Wade Tremblay headshot

Wade Tremblay

Lane High School, Fork Union Military Academy, Albemarle High School

There was not a lot of thought given to the Black community at that point despite -- I would say my dad in particular was a pretty progressive guy.  He’d been in the military.  He didn’t broach much foolishness in regard to -- I remember coming home using the N-word one time.  This was in the fifth or sixth grade.  And thinking that was kind of cool because I’d heard it at school.  He took me aside, and we had, shall we say, a pretty candid conversation about how inappropriate that was and why it was inappropriate.  I think he explained the facts of life to me right there.  But again there was very little interaction, Black and white in the community at the time.  I’m trying to think -- up until the early ’60s Blacks still had to ride on the backs of buses in Charlottesville.  We were still very definitely -- they could not sit at the lunch counters.  Separate water fountains.  The whole drill was still in place.  I remember it.  So as a result even when you had parents who were pretty progressive in their thinking, there was not a lot of conversation yet about this isn’t right, the way these folks are being treated.  So there wasn’t a whole lot of that.  Again, to be candid, there was a lot of feeling of we’re better than they are if you were white, Black.  Obviously it was wrong minded.  It took a while for those thoughts to begin to go, wait a minute, why are we thinking that?  That was the case growing up.