually Wednesday nights. But, it was a positive, happy, joyful place. Not at all a negative place, and I enjoyed going. I did go to church actively until I was a teenager. Then I started rebelling

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like everybody else, and when I was at home I went to church because my father saw to it that I went to church. By the time I went to college, even though I went to a Presbyterian. I went to Queens College - right here. Right in the heart of all the Myer's Park churches, I did not go to church except during exams. Of course I would go during exams. It was an excuse not to study, and praying for good grades. You got two for one. Growing up, I was at the church a lot. For girl scouts, and Wednesday night suppers. It was quite an influence. Church is a big influence in my life now. There was a long time in between, and now I'm a Baptist. I kind of laugh . . . . Let's see, my grandmother was a Methodist and she married a Baptist. My mother was a Baptist and she married a Methodist. I grew up Methodist, but changed to Baptist. So, we have gone full circle in our church. I go to Myers Park now, just here in Charlotte, and some people would question whether that is Baptist, but that is where I go to church anyway.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Shelby, on the whole, you said there was a Baptist church and a Methodist church, and maybe two Jewish families there. Was that pretty much the split in town?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
There were a few Episcopalians, and a few Lutherans. The Baptists was the big church. I always used to refer to them as Hertz and we were Avis. They really had all the big youth programs, and were always doing exciting things, and having rock music in the sanctuary and things like that. They were kind of on one corner,

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and we were on the other corner. There were a fair number of Presbyterians; just a few Episcopalians, and a few Lutherans. Really, I would say Baptists and Methodists in Shelby.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What would you say you pulled out of the religion the most? What has carried through in your life?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I guess there are two things. One is that I truly believe, whether you are Jewish or Muslim or Christian, that tolerance of all people is important. That is what God's message is. The other thing is that God is with me. I truly believe that. I don't believe that God micro manages. That He comes down and says, "Julia you're going to have cancer and somebody else is going to get a divorce." But I believe that He is very aware of what everyone is going through, and is there with us. I had a really unique experience growing up, because I too worked for the Jewish merchant, Mr. Rosenthal. I learned more from him than I learned from almost anybody other than my family. I worked for him for seven or eight years, so it was a long time of my life and I think that helped me - it just gave me a different view that not everybody had the opportunity to have. It has been real interesting because through the years I've met a lot of people that knew the Rosenthals because they would come to Gastonia or Charlotte to worship because there

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wasn't anywhere in Shelby. That's been one of the nice things. Also, I just learned a lot of good things about life, about how to treat people, and the experience of working there. I count that as a major influence and advantage in my life.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You were talking about one of the things you learned was tolerance. How was Shelby as a town? Because of all these different groups, were they very tolerant or was it a narrow sort of town?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
It was a fairly typical Southern town where groups did not mix; however, when I was a senior in high school the schools were integrated. We did not have any riots or major bad incidents. I think people were pretty tolerant even though they did not necessarily mix. I guess that is the way I would put it. Shelby is just a very typical small town, but I do think people there try to be tolerant. I left Shelby because I had been married and then back in Shelby with my husband and he established a law practice. When we decided to divorce, this was in 1979, Shelby was too small to have ex-husbands and -wives practicing in different firms. There were too many conflicts. People were having a hard enough time with women lawyers at that point in time, much less one that used to be married to a man lawyer, but then the other firm, "Oh my, what would we do about that?"

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So, I decided that I needed a job, and I needed to leave town, and that's how I ended up in Charlotte was for the job. That is why I left Shelby at that point in time.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Did you travel much in your family? Did you stay pretty much in Shelby because your whole family was in Shelby?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
When I was growing up my family did not travel a lot, and that had to do with money as much as anything. But it's kind of the good and the bad. One of mother's cousins had a house up at Lake Lure which is this fabulous mountain lake about 45 minutes from Shelby, and their children were the age of the children in our family. So we would go up for say three weeks and the fathers would drive back and forth, because it was only 45 minutes. So, we would stay at this fabulous, and when I say fabulous I don't mean fabulous because it was fancy. It was fabulous because it wasn't fancy. The downstairs had concrete floors, poured cement, concrete block walls. You could throw your bathing suit down on the floor and it didn't matter! Nobody fussed at you for putting a wet bathing suit some where. You had to get up and put it on the next day, but nobody cared. It had a beautiful view. The water was wonderful. We water skied. No TVs or telephones, and so it was an intergenerational thing. You would play cards with

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the parents; you know, play bridge. It was an indestructible house. Even upstairs there were hardwood floors that you could just wipe up if you spilled. My other memory, of course, is food. Probably my biggest memory of childhood is food. At Lake Lure I can remember one time a neighbor from Shelby — a lot of people from Shelby had houses there — and one of the little boys came to visit and he went home and told his mother, he said, "Mom, they ate bushels of corn." Which was true, because we all loved corn. My grandfather would bring up, literally these bushels of corn and we might have 15 or 20 people at the house, and so we really did eat bushels of corn. We usually took a cook with us to the mountains. At that point, almost everybody had what we would call help. So, somebody's cook would go to the mountains and would cook. So, the fact that we didn't have money to go to the beach was not a deprivation. We would go to Lake Lure every summer, and about once every three or four years we would go to the beach for a couple of days. Two times, I can remember, we went to Florida, but that was because daddy's father (the land wheeler-dealer that didn't pay taxes) owned some property and motels in Florida. So, we would go down to one of grand daddy's motels. We would pile in the station wagon and go. That was the most we ever did. I've always had wander lust, so when I was a junior in college I wanted to go on the college European trip. So, this is getting into some of my other jobs. After my freshman year in college, I worked as a secretary at a concrete block company.

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All these builders would call me up and cuss because their blocks weren't there. I learned how to deal with that. I saved my money, and earned enough money so that the next summer I went on the Queens tour to Europe. Again, that was paid for with selling vegetable money, and the money from the block plant. We did not travel a lot. Now my parents would go to conventions. They would go to the Realtor's convention, or the Rotary convention, but that would be once every five or six years. I remember that the year daddy died it was my parent's 25th anniversary, and they were going to go to Hawaii which was a big deal. He died in August, and they were going in November. I was trying to think, I hardly remember my parents flying on an airplane anywhere when I was growing up.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
I'm going to keep pulling you back a little bit, if that's alright. Just to talk about your schooling. You went to Shelby . . . .
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I went to the public high school, Shelby High School, which I accused of having, how did I put it, that the principal was the coach and the superintendent of schools was the athletic director. We had a huge football team and a huge football stadium, which was very common at that time for kind of medium sized towns. We also had four years of Latin, advanced Chemistry, Trigonometry. All kinds of courses that I was able to take that when I got to college I was way ahead of a lot

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of people. In fact when I got to college my freshman year, as I indicated I had a scholarship and I had to work for it, and the senior faculty member was head of the Chemistry department, and I was standing in registration line and this woman comes up and says, "Where's Julia Jones?" and I raised my hand, and she said, "Well, you are going to be my lab assistant." And I said, "Oh?" And she said, "Yes, you need to sign up for the Chemistry Lab on Monday, and you will be assisting me on Wednesday and Thursday. My last lab assistant came from Shelby High School, and she graduated, and you took Chemistry at Shelby High School, so I want you." Well, I hadn't even planned to take Chemistry. I mean I signed up for Botany or something, but I signed up for Chemistry and sure enough I ended up tutoring seniors in Chemistry and paying my way through school.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What were some of your favorite subjects in high school, or activities?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I love English. Reading books for credit is kind of decadent to me, and I had wonderful, wonderful teachers that truly made everything from Beowulf to Shakespeare to Catcher in the Rye come alive. I also remember my eleventh grade teacher telling me that how her father used to hide books. He was a professor at Converse, and of course she and her sister always got the books he

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hid and read. It was just interesting having a teacher tell you something like that. So, I love to read books.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Were you close to some of your English teachers?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, I was close to all of my teachers because I was a student, and a hard working student. I don't have a particular teacher . . . . Well, actually my seventh grade science teacher. I do have one teacher that I would say I was closest to for many years after school, and this was Miss Craver and she taught seventh grade science. She had arthritis and wore big clunky shoes, and she wasn't too tall, but I can remember sitting in class in seventh grade, and you can imagine. The way our schools were, you went to neighborhood schools until you wer in sixth grade, and then all seventh graders would get together. There was a guy who sat behind me flicking his cigarette lighter in the classroom, and I, of course, did not know what would happen. He was much bigger than Miss Craver. She just came back and put out her hand and in a tone of voice that was so commanding, said, "I'll take that", that he handed it over to her. I always admired her, and she always got the roughens, because she was so good. She and I stayed friends for many many years.

Page 25
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What, outside of class, did you do. You said it was a very big athletic school, and obviously class work too.
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I was in the band. I played clarinet. Our marching band was a competitive band. We would go, in the fall, to Bristol, Tennessee for a weekend. We would go to Greensboro. It was quite a time consuming . . . . I was a terrible musician. I've never been able to carry a tune. I can read music, and I was tall, and they wanted somebody to carry a bass clarinet and not everybody could do it, so I played the bass clarinet in the marching band and it was fun. We had a big time. We got to go on a lot of trips, and band trips were fun. The other thing I did, was I went on church trips, I went on church retreats to the youth camps of church. Every summer I went to camp, to private camps and to Girl Scout camps - different kinds of camps. I always enjoyed being in the outdoors, and I think I didn't really realize that until I was 30, how much it meant to me to be out doors. Now, my favorite activity is hiking along the trail.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Did you do that when you were in high school?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
No, I did not. It just never occurred to me. My family didn't do it. We didn't really camp. When I'd go to camp, I would go hiking and I always loved it.

Page 26
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You said you had saved money when you were working to go to summer camp. Was that during high school that you went to summer camp?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Right, during high school.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
And, where was the camp?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
It's up in Western North Carolina. I went to a girl's camp for three weeks, two different years and met many friends, some people I am friends with today. It was your basic camp. It was not a . . . . If I was doing it over again, I would have gone to a different kind. This was a . . . . You stayed in a cabin. You played tennis. You could horseback ride. Arts and crafts. Almost what I would call a rich person's camp. If I were going to camp again, I would go to a camp where you actually camped out and learned camping skills. Even as a Girl Scout we would camp out overnight at the Girl Scout hut, but we did not really learn camping skills. I learned those as an adult, and wished I'd learned them younger.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, throughout this time obviously you are still active at your church and you were in the band. Is there anything that you can think of, somebody that was

Page 27
influential. You talked about teachers. I just want to make sure that we cover what values were important to you.
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I knew education was important. That was very very important. I also knew that you were supposed to treat people a certain way, and that was a way that you . . . you know the Golden Rule. Everybody in my family practiced it in spite of the fact that there was certainly racism. I would not be telling the truth if I did not say that there was racism in my church, in my family, in my community. That was one of the reasons I left the church, because I had such a hard time with the fact that the three slum lords in town went to my church. We were raising money to send to poor people in Africa, and I just didn't get it. It was kind of like, well why are we not raising money to have indoor toilets for these people that live between my house and the church? That is really what made me leave the church because nobody . . . . I asked the question of my teachers, and did not get a satisfactory answer. I talked to my father about it, and his answer is that you don't leave the good because of the bad. That you go to church to take care of yourself, and try to show by example. That was not good enough for me at that time. I think he is exactly right now. At the time I was too rebellious. I can remember my cousin who was my age. We were going to start our own church, we were so mad about

Page 28
this. We were juniors in high school. Then we went off to college and that was the end of that.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What was your church going to be like?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
We were certainly going to have all races. We were going to raise the money to take care of people here. We were going to teach tolerance. So, that is why I left the church. It's interesting. I have talked to a number of people my age that had similar feelings about that time.
Even in my family, there was that symbiotic relationship. My grandfather had a Black man who worked for him, and my grandmother. James ate three meals a day at our house. He was epileptic. He got his medication. When my grandfather died, James went away and actually my uncle found him basically on the side of the road. So, my aunt and uncle then, even though they didn't have a garden, didn't really have any work, James came to their house every day and they would find something to do, but he would get his medicine and food until he died. It's just one of those Southern history issues that we have to deal with. One on one my family did a lot for both White and Black families that were not as fortunate. That was just another thing you did. I mean that was another value. If you had more than somebody else, you gave to them even if you didn't have a lot. I don't know how to explain it any better than that.

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NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
I know you said that you and most families had help in their house.
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Rochelle was our cook and babysitter, and she came when I was about six, and she was probably fourteen, maybe. No, she was probably sixteen because she had had a child. I guess she was about sixteen, and she came to work for us and she and I are close to this day. She raised her daughter, her daughter graduated from college, is a teacher, and Rochelle . . .
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
. . . .. hospital, and while she worked for us she did some training for that, and we encourage her to do that. She is a very special person. In fact, my first hospitalization was in `75 and I called Rochelle before I called my mother to see if she could come and stay with me.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Did she have a child while she was working for you, or was it before?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
My memory is she had just had Peggy before she came to work for us. I know that is right because I was old enough and I don't remember her being pregnant. She must have had Peggy right before coming to work for us.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You said that you are close now. When you were growing up were you aware that she worked for you? How was that relationship?

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I was aware that she worked for us, but I treated her just like I treated my mother. She got the same respect. She was the authority figure. I would have never sassed her, and I felt much more that she was a member of the family than that she worked. I'll share a little story about my cousins. I really felt like Rochelle was much more of a family member than someone who was working for us. I hugged her, kissed her, went to her house. I knew that she worked for us, but that was not the important thing, and I did what she told me to do.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, when you were in school, there were Blacks, there were Whites. You were saying it was an integrated school?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
It didn't integrate until I was a senior in high school.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, how was that before? Was there another school?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
There was another school, and I really didn't think that much about it because that's the way it was. In fact I was much more concerned about the church situation than the school situation.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
How as the church situation?

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, meaning that the churches were not integrated and not only were they not integrated but the slum lords went to the churches.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, what was it like when your senior year when they decided to integrate?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
It was not a big deal, frankly. Again, it was fairly smooth. I can remember eating lunch with a girl who was in my class. I just don't have a memory of it being big deal at all.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You said that you went to Queens College. You went straight to college from high school?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Yes.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What made you want to leave Shelby and come to Charlotte?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, I wanted to go to a small woman's college, so I applied to Queens and Salem and some other schools. There was a two year college in Shelby, but that was all. So, to get a four year education I had to come. Charlotte is almost like

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home. I used to come to Charlotte once a month to go to the orthodontist from the time I was about in the third grade on up. We would come down here to shop. We would come down here at Christmas. I was very comfortable and at home. It was already a second home. So, I came down here to Queens. It was great. It was all I wanted it to be. I loved going to the woman's college, and going off to men's colleges on the weekends and dating. It was great.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What was Charlotte like?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, SouthPark wasn't here. Everything was up town. Those are the main differences. You shopped up town, and SouthPark wasn't here. Park Road shopping center was here, but that's about all. A lot of it is the same. Myers Park was the same; the churches were there. Kind of my world in Charlotte is very much the same because I live not in the Myers Park neighborhood but in Elizabeth which is a small older neighborhood. There's a drug store on the corner, and now there's a grocery store that's not too far. I don't go to SouthPark. My mother calls and says, "Oh I see something in the newspaper at Belk's at SouthPark, could you go pick it up for me?" And I'll say, "Mom, I'll pay the UPS charges to have it shipped to you rather than drive to SouthPark." I don't drive in

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Charlotte. There is nothing I want at Carolina Place Mall, that I would drive out there for.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What were your impressions when you first left home, and you were a freshman? Was it a sense of freedom?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, that is what I was going to say. Yes, again because I was the oldest child it was a tremendous sense of freedom. It was great. I can remember my room, and my roommate whom I am very good friends with today. It happens to be a lawyer at Hunton and Williams in Richmond who's been there twenty-three years now, believe it or not.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Was she from Charlotte?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
She was from Spartanburg, South Carolina.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What was her name?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Her name is Virginia Powell. I think she was president of the Richmond Bar a year or two ago. A very outstanding woman, but we just happened to be

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roommates. It was random pairing, and it was great fun, plus I loved classes. We had great professors. I liked everything about it, and it was freedom. I can remember going home. They wouldn't let us go home for about six weeks, and I remember going home for the weekend and I had a boyfriend in Shelby who was older than I was and was working there, and mother said you need to be in by 11:00. I looked at her and said, "Well, Mom, I've been gone six weeks and you don't even know where I've been these Saturday nights." And she said, "That's different. You're home now." It really was funny, and I decided that I had to obey her rules, but it was quite a sense of freedom for me.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Did your parents come visit you much, or did you go home much after that?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I went home at Thanksgiving, Christmas, but not that often. I liked college a lot, and I had a boyfriend in Shelby who I eventually married, but also he went off in the Navy for a couple of years while I was in school and so I would go to Washington & Lee, and Davidson for weekends, and it was big fun.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You said that you were a student. You loved classes. I'm assuming English was again one of your favorites, but do you remember teachers in particular?

Page 36
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
My two things at Queens were English and Chemistry. After Dr. McCuen dragged me out of the line to be her lab assistant, I fell in love with her. She was a wonderful woman. She was one of the first women to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Chapel Hill, and her husband died young, and she ended up teaching at Queens forever, and we became very very close. She encouraged me to major in Chemistry, and I took a lot of Chemistry and then the day came for the semester of my junior year, Shakespeare and the Chemistry course I needed were taught at the same time. Well, it was a no-brainer. I took Shakespeare over Chemistry and ended up majoring in English much to her disappointment. But, it was again, they are going to give me grades for reading a book.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Do you remember being involved in organizations?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
At Queens I was involved. We had a Greek community, and I was in a sorority, and I was president of the panhellenic council. I was also on the honor council for a short term period. Seems like I filled out a term for somebody. I don't remember.
We were not encouraged . . . There were no teams. There were no sports teams. We had to take P.E. to graduate, but you didn't play tennis or basketball or volleyball. This was in the era that they didn't think women sweated. It was ridiculous. So, really it was just going to classes and being in

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sorority, and the sorority did - we did do-good things. I know there was a child who lived near the college that needed people to come and do what they called "patterning" exercises. The child had brain damage, and they wanted people, every two hours to come and move their arms and legs. This was like a year old infant, and our sorority took that on because you could walk from Queens to this house, and we would make sure there was somebody there. That was one project we just kind of did, and there were other things like that. Now, Queens also was integrated when I went to Queens, and I was very active in encouraging integration at Queens and integration of the sororities. I was very disappointed in the fact that they did not integrate. One did, the other three did not, the year I was there. Again, I think we integrated either my junior or senior year, and that was a big issue that I was active in. Again, I was pretty disappointed in the way a lot of the alums and people acted about the sororities, but they eventually got integrated and that's what's important.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Queens at that time was a woman's college. You had said that you just knew you wanted to go to a woman's college. Why did you know that's what you wanted to do?

Page 38
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I wanted to do that because that is where the best professors were. If I couldn't go to Chapel Hill. The only other place I had thought about going to was Duke, and I gave it pretty serious consideration, but I really felt like that I needed the smaller school coming from a small town, and really the reason is because they had fabulous professors. For example, we had a major in Russian. Ted __________ taught Russian. You could take Russian literature. We had several women who graduated fluent in Russian. We had the Chemistry majors. We had several people go to med school. They really encouraged graduate school. You had to take the GRE to graduate. That was just part of your senior semester, whether you were going to graduate school or not. It was very academic, and that was why I wanted to go there.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You hear a lot today about women's colleges. The whole debate about they actually instill more confidence in women. Do you believe that?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
At that point in time there was no question. I had leadership skills. As a result of being head of the Panhellenic council, I was on the President's Board and developed leadership skills that I never would have developed in 1966 through 1970 at a coed school. Now, I think that has changed. I think that women, just

Page 39
about anywhere, can hold their own, but I think certainly at that point in time the leadership skills would not have been as easily developed at a coed school.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
I know that you said growing up education was always important, but you weren't sure why. Did your parents expect that once you graduated to come back home?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, this is really weird, but they expected me to get married.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Really. Did you get married right away?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
In fact I did. I lived up to their expectations. I married my high school sweetheart. He had been in the Navy and wanted to go back to college. He had dropped out. So, we moved to Boone and he went to Appalachian, and I went to Appalachian also to get a Masters in Education, and taught freshman English. It's a real lesson in money. He had about $200 he got from the GI bill, a month. I got about $150 from teaching. Our apartment cost $65. I think that included utilities. Now our apartment was a bedroom, a living room, a tiny little kitchen and bathroom. I used to joke and say that from the bathroom you could open the front door, make up the bed, cook the breakfast. It was tiny, but it was all we needed, and it worked out great. I've never felt as rich monetarily as those years at

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Appalachian because we didn't have any expenses. We had state tuition, and the GI bill. We had money. We never charged anything. We had a charge card for reserve, but we never used it. If we didn't have enough money we did not buy it. We never ate out. I cooked, and my husband was great. He would shop. He would also eat anything I cooked. He never complained. We would entertain, but entertainment meant beef stroganoff usually made with hamburger. But, we always had money. We had money to do anything we wanted to do. We did, at the beginning of the year, send $200 and buy passes to ski at Appalachian Ski Mountain. We went to the hardware store and bought used skis, and so we skied all year for $100. I think we paid $50 for our skis. So, we had our recreation. It was wonderful. It was as good as you can get being a newlywed. We had a great time.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
So, you married after you graduated from Queens?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Right. A month after I graduated from Queens, and then we moved to Boone that fall and went to Appalachian.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What made you want to go into teaching?

Page 41
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, that is the only thing women did. I mean, I didn't particularly want to be a teacher. I knew I didn't want to be a nurse. My father insisted . . . You talk about the small women's college. When I went to Queens there was not a major in Education. You could not major in Education. You had to major in an academic subject. Now you could take Education courses and get certified to teach, which I did, but I majored in English. So, when we went to Boone I couldn't get a job, and so this was the best money I could get. So, that is what I did. I taught freshman English for my scholarship at Appalachian. We were there two years, and then Bill decided to go to law school, and he got accepted at Chapel Hill. We moved to Chapel Hill. In the meantime we moved back to Shelby for six months because we finished in the spring, like March. Appalachian was on the quarters. I taught at a community college for about six months in Shelby. Then we moved to Chapel Hill and I taught at a junior high school. I taught at _____ Junior High and Oak Grove. I taught at two schools; one day at one, one day at the other. It was miserable. I did not like it. I had a crummy principal. He did not respect students, and I knew that I couldn't teach, and I did not want to eat lunch with seventh graders. So, my husband was in law school. I liked the women who were in his class, and I thought, well, it's three years. You don't have to write a dissertation, and you are reasonably assured of getting a job, and that is why I went to law school. I'd like to say it was to save the world, to make the world a

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better place. It was a very practical decision, and that's about the time my father died also, and that I realized that I would need to support myself and I best find something that I liked.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What were your siblings doing during this time?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
One sister was at Chapel Hill. One sister was getting ready to go to Davidson, and my brother was in high school.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Was she at Chapel Hill — you keep talking about being a nurse — was she?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
No, nobody is a nurse in my family. What is interesting is that my sister, when Bill and I were at Chapel Hill for law school, Jean Ann was there for undergrad, so we saw each other a lot. People confused us a lot, and it was pretty fun. Because she was dating a local Chapel Hill boy who was going to college there, but who'd grown up there, and I was teaching. The second year I taught at Chapel Hill high school, and so there is a lot of interaction. It was real funny. They would go, "Now wait a minute, you're not the person who dates Peter Barnes?" I go, "No, I'm her sister." So, that was kind of funny. Or they would say to Jean

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Ann, "You're not the teacher?" And she would say, "No, that's my sister." She was just in Chapel Hill. She majored in Journalism.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What was your favorite author or genre in English?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, I loved Shakespeare, but I loved all literature. Everything, and I do to this day. Now, I read a lot of Southern writers: Reynolds Price, Lee Smith. Just because I like them so much, although I read almost anything that comes my way. My junk reading is murder mysteries, and that is what I read when I don't feel like reading anything else.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What year were you married?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
'70.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
That was when . . . . I'm just a little confused . . . .
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I graduated from Queens.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
That was that same year when your husband and you were both at Appalachian. Now he went to law school in Chapel Hill?

Page 44
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
In '72.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
And that is when you followed him out?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Right.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Tell me what his impression, if you remember, of law school was.
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Since he was going back to school as an older student, and really wanted to succeed, he worked like it was a job. He would go to the library and study from 8 to 5 and come home and eat supper and go back and study until 11. He thought it was very hard. He thought it was very cut throat, and it was cut throat. This was right after Vietnam, remember, '72 where we still have people who were in school to avoid the draft, and now we got people who are back home who want to go. So, it was very very cut throat, and he had a friend, one friend, and they went everywhere together, and he thought it was a struggle and hard.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
How did that effect you, not being in law school?

Page 45
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I think it is always harder when the other person is, when it is somebody you care about and you can't help them. I remember it was much more difficult for me when he took the bar exam than when I took it. Because I knew what I could do, and how hard it was for me, but I didn't know for him. He was petrified he would fail it. It was real funny. I was sick that summer, that was in '75, and we really almost divorced then and later we talked about how that he thought he was going to flunk the bar and I didn't care. I had all this surgery, and was ill, and I thought he didn't care. We got through that, but it was very difficult and we had to talk about it later on. Anyway, he is at Chapel Hill, so I want to go to law school, so I apply and the first year I applied to Chapel Hill and Central, but decided I couldn't go that year because we didn't have any money. So, I had to work another year teaching school, and saving money, and somehow I decided to apply at Wake Forest, and Wake Forest offered me a full scholarship. They were desperate for women in 1974, and so they offered me a full scholarship and I just couldn't turn that down. So, we decided to live apart, and I would live in Winston and he would live in Chapel Hill for his last year of law school. That's what we did, and it was a tough transition from Chapel Hill to Wake Forest. I had been wearing blue jeans and t-shirts, and at Wake Forest they wore suits and ties. I didn't, but it was tough. Fortunately, my housemate had been in Chapel Hill also, so she and I were the radicals at Wake Forest, but it worked out and it was good for me to go

Page 46
to Wake Forest. It was a good school. Taught me a lot, and certainly I wouldn't have had the job clerking for Woodrow Jones at the district court judge because he only hired Wake Forest people. I also think it has helped me, going to Wake Forest helped when I ran for election because a lot of Wake Forest people stay in North Carolina and so they know you, and when I ran state-wide I think that made a difference.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You had mentioned that there weren't many women when you first went to law school. Do you remember how many there were in your first year?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I think there were seventeen in my class. About 10 percent of the student body. Prior to that, in like the people who were second and third years, I think there were like maybe ten second years and about three third years.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
How do you think that affected your law school education, or did it affect your law school education?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, I think it probably made me study harder, but as far as what the professors did I don't think it made a difference. Some acted like creeps. Well, it's too long of a joke, but the very first day one of the professors told a sexist joke, and it was

Page 47
terrible because everybody laughed except my housemate and I and we didn't laugh. We got out of there and we thought "Oh my God, what have we done?" We got over it, and that was only one professor of many and most of them were great.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Were there women professors?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Yes, there were. They were good. I don't think it made any difference at all with the professors.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Do you remember any in particular that may have influenced your career choice, or even your self?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
We had a Contracts and Constitutional Law professor who was wonderful because he taught you to think kind of outside of the box, and a lot of people hated him. In fact, his nickname was Foggy because they thought that he went off on these tangents. I thought it was wonderful because he taught you to analyze things from all kinds of points of view. His favorite line is you know just give the court something to hang their hat on, and then figure out what you can do. I've always tried to be open in thinking like that. Devine was his last name. I don't even

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know what his first name was because everybody called him Foggy. We had a lot of good professors. There was a professor named Shores who is still there, who taught Antitrust and Tax and I never thought I would like business stuff very much, but I took his courses because he was such a fabulous professor and I took all of them. I ended up not doing that. The real reason I ended up being in litigation was because I had clerked and because when I went to work at Moore & Van Allen they had hired a person who said that his goal in life was to never go into the court room, and so they needed a new court room person and there I was. It was really almost by default. As it turned out it was great, but I have to admit going to law school I had no clue what being a lawyer was. No clue, and all through law school I had no clue. I think that would be my . . . I don't know how law school is now, but I do not think that my law school education gave me a clue as to what being a lawyer would be. Not a clue.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You know how you hear all these horror first year stories about the Socratic method, and their teaching style. Was that at odds with what you had learned being a teacher?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, I was offended, because I was a better teacher than a lot of my teachers. So, I can remember a particular professor just boring with the Socratic

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method and terrible and belittling people and I didn't think encouraging learning at all. It was hard for me having been a teacher, but I also realized that I wanted to get out of there and that I wanted to have reasonably good grades and so I did not challenge too much. Although a male friend of mine reminded me that I did challenge a first year professor one year. I had forgotten it, but I did and I think I learned a lesson that you are not going to win if you challenge the professor. You're just not going to win. I must have learned that in that one incidence because I don't remember any others.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Do you remember the incident to tell?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Oh, it was about property and about how that right of survivorship and tenants in the entirety was to protect the little woman, and about how the husband could use all the rents and profits. There was some case in which there was a dissent in that I thought the professor misrepresented, and I raised my hand and I said, "Well, I think that it says this." I don't really remember what it was. That's what it was about. I know the topic, and he basically squelched me and that was that.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Did your husband encourage you to go to law school?

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
That's a long story. Yes and no. He encouraged me at the beginning because he really liked women in his class, but later as we went back to Shelby in the summers and he worked with some lawyers and saw how nice it was that their wives were at home cooking dinner for them, he really felt like that you couldn't have two careers. Unfortunately, he and I both knew that you can't put the cow back in the barn after she's out, and that I was on my way. That I was going to do it, and we talked about it, and both agreed that I was too far along. This was right before I was getting ready to start. This was after a summer in Shelby. So, I went on to law school and then I ended up two years in Shelby working for Woodrow Jones and then my husband and I divorced after that. So, it was not the going to law school. It was all the other things that people divorce about that happened.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Was your family supportive?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
My family was very supportive. My husband's family was not supportive because I wasn't taking care of their little boy.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Your father had passed away while you were in college, right?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Right when I graduated.

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NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Okay, so how did that effect . . . obviously that was a great loss.
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, it was but I think it also inspired me to go on to law school to take care of myself. I think that was a big factor.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You also knew that your mother was then by herself and that she started to work in the community. Did you go home more often because of that?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
No, not necessarily. Mother was pretty independent. Now Bill and I, I will say this, my ex-husband was fabulous as far as supporting my family, helping mother, and we probably went home a little more often to help her do things, but not a lot.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You had said that you had done a clerkship with Woodrow Jones. Was it in your third year that you decided that you wanted to do that?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Yes, first of all, I had, I think, a non-traditional route to law school. An entire thought process. I did not interview with any large firms or small firms because I was married and planning to return to a town and live with my husband wherever that was. I really had no clue what lawyers did, and this is a true story about how I clerked for Woodrow Jones. He was sitting in the Dean's office at Wake Forest, at lunch time one day, and I walked in and I had on blue jeans and a t-shirt. Now it wasn't a t-shirt with a slogan, it was before that time, but still it was blue jeans and t-shirt. The secretary got me around the corner and she said, "Do you know where your roommate is. We've got Judge Jones here and he's supposed to interview her at 1:00, and he's here early and the Dean's not here, and here we've got this federal judge sitting out here in our office twiddling his thumbs." And I said, "No, I don't know where Judy is." Then I took a deep breath and thought about what I had on, and I said, "But I know Judge Jones because my husband has

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appeared in front of him and we live in the same area, and I'll just come out and chit chat with him a little bit." I had great trepidation of doing that considering the way I looked. I had not signed up to interview with him. The reason was because he wanted a two-year commitment, and at that point I really wanted to start a family and wasn't sure that I wanted to give a two-year commitment. I had interviewed at Legal Services, the Public Defender's Office and a couple places like that. That's what I was looking at. Anyway, to make this long story shorter, I walked up and introduced myself to the Chief District Court Judge for the Western District of North Carolina, in the Dean's Office at Wake Forest, in my jeans and t-shirt. It didn't seem to faze him one bit, and he said "Are you going to interview with me?" And I said, "No", and all of a sudden the truth popped out. And he said, "Well, my goodness we can work that out. You can have a family and work for me too. In fact I've been toying with the idea of having a permanent clerk, and you live in Shelby which is thirty minutes from Rutherfordton where I live, and that's something we could think about." Well, I mean, I hadn't even given any thought to this before this point in time. So, we talked a little bit and he said, "Well, I'm going to interview here today, and then I'll call you." That was probably around the first of November, and he called me and I drove up to Rutherfordton, I remember during the Thanksgiving break of 1976. I went up to his house, met his wife. I had heard the rumor that he really wanted people who lived in the area, because he found that if people weren't used to a small rural

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town in North Carolina that they were very unhappy. He didn't want an unhappy clerk. So, I interviewed with him. He didn't offer me the job on the spot, but I felt like I would probably get it, and sure enough he called me a couple days later and offered me the job. It was one of those situations that I was in the right place at the right time. I didn't plan it. Somebody was looking after me when I couldn't look after myself.
I did clerk for him for two years. It was a very positive experience. He is a wonderful man. It was a great transition for me from "liberal law school" to the real world. He was very much a real world person. Plenty of people described him as conservative. I think he was a true democrat, and thoroughly enjoyed working for him. We often had discussions about women, and minorities and I think I learned a lot from him, and he learned a lot from me. I remember when I got ready to leave, and I told him I was going to be working at Moore & Van Allen. He had had a woman clerk before, but she ended up teaching school. I was the first woman lawyer who he really knew intended to go practice in the court room. I always remember that she shook my hand and looked me in the eye, and said, "You can do it." So, it was really wonderful. He is very formal, and I remember the first year at Christmas, there was a secretary and a baliff and me. He chose to have a baliff to drive his car rather than two clerks. He had also been on the bench a long time, and he did not need much criminal work at all. I did

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mostly civil. We were trying to decide what to do for him for Christmas. We are Southern, and you do a little token. So, we decided to send him a poinsettia, and we did it at noon on the Friday before we were going to be out for the Christmas holiday. He came back after lunch with hot cookies that I assume he had his wife bake during lunch, because he just couldn't stand it that we had sent him something and he could not reciprocate. He was that type of a Southern gentleman and person. The fun thing for me was, he mellowed very much during the two years I was with him. I think one of the reasons he mellowed is that I went through a divorce the last couple of months, and he was very protective of me. I might have resented that at some other time, but I needed . . . My father died many many years ago, and so it was nice to have an older man. He took this very professional, but we became much closer friends because of my adversity and he became much less formal. As the years have gone by, he has become much less formal with everyone I think. Now, he may not like me saying that. I mean it certainly as a compliment. He is also the silver haired justice. He really did practice what he preached; worked hard; never expected me to do something he wouldn't do himself. So, anyway, I clerked for him, and as a result of clerking for him all the doors opened up for jobs.
I interviewed in Charlotte. At that point I was separated. Interviewed in Charlotte and was really very fortunate. I really interviewed up and down the East Coast, and finally decided that my sister lived in Charlotte, I had a great network, and I had several great job offers. So, after

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taking a couple of months off, my last day of work for Judge Jones was the 29th of August, and I think I went to work around Thanksgiving at Moore & Van Allen. As I told the Moore & Van Allen folks, they were getting me refreshed from a vacation that they had paid for. After clerking for Judge Jones and going through a divorce I needed some time. Took some time off and travelled, and all the things I would recommend to all starting out lawyers. You can be a lawyer for a long time, but you can't travel around the world once you get into your practice. So, I took a couple of months off and didn't travel around the world, but drove my car by myself from North Carolina to Maine and I thought that was a pretty big deal. Visiting friends along the way. Took about a month, and then did a couple of other things I always wanted to do. Climb Mt. LeConte, spent the night up there. Did some other backpacking and hiking. In the fall it was really nice. There I was, this is '97, we were at '79, so eighteen years ago right about now I started working at Moore & Van Allen.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You said that you had gone through a divorce, and I would assume that was pretty traumatic. Something you didn't expect. How do you think that affected you in your career, in your life?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, there is a slogan, "Life is what happens while you are on your way to doing something else." That's certainly has been true in my life. I thoroughly enjoyed

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being married. I'm good friends with my ex husband. We didn't have any children. We sure didn't have any money to fight over, and that may be one of the reasons we were able to stay good friends. But, certainly it opened. . . . Getting divorced opened different doors than would have been opened if I had perhaps gone back to Shelby. It's possible I'd still be a superior court judge. Had I done that I would just have been there a different route, but it did open different doors. It opened the opportunity to live in a different town, work at a large firm. It offered lots of personal growth opportunities to go places by myself which I had not done. I had basically grown up in a family of four children and two parents and right after college, 3 weeks after college, got married. Then somewhat protected. It just opened lots of doors. The way I look at it not better or worse doors, just different doors. Travel was a real big thing. I immediately realized that I liked travel, and that an advantage of working in a big firm is that you could work really hard and get some work done and then you could take some time off and there would be people there to cover your work. So, the first year I just went on a little vacation by myself down to Charleston, but the second year I started backpacking out West with a group of friends, and for about five or six years always went to the Rockies on a major backpacking trip. Professionally, again, it gave me the opportunity to have a much wider range. I interviewed at a couple of in-house places like Dupont. I had a friend at Dupont who just now got appointed to be their agent counsel, and she has certainly made a name for herself. Through

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her I got what they call a courtesy interview, and they ended up offering me a job. Again, I decided to come back to Charlotte. I remember that when I went to work at Moore & Van Allen they asked me what area of practice I wanted to do. Again, I am so naive . . . . Oh, I forgot to tell about how the day I scheduled five interviews in one day, because I had no idea, I hadn't gone through the process in law school, I figured they wanted to talk to you an hour at most. Well, I got to the first one and they said, "You are staying for lunch, aren't you?" So, I had to do some fancy footwork, but I was pretty naive about all this. So, I didn't know what area of practice I wanted to be in. I hadn't really thought about it, and they said, "Well, you must want to be a litigator since you worked for a trial court judge." And I said, "Well, that sounds fine." I was kind of, I aim to please. You know I was thrilled to have this job at this big job firm, and I didn't want to upset any apple carts. I later learned that the firm had hired one other person for that fall, and that person had made his stated ambition in life to never enter the court room after he got sworn in. So, they really needed the baby litigator to go down and do all that stuff for everybody's aunt and grandmother, and neighbor. All the ways that you get court hearings when you are starting out in a big firm. So, that's how I got to be a litigator. It was perfect. I cannot imagine doing anything else, but it was another one of those things I just happened into.

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NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What was it like? How big was Moore & Van Allen then? Now it's eighty people just in this office.
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I was number twenty. When we had firm meetings, everybody came including associates. This is kind of a funny anecdote. As I mentioned, they hired two people. The other person was a man, and they hired me. The tradition was that the newest person in the firm took the minutes. They were not about to ask me to take the minutes, so they got the other man that they had hired. I thought that was very good judgement. I didn't know for about a year and a half that the partners had decided to do that. It wouldn't have mattered, and I would have taken the minutes, but I was pretty impressed that they thought about that. There was one other woman there. She did estate work, and was out on maternity leave when I started at the law firm. So, really I was the visible woman at that point in time, although Christy was quite a good lawyer and had a great reputation. She just happened to be on maternity leave the first year I was there.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What was it like being a first year associate there?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
It was interesting being a first year associate and being a woman as a trial lawyer. They'd had one other woman, Marguerite Stevens, for about a year, and she worked on one particular case and then she followed that case to D.C. I think the firm really didn't know what to do with me, quite frankly, but it was real clear

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from the beginning that I had their support and that if any client didn't like having a woman I needed to let them know. If anybody bothered me, to let them know. I think it probably, like anything else, had advantages and disadvantages. The major disadvantage is the camaraderie issue, and at Moore & Van Allen at that point in time individual camaraderie (that sounds like an oxymoron, but I really mean rather than the firm as a whole let's take the litigators and the senior partner who wants to work with an associate), they really bonded, and hiking was our main activity. We had a hiking trip that was coed, and I remember one time there was a hiking trip that was going to be just guys. A memo went around in the firm. Well at that point I could out hike almost everybody in the firm, and I was quite taken aback, quite frankly, that the Bear Skin Classic was not open to women. Apparently they'd had this hike for a number of years before I came to the firm, and it was a boy's night out kind of thing. Well, I stewed about it and made a comment or two, but realized that I would not win. I think I had been there about a year at that point. The man that I went out with at that time, I shared this with him, and he said "I think you are being over reactive; that this is just a men's outing." And I said, "Well, the reason I am concerned is, you go off and stay in a tent with somebody, or even if you're in your separate tents, there's always a little edge, an element of danger when you are out in the woods and that's the person you trust. And if you trust them in the woods, you are going to trust them to be the associate on your Supreme Court case, and my concern was that I would get

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pushed out of that. That was really the concern, because I had been on the trips that were coed. We bonded on those trips. So, the trip came and went and I made partner about that time, and the other man (Jamie Clark) made partner. So, Jamie and I decided to have our own party. For some reason the firm was going through one of their tight spells. Moore & Van Allen always tickles me. Sometimes they are spending money like crazy, and other times they are penny wise and pound foolish. I suspect all big firms are like that, not just Moore & Van Allen. So, Jamie and I threw our own keg party, and the man that I had been going out with for a number of months (that I'd had all this conversation with), he came with me. In the car going home he said, "I owe you an apology." I said, "Oh?" He said, "You were exactly right. From the moment we got to the party, all the guys talked about was that trip and who had done what, and what had happened. That was the entire topic of conversation, and you are right, it was an opportunity to bond that carried over into work as well as extracurricular." I just have to tell you that this man doesn't apologize very often. For him to say that made it very significant. But, that was an isolated incident early on. I then worked very hard to make sure we had coed trips, and that's what happened. Now sure, some of the guys went off on their own, two or three, but there weren't any more firm memos going around saying that we are going to have this trip. I think that is the way it should have happened.

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Being a young associate, in general, again I was a little bit different. I was thirty-two, and had taught school, had clerked, had been married for ten years, had been divorced. Life was a little different for me. So, that when some of those bad things that happened to associates, like you end up working ten times as hard as you think you work, that was just sort of a you know "it's their firm". My attitude was, it was not my firm. I think big firms, then and now, take advantage of everybody. The type of people that work there, me included, work hard, and expect everybody to do the same. But when the ebbs and flows and . . . . Oh, we've decided we're not going to make associate partners after five years, it's going to be six years . . . That just tore some of the other people up. For me, what's another year? It's a lot of money. I calculated one day how much money that cost me, but still it's not life, and I think being a little bit older really helped me ride some of those bumps. Again, as I say, I love being a litigator. The first case I tried I thought I was going to throw up, but then one of my partners told me, "Julia, first of all this is going to be your life's work. If you don't like it, get another job." He said, "The neat thing is, nobody is going to beat you up, and nobody's going to put you in jail, and unless you do something really bad nobody is going to tell you to be quiet." He said, "What I do is when the judge says the jury is with the plaintiff, I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and roll." And I took his advice and was a litigator for ten, eleven years and went on the bench after that. Still felt like I

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would throw up a lot of times, but I've learned that it not an unusual characteristic for trial lawyers.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
While you were working there was there anybody in particular that you thought of as a mentor? You were talking about there was a general support when you were a young associate.
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
The answer to that is no, but there were at least two people that I felt very comfortable going to with any question under the sun. I would say again, partially because of the age, these were young partners who were my age, so it was more of a friendship than a mentoring. I think mentoring is very very very important. I just can't say enough, but again I think my age influenced it. There were at least two people that I would go and ask any question and never be embarrassed. Interesting thing was, there were people who came to me very early on. In fact I got tickled one time with one of the partners, a younger partner who was just a year older than I was, and he said "You're coming to me. I don't feel old enough to do this, and people are coming to you." At that point it was kind of a young firm. We were the middle ground. The people that the younger people would come ask when the senior partners were too busy. So, I didn't have a mentor. I think mostly though that was because of age. Now there was a senior

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litigation partner that I did a lot of work with, and spent a lot of time and learned a lot from him. I might call him a professional mentor.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You had a couple of years as an associate, then you made partner.
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I made partner after, I think it was five years.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Did it change your role?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
It absolutely changed my role. The men had gotten used to me as an associate. They could handle that. They could handle that there was a woman that was going to the court room that they were paying, but to have her as a peer. It took a good year to define roles, and of course at that time, and I'm sure it's still true, once you became a partner there was a much greater emphasis on bringing in business. I think it was true in 1985 that it was difficult for women to bring in litigation business. You could bring in some banking business, but to bring in trial work was really hard because you just didn't have any background. There were some large clients that I . . . . That was the other thing. Actually though you worked for large clients that a senior partner had gotten, so you didn't have a lot of opportunity to go out and develop new litigation clients. I had a hard time in the beginning, and then someone was wise enough to say to me, "Are there any

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other women litigation partners?" "No." "How many partners are there in the firm that are women?" "One other." "Have there ever been any others?" "No." "How many of the partners wives work outside their home?" "Not many." "How many of their mothers have worked outside the home?" "Not many." They don't know what to do with you. So, once I realized that it was probably as hard for them as for me, then I relaxed. What I really did was go for the big client that I already had contact with. For example, try to do all their employment work or something like that, and to be a little more aggressive. Not to take that client away from the senior partner. That's not going to win anything, but to just develop new work for that client. Then, eventually because of connections and my friend at Dupont, Moore & Van Allen is still certainly reaping the benefits of environmental work that came in through me when I was there seven or eight years ago. So, once you develop a maturity and your friends do to where they can send work, then you can start building your own practice which is really what happened. Even though I didn't do environmental work, I did litigation, and we had a young environmental associate (I think he probably became a young partner during this time) and he and I did a lot of work together because he didn't know the basics of litigation but he knew all about environmental law. So, we did a lot. Frankly that's what I did a lot during my practice. I was a generalist. I did construction work. I did health care provider work. I did the environmental work. All as kind of an expert in procedure and how to try a case and how to think about it rather than the subject

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matter expert. Can't do that much anymore, but I did it and it was fun and I liked it.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Do you remember any cases that might be interesting as a story to tell?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Some of them were interesting at the time, and you get involved in the legal aspects, but I can't right now think of any particularly . . . . Other than going out on Christmas Eve and reposessing a truck. The first year that I was at the firm, I'd been there six weeks, and we were having our little lunch on Christmas Eve and one of the partners came in . . . . No, I got a call from the sheriff and he said "We've found the truck." And so I said, "Okay, pick it up." I felt like a terrible scrooge, but I thought about all my civil procedure work - claim and delivery, we've got the truck.
One of the things that happened at Moore & Van Allen I think was really good, I was put on the recruiting committee early. Practically right after I started at the firm, so I had a really good opportunity to meet a lot of young law students. Through that I somehow became an informal mentor to almost, it seemed, like every woman lawyer that was coming to Charlotte. Not only ones that were interviewing with Moore & Van Allen but a lot of people who didn't have a regular interview but just wanted the lay of the land would call me, and I felt very

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good about that. It was a role that I liked, because there certainly weren't many. I started in '79. There were several women that practiced in district court - state district court. There were very few women trial lawyers in Superior Court, and there just wasn't anybody there. So, I was very glad to be able to talk to women who were only slightly younger than I was or maybe even my age come into town, but I kind of became one of the unofficial mentors for every woman in Charlotte. At Moore & Van Allen we did not hire another woman for five years, but I interviewed a lot, and a lot of them would come back and talk to me afterwards. We had a lot of summer clerks that were women, so I had the opportunity to be a mentor with them. One of my favorite stories, and this sounds kind of silly, but it's very important, and it's what is the proper clothing for a woman to wear in court? Right now there have been some big issues about pants suits and sleeveless and things like that. When I started, it was, can you wear anything other than a black, gray, or brown suit? Very tailored. Well, one summer, it must have been the summer of '80, I was going to a meeting with the senior partner in our firm, and three of our clients. We met over at the Radisson for breakfast or something. I had on a tan or khaki colored gant suit. Not just a tailored suit. It in fact was a Gant suit that I had bought up at the outlet when I went to see my sister. I had on a checked button-down collar shirt that matched, that you bought to wear with this Gant suit. My partner from the firm had on a khaki suit. This was July. All three of our clients had on khaki suits. I decided

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this would not do. That this was much too boring. That very weekend I went out shopping, and bought an aqua and a pink suit. Both just alike. Both with a slit in the side; little side pleats; short jackets. They were very nice. They had dyed and matched blouses to go with them. They were Darncaster. I went up to the outlet because I couldn't have afforded to buy them otherwise. So, on Monday morning I showed up in aqua. Everybody about fell out. One day I wore the pink one to court. It was like, the bees were just hovering around. People could not believe that some woman, some young woman lawyer, had the nerve to wear a pink suit to court. Then, somehow I got a red suit, and the red suit was the one that really seemed to have an effect. I had several women lawyers come up to me and say, "You know, I have this great looking red suit that I wear to church, but I have always been afraid to wear it to court. But now that you've worn that red suit, I'm going to wear my red suit to court." And again, that sounds silly, but that's really what it was like. I developed the philosophy that you needed to wear what you looked good in, what you felt comfortable in, and of course now women wear dresses to court, and I think that is perfectly appropriate if it is a professional style dress. I don't approve of men or women - in fact I had a man that showed up in shorts one day, and he wasn't there very long. It was a Friday afternoon and I don't really know what was in his head. I didn't put him in jail, but I sent him home to put on some clothes. I've actually had one where a lawyer called me ahead of time and said, "Judge Jones, I don't have the proper clothes. I need to

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come talk to you about something. Can I talk to you in chambers?" That was fine. This guy I was holding court, and he showed up in the court room, and that was in 1994, so I don't know. I can't be responsible for what's going on now.
There were about eight or ten women that worked for the medium to large law firms, and we used to get together for lunch. In fact, Nancy Berelli and I were talking about this the other day. Eating at Ivey's Tulip Terrace. It was great. We would get together. There were a few women that were in practice for themselves. It seems that there was a difference in need among women that were at the medium sized to larger firms. We did not have a formal women attorney's group ever. That was kind of the six or seven of us that were in this core group. Always felt that women ought to work with an established bar and that the best way to achieve recognition, get appointed to boards or be president of the local bar, was to work through that. Instead, what we did for a number of years, two or three times a year we would get together informally. We had a little mailing list and we would send out a mailing that would say, "We are going to have wine and cheese at Julia Jones's house. Bring what you feel like contributing and come visit." (Pause in tape) . . . .. call this kind of a kitchen cabinet, and the most exciting thing we did was one year the nominating committee for the president of the bar had put out their nominations and we were not very happy. There had never been a woman; there had never been a minority. So our group did a

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campaign and almost got the first minority elected. I was not at the meeting because I was not on the committee, but I'll just say that the next year our candidate won, and the next year there was a woman. We worked very hard for that. Kathy Thompson was the first woman president of the Mecklenberg County Bar and that was quite an accomplishment, and Nell Lott was the first African American. I think our little kitchen cabinet had quite a bit to do with that. We also encouraged women to run for other positions. I was on the state bar council and that was kind of an interesting event. In the past, the nominating committee for the local bar nominated bar councils just like everything else. So, we again were working with that nominating committee - this was all about the same time - because I wanted to be on the state bar council which regulates lawyers conduct. So, just about the time we were lobbying the committee, the state law changed and it was self nomination, and it was all different. In any event, I self nominated and was fortunate enough in 1986 to be in the first class that had any minorities or women. It turned out a real good friend of mine from law school, who lived in Winston, got elected. Then there was a Black woman from Raleigh. So, we were the first three women. There were two other Black men I believe that year, and I'll always remember that the President got up and said, "Well, we've had a change of complexion in our group." And I just about fell out. I just said, "Okay, we'll weather this out." I did serve and that was one of the things that had meant a lot to me, is serving on the state bar council particularly as one of the first women.

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I was on the council from `86 until I went on the bench in `91, and judicial standards prohibit judges from being on the council. That's a whole other subject for another day.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You were saying something about enforcing standards for . . . . is it ethical standards? What was your role in all of that?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I was on different committees. The major committees are the grievance and ethics committee. In other words we gave, on preliminary opinions. Those were the two major committees. I was on the grievance. I reviewed grievances made against lawyers and we made decisions about what type of sanctions. That was a frustrating experience because the law is pretty broad. For example, during that time, advertising once the Supreme Court said it was a first amendment issue that pretty well took things away from the local folks. There were other things like that. There were also embezzlements, sexual harassment, lots of things. We dealt with unauthorized practice of law. That was at a time that the accounting firms were really getting into retirement plans, and we worked on some of those issues. Where the line was. Again, there was an opportunity for mentoring there too because some of the people who had grievances filed against them really just didn't know you needed to return your phone calls. I mean, there were probably more grievances. People had done the work; they filed the brief; they filed the

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appeal, but they didn't send a copy to their client. They were just working so hard and fast that they weren't thinking, so that was a lot of issues. The unauthorized practice of law, I was chairman of that committee. Also prepaid legal plans. All these weird things that come up that now everybody kind of takes for granted, but they were just new then and nobody knew how they were going to operate. Personally, one of the reasons I liked to be on the council, was because you met quarterly with lawyers from all over the state, and I just think it is really important to have connections. I believe that in personal life as well as work, all the way to global. I've done a lot of international travel. I've had international students stay at my house, and truly believe world peace will not be accomplished until people know each other. That's kind of highfalutant to go from the bar council to that, but I did enjoy being with the people from the mountains to the coast, and finding out. Because things are so different. We tend to think everything is like it is in Charlotte, or the big city. There is such different issues other places, and I think it's important to know that. At least it was important to me.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You keep talking about how you travelled through this time. Is this part of keeping the connection. Was that personal growth?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Very much. I got into backpacking. I had never done it as a child, even though I was a girl scout. We never really camped. We were girls. I didn't do anything

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athletic until I got married and learned how to play tennis and snow ski. I loved going out and sleeping in a tent. You really get down to basics, and you don't have time to worry about minutiae which I think, as a lawyer, you can get wrapped up in minutiae. It's good to get away, and that is kind of what backpacking did for me. I would take my pictures and put them on my desk, so that I could glance at them occassionally at work when things seem to be getting out of hand. My sister was real funny. One day she said, "I just can't believe that you are so adventuresome, or such a risk taker." I've never thought of myself as a risk taker. I've always thought of myself as the oldest child, tow the line, follow the rules, do what your mother tells you. And I said, "Why do you think I am a risk taker?" "Well, you're getting ready to go camping for ten days, taking everything on your back, hiking 14 miles to go to the first camp with eight people you don't know." And I thought to myself, "Well, maybe she's right." It turned out to be wonderful. . . . It rained for three full days, so for anybody to come away from a trip like that, that the first three out of seven days rained, and still wanted to go back. I was hooked. I don't feel anymore that I have to carry it all on my back. The last hike I went on was in Southern Colorado in the summer of `95 - summer of `96 - went to Spain in `95. Summer of `96 I went to Southern Colorado, and llamas carried our gear. All we had to do was hike. Now we were hiking between 10 and 12,000 feet, so I couldn't have done any more than that.

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But, I no longer feel like I have to carry everything on my back. I was happy to have the llamas carry my gear.
The year before I went to Spain, and stayed with some friends who had been at my house for a number of years, and we just took day hikes. They live up in the Pyrenees, and so they have a little hotel. I just stayed at the hotel and took day hikes. I've hiked in Nepal, I've hiked in Switzerland. I've hiked all over the Blue Ridge and the Appalachians. I love to be outdoors, and that really developed when I was in an office. That's probably one of my biggest problems on the bench. I'm even more confined than I was as a private lawyer. I go and get on that bench at 9:30 and I don't know whether it's daylight outside until 5:00 because most of our court rooms don't have windows. I miss that. But it's like everything else., it has a trade off. Being a judge I get to go to these little mountain towns and hold court, and I'm in seventh heaven. It's like, don't throw me into that briar patch. What, you mean I have to go to Murphy? Murphy's almost in Tennessee, and a lot of people don't want to go there. It's a great place. I went on a great two day weekend hiking trip after I handled court there one week. It was fun. So, that's kind of the travelling I have done. I have had internationals stay at my house a lot. I don't ever advertise. People just hear about the fact that I've got an extra bed and bath and they show up.

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NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Is it students? Or families?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Mostly it's students. I have had some families of students who had been with me before. Moore & Van Allen had a German intern, and she lived with me for two months during the fall of the Wall. It was so interesting having her at my house, and then her parents came for a couple of weeks.
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
. . . .. you decided to run for judicial office. You ran as a Democrat, I saw. Obviously there were political sentiments there. What was your tie to the Democratic party?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Democrats are traditional values in my family. My father was a Democrat; my grandfather was a Democrat; my grandmother was a poll worker, very active in local politics. I grew up in Shelby which had the Shelby dynasty which was two

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Democratic governors back in the early years of this century, Huey and Gardner. There weren't any Republicans. I didn't know any Republicans. It wasn't that Republicans were bad or good. There just weren't any, and so that's the family values. It's traditional values, so that's why I ran as a Democrat. I had been active in politics for a long time. All the way from going to the Team Dem Convention when I was in the seventh grade. That was when Kennedy ran, so I guess that's when it was my first campaign. I got very involved in 1960. Then when I lived in Shelby my husband was the young Democrat chairman, and maybe eventually the chairman of the party. Then when I moved to Charlotte I worked on various campaigns of people that were running, and so that is how I got involved in it. I don't think being a judge should be a partisan position one bit. It was strange to have to run and not be able to talk about what your positions were. On the other hand, if a matter is going to appear in front of me I am going to examine all sides of it and I don't know what my position is going to be. The fact that at this point in time I might have an idea about something. I mean I've ruled some times in ways that quite surprised me, quite frankly. So, I really am glad that this year's election is going to be non-partisan. Now we all know that issues will come up, but I think it is important that you're not going to be labeled solely because of that. We'll see. I've already had a reporter ask me just how effective I think that will be. I don't know.

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How I made the decision about being a judge. I want to talk about that for a minute, because I've mentioned other things in my life that really were, or appeared to be happenstance. Almost all the way from going to law school. I think we talked about this a little last time. I went to law school because it was three years, you didn't have to write a dissertation, and you were reasonably assured of getting a job. My father had just dropped dead of a heart attack, and so I knew that even if you were happily married you might have to support yourself at some point in time. So, I went to law school. I clerked for Judge Jones because they couldn't find my roommate. I went to work at Moore & Van Allen because I got divorced and wanted to go to work for a big law firm. I became a litigator because it sounded like what I ought to do. When I decided I wanted to run for judge, looking back on it, I feel like it was the first decision in my life that I said, "This is what I want to do. This is what I am supposed to do." I did not sit down and write a list of pros and cons. Had I done that I don't think I would have been a judge under any circumstances. I mean I was a partner in a big law firm making more money than I ever thought I would have any idea of making in my life. I told my mother, and she said, "Well honey, it doesn't look like you're going to get married and have some man take care of you, and you're going to cut your salary?" I said, "Mother, if I can't live on what the state pays a Superior Court judge, you didn't raise me right." And that was the end of that, and that's how I

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felt about it. Fortunately, I had been not necessarily frugal, but certainly was in a financial position that I didn't have a lot of debt, and could take a cut in pay. I didn't have a giant fancy house, I didn't have children that I had to put through college. So, I really . . . When I heard Frank Smith was going to retire after twenty-four years on the bench, the thought was, "Well, I'm still having a great time practicing law and I really wanted about four or five more years, but this is it, and if you are going to do it before some other incumbent gets in, you ought to do it." Now, people tell me that over the years I had talked about being a judge. I don't really have any recollection of that, until I heard about Judge Smith. It really was this almost instant, "This is it." So, I started putting the things in play, and the first thing that happened was we unexpectedly had a district court judge resign so I went ahead and after some thought, tossed my name in the hat for the district court judge. I would have been happy to be a district court judge. I didn't do it just to get my name out, but I didn't think that Governor Martin, even though he had to appoint a Democrat, would appoint me. I was much too visible, and sure enough he didn't, and I didn't get it. At least people then knew I wanted to be a judge, so the ice was broken. Because one of the hardest parts for me about running was people saying, "Well, you are a partner in this big firm, you've got this reputation, you're on the state bar council. Why would you want to give that up?" And the answer was, it was a calling. I know that sounds corny, but I really felt called. What was so interesting, I decided to do this in November of `89, and

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I was going to go on a trip in the fall right about this time. So, I decided to run. The election was in `90. I wrote a letter, got some friends to agree to get that letter, that mailing out, and I took off for Nepal. Everything that happened was an affirmation of my decision. I had a wonderful trip. I made it to the __________ Sanctuary which was our 15,000 foot goal. I got back home. People had written. I had great response to the letter. I had great response to people I talked to. It was just the most affirming event, and again it was the first event that I felt like, in my life, that I actually chose to do. I've never regretted it, and when I was out with cancer the first time I certainly had a lot of time to reflect about whether that is what I wanted to go back and do. I won't say there wasn't question, but overwhelmingly I wanted to get back. This time, I've felt really bad for several months. Now that I feel better, though, I really miss being on the bench. Again, there is just no question that this is what I'm supposed to do. It's my opportunity to give back and to be of service to the community. I've always believed that everybody, but lawyers in particular because of their special opportunity in training, have an obligation to give back to the community. I did quite a bit of pro bono work, work in the community, and now I have a full time job that is service work and it's where I am supposed to be.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You were saying before that if you would have done your pro and con list, you think you may not have gone into it?

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I think that there would have been a real likelihood. Make less money, you're tied to the bench, there's no flexibility. One of the things I learned in life back when I taught school. I didn't like it that I had to eat lunch with seventh graders, or that I had to get somebody to watch my classroom before I could go to the restroom. That just drove my sense of independence crazy. The only difference with being a judge is, I do get to decide when everybody goes to the bathroom. So, you have a lot less daily flexibility. You've got a jury out. You've planned to go eat lunch with friends, or you've planned to go give a talk somewhere. You can't go. I mean, there's some real . . . . at least for me, because I have certain standards about it. It's a very confining position. It's very lonely, because you can't talk about what you are doing with other people. I was amazed . . . . everybody told me this would happen, and I didn't believe it, but it did. People that were lawyer friends of mine for years treated me differently. Excuse me, they've been friends for years, treated me differently. In fact, one friend who had given me a birthday present for fifteen years, we went to lunch and she didn't have a birthday present for me, and he said, "Well, I was worried somebody would think I was bribing the judge." I said, "Listen, we're talking tokens here anyway, and you've given me a present for ten years before I became judge. I don't think so." And we had a good laugh about it, but they do treat you different. They want to know what to call you, and my philosophy about that is when I am in the courtroom, it's your Honor.

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Every where else is Julia, or depending upon how well you know me, Judge Jones. So, those are some of the reasons. The loneliness of it. I have gotten around that a little bit because I have a lot of non-lawyer friends. They have no reference. They keep me honest, and a few of my lawyer friends, but most of the lawyer friends will . . . . One of the things I've learned, they just aren't honest with the judge, because you're the judge, and they aren't going to say anything. They're going to laugh at your jokes, and they aren't going to say anything that they don't think you want to hear. That's hard for me. I'm used to openness, but I respect that. Doesn't make me mad, doesn't mean I like them any less, it just means that the balance I like I need to have more non-lawyer friends.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
The next step is when you went into the hospital, I assume, unless there's something in between that . . . .
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
You mean this go around where I am now in my life? In November of '94 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and took chemotherapy treatment for six months. Then went back on the bench that summer. I was out for nine months or so. This summer my cancer came back, and it has been more difficult to manage than the first time. But, I am now back on the road to recovery. What I have learned about cancer is that it is very individual, and there are very many different treatments for the same cancer. So, we went through a couple and they didn't do

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as well as we would have liked, but now we are on one that seems to be effective. Once again, I've reflected and I can't wait to get back on the bench. I do think cancer is a wonderful — wonderful's not really the way I feel about it. Let's back up a minute. A powerful teacher, and some of the things I've learned really help me be a much better judge. The most important thing you learn is that you can't control everything. That there's just so much that is completely out of your control, and obviously people who are judges are people who have a high need for control. They wouldn't be a judge if that weren't an important part of their life. I was the oldest of four children, and my siblings just take great pleasure in talking about how I practiced to be a judge all my life as I was their babysitter bossing them around. One sister has been here while I was sick, and she said, "Yeah, I got about a week that I could boss her around, and then she felt better, and started bossing me around again." The ability to let go of control, which you have to do at some point with cancer because you are so sick you can't not do that either from the treatment or the cancer, I really believe helps me be a better judge because I don't feel like I can control everything on the bench. So, that's one of the main things. The other is, it puts things into perspective about what's important. I think that helps me both in my personal life, but also in making decisions. It's easier to peel away the layers, and see what's really going on here and what's really important. I would not want to have cancer. I would not wish it on my worst enemy, but I hope I have learned from it and will continue to learn.

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NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You talk a lot about the support you've had throughout this. Is it from the bar, is it from friends, community, everyone?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I don't know what I have done in my life, but somewhere along the way I've touched a lot of people, because the bar . . . . I was sick the exact same time of year before, November. Max Sasser and Mary Howerton organized a Christmas carolling to come to my house. It was the most touching thing that they could have done. I love to sing. I cannot carry a tune, but if you bring twenty men and about five women into my little living room anybody can sing. So, they came and seranaded outside, and I invited them in, and it was just unbelievable. The bar, I guess that was the year Kathy Thompson was President, at the Christmas party they did a big poster size card and everybody signed it and brought it. The other judges and my secretary bring my mail to me. They take care of everything I need to do. I don't have to worry about work. That's a real advantage of the way our system is. Since it's not a judge docketed . . . . we don't have our own dockets. The dockets there and whoever the judge, whether it's . . . . As somebody said to me "There are a lot of retired judges looking for work. They're happy to have your seat." I don't have to worry about work, but mostly the support of coming in, staying with me. I've lived alone, but I've never been alone and on a personal level, I guess, from the first go-around, that was the biggest lesson. That I am not

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alone, and there are all of these wonderful people that will take care of me and help me. They do everything from coming and blowing the leaves in my yard, to taking the dogs to the vet, to bringing me wonderful surprises. It's a huge group. I've got a mailing list of several hundred, and since we are into it, I'll have to tell you about it. It's got a name. When I had cancer the first time I had just heard a speech by a man named Bobby Stone who wrote a book called, Where the Buffaloes Run, and Bobby Stone was a very successful insurance salesman, and then he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He said, "You know, I didn't build up my business alone. I did it with a team." So, he sat down and he got out his roledex and he picked out a hundred people, and sent them a postcard, and said, "I'm getting ready to have this treatment at Duke, and I really need your support. Send me cartoons, send me funny pictures of your kids." Different things like that. So, somebody named his team along the way the Buffaloes because they had been extinct and came back, and that was what he was hoping for. Well, I already had a team, but I didn't have a name. So, the name of my team, and some people won't think this is funny at all, but I can hardly say it without laughing. The name of my team is The Fighting Okra. Now the reason for that is that okra is very important in my family. We are Southern, we love okra. Of course, we love it fried, but we'll eat it any way. When my sister moved to Hong Kong, she called back the day after the family reunion. She did not ask how many ham biscuits were there. She didn't ask how many cakes were there. She said, "How many

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bowls of fried okra?" Another cousin on another occasion almost burned down his kitchen frying okra for fourty. It has long been a favorite vegetable in our family. I told this to one of my doctors, and he said, "Well, it's kind of wimpy and slimy." I said, "Clearly you've never gone to the field to pick okra. It will cut your hands off. It is quite strong." So, I kind of like okra. One of my other friends from Iowa just doesn't get it. She said, "You know, you laugh everytime you say okra. I don't get it, but if that's what you want it to be called." So, we are The Fighting Okra and we have t-shirts that say, "I'm O-kray, You're O-kray." I wanted to do something for all the people who had helped me, and so we have our okra team. That's the last little bit about my support team, is The Fighting Okra. We're having a good time with it. We're thinking about having our annual convention at Ocracoke Island, and all the things you can think about.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You said that it has definitely increased your sensitivity on the bench. How long were you on the bench after you were diagnosed, and you took time, then you were back on the bench for a little bit of time?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I was back on the bench for almost two years, for exactly two full years.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Did you think that you maybe ruled differently, or is it just viewing the people that come before you differently?

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
What I like to think is that I was more tolerant at times when I should have been more tolerant, and less patient with people that were just acting like idiots. That's kind of the two sides of it, and I think that's true. I can remember sitting there thinking these people are fighting about this? Come on, let's get a life. So, I ruled pretty quickly and took care of those folks if they were going to act like that. It's my job to do it, but on some other things that I might have been a little less tolerant of for whatever reason, that really needed a little more thought, I like to think I did that.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What do you think your biggest role is as a judge? Obviously there's the daily . . . .
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
The biggest role a judge has is to assure that everyone gets their day in court. Absolutely. That is my goal. That's the balance, because you know we don't have time to let everybody talk forever, but I like to think that that's something I am pretty good at. I remember one time I had a murder case. It was a guilty plea. It was a very poignant case. A good family man who had run a family business for forty five years got shot and killed at his business. The problem was, the evidence showed that he may have pulled the gun first on the person who broke in, and therefore it was going to be a very difficult capital case. It might have even been self defense. So, the district attorney agreed to a plea. The widow was

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in court, and after the district attorney stood up and gave his speel, which was perfectly appropriate, she said, "We did not agree to this plea. It's wrong. My husband's dead." She went on and on. The district attorney got real upset because she kept maligning him. Finally I just looked over at him and with my eyes basically said, "Just sit down and be quiet." I hope he got the message that I know what's going on, and I let her say what she had to say. She had written it. I think the district attorney, again, I think he was very upset about it. I took the plea. It was a very reasonable plea, and I stated in court that I understood the district attorney's reasons, and I said to the widow that I understood that she didn't agree with it but that it was my job to make the decision about whether to accept it, and I was. I got a letter from her. A hand written letter from the widow about a week later that said, "Dear Judge Jones, thank you so much. I realized that you let me go out of the balance of propriety, but it was my only chance." Then she wrote a whole bunch of stuff, and I called the DA and read it to him. It was her only chance to have closure for that situation, and I probably took longer than some other people, but I think it was worth it.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
I know you said as a judge you've become very limited in the rules, and what you can and cannot do. What other activities do you do? I know you've come to the school, and you are involved in the mentoring program at UNC.

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I do folk dancing, contra dancing, English dancing, Appalachian squares. I go off to what I call adult camp. The particular one I go to is in Brasstown, North Carolina and that's between Murphy and Hazeville for those of you who don't know where Brasstown is. It has about 250 people. I usually go the week after Christmas, from December 26 to January 1. Of course, I won't get to go this year because I'll be taking chemotherapy instead. You go up and stay in dorms and you have home cooked vegetarian meals, live music, and workshops and dancing from 9:00 in the morning until 2:00 a.m. There's also songs. They'll have a session on songs. Crazy things like party games, story telling. So, I have done that for a number of years. Gone to Brasstown to dance at the John C. Campbell Folks School. In fact I'm on their board of visitors. I'm very active with Queens College which is where I went to undergraduate, which is a liberal arts school here in Charlotte. I've been active with them since I've been back in town. I'm on their board, and do a lot of work for them. Those are the only boards I'm on, just for the reason of conflict. I used to be on the YMCA board, but it seems like we were always having some __________ so when my term was up I did not reopt to do that. I do go to the Y to work out, and hiking. Again, (pause in tape which did not return us to this line of thinking.)
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Since we are on the subject of the support, and how you have coped, I read that you got involved in meditation, or used meditation.

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I had been meditating formally for about a year before I was diagnosed. I think meditation is a wonderful form of centering of your body, and getting quiet so that you can do what cancer does for you, and remember what is important but without having to have cancer. I really used meditation before I got sick in a trial. I did the second trial of Calvin Cunningham, who was charged with murder of a police officer and he had been tried once and overturned and I tried it again in the spring of `94. It was a very tense trial because Mr. Cunningham wanted to represent himself in a first degree capital case with a victim being a police officer. So, I had my work cut out for me, including death threats to everyone - me, the defendant, the witnesses, everybody. Of course, I couldn't talk about those out loud, I had to talk to my deputy and different people and we resolved all that. Mostly, I had to deal with this unruly person who really was not very smart in the courtroom, and I had various techniques. One of them was occasionally, I would say, "Alright ladies and gentlemen," . . . (court's in session, full courtroom). "Ladies and gentlemen we are going to remain in session. I do not want anyone to leave the courtroom. However, I need to take a moment and read this paper that Mr. Cunningham has presented to me, and I'll ask that you be silent and the deputies are here, and remember the decorum of the courtroom. I'm just going to take a few minutes and read these papers." I wasn't going to a bit more read those papers. I knew exactly what they said. I just needed a few minutes to catch my

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breath, but I also wanted to change the tenor of what was going on in the courtroom. I wanted a break, and I could have yelled at him, but that just made him react more. So, I got a break in the tenor of the courtroom, plus I would just (and they couldn't see me, I had glasses on) close my eyes, and lean back, take a deep breath, and say, "I am calm" when I breath in, "I am calm" when I breath out, "I am in this present moment, this moment is just fine." I haven't told that in public before. Some people may think that's really weird, but the case was upheld on appeal, so I don't guess you want anything more than that. So, I was already into using meditation as a way to center, and to be able to deal with difficult situations. When I became sick I had friends who came to my house, and meditated with me in silent meditation. I also, what happened though, my life kind of developed into where meditation was involved in everything. I can remember driving home from the doctors one day, and being in incredible pain, and I pulled over on the side of the road and took a deep breath in, and a deep breath out, and it reminded me that I didn't have to be in this kind of pain. The thought was, if I'm in this kind of pain for the rest of my life, I don't want to live - cancer or no cancer. I remembered that I only have to be in pain for this moment. It might be completely different in the next moment. I then remembered that all I had to do was get home, and that was about five minutes away. I had this wonderful big old fluffy bed. I didn't have any children that needed to be fed. I didn't have any work that needed to be done. That I could get up in that big bed,

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and just go to sleep and that the pain would go away for awhile. So, I really use meditation just . . . When I was waiting for a doctor. I mean, you know how tense that is. I would breathe, and my doctor came in one time and laughed about it. I said, "This is for your benefit as much as mine." And he caught on pretty quick, and never teased me again. So, I did use meditation, and have used it in my work as well as in my personal life. It is not the least bit - at least the way I practice. Now everybody has their own practice. There's Buddhism, and Hinduism, and all kinds of practice, but I have incorporated it. I'm a Baptist, and I've incorporated it into my Christian beliefs. In fact, our meditation group meets at the church on Sunday mornings at 8:30. One way I think about it is that if I'm praying I'm talking to God, if I'm meditating I'm listening. It's a way to get quiet, and centered, and helps me listen to what God has to say. So, that's meditation from my point of view.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
I have general questions to ask you about the profession. Is there anything else you want to add about your personal life, or anything that is important to you that maybe I didn't touch on?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I'm sure we have left something out. Everybody does. I do have two yellow labrador retrievers. We have had four generations in our family, and I was not a dog person. This is kind of a good little annecdote. Growing up we had dogs, but

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they lived in the back yard, and they slobbered on your clothes and got hair on your clothes and things like that. I didn't really like dogs. My brother's girlfriend gave him a dog. My brother is very smart. I was giving him a hard time because he was going to leave this dog with our mother for a month while he went skiing. Widow woman, works. I said, "You can't do that." He said, "Here, hold her." Well, five minutes later it was, "Mom, I'll take care of Holly." And I said, "If Holly ever has any puppies. . . ." So, two years later I got Pearl, and then two years later Pearl had Lily. I still have my dogs, and they are ten and fourteen. Geriactric dogs. I had to build ramps for them to get on and off my deck, but that's what you do with your surrogate children, and I've never been embarrased about my surrogate children. I think they made me a much better judge. I'm much more tolerant. Dog hairs on the black robe - yellow dog hair. Things aren't perfect. I've learned a lot from having dogs that I think have mellowed me, and so I guess we can thank Lily and Pearl for helping me be a little mellow as a judge.
I was going to say I have a real green thumb. I spend a lot of time with my house plants. It's important to me to have a life off the bench. I think it would not be very good for the people of North Carolina to have a judge who did not have a life. I think I have a very full life, and I've enjoyed it, and look forward to a lot more.

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NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
Did you have any role models that were judges? When you stepped on to the bench, did you learn from somebody in that realm?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I certainly had a role model from Judge Jones. That model was one of dignity, and the court system was our way of resolving problems. It's like people say, it isn't perfect, but there isn't a better way. We complain about juries sometimes. Sometimes I think juries are crazy. One of the cases I tried last year, I was pretty surprised at what the jury did. As far as I'm concerned, it is the best system that we have. I certainly, as a judge, and I have done plenty of judge trials, bench trials where they don't want a jury. I'm happy to do that. They are interesting cases generally, but as a general rule I would want a jury rather than a judge just because nobody's perfect. I did not have a mentor. Certainly no woman. Really Judge Jones was the main role model. Obviously, I spent two years with him. Again, I like to think I took the best parts of his, which was very much formality and threw in my sense of humor with it and had my own courtroom. In fact, when I ran for office, one person was not going to support me because he didn't like Judge Jones. Thought that he was too conservative, and just thought anybody who worked for him couldn't be somebody he could support. So, I sat down and had a talk with this person who had been a long time acquaintance, and said just what I have said to you. Absolutely I was influenced by him. Absolutely I think he is a wonderful person, and a wonderful judge, but I like to think that I am my

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own person, and I got the vote. So, I did have him as a mentor, but I really didn't have even professional women, non-lawyers, as a mentor. I can't think of anybody frankly.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
How was it when you went even outside of Charlotte, or in Charlotte too, being a women judge? Did you run into disrespect or problems?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I did not run into disrespect partially because in the smaller towns people are respectful of the judge no matter what the judge looks like. In Charlotte you get much less respect frankly, and again that's a whole other . . . . You could spend a whole day on why that may be true, and what goes on. Partially, because in small towns they only have court a couple of times a year, and it's a very important event, and people still come to court to watch. I did have a deputy one day say, "I've been practicing all weekend what to call you. I've never had a lady judge before." And I said, "Well, while we are in the courtroom, you can call me Your Honor." I said, "You can call me maam in the courtroom." I said, "Outside the courtroom you can call me Judge Jones", because I didn't know him. He was real cute, and he did great. I've certainly had lawyers that I think just didn't think having a woman judge was appropriate, but that didn't last long. That's usually an initial experience, and then everybody falls into the groove. Particularly when they realize that I've practiced. The fact that I've practiced in litigation for a long

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time gave me credibility early on. I knew a lot of people. I grew up in Shelby. I went to Appalachian in Boone. I went to Wake Forest. I went to Queens. I went to camp in the summers. I've never held court in a town that there wasn't somebody I knew before I held court. Anywhere, and I've held court in probably forty counties. Usually, I've got a good enough friend to where I spend the night with them which also is really a balance. I think if I had to go back to a motel room after holding court all day, I would climb the walls. For example, I have these cousins that live up near Lake Lure and they have a log cabin that's heated, and completely furnished, and when I hold court in Marion and Willerferton and that area, I go stay in the cabin and it's fabulous. I can be by myself if I want to, or I can walk half a mile down the road and eat supper with nieces and nephews and have a big time. So, I've never really had any problems as a judge. Years and years ago as a lawyer, in a pink suit, in 1980 I was in Lenoir, and was thoroughly teased by a judge and some local lawyers. I won the case, so I didn't care how much they teased me. As a judge I've not had any problems being a women. People act surprised, and the deputy said he had been practicing all weekend as to what to call me, but that's about the most significant.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
I hear you talking about keeping that balance in life. Having a non-lawyer, non-judge life. Would that be your advise to new lawyers, or what other advise might you have?

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JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, balance is just the word of the time, and yes I would have that. I think it is very hard for young lawyers. Harder now than it was twenty years ago, and it was pretty hard twenty years ago. I was a workaholic. I can remember one time I worked like sixty days in a row, and one year I worked every holiday except Christmas. I regret that. I don't regret it a whole lot, but if I were doing it again. As one of my friends who is a therapist says that when people come with terminal illnesses nobody ever says I wish I'd spent more time at the office. I think that is certainly true, and I think firms are going to have to acknowledge it. That was kind of a little crusade I had when I was in the firm. I chose to do some stuff in the firm that, what by being on the bar council for one example. I did not have as many available hours and therefore I made less money, but I had a much happier lifetime and I think I was a better lawyer. Now there are some people that truly, that's all they want to do, and if that's what they want to do then . . . . That's the lesson I had to learn, that everybody wasn't like me, and if somebody else wanted to work all the time that I could try to provide opportunities for balance for younger lawyers. Try to provide a mentor that says it's okay to do this. It's okay to take three weeks off if you've already billed X hours, but if they chose not to do it, that's their choice. It doesn't mean that they are bad or wrong, or anything like that. That's a lesson I had to learn.

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NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
You said, how you think it's harder now, probably not just for young attorneys. Why do you think it's harder now?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
I think it's just the business world. The technology. You'll hear this from everybody. When I started practicing law they used carbon copies, and you could talk to somebody and say, "Well, I'll get that letter out," when you know you hadn't even started it. Now you know what you are going to say in it, you're not lying, but now it's fax me what you got or E-mail me what you got. There's no give, there's no everything now. So, I think technology, if we're not careful, it's going to rule us rather than us ruling it. I remember the first time Ted Rast, whom you are going to be working with, I was going backpacking somewhere, maybe to Nepal, and he said something about taking a flip phone with me. I was just appalled. Well, since then I almost always, for safety reasons, not for work, but almost always will take a phone. When we were in Colorado we had the llamas carry our phone. So, that's the good part, but the bad part would be if you were sitting up there in Colorado, looking at the mountains and not seeing them because you were on the phone with your partner. Again, everybody's different. I had another friend who would take long vacations, but he had to call the office every morning. He just said, "Okay, from 9 to 11 I'm going to call the office, and then we'll go hiking or whatever." It drove me crazy, but he needed to do it. So, everybody has to make their choice about how they are going to have balance. I

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think you are going to burn out if you don't have some balance, but again I can only choose for me.
NANCY SARA FRIEDMAN:
What do you see . . . . You hear all these things about the change in legal community, about it once being tight net friendly and now it's moved away from that. Is that your impression?
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
Well, I think size has a lot to do with everything. I think people are very pragmatic. I have a friend, who for years professed that she did not believe in God but she thought that the golden rule was the economic rule that made the world go around, and that you do unto others as you would have done unto yourself. That was the whole basis of world economy basically. My theory is that if I am in a small town and there are ten lawyers, and you and I are against each other on this case, and I need a continuance because my client is sick or just because he acted as a jerk, or because I wanted to go on vacation, that you are going to say okay because next time you're going to need the same from me. So, when you pull away from that, and you are dealing with lawyers in all different towns, and they think you're not ever going to see them again after this little case, they are not inclined to be amenable. I also think clients put more pressure on lawyers with money. I guess that gets down to the root of all evil. The standard of living is very high, and to keep up that standard of living you've got to . . . . . .
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[TAPE 3, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 3, SIDE A]
JULIA VIRGINIA JONES:
. . . . about their physical situation, and I know that a lot of young lawyers come out of school owing large debt. I paid my way through law school. I taught school for two years beforehand to save money, but both my husband and I paid our way through law school. I did get a scholarship to Wake, but still there was no money from any other source. I was very careful throughout my practice, and again you've heard about my trips and the fun I've had. I didn't sit around, but I was very careful to not get in a situation with a lot of debt. The thing I would say to young lawyers, the number one thing I would say, is never spend more than you earn. Then, you're not going to get into an ethical situation where you feel like you might have to do something because of money. You're not going to get in a situation in the firm where you have to do something because you feel like you need the money. You can fire a client. You can leave the law firm. You leave the door open for other options which I think is all that matters. The fact that you are there and you're working hard. I think mentally for most people if they are

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able to say "I'm choosing to do this because I do want to earn this money now, and I want to quit when I'm forty." That's not easy to do, by the way. I thought that when I was in my 30s, and it didn't work that way at all. I still think that is the personal key. It then doesn't matter how the lawyers in New York act, or how the client acts. If you are able to be where you can walk out . . . .. And I've always felt that. That's kind of interesting. I haven't thought about this in awhile. The whole time I was at the firm good and bad, and as a judge, I feel like if I chose I could go do something different, and I think that's, for me anyway, the balance. That's the balance right there, and that is what I would tell new lawyers. Don't spend more than you earn. One thing to remember, a lot of those senior partners didn't earn that money at the firm. They make good investments. The joke at Moore & Van Allen is that Mr. Moore started Jack's Cookies, and when Pepsi Cola bought them out, he made a bunch of money. He didn't make that money being a partner at Moore & Van Allen. So, I used to have to tell recruits, "Now you see Mr. Moore drives that Mercedes wagon. He got that as a gift from Jack's Cookies when he put the deal through. A lot of people have inherited money, and you're going to run around and rub elbows with people . . . . Your clients are going to have tons of money, thank goodness, so they can pay you. You just need to remember that's the absolute best and last advice, is don't spend more than you earn.
END OF INTERVIEW