Florida Supreme Court Justice James E. C. Perry as a Boy

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Florida Supreme Court Justice James E. C. Perry as a Boy

Florida Supreme Court Justice James E. C. Perry as a Boy

February 22, 2017

Justice Perry describes a typical Sunday growing up in this excerpt from an oral history interview with Florida Supreme Court Justice James E. C. Perry on December 19, 2016 at the Orlando Public Library.

LISTEN Part I (17:04)

What was a typical Sunday like for you growing up?

Growing up my father would wake us up in the morning about seven o'clock. He would have cooked breakfast. Breakfast consisted primarily of macaroni and cheese or rice and cheese, and pork chops. We ate a heavy breakfast because the whole day would be spent in church. Did you have Sunday School? Well, you go to Sunday School and then after Sunday School you would go to the regular church. Then normally, it would depend if it was my mother's church or my father's church. At my mother's church, then they would have dinner. It would be served at the church. Then there would be afternoon service. If it was at my father's church, his was a Methodist Church, it was a little different. There was Sunday School. Then there was a regular church service. And then they may or may not have something in the afternoon. And your mother's church wasn't Methodist? No. It was Disciples of Christ. They wash feet. Humility.

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

And that wasn't a special occasion, that was a regular part of your growing up life? That was a typical Sunday. I couldn't go to the movies because they thought the Sabbath was holy and you're suppose to keep it that way. And today you sing in the choir, don't you? I did sing in the choir. I'm a member of Carter Tabernacle, CME Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and I sang in the choir for about 20 years, I guess. And when I was elevated to the bench I stopped because I didn't have time to go to choir rehearsal. I still like to sing. Do you think you might be going back? Probably not. I had an operation on my throat. There was something on my vocal cord and my voice has changed. I can't hit high notes any more.

You sang in school. Did you learn to sing in church or in school or both? My father sang, played the piano, the organ, and, I guess, it was just part of growing up. He would be in the bathroom shaving and he would sing. My mother would sing as well while she was cooking, whatever household chores she had to do. So there was always some sort of songs in the house.

Photo courtesy of the Justice James E. C. Perry Archives

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