Robert King headshot

Robert King

Jefferson Elementary School, Venable Elementary School, Lane High School

Not a lot of people know about the Hospital Boys Club.  And they had a club.  You know, have you ever noticed that building on 12th Street on the corner of 12th and Grady right here?  There’s a little, like a little small church?  They used to own that building.  And that’s where they had their meetings.  And it was really a nice, I don’t know if I could find a copy of it right now.  I think you may have taken a picture of it.  I don’t know if you still have it or not but I’ve got a, it’s who’s who in Charlottesville, Black Charlottesville.  And almost everybody in Charlottesville worked for UVA in some capacity.  And so they formed the Hospital Boys Club.  I believe it was more of a Black union.  Undercover.  Because they would come in and discuss, I think they would discuss their problems and how to iron them out.  Kind of put their heads together.  Most of them were orderlies.  Pigeonholed to one job, pretty much.  Some sort of orderly.  And you know, it was a great group.  My grandfather was a head of them at one time.  He’s dead center in a photo.  And my father was like two guys down.  An uncle was behind my grandfather in the back row.  So it was a family thing, you know.  And they were all Hospital Boys.  And that’s what, that was called the Hospital Boys Club.  But you never hear anything.  Nobody shares any pictures, don’t talk about it.  And I don’t have my father to say, “Dad, was that a union?”  You know?  So I’m just, I assume I think that’s what it was.  For them to have dues, to buy a house.  You should see them when they’re dressed all in white slacks, and dark blazers.  It’s not color so it could be blue, could be black.  It was sharp.  They were representing.  And so, I think it was probably a union.